Give me Leave to introduce to you Mr Graham1 the Bearer of this Letter & his Lady, Mrs Macauley Graham, who have honord this Town & highly gratified the virtuous Citizens by a residence of some Months past. We sometimes meet with genuine republican Sentiments in Persons born under Monarchy. It is truly mortifying when one meets with the reverse Character. I firmly believe that the benevolent Creator designd the republican Form of Government for Man. Will you venture so far as to say that all other Institutions that we know of are unnatural & tend more or less to distress human Societies? Will the Lion ever associate with the Lamb or the Leopard with the Kid till our favorite principles shall be universally establishd? I am with Truth & sincerity,
your affectiont friend,
1 On the same date Adams wrote to Washington, introducing Graham; a manuscript is in the Lenox Library and also in the Library of Congress.
[Ms., Adams Papers, Quincy.]
Boston July 2 1785
I cannot omit the Opportunity of writing by Monsr de la Etombe who is going to France & will take the Care of this Letter. You must not expect it to be a long one. There are many Things which I wish to say to you, but the Tremor of my Hand is so increasd that I am put to Difficulty to guide my Pen.
Our Merchants are complaining bitterly that Great Britain is ruining their Trade, and there is great Reason to complain; but I think much greater, to complain of too many of the Citizens thro’ the Common wealth who are imitating the Britons in every idle Amusement & expensive Foppery which it is in their Power to invent for the Destruction of a young Country. Can our People expect to indulge themselves in the unbounded Use of every unmeaning & fantastick Extravagance because they would follow the Lead of Europeans, & not spend all their Money? You would be surprizd to see the Equipage, the Furniture & expensive Living of too many, the Pride & Vanity of Dress which pervades thro every Class, confounding every Distinction between the Poor & the Rich and evincing the Want both of Example & AEconomy.
Before this reaches you, you will have heard of the Change in our chiefe Magistrate. I confess it is what I have long wishd for. Our new Governor1 has issued his Proclamation for the Encouragement of Piety Virtue Education & Manners and for the Suppressing of Vice. This with the good Example of a first Magistrate & others may perhaps restore our Virtue.
Monsieur le Etomb’s true Decency of Manners has done honor to your Letter of Recommendation.
Mrs A joins in sincere Respects to your Lady & Family.
Adieu my dear sir
1 James Bowdoin, who had succeeded John Hancock.