Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 January 1794

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia January 18 1794

My dearest Friend

I Send you, at present the Negotiations with Mr Hammond as I sent you before those with Mr Genet.1 I wish I could send you “The Example of France a Warning to Britain” a Pamphlet of Arthur Young the Secretary of Sir John Sinclairs Agricultural Society: but it is borrowed and must be returned. He is more Burkish than Burke I think.2

Congress will do little this session I believe and perhaps the less the better.

Americanus has received just such a Flagellation as he has deserved these twenty Years. His Blunders, his Ignorance his Dulness, his Duplicity and Insincerity has been detected and exposed. And if The Blockhead had always been treated with the Same Freedom & Spirit he would have been held in total Contempt before this day and would have been quite harmless. I hope however that Barneveld will not make himself cheap by meddling much with Such Fools and Knaves.

Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus Vindice nodus.3

Thomas has Sent to his Brother, two hundred dollars for you, in a Check on some bank.

We have an open Winter, much too mild to clear the Atmosphere of all its Vapours. It is Said that a dry Fall is commonly followed by an open Winter. When the large Tracts and great Lakes in the North West are not wet and full of Water in the Fall before Winter setts in, there is seldom must snow or great Cold in the Course of it. I presume the Ice is not sufficient any more than the Snow for our Wall Operations but our Wood may be brought home for the whole summer I should Supppose. There is a quantity of manure thrown out of the Ditches of the Coves which I should wish carted or Sledded into the yard if it can be conveniently: but I would not plan too much Work. Duty & Love

J. A

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Jan’ry / 18 1794.”

1The enclosure has not been found but was likely Authentic Copies of the Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, Esq., Secretary of State to the United States of America, and George Hammond, Esq., Minister Plenipotentiary of Great-Britain, on the Non-Execution of Existing Treaties, the Delivering the Frontier Posts, and on the Propriety of a Commercial Intercourse between Great-Britain and the United States, 2 vols., Phila., 1794.

2Arthur Young, The Example of France, a Warning to Britain, London, 1793. Sir John Sinclair (1754–1835) served as the first president of Britain’s board of agriculture from 1793 to 1798 and again from 1806 to 1813. Young (1741–1820), the secretary of the board, defended in his pamphlet his earlier support for the French Revolution based on its initial goals of limited monarchy and defense of natural rights, and he justified his current opposition to the Revolution given its shift to demands for a full republic (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1901; repr. Oxford, 1959–1960; 21 vols. plus supplements. description ends ).

3“And let no god intervene, unless a knot come worthy of such a deliverer” (Horace, Ars Poetica, transl. H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, 1947, lines 191–192).

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