Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr., 31 July 1786 AA Smith, Isaac Sr. Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr., 31 July 1786 Adams, Abigail Smith, Isaac Sr.
Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.
My dear Sir London july 31 1786

This moment my cousin W. S. Letter of june 28th1 is come to hand containing the melancholy tidings of the death of my dear Aunt, which has greatly afflicted me, and renderd me unfit to offer to you that consolation which I need at this moment myself. That I am a most Sincere Sympathizer with you, and all your family in this afflictive dispensation no one can doubt who knew her as I knew her, and who loved her as I loved her. She was to me a second Parent, and the Law of kindness and Hospitality was written upon her Heart. Nor was her benevolence confined to her kindred and Relatives, but she Streched out her bountifull hand to the poor and the needy. When the Eye saw her it blessed her and the ear gave witness to her.2 By a Life of piety towards God and good will to her fellow Creatures she laid up for herself a sure reward which she is now gone to receive. I know not a better Character than hers. As Such I shall ever revere her memory.

To you my dear and honourd uncle I wish every consolation which Religion can afford, for that is the only fountain to which we can repair when bowed down with distress. My Love to all my afflicted cousins for whom I feel more than I can express. I will write them when my mind feels more composed.

I am Dear Sir most Affectionately Yours A Adams

RC ((MHi: Smith-Carter Papers)); addressed by WSS: “Isaac Smith Esquire Boston Pr Capt. Callihan”; endorsed: “London. July. 1786 A Adams.”


No letter from William Smith of this date has been found.


An adaptation of Job, 29:11: “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me.”

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 1 August 1786 AA Tufts, Cotton Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 1 August 1786 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts
My dear Sir London August 1 1786

Mr Adams receivd yesterday your obliging favour of june 28th1 by way of Liverpool. His Eyes which I sometimes fear will fail him, have a weakness oweing to too intense application, which is very troublesome to him, and this being now the case, he will not be able to write his Friends as he wishes. I have to thank you for him, the intelligence which your Letter contains ought to make our Countrymen wise. I think they were so in refusing the offers made them and they may serve to convince them of the importance which the Whale fishery is considerd in Europe.

The French as a Nation do not wish our Prosperity more than the English, only as they have sense enough to See that every indulgence stipulated to us, is a thorn in the Side of the English.

The Parliament is up, and every body is fled from the city into the Country to reemit their Strength and Spirits, exhausted by pleasure and buisness. We shall hear very little of politicks till next winter, and by that time I hope congress will have establishd a system which will render them more respected abroad. And I would add an other wish; which is that they would adjourn, and when they do meet take care to be fully represented. They would go to buisness with more spirit. Through the neglect of the States a Treaty with Prussia which was received by them last october was never ratified till june and arrived here only within a few Days of the times expiring for the exchange. Prussia having no minister either here or in France, obliges mr Adams to go imediately to the Hague to prevent the whole treaty's falling through.2 As this presents a good opportunity for Seeing the Country, I Shall accompany him there. We expect to be absent a Month. Col Smith we leave charge des affairs in our absence.

I am afflicted at the loss of an other dear relative and affectionate Aunt. When we reach the Meridian of Life, if not before one Dear Friend or other is droping of, till we lose all that makes life desir-307able. She was a most valuable woman, I loved her like a Parent. I have frequently recollected what my uncle Said to me the morning I left his House. You will never I fear said he see your Aunt again. And I had the same apprehensions as I have lookd upon her Health in a very precarious Situation for several Years. That we may not neglect the main object of Life, a preparation for death is the constant wish of your ever affectionate Neice


RC (Adams Papers.)


Not found.


JA and Jefferson enclosed the Prussian-American treaty of amity and commerce to John Jay, the secretary for foreign affairs, in a letter dated 2 and 11 Oct. 1785. Jay submitted it to Congress on 9 Feb., and it was ratified on 17 May. By Art. 27 of the treaty, the Prussian and American ratifications had to be exchanged within one year of the treaty's signing, which had been completed on 10 Sept. 1785. JA traveled to the Netherlands to exchange the ratifications with Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Thulemeier, Prussian minister to The Hague, with whom he had also negotiated the original treaty in 1784–1785 (Jefferson, Papers , 8:606; JCC , 30:61, note 1; Miller, Treaties , 2:162, 182–184).