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Indeed I have expected with much impatience the result of the deliberations of your convention and as your letter contained this result it gave me a very pleasing proof of your attention. You pay me the compliment, Dear Madam, of asking for my observations on the plan of federal government proposed by the convention to the considerations of the States. I will give them you freely.
In the first place I must own to you that from some hints that were flung out in our papers I feared that it would lead much more to the principles of Monarchy and Aristocracy than I find in the propositions indeed they are grownded on simple Democracy and appear to me to be so well guarded that in the present situation of the united States were they to be adopted they bid fair to stand for ages without contracting any alloy that may affect their Temperament and indeed Dear Madam if some system of power is not established which may protect instead of ruining the liberties of America and which may direct the jarring interests of the several States to one great end of general good your contentions and dissapointments must in the end bring on a government whose principles will be as much at variance with the rights of men as are the most of our European ones. In short, Dear Madam, it is my opinion that were some plan of the kind now proposed by the convention to be adopted and carried into execution and were your people less fond of Commerce and European luxuries would they attend to the cultivation of their Lands and employ their industry in those manufactures which are necessary to the comforts of life and were strict prohibitions made against the consumption of any forreign manufactures you would in a short time be the happiest and the greatest people in the World.
The rumors of war on this part of the Globe are now over and the free States of Holland subjected to the yoke my sentiments on this subject are I dare say so similar to your own that I think I need not trouble you with them.
The account you give me of Mrs. Russel fills me with concern both for her own sake, her Husband's, her Father and Mother's, and for what you, my Dear Madam, must suffer on the occasion for the friendship you entertained for your Niece was I know of
the tenderest kind, her constitution appeared to be always delicate but her Sister whom I am sorry to hear is in the same hapless condition had the air of robustness.
I have certainly brought my Daughter acquainted with you Dear Madam and I think I sent you her kindest remembrance in my last letter She is lately married to a Mr. Gregorie who is Capt. of an East India Man the Match is very much to mine and the rest of her friends' liking.1
You are so kind as to inquire after my present employment. I am still writing Letters on education 2 When I have finished this work I propose to resume my pen on a political subject which I have in view and this I fancy will close my sublunary labors. My Daughter, Dear Madam, returns you her particular compliments and thanks for the sentiments you have entertained in her favor Mr. Graham also joins me in respectful regards to yrself Genrl. Warren and family, From Dear Madam Your affecte And Obedt. Servt.
CATH: MACAULAY GRAHAM
KNIGHTS BRIDGE, NEAR LONDON, Novbr., '87.
Postscript. If there is any defect in the plan proposed by the Convention it is the want of a rotation of the presidents of Congress coerced by law, for I still think this to be the only firm support of Freedom in every mode of its existence.
JOHN ADAMS TO MERCY Warren
LONDON, Decr. 25, 1787
MADAM, -The Sack of Rome, has so much Merit in itself that for the honour of America, I should wish to see it acted on the Stage in London before crouded Audiences. The Dedication of it does so much honour to me, that I should be proud to see it in
1 Charles Gregory. The marriage took place June 7, at Marylebone Church. The young lady was described as "daughter and heiress of the late Dr. George Macaulay, and of the female Historian of England."
2 Later embodied in a volume, Letters on Education, with Observations on Religious and Metaphysical Subjects.
3 It is included in her Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous, 1790.
print even if it could not be acted. I have shewn it, in discreet confidence to several good Judges, but least their opinion might not be satisfactory I procured it at last to be seriously read, by several of the first tragical Writers in this nation. among whom were the Author of the Grecian Daughter1 and the Author of the Carmelite. They have noted their opinion in a Writing that is inclosed. It requires almost as much interest and Intrigue to get a Play Acted, as to be a Member of Parliament, and a printed Play that has not been Acted will not sell. I have not been able to find a Printer who would accept the Copy on Condition of printing it.
In short nothing American sells here. Ramsay's History Dwight and Barlow's Poems are not sold, nor, I fear will Dr. Gordon's, notwithstanding the prescious Materials he must be possessed of.
There is a universal desire and endeavour to forget America, and an unanimous Resolution to read nothing which shall bring it to their Thoughts. They cannot recollect it, without Pain.
Your Annals, or History, I hope you will continue, for there are few Persons possessed of more Facts, or who can record them in a more agreable manner. Yet let me not deceive you. America must support the Publication of it. no other Country will contribute much towards it.
In the Month of April, May or June, I hope to see my Friends at Milton Hill. in the mean time I am, Madam, with great Esteem, your most obedient and most humble Servant,
CATHERINE MACAULAY GRAHAM TO MERCY WARREN DEAR MADAM, I am very sorry to be driven by the course of events to awaken melancholly reflections in you rather than to endeavor to amuse you with the Bagatelles of human life. Accept however the simpathy of a friend for the great loss you have sustained in the Death of your very worthy and aimable Niece Mrs. 1 Arthur Murphy.
2 Richard Cumberland.
Russel whose affections to you were I know stronger than is commonly existing in this dissipated country in the hearts of children towards their parents.1
Tho' I have nothing to say that can any wise entertain you yet I would not miss the opportunity of Mr. Adams's return to shew you how much I value Dear Madam your correspondence.
I find by the accounts received from America that the plan of Government recommended by the Convention has been accepted already by the majority of the States. we are a little surprised here to find that New England and Connecticut should be the earliest in acceeding.
The Town of London has been much amused this Winter in the pompous shew of Mr. Hasting's trial. facts are strong, and much eloquence, has been displayed by the prosecutors; but most people think that his party among the powerful, is strong enough to preserve him from any other punishment than the mortifications attending the trial.
The political state of this Country is as usual; for we have gained no virtue by the loss of America, and as the present low condition of the finances of our Neighbors the French and the important undertakings of Russia and Austria give these powers no opportunity to disturb the peace of Europe we believe that our present appearance of felicity will have no end.
Pray make Mr. Graham's and my best compliments to Mr. Warren and all friends, particularly our compliments of condolance to Mr. Russel, for the great misfortune he has sustained in the loss of his excellent partner; [and] accept Dear Madam all that is affectte. from Your Sincere Friend And Obednt. Servt. CATH: MACAULAY GRAHAM
Mrs. Gregorie whose marriage I believe I acquainted you with in my last begs to be remembered to you.
March, 1788. BINFIELD, near, Oakingham; BERKSHIRE.
1 Sarah (Sever) Russell (1757-1787), wife of Thomas Russell.
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERcy Warren
Cambridge, 26 Aug., 1788
We have had contradictory accounts from N. Carolina. The last Week Russell announced in his paper the rejection of the Constitution by a majority of 100 clear. He was so mortified that he could not help mentioning it three or four times in his paper. Now the story is that the Convention voted by that majority to amend the Constitution, and then adjourned to a distant day, and that they had not then heard of the accession of New York. It is impossible to describe the anxiety of the victorious party in this state upon hearing the first report. They immediately begun to vilify that State as being originally peopled by outlaws and convicts, who were driven from the more civilized parts of the world into the wilds of Carolina, where they had formed a settlement but little superior in morals to the infernal world. . . JAMES WINTHROP
CATHERINE MACAULAY GRAHAM TO MERCY WARREN
MY DEAR MADAM,
I wish we were nearer together that we might oftener have an opportunity of exchanging sentiments of friendship as I flatter myself it would conduce to our mutual happiness.
I find that the National Government proposed by the federal convention is adopted by a majority of the States. To Europeans who are used to the form the parade the expence and all the high prerogatives of monarchy it must necessarily carry the appearance of perfect freedom but you who are used to liberty in its most pleasing Garb and who have so lately and so dearly purchased an independance it must carry a contrary aspect nor do I wonder that the american patriots should entertain apprehensions against a system that appears to give a larger trust to that faithless ambitious animal man but whether there may or may not be grounds for fear and jealousy I think it shews more levity and more of