In the Name & Behalf of the General Assembly
I am &c,
TO JOHN ADAMS.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Boston Jany 13, 1780.
MY DEAR SIR
I gladly embrace the first opportunity I have had of writing to you since you left this Country. Mr Jonn Loring Austin is the Bearer of this Letter. He is appointed by the General Assembly to negociate an Affair in Europe which will be communicated to you by a Letter written to you by the President of the Council & signd in their Name. The Measure is the favorite offspring of the House of Representatives, & was adopted by many Members of the Council. I wish it may succeed to their Expectation.
The Assembly has been sitting five or six Weeks, and it is probable will rise tomorrow. Among other things, they have passed an Act for securing to their own officers & Soldiers in the Army of the United States, a Compensation for the Depreciation of their pay. It is done in a Mode agreeable to a Committee of officers from the Army, so that there is no Doubt but the Rest of the officers & the Soldiers will be satisfied with it. Money has been sent to the Army to inlist those whose three years are expired, & who may be inclind to continue in the Service, & we are well assured that great Numbers have engagd, so that there is a good Prospect of our States Batallions being well filled. Indeed there is all imaginable Reason to expect that the General will be furnishd in the Spring with an Army better disciplined than even those which have provd their Superiority to the Enemy in several Campaigns. The more they are inured to actual Service, the more perfect they will be in Discipline; and the Courage of a Soldier in the Time of Action, in a great Measure... from a confidence in his military Knowledge. What Events may take place in the Spring we cannot certainly predict. An Army we know will be necessary, either to fight the Enemy, or to give Assurance & Stability to the skillful Negociator of Peace. The Plan you mentiond to me as having been proposd by you to Monsr -------- the last October was a twelvemonth, if it could be fully accomplishd, might in one of the ways above mentiond or the other, secure to us the Objects which I know your heart is much set upon as well as mine. Independence is a mere Charm, [and] unless by Arts or by Arms we secure to ourselves those Advantages we may not have the Fortitude to assert it as we ought, but by which alone we shall be enabled, under God, to maintain it. You have the... , and for my self I confide both in your Wisdom & Integrity.
You will see by the inclosd Paper that our Convention is adjournd. The Roads thro the Country are so blockd up by incessant & heavy Snows, that it has been impracticable for the Members to attend. It is proposd to keep it alive by short Adjournments till a sufficient Number shall arrive to proceed to the Business. Those among us who can remember the year 1717 say there has not been so much Snow on the Ground since that Time.