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.
[TO Abigail Adams]
MY DEAR MADAM :
You will perceive by our papers that four members of our present delegation in Congress are reflected. It is not from the partly malevolence of a few contemptible scribblers in our newspapers that the sense of the people is to be collected. Two candidates had been opposed to Mr. Ames, with the intention to divide the votes more effectually, and so much industry and influence were exerted in their favor, that the result in his favor was beyond the most sanguine expectations of his friends, and the friends of the national honor. In Middlesex, indeed, the votes were more divided. Mr. Gorham is a popular man and, if the public report be not fallacious, he has been indefatigable for these two years past in the pursuit of this election. Mr. Gerry, however, has a respectable majority of votes.
You mention in one of your letters that Mr. Short is commissioned to negotiate the loan. I should wish to know where it is expected he will obtain it. I cannot imagine that the attempt will be made in France, where the nation are so heavily laboring under the weight of their own poverty. Holland, I presume, will be the seat of the negotiation. And I should be glad to be informed what is the opinion of the V[ice] President] with respect to its success. I think the value of public paper must depend considerably upon it.
Our court of Common Pleas are sitting in this town, and I have made my first essay in addressing a jury. I wish I could add that I had acquitted myself to my own satis faction. I had very little time for preparation, and did not know the existence of the cause three hours before I spoke to it. From this circumstance, and from the novelty of the situation, added to the diffidence I have always felt of my talent at extemporary speechifying, I was too much agitated to be possessed of proper presence of mind. You may judge of the figure I made.
- Writings of John Quincy Adams,Worthington Chauncy Ford,Vol. I, 1779-1796, digitized by the Internet Archive