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I have to acknolege the reciept of your friendly favor of the 12th and the pleasing sensations produced in my mind by it’s affectionate contents. I am made very happy by learning that the sentiments expressed in my inaugural address give general satisfaction, and hold out a ground on which our fellow citizens can once more unite. I am the more pleased, because these sentiments have been long &...
I have received your favor of the 23d. instant, inclosing one of the 15th. from Mr. Webster. The subject of Quarantine laws in Europe which oppress our commerce, had been brought to the attention of the Executive by suggestions from a Consul in Lisbon; and some arrangements have been under consideration for diminishing if not removing the evil. The interesting remarks in your letters, will...
I ought to have acknowledgd your kind favour of July 23 at an earlier period; but the heat of Summer usually unfits me for every occupation; and I never expect to conquer that disposition to an intermitting fever which always assails me whenever I am debilitated by Heat, or any other indisposition; I have had a very severe attack of the disorder incident to the Fall, and tho it did not amount...
I have recieved your favor of Nov. 27. with your introductory lectures which I have read with the pleasure & edification I do every thing from you. I am happy to see that vaccination is introduced & likely to be kept up in Philadelphia. but I shall not think it exhibits all it’s utility until experience shall have hit upon some mark or rule by which the popular eye may distinguish genuine from...
Letter not found. 23 December 1801, Washington. Offered for sale in Parke-Bernet Catalogue No. 484, “The Alexander Biddle Papers” (1943), pt. 2, item 200, which notes that the one-page letter “regards Dr. Rush’s son Richard who desired to visit Europe in the capacity of a private secretary to one of the American Ministers. Informs him that he will place the matter before the President.”
I recieved last night your friendly letter of the 12th. which shall be answered the first practicable moment. in the mean time I send you Latude which I happen to have here. affectionate salutations. RC (Swann Auction Catalogue, sale 2058, New York, 2005); address clipped: “Doctr. Benjamin [Rush]”; franked and postmarked.
I felt all the weight of the obligation which I owed to you and to your amiable family, for the tender concern they manifested in an event, beyond comparison, the most afflicting of my life. But I was obliged to wait for a moment of greater calm, to express my sense of the kindness. My loss is indeed great. The highest as well as the eldest hope of my family has been taken from me. You...
I wish to mention to you in confidence that I have obtained authority from Congress to undertake the long desired object of exploring the Missouri & whatever river, heading with that, leads into the Western ocean. about 10. chosen woodsmen headed by Capt. Lewis my secretary, will set out on it immediately & probably accomplish it in two seasons. Capt. Lewis is brave, prudent, habituated to the...
In some of the delightful conversations with you, in the evenings of 1798. 99. which served as an Anodyne to the afflictions of the crisis through which our country was then labouring, the Christian religion was sometimes our topic: and I then promised you that, one day or other, I would give you my views of it. they are the result of a life of enquiry & reflection, and very different from...
Your friendly letter of Mar. 12. was recieved in due time and with a due sense of it’s value. I shall with confidence avail myself of it’s general prescription, and of the special should the state of my health alter for the worse. at present it wears a promising aspect. At length I send you a letter, long due, and even now but a sketch of what I wished to make it. but your candour will find my...
I am thankful to you for your attentions to Capt Lewis while at Philadelphia and the useful counsels he recieved from you. he will set out in about 4. or 5. days, and expects to leave Kaskaskias about the 1st. of September. he will have two travelling months which will probably carry him 7. or 800. miles up the river for his winter quarters, from whence he will communicate to us, in the course...
No one would more willingly than myself pay the just tribute due to the services of Capt Barry , by writing a letter of condolance to his widow as you suggest. but when one undertakes to administer justice it must be with an even hand, & by rule, what is done for one, must be done for every one in equal degree. to what a train of attentions would this draw a President? how difficult would it...
Your favor of the 1st. inst. came to hand last night. the embarrasment of answering propositions for office negatively, and the inconveniencies which have sometimes arisen from answering affirmatively, even when the affirmative is intended, has led to the general rule of leaving the answer to be read in the act of appointment or non-appointment whenever either is manifested. I depart from the...
It seemeth unto me that you and I ought not to die without saying good-bye or bidding each other Adieu. Pray how do you do? How does that excellent Lady Mrs: Rush; How are the young ladies? Where is my Surgeon & Lieut? How fares the lawyer? Two learned & famous Physicians, Sydenham & Rush have taught us, that the plague & the yellow fever, and all other epidemic diseases when they prevail in a...
I have just now received your friendly letter of the 19th. and rejoice with you Sincerely in the Wellfare of your Family. I wish you had named the Captain in the British Army who has been So fortunate as to marry your Second daughter; Many of those officers are worthy Men, and you are much in the Wrong to deplore her as lost to you,—for life. Neither Upper Canada nor England are so far off,...
I am highly gratified, to possess So authentic an Account of the Several rising branches of your numerous and amiable Family, in whose Welfare I feel So much Interest, that I ask your Permission to add my Benediction to yours. It is to me highly probable that those who have been carried Captive into the British Dominions, will Succeed as Well in Life, as those who may be destined to enjoy all...
A considerable time before the reciept of your letter of Apr. 29. it was known here that mr Boudinot intended to retire from the Direction of the mint, & as was expected, immediately. it had therefore been made a question to the members of the administration who should be his successor. it was supposed that the duties of that office required the best mathematical talents which could be found,...
Your Letter, my dear Friend, of the 29th. of June, Suggets enough of Serious reflections, to compose a longer reply, than I am, at present disposed to write, or than you could read with any Satisfaction. John Ross, and I think, some others, whom you have not mentioned were in the Boat with us from Point no Point. I wish to ascertain, if I could the Month and Day as well as the names of the...
Your favour of the 14th gives an exact Analysis of Pennsylvania and its Parties: and from it, a probability results, that the Old Constitution will be revived. But, for what reason do you call it Dr. Franklins? I always understood it to be the Work of Cannon, Matlack, Young and Paine, and that Franklin, though President of the Convention, had no greater hand in its fabrick than the painted head...
Although it is a gratification to my feelings to write to you and a much greater pleasure to receive a Letter from you: Yet I have no desire to give you any trouble, or the least Anxiety on my Account when your Answer is delayed. I know your Avocations and respect them. No Apology is ever necessary, for any pause in our Correspondence. The Journals of Congress afford little light, in...
I am half inclined to be very angry with you for destroying the Anecdotes and documents you had collected for private Memoirs of the American Revolution. From the Memories of Individuals, the true Springs of Events and the real motives of Actions are to be made known to Posterity. The Period in the History of the World, the best understood, is that of Rome from the time of Marius to the Death...
The new Edition of your medical Works, mentioned in your favour of the sixth of this month, have been committed to mr Shaw: my Nephew whom you know, and will be sent to me from Boston in due time. Many of those compositions I have read and shall read again with much pleasure, and shall make them as generally useful as I can among the Physicians in my Neighbourhood: but as I feel as few as I...
Your favour of the fifteenth is received. In a cornfield, which I had manured with seaweed and Marsh mud, in a compost with other materials, I found, last fall, two plants of an uncommon Appearance which I Suspected to be the Kali: because—they resembled the descriptions of it which I had read in the Dictionary of natural History and in the Œconomical Dictionary, both of which quote Monsieur...
Your Letter of the tenth, like all others from your pen, notwithstanding all your apologies, was a cordial to my Spirit. I must confess to you, that the data, upon which you reason from the Prophecies concerning the future amelioration of the condition of mankind, are too obscure and uncertain, to authorize us to build any System upon them for the conduct of Nations—It is well to understand as...
I have two of your Letters to acknowledge, at once. The Treatise on the Spleen I have read, and been entertained by it, perhaps more than I should have been if I had been better acquainted with the sciences on which it depends. Your medical Speculations are to me as entertaining as Romances of which I am a great lover: but they are as much in request among the learned of your Profession: so...
Thanks for your favour of Aug. 22d. My Experience is perfectly conformable to yours, respecting silent Men. Silence is most commonly design and Intrigue. In Franklin it was very remarkable, because he was naturally a great Talker. I have conversed with him frequently in his garrulous humours, and his Grandson, or Son, Billy has told me that he never knew a greater Talker than his Grandfather....
When I recd your favour of the 24. Oct, I Soberly expected a grave dissertation on the Perfectibility of Man. Although I thank you for the political information you give me, which is amusing and although I doubt not your Physiological researches will result in something usefull to the publick, yet, as I have ever considered all Arts Sciences and Litterature as of small importance in comparison...
I thank you for yours of the twenty fifth of November. I was in hopes you would have explained to me the System of human Perfectibility which was is claimed as the Invention of Dr Priestley. The System of the French Œconomists I took some Pains, more than five and twenty years ago, to understand; but could not find one Gentleman among the Statesmen, Phylosophers and Men of Letters, who...
You make me very happy when you Say, that you agree with me upon the Subject of the Perfectibility of Man. Let every Man endeavor to amend and improve one and We Shall find ourselves in the right Road to all the Perfection We are capable of: but this rule Should by no means exclude our utmost exertions to amend and improve others, and in every Way and by all means in our Power to ameliorate...
Your favour of the 3d is received; I am willing to allow you Philosophers your opinion of the universal gravitation of matter, if you will allow mine that there is in some souls a principle of absolute levity that buoys them irresistibly into the Clouds. Whether you call it etherial spirit or inflammable air it has an uncontroulable tendency to ascend & has no capacity to ascertain the height...
I thank you, my dear Sir for the promptitude of your Answer to my last Letter, and for inclosing the misterious one to you, which however has every Appearance of honesty about it. My Daughter Started the Idea that it might be our Friend Wm. Smith of Charlestown who married Miss Izzard: but the Date of the Letter is New York. My Daughter, upon my Receipt of your Letter wrote to her Husband on...
I return you, the Letter of Edward Smith. Time may or may not unriddle this whimsical Mystery. It might however in the mean time to put Us on our guard against Intrigues. My not preserving a Copy of my Letter to Dr Nathan Webb (for he was a Physician) is no Wonder: for I never kept a Copy of any Letter, till I became a Member of Congress in 1774. The observation of your Son Richard is very...
I received at an Exhibition of Musick in our polite Village of Mount Woollaston, on thursday, your Letter relative to Mr Loude, and sent it immediately to Dr Tufts by his Lady, that the Young Gentlemans Friends might be informed of his Situation. I lament the untimely decline of a Youth, although I never Saw him, who has been represented to me, as one who injured his health by too intense an...
I have received your favour of the ninth of this Month, and conveyed to Dr Tufts your Letter to him, who desireses me to express to you the high sense he has of your Benevolence And Humanity to Mr John Loude. The Doctor will write you, as soon as he can find means of conveying to the Parents of that unfortunate youth the money you enclosed. What Shall We Say, my Friend? A pious and virtuous...
John Bunjan, if he had written my last Letter to you would have called it an history of Gods Judgments against Lyars and Libellers. Such indeed it seems to be. A great Number of others might have been added, and two or three at least ought to have been. Phillip Freneau is one of the Number: but I know not in what Light to consider him. A Libeller, he certainly was not only against me but...
I want to write an Essay.—Whom Shall I choose for a Model?—Plutarch, old Montaigne, Lord Bacon, Addison, Johnson, or Franklin? The last, if he had devoted his Life to the Study might have equalled Montaine in Essays or La Fontaine in Fables: for he was fitter more fitted for either or both than to conduct a Nation like Prony or Colbert. I am however too round about, to imitate the close,...
It is rare, that a Letter of yours remains so long upon my Table unacknowledged as has that of July 9th. Crudens Apophthagm is well worthy of your Remembrance and that of your Posterity for forty times forty years more. It is the only Clue to the Labyrinth of the World, the only key to the Riddle of the Universe. “Some Crimes are punished to prove a Providence; others escape to teach a future...
I have, long before the receipt of your favour of the 31 of October, supposed that either you were gazing at the Comet or curing the Influenza: and in either case, that you was much better employed than in answering my idle Letters. Pray! have our Astronomers at Phyladelphia, observed that Stranger in the Heavens? Have they noted its Bearings and Distances, its Course and progress! whence it...
I thank you for your printed lecture on the humanity Economy and other virtues, which require of us, more attention to our domestick animals, and especially to their diseases. We see our horses, horned cattle, sheep, swine and other species, as well as our cats and dogs, sick or wounded and no body knows what to do with them or for them, so that a broken bone or a fit of sickness is almost...
Dr. Waterhouse has been appointed to the Marine hospital of Boston as you wished. it was a just tho small return for his merit in introducing the Vaccination earlier than we should have had it. his appointment makes some noise, there & here being unacceptable to some: but I believe that schismatic divisions in the medical fraternity are at the bottom of it. my usage is to make the best...
What a pitty it is; and indeed what a Shame it is, that We have not a Word in our language to express the idea of the French Word Naiveté ? There is not a figure of Rhetorick So impressive as this is ’tho it is no figure, but the most perfect simplicity. I know not whether it is possible to define it. Neat and plain, Seems to be flat and poor. Simple Nature, is not Satisfactory. Simplex...
Your two last Letters have puzzled me. In one you tell me that your Citizens are clamorous against the Residence of Congress at Washington. Now Washington was the Father of the Columbian Territory, the City of Washington and the Residence of Congress in it: and Washington Jefferson and L’Enfant were the Triumvirate who planned the City the Capitol and the Prince’s Palace. In your last Feb. 18...
I have your favour of the 5th. My dear Mrs Adams bids me present her friendly regards to you and Mrs Rush and all your family, and to say to you that she has read your Letter with pleasure excepting what relates to a Gentleman from whom she had before a great Esteem, and all she can Say upon that Subject is that she wished she had not read it. In my jocular prayer to the Saint I meant No...
I give you this Title for the present only. I Shall Scarcely allow you to be a political, moral, or Christian Philosopher, till you retract Some of the Complaints Lamentations, Regrets and Penitences in your Letter of the 13th.—But more of this presently. Mr John Reed, the first Lawyer who left a great Reputation in our State, in the Administration of Governor Shirley was a Councillor, or in...
Handsome Bradford, of thy City, allarmed me, the other day at our Athenaeum in Boston, by telling me, that Dr Rushes Business had amazingly encreased and was encreasing. Knowing thine Ardor in thy Profession, I was apprehensive that thy Zeal for the Health of the Sick would Soon eat thee Up, and consequently that thine Ether would escape from this Colluvies of Humanity to the Regions of...
Instead of preparing for Commencement, I am answering your delicious Letter of the 24th.—But where to begin or where to end! I will follow your own order. If I had ever heard that a Pen of Tacitus had been preserved among the Reliques of Antiquity, I Should Swear you had Stolen it to draw the Character of the most conspicuous moral political and military Character Phenomenon of this Age.— I...
I will not Stand upon Ceremonies, with you, and wait for the Return of a Visit, or an Answer to my last Letter. Whatever proportion of Loyalty to an established Dinasty of Kings, or whatever taint of catholic Superstition there may be in the present Sensations of the Spanish People, I revere the Mixture of pure Patri or however their Conduct may have been excited by British or Austrian Gold, I...
That Rosicrusian Sylph, that Fairy Queen Mab, or that other familiar Spirit whatever it is, that inspires your nightly dreams, I would not exchange, if I had it, for the Dæmon of Socrates. You have more Wit and humour and Sense in your Sleep, than other People I was about to Say, than you have yourself when awake. I know not whether I have ever read two finer Allegories, than the two you have...
The three Classes of People in Boston, who direct our public Affairs are the Same as those you describe in your favour of 22 of Sept. It gives me great pleasure, to learn that our old Friend Mr Clymer is as he always was a pure-American. I cannot however boldly defend the long Continuance of the Embargo. I thought it at first a necessary Measure, but was fully apprehensive it could not be long...
This will be delivered you by my grandson Th Jefferson Randolph, who goes to Philadelphia to attend a course of lectures in Natural history Anatomy & Botany. he will also attend the lecturer in Surgery, but as an amateur, and with a view to the care of a family when he shall have one, in a country situation where we have no surgeons & want them every day. he may then recollect and apply what...