Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 15 June 1784 JQA JA John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 15 June 1784 Adams, John Quincy Adams, John
John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Honoured Sir London June 15th: 1784

I this day receiv'd your favour of the 11th. instant and expect to send the Books away, in the course of this week, if I receive no contrary orders from you I shall leave this place, to morrow se'en night, and shall attend Parliament, and the courts of Justice, which are now sitting, as often as possible, in the mean time. Mr. Whitefoord, who has been extremely polite and kind to me, introduced me to a Member of Parliament, who will take me into the House; I was 344there yesterday, and heard Mr. Burke make a very long speech; you may have seen in the Papers, that he informed the house, some time since, of his intention to make a motion, respecting an adress to the King, upon his speech, at the opening of the present Session; the day finally appointed for the motion, was yesterday, and Mr. Burke, spoke, for better than two hours, and then made a motion, which the Speaker was an hour reading; the public papers will give you a much more particular account of, both the speech and the motion than I am capable of, but the purport of both was to inform the King, “that the late Parliament, was a most excellent and virtuous one, and that he did very wrong, in dissolving it; that the People had no right to present addresses, to his Majesty, to thank him for dismissing any ministers whatever, that the late Ministry was the best Ministry this Country could have, and that they had pursued a very wise method for the government of India, and finally , if India was entirely lost it would be because their plan had ted.”1 When the Speaker had read the motion, he called upon those who were of the same opinion to say “aye” and about four voices were heard, the “no's” being demanded (for no one person answered a word to any of the arguments of Mr. B—) the whole house, cried “no” and at about 8. in the evening the house broke up. This morning I went and heard the pleadings before Lord Thurlow, in the Court of Chancery,2 several Lawyers spoke, but the subject, was not very interesting; to morrow Mr. Sawbridge's motion for a Parliamentary reform is to come forward, and I shall endeavour to attend.

With my Respects to Mr. Dumas & family I remain, Your dutiful Son. J. Q. Adams

P.S. There is a young American here named Murray3 from Maryland, he is studying Law in the Temple, and intends making a Tour thro' Holland this Summer; perhaps he will go over at the same time I do.

RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “à Monsieur Monsieur J. Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis De l'Amerique à La Haye Hollande”; postmarked: “16/IV”; docketed: “J.Q. Adams. June. 15. 1784.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed.


JQA's quotation from Burke's speech does not convey the main thrust of Burke's argument: that the House of Commons was threatened as the protector of the people's liberties. For a full summary of Burke's speech and motion, see Parliamentary Hist. , 24:943–975.


Edward, first Baron Thurlow, was lord chancellor of Great Britain, presiding over the Court of Chancery from 1778 to 1792. In the 1770s he had vigously defended Britain's efforts to quell the rebellion in America. DNB .


William Vans Murray, then age twenty-four, 345quickly became a close friend of JQA. The two corresponded in 1784–1785, and again, very frequently, from 1797 to 1801, when JQA was U.S. minister to Prussia, and Murray succeeded JQA as U.S. minister at The Hague. While in this post, Murray played a crucial role in promoting peace between the United States and France, following the XYZ Affair and the quasi war of 1799–1800. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:188, note 1; JQA, Diary , 1:265, and note 3.

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 18 June 1784 AA Tufts, Cotton Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 18 June 1784 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts
Sir June 18th. 1784

As You have been so kind as to undertake the care of Mr. Adams'es Estate and affairs during the absence of his family, for which it is my desire that you would regularly charge your time and trouble, the power of Attorney1 will enable you to transact all Buisness relative to the estate, but as there are some few things which could not be particularized there I have committed them to this paper as they occured to my mind. First all monies due to Mr. Adams to be paid to you. Mr. Pratt my tenant to setle Quarterly with you agreable to the lease. The House Rent in Boston will become due the last day of july. It Stands at 60 pounds pr annum. A small peice of land which Mr. Boies2 of Milton hires adjoining to his House in Dorset Alley now occupied by Mrs. Otis is let to him at 6 dollers a year and becomes due in August. The Rent due from the Medford Farm Mr. Shaw is to receive for the present Year and to account with you for the same. The next Quarters rent will be due 11th of july. He is desired to consult you from time to time respecting repairs. Mr. Shaw is to draw upon you for money from time to time for the Board and instruction of our two sons which stands at 12 shillings a week a peice, and for what ever other necessary charges of cloathing Books &c. which they may stand in need of. The dwelling house, Garden and furniture to be left in the care of Pheby and Abdee, who are to have their Rent the privilege of occupying the kitchen, Buttery, 2 Back chambers and cellar with the yard belonging to the house upon condition that they keep out all Hogs cattle &c., but this does not mean to exclude the cattle belonging to the Farm from passing through the yard in the winter Season. They are to be allowed to keep a pig, in the yard upon which the Barn stands and which I used to occupy for the same purpose. They are during the present year to have the use of the Garden east of the House and that part of the Great Garden next the road—all the fruit which grows in the Garden. Mr. Pratt and his wife may have liberty to eat currents out of the Garden but no Children to be permitted to go in to the garden. They Pheby is to be allowed 346a pint of milk a day. But in case that there should not be more than a pint a day in the winter season, then it is to be divided. They are allowed to clear up Brush and Birches in what is called Curtises pasture—but to take no wood. I give them 6 pd. of salt pork, 6 pd. of tallor in consideration of Phebys making up what is now in the house into candles and disposeing of them—1 Bushel of corn, 1 Barrel of cider or what remains in the house. I give her also a pig seven weeks old 3 pd. hogs lard and what Salt Beaf there is in the house. What Salt pork, hogs lard, tallor are left after what I have given her is deducted, she is to dispose of and account with you for the Same. The House and furniture to be taken care of by opening and airing rubbing and cleaning it—Pheby always to be under your direction and controul to be continued or displaced when ever you think proper, and always to apply to you for advice and direction. They are to be allowed the use of the Team in the fall to bring up a load of sea wead. What ever money you may receive more than sufficient for the expences of the children, you will be so kind as to employ to the best advantage. Mr. Pratt is desired to consult you in the same manner he would Mr. Adams respecting the concerns of the Farm. The Library to be under the care of Mr. Cranch. No Books to be Lent out unless to him and Mr. Tyler without the your permission of. No house furniture to be lent out. Mr. Adams account Books to be left in the hands of Mr. Tyler who is desired to collect what debts are due, and pay the same to you. In November you will be so good as to give on my account the Sum of 2 dollors to the widow Abigail Feild 2 dollors to the widow Sarah Owen who lives in the same house with her sister Feild, 2 dollors to Miss Hannah Hunt and 2 dollors to the widow Hannah Bass, 1 dollor to Mrs. Fuller and 1 dollor to the widow Mary Howard and 1 dollor to the wife of John Hayden who is an aged woman and one of my pensioners—1 dollor to the widow Mary Green.

I am dear Sir with the sincerest wishes for your Health & that of my dear Aunt your affectionate Neice Abigail Adams

RC (MiU-C: Gold Star Coll.); addressed: “To Honble Cotton Tufts.”


No power of attorney dated in June or earlier has been found; see JA's power of attorney to Cotton Tufts, dated 6 Sept., below.


Perhaps James Boies (Boyes), owner of paper and slitting mills on the Neponset River in Milton in the 1760s and 1770s (JA, Legal Papers , 1:68–72, 81–84).