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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 December 1795

Extract from the Political Dispatch No. 6 of Citizen Fauchet Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the United States.

Scarce was the commotion known, when the Secretary of State came to my House. All his Countenance was grief He requested of me a private Conversation. It is all over, he said to me. A civil War is about to ravage our unhappy Country. Four Men, by their Talents, their Influence, and their Ennergy may Save it. But, Debtors of English Merchants, they will be deprived of their Liberty, if they take the Smallest Step. Could you lend them instantaneously Funds, Sufficient to Shelter them from English Persecution. This Enquiry astonished me much. It was impossible for me to make a Satisfactory Answer. You know my Want of Power and my defect of pecuniary means. I shall draw myself from the Affair by some common Place Remarks and by throwing myself on the pure and unalterable Principles of the Republic. I have never since heard of Propositions of this nature.

My Dearest Friend

Governor Martin, was civil enough to lend me Yesterday Mr. Randolphs Statement of Faith as far as it is printed. The foregoing Extract is the most material, as well as the most enigmatical Part of it. It is advertised to be published next Fryday; but I still doubt whether

it will come out unmutilated. The Copy I have stops short at the most material Thing, the Extract on the other side. If he can and will explain that, and another Paragraph in a succeeding dispatch No. 10 which refers to it he will do wonders.

The President is serene, healthy, in good Spirits and so is his Lady who with Mrs. Green who is again here send many Compliments and Expressions of great regard.

I have no Letter from you as yet.

The Passage in Fauchet's dispatch No. 10 which refers to R.G. is this.

16. In the mean time, although there was a certainty of having an Army, yet it was necessary to assure themselves of Co operaters among the Men whose Patriotic Reputations might influence their Party, and whose Lukewarmness and Want of Energy in the existing Conjunctures might compromise the Success of the Plans. Of all the Governors whose Duty it was to appear at the head of the Requisitions, the Governor of Pensilvania alone enjoyed the name of Republican: his opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury and of his Systems was known to be unfavourable. The Secretary of this State possessed great Influence in the popular Society of Philadelphia, which in its turn influenced those of other states; of Course he merited Attention. It appears therefore that those Men with others unknown to me, all having without doubt Randolph at their head, were balancing to decide on their Party. Two or three days, before the Proclamation was published, and of Course before the Cabinet had resolved on its measures, Mr. Randolph came to see me, with an Air of great Eagerness, and made to me the overtures of which I have given you an Account in my No. 6. Thus with some Thousands of Dollars the Republic could have decided on civil War, or on Peace. Thus the Consciences of the pretended Patriots of America have already their Prices. It is very true, that the Certainty

of these Conclusions, painful to be drawn will forever exist in our Archives! What will be the Old Age of this Government if it is thus early decrepid! Such Citizen is the Evident consequence of the system of Finances conceived by Mr. Hamilton. He has made of a whole Nation a Stockjobbing, Speculating, selfish People. Riches alone here see consideration; and as no one likes to be despized they are universally sought after. Nevertheless this depravity has not yet embraced the Mob of the People, &c.

I leave you to your own Reflections upon this which must be in Confidence till you hear further from your affectionate

J. A.

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 December 1795 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 December 1795. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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