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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


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Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0130

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-05-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I received by the Deacon1 two Letters from you this Day from Hartford. I feel a recruit of spirits upon the reception of them, and the comfortable news which they contain. We had not heard any thing from N. Carolina before, and could not help feeling anxious least we should find a defection there, arising more from their ancient feuds and animosities, than from any setled ill will in the present contest. But the confirmation of the choise of their Delagates by their assembly leaves not a doubt of their firmness, nor doth the Eye say unto the hand I have no need of thee, the Lord will not cast of his people neither will he forsake his inheritance. Great Events are most certainly in the womb of futurity and if the present chastisement which we experience have a proper influence upon our conduct, the Event will most certainly be in our favour.—The Distresses of the inhabitants of Boston are beyond the power of language to discribe. There are but very few who are permitted to come out in a day. They delay giving passes, make them wait from hour to hour, and their counsels are not two hours together alike. One day they shall come out with their Effects, the next Day merchandise are not Effects. One day their household furtinuture is to come out, the next only weareing apparrel, and the next Pharaohs heart is hardned, and he refuseth to hearken unto them and will not let the people go. May their deliverence be wrought out for them as it was for the Children of Israel. I do not mean by miracles but by the interposition of heaven in their favour. They have taken a list of all those who they suppose were concernd in watching the tea, and every other person who they call obnoxious, and they and their Effects are to suffer distruction. Poor Eads2 escaped out of town last night with one Ayers in a small boat, and was fired upon, but got safe and came up to Braintree to day. His name it seems was upon the black list.—I find it impossible to get any body in with any surty of their returning again. I have sent to Walthham but cannot hear any thing of Mr. Cushings Son. I wish you would write me whether Mr. Cushing left any directions what should be done in that affair.—I hear that Mr. Bromfield has Letters { 195 } for you, and young Dr. Jarvis has more, but cannot get at them.—Pray write me every opportunity every thing that transpires. Every body desires to be rememberd to you—it would fill the paper to name them. I wrote you once before. Let me know whether you have received it.—You dont say one word about your Health. I hope it was comfortable and will continue so. It will be a great comfort to know that it is so to your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr. Phyladelphia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Joseph Palmer, who forwarded the letters from Watertown, where the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was sitting.
2. Apparently Benjamin Edes (1732–1803) the printer, who was able to assemble types and press and resume publication of the Boston Gazette in Watertown on 5 June; see Warren-Adams Letters , 1:49 and note.

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0131

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1775-05-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have an opportunity by Captn. Beale, to write you a Line. We all arrived last Night in this City. It would take many Sheets of Paper, to give you a Description of the Reception, We found here. The Militia were all in Arms, and almost the whole City out to Meet us.1 The Tories are put to Flight here, as effectually as the Mandamus Council at Boston. They have associated, to stand by Continental and Provincial Congresses, &c. &c. &c. Such a Spirit was never seen in New York.
Jose Bass met with a Misfortune, in the Midst of some of the unnecessary Parade that was made about us. My Mare, being galled with an ugly Buckle in the Tackling, suddenly flinched and started in turning short round a Rock, in a shocking bad Road, overset the sulky which frightened her still more. She ran, and dashed the Body of the Sulky all to Pieces. I was obliged to leave my sulky, ship my Bagage on board Mr. Cushings Carriage, buy me a Saddle and mount on Horse back. I am thankfull that Bass was not kill'd. He was in the utmost danger, but not materially hurt.
I am sorry for this Accident, both on Account of the Trouble and Expence, occasioned by it. I must pay your Father for his sulky.2 But in Times like these, such Little Accidents should not affect us.
Let me caution you my Dear, to be upon your Guard against that Multitude of Affrights, and Alarms, which I fear, will surround you. Yet I hope the People with you, will grow more composed than they were.
{ 196 }
Our Prospect of a Union of the Colonies, is promising indeed. Never was there such a Spirit. Yet I feel anxious, because, there is always more Smoke than Fire—more Noise than Musick.
Our Province is nowhere blamed. The Accounts of the Battle are exaggerated in our favour.—My Love to all. I pray for you all, and hope to be prayed for. Certainly, There is a Providence—certainly, We must depend upon Providence or We fail. Certainly the sincere Prayers of good Men, avail much. But Resignation is our Duty in all Events. I have this Day heard Mr. Livingston in the Morning and Dr. Rogers this afternoon—excellent Men, and excellent Prayers and sermons.
My Love to Nabby, Johnny, Charly and Tommy. Tell them they must be good, and Pappa will come home, before long.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “C No 4.”
1. John Hancock provided his “Dear Dolly” (Dorothy Quincy, whom he was to marry in August of this year) with a very full and boastful account of the delegates' reception in New York (letter dated 7 May 1775; Salisbury, Family-Memorials , 1:328–330).
2. JA charged Massachusetts £12 for the wrecked sulky ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:163–164).