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Passy, 9 July 1778. printed : JA, Diary and Autobiography Diary and Autobiography of John Adams , ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. , 4:149–150 . Adams discussed Great Britain’s shortsighted and self-defeating policy in refusing a just treaty and, as an example of Britain’s self-deception and misunderstanding of America, pointed to a peace proposal, rejected out of...
Philadelphia, 8 Dec. 1791. Having received “the Pears and the curious fluted Cymbling which Mr. Gerry has been so good as to send them,” the president and Mrs. Washington “beg his acceptance of their best thanks for this mark of polite attention.” George D. Smith catalog #172, 1912–13, item 521. Cymling was a contemporary name for pattypan squash ( Shannon, American Dictionary of Culinary...
Letter not found. 14 February 1813. Acknowledged in Gerry to JM, 20 Feb. 1813 , as enclosing a certificate of Gerry’s election as vice president. A copy of the certificate, which reproduced the Senate resolution of 11 Feb. 1813 that had specified its wording and required that it be “laid before the President,” survives (2 pp.; NHi; printed in Annals of Congress Debates and Proceedings in the...
I return the correspondence in ten Numbers with Thanks for the perusal of them. They are indeed curious. I cannot reconcile myself to the opinion of one Law for a Judge and another for a Governor. Nor can I believe that Judges have So much Legislative Authority as to make Laws by Implications, Inferences, Constructions So remote and So Strained. If Judges undertake to make gag Laws they Should...
Before the Arrival of your kind Letter by Wingrove I had heard, from various quarters, of your Marriage and had received the most agreable Accounts of the Character of the Lady. give me leave to congratulate you, on this happy Event. Nothing can be more pleasing than the Transition from the Turbulence of War and Politicks to the Tranquility of domestick Life, in the Arms of a Lady of so much...
I find with some Surprise, in looking over unanswered Letters, One from yourself of 26 August. We gave Letters to Mr Wiger; but I must own I was not much fel fascinated with his conversation; and if his principles of honour and integrity are pure, I have since heard so little in favour of his discretion, that I think Govt ought to be cautious of the Trusts they commit to him. The sympathy of...
I thank you for your address to the Senate. I wish the Presidents Message, your address, and Governor Strongs speech might be printed together in every News-paper. There are pretty stories universally circulating here of your fortuitous journey in the Stage with Colonel Pickering. I have heard them with pleasure, for they really do honour to both. They are really good natured. The Millenium...
I thank you for your polite communication of the Speech to your Legislature. The solid & seasonable truths so emphatically inculcated in it, can not fail to do much good. The noise & anger which it is exciting, prove that the faction is deeply stung by the exposure of its guilt, and will increase the public indignation, by rousing a more diffusive attention to the subject. The delay of Mr....
There are many parts of your Letter I have omitted, indeed it requires more Leisure than I have to do it Justice. Men of Cander and Discernment, you observe, have thought that my Predecessor erred, in some particulars. This may be and who has not? But you must remember that the French were always antifederalists. Always opposed and countenanced and stimulated the Party that opposed the federal...
I have received your favours of the 8th. and 10th and the volume of Benjamin Edes’s gazettes printed at Watertown between the 5th of June 1775 and the 9th. of December 1776. I am much obliged to you and to Mr Austin, for the Loan of this prescious collection of Memorials I read last Fall and Winter, The Scottish Chiefs, Thadeus of Warsaw and The Exiles of Siberia; and Scotts Lay, Marmion and...
Some day next Week Mr. John Thaxter, will Sett off, on his Journey for York Town. You may remember, the Want of Secretaries and Clerks, which We suffered before I came away, and that I agreed to send you one or more. Mr. Thaxter is of a good Family, was educated at H. Colledge, and has Spent three Years in the study of the Law in my office, and was last Summer Admitted to the Bar. You may...
I have been obliged as you will note to avail myself of your indulgence in answering your favor the 20th. Ult. I have looked over attentively your observations at the Cambridge Meeting, and tho’ I do not enter into the aptitude of all your observations, I perceive in them a very interesting view of our public affairs. On the question whether a publication of them would be useful, I am...
I have this morning received your favor of the fourth & immediately communicated it to the present Sec. of State Gen Marshall who will look into the papers relative to the subject & bring it soon to a conclusion—A business which ought to have been done last fall.—I have taken a view of the federal city & its environs as far as Mount Vernon & am well pleased with the whole. I think Congress...
The Mail of last Week brought me your favor of the 7th. Never having entertained a doubt of your friendship, the trouble you have taken to remove a supposed suspicion of it, would have given me concern were it not overballanced by the pleasure I felt at receiving, in the same instant, fresh assurances of your esteem & regard for me. Declarations thereof on your part, require candor &...
I have this moment written a Message to the Senate nominating you to be an Envoy Extraordinary to the French Republic. Knowing as I did Mr Dana’s aversion to the Sea, and his continual dread of his Mother’s fate, I was always apprehensive he would decline and should have nominated you at first, if I had not been overruled by the opinions of many Gentlemen that Mr. Dana’s Experience in this...
The Baron de Arundl, desires a Letter of Introduction to some Gentleman in Congress from me, and I dont know to whom to write upon this occasion better than to you. I inclose you some of our Constitutions. A vessell has arrived at L’orient, with a Paper of 8 April, and there are Letters to the Comtess de la Lucerne, and others perhaps as late as the 15th. but not a Line from Congress to any...
I have this moment your Letter of the 10th. That Man must have more Skill in Intrigue than any that I have been acquainted with who can Sap the foundation of the Confidence I have in Mr Gerry....No Such Attempt has been made. All have confessed to me your honour and Integrity—Some have expressed doubts of your orthodoxy in the Science of Government—others have expressed fears, of an...
Yours of the 4. is before me. Mr. Dana, I think will accept. I have no personal Objection to either of the Gentlemen you mention. You know more of the political Character of one of them, than I do. With the other I never had any personal Misunderstanding. He has Abilities and he has had his Merit. But he has been in the Center of Disputes so much, that you must have learned perhaps more of his...
I this moment recieve your [favor] of the 22d. Nine days before that, to wit, May 13. I had [written to you my last] letter acknoleging the [receipt of yours] of May [4.] […] that that of Apr. 4. with the [one for] Monroe […] hand. My letter was directed to yourself ‘to the care of Mr. Osgood New York.’ from which I hoped it would be stopped there as I did not superscribe the place of your...
I duly recd. your favor of the 25th. inclosing the Report of the Adjutant Genl. The latter I have put into the hands of the Secy. of War; whose local knowledge will aid him in appreciating the difficulties pointed out by that officer. I hope they will be in a great measure overcome, by the judicious course you have taken in consequence of the Call made on your portion of the Natnl. Militia....
The inclosed Letters I Sent to M r Jay in Cypher, but as the Conversations with the King and Queen have been reported by Lord Carmarthen and the Lord and Ladies in waiting on the Queen, and are become generally known, there is no longer a Necessity of so much mystery, yet you must be Sensible of the Delicacy of the Subject, and therefore communicate them with Discretion and in Confidence. if M...
Yours of the 11 th is just recieved, and I repeat the sincere pleasure it has given me to see you once more come forward on the stage of the nation. I have ever thought the post you now occupy the most agreeable one the nation can give, & very far preferable to that which it’s highest favor confers. and I have hoped that, within three days journey of one another, it would afford some occasion...
I have recd your favor of the 6th. instant inclosing a letter for Consul Lee which will be forwarded as you desire. The copies of Talleyrands correspondence are returned to you under the same cover with this. As the Department of State is possessed of the originals, I see no objection to your retaining them. It gives me pleasure to find that the proceedings of the administration continue to...
Mr. Le Roy the Bearer of this, is a young American educated in Amsterdam where he has good Connections. He wants mercantile Connections in America. I wish he could give you hopes of any usefull Connections between our Country and this. If he can, it is more than I am able to do. The armed Neutrality turns out little better than a Bubble. But as We have little to hope from it, We have nothing...
My last to you was of the 11th. of October. Soon after that, your favor of the 12th. of Sep. came to hand. My acknolegement of this is made later than it should have been by my trip to England. Your long silence I ascribe to a more pleasing cause, that of devoting your spare time to one more capable of filling it with happiness, and to whom as well as to yourself I wish all those precious...
Vive la bagatelle. How shall we cure that distemper of the Mind State Vanity? You know to what a degree the ancient dominion was infected with it, and how many Sacrifices We have been obliged to make to it. You remember, how Pensilvania had it. “Pensilvania was first in Arts and Arms,”! “Philadelphia was the heart of the Union.” So said George Ross. Dr Lyman Hall of Georgia, readily...
The Letters inclosed on the Spirit and Resources of G.B. were written by Edmund Jennings Esq. Perhaps it will be well to publish them. Be so good as to deliver the Essex result to the Chevalier, who is curious to collect Things of This kind. I hope he is well beloved among you. We are told here that Silver is exchanged in Philadelphia for Paper. Will you be so good as to inform my dear Portia,...
The British Admiralty sent Orders to Portsmouth the 21st. Feby., for the Departure of a small Squadron of Frigates, which accordingly sailed on the 28th, under the Command of Captain Marshall of the Emerald of 32. Guns: The others are the Hussar of 32, the Surprize of 28, the Squirrel, and the Heart of Oak of 20: the Sloops the Beavers Prize of 14, the Wolf and Wasp of 8, with the Cutters the...
Your two favors of have been some time on hand. I believe it may be assumed, that no meeting of Congress will take place immediately after the 4th. of March. The Senate has usually been detained a few days, for the sake of appointments growing out of the laws of session. It is always possible, and must be so considered at present, that other business requiring their decision, may prolong their...
Mr. Gadsden of South Carolina whose Fame you must have heard, was in his younger Years, an officer, on board the Navy, and is well acquainted with the Fleet. He has Several Times taken Pains to convince me that this Fleet is not so formidable to America, as we fear. He Says, We can easily take their sloops, Schooners, and Cutters, on board of whom are all their best Seamen, and with these We...
I have recd your favour of this morning; and in Answer inform you that I have not recd an Answer to my Letter to Mr Pickering. The Engagement of his office, besides the confusion of a removal have been extreamly pressing.—I Shall See him Soon and Something will be determined. I Shall not have the Pleasure of Seeing you again probably till next Summer, Imperious Necessity or absolute Duty...
The destruction of the Capitol by the Enemy having made it necessary that other accomodations should be provided for the meeting of Congress, chambers for the Senate and for the House of Representatives, with other requisite apartments, have been fitted up, under the direction of the Superintendent of the City, in the Public Building heretofore allotted for the Post and other Public offices....
I have duly received your letter of the 25. Feby. inclosing a resolve of the Legislature of Massachusetts relating to a supply of Blankets, and other requisite articles. The information conveyed by it, is the more agreeable, as it shews at once, the progress of some of the most useful branches of Manufacture, and the patriotic spirit of the State comprizing them. The proper enquiries &...
Notwithstanding my last Letters to Congress were very explicit, and expressive of the wants of this Army—the necessity of arranging many matters in it—and making the necessary appointments without a moments loss of time, yet, when I consider the advanced Season, and consult my past experience of delay, I am induced to take the liberty of claiming your particular attention to this business;...
I know not when I have received So much pleasure from a Letter as from yours this Moment brought in, to to me of the 3d. The Circumstances of your family are Such as to Excite the tenderest feelings & anxieties and Mrs: Gerrys Resolution does her great honor. She never will repent of it, I fully beleive. Mr: Marshall is here and will Sail next week for Amsterdam, It will be adviseable for you...
Being to sail from this port tomorrow I cannot deny myself the pleasure of recalling myself to your recollection for a moment. I have impatiently hoped your arrival here before I should depart: but I suspect that the belles of Philadelphia have exercised their power over you, for it is there I understand you make your principal delay. When I arrived here I found Mrs. Adams within 36 hours of...
I lament with you the arbitrary aplication of party nicknames & unpopular appellations & although with you I heartily wish, yet I cannot say I hope that the wickedness of the wicked will come to an end. On the contrary it appears to me, that unlike the rising light which shineth more & more to the perfect day, the darkness will thicken till it may be felt. In the multitude of applications for...
I have recd your favour of the 24 of Novr. I sent your Letter to me of the 20 of October, from Quincy to the Secretary of State and requested him to publish it. He has returned it to me and declines publishing it. I return it to you inclosed, as I think it will be attended with no good Effect if I should publish it. You will judge for yourself whether it is necessary for you to publish it. My...
Mr. Lovell goes tomorrow. In him We shall find a Man of Spirit Fortitude, and Patience, three Virtues the most Usefull of any in these Times. But besides these he has Taste Sense and Learning. I hope every Gentleman, is now convinced that Discipline in the Army is necessary, and that a permanent Army must be had at all Events, and that temporary Draughts from the Militia will answer NO End but...
I have received your favor of the 18th. It has been an invariable usage these twelve years, for the President to answer no letters of solicitation or recommendation to office, but with you in full confidence I will say that it is uncertain whether I shall appoint any consuls to France. Mr. Lee is represented to me as a jacobin, who was very busy in a late election, in the town of Roxbury on...
I am favd with yours of the 25th: I yesterday wrote you that I did not think myself authorized to seize upon any Arms the property of private persons, but if they can be collected and the owners satisfied for them it would be of very essential Service as great Numbers of Militia would join the Army could they be furnished with Arms. I am glad you have began the Collection of Blankets and...
I am ashamed to let Mr Guild go without a long Letter to you—but you must pardon me. Mr Guild calls upon me for my Dispatches. There are Conferences begun about Preliminaries at Paris and Things are tending to a Congress, but I fancy they would have gone on much better, if Congriss had adhered to your their first Plan. Never did the Neccessity of a clear and firm Conduct appear more plainly to...
Your favor of Oct. 26. was 3. weeks on it’s passage to me, which, with indisposition, must apologise for the delay of this answer. I had the happiness of an intimate and friendly acquaintance with the late mr Gerry your father. we served together in the Old Congress; again in that of Annapolis, & lastly, altho’ in different functions, in the present government. the harmony of our political...
your favor of the 27th Ult. gave me great pleasure. The proposal of appointing the V.P. to go as Envoy Extraordinary to Paris, has arrived from so many quarters that I presume the thought is a natural one. I will tell you a secret But I wish you to keep it a Secret in your own Breast—I was so impressed with the idea, myself that on the 3d of March, I had a conversation with mr. Jefferson in...
I have this moment written a Message to the Senate nominating you to be an Envoy Extraordinary to the French Republic; Knowing as I did Mr: Dana’s aversion to the sea, and his continual dread of his Mothers fate, I was always apprehensive he would decline, and Should have nominated you at first, if I had not been over ruled by the opinions of many Gentlemen, that Mr: Dana’s Experience in this...
Your favours of the 3d & 6th have come duly to hand, and Mr Adams’s return affords me an oppertunity of acknowledging the receipt of them, & thanking you for the attention paid to the several matters I took the liberty of mentioning as you passed this place. The Enemy have given us much time to collect our Strength, and erect the necessary Works of Defence—The Militia from Connecticut are...
I send you the sketch, which I have been obliged to obliterate and blot after making what I intended for a fair copy. You will observe my plan was to make a short review in very general terms of those actions which redound to the General’s particular credit, viz. the discouraging circumstances under which he accepted the command—his steadiness and perservance when obliged to retire across the...
Altho it is long since I recieved your favor of Oct. 27. yet I have not had leisure sooner to acknolege it. in the middle & Southern states as great an union of sentiment has now taken place as is perhaps desireable. for as there will always be an opposition, I believe it had better be from avowed monarchists than republicans. New York seems to be in danger of republican division. Vermont is...
I have received your kind letter of the 30th. of June, with emotions which it would be in vain for me to attempt to describe. My attendance at Lexington is out of all question; the state of my health renders it both morally and physically impossible. I dare not express even to you, in a confidential private letter, my recollections, my reflections my feelings, or opinions, on this day, and...
I have duly recd. your favor of the 16th. I am not acquainted with either the person, or the character of Mr. Corran. My respect for his Lady, is nevertheless suffic[i]ent to give me all the interest in her wishes, which public considerations will permit. I shall consequently not fail to keep the President in mind of Mr. Corran, as a Candidate for the Posts you mention. I must observe at the...