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Lovejoy's, in Stratford, (Connecticut,)
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
WE lodged at Monroe's, in Marlborough, on Wednesday night ; at Hitchcock's, in Brookfield, Thursday night ; at David Bull's, in Hartford, Friday night, and at Lovejoy's, in Stratford, last night. I have been to hear sound orthodox Calvinism from Mr. Stebbins, this morning.
At Hartford I saw Mr. Adet's note, in folio, to our Secretary of State, and I find it an instrument well calculated to reconcile me to private life. It will purify me from all envy of Mr. Jefferson, or Mr. Pinckney, or Mr. Burr, or Mr. any body who may be chosen President or Vice President. Although, however, I think the moment a dangerous one, I am not scared. Fear takes no hold of me and makes no approaches to me that I perceive, and if my country makes just claims upon me, I will be as I ever have been, prompt to share fates and fortunes with her. I dread not a war with France or England, if either forces it upon us, but will make no aggression upon either with my free will, without just and necessary cause and provocation. In all events of peace or war, I think prices must fall considerably before spring, lands, labor, pro visions and all.
We have had so cold a journey thai I fear our stone wall stands still. If it does, however, I sup pose manure, or ploughing, or cutting and carting wood, will furnish employment enough.
Nothing mortifies me more than to think how the English will be gratified at this French flight. John Bull will exult and shrug his shoulders like a French man, and I fear, show us some cunning, insidious kind of kindness upon the occasion. I should dread his kindness as much as French severity, but will be the dupe of neither. If I have looked with any ac curacy into the hearts of my fellow citizens, the French will find, as the English have found, that feelings may be stirred which they never expected to find there, and that, perhaps, the American people them selves are not sensible are within them.
I shall write you from New York. This cold weather makes me regret the loss of my bed and fireside, and especially the companion and delight of both.
- John Adams