ADAMS, John (1735-1826). Autograph letter signed ("John Adams") to Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), Quincy, [Mass.], 6 Aug 1810. 1½ pages, 4to, closely written, integral address leaf with additional franking signature, address leaf with a few light stains, small seal hole.
ADAMS SPELLS OUT HIS REGIMEN FOR GOOD HEALTH AND JOKES THAT "THERE IS ONE COMFORT, IN THE OTHER WORLD, TO WHICH I AM SOON TO TRAVEL: THERE ARE NO POLITICKS"
He comments on a medical pamphlet sent by Rush: "Your exhortation to Punctuality and your [pamphlet on the] Tic douloureux had scarcely been read to my Family before a Lady, Mrs. Quincy, came in and took them away. This Lady, one of the best and wisest, had a Relation...afflicted with the tormenting Tic, to whom she carried your pamphlet, who has circulated it in Boston, till I am told every physician in Boston has read it...."
Adams is decidely leery of powerful medicaments, and chides his old friend: "You physicians are growing so familiar with Hemlock and Arsenick, and Mercury Sublimate and Laudanum and Brady and every thing that used to frighten me that that I know not what you will do with us. For my part I adhere to my old Regimen which I learned of Dr. Cadogan and especially Dr. Cheyne in my youth. Milk and Vegetables, and Air and Exercise, with a very little Animal food and still less spirituous Liquors, will last a man almost twenty five years. I am therefore contented without much assistance from your Sagacious and Scientific modern Discoveries. I should prescribe Milk and Water instead of Hemlock and Arsenick: but you know best. I must confess you have almost annihilated many diseases which within my memory have made great ravages, among Men."
He then comments on the nation's growing resentment of Napoleon's restrictions on American neutral trading vessels: "Have your warlike Philadelphians considered that War with Napoleon is War with all Europe? And who are to be their Friends? The English? Would a flock of Sheep who had been invaded by a Wolf fly to an African Drove of Panthers for Protection? Have they determined the Question who began first to violate Neutral Rights? And who has done the most mischief in Europe, Asia, Africa and America? But this is Politicks which as you very rationally and Philosophically and Christianly hate. So do I. There is one Comfort, in the other world, to which I am soon to travel, there are No Politicks." He closes warmly, "With invariable friendship...."
Provenance: Mrs. Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby's, 27 March 1985, lot 145).