Will you suffer me Sir, in great Haste, to offer a few indigested Hints for your Consideration. I take it for granted that a very great Majority of the People in Each of the United States are determind to support this righteous & necessary War, till they shall obtain their grand Object, an undisputed Sovereignty. This must hereafter be maintaind, under God, by the Wisdom and Vigour of their own Councils & their own Strength— Their Policy will lead them, if they mean to form any Connections with Europe, to make themselves respectable in the Eyes of the Nations by holding up to them the Benefits of their Trade— Trade must be so free to all as to make it the Interest of Each to protect it till they are able to protect it themselves—This, the United States must do by a Navy. Till they shall have erected a powerful Navy, they will be lyable to Insults wch may injure & depreciate their Character as a Sovereign & independent State; & while they may be incapable of resenting it themselves, no friendly power may venture or care to resent it on their Behalf. The U. S. must then build a Navy. They have or may have all the Materials in Plenty—But what will Ships of War avail them without Seamen? And Where will they find a Nursery for Seamen but in the fishery? Adieu my dear Sir.
TO HORATIO GATES.
[Ms., Historical Society of Pennsylvania.]
Boston Oct 11th 1781
MY DEAR SIR
Altho’ I am at this Juncture much pressd with pub-lick Business, I will not omit writing a few Lines, to testify my sincere Regards for you—When I left you in Philadelphia last June, I regretted the disagreable Situation you was then in—deprivd of the Prospect of reaping fresh Laurels, when an active Campaign was expected. Whether a Court of Enquiry has yet been called, agreable to your Wishes, I know not. Till that is done, I say it without Flattery, our Country will lose the Assistance of one of its most able & faithful Servants.—We are at this Distance in great Uncertainty of every thing that happens Southward of New York. We hear of military Movements & naval Engagements, but not of their Events—Pray inform me of the Situation of publick Affairs, and of your own as far as you shall think proper. We hope, & are even sanguine in our Expectations of great & decisive Events in our favor—God grant we may not be disappointed! Doctor Gordon who kindly takes the Care of this Letter, is well acquainted with the Internal State of this Common Wealth—He knows my Mind, & will communicate to you, more than I can now do for Want of Leisure. Adieu, & believe me to be with the warmest Attachment——Your unalterd Friend
TO WILLIAM HEATH.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]