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In Observing the different operation of Whig principles upon different people, I have been led to divide the Whigs of America into the five following classes 1st the Whig from a love of power. 2 The Whig from resentment. 3 The Whig from interest, 4 The Whig from a love of the military life, and lastly the Whig from the love of liberty. I have my eye upon men who belong to each of these...
It would have given me great pleasure to have Spent an hour with you in this place After my return from Genl. Howe’s camp. I could have told you but little of the loss of the enemy on the heights of Bradywine for I confined my Questions to Subjects more interesting to my country, and which were solved without difficulty or restraint. Let us leave to common Soldiers the joy that arises from...
I have little to add to the long letter I wrote to you a few days ago, but that the event of the battle at Germantown on the 4th instant was full of proofs of the truths I formerly communicated to you. We lost a city—a Victory—a campaign by that want of discipline and System which pervades every part of the army. General Conway wept for joy when he saw the Ardor with which our troops pushed...
I fear you will class me with the weeping philosophers of antiquity, but I cannot help it. He who can be happy while his country is wasting her blood, and treasure to no purpose must be more or less than a man. General Gates’ unparalled success gave me great pleasure, but it has not obliterated the remembrance of the disorders I have seen in the army in this department. On the contrary I am...
The disorders of our Army do not proceed from any natural faults in our men. On the contrary I believe the people of America (especially the Natives) are the most tractable Creatures in the world. I Can say with great certainty that I have never yet been disobeyed in a single instance by a Virginian or a New England man in any connection with them in the hospital. I speak therefore from...
Yorktown, 22 January 1778. RC ( Adams Papers ); printed : Benjamin Rush, Letters Letters of Benjamin Rush , ed. L. H. Butterfield, Princeton, 1951; 2 vols. , 1:190–192. Whatever might be said about the graces needed at the French court, Rush praised the choice of the “perfectly honest” Adams as commissioner. Critical of American generalship, Rush yet dreaded the entry of France into the war...
Lancaster, 8 February 1778. RC ( Adams Papers ); printed : Benjamin Rush, Letters Letters of Benjamin Rush , ed. L. H. Butterfield, Princeton, 1951; 2 vols. , 1:199–200. Detailing some of his charges against Dr. Shippen, Rush complained that his alleged personal resentment was the congress’ excuse for not removing the director general of hospitals; therefore, “to restore harmony,” Rush felt...
Your letter written a few days before your embarkation from for France, lays me under an Obligation to renew my correspondence with you. You are pleased to say my letters give you pleasure. This is eno’ for me. Happy shall I esteem myself if thro’ your eminent and useful Station I can convey a single idea that will add a mite to the happiness of our beloved country. Many new events have...
The same Opinion of your Abilities and Zeal for our country which made me rejoice in your accepting of an embassy to France, leads me to rejoice with most of your countrymen in your Safe return to your native Shores. I am sure you cannot be idle nor unconcerned ’till the Vessel in which our All is embarked is safely moored. We stand in greater Need than ever of men of your principles. You may...
Accept of my thanks for your early and puntual Attention to my letter. I have ever thought myself honoured in your friendship, and shall be happy at all times in cultivating a correspondence with you. In your first letter you enquire after the state of our goverment. The best answer I can give to your Question, is that I am Afraid to commit my Opinion of men and measures in our state to...
I cannot help troubling you with a second Answer to your letters on purpose to congratulate you upon the Success of your Schemes for prosecuting the war in the Southern states. Count D’Estang has done wonders. He will be acknowledged by posterity as one of the deliverers of our country. We have just heard that he is safely arrived with all the trophies of his American conquests off the Capes...
This letter will be handed to you by Dr. John Foulke (a Graduate in our University) a young gentleman of a respectable Quaker family who goes to France to finish his Studies in Medicine. He is a youth of a fair character, and promising Abilities, and friendly to the liberties of his country. It gave me great pleasure to hear of your safe Arrival, and favourable reception in Spain. We long to...
The reduction—I will not say loss of Charlestown has produced a new Era in the politicks of America—Such as you and I saw—and felt—and admired in the years 1775 and 76. Our republic cannot exist long in prosperity. We require adversity, and appear to possess most of the republican Spirit when most depressed. The papers will inform you of the exploits of our governments—of our citizens—of our...
Behold the fruits of the french Alliance! Our young men no longer look upon Great Britain as their home or Mother Country, but turn their eyes entirely to France for all the purposes of business and knowledge. The bearer of this letter Mr. Wm. West —a young merchant of excellent character, and of a respectable Quaker family waits upon you with a proof of this assertion, I beg leave to...
The discovery of Arnold’s treachery, and the new Bennington Affair in the South, have given fresh hopes and Spirits to the Whigs. We had forgotten former deliverances under our late losses and mortifica­ tions. But we now find that providence is on our Side, and that our independance is as secure as the everlasting mountains. We have discovered at last that God means that we should live only...
Your favor of Sepr. 20 from Amsterdam came safe to hand. The contents of it were of so important a nature that I took the liberty of publishing them in our newspapers. They were known from the republican and liberal Spirit of the sentiments, to be yours, and were well received by the public. I am happy in finding that your once unpopular name, now gives weight to opinions and measures not only...
The bearer Mr. George Harrison intends to spend a few years in a compting house in Amsterdam. He is the son of a Gentleman who once filled the first office of magistracy in our city, and his family still maintain the first rank among us. The Revd. Mr. White whose political Character and whose office as Chaplain to Congress I presume are well known to you is his Brother in law. I beg your...
Accept of my congratulations upon the Success of your negociations at the Hague. Your countrymen are not insensible of your Zeal and industry in effecting the important event of a connection with the States of Holland. Our hearts vibrate with the hearts of those honest republicans whose petitions and memorials opened the eyes of their rulers to acknowledge our independance. The tories...
Permit an old friend to congratulate you upon your Safe Arrival in your native country. I rejoiced in reading, of the respectful manner in which you were received by your fellow Citizens. You serve a grateful & enlightened people. May you long continue to enjoy their confidence, & may they long - very long continue to enjoy the benefits of your patriotism & knowledge. I have to thank you for...
Your affectionate and instructing letter of Decemr 2nd. did not reach me ‘till yesterday. I Embrace with my Affections, as well as my judgement that form of Government which you have proved from so many Authorities, to be the only One that can preserve political happiness. It was my attachment to a constitution composed of three branches, that first deprived me of the Confidence of the Whigs...
Few events have happened since the 17th of Septemr: 1788, which have afforded more pleasure than your election to the Vice President’s chair. It is the cap–stone of our labors respecting the new government. Mr. Rutledge had some friends in Pennsylvania—but your friends prevailed. Mr. Wilson had great merit in this business. Mr. Morris likewise advised it. There is an expectation here which I...
From the influence as president of the Senate, and a citizen of Massachusetts, that you will have in the Councils of our nation, I have taken the liberty of addressing a few thoughts to you upon the subject of the residence of the Congress of the United States. 1. The active and useful part which the Eastern states have taken in the establishment of our independance & new government, and the...
Accept of my sincere congratulations upon your arrival in New York, and upon your advancement to the second honor in the United States.— Your influence in the Senate over which you have been called to preside, will give you great weight (without a vote) in determining upon the most suitable characters to fill the first offices in government. Pennsylvania looks up with anxious Solicitude for...
Inasmuch As I never mean to solicit an Office of any kind under Congress for myself, I am induced to solicit with the more boldness, Appointments for my friends. Never have I undertook that business in favor of a person of more merit than the bearer of this letter Mr: Peter Baynton—a gentleman of connections, once among the first in our State for Rank and property, and who stands very high in...
I find you, & I must agree , not to disagree , or we must cease to discuss political questions. I could as soon believe that the British parliament had once a right to tax America, as believe that the a fourth major part of the citizens of New York were federal , or that many of the federal minority were so, from proper motives. I know from good authority that some of the leading federalists...
I have been so long accustomed to regard all your opinions upon government with reverence, that I am was disposed upon reading your last letter, to relate suspend my belief in republican systems of political happiness; but a little reflection led me again to adopt them, and upon this single principle, that they have never had a fair tryal. Let us try what the influence of general science &...
I enclose to you a small essay which I consider as a full reply to that part of your letter which defends the latin, and Greek languages.—I shall class them hereafter with negro slavery, & Spirituous liquors, & consider them as equally unfriendly tho’ in a less degree to the progress of morals—knowledge, & religion in the United States.—In a few days I shall reply to Other parts of your...
From an unfortunate concurrence of circumstances, I find myself under the influence of the same difficult command in corresponding with the Vice President of the United States, which the King of Syria gave to the Captains of his chariots.— "Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the King of Israel."— The subjects upon which we differ are monarchy — titles —& the Latin & Greek...
Altho’ we differ in our Opinions About the Latin and Greek languages, and some Other matters of perhaps less consequence, yet we both agree in the propriety & duty of rewarding old & faithful servants of the public. Mr And: Brown who will have the honor of delivering you this letter belongs to that class of worthy citizens. He goes to new york to Solicit an Appointment Under the federal...
Ever since the last week in Octobr I have been engaged in composing & delivering a new course of lectures on the theory & practice of Medicine in the College of this city. This arduous business has confined employed me so closely that it has separated me from my friends,—detatched me from all Other pursuits—and—what I regret most of all, has deprived me for the a while of the pleasure of your...
Your remarks upon the conduct of the tories, and the “young fry” who are now crowding into the Councils of our Country, perfectly accord with my own observations. The present convention & assembly of Pennsylvania, and the present Corporation of Philada: are all filled chiefly with men who were either unknown in 1776, or known only for timidity or disaffection. Your old friends have mingled...
Your last letter is a treasure.—Every sentence in it is full of instruction. I have often contemplated that passion in mankind to concentrate all their homage and admiration in One Man , in all the revolutions which advance knowledge or happiness.—Cicero Observed it, and deplored it in the fame and power of Pompey. I have thought at last that I had discovered in this weakness in human nature,...
He had been educated a lawyer, and stood high in his profession in his native state. He was a most sensible and forcible speaker. Every member of congress in 1776 acknowledged him, to be the first man in the house. Dr. Brownson (of Georgia) used to say, when he spoke, he fancied an angel was let down from heaven to illumine the congress. He saw the whole of a subject at a single glance, and by...
From the early Attachment of most of the gentlemen whose names I mentioned in my former letter, to Independance, I have little doubt of that Subject being talked off with great Affection in our return from Point no Point in the year 1775.— In consequence of the Contents of your last letter, I shall make no material alterations in your political Character. But I must hasten to the principal...
Your letter of the 6th: instant revived a great many pleasant ideas in my mind. I have not forgotten—I cannot forget you. You and your excellent Mrs Adams often compose a subject of conversation by my fire side. We now and then meet with a traveler who has been at Quincy, from whom we hear with great pleasure, not only that you enjoy good health, but that you retain your usual good spirits,...
Philadelphia March 23rd: 1805 I was much gratified by your early answer to my letter, and by your kind inquiries after several branches of my family. My second daughter’s husband’s name is Thomas Manners. He is a branch of the Rutland family. His father is wealthy, but as his estate will be divided among nine Children, my son in law will probably be dependent upon a military Commission for the...
Having been called upon lately to bear a part in the examination & exercises of twenty four Candidates for degrees in Medicine, I have been prevented from attending to my duties to my correspondents for several Weeks. I now sit down to resume the exercise of that duty, by thanking you for your last friendly letter of the first of last Month. I shall first reply to your question relative to the...
Your letters are full of aphorisms. Every paragraph in them suggests new ideas, or revives old ones. You have given a true picture of parties in our Country. We have indeed no national Character, and however much we boast of it, there are very few "true Americans" in the United States. We have four distinct parties in Pennsylvania. 1. old tories. 2. honest federalists. 3 violent democrats. 4....
The hurry always connected with the prevalence of a yellow fever in our City; has prevented my answering your letter of Augst: 25th: at an earlier day. The opinion relative to too close an Alliance with France in the year 1776 was communicated to me by you I think for the first time in Baltimore. I was led from this circumstance to believe you had delivered it on the floor of Congress in that...
I am pleased in reflecting that I destroyed all the documents and Anecdotes I had collected for private memoirs of the American Revolution. I discover from your letters that I have seen nothing but the “Scenery of the business,” and know but little more than what servants who wait upon table know of the secrets of their masters families, of the springs of the events of the war, and of the...
I committed to Mr Vanhan a few days ago, a copy of the new edition of my medical Inquiries and Observations who kindly promised to convey them to you in a small box consigned to Mr Gideon Snow merchent in Boston. Some of the essays contained in them will I hope interest you, particularly those upon Animal life, the influence of physical causes upon morals, and the thoughts upon Old Age....
I avail myself of the first leisure hour I have had since the Conclusion of my lectures to acknowledge your last favor. I shall begin my Answer to it by answering the question with which you concluded it. The Barilla is a native of the seacoast of the United States. It is to be found on the shores of Massachusetts, and of the Delaware states. From the interest you have kindly taken in my...
My long delay in answering your last letter has arisen from two causes—an unusual share of business from an unusually sickly Spring—and the Want of Subjects for a letter that would be interesting to you. I perfectly accord with you in your opinions respecting the tendency, and issue of the present state of things in the World. Never perhaps was there a time in which there was more to fear from...
Herewith you will receive a small publication that contains several new Opinions in Physiology, and which admit of being applied to the cure of several diseases. If you have no inclination to read it, please to put it into the hands of your family physician. He may probably pick up something from it that may be the means of lessning the pain, or preventing the mortality of a disease in your...
At the request of my Wife I called upon a friend of mine a few days ago to borrow “the secret memoirs of the Court of St: Cloud.” He said he had not a copy of it—but politely put into my hands “Cumberlands memoirs of his own life”, which I have since filled up the leisure minutes of the day in reading. It is a pleasant Work, and contains a good deal of information of men and things which would...
You ascribe wonders to the influence of Silence and Secrecy in public men. I agree with you in their effects upon characters, and human Affairs. Dr South says the “world was made for the bold.” But they possess but only half of it,—the other half was made for the “Artful”—among whom I include nearly all silent men. I say nearly all, for we now and then meet with persons who are silent from...
Ever since the receipt of your last letter I have passed my days like an arrow shot from a bow. At a time of life when (to use an expression in one of your letters written to me soon after your return from England) “nature sighs for repose,” I live in a Constant round of business, which employs both body and mind. Even my studies (the times for which are taken from family Society or Sleep) are...
I have seldom been more highly gratified than by the receipt of your letter of Novr 11th. The latter part of it accords perfectly with Opinions I have long cherished. You may see a short account of those Opinions in an Oration delivered before our Philosophical Society upon “the influence of physical Causes upon the moral faculty” published in the first Volume of my Inquiries. They shocked for...
I have been waiting like Horace’s Clown till the Stream of my business should so far lessen that I could pass over it, in order to acknowledge the receipt of your interesting letter upon the Subject of the perfectibility of human nature, but as that Stream, from adventitious currents pouring into it, rather encreases, than lessens, I have seized a few moments merely to testify my gratitude for...
The difficult and complicated labors of my professorship consisting of teaching, examining, reviewing theses &c &c being now nearly over, I sit down with great pleasure to pay my epistolary debts. You are my largest, and most lenient Creditor. The first dividend of my time of Course is due to you. I concur with you in your reflections upon the Western insurrection, but not altogether in your...