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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0187

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-06-05

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I have the pleasure to inform you of my safely being lodged in our Haverhill Dwelling, last Friday night, and found all in good Health. Billy was sadly dissappointed in not finding his Sister.1 “When Mamma will Aunt Cranch bring little dear Sister home?” The Box of turtles you sent him, though greatly pleased with them, would hardly make up for the loss of her.
Alas! my Sister this will be a sad week to my Braintree Friends. My Spirit feels the pressure. Whatever you may think, after you have collected all your phylosophy, and placed it as a mighty rampart about your Heart, one affectionate look from our dear Sisters speaking Eyes, will fix the Fear of separation, and in spite of all your efforts leave you overwhelmed and lost in Grief.
It is too tender, even for me to reflect upon.
I must think of the pleasure it will give to her Friend and Son to clasp their Dearest connections once more in their Arms, and how happy I shall be to see them return all together, blesed again in the sweets of domestic Life, and in each others Society.
I hope Betsy will be a good Girl, and give you as little trouble as possible. Kiss her, for her pappa and me.

[salute] My Love awaits you all, ever yours affectionately,

[signed] E Shaw
I received sister Adams Letter she mentioned by the post.2
I wish if Sister Adams is not gone, you would inform her that I shall take it as a great favour, if she could without too much trouble { 338 } send me by Cousin Billy Smith a pair of black sattin Shoes, and black lace enough to go round a Cloack. I will give her credit for it, if she will send by him the Cost.
I send a Box with a Bonnet and a white Gown, Cousin Betsy knows how she wears it. In haste ever Yours
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Mrs. Shaw—31. June 5. 1784. to 1792. 36 letters.”
1. William Smith Shaw, age six, missed his sister, Elizabeth Quincy Shaw, age four.
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0188

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-06-06

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Last night I received yours of the 1. with the Letter from your Mother to you,1 by which it appears so uncertain when She will arrive or embark, that if you can persuade Mr. Smith to come over here with the Ladies when they arrive, I would not have you wait for them.
Make a Visit to Mr. Whitefoord,2 and ask the favour of him in my name to procure you a Place in the Gallery of the House of Commons, to hear the Debates.
You Say nothing of our Books at Stockdales; have you shipped them? And by whom? If not do this Business as soon as possible. I am impatient to collect together here, all the little Things which belong to me, that I too may be in a Condition to return home, upon Occasion. I expect soon what we left at Paris. I am amazed that the Opportunity by Calahan has been neglected, and that because Letters were not received.3 How could Letters be expected from me when I had reason to expect every Moment, their Arrival in England?
My best Respects to Mr. Laurens Mr. Chase and Mr. Gorham when you see them, and to all other Acquaintances.
If you can get a few Opportunities in the House of Commons, I would not have you wait for any Thing else except shipping the Books. Indeed I dont know but you might as well bring them with you to Helvoot, you might send them to Harwich by the Machine4 I suppose. I want you here, as a Secretary, as a Companion and as a Pupill. Leave a Letter for Your Mamma and Sister, with Mr. Puller or Mr. Copeley,5 that if they should arrive they may know you have been over to meet them, and that I beg them to come here with Mr. Smith as soon as possible. I have now no Expectation of their Arrival before the month of August or latter End of July, perhaps not before the Fall. Happy Mr. Jay! Happy Mr. Laurens! in their Prospects of { 339 } Seeing home. I wish I had been wise enough, to have persisted in my Plan of going home too. But the Resolution of Congress of the 1. May 1783,6 and the desire of doing Some little service in the Execution of it if I could, deceived me. What will now be the Consequence I know not. It has put me to sea, in an Ocean of Uncertainties, public and private. The Return of Mr. Laurens and Mr. Jay, will make still further alterations probably in the Intentions of Congress. I have nothing to do but wait, here untill I know. Come to me, and help me, for I must remain here now untill the Ladies arrive, and I hope untill I embark for Boston.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers). endorsed: “Mr. Adams. June 6. 1784”; docketed, also by JQA : “My Father. 6. June 1784.”
1. See JQA to JA , 1 June, note 1, above.
2. Caleb Whitefoord had been secretary to the British peace commissioner Richard Oswald in 1783 ( DNB ).
3. JA is reacting to the opening paragraph of AA 's letter of 12 April, above; see also JQA to JA , 18 May, note 1, above.
4. That is, by stage or mail coach ( OED ).
5. Richard or Charles Puller, JA 's London bankers (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:172); the painter John Singleton Copley, whom JA had met, for the first time since the Revolution, in London in Nov. 1783 (same, 3:150).
6. Naming JA , Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay as ministers to negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain.