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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


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Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0295

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By a Vessel of my unkles bound to Bilboa I write you a few lines, and commit them to the care of our Friends Gardoqui to whom I have written for a few small Articles, and desired them to draw upon you { 406 } for pay, but the demand will not amount to more than 20 dollors I think.
Tho I have been so unfortunate as to have my Trunk left in France, and the Alliance arrive safe here without it, to the no small dissapointment of our Friends, yet I know you will be full as much so. You have I know taken as much pains to forward it as you possibly could: to the dissentions on Board the Ship, and to no other cause is the dissapointment oweing. I could wish if it should not be shiped before this reaches you that it may wait, and come in Sampson if he is arrived: if he has, you have the Resolve of Congress which you wrote for and which will render you comfortable, till some other plan can take place. I have not been able to procure the Bills which are due to you from Congress. Shall forward them as soon as I receive them.
All your Letters are come safe to hand, as well as the presents you mention, except that by Mr. Wharton, who waits to come in Jones. I find you can greatly benifit me in this way. The chintz by Mr. Brown was very good and not dear as you Imagined.
This Gentleman spent a day with me, I was much pleased with his modesty and affability. Mr. Lee did me the Honour of keeping the Sabbeth with me. I expect an other visit from him when he returns from Plimouth where he is now gone.1
This is a Great and important day in the political System of this State. Mr. B[owdoi]n has merrit and integrity, all the judicious people will vote for him, but popular Clamour will elect an other,2 who ought to forfeit every vote, by the low mean Arts he has taken to procure them. I could tell you many, if prudence did not restrain me, yet nothing that would surprize you, for you know every Avenu of his vain Heart. Give an extensive cord, and you know the adage.
We have a Melancholy prospect about us. The most severe drought known for many years, has cut of our grass, our corn and our Gardens. Yesterday we had a plentifull rain, and the first since the begining of May. Many person[s] have been obliged to give Hay to their cattle for more than a month, but in the midst of this calimity we have a general time of Health.
No News stiring. General Washington has the best Army that he has had since the commencment of the war, yet tis like to be a very inactive campaign. The arrival of Graves fleet so soon after that of our Allies, put a stop to every measure which had been concerted for the Benifit of these States and at an amazeing expence we are keeping a defensive army.
{ 407 }
Tis true our Enemies have done nothing since the takeing of Charlestown, but we ought to have balanced accounts with them. I shall not write to my dear Sons now on account of the postage. You will remember me to them, and let Mr. D[an]a know that his family are well, Mr. T[haxte]r too.
I wrote you in May, an account of the death of sister A[dam]s.3 If this vessel should not sail immediately will enclose a list of our Great folks.4 I know you will be earnest to hear.—Pray write to me by every opportunity. I shall omit none to you. Your Letters are the cordials which keep my Spirits alive. Ever believe me with the tenderest sentiments of affection and Regard your
[signed] Portia
PS Unkle S[mit]h thinks you neglect him that you did not write him by the Alliance—says he wont write again.
I open my Letter to tell you the votes of this Town. Mr. B[owdoi]n 11, Mr. H[ancoc]k 75 as chief. General W[arre]n 75, Lieut. G[overno]r, only 3 scattering for any other person.5 Modest merrit—coy Nymph—how is she slighted.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “The Honble. John Adams Esq. Ambassador from the United States of America Passy near Paris”; endorsed: “Portia Sept. 3. 1780.”
1. Lee's first visit to AA was apparently on 20 Aug.; see Isaac Smith Sr. to JA , 21 Aug., above. His second was on 6 Sept., for on the 10th he wrote JA : “I left Mrs. Adams, your Children, General and Mrs. Warren in good health four days ago” (Adams Papers).
2. John Hancock; see the addition to this letter dated 4 Sept., below.
3. AA 's letter to JA reporting the death of Mrs. Peter B. Adams was dated not in May but 13 June, q.v. above, together with a note on AA to JA , 15 April, also above.
4. Meaning those who were to be elected next day as governor, lieutenant governor, and members of the Council and Senate.
5. Different figures are given in the Braintree Town Records (p. 514) for the results of the election held on 4 Sept.: “For Governor. Honr. John Hancock, Esqr. 95 Honr. James Bowdoin Esqr. 11 [For] Lt. Governor. Honr. James Warren Esqr. 80 Honr. Joseph Palmer Esqr. 1 Honr. James Bowdoin Esqr. 1 Honr. Samuel Adams Esqr. 1.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0296

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-09-03

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

Where is my Friend Mr. L[ovel]l? Can he be an inhabitant of this world and inattentive to a Lady? Can he suffer Letters repeatedly to reach him and not deign a line in reply? Can he be so apsorbed in the Region of politicks as to have forgotten Social engagements?
Snatch him some friendly Genius from the Region of torpitude, { 408 } bear him hence Benevolence, he is your intimate acquaintance. Hospitality open your doors, his are ever ready to receive you, Friendship and Love embrace a wanderer who is still your own.
Not a line nor even a vagrant paper for six whole weeks. So long have I been accustomed to indulgence, that like the Nobler Sex I claim that as a right, which was first granted me as a favour, and look every post for a line or two at least, and feel myself inti[t]led to a return where I have not remitted a refusal. I have more patiently sufferd under my dissapointment, having been much engaged in writing and receiving Letters from abroad, yet do not feel satisfied with my own portion tho a large one. An Evish disposition prompts me to ask of you any communications from your Letters that may safely be entrusted to Portia.—No advances towards a negotiation have yet taken place. Brittain still persists in her mad career, nor will she exchang her Hostile weapons for the peacefull olive Branch. I had hoped e'er this period that the Tranquil Goddess would have erected her Banners and every sighing Heart rejoiced beneath the Roof of domestick felicity, and even the long absent Mr. L——1 been permitted once more to visit his Native State.
Tomorrow will be a great and important day in the political Systim of this State. There is one Man who it is said will have the votes of the wise and judicious part of the State, but the popular choise will fall where it has been meanly sought and much coveted—

“Then Let me have the higher post

Suppose it but an Inch at most

I have no title to asspire

Yet when you sink I seem the higher.”

Rejoice with me sir on the plentifull rain this day dispenced to the dyeing corn, the Barren pastures and desolated Gardens. So severe a droubth as we have experienced through this Summer has not been felt for many years. Not a vine that had Humbly and modestly crept along the Ground, unasspiring of a nearer approach to the Burning God of Day, but has 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.
I rejoice to hear that our Sister States are not sharers in the same distressing calamity, and hope they will Benevolently feed the Hungry and satisfy the poor with Bread.
This will be handed you by Mr. Brown a young Gentleman who is a Native of Carolina, but last from France. He brought me Letters from Mr. Adams, and a Letter of recommendation in his countanance. { 409 } I was much pleased with his modest and affable deportment, his easy manners and his Good Sense. He wishd for a Letter as he was unacquainted in Philadelphia and I have taken the Liberty to introduce him to you and know you will esteem him according to his merrit, which is all that is requested by your unalterable Friend,
[signed] Portia