Adams Papers
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From John Adams to Benjamin Stoddert, 30 October 1809

Quincy October 30. 1809

Dear Stoddert

I have received your Letter of the 12th of this Month and read it with great attention.

your Integrity Industry and Abilities in the Conduct of the Naval Department, I have ever acknowledged and Still Acknowledge with Pleasure.

your Personal Behaviour to me in general and with very few Exceptions, was with all the Civility, Respect and even Friendship which I expected or even desired from any Head of Department or any Man.

you have pointed out an Error, and I thank you for it, in my thirteenth Letter, which Shall be corrected with out Loss of time.

I hope I Shall not be driven to the Necessity of applying the Incision Knife and the Caustic to all the Sores of my Administrat[ion] I cannot therefore at present discuss in detail every Part of your Letter

I Shall only Say at Present that it is in vain to talk of the “Personal Dignity” or official Dignity of a President, while the Senate or a Party in the Senate, in Combination with the Heads of Departments, or a Majority of the Heads of Departments in Concert with officers of an Army have the Power and the Will to destroy both.

I Shall only Add that I know of no “Manner of Doing Things” which can reconcile Darkness with Light or Wrong with Right.

I am Sir, truly with much Esteem and affection your / real Frind and humble Servant

John Adams

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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