John Adams to Charles Adams
Philadelphia Decr. 13. 1794
The Nature, Designs, rise, Progress, present State future Operations and successes of “Selfcreated Societies,[”] are likely to become Objects of interesting Enquiry and should be critically Studied by a Lawyer. We know something of the History of them in France. The fruits of them in Geneva you will see in the Pamphlet inclosed which was written by D’Ivernois. The fruits of them in Scotland, you may see in another Pamphlet inclosed, the Tryal of Wat and Downie.—1 I may send you another Pamphlet shewing them in Lauzanne and Le Pays de vaud in Switzerland—as also in some other Tryals in England and Scotland.2
It behoves you as a Lawyer to Settle in your Mind accurate Ideas of the Limits prescribed to the Legality of Such Societies, Assemblies Conventions or Clubbs. I will assist you in furnishing you with Information on these Subjects.
I am &c
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).
1. Francis d’Ivernois, Authentic History of the Origin and Progress of the Late Revolution in Geneva, Phila., 1794, Evans, description begins Charles Evans and others, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends No. 27159; and The Trials at Large of Robert Watt and David Downie for High Treason, London, 1794. The d’Ivernois pamphlet has not been found but for the Watt and Downie work, see JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795, note 3, below.
2. Jean Jacques Cart, Lettres de Jean-Jaques Cart à Bernard Demuralt, trésorier du pays de Vaud, sur le droit public de ce pays, et sur les événemens actuels, Paris, 1793. In April 1794 JA forwarded a copy of this pamphlet from the author to Thomas Jefferson. Cart inscribed a second copy to JA that is in JA’s library at MB (Jefferson, Papers, description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, Princeton, 1950– . description ends 28:50–51, 57; Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ).