Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 21 July 1776 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 21 July 1776 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
July 21 1776 Boston

I have no doubt but that my dearest Friend is anxious to know how his Portia does, and his little flock of children under the opperation of a disease once so formidable.

I have the pleasure to tell him that they are all comfortable tho some of them complaining. Nabby has been very ill, but the Eruption begins to make its appearence upon her, and upon Johnny. Tommy is so well that the Dr. innoculated him again to day fearing it had not taken. Charlly has no complaints yet, tho his arm has been very soar.

I have been out to meeting this forenoon, but have so many dissagreable Sensations this afternoon that I thought it prudent to tarry at home. The Dr. says they are very good feelings. Mr. Cranch has passed thro the preparation and the Eruption is comeing out cleverly 56upon him without any Sickness at all. Mrs. Cranch is cleverly and so are all her children. Those who are broke out are pretty full for the new method as tis call'd, the Suttonian they profess to practice upon.1 I hope to give you a good account when I write next, but our Eyes are very weak and the Dr. is not fond of either writing or reading for his patients. But I must transgress a little.

I received a Letter from you by wedensday Post 7 of July and tho I think it a choise one in the Litterary Way, containing many usefull hints and judicious observations which will greatly assist me in the future instruction of our Little ones, yet it Lacked some essential engrediants to make it compleat. Not one word respecting yourself, your Health or your present Situation. My anxiety for your welfare will never leave me but with my parting Breath, tis of more importance to me than all this World contains besides. The cruel Seperation to which I am necessatated cuts of half the enjoyments of life, the other half are comprised in the hope I have that what I do and what I suffer may be serviceable to you, to our Little ones and our Country; I must beseach you therefore for the future never to omit what is so essential to my happiness.

Last Thursday2 after hearing a very Good Sermon I went with the Multitude into Kings Street to hear the proclamation for independance read and proclamed. Some Field peices with the Train were brought there, the troops appeard under Arms and all the inhabitants assembled there (the small pox prevented many thousand from the Country). When Col. Crafts read from the Belcona3 of the State House the Proclamation, great attention was given to every word. As soon as he ended, the cry from the Belcona, was God Save our American States and then 3 cheers which rended the air, the Bells rang, the privateers fired, the forts and Batteries, the cannon were discharged, the platoons followed and every face appeard joyfull. Mr. Bowdoin then gave a Sentiment, Stability and perpetuity to American independance. After dinner the kings arms were taken down from the State House and every vestage of him from every place in which it appeard and burnt in King Street. Thus ends royall Authority in this State, and all the people shall say Amen.

I have been a little surprized that we collect no better accounts with regard to the horrid conspiricy at New York, and that so little mention has been made of it here. It made a talk for a few days but now seems all hushed in Silence. The Tories say that it was not a conspiricy but an association, and pretend that there was no plot to assasinate the General. Even their hardned Hearts Blush feel —— the dis-57covery. We have in Gorge a match for a Borgia and a Catiline, a Wretch Callous to every Humane feeling. Our worthy preacher told us that he believed one of our Great Sins for which a righteous God has come out in judgment against us, was our Biggoted attachment to so wicked a Man. May our repentance be sincere.

Monday morg. july 22

I omitted many things yesterday in order to be better informed. I have got Mr. Cranch to inquire and write you, concerning a French Schooner from Martineco which came in yesterday and a prize from Ireland. My own infirmities prevents my writing. A most Excruciating pain in my head and every Limb and joint I hope portends a speedy Eruption and prevents my saying more than that I am forever Yours.

The children are not yet broke out. Tis the Eleventh Day with us.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia,” to which was later added “July 21. 1776” in the hand of William Gordon(?). Evidently enclosed in Richard Cranch's letter to JA, 22 July, following.


After Daniel Sutton (1735–1819), an irregular but highly successful practitioner of Ingatestone, Essex, and later of London (James Johnston Abraham, Lettsom: His Life, Times, Friends and Descendants, London, 1933, p. 189–194). His method required only a small puncture, rather than a gash, to infect the subject and made use of less virulent matter.


The 18th.


Balcony. A number of similar early spellings are recorded in OED .

Richard Cranch to John Adams, 22 July 1776 Cranch, Richard JA Richard Cranch to John Adams, 22 July 1776 Cranch, Richard Adams, John
Richard Cranch to John Adams
Dear Friend Boston July 22d. 1776

Those that are dearest to you are here, under Inocolation. Charles was Inocolated with me on Thursday, the 11th. Instt. Our Symptoms are very promising; Mrs. A. and the other three Children underwent the operation the next Day. I suppose the enclos'd will be more particular.

The Declaration of Independency which took place here last Thursday, was an Event most ardently wish'd for by every consistant Lover of American Liberty, and was received accordingly by the loudest Acclamations of the People, who Shouted—God Save the united States of America!—We have various Stories current here of Vessels having spoken with Lord Howe, and that he inform'd them he had Powers to treat with Congress &c. Beware of Punic Faith.

Yesterday we had the Pleasure of seeing a Prize Ship with Provi-58sions from Ireland, safely Anchor'd off Hancock's Wharfe. It seems by the Captain's account of things, that he was blown off to the W. Indies last Winter, was question'd by the Admiral at Jamaica, and roughly treated by him for coming so far to Leeward; he vindicated his Character; and after refitting, was sent off with a strict charge to go directly to Boston. He took a Pilot at Nantuckett, who foolishly told him that the Troops were gone from Boston, but happily the Captain would not believe him till our Fort at Nantaskett gave him full conviction. The chief of her Cargo is 1500 Barrells of Pork and Beef, with a Quantity of Butter. We have also just received the agreeable News, that an Arm'd Schooner, with Letter of Marque fitted out by the Derby's of Salem, has taken a large Jamaica Ship, with 394 Hhds. of Sugar, 143 Puncheons of Rum, 40 Pipes of Medaira Wine, and other West India Articles, and sent her into Sheepscutt. It is asserted that she has also 27 Pieces of Cannon in her Hold, from 4, to 9 Pounders. The above Schooner has also taken a Sloop from England with Dry Goods, bound to N: York, and carried her into Cape Ann. I hear you are President of a certain Board.—Cousin N:C. who has been in the Quarter-Master-General's Office from the very begining; and has been found, (what you knew him to be before,) a Person of the utmost Probity as well as good Abilities for Business; He, I say, has lost every thing that he had in the World, (amounting to several Hundred Pounds Sterg.,) because he quitted the Town without a Pass, after he had try'd Months in vain to get one.1 The Neighbours say that the Provost came and carried off every Thing that he had, just after they found that he had made his Escape. He is now in the same office as a Clerk, at N: York. I mention the above to you, that if any Place shoud offer, in which he might serve his Country in a little higher Sphere, you would be so good as to think of him.

I am, with the greatest Esteem Yours &c.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; franked; “Free”; endorsed: “Mr. Cranch,” with the date of the letter added in the hand of William Gordon(?). Enclosure was presumably AA's letter to JA, 21–22 July, preceding.


Apparently Nathaniel Cranch (d. 1780), a nephew rather than a cousin of Richard Cranch. He was engaged to his cousin Elizabeth Palmer (who afterward married Nathaniel's brother Joseph) at the time of his death from a fall on the old fortifications at Boston Neck. See Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April 1780 (Adams Papers); Grandmother Tyler's Book , p. 55–56.