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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


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Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0083

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-11

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I went from my own little writing room below stairs just now into your Pappas; where Mr. Storer was writing for him. Col. Smith having set of upon a Tour in order to see the Prussian Review which takes place upon the 20 of this Month,1 Mr. Storer whilst he remains here; has offerd to supply his Place. Upon my going into the room he told me that a vessel would sail for Boston tomorrow, which is the first I knew of the Matter. Lyde is expected to sail in a few days and by him I design to forward Letters to my Friends, but tho as usual I have several partly written none are compleat. I however told Mr. Storer { 261 } that I would take my pen and write you a few lines, just to tell you that we are all well and are now quite settled, that we wait with impatience to hear from you. Mr. Short came here last week from Paris upon Buisness, he sets of tomorrow for the Hague. Mr. Jefferson Col. Humphries Mr. Williamos &c. are all well. Mr. W is waiting as usual for the moveing of the waters.2 If you get the English news papers you will think that the Father of Liars is turnd Printer. Not a paper which has not some venom. I hope the Scripture Benidiction will be fullfilld upon those who are falsly accused and persecuted.3 They however do not often attack us personally, only as the Representitive of America &c. I was not displeased with one paragraph provided it would have a proper effect upon our Country. It was this “the American minister has not yet paid his Way, that is given a diaplomatick dinner to the Ministers, because Congress Paper will not pass here.” If it was expensive living in France, it is much more so in London, but I trust our Country will either consider us, or permit us to return.
The King of France has publishd an Arret prohibiting British Manufactories under severe penalties, in concequence of which 8 thousand Gauze and Muslin looms have stoped working here.4 I will inclose to you two or 3 News papers.
Captain Lyde will take Letters. The contents of some of them, you will be surprizd at, but, at the same time you will approve the wise conduct of the writer who has shewn a firmness of mind and prudence which do her honour. Be Silent! We are all rejoiced because it came of her own accord free and unsolicited from her, and was the result I believe of many Months anxiety as you were witness.5
Remember me to all my Friends your Brothers in particular. I have not time to add an other line. I do not know whether your sister writ[es] by this vessel to you.6 Let me hear from you by every opport[unity.] I have given Mr. Storer a Letter from Mr. Murray for you.7 M[r.] and Mrs. Temple sail next week for New York. Tis near four and I must dress for dinner. Once more adieu. Your sister and I miss you much. We want you to walk and ride with us, but we know and hope you are much more usefully employd. I am going with your sister this afternoon to Hamstead to drink tea with Mrs. Hay, who resides out there. I shall call and take Mrs. Rogers to accompany us. We all went last week to accompany Mr. Short to the Hay Market,8 but who can realish the English after having been accustomed to the French Stage? A Siddons may reconcile me to it, but I believe nothing else will.
{ 262 }
I never know when to leave of, once more adieu and beliee me most tenderly Yours.
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “Mr. John Quincy Adams”; endorsed: “Mamma Augt. 11th. 1785”; docketed: “My Mother 11. Augt. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Augt. 11. 1785.” Some loss of text where the seal was torn away.
1. See AA to William Stephens Smith, 13 Aug., below.
2. See Charles Williamos to AA , 21 July, note 2, above.
3. Matthew 5:10–12.
4. Louis XVI issued this edict in council on 10 July to pressure the British ministry to conclude a treaty of commerce, as provided for in the art. 18 of the Anglo-French Treaty of Versailles of 1783. The two countries did conclude a new commercial treaty in 1786. JA to John Jay, 10 Aug., PCC, No. 84, V, f. 601–604, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:428–430; Cambridge Modern Hist. , 8:284–286.
5. See AA2 to Royall Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.] ; AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug.; and AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., all below.
6. AA2 sent JQA her journal letter of 4 July, above, by this ship; see her last dated entry, of 11 Aug., in that letter.
7. William Vans Murray to JQA , 2 Aug. (Adams Papers).
8. The Haymarket Theatre, sometimes called “The Little Theatre in the Haymarket,” was built on the east side of Haymarket Street, between Pall Mall and Coventry Street, in 1721 (Wheatley, London Past and Present ).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0084

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1785-08-11

Abigail Adams 2d to Royall Tyler

[salute] Sir

Herewith you receive your letters and miniature with my desire that you would return mine to my Uncle Cranch, and my hopes that you are well satisfied with the affair as is
[signed] A. A.
MS not found. Printed from ( Grandmother Tyler's Book ), p. 76. No other versions of the letter survive, nor is there any evidence to show whether the text is complete.
1. The date is suggested by AA to JQA , 11 Aug., above. See also AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., and notes 3–7, and AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0085

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-08-12

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

I would not omit so good an opportunity as presents by Mr. Short,1 of continuing the correspondence which you have done me the honour to Say you consider as settled.
Your obliging favours of june 21 and july 7th were punctually deliverd, and afforded me much pleasure.
Were you to come to this Country, as I sincerely hope you will, for the sake of your American Friends2 who would rejoice to see you; as a Husbandman you would be delighted with the rich verdure of the field, and the high cultivation of the Lands. In the Manufactory of { 263 } many articles, the Country can boast a superiority over their Galician Neighbours. But when you come to consider the Man, and the social affections; ease, civility, and politeness of Manners, this people suffer by the comparison. They are more contracted and narrow in their sentiments notwithstanding their boasted liberality and will not allow their Neighbours half the Merrit, they really deserve. They affect to despise the French, and to hate the Americans, of the latter they are very liberal in their proofs. So great is their pride that they cannot endure to view us as independant, and they fear our growing greatness.
The late Arrets of his most Christian Majesty3 have given the allarm here. They term them Calamitous, and say they will essentially affect their trade. If Ireland refuses the propositions4 with steadiness, and firmness, England may be led to think more justly of America. If a person was to indulge the feelings of a moment, the infamous falshoods, which are daily retailed here against America, would prompt one to curse and quit them, but a statesman would be ill qualified for his station, if he feared the sarcasm of the sarcastic, the envy of the envious, the insults of the insolent or the malice of the dissapointed, or sufferd private resentment to influence his publick Conduct. You will not I dare say envy a situation thus circumstanced, where success is very dubious, and surrounded with so many difficulties. It is rather mortifying too, that Congress appear so inattentive to the situation of their Ministers. Mr. A has not received any letters of any concequence since the arrival of Col. Smith, nor any answers to the lengthy Letters he has written. Mr. Short informs us that you are in the same situation. What can have become of the said Mr. Lamb mentiond by Mr. Jay? Is he gone with all his papers directly to the Barbary Powers? I suspect it, but Mr. A will not think so.5
I fear Mr. Short will not have a very favourable opinion of England. Unfortunately Col. Smith set off, upon a tour a few days after his arrival, and Mr. Short having but few acquaintance will not find himself highly gratified; we have accompanied him once to the Theater, but after having been accustomed to those of France, one can have little realish for the cold, heavy action, and uncouth appearence of the English stage.6 This would be considerd as treason of a very black dye, but I speak as an American. I know not how a Siddons may reconcile me to English action, but as yet I have seen nothing that equals Parissian ease, and grace. I should like to visit France once a year during my residence in Europe.
The English papers asscribe the late disturbances in the provinces { 264 } of France, to the example set by the Rebellious Americans, as well as every failure of their own Merchants and Manufact[urer]s7 to the Ruinous American trade, tho prehaps two thirds of them never had any intercourse with America. O! for the energy of an absolute government, aya and for the power too. How many Letters de cachet have these abusive Beings deserved?8
The cask of wine you mentiond in your Letter, Mr. Adams request you to take if agreeable to you. He has written to Mr. Garvey with respect to that which is under his care.9 As to the House rent which you mentiond, neither you or Mr. Adams can do yourselves justice unless you charge it, and Mr. A is fully determined to do it. There is an other heavy expence which I think he ought to Charge this Year.10 These are the Court taxes. Being considerd as minister in Holland, the servants applied for their perquisites which was allowd them by Mr. Lotter, tho realy without Mr. Adams's knowledge or direction. At Versailles he went through the same ceremony, and when he came to this Court all the servants and attendants from St. James came very methodically with their Books, upon which both the Names of the Ministers and the sums given were Specified. Upon the New Years day this is again to be repeated: and the sum this year will amount to not less than a hundred pounds, which will be thought very extravagant I suppose; but how could it be avoided? Our Countrymen have no Idea of the expences of their Ministers, nor of the private applications which they are subject to, many of which cannot be dispenced with. All the prudence and oeconomy I have been able to exercise in the year past, has not enabled me to bring the year about; without falling behind hand. I have no objection to returning to America, but I have many, against living here at a greater expence than what our allowence is: because we have 3 children in America to Educate, whose expences must be, and have been borne by our private income which for 12 years past has been diminishing by Mr. Adams's continued application to publick buisness: these are considerations Sir which some times distress me. As I know you are a fellow sufferer you will excuse my mentioning them to you.
You were so kind sir as to tell me you would execute any little commission for me, and I now take the Liberty11 of requesting you to let Petit12 go to my Paris shoemaker and direct him to make me four pair of silk shoes, 2 pr sattin and two pr fall silk; I send by Mr. Short the money for them. I am not curious about the colour, only that they be fashonable.13 I cannot get any made here to suit me, at least I have faild in several attempts. Col. Smith proposes visiting { 265 } Paris before he returns, and will be so good as to take Charge of them for me. An other article or two I have to add, a Glass for the middle of the table. I forget the French name for it. I think they are usually in 3 peices. If you will be so good as to procure it for me and have it put into a small Box well pack'd and addrest to Mr. Adams; Col. Smith will also have the goodness to take care of it for me; and to pay you for it: I do not know the cost, as we had one at Auteuil, which belongd to the House. I have to add four Godships,14 these are so saleable in Paris that I think they are to be had for Six livres a peice, but should they be double that price it cannot be thought much of for deitys. Apollo I hold in the first rank as the Patron of Musick Poetry and the Sciencies. Hercules is the next in my favour on account of the numerous exploits and enterprizing Spirit. If he is not to be had, I will take Mercury as he is said to be the inventer of Letters, and God of eloquence. I have no aversion to Cupid, but as I mean to import them through the Hands of a Young Gentleman, one should be cautious of arming persons with powers: for the use of which they cannot be answerable; there cannot however be any objection to his accompanying Madam Minerva and Diana, Ladies whose company and example are much wanted in this city. If you have any command to execute here you will do <me> a favour by honouring with them Your obliged Humble Servant
[signed] A. Adams
RC (DLC: C. W. F. Dumas Papers). Dft (Adams Papers); the Dft is incomplete
1. Because William Short traveled to The Hague before returning to Paris, Jefferson did not receive this letter until 23 Sept. (Jefferson to AA , 25 Sept., below).
2. The draft has “Friend.”
3. See AA to JQA , 11 Aug., note 4, above.
4. See AA2 to JQA , 4 July, and note 31, above.
5. On 11 March, John Jay had entrusted four commissions, directing JA , Franklin, and Jefferson to negotiate treaties with Algiers, Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis, to Capt. John Lamb, a mariner and merchant from Norwich, Conn. Jay referred to these documents in his letter to the three commissioners of the same date, and suggested that they appoint Lamb, who had offered his services for this task in February, to negotiate with the Barbary powers, under their direction (Jefferson, Papers , 8:19–22). Jay also briefly mentioned Lamb in his letter of 13 April to JA ( Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:480–483). All these documents are in the Adams Papers. On John Lamb and negotiations with the Barbary states, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., below; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:182, note 2; and Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 8:72–73, 250–251.
6. The draft adds: “Indeed most of the Ammusments of this Metropolis are closed, for the Season.”
7. This word, barely legible, appears to have been corrected from “Manufactories.” The draft has “Manufactory.”
8. Jefferson had given ironic praise to the energy of absolute government in his letters of 21 June and 7 July, above.
9. See Jefferson to AA , 21 June, and note 7, above; and JA to Anthony Garvey, 16 July ( LbC , Adams Papers).
10. In her draft, AA adds here: “I wish you would give me your opinion of it.” Also in the draft, AA calls these “Court taxes,” “Etraines,” as she had earlier in writing of them; see AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 Jan., and enclosure, above.
11. The draft has “liberty to send by Mr. Short a Louis requesting . . .”
12. Adrian Petit had served the Adamses at { 266 } Auteuil, and after their departure for London in May, he helped Jefferson handle the disposal of the wine JA had bought. At some point between May and September he entered Jefferson's service. See Jefferson, Papers .
13. The draft adds: “they are all for me, and the whole four pair will not cost me more than one pair here.” In the draft, AA does not say anything about her failure to find shoes that suited her in London.
14. The draft ends here, at the bottom of a page; the remainder is missing. Jefferson discusses the “four Godships” in his reply of 25 Sept., below.