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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-07

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I threatened you with a great deal of Egotism for the public good.1
I was chosen by my native Town into the Convention 2 or 3 days after my Arrival. I was by the Convention put upon the Committee—by the Committee upon the sub committee—and by the sub Committee appointed a Sub sub Committee—so that I had the honour to be principal Engineer. The Committee made some alterations, as I am informed the Convention have made a few others in the report. But { 389 } the frame and Essence and substance is preserved. I wish this was printed in England. I think it would much assist their Committees and Associations. The Principles, of it, must be the Principles on which, those Committees must proceed or they will fail.
I think it is good Policy to keep up the Remembrance of my Commission by now and then a Hint in the public Papers. The People must be reconciled by Degrees, to our Sovereignty.
There never was an Example of such Precautions, as are taken by this wise and jealous People in the formation of their Government.
I cannot give you all the Particulars now but if you desire these another Time I will, I have much to say to you if I could get time on this subject of Constitutions. Europe has been much deceived on this Head.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “JA June 7th 1780.”
1. Jenings' reply of 10 June (below) indicates that a copy of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Boston, 1779) was enclosed with this letter, thereby explaining JA's comments on drafting the constitution and the importance of publicizing Massachusetts' efforts to establish a new government. See also The Massachusetts Constitution, ca. 28–31 Oct. 1779, Editorial Note, vol. 8:228–236.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0249

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Johnson, Joshua
Date: 1780-06-07

To Joshua Johnson

[salute] Dear sir

This moment I am favoured with yours of the 3.1 Yours of the 2 May, I duely received, and answered the 16, in which inclosed a Letter to Congress. Afterwards I duely received yours of the 20th. acknowledging the Receipt of mine of 16, and writing your design to send the Letter to Congress by the dove.2 In yours of the 3d. you acknowledge the Receipt of mine of 26, with another Letter to Congress which you propose sending by the Buckskin. I am much obliged to you for your Care.
I have been So occupied, that I have not answered the Letters of my private Friends, for a Week or two past as I ought. We have not a Word of News, but what is in the Papers. Rodneys vain, distracted Letter, makes the principal subject of Conversation. We are very anxious to hear from Charlestown. It is astonishing to me, that among all the Vessells that have arrived, not one Line comes from Congress, nor any member. If I was of a jealous Temper I should Suspect fowl play. But I wont harbour such a Thought untill I have proof. Let me beg of you Sir, to make particular Enquiry of all Captains and Pas• { 390 } sagers, that come to your Port, whether they have any Letters for me, the Honourable Francis Dana Esqr. or Mr. John Thaxter.
Pray thank Mr. Williams for his Letter3 to me and Newspaper. I will answer him soon.
I am with much Esteem your sert
1. No reply of 3 June by Johnson to JA's letter of 26 May (LbC, Adams Papers) has been found, nor is there any indication as to which of JA's letters to the president of Congress was enclosed with the letter of the 26th.
2. For JA's letter of 16 May with the enclosed letter to the president of Congress, as well as Johnson's reply of 20 May (Adams Papers), see Johnson's letter of 2 May, descriptive note, and note 1 (above).
3. Of 23 May (above).
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, 2018.