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My compliments to your son and daughter and to Miss Marcia. From dear Madam your Friend and Humble Servant
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
PHILADELPHIA, June 17, 1798
You and I, my Dear Madam, have trod together, through one Gloomy Scene, of War, havock and desolation; and we have seen our Country rise superiour to oppression, and despotism and take its Rank among the Nations, presenting at this period, the only spectacle, of a Free Republic, which has not been Revolutionized, by the Gormandizing and insatiable thirst of that power, which like the Grave, crys Give, Give, whilst the departed wealth, opulence and Liberty of Batavia, the Cruelly oppress'd Geneva, Genoa, all Itally, and the partitiond and Barterd Venice, with the Barbarously Sacrificed Switzerland, and Bern cry to us with an awefull warning voice, to behold their Fate, and secure ourselves by a direct opposite conduct to that which has proved fatal to them.
I would hope that the destroying Angel may not be commissioned to visit us in wrath, but that he may visit us on an errand of Love, to warn us against those contaminating principles and abominations, which have made all Europe one Golgotha.
May the God of our Fathers protect us, and if we must be scourged, remember Mercy for us.
"You observe, That Providence has deposited a high trust in the Hands of the President, and that it is optional, with him, from the confidence reposed in him by the people, to abuse his power, or to continue the object for which our Country has made such costly sacrifices."
Hastening to that period which in Scripture is termed the Life of Man, having every thing at stake which can render the remnant peacefull, or the future happy, reputation and honour, Life Liberty, and property, is it possible to have a wish or desire which is not interwoven with the present and future prosperity, freedom
and independance of united America? it depends upon the people to say that they will remain a free and happy Republic.
Permit me to transcribe a sentance from an answer to an address presented by the inhabitants of the County of Otsego in the State of New York.
"Your reliance on the good sense fortitude, and integrity of your fellow citizens, I trust will not deceive you. all depends upon these virtues. if these fail us, we are lost, our constitution and administration all depend upon them. our Government without these aids has no power at Home, or abroad: we have no other principle of union, or capacity of defence."
In an other replie, to the people of Potts Town in (Penn) are these words, "Your confidence, that I will not surrender the rights of the Nation, shall not be betrayed. If the Nation were capable of such a surrender (which it is not) some other Hand must affix the signature to the ignominious deed”
With these sentiments will my Friend live and with these sentiments he will like the Brave avoyer, Steiguer of Bern,1 meet death if decreed to him.
The stay of our envoys in France is protracted to an allarming degree for their personal safety, and I had almost said for our National honour. The Decree of the Directory respecting Neutrals and the declaration of Talleyrand, that we could only Buy it off, ought to have been the signal for the departure of our Envoys The cup of Humiliation was full, what has since happend, are its overflowings. they have Borne it! but the indignation of their Country spurns it. I inclose to you the last dispatch Heaven Grant, that it may be the last.
The testimonials in Approbation of the measures persued by the Chief Magistrate of the Union, with respect to France, which as you observe, have poured in from all quarters of the Union, are indeed an incourageing, and gratefull reward, for his Labourious and hazardous exertions in the publick Service; whilst the rising Generation, upon whom the hopes and expectations of all America is fixed, for their Security, and Defence are zealous, and sincere, with their profferd Lives, and fortunes, Their Fathers 1 Nicolas Frederic de Steiguer (1729–1799).
may be permitted to repose; having performed their Routine of active Duty, and spend the remnant of their Days, in devoute suplications for the success of their offspring.
The president directs me to reciprocate the Kind wishes of his Friend Genll. Warren, and to assure him that he retains a pleasing remembrance of the past they have acted together in the defence of the Liberties of their common Country.
Mr. and Mrs. otis the Elder and junr. are both well, were with us last evening. I most ardently long for a visit to Quincy, the Green fields, and shady Groves would be a pleasing contrast to the Brick Walls and crouded streets of philadelphia, particularly so, if I could shut out all the political clouds which darken our horizon
With a kind remembrance to every Branch of your Family particularly the Little Marcia I am, my dear Madam, your Friend and Humble Servant,
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
QUINCY, October 5, 1799
As I have an opportunity by the Lieut Govenour I send you a late publication by the Abbé Barruel,1 which will remove I presume all doubts from your mind, respecting the existance of such a person as wishaupt: 2 when you have read the Books, you will oblige me by returning them to Judge Cranch's. the Abbé was the writer of the History of the French Clergy. you will perceive that he is a Bigoted Catholick, but a man of science, and great industery, the system which he discloses freezes one with horror. it was reserved for wishaupt to put in practise, the principles of Voltair, and the whole junto of French phylosophers, aided by Frederic the Great as he is call'd.
1 Augustin de Barruel (1741-1820), whose Mémoires sur le Jacobinisme appeared in 1797 and was translated into English and published in London in 1797–98.
2 Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830), founder of the Order of the Illuminati.
you will be so good as to present my Respects to the Genll. and to believe me at all Times your truly affectionate friend,
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
QUINCY, Janry. 16th, 1803
MY DEAR MAdam, - It was with much pleasure I recognized the Hand writing of an old Friend, tho only in the signature of her name. it recall'd to mind those days of pleasureable intercourse, “when thought met thought," and a happy union of sentiment endeard our Friendship, which neither time, or distance has effaced from my Bosom. I have sympathized with you, in sickness and in sorrow, much oftner than my pen has detailed it to you. I too have tasted of the bitter cup of affliction — and one is not, cut off in the Meridian of Life.
I was happy that my son had an opportunity of paying his respects to the ancient Friends of his parents. We should be equally glad to see your sons whenever they pass this way. his visit to plimouth was necessarily short, or he would have spent more time with you. You observe that you have not seen any effect of my pen for a long time; Indeed, my Dear Madam, I have avoided writing for these two years past a single Letter, except to my Sister, and Children. The sacred Deposit of private confidence has been betrayed, and the bonds of Friendly intercourse snapt asunder to serve the most malicious purposes: even a jocular expression, has been made to wear the garb of sober reality: the most innocent expressions have been twisted, mangled and tortured into meanings wholly foreign to the sentiments of the writer. I have been ready to exclaim with the poet, "What sin unknown dipt you in Ink?”
There now lies before me an Aegis of the present year; in which is draged to light the intercepted Letter,1 said to have been written to your worthy Husband, in the year 1775, and publishd in an English Magazine. The design of the publisher appears
1 See Vol. 1, 88, supra. The National Ægis was published at Worcester.
from the introduction of the Letter, to make it believed, that the person alluded to as a pidling Genius, was Genll. Washington, and that the supposed writer, was engaged in a plot to get him removed from the command of the Army, that he possest a sanguinary revengefull temper, and was desirious of punishment without mercy: without adverting to the period when the Letter was written the state of the Country at that time, before the declaration of Independance had sit it free from the shackles and chains which were prepared for it, and when we were hazarding an attempt to form a Government for ourselves, it was natural for the Letter writer to inquire: will your judges be Bold? will they feel firm? will they dare to execute the Laws under their present circumstances? with their Capitol in the possession of a powerfull enemy, and many of their near and dear Friends shut up within it, prisoners to them. The old Actors are gone off the Stage. few remain who remember the perils and dangers to which we were then exposed, and fewer still who are willing to do Justice to those who hazarded their lives and fortunes, for to secure to them the blessings which they now possess, and upon which they riot and scoff. little regard is paid to the prohibition, thou shalt not bear false witness, or to that system of Benevolence which teaches us to Love one an other: and which I trust, we my dear Madam shall never lose sight of, however reviled and despightfully used.
Your Friends tho not exempt from the infirmities of age, are in the enjoyment of many blessings, amongst which is a comfortable portion of Health, and rural felicity. we enjoy the present with gratitude, and look forward to brighter prospects and more durable happiness in a future state of existance, where we hope to meet and rejoice with those whom we have loved, and revered upon Earth.
as to the little pecuniary matter between us, which but for your reminding me of, would never have been recollected by me, I know not where the papers are. I have not seen them or thought of them for many years: I have not any thing upon Book and the amount can be but a triffel, and I beg you not to give yourself any further concern about it, as I have not any demand upon you, but