Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 25 May 1786 AA Cranch, Mary Smith Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 25 May 1786 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
My Dear Sister London May 25 1786

After I had closed my letter to you of yesterday I went into the city four mils distant I am from St Pauls, beyond which the New England coffe House is; where I usually Send to inquire for our Boston Captains. I found the vessel was not yet gone. I went to a shop where I buy almost every thing in the Linnen Draper way and purchased a peice of linnen for Tommy, and some calico, which is done up with it, and directed to mr Cranch. The calico of ten yd and half is to be divided between you and sister Shaw, the 5 yd is for Polly Adams and the 4 /2 for Louissa, which you will be so good as to dispose of accordingly. I also send some corded Dimity to make each of our sons a waistcoat, I consider cousin Billy in the Number. I know white increases washing, but nothing so cool and pretty for summer. You write for some cloth to make draws for them, this I will endeavour to procure for the next vessel.

I hope my dear Neices like'd the Gowns I Sent them by Jobe Field. Let me know if any thing in particular is wanted either for yourself or children and I will do my utmost to procure it for you.

How is mr otis's family, is he yet confined? She has been a doubly unfortunate Woman.

How is Mrs Welch and family, is She Still increasing it?1 I am indebted to our Good Aunt Smith for a Letter,2 but tis a sad thing to write to a person when you know not what to say to them; and are forced to bite your pen for a subject. What does cousin Isaac? A Parish I fear he must despair of obtaining, so much for . . . fear.

Is not Sister Shaw just making her anual visit to you? O how I envy you, believe me my dear sister, there is nothing can compensate for the vacancy of those Social feelings, or supply their pleasures, and every person who knows their value must feel alone tho in the midst of the world, a world where cold ceremony is in lieu of friendly Salutations and greetings.

Man was not made to be alone. There is more force in that expression than I once conceived there was, for I did not then suppose a person might be alone tho in a croud. Breakfast waits once 203more adieu with Love to cousins Lucy and Betsy, remember me also to mrs Hay and Mrs Rogers. I Saw mr and mrs copley yesterday who were both well. I am buisy I believe I told you before making linnen &c for House keeping. Nabby has written to her cousins by this opportunity3 and presents her Duty both to her uncle and you. Pray how are my sable tennants.4 You have not said a word about them for some time.

To one & all of my Neighbours remember me kindly & believe me as ever your affectionate Sister


I wrote you by mr Jenks who saild from France.

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


Dr. Thomas and Abigail Kent Welsh had two sons, Thomas Jr., born in 1779, and William, born in 1784. Their family also included Harriet and Charlotte Welsh, the doctor's daughters by his first marriage (vol. 6:299; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 July , below).


Elizabeth Smith to AA, 3 Jan., above.


Only AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 25 May, below, has been found.


Phoebe and William Abdee.

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch, 25 May 1786 AA2 Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch, 25 May 1786 Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA) Cranch, Lucy Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch
Grosvenor Square May 25th 1786

Yesterday my Dear Lucy I received your kind favour of the 9th of April,1 and it was the only Letter for me, in Pappas packett. However I hope there are others on Board. My Brother I am sure must have written. Indeed my Dear Cousin I feel under great obligations to you for your repeated attentions to me, and only lament that it is not in my Power to make you more frequent returns. I have really so many Correspondents that I find it impossible to be so particular to any of them as I wish. You my Cousin are in the first Class of my Esteem and Love and it gives me pleasure whenever you favour me with your Letters. If I should not answer them so punctually as I ought you will not attribute it to any want of affection, but necessity. I wrote you a long Letter by Mrs Hay2 which I hope you have received er'e this. She sailed from hence in March, and we hope has had a good passage.

Mrs Warren, must, have been greatly afflicted by her sons Death, and tho not unexpected, yet his being absent must have added, to her Grief. We cannot but lament that the most amiable and Worthyest Characters are thus early removed from this Theatre. But so little do we know, that even to lament may be wrong.

Can you tell me my Dear Lucy what has become of my friend 204Polly Otis Mrs Lincoln that now is.3 I have not heard a word from her since I left America. I wrote to her soon after my arrival here, from America, and I heard through Mrs Dana,4 that she had received my Letter but not a line from herself have I ever been favourd with. I will not however Condemn her, for she may have written, and even now may think I neglect her. But If she has, I have not received her Letter.

Next Saturday compleats a year since our arrival in this City5 time has flown strangely, I can scarce realize it I assure you. We have been very much confined to this place, and have not made but one or two excursions of a day at a time. I wish much to go into the Country and enjoy its beauties after having been shut up, in this Noisy smoky Town for so long a time. We propose Leaving Town for a few weeks soon after the Birth day, which will be celebrated next Monday week. We talk of going to Devonshire, or to Lincolnshire, if to the former I shall it is probable be able to give you some account of your friends there, which will give me great pleasure.

We went a few days ago, about Nine Miles out, to Aysterly to see the seat of Mrs Child,6 which, exceeded any ideas I had formd of Beauty Elegance neatness, and taste. If I had time I would attempt a particular decription of it, for your amusement. To day it is not in my power, as I have several Letters to get ready for a Gentleman who is to Call this Evening for them, and who perhaps my Cousin may see when he arrives in Boston. All I know of him is that his name is Drake, that he is an American, and has dined with us twice, and has now offered to take our Letters to Boston as he is going in Biglow.

We were very happy to hear that my Brother J Q A, had entered the University. The account you give of our Brothers is very pleasing. That they may Continue to merit the approbation of their friends, is my ardent and Constant wish.

Be so good my Cousin, as to remember me to all our friends, your Uncle Palmers family, Miss Paine, from whom I received a Letter7 that I have not yet answerd, but intend to soon, to Uncle Thaxters family, to all our Cousins particularly, they are most of them Married I suppose. I find if I were to attempt to particularize every one, I should fail, therefore must request you to remember me to all. Adieu my Dear Cousin, write me as often as you can and continue to Love yours very sincerely

A Adams

RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “Miss Lucy Cranch Braintree.”

205 1.

Not found.


Possibly that of 20 Feb. (MWA).


Mary (Polly) Otis, daughter of James Otis Jr. and Ruth Cunningham, married Benjamin Lincoln, Harvard 1777, son of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln of Hingham, on 1 Feb. 1785 (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 3:9, 10; Horatio N. Otis, “Genealogical and Historical Memoir of the Otis Family,” NEHGR , 2:289, 295, 296 [July 1848]).


No letters to Mary Otis or from Elizabeth Ellery Dana have been found.


27 May. For the Adamses arrival in London on 26 May, see vol. 6:169–170, 173, note 3.


Osterley Park, Heston, Middlesex, the home of Lady Sarah Jodrell and Robert Child (d. 1782), heir of the London banking family. The Adamses and Jefferson visited Osterley on 20 April. See JA's description of the estate in his Diary (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons , 2:212; JA, D&A , 3:189–190).


Not found.