Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams, 3 May 1785 Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln AA Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams, 3 May 1785 Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln Adams, Abigail
Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams
May 3 1784 i.e. 1785

I am, My dear Madam led by Various Motives to take My pen to Scribble a few lines at least by this conveyance. The first is that you May be Sensible of My readyness to Acknowledge the favur1 you have been pleased to shew Me in Answering My Short letter in such a descriptive Manner as to make it quite Needless for Me (to wish) to cross the line to become acquainted with the Mind the form the Manners the Customs dress &c. of the French Ladies.

An other is to Thank you for the receipts patterns &c. And a Third to tell you how much pleasure it Gives Me to hear that you and yours are in health and happy. May the first of Earthly blessings attend you, (at least,) while you are ingaged abroad and “obliged to pay Compliments to those you can't endure.” You Now I Suppose often—

“Laugh when your Sad, Speak when yo've Nought to Say And, for the fashion, when your blyth Seem wae:”

As Our Magnitude Must be diminished to become a Wasp, I am quite content, that the French Ladies shou'd laugh at us, and indulge their taste.

I feel Much Obliged to you good Lady for part of the interesting Story of the Dumb Show. It is indeed very Surpriseing that they can Operate So forcibly upon the human Mind by Mere Shew.


As Mr. Storer is closeing his Letters I have only time to add that all your friends are well, And Betsey Guild, but alass, She's unfortunate her Husband was, and is involved in Mr. Parkers Affairs. The Story is long and you'll No doubt have it from another quarter. Farewell, and ever belive that you have a friend in her that has the happiness to Subscribe Your Affectionate

H Storer

P.S. Mr. Storer join's me with the Children in proper regards to Mr. A——ds. Gorge an Polly2 send a return of their particular regards to you.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams. Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs Storer May 3d 1785.”


Of 20 Jan. 1785 ante 19 Jan. 1785 , above.


George and Mary Storer were two of Ebenezer Storer's children by his first wife, Elizabeth Green Storer ( Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 12:208, 213–214).

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 May 1785 AA Cranch, Mary Smith Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 May 1785 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
My Dear Sister Auteuil May 8th ante 5 17851

Can my dear sister realize that tis near eleven Months since I left her. To me it seems incredible, more like a dream than a reality. Yet it ought to appear the longest ten Months of my Life if I was to measure the time by the variety of objects which have occupied my attention. But amidst them all my Heart returns like the Dove of Noah2 and rest only in my native land. I never thought myself so selfish a being as since I have become a traveller, for altho I see Nature arround me in a much higher State of cultivation than our own Country can boast, and elegance of taste and manners in a thousand forms, I cannot feel intrested in them. It is in vain for me, that here

“Kind Nature wakes her genial power Suckles each herb, & nurtures every flower”

Tis true the garden yeilds a rich profusision, but they are neither plants of my hand, or children of my care. I have bought a little Bird lately, and I realy think I feel more attached to that, than to any object out of my own family animate, or inanimate. Yet I do not consider myself in the predicament of a poor fellow who not having a house, in which to put his Head, took up his abode in the stable of a Gentleman; but tho so very poor he kept a Dog, with whom he daily divided the small portion of food which he earnd. Upon being ask'd 119why when he found it so difficult to live himself, he still kept a Dog, What Says the poor fellow part with my Dog! Why who should I have to Love me then? You can never feel the force of this replie unless you were to go into a foreign Country without being able to Speak the language of it. I could not have believed if I had not experienced it, how strong the Love of Country is in the humane mind. Strangers from all parts of America who visit us, feel more nearly allied than the most intimate acquaintance I have in Europe. Before this will reach you, you will have learnt our destination to England. Whether it will prove a more agreeable situation than the present, will depend much upon the state of politicks. We must first go to Holland to arrange our affairs there and to take leave of that Court.3 I shall wish to be moveing as soon as my family lessens, it will be so lonesome. We have as much company in a formal way as our Revenues will admit, and Mr. Jefferson with one or two Americans visits us in the Social friendly way. I shall realy regreet to leave Mr. Jefferson, he is one of the choice ones of the Earth. On Thursday I dine with him at his house, on Sunday he is to dine here, on Monday, we all dine with the Marquis, and on Thursday we dine with the Sweedish Ambassador, one of the most agreeable Men and the politest Gentleman I have met with, he lives like a prince.4 I know you Love to know all my movements which make me so particular to you.

I wrote to you by the last pacquet which sailed for New York5 in which letter I requested you to take upon you the care of Charles, after he shall have enterd Colledge, and let him make your House his Home in vacancies &c. Will you also give your Elder Nephew that leave too? At the same time we mean to pay their Board, and every other expence which they may occasion to you. I know however there are many for which you will not be pay'd only by the pleasure you take in doing good, and in sisterly kindness and affection. I hope Charles will be placed with a good Chamber mate, as much depends upon that. I do not desire that you should attend to having their washing done in your family, only be so good as to see that they have a good place at Cambridge for it, provided they should both be in colledge at the same time, which I scarcly expect will take place this year.6

I have many affairs upon me at present, what with my sons going away, my own adjustments for a final leave of this Country, many things must pass through my hands. But I am the less anxious to write as your Nephew will tell you all about us. You will think I ought to have written you more now, but I am almost sick of my pen, and 120I know you will see what I write to others. I will not however close untill the day before he quits this House.

May 10th.

Tomorrow morning, My son takes his departure for America, and we go next week to England. I have nothing further to add than my Regards to Mr. Cranch and a desire that you would let me hear from you by every opportunity. I shall lose part and the greatest part of American intelligence by quitting France, for no person is so well informd from all the states as the Marquis de la Fayette. He has Established a correspondence in all the states and has the News Papers from every quarter.

Adieu my dear sister and be assured I am most affectionately yours,

A Adams

My Regards to Madam Quincy and daughter to Mr. Wibird to Mr. Alleynes family, and my duty to unkle Quincy.7

RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed by JQA: “Mrs. Mary Cranch. Braintree Massachusetts.”


The “8th” was added later (see notes 3 and 4). “No. 8” was written above the dateline, in a different hand.


Genesis 8:8–12.


On 2 May, when JA received his commission to the British court, he also learned that Congress had resolved to appoint a seperate minister to The Hague, but had yet to make the appointment or to recall him. For several days JA considered traveling first to The Hague to take formal leave of the Dutch court before going to England, but on 7 May he decided to go to London at once, and not to visit The Hague until he was formally recalled from that court. See JA to the secretary for foreign affairs (John Jay), 4 and 7 May (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 389–392, 397–400; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:485–487, 489–490); and JA to C. W. F. Dumas, 11 May (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works , 8:246–248). AA's statement here that the Adamses would first go to Holland suggests that this letter was begun on or before 7 May, and perhaps as early as 4 May (see note 4).


If AA began this letter as early as 4 May, the first two engagements would have been on Thursday, 5 May, and Sunday, 8 May (see JQA, Diary , 1:262, 264). The third, dinner at the Lafayette's, occurred on Monday, 9 May (same, 1:264). The last engagement, dinner with the Swedish ambassador, the Baron de Staël Holstein, was certainly that which occurred on Wednesday, 11 May, attended by JA, AA, and AA2 (AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 12 May, below; JQA, Diary , 1:265; AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 1:71–72).


AA to Mary Cranch, 15 April, above.


This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.


This sentence is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.