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DEAR SIR, I have seen Col. Smith more than once. He would have opened his budget fully to me, but I declined giving him the trouble. He has written to the President a statement of all his conversations with the British Ministry, which will get into your hands of course. He mentioned to me his wish to have put them there in the first instance, and your situation on his arrival as an apology for not doing it. From the complexion of the little anecdotes and observ.ions which dropped from him in our interviews, I suspect that report has, as usual, far overrated the importance of what has been confided to him. General professions, which mean nothing, and the sending a Minister, which can be suspended at pleasure, or which, if executed, may produce nothing, are the amount of my present guesses.
Mr. Adams seems to be getting faster and faster into difficulties. His attack on Paine, which I have not seen, will draw the public attention to his obnoxious principles more than everything he has published. Besides this, I observ.in McLean's paper here a long extract from a sensible letter republished from Poughkeepsie, which gives a very unpopular form to his anti-republican doctrines, and presents a strong contrast of them with a quotation from his letter to Mr. Wythe in 1776.
- Letters and other writings of James Madison. Vol. I. 1769-1793. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippencott & Co, 1865, digitized by archive.org