John Adams As He Lived

Unpublished letters to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Professor of Physic at Harvard College
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AUTEUIL NEAR PARIS SEPT’R 8, 1784

DEAR SIR

I received your friendly Letter of the 19 June, by my dear Mrs. Adams, with great Pleasure and shall ever be obliged to you for a Line when you have Leisure. I am very glad our University has so able a Professor of Physick, and I doubt not you will soon Silence all opposition. I should be obliged to you for your two orations.

All Paris, and indeed all Europe, is at present amused with a kind of Physical New Light or Witcraft, called Animal Magnetism, a German Empirick by the Name of Mesmer, has turned the Heads of a multitude of People. He pretends that his Art is an Universal Cure, and wholly Superseeds the Practice of Physick and consequently your Professorship, so that you will not, I hope become his Disciple.

The Thing is so serious that the King has thought it necessary to appoint a Number of Physicians and Academicians, with your Friend Franklin at their Head, to enquire into it. They are all able Men, and have published a Masterly Report, which shows very clearly that this Magnetism can never be useful, for the best of all possible Reasons viz. because it does not exist. one would think the Report sufficient to annihilate the Enthusiasm but it has not yet fully succeeded, on the Contrary it has stirred up a Nest of Hornets against the Authors of it, and Mesmer has the Boldness to apply to Parliament by a Public Process, to have his Art examined anew. What may be the consequence I don’t know: But I think the Phrenzy must evaporate.

The Professors of the Art have acquired sometimes a surprising ascendancy over the Imaginations of their Patients, so as to throw them into violent Convulsions, only by a few odd Gestures. All this the Commissioners ascribe to Imagination; and I suppose justly; but if this Faculty of the Mind can produce such terrible Effects upon the Body, I think you Physicians ought to study and teach us some Method of managing and controuling it.

I am, Sir with great Esteem, your Friend and humble Servant

JOHN ADAMS


AUTEUIL NEAR PARIS APRIL 23, 1785

DEAR SIR

This Letter will be delivered to you, by your old acquaintance, John Quincy Adams, whom I beg Leave to recommend to your Attention and favour. He is anxious to study sometime, at your University before he begins the Study of Law which appears at present to be the Profession of his Choice.

He must undergo an Examination, in which I suspect he will not appear exactly what he is, in Truth there are few who take their Degrees at Colledge, who have so much Knowledge, but his Studies having been pursued by himself, on his travells without any Steady Tutor, he will be found awkward in speaking Latin, in Prosody, in Parsing, and even perhaps in that accuracy of Pronunciation in reading orations or Poems in that Language, which is often chiefly attended to in such examinations.

It seems to be necessary therefore that I make this Apology for him to you, and request you to communicate it in confidence to the Gentlemen who are to examine him, and such others as you think prudent. If you were to examine him in English and French poetry, I know not where you would find any body his Superiour. In Roman and English History few Persons of his Age, it is rare to find a youth possessed of so much Knowledge. He has translated Virgils Aeneid, Suctonius, the whole of Sallust, and Tacitus’s Agricola, his Germany and Several Books of his Annals, a great part of Horace, some of Ovid and some of Caesars Commentaries in Writing, besides a number of Tullys orations. These he may shew you, and altho you will find the Translations in many Places in accurate in point of Style, as must be expected at his Age, you will see abundant Proof, that it is impossible to make those translations without Understanding his Authors and their Language very well.

In Greek his Progress has not been equal. Yet he has studied Morcells in Aristotles Poetricks, in Plutarchs Lives, and Lucians Dialogues, the Choice of Hercules in Xenophon, and lately he has gone through Several Books in Homers Iliad.

In Mathematicks I hope he will pass muster. In the Course of the last Year, instead of playing Cards like the fashionable world I have spent my Evenings with him. We went with some Accuracy through the Geometry in the Praeceptor, the Eight Books of the Simpsons Euelid, in Latin and compared it Problem by Problem and Theorem by Theorem with Le Pere Dechalles in French, we went through plain Trigonometry and plain Sailing, Fennings Algebra, and the Decimal Fractions, arithmetical aGeometrical Proportions, and the Conic Sections in Wards Mathematicks. I then attempted a Sublime Flight and endeavoured to give him some Idea of the Differential Method of Calculations of the Marquis de L’Hospital, and the Method of Fluxions and infinite Series of Sir Isaac Newton. But alas it is thirty years since I thought of Mathematicks, and I found I had lost the little I once knew, especially of these higher Brancehs of Geometry, so that he is as yet but a Smatterer like his Father, however he has a foundation laid which will enable him with a Years Attendance on the Mathematical Professor, to make the necessary Proficiency for a Degree. He is studious enough and emulous enough, and when he comes to mix with his new Friends and young Compaions he will make his way well enough. I hope he will be on his Guard against those Airs of Superiority among the Schollars, which his larger Acquaintance with the world, and his manifest Superiority in the Knowledge of some Things, may but too naturally inspire into a young Mind, and I be gof you Sir, to be his friendly Monitor, in this Respect and in all others.

With great Esteem I have the Honour to be, Sir your most obedient and most humble servant.

JOHN ADAMS


PHILADELPHIA, FEB. 24, 1791

DEAR SIR

It was not, till yesterday that I received your kind Letter, with your Discourse on Animation; for both of which obliging favours I pray you to accept of my best Thanks.

My incessant Drudgery for three and thirty Years in the dull fields and forests of Law and Politicks, has rendered it impossible for me to spare much of my time, in disquisitions of natural knowledge. Whenever any Thing of the king however has accidentally fallen in my way, it has revived the kind of fond Attachment of my Youth, and given me more pleasure than I can account for.

There is no Physical Subject has no occurred oftener to my Thoughts, or excited more of my Curiosity, than that which you chose for your Discourse, Animal Life. It has long appeared to me astonishing, that it should be impossible to discover, what it is, which the Air conveys into our Lungs and leaves behind it, in the Body when we breathe. This, whatever it is, seems to be, the Cause of Life, or at least of the continuance and Support of it, in the larger Animals, whether the Air, in any Similar manner, supports the Animalcules which we discover by Microscopes, in almost every kind of substance I know not.

Dr. Franklin has sometimes described to me in Conversation, experiments which he made in various parts of his Life relative to this subject, which I hope will be found among his Papers. I should be afraid, upon mere memory of transient Conversation to repeat some facts which he related to me, of the revival of animalcules to perfect Life and Activity after ten Years of Torpor, in a Phyal which he left in Philadelphia when he went to England and which had not been handled till his return.

Pray where is the Evidence of the Existence of a Subtle Electric fluid which pervades the Universe? And if that fact were proved, where is your Authority for Saying that such an Electrick fluid is the Cause of Life? Why may it not as well be Magnetism? Or Steam, or Nitre? Or fixed Air? These are all tremendous Forces in nature. But where and what is the Principle or Cause of Activity in all of them?

The Cause of Motion in all these Phaenomena, as well as in the Emanations of Light, or the Revolutions of the Heavens or Gravitation on Earth, is still to seek.

Your Discourse, my dear Sir has given me great Pleasure, and, (if my opinion is worth your having tho indeed I must acknowledge it is of very little value in such Things) does honour to you, and to the Societies to which you belong.

With great esteem, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

JOHN ADAMS


QUINCY FEB. 13, 1805

DEAR SIR

I thank you for your Lecture on Tobacco which I received this morning and have been reading with much pleasure. Having been a great Offender in the Use of this Weed in some parts of my Life, I may not be an unprejudiced Judge: but I know that the practice may be forbone without any Sensible Inconvenience. I lived many years in France and in England and after my return, in America, without any Use of the Pipe or Cigar. And I am very sensible that great caution and moderation are necessary in the Use of them, as well as in other Ways of taking Tobacco. Many times I have been inspired by a thoughtless excess, and now after a frequent Use of it, for three Score Years, with some intervals, I am unable to take into my mouth a morsel no bigger than a Swan Shot without Sensible and immediate Injury. One quarter of the Quantity I have used in some parts of my Life, I fully believed would now kill me immediately. I heartily wish you Success in our Labours to restrain if not wholly to discredit the Use of it.

With Surprise and Grief I find by your Lecture that the Use of Cyder is become unfashionable at Colledge. The Apple is adapted to this Cliate as well as Limes, Lemmons and Oranges to the West Indies: and I fear the decay of Health at the University is owing the use of Wine and Spirits instead of Cyder, at least as much as to the consumption of Cigars. Rhenish or Mozelle Wine would be better for Us, than Sherry or Madeira: but Cider is better than either. Cyder a year or two years or three years old is all the Liquor I can drink without inconvenience to my health.

Happy to hear that your Lecture is well received, by the public at large as well as by your Pupills. I wish Success to all your other Labours for the benefit of our fellow Men and remain, as ever your hearty Friend and very humble Servant

J. ADAMS


QUINCY FEB. 19, 1805

DEAR SIR

When I wrote you a line of acknowledgement for your Lecture upon Tobacco, I kept no Copy of it, not expecting to ever hear any thing more of it, and I really remember very little that was in it.

Tobacco, I have found by long Experience, having learned the Use of it upon Ponds of Ice, when skaiting with Boys at eight years of Age, to be a very disastrous Vegetable, extreamly apt to steal upon a Man and urge him to very pernicious Excesses. In Addition to the physical Effects of it, which you have so well exposed, it consumes an enormous proportion of precious time, and prevents application both to Business and to Study, in a very criminal degree. It has also very hurtfull Effects on the Memory. I would now give any Thing for the time this has been Stolen from me by this Thief. The Habit of it is the worse, when acquired and fixed in early Life, on account of the difficulty and the danger of ever afterwards renouncing it altogether.

During the four years that I passed at Colledge there was not a Single death among the Scollars: and I have always believed that the almost universal health amongt he Students, was to be ascribed, next to early rising and beef and mutton Pies at Commons, to the free Use of Cider and the very moderate Use of Wine and ardent Spirits. When our Barrels and Bottles in the Cellar were empty, we used to Size it at the Buttery, and I never shall forget, how refreshing and Salubrious we found it, hard as it often was. I have heard of a hard Cyder Clubb which subsisted for many years, at Colledge though I never belonged to it, and have heard that the Members of it were remarkably healthy, not only while Undergraduates but in the after Course of their Lives.

Many of the longest Livers and healthiest Men that I have known, have made a free Use of this Liquor all their days, for example, the venerable old Champion of Calvinism and Athanasianism, the Reverend Mr. Niles of Monatiquot, was all his days a Lover and liberal Drinker of it. One of his Parish drolly said ‘our Mr. Niles would not drink a drop of Rum for the World, but he will drink as much Cyder as any Indian.’ This Gentleman lived till near ninety I believe and always remarkably healthy and hardy. His Son, Samuel Niles, once a Judge of the common Pleas at Boston lived I believe to Ninety Six, and remarkably healthy always. When was a healthier Man than Dr. Hitcock of Pembroke, and who made a more constant and liberal Use of it always however with temperance. To these I could Add many other Examples.

One of the ablest and most experienced Physicians in Virginia told me, about Six Years ago, that in thirty years practice in that State he had invariably found, that those who drank Cyder for their ordinary Beveredge were the most healthy and the longest Livers, that those who drank Wine or ardent Spirits tempered with Water though temperate Men were not so healthy and ended their days sooner.

I have, habitually drank the Wines of Spain France Germany and holland in all their varieties diluted with Water and I have drank the mild Porter and Table Beer of London in all their perfection, but I never found any of them agree so well with my health as the Cyder of New England. It is true I Seldom drink it under a year old, and often two and sometimes three.

It seems to me, Sir that Nature has planted the Antidote near the Poison, and that a kind Providence has ordered the productions of the Earth to grow in a manner adapted to the Circumstances of the Clymate. And the Cranberries, Barberries, Currents and Cyder of New England are better adapted to the health of the Inhabitants than any other fruits.

I have no Objections to your laughing with your friends over my frivolous Garrulity: and if you publish a second Edition of your Lecture as I hope you will, you may make any use of my Name in a note that your discretion will justify: but I pray you not to insert any formal Extracts from such Trash as this and my former Letter. I am Sir as usual your Friend and Servant.

J. ADAMS


QUINCY OCTOBER 29, 1805

DEAR SIR

I have heard, as you insinuate, that Sterne was a wicked Man; and there are traits of a false Character, in his Writings: yet the Benevolence, Generosity, Simpathy and Humanity that fill the Eyes and bosoms of the readers of his Works, will plead forever for their immortality. Virtues and Vices Wisdoms and Folly, Talents and imbecility, Services and demerits are so blended in most of the distinguished Sons of Men, that there is no knowing what Judgment to form of them, or what to do with them. Julian, in that ingenious Fable, The Caesars, throws headlong into the gulph of Tartarus, all the Tyrants; Alexander, Caesar, Augustus, Trajan and Constantine, are made to acknowledge that Fame, Power or Pleasure were their Objects; Marcus Aurelius alone was confessed to have aimed Singly at the good of the People. I know not whether the number of pure Characters, among Mankind in general will bear a greater proportion. The Number of unexceptionable Romances is not greater. Most of the fashionable ones, deserve to be Slighted more than Sterne. Yet I own myself to be more childish enough to be amused with their fictions, tho’ not so much as with true History. Rien n’est beau, que le vrai: Nil amoeneum nisi verum, ought to be a fundamental Maxim, not only in Religion and Government, but in all other Arts and Sciences, especially in Rhetoric and oratory, Tragedy Comedy and Romance. Many Romances however have not even the Resemblance of truth. You will do more good, and get more honor and money too, by persevering in your labours, which are really usefull, than in Writing Novels.

I am willing you should call this the Age of Frivolity as you do: and would not object if you had named it the Age of Folly, Vice, Frenzy Fury, Brutality, Daemons, Buonaparte, Tom Paine or the Age of The burning Brand from the bottomless Pitt: or any thing but the Age of Reason. I know not whether any Man in the World has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine. There can be no Severer Satyr on the Age. For Such a mongrel between Pigg and Puppy, begotten by a wild Boar on a Bitch Wolf, never before in any Age of the World was Suffered by the Poltroonery of mankind, to run through Such a Career of Mischief. Call it then the Age of Paine. He deserves it much more, than the Courtezan who was consecrated to represent the Goddess in the Temple at Paris, and whose name, Tom has given to the Age. The real intellectual faculty has nothing to do with the Age the Strumpet or Tom.

So much for thus time and on this Topick,

From your most obedient,

J. ADAMS


QUINCY JUNE 19, 1806

D’R SIR,

I rejoice to find by your Letter of the 26, and by my Sons Conversation, that his commencement of a residence at Cambridge has been agreable to you and to him. He could not in his present Circumstances have been so hapily situated as he is. Two such Men as Dr. Waterhouse and J.Q. Adams will find in the society of each other, and in the sciences and Litterature an inexhaustible fund of Amusement and of information. If his health and his other Engagements will allow him a career of three or four Years, I doubt not he will open a Road before the students to all that can be known, on the subjects of Rhetorick and Eloquence.

It is my ardent wish and confident hope that he will make no unnecessary difficulties with the Government of the Colledge, in any of its Branches. I wish he had delivered his first Lecture on fryday, even if the determination of the Corporation, had authorized him to repeat his first Lecture to the Sophomores, at their subsequent Appearance. If I were in his case, and the Corporation should decide against admitting the sophomores before Commencement, I would after Commencement repeat all the preceedent Lectures, although I might add a new Lecture, in every instance at the same time. If the schollars should be detained a whole hour instead of half an hour it would not hurt them. I am sorry to hear that speaking has been considered an irksome taske, which ought to be a delightful employment and an object of Ambition.

Eloquence however can never be restored to its ancient Glory without more moral sentiments and public Virtue than I believe remain in the World. Duty, Virtue Obligation, Patriotism, appear to me to have become through the whole Earth at least with the Majority, mere stalking Horses to Ambition and Avarice.

With my best comp’s to your good Lady, I remain with high esteem and respect your friend

and humble servant

J. ADAMS


QUINCY JAN. 21, 1807

DEAR SIR

Robinson was not only a Man of Sense and learning Piety and Virtue but of a Catholic tolerant Spirit and remarkable humanity. He resembled the two Shepards one of whom was Settled at Charleston and the other at Cambridge. Neither of the three were for renouncing Communion with the Church of England Brown was for excommunicating all, who differed from him in his most rigid notions. It is greatly to be regretted that Robinson did not live to come over, for he probably would have had influence enough to have restrained the early Emigrants from many Extravagancies which have diminished the reverence due to their general Character.

I congratulate you on the Amusement and Instruction you have found in the Sermons of Dr. Isaac Barrow. His Character and Writings are too much neglected. In Science and Learning he has had very few equals in England. He was the Predecessor, of Sir Isaac Newton in the Professorship of Mathematicks and natural Phylosophy, and contributed largely as I conjecture to the formation of that mighty Genius both in Science and Litterature. I am not very largely read in English Sermons. Dr. Tillotson Dr. Sam. Clark, Atterury Hoadley Dr. Shirlock, Dr. Seeker South Swift, Sterne and Blair, I occasionally read in Part. But I cannot think any of them deserve to be read more than Barrow. The English Divines who have ever read him call him a Quarry both of Sentiment and Expression. I have Somewhere read that the Earl of Chatham was a constant Reader and great Admirer of him, as the greatest Magazine of nervous Expressions in the English Language. I bought his Works in England and have read the Sermons you enumerate, and admire them as you do. But you know the Taste of this Age both in Europe and America. The nice palates of our modern men of Letters, must have polished Periods and fashionable Words. A few Words out of date and Sentences not fashioned upon the model of Hume Robertson Johnson Gibbon or Burke or Junius, will give them Such disgust that they will throw away the most sterling Wisdom to take up Reviews, Magazines Maria Williams and Dr. Aikin.

Were I a Professor of oratory at Harvard Colledge I would give a Lecture at least if not a Course of Lectures upon Dr. Barrow. I Suppose all Attempts however, to bring him into fashion would be abortive. The Bent of the Reviews etc. in England and Scotland is to run down out of Sight all the old Writers. I See they are now endeavouring to cry down Mr. Lock. His Ideas of Liberty and Tolleration are not enough Sublimated for them. They are more tender of Tom Paine. Locks Essay on Human Understanding however I still think one of the greatest Works of modern or ancient times. But alas! of what value is the opinion of

J. ADAMS


QUINCY SEP’R 17, 1810

DEAR SIR

I know that Mother Harvard had Power to make D.D.M.D. and LL.D. as well as Batchelors and Masters: but never knew till now that She possessed The Prerogative of making Princes. It is a notable Epocha in our History. Why may She not make Dukes, Marquisses, Viscounts, Earls Barons, Knights, and Esquires?

If the Republicans wish and expect from me a History of the Rise and Progress of the Essex Junto, they know not what they wish. I do not like the Appellation of Essex Junto. It is old Toryism, and is common in every State, City town and Village in the United States. There was not one without a Tory Junto in it, and their Heirs Executors Administrators, Sons Cousins etc. compose at this day an Essex Junto in every one of them. An History of the Essex Junto then would require a History of the whole American Community for fifty years. Let The Republicans remember, that it must contain at the Same time an History of Democracy and Jacobinism, two Sects to whom The Essex Junto owe their Power and Importance. The Characters of Hancock Adams Bowdoin, Warren, and an hundred others must come in. The Republicans would e as much offended as the Federalists by my History. But Alas, neither my Life would be long enough nor my Talents weighty enough to Accomplish one Year of the Fity of Such an History.

In my own Time: In my own Way I will communicate what I please. But I will not be The Gladiator of a Faction: No Nor of a Party. Not one of the many Limbs that are limed up for me shall catch The Bird, if I can avoid it.

J. ADAMS

The Speaker of the House of Commons is often called in Latin in other Parts of Europe, Orator, and often Prolocutor. The Man who is Sett up in our Town Meetings and Ecclesiastical Counsells to be looked at and talk’d at is called Moderator. I wish there could be a Moderator of The Senate and House too. Is it not passing Strange that I should become a Preacher of Moderation? In short, Waterhouse, in Speaking of Titles of any kind in this Country as Discriminations of Station, or Condition I can do nothing but pun and droll as you do.


QUINCY MARCH 29, 1811

DEAR SIR

Your Favour of the 25th is received. I feel much at East under the Lash: as much as Epictetus when he told his Master torturing his Leg ‘You will break it,’ and as much more so as I have no fear of having the Leg broken.

As to your ‘concern of Mind’ I advise you to be very deliberate: and weigh all Things as they will affect yourself, your Family your Friends your Country and Mankind: and then determine as the ‘Spirit’ Shall dictate.

The Query whether ‘Mr. Adams will Answer’? or treat it ‘with Silent Contempt’? I will not at present Answer. I will say to you in Confidence, I can when I will harrow up their Souls, by a very Simple Tale of Truth.

If J. Q. A. were here, instead of making ‘The Features fly’ as you Say, I hope he would not foul his Fingers in Such dirt.

When a Man who has been thought honest, tho passionate and fiery, begins to be crazy, I have often observed, that one of the first decisive Symptoms of Insanity, is Knavery. How has your Experience been? have you ever remarked the Same Thing? I could name Several Instances.

Whether Hamilton was a Man ‘wiser and more righteous than myself’ I Shall indeavour to furnish Posterity with the Information necessary to form an impartial and enlightened Judgment, in my own Time and in my own Way, but I will not be unnecessarily diverted from my Course. My pious and virtuous, Sensible and Learned, orthodox and rigid, odd, droll and eccentric, Reverend Spiritual Guide Parson Anthony Wibert, who was a great Admirer of Mr. George Whitfield as well as Sandiman and Dr. Hopkins often told me a Story. He once observed to Mr. Whitfield, ‘How you are vilified and Slandered in the Newspapers, and in Pamphlets! I wonder how you can bear it. Does it not affect your Sensibility and make you very unhappy’? Oh No, Said Whitfield, if they knew how much pleasure they give me, they would not do it.

I remain your Friend

JOHN ADAMS


QUINCY JULY 12 1811

DEAR SIR

The Charge of ‘Change of Politicks’ hinted in your Letter of the 8th deserves no Answer other than this, ‘The Hyperfederalists are become Jacobins, and The Hyperrebuiclans are become Federalists. John Adams remains Semper Idem, both Federalist and Republican in every rational and intelligible Sense of both those Words.

Of Pickering and Smith I have nothing to Say at present: but this A Secretary of State ought to have pierced into the remotest Periods of ancient Times and into the most distant Regions of the Earth: He should have studied the Map of Man, in his Savage as well as civilized State. It is more necessary that a Secretary of State should be omniscient, than a President, provided The President be honest and judicious. Where can We find Such Men? either for Presidents or Secretaries?

If there ever was an ‘Hamiltonian Conspiracy’ as you call it: and as you seem to Suppose: I have no reason to think its object was not ‘a Northern Confederation.’ Hamiltons Ambition was too large for So Small an Aim. He aimed at commanding the whole Union, and He did not like to be Shackled even with an Alliance with G. Britain. I know that Pickering was disappointed in not finding Hamilton zealous for an Allyance with England, when We were at Swords Points with France: and I have information, which I believe, but could not legally prove perhaps, that Pickering was mortified to find that neither Hamilton nor King would adopt the Plan that he carried from Boston, in his Way to Congress after he was first chosen into the Senate, of a division of the States and a Northern Confederacy. No! H. had wider Views! If he could have made a Tool of Adams as he did of Washington, he hoped to erect Such a Government as he pleased under the whole Union, and enter into Allyance with France or England as would Suit his Convenience.

H. and Burr, in point of Ambition were equal. In Principle equal. In Talents different. H. Superior in Litterary Talents: B. in military. H. a Nevis Adventurer, B. descended from the earliest, most learned Pious and virtuous of our American Nation, and buoyed up by Prejudices of half the Nation. He found himself thwarted, persecuted, calumniated by a wandering Stranger. The deep Malice of H. against Bur, and his indefatigable Exertions to defeame him are little known. I knew So much of it for a Course of Years, that I wondered a Duel had not taken Place Seven Years before it did. I could have produced Such a Duel at any Moment for Seven Years. I kept the Secrets Sacred and inviolable: and have kept them to this day.

I can do no more.

J.A.


QUINCY SEPTEMBER 15, 1812

DEAR SIR

You ask my Opinion, (if I understand you) whether Duane or General Hull be the fittest Man for Secretary of War. I answer, In my Opinion, Wilkinson was fitter than either. But his Vanity and the Collision of Faction have rendered his Appointment improper and impossible.

Again, if you wish my Opinion, you Shall have it. I know that Colonel William Stevens Smith of Lebanon, in Smiths Valley on Chenango River in the State of New York, was and is fitter for the Command of the Northwestern Army, and fitter for Secretary at War, than Ustis, Wilkinson or Hull, or Dearborn. But his Pride, his Marriage with my Daughter, and the Collision of Factions have rendered his Appoointment improper and impossible.

I have never had my Copies of the Botanist. My Son lent me his to read. I wish to have mine neatly bound.

The Booksellers in Boston and Salem, who refused to take any of them, disliked the Dedicator as well as the Dedicatee. You must know by this time, that the Tories in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut have all Reputations in their Powers; Yours, mine, my Son’s and Son in Law’s. And Washington’s too. If a freak Should take them, they could hunt down into Contem[pt] the Character of Washington, which they have been twelve Years exalting above all that is called Gd and that is worshipped.

You must know that poor Rush and you, and I, a[nd] all our Posterity are in the Power of the Tories. I mean the British Faction, whose Justice is Machiavillianism and whose tender Mercies are Cruelty, and whose Gratitude is Treachery and Perfidy.

I am, as ever your Friend

JOHN ADAMS

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Brigadier General (ret.) John Adams retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 and is an independent defense consultant.

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