not tell you who have known so thoroughly the Sentiments
of my Heart, that I have always had a very high Esteem
for the late Commander in Chief of our Armies; and
I now most sincerely believe that while President
Washington continues in the Chair he will be able to
give to all good Men a satisfactory Reason for every
Instance of his public Conduct. I feel myself
constrained contrary to my usual Manner to make Professions
of Sincerity on this Occasion because Dr Gordon in
his History of the Revolution, among many other Anecdotes
innocent and triffling enough, has gravely said, that
I was concerned in an Attempt to remove General Washington
from Command; and mentions an anonymous Letter written
to your late Governor Henry which I affirm I never
saw nor heard of till I lately met with it in reading
the History1—This is a Digression to which
a Man of my years is liable. Who will succeed
the present President for it is the Lot of Man to
die? Perhaps the next and the next may inherit
his Virtues. But my Friend, I fear the Time will
come, when a Bribe shall remove the most excellent
Man from Office for the Purpose of making Room for
the worst. It will be called an Error in Judgment.
The Bribe will be concealed. It may however be
vehemently suspected & who, in Times of great Degeneracy
will venture to search out and detect the corrupt
Practices of great Men? Unless a sufficient Check
is provided and clearly ascertained for every Power
given, will not the Constitution and the Liberties
of the Citizens for want of such Checks be finally
A Gentleman of this Place who has suffered much for
his Attachment to our Cause I conceive has Documents
in his Hands which would be of Importance in the Settlement
of the Eastern Boundary of the United States which
appears to have been encroached upon by the British.
I wrote so long ago as last April to Mr Dalton respecting
this Gentleman; but have never received an Answer.
He I suppose is able to give you an Account of Mr
Boyd the Name of the Gentleman referred to. I
wish you would converse with Mr Dalton upon the Subject.
The Vice President however is probably able, and undoubtedly
disposed to give you the fullest Account. I am
P. S. Pray write to me and let me know the State of
your Health, & pay my affectionate Regards to your
Brother the Doctor.
1 William Gordon, History of the American Revolution,
(3rd Amer. edit.) vol. ii., p. 306.
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF MASSACHUSETTS.
MAY 28, 1790.1
[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. in.,
pp. 288, 289; a text is in the Massachusetts Archives.]