Adams Papers

John Adams to John Quincy Adams, 21 April 1795

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

Quincy April 21. 1795

My Dear son

I have but lately received your kind Letters of the 3d and 21. of Decr.1 They were like cold Water to a thirsty soul.— While I acknowledge your and your Brothers goodness in writing to me, I am afraid I ought to make an Apology to both, for having written so seldom to You.

The late Elections to Congress have gone in general in favour of the Fœderal Government, in the Senate especially. The Town of Boston has made an Exertion, and have Elected Mr Jones to the Senate of the State in the Place of Mr Austin, and Theophilus Cushing instead of Charles.2 This is thought to be a great Event in favour of Peace, Order and Virtue. Some of the Representatives of that Town are in danger.

The Banks begin to excite Controversies with each other, and Seem to be aware that they have gone rather too far in discounting, and continuing &c. They certainly have Sent abroad too much of their Paper.

Although I have Knowledge enough of your Wisdom to be willing to trust you, in the critical Circumstances of the Country in which you reside, I am a little anxious to hear from you, Since the Revolution. You were soon relieved from Fitzherberts Impertinence by his precipitatd flight,3 and the French I presume both of the Army and of the civil state will behave towards you with Civility and Kindness.

Our Country, in this “piping Time of Peace” affords no News but of Marriages, Shipbuilding, House building, canal digging Bridge making &c &c. I hope to make my farm shine against your return.—

The inclosed Pamphlet, I wish you to translate and publish in Holland—or Perhaps our magnificent Friend Luzac will Save you the Trouble.4

I pray you my dear son not to think hard of your Father, if you do not receive Letters so often as you wish—and if the Letters when you receive any are not so particular as they might be— I write in great Pain and under Embarrassments. I am however not the / less affectionately your obliged and approving / Father

John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. Adams.”

1In his letter to JA of 3 Dec. 1794, JQA reported rumors of impending peace negotiations between the Dutch and the French, popular discontent toward British protection, and the diplomatic posturing of the British ambassador. JQA’s letter of 21 Dec. offered more extensive commentary on the impediments to Franco-Dutch peace negotiations and the poor state of the Dutch economy. He also predicted that the increasingly cold weather might soon make possible a French invasion. JQA further suggested that JA subtly push the Dutch minister at Philadelphia to write favorably to his government about the United States (both Adams Papers).

2Theophilus Cushing (1740–1820) of Hingham rose to the rank of brigadier general during the Revolutionary War and then served as a local selectman and member of the Mass. house of representatives prior to his election to the state senate. He joined Thomas Dawes, John Coffin Jones, and Oliver Wendell as the four senators representing Suffolk County for the 1795–1796 term (George Thomas Little, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, 4 vols., N.Y., 1909, 4:1756; Mass., Acts and Laws, description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends 1794–1795, p. 459).

3Alleyne Fitzherbert had been appointed ambassador at The Hague on 25 March 1794 but returned to England after the French invasion (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 ).

4Enclosure not found.

Index Entries