Adams Family Correspondence, volume 9

412 Abigail Adams to John Adams, 22 February 1793 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
my dearest Friend Quincy Feb’ry 22 1793—

my Last Letter was written to you in Bed I write this from my chair, my fever is leaving me and I am mending So that I can set up the chief of the day. the dr says it was the unexpected News of mrs smiths return that had so happy an effect upon me as to Break my fever. I am languid & weak but hope to be well by the Time you return. I shall forward my next Letter to you, to be left at N york as it might not reach you in Philadelphia if you set out as soon in March as you propose. I would mention to you your Coupons for the year least it should slip your mind.1 I believe I mentiond in my last all that I could think of respecting domestick concerns. our Weather is so changeable that it retards the kind of Buisness which I should be glad to have compleated. this week we have had floods of rain, which has carried of the chief of the heavy snow which fell the week before. o I forgot to mention to mr Brisler to cut me some of the weeping willows, & put on Board any of the vessels comeing this way, some of mr Morriss peach tree Grafts. we have some young plumb trees which will answer for stocks.2 your Brother told me on monday Evening that the senate had made choice of mr Strong; I presume the House will concur tis an ill wind which blows no good to any one. the late failures in Boston have thrown Some buisness into the hands of our son he is well and grows very fat.

present me affectionatly to all my Friends particularly to mrs Washington whom I both Love and respect. Remember me to mrs otis and tell her that her sister Betsy complains that she does not write to her. a kiss to miss Harriot, tell her she must find out how I sent it. your Mother desires to be rememberd to you. one day last week whilst I was the most sick, the severest N East snow storm came that we have had through the winter. we could not pass with a carriage, and I desired my People not to let her know how ill I was as she could not get to See me, but no sooner was there a foot tract than she put on stockings over her shoes, and I was astonishd to hear her voice below stairs. she has had better health than for some years past

Adieu all Friends send their Regards / ever yours

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the / United States. / Philadelphia.”; docketed: “AA 1793.”


On 1 March, JA, as a subscriber to the sixth Dutch-American loan of 2 March 1791, sent to Wilhem and Jan Willink coupons that entitled him to interest on his investment. JA 413asked that the money be shipped to Cotton Tufts in the form of gold or Spanish dollars (JA to Wilhem and Jan Willink, 1 March 1793; Willinks to JA, 22 April, both Adams Papers; Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment , 2:1086–1091).


Probably Robert Morris, who has been credited with the development of two varieties of peaches: “Morris's White Freestone” and “Morris's Red Free Stone” (George Lindley and Michael Floy, A Guide to the Orchard and Fruit Garden, N.Y., 1852, p. 189).

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 27 February 1793 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Feb. 27. 1793 Philadelphia

I am so anxious for your health, Since you inform'd me of the return of your Intermittent, that I shall take the Stage on Monday for N. York, but whether I shall go by the Packet to Providence, or continue in the Stage to Boston, I know not. This will depend upon the Wind and other Circumstances to be learn'd at N. York.

C. Smith is here in good health. He is returned from France and England, almost a Revolutionist, if not quite. The Fermentation in Europe distresses me, least it should take a turn which may involve Us in many difficulties. Our Neutrality will be a very delicate Thing to maintain: and I am not without Apprehensions that Congress or at least the Senate may be called together in the summer if not earlier. however We must be prepared as well as We can for Events.

The Attorney General, in opening the Information to the Jury, at the Tryal of Mr Paine, was pleased to quote large Passages from Publicola, with Some handsome Compliments: so that Publicola is become a Law Authority. Mr Erskine in his Answer cryed, Well, let others do like Publicola answer the Book not prosecute the author.1

I am weary of reading Newspapers. The Times are so full of Events, the whole Drama of the World is such a Tragedy that I am weary of the Spectacle. Oh my Sweet little farm, what would I not give to enjoy thee without Interruption? But I see no end to my Servitude, however the nations of Europe and even of Africa may recover their Liberty.

Hamilton has been Sufficiently fatigued with demands for Statements and Information. I hope his health will hold out, and his Character be Supported: but We have broad hints of what may be expected by, Executive Officers, who depend upon an Elective head, from Elective Legislatures. Ambitious Members of a Legislature will too easily run down the Popularity of Ministers of State, or I am egregiously mistaken. But Ca ira.

France will Soon Shew Us Examples enough of Ministers falling 414before ambitious Legislatures, if she has not exhibited enough already. Calonne Neckar, Montmorin and 20 others, where are they?2

I am, my dear, most tenderly your

John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Febry 27th 1793.”


Thomas Paine's first part of the Rights of Man, published in London in March 1791 and reprinted in the United States in May, elicited JQA's response as Publicola the following month. Paine's publication in 1792 of the second part of Rights of Man, which was more widely distributed than the first part and considered a threat to the British monarchy, resulted in Paine's being charged with seditious libel. He appeared in court in June, but the trial was postponed until December. Attorney general Archibald Macdonald led the successful prosecution. Thomas Erskine (1750–1823), an opposition leader and attorney general to the Prince of Wales, represented Paine, who did not attend ( DNB ).

TBA reported similar news to JQA in a letter of 26 Feb. 1793, in which TBA noted that he had obtained information about the trial from a pamphlet entitled The Whole Proceedings on the Trial of an Information Exhibited Ex Officio by the King's Attorney-General against Thomas Paine, London, 1793, which he quoted at length to JQA (Adams Papers). See also TBA to AA, 27 May [1792], note 5, above.


Charles Alexandre de Calonne, the former French controller general of finances, had successfully emigrated to England, and Jacques Necker, the former director general of finances, had retired to his home on Lake Geneva. Armand Marc, Comte de Montmorin de Saint-Herem, one of King Louis XVI's advisors and a former ambassador to Spain, had been arrested and killed by a mob in Aug. 1792 (Bosher, French Rev. , p. xxviii, l, li).