25 September 1775740

    September 25th 1775

    My dear and amiable Daughter,

    I am very sorry I had not the Pleasure of seeing Mr. Mason, who would have been quite welcome to the best Accommodations with Us, till Mr. Adams Family will have received him.

    Your kind and affectionate Letter of the 18th Instant, together, with the long wished for Journal and Letters, of my dear deceased Son, were safely delivered; and have since afforded me, and will continue to afford me, that melancholly Pleasure which results from an imaginary Conversation, with one who was dear to me as Life; and whose Memory will be precious, as long as it shall please God to continue to me the Exercise of that Faculty.

    I can’t remember whether I acquainted you, that, some time before he sailed for England, he gave me a large Packet, sealed and inscribed, not to be opened ‘till after his Death: the Date of it is June 3d 1774, which he said would be an amusement to me, if I should survive him. I have some Time since opened it, and find it contains original Manuscripts, and proof Sheets from 1767 to 1774. If my Capacity was equal to my Inclination, his Pamphlet upon the Boston Port Bill, his Journals, and this Manuscript, would furnish me with sufficient materials for a considerable Volume, perhaps, as entertaining and instructive, and upon as interesting Subjects, as any of american Production. Pray let me know your Sentiments upon it; whether his Journal to and from Carolina or any other of his original MS. are in your Possession. Mr. Morton tells me that all his Books and Papers were carefully packed in Boxes and are locked up in his Office, but heard it was broke open.

    I received, I hope, with due Gratitude to the Father of Mercies! the joyfull News of my dear grandSon’s Recovery, from the Sickness wherewith he has been exercised. Oh! that his Life and health may be preserved and prolonged; his Powers, cultivated and improved, he grows up to be as eminently serviceable in his Day and Generation, as his dear dec:d Father was before him!

    “‘Tis Education forms the human Mind

    Just as the Twig is bent, the Tree’s inclin’d.”741

    As I am seperated, (perhaps forever) from this dear Object of my Love, embrace him for me, with the tender affections of a fond Parent, who devoutly, and earnestly prays for his temporal and eternal Happines!.

    I have repeatedly perused, with Pleasure and Pain, the political Pamphlets you was so good as to send me: Pleasure, to find, there were still remaining among Britons, such warm Advocates for the civil and religious Rights of Mankind: Pain, to see the Learning and Ingenuity of such an elegant Writer, as the Author of the Rambler, prostituted and disgraced, in Defence of a stupid xxxx a venal P[arliament] and to an abandonly wicked A[dministratio]n. Taxation is certainly no Tyranny under given Circumstances. Neither is Resistance, under given Circumstances, Rebellion. But, in both Cases, who are to be the Judges? If the great Mr. Locke’s opinion is decisive, certainly not the Tyrant, but the People, who suffer oppression; and whenever it becomes intolerable,742 they have a Right to resist. If ever therefore Resistance is lawfull, it is so under our Circumstances; for, we are not all but destroyed; as far, as the Powers we oppose, are capable of effecting their bloody Purposes; and for no other Reason our unwillingness to have our Lives, Liberties, and Property at their absolute Disposal. For this, we are traduced, calumniated, and abused in this most opprobrious Language. For this, our Capital is seized, the Inhabitants Prisoners, and their Property spoiled. Many Houses have been burnt; some of the innocent Inhabitants of them murdered!

    This Moment Doctor Cooper and his Lady are arrived to take a Lodging with us, in their Way to Middleborough, on a Visit to Mr Bowdoin, who it is feared will not continue long in this World. G[age]s Perfidy. The consequent cruel, and Barbarous Treatment of the Inhabitants of Boston, after he had them in his Power; together with the bodily Infirmities under which Mr. Bowdoin laboured, will probably soon prove too hard for him. His Death, will certainly prove a great publick Loss.

    I have only Room to add, my affectionate Regard to your worthy Parents, and the rest of your amiable family; in which, my dear Mrs. Quincy, and all present, desire to join. Be assured, that whilst my Life is spared, of every Testimony of my Esteem and Love, to you and my dear grandson, that is in the Power of,

    Your Affectionate &c: J Q____

    P.S. Please to present my respectfull Compliments Deacon Mason and his good Family. I have received a Letter for his Son which I shall preserve ‘till I see him or can send it by some safe Conveyance.

    P.S. Lieut. Col. Pitkin, who is posted for the Defence of Squantum, informed me, the last Evening, that the Mate of a Vessel, that was seized and carried into Boston, overheard an Officer say, to his Friend in Boston, that general Gage has positive Orders to attack the Rebels at all Hazards. But upon acquainting his Officers, they unanimously refused to go out, because, it would be certain Death to them, as we were so strongly entrenched; and had rather resign their Commissions than hazard their Lives at so great a Disadvantage. God grant it may be true!

    Sept. 26th: Last night 30 Whaleboats and about 200 Men went to Governors Island, Burnt the House, and a boat that was building there, and carried off 3 horses and 12 Cows.743