A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0089

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-05-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

No News yet from America!1 We Yesterday, exchanged Full Powers with Mr. Hartley, and have agreed to meet at my House, every Evening at Six o Clock, untill We Shall have finished.2 This looks as if We were under Weigh, and I hope We shall reach Port. But cannot guess, how Soon.
My Residence in Holland has given me many faithfull Remembrancers, and among the Rest the Scurvy. I walk every day, never less than a League and some days two or three. I am as carefull of my Diet, Rest &c. as possible: but all is not enough. I shall never get rid { 164 } of the Rests of that Fever and the damp Chills and Sour putrid Steams of the Low Countries.
Their Records are full of me, and my Veins are full of their Stagnant Water, they send me Medals too to perpetuate the Remembrance. Three different Medals have been sent me Since I have been in Paris, one in Commemoration of the Resolution of the States of Friesland, in Feb. 1782 to receive me, another of that of the states General of 19th. of April 1782, and a third of the signature of the Treaty 8 Oct. 1782.3
I hope a Voyage home, and a little Repose may restore me to health or at least give me some Relief.
I wonder of what Materials, Congress think I am made? When they found it necessary to recall that honest Steady, persevereing virtuous Patriot and Citizen Mr. Silas Deane, they were anxious to Save his Reputation, and covered up his Faults by a pretence that they wanted to consult with him about their foreign Affairs. When, at the Instigation of French Finesse, they took from me Authorities, in the Execution of which I had gone so far, and which french Finesse wanted taken from me for no other Reason but because it knew I should execute it too faithfully, they never thought of assigning any Reason at all. Stat pro ratione Voluntas.4 And Posterity are left to accuse or suspect me if they can. Thank God they can accuse, nor suspect me of any Thing, but an Integrity of full Proof in all Tryals. But Posterity can think very meanly of those Members of Congress, who voted for those Sordid Resolutions.
1. JA writes this sentence in unusually large characters.
3. These medals are now in the MHi. The second of those mentioned here appears as an illustration in JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:x, and opposite p. 65. All three medals, and two others, are illustrated in Celeste Walker, John Adams & a “signal Tryumph”: The Begining of 200 Years of American-Dutch Friendship, Massachusetts Historical Society, Picturebook, Boston, 1982, illustration 24.
4. Will stands for reason. JA also writes this well-known maxim, adapted from Juvenal (Satire VI, 223), in exceptionally large characters.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0090

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-24

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

Last Tuesday I went to pay a visit to Mr. van Berkel and when I return'd I receiv'd your favours of the 13 and 14th. instants in which you say, you expect not to be here so soon as you wish, on account { 165 } of the Signature of the definitive Treaty. Unless you were present I could not be better plac'd than as I am at present; as Mr. Dumas is so good as to direct and assist me in my Studies. For an amusement I have begun to read Virgil, and Mr. Dumas has advis'd me to begin with the 4th. Eneid. He reads it with me; and explains me every thing which regards the ancient rites; and ceremonies. We commonly read about 100. verses at a time and when we have done I read to Mr. Dumas Dryden's translation1 of the same.

[salute] Madam and Mademoiselle, present their compliments. I am Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J Q. Adams
Please to present my best respects to Messrs. Thaxter and Storer.
1. At some point JQA acquired John Dryden's translation of Virgil's Works in four volumes, London, 1782; it is now in MQA.