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Franklin Approves!

This Day In Founding Fathers History – 18 February 2013

road-to-independence-BH-RTIDE2-detailOn this day in 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:

My dearest Friend –

I sent you from New York a Pamphlet intituled Common Sense, written in Vindication of Doctrines which there is Reason to expect that the further Encroachments of Tyranny and Depredations of Oppression, will soon make the common Faith: unless the cunning Ministry, by proposing Negociations and Terms of Reconciliation, should divert the present Current from its Channell.

Reconciliation if practicable and Peace if attainable, you very well know would be as agreable to my Inclinations and as advantageous to my Interest, as to any Man's. But I see no Prospect, no Probability, no Possibility. And I cannot but despise the Understanding, which sincerely expects an honourable Peace, for its Credulity, and detest the hypocritical Heart, which pretends to expect it, when in Truth it does not. The News Papers here are full of free Speculations, the Tendency of which you will easily discover. The Writers reason from Topicks which have been long in Contemplation, and fully understood by the People at large in New England, but have been attended to in the southern Colonies only by Gentlemen of free Spirits and liberal Minds, who are very few. I shall endeavour to inclose to you as many of the Papers and Pamphlets as I can, as long as I stay here. Some will go by this Conveyance… 1

john and abigail letters writing

One notable birthday on this day in history in 1783, that of sailor and diplomat Commodore James Biddle. Biddle was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After graduating from university, he joined the Navy as a midshipman. Biddle served during the war against the Barbary pirates upon the USS Philadelphia, which struck rocks off Tripoli. Biddle and his commodore, William Bainbridge, were imprisoned by the pirates for over a year and a half. During the War of 1812, Biddle was first lieutenant of the USS Wasp and later took command of the sloop USS Hornet. Biddle helped deliver and also negotiate several treaties during his career. 2

1 “John Adams to Abigail Adams,” Massachusetts Historical Society,
2 “James Biddle,” Wikipedia