Berlin 4. October 1798.
Mr: Welsh, who arrived here a few days ago, delivered me your obliging favour of 31st. July.—I am happy to find confirmed by you the accounts which we have from all parts of America, that France had lost many of her partizans among us. It was indeed high time for those whose attachments to her did not extend to the sacrifice of their Country, to decide under which of the banners they chose to be found The spirit which the People of the United States have discovered upon this occasion has done them the greatest honour, and has been admired in every part of Europe.—It has driven the Government of France itself to a very different course of measures, and a very different style of language, from that which our former excessive moderation, and extreme compliance had emboldened it to assume. It is to be hoped however that our Countrymen, will be not more easily deluded by their coaxing artifices than they were intimidated by their threats. We have a very striking recent example, not to mention many others which have preceded it, to shew what confidence can be placed in french professions of friendship.—They have invaded Egypt with forty thousand men, and even while completing the conquest of it, even to this day, fill their proclamations and their Manifesto’s with the most solemn declarations of friendship and good will towards the Turkish Government.
I have partaken your affliction in the loss of so many worthy friends and dear relatives, as are mentioned in your Letter.—In the few years that I have been absent many a breach has been made in the line of my friends and acquaintance. It teaches me to value the more highly those that remain.
I have ordered to be directed to your care twenty-five trunks and parcels, chiefly containing my books, which I have ordered to be shipped from Lisbon for Boston.—I sent them to Portugal, from the Hague, at a time when I expected to go there myself, and I can now have them sent home with less difficulty and risk, than I could procure them to be transmitted to me.
With Mrs: Adams’s and my best regards to Mrs: Smith, and remembrance to your young family. I am Dear Sir, your friend & very hble: Servt:
John Q. Adams.
MHi: Smith-Townsend Family Papers.