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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, John (1735-1826) to unknown re: reflecting on his Presidency (signed after illness)

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05263 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Quincy Type: Letter signed Date: 9 May 1823 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Signed with a very shaky hand, apparently after suffering a stroke. Important letter in which Adams reflects on the foreign affairs of his presidency, especially the Quasi War and the convention of 1800. "... there was war between St. Dennis [i.e., France] and St. George [Britain], [and] each had an army in America constantly skirmishing with each other, and both of them constantly stabbing me with lancets, spikes and spears. [M]y sole object was to preserve the peace and neutrality of the country, and thank God, I obtained [it], at the loss of my power and fame, with both sides."

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: President, Health and Medical, Global History and Civics, Foreign Affairs, Quasi-war, France, Military History, Treaty, Politics, Neutrality, Peace, Vice President

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform