ADAMS, John. Autograph letter signed ("John Adams") to Mathew Carey (1760-1839), Quincy, 3 February 1814. 1 page, 4to, repairs on verso, remnants of mounting along left edge and corners
ADAMS CONSIDERS "THE PROBABILITY OF A SEPARATION OF THE STATES" AND SCOFFS AT "OUR ANGLOMANES" AND THEIR HARTFORD CONVENTION
A fine political letter written at the height of the war of 1812 and the rumblings of the Hartford Convention. "Comfort yourself," he tells Republican publisher Matthew Carey, "respecting the Probability of a Separation of 'The States.' I feel no febrile Ictus in the public Pulse that indicates the approach of any such delirium. The War and the Embargo presses harder upon us [New England] than upon some other Places, and our Anglomanes are taking Advantage of this to inflame the People enough to secure their State Elections. But all will end there." The "Anglomanes" of the "Essex Junto"--the ones responsible for the Hartford Convention--made Adams's blood boil. They were, he told other correspondents, "ineffably ridiculous" and their secessionist cabal "a conclave of philosophers, divines, lawyers, physicians, merchants, farmers, fine ladies, peddlers and beggars" (Quoted in Smith, 2:1109). Not coincidentally their ranks were populated by some of his bitterest enemies among the Federalist elite, especially Timothy Pickering, who had been pushing the idea of New England secession since 1804. Pickering's Anglomania took him so far as to hope for a British victory in the war of 1812 and he cheered the burning of the White House later that summer.
Adams also thanks the prolific Carey for one of his recent publications: the second edition of Thomas Clark's Sketches of the Naval History of the United States (Adams had supplied important original material for Clark's work). "...Mr Marston's Copy I sent to him by his Son the Midshipman, to whom I gave one of my Copies. The elegant Copy you Sent to me Shall be placed upon my choicest Shelf to be used only by me and my little Embryo Midshipman, Isaac Hull, after me, who is yet 8 months old...." He closes with a final thought on the political scene, and a gentle dig at the recently deceased Dr. Benjamin Rush: "Mr Holmes's speech, inclosed [not included], will convince you that Old Massachusetts, is not yet so far insane as to require to be sett in Rushes tranquilizing Chair."