Letter from Adam at Kingsbury, N.Y. to his parents:
"Kingsbury, February 22nd, 1808.
"An opportunity having presented itself, animated with duty and gratitude, my heart and pen join their efforts in composing a few lines for your perusal, trusting that you will not severely censure what is well meant thought its power to please should fail. Duty to parents is one of the divine injunctions of the Saviour of mankind in whose character we see exemplified the strictest duty and gratitude to parents while in the days of his flesh. Unmoved by the praise he acquired among learned men he returns meekly to the subjection of a child under those who appeared to be his parents; which indeed is an admirable lesson of humility to those who have parents that have watched over their helpless infancy and conducted them with many a pang to an age at which their mind is capable of manly improvement. Believing then that as parents you have performed your duty toward me as a child I feel myself bound by the law of nature to return as far as in me lies the vast debt of gratitude which I owe to you for the unwearied pains you have bestowed upon me in taking care of me when I was unable to provide for myself, and instructing me in the principles of virtue and religion without which no person can profess happiness either in this world or that which is to come, and for making out to me a way wherein I might walk and shun many of those vices into which children are naturally led and have no parents to walk before them and instruct them, or if they have they will so walk as to impart no light to them and let them pursue a path that leads to destruction rather than the one that leads to happiness. But if I should be one of those who choose the path of destruction I shall be left without excuse and can never say that if my parents had performed their duty towards me I should not have been this miserable. I can neither impute it to my parents neglect of duty nor to any scantiness of the blood of a Saviour but if I am miserable my condemnation will be just. But I hope by the grace of Almighty God I shall be enabled to choose the better part which shall not be taken from me. Would time permit, a sheet of paper would not contain all I should write but I must soon draw to a close after informing you of my health which is somewhat impaired by a pain in my right side which is sometimes so severe as to deprive me of sleep. I have not seen Abraham since John Fowler left this place, but I heard from him not long since and he was quite lame but I did not hear the cause of his lameness. Please to write me the first opportunity if no opportunity presents itself write by the mail. May the God of nature, of providence and of grace bestow upon you his blessings in such a manner as that you may enjoy happiness in this world (while you stay in it) and the reward of a good life in the world to come which is the sincere wish of your affectionate and dutiful son.
"John & Rebekah Stewart."
"N.B. Please to present my compliments to all inquiries without discrimination."
(Severance, B. Frank. Genealogy and biography of the descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland and of John Stewart who came to America in 1718 and settled in Londonderry, N.H. Greenfield, Mass. : T. Morey & Son, 1905, pg. 71-73)