Adams Family Correspondence, volume 10

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 8 November 1794 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Philadelphia Nov. 8. 1794

We took the Packet at New Haven, and arrived at N. York as Soon as the Stage— Although We Saved no time, We avoided some bruizes, at the Expence of a little of the Mal De Mer.

Mrs Smith and Children all well. Charity Smith married to Mr Shaw, Brother of the late Consul at Canton.—1 Our Charles at Steuben after an Examination at Albany and an honourable Admission to the Rank of Counciller at Law. I was at his Office and Saw his Clerk who appears well pleased, and Says his Master has good Business.2 We arrived last night in this City and lodged at a Mr Alders opposite to Mr Binghams.

No Senate yet.—3 The President returned. All Submission, in the Whiskey Counties. But a Force will be kept there to ensure their Obedience for some necessary time.

Antifœderalism, Jacobinism and Rebellion are drooping their heads, very much discouraged.

Clark of N. Jersey and Comr. Gillon dead.4 Smith of Carolina elected with great Ecclat.5 Butler gone to Charleston last Week unaccountably.— &c &c &c. Bradley left out, for a Man of different Politicks.6 Langdon in danger.7 These are Symptoms. If Ames fails The next Congress will be more fœderal than any that has yet assembled. but I Still hope better Things.

Fine Weather— I will write nothing as yet of Agriculture. Take great Care of your health which is prescious to me beyond all Calculation.

The Fall of Robespierre, has a great Effect on the Public Mind.— It has Startled and terrified many, whose Confidence in him was excessive. I am as ever. yours / without reserve.

J A.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr 8th / 1794.”


Benjamin Shaw (1758–1807), the son of a Boston merchant, married Charity Smith, WSS’s sister, on 1 November. Benjamin’s brother Samuel (1754–1794) had served in the artillery during the Revolutionary War, then went into business, sailing on the first American vessel to go to China. Appointed U.S. consul at Canton in 1786, he died while returning from his third voyage to Asia ( DAB; New York Weekly Museum, 15 Nov.).

249 2.

Probably Samuel Bayard Malcom (1776–1815), Columbia 1794, who later became private secretary to JA during his presidency (Jefferson, Papers, Retirement Series, 5:43; JA to AA, 3 March 1797, Adams Papers).


While the 2d session of the 3d Congress was supposed to begin on 3 Nov. 1794, the Senate did not achieve a quorum until 18 Nov. ( Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 787).


Abraham Clark died on 15 Sept. after suffering sunstroke, and Alexander Gillon, for whom see vol. 4:55, died on 6 Oct. ( DAB ; Biog. Dir. Cong. ).


For William Loughton Smith, see vol. 1:69. He served in the House of Representatives from 1789 until 1797 ( Biog. Dir. Cong. ).


Stephen Row Bradley (1754–1830), Yale 1775, a lawyer and judge, had served as a Democratic-Republican senator from Vermont from 1791 to 1795. He was replaced in the 4th Congress by Elijah Paine, a Federalist (same).


John Langdon was reelected senator from New Hampshire (same).

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 9 November 1794 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Philadelphia November 9. 1794

I am now Settled.— The first night I went to a Mr Alders, opposite to Mr Binghams, but not liking the circumstance of living in an English Family an Upholsterer lately emigrated and not admiring the Rooms, I removed last night to Francis’s Hotel in 4th. Street, between Market and Chesnut Streets. Here I Shall be at School with a Society of Patriotic Members of Congress who are all, virtuous Republicans. I Shall agree with them as Gentlemen, but shall claim the Right of a virtuous Republican, to differ from them in political Questions, whenever I may think them in the Wrong.

Our Sensible and worthy Nephew Mr William Cranch Spent the last Evening with me, and gave me a particular Account of the vast Projects of Mr Greenleaf. His Sawmills in Georgia, his Iron Works on Hudsons River, his forty or an hundred Houses building in the Fœderal City &c &c &c. But among the rest I was Sorry to hear of his Opening a Loan in Holland though only at four Per Cent, to enable him to make Payments to his Workmen. I am apt to Suspect Speculations upon Credit, tho sometimes they may be Successful. I however have always placed my Glory in Moderation, not having Spirit enough to undertake, nor Understanding enough to conceive great Projects and Enterprizes.

My Lodings are the most decent of any in Town that I know of, and my Accommodations are quite agreable. Brisler has orders to send you Wheat & Rye Flour for a whole Year, but probably he will not ship it, till Ames returns from Boston. With the flour I shall send Grass seeds for next Spring. The Season with you, I hope is as agreable for Business as it is here, and if it is I hope to have all the Yards filled with The Treasures of the sea thrown in Such 250 Abundance on shore, and All the Grass Land in Hancock’s orchard covered with it.

If Hancocks Meadow could have a covering it would be more grateful for it, than any other Land I have at present.

Every Body is anxious about Mr Ames’s Election and impatient to know the Decision: if I he falls it will only be to rise the higher and the faster, for certainly a Man who has had so great a share in producing the present Prosperity of this Country cannot at his years be neglected. The Supposition is too dishonourable both to Government and People. both must be neither generous nor even selfish with common sense, to overlook so useful and honourable an Instrument, of their own fame and their own good. To choose in his Place at such a time as this a Man who has Opposed and Obstructed that very Prosperity, and who would probably very often put it to a hazeard as far as his Vote would go, would be Such a Proof of Levity Wantoness and Folly as I shall not believe till it is proved.

Mr Otis & Family are all very well, very kind and obliging.—

Above all Things take great Care of your Health and Louisa’s too

Yours as ever

J. A.

My Duty to my Mother & Lover to Brothers & sisters & Cousins &c

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr / 9th / 1794.”