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MY BEST FRIEND,
THIS town is a small one, not larger than Plymouth. There are in it two German churches, the one Luther an, the other Calvinistical. The congregations are pretty numerous and their attendance upon public worship is decent. It is remarkable that the Germans-, wherever they are found, are careful to maintain the public worship, which is more than can be said of the other denominations of Christians, this way. There is one Church here erected by the joint contributions of Episcopalians and Presbyterians, but the minister, who is a missionary, is confined for Toryism, so that they have had for a long time no public worship. Congress have appointed two chaplains, Mr. White and Mr. Duffielcl, the former of whom, an Episcopalian, is arrived, and opens Congress with prayers every day. The latter is expected every hour. Mr. Duche, I am sorry to inform you, has turned out an apostate and a traitor. Poor man ! I pity his weakness and detest his wickedness.
As to news we are yet in a painful suspense about affairs at the northward, but from Philadelphia, we have accounts that are very pleasing. Commodore Hazelwood with his galleys, and Lieutenant Colonel Smith in the garrison of fort Mifflin, have behaved in a manner the most gallant and glorious. They have defended the river and the fort with a firmness and perseverance which does honor to human nature. If the news from the northward is true, Mr. Howe will scarcely venture upon winter quarters in Philadelphia. We are waiting for news from Rhode Island.
I am wearied with the life I lead, and long for the joys of my family. God grant I may enjoy it in peace. Peace is my dear delight. War has no charms for me. If I live much longer in banishment I shall scarcely know my own children. Tell my little ones, that if they will be very good, papa will come home.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841