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There are two Sentences in Talleyrand’s Letter of the 28th of August, 1798 which ought not to pass unnoticed, the first “In France it was Supposed that the Government of the United States, wished only the appearances of a Negotiation, whence resulted a certain demand for Pledges of good Faith” The Second is “Can it be believed that a Man who should profess a hatred or Contempt of the French...
John Adams with his Consort and their Family desire prayers that the death of a grandchild may be Sanctified to them. They also request your Prayers for their Children and grand Children, in remote Countries abroad and distant parts at home, that thir Lives and health may be preserved from dangers by Sea and land and in due time returned in Safety to their Country and their Friends. ICN .
You very well know, that the Publication of my Letters in Pamplets and Numbers, was a project of your own, without any previous Knowledge or Consent of mine. You had an undoubted write right to do this or to make any this Use of them or any other you pleased; because I had given them to you and to the World. But in your “Introductory Remarks by the Publishers” to the first number you have...
I have yours of Feb. 20 and 23. The inclosed five sheets are the rough draught, which I have requested and you have promised to return. I shall burn it because I have made another Copy more correct in which I have left out the Name and much of the trumpery. In strictness, we have nothing to do with the question whether impressments of seamen are legal or illegal in England. Whatever Iniquity...
If I could dream as much Wit as you, I think I should wish to go to Sleep for the rest of my Life, retaining however one of Swifts Flappers to awake me once in 24 hours to dinner, for you know without a dinner one can neither dream nor Sleep. Your Dreams descend from Jove, according to Homer. Though I enjoy your Sleeping Wit and acknowledge your unequalled Ingenuity in your dreams, I cannot...
Though it is “a terrible thing” for “eyes with reading almost blind” to go over between three and four hundred pages of ms. History, I have read “the General history of the United States” with more delight than it would be prudent for me to express. It is written in the pure spirit of an upright and faithful and impartial American. I see in it none of those panegyrical Romances which compose...
I rec’d yesterday your favour of the Month of August 1808 and if the following answers to your Questions will be any gratification to your curiosity or any Aid to your Work, they are at your Service. 1. My Father was John Adams, the Son of Joseph Adams the Son of another Joseph Adams, the Son of Henry Adams who all lived independent New England Farmers and died and lie buried in this Town of...
I have received your very civil Letter of the third of this Month with Emotions very similar to those which I felt, many years ago upon the following Occasion.— Returning from Holland to Paris in 177 8 4 I was invited to dine with my Wife and Daughter by the Baron De Stael, Ambassador from Sweeden, As I was the first of the Corps Diplomatic who arrived, the Ambassador was shewing me a fine...
Your Anecdotes are always extreamly Aprospros and none of them more So than those in your Letter of Mar 2d The King of Spain who attempted to purify the Streets of Madrid was the Father and the Grand father of the two Animals now in Napoleons Menagerie. And the only bon mot that ever I heard of him was upon that occasion. He Said “his good People of Madrid were like Babies who having dirtied...
I have received your favours of March 11 and 14th. In answer to the first I wish to know whether you remember General Washington’s answer to Adet the successor of Genet. It was written by the gentleman in question and by the spirit of it represented the President almost as ardent a Jacobin as himself. He had not yet been converted from his Gallicism and Jacobinism. You remember the thing “Born...
I agree with Sidney as quoted in your favour of the 13th. That civil War is preferable to Slavery and I add that foreign War and civil War together at the Same time are preferable to Slavery. We hear very often declamations on the demoralizing tendency of War, but as much as I hate War, I cannot be of the opinion, that frequent Wars are So corrupting to human Nature as long Peace. In a Peace...
I am much pleased with your curiosity to investigate the history of your connections Ancestors, and as Mr. Cranch has permited me to see what he has written, and I happen to possess some books that he has not; I take the liberty freedom to make a small addition— In the second Vol of Blackstone’s Law Tracts, are the great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest with other authentic instruments...
I have always cherrished an affection for you for many reasons which determine the Understanding and touch the heart.— Your Father Solicited me to receive him into my Office as a Student at Law. Having at that time three Clerks, and the Rules of the Bar as well as the Orders of the Court prohibiting any Barrister to entertain more than that number at any one time, I was compelled, much against...
I cannot pretend to any extraordinary Knowledge of the History of this Country, or of what a general History of it ought to contain nor is my Letter written with Sufficient Care for publication: but as this is equally true of every other Thing of mine that has been published you are quite at Liberty to make what use of this you please. My Life has been passed in too much hurry to allow me to...
I was glad to see in your paper of the 7th of this month, the extract from the Baltimore Federal Republican , for many reasons, which may be explained in due time; one or two may be stated now. 1. I was pleased with the candid acknowledgment, that “Mr. Adams never was a favorite with the leading men of the federal party." The words leading men will require some explanation and some limitations...
The institution of an Embassy to France in 1799, was made upon principle, and in conformity to a system of foreign affairs, formed upon long deliberation, established in my mind, and amply opened, explained and supported in Congress, that is a system of eternal Neutrality, if possible, in all the wars of Europe, at least eighteen years before President Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality...
FROM Mr. Murray, the American Minister at the Hague, who had been appointed by President Washington, I received assurances from the French government similar to those in Mr. Barlow’s letter and so many others. They were conveyed from the French Directory to Mr. Pichon, Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires of the French Republic near the Batavian Republic, in the absence of the French...
Thank you for your favor of the 1st. I might have quoted Job as well as St Paul, as a Precedent: but as I mix Religion with Politicks as little as possible, I chose to confine myself to Cicero. you advise me to write my own Life. I have made Several Attempts but it is so dull an Employment that I cannot endure it. I look So much like a Small Boy in my own Eyes that with all my Vanity I cannot...
I rejoice to find that Pensilvania has returned to reason and Duty in the affair of the Miss Writtenhouses. Our Massachusetts Legislature have not gone So far as yours did: but they have gone too far. I rejoice too at the Honourable Acquittal of your worthy Brother, but lament the Allarming Attack upon the choicest Institution of Liberty the Tryal by Jury. Without this there can be no legal...
I have received your Letter of the tenth and read Some of the printed Papers inclosed and intend to read the rest. You Long Since let me in some degree into the Nature of your Claim and I always thought it founded in Justice, but have never been able to assist you to any Effect in procuring Relief. Now I am out of the Question except as an individual. You are persuaded that “Posterity and...
I have received your favor of April 5th. I agree with you that our prosperity has been as great as that of any People that ever existed, and our Massachusetts and national Constitutions are better than any that I have known or read, as long as they are administered by the People and their Representatives according to their spirit and true Principles. How long this will be depends upon the...
Please to deliver the inclosed three sheets to the Boston Patriot. MHi : Adams Papers.
I have received your respectful letter of the 21 March. It is not now necessary for me to say any thing concerning many of the Topics. To explain myself fully and enter into the Histories of past occurrences alluded to would require a Volume. I have forsaken the persons and Interest of none of my Friends. The Leaders to whom the Federal Party has now blindly abandoned itself were never my...
WHEN I had received that authentic act of the sovereign authority of France, a copy of which is inserted in my last letter to you, communicated by their Secretary of State, through their Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires and our Minister at the Hague, fully complying with all my requisitions, upon mature deliberation I determined to nominate a Minister to France. Some of the...
I received your favour of March 31 in due time: But I am become all at once and very unexpectedly a man of business and of so much importance in the world that I have not found time to acknowledge it till now. You say your sensibilities were exquisately touched by my last letter to you and my Letter to Wright and Lyman which you received at the same time. The word Sensibilities has a very...
A few words more on the subject of pressing. In strictness, we have nothing to do with the question, whether impressments of seamen in England are legal or illegal. Whatever iniquity or inhumanity that government may inflict on their own subjects, we have no authority to call them to an account for it. But when they extend that power to us, a foreign nation, it is natural for us, and it is our...
THE gentlemen of the Senate informed me, that they came to confer with me on the subject of the nomination of Mr. Murray to France; that there was a considerable dissatisfaction with it, and they desired to know for what reasons I had preferred Mr. Murray to so many others abroad and at home. My answer to the gentlemen was, that I thought Mr. Murray a gentleman of talents, address and...
Please to convey the three inclosed Sheets to the Printers. I beg of you to come up in the Stage. I cannot come to Town as I intended to bring you and your dear Boy. Your Brother is Sick at Dedham. We have been obliged to Send for him and I have neither Horses nor Horse MHi : Adams Papers.
THE message mentioned in my last letter, was in these words: Gentlemen of the Senate , The proposition of a fresh negociation with France, in consequence of advances made by the French government, has excited so general an attention and so much conversation, as to have given occasion to many manifestations of the public opinion, from which it appears to me, that a new modification of the...
At first I intended to encumber your paper with no Documents but such as were absolutely necessary for my own vindication. But as the peace with France in eighteen hundred was not only an event of great importance in itself, but produced demonstrations of the prejudices, passions, views, designs and systems of parties, more perhaps than any other; I hope you will allow me room for such other...
Mr. Hamilton, in his famous pamphlet, page 23, says, “the conduct pursued bore sufficient marks of courage and elevation to raise the national character to an exalted height throughout Europe.” “Much it is to be deplored that we should have been precipitated from this proud eminence, without necessity, without temptation.” It is the habitual practice of our parties, to affirm or deny, as they...
On the 6th of March a letter was written by the Secretary of State by my order, in the following words, to Mr. Murray : Philadelphia, March 6, 1799. Sir, I enclose a commission constituting you, in conjunction with the Chief Justice Elsworth and Patrick Henry , Esq. of Virginia, Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the French Republic.—By the President’s direction, I enclose...
In a A Letter from Alexander Hamilton concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams Esq. President of the United States printed at New York for John Lang, by George F. Hopkins, 1800. Copy right Secured; the Subject of the Negotiation with France in that year is considered. In the twenty fourth page it is Said that “The Session which ensued the Promulgation of the Dispatches of our...
Another of my crimes, according to my great accuser, page 28, was nominating Mr. Murray, without previous consultation with any of my ministers. To this charge I shall say but little at present. In England the first magistrate is responsible for nothing; his ministers for every thing: Here according to the practice, if not the constitution, the ministers are responsible for nothing; the...
Mr. Hamilton, in his pamphlet, page 28, speaking of Talleyrand’s dispatches, says, “overtures so circuitous and informal, through a person who was not the regular organ of the French government for making them, to a person who was not the regular organ of the French government for receiving them, &c. were a very inadequate basis for the institution of a new mission.” Here, again, Mr....
In pamphlet , page 27, it is said that the great alteration in public opinion had put it completely in the power of our executive to control the machinations of any future public agent, of France. Therefore Philadelphia was a safer scene of negotiation than Paris. Mr. Hamilton’s erroneous conceptions of the public opinion may be excused by the considerations that he was not a native of the...
Mr. Hamilton , in his pamphlet, page 21, speaks of the anterior mission of Messieurs Pinckney, Marshall and Gerry, and says, “it was resolved to make another, and a more solemn experiment in the form of a commission of three.” When I first read this sentence, I am not certain whether it excited most of astonishment, indignation, contempt, or ridicule. By whom was this Measure resolved ? By...
IN page 25, is a strain of flimsy rant, as silly as it is indecent. “The supplement to the declaration was a blameable excess.” It waved the point of honor, which after two rejections of our ministers, required that the next mission, should proceed from France. Where did he find this point of honor? If any such point had existed, it had its full force against the second mission: and its...
I recd in Season your interesting favor of the 10th of May: but have not had Opportunity to acknowledge it till now. There appears to me, to be a very extraordinary and unaccountable Inattention in our Countrymen to the History of their own Country. While every kind of Trifle from Europe is printed and Scattered profusely in America our own Original Historians are very much neglected. A Copy...
In page 28, Mr. Hamilton acknowledges that "the President had pledged himself in his speech, (he should have said in his message) to send a minister, if satisfactory assurances of a proper reception were given." Notwithstanding this, Mr. Hamilton, and all his confidential friends, exerted their utmost art and most strenuous endeavors to prevail on the President to violate this pledge. What can...
Yours of May 6th, I have not acknowledged, and cannot particularly consider the abundance of matter in it at present. If you see the Patriot, you will see that I am scribbling, twice a week. I am hammering out a brass farthing into an acre of leaf brass. But I was determined that posterity should know the facts relative to my peace with France in 1800. I expect “angry surges” enough. Let them...
Your Letters are not apt to lie a month unacknowledged. That of May 5th. is before me since which I have recd. an Aurora under your envellope. I thank you for both. Thanks too for your sons inaugural Dissertation. I wish him success in his studies Travels and Practice. May he become as eminent, as skilful, as humane, as virtuous and as successful as his father. I rejoice that your son Richard...
In page 26, Mr. Hamilton says, that the mission “could hardly fail to injure our interests with other countries.” This is another of those phantoms which he had conjured up to terrify minds and nerves as weak as his own. It was a common place theme of discourse, which, no doubt, the British faction very efficaciously assisted him in propagating. I know it made impression on some, from whose...
IN page 20, Mr. Hamilton says, my "conduct in the office of President was a heterogeneous compound of right and wrong, of wisdom and error." As at that time, in my opinion, his principal rule of right and wrong, of wisdom and error, was his own ambition and indelicate pleasures, I despise his censure, and should consider his approbation as a satire on my administration. “The outset," he says,...
IN page 29. Mr. Hamilton says, "when an ordinary man dreams himself to be a Frederick," &c. To this I shall make but a short answer. When a Miss of the street shall print a pamphlet in London, and call the Queen of England an ordinary woman, who dreams herself a Catharine of Russia, no Englishman will have the less esteem for his queen for that impudent libel. There is something in the 24th...
I received your favour of the 12th. You propose to me an abridgement of my works. Some fifty five years ago I learned from Lord Coke that Abridgements were chiefly useful to the makers of them. It would be of no use to me to abridge my poor productions. Besides I had rather write as many new ones than undertake to abridge the old ones. You say that our ungovernable News-Papers have published...
I most sincerely thank you for your excellent letter of the 14th.—It contains an abundance of matter that deserves, and shall have my most serious consideration. But at present I have not time to be serious. I had a delicious laugh with my family. I said nothing till we were all at table at dinner: My wife, my two daughters in law, my niece, Miss Louisa Smith, and my two grand daughters,...
A thousand thanks to Richard for his Auroras and ten thousand to you for your Letter of the 14th. I am not subject to low spirits, but if I was one of your Letters would cure me at any time for a Month. Voltaires Brain I shall never get out of mine. It will make me laugh whenever I think of it. The Jews and Nonotte have pickled his Brain in a more durable Manner and kept it in a more perfect...
In a former letter, it was suggested that I found myself obliged to say something of the peace of 1783. Mr. Hamilton, in his pamphlet, page 7, says, "The principal merit of the negociation with Great Britain, in some quarters, has been bestowed on Mr. Adams; but it is certainly the right of Mr. Jay, who took a lead in the several steps of the transaction, no less honorable to his talents than...
On the 17th day of November, 1779, I embarked for Europe, with the hon. Francis Dana, Esq. and Mr. John Thaxter. The former was appointed by Congress, secretary of legation to my two commissions.—There could not have been found in the United States a gentleman in whose education, connections, talents, integrity and personal friendship, I had more entire confidence. The latter I had taken from...