"Prosperity taking root downward, while it shoots upward from the soil".
Son of one of the earliest advocates of American independence and an acquaintance of most of the leaders of the Revolution, he was acutely aware of their hopes and fears for the country. It was therefore with deep satisfaction that he saw the nation grow and prosper, trends particularly in evidence in...
Son of one of the earliest advocates of American independence and an acquaintance of most of the leaders of the Revolution, he was acutely aware of their hopes and fears for the country. It was therefore with deep satisfaction that he saw the nation grow and prosper, trends particularly in evidence in the boom years after the War of 1812. In the period from 1817-1825, he observed this growth while secretary of state under James Monroe; he then succeeded Monroe as president.
Autograph Letter Signed, Washington, February 4, 1818, to Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, Jr., the son of the prominent French businessman who donated his home in the Parisian suburb of Passy to be used by Benjamin Franklin as his embassy during the Revolution. “I have great satisfaction in receiving your friendly letter of 21 January, with a printed copy of your valuable address to the Agricultural Society. I thank you very sincerely for both, and observe in both with great delight the rapid extension of the population and wealth of our country. Every picture of prosperity must be gratifying, but a pre-eminent gratification arises from the consideration that this prosperity is of the kind that produces and multiplies itself – a prosperity taking root downward, while it shoots upward from the soil. That you may long enjoy and contribute your energetic labours to promote it is the earnest and sincere wish ofÉJohn Quincy Adams.”
Adams believed that the introduction of new cash crops and improvement of agricultural methods were sure ways to increase prosperity, and always sought ways to promote agriculture. Thus it is not surprising that de Chaumont chose to write him on the subject and that he responded with enthusiasm.
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