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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


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Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0174

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dearest of Friends

My habitation, how disconsolate it looks! My table I set down to it but cannot swallow my food. O Why was I born with so much Sensibility and why possessing it have I so often been call'd to struggle with it? I wish to see you again, was I sure you would not be gone, I could not { 234 } withstand the temptation of comeing to town, tho my Heart would suffer over again the cruel torture of Seperation.
What a cordial to my dejected Spirits were the few lines last night received. And does your Heart forebode that we shall again be happy. My hopes and fears rise alternately. I cannot resign more than I do, unless life itself was called for.—My dear sons I can not think of them without a tear, little do they know the feelings of a Mothers Heart! May they be good and usefull as their Father then will they in some measure reward the anxiety of a Mother. My tenderest Love to them. Remember me also to Mr. Thaxter whose civilities and kindness I shall miss.
God almighty bless and protect my dearest Friend and in his own time restore him to the affectionate Bosom of
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. on Board the Frigate Sensible.” Cover bears a fine impression in red wax (now halved) of the Boylston family arms. JA is said to have inherited this seal from his mother, born Susanna Boylston ( HA2 , in Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA 's Books , p. 136; see illustration facing p. 135; and see passim for other uses of the Boylston arms by members of the Adams family).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-11-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest

We got all on Board last night, and began to make our Arrangements. Mr. Thaxter and Johnny, slept in a large Cott in the Council Chamber. Charles and I, in my old Apartment. We all rested well. Charles is much pleased, with the Novelty of the Scaene.
I stole on Board last night as silently as possible but as the Boat passed the Courier de L'Europe,1 all Hands came upon Deck and huzza'd in English, that is cryed Vive le Roi. And as We approached the Frigate, I saw all Hands mounting the shrowds and manning the ship, [and] 2 at our stepping out of the Boat, We were saluted, with another Vive le Roi.
Mr. Dana comes on Board, with Mr. Hancock in the Castle Barge at Nine or ten.
I had a Letter last night from M. Lovell, who complains that Portia dont write him, and another, kind Letter from R. H. Lee.3
Mr. Laurens and I were nominated for Holland. I suspect Laurens will be chosen and Lovel, go his Secretary.4
It is the Captains present Intention to fall down to Nantaskett Road to day.5 Day Day.6
[signed] J. Adams
{ 235 }
RC (Adams Papers). Tr in CFA 's hand (Adams Papers); prepared as printer's copy for CFA 's edition of JA-AA, Familiar Letters , since it is designated “No. 253” at head of text and has an identifying note on Dana; but in the end it was not included.
1. The Courrier de l'Europe, a chasse marée which was, according to Marbois, “one of the best sailers in existence on any of the seas,” had accompanied the Sensible on the outward voyage, but was dismasted and lost in a storm on the return voyage (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:381, 404; 4:191–192; Eugene P. Chase, ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers: The Letters of François, Marquis de Barbé-Marbois . . . 1779–1785, N.Y., 1929, p. 42).
2. MS : “at.”
3. James Lovell to JA , 1–2 Nov., accompanied by five pages of extracts from the Journals of Congress recording motions and resolves on the Atlantic fisheries and navigation of the Mississippi, Feb.–June 1779, and on financial arrangements for American ministers in Europe, including the nominations of JA and Henry Laurens to negotiate a loan in the Netherlands, 15–18 Oct. 1779 (Adams Papers). Richard Henry Lee to JA , dated at Chantilly, Va., 8 Oct. (Adams Papers, printed in R. H. Lee, Letters, ed. Ballagh, 2:155–156).
4. The first prediction was correct, the second mistaken.
5. The Sensible did not sail until the next day. “Bror. Adams sail'd by the Light-House about ten o Clock Monday Morning [15 Nov.]; with a fair Wind. Genl. [James] Warren spent the Evening with him on Sunday, and left him in good Spirits. Mr. Dana was rather dull on the Occation” (Richard Cranch to Mrs. Cranch, Boston, 17 Nov. 1779, MHi:Cranch Papers).
6. Thus in MS .