Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 31 March 1794

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Senate Chamber March 31. 1794

My dearest friend

I have scarcely a moment to acknowledge the Rect of your favour of 22 this instant put into my hand. I rejoice in the Recovery of my dear Mother and hope to see her, but I cannot say how soon.

We the old Sachems have enough to do to restrain the Ardour of our young Warriors.— We shall Succeed however, I still hope, in preventing any very rash steps from being taken. There is a dishonourable Motion before the House to sequestre or confiscate private Contracts: but it will not pass the House—if it should the senate will stop it.1

Break up as much as you please and sow as much as you think proper. I must leave All to you.— I cannot think of leaving senate yet. I sent you 500 dollars. purchase all the Tools &c that are wanted and stock.2

I am sincerely

J. A

I am grieved at the Dotage of the Lt Govr.. He is mad.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

1On 27 March Rep. Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey proposed resolutions in the House of Representatives to sequester debts owed to British citizens as indemnification for the seizure of vessels by the British Navy and privateers in contravention to U.S. neutrality. Supporters argued that this was an appropriate response to British actions and that the United States had the right to reparations. Opponents, like JA, believed that under the law of nations, private debts should not be subject to reprisals and that such measures would undermine American credit. The resolutions were eventually superseded by other proposals and never formally approved (Annals of Congress, description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States [1789–1824], Washington, D.C., 1834–1856; 42 vols. description ends 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 535–556).

2JA wrote to AA on 27 March sending her this money and “a fresh supply of Grass seeds” (Adams Papers).

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