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When a young man I read Sidney upon government. In one of his Chapters, he agitates the following question—“Whether A civil War, or slavery be the greatest evil” and decides in favor of the Latter. In ing and revolving that Subject in my mind, I have been led to suppose there are evils more afflicting and injurious to a Country than a foreign War. The principal evil of War is death. Now Vice I...
It would be well, if legislators were taught before they begin to legislate, that there are certain things which elude the power of government as certainly as a stone when thrown into the Air falls to the ground. In addition to those Subjects which have been mentioned in our letters I will add—“the dictates of Conscience, religious & philosophical opinions—the current prices of goods, and...
I am much pleased with the Specimen you have given of the Use of your Wings upon a certain Subject in your last letter. Your publications in the newspapers show still further how important to the public, to posterity, and to your family honor are the words you have preserved of your political life. Your defence of the rights of our Seamen is much admired. It discovers with the Experience &...
My son Richard who has been a customer for the Aurora ever since he lived at the Jersey College, after reading your last letter, brought the enclosed papers from his office, and requested me to forward them to you. I have lately met with an account of the brain of Voltaire being preserved by a Lady in a France, and showed to her friends as an object of affection and adoration. The author of...
I enclose you three numbers of Duane’s papers that you may see in what manner the late news from St James’s has operated upon one Class of our Citizens. Your Communications Continue to excite Attention. A general wish prevails among those who read them, that they may be preserved & perpetuated in the form of a pamphlet, or of a larger Work. My Wife and youngest daughter left me on the 8th of...
“salus, honor et bonus Appetitus.” to use the Words of Molière— from Dear sir ever / Yrs MHi : Adams Papers.
I send you herewith some more of Col Duane’s papers. You will perceive in One of them proposals for republishing you letters in a pamphflet. It was from a Conviction that you saw things with Other eyes than most of the persons that cooperated with you in establishing the Independance of the United states, and that your Opinions and Conduct would bear the Scrutiny of posterity at that eventful...
I enclose you four numbers of Duane’s paper. They contain a good deal of matter relative to the dispute between our Country & great Britain. I have not read a column of it, but it excites general attention in our city, and of course is probably worth the notice of a Man who has not, like myself, outlived his patriotism. My wife, Uncle Mr Boudinot and his daughter it is said, have lately paid a...
Although for many years past I have read nothing, but books upon medicine on week days, & upon Religion on Sundays, and have expected to continue to do so as long as I lived, yet you have almost persuaded me to read Fox’s history of James the Second. Your praise of it is enough for me, for I know how much your habits of reading and thinking qualify you to judge of the merit of books that...
“Great men (says Lord Bacon) have neither Ancestors nor posterity.” This, you and I know is not the case with Writers. The enclosed pamphflett pamphflet is a proof that the passion for pen, ink and paper has descended in my family. It is written by my son Richard, who requests you will do him the honor to accept of a copy of it. Health, respect & friendship from / ever yours MHi : Adams Papers.
Who were the ancestors and posterity of Homer, Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle? who were the ancestors and posterity of Cicero, Horace and Virgil? Were any of them philosophers, orators or poets? who were the ancestors and posterity of Walsingham Sully, Malborough and Wolfe? Were any of them statesmen generals, or heroes? I do not ask whether they were descended from gentlemen, or whether...
Philadelphia Decemr: 5th: 1809 I picked up some time ago a magazine in which I met with a revival of the Old controversy concerning the divine Origin of Episcopal and Presbyterian Ordination carried on by Dr Hobart and Dr Mason of New York. After reading a few pages of it, I threw down the magazine with disgust, and committed the enclosed thoughts upon that Subject to paper. The partiality you...
Accept of my thanks for your last letter.—I enclose you a few numbers of the Aurora. Shall we descend in a Calm or a storm to the our Graves? We are told your son is gone to Petersburg to put a torch to the flame of War, and that we are to be Allies of France and of all the powers on the Baltic in it. Mr Jackson has just left our city. He has been visited & entertained by Some of our first...
With this letter you will receive a bundle of Auroras, and another of the same size by the post of the next day—They are filled very much of late with our state politicks, but you will find many Columns still filled with complaints against Great Britain—so my son Richard tells me, for I assure you I have not read a Column in any one of them these six months. My wife asked me a few days ago...
In One of my letters written some time ago, I informed you that my eldest son had killed a brother officer and a friend in a duel at New Orleans. The distress and remorse which followed this event deprived him of his reason, and threw him into the marine hospital where he has been nearly ever since the duel. In the month of Feby: last he arrived in Philada in a state of deep melancholy &...
Every moment of Amusement that I am able to afford you, is an Addition to my happiness, for which reason I send you from time to time all such numbers of Duanes papers as contain any new Speculations upon the state of our Country.—The enclosed, is I suppose of that nature, for I have read its title only. Have you seen Sillimans travels int o England, Scotland & Holland? They are gener ally...
Wealth, respect and friendship! from your grateful and affectionate friend. War with the “great hammer of the whole earth” to use the words of which the prophet Jeremiah applied to the king of Babylon, is now the order of the day in Philada.— MHi : Adams Papers.
I have no objection to your knowing that by the “great hammer of the earth” I meant Napoleon. George the 3rd: I believe to be the great hammer of the ocean. I consider them both as the scourges of the human race, and in the language of the souls under the altar, I feel disposed to cry day and night,—“how long—how long” O! Lord wilt thou suffer them to trample upon the rights of individuals and...
In Contemplating the facility with which our Once chaste & vi mistress “American liberty” admits embraces of some of the most profligate and unprincipled men in our Country, I feel disposed to address her in the Words of the Song. “I loved thee! beautiful and kind, And plighted an eternal vow, So altered are your face and mind, ’Twere perjury to love thee, now. ” MHi : Adams Papers.
Mr Denny is the principal writer in the portfolio. He is precluded from introducing politicks into it by its proprietor Mr Sam Bradford, but—not from traducing the works of Whig, and American Authors. One of his Coajutors is a Dr Chapman a former pupil of mine and who owes me many—very many Obligations. He is the son of a Virginia Tory. After failing in getting into business, and suspecting...
Hate on, & call upon all the pedagouges in Massachussets to assist you with their hatred of me, but and I will after all, continue to say, that it is folly and madness to spend four or five years in teaching boys the latin & greek languages.— I admit a knowledge of the Hebrew to be useful to divines, also as much of the greek as will enable them to read the greek testament, but the latin is...
I enclose you a small publication which contains an account of a new auxillary or palliative remedy for madness. It will serve perhaps be acceptable to some of your medical friends. You will I have no doubt amuse yourself and your fire side by wishing that it could be applied for the relief of napoleon,—George the third, and all the mad federalists & democrats in our country.— From Dear Sir /...
We read of Hurricane Months in the West Indies. Men of business are exposed to them no less than the West India islands. I am now in the height of Mine. For a few minutes only, I have torn my eyes from the tumultuous Scenes that surround me & turned them towards Woolaston in Massachusets. I see you in your Arm Chair—surrounded by your family. How do you do? And you! good madam—the faithful...
I thank you for you son’s pamphlet. Much as I loath political discussions of all kinds, I was induced by your request, and my great respect for the genius of its author, to read it. with I thank you for the pleasure I derived from it. It is a masterly performance overflowing with argument & eloquence. He places Mr Ames where he ought to have been placed stood in the meredian of his political...
All the Coins are in readiness; and Subject to your order. At present no Opportunity of sending them to Petersburg offers from our city. Shall I send them to you by the post, put up in such a manner as to be mistaken for a small book? or will you request any one of your friends now in Congress to call for them on his way to massachussets next month? I have no Objection to the reading the dead...
Herewith th r ough the politeness of Mr Quincy you will receive the Coins for your son. I regret that some of them are not recently coined. None such have been issued lately from the mint. Your Son Thomas’s friend Mr Erving has paid me for them. Permit me to Congratulate you upon your Son John’s honourable Appointment to a Seat upon the bench of the United States. It gives great Satisfaction...
Act I. Scene I. Mr: Adams’s Study Mr A: Who is there? Dr: R—a friend— A—Walk in.—Ah! Rush is that you? Where have been these two Months—? You seem to have forgotten your old friend Adams. R. Forgotten my Old friend Adams!—No Sir—that is impossible. I owe more to your friendship than I ever owed to any human Being, except to my excellent mother, and to my beloved and faithful Wife. A. What is...
Act 1. Scene 2nd. Mr Adams alone in his Study. Enter B Rush. A: Aye Rush is that you? What is that paper you hold in your hand? R A Summary view of the physical, moral and immoral effects of certain hymns upon the body & mind of man & upon his Condition in Society. Permit me Sir to request your Acceptance of it. A What must I do with it? R: Send it to the parson of your parish, but if he “too...
Yrs. of June 21st. came safe to hand. I shall reply to it give you the echo of it in a few days. Not knowing to whom it is proper to send the enclosed packet from Lord Bircham, I have taken the liberty to address it to you. It contains (I suppose) a curious, heterogeneous oration by his Lordship delivered before some Americans in Edingh: on the Anniverrsary of General Washington’s birth day.—...
The 4th of July has been celebrated in Philada: in the manner I expected. The military men, and particularly one of them, ran away with all the glory of the day. Scarcely a word was said of the solicitude and labors, and fears, and sorrows and sleepless nights of the men who projected, proposed, defended, and Subscribed the declaration of independance. Do you recollect your memorable speech...
You may tell your friend Mr Cranch that I included my Correspondent among the men who were so prominent in madness as to undertake the Cure of the madness of mankind by Appeals to their Reason. I have been a fellow labourer with you in this irrational business. But we will console ourselves with the comfortable reflection that we have aimed well. Were we to live our lives over again, and...
It is possible Dr Franklins estate, when sold, in Order to be divided, may not produce the Sum mentioned in my last letter. It consists chiefly of real property, purchased in same the early part of his life. The improvements in our City have given it its present immense Value. It is said the million of livres committed to him to be employed in secret Services to his Country, were divided...
The time cannot be very distant when you and I must both sleep with our fathers. The distinguished figure you have made in life, and the high offices you have filled, will render your removal from the world, an object of universal Attention. Suppose you avail yourself while in health, of the sensibility of which awaits the public mind to your character soon after your death, by leaving behind...
I am two letters in your debt. To the last I shall reply first. I am not satisfied with any one of your objections to my proposal of a posthumous Address from you to the Citizens of the United States. The “good that men do lives after them” the evil they have done or the evil that has been unjustly imputed to them generally perishes in descends into the grave with them. I have lately met with...
I shall begin my letter by replying to your daughters. I prefer giving my Opinion & Advice in you her Case in this way. You and Mrs Adams may communicate it gradually and in such a manner as will be least apt to distress and alarm her. After the experience of more than 50 years in cases similar to hers, I must protest agst: all local applications, and internal medicines for her relief. They...
All my family rejoice with yours in the happy issue of the operation performed upon Mrs Smiths breast. The enclosed letter is intended as an answer to her’s to me, and to serve the further purpose of exciting in her a belief that her Cure will be radical & durable. I consider her as rescued from a premature grave. Since my last letter to you it has pleased God to make all my family very happy...
Alas! What a difference between your last, and former letters!—Instead of being charmed with the effusions of your vigorous highly cultivated Understanding and sportive imagination, your letter of the 2nd of Novr contains nothing but accounts of “graves & tombs” and “dust converted into paper,” and of “sorrows written with rainy eyes upon the bosom of the earth.”—It affected me in the most...
You have touched me in a sore place in your letter of the 4th instant. My Son Richard has accepted of the Office of Comptroller General, and is about to remove with his family to Washington in the Course of this month. Both his parents, all his brothers and Sisters—his Uncles Rush & Richd Stockton, and all his professional and personal friends remonstrated against it. I painted to him in as...
Mr Jefferson and I exchange letters Once in six, nine or twelve Months. This day I received a few lines from him in which he introduces your Name in the following Words. After mentioning the Visit paid to you by his two neighbours—the Messrs Coles last summer he adds, “Among Other things he [Mr Adams] adverted to the unprincipled licenciousness of the press against myself—adding— I always...
During the time Cobbett was abusing me in his newspaper to the great joy of a number of our tory Citizens, I met Hamilton Roan in a family in which I was called to see a patient. We had met before at Major Butlers table. He took me by the hand in the most cordial manner. “Our situation said I Mr Roan is a good deal alike in Philada—We are both in an enemy’s country.” “no Sir ” (said he)—“I am...
“Arma, Cestusque”, parmamque “repono,” upon the offensive subject of one of my late letters to you.— I sincerely rejoice in the successful issue of the operation upon Mrs Smith’s breast. I would reciprocate your expressions of pleasure upon the appearances of a recussitation of the Spirit of 177 4 at Washington did I believe they would terminate in any thing but in upon Speeches, Embassies...
I did not require the anecdote you have communicated to me in your letter of last month to know that I had incurred the hatred of General Washington. It was violent & descended with him to the grave. For its not being perpetuated in the history of his life, I am indebted to the worthy and amiable Judge Washington. I will give you a history of its cause in as short a Compass as possible. During...
I began a long & confidential letter to you two weeks ago upon the Subject of one of your late letters, but an unusual pressure of business has prevented my finishing it. Judge of my the nature & extent of my engagements, when I add, that after lecturing twice, and visiting my normal number of patients this day, and entertaining some of my pupils at tea, I have since written six Answers to...
I once met Mr Sawbridge at the house of his Sister Mrs McCaulay in London. In speaking of some of the public men who had for a number of years conducted the Affairs of the British Nation, he said “the only difference between the Duke of New Castle, and the Earl of Chatham was the former in thier Choice of Officers to execute thier plans, was—the former preferred a grave fool—the latter a...
In giving the history of the Controversies in which I was engaged in the military hospitals, and from which I suffered Abuse, and incurred the lasting resentment of the Character you allow you in your last letter, I neglected to mention in addition to the Change which my resignation produced in the expenses and Order of the military hospitals, that my Zeal and Sufferings in behalf of the sick...
I return you the Copies of your letters to the Messrs Smith and thier Answers, with my Advice (as you have done me the honor to ask it) by no means to publish them . “Scandal (Dr Witherspoon used to say) will die sooner than you can kill it.” I can subscribe to the truth of this assertion of our Old Scotch Sachem from my own experience. Not a paragraph or even a line did I ever publish in...
Your two letters of yesterday & to day have made me serious. They discover a profound knowledge of times past, present & to come. I have directed one of my daughters to copy two sentences from your letter of this day to be sent to my son Richard at Washington who, poor fellow! is swamped in a beleif of the infallibility and perpetuity of the “powers that are”. I know he reveres your judgment....
You remind me by your wish for a copy of all the lyes that were published against you by your political enemies, of a similar wish by Dr Franklin—he said he should “like to paper his study with them”. Some of his most virulent calumniation he said were persons from whom he had received letters full of gratitude for favors Conferred upon them,—which letters were then in his possession.—Where...
Stephen Gerard came to Philada from France About thirty years ago in the capacity of a Sailor. Having had some education, and possessing a strong mind, he soon became a master of a Vessel, afterwards a merchant by which employment he has amassed an estate of five millions of dollars, one million of which was in Stock of the late bank of the United States, the rest is in houses, lots, Ships &...
In Spite of a Speech made by my wife a few days Ago, “that you and I corresponded like two young girls about their sweethearts,” I will not be outdone by you in the number and promptness of my letters. The General assembly of the Presbyterian Church have just finished a long and interesting Session. Among Other things done by them, they have addressed a petition to Congress praying that the...