Adams Family Correspondence, volume 1

Abigail Smith to John Adams, 11 August 1763 AA JA Abigail Smith to John Adams, 11 August 1763 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Smith to John Adams
My Friend Weymouth August th 11 1763 1

If I was sure your absence to day was occasioned, by what it generally is, either to wait upon Company, or promote some good work, I freely confess my Mind would be much more at ease than at present it is. Yet this uneasiness does not arise from any apprehension of Slight or neglect, but a fear least you are indisposed, for that you said should be your only hindrance.

Humanity obliges us to be affected with the distresses and Miserys of our fellow creatures. Friendship is a band yet stronger, which causes us to feel with greater tenderness the afflictions of our Friends.

And there is a tye more binding than Humanity, and stronger than Friendship, which makes us anxious for the happiness and welfare of those to whom it binds us. It makes their Misfortunes, Sorrows and afflictions, our own. Unite these, and there is a threefold cord—by this cord I am not ashamed to own myself bound, nor do I believe that you are wholly free from it. Judge you then for your Diana has she not this day had sufficient cause for pain and anxiety of mind?


She bids me tell you that Seneca, for the sake of his Paulina was careful and tender of his health. The health and happiness of Seneca she says was not dearer to his Paulina, than that of Lysander to his Diana.

The Fabrick often wants repairing and if we neglect it the Deity will not long inhabit it, yet after all our care and solisitude to preserve it, it is a tottering Building, and often reminds us that it will finally fall.

Adieu may this find you in better health than I fear it will, and happy as your Diana wishes you.

Accept this hasty Scrawl warm from the Heart of Your Sincere Diana

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mr. John Adams Braintree.” A portion of the text is scorched and only partly legible. JA used the cover for monetary calculations, arriving at the figure £168 19s.


Concerning the date see the note on the date of JA's reply, which follows.

John Adams to Abigail Smith, 15 August 1763 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Smith, 15 August 1763 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Smith
Monday Morning 15 August 17631

The Disappointment you mention was not intended, but quite accidental. A Gentleman, for whom I had much Esteem, Mr. Daniel Leonard of Norton,2 was so good as to offer to keep the sabbath with me at Braintree—a favour that would have been very agreable if it had not detained me from the most agreable of all Company, to me, in this world, and a favour that will I know be sufficient with you to excuse me.—A good Nights sleep I have had but not more than I should have had, for a Friend always keeps me awake till Midnight and after.

Shall return from Boston I hope time enough to obey, which I always do with more Pleasure than I ever command.

Yours, J. Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Miss Nabby Smith Weymouth.”


Day and month supplied on the assumption that this is a reply to AA's letter of 11 Aug., preceding. But the date she gave her letter is not quite satisfactory, since she appears to have been writing on a Saturday, and 11 Aug. 1763 fell on a Thursday. No resolution of this puzzle occurs to the editors.


Daniel Leonard (1740–1829), Harvard 1760, lawyer, author of the “Massachusettensis” papers (1774–1775) to which JA replied over the name “Novanglus,” loyalist, and chief justice of Bermuda ( DAB ).