Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 8 February 1777 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 8 February 1777 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
Febry 8 1777

Before this time I fancy you at your journeys end; I have pittied you the Season has been a continued cold.

I have heard oftner from you than I ever did in any of your former journeys, it has greatly releaved my mind under its anxiety. I have received six Letters from you, and have the double pleasure of hearing you are well, and that your Thoughts are often turnd this way.

I have wrote once by Major Rice. Two Gentlemen set of for Baltimore monday or twesday and have engaged to take this Letter. I feel under so many restraints when I sit down to write that I scarcly know what to say to you. The conveyance of Letters is so precarious that I 157shall not trust any thing of consequence to them untill we have more regular passes.

Indeed very little of any consequence has taken place since you left us. We seem to be in a state of Tranquility; rather too much so. I wish there was a little more Zeal shewn to join the Army.

Nothing now but the regulating Bill engrosses their attention. The merchant scolds, the farmer growls, and every one seems wroth that he cannot grind his neighbour.1

We have a report here said to come in two private Letters that a Considerable Battle has taken place in Brunswick in which we have taken 15000 prisoners. I cannot credit so Good News. The Letters are said to be without date.

I rejoice so much when I only receive a few lines from you, just to hear you are well, that I think I shall give eaquel pleasure by writing to you, tho I cannot say I have enjoyed so much Health since you left me as I did in the begining of winter. Johnny has had an ill turn, but is better.

I beg you would write by every opportunity, and if you cannot send so often as you used write and Let them lay by till you make a pacquet.—What is become of the Farmer, many reports are abroad to his disadvantage.

I feel as if you were gone to a foreign Country. Philadelphia seem'd close by but now I hardly know how to reconcile my self to the Thought that you are 500 miles distant. But tho distant you are always near to


RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Baltimore in Maryland”; endorsed: “Portia ans. March 7.”


The “regulating Bill” was An Act to prevent Monopoly and Oppression, passed 25 Jan. 1777 (Mass., Province Laws , 5:583–589). This long and detailed act hopefully fixed wages for labor and the prices of every sort of commodity, both domestic and imported, very precisely. A supplementary act was passed on 10 May (same, p. 642–647), but the ineffectualness of the legislation is attested by complaints from both buyers and sellers in numerous letters that follow.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 10 February 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 10 February 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feby. 10. 1777

Yesterday, I took a long Walk with our Secretary Mr. Thompson to a Place called Fells Point, a remarkable Piece of Ground about a mile from the Town of Baltimore. It is a Kind of Peninsula which runs out 158into the Harbour, and forms a Bason before the Town. This Bason, within thirty Years, was deep enough for large Tobacco ships to ride in, but since that Time has filled up ten Feet, so that none but small light Vessells can now come in. Between the Town and the Point We pass a Bridge over a small run of Water which empties itself into the Bason, and is the only Stream which runs into it and is quite insufficient to float away the Earth which every year runs into the Bason from the dirty streets of the Town and the neighbouring Hills and fields.1

There are four Men of War just entered Cheasapeak Bay, which makes it difficult for Vessells to go out, and indeed has occasioned an Embargo to be laid here for the present. Your Uncle2 has two Vessells here, both detained—one is now employed as a Transport for a little While. These Men of War will disappoint you of your Barrell of flour. Your Uncle's Vessells would sell very well here. Hardens would fetch 800 Pounds of this Money.3

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. John Adams Braintree favoured by no name given”; added in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Postage 6/ Yrs. I Smith”; docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers) is an abstract: “10 Feb. wrote a short Letter to Portia, which I had not Time to transcribe, and sent it by a Hand of Captn. Arnold who is here from the Mass. Board of War.—The Letter contains nothing but an observation or two concerning Fells Point and the Bason before the Town, and one or Two things about her Uncles Vessells.”


JA continued this description in his second letter of this day, following. Compare the entry of 9 Feb. 1777 in his Diary and Autobiography , 2:258–259.


Isaac Smith Sr.


Last two words worn in MS and barely legible. Apparently JA means Pennsylvania currency, the money used in Maryland.