Page:Documents Relating to New England Federalism.djvu/8

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
vi
PREFACE.

with it; and there is no reason for denying to others, or to the public, what was freely conceded to them.

With one class of exceptions, all the papers here printed are given exactly as they are found in the sources from which they are taken. The exception relates only to the "Reply," by J. Q. Adams, in which a few passages of a personal nature, relating to Mr. H. G. Otis, have been omitted. Readers will bear in mind that the "Reply" was written at a time when its author, after six years of political strain such as has fallen to the lot of few men in American history, had at last been driven, in what he conceived to be disgrace and humiliation, from the Presidency, and was returning to Quincy, smarting not only under the conviction that this was to be the end of a career which he had so earnestly longed to make useful to his country, but smarting, also, under a series of petty and exasperating attacks, the inevitable condition of the position he held, but which seemed to him to have no motive other than his still deeper humiliation. His diary tells how, at this time, the sense of personal abandonment, caused by the rapid desertion of his former friends and followers, had gained so strong a hold upon his mind that scarce a day passed when his ears did not ring with the old refrain:—

"O Richard! O mon roi!

"L'univers t'abandonne."

Under the reaction from this long and depressing struggle, after the excitement of the contest was over, he sat down to write this paper. It would be surprising if