Adams Family Correspondence, volume 10

Charles Adams to John Adams

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

John Adams to Charles Adams, 13 December 1794 Adams, John Adams, Charles
John Adams to Charles Adams
Dear Charles Philadelphia Decr. 13. 1794

The Nature, Designs, rise, Progress, present State future Operations and successes of “Selfcreated Societies,[”] are likely to become Objects of interesting Enquiry and should be critically Studied by a Lawyer. We know something of the History of them in France. The fruits of them in Geneva you will see in the Pamphlet inclosed which was written by D’Ivernois. The fruits of them in Scotland, you may see in another Pamphlet inclosed, the Tryal of Wat and Downie.—1 I may send you another Pamphlet shewing them in Lauzanne and Le Pays de vaud in Switzerland—as also in some other Tryals in England and Scotland.2

It behoves you as a Lawyer to Settle in your Mind accurate Ideas of the Limits prescribed to the Legality of Such Societies, 302 Assemblies Conventions or Clubbs. I will assist you in furnishing you with Information on these Subjects.

I am &c

John Adams

RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).


Francis d’Ivernois, Authentic History of the Origin and Progress of the Late Revolution in Geneva, Phila., 1794, Evans, No. 27159; and The Trials at Large of Robert Watt and David Downie for High Treason, London, 1794. The d’Ivernois pamphlet has not been found but for the Watt and Downie work, see JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795, note 3, below.


Jean Jacques Cart, Lettres de Jean-Jaques Cart à Bernard Demuralt, trésorier du pays de Vaud, sur le droit public de ce pays, et sur les événemens actuels, Paris, 1793. In April 1794 JA forwarded a copy of this pamphlet from the author to Thomas Jefferson. Cart inscribed a second copy to JA that is in JA’s library at MB (Jefferson, Papers, 28:50–51, 57; Catalogue of JA’s Library ).