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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0018

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-01-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received two day ago yours of Jan’ry 6th with the Pamphlet, and last Evening our Son brought me yours of the 9th. When he comes, his first request is, to read all the Letters which I have received since his last visit. I usually grant him this indulgence. the compliment of “Learning force of Reasoning Style” &c barely compensated for the censure which follow’d. he felt it a little hard to have it upon both sides, for I had given him the week before, a similar hint respecting Barnevelt. I reminded him of Swift (I believe it was), who read all his peices to his Housekeeper, and if they passd with her, he ventured to offer them to the publick. in his last Number he corrected himself, but as for Columbus, I own it was not two high seasond for me, considering the intemperance, and contemptable Arrogance of the Man; whose conduct he Reprobated; in Rank of Life he was more than his equal; in Age no great difference, in Learning in Talants, in Wisdom, in Integrity: no man of common judgment would dispute the palm;
This post will bring you the speach of the Leiut Govenour “they call it an old woman’s speach” but I would deny my sex, if any old woman in the Country would have made a speach so little to the purpose. not one word Relating to the Buisness of the Common Wealth or the affairs of the State but a long Farago, to prove what every child knows, that all men have equal Natural Rights. his Head seems to be turnd with some vague Ideas about Liberty and equality. whether he had an Idea that his want of Property might be an objection in the minds of some against voting him into the Chair— and this was addrest to his fellow citizens to remove that obstical. I am perfectly at a loss to fathom his views. then he must lug in France to shew his attachment to that part of the Nation who have so wisely leveld all distinction. the Speach has tincture of the Jacobine Spirit, and is a convinceing proof that he is wholy unfit for the { 44 } chair.1 The Attorney General has withdrawn his Name from the Jacobine Society, having met once with them; and dissaproveing; as he says their views. he desires that all his Friends would publickly anounce this.2 our General court it is said, dissaprove this new Erected Tribunal. mr S. might think his popularity endangerd. Such is the Hypocricy of the Man, that I could believe him influenced by any motive, rather than a disgust from proper principals. Americanus and Barnevelt met the other Evening at a wedding visit, to a Brother Lawyer.3 the company was numerous. A. enterd and in the most cordial manner caught B——s hand. how do you Brother, said he shaking it. B. Bowd and replied very well. Well Brother, When do you open the Theater? to which B. answerd, by saying what do you propose to do with the Law mr Attorney General? Why I mean to go when it opens, & take with me the L. Govenour Deacon Newal Parson Eackly and some other good folks;4 and as you are state Attorney you must take care of that, to which B. in good humour replied that he hoped the Attorney General would not oblige the state Attorney to prosecute him. one of the company whisperingly say’d is not this curious to see Americanus & Barnevelt, so perfectly good humourd? it seems that mr Attorney General excused himself from attending the court of sessions, and requested the court to appoint some person in his Room, & they appointed their former one.
Mr Jeffersons designd resignation tho long talkd of, was not fully credited untill it took place. the reason given for it by the French partizans, is that the Nature of his office obliged him to lend his Name to measures which militated against his well known principals; and give a sanction to Sentiments which his Heart disapproved. if this is true he did wisely to withdraw. they say that he will now appear as the supporter of Genet, and they consider him as all their own, but I have always reluctantly believed ill of him, and do not credit these reports. yet I know mr Jefferson to be Deficient in the only Sure and certain security, which binds man to Man & renders him responsible to his Maker.
As I am not in the Secrets of the Cabinet, I can only judge from what comes to light, and there is sufficient visible to make me very anxious for my Country. it was certainly the intention of the National convention to embroil us with all their Enemies, and they chose a fit instrument for the purpose. I think from Genets instructions that they were quite ignorant of our Government and constitution. The President has a most difficult and Arduous Task. May he { 45 } have that wisdom which is from above, which is profitable both for to direct and Counsel.
I pray in return for the many kind inquiries Mrs Washington is pleasd to honour me with, that you would present her my affectionate Regard and best wishes for her Health and happiness— Miss Louissa present her Respectfull Duty to Mrs Washington & her Love to miss Custos. Remember me, to mrs otis & miss Harriet, tell mrs otis she must write to me and tell me all she knows about our old Friends and acquaintance. I hope You have calld to see mrs Powel in her affliction.5 to mrs Dalton and Family remember me affectionatly. tell miss Polly I saw mr Cranch from Haverhill a few days since, that mr White was well, and I sent him word that I approved his taste, and thought him quite right not to permit Philadelphia to Rob us of so amiable a young Lady. my Love to son Thomas. we are in our Family well tho a slow Nervious fever prevails in some instances here & in Several other places— the weather changes so suddenly from one extreem to an other that it will generate sickness. it is a very poor winter for Buisness. we have not had snow enough to use a Sled at all & the Ground frequently so Rough as to render wheals impractacable.—
I presume you must have received the acknowledgment you mention before this time.
Let Brisler know that his wife was well yesterday.—
Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Adams Jan. 18. / Ansd 24. 1794.”
1. Lt. Gov. Samuel Adams gave his speech to the Mass. General Court on 17 January. He rehearsed the history of the governance of the commonwealth during and since the Revolution, noting that “Liberty and Equality stand in a conspicious light” in the state constitution. He also emphasized that “government is instituted for the common good; not for the profit, honor or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. And further, all the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, having such qualifications, as shall be established by their Constitution, have an equal right to elect or be elected for public employments.” Adams concluded with a lengthy defense of the importance of education (Boston Columbian Centinel, 18 Jan.).
2. James Sullivan was originally a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Society, sometimes called the Jacobin Club, but resigned from it, disagreeing with some of its agenda and deeming his public position inconsistent with membership in an ostensibly secret society (Thomas C. Amory, Life of James Sullivan, 2 vols., Boston, 1859, 1:275).
3. On 16 Jan., JQA visited George Blake, a lawyer and later U.S. district attorney for Massachusetts, who had married Rachel Baty on 14 Jan. (D/JQA/22, 16 Jan., APM Reel 25; CFA, Diary, 1:317; Massachusetts Mercury, 17 Jan.).
4. For Deacon Timothy Newell, see vol. 1:264; for Rev. Joseph Eckley, see vol. 7:162.
5. For the death of Samuel Powel, Elizabeth Willing Powel’s husband, see vol. 9:456.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0019

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I Send you, at present the Negotiations with Mr Hammond as I sent you before those with Mr Genet.1 I wish I could send you “The Example of France a Warning to Britain” a Pamphlet of Arthur Young the Secretary of Sir John Sinclairs Agricultural Society: but it is borrowed and must be returned. He is more Burkish than Burke I think.2
Congress will do little this session I believe and perhaps the less the better.
Americanus has received just such a Flagellation as he has deserved these twenty Years. His Blunders, his Ignorance his Dulness, his Duplicity and Insincerity has been detected and exposed. And if The Blockhead had always been treated with the Same Freedom & Spirit he would have been held in total Contempt before this day and would have been quite harmless. I hope however that Barneveld will not make himself cheap by meddling much with Such Fools and Knaves.
Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus Vindice nodus.3
Thomas has Sent to his Brother, two hundred dollars for you, in a Check on some bank.
We have an open Winter, much too mild to clear the Atmosphere of all its Vapours. It is Said that a dry Fall is commonly followed by an open Winter. When the large Tracts and great Lakes in the North West are not wet and full of Water in the Fall before Winter setts in, there is seldom must snow or great Cold in the Course of it. I presume the Ice is not sufficient any more than the Snow for our Wall Operations but our Wood may be brought home for the whole summer I should Supppose. There is a quantity of manure thrown out of the Ditches of the Coves which I should wish carted or Sledded into the yard if it can be conveniently: but I would not plan too much Work. Duty & Love
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Jan’ry / 18 1794.”
1. The enclosure has not been found but was likely Authentic Copies of the Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, Esq., Secretary of State to the United States of America, and George Hammond, Esq., Minister Plenipotentiary of Great-Britain, on the Non-Execution of Existing Treaties, the Delivering the Frontier Posts, and on the Propriety of a Commercial Intercourse between Great-Britain and the United States, 2 vols., Phila., 1794.
2. Arthur Young, The Example of France, a { 47 } Warning to Britain, London, 1793. Sir John Sinclair (1754–1835) served as the first president of Britain’s board of agriculture from 1793 to 1798 and again from 1806 to 1813. Young (1741–1820), the secretary of the board, defended in his pamphlet his earlier support for the French Revolution based on its initial goals of limited monarchy and defense of natural rights, and he justified his current opposition to the Revolution given its shift to demands for a full republic (DNB).
3. “And let no god intervene, unless a knot come worthy of such a deliverer” (Horace, Ars Poetica, transl. H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, 1947, lines 191–192).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0020

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We go Slowly forward: So Slowly as to produce no Results, which is a better course than to run rapidly in a Career of Mischief.
I go to Senate every day, read the News papers before I go and the Public Papers afterwards, see a few Friends once a Week, go to Church on Sundays; write now and then a Line to you and to Nabby: and oftener to Charles than to his Brothers to See if I can fix his Attention and excite his Ambition: in which design I flatter myself I shall have Success.
John may pursue his Studies and Practice with Confidence as well as Patience. His Talents, his Virtues his Studies and his Writings are not unknown, nor will they go without their Recompence, if Trouble is a Recompence for Trouble. If the People neglect him the Government will not: if the Government neglect him the People will not, at least very long.
Thomas is reading Clarendon, in order to form a Judgment of the Duration of the French Republick; and all other such Democratical Republicks which may arise in the great Maritime and commercial, Avaricious and corrupted Nations of Europe.
Cheesman I hear is returned to Boston— Our Trunk had better be taken out. Thomas’s Books and Boots should be Sent here: but the rest may be carried to Quincy. I want nothing and Brisler says having done without his Things so long, he had rather do without them now till We return.
The Senators and Reps. Say that We must Sit here till May— Some hope to be up in April. I cannot flatter myself to be at home till the first of May. If the Yellow Fever Should make its Appearance, We Shall Seperate earlier, but the general Opinion and universal hope is that it will not return at all: at least till after the extream Heats of summer.
Col. Smith Spent about a fortnight here and is now returned. He { 48 } is tormented by his Ambition but has taken very unsagacious measures to remove his Pains. I know not what he is in Pursuit of.
I am affectionately yours
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry / 21 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0021

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am weary of this Scæne of Dulness. We have done nothing and Shall do nothing this Session, which ought to be done, unless We Should appropriate a Sufficient Sum of Money, for treating with the Algerines. We are afraid to go to War, though our Inclinations and Dispositions are Strong enough to join the French Republicans. It is happy that our Fears are a Check to our Resentments: and our Understandings are better than our Hearts.
One Day Spent at home would afford me more inward Delight and Comfort than a Week or a Winter in this Place.
We have frequent Rumours and Allarms about the yellow fever: but when they come to be traced to their Sources they have hitherto proved to be false. There is one at present in Circulation which is not quite cleared up, and the Weather is extreamly warm, muggy foggy and unfavourable for the Season.
The River is open and some Say is never frozen over after this time. Others Say there have been Instances in the last Week in January.
Thomas visits me of Evenings and We converse concerning Hampden and Faulkland, Charles and Oliver Essex and Rupert of whose Characters and Conduct he reads every day in Lord Clarendon.1 I fear he makes too many Visits in Families where there are young Ladies. Time is Spent and nothing learn’d. Pardon me,! Disciple of Woolstoncroft! I never relished Conversations with Ladies accepting with one at a time and alone rather than in Company. I liked not to loose my time.
I begin now to think All time lost, that is not employed in Farming. innocent, healthy gay, elegant Amusement! enchanting Employment! how my Imagination roves over my rocky Mountains and through my brushy Meadows!
yours &c
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry / 22. 1794.”
{ 49 }
1. John Hampden (1594–1643), a lawyer, represented various constituencies in Parliament and became a supporter of Oliver Cromwell. During the Civil War, Hampden helped to organize a regiment but was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chalgrove Field and died shortly thereafter. Lucius Cary, 2d Viscount Falkland (1610?–1643), an M.P. for Newport during the Long Parliament, served as secretary of state for King Charles I. A royalist, he was killed at the Battle of Newbury. Robert Devereux, 3d Earl of Essex (1591–1646), was general of the Parliamentary Army. He had limited success militarily and resigned because of political differences with Cromwell shortly before his death in 1646. Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine and Duke of Bavaria (1619–1682), was the son of Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, and the nephew of Charles I, from whom he received a military commission in 1642. He was eventually named commander-in-chief of the royalist forces. The Parliament forced him out of the country following a series of military defeats in 1646, though he served again in British government after the Restoration. All of these men are discussed in Lord Clarendon’s The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0022

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-22

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

your favor of the 6th: Instt: has been received—1 The expressions of tendeness & Maternal affection which it contains on my behalf, deserve a grateful return. It is true I commenced my career at the Bar, as the Prosecutor of a Female— The cause was of such a nature, that there was no necessity for personal or general remarks in the manner you allude to;
I took occasion to remark to the Jury on the evil tendency of Disorderly houses—that they were a common nuisance in the Neighborhood where they existed, & a general evil, by the effects of them upon the Manners & Morals of the Citizens. That the Evil was rapidly increasing, and the frequency of complaints upon this subject was the best evidence that they called for suppression— The testimony was insufficient to convince the Jury that the person Indicted really did keep a house of the above description and therefore they found a verdict of Not Guilty. As to business—I except a long time will intervene, in which the crhristian virtue of Patience will need to be exercised— But I shall not despond so long as I can think, that I shall find employment some time or other—
I suppose my Father entertains you with a dish of Politicks every week; & I can scarce hope to afford any thing new upon the subject; Congress has been occupied eight days, upon the Discriminating Resolutions of Mr: Madison—2 There has been a display of Commercial & Political information, not often exhibited in Legislative Bodies— Mr: Dexter has done himself much honor by a very able, & Eloquent Speech; & seems to have answered the expectations formed of him— It is not possible that the Printers can do justice to { 50 } the Speech he delivered—3 I wish something would induce him to furnish the public a correct Copy. There is not much probability that these Resolutions will be carried— Much more has been said against, than for them, but there is no saying with certainty what will be the result from this circumstance. Many think them ill timed & unseasonable—rather than improper; that they should rather be the conclusion of unsuccessful negotiations, than the commencement of a System, having for its object—favorable terms of trade. They are thought to wear the appearance of coersion, rather than to speak the language of persuasion; and tho’ some proud spirits may think it derogatory to that independence, the boast & glory of the American character, to ask that as a favor which we ought to demand as a right, yet I think it will be found more beneficial to sacrifice a portion of this false delicacy, till we are in a situation to assert our true dignity & importance, not in words only, but in ability & action. Most of the Gentle men who have taken a share in the debate of these Resolutions, have taken occasion, by way of digression, to pass encomiums upon France and violent Philipic’s upon England. Regu[la]tions of Commerce have been made the in[stru]ment, by which the long harbored accrimo[ny of] National prejudice has been called i[. . . .] Since it is so fashionable to make profess[ion of] […]cal creed, I will give you mine among th[. . . .] I belive then, that the interests of our own Co[untry] should be the end and aim of all legislative regulations; that we ought to consider the relative situation of all other Nations to ours, no further than as an intimacy with them may prove advantageous or prejudicial— and let their Government be of what form it will— our intercourse should be most familiar with that Nation from whom we derive most benefit. National Gratitude is a virtue, plausible in theory, but it never can be practised but in aid of National interest.
Your affectionate son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
PS— We flattered ourselves for a day or two with a report by Mr Otis Junr that Cheesman had returned to Boston; but advices have been since received from his consignors that he has not been heared of.4 Mr Deblois thinks The Vessel has gone to the west Indies, as Cheesman intended to sell her and was the chief owner of the Ca[rgo.] His discretionary powers were therefore greater than Captains usually have Your friends desire to be remembered to you.
[signed] TBA—5
{ 51 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs A Adams”; endorsed: “Thomas Adams / Janry 26 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. On 3 Jan. James Madison proposed seven resolutions based on Thomas Jefferson’s Dec. 1793 proposals for commercial reciprocity. The intent was to punish foreign powers—particularly Britain—for discriminatory trade rules. Madison hoped to limit American dependence on British trade and perhaps assist the French, but opponents of the resolutions believed these measures could embroil the United States in the European war. Despite extensive debate, the resolutions never came to a vote in the House (Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 15:147–150, 167–171).
3. Samuel Dexter (1761–1816), Harvard 1781, represented Massachusetts in Congress from 1793 to 1795 and again as a senator from 1799 to 1800. He later served as secretary of war, then secretary of the treasury. On 23 Jan., Dexter spoke in the House of Representatives on Madison’s resolutions, arguing that Britain treated the United States no differently than other countries in its trade policies, and “he could not see what advantage America was to reap by restricting the navigation and manufactures of one foreign nation, merely to favor those of another.” Dexter also believed that forcing Americans to buy more expensive non-British goods amounted to a tax on the American people (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 272–274).
4. Samuel Allyne Otis Jr. (1768–1814) had been a plantation owner in Haiti until forced out by the revolution there. He eventually resettled in Newburyport (John J. Waters Jr., The Otis Family in Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1968, p. 207).
5. The postscript was written vertically in the margin between the second and third pages of the manuscript.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0023

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-01-24

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

We have had four days and Nights of Rain an old fashiond rain. if there had been upon the Ground a Body of snow, the flood of Rain, would have carried away all our Mills and Bridges it has laid our fenses in the meddow below the House flat the water is a foot above the bridge at mr Blacks, and over the Top of his wall which he built last Summer. till this Rain we have not had water to Grind with in Town, & the wells were very low. I expect a Fe’bry. winter.
The news of last Evening is that the duke of yorks Army with himself are captured and Toulon retaken with every ship, this in a hand Bill from Genet, who seems out of Breath for Joy, as he represents the whole city of Philadelphia he says the News arrived by a vessel from France which was sent there by the President, “and that Congress could not stay in their sitting”1
if I thought such an event would accelerate an Honorable Peace in Europe and enable France to Govern themselves, I could most sincerely unite in acclamations and congratulation’s but such is the state of wild Frenzy which possesses that devoted Nation, that they { 52 } will instanly invade England if in their power, possess themselves of Spain, & over turn every Throne, which they have ability to assault. Brissot and 14 others have follow’d the Queen in quick succession. Houchard we are told is also Goullitened,2 if it was not treating a subject so melancholy, with too much levity; one might advise any future general, whom the Convention may be disposed to invest with the Chief command, to send them such an answer, as it is said Harry the 8th of England received from a Foreign Lady to whom in the latter part of his Reign, he signified that it was his pleasure to marry her. to which she replied, [“]I am highly sensible of the honor your Majesty intends me, and if I had more Heads than one, should be proud of the Alliance, but as I have not, I must beg leave to decline the connexion”3
I hope tomorrows post will bring us more particulars, than Genets hasty hand Bill. I am some times almost tempted to wish that I was as ignorant of the Affairs of my Country, as those who are busied in a Round of dissipation. I should at least be free from the constant anxiety and solicitude which at present occupies all my thoughts, if by it, I could render any Service to my country, I should receive some compensation. I want to hear every day from you. I want to sit down and converse with you. every evening, I sit here alone and Brood over probabilities and conjectures. The Democratick Societys might more properly be termd Genetian. the resolves publishd in yesterdays paper of that society in Philadelphia, are rather more assuming than their Boston Brethren.4 they are not yet sufficiently powerfull to carry their measures into effect. Swift says that [“]Man is so much of the Nature of a sheep, that whoever is bold enough to give the first great Leap over the Heads of those about him, tho he be the worst of the flock, shall be quickly followd by the rest, besides when Parties are once formd, the Stragglers look so ridiculous and become so insignificant, that they have no other way but to run into the herd, which at least will hide and protect them, and where to be much considerd requires only to be very voilent.”5 from these causes I dare say do the Numbers in these Societyes increase, for the People are happy are contented Satisfyed with the Government and those who administer it. all those who wish to disturb it, will be found like Jarvis Austin Morten when weighd in the balance, wanting—wanting office wanting property or wanting morals—
{ 53 }
Thus do I run on, merely for the sake of saying something to you, which may perhaps be as much to the purpose, as somethings which you hear in the assembly over which you preside, and if it should not, why then I can relinquish my right to a terms so long hackned that I am almost tempted never to claim it again, except it is to assure
You that my Heart bears an equal degree of affection and tenderness towards you with that expressd by your own, for your
[signed] A Adams
Mrs Brisler was well this evening
Love to son Thomas—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 24. / ansd Feb. 4. 1794.”
1. The Boston American Apollo, 23 Jan., reprinted an express from Edmond Genet to the French consul at New York exulting over an apparent French victory: “The Duke of York is taken, with his whole army; Toulon is re-taken, with every ship in the harbour. All this, my dear fellow-citizen, has been communicated to the Congress, not officially, but as certain: The Congress could not stay in their sitting—the whole people in Philadelphia are in the greatest joy; and compliments and salutations are coming to me from every part. … Let our friends know this news—and let us cry out together, Vive la Republique!”
Genet’s information was only partially correct. Frederick AugustusPrince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827), King George III’s second son, led the British portion of the combined armies against France. While the British Army was eventually pushed back from Belgium later in 1794, the French never captured the duke or his soldiers. The French Army successfully broke the siege of Toulon in mid-Dec. 1793, with Napoleon Bonaparte playing a decisive role in his first significant military victory. And the U.S. Congress adjourned an hour early on 14 Jan. 1794, “owing to the sensation which the receipt of an account of the recapture of Toulon and capture of the Duke of York and his army, produced” (DNB; Bosher, French Rev., p. 199–200, 203; Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:352; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 15 Jan.).
2. Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville was executed on 31 Oct. 1793 and Gen. Jean Nicolas Houchard (b. 1740) on 15 Nov. (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxvii, 204; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
3. The quotation is attributed to Christiana of Denmark, Duchess of Milan (1522–1590), in Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England, 4th edn., 5 vols., London, 1786, 1:113–114.
4. At a 9 Jan. 1794 meeting of the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania, its members passed a series of fourteen resolves outlining an extensive agenda including the protection of the right of free association, defense of France against all of its enemies, promotion of the Franco-American alliance, support for French representatives and their activities within the United States, and opposition to British impressment of American sailors, among other issues. By contrast, the Massachusetts Constitutional Society, which met on 13 Jan. in Boston, published a more general declaration in support of the French Revolution and “the cause of Liberty” (Boston Independent Chronicle, 16, 23 Jan.).
5. Jonathan Swift, “A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome,” in The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., ed. John Nichols, 24 vols., N.Y., 1812, 2:322.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0024

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-01-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The weather from an unhealthy warmth has changed to an insufferable cold. I had little expectation of getting my Letters to night, but a market Man whom I requested to call upon our son, was faithfull to his promise, and brought me yours of the 12 and 14th.1 I also received a letter from an other hand so late as the 17th2 but not a Word of the important foreign intelligence, which so greatly agitated Congress, and created such a Paroxysm of joy throughout all Philadelphia—put Genet out of Breath, & sent his Hand Bill Gasping to Boston. I have not this days paper, neither, so that I am not able to learn what confirmation it contains of the News, and I do not very readily give credit to such big stories.
I thank you for your Pamphlets, just received.3 I have not been able to look into them, as I took my pen to write to you this evening that I might be early enough for the Mondays post. Barnevelt closed after defending Columbus and detecting Americanus in many grose falshoods, who appeard quite beat of his ground. I never discoverd any improper vanity or exultation in Barnevelt. he felt himself upon strong ground as he had some of the most approved and Ancient writers for his Authoritys and he did not chuse to be Ridiculed whedeld or falsified out of them he maintaind & supported them I think with dignity, discovering however a little too much contempt for his opponent, a little Family Pride, on the Fathers side I mean. if I may be allowd to say so I thought if Americanus was the person supposed, his Age intitled him to a respecctfull language, especially as he appeard to be Humbled and feel his inferiority in the Strength of Arguments of his opponent, and it was upon this head that I wrote my mind to Barnevelt, who instantly stood corrected, “envy will merrit as its shade persue” I remarked to our son when he mentiond to me the circumstance you allude to, that you had all your days experienced a Similar Treatment, and that he must prepare his mind to bear it fortifying it with justice with candour, with integrity and with independance, for the only safe and durable policy is that which is founded in justice and Truth.
I received the Bills and shall use them with as much oeconomy as possible. I have been to day to visit our Parent who is unwell, more so than I have known her since my return here. she took a great { 55 } cold and is distrest with a cough. I do not consider her as dangerous at present, but her advanced Age leads one to be allarmd at any attack. from a principal of duty and affection I shall be solicitious to render her every possible service and attention. Pope says the Ruling passion is strong in death4 hers, has been an anxious solicitude for the welfare of her Family; and in the midst of a coughing fit, to day, she stopt, to inquire if you had heard of your Trunk.
Your Mother is not worse to day tho I cannot say she is better. I would not have renderd you uneasy by mentioning to you her illness, but at her age the candle is soon extinguishd, burnt down time. the dr says she has not much fever, and approves of all I had done for her. I could not however rest easy without his approbation and advise tho I know but little can be done for a person so far advanced. if there is any particular direction you would wish to give Should her date of Life be closed by this sickness, you will inform me. I should be desirious of complying with every request, and I shall not fail of writing to you by the next post.
I am now, and at all times and places, most Sincerely Your affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 26. / ansd Feb. 4. 1794.”
1. On 12 Jan. JA wrote to AA, “Knowing your Taste for political Speculations I Send you a couple of Pamphlets for your Amusement.” One of the pamphlets was probably John Taylor’s An Enquiry into the Principles and Tendency of Certain Public Measures, Phila., 1794, Evans, No. 27782, which discusses the Bank of the United States. JA said of the work, “There is too much foundation for some of his observations: But although he has Told some Truth he has not told the whole Truth, and he has told Something that is not Truth. One Bank of the United States, with its Branches Strictly limited in its operations would be Useful: But the State Legislatures have multiplied Banks to such a Degree that one knows not how far the Evil has already gone nor where it will Stop” (Adams Papers).
2. See George Cabot to AA, 17 Jan., above.
3. Not found, but see note 1, above, and AA to JA, 2 Feb., below.
4. Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle I, line 263.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0025

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have just now recd your favour of the 12th. The Mail from the Eastward has been unusually delayed by bad Roads I suppose, or Obstructions to the Passage of the Rivers.
{ 56 }
Your Letter is a feast to me—am happy to learn you have so good a Neighbour.
It is not worth while for Barneveld to continue long to altercate with Such a loose head as Americanus. Your simelitude of the Eagle and snake is very apposite.
You have in the Papers all that passes here. The New Senators are not all of them quite so good as the old ones. The Funding system the Bank and all publick Credit is Struck at: but without Success. The Spirit of Party is very subtle although very violent. But I trust will be defeated. The Democratical societies which it is said are to correspond with each other have a Tendency to carry Party Spirit to its hight and to produce more shases Rebellions. It is Melancholly that every Thing in France as well as America should conspire so perfectly to demonstrate over again all my Books My Books revealed to them seven Years ago all that has happened since. Yet they do no good.
Judge Peters and his Lady present their Respects to you and desire me to incloose a Receipt to cure the Ague.
I drank Tea last Evening with Dr Rush. He seems worn and weakened by his great Exertions and fatigues and sickness altogether: but is still agreable & chearful. He enquired after your health and sends his respects &c. He had an Aweful summer of the last.1
I sent you 200 dollars. have you recd it.? We have had two days of cold Weather and it now snows so fast that I hope We shall have a close February and March.
The Police will not cleanse the Streets of this City and I fear they will repent of it next summer.
Dr Green thinks the Plague from the Levant was brought in the Marseilles last Year.2
Thomas is well and all the rest. I fear too that Cheesman is lost but will still hope for him.
I am afraid I shall not get home till June. Not that We need sit so long: but We will.
I conjecture the Votes will generally run for Mr Adams Mr Gerry and Mr Dana and that two of the three will be chosen. I wish the old Fellow was a little more national: but he cannot do much harm and will not last long. Master Cleverly used to say thirty Years ago “I pitty Mr Sam Adams for he was born a Rebel.”3 I hope he will not die one.
I am most cordially yours
{ 57 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Jan’ry 26th 1794.”
1. Dr. Benjamin Rush had spent much of the previous summer and fall nursing patients with yellow fever. He himself became sick with the disease three times, and his sister Rebecca Rush Stamper and three apprentices, as well as scores of patients, all died from it (Rush, Letters, 2:626, 645, 662, 672, 690, 711). For more on Rush’s activities during the epidemic, see his letters, especially those to his wife, Julia, between Aug. and Nov. 1793, printed in Rush, Letters, 2:637–745.
2. Yellow fever has no connection to the Levant. The disease actually originated in West Africa and is transmitted by mosquitoes. It was transported to Europe and the Americas through trade and was brought to Philadelphia in 1793 by infected refugees from St. Domingue (Molly Caldwell Crosby, The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History, N.Y., 2006, p. 7–10; Mary Ellen Snodgrass, World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease from Prehistory to the Era of SARS, Jefferson, N.C., 2003, p. 140–142). The French privateer Marseilles (or Marseillaise) made a number of captures in the West Indies before sailing into U.S. harbors in early September (Salem Gazette, 10 Sept.).
3. Joseph Cleverly of Braintree was JA’s Schoolmaster; see JA, D&A, 3:257; vol. 1:235.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0026

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1794-01-26

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

I hasten within two hours after the receipt of your Letter,1 which came to my hands while at my Father’s lodgings, to commerce an Answer—tho’ I must frankly own, without the smallest idea of the arrangement of the matter which crouds itself upon my mind in the perusal of your favor— I wish to communicate my whole soul to a friend, of all others, most deserving of the confidence— But how I shall begin, or where find a fit point for pausing after I have entered upon the task, must be left to the same kind of casualty, which I fear will be found too intimately interwoven with anticipated joys & delightful reveries whenever they are indulged. I could be angry with you for having so long forborne the communication, now received— And yet I am unhappy in my knowledge, & fain would wish it had slept for ever in silence—for I know not what to say, think, or do. Such was the conflict, (if sacred writ be true) that agitated the human breast, when first the fatal apple plucked from the Tree of knowledge, met the lip of Eve— Excuse the greatness of the example adduced for illustration;—the mixture of sacred with profane. Humannature from this first period, bears the stamp of frailty. The iron rules of Society allows less indulgence to our weakness—Than the laws of God to our vices. In one case, a single fatal error draws down damnation on the offenders head, without the hope of a mediator; in the other, repentance, penitent & sincere will “work out salvation.” I believe neither you or myself expected such a begining, to this—what shall I call it?
{ 58 }
The introduction shall stand God-Mother, and pronounce its baptismal ceremony; I christen it then, by the amorous name of Love Song. As you have accidentally been made the Father Confessor, between me and another, in an affair perhaps of all others the most delicate— I shall withhold none of my thoughts, and will endeavor to explain such parts of my conduct, as may have given occasion to a result of this nature.
If I mistake not, you once had an “Eclairecissement” of this kind while you resided in Boston, with Miss F——2 it is rather hard that you should have to fight in the wars of Cupid, not only your own, but the Battles of your friends— I feel much obliged by your prowess, and the feats of General-ship so ably displayed; certain I am, that I never could have managed my own cause with half the dexterity & cleverness, & so much to the mutual satisfaction, (as I hope) of the parties concerned. Accept therefore my thanks, and now the relation.
The Letter which contained the expressions (too strong I confess, if esteem & friendship alone had guided the pen,) and which I wished might rather be communicated by the ear, than the Eye, to the object that occasioned them—was written but the day previous to my intended departure for Philada.3 You knew not the real cause perhaps of my sudden resolution to return; and thought not of the true reason of my studied avoidance of a visit, to which your pressing invitation, and my strong inclination were such powerful inducements— You see my conduct explained by those very lines;— another weeks delay would have left me no excuse for declining your request— Had I complied—I felt the consequence—I might have commited that unpardonable offence to which I observed before the laws of Society allow no indulgence. You have painted the consequences, which you say haunt your dreams and have illustrated by an example already realized Happy then is he, that foresees & shuns the rock— I have practised that inestimable virtue—self renunciation—longer than you immagine—but I never have repented when the struggle ceased. The rules of Society are doubtless wise—but they produce an eternal conflict between the discordant passions of man. Prudence is a virtue little known in savage life; an unbridled gratification of Passion is its substitute— You will not think I hope that I prefer the latter— No, I take Society as I find it, and exert my reason, against my will. The immortal Shake-spear has not left this trait of human nature unconsidered— His words are these—
“If the ballance of our lives had not one Scale of reason, to poise { 59 } another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures, would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions. But we have reason, to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.”4 &ca.
The note’s of confession and subsequent explanation which passed between you & Miss H, are to me a fresh evidence that my partiality was not misplaced The confession itself so flattering that I cannot take it in the full latitude which the just rules of interpretation might admit. I perceive by your answer, appeared to you rather too frank & undisguised. In cases of this kind it is at least doubtful, whether a “third eye should ever be witness;” if there can be such an instance, this is it. I have not another friend on Earth to whom this business could have been communicated without causing me great anxiety—with you it is a secret still; and instead of exciting unfavorable sentiments of either party, must increase your esteem for one, & confirm it towards the other.
You will never think that my German Constitution can be worked up to the pitch of Romantic extravagance, which must necessarily have contributed largely to the completion of my wishes, if the event alluded to before had taken place. I am not one of those who brave impossibilities— I hardly suffer myself to think of a thing, until I know it prudently practicable. Sometimes however I have been surprised when off my guard, and the contest to regain my post is allways arduous & painful. The footing on which this affair, (it is a novel term to be applied to a transaction in which I am a party) now rests, is the best I could look for— If I dared I would swear to her, that the “Friend of my younger days” should never be forgotten, whatever might become of the favorite—but you have commanded me to silence, & I know the command however irksome must be obeyed. I wear about me a constant memento of this friend— it is a Broach; you may have seen it— “Dark in itself & indigent, but rich in borrowed lustre from an higher Sphere.”5 But I have done—I am sure your patience will be tried with this, I will not say uninteresting, but at least unsatisfactory explanation.6
Adieu
I think you have recd: my letter of nearly the same date with yours, before this—7 write me soon—
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); endorsed: “T. B. A. Ansd. Feb. 22d. 1794.”
1. Not found but probably dated 18 Jan.; see TBA to William Cranch, 4 Jan., descriptive note, above.
2. William Cranch also served as an { 60 } advisor and confidant to JQA regarding his relationship with Mary Frazier; see vol. 9:41, 43–44.
3. Not found. TBA visited Quincy from mid-July to early Aug. 1793 (vol. 9:440, 443, 510).
4. Shakespeare, Othello, Act I, scene iii, lines 330–336.
5. Edward Young, The Complaint; or, Night Thoughts, Night III, lines 425–426.
6. Miss H was probably Ann Harrod (1774–1845) of Haverhill, designated as AHA in The Adams Papers, whom TBA would eventually marry in 1805. They likely first met when TBA boarded with John and Elizabeth Smith Shaw from 1783 to 1786. Many years later, ABA wrote to her then-fiancé CFA, TBA’s nephew, on 26 July 1827: “Yesterday Charles I was surprised with a visit from your uncle Judge Adams [TBA], he was very pleasant, and although he would not dine with us, he sat a long time. and among other things, Charles he told us he was in love twenty one years, he might almost say engaged at eleven years old. I thought it was more than I ever heard of before, notwithstanding I have been told of many romantick affairs enough to frighten one. It shows at least a great degree of patience, as during most of this time he did not often see the ‘lady of his love’” (Adams Papers).
7. Both not found; see note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0027

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-01-31

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My deares Friend

We have had a severe Snowstorm but attended with such a voilent wind that half the Ground is bare, whilst the other is almost impassible Banks; I hear nothing from Town this week. even the post has not come, but I have good domestick intelligence for you, which is that this day I think our Parent better, and I am much encouraged she says with one of her smiles, tell my son that I am here pestering yet, and that I have the best daughter in the whole world. I am obliged to do the whole message or be undutyfull.
we are all waiting with impatience to learn the purport of the last news from Frane. it must be of concequence to Electrify congress in such a manner that they could not keep their sittings
I have written only a few lines—least I should not be able to get my Letters in town soon enough for the post, on monday Captain Beals is kind enough to call this evening and let me know that he is going to town tomorrow, and would take Letters for / your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The / vice President of the / united states / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 31 Ansd / Feb. 10. 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0028

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-02

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last Evening received your kind Letters of Jan’ry 18, 21 & 22d accompanied with the Negotiation’s I have read the two pamphlets { 61 } you sent me before. if the American pamphlet is the production of the person to whom report asscribes it, I think very little honour is due to his Head, and none to his Heart. I am sorry he is calld to fill so important an office, as the one to which he is lately appointed.1 his Ideas are many of them derived from the Gambling table and his allusions from a Brothel which he coarsly distributes without respect to his readers.2 he might not imagine that his subject would draw the attention of a Female reader yet he who respects himself would have been more delicate, if the Ideas had not been too Familiar to him, and his uncloathd Negroes had blackned his mind. I cannot give full credit to his representations respecting the Banks and funding system, nor can I asscribe such dreadfull plots to those who have the management of them as this modern Argus sees. that multiplied Banks are productive of many of those evil concequences which he enumerates I both see and feel. that many persons are making fortunes from them I believe, that they are an indirect tax upon the comunity I fully credit, but his proposed remedy would be worse than the disease. his attempt at wit and his affected ridicule upon the balance of power, proves his grose ignorance of a subject, upon which his Ideas, are all bewilderd, and incoherent. it is plain however that this pamphlet is the continuation of the system adopted last winter & Breaths the same spirit with Giles & his veterans.3 the Letter addrest to mr Pitt, is well written, and contains matter of weighty concequence, and serious consideration. the writer accounts in the most rational Manner for that Spirit of Frenzy & Madness which continues to Swallow up reason, reflection and all the social affections and manly virtues, in the French Nation.4 Shakspear has well described these scenes too applicable to the present.

“The gates of Mercy are all shut up;

And the fleshd soldier, rough and hard of Heart.

In liberty of Bloody-hand, doth range

With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass

The fresh fair virgins, and the flowering Infants

Fathers are taken by their Silver Beards

And their most reverend heads dashd to the walls

or spitted upon pikes, whilst their enraged wives

With their loud howls, do break the clouds

What rein can hold licentious wickedness

When down the Hill he holds his fierce career”5

{ 62 }
The warning to Great Britain I have not read. our son brought it up one Saturday Evening but not having read it himself and being obliged to return it on Monday prevented my reading it. I wish it might be a sufficient warning to us to continue our Neutrality unimpared.
The dull and gloomy weather I perceive had influenced your spirits, and the politicks of the day had made you sick. you wanted the repose of your Family and the Bosom of your Friend. I know how it was by your Letter Pupil of woolsoncroft confess the Truth, and own that when you are sick of the Ambition the intrigues the duplicity and the Treachery of the aspiring part of your own sex, it is a comfort and a consolation to retire to the simplicity the Gentleness and tenderness of the Female Character. those qualities, says a candid writer are more benificial to the humane race than the prudence of all its individuals, and when conducted with good Sense, approach to perfection.6
You can do much service to your sons by your Letters, and advise. you will not teach them what to think, but how to think, and they will then know how to act. I am glad you have read Barnevelt, and do not think him too roughly handled. his Age only intitled him to any respect. he evidently felt himself in the back ground, and sunk out of sight, but Secretly from the dark shoots a poisond Arrow.
I shall attend to your wishes with respect to every thing which can be done. the winter has been unfavourable for buisness. the pond is hard enough frozen, if we had but sufficient snow to cover those parts of the Ground which are bare. the wood we get when practacable, but I have made an important discovery viz that an old Man is not a young one. Belcher however is in many respects preferable but cannot be so active as when young7 he is not devoted to the Rum bottle. I informd you that I had received the Bills, and have dischargd the accounts of Phipps Savil & bought an other load of Hay—paid to mrs Brisler ten Dollors which she had occasion for, which you may mention to him.
I have been to visit our Parent who is low and weak I do not however see any imediate danger— I hope the Phylidelphians will keep a viligent look out, and if the dreaded fever should break out—remove the inhabitants. the Rain of three days which I mentiond to you was warm & relaxing to an allarming degree. it affected me so much that I was several days sick, and all the servants were debilitated in one way or other. it brought on your Mothers illness and in many instances in Town a Lung fever. mrs Field now lies sick with it, mrs { 63 } Brislers Mother. Your Letters was the first intelligence I had of the return of Cheeseman. I shall make inquiry into the Matter.
adieu my Dearest Friend and be / ever assured of the affectionate Regard / of your
[signed] A Adams
I received a letter last Evening for mrs Brisler which I sent to her she was finely to day the Boy is stout & strong8
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 2 / 1792.”
1. John Taylor of Caroline had been rumored to be the new attorney general; see AA to JA, 12 Jan., and note 4, above.
2. Taylor’s pamphlet An Enquiry into the Principles and Tendency of Certain Public Measures makes repeated references to both gambling and prostitution. For instance, in one section on the potential tyranny of the rich, Taylor opines, “A whore will administer provocatives to lust, by the rule of her own insatiable appetite, and not the ability of her paramour; and when his strength and health are exhausted, will desert him with contempt. Did labour intend to plant itself under the whip of an avaricious, insatiable, and luxurious aristocracy?” Likewise, he compares the proposed banking system to a gambling establishment that can never lose: “The table bets with its gamblers upon every revolution 100 to 102 1/2, so that in forty revolutions, the adventurers bet two to one. Yet a chance for winning exists. But in that respect the comparison fails. The bank is perpetually betting 100 to 106, the wager is always drawn, and the bank receives the six in every hundred, by way of forfeit” (Phila., 1794, p. 8, 30–31, Evans, No. 27782).
3. For William Branch Giles and his resolutions in opposition to Alexander Hamilton’s funding plans, see vol. 9:385, note 2.
4. Jasper Wilson, A Letter, Commercial and Political, Addressed to the Rt. Honble. William Pitt: In Which the Real Interests of Britain, in the Present Crisis Are Considered, and Some Observations Are Offered on the General State of Europe, London, 1793. Jasper Wilson was a pseudonym for Dr. James Currie, who sought to persuade William Pitt not to go to war with France (DNB).
5. Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, scene iii, lines 10–14, 22–23, 36–40. AA transposes several lines and misquotes slightly lines 36–40: “Your fathers taken by the silver beards, / And their most reverend heads dash’d to the walls; / Your naked infants spitted upon pikes, / Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus’d / Do break the clouds.”
6. “The prudence of the men, may be balanced by the simplicity or gentleness of the women; and I was even about to say more than balanced, for, in reality, simplicity or gentleness, is more beneficial to the human race, than the prudence of all its individuals; for nobody has ever described the golden age as composed of prudent, but of candid men” (Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro, “A Defence or Vindication of the Women,” Essays, or Discourses, Selected from the Works of Feyjoo, transl. John Brett, 4 vols., London, 1780, 2:206).
7. Moses Belcher Jr., an Adams tenant, was at this time nearly seventy years old (Sprague, Braintree Families).
8. The Brieslers’ third child and first son, John, was born on 30 Jan. at the John Quincy Adams Birthplace (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0029

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1794-02-03

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Mrs. Smith,

I have not written to you since I received yours of January 5th.1 I go from home but very little, yet I do not find my time hang heavy upon my hands. You know that I have no aversion to join in the cheerful circle, or mix in the world, when opportunity offers. I think { 64 } it tends to rub off those austerities which age is apt to contract, and reminds us, as Goldsmith says, “that we once were young.”2 Whilst our presence is easy to youth, it will tend to guide and direct them.

“Be to their faults a little blind,

Be to their virtues ever kind,

And fix the padlock on the mind.”3

To-morrow our theatre is to open. Every precaution has been taken to prevent such unpleasant scenes as you represent are introduced upon yours. I hope the managers will be enabled to govern the mobility, or the whole design of the entertainment will be thwarted.4
Since I wrote you last, a renewal of the horrid tragedies has been acted in France, and the Queen is no more.

“Set is her star of life;—the pouring storm

Turns its black deluge from that aching head;

The fiends of murder quit that bloodless form,

And the last animating hope is fled.

Blest is the hour of peace, though cursed the hand

Which snaps the thread of life’s disastrous loom;

Thrice blest the great, invincible command,

That deals the solace of the slumbering tomb.”5

Not content with loading her with ignominy, whilst living, they blacken her memory by ascribing to her the vilest crimes. Would to Heaven that the destroying angel might put up his sword, and say, “It is enough;” that he would bid hatred, madness, and murder cease.

“Peace o’er the world her olive branch extend,

And white-robed Innocence from Heaven descend.”6

I wish, most ardently, that every arm extended against that unhappy country might be withdrawn, and they left to themselves, to form whatever constitution they choose; and whether it is republican or monarchical is not of any consequence to us, provided it is a regular government of some form or other, which may secure the faith of treaties, and due subordination to the laws, whilst so many governments are tottering to the foundations. Even in one of the freest and happiest in the world, restless spirits will aim at disturbing it. They cry “A lion! a lion!” when no real dangers exist, but from { 65 } their own halloo, which in time may raise other ferocious beasts of prey.
I hope to hear from you soon. I wrote to you by Dr. Appleton.7 Your grandmother has been very sick, and is still in so poor a way that I have very little expectation of her ever going abroad again. She is cheerful and pleasant, and loves to hear from her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. She has ever been a woman of exemplary benevolence, a friendly, open, candid mind, with a naturally good understanding, and zealousy anxious for the welfare and prosperity of her family, which she has always promoted by every exertion in her power. Her only anxiety seems to be, lest she should live to be a burden to her friends; but this will not be her hard lot.
Your mother,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 362–364.
1. Not found.
2. A paraphrase of Oliver Goldsmith, The Life of Richard Nash, of Bath, Esq, London, 1762, p. 166.
3. “Be to her virtues very kind; / Be to her faults a little blind; / Let all her ways be unconfin’d; / And clap your Padlock—on her mind” (Matthew Prior, “An English Padlock,” lines 76–79).
4. The Federal Street Theatre in Boston held its first performance on 3 February. After the repeal the previous year of colonial-era anti-theatrical laws, residents of Boston took up a subscription to open the new playhouse, which was designed by Charles Bulfinch. For more on the theater, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 2, above. In New York City, the theater was frequently a scene of rowdiness, with hurled fruit and occasional fights in the audience not uncommon (William C. Young, Documents of American Theater History, vol. 1, Famous American Playhouses 1716–1899, Chicago, 1973, p. 33–35; Paul A. Gilje, The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763–1834, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1987, p. 246–247).
5. AA quotes from a poem appearing in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 25 Jan., entitled “Moral Reflections, on the Death of Maria Antoinetta,” lines 13–16, 25–28. Many years later, Sarah Wentworth Morton published it under the title “Elegy. to the Memory of Marie Antoinette” in her My Mind and Its Thoughts, in Sketches Fragments, and Essays, Boston, 1823, p. 85–87.
6. Alexander Pope, “Messiah,” lines 19–20.
7. For Dr. Nathaniel Walker Appleton of Boston, see vol. 3:118.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0030

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Mail of Yesterday brought me, a rich Treasure in your kind Letters of the 18. 24 and 25th of January— Ice in the Rivers or Snow or some other Obstructions on the Roads have delay’d the Conveyance of some of them and occasioned their Arrival all together.
{ 66 } { 67 }
Columbus and Barneveld were both written with Elegance and Spirit and the poor Wretches who so justly fell under their Lashes were never before nor Since so exemplarily and so justly punished.
I hope my old Friend, will never meet the Fate of another Preacher of Egalite, who was I fear almost as sincere as himself. By The Law of Nature, all Men are Men and not Angells—Men and not Lyons—Men and not Whales Men and not Eagles—That is they are all of the same Species. And this is the most that the Equality of Nature amounts to But Man differs by Nature from Man, almost as much as Man from Beast. The Equality of Nature is Moral and Political only and means that all Men are independent. But a Physical Inequality, an Intellectual Inequality of the most serious kind is established unchangeably by the Author of Nature—1 And Society has a Right to establish any other Inequalities it may judge necessary for its good.
The Precept however Do as you would be done by implys an Equality which is the real Equality of Nature and Christianity, and has been known and understood in all Ages before the Lt. G. of Massachusetts made the discovery in January 1784.2
I am pleased to hear that the Court appointed again their late state Attorney.— Mr Dalton called on me a few Weeks ago to communicate to me a great Secret. The President had the Evening before took him aside and enquired of him very particularly concerning the Vice Presidents Son at Boston: his Age, his Practice, his Character &c &c &c at the Same time making great Inquiries concerning Mr Parsons of Newbury Port— From all which Mr D. conjectured that Mr Gore was to be appointed Attorney Gen. of U. S. and J. Q. Adams Attorney for the District.—3 I was somewhat allarmed and was determined to Advize my son to refuse it, if it should be so, though I did not beleive it.— I would not advize Mr J. Q. A. to play at small Games in the Executive of U. S.— I had much rather he should be State Attorney for Suffolk. Let him read Cicero & Demosthenes, much more eloquent than Madison & smith.
The rascally Lie about the Duke of York in a Cage at Paris and Toulon and all the English Fleet in the Hands of the Republick was fabricated on purpose to gull the Gudgeons and it completely Succeeded to my infinite mortifications. An Attempt was made to get me to read the red hot Lie in Senate in order to throw them into as foolish a Confusion as that below them: but I was too Old to be { 68 } taken in, at least by so gross an Artifice, the falshood of which was to me palpable.
You Apologize for the length of your Letters and I ought to excuse the shortness and Emptiness of mine. Yours give me more entertainment than all the speeches I hear. There is more good Thoughts, fine strokes and Mother Wit in them than I hear in the whole Week. An Ounce of Mother Wit is worth a Pound of Clergy— and I rejoice that one of my Children at least has an Abundance of not only Mother Wit, but his Mothers Wit— It is one of the most amiable and striking Traits in his Compositions— It appeared in all its Glory & severity in Barneveld.
If the Rogue has any Family Pride, it is all derived from the Same source. His Pa renounces and abjures every Trace of it. He has Curosity to know his descent and Comfort in the Knowledge that his Ancestors on both sides for several Generations have been innocent— But no Pride in this— Pomp Splendor, Office Title, Power, Riches are the sources of Pride, but even these are not excuse for Pride— The Virtues & Talents of Ancestors, should be considered as Examples and solem Trusts and Produce Meekness Modesty and Humity, least they should not be imitated & equelled. Mortification & Humiliation can be the only legitimate feelings of a Mind conscious that it falls short of its Ancestors in Merit.
I must Stop. / yours affectionately
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. A.”; endorsed: “Febry / 4 1794.”
1. For a nearly identical statement, see VI. JA to CA, 24 Feb., in John Adams on Natural Equality and the Law of Nations, 6 Jan. - 8 May, above.
2. That is, 1794; for Samuel Adams’ speech on equality, see AA to JA, 18 Jan., and note 1, above.
3. These appointments did not occur; Christopher Gore remained U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts until 1796 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0031

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

private & secret

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Indisposition of my ever honoured and beloved Mother gives me a very tender Anxiety— I hope she may yet get the better of her Disorder and enjoy a good share of Health— remember me to her in the most affectionate and dutiful manner
You ask me if I wish to give any Directions. I pray you not to let the good old Lady know that you have asked or I answered such a { 69 } Question. But if the Melancholly Event should unhappily take Place, I desire to be at the whole Expence of a decent Funeral and pray My Brother to accept of all Claims from me of any share in whatever may be left. But if Health should be restored I pray you to burn this Letter and say not a Word of it to any one.
yours
[signed] John Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0032

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I was very sorry to learn by your last Letters that you had little hopes of getting home till May. there are so many new Arrangments to make upon our places that I really feel unequal to the Task, but if it must be so, I will do the best I can according to my ability, and if I fail in the execution, you must at least allow for the intention. I would wish you to think what you would have done upon the several Farm’s: Humphries is gone into the Country, and I doubt very much, whether Porter will not be so quidling that I shall not be able to agree with him. his woman is so weakly, and Maids are so nice now, that they cannot drive a Cow to pasture, &c1 I mentiond to you in a Former Letter that I had offers of several persons, and I have seen the Son, & daughter, of the Richards Family, and told them my Terms. they have them under consideration; I have inquired their Characters of Dr Tufts and he apprves of them. he thinks I could not do better. they are an able Family and have been used to a dairy upon a large scale. the young Man is a Shoe Maker, but would like to let himself for 6 or 8 months the rest of his Time he would work at his trade. what his terms would be he could not tell, yet. Shaw came down last week to let me know that he and Alice had a mind to come and live upon one of the places.2 I told him my terms, not quite so liberal as those you agreed to Porter, and he will come if we chuse. he brought with him a Man by the Name of Joy, a smart looking man who wanted to go upon a place, whose wife Shaw Says, made 9 hundred weight of Cheese last year from six cows— as I considerd one of the places engaged to Porter, I did not converse with him only as I told shaw that he might mention the Terms to him. I am determind however that Porter shall give me his answer in the course of a few Days— Thayer removed this week, and shaw would come by the first of March. Faxon does not go of till sometime in { 70 } April which will be inconvenient on some accounts, as the Team would be useful to us for much business before that time. I had thoughts of letting shaw; if you approve come into Thayers House by the first of March, and as he will not have any stock to look after, to employ him here to Tar trees, and in such other business as we have to do, or I will put him off till the first of April if you think best. if we keep a dairy only upon Thayers place, it will be best to place the Family there, who are the most accustomed to a large dairy and will not think much of the work. if we divide and keep a dairy upon both places; Shaw may be fixt at either place, as he is now a good deal used to a Team. if you thought it best not to commit either place to Shaw, he would like to come down, and take part of the H[ouse] in which Faxon, is & let himself here by the Year upon this place to work occasionally upon either. I wish you to consider of all these matters here is Arnold and Copland, as jealous of each other as two ministers of State, each of them eager to be employd and watching the motions of each other. I have not had much occasion for either, but that their Rivalry might not be too great, have employd them alternatly.3 if Young Stock is to be purchased what Month will it be best to Send out for it? if cows the beginning of April will be the best season Dr Tufts gave 18 dollors last week for a cow to calf in March
do you propose to sow grass-seed with the Barley? and what kind suppose I could get it. I purchasd Thayer Cheese press—other things he took with him.
Cheeseman is in South Carolina instead of Boston. he has just escaped with his Life sufferd every thing both he his mate, and a Boy were washd over board. they recoverd the captain and mate, but lost the Boy. I fear your Trunk will be in bad plight if you ever get it. he lost every article of, of deck
I wish my dear Friend I could tell you that our parent was essentially better, but that would be flattering you further than I dare. her strength daily declines. her coughs is in some measure relieved. she does not suffer pain but I do not think she will ever go abroad again she may continue in this way, for some weeks, and she may sink in less than one I know you would not permit your Brother were you here to be at expences which sickness necessarily occasions in a Family, such as an extra fire, Candle Light, and other necessaries— I have attended to these things as well as to every comfort she May want, and would as far as in me lies, that she should not feel the want of an own daughter who has so well deserved from all her { 71 } children. her Granddaughters are very attentive and good4 I have been with her every day when I have been well enough to go out, and shall so long as her Life is spaired. I am however fearfull of this Month on my own account, as two years it has been very unfortunate to me adieu I am just going to your Brothers. col Thayer departed this Life yesterday.5 Mrs Brisler and child are well, but mrs Feild is very dangerously sick— I am my dear Friends / most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 8. ansd / 17th. 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Lydia Harmon (b. 1757) had married David Porter in 1777 (Sprague, Braintree Families; Joseph W. Porter, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Richard Porter, Bangor, Maine, 1878, p. 55).
2. Alice Packard had married Ezra Shaw in 1793 (Sprague, Braintree Families).
3. Samuel Copeland (1758–1839) of Quincy (Warren Turner Copeland, The Copeland Family: A Copeland Genealogy, Rutland, Vt., 1937, p. 139).
4. Susanna Hall had three surviving granddaughters by her son Peter Boylston Adams—Mary Adams Turner, Ann Adams, and Susanna Adams—and one by Elihu Adams—Susanna Adams Hobart—as well as AA2. At this time, only Ann and Susanna Adams were still unmarried and living at home.
5. Ebenezer Thayer, the longtime town selectman and representative to the Mass. General Court, died on 7 Feb. (Sprague, Braintree Families).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0033

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have recd yours of the 30th. Ult. and given the inclosed to son Thomas, who will do with it what he can.1
Congress have been together, more than two Months and have done nothing, and will continue Sitting two Months longer, and do little.2 I for my part am wearied to death with Ennui— Obliged to be punctual by my habits, confined to my Seat, as in a Prison to see nothing done, hear nothing Said, and to Say and do nothing. Oh that my Rocks were here within a mile or two, and my little habitation and pretty littl Wife above all. Ah I fear that some fault unknown has brought upon me such Punishments to be Seperated both when We were too young and when We are too old.
I dont believe We shall adopt Mr Madisons Motions nor build a Navy: But if We do not purchase a Peace with the Algerines We shall all deserve to become their Captives.
The Genetians had a frolic on the 6th in commemoration of the Treaty and drank Toasts enough to get merry. so cordial so loving so { 72 } fraternal, so neat and elegant, so sweet and pretty! have you read them. Franklin Bryant, Reed, Hutchinson & sargeant the Heroes. fit company for Dallas Mifflin & Genet.—3 No harm done however that I hear of.— a sharp shot or two at the President.
The Havock made in our Trade I fear will distress Us— I suspect that immense sums borrowed of Banks have fallen a sacrifice in France, as well as on the seas and When the day of Payment comes, more Credits must be given or Bankruptcies ensue. Borrowing of Banks for a trading Capital, is very unmercantile. However, We shall not go to War, and nothing is to be dreaded so much as that.
I fear The English will have all the West Indies leaving a little to Spain.4 This I dont like at all. We shall see what another Campain will do in Europe. If the English assist La Vendee, which if they had been cunning or wise they would have done last Year it is thought that Brittany Normandy and Pichardy will declare for a King: But of this there can be no certainty.
I am going to dinner at Mr Daltons with Judge & Mrs Cushing who will call on you on her return and tell you the News in the South.
My Mother I hope is growing better— Remember me to her tenderly
Tenderly says Eccho yours
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 8 1794.”
1. On 30 Jan. AA wrote a brief note to JA primarily to enclose a letter from “Mr. Newcomb our Mason” to TBA with bills for TBA to loan. Mr. Newcomb was probably John Newcomb, for whom see vol. 8:372. The letter has not been found.
2. The first session of the 3d Congress sat from 2 Dec. 1793 to 9 June 1794 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Two gatherings occurred in Philadelphia on 6 Feb. to commemorate the sixteenth anniversary of the Franco-American alliance, one by “officers of the second regiment with a number of other officers of militia and a large and respectable number of democratic citizens,” and the other by “the French patriotic society of friends to liberty and equality.” Among the toasts of the evening was one to “The Virtuous republicans, Franklin, Reed Bryan, Hutchinson and Sargeant—may their memories be consecrated by every citizen who is a friend to the rights of man and may their services and their virtues ever live in the bosoms of the Freemen of America.” Besides commemorating the efforts of Benjamin Franklin, the toast also memorialized Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant and Dr. James Hutchinson, both ardent supporters of the French Revolution who had died in the recent yellow fever epidemic; George Bryan (1731–1791), a Pennsylvania judge and strong proponent of states’ rights; and Joseph Reed (1741–1785), a Revolutionary War general, member of the Continental Congress, and president of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council (Philadelphia General Advertiser, 8 Feb.; DAB).
4. The Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 7, 8 Feb., reported that a large British naval force, along with some 12,000–13,000 troops, had sailed from Madeira toward Barbados on 22 Dec. 1793, ostensibly with the objective of taking Martinique from the French. The actual size of the fleet was considerably smaller (some 8,000 troops), but the information was otherwise accurate. The { 73 } fleet reached Barbados by mid-Jan. 1794 and launched its attack on Martinique on 4 February. After a series of skirmishes, followed by a lengthy siege, the British took control of the island in late March (Michael Duffy, Soldiers, Sugar, and Seapower: The British Expeditions to the West Indies and the War against Revolutionary France, Oxford, 1987, p. 44, 56, 59–60, 67, 72, 87).
On 9 Feb. JA wrote another letter to AA, again reporting on British activities in the West Indies. He commented, “So! The Tables are turn’d on the French Faction! And The English Faction will exult in their Turn, in the Prospect of The West India Islands a Conquest to England: The French Navy wholly ruined: and Insurrection spreading from Province to Province. Alass I see no Cause of Joy in all these Exultations in either side. I am compelled to console my self as well as I can” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0034

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Vive la Baggatelle! Dulce est desipere.1 I have no other Resource in my solitude, amidst all my gloomy forebodings of the future Miseries of my beloved Species. Our Allies, Our only Alies as the Demi-Crazies pathetically call them, have compleated their System by turning all their Churches into, Je ne seais quoi and if they should have any Government erected among them either by Themselves or others, they may substitute Chorus’s of Boys and Girls to chant Prayers like the Romans

Hic bellum lacrimosum, hic miseram famem

Pestemque, a populo et Principe Cæsare, in

Persas atque Britannos,

Vestra motus aget prece. Hor. Ode. 21.2

Their Prayers will probably be heard, and War Pestilence and Famine may be ready to seize the Austrians and Britons, as soon as they have Satiated themselves with Havock in France. I hope however that the awful Example of that Country, whether it shall be like to those of Tyre & sydon,3 sodom and Gommorroh, or whether it shall terminate less fatally; will be a warning to all other Nations and to Ours especially. The Britons and Spaniards by taking the West India Islands, and attempting to hold them will only lay foundations for future Wars, to restore them. In short I see no End of Wars.— It is a Comfort to reflect that they can do no greater Evil to Men than put an End to their Lives.
What think the Clergy of New England? What says Mr Wibird? Do they still Admire the French Republicans? Do they think them virtuous? Do they wish to see them imitated by all Nations? Do they wish to resign all their salaries? and to have their Churches all { 74 } turned into Riding Houses, the Sabbath abolished, and one day in ten substituted to sing songs to the Manes of Marat. Oh my Soul! come not thou into the Secrets of such Republicans.4
The Guillotine itself would not make me a sincere Republican upon such Conditions.
The Spirit, Principals and system of rational Liberty to All Nations is my Toast: but I see no tendency to any Thing but Anarchy, Licentiousness and Despotism. Mankind will not learn Wisdom from Experience.
yours affectionately
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 9th 1794.”
1. That is, Dulce est desipere in loco, “’Tis sweet at the fitting time to cast serious thoughts aside” (Horace, Odes and Epodes, transl. C. E. Bennett, Cambridge, 1952, Book IV, Ode 12, line 28).
2. “Moved by your prayer he shall ward off tearful war, wretched plague and famine from the folk and from our sovereign Caesar, and send these woes against the Parthian and the Briton” (same, Book I, Ode 21, lines 13–16).
3. Isaiah, 23:1–14, describes the prophesied destruction of the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon (or Zidon).
4. Veneration of the French revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat began immediately following his assassination by Charlotte Corday in July 1793. His funeral was orchestrated to emphasize his martyrdom, with one writer even comparing him to Jesus: “O heart of Jesus, O heart of Marat … you have the same right to our homage. O heart of Marat, sacré coeur … can the works and benevolence of the son of Mary be compared with those of the Friend of the People and his apostles to the Jacobins of our holy Mountain?” (Schama, Citizens, p. 741–746).
New England clergy were generally quite supportive of the French Revolution, viewing it as an important event for the promotion of liberty and, at the same time, a useful check on Roman Catholicism. Even after many Federalists turned against the Revolution in 1792–1793, citing the growing violence of the Terror and attacks on all forms of organized religion, clergy tended to remain proponents, arguing that these events were merely stages to pass through before a peaceful, republican society could be established that would naturally embrace Protestantism. These attitudes would shift in late 1794 and early 1795 because of political and social changes in the United States, but JA was premature in his expectation that events in France at this time would sway the thinking of New England’s ministers (Gary B. Nash, “The American Clergy and the French Revolution,” WMQ, 3d ser., 22:392–412 [July 1965]).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0035

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have recd yours of Jan. 31.— And it has relieved me from a Melancholly which has hung upon me and been taken notice of by every body, since you wrote me of my Mothers illness— Present her my dutiful Affection and tell her that I hope to enjoy the Pleasure of her Company yet for many Years— That I am of her Opinion that she has the best Daughter and that the best Mother ought to have such a Daughter.
{ 75 }
It is Day about with the Newsmongers. France is in not so good a Way. Even Mr Butler told me this day that “he turned away his Face and thoughts from France with Disgust and Horror.”— A shambles is called a Republic—And if they would but have read the Discourses on Davila they would have seen all this foretold in plain Language. St. Bartholomews Days are there said to be the natural and necessary Consequence of such a form of Government. And St. Bartholomews Days will endure as long As the form of Government— Aussi longtems qu’il plaira a Dieu.
I am weary of this eternal Indecision. I wish for the Times when Old sam. and Old John conducted with more Wisdom and more success. This is Egotism enough to deserve the Guillotine to be sure but I cannot but recollect old scænes, and old Results.—
The Rascals are now abusing the President as much as ever they abused me— And We shall see that A life of disinterested Devotion to the Publick is no more sacred in him than in another. In this Days Paper he is compared to Cosmo De Medicis to sylla to Cæsar: and charged with arbitrary illegal Conduct in many particulars particularly in the Proclamation respecting Duplaine.1
He cannot get out, any more than the Stirling, but I believe he desires it as fevently. I am determin’d to be saucy and I say that a Parcell of ignorant Boys who know not a rope in the ship, have the Vanity to think themselves able seamen.
We ought to authorize the President in perfect Secrecy to go as far as two hundred Thousand Pounds to obtain a perpetual Peace with the Algerines— Build a few Frigates if you will but expect they will be useless because unmanned.— But there is not a Member of either House who is not more master of the Subject than I am— so I should be modest
yours as ever
[signed] <J>
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 10 1794.”
1. A letter appearing in the Philadelphia General Advertiser, 10 Feb., signed Gracchus opens with the statement, “No station, no character in a republican government ought to shield a man’s conduct from investigation.” Gracchus further accuses George Washington of denying citizens the right to trial by jury and of behaving disrespectfully toward Edmond Genet. He concludes, “The freedom of these strictures may lead some to suppose that I am unfriendly to the President, … but although I respect his virtues I cannot admire his faults, neither can I tacitly submit to offer up my birthright on the altar of his power or aggrandizement. The language which I have held is that of a freeman, and none but a slave or a tyrant can be offended at it.”
Lucius Cornelius Sylla (or Sulla, ca. 138–79 B.C.), a Roman military leader, waged a civil war and became a dictator but eventually also restored constitutional government and retired to private life. Plutarch described his character as “rapacious in a high degree, { 76 } but still more liberal; … submissive to those who might be of service to him, and severe to those who wanted services from him” (Oxford Classical Dicy.; Plutarch, Lives, transl. John Langhorne and William Langhorne, rev. edn., N.Y., 1859, p. 322).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0036

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-12

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

Yours of the 26th of Jan’ry I received last evening. You talk of not rising till june. why I know not what I shall possibly do, every Farm to Man—and with hands perhaps that I am unacquainted with. a scene of Buisness quite distant from me, when my Garden & potato Yard are full enough for me to attend to. why I shall have to travell from one Farm to the other, and not bring much to pass neither I fear without a proper overseer. we shall want a Farm Horse before that time and I know not what else, but there are many things to be thought of and those in season. I cannot but hope however that you will not sit later than May, at furthest. you will attend to my request in my Letter of the 10th1 We have got two Lambs already. The Animals in the yard have all had the Mumps I believe one of them I thought we should have lost. he was so sweld in his Throat that for a week he never eat a mouthfull and could not lye down. the poor creature set up on his hind legs & slept. I cured him by having his Throat Rubd with Goose oil daily Belcher has made them a yard of about 20 foot square inclosing their House and it is full of sea weed. the black Animal never would fat and I finally lost him from the misfortune he met with Grain continues very high corn at 5 & Rye at 6/8 Hay from seven to Nine shillings.
The two Houses cannot agree upon an answer to the Govenours Speach they are quite puzzeld.2 French influence appears to be going out of fashion, and daily losing ground the Democratick Societies are dwindling down. you will read in Russels paper some admirable observations addrest to the Phyladelphia Society taken from the Minerva.3
adieu my dear Friend how can I reconcile myself to the Idea of not seeing you till june. the terrors of the fever will Haunt my imagination. you must not tarry there so long— Remember me affectionatly to all inquiring Friends— Thomas will not get his Boots this winter. poor Cheeseman was torn all to peices—& starved almost to Death— There are letters from him—
Most affec’ly yours
[signed] A Adams
{ 77 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 12. / ansd. 17. 1794.”
1. AA probably refers to her letter of 8 Feb., above, and her request for JA’s advice on the disposition of their various farms and the purchase of livestock. No letter from AA to JA of 10 Feb. has been found.
2. The members of the Mass. General Court had difficulties coming to terms on an appropriate response to Lt. Gov. Samuel Adams’ speech to the Court. The debate centered largely on whether or not to express approval of George Washington’s statements of neutrality in the response—a subject Adams had not broached in his own speech. The two houses finally agreed to a response, which was delivered to Adams on 19 February. The response began with a tribute to John Hancock and primarily reiterated the principle “that all men are born free and equal in rights.” The Court ultimately made no mention of neutrality but did include a statement “expressing our affections for that nation who assisted us in the time of our adversity, and with whom we are in alliance; and our sincere wishes that they may succeed in the defence of their country, and in the establishment of peace and good government, founded on the principles of liberty, and the rights of man.” It concluded with a promise to pay “due attention” to any proposals Adams might choose to make (Boston Columbian Centinel, 8, 22 Feb.).
3. On 5 Feb. the Boston Columbian Centinel reprinted a piece by “An American” that had originally appeared in the New York American Minerva, 24, 25 January. The article makes a point-by-point refutation of the recently published resolutions of the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania, strongly challenging its goals and even the very notion of popular societies and questioning its motives, while mocking its commitment to “liberty.” “An American” argues, “the strongest professions of good intentions cover the darkest designs.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0037

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1794-02-13

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I received by the last post your favour enclosing a draft upon the branch Bank, for 100 dollars.1
The political speculations of which your fraternal feelings have formed so favourable a judgment, originated in motives at least as disinterested, as are the common sources of patriotism. That a literary reputation is an object of Ambition to the writer, it would be false and absurd to deny. That the public mind, required some light upon the subjects discussed, at the time of their appearance, I believe is true. But political ambition was not in the smallest degree concerned in the production.— If those writings have done any service, to the cause of real Liberty, and of my Country, I am amply rewarded; and if my vanity has been flattered by the approbation of my friends, it was but a momentary exultation, which immediately vanished, and left me in possession of all the humility ever allotted to me.
I know very well, that my own opinion ranks me in the scale of importance, at least as high as I deserve; that it rates my powers perhaps more than at their full value. Yet my success in the world { 78 } has not hitherto been such as to feed my vanity very plenteously. Though advanced almost to the age of thirty, I have no political existence, and my ideas of Liberty and Government, are so widely distant from the fashion of the day, that they are much more likely to be injurious than beneficial to my advancement. At the bar after nearly four years practice, I remain obscure and unknown; without any expectation of brilliant success, and scarcely with the Hope of obtaining with all the industry in the power of Man, and with integrity unblemished, even a decent subsistence. Surely then as far as success is the criterion of talents, I have no Reason to be vain.
From what I have last said, you will not I trust conclude that I am discontented with my present situation. My greatest fear for myself at present is, that I shall grow too easy, careless and indolent.
My profession at present gives me bread, and my business, however slowly seems gradually to improve. At our late Court of Sessions, I acted again in behalf of the Commonwealth: and again was in every instance of indictment successful.— At the Court of Common Pleas which sat at the same time, I argued three Causes to the Jury, and obtained two verdicts.2 Our Supreme Court, sits here the next week, and I shall be engaged in several Causes which are for trial; two or three of them important. So that you may conclude I am not entirely idle. I am still however upon probation and still consider all my professional employment as accidental and precarious.
We have this day a Town-meeting to consider what measures they will take to secure their carrying trade.— I shall not attend it. The measure is perfectly Jacobin, and I am afraid they will do something foolish.3 I do not like altogether the complexion of this Town’s present sentiments, and the democratical Societies, are much more dangerous than a pestilence. Parties grow warm and bitter. There must be a critical time for the present Government, and that crisis I think is fast approaching.— I will keep myself out of troubled waters as long as possible.
Present my compliments to Mrs: Wilson, and tell her that the Heart which even her charms could not unlock and expand; must have been reserved and unsocial indeed. The frost must be rigorous indeed, which is not disolved by a solstitial Sun.
The other Boston Ladies at Philadelphia, particularly the Miss Brecks’, are often present to my mind, and are very pleasing in remembrance. They cannot be admired beyond their merits And { 79 } whatever pleasure their presence gives to the new place of their residence, it is at least equall’d by the regret which their absence leaves in that of their former abode.
Adieu
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “JQA / Feby 13— 94.”
1. Not found.
2. Both the Court of General Sessions and the Court of Common Pleas met in January in Boston. JQA represented the state in at least three cases in front of the Court of General Sessions; all three were for theft, and a jury found the defendant guilty in each case. He also recorded in his Diary losing one case in the Court of Common Pleas on 22 Jan. but winning two others on 23 and 24 Jan. (D/JQA/22, APM Reel 25; Commonwealth v. Simeon Golding, Commonwealth v. Mary Legg, and Commonwealth v. Elizabeth Sigourney, all Jan. 1794, MBSufC:Office of the Chief Justice of the Municipal Court of the City of Boston).
3. The Boston town meeting met at Faneuil Hall on 13 Feb. and held “a candid and free discussion” on the carrying trade. The main resolution of the meeting, passed “with scarcely a dissenting Vote,” was to appoint a committee to “consider and report the State of the Trade at large, and to prepare resolutions for the Town’s consideration, respecting the effects which certain restrictions laid on the Trade of America, by European Nations have on the same, and also to report such resolutions as may have a proper influence on our representatives in Congress, to induce the passing of such Acts, as may tend to guard, protect, and regulate the American commerce in general” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 15 Feb.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0038

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received last Evening by my obliging Neighbour captain Beals your kind Letters of Febry 4th, and before I reply to them, I would inform you that our venerable Parent has appeard to revive for these two days past. her disorder has proved a Lung fever. the dr advised to a puke two days ago. She was rather averse to it, wishing rather as she expresst herself to dye in quiet. she had labourd under a great sickness at her Stomack which made her loath both food and medicine. it appeard to me likely to give her relief and I urged her to it promising to attend her through it. well she replied []if you say So, it must be so. the Girls when they bring me any thing, do not say the dr says you must take it, but Aunt Adams says so, & then they are sure it will go down” We accordingly gave the puke, and it opperated kindly, since which she has rested better, expectorated freer, and for the present appears relieved. She inquired of me a few days since if I had written to you of her sickness. I told her that I had. she took me by the hand, and bursting into Tears, []give my Love & blessing—to him I shall never see my Dear Son again” I am { 80 } happy in having so far anticipated your request as not to have given your Brother occasion to expend a shilling upon her account. I have mentiond to you in a Letter already forwarded what I had done. Should the Melancholy event which we apprehend take place I shall punctually adhere to your directions. such I presumed they would be and that led me to ask them and further I had thought to remove the venerable Remains to this House, as it might be considerd an additional respect to them to have them intered from hence. these circumstances will remain in my breast only, unless circumstances call them into action.
I received by this Post 30£ pounds. as the draught was forwarded to our son, and you made no mention of it in your Letter I am at a loss to determine whether you forwarded it towards the discharge of Pratts account, or whether You conceived I might have [occa]sion for purposes mentiond in your Private Letter. having as you will see by a mem. inclosed discharg’d some debts upon the receipt of the former Bills I have not at present sufficient to spair to make up the 20 dollors, more upon the account, without straitning myself more than I chuse, not because I have expended the other 30£, but because I have lent half of it. a vessel arrived from Germany loaded with 18 thousand calf skins—of a superiour quality and 2 shillings lower than they are to be purchased here Boilstone was desirious of procuring a couple of hundred and for that purpose I lent him 50 dollors to make up his Sum. I wish it had been in my power to have lent him 500. Deacon Webb, purchased 18 hundred of the same skins, kept four hundred for his own use, in less than a week sold the remainder with an advance of only sixpence upon a skin, cleard his own four hundred & put a thousand crowns in his pocket that is doing buisness to some purpose. I have laid by the Money and if I should not be obliged to appropriate some of it, as I fear, it shall be paid to Pratt. The tarring of Trees will speedily commence. I must take Arnold into Service I pray your directions upon the subject of my two last Letters. I wrote to Brisler to inquire the price of oats & Rye. Belcher was in Town this week but he could not purchase oats at less than three shillings & Rye at 8. when you went away almost three months ago I had only three Gallons of Rum remaining of what Brisler bought. that has answerd till this time, but as soon as my Spring work commences I must make large recruits.
The political part of your Letters I must defer replying to till the next post mrs Feild is upon the Recovery. mrs Brisler and Family well, but Sine I have returnd from Philadelphia so many persons { 81 } have not been Sick in Town Aged and Children, appear to be voilently attackd with fevers— I have happily yet escaped any confinement. am most affectionatly your
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 14. / Ansd 25. 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0039

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have done nothing hitherto, but prevent our Countrymen from plunging blindfold into a War, with they know not whom, and for they know not what. If We continue to sit till June, and do no more nor less We shall do well.
Tomorrow the Senate is to discuss the Election of Mr Gallatin, with their Doors open for the first Time. Whether a Vote will be carried for building a Gallery or for keeping the Doors open upon other Occasions of Legislative and Judiciary Business I know not.1
You gave me, in one of your late Letters, one of your sly Jokes about Family Pride. I answer in the Words of Horace which I desire your son and mine to translate for you and study well for himself.

Longe mea discrepat istis

Et Vox et Ratio, nam Si natura juberet

A certis annis ævum remeare peractum

Atque alios legere ad fustum quosumque parentes

Optarit Sibi quisque: meis contentus, honestos

Fascibus et Sellis nollem mihi Sumere; demens

Judicio Vulgi, Sanus fortasse tuo. Hor. Satyr. 6. line 92. &c2

It is not however the less true, as He says line 33 &c

Sic qui promittit Cives, Urbem Sibi curæ,

Imperium fore, et Italiam, et delubra Deorum;

Quo patre Sit natus, num ignotâ matre in honestus

Omnes mortales curare et quærere cogit.3

nor is it less true as he says in the 19th Line

populus Lævino mallet honorem

Quam Decio mandare novo;4

{ 82 }
You may however tell John that he is in more danger of loosing Attention from the fault of Virgil than from Family Pride. He may read it in the 3d Satyr. v. 30.

rideri possit eo quod

Rusticiùs tonso toga defluit, et male laeus

In pede calceus hæret, at est bonus, ut melior Vir

Non alius quisquam; at tibi Amicus: at ingenium ingens

Inculto latet hoc Sub corpore.5

There I have given you Riddes enough to vex you6
I have shipped an hundred Weight of Clover seed and twelve Quarts of Herds Grass, which is to be sown, one half of it at least in the last Years Corn field with the Barley. Brisler has shipped some Rye flour.
It is nearly time for our Tar Brushes to be brandishing round the Appletrees.
John, I hope has an Abundance of Business, which takes up all his Time, for that fact is the only admissable Excuse for his not writing me.
Tell him to remember, that a Writer whose drift is to foment Prejudices, will be more popular than one who Strives to moderate or correct them, though the former should he honestus and the latter Columbus. Let not the Conclusion be, to imitate the inflamers of popular Passions. Tis better to Serve than to please the People: and they in time will be Sensible of it.
The People like a Mistress must not be courted with too much Complaisance— They must be kept at a distance. The Moment either find you are their slave they will tyrannize. The People can do nothing for John at present but Mischief.
affectionately
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry / 17th / 1794.”
1. Albert Gallatin (1761–1849) was born in Geneva but immigrated to the United States in 1780. The state of Pennsylvania elected him to the Senate in 1793, but Federalists challenged his eligibility on the grounds that he had not been a U.S. citizen for nine years as required by the Constitution. On 28 Feb. 1794 he was declared ineligible by a vote of fourteen to twelve. Gallatin would later go on to serve in the House of Representatives, as secretary of the treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and as a negotiator, with JQA, of the Treaty of Ghent (DAB).
Before the Senate began its debate on Gallatin’s eligibility, it considered the propriety of opening its doors to the public. On 20 Feb., by a vote of nineteen to eight, the Senate passed a resolution that “after the end of the present session of Congress, and so soon as suitable galleries shall be permitted to be opened every morning, so long as the Senate { 83 } shall be engaged in their Legislative capacity” (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 46–47).
2. Horace, Satire VI, lines 92–98: “Opinions I retain / Quite the reverse: For could past Years again / Return, and might we other Parents chuse, / Contented with my own, I would refuse / Those whom the Consulship and Ivory Seat / Adorn; sure from each vulgar Tongue to meet / Reproach; but not from yours, that I a State / So high decline, unequal to the Weight” (The Works of Horace in English Verse, transl. John Duncombe, 2 vols., London, 1759, Satire VI, lines 111–118).
3. Horace, Satire VI, lines 34–37: “So if you swear to guard, with watchful Eye, / The Roman People, City, Italy, / And Temples of the Gods, all seek to know / Your Birth if You to vulgar Parents owe” (same, lines 39–42).
4. Horace, Satire VI, lines 19–20: “Yet grant they rather would Lavinus chuse, / And Decius, of ignoble Birth, refuse” (same, lines 20–21).
5. Horace, Satire III, lines 30–34: “‘And who but smiles to see that awkward Dress, / ‘his Beard ill shav’d, the Wideness of his Shoe, / ‘Unsuited to his Foot.’ Suppose all this; / The Man is worthy; not a worthier lives; / A Friend to you; and, hid beneath that Case, / Rude as it is, a noble Genius lies” (same, Satire III, lines 37–42).
6. Writing vertically in the manuscript along the left-hand margin of the second page, next to the Latin quotations, JQA commented, “In the office at Quincy there is a poetical translation of Horace, by Duncombe in 4. duodecimo volumes. in the 3d: volume the Satires are translated. By referring to that you will find a better version than probably I could give.” See notes 2–5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0040

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I this day recd your favours of the 8. and 12th. but how this last could have leaped to this distance in five days I know not.
It is impossible to Say precisely when Congress will rise: but I will go home as soon as possible; I hope in April. I am very willing to confide all Arrangements to you— I like shaw and his Wife: and I like Richards and Joy from your Account of them.— We will try a dairy at each house: ten Cows at Thayers and Ten at Faxons—but they must all go to Pasture up Pens hill, till after, mowing the fresh Meadows. I wish you to buy as many Yearling Calves and two year olds as you can—and Cows to make up the No. 20 reserving two for our own home. I have sent an 100 Wt of Clover seed and twelve Quarts of herds Grass.— Shaw may go into Thayers House the first of March if he will, and if you have not other Employment he may mow Bushes in the Pasture opposite.— I shall plant again where Faxon planted last Year.— The Fences should be put up as early as may be, and the manure carted in season.
My Mothers Indisposition continues to affect me most sensibly: I hope for her Blessing on you and me and on all our Posterity—and I thank you for your tender Care and watchful Attention to her, and I hope you will continue to supply every Want as far as may be in our Power. As We are not to live long in this earthly Residence, she { 84 } has remained longer, and fullfilled every Duty of Life better than Mankind in general, and We shall again meet her I hope in a better World. This is scarcely worthy of Persons of her Character. She goes to the World where our Fathers are gone, and We must soon follow.
I am with every tender sentiment yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “Febry 17. 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0041

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

The post of the last saturday was the first for a long period, which faild of bringing me a Letter from you. I should have been more anxious but that I received one from you on the wedensday preceeding: you say so many handsome things to me respecting my Letters that you ought to fear making me vain. since however we may appreciate the enconiums of the world, the praises of those whom we Love, and esteem, are the more dangerous because we are led to believe them the most Sincere.
When I read in your Letter the communication made you by mr D—— I drew a very different conclusion from it. from what he did, I believe the P. had some hint of the writer of certain peices and was led to make those inquiries respecting the Master, and the pupil that he might the better judge, whether the Pupil was alone capable of writing them. I am much better pleasd that this should have been his object, than the appointment mr D. sugested have taken place—if I have Pride, and Ambition, it would not have been gratified by that for instead of benefiting, or advancing our son, it would have Created envy, injured him in his present prospect of increasing buisness, and have been a feather whose point would have proved a sting he has acquired to himself by his writings his abilities and his general Character for information a Reputation which his enemies fear, and which cannot be combated by any imputation upon his Life and manners. Americanus is so sensible of this that he thinks it better to appear upon Friendly terms than otherways. I wish I could impute to this Man any thing, but sinester views. the Two Gentlemen were engaged in an insurence cause before Referees lately, a Cause of considerable concequence in which a vessel and Cargo were involved. the vessel was sent to the west Indias & there lost. the cargo was put on Board a Spanish vessel & was captured by French privateer the Question was; were the underwriters liable for { 85 } the Cargo. in the course of the Argument, this learnd Gentleman, advanced that by our Treaty with Spain such & such things were stipulated. not by Treaty sir replied his opponent. still he went on either really through Ignorance or wickedness, with our Treaty with Spain. no Treaty sir, I beg your pardon sir, we never had a Treaty with Spain. the cause was finally adjuged in favour of the defendents, very fully. a few days after mr S——n sent to request the favour of speaking with A——s. he went nothing could exceed his servility I must call it. I wish Brother A to engage you in a cause with me, the circumstances are so & so. I am much engaged at present in the impeachment of mr Hunt,2 and I wish you to take the whole Charge of it upon yourself so saying he gave him a handsome fee and they parted. what a Character?—
Prince Edward saild last sunday.3 he sent his Aids to visit the L——r Governour but would not go himself. he dinned with mrs Hancock and was visited by many Gentlemen in Town. he went to the assembly with mr Russel, and danced with mrs Russel he went to visit the colledge, but I did not hear that he had any curiosity to see Bunker Hill. he related an Annecdote at the table of the English Consul.4 as he was comeing from Quecbeck he stopd at an Inn, where an Elderly Countrymen desired to see him. after some bowing &c the Countryman said, I hear you are King Georges son. they tell me so said the Prince. and pray how do you like this Country. why very well replied his Highness—and how do you think your Father lik’d to lose it? why not half as well as I should like to live in it replied the Prince which answer pleasd the countrymen. I hear he took Notice of all the French Refugees, and offerd any of them a passage with him to the west Indias. his stay here was very short and it was best it should be so.
There are new Rumours prevailing that Touloun is recaptured &c it is said to be one of the enigmas of Pythagoris, “when the winds rise, worship the Echo,[”] which has been thus interpreted: when rumours increase, and when their is abundance of Noise and Clamour, believe the second report.5 if Congress had attended to this, they would not have been sported with for their credulity.
you will be sick enough of Politicks by next May I fancy to long after your Rocks and Hills, and I shall be sick enough of Hills and Rocks by that time to wish you joy of them, and that you may like Popes happy Man, be “Content to breath your Native Air, on your own Grounds”6 those who can be usefull in all states, are compared to gentle streams, that not only glide through lonely valleys and { 86 } forests, amidst the flocks and the shepherds, but visit populous, Towns in their course and are at once of ornament and use.
you hinted in a former Letter as tho a Friend of our was panting after something.

“Who pants for glory finds but short repose

A Breath revives him, or a Breath o’erthrows”7

I wish he would seek the substance and no longer grasp a shadow
I must not close this Letter without informing you that our Parent remains much in the state as when I wrote last. exhausted nature appears to be seeking repose, and the sitting sun will go down calmly and serenly, and rise to a more perfect day, freed from the clogs of Mortality which now encumber it. for that inevitable lot may you and I my Dear Friend ever be ready is the Ardent Prayer of / Your
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. ansd / 8. March 1794.” Filmed at Feb. 1794.
1. AA is undoubtedly responding to JA’s letter of 4 Feb., above. Accordingly, she probably wrote this letter sometime between hers to JA of 14 Feb., above, and hers to JA of 26 Feb., below.
2. The Mass. house of representatives impeached William Hunt (1750–1804), a justice of the peace from Watertown, Mass., on 12 Feb. for misconduct and maladministration, specifically for falsifying records. The senate met at Faneuil Hall to conduct the trial between 20 and 22 Feb., at which time Hunt was found guilty and sentenced to a one year’s suspension from his position. James Sullivan, as attorney general, helped to argue the case against Hunt (Octavius Pickering and William Howard Gardiner, Report of the Trial of Impeachment of James Prescott, Esquire, Boston, 1821, p. 214–216).
3. Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820), the fourth son of George III, visited Boston between 6 and 16 February. A major general in the British Army, he was en route to the West Indies, where he commanded a brigade (DNB; Boston Columbian Centinel, 8 Feb.; Boston Gazette, 17 Feb.).
4. Thomas MacDonough (ca. 1740–1805) had served as British consul at Boston since 1790 (Hamilton, Papers, 6:565; Boston Democrat, 26 Jan. 1805).
5. Alexander Pope to Sir William Trumbull, 16 Dec. 1715, The Works of Alexander Pope, Esq., 8 vols., London, 1847, 6:22.
6. Pope, “Ode on Solitude,” lines 3–4.
7. Pope, “The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace,” lines 300–301. Probably a reference to WSS; see JA to AA, 21 Jan. 1794, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1794-02-23

Abigail Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear cousin

I received your kind Letter last evening. I should be glad of two shares if you would part with them.1 I inclose 30 dollors for the first payment, but at the same time will content myself with one rather than be any disadvantage to you yet wish you not to sell to any other { 87 } person any share you may part with, should you determine to not to keep them. I would however advise you to keep as many as you can and was it not for the purchase of a Farm which your uncle made last fall I would get him to assist you, but he has been obliged to Borrow money himself—
as to the oatmeal I am sorry to have given you so much trouble about it. I will take it and you may take the half dollor from the inclosed. your sister Norten & Baby are just come to dine with me and are very well. Your Father has not been well since his return from Boston. he has been confind with one of his great Colds the rest are well affectionate Regards to your Aunt and Family from your / affectionate Aunt
[signed] A A
RC (MaSaPEM:Abigail Adams Papers).
1. A letter from William Cranch to AA dating from this time has not been found, but on 20 Feb. he wrote to his father, Richard, regarding his investments in the Haverhill Toll Bridge, noting, “Mrs Adams wish’d me to reserve, some of them for her, but she had not determined how many—” After explaining the finances of the project, he requested, “If you think proper, you may show this letter to Mrs Adams (I have not time to write to her by this post) and let me know as soon as you can, what she can do and what she will do—” (MHi:Christopher Pearse Cranch Papers, Box 1). The bridge over the Merrimack River opened on 18 November. At the time, the Massachusetts Mercury, 21 Nov., reported, “The strength, elegance, workmanship, and situation of this Bridge, is not equalled in America, and perhaps not excelled in the world: It is 865 feet long, with thre Arches, 182 feet each in length, 34 feet wide, supported by Stone Piers and Abutments.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0043

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Birthday was celebrated Yesterday with as much Joy affection and Festivity as ever, and as it happened the New French Minister was then presented. Poor Genet I fear is undone— Bad as his Conduct has been I cannot but pity him. What will become of him I know not. The Name of his Successor is Fauchet.1 Gloomy as I was in expectation daily of afflicting News from home, I contented myself with paying my Respects to The President with the senate but I thought it would not become me to be present at the Ball of a saturday night, especially at a time when I could not get it out of my Thoughts that my venerable Parent might be closing her Eyes forever.
The Senate has been Several Days trying a contested Election of Mr Gallatin, with their Doors open. It is at length determined that a Gallery is to be built and our Debates public, at the next session of { 88 } Congress. What the Effect of this measure, which was at last carried by a great Majority, will be, I know not: but it cannot produce greater Evils than the Contest about it, which was made an Engine to render unpopular some of the ablest and most independent Members. some of the younger Members may descend from their Dignity so far perhaps as to court Popularity at the Expence of Justice Truth and Wisdom, by flattering the prejudices of the Audience but I think they will loose more Esteem than they will acquire by such means.
If my Mother still lives present her my Duty and tender sympathy under her Affliction.
I am with every tender sentiment / yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “Febry. 23. 1794.”
1. Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet (1761–1834) served as the French minister plenipotentiary to the United States from Feb. 1794 to April 1795 (Repertorium, 3:144).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0044

Author: Otis, Mary Smith Gray
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-02-23

Mary Smith Gray Otis to Abigail Adams

I am quite ashamed my dear Mrs Adams that I have so long neglected writeing to you, indeed I can make but a very poor excuse for so doing, & must depend wholly on your candor to excuse my neglegence.
You wish to know how your acquaintance are, Mrs Washington enjoys as much health as can be expected at her time of life, and her spirits are better than I expected to find them. Mrs Powell, I am told is still very much distresed. Mrs Morris, Mrs Hamilton, & Mrs Dalton, are in very good health & spirits.—1 You would not suppose were you here, from anything you saw, that this had been a place of so much distress, as it really was, the last summer;—the only impression it seems to have made, is, to secure a retreat, in case the fever should appear again. It is said there is not a room to be let within 10 miles of Philadelphia.—
The assembles have commenced, & the new Theatre is opened notwithstanding the opposition made to it by the Quakers;2 it is attended with great egerness, I restrain my curiosity till the crowd have done going.
There has not been any large partys amongst the married ladys, but the young ones, say, they have been more disapated this winter, { 89 } than they ever were before, there haveing been so many private balls.—
Yesterday was the Presidents birthday, & was observed with every mark of respect, in the eveg: was a splended ball. I did not pay my respects by attending, for two reasons; the force of Education & habit, was so strong on my mind, that I could not help thinking it would encroch too near upon the Sabbath, the other that I should not be mised in the crowd.—
Your good gentleman I think enjoys his health very well, he some times says he is not, but he looks fat & hearty, I rather think he is more homesick, & times-sick, than bodily indisposed.—
My love to Mrs Cranch, Louisa, and all other friends. Mr Otis & Harriet desire their kind remembrances to you, we all enjoy good health, excep[ting] Saml Otis, who has kept house for 3 weeks, with the same complaint which has afflicted him all the last Summer.—That you may enjoy a confirmd state of health, is the fervent wish of / Your Affectionate Cousin
[signed] M: Otis
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Adams / Quincy.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Presumably Mary White Morris (1749–1827) of Philadelphia, who had married Robert Morris in 1769 (Charles Henry Hart, “Mary White—Mrs. Robert Morris,” PMHB, 2:157, 158, 182 [1878]).
2. The Society of Friends had long opposed theatrical performances, questioning their morality and associating the theater with luxury and corruption. Notwithstanding the Quakers’ objections, construction of the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia was completed in 1793, but the house did not open until 17 Feb. 1794 owing to the yellow fever epidemic. The first performances were of John O’Keeffe’s The Castle of Andalusia and Hannah Cowley’s Who’s the Dupe (Bruce McConachie, “American Theatre in Context, from the Beginnings to 1870,” in Don B. Wilmeth and Christopher Bigsby, eds., The Cambridge History of American Theatre, vol. 1, Beginnings to 1870, N.Y., 1998, p. 120, 126–127; William C. Young, Documents of American Theater History, vol. 1, Famous American Playhouses 1716–1899, Chicago, 1973, p. 35–39).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0045

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

Not receiveing any Letters on saturday evening I was so impatient that I sent James to Town on sunday afternoon, and he brought me home your kind favours of the 8th 9th & 10th of this Month;1 I do not omit writing to you once a week, and sometimes twice
The late King of Prussia Said that every age must commit its own follies, and that the experience of others was but of little benifit to them.2 “National corruption must be purged by National { 90 } Calamities. A real reformation is not to be accomplish’d by ordinary means; it requires those extraordinary means which become punishments as well as lesson’s,” were the observations of a great Politician:3 whether France will ever emerge from the horrids Scenes, that deluge her with carnage, havock, and Blood, “is in the dark Gloom and abyss of Time”4 there present situation is well pictured in the following line

“The Sacred arts of rule

Turn’d to flagitious leagues against mankind

And arts of plunder more & more avow’d

Devotion turn’d to a Solemn farce

To holy dotage virtue; even to guile,

To Murder, and a mockery of oaths;

Dishonour’d courage to the Bravo’s trade

To civil Broil; and Glory to romance

Alass poor Gallia! What a bitter cup

of vengeance hast thou drain’d?

How many a ruffian form hast thou beheld?

What horrid jargons heard, where rage alone

Was all thy frighted ear could comprehend?

How frequent by the red inhumane hand

yet warm with Brother’s husbands, Fathers Blood,

Hast thou thy Matrons and thy virgins seen

To voilation dragg’d, and mingled death”5

you ask me what mr Wibird says now to the French. he says that he believes that they will all go to the Devil and that they deserve to, but still insists that they never would have gone to such dreadfull lengths if they had not been invaded and driven to Desperation by foreign powers, and that future generations will be benifitted by their calamity. The abuse upon the President which you mention, but which I do not see, proves that the most virtuous and unblemishd Characters are liable to the Malice and venom of unprincipald Wretches. Such virtue such disinterested Patriotism when thus requited, has frequently become Tyranical, and unlesss mankind were universally enlightned, which never can be. they are unfit for freedom, nor do I belive that our Creator designd it for them if such a Boon had been designd for them, all Ages and Nations from Adam to the present day would not have been one standing continued and universal proof to the contrary. Some were made for Rule others for submission, and even amongst my own Sex this doctrine holds { 91 } good. History informs us that of the few Queens who have reigned for any length of Time as absolute Sovereigns the greatest part of them have been celebrated for excellent Governours. Pliny, tells us that in Meroe, Women reigned for many Successive ages— among the Lacedemonians, the women had a great share in the political government; and that it was agreeable to the Laws given them by Licurgns in Borneo, the women Reign alone, and their Husbands enjoy no other privilege than that of being their most dignified Subjects;6 but as Reigning and Ruling is so much out of fashion at the present day, my ambition will extend no further than Reigning in the Heart of my Husband. that is my Throne and there I aspire to be absolute.
you will see in the Centinal a very vapid answer to a very vapid speach, and the estimation in which it was held, by the committe appointed to carry it.7 I have read with pleasure two very judicious papers in the Centinal taken from a Phyladelphia paper under the signature of Americanus.8 such writers are wise and salutary;

“oh Peace! thou source and soul of social Life

Blest be the Man divine, who gives us thee”9

I have deliverd your message to your Mother. she bids me tell you that she leaves you her Blessing, that she request your remembranc of her to the Throne of Mercy, that she is hastning to an other and a better Country, where she hopes one day to meet You, but that here she shall never see you more, and of this opinion I am daily more and more, as her decay becomes more and more visible a few weeks if not days must put a period to a long and to a very irreproachable Life. my constant attendance upon her has very much lessned my desire of long life. her fears least she should recover & become useless, her appearing to have out lived every enjoyment, shews that life at best is but a poor play, and the best that can come of it. it is a misirable Benediction.
these Reflections exclude any further addition to my Letter, than the sincerest which / I can make you of being ever / yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb 26. Ansd / 8. March. 1794.”
1. JA’s letters to AA of 8 and 10 Feb. and his first letter of 9 Feb. are all above. For JA’s second letter to AA of 9 Feb. (Adams Papers), see JA to AA, 8 Feb., note 4, above.
2. “The follies of the father afford no useful lesson to the son; each generation must have its errors” (Frederick II, Posthumous Works of Frederic II, King of Prussia, transl. Thomas Holcroft, 13 vols., London, 1789, 3:375).
{ 92 }
3. Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, to Jonathan Swift, 17 Jan. 1730/31, The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., 19 vols., London, 1808, 12:180.
4. Possibly a misquoting of Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, scene ii, line 50: “In the dark backward and abysm of time.”
5. James Thomson, Liberty, Part IV, “Britain,” lines 88–93, 96–97, 108–109, 111–117.
6. AA’s discussion of female rulers is paraphrased, and in parts directly quoted, from “On the Political Abilities of the Female Sex,” Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure, 62:174–175 (April 1778).
7. For the General Court’s response to Samuel Adams’ speech, which appeared in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 22 Feb., see AA to JA, 12 Feb., note 2, above.
8. Americanus originally appeared in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 31 Jan., 7 Feb., and was reprinted by the Boston Columbian Centinel, 19, 22 February. Americanus assesses how “the cause of Liberty” might be forwarded by U.S. involvement in the general European war, asking, “Whether the degree of service we could render, by participating in the conflict, was likely to compensate by its utility to the cause, the evils which would probably flow from it to ourselves.” The author focuses on the costs of war, the ability of the United States to lend meaningful support to France, and the impact involvement would have on U.S. prosperity, concluding that involvement would not meaningfully assist France and might damage U.S. interests.
9. James Thomson, “Britannia,” lines 122, 126.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0046

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-02-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I yesterday received your favours of the 17th of this Month. I was attending at the sick Bed of our dear Parent, from whence for six weeks I have been very seldom absent unless a Nights; my Health would not permit me to be with her then. she you will find by a letter received before this Date, had anticipated your wishes, and sent you her blessing. upon me she hourly bestows them, and I never quit her but with her gratefull acknowledgments to me for every little attention I can render her even to giving me pain. she is weaker, her decline is gradual, but thank God she does not suffer severe pain. I have past through this month without being confined as in two former years. I have had a slight attack or two, but by taking an Emetick it went off. I cannot feel sufficiently thankfull as I have been enabled to “Make Langour smile, & smooth the Bed of Death”1
I sent your Lattin to John.2 I should like to puzzel you as much; I have not said a word of the late movements in Boston. as he was upon the spot, I supposed he would give you an accurate statement of them. you will learn before this reaches, you that the Feaderialists carried their points, and by a very great Majority.3 not only this, but I was assured yesterday that they were determind, that Honestus should quit the Senate & Jarvis the House at the next Election, & that Judge Cushing should be placed in the Chair.4 we shall soon see if they have the wisdom and power they claim. this meeting { 93 } originated with the Jacobin Society who have received a check from which they will not soon recover. I was much diverted with the account I received yesterday of a certain weather cock. the General court were sitting upon the Impeachment of Hunt, and this person was obliged to leave the meeting to attend. when he went out of the meeting he was with the Majority who were in favour of some resolves which past at a former meeting during his absence the reasoning & Arguments of the Minority became so convincing that in poling for the vote the Minority had now become the Majority. just as this juncture he returnd, and upon entering the Hall, he limp’d first to one side, & then to the other not knowing in the croud what had happend, and finally fix’d himself in the Minority, upon which an acquaintance, cry’d out “ah Jemmy thou art caught this time” to the utter dismay of the Camelion
you observe that Congress have done little Buisness—except preserve their Country from going to War. that is a service inestimable in my account, and time and disenssion have unfolded to this people the views and designs of Foreign courts and countries towards them, which will ultimately benefit them.
I thank you for the Register which will be very usefull to me. I Received mr Brislers Letter and Bill of layding. you will give directions what ground you would have Sowed and what planted with corn. I am now so full of Buisness that I scarcly know which to do first. I have 5 Hands & two Teams employd in Sliding the stones over the pond. we have had hard frosts, and now a slight snow of a couple of Inches which we are improving whilst it lasts. the Ground has yet kept so hard frozen that I have not heard of a single person who have begun taring. we shall begin with the first we have a large Quantity of posts & Rails brought which as Belcher is so good a hand at making that he will go to it as soon as he can we have not yet got all our wood home. shaw I expect in about a week or ten days at furthest. I shall place him at present upon the upper place. Porter was not satisfyd with the Terms you offerd, and I did not make any new ones to him. I cannot yet say who will go upon the other place. when the land is cleard & sweetned we may increase our stock. Cows and all stock is high 18 & 20 dollors is the price of a good Cow. Faxon has two already calf’d, but I could not prevail with him to raise the calfs. We have one which is raising and 9 Lambs. we have not yet lost any, but we are obliged to feed the sheep with corn. if Belcher thinks we can accommodate more cows here I will buy three as soon as I can. we have Salt Hay in abundance. we { 94 } cannot put any more stock upon the other place to feed with Hay, as the Hay must be divided upon the 20 of May & Faxon is very contrary, tho he does himself as he pleases— I had some trouble to get his Team for the Buisness we are about we must hire the peice of land belonging to the Heirs of Thayers Sister.5 I think he told me that he gave four pounds the last year and that a Major Penniman is Guardian.6 I rather think we shall conclude to take the Man who accompanied shaw and of whom Shaw gives a good Character, as upon dr Tufts inquiry respecting Richards it proved a Family different from the one he supposed it to be. I can have joy if I chuse & upon the same terms with shaw which is that of only finding wood during the Summer. Young Stock must be sent out after. I shall have occasion for the following large Articles, a Load of English Hay some time in March a Barrel of Rum a Barrel of Molasses and a hundred of Brown Sugar which would be best purchased soon, as their is a prospect from the fluctuating state of things that they will be much higher. I have a prospect of 8 Barrels of cider. I should be glad you would let Brisler procure me a couple of Barrels super fine flower and 50 wt of loaf sugar which last will be a years stock for me. you will think whether it is best to send some Porter round.—
Newcombs papers came Safe. Arnold is with me and I shall engage him through the Month of March. there is no want of Buisness.
I hope my Health may be continued and then I shall go through every care with pleasure provided I can give satisfaction. I am now and ever / most affectionatly / Yours,
[signed] A Adams
[signed] March 1.
your Mother is Still Living and no otherways worse than weaker7
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. March 1. / ansd. 11. 1794.”
1. Alexander Pope, “Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Being the Prologue to the Satires,” line 411.
2. See JA to AA, 17 Feb., 1st letter, and note 6, above.
3. At the Boston town meeting of 24 Feb., attendees discussed resolutions regarding U.S. trade policy prepared by a committee appointed at a meeting on 13 Feb., for which see JQA to TBA, 13 Feb., and note 3, above. The resolutions recommended “discrimination against Britain and Spain, by imposing new duties on their vessels and goods.” After a lengthy and spirited debate spanning two days, “a very large majority” voted to table the resolutions sine die (Boston American Apollo, 27 Feb.). See also JQA to JA, 2 March, below.
4. Both Benjamin Austin Jr. and Charles Jarvis remained in the Mass. senate and house of representatives, respectively. U.S. Supreme Court justice William Cushing received some support for the governorship but lost decisively to Samuel Adams (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 141–142; DAB).
5. Mary Wales Thayer (1756–1786), the { 95 } sister of Elkanah Thayer, had inherited lands and buildings owned by her husband James Thayer at his death in March 1786. When she died a few months later, Mary Thayer left her estate to her children Thomas (b. 1780) and Lydia (b. 1784) (Sprague, Braintree Families).
6. Probably Stephen Penniman (1743–1827) of Braintree, who had held a variety of town offices including constable, surveyor of highways, and selectman. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolution and eventually attained the rank of major (same; Braintree Town Records, p. 408, 426, 623; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 402).
7. The postscript was written at the top of the first page of the manuscript above the dateline and salutation.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0047

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Senate were obliged to Spend the whole of the last Week, in a Solemn Tryal of the Election of Mr Gallatin: and I find that a great Impression has been made upon the Public, by the Learning Eloquence and Reasoning of Some of the Senators. The Decision has given general Satisfaction.
That Popularity was more courted than Truth by a few Individuals, I fear will be the Judgment of some of the most enlightened and independent Spectators.
I have been again unfortunate at Sea. The Vessell in which I shipped my Grass seeds and two Barrells of Rye flour for you has been run down and sunk in the River by a large ship. most of the Cargo was Saved but whether my Adventure was saved or lost I have not yet learned.1
The Weather, to Day has been very warm and the snow which generally covered the Earth this Morning is I presume nearly gone. The Spring will advance with rapid Strides and I shall be impatient to be at home: but I cannot prevail upon myself to ask leave of Absence from my Post at this critical Time, when We know not what Questions or Events a day may bring forth.
The new French Minster, M. Fauchet is about 33. He is not quite So unreserved as his Predecessor: but he Seems to me to be in great distress. He was received by the Galleries in the Theatre with three Cheers: but the People have not addressed him or made much Noise about him. at the Birthnight Ball, he was placed by the Managers on the right hand of the President, which gave great Offence to the Spanish Commissioners:2 and it is Said Mr Hammond has left the Theatre, offended or digusted at some partial popular distinctions there.
My melancholly Anxiety for my Mother prevents me from visiting Theatres and Assemblies, so that I know nothing but by Hearsay.
{ 96 }
The Discussions of last Week kept me five or Six hours a day in so close a Confinement and the Croud of Hearers injured the Air, so that I was almost Sick but a Day or two of rest has relieved me in some degree.
I long for my home, but that is not to be my felicity for some time.
I am as ever most entirely / yours
[signed] J. A
young Mr Otis is here Under Dr shippens hands in a very disagreable situation. Thomas Lee shippen is in a dangerous Way.3
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “March 2d.”
1. On 25 Feb. the brig Katy of Boston, master Samuel Lumbard, was bound for Massachusetts when it collided with the Russian ship Edward in the Delaware River off Fort Mifflin. The Katy “was so much injured that she sunk immediately, the greatest part of her cargo, (flour) however, was saved” (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 26 Feb.; Philadelphia Gazette, 29 Jan.).
2. Along with José Ignacio de Viar, José (Josef) de Jáudenes y Nebot served as Spanish chargé d’affaires in the United States from 1791 to 1796 (Repertorium, 3:445).
3. Thomas Lee Shippen developed tuberculosis sometime in 1793. Although he recovered for brief periods, he eventually died of the disease in 1798 (Randolph Shipley Klein, Portrait of an Early American Family: The Shippens of Pennsylvania across Five Generations, Phila., 1975, p. 218–219, 332).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0048

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-03-02

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

What! are my venerable Old Friend Gates, and my respectable old Acquaintance Osgood, and my intimate Connection W. S. Smith, about becoming Town Meeting Men and to aid the Democratical Societies, the Constitutional Societies and the Jacobinical Clubbs, in their Attempts to overawe the Government of their Country? or is the Object to divide the People into Parties? or to force Us into a War Nolens Volens, Nolentes Volentes?1 or what does it all mean?
Is it Clintonian Electioneering? or is it that Osgood and Smith are setting Up for Representatives? Was you at the Meeting? What says the Wise Baron to all this? tell me Charles all about it in Confidence— Dont let any of them know that I asked the Questions or that you answered them.2
Let me know another Thing is Mr Burr a Man of Such ample Fortune as to purchase Richmond Hill and large Additions to it, make Improvements of very expensive kinds and all this? Is the Practice of Law such a mine of Gold with You? Has he moreover so great a share of that Practice?3
{ 97 }
We have been a Week with our Doors open trying Mr Gallatins Election: and have had much sterling Sense, much sound Law, much strong Reasoning much harmonious Eloquence and much brilliant Action: but We have had Some puerile Declamation, some Party Spirit, some miserable sophistry, some transports of Passion, and Some ignorant unintelligible Jargon. The Ballance however was greatly for the Honour and Dignity of the senate, and the Decision just and right.— Be discreet and secret. dont expose these free strictures which are intended for your confidential Use & Amusement.
What Figure did you make with your Cause? Dont make me wait a Week now, for an Answer.
I am, with usual regard
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams.”
1. Whether he will or not, whether they will or not.
2. For the New York City town meeting, see CA to JA, 5 March, and note 5, below.
3. Aaron Burr and his family by this time had moved into Richmond Hill, the estate AA and JA had rented when the federal government was still based in New York. The property, however, was owned by Trinity Church, although rented out on a 99-year lease, and Burr would not assume responsibility for that lease until May 1797. Nonetheless, Burr had used some of his wealth—in part from his legal practice, in part from financial speculation—to improve the house and create an elegant estate (Milton Lomask, Aaron Burr: The Years from Princeton to Vice President 1756–1805, N.Y., 1979, p. 108–111; vol. 8:xv-xvi).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0049

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-02

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

You will doubtless hear before this reaches you, the event of a Town-meeting which was called here lately for the purpose of helping forward Mr: Madison’s resolutions, and of intimidating our respresentatives who opposed them. After great [exertion] had been made to raise a Committee ready for every thing, [and the?] Committee had reported a number of resolves to answer [their purpo]ses, a very decided majority of a crowded town-meeting, voted to adjourn without day, and did not even hear a discussion of the resolves. The lurking serpent was perceived and avoided. The commercial part of the Town were almost unanimous, and the aversion to any measures which might be productive of War, appeared very decidedly to be the prevailing sentiment with the citizens of every description. The Jacobins were completely discomfited, and will have the mortification to find their intended poison, operate as an invigorating cordial.
{ 98 }
The arrival of the new Minister from France, and recall of Genet is another circumstance of mortification to the same party. They are not yet sure that Mr: Fauchet, will imitate his predecessor by connecting himself and his Country with a desperate Faction intent upon the ruin of our own Government, and while that remains an uncertainty they feel extremely fearful of losing their main support. I hope however that the new plenipoteniary, will pursue a different system, and that we shall still be permitted to remain at Peace.
Our Supreme Court has been sitting about a fortnight. Without being overburthened with business, I have on my hand[s sufficie]nt to employ almost all my time, and to keep upon my mind, a continual anxiety, which unfits me for any thing else. This will be my excuse, for having so long neglected to write you.
Since the contest between Americanus and Barneveld, the reputed author of the former, has treated me with an unusual degree of civility. He has even in one or two causes of considerable consequence, advised his client’s to engage me.— I know the Man, and shall have as little dependence upon his kindness, as I have fear of his resentment. I know he will never injure me, while I keep myself out of the reach of his malice.
My mother I presume gives you constant information respecting the state of my Grandmother’s health. She has had a long illness, and still continues in a dangerous situation. At her age every disorder is alarming; we have hopes however that she will yet recover.— The rest of our friends, here, and at Quincy are well.
The abandonment of Toulon by the fleet of England and Spain, and recapture of the place by the French republicans is our most recent European intelligence, and that is not yet fully authenticated. We have no late arrivals from Europe here, though I believe some are soon expected.
I remain Dear Sir, your affectionate Son
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “J.Q. Adams / March 2. And 13 / 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0050

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-05

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Father

I have this moment received your letters to the third instant.1 In answer to the queries respecting The meeting of the Citizens on { 99 } thursday last I can say that for about a week before the day proposed for the assemblage a Card was inserted in our newspapers inviting the inhabitants to convene on that day to consider the impediments which had been thrown in the way of our Commerce by Great Britain and to pass some resolves declarative of their sentiments upon the subject and to send instructions to our Representatives in Congress relative to the propositions which have agitated the lower house You are acquainted with the violence of the party who style themselves democrats seventy five men Friends to the French Revolution &ca I wrote you last summer an account of some of their proceedings2 Taking advantage of the moment, plausibly pretending that the virtuous inhabitants of the town of Boston to whose opinion much respect is paid by all clases of people in this City had found it necessary to direct their Representatives contrary to the votes they had given This party upon the day appointed appeared A warning had the evening before been inserted in our paper cautioning any who were opposed to the French revolution any who were not strict Democrats to appear of attempt to use any influence at the meeting. At the first gathering of Citizens on thursday the Cloven foot was discovered and The Democratic Society stood exposed to view The weather cock politics of the Livingstons is not unknown to you They were active in the scene The first Orator was a Mr White Matlack an excommunicated Quaker who for lesser crimes had long since been read out of their Society and who since by fraudulent bankruptcies defrauding widows and filching the poor pittance of the Orphan had sufficiently brazened his face for advocating a total neglect of payment of our debts to England the favorite subject upon which he discanted.3 The Livingstons came next The detestation of Hamilton and all his proceedings begged in head and ears Indian Wars Algerine depredations British impositions Generosity of France all these were consequences of The Chancellors dissappointment in not obtaining the place of Secretary of the Treasury—4 About a thousand Satellites were collected The Committee all previously arranged and everything was swallowed One person who attempted to speak against the tide was hissed threatened to the thrown over the ballustrade and forced to silence. Many of those who were upon the Committee appointed were not at the meeting In answer to your questions respecting Your old friends I will tell you my sincere opinion Gates is superannuated Smith turned fool and Osgood I fear a [<knave>?] The two former are tools of the Livingstons Col Smith was taken by his foible vanity and put { 100 } upon a Committee to serve their purposes I speak and write my sentiments very freely and if there is any fault in it I must charge those who made me for I am very sure it was born with me. We are tomorrow to consider the resolutions which have been entered into They are indeed very harmless a mere declaration of a few maxims of the laws of Nature and Nations Viz Resolved that a Nation has a right to remain neuter when not inconsistent with existing treaties Resolved that if Nations at war endeavour to prevent that neutrality they act unjustly.
Resolved that when nations at war take the ships or goods of the Citizens of Neutral nations unless contraband they do an injury.
Resolved that Great Britain has not fulfilled her treaties by not giving up the Western posts &ca Resolved that if Our Rulers should think it necessary to go to war we will submit to the expence. My opinion is if Mr Watts did not know all these things before his Constituents as they call themselves had laid them down he is very unfit for the office he holds They do not however pretend to instruct their Representative which is a modesty I hardly expected.5 The Chamber of Commerce has publicly called upon all those who have sustained injuries to come forward to them and make complaint They met last evening upon the business Every body would have expected that they would have been fully engaged Not a single complaint except one Captn of a Vessel for some slight offence committed by the Ambuscade.6 I am not surprized at this I have learned not to be surprised at any thing. By last evenings paper I find that the Committee in Boston had reported and that after some debate The meeting had been adjourned sine die There is certainly a great degree of good sense in that people, They meet together in large bodies discuss subjects of great magnitude with calmness take questions deliberately and separate without broken heads. In this City parties have different meetings where those of different sentiments are in a measure excluded So that meeting is opposed to meeting Resolutions set up against Resolutions and each party strenuous to puff the numerous concourse and Respectable assemblage which they have been able to call together in all the newspapers in town. Mr Burr’s practice must be lucrative Chancery business and that of the Court for the Correction of Errors is what he principally engages in. He has however a very expensive family and is generally supposed to be involved. I managed as well in my last causes as possible that is to say by the help of good Counsel I gained them no more is permitted an Attorneys business consists in drawing pleadings well I am { 101 } pretty accurate at that. I wrote a long letter to you respecting Mr G’s reception Proclamations and neutrality you have not acknowledged the receipt.7 Adieu My dear father beleive me your / Affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “C. [Adams?].” Some loss of text due to a cut manuscript.
1. Besides his letter of 2 March, above, JA also wrote to CA on the 1st, primarily quoting excerpts from Constantin François Volney, Les Ruines; ou, Méditation sur les revolutions des empires, Paris, 1792 (MHi:Seymour Coll.). For more on JA’s didactic letters to CA, see John Adams on Natural Equality and the Law of Nations, 6 Jan. - 8 May 1794, above.
2. See CA to JA, 25 Aug. 1793, vol. 9:444–446.
3. White Matlack (b. 1745) was a New York brewer and iron manufacturer. He was read out of the Society of Friends in 1781 in Pennsylvania for taking an active role in the Revolutionary War and joined the Free Quakers (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 356; Henry D. Biddle, “Owen Biddle,” PMHB, 16: 315 [1892]).
4. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston had been a staunch supporter of the Constitution during New York State’s ratifying convention and was disappointed not to receive a federal appointment in the first Washington administration. Livingston was particularly strongly opposed to Alexander Hamilton’s financial policies and became an active Republican (DAB).
5. On 27 Feb. 1794 a town meeting took place at the New York City Hall with over 1,500 citizens in attendance to discuss American foreign trade, especially British attacks on it. The meeting appointed a committee—including Horatio Gates, WSS, and Samuel Osgood—to draw up resolutions to be adopted and sent on to New York’s congressional representatives. The meeting reconvened on 6 March, this time with 2,000 people present. Those attending unanimously approved the recommended resolutions largely as CA outlined them here and forwarded them on to Rep. John Watts of New York City (New York Diary, 27 Feb., 6 March).
6. A committee of the New York City Chamber of Commerce met on 4 March at the Tontine Coffeehouse to hear “authenticated evidence” of any “unjustifiable vexation and spoilation committed on our merchant vessels by the powers at war.” The only person to claim vexation was a Captain Harvey of the ship Alice, who had complained some months earlier of poor treatment by a French ship. The committee reported the case to the executive department of the United States (New York Daily Gazette, 4 March; New York Daily Advertiser, 5 March; New York Columbian Gazetteer, 28 Oct. 1793).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0051

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Half an hour ago your kind Letters of Febry 23 & 25 were brought to me.1 I was at my station the Bed of our Parent when they were deliverd, who again renewd Her blessing with the Testimony of your having been always a kind and dutifull son. my duty towards her as your parent, and as an excellent woman whom I love respect and Revere shall in all points be fulfilld, but the scene is sometimes too much for me, and pains me to the Heart. I will not afflict you by the recital. last Night an ulcer upon her Lungs broke & dischargd to day { 102 } she seems rather Easier. I have left her just to return home and dine. mr storer brought me your Letters, and by his return to Boston I have wrote you a few Lines. I deliberated some time whether I should write you at all till I could say our dear Parent was at rest. I now most Sincerely join with her in hopeing that the hour will speedily arrive for she has finishd her course and done the work assignd her, and I doubt not she goes to reap the Reward of a well spent Life. God Grant you the support & comfort you need
Under a Bereavement which my next Letter must to all Humane appearance inform you of, most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
tell mrs otis I will write her when my mind is more at ease
1. JA’s letter of 25 Feb. thanked AA for her continuing care of JA’s mother and requested that Susanna Hall’s funeral take place from the Old House, if JA’s brother Peter approved. JA also commented on the heavy duty of chairing the debate over Albert Gallatin’s senatorial election; he concluded, “I have done so much of this patient Drudgery for five Years, that I am quite Satiated with it” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0052

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1794-03-08

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child,

I received your kind letter of February 12th, as well as one, by Mr. Storer, of February 2d.1 I have been every day since thinking that I would write to you, but a superior duty has occupied all my time for six weeks past. I have been only two days (when I was too sick to attend) absent from the sick bed of your grandmother. Your desire, that her last days might be rendered as comfortable as it is possible to make them, has been fulfilled. There has been no attention on my part, nor any comfort in my power to render her, that she has one moment wanted. She had spent a day with me the week she was taken sick. A severe storm had prevented me from hearing from her for a couple of days. I then learnt that she had a violent cold, as it was supposed. I went immediately to see her, and found her sick with a lung fever. Her granddaughters have been affectionate, tender, and watchful of her, but she has lived all the days of her appointed time, and is now ready to depart. Her senses are bright and quick, her hearing better than for years past. Upon looking back she has no regrets; upon looking forward she has all hope and comfort. Her hourly wish is to be at rest. She took her leave of me this evening, with her blessing upon me and mine to the latest posterity. I told her today that you desired to be remembered to her. She asked { 103 } me if I thought that there was any thing, which she had, that you would accept of. I answered, that what she had I thought her granddaughters, who were with her, deserved, and that I was sure you would value her blessing more than any thing else. “Well,” she replied, “I pray God to bless her and her children; and tell all who belong to me to consider, that a virtuous and a religious life is the only solid comfort upon a death-bed.” She has mourned much, since her sickness, that she should never see your father again; but she now seems reconciled to the thought of her approaching dissolution, which cannot be far distant. She has no rest, night nor day, her cough is so constant and troublesome; and she can take scarcely any nourishment. If she had reached the 17th of this month, she would have been eighty-five years old. I can say with Pope upon a similar occasion, “that my constant attendance upon her has indeed affected my mind very much, and lessened my desire of long life, since the best that can come of it is a miserable benediction.”2 “Nothing,” says Seneca, “is so melancholy a circumstance in human life, or so soon reconciles us to the thought of our own death, as the reflection and prospect of one friend after another dropping around us. Who would stand alone, the sole remaining ruin, the last tottering column of all the fabric of friendship, seemingly so strong, once so large, and yet so suddenly sunk and buried?”3
Present me kindly to all my friends. In some future letter I may notice several things in yours; but my mind is too much solemnized by the scene before me to add any thing more, than that I am / Your affectionate mother,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 364–365.
1. Neither letter has been found.
2. Alexander Pope to Jonathan Swift, 28 Nov. 1729, The Works of Alexander Pope Esq., 9 vols., London, 1751, 9:113.
3. Alexander Pope to Robert Digby, 1 Sept. 1722, same, 8:43.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0053

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Favours of Feb. 26 and Feb. (blank) arrived not till last night.1 They deserve my best Thanks on all accounts. They are full of Entertainment and Instruction.
S. is as Slippery as an Eel: He is not worth quarrelling with: but certainly is not to be trusted:— His Treaty with Spain is a great { 104 } Curiosity. I am really at a loss to guess, whether it was Ignorance or Impudence. He has so much of both, and at the Same time so much Imagination and Volubility, as to make a Character quite original. As John has whipped him at the Whipping Post, with at least thirty nine lashes, well laid on, and can lash him again or set him in the Pillory whenever he deserves it, it is not worth his while to break with him in any other Way. There are no moral Feelings in him which John can ever confide in or attach himself to. Honour, Fidelity Sincerity, Friendship, Gratitude, Candour, are not, locked up in that Casket.
We have not so forward a Spring as usual. Snow and Rain and Cold Weather. This may be favourable on Account of the Epidemic: but may produce other Complaints.— Senators talk of rising the first Monday of April, but will not before May.
The News from Montserat, of the Capture and Condemnation of Vessells upon pretense of a violation of a Decree of the late King of France, has occasioned a more Serious Allarm than any Thing before: and if thinking Men were not more afraid of the Friendship of France than of the Enmity of England, they would indulge their Resentments more than they do.2
To make a common Cause with Such Characters, to form intimate Connections; to communicate sentiments, to participate Principles moral, religious or political with Such a sett, is worse than all the Usual Horrors of War. But I doubt whether this People will bear, another whole Year, the detention of the Posts and the depredations in their Trade.
The new French Minister Fauchet is a very different Character from Genet. I dined with both together at the Governors on Wednesday. Fauchet is reserved cautious, discreet, hitherto. young; not more than 33.— Genet was as gay as if nothing had happened to him.
I have not heard whether John attended the Town meeting on the 26th, I believe of Feb.— Otis came forward We are told and got applause.
Petry, the French Consul, brought me the Regards of our old Friend The Abby Arnoux— The Abby De Chalut is dead— Arnoux lives still in the old Apartment in the Place Vendome.3
I have dined with Fauchet at the Presidents, Mr Meades, Governor Mifflins and Mr Morris’s.—4 The President on Monday sent me a kind Invitation to a seat in his Coach and in his Box at the Theatre. The Building is large handsome and convenient—the scænery { 105 } neat enough, and the Company of Actors, well enough. The House was crouded in every Part.5
If you see the Journals of the Senate, you will observe the Name of L among an entire new sett of Names, in Several Questions. The approaching Election of Governor as well as Senator, is suspected to give him some Anxiety. His Popularity is not represented to be so clear as it has been. He Seems hurried and worried— His Vanity more puerile— His understanding less discerning, if that is possible. In Short he is become the Pity, the Ridicule and Contempt alternately of his old Friends.— The Dupe and Bubble of his old opponents.6
From your Accounts of the situation of my honoured Parent, I must give up the Expectation of seeing her again.— While my Gratitude to you for your unwearied Attention to her Circumstances is in proportion to my Gratitude to her for her tender constant Solicitude for me from my Birth; my Prayers are incessant that she may be Supported with divine Consolations in her last Days and rewarded with the Joys of the faithful, forever.
I am with the tenderest sentiments, forever / Yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “March 8th / 1794.”
1. AA to JA, [ca. 20] Feb., above.
2. A newspaper item from New York reported, “By a gentleman from Montserat we are informed, that the English, in pursuance of their instructions, have revived, or consider as now existing, the laws of Lewis XVI. respecting trade, and that in consequence they seize and make prize of all American vessels, carrying the property of the French Islands, contrary to those laws.” A letter dated 21 Jan. also circulated widely through the newspapers and reported the capture of several American vessels at Montserrat (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 24 Feb.; Portsmouth, N.H., Oracle of the Day, 26 Feb.).
3. For Jean Baptiste Petry, French consul at Philadelphia, see vol. 4:17–18. The Abbés Arnoux and Chalut were staunch supporters of the American Revolution and friends of JA and the rest of the Adams family in Paris (JA, D&A, 2:317).
4. George Meade (1741–1808) was a prominent Philadelphia merchant and land speculator (DAB).
5. The performance at the new Chestnut Street Theatre on the evening of 3 March was Richard Sheridan’s The School for Scandal, followed by The Poor Soldier, a comic opera by William Shield and John O’Keeffe (Philadelphia Gazette, 3 March).
6. That is, John Langdon; see JA to JQA, 13 March, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0054

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-09

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Father

I had the following conversation with a gentleman on thursday last How comes it that you vary so much in your political opinions { 106 } from Col Smith and your father? I do not know that I differ in sentiment with My father but there are many principles which Col Smith has lately adopted that by no means accord with my ideas. This is strange it has been given out that Your father and Col Smith coincided in opinion and that he was put upon the Committee as far as possible to unite interests. You may be assured Sir that my father would never countenance such improper interferences with our Government and that it is merely a bait thrown out to allure some who have a veneration for his opinions
This report has never before come to my ears but you may be assured it is without foundation. It was spoken of last evening at the Coffee house. Well Sir I shall take the liberty of denying it wherever I hear it. I leave you my dear Sir to make comments. We have a poem entitled Democracy in which the motives of the Resolving party are exposed. It is circulated with so much caution that I cannot procure one or I would send it1 if I should be able I will forward it sometime next week I shall tomorrow write you the result of my researches upon the subject of the Samaneens2
Your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); notation: “New York March.”
1. Attributed to Brockholst Livingston, “Democracy: An Epic Poem, by Aquiline Nimble-Chops, Democrat” was published in New York on 6 March. The poem is a lengthy, mocking attack on the activities of the Democrats in the recent New York City town meeting. Ostensibly the first canto of what would be a longer piece, a later portion has not been found; the poem concludes with the establishment of the committee to prepare resolutions: “‘I hope that our Committee will take care / A long account, for Congress, to prepare, / Of all the michiefs by the British done, / And brand the devils every mother’s son.’ / ‘Huzza! huzza!’ thro’ all the streets resounds; / ‘Huzza! huzza!’ from every wall rebounds; / The distant lanes reverberate the roar, / And echoes break on either River’s shore” (Evans, No. 28979; New York Daily Advertiser, 5 March).
A newspaper squib printed the same day reported, “The Public are informed, that the Booksellers of this city, overawed or influenced by Democratic threats, have declined vending the Poem entitled DEMOCRACY: it will, however, be printed and circulated for the benefit of those whose principles and views it was intended to expose” (New York Daily Gazette, 6 March).
2. See CA to JA, 12 March, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0055

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1794-03-10

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Mrs. Smith,

Although the scenes in which I have been engaged for six weeks past, have been very different from those which you describe, I have been amused and entertained by your account. Though I cannot say { 107 } that I am charmed with your hero’s personal accomplishments, as you describe them, yet you find

“A man of wealth is dubbed a man of worth;

Venus can give him form, and Anstis birth.”1

I think our ladies ought to be cautious of foreigners. I am almost led to suspect a spy in every strange character. It is much too easy a matter for a man, if he has property, to get introduced into company, in this country, of the best kind, and that without recommendations. The entertainment you describe was really very curious.

“Men overloaded with a large estate,

May spill their treasure in a queer conceit;”2

and I am sure this was of that kind.
You may mix in these scenes, and sometimes join in the society; but neither your habits, your inclination, nor your natural disposition are formed for them. By nature you have a grave and thoughtful cast of temper, by habit you have been trained to more rational and durable pleasures, and by inclination you delight more in them. The frivolity of the present day has been much increased by our foreign connexions. I pray Heaven to preserve us from that dissoluteness of manners, which is the bane of society, and the destroyer of domestic happiness. I think, with the poet,

“If individual good engage our hope,

Domestic virtues give the largest scope;

If plans of public eminence we trace,

Domestic virtues are its surest base.”3

You complain that there is, in the rising generation, a want of principle. This is a melancholy truth. I am no friend of bigotry; yet I think the freedom of inquiry, and the general toleration of religious sentiments, have been, like all other good things, perverted, and, under that shelter, deism, and even atheism, have found refuge. Let us for one moment reflect, as rational creatures, upon our “being, end, and aim,” and we shall feel our dependence, we shall be convinced of our frailty, and satisfied that we must look beyond this transitory scene for a happiness large as our wishes, and boundless as our desires. True, genuine religion is calm in its inquiries, deliberate in its resolves, and steady in its conduct; is open to light and conviction, and labors for improvement. It studies to promote love { 108 } and union in civil and in religious society. It approves virtue, and the truths which promote it, and, as the Scripture expresses it, “is peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated.”4 It is the anchor of our hope, the ornament of youth, the comfort of age; our support in affliction and adversity, and the solace of that solemn hour, which we must all experience. Train up, my dear daughter, your children, to a sober and serious sense of the duty which they owe to the Supreme Being. Impress their infant minds with a respect for the Sabbath. This is too much neglected by the rising generation. Accustom them to a constant attendance upon public worship, and enforce it by your own example and precept, as often as you can with any convenience attend. It is a duty, for which we are accountable to the Supreme Being.
My pen has again taken a serious turn. I shall not apologize for it. Your own letter led to these reflections;5 and I am sure they flow from a heart anxiously solicitous for the happiness of you and yours. That they may make a due impression, is the ardent and affectionate wish of / Your mother,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 365–367.
1. Alexander Pope, “The Sixth Epistle of the First Book of Horace,” lines 81–82.
2. Edward Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion, Satire I, lines 185–186.
3. Rev. Samuel Bishop, “The Family Fireside,” lines 51–54.
4. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James, 3:17).
5. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0056

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-03-10

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear son

Your Letter of Yesterdays Date has given me much Pleasure. I recognize in it, my own son. Your Language to the Gentleman was manly and your sentiments independent. Col. Smiths Aberrations from the true system of his Country have given me great Uneasiness. You must let me know in Confidence, the Name of the Gentleman.
Every Citizen has a right to think, speak and Act for himself in his own Sphere, and I have no Authority to dictate to Col smith. But I think his Conduct imprudent, and will not be responsible for his sentiments.
If he is determined to unite himself with French Politicks and Antifœderal Parties, he must take the Consequences, but I will give { 109 } him no Countenance in it. Write me candidly and in Confidence all you know of his Manœuvres. I am my / Dear Charles your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0057

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I received Yesterday your kind Letter of Feb. 28. and March 1.—1 I can never be sufficiently thankful to you for your constant unwearied Attention and tender care of my Mother. I hope that you will be very careful of your own Health and not suffer your Solicitude and Exertions to go beyond your Strength.
Our Selfish young Rogue at Boston is so taken up with his Business and his Fees, that he has not written me any Thing this Winter. However he has done a Public Service of more importance than is or ever will be acknowledged, by any Body but his father and Mother.
The Federalists must be in high Spirits to threaten Such mighty Things. But I doubt their Power, their Union, their Spirit too much. They are Seeking Popularity and Loaves and Fishes as well as the Anti.’s and find it inconvenient to act a decided open Part in any Thing. But for this, many Things would have gone better. But for this your Husband would not have been Sacrificed, nor the unrivalled unexampled Writings of your son persecuted or neglected, as they have been. Let him listen to the Charge of a Father to mind his private Business and keep himself forever independent of the Smiles or Frowns of political Parties. A rigorous Frugality in Spight of all the Sneers of Bankrupts, Debauchers and Puppies. A Solid Income from a landed Estate in the Country; an unwearied Attention to study and Business: and an Integrity inexorable to every temptation, will carry him, as it has his father, through Life with more comfort and Honour and enable him to do more good than hundreds of thousands of Reptiles and Insects by which he may be sometimes annoied.
You go on in the Conduct of your Farm with so much Spirit, amidst all your melancholly Avocations, that it is a noble Regale to read your Letters. Plant the Ground which We broke up last fall with corn. Sow Barley where We had corn last Year—plant again the lower Garden, Potatoes again at the Beach Meadow. Plant again { 110 } Faxons last Years Corn field. Buy as many Cows and young Stock as you can keep in plenty. Send the sheep as soon as convenient to the Pasture by Harmans.
I shall send you some Money in a fortnight or three Weeks.
I know not whether John was at the Boston Town Meeting. Col Smiths Meeting at New York did not terminate so gloriously quite, as that at the Old South.
most tenderly your
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “March 11th / 1794.”
1. That is, AA’s letter of 28 Feb., above, which concludes with a 1 March dateline.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0058

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-12

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Father

The Samaneens were a sect of Philosophers of India They embraced the doctrine of Butta or Budda whom the Indians have placed among their Gods and beleive him born of a Virgin One peculiar difference between this sect and that of the Brachmans was that originally the Brachmans were all of one tribe or Cast The Samaneens did not exclude any class from their body The were much respected and venerated. It appears by the history given of them in the Encyclopedie that they suffered persecution on account of their principles and were expelled from many parts of India “Il n’en reste plus de traces sur les côtes de Malabar et de Coromandel Le culte des brachmes â succédé a celui des Samaneens; ceuxci selon le temoignage des Brachmes ont été detruits par le Dieu Vischnou parce qu’ils blasphemoient ouvertment contre sa religion; regardoient tous les hommes comme egaux n’admettoient aucune difference entre les diverses tribus ou Castes, detestoient les livres theologiques des Brachmes et vouloient que tout le monde fût soumis a leur loi.[]1 This article is interesting I have made an abridgment for you, as you desired me. I could wish neither to speak or hear of Col Smith his flights are too sublime for my comprehension In his late capacity of Committee man he has gained the honor of putting much more milk and water into the Resolutions than would have been mingled had he not been there. I have received your favors of the eighth and tenth inst In answer to the Question Whether all connection had ceased between me and The family of Smith I shall say that it was my wish to have concealed in my own bosom { 111 } every chagrine I never go there I have not even seen my Sister more than once in three months and that by accident Why should I be called upon to say anything further I know not. How to answer the other question? Should I use deceit towards my father and tell him that I am perfectly convinced of [my] weakness and error? Were I to say so, it would be far from the truth. Were I to declare that I did not entertain the same opinion of Sally Smith that I ever did, I should declare a falshood If you have questioned too closely it is not my fault I have obeyed2
With every affection I am your son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. No traces remain on the coasts of Malabar and Coromandel. The cult of the Brahmins succeeded that of the Samaneens; the latter, according to the testimony of the Brahmins, were struck down by the god Vishnu because they openly blasphemed against their religion, viewed all men as equal, did not recognize any differences among the various tribes or castes, abhorred the theological books of the Brahmins, and wanted the world to submit to their law.
CA quotes from the article on the Samanéens in the Encyclopédie méthodique, ou par ordre de matieres: Histoire, 5 vols. in 6, Paris, 1784–1791, a revised edition of Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie.JA’s letter requesting this information has not been found.
2. JA wrote to CA on 8 March and a second letter on 10 March (both MHi:Seymour Coll.) outlining his thoughts on William Laurence Brown’s Essay on the Natural Equality of Man, Phila., 1793, Evans, No. 25234. In the 8 March letter, JA summarized the contents of the three major sections of the essay, nothing that “This little Essay has I think placed this important Subject in a true Light and Shewn the golden Rule of Equality, to be equally hostile to Despotism and to Anarchy, equally friendly to Rights and to subordination.” His letter of the 10th carried on his “Sketch” of the book, outlining in greater detail its first chapter.
No letter from JA to CA around this time questioning CA’s relationship with SSA has been found. The Adamses had had reservations about their romance, for which see AA to TBA, 10 Jan. 1795, and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0059

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have all along flattered myself with hopes that I might with Propriety have taken Leave of the Senate and returned home, as soon as the Roads might be settled: But such is the critical State of our public Affairs, and I daily hear Such Doctrines Advanced, and Supported by almost and sometimes quite one half of the Senate, that I shall not prevail on myself to abandon my Post. This Day the senators were equally divided upon a Question, which seemed to me to involve nothing less than Peace and War, and I was obliged to decide it, to the no small Chagrin of a Number.1 If this Country is involved in War, it shall not be by my fault. But if it comes either from the Malice of our Ennemies or the Imprudence of our own People it { 112 } may perhaps be found, that I shall not shrink from its Difficulties, sooner than some who now seek it in disguise. Business is now carried on with rapidity in both Houses, and I shall have a month of Severe Duty. I have not been Absent a Day. It is to be sure a Punishment to hear other Men talk five hours every day, and not be at Liberty to talk at all myself: especially as more than half I hear appears to me very young inconsiderate and inexperienced.
The Boston Town Meeting as it terminated did a Service to the Public. If Government must be affronted or intimidated by popular Clubbs and partial Meetings of the People, it is a Pity that our Cities are not all as capable as Boston of discussing great questions. But in New York and Philadelphia there is Meeting against Meeting and Clubb against Clubb, to the Utter Confusion of the public opinion.
It is rumoured that We are to loose two Ministers of state by resignation, but I would not have the report propagated from me.2
I Suffer many Melancholly hours on Account of my dear Mother, and as many on your Account. Your Tryal must be severe, and I often wish I were with you to chear up your Spirits and share a Part of your Cares.
The Spring opens: The Birds sing; the Weather is fine, and all Things chearful but my thoughts about my home, and our public Prospects. Adieu my dear Partner, ever / your
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “March 12th / 1794.”
1. On 12 March the Senate debated what became “An Act in Addition to the Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States,” and JA cast a number of tie-breaking votes on various proposed amendments. The following day, he cast the deciding vote in favor of the bill, which, after further revision, was eventually enacted on 5 June. The act prohibited U.S. citizens from engaging in any military activities on behalf of foreign powers during wartime (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 66–68, 1461–1464).
2. For the resignations of Gouverneur Morris as U.S. minister to France and William Short as U.S. minister to the Netherlands, see JA to AA, 5 May, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0060

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-03-13

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear John

This morning I had the Pleasure of your Letter of the 2d of this month. The Town meeting did itself honour by its judicious Result. But there has not been the Same Wisdom in New York nor { 113 } Philadelphia: nor is there equal Wisdom and Decision in either house of Congress. All that has been done has been to restrain and moderate the constant disposition to rashness Intemperance and Madness.
Mr Fauchet is a very different Man from Genet and is pursuing a different system.
I am glad to hear you have been busy and wish you may be more so. Your Letters always give me Pleasure but I can easily Admit your Apology for Writing so seldom as I well remember when I was of your Age and standing at the Bar. A few Lines however now and then would not cost you much time and would give me great Comfort.
Proteus will never merit your Friendship and is not worth your Enmity. Do him Justice but court neither his Ill Will or Good Will. You have made him feel your Superiority to him, and it may not be amiss, and you will have Opportunities enough for it, to put him now and then in mind of it, by making him see his own Ignorance and Absurdity.
The Decline of my beloved Mother is a sourse of Melancholly to me, which I cannot and ought not to dissipate. My You and I my dear son fulfill our Duties in Life as well as she has done. We can never be too sensible of the Obligations We are under to this worthy Woman. She is about to leave a World on fire for Abodes of Innocence Peace and Bliss. Such is my Faith, and without it I should be in despair.
The Defection of certain New England Characters from what I think the line of their Duty and the true Interest of their Country, will oblige me to remain here I fear till the End of the session.1 This however in Confidence. I have a great Aversion to a War by Implication and Construction. We may be too soon compelled into it very expressly. But I am determined to do all that may depend on me to keep it off as long as possible. I am my Dear son / Your Affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “My Father / March 13. 1794.” and “My Father. 13. March 1794.”
1. Three New England senators—John Langdon of New Hampshire and Moses Robinson and Stephen Row Bradley of Vermont—had come to align themselves with the Democratic-Republicans by this time (Biog. Dir. Cong.). All three, for instance, voted against the “Act in Addition to the Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States,” for which see JA to AA, 12 March, note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0061

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

This Letter will not bear you so melancholy tidings, as from the close of my last, I apprehended. our Parent still lives; the ulcer which in my last, I informd you had broken upon her Lungs, and brought on the Symptoms of a speedy dissolution; she had Strength sufficient to Grapple with; all day on Sunday, we expected every moment would be her last, but she fell in to a quieter Sleep; and was revived with it; and has to the astonishment of her Friends Survived an other week. her cough has again become very troublesome, but she is not so distresst as she was: and may continue for some time to come she is loth we should think her better: tomorrow will be her Birth day; when she will commence her 86th year. since she was taken sick, she has seen & heard of 5 person in her Neighbourhood carried to their Graves; it has been very sickly here. mrs Bass who lived in our House was buried this week; she died of a mortification occasiond by a Rupture, which she had for several years, and not properly attended too. mr Seth Baxters wife, & Mrs Pray of a Lung fever, & two children—1
The weather has been so warm for three days, this week, that I could not but be anxious for my Philadelphia Friends: I fear the late intelligence will oblige Congress to sitt long. What can be done with that mad & I may say unjust Nation? if they force us into a war with them George will deserve a second time, to lose his Head; so sure as he provokes America into a war, so sure he will lose his crown. Heaven avert from us so distressing a calamity but there is a General Gloom and distress amongst the mercantile people.
our People commencd war—against the canker worm, the 2 day of March. we were the earliest in Town, and we have already slain our thousands. other people are but just begining, mr Black yesterday. I have sent to Town for an other Barrel of Tar—yet they use it more prudently than the last year. the Season is not so forward by a fortnight as the last year. the Roads have been so bad the frost just comeing out of the Ground, that Shaw is not yet come. I expect him in a few days—and have agreed to take Joy, and family. I shall want 5 cows. I can not hear of any under 20 dollors a peice I sent last week by a person going into the country after stock for cows & young cattle. he returnd without getting any with word that they were dearer there than round here. I shall want Pails Tubs pans hoops & the { 115 } whole Apparatus for a dairy a Cheese press excepted which I bought. I will send out the begining of April for my cows; Belcher Says we can keep them here, being well provided with salt & fresh Hay. we shall be obliged to purchase an other ox, for the other place, by Faxons movements, for he has bought on a match for that he had last fall; & a young Horse by which means he makes a Team up for his Son to work with.2 he is a sad, and I fear a dishonest Man. I shall be glad when we are rid of him; I have purchased 8 Barrels of cider: and I have engaged a Barrel of Rum, & a Barrel of molasses, a hundred of sugar as every article is rapidly rising in concequence of the detention of our vessels and the Ruin of our trade; some other articles I have omitted least I should plunge too deep; I have engaged an other load of Hay. tis a sad expensive thing to have to feed sheep 4 months with corn and English Hay. I make my Boys with one Man Tar for the most part; as soon as the frost is out, we shall finish breaking up the peice of ground for corn. I should like to know whether you design to Break up any New Ground at the other place, or plant over again part of what Faxon broke up last year. I long to have the places arrang’d Gardening will soon come on— I wish Brisler could send me some willow Trees— tell him I saw mrs Brisler & his Boy this week. both are well, and the Boy half grown a very fine child. I have been once only at my sisters for near Nine weeks. adieu my dearest Friend. Heaven preserve you in Health and return you in safety to your affectionate
[signed] Abigail Adams
The Hayseed not yet arrived.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. March 14 / 1794.”
1. Capt. Seth Baxter (1731–1805) married Mary Saunders (b. 1735) as his second wife in 1767 (Sprague, Braintree Families).
2. James Faxon had seven sons by 1794 but this was probably his eldest, Nathaniel (b. 1777) (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0062

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I know not how to throw off, the Lassitude that hangs upon me.—weary of a daily round, which to me is more confined and more insipid than to any other. I would gladly go home: but at a time So critical as this, it would not be justifiable, to quit my Post if there were no particular Reasons against it. But as the Senate is nearly { 116 } divided in all great questions, and the President pro tem, has lately taken it in his head to Shift his Box, my retirement would give an entire new Complexion to the Government.1 This Circumstance however must not be repeated from me: but it is true.
Great Pains have been and Still are taken to inflame the Populace of Philadelphia and New York, and they have no Method to correct this heat by a Town Meeting and by the temperate Reasonings of the Soundest Part of the Community, as they have at Boston: the Consequence of which is that Clubb meets to countract Clubb, Merchants to undo what Merchants or pretended Merchants have done, and the public Opinion is a Chaos, a Proteus any Thing every Thing and nothing. Yet all Sides trumpet and dogmatize about the public opinion.
If the New England People Suffer themselves to be artfully drawn into a War, they will be Dupes indeed, for all the Men and most of the Money must be forced from them, and while others, will throw off the Burthen of British Debts, and obtain all the Advantages of Fur and Petry Trades and Western Lands, We have not the smallest Thing to hope, unless it be by Privateering, and such is now the tremendous Naval Superiority against Us that We shall loose more than gain by that.
A General Dearbourne from the Eastward and a Mr Lyman from North hampton discover a Disposition to go wrong.2 Whether the first wants Employment in an Army I know not. the last is a Pupil and Correspondent of Sullivan, certainly: probably of Jarvis and Austin. He has a false a Subtle and a malicious Countenance: This I know, from my Sight. That he is so in realty I have heard. But a Pettifogger a Tool to Sullivan is enough to decide a Character: and by Such Characters is this Country to be cursed with War, and an Additional Debt of hundreds of Millions, while they are every hour declaiming against Debts and Taxes.
Raynal prayed that rather than Men should always be Knaves and Fools, the Species might be annihilated. at present it seems in a fair Way to be so. I love them too well with all their faults to be glad to see their present rapid Progress towards destruction. All that I have and all that I am would I chearfully give to prevent it. but I see no means. Havock must have its perfect Work and then Eyes will begin to open.
It is some relief against Melancholly to laugh: and Libells themselves evil as they are have their Uses. The inclosed from New York may divert you and the more so because you are a stranger as well { 117 } as I to most of the Characters. The Patriots in New York should seem to be at least as pure Characters as those at Boston, if the Poem is not mere fiction.3
I have some hopes that your next Letter will inform me my Mother / is better. I am yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs”; endorsed: “March 15 / 1794.”
1. John Langdon had served as president pro tempore during the 2d Congress; the new president pro tempore for the 3d Congress, Ralph Izard, was not elected until May (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Henry Dearborn (1751–1829) of Maine was a general in the Massachusetts militia. He was a Democratic-Republican representative from 1793 to 1797 and later served as secretary of war under Thomas Jefferson. William Lyman (1755–1811), Yale 1776, served in the U.S. Congress as a Democratic-Republican from Northampton from 1793 to 1797 (same).
3. The enclosure has not been found but was possibly a copy of “Democracy: An Epic Poem,” for which see CA to JA, 9 March 1794, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0063

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-17

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your two kind favours last Evening of march 2d & 8th. the seasons I belive have been very near alike both here and with you. we have had several days of warm & muggy weather, the Ground thawing the slug & miller very industerous, and as the Scripture assures us that tis Lawfull to do good upon the Sabbeth,1 my people are employd in Annoying these destructive Enemies, who make not the Sabbeth a day of rest; I hope our care and early attention will put an effectual stop to their career. our Neighbours are pretty generally taking the same precaution, tho they have been too neglegent of the season; I wish you to enable me as soon as possible, to send out for stock. Cows are in such demand that they rise in price every day. Col Bass of Randolph is after 20, and many others are in quest of them2 I should have sent the comeing week if I could.
I am much dissapointed at your loss, as I know not how to help myself here I want about 3 hundred Dollors. one hundred & 50 I shall send out for stock. we cannot expect to get Cows under 20 & some have been sold at 23 dollors. we have two calves which we are raising— I have got a Barrel of Rum and a Barrel of Molasses a hundred of sugar, which come to 54 dollors all these articles have risen since I first sent to ask the price of them. I want 50 weight of Coffe & some Chocolat I wish to know whether you would not think it best to get an other Barrel of Rum? there is a strong talk of a { 118 } General Embargo— whether Congress have such an object in contemplation I cannot tell, but trade is much distress’t. Rye has fallen in Price and as the Spring advances will be still lower. of that I would purchase 12 Bushel flower for what reason I cannot tell has risen three shillings in a Barrel. veal is currently Sold at 6 pence pr pound good Mutton and the best of Beaf at the same price so that the Farmer need not much complain. Hay keeps up at 7/6 & 8 shillings & Butter at 1/4 pr pound. these things must soon fall, if the Spring comes forward with a good Prospect. Cider I bought, drawn of at 2 dollors pr Barrel, which is said to be as cheep as 10 shilling would have been in the fall, considering the waste there always is in a Barrel—
what you mention respecting L——n I am sorry to learn. I always had a good opinion of him. poor Humane Nature, How few of they ospring are “firm and steady to their trust, inflexible in ill and strictly just”3

“Fame is a Bubble the Reserv’d enjoy,

Who strive to Grasp it, as they touch, destroy.

Who pants for Glory finds but short repose

A Breath revives him, or a Breath o’erthrows”4

I never knew so little of what was passing in Congress. we have only mutilated speachs and as to the Senate we are not informd of a Single movement how was Gallitan Election determind?
I am like to be in trouble in my oun Family Polly Howard is taken sick with the prevailing Lung fever. I hope a well timd bleeding may save her.5 I have hopes of the Recovery of our Parent “let none despair she says, if I recover, it may be calld a Resurection from the dead.” I cannot say she is out of danger, but she is certainly better, tho her cough is still very bad, and she is extreemly weak and low—
My Love to Thomas I have so many cares upon me that I do not get time to write to him so often as I wish. I am my dearest Friend most / affectionatly Yours,
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. March 17. 1794.”
1. Mark, 3:1–5, in which Jesus challenges his disciples, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?”
2. Col. Jonathan Bass (b. 1733) of Randolph had died in 1790. AA may be referring to his son, Samuel (1757–1842), Harvard 1782, also of Randolph, a wealthy landowner and town selectman, 1793–1799 (Charissa Taylor Bass, comp., Descendants of Deacon Samuel & Ann Bass, Freeport, Ill., 1940, p. 45, 82).
3. “The man resolv’d and steady to his trust, / Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just” (Joseph Addison, “Horace, Ode III. Book III,” lines 1–2).
{ 119 }
4. AA combines quotations from two separate poems. The first two lines are from Edward Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion, Satire IV, lines 253–254; the second two are from Alexander Pope, “The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace,” lines 300–301.
5. Polly Doble Howard (1774–1836) would marry Jonathan Baxter Jr. in 1797 (Sprague, Braintree Families).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0064

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favour of 8. March is just put into my hand.— My beloved Mother is very near my heart and has Spread a gloom over my Days from the first of her Illness. I must resign her to the Disposition of the supreme Ruler and prepare to follow her Example if I can in Life and in Death. My Love to my Brother and his Family who will be sincere Mourners with me and you upon this occasion. It grieves me to think that you are called to go through this melancholly Scene without the Participation of your Partner: But the Distresses of our Country have often destined Us to such Misfortunes for which We have little praise and less Thanks. The Prospects of our Country at this time are far from being bright. The Infatuation of our People has I fear brought upon them Resentments, more lasting and more fatal than they are aware. I still hope however that We shall not be involved in War: but our Madmen will provoke it if they can.
Brisler is this day beginning to Ship our Goods on board a Vessel that is to carry them into Qumcy Creek if he can.1 they must be carried on shore in the Scow I believe. I shall send you 500 Dollars by our son Thomas to his Brother John to Morrow perhaps. This must last Us till June, for I fear I shall be compelled to spend all the rest here if not more. I am most tenderly / yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams.”
1. JA shipped the family’s furniture on the sloop Abby, Capt. Samuel Eames. It reached Boston by early April (Boston Columbian Centinel, 5 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0065

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1794-03-19

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

My last Letter to you was of such a nature, that I can easily persuade myself no matter arose out of it sufficient to furnish an answer. the subject was personally interesting to me alone, and as { 120 } such, it deserved only to be dwelt on by me. I am manifestly also in your debt for your agreeable favor of the 18th Jany:.1 You ask me to “let you know the State of Politic’s at the fountain head.” Alas! I am not a Physician; and if I were, my chance for accuracy of judgment would be no greater than that of others; and when I tell you that scarcely two people judge alike of the actual State of the public pulse; that the most skillful differ materially in their conclusions, whether it beats the standard of health & tranquility, or indicates a latent disease, the first symptoms of an approaching eruption, or the sure prelude to actual tumult; your surprize perhaps, will be exceeded, only by your conviction of the falibility of human skill—nor will you tax me with a deficiency of discernment above the ordinary run of geniuses, when there are so many professing themselves equally bewildered with myself.
The crisis is thought to be near at hand, when the American council must pronounce how far they will tamely submit to insult, depredation, & unlawful spoliation from the powers of Europe— English pollicy is more blind & besotted than ever it has been heretofore— they are streching on the rack, the cool and collected spirit of American Independance, whose sinnews will bear but little more tension before a total dissolution must ensue. “O cæcas hominum mentes, O pectora cæca.”2 Their policy may be good, but our partiality will suggest its apparent fallacy so far as our interest is affected by it. It has long been in the power of Great Britain to bind America forever to her interest, without any uncommon share of favor extended on her part; instead of performing those friendly offices, usually practised among civilized nations, her system has been that of an overbearing, insolent, & haughty Nation, swallowed up in her own self sufficiency, & confiding in the brutal arm of force to procure advantages, which she is too proud to reciprocate. To this conduct we may object, but if breach of faith had not been added to the Catalogue, we could hardly be justifyed in a formal complaint. An Independant Nation may refuse to another privileges of intercourse & may abridge the advantages of a Commercial connection; but if the advantages are reciprocal, the door is open for similar conduct on the other side. This appears to be nearly our situation at present with reference to England— Mr: Madisons Resolutions, which have made so much talk in Congress and in all parts of the Union, contemplate something similar to this mutual restriction. They have met a violent opposition, more from the Idea that they were premature, & probably would be ineffectual for the { 121 } accomplishment of the object that produced them, than a conviction that our wrongs called not at this time for redress. Every American heart I am fully persuaded palpitates opposition to British insolence; but that we are in a situation to avenge our injuries at this time, if pacific measures should prove fruitless, is a question that excites no small degree of embarrasment by the doubtfullness of its nature.
War is become a common topic in the Seaport towns; it is in a measure familiarized to all classes, by the frequent meetings of Merchants that have been convoked. For the most part, the result of these Assemblies, by the aid of those not so immediately desirous of violent measures, has been favorable. It has been thought prop[er] to leave the business with those, in whom the regulation of Nati[onal] measures is legally vested.3
In this place much pains is taken to inflame the public mind against England; you may easily immagine that our National prejudice requires little provocation of the artificial kind; the spur to our antipathy need not be sharpened, for the mettle is genuine, & to have been once sorely pricked, is sufficient to persuade us, that the part is tender. With me, you will join in an earnest prayer that we may neither suffer too long, nor resent too hastily the oppression with which we are threatned. That we may be as terrible in our resentments, as our forbearance has been magnanimous.
Your’s
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Atty at Law / Haverhill / near Boston”; internal address: “W Cranch Esqr:; endorsed: “T.B.A. March 19. 1794 / Recd. 29th— / Answd. April 12th. by / Leonard White.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. TBA slightly misquotes Lucretius’ De rerum natura, Book II, line 14: “O miseras hominum mentes! O pectora cæca!” (How wretched are the minds of men! How blind their intelligence!).
3. One such meeting took place in Philadelphia on 11 March. Those in attendance adopted various resolutions defending the importance of the carrying trade “to the prosperity, dignity, and happiness of America” and arguing that American ship owners should be reimbursed for any losses sustained at sea by violations of the law of nations. The meeting proposed no action other than to publish its resolutions and to schedule another meeting for the general citizenry (Philadelphia Gazette, 12 March).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0066

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

Yours of March 11th reachd me yesterday I have the satisfaction to anounce you our Parents Life, her complaints graduly decrese. her Health appears to be languidly returning, and last night for the first, { 122 } she passd without a Watcher. Nine weeks she has been confind, but as her disorder of Body gives way, her faculties which all along during her Sickness seemd brightned, appear to be impaird, which is often the case in Younger and stronger persons. She now hopes to be Spaired to see you once more. my own Family is very sick, both my girls confind with this Lung fever. Polly Howard got better, but too soon exerting herself got cold and is worse than at first. we have had very warm weather for several days uncommonly so for March. the Grass is turning Green and to day we have a fine rain. we have taken advantage of the weather and finishd the breaking up. the Slug & millar are thought to be in greater plenty than usual. we have not omitted tarring every day. I went this week to see the new House and Farm. the House I found in such a state as to require imediate attention. like the Augean Stable it wanted a River Turnd through it, to do them justice they had engaged to have it cleand, but the woman never did it. I sent a couple of Hands and it took them two days to make it decent. there are a dozen Squares of Glass out, and some small matters which want to be put in order without. I went into the Barn & out buildings which are convenient and I think the purchase not a very dear one considering the Buildings. Thayer drove all his Stock into the country in November & sold his Hay so that there is very little manure, not much more than will be wanted to put upon the peice of ground which was planted last year to corn, & must now be Sown to Barley. you direct to plant again Faxons last years corn Field. would not it be better to break up a few acres more, & sow down a part of what was last year planted. I wish to execute your commissions directly, respecting stock, but it will not do to send out without the needfull. I have been up to Faxons to examine what I shall want for both places for the dairy. Pratt I find were out every thing they had, & what Faxon has belongs to them excepting a cheese press so that I hall have occasion for 6 dozen milk pans 6 creem pots 8 milk pails 2 cheese Tubs & Baskets 2 churns Hoops &c some more Tools will be wanted. Thayer has a pr of Broad Wheels would you take them? wanting Hay & oats I have been obliged to apply to the dr for 15 pounds. my workmen want their pay weekly, and the Spring opens new wants daily. we have had a subscription for purchaseing a new funeral pall which was much wanted, the cost of which was 60 dollors. I gave 5 towards it. the subscription was soon filld and the purchase made. is there any prospect of your Grass-seed, or is it all gone. let me know as I believe I can get some in Boston—
{ 123 }
The Genett Party the Jacobine club—are trying for an other civic feast in Boston, but I believe will not succeed with only their own Party every article of foreign produce is risen a Quarter higher.
we hope you are all employd in doing much good but we know very little what
most affectionate Regards attend / you from your
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. March 22. 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0067

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-23

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I have neglected writing to you longer than usual, that I might have it in my power to give you some more favorable prospect of publick affairs, than for some time past has presented itself to my mind; I have had some serious thoughts of the alteration of my pospects, in the event of a war. Instead of peaceably pursuing the path of my profession; the law of Arms would probably excite my attention; I know not whether I was born with courage enough for a Warrior, but at least I should not be deficient in inclination. The subject of war has been & [sti]ll continues to be much talked of; but I apprehend it [to] be farther distant than is generally immagined. The People at large have scarcely heared of such a thing, and the Rulers of our Country understand too well the responsibility of their Offices to hazard a headlong & precipitate measure, which is to affect so sensibly the purses of their Constituents. The Sea Ports are generally irritated by the depredations of the powers at war upon their Navigation & Commerce, but however clamorous they may seem for the moment, many of them are too sensible that the condemnations that have taken place of their Vessels & Cargoes, have not been without a justifyable cause in many instances. Doubtless there are cases which wear the appearance of arbitrary rule, & the propriety of the law or proclamation, which declares a particular course of trade contraband, may excite a doubt; but in our earnestness to obtain redress, we should be careful how we furnish a plea of justification to the aggressors. If Great Britain has violated or infringed our just rights, (and none will doubt but she has,) if she has done it under a plea of necessity, & leaves the justice of it to be discussed at a future period, when that necessity has ceased, it may be { 124 } doubtful whether a patient forbearance on our part till that period arrives would not be the most adviseable conduct.1 But it may be objected, that our losses under her present system are continually weakening our power & exhausting our resources, and the longer we forbear, the less able we shall be to obtain redress by force— This argument would carry force with it in my mind, if I thought we were able to […] with all the powers combined against France in [the pre]sent situation; but we are not, & a war would cost [the coun]try infinitely more than she is likely to loose by the restriction of her trade. The populace will always follow the impulse of passion & resentment, without considering the consequences; & opposition to their opinions is looked upon by them as a decided approbation of the measures they reprove. They acknowlege no medium, between being with them, or against them. This is a misfortune to which all popular questions are liable. And a greater one than this, is, that they never can be persuaded that a measure which they advocate will opperate injuriously till they actually feel its effects. Congress have been occupied with the question of imposing an embargo for 30 days on all vessels now in port; but it has been negatived by a small majority— As the debate was private I know not who were its advocates or opponents.2
I am preparing to make a Journey into the interior part of this State, in a Circuit with my Master Ingersoll, who as Attorney Genl. of the State is required to attend the Supreme Court in his official capacity. It will be useful to make an acquaintance with the State in which I am to reside; I have held in a favorable light the idea of a settlement in some Country Town hitherto, but as my Father & my Master think a continuance in the City more favorable, & as my father is willing to extend his assistance till I may obtain business sufficient to support myself, the probability is that I shall settle here— Dependance is at all times irk[some and] I feel the weight of the obligation too strongly [. . . .] in my endeavors to place myself beyond the [. . . .] I can hardly expect however that my success will b[e as] rapid as that of a native citizen, supported by a numerous family of relations. I never will omit an opportunity of introducing myself to business where it may be done with honor; & if my talents do not entitle me to notice the defect must be radical, & not the fault of my own endeavors.
I am / my dear Mother / with the strongest affection / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
{ 125 }
PS Give my love to Louisa & remember me to Uncle Cranch’s family.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JA: “Mrs A. Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs A Adams”; docketed by JA: “T. B. Adams. 23. March / 1793 or 4 / Philadelphia”; notation: “Free / John Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. Filmed at 23 March [1793].
1. Earlier this month, word had reached Philadelphia of the British promulgation of a new Order in Council, dated 6 Nov. 1793, that allowed for the seizure of any neutral ship carrying goods intended for France. News arrived at the same time of the capture of a significant number of American vessels by the British Navy in the area around the West Indies and of the ill treatment the sailors received in irregular British courts of admiralty established on the islands to adjudicate the cases. This new British policy challenged American neutral rights and the notion that “free ships make free goods” and greatly increased tensions in Anglo-American relations. Ironically, the British had already overturned their own November order with yet another new policy, of 8 Jan. 1794, allowing for American trade with the French West Indies, but news of the revised policy did not reach the United States until the end of March (Charles R. Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution: British Policy toward the United States, 1783–1795, Dallas, 1969, p. 299–303).
2. The House of Representatives initially considered the possibility of authorizing the president to establish an embargo of forty days on 12 March; on the 14th, it was voted down, largely to postpone the decision until after other issues were considered. The House revisited the issue beginning on 17 March, eventually approving it as amended to thirty days on 25 March; the Senate concurred on the 26th (Philadelphia General Advertiser, 15 March; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 500–501, 523–528, 529–530, 531). JA reported the news to AA in a letter of 27 March (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0068

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-24

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I received on Saturday your favour of the 13th: Instt: Our Supreme Court closed their session in this town last monday, and I am thereby left with more leisure, and less care upon my hands than I had been for some time past used to. The anxieties of business carry with them an antidote, but the anxieties of no business have nothing to weaken or alleviate them.
My Grandmother is still living, and we have yet hopes of her recovery. I heard from her on Saturday, that her symptoms were more favourable than they had been for some time.
The depredations committed upon the commerce of this Country, have considerably distressed, and still more alarmed our merchants, and if the principle upon which the british have lately proceeded to seize our ships be persisted in, I fear we shall have no alternative but War; indeed it is of itself a state of War, to have every thing that passess under the denomination of supplies liable to capture.
{ 126 }
The aversion of our people to War is however constantly strengthening; and has of late upon several occasions appeared in a very decided manner The Event of our town-meeting exhibited very forcibly the public sentiment here; a still later occasion has shewn the prevalence of the same Sentiments.
An attempt was last week made to celebrate the late successes of the French, by a second civic festival.— It was set on foot by the Jacobin-antifederal faction, and they appointed a Committee who applied to the Lieutenant Governor to order out the military and to make a display in behalf of the Commonwealth— He at first complied with their request, ordered out an artillery company, and directed that they should be supplied with one hundred cartridges at the expence of the State; that is from the public magazines; but what with squibs upon the subject in the newspapers and with serious expostulations from some respectable gentlemen, he got intimidated; one despicable passion rescued him from the disgrace which another was bringing upon him, and he countermanded his orders; the civic festival is postponed, and we shall hear no more of it untill some new accident, shall give another clue to those who set it on foot.1
The old Gentleman has hurt himself by this improper compliance with an insolent request; the general opinion seems to be that there will be no choice of a Governor by the people at our ensuing election. It is my opinion however that Mr: Adams will be chosen.— He may do less harm than some others, but he will certainly never do any good. Stat magni nominis umbra.2 His present impotence leans for support on his former services; and the office will be given him as a reward, not as an employment.
I am Dear Sir, ever your’s
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “J. Q. A. March 24 / Ansd April 3. 1794.”
1. On 17 March some 200 Boston citizens gathered to plan a second civic feast for 25 March “to celebrate the late glorious successes of our French Allies against the Combined Despots of Europe.” Acting governor Samuel Adams initially gave his support to the project and ordered “some military corps to parade on the occasion.” In the days following this announcement a number of squibs appeared in the Boston press, primarily in the Massachusetts Mercury, challenging the event. One questioned if participation by any French citizens would be deemed a violation of neutrality. Another proposed putting the funds toward repatriating American citizens captured by Barbary pirates. And one directly challenged Adams’ right to order the militia to participate in a political event, questioning whether the whole event violated George Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation. In the end, the event was suspended indefinitely due to “the uncertainty of our present political Situation, and the Distress and Embarrassments of our Trade” { 127 } (Boston Independent Chronicle, 20 March; Massachusetts Mercury, 21 March; Boston Gazette, 24 March).
2. He stands the shadow of a mighty name (Lucan, Pharsalia, Book I, line 135).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0069

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

our two Tenants are come, and I have occupation enough. I have set them to clear the manure out of the Barn and to digg the Garden put all the wall up and look to the fences. when that is done, I shall send them to clear up the Bushes in Curtis’s pasture.1 I hope you will not be detaind longer than the Month of April. you will be weary of hearing of my wants, and of supplying them, but I find we want for the Two Farms a Wheelbarrow for each place 2 spades 2 forks 2 shovels 2 axes 2 hoes. I shall order two more Sythes immediatly—each place must be supplied for it will not be working it right to carry from this place those articles as at present, we are obliged to, and still worse to Borrow— I shall Buy 50 weight of clover and a few quarts of Herds Grass seed. I wish you to inform me whether for the corn land which is broken up here, the manure is to be spread as the last year. Belcher is of opinion that as the land is cold it would be better to manure in hills— I am waiting for a Remittance to proceed with courage. mrs Brisler, too want me to let her have some money, or you had better let Brisler have it for her, but I shall let her have 5 dollors as I promisd it her— for myself I have spent only 2 dollors & half through the winter & that was for shoes— the whole of the Family expences are upon my Books. Arnold seemd so desirious of continuing with us, that I think to hire him for 8 Months, or by the Year if you think best.
we continue our daly Labour of tarring how long it is to hold I know not, but it will be necessary to get an other Barrel of Tar, as the animals are so thick as to oblige them to lay on plentifully every day.
Mother continues much in the same state as when I last wrote you. she is a mere shadow but the wonder is that she lives. she has been led out of the Room twice—
Trade languishes. we are full of wrath but Patient, whilst

“A Passenger the voilated Merchant comes along

That far sought wealth, for which the noxious gale

He drew, and sweat beneath equator suns,

By lawless force detained”

{ 128 }

“When ruffian force

Awakes the fury of an injurd, state

Even the good Patient Man, whom reason Rules

Rouz’d by bold insult, and injurious rage

with sharp, and sudden check th’ astonishd sons

of voilence confounds;”2

Yet I see no more reason for going to war with England than with France, nor indeed so much for England does not pretend to give us the Fraternal kiss, & judas like betray us, tho I own want of power only to resent their injuries would restrain me, if negotiation should prove unsuccessfull—
the civic feast vanishd in smoke. none but the democratic club would unite in it. I have not seen our son for a long time, so that I cannot tell you so much about it as I wish.
I am my dearest Friend most affectionatly and tenderly yours.
[signed] Abigail Adams—
I have learnt this afternoon that the L. Govenour assured the Jacobines who waited upon him requesting his attendance to the civic Feast, and that he would order out the Militia, that their request should be complied with. when the real merchants and principal people found that the Government was to be drawn in; they had a meeting, & sent a committee to remonstrate to the Governour, assuring him that it was in direct voilation of their Solemn engagement to remain Neuter; and that if any such thing was attempted more than a thousand of the inhabitants would remonstrate against it; he was much allarmed and said he would use his endeavours to prevent it the Chronical asscribes it to the distress of the Town and the deplorable Situation of the Trade!3 misirably reduced indeed that not even one solatary Dollor pr head could be furnishd. poor spirited wretches. what shifts to support an abhored system.
I must request you to hasten me some money. my Buisness is much impeeded at this time through want of it. I know the reason has been the delay of the Appropriation Bill—4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. March 26. / 1794.”
1. Possibly Neddy (Edward) Curtis (1767–1832), a cordwainer, some of whose land JA would purchase in 1796 (Sprague, Braintree Families; JA, D&A, 3:247, 248).
2. James Thomson, “Britannia,” lines 46–50, 154–160. AA slightly alters the second stanza: “When ruffian force / Awakes the fury of an injured state. / Then the good easy man, whom reason rules, / Who, while unhurt, knew nor offence nor harm, / Roused { 129 } by bold insult, and injurious rage, / With sharp and sudden check the astonished sons / Of violence confounds.”
3. Besides printing Thomas Crafts’ official notice of the cancellation of the proposed civic feast, the Boston Independent Chronicle, 24 March, also added that the festival “did not fail of its completion on the day assigned, for want of a hearty disposition in the citizens in general to celebrate the successes of our illustrious Allies; but the distresses of the town as they operate on every class of citizens, prevent them at present from shewing this public mark of fraternal affection to the French Republic.” For more on the canceled feast, see JQA to JA, 24 March, and note 1, above.
4. “An Act Making Appropriations for the Support of Government” for 1794 was approved on 14 March. It provided for compensation for all government office-holders, including JA as vice president (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 1419–1422).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0070

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1794-03-27

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

I received yesterday your very laconic favour enclosing a draft upon the bank for 500 dollars which I shall pay over according to your directions.1
We are in great apprehension of being forced into a War. The last intelligence we have from the West Indies is that they capture and condemn all our vessels without discrimination— A Man arrived yesterday with an account of more than thirty sail being condemned in the Island of Nevis only.—2 This is beyond all toleration.— We wait with great anxiety for the measures which will be adopted by congress at this crisis
Your Grandmother has been very dangerously ill and is not yet out of danger; she is however better, and there are hopes of her recovery. The rest of our friends are in health
your affectionate brother
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (NN:T. H. Morrell Coll.).
1. Not found.
2. A Captain Lee arrived in Massachusetts from St. Eustatius carrying reports of the condemnation of 37 vessels at Nevis and St. Kitts. Another article a few days later suggested that the British had condemned more than 250 American ships in the West Indies (Boston American Apollo, 27 March; Boston Gazette, 31 March).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0071

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-03-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last Evening received Yours of March the 15 and 17th together with the Money you remitted. it was very fortunate in its arrival, for in half an hour after, I had two fine cows offerd me which I immediatly purchasd tho I gave 40 dollors for them. The sheep Lambd so { 130 } early, and my cows came in so early that we have expended more english Hay than I could wish, and they Rob’d my Horses to feed the sheep; The oxen upon Faxons place will be very little able to work when he goes of. he has carted so constantly this winter and Spring that he has batterd the Waggon wheels all to peices. but why should I perplex you with Domestick provocations, when you have so much trouble with the Political Machine. you are certainly what they Term the make weight in the Scale—which is a very important part, not so unimportant is your station as you have sometimes represented it. I believe from all I can learn that War is a very undesirable object with the people of the Eastern states. the Mercantile part, tho much opprest, became quiet, and determind to wait patiently the desision of Congress. the News of Yesterday, has given spirits, and a spring to every thing. the prospect of having their vessels liberated, and their trade freed from the late embarressments together with the continuation of peace has defused a general joy.1
I would fain believe that england will be too mindfull of their own interest to continue their abuse & they will be induced to make all reasonable compensation. I hope your constant & severe duty will not prove too hard for you. you may look forward to a charming Recreation and ample employ upon your Farms— I shall however do my best that nothing may essentially suffer before your return, but I look round and feel as tho I could find employ for 20 Hands
Your Mother continues to be gradually Mending. my own Family is getting better— I am too much occupied to have leisure to think myself sick.
mrs Brisler and Family are well. You will direct Brisler to give me Particular information with respect to the furniture
yours Affectionatly &c &c
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. 28 March / ansd 7 April 1794.”
1. On 28 March the Massachusetts Mercury printed the news of Britain’s enacting its 8 Jan. Order in Council, for which see TBA to AA, 23 March, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0072

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-03-31

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest friend

I have scarcely a moment to acknowledge the Rect of your favour of 22 this instant put into my hand. I rejoice in the Recovery of my dear Mother and hope to see her, but I cannot say how soon.
{ 131 }
We the old Sachems have enough to do to restrain the Ardour of our young Warriors.— We shall Succeed however, I still hope, in preventing any very rash steps from being taken. There is a dishonourable Motion before the House to sequestre or confiscate private Contracts: but it will not pass the House—if it should the senate will stop it.1
Break up as much as you please and sow as much as you think proper. I must leave All to you.— I cannot think of leaving senate yet. I sent you 500 dollars. purchase all the Tools &c that are wanted and stock.2
I am sincerely
[signed] J. A
I am grieved at the Dotage of the Lt Govr.. He is mad.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. On 27 March Rep. Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey proposed resolutions in the House of Representatives to sequester debts owed to British citizens as indemnification for the seizure of vessels by the British Navy and privateers in contravention to U.S. neutrality. Supporters argued that this was an appropriate response to British actions and that the United States had the right to reparations. Opponents, like JA, believed that under the law of nations, private debts should not be subject to reprisals and that such measures would undermine American credit. The resolutions were eventually superseded by other proposals and never formally approved (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 535–556).
2. JA wrote to AA on 27 March sending her this money and “a fresh supply of Grass seeds” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Cheesman has at length arrived and I have recd my Trunk in much better order than I expected.
The People here are much cooler than they were last Week. The Embargo begins to be felt by many who have been the most noisy and turbulent. Speculation mingles itself in every political Operation and many Merchants have already made a noble Spec. of the Embargo by raising their Prices: but the foolish Tradesmen and Labourers who were so ready to follow the heels of their Scheeming Leaders are now out of Employment, and will loose 30 dollars at head by this Embargo. If they had been taxed half the sum to the most necessary and important Measure they would have bitterly complained. I can See little benefit in the Embargo except that it may cool down the Courage of such kind of People. It may be expected that We shall soon have a Clamour against the renewal of it, if not to have it repealed.
{ 132 }
The Assembly of Pensylvania have this day chosen a senator Mr James Ross of Washington County in the Place of Mr Gallatin.1
A violent Measure has been proposed in the House to Sequester all Debts due from American Citizens to British subjects. Such a Motion will do no honour to our Country.— Such Laws are injurious to the Debtor as well as the Creditor, for they cannot annul or dissolve the Contracts. It will not pass the House, and if it did, it would stop in the Senate.
We are rejoiced that the civic Feast in Boston Succeeded no better. It is astonishing that Mr Adams should ever have thought of implicating the Government in so indecent and hostile a frolick.
We have had an incessant Struggle, all Winter to restrain the intemperate Ardour of the People out of Doors and their too accurate Representatives in both Houses. Too many of our good Federalists are carried away at times by their Passions and the popular Torrent, to concur in motions and countenance sentiments, inconsistent with our Neutrality and tending directly to War. But I hope We shall be able to make a stand against all fatal Attempts.
I long to be at home, but I dare not ask leave to go. The Times are too critical for any Man to quit his Post without the most urgent necessity. Ways and Means must be provided to defrey the Expences incurred and I expect this will be put off till May. I Shall be very uneasy through this whole month, but I must take Patience.
I hope Mr Adams of Boston, the Lawyer is full of Business and making his Fortune— I hear so Seldom from him that I must Suppose him busy.
Tel my dear Mother that I hope to have the Pleasure of seeing her in the Month of May. Love to my Brothers & sister & Cousins &c
I am, most tenderly yours
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “April 1st 1794.”
1. James Ross (1762–1847), a lawyer in Washington County, Penn., served as a Federalist senator from 1794 to 1803 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0074

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Post of the day brought me, your kind Letter of 26. Ult. The more I am charmed with your Bravery and Activity in farming the more I am mortified that my Letters in Answer to yours are so { 133 } insignificant and insipid. I must leave all your Agriculture to your Judgment and the Advice of your Assitants. I sent you more Grass seeds with the Furniture, which I hope has arrived before now. Mr Adams has sent you the 500 before now. I will sent you a little more if I can possibly Spare it.
The Times are so critical and Parties so nearly ballanced that I cannot in honour, nor consistently with my Duty abandon my Post. There are so many wild Projects and Motions and so many to support them, that I am become of more importance than Usual, in the opinion of the Soundest Part of the Community.
We have very disagreable Business to do in finding Ways and means for the Expences We have already incurred. It grieves me to the heart to see an increase of our Debts and Taxes, and it vexes me to see Men opposing even these Augmentations who are every day pushing for Measures that must involve Us in War, and ten times greater Expences.
But the Inconsistencies and Absurdities of Men are no Novelties to me.
I have pleased myself with a hope that I should get home in April: but the general opinion is We shall be obliged to remain here till the middle of May. I have little Expectation of seeing you before Election.1 You are so valourous and noble a farmer that I feel little anxious about Agriculture. Manure in Hills, if you think best: but manure your Barley ground well and harrow it well.
I have now the pleasing hope of Seeing my honoured Mother again in comfortable health. I have Suffered many melancholly hours both on her Account and yours, and I think myself, indebted under Providence to your tender Care and indefatigable Assiduity, for the Prolongation of her Life.
If the Yellow fever should mak its Appearance here We shall soon fly: but there is no symptom of it as yet.
I am sometimes obliged to give critical Votes which expose me to the Passions of Parties: but I have been wonder fully Spared this session. They find it best to let me alone; for I get credit by their Abuse. I am most sincerely / and most kindly your
[signed] J A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “April 3d 1794.”
1. Massachusetts citizens cast their votes on 7 April, but JA presumably refers to 29 May, the date of the first meeting of the year of the Mass. General Court, at which the votes were formally counted for the election of governor and lieutenant governor, and the house of representatives elected two members for the senate (Boston American Apollo, 10 April, 29 May).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0075

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-04-03

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I have recd your favour of the 22d I believe it is,1 and am glad to hear that the People of Boston are disposed to Stand firm on neutral Ground. Much will depend upon their Stability. There are so many Interests constantly contriving to draw Us off, from that Position, that if Boston should fail Us We should be in great danger. I feel for the Sufferers under the Unexampled depredations of the English, whether they are brought into their present Distresses by mere misfortune or by their own Imprudence: but a War would accumulate burthen upon burthen in Such a manner that it ought to be avoided if possible. This is, for any thing I know, the most cruel War that ever was waged; of the most uncertain Object, and most incomprehensible Issue. We know not who would be our Ennemies, nor who would be our friends, nor what We could get nor what We might loose. We must endeavour to obtain restitution. one is for commercial Warfare, another for Reprisals on private Debts and a third for prohibiting all Intercourse: measures which would do nothing but mischief, if they should not lead, as it is probable they would directly to War.
Your Business I hope will encrease. You must bustle in the croud make Speeches in Town Meeting, and push yourself forward. Meet with the Caucusses and join political Clubbs. not the Jacobins however. Some have a faculty of making friends and dependents: some marry fortunes; some marry into Connections. Others find Ways of making money in twenty honest plans. Much more depends on little Things than is commonly imagined.— an erect figure, a steady Countenance a neat dress, a genteel Air; an oratorical Period, a resolute determined Spirit, often do more than deep Erudition or indefatigable Application. A King a Dexter, an Otis have started up per Saltum into fame.2 All have not the same Gifts.
My sons according to all Appearances, must be content to crawl into fame and be satisfied with mediocrity of fortune, like their Father. Either nature has not bestowed on Us her most exquisite favours, or We have some Aukwardness in Address, or some peculiarity of feelings, which condemn Us to perpetual Drudgery, without much fame fortune, or Attention from the World. so be it. We are under so much less Obligation to Others. You must not complain. The World will take Advantage of every murmur, and revenge itself { 135 } on you for that superiority in some Things which it knows you possess.— You must extort Admiration or you will never have it. If you appear to want it and to seek it, it will fly from you. He who asks favours of the People never fails to be favoured with their Contempt. You must compel them to ask favours of you. If you cannot excite their Enthusiasm, and make them afraid of you, they will never respect you.
When you arrive at my Age, and look back upon your youth you will see your Errors as I do. If I were to live over again I would not again be the slave of an ungerous World; so declares your affectionate Father
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A. Esq”; endorsed: “My Father / April 3. 1794.” and “My Father. 3. April 1794.”
1. Of 24 March, above.
2. By a leap or jump.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0076

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Weather is cooler And the Minds of Men are calmed by the inclosed Communication.1 But
A Sourd Party will plunge Us if possible. The most uncandid; the most hypocritical Part is acted to take Us in.— Protestations against War by those who are pushing every Thing that can force War, are not the Worst. The southern Men have Art enough to dupe northern ones to bring forwards measures, that the northern Part may have the Odium of bringing on a War. In short the Knavery of some is so abominable and the stupidity of others so contemptible, that I am almost brought to Raynalls Wish.
The old Debtors to Britain uniting with those who are bribed to France, and both operating on the Populaces of our great Towns, will devote this Country to Calamities as unnecessary as they will be dismal; Unless the Vigilance and Patience of those who have no Object but their Countries Good is supported by the sound Part of the People out of Doors.
My good and worthy son, I presume sees all I send you— All my hopes are in him: both for my Family and Country
Yours most affectionately
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “April 5th / 1794.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-04-05

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

The Old Debtors to British subjects, united with the over Zealous Friends of France and the Democratical societies of our principal Cities, are urging a sequestration of Things in Action: and as I know you are not inattentive to any question of public Law, I have inclosed you some minutes of Authorities and I wish you to look into all others relative to this subject. I have not Grotius here, who with his Commentators Barbeyrac and Rutherford are Said to hold Actions and Debita among the Property liable to Confiscation in time of War.1
I know not whether Rutherfords Institutes are in Boston or not: but he is Said to have discussed this question very well. He is a Commentator on Grotius.
The Examples adduced by Bynkershoek are all I think more than an hundred Years old: and Vattel represents the rigourous old Law of Nations to be now changed by general Consent in favour of Commerce.2
At least it cannot be considered as any Thing less than direct Hostility, and yet the motion is made and supported by Persons who unanimously declare themselves against War.
The very discussion of such a question I fear will disgrace Us, and diminish the Confidence of all Men in our Honour and public Faith.
This Country has been upon a Precipice. A few of Us have been Steady to Peace and Neutrality and We shill hope to avoid a fall. But there is so much more Prejudice than sense, Passion than Reason, and Cunning than Integrity, in Numbers that We shall be long in great danger. If the sound Part of the Community does not exert itself to support Us, they will have severe Cause of Regret, when it may be too late.
I am unhappy to be from home, this fine Spring but the ship is too leaky and the Weather too stormy, to allow of my Absence, how little soever I can do for the good of the Voyage.
I am my dear son your affectionate / Father
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex: The Law and the Prince, London, 1644. JA made similar comments in a letter to CA of [ca. 5 April] (MHi:Seymour Coll.), part of his extended series of letters to CA on the law of nations, for which see the Editorial Note to John { 137 } Adams on Natural Equality and the Law of Nations, 6 Jan. – 8 May, above. Copies of works by all of these authors are in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
2. Cornelis van Bijnkershoek, Opera omnia, 2 vols., Leiden, 1710. A later edition of this work is in JA’s library at MB (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favour of the 28th. Ult. arrived this morning. before this time I hope you have received your furniture.
We are Still endeavouring to preserve Peace. But one moves a Series of commercial Regulations, another a Sequestration of Debts, a third to prohibit all Intercourse with Britain, a fourth to issue Letters of Mark against Algerines, all tending to excite suspicions in Britain that We are hostile to her and mean ultimately to join her Ennemies. One firebrand is scarcely quenched before another is thrown in: and if the sound Part of the Community is not uncommonly active and attentive to Support Us We shall be draw off from our Neutral Ground and involved in incomprehensible Evils.
In danger of a War, that will be unnecessary if not unjust; that has no public Object in View; that must be carried on with Allies the most dangerous that ever existed, my Situation is as disagreable as any I ever knew. I Should have no fear of an honest War, but a knavish one would fill me with disgust and Abhorrence.—
At nine o Clock at night I suppose your Election is over, and another fortnight will enable Us to guess whether An Adams or a Cushing is to be the great Man. Although the Old Gentlemans Conduct is not such as I can approve in many Things of late years, Yet I find it difficult to believe that the People of Massachusetts will forsake him in his last moments. Alass! his Grandeur must be of short duration if it ever commences. I Shall be happier at home, if Cushing Succeeds and the State I believe will be more prudently conducted.
The Fœderalists have ventured on a dangerous Manoeuvre. I am afraid the Delicacy which has usually attended Elections in New England, will be injured if not destroyed by these Elections of Governors and senators, so as to be never regained even in the Choice of Representatives. But We must fulfill our Destiny.— I am afraid I shall not see you till Election. I never longed more to be at home. Yours / most tenderly
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “April 7th / 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0079

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-04-10

Charles Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I received your favor of the 18 ulto inclosing the money you was so kind as to procure for me.1 I laughed for half an hour at the witticism upon Orator Adams’ occupation. At the second Townmeeting I am informed you came forward and acquired much honor, as the business eventually redounded to the honor of the town of Boston2 I was pleased that you had signalized yourself I see very plainly whither your buck is tending in vain you may cry Quo me rapit tempestus3 it must be so you must be your fathers own son notwithstanding the rocks he has pointed out to you. Our Citizens have the greatest desire to be at war with England poor fools they know not what they do No place will fall a more easy sacrifice than New York at present there is not a shadow of defence and a single frigate in four hours might destroy twenty five millions of dollars of property At such a period I have one consolation I have not a shilling to loose and I sometimes thak God that it is so. Yet still I cannot but feel interested in the wellfare of those who are the Children of fortune. We have much ill treatment to complain of from all parties engaged in the European contest We overlook glaring injustice from France while England is the object of inveterate enmity. I sincerely hope that what is right and just will be done but parties among us are very high—
I am my dear brother affectionately yours
[signed] Charles Adams
1. Not found.
2. For the Boston town meeting of 24–25 Feb., see AA to JA, 28 Feb., and note 3, above. JQA noted in his Diary on the 24th only that “Town-meeting this afternoon very turbulent as I hear.” The next day he reported, “Town meeting closes this day very favourably” (D/JQA/22, APM Reel 25).
3. Wherever the storm drives me (Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle i, line 15).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0080

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

You I presume are so much occupied and fatigued with the duties of your station that you can get but little leisure to write, for of late I have received only a few lines at a Time from you; I hope we may not be driven into a War but the present & past conduct of Great { 139 } Brittain has been such that want of power and ability, are our greatest Security to ourselves and not the Humane Principal of Benevolence or Love of our Country, and tho this Principal has a powerfull influence in the Breast of the Good and virtuous, it would not have power to restrain the passion of those who feel them selves injured and agrieved. You will see by the return of votes that mr Adams is undoubtly chosen Govenour by a large Majority of the people, and it is probable mr Gill will be Leut Govenour1 judge, Cushing stands high upon the list, but the cry of Gratitude towards an old Servant of the publick, whose years could not be long, was powerfull, nor would they fix a stigma upon him by placing an other over his Head. their Principal was good, and I wish they may always act as wisely. yet at this very critical Time, a more National & unprejudiced Man as well as a more active one, might have proved a greater Blessing to the State. Two of the counsel Daws & Wendle are good Men— Austin, I need not say What, he has the Mechanick Interest, and the art of making them believe that he has some Brains—2 in the counsels of the National Government the confidence of the people appears to be strengthend and as the clouds thicken they look to them for counsel and direction. Thus much for politicks which amidst all my Rural occupations will find place in my mind.
I will now as concisely as possible tell you my plan of opperations. The two Tennants have been employd in putting the fences in order and in clearing Bushes in Curtiss pasture. Faxon would not remove a day before his lease expired which will be on twesday next. he has workd down the cattle in such a manner that they are not able to do much more. he has been breaking up ground with four cattle only. the Yoke he bought he takes off as I am advised by no means to give his price which is 21 pounds the oxen are old. he makes out an account and leaves himself in debt only seven shillings. in this neither Stock, or Wagon are included, yet he has used the Team constantly & beat out the Waggon Wheels— it will be impossible to go on with Buisness without purchasing an other Yoke of oxen, for there is a hundred load of Manure to cart out 9 acres of Hills to plow there and 1 acre & half at Thayers place. Faxon says there is three hundred load of manure. I wish his words were true. our people are plowing here and will sow next week. they Suppose they shall have near a hundred load of manure to cart out here. I have hired Arnold again for 8 Months for the same we gave last year, and an other Man for six Months for 45 shillings pr Month. mr Belcher leaves me { 140 } the begining of May, to go to mr Cranch. Copland offerd himself to me to day by the Month, and I can have him at the same price with Arnold. Shall I engage him? the Season is comeing on as buisy as any in the Year and shaw must have more help than one hand with him. I believe I shall hire copland without waiting to hear from you. these hands are used to the place & the buisness—which makes some odds— I agreed with my Tennants upon the Terms you offerd Porter, with this difference, instead of wood for the year, only for the summer, & instead of 36 dollors for the dairy, with which he was not contented I give 30. but one request they have, that as they find themselves, and have Families they may have their pay Quarterly, and that I would advance them ten dollors apeice that whilst Grain is low, they may purchase. this I have agreed to, hopeing you will ratify all my proceedings I am in Quest of oxen & a Farm Horse. one or the other I must have immediatly—both are wanted. I was thinking that if it would suit mr Smith to receive the freight of the furniture in Philadelphia to request you to pay it to captain Eames who will be there again in two or three weeks, and to let me retain in my Hands for the purchase of Stock & the payment of my Labourers and the suppliy of my Family, what you sent me. I have pay’d the expences of the landing carting &c. of it.
we are now upon our sixth week of Tarring and the sluggs still Crawl. a Tedious buissness it has been as well as an expensive one. I have done more at the buisness than all the rest who have attempted it, in Town—
your Mother is slowly Mending— this day for the first time Since last Feb’ry I have been as far as weymouth, and in my absence much to my regret, judge Cushing and Lady calld with a design to dine with me, & Mrs Lowel & Mrs Cabot came to visit me.
shall I ask you a Question you cannot answer? why No I will not since I know you will not remain a day after you think you can return with propriety, to your ever / affectionate
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. April 11. / ansd. 22. 1794.”
1. For Moses Gill, see JA, Papers, 3:21. No candidate won an outright majority for lieutenant governor. Accordingly, the house selected two candidates from among the top four vote-getters—Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, Moses Gill, and Nathaniel Gorham—and the senate selected between those two. In a unanimous decision, the senate chose Gill to become lieutenant governor, a position he held until 1799 (Boston Gazette, 2 June 1794).
2. Benjamin Austin Jr., Thomas Dawes, and Oliver Wendell, along with Charles Cushing, were all elected as senators to the General Court from Suffolk County, not to the Mass. Council (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 141). For Wendell, see vol. 3:241.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0081

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-12

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I received this morning your favour of the 3d: instt: We still hold tolerably firm to the text of neutrality; though we have our partialities for the french, and are much irritated against the british.— This is natural enough, and indeed, although we have some grounds of complaint against both with respect to their treatment of our commerce, in their present contest; yet it is not to be denied, that the general disposition of the french ruling powers has been constantly favourable to us, and that of the british Government, acrimonious, jealous, and under the guise of fair pretensions, deeply malignant.— The new instructions of the 8th: of January, have an appearance less hostile, than those under which most of our vessels in the West-Indies have been condemned, and if we can labour through another Summer without a War, I hope the affairs of Europe will assume a milder aspect.—1 The unprecedented exertions which have convulsed that Quarter of the Globe, are surely too violent for duration. The combined powers have made so little impression upon France, and have already suffered so severely, that I think they cannot hold out much longer. They must I think patch up a peace upon such terms as they can; but how they can exist under their present governments, or any other with a nation of fanatical atheists, all warriors, in the midst of them, is indeed a problem, which nothing but time can solve.
Our election of Governor, took place last Monday. The numerous candidates, of whom every body talked, and for whom nobody intended to vote, had silently sunk into oblivion, and Judge Cushing alone remained to be opposed to the claimant by succession.— In this town uncommon pains were taken by both parties: there were 500 votes more than have ever been given upon any former election. Mr: Adams had 1400 and Judge Cushing 900.— Our federalists droop the head and think all is lost.— They know not so much of the human heart, or of the American character as you do.— You told me what the Event of this election would be, last October, and I then thought your “oracle plus sur que celui de Chalcas.”2 A friend of mine who lives in the Country, by the name of Townsend, a sensible man, and a warm federalist, has repeatedly told me previous to the election that he did not think the prophet would even have votes enough to make him a candidate for the election.— why?—because { 142 } he is superannuated and antifederal.— I have as often told him that I believed the choice of the people would be for this doting antifederalist.— Since the election he writes me “I give you joy of the prospect of your old friend’s being elected Governor— The votes went very different from what I expected. I was not sufficiently acquainted with the moral habits of the people. The main argument of his being a scape-goat of 75 had more weight than I expected.”—3 There will probably be no choice of lieutenant Governor by the people. Mr: Adams’s partizans in this town voted for Mr: Gill. he will probably be the highest candidate.
My Business I can hope will increase. But as it is I have no disposition to complain. It gives me bread; and I find myself so well satisfied with that, that my greatest apprehension is of growing indolent and listless. It is hardly possible to obtain a conquest over the ambitious principle, without subduing in some measure that of an honourable activity.— You recommend to me to attend the townmeetings and make speeches; to meet with caucuses and join political clubs. But I am afraid of all these things.— They might make me a better politician, and give me an earlier chance of appearing as a public man; but that would throw me completely in the power of the people, and all my future life would be a life of dependence.— I had rather continue some time longer in obscurity, and make some provision for Fortune, before I sally out in quest of Fame or of public Honours.
Mediocrity of Fortune, will certainly be sufficient to satisfy my desires, and if I can “crawl into Fame,” like my Father, by such means, and by serving so essentially the cause of Humanity and of Liberty, as he has done, I shall hardly breathe a sigh upon seeing any of the political Phaeton’s leap at one bound into the Chariot of the Sun, to set the world on fire, and then be hurl’d to destruction for their pains.
The furniture and Coach have arrived. The freight of the latter I have paid; and expect daily to be called upon for that of the former. My mother wished that Mr: Smith would receive the pay in Philadelphia; but he prefers having it here.
The post waits, and, I remain your’s in duty and affection.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. A. Ap. 12. Ansd. / 23. 1794.”
1. For the 8 Jan. British Order in Council, see TBA to AA, 23 March, and note 1, above.
2. The prophecy is surer than that of Calchas (Racine, Iphigénie, Act III, scene vii, { 143 } line 37). The quotation is used to indicate absolute conviction that an event will take place.
3. Letter not found. The author was probably Horatio Townsend (d. 1826), Harvard 1783, who studied law with JQA in Newburyport (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.;JQA, Diary, 2:68).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Upon the receipt of your excellent Letter of the fifth of this month I Yesterday sent for our son Thomas and desired him to remit to his Brother at Boston for your Use two hundred Dollars.1 I have been at Expence to Purchase a Horse Saddle Bridle and Saddlebags to fix out Thomas to ride the Circuit with his Master Mr Ingersol. He begins his Journey on the 28th of this Month. This has left me without Money to pay my Board and my Journey home. If the Money you have is not Sufficient ask my Friend the General whose kindness has so often obliged Us to lend you what you want and I will repay him in June.
The House Yesterday passed a Resolution in Committee of the whole, whose Depth is to me unfathomable. The Senate will now be called upon to show their Independence, and perhaps your Friend to shew his Weakness or his Strength.2 The Majority of the House is certainly for Mischief, and there is no doubt they represent the People in the southern States and a large Number in the Northern. Vox Populi Vox Dei, they Say: and so it is sometimes, but it is sometimes the Voice of Mohamet of Cæsar of Cataline the Pope and the Devil. Britain however has done much amiss and deserves all that will fall thereon. Her Insolence which you and I have known and felt more than any other Americans, will lead her to ruin, and Us half Way. We indeed are in point of Insolence her very Image and superscription. As true a Game Cock as she and I warrant you shall become as great a scourge to Mankind.
Our Furniture has had its last removal. Your Distress and Distraction at its landing is very strongly described— Whatever Crashes have happened shall be the last from Removals.
My Countrymen are going into a Career, that I shall not long follow. I dont expect another Election If I should peradventure ride out the storm for the Remainder of my Term.
I long to see you, but I fear it will be late in May if not the beginning of June
I am with ardent Gratitude and Affection / your
[signed] John Adams3
{ 144 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “April 15th / 1794.”
1. Neither AA’s letter to JA of 5 April nor TBA’s to JQA has been found, but JQA noted the receipt of a letter from TBA in his Diary on 22 April (D/JQA/22, APM Reel 25).
2. The House of Representatives passed a resolution on 15 April, “That, until the Government of Great Britain shall cause compensation for all losses and damages sustained by the citizens of the United States, from armed vessels, or from any person or persons acting under commission or authority of the British King, contrary to the laws of nations, and in violation of the rights of neutrality; … all commercial intercourse between the citizens of the United States and the subjects of the King of Great Britain … shall be prohibited.” The vote was 53 to 44 (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 595–596). The Senate took no action on this resolution as they considered instead the House’s proposed action to extend the general embargo, for which see JA to AA, 22 April, and note 3, below.
3. This same day AA wrote a short letter to JA complaining of the unseasonably hot weather and asking that TBA be attentive to Leonard White, the bearer of the letter, during White’s visit to Philadelphia (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0083

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

Your Letter of April 5th an 7th reachd me last Evening, and they fill me with more apprehensions of a War than any thing I have before hear’d. the body of the people are decidedly against War, and if a War is madly or foolishly precipitated upon us, without the union of the people, we shall neither find Men or Money to prosecute it, and the Government will be Cursed and abused for all the concequences which must follow I have many disputes with your Brother upon this Subject, whose passions are up, upon the insults, and abuses offerd us by Britain, and who is for fighting them instantly with out Seeing one difficulty in our way. in order to put a stop to too rash measures, Congress must rise. the people without are willing to wait the result of Negotiation as far as I can learn, and in the mean time we ought to prepare for the worst. Several vessels arrived here last Week from Jamaca, where they were only carried for examination of their Papers—and immediatly dismist.1
I most devoutly pray that we may be preserved from the horrours of War, and the Machinations of Man.
You judg’d right of your Countrymen. the vote for mr Adams, notwithstanding all the Electionering was much more unanimous than I expected. in Quincy they were nearly divided between mr Cushing & him. in Braintree & Randolph they were nearly all for him.— I am glad that we shall have a Govenour Elected by the people—and you will see by a Letter received from me before this time, how nearly we agree in sentiment upon this Subject, and I may adopt the words { 145 } of mr Blount in a Letter to Pope, “that I have a good opinion of my politics, since they agree with a Man who always thinks so justly”2 I wish it were in our power to persuade all the Nations into a calm and steady disposition of mind, while seeking particularly the quiet of our own Country and wishing for a total end of all the unhappy divisions of Mankind by party-spirit, which at best, is but the Madness of many for the Gain of a few— I shall with pleasure upon this day particularly set Apart by our Rulers, as a day of Humiliation and prayer,3 unite with them in wishing the temporal and eternal welfare of all mankind. how much more affectionatly then shall I do it for You to whom I am bound by the Strongest bonds of duty and / affection ever yours
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Ap. 18 / ansd. 29 1794.”
1. Two American schooners had recently arrived in Boston from Jamaica, according to the Boston Columbian Centinel, 16 April, “where they had been carried in for legal adjudication, tried and acquitted, as no proofs of their being French property could be found.” The newspaper also reported “that many others, it was expected, would be immediately released” and provided a lengthy list of additional ships still at Jamaica.
2. Edward Blount to Alexander Pope in The Works of Alexander Pope, 4 vols., London, 1778, 4:97. Blount (d. 1726) was a member of the British Catholic gentry and a friend of Pope’s (Pat Rogers, The Alexander Pope Encyclopedia, Westport, Conn., 2004).
3. Samuel Adams proclaimed 18 April a “Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer” for the state of Massachusetts, as was customary in the spring of each year. He declared it “a day publicly to acknowledge an entire dependence on the Father of all Mercies for every needful blessing, and to express sorrow and repentance for the manifold transgressions of his Holy Laws.” Adams particularly sought prayers for a successful planting season and harvest, prosperous trade, the well-being of the federal government, the “deliverance to our fellow-citizens in cruel captivity in a land of Barbarians,” and the success of the French republic, “founded on the just and equal rights of man.” Other New England states, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, held similar days in March and April (Salem Gazette, 11 March; Boston Columbian Centinel, 5 March; Windham [Conn.] Herald, 5 April; Providence, R.I., United States Chronicle, 10 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0084

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1794-04-18

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

Mr: Newcomb has executed a power of Attorney, authorising you to receive his interest due. I herewith enclose it.—1 You mention in your Letter to your mother,2 that you expect to leave Philadelphia the 28th: of this month. But not where you purpose to go. I should be glad to hear from you once in a while. I think you are now in my debt upon the score of our correspondence.
War—seems to be now the danger that most imminently besets us. What will be the consequences, if we should get involved in it, is { 146 } beyond the reach of calculation. The oppression which our commerce has suffered from privateers and privateering judges, is scarcely tolerable, and there is so much weakness, so much folly and so much wickedness in active exertion to foment every particle of our irritation, that it is hardly possible we should continue much longer at peace, if the War in Europe should not terminate.
Leonard White went on to Philadelphia, by the last stage—probably you will see him— “There swims no goose so grey &c”3 His taste is not the worse for being singular. You and I perhaps may go further and fare worse, though I have made up my mind tolerably well to the life of a bachelor. There is so much slavery in marriage, even at its best Estate, that it cannot be satisfactory, to one whose existence is liberty.— I fear I should make an inattentive, if not a neglecting husband, and mean to avoid the sin by denying to myself the happiness of the State.— As an observer however I should be much gratified with a sight of the meeting between those two Lovers.— Their enjoyment I think must be overpowering.
Affectionately your brother
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (private owner, 2007); addressed: “Thomas B. Adams Esqr / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “JQ Adams / 18 Aprl 94—”
1. Not found.
2. Not found.
3. Alexander Pope, “The Wife of Bath,” line 98.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0085

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-19

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

A memorable day in our Annals, which is all I shall say of politicks here. the season is very variable from hot to cold & cold to Hot, and much too dry; it has not raind since my poor furniture had such a share of it. the Trees just begin to Bud, and the ground to put on some little verdure. Faxon moved off two days ago and shaw removed in. we are getting things arranged as well as we can. I have purchased a yoke of oxen (and an other cow for Thayers place) I have agreed to take the Waggon and the Bull at the apprizment tho much too high. the yearling calves were apprized so out of Reason, at forty shillings pr Head, that the dr thought best to take only our half— there has been sad Havock made with the fencing stuff by Faxon I suppose. there will be no Hay to devide if there is enough to last till the 20 of May, which make me rather Backward in { 147 } purchaseing on two more cows, which will compleat the Number we want. Joy has the three Cows I have bought with him, and I removed salt Hay from here for them, and bought half a load of Fresh. our Ground is all prepaird for the seed & tomorrow we Sow— we have carted what manure we thought we could spair upon the ground, first having it chopt over according to your old custom. some of my Hands are daily employd in that Buisness—and in putting up the walls and fences. I would fain hope that no one thing may be left undone that ought to be done, and that your buisness may suffer as little as possible by your absence. you must make a large allowance in point of Buisness for Seven weeks constant tarring of Trees.
our son sees all your Letters when he comes to visit me which is not so often as I could wish. I believe he has his share of Buisness. how profitable it is I know not
your Mother has been with me this day. she rode out twice before, and she appears to recover as fast as a person 86 years old could expect to. she desired me to remember her kind Love to you, and to thank you for your good wife, to whom she bids me say under providence She is indebted for the prolongation of her Life “I have obeyd her directions, and expressd her words”
be calm as possible amidst the perplexities of State, nor let your Health Suffer the Lord Reigneth, let the Earth rejoice—1
I am with every Sentiment of affection & Regard Your
[signed] A Adams—
Love to Thomas—
Mrs Brisler and Family are well. tell Brisler to preserve me a quart or two of Strawberries if he stays till Strawberry time—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. April 19 / ansd 29. 1794”; notation: “from ’92 / to ’94.”
1. Psalms, 97:1.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0086

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Senate has been three days in debate upon the Appointment of Mr Jay, to go to London. It has this day been determined in his favour 18 vs. 8.1
You cannot imagine what horror some Persons are in, least Peace Should continue. The Prospect of Peace throws them into Distress. { 148 } Their Countenances lengthen at the least opening of an Appearance of it. Glancing Gleams of Joy beam from thier Faces whenever all Possibility of it seems to be cutt off.— You can divine the Secret source of those Feelings as well as I.
The opposition to Mr Jay has been quickened by Motives which always influence every Thing in an Elective Government. Pretexts, are never wanting to ingenious Men. But the Views of all the principal Parties are always directed to the Election of the first Magistrate. If Jay Should Succeed, it will recommend him to the Choice of the People for President as soon as a Vacancy shall happen. This will weaken the hopes of the Southern states for Jefferson. This I beleive to be the Secret Motive of the opposition to him though other Things were alledged as ostensible Reasons: such as His Monarchical Principles, his Indifference about the Navigation of the Missisippi, his Attachment to England his Aversion to France, none of which are well founded, and his holding the office of C. J &c2
The Day is a good omen: may the gentle Zephers waft him to his Destination and the Blessing of Heaven succeed his virtuous Endeavours to preserve Peace.— I am So well Satisfied with this measure that I shall run the venture to ask leave to go home, if Congress determines to sitt beyond the middle of May.
Mr Adams is to be Governor, it Seems by a great Majority of the People: and I am not Surprized at it.— I should have thought human Nature dead in the Massachusetts if it had been otherwise. I expect now he will be less antifœderal. Gill is to be Lt.— We will go to Princetown again to congratulate him.— I thought however that Gerry would have been the Man.
We are illtreated by Britain, and You and I know it is owing to a national Insolence against Us. If They force Us into a War, it is my firm faith that they will be chastised for it a Second time worse than the first.— I am with / an Affection too tender to be expressed your
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “April 19 1794.”
1. By early April, George Washington had begun seriously to consider sending an envoy to Britain to make another attempt to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty. The growing threat of war made this mission more pressing, though its goal was also to address the fact that neither side had lived up to the terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Washington initially considered several people for the post, including JA, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Jay. Washington eventually settled on Jay as the best option and offered it to him on 15 April. Jay accepted the next day, and Washington immediately submitted his name to the Senate, who approved it on 19 April (Stahr, John Jay, p. 313–317; Hamilton, Papers, 16:261–265).
2. Democratic-Republicans and Southerners had numerous objections to Jay’s nomination. He was already chief justice of the { 149 } U.S. Supreme Court—which meant he would hold posts in two separate branches of government—and Jay’s previous work as a diplomat during the Revolution and as secretary for foreign affairs under the Articles of Confederation also brought him criticism. Specifically, some felt he had behaved too warmly toward Don Diego de Gardoqui during negotiations with Spain in 1785 and had been too willing to compromise with the Spanish over navigation of the Mississippi River (Monaghan, John Jay, p. 256–259, 367).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0087

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I recd. Yesterday your kind favour of the 11th. I have not been able lately to write you so much as I wished. The President has appointed Mr Jay to go to England as Envoy Extraordinary, in hopes that Satisfaction may be obtained for the Injuries done us in the Capture of our Vessells. I have no very Sanguine hopes of his Success, but if any Man can Succeed I presume he is as likely as any. At least he will give as much Satisfaction to the American People as any Man.
Mr Adams’s Election is no surprize to me. I should indeed have wondered if he had been disgraced and should have lessened my Veneration for the sentiments of Justice and Gratitude in the Breasts of the People of Massachusetts. I wonder not at his lukewarmness at the national Government. I wonder rather that I am not as indifferent to it, as he is. He knows as well as I do, what a kind of Ennemies We are associated with.— I have no Apprehension that he will oppose or embarrass the general Government more than another.— A Governor must ex officio be good for nothing.
Mr Gills Election was not so clearly forseen by me. He however can afford to be Lieutenant Governor or Governor as well as any Man, and is for what I know as well qualified. One thing I know We have three Governors in senate neither of whom are a whit wiser or more virtuous than Mr Gill.1 The People are most afraid of knowing and designing Men, as Governors.
You conduct your Farm with great Spirit, and I wish you good Success.
Last night and to Day We have a charming Rain after a long droughth— I hope you will have rain enough for a fruitful Season.
I cannot answer your Question: but I hope the Appointment of an Envoy, will accellerate our Adjournment by Some Days.
Our Friend here is evidently disappointed. The Farm at Brooklyne will prove like that at Neponsit and like that at Cambridge.—2 These Advances to the Chair, are like the Advances of a Mistress: unless { 150 } they are attempted with great Address and Delicacy they are Apt to cool the Ardour of the Lover.
The Election of Mr Austin is no Way unexpected to me. The Mechanicks who think he has Brains, in my Opinion are not wholly mistaken. I wish he had more liberal Connections and better informed Advisers.— I wish he was a more Sincere Inquirer after Truth less under the Influence of Prejudices and less disposed to flatter the Prepossessions of others.
The House has resolved to prohibit British Manufactures next November. Whether a Bill will pass as currently as the Resolve I know not. And What will be the Fate of the Bill if it comes, in the Senate I doubt not.—3
The English have treated Us very ill: but Neutrality is so much preferable to War, that We shall bear somewhat, rather than fight. We must not bear too much however. The American People must not loose the Sentiment of their Forces, nor submit to too many and too deep humiliations. I am with / an ardent desire to see you, most / tenderly your
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “April 22d 1794.”
1. Three senators in the 3d Congress had previously served as governor: John Langdon of New Hampshire, Alexander Martin of North Carolina, and Moses Robinson of Vermont. Additionally, James Jackson of Georgia was elected governor in 1788 but declined the position, and William Bradford of Rhode Island served three years as deputy governor (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. “Our Friend” is George Cabot, who JA believed had recently purchased a home in Brookline, Mass., in order to further his political aspirations to become governor. JA is predicting that instead it will become a place of retirement, as Neponset Hill, in Milton, Mass., was for James Warren and Cambridge for Elbridge Gerry. See vol. 9:484, 485.
3. The House of Representatives continued to discuss responses to British attacks on U.S. vessels throughout April. After approving one resolution, to suspend all commercial intercourse with Britain, on 15 April (see JA to AA, 15 April, and note 2, above), the House approved another resolution on 17 April, to extend the general embargo, due to expire shortly, to 25 May. The Senate concurred in that decision the next day. Subsequently, on 25 April, the House approved a bill suspending importation of various British goods by a vote of 58 to 34. Three days later, however, the Senate defeated the bill, with JA casting the tie-breaking vote (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 84, 90, 598, 605, 1483).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-04-23

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

If the combined Powers are exhausted by their Exertions The French must be no less distressed by theirs, and each Party thinks it is contending for Existence.— My Calculation is that the other { 151 } Powers in Combination will hold out as long as England although Spain and Prussia may Slacken their Exertions: and that England will continue the War till the Three Per Cents Consolidated fall to fifty five or perhaps a little lower. This Campaign and next Winters Budget may reduce them from 68 where they now are to 60 and the Campain of 1795 and the Budget of 1796 will bring them down to 52 or 53— Then they must make Peace or become Bankrupt.—1 If America next Winter Should be forced into the War, the Stocks will fall more rapidly.
I congratulate the People of the Massachusetts upon the Discovery that they are not base and ungrateful enough to disgrace, in his last moments the Man to whom they are under the greatest Obligations. What a Tryumph it would have been to Despots through the World, to have Seen Sam. Adams forsaken by the People.!
I approve of your caution in political matters. These are times when Such Circumspection is as much a Duty as an Interest.
The Mediocrity of Fortune that you profess or affect ought not to content you.— You come into Life with Advantages which will disgrace you, if your success is médiocre.— And if you do not rise to the head not only of your Profession but of your Country it will be owing to your own Laziness Slovenliness and Obstinacy.
Is there Such a Book in Boston as Précis du Droit des Gens moderne De L’Europe, fondé Sur les Traités et L’Usage. Auquel on a joint la Liste des principaux Traités conclus depuis 1748 jusqu’à present avec l’indication des Ouovages ou ils Se trouvent.
Par Mr. Martens Professeur ordinaire en droit de la nature et des gens, et Assesseur de la Faculté des Droits en L’Universite de Gottinque. in two Vol. 12mo. It is somewhat like De Mablys Droit Publique de L’Europe fonde sur les Traites.
This Professor Martens, to be sure, has had three of King George’s sons, three British Princes under his Care, and his Work is dedicated to them Erneste Auguste, Auguste Frederic and Adolphe Frederic.2
This Creature of their own, who to flatter them might make what Law of Nations he pleased, they quote as Authority to justify their orders of June 1793 for capturing all Provisions bound to France. Have I adopted a Style too much like that of Genet concerning Grotius & Vatell:3 if I have I ask Pardon of Mr Professor Martens and recommend his Book as a valuable Manuel. It is worth your writing to Holland for.
{ 152 }
I have no Faith in the Doctrine that England has a right to consider all France as blocked up and in a state of seige.— It is a very pernicious System and America ought to set her face against it.
The other Doctrine too that they have a Right to capture our Vessells which have Produce of french Islands bound to Europe, is as arbitrary as the former.
and the third that they have a right to consider all the West India Islands as in a State of Seige is as bad as the other two.
I wish We had a Minister to The Empress of Russia and the other Northern Powers— If Russia connives at this maritime Tyranny she will hereafter repent of it.
The Armed Neutrality ought to be revived.
The French and English I see are confiscating Debts, and so are the Spaniards attaching shares in the Bank of st Charles. I wish you would enquire and ascertain these facts with their Dates. Pitt calls it Robbery and our Tracey calls it an Outrage on common Honesty— But Yet Pitt scruples not to commit Robbery in Retaliation for Robbery.4
certain Americans will not forget to quote his Example and Authority. Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.”; endorsed: “My Father / April 23. 1794.” and “My Father. 23. April 1794.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JA’s predictions were surprisingly accurate. The rates for 3 percent consolidated annuities fluctuated between 1794 and 1796 but began a steady decline that brought them down to 56 by Sept. 1796 and as low as 48 in May 1797. In other words, the cost to the British government of borrowing money to finance the war with France was steadily increasing and might eventually bankrupt the country (John Sinclair, The History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire, 3 vols., London, 1803–1804, 2:appendix 44–45).
2. G. F. de Martens, Précis du droit des gens moderne de l’Europe, fondé sur les traités et l’usage, 2 vols., Göttingen, 1789; Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably, Le droit public de l’Europe, 2 vols., The Hague, 1746. Copies of both are in JQA’s library at MQA.
Georg Friedrich de Martens (1756–1821) was a German legal expert and professor at Göttingen; he likely tutored the three British princes when they studied there in the late 1780s (Cambridge Modern Hist., 9:587; DNB).
3. In his 27 Oct. 1793 letter to Thomas Jefferson, for which see vol. 9:451, Edmond Genet described Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf, and Emmerich de Vattel as “hired jurisprudists” who produced “worm eaten writings” (New York Columbian Gazetteer, 31 Oct.). See also AA to JA, 10 May 1794, and note 3, below.
4. In the British House of Commons on 1 Feb., William Pitt reported that the French National Convention had promulgated a decree demanding that all French citizens “deliver to the Commissioners, as soon as possible, an account of the exact state of your property in merchandizes, bills of exchange or credit, in foreign countries; and you are required within two days to lodge the said bills of exchange in the public Treasury, which, after it shall have received the amount, will remit you the value in assignats, at par.” This measure, designed to raise funds for the French government, led Pitt to comment “that it was a complicated measure of oppression, of fraud, of necessity, and of robbery; and evidently demonstrated the miserable shifts to which the persons at { 153 } present exercising power in France were driven, for the purpose of providing supplies for the war.” Nonetheless, Pitt also announced that he would shortly be introducing a bill to prevent payment of any of these debts (European Magazine, 25:226–227 [March 1794]).
Uriah Tracy (1755–1807), a Connecticut lawyer, served as a Federalist in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1793 to 1796 and the Senate from 1796 until his death (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0089

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last Evening received your of the 15th and our son the Remittance, which he went directly to pay but mr smith Says the Sum is this currency, whereas mr Brisler expressly wrote me that it was Philadelphia currency and after nameing the sum in pounds, was so particular as to calculate the sum in Dollers. Captain Eames has saild for Philadelphia so that mr smith must wait unless he will credit mr Brislers Letter which I have now inclosed to mr Adams— I expected captain Eames would have come up from the vessel before he went to Boston, but the rain prevented him. I have no doubt however that mr Brisler who is generally accurate in Buisness did not leave this matter at an uncertainty. if captain Eames is in Philadelphia when this arrives, he had better Sign with Brisler the agreement.1 I shall do the best I can to make the sum I have last till June. I have delayd any further purchase of cows till May. they will do but poorly without English Hay after they have calvd, and what stock we have will empty our Barns of all but fresh Hay. one of the oxen you purchased last Summer has been Sick with the Yellows & horn distemper and unfit for Buisness this fortnight, so that the odd ox which Faxon left has been of use. Your Brother has a pr which after planting he talks of selling for 25 pounds, but will not take less I gave for those which I purchased sixteen pound ten but they were not in so good order, and older than his. I thought you would turn the yoke of to fat which you bought last year as they had been so over workd, that as the spring advances they fail. we have an ox calld the Twin ox which has a wen and tis supposed that it would be better to turn him off after the spring work is over, but tis probable cattle may be purchased lower after the Month of May. we have the appearence of a dry time, a little rain to day, cold foggy weather our Barlly and Grass Seed are sown. our Men are employd in plowing for planting, at both places—but we have many wheals to set in motion, and much more to look after than we had before. I have not { 154 } been absent from home a single day Since you left me— at length the canker Worms have ceased and the catterpillar begins. I have had all the trees upon this place cleard oncce & I mean it shall be done once a week whilst they appear, but I can promise only for this place the work is so behind hand at the other place that we are driven with it. Shaw I knew to be a steady honest carefull Man his wife I knew to be active neat and clever. the other I took upon shaws recommendation. he is not bigger than Samll Curtis,2 but twice the spirit and activity of shaw, and it might have been more for our interest to have placed him here prhaps. he has a very likely woman for his wife to appearence, when he has workd here he has never faild being here by sun rise— I have got an other steady Soul who belongs to sandwick. I took him upon captain Beals recommendation for whom he workd two seasons & came up to let himself again to him, but the captain having let out Squantum to a French Gentleman for six hundred dollors pr Year, he did not want him. the captain says he is faithfull diligent & sober. I have no reason to think otherways of him
Would to Heaven you could retire from the Madness of Men to the Rural occupations of your own Farms—and shut out the din of war and all its fatal concequences— the voice of the landed interest is not for war and I dare say it will be found a sound maxim that the possessors of the soil are the best Judges of what is for the advantage of the country. if an Enemy invades our country, every Man will rise for its defence, but when only the mercantile property is struck at, tho it ultimately affects the landholder Yet the Body of the people had rather suffer than wage war and ways and means will be found more difficult than in any former war, or I see but little way. France will aveng our cause, & we might resent when we are able, or punish them if we can without suffering greater injuries than we can retaliate. Words are easy, but ways & means difficult to obtain. I am my dear sir / With every sentiment of affectionate / tenderness Your
[signed] A Adams
I saw mrs Brisler yesterday She and Family are well
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. 25 April. / 1794.”
1. On this same day AA also wrote to JQA to clarify the situation regarding the payment of the bill for the shipment of the Adamses’ furniture, for which see JA to AA, 17 March, and note 1, above. In her letter, AA wrote, “Having found Brislers Letter which I had mislaid when you were here I inclose to you and if mr Smith will not believe it, he may wait for his money till he is better Satisfied, but Brisler is not used to do Buisness losely, the Bill of laiding filed in Philadelphia corresponds with the Sum mentiond in his Letter, { 155 } and agres with former Bills of laiding which used to be made out in the currency of the State where they were given” (Adams Papers). AA went on to insist that JQA not pay the bill to William Smith until JQA was satisfied that the amount was correct.
2. Possibly Samuel Curtis, a former Braintree resident and American prisoner of war whom JA assisted while in Europe (JA, Papers, 11:483; vol. 4:257, 259–261).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0090

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1794-04-25

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

This day I had the pleasure to receive by our Friend Mr White your obliging favor of the 12th: inst;1 your other favors by private hands have also reached me; you have the luck of discovering private opportunities of Conveyance, while I am obliged to omit writing or send my letters Pr Post— I insist that when I send you a letter for which you are taxed with postage in return your next letter shall come with the same incumbrance, for I am one of those who admire reciprocity, & unless you agree to this plan I shall desist from being a punctual correspondent. To be sure I would not omit a private opportunity for the sake of sending by Post, but when I received a letter it should be speedily answered, whether a private conveyance occurred or not. I am happy in the introduction of Mr: J Greenleaf to my acquaintance; I had long known him by reputation, & even felt my self acquainted with him, before this last revival; but as several years have intervened since my first seeing him, a new introduction was necessary, not to refresh my memory as to his person, but to inform us both that we were before acquainted.2 Partaking the disposition of the family of which he is a member, he must be amiable, and if a countenance ever spoke benevolence, it is such an one as his. Our friend Mr: White seems to me rather sober, thoughtful, & gloomy at times; but the nature of his errand I presume from its novelty carries something with it to inspire apprehension. I have derived much pleasure however from his Company, and have only to regret that you could not conveniently attend him to this Place— You gave me a hint in one of your Letters that I might possibly see you, & I had no small dependence upon the prospect; however when I lament the disapointment, I should be doubly unhappy if the cause of your detention did not afford some satisfaction; happy shall I esteem myself when the plea of business in the Professional line may be urged with propriety in Bar of Expeditions of the pleasureable kind in which I may incline to partake.
{ 156 }
I have however time enough upon hand to take a journey into the interior parts of this State upon a Circuit with the Supreme Court, in which I am not yet allowed to plead— Tomorrow (28—) I sett off I regret that Mr White did not sooner arrive, that I might have passed more time with him.
Pray my dear Coz—when does your turn arrive to be manacled with Hymen’s Chains. I presume you mean to give me timely notice, that I may wish you all the happiness this life affords in such a State— You, & if not too presumptuous to name my self in such good company I will say, I, have hitherto governed my self by the maxims of cautious prudence, O! may She never forsake us; but conducted by her wise directions may our wishes ever conform to circumstances, and our pleasures take every latitude, but that of excess.
This letter will probably be rather out of date when it reaches you, but I could not suffer Mr White to return with out a few lines— When I return from my Journey I will give you some account of it; ’till then receive the warmest affection / of your Friend & / Brother
[signed] Thomas B Adams
PS Remember me to our Unckle’s family— I may sometimes omit to express, but my love is allways implied in my letters to you— Miss H—— is not forgotten
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch / Atty at Law / Haverhill”; internal address: “W Cranch Esqr:”; endorsed: “T.B.A. April 25. 1794 / recd. May 11th.— / ansd.—18th.”; notation: “Mr: White.”
1. Not found.
2. James Greenleaf (1765–1843) of Boston spent several years in Europe representing the New York mercantile firm of Watson & Greenleaf and served as U.S. consul at Amsterdam from 1793 to 1795, although he only lived in Amsterdam for the first few months of his appointment. William Cranch, who would also become Greenleaf’s brother-in-law, later became his agent in Washington, D.C. (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 101; Clark, Greenleaf and Law, p. 13, 80–81). See also JA to AA, 9 Nov. 1794, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0091

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-04-29

Abigail Adams Smith to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Father:

Your letter of the 21st of March, has lain by me some time.1   *  *  *  * 
The prospect of a war alarms me much; many persons express their apprehensions respecting the safety of this town in particular— supposing that in case of a war, it would be of great consequence { 157 } for the British to have possession of it, and presuming they will attempt to invade it; but I hope they will find other objects to engage their attention, and that we shall be permitted to enjoy peace, however little we may merit its continuance.
Our fortifications do not proceed with much rapidity. I cannot but lament that the Baron Steuben has been wholly unnoticed; he would have considered it as complimentary, if he had been appointed to superintend the buildings, and I believe would be allowed by the best judges, to be as capable of the business as those who are honoured with the attentions of the President.2
I hope Congress will not continue in session until the approach of the hot weather, or, if they are obliged to, that they will adjourn out of that uncomfortable city. I shall be distressed from an apprehension of the return of the fever.
Do you, my dear sir, flatter yourself with the idea, that the mission of Mr. Jay will secure to us the blessings of peace? He is to carry the olive branch in one hand, and the sword of defence in the other. I wish the former may soothe, and the latter strike them with terror; but I fear that we are too incapable of exciting their apprehensions on the subject of self-interest; and until they find us necessary to their prosperity, they will not pay us much respect. I not only wish the cause prosperity, but I wish Mr. Jay, individually, success. I confess I do not feel very sanguine upon the subject.
From the debates in the British Parliament, we find that the opposition make honourable mention of our government, and of the President’s measures; but the opposition does not gain much strength or many numbers, and there are so many persons interested in the support of their government, that the minister is generally sure of carrying his points.3
Will you be so good as to let me know when you think it probable that you shall return?
Yours, affectionately,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:131–132.
1. Not found.
2. In early March a committee submitted a report to the House of Representatives listing those ports and harbors that “ought to be put in a state of defence,” including New York City. On 20 March Congress approved “An act to provide for the defence of certain ports and harbors in the United States,” which authorized money for the fortification of those ports under the president’s direction. Several French engineers were appointed to oversee this work. Baron von Steuben, who had written around the same time an “Opinion on a Proper System of Defense of the City and Harbour of New York,” was instead appointed by the New { 158 } York State legislature to supervise the building of forts in the western part of the state (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 479–480, 1423–1424; J. E. Kaufmann and H. W. Kaufmann, Fortress America: The Forts That Defended America 1600 to the Present, Cambridge, 2004, p. 142–143; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 379, 391).
3. On 21 Jan. King George III gave his address at the opening of Parliament justifying the necessity of war with France. In response, John Henry Petty, Earl Wycombe, suggested that the British, “so far from rushing on with avidity to the contest, we might have, like America, avoided, and like her enjoyed in its stead, all the benefits of a neutral situation against contending powers.” Wycombe, however, was in the minority. A proposed amendment by Charles James Fox in the Commons encouraging the king to open negotiations for peace with the French as soon as possible was defeated by a vote of 277 to 59; a similar amendment in the Lords likewise failed by a wide margin (Parliamentary Hist., 30:1045–1047, 1062–1286; New York Daily Advertiser, 26 April; Clive Emsley, Britain and the French Revolution, Harlow, Eng., 2000, p. 25–26).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0092

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-04-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favours of 18th. and 19th instant are so full of your Plans and Labours in Agriculture, that I begin to be jealous you will acquire a Reputation as a Farmer that will quite eclypse my own.
I rejoice at length that all Tenants are dispossessed and that Land stock and Utensils are now at our own Disposal.— I am glad you have bought a Yoke of oxen and hope you will buy a farm horse.
Our Thomas is fitted off with Horses saddle Bridle and Saddle Bags and on Monday last sett off upon the Circuit with Mr Ingersol— He will be absent Six Weeks. He goes to Chester Lancaster York Carlisle &c
Mr Trumbull our Friend the Painter goes with Mr Jay as his private Secretary.1
I send you an illiberal Party Pamphlet or two2 and am tenderly
[signed] John Adams
Has Mr Cranch opend his Post office?3
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. John Jay particularly requested that artist John Trumbull serve as his private secretary on Jay’s mission to Britain. He believed that Trumbull’s “acquaintance with the characters and things of London” would be of greater use to him than the skills of a lawyer or trained clerk. They sailed together in May (Stahr, John Jay, p. 317–319).
2. The pamphlets have not been found but were possibly John Taylor, A Definition of Parties; or, The Political Effects of the Paper System Considered, Phila., 1794, Evans, No. 26861; and William Findley, A Review of the Revenue System Adopted by the First Congress under the Federal Constitution … In Thirteen Letters to a Friend, Phila. 1794, Evans, No. 26973; see AA to JA, 10 May, below.
3. Richard Cranch was appointed the first postmaster for the town of Quincy in 1793 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 11:374).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1794-05-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

Whether we shall preserve peace, or be involved in war, is a problem, not easily solved; but I think we shall preserve our neutrality another year, and after that I presume that Great Britain will be weary enough with her war against France.
In the improbable case of a war, however, it would not be easy to take New-York, and it would be still more difficult to keep it. So large a fleet and so numerous an army must be employed, that I see not where the English can obtain them. They are in too much danger at home, to send away their defence to America.
I know not who are “honoured with the attention of the President;” but if any one has, to the neglect of the Baron, I am very sorry for it.
Mr. Jay is to carry no sword, that I know of, offensive or defensive; he is to require justice, and I hope will obtain it: if not, as he is generally thought to be a man of as much political prudence as any in our States, the people will be satisfied that nothing has been neglected or omitted by government, which ought to have been done in the way of negotiation.
The English Parliament will support the war another year, but they cannot continue it more than two years longer. Their finances, manufactures, and commerce, will not bear the burthen more than that term.
I am not able to say when I shall return. I hope Congress will rise the week after next, but cannot depend upon it. Whether I shall go by water from this city to Boston, or only from New-York to Rhode Island, I know not; but my family and affairs are suffering, as well as myself, so much, that I shall not lose a moment’s time in returning.
My love to Colonel Smith and the children. Let me entreat you, my dear, to devote yourself to the education of those promising boys, and to the formation of their minds to study and to business. Men of pleasure, in all countries, are contemptible beings; men of science and literature, and men of business, only, are respectable, in this country especially.
I am, my dear child, / Your affectionate father,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:133–134.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0094

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-02

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recd your favour of April 22 and am pleased with your Observations on the Doctrine of Reprisals on Choses in Action.1 As it is a Subject, which is likely to be discussed among Mankind for many Years to come, England France and Spain having lately attempted something of the kind, every Book which can throw any Light on it, ought to be looked up. Spain is Said to have confiscated or Sequestered French Shares in the Bank of st. Charles. The National Convention of France has lately attempted to compel Creditors of British Subjects if not of the British Nation to draw for their dues and Mr Pitt is employed in Parliament in making Retaliation. These Authentic Acts should all be collected and collated in order to see the Principles and form a system.— If the whole is not to be considered as Anarchic and Revolutionary. If it is We must have a little Revolutionary Retribution or Retaliation I suspect, before all is over, if Mr Jay cannot obtain Satisfaction in a more honourable Way. The Southern Debtors dont Seem to pant after Sequestration nor Confiscation, for this destroys not the Obligation of payment, so much as after War, which would suspend Payment at least. But with constant Declarations in Public for Peace, they frequently suffer to escape them in private Ardent Wishes for War and never fail to vote for every Measure that can provoke it.
The Executive and the Senate have preserved Us from War hitherto in opposition to the Ardour of the Majority of the H. of. R.
Whether Jay will make the Figure of Rabbi Monis’s Man in Heaven, who understood no Hebrew, stand behind the Door with his Finger in his Mouth I know not.—2 But one thing I know John Bull had better be very civil to him. John has many Ennemies, and no Friends but Such as his Guineas purchase for him in Europe and his Purse will be exhausted in a Year or two. Thomas is gone the Circuit of Chester Lancaster York Carlisle &c
yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JQA’s letter to JA of 22 April (Adams Papers) replied to JA’s of 5 April, above, and JA’s discussion of the sequestration of debts. JA’s interest in the subject was no doubt prompted by congressional debate over it, for which see JA to AA, 31 March, and note 1, above. JQA agreed with JA that any sequestration of British debts by the United States would be seen as an act of hostility but also argued that “the depredations committed upon our commerce, by their privateers and West India judges” were equally a form of hostility. Nonetheless, JQA deplored the congressional response, claiming, “It is a { 161 } dishonourable resentment, which would afford a gratification to our enemies, because it would make us accessary to our own infamy, the instruments of our own shame. It is a rod which can only tickle our adversaries, but which may be turned into a deadly scourge upon ourselves. It is an expedient suggested by our Passion to our Weakness, and which nothing but our real Impotence can in any degree extenuate. Yet what else can we do? If they will assail us as highway robbers, we must pilfer from them as pickpockets. We cannot fight, and therefore we must cheat them. This appears to me, to be the real state of the argument, and all that can be said in favour of the sequestration.”
2. Probably a reference to “Rabbi” Judah Monis (1683–1764), an Italian-educated Jew who settled in Boston around 1720. That same year he became the first Jewish person to receive a degree from Harvard College, and in 1722 he was made Harvard’s first instructor in Hebrew, a position he held until 1760. Around the time of his appointment at Harvard, Monis converted to Christianity and became a member of the First Church of Cambridge (Lee M. Friedman, “Judah Monis, First Instructor in Hebrew at Harvard University,” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 22:2–3, 19, 20 [1914]).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0095

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I received your two kind Letters of April 19th & 22d I was much gratified by the appointment of mr Jay as Envoy extrodanary. I know not how the President could have made a more judicious choice, but there are Some evil spirits who would fault the measure of heaven & quarrel with the Angle Gabrial were he sent even to declare Peace on Earth, and good will to Men. the Jacobine clubs who watch over the measures of Government, sent their clue to Honest[us], hence the Chronical teams with abuse upon the exe[cut]ive, and clamours against the appointment of [the Chi]ef Justice.1 I have been credibly informd that Austin [li]ves Principally in the Printing office & has seldom quitted it, upon thursdays & Mondays till 12 at Night, or rather upon the Night preeceeding the publishing of the paper— I presume if the senate act with consistancy the Negative upon the non importation resolve will be as full as the vote in favour of sending mr Jay abroad, for I do not see upon what Principal they can vote for the one, and agree to the other. you will see before this Lord Lansdowns & Earl Wycombs speaches in the House of Lords, from which we may gather, that they are consious of the evils committed, and anxious for the concequences—2 after ways and means are devised I hope Congress will rise directly. their resolve respecting the Prohibition of British Manufactors, has already taxd the consumers twenty & thirty pr cent. the rise of all foreign Articles has been very rapid— many failures must be the concequence of the detention of our vessels & the depredations upon our Trade—
upon the 12 of this Month a peice of land upon which the widow { 162 } vesey formerly lived is to be sold at Auction, 6 Acres. tis expected that you will purchase it. the owner talks [of] a hundred and Eighty pounds for it. as it is to be sold at Auction, I have conversd with dr Tufts who does not think it worth more than ten pounds pr acre. yet to avoid bad Neighbours, he thinks I had better allow it to be bid up to 15 pounds but beyond that he would not advise me to go. I wish I kn[ew] your mind upon it and, whether you will think me distracted [by the] price. the buildings are good for nothing, the land worne out but still I should be loth to have a bad Neighbour there.3 I wish you would inclose to me a card to Gen’ll Lincoln, and ask him to send me the Money if I should purchase it
The trees are very forward & we are like to have upon many of them a full blow, but the Season is dry.
tell Brisler his wife and Family were well to day. I am my most tenderly and affectionatly / Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “1794 Mr Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 28 April, reported the news of John Jay’s nomination while simultaneously declaring that it “cannot be reconciled to those principles which seem necessary in a republican government.” In particular, Jay’s position as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court meant a violation of the separation of branches. The newspaper further accused George Washington of giving “certain characters … a monopoly of favour,” comparing the situation to British “Court favourites.” The article concludes by hoping “that the Senate will have firmness enough to reject a nomination absurd in itself, and which is contrary to the true intent and spirit of our constitution.”
2. Both William Petty, 2d Earl of Shelburne and 1st Marquis of Lansdowne, and his son, John Henry Petty, Earl Wycombe (1765–1809), spoke on 21 Jan. during the debates over the response to King George’s address in the Houses of Lords and Commons, respectively (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:270–271; Parliamentary Hist., 30:1082–1083, 1098–1100). The Boston Columbian Centinel, 30 April, reprinted portions of these debates, but see AA to JA, 10 May, below. For more on the parliamentary debates, see AA2 to JA, 29 April, and note 3, above.
3. The Adamses did not purchase the land; see AA to JA, 11, 27 May, both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0096

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I Yesterday dined in Company with M. Talleyrand de Perigord and Mr Beaumez, the former late Bishop of Autun and both Members of the late Constituent assembly in France.1
Talleyrand made the Motion for confiscating the Property of the Clergy: which, has made him so obnoxious to the Court of Vienna, { 163 } that they have persuaded the British Court to order him out of England although he had been previously obliged to quit France.
There is at present a great Number of Men of Talents in this Country Fugitives from switzerland France &c &c as well as England scotland & Ireland. These will do Us more harm than good, if We are not upon our Guard. I shall be at home by the middle of June, I hope. Thomas is on the Circuit.
tenderly Yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord and Bon Albert Briois de Beaumez came to the United States in spring 1794 to gain information about business opportunities there, both for themselves and for friends and colleagues back in Europe. Together they traveled through the northern United States as far north as Maine and into western New York. They remained in America until 1796, when Talleyrand returned to France and Beaumez left for India.
Talleyrand (1754–1838) had been the bishop of Autun but renounced his religious appointment to serve in the French revolutionary government and became ambassador to Britain in 1792. He later advised Napoleon on foreign affairs and became one of the most influential European diplomats of his time. Beaumez (1759–1800) had accompanied Talleyrand to London and also served in the French Constituent Assembly. He later became a merchant in India (Talleyrand in America as a Financial Promoter, 1794–96, transl. and ed. Hans Huth and Wilma J. Pugh, N.Y., 1971, p. 5–6, 13, 19–22; Bosher, French Rev., p. lviii).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0097

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-03

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear sir

The return of some Gentlemen of the Philadelphia Bar gives me an opportunity of droping you a few lines; The Court has been engaged in many important trials, & contrary to their expectations are obliged to meet this day— Mr: Ingersoll however intends making part of the Journey, to Lancaster this afternoon; To prevent an interference of the Court of Com Pleas & the Supreme Court in Lancaster Coun[ty.] the arrangement is such that the Supreme [Cour]t passes Lancaster for York, & returns to Lancaster a week afterwards
I have passed a pleasant week— the County of West Chester is cheifly inhabited by Quakers, but I do not find that their doctrine of forbearance, has much tendency to diminish the number of Law suits, for I am told that in proportion to numbers there is as much business here as in any other long settled County— Most of the trials in County Courts are concerning Lands; a majority of trials this Court have been Ejectments. The Country about this place is very delightful—the Season of the year is uncommonly favorable to { 164 } inspire pleasing impressions; but independant of this, there are natural properties such as richness of Soil—situation &ca: sufficient to justify my admiration. If the expression is alowable I would say that the Country is uniformly uneven, Verdant Hills, & cultivated Dales are the prominent figures of a variegated Landscape, and if I were not fearful of growing Poetical I would endeavor to enlarge the description; the land is said to be in general good— I have viewed it in almost every direction from this place a few miles round & I never was in a Country that pleased me more— U[pon] average I am told Land in this Count[ry costs?] 6 or 7 Pounds; just round the town a Lot [sells?] for £100 Pr Acre, but this is no rule for finding the value of a whole Plantatation. As to the town itself, nothing very striking or observable differ’s it from other towns where there is a Court House five or six taverns, a Jail & from 40 to 50 Houses— it is situated high, and is said to be very healthy—
I must not forget my little Mare, whose merits are so great that I am much in love with her— she travels well—is perfectly sure footed, & by no means vicious; I hope her virtues may increase as they have allready expanded upon acquaintance—
I shall be at York Town next week, where a Letter from you would be particularly agreeable to / Sir / your dutiful Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / At Mr: Otis’s / High Street / Philadelphia”; internal address: “Vice President.”; endorsed: “T.B.A. 3. May / Ansd. 6. 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0098

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have this moment recd your favour of 25. April.— If you want more Money before June borrow it of the General whom I will repay when I return. The freight of the furniture was in Mass. L. M.— The Farm goes on admirably well— I am well Satisfied with all you do.
The Weather is terribly hot and dry for the season. Yet the Country looks charmingly. I hope to be at home by the first of June. Thomas is upon the Circuit.
Mr Jay is to immortalize himself over again by keeping Peace—This will depend on the Valour of the french. I begin to rejoice in { 165 } their Successes more than I did. The English have treated Us very ill.—
We must Send a new Minister to France and another to Holland.1 Mr Fauchet begins to grace our Democratic Societies with his Presence. This must not be carried very far. These Assemblies are very criminal.
Oh that I was with you!
[signed] J. A.2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. minister to France, was replaced by James Monroe, at the time a senator from Virginia. Morris had angered the French revolutionary government with his support for a constitutional monarchy and his involvement in an attempt to help Louis XVI escape. His recall was also part of a quid pro quo for the French recall of Edmond Genet. William Short, minister to the Netherlands, was already in Spain as a joint commissioner with then U.S. chargé d’affaires William Carmichael, attempting to negotiate a commercial treaty. After Carmichael’s recall, Short became the minister resident to Spain, clearing the way for JQA’s appointment as minister resident to the Netherlands (DAB).
2. JA wrote another short letter to AA on this same date, reiterating that his presence in Philadelphia was still necessary: “Those whose Principles are the same with mine whose Views of Public good coincide with mine, Say that if We keep together We shall succeed to the End of the Session as we have hitherto, done, in keeping off all the most pernicious Projects.” He particularly noted the budget bills under discussion in the House of Representatives and their potential to “accumulate a perpetual Debt, and lead to future Revolutions” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0099

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-05

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear sir

In our Journey from West Chester to this place we lodged at Strasburg, a German Village 9 miles the other side of Lancaster; I had little opportunity of viewing the town, as we arrived at dusk & started at 5 oClock the next morning; the lands about it are valuable & well cultivated, the Houses are many of them built with logs, with a Cement of gravel mortar to fill up the chincks— the people appeared industrious and are said to be rich; we breakfasted on Sunday Morng at Lancaster; Judge Shippen who had lodged there was still in Bed, when we arrived;1 we stayed but a short time & then sat off for the Susquehannah; on every side the fields of grain met our eyes, and the extent of the Cultivation from the Road was a good indication of the richness of the soil. The river is said to be more than a mile in width, & is in many places so shallow that we were in danger of fixing on the Rocks we reached the other Shore however without difficulty; before I return, this River will be more familiar, as we cross it four times in the course of the Circuit. We dined { 166 } upon fish, caught in the River called Carp, but the House was destitute of Liquor’s except York Beer, which for want of Better was made to answer our purpose The Landlady told us that since there was no market for Flour the waggons had ceased going to Philada:—& she could procure nothing of the drinkable kind for the accomodation of travelers— Here was the second instance I had met with of personal in convenience from the embargoe, in complaints of this kind— So far as I can understand, there is very little talk of Politicks in the Country— they appear perfectly tranquil, and as to war I have not heared a lisp of the kind— The Mail comes to this place but once a week & arrives on Sunday noon—so that no letter can reach me here as I shall be in Lancaster on Sunday next— if you should incline to favor me with a line or two, it had better be directed to me at Lancaster where I shall hope to find it.
I am / sir / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
[signed] May 6th:
PS I shall be glad of Fenno’s latest papers one or two if convenient to send them me at Lancaster—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; internal address: “The Vice President—”; endorsed: “T. B. Adams / York Town / May 5. ansd / 10. 1794”; notation: “free.”
1. Probably Edward Shippen (1729–1806), originally from Lancaster, who was an associate justice of the Penn. Supreme Court from 1791 to 1799 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0100

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-07

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

In reading the Advertisement prefixed to De Lolme p. 6. I met a Passage which recalled to my Mind a Letter of yours concerning the Papers signed Columbus and the cold reception they met with among their Friends.
“I shall add, says he, a few Observations, of a serious kind for the Sake of those Persons who, judging themselves to be possessed of Abilities find they are neglected by those having it in their Power to do them occasional Services, and Suffer themselves to be mortified by it. To hope that Men will in earnest assist in Setting forth the mental qualifications of others, is an expectation, which, generally Speaking must needs be dissappointed. To procure one’s notions and Opinions to be attended to and approved, by the Circle of ones { 167 } Acquaintance, is the universal Wish of Mankind. To diffuse these notions further, to numerous parts of the Public, by means of the press, or by others, becomes an Object of real Ambition: nor is this Ambition always proportioned to the real Abilities of those who feel it; very far from it. When the Approbation of Mankind is in question, all Persons, whatever their different Ranks may be, consider themselves as being engaged in the Same career: they look upon themselves as being candidates for the very Same kind of Advantage: high and low, all are in that respect in a State of primæval Equality; nor are those who are likely to obtain Some prize, to expect much favour from the others.”1 Here My son you may read your Destiny.—
In the Discourses on Davila, you will remember, there were many Observations on the Universality Constancy and Energy of the Passion for the Approbation of others. very important Consequences were drawn from it— No less indeed than the whole Theory of Government, Despotic as well as free. Emulation which is the source of so many Virtues and the motive to so much good; is also the source of many Vices and much Evil. I wish I could See a compleat Treatise on this Ingredient in the Composition of human Nature.
You, I fancy, will, one day, find means of compelling, those who are now reluctant, to celebrate Talents which they see and feel although they do not acknowledge. Much reserve however is necessary much Delicacy and much Caution— A Man must not commit him self—he must not furnish his Rivals with stories to tell, of his Pride of his Vanity of his Imprudence &c Indeed almost too much Design and Art and Craft, is necessary, for an honest Man to stoop to it.
I am &c.
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Jean Louis de Lolme, The Constitution of England, 4th edn., London, 1784, p. vi–vii. The quotation is taken from an “advertisement” by the author for a new edition of the work, which was originally written in French and first appeared in English in 1775.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0101

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-09

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear father

Suppose that for a few moments we should indulge in the regions of fancy and imagine a nation about to form into civil society Suppose their fundamental law to be that no member of the community { 168 } should possess more land than he could actually cultivate Suppose them determined to be an agrest people without commerce without communication with foreigners. Could not thier exist in such a community an equality such as the Democrats of the present day seem to advocate? Does the happiness of mankind increase in proportion to the degree of civilization under which they exist? Is not property further than that which will support life the root of most of the ills we experience? Are not more than three quarters of crimes committed perpetrated with a view to property? If so would it not be politic to remove the great incitement to vice? I have been led into this train of queries by reflecting upon the manners the dispositions upon the Republicanism and upon the State of property especially of Landed property among the people of the New England States. They have but few great Landholders None who are able to command the votes of thousands of their tenants. The farmers have generally the property in the soil they cultivate most of them possess small though perfectly independent estates Hence that noble freedom which does and will characterize them notwithstanding the malicious sneers of Southern demagogues. What would be a more fatal stab to a mans reputation than the mean solicitations for votes at an election? But here where a candidate has not power to command; all the mean chicane, the dirty arts, and infamous wiles are praticed to procure influence. Hence very often men of the most infamous lives and unprincipled characters are chosen to offices, while those who despise the trade are left behind. As there are generally two or more parties chicane is played off against chicane art against art falshood against falshood and property against property. If these evils do not arise from the inequality of property from what causes do they exist?—
My good friend the Baron is gone to his retreat where it is his intention to reside during the remainder of his life. I have removed to No 21 Little Queen Street where I have my office and a small bedroom I board at a Mrs Millars in Maiden Lane where I have my breakfast and dinner for fifty five pounds a year1 I pay fifty more for my rooms I am contented with my situation. I am not astonished at the heat and animosity of parties in Congress but I should think it more becoming if they used fewer personalities Mr Clarke seems to be the bully of the Anti federal party2 When do you propose adjournment? You must be fatigued of so long a session—
Adieu my dear Sir believe me your / affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
{ 169 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “C.A. May 9. Ans 11. 1794.”
1. Possibly Phebe Miller, a shopkeeper at 23 Maiden Lane (New-York Directory, 1795, Evans, No. 28598). Little Queen Street, now Cedar Street, is located just south of Maiden Lane.
2. Abraham Clark (1726–1794) of New Jersey had earlier served in the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He made many brief but pointed comments during congressional debates, showing little patience for speechifying. In response to a speech by Samuel Dexter of Massachusetts, for example, during a debate on public credit on 2 May, Clark commented that Dexter’s “panegyric on the character of his constituents, (the people of Massachusetts,) ascertained that they were undoubtedly the first people, and most enlightened republicans in the Union; and, as they would, no doubt, send the best informed persons among them to Congress, it followed that he [Mr. Dexter] and his colleagues were the most respectable characters in the Committee, and that, therefore, the rest of the Representatives had nothing further to do, but at once give their votes as these gentlemen thought proper” (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 629).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0102

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received your’s of April 27th & 30th together with the Pamphlets last Evening.1 two of them from the spirit they breathe denote their origin to be of southern extract. they are a counter part with the attacks upon the Secretary made last year in the House. I have ever thought with respect to that Man, “beware of that spair Cassius—”2 this might be done consistant with prudence, and without the illiberal abuse in many respects so plentifully cast upon him. the writers however discover too plainly that envy Pride and malice are the Sources from whence their opposition arrises, in stead of the publick good. they are written in the stile & spirit of Honestus, a Rancourous malice or a dissapointed ambition at bottom. you and I know that in two Instances the Letter writer Lies most wickedly and from thence, if he could not be convicted in other instances yet we might safely conclude that many things which he alledges against the secretary are equally false, and I shall Say of the knavish writer as the Son of Vattel says of Genet, that the Books which he abuses will out live his malice and his Mushroom Letters:3 the North and South appear to be arranged very formidably against each other in politicks and one judas appears from this quarter too conspicuous for his honour, or reputation. tis said here that the Southern Members have promised him the vice Presidency the next Election if the southern states force us into a war—4 I hope their Negroes will fight our Battles, and pay these real & haughty Aristocrats all the Service due to them, from the Real & true Republicans. the Pamphlet upon { 170 } Prophesy I shall send to mr Cranch who has some time been upon the subject, and told me not long since, that he was persuaded we were entering upon the third woe Trumpet.5 he has borrowd the last volms of Gebeline lately which he is delighted with.6 when I have read the dreadfull Scenes which have past, and are still acting in France, when I behold so Numerous and powerfull a Nation overturning all their old established forms both of Government and of Religion opposing & baffeling so successfully so many powers, and that under no Government, that deserves the Name, I have been led to contemplate it, as no common or natural event, arrising from the pressure of any increasd burdens or any new infringment upon their Priveledges, but the over ruling hand of Providence fulfilling great designs. it is the Lords work and it is Marvelous in our Eyes— the skirt of the cloud will pass over us—and thankfull may we be if justice and Righteousness may preserve us from its Artiliry
we are very dry, quite as much so as the last Season— I aim at no rivalship I only wish to fullfill my duty and pursue that which shall be for our mutual advantage. yet I fear I shall be deemd an unprofitable Servant and that some things will be left undone; which ought to have been done. I have the satisfaction however of thinking that I am more usefull here than I could be by residing at Philadelphia
I have very little hopes to give you respecting our aged Parent, who has had a relapse, and a very severe one, but has survived it, and is again better, tho mere Skin and bone, and unable to walk a step alone. tis the decline of Nature aided by a long Sickness. mr Cranch has accepted the post office— I check every rising wish & suppress every anxious desire for your return, when I see how necessary you are to the welfare and protection of a Country which I love, and a people who will one day do justice to Your memory the reflection however of always having done what you considerd as your duty, will out weigh all popular Breath and virtue be its own reward— I am most / Tenderly and affectionatly / Your
[signed] A Adams
mr Jeffry has sent me the english papers to the 6th of March, and I have been reading the Parlimentary debates7 the President must feel a pleasure & satisfaction at the justice done to his wise and prudent conduct, and the enconiums paid to his Merrit. Britain has playd a knavish Game towards us, the extent of which, even those who condemn her conduct towards Neutral powers, do not appear { 171 } to be fully apprizd of. I see not but she must humble herself and treat with the Ruling powers in France, or be overwhelmd herself.
adieu adieu—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “May 10. 1794.”
1. For two of the pamphlets, see JA to AA, 30 April, and note 2, above. In his letter of 27 April, JA sent AA an additional pamphlet on prophecy (see note 5, below) and reported on TBA’s imminent departure for the Pennsylvania interior (Adams Papers).
2. “I do not know the man I should avoid / So soon as that spare Cassius” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, scene ii, lines 200–201). AA refers to Alexander Hamilton.
3. On 3 May the Boston Columbian Centinel reprinted an item from the Leyden Gazette, 27 Dec. 1793, by C. A. M. Vattel, the son of Emmerich de Vattel and an officer in the Swiss Guards. He took offense at a statement by Edmond Genet attacking his father and others as “hireling writers” producing “worm-eaten volumes,” and replied, “I have a sovereign contempt for Citizen Genet; but I owe it to the memory of Mr. Vattel, my father, to hinder those flat calumnies from deceiving honest people. My father, when he wrote on the law of nations, was in the pay of no body, nor was he in chains, for he was a member of one of the Swiss Cantons (Néufchatel,) where the most happy freedom reigns.— As to his works being eaten by worms, they will perhaps remain longer than the French Republic.” The item also appeared in other newspapers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.
4. Probably Aaron Burr, the only northern senator to vote against John Jay’s appointment to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty (Monaghan, John Jay, p. 367).
5. The pamphlet may have been Prophetic Conjectures on the French Revolution, and Other Recent and Shortly Expected Events, Phila., 1794, Evans, No. 27564, which was first advertised for sale in Philadelphia in late February (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 25 Feb.). The “third woe Trumpet” refers to the sounding of the seventh, or final, trumpet ushering in Christ’s kingdom (Revelation, 11:14–15).
6. Antoine Court de Gébelin, Monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne, 9 vols., Paris, 1773–1782. A set of this work is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
7. The letter, possibly from Boston merchant Patrick Jeffery, has not been found. For the parliamentary debates, see AA2 to JA, 29 April, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We go on as Usual—Congress resolving one Thing and the Democratical societies resolving the Contrary.— The President doing what is right and Clubbs and Mobs resolving it to be all wrong.
We had in senate a few Days ago the greatest Curiosity of all. The Senators from Virginia moved, in Consequence of an Instruction from their Constituents, that the Execution of the 4th. Article of the Treaty of Peace relative to bona fide Debts, should be suspended, untill Britain should fulfill the 7th. Article.— When the Question was put 14 voted against it, two only the Virginia Delegates for it, and all the rest but one ran out of the Room to avoid voting at all and that one excused himself.— This is, the first Instance of the kind.1
The Motion disclosed the real Object of all the wild Projects and { 172 } mad Motions which have been made, during the whole session. Oh Liberty! Oh my Country! Oh Debt and Oh Sin! These Debtors are the Persons who are continually declaming against the Corruption of Congress. Impudence! thy front is brass.
The House is upon Ways and Means, which will take Us the rest of the Month I fear.2 yours as ever
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. Art. 7 of the Definitive Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain required the British to “withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets from the said United States, and from every Port, Place and Harbour within the same.” The 6 May vote on the bill to suspend Art. 4 of the treaty, proposed by James Monroe and John Taylor of Virginia, was fourteen to two against with thirteen abstentions (JA, Papers, 15:249; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 94; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. The House of Representatives debated various bills related to ways and means between 1 and 10 May, then resumed discussion of the same topic from 16 to 19 May. The Senate began its own debates on 19 May. Both houses continued their discussions with a number of bills passing back and forth between the two houses until they finally reached agreement on a series of appropriations between 5 and 9 June that set duties on liquor, tea, snuff, sugar, and numerous other items (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 101–132 passim, 616–779 passim, 1455–1461, 1464–1471, 1472–1473, 1478–1482).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0104

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

This day has been our May meeting and without clubs or even Drunkeness, tho we have little purity to boast of in that respect, our Election has been calmly carried, & your Brother chosen.1 it seems the Name is in high estimation, as the Prophet Samll. find himself not only first but second, being Elected by the people both Govenour & Liut Govenour which I believe is the first instance of the kind in this State. the Land I wrote you about was this day sold for more than a hundred pounds as your Brother informs me, and concequently I was out bidden. Dr Phips purchased it, as your Brother Supposes with an intention of Building upon it. the Town have agreed to sell the front seats in the Meeting House for pews—and your Brother has told them that they shall have that in which we sit, for the use of the Aged, at what it will fetch and he means to purchase for you one of the others. I tell him I chuse that upon the right hand. I suppose they will be high, as that of old captain Beals was sold a few weeks ago at 40 pounds— Captain Beal will purchase one of them I presume—2
Dr Bracket of this Town lies dead. he was getting into practise & was much esteemed.3 mr Howard who mareid your Aunt Dyed last { 173 } Saturday.4 Your Mother I think is better than she was a week ago. we are extreemly dry here, quite as much so as the last spring. we have but little News. if as tis reported Robertspear is absconded from Paris—some important change will take place in their affairs. he may however have a hydra Head5 I see by the N york papers that the Gullotine has been advertized to be seen there.6 I think it should be as “advertized in England, Here is to be seen the Goulotine of the French—and the Wild Beasts”
I begin to expect your return, and one week of expectation will appear longer than a Month when I know you fixt. I am Sorry that the dry weather will give to my labours so unfavourable an appearence
present me kindly to all inquiring Friends and, as ever I am wholy / Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. April. 11 / 1794.” Filmed at 11 April 1794.
1. Peter Boylston Adams was elected to represent Quincy for the 1794–1795 term in the Mass. General Court (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 145).
2. For JA’s purchase of a new church pew, see AA to JA, 4 Jan. 1795, below.
3. Dr. Ebenezer Brackett (1773–1794), Dartmouth 1791, was the son of the tavern keeper James Brackett (Sprague, Braintree Families).
4. Lt. Joshua Hayward (or Howard, 1699–1794) of Randolph had married JA’s aunt Bethia Adams Hunt Bicknell in 1777. He died on 10 May (same).
5. Both the Massachusetts Mercury, 9 May, and the Boston Columbian Centinel, 10 May, reported on Maximilien Robespierre’s alleged flight from Paris. There was no truth to the rumor. He remained in Paris and in control of the Convention and the Committee of Public Safety until his overthrow and execution on 27–28 July (Bosher, French Rev., p. lv, 200–202).
6. The museum and waxwork of New York, located at the Exchange on Broadway and largely supported by the Tammany Society, advertised in March “that from the late & many applications to see the Guillotine, there is a separate appartment provided in the building, and a compleat Guillotine is erected, and a wax figure which perfectly represents a man beheaded.” The guillotine was available for viewing three days a week, and for the squeamish, the museum keeper noted that “it may be seen with the beheaded figure or by itself—when the machine is seen alone, nothing appears horrible” (New-York Directory, 1795, Evans, No. 28598; New York American Minerva, 22 March).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0105

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-05-11

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dr. Charles

Your Favour of April 19. I believe has not yet been acknowledged. The Extracts from the King of Prussia were very acceptable.1
Yesterday I received your favour of May 9th.— You ask whether there might not exist Such an Equality in Society as the Democrats of this Day Seem to advocate? Yes my Son, there are many Such { 174 } Societies, in the Forrests of America, called Indian Tribes. Yet among these there are Princely Chiefs, noble Families and Aristocratical Sachems and Warriours. Plato’s Laws, are a fictitious Example— But he thought himself obliged to prohibit Commerce and all Communication with Foreigners.2 Lycurgus prohibited Commerce & Intercourse with foreigners and made an equal Division of Lands it is Said.3 The Lawgivers of the East, both in China and in India prohibited Commerce or at least Navigation. Yet in China, they have an oppressive Aristocracy, tho under an Emperor and in India their Casts established as horrid Inequalities as any in Europe.
If you admit Arts and Sciences, Manufactures, Commerce and Industry into your Society, you must provide against all Inequalities of Property which will be the natural and unavoidable fruit of them.
If you exclude all Art and Industry, you must be Savages, and Submit to all the Evils of that State of society. Yet even there there are Inequalities, of Birth as well as Merit. The Tartars & Arabs who lead the Lives of shepherds are Said to be more absolutely under the Influence of particular hereditary families, than the Indians of America the Negroes of Africa or the polished Nations of Europe.
Plato not only equalized Property, or rather established a Community of Property: but in order to make this practicable or even conceivable he was obliged to introduce a Community of Wives and Children: knowing that unequal families would rise up, if Individuals had Wives and Children— But all systems so unnatural will forever be found chimerical: and impossible.
New England is happy from her Education and Institutions: but her happiness is preserved by continual Emigrations into the Wilderness. fill up that Country with People, and their manners & Institutions will change.
The other Evils you mention are Corruptions in Elections which arise from Ambition more than Avarice. Ambition or Emulation would exist where there is no Property, or an Equality of Property or a Community of Property. Emulation would produce Jealousy and Envy and consequently Crimes, in every state of society you can conceive, even that the most destitute of Property.— Love allso would produce disputes and Crimes in all possible states of society— even in Platos Commonwealth— For neither Love of Women nor of Children could be extinguished—nor all Knowledge of Parents and Children prevented.
I am pleased to see your Mind taking a turn to such Speculations, { 175 } and am glad you have got an office to your Wish. The Baron I fear will find too much Ennui in his retreat. Yet I long for mine— If I had his Land and even his small Income I should be tempted to follow his Example. I am indeed weary. May you, my son find an easier Path in Life, than that into which Providence has cast / your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).
1. On 19 April CA responded to JA’s interest in sequestration of debts by summarizing Prussia’s use of such a policy against Britain in the 1750s (Adams Papers).
2. Plato set down rules for the proper treatment of foreigners, suggesting that they should be accorded respect but that “intercourse with them [shall be] within the strict bounds of necessity.” They might be shown the temples and entertained by military leaders but should not be allowed to wander freely (The Laws of Plato, transl. A. E. Taylor, London, 1934, Book XII, p. 346–347).
3. In Plutarch’s life of Lycurgus, he describes both Lycurgus’ division of the lands of Sparta, “that they might be perfectly equal in their possessions and way of living,” and his forbidding strangers to come “who could not assign a good reason for their coming; … lest they should teach his own people some evil” (Plutarch, Lives, transl. John Langhorne and William Langhorne, rev. edn., N.Y., 1859, p. 33, 41).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0106

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Weather is here very hot and dry, which renders our daily Service in Congress more irksome and occasions Some Anxiety for the health of the People and more for the growth of the fruits. I hope you have more rain and less warmth.
The House of R. have a Committee out, to prepare a Bill for the Ways and means: how Soon they will report I know not: how long it will take the Members after the Report to make up their Minds, is also uncertain— But I think when the Senate get Possession of the Bill, it will not require so long a time for them to decide upon it, some Way or other.— I cannot flatter myself however that I can leave this City, in less than a fortnight. If I can fairly get in motion homewards by the 26th I shall be happy.
I hear that the Friends of Mr Adams were driven to their Shifts in Boston. Obliged to assemble Lackies & footmen and Coachmen and an hundred free Negroes, to make up their Number. If this is true, I am sorry for it. The old Tories and their Satellites, have done much Injury to this Country by their constant Indulgence of their hatred of the old Gentleman and their ill natured Opposition to him. He will forever defeat them, unless the People loose all sense of Justice as well as Gratitude. He has more Merit than they all. and in my { 176 } Opinion will be as good a fœderalist as any of them would be, after being chosen Governor. We shall never see a Governor an Overzealous Fœderalist.
Clinton’s Competitor is taken Away from the Evil to come. And there will be no Contest or but a faint one in that state, Unless Burr should become a Candidate.1
Thomas has attended the Court at Chester and York town and is now I suppose at Lancaster. He is pleased with his tour. Oh my farm when shall I see thee— Oh my dear Wife— But there will be no End of my tragic Oh’s and tragic Ah’s.— / With the tenderest Affection
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “May 12th / 1794.”
1. JA’s assessment was premature. George Clinton would decline to participate in the 1795 New York gubernatorial election—still nearly a year away. Numerous candidates vied to succeed him, including Aaron Burr, but John Jay was ultimately elected over Robert Yates. See JA to AA, 29 Jan., and note 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0107

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-12

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Your Letter of April 27 was put into the Post office at New York and I have neither seen nor heard of Mr Dorr nor Mr Jones. It is probable they found a Conveyance for their Letters in the ship which carries our Envoy Extraordinary and their Journey to this Town became unnecessary. I should have been glad to have seen them and I suppose they might have obtained their Request without difficulty.1
With the Father and Mother of Mr Dorr I was well acquainted in my Youth and have always remembered them with Esteem.2
Your Brother Thomas has in his Circuit attended the Court in Chester and York Town and is now I suppose in Lancaster. By his Letters he has been pleased with the Country and his Journey. When he returns he is to take an Office in this Town.
We expect to know by the Post of this Day, who are your Representatives. The Fœderalists as they call themselves, I Suppose will be discouraged by their late defeat from exerting their forces against the old Members. It has been whispered here that Otis will come in.3
Your Brother Charles has taken a new Office, and Baron Steuben is gone to his Plantation there to reside for the Remainder of his { 177 } Days. I often wish that the time was come for me to return to mine, much humbler and poorer than his. But Retirement like other new Things would only please for a while and then become insipid.— so I go on a little longer. You Young Folks must prepare to take your Turns.
I am
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.”
1. On 27 April JQA wrote to JA regarding Ebenezer Dorr Jr. (1762–1847) and Edward Jones, two Boston merchants who sought to petition Congress to receive special dispensation to send a ship to Europe (Adams Papers; Thwing Catalogue, MHi); see also JQA to JA, 26 May, below. John Jay sailed on 12 May to England from New York on the Ohio (New York American Minerva, 12 May).
2. Ebenezer Dorr Sr. (d. 1809) of Boston was originally a leather dresser and later a merchant. He married Abigail Cunningham (b. 1739) in 1762 (Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
3. Harrison Gray Otis was elected to represent Boston in the Mass. General Court (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0108

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-14

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Your letter of the 10 has come to hand; I arrived at Lancaster a few hours before it; of course you favor of a prior date is yet to be received.1 I have requested the Post Master of York Town to forward it here when it reaches that places— As to the Letter’s you speak of I am at a loss what request to make concerning them— The business of Newcombe cannot be advanced till I return; if you will be good enough to leave the letter in the hands of Mr Otis, if you should be gone before my return, I shall find it with him— The letter from Mr Wm Morris, I wish may be inclosed to me at Carlisle; next week.2 My visit to York Town was very delightful; the town is handsome & I dare say much improved since you knew it—3 The Banks of the Codorus—the same creek, immortalized by the fertile fancy of Mr: Vining in the debate of Congress concerning Permanent residence— are rich & well cultivated—4 The slow moving, lethargic German, will in time subdue the roughest soil— The same spirit that prompts him to perseverence in the attainment of wealth, urges him to a kind of honest obstinacy in the pursuit of Justice, when he is unjustly deprived of it; and it is not uncommon I am told for the parties to expend double the value of the thing in dispute, for the sake of a trial for victory— Indeed there has been a cause of this cast upon trial these two days past— The dispute is concerning a water course or Spring— it has been at Law nearer 30 than 20 years— Several trials have been had, but the Juries have always disagreed & no { 178 } verdict has ever been had— The value of this Spring to either of the parties is trifling, but not less than six hundred Pounds has been expended by them. Germans are apt to consider courts of justice as engines convertible to the purposes of revenge & private mallice— It may be profitable for Lawyers, but is a wrong & perhaps injurious sentiment, to be diffused at large.
At York Town I met with great civility from Col Hartley & his Family— they are the principal people in the County, & his influence as a political character far beyond any man in it—5 I also met with an old Gentleman whom I take to be near, if not past 70 years of age by the name of Smith— He knew you very well in the year that Congress met at York Town; told me he used often to walk with you on the commons, & remarked how fond you were of viewing a well cultivated Farm— The old Gentleman’s spleen against Great Brittain has not diminished in the smallest degree, but age perhaps has rather increased it— He is still at the Bar; a circumstance rather singular, as I never recollect to have seen so old a man in the practice of Law—6
I thank you Sir for the news papers I received & should be glad of one or two more at Carlisle— Fenno’s Paper is very little in the circulation of the Country I find, and in point of news when one gets past the Susquehannah there is a perfect dearth.
Before I leave this place I will endeavor [to send] a few lines more from
[signed] Thomas B Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / <Philadelphia> Boston”; internal address: “The Vice President of the U. S.”; endorsed: “T. B. A. Lancaster / May 14. 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. This is the first of several letters originally addressed to JA in Philadelphia but redirected either to Boston or Quincy, presumably after JA left Philadelphia on 31 May.
1. Neither letter has been found.
2. Possibly William White Morris (1772–1798), a son of Robert Morris who had studied law at the University of Pennsylvania (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 6:578; Eleanor Young, Forgotten Patriot: Robert Morris, N.Y., 1950, p. 195).
3. JA spent time in York, Penn., in Sept.-Oct. 1777 during the final weeks of his service in the Continental Congress; see vol. 2:342, 349–350, 352–354, 357–358, 359–362, 365. The Congress convened there following the British occupation of Philadelphia.
4. John Vining (1758–1802) represented Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1793 and the Senate from 1793 to 1798. During the congressional debate over the permanent seat of government on 3 Sept. 1789, he inquired regarding the proposed location of the capital, “whether Congress are to tickle the trout on the stream of the Codorus, to build their sumptuous palaces on the banks of the Potomac, or to admire commerce with her expanded wings, on the waters of the Delaware” (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Annals of Congress, 1st Cong., 1st sess., p. 880–881).
5. Col. Thomas Hartley (1748–1800), a lawyer and soldier in the Revolutionary War, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1800. His wife was the former Catherine Holtzinger (DAB).
{ 179 }
6. James Smith (1713–1806), a York, Penn., lawyer and iron manufacturer, had been a Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress, 1776–1778, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Alteration of Post Days or some other Cause has disappointed me of a Letter from you this Week, which is the first time I have failled of a Letter on Monday for several months.
The Weather has been very hot and dry here. Yesterday however We had a Light shower: but to day it is very hot again.
The House is slow upon the Ways and means the essential Measure which remains— But I think We shall rise by the first of June, and I fear not before. a tedious Six months it has been to me.
The Senate have given a gentle Check to a very contemptuous Reprobation of the Measures of Congress, voted in the statehouse yard by a Number of Tobacconists & sugar Bakers &c1
By the Way this statehouse Yard is a beautiful Thing formed on an English Plan, like the Inclosure in Grosvenor Square. I walk there every day for Air and Exercise in the shade. It is not a Paines Hill nor a stow, nor a Leasows—but it is pretty. I am, Patience almost / exhausted, tenderly tenderly tenderly yrs.
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. A group of manufacturers met in Philadelphia on 8 May to draft a series of resolutions to “reprobate the imposition of an excise upon the infant manufactures of America.” They described the suggested excise as “unjust, impolitic, oppressive, dangerous and unnecessary” and indicated that if such a tax was passed, “the manufacturers of the city of Philadelphia will assemble at the State house … to take into consideration what measures ought to be pursued to express their sympathy for their oppressed brethren, and with a due respect for their obligations as citizens to demonstrate their abhorrance of so unjust, so impolitic and so pernicious a precedent.” These resolutions were presented to the Senate on 12 May. After reading them, the Senate declared them, by a vote of fifteen to nine, “to be disrespectful to the Senate, ordered that the same be dismissed” (Philadelphia Gazette, 12 May; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 98).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0110

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The long continuance of the session, and the uncommon heat and drought of the Weather have made this, to me an unpleasant Spring. And to increase my Mortification, I have this Week received { 180 } no Letter from you. I have not for Several months before, failed to receive a delicious Letter worth a dozen of mine, once a Week.
Well! Boston comes on! Mr Morton is now to be its Leader! How changed in Reputation Since 1788.!1
I wonder not at the Choice of Well-born Winthrop. He might I Suppose have been chosen at any time. His Father was one of my best Friends. and The Son was a good son of Liberty. I know of nothing to his Disadvantage.2
The Fœderalists committed an egregious Blunder, in a very unwarrantable and indecent Attempt, I had almost Said upon the freedom of Elections, at their previous Meeting for the Choice of Governor. The Opposite Party to be sure practice Arts nearly as unwarrantable, in secret, and by send agents with printed Votes— But this is no Justification unless upon Catos Principle In corruptâ civitate Corruptio est licita. i.e. In a corrupt City corruption is lawful!3
Elections are going the Usual Way in our devoted Country. Oh! that I had done with them.— We shall realize the raving in the Tempest, which Charles quoted to me in his last Letter.

“In the Commonwealth We shall by contraries

execute all Things: for no kind of Trafic

shall We admit; no name of Magistrate;

Letters will not be known, wealth, Poverty

and Use of service none; contract, Succession

bowen bound of Land, tilth, Vineyard none;

No Use of Metal, corn or wine or oil;

No Occupation, all Men idle all

And Women too; but innocent and pure;

No Sovereignty.

All Things in common nature should produce

Without sweat or endeavour; Treason Felony

Sword Pike, knife, Gun, or need of any Engine

Would I not have; But nature should bring forth

of its own kind, all foizon, all Abundance

to feed my innocent People.”4

This is Lubberland indeed— Le Pays de Cocain, I believe the French call it.—5 but it is terra incognita.— I am afraid We shall have too many of its qualities without its innocence.
I have no hope of Congress rising, before the last of May— Never in my Life did I long to see you more— I am most ardently / your
[signed] J. A
{ 181 } { 182 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “May 17th 1794.”
1. Perez Morton, along with John Winthrop Jr. (see note 2, below), was elected as one of Boston’s representatives to the Mass. General Court. They replaced John Coffin Jones and Jonathan Mason. Several years before, Morton had been involved in a scandal in which he impregnated his wife’s sister, Frances Theodora Apthorp, who subsequently committed suicide in Aug. 1788. Morton was ultimately cleared of any responsibility for Apthorp’s death in a report drafted in part by JA (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 142; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:557–558).
2. John Winthrop Jr. (1747–1800), son of JA’s close friend and professor John Winthrop Sr., was Boston’s other new representative. Winthrop Jr., a Boston merchant, had previously served on the General Court from 1787 to 1790 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 16:294–295; vol. 4:352; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 142).
3. Possibly a paraphrase of a line from Sallust’s description of a debate between Caesar and Cato the Younger in his Bellum Catilinae, ch. 53, line 5, an edition of which is in JA’s library at MB. JA made the same citation in the margin of his copy of The Miscellaneous Works of the Late Reverend and Learned Conyers Middleton, D.D., 4 vols., London, 1752, 1:47, also at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
4. Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, scene i, lines 147–156, 159–164. CA included the same quotation in his letter to JA of 14 May 1794 (Adams Papers).
5. Both “Lubberland” and pays de Cocagne refer to a land of plenty.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-05-17

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

I am delighted with your delicious little Letter of 14th.—but was puzzled to guess where you got your Description of Lubberland or what do the French call it? Pays de Cocany or some such Word.
Does he get this, says I, from Old Chauar, or Spencer, or from shakespear? Young Mr Otis, turned me to the Passage in elegant Extracts—1 It is it seems from the Tempest, which was to me, once very familiar— Hence I see, my Memory is not so quick as it was once. next time you quote mark the quotation that one may look it, in the Book.
The Project of Equality of Property, is so obviously impracticable, that visionary Politicians have abandoned that idea, for another, a Community of Property. But both are totally inconsistent, with all Arts, Manufactures, & Commerce. All Such Schemes are now of no other Use, than to be employed to quell the Mob, and seduce them into Mischief at the Bidding of some Villain who has Ends to Answer.
The Writings of Jean Jacque Rousseau, and the Abby de Mably united to the ignorant Ideas of Franklin and his Pupils Turgot Condorcet and Rochefaucault, have led France into a scene of Misery to which there can be no End as long as such Names and such Opinions are popular there.
{ 183 }
I hope to find time to commit to Writing, for the Use of your Brothers and you, before I leave this World some observations, upon those Writers, to point out their egregious Errors, that this Country or at least my Family may be put upon their Guard against such delusions. But to what Purpose? Mankind pay no Attention to Reason— They are led blindfold by Names, and Signs.—
Uncontrouled Power, at the disposition of Uncontrouled Passions, is Tyranny. There is not an Aphorism more universal, nor more fundamental than this.— In the national Convention of France, the Majority has a Power, which the Minority cannot controul— The Passions of the Majority, cannot be controuled by the Reason of the Minority.— The Majority are afraid that the Minority will intrigue with the People, and become the Majority or find means to check their Passions & controul their Power. to prevent this they guillotine them all. This is Franklins blessed Government.— Majorities, banishing, confiscating, massacring guillotening Minorities, has been the whole History of the French Revolution, which I had told them would be the Case in three long Volumes before they began—2 But they would not believe me.
Mankind I think had rather cutt one anothers Throats till the Species is extinct, than acknowledge me to be in the right.— I know not the Cause of such a terrible Aversion to me.— Do you?
I shall never be so popular as Tom Paine, but I believe the time will come, when more Men will think as I do than as he does.
Adieu, my dear son— read and / think for yourself, so charges / your
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “C. Adams.”
1. Vicesimus Knox, Elegant Extracts; or, Useful and Entertaining Passages in Prose, London, 1783.
2. That is, JA’s three-volume Defence of the Const.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0112

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It is a fortnight to day Since I had a Letter from you but it Seems to me a month— I cannot blame you for one of yours is worth four of mine.
Three Bills, for laying Taxes are yet unfinished and there is little { 184 } Reason to hope that they can be finished this Week, perhaps not before the End of the next. I cannot see much room to hope to get away before the first of June. a tedious Seven Months it has been and will be to me.
The Committee of Merchants Mr Norris of Salem and Mr Lyman of Boston, have Seen how the Land lays here.1 They have returned to Boston with more correct Views of Parties in Congress than they brought with them.
The Projects for War, have been detected and exposed in every Shape, and under every disguise that has been given them, and hitherto defeated. What another Year may bring forth I know not.— Britain will not be in a very good condition to provoke a fresh Ennemy, in the Spring of 1795 with her 3 Per Cents Consolidated down at 55 or less; and they will probably be as low as that, even if the combined Powers should have better Successes than they have had.
I have no Letter from Thomas last Week. He was at Lancaster.
Mr John, I hear rises in his Reputation at the Bar as well as in the Esteem of his fellow Citizens. His Writings have given him a greater Consideration in this Place than he is aware of.— I am Sometimes told that I ought to be proud of him; and truly I dont want to be told this. He will be made a Politician too soon. But he is a Man of great Experience, and I hope sound Philosophy. He was a greater statesman at Eighteen, than some senators I have known at fifty.— But he must learn Silence and Reserve, Prudence, Caution—above all to curb his Vanity and collect himself. faculties or Virtues that his Father has often much wanted.— I have often thought he has more Prudence at 27. than his Father at 58.—
I am, impatiently yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “May 19th / 1794.”
1. In late April a committee of merchants from various towns in Massachusetts “who have suffered depredations on their property by subjects of Great Britain and other belligerent powers” met together in Salem “for the purpose of consulting and taking uniform measures respecting their losses.” They appointed a committee of three—William Lyman of Boston, John Norris of Salem, and Moses Brown of Newburyport—to present a memorial to Congress seeking indemnification for their losses. The Senate received the petition on 16 May and submitted it to a committee but apparently nothing further came of it (Salem Gazette, 29 April; The Diary of William Bentley: Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts, 4 vols., Salem, 1905–1914, 2:87; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 100–101, 102–103).
Norris (1751–1808), a Salem merchant, was later an associate founder of the Andover Theological Seminary (Salem Gazette, 23 Dec. 1808; Andover, Massachusetts: Proceedings at the Celebration of the … Incorporation of the Town, Andover, Mass., 1897, p. 156).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0113

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have this morning recd your kind Letters of 10 & 11th. of May.— You mention Land bought by Dr Phipps which you had mentioned to me: but I have not recd any Letter from you which hinted at any Land— By this I fear I lost a Letter last monday by some fault in the Post.— however I want no more land at present.
A Pew I should like to have, and a double one too if possible.— I shall leave you & my Brother to continue the Business as well as you can.
The Weather is at least as dry here as with you— The Seasons of Rain seem to be past. such a Succession of dry Years, no man remembers.
My honoured Mother, I fear, will not Stay with Us long. Dr Welsh writes me discouragingly about her.1 My Duty to her.—
The Joke about V. Presidency is but a Joke, I believe— The Man was tickled with his Pro temship, but I dont credit the other Insinuation— He has not been so Steady however this session, as usual.2
My Brother will not vote for War, I hope before it is necessary as well as just. Great is the Guilt of unnecessary War.
I have not a doubt but the farm has been well governed.— I wish the State and the Nation may be as well conducted.
I cannot expect with any Confidence to see you before the 10th. of June.— I will sooner if I can.
I lament the Death of a promising, ingenious Youth in Dr Bracket: My Uncle Howard was a shock of Corn fully ripe.— My Aunt and my Mother must soon be gathered.— and then there will be no body before me.
The World is a Riddle, which Death, I hope will unravel.— Amidst all the Tryals I have gone through I have much to be grateful for— good Parents, an excellent Wife, and promising Children—tolerable Health upon the whole and competent fortune.— Success, almost without Example, in a dangerous dreadful Revolution, and Still hopes of better Times.—
I am most earnestly yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “May 19th / 1794.”
1. Thomas Welsh wrote to JA on 6 May primarily to discuss the recent Massachusetts elections. He concluded by observing, “I saw Mrs Hall your aged Mother and I fear she { 186 } will not tarry with us through the Summer I saw her when she was taken in Feby I then thought she might reconst. but it appears to me that her Lungs are materially affected and that her Complaints are hectic. her understanding remains uninjured by the Malady” (Adams Papers).
2. See AA to JA, 10 May, and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0114

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-20

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear sir

I was a little disappointed in not finding a letter for me in the Post Office of this place upon my arrival here yesterday— The arrangement, of the Posts is rather inconvenient in all the towns I have yet visited where there is any— In West Chester there is none, in York & Lancaster there is but one Mail Pr Week, as also in this place— the Mail arrived here yesterday from Philadelphia & another will not arrive till monday next— By this arrangement I fear I shall miss another letter— Your’s directed to me at York—I recd: yesterday by a Gentn from that place—1
There was much business done by the Court at Lancaster during the last week—no trials of any great consequence, if the value of the property in dispute alone is estimated—but the length of time that many of them had been upon the Docquet & the expence of the parties made it a considerable object to have them swept off— Lancaster is said to be the largest inland town in America— I believe it is—2 the people are industrious, & of course wealthy— The richness of the land in this County affords ample compensation for any labor that is bestowed upon it— It must be a great advantage to Philadelphia to have so large a town dependent upon it for every article of foreign Growth;—
The farmers have heared that the Embargoe is not to be continued, & the price of flour in the City; this has put them upon the move with their Flour, & I presume we did not meet less than 50 waggons heavily loaded on their way thither—many of them from this side of the Susquehannah— Our ride from Lancaster to this place, about 53 miles, was the pleasantest part of my journey— The people have got into the practice of raising Rye within a few years, instead of wheat— with this they feed their horses and make whiskey; It seems to me no very favorable symptom; & I think the change, much for the worse—3 We crossed the River about three miles below Harrisburg— The town was visible from the Ferry, but not distinctly. The Country for 14 or 15 miles on this side the River is beautiful beyond description— within the distance of 8 or 10 miles { 187 } from each other, there are very considerable streams of water, which turn a great number of mills of all kinds—
Lands on this side of the River 15 years ago sold for £5 Pr Acre— they now sell for £15 tho it must be the best kind of land to command this price; Round Carlisle good land [may?] be bought for £7–10—
My next remove will be to Reading, nearly seventy miles from this; If convenient, I shall be pleased at finding a letter for me there upon my arrival which I expect will be on Monday next—
I am / sir / your son
[signed] Thomas B Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; internal address: “VP, U S,”; endorsed: “TB Adams 1794”; notations: “Carlisle / May 23d” and “Free.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. According to the 1790 U.S. census Lancaster (town and borough) had a population of 4,070 (U.S. Census, 1790, Penn., p. 10).
3. Farmers in central and western Pennsylvania increasingly grew corn and/or rye instead of wheat. Soil exhaustion from wheat production was one factor leading to this shift. Another was the ability to ferment corn and rye into whiskey, which could be more easily transported and sold for cash (Stevenson Whitcomb Fletcher, Pennsylvania Agriculture and Country Life 1640–1840, Harrisburg, Penn., 1950, p. 143–144, 151; William Hogeland, The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty, N.Y., 2006, p. 65–67).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0115

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last evening received yours of the 12th and 15. the weather for several Days past has been extreem Hot, and as to the drougth it is much sharper than last year we have not had half an inch of rain for two Months & Scarcly a sprinkle for more than a month. neither corn or potatoes can get up, & the few things in the garden wilt like july. I am most discouraged at Farming. I have however Succeeded tolerably in keeping of the canker worm, tho some few have eluded all my vigelence. the caterpillar are also very numerous. every day convinces me of the necessity of an over seer for all the Farms. Faxon or some other Pirates, have made sad havock with the fence. we have already been obliged to carry up loads from here, and every day, new wants arrise, and every Neighbour is preying upon us— this place I can command but the other place has been too long free plunder to be easily relinquishd. we have attended to the salt Meddows, and been obliged to sit a fence against Jonathan Baxter.1 The embargo is a very popular measure here and there is much anxiety { 188 } least it should be discontinued flower & Grain have risen in a few days as well as Lumber. there will be speculators whilst there is Commerce. the report respecting the Election of mr Adams is I believe wholy unfounded. I never heard such a suggestion the people were much united in him, and those who did not wish him to be Govenour voted for him as Leiut Govenour the Jacobines have carried their points so far as to get Several of their Friends chosen Representitives for Boston the meeting was thin, and but little pains taken by the Friends of good order who always rest too secure in the justice of their cause,2 yet having had a full view of Southern politicks and Southern Elections, I begin to th[ink] we are much the purest part of the union. much as [they] hold Britain in disdain & abuse her constitution, they have adopted the most pernicious part in its most corrupted Stage— a pack of Negro drivers, they deserve chains themselves. I think you must be near exhausted by the length of the Sessions and your constant attendance
I am glad to learn that Thomas is gone into the Country upon a circuit. I hope he will get into Buisness
Your Mother remains much as She has been for some time past; Remember me to all inquiring Friends. mrs Brisler and Family are well, his Boy half Grown up—
I hope Congress will soon rise, and that without doing any more mischeif—Yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / <Philadelphia> / Quincy / near / Boston”; docketed: “AA to JA 1799.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Probably Lt. Jonathan Baxter (1743–1821), a longtime Quincy resident who was the brother-in-law of Esther Field Briesler (Sprague, Braintree Families).
2. The Boston town meeting held on 7 May to elect representatives to the Mass. General Court was attended by a little over 700 people (Boston American Apollo, 8 May).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0116

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-24

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

Yours of the 17th came this day to me I do not know to what to ascribe the failure of my letters unless our son forgot to put them into the post office. I wrote you twice upon the very week of which you complain; & tho I have not faild writing to you once a week ever since you left me, I have not very often written twice, but some Buisness that week occurd which I wanted your opinion of. That { 189 } Morton is chosen a Rept is not more disgracefull to Boston, than that some others hold a seat there, or than Austin is to the senate but in concequence of their having such Men, they have as a Town, much less weight in the Legislature than they used to have, and the Fœderalists may blame themselves for their careless Supineness. I never approved of the measures adopted by them with respect to the choice of Govenour—but they must have been much misrepresented to you. the contest if it may be calld one was only between two candidates, & that maintaind with more Decency & decorum than any Election in any state out of N England. not a tenth part of the opposition to either which upon several Elections I have known take place with respect to Hancock and as to the report of free Negroes voting, I take it upon me to say tis Idle and false, as I never heard a syllable of it.1 if you had been here you would have been surprizd to find how little bustle there was about the matter. the people were generally disposed to support mr Adams, (as the full vote he obtaind will prove) either as Govenour or Leiut Govenour—and tho’ there was some News paper strictures and Bilingsgate, yet there was very little of it. I suppose some of the stories, have been fabricated to keep our virtuous Southern Brethren in countanance. Boston has behaved very well in many respects, during the whole of these troublesome times, and their democrats have not gone such lengths as in New York or Philadelphia. Jarvis frets & Austin clamours, scolds & writes in the Chronical abuse upon the Government and its Friends: yet in Boston all know who & what he is, and tis very little regarded. it appears to be the General wish that the Embargo may be continued. if you should stay into June & be in a situation to do it I should like whilst flower is low to have a couple Barrels of more flower, that Brisler Sent me is very fine—
I received a Book and letter for you to day the Book is dedicated to you & is the History of the County of worcester by Revd peter Whitney of Northborough the Letter is short and handsome the dedication, may rather be calld an inscription, after the Name and tittles of office, is added, “this History intended to promote the knowledge of a part of his Native commonwealth is inscribed with all respect By his most obedient Humble Servant &c”2
I have been much gratified in reading it. as you return home I wish you would get one of Thomas’s Bibles. he has printed three Editions and is prepareing to print two others—3
the weather is cooler to day, a small shower yesterday in Boston & { 190 } Cambridge of which we got not a drop, has however coold the air. God Grant it may be our turn soon, or Man & Beast will suffer Hay is very generally expended, and the drought raises the price prodigiously—
I am my dearest Friend with the fond hope of giving you more than the Fraternal embrace, even that of an affectionate wife ever / yours
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “AA to JA / 1794.”
1. Free black men technically had been allowed to vote in Massachusetts since 1783, when the Mass. Supreme Court ruled that if they paid taxes, they had the right to suffrage. It is not clear that any actually did (Junius P. Rodriguez, ed., Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia, 2 vols., Santa Barbara, Calif., 2007, 1:24).
2. Rev. Peter Whitney wrote to JA on 20 May 1794 to present him with Whitney’s book The History of the County of Worcester, Worcester, Mass., 1793. A copy is in JA’s library at MB. Whitney (1744–1816), Harvard 1762, was the minister of the First Congregational Church of Northborough, Mass., and an avid local historian. His book contained the first map of Worcester County made from survey (Adams Papers; Catalogue of JA’s Library; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 15:334–338).
3. Isaiah Thomas (1749–1831) of Worcester, one of the leading printers of the time, had published in 1791 the first original U.S.-printed English-language version of the Bible in an impressive folio version. He simultaneously made available a quarto edition and continued to produce additional editions into the nineteenth century (DAB; Paul C. Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777–1880, Stanford, Calif., 1999, p. 47–48).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I shall inclose with this, some Letters between Randolph and Hammond which will shew you how quarelsome they are.1 Poor Fellows! They both desire Peace, but think themselves obliged to wrangle for their Countries.
It is fashionable to charge Wars upon Kings: but I think Le Peuple souvereign is as inflamable, and as proud and at the Same time less systematick, uniform & united: so that it is not so easy for them to avoid Wars. We have laboured very hard to preserve our Tranquility: but the Peuple souvereign is continually committing some Intemperance or Indiscretion or other tending to defeat all our Precautions. if We are involved in a War, my head heart and hands shall be guiltless of the Crime of provoking it. But it will be my Duty to Submit to the Legal Voice & Decree of my Country.
We have fine Rains here, for three days past, and I hope you enjoy a similar Blessing
{ 191 }
I shall take Leave on saturday 31. of May: but cannot hope to get home before the 10 or 12th of June. The Journey lies before me, like a Mountain— I am too old and too feeble for these long Journeys, dry sessions and uncomfortable Scænes— I am at an Age when I ought to be at home with my Family.
I Sent 600 dollars to John last Week, which is our whole Allowance till september.2
I wish you an agreable Election. Who will be Lieutenant Governor Gill or Gerry?
I wrote to Dr Willard, sometime ago a Resignation of the Chair of the Academy of Arts and sciences.— It would be a farce for me to hold it any longer.3
My Duty to my Mother— Tell my Brother that I Suppose he was for War to make himself popular: but I am very sorry to find that warlike sentiments are popular in Quincy. I am glad he is chosen however and hope he will get our Town back to the County of Suffolk.
Adieu— My dearest Friend Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “May 26.th / 1794.”
1. The enclosures have not been found but were likely copies of correspondence between Edmund Randolph and George Hammond published initially in the Philadelphia Gazette, 24 May. Randolph wrote to Hammond on 20 May to protest what Randolph believed was encouragement of Native Americans in “hostile dispositions towards the United States” and reports that British troops were encroaching on U.S. territory. Hammond replied on the 22d, disputing Randolph’s interpretation of events and reminding him of the United States’ failure to cede land in Vermont that the British considered rightfully theirs. Both letters were read in the House of Representatives on 21 and 23 May, immediately after which Congress continued its discussion of a bill to establish a nonintercourse policy with Britain (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 713, 715).
2. On 24 May JA wrote a brief note to JQA enclosing $600 and asking JQA to deliver it to AA (John Jay Smith, ed., American Historical and Literary Curiosities, 2d ser., N.Y., 1860, plate 62). On that same day, JA also wrote to AA informing her, “Yesterday I asked and obtained leave of the Senate to be absent after next Fryday. I shall therefore leave this City on Saturday the Thirty first day of May: but the heat and Dust & Fleas and Bedbugs &c will render it difficult, if not impossible to get home to you, in less than ten days. By the Tenth of June I hope to embrace you” (Adams Papers).
3. JA wrote to Rev. Joseph Willard, president of Harvard and vice president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on 6 May to communicate his decision not to accept future elections as president of the Academy. JA noted, “If I have ever entertained a hope that I might at some time or other have been of some Use to that respectable Society, the State of Publick Affairs has hitherto wholly prevented me; and the present and future Prospects render it wholly impossible for me to give the Smallest Attention to the Interest or Honour of that Institution which has such just and so important Claims upon its President” (MBAt:American Academy, Letters). No reply from Willard has been found, but JA remained president of the Academy until 1813; see vol. 9:390–391, note 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0118

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son.

The Secretary of State called upon me this morning to inform me by order of the President, that it was determined to nominate you to go to Holland as Resident Minister.1 The President desired to know if I thought you would accept. I answered that I had no Authority from you— But it was my Opinion that you would And that it would be my Advice to you, that you should.
The Salary is 4500 Dollars a Year and as much for an Outfit.
Your Knowledge of Dutch and French: Your Education in that Country: your Acquaintance with my old Friends there will give you Advantages, beyond many others.— It will require all your Prudence and all your other Virtues as well as all your Talents.
It will be expected that you come here to See the President & Secretary of State, before you embark. I shall write you as soon as the Nomination is made and advised by Senate. Be Secret. Dont open your Mouth to any human Being on the Subject except your Mother. Go and see with how little Wisdom this World is governed.2
Adieu
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “John Quincy Adams Esq.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JQA’s nomination as U.S. minister resident to the Netherlands, replacing William Short, had apparently been under discussion well before this time. On the same day as this letter, JA received word from Edmund Randolph: “You will be so good, as to let it be understood between us, that the mention, which some time ago was made to you by me, of the nomination of your son, was purely confidential between us; and that on any occasion, which you may have to speak of the time, when it was first known to you, you will refer to the communication of this day only” (Adams Papers). JQA’s actual appointment was held up for a few days until the Senate could deal with the appointment of Short to Spain; see JA to JQA, 30 May, 2d letter, and note 1, below.
2. On 3 June, upon receiving this letter, JQA commented at length about it in his Diary: “When I returned to my lodgings at the close of the Evening; upon opening a Letter from my father which I had just before taken from the post-office, I found it contained information that Edmund Randolph, Secretary of State of the United States had on the morning of the day, when the Letter was dated called on the writer and told him that the President of the United States had determined to nominate me to go to the Hague as Resident Minister from the United States. This intelligence was to me very unexpected and indeed surprizing. I had laid down as a principle that I never would solicit for any public office whatever, and from this determination no necessity has hitherto compelled me to swerve. From the principles of the same nature which my father has always rigidly observed, I knew that no influence nor even a request of any kind from him could have occasioned this intention of the President. And yet I was very sensible, that neither my years, my experience, my reputation nor my talents could entitle me to an office of so much respectability. It is however of no service to indulge conjecture upon the subject.”
A week later, on 10 June, he met with JA, { 193 } who by that time had returned to Quincy. JQA wrote in his Diary, “I found that my nomination had been as unexepcted to him [JA] as to myself, and that he had never uttered a word upon which a wish on his part could be presumed, that a public office should be conferred upon me. His opinion upon the subject agrees with my own; but his satisfaction at the appointment is much greater than mine. I wish I could have been consulted before it was irrevocably made. I rather wish it had not been made at-all. My friends on the other hand appear to be very much pleased with it, and seem to consider it as a subject of pure and simple congratulation” (D/JQA/20, APM Reel 23).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0119

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Since, I wrote you this morning, at the request of Mr Randolph a thousand things occur to me to say to you, but as I have not time at present I shall write you from day to day.
You will have a Collection to make of the Journals of Congress and the Laws of the Union; and all the Reports of our Ministers of State to take with you.
You must remember all the Relations of the U. S. with all foreign Nations.
In holland you must be very cautious between Patriots and Stathouderiens.1
In your Dispatches you must be very cautious and delicate in casting Reflections upon Nations, souvereigns, and even Courts and Parties. Write nothing which can give personal, party or national offence: unless the public good as well as the Truth, absolutely demand it of you.— You will have Loans & Money Matters to attend to. Study therefore, the Calculations necessary.
You must make yourself Master of all our disputes with England Spain, France. &c
You must Study the Lines & Boundaries of the United States.— You will have to watch the English Ambassador & all the Anglomanes. But I have not time.
Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.”
1. The people of the Netherlands had long been divided loosely into two political parties: the Patriot Party and the Orangist, or Stadholder, Party. Although there were many divisions within each of these broad groups, the Patriots generally favored political reform, including the abolition of the hereditary position of stadholder, while the Orangists supported retaining the existing government and the rule of the stadholder (currently William V of the House of Orange). In 1786–1787, revolution in the Netherlands had led to the temporary expulsion of William V and the arrest of his wife, Wilhelmina, but an invasion by the Prussian Army restored the stadholder and overthrew the Patriot leaders, who were pushed into exile in France. By 1794, the French Army was prepared to invade the Netherlands, and by 1795, Patriots, in conjunction with the { 194 } French, had formally established the Batavian Republic as a client state of the French Republic and permanently exiled William V (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. xix, 14–15). See also TBA to JA, 19 Oct., and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0120

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-26

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr: Dorr obtained a passage in the vessel with Mr: Jay, and Mr: Jones, had an opportunity to go from Newport, so that they had no occasion to make the application to Congress, in behalf of which I requested your favour.
I drew another petition some time since, for the manufacturers of snuff and tobacco in this Town, making representations against the tax proposed upon those articles. I know not whether you have seen this petition, or in what light it appeared if you did. In the house of Representatives I believe it was not read, and the tax I understand has pass’d.1 I was somewhat puzzled for reasons to suggest against it.
The Session of Congress, I presume is approaching to a close; The prospects of immediate War appear to blow over. Whether we shall be able to make any terms of accommodation with G. Britain, and obtain proper satisfaction for her insolence and violence is still very questionable, but it is of infinite importance that we should preserve Peace, until war shall become a duty.
It is therefore fortunate for the Country, that the passionate measures which have been proposed, were all defeated. That for the suspension of intercourse with G. Britain was one of the most important of them. Your decision of that question probably gives the tone to our affairs for one season further. The fate of this Country depended upon that vote.— I expected it would have renewed the abusive system which was for some time so rancorously pursued, but which for some time past has drooped away. But very little has been said upon the subject, and I have not seen a single speculation in the prints upon it.
The cessation of the embargo is offensive to our Jacobins, who are reduced to the argument, that either the Congress were precipitate in laying it on, or imprudent in taking it off. I have silenced some of them, by avowing the former as my opinion.
You have seen the operation of democratic clubs, in this Town, by the dismission of Mr: Jones and the election of Mr: Morton as a { 195 } representative. Morton has of late been a violent sans-culotte and faction covers at least as great a multitude of sins as Charity.
The opposite party have not so much industry, and have not the advantage of an organized system. Otis had about 200 votes but did not obtain his election. Jarvis was formerly his warm political friend, and probably viewed him as a disciple of his own; but finding him untractable, and rather falling into the other scale, he has forsaken him, and of course carried off a powerful interest. Jarvis’s electioneering influence in this Town, is very great.
I think I have every day less ambition than the former, to pursue a political career. In my profession I trudge along, without eminence, and without total idleness. I see very few things in this life beyond the wants of nature, that I desire: and whether it be philosophy or insensibility, I find myself contented with my state as it is.
I hope to see you in the course of a few days, and remain in the meantime affectionately your Son
[signed] J.Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice-President of the United States / <Philadelphia.> / Quincy / near Boston”; endorsed: “JQA 1794.”
1. A copy of JQA’s petition has not been found in the Adams Papers, but on 1 May a resolution was proposed in the House of Representatives for a tax on snuff and tobacco. The next day, a memorial of Philadelphia tobacco manufacturers was read opposing the resolution. After considerable debate over the next several weeks, an “Act laying certain duties upon snuff and refined sugar” was approved on 5 June. It included an eight-cent tax per pound of U.S.-manufactured snuff. Additionally, all imported snuff would be taxed at twelve cents per pound and all imported tobacco at four cents per pound (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 620, 622–623, 1464–1471).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0121

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-05-27

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Thanks to the Father of the Rain, and the Bountifull dispencer of the dews of Heaven, who has plentifully waterd the dry and thirsty Earth. the Fields recover their verdure, and the little Hills rejoice. the drooping vine rears its head and the witherd flower Blooms anew.

“join every living soul,

Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,

In adoration join; and, ardent raise

one general song! To Him ye vocal gales

Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness

Breathes:

{ 196 }

Soft rool your insense, herbs, and fruits and flowers

In mingled clouds to Him; whose sun exalts

whose Breath perfumes you, and whose pencil

paints”1

Indeed my dearest Friend it would rejoice your Heart to behold the change made in the appearene of all Nature, after one of our old fashiond Election storms as we used to term them. I hope we may be further blessd by repeated showers.
I this day received yours of the 19th of May. I know not what became of the letter you mention. such a one there was, nor do I recollect a Syllable of its contents, excepting asking your advise about the land which was the peice owned formerly by Margeret vesey. I had 72 pounds bid for it, but it sold at 60 dollers pr acre and was purchased by dr Phips— I also mentiond that the Name of Adams might be supposed in high estimation, since by the returns received we had reason to suppose that our Govenour & Leiut Govenour were of that Name, but one & the same Man. your Brother too had that day been chosen Rep’ve for this Town of which I informd you, but do not recollect any thing further. I might write a string of Blessings upon the Democrats their clubs—&c but as nothing I could say of them is more than they merrit, they are welcome to make the most of it, and Chronical it, if they get it.
“You caution our son to be reservd prudent cautious and silent” he is I believe all this. you bid him curb—his vanity. I know not whose praise would so soon tend to excite it, as one for whom he has so great respect and veneration, and whose judgment he so much relies upon— I will not say that all my Geese are swan I hope however that I have no occasion to Blush for the conduct of any of my Children. perhaps I build more expectation upon the rising Fame and Reputation of one of them, than of an other, but where much is given, much shall be required. I know their virtues and I am not blind to their failings—let him who is without cast the first stone.
The Jacobines are very Angry that Congress leaves them at their Liberty, and permits them with their Eyes open to rush on to destruction. that they want Gaurdians is true enough, but no one obliges them to risk their property to French British or Spanish pirates
others I believe wishd the Embargo continued from real Patriotic motives.
{ 197 }
Speculation, has been going on rapidly.
I understand the Term impatiently yours but I had a good mind to be a little Roguish and ask a Question, but I think I will only say that I am most Patiently Your ever constant / and affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “1794 AA to JA.”
1. James Thomson, “A Hymm on the Seasons,” lines 37–41, 56–58.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0122

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-05-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It is proper that I should apprize you, that the President has it in contemplation to Send your son to Holland, that you may recollect yourself and prepare for the Event. I make this Communication to you, in Confidence, at the desire of the President communicated to me Yesterday by the Secretary of State. You must keep it an entire Secret, untill it shall be announced to the Public in the Journal of the Senate. But our son must hold himself in readiness to come to Philadelphia to converse with the President, secretary of State Secretary of the Treasury &c and receive his Commissions and Instructions, without Loss of time. He will go to Providence, in the Stage and thence to New York by Water and thence to Philadelphia in the Stage.— He will not sett out however untill he is in form’d of his Appointment.— Perhaps the Senate may negative him, and then his Journey will be unnecessary.
I shall go in the Stage on saturday to New York, and be at home I hope by the 12 of June
Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0123

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-29

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear son

Yesterday the Senate advised the Appointment of Mr short to Madrid, but there has as yet been no nomination to the Vacancy at the Hague. The Person however is determined on, and the Nomination will probably be made as soon as I am gone homewards— I have but one night and an half more to stay here.
This Nomination, which is the Result of the Presidents own Observations and Reflections, is as politick, as it is unexpected. It will { 198 } be a Proof that Sound Principles in Morals and Government, are cherished by the Executive of the United States and that Study, Science and Literature are recommendations which will not be overlook’d. It will or at least it ought to have in England and Holland more Effect, than any Thing that has been done, except perhaps the Appointment of Mr Jay. It is a Pledge given by the American Cabinet, that they are not Ennemies to a rational form of Government; and that they are not hurried away by a wild Enthusiasm for every unmeaning Cry of Liberty, Republicanism and Equality.— It will be a Serious Trust for the Man appointed. It ought to make a deep Impression on his Mind. Such Trusts are Sacred Things. The Law of Nations, and Diplomatique Researches, should engage his early Attention as well as the Dutch Language: but especially every Thing relative to the Interests of the U. S.— a few Years Spent in the present Grade, will recommend him to Advancement to higher stages and larger Spheres.
The Interests Views and Motions of the Belligerent Powers, will engage his constant Attention and employ all his sagacity.
He must come here and read before he goes all Mr shorts & Mr Dumas Letters—1 He must consult with The President Mr Randolph and Mr Hamilton.
He must attend a little to his Dress and Person. No Man alive is more Attentive to these Things than the President. neat at least and handsome.
When he gets to Europe he cannot keep a Coach, nor keep House— Dress is an abominably expensive Article—but he will not run into it I hope.— He may dress and ought to dress as handsomely as any of them: but he ought not to change so often. Economy must be his study and his Practice.
In his Dispatches he ought to be very cautious, and he ought to employ all the Elegance and Art of his Pen.
I shall drop hints broken hints from time to time for I have many Things to say.
Dumas Luzac, Willinks, Vanstaphorst, Crommeline’s &c will be your first Acquaintances:2 but you must be upon your guard even with them
Adieu
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Charles William Frederic Dumas had served as the de facto U.S. chargé d’affaires in the Netherlands since the 1770s, working closely and corresponding frequently with JA. His correspondence with Congress, 1776–1796, is contained in the PCC, No. 93 (JA, { 199 } D&A3:9–10). For William Short’s papers, see DLC:William Short Papers and DNA:RG 59, Diplomatic Correspondence.
2. Jean Luzac, Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and Daniel Crommelin were all Dutch associates of JA when he served as minister there. For Luzac, see vol. 4:xiv; for Crommelin, see JQA, Diary, 1:58.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0124

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-30

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Yesterday the Senate received a Message from The President of the United States, containing a Nomination of John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts to be Resident Minister of U. S. at the Hague: and this day the Senate are to Say whether they Advise & consent to his Appointment or not.
Mr Monroe, who is appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to France, Yesterday desired me to mention to You in my first Letter, that he was very happy to hear of your nomination and that he hoped for a good Understanding and a good Correspondence with you.
You must commit your Business to Otis Lowell or Sullivan, and prepare yourself to come to Philadelphia. You must be introduced to all our Ministers: to all the Foreign Ministers: and you must read all the Dispatches in the office from me, from Dumas & from short: and all the other Dispatches from Spain France & England, if you can before you go.
When here you must make a Collection of all our Journals, Laws, Reports and Negotiations which are in Print for twenty Years, to carry with you.
I Sett out tomorrow Morning at two O Clock in the Stage for New York, and as I mean to go by Providence I hope to see you, before you are ready to sett out for this City.
It is a Serious Trust that is about to be committed to you. I hope you will reflect upon it with due Attention, collect yourself, lett no little Weaknesses escape you, and devote yourself to the service of your Country: and may the Blessing of Heaven attend you— so prays your affectionate / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-05-30

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear son

The Senate have this Day unanimously advised and consented to the Appointment of John Quincy Adams to the Hague.1
{ 200 }
If this Event should affect your Sensibility as much as it does mine, it will made a deep Impression upon Your Mind, both of the Importance of the Mission and of your obligation to Gratitude Fidelity and Exertion in the Discharge of the Duties of it.
At two O Clock tomorrow Morning I Sett off homewards.
Adieu
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. See Sen. Exec. Jour., 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 159. JQA’s commission as minister resident, dated 30 May and signed by George Washington and Edmund Randolph, is in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0126

Author: Rogers, Daniel Denison
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-06-02

Daniel Denison Rogers to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

After a Number of mortifying Disapointments I am happy at last in having it in my powers to present you a Miniature Copy from an Original Portrait of Mrs: R. done by Mr: Copley:—it appears to be well executed and I think a very good likeness—1
Nothing could have been more flattering to me than the Request you were pleas’d to make of a likeness of my Angel-Wife nor anything more mortifying than the Delays which have attended the obtaining it— If our departed friends are conscious of what passes here, and are susceptibe of additions to their Happiness, I am sure that a wish on your part to keep alive a kind Remembrance of a warm, tho’ transient friendship here will be an Increase of Happiness to our departed friend: whilst the Hope of a Renewall of it must be a fresh Source of Bliss— Mrs: Rogers’s Letters to me when absent, were replete with Acknowledgments of the Obligations she was under to you for the kindest Attentions and politeness: and she ever took delight in expressing her Love, Esteem and Respect—
It is pleasing to reflect that such friendships will be renewed hereafter: indeed it would be horrid, for a Moment to think that Death is eternally to seperate those who were particularly dear to each other on Earth:— Mrs: R. was a Woman of uncommon Virtue and unaffected Piety—the more I reflect on her Conduct in Life, the more estimable she rises:— in prosperity or Adversity: Health or Sickness, she was the never ceasing Adorer and Lover of her Creator and Redeemer—a pleasant, agreeable, amiable Companion— a warm faithfull Friend— she neglected no Opportunity for doing good, but study’d to be usefull and acted well her part in Life:—
{ 201 }
The Endeavour to embalm the Memory of a Woman of so many amiable, estimable Virtues, and pleasant agreeable Qualities in the Minds of her friends, as well as in my own; will, I hope, be delightfull to me thro’ Life, and may apologize for my being thus particular—
I beg you, Dear Madam, to present my Respects to the Vice-President on his return, and to believe me, with the greatest Esteem and Respect, Dear Madam, / Your much oblig’d & most obedt. Hum1. Servt.
[signed] Daniel Denison Rogers
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Adams.”
1. The miniature has not been found, but for the original portrait of Abigail Bromfield Rogers by John Singleton Copley, see vol. 7:x–xi, 38.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0127

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-06-03

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear sir

I arrived in Philada: on Sunday Morng & was not a little disappointed at finding you had taken your departure only the Day before; I hastened my return from Reading, that I might reach Philada: before you left it. My Journey has been as pleasant as I co[uld] wish, & I have returned not a little prejudiced in favor of the State of Pennsylvania. If my conject[ures] are well founded, it will be nearly the richest State in the U[ni]on in a very few years. The River Susquehannah is the widest & most shallow, I have ever seen; the Soil within 8 or 10 miles on each side of it, is a rich Black mould & the growth of the Trees, Grain & Grass appears peculiar to itself. I received great civility from the Gentlemen of the Bar in the different Counties; but I saw no place during the Circuit, which held forth sufficient inducements for me to quit Philadelphia— As yet I have not found an Office to my mind; my Present Landlord has concluded to stay in the same house, I must therefore find a Room in the Neighborhood for my purpose, or remove my Lodgings somewhere else—
Congress did not rise to Day as was expected— Some new Communications from the President relative to indian affairs, it is thought will detain them a day or two longer—1
With Respect / I am &ca
[signed] TB Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. George Washington sent a message to both houses of Congress on 2 June reporting that “certain communications, recently received from Georgia … materially change { 202 } the prospect of affairs in that quarter, and seem to render a war with the Creek nations more probable than it has been at any antecedent period.” He continued, “this intelligence brings a fresh proof of the insufficiency of the existing provisions of the laws, towards the effectual cultivation and preservation of peace with our Indian neighbors.” The papers Washington submitted included a variety of correspondence outlining growing tensions between members of the Creek Nation and Georgia residents—including members of the Georgia militia—which had culminated in a series of skirmishes. The reports also noted the inability of the U.S. military forces there to take effective action to stop the growing violence. Secretary of War Henry Knox submitted additional materials to Congress on the same subject on 5 June, but both houses adjourned on 9 June without taking any concrete action to address these concerns (Amer. State Papers, Indian Affairs, 1:482–487; Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 117, 132, 745, 784).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0128

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-06-09

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to John Quincy Adams

My Dear Nephew could not suppose a Friend to merit, could read a Paragraph in last Saturdays Paper, without feeling themselves gratified, by finding that the opinion of Persons of the highest eminence entirly coincided with their own—1
He who has obstinately, & undeviateingly persevered in a course of Study, who “can bring back at Eve, the manners of the Morn immaculate,”2 & steadily pursue the Path of Virtue, though Pleasures allure, & Temptations await him, is the only fit Person for the Publick to confide in. They shall bear the Palm, if they faint not And though “Confidence be a Plant of slow growth in the publick Mind,”3 yet when once rooted, it generally yeilds its Possessor a rich, & valuable Product.— I presume the desire of deserving the Esteem, & obtaining the Plaudit of your Country, will not lesson your anxiety, & Concern for her Interest— The late appointment of the Presidents will be an additional weight; & the Atlas of publick Care, which has for a long time oppressed you, will now (I fear) fix an indeliable [tr]ace upon your Brow
William Cranch of whom you ever speak with so much Love, & affection, has not yet become a Votary at the Shrine of Hymen— He pines—he languishes for the sweets of domestick Life; & as heaven has formed him with a Mind peculiarly suited for that State, I am grieved that Fortune has not blessed him with sufficient Property— As she is a fickle Dame I hope she will soon shew herself more kind—for if rectitude of Heart, & sweetness of Temper can entitle any One to her Favours W. C. has an undoubted Claim—
And now permit me, my worthy Nephew to congratulate you upon the cold apathy which you say has, (or you fancy has) taken { 203 } possession of your Breast— If real, it must be extremely advantageous to your Peace, & Tranquility—
When I have beheld you nobly struggling with those tender Passions, which few at your age, would have thought of contending with—& seen you sacrificing your own Inclinations, to Situation, & filial Duty, my Heart has honoured, & paid a silent Tribute to your merit— I knew that your Health suffered—& indeed I feared you would have fallen a Victim to the strength of your Reason, & your frozen Judgment
Perhaps, no one, knew better than myself, the strong emotions which tore, & agitated your Mind— I could have sat by your side & counted out Tear, for Tear— I longed to lighten your Heart—& to have you pour out all your Grief, into my feeling—faithful Bosom—
But you must pardon me, if I could not (feeling as my heart is) but smile at your fears, that the Tyrant Love, would never again take possession of your Breast, even though your Circumstances should permit you, to sollicit his recall— Believe me, my dear Nephew, if virtuous Friendship be the Basis, (& upon no other build) a Soul like yours, susceptive of every fine emotion, can never be in want of Objects to light the Torch, & place his affections upon— for there is no Principle in Phylosophy more just, than that a noble generous Heart, will gravitate towards O[ne] he finds in Unison with his own— And that there are Ladies possessed of those qualities of the Mind, & those Virtues of the Heart, which beggar the “wealth of Ormus, & of Ind”—4 every Year evinces, & introduces upon the Stage of Life, some new Candidate for the nuptial State—
Amiable Minds are said to be the most susceptive of Love— Your Heart has felt his Power, & bowed full many a time at the Shrine of Beauty, & Excellence— Yet let me hope, that whenever you may wish to pay your Vows at the Altar of Hymen, you may find a Daughter who excelleth them all—in real worth, as in Beauty—Who is deserving of your highest Esteem, & tenderest Love—One, who (as the Poet says) “looks like Nature, in the Worlds first bloom”—5 And when judgment, & cool Reason gives a sanction to your Choice, then may you find all your Sacrifices—all your Anxieties—Your daily Labours—& midnight Toils amply rewarded in the Love, & affection of this happy fair One—
“Happy they—the happiest of their kind, whom gentler Stars unite, in one fate, their Hearts—their fortunes, & their Beings blend”—6
{ 204 }
Perhaps you may wonder that I should take up the Ideas in your Letter of May 23d. 1793,7 & notice them at so late a period— But be assured I have read it repeatedly, & felt myself soothed, & honoured by the confidence you are pleased to repose in me—though I might never have written, if the late appointment, had not have pressed it upon me as a Duty, owing to a Nephew I sincerely loved, & in whose Prosperity, & Happiness I felt myself highly interested—
If the wishes of your Friends, & the tender Affection of an Aunt, can be any inducement to you, to make us a Visit in Haverhill, you certainly will not leave America without seeing
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
Please to excuse the writing as my Eyes are poor, & Abby Adams is round me all the time chattering like a Mag-Pye—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Quincy Adams Esqr / Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs: E. Shaw. 9. June 1794.”; notation: “To be left at his office, / or at Dr Welsh’s—” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The Boston Columbian Centinel, 7 June, reported JQA’s appointment.
2. Edward Young, The Complaint; or, Night Thoughts, Night V, lines 142–143.
3. William Pitt the elder, in a speech at the House of Commons on 14 Jan. 1766, said, “Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom: youth is the season of credulity” (DNB).
4. Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, line 2.
5. “The bloom of op’ning flow’rs, unsullied beauty, / Softest and sweetest innocence she wears, / And looks like nature in the world’s first spring” (Nicholas Rowe, Tamerlane, Act I, scene i, lines 72–74).
6. James Thomson, “Spring,” lines 1113–1115.
7. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0129

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-06-14

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

It is a fortnight to day since my return to the City, & I have been waiting the arrival of every Post in hopes of hearing from my friends— I missed seeing my Father by one day only, & I have not yet heared of his safe arrival at home. It is probable you are busy in preparing my Brother for his departure— I hope however he will be called to Philadelphia before that takes place— I know not whether it be necessary that he should come here, but at least I wish it. It seems as if our family were destined to distant separations; it is within three Days of Six Years since your return from Europe, which I believe is the longest period for many years that the whole of our Family have sojourned in the same Land. Like the Patriarchal { 205 } families of old, we have wandered thro’ strange & foreign regions, not in search of “the Promised Land,” but for promised honors & expected benefit. I too have travelled. In the course of five weeks I visited the rich & fertile Counties of Pennsylvania. Wealth, Health, & consequent contentment, were the Guests of every village— Vegetation of spontaneous growth every where charmed the Eye, while the product & reward of Laborious industry afforded a gratification as pleasing to the Spectator, as it is profitable to the owner. I passed a week in each County where the Court was held, & it would be difficult for me to decide, which claims the prefference in my opinion. West Chester, York Town, Lancaster, Carlisle & Reading, were the five I visited; I also passed thro’ Harrisburg on my return. This last is situated directly upon the Fertile Banks of the Susquehannah; in point of local situation it has the advantage over all the others; but within two or three years past, it has been subject to Ague’s & Intermittant’s; particularly last Fall— it lost more inhabitants in proportion to its numbers, than the City of Philada:; but for this circumstance the growth of this town would be as rapid as it has been hitherto; there are now 2 or 300 houses, & 8 years ago, there was but one & that was the Ferry house. The water, through out the Country I visited is said to partake the qualities of the Limestone, & I found it peculiarly serviceable to my health; The exercise of riding on Horseback so long a Journey was rather more severe than I have been accustomed to, but tho’ it took away some of my flesh, it contributed much to my health. If it were not for the expence of keeping a Horse in the City, I should be fond of retaining mine till Fall— I could not have been suited better for my purpose any where— The only objection is that it is a female, which among Beasts of burthen & service is not much of a recommendation. But I am in debt for my Bard between fifty & sixty Dollars, & for other things a few more, & I must endeavor to make so good a bargain of my Beast, as to pay my last quarter’s expences.—
I have the promise of an Office in my neighborhood & hope to be in it shortly, I could have got one before at a distance from my lodgings, but the convenience of having it near me, induced my delay.—1 If I can make my Office support itself for the first year, it will be as much as I expect, tho by no means so much as I could desire—but we must all be humbled before we are exalted— I never was much in love with myself, & I feel less so [no]w than ever.
With the warmest affection / yours &ca:
[signed] Thomas B Adams
{ 206 }
P S, Be good enough to inform me if Newcomb’s money arrived safe—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”; endorsed: “T B Adams / June 14 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA noted in his Diary that TBA lived at 72 North Third Street (D/JQA/22, 10 July, APM Reel 25).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0130

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Washington, Martha
Date: 1794-06-20

Abigail Adams to Martha Washington

[salute] my dear Madam

I cannot omit so good an opportunity as the present by my son of paying my respects to you,2 and of acknowledging the honor done him by the unsolicited appointment conferd upon him by the President at a very early period of Life I devoted him to the publick, and in the most dangerous and hazardous time of the War consented that he should accompany his Father in his embassys abroad, considering it of the utmost importance that he should receive his early Education & Principals under his immediate Eye, and I have the satisfaction to say to you Madam, perhaps with the fond Partiality of a Parent, that I do not know in any one Instanc of his <Life> conduct either at home or abroad, he has given me any occasion of regreet, and I hope from his Prudence honour integrity & fidelity that he will never discredit the Character so honorably conferd upon him. painfull as the circumstance of a Seperation from him will be to me Madam I derive a satisfaction from the hope of his becomeing eminently usefull to his Country whether destined to publick, or to Private Life
Be pleased to present my most affectionate Respects to the President and my Love to master Washington & Miss Custus from Madam Your obliged Friend / and Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); notation: “Mrs Washington—” Filmed at [June-July 1794].
1. The dating of this letter is based on Martha Washington’s reply to AA of 19 July, below.
2. AA began another version of this letter on the back of the same sheet of paper. The first draft was identical to this point, after which she continued, “and of introducing him to you in the very honorable Character with which it has pleased the President to invest him, and which I trust will be his Study to fullfill the duties of with that circumspection integrity and fidelity which all publick Trusts demand.” She then abandoned this attempt, flipped the paper over, and started again.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0131

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-07-08

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

The stage in which I had engaged a passage for Philadelphia this morning, has gone away by mistake, and left me behind, which gives me leisure to write a line by my brother. He intends to pay you a visit this summer, and will be the bearer of this.
I was detained three days in Newport for a wind, but otherwise have had a very comfortable passage from Boston hither— I find my health better than when I saw you, and hope that the heats of Philadelphia, will not prove injurious to it. I shall make as short a stay there as possible.
I have met here with Messrs: Talleyrand and Beaumiez, who are about to proceed eastward, and will in the course of a fortnight or three weeks pay you a visit. I have likewise seen a Mr: Colomb, an aid to Mr De la Fayette; who went to Europe in 1779 with us on board the Sensible.1 “tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.”2 Mr: Colomb and I sat and conversed very sociably together for half an hour before either of us discovered that we had been formerly acquainted, and fellow passengers.
If you do not understand my Latin quotation, I must plead the example of the most respectable authority as a precedent to excuse my inserting it.
Mrs Smith and the family are well, but her children were in the Country, and I was disappointed in not seeing them.— At three this afternoon I start for Philadelphia, from which place, I hope you will shortly hear from me.
In all duty and affection, I remain your Son.
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Quincy.”; endorsed: “July 8th / J Q A / 1794”; notation: “Mr: C. Adams.”
1. Louis Saint Ange Morel, Chevalier de La Colombe (1755 – ca. 1800), served as the Marquis de Lafayette’s aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War. He again served Lafayette in the French Army in the early 1790s but was arrested during the French Revolution. He escaped and in 1794 immigrated to the United States, where he remained for the rest of his life (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:573).
For an extended description of this dinner meeting, at the home of AA2 and WSS, see JQA’s Diary for 7 July (D/JQA/20, APM Reel 23).
2. The times change and we change with them.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0132

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-07-10

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

I arrived here last Evening, and this morning paid my Respects to the Secretary of State, who introduced me to the President.— I find that it is their wish that I should be as expeditious in my departure as possible. I told the Secretary, that the state of my own affairs would render my return to Boston previous to my departure, extremely eligible to [my]self. He enquired whether it would be indispensable. I replied that in my present situation, I could view nothing as indispensable, that could relate to my own affairs; and if the public service required it, I should be prepared to go from hence or from New-York.— He has allotted me about ten days, to spend in his office in obtaining the necessary information, and I expect it will be required of me to proceed immediately after from hence or from New-York. Of this however I am not yet certain.— I shall write again as soon as I shall have any foundation for certainty upon the subject.
If you wish to send the papers which you mentioned to me before I left Boston, it will perhaps be necessary to forward them as soon as possible. If I do not return to Boston, I suppose I shall sail in less than three weeks from this day.—
The President received a hurt at Mount-Vernon, and is this day somewhat unwell.1 I saw Mrs: Washington, and delivered to her my mother’s Letter.2 They were both very particular in their enquiries respecting her health and your’s.
Thomas is well— I have as yet paid none of my visits but those I have mentioned; and the prospect of being obliged to go so soon must quicken my pace, and now brings me to that conclusion which whether in haste or at leisure I must uniformly make, that I am in all duty and affection your Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice-President of the United States / Quincy / Massachusetts.”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams / July 10. ansd 20. 1794”; docketed: “Philadelphia.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Traveling from Washington, D.C., to Mount Vernon in late June, George Washington stopped to visit the falls of the Potomac River. There, as he wrote to Henry Knox on 25 June, “my horse, whose feet had got very tender from the journey, blundered and continued blundering until by violent exertions on my part, to save him and myself from falling among the Rocks, I got such a wrench in my back, as to prevent me from mounting a horse without pain” (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 33:411).
2. AA to Martha Washington, [20 June], above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0133

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-07-12

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am yet uncertain as to the next point of my departure. But as I do not hear of any opportunity to go from hence, it is probable I may be permitted to return to Boston. I am glad that the man who has partly engaged to go with me, has already been to take, the small pox, as he will probably be ready upon my return and I shall be obliged to go by the very first opportunity.1
I have begun upon my course of reading in the Office of the Secretary of State, who thinks it will furnish me employment for about ten days; I shall then either go from hence or immediately return to Boston.
Thomas has concluded to remain here, and I believe it will be as advantageous to his interest as it would be were he to take my Office in Boston.2
Piomingo, and a number of Chickasaw chiefs and warriors are here, and have had an Audience of the President, at which I was present, and assisted in smoking the pipe with them.3
My health has been improved by my Journey, and I find myself much recruited.
Affectionately your’s
[signed] J.Q. Adams.
I find there is no allowance made me for a secretary.— But I should be very much gratified to have my brother Thomas go with me; I wish it could be made agreeable to my father.— The expences of travelling and of his board and lodging there, I would defray with pleasure: and if my father would make him the same allowance which he does at present, I think Tom would be glad to go with me, and spend nine or twelve months in Europe.— I think it could not possibly be a material injury to his prospects. he certainly never will have an opportunity when he can spare a year of his time with so little inconvenience and very possibly, he might while in Holland meet with some chance of pursuing a profitable business for himself, in a line at least as well suited to his genius & inclination as his present profession.— The plan would be very agreeable to him, but he is reluctant at making the proposal.
Will you be so kind as to mention it to my father, and let me have an answer by the very first post. If the thing should meet with his consent there will not be a moments time to spare—
[signed] J. Q. A.
{ 210 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams / Quincy.”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams / July 12. ansd. 20. 1794”; docketed: “Philadelphia / to his Mother.”
1. Tilly Whitcomb (ca. 1768–1824) of Boston served JQA and TBA as a manservant in Europe until JQA’s return to Boston in 1801. Whitcomb later was the proprietor of the Boston Concert Hall and the Neponset Bridge Hotel (D/JQA/30, 22 Sept. 1818, APM Reel 33; Boston Columbian Centinel, 17 April 1824).
2. For JQA’s offering his law office in Boston to TBA, see TBA to JA, 14 July 1794, below. TBA ultimately decided to accompany JQA to Europe as his secretary; see JQA to JA, 18 July, below.
3. Piomingo (ca. 1750 – ca. 1798), also known as Mountain Leader, was one of the heads of the Chickasaw nation. Allies of Gen. Anthony Wayne, Piomingo and several other Chickasaw traveled to Philadelphia in late spring to confirm their friendship with the United States. George Washington met with them on 11 July and in subsequent days signed a formal agreement (though not a treaty) granting the Chickasaw protection over their land and forbidding U.S. purchase of or settlement on it (James R. Atkinson, Splendid Land, Splendid People: The Chickasaw Indians to Removal, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 2004, p. 125–126, 163–166, 179). For JQA’s lengthy description of this meeting in his Diary, see D/JQA/20, 11 July, APM Reel 23.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0134

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-07-14

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

Your kind Letter by my Brother was delivered a few days since;1 as the proposal it contains is of very considerable importance, I have taken time to consider it before I returned an answer. As you have been good enough to leave it in my option whether to adopt the plan, or not, I shall express my sentiments with the freedom which your indulgence seems to authorize. I am sensible that a young man, just commencing his career in the line of a Profession, should have no local attachments but such as are founded on the superior advantages, immediate or remote, which one spot may claim over another; Nor should favorable prepossessions be indulged, farther than they are subservient to his interest. My prospects in the Profession as yet, are not of that flattering nature, which would induce me to forego an offer of greater advantage in another place; but from mature deliberation on the idea of removal to the Office of my Brother in Boston, and consultation with him on the subject, I am induced to believe, that my continuance here will be most favorable to my interest. I have occupied an Office nearly opposite my Lodgings, for three weeks past; for which I am to pay at the rate of Seventeen Pounds pr Ann; I have the use of a Library belonging to a young man, who was my predecessor, and who gave up the Office for my accomodation, sooner than he otherwise would have done, and entrusted me with the management of several causes yet unsettled on his Dockett. These are the inducements which opperate on my mind for remaining in Philadelphia, and tho they are in some { 211 } measure circumstances of a casual nature, the least I can do is to think them fortunate. I have felt more satisfaction in the three weeks attendance on my Office, than for Six months past; & tho my consequence hitherto has depended on my own opinion, at least I have enjoyed some satisfaction in the anticipation of its further extension. In making this choice, I renounce the satisfaction which a nearer residence to my Parents would afford—but so long as the Office you hold requires your attendance at this place for some months in the year, I shall enjoy the pleasure & benefit of your company. Here I have already made a begining in the Profession—in Boston I am unknown— Here I have qualifyed myself in some degree for the Practice in this state—In Massachusetts I should have to learn the first rudiments— But droping the parralell I will close with observing, that at all times I shall pay obedience to the commands of my Parents, tho’ in a matter of option I may give my reasons without reserve for not closing with their proposals.
With much affection / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0135

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-07-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Since my arrival here, I have employed all the Time, that I have been able to spare, from the more important business of visits and dinners, in the Office of the Secretary of State, and have gone through six large folio volumes containing your dispatches to Congress while you were in Europe.1 They can have but little relation to the business upon which I am about to proceed; but they have proved such a fund of information and of entertainment to me as I have seldom met with in the course of my life.
So long as these books exist, they will be the highest euloguim that can be past upon your conduct in Europe; but whenever they shall be made public, they will make breaches of a very serious Nature in the artificial reputation of some other Diplomatic characters. The contemptuous insolence of V. towards you, and his base malignity as well as his fear of you, and his perfidy to this Country, will at some future period appear in the full face of Day, as well as the miserable dupery, if it was not something worse, of “papa F.”2
I have not read his dispatches during the same period. Indeed the { 212 } Secretary of State seems so desirous to have me gone and I have so little time to spare for the satisfaction of my private curiosity, that I fear I shall not get a sight of them. I am even a little scrupulous about asking for them, as I presume Mr: Randolph would suspect, that information as to the subject of my own mission would not be my only inducement.
But from the disclosure of the policy pursued by France during our Revolution, which has lately been made by the ruling powers there, I think it is infallible that a comparative view of the french ministerial Letters and instructions of that day, together with your dispatches, and those of the patriarchal philosopher & Statesman, would exhibit a group of characters as elegantly and sublimely contrasted, as ever proceeded from the pencil of Raphael or of Rubens.— What a conflict of passions would be discernible in the countenance of the Frenchman!— An affected superciliousness to you; an obsequiousness equally affected, to your colleague, a real respect and fear in the first case, and a real contempt for the tool of his adulation in the second piercing through the deep disguise of the sentiments assumed; a pretended regard and a real malevolence towards the country which you represented; all this clearly detected, and exposed by you, while your co-patriot in his total blindness, and his small envy, cordially assists the pretended friend in carrying on the imposture.— it would be a morçeau exquis pour les amateurs.3
Little did that minister of falsehood imagine, that all the secrets of the cabinet with all his dissimulation and all his intrigue would so speedily be made accessible to the public.— In one of Mr: Short’s Letters of a recent date he says that a short Time before he left Paris he was admitted to an inspection of the records in the french Office for foreign affairs.— It was at his request, and for the purpose of obtaining a sight of certain documents relative to Mr: Jay’s negotiation with Spain.4 The minister gave him the necessary order, in consequence of the principle which he had professed of abolishing all diplomatic mystery. And yet Short then got sight of some Letter from V. to Rayneval, which he thinks it would be a breach of confidence in him to disclose, presuming that it could not have been intended he should see it. Mr: Short’s delicacy is certainly very commendable; but I infer from this anecdote two things; the first is that the office of foreign affairs in France and the same Office here are two electrical clouds which whenever they shall meet, will prove to be rather too highly charged, for Mr: Franklin’s conductor to carry off. the other is, that the french minister who pretended to banish { 213 } all diplomatic mystery from his administration, was as ill qualified as Franklin himself to snatch the thunderbolt from the sky or the scepter from the hand of Tyrants.5 His indiscretion certainly put into Short’s possession information which was not intended for him, and therefore his display of openness and publicity must be very imprudent or very hypocritical. The ars celare artem6 is as much the ambition of the present french negotiations as it was under their former government; but I think they are still less successful in the attempt.
I was mistaken when I informed you that there was no allowance made for a Secretary to Ministers of the Rank which has been conferred upon me. A private Secretary is allowed, and I have made an offer of the place to my brother Thomas which Mr: Randolph says will be perfectly agreeable.— my brother hesitated for some time, from a reluctance to decide upon a measure so important to himself without previously consulting you and obtaining your approbation. But as the time cannot admit of this, he has concluded to take it by anticipation, and if he should find himself disappointed in his hopes that this step will be agreeable to you, he will make his stay in Europe the shorter. The allowance is 1350 Dollars. He does not consider this as offering any thing permanent to him, or as giving him an opportunity to make money, but as a decent support for a short period of Time, an opportunity of seeing part of Europe, and perhaps of making some improvements which would not be so easily attainable at home
I expect to leave this City by the latter end of this week or the beginning of the next for Boston, and am to sail from thence by the very first opportunity for London; this passage is expressly preferred by the President & Secretary of State, and as it fully coincides with my own opinion and inclination it has been positively determined rather than a passage immediately to Amsterdam. If it should happen that an earlier opportunity should occur from New-York, than from Boston, I shall come back again and sail from thence for at present the object of my greatest anxiety is to reach the place of my residence.7
I have not yet received my Instructions and therefore am not informed what is the object of my mission. As soon as this shall take place, I shall either write to you, or else take the opportunity when I see you at Quincy to make the observations which have occurred to { 214 } myself and to request your advice and opinion, with respect to the PRINCIPLE upon which I ought to calculate the duration of my residence in Europe. Some principle I must determine upon before I go; for my commission is during the Pleasure of the President. It is a tenancy at will, and therefore it is proper that I should settle beforehand, the contingencies upon which my will shall determine, upon the supposition that the President should not make such determination on my part unnecessary.— I wish to serve my Country; but not to feed upon her for nothing.
Affectionately your Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. July 16 & 20th. / 1794”; docketed: “Philadelphia.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 126.
1. For these volumes, see PCC, No. 84, I-VI.
2. That is, the Comte de Vergennes and Benjamin Franklin, both of whom JA tangled with during his diplomatic service in Europe. See JA, Papers, vols. 6–15 passim.
3. A delightful bit for the amateurs.
4. John Jay was involved in various diplomatic negotiations with Spain, first between 1779 and 1782 as U.S. minister to Spain, and again between 1784 and 1789 as secretary for foreign affairs. Both missions—the first, to achieve Spanish recognition of the United States, and the second, to negotiate a commercial treaty between the two countries— failed (DAB).
5. A phrase attributed to Anne Robert Jacques Turgot; see JA, Papers, 6:174.
6. Usually “Ars est celare artem,” that is, It is true art to conceal art.
7. On 12 July, JQA wrote to Thomas Welsh in Boston asking him to look for ships sailing from either Boston or New York to London or Amsterdam (MHi:Adams-Welsh Coll.), but JQA and TBA did not locate a passage until early September. Ultimately, they sailed from Boston on 17 Sept. aboard the Alfred, Capt. Stephen Macey. They reached England on 14 Oct. (D/JQA/21, 14 Oct., APM Reel 24; D/JQA/22, 1, 9, 17 Sept., APM Reel 25; Boston Columbian Centinel, 30 Aug.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0136

Author: Washington, Martha
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-07-19

Martha Washington to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam—

Mr Adams (your son) presented me with your obliging favor of June the 20th. and I pray you to accept my thanks for your kind remembrance of me; and the assurance of the pleasure I felt at hearing that you had quite recovered your health again.—
That parental feelings should be put to the test at a seperation (perhaps for years) from a dutyful, and meritorious son, is not to be wondered at; but as there is no trial bereft of consolation, so in the one before you, you have a flattering vẽw of his future welfare.— The prudence, good sence and high estamation in which he stands, leaves you nothing to apprehend on his account from the want of these traits in his character;—whilst abilities, exerted in the road in which he is now placed, affords him the fairest prospect rendering { 215 } eminent services to his country; and of being, in time, among the fore most in her councils.— This I know is the opinion of my Husband, from whom I have imbided the idea.—
he begs me to present his best wishes and respectful compliments to you, and joins me in sincear regards for the Vice-President
With very great esteem I remain / Dear Madam your / affectionat Servant
[signed] M Washington
Nelly and Washington write with me in good wishes for miss Smith

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0137

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-07-20

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear Son

I received your Letter this morning of the 12th and one from N york by your Brother Charles,1 who got here the day before commencment; in good Health & spirits. your Father and Brother, myself and Louissa all went together to commencment. the weather was uncomfortably Hot. it was otherways an agreeable day. I hope you will not experience any unusual inconvenience from the Heat of Philadelphia. your stay there will not be longer than you are obliged to. I cannot think of your going abroad without returning here. Your Father will write to you respecting your Proposal for Thomas—2 you knew my mind upon the Subject before you left me. provided you had an allowence for a secretary, I have always wisht that your Brother might have an opportunity of going abroad for a short period of Time, and as you are inclined to have him accompany you, I think it is not probably that a better opportunity will ever present itself, for him, as you may be mutually benificial to each other, and it will not be so Solitary to you. I will not take my own personal feelings into the question. What ever may be for the benifit of my children I acquiese in.
Tilly went as I wrote you to get innoculated but as no other person presented they thought it would not do to take one person only. he is however determind to go with you & risk it.
Let me hear from you by <every> the post I think you will be like to get a passage from hence as readily as from N york or Philadelphia. I have a request to make you and Your Brother. if there is a minature painter in the city Set for your Liknesses large enough for { 216 } { 217 } { 218 } Braslets & if You get them give them to mr Anthony to set with a lock of each of your Hairs to be put on the back together with Your Names in a cypher and whatever the expence may be I will repay you here.3 the Likeness may be taken and the pictures left with mr Anthony as it will take him some time to set them. you must Spair Time for it if possible—
Yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
1. JQA to AA, 8 July, above.
2. JA wrote to JQA on 20 July fully supporting the plan for TBA to accompany JQA to Europe (Adams Papers).
3. Joseph Anthony Jr. was a Philadelphia jeweler and goldsmith (Philadelphia Directory, 1794, Evans, No. 27089). JQA and TBA eventually had the miniatures painted by a British artist in the Netherlands; see Descriptive List of Illustrations, Nos. 4 and 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0138

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-07-27

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

I expected to have been on my way to Boston before this; but Mr: Hamilton is gone into the Country, and I cannot be supplied with my instructions untill he returns. He has been expected every hour these four days, and it is very possible that four days hence he may still be hourly expected. In the mean while I am here lolling away my time, and sweating away my person, with nothing to do, and waiting with as much patience, as I have at command.— I am unable to say therefore when I shall leave this place, but hope it will be by the middle of this week.
But I presume that my instructions after all will contain nothing very particular. The Secretary of State says that the mission is almost exclusively reduced to a pecuniary negotiation.1
To have nothing further to do, but to borrow money, and superintend the loans already existing, is an employment, to which for a certain Time I have no reluctance in submitting. It is a situation in which my services may be of some small utility to my Country, and which may afford me a valuable opportunity to improve my own information and talents: but I cannot think of it with any satisfaction as a permanency whether I consider it with reference to the public or to myself.
As it respects the public it is a situation of small trust and confidence under the present circumstances. The credit of the United States stands upon such ground, that very little or none of their future success or failure will depend upon the personal character or { 219 } abilities of their Representative there. And I presume the Executive Government of this country will not think it necessary to keep a minister constantly resident at the Hague, for the sole purpose of occasionally borrowing a sum of money for the public at Amsterdam.
Should that however be the policy of the Government, and should it be at my option to continue from year to year in this state of nominal respectability and real insignificance, it is proper for me to determine how long I shall bear it: and this is a subject of much reflection and much anxiety to my mind.
I have abandoned the profession upon which I have hitherto depended, for a future subsistence; Abandoned it, at a time, when the tedious noviciate of hope and fear was nearly past; when flattering and brightening prospects were every day opening more and more extensively to my view; when I was at least upon a footing of equal advantage with any one of my own standing in the profession, and advancing if not rapidly at least with regular progression towards eminence: when the reward of long and painful expectation began to unfold itself to my sight, and give me a rational hope of future possession. At this critical moment, when all the materials for a valuable reputation at the bar were collected, and had just began to operate favourably for me, I have stopped short in my career; forsaken the path which would have led me to independence and security in private life; and stepped into a totally different direction.
To that profession I can never return without losing many of the advantages, which rendered its practice tolerable. The reputation which hitherto I had acquired was still very much confined and limited; it was founded upon four years of constant application and attention to business. My absence will not only stop its growth, but will carry me back to that obscurity in which I began. The study of the common and Statute Law has nothing attractive to secure any attention to it unless some inducement of immediate interest serves as a stimulus. My business, and my studies in the character which I am now to assume, have very little affinity with those of a practicing lawyer; I shall probably have but little leisure, and shall not be disposed to devote it to Kings-Bench or Chancery Reports, to Littleton’s Tenures or Coke’s Commentaries. Yet these studies must essentially be uninterrrupted to preserve the learning of a lawyer, and two or three years intermission will have the double effect of disgusting me with them, and of disqualifying me from the practice of the Law, without a redoubled application to them.
{ 220 }
In proportion as my own professional advancement will be checked that of my contemporaries and particularly of those who started from the goal nearly at the same time with myself, will be promoted. They will continue to make their way, and will in a few years have reached the summit of reputation and of business.— My juniors who are now just opening their Offices, or are yet students will then have reached the station from which I have departed, and thus after having been elevated to a public station much beyond my own wishes and expectations, and invested with a character more conspicuous than those of my fellow citizens of equal years and standing in the world, in returning to the bar I shall descend as much below the level of my ambition and pretensions as I have been by my present appointment raised above it.
The profession therefore can be considered by me in no other light, than that of a last resort, in case all other resources should fail; and yet I have no reason to suppose, that any thing more eligible will occur to me in case I should at the end of two or three years be destitute of public employment.
Unpleasant however as this perspective is, I think it infinitely preferable to that of remaining in the public service, to perform duties which may be executed equally well by any other man; and with the consciousness of holding a public office without confidence, without utility, and for no other purpose than barely to give me a subsistence
The idea of being many years absent from my Country; from my family my connections and friends is so painful that I feel a necessity for fixing upon some period to which I may look forward with an expectation of being restored to them. The distance between the two Countries is so great and the communication of course so small, that it is hardly possible for an American to be long in Europe, without losing in some measure his national character. The habits, the manners and affections insensibly undergo an alteration; the common changes to which Society is incident remove many of the friends and connections which he left behind him, and no others are substituted in their stead; his own propensities are so liable to follow the course of the stream into which he has been launched, that he gradually takes an European disposition, becomes a stranger to his own Country, and when at length he returns finds himself an alien in the midst of his own fellow-citizens.
The attachment which I feel for my native Land, is not merely a sentiment of the Heart; it is also a principle dictated by my Reason. { 221 } Independant of my feelings and Inclinations, I hold it to be a duty of the most rigid obligation, to make the place of my birth, the centre of all my wishes and the chief object of all my pursuits. Wherever my lot may be cast; I hope I shall always turn towards it with as much frequency of devotion and as constant veneration as that with which the most faithful disciple of Mahomet presents his face towards the tomb of his prophet. I cannot therefore look forward with indifference to any situation that shall have a tendency to loosen the ties which connect me with my Country. I cannot anticipate without concern a length of absence, which may give my inclinations a bias different from that of my duty.
For these Reasons I am convinced of the propriety there is in marking out for my own determination the limits of Time for the duration of my present mission. It is very possible that I may have no occasion for any such limitation, and that my commission will be superseded by the will of the President, as soon or sooner than I shall desire; but this is an Event which is wholly out of my controul and which therefore cannot enter into my calculations.
If after three years residence at the Hague, I should see no particular object requiring my further continuance there; if the business of an American Minister there should continue to be the mere agency of a broker, and my office be of no benefit but to me, I shall feel myself under an obligation to return home; and resume my profession or any other employment in private life, that shall afford me an honourable support.
I have written very freely to you Sir upon this subject, because I wish to have the sanction of your opinion and your advice. The principle which I have adopted has been so consonant to your own practice, and has been in my mind so clearly the result of your instructions, that I think it cannot but meet with your approbation.— Perhaps the Time upon which I have fixed may not preserve so accurately the medium as I should wish, and if you are of that opinion, I must solicit you for the result of your reflections, in writing if it be not too inconvenient.— Your kindness will excuse the unceasing egotism of this Letter, which could admit of no apology, were it not directed to the indulgence of a parent for the purpose of obtaining the guidance of paternal wisdom.
Since I wrote you last my brother has received your Letter, and I have the answer to mine consenting to his going with me.2 You have been kind enough to promise him the continuance of your assistance to him, to enable him to bear the expences of his foreign tour; { 222 } but since I made the application to you, I find that an allowance is made for a private Secretary, and my brother is willing to accompany me in that capacity; so that he will have it in his power to unite business and amusement, and may have the advantage of travelling without incumbrance to you.
In ten or twelve days I hope I shall see you at Quincy, and in the mean time remain affectionately your Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
1. Edmund Randolph provided JQA with his instructions on 29 July (Adams Papers). As JQA expected, Randolph wrote that it was JQA’s “first and unremitting duty, to forward by all the means in your power the loan, opened for 800,000 dollars and destined to the ransom of our fellow citizens in Algiers, and the effectuating of a peace.” Besides that and a request to deal with the case of an American ship captured by a Dutch privateer, the rest of the instructions focused on the general duties of a minister—to keep the secretary of state informed of all political and diplomatic activities, to supply information on the history and administration of the Netherlands, and to insure that commercial relations between the Netherlands and the United States remained on a positive footing.
On 8 Aug., Alexander Hamilton followed up with more detailed information on the Dutch loan and provided JQA with copies of the relevant documents. Hamilton noted, “In the future progress of things it is probable that the subject here by committed to you will again become of great importance and delicacy & you will of course take pains to possess yourself of all requisite and useful information” (Hamilton, Papers, 17:72–76; Adams Papers).
2. JA’s letter to TBA has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0139

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-07-29

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

I am still waiting for the arrival of Coll: Hamilton whom it is necessary for me to see before my departure, and who has been detained several days in the Country by the sickness of a child.1
I received your favour of the 20th: instt: and my brother is now prepared to go with me.— We should be very happy to comply with your request respecting the bracelets, but we shall certainly not have time for the miniatures to be taken here; and indeed our miniature painters are so indifferent workmen, that it will be best to have them done in Europe.
A very serious opposition to the collection of the Excise has taken place in one of the western Counties of this State. The Collector’s House has been burnt down, and an action between the insurgents and a company of soldiers terminated in the loss of several lives.—2
I enclose with this a pamphlet which has just made its appearance; written as I judge from the face of it by some Englishman, but I know not any Briton in this Country equal to it.
There is much party spirit, much virulence, and some { 223 } controversial disingenuity conspicuous in this publication. It is certainly not written with a view to popular approbation. But I believe the Doctor and his friends would not find it an easy task, really to answer it—3
A french fleet of forty sail which went from hence about a fortnight since has been picked up by an English squadron on the Coast; and a very small portion of them have escaped.— There is some suspicion I believe of treachery among the french, or by the American Pilots who were with them; but I know not exactly what it is.4
On the other hand the combined armies in Europe, have no reason to boast of their success. Their situation is even extremely critical. And the violent measures pursued by the ministry in England, indicate a consciousness of internal weakness more than any thing that has hitherto occurred.
No account of Mr: Jay’s arrival as yet.5
The Secretary of State and Hammond continue bickering and recriminating.— If the latter is not absolutely instructed to pick a quarrel with us at all hazards his conduct is very indiscreet. He is now at New-York.
A pompous Letter from London giving an Account of the present internal state of France has been published in most of the newspapers here, and has probably found its way into those of Boston. It was written by Jackson, the ci-devant Secretary to the President. It contains information really important, but I know not how far it is to be depended upon. There is a circumstance which proves that the author was vain of his Letter at least.— He addressed and sent it to two different persons: Mr: Pinckney in London, and Mr: Willing in this City.— Mr: Pinckney sent a copy of it to the Secretary of State; so that when Mr: Willing received that sent to him, and was anxious to communicate his very interesting intelligence, he was greatly surprized to find that the President was already in possession of it.6
Instead of Salvator-Rosa, methinks this incident would supply a tolerable subject for the pencil of Hogarth.
I write very freely: indeed I find it difficult to realize that henceforth my Correspondence must be armed at all points, or confidential. It will take me some time to ease myself in diplomatic buckram completely. I have no occasion to request of you that my future letters, may be reserved from all but my father’s inspection.— You will easily distinguish those parts of them which are intended only for yourself and him.
I am in all duty and affection your Son
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
{ 224 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams / Quincy.”; internal address: “Mrs: A. Adams, Quincy.”; endorsed: “JQ Adams july / 29 1794”; docketed: “Philadelphia.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 126.
1. On 11 July Alexander Hamilton wrote to George Washington asking to be excused from Philadelphia “to make an excursion into the country for a few days to try the effect of exercise & change of air” on his son, John Church Hamilton (b. 1792). Alexander Hamilton had planned to return within a week but was detained at New York and did not arrive back in Philadelphia until 30 July (Hamilton, Papers, 16:591, 615–616, 627).
2. JQA recounts the first violent action of the Whiskey Rebellion. On 16 July a group of armed men attacked John Neville, the regional supervisor for collection of the federal excise in western Pennsylvania, seeking his resignation and his records of tax collection on distilled spirits. A skirmish ensued in which one person was killed. The next day, a much larger mob of several hundred people returned and a second battle followed. Two or three men were killed, others were wounded, and Neville’s estate was burned.
Over the next few months, several thousand Pennsylvanians engaged in a series of actions, some violent, to protest and thwart attempts to collect the excise tax on spirits. Ultimately, George Washington gathered an army of nearly 13,000 from various state militias and personally led them part of the way to put down the insurgency, which was largely accomplished by November. While the army arrested many people as suspects, only a handful were ever tried for treason. All but two were acquitted, and those two Washington eventually pardoned (Slaughter, Whiskey Rebellion, p. 3, 217–221). For more on the Whiskey Rebellion, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.
3. Possibly An Impartial History of the Late Revolution in France, from Its Commencement to the Death of the Queen, and the Execution of the Deputies of the Gironde Party, 2 vols., Phila., 1794, Evans, No. 27588. A copy is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
4. On 13 July a French convoy of some thirty ships, mainly merchantmen containing provisions for France, sailed from the Delaware River. The next day they were attacked by British forces. Given the order to disperse, some of the convoy escaped but over half were captured (New York Journal, 16 July; Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 19 July; Philadelphia Gazette, 30, 31 July).
5. News of John Jay’s arrival in London had reached New York by 13 Aug. and Philadelphia by 14 Aug., where it was widely reported. The Philadelphia Gazette of that day, for instance, noted, “By the brig Nancy we learn that Mr. JAY had arrived at London, and was well received by the Ministry.”
6. This letter was apparently from William Jackson, Washington’s secretary, to Thomas Willing of Philadelphia, the president of the Bank of the United States (DAB). Dated London, 28 April, it appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette, 16 July. The letter described in glowing terms the “formidable preparations” the French were making for the coming war, including the mustering of troops, gathering of armaments, and preparation of fuel. Jackson also celebrated the agricultural progress of France, noting that “amidst all this din and preparation of arms, the country is more carefully and extensively cultivated than in any former period. … The very avenues and approaches to the Chateaux are ploughed, even walks in the gardens of the Tuilleries are sown and planted, and no country presents a more promising appearance in agriculture than France does at this moment.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0140

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1794-08-13

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

Coll: Hamilton arrived in Philadelphia, the night before you left it, but from the pressure of business more immediately urgent, was not prepared for me untill last Friday. On that Evening I left the City, in company with Genl Knox, and arrived here (quite overcome { 225 } { 226 } with fatigue, and somewhat unwell of the complaint which you brought from the same place) on Saturday at about 6 in the Evening.
The Secretary of State supposed he should have some farther commands for me, and requested me to stop here until Friday next, accordingly, I have hitherto been here recruiting my health & strength.
So long as my departure is delayed by the orders of my Superiors, I must submit cheerfully, but I am very anxious that no additional delay of my own should postpone the voyage, beyond the line of absolute necessity. I hope therefore that you will have some Vessel ready to Sail, within a few days after I reach Boston. The best season for the Voyage, we must be content to lose. I shall sail for Providence on friday or Saturday, I hope;1 and in the mean time am affectionately your Brother
LbC in TBA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr: TB Adams. / Quincy”; APM Reel 126.
1. JQA sailed aboard the packet Sally on 16 Aug., arriving in Providence on the 18th and Quincy on the 19th (D/JQA/22, APM Reel 25).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0141

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1794-08-15

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear William

Your last favor was handed me by Mr C Hall on the road between Philadelphia and New York—1 It gave me pleasure to receive it, particularly as it was delivered by a Gentleman for whom I have the highest esteem, and who from the satisfaction that was visible in his countenance, discovered the pleasure he must have received in his visit, and the still greater gratification of your acquaintance. I have so far proceeded in my arrangements for leaving the Country as to have arrived safely in this place, and am now waiting with no small degree of impatience for an opportunity to Embark— You know the hurry, bustle &c of such a period as the present, and therefore will pardon me in telling you, that present appearances afford me no prospect of paying a visit to my favorite spot in which you have the happiness to reside. It may however be possible, but if not, the consequence must be that you come and pass a few days with me. I shall be happy if it is in my power to save you the trouble, but if your business will admit your absence for a few days, it will { 227 } probably be more convenient, than for me to visit you. My Brother whom I left in Philadelphia, has not yet arrived in Boston, tho’ I expect him by every Post; when he returns I shall be able to inform you whether a week of pleasure can be afforded me or not. As there are no vessels up for London at present, the period of our Embarkation is yet uncertain— We may be detained four or five weeks; and if in that time all matters can be brought to bear, I will run away to you with as much eagerness as ever a hungry boy ran to his breakfast.
Your Family were all well yesterday; Present me affectionately to all your friends at Haverhill and receive for your individual self the best wishes of
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Atty at Law / Haverhill”; internal address: “William Cranch Esqr:”; endorsed: “T.B. A. Aug: 15. 1794 / Ansd. 23d” and “Ansd. Aug. 23d.”
1. Not found. Charles Hall (ca. 1769–1821) was a lawyer who settled in Sunbury, Penn. (New York Evening Post, 16 Jan. 1821).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0142

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1794-08-24

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

In its due time, I received your Letter from Philadelphia of the 27. of July.
Although, in the Opinion of The Secretary of State, the Mission to Holland may be “almost exclusively reduced to a pecuniary Negotiation,” yet, in the Opinion of others among whom your father is one, the Post at the Hague is an important Diplomatick Station, which may afford many opportunities of acquiring political Information and of penetrating the Designs of many Cabinets in Europe.
The Observations and Reflections contained in your Letter are all very Sensible, and I wish you to remember and preserve them: but, in Case you should return to your Country whether in three Years or Seven or more or less, I wish you to preserve your Resolution inflexible to return to the Bar. Be patient. Submit to the Mortifications you justly foresee Open your Office and be always found in it, except when you are attending the Courts of Justice. from none of these Should you be absent, a moment.
In three or four years you will probably be promoted to the Rank of a Min. Plenipotentiary: possibly in less time, if you discover to The President Talents and Principles Suitable for So high a Trust.
{ 228 }
As every Thing is uncertain and Scænes are constantly changing I would not advise you to fix any unalterable Resolutions except in favour of Virtue and integrity and an unchangeable Love to your Country. Your own good Sense will be Sufficient to guide you from time to time.
Endeavour to obtain Correspondences with able Men in the southern & middle States as well as in the northern ones, and these will inform you & advise you.
If my Life should be Spared I hope to be one of them and will give you my best Opinions and Advice as Circumstances occur. I wish you a pleasant Voyage and much honour Satisfaction and Success in your Mission—
I am with constant Affection / your Friend and Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “John Quincy Adams Minister / of U.S. to the Hague.” Tr (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0143

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-09-10

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

My Cousins most agreeably supprized me by a Visit— I had been informed that your Sons were to sail the week before— I thought they were upon the wide Ocean, & many a fervent wish for their saefty T had breathed forth— I am sorry I could not have the pleasure of seeing my other Nephews, especially your eldest Son, as perhaps, it will be many a year before I see him, if ever— It is an unstable world we live in— And we Sisters seem to be called, to be separated from some of our dearest Connections all at once— For I must think, I shall feel the Separation from Mr Cranch, even more than his own Father, & Mother— For I had considered him as fixed among us—as a dear Relative, & worthy Friend, as a Protector to me, & my Children, one whom I hoped to have lived, & died with—but Providence seems to be pointing out to him another Place—a Sphere of more extensive usefulness, I trust, & ought I to murmur, or to repine.—1 He that cuts of one branch, can cause another to shoot forth—& if it is best, it will be done— Reliance upon the wisdom, & goodness of the divine Being, has the most salutary effect— We derive from it, our sweetest Comforts, & it gives peace, & serenity to the mind when nothing else can—
Cousin Betsy is much better, riding she finds of service, I hope { 229 } she will be able to make you a visit at Quincy when my Cousin Lucy returns—
The bag the oatmeal was in, I should be obliged to you, if you would send it— It is a nice one for my William to pack his Cloaths in— I mean to do his washing— more cloaths is necessary, but I can do it, better than hire—2 what you was so kind as to give me I found of great service, they were much better than we could afford to buy— turning the hind part before, & making them over again, made quite useful small cloaths—
Adieu my dear Sister—may you, & Yours be protected from every kind of danger, & evil—
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
1. William Cranch had accepted a position as agent to James Greenleaf’s firm, Morris, Nicholson & Greenleaf, in Washington, D.C. He was retained to handle their legal and business affairs, work he continued until the firm’s failure in 1797 (NEHGS, Memorial Biographies, 2:451–454).
2. William Smith Shaw was beginning his first term at Harvard; he would graduate in 1798 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-09-11

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

Last night I received your kind Letter of Septr. 3d and am sorry to find that your Books were not then arrived.1 Before this day I hope they are in your Office, and I should be glad if you would inform me whether they are or not. The early Part of my Life was Spent among them, and they have never been many Days together out of my thoughts; so that I have contracted an habitual Affection for them, which would be more mortified by the Loss of them, than of their Value in any other Property.
Your Brothers are to Sail on Sunday, the 14th. of this Month, and my Heaven vouch Safe them a prosperous Passage and Successful Mission.
As it is many Years Since I have lost all my former esteem for Mr Paines Character both as a Man and a Politician, his last Publication and the consequent Declension of his Character among virtuous Men, has been no Surprize to me. It is a Pity that his ridiculous “Age of Reason”: had not appeared before his ranting “Rights of Man,[”] that the poison concealed in it, might have been Suspected from the hateful Character of the Physician who prescribed it.2
Rienzi, Massianello, Wat Tyler and other Heroes of democratical Memory, were better Men and not worse Statesmen.3 Cleon and { 230 } Clodius and all their Successors, among the popular Destroyers of Republicanism, ought to teach Mankind caution.4 But Frederick is right. The Sotteses des Peres sont perdues pour leurs Enfans: il fault que chaque generation fasse les siennes.—5 Experience is not sufficient to teach Mankind Wisdom.
I wish you an honourable Issue of your Examination and pray you to write me as often as you can. Your Mother will require a more constant Attention to her than ever. My Love to the Baron, and Col smith & your sister. thank her for her present of American Manufacture.
I am Dear Charles your affectionate / father.
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr”; notation: “Eliza Blaeggs Wharf.”
1. Letter not found.
2. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and of Fabulous Theology, Part I, Paris, 1794. Paine wrote The Age of Reason as a justification of his deist beliefs, laying out proofs for the existence of a god but denying a Christian one. He wrote portions of the book while imprisoned in the Luxembourg Palace during the French Revolution (DAB).
3. Cola di Rienzo (1313–1354), though born of humble origins, succeeded in briefly overthrowing the barons who ruled Rome and reestablishing a Roman republic in 1347. Tommaso Aniello, commonly known as Masaniello (1620–1647), led a popular revolt in 1647 against the Spanish viceroy ruling Naples, the Duke of Arcos. The rebels succeeded in overthrowing Arcos, but Masaniello was murdered and the insurgency eventually collapsed (Ronald G. Musto, Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age, Berkeley, Calif., 2003, p. 1–2, 27; Cambridge Modern Hist., 4:656–658).
4. Cleon (fl. 430s–420s B.C.), an Athenian politician, the son of a tanner, had a mixed record as a military leader but achieved considerable popular success through his persuasive oratory and extravagant promises. Although of aristocratic birth, Publius Clodius Pulcher (ca. 92–52 B.C.), a Roman tribune, was known for courting the support of the urban plebes and promoting their interests (Oxford Classical Dicy.).
5. See AA to JA, 26 Feb. 1794, and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0145

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1794-09-14

John Adams to John Quincy Adams
and Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Sons

I once more wish you a prosperous Voyage an honourable Conduct and a happy Life. Remember your Characters as Men of Business as well as Men of Virtue, and always depend on the Affection and Friendship of your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “My Sons”; internal address: “John Quincy and Thomas Boylston Adams”; endorsed by JQA: “My Father 14. Septr: 1794. / Recd: at Boston.” Tr (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0146

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-09-22

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

My books arrived in good order and well conditioned the day after I last wrote to my father.1 By some mistake the 28th volume of The Dictionaire Diplomatique was left behind.2 Though I have not seen an account of the departure of my brothers I suppose from my father’s last letter that e’er this they must have sailed One half of your children are called away from you and though seas do not divide you from the others yet necessity obliges them to be absent but wherever they are I trust they never can forget the maternal tenderness you have ever exercised toward them. You have indeed been a mother to us and such a one as we never can too highly value. My sister wishes you to pass the winter with her but I fear you will not again venture from home. Mrs Fitch has been very civil to me they appear to have a great affection for our family She says one of the principal inducements that Mr Fitch has for coming to settle in America is the friendship he has for my father3 The opinions of people here are very various respecting the success of Mr Jay’s mission. We have accounts that Genl Wayne has taken several British subjects in a late engagement with the Indians and hung them upon the trees4 I do not vouch for the truth of this but the conduct of the officers of the British Government towards this Country bear not a very favorable aspect. The antifederalists here predict that the whole power of the United S[tates] cannot quell the insurrection in Penn[sylvania] that open hostilities must be commenced there is no doubt for the indignities offered to the Commissioners cannot be overlooked The volunteers from N Jersey and Pennsylvania are very numerous In the former State they would not agree to the regular draft but insisted upon drafting for those who should not go. There has been as yet no requisition from this State if there should be one I shall take my musket and march in the ranks as I have been drafted as one of the minute men: this will not be altogether so convenient for me.5
On the fourteenth of October I shall set out for Albany The earnest solicitations of the Baron have drawn a promise from me to spend a few days with him at his solitude after I have passed my Counsellors examination. I have always lamented that you have so little acquaintance with this excellent man I never have know a { 232 } more noble character and his affection for me calls forth every sentiment of gratitude which can exist in my breast. I hope you will write to me frequently I feel as if every day some friend and I have not many was taken from me to those who remain I am more strongly attached but the affection to my Mother can never suffer any alteration I shall ever remain as heretofore I ever have been yours with the sentiments of the purest filial tenderness
[signed] Chas Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: Mrs Abigail Adams. / Quincy”; endorsed: “C Adams / 22 Sepbr / 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Jean Baptiste Robinet, Dictionnaire universel des sciences morale, économique, politique et diplomatique, 30 vols., London, 1777–1783.
3. For Eliphalet Fitch of Jamaica, see vol. 5:173.
4. George Washington had appointed Gen. Anthony Wayne commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army in the wake of Gen. Arthur St. Clair’s defeat at Fort Recovery, Ohio, in Nov. 1791. Wayne rebuilt the army and successfully defeated a coalition of Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on 20 Aug. 1794. Following the battle, Wayne also approached the British-held Fort Miami but refrained from attacking it, instead burning the crops and leveling the ground around it (DAB; Harry Emerson Wildes, Anthony Wayne: Trouble Shooter of the American Revolution, N.Y., 1941, p. 343, 349, 422–425).
A report in Philadelphia, based on an undated letter from New York, suggested that in the wake of the battle, “several British subjects (said to be Canadians) were left wounded among the Indians, and my information states that Wayne hung two of them” (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 22 Sept.).
For more on Wayne, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 7, above.
5. The army raised to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion comprised citizens from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. New York State did not enact a draft. Under the federal law establishing a uniform militia, enacted on 8 May 1792, “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years” could be enrolled in the militia (Slaughter, Whiskey Rebellion, p. 212; Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 1392–1395).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0147

Author: Otis, Samuel Allyne
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-10-16

Samuel A. Otis to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Agreeable to intimation I have been enquiring for accommodations for you but to no purpose unless you should like rooms in Francis’s house. It is not easy to know exactly what will be agreeable to our friends tho we may sometimes please ourselves— I have gone so far however as to engage with Francis on condition you like & wish for your immediate answer—
Francis’s house is in 4th Street near Indian Queen.
He will let you have a genteel room, front, one pair of stairs for a drawing room, & A convenient & contiguous lodging room on the same floor— Breakfast & Coffee in the afternoon in your own { 233 } { 234 } appartments, dine with the Gentlemen lodgers, to number of nine or ten, to be all members of Congress— To accommodate Mr Brasler with a lodging room & board—you to find your own liquor fire and Candles and pay twenty1 dollars the week for self & Sert accommodated as above to wit: Two rooms for yourself & a lodging room for Mr Brasler. You will please to observe, If you ask company to dine transiently you pay consideration pr Man. If you make a dinner specially, for which by the way there will be no occasion, you agree specially— The price & large company will be objectionable, but I suppose the members of Congress for a single room must pay 10 dollars a week & 4 or 5 for servant— You have two rooms & Valet de Chambre a lodging room. As to the Company they will be all members of Congress. If you go to private logings you will perhaps be obliged to sit down with some tradesman & wife or both— And Iz——d who is breaking up house keeping & sending off the baggage says he’ll be d——ned if he sits down to dine with a hairdresser— However I have endeavored to state matters to your view minutely and to add, tis not black Sam but the other Francis, who with wife appear to be decent kind of people, that I am in negotiation.2
The fever and ague has prevaled at New York New Jersies & thro this State and City. Intermittents also prevail, And there have been a few cases of yallow fever. People however are now pretty easy. No cases have happened of yallow fever above 2d Street, and fever & ague abates—3
Fitzsimmons will be run hard if he dont lose his election. Tis hoped however that the army will bring him in. The Legislature having provided for their voting by special statute.—4 The accounts are favorable from the west— The President being expected prior to the Session— Mrs Otis & Miss S join me in best remembrances to yourself & the ladies—5
I am / Sir / Respectfully / yours
[signed] Sam A Otis
1. Otis emphasized this word by writing it significantly larger.
2. John Francis (d. ca. 1807), a Frenchman, ran a hotel on South Fourth Street with his American wife; members of Congress frequently resided there (Robert B. Ludy, Historic Hotels of the World, Past and Present, Phila., 1927, p. 115–117; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 27 April 1807).
The other Francis was Samuel “Black Sam” Fraunces (ca. 1722–1795), a Philadelphia tavern keeper best known as a steward for George Washington and the one-time proprietor of Fraunces Tavern in New York City (John N. Ingham and Lynne B. Feldman, African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, Westport, Conn., 1994).
3. That is, most of the city west of the Delaware River and the Philadelphia waterfront.
4. On 22 Sept. the Pennsylvania state { 235 } assembly approved and Gov. Thomas Mifflin signed into law a measure “to enable such of the militia of this commonwealth as may be on service, and absent from their respective countries, to vote at the next general election.” Army returns were not enough, however, to secure Thomas Fitzsimons’ reelection to Congress nor to have a significant impact in the Philadelphia area generally: “About 900 citizens of Philadelphia are with the militia; of these perhaps one third are under voting age or are otherwise disqualified to exercise the right of suffrage. Besides many disapproved of the law which authorized citizens in arms to exercise that right, and will not take the benefit of it. so that probably not more than 500 city votes may be expected from that quarter. It would require a very great proportion of that number indeed to be thrown in the scale of the unsuccessfull candidates, to change the result” (Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Passed at a Session, Which Was Begun and Held at the City of Philadelphia, on Monday, the First Day of September, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Four, Phila., 1794, p. 633–636, Evans, No. 27477; Biog. Dir. Cong.; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 16 Oct.).
5. That is, Betsy Smith, Mary Smith Gray Otis’ sister.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0148

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-10-19

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I embrace the earliest opportunity to acquaint you of our safe & happy arrival at this place after a Passage of 28 days. I scarcely conceive it possible at any Season of the year to have a more delightful Voyage; we got soundings on the 21st: day after our departure, and arrived at Deal on the 28th: in London the 29th: exactly four weeks from the day of Embarkment at Boston. With a fast sailing vessel we should probably have made a much shorter passage, for during the first 23 days, we had not six hours unfavorable wind— With such good fortune the Atlantic Ocean would become a much less formidable object; I thought myself quite an experienced Navigator compared with some on board, particularly our Servant, who was during the greater part of the time rather in need of attendance, than capable of affording any. My Brother scarcely lost his appetite, and our fellow Passenger Mr: Walker was as little indisposed as myself.1 “It is a good Bridge (says the proverb) that carries you safe over”; our Ship, tho’ old, leaky, & weak has brought us in a short time & in perfect safety, upon this principle she deserves our commendation; we might have gone further & fared worse.
Since my arrival, I have scarcely been able to do any thing of consequence; if the novelty of the scene into which I have entered does not confuse my ideas too much, I shall be able perhaps at an early period to commence the subject of Politic’s, at present I can attempt only to give the flying rumors of the day, without being able to distinguish the degree of probability due to any of them.
{ 236 }
The French have within three months past, been successful beyond calculation; they have penetrated into Holland, much farther than at any former period; they have taken Bois-le-duc, Crevecœur &ca within a fortnight past, and the general apprehension here seems to be, that they will in a short time, be in possession of Amsterdam— The Stadtholder is at present invested with absolute power, & the only question seems to be, whether he shall capitulate for his Country & surrender it under the best terms he can make to the French, or make the attempt to save it by inundation—a measure to which we are told the Dutch are less inclined at this moment, than at any former period—2
There is a rumor of a Battle having been fought by Genl Wayne, & the Canadians in conjuction with the Indians; scarce a day passess but some story of this sort is buffeted about, to keep the mind in agitation, or to answer some stock jobing purpose—and yet, if a war should take place between us—not the hundredth part of this people would know the cause or the occasion— It is certain to me, that they never make the enquiry upon any occasion—whether right or wrong, is not a matter that seems to concern them? Why should it? The Government under which they live appears to be essential to their happiness, and if in need of support or defence it must & will have it—
Yet the Administration appear to have terrors and apprehensions, which are real, or they are merely fictitious, and are to be used as the signals of destruction to some of the most obnoxious characters in this Kingdom. Under an accusation of Treason several persons are now in confinement; Bills of Indictment have been found against them & their trials are shortly to come on; among others is the celebrated Horne Tooke—3
Mr Jay’s negotiations are much the subject of conversation; what he has done, or is likely to effect is as little known here, as in America— I have heared but one sentiment expressed upon the subject by the people I have seen; it is, that the dispute may be amicably adjusted; the expectation however of the sudden accomplishment of so vast an object, is not so sanguine here, as with you— Diplomatic delay is perhaps better understood. Mr Jay is rather indisposed by a Rheumatic affection in his head; he is better at present, than we found him upon our arrival—
At present I can only add that I am in all / duty & affection / Your Son
[signed] T B Adams
{ 237 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President / of the United States”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “T B A to J A / Oct 19th 1794.”
1. Dudley Walker was a Boston merchant and shopkeeper (Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
2. The French Army had been slowly making its way into the Netherlands since late 1793. By July 1794, it had reached Brussels, then Antwerp, and by November, Maastricht and Nijmegen. In December, the French successfully crossed the Waal River, thanks to an ill-timed freeze, and in early Jan. 1795 conquered Utrecht. Over the same period, Patriot Party members in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the Netherlands prepared for revolution, though not without opposition. In mid-Oct. 1794 the stadholder, William V, demanded that the Amsterdam Council take measures to prevent the Patriots from seizing control, and proclamations were enacted banning public meetings and reading societies. But by Jan. 1795, with the continuing advance of the French Army, the States General felt compelled to sue for peace. Revolutionary activities increased in anticipation of the French takeover, and on 18 Jan. William V went into exile (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 171–191).
3. John Horne Tooke was tried for high treason, ostensibly for planning an uprising in support of the French Revolution but primarily for his participation in a constitutional reform society. Most of the evidence against him turned out to have been fabricated by Horne Tooke himself, and he was found not guilty on 22 Nov. 1794 (DNB). See also TBA to JA, 2 Nov., below, and for other similar trials, see JA to AA, 14 Dec., and to CA, 20 Dec., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0149

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-10-20

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

A Passage of 28 days, landed me & my fellow Passengers safe on the shore of England— Our desire was to be put on shore at Dover, but the tide being against us from the place where the Vessel came to, we were obliged to put in to Deal; a little swindling village a few miles above Dover; here we landed, & asif we had been made of Gold or something more precious, the people were crouding round us by dozens. I assumed an aspect as ferocious & forbiding as I was able, but it neither prevented their officiousness, nor disconcerted their most disinterested civility. I had prepared Whitcomb for the reception, by all the previous instruction within my knowledge, and I believe he was fully persuaded, that every man he saw was a Knave, and not to be trusted out of ones sight, nor in it. I gave him the Counter sign, & he let go the end of a Trunk which a sturdy Porter was attempting to take up, & which would have cost some trouble but for the sign. Whitcomb was sick most of the Voyage, & was not only useless, but an incumbrance; you informed me of one complaint which I found very prevalent at Sea; and your specific for it was the only thing forgotten; I trusted to you or Dr: Welsh to have it put up; but neither our private medeine chest, nor that belonging to the Vessel contained it. A spoonful of Castor Oil would have prevented many bad effects, which other medicines did not for a { 238 } longtime relieve— we all found ourselves tollerably well upon arrival; indeed I was really Sea sick but about 12 or 20 hours, & that on the second day. The weather for the most part was pleasant enough; sometimes a little blustering but as it was usually fair, it was perhaps better to have too much, than too little—
Since my arrival here, I have scarcely been able to transact any business; when the novelty of the scene shall be passed, I hope to rally my scattered senses, round the standard of reason & moderation once more. At present, were I to attempt a description of the different impressions I have received, my language must partake of the incoherence of my ideas; wandering as a dream, & more rapid in succession, a detail at present might bear a nearer resemblance to a real reverie, than afford a true sketch of occurrences.
For the movement of the political waters, I must refer to what I have written to my Father.1 It is a small portion only, of the news of the day, & very hastily, drawn. We are waiting for the return of the Mail from Holland to learn the real state of affairs in that Country, and what we are to expect upon our arrival there— The general apprehension here seems to be that the ruling powers of Holland will negotiate the most favorable terms with the French, they can; but it scarce admits a doubt, that the French will be able in a short time to impose what terms they please. It will not be a pleasant thing to reside in that Country at this period; but since the death of Robespiere the system of the French is said to be less sanguinary, & should they even overrun Holland during our residence, we may chance to escape molestation.2 In the course of a week from this time, we expect to take our departure from London.
Mr: Jay we found somewhat indisposed, but he has recovered so far as to go out— He is treated with a vast deal of respect & attention. A War with America, is the subject of conversation, but the universal wish so far as I have heared seems to be for peace & amity— The French are & have been successful, beyond all calculation for four months past.
I cannot omit to mention the Civility of Mr. Dickason & his family;—every attention has been shewn us by them within their power.3 In the procurement of our Bagage we have received every assistance. Mr. Vaughan, Mr Bird, and in short every person to whom we have been introduced, have discovered a disposition to serve us, much beyond my expectations.4 I shall certainly be ennamored with the hospitality of this people, whatever drawback may arise from other sources—
{ 239 }
I wish to say a thousand things more, but for the present must content myself with subscribing
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A Adams”; internal address: “Mrs A Adams”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “T B A. to A A. Oct 20th / 1794.”
1. Of 19 Oct., above.
2. Maximilien Robespierre’s death on 28 July ushered in a new phase of the French Revolution. While there was no change in governmental structure per se—the National Convention remained the governing body— and the First French Republic continued, it marked a significantly more moderate phase of the Revolution (Bosher, French Rev., p. 202–203, 226–232). For more on these events, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 8, above.
3. Thomas Dickason of the London mercantile firm Dickason & Co. (formerly Champion & Dickason) had substantial commercial dealings in the United States. His son, Thomas Dickason Jr., spent time in Boston in the early 1790s collecting wartime debts from various American merchants (James B. Hedges, The Browns of Providence Plantations: The Colonial Years, Providence, 1968, p. 300; TBA Diary, 17 Oct. 1794, M/TBA/1, APM Reel 281).
4. For William Vaughan, see vol. 7:46. Mr. Bird was probably Henry Merttins Bird (b. 1755) of the London mercantile and banking firm of Bird, Savage & Bird, whose other partners were Henry’s brother Robert and Benjamin Savage, originally from South Carolina (S. R. Cope, “Bird, Savage & Bird of London, Merchants and Bankers, 1782 to 1803,” Guildhall Studies in London History, 4:202–203 [April 1981]).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0150

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-10-25

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

No 1.

[salute] My dear Madam

We have been already ten days in this place, but there has been no opportunity to Boston since our arrival. And altho’ I have done but very little, yet I have been so perpetually busy, that I have scarce found time even to write to the Secretary of State, and to my Father.1
My Brother I presume has informed you, how pleasant our passage was in every respect, excepting the conveyance, & how very unpleasant in that. It is the second time I have been to Sea in a crazy Ship, I think I shall beware of the third.
Mr Jay is yet here, and I hope there is a prospect of his coming to some terms with the Ministry, which will be satisfactory to the honor, and advantageous to the interests of the United States.
The situation of their affairs here is such that an absolute quarrel with America, would not be a eligible thing for them; I believe they are sick enough of their war with France.
The Hollanders must either make a separate peace, or lay the whole Country under water, or surrender at discretion to the French Armies. Flanders and Brabant are in possession of the Republican { 240 } troops; Maestricht & Nimeguen are beseiged, and are not expected to hold out long.
In Spain, Sardinia, and the Austrian Dominions the French are equally successful.2 If they can but learn to be moderate in their prosperity, there is no doubt but they may make their own terms of peace with all the allies except Britain; There is little present prospect of peace between these two powers.
You have heard what has been the fate of Robespierre. A party of moderates have succeeded him, their characteristic is clemency and gentleness; But their power is far from being established, and the Jacobins are against them. There will be more bloody work among them before long.
In this Country, Loyalty is yet very fashionable I was at Covent Garden Theatre the other evening, when the tune of “God save the King” was played by the band; the whole audience rose, & stood all the time it was performing, clapping their hands, and crying Bravo, as if it had been the scene of a favorite Play. I suspect the heart, did not in every instance join in the applause.
Horne Tooke, & eight other persons, are to be tried for High Treason, next week. It will require some latitude of construction, to make their offence if proved, amount to High Treason, but from the temper of the times, they will probably, many of them be found guilty.
A Conspiracy to assassinate the king, has been discovered, or invented; but the story of it, contains so much of the marvelous, that I think it hardly worth telling, and indeed I know not precisely what it is.3
The political situation of this people, is far from being happy. But the face of the Country is beautiful beyond description. Its appearance between Dover & this City, has greatly improved since we travelled that road together.4 The Country is under higher cultivation, and the towns exhibit greater opulence. The roads are in higher perfection, and the Inns more elegant, and with greater accomodations. You will scarcely believe all this to be possible, but it is unquestionably true. Since the peace with America, this Country has been prosperous in its Commerce beyond all conception, and at this moment, its opulence is incredible. Britain is the Sidon of the day, but I think she has now reached the ultimate point of her exaltation, and her future glory will be to tell of what she was.
We intend to sett out for the Hague, next tuesday, which will be, the 28th: instant. The situation of that Country is so very critical, { 241 } that I cannot omit going over without an hour of unnecessary delay. You will not harbor any anxiety on our account from the French Armies being there. We are Neutrals, and peaceable men; friends of both parties, and shall take no share in their contests on either side. Our rights therefore will undoubtedly be respected. The french armies are said to be under the severest discipline, and observe the most perfect regularity and order. The British troops there, have a reputation so different, that the Hollanders are much more afraid of their allies, than of their Enemies.
But our immediate departure, obliges us further to postpone, the fulfilment of our promise of the Miniatures in Bracelets; we have been so much employed every moment of our time, that it has been altogether impossible for us to get the likenesses taken; We shall however, if we can find an artist in Holland, of proper skill, have them taken there, & the setting, we can have done here at any time.
There are not many Americans here at this time, and I have seen but few of your old acquaintance. Mr T Boylston paid us a visit yesterday; he is at liberty, but pretty well stripped of his immense fortune; He speaks of his will, and of the extraordinary things, he would have done and appears to think the Town of Boston, and the State of Massachusetts as much indebted to him, as if they actually enjoyed all the benefits he intended for them. I gave him some offence by scrupling to give him a certificate that he is a Citizen of the United States. “After all he had done for us he thought it a little extraordinary, that I should have any doubts upon the subject.” On the whole, I believe he is really an American Citizen, but I was not certain, and refered him for his certificate to the American Minister at this Court.5
We are to dine with Mr Hallowell tomorrow. Mrs Hallowell labors under a severe disorder, which they expect will soon take her to a better world.6
We have not seen Mrs Copley, but your letter has been delivered to her, and we shall see her before we go to Holland. Mr Copley is employed upon a picture of Charles the 1st: demanding the five members in the house of Commons.7 It is a very good subject, and will I think be particularly interesting at the present time.
We have been once to each of the two Theatres, Mrs Siddons still commands universal admiration at Drury Lane, and a Miss Wallis has appeared this Season with great applause at Covent Garden.8 I enclose a new Comedy of Cumberland, which I hope will afford you an hour’s amusement.9
{ 242 }
Please to remember me affectionately to all our friends at Quincy, and accept the assurance of the most unalterable respect, and attachment / from your Son.
LbC in TBA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A Adams / Quincy”; APM Reel 126.
1. JQA wrote letters to JA on 23 Oct. (Adams Papers) and to Edmund Randolph on 22 and 25 Oct. (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 127). In these letters, JQA commented on his delivery of dispatches to John Jay and the state of the treaty Jay was negotiating, and he discussed at length the political situation in the Netherlands and the activities of the French Army.
2. The French had been at war with Sardinia since Sept. 1792 and Spain since March 1793. By fall 1794, the French had successfully occupied most of the major passages through the Alps though they stopped short of moving offensively into the Piedmont area. In Spain, they had crossed the Pyrenees and by late 1794 controlled most of northern Catalonia (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:437–441, 854–856).
3. Just prior to his execution in October, Robert Watt, a wine merchant convicted of high treason for his support of radical reform in Britain, confessed to, among other things, a purported attempt to violently overthrow the British government and coerce the king into calling a new Parliament. The alleged conspiracy also planned a siege of Windsor Castle (The Later Correspondence of George III, ed. A. Aspinall, 5 vols., Cambridge, Eng., 1963, 2:256).
4. JQA traveled with his mother, father, and sister from London to Dover then on to Paris in Aug. 1784 (vol. 5:419).
5. For Thomas Boylston, see vol. 4:342–343. He had recently been released from King’s Bench Prison and lost his considerable fortune after the failure of the firm of Lane, Son & Frazer in 1793 (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 36:299 [1954]). See also D/JQA/21, 25 Oct., APM Reel 24, and M/TBA/2, 25 Oct., APM Reel 282, for additional observations by JQA and TBA on their meeting with Boylston.
6. For Benjamin Hallowell, see JA, D&A, 1:295. Mary Boylston Hallowell, a first cousin of Susanna Boylston Adams Hall, died in London on 22 Nov. 1795 (Massachusetts Mercury, 15 March 1796).
7. John Singleton Copley began work on his Charles I Demanding in the House of Commons the Five Impeached Members as early as 1781 but put it aside for other projects. He made sporadic progress on it throughout the 1780s and by 1791 turned to it as his next major work after the completion of The Siege of Gibraltar. By late 1794 Charles I was well along; Copley exhibited it publicly in London for the first time on 5 May 1795 (Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley: In England 1774–1815, Washington, D.C., 1966, p. 343–345).
8. Tryphosa Jane Wallis (fl. 1789–1814), the daughter of a country actor, had primarily performed at Bath but returned to London on 7 Oct. 1794 to appear at Covent Garden, where she had a distinguished career for several years. She retired from the theater after marrying James Campbell in 1797, although she briefly returned in 1813–1814 without great success (DNB; Philip H. Highfill, A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660–1800, 16 vols., Carbondale, Ill., 1973–1993).
9. The enclosure has not been found but was dramatist Richard Cumberland’s The Jew, London, 1794.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0151

Author: Otis, Samuel Allyne
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-10-28

Samuel A. Otis to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I wrote you soon after my arrival that I had engaged you lodgings at Franciss Hotel, Two rooms first floor, for 20 dollars, but not having your answer shall relinquish them—And for two reasons— 1st The { 243 } place is two public—you must dine with a large Company and not the most respectable part of Congress; in short you must lodge at a tavern and at a dear rate— 2d I have got you two rooms on the first floor and room for a servant in a private family for 16 dollars, To have a table to yourself— This family are younger English people by the name of Alder, and have no young children—And are recommended as sober decent people.1 They live in the house next to where Wolcott formerly lived fronting Binghams; So from your front chamber you may see madam prink about her Garden as often as you think it worth while to go from your fire to your window.
I dont know any objection you can have except to distance from Congress. But tis not half so far as you usually walk for pleasure—
Your friends did not like the Idea of setting you down with all the company usually dining at the Hotel of Francis, and I confess it was until now Hobsons choice— There is one spare room [at] Alders which they will or will not put a Gentleman in as you prefer and none but such as you may approve— Not having an Idea that you will disapprove the plan as now altered, I enclose you Alders direction—Who has engaged to furnish the rooms in a neat genteel Style.2
With respects to Mr Smith & Lady I have the honor to be / your most humble Sert
[signed] Sam A. Otis
Nothing need be said to Francis but that you preferred more retired Lodgings—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President / of / The United States / To the care of Col: Wm Smith / New York”; endorsed: “S A Otis. / 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Caleb Alder was a British upholsterer who lived at 119 South Third Street, near the home of William and Anne Bingham (Philadelphia Directory, 1796, p. 125, Evans, No. 28845; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 26 Sept.; Philadelphia Directory, 1795, Evans, No. 27089).
2. Enclosure not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0152

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

We arrived here last night in good Season. The Roads were not very bad, and the Weather, tho Showery, was not inconvenient.
Mr Freeman the Son of our late Neighbours at Milton and a Mr Thorp of New York were our Companions in the Stage. Mr Freeman is a very agreable Man. I never travelled with any Man more assiduous to make me comfortable.1
{ 244 }
At Church I met my Old Friends Governor Huntington and Lt Governor Wolcot.2 Mr Trumbull I have not yet Seen. He is confined with the Vapours.3
Mr Speaker Trumbull is Senator for Six Years from next March.4
The Weather is to day as fine as possible.
I hope the East Winds have brought in more Treasures from the Sea, and that my Farmers continue to Secure them.
In the Country Towns in Mr Ames’s District I found a Spirit in his favour very different from that in some People of Boston.5 I dont despair of him yet.
Take great Care of your Health and of that of Louisa. Four Months will soon be gone, when I hope to find you happy in good News from our Children abroad & at home, in good health and Spirits, and ardent for another Agricultural Campaign more glorious but less fatiguing than the last. Duty to Mother & Love to all
your without ceasing
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “Novbr / 2d / 1794.”
1. That is, Jonathan Freeman Jr., for whom see vol. 9:61. He was the son of Ruth Hatch Freeman (b. 1733) and Capt. Jonathan Freeman (1728–1796), a shipmaster and merchant, who had lived in Foy House on Milton Hill (Frederick Freeman, Freeman Genealogy, Boston, 1875, p. 111–112).
2. Gov. Samuel Huntington (1731–1796) of Connecticut had served with JA in the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was governor from 1786 until his death (DAB).
3. That is, John Trumbull, JA’s friend and former law clerk.
4. Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (1740–1809), Harvard 1759, had been a U.S. representative from Connecticut from 1789 to 1795. He served in the Senate only until 1796, when he resigned to become lieutenant governor of the state (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
5. Fisher Ames represented the First Middle District—including Boston and surrounding towns—in Congress. He won reelection with a majority of votes in Boston as well as in several other communities in the area (same; Boston Federal Orrery, 6 Nov. 1794).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0153

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-11-02

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

No 2,

[salute] My dear Sir,

By the Ship John, Captn. Duer I gave you information of our safe arrival at London,1 and I now embrace the earliest opportunity of acquainting you that on the evening of the 31st of October we reached the place of our destination. We left London on the evening of the 28th. and reached Harwitch the next day at noon; about 5 oClock we got under Sail on board a Packett for Helvoetsluys with a fair wind, and the ensuing morning by 10 we were off Helvoet—but the sea was so rough, that we did not reach the shore ’till near 2 in { 245 } the afternoon. Our baggage was put into a Waggon, and my Brother & myself walked in company with several other Gentlemen to The Briel, where we lodged. The ensuing day we reached the Hague by the way of Delft. This Sir, is a regular Journal of our travels from London to this place. Our stay in London was so short, that I had little opportunity for the gratification of my curiosity. Our letters of introduction procured us an hospitable reception, whereever they were delivered, and were the means of carrying us into much genteel company. I could not but observe that the generality of people were more willing to make American affairs the subject of conversation, than those of their own Country. Whether this was most, the dictate of complaisance to us, or of apprehension for themselves, I can only indulge my conjectures. Certain it is, that freedom of conversation is not at this period much in fashion. Occasionally a man may be heared to talk of the folly & the incapacity of the Ministry, but such instances are very rare. There are some who attempt to reconcile every measure of the Ministry, with perfect justice, & yet with respect to the complaints of America declare themselves advocates for the redress of their grievances. Here I confess their Logic confuses me. English justice must have a new kind of ballance, if right and wrong can preserve the equilibrium when weighed together.
It seems to be generally believed that the difference between the two Countries will be amicably adjusted for the present, but there are some who will not persuade themselves that every object of future contention will be cancelled. Punica fides,2 will indeed be modernized, if Treaties, which have hitherto been considered the most solemn pledges of fidelity between Nations, are hereafter to be estimated as of no higher obligation than temporary truces. And yet this sentiment is said to have been already broached in English companies, if not in the English cabinet.
I could not but regret, that the critical situation of affairs in Holland, rendered our departure from England absolutely necessary at a time when the important trials for High treason were just brought on. The prisoners were arraigned on the 25th: ult, and their trials commenced on the 28th: the day we sat off for this place. I was so much occupied in preparation for departure, that I could not be present when the Indictments were read. The prisoners severally plead “not guilty,” Horne Took upon being asked “how will you be tried”? Answered, “I would be tried, by God and my Country.” Mr: Erskine, & a Mr Gibbs, are of Counsel for Mr: Took;3 the trials are { 246 } expected to take up thirty days; and the common opinion is that many if not all will be found guilty. What will be the effect of these trials, is dubious; either they will intimidate all opposition for the present, and suppress the spirit of reform, by giving it the more serious aspect of rebellion, or they will produce a paroxism in the public body, that may prove dangerous at least to the present order of things. That there are many people in Great Britain desirous of subverting the English Constitution, I cannot readily believe. But the necessity of an alteration of some sort in the national councils is seen, or said to be seen by numbers.
Reformation or a total subversion of the English Constitution has so long been a subject of speculation, and the standing theme of political declaimers, that if this were not the age of Revolution, I should think the present prevalence of such surmises deserving of little regard. Individual opression has frequently produced violent convulsions in England heretofore, but it was not till the evil had been universally felt, and tho the instance is single which was said to produce the Habeas Corpus, yet the Nation had not before been brought to declare the feeling sense of its necessity.
We have not found the state of things so alarming in this Country, as I expected when we left London. The people appear to be tranquil, at least in their actions, as yet; whatever disgust they may express—I shall not be likely to understand them. The orange Cockade is very prevalent, but I know not whether it be any more an infallible badge of devotion to the Prince, than an English man’s rising uncovered in a play house while the tune “God Save the King” is performing, is of loyalty in his heart to his Sovereign. In both I think I can discover some hypocrisy.
The Duke of York is still at Nimeguen, and the french are yet before Maestricht. How long either of them will remain stationary is doubtful. The Hague is not considered a place of absolute safety for the Representatives of either of the powers at War with France; the choir Diplomatique therefore, it is supposed, will be very thin at this place during the winter. I think Monsr Dumas told us, that except the representatives of Denmark & Sweeden there were few or none here at present. Yesterday my Brother took me with him to see this old Gentleman, we found him, in comfortable lodgings, but no family about him; it seems he has for some time lived separate from Madam his wife— We passed nearly two hours with him, and he appeared much rejoiced to see my Brother. I was in some degree acquainted with the character of this Gentleman, before I saw him, { 247 } and was happy to find so cheerful & active a man in one of his years. His enquiries after you & the rest of our family, appeared to be the dictate of a sincere regard, and his civilities to us evinced that he will not cease to oblige.
With sentiments of duty & respect / I remain / Your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President / of the United States.”
1. The brig John, Capt. Dewar, arrived in Philadelphia in early Jan. 1795 (Philadelphia Gazette, 12 Jan.).
2. Literally Punic (or Carthaginian) fidelity, that is, treachery.
3. Sir Vicary Gibbs (1751–1820), a prominent lawyer originally from Exeter, assisted Thomas Erskine in defending John Horne Tooke. In 1795 he became solicitor general to the Prince of Wales, and in 1799, attorney general. He continued to hold a number of high legal offices, culminating in being named chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1814 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0154

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-11-04

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

This is the first fair morning we have had since you left me. you must have had an unpleasent journey Sunday the afternoon was pleasent, but Monday & twesday very rainy. I was anxious to learn how the Election went in Boston and sent to inquire last Evening of mr Black if he had heard from Town, and to my great Satisfaction learnt that mr Ames was chosen there; by what majority I did not hear. the present Post will however inform you. the Influence of the Jacobines has received a blow in concequence of it. tis said Jarvis will lose his senses— the publick will be no looser if that should be the case. Austin came forward in a publication last week with his Name in which he declares he will not stand a candidate in oppostion to Jarvis, concequently all his party were united with Jarvises1
you will want to know how the Farming Buisness goes on. the orchard is all coverd with sea weed as you desired. this day will compleat the spreading of it. about 90 Bushels of potatoes have been dugg at the two places to day the Hands propose to finish the Beach meddow
I am better than when you left me, So is Louissa. the Blister has proved very salutary in removing the pain from her stomack. I shall wish to hear soon from you. I forgot to request 2 Barrels of flower by the first vessel.
Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
{ 248 }
1. In the Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Oct., Benjamin Austin Jr. declined to be considered as a candidate for Congress against Charles Jarvis. Austin suggested that the appearance of his name as a possible candidate was actually a plot to divide Democratic-Republicans; he “hoped that the insiduous plans of his opposers, will be frustrated.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We took the Packet at New Haven, and arrived at N. York as Soon as the Stage— Although We Saved no time, We avoided some bruizes, at the Expence of a little of the Mal De Mer.
Mrs Smith and Children all well. Charity Smith married to Mr Shaw, Brother of the late Consul at Canton.—1 Our Charles at Steuben after an Examination at Albany and an honourable Admission to the Rank of Counciller at Law. I was at his Office and Saw his Clerk who appears well pleased, and Says his Master has good Business.2 We arrived last night in this City and lodged at a Mr Alders opposite to Mr Binghams.
No Senate yet.—3 The President returned. All Submission, in the Whiskey Counties. But a Force will be kept there to ensure their Obedience for some necessary time.
Antifœderalism, Jacobinism and Rebellion are drooping their heads, very much discouraged.
Clark of N. Jersey and Comr. Gillon dead.4 Smith of Carolina elected with great Ecclat.5 Butler gone to Charleston last Week unaccountably.— &c &c &c. Bradley left out, for a Man of different Politicks.6 Langdon in danger.7 These are Symptoms. If Ames fails The next Congress will be more fœderal than any that has yet assembled. but I Still hope better Things.
Fine Weather— I will write nothing as yet of Agriculture. Take great Care of your health which is prescious to me beyond all Calculation.
The Fall of Robespierre, has a great Effect on the Public Mind.— It has Startled and terrified many, whose Confidence in him was excessive. I am as ever. yours / without reserve.
[signed] J A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr 8th / 1794.”
1. Benjamin Shaw (1758–1807), the son of a Boston merchant, married Charity Smith, WSS’s sister, on 1 November. Benjamin’s brother Samuel (1754–1794) had served in the artillery during the Revolutionary War, then went into business, sailing on the first American vessel to go to China. Appointed U.S. consul at Canton in 1786, he died while returning from his third voyage to Asia (DAB; New York Weekly Museum, 15 Nov.).
{ 249 }
2. Probably Samuel Bayard Malcom (1776–1815), Columbia 1794, who later became private secretary to JA during his presidency (Jefferson, Papers, Retirement Series, 5:43; JA to AA, 3 March 1797, Adams Papers).
3. While the 2d session of the 3d Congress was supposed to begin on 3 Nov. 1794, the Senate did not achieve a quorum until 18 Nov. (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 787).
4. Abraham Clark died on 15 Sept. after suffering sunstroke, and Alexander Gillon, for whom see vol. 4:55, died on 6 Oct. (DAB; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
5. For William Loughton Smith, see vol. 1:69. He served in the House of Representatives from 1789 until 1797 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
6. Stephen Row Bradley (1754–1830), Yale 1775, a lawyer and judge, had served as a Democratic-Republican senator from Vermont from 1791 to 1795. He was replaced in the 4th Congress by Elijah Paine, a Federalist (same).
7. John Langdon was reelected senator from New Hampshire (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0156

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am now Settled.— The first night I went to a Mr Alders, opposite to Mr Binghams, but not liking the circumstance of living in an English Family an Upholsterer lately emigrated and not admiring the Rooms, I removed last night to Francis’s Hotel in 4th. Street, between Market and Chesnut Streets. Here I Shall be at School with a Society of Patriotic Members of Congress who are all, virtuous Republicans. I Shall agree with them as Gentlemen, but shall claim the Right of a virtuous Republican, to differ from them in political Questions, whenever I may think them in the Wrong.
Our Sensible and worthy Nephew Mr William Cranch Spent the last Evening with me, and gave me a particular Account of the vast Projects of Mr Greenleaf. His Sawmills in Georgia, his Iron Works on Hudsons River, his forty or an hundred Houses building in the Fœderal City &c &c &c. But among the rest I was Sorry to hear of his Opening a Loan in Holland though only at four Per Cent, to enable him to make Payments to his Workmen. I am apt to Suspect Speculations upon Credit, tho sometimes they may be Successful. I however have always placed my Glory in Moderation, not having Spirit enough to undertake, nor Understanding enough to conceive great Projects and Enterprizes.
My Lodings are the most decent of any in Town that I know of, and my Accommodations are quite agreable. Brisler has orders to send you Wheat & Rye Flour for a whole Year, but probably he will not ship it, till Ames returns from Boston. With the flour I shall send Grass seeds for next Spring. The Season with you, I hope is as agreable for Business as it is here, and if it is I hope to have all the Yards filled with The Treasures of the sea thrown in Such { 250 } Abundance on shore, and All the Grass Land in Hancock’s orchard covered with it.
If Hancocks Meadow could have a covering it would be more grateful for it, than any other Land I have at present.
Every Body is anxious about Mr Ames’s Election and impatient to know the Decision: if I he falls it will only be to rise the higher and the faster, for certainly a Man who has had so great a share in producing the present Prosperity of this Country cannot at his years be neglected. The Supposition is too dishonourable both to Government and People. both must be neither generous nor even selfish with common sense, to overlook so useful and honourable an Instrument, of their own fame and their own good. To choose in his Place at such a time as this a Man who has Opposed and Obstructed that very Prosperity, and who would probably very often put it to a hazeard as far as his Vote would go, would be Such a Proof of Levity Wantoness and Folly as I shall not believe till it is proved.
Mr Otis & Family are all very well, very kind and obliging.—
Above all Things take great Care of your Health and Louisa’s too
Yours as ever
[signed] J. A.
My Duty to my Mother & Lover to Brothers & sisters & Cousins &c
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr / 9th / 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0157

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-11-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I hope you are agreably lodgd and that your Company will be to your mind. I rejoice in the ReElection of mr Ames, and mr Smith of Carolina. tis Said mr Freeman is chosen for Barnstable a clasmate of our Son JQA, a Lawyer, a worthy Sensible Man as I have heard.1 for this district mr Reed I hear is chosen. I do not however approve of Clergymen becomeing politicians. you may mak a Chaplin of him. I hear however that he is an ingenious Sensible Man.2 mr Dexter tis thought is not yet chosen, oweing to their being several persons voted for. a large number of votes for mr Gerry who did not wish to be considerd as a candidate and whose influence will be given to mr Dexter should a second vote be necessary.
I have read mr Munroe speach in the National assembly!!! Charmed with the stability of their counsels! what a consience. the { 251 } Translater may be in fault. every minister could not have made Such a speach.3
You wish to know how the Business proceeds— Savil Nightingal & Bracket have been constantly carting sea weed. they have brought sufficient to compleatly cover the orchard. it is not yet all spread oweing, to the potato which has taken of Some of the Hands, and will take they tell me, two days more to compleat. I inclose you a journal of the Buisness of every day since you left me. I set out tomorrow for Haverhill, leaving the weeks buisness agreed upon with Shaw.4 I hope to return on fryday, and by saturdays post to hear from you. do not let Brisler omit my flower. it has risen here to 52 shillings Remember me to all inquiring Friends Thomas thought mr Brisler had best send round his Bed & what things he left. I forgot to mention it to him. he will judge whether it is best to send them now or in the Spring
Your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
julia has scarcly got upon the settee since you went away She however retains her affection for the Bed—

ENCLOSURE

Shaw at this place I call N1. Shaw at the other No2
october 30. Shaw No 1 & 2 carting Sea weed. Joy getting wood Trask Hayden & Minos the No leged Negro diging potatoes5 Arnold & Bass spreading sea weed Copland absent. Statson in the Garden—
31 Shaw No1 Bass Arnold joy Minos at the Beach medow diging potatoes very small & slow work— driven of at 12 oclok by a heavy Rain. Spread sea weed in the afternoon shaw No 2 at home getting wood for himself & making a pigs trough Stutson in garden
Novbr 1 All Hands at the Beach medow. left only half a dozen Bushel
2d. sunday—
3d Shaw No1 No 2 joy and Copland splitting Hills Arnold & Bass spreading sea weed, a drisly wet day—
4th Shaw No 1 & 2—Copland Arnold Bass joy & Minos diging potatoes at shaws place
5 all Hands at potatoes stutson Garden
6 ditto—
7th shaw & Howard killing creatures6 Bass & Arnold employd all { 252 } day in bringing round the Scow— Copland Minos shaw No2 & joy at potatoes
8 shaw No1 & Bass loading the Scow & carting up sea weed joy Shaw No 2 Arnold Copland Minos diging potatoes
9th sunday—
10th shaw & Bass loading the Scow & carting up sea weed shaw No2 plowing captain Beals joy Copland Arnold potatoes
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers). Filmed at 7–10 Nov. 1794.
1. Nathaniel Freeman Jr. represented Massachusetts in the 4th and 5th Congresses (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Rev. John Reed (1751–1831), Yale 1772, had been a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and was the minister of the First Congregational Church of West Bridgewater, Mass. He served as a representative in Congress from 1795 to 1801 (same).
3. James Monroe, the new U.S. minister plenipotentiary, was introduced in the French National Convention on 6 Sept. 1794 (An. II, 26 thermidor). His speech emphasized the commonalities and friendship between France and the United States: “Their governments have much analogy to each other. They both cherish like principles, and repose on a similar basis, to wit, the unalienable and equal rights of man. The remembrance, even of common dangers, can but augment their harmony, and cement their union.” He also praised “the wisdom and the firmness of her councils” and pledged the support of the U.S. government for “the liberty, prosperity and happiness of the French republic” (Boston Federal Orrery, 10 Nov.).
4. AA was going to Haverhill to visit Elizabeth Smith Shaw, whose husband, John Shaw, had passed away on 29 September. See AA to TBA, 30 Nov., below.
5. Possibly Samuel Trask (1736–1808), originally of Hingham but at this time living in Quincy (Sprague, Braintree Families).
6. Possibly Samuel Hayward (1760–1812) of Roxbury, a cordwainer (same; JA, D&A, 3:238).

ENCLOSURE

Shaw at this place I call N1. Shaw at the other No2
october 30. Shaw No 1 & 2 carting Sea weed. Joy getting wood Trask Hayden & Minos the No leged Negro diging potatoes5 Arnold & Bass spreading sea weed Copland absent. Statson in the Garden—
31 Shaw No1 Bass Arnold joy Minos at the Beach medow diging potatoes very small & slow work— driven of at 12 oclok by a heavy Rain. Spread sea weed in the afternoon shaw No 2 at home getting wood for himself & making a pigs trough Stutson in garden
Novbr 1 All Hands at the Beach medow. left only half a dozen Bushel
2d. sunday—
3d Shaw No1 No 2 joy and Copland splitting Hills Arnold & Bass spreading sea weed, a drisly wet day—
4th Shaw No 1 & 2—Copland Arnold Bass joy & Minos diging potatoes at shaws place
5 all Hands at potatoes stutson Garden
6 ditto—
7th shaw & Howard killing creatures6 Bass & Arnold employd all { 252 } day in bringing round the Scow— Copland Minos shaw No2 & joy at potatoes
8 shaw No1 & Bass loading the Scow & carting up sea weed joy Shaw No 2 Arnold Copland Minos diging potatoes
9th sunday—
10th shaw & Bass loading the Scow & carting up sea weed shaw No2 plowing captain Beals joy Copland Arnold potatoes

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0158

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Since the Certainty has arrived of the very honourable Reelection of our Friend Mr Smith of S. Carolina, the wiser Part of the Community have been the more anxious for that of Mr Ames. The Orrery from Boston, which arrived Yesterday has excited great Expectations, that the District in which Boston is placed, will not disgrace itself by disgracing Sound Principles and independent Conduct in that worthy Representative. Thursdays Post will relieve Us from all Uncertainty. Mr Swanwick is announced to be elected instead of Mr Fitsimmons, by a Small Majority, but it is Said it will be a contested Election Still, and Swanwick may be, for any Thing that I know as fœderal as his Rival.1
The President told me that Mr Finlay Said to him, at their Interview, that the Opposition of the People in the rebellious Counties of Pensilvania was not a Resistance to the Excise, or any other { 253 } particular Measure of Government, but it was an universal Opposition to All Law, all Government and all Magistracy. And that rather than go through Such another Scæne as he had witnessed among them he should wish to quit the Scæne of Life. This Declaration from Finlay is as important as it is curious.2
If The French Should be in Possession of The Hague and the United Provinces, Our Minister will not go there. His Credentials are to their High Mightinesses and His most Serene Highness, but if their Authority is annulled, either by Conquest or by a Change of Government, Mr Adams will wait in England for new Powers or further Orders. I do not believe however that the French will be in Holland nor the Government changed.
The President and his Lady enquired kindly after your Health. Mr Cranch I took with me on Sunday Evening and presented him to All the Family, where We drank Coffee and Spent two Hours. He gave The President & Lady a particular Account of the present State of the City of Washington.
Miss Custis, Mr Cranch Says, is to be married to Mr Peter of George Town son of a rich Proprietor in the Fœderal City.3
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr 11th / 1794.”
1. John Swanwick represented the first congressional district of Pennsylvania as a Democratic-Republican from 1795 to his death on 1 Aug. 1798. He was elected by a vote of 1,240 to 1,182 (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1994, Jefferson, N.C., 1998, p. 11–13).
2. William Findley (ca. 1741–1821) was originally from Ireland but immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1763. He held various state government posts before being elected as a representative from western Pennsylvania to the U.S. Congress in 1791. He served as a Democratic-Republican there until 1799, then again from 1803 to 1817 (Biog. Dir. Cong.). During the Whiskey Rebellion, he worked to quell the revolt and later wrote a book defending his actions, History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1796, Evans, No. 30419.
3. Martha Parke Custis married Thomas Peter (1769–1834) of Georgetown in early Jan. 1795. Peter was the son of Robert Peter (1726–1806), a Scottish merchant who became the first mayor of Georgetown in 1789 (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 7:368; Charles Moore, The Family Life of George Washington, Boston, 1926, p. 116–117, 121).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0159

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-11

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

(2.)

[salute] My dear Madam

The day after the date of my last Letter,1 we dined at Mr: Hallowell’s, and were entertained with much hospitality. We saw his { 254 } Daughter, whom we found very amiable and accomplished After seeing her, I felt myself at least highly flattered by the proposal Mrs: Gill made to you, and the young Lady, certainly took the shortest way to my heart, by the manner in which she spoke of you.2 I was much gratified with my visit, and should have been really alarmed for myself, had not the absolute necessity for my immediate departure ensured my safety.
The day after we dined at Mr Copleys; and had the pleasure of seeing his two daughters. They are quite grown up, and the eldest particularly is pretty and engaging. I suppose my brother will write you more about her than I shall, for he was so much captivated, that I did not know, but I should have had to leave him behind.3
We both however made out to escape from that fascinating city, on the 28th: of the month, and by means of a fortunate water passage arrived here three days after.
As to the curiosities of London, we had not a moment of time to spare for the sight of them, which I regretted on my brother’s account, having seen heretofore most of the rarities myself. You will perhaps enquire how we could be so exceedingly busy for a whole fortnight. But what with the letters and visits to be delivered and paid; the trouble and vexation of getting our baggage through the gauntlet of Custom-House rapacity, the invitations to dinner which we could not avoid, and which the civility of our friends repeated every day of our stay there, the letters which we were obliged to write to America, to give notice of our safe arrival, and the time I was compelled to devote to conferences with our Ministers in London, I assure you we found it extremely difficult to get from thence as we did, and excepting two evenings which we filched to see a representation at each of the Theatres, we absolutely saw nothing atall.
As you will be informed by the public papers of the invasion of this Country by the French, you will perhaps imagine, that we found every thing here in the utmost confusion. The truth is quite the contrary. Every thing appears to me exactly as it did eleven years ago, except the greater number of Orange cockades at this time. It is probable that in a few days we shall have the cannonading within our own hearing. But these people do not stir a foot the more or the less for it.— They leave the defence of the Country entirely to the allied forces, who are beaten day after day from one station to another, and will very soon be dispersed, or prisoners of War, or shut { 255 } up within the walls of Amsterdam.— Maestricht and Nimeguen are both taken, and the next attack will probably be upon Utrecht. Yet here at the Hague, every thing has the appearance of profound peace, and I believe will continue so, happen what may.
We have hitherto been detained here, in order to go through the forms of my acknowledgment, but purpose going to Amsterdam in two or three days from this. We shall then see to the Execution of your Commissions for table-linen and broad-cloth, as well as to the arrangements relative to the funds
I found here few of my former acquaintance. Mr: Dumas, and his wife are both well, but they do not live together. Their daughter I have not yet seen, but shall pay her a visit ceremoniously tomorrow:— She is married, and has three children. I shall see her to avoid the appearance of singularity or affectation. I shall see her, I doubt not, with composure; perhaps with indifference, but not with pleasure.4
We do not find here as yet any of the nymphs of the Country, whose attractions are like to steal our hearts. I do not perceive, that either of the Graces has yet assumed the shape of a Dutch millener, to reduce the dimensions of the hoop, to lengthen the petticoat, or to whiten the stocking. We have seen however in the streets some very beautiful women, whom we have understood to be refugees from France.
The number of these unfortunate emigrants is very great; both in England and here. The poverty of many of them, must excite compassion, even without recurrence to the recollection of their former opulence the transition from the most immense fortunes to the most abject indigence is experienced by so many among them, that it is hardly a subject of notice at this time. I have heard it remarked, and I readily believed it to be the fact, that in general this extreme reverse of fortune, is supported with more magnanimity, and submitted to with more dignity by the women than by the men. The instances are not uncommon of families which have been hurrled from affluence to absolute want, the females of which at this day by their industry, obtain a subsistence not only for themselves but for the <despicable> partners of their misfortunes, who saunter about the streets, and idle away their present existence as they did that of their prosperity, incapable of exertion, and exhibiting the melancholy prospect, of objects, whom not even calamity itself can entitle to respect.
{ 256 }
What will become of these miserable beings, I know not. For the french Generals always inexorably except them from all terms of capitulation. And all those that have been found bearing arms have been shot without mercy. They are obliged to fly from one place of refuge to another, and are hunted down like wild beasts.
Since the fall of Robespierre, every day new details of the most inconceivable cruelty, are produced in the national Convention, and every thing is laid to his charge. The Leyden Gazette of this day contains the debates of the Convention on the subject till the 20th: of October. The eye of humanity turns away from the sight. The most detested despot, that ever afflicted the race of man, the most unrelengting thirst for blood ever indulged by priestly bigotry, the most abominable massacres of religion that ever desolated the earth furnish nothing to exceed the infamies committed in Britanny, La Vendee, and Lyons by the satellites of Robespierre; many of whom are now upon trial for being the instruments of his crimes. I suppose that the debates in the Convention, from whence all these facts appear, will be republished in America, before this reaches you.5 The wanton and unnecessary effusion of blood, which so long desolated the french republic, has at length become unfashionable: the people are shocked at the proceedings which they so long permitted, and the tail of Robespierre, that is the colleagues and cooperators of this execrable tyrant, have become the objects of public detestation. Barrere, Collot d’Herbois and Billaud, Varennes, dare not open their lips in the Convention.6 The affiliated popular Societies have become very unpopular, and the Convention will no doubt abolish them as soon as they shall think themselves strong enough to do so. For the popular Societies and the system of terror are still formidable, and if the fashion of humanity should pass as rapidly as all the other political fashions which have alternately had a momentary prevalence, for the last five years, terror will again become the order of the day; new inventions for expediting the wholesale trade of murder will be multiplied, Modesty will again be obliged to hide her head, and Benevolence to weep in secret at the celebration of Republican nuptials, and the furies of destruction will again be loosened to feast on human blood.— Let us hope however for better things, and in particular that the dreadful evils which France has suffered from this connection of popular societies, evils which she could not arrest, but which she is now obliged to punish by severities almost equally afflicting, may be deeply impressed upon the minds of our own Countrymen, and destroy the influence of those { 257 } self-constituted Legislators, that have arisen among us in imitation of the popular Societies in France.
The prospects of Europe are thickening, and a deadly gloom hangs over their futurity. The progress of opinions adverse to the system of hereditary privileges is continually advancing, and the Nations of this Hemisphere, are growing more and more dissatisfied, with the Governments to which they have hitherto submitted;
They have not however provided themselves with any rational plan of policy to substitute in their stead. “With heaviest sound, a Giant Statue falls.”7 and what sort of fabric will be erected upon its ruins, it would require gifts more than prophetic to conjecture.
Whatever the event may be, I am sure you will most fervently pray, that our own Country may still be the abode of Peace and Happiness, in which prayer you will ever be joined by your affectionate Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.8
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: Adams. Quincy.”; endorsed: “JQ Adams Novbr / 11 1794.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 126. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. That is, 26 Oct.; see JQA to AA, 25 Oct., above.
2. For Rebecca Boylston Gill’s suggestion of a match between JQA and Mary Hallowell, see vol. 9:388, 389.
3. The Copley’s two daughters were Mary (ca. 1773–1868) and Elizabeth, for whom see vol. 8:420. TBA described Elizabeth in his Diary as “perfectly sociable, and pleasant. Her countenance, if the true index of her heart, requires no other recommendation, to inspire every sentiment of approbation for her person” (Martha Babcock Amory, The Domestic and Artistic Life of John Singleton Copley, repr. edn., N.Y., 1969, p. 108, 443; M/TBA/2, 27 Oct., APM Reel 282).
4. Anna (Nancy) Jacoba Dumas, C. W. F. Dumas’ daughter, had married Abraham Veerman Senserff (1769–1804) in 1789. At one time, there had been some suggestion of a romantic relationship between her and JQA (Briefwisseling van Betje Wolff en Aagje Deken, ed. P. J. Buijnsters, 2 vols., Utrecht, 1987, 2:780–781; vol. 7:420).
5. Brittany, La Vendée, and Lyons had all been sites of significant opposition to the French revolutionary government as well as violent suppression of that opposition by the Jacobins. In Lyons, economic stagnation caused by the Revolution led to support for royalists and moderates in the government, and the National Convention eventually had to use its armies to retake control of the city by force in 1793. Thousands of suspected royalists were ultimately arrested and executed for opposing the Convention. Likewise, in La Vendée, in western France, a full-scale civil war broke out between revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries that continued sporadically from 1793 to 1800. As with Lyons, the Convention used military force to suppress the rebellion, followed by mass executions including the deliberate drowning of barge loads of people in the Loire River (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:339–341, 345–346, 351, 353–356, 379–380; Gregory Fremont-Barnes, ed., The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History, 3 vols., Santa Barbara, Calif., 2006).
Reports of the activities of the National Convention in Oct. 1794 first started appearing in American newspapers in early December but continued well into the next year; see, for instance, Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 3 Dec.; Massachusetts Spy, 17 Dec.; and Newport Mercury, 27 Jan. 1795.
6. Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac (1755–1841), a lawyer; Jean Marie Collot d’Herbois (1750–1796), an actor and playwright; and Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne (1756–1819), another lawyer, were all French revolutionaries who served on the Committee of Public Safety as allies of Maximilien Robespierre. { 258 } After the Thermidorian reaction, Collot d’Herbois and Billaud-Varenne were both arrested and deported (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxv, xxvi, xxxi).
7. William Collins, “Ode to Liberty,” line 19.
8. JQA also wrote two lengthy letters to JA around this time, dated 9 and 17 Nov., respectively (both Adams Papers), outlining in greater detail JQA’s assessment of the political and military situation in the Netherlands. In the first, addressed from The Hague, he noted the weakness of the Dutch Army and its inability to retain competent officers in time of war, tensions between the Dutch and their British allies, and, of course, divisions within Dutch society between the Orangists and Patriots. His second letter, written from Amsterdam, reported on his audience with the stadholder and gave the latest updates on the progress of the French Army.
JQA, still self-conscious in his new role as minister resident, recognized that these letters to JA could serve in some fashion as a supplement to his official reports to the secretary of state. He informed his father on 9 Nov., “In my official correspondence with the Secretary of State, I feel a restraint owing perhaps to the natural aukwardness of novelty. The constant dread of committing some impropriety to the paper, prevents me from saying many things, which naturally flow from a confidential communication. If any facts or observations contained in my Letters to you, are in your opinion by any possible connection with the advantage of the public service, worthy of being known to the President, I have no doubt you will impart them to the Secretary of State. I have all possible confidence in him personally, and hope to acquire in time the habit of writing to him, with as much ease and freedom as is consistent with diplomatic docorum.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By the Post of Yesterday I received your kind Letter of the 4th. of this month, and, by it, was relieved from a great Anxiety on Account of your health and that of Louisa. The News from the orchard is also very pleasant, I wish I could hear as good News from Hancocks Meadow. A Covering would keep it warm But I leave all to your better Judgment.
No senate Yet.—
Mrs Morris by her son has received “a Gallery of Fashion” i.e. Prints of Ladies Dresses in all the Months of the Spring & summer—1 The House goes on rapidly.— Speculation always ends in Extravagance— I love these People too well to be an uninterested Spectator, of what I fear is not Wisdom— But it is indeed properly Speaking as you’l say, none of my Business.
Mr M. declines the Election as Senator— Tenche Cox or Fitzsimmons or Bingham will it is said be chosen.—2
Our senate is under a Cloud— Two Members Frelinghuysen & Ross are with the Army vs the Rebels—3 Butler Bur & Bradley are absent no body knows why— Several are sick and there are several Vacancies &
Adieu
{ 259 } { 260 }
Col Smith is in Town— He breakfasted with me two days ago & dined with me & the Ps. yesterdy
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr 14 / 1794.”
1. Niklaus Wilhelm Innocentius von Heideloff’s The Gallery of Fashion, published in London from 1794 to 1803, was the first English magazine focused solely on fashion and contained hand-colored aquatint plates (Alice Mackrell, An Illustrated History of Fashion: 500 Years of Fashion Illustration, London, 1997, p. 100–102).
2. William Bingham was elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania in place of Robert Morris, who declined reelection (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Sen. Frederick Frelinghuysen (1753–1804) of New Jersey served as a major general in the militia sent to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Sen. James Ross of Pennsylvania acted as a federal commissioner appointed by George Washington to negotiate with the insurgents (Biog. Dir. Cong.; DAB).
JA further bemoaned the situation in the Senate to AA in another letter the next day, writing, “My Vote I believe will never be again given for an Adjournment of Congress to an earlier Day, than that which is designated by the Constitution, because I find that Gentlemen cannot conveniently leave their Plantations and Professions in Season to be here Sooner. a Fortnight has been already lost, and We have no Certainty of making a Senate on Monday” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0161

Author: Copley, Susanna Clarke
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-15

Susanna Clarke Copley to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

I am happy in this opportuntity of thanking you for your kind favor by your sons:1 whom it gave me great pleasure to meet, and to be particularly infomed of your welfare; as well as that of the rest of your Family, which Blessings I most sincerely hope you and they may long enjoy, and that while you are called to Make so great a sacrafise as the parting with so dear connections will occation, that you may continue to receive the very pleaseing satisfaction of their being so useful to society—
I hope that the sattin which I have this opportunity of sending may be approved it is as near the colour as could be found with out haveing it made; but the Variation is now esteemed more fashionable here— the Vessels haveing left this place before the receipt of your Letter: I was fearful that the season when it was wanted might be passed before I had an opportunity of sending it: but am now happy to have heard from our Friend Mrs: Parker who is ever obliging that she could forward it to you, but not haveing seen her sence: am ignorant in what way but trust it will get safe to hand— there being some change left of the eight Guinas receivd from Mr: Adams I have laid it out for a Hankerchief, which as they are very Fashionable for the Head I hope will not come amiss—
{ 261 }
haveing but a few moments notice I can only beg yours, and Mr: Adams’s acceptance of the best regards of this Family, and / to beleive me to be Dear Madam / with great esteem / your sincere Friend
[signed] S: Copley
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0162

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Yesterday I attended the Dedication of a Temple. The Presbyterian Congregation in Market Street, have taken down their old Meeting House, and erected a new one, in the Same Place, much larger higher, more light, airy and elegant. They assembled in it for the first time, Yesterday, when Dr Ewing preached in the Morning and Dr Blair in the Afternoon.1
I recollected with Pleasure upon this Occasion the Course of sermons delivered in Rotation by the Ministers of Boston in the new Church in Brattle street,2 and Philadelphia got nothing by the Comparison. Dr Blair however entertained Us with an elegant and Sublime Discourse, in which among other good Things he gave Tom Paine a hearty Reprobation.
I dined at Mr Otis’s: all well.— I hope to receive a Line to day. a Journal, or diurnal Register of farming would be very very refreshing, and entertaining. Oh the tedious solitude that awaits me, for 3 or 4 months, amidst the Noise, Smoke Wealth Luxury, Eloquence, Learning Wit, and Wisdom of this proud City and our venerable Congress.! To me, one Week of Domestic fœlicity & Rural Amusement, would be worth it all.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr. 17th / 1794.”
1. The First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, whose original edifice on Market (High) Street dated from 1704, rebuilt its church in 1794. Rev. John Ewing (1732–1802), Princeton 1754, the minister of the church since 1759, was also the provost of the University of Pennsylvania (Francis Burke Brandt and Henry Volkmar Gummere, Byways and Boulevards in and about Historic Philadelphia, Phila., 1925, p. 54; DAB).
2. On 25 July 1773 the Brattle Street Church in Boston inaugurated its grand new building with a service including sermons by Rev. Samuel Cooper, its minister, and Rev. Charles Chauncy (Massachusetts Spy, 29 July).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0163

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-11-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I had just Sent off to the Poet office, my Letter in which I requested a Diary of Husbandry when I went to The Senate Chamber where I found your Letter of the 10th, which contained the very Thing I had asked for, very accurate & pleasing. I hope for a continuance of it, for nothing refreshes me like it, in the dull Solitude to which I am destined for four months.
A Senate was made to Day, by the Arrival of Col Burr, as fat as a Duck and as ruddy as a roost Cock. An hundred Thousand Pounds is a very wholesome Thing I believe, and I Suppose my manifold Infirmities are owing to my Poverty. I know not whether fame lies, on this occasion, but she begins to whisper that Burr has been very fortunate and Successful as well as Several others of Govr Clintons friends, by means that I will not explain till fame explains them more in detail.
These Simple Republicans are rewarded in this World for their Virtues, as well as admired for their Talents.
Tomorrow We shall have the Speech, which is to be delivered in the House of Representatives as there is some doubt of the Solidity of the Building to hold a Crowd in the Senate Chamber.1
They have built us no Gallery, from which neglect, Some conclude that the Soi-disant friends of the People are afraid that the Senate will appear to the People better friends than them Selves. The Debate on Mr Gallatin’s Election Seems to have abated the public Curiosity.
Mrs Cabot comes here, without Handmaiden or female Companion, in Six Days by the Stage Coach and is as alert as if she had done nothing.
I am glad you went to Haverhil to see our unfortunate afflicted Sister, but am anxious about that paltry River, lest it should bring again your intermittent.
Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr / 18 1794.”
1. George Washington’s speech to both houses of Congress on 19 Nov. cont