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interest they manifest, in whatever concerns myself or family. for these unequivocal expressions of your good opinion and friendship, accept Madam my sincere and grateful acknowledgments. The re-election of Mr. Madison was in my mind an event of vast magnitude; for had it been defeated, G. Britain would have had a well founded prospect of a triumph over our liberty, and with all the Powers of Europe, would have considered her corrupt influence over us, as being paramount to our political Virtue, and to our sense of national honor. My opinion of Mr. Madison, is perfectly coincident with your own; "that we have more to hope" from his election, than from that of any other person "that could have been selected in the U States." The Sphere of the Vice-President is contracted, and the public expectations, it is conceived, will not extend beyond its limits.
At Quincy, I had a very agreable Interview with President Adams and his Family; and in a tête à tête, with Mrs. Adams, I remarked on the pleasure which I had derived from the information received of her visit with her daughter and one of her grand daughters, to Plymouth. I likewise stated the pleasing impression made on my mind, by the proposition of the President for terminating the differences which had existed between him and yourself; to which she replyed, that as they were not accepted, the President did not regret this circumstance, conceiving as he did, that he had gone too far in his advances. This conversation happened, in the absence of the President, who was called on by a person in waiting, and who returning, prevented further observations. Circumstanced as this affair then was, I deemed it ineligible to pursue the subject further at that time; especially as Mrs. Adams appeared to me a little uneasy; and to be guarded in her observations. Should there be any future prospect of restoring mutual friendship to my respected, my highly respected friends; I shall pursue the object with unremitted endeavours.
I return the letters and answers by your Grandson Mr. Winslow Warren; and having attentively perused both, my desires are more ardent to terminate amicably, this unhappy dissention between a Lady and Gentleman; who were once affectionate friends, and always, Ornaments of Society. The productions alluded to, if they
should attain publicity, will be sedulously applied to the injury of the fame of both parties, by their respective enemies. I regret exceedingly, that existing circumstances, seem to increase the difficulty of approximating to each other my particular friends; but despair is inadmissible, in any case, accept, I pray you, Madam, with every member of your amiable family, the affectionate regards of my own, and of your sincere and respectful friend,
P. S. A visit to Plymouth this winter, will I fear be impracticable. It would give me great pleasure.1
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, 28 Feb., 1813
Your two letters of Jan. 6 and Feb. 21. I received with great pleasure in due season. The first of them gives a true, tho' melancholy picture of the weakness and absurdity of the old establishments of Europe, and of the World. They have been now for a number of years on the decline, and are now mostly blotted out from the map; or in the scripture style are judged by righteous men. We trust that a better order of things is begun on that Continent.
I am sorry for the disaster of the french army in the north. Napoleon's commission seems to be to reform the Western Roman Empire. Nearly all of it is now reduced. Only England still survives with the little kingdom of Portugal. This remainder will soon vanish. But the northern powers or Gog will require some time longer. Ezekiel, if I rightly understand his 39th chapter allows seven prophetic years or 2520 common years for the contest between the believers and unbelievers. These are to be reckoned from the rise of Antichrist in A D. 532. When the judgment on Antichrist begun in 1792, half the period was elapsed. At the
I A letter from Mrs. Adams to Mrs. Warren, December 30, 1812, and Mrs. Warren's reply, January 26, 1813, are in 5 Collections, IV. 501, 503.
commencement of the second half begun the judgment on Antichrist, the 70 years of Jewish expectation and the Judgment on Gog or the northern powers. For this last Ezekiel allots seven months or 210 common years. It will therefore end about the year 2000. He says the place of their defeat shall be on the east side of the sea, in the valley of passengers, and shall be called the valley of Hamon Gog. Ez. xxxix. II. 12. The valley of passengers or resort of travellers agrees remarkably well with the Netherlands, which have for many years been distinguished as a principal part of the grand tour, and are on the East side of the Ocean. If then that part of Europe is still to be the seat of war between the northern and southern states of Europe till Gog is exhausted, we may not look for its speedy reduction. The other powers we may consider as revolutionized already beyond a recovery. The Judgment on Antichrist will determine, according to Daniel, about 1821.
The federal or british party are much elated by the late distresses of the French army; but I believe their triumph will be short Mr. Madison's election goes but little way in the scale of these great events; but it shews the preponderating sentiment of our nation. It seems to me that Great Britain will hold Portugal but a very little longer. Their power in that country will be of still shorter duration, if they send any considerable reinforcement to Canada; for I do not think, they have army enough for both services.
I am sorry the missionaries failed of their admission to India, and suspect it was not so much owing to their being Americans, as to their design of teaching Christianity. I believe that at present the religion of the New Testament is at as low an Ebb in India as in any part of the World, unless it be in Japan. If I recollect rightly, Buchanan 1 says the Government there prefer a native heathen before a Christian for the Offices in their gift; and that a revenue is raised from some parts of Idolatrous worship. It is then no wonder that they are loth to establish a better system. The repulsed missionaries are reported to have gone to Madagascar. But they will probably not fare much better there.
1 Claudius Buchanan, who wrote much on mission work in Asia.
The island is now in possession of the English, who during the present war reduced the french colony there. The natives are still in a most barbarous state.
Accept reciprocal Congratulations on the Commencement of the New Year, and on having entered your 85th. Very few have the indulgence of so long a term for the enjoyment of their faculties in so much ease and comfort. It is however a blessing which your friends enjoy with you.
I am sorry for the disease of my friend Henry Warren. I have taken a week to enquire for some leeks, but have not yet met with any. There are none in the Botanic Gardens, nor in any other, that I can hear of in this vicinity. There are however some instances of outgrowing the disorder. The late Rev. Mr. Badger of Natic was one.1
My love, if you please, to Maria, I long to see her, and to your children. Mrs. Hilliard joins her good wishes to those of Mrs. Peck and myself for the continuance of your health and happiness. My brother has been unwell this winter, but is now pretty well reestablished. He superintends his farm in this neighborhood and about 18 months ago built him a new house on the old site, in which he lives. I am, Madam, with much respect Your most obedient servant,
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
QUINCY, April 9th, 1813
MY DEAR MADAM, I cannot let my son pass through Plimouth without stoping to inquire after your Health, and that of your Family!
Nor of asking you who have lived many Years, and whose observations and experience must have excited in your mind, Reflections which ought not to terminate with your days.
what is your opinion of the great and important events which are taking place in the civilized world? will they terminate in the
I Stephen Badger (1725-1803).
freedom and happiness of the Great Family of Man? and are the Members of that great Family capable of appreciating and enjoying so great a Blessing?
Do we who boast of being the most enlightend Nation use our Liberty, without abusing it? what shall we answer? verily we are Guilty.
So great a system seems to be unfolding that the mind is bewilderd in the contemplation. it can only rest upon the belief that there is a wise and just Moral Govenour of the universe, who will order and direct all things to his own Glory.
Let me again see the Signature of my Friend to convince me that she is yet a sublinary Being, which will give pleasure to her assured Friend,1
JOHN ADAMS TO ELBRIDGE Gerry
QUINCY, April 17, 1813
DEAR SIR, Since I have read again, your Law "for encouraging the fitting out armed Vessells," printed in Edes's Watertown Gazette of the thirteenth of November, 1775; I have had the Curiosity to look into several of our Historians, in order to see what notice they have taken of this Transaction, which had such important Consequences.
It was natural to begin with Mrs. Warren, as she was a native of this Province, a Daughter of the first Member of the Counsell, and the Consort of the Speaker of the House, composing the Legislature which enacted it. In the first Volume of her History, page 239, Chap. 7. 1775, after representing the want of Arms and Ammunition she says:
These Circumstances accellerated a spirritted measure, before contemplated only by a few; the arming and equipping of ships to cruize on British Property, was a bold attempt, that startled the Apprehensions of many, zealously opposed to the undue exercise of British power; but necessity impelled, and the Enterprize
I A letter from Elbridge Gerry to Mrs. Warren, April 20, 1813, is in 5 Collections, IV. 504.