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I have given the above extract exactly as I find it in a book of my venerated parent that I have just been reading, and which is full of interesting anecdote. I avow it in part as my motive, that I may ask you what toast you would give now if I had the happiness of being in your company at Quincy. That we shall have to fight longer is, as I intimated to you a few days ago, highly probable. The...
In further answer to your favor of the 20th of last month, I beg leave to say, that I have just returned from the visit I talked of making to Philadelphia. I find it to be as decidedly the opinion of my mother and brothers, as I confess it was my own, that my fathers letters should not be given up for the press. If, therefore, you should write to Doctor Mease, may we venture to ask it of your...
R. Rush presents his affectionate respects to Mr Adams, with the hope that Mrs Adams and himself are both well. He begs the favor of Mr Adams to present to Mrs A. the enclosed letter. On his return to this shabby village the day before yesterday after a month’s absence on a visit to beautiful Philadelphia, R. R. had the pleasure to find Mr Adams’s favor of the 26th of April, sealed with a...
On Sunday last I saw the President, and he mentioned to me that not a single line had been received from our commissioners in Russia since they left the U. States. He spoke of it with surprise, and seemed at a loss to account for it, unless some dispatches from them had miscarried, as it is near eight months since they went away. Yesterday he mentioned to me in conversation, that, by the late...
I must insist upon it, notwithstanding the authority of your veto, that the subject is truly a noble one for the painter. A great patriarch, one of the chief founders of his country’s liberties, the steady advocate of her rights at the courts of foreign potentates as well as in all departments at home, is permitted by a kind Providence to live as it were into posterity, beholding the vast...
Your very obliging and gratifying favor of the 17th of this month, with all its accompaniments, was safely received, and I have to return my particular acknowledgments for your goodness in sending them. The letter from Ghent was like all other letters from the same pen, and I have no higher commendation to bestow upon it. It would have increased, beyond measure, the value of your favor to me...
The last kind favor that I had from you, mentioned your indisposition, and as it is a great while since, I am not without my apprehensions that you may be still unwell. Out of your own immediate family there is no one, sir, in America, or the world, who feels a livelier interest in your health and happiness than I do. I know how old you are in service, in honors, and in years. But years of...
I have taken the liberty to copy for your eye the enclosed lines, written by St George Tucker of Virginia, on being asked why he had ceased to court the inspirations of the muse. They struck me as very touching and beautiful both as to sentiment and manner. If you have not seen them before, perhaps they may afford you a few minutes pleasure; and the hope that they may do so has induced me to...
It is no interference with my publick employments to write to you. I can command some portion of almost every day, and the priviledge of using it in this way is most gratifying to me. Michiavel says war ought to be the only study of a prince. We shall indeed, Sir, be taught, by terrible experience, that it must henceforth be more the study of our republick. One of our Colonels told me not long...
I was made happy by your last esteemed favor, from its assuring me that your health was restored to its usual tone. I lately spent an evening with young Mr Dallas, who came home in the John Adams. He is an intelligent young gentleman, and deals out a great deal of European anecdote, of Lords and Emperors, Kings and princes. He speaks with nothing but praise of Mr J. Q. Adams; who, he says, was...
Out of the circle of your own family, there are none who can feel more sorrow at the heavy affliction that has fallen upon you than we do here. We heard the melancholy news two days ago. “What exalted and long-tried excellence, exclaimed my wife, has gone to the tomb.” “As soon as my confinement was over,” she continued, “I had intended that my first letter, after one to my own mother, should...
An old Scotch woman, in North-Shields, signing herself Ann Hewison, has sent me a manuscript Quarto of what she calls extracts from the diary of William Langborn, an American officer, kept during his travels through several parts of Europe. I copy, word for word, the following passages. London July 18. 1786. “Saturday—Did myself the pleasure, agreeably to yesterdays invitation, of dining with...
Your valued favors of the 5th and 10th, have gratified, instructed, and consoled me. As far as I stand informed, the administration have never dreamed that the war, or the treaty of Ghent, diminished the nicest hair of our rights to the fisheries, as we have ever before enjoyed them. On the 10th of November 1814, the joint mission wrote to the British commissioners exactly as follows—“In...
I had hoped that this letter would have shaped itself by some of the agreeable topicks touched in your two most agreeable favors of the 5th and 20th; the former of which my better half has put into one of her own drawers claiming it as her own property and desiring her most dutiful compliments and acknowledgements for the handsome things said of her; and the latter of which I received...
I beg you will do me the honor to accept a Copy of a discourse I delivered on the 4th of July at this place. The present crisis of our country, sir, is most momentous; but it seems greatly to be feared that the powerful and intelligent state of Massachusetts will not yield her zealous cooperation to the nation in its present struggle. With constant wishes for your health and happiness allow...
After having read, for a fifth time, the elegant letter of Mr. J. Q. Adams, I return it with renewed thanks; and as in the postscript to your favor of the 6th instant I think I recognise the hand writing of Mrs Adams, I must beg my respectful compliments and thanks to her also, to whom I feel indebted in part for the pleasure and benefit of perusing the letter in question. And next, sir, for...
For the first time since I was a lad, I have been making an excursion this season. Health and recreation were the double motive, though I am glad to say the latter predominated. I set out on horseback for the mountains in Virginia. I had never been into the antient dominion before, except merely upon its edge. Although it is filled with “Blenheims,” and “Hagleys” and “Mount Airys.” I was still...
Encouraged by the very flattering permission you have given me, I am venturing to say to you in the form of a letter, (a liberty which I hope you will pardon,) that I have read the “review of the works of Fisher Ames.” And I must be allowed to say, that I have read it with the pleasure naturally belonging to the perusal of so able a performance. Although I carefully treasure up every thing...
After thanking you, most cordially, for the affectionate interest you have taken in my late indisposition, I must now say that I have happily gotten rid of all my complaints. Daily rides and walks this fine weather, with fish, oysters, and other good things in moderation, are fast giving me my usual strength. I hope soon to be better than ever. The Jesuits bark I hope I shall be able to do...
I think I must have been the debtor. But be that as it may, I seized, with equal avidity and delight the letter that had upon it the well-known and always welcome Quincy post mark and the commencement of which flattered me so much. Time and knowledge are powerful agents in working upon the judgment. I never knew Mr Dexter until the last supreme court. I had, indeed, seen him before, conversed...
Mr Hay is the son in law of Mr Munroe, and the day after I received your last favor I took the liberty to read a passage from it to the latter. This morning he requested of me an extract of it to send to Mr Hay, saying that he knew how highly it would gratify him. I ha ve cheerfully consented. Thus, Sir, while your kind correspondence is a source of pleasure and of pride to me, I make it also...
Grattan said of Burke lately, “that he had read more than all mankind, and that his command of history gave him the powers of prophecy.” I do not say it idly, sir,—I say it because I believe it,—the book of history lies more open to you than to any individual, at least, on this side of the water. Pray what is to be the end of the great scenes that are passing? What is to become of poor France?...
The enclosed papers have just been sent on to R. Rush by this days southern mail, and he loses not a moment in forwarding them to Mr Adams, with renewed apologies, with renewed thanks, with cordial respects and compliments, with a hope that they will find him in his usual health. His mother also, under whose roof he now has the happiness to be a guest for a few days, desires that he will make...
A day or two before I had the pleasure to receive your last valued favor of the 3rd of February, the governor of this state was pleased to honor me with the commission of Attorney general. It so happened that, at that moment our criminal courts here were upon the eve of sitting, which suddenly threw upon me a good deal of publick business. This is the chief cause to which I owe the loss, until...
Your opportunities of obtaining correct information from St Petersburgh, were long superior to those of any one else. In the loss of your accustomed fountain of supply, I send you a few extracts that I have copied from a couple of letters lately received from Mr Harris. I think they will afford you pleasure. Mr Russel writes from Stockholm under date of May 27th, that, the crown Prince was so...
Christmas Day I sit down to offer you the compliments of the season, in the most respectful, cordial, and friendly way in which they can be tendered. May you live to see many Christmases more, and may each find you in possession of health to enjoy the blessings and fame that surround you; of the faculties of a mind more full of wisdom as age continues to come over it; and of a heart still, as...
Since writing the enclosed, which I wrote at home, I have come to the Treasury building where mr Nourse has stepped into my office to ask if I have heard any thing of the report of the morning. It seems it is, that a flag of truce arrived at Annapolis yesterday after a short passage from England with dispatches from Lord Castlereagh to our government, which came on by express from Annapolis to...
I was more gratified sir, than I can express at the letter which you did me the honor to write to me. The very evening before it came to hand I had finished reading, in course, the last of the lectures upon rhetoric and oratory, which for several weeks had occasionally yielded me great delight during the intervals of a busy profession. The just and often original reflections which they...
Your kind letter of the 13th has gratified me very much. When I spoke of New York having joined in with Pennsylvania and Virginia, I alluded to the issue of the late election for governor there. From a variety of local causes existing in that state, this last election seems to have been the only one they have had since the war began which fairly brought to a test the relative numbers of the...
As soon as I received your acceptable and instructing letter of the 8th of this month, I wrote to a friend in Philadelphia, who is much in the literary and political way, to beg he would inform me, if he knew, who had been writing or preparing to write a commentary upon the “Defence of the American Constitutions,” for that I had understood there was such a work on hand, if not published. As to...
The winter is always the busy season here. With me, it is especially so from the fortnight that precedes the session of the supreme court, until its close. Therefore, before the arrival of that time, I must, while I can, have the pleasure of writing to you. It is chiefly that I may thank you for one or two of your late favors. That from “Montezillo”, written on Christmas day, I have...
Since writing to you this morning, I have determined upon doing a bold thing. I do not often write for the newspapers, as other duties and studies give me for the most part, as I would hope, better employment. But, a week or ten days ago, as the first small effort of industry after my recovery, I threw together some loose reflections upon our late war, which are here enclosed in three half...
You have seen so much, read so much, and thought so much, of publick affairs under all aspects; you know so well what is becoming in national dignity and spirit, and what is due also to policy and seemliness, that I declare, according as your ripe judgment may disapprove or sanction the enclosed paper, will I either put it by, or lay it before those who have the power, if they think fit, to...
According to the intimation contained in one of the letters I have had the pleasure to write to you, I took the liberty of enclosing to Mr St George Tucker, though entirely unknown to him; not the copy, but the original, of your favor to me of the 13th of August. It was the one in which you acknowledged the receipt of his beautiful little poem, and I was sure the original, in your own hand...
Since I read in the newspapers the address which you delivered in November to the convention of Massachusetts, as President of that body, the scene has been so often before my eyes, that I can no longer remain silent. As a political incident, its character is memorable. If I could forget the scene of general Washington surrendering up his sword at Annapolis, I should say that it was the finest...
Since you first allowed me the honor and gratification of corresponding with you, I have observed, that important events in the political world have trodden so closely upon each other that they interpose themselves between the successive favors I receive from you, and to such a degree as often to bear out of the view the subject of the last by drawing the eye towards some new occurrence, or...
At the very beginning of the last month my new appointment was bestowed upon me, and I was suddenly thrown into the midst of the supreme court the very day after, without the least previous acquaintance with any of its business. There I have been, day in and day out, ever since until last thursday blundering on in an agony of embarrassment and ignorance, doing the business of the court and not...
It was only the day before yesterday that Mr Andrew Eliot handed me your letter dated the 5th of May. Although you do not speak of him as being particularly known to you yet the mere circumstance of his bringing a letter to me from your hand was gratifying, and constitutes the highest claim to my attention to him. As yet I have seen him but once when he delivered it to me; but in whatever way...
I do not know that I have ever yet made my acknowledgments to you for the favor you were kind enough to do me in sending me a letter by the Revd. Mr Everett. That I was not fortunate enough to make his acquaintance I consider a real loss. I knew of his being here only the day before he went away, and was unlucky enough, (a thing that very rarely happens with me,) to have an engagement that...
I have been obliged within the last year or two to be very much of a law student. The solitude of Washington during the present and past season, has favored the habit; and for three or four months I have been reading and reading until I have found myself alternately a languid book-worm, and a heated enthusiast. The three last volumes of Robinson’s admiralty reports systematically; Pothier on...
Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes. Nothing can be more applicable to our situation, and the late offer of Britain. I repeated it in conversation a few days ago in the hearing of Mr Ingersoll, of the house or representatives from Pennsylvania, and I have since heard with pleasure that he took occasion to thunder it out in his place at the capitol, and that it caught the ear of the house to a...
I beg you will do me the honor to accept a copy of a discourse I delivered on the 4th of July at this place. The present crisis of our country, Sir, is most momentous; but it seems greatly to be feared that the powerful and intelligent state of Massachusetts will not yield her zealous cooperation to the nation in its present struggle. With constant wishes for your health and happiness allow...
I must be allowed to offer you my heartiest congratulations upon Commodore Perrys great victory on lake Erie. I know of nobody who will take as much pleasure in it as you. I know of nobody, sir, who has so just a title to rejoice at our splendid naval trophies as you. The Navy is yours. Hull must have been your officer. Decatur I know was. Bainbridge, Jones, Lawrence, Burrows, all of...
Mr Dallas insists upon it that the emperor Alexander is a republican. As one proof of it he tells this anecdote. Conversing with Louis the 18th, he said “Sir, were I so happy as to reign over such a people as the French, it should be my study to make them perfectly free.” This is a noble sentiment even if it does not prove him a republican. Kings and Emperors, by the way, are very apt to be...
You could have sent me no greater treat than the letter of Mr Adams which you were so kind as to enclose in your last favor. I had before now, and from the best sources, heard that his diplomatic correspondence on a file in the department of state exhibited when, taken from the beginning, a fulness, an elegance, an accuracy, an extent of observation, a sagacity, a profoundness of political...
Your life will never cease to be useful to your country. In spite of yourself, in spite of your years, you will always belong to it. The incident, from alluding to which I could not refrain in my letter of February, has been followed up by another scarcely of less interest, and which perhaps may one day produce effects still more worthy to be noted. I mean, Sir, the address to the cadets,...
Professor Cooper of Carlisle in Pennsylvania, formerly Tom Cooper the friend of Dr Priestly, is, I imagine, one of the most learned men in this, or in any country. His genius is universal, and his attainments seem without limit. Abandoning politicks, he is more usefully engaged in scientifick and literary discussions. My father used to doubt whether he or Priestly had most knowledge. He now...
Mr St George Tucker is, I believe, a native of one of the West India islands. He was brought to Virginia quite a boy before the revolution, fought with reputation at Camden as a militia major, was next a lawyer, and has held several civil stations in Virginia, where, as I understand, he has always been greatly esteemed for his virtues and learning. He is now, on the late appointment of...
R. Rush presents his respectful compliments to Mr Adams, and begs leave to enclose him a note which he has just received from Mr Monroe. In consequence of it, R. R. has, in the face of all past trespasses, ventured to send the papers back again to Mr Monroe. This will add a few days more to delays hitherto incurred, but to such good purpose that R. R. flatters himself with the hope of...
The pleasure I usually derive in opening a letter from you, was considerably abated at the receipt of your last favor, because it spoke of your indisposition. I hope the cessation of your north and north east winds, with a return of dryer weather, will have restored you to health. I hope that years of tranquility and happiness are yet to shine upon you before the close of your illustrious...