Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Cranch, 27 February 1823

Alexr. D.C. 27th. feb. 1823

Dr Sir—

I hope you do not think that because I do not often write to you, I do not often think of you; much less that I have forgotten the debt of gratitude I owe. <for your> No other of my old friends is so often in my thoughts,—indeed you are the only one left of that class of my friends to whom I look’d up with reverence; & I delight in calling to my recollection your venerable form. You seem to me to stand like the granite of your own <montains> mountains, whose asperities have been smooth’d by the peltings of a thousand storms, & whose heads are cover’d with snow as they stretch towards heaven. Elevated above the political atmosphere, you see the <high> coruscations of party heat, & the lightnings of the political tempest, playing harmless at your feet. Were I a painter I think I could make a fine picture of it. The patriot gradually rises till he has reached the highest point of the political region, & still impelled by the same spirit of patriotism by which he first began to rise, he is born-above the clouds of faction, and in his ascent to heaven looks back upon his country with a blessing. Such are the visions which float in my mind when I think of you.—I am now an old man myself; yet you was an old man when I was a boy. It would be a great gratification to me to think that I should see you again; but the duties of my office require my daily attention, & I see but little prospect of my ever visiting again my native state. <again>

I do not mix much with the world, but I hear that Mr. J. Q. A’s political friends are rapidly increasing; I hope you may live to see him enjoying the honours he so well deserves.

It is not my object to give you any trouble; I shall therefore not expect any reply to this expression of my gratitude, but beg you to accept the assurance of my most sincere attachment & veneration, & to believe me always / with the highest respect, Dr Sir, / your affectionate & obliged / nephew

W. Cranch

MHi: Adams Papers.

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