Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ought Someone to Open Up a Window?


More great trivia from the fertile mind of Doak:


Washington's dispatches in the show make many references to the approach of General Howe's forces to New York Harbor. The battle that occurred there after the signing of the Declaration was pretty much a rout, with Washington literally whipping and beating his troops to keep them from running away as fast as they could. The other American general was captured by the British, and then sent to Congress in Philadelphia to invite a committee to New York to discuss reconciliation. Adams vigorously opposed the meeting, but insisted on being part of it anyway because he thought others would botch it.Adams, Franklin, and Rutledge traveled to New York to meet with General Howe--a meeting where all three Congressmen listened to the offer of peace but summarily rejected it. On the way there, however, Adams and Franklin shared a bed at an inn, and fell into an argument about--guess what?--whether or not it was advisable to keep a window open while sleeping. Adams believed that the night air was full of dangerous things that promoted ill health. Franklin on the other hand believed that it was unhealthy to sleep in a closed room with one's soiled clothes. Although they never settled the argument, Franklin got his way, and Adams lay awake for an hour or so dreading a health calamity and listening to the good doctor expound upon his theory of the health benefits of open windows at night.

1 comment:

Matt said...

The authors of 1776 have said they wanted to include the Adams-Franklin roommate story in their play (making it part of their fictional trip to New Brunswick with Chase). In fact, a "bedroom scene" and another scene showing them inspecting the military were part of the pre-Broadway production and cut for length. The authors had expected that the scenes would be in the film version, but that didn't happen.