John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 8 April 1777


[Philadelphia], 8 April, 1777.

YOURS of 26th March came by this day's post. I am happy to hear you have received so many letters from me. You need not fear writing in your cautious way, by the post, which is now well regulated. But if your letters should be intercepted, they would do no harm. The F. turns out to be the man that I have seen him to be these two yean. He is in total neglect and disgrace here. I am sorry for it, because of the forward part he took in the beginning of the controversy. But there is certainly such a thing as falling away in politics, if there is none in grace.

Lee fares as well as a man in close prison can fare, I suppose, constantly guarded and watched. I fancy Howe will engage that he shall be treated as a prisoner of war, and in that case we shall all be easy. For my own part I don l think the cause depends upon him. I am sorry to see such wild panegyrics in your newspapers. I wish they would consider the wars against idolatry.

11 April.

Congress is now full. Every one of the thirteen States has a representation in it, which has not happened before a long time. Maryland has taken a step which will soon complete their quota. They have made it lawful for their officers to enlist servants and apprentices.

The fine new frigate, called the Delaware, Captain Alexander, has sailed down the river. I stood upon the wharf to see the fine figure and show she made. They are fitting away the Washington, Captain Reed, with all imaginable despatch. We have at last finished the system of officers for the Hospitals, which will be printed to-morrow. As soon as it is done, I will enclose it to you. A most ample, generous, liberal provision it is. The expense will be great, but humanity overcame avarice.

John Adams

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