John Adams Letters document,


Portsmouth, 1 (N. H.) 15 December, 1777.


I ARRIVED here last evening, in good health. This morning General Whipple made me a visit at the tavern, Tilton's, and insisted upon my taking a bed at his house, in so very affectionate and urgent a manner, that I believe I shall go to his house.

The cause comes on to-morrow before my old friend Dr. Joshua Brackett as judge of admiralty. How it will go, I know not. The captors are a numerous company, and are said to be very tenacious, and have many connexions; so that we have prejudice and influence to fear. Justice, policy and law are, I am sure, on our side.

I have had many opportunities, in the course of this journey, to observe how deeply rooted our righteous cause is in the minds of the people ; and could write you many anecdotes in proof of it. But I will reserve them for private conversation. On second thoughts, why should I ? One evening, as I satin one room, I overheard a company of the common sort of people in another, conversing upon serious subjects. One of them, whom I afterwards found upon inquiry to be a reputable, religious man, was more eloquent than the rest. He was upon the danger of despising and neglecting serious things, and said, " Whatever per son or people made light of them, would soon find them selves terribly mistaken." At length I heard these words : " It appears to me the eternal son of God is operating powerfully against the British nation for their treating lightly serious things."

One morning I asked my landlady what I had to pay ? " Nothing," she said, " I was welcome, and she hoped I would always make her house my home. And she should be happy to entertain all those gentlemen who had been raised up by Providence to be the saviours of their country." This was flattering enough to my vain heart. But it made a greater impression on me, as a proof how deeply this cause had sunk into the minds and hearts of the people.

In short, every thing I see and hear indicates the same thing.

John Adams