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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0068

Author: Williamos, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-27

Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the pleasure of writing to Mr. Adams four or five days after your departure1 to acquaint you of your son's safe arrival at l'Orient, and as I did not know your proper adress, I enclosed my letter to Mr. Clarke at Counsellor Brown's, Chancery Lane, with very particular charge to wait on you immediately on your arrival. Mr. Clarke has not wrote to me since, and by Miss Adams's note2 I am led to think my former letter has miscarried, be kind enough therefore to excuse { 199 } my apparent neglect, a thing, far, very far indeed from my thoughts; I then mentioned that my letter from the Captain and officers of the Packet gave me every hope that your son would meet with every attention and find thereby his passage less Irksome.
I was very happy in seeing Mrs. Hay but should have been much more so if I could have rendered her stay here as agreable as possible. Mr. Carnes3 Joined with me in every endeavour. But large towns are such a bore to the true pleasures of Society that I fear she did not relish Paris much; I was much surprised after parting with her the evening before, that when I called the next morning I was told of her departure; Your mantua maker behaved so very Ill that altho' I went to her, and to Mrs. Barclay's on purpose, and sent my man several times to her, she would not finish your things till many days after Mrs. Hay went away. I am looking every where for a safe opportunity to send them.
The June Packet sails from L'orient. I have sent Miss Adams's letter to a friend at New York4 with particular directions to deliver, or forward it, the next packet, and some merchant vessels are certainly to go in the Course of next month from Havre. I shall sail in the very first, doctor Franklin proposes doing the same if possible;5 we are all very well here but feeling every day more and more the loss of our most valuable Auteuill friends. How does, the Change of places, manners and things agree with them? but with such minds as they possess can they but be happy every where?
Mr. Jefferson has some letters ready many days since, which only wait for a Safe Conveyance. They are not often met with.6
The May packet is not arrived yet, all our american news which appear important are by the way of England.
Can I flatter myself Madam that if my feeble services can be of any use on this or the other side of the Atlantick you will Command them freely.
Nothing could render me more truly happy than opportunities of rendering agreable the unfeigned [respect?] and most sincere regard [ . . . ] which I have the honor to be [perfe]ctly
Madam your most obedient devoted servant
[signed] C: Williamos
My best respect ever truly attend Mr. and Miss Adams; I am very happy to hear Col. Smith is arrived Safe and well.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Bath Hotel Westminster London”; stamped: “IU/30,” and, in a red ink, an illegible word or words; endorsed: “Mr Williamos Letter 27 June.” Some text has been lost where the seal was cut away.
{ 200 }
1. Not found; see AA to Williamos, 1 July, note 1, below.
2. Not found.
3. Burrill Carnes was an American merchant who was living in Lorient in Sept. 1785, and was appointed an American agent at Nantes by consul general Thomas Barclay in Feb. 1786 (Jefferson, Papers , 8:544; 9:303).
4. Probably one of AA2 's letters to JQA , written in May or early June, which have not been found. See AA2 to JQA , 4 July, note 1, below.
5. Franklin's plan to sail directly home from Le Havre was frustrated by a lack of vessels leaving that port for America, and he sailed from England in late July. Williamos did not sail at all. See AA to Williamos, 1 July, note 2; Williamos to AA , 21 July, note 2, both below.
6. Jefferson still retained his letter of 21 June to AA , above (see note 1 to that letter; Jefferson to AA , 7 July, below; and Jefferson to JA , 22 June and 7 July, both Adams Papers, printed in Jefferson, Papers , 8:246, 265).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0069

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1785-06-30

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear Sir

You obligeing favour1 I received by Captain Lyde and thank you for its contents, which assured me of your kind remembrance of me, and your politeness at the same time: in being the first of our American Friends who crost the water to visit us in Stile. Many English Lords and Noblemen have visited us in the same way, but as it is not in our power to return the visit untill we happily reach the American Shore, you will in the mean time accept my thanks in this way. Be assured Dear Sir that I wrote you by my Son2 and that I should have written to you oftner if I had thought I could have entertaind you, and that my omission has been neither oweing to want of Respect or affection.
The magnifying glass is still made use, of by Englishmen in looking at America, and every little commotion there, is represented as a high handed Roit, and it is roundly asserted that their is neither Authority or Government, there. I was in company the other day and heard these observations, but as they were not addrest to me, I did not think myself Authorised to enter into a political dispute.
When the shop tax past here the other day,3 the shops throughout the city were shut up, some hung in black, and the statue of Gorge the 2d put into deep mourning. Upon the shops was written shops to be let, inquire of Mr. Pitt. Upon others no Pitt, no shop tax, damn Pitt. In Several places he was hung in Effigy. In the Evening every body was apprehensive of a Mob, as they threatned very much to assail the House of Commons, the Militia and city Gaurds were all under Arms, and had enough to do to keep the Mobility in order. If such an opposition to Authority had taken place in America, it would { 201 } have been circulated in the highest coulouring as far as British Newspapers could carry it.
The disposition amongst the mercantile part of this Nation is not very favourable to America, and the Refugees are very desperate bitter and venomous, and none more so that I hear of than the former Treasurer of Boston.4 Some of them I believe are wretched enough, but it does not work conviction in them, that they have erred and strayed like lost—not Sheep, but Wolves—for they would devour us yet if they could. Some Merchants say they can have our trade without any treaty, others what is a trade good for with a people who have nothing to give in return? Others that we are not united enough to take any resolutitions which will be generally binding and that Congress has no Authority over the different states.
Time will discover whether this system is to opperate in the Cabinet. The civil and polite reception given to the American Minister and his family, from the Court, does not ensure to America justice in other respects, but so far as forms go; America has been treated in her Representitive with the same attention that is shewn to Ministers from other powers.
If you should have an opportunity to send us a Quintel of good salt fish we should be much obliged to you. It may be addrest to Mr. Rogers. Dr. Tufts will pay for it.
Be so good sir as to present my duty to my Aunt to whom I will write as soon as I get setled in my house to which we shall remove this week in Grovenor-Square. My Love to all my cousins. I visited Mr. Vassels family this week at Clapham,5 they inquired after you, and Miss Hobart particularly desired her regards to you and my Aunt.
My daughter desires her duty and Love may be presented to all her Friends and relatives. Mr. Adams will write as soon as he can get time. Believe me Dear Sir most affectionately Your Neice
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed: “Isaac Smith Esquire Merchant at Boston”; notations on address sheet, in other hands?: “sh.2.16”; and “Hond by Cap J Ingram”; docketed: “Mrs Adams London 1785.”
1. Not found.
2. Of 8 May, above.
3. 25 Geo. 3. c. 30.
4. Harrison Gray.
5. William Vassall, distressed by the disorders of the coming Revolution, but considering himself neutral in the conflict, fled Massachusetts for England in 1775, and died there in 1800. He had apparently been a client of JA 's at some point ( JA to Thomas Jefferson, 3 May 1816, in JA, Works , 10:214–215), but the nature of the case(s) is not known. Vassall had employed several lawyers in the 1750s, when he maintained interminable law suits against several fellow Bostonians. Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 9:349–359.