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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 November 1794

My Dearest Friend

The Pamphlet inclosed may be called "The most astonishing Concentration of Jacobitical Malevolence that ever Scottish Spite exhibited." have read it however with Interest and Avidity. It is not badly written. It has, no doubt, too much foundation in Truth. It has none little of the Wit and none of the humour of Tern Pain, but has more than his Malice and Revenge. It is sometimes amusing to contemplate sheer Malignity, especially when it seems not to have any Power to do harm. The Writer is a "Callender" now in this City employed as a Writer of Essays and Paragraphs for his Newspaper by Andrew Brown. We shall soon see the offspring of his Genius applied to Men and Measures in America. Very soon will he be a Member of the Democratical society, as I foresee. This Country is to be the Asylum of all the discontented, turbulent, profligate and Desperate from all Parts of Europe and Democratical societies

are to raise them to fame, Popularity, Station and Power. How long the People will countenance this I know not. Jefferson it seems is to give the first Passport to these Incendiaries. Malignity seemed to have seized upon that Mans mind as deeply as upon Paines and Callenders.

I expect a Letter tomorrow.

The President and Senate have fixed a Stigma on certain Anarchical societies. The House will do the same though perhaps in feebler terms. No Party No Man in either house has justified them. None has even excused them. Some have imprudently admitted their Legality. People have a right to meet and consider of Laws, express their opinions and feelings, for the Purpose of petitioning the Legislature for Repeals or Amendments. But it is not lawful to meet to frame and publish Curfews upon Laws, and Libels upon Men or Measures. If when assembled they do an unlawful Act

Their Assembly is adjudged to unlawful from the Beginning. The Legality of the Meeting depends upon the Legality of their Conduct. It is incautious and improvident therefore to acknowledge their Legality, without Exceptions, Qualifications and limitations as some have done who are no friends to them.


My Waggish Friend Fitch of Jamaica applies to me from the Rolliad, or Probationary Odes.

"There Cornwall sits, and oh unhappy fate!
"Must sit forever, through the long Debate;
"Painful Pre-eminence! he hears, tis true,
"Fox, North and Burke -- but hears, Sir Joseph too.
"Like sad Prometheus fastened to his Rook
"In vain he looks for Pity to the Clock;
"In vain the Effect of Strengthening Porter tries
"And nods to Bellamy for fresh Supplies
"While Culture like the dire Mahon appears
"And far more savage rends his suffering Ears.
"With Mulgrave -- at whose Scream, in wild Surprize
"The speechless Speaker lifts his drowsy Eyes."

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 November 1794 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 November 1794. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcription.
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