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him so. Your Lady and Daughter spent the Day with us Yesterday. You will probably have it under their own Hands by this Opportunity that they are well. I am, with great Respect, Your Friend and Humble Servant,
JABEZ BOWEN TO JAMES WARREN
PROVIDENCE, Novmr. 26, 1783
DEAR SIR, Your Letter of the 26th ulto. came safe to hand. I should have Answer'd it before but expected to have given you some further Account of the Impost, as our General Assembly was then about to meet. The Session was short, and verry little Publick Business done. The Assembly now stands Prorogued to the fourth Monday of December, at which time the Question will be fully discussed, and I doubt not but the Event will fully answer your wishes notwithstanding the great Intrest that is continually making to push it thro' from a Certain Quarter.
Nothing can or will go right till the Publick Accounts are settled. The efforts already made have Cost the Nation large sums of Money and no progress is yet made in the Business and I have Reason to believe will not 'till the whole Plan of Finance is adopted.
This State have an Impost of Two pr. Cent on all Foreign Goods, the Nt. proceeds whereof, are appropriated to pay the Intrest on the States Debt. We have also a Tax now Collecting to pay the Intrest on Loan Office Certificates and other Consolidated Debts due from the United States according to a Resolve of Congress. We have long expected an Ordinance of Congress for the Keepers of the Loan Offices to Consolidate all the Certificates and give Notes for One Years Intrest, which should be Received by the Collectors in Payment of the said Tax. This Measure I am informd is perplexed in Congress on Purpose to keep the Publick Creditors on the side of the Ministerial Plan. How do you approve the Resolve for establishing Two Federal Towns, Trentown and George Town on the Potomock. in my Opinion they have
overturned every Argument that could be adduced for the permanent Residence of Congress.
By what I have wrote; you will conclude I am an opposer of all the Measures Recommended by Congress. I assure you it is far otherwise. I am for abiding by the Confederation strictly, it has carri'd us Triumphantly thro' a long and Bloody War, and where can be the necessity of Investing that Body with more extensive powers in a Time of Peace, this Doctrine must be contrary to the Experience of all Nations. I wish to hear that all Party disputes are Banished from Congress, and that the Honour and Happiness of the Nation alone takes up and occupyes their whole attention. then may we hope for good Days indeed.
We expected the Pleasure of a Visit from you and your good Lady, but the cause that prevented must be submitted to. we shall hope for the fulfilment of the promise when the Pleasant Season for Jorneing returns.
Mrs. Bowen presents her best Compliments to Mrs. Warren and your self. you will both please to Accept myne. also Remember us affectionately to the Young Gentlemen Your Sons, and Believe that I am with sentiments of the greatest Esteem Your Obedient and verry Humb Servant,
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN ADams
MY DEAR SIR,
MILTON, Feby. 26th, 1784
Since my last which went by Mr. Temple, I have had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 10th Sepr. by Mr. Thaxter. The Approbation of your Country is as Extensive as it ought to be, that is, universal; but as there remains now no Expectation of your return here before another Election, I dare say we shall not be Embarrassed by the Modesty of our present first Magistrate. Whatever Qualities he may want in the Opinion of others, he is himself a Stranger to any deficiencies and never once thought the duties too Arduous for him, or the honour too high, or the situation too delicate. he has, however, lately threatened us
with a Resignation. he was either Affronted that the General Court the last Sessions did not answer his Speech, or he took it in his head that he would be a great Man as well as General Washington.1 he proclaimed his design in all Companies with great formality and summoned his Council to receive it. they met. he altered his resolution and we continue as happy as ever in his Administration. his Character is neither stained with ridicule or Contempt, a privilege peculiar to himself. The General Court is now sitting, but I hear of nothing very important yet done. no stable provision is yet made for paying the Interest of the National Debt. I hope it will never be by an Impost, but I wish it were done in some more secure way. but it appears to me that the States want Confidence in the Administration. it must be taken out of Morris' hands, the Treasury put in Commission by rotation, and then I believe ways and means will be found, especially if this last measure should be attended with strict and Impartial justice to the several States. I have not heard lately from Congress, but I presume from the Character I have of the Members, their foreign policy will in future be conducted in a different Stile, and that the old man's arts will not be so successful as usual. they talk of an adjournment in April. Good Providence has so ordered for our own Good that Sullivan has resigned and the Court unanimously chose Mr. Dana a Delegate in his room. the resignation was very fortunate and the Choice as Judicious. Mr. Dana dined with me about ten days ago and will go on soon, if Congress does not adjourn.
I wish it had been convenient for you and your Country to have returned and taken up your residence here, and joined with me in the Cultivation of the pleasant Hills in Braintree and Milton. but instead of that you are Calling away your Family. Your Father Smith is Dead. Coll. Quincy will live but a few days.3 Mr. Cranch and Family may go to Boston, and we be left solitary on our Hill. what delays your Treaty of Commerce with Britain. I suppose want of Instructions from Congress; but I am sure the
I On December 23, 1783, Washington had resigned his Commission in an address to the Continental Congress. 3 Josiah Quincy, died March 3, 1784.
2 Died September 17, 1783.
best that could be given might be Compleated in a minute by referring the whole to your discretion. The delay may create difficulties by giving time to prejudice to grow and rancle from the Conduct and narrow Policy of Britain, who will never grow wise from Prosperity or Adversity.
I am told that Penobscot is Evacuated. the Commanding Officer after applying to our Government for a Commission to some Person to receive the delivery of the place and waiting in vain, went off at last, after having burned the Barracks, etc., which we seemed to care nothing about. I think he did right. Mrs. Warren desires her regards to you. we are all well, except Charles, who is in a dangerous situation. You have not given me a single hint for the Improvement of the Noble Science of Husbandry since you have been in Europe. do you reserve them all for your own use, that you may Excel us in that Art on your return, as much [as] you have done in Politics abroad. I am with Great Esteem your Friend and Servant,
March 10th. Congress have made their Recommendations to the several States, agreeable to the Treaty. A Committee of the General Court have it under Consideration, but it is said will not report this Session. Nothing seems to be a more General Subject of Conversation than the Cincinnati Clubb. People seem not to have considered the nature and dangerous tendency of the Institution till they were roused and alarmed by a Pamphlet wrote in So. Carolina, said by Mr. Burke,1 which I would enclose if the Expense of postage would not be too great. The most (?) of the People, in N. England more especially, have manifested great uneasiness at the half pay for Life to the Officers of the Army, since commuted for five years pay; but the uneasiness seemed to be subsiding till Irritated to fresh resentment by this Institution. County Conventions and Town Meetings are now frequently expressing their Resentments and determinations to pay no Taxes
1 Ædanus Burke's Considerations on the Society, or Order of Cincinnati, published in Charleston over the signature of "Cassius" and reprinted in Philadelphia, New York, Hartford and Newport. No edition appears to have been printed in Boston. The authorship was soon discovered.
for the Commutations. The Officers, I think, deserve some such Consideration; but then they should be content in other respects to be on a footing with their fellow Citizens, without claiming any distinctions that are Invidious now and may be dangerous hereafter. Miss Nabby is here on a Visit, and I dare say you will hear from her mamah by this opportunity. Coll. Quincy died last Week. Adieu. I am as above.
MERCY WARREN TO JOHN Adams ADAMS MSS.
SIR, 1 This will be handed you by a person 1 who will insure the welcome did it come from one who has much less claim to your Friendship than the writer. at the same time her communications will render any other needless from your American Friends. this therefore is only a Line in Testimony of my Respects and Regards, though if I was to indulge my pen it would be very expressive of my wishes for your Early Return to your Native Country, where perhaps your abilities are as much wanted and your Exertions might be as serviceable as in any Department you may fill in Europe. Yet I cannot say you would be more happy here, but I think your Conduct has evinced to the World that this is but a secondary Consideration with you.
You will be too Happy when you receive this to make it of any Consequence whether another Line is added. May the Felicity of my Friend be equal to their wishes, nor mared by a Common Course of Human events, more than is necessary in a state of Moral Discipline. some little interruptions we must feel to ease our presumption, and some greater we have always to fear to Remind us of our Dependence. Dependence is a word not very pleasing to an American ear. But, though we have broken the yoke of Britain and defy the potentates of the Earth, we must not, we cannot expunge it from our Vocabulary. our happiness Depends on too many Contingencies to suffer us to forget our weakness and our intire Dependence on the Great Font of Felicity for the smallest
I Mrs. Adams.