ADAMS, John (1735-1826), President. Autograph letter signed (''John Adams''), as President, to his son Thomas Adams, Philadelphia, 1 March 1798. 2¼ pages, 4to, slight remnants of tipping along edge of blank final leaf, otherwise fine.
ADAMS, John (1735-1826), President. Autograph letter signed ("John Adams"), as President, to his son Thomas Adams, Philadelphia, 1 March 1798. 2¼ pages, 4to, slight remnants of tipping along edge of blank final leaf, otherwise fine.
"WE ARE ALL IN SUSPENSE...WE LEARN THAT GENERAL BUONAPARTE HAS BEEN AT PARIS"
A fine Presidential ALS, written at the height of war fever between France and America. "We are all in suspense," Adams tells his son. "We are without news from Europe. We learn that General Buonaparte has been at Paris and is gone to the Congress. But we know no more. If nothing happens of a very serious nature to prevent it, I shall go to Quincy as soon as Congress rises, which will be in June I suppose, and stay till the Fall. You may write however to any Part of America and your Letters will come to me by the post." An undeclared naval war between France and the U. S. raged on the Atlantic, while mobilized an army later that spring (over Adams's objections). The legislature would also pass the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts that session.
Turning to the personal, Adams is glad to hear that his son has safely reached Hamburg, and asks, "Pray how does that country please you? I am almost afraid to ask you any questions about the Religion, the Government, the Policy or the Morals or Manners of that or any other country at present, lest in your answers you should indulge in speculations which might, if your Letters should be intercepted, give offence. But the Architecture, Painting, Statuary in short the fine Arts and the belles Lettres surely may be descanted on with Safety. The Agriculture too will be pleasing, the Roads, internal Commerce, &c." He hopes Thomas will soon master German and that it "will one day be useful to you...I long for your Company but have not yet been able to find a Secretary for your Brother. Our Friends are all well and not so gloomy or low Spirited as you may imagine." ADAMS'S LETTERS AS PRESIDENT ARE SCARCE.