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MY DEAREST FRIEND.
THIS day I received yours of the 2d. I have received all the votes from all the States. It is known that Georgia voted with North Carolina, Virginia and New York ; and Kentucky voted for Jefferson. There is no other newspaper circulated in the back country of the southern States than Freneau's National Gazette, which is employed with great industry to poison the minds of the people. The federal court has again had a sitting in Virginia, and by reason of Mr. Jay's sickness, the great cause is again continued, which serves to keep up the rage in that State and North Carolina, which is its echo.
If you hire the man you mention, you should know before hand what kind of skill and experience he has in farming, as well as his integrity and good disposition. I shall leave it, however, to you. Twenty-six pounds are too high. Twenty-four are enougrf ; but if you cannot get one for less, we must give twenty -six.
I expect, ere long, to hear that Paine is split and sliced for an aristocrat; perhaps roasted, or broiled, or fried. He is too lean to make a good pie, but he is now in company with a number who are admirably qualified and disposed to feed upon each other. The foolish vote of the constituting assembly in favor of a rotation and excluding themselves from being re- elected has cost every man of weight and talents among them his life, or his country and his fortune. All are murdered, banished and confiscated. Danton, Robespierre, Marat, &c., are furies. Dragon's teeth have been sown in France and come up monsters. The army has behaved better, and the people seem to be zealous ; but if they have not some system by which they can be united, what is to be expected ? We have our Robespierres and Marats, whose wills are good to do mischief, but the flesh is weak. They cannot yet persuade the people to follow them. If the National Assembly can subdue the mutinous rabble at Paris as well as Dumourier has driven the Prussians, they may be free, and do something, but what, I know not.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841