Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to John Quincy Adams, 26 May 1798

Philadelphia May 26 1798

My Dear Son

I am loth a vessel should sail without a few lines from me, and the Secretary of State is very good to inform me of every opportunity, and tho I have not received any Letter since I wrote you last, which was on the 4th or 5th of this month, I will acknowledge one for your Father, dated 17 Febry. the duplicate of which the original is not yet come, No 53. A Letter for your Brother accompanied it which I sent on to him. The Secretary of State also got a Letter from you in Cypher. He will look after that. The consul you recommended is appointed.

You will see by the papers I send you some of the numerous addresses which are pouring in from all quarters like a flood from North Carolina to the province of Main. They Breathe one Spirit. They speak one Language, that of Independant Freemen, approving the measures of Government, and expressive of a full confidence in the wisdom virtue and integrity of the Chief Majestrate, and a fixed determination to defend and support their Government, and to repell every attempt against it, spurning with indignation the bass servile terms of conciliation with France, as tenderd to our Envoys. The youth of all the Great Cities have come forward, from 18 to 23, and tendered their personal Services. The Colleges, and Seminaries of Learning join in the general voice. The Students of Harvard College say in their address.

“We solemnly offer the unwasted ardour, and unimpaired energies of our youth to the services of our Country, our Lives are our only property, and we were not the Sons of those who sealed our Liberties with their blood, if we woud not defend with these lives that Soil, which now affords a peaceful grave to the mouldering bones of our Forefathers.”

The people are much higher toned than their Representatives in the National Legislature, The opposition with Gallitin at their Head go on striving to obstruct every energitic measure, and there will be some timid pidling Genius’s who fear every thing, in Senate the Majority is large and respectable. Much will depend upon the issue of the projected invasion of England, if the French attempt it, I do not hesitate to say, that I hope the fate of Pharaoh and his Host will be there’s what remaining Barrier of Freedom is there beside old England?

In the Letter of Yours of Feb’ry 17th, you mention, a Society by the Name of Theo-Philanthropic, which the French were about to establish in Hamburgh <there> with a view to dessiminate their principles. I presume, you had not at that time read a Book, lately publishd, calld proofs of a conspiracy against all the Religion & Governments of Europe, collected from good Authorities By John Robison A M, professor of Natural philosophy, and Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. It has been reprinted here, and has gone through three Editions. This work discloses such a System of demoralizing the World, as is scarcly to be credited if we did not see it, in actual opperation, if you have not met with the Book, you would do well to write to some Friend in England to procure it for you.

I have sent by this opportunity an other Set of the dispatches and a few pamphlets together with a few News papers.

Our Friends are well. tell Mrs. Adams that her Mother sent me a Letter to read written by her Godmother after she left England. the Letter is full of praises, both of her and her Husband, All tongues unite in speaking highly of my dear daughter, for whom I sincerely feel a mothers anxiety. I hope she will never again be so dissagreably situated as when she first went to Berlin—Her Mother is distresst at not getting any Letters from her, and I have been obliged to send yours to me, to quiet her. She returnd them with the warmest expression of gratitude. tell my dear Thomas that I do not love him the less because I do not write to him often. I always rejoice at hearing from him. Peter got a sweet morsel from his last Letter, and Bene a Taiter.

Your Father sends his Love to you, but has more writing than he knows how to get through with answering addresses

We have just had the committe from the youn Men of N York to present there’s

adieu my dear Son / I am your ever affectionate

Mother Abigail Adams

MHi: Adams Papers.

Index Entries