Adams Family Correspondence, volume 11

John Adams to Charles Adams, 20 April 1796 Adams, John Adams, Charles
John Adams to Charles Adams
Dear Sir Philadelphia April 20. 1796

I recd. yesterday your favour of the 18 by the Post Mr Van Persyn, whom you mention as the Bearer I have neither Seen nor heard of. My Conclusion is that he is not yet come on. I should be very glad to See him and receive the Letters he brought for me. My Friendship for Mr Luzac will be motive enough to do him all the Service in my Power.

The Disposition of The H. of R. is very firm not to say Obstinate— Yet there are hopes and favourable Symptoms. Few Members have yet committed themselves and many may retreat—but others may consistently enough Vote for the Appropriations who have voted for the call for Papers. But much, indeed all will depend upon the Exertions of the People out of Doors in Expressing their sense & Wishes.

Twenty nine Members, a Majority of the Majority are from two States Virginia & North Carolina, all moving as one Man, not a dissenting Voice among them, appearing as if all drawn by one Cord— Yet this is boasted of as expressing the sense of the People.

Some Persons think that a few will come over, a few take their Leave, and a Majority vote the Appropriations.

A Worthy Friend of mine from one of the States to the southward of this, who is better acquainted with the southern Members than I have the honour to be, tells me that many of them are ignorant illitterate and stupid to a great degree and led by Mr M. Mr G. and now by Mr Gal. &c

Bitterness against the Government seems to have been the Qualification chiefly sought for in the Candidates and Candour Talents and Integrity little regarded, in the last Elections.

Does your present Assembly meet in November or the newly elected one?

It is a Consolation that New York is coming to a better Temper and Way of thinking.

I had a Line with some Newspapers from your Brother in London of the 1. of Feb.1 My Love to Mrs Adams.


I Sympathize with the Family in the unpleasant Fate but more in the unworthy Conduct of the one you mentioned to me— Pray wt is become of him. I am / affectionately your

John Adams

RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr C. Adams.”


For JQA’s 1 Feb. letter to JA, see JA to JQA, 5 April, note 1, above.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 21 April 1796 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My Dearest Friend Phila. April 21. 1796

This Day seven Years I first took my seat in Senate and I hope I shall not sit there seven Years longer. The H. continues constant—some Conjecture that by one means or another they will comply after sometime: but I see no present appearance of it. I pray with you for the Prosperity of Zion but that is all I can do.

The Town of Boston is under a bad Influence in the Hands of unwise and I fear unupright Conductors.

The despicable story of st. Hillaire, I have learn’d from Charles but the Event upon Smith I had not heard, It is the Decree of Fate that I should be connected by two Branches with a weak Family and I must make the best of it. Nothing can happen from it worse than my fears and long Expectations. I am determined it shall not plague me.

As to Copeland He knows that my Contract with him was for 8 Dollars a Month for the Year and I told him expressly I would give him no more.

If you can have Billings, I dont desire any other.

You may let even the Corn field to the Halves if you will. I will let out the home Place for the future all but the House & Gardens.— I am determined to reduce my Family at Quincy, and do nothing at farming but occasionally.

I am glad the Hill is cross ploughed— I expected it would be worse in the Spring than it was in the fall.

You must buy Hay if it is wanted: but there must have been Waste.

I shall fat two Yoke of oxen upon the Island, I shant keep more than one Yoke at home & a Yoke of steers—perhaps.

You call your Letters a Jumble but they are my Delight and mine are not half as good as yours.

Our Constitution is coming to a Crisis— I calculated at its Commencement about ten years for its duration. The People will this summer have to determine whether it shall Survive its Eighth Year. 261 The H. of R. seem determined to dictate to the whole Govt and Virginia is equally desirous of dictating to the H. and thro the Ignorance, Weakness and Wickedness of Boston New York & Philadelphia she is but too successfull. I am / most tenderly yours

J. A

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “April 21 1796.”