Adams Papers

From John Adams to John C. Herbert, 10 June 1798

Philadelphia June 10th 1798

To the Young Men of Alexandria in Virginia

I receive your patriotic Address with great Pleasure. I rejoice that you highly appreciate the fair Inheritance you have received from your Forefathers, the Enjoyment of equal Liberty and Laws: and have no suspicion that you will want valour, to repell the assaults of its Invaders. I agree with you that War with all its incidental ills is preferable to base submission: and applaud your Resolution to vindicate your Countrys honour at the Expence of your fortunes and hazard of your Lives. I will be very frank with you, my young Friends. I fear that your earnest hope that all Animosities resulting from a diversity of political sentiment will be superseded by an unanimous determination to stand forth the Champions of the Constitution, will be disappointed. If Animosities were indecent violent <and> accrimonious and Alarming under a President, repeatedly elected by an unanimous Voice <were violent incident, violent, & accrimonious> a perfect Unanimity under another, elected by a bare Majority may forever be despaired of. Think of this <my> and all its Consequences.—

Most affectionately I thank you for your Civilities to me, and for your Solemn Resolutions and pious Prayers

John Adams

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