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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0292

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1780-09-01

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] My dear Madam

From your Hospitable Mansion of Benevolence and Friendship, I reachd my own Habitation, the day I left you, and found my family well, but the Scenes arround me wore a dismal aspect—the dyeing Corn, the Barren pastures and the desolated Gardens threaten us with distress, and Hunger. Not a vine that had modestly and silently crept along the Ground unasspiring of a nearer approach to the Burning God, but had crumbled to dust beneath his scorching Rays.
Ceres witherd Head reclines, Virtumnus is fled, and Pomona is scattering here and there the half Grown fruit e'er she too bids us adieu. To the Father of the rain, and the Mercifull dispencer of the dew Drops, must we lift up our Beleiving hearts, for that releif which he does not refuse to the young Ravens when they cry, nor to the more important works of his Hands, but to oblige them to confess from whence cometh every good and perfect gift.
How happy should I be my dear Madam, Honourd as I am with your Friendship, if I could often join a sister mate, instead of sitting in my own solitary chamber the representitive of the lonely dove. Methinks we might coo, to each other, in accents which might Mitigate pain and illude the Solitary Hour, but when this is deliverd you that Idea will vanish from your mind, yet whilst you felicitate your own happier Lot, lend a pittying Sigh of commisiration to a sufferer.
The young Ladies returnd last wedensday so highly Gratified with their visit that there regret at parting, could be mitigated only by the pleasing recollection of what they had enjoyed.
My Dear Mrs. W[arre]n will not forget her promise of a Letter to be coppied for her Friend. She may rest assured proper care shall be taken of one committed to her—and the young Gentleman, if he visits France shall receive a coppy of it.1
The packet by Mr. Brown received since my return, but no later dates than what I had before. This young Gentleman made me a visit this week. He is a Native of Carolina, a youth about 22 or 3, of easy address, soft Manners and modest Deportment, he bespeaks your good opinion the moment you look upon him, and is sure to have it before he leaves you. His Soul is perhaps softned by the Filial tenderness he feels for parents who he believes prisoners, if nothing worse has befallen them, and from whom he has not heard since the Capture of Charlestown.
{ 403 }
Present my Regards to the young Gentlemen, and Let me hear from your own hand, of your Health and happiness. You must quit Plimouth, you who so well love Society and who always adorn it, must not be secluded,2 the constant enjoyment of it. I should have felicitated myself if you had exchanged Plimouth for Braintree. It would have greatly added to the happiness of your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (MHi: Warren-Adams Collection); docketed in two unidentified hands: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Sepr. 1st 1780 No. 12.”
1. Both of these were evidently didactic essays in epistolary form addressed by Mrs. Warren to one or another of her sons Winslow and Charles. One of them can be identified as a letter dated 24 Dec. 1779, which survives in copied form in the Adams Papers, on the false teachings of Chesterfield in his letters to his natural son; see AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb., above; Mrs. Warren to AA , 21 Dec., vol. 4, below.
2. Thus in MS .

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0293

Author: Neufville, Jean de & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-02

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honourd Lady!

May we begg leave to offer our Respects to your Excellency, and to enclose here the list of some particulars His Excellency favourd us with the honour to procure, and which we hope may prove to satisfaction, or if any thing may be wanting, which never will be owing to the least inattention; we most frendly begg to be guided by your Ladyships instructions for the future; and we will pay the highest regard to Any orders we may ever find ourselfs honourd with.
We are very happy enjoying the presence of so worthy a Professor of the Liberty and the Rights of his Country as all the World must assure Mr. Adams to be, and pay him the highest Regard, so every body must and doth Love Madam your [sir?] John and young Mr. Charles, who under so worthy Parents will grow to be an ornament to their Country as they promiss already for their age, may time soon bring forth that all the worthy in America and Holland through the spirit of Liberty and the ties of humanity make butt one family.
We have the honour to be with the most profound Respect and Unfeignd Regard, Honourd Lady Your Excellencys most Obedient and Most devoted humble servants,
[signed] John de Neufville & Son1
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure missing. This letter was originally sent under cover to Isaac Smith Sr.; see William Smith to AA , 20 Nov., vol. 4, below.
1. Jean (Jan or John) de Neufville (1729–1796) was the head of an Amsterdam mercantile firm that, as the present letter indicates, was conspicu• { 404 } ously friendly to the American cause. In Sept. 1778, acting somewhat vaguely on behalf of the Amsterdam Regency, he had met William Lee at Aix-la-Chapelle and agreed with him on the draft of a commercial treaty with the United States. This got little further in any official way, but the capture at sea by the British of a text among the effects of Henry Laurens the day after the present letter was written not only led to Laurens' imprisonment in the Tower but was made the pretext of England's breaking off relations with the Netherlands in Dec. 1780. Early in 1781, at the height of the Anglo-Dutch war crisis, Jean de Neufville & Son tried with little success to raise a loan for the United States. See the article on the elder de Neufville in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek , 8:1211–1214; Van Winter, Het andeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche Gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, passim; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:444–445, 452–453; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot , p. 378, 399–400; JQA , Diary, 11 Aug. 1780 et seq.