Adams Family Correspondence, volume 3

Richard Cranch to John Adams, 9 June 1780 Cranch, Richard JA Richard Cranch to John Adams, 9 June 1780 Cranch, Richard Adams, John
Richard Cranch to John Adams
Dear Bror. Boston June 9th. 1780

The Bearer Mr. John Leverett has just now inform'd me that he is bound to Holland and intends to wait upon you at Paris before he 361returns.1 I gladly embrace the Oportunity of writing a Line to you by him.

I am again chosen by the Town of Braintree to represent them in the Genl. Court which is the reason of my being here as the Court is now sitting in this Capital. We have been certified by a Committee of Congress and by Genl. Washington that a Fleet and a Number of Troops from our Illustrious Ally, may be hourly expected to co-operate with us in this Quarter of the Globe, requesting us to fill up our Battallions immediately. We have Order'd 4000 Men from this State to be immediately raised for that purpose, who are to be ready to march in twenty Days from this Time.

Rivington in his lying Gazett has announced the surrender of Charlestown on the twelfth of May;2 but as nothing has yet reach'd us to coroborate that Account from any other Quarter, we hope it is without Foundation, especially as we have pretty certain Advice that Charlestown was safe and in good Spirits on the tenth of May, being but 2 Days before.

The House has this Day pass'd a Bill for repealing the tender Acts, and for allowing a Depreciation agreeable to a Recommendation of Congress. I inform'd you in my last of the Revolution in the Currency that is to take place. I left Braintree on Sunday Morng. (the House being oblig'd to sit that Day to finish the affair of Raising the 4000 Men) when I left your dearest Connections Mrs. Adams and Children well; they knew nothing of the Conveyance, else they would doubtless have embraced it. Your poor Brother is in great Affliction—his Wife died about a fortnight ago. She was just bro't to Bed of a fine Girl, but her previous very low state of Health render'd her too weak to survive above three or four Days.3 Your Mother, Father Smith, Uncle Quincy, Dr. Tufts, Coll. Thaxter and Families are well. I wrote you, about a month ago, by Coll. Tyler who sail'd from New London for France. A large Pacquett also is gone forward from Mrs. Adams &c. &c. about a fortnight ago by Mr. Guild (one of the Tutors of Harvard Colledge) who is about to make the Tour of Europe and expects to land first at Gothenburg in Sweden. I wrote to Mr. Thaxter a few Days ago by Genl. Warren's Son bound to Holland. Please to give my kindest Regards to the young Messrs. Johnney and Charley and tell them that their young Correspondants at Braintree are very happy in receiving their Letters by the Marquis de Fayett. I thank Mr. Thaxter for his esteem'd Favour by the same conveyance, and beg the Favour of his Corespondence in future.

When you find a leisure Moment (if that should happen) you 362would make me very happy if you would employ it in letting me know how Matters are going on your side the Water.

The Gentleman by whome this will be deliver'd to you (fortune of War excepted) is a worthy Son of Harvard, who would think himself greatly honour'd in being made known to you. He is waiting for this, therefore hope you will excuse this hasty Scrawl from your ever affectionate Bror.,

Richard Cranch

Mrs. Cranch and Children were well when I left home.

June 10th. Evening.4

The Post brings advice this evening that Charlestown was safe the 16th. Ulto. but that Ft. Moultrie was taken by 1500 Granadiers after being twice repulsed, on May 12th. Only 50 Men taken, 5 the rest having withdrawn the preceding Night. Those 50 had the honors of War.

RC (MHi:Cranch Family Collection); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at Paris”; docketed in an unidentified hand: “Richd. Cr. to Mr. Adams June 9th. 1780.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “Letter to Bror. Adams June 9th. 1780.” Dft is written on blank sides of printed bill-of-lading forms. There are numerous small variations in phrasing between the two texts, but they are not recorded here.


John Leverett (1758–1829), Harvard 1776, later a lawyer and merchant of Windsor, Vt. ([Charles E. Leverett,] A Memoir, Biographical and Genealogical, of Sir John Leverett, Knt., . . . and of the Family Generally, Boston, 1856, p. 155–158, where the date of Leverett's death is erroneously given as 1839). Leverett sailed in the Pallas with Winslow Warren, was captured at sea, and in August returned in a cartel ship to Boston; see above, Winslow Warren to AA, 26 May, note 2, and two documents of 20, 27 July from Leverett, Warren, and others, one being a petition to, and the other an agreement with, Admiral Richard Edwards, Governor of Newfoundland, in MHi:Misc. Bound MSS.


This news was reported in the Boston Continental Journal, 9 June, p. 2, col. 2, from Rivington's New York Royal Gazette of 31 May, which was not lying.


See above, AA to JA, 15 April, note 5.


This addition was written by Cranch on the cover of his letter after he had folded and sealed it.


MS torn by seal.

Abigail Adams to James Lovell, 11 June 1780 AA Lovell, James Abigail Adams to James Lovell, 11 June 1780 Adams, Abigail Lovell, James
Abigail Adams to James Lovell
Dear sir June 11 17801

Your repeated favours of May 14, May 19 and 30 together with one bearing no date2 merrit my acknowledgement that amidst so great a Number of correspondents you should so often think of Portia. At the same time a sigh mingels with my gratitude that a Heart so benevolently disposed towards others whose life and Labours are so 363intirely devoted to the publick Service should have occasion for an anxious moment for the situation of those dearest to him—that he cannot even receive the consolation of visiting those dear connextions without increasing difficulties.—Blush Massachusets that so ardent, so zealous an advocate in your cause and in the cause of Liberty, so patient a sufferer and so indefatigable a Labourer still should not at least be placed in a situation where he would have less occasion to feel for the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

But I quit a subject which always gives me pain to reflect upon, and thank you for your alphabetacall cipher tho I believe I shall never make use of it. I hate a cipher of any kind and have been so much more used to deal in realities with those I love, that I should make a miserable proficiency in modes and figures. Besides my Friend is no adept in investigating ciphers and hates to be puzzeld for a meaning. If Mr. L——1 will not call me Sausy I will tell him he has not the least occasion to make use of them himself since he commonly writes so much in the enigmatical way that no body but his particular correspondents will ever find out his meaning.

I have seen my friend sometimes rub his forehead upon the receipt of a Letter, walk the room—What does this Man mean? who can find out his meaning.

Your favour of May 14th enclosed Mr. A's accounts and the proceedings of congress upon them. You mention that you suppose the Treasurer will draw a Bill of Exchange for the Ballance. If this could be done it would benifit me as I doubt not I could sell the Bill for hard Money. I shall take it as a favour Sir if you will endeavour to get it done for me. If a power of Attorney is necessary I will forward one to you; enclosed is a coppy of one given me by Mr. Adams which possibly may be of service to you in transacting this Buisness. If the Bills could be drawn for a thousand Livres each it would be still more advantageous to me. You will be so good as to let me know what is necessary for me to do in this Buisness.

You mention having received packets from Mr. Adams up to the 4th of March which is a few days later than any I have had from him. You mention some communications that you will make in a more leisure hour. You will not let them slip your memory I trust.—Heaven send forward our Allies and prosper their Arms in this Hour of distress. I tremble for the fate of Carolina. Rivington has given us a list of terrors but I hope the lieing Spirit has not left him. Massachusets will do all that is required of her if possible. Believe me whatever some interested sordid wretches may say or write the people have 364confidence in congress and tho some of their measures may not have been productive of all the good they wished for, the Generality of the people consider them as aiming at the publick Benifit—yet few feel for few know their difficulties and embarresments.—May I ask for a continuance of your favours, they amuse me in my retirement. I live secluded from the Gay world and have not been more than four miles from home for these 6 months. I mourn not that as a loss. The society of a few select Friends and my correspondents give me more solid satisfaction than dissapations for which I am not calculated. I feel myself so much Interested in the Fate of my country that she feels not a misfortune in which I do not participate. You will not wonder Sir that I am anxious to know her situation from one so capable of and disposed to give information to his assured Friend and Humble Servant,


Dft (Adams Papers). The “power of Attorney” enclosed in (missing) RC has not been found.


The (missing) RC of this letter must have been dated 13 June; see Lovell's acknowledgment in his reply of 14 July, below.


The first two of those enumerated letters of 14 and 19 May are printed above , and the last two letter of 30 May and that bearing no date are in Adams Papers but omitted here. That “bearing no date” was written after 4 May but before 14 May; it enclosed a simple alphabetical cipher for AA to use in letters to JA if she cared to; Lovell had sent the same cipher to JA in a letter of 4 May (Adams Papers).