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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


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{ 192 }

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0128

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1775-05-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear

Mr. Eliot of Fairfield, is this Moment arrived in his Way to Boston. He read us a Letter from the Dr. his Father dated Yesterday Sennight being Sunday.1 The Drs. Description of the Melancholly of the Town, is enough to melt a Stone. The Tryals of that unhappy and devoted People are likely to be severe indeed. God grant that the Furnace of Affliction may refine them. God grant that they may be relieved from their present Distress.
It is Arrogance and Presumption in human Sagacity to pretend to penetrate far into the Designs of Heaven. The most perfect Reverence and Resignation becomes us. But, I cant help depending upon this, that the present dreadfull Calamity of that beloved Town is intended to bind the Colonies together in more indissoluble Bands, and to animate their Exertions, at this great Crisis in the Affairs of Mankind. It has this Effect, in a most remarkable Degree, as far as I have yet seen or heard. It will plead, with all America, with more irresistable Perswasion, than Angells trumpet tongued.
In a Cause which interests the whole Globe, at a Time, when my Friends and Country are in such keen Distress, I am scarcely ever interrupted, in the least Degree, by Apprehensions for my Personal Safety. I am often concerned for you and our dear Babes, surrounded as you are by People who are too timorous and too much susceptible of allarms. Many Fears and Jealousies and imaginary Dangers, will be suggested to you, but I hope you will not be impressed by them.
In Case of real Danger, of which you cannot fail to have previous Intimations, fly to the Woods with our Children. Give my tenderest Love to them, and to all.
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree To be deld. to Coll. Palmer, at Cambridge or Watertown.—favd. by Mr. Eliot.”
1. The younger Andrew Eliot, Harvard 1762, minister at Fairfield, Conn., was the son of Andrew Eliot, Harvard 1737, S.T.D., the eminent minister of the New North Church, which he continued to serve throughout the siege of Boston (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 10:128–161).

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0129

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-05-04

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have but little news to write you. Every thing of that kind you will learn by a more accurate hand than mine; things remain much in the { 193 } same situation here that they were when you went away, there has been no Desent upon the sea coast. Guards are regularily kept, and people seem more settled, and are returning to their husbandry.—I feel somewhat lonesome. Mr. Thaxter is gone home, Mr. Rice is going into the Army as captain of a company. We have no School. I know not what to do with John.—As Goverment is assumed I suppose Courts of Justice will be established, and in that case there may be Buisness to do. If so would it not be best for Mr. Thaxter to return? They seem to be discouraged in the study of Law, and think there never will be any buisness for them. I could have wishd they had consulted you upon the subject before you went away. Mr. Rice has asked my advice? I tell him I would have him act his pleasure. I dont chuse to advise him either way.—I suppose you will receive 2 or 3 Vol. of that forlorn Wretches Hutchisons Letters.1 Among many other things I hear he wrote in 1772 that Deacon Philips and you had like to have been chosen into the Counsel, but if you had you should have shared the same fate with Bowers.2 May the fate of Mordeca be his.—There is no body admitted into Town yet. I have made two or 3 attempts to get somebody in, but cannot succeed, so have not been able to do the Buisness you left in charge with me.—I want very much to hear from you, how you stood your journey, and in what state you find yourself now. I felt very anxious about you tho I endeavourd to be very insensible and heroick, yet my heart felt like a heart of Led. The same Night you left me I heard of Mr. Quincys Death, which at this time was a most melancholy Event, especially as he wrote in minets which he left behind that he had matters of concequence intrusted with him, which for want of a confident must die with him.—I went to see his distressed widdow last Saturday at the Coll.3 and in the afternoon from an allarm they had, she and her sister, with three others of the family took refuge with me, and tarried all night. She desired me to present her regards to you, and let you know she wished you every blessing, should always esteem you as a sincere Friend of her deceased husband. Poor afflicted woman, my heart was wounded for her.—I must quite the subject, and intreet you to write me by every opportunity. Your Mother desires to be rememberd to you. She is with me now. The children send Duty, and their Mamma unfeigned Love.

[salute] Yours,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. These were letters recently found in Hutchinson's house in Milton. Selections were published in the patriot newspapers. See William Gordon, The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States of { 194 } America, London, 1788, 2:29–30; and, for a very different account, Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 8:210–211.
2. Jerathmeel Bowers was negatived by Hutchinson after election to the Council in 1772; next year he was again negatived, together with JA and William Phillips.
3. That is, at Col. Josiah Quincy's house on Wollaston shore.