Old Newspaper Collections Project

By Clayton, Deb, & Holice

Philadelphia Legal Gazette

Adams & Washington

 

Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for being such a trooper and typing a ton of old news articles! Without her this project wouldn't be here!

 

 Philadelphia Legal Gazette

ADAMS AND WASHINGTON

The Philadelphia Legal Gazette publishes the following curious letter of John Adams, which has lately, with other valuable manuscripts, come into the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It is a letter to a particular friend, who had written to Mr. Adams in July 1806, paying him very high compliments, and, as may be inferred from an indorsement on one of the letters, referring to a letter from George Washington to Adams, dated in the critical season of 1798, in which Washington writes thus:

MOUNT VERNON, July 13, 1798.

Believe me, Sir, no one can more cordially approve of the wise and prudent measures of your administration they ought to inspire universal confidence.

The following is the reply of John Adams;

QUINCY, Aug. 23, 1806

DEAR SIR: In your letter of the 7th of July, you flatter me with very high eulogies, and complete the climax of them with the opinion of Washington. For the future, I pray you to spare yourself the trouble of quoting that great authority in my favor. Although no man has a more settled opinion of his integrity and virtues than myself, I nevertheless desire that my life, actions, and administration may be condemned to everlasting oblivion by their own intrinsic merit, and without the aid of Mr. Washington's judgment. The Federalists, as they are called by themselves and by their enemies, have done themselves and their country incalculable injury by making Washington their military, political, religious, and even more moral pope, and ascribing everything to him. Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Jay, and several others, have been much more essential characters to American than Washington. Another character, almost forgotten, of more importance than any of them all, was James Otis. It is to offend against eternal justice to give to one, as this people do, the merits of so many. It is an effective extinguisher of all patriotism and public virtue, and throwing the nation wholly into the hands of intrigue. You lament the growth of corruption, very justly, but there is none more poisonous than the eternal puffing and trumpeting of Washington and Franklin, and the incessant abuse of the real fathers of their country.

Copyright Clayton Betzing, 2001

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