Adams Family Correspondence, volume 3

Abigail Adams to James Warren, 7 June 1778 AA Warren, James Abigail Adams to James Warren, 7 June 1778 Adams, Abigail Warren, James
Abigail Adams to James Warren
Dear Sir Braintree, ca. 7 June 1778 1

Your Billit was deliverd to me a Day or two ago. I am much obliged to you for your kind offer but indeed Sir I know not where to find my Friend, my Imagination wanders like the Son of Ulyssus from Sea to Sea and from Shoar to Shoar. Tis now four months since the Boston saild in all which time we have never heard a word from our Friend's. Our Enemies tell us that She is taken and carried into Plimouth. I know not what to think, but I feel myself unhappy and the more so I think for hearing a day or two ago, that a French vessell had arrived at Portsmouth with News that the Boston was safe arrived in France but it proves that tho she left France near 8 weeks after the Boston saild from here that She heard nothing of her. I have wrote several times, but in my present state of anxiety I cannot write another word till I hear something or other from my Friend.2 However Sir if you have an opportunity and Faith enough to believe that you can find him in France, be so kind as to let him know that I am well as I can be with a mind so anxious and a Heart so unhappy, that our Little ones are all well, that my Father who is 70 odd years of age is now under inoculation for the small pox, and I hope like to do well,3 and that the rest of his Friends and conexions are well. If Mr. Adams should have been so unhappy as to have fallen into the Hands of our Enemie's, what method will be taken by Congress, with regard to him? A reply to this Question may perhaps aleviate the anxious mind of one who would ask forgiveness of a less sympathetick Heart for so often expressing the fears and Apprehensions of


Dft (Adams Papers); docketed by JQA: “June 1778.”


Its opening sentences make clear that this undated draft is a reply to James Warren's letter to AA from Boston of 2 June, above; consequently both the recipient's name and the approximate date have been editorially assigned with confidence. See also James Warren to JA, 7 June, stating that Warren ex-35pected letters from AA “Tomorrow which I presume will Inform you that the Family are well” (Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters , 2:18–21).


However, she did write to both JA and JQA in time to have her letters conveyed by the vessel Warren mentioned without naming, Capt. Corbin Barnes' schooner Dispatch. See AA's letters of 10 June and JA's reply of 26 July, all below.


Rev. William Smith's MS Diary for 1778 (MHi) contains the following entry: “3 June was Inoculated by Dr. Ephraim Wales in the 72 year of my age, at Col. Josiah Quincys.—Tarried at the Col. 3 weeks wanting a day. Gave the Doctor 8 Dollars for Inoculating me.”

John Quincy Adams to Charles Adams, 7 June 1778 JQA Adams, Charles John Quincy Adams to Charles Adams, 7 June 1778 Adams, John Quincy Adams, Charles
John Quincy Adams to Charles Adams
Paris june ye 7 1778

we being so far from one another that I cannot Leave my pen out of my hand & I hope that my Letters will not be troublesome to you

Yesterday my Pappa received a number of news papers from america in one of which I read that you had got an account of doctor Franklins being asasinated but I beg you would not regard any of those Storys, of which I expect you will hear a great number give my duty to uncles Quincy and Adams1 I am &c.

LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To my Brother Charles.” Text is given here in literal style.


Norton Quincy and Peter Boylston Adams, both in Adams Genealogy.

Isaac Smith Sr. to Abigail Adams, 8 June 1778 Smith, Isaac Sr. AA Isaac Smith Sr. to Abigail Adams, 8 June 1778 Smith, Isaac Sr. Adams, Abigail
Isaac Smith Sr. to Abigail Adams
Mrs. Adams Boston June the 8th. 1778

There is a french Ship Arrived last fryday from France itt is said came Out about the same time the last Vessells. Whether they1 the same day cant learn, but there is a report that the Boston was Arrived. I dont find any letters about itt, but wish itt may be true and cant but hope there may be some truth in itt. I cant find that the report from New York had any foundation for the report.

Iff we should here any thing shall send you word.—I am Yr. h S., Isaac Smith

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Brantry per favr. Mr. Winslow.”


Word or words here evidently omitted in MS.

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 10 June 1778 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 10 June 1778 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
Dearest of Friends June 10. 1778

I should write to you with a much more cherefull Heart if I knew 36where to find you, but as yet I have no inteligance which can be relied upon. I have already wrote several times, by different ways. It wants but a few days of four months since the Boston saild and in all that time we have received no inteligance with regard to her but what was a week ago printed in a New York paper, viz. that she was taken and carried into Plimouth. This you may be sure gave me great uneasiness, for tho I was not apprehensive that you would be ill treated, I did not chuse to have you a prisoner at a time when I hoped to hear of your safe arrival in France.

The small pox has gone through the Town of Boston since you left us, and has taken such a spread through the Country that Hospitals are opened in almost every Town. You will be surprized I know when I tell you that my Father is now under inoculation in this Town, the whole Farms is an Hospital and he is at Col. Quincys. He is not yet broke out. Mr. Wibird is just recovering from it. Your Worthy Mother is well, and very anxious to hear from you. You will easily observe that I write under great restraint. As to politicks we have been rather inactive through the winter, but you will have all the News from other Friends. The list of our House and counsel will I suppose surprise you, it does not deserve the term Motly this year; I believe you may say with Duchea their Names scarcly ever met your Ear before.1

We have a prospect of a fine Season again. If you are safe in France direct me into some way to pay taxes. Besides the tax of 47 pounds 18 & 6 pence there is a continental and town tax which amounts to about 50 pounds more for this year. The price of Labour, I think I formerly mentiond. Least you did not get the Letter I will mention that tis 12 pounds per month—I make no comments—you can make calculations.

I am all anxiety to hear from you. God grant me the happy tidings of your welfare and safety, thus prays your affectionate


RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. June 10”; docketed by CFA: “1778.”


The names of the members of the newly elected Massachusetts House and Council are printed in the Boston Gazette of 1 June, with the names of those not in the previous House or Council distinguished. Among others displaced was James Warren of Plymouth. AA's comment is borrowed from Rev. Jacob Duché's remarks about the Pennsylvania delegates to the Continental Congress in his apostatizing letter to George Washington, 8 Oct. 1777; see JA to AA, 25 Oct. 1777, vol. 2, above, and note 3 there.