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From Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Smith Adams, 26 May 1798

Plimouth May 26th 1798

Your ready reply my dear madam to my last forbids a delay on my part to Cherish a Correspondence that has Given reciprocal pleasure. when I See the Glow of friendship still kept alive in the bosom of the few left of my former associates, it is a powerful Stimulous to take up the pen. it is to me indeed a pleasing occupation, when this Can be done unincumbered with ceremony.—when the mind feels itself at liberty to express the Sentiments that croud upon it from the recollection of what has been.—the extent of present objects and the contemplation of the astonishing changes that are probably opening before us.—but I feel too far advanced on my journey to suffer much for myself.—Yet to the last moment of life we ought to pray for the peace of jerusalem—If we must be involved with distant Contending nations, the Lord preserve us from the innundation of moral evil the usual concomitants of war.—but the train of other calamities will have their Course.—“If her friends have dealt treacherously with her, Shall She that was Great among the nations and the provinces become tributary.”

this was a Solemn question to a once favoured people. May the doom be averted from America.—may they Set independent of the power influence intrigue or depredations of all foreign nations—and long maintain that rational fredom for which her Sons have bled. the pure principles of republican virtue can never bend to Subjugation—they will equally reject unworthy Submissions, whither imposed by the lack of monarchy or the Strength of power under any other name or form.—

I thank you madam for the enclosures in your last. there is much more Satisfaction in perusing these things thus intire than as they are dealt out in scraps in news papers accompanyed by the malignant Comments of both parties—

the instructions to our envoys have been remarkably Satisfactory. and the ebullitions of Applause at this period poured in from every quarter proves the reliance of his Country on the integrity of the president of the United States. a heavy weight of duty indeed lies upon him. providence has deposited a high trust in his hand.—from the Confidence this people have in his abilities and Virtue it is Optional with him to abuse his power—or to Continue the objects for which our Country has made Such Costly Sacrifices—to exhibit one instance to the world of a free and happy republic—or to—

I check my pen for its wayward fallics towards the verge of politics.—it is a theme I do not love—I have Seen, and felt, and Suffered too much from them to dwell long on the Subject or to attempt to Calculate Consequences beyond the [ken]—of the wisest Statsman.—

we have already adopted too many of the fashions follies and vices of foreign nations that Americans may never be brought into Subjection or a dependence on any of them I most Sincerly pray. it is hard as You Observe to engage again in a tempest after having weathered one political Storm—. I hope the tempest will yet be parryed from us—the Clouds pass over—and only Gentle breezes blow Sufficient to keep the political bark on a proper poize.—I am perticularly Gratified by your assurance in your last that you write in the freedom and Confidence of long tryed-friendship. this I always expected from mrs Adams, and this is the only Stile in which I wish to Converse—a Stile becoming beings who are in the [marge] of a world when all is reallity, instead of the Illusions of time, instead of the disguize, the deception, and the double faced shadows among which we at present move.—

Your observations my dear madam on the licentiousness of the press are perfectly just—but this trait of the Character of our Countrymen is not new to me—I have Seen it before the present day.—Calumny and abuse has deeply touched the fairest Characters—and the best friends of America. before to her disgrace She was divided between the partizans of foreign nations—I have Seen the most unblemished integrity Suspected and traduced—I have Seen the uniform patriot.—the firm Christian—the friend to Virtue and virtues friend—Suffer the Grossest abuse from the press—I have Seen him persecuted and hunted out of office by party Spirit—his Children unemployed—dispersed—destroyed—his friends Standing aloof—and his enemies rioting in their Compleat triumph over probaty they could neither feel nor reach—what have I not Seen of the duplicity and ingratitude of men—in Short I have Seen the world and that is enough.—at nothing man is capable of doing am I Surprized.—

Mr Warren desires me to return the friendly remembrances of the president. that he is Sensible of the arduous turbulent and difficult task assigned mr Adams while himself Silently treads over the paternal acres left him by a kind providence.—that he most ardently wishes the president may be able to Secure that liberty and independence for which they strove together through many a painful hour—and that the arm of heaven may preserve to America those blessings unimpaired and Gaurded against the Grasp of any despotic power on earth.—he bids me tell him that he may be assure’d of his aid and countenance to every Step that may Support this prominent object of his heart of which he can never loose Sight—that the Goverment of the united States has his best wishes—that he respects the constituted authorities—but that he addresses no being below the Supreme. to him he daily bows, and implores a benediction on his Country and the upright magistrate who aims to defend its peace Virtue liberty and happiness.—

My Son and daughter request that their most respectful and friendly regards may accompany those of their parents to the president and lady.

I am madam with the ardours of friendship that can never die in the breast of Yours affectionatly

Mercy Warren

MHi: Adams Papers.

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