Letter to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley

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Title: Letter to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley
Author: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Description: Letter dated January 24, 1801, from John Adams to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley, two abolitionists who had sent Adams an antislavery pamphlet by a Quaker reformer, Warner Mifflin. In the letter, President Adams expresses his views on slavery, the dangers posed by abolitionists (who at the time were mostly Quakers and unpopular religious radicals), and emancipation. In his letter, Adams mistakenly concludes that slavery was an institution in decline, writing that "I have always employed freemen both as Domesticks and Labourers, and never in my Life did I own a Slave." The 1790 census counted almost 700,000 slaves. According to the census of 1800, the year before Adams wrote this letter, that number had grown to almost 900,000. Adams also writes that "The Abolition of Slavery must be gradual and accomplished with much caution and Circumspection..." Adams argues (optimistically) that "other Evils in our Country... are growing (whereas the practice of slavery is fast diminishing) and threaten to bring punishment on our Land, more immediately than the oppression of the blacks."
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/2374.OX/62407
Date: January 24, 1801

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