Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO BENJAMIN WATERHOUSE. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO BENJAMIN WATERHOUSE. - 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 BENJAMIN WATERHOUSE.
Quincy, 6 February, 1818.
You ought to tell me the name of that animal who “faced you down” against dates and Otis; he must have been an inveterate, indurated old tory, with an iron heart, and a brazen face, or, at least, a son or grandson of such a one, who has inherited all his ancestor’s envy, malice, hatred, mortified pride, and demoniacal revenge.
“James Otis had no patriotism!!!” Had the adored Hutchinson patriotism, when he mounted to the head of the supreme judicature, on purpose to sanctify the most odious chain that ever was forged to fetter the hands and feet of a free people, as the writs of assistance would have been, in the hands of an executive power and a supreme, sovereign, unlimited, uncontrollable legislative authority, three thousand miles distant? Had any of his idolaters patriotism, when they excited a bloody war of eight years against their country, to enslave it to a foreign sovereignty?
Would Mr. Otis, because his father had been disappointed of an office, which had been promised him by two successive governors, worth one hundred and twenty pounds sterling, at most, have resigned an office, which he held himself, worth two or three hundred pounds sterling, at least? If he had no patriotic feelings, his filial affection must have been very strong!
It has been, in all times, the artifice of despotism and superstition to nip liberty, truth, virtue, and religion, in the bud, by cutting off the heads of all who dared to show a regard to either. But when a process so summary could not be effected, the next trick was to blast the character of every rising genius, who excited their jealousy, by propagating lies and slanders to destroy his influence.
Jews and Pagans imputed the conversion of St. Paul to disappointment in love. They said that he courted the daughter of his master, Gamaliel, but the learned Pharisee thought him too mean in person and fortune for a match with the beautiful and accomplished young lady, and forbade his addresses. Revenge for this affront excited a mortal hatred against all Pharisees, and Paul became an apostate from Judaism, and a convert to Christianity, from spite. And this calumny has lasted more than seventeen hundred years; and, I hope, the defamation of Otis will last as long, because it will be an immortal proof of the malice and revenge of the scurrilous, persecuting tyrants, against whom he had to contend.
The Romans, and all of their communion, say that “the Reformation owed its origin, in Germany, to interest, in England, to love, and in France, to novelty; that all the kings and princes who favored it, were seduced by the temptation of the confiscation of lands, and gold, and diamonds of the churches, monasteries, and convents.”
Is Christianity the less divine, is the Reformation less glorious, is the American Revolution less beneficial, for these envenomed slanders?
I must know who that ugly fellow is, whom you quote with so little disapprobation. Do you not abhor him? If you had loved James Otis in your youth, as much as I did in mine, and if you had smarted as often as I have, under the hornet stings, the chew-balls, the serpent’s teeth, and the poisoned arrows of these old tories, you would hate him with a perfect hatred.