Adams Family Correspondence, volume 1

John Adams to Cotton Tufts, 9 April 1764 JA Tufts, Cotton John Adams to Cotton Tufts, 9 April 1764 Adams, John Tufts, Cotton
John Adams to Cotton Tufts
My dear Friend Ap. 9th 1764

I have nothing to do at present but to play with my Pen. I have long thought with Horace in his Dulce desipere: But now they tell me it is Utile dulci. I dare not think, for fear of injuring my Health, and for my soul I cannot set still without Thinking; so I am necessitated to keep my Pen in Motion to avoid it, and I believe you are well satisfyd it has answerd the End.

I rejoice to hear you have so fine a Prospect of passing easily through. 20Please to tell Dr. Perkins I depend on him. I dont know but your Neice has written you to ask Mrs. Le Febure to receive us. If she has you need not give yourself the Trouble, as I have this Moment a Letter from my Unkle, informing me, that he has procured us a Bed. We shall have an Hospital that deserves the Name. Deacon Palmers 3 Children, my Brother and myself at least if no more, will be at my Unkle's. And a tolerable Time of it, may we have!

My Gardens and my Farm, are complaining of Neglect, and Disorders, and all that: But I tell them, Patiens, Prudens—next Year I'le take better Care of Ye. Next Year, Ye shall have your Bellies full of Carrotts and Onions, and Beats, and Parsnips, and Cabbages and Potatoes, and every Thing that is good. But Ye must permit the little Villains call'd the small Pox to have their Feast this Spring.

They tell me, that Dr. Mayhews Observations have received an Answer in England, a few Copies of which have straggled over to America. The Answer they say is extreamly elegant, delicate, genteel and all that. If so I believe the Dr's People had an old sermon last sunday. The Arch Bp. of Canterbury has the Credit of the Answer. If this Credit is just, the —s Genius will be roused, and will produce something that Messrs. Reviewers will be puzzled to Name. I suppose you have heard or read, that they have Christend the Observations, the Devils Thunder Bolt, full of Contents weighty and urged home.1

This Controversy I hope will prevent the future Waste of the societies Money in the Maintenance of Insects that are Drones in the Cause of Virtue and Christianity; but the most active and industrious of the whole Hive in the Cause of Hierarchical Policy. I should have concluded long ago, if I had not been absolutely idle, with the Name of your Fr'd,

John Adams

RC (NHi); addressed: “For Cotton Tufts Esqr. Boston.”


Rev. Jonathan Mayhew in his Observations on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts ..., Boston, 1763 (Evans 9441), hinted that the Society's missionaries in America were concerned more with political than religious objectives. Among other replies to Mayhew's tract was an anonymous one by Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, An Answer to Dr. Mayhew's Observations ..., London, 1764, which was reprinted in Boston the same year (Evans 9832).

Abigail Smith to Cotton Tufts, 9 April 1764 AA Tufts, Cotton Abigail Smith to Cotton Tufts, 9 April 1764 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Smith to Cotton Tufts
Dear Unkle Monday eve—Weymouth April 9. 1764

I suppose you have written to me, tho I have not received it, for Mr. Ayers left his pocket Book with the Letters at Roxbury. However full 21in the Faith that I have a Letter there, I return you my thanks for it.

We are all very sollicitious to hear from you; Brother has they tell us two eruptions; upon which I congratulate him. I hear also that he is in high Spirits, and more agreeable than ever he was. This cannot arise from the Distemper, it must certainly be oweing to the virtue and example of his Companion—for if Evil communications corrupt good Manners, why may not those which are virtuous, have as great a tendency to inlighten the Mind and rectify the Manners?

Your Letters for Mr. Adams1 I had the curiosity to unfold (he serves me so sometimes) But was sufficiently satisfied. You blew up a train of Ideas—not very delicate ones I assure you. What a Scene did you paint? The thought of it makes me Squemish. Mr. Adams returnd from Plymouth a fryday, and a Saturday morning—left Weymouth, to see it no more for these 5 weeks, this Day received a line, wherein he informs me that he took his Vomit a Sunday morning; and his pill as you directed—follows your prescriptions also in Diet—and experiences the Truth of your observation. Says he never felt a clearer head, or a neater flow of Spirits than at present—desires me to inform you that he with his Brother design for Boston next fryday—that he should be obliged if you would engage Doctor Perkins—and also write him word whether Mrs. Lefebure can accommodate him and his Brother, (without any damage to you) in case of Need, for his Unkle has written him word that he has engaged to take in Deacon Palmers Children, and that he must bring a Bed. He has returnd him word, that he cannot carry one, and if his unkle cannot procure him one, he must look out elsewhere. He has not received an answer yet, but expects to hear to Night, if you can write by Mr. Ayers you will greatly oblige him.

Your Friends here want to see you; and long for the time of your return. My Aunt writes so I need say nothing more about her, than that she perseveres in the way of well doing. My Mother2 makes bugbears sometimes, and then seems uneasy because I will not be scared by them. I tell her we ought to conclude that you are comfortable, and that I cannot distress my self about you.

“He who directed and dispenced the past O'er rules the present, and shall guide the last.”

Tis Bed time, even my Bed time, I therefore wish you a good Nights rest, and the continuance of your Spirits—and a safe return is also wished you By your affectionate Niece,

A. Smith

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Cotton Tufts Esqr. In Boston.” On the third page is Tufts' draft answer, printed under 19? April, below.

22 1.

These have not been found.


Elizabeth (Quincy) Smith (1721–1775), daughter of Col. John Quincy of Mount Wollaston. See Adams Genealogy.