Gloucester Feb. 10. 1789
How grateful, how thankful, this moment I feel. To who, for what? To the infinitely good, the infinitely great, who, having the hearts of all in his hand, hath in the course of this Providence, disposed one of the least, one of the greatest of his species to feel kindly disposed towards his humble, thankful servant.
You will, good Sir, (I might had said great, but great you may be, and not good, and then, little as I am, I shall neither be greatful nor thankful for your condescending notice) be at a loss to concieve why I thus address you. Alas, Sir, you must submit to a thousand impertinent addresses. You are going to ascend an eminance, where, when seated, the eyes of multitudes will be fixt upon you, and you will look down upon them, not with contempt, but with pity. I venture to present myself before you, I presume, if not the first, in the very first line. I present myself before you, not only to offer my sincere congratulations on your being called by your lov’d, your grateful Country to fill so important a station, where, acting yourself, you must do good unto all, and be the public Benefactor of the Continent, where, after serving your Country, not yourself, or rather, in serving that Country, more effectually serving yourself by indulging your minor feelings, in the first Courts of the Elder world, you will now, have an opportunity of giving being to the first Court in the new world, where honor and honesty will take up their residence never, I trust, in future, to be considered a stranger there.
But what, you will say, does all this tend to—First, without any doubt, the gratification of myself. I have alway found pleasure in [. . .]the truth. Secondly, I embrace this opportunity to gratify my mind.
I have, dear Sir, a Friend in this place, who I really think feels a strong affection for your Humble Servant. I therefore, you will readily conclude feel a strong affection for him. now this Friend hearing me so often dwell with delight on your praises, took it in his head that you have honored me with your friendly attention, and convinced, I am his friend he wished to oblige me by giving me an opportunity of obliging him by requesting your kind condescending assistance to put him into the place of Naval Offices in their power.
The friend, whom I have the honor to solicit your favor on behalf of is one of the finest characters in this town, and tho’ the son otherwise was not willing Mr. Epes Sargent, yet this Mr. Epes Sargent Junr. has been successful from the beginning a very [. . .] and but for some reasons that you, dear Sir, as a Father, must approve of, would [. . .] my occasions have consented to gratify the Electors of their Powers in representing them to the general Court.
The place he would wish to occupy is not a very lucrative one but his business is small, and his family large. small, however, as the place is I make no doubt but there will be [opportunity] of Petitioners anxious to obtain it as you, dear Sir, will have but one wish—to do good—first for your Country in general, next for the most discerning members of that Community in particular. I venture to encourage hope you will do what in your own wisdom you see fit, to put into the Naval Office, the Mind of him, who have the honor to be, with very respectful and sincere regard / Your most obedient, / most devoted / Humble Servant
I beg leave to add, that I am requested by Mrs. Murray to beseech you to allow her to accompany me in sincere congratulations, on the present occasion. She also begs she may be indulged with the favor of presenting, with your honorable servant, her most grateful compliments to your own Amiable Lady, and the lovely Youth she had the pleasure of seeing in your hospitable Mansion.
MHi: Adams Papers.