Having been regularly informed that a majority of the late electors in the several towns and districts within this Commonwealth have honored me with their suffrages for the office of Lieutenant-Governor, I now present myself before the two branches of the General Court to be qualified as the Constitution directs. I do the more readily obey this repeated call, because I cannot help flattering myself that it has proceeded from a persuasion in the minds of my fellow-citizens of the attachment of my heart to their rights and liberties, and my earnest desires that they may be perpetuated. My fellow-citizens may be assured that I feel that attachment and the strength of those desires. The first of my wishes, as they respect this life, is for our country; and the best of my feeble abilities shall be ever employed for her prosperity.
I shall presently be called upon by you, sir, as it is enjoined by the Constitution, to make a declaration upon oath (and shall do it with cheerfulness, because the injunction accords with my own judgment and conscience) that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent State. I shall also be called upon to make another declaration, with the same solemnity, to support the Constitution of the United States. I see the consistency of this, for it cannot have been intended but that these Constitutions should mutually aid and support each other. It is my humble opinion that, while the Commonwealth of Massachusetts maintains her own just authority, weight, and dignity, she will be among the firmest pillars of the Federal Union.
May the administration of the Federal government, and those of the several States in the Union, be guided by the unerring finger of Heaven! Each of them and all of them united will then, if the people are wise, be as prosperous as the wisdom of human institutions and the circumstances of human society will admit.
1 Upon taking office as Lieutenant-Governor, to which office he was also elected in 1791 and 1792.
[Ms., Adams Papers, Quincy.1]
Boston Septemr 2d 1790
I have not written a single line to any friend in, or out of Congress during the late session, having been prevented by my old nervous disorder, and am now dictating this to a confidential friend, whom you well know.
Capn Nathaniel Byfield Lyde who commanded the Ship in which your Lady sailed to England has informed me that a number of Vessells are to be built, and employed to guard the coast for a preventing of breaches of the act of trade; and he requests me to ask the favour of you to mention his Name to the President of the United States for a command. I now gratify his request, which is my apology.
I hope you, and your connections are in good health, and spirits. Mrs Adams joins me in due Regards to yourself, and Lady.