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TO WILLIAM TUDOR. - 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 WILLIAM TUDOR.
Quincy, 16 November, 1816.
Your favor of the 11th has conjured up in my imagination so many ghosts, that I am in danger of being frightened as much as the old lady of Endor was at the sight of Samuel.
Many are the years in which I have seriously endeavored to strip from my mind every prejudice, and from my heart every feeling, unfavorable to Mr. Hutchinson. The subject is so familiar to my thoughts that I could draw his character faster than my pen could fly. I feel no animosity against his memory. I could write his life, as coolly as that of Alexander or Cæsar. But on a deliberate second view of my own portrait of him, I should feel doubts of my own impartiality.
He was a memorable and an awful example of disappointment in the career of ambition. Cromwell and Napoleon will be more known, but neither was a more distinct example.
You may form some conjecture of my feelings, when I tell you, or, perhaps, I might more properly say, when I remind you, that he seduced from my bosom three of the most intimate friends I ever had in my life, Jonathan Sewall, Samuel Quincy, and Daniel Leonard. Every one of these had been as ardent and explicit a patriot as I was, or ever pretended to be. By means more artful, but as corrupt as any ever employed by Sir Robert Walpole, did that Jesuit seduce three of the most amiable young men from the cause of their country to their own ruin. He practised all his arts upon me. My constant answer was, “I cannot in conscience.” I would give the whole history in detail, but you would say, and the world would say, John Adams is an old Pharisee, thanking God that he is not like other men. I had rather they would say, he is a publican, praying God to be merciful to him, a sinner. But in either case, poor John would be accused as a fanatic or a hypocrite.
I could not write the character of Hutchinson without describing my three friends, Sewall, Quincy, and Leonard, and many others that would harrow up my soul; among the rest myself, and this would make me blush. If you desire it, however, and will give me your honor they shall not be published, I will give you a few anecdotes, of the probability of which you shall judge from your own recollections.
You say Hutchinson’s moral character was good. This must be understood with great exceptions.
You say his judicial character was good. This must be construed with great limitations.
You say his private character was good. Of this I know not enough to say any thing.
Of his literary character the world will judge by his writings. They are valuable. He had great advantages from his birth, and hereditary collections of pamphlets and manuscripts, and especially from his family connections with the Mathers, and his neighborhood to Mr. Prince, for writing the history of Massachusetts Bay.
There was much affectation, much dissimulation, and, I must add, deep hypocrisy in his character. Though his father had made a fortune by speculations in a depreciating paper currency, he had great merit in abolishing that instrument of injustice in 1750.
But who, my friend, who shall do justice to the characters of James Otis, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, who breasted a torrent of persecution from 1760 to 1775, and ever since?