Adams Family Correspondence, volume 1

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 15 January 1767 Cranch, Mary Smith AA Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 15 January 1767 Cranch, Mary Smith Adams, Abigail
Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams
Dear Sister Salem Jany. 15 1767

Your kind letter I receiv'd to day and am greatly rejoiced to hear 1 you are all so well. I was very uneasy at not hearing from you, indeed my dear Sister the Winter never seem'd so tedious to me in the World. I daily count the days between this and the time I may probably see you. I could never feel so comfortable as I at present do, if I thought I should spend another Winter here. Indeed my Sister I cannot bear the thought of staying here so far from all my Friends if Mr. Cranch can do as well nigher. I would give a great deal only to know I was within Ten Miles of you if I could not see you. Our children will never seem so natural to each other as if they liv'd where they could see one another oftener.

Mr. Cranch has been very well for him all this Winter he has not had but one ill turn since mother return'd home. Betsy Dear creature longs to see her cousen, Gran-Papa and Mama, aunts and all the folks as She says. As for news as you say tis all in the papers but Ive not been able to see any but Fleets and Russels, and the latter you know is a neutarel; till the other day after a labourious inquiery, I obtain'd one of Edes and Gills a Sight here rare enough to cure sore Eyes as they say.2 I durst not hardly smile assent to any thing against P——p least I should be cudgel'd. They think it consistant with good manners to affront a person even at their own tables if they offer to say one Word against his E——y. I was not born to live among Slaves. Some think here that the Person Who pleads the cause of injured innocence is S–w–l, but We think it sounds more like a canting uncle of his in your neighbourhood.3

As to your domestick news, I believe I know a little more of it than you do, or else you have forgot. You say you have two horses, but you are mistaken my dear. One of them is a Mare, a poor lame hip'd spavell'd, one eye'd mare as I understand. You should have sent me word how the poor Jade did. Whither you were like to loose her or not.

Miss Sally Barnard and Higginson were married last Satterday night was a week.4 Mr. Barnard and Family, Mr. Jackson and Lady din'd here last Satturday and went to Newbury a monday.


How does your new married Mother do.5 Does she begin to thrive upon it. My Love to her tell her I wish her a great deal of contentment. Im sorry to hear Sister has been so poorly I long to have keep her all Winter but I knew it was in vain to desire it and indeed I could not when I consider'd mother. Im glad to hear the camblet is done. Send it to Uncle Smiths and Ill send for it. O Sister that I could but have one hours chat with you before I go to bed how glad I should be. Mr. Cranch sends Love so does my little Betsy, but wonders how I can put it into the paper. Do let me see you put it in mama She says. I cant see it. What strang Ideas they have ours is the task to fix them right, that they may surpass thire mothers in every- remainder missing

RC (Adams Papers). Text incomplete; a second sheet is missing.


Word missing in MS.


Fleet's Boston Evening Post, a relatively conservative paper; Green & Russell's Boston Post Boy, politically neutral as Mrs. Cranch says; and Edes & Gill's Boston Gazette, organ of the Boston political radicals.


These allusions are to the current “Philanthrop” articles in the Evening Post by Jonathan Sewall laudatory of Governor Sir Francis Bernard. It is not easy to identify Sewall's “canting uncle” unless Col. Josiah Quincy of Braintree, uncle of Esther (Quincy) Sewall, is meant.


Sarah, daughter of Rev. Thomas Barnard of Salem, married Jonathan Jackson (1743–1810), and another Sarah, daughter of Stephen Higginson of Salem also, married John Lowell (1743–1802), both on 3 Jan., possibly in a double ceremony. Jackson and Lowell from youth had been very close friends and “for several years the two young men lived together as bachelors, Lowell engaged in the practice of law, and Jackson in commercial pursuits.” Both served in the Continental Congress and later became prominent Federalist politicians and JA's close friends and correspondents. (Vital Records of Salem, Salem, 1916–1925, 3:80, 496; Currier, “Ould, Newbury, p. 564–565, 577–578; Biog. Dir. Cong. ; DAB , under Lowell.)


Susanna (Boylston) Adams married a second time, 3 Dec. 1766; her new husband was Lt. John Hall of Braintree. See Adams Genealogy.

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 31 January 1767 AA Cranch, Mary Smith Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 31 January 1767 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
My Dear Sister Braintree Jan'ry. 31 1767

I have just returnd from Weymouth, where I have been for a week past. It seems lonesome here, for My Good Man is at Boston; after haveing been in a large family, for a week, to come and set down alone is very solitary; tho we have seven in our family, yet four of them being domestick when my partner is absent and my Babe a sleep, I am still left alone. It gives one a pleasing Sensation my Dear Sister, after haveing been absent a little while to see one's self gladly received upon a return, even by one's Servants. I do not know that I was ever 61more sensibly affected with it than I was to Day; I could behold joy sparkle in the Eyes of every one of them as I enterd the House, whilst they unaffectedly express'd it some to me and some to my Babe.—One runs to the Door, O Mam, I am glad to see you come home again, how do you do? Whilst an other catches the child, and says Dear creature I was affraid she would forget me, and a third hovers round and crys Nab, do you know Polly, and will you come to her?—These little instances shew their regard, and they endear them to us.

Thus far I wrote last fryday. But my good Man arriving with the News papers, put an end to writing any further at that time. However I have now reassumed my pen, tho I am something tierd, haveing dined Nine Gentlemen to Day. When I set down with such a friendly circle, I always look round and wish that the company was not incompleat by the absence of two Dear Friend's. Here now sets our Sister Elizabeth, and we both of us haveing been talking and wishing for you. She will leave me to morrow, tho She came but to Day, and has not been here since She came from Salem, before now. Father, the Doctor and Mr. Wibird (who made three of the company to Day) tell me that they all of them design for Salem to morrow. I know how rejoiced you will be to see them. I feel glad for you, but methinks so many good Friends ought not to go together—if they went but one at a time I should chance to hear three times from you which would as Sarah Cotton used to say make me three times glad.—I sent your Camblet to Unkle Smiths last week, and hope it has reach'd you before now. The coulour I know you will not like. I do not think Dawson used me well, tis a discourageing thing, when one has tried to have a thing look well and done their part towards it, then to have it ruined in the dying or weaveing, is very provoking, but if Mr. Cranch dislikes it, I would not have you think yourselves under any oblagation to take it, for I shall not be any ways troubled if you send it back again.—I have a couple of Books, which when I have read thro I design to send to you, for your perusal—they are called Sermons to young women.1 I cannot say how much I admire them, and should I attempt to say how justly worthy they are of admiration I fear I should not do justice to this most Excellent performance.—My Letter will be a mess medly in Spite of any efforts to the contarary—for from Sermons I must desend to Cards and tell you I should be glad, Mr. Cranch would send me a pair.2 Nabby sends her Love to her cousin Betsy and would be very glad of her company, to tend Miss Doll, who is a very great favorite of theirs.—I send you a little yarn for a pair of Stockings and a little flax for some thread—because I know you seek wool and flax, and 62work willingly with your hands. Accept of them with my sincere regards to you and yours From your affectionate Sister,

Abigail Adams

P.S. You must burn this for it is most dismal writing.

RC (MeHi); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Salem”; docketed in an unidentified hand.


By James Fordyce, D.D., London, 1765; fourteen editions had appeared by 1814 (BM, Catalogue ).


For use in combing wool. Richard Cranch advertised himself as a cardmaker as well as watchmaker.