Adams Family Correspondence, volume 4

8 John Bishop to Abigail Adams, 16 October 1780 Bishop, John AA John Bishop to Abigail Adams, 16 October 1780 Bishop, John Adams, Abigail
John Bishop to Abigail Adams
Mrs. Adams Medford 16th. Octr. 1780

I received yours of the 14th. ultmo.,1 should not have defer'd answering it so long had I been able to have wrote you, but have had a lame hand, and was unable to put Pen to Paper when I receiv'd it.

I sent you a barrel of Flower which you acknowledge the Receipt off in your Letter. I hope it will prove good. I got Mr. Hall (Baker of this place) to exammine all the Flower we then had in Store which was very considerable, and to chuse out One bl. of it for you, which he should think to be the best; accordingly he did, and inform'd me, that he tho't it equal, if, not superior, to any he had seen since the War, and hope it will prove as good as he tho't it to be. The Current Price then for Flower was 8 Hard Dollars or, the exchange.

You mention'd in your Letter that you had some Silk Handkerchiefs which you would prefer making Payment for the Flower, rather than the Money; I have Handkerchiefs by me which at present have no demand for. With Respect to the ballance due on the Flower, you need not trouble yourself about, but when it's convenient you may send it. The trouble you was kind enough to take in getting my Stockings Wove, join'd with the other favors receiv'd lays me under infinite Obligations, and have the Honr. to be, Madam, Your mo. Humble St.,

John Bishop2

RC (Adams Papers).


Not found.


Presumably John Bishop (1722–1791), a miller of Medford, who had married Abigail Tufts, sister of Dr. Cotton Tufts and cousin of AA (Brooks, Medford , p. 394, 501, 545).

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 18 October 1780 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 18 October 1780 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
My Dearest Friend October 18 1780

The vessel by which I mean to send this is bound for Amsterdam and had very nigh given me the slip.

I have been writing to you when ever I was able by other opportunities, and should have compleated several Letters for this conveyance, but I have been very sick with a slow fever, and your Mother has been sick here of a fever, occasiond by great fatigue, the old gentleman dyeing about 3 weeks ago of a fever. Both of us are much better. 9I have got out, tho she has not yet left her chamber. The rest of our Friends are well.

I wish this Letter might find you in Holland. I think it not improbable if you have received a Commission forwarded to you some months ago.

My Trunk about which you have been so anxious, and so often wished me safe, is not on board the Alliance to my no small mortification. You have found out the cause I dare say before this time. Party and cabal ran so high that the person to whose care it was intrusted, did not chuse to come in the ship—so that it may possibly lay in France till Sampson arrives. If it should I wish it may be put on Board of him and be so good as to get an invoice of Mr. Moylan and send the first opportunity. This I wish you to do. If it should come by the Dr., it will be no damage to compare them.

Holland is so much improved in the way of Trade, that ten nay twenty opportunities offer for sending from there, to one from France.

Enclosed I send a set of Bills received from Mr. Lovell. They do not amount to near the Balance reported in your favour, but I suppose the rest to be connected with the other Gentlemens accounts, which they say can not be gone into at present for want of a state of theirs. I have however written to Mr. L——l to know if it is really so.1

As to politicks if I begin I shall not know where to end, yet I must tell you of a horrid plot, just ready to have been sprung, which would have given us a shock indeed. Arnold, you know him unprincipald as the ——. He missirable wretch had concerted a plan to give up West point where he commanded with its dependancies, into the hands of the Enemy. He had made returns of every important matter to them; with a plan (but a little before concerted, between the General officers) and State of the Army. Major Andry was the person upon whom these papers were found. An officer in the British Army, sensible, bold and enterprizing, universally beloved by them, and regreated with many tears—he was young and very accomplished, but taken in our Camp as a Spy, he was tried, comdemned and Executed. Arnold upon the first allarm that Andry was taken, conveyd himself on Board a ship of war and deserted to the Enemy. I have by two late papers sent you enclosed to you the whole of this Black transaction, so providentially discoverd which must excite gratitude in every Breast not wholy devoid of principal.2—It is now a long time since I heard from you, the 17 of June was the last date.

I have just sent Letters for Mr. Thaxter to Newport to go in a French Frigate. I shall write to him by a vessel soon to sail for France 10and to my dear Boys. Remember me tenderly to them. Ah! when shall I see them again, or their dear parent?—I must bid you good Night, tis late and I am yet feable and weak. Believe me with sentiments of tenderness & affection ever yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia,” to which CFA added later: “October 18th 1780.” Enclosures not found.


See Lovell to AA, 14 May, vol. 3, above, with enclosure, and references in note 3 1 there.


The classic modern account of Benedict Arnold's treason and Major John André's capture, trial, and execution as a spy is in Carl Van Doren's Secret History of the American Revolution , N.Y., 1941, p. 143–388, to which are appended full texts of the Arnold-André correspondence and Sir Henry Clinton's narrative of the plot and its outcome, p. 437–495.