Adams Family Correspondence, volume 8

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 25 October 1789 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
Richmond Hill october 25 1789 my dearest Friend

I presume you have reachd Braintree before this day I hope the sight of your Friends and of your Farm has restored your Health and spirits. you did well to flee before the very sickly period Mr Maddison lies very ill at Philadelphia, & it is reported that the Speaker of the House died last week by the Bursting a Blood vessel in this Epidemick cold, which scarcly one escapes. I hope however the report may not be true, as I have not seen any mention of it in the papers.1 Count Moutier & family saild last week as silently as possible. no mention of them in the papers, or other notice taken every thing appears perfectly quiet & easy.2 Boston papers only are seditious I think from the complexion of some peices which I read in them the massachusetts is brewing mischief.

inclosed is a letter which I wish you to answer immediatly. I have received the fish in four Boxes & tried some of it, which proves very fine.3 one Box I have sent to mr Jay as a present from you. our Family is better than when I wrote you last, little John excepted who is very sick cutting his Eye teeth.

If Brisler is at Braintree would not you wish him to Bottle the sherry wine which we used part of, & pack it for this place. the other cask I would not remove.

I wish to hear from you and from the children. mrs Cranch wrote me that John was very unwell with his cold. it was taken here I believe, and he ought to be attentive to it. my affectionate Regards to all Friends from / Your ever affectionate

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers).


This rumor was false. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the Speaker of the House, lived until 1801 ( DAB ).


The Comte de Moustier was unpopular as the French minister to the United States. James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson on 8 Dec. 1788 that “Moustier proves a most unlucky appointment. He is unsocial, proud and niggardly and betrays a sort of fastidiousness toward this country. He suffers also 430from his illicit connection with Madame de Brehan which is universally known and offensive to American manners.” In France, Jefferson pressed for a change in ministers, which led to Moustier's departure in Oct. 1789 (Jefferson, Papers , 14:340–341, 520–522). Contrary to AA's comments, several of the New York newspapers included short pieces on his formal leave-taking; see, for example, Gazette of the United States, 14 Oct.; New York Journal, 15 Oct.; and New York Daily Gazette, 15 October.


On 30 Sept. Marston Watson of Marblehead wrote to JA on behalf of a “Fish Club of Gentlemen in this Town bearing Strong Sentiments of Esteem & respect for your private Character, and with all others of your Countrymen cannot but admire the lustre of your public Negociations while in Europe, & the more, as they feel Indebted for your good Service to their branch of business;—therefore hope that they may be Indulg'd to offer with Propriety, attendant on their Sincere Expressions of Gratitude, a few Quintals of their best Table fish” (Adams Papers). JA replied on 7 Nov., thanking Watson for the fish and reiterating his belief that “the Fisheries, are so essential to the Commerce and naval Power of this Nation, that it is astonishing that any one Citizen should ever have been found, indifferent about them” (Dft, Adams Papers). See also AA to JA, 1 May, note 3, above.

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 1 November 1789 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
Richmond Hill Novbr 1 1789 my dear sister

A strange phenomanan has happend in our Family. I believe I wrote you that Louissa and John were both innoculated for the small pox but neither of their arms shew'd any proofs after the 2d Day. Louissa was soon seizd with the cold & Fever which has so universally prevaild here. upon the 10 day John was very sick apparantly the symptoms of the small pox, but they lasted only one day on the 17 day the child had an inflamation in his Eyes a fever in his Head was sick and oppressd at his stomack, but not the least redness upon the arm. we had no apprehension that it was the small pox. on the 19 day he began to have a small Eruption upon his face, his symptoms went of & he has had the small pox finely about a hundred which have fill'd. Louissa has been innoculated from him, and from the appearance of the arm we think it has taken. I hope she will have it as favourable as the child. he could not have taken it in any other way as he was not out of the House, but why he should take it, & Louissa not, cannot be accounted for in any other way, than that two disorders would not operate at the same time.

I yesterday received a Letter from cousin Lucy of ocbr 25 one from Tommy & one from Sister Shaw—and Last week yours october 12 came to hand.1 I put into mr Adams's Trunk the cushion I promisd you. I should have sent it sooner, but hoped to have brought it. all the things on the Top belong to J Q A, as you will see. I wish you would send them to him, or let him know that you have them. when Brisler leaves the House I should be glad to have the things left inventoried, not that I fear loosing by the Family who are now there, 431but for my own satisfaction. there was one thing which I forgot to mention. I have papers in the Escritore which I lent Mrs Bass. the key is on the Bunch with mrs Brisler I wish cousin Lucy to go & take them a way, put them in a draw or Trunk at the other House. I hope to come to Braintree in the course of an other year, and see all my dear Friends. I wish the dr much happiness with his Young wife, is she not young for him?— mrs Norten must have much satisfaction in the event, if she proves as I hope & doubt not she will a kind Aunt and an agreeable companion. I hope my dear sister has recoverd her spirits. none of us live without our anxieties, tho some are of a much more painfull kind than others.

How is our worthy uncle Quincy. mr Adams I dare say will visit him as often as he can I hope you will see our worthy President. he is much a favorite of mine I do assure you. tell mr Adams that mrs Washington Says she has a present for him when he returns. it is true she says it is of no great value, but she will not tell me what it is, nor let me see it till he returns. I told her I would be jealous but it did not provoke her to shew it me. we are at present all very well. Louissa innoculated the 2 time on thursday last I hope mr Adams will not put of his return so late as he talkd of when he sat out. the weather will be soon very cold and uncomfortable. remember me kindly to all my Friends. I am very bad about writing; not half as good as when I was in England. the reason is I have few subjects, few new objects, the men & women here are like the men & women else where, & if I was to meet a curious Character I should not venture to be free with it.

I wish to have our winter Apples pears Butter some cheese Bacon Tongus &c all from our own state & what I cannot get from the Farm I would get put up in Boston, such as Hams & Tongues I mentiond all these things to mr Adams but do not know that he will be attentive about them. any Letters which may be taken out of the post office addrest to the Vice Pressident of the united states, you may venture to open the covers of whether mr Adams, is with you or not for you may be sure that they come from Richmond Hill.

adieu my dear sister and believe me most affectionatly yours—

A Adams

mrs smith & master william magpye as I call him send duty—

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


Lucy Cranch to AA, 23 Oct., is above. The letters from TBA, Elizabeth Smith Shaw, and Mary Smith Cranch have not been found.