Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1824: JOHN TAYLOR TO JOHN ADAMS. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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1824: JOHN TAYLOR TO JOHN ADAMS. - 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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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.
TO JOHN TAYLOR.
Quincy, 12 April, 1824.
I have received with kindness and thankfulness your learned work upon the Constitution. I have had as much read to me as I have been able to hear, but intend to have it all read to me, if I live.
It is long since I have ceased to write, read, speak, or think upon theories of government, and now, at half way on my eighty-ninth year, I am incapable of either. I see you have treated me with honor and respect enough, but I think you have not correctly comprehended the intentions of my poor book. That work was written under the old confederation, and had no relation at all to the General Government. It respected only a State Government, and particularly the Constitution of Massachusetts, and others that resembled it, as against Mr. Turgot, who had censured them all. There is but one allusion to the General Government in the whole work; in that, I expressly say that Congress is not a representative body, but a diplomatic body, a collection of ambassadors from thirteen sovereign States. A consolidated government was never alluded to, or proposed, or recommended in any part of the work; nor indeed, in any moment of my life, did I ever approve of a consolidated government, or would I have given my vote for it. A consolidated government under a monarchy, an aristocracy or democracy, or a mixture of either, would have flown to pieces like a glass bubble under the first blow of a hammer on an anvil. Nor had I any thoughts of recommending any hereditary branch of any State Government. But I am incapable of thinking clearly, or pursuing any train of thought. Of the present Constitution I can only say, with father Paul, “Esto perpetua.” I sincerely wish it; but I cannot see how it can be converted into a consolidated government. But I cannot enlarge. Again I thank you for your present, and wish you may contribute to preserve the present Constitution.