Adams Papers

From John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, 25 December 1787

London Decr 25. 1787


The Sack of Rome has so much Merit in itself that for the honour of America, I should wish to see it acted on the Stage in London beforeworld audiences. The dedication of it does so much honour to me, that I should be proud to see it in print even if it could not be acted. I have shewn it, in discreet confidence to several good Judges, but least their opinion might not be Satisfactory I [percived] it at last to be seriously read, by several of the first tragical Writers in this nation, among whom were the author of the Grecian Daughter and the Author of the Carmelite. They have noted their opinion in a Writing that is inclosed. It requires almost as much interest and Intrigue to get a Play acted, as to be a Member of Parliament, and a printed Play that has not been Acted will not sell.—I have not been able to find a Printer who would accept the Copy on Condition of printing it.

In short nothing American sells here. Ramsays History Dwight & Barlows Poems are not sold, nor, I fear will Dr. Gordons, notwithstanding theprescisous Materials he must be possessed of.

There is a universal desire and Endeavor to forget America, and an unanimous Resolution to read nothing which shall bring it to their Thoughts. They cannot recollect it without pain.

Your Annals or History, I hope you will continue, for there are few Persons possessed of more Faith, or who can record them in a more agreable manner. Yet let me not deceive you. America must support the Publication of it. no other Country will contribute much towards it.

In the month of April, May or June, I hope to see my Friends at Milton Hill. In the mean time I / am, Madam, with great Esteem, your / most obedient and most humble Servant

John Adams


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