Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Jeremy Belknap, 24 May 1798

Philadelphia May 24 1798

Dear Sir

Inclosed is an extract of a Letter received from my Son at Berlin. I am allowd to transcribe it, and transmit it to you, with Liberty to publish it, if you should deem it proper. you are however requested not to Name the writer publickly.

I think Sir, mr Adams could not have seen a work lately reprinted here, or he would have seen the whole plan and Scheme developed. it is calld proofs of a conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, by John Robison AM. professor of Natural philosophy and secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, publishd in Edinburgh last Sep’br but which has already gone through three Editions. I take the Liberty Sir of sending you this work with a request, that if you are already possesst of it, that you would be so kind as to send this, to mr Cranch. it ought to be in the hands of every Man of Science in America, as a key to the mighty Revolutions which astonish the world, and as a proof, if one could be wanting, that no free Government can stand, which is not supported by Religion and virtue.

That our Country may still be preserved from that total dissolution, of Religion Government & manners which by the French Revolution is spreading through the world and laying them all prostrate, is devoutely to be prayed for by every Friend of Humanity. that your Health may be preserved, and your Life and usefullness continued, to aid as it has heitherto done both Religion and virtue in the World, is the Sincere / And Ardent wish of Her / who subscribes Herself your / Friend and Humble Servant,

Abigail Adams

MHi: Jeremy Belknap II Papers.


There is no doubt that the French are indefatigebly working to raise an insurection at Hamburgh against the present Government. among the means they are useing for the purpose, I shall particulerly notice at present only the establishment of a the–ophilanthropical Society there. perhaps you know who the theo–philanthropicans are better than I do. it is a Theological and political mixture of Deism, morality, Anti–Christianity and revolution, that the doctrine preaches. It is under the special encouragement and protection of the French Directory. Lareveillere LePaux is one of its founders. Larevillere is a professd and bitter Enemy of Christianity against which he has read a long and tedious dissertation to the National Institute. I shall further remark here that the Paris prints have lately asserted that Dupont DeNemours, is going to America with the intention of sitting up there a theo philanthropical Society, and he has been to the Society at Paris to request of them a copy of that containing their doctrines and constitution. Dupont de Nemours you remember was one of the unfortunate members of the Legislative Assembly, upon whom the fructidorian Revolution fell. He was not however like the others, condemned to transportation, or even expelled. he was sufferd to resign his Seat, and by yealding to the torrent escaped its most destructive fury. He is the Man, who while a Member of the Legislature, was so anxious to have France persue a System of conciliation towards the Americans so as to induce them to chuse for their President a Man devoted to France. If Dupont is going to America, with the design mentiond, he has made his peace with the Directory, and will be a diligent Servant to them on the other side of the Atlantic.

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