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DOCTOR CHURCH returns to-day, and, with smarting eyes, I must write a few lines to you. I never had in my life such severe duty to do, and was never worse qualified to do it. My eyes depress my spirits, and my health is quite infirm. Yet I keep about, and attend Congress very constantly.
I wish I could write freely to you, my dear, but I cannot. The scene before me is complicated enough. It requires better eyes, and better nerves than mine ; yet I will not despond. I will lay all difficulties prostrate at my feet. My health and life ought to be hazarded in the cause of my country, as well as your's, and all my friends.
It is impossible to convey, to you any adequate idea of the embarrassments I am under. I wish that you and our friends may not be in greater distress than I am. I fear you arc. Pray let me know as often as possible. Our friends write to Mr. , not to me, this time. They Don't let us know the state of Boston people, nor the state of the army in Boston, BO exactly as I could wish.
Two days ago we saw a very wonderful phenomenon in this city ; a field day, on which three battalions of soldiers were reviewed, making full two thousand men, battalion men, light infantry, grenadiers, riflemen, light horse, artillery men with a fine train, all in uniforms, going through the manual exercise, and the manoeuvres, with remarkable dexterity. AH this has been accomplished in this city since the 19th of April ; so sudden a formation of an army never took place any where.
In Congress we are bound to secrecy. But, under the rose, I believe that ten thousand men will be maintained in the Massachusetts, and five thousand in New York, at the continental expense.
We have a major Skene, just arrived from London with a commission to be Governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and surveyor of the woods, &c., a close prisoner. He must dispute for his government with Arnold and Allen.
My love and duty where due.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841