Adams Papers

Charles Adams to John Adams, 31 January 1793

Charles Adams to John Adams

New York Jany 31st 1793

My dear Sir

I received your favor of the 29th yesterday1 I had sold the horses the day before for £70:.

The Baron returned on teusday his visit has been of service to him He said to me upon sitting down to supper that evening “I thank God my dear Charles that I am not a Great man and that I am once more permitted to set down at my little round table with Mulligan and yourself enjoy more real satisfaction than the pomp of this world can afford.” He thinks that parties are too high to remain long in a quiet situation. That Antifederal [spiri]t which wishes to imitate the geniuses of France is boiling with much force among the members of Congress. I hear that They charge the Secretary of the Treasury with having embezzled two millions of the public money.2 Surely if accusations like this without foundation are suffered to pass by without censure we have arrived at a republican liberty of Speech. Is it ignorance or malice which forges these charges? The Baron told me You were well, prudent and respected, but that The other great officers of the Goverment were very uneasy How often when reflecting upon the trials you have undergone and the rewards you have generally met with have I repeated to myself those beautiful lines of Horace

Justum et tenacem viri propositum

Non Civium ardor non prava jubentium

Non vultus Instantis Tyrranni

Mente quatit Solida.[”]3

The President too has at last become the subject of open invective? I beleive him very illy calculated to bear it. He is in a measure unaccustomed to being abused by libels and whether he will have fortitude enough to despise them I am very doubtful

We received letters from our friends in England on Sunday last4 They write pleasingly of their health and prosperity We hear also that Prusia has acknowledge the Republic of France and that an alliance between them is shortly to take place The French army under Dumourier have captured Mons Bruxells and Gent and made 15000 prisoners5 Where will all this end? We are quite peaceable in this City for the present The assembly are about to impeach Judge Cooper for malpractice during the last election for Gover[nor. He] will be taking up the hatchet upon the oth[er side?] probably they will still tyrannize as they have before Their majority is so decided in both houses that Cooper will stand but a poor chance however innocent he may be.6 That we may be speedily releived from oppression is the sincere prayer of your / affectionate son

Charles Adams

RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

1JA wrote to CA on 29 Dec. 1792, commenting on the vice presidential election and encouraging CA not to become embroiled in any political battles. “My Advice to you,” JA instructed, “is to preserve the Independence of your own Mind and bow the Knee to no Man for the sake of a National Seal. Behave like a Gentleman towards Mr Clinton and his Friends but preserve your Veneration for Mr Jay who deserves it” (MHi:Seymour Coll.).

2Democratic-Republican leaders in Congress, suspicious of Alexander Hamilton’s handling of the proceeds of two loans authorized in 1790, approved on 23 Jan. 1793 a series of resolutions—known as the Giles Resolutions, for William Branch Giles of Virginia, who proposed them—demanding a full accounting. Hamilton complied, sending reports to both houses in February. Although the reports failed to satisfy the Republicans, they were unable to muster sufficient support for another round of resolutions condemning Hamilton’s actions. For a full discussion of the situation, including the text of the resolutions and Hamilton’s reports, see Hamilton, Papers description begins The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Harold C. Syrett, Jacob E. Cooke, and others, New York, 1961–1987; 27 vols. description ends , 13:532–579; 14:2–6, 17–67, 68–79, 93–133.

3“The man tenacious of his purpose in a righteous cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens bidding what is wrong, not by the face of threatening tyrant” (Horace, Odes, Book III, ode iii, lines 1–4).

4Not found.

5Dumouriez’s army captured Mons on 7 Nov. 1792, Brussels on 14 Nov., and Ghent shortly thereafter. By 28 Nov. what remained of the Austrian Army had evacuated from the Netherlands (Cambridge Modern Hist. description begins The Cambridge Modern History, Cambridge, Eng., 1902–1911; repr. New York, 1969; 13 vols. description ends , 8:416–417).

6William Cooper (1754–1809), a major New York landowner, proprietor of Cooperstown, and staunch Federalist, served as judge of Otsego County. Clinton supporters accused him in a petition to the state legislature of trying to influence the vote in Otsego during the 1792 gubernatorial election, but the charges were dismissed (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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