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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0048

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-02-10

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

And why may I not write you, Madam, tho' Mr. Thaxter should not go to America? Is the restriction absolute? But I have already addressed you with several letters, as well from Holland, as since our arrival here.1 They cannot be recalled. Thus there is a beginning, and to continue the Correspondence, I must improve the present favorable moment. I venture then, by supposed permission to write you a line by this opportunity—not, however, because Mr. Thaxter has, in his letter, said I should, but because the offer of your Correspondence is too inviting for me to resist it. If you consent, Madam, the bargain is made, and this may be stiled No. 1.
In yours to Mr. Thaxter, you have been pleased to say some clever2 things of me. I can only reply in the common phrase of this Country, “mon pardon, Madam, vous etes fort polie.”
I am already much indebted to Mr. Adams, for many kindnesses and attentions to me. He has again flattered me, with Confidence in a certain affair, mentioned in your last letters.3 He will return you his Sentiments thereupon, and me it does not become to speak, further, than to assure Amelia of my best wishes for every happiness and pleasure the married state can afford. 'Tis a state of all others I respect the most, being firmly persuaded 'tis there we find the most rational enjoyment and complete satisfaction. My friend here says no. We often dispute the point. However I shall not give it up, so { 91 } long as so many good folks are on my side. He wants a little of your good tutoring, Madam.
I have several times entertained hopes of seeing you, in Europe, as Mr. Adams, you will find, has written for you. But hardly did he give his advice, before he again changed it. Such are the uncertainties of a political life on this side the water. From some Circumstances, I think you will see him in America, in the course of the Spring or Summer. He often wishes to be at “his hut at the foot of Penns-hill, mending roads, or surveying North-Common.” He says, he shall return with pleasure to his plow. A civil Cincinnatus! Return, Madam, as he will, he will abundantly merit the gratitude and respect of his Countrymen.
I have this day received a letter from Mr. John Bowring, of Exeter, in Devonshire, G. B. who married Mr. Christopher Cranch's daughter.4 He rejoices, as do all his family, at Mr. R. Cranch's recovery, and desires me to forward their kind remembrance and congratulations to him on the occasion. Mr. B. is an Overseer of an extensive Woolen Manufactory at Exeter, and wishes to form Connections with some of our commercial Houses. If Mr. Cranch could assist him, he would be much benefited and obliged. He is a man exceedingly well respected in Exeter and has extensive acquaintances. I am indebted to him and all his family, by their friendship and civilities to me. Excuse my troubling you with business. Was it not entirely among Friends and Neighbors, I should not have done it.
It seems you did not expect Mr. A's success in Holland. I assure you, Madam, Riot, faction and vengeance has been opposed to him, yet he has braved it all, honorably. And he is now pleased, to use his own words, to see “the flag of the United-States securely planted and waving in triumph at the Hague.”5 A most critical Circumstance in our Politics, for to no one thing more than this, are we indebted for the Peace at the present day.
Let me request you to present my best respects to your family, Neighbors, and all our friends, near you, and to be assured yourself of the respect and esteem of, Madam, Yrs:
[signed] Eugenio
NB. I trust Portia will excuse the signature of Eugenio, since both are in mask.
1. Only two are known to the editors, that of 17 Oct. 1782, and that of 8 Nov. 1782, written as a postscript to JA to AA , 8 Nov.; both are above.
2. “Clever” in the sense of favorable, nice ( OED ). AA 's letter of 26 Oct. 1782 to Thaxter is above.
3. Royall Tyler's courtship of AA2 , dis• { 92 } cussed in AA to JA , 23 and 30 Dec. 1782 both above.
4. The relationship of this Christopher Cranch to Richard Cranch has not been determined by the editors. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:207–208.
5. Passages nearly identical to this appear in JA to James Warren, 6 Sept. 1782 (JA, Works , 9:513), and in JA to Francis Dana, 17 Sept. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:732). In both, JA makes clear that his triumph was over Britain's ambassador Sir Joseph Yorke and “British pride.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0049

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-02-11

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Did I feel myself conscious of any inclination to suspend a Correspondence that has given pleasure I should feel a little Awkward in the Renewal.2 But as I stand acquited to my own Heart of the least distance or indifference where the warm glow of friendship subsists I Readily snatch up the pen, and Even Rejoice that the Dreary storm, the incumbered Road, and the severe season has given me an opportunity to testify my illacrity to Embrace your proposal.3
And though the pace of Nature is so universally chilled, that Thought may be stiffned thereby And the Ideas Run slow, yet the last which will die in my Bosom are those social Feelings which only Deserve the Name of Genuine Friendship. Martyred Word! Hackneyed, Mangled: prostituted Name! But I Beleive the Next Revolution that makes her Blush, it will become unfashionable to acknowledge her Existence.
But as Language with some yet means more than a Compliment, I imagine you will be Really Gratifyed when in Reply to your Wishes I tell you my late letters gave me that kind of satisfaction which None but the Maternal Heart can feel when Addressed by a son long absent, amiable and affectionate and in a situation Eligiable to himself.4
That you my Dear Madam May have the completion of your wishes in the Company of Those you hold most dear but a thousand Motives prompt me to hope it May be on the American shore.
Come to Milton and let me tell you some of them—as well as the Reason why I break off thus Abruptly.
RC (Adams Papers); filmed at Feb. 1783 [1783 or 1784] , Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 360 362 .
1. References in AA to Mercy Otis Warren, [ca. 12 Feb.] , below, place this letter just before CA visited the Warrens on 11 February.
2. The last letter known to the editors that was exchanged between the two women was AA 's of 5 March 1781 (vol. 4:86–88).
3. How AA made her proposal to renew their correspondence is not known to the editors.
4. Winslow Warren was traveling in Europe during this period; see vol. 3:359–360, note 2.
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