Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 27 August 1776 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 27 August 1776 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia August 27. 1776

Within this half Hour, I received yours of the 18 by the Post. I have only Time before the Post goes out again to thank you for it, and to express my Resignation to the Will of Heaven whatever it may be respecting my dear Charles. I think his Fate is very uncertain. I will hope the best, but Symptoms so terrible indicate the Utmost danger. Besides he will be more troublesome than the rest, if he recovers, because his exquisite Feelings make him more impatient.


You desire me not to forget your “Herbs.” I am totally at a Loss for your Meaning.1 Pray explain—or perhaps your Letter by Mr. Smith,2 which I have not received, Mr. Smith not being as yet come to Town, will explain it.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen Street Boston”; franked: “Free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. AUG 27.” LbC (Adams Papers).


See note 2 on JA's letter to AA of 29 July, above.


Her first letter dated 14 Aug., above.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 28 August 1776 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 28 August 1776 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia August 28. 1776

Mr. Benjamin Smith of S. Carolina, was kind enough to send forward from New York,1 your Favour of August 14 and it came safely to Hand to day. There is nothing in it, about “your Herbs,” which in your Letter of the Eighteenth instant, you wish me to remember. I am yet at a loss for your Meaning. Mr. Gerry carried a Cannister of India Herb for you, which I hope you received. Pray let me know whether you have or not.

Yours of the Eighteenth has fixed an Arrow in my Heart, which will not be drawn out, untill the next Post arrives, and then, perhaps, instead of being withdrawn, it will be driven deeper. My sweet Babe, Charles, is never out of my Thoughts.—Gracious Heaven preserve him!—The Symptoms you describe, are so formidable, that I am afraid almost to flatter myself with Hope.—Why should I repine? Why should I grieve? He is not mine, but conditionally, and subject to the Will of a Superiour, whose Will be done.

I shall inclose with this a Pamphlet, intituled “The present Method of innoculating for the Small Pox, to which are added, some Experiments instituted with a View to discover the Effects of a similar Treatment, in the natural Small Pox, by Thomas Dinsdale M.D.”2 This Pamphlet is recommended to me, by Dr. Khun,3 an eminent Phisician of this City, as containing the best Method, and that which is practised by the greatest Masters in this City. I send this as a Present to you, but you must lend it to Dr. Tufts. I have not Time to read it.

Every Moment grows more and more critical at New York. We expect every Hour, News of serious Joy, or Sorrow. The two Armies are very near each other, at Long Island.


RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent with Dr. Dinsdales Pamphlet see note 2, and several News Papers.” Enclosed newspapers not found.


Preceding three words supplied from LbC.


That is, Thomas Dimsdale, a British physician; his tract, first published in 1767, went through numerous editions ( DNB ). Presumably JA sent the Philadelphia edition, 1771 (Evans 12028).


Adam Kuhn (1741–1817), M.D., Edinburgh 1767, professor of materia medica and botany at the College of Philadelphia ( DAB ).