Please to pay my Respects to Mrs Lee—your Brother Colo Frank & others to whom they are due. I will write as often as I can. Adieu & be assured that I am affectionately
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philada Novr 7 1780
Your favor of the 21st of Septr was deliverd to me by my very worthy Friend Mr Arthur Lee who came to this City about a Fortnight ago. The Respect which you say was paid to him by the principal Gentlemen in Boston is exceedingly pleasing to me, because, from an intimate & confidential Correspondence with him for ten years, I am convincd that he was among the most early and consistent American Patriots. His inflexible Virtue in the first Stages of our Contest renderd him obnoxious to the great & powerful in England, and equally of late to interrested Persons in France & their Connexions in America. My Friendship for him is not private; it is grounded altogether on publick Principles. You tell me, his short Residence in the State of Massachusetts, has been very far from diminishing that Estimation in which the People held him there. I should have been indeed sorry if it had been otherwise; for his great Services to them in particular, had justly merited their Esteem. I rejoyce that my own Countrymen are not ungrateful. I hope they will always be too knowing and too just, either to pay servile Hommage to the weak and wicked, or to withhold the Marks of their Approbation due to the wise and good.
You have doubtless before this time been informd that Congress have called on the States to take immediate and effectual Measures to fill up the Army with their respective Quotas during the War. They have since orderd a Tax to the Value of Six Millions of Dollars in Specie; to be paid partly in specifick Articles for the Supply of the Army, and the Remainder in Gold & Silver or Bills of the new Emission. Their Design is to have a permanent Army, and to provide adequate Magazines for its subsistence without Delay. We have often a Choice of Difficulties presented to us. I think, upon the whole, we have in this Instance fixed upon the best Method. At least it appears to me to be the surest, considering all our Circumstances. And I am the more satisfied, because I understand that our Legislature have anticipated the Measure and already begun to assess the Towns for their respective Proportions of the specifick Articles. Had our Money been stable we might have contracted for the Supply of our Army; but the Paper, as all the World knows, is depreciated, for which we are in part obligd to our Enemies, who are dexterous in counterfeiting.
Our Affairs in N Carolina wear a more agreable Aspect than they did a few Weeks ago. The Enemy, you have heard, are got into Chessapeak Bay. It is said they are landed at Portsmouth & Hampton & that they burn all before them. It is also said that the Militia turned out with great Spirit, but we have had no official Letters by the last post. Although we are pressd with Difficulties, we are in chearful Spirits and by the Blessing of Heaven Expect to overcome them. Adieu my dear Sir, and believe me to be affectionately,