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Adams, John (1735-1826) to Elbridge Gerry

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04425 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Braintree, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 4 November 1779 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 22.8 x 18.7 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04425 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Braintree, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 4 November 1779 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 22.8 x 18.7 cm.

Summary of Content: A fond leave-taking signed "God bless you" at the end. The letter also discusses his firm belief in the need for separate powers, his acceptance of an appointment as commissioner to France and his wish that Gerry might send him intelligence from America.

Full Transcript:
Braintree Novr. 4. 1779
My Friend
Yours of Octr. 12 has been, Seven days by me. am happy to learn of my accounts and Vouchers, arrived Safe, by Mr Lovell. I know not ...how the Board will explain, the three Months after Notice of Recall, as applied to me, if they were to allow three Months after my arrival, it would be no more than just. Mr Dana will accept and Sail with me, in a few Days.
I am dear for three Branches, in the Legislature, and the Committee have reported as much, tho awkwardly expressed. I have considered this Question in every Light, in which my understanding is capable of placing it, and my opinion is decided, in favour of these Branches, and being very unexpectedly called upon to give my advice to my Countrymen, concerning a Form of Government, I could not answer it, to myself, to them or Posterity, if I concealed, or disguised my real Sentiments. They have been received with Candor, but perhaps will not be adopted. In Such a State as this however, I am persuaded, We never Shall have any Stability, Dignity, Decision, or Liberty, without it. We have So many Men of Wealth, of ambitious Spirits, of Intrigue, of Luxury and Corruption that in upstart Factions, will disturb our Peace, without it, and indeed there is too much Reason to fear, with it. [2] The Executive, which ought to be the Reservoir of Wisdom, as the Legislative is of Liberty, without this Weapon of Defense, will be run down, like a Hare before the Hunters. But I have not time to enlarge.
I am more Solicitous about the Means of procuring the Salary you mention than the Sum of it.- I can make it do, with Frugality, if I can get it. But I wish I had Power to borrow Money, and also Power to draw upon Dr Franklin, or the American Banker, in Case of Necessity. I should get it in that way.
Mr Jay will have no Difficulty for Spain, will undoubtedly, furnish him as they did Mr. Lee, who I believe, but am not certain, has Some Spanish Money, remaining in his Hands. I know not how much, and may be mistaken in Supposing he has any.
You think my appointment ought not to be divulged: but it was public in Boston, and in every bodys Mouth upon Charge before I heard a Lisp of it. if it is generally approved, I am happy. happy and blissful indeed Shall I be, if I can accomplish by Errand, and give general Satisfaction, in the End.
Let me beseech you, by every Feeling of Friendship as well as Patriotism to continue your favours, and transmit me, the Journals, Newspapers, Pamphlets, as well as your Rubric, from time to time. My Importance in that Country, will depend much, upon the Intelligence that may be [3] Sent me, by my Friends, more than you can imagine. if you intend that I Shall do any good, keep me constantly informed, of every Thing, the Numbers and destination of the army -the State of Finance. - the Temper of the People, the military operations, the State and the Prospects of the Harvest, the Prices of Goods, the Price of Bills of Exchange. the Rate between Silver and Paper. nothing can come amiss. the Growth or decline of the Navy, the Spirit and Success of Privateers. the Number of Prizes - the Number, Positions Exertions and Designs of the Enemy.
Your Election comes on this month and it is Sure. I wish I were as Sure of getting Safe to France. God bless you.
John Adams
Pray deliver the enclosed to the Chevelier de La Luzerne and Mr Marbois, with my affectionate Respects. - I dare not Send one to you because it is a Secret, in the Hands of three or four hundred People however.
Hon. Mr Gerry.

Braintree Letters
Hona Mr J Adams
4th 28th Novr a
matter to Mr Adams
of ye 2nd Novr.
See More

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826
Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PresidentContinental CongressCongressDiplomacyRevolutionary WarTravelGovernment and CivicsFranceVice President

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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