Adams Papers

From John Adams to Arthur Lee, 18 July 1788

Braintree July 18. 1788

Dear Sir

I am much obliged to you, for your kind Congratulations on my Arrival, and Mrs Adams returns you her Compliments and Thanks.

The Accession of Virginia, to the New Constitution is a great event.—You and I Should not materially differ, I fancy, if We were to compare Notes of a perfect Commonwealth. But I consider the present Project, as a commencement of a national Government, to be a valuable Acquisition. What would Aristotle and Plato have Said, if any one had talked to them, of a Federative Republick of thirteen States, inhabiting a Country of five hundred Leagues in extent?

The new Government must Act with Caution and make itself felt, by its Beneficence, or We Shall have a new Convention for Amendments. it is a Severe Mortification to me, to find so many of my old Friends, in Opposition. But this is no surprise to me, as I have always differed very materially from them in opinion of the best Plan of Government.

I am, my dear sir, with great Esteem / your most obedient servant

John Adams

NjP: Straus Autograph Collection.

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