Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
ON Wednesday I dined with Mr. Russell, the friend of Dr. Priestley, and while we were at table, in came large packets of letters and newspapers from Eng land. The ladies at table had letters from their friends, and the scene was so lively, so much like what I had often felt, that it put me into very good humor. The news was what you will see in Fenno's paper.
Yesterday I dined at the President's, with ministers of state and their ladies, foreign and domestic. After dinner the gentlemen drew off after the ladies, and left me alone with the President in close conversation. He detained me there till nine o clock, and was never more frank and open upon politics. I find his opinions and sentiments are more exactly like mine than I ever knew before, respecting England, France, and our American parties. He gave me intimations enough that his reign would be very short. He repeated it three times at least, that this and that was of no consequence to him personally, as he had but a very little while to stay in his present situation. This must be a confidential secret. I have hinted it to no one here. The President told me he had that day received three or four letters from his new minister in London, one of them as late as the 29th of December. Mr. Pickering informs me that Mr. Ad ams modestly declined a presentation at court, but it was insisted on by Lord Grenville ; and, accordingly, he was presented to the King, and I think, the Queen, and made his harangues and received his answers. By the papers I rind that Mr. Pinckney appeared at court on the 28th of January, after which, I presume, Mr. Adams had nothing to do but return to Holland. The appearances of peace are as yet but faint.
The House of Representatives have applied for papers, and the President has their request under consideration. He is not at all pleased with this. A motion is now before the House, made by Mr. Harper, that it be resolved that provision be made to carry into execution all the treaties yet published. How long this will be debated I know not. There is danger that the delay on our part will occasion delays on the part of Britain, but I hope not. Three of our representatives, Lyman, Dearborn, and Varnum, voted against all New England, except one, I believe, in Vermont. The loss of Mr. Ames and Mr. Dexter, has been much lamented. Varnum, and Lyman, and Dearborn, are as inveterate as Giles, by all that I hear.
I have not yet seen my son's public letters. There is such rancor of party that the prospect of a change in administration quite cures me of all desire to have a share in it. Repose and poverty, I say. Yet I am not intimidated. Renegadoes and adventurers from foreign countries acquire such an influence among the people, although there is no attachment in their nature to us or our country, and there is every reason to suspect the worst influence over them ; and sensible people are so fearful of provoking their wrath and impudence by exposing them, that it is really disgusting to enter on any public stage. The people are so abused and deceived, and there is so little care or pains taken to undeceive and disabuse them, that the consequences must be very disagreeable. I am, with undiminished attachment,
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841