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WHEN or where this letter will find you, I know not In what scenes of distress and terror, I cannot foresee. We have received a confused account from Boston of a dreadful catastrophe. The particulars we have not heard. We are waiting with the utmost anxiety and impatience, for further intelligence. The effect of the news we have, both upon the Congress and the inhabitants of this city, was very great. Great indeed ! Every gentleman seems to consider the bombardment I of Boston as the bombardment of the capital of his own province. Our deliberations are grave and serious indeed.
It is a great affliction to me that I cannot write to you oftener than I do. But there are so many hindrances, that I cannot. It would fill volumes, to give you an idea of the scenes I behold, and the characters I converse with. We have so much business, so much ceremony, so much company, so many visits to receive and return, that I have not time to write. And the times are such as to make it imprudent to write freely.
We cannot depart from this place until the business of the Congress is completed, and it i.s the general disposition to proceed slowly. When I shall be at home I can't say. If there is distress and danger in Boston, pray invite our friends, as many as possible, to take an asylum with you Mrs. Gushing and Mrs. Adams, if you can. There is in the Congress a collection of the greatest men upon this continent in point of abilities, virtues, and fortunes. The magnanimity and public spirit which I see here make me blush for the sordid, venal herd which I have seen in my own Province. The Addressers, and the new Councillors, I are held in universal contempt and abhorrence from one end of the continent to the other.
Be not under any concern for me. There is little danger from any thing we shall do at the Congress. There is such u spirit through the colonies, and the members of the Congress are such characters, that no danger can happen to us, which will not involve the whole continent in universal desolation ; and in that case, who would wish to live ?
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841