Papers of John Adams, volume 9

From Edmund Jenings

To Pierre Landais

To Edmund Jenings, 20 June 1780 JA Jenings, Edmund


To Edmund Jenings, 20 June 1780 Adams, John Jenings, Edmund
To Edmund Jenings
Dear sir June 20. 1780

I last night received a Letter from a Member of Congress,1 which informs me, that Congress have resolved to redeem their Loan Office Certificates, according to the Value of Money at the Time of their being respectively issued. This compleats their Plan of the 18 of March, and makes the whole just as well as wise and politick.

I Send you, the Report of the Committee as amended and adopted by the Convention.2 And a Bagatelle that I wrote at Philadelphia, Jany. 1776, in order to assist the People of the States in their Contemplations upon the Subject of instituting new Governments.3

I wish to have every step of the Massachusetts in this great Business preserved, because it is the first Example, that has happened in the Progress of human Society: of a People, deliberating so long so patiently, so cautiously, in the formation of a Government. The Result I now send you is still to be laid before the whole Body of the People in their Town Meetings, that every Man may have an opportunity, to express his Mind, and suggest his amendments.

No Government was ever made so perfectly upon the Principle of the Peoples Right and Equality. It is Locke, Sydney and Rousseau and Mably reduced to Practice in the first Instance.

I wish every step of their Progress printed and preserved. These 447Principles ought to be Spread in England at this time as much as possible. I have received the 2d Letter about your farm in Devonshire.


RC (Adams Papers.)


From Elbridge Gerry, 5 May (above).


Since JA had already sent Jenings a copy of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with his letter of 7 June (above), it seems likely that with this letter he was enclosing a copy of An Address of the Convention for Framing a New Constitution of Government for the State of Massachusetts Bay to Their Constituents, Boston, 1780, that included the constitution that the convention submitted to the people in March 1780. JA apparently received copies of the revised constitution from AA, with her letter of 15 April, and from Richard Cranch, with his of 26 April ( Adams Family Correspondence , 3:326, 328).


This was Thoughts on Government, printed at Philadelphia in April and at Boston in Oct. 1776 (vol. 4:65–93).