John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 26 October 1777

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Yorktown, 26 October, 1777.

MY DEAREST FRIEND,

MR. COLMAN goes off for Boston to-morrow. I have seized a moment to congratulate you on the great and glorious success of our arms at the northward and in Delaware river. The forts at Province Island and Redbank have been defended with a magnanimity which will give our country a reputation in Europe. Colonel Greene repulsed the enemy from Redbank and took Count Donop and his aid prisoners. Colonel Smith repulsed a bold attack upon fort Mifflin, and our galleys disabled two men of war, a sixty-four and a twenty-gun ship, in such a manner, that the enemy blew them up. This comes confirmed this even ing, in letters from General Washington, enclosing original letters from officers in the forts.

Congress will appoint a thanksgiving ; and one cause of it ought to be, that the glory of turning the tide of arms is not immediately due to the Commander-in-chief nor to southern troops. If it had been, idolatry and adulation would have been unbounded ; so excessive as to endanger our liberties, for what I know. Now, we can allow a certain citizen to be wise, virtuous and good without thinking him a deity or a saviour.

Author:
John Adams

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