Adams Papers

John Adams to William Bingham, 10 February 1784

To William Bingham

The Hague Feb. 10. 1784.1


Since my Arrival at this Place and indeed Since I left London I have heard no News of Mr Jay. will you be so good as to inform me, where he is and what is the State of his Health. As soon as I hear of his Return to Paris I shall have occasion to write to him, perhaps before.— This Place is So out of the Way of all Letters from America, that it will not be expected there, that I am here, So that I shall know nothing for a long time, but what my Friends in London and Paris may please to communicate. Pray how is the Ministry arranged? Is Mr Pitt to hold his Ground? I interest myself much in the Success of that great youth: But I fear his Health will fail him: Such Emminence at his Age, is never acquired, but by Exertions in study, which neither a young Mind nor Body can bear. I have known Several Such Characters, but none of them ever reached thirty. For Gods sake, however dont tell any Body, that I am prophecying Mr Pitts death: I had rather it Should be thought that I pray for his long Life as I really do.2

With &c

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Bingham.”; APM Reel 107.

1This is JA’s first letter to William Bingham, a prominent Philadelphia banker and land speculator (AFC, description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 5:336). JA had socialized with Bingham during his visit to London in 1783 (vol. 15:379, 397).

2William Pitt was 24 when he formed his first ministry in Dec. 1783. He died at age 46 in 1806 (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1901; repr. Oxford, 1959–1960; 21 vols. plus supplements. description ends ).

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