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Adams, John (1735-1826) to Benjamin Rush

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03890 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Quincy, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 29 March 1813 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Adams, in retirement, to Rush, who was to die three weeks later. Forwarding a packet of eight papers on the revolution, including a letter from Vice President Elbridge Gerry and a letter of Benjamin Austin's to Gerry. These letters are not included here. Says he may show them to Carey (probably Philadelphia publisher Matthew Carey) if they help him with his plan. Mentions the incident around the Island of St. John's (Prince Edward Island) during the Quebec campaign in 1775 when Captains Selman and Broughton overstepped their orders and captured private property as well as prominent citizens. Upon their arrival in Cambridge, Massachusetts, General Washington released the prisoners and returned the private property. But Adams' opinion of the incident, which reflects his early and ardent desire for independence from Britain, was positive. Says "I thought as Captain Selman did ... But I was a wild enthusiast, the worst of men, and the most dangerous. So said the Quakers and Proprietarians of Pensilvania." Also calls 1775 and 1776 the years of a "Quasi War" with Britain. Said the Americans were only at war with the Ministry, army, and navy, not the king, nation or parliament. Asks for letters in packet to be returned to him.

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
Gerry, Elbridge

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: President Revolutionary War, Vice President, Journalism, Military History, Canada, Prisoner of War, Quaker Religion, Quasi-war, Government and Civics

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison