I believe there is not another Man in the World whose Life has been such a series of Remorses as mine. It seems as if there was a Destiny that I should never be paid. The time is drawing near, for eleven or twelve months will soon be round, when we embark for Home. This is an irksome undertaking—to break up a settled habitation and remove a family across the Seas, at any time of life is no small matter, but when people grow into years and are weary of changes it is more disagreeable. It is in vain to murmur, and we must submit.
In every Point of view, it would be impertinent for me to think of remaining longer in Europe. It would be some expence to the public, without any benefit, and a great torment to me, without any profit. I shall leave to future Conversations at your Fireside, all further revelations upon these subjects. It is idle to complain. If there is not some other Plan persued at home, no good can be done abroad.
I am extremely anxious about the wild Projects of Government both for the Confederations and for particular States that I am informed are in circulation.1 Yet I can not but hope and trust that the Massachusetts will get better very soon of her own difficulties. The people I think cannot be so weak and misled as to continue their outrages against all Government.467
I shall hardly find my homely house a Scene of tranquility or of Pleasure: but it can't be worse for myself or others, than to stay here. My tender affections to my Sister and all our Friends. Tho I have not had a Youth of Pleasures, I must reckon on an old age of Cares. These however will be softened by the Neighborhood and Society of my old Friends—in the cheering hopes of which permit me to subscribe myself, your affectionate and obliged Brother,
JA first received a report of a potential constitutional convention in Philadelphia from Rufus King, 2 Oct. 1786, who wrote, “The convention proposed to have been held at Annapolis in the last month on the subject of commerce has terminated without credit, or prospect of having done much good. . . . Whether the states will acceed to the proposition of a convention at Philadelphia, in May is yet uncertain” (Adams Papers).
Having determined to return to Pens hill, I begin to think in what a pitiful Condition I shall find my Meadow and Hill &c &c. Poor as a heath I Suppose, as I found them, but am determined they shall not remain long in such a contemptible plight. This is therefore to beg the favour of you to purchase for me Josh. Bracketts Heap at his stable1 for a year, and desire my Brother or my Tenant to hire Boats and Teams to transport it to Braintree, and to bring a proportional Quantity of Marsh Mud and street Dust to be laid in heaps for manure. Belcher remembers the whole Proscess. Draw upon me, as soon as possible for the Cash to defray all Expences. I am determined not to remain an Hour in Europe after the Expiration of my Commission to this Court. So I shall embark in January or February 1788 for Boston, if possible, if not, for New York in the Packett.