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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1796-12-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I recd yours of the 14 on Fryday: but had no Letter on Monday.1
According to present appearances, Jefferson will be Daddy Vice, and between you and me I expect you will soon See a more ample Provision made for him, that he may live in Style—and not be obliged to lodge at Taverns and ride in Stage Coaches. I See plainly enough that when your Washingtons and Adams’s are Stowed away our dear Country will have a gay Government. I cannot help these injudicious Extreams into which People will run, nor these invidious Partialities.2
The Rumours of Peculation and Want of Probity as well as want of Fidelity to Trusts are allarming & afflicting. My Old Friends Mifflin, McKean Ewing, exhibit despicable and detestible Phenomena for Governors Judges & Heads of Colledges, as their Conduct is represented daily in public Companies. I know nothing more.— McKean indeed is only charged with a little too much Madeira and Infidelity to Friendship and political Principle.
Whatever the French may Say without stammering or with Swaggering, the American People will not be frightened by them.
Swan came to visit me, as well as Tenche Coxe. What a Puppy this last? He left his Card. I was at home when the other came and had a Conversation with him civilly enough.—
{ 463 }
The Prospect before me, opens many Questions and Inquiries concerning House, Furniture, Equipage, Servants and many other Things which will give me trouble and occupation enough and the more because you will not be here— Luckily for you— I should tremble for your health if you had all the Visits and Ceremonies to go through and all the Preparations to make.
71 is the Ne plus ultra—it is now certain that no Man can have more and but one so many— if no irregularity appears to set aside Votes 71 will carry the Point. I know of no irregularity. The suggested one of Vermont appears without foundation. I am affectionately
[signed] J. A.3
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “December 27 1796.”
1. In her letter to JA of 14 Dec. AA wrote that during a recent visit with Judge William and Hannah Phillips Cushing the latter expressed her belief that JA would receive all of Connecticut’s electoral votes. AA also informed JA that she had been forwarded a letter from TBA to Thomas Welsh of 30 Sept., not found, which provided a status update of France’s activities along the Rhine and the popular belief that the United States was under the thumb of Great Britain (Adams Papers).
2. Congress made no changes to the salaries for either the president or the vice president at this time (Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 2d sess., p. 2944).
3. In a second letter to AA of the same date, JA wrote that he had no news of JQA or TBA later than 30 Sept., and he included an extract of a letter he had seen that flattered JA with having talents superior to those of George Washington and that JA felt obligated to refute (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0238

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1796-12-28

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

Your kind letter of the last week I have received.1 Your ideas respecting a young man’s having a Record of a regular education in the Law I think are perfectly right with regard to my Young friend Malcom his age will not permit his taking an examination until near fifteen months after he leaves my office which will be in June next His uncle Mr Joshua Sands is his guardian and has since my first acquaintance with him been such a friend as is not to be ranked among the many2 It has been Mr Sands object to give my pupil as good an education as this State can afford knowing that the fortune left to him is such that he will not be obliged to toil through the drugery of the law for a maintainance he had proposed to send him for a year or two to Europe and if possible to procure him the place of Secretary to Mr King. I wish not to say too much of the merits of my eléve but it would be wrong to conceal the gratitude I owe not only to him as one of the most attentive students I ever knew but to { 464 } his family and connections who have invariably endeavored to promote my interest and wellfare
The multiplicity of Banks and unlimited Speculations have caused the most deplorable scarcity of money The calculation of money now due to our Merchants from England and France is enormous. The failure of payment of petty debts creates a distress that can hardly be conceived I can give you a specimen which I know is not singular I had the other day many outstanding debts in the way of my business to the amount of about two hundred and fifty dollars and those due from perhaps sixty different people I wanted to collect them and spent two days in the business and obtain[ed] but eight dollars. The complaint is universal [….] man whose word would pass for fifty thousand dollars tells you he cannot command twenty at the moment. Tom Paines pamphlet I have read I shall make no comments but give the Motto I think the American People will give to it

“Hic Jacet Thomas Paine”

My dear Mother has this day sent me a pamphlet containing a sett of papers under the signature of Aurelius,3 they are well intended though the author does not discover a knowlege of the minutia of business Infinitely more might have been said: Whatever confidence you may place in me shall be sacred and on this declaration I would inquire what if any has ever been the coolness between Hamilton and yourself. I have been informed and that by a person although he will lie could not have hoped to escape detection in this instance That Hamilton had declared in his presence in the Chancellors, Brockholst Livingstons, and Troups that his most earnest and sincere wish was that Pinkney might be elected President.4 If So “There’s something rotten in the State of Denmark” My dear Mrs Adams and her little one who if she could speak would join us send to you the compliments of the season and that my fathers conduct may during his life be admired by the virtuous is the ardent wish and the assured hope of his / Affectionate son
[signed] Chas Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of The United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Cha A. Decr 28. / Ansd 30. 1796.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Joshua Sands (1757–1835) was a New York merchant and state senator. He later became collector of customs at the port of New York and represented the state in the U.S. Congress from 1803 to 1805 and again from 1825 to 1827 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Not found.
4. Brockholst Livingston (1757–1823), a New York lawyer and John Jay’s brother-in-law but { 465 } political opponent, was named a judge of the New York Supreme Court in 1802 and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1806 (ANB).
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/