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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0221

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

About an Hour ago I received a Letter from my Friend dated June 21: begining in this manner “my dearest Friend.” It gave me a most agreable Sensation, it was a cordial to my Heart. That one single expression dwelt upon my mind and playd about my Heart, and was more valuable to me than any part of the Letter, except the close of it. It was because my Heart was softned and my mind enervated by my sufferings, and I wanted the personal and tender soothings of my dearest Friend, that [ren]derd1 it so valuable to me at this time. I have { 279 } [no] doubt of the tenderest affection or sincerest regard of my absent Friend, yet an expression of that kind will sooth my Heart to rest amidst a thousand anxietyes.
Tis now 48 Hours since I can say I really enjoyed any Ease, nor am I ill enough to summons any attendance unless my sisters. Slow, lingering and troublesome is the present situation. The Dr. encourages me to Hope that my apprehensions are groundless respecting what I wrote you yesterday, tho I cannot say I have had any reason to allter my mind. My spirits However are better than they were yesterday, and I almost wish I had not let that Letter go. If there should be agreable News to tell you, you shall know it as soon as the post can convey it. I pray Heaven that it may be soon or it seems to me I shall be worn out. I must lay my pen down this moment, to bear what I cannot fly from—and now I have endured it I reassume my pen and will lay by all my own feelings and thank you for your obligeing Letters.—A prize arrived this week at Marble Head with 400 Hogsheads of rum a board sent in by Manly.—Every article and necessary of life rises here daily. Sugar has got to [8 pounds?] per hundred, Lamb to I shilling per pound and all ot[her] things in proportion.—We have the finest Season here that I have known for many years. The fruit was injured by the cold East winds and falls of, the Corn looks well, Hay will be plenty, but your Farm wants manure. I shall endeavour to have Sea weed carted every Leasure moment that can be had. That will not be many. Help is so scarce and so expensive I can not Hire a days mowing under 6 shillings.
How has done himself no honour by his late retreat. We fear most now for Tycon[deroga.] 2 Tis reported to day that tis taken. We have a vast many men who look like officers continually riding about. I wonder what they can be after, why they do not repair to the army.
We wonder too what Congress are a doing? We have not heard of late.
How do you do? Are you glad you are out of the way of sour faces. I could look pleasent upon you in the midst of sufferings—allmighty God carry me safely through them. There I would hope I have a Friend ever nigh and ready to assist me, unto whom I commit myself.
This is Thursday Evening. It3 cannot go till monday, and then I hope will be accompanied with more agreable inteligance.

[salute] Most sincerely Yours.

I got more rest last night than I expected, this morning am rather { 280 } more ill than I was yesterday. This day ten years ago master John came into this world. May I have reason again to recollect it with peculiar gratitude. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
2. AA intended to divide this word between two lines but failed to continue it on the second.
3. This letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Letter will go by the Hand of the Honourable Samuel Hewes Esqr., one of the Delegates in Congress from North Carolina, from the Month of September 1774, untill 1777.1
I had the Honour to serve with him upon the naval Committee, who laid the first Foundations, the Corner Stone of an American navy, by fitting to Sea the Alfred, Columbus, Cabott, Andrew Doria, Providence, and several others. An Honour, that I make it a Rule to boast of, upon all Occasions, and I hope my Posterity will have Reason to boast. . . .2 Hewes has a sharp Eye and keen, penetrating Sense, but what is of much more Value is a Man of Honour and Integrity. If he should call upon you, and you should be about, I hope you will treat him with all the Complaisance that is due to his Character. I almost envy him his Journey, altho he travells for his Health, which at present is infirm. I am yours, yours, yours,
[signed] John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had no News from Camp for 3 or 4 days. Mr. How, by the last Advices, was maneuvring his Fleet and Army in such a Manner, as [to] give Us Expectations of an Expedition, some where. But whether to Rhode Island, Hallifax, up the North River or the Delaware, is left to Conjecture. I am much in doubt whether he knows his own Intentions.
A Faculty of penetrating into the Designs of an Enemy is said to be the first Quality of a General. But it is impossible to discover the Designs of an Enemy who has no Design at all. An Intention that has no Existence, a Plan that is not laid, cannot be divined. Be his Intentions what they may, you have nothing to fear from him—He has not force to penetrate the Country any where.
{ 281 }
1. JA of course meant Joseph Hewes (1730–1779), a North Carolina delegate from 1774 through 1776 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence ( DAB ). In a vivid letter written in old age JA credited Hewes with a decisive switch in Congress on the question of independence; see JA to William Plumer, 28 March 1813 ( LbC , Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works , 10:35–36).
2. Suspension points in MS . On the work of the committee in question see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:198 ff.; 3:345 ff.