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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0290

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-08-21

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear young Friend

Your favor from Brussells1 was duly recieved, and ought to have been acknowledged before this. By the size of your Packet that came to hand this day, I concluded that it contained a particular description of your Travels, of the Curiosities you had met with &c., but upon opening it I found one line of request, and another (truly laconic) hinting at my neglect in writing. If You had been kind enough to have given me a short sketch of Amsterdam, the tartness of one line in this day's packet would have been much more palatable. However I have not taken it much in dudgeon, because You had a just claim to an answer.
{ 400 }
I have forwarded You a letter2 some days agone from America. It was inclosed with others to your Papa. I wrote your Papa but a day or two ago by Mr. McCreary.3 I hope he will recieve both packets. Possibly they may be at Brussells.
We were very happy to hear of your safe arrival at Amsterdam. You have travelled there at a good time of life, and under the Advantage of an excellent Instructor in your Papa. No doubt you have profited of both. As You are fond of keeping a Journal, be very particular in your description of the capital Towns you pass, of their Curiosities, their manners, Customs, Dress, but more particularly of their Religion and Governments.4 This will be of great Advantage hereafter.—Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.5 I have only time to request You to present my best Respects to your Papa, and Love to your Brother Charles, and to subscribe myself in great haste your affectionate Friend,
[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. J. Thaxter's letter dated August 21st 1780. Answered september the 3d 1780. No. 25”; docketed in JQA 's later hand. ( JQA 's answer has not been found.)
1. Not found.
2. Not identified.
3. Probably Thaxter's letter to JA of 18 Aug. (Adams Papers).
4. After beginning his diary with his voyage to Spain and continuing it during his journey across northern Spain and into France, Nov. 1779–Jan. 1780, JQA had given it up (so far as we know from the surviving MS ) until 25 July 1780, when, in anticipation of his journey to the Low Countries, he resumed his daily entries and kept them up through the end of September. Boyish as these are, they are so detailed as to be very valuable in tracing the Adamses' movements and stops during their first weeks in the Netherlands.
5. He has carried every point who has mingled the useful with the agreeable (Horace).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0291

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I could not omit so favourable an opportunity as the present of writing you a line by Mr. Warren who is upon his travells, and tis not unlikely may take France in his way.1
I know the welfare of your family so essential to your happiness, that I would improve every means of assureing you of it, and of communicating to you the pleasure I have had in receiving every Letter you have written since you first left the harbour of Boston. Mine to you have not been so successfull.
Several packets have been sent to Neptune, tho improperly directed, and I Query whether having found his mistake he has had complasance enough to forward them to you. So that you must not charge to me any failure in point of puntuality or attention, but to the avidity of { 401 } the watery Gods who I really believe have distroyed them—but enough of romance.
You see I am in good Spirits—I can tell you the cause. The Alliance arrived last week and brought me “the Feast of Reason and the flow of Soul.” Assurances too, of the Health of my dear absent Friends. Those only who know by experience what a Seperation is from the tenderest of connextions, can form adequate Ideas of the happiness which even a literary communication affords—

“Heaven first taught Letters for some wretches aid.”

I have written to you and to my dear Sons2 by Capt. Sampson. If Mr. Warren should be the Bearer of this, I need not ask you to love him, his Merrit will ensure him that, and every attention he may stand in need of from one who never suffers the promiseing youth to pass unnoticed by him, more especially one who has a double claim to your Friendship, not only on his own account, but from the long and intimate Friendship which subsists between his worthy parents and the Friend I address—who will be pleased to accept of the tenderest Sentiments of affectionate3 from his
[signed] A. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Paris”; addressed in an unidentified hand: “To His Excellency John Adams Esq: Minister Plenepotentiary Paris”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 23d Augst. 1780.”
1. On 16 Aug. a British cartel ship from St. John's, Newfoundland, bearing American sailors, including some taken in the capture of the Pallas (see above, Winslow Warren to AA , 26 May, note 2), arrived at Boston (Independent Chronicle, 17 Aug.) under a plan devised at St. John's for the exchange of prisoners. Winslow Warren, remaining at St. John's as a hostage until the arrival of the exchanged British seamen, sent word of his good treatment and that the possibility of continuing to Holland by way of England was open to him. His parents in a reply to go by the returning ship offered no objection (articles of agreement, 27 July, MHi:Misc. Bound; Mercy Warren to JA , 15 Nov., Warren-Adams Letters , 2:145–146; to Winslow Warren, 20 Aug., MHi:Mercy Warren Papers). AA , given notice of the opportunity, such as it was, to send a letter to JA did so here, expressing in the first and last paragraphs her uncertainties about Warren's plans.
Word that when free Warren would resume his journey did not reach home for another month. Meanwhile, he was given passage on the sloop-of-war Fairy, which sailed on or about 18 Sept. and reached Dartmouth ten days later, carrying also Henry Laurens (James Warren to W. Warren, 27 Sept.–13 Oct., MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.; Mercy Warren to same, 7 Nov., Jan. 1781, MHi:Mercy Warren Papers; “Narrative of . . . Henry Laurens,” S.C. Hist. Soc., Colls., 1 [1857]: 22–23). Warren's experience in England and on the Continent later is given at p. 359–360, above. If he retained AA 's letter to deliver by hand, it did not reach JA until March 1781 (see AA to JA , 28 May 1781, vol. 4 below).
2. CFA , perplexed by the letter, when publishing it altered silently the date from 1780 to 1778 and substituted “son” for “sons” to accord with JA 's first European mission when only JQA was with him (JA-AA, Familiar Letters , p. 340–341).
3. Thus in MS .