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Adams, John (1735-1826) to Richard Price

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00782.01 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Auteuil, France Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 April 1785 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 23 x 19 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00782.01 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Auteuil, France Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 April 1785 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 23 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Recipient from contents. Thanks Price for his book Observations on the importance of the American Revolution. Has received 1st and 2d editions. States that to him the chief liberty is that of conscience.

Full Transcript: Auteuil near Paris April 8. 1785
I received sometime ago from Dr. Franklin a Copy of the first Edition of your Observations, on the Importance of the American Revolution, and a ...few days Since, a Copy of the Second. I am very much obliged to you, Sir, for your kind Attention to me, and for these valuable Presents.
I think it may be said in general, in Praise of the Citizens of the United States, that they are Sincere Enquirers after Truth in matters of Government and of Commerce, at least that there is among them as great a Number in Proportion, of this liberal Character as any Country possesses. They must therefore be obliged to you and to all others, who are able to through [sic.] Light upon those objects, and who are willing to take the Pains to give them Advice.
I think myself happy to be perfectly agreed with you in opinion, that the first Thing to be done, in order to the Improvement of Society, is, to Sett Conscience free. [2] When all Men, of all Religions, consistent with Morals and Property [sic? Did he mean to write propriety?] , shall enjoy equal Liberty, Property, or rather Security of Property, and an equal Chance for Honour and Power: and when Government Shall be considered, as nothing more misterious or divine, than any other Art or Science, We may well expect Improvements in the human Character and in the State of Society. But at what an immense distance is that Period? notwithstanding all that has been written, from Sidney and Lock down to Dr. Price and Abbe de Mably, all Europe Still believes, that Sovereignty is [inserted: a] sacred and divine right except a few Men of Letters, even in Holland their Sovereignty, although it resides at least in four Thousand Persons is all divine.
I did not propose however, at this time to enter into Details: But if you will give me leave, I should be glad to communicate with you now and then upon these Matters.
With great Esteem I have the Honour
to be Sir your most obedient
and humble Servant,
John Adams.
See More

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826
Price, Richard, 1723-1791

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary WarPresidentFreedom and IndependenceMorality and EthicsLiterature and Language ArtsGovernment and CivicsCommerceReligionGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

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