Adams Papers

From John Adams to William Stephens Smith, 3 March 1800

Philadelphia March 3d 1800.


I have received your favor of the 23d of last month and read with pleasure, your account of the celebration of the 22d, according to my proclamation. A public prayer was very proper, but who was your chaplain? I have had some anxiety on that account. An unhappy, unfortunate gentleman may excite more levity, than reverence among the soldiery.—

An emminent character and example of public virtue has now been sufficiently celebrated, & I wish I could not say, exaggerated & flattered, even at the expence of Slander on his Country, & injustice to other characters of equal merit, tho less notoriety. I hope we shall now let him enjoy his heaven in tranquility and no longer disturb his ghost with fulsome adulation. The character of your musick was well. “Soft & melting are the amorous strains of Paris, but Achilles sings the godlike deeds of heroes

I am affectionately

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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