Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 6 August 1784 JQA JA John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 6 August 1784 Adams, John Quincy Adams, John
John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Honoured Sir 10. o'clock P.M. London August 6th. 1784

We have not received as yet any answer to the letters we wrote you the day I arrived in town;1 and are yet in a State of great uncertainty and doubt whether to go over to Holland or to go directly on to Paris to meet you there. We have got all ready to leave this Place to morrow morning if we had received any directions from you, and indeed we had some thoughts of setting off for Harwich at any rate to'morrow; But we have given over that intention, not knowing but you may have written us to go directly to Paris to meet you there, and may perhaps have already left the Hague. The Journey from hence to Paris would be attended with much less difficulty and much less fatigue, than to go first to Holland and immediately after to France. The Post from Holland must have been unluckily detained, and the mails are not arrived; I presume we shall receive Letters when it comes, which will direct us what to do. If our orders are for France, and we receive them to morrow, we shall leave London the next day; if for Holland we shall not be able to go, on account of the sailing of the Packet untill Tuesday. These delays are very disagreeable, but they were unavoidable; had Mr. Jefferson not arrived we should probably have been with you at this time.

I have bought the Coach of which I wrote you in my Last, and I believe that it will come upon the whole to about 120. Guineas as I wrote you. The Coach itself cost £102. 10S. the Imperial £6. 18S., but there will probably be some few trifles to add, and a Coachman's box, must be put on it at Paris, which will be about 10 or 15 Guineas more; I hope that it will prove satisfactory to you. I had it cheap because it is second hand, that is, it has been about 70. miles; it was built for a gentleman, who intended travelling thro' France, and Italy in it, but having altered his mind, disposed of it, at a low Price; the same carriage, new, would not be sold I dare say at less than £150. and perhaps more: it has every accommodation necessary for travelling, and may be converted into a town Carriage without the least diffi-419culty. I am upon the whole very well contented with it, and believe it will please you.

I have only time to add, that I am your dutiful Son. J. Q. Adams2

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis de l'Amerique à La Haye. Hollande”; postmarked: “6/AV”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. Aug. 6 1784.”


30 July, above.


JA arrived the following morning from The Hague, from which he had departed on 4 Aug.; the only record of his reunion with his family is in AA2's journal ( Jour. and Corr. , 1:viii; reprinted in JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:170–171, note 1). Staying in London only one night, JA departed for Paris with his family on the following day, Sunday, 8 Aug., in the coach that JQA had just purchased. The Adamses boarded the Channel boat at Dover on 9 Aug.; upon reaching Calais they traveled in their coach through Boulogne, Amiens, and Chantilly to Paris, which they reached on the 13th. AA2's journal provides the only detailed description of this journey, but AA and JQA vividly record their impressions of certain parts of it in various letters, below. Four days after their arrival in Paris, where they lodged at the Hôtel de York, dined with Thomas Barclay and David Hartley, and received the abbés Arnoux, Chalut, and de Mably, the family moved to Auteuil, outside Paris, to a house which AA and AA2 describe minutely in their letters, below. See AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 1:7–15; JQA , Diary , 1:207–209.