Adams Papers

From John Adams to Alexander Hill Everett, 19 July 1813

Quincy July 19th 1813


I am glad to find you are pleased with the sketches. The exploits of our maratime and naval Genius, are a severe Satire on our nation. The Government has been but a Tool of the nation whose eyes may now possibly be opened; this however is better than that the nation should be the tool of the Government.

The thousand ships of England are; as Mr Hancock in one of his orations, on the fifth of March said of death, a Figment of [poltrons] brains. Mr Hancocks expression did not much augment the fear of death; nor will mine that of the English navy but the enchantment is broken. Twenty years hence British omnipotence at sea, will spread less terror <[. . .]> in America, than the Omnipotence of Parliament did forty years ago

British omnipotence has received a mortal wound. Its Potence, I hope and am sure, will never die.

Excuse this Juvenile play of quaint words in an old man, and believe him with / much esteem your well wisher

John Adams

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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