Adams Family Correspondence, volume 9

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 27 July 1790 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
my dear sister july 27 1790 Richmond Hill

I received your kind Letter of july 4th the articles sent by captain Barnard all arrived in good order, and I have to acknowledg mr Cranchs kind care in attending to them.

you have got through commencment and I hope have not been made sick with the trouble and fatigue. we had a pleasent day here, not over Hot and I pleasd, myself with the hope that it was so with you. We got Thursdays paper, but had very little account of commencment.1 I know you must have been too much fatigued, and too buisily occupied to be able to write

I do not know what to do with the House. I wish with all my Heart that Mears would go in. I did not once think of her, but I do not know any person I would so soon commit the care to.2 mr Brisler is anxious about the wine Casks he says that there are only two Iron hoops on each and he fears the other will Rot off. if you have not the Keys, pray get them and let me request you to have the things lookd to. the Rats he says may undermine the Bottled wine which is pack'd in sand. he is very anxious about it, and I am not less so. I beg you my dear sister to accept of a dozen of the wine and present half a dozen bottles to my mother. if it is not drawn of let Thomas go, and do it, and send him for the Keys. if the casks look like to give way, I must request that it may be New hoopd or otheways taken care of. I do not know when I shall see you. I think it would be a cordial to me, and mr Adams pines for relaxation, tho if one was to Credit the Clamours of the Boston papers we should imagine that their was nothing going forward but dissipation, instead of which, there is nothing which wears the least appearence of it, unless they term the Pressidents Levee of a tuesday and mrs Washingtons drawing of a fryday such, one last two & the other perhaps three hours3 She gives Tea Coffe Cake Lemonade & Ise creams in summer all other Ladies who have publick Evenings give Tea coffe & Lemonade, but one only who introduces cards, and She is frequently put to difficulty to make up one table at whist. pray is not this better than resorting to Taverns, or even having supper partys some amusement from the Business of the day is necesserry and can there be a more Innocent one than, that of meeting at Gentlemens Houses and conversing together, but faction and Antifederilism may turn every Innocent action to evil


we are all well you see my pens are bad beyond description, and dinner calls.

Love to all Friends from / your ever affectionate / sister

A Adams

RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by CA: “Mrs Mary Cranch. / Braintree”; notation by CA: “favd by / Mr Codman.”


The Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 July, the day after Harvard's commencement, merely listed the names of graduating bachelor's and master's students. Newspapers published during the following week included more details about the students’ performances, including TBA's conference with Nahum Fay and Thomas Gray on painting, music, and oratory (Boston Columbian Centinel, 24 July; Boston Gazette, 26 July; Independent Chronicle, 29 July).


Cranch replied to AA in a letter of 27 Aug. that George Mears was “building a house or he would have gladly have gone into yours” (Adams Papers). For the Mears family, see vol. 8:444.


A piece in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 15 July, sharply criticized the extravagance and inaction of the federal government. Citing the enormous debt, the author asked, “Is this a moment, then, for an absurd and ridiculous imitation of European manners and establishments.” The author went on to censure Congress for its “astonishing delays” and for “months idly wasted in impotent debate.” A similar indictment published on 3 June declared, “Time is not to be spent in amusement, or dissipation, but attentively improved for the dispatch of the public business. . . . Ideas of foreign pomp, parade and luxury, are rather to be spurned, than courted and fostered by a young republic.”

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 2 August 1790 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts
my dear sir August 2d 1790 N york

Commencment being finish'd some of your cares for my Family will be lesned. I esteem it amongst my blessings that my young Family have all past through Colledge with so much Reputation, and that in scenes strewd thick with dangers, they have escaped so well. I hope their future progress through Life may be equally pure. I feel myself indebted to many of my Friends for the kind care they have excericed towards my sons in the almost constant absence of their Parents, and particularly So to you Sir whose attention has been truly Parental. I hope they will ever mantain towards you a gratefull sense of your kindness.

Mr Adams proposes that Thomas should come on here as soon as may be. I hardly know what studies to advise him too. for some time he appeard inclined to merchandize, but without Stock, there is but a poor prospect, and I do not think that scholors ever make very good Merchants. Mr Adams remitted a Bill of 500 dollors to you which I presume was duly received, but immediatly after this he heard of the arrival of 2 casks of wine which we Suppose will more than swallow up the surpluss. his intention is to send on 40 or 50 84dollors more by dr Jeffries who will leave this City in the course of the week. Congress are not yet up, they hope to rise in a few days. you have no doubt seen the funding & Assumption Bills they are not what was wisht by many members of each House, but the danger of finally loosing the Bill was so great, that it was consented to by both houses as an anchor that it would not do to quit, least the whole should go to shipwreck the funding the whole debt at once, at an interest of four pr cent and placing the indents upon the same footing, was what was most earnestly wishd for by many, but the states who were opposed to it, Clamourd so loudly that the best, is done that could be effected the House are now upon ways and means, designing that the first Quarters interest shall be paid on the first of April next. I will thank you sir to let me know by my son Thomas the amount of the little interest I have in your Hands and what proportion is state, & what continential, and whether you cannot fund it in your own Name, giving me some memorandum that you hold in your Hands such an interest belonging to me which may serve in case of accident.1

The wine which I suppose is in mr Codmans store we should be glad to have sent round by Barnard our present intention being, not to Remove this winter, but when Congress set mr Adams designs to go & tarry only during the session, which he flatters himself, will be a short one

my best Respects to your good Lady I am sorry for your daughters repeated misfortune I wish my dear sir you could make us a visit here. you would be delighted with this situation, and not in the least wonder, that I shall have a regreet at quitting it—

I am most affectionatly yours

A Adams

RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); endorsed: “Mrs. A. Adams Aug. 18. 1790.”


Tufts enclosed the requested list of public securities in his letter of 28 Sept., below. In a letter of 3 Oct., AA again asked Tufts about putting the certificates in his name: “If you can Subscribe as a trustee for an other, I should like that method, to do it in your own Name would be equally agreeable to me, unless it should subject you to any difficulty” (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail). Tufts responded to AA on this point in his letter of 7 Jan. 1791, below.