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Adams, John (1735-1826) to Jedidiah Morse

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05508.016 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Quincy, Massachusetts Type: Letter Date: 15 May 1815 Pagination: 1 p. 28.7 x 18 cm

Summary of Content: Adams thanks Morse for his pamphlet "American Unitarianism" (Review of American Unitarianism, published in 1815), but comments that he heard the doctrines maintained 65 years ago by a number of ministers. Adams resists what he perceives as Morse's attempt to convert him to Athanasianism, citing his reading of Samuel Clark (a famous anti-trinitarian) and others more than fifty years ago. By Athanasianism Adams means Trinitarianism.

Background Information: Notes: This letter is not in Adams's handwriting, and may have been writtern by one of his daughters or possibly by Thomas B. Adams.

Full Transcript: This Letter is not to be published
Quincey May 15th 1815.
Dear Doctor,
I thank you for your favour of the 10th and the pamphlet inclosed, "American Unitarian I have turned ...over its leaves and find nothing that was not familiarly known to me. In the preface Unitarianism is represented as only thirty years old in New England, I can testify as a witness to its old age, sixty five years ago my own Minister the Revd. Samual Bryant, Doct. Jonathan Mayhm of the [struck: of the] west Church in Boston, the Rev. Mr. Secte of Hyingham
the Rev. [struck: Mr.] John Brown of Cohassett, and purchase equal to all, if not above all the Rev. Mr. Gay of Hingham [?] were Unitarians. Among the laiety how many could I name, Lawyers, Physician, Tradesmen, Farmers; I could fill a sheet but at present will name only one Rich[text loss] a man who had studied Divinity and Jewish and Christian antiquities more than any Clergyman now existing in New England.
More than fifty years ago I read Samual Clark, Emlyn and Doct. Waterland. Do you expect my Dear Doctor to teach me any thing new in favor of Athanasianism. There us [inserted: my] Dear Doctor at present existing in the world, a Church Philosophical as subtle & learned as hypocritical, as the holy Roman Catholic, apostolic and Ecumenical Church-This Philosphical church was originally English, Voltaire learned it from Lord Herbert, Hobbes, Morgan, Collins, Shaftsbury, Bolingbrook &c &c &c. You may depend upon it your exertions will promote the Church Philosphie more than the Church Athanasian or Presbyterian. This and the coming age will not be ruled by Inquisitions or Jesieuts. The restoration of Napoleon has been caused by the resusictation of Inquisitors and Jesuits~
I am and wish to be your friend
John Adams
Rev. Doc. Morse

Adams to Morse

See More

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826
Morse, Jedidiah, 1761-1826

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: ReligionPresidentVice President

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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