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sider this as one of their Homes. I will say nothing to you of Congress. You have everything from them at first Hand. (The foolish Extravagance of this Country has involved us in Confusion and Distress; when or how we shall be extricated I don't know. the Evil seems to be out of the Reach of present Economy or Frugality. The Scarcity of Money is beyond your Conception. Trade is stagnated, Lands will not sell. No Improvements can be made in Agriculture or Manufactures. Bankruptcies, and unexpected ones too, are Common. No Man can pay his Debts, and if the Moderation or good Policy of the Creditors does not prevent, Anarchy may be the Consequence. The late Acts of this Government laying enormous Duties and Illiberal Restrictions on other Foreigners besides British, as well as absurd ones on their own Trade, increases the Confusion and Distress.
When are we to expect the Completion of any Commercial Treaties and how does the Government of Britain seem dispos'd? Will you tell me? Mrs. Warren has not been well for some Time, has wrote you lately and intends writing to Mrs. Adams by this Opportunity if possible. Present my best Regards to Mrs. Adams, my Love to Nabby. I wish her in every Stage and Connection of Life all that Happiness her Amiable Qualities and Accomplishments entitle her to. Your Friend, etc1
JAMES WARREN TO ELBRIDGE GERRY
MILTON, Octr. 4th, 1785
MY DEAR SIR, - The Time approaches when you must leave Congress, however Contrary it may be to the Interest and wishes of your Constituents. When your Successors arrive at Congress. especially if H[ancock] is one of them, and more especially if he obtains the presidency, there will probably be an End of Winslow's Expectations. It always appeared to me a singular Resolution, that no Consuls should be appointed where there were no Commercial Treaties; and if it can be supported as a good general
I The body of the letter is in another hand.
Rule, it should like other general rules be subject to some Exceptions, and Consuls appointed where the Trade was large, and the National disposition favourable. This is now the Case of Portugal, and besides we can hear of no kind of Obstacle to a Treaty, and yet none is made. It is a matter of Speculation here, why in the Course of more than 12 Months since Mr. Jefferson's Arrival, not one such Treaty has been made, especially when every Body is willing. Mr. Adams is gone to Britain. Mr. Jefferson remains at the Court of France. Dr. Franklin is retd. to America. Who is now to compleat this great Business, is another question that I am not able to answer, and if it is never done, are no Consuls to be appointed? Winslow would be much obliged by a Line from you, and I dare say frequent Oppys. present from New York. Mr. Low Corresponds with him, and will forward it without any trouble to you. I have not a word of News, not even Tittle Tattle to give you. H has got the Gout; whether it is a political, or natural fit, I dont know. If the former, he may have some reason to despair of the Presidency, and may wrap up in Baze, as a preparatory to a resignation when the Court meets. If every Body loved him as I do, they would save him that trouble, and excuse without the Expence of a single peice of Baze. I suppose by this Time Mr. Temple may be with you. He is now decidedly the Servant of the British King, and should be allowed to pursue his Interest. I hope prudence will direct him to pursue it smoothly and softly, without any disagreable Altercations with Congress, or any of the United States, or with any foreign Consuls or Ministers. So shall his days be long in the Land of his Nativity. Will you make my regards to your two Brethren, to your President and to my Friend Doctor Lee, and beleive me to be Yours sincerely,
I think a very singular Character is sent here to settle the marine Accounts. He is dark, reserved, disgusts every Body, affronts or ill treats all, is abused in return, and bears it as a dull Horse does a whip. His whole Time seems to be spent in finding, or makeing difficulties where there are none, and his motive, if I can trace it,
is to Continue in office. You may rely on it he will not finish this Business this six Years to come in the way he is in, and a Man of Abilities well disposed might do it in 3 Months. I suspect by way of Apology for himse[lf] he will represent our Accounts as irregular and Incompleat; but I can shew they are as much to the Contrary as the nature of things could admit off.
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
DEAR SIR, — I wrote you very lately and very largely, without any interested views but what arise from the pleasure of Corresponding with a Man whose Confidence and Friendship I have long experienced and wish to continue. The design of this is to engage your Interest in a matter which I wish exceedingly to accomplish. Applications to great Men are Taxes which they must submit to. Your rank and Influence and the Claim I have on your Friendship are the only Apologies I shall make. I shall say nothing of the qualifications and Merits of my son Winslow. You know him and I flatter myself from some Circumstances that you have already formed a favourable Opinion of them.
He went to Lisbon with great and well-founded Expectations. of being appointed the Consul there, and still remains there with such Expectations. Congress have delayed the Appointment until a Commercial Treaty should be formed. by a Letter from my friend Gerry last Evening I am Informed they now have it in Contemplation and probably will appoint the foreign Ministers and Consuls General, and leave the Appointment to the several Ports with them, and that Lisbon will fall into the department of Mr. Jefferson. Will you write to him and use your Influence to gratify me in the Acquisition of this small favour. if the profits of the office should not be large, it will give him Consequence, and assist him in his other Business. A disappointment would mortify and injure the feelings of a young Man, as well as give a Triumph to my Enemies after the matter has been so long talked of. I think I have done some services to my Country and had a con
siderable Share (I mean for an Individual) in the American Revolution. if Winslow succeeds it will be the only reward to and the only place at present held or expected by any of the Family. You will make my sincere regards to Mrs. Adams and Love to Nabby, and believe me to be as usual with great Esteem your Friend, etc.
JAMES WARREN TO ELBRIDGE GERRY
MILTON, Octr. 9th, 1785
My Dear Sir, — Since my last which went by the Monday's Post, I am honoured by your Friendly and polite favour of the 27th Ulto. by which I learn that Congress are in a way to adopt a Mode for the Appointment of Consuls. Whether the Mode be so consistent with propriety, or dignity, as a direct one by themselves, is a subject out of the reach of a Plebean, occupied in the manureing and culture of the Field, but I think a Ploughman may discern that it is better than none, and therefore I hope it will succeed. I have taken your advice and wrote to Mr. Jefferson, and have engaged some of my Friends here to do it. I request my Friend Gerry to Interest himself in the same way; he is always the first on my List. my Opinion of his Abilities and Generosity have placed him there, and if that Situation gives him much Trouble, it at the same time gives me much confidence and pleasure. if the President, and any other Gentleman of Congress, will write in Winslow's favour, they would oblige me. I asked the favour of the G[overnor], the only favour I ever did, or will ask of one. he replied that he wished it to succeed, but that he had never corresponded. I dare say this is all true, but yet it was a strange Answer from a Man whose rank Intitled him to write to any Body. but it is characteristic. how much is a Man's Friendship to be Coveted, or his Enmity dreaded, who does not feel that Ardent Animating Glow, unrestrained by Timid Cautious Moderation, which will force him, as it were Mechanically to stretch out his Arm to serve a Friend, or blast an Enemy.
I think the Exchange you mention, will be a good one, but I am intirely in your sentiment with regard to the residence of foreign Ministers here. The Addresses you mention, and the Anecdotes are Curiosities I wish to see. My Compliments to all my Friends. I am Yours most Assuredly,
JOHN ADAMS TO MERCY Warren
MADAM,- I am much obliged to you for your Letter and refer you to General Warren for what respects your son.
You suppose my present situation to be eligible and I confess it. I have it in my Power here to enjoy the society of Persons of great Worth, and if I please of high Rank, and if our publick Affairs here went well, I should not desire a better situation. but they do not.
A Lady, who was born at Gibraltar, came to England and Married a Man of Merit, Fortune and Rank. She had every Thing which this Country affords, to make Life agreable. Yet she used to say, it was true, that England was very clever, but it was nothing to be compared to Gib[raltar].
If the Circumstance of Birth and Education could give such an Attachment to that Barren Rock, it is not surprizing that I should be fond of my barren Mountain. Yet the World would laugh at me as well as the Lady of Gibraltar.
I have been so long agitated in the World, and puzzled with Business, that indeed I dont know, whether I should feel my Existence at Braintree, and My Eyes and my Health will not admit of Reading or Writing by Candle Light, so that I should want Amusement of Evenings, but the Care of a Farm, and Books and Papers in the Day, would Serve me very well. and as far as I can judge of my own Inclinations I had rather live in that Retirement, for my personal Enjoyment, upon one hundred a Year than at any Court in Europe upon five Thousand. It may be depended on then that I have no dread upon my Mind of being obliged to return and plant Cabbages at the foot of Penns hill.