Adams Family Correspondence, volume 8

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 13 December 1788 Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy
Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams
december 13th 1788 Jamaica my dear son

I begin to think I am not of that concequence at Home which I supposed myself, or that you think me less solicitious about my Family than I really am, since a whole month has elapsed since I left you, in all which time I have neither received a single line or heard a word from one member of it. three times I have written to your Pappa once to your Aunt Cranch, and now I try you to see if I can be favourd with a few Lines at least. The subjects I wish you to write upon, is first How your Father does, yourself and Brothers come Next, your Grandmamma uncles & Aunt & cousins next to them our domesticks. The Family here are well, and Since Barnard 316 chuses to keep the Trunk which was committed to him, or rather we cannot learn anything of him, I am incapacitated from making any visits in Newyork, but shall embrace the first fall of snow to return to massachu. again

I have only seen one Newspaper from our state since I came here, and that mr George Storer sent me last week. it containd the choice of Senators.1 I was glad to see our Senate act with proper spirit and dignity. Virgina you will see by the papers, is lighting up a fire the G——r and assembly of N york tis said will blew the coals.2 Col duer dined here last week, it was his opinion that there would not be any congress this winter. a few members only were come.

This place is much more retired than Braintree. most of the Families who reside here were Tories during the war. Some of them are so still. Col Smith has not a single acquaintance upon the Island whom he visits, he belongs to a club in Newyork of which mr Jay Benson Hammilton duer King and a Number of other Gentlemen are members, they usually meet once a week and dine together.

I am very desirious of getting Home before the Jan'ry vacancy. Col Smith will bring me, and your Sister seems very much inclined to make us a winter visit as she thinks she could accomplish it with more ease to herself and little ones than any other way. She is extreemly desirious to see her Father Brothers & Friend's. I fear to encourage her as the accommodations upon the Road are very indifferent for a winters excursion with young children, but if the Sleying should be fine I think she will try it. if the Snow Should keep of, why I do not know how I shall return. I wish I could be assured of getting back with half the convenience I came, aya Say you, I told you so mamma. So you did, but I thought I was doing what duty and maternal tenderness demanded of me, and I shall not regreet it tho I should encounter many difficulties in concequence of it.

pray accommodate your Father with writing materials and tell him I am very Solicitious to have under his own Hand that he has not sufferd with the cold and from yours that you Rest well, and are better than when I left you.

Yours most affectionately

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers).


Probably the Massachusetts Centinel whose 26 Nov. issue contained the conclusion of the debates in the Mass. General Court regarding the election of senators.


The Virginia legislature approved a resolution on 20 Nov. calling for a second convention to consider amendments to the new Constitution (rather than having the new Congress consider amendments). The resolution included a draft letter to Gov. George 317Clinton of New York asking that he present the resolution to the New York legislature for concurrence ( First Fed. Elections , 2:273–279; Massachusetts Centinel, 3 Dec.).

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 14 December 1788 Cranch, Mary Smith Adams, Abigail
Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams
Braintree Decr. 14 1788 My dear sister

I do indeed rejoice with you all upon the happy event which took place in mr smiths Family before your arrival I hope my Neices health is perfectly restor'd that the young gentlemen are both very well—& that you may soon return accompany'd by Colln. smith whom I wish much to see— you must not think of comeing in the stage. It would be highly improper upon every account— we receiv'd your letters last week & were impatient enough till we had—

I call'd upon mr Adams yesterday & found him looking with great pleasure upon 15 head of young Heifers which he had just purchas'd—1 He is determin'd to have stock enough I think you must build a dairy room next spring I am sure if they should all have calves. mr Adams will cover his Farms with living creatures if he does not have some other imployment soon—but by what I can hear it is probable he will—

The chairs you mention have been here these three weeks—but you shall have them— I sent yesterday to have some more made & suppose I can have them— Betsy says if she does not have them till the spring she does not care she has some which she can put into the chamber. she wishes you to be here when she is married—but I believe you must come soon if you are— It has become such a serious matter with her that I really wish it was over— she will have no health till it is she wants you to say a few cheafull incouraging things to her— her Cousin too must spair an hour from her Nursery to inliven her Ideas.

Mrs Brisler has retain'd her health bejond my expectaton— I hear no complaints of any kind from any one your son is not returnd from ordination mine did not go— mr cranhs was taken very ill the morning he was to have gone. & I feard he would have had a settled fever but it is gone off; I believe it was a cold & too great attention to watch work, your sons at college I hear are will,— I have told mrs Brisler to acquaint me if there is any thing to be done for them she has sent some of mr adams linnen to be repair'd & Lucy has done it

mr cranch & william are gone to spend this evening with your lonely Friend— He has his easy chair before the fire & the Tables cover'd with books & papers just as he told you he would


mr Brisler will take the chairs to mr smiths store tomorrow & I hope they will reach you safe

I wish to look in upon you all— I cannot bear this separation—& must I hope it will be continu'd?— can I be so publick spirited? If I am I shall sacrifice a very great part of my private happiness— remember me most affectionately to mrs smith & till her that neither time nor distance has or ever will lesson my love for her— I long to squeese the little Boys & make them love me

I am my dear sister with the most ardent affection ever yours—

Mary Cranch

The whole Family Join me presenting congratulations & Love oh! for a good pair of eyes & a good pen!

RC (Adams Papers).


A receipt in JA's hand shows that he purchased fifteen yearlings from his cousin Ebenezer Adams on 15 Dec. for a price of £16.9.1 (NN:Presidents' Papers).