Friday, February 15, 2013

February 16: Samuel Adams

   By the end of 1776, British forces, commanded by General Sir William Howe, were making themselves notorious in the United States for their neglect of American prisoners in New York City.  Americans also learned of outrages against the civilian population in New Jersey.  
    
In a February 16, 1777 letter to James Warren, Samuel Adams wrote, “Would you believe it, that after the shocking Inhumanities shown to our Countrymen in the Jerseys, plundering Houses, cruelly beating old Men, ravishing Maids, murdering Captives in cold Blood, and systematically starving Multitudes of Prisoners under his own Eye at New York, this humane General totally disavows his own winking at the Tragedy, and allows that a few Instances may have happened which are rather to be lamented.”

   Paul Smith, ed,., Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789, 26 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress,), 6:298.
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