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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-06-04-02-0026-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hooper, William
Date: 1776-03-27

I. To William Hooper

[salute] Dear Sir

The Subject, on which you was pleased to request my Sentiments, is of infinite Importance to Mankind. Politicks is the Science of human Happiness—and the Felicity of Societies depends entirely on the Constitutions of Government under which they live. That <puerile> famous Couplet of a very great Poet,

“For Forms of Government let Fools contest

That's best administered, is best,”1

Shows him to have been less Attentive to the political and civil Part of History, than the poetical. He must have read and Studied for fanciful Images, not Social Institutions, because the Rectitude of Administration depends upon the Form; Some Species of Governments being always well administered, others never.
If you can determine, what Form of Government, will produce the greatest Quantity of human Happiness, you will at once decide which is the best, this being the only Criterion. If you determine what the Dignity of human Nature, and the Happiness of Mankind consists in, you will decide what it is that produces the greatest Quantity of Happiness. Divines, Moralists, Philosophers, and Men of Pleasure all agree that it consists in Virtue. If there is a Form of Government, therefore, whose Principle or Foundation, is Virtue, will not all those Kinds of Men acknowledge, it to be better calculated to promote the general Happiness, than another, the Principle of which is Fear, or even Honour.
I hold the Principle of Honour, Sacred—but am not ashamed to con• { 74 } fess myself So much of a Grecian, or Roman, if not of a Christian as to think the Principle of Virtue of higher Rank in the Scale of moral Excellence, than Honour. Indeed Honour is but a Part, a very Small Part of Virtue. As to Fear, it is so base and brutal a Passion, that it dont deserve the Name of a Principle, and I think no Gentleman of this Age and Country will think it a Foundation of Government proper for Americans.
The Spirit of the People, among whom I had my Birth and Education, which you know very well, was always republican, altho they never enjoyed a Constitution of Government conformable to that Spirit, as the whole of the Executive, with an enormous Prerogative, as well as two Branches of their Legislative, and the whole of their judicial Powers, were always in the Hands of the Crown. It was wholly owing to the Constitution of their Towns, which were Small Districts incorporated by an early Law, and vested with Powers to assemble frequently, deliberate, debate and act, upon many Affairs, together with the Establishment of Grammar Schools in every one of those Towns, that Such a Spirit was preserved, at all among the People.2
In my early Youth, the Works of Sidney, Harrington, Lock, Milton, Nedham, Neville, Burnet, Hoadley,3 were put into my Hands; and the miserable Situation of our Country, for fifteen Years past, has frequently reminded me of their Principles and Reasonings. They have convinced me that there is no good Government but what is Republican. The British Constitution itself is Republican, for I know of no better Definition of a Republic than this, that it is an Empire of Laws and not of Men:4 and therefore, as I look upon Republics to be the best of Governments So I think, that particular Form of Government, or in other Words, that particular Arrangement, and Combination of the Powers of Society, which is best calculated to Secure an exact and impartial Execution of the Laws, is the best Republic.
Of Republics there is an infinite Variety, because the Arrangements of the Powers of Society, are capable of innumerable Diversifications.
Now, sir, as good Government, is an Empire of Laws, the first Question, is, how shall your Laws be made?
In a Society, or Community consisting of any considerable Number of People, inhabiting any considerable Extent of Territory, it is impossible, that the whole Body should assemble, for the Purpose of making Laws. They would be too numerous. They could not afford the Time or Expence. The first step to be taken then, is to depute Power from the many to a few of the most wise and virtuous. But by what Rules Shall you choose your Representatives? Agree, upon { 75 } the Number of Persons, who shall have the Benefit of choosing one, or agree upon a District of Ground, the Inhabitants of which shall have that Priviledge, or agree upon the Quantity of Property, which shall be intituled to one. The principal Difficulty lies, and the greatest Care should be taken in constituting this Representative Assembly. It should be, in Miniature, an exact Portrait of the People at large. It should think, feel, reason, and act like them.5
That it may be the Interest of this Assembly, to do equal Right, and strict Justice upon all occasions, it must be an equal Representation of the People, or, in other Words, equal Interests among the People, Should have equal Interests in the Representative Body. No Art should be Spared to effect this, and to prevent, unfair, partial, and corrupt Elections: but Such Regulations are better made in Times of greater Tranquility than the present, and they will grow of themselves naturally when all the Powers of Society and Government, come to be in the Hands of the Peoples Friends. At present it will be wisest and Safest to go on in old established Methods to which the People are reconciled by Habit.
Having obtained a Representation of the People in one Assembly, the Question arises, whether it is wisest to leave all the Powers of Legislation in this single Body, or to make your Legislature more complex? I think a People cannot be long happy or free, whose Laws are made only by one Assembly: my Reasons for this opinion are these.
1. A Single Assembly is liable to all the Frailties, Vices and Follies of an Individual.—subject to fits of Humour, Caprice, Passion, Prejudice, hasty Results, and absurd Judgment, which ought to be corrected by some controuling Power.
2. A Single Assembly, is apt to be avaricious, and in time, would not Scruple to exempt itself from Burthens, which it would lay, without Feeling, upon its Constituents.
3. A Single Assembly is apt to grow ambitious, and vote itself perpetual. Witness the Case of Holland, whose Assembly first voted that they should hold their Seats Seven years, then for Life, and after some time they had the Modesty to determine, that when a Vacancy happened by Death or otherwise, they themselves would fill it up, without applying to the Constituents of the deceased Member.
4. An Assembly cannot exercise the executive Power, for Want of two essential Properties, Secrecy and Dispatch: now, if an executive Power is constituted distinct from the Legislature, and the Legislative consists of only one Assembly, there will naturally grow a Coldness, { 76 } —an opposition—and at length a downright civil War, between the Legislative and Executive.
5. Because a Representative Assembly is Still less qualified to exercise the judicial Power, being too numerous, and generally too little Skilled in those voluminous Collections of Laws, which are necessary to be thoroughly understood, and most carefully observed, in order to obtain a uniform, Steady and impartial Administration of Justice.
Therefore I lay it down as a Maxim that the judicial Power should be distinct both from the Legislative and Executive. Now if you have your Legislative in one Assembly, and Executive in another, and the judicial Power leans to either, it will naturally join with that, and overballance, overbear, and overturn the other.
The Legislature, therefore, should consist of more than one Assembly. Let the Representative Body then, elect by Ballot, from among themselves or their Constituents, a distinct Assembly to consist of the most experienced, accomplished, and virtuous Men, which for the Sake of Perspicuity we will call a Council. It may consist of any Number you please—Say Twenty or thirty.
When these two Bodies are thus constituted, an Inquiry will arise, is the Legislature compleat? I think not. There should be a third Branch which for the Sake of preserving old Style and Titles, you may call a Governor whom I would invest with a Negative upon the other Branches of the Legislature and also with the whole Executive Power, after divesting it of most of those Badges of Domination call'd Prerogatives. I know that giving the Executive Power a Negative upon the Legislative, is liable to Objections, but it seems to be attended with more Advantages than Dangers, especially if you make this Officer elective annually, and more especially if you establish a Rotation by which no Man shall be Governor for more than three years. Annually elective, he may be allowed a free and independent Exercise of his Judgment, because he will have So much Regard for the People, the Representatives, and Council that he would Seldom exercise this Right, except in Cases, the public Utility of which would be conspicuous, and Some such Cases would happen. However, if you like it better, give him only a casting Voice in Council.
In the present State of America, when by an Act of Parliament, We are put out of the Royal Protection,6 and it is become necessary to assume Government for immediate Security, the Governor should be chosen by joint Ballot of both Houses. In the Same manner a Lieut. Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Comissary, and Attorney General, may be chosen.
{ 77 }
The Governor, by and with and not without the Advice and Consent of the Council should nominate and appoint all Judges, Justices, and all other Officers civil and military, who should have Commissions Signed by the Governor and under the Seal of the Colony. If you choose to have a Government more popular Still you may let all Officers be chosen by one House, concurred by the other and consented to by the Governor, Sheriffs should be chosen by the Freeholders of the Counties.
Indeed the whole of this Plan is callculated for the present Emergency. The Legislature thus constituted will have Power to make any Alterations from Time to Time, to Supply Defects which Experience may point out. It may indeed give the Election of the whole Government, annually to the People at large as in Connecticutt.
The Stability of Government, in all its Branches, the Morals of the People, and every Blessing of Society depends so much upon a true Interpretation of the Laws, and an impartial Administration of Justice, that the Judges Should always be Men of learning and Experience in the Laws, exemplary Morals, great Patience, Calmness, Coolness and Attention. Should not have their Minds distracted with complicated jarring Interests, or be Subservient to any Man or Body of Men, or more complaisant to one than another. To this End, they should hold Estates for Life in their Offices, and their Salaries Should be fixed by Law. By holding Estates for Life, I mean their Commissions Should be during good Behaviour.
Such a Constitution as this naturally and necessarily introduces universal Knowledge among the People, and inspires them, with a conscious Dignity, becoming Freemen; good Humour, good Manners and good Morals. Virtue, Honour, and Civility become fashionable. That Elevation of Sentiment, which is mechannichally introduced by such a Government, makes the common People bold, brave and enterprizing. That Ambition which is inspired by it into every Rank and order of Men, makes them industrious, sober and frugal. In such a Government, you will find some Elegance perhaps, but more Solidity. Some Politeness, but more Civility. Some Pleasure but more Business.
If you compare a Country where such a Government prevails with the Regions of Domination whether monarchical, or Aristocratical, you will think yourself in Arcadia or Elisium.
But must not all Commissions run in the Name of the King? No. Let them run thus “The Colony of North Carolina to A. B. Greeting,” and be tested by the Governor.
Must not all Writs run in the Name of the King? No. Let them run { 78 } thus “The Colony of North Carolina, to the sheriff of &c.”—“you are hereby commanded,” &c. and let them be tested by the Chief Justice.
Must not all Indictments conclude “Contra Pacem Domini Regis”? No. Let them conclude “against the Peace of the Colony of North Carolina, and the Dignity of the same” or “Majesty of the same” if you will.
We have heard much, my dear sir, of a Continental Constitution—for my own Part I see no Occasion, for any but a Congress. Let every Colony please itself without Controul in its own Constitution. Let a fair and equitable Representation of every Colony, appear in Congress, and let the Authority of that great Council be Sacredly confined to three Cases, War, Trade, and Disputes between Colony and Colony.
If the thirteen Colonies, were all possessed of such Forms of Government, and a Confederation for the above Purposes, was agreed on in Congress and ratified by the Assemblies, they would be unconquerable by all Europe.
I must rely on your Friendship, not to expose me to ridicule or Censure, unnecessarily, for these imperfect Hints.
RC (Nc-Ar: David L. Swain Papers); docketed on attached slip and in hand of Thomas Burke: “Jno. Adam's Thoughts on Government.” For the recovery of this MS, see Adams Family Correspondence, 1:384–385, note 3.
1. Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle III, lines 303–304. These lines from Pope are not quoted in the letter to Penn (No. II, below).
2. The ideas in this paragraph are omitted from the other two letters.
3. For Marchamont Needham (1620–1678), Henry Neville (1620–1694), Gilbert Burnet (1643–1715), and Benjamin Hoadly (1676–1761), consult the DNB and Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman, Cambridge, 1959, passim.
4. In the Novanglus Letters JA used the phrase “a government of laws and not of men” in referring to the British Constitution (Papers, 2:314). For a thoughtful essay on the meaning and origin of the phrase, which is traced back to James Harrington's Oceana, see L. H. Butterfield, “A Government of Laws and Not of Men,” Harvard Magazine, 77:19–20 (Nov. 1974).
5. A commonly held belief at this time and one used by Anti-Federalists later to criticize the makeup of the congress under the Constitution of the United States (Cecilia M. Kenyon, “Men of Little Faith,” WMQ, 3d ser., 12:10–13 [Jan. 1955]).
6. A reference to Parliamentary support for the King's speech of 26 Oct. 1775 declaring the colonies in rebellion (Parliamentary Hist., 18:695–697, 705–798).

Docno: ADMS-06-04-02-0026-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Penn, John
Date: 1776-03-27

II. To John Penn

[salute] Dear Sir

If I was possess'd of Abilities equal to the great Task you have imposed upon me, which is to sketch out the outlines of a Constitution for a Colony, I should think myself the happiest of Men in complying with your Desire: because as Politicks is the Art1 of Securing human { 79 } Happiness, and the Prosperity2 of Societies depends upon the Constitution of Government, under which they live; there cannot be a more agreable Employment to a benevolent Mind than the Study of the best, Kinds of Governments.
It has been the Will of Heaven, that We should be thrown into Existence at a Period, when the greatest Philosophers and Lawgivers of Antiquity would have wished to have lived: a Period, when a Coincidence of Circumstances, without Example, has afforded to thirteen Colonies at once an opportunity, of beginning Government anew from the Foundation and building as they choose. How few of the human Race, have ever had an opportunity of choosing a System of Government for themselves and their Children? How few have ever had any Thing more of Choice in Government, than in Climate? These Colonies have now their Election and it is much to be wish'd that it may not prove to be like a Prize in the Hands of a Man who has no Heart to improve it.3
In order to determine which is the best Form of Government, it is necessary to determine what is the End of Government? and I suppose that in this enlightened Age, there will be no dispute, in Speculation, that the Happiness of the People, the great End of Man, is the End of Government, and therefore, that Form of Government, which will produce the greatest Quantity of Happiness, is the best.
All Sober Enquirers after Truth, ancient and modern, Divines, Moralists and Philosophers have agreed that the Happiness of Mankind, as well as the real Dignity of human Nature, consists in Virtue. If there is a Form of Government then, whose Principle and Foundation is Virtue will not every wise Man acknowledge it more likely to promote the general Happiness than any other.
Fear, which is Said by Montesquieu and all other political Writers to be the Foundation of some Governments, is so sordid and brutal a Passion that it cannot properly be called a Principle, and will hardly be thought in America a proper Basis of Governments.
Honour, is a Principle which ought to be Sacred: But the Grecians and Romans pagan as well as Christian, will inform Us that Honour at most is but a Part of Virtue, and therefore a feebler Basis of Government.
A Man must be indifferent to Sneer and Ridicule, in Some Companies to mention the Names of Sidney, Harrington, Lock, Milton, Nedham, Neville, Burnet, Hoadley;4 for the Lines of John Milton on one of his Sonnetts, will bear an application, even in this Country, upon Some Occasions. { 80 }

“I did but teach the Age, to quit their Cloggs,

by the plain Rules of ancient Liberty,

When lo! a barbarous Noise surrounded me

Of Owls and Cuckoo's, Asses, Apes and Dogs.”5

These great Writers however, will convince any Man who has the Fortitude to read them, that all good Government is Republican: that the only valuable Part of the British Constitution is so;6 for the true Idea of a Republic, is “An Empire of Laws and not of Men”: and therefore as a Republic is the best of Governments so, that particular Combination of Power, which is best contrived for a faithfull Execution of the Laws, is the best of Republics.
There is a great Variety of Republics, because the Arrangements of the Powers of Society are capable of many Variations.
As a good Government is an Empire of Laws, the first Question is, how Shall the Laws be made?
In a Community consisting of large Numbers, inhabiting an extensive Country, it is not possible that the whole Should assemble, to make Laws. The most natural Substitute for an Assembly of the whole, is a Delegation of Power, from the Many, to a few of the most wise and virtuous. In the first Place then establish Rules for the Choice of Representatives: Agree upon the Number of Persons who shall have the Privilege of choosing one. As the Representative Assembly, should be an exact Portrait, in Miniature, of the People at large, as it should think, feel, reason and act like them great Care should be taken in the Formation of it, to prevent unfair, partial and corrupt Elections. That it may be the Interest of this Assembly to do equal Right, and Strict Justice upon all Occasions, it should be an equal Representation of their Constituents, or in other Words equal Interests among the People, Should have equal Interests in the Representative Body. That the Representatives may often mix with their Constituents, and frequently render to them an Account of their Stewardship, Elections ought to be frequent.

Like Bubbles on the sea of Matter borne

They rise, they break and to that sea return7

These Elections may be septennial or triennial, but for my own Part I think they ought to be annual, for there is not in all science a Maxim more infallible than this “Where Annual Elections End, there Slavery begins.”8
But all necessary Regulations for the Method of constituting this { 81 } Assembly, may be better made in Times of more Quiet than the present, and they will suggest themselves naturally, when the Powers of Government shall be in the Hands of the Peoples Friends. For the present it will be safest to go on in the usual Way.
But We have as yet Advanced only one Step in the Formation of a Government. Having obtained a Representative Assembly, what is to be done next? Shall We leave all the Powers of Government in this assembly?9 Shall they make and execute, and interpret Laws too? I answer no. A People cannot be long free, and never can be happy, whose Laws are made, executed and interpreted by one Assembly. My Reasons for this opinion are these.
1. A Single Assembly is liable to all the Vices, Follies, and Frailties of an Individual—subject to fits of Humour, Transports of Passion, Partialities of Prejudice: and from these and other Causes apt to make hasty Results and Absurd Judgments: all which Errors ought to be corrected, and Inconveniences guarded against by some Controuling Power.
2. A Single Assembly is apt to grow Avaricious, and in Time would not Scruple to exempt itself from Burdens, which it would lay upon its Constituents, without Sympathy.
3. A Single Assembly will become ambitious, and after Some Time will vote itself perpetual. This was found in the Case of the long Parliament: but more remarkably in the Case of Holland whose Assembly first voted that they should hold their Seats for seven Years, then for Life—and after some Time, that they would fill up Vacancies as they should happen without applying to their Constituents at all.
4. The Executive Power cannot be well managed by a Representative Assembly for Want of two essential Qualities, secrecy and Dispatch.10
5. Such an assembly is still less qualified to exercise the judicial Power because it is too numerous, too slow, and generally too little Skill'd in the Laws.
But shall the whole Legislative Power, be left in the Hands of such an Assembly? The three first, at least of the foregoing Reasons, will shew that the Legislative Power ought not to be wholly intrusted to one Assembly.
Let the Representative Body then elect, from among themselves or their Constituents, or both, a distinct Assembly, which We will call a Council. It may consist of any Number you please, Say twenty or thirty. To this Assembly should be given a free and independent { 82 } Exercise of its Judgment, upon all Acts of Legislation, that it may be able to check and correct the Errors, of the other.
But there ought to be a third Branch of the Legislature: and wherever the Executive Power of the State is placed, there the third Branch of the Legislature ought to be found.
Let the two Houses then, by joint Ballott, choose a Governor. Let him be chosen annually. Divest him, of most of those Badges of slavery called Prerogatives. And give him a Negative upon the Legislature. This I know is liable to some Objections—to obviate which you may make him in a Legislative Capacity only President of the Council. But if he is annually elective, you need not Scruple to give him a free and independent Exercise of his Judgment, for he will have So great an Affection for the People, the Representatives, and Council that he would Seldom exercise his Right, except in Cases, the public Utility of which would soon be manifest, and some such Cases would happen.
In the present Exigency of American Affairs, where by an Act of Parliament We are put out of all Royal Protection, and consequently discharged from all Obligations of Allegiance; and when it has become necessary to assume Governments for immediate Security, the Governor, Lieut. Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Attorney General should be chosen by joint Ballot of both Houses.
The Governor, by and with and not without the Advice and Consent of Council, should appoint all Judges, Justices and all other Officers civil and military, who should have Commissions Signed by the Governor and under the Seal of the Colony.
Sherriffs should be chosen by the Freeholders of the Counties.
If you chose to have a Government more popular all Officers may be chosen by one House of Assembly subject to the Negative of the Other.11
The Stability of Government, in all its Branches, the Morals of the People and every other Blessing of Society, and social Institutions depend so much upon an able and impartial Administration of Justice, that the judicial Power should be Seperated from the Legislative and Executive, and independent upon both; the Judges should be Men of Experience in the Laws, of exemplary Morals, invincible Patience, unruffled Calmness, and indefatigable Application: their Minds should not be distracted with complicated jarring Interests—they should not be dependent on any Man or Body of Men—they should lean to none, be subservient to none, nor more complaisant to one than another. To this End they should hold Estates for Life in their Offices, or in other { 83 } Words their Commissions should be during good Behaviour, and their Salaries ascertained and established by Law. If accused of Misbehaviour, by the Representative Body, before the Governor and Council, and if found guilty after having an opportunity to make their Defence, they should be removed from their Offices and Subjected to such Punishment as their Offences deserve.12
A Rotation of Offices, in the Legislative and Executive Departments has many Advocates and, if practicable might have many good Effects. A Law may be made that no Man shall be Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Councillor, or Representative more than three Years at a Time, nor be again eligible untill after an Interval of three Years.
A Constitution like this, of which the foregoing is a very imperfect Plan naturally introduces generally Knowledge into the Community and inspires the People with a conscious Dignity, becoming Freemen. A general Desire of Reputation and Importance among their Neighbours, which cannot be obtained without, some Government of their Passions, some good Humour, good Manners and good Morals, takes Place in the Minds of Men, and naturally causes general Virtue and Civility. That Pride which is introduced by such a Government among the Common People makes them bold, brave and enterprizing. That Ambition which is introduced into every Rank makes them sober, industrious and frugal. You will find among them some Elegance, but more Solidity, a little Politeness but a great deal of Civility—some Pleasure, but much Business.
Let Commissions run thus “Colony of North Carolina to A. B. Greeting” &c. and be tested by the Governor.
Let Writs run “The Colony of &c. to the sheriff &c.” Let Endictments conclude “against the Peace of the Colony of North Carolina, and the Dignity of the same.” Or if you please against the Peace of the thirteen united Colonies.13
We have heard much of the Continental Constitution. I see no occasion for any But a Congress. Let that be made an equal and fair Representation of the Colonies, and let its Authority be confined to three Cases, War, Trade, and Controversies between Colony and Colony. If a Confederation was formed agreed on in Congress, and ratified by the Assemblies: These Colonies under such Terms of Government and such a Confederation would be unconquerable by all the Monarchies of Europe.
This Plan of a Government for a Colony you see is intended as a temporary Expedient under the present Pressure of Affairs. The Gov• { 84 } ernment once formed, and having settled its authority will have Leisure enough to make any Alteration that Ti[me and] Experience and more mature Deliberation may dictate. Particularly, a Plan may be devised perhaps and be thought expedient for giving the Choice of the Governor to the People at large, and of the Councillors to the Freeholders of the Counties. But be these Things as they may. Two Things are indispensibly to be attended to—one is some Regulations for securing forever an equitable Choice of Representatives—another is the Education of Youth, both in Literature and Morals.14
I wish, my dear sir, that I had Time to think of these Things more at Leisure, and to write more correctly. But you must take these Hints rough as they run. Your own Reflections assisted by the Patriots of North Carolina will improve upon every Part of them.
As you brought upon yourself the Trouble of r[eading] these rude Thoughts, you can blame, your Friend.
RC (MHi: Washburn Papers); docketed in an unknown hand: “To Hon. John Penn 1776”; in a different hand: “Jno Adams's Thoughts on Governt in 1776 in his own hand writing.” At several points the MS has small tears.
1. In the letter to Hooper, JA defined politics as “the Science of human Happiness” (No. I, above).
2. The letter to Hooper has “Felicity” for “Prosperity” (same).
3. The ideas in this paragraph are missing from the letter to Hooper and are enlarged and rephrased near the conclusion of the letter to Wythe (No. III, below).
4. These eight names are in identical order in each of the three letters, suggesting that JA may have worked from notes.
5. On the Detraction Which Followed upon My Writing Certain Treatises (second part, “On the Same”), lines 1–4. This quotation, which is not exact, and which is not in the Hooper letter, concludes the Wythe letter.
6. The letter to Hooper calls the British Constitution republican without qualification; the phrasing here is repeated in the Wythe letter.
7. Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle III, lines 19–20. Lacking in the Hooper letter, this quotation appears much later in the text of the Wythe letter.
8. This quotation is not used in the Hooper letter, but is repeated in the Wythe letter. No source has been identified.
9. In the Hooper letter the phrase is “to leave all the Powers of Legislation in this single Body.” The Wythe letter is more explicit yet: “a question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body.” Had the Hooper version gone into print, there would perhaps have been less confusion in Pennsylvania over whether JA was rejecting unicameralism or just the concentrating of all governmental powers in a single body. See Editorial Note (above).
10. JA omits mention here of the conflict that will inevitably develop between the executive and a single-house legislature, which is mentioned in both the other letters.
11. In the Hooper version the governor in these circumstances would have had an equal role with the two houses of the legislature.
12. The Hooper letter omits any mention of the impeachment process for misbehaving judges.
13. Neither the Hooper nor the Wythe letter mentions indictments in the name of the thirteen colonies.
14. The emphasis on the necessary connection between equitable representation and the education of youth if free { 85 } | view { 86 } government is to flourish is more explicit here than in the letter to Hooper, where JA points out that town government and grammar schools made it possible for the people to overcome the obstacle of a government dominated by the king.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/