To John Adams
Monticello Jan. 23. 12.
The messenger who carried my letter of yesterday to the Post-office brought me thence, on his return, the two pieces of homespun which had been separated by the way from your letter of Jan. 1. a little more sagacity of conjecture in me, as to their appellation, would have saved you the trouble of reading a long dissertation on the state of real homespun in our quarter. the fact stated however will not be unacceptable to you: and the less when it is considered as a specimen only of the general state of our whole country and of it’s advance towards an independance of foreign supplies for the necessary manufactures.
Some extracts from these volumes which I had seen in the public papers had prepared me to recieve them with favorable expectations. these have not been disappointed; for I have already penetrated so far into them as to see that they are a mine of learning & taste, and a proof that the author of the inimitable reviews of Ames & Pickering excels in more than one character of writing. the thanks therefore which I had rendered by anticipation only in my letter, I reiterate in this Postscript on a knolege of their high merit, & avail myself of the occasion it furnishes of repeating the assurances of my sincere friendship & respect.
RC (MHi: Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams late Presidt of the US. Quincy. Mass.”; franked; postmarked Milton, 27 Jan. 1812; endorsed by Adams as answered 10 Feb. 1812. PoC (MHi).
The two volumes enclosed in Adams to TJ, 1 Jan. 1812, were forwarded to TJ by Gideon Granger with a brief covering note dated 16 Jan. 1812 from the “Genl post Office”: “Mr T. Munroe Sent me the package which accompanies this, and perceiving it was from Mr Adams I thout best to forward it without delay” (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Jan. 1812 and so recorded in SJL). In 1809 John Quincy Adams had published an anonymous series of letters in the Boston Patriot criticizing the extreme Federalist views of Fisher ames. These letters were collected and published as American Principles: A Review of Works of Fisher Ames (Boston, 1809). A year earlier the younger Adams had published similarly critical comments on his fellow Massachusetts senator, Timothy pickering, as A Letter to Harrison G. Otis, Esquire; from John Q. Adams, a Senator of the United States, in Reply to Timothy Pickering (New York, 1808; and other eds).
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