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John Adams to John Quincy Adams

15 Jul. 1797

My dear Sir Philadelphia July 15. 1797

General Marshall will take this Letter: but when and where it will find you, is uncertain.—If you have had a Voyage to Lisbon you will have only seen the Court and the City before you will be called away to Prussia. I Suspected you would go to England and there perhaps be married, and this if necessary I hoped would delay you, till your new Appointment to Berlin might reach you. Mr Smith your Successor in Portugal is a very respectable one.

Is France to establish an universal Domination over the whole Globe? by Land and by Sea? Will not the Cession of Belgium and opening the Scheld draw the Nourishment from Amsterdam, and Antwerp rise upon the ruins of its Commerce?

There is at present the happiest harmony among the american Corps Diplomatic in Europe and I hope they will continue to draw together and Speak the Same Language. If there is Reason or Justice or Decorum in France, the Measure We have taken is respectful enough to it, to draw it all out. But if We are again insulted We must defend ourselves.

I have recd your Numbers 36 and 37—Mr Necker Theremin, Madame de Stael, and the Spectator of the North. I am very much obliged by these favours and I regret that you are going to a station where it will be more difficult to send me such things. But We must do as well as We can.

The Shock given to English Credit and, the unforeseen Corruption of their marine discipline, together with the menacing revolutionary movements in Ireland will encourage the french to pursue their System of secret Maneuvres and open terror, Still further. But will The British Empire in Convulsions, or under a Republic be more friendly to France than under the Monarchy? Will not Millions be thrown out of Employment, and become soldiers and Seamen from Necessity? If the national Debt of England should go the Same Way with that of France, will England be less powerful? Oliver was more powerful than Charles 1. or 2?

I am weary of Conjectures. My Mind is made up. I believe in a Providence over all—and am determined to submit to it alone, in the faithful Steady discharge of my Duty.

All the distant Din, the World can keep rolls oer my Grotto and but Sooths my Sleep.

I hope the French will not gnash Us beyond our bearing.

I am your affectionate Father

John Adams

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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