Adams Papers

To John Adams from J. H. Tiffany, 18 March 1819

Schoharie Bridge, N.Y. 18 March, 1819.

Venerable Sir.

Will you be pleased to accept of the accompanying political charts of 6 tables or sheets; & may I solicit your Suggestions of improvement & correction of the plan & matter? I hope, to be enabled to furnish a more ample & correct edition in 1821.

The Appendix will contain matters not susceptible of tabular exhibition; & among other things, definitions of political terms to which certain & uniform Signification should be annexed—To claim & maintain our Rights, we must know them;—they can only be known by definition. None can define them with such perspicuity & authority as those who concieved & accomplished [the] objects of the American revolution.

May I therefore, assume to ask of you definitions, appropriate to the American genius & institutions, of the terms—

  1. Liberty
2. REPUBLIC: { vide Federalist. No. 10. 39. 64.
Mr Hamilton’s letter to Mr Pickering.
3d Niles’ Reg. p. 148. T. Paine &ca.
3. Constitution: { Notes on Virginia, Federalist
No. 39. 40. “Rights of Man.” &c
4 Government.
5 Politics.

The 1st. & 2d. are particularly interesting. It is quite probable that some of these are defined in your “Defence of the Am. Const.”; but it is my misfortune never to have had an opportunity to see these volumes & they are now become very rare.

Sir Yours— / With very great respect—

J. H. Tiffany.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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