Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 21 May 1786 Cranch, Mary Smith AA Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 21 May 1786 Cranch, Mary Smith Adams, Abigail
Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams
My Dear Sister Braintree May 21 17861

Is it possible that my dear Niece should really be married and the little visiting Card upon which a peice of Ribbon was wound be the only way in which my sister has thought proper to convey the pleasseing intellegence to her Friends?2 It is an event which almost every one hop'd, and every one I know will approve. For my Self, I 184most heartily congratulate you all, not only upon your acquisition but upon your escape:–can he after this delude another Family, must another unsuspecting fair one fall a victim to his vanity. I have no pity to bestow upon him unless for his folly. He means to brave it I see. He puts on such an air of indifference and gaeity as plainly show's how much he is mortified. He is dressd out to day in his best attire even his head is comb'd. It is Sunday. I hope said he, there will be many strangers at meeting to day—for his comfort there has been mr and Mrs Story and Family.3 We have not chang'd one Word with him upon the subject from the first of the affair to this day. I am rejoice'd that his Letters were not lost.4 I knew he had abus'd me and charg'd me with things which were false. He wanted to impose upon me too and was angry that he could not and reveng'd himself by endeavouring to rob me of the affection of my dear Niece, for this I know not how to forgive him. It was quite accidental that I knew any thing about it—and now I only know in general. I hope she does not believe what he has alleg'd against me. I believe you think I have no curiosity. I have a reasonable share I assure you and wish to know much more than you have told me of the rise and progress of the sudden match in your Family. Do you know that you never mention'd the name of the Gentleman in one of your Letters to any of us nor any thing which could lead us to guess Who it was. The manner in which you spoke of coll. Humphries made us think that it was him rather than coll. Smith,–nor did we know other ways till we Saw Doctor Tufts Letter.5–But oh my Sister must you leave her in Europe when you return. I cannot bear the Idea. Shall I not be a witness to the Happiness I have so often wish'd her. I must hope I shall. How much more pleasure do you feel by introducing a man of such a universally good character into your Family than one exactly opposite to it. May you always have reason to rejoce. By an expression in your Letter to Betsy I cannot help hopeing that you may soon return. Esters Letter too to her mother speaks the same thing. She says you are to return by the way of Holland, is it so? The hope of its being really so has brought a tear of joy into my eye.

You say in one of your Letters that you have written largly to me. I have receiv'd one Letter by the January Pacquit at least it was dated January 26th Mr King sent it. One by mrs Hay one by cushing and one by Lyde as I suppose but they came in so near together that I cannot very well tell which the Letters came in. I have receiv'd the Key of the Trunk the latter is not come ashoar yet.6 Mr and mrs Rogers are not arriv'd in Boston. I went yesterday to see. I hope she 185has Letters for me, for I am not half satisfied with what I have got. They will not all make one long Letter.

I am provok'd with young for his ill conduct about the chocalate. He promiss'd to put it into his chest. We dare not send much at one time. I am now very glad it was no more. I will send more when we can find a captain we can trust. I have no notion of giving a feast to the custom house Officers. I design to speak in Season for some nuts for you. Accep a Thousand thanks my dear Sister for your kind presents to me and my children but why my Sister have you not sent me a Bill of the Silk and apron. I feel my Self under obligations which I cannot repay. I am thankful that your sons stand in need of some of my care and attention, as it is the only way in which we can show our gratitude. They are good children and give us no unnecessary cares. I am sure I long for their vacancys to commence as much, and I believe more than they do. We have a bustling time tis true and have work enough to do to repair the damages of their late session and prepare them for the next, but the chearfulness they infuse is a full compensation for all that is done for them. Our young Folks improve fast in their musick. Two German Flutes, a violin and a harpsicord and two voices form a considerable concert.7 Come my Sister come and hear it. It will give you more pleasure than those scenes of Dissapation which you decribe, you must I think be heartily tir'd of them. You do perfectly right to be a witness to as many of them as you can with propriety so long as you can detest them, but I cannot bear you should leave my Niece in the midst of them: She is young and habit may render them less odious to her. Why has She not written to any of us? Her amiable Partner must not ingross all her time. He must spare her a little to her Freinds, at least long enough to tell them how happy She is. I design to write to her as soon as I am properly inform'd how to address her.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch May 7th 1786.” The endorsement suggests that AA received this undated letter with Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 7 May, above.


Mary Cranch comments in the course of the letter that she is writing on Sunday and that she visited Boston “yesterday,” an event that Elizabeth Cranch places on the 20th (Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 20 May, above).


For the visiting card from the William Smiths of Clapham that the Cranch family mistakenly believed was intended to annouce AA2's marriage, see Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 20 May, and note 4, above.


Perhaps Ebenezer and Hannah Storer and his children George and Mary, whom Elizabeth Cranch saw at the home of Hannah's stepmother, Ann Marsh Quincy, on Monday the 22d (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers, Elizabeth Cranch Diary, 22 May 1786).


The letters have not been found.


AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Jan., above, which Tufts received on 19 May.


The trunk was sent with Capt. Lyde and AA's letter of 6 April.


JQA's Diary entry for 17 July describes 186the musical scene at the Cranches: “we play'd on the flute, on the harpsichord, and sung. There is always some fine music of one kind or another, going forward in this House. Betsey, and Miss Hiller finger the harpsichord Billy scrapes the Violin, Charles and myself blow the flute” ( Diary , 2:66).

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 22 May 1786 AA JQA Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 22 May 1786 Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy
Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams
My dear son London May 22 1786

I have time only to write you a line or two, not expecting captain Bigolow to Sail so Soon. I was yesterday informd that he would not go till the middle of the week, but this morning he has sent for the Letters. I thought your sister had letters, but she says they are not ready. She wrote you by mr Jenks 3 weeks ago.1 I must refer you to your Friend Storer for further information as I have written to him more particularly. I send you a Book2 which was presented us by the Author. Your Friend Murry dinned with us yesterday and wonders he does not hear from you. Tis probable you will meet with some curious annecdotes in the English papers respecting Lord Gorge Gorden, mr Simon Tufts and mr Lewis Gray, Who took it upon them to assert that your Pappa received his Sallery Quarterly from Count d Adhémar the french Ambassador. I designd to have transmitted the whole correspondence to dr Tufts, but have not time to write him. The Publick advertizer is the paper which contains the matter, and in which they are challenged to produce their evidence. Not a Syllable has since appeard.3 Adieu yours


RC (Adams Papers.)


AA2's No. 13 to JQA, not found, was carried by John Jenks (AA2 to JQA, 25 April, above).


Possibly François Soulés, Histoire des troubles de l'Amérique anglaise, 2 vols., London, 1785, a set of which, with JQA's bookplate and JA's notes throughout volume two is now at MQA. Soulés was known to the Adamses and had borrowed money from JA (Soulés to JA, 9 June 1785, 3 Feb. 1786, both Adams Papers). JQA acknowledged the receipt of Soulés' volumes in his letter to AA, 30 Dec., below, but they were sent via Callahan, not Bigelow ( Diary , 2:115–116).


See AA to Cotton Tufts, 22 July, below.

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch, 22 May 1786 AA Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch, 22 May 1786 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch
Dear Girls May 22.1786

Excuse me I have time only to tell you that I designd to have written, but the captain sails sooner than I expected. I send you some magizines to amuse you, and will continue them to you. Give my Duty to my Honourd Mother and Love to my cousins, to the Germantown family1 remember me. I have a letter too for milton Hill 187partly finishd.2 See what procrastination does, but I wanted to have my letters late, and so I am dissapointed of sending any. I am much hurried just at present. Dont you pitty your cousin, not a female companion of her age. Miss Hamilton, the only one she has had in England, is saild for Philadelphia. I wish for you I am sure every day of my Life. Adieu dear Girls. Love me always as I do you, & believe me ever your affectionate Aunt


RC (MSaE: Abigail Adams Letters; addressed by WSS: “Miss Betsey Cranch Braintree”)


The Palmers.


To Mercy Warren, 24 May, below.