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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 7


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[salute] My dear Aunt

Your obligeing Letter of July th' 20, was duly recieved—those repeated attentions to me deserve my earliest acknowledgments. Grateful indeed to my heart are those sentiments of affection which you so kindly express for me.
Tho in some things I may appear indifferent, yet in this I feel, that I am not. Smith says “that the cheif part of human happiness, consists in the consciousness of being beloved.”1 I believe he says true, the greatest pleasure I ever feel is derived from a consciousness that there are those, who feel a friendship for me and who I have reason to think are interested in my happiness. I am proud that among that number I am allowed to place my Loved my respected Aunt Adams. It shall ever be my study to deserve the continued honour of your Love.
You my dear Madam, are constantly laying me under obligations to yourself. I want words to express my thanks. I will endeavour by my actions to shew that I am not ungrateful.
The fashionable Magazine, is it possible that the Empire of Fashion is so great, that monthly publications issuing its decrees can find sufficient encouragement. When I first read the Preface, I thought it was ment for satire, but when I reflected on the great height to which folly has arrived, I supposed it was sober earnest. You could not have sent a Book that would have been in greater demand. I received it at Haverhill—the news was soon spread—that Miss Cranch had the fashionable magizine. Gentlemen and Ladies, all borrowed it. The dress of the Hair, the make of the Cap, the shape of the Waist, and the cut of the Coat, were examined with as much attention among the Ton of Haverhill, as a new theory of the Earth would be among the Academicions, of Cambridge.
The Treatise upon gardening, we have not had time to read, I think it must be entertaining. When I have read it I suppose I shall wish to have an ornamented Farm, at present our best way is to have a useful one.
Luxery and extravagance are taking hasty strides through our Land, if not soon checked they will prove our ruin. The Court have been adopting some, economical plans, in their last Sessions. The { 409 } Govr. and a number, of the members of both houses have entered into an agreement to discourage Luxery, and the excessive use of foreign articles, and to encourage our own manafactures, as much as is in their power within the circle of their influence.2
At present every thing is in disorder. I hope that the delusion which has spread among the people will be dispersed, before the consequences grow more serious, a war within ourselves is what I most dread. We trust for sucoor in that omnipotent being, who bringeth light out of darkness and good out of evill.
I rejoice with you Madam and with my Uncle, in the addition it must be to your happiness, to see your amiable Daughter so happily united to the Man of her choise, a Man worthy of her tenderest Love. May they long be blessed in each other, and Live to be an example to the world, that the path of rectitude will always lead to happiness.
We shall expect in the next Ship, an account of your tour to Holland, from which we expect great entertainment.

[salute] Adieu my dear Aunt, may all happiness, attend you and yours, is the wish of her who is with every sentiment of respect and esteem, your grateful and affectionate, Neice,

[signed] Lucy C——h

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0157

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-21

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

An unfortunate dislocation of my right wrist has for three months deprived me of the honor of writing to you. I begin now to use my pen a little, but it is in great pain, and I have no other use of my hand. The swelling has remained obstinately the same for two months past, and the joint, tho I beleive well set, does not become more flexible. I am strongly advised to go to some mineral waters at { 410 } Aix in Provence, and I have it in contemplation.1 I was not alarmed at the humor shewn by your countrymen. On the contrary I like to see the people awake and alert. But I received a letter which represented it as more serious than I had thought. Mr Adams however restores my spirits; I believe him and I thank him for it. The good sense of the people will soon lead them back, if they have erred in a moment of surprize.2 My friends write me that they will send my little daughter to me by a Vessel which sails in May for England. I have taken the liberty to tell them that you will be so good as to take her under your wing till I can have notice to send for her, which I shall do express in the moment of my knowing she is arrived. She is about 8. years old, and will be in the care of her nurse, a black woman, to whom she is confided with safety. I knew your goodness too well to scruple the giving this direction before I had asked your permission.3 I beg you to accept assurances of the constant esteem with which I have the honor to be Dear Madam your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jeffersons Letter december 21 1787.”
1. Jefferson hurt his wrist on 18 Sept., and his ability to write was hindered by the injury for several months thereafter. He visited Aixen-Provence during an extended tour of southern France in spring 1787 but did not find the mineral waters helpful (Jefferson, Papers , 10:394; 11:31, 338, 426–427).
2. John Jay wrote to Jefferson about the uprising in Massachusetts on 27 Oct., describing it as “more formidable than some at first apprehended. . . . If Faction should long bear down Law and Government, Tyranny may raise its Head, or the more sober part of the People may even think of a King. In short, my Dr. Sir; we are in a very unpleasant Situation.” By contrast, JA 's letter of 30 Nov. instructed Jefferson, “Dont be allarmed. . . . [A]ll will be well” (same, 10:488–489, 557).
3. Mary (Polly) Jefferson arrived in London on 26 June 1787. The nurse Jefferson had intended to accompany her was unable to make the trip, so she came in the care of Sally Hemings. They remained with the Adamses in London for just over two weeks, after which they departed for Paris (same, 11:501–502, 592).