Adams Papers

John Adams to John Quincy Adams, 15 February 1792

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

Philadelphia Feb. 15. 1792

My dear Son

Your Letter of the 4th, has given me as much Pain by opening the Sceenes of Ambition in your neighbourhood as it has pleasure by the Elegance of its composition and the Intelligence with which it devellopes the Maneuvres of Parties and the Passions of Individuals.1

Another Drama at New York has been acted with equal Spirit and of more Importance.

At Philadelphia too We have had our Curiosities but I have not so much Courage as you, to undertake to explain them. When first Places are the Objects of pursuit to clashing Grandees, and the means of obtaining them are popular Arts, you know very well from History and even from your Short Experience, what is to be expected. For my own part I wish myself out of the Scuffle at almost any rate.

Your Mother is confined by rhumatick complaints complicated with others, but I hope will soon be better. The rest of the Family are well. Col Smith and your sister with their Children are to embark in the March Packet for England where they are to remain two Years upon his private affairs.

I hope to See you at Braintree before the first of May and there I shall live in tranquil retirement, Silently observing the Intrigues which may preceed and attend a great Election: and with more Indifference than you may imagine concerning their Effect.

Pray will not an Effort be made for Mr Jarvis, to take a Place in our Senate?2 Write me as often as you can.

yours with great Affection

John Adams.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr J. Q. Adams.” Tr (Adams Papers).

1On 4 Feb., JQA wrote JA a lengthy letter on “the state of our parties in this State.” He recounted the divisions caused by the appointment of Thomas Dawes to sit on the Supreme Judicial Court and the controversy surrounding the suggested reforms of Boston’s town government, concluding that “the result of all the plots and counterplots will probably appear in the course of three or four weeks” (Adams Papers).

2Charles Jarvis was frequently mentioned in Boston newspapers as a possible candidate for the Mass. senate but was ultimately elected only to the lower house of the General Court (Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1792–1793, p. 139–140); see, for instance, The Argus, 30 March; Independent Chronicle, 30 March; and Columbian Centinel, 31 March.

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