Proclamation, March 20th
Appointing Day of Thanksgiving.
To John Adams, April 17th
Introducing Mr. Wyllys.
To Thomas Jefferson, April 24th
Congratulations on Election—Political Comments.
To Thomas Jefferson, November 18th
Congratulations on Peace.
To Thomas Paine, November 30th
Defence of Infidelity—Effect of Proposed Age of Reason.
TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Boston Jany 1 1778
MY DEAR SIR
I had the Pleasure of receiving your Letter dated
at York the 23d of
Novr last, which mentions your having before written to me by a young
Gentn Capt Romane who was to pass through this Place in his Return to
France. That Letter has not yet come to Hand. I shall regard all your
Recommendations with the utmost Respect.
Our military Affairs in the middle Department are in such a Situation as to afford us too much Reason to be chagrind. We have indeed sufferd no shameful Defeats, but a promising Campaign has however ended ingloriously. To what are we to attribute it? I believe to a miserable Set of General Officers. I mean to make some Exceptions. For the Sake of our Country, my dear Friend, let me ask, Is our Army perpetually to be an unanimated one; because there is not Fortitude enough to remove those bad Men. I remember the Factions in Carthage which prevented her making herself the Mistress of the World. We may avoid Factions and yet rid our Army of idle cowardly or drunken officers. How was Victory snatchd out of our Hands at German Town! Was not this owing to the same Cause? And Why was only one General officer dischargd? Was it because there were just Grounds to suspect only one? Is there not Reason to fear that our Commander in Chief may one day suffer in his own Character by Means of these worthless Creatures? May he not suffer under the Reputation of an unfortunate Commander, than which I think he cannot suffer a greater Evil. It is difficult to seperate from the Minds of the People the Idea of unfortunate from that of the Want of some necessary soldierly Quality. At best the unfortunate General has Pity only as the Reward of his Services; and how soon does Pity degenerate into Contempt. Cicero if I mistake not some where tells us, that when a General is fortunate it matters not whether it is ascribd to his being a Favorite of the Immortal Gods, or to certain good Qualities in him which others are incapable of observing. His Soldiers will encounter every Danger under his Conduct. His Enemies will be confounded at his Approach. His Country will revere him. The Reverse is equally just. As therefore we regard the Reputation of the Comdr in Chief of our Armies,