John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 10 July 1776

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[Philadelphia], 10 July, 1776.

You will sec, by the newspapers, which I, from time to time, enclose, with what rapidity the colonies proceed in their political manoeuvres. How many calamities might have been avoided, if these measures had been taken twelve months ago, or even no longer ago than last December ?

The colonies to the south are pursuing the sai maxims which have heretofore governed those to the north. In constituting their new governments, their plans are remarkably popular, more so than I could over have imagined ; even more popular than the " Thoughts on Government ; " and in the choice of their rulers, capacity, spirit, and zeal in the cause supply the place of fortune, family, and every other consideration which used to have weight with man kind. My friend Archibald Bullock, Esquire, is Governor of Georgia. John Rutledge, Esquire, is Governor of South Carolina. Patrick Henry, Esquire, is Governor of Virginia, &c. Dr. Franklin will be Governor of Pennsylvania. The now members of this city are all in this taste, chosen because of their inflexible zeal for independence. All the old members left out because they opposed independence, or at least were luke warm about it. Dickinson, Morris, Allen, all fallen, like grass before the scythe, notwithstanding all their vast advantages in point of fortune, family and abilities. I am inclined to think, however, and to wish that these gentlemen may be restored at a fresh election, because, although mistaken in some points, they are good characters, and their great wealth and numerous connexions will contribute to strengthen America, and cement her union.

I wish I were at perfect liberty to portray before you all these characters in their genuine lights, and to explain to you the course of political changes in this province. It would give you a great idea of the spirit and resolution of the people, and sh jw you, in a striking point of view, the deep roots of American in dependence in all the colonies. But it is not prudent to commit to writing such free speculations in the present state of things. Time, which takes away the veil, may lay open the secret springs of this surprising revolution. But I find, although the colonies have differed in religion, laws, customs and manners, yet in the great essentials of society and government, they are all alike.

Author:
John Adams

Source:
Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841