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To the Honorable James Warren, Esquire at Watertown, by Mr. Hichbourne.
I am determined to write freely to you this time. A certain great fortune and piddling genius, whose fame has been trumpeted so loudly, has given a silly cast to our whole doings. "We are between Hawk and Buzzard. We ought to have had in our hands, a month ago, the whole legislative, executive and judicial of the whole continent, and have completely modelled a constitution ; to have raised a naval power and opened all our ports wide; to have arrested every friend of government on the continent and held them as hostages for the poor victims in Boston, and then opened the door as wide as possible for peace and reconciliation. After this, they might have petitioned, negotiated, addressed, &c., if they would. Is all this extravagant? Is it wild ? Is it not the soundest policy ? One piece of news, seven thousand pounds of powder arrived last night. We shall send you some of it as soon as we can, but you must be patient and frugal. We are lost in the extensiveness of our field of business. We have a continental treasury to establish, a paymaster to choose, and a committee of correspondence, or safety, or accounts, or something, I know not what, that has con founded us all this day.
Shall I hail you Speaker of the House, or councillor or what ? What kind of an election had you ? What sort of magistrates do you intend to make ? Will your new legislative or executive feel bold or irresolute ? Will your judicial hang, and whip, and fine, and imprison without scruple ? I want to see our distressed country once more, yet I dread the sight of devastation. You observe in your letter the oddity of a great man. He is a queer creature, but you must love his dogs if you love him, and forgive a thousand whims for the sake of the soldier and the scholar.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841