Adams Papers

To John Adams from Daniel Roberdeau, 4 July 1788

Alexandria July 4th: 1788

Dear Sir

The public papers anounce your return with your family to your native land, and I cannot refrain my congratulations particularly as to the season in which so favorable a revolution has marvelously taken place without the direful concomitants universally attendant on such events in profound peace. The experience I have had since I had the honor of seeing you in Europe furnishes the most irrefragable proof that our earlier ideas of Government were very foreign from the truth, as they were grounded (at least in me) upon an unwarrantable opinion of the virtue of mankind. This delusion was created by the coertion of war, which produced assimilating effects, which inclined to a mode of government congenial with the ostensible brotherly love that then abounded, more than to energetic means. The rueful fall of man and his degenerate state too soon glared in full evidence "That man is to man the surest sorest Evil." The contrast, so shocking to a benevolent mind must occasion much rejoicing to every honest man, that the new System of government will take place to restrain the vile and encourage the virtuous.

I hope your Country will not forget your services and that she will be benefited by marking a line for you under the new System that will be more productive of usefulness, than all your former labours, and in the line of your professional Character.

I have the promise of Mr. John Lowell Lawyer of a reply to a letter written to him some time ago. You’ll oblige me by interesting yourself in the answer, which, with my Compliments you’ll be pleased to inform him I rely upon.

I desire to salute Mrs. Adams as well as yourself on this grand anniversary, with most cordial Congratulations, for all the blessings with which the day abounds which are neither few or small. I am with affectionate regards / Dear Sir / Yr. obed. friend and very / humble servant

Daniel Roberdeau

MHi: Adams Papers.

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