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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams

John and Abigail Adams maintained an extensive correspondence during the Siege of Boston. For most of the year, John was in Philadelphia at sessions of the Continental Congress, while Abigail stayed at the family's farm in Braintree, Massachusetts. Abigail served as John's eyes and ears during the Siege, sending him reports on everything from the weather to the children's health, to important political votes, to military skirmishes. In the letter below, she described to him fighting between the Americans and the British Regulars along the Charles River near what is now Lechmere.

Abigail Adams to John Adams, Braintree, November 12, 1775 in L. H. Butterfield (ed.),
Adams Family Correspondence (New York : Atheneum, 1965, volume 1, pages 324-5).

“A little Skirmish hapned last week. The perticuliars I have endeavourd to collect, but whether I have the facts right I am not certain. A Number of Cattle were kept at Leachmores point where two Centinals were placed, in a high tide tis an Island. The Regulars had observed this and a Scheme was laid to send a Number of them over and take of the Stock. Accordingly a number of Boats and about 400 men were sent; they landed it seems, unperceived by the Centinals who were a sleep; one of whom they killed and the other took prisoner. Assoon as they were perceived, they pourd the cannon from Prospect Hill upon them which sunk one of their Boats, but as the tide was very high, it was difficult getting over, and some time before any alarm was given. A Coll. Tomson of the Riffel Men, Marchd instantly with his Men, and tho a very stormy day, regarded not the tide, not wated for Boats, but Marchd over, neck high in water, and discharged their pieces, when the Regulars ran without waiting for to get of their Stock,and made the best of their way to the opposite Shore. The General sent his thanks in a public manner to the brave officer and his Men. Major Mifflin I hear was there, and flew about as tho he would have raised the whole Army. May they never find us deficient in courage and Spirit.”


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