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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1785-08-22

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have received your kind Letter of June 3. and rejoice to hear of the Health and Welfare of our Friends.
The County did themselves Justice, when they put you into the Senate, and the State did itself Honour when it placed Mr. Bowdoin in the Chair. I think you must be happy and prosper under his Administration.
The Massachusetts, wise as it often has been, never Struck a more masterly Stroke, than by their Navigation Act. I hope they will persevere in it, with inflexible Firmness. This is playing a sure Game.1 It will compell all the other States to imitate it. If they do not, the Massachusetts will soon get so much of their carrying Trade as will richly compensate her, for any present Inconvenience. But I hope You will not Stop. Go on. Lay on heavy Duties upon all foreign Luxuries especially British and give ample Bounties to your own Manufactures. You will of course, continue to do all these Things upon the condition to continue in force only untill they Shall be altered by a Treaty of Commerce, or by an Ordinance of Congress.
My oldest son is with you, I hope, the Second is at Colledge and the third in good Health at Haverhill. Mrs. A. and Miss are with me, in Grosvenor Square in the Neighbourhood of Lord North.
We have a very good House, in as good an Air as this fat greasy Metropolis, can afford: But neither the House nor its furniture nor the manner of living in it, are Sufficiently Showy for the Honour and Interest of that Country, which is represented by it. If I ever do any Thing or carry any Point it will not be by imposing upon any Body by the Splendor of my Appearance. An American Minister should be able to keep a Table, to entertain his Countrymen, to return the { 295 } Civilities of his Friends, to entertain People whose Aid is necessary to his political Purposes, and to entertain the foreign Ambassadors: But as the People of America, choose to place their Pride in having their Ambassadors abroad despized, or rather as they choose to be despized themselves, let them have their Choice. It is their Affair. I wish I was out of it.

[salute] Your affectionate Brother

[signed] John Adams
RC (NhHi: Hibbard Coll.).
1. An “x” appears at the beginning of this paragraph, and at the end of this sentence. Cranch may have excerpted this passage to show members of the Massachusetts legislature and other political leaders (see Cranch to JA , 10 Nov., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0094

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-23

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I hope this will find you upon terra firma, tho in vain I searcht the New York papers of july 7th. to find you, since which I have been very anxious. Your passage I hope has been safe tho long and tedious.
I have written to you twice before since you left me1 and I believe you have a steady and faithfull correspondent in your sister, who having substituded you as her correspondent in lieu of her L[ove]r2 hopes to find more punctuality in the return, than it seems she has met with else where. But this between ourselves.
I know you will be anxious to hear how the treaty is like to Succeed. You know the progress of courts, and that during a whole twelvemonth only one has concluded a treaty.3 The propositions are before the m[inistr]y. I have reason to think a conference will be held upon them this week.4 What will be the result time must unfold, the temper and disposition of the people does not look very favourable.
You will hear the fate of the Irish propositions, labourd with so much Zeal here as to keep the Parliament setting untill this month. The Irish however have made short work of them. You will also see the Arrets of his most Christian Majesty5 prohibiting the use of British Manufactories, which has turnd out of employ the english Newspapers say twenty thousand hands already. They are vastly angry with that seditious state of Massachusetts for their late navigation act. Mischief always begins there, they say, but they deceive themselves with the hopes that the states will be divided. Talk of prohibiting any American vessel from comeing here, that is the mercantile threaten, but they look very serious and I dare say the act will operate greatly for our Benifit.
{ 296 }
Pray what do you think is become of that Said Captain Lambe who was sent out 3 months ago, with papers &c. You know upon what buisness. He has not arrived neither here nor in France. Mr. Jefferson and your Father are very anxious. Neither of them have yet had any acknowledgement of a single Letter writen for a whole twelvemonth past, nor has any packet brought them any publick dispatches except the commission to this court.
I do not know what C[ongre]ss mean by such proceedings, or rather by no proceedings. Did you hear any talk of supporting us here. I should be glad they would recall us, or put us in such a situation that we need not, nor our Country be squib'd at for not being able to give a dinner now and then to the Ministers. And it is most certain if we do that we must live very meager all the rest of the Year, and my poor Lads at home suffer for it. I suppose such a system of occonomy will now get into their Heads, that they will rather think of curtailing more. Let them use at Home occonomy where it is a virtue, but do not let them disgrace themselves abroad by narrowness. Mr. Temples Sallery as consul I am informd is equal to what our country allow their ministers. Besides fitting him out, he has taken out 5 different Sorts of carriages with him. Yet of a consul it is not expected that they live in splendour—but enough of this.
Write me very particularly, if you want any thing in my power, let me know, you know how limited they are, so your wants will be in proportion. Remember me to your Brothers and be assured that I am at all times Your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] A A
Your Friend Murry dined here last week. West I believe is in the Country. I have not seen him a long time. Appleton6 was here a few days since. Why does not he go home? Captain Lyde says he shall be here in the winter again. Be sure you write largely by him.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JA : “To Mr John Quincy Adams Boston”; notation by AA : “pr favour Capt Lyde”; endorsed: “Mamma. August 23d. 1785”; docketed: “My Mother. 23. Augt. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Augt. 23. 1785.”
1. 26 June and 11 Aug., both above.
2. Royall Tyler.
3. The completed treaty was that with Prussia; see AA2 to JQA , 4 July, note 33, above.
4. JA had his first conference with William Pitt the following day, when he presented his proposals for settling the issues that remained outstanding between the United States and Great Britain: the British army's occupation of the forts in the Northwest, British trade restrictions, compensation for slaves carried off by the British army during the war, and American debts due to British creditors. But he made no more progress with the prime minister in August than he had in June and July with the foreign secretary, Lord Carmarthen, and these issues remained unresolved until the Jay Treaty of 1794 (see JA to John Jay, 25 Aug., PCC, No. 84, V, f. 605–619, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 2:455–462; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:181–182, note 1).
{ 297 }
5. Louis XVI of France; see AA to JQA , 11 Aug., and note 4, above.
6. Perhaps John Appleton, son of Nathaniel Appleton of Boston, whom JA and JQA had met in Europe in 1780, and whom JQA last recorded seeing in Paris in Jan. 1785 (JQA, Diary , 1:35, and note 2, 52–54, 216).