A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0310

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dearest of Friends

I had not been 20 Minutes in this House before I had the Happiness to see Captn. Tucker, and a Midshipman, coming for me.2 We shall be soon on Board, and may God prosper our Voyage, in every Stage of it, as much as at the Beginning, and send to you, my dear Children and all my Friends, the choisest of Blessings—so Wishes and prays yours, with an Ardour, that neither Absence, nor any other Event can abate,
[signed] John Adams
Johnny sends his Duty to his Mamma and his Love to his sister and Brothers. He behaves like a Man.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. The house of AA 's uncle Norton Quincy was on his Mount Wollaston farm, in that part of Quincy Bay still known as Adams Shore, just east of where Black's Creek empties into the Atlantic. (This farm later passed into the possession of the Adamses, and here soon after the Civil War JQA2 built his { 389 } home called “Merrymount” from its proximity to the site of Thomas Morton's famous maypole. See CFA2, Three Episodes , vol. 1: chs. 10–19. A state highway marker has been placed near the site of the maypole.) Norton Quincy's house is pretty accurately located, by a building called “Quinzey,” on “A Plan of the Town and Chart of the Harbour of Boston” in the Gentleman's Magazine for Jan. 1775, which is reproduced in the first volume of the present work.
2. Capt. Samuel Tucker (1747–1833) commanded the Boston, a 24-gun Continental frigate launched at Newburyport in June 1776 ( DAB ; Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships ). His instructions from the Navy Board in Boston concerning this voyage are printed in JA's Works , 3:94, note. There is implied if not explicit evidence in JA 's papers, comparatively scanty as they are at this time, that his appointment as joint minister and particularly his sailing arrangements were kept as secret as possible, no doubt in order to avoid alerting British cruisers in New England waters. This may well be the reason why he embarked at Braintree rather than Boston. It will be noted from subsequent letters (and there are others in the files to the same effect) that JA left for France without taking care of pressing legal business and that some of his close friends and family connections did not know of his appointment until after he had sailed.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0311

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dearest of Friends

I am favoured with an unexpected Opportunity, by Mr. Woodward the lame Man who once lived at Mr. Belchers, and who promises in a very kind manner to take great Care of the Letter, to inform you of our Safe Passage from the Moon head, on Board the ship.1—The seas ran very high, and the Spray of the seas would have wet Us, but Captn. Tucker kindly brought great Coats on Purpose with which he covered Up me and John so that We came very dry.—Tomorrow Morning We sail.—God bless you, and my Nabby, my Charley, my Tommy and all my Friends.

[salute] Yours, ever, ever, ever yours,

[signed] John Adams
1. JA 's term “Moon head” is puzzling, but from various sources it is known that he and JQA walked from Norton Quincy's across Hough's Neck (the peninsula that forms Quincy Bay on the southeast) to a barge which took them to the Boston lying in Nantasket Roads. See AA to Thaxter, 15–18 Feb., following; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:269–271; 4:6–7. The fullest contemporary record of the voyage is JA 's own Diary, beginning in vol. 2 as just cited, supplemented by Tucker's log (quoted in editorial notes on the Diary entries) and also by the retrospective account in JA 's Autobiography, beginning in vol. 4 as cited.
{ 390 }