Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 31 January 1796

From John Adams

Philadelphia January 31. 1796

Dear Sir

I have received from our old Acquaintance D’Ivernois the inclosed Volume for you in the Course of the last Week.

I consider all Reasoning upon French affairs of little moment. The Fates must determine hereafter as they have done heretofore. Reasoning has been all lost—Passion, Prejudice, Interest, Necessity has governed and will govern; and a Century must roll away before any permanent and quiet System will be established. An Amelioration of human affairs I hope and believe will be the Result, but You and I must look down from the Battlements of Heaven if We ever have the Pleasure of Seeing it.

The Treaty is not arrived and Congress seems averse to engage in Business with spirit till that is considered.

I envy you the society of your Family but another Year and one Month may make me the Object of Envy. Mean time I am, with Esteem & Affection your

John Adams

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 Feb. 1796 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: François D’Ivernois, La Révolution française à Genève; Tableau historique et politique de la conduite de la France envers les Genevois, depuis le mois d’octobre 1792, jusqu’au mois de juillet 1795, 3d ed. (London, 1795); see enclosure listed at D’Ivernois to TJ, 11 Nov. 1794.

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