Printable Version
< Return to Section Seven Introduction Page: 1   2   3   4   5  

Printable Version


and consists in cultivating and improveing every good inclination and in checking and subduing every propensity to Evil. I have been particular upon the passion of Anger, as it is generally the most predominant passion at your age, the soonest excited, and the least pains taken to subdue it.

"What composes Man, can Man destroy."

I do not mean however to have you insensible to real injuries. He who will not turn when he is trodden upon is deficient in point of spirit, yet if you can preserve good Breeding and decency of Manners you will have an advantage over the agressor and will maintain a dignity of character which will always insure you respect even from the offender.

I will not over burden your mind at this time. I mean to persue the Subject of Self-knowledge in some future Letter, and give you my Sentiments upon your future conduct in life when I feel disposed to reassume my pen. In the mean time be assured no one is more sincerely Interested in your happiness than your ever affectionate Mother,


Adams, Abigail. Letter to John Quincy Adams, March 20, 1780. Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3: April 1778 - September 1780 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973). Pages 310-313.