Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams, 21 July 1785 Williamos, Charles AA Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams, 21 July 1785 Williamos, Charles Adams, Abigail
Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams
Paris 21st. July 1785

It is with much pleasure my dear Madam that I hear of your safe arrival in London and that you are once more fixed in a house of your own, the situation of which altho' not quite so pleasant as Auteuill is not without much merit.

Whatever base rancour and malice may invent, I am very sure that you will on all occasions meet with every Mark of respect which are every ways your due.1 Yet I do not suppose, that the Court Notwithstanding its politeness will be very often graced with your and Miss Adams's Company.

Paris is not the livelier I can assure you Madam since you left it. Passy is deserted also—and we have accounts of the doctor's very safe arrival at Rouen from whence he was to proceed immediately to Havre—the King sent him his Picture most elegantely set in diamonds of great value, with two very polite letters from Count de Vergennes.

The peculiar honor and satisfaction I had in opportunities of paying my very Sincere respects to Mr. Adams yourself and family will ever be recollected as one of the most agreable events of my life and I shall never think myself happier than in opportunities to renew it. I am very sorry to have failed hitherto in every attempt to send your things. I went to Mr. Hailes's who desired his best respects and assured me it was out of his power to forward any thing larger than a packet of letters as the messenger goes no further than Calais where the master of the British packet takes charge of the letters.

This I communicated to Mrs. Barclay who agreed in thinking it best to wait for Doctor Bancroft who is to go in 8 or ten days but if an opportunity offers sooner we will not fail to improve it. Mr. 240Harison takes charge of the lace by which means there are only gowns. Mr. Storer has some books with a Mr. Graff but Mr. Barclay thinks that as he is going to America they had better be sent there to him than trouble any one with them.

Mr. Jefferson and the other Gentlemen are very well. Col. Humphreys has wrote to Col. Smith. The June Packet is arrived but not all the letters. I am still waiting for a better opportunity than by L'orient, but fear much that I shall be obliged to take that rout.2 Whenever I go and where ever I am I shall allways retain sentiments of highest respect and ever be Madam your most obedient devoted servant

C. Williamos

Be Kind enough to present my best respects to Mr. and Miss Adams.3

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Grosvenor Square London”; docketed: “Mr Williamos Paris June 27 1785”; stamped: “JY/25,” “2 o'clock,” and, in red ink, “A PAYE PAR.” AA's erroneous docketing may have been an inadvertent repetition of her docketing of the 27 June letter from Williamos, above. This letter was filmed at 27 July, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 365. Some loss of text where the seal was torn off.


Williamos refers to AA's remark about “torry Malevolence” in the London press, in her letter of 1 July, above. He may have been particularly sympathetic to the Adams' plight at this time because of “the atrocious falshoods which have too Successfully been attempted by the lowest and most infernal Malice,” which, he claimed, had suddenly turned Thomas Jefferson against him just two weeks before the date of this letter (Williamos to Jefferson, 8 July, in Jefferson, Papers , 8:275, and see P. 269–273, 276–277).


Williamos had been planning to sail to America since February, but various complications, including his sudden falling out with Jefferson on 7 July, and eventually his ill health, delayed him, and he died in Paris in November (Jefferson to AA, 20 Nov., below; Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, The Private Franklin, N.Y., 1975, p. 280).


This sentence was written along the left margin of the last page of text.

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch?, July – August 1785 AA Cranch, Mary Smith Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch?, July – August 1785 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch?
My dear sister ca. July—Aug. 1785

I wrote you by Captain Dashood just when I was about removeing from the Bath Hotel to Grovsnor Square,1 since which I have had a buisy time getting my House in order and procuring a thousand little necessaries for different countries have different fashions and what suits in one will not answer in an other. For instanc my kitchen furniture was made for a hearth fire none of which could be used with grates and then the coars ware belonging to a family is never worth a remove so that I found I had many things to purchase.


Then the great and important article of servants was to be arranged. Of Ester I made what is here calld Ladies Maid, her Buisness is more imediately about my person. She always dresses my Hair and your neices and is a great proficient in that most important Buisness. She take care of all the Linnen, delivers it out and receives it in. The remainder of her time is employded at her needle. The person who works with her is the Buttler. His Buisness is to take care of the wine, to market for the family, to keep the weekly accounts, to see the table and side Board in order to attend as overseer of the table, to take care of the Plate and to have a general care of the lower servants. He is allways calld Mr. I hope we have been fortunate in the choise of ours. He appears a very civil well bred Man. The House maid is next. She makes beds cleans the house taking it from the top of the kitchen stairs and going up. The two footmen2 go behind the carriage wait at table rub the table and chairs of the dining room and attend the door, for there is no entrance into a house in this Country but by wrapping or ringing a Bell which is with out side the door. No door is permitted one moment to be left open, you could have no security for any thing within, if it was. The cook is next in order who prepares the victuals and the kitchen maid takes the House from the kitchen stairs and goes down to the kitchen pantrys, housekeepers room, Buttlers room and servants Hall as it is calld. She washes dishes, cleans knives and candle sticks &c. &c. The coachmans buisness is to take care of his carriage and horses.

You will think I suppose that I have got a comfortable number, but with less I could not get the necessary buisness of the family done, not because there are not more than sufficient, but because none of them will do any thing but in their particular department. A House keeper a Laundry Maid and a Porter are 3 more which they would be very glad that I would add, but I am determined against it, as I cannot but think 3 Americans would do the whole work of the Eight and think they had no hard task. The work of the family here is by no means so much as Mrs. Newcomb has herself done in my family at Braintree for my washing is all put out, and we have no company to sup. But in a country crowded with inhabitant they get as many of their poor supported in this way as possible and every news paper is filld “with wants a place.” Yet are the wages of those who are good for any thing very high. So far from feeling myself in a more desirable situation than when I moved in the small sphere of my lowly Braintree Cottage, I assure you I look to it as an envyable situation. 242Fewer cares and less anxiety attended my rising up and sitting down, my Friends all smiled upon me and met a hearty welcome under the lowly roof.

My Habitation here is in one of the pleasentest squares of London. We are in the same Row if not in the same Box of most of the great people in this Country, opposite however to Lord North. A near Neighbour to Lord Thurlow and the Marquis of Carmarthan. Yet the street as well as city is quite deserted, for nobody lives here in the summer who can go into the country. In the middle of the square which is very spacious is a circuleer inclosure in which clumps of trees are planted which look like shubbery as the trees are small and close together. Round them is the hedge which when cut has a very rural appearence. In the middle is the King on horse back. The whole is laid out into walks and those who live in the square have a key to one of the gates which you may make use of for to walk.

Dft (Adams Papers). The text fills two pages of a folded leaf; it has little punctuation and no paragraph breaks. It is likely that Mary Cranch, not Elizabeth Shaw, was the intended recipient (see note 1). The editors have added paragraph breaks and some punctuation.


AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above, is the only extant letter that fits this description.


John Briesler was one of the footmen.