Should John Adams Carry Through With His Threat?
On Saturday Evening, 26 April 1777, John Adams wrote the following to his beloved Abigail:
…Do our people intend to leave the continent in the lurch? Do they mean to submit? or what fatality attends them? With the noblest prize in view that ever mortals contended for, and with the fairest prospect of obtaining it upon easy terms, the people of the Massachusetts Bay are dead. …I am more sick and more ashamed of my own countrymen than ever I was before. The spleen, the vapors, the dismals, the horrors seem to have seized our whole State. More wrath than terror has seized me. I am very mad. The gloomy cowardice of the times is intolerable in New England. Indeed, I feel not a little out of humor from indisposition of body. …I am not confined, but mope about and drudge, as usual, like a galley-slave. I am a fool, if ever there was one, to be such a slave. I won’t be much longer. I will be more free in some world or other….
Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent it in heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
Should I be able to contact Mr. Adams in The Great Beyond this day, perhaps, I would request that he hold-off on his repenting for a little while longer to give us a bit more time to make ourselves worthy again of his continuing to believe his efforts were worth it — I don’t know.