Sofia Batres, Fiorella Barreto, Enrique Kafie & Nelson Frech John Adams to Abigail Adams Prayers At The Congress
Letter SummaryPrayers at the Congress During a break in the congress, John wrote this letter to Abigail. Mr. Cushing, a delegate, proposed during the first meeting that congress should begin with a prayer. The delegates of N.Y and South Carolina didn’t agree because of the religious differences within the congressmen. A Massachusetts's patriot, Samuel Adams stated he had no prejudice against any Americans, so he could listen to a prayer by any countryman. He suggested Mr. Duchè from Philadelphia, take on this task (reading a prayer) the next morning. This idea was supported and approved. The president of congress, Mr. Randolph, made a formal call to Mr. Duchè, who agreed depending on his health. The next day he arrived with his church’s attire and read several prayers as established by the Church of England. Also, he read the assigned lecture of the day, 35th Psalm. John felt the Psalm was appropriate to the situation, since the day before Boston had been bombarded. He had never seen people so moved by a Psalm before, and with such perfect timing. After the Psalm was read Mr. Duchè surprised everybody with an intense prayer, which also made an impact. John had never heard a better preacher, not even Dr. Cooper, a minister of Boston. Cooper had never addressed congress or Boston with the passion or elegance as Duchè. John begs Abigail to read this Psalm. He believes if there was any faith in the Roman and Greek poems and in the bible, it would be considered of divine guidance or care. He also asks her to read the Psalm to her friends, father, and Mr. Wilbert. He wonders what the Braintree’s Churchmen will think of it. John mentions to Abigail how highly he thinks of Mr. Duchè. He believes he is, alongside other characteristics, one of the greatest orators in the Episcopal order upon his continent yet a passionate friend of liberty and his country. John then ends the letter by telling her how much he misses his family, to take care of it, and God bless. *This was paraphrased from the original letter so that classmates could comprehend in a better way what it is happening.
Rhetorical Devices Appeal to Reason Restatement Appeal to Emotion Persuasion To Definitions
Appeal to Reason • “It was opposed by Mr. Jay of N York and Mr. Rutledge of south Carolina, because we were so divided into religious Sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists so that we could not join in the same act of Worship” (John Adams 677). • Here we can see how john Adams is trying to state to the reader that the congress could not be started with a prayer as everyone had different faiths, he backs this up with what Mr. Jay of N. York and Mr. Rutledge stated about the different religions. Back
Restatement • “I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read that morning” (John Adams 677). • “I must confess I never heard a better prayer or one, so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr Cooper himself never prayed with such fervour, such Ardor, such Earnestness and Pathos, and in Language so elegant and sublime” (John Adams 678). • In these two quotes we can see how the author is stating that the prayer and lecture were a marvelous piece of work and how everyone in the congress enjoyed it. He restates his point numerous times in this letter. Back
Appeal to Emotion • “I must confess I never heard a better prayer or one, so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr Cooper himself never prayed with such fervour, such Ardor, such Earnestness and Pathos, and in Language so elegant and sublime” (John Adams 678). • In this quote we can see how the author expresses his feelings about the prayer and how it make the reader feel and understand it as well. This quote makes the reader think about why the author thinks this person is such a good reader and it makes them think that he is in fact. The author also transmits his love for this prayer to the reader explaining how the prayer was said. Back
Persuasion • “I must beg you to read that psalm. If there was any Faith in the sortes Virgilianæ, or sortes Homericæ, or especially the Sortes biblicæ, it would be thought providential” (John Adams 678). • In this quote we can see how the author tries to persuade the reader who in this case is Abigail Adams to read the psalm as he though it was really good. He then states some reasons why. Next
Persuasion • “I must confess I never heard a better prayer or one, so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr Cooper himself never prayed with such fervour, such Ardor, such Earnestness and Pathos, and in Language so elegant and sublime” (John Adams 678). • I think this quote is not only appeal to emotion but also persuasion as the John Adams is persuading the reader to think that the prayer or lecture read in the congress was really good as he describes it. Back
The Mr.’s or Dr.’s • Mr. Cushing: Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress. • Mr. Rutledge: later governor of South Carolina. • Mr. S. Adams: Massachusetts patriot. • Mr. Duchè: assistant rector of Christ Church and St. Peters in Philadelphia. • Mr. Randolph: president of the Continental Congress. • Dr. Cooper: minister of the Brattle Street Church, Boston.
Biblical Terms • Episcopalians: pertaining to the Episcopal Church in America. • Presbyterians: a member of the Presbyterian Church. • Congregationalists: form of Protestant Church government. • Pontificallibus: priestly attire (religious dress). • Sortes Virgilinæ, Sortes Homericæ or Sortes Biblicæ: the bible and the works of the Roman Poet Virgil and of the Greek poet Homer were thought to have magical properties: a passage opened to at random had relevance to one's life and future.
“No-Believing” Terms • Bigot: person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. • Quakers: a sect that opposes to oath taking and war. • Anabaptist: member of any of various protestant sects that denied the validity of infant baptism.
Terms used at Court • Motion: a proposal formally made to a deliberative assembly. • Waited on: make a formal call on.
Other Terms • Leisure Moment: Free Time • Cannonade: Bombardment. • Earnestness: showing deep sincerity or seriousness.
Works Cited • Adams, John and Abigail. “Prayers at The Congress”, Phyladelphia; Septr. 16. 1774. • Is It Possible to Be a Left-Wing Bigot? ." SodaHead - Ask or Answer Questions, Discuss News, Express Opinions, or Create Polls. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <http://www.sodahead.com/living/is-it-possible-to-be-a-left-wing-bigot/question-1152469/>. • "Cover Story." iMobile.com.au. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <www.imobile.com.au/images/cover_story/dec02/free-time_01.jpg>. • "Cross." Up - a new worship experience. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <http://www.uplate.org.uk/200304/cross.html>."Judge hammer." PicsDigger. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <picsdigger.com/keyword/judge%20hammer/>. • Definitions are from: www.dictionary.reference.com or www.wordreference.com • Lieb, Dan. "Archeological & Historical Renderings." Art & Underwater Illustration. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <http://www.aqualieb.com/Archpage.html>. • "Men’s Bathroom Sign 12" x 8" High Gloss Aluminum." Digital Grafx Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. <http://www.digitalgrafx.biz/servlet/the-116/Mens-Bathroom-Sign-12%22/Detail>.