I have recd several of your favors which I have not yet answerd. You will not I am sure, impute it to Inattention or Neglect. I have been often sick. I have been fatigud with Business, whereby I am become greatly indebted to all my Friends in the Epistolary Way. Shortly I hope to see them when I shall make a satisfactory Apology. Upon what Foundation do they build their Hopes of Peace? Congress, they say, have receivd great News. No such thing. There is Nothing I know of worth your hearing which you have not already heard. Be not amusd by the Tales of interrested Politicians, Speculators & Tories. A false Hope of peace in the Time of War does a World of Mischiefe. The latest & best Advices I have seen mention Britain as breathing Nothing but Revenge. Besides, were we to expect serious Overtures, did a wise Nation ever remit; their Exertions at such a Juncture? I hope America will persevere in this glorious Struggle till she obtains what in Reason she ought to insist upon This you will tell me is saying just Nothing at all Very true; and why should one speak when it is the Time to be silent? At a proper time when I shall have the pleasure of seeing you, I will chat with you upon the Subject. Let me only ask you at present, Is not the Fishery as valueable to America & more so to old Massachusetts than the Tobacco Fields of the middle States or the Rice Swamps of the South?
Ask my old Fd the Hon T C1 what he thinks of the pious Lord Dartmouth now. Adieu.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philade April 29, 1779
I have not yet acknowledgd your Favors of the 14th & 15th of March. The Subject of the former is of the last Importance. I have always been of Opinion that America would be in more Danger in the Point of coming to an Accommodation with Great Britain than in any Stage of the War. Unpracticd as we are in the Business of Treaties and perhaps too unsuspecting of the Intrigues of Courts, we may be led into Conventions which may put us into a State of Insecurity while we are nominally independent. The Advice which some Persons would affect to give us not to insist upon too much, should be receivd with the greatest Caution. What do they mean by it, and how far wd they have us extend it? If we had hearkned to such Advice in the Infancy of this Contest, we should have submitted [to] Britain the Right of taxing us, & humbly supplicated her to suspend the Exercise of it. In doing this we might have prevented the Horrors of War, & have been her quiet Slaves. No Terms have yet been proposd by Britain. She possibly may offer them soon, and her proposals possibly may be insidious & inadmissible. I do believe she is at this Moment employing her secret Emissaries to find out the Disposition of America & what would be her Ultimatum. Should