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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 May 1789

My Dearest Friend

I received yesterday your Letter of May the 24th [John to Abigail, 24 May 1789] and shall begin tomorrow to get such things in readiness as will enable us to keep House. I feel a reluctance at Striping this wholy at present, because I am well persuaded that we shall in some future period if our lives are prolonged return to it, and even supposing a Summer recess, we might wish to come and spend a few months here. An other reason is, that I do not wish to bring all our own furniture, because congress are not, or do not possess sufficient Stability to be sure of continuing long in any one State. I am fully satisfied with the House you have taken and glad that it is a little removed from the city. The advantages will overbalance the inconvenience I doubt not. I suppose Barnard has arrived before this, would it not be best to let him know that he will have a full freight ready, returns as soon as he will, and that I must look out for some other vessel if he delays.tho I have not the least prospect of getting one, for Dr. Tufts is yet at New York. Barnard's is calculated for the Business and I could get a Small vessel to come here to Mr. Blacks and take in my things and carry them along Side of Barnard, which will be less expence and damage than carting them to Boston. In the mean time I will get the Dr. to look out, and see if any other vessel can be hired for the purpose provided Barnard should delay at New York. This you can advise me of by the next post. With the greatest expedition I do not think I can get them ready under a week. I must leave Brisler to come by water with them, if you think it is best for me to come before my furniture is ship'd, but I do not see what advantage I can be of, to you situated as you are, an additional incumberence

to Mr. Jays family would be still more indelicat than imposing the vice president upon him for several months, and rendering his situation so delicate that he could neither leave him with decency, or stay with decorum, and to be at Jamaica I could do no more than if I was at Braintree to assist in any thing. -- The Trunks which I sent contain Bed and table Linnen some Cloths and the cases contain carpets. I will however be directed wholy by your wishes and come next week if you think it best, and you have any place to put me. You must be sensible from the tenor of your Letters that I have not known hitherto known what to do, any more than you have from your Situation, what to direct. You will be as patient as possible and rest assured that I will do my utmost with the means I have, to expedite any thing. As to insurence there will be no occasion for it by Barnard who is so well acquainted with the coast, and at this Season of the year.

The president and Lady dinned with me yesterday. He has got permission for Charles's absence.Polly Tailor would cry a week if I did not bring her, for a House maid I know not where I could get her equal. Elijah's Mother thinks it is too far for her Son to go, but if they consent Mr. Brisler can take him on Board Barnard when he comes, but I shall not press it. Poor Daniel has been sick with Soar which gatherd in his Throat and which nearly proved fatal to him. He expected from you some gratuity for himself, oweing to the multiplicity of cares which on all sides surrounded you, at that time, it was omitted, as it was Customary and Daniels expectations were dissapointed, he mentiond it to one or two persons, amongst whom woodard was one, who having just returned from New York, clapt his hands to his pocket and taking out two crowns gave them to him, telling him that you was so much engaged at the time, that it had slipt your mind,

but that he saw you at New York and that he had brought them for him. This came to my knowledge by the way of Mr. Wibird who insisted upon letting me know it. I immediately repaid Mr. Woodard and thank'd him for his kindness.

Your Brother I believe will take care of the place when I leave it. The leave for Breaking up the Hill came too late for this Season, the weather is remarkably cold and Backward, the pastures bare and vegetation very slow. There is a fine blow upon the place, and if the frost last week which killd beans, has not yet injurd the Blossom, we shall have afinelarge crop of fruit. I had yesterday a fine plate of fair Russets upon the table, sound as when they were taken from the Trees. My Garden looks charmingly but it wants warmth. I have got some large asparagrass Beds made, and my little grass plots before the door, pay well for the manure which I had put on. In short I regret leaving it. Your Mother is well as usual, her Eyes are very troublesome to her. You will let me hear from you by the next post. I hope to be able to relieve you soon from domestick cares and anxieties, at least my best endeavours shall not be wanting. I know you will want your own Bed and pillows, your Hot coffe and your full portion of [illegible] where habit has become Natural. How many of these little matters, make up a large portion of our happiness and content, and the more of public cares and perplexities that you are surrounded with, the more necessary these alleviations our blessings are sometimes enhanced to us, by feeling the want of them, as one of that Number it is my highest ambition to be estimated, and shall be my constant endeavour to prove in all situations and circumstances

affectionately yours
A Adams

[Envelope -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 May 1789 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, Abigail. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 May 1789. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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