Adams Papers

To John Adams from Ezra Stiles, 1 August 1788

Yale College Aug. 1. 1788


Upon receiving a third Book, but a Duplicate of the first volume or you Work, I acknowledged it in the enclosed Letter, which I sent to New York to be forwarded to yourself in London. But it was returned because it was judged that you would be on your Voyage home, before the letter could reach you. Be pleased to accept my repeated Thanks for the repeated favors with which you have honored me. Probably you intended me a third volume instead of a Duplicate of the first; if you should have broken [a sett] it would be agreeable to me to have it exchanged. I have received great Instruction from your learned labors, which will do more I believe, towards leading& directg the Inquiries of american & European Politicians to atho’ro’ Examination of the antient & modern Politics in Europe, & thence to learn what government human Nature can and cannot bear than any publication hitherto made. We have needed and at this time especially need the very lights you have furnished. I thank you for your learned labors.

As sincerely as any man in America did I rejoyce on your safe return & arrival to our native country; where may the God of Heaven make you an extensive & lastg Blessing & ornament. I rejoyce in the Accession of Eleven States to the federal Government— and I do not wish it to be revised these dozen or 20 years; nor until we shall by cool Experience know & find out what revisions are either neccessy or expedient. That amendments in the polity are necessy I believe; but I wish for Time & Coolness of Reflexion & sage Wisdom to discover & make them.

I believe we shall be a happy & glorious People—& that greater Wisdom of Policy & jurisprudential Sagacity will be displayed in the political Arrangmts regulations & institutions of the United States than has ever been among the dispotic Sovereignties of Europe , which have beeen dictated by & [forged] in military Conquests, or the insidious Intrigues of Policy over Nations unenlightened by the Sciences, Literature, & large Acquaintance with the Histories of all Ages & nations. It is my Wish that Gen Wash may be President, & Dr Adams Vice President under the new federal Government. But whether it shd be so or not, permit me to express my Wishes that every Blessing of Heaven may rest upon you. With the most respectful esteem, & would you Accept from me a share in the Tribute of Gratitude from my Country, I would add <my> the most affectionate Honor & gratitude, with which I am, Dr sir / Yr most obedt hble servt.

Ezra Stiles

MHi: Adams Papers.

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