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MR. A. and Colonel Whipple are at length gone. Colonel Tudor went off with them. They went away, about three o clock this afternoon. I wrote by A. and Colonel Whipple too ; by the latter I sent two large bundles, which he promised to deliver to you. These middle States begin to taste the sweets of war. Ten thousand difficulties and wants occur, which they had no conception of before. Their militia are as clamorous, and impatient of discipline, and mutinous as ours, and more so. There has been seldom less than four thousand men in this city at a time, for a fort night past, on their march to New Jersey. Here they wait, until we grow very angry about them, for canteens, camp kettles, blankets, tents, shoes, hose, arms, flints and other dittoes, while we are under a very critical solicitude for our army at New York, on account of the insufficiency of men.
I want to be informed of the state of things with you ; whether there is a scarcity of provisions of any kind, of West India articles, of clothing ? Whether any trade is carried on, any fishery ? Whether any vessels arrive from abroad, or whether any go to sea upon foreign voyages. I wish to know, likewise, what posture of defence you are in ? What fortifications are at Nantaskct, at Long Island, Pettick's Island, &c., and what men and officers there are to garrison them ? We hear nothing from the Massachusetts, lately, in comparison of what we did, when the army was before Boston.
I must not conclude without repeating my request, that you would ask some of the members of the general court to send me horses, and if they cannot, to send them yourself.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841