Declaration SignerJohn Adams LS Re: Benjamin Franklin's "famous argument against mixed government"
ADAMS, John. Letter Signed, [Quincy, MA], January 27, 1822, 2 pages, 8" x 10". Small chip in upper left corner, old mounting strip along on margin, neither affecting text; otherwise, in very good condition.
In this letter, the former signer of the Declaration of Independence and President thanks Henry Rowe Schoolcraft for his memoir. In part: "I thank you for your memoir on the fossil tree which is very well written and the conjectures on the process of nature in producing it are plausible & probable. It is the most remarkable exemplification of petrifaction that I have ever met with though I have seen many that I thought curious."
Commenting on Benjamin Franklin's "famous argument against a mixed government", Adams writes: "This is a lofty hill & very steep & in the road up & down there are flat & smooth rocks of considerable extent. The commerce in Portland stone frequently calls for huge masses from 10 to 15 tons weight. These are loaded on very strong wheels & drawn by 10 or 12 pair of horses. When they come to one of those flat rocks on the side of the hill where the descent is steep they take off 6 or 8 pair of horses & attach them behind the waggon [sic] and lash them up the hill while one or two pair of horses in front have to drag the waggon [sic] & its load & 6 or 8 pair of horses behind it backwards. I give you this history by way of comment on Dr. Franklin's famous argument again a mixed government. That great man ought not to have quoted this as a N[ew] England custom, because it was an English practise before N[ew] E[ngland] existed and is a happy illustration of the necessity of a ballanced [sic] government."
Ex: Catherine Barnes.
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