Boston April 22d, 1789.
You must not expect lengthy Letters from me for a Reason which I have heretofore given you. Possibly, however, I may trouble you with more frequent Letters. I hope the federal Congress is vested with Powers adequate to all the great purposes of the federal Union; and if they have such adequate Powers, no true and understanding Federalist would consent that they should be trusted with more—for more would discover the Folly of the People in their wanton Grant of Power, because it might, and considering the Disposition of the human Mind, without Doubt would be wantonly [exercised to] their Injury and Ruin. The Powers vested in Government by the People, the only just Source of such Powers, ought to be critically defined and well understood; lest by a Misconstruction of ambiguous Expressions, and by interested Judges too, more Power might be assumed by the Government than the People ever intended they should possess. Few men are contented with less Power than they have a Right to exercise, the Ambition of the human Heart grasps at more. This is evinced by the Experience of all Ages.
Will you give me Leave to mention to you the Name of Leonard Jarvis, Esqr; a Gentleman to whose agreable Acquaintance, tho he is a native of this Town, I introduced myself by the Request of our worthy Friend General Whipple now deceased. Mr. Jarvis is a very sensible Republican, and an honest Man. He holds the Place of Comptroller General in this Commonwealth. I believe Mr. Dalton can shew you a Specimen of his Industry and Accuracy in Business. It is not by his Solicitation, or even knowledge that I write this. I am induced to it, because I think that good Men living at a Distance from the Seat of the federal Government, and capable of serving the United States should be made known.
Adieu my dear Sir.
[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. iii., pp. 284, 285; the text is also in the pamphlet Resolutions of the General Court (Boston, 1789), p. 7.]
May 27, 1789.1
I have been politely notified by a joint committee of the two branches of the General Court that, having examined the returns of the votes for a Lieutenant-Governor of the Commonwealth, it appears that a majority of the electors have seen fit to give me their suffrages.
I am impressed with a warm sense of the honor done me, and it is a pleasing reflection, in my own mind, that I have this testimonial of the confidence of my countrymen, without my solicitation or interference in any manner to obtain it.
I rejoice in the freedom of our elections; and it affords me particular satisfaction to be invited to take a share in government by citizens possessed of the most lively feelings of natural and civil liberty, and enlightened with the knowledge and true ends of civil government, who, in conjunction with their sister States, have gloriously contended for the rights of mankind, and given the world another lesson, drawn from experience, that all countries may be free, since it has pleased the righteous Governor of the universe to smile upon their virtuous exertions, and crown them with independence and liberty.