Adams Papers

John Adams to William Stephens Smith, 11 November 1788

John Adams to William Stephens Smith

Braintree, Nov. 11th, 1788.

Dear Sir:

I was much obliged to you for a letter by Mr. Nesbit of Philadelphia, and am very sorry I could not have more of his company.1 He was much esteemed, I find, in Boston.

I wished for you, when he was here, because you could never have a better opportunity of seeing your old military friends. We had a review of the militia, upon my farm; and a battle that threw down all my fences. I wish, however, that Governor Hancock and General Lincoln would not erect their military reputations upon the ruins of my stone walls. Methinks I hear you whisper, it won’t be long ere they erect their civil and political characters upon some other of your ruins. If they do, I shall acquiesce, for the public good: Lincoln I esteem very much: the other, I respect as my governor.

* * * * * * *

You have many friends here, who constantly inquire after your health and happiness. They all would be glad to see you, but none of them so sincerely rejoiced, as your affectionate,

John Adams.

MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr. description begins Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, Daughter of John Adams,... Edited by Her Daughter [Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt], New York and London, 1841–[1849]; 3 vols. description ends , 2:106–107.

1The letter has not been found. Mr. Nesbit is probably John Maxwell Nesbitt (ca. 1730– 1802), a prominent Philadelphia merchant and director of the Bank of North America (DAB description begins Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and others, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; repr. New York, 1955–1980; 10 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ).

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