Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, Samuel (d. 1788) to Sally Adams

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.026 Author/Creator: Adams, Samuel (d. 1788) Place Written: Brunswick, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 2 July 1778 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Gives his wife a day by day account of the Continental troop's movements leading up to the Battle of Monmouth, 28 June 1778. States they crossed the Delaware 21 June at Coryell's Ferry, camped at Hopewell, went on to Princeton, Kingston, Longbridge, and on Friday 26 June slept at Cranbury. Indicates that detachments were sent out under General Charles Lee and the Marquis de Lafayette which camped at Englishtown Saturday 27 June. These detachments attacked the British a little below Monmouth Sunday 28 June but had to retreat because the British outnumbered them. General George Washington joined them with the main army and began a fierce cannonade. Other detachments attacked with small arms and the British were forced to retreat from the field by 4PM. Adams declares it a complete victory over General Henry Clinton's army. Believes the British lost 300 men and lists some officers that died or were wounded on the Continental side. Thinks the Continentals only lost a fifth of the number of British casualties. Reports that men on both sides died because of the oppressive heat. States he slept out on the battlefield with no covering. The British retreated to Sandy Hook and left some wounded soldiers at the Monmouth Court House. States that the next day they buried the dead and cared for the wounded. The army went back to Englishtown, then Spotswood, then Brunswick on their way to South River. Explains that he has not received any wages yet and someone stole $20 and his papers from him. Asks her to write, asks about their daughter. Says he enjoys marching with the army but misses her. Adams was the son of Samuel Adams and a surgeon with the Continental army. Paper is embossed with three rare 4-pence (“A” die) stamps from the Stamp Act period (1765-1766).

People: Adams, Samuel, Jr., d. 1788.
Adams, Sally, fl 1778.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Battle of Monmouth, Revolutionary War, Battle, Military History, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, President Weaponry, Artillery, Death, Injury or Wound, Soldier's Pay, Finance

Sub Era: The War for Independence