Your favor of the 17th of Novr was duly receivd. It bodes very ill to Government when Men are exalted to places of high trust through their own Sollicitations. He only fills a place with Dignity, who is invited to it by his Fellow Citizens, from the Experience they have had of his adequate Abilities, & who does the Duties of it with Zeal & Fidelity. Such a Man, being conscious that neither Smiles, Intreaties, Gifts, Intrigue nor any dishonorable Practices have procured him his high Station, may rely on the People who gave him their free Suffrages, to approve of his honest Endeavors to serve them. And having Nothing in View but that the Publick may be best servd, he will chearfully resign his Place whenever the People shall make Choice of another whom they judge more capable than he. The People are certainly the best Judges, who are most likely to render them substantial Service; & whoever interposes in their Elections, with his own Sollicitations for himself, it is to be feard, if he is of any Consequence, will in time become a dangerous Party Man. He ought therefore to be despisd as an obtruder. I hope there are not many such Men in our Government. I am sorry to be informd that there are any. They should be watchd; for if they have no evil Designs, their Vanity may prompt them to do Mischief. The Express waits. Adieu.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philade Feb 1st 1781—
I have not had Leisure to write to you since the 20th of Novr. Indeed I am not willing to trust a Confidential Letter to the Post, which has shamefully been catchd in the same Trap more than once. I gladly embrace the opportunity by Mr Otis, with whom I have had frequent & candid Conversations concerning Men & Things. He will be able to tell you some Truths which I do not think it prudent to commit to Paper. You & I have been long struggling for the Liberty of our Country. I believe its Independence will be finally acknowledgd by the World. But are not many Nations England in particular called Independent? And do you think the People of England are free. No People, in my opinion can be long free who are not virtuous; and it is no Sign of Virtue, when the Councils of an enlightned Country are directed by a foreign Influence. If I were a Minister at a foreign Court, my Vanity might be flatterd, in imagining that by having Address enough to rule its Measures, I might fix myself in the Esteem and Confidence of my Country, but I should entertain a contemptible Opinion of the Wisdom & Virtue of that Court if it would suffer me to do it. The Councils of a Nation must be weak in the extreme, or it must be reducd to the greatest Degree of Dependence to submit to so servile a Condition. You will not think I