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[TO Abigail Adams]
My friend, T. H. Perkins, who was here some time since, had already informed me of the discomfiture the Jacobinical heroes had suffered in Boston, by the loss of Honestus's election.
His Chronicle printer, the Tom Tit twittering on this goose's back, cannot fight, it seems, his little wish to be malicious against me. He will not forgive me for having put some truth and justice into his paper. It was such a violence to the personal character of the man, and the politi cal character of the print, as would have made him my enemy for ever, if he had dared to be the enemy of any man. The American minister neither went to England with the Stadtholder, nor remained at the Hague under the protection of General Pichegru. He remained at his post under the protection of the Laws of Nations ; that is, of certain usages and principles to the printer and editor of the Chronicle unknown, but which all civilized human beings hold in singular veneration, and which General Pichegru as well as the other French generals and representatives of the people who have been in this country, took particular pains to preserve inviolate. It did not once enter their minds that the minister of a neutral and friendly nation could be a subject of protection to them ; but they were anxiously solicitous that none of the rights annexed to the character should suffer the minutest injury from them, and strange as it may seem to the aforesaid printer and editor, they universally valued very highly the reputation of being scrupulously observant of the laws of nations. . . .
- Writings of John Quincy Adams,Worthington Chauncy Ford,Vol. I, 1779-1796, digitized by the Internet Archive