Adams Family Correspondence, volume 8

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams, 20 July 1789 Tufts, Cotton Adams, Abigail
Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams
Weymouth July. 20. 1789— Dear Cousn

I am much pleased to hear that you have a commodious Seat, its Scituation delightful & Prospect pleasant—

We have had a fine Commencement & the Performances of the Day were spoken of with much Applause— Most excellent Things were said of the President & Vice President of the United States— their Characters were displayed in the brightest & strongest Colours

It is a satisfaction to the great & good, that their virtuous Deeds meet with the approbation of the wise & sober, it helps to sweeten some of the bitter Potions that they must partake off in their noble Pursuits & Progress through Life—.

Since You left us We have had a Plenty of Rain the Earth has assumed a new Appearance and Vegetation has been as sudden & great as I have ever known— Prospects of Grain & Hay are very good

Your oxen I could not get pastured for fatñing— After some Time I sold them on short Credit for 48 Dollrs.— The Farming Tools I took to my House, have sold part of them & shall sell the Remainder as opportunity presents— The ox Cart & Mud Boat remain at Braintree— I believe I shall get them to Weymouth in a Day or two, that they may be under my Eye & at Hand for Sale— I think it was Your Intention to have both sold, I fear they will not fetch near the first Cost especially the Mud Boat— Badcock whose Note you left with me, died some time past, I am informed that his Estate will not pay 10s/ pr £1

Mrs. Bass wishes to have Your half of the Corn, planted in the Garden by Jos. Field. At present Field reaps the Benefit of the whole Garden—

Pheebe not long since applied for Permission to let a Black Family into her Chamber— this I utterly refused—

Mr. George Storer appeared solicitous to know whethr. the Place purchased of Borland, would be let another Year—& what would be the Rent in Case of its being let— With respect to the first. I told him that it was probable that it would be leased, but what the Rent 393would be I could not tell— He wished me to give my Opinion upon the Matter to h[is] Father— I referred Him to you— it appeared [to me?] that it was some sudden Start and not well digested—as Farming he said was his Object— Be it let to whomsoever it may, I hope it will be to some one who will render You a Profit—

Your Two Sons were here on Sunday are both well, Thomas has a good Chum assigned him—2 He sat off for Haverhill Yesterday with his Brother— Be pleased to remember me to Mr Adams & your Children—

I am with Affection / Yours

Cotton Tufts

I wish you to let me know, which of our News Papers are forwarded to you by the Printers at Boston and whether you would have them all continued—

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams”; internal address: “Mrs. Abigail Adams—”; docketed: “Dr: Tufts to / J Adams / 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.


For the financial transaction between JA and Moses and Huldah Babcock, see vol. 5:154–155. Moses Babcock died on 16 May (Milton Records: Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1662–1843, Boston, 1900, p. 205).


Possibly Thomas Gray (1772–1847), Harvard 1790, one of seven Harvard students and recent graduates who may have lived together in Cambridge. Gray would go on to serve a long pastorate at the Third Parish of Jamaica Plain (U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 137; Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ; Harriet Manning Whitcomb, Annals and Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, 1897, p. 33–34).

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams, 30 July 1789 Cranch, Mary Smith Adams, Abigail
Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams
Braintree July 30th 1789 My dear Sister

I can never Sufficiently express my thanks or my gratitude for your last kind & affectionate Letter & you must not laugh at me nor chide me when I tell you that I sat & weept over it as if it had brought me some evil tydings I felt the full force of that maxim of Solomons “It is more blessed to give than to receive” But my dear Sister you must forgive me if I tell you I cannot accept your generous proposal—for tho I have not been able to return the Loan so soon as I expected I shall be in a capasity to do it some time or other— I hope soon—but I have met with so many dissapointments that I am affrai'd to promise any thing. I depended upon my dairy to discharge some small debts I was oblig'd to make in order to furnish Betsy we have lost four of our best cows in about a year & we are now oblig'd to turn off the best in our yard for a strange swelling she has under her throat which will kill her if it cannot be remov'd 394& so my prospect of a good dairy this summer is again blasted—but this is from the hand of a good providence & I must not complain I am sorry I have ever let any thing slip from my pen to give my Sister pain but my spirits are at times so low that I cannot always mantain that fortitude of mind which enables its posseser to behave with propriety under the various trials they may be call'd to sustain

I often feel myself surrounded with difficulties which I cannot remove— The necessary wants of a Family & of children are more known & more felt by the mistress than any one else & they are not a burthen where they can be easily supply'd— our Farm is too small to give us a living & pay the Labour & the Taxes notwithstanding mr Cranch Labours very hard upon it himself His Watch business which is very small here & the courts is all the ways he has to raise cash— The education of a Son & the Settleing of a Daughter are heavey matters where the income is so small. We have purchas'd nothing for cloathing but bare necessarys for several years I have exerted all my strength & all my abilities to manage with prudence & [economy?] whatever came under my department but what is this towards the support of a Family— I am mortified I am greiv'd that I cannot do more to assist my Friend. His not receiving his money for his publick Services oblig'd him to borrow While our son was at college & there has never yet been a time that he could get his debt but at such a loss as we could not think of but this we should not mind if he could get into any business I say any for there is nothing which is lawful that he would not do—which would inable him to work himself out of his difficulties— His abilities & his integrity may yet procure him a living not too labourous for his health & age this is the height of his wishes & of his ambition & I will hope that something may yet turn up to his advantage we do not look up to mr A as the Lady did you mention If he should ever be able to help him to any thing It will not be because he is his Brother or his Friend only we are greatly oblig'd to him for his good wishes

I have now my Sister laid before you some of the causes of my anxeitys—& if you can place yourself for one moment in my situation you will not say that I have no reason for my dejection—but I hope it does not arise to a sinful anxiety & discontent this is what I am constantly striving against I am naturally very chearful & having open'd my heart to you—I know I shall feel better— I have been oblig'd to wear a countinance which badly indicated the feelings of this heart least I should give pain to my Family—


The weather has been so very hot that I have been almost wore out with that & having so much work to do I have only a little girl of sixteen years old with me She is sprightly but ignorant—

I shall finish this sheet that it may have no connection with another which I shall write, but not to night for tis Twelve a clock now. & I cannot see streight—

so good night my dear dear Sister

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / july 30th / 1790.”