Adams Papers

From John Adams to Arthur St. Clair, 18 May 1799


Quincy May 18th 1799.


I thank you for your favor of April 8th. & especially for the pamphlet inclosed with it. I have read it with great pleasure, as a [masterly] refutation of its antagonist, in the style & manner of a gentleman, & seasoned with no more than was useful and agreeable of attick salt. Happy am I to find such just sentiments countenanced encouraged & prevailing in the North Western territory—Although your wish, that my writings were more generally read is very flattering to me, I am nevertheless not very confident that they will do much good. Mankind will not learn wisdom by experience in matters of government. They get rid of all such systems by slight sarcasms, & say that theory is in favor of democracy. I say that theory is <[. . .]> altogether in favor of mixed governments as well as experience. But I am not about to write a lecture

With much esteem I have the honor to be / Sir your most obedient & humble Servant

John Adams

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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