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I have yours of Feb. 20 and 23. The inclosed five sheets are the rough draught, which I have requested and you have promised to return. I shall burn it because I have made another Copy more correct in which I have left out the Name and much of the trumpery. In strictness, we have nothing to do with the question whether impressments of seamen are legal or illegal in England. Whatever Iniquity...
If I could dream as much Wit as you, I think I should wish to go to Sleep for the rest of my Life, retaining however one of Swifts Flappers to awake me once in 24 hours to dinner, for you know without a dinner one can neither dream nor Sleep. Your Dreams descend from Jove, according to Homer. Though I enjoy your Sleeping Wit and acknowledge your unequalled Ingenuity in your dreams, I cannot...
Though it is “a terrible thing” for “eyes with reading almost blind” to go over between three and four hundred pages of ms. History, I have read “the General history of the United States” with more delight than it would be prudent for me to express. It is written in the pure spirit of an upright and faithful and impartial American. I see in it none of those panegyrical Romances which compose...
I rec’d yesterday your favour of the Month of August 1808 and if the following answers to your Questions will be any gratification to your curiosity or any Aid to your Work, they are at your Service. 1. My Father was John Adams, the Son of Joseph Adams the Son of another Joseph Adams, the Son of Henry Adams who all lived independent New England Farmers and died and lie buried in this Town of...
On the first of the month I received your favour of the 22d. ult. with a copy of a speech of a ci-divant Minister to the Six Nations. Having been ill of the prevailing influenza, and expecting, mail after mail, to receive your answer to my letters of the 20th. and 23d. of Feb. I have delayed this acknowledgment. I hope that this evening will relieve my impatience to see the speculations you...
I have received your very civil Letter of the third of this Month with Emotions very similar to those which I felt, many years ago upon the following Occasion.— Returning from Holland to Paris in 177 8 4 I was invited to dine with my Wife and Daughter by the Baron De Stael, Ambassador from Sweeden, As I was the first of the Corps Diplomatic who arrived, the Ambassador was shewing me a fine...
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...
Your Anecdotes are always extreamly Aprospros and none of them more So than those in your Letter of Mar 2d The King of Spain who attempted to purify the Streets of Madrid was the Father and the Grand father of the two Animals now in Napoleons Menagerie. And the only bon mot that ever I heard of him was upon that occasion. He Said “his good People of Madrid were like Babies who having dirtied...
My solicitude to see your strictures upon Mr. Pickering’s Letter was satisfied by the last mail. I acquit myself, by the enclosure of the sheets, of one of the stipulations upon which you transmitted them to me—the other has not been violated. Nothing on the Impressment of our Seamen, has yet appeared which unfolds the subject so lucidly and satisfactorily either as to law or expediency. I am...
I have received your favours of March 11 and 14th. In answer to the first I wish to know whether you remember General Washington’s answer to Adet the successor of Genet. It was written by the gentleman in question and by the spirit of it represented the President almost as ardent a Jacobin as himself. He had not yet been converted from his Gallicism and Jacobinism. You remember the thing “Born...
The slight personal acquaintance I have had with you would not entitle me to the honour of addressing to you a letter, which might take off your attention from more interesting employments. But, as I have had the opportunity of obtaining a Handbill, said to be printed yesterday in Northampton & put into rapid circulation in this neighbourhood, in which your name & influence are to be employed...
Inclosed is a Letter which I have this morning received from a particular Friend of mine, who is a Representative from the Town of Northhampton & Son in Law to the late Judge Henshaw, Mr. Bates who feels for you the highest respects. Knowing the great weight which your opinions justly greatly have in the Community, & the evils which our Country has suffered from a misquotation of them; I...
I agree with Sidney as quoted in your favour of the 13th. That civil War is preferable to Slavery and I add that foreign War and civil War together at the Same time are preferable to Slavery. We hear very often declamations on the demoralizing tendency of War, but as much as I hate War, I cannot be of the opinion, that frequent Wars are So corrupting to human Nature as long Peace. In a Peace...
Seeing a letter this morning in the Chronicle (a paper which has universally been calumniateing your Carecter both public and private) with your signature too it disapproveing of what is called Mr Gores War report and as the Chronicle says disapproveing of Mr Gore in toto, I avail my self of the preveledge of one of your Children and an infant too and one who since he has been able to list has...
being a perticuler Friend of yours, Take the liberty to inclose this Letter, and ask the indulgence of an answer respecting its being a fabrication as is thoughts by some of your old substanciel Friends I want an answer for my own Sattisfaction and will not make any use of it then the answer shall Dictate, Should I be indulged. I am with the Highest / Consideration your / Excelences Very Huml....
I recd. your letter of the 9th. inst—(nearly a fortnight after its date) accompanying Dr. Trumbull’s M S. Hist. “with more delight than it would be prudent in me to express.” Your approbation of this History, is more praise to it its author, than would be the praise of any other man living, because I believe no other man is so well acquainted with the history of this country, & at the same...
I have always cherrished an affection for you for many reasons which determine the Understanding and touch the heart.— Your Father Solicited me to receive him into my Office as a Student at Law. Having at that time three Clerks, and the Rules of the Bar as well as the Orders of the Court prohibiting any Barrister to entertain more than that number at any one time, I was compelled, much against...
I cannot pretend to any extraordinary Knowledge of the History of this Country, or of what a general History of it ought to contain nor is my Letter written with Sufficient Care for publication: but as this is equally true of every other Thing of mine that has been published you are quite at Liberty to make what use of this you please. My Life has been passed in too much hurry to allow me to...
I know not when my sensibilities have been more exquisitely touched than they were by the perusal of your favour of the 20th. inst. and by the concluding sentence of your Letter to Messrs. Wright and Lyman, which I read at the same time. Thoroughly sensible as I am of the wrong which has been done you, I am yet persuaded that the natural effect of your own reflections upon it is to its...
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...
A continued headache has compelled me, to delaÿ an answer to your favour of the 16th of Febr. from daÿ to daÿ; tho I receive no higher gratifications than from these. It is indeed far beyond, what I could reasonably have flattered me with, that, in your far advanced age, you So often would have condescended, in taking notice of mÿ letters, and bestowing So manÿ marked proofs of your...
A few days since, I saw a letter written by his Excellency John Adams. For years I have seen nothing of a political nature, that gave such pleasing, tender, and grateful emotions to my very soul. I have been well acquainted with the names of John Adams , Samuel Adams , John Hancock , and James Bowdoin , ever since I left Cambridge Colege, in the year 1763. Oh, sir, the scenes that these...
I have long felt an inclination to write to you, two circumstances forbid me, want of matter, & having no personal weight to supply its place. Love and venerration, to Gentlemen, as well as to Ladies, sometimes prompt to a familiarity bordering on rudeness. Thus in time past I feared I might be led into an error in addressing you. The strong existence of those sensations, is the only apology I...
I received your pleasant and most obliging Letter of the 3d of March last, it answered my Request; I find you have amidst the Turmoils of State pre d your eligant Classic Tale, and your Observations in Respect of the Views, and Conduct of the honble J Q. Adams, so perfectly coinside with my Sentiments, that I can not refrain to break again on your Patience, and solicit your attention. I must...
I was glad to see in your paper of the 7th of this month, the extract from the Baltimore Federal Republican , for many reasons, which may be explained in due time; one or two may be stated now. 1. I was pleased with the candid acknowledgment, that “Mr. Adams never was a favorite with the leading men of the federal party." The words leading men will require some explanation and some limitations...
The institution of an Embassy to France in 1799, was made upon principle, and in conformity to a system of foreign affairs, formed upon long deliberation, established in my mind, and amply opened, explained and supported in Congress, that is a system of eternal Neutrality, if possible, in all the wars of Europe, at least eighteen years before President Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality...
FROM Mr. Murray, the American Minister at the Hague, who had been appointed by President Washington, I received assurances from the French government similar to those in Mr. Barlow’s letter and so many others. They were conveyed from the French Directory to Mr. Pichon, Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires of the French Republic near the Batavian Republic, in the absence of the French...
Thank you for your favor of the 1st. I might have quoted Job as well as St Paul, as a Precedent: but as I mix Religion with Politicks as little as possible, I chose to confine myself to Cicero. you advise me to write my own Life. I have made Several Attempts but it is so dull an Employment that I cannot endure it. I look So much like a Small Boy in my own Eyes that with all my Vanity I cannot...
I rejoice to find that Pensilvania has returned to reason and Duty in the affair of the Miss Writtenhouses. Our Massachusetts Legislature have not gone So far as yours did: but they have gone too far. I rejoice too at the Honourable Acquittal of your worthy Brother, but lament the Allarming Attack upon the choicest Institution of Liberty the Tryal by Jury. Without this there can be no legal...
Permit me to inclose to your address the Portsmouth bill of Mortality for 1809, and at the same time to assure you that my best wishes accompany you, through life. I am Sir / Your most Obt / Servt. MHi ; MBAt : Adams Papers.
I have received your Letter of the tenth and read Some of the printed Papers inclosed and intend to read the rest. You Long Since let me in some degree into the Nature of your Claim and I always thought it founded in Justice, but have never been able to assist you to any Effect in procuring Relief. Now I am out of the Question except as an individual. You are persuaded that “Posterity and...
I have received your favor of April 5th. I agree with you that our prosperity has been as great as that of any People that ever existed, and our Massachusetts and national Constitutions are better than any that I have known or read, as long as they are administered by the People and their Representatives according to their spirit and true Principles. How long this will be depends upon the...
I have received your respectful letter of the 21 March. It is not now necessary for me to say any thing concerning many of the Topics. To explain myself fully and enter into the Histories of past occurrences alluded to would require a Volume. I have forsaken the persons and Interest of none of my Friends. The Leaders to whom the Federal Party has now blindly abandoned itself were never my...
During some time past my time has been devoted to writing the History of Mr. Jefferson’s administration with an historical sketch of the affairs of the Union from the period of the adoption of the Federal Constitution: as the sale of the work in Massachusetts will be considerably enhanced by the Sanction of your name—I have intruded upon your politeness to ask permission to place it at the...
WHEN I had received that authentic act of the sovereign authority of France, a copy of which is inserted in my last letter to you, communicated by their Secretary of State, through their Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires and our Minister at the Hague, fully complying with all my requisitions, upon mature deliberation I determined to nominate a Minister to France. Some of the...
I received your favour of March 31 in due time: But I am become all at once and very unexpectedly a man of business and of so much importance in the world that I have not found time to acknowledge it till now. You say your sensibilities were exquisately touched by my last letter to you and my Letter to Wright and Lyman which you received at the same time. The word Sensibilities has a very...
A few words more on the subject of pressing. In strictness, we have nothing to do with the question, whether impressments of seamen in England are legal or illegal. Whatever iniquity or inhumanity that government may inflict on their own subjects, we have no authority to call them to an account for it. But when they extend that power to us, a foreign nation, it is natural for us, and it is our...
THE gentlemen of the Senate informed me, that they came to confer with me on the subject of the nomination of Mr. Murray to France; that there was a considerable dissatisfaction with it, and they desired to know for what reasons I had preferred Mr. Murray to so many others abroad and at home. My answer to the gentlemen was, that I thought Mr. Murray a gentleman of talents, address and...
Your Letter of 29 January Last Came duly to For which be pleased to Except my moste respectful thanks Particularly as it Contained a few strokes of your pollitical oppinion in these Turbulent Times. I find Sir, My Last Letter to you, wants Explenation—As to what I observed of your Son I Wanted Him in the Senate one Season more That He Might have had an opportunity of Displaying His Superior...
I have the honour at this time to address you for the purpose of requesting your acceptance of the Report of the Examination before the House of Commons into the Conduct of the Duke of York late Commander in chief, which is herewith transmitted by the Messenger of the United States Reed, in the Pacific via New York. I trust it will not prove uninteresting, and that you will pardon the liberty...
An individual, obscure, & to yourself unknown, begs leave to address you. May I be permitted, Sir, to suggest, that a love for that Country, of which I, with millions of my fellow citizens, consider you the Father, is my only apology for this intrusion. I have long viewed, with grief, the unhappy division which has rent the United States into two great political parties, & well nigh armed them...
THE message mentioned in my last letter, was in these words: Gentlemen of the Senate , The proposition of a fresh negociation with France, in consequence of advances made by the French government, has excited so general an attention and so much conversation, as to have given occasion to many manifestations of the public opinion, from which it appears to me, that a new modification of the...
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 &...
I was duly favoured with yours of the 24th. ult. The species of sensibility excited by your Letters in March, are defined by the interest I take in whatever affects your repose, your happiness, and your just claims on the affection, confidence and gratitude of a Country reared under your paternal care. If it can be necessary to be more particular—they were the various and refined emotions...
A Dispute existing at New–Orleans involving property to an immense amount and also very interesting questions of a legal and Constitutional nature; I thought it would probably gratify your Curiosity, to know precisely the circumstances of a Case of which you might have received an indistinct Report I therefore have taken the Liberty to send you two Pamphlets lately printed upon the subject...
At first I intended to encumber your paper with no Documents but such as were absolutely necessary for my own vindication. But as the peace with France in eighteen hundred was not only an event of great importance in itself, but produced demonstrations of the prejudices, passions, views, designs and systems of parties, more perhaps than any other; I hope you will allow me room for such other...
Mr. Hamilton, in his famous pamphlet, page 23, says, “the conduct pursued bore sufficient marks of courage and elevation to raise the national character to an exalted height throughout Europe.” “Much it is to be deplored that we should have been precipitated from this proud eminence, without necessity, without temptation.” It is the habitual practice of our parties, to affirm or deny, as they...
Your Letter of the 15th April I have had the honor to receive; and have read it over and over again with great pleasure. I cannot let go the pleasing hope, that future historians may record with truth & impartiality, the glorious deeds of our revolutionary Patriots, whose preeminent merit in founding our Nation, and framing our System of Government, entitles them to the gratitude and is a...
On the 6th of March a letter was written by the Secretary of State by my order, in the following words, to Mr. Murray : Philadelphia, March 6, 1799. Sir, I enclose a commission constituting you, in conjunction with the Chief Justice Elsworth and Patrick Henry , Esq. of Virginia, Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the French Republic.—By the President’s direction, I enclose...
In a A Letter from Alexander Hamilton concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams Esq. President of the United States printed at New York for John Lang, by George F. Hopkins, 1800. Copy right Secured; the Subject of the Negotiation with France in that year is considered. In the twenty fourth page it is Said that “The Session which ensued the Promulgation of the Dispatches of our...