Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams, 8 December 1785 Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch AA Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams, 8 December 1785 Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch Adams, Abigail
Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams
My Dear Aunt Braintree Dec. 8. 1785

I last week recieved your invaluable favour of August 27. by Mr. Storer. I wish it was in my power to return you any thing that would be any way equivelent to it, if there are any of your Letters Madam, (which I am very sure there is not) that will bear to be ranked with Whiped Sulububs Flumery &c. in what rank must mine be placed. Far very far below them. Believe me Madam your Letter to me was a dish of very solid food dressed in a manner the most elegant that was possible. And it must be high cultivation added to a naturally rich soil to produce fruites rich as your Letters are.

I felt flattered by your encomiums upon Richardsons works as it is what I have often thought. He was always a favourite author of mine. I think I never read any Romances, that taken alltogether were equal to his. Too many of them, if they do not directly lead to Vice, tend to eneveate the mind and robs it of the strenght which is nessesary to make it stem with resolution the torrent of folly, which too often prevails.

Yes my Dear Aunt I think it reasonable to suppose that those who shall make the highest attainments in virtue while here, and who most improve the talents alloted them by the supreme Being, will have the most elevated seats in the blissful mansions above, and even there shall we not be making constant progression toward greater perfection, and though always rising we shall yet be at an infinite distance from the infinitely perfect God.

Our dear good Aunt Tufts is now no more. She has bid an eternal adieu to this vale of tears, and has gone to take her seat with the blessed. The universal benovelence of her heart and her undesembled piety had long fited her for their company. As her Life had ever been 485that of virtue, and as far as in her power of ussfulness, she was able to look forward to another state with satisfaction. She bore her sickness with the resagnation of a Christion yet longing to be released from that frail tenement which had always been a sourse of pain to her. The Doctor feels his misfortune as a man and bears it as a Christion. I have not seen Mr. Storer yet, his friends in Boston cannot spare him long enough to come as far as Braintree.

My sister is now at Haverhill and has been there for two months past. She will write. Cousin JQA is there following his studies with the utmost ardour. Cousin Charles is very well, and very good. Tommy improves fast in body and mind. They all feel like Brothers to me. Charles Billy and his Chambermate L. White will keep Thanksgiving with us next week.1

I often my dear Aunt indulge myself in thinking of your speedy return: the idea gives me pleasure. I fear I must satisfy myself with that at present. I often think of the many happy hours we shall pass when you shall once more be fixed down in your peaceful habitation, on your native land, when Aunt Adams shall again spend the long winter evening with us and entertain her Neices with the relation of her adventures. How many pleasing anecdotes will she have to make the time pass cheererly away: how pleasing is this (at present) vissionary scene. Many years I hope will not pass before it is realised.

I think I ought to ask pardon for encroaching so long upon your time by my scribling. I will not increase my fault by making apoligies but will hasten to conclude with assureing you my ever dear Aunt of the resspectful gratitude and affection of your Niece.

L Cranch

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by AA2: “Miss Lucy Cranch Dec 8 1785.”


In 1785, Massachusetts observed Thanksgiving Day on 15 December, but according to JQA's Diary, Leonard White spent the day with his family in Haverhill (JQA, Diary , 1:371).

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 10 December 1785 Cranch, Mary Smith AA Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 10 December 1785 Cranch, Mary Smith Adams, Abigail
Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams
My dear Sister Braintree December 10th 1785

Mr. Storer is arriv'd and I have got my Letter1 and am very sorry to hear you have been so sick. If I had receiv'd this Letter before those by Callahan2 I should have been very uneasey till I could have heard again. I Will hope you are by this time perfectly recover'd.

You will see by mine of November 29th that our thoughts in September and October were imploy'd about the same melancholy subjects. I felt for you as I read your account of Mr. Erving Erwin 486mistaking Colln. Smith for another of the same name.3 I pity'd you both. We have been trying to learn what is become of this unhappy connection but we have not been able to learn any thing certain. When we can, you shall be inform'd what it is. It is said he has fled upon being suspected of making or being concern'd with those who did make counterfit money. I dread to hear least he should be brought to publick disgrace.4

Your Neighbours are well and desire to be kindly remember'd. I do not believe you feel more affection for them than they do for you if I may Judge from their expressions. Mrs. Field says she would give all the money in London if she had it, only to see you. It is a strong way of expressing herself, but I do not doubt her sincerity. Mr. Thaxter came here last friday from Haverhill and is gone to keep Thanksgiving with his Freinds. Next thursday is the day your son Charles and mine and his chum5 are to keep it with us. Mr. Thaxter says that all our Freinds are well at Haverhill, but he poor man goes home with a melancholy Heart. His Friend and companion Doctor Levitt Brother to Mrs. Rice drown'd himself in the mill Pond at Hingham about ten days past. He has been wild and delirious for some time. It is a dreadful shock to the Family. Mr. Thaxter is greatly affected. By what I hear there was a connection forming between his sister Betsy and this Gentleman.6 What misarable creatures are we when depriv'd of our Reason.

I am greatly surprisd at hearing that no more Letters have past the vast ocean as you term it from a certain gentleman.7 I knew he did not write for the first four months. He took care to tell of that himself sufficiently for every body to know it. But since that I thought he had written by every ship and that largly. He wanted to get all her correspondents to give him their Letters that he might have the pleasure of inclosing them in his. I heard him say that he always put the last Letter aboard intimating that he writ to the last minnet, and I did not know but he did. I knew he did not write above three of or four times at home.8 We could not help knowing it when he does, he makes such a bustle about it always. But as he has stay'd the greatest part of his time in Boston, I thought he was writing there. I am not very apt to be deceiv'd by him you know, but I certainly have been in this instance. The Doctor wished to keep the matters he had to transact a secret till they were finish'd9 but he could not do it. The matter has been delayed as I expected it would be. Mr. Storer is come and “the cat has jump'd out of the Bag,” the Docr. says, but tis known yet to but few. I beleive he thinks I know nothing of it. At least that 487I did not till Mr. Storer came I am told. He says he is going immediately to London and shall settle every misunderstanding. He says also there has been foul play some where. Will he be a welcome visiter? I cannot concieve he can be in earnest when he talks of coming. What can he propose by it? Will my dear Niece again subject herself to those “suspicions doubts and fears”10 which have so long robb'd her of her peace of mind. Indeed my sister I have been long convinc'd that whoever should be connected with him would have them to incounter through Life. True Love my dear sister always seeks the Happiness of its object and nothing can be a greater proof of its absence than a disposition to give pain.

A Satirical Lady of our acquaintance told me that when Lyde came in the Gentleman was in company where she was and was very uneasey that the Letters did not come ashoar so soon as he wish'd them too. He was in a perfect Tear 11 about it. Some gentlemen present told him That as The Captain could not get any other Freight he was detaining them till he could find out what he ought to charge for them. “He was sure his Letters were not upon Business. He imported nothing but Love and that ought not to be detaind for a price.” She now knows there purport and if it would not be to cruil she should ask him If the goods came to his mind or whither his Bills came Back protested. I think I need not tell you who this is like.12

News News my sister. Cousin Betsy Kent is to be married this night and to go home tomorrow morning. I most sincerly wish her happy. She is very deserving of it.

The Germantown Family will write for themselves and tell you how they do.13 Mr. Wibird is well, uncle Quincy also. They are to dine with us on the thanksgiving day. But my pen. o! my pen I will not write another page till I can get a better. I have not time to copy what I write. I trust no Eyes but yours behold them and should wish you would only read such parts of my Letter to cousin as will please her. I trust every thing however to your prudence.

My Love to Mr. Adams and my Neice tell her, that her cousin say she shall not want any intelligence they can give her for the future. They suppos'd it had been done by an abler hand.14 Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers).


AA to Mary Cranch, 11 Sept., above.


AA to Mary Cranch, 30 Sept., and 1 Oct., both above.


See AA to Mary Cranch, 11 Sept. and note 6, above.


In her letter to AA of 22 March 1786 (Adams Papers), Mary Cranch wrote that their brother “was not found guilty upon trial, of forging those notes he pass'd. He took them in the State they Were found upon him, of another man.”


By “his chum,” Mary Cranch apparently 488meant CA's college friend and roommate Samuel Walker (Mary Cranch to AA, 23 Dec., below). Leonard White, William Cranch's “chum” (see JQA to William Cranch, 6 Nov., above), spent Thanksgiving with his family in Haverhill (JQA, Diary , 1:371).


Martin Leavitt of Hingham, Harvard 1773 (one year ahead of John Thaxter), drowned himself on 27 November. His sister was Meriel Leavitt, who married Martin Leavitt's classmate, Col. Nathan Rice, in 1781. John Thaxter's older sister Elizabeth Thaxter never married. History of the Town of Hingham, 2:433; 3:129, 232–233.


Royall Tyler.


That is, while at the Cranch's house in Braintree, where he was boarding.


See AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., and notes 12 and 13, above; and Tufts to AA, 5 Jan., and 13 April 1786 (both Adams Papers).


The reference is to AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., above.


Written over an illegible word.


The editors cannot identify this person.


See Mary Palmer to AA, 11 Dec., below.


Presumably Royall Tyler.