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Paine, Thomas (1725-1802) to Samuel Adams

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01412.39 Author/Creator: Paine, Thomas (1725-1802) Place Written: Eastham, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 18 July 1780 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 23 x 19 cm

Summary of Content: Paine sympathizes with Dr. Adams' loss of his son and attempts to console his friend. Complains of a lack of support for the state from the people. Feels that a good militia will never exist while the people choose their officers. States that he is pleased with the constitution and agrees, with Adams, that there is no better group of framers. Invites Dr. and Mrs. Adams to spend a few days with him in Massachusetts.

Background Information: The author and recipient are not believed to be the famous Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams. The Thomas Paine who wrote this letter was a trader and public officer from ...Eastham, Massachusetts. Dr. Samuel Adams was a surgeon in the army.See More

Full Transcript: Eastham July 18th 1780
I had not neglected so long an answer to your most obliging favor of June 20th. had it not been that I have been posting about Jogging ...as one may say from post to pillow, doing what! Why nothing writhing what - nothing! Thinking what - nothing! and now I am set down this show'ry day to write you - nothing worth your perusal - And I am so top full of nothing I will not attempt to say anything in answer to your Apologies & Compliments[.] But this Sweet Bit came to hand at a time when I was very low in Spirits - this raised my Chin a little above Water[.] I wish not, even mine Enemies to feel the Melancolly Gloom that enveloped me last Spring - (I think Heaven) tis in Some measure dissipated - I have thro' my Life (till last August) enjoy'd (perhaps) an uncommon Share of tranquility - I believe there is such a thing as Union of Souls[.] As your Sweet Quotations from Blair corroborates,
"Friendship! Mysterious cement of the Soul;
"Sweetner of Life &c.
"I owe the much &c.
But, Oh!
- "Of Joys departed
"Not to return, how painful the Remembrance!
Heaven, I know (besides this "little dear Picture in miniture" which you So Sweetly mention) hath [inserted: Showerd] and Still Show'ring down innumerable merries & blessings [struck: into my illegible] upon me and mine. If I had but a grateful Heart I should be happy! Even now - I rejoice that you "know the Heart of a parent," and that my foibles are [inserted: not] noticed with a coldness by you! I must Sincerely condole with you the loss of your Sweet Babe - I have known by [inserted: Sad] experience the loss of a darling Son - Alas! How prone are you (or rather am I) to lean upon Creatures with my whole weight! no wonder then that I faint and fall. May Heaven support you[.] Mrs. Adams & me under and thro "all trials [struck: thro'] we have [inserted: met] or may meet in this our Pilgrimage! You are "pleased to hear me Speak So well of the Army" I rejoice much that there is one Sett of men yet in America that may be justly praised - [2] Your Dialogue with the C---t Committee! Shall I call it a tragedy or a Commedy; your manner of handling it makes me Smile, but the Issue raises Indignation. Dear Sir how much have I suffered by this [inserted: their] Conduct. Cheer'd and ravished me - and methinks even the whole Cape would have look'd Smiling! There are too many, much too many that are gone over to the Indian Religion you mention or at least bordering upon it. If they do not worship the d-v'-l they worship T-r-s* [* And professedly for fear they should do them a Mischief.] which I think is as much Heresy! And is (in Politicks) as Sure a Road to Damn-t-n For one Instance in this County; a certin Br-g-d-r who gave the Casting Vote for the prefect C-nty R-g-st-r Oh! How base! -
Charlestown is gone! Part of the Fleet & Armyof our Illustrious Ally are arrived - But the Spirit of this State is not Sufficiently revived - I wish it was! The publick Faith - Oh! how it grieves me to think of it, much more to tell it on paper - most of the 6 months men raised in this County refuse to take the State or their own Town's [struck: for] Security for their Bounty & Wages; but Individuals have been oblidged to give them Security for their Pay or the Soldier would not march - Was ever a People Such a case before - the Hottentot would laugh - the Mohawk would caper & cry Yah, Ha! tell it not in Gath - O Doctor! publish it not among our Generous Allies! Lord have mercy on us! -
Our Solider in Eastham (of which we have Sent 24 brisk fellows) are not quite so [illegible strikeout] Cautious they take their Chance for State pay but must have god Security for the Town[.] This County in general makes the pay of the 6 Months Men equal to 20 [illegible] Dollars [inserted: per Month] Righteoussness [illegible] a Nation - We feel the reproach of Injustice most Sensibly most Shockingly do we feel it! [3] As to my Opinion of the Constitution I think with you "tis a pretty one" And believe with you that it would not be likely [inserted: for us] to get a Set of men that would frame a better - Yet I think it might be amended in divers Articles - One [illegible] I will mention [struck: for it] We shall never have a good Malitia while the people Choose their Officers - these Officers are afraid of their Creators - The most of them have read some of Solomon's Sayings Remember they Creator - on the other Hand these People are not afraid of their Creatures and why should we fear the works of our own [text loss] They also fly in the face of Counsils and of the great general court - and Say unto these their creatures fear not; we will not be drafted but [struck: we] WE will Secure you and Save you harmless from fines & punishments - [struck: I think this] I should once have tho' this was High - but I have learned better of late for I find almost any Single Town, Village or even a small Company of men [inserted: or one Man] may reserove as high or higher if they please than the High & mighty State of Massachusetts. The Season is fine at present - Cherries plenty[.] I wish you & Mrs. Ad-ms would come about 3 or 4 Days hence and eat some with me - If my Paper was not full I should add another Period of nothings, and in nothing am I more certain than if you will please to answer this I shall gain something[.] I am without Compliment your Sincere friend
Thomas Paine
Doctr Adams
Doctr. Samuel Adams
Surgeon in ye Army
Col. Crane's Artillery
[docket #1:]
July 18th - 80
[docket #2:]
Recd: Septr: 7th: 1780
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People: Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809
Adams, Samuel, 1745-1819

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarChildren and FamilyMilitiaState ConstitutionMilitary HistoryGovernment and Civics

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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