Abigail Adams reveals anger toward Great Britain
On this day in history, November 12, 1775, Abigail Adams pens a letter to her husband John Adams who is in Philadelphia at the Continental Congress. Abigail’s letter is a response to Great Britain’s refusing to receive Congress’ "Olive Branch Petition," a last effort by Congress expressing a wish for reconciliation if the King will right the wrongs done to them.
The insult was that the King would not even receive their petition. When word got back to America, the mood quickly changed. Many had hoped for reconciliation right up to the end, but with the King’s refusal to even receive their petition, they knew it was too late.
Abigail’s letter reveals the bitter and hostile response that many Americans had at the news. She wrote, "Let us seperate, they are unworthy to be our Breathren. Let us renounce them and instead of suplications as formorly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseach the almighty to blast their counsels and bring to Nought all their devices."
Even as Congress was writing the Olive Branch Petition to the King in June of 1775, they were already preparing for war, even though the majority was not yet at the place of wanting to declare independence. If their letter was rejected, they knew that war was inevitable. News of the King’s refusal pushed enough in the Continental Congress over the line to make a majority and a Declaration of Independence was made within seven months of the news.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution
“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.”
Thomas Jefferson (1775)