Adams Family Correspondence, volume 3

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 28 February 1780 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 28 February 1780 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Paris Feb. 28. 1780

I have already sent to the Marquis de la Fayette, a Number of Letters for you, and the Children, from their Brothers, who favoured me with their Company last night and are just gone off to the Accademy. Charles's Master is full of his Praises, and John I think is more solid and steady than ever.

In two of the Letters to you, you will find no Writing, only a small Present to you and Miss Nabby, not meaning to exclude Mr. Tommy. I will endeavour to send more little Things of this Nature in the same manner, by several Opportunities. I can send small Things in this Way by Gentlemen, who may go by french Frigates or other good Opportunities, and I wish you would inform me, what Things you want that may be sent in the same manner.

I hope the Marquis will do your Ladyship the Honour of a Visit, at Braintree, and am sure he will if he comes to Boston and is not too impatient to get to the Field of Honour, which from the Keenness of his Passion for Glory, may very possibly be the Case.

The Marquis has a son since his Arrival in Europe, whom he has named George, not from the King of G.B. but his Friend Washington.1

Dr. F. told me News Yesterday, which he has from England, but it seems too extraordinary to me, to be true. That the Irish Parliament have repealed Poynings Law:2 declared that no Legislature has Authority over Ireland, but the Irish Houses of Lords and Commons and the King of Ireland, and prohibited all Appeals from the House of Lords in Ireland to the House of Lords in England —and sent these Laws to England for Approbation of the King. Ireland to be sure is not yet quieted, by all Lord Norths Address, which contrasted with his Conduct to America is curious.3

We have no News from America since Christmas, and very little since We sailed from Boston.

According to present Appearances the Field of Action the next Campaign will be the West India Islands.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: John Adams Braintree near Boston Favd. by the Marquis de la Fayette. To be sunk in case of Capture.”

292 1.

George Washington Lafayette was born on 24 Dec. 1779 and after an early military career was active in politics most of the rest of his life. He accompanied his father on his tour of the United States, 1824–1825, and died in 1849. See Gottschalk, Lafayette , 3:57–58; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale . An announcement of G. W. Lafayette's birth, on the day it occurred, is in the Adams Papers and is reproduced as an illustration in this volume.


“An act of parliament, made in Ireland (10 Hen. VII. c. 22, A.D. 1495); so called because Sir Edward Poynings was lieutenant there when it was made, whereby all general statutes before then made in England were declared of force in Ireland, which, before that time, they were not” (Black, Law Dictionary ).


The “News” in this paragraph was almost entirely the product of wishful thinking in Paris. Sympathy on the part of Irish patriots for the American cause and rumored threats of invasion by France, as well, of course, as the Irish people's numerous and long-standing grievances against the British government, had driven Ireland into a state of serious unrest. A vigorous movement for Irish parliamentary independence was in progress, but it failed, and no insurrections of the kind hoped for by the French and Americans took place. See W. E. H. Lecky, A of England in the Eighteenth Century, 8 vols., N.Y., 1878–1890, 4:520–551.

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 1 March 1780 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 1 March 1780 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
My Dearest Friend March 1 1780

I had scarcly closed my packet to you when I received your Letters dated Ferrol and Corunna. I am happy indeed in your safe arrival and escape from the danger which threatned you.

“Alas how more than lost were I, Who in the thought already die.”

I feel glad that you have determined to proceed by land tho so tedious and expensive a journey. I grow more and more apprehensive of the dangers of the sea, tho I have really no Right to Quarrel with old Neptune, since he has 3 times safely transported my Friend. Tho he has grumbled and growld, he has not shewn the extent of his power.

I hope you will meet with so much pleasure and entertainment in your journey, as will be some compensation1 for the fatigues of it, and the recital amuse me whenever you can find opportunity to communicate it.

The sailors you relieved at Corunna passt through this Town, and told their story at Brackets, where a Number of persons collected 40 dollors for them. I wished they had called upon me, I should have been glad to have assisted them.

Enclosed are a few journals received yesterday. Am rejoiced to hear my Charles behaves so well, but he always had the faculty of gaining 293Hearts, and is more mournd for in this Neighbourhood than I could have believed if I had not heard it. Adieu most affectionately your


RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Paris”; endorsed: “Portia Recd, and ansd. 17. May,” to which CFA added “1780.” Enclosed “journals of Congress” not found.


MS torn by seal.