Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Smith, 17 January 1801

Falls of Schuylkill, near Philada. Jany. 17th. 1801

Honoured Sir

Hitherto I have never taken the Liberty to address you by Letter, during your Administration. Living, as my years require, much retired, I have Nothing to ask <whi> for myself which this World can give—But still I cannot be an indifferent Spectator to the Things of this World, and especially of your eminent Virtue & Services, not only in your present illustrious Station, but in every former one, to which the Voice of your Country has call’d you.

My best Wishes, & those of my Family (Sons and Daughter<s>) have always attended you. The former (viz my Sons), I believe you know, in their public Walk, & the latter, to shew all in her Power, has named her last Son, John Adams.

The Difficulties under which her Husband Blodget now labors, she cannot but share; having considerably involved himself by his early Zeal for promoting the City of Washington, and that Spirit of Speculation, which (when I consulted you before his Marriage with my Daughter) you dreaded might one Day hurt him, if not repress’d—This it has been of late, from his own good sense; and I am well assured that after clearing himself of all Incumbrances, a very good Estate will remain, added to his own Industry, to support himself & his numerous Family—But to come to the main Design of this Letter—

I find by the News-papers, that my old Acquaintance, Gustavus Scott, one of the Commissioners of the City, is dead; but have not yet seen that his place is supplied. Might I hint to you, that for Talents, Genius & Zeal, no Man, in my Belief, can have better Pretensions, than Mr Blodget? If some of his early Plans & Projections had been followed, considerable Expence might have been saved & the Public Buildings would have been equally convenient at least, & suitable in Beauty & Use, to the Dignity of the United States. I know not whether there be any Money-Responsibility attach’d to the Office of Comissioner – But Mr Blodget would be at no Loss for Security, in this Respect.

Be pleased, Sir, to excuse the Freedom of this Letter. If the Office be fill’d, or any other Person in View, it may serve at least to draw your kind Attention to Mr Blodget, should any thing else fall in the Way, of which you may think him worthy. He knows Nothing of this Application. Mr Stoddert will deliver this, & will forward to me any verbal or written Answer with which you may please to <give> honour me.

With the profoundest Respect, I am your most obedt humble servant

Wm. Smith

MHi: Adams Papers.

Index Entries