Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO DR. JEDIDIAH MORSE. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO DR. JEDIDIAH MORSE. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 10.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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TO DR. JEDIDIAH MORSE.
Quincy, 4 March, 1815.
Thanks for your favor of the 1st, and the sermon. I have never seen Trumbull’s History in print, and know nothing of it, but from the very hasty perusal of the manuscript you sent me. I esteem Dr. Morse and Dr. Ware; the vote of the former against the latter1 never diminished my esteem for either, because I believed both to be able and conscientious men. I esteem Dr. Morse and Miss Adams, and the flickerings and bickerings between them have made no change in my regard for either. In short, Sir, I have been a reader of theological, philosophical, political, and personal disputes for more than sixty years, and now look at them with little more interest than at the flying clouds of the day.
When you apply to me to assist you in writing history,2 I know not whether I ought to laugh or cry. I have little faith in history. I read it as I do romance, believing what is probable and rejecting what I must. Thucydides, Tacitus, Livy, Hume, Robertson, Gibbon, Raynal, and Voltaire, are all alike. Our American history for the last fifty years is already as much corrupted as any half century of ecclesiastical history, from the Council of Nice to the restoration of the Inquisition in 1814. If I were to write a history of the last sixty years, as the facts rest in my memory, and according to my judgment, and under the oath of “pro veritate historiarum mearum Deum ipsum obtestor,” a hundred writers in America, France, England, and Holland, would immediately appear, and call me, to myself, and before the world, a gross liar and a perjured villain.
I have never preserved newspapers or pamphlets. The few I have ever attempted to save, I have long since given away. Mr. Shaw has in his Athenæum more of them than any other person. Private letters I have preserved in considerable numbers, but they ought not to be opened these hundred years, and then, perhaps, will not be found of much consequence, except as memorials of private friendship.
If you desire it, I may hereafter give you two or three samples of such a history as I should write; anecdotes, of no kind of consequence now, unless they should serve to show how many thousand facts are wholly concealed and unknown to the world, and how many more will be finally unknown to posterity; facts, which mark characters, and might materially influence great events.
[1 ] In the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, on the ground, that the election of a person of Dr. Ware’s theological opinions would be a violation of the statutes of Mr. Hollis, the founder of the professorship to be filled. This act was the origin of a long and sharp controversy in Massachusetts.
[2 ] Dr. Morse proposed to continue Trumbull’s History, but he finally converted a portion of the materials collected for that purpose into a work, entitled Annals of the American Revolution.