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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


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Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0182

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lowell, John
Date: 1779-11-29

Abigail Adams to John Lowell

[salute] Sir

Before Mr. Adams left me he mentiond 2 or 3 gentlemen to me to whom he would have me apply for advice and assistance during his absence. You Sir was one of those Friends upon whom he directed me to rely who would consider my Situation and render me any little services I stood in need of.1
My present request is to be informd of the rate of exchange of hard Money into paper. There are so many persons disposed to take advantage of me, in this respect that unless I can find a Friend or two upon whom I can rely, I shall be imposed upon as I have heretofore been, and I have need enough I am sure of making the best exchange in my power.
The fluctuating state of our currency and the exorbitant demand for every necessary of life, together with the high taxes renders it more peculiarly difficult to be deprived of a partner at this day.
It has been my Lot in Life to be called repeatedly to the painfull task of seperating from the dearest connexion in Life. Honour and Fame of which the world talk, weigh but lightly against the Domestick happiness I resign, and the pain and anxiety I suffer.—One only consideration preponderates the scale, The hope of rendering Essential service to a distressd and Bleeding Country.
Be pleased sir to present my Respectfull complements to Mrs. Lowell tho I have not the pleasure of an acquaintance with her.2 A few lines left for me at Mr. I. Smiths Boston will be safely conveyed to me and will greatly oblige your Humble Servant,
[signed] A. Adams
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To John Lowell Esqr. Boston,” to { 241 } which is added, “answerd December 15 exchange from 30 to 35 for one.” (See Lowell's letter to AA of 15 Dec. below.)
1. John Lowell, identified and mentioned with some frequency in earlier volumes, was a Boston lawyer and a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention.
2. As his 3d wife John Lowell had in 1778 married the former Rebecca Russell, widow of James Tyng (Ferris Greenslet, The Lowells and Their Seven Worlds, Boston, 1946, p. 63).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0183

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Wendell, Oliver
Date: 1779-11-29

Abigail Adams to Oliver Wendell

[salute] Dear Sir

My dear Mr. Adams when he left me recommended Mr. Wendle to me as one of those Friends he had Requested to assist me in his absence.1
My present Application is to request that you would be so good as to inform me at what rate exchange is at present, and whether you would take the trouble of exchangeing 30 or 40 dollors for me within this fortnight or 3 weeks if I should send them to you.
If hard Money has rose in proportion to other articles it ought to be Double what it was a Month ago.
I think Mr. Adams told me that you advised not to exchange more at a time, than present necessity required. I have no objection to this, otherways than being too often troublesome to my Friend.
A few lines left for me at Mr. Smiths will be safely conveyed to me.
Your Benevolent Mind will consider my situation, deprived of the care and assistance of my Nearest Friend, which must plead my excuse for giving you this trouble.

[salute] Be pleased Sir to present my Respectfull Regards to Mrs. Wendle2 from your Humble Servant,

[signed] A Adams
RC (Hugh Upham Clark, Arlington, Va., owner of the Austin H. Clark Collection, prints of which have been deposited in MBCo); addressed: “To The Honble. Oliver Wendle Boston”; endorsed: “Braintree Mrs. Adams Letter & my Answer 1779.”
1. Oliver Wendell (1733–1818), Harvard 1753, Boston merchant, land magnate, selectman, justice of the peace, member of the Constitutional Convention of 1779–1780, and, later, judge of common pleas, member of the Massachusetts House and Senate, and Fellow of Harvard College (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 13:367–374).
2. In 1762 Wendell had married Mary Jackson, whose mother was a Quincy; the Wendells' daughter Sarah was to marry Rev. Abiel Holmes and become the mother of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes (same, p. 367, 373).
{ 242 }