A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive
Next Letter (by date)
Previous Letter (by date)

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 10 January 1795

My Dearest Friend

The News Boys History is very long. A few Extracts will amuse you.

To Kosciusko he says

"O son of our great son of Fame
May Deals like his exalt thy Name
May fated Poland yet be free
And find a Washington in Thee."

The French

"The French still fight like veriest Witches
Both those who have and have not Breeches
And scarce a Dreade popes o'er
But sees them wade knee deep in gore
Sees Hosts of Foes though Men of might
Put all their Trust in Speedy flight;
And Oh! how quick their news is hurl'd
From Realm to Realm and World to World
For has not Telegraphe the merit
To make French feats outrace a Spirit?
Cannot Balloons as soon arise
To tell them through th' astonish'd Skies?
While Guillotine quick lets them know
By headless Ghosts, in Realms below."

Robespierre comes next, but his Character is too long to be transcribed.

"Above the mists of mouldering Time
Thy Fame O Adams*: soars sublime
Who first The British Lion spurn'd
And gave the Terms when Peace return'd;
Cull'd from the lapse of Ages past
And fram'd a Work with time to last;
Display'd in Truths celestial Light
How Freedom, Law and Power unite.
May choicest Flowers with Tears bedew'd,
On they brave Warrens grave be strew'd;
And long Heroic Lincoln stand
The laurel's bulwark of the Land.
But still no flowers of Greatness grow
Where thorny Plaques lurk not below
There swarms Honestus's rabble throng
And Lawyer Incest joins the throngsong.
While Jarvis with his Bobtail Crew
Retreats before great Ames's view.
And now O Muse: Throw candors veil
O'er aged Sam in dotage frail;
And let past services alone
For recent deeds of folly done;
When late aboard the Gallic ship
Well fraught with Democratic flip -- a Calumny!
He praying fell on servile knees
That France alone might rule the seas

*not Gov. Sam. Vide him below.

While sense and Reason took a nap
And snor'd in Jacobinic Cap
His other Acts, both grave and jolly
Behold are in the Book of Folly;
Yet should he with his Fathers sleep
We'll strive with all our might to weep."

Then comes Clinton &c.

The word "Soars" has made our Sans culottes Sore: and they wince inthe Backe's Paper.

Don't expose my Vanity in copying the Garland.


[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 10 January 1795 [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, 10 January 1795. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
Next Letter (by date)
Previous Letter (by date)