Adams Papers
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John Adams to Philip Mazzei, 26 Jun. 1786

[London] June 26. 1786

Dr. Sir

The insinuation of the Abby Raynal, mentioned [in your] Letter of the 17th that “the Savages were to be dispossessed of Lands which they would not cultivate” is injurious.

The first settlers of New England, as well as of the other parts of America were scrupulous to purchase the [title of the] Indians, wherever they planted—In a course of many years practice in the Courts of Law I have had a great oppertunity of knowing this fact—There is scarcely a suit concerning Land, in which the titles & Pretensions are not traced back to Indian Deeds—

The Immolation of Children of ten years old is a fiction of some Brain or other. The Abby I suppose found it in some News Paper Pamphlet or other Repository of political Lyes, He could have no motive to adopt it, if he had not supposed it to be true, but any Person in the l[e]ast acquainted with the true history of the Country would have corrected it—I have not seen Mr. Appleton when I do, I will remind him of his promise to you—

John Adams

(PHC: Charles Roberts Autograph Collection).

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