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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - 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 THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Quincy, 17 September, 1823.
With much pleasure I have heard read the sure words of prophecy in your letter of September 4th. It is melancholy to contemplate the cruel wars, desolations of countries, and oceans of blood, which must occur before rational principles and rational systems of government can prevail and be established; but as these are inevitable, we must content ourselves with the consolations which you from sound and sure reasons so clearly suggest. These hopes are as well founded as our fears of the contrary evils. On the whole, the prospect is cheering. I have lately undertaken to read Algernon Sidney on Government There is a great difference in reading a book at four-and-twenty and at eighty-eight. As often as I have read it and fumbled it over, it now excites fresh admiration that this work has excited so little interest in the literary world. As splendid an edition of it as the art of printing can produce, as well for the intrinsic merits of the work, as for the proof it brings of the bitter sufferings of the advocates of liberty from that time to this, and to show the slow progress of moral, philosophical, political illumination in the world, ought to be now published in America.
It is true that Mr. Jay, as well as Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Johnson, contributed to retard many vigorous measures, and particularly the vote of independence, until he left Congress; but I have reason to think he would have concurred in that vote when it was taken, if he had been there. His absence was accidental. Congress, on the 15th of May preceding, as I remember, had recommended to all the States to abolish all authority under the crown, and institute and organize a new government, under the authority of the people. Mr. Jay had promoted this resolution in New York, by advising them to call a convention to frame a new constitution. He had been chosen a member of that convention, and called home by his constituents to assist in it, and as Duane told me, he had gone home, with my letter to Wythe in his pocket, for his model and foundation; and the same Duane, after the Constitution appeared, asked me if it was not sufficiently conformable to my letter to Wythe. I answered him, I believed it would do very well. Mr. Jay was immediately appointed Chief Justice of the State, and obliged to enter immediately on the duties of his office, which occasioned his detention from Congress afterwards. But I have no doubt had he been in Congress at the time, he would have subscribed to the Declaration of Independence. He would have been neither recalled by his constituents, nor have left Congress himself, like Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Willing, Governor Livingston, and several others.
As you write so easily and so well, I pray you to write me as often as possible, for nothing revives my spirits so much as your letters, except the society of my son and his family, who are now happily with me after an absence of two years.
P. S. Warmly as I feel for the Spanish patriots, I fear the most sensible men among them have little confidence in their constitution, which it appears to me is modelled upon that in France of the year 1789, in which the sovereignty in a single assembly was every thing, and the executive nothing. The Spaniards have adopted all this, with the singular addition that the members of the Cortes can serve only two years? What rational being can have any well-grounded confidence in such a constitution?
JOHN TAYLOR TO JOHN ADAMS.
Washington, 8 April, 1824.
During a long illness, from which I am not yet recovered, the reveries which usually amuse sick people visited me; and among them the idea of writing a farewell letter to you presented itself so often as to leave an impression, which I have not been able to subdue. In yielding to it, my free style will, I hope, be pardoned, in consideration of its being the last trouble I shall give you; and also on account of its chief motive, namely, to make an humble addition to the multitude of testimonials which exist of your patriotism and integrity, from one who has been a spectator of political scenes, from a period some years anterior to the revolutionary war; from one who has often differed with you in opinion, but has never ceased to be impressed with a conviction of your exalted merit.
So early, I think, (for at this place I must speak merely from memory,) as the year 1765, you braved the British lion, when his teeth and claws were highly dangerous, in a series of essays, containing principles which I have lately reperused with delight; and, considering the early period at which they were written, with admiration. And I believe that in the progress of the struggle for the liberty of our country, your efforts in speaking and writing were a thousandfold more efficacious than those of many individuals of great celebrity—of our Henry, for instance. These designated you for a long series of the most important negotiations, conducted with a diligence, integrity, and capacity, universally admired by your countrymen; and the hopes which your early merits had inspired, being fulfilled, they placed you next to Washington.
When your Presidency commenced, party spirit was highly inflamed, and its capabilities may be conjectured by those who were not witnesses of its effects then, by contemplating its effects now, in carrying men into unpremeditated excesses, even though it is invigorated by nothing but a love of power. Yet during its bitterest prevalence, you soared above its prejudices, and saved your country from a ruinous war with France. This magnanimous act awakened the vengeance of an erroneous zeal, and your reëlection was probably prevented by a pamphlet, subscribed “Alexander Hamilton,” then beheld by those of us who advocated the election of Mr. Jefferson, as well calculated to advance our object; but which, upon reading it lately, seems to me to be the most malicious, foolish, and inexcusable composition, which was ever produced by a tolerable mind.
. . . . . . . . . . .
You will readily perceive that this letter is intended only for your own ear, as an additional excuse for its familiar and undisguised style. As the last, at my age it will not be suspected of adulation. For this, no motive exists. My design is to file among your archives some facts, which may meet the eye of a historian, as well as to give some pleasure to a patriot, who I believe has served his country faithfully, and has done what man can do to please his God.
With ardent wishes for your happiness, &c.