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Adams & peace

Thomas V. DiBacco portrayed President John Adams as I had always seen him in history's pages. I have regarded him as rather petty in small insignificant matters but of unyielding statesmanship in important matters. The article overlooked Adams's most important decision, as described in his letter to James Loyd: ``. . . I desire no other inscription over my gravestone than: `Here Lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility of the peace with France in the year 1800.' ''

It is doubtful if any President has ever felt so betrayed as he did, nor so determined in what he believed as he entered his retirement. In the same year, Charles James Fox urged Parliament to make peace with ``Bonaparte,'' which it would soon do on no better than the proffered terms. His advice was spurned, but his prediction proved true.

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One hundred fifty-four years later, President Eisenhower turned down top advisers' urging that he go to the rescue of the French in Indochina.

History seems to favor our war Presidents over our peacemakers. I believe it was Lord Chesterton who said that it was sometimes easier to die for one's country than to tell her the truth. Andrew Jacobs Sr., Indianapolis

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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