You have told Congress, “if, after the time that may be necessary to consider this communication and transmit your answer, the horrors and devastations of war should continue, we call God and the world to witness that the evils which must follow are not to be imputed to Great Britain.” I wish you had spared your protestation. Matters of this kind may appear to you in a trivial light, as mere ornamental flowers of rhetoric, but they are serious things, registered in the high chancery of Heaven. Remember the awful abuse of words like those by General Burgoyne, and remember his fate. There is One above us who will take exemplary vengeance for every insult upon His majesty. You know that the cause of America is just. You know that she contends for that freedom to which all men are entitled,—that she contends against oppression, rapine, and more than savage barbarity. The blood of the innocent is upon your hands, and all the waters of the ocean will not wash it away. We again make our solemn appeal to the God of heaven to decide between you and us. And We pray that, in the doubtful scale of battle, we may be successful as we have justice on our side, and that the merciful Saviour of the world may forgive our oppressors.
I am, my Lords and Gentlemen, the friend of human nature, and one who glories in the title of
1Also attributed to Adams in The Remembrancer, 1778, p. 306.
TO BARON STEUBEN.
[Ms., Emmet Collection, Lenox Library.]
York town June 3d 1778
I very gratefully acknowledge the Receipt of your Favor of the 28th of May by Mr Ternant, as well as another which was deliverd to me in Boston. It affords me great Satisfaction to find that Congress, sensible of your Merit, have put it in your Power to do eminent Service to our Country in the Army, and that your Services are so acceptable there. This is the Fulfillment of my earnest Wishes when I had the Pleasure of conversing with you in Boston. May Heaven prosper you. Mr Ternants Haste prevents my adding more than that I am with very cordial Esteem
very humble servt
TO JOHN ADAMS.
[Ms., Adams Papers, Quincy.]
York town June 21 1778
MY DEAR SIR
Although we are exceedingly pressd with publick Business at this Juncture I cannot omit the Opportunity that now offers of writing to you. The general Scituation of Affairs, and the particular Transactions between the British Commissioners and the Congress will be transmited to you by this Conveyance, by the Committee for foreign Affairs. Since I last came to this Place from Boston, several Gentlemen have arrivd here from France viz Mr Simeon Dean, Mr Carmichael, Mr Stephenson,