From Benjamin Lincoln
Boston Octr 25th 1788
My dear General
I have the pleasure of transmitting to your Excellency a publication containing a number of letters written some time since by Mr J: Adams—It is the only copy which I have seen And it appears by the authors advertisement that we may not soon expect to see it generally circulating—The writer has I think discovered great knowledge of our country and of the state of our affairs and conducted his answers to the several questions with great address and in a very masterly manner I send it because I think a perussal will be pleasing to Your Excellency.1
Our General court meets here on Wednesday next—It is quite uncertain who will be our senators, or at the least one of them, Mr Strong I think will be chosen—for the other seat there are many candidates Mr Bowdoin, Mr S. Adams Mr R. King Mr Judge Dana &c.2
Every hour opens to us the importance of being guarded against a certain influence—The people are not enough awake—I hope and trust they will be more so before it is too late.
Should any thing turn up during the session of the General Court worth your Excellency attention I will do my self the pleasure of communicating it. With every sentiment of esteem I have the honour of being My Dear General your Excellency’s most obedient servant
ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MiDbEI. The draft differs slightly in wording from the receiver’s copy.
1. Lincoln enclosed John Adams’s Twenty-six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects respecting the Revolution of America. Written in Holland, in the Year 1780. By His Excellency John Adams, While He Was Sole Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America. For Negociating a Peace, and a Treaty of Commerce, with Great-Britain (London, 1786). The letters in this pamphlet, printed for private circulation, were Adams’s replies to questions posed by Hendrik Calkoen (1742–1818), a leading Amsterdam jurist. They were intended for Calkoen’s use in preparing a comparison of the revolt of the Low Countries against Spain with the American Revolution. An American edition was published by John Fenno in New York in 1789. The pamphlet, bound with others in a volume titled Common Sense & c., was in GW’s library at the time of his death (Griffin, Boston Athænceum Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 2–3).
2. Caleb Strong (1745–1819) was elected senator. James Bowdoin, Samuel Adams (1722–1803), and Francis Dana (1743–1811) were all considered contenders for the remaining Senate seat, but the Massachusetts lower house chose Charles Jarvis, a supporter of John Hancock. The state senate rejected Jarvis on three separate votes. A compromise candidate, Tristram Dalton (1738–1817), was finally chosen. Rufus King (1755–1827) removed himself from the Senate race in Massachusetts by moving in 1788 to New York where he was elected to the United States Senate.