March 17, 1776


The British began their evacuation of Boston. (This day is still celebrated as a holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.)   General Washington has agreed not to harass the British during their leave-taking.  In return, the British agree not to set fire to Boston.  The cannons set atop the heights have scared the British off – General Howe is still not aware that Washington has no powder to fire those cannons!

Meanwhile, John Adams writes to his wife Abigail about his concerns for her well-being.  (Original spelling retained.)  “I shall suffer many severe Pains, on your Account for some Days. By a Vessell from Salem a Cannonade was heard from Dark till one O Clock, last night was a Week ago. Your Vicinity to such scenes of Carnage and Desolation, as I fear are now to be seen in Boston and its Environs, will throw you into much Distress, but I believe in my Conscience I feel more here than you do. The sound of Cannon, was not so terrible when I was at Braintree as it is here, tho I hear it at four hundred Miles Distance.  You cant imagine what a Mortification I sustain in not having received a single Line, from you since We parted. I suspect some Villany, in Conveyance.  By the Relation of Mr. Dana, Mr. Wrixon and Mr. Temple, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Sewall, and their Associates are in great Disgrace in England. Persons are ashamed to be seen to speak to them. They look dejected and sunk.”

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