Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Letters from the Front: Mount Independence

"Our men have suffered much for want of barracks but are now getting comfortable log-houses."

On October 18, 1776, Dr. Samuel Adams penned another letter to his wife Sally, covering his trip to Mount Independence from Fort Edward, New York. In theory, this crossing took place before his previous letter, but Adams likely waited to relay it due to the more exciting event of the Battle of Valcour Island. As Adams note at the end of this dispatch, it was the third he had written in the space of a week. As noted in that previous entry, Mount Independence was the site of additional American fortifications on the flank of Fort Ticonderoga, designed to guard against any British attempt to secure the Champlain corridor. The victory at Valcour Island assured the American garrison of both posts a reasonable quiet winter, since the British could not effectively conduct operations at this advanced season. As Adams notes, the garrison of Mount Independence was busying itself preparing for winter quarters, especially creating warm barracks to see the troops through the coldest months of the year. As in his other letters, Adams provides eloquent testimony to the strong ties that linked men on the front lines of the struggle with their loved ones at home. For the full text of this letter, please read below. Our thanks go out to Library volunteer Paul Davis for transcribing this document.


Sol Feinstone Collection No. 24                                                                                           
Dr. Samuel Adams to Sally Adams , Mount Independence Oct: 18th 1776                     
Transcribed by Paul Davis July 2011 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “Mount Independence Oct: 18th 1776

My Dear Sally

I arrived here from Fort-George last night, had a tedious passage over the Lake, by reason of a head wind was out two nights and lodged on shore in the woods which these cool nights is not so agreeable as it would be to lodge in my Sally’s arms, however I cheerfully go through these hardships /if they may be called so/animated with the glorious cause in which I am engaged – on my arrival here recd yours of Sept: 20:th with great pleasure, I feel for you on account of your late Sickness, wish it had been in my power to have administered comfort to you in your distress, desire to render unfeigned thanks to almighty God for his goodness to us in so far restoring your health. Pray he may confirm it. Would have you do what you think best about going to house-keeping . but hope you will not run any great hazard with my furniture and my opinion is that you had better not send for it until I return – I am much pleased with the good sense discovered in your agreeable and well wrote letter. Our men have suffered much for want of barracks but are now getting comfortable log-houses. I have got a very comfortable hose myself [pg 1] live with Mr. Carnes and Dr, Sprague. If you will favor us with your company an afternoon we shall be able to wait on you with Tea & in a genteel manner. Mrs. Carnes and Miss Dolly has the same invitation – am much obliged to Mr & Mrs. Moore for their care of you please my kind love to them. Also to Mr. & Mrs. Baker & Prisla – may God be praised by us both for his goodness  to me so good a measure of health, while so many are deprived of it around me, Doct. Sprague has been unwell for sometime passt Fever and Ague. &c - he sends compliments – accept my kindest love and best wishes heaven grant you health and happiness is the fervent prayer of
                                                                                                My Dear Sally
                                                                                                            Saml Adams

P.S. this is the 3d letter I have wrote you in about a week. Wish you would be as ready to improve every opportunity – if Mr. Hinsfor by whom I wrote last calls upon you treat him kindly on my account.
Mrs. Adams”

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