Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letters from the Front: Dr. Samuel Adams to Sally Preston, March 1776



"...when I reflect on the pleasure I enjoyed when my dear Sally was so near me that when ever I wanted to unbend my mind from cares & business, could have recourse to her agreable company..."

This installment of the Letters from the Front series features the second piece of our large collection of letters from Dr. Samuel Adams. This one was addressed to his future wife, Miss Sally Preston, ans written from the lines outside of Boston towards the end of the siege that lasted through the winter of 1775-1776. At this time, Adams was the surgeon to the 18th Continental Regiment of Foot (see Duncan's Medical Men in the American Revolution). Though engaged in a dangerous military operation, as this letter shows, Adams' thoughts seem to have been more focused on the object of his heart's affections. We have 31 letters from the good doctor to his wife, which document his experiences during the War, as well as his longing for his home and family. Dr. Adams' candor challenges the popular conceptions of eighteenth-century New Englanders as stolid, hind-bound individuals. See the full transcript of the letter below.

WPT III







Sol Feinstone Collection No. 19
Dr. Samuel Adams to Sally Preston, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 10 March 1776
Transcribed by W.P. Tatum III, June 2011

“My Dear Sally
Your Sudden, and to me unexpected return to Dorchester has made me very dull deprived of your agreable company I have nothing left to entertain and amuse me in my leisure hours__ when I reflect on the pleasure I enjoyed when my dear Sally was so near me that when ever I wanted to unbend my mind from cares & business, could have recourse to her agreable company. I am ready to murmur at my present Situation and impatiently wish for the happy moment to arrive when I am to meet my Sally to part no more__ but I forbear__would beg that the loss of your company may in part be made up by a line from your fair hand__ I am my Dear Sally in the Sincerest bonds of love yours
Medicus

Cambridge March 10th: 1776

Miss Sally Preston”

Have something you want to share, such as a question, research find, or a personal story about the Library? Email Will Tatum at tatum@dlar.org

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