Papers of John Adams, volume 18

From Thomas Brand Hollis


Sir 30 January 1787 No. 14 Vere Street, Oxford Road

Lord Lansdowne having satisfied my impatience in entrusting me with your defense of the American Constitutions, I started reading the work with a pleasure and an attention that (in the case of a second edition) makes me wish for a private conversation with the author on Switzerland in general and Geneva in particular. Awaiting such an honor, sir, I have the one of sending you a short piece which will convince you that, currently, in regard to everything concerning personal liberty, Switzerland still has at present more ground to cover with respect to the Americans than it does in what constitutes public liberty, that is to say, a just balance of different powers.1 I sincerely hope, sir, that the attempt I have made to expound for the Swiss the most basic American and British principles on criminal jurisprudence will win your favor.

I have the honor to be with all due respect, sir, your most humble and most obedient servant