John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 11 August 1777

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[Philadelphia], 11 August, 1777.

YOUR kind favor of July 30th and 31st, was handed me just now from the post office. I have regularly received a letter from you, every week excepting one, for a long time past, and as regularly send a line to you enclosing papers. My letters are scarcely worth sending. Indeed I Don't choose to indulge much speculation, lest a letter should miscarry, and free sentiments upon public affairs intercepted from me might do much hurt.

Where the scourge of God and the plague of man kind is gone, no one can guess. An express from Sinnepuxent, a place between the Capes of Delaware and the Capes of Chesapeake, informs, that a fleet of one hundred sail was seen off that place last Thursday. But whether this is fishermen's news, like that from Cape Ann, I know not. The time spends, and the campaign wears away, and Howe makes no great figure yet How many men and horses will he cripple by this strange coasting voyage of five weeks ?

We have given New England men what they will think a complete triumph in the removal of Generals from the northward and sending Gates there. I hope every part of New England will now exert itself to its utmost efforts. Never was a more glorious opportunity than Burgoyne has given us of destroying him by marching down so far towards Albany. Let New England turn out and cut off his retreat. Pray, continue to write me every week. You have made me merry with the female frolic with the miser. But I hope the females will leave off their attachment to coffee. I assure you the best families in this place have left off, in a great measure, the use of West India goods. We must bring ourselves to live upon the produce of our own country. What would I give for some of your cider ? Milk has become the breakfast of many of the wealthiest and genteelest families here.

Fenno put me into a kind of frenzy to go home, by the description he gave me, last night, of the fertility of the season, the plenty of fish, &c., &c., &c., in Boston and about it. I am condemned to this place, a miserable exile from every thing that is agreeable to me. God will my banishment shall not last long.

Author:
John Adams

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