Adams Papers

John Adams to Charles Adams, 19 December 1792

John Adams to Charles Adams

Philadelphia Decr 19. 1792

I have recd from you one Letter and no more Since I left N. York.1 Your Electors appear like a large black Spot in a bright Circle of Unanimity which extends from N. H. to Maryland inclusively. Then the Region of Darkness begins again and extends I know not how far.

A decided Reprehension from N. York and Virginia would very Sensibly affect me, if there were not most unequivocal Marks of a Party Spirit, unworthy of Freemen in both. The Cry of Monarchy and Aristocracy is so manifestly false, and is so clearly but a Pretext to cover mean Prejudices and little Passions that I feel no mortification for myself but much for my fellow Citizens, in this pitiful Manœuvre.

The Spirit of falshood which has appeared both in Newspapers and in private Letters upon this Occasion is allarming to every fair mind, and augurs very ill for the Tranquility of this People if not for the duration of their Govt.

You are very indolent, Charles,. You [should write] oftener to me than you do. Let me [know] [. . .] turns up.— The Gentlemen with whom I conversed in N. Y. were right in their Opinions of Mr Osgood.2 I own I found great difficulty in believing that Man capable of Sacrificing his sentiments to a Party So grossly. But America will See enough of that kind of Conduct.

The Ambition and Turbulence of Virginia is becoming intollerable: with a President, a Secretary of State an Attorney General, an Ambassador and what not, in the general Govt. she discovers a disposition to insult all the rest of the Union: but she may depend upon it her Pride will have a fall.

I am tenderly yours

J. A.

RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr Charles Adams.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.

1CA to JA, 8 Dec., above.

2Samuel Osgood, who had previously represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress, moved to New York to take up the position of postmaster general in 1789. He chose to resign and remain in the city when the federal government relocated to Philadelphia. As a presidential elector in 1792, he voted for George Clinton, to whom he was distantly related by marriage. JA commented to JQA in another letter of 19 Dec. that “The Vote of Osgood is a Strong Instance that Friendship, Services, Gratitude are Chaff, before the Wind of Party Passions” (Adams Papers; 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 ; New York Daily Advertiser, 21 Nov.).

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