Lot #4
Abigail Adams letter on Battles of Lexington and Concord

Abigail Adams writes in 1775, after the "scene" at the Battles of Lexington and Concord: "O Britain, Britain how is thy glory vanished—how are thy Annals stained with the Blood of thy children"

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Estimate: $30000+

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Description

Abigail Adams writes in 1775, after the "scene" at the Battles of Lexington and Concord: "O Britain, Britain how is thy glory vanished—how are thy Annals stained with the Blood of thy children"

ALS, one page both sides, 6.25 x 8, May 2, 1775. Handwritten letter to activist poet and playwright Mercy Otis Warren, voicing her fervent hope for the American cause in the immediate aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In full: "What a scene has opened upon us since I had the favour of your last! Such a scene as we never before Experienced, and could scarcely form an Idea of. If we look back we are amazed at what is past, if we look forward we must shudder at the view. Our only comfort lies in the justice of our cause; and in the mercy of that being who never said, 'Seek ye me in vain.' These are consolation which the unbeliever knows not of, and which are a comfortable support, under all we feel, and all we fear. All our worldly comforts are now at stake—our nearest and dearest connections are hazarding their lives and properties.—God give them wisdom and integrity sufficient to the great cause in which they are engaged. I long most earnestly for the society of my much valued Mrs. Warren—it would be a cordial to my spirits. I must entreat you to write to me every opportunity. I feel the absence of my better half, in this Day of Distress. We have had several allarms from apprehensions of men of wars barges.—Coln. Quincys family have several Times been obliged to flee from their house and scatter themselves about. I cannot say that I am at present under any apprehensions of them here; I have determined to stay as long as it will be safe for any person to tarry upon the sea coast. I am much distressed for our poor Boston Friends. What course they can take I know not, I believe they are kept in for security to the troops. They have involved the Country in great difficulties by their obstinately persevering to tarry in Town. I fear their distresses will drive them to such compliances as will be inconsistant with their honour.—I hear you have thoughts of going to Taunton, but I hope you will not be obliged to quit your own habitation.—O Britain, Britain how is thy glory vanished—how are thy Annals stained with the Blood of thy children." Addressed on the integral leaf in Abigail Adams's hand. In fine condition, with scattered faint staining. This significant letter has been quoted in several works on Adams and the American Revolution, including Abigail Adams: A Writing Life by Edith B. Gelles, American Rebels by Nina Sankovitch, First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis, and Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Presidents
  • Dates: January 20, 2023 - February 08, 2023





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