Adams Family Correspondence, volume 11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 27 November 1796 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Lovejoys in Stratford Nov. 27. 1796

We lodged at Monroe’s in Marlborough on Wednesday night, at Hithcocks in Brookfield Thursday night, at David Bulls in Hartford Fryday night and at Lovejoys in Stratford last night. I have been to hear Sound orthodox Calvinism from Mr Stebbins this morning.1

At Hartford I Saw Mr Adets Note in Folio to our Secretary of State, and I find it an Instrument well calculated to reconcile me to private Life.2 It will purify me from all Envy of Mr Jefferson or Mr Pinckney or Mr Burr or Mr Any Body who may be chosen P. or V. P.

Although, however, I think the moment a dangerous one, I am not Scared. Fear takes no hold of me, and makes no Approaches to me, that I perceive, and if my Country makes just Claims upon me, I will be as I ever have been prompt to shares Fates & Fortunes with her.

I dread not a War, with France or England, if either forces it upon Us, but will make no Aggression upon either, with my free Will, without just & necessary Cause and Provocation.

In all Events of Peace or War, I think Prices must fall considerably before Spring. Lands Labour Provisions and all.

We have had so cold a Journey that I fear our Stone Wall Stands still. If it does however I suppose Manure, or Ploughing or cutting and carting Wood will furnish Employment enough.

Nothing mortifies me more, than to think how the English will be gratified at this French Flight. John Bull will exult and Shrugg his shoulders like a Frenchman, and I fear show Us some cunning insidious, kind of Kindness upon the Occasion. I should dread his Kindness as much as French Severity. But will be the Dupe of neither.

If I have looked with any Accuracy into the Hearts of my Fellow Citizens, The French will find as the English have found, that Feelings may be Stirred which they never expected to find there, and that Perhaps the American People themselves are not Sensible are within them.

I shall write you from N. York. This cold Weather makes me 420 regret the Loss of my Bed, and Fireside, and especially the Companion and Delight of both.

John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”


Possibly Abraham Munroe (ca. 1736–1828), who from the 1770s had operated an inn at Northborough, Mass., a town that had split off from Marlborough, Mass. David Hitchcock (ca. 1741–1814) kept an inn at Brookfield, Mass., for more than fifty years. David Bull (1723–1812) operated the Bunch of Grapes tavern at Hartford, Conn., and Ezekiel Lovejoy operated a stage coach service between New Haven, Conn., and New York City and in 1798 would build a new tavern in Stratford, Conn. Stephen Williams Stebbins (1758–1843), Yale 1781, was pastor of Stratford’s Congregational Church from 1784 until 1813 (Newburyport Herald, 3 June 1828; Charles Hudson, History of the Town of Marlborough … with a Brief Sketch of the Town of Northborough, Boston, 1862, p. 116; Mrs. Edward Hitchcock Sr., Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family Who Are Descended from Matthias Hitchcock of East Haven, Conn., and Luke Hitchcock of Wethersfield, Conn., Amherst, Mass., 1894, p. 422; Lucius Barnes Barbour, Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut, 1977, repr. Baltimore, 2001, p. 102; Samuel Orcutt, A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 2 vols., New Haven, 1886, 1:409, 413; 2:1241; William Howard Wilcoxson, History of Stratford, Connecticut, 1639–1939, Stratford, 1939, p. 553).


Several editions of the correspondence between Pierre Auguste Adet and Timothy Pickering were published in 1796, including one in November, The Gros Mousqueton Diplomatique; or, Diplomatic Blunderbus, Phila., Evans, No. 30208; a bilingual version, Notes adressées par le Citoyen Adet, ministre plénipotentiaire de la République Française près les États-Unis d’Amérique, au secrétaire d’etat des Etats-Unis, Phila., Evans, No. 30440; Official Notes, from the Minister of the French Republic, to the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Phila., Evans, No. 30442; and Translation of a Note from the Minister of the French Republic, to the Secretary of State of the United States, N.Y., Evans, No. 30441.