Adams Family Correspondence, volume 1

Hannah Storer Green to Abigail Smith, 1763 – 1764 Green, Hannah Storer AA Hannah Storer Green to Abigail Smith, 1763 – 1764 Green, Hannah Storer Adams, Abigail
Hannah Storer Green to Abigail Smith
My Dear Diana Friday 10 O'clock 1763–1764

My inclinations, tho' not my Expectations were very much disapointed in not sending you a long Letter the last time I wrote; however I must still beg your Patience and I will pay you all, the very first minute I can.—Patience my dear I recommend to you, upon more accounts than one, first upon your friends, secondly upon your own, for if you do not have Patience with me, I shall never pay you, neither can you have any rest without it.

I have the honor of sending this by Lysander, who I hope will convey a great deal of Comfort to my Diana in her lonely Condition. I fancy you feel of great importance now. Lysander is a sad unkind Gentleman for he's never been to see me, tho' you promised he should, but I'll forgive him if he'll be better for the future.

Breakfast waits. Adieu.

Your Caliope1

Ardelio's Love.

RC (MHi: Samuel Abbott Green Papers); addressed: “To Miss Nabby Smith—Weymouth.”

11 1.

Hannah (1738–1811), daughter of Ebenezer Storer of Boston; she had married Joshua Green (1731–1806), also of Boston, the “Ardelio” of the postscript, in 1762. Under the fanciful name “Caliope” she had corresponded with AA since at least 1761. See Samuel Abbott Green, An Account of Percival and Ellen Green and of Some of Their Descendants, Groton, Mass., 1876, p. 19–20, 53–62; and Malcolm Storer, Annals of the Storer Family, Boston, 1927, p. 48.

Hannah Storer Green to John Adams, 20 February 1764 Green, Hannah Storer JA Hannah Storer Green to John Adams, 20 February 1764 Green, Hannah Storer Adams, John
Hannah Storer Green to John Adams
Sir Boston Februry. 20th. 1764

I think myself greatly indebted to you, for the honor you do my judgment, in refering so important a debate to my decission; and I ought, in strict justice, to apologize for my not answering it before; however, I trust to your Candor to excuse the seeming neglect, I say seeming, for I have not been unmindful of you, but have well consider'd the thing, and shall give you my thoughts upon the matter with freedom.—But before I proceed to answer the grand point in debate, allow me to ask a question Viz. Why April is excluded? Is it because you will neither of you condescend? If so, you are neither of you fit Subjects for Matrimony in my opinion, and will not have my Vote in the matter; aya, Lysander you may stare if you please, thinking, I suppose, that you have apply'd to the wrong person; however there is no drawing back now; and if this is the reason, you may depend upon it I shall not shew favor to either of you; but leave you to marry when you can agree, and to enjoy your blessed Prerogative when you can, in Love, determine whose right it is—but as I look upon you both as reasonable beings, I cannot fairly suppose the want of Condescention to be the reason; therefore I shall answer you without further delay. Well then to be honest (and honesty you love I know, because it saved you once, when you was tried for a Crime which richly deserved a Noose) I do not at all approve of March, 'tis too Blustering a month for Matrimony, neither do I think it necessary you should stay till May, but I would have you take the Medium, for April is a very salutary month for the purpose for then “From Southern Climes the chearfull Sun returns, And the late frozen North then gently warms; His subtile Penetration op'rates so, He does but look on Flowers and Plants they grow, His loving Beams sweetly salute the Spring, And dart their Virtue into every Thing. 12 Therefore April is the month I pitch upon you may be sure and I dare say you will find it far preferable to March, and tho' by it you remain a miserable Bachelor one month longer yet I hope it will be made up in years of Matrimonial happiness.

Tell Diana that I'm set upon April, and that it will be the height of impropriety in her, to set up her will (in this case especially) in opposition to yours and mine, for I'm sure you'll join with me now you know what wonderfull effects the April Sun has, however, A Word to the wise is sufficient, therefore I bid you Adeiu, with assuring you that

I am Your Friend and Well-wisher, Caliope

P. S. No Slacks1 to be got; the history of a Letter (which waited a fortnight for your Lordship to convey to Diana) I will give her the first opportunity but the messenger waits now so once more Adeiu.

RC (MHi: Samuel Abbott Green Papers); addressed: “To Mr. John Adams In Brantree.”


Thus in MS. The earliest use of the word “slacks” in the sense of trousers that is recorded in OED is dated 1824. It may of course in 1764 have had a different meaning that is not now ascertainable.