Adams Papers

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 2 September 1792

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

Boston Septr: 2. 1792.

My dear Brother.

I believe I am in arrears with you, for two or three Letters, which is owing in some measure to my indolence, but in a greater degree to the stagnation of events worthy of communication—1 The purpose of my present Letter is to enquire of you respecting a warrant from the Treasury for some money, which it seems must be sent here to be signed by your father before it can be sent back for payment. It has been expected here this week, but as post after post arrives without bringing it, I write to you, to see that it be expedited: and indeed I believe it concerns you that the money should be speedily paid as much as any of us. If it should not be sent this way, before this Letter reaches you, I beg you would see it forwarded as soon as possible.

The National Gazette, seems to grow more and more virulent and abusive from day to day; but this is not surprizing, as Freneau must necessarily foam & fret, after his dastardly retreat from a charge, which he at first encountered, with a solemn affidavit.— One would think that circumstances so glaring would injure the credit with the public, both of the Great man & his parasite; but “It is no wonder” says David Hume, “that faction should be productive of such calamities; since no degree of innocence can protect a man from the calumnies of the other party, & no degree of guilt can injure him with his own.”2

We are full of the small-pox in this Town; a general inoculation has taken place; and I suppose there are near ten thousand people now under its operation.3

All well at Quincy the last Time I heard from them which was about three days ago.

Your’s affectionately

J.Q. Adams.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr Thomas B. Adams. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “2d Sept; 1792.”; notation: “4 Above Market 20.”

1Not found.

2“It is no wonder, that faction is so productive of vices of all kinds: For, besides that it inflames all the passions, it tends much to remove those great restraints, honour and shame; when men find, that no iniquity can lose them the applause of their own party, and no innocence secure them against the calumnies of the opposite” (David Hume, The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Revolution in 1688, rev. edn., 6 vols., London, 1762, 7:363).

3Because of the spread of small pox, on 29 Aug. the Boston town selectmen agreed to order a general inoculation in Boston. By 1 Sept., one newspaper had reported that more than 8,000 people were undergoing inoculation; another paper three days later put the number between 9,000 and 11,000 (Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Aug.; Boston Columbian Centinel, 1 Sept.; Salem Gazette, 4 Sept.).

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