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Adams, John (1735-1826) to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00921 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 January 1801 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by Adams in the last months of his presidency to the Quaker abolitionists Churchman and Lindley. Adams wrote in response to a letter and pamphlet that the two abolitionists had sent him. The pamphlet was by Quaker abolitionist Warner Mifflin (1745-1798). Expresses his views on slavery. Says "Although I have never sought by any animated speeches or inflammatory publications against the Slavery of the Blacks, my Opinion against it has always been known and my practice has been So conformable to my Sentiment that I have always employed freemen both as Domisticks and Labourers, and never in my Life did I own a Slave. The Abolition of Slavery must be gradual and accomplished with much caution and Circumspection. Violent means and measures would produce greater violations of Justice and Humanity, than the continuance of the practice." Goes on to erroneously state that slavery is diminishing and that a lack of fidelity to the truth and other philosophical principles are more serious problems. Says that he has been informed that the conditions of poor whites in Virginia is worse than that of "the Negroes."

People: Lindley, Jacob
Mifflin, Warner
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Churchman, George, 1730-1814.

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: President, African American History, Slavery, Religion, Quakers, Abolition, Slavery, Reform Movement, Rebellion, Freemen, Morality and Ethics, Vice President

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison The Early Republic