“the Horrible wickedness of the Man”

Abigail Adams, in a letter to her husband from Braintree, Massachusetts, July 25, 1775, described British General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, who was stationed in Boston at the time. Abigail took a dim view of him. He would later lead an invasion force from Canada, pushing south toward Albany, New York, by way of Lake Champlain, Lake George, and the upper Hudson. His attempt to divide the colonies failed when he was defeated at Saratoga in 1777.


General Burgoyne lives in mr. Samll. Quincys House. a Lady who lived opposite Says she Saw raw meat cut & hacked upon her Mahogona Tables, & her Superb Damask curtain & cushings exposed to the rain as if they were of no value. How much better do the Tories fare than the Whigs? … A Late letter from London … has left me no room to think that he is possessd either of Generosity virtue or Humanity. His character runs thus—as to Burgoyne I am not Master of Language Sufficient to give you a true Idea of the Horrible wickedness of the Man, His designs are dark His Dissimulation of the Deepest die, for not content with Deceiving Mankind he practices deceit on God himself, by Assuming the Appearance … of great attention to Religious Worship when every action of his life is totally abhorant to all Ideas of true Religion Virtue or common Honesty. An Abandoned Infamous Gambler of broken fortune … wholly bent on Blood tyrany and Spoil.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 3, page 72.

posted May 17th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Adams, Abigail, British soldiers, Burgoyne, Gerneral John, Saratoga


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