University of Virginia Library

3624. HAMILTON (Alexander), The Republic and.—

I mentioned to[Alexander] Hamilton a letter received from John Adams,
disavowing “Publicola [230] ”, and denying that he
ever entertained a wish to bring this country
under a hereditary Executive, or introduce an
hereditary branch of legislature, &c. Hamilton,
condemning Mr. Adams's writings and most
particularly “Davila [231] ”, as having a tendency
to weaken the present government, declared in
substance as follows: “I own it is my opinion,
though I do not publish it in Dan or Beersheba,
that the present government is not that which
will answer the ends of society, by giving
stability and protection to its rights, and that
it will probably be found expedient to go into
the British form. However, since we have
undertaken the experiment, I am for giving it
a fair course, whatever my expectations may be.
The success, indeed, so far, is greater than I had
expected, and therefore, at present, success
seems more possible than it had done heretofore,
and there are still other and other stages
of improvement which, if the present does not
succeed, may be tried, and ought to be tried before
we give up the republican form altogether;
for that mind must be really depraved, which
would not prefer the equality of political rights,
which is the foundation of pure republicanism,
if it can be obtained consistently with order.
Therefore, whoever by his writings disturbs the
present order of things, is really blamable, however
pure his intentions may be, and he was
sure Mr. Adams's were pure.” This is the
substance of a declaration made in much more
lengthy terms, and which seemed to be more
formal than usual for a private conversation
between two, and as if intended to qualify some
less guarded expressions which had been
dropped on former occasions.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 99. Ford ed., i, 169.
(Aug. 1791)


Over the signature “Publicola,” John Quincy
Adams wrote a series of articles against Thomas
Paine in the Massachusetts Centinel. It was believed
at first that his father was the author of them.—Editor.


John Adams used this signature in a series of
articles in the Gazette of the United States.—Editor.