Such are my Apprehensions of great Numbers of the Inhabitants of this Town perishing in the ensuing Winter for Want of Fuel unless Measures are taken to guard the Wood Coasters from the Eastward, that I cannot satisfy myself without once more applying to you and most earnestly requesting that the Queen of France may be employd a short time in that Service. I have venturd to promise the People the Service of that Ship upon the Assurance given to me by your Honbl Board. I beg you would not think my Design is to be troublesome to you, but you will excuse me in pressing a Matter in which I think I am justified, by the Rules of Justice, & Mercy to a Community whose Constancy & Firmness as well as Sufferings in the great Cause entitle them to the Protection of the Continental Navy.
I am with every Sentiment of Regard
Gentn yr very hbl Servt
TO ELBRIDGE GERRY AND JAMES LOVELL.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Decr — 1779
Mr Woodbury Langdon1 did me the Honor of a Visit this Morning and deliverd to me your Letter of the 19th of November directed to Mr Hancock and myself.
I cannot but feel the Sentiments of Gratitude to the Gentleman who has originated a Subscription for the Support of the Children of our very worthy deceasd Friend. I had been informd of it before; having lately seen a Letter on the Subject, in which the Name of Congress is mentiond in Terms more than “inadvertent.” I am much displeasd, when I find the tender Feelings of Humanity & Benevolence towards these helpless Orphans accompanied with the Passion of Anger, and Resentment (probably misplacd) towards that Body, which their “brave Father,” if living, would not fail to honor & revere. I should be very sorry, that the “various Causes” in one Paper, should be explaind by the harsh Expressions of “Ingratitude that is unparralled [sic],” in another. I have never heard that Application has been made to the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay in Behalf of these Children; and if there had been, I am at a loss to conceive, from what good or generous Motives it was introducd into a Paper when the very Use of it must tend to expose & exclude them from the Character of “patriotick humane & generous.” Nor can I readily think of a Reason, why the Monies to be collected, should not be paid into the Hands of one of the Massachusetts Delegates, since it would not then have conveyd the Idea in a strong Light, that those who had been formerly among the most intimate Acquaintance and affectionate Friends of their “illustrious Ancestors,” were totally regardless of “what they owe to his deserted youth.”
I will communicate your Letter to Mr Hancock and consult him thereon. In the mean Time be assured that I am sincerely
1 Member of Congress from New Hampshire.