Adams Papers

From John Adams to Timothy Pickering, 25 August 1797

Quincy Aug. 25th 1797

Dear Sir

I have received in course, your letters of July 28th. Aug 1st. 3d and 17th.

That of July 28th only inclosed a letter from Mr. Gerry. The Mediteranean passports mentioned in your letter of Aug 1st I signed as soon as possible, & I returned them to you in three packets by the post. I saw Mr. Howel at Boston, Providence & Quincy; but as he said nothing to me on the subject of his salary, I thought it unnecessary for me to mention it to him. The commissioners have now adjourned for another year. I have read the deposition of James Wallace and the letter of Judge Sitgreaves inclosed in yours of <yours of> Aug. 3d. The measures you have taken are the most prudent that could have been taken, I believe, & no proclamation appears to be necessary for the present. A proclamation would excite & spread alarms, & make more of the thing than there appears to be in it. It is very strange that the officers of justices cannot make discoveries, & obtain evidence if there are Facts. When whitnesses talk about agitations & prevailing reports “it may be ground for inquiry to an attorney General. But certainly armies cannot be levied without witnesses; & witnesses may prove crimes & crimes may be punished unless our country is abandoned of God.

With great regard I am dear sir your most obedient & humble servant.

John Adams

P.S. I thank you for sending the Brigantine Sophia to the relief of our suffering seamen.

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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