I do not think my Countrymen are ungrateful; but I am affraid there is a Faction among them, consisting of a few Men, who are under the Dominion of those Passions which have been the Bane of Society in all Ages—Ambition and Avarice. I wish their Number may not increase. They are congenial Spirits with Hutchinson and those who aimd at grasping Wealth and Power. America, when she was wise, was jealous of such Designs. She opposd them though they were backd with the Wealth and Power of Great Britain. Such Kind of Men do me great Honor as they ever have done in being my Enemies. While such Men exist, and I believe they ever will in this World of Vanity, an honest Man would feel mortified indeed, to have it said that all Men spoke well of him. These Men hate, but I would not believe them if they were to say, they despisd the Man whose Integrity they cannot shake. They dread, but they cannot despise him of whom they entertain an opinion, that he is a virtuous Citizen.—I do not covet their Esteem. They are not among the Multitude of my Brethren, of whom I should count it an Honor to be accepted. The Eclat of the World is Vanity. There is a solid Satisfaction in ones having, and being conscious that he merits the good opinion of Men of true Discernment and real Worth. But to have a Name among the weak and the wicked is Shame and Reproach. Adieu my Dear. I hope to see you shortly, and then I will explain to you why I have written in this Strain.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philade March 23 1779
I am to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favor of the 12th & 28th of Feby. The Letter you mention in the former came to hand, but I am apt to think it will have no Effect at all. There was an omission in the Navy Boards not having Notice officially of the inclosd Resolution of Congress, but I hope the Delay has not been attended with any material Inconvenience.
I do sincerely hope the General Assembly will appoint another Person to take my place here. I wrote a Letter to them last December, requesting that I might be relievd by one of my absent Colleagues or some other Gentleman, & permitted to return to my Family in the Spring. I find my Health declining, and the Air of this Country is unfriendly to it. I am therefore steadfastly determind to get my self