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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0199

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-12-16

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My Dear Sir

This morning I received your favour of the 13th. and wonder not that your honest heart is disgusted at the Iniquities always practiced at the New York Elections, where I Suppose Lord Nugents Maxim is adopted, that “all Things are lawful at Elections.” This moral Aphorism he once alledged as an Apology for having once at an Election at Bristol, when his Lordship and Alderman Beckford were Competitors, dressed up an Effigy of Beckford as a Negro and carted it about the City, with the Cry in the mouths of his Mob “No Negroes” “No woolly hair”! An Artifice which his Lordship Said carried the Election.1
It is not unnatural that the Livingstones should acquire the Character of Democrats.— You may recollect the Family of The Medici. The Family of Cæsar, and as many other Families as have become Royal in the World. Every One of them became Supream by obtaining the Character of Democrats. The Family of Orange, have always had the Character of Democrats. So have the Family of Hanover and even the Family of Bourbon. An Oppulent and ancient Family will ever affect Popularity, when their Rival Family, and they always have one, are possessed of Places.
You are not alone in your Inclination to adhere to Mr Jay: but I am convinced he will not be here, in Season for your Election. Your independent Resolution to be no Party Man, is amiable and wise as well as honest. If you cannot fly upon Party Wings, which are but wax and are obliged to walk and that but slowly, you will be in less danger of having your feathers <singed> melted, and of falling, and you will advance the more Surely.— But why is not Jay as much a Livingstone as Hamilton is a Schuyler?2
{ 310 }
Elective Governments will forever be in a Struggle between two oppulent Families. Services, in an aweful Crisis and a dreadful War, are now pleaded with Some Success in favour of some Old Men, but when these drop off it will become chiefly a Contest of Wealth and Connections, and a pitiful despicable Scramble it will be.
As I crossed the North River, I was told, without Reserve by a very respectable Gentleman, that he believed Mr Clinton the richest Man in America; that he was immensely rich: and that Mr Burr, was also very rich: and Some others. Let no one see this Letter and never mention my name: but enquire into this and inform yourself how it could happen.
You did not mention the Baron. Let me know the News you have of him.
Self Created societies in Rivalry with the Elected Representatives of the People, are likely to occasion all public Events and to make all the History of Nations for sometime, and I therefore Advise you to read all the Tryals you can find. I have several to send you, which I pray you to read with Attention. I dread the Consequence of those which have already happened in Scotland England and Ireland.
In the Tryal of Mr Walker, the Speeches of Mr Law and Mr Erskine are Models of Eloquence for the Bar. Mr Law I heard on the Tryal of Mr Hastings in Westminster Hall— He has a Brother a Nabob, now in this City, who has purchased largely into the Fœderal City.3 The Tryals I shall send you will shew you, as well as popular Elections the Nature of a Party Spirit. deprecate & avoid it, as the Dæmon of Discord, Mischief & Malevolence.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.). Text incomplete due to a cut manuscript.
1. Robert, Earl Nugent (1702–1788), defeated Richard Beckford, a London alderman, for a parliamentary seat from Bristol in 1754 (Claud Nugent, Memoir of Robert, Earl Nugent, Chicago, 1898, p. 62–63). The election anecdote is recounted in Joseph Priestley, Familiar Letters, Addressed to the Inhabitants of Birmingham, in Refutation of Several Charges, Advanced against the Dissenters and Unitarians by the Rev. Mr. Madan, Birmingham, Eng., 1790, p. 13.
2. That is, because John Jay was married to Sarah Livingston while Alexander Hamilton’s wife was the former Elizabeth Schuyler.
3. Edward Law (1750–1818), 1st Baron Ellenborough, a lawyer, served as the chief counsel for Warren Hastings at Hastings’ corruption trial in the late 1780s and early 1790s. Law was later appointed attorney general for Britain. His brother Thomas (1756–1834) was one of the early speculators in District of Columbia property (DNB; vol. 8:xii-xiii; CFA, Diary, 2:123).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I promised you in my last an Account of the Commencement in the Methodists Meetinghouse north fourth st. near Vine street.1 But as a Bill which had some Allusion to the late Rebellion, and consequently interested the feelings of Parties, came on in Senate I could not get out of my Chair till three O Clock, and was therefore disappointed.2
I sent at once and bought the Books: but as I have made a free Use of the Post office of late I must not send them too fast.— I have read Lady Craven to day & Yesterday, with more Amusement than Edification.— I shall Stiffle myself with reading. The late Tryals in Scotland and England, have attracted my Attention very much. State Prosecutions of such Severity bode nothing good to Britain
Eames with your Flour and my Letter with an order are arrived before this I presume.
The Weather has been Spring like and fair along time. To Day it rains most abundantly. We expect cold after it.
Your last Letter had not one Word of Agriculture in it,—3 I hope my broad Wheels are under Salt Water—and that Joys Yard and shaws Yard are filled with Seaweed, and especially I hope that soft and Warm Beds are made of it for our Swinish Multitude in all our Yards.
Love & Duty. Adieu.
Can you find the Portraits of the Kings and Queens of England & France in the inclosed Riddle? Look upon the White upon the Edges of the Serpents and the Urn.4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr / 19 1794.”
1. JA had informed AA on 18 Dec. (Adams Papers) that he planned to attend a female commencement. The commencement took place the same day attended by “the Lady of the President of the United States, the members of the House of Representatives of this state and of the United States, and a very respectable number of citizens.” Several young women presented orations and dialogues “with considerable grace and elocution. … An ode was also performed by the ladies on the future destinies of their country; eight of them having compleated their studies received honorary testimonials in the nature of diplomas” (Philadelphia Gazette, 20 Dec.).
2. On 18 Dec. the Senate was discussing “An Act to Regulate the Pay of the Non-Commissioned Officers, Musicians, and Privates, of the Militia, of the United States, When Called into Actual Service,” which was eventually enacted on 2 Jan. 1795 (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 802, 1490–1492).
3. That is, of 11 Dec. 1794, above.
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0201

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-12-20

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

The inclosed Tryals of Muir, Margorot and Gerald, will afford you Entertainment and Information. as Nothing lays open the Spirit and Temper of the Times, better than the Criminal Proceedings in the Courts of Justice: I thought I could not send you a more acceptable Present.
The great Question whether a Part of the People may So far assume the Powers of Government, already delegated by the whole to the ordinary Legislative Executive and Judicial Authorities, as to appoint Deputies to meet in Conventions even for the Purposes of petitioning, or of instructing Representatives, will now receive a decision in more Nations than one. The Right of meeting in Societies, Sodalities or Clubbs, to converse, investigate, examine criticise, even the Measures of Government, or the Characters of Governors is one Thing. A Claim to meet for the Purpose of publishing Censures, or of opposing Measures or of writing Laws is another. A Pretension to meet by Proxies, for such Purposes is a third Thing.
If the French national Convention should put down Such societies, they will dwindle also in America.
King McClenican has come out to Day with a Manifesto against the President, senate & Representatives of the United States: and a few Days ago, appeared an Apology of the Society in Baltimore.1 I Suppose the Measure will go through and We shall see, the Eloquence and Learning of all the Clubbs in the Union
The Tryal of Gerald is the most valuable, of any I have yet seen. The Arguments of Mr Gilles and Mr Laing his Council are masterly Productions; Those of Mr Montgomery and the other Council for the Crown are ingenious, too—2 The Prisoners had all been to School,: Muir and Margarot to France: Gerald to Philadelphia.3
The Tryals of Sinclair, Skirving and Palmer I have not yet been able to procure.—4 My old Acquaintance, Lord Daer, son of the Earl of Selkirk I find was a Member of The British Convention, and the first to assume and bestow the Appellation of Citizen. He is a Man of Learning. He brought Letters to me in Paris and was treated with a good deal of Civility. I wonder he was not Sent to the Bay.5 But I Suppose that Transportation like kissing goes by favour.
The Papers announce to Us the Death of our Friend the Baron, { 313 } whom I Sincerely lament. The Importance of his services to this Country were not known to every One so well as to me.
I hope your Finger is better: and that your Business is brisk.
I am told there are many Runners and Riders in your State, employed to bring forward Mr Burr to the Chair.
Adieu, my Son. Write as often / as you can to your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Councillor Adams.”
1. Blair McClenachan (d. 1812), an Irishborn merchant in Philadelphia and later member of Congress, was president of the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania. On 20 Dec. the society released a statement excoriating George Washington’s attack on selfcreated societies in his address to Congress and railing against the “various charges and invectives, fabricated for the destruction of the Patriotic Societies in America.” Three days earlier, Philadelphia newspapers had published a similar defense by the Republican Society of Baltimore (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 17, 20 Dec.; Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 17 Dec.).
2. JA was undoubtedly reviewing the trial transcript as printed in The Trial of Joseph Gerrald, Delegate from the London Corresponding Society, to the British Convention … for Sedition, Edinburgh, 1794. Adam Gillies (1760–1842) and Malcolm Laing (1762–1818), both Scottish lawyers, defended Joseph Gerrald. Sir James Montgomery (1721–1803), a Scottish judge, lord advocate, and former member of Parliament, argued the case against him (DNB). For more on the copies of Muir’s and Gerrald’s trials that JA sent to CA, see JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795, note 3, below.
3. That is, both Thomas Muir and Maurice Margarot had spent time in France during the Revolution, and Joseph Gerrald had practiced law in Pennsylvania in the mid-1780s (DNB; M. Roe, “Maurice Margarot,” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 31:69 [May 1958]).
4. The Trial of William Skirving, Secretary to the British Convention … for Sedition, Edinburgh, 1794; The Trial of the Rev. Thomas Fyshe Palmer, before the Circuit Court of Justiciary … on an Indictment for Seditious Practices, Edinburgh, 1793. Charles Sinclair’s trial was not published as a separate pamphlet but the record of it does appear in T. B. Howell and Thomas Jones Howell, comps., A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors, 33 vols., London, 1809–1826, 23:778–802. Palmer and Skirving were both found guilty and sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay, but the case against Sinclair was eventually dropped (Kenneth J. Logue, Popular Disturbances in Scotland 1780–1815, Edinburgh, 1979, p. 15–16).
5. Basil William Douglas, Lord Daer (1763–1794), the eldest son of Dunbar Douglas, 4th Earl of Selkirk, was living in Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution. He was a member of the London Friends of the People and various other reform societies (Henry W. Meikle, Scotland and the French Revolution, Glasgow, 1912, p. 106).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0202

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-12-20

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir.

The rumor’s of peace have almost totally subsided; those still in circulation deserve as little credit, as they generally receive. The hope is still cherished, and even encouraged by the Government here, merely to silence the importunate demands of many of its { 314 } adherents. In a former letter I mentioned the report then current, that a cessation of hostilities had been agreed to, by the armies in this neighborhood.1 The occasion of this rumor, which was premature, was the actual suspension of military movements on either side, for the space of four weeks, but the subsequent activity of the french in renewing with the utmost vigor their martial operations, seems to determine the error of the report. On the 11th: instt: aided by an impenetrable fogg, the french army under General Pichegru attempted to take the City of Mentz by assault five times repeated, but each with the same ill success. At the same time there was an ineffectual effort to cross the Waal in three different places, but they were every where repulsed. Their decided superiority of force must shortly surmount this obstacle, which will compel the British Troops to evacuate this territory somehow or other.
As a consequence of the cessation of peaceful rumors, the prospect of another campaign becomes the order of the day.
That the combination will be diminished, either by the obtainment of peace, which the ruling power in the National Convention has avowed itself disposed to grant to all but Great Britain, or by actual conquest on the part of France, is the general belief. But the last effort is yet to be made, and without almost miraculous intervention, it must terminate like all that have preceded, in disgrace, accumulated oppression, & final defeat.
The latest intelligence from Paris, brings the account of the fresh triumph of Moderateism, as it is called over the Jacobin faction, in the decree of Accusation against Carrier. It passed the Convention almost unanimously, and like many other unanimous votes, numbers who gave it their sanction, have signed their own death warrants.2 No system will or can be permanent, having Moderation for its basis, while there exists a faction, determined on its destruction, & willing to risque their own existence on the issue. “Almost any man,” says Dr Priestly, and every other observing mind, “may command the life of another, if he make no difficulty in sacrificing his own.”3 The factions in france, are but an aggregate comment upon this fact. I know not what purpose in the order of creation, these Millions of human Sacrifice are ordained to answer. If they should eventually teach wisdom to mankind, and induce them to impose the proper checks upon their passions, the end will be in some degree porportioned by its salutary effects, to the desperate, & melancholy operation of the means. But that experience is dearly bought, which threatens anihilation in the attainment.
{ 315 }
I have hitherto omitted to give you a detail of our private pursuits and occupations. It is necessary occasionally to be a little garrulous about oneself. For the most part, our time is spent in domestic retirement. Bellona has expelled the Muses & the Graces from the public, & we are induced to hold converse with them only in private.4 My Brother has purchased something of a Library, by attending Public Sales, which are frequent in this place; this affords us occasional relaxation from Official functions, and we hope e’re long to be tolerably skilled in Diplomatic mysteries.
I begin to find the french language tolerably familiar to me. I cannot speak it with fluency, but shall not fail to make myself master of it in time. The little knowledge I had acquired of the German, has proved of some utility, I can make myself understood in this language better than any other but my own, as yet; though the occasions for using it are seldom.
The Country, & particularly the Cities I have yet seen, are beyond my expectations in point of magnificence. The Inhabitants, like all money making people, are more attentive to the main chance than social intercourse; but I have no reason to complain of a failure of hospitality towards us. The Climate has not yet impaired my health, but I have seen two or three frightful foggs, thick enough to disseminate agues in abundance. I adhere as much as possible to the regimen of exercise, but am not always at liesure to pursue it. I am not the less convinced of its necessity, and shall proportion my efforts to persevere, to the exigency of the Climate.
I take the liberty to enclose to your care, three numbers of the Leyden Gazette,5 and to request that after reading them your self, you will be good enough to dispatch them to my brother Charles at New York. I hope he will be as punctual in the performance of his engagement, as I endeavor to be in discharging mine.
I also enclose a letter for Mr Ingersoll, which you will oblige me by sending to him.6
With a proper share of filial affection & duty / I remain / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President, &ca”; endorsed: “T. B. Adams. Decr. 20 / The Hague.”
1. Not found.
2. Jean Baptiste Carrier (1756–1794), a French lawyer and member of the National Convention, had been responsible for various atrocities while suppressing counterrevolutionaries in Brittany and Nantes in 1793–1794 during the Jacobin reign. He was tried, found guilty, and guillotined on 16 Dec. (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxix).
3. Joseph Priestley, Lectures on History, and General Policy, Birmingham, Eng., 1788, Lecture LVI, p. 441.
{ 316 }
4. Bellona was the Roman goddess of war (Oxford Classical Dicy.).
5. Not found.
6. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Monday, which is the pleasantest day of the Week, because it always brings me a Letter, produced me your favour of the 12th.
I am ready to purchase for you, the other half of the Medford Farm, if it is to be Sold, or to advance my your1 half for Building, if it is not. I think you are right not to sell. keep it as a Remembrancer. Paternal Acres are always good Land.
What may be Hamiltons Views I know not: but I Suppose he cannot live here, nor can any other, but in a Style altogether unsuitable to his Station. The Petulance of the People, will fatigue every Man out of his Life, if they continue to be goaded by Seditious Societies. The People will be compelled, either to dismiss their Congress or to restrain their Clubbs.— I dont mean to hang, or transport to Botany Bay the Members of these Societies as the English and Scotch have done: nor to banish, imprizon or hang as the Canton of Berne has done: but to discountenance and discourage their assemblies.
I have read the Jacobiniad— A Statesman must not be a Satyrist, a Poet, nor a Wit.— but a “Sad Man.”
Your Farmers Calender refreshes me like a Cordial. The Weather here is Still so Spring like, that one almost forgets the Season We are in.
It has been reported here that Mr Fauchet is to be recalled, how truly I know not.— They will never Send a Man who will do them more honour or better service
I dined Yesterday with Thommy Shippen, and his pretty little Puppet of a Wife— The poor fellow is as pale and lean as a ghost.— They have two little Boys.— Mrs Livingston was there.2
To return to Jacobinical societies. is it not abominable. To see a Crew headed by Such an ignorant blundering, thick-sculled Irishman as Blair McClenican, publishing their Manifestoes against the President and both Houses of Congress?
I send you Bennetts strictures. Louisa’s Book I will send as soon as I have read it.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 23: / 1794.”
1. JA interlined the word “your” over the word “my.”
2. Elizabeth Carter Farley (1774–1826) of Virginia married Thomas Lee Shippen in { 317 } 1791. Together they had two sons: Thomas Lee Jr. and William. Mrs. Livingston was likely Thomas Lee Shippen’s sister Ann Home Livingston (1763–1841), who was separated from her husband, Henry Beekman Livingston (Randolph Shipley Klein, Portrait of an Early American Family: The Shippens of Pennsylvania across Five Generations, Phila., 1975, p. 211–214, 219, 332; “Descendants of Col. Richard Lee, of Virginia,” NEHGR, 26:62 [Jan. 1872]).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0204

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-12-24

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received your kind favour of the 5th 7th 8th & 10th. what you mention with respect to the sale of the Farms in the Neighbourhood, may be true for ought I know. Mr Black is really in earnest to dispose of his. a Gentleman was up last week to look at it, but thought the price too high. as to the other, I am sure he is not happy here. he has not sufficient Farm to occupy his time here, and as soon as he has compleated all his Buildings he will be still more misirable. he has no resource within himself 4 or 5 sons to Educate, or put into Buisness. it would not be surprizing to me if he should sell provided a purchaser appeard.1 commerce flourishes so surprizingly, not with standing the “depredations of unreasonable despoilers—” that I presume these Gentlemen are solicitious to put their property to a better use, than delving in the Earth, merely to get a daily sustanance. I should however be sorry to have them leave the Neighbourhood, as they are good Neighbours.
You inquire after mr Wibird. he vegetates, without courage, without Spirit, without resolution. he visits his old Friends some times, but has not been out to meeting once. mr Briggs continues to preach.2 by his means I have had the pleasure of hearing mr Harris & mr Ware. in short we shall be so nice soon, that we shall be willing that mr Wibird may go & sleep with his Ancestors. I went to see uncle Quincy the other day he was as well as usual— our Clergy many of them attackd the self created clubbs in their Thanksgiving Sermons, before the President & senate, denounced them. Mr Ware of Hingham, mr Gardner of Boston, and mr osgood of Medford— whose sermon was printed. I have been so much pleasd with the perusal of it, that I have sent to purchase a couple, and in the mean time have taken Brother Cranchs to forward to you. Mr Ames has not spoken with more force or Energy, than mr osgood has preach’d against these Anarchist’s. mr osgood has taken particular notice of the Govenours Proclamation for Thanksgiving, and given him a well { 318 } merritted repremand, for his total neglect of the National Government, and asscribed it I believe to the true source.3
Mr Cranch desires me to thank you for your kind attention to his Son. I hope some arrival will soon bring us good News from ours— we see so little way before us—that I think it best to submit all futurity into the hands of the great Disposer of events, who has directed us not to be anxious over much “to enjoy is to obey”4 I will therefore with gratitude reflect upon the large portion of comfort and happiness which has fallen to my lot, without repineing at that which is denyd me.
Eames is arrived. tomorrow I shall send for my flower & Seed
I am obliged to make use of the credit left me. I did not know that an Appropriation was necessary till March, and I had engaged to discharge some accounts to my Tennants to the sea weed carters Black smiths &c the middle of the Month—so that for a week past I have been affraid to hear a rap at the door least it should be a dun.
Remember me to Mrs Washington most affectionatly. I respect & Love that good Lady you have never said a word about Frèire & his Lady. I presume you have exchangd visits.5
I have been reading Mores 2d volm Journal, and what surprizes me is, that when Robertspears Character was so justly appreaciated & his views suspected, that he was able to gain such an assendency, & to rule so despotically for two years after the death of the King—6 a Man who appeard so unpopular as he was in the convention—it must have been oweing to the assendency of the Jacobines & the Mountain.
The spirit of Faction has received a wound, happy would it be for America if it was a Fatal one. The Presidents frown, the Senates supporting him and, the spirit of the people in marching against the insurgents all has conspired to Stiffle the Flame, even the Chronical can barely find fuel
adieu I am with the tenderest affection / ever Yours—
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Decr 24. 22. / Ansd. 30. 1794.”
1. Capt. Benjamin Beale, JA’s neighbor, had six living sons: Benjamin (1768–1826), Richard Copeland (1773–1807), Robert (1778–1803), Joseph (1780–1800), George Washington (1782–1851), and Thomas Smythe (1787–1815) (Sprague, Braintree Families).
2. Probably Rev. Ephraim Briggs (1736–1799), Harvard 1764, who was the longtime Congregational minister at Halifax, Mass. (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 16:30–31).
3. On 15 Oct. Samuel Adams issued a proclamation naming 20 Nov. the annual day of thanksgiving in Massachusetts (Evans, No. 27280). In David Osgood’s thanksgiving sermon, he reviewed the proclamation section { 319 } by section. While Osgood generally agreed with the items Adams cited as worthy of thanksgiving—good health, prosperous agriculture and fisheries, successful commerce, and “the inestimable blessing of the Gospel, and our Religious, as well as Civil Rights and Liberties”—Osgood took issue with Adams’ failure to make specific reference to the federal government. Osgood commented, “This omission is strange and singular, beyond any thing of the kind that I recollect to have seen since the first union of the states in the memorable year 1775. It has, to say the least, a strong appearance of disconnection with the general government, and an air of separate sovereignty and independence, as though we enjoyed not our civil rights in union with the other states under one common Head” (p. 16).
4. Alexander Pope, “The Universal Prayer,” line 20.
5. Ciprão Ribeiro, Chevalier de Freire, arrived in Philadelphia in Oct. 1794 as Portugal’s minister resident to the United States. He was presented to George Washington and Edmund Randolph on 30 Oct., while his wife, Agnes Frances Lockyer, was introduced to Martha Washington on the 31st. The Freires had married in London in 1791, and the Adamses had known them during their own time in England (Philadelphia Gazette, 13 Oct. 1794; Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 1 Nov.; The Register Book of Marriages Belonging to the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square, ed. John H. Chapman, 4 vols., London, 1886–1897, 2:62; vol. 8:367, 368).
6. John Moore, A Journal during a Residence in France, from the Beginning of August, to the Middle of December, 1792, 2 vols., London, 1793.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0205

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-12-24

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charley

Our Patriots are so anxious lest Aristocracy should take root, that I wonder they do not eradicate all the seeds of it. instead of Addressing Mr Speaker, they should address Freddy Mulenbourg— instead of talking of the Gentleman from Virginia they should quote Billy Giles &c &c &c
The Purity of this Symplicity has always appeared among Insurgents. In Chaises and Bradfords Patriotick Efforts I dare say that Gaffer and Gammar, Mr and Mrs were laid aside.1
There is an historical Poem or Chronicle of the Insurrection in the Reign of Richard the Second, written by Sir John Gower, in which this delicious Naivete, this beautiful Simplicity is perfectly preserved. The Title of the Poem is Vox clamantis.
The following Catalogue of the Leaders of the Insurgents is inimitable, but it ought as far as possible to be imitated, by our modern Insurgents.

Watte vocat, cui Thome venit, neque Symme retardat,

Bitteque, Gibbe, Simul Hykke, venire jubent.

Colle furit, quem Gibbe juvat nocumenta parantes,

{ 320 }

Cum quibus ad damnum Wille coire vovit.

Grippe rapit, dum Daive Strepit, comes est quibus Hobbe

Lorkin, et in medio non minor esse putat.

Hudde ferit quos Judde terit, dum Tibbe juvatur

Jakke domos que viros vellit, et ense necat &c &c.2

When this or something like it, Shall be adopted as a Model for the Debates of our Legislators, We may hope that We shall be out of Danger of Titles and Aristocracy.
This must be quite a Secret between you and me: but I will laugh a little with my Children at least, at the Follies of the Times.
Adieu
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).
1. That is, Daniel Shays of Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts in 1786, and David Bradford of the recent Whiskey Rebellion. Bradford (b. ca. 1760), a lawyer and deputy attorney general for Washington County, Penn., became one of the leaders of the rebellion. In Oct. 1794 George Washington’s troops were ordered to arrest Bradford, but he escaped into the wilderness and eventually made his way to Louisiana, where he lived out the remainder of his life (Slaughter, Whiskey Rebellion, p. 183–185, 216, 267).
2. Wat calls, Tom comes to him, and Sim does not loiter behind. Bet and Gib order Hick to come at once. Col rages, whom Geff helps to do damage. Will swears to join with them for mischief. Grigg grabs, while Daw roars and Hobb is their partner, and Lorkin intends no less to be in the thick of things. Hudd strikes while Tebb threatens those whom Judd tramples on. Jack tears down houses and kills men with his sword (John Gower, Vox Clamantis [The Voice of One Crying], ch. 11, in The Major Latin Works of John Gower, transl. Eric W. Stockton, Seattle, 1962, p. 67).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0206

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

This being one of the pleasant Days of the Week, Thursday the Post brought me your kind Letter of the 16th.— The News of The Alfred was written me the Day or next Morning of its Arrival in Boston by our ever kind and attentive friends Dr Welch and Mr Smith, and I should have instantly written it to you, with great Joy if I had not known, that you must have had it, much sooner than I from the Same Sources. Although there is a feeling of Disappointment, accompanies the Intelligence, arising from not having any direct Account of our sons, yet the high probability of the Safe Arrival of the ship, is a great Consolation. I congratulate you upon it, with cordial Sympathy, and join with you most Sincerely in your devout Ejaculation for the health & safety of our sons.
{ 321 }
The Case mentioned in Brislers Letter contains the Marble Medallion as brittle as it is elegant.
The Weather is as beautiful, as mild, soft clear and wholesome as can be imagined: but We had lately a North East Wind and Rain, which I hope has thrown up, on the shores of Quincy a fresh supply of Seaweed. I want to have the mowing ground opposite to Pennimans and Hardwicks upon Pens hill covered with it, if possible
I am delighted with the Activity and Energy with which the affairs of the farm have been conducted, since I left you— a few years of Such Exertions will make the Place productive of most of the Necessaries of Life for Us and I hope We shall be indulged with the quiet Enjoyment of it for as many Years as We can be useful to our Country our Friends or ourselves.
I have been to Church at Dr Ewings and heard a good sermon. Mrs Otis & Mrs Betcy are well.
The News of my Mothers Health and Activity is in a high degree delightful to me— My Duty to her
inclosed is a Book, a present for Louisa. a pretty Book it is.— a good Book.— I have very little fault to find with it, of any kind. His opinion of Grecian Taste in Arts & Literature are so exactly like my own, that he makes me regret, deeply regret, that the Avocations of my Life, have not permitted me, to pursue it with So much Attention as I always desired: but still more than I have not had Opportunity to impress it upon my sons, as I ought. They have better Opportunities and Means than I had.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 25. 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0207

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-12-25

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Letter of the 22d, alledging Business as an Apology for not writing gave me more Pleasure than a long Letter would have done.1 Business is always an Apology, for declining Pleasure or Amusement of any kind. I Sent you, by a late Post other Tryals, Geralds, Muirs and Margarots. Geralds is worth all the rest. Mr Laing, the Council for Gerald is I Suppose the Same with Malcolm Laing Esqr who finished the Sixth Volume of Dr Henrys History of Great Britain, at the Request of his Executors.
This History I purchased Yesterday in Six Volumes. it is on a new Plan, which is very good. The whole Work is divided into Ten Books { 322 } and each Book into Seven Chapters. Each Chapter presents the Reader with the History of one particular Object. The 1st Chapter contains the civil and military affairs. The 2. The History of Religion. The 3. The History of the Constitution. The 4. Learning & Learned Men. 5. The Arts. 6. Commerce and Navigation, Money &c. 7. Manners Customs &c2
as far as I have read I am much pleased with it.
There is News of the Arrival at the Downs of The ship Alfred which carried your Brothers, which is a great Satisfaction, though We have no Account direct from them.
Your Gazettes bring the Baron to Life again, I hope truly: though the Accounts of his Death were so little doubted that the senate left his Pension out of the Appropriation Bill, I thought rather prematurely. There has been a handsome Character of him in one of the Papers of this City which I was glad to see.3
As your Business increases your Studies must increase, and both will require an Application, which without daily Exercise will be dangerous to your health. The Law, is an engaging, interesting Study. No Man ever really read that is with Attention one Lawbook without desiring to read more. Hale Coke, Plouden Mansfield, Foster, Blackstone, and many others are all Sensible Men, with whom it is impossible to keep Company without learning Something.4 Such Conversation is of the best kind.
If your Business will allow you, sometime in January to come and Spend a Week with me, I will bear your Expences, coming, going and while here. looking at Congress a Week, dancing once at the Assembly, going to one Levee and one Drawing Room will be an Amusement and not without Profit & Instruction.
I am affectionately
[signed] J. Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr.”
1. Not found.
2. A copy of Robert Henry, The History of Great Britain, Written on a New Plan, 2d edn., 6 vols., Dublin, 1789–1794, is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
3. The first New York announcement of Baron von Steuben’s death appeared in the Diary, 17 December. On 24 Dec. the same paper printed a longer obituary, outlining his military accomplishments and noting that his “name will be ever dear to the citizens of the United States, as long as virtue and patriotism shall be respected.” The Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 25 Dec., printed a long piece on Steuben signed Amicus, claiming, “There are very few living to whom this country is more obliged, for its Independence, and the happiness it now enjoys.”
4. Edmund Plowden, Commentaries of Edmund Plowden, London, 1571; Sir Michael Foster, A Report of Some Proceedings on the Commission of Oyer and Terminer … and of Other Crown Cases, Oxford, 1762.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0208

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-12-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I fear you will think me tardy in not acknowledging sooner the Receipt of your Letter of the 11th with the order upon the Bank for 600 dollors, but tho I sent to the post office & wrote to mr Hastings, I was told that the Post had brought no Letters for me.1 Since the establishment of a Post office in Quincy the Letters are sorted & put up for each office, so that a Letter comeing in of a Wednesday, I cannot get till thursday Noon, which makes it impossible for me to reply or answer till the next Mondays post which is the reason you some times miss of a Letter when you expect one. for be assured however barren my letters are, nothing Short of a sickness confineing me to my Bed & the loss of my Hands will prevent me writing once a week to you; the Letter you mention brought by the Presidents Servant, must as sometimes used to happen have been by mistake, taken for the President;
I enjoy at present as much Health as usual; having done Pennance for a Month. I did not however suffer so severely as in times past. I was first seiazd upon my Lungs with a Hoarsness a cough, & fever followd; all my complaints are of an inflamitory kind. I got better, and went below stairs was attackd with the intermitting & confind a fortnight longer—yet I did not omit writing you; tho I would not make you uneasy by letting you know that I was sick— I think I feel better now than I have done through the fall or winter, and have been less troubled with the pain in my Head. I do not like to hear you complain so much of Lowness of spirits. a Cheerfull Heart doth good like a Medicine2 Zimerman may prate about the blessings of solitude, but Man was not made to be alone;3 I must say to you, as Lord Lyttleton wrote to his Father, “suffer not a depression of spirits to rob you of that pleasing hope which both Supports & nourishes. think less of those circumstances which disquiet you,” and rejoice in those which ought to gladden you consider the reputation you have acquired, the Glorious reputation of integrity. Imagine that your Posterity will look upon it, as the Noblest fortune you can leave them, and that your Childrens, Children will be incited to virtue by your example.4 Here I will transcribe the overflowings of a gratefull, Heart from a letter this Moment received. “When did You hear from my dear Brother Adams—Patron of his Country & Friend of the Fatherless. how was his great soul moved, tenderly { 324 } Sympathizing with his poor Bereaved Sister. his compassionate looks made an indeliable impression upon my mind. Pilgrimages are out of date, or I could go Barefoot to Mecca, or any where else, to honour him. he did not satisfy himself with ineffectual wishes, of ‘Be ye warme’d, & be ye cloathed[] but was kindly relieved my mind by assisting me with means to Educate william. when I reflect upon this instance of his Pity & Generosity and of the kindness of my other Friends, I cannot find words to express the gratefull Sense I have of their favours.”5
Your Letters of December the 14th and 16 came by the post of the 24th together with the Book and pamphlet, but I have not received a News paper since the 8 of December—I know not the reason. if Congress have so little buisness upon their Hands, I hope they will do it in season & do it well. is there no pleasure but in troubled waters? Mr osgoods sermon has run through two Editions, and the Printer says he never had such a demand for a sermon in his Life. the Chronical writers attack it, but mr osgood will not notice any one who does not Sign their real Name.6 I was mistaken in my Idea respecting the Poem call’d the Jacobiniade. it is upon the same plan, but not half so keen or severe. the second Number convinced me of my mistake.
I shall purchase the pew— I had not taken any money of Genll Lincoln. I was to have it on saturday, but I have informd him that I have no occasion for it. I am sorry to say that I shall be obliged to purchase Hay for the Horses— the Calender of the week past may be comprizd in carting sea weed & spreading it. I have had the peice of ground next mr Bass oposite your Brothers coverd this week, but tis slow work to cart it so far as the other place—and two loads is the most which they can accomplish tho the weather is the finest I ever knew in December. our people are constantly Employd. I will say to you in my next Something respecting the Medallion. when you wrote me of a Medallion in Marble, I thought it had been of the size of a Crown peice Such as I have seen abroad.
I long to hear from our dear Children but my Heart was several pounds lighter when I heard the vessel was safe arrived. the Baron I see by the papers is no more Charles has lost a valuable Friend, and will be a sincere mourner for him—
Mr Cranch desires me to thank you for your kind attention to his Son. our Friends are all well. Your Mother is as well as I have known her for several winters— my Love to Mrs otis, & cousin Betsy { 325 } I think often of mrs Smith & mrs otis & hope to learn agreable tydings from each of them7
Mr & Mrs Storer mr & Mrs Smith the Dr & mrs Welch & old Aunt Edwards made up a party the day before Christmass and dinned with me.8 Aunt Edwards says she shall not forget the May day in december the middle of the next Century. the Rose Bush under the window is leaving out, the bunches of clover are quite as lively as may, & the Grass is changed. adieu julia is as cheerly and as playfull as ever, but will not sit or lye upon the settee—
I am with every Sentiment of the tenderest affection ever yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Decr 26. Ansd. / Jany. 5.”
1. Jonathan Hastings Jr. (1751–1831), Harvard 1768, had been Boston’s postmaster since 1775. He would continue in that post until 1808 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:29–32).
2. Proverbs, 17:22.
3. Johann Georg Zimmermann, Solitude Considered with Respect to Its Influence upon the Mind and the Heart, London, 1792.
4. AA quotes to this point from Sir George Lyttelton’s letter to his father, Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 18 Aug. 1728, printed in Elegant Epistles; or, A Copious Collection of Familiar and Amusing Letters, ed. Vicesimus Knox, London, 1790, Letter 129.
5. The letter from Elizabeth Smith Shaw has not been found. The quotation within the quotation is from James, 2:16.
6. The Boston Independent Chronicle published essays attacking David Osgood’s recently published thanksgiving sermon in both its 22 and 25 Dec. 1794 issues. On 22 Dec. “A Friend to the Clergy, and an Enemy to Ecclesiastical presumption” accused Osgood of issuing “an insidious attack on a republican form of government” and of speaking “with the utmost indifference, of the cruel, wicked, and tyrannical measure of those despots” who previously ruled France. A similar piece appeared on 25 Dec. under the author “A Friend to Decency and Free Inquiry,” along with a brief squib suggesting that the need for a second printing of Osgood’s sermon was due only to its being given out gratis rather than to brisk sales.
7. Mary Smith Gray Otis gave birth to a second daughter, Mary Ann, on 27 Dec.; see JA to AA, 28 Dec., below. AA2 gave birth to her fourth child and first daughter, Caroline Amelia Smith, on 28 Jan. 1795; see JA to AA, 1 Feb. 1795, below.
8. Hepsibah Small Edwards (1717–1817), widow of Boston silversmith Joseph Edwards, was an aunt to AA by virtue of the 1740 marriage of AA’s grandmother, widow Abigail Fowle Smith, to Joseph’s father John (NEHGR, 67:298–299 [July 1913]; American Church Silver of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries with a Few Pieces of Domestic Plate, Boston, 1911, p. 44, 48; Greenfield, Mass., Franklin Herald, 30 Dec. 1817; Salem Essex Register, 3 Jan. 1818).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0209

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I went on Fryday night with Mr Storer to the Drawing Room, where the Warmth of the Weather increased by a great fire and a Croud of good Company, gave me one of my annual great Colds. The Same Evening the large Lutheran Church in our old { 326 } Neighbourhood took fire and was burnt down.1 The next morning Mrs Otis was brought to bed and the Mother and the Daughter are very well.
So much for News good and bad.
The Weather continues very moderate: but the old Adage a green Chrismas makes a growing Church Yard, or a fat Church Yard as the various readings have it, is a damper to its Pleasures. Our Country is not yet sufficiently drained, for these warm Winters. Cold Weather is necessary to confine, or kill the putrid deleterious vapours, which Arise from uncultivated forests and undrained Marshes.
Parson Osgoods Sermon makes a great Noise here.— What Says The Governor to his Share of the Whipping?
The Clergy of New England have trumpetted Paine and Robespierre, till they begin to tremble for the Consequences of their own Imprudence. Did Mr Wibirt in complaisance to the Proclamation omit the national Government?
Old Men Say that time flys faster and faster every year. if I concur in this Observation it must be when I am at Quincy. Here my moments are long and slow. I read my Eyes out, and cant read half enough neither.— The more one reads the more one sees We have to read—
An horrid Journey of 3 or 400 miles, before I can get home lies before me like a mountain.
Charles has lost his Friend Steuben— I have written to him a great many Letters: but I can get only a line in Answer. At one time he says he has a Witlow on his Finger at another he is very busy. This is good news. I have invited him to come and Spend a Week with me in January if his Business will allow.
I have bought the Tryals of the Scotch Jacobins, and sent them to him as Presents. They are in the Way of his Profession and will be both Entertainment and Information to him. Self Created societies in Switzerland, England & Scotland, dont come off with a gentle rap over the knuckles in a Speech or a sermon: but they promote their Members to the Cord or to Botany Bay, to Banishment Transportation or Death.
The Mildness of our Government is a pleasing delightful Characteristic: and although it will probably give Encouragement to some Disorders, and even some daring Crimes, it is too prescious to be relinquished without an Absolute Necessity.
{ 327 }
Have my Mother with you as often as possible and tell her I hope to see her again in two months
Adieu
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “December 28 1794.”
1. The German Lutheran (or Zion) Church at the corner of Fourth and Cherry Streets, an “immense and elegant building … one of the most splendid in the Union,” burned down the evening of 26 December. Almost immediately, the church began collecting donations to rebuild, and a new church building was consecrated in Nov. 1796 (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 27 Dec. 1794; J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 1609–1884, 3 vols., Phila., 1884, 2:1421, 1424).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0210

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1794-12-30

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Sir

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letters accompanying the trials of Gerrald Muir and Margarot. I am perfectly of your opinion that Gerrald’s is worth all the rest, his defence is able eloquent and pathetic. Muir also discovers marks of a great mind Posterity will give very little praise to the independence or candour of Scotch Judges. In a former letter you ask why I suppose Mr Jay less a Livingston than Hamilton a Schuyler. I beleive you could answer that question much more satisfactorily than myself. Whatever influence the agrandizement of one’s family may have on men yet it would be looking too much on the dark side of the picture of human nature to suppose that every man would give up honest principles to attain their objects. Mr Jay is an object of envy to the Livingstons he is an outcast from the family a circumstance which as much as any other raises him in my opinion I should acquiesce in the Government of Mr Hamilton Yet I do not think it derogatory to his character to say I prefer Mr Jay.
Governor Clinton Colo Burr Pierpont Edwards and others hold meetings in which not only business of election is transacted but also matters which concern their private interests. Clinton is the channel through which all applications are made to the land office for the purchase of the very valuable lands belonging to the State. McComb purchased four millions of acres some few years since at a very triffling rate.1 The late disclosure of his affairs did not disclose who were his copartners there was a certain share not inconsiderable for which an owner could not be found. It has been proved that much greater offers were made for this tract of land than McComb gave. People reason in this way Gov Clinton when he came to the { 328 } Chair was worth nothing. He now owns lands in every part of the State. How does it happen? Mr Burr preys like a vulture upon the pockets of his Clients; in his family he knows no bounds to profusion. Mr Burr has lately made a large purchase of lands. More than one person have expressed ideas to me which this line from Juvenal will convey. “Consumtis opibus, vocem Damasippe locasti.”2 I beleive notwithstanding the great virtue of Americans that French gold has and may yet do much harm—
You may well suppose that I write in confidence Such suggestions are not to be published to the world without proof. When however we hear such insinuations we are naturally lead to enquire into the possibility and practability of things of this nature.
With sincere affection I am your son
[signed] Charles Adams
I shall consider of your proposal of visiting Philadelphia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States. / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Charles A Decr 30 / 1794. Ansd 2 Jan. 1795.”
1. For Alexander Macomb’s land dealings, see vol. 9:281. For the New York land office and George Clinton’s involvement therein, see JA to CA, 2 Jan. [1795], below.
2. “Consumptis opibus vocem, Damasippe, locâsti / Sipario, clamosum ageres ut Phasma Catulli” (Thy riches consumed, thy voice, Damasippus, thou hast hired to / The stage, that thou mightest act the noisy Phasma of Catullus) (Juvenal, Satires, transl. M. Madan, 2 vols., Dublin, 1813, Satire VIII, lines 185–186).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0211

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Your favr of 24th marked by the Post office 22d of Decr. I recd. Yesterday.
Mr Osgoods sermon was plenty here— I recd one from Boston before.— The Clergy I think ought to pray for the national Government.— If our Dissenting Ministers will not at Quincy I will go to Church, where a form is prescribed by Authority which even Mr Cleverly complies with.
Within a Day or two after your last I presume you recd an order for 600, which will enable you to repay what you have borrowed.
Mrs Washington Mrs Cabot & Mr Cabot desire me to send you their Regards &c.
Not one Word about the Farm in this last Letter, a fatal omission— Tell Joy I <expect> hope to see my Cattle fat, though he works them hard.—
Now come great Things. Knox is to go out tomorrow. He insists { 329 } on beginning the Year 1795 a freeman. He told me Yesterday, he had been 20 Years (next April) in service. that if he should die, tomorrow his Wife & Children would not have enough to live on two Years— That he had not above ten Years to live— that he had the means at the Eastward of making Something and that it was his Duty to do it.
This Man is capable of flattering himself with hopes that to others appear Chimerical— He is capable of thinking himself popular enough in Massachusetts to be chosen Governor at the first Vacancy— But I suspect he cherishes another hope, that is of being Governor of Maine—1 These however are hints between you and me, & to go no farther.
Another Gentleman Yesterday let me read in his Heart without suspecting it— Mr Cabot told me, he thought he should not come again to senate—2 Mrs Cabot was averse to coming this time. He had Difficulty to persuade her— He thought she would not come again and if she declined he would not come without her. You know my Opinion of the Motive of his removal to Brooklyne. His Resignation will be in pursuance of the Same Views. But I cannot help thinking he will be disappointed. I know of no Man, who would make a better Governor, at least among all those who are likely to obtain the Place— But his services have not been known enough to the People to sink into their hearts. His fortune is not Splendid enough to dazzle: and he is not at the head of any interested Bank or Company whose Exertions can bring him in.— I pitty these ambitious Men! By joining with Gill he might be chosen Lt. Govr for wt I know.
But the Man the most to be pitied is the President. With his Exertions, Anxieties Responsibilities for twenty Years without fee or reward or Children to enjoy his Renown to be the Butt of the Insolence of Genets and Clubbs is a Tryal too great for human Nature to be exposed to— Like The Starling he cant get out of his Cage3 but Knox says and I believe it, he is Sick very sick in it— I could tell you a great deal more but this must be reserved for a Tête a Tête.—
Dont forget the farm next time
Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 30 1794.”
1. Henry Knox lived another twelve years though not long enough to see Maine achieve statehood. Upon his initial retirement from national service, Knox and his wife returned to a large estate in Maine with an impressive mansion and considerable land but also substantial debt incurred from land speculation. In time, he made strides toward paying it off but still failed to leave his widow a comfortable settlement upon his { 330 } death in 1806 (Mark Puls, Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution, N.Y., 2008, p. 223–226, 228–229, 239, 243–248).
2. George Cabot did not resign at this time; he would retire from the Senate two years later in mid-1796 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. A reference to the caged starling in “The Passport. The Hotel at Paris” in Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0212

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I wish you a happy New Year, and a Repetition of happy New Years as long as Time shall endure: not here below, because I shall want you in another Country, better than this.
What do you say? shall I keep a national Thanksgiving with you?1 I hope before that Day We shall have good News from all our Family, tho We cannot be all together.
Compliments of the Season to Louisa & all my good friends. Dont forget my farm next time you write. I hope to find a Letter at the senate Chamber
Adieu
1. On 1 Jan. the president issued a proclamation designating 19 Feb. as a national day of thanksgiving and prayer, in order for Americans to “meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of nations, for the manifold and signal mercies, which distinguish our lot as a nation, particularly, for the possession of constitutions of government, which unite, and, by their union, establish liberty with order; for the preservation of peace, foreign and domestic; for the seasonable control, which has been given to a spirit of disorder, in the suppression of the late insurrection; and, generally, for the prosperous course of our affairs.” Published first in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 1 Jan., the proclamation appeared in Boston newspapers the following week, beginning with the Federal Orrery, 8 January.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-01-02

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your Letter of December 30th.— I approve of your caution and applaud your discretion. You ought nevertheless to reconoitre the Country round about you, like a good officer. Between you and me, I believe you to be Surrounded by a gang of sharpers, and I wish you to keep a good look Out, preserve your own honour; keep a clear Conscience and clean hands: but examine every Man and every Thing. You will Soon be respected in this Course, even if you stand alone. Is there any Land Office? Where is it kept? in what House? or other Building? Who are the Land Officers? Who is the { 331 } Man or who are the Men, who have by Law Authority to sell Lands? What is that Law & when was it made by which those Persons are impowered to sell? Is there any Land Book? that is to say any Volume or Volumes of Records in which grants, Deeds or Conveyances of Land are registered? Is this Office, and are those Books publick? has every Citizen a right to examine those Records? to take Copies, paying for them &c.? There are honest Men about you, no doubt.1
It would be worth your while, to make an Inventory of Clintons Lands. Enquire in what Part of the State he has Lands? When he purchased them? How much he gave for them? of whom he bought them? What Quantity of Acres in a Parcel? <improve> cultivated or wild?— Information of every kind should be sought with Ardour by a Young Man.2
You need not recurr to the Supposition of foreign Gold to account for the other Mans Wealth. if I am rightly informed, he made an hundred Thousand Pounds, by a purchase and a Sale of Lands. I know not the Mystery.
If Professions of Simplicity & Republicanism and Democracy & sanscullotism & Jacobinism &c are a sure Way of making Plumbs Per soltum, We shall have Professors enough. Look about you charles and be neither sharp nor Dupe
[signed] J. A.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).
1. The New York Land Office Commission was established in 1784 to dispose of bounty lands to Revolutionary War veterans. The commission, which met in New York City, was composed of the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the assembly, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and auditor, and with the exclusion of the governor, three commissioners were required to execute a land grant. In March 1791, after a near halt in land sales, the state legislature expanded the discretionary powers of the commission, which subsequently approved 35 grants, totaling 5.5 million acres and generating just over one million dollars in revenue, all in the span of five months.
This flurry of activity drew the attention of George Clinton’s Federalist opponents, who levied allegations of misconduct and misappropriation toward the governor during the 1792 election. Clinton won reelection and subsequently solicited and published affidavits from several of the grantees, denying his participation or financial benefit. In Nov. 1793, a jury further exonerated Clinton in a libel suit he brought against William Cooper, one of his more vocal detractors. The stigma of misconduct, however, persisted in Federalist circles (John P. Kaminski, George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic, Madison, Wis., 1993, p. 195–197; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 233–234, 237–239).
2. Clinton was a savvy land speculator who chose productive farm lands or small parcels in locations primed for development. Many of his investments were made in partnership and were managed in such a way that initial outlays were recouped within a few years, while the balances were held as investments. During and after the Revolutionary War Clinton substantially increased his land holdings through speculative purchases of undeveloped land along the frontier. The largest was a multi-partner investment in a 40,000-acre tract in Oneida County; another included a 6,000-acre parcel in the Mohawk River Valley near Utica, for which Clinton partnered with George Washington in 1783. Clinton, largely as a result of his success as a land speculator, left an estate valued at { 332 } $250,000 (Kaminski, George Clinton, p. 14, 51–52, 249–250; Alan Taylor, William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, N.Y., 1995, p. 156–157; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 35–36).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0214

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1795-01-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I received this day your kind letter of the 30th ult.2 With cordial affection and sincerity do I reciprocate your compliments of the season, and wish you and yours many happy returns of these pleasant anniversaries.
There has lately been published extracts from a Journal of Brissot, in which, as upon many other occasions, there has appeared a disposition to give to Mr. Jay as much of the honour of the peace as possible, and to take away from your papa as much of it as possible. Mr. Jay is represented as insisting on an acknowledgment of our independence antecedently to treating, and as bringing me over to his opinion.3 Mr. Jay’s commission was in autumn of 1782. In July, 1781, more than a year earlier, and indeed before Mr. Jay had anything to do with peace,—before the commission was issued by Congress, in which Mr. Jay was united with me in the negotiations for peace, the enclosed letters were written by me to the Count De Vergennes, received by him, and transmitted by me to Congress, received and read by them, and now stand recorded in the office of the Secretary of State.4 By these you may judge whether Mr. Jay brought me over to his opinion, or whether I brought him over to mine; whether I joined with Mr. Jay, or Mr. Jay joined with me.
God forbid that I should deny Mr. Jay’s merit in that business, or diminish his fame. All I desire is, that my children, if they should ever have any tenderness for their father’s character, may know where to look for the means of maintaining it. Show these letters to Col. Smith and to your brother Charles. And if either Col. Smith or your brother think it worth while to show them to Mr. Webster, in confidence, they have my leave to do it.
I am, my dear child, / Your affectionate
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:113–114.
1. The dating of this letter is based on WSS’s letter to JA of 9 Jan., below.
2. Not found.
3. Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville’s Nouveau voyage dans les États-Unis de l’Amérique septentrionale, 3 vols., was originally published in Paris in 1791. The first two volumes appeared in translation in New York in 1792 and in London in 1794 in single volumes entitled New Travels in the United States of { 333 } America. In the work, Brissot related an anecdote about the attempt of the Comte de Vergennes, the French secretary of state for foreign affairs, to convince the American peace commissioners “that the independence of America should not be considered as the basis of the peace; but, simply, that it should be conditional. To succeed in this project it was necessary to gain over Jay and Adams. Mr. Jay declared to M. de Vergennes, that he would sooner lose his life than sign such a treaty; that the Americans fought for independence; that they would never lay down their arms till it should be fully consecrated. … It was not difficult for Mr. Jay to bring Mr. Adams to this determination; and M. de Vergennes could never shake his firmness” (1794 edn., p. 114).
The extracts appeared in a defense of John Jay, originally published in the Virginia Gazette, 10 Dec., and reprinted in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 20 December. For more on the original article, see Hamilton, Papers, 20:36–38.
4. For JA’s letters to the Comte de Vergennes of 13, 16, 18, 19, and 21 July 1781, and his letters to the president of Congress of 14 and 15 July, all dealing with the terms of negotiation of an Anglo-American peace and American acceptance of the Austro-Russian mediation, see JA, Papers, 11:413–417, 418–422, 424–430, 431–434. Congress received these items on 3 Oct. (JCC, 21:1032).
Jay was appointed to the joint peace commission on 13 June 1781, but JA did not receive word of that appointment until August; for a discussion of the decision to expand the peace commission and its full text, see JA, Papers, 11:368–377.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0215

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-04

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received by our Thursday Post, yours of Decbr 18 & 23 together with the Bennets Strictures.1 you may be sure Bennet is a favorite writer with me for two reasons. the first is; that he is ingenious enough, to acknowledg & point out the more than Egyptian Bondage, to which the Female Sex, have been subjugated, from the earliest ages; and in the Second place; that he has added his Mite, to the cultivation, and improvement of the Female Mind. much yet remains to be done. there is however more attention paid to the Education of Females in America, within these last 15 years than for a whole centry before, and the rising Generation will be benifitted by it. Conjugal fidelity holds the first place in the Rank of Female virtues, and whilst that Source is uncorrupted, we may hope to See the united efforts of Parents exerted towards the improvement & cultivation of the minds & morals of their ospring regardless of the Sex, affording to each an Education to qualify them to move with honour & dignity in their proper Sphere.
you promised me an account of the Female Commencment. was you dissapointed? either in your expectations or in your attendance?
I wrote you not long since a request that you would Subscribe for Fennos paper for mr Cranch as Post Master Since that I have not received a paper from Fenno, nor has mr Cranch received one as Post Master. I do not know how the act Stands, or whether you are { 334 } subject to postage for a News paper. as post Master mr Cranch is entitled to the News paper post free: it would come regularly to him. he would have the reading of it, and I too. I lose the greater part of the debates by not seeing Fennos paper— a small proportion only is retailed to us in our Boston papers—
How insolent and impudent are the Jacobines of Pensilvana? they have adopted the very stile and language of the French Jacobines, and they breath the Sentiments of the Southern incendaries in Congress— Judge Lowel askd mr Bowdoin, how in his conscience he could vote for Jarvis? why he replied I do not like his politicks, and I despise the Man, but I have been neglected and slighted by the other Party—! such is the Patriotism of the World. how little Sterling integrity! how hard the lesson to divest one of self interest. the world however see through the veil, and it is oweing to this same Self Love, that the Man has been neglected. neither his Fathers Patronage, nor his own ample fortune have been able to raise him higher than state Senator—and there with such principals may he remain—
Winter has sit in with Rigor a flight of Snow Succeeded by cold, an inclement week we have not much to relate in the way of Buisness— getting wood, and some attentions at home, have occupied our people this week we want Snow. to day we have a heavy Rain mixt with sleight & snow— the Broad wheels are under water. the Scow—is laid up for the winter; the cable brought home; not so much Sea weed, in Joys Yard as I could wish—nor Shaws. the reason is that Quincy Meddow is coverd & 8 load upon a small spot next mr Bass—and the Scarcity of the article. our Teams have been as far as Horse neck after it. if the weather permits every opportunity will still be embraced. the persons you hired carted as long as they could find their account in it, and I have paid them 40 Dollors wanting a few shillings—40 odd for the cart wheels—& repairing the others— the pew I have a deed of, and have paid 46 pounds— I have paid to my Men & Women Tennants their 3d quarter, and, a number of Small matters; I have paid up Copland. the Time for which I engaged him expires on Monday. he tells me that his Family must want if he cannot get employ through the winter that he has 5 children, but one of which is old enough to put out and She so weakly as to be unfit.2 there are only two Months before we must necessarily have an additional Hand on account of the canker worm & other things. I have offerd to hire him for the Year from the first of Janry. { 335 } I believe he will stay. I tell them they must bring a great deal of work to pass— Sea weed they Say makes but little show—and wood burns up—
Shaw is a very excellent hand he has hurt himself and for a fortnight has been unable to do much Stooping under the cart to do something to an Axeltree. the cart tipd up upon the small of his back, brought him to the Ground & set him to Spitting Blood—
“o be thou blest with all that Heaven can send”3 / is the New Years benidiction / of your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 4 Ansd / 16. 1795.”
1. On 18 Dec. 1794 JA wrote a brief letter to AA noting his surprise at her failure to receive his regularly sent letters and informing her that he would attend a female commencement ceremony. He further mentioned a visit with an Englishman who carried a letter of introduction from Thomas Brand Hollis, dated 26 Aug. (both Adams Papers).
2. Samuel and Ruth Whitmarsh Copeland’s children were Ruth (b. 1785), Eliza (b. 1787), Thomas (b. 1789), Samuel (b. 1792), and Nancy (b. 1794) (Warren Turner Copeland, The Copeland Family: A Copeland Genealogy, Rutland, Vt., 1937, p. 139).
3. Alexander Pope, “To Mrs. M. B. on Her Birthday,” line 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0216

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By this Days Post I have your Letter of the 26. Ult. I believe that some incomprehensible sympathy or other, made me low Spirited all the time you were Sick, tho I neither knew nor suspected it. I rejoice to be inform’d of your Recovery.
If I were not afraid of every Change in your Situation, that might endanger your health, I would plan a Project for next Winter: but I must leave that for a Tête a Tête.
To a heart that loves Praise so well and receives so little of it your Letter is like Laudanum which Mr Henry The senator Says is the Divinity itself.1
The French Convention has passed a Number of Resolutions for the Regulation of Jacobinical Clubbs or Self Created societies, founded in eternal Reason, perpetual Policy, and perfect Justice, which every other Nation must adopt, or be overthrown.2 I wish Mr Osgood and every other Minister would preach a sermon once a Quarter expressly on that Text.
Affiliations Combinations, Correspondences, Corporate Acts of such societies must be prohibited. A Snake with one head at each End, crawling Opposite Ways must Split the snake in two unless { 336 } one head is so much stronger than the other as to draw drag3 it along, over thorns and stones till it looses it headship. so the King of Frances Constitution Acted.— A Man drawn between two Horses is a neat image of a Nation drawn between its Government, and self Created societies Acting as Corporations and combining together
Hay for the Horses I know you must purchase and I always expected it—buy the best and enough of it.
The Weather is here this Day as fine as you describe the day before Christmas when our Friends were so good as to visit you. bright clear mild—farmers ploughing every Where. Letters from Connecticut say the Cankerworm Millers & Sluggs are going up the Appletrees. Tar our Trees in the Garden and see if you catch any.
There is an unusual calm and dearth of News at present. Most important Events are expected to be imported by the first Vessells. I am myself much inclined to doubt whether the French will get to Amsterdam. There are Obstacles in their Way very serious, and which may be made invincible. Amsterdam may be defended by an Inundation. Even without an Inundation it is capable of a good defence—a strong Wall—a Wide deep Ditch—a numerous Artillery—and I am not willing to believe that the People are asleep or will be idle. I am, with / the tenderest of all sentiments / ever yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 5th / 1795.”
1. John Henry (1750–1798), Princeton 1769, was a lawyer and Maryland politician, having served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and then as a state senator. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1788 (DAB).
2. On 3. Jan. 1795 the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States printed news from Paris, dated Oct. 1794, in which the French National Convention set out eight articles identifying self-governing societies as subversive and undemocratic. The decree outlawed popular societies, prohibited collective petitions, and required that both the leaders and the members of existing groups be identified to authorities. These actions followed in the wake of the Jacobin collapse in July and the subsequent rise to power by the Thermidorian regime (Bosher, French Rev., p. 202–203).
3. JA interlined “drag” immediately above but failed to cancel the word “draw.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0217

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

yours of 25 December reachd me with the Book for Louissa. through the Month of December the weather was uncommonly fine, but the New Year is very inclement. we have had a fair day or two only since it commenced, very little Snow & what Snow we had, { 337 } is all leaving us to day, by a plentifull Southerly rain our people have been engaged where the weather Would allow this week in the woods. I have had my wood cut by them this Winter in what is call’d Beals Lot. they go to the Top of the Hill cut it, & pitch it down. the weather has been moderate & if we had snow this could not be done as the Hill is high rocky & Steep, nor would any persons Do this, if hired to cut by the cord. I am soliticious to get sufficient for the winter and summer— I shall be only second in command by & by yet I think I am more solicitious to have the commands of my Principal executed in his absence, than when he is present.
If you see the Chronical you may read the address of our Massachusets Self created Society. it is much more respectfull and Modest than the Pennsilvania address—and is not badly pennd I presume Morten was the Draughtsman.1 it is however false, and artfull. I read it last Evening in my Neighbour Beals paper— they are all Galld that the President Denounced them, but let any person attend to the horrid Scenes produced in France by the unlawfull combinations of the worst & most profligate part of Society, and say if a Similar Spirit does not excite & actuate the Jacobins of America to insurgency and rebellion—
I have not heard from mrs smith since November. Charles wrote me, but did not mention his Sister2 What is the proper address to our son. how does the Secretary of state address his Letters.3 I have been writing to him, and addrest to JQA minister Ressident &c has a minister Ressident the title of Excellncy?
Remember me to mrs otis & cousin Betsy—
affectionatly Yours—
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “vice President of the / united states / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 8 / ansd 16. 1795.” Filmed at 8 Jan. 1794.
1. On 5 Jan. the Boston Independent Chronicle published a statement by the Massachusetts Constitutional Society defending the right of popular societies to exist. Offering a thoughtful rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address, which had denounced them, the society desired to “state at large the motives which induced us to assemble—the opinions we have uniformly held, and to reply to such objections as appear to us to be entitled to a serious refutation.” The address was signed by the society’s president, William Cooper, not Perez Morton, whom AA presumed to be the author.
For the address by the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania, which first appeared in Boston in the Federal Orrery, 1 Jan., see JA to CA, 20 Dec. 1794, and note 1, above.
2. AA2’s letter to AA has not been found; CA’s is at 11 Dec., above.
3. On 5 June 1795 Secretary of State Edmund Randolph referred to JQA’s appointment as “Minister Resident of the U.S. to the Hague.” Otherwise Randolph typically addressed JQA by name; see his letters to JQA of 29 July, 13 Aug., and 8 Nov. (all Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I dined yesterday with Mr Hammond the British Minister who told me that Mr Dunlap1 had just received a Dublin Paper of the 25th of October, which he had Seen and read, in which was a Paragraph to this Effect, “Mr Adams appointed Minister Resident from the United States of America to the states General had arrived in London and contradicted the Report of a Battle between General Wayne and Governor Simcoe.”2 I hasten to give you this account, though I have not yet seen the Paper, knowing your own Anxiety by my own. I congratulate you upon this corroboration of the Account of Captain Joy of the Arrival of The Alfred at the Downs.
The Chevalier de Freire and his Lady are very well. He desires me to send you his Compliments— She is a very pretty and agreable Woman. I am to dine with them in Dr Franklins House where they live, on the 14th.
The Weather continues here as pleasant as May.
Adieu
1. For Philadelphia printer John Dunlap, see JA, Papers, 3:212. In 1795 Dunlap published the American Daily Advertiser with his partner David C. Claypoole (DAB).
2. John Graves Simcoe (1752–1806) was the strongly anti-American lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. During the summer of 1794, as Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne advanced American troops toward the U.S.—Canadian border, Simcoe urged British officials to declare war. A decision to avoid military action was made in July but took several months to arrive in Upper Canada and silence Simcoe (Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 15 vols. to date, Toronto, 1966–2005, 5:754–759; Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution, N.Y., 2006, p. 268–269, 287).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-09

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

By our Quincy post I received yours 28th and 30th of December. I am sorry to find you had taken a cold let Brisler make you a Bowl of wine whey when you go to bed, for one or two Nights, and you will find yourself released
Altho the weather has been so very fine and Spring like, our cattle never have been sharpend till this week. yet I cannot but keep in mind that it is mid winter, that Grain would not Grow if it was { 339 } planted. my Farmers are some weeks, confined to one object, and then there is little to be related. the providing fuel for a Family for the year whose summer consumption is so great, is no Small Buisness— and tho I have the use of two Teams—Ezara Shaw very seldom can go more than once a day with his, having a large Stock to attend to night & morning, and not having the greatest force within himself— Joy tho not so large a stock has the same care I consulted your Brother respecting the Lot from which I had best procure my wood, and he advised me to the mountain which You bought of captain Beal, the wood there being old, & requiring Several hands to pitch & role it down Hill, as neither Sled or cart could assend it.1 I have taken into consideration that the winter is the only proper time to get the wood, and that I ought to have so much as not to be obliged to seek for it in the Summer or fall when other Buisness require all the Hands—and that you will be at home much earlier in the spring when you will occupy your Hands and Teams in other Buisness— the Moment however that Snow comes, the woods will be left, to draw Stones the Ground has not through the winter been so frozen as to cart the Stones from the common which are heapd for the purpose or to sled the manure from Joys Barn.
I rejoice with mrs otis in her safety. my Love to her. I wish I could hear the Same good News from mrs Smith. []a Man of Galantry should never think a journey tedious which carries him to his Home”
Genll Knox may flatter him self that he will become rich if he retires, but He will find the old Proverb true, that he must ask his wifes leave “with her tastes & habits.”2 “Green feild, and purling Streams, and Larks and Nightingales”3 would be odious things. she cannot ri[se] till the Sun has reachd his mid day career. the Wife of a Farmer must look well to the ways of her Household, and neither eat the Bread of Idleness herself,4 or permit others too. I do not know any Lady less calculated for Retirement. contentment must always derive its scource from the Heart. Luxery, ambition and avarice know no bounds, and desire is a fathomless abyss— Mrs Morris reads Zimmermann upon Solitude, & builds a palace in a city.5 The President from the bottom of my Heart I commisirate. I consider him the Great sacrifice for the Good of the People, and I feel my Share of gratitude towards him, but his Reward as well as all others who have been placed upon the high Towers, and the Battlements, and have stood firm and unshaken at their posts, are to be received { 340 } in a state more congenial to their virtues, even with the Spirits of Just Men made perfect.
The conduct of the Democratic Society in Boston and their sentiments expressd in their address to the societies throughout the union, is exactly as far as circumstances will admit, like the Jacobines in France toward the convention see the French account publishd in the Centinal of Janry 7th “after the fall of Robertspierre— their meetings ceased for several days at last they come together and felicitate the convention upon the fortunate discovery of the conspiracy, and Fate of the Traitors and declare themselves Devoted to the Principals of the Revolution6
“Thus the Democratick society declare their attachment to the Government, their abhorrence to any acts of voilence against the law, which they say can scarcly be justified under any circumstances. the Society are opposed to every outrage of this nature, not only from Principal, but from policy, for it is impossible that any system of social improvement can be embraced, either as to the Government or its administration, amidst that tumult of passions, which such commotions have a direct tendency to produce” but the whole of the address is full of the Hypocritial cant, and the fangs of the Tiger appear, ready to seize upon the first lucky minuit and the only modesty they make a shew of, arrises from the, [“]suppression of the late Rebelion, and the State of Parties in France”7
I quit them for a Topick much more agreeable, that of assureing You of the Sincere / and affectionate Regard of / Your
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “The Vice President of the / United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 9 / ansd 20 1795.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Possibly a ten-acre woodlot that JA had purchased from Capt. Benjamin Beale Sr. in May 1772 (Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds).
2. “A man must ask his wife leave to thrive” (John Ray, A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs, 4th edn., London, 1768, p. 45).
3. Isaac Bickerstaff, The Tatler, 11 April 1710, reprinted in The Tatler by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, 4 vols., London, 1794, 3:184.
4. Proverbs, 31:27.
5. Johann Georg Zimmermann, Solitude Considered with Respect to Its Influence upon the Mind and the Heart, transl. J. B. Mercier, Phila., 1793.
6. AA paraphrases from an article on the “State of French Politicks,” which appeared in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 7 Jan. 1795.
7. Here, AA loosely quotes from the address by the Massachusetts Constitutional Society, published in both the Boston Independent Chronicle and the Boston Gazette, 5 Jan., for which see AA to JA, 8 Jan., and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0220

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-09

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Mrs: Smith has shewn me the Letter you wrote on the 2d. inst. with the Copies of those you presented to The Count DeVergennes The extract from Brissots Journal I noticed, and really think there is a greater combination to deprive you of the tribute due to your services, than I ever noticed pointed against any Individual—1 I think it a duty you owe yourself and Country, to resist it, & this can be effectually done, by publishing a few of your Letters— those you have now sent, will fully do away the observation of Brissot— will you give me leave to publish such extracts as are in point, I think it will do good—but I will not attempt it without your permission, Mrs: S. & The Boy’s are well
I am Dr. Sir Your most Obedt: / Humble Sert.
[signed] W: S: Smith
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President / of The U. States—”
1. Extracts from Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville’s memoir, for which see JA to AA2, 2 Jan., and note 3, above, were also reprinted in the New York American Minerva, 23 Dec. 1794, and New York Herald, 24 December.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0221

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-01-10

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my Dear Son

I wrote to you by Captain Scott Some time in December.1 on the 14 of the Month Captain Joy arrived in Boston, after a passage of 63 days. by him we learnt the agreable News of the arrival of the Alfred, in a passage of 32 days. to know that the ship was arrived, was a relief to my mind. to have heard from my dear sons, would have been a cordial to my Heart, but the Genll Lincoln was comeing out, as the Alfred came too, in the Down’s. The passages from England have been uncommonly Lengthy, Westerly winds generally prevailing here through the Fall, and one of the mildest Winters I ever knew here.
By Captain Scott, I sent you the Presidents Speach at the opening of Congress. the Senate were unanimous in their approbation of all the Measures persued by the President, and joind him in censureing the self created Societies. the President felt with a keen Sensibil[ity] the Support of the Senate, and he replied with the most affectionate warmth, and an ardour fully expressive of the { 342 } Sense he had of it. Not so the House. day after day past in warm, and Legnthy debates. in Committe, they would not insert any pointed censure upon the self created Societies. it was offerd to the House as an Amendment, and fought with uncommon zeal by the parties. on the club side, was Madison Giles Baldwin, & several Subalterns, on the opposite side Ames & Murry, but Ames alone was equal to an Hoste. his speach was of great length taking up six colums of the News paper. Giles had been two hours employd in vindicating the Lawfulness of Clubs— in reply mr Ames observd that mr Giles had been occupied in refuting what nobody had asserted, and in proveing what Nobody denied. it is not the Right to meet, it is the abuse of the Right after they have met, that is charged upon them. I wish I could send you the whole debate, but I know the expence attending postage in a foreign Country too well to hazard the papers. Mr Ames speach must have carried conviction to every mind unpoisoned by faction— among other arguments; he urged that clubs could not be an equal or proper Representation of the people, because a few Hundreds persons only, and those unauthorised, are Members of clubs— if they should act for others, it would be an usurpation. to avoid this difficulty, said he shall the whole people be classed into Clubs? shall every six miles Square be formed into sovereigntys? thus we shall guard against the abuse of Trust, because we should delegate none, but every Man might go and do his buisness in his own person. we might then form ten or twenty thousand democracies as pure and simple as the most disorganizing Spirit could wish for, but what could keep this fair Horizon unclouded? What could prevent the Whirlwind, and fires of discord, internal, & foreign, from scattering and consuming these fritters, and rags, of the society? like the dry leaves in Autumn, without tranquility, without respectability without Safety, they would be like so many caves of Eolus, where the imprisoned storms were said to struggle for a vent.2 if we look at Greece so famed for Letters, but more for Misiry, we shall see their ferocious Liberty made their petty Commonwealths; Wolve’s dens— that Liberty which Poetry represents as a Goddess—History discribes as a Cannibal but neither the Eloquence of mr Ames, or the Arguments of mr Dexter and Murry united, could get the amendment inserted the words passd too pointed a censure upon some of their near and dear connextions. they united in passing a censure upon combinations of persons Enemical to Government. the address or rather the answer, labourd { 343 } so long, that it was both cold formal and dull, and the replie of the President, was as cold, as that to the Senate was Warm and affectionate.3
after this matter was over there Seemd to be a calm. the Jacobines shrunk away and buisness proceeded pretty harmoniously. “a meeting of the Democratic Society of Pennsilvania was Summond, and an address—to the Patriotic Societies throughout the united States was issued, Stating that certain influential and publick Characters, had ventured publicly to condemn all political societies,[] they add in the old Spirit of Satan. “When denunciations of this kind are presented to the World, supported by the influence, of Character and great Names—they too frequently obtain a currency which they are by no means entitled to either on the Score of Justice propriety or common sense.”4 the whole address is a most impudent attack upon the President and Senate, and the House of Representitives, full of falshood and Misrepresentation, Signd by that Ignorant Blundering thick sculled Blair McClenicon as President. this I expect will furnish Honestus with combustibles for the Chronical for two Months to come. the whole Crew are Netled at the publication of a poem in the orrery, calld the Jacobinade with critical remarks— I at first I thought I knew the Author. the plan is similar to one which was communicated to me, but if my memory serves me, this poem is by no means equal. there is severe satire, but it is sometimes too personal Faction is represented, as the Illusterous Patroness of the order of confusion, and having visited the various Jacobine societies establishd in Europe takes her flight for America, and is thus described by the Poet,

“Her balefull Eyes with Frantick wildness stare

A thousand snakes supply the place of Hair

of Darkest hue, tho mark’d with Sanguine dies

Loose to the Gale her robe funeral flies—

Her dread right Hand distaind with civil Gore

A Thundering Trump of Size Enormous bore

The blast she blew resounded wide and far

And rousd the Maddening populace to War.”

Faction is then represented as exhorting her sons to persevere in the Glorious cause

“Strain every Nerve our sinking cause to save

Then shall no God allarm, no laws enslave

{ 344 }

O’er these Dread foes, our flag shall fly unfurld

And we my Sons, victorious rule the World”

She then proceeds to applaud those who have most Effectually exerted themselves.

Of All her Sons, none gaind so much applause

As lank Honestus with his lanthorn Jaws—

She laments the disasters he had sufferd in her service—

“Thy various woes it Grieves me to relate

The publick insult—and the private Hate

Once too, misguided by some adverse power

You aped Patrician airs in Evil hour

And Federal Russel in resentfull fit

Thy Back belabourd, and thy face bespit”

She at length concludes her address to Honestus

“Mayest thou my Son the noose of Justice break

Nor die suspended by the ropes you make”5

The next Character is that of J——s but I think not so highly coulourd. there is much conjecture respecting the Author, and in their Serch they have fixd it upon a Female. I presume they mean a sister of the Editor of the orrery but I am very certain it is no Female pen.6 they suppose her assisted by her Brother in the Critical remarks—
I heard last Evening from your Father he was well. the Secretary of the Treasury resigns. mr Woolcot is talkd of for his successor—
We are waiting anxiously for to learn the Fate of Holland, tho Thrown, as Milton expresses it on evil times “may light spring out of darkness[]—but where the day star is to arise, has not yet been given us to know.7
I hope it will not be long before I shall learn where to address to you. I think you must still be in England, but where ever you are, the affectionate Wishes for your Health, usefullness, and prosperity follow you, and / the Blessings of your affectionate / Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by TBA: “Mrs. Adams / 10 January 1795. / 24 April Recd. / 24 Do Answd.” The year “1795” in the endorsement was supplied by JQA.
{ 345 }
1. AA to JQA, 26 Nov. 1794, above.
2. Aeolus was a minor god who controlled the winds by trapping them in a cave on the island of Aeolia (Virgil, Aeneid, Book I, lines 50–54).
3. On 10 Dec. the Boston Columbian Centinel summarized the speech Fisher Ames gave before the House of Representatives on 26 November. For more on the debate over the House’s response to the president’s State of the Union address, see JA to AA, 1 Dec., and note 1, above.
4. AA quotes from the 20 Dec. address published in Philadelphia by the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania and reprinted in the Boston Federal Orrery on 1 Jan. 1795.
5. AA quotes from the first part of “Remarks on the Jacobiniad,” for which see AA to JA, 12 Dec. 1794, and note 2, above.
6. Thomas Paine (1773–1811), Harvard 1792, was the second son of Robert Treat Paine. He had established the Boston Federal Orrery in October and would later change his name to Robert Treat after the death of his older brother. The sister rumored to have been assisting Paine would have been Sally (b. 1772) (DAB; Sarah Cushing Paine, Paine Ancestry: The Family of Robert Treat Paine, Boston, 1912, p. 51).
7. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book V, line 179.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0222

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-01-10

Abigail Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

Should a vessel cross the Atlantick, and my dear Thomas not find a few lines from his Mother, I know he would feel sadly dissapointed, yet not a Solitary Scrip, has reachd her yet, to assure her, of his, or his Brothers Safety. The arrival of the vessel has been confirmd by a Letter, received in Boston, in replie to one which went in the Alfred, so that my anxiety respecting the Ship was alleviated
I am now impatient to hear from you the sight of your Brothers, or your Hand writing would make my Heart leap for Joy. I wrote to you by Captain Scott who saild in December—and who when he returns is to Marry Mrs Hancock!! Liberty and Equality are her Mottos
I received a Letter from your Brother last week.1 he is in much affliction for the loss of his Friend and Benefactor the Baron Stuben. you know how strongly he was attached to him, and how highly he esteemed him. he made the Baron a visit in october when he went to Albany and in a few days after his return, received the News of sudden Death by a parylitick stroke.
I learn from Mrs Smith that the former connextion between Charles and Sally is renewed, as I always supposed it would be. Heaven Bless them. I will never say anything to prevent it, only that he should see his way clear & be able to support a Family.2 Your cousin William Cranch would have lost his Heart at Philadelphia if it had not been engaged: he writes to his Nancy warm encomiums upon your Flame, Miss Wescot. he is perfectly in Raptures with her—3 you may return Nancys handkerchief—she is going to Marry { 346 } mr Porter. what do you think of the English Ladies? every thing is enchantment upon that ground beware however of their Snares— does Mrs Sydons act yet upon the stage? the Royal Girls, have you seen them? Mary I used to think the Beauty of the Family.4 I ramble with you in imagination it is indeed & very truth a delightfull Country. I always think of it with pleasure— should you see mr Johnson the American Consul, tell him I saw his son last week and that he was well & appeard to be pleased with his situation.5
for politicks I refer you to your Brother, and am my dear son affectionatly / Your Mother
[signed] A Adams—
The Girls all send their Love to you.
RC (DSI-MAH:Political History Coll., Adams-Clement Coll.); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “Mr Thomas B Adams / London—”; endorsed: “Mrs: Adams / 10 January 1795 / 24 April Recd / Do 24 Answd:.”
1. Not found.
2. Romance between CA and SSA first sparked early in 1792. Although the Adams family had reservations about CA’s young age and his ability to support a family so early in his career, the relationship proceeded, and the couple married on 29 Aug. 1795. For Adams family reactions to the courtship, see vol. 9:xxx, 275, 276; JA to AA, 6 Jan. 1794; and JA to JQA, 2 Dec., both above.
3. This is possibly Elizabeth Wescott (1772–1798), who died during a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1798 (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 12 Sept. 1798).
4. Princess Mary (1776–1857) was the fourth daughter and eleventh child of the fifteen children born to King George III and Queen Charlotte (DNB, entry on George III).
5. Thomas Baker Johnson (1779–1843), brother of LCA, was the only son of Joshua and Catherine Nuth Johnson. Having spent his young life in France and England, Thomas was sent to the United States in 1794 for further schooling. He settled in Boston under the care of Harrison Gray and Sally Foster Otis and undertook the study of Latin in preparation for his entrance into Harvard in 1795 (JA, D&A, 3:240; M/LCA/2, p. 48–49, APM Reel 265; M/LCA/6, 4 July 1803, APM Reel 269; Harrison Gray Otis to Joshua Johnson, 30 Nov. 1795, MHi:Harrison Gray Otis Papers; MH-Ar:Faculty Records, 6:290).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0223

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Last Week I received through Mr Izard a kind Invitation to dine with Mrs Powell, whom I had not before seen Since her Loss of Mr Powell. Yesterday I had the Pleasure of dining with her and her Brother & sister Francis with their Children and Mr & Mrs Harrison among the rest—Mr & Mrs Morris & Mr Izard—1
Mrs Powell sends many Compliments to you and regrets that she cannot enjoy your society here, which is so congenial to her own { 347 } Disposition & Taste. Admires your well informed Mind, and thinks you an honour to your Sex &c &c &c
Yesterday The Weather was cold— last night We had half an Inch of Snow and to Day the Weather is colder than it has been before.
Mr Jacob Reed is chosen into our senate in the Room of Mr Izard—and is federal2
Mr Marshal is chosen for Kentucky instead of Mr Edwards—and is Said to be the best Man in the State.3 The Senate will next Year in all Probability be Sounder than it has ever been Since the Constitution commenced.—
inclosed is an History of the French Clergy.4 a biggotted Superstitious Thing—but I suppose too true. The State of France may be collected from it, better than from any other Publication I have seen.
It seems to be the Policy of the Pope and the Clergy to excite the old popular Cry against Heresy & Schism. if they Succeed there will be sanguinary Scænes of another kind— God forgive a Wicked World and reform it
Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 12 1795.”
1. For Elizabeth Willing Powel, see vol. 9:168. Powel’s sister, Anne Willing Francis, was married to Philadelphia merchant Tench Francis. The couple had five surviving children, three of whom were likely in attendance. The two youngest remained unmarried: Charles (b. 1771) and Elizabeth Powel (b. 1777). The middle daughter, Sophia Francis Harrison, was the wife of Philadelphia businessman George Harrison, for whom see vol. 9:289 (John H. Campbell, History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Phila., 1892, p. 111–112; George A. Hanson, Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore, 1876, p. 297).
2. Jacob Read (1752–1816), a Charleston lawyer and politician who represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1785, was elected to the seat of retiring senator Ralph Izard and served until 1801 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Humphrey Marshall (1760–1841) was born in Fauquier County, Va., but resettled in Kentucky County in 1782. A lawyer who served in the Ky. house of representatives from 1793 to 1794, Marshall was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from 1795 to 1801 (same).
4. Originally published by Abbé Augustin Barruel as Histoire du clergé pendant la Révolution françoise, London, 1793, the first American edition was The History of the Clergy during the French Revolution, Burlington, N.J., 1794, Evans, No. 26621.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0224

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I yesterday received yours of Janry 1st 4th and 5th. I See by the papers the judicious Motion of Giles as it is an other Bone to pick; and brought forward with no other view or design, but to render himself { 348 } popular with the Sans Culotts1 I cannot help despiseing and abhoring a Man, who is governd by Such base and Sordid motives. Giles’ face was allways my aversion and his Heart I detest, for I believe it desperately wicked. I think however that every precaution should be taken to prevent Foreigners from gaining too great an assendency in our Country, or taking any share in our Government. a Long period of time they ought to be upon probation & after all the precautions we can devise they will be too numerous and powerfull for us if the troubles abroad continue, and increase. I hope Amsterdam will not be obliged to Surrender to the Arms of France, for altho I do not feel towards them, as I did whilst that worse than Borgia, Governd, yet I am far from thinking they have returnd sufficiently to their Reason to Govern themselves, or dictate anything good to others
Mr osgoods Sermon is going through a third Edition. there is adertiz’d an answer to it by de Novien’ a misirable performance tis said, and it is asscribed to Sullivan.2 it is neither sense or Grammer. I have heard two Characteristic marks of Sullivans performance’s, but I rather think him too cunning to wage war against So popular a performance, especially for a Man, who I am informd drinks daily the Health of the President & vice President at his table, and who has never dared openly to meet with, or give his Sanction to the Jacobines. there is much conjecture who the writer of the Jacobiniad is. he is certainly a Man of Letters, and a poet.
Master Cleverly is in great distress that the President being a Church Man, should appoint a Thanksgiving during Lent he shakes his Head, and says tis a very Arbitary thing. I Suppose he cannot help connecting plumb pudding Roast Turkey and minced Pye. he cannot give thanks upon Eggs and fish.3
It will always be thanksgiving day to me, come at what time you will. it would be doubly so could I hear from our Sons— when you return I believe you must Spend a day or two with mrs Smith. she seems to be hurt that you pass on so rapidly—and do not afford her a little more Time. she feels as if it was a want of affection in her Parents, or of a proper respect & duty towarrd them from her and that the world will thus construe it. I know your anxiety to get home, and I know all your Reasons, but at the Same time I know you would not hurt or wound a derserving and affectionate child.
I have received a Bill of Laiding from mr Brisler which I shall inclose to mr Smith who has been very sick, with an inflamitory Rehumatism
You will have received my Letter respecting flower, and some { 349 } other things which I wrote to mr Brisler about.4 he may get me a couple of hundred of Rye flower if you please. I give 8 shillings for Rye here, and I cannot get Hay, as yet at a less price than 5 & 9 pence pr hundred— Grain is so high— the Democrats have no need to exclaim against the Salleries. I am sure they are pretty effectually lower’d Grain is twice as high as it was when they were Granted; so are all the necessaries of Life, but there is no end of their mad and absurd plots.
I had it in mind whether the canker worm would not go up, but I supposed instinct would teach them that they could not find nourishment. the weather is now quite winter, cold tho the Ground is not coverd yet being Icy & a little Snow. one Team has been employd in Sleding the manure across the Meddow from Joys. I presume they will compleat it to day. the other in getting the Stones from the common and this at a time when they could go in the woods to good purpose, but I would not neglect the only opportunity we have had this Winter for this Buisness.
Present me most dutifully to the President and Mrs Washington. they are both too good to be percecuted, Yet blessed are they says a high Authority when Men Revile & Speak evil falsly, of them—
Louiss desires me to present her duty to you and many thanks for your kind Present; I am very anxious for her. her Health declines and she is pale as death yet makes no complaint, but weakness. I know you will Say it is want of excercise which has brought her to it. I should think So more, if each of her sisters had not past through a Similar Weakness and debility. hers has been increasd by returns of the Ague— I am my Dearest Friend most affectionatly / Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 16 / Ansd 27. 1795.”
1. JA wrote to AA on 4 Jan. (Adams Papers) reporting that “the House have been debating about Titles these 3 or 4 days. Insurgents in all Ages have an invincible Antipathy to Titles.— They will not even be called Citizen or Gaffer & Gammer nor Mr nor Mrs.” He was referring to an amendment Virginia representative William Branch Giles proposed to the naturalization bill on 31 Dec. 1794, which had been brought before the House on 22 December. Giles’ amendment would require aliens to renounce all hereditary or other titles before being granted American citizenship. The proposal sparked strong debate in the House before passing, by a vote of 59 to 32, on 2 Jan. 1795. The naturalization bill subsequently passed in the House on 8 Jan. and in the Senate on 26 Jan.; it was signed by the president on 29 Jan. (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 816, 1004, 1030–1058, 1064–1066, 1497–1499).
Information on the debate over Giles’ amendment first appeared in the Boston press in mid-January; see Massachusetts Mercury, 13 Jan., although AA more likely read about the debate in the Columbian Centinel the following day.
2. James Sullivan’s staunch justification of the French Revolution was published under { 350 } the pseudonym Citoyen de Novion, The Altar of Baal Thrown Down; or, The French Nation Defended, against the Pulpit Slander of David Osgood, A.M. Pastor of the Church in Medford. A Sermon, Boston, 1795, Evans, No. 29588. Advertisements for the pamphlet first appeared in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 10 January.
3. George Washington’s choice of 19 Feb. as a national day of thanksgiving irked some church leaders, including schoolmaster Joseph Cleverly, the Episcopal lay reader of Quincy’s Christ Church. Cleverly disliked that a day of celebration fell during Lent, which began on 18 Feb. and was traditionally a period during which “the Church requires such a measure of Abstinence, as is more especially suited to extraordinary acts and exercises of Devotion” (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 9:285–286; The Book of Common Prayer, N.Y., 1795, Evans, No. 29362).
4. AA’s letter to John Briesler has not been found. In a second letter to JA dated 9 Jan., AA asked that her previous request for two barrels of flour be sent not by Briesler, as originally requested, but instead by Capt. Samuel Eames. She further reported that she had presented a barrel of flour to JA’s mother, who was in good health and had been visiting with AA and some local families (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0225

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The Travelling I Suppose has retarded the Post of this Week, till to Day, when I received your two Letters of the 4th. and 8th.
I am happy to Day in the Company of our Charles, who arrived at my Invitation from New York as fat as a Squab or Duck. Mr Burr Says he is a Steady Man of Business. He is gone to the Drawing Room and Play.
A Debate in Senate disappointed me of the female Commencement.— Fenno has sent Mr Cranch his Paper from the 1st. of Jan.
Mr Bowdoins Morality is the same with that of the Livingston Family at New York, and of all other Men who have more Ambition than Principle. I have gone through a Life of almost three Score Years, and how few have I found whose Principles could hold against their Passions, whose honour could contend with their Interests, or even whose Pride could Struggle with their Vanity.!
May I never have to reproach myself with faults which I have seen so often with Grief shame & Indignation in others— I know not that ever in my Life I gave a Vote against my Judgment— May I never deprive myself of the Power of saying this to my Wife and to my God in my last hour! I wonder that many of my Votes have not sent me home but here I am after a series of trying Years.—
four and thirty Years, the most of my Thoughts and Anxieties have been for the Public. Twenty Years have been wholly devoted to public Employments— My forces of Mind and Body are nearly Spent— Few Years remain for me, if any, in public Life probably fewer still. If I could leave my Country in greater Security, I should retire with { 351 } Pleasure. But a great Cloud hangs over it yet. I mean a Cloud of Ignorance, Knavery & Folly.— Whether a torrent can be Stemm’d or not is yet uncertain. My Hopes however are stronger than my fears, and I am determined to be as happy as I can.
My head is not turn’d I hope, though my Paper is.1
Nabby is not yet abed— she is well however— Mrs Otis & her sister are well—and the little Girls too.
Dont say a Word of my coming home: but I hope to keep Thanksgiving with you. it is however uncertain— Perhaps Congress may rise perhaps not.
I must put Brisler & his Wife into our House next Winter, Louisa to board at Mr Cranches I will pay with Pleasure for her—and take you along with me— What say You to this Project?
The greatest difficulty will be to find Lodgings.
May every Blessing and you and yours
Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 16. 1795.”
1. After completing the first page of this letter, JA inadvertently flipped over his paper when opening it to write on the inside. Consequently, the paragraphs beginning “May I never …” and “four and thirty Years …” appear upside down on page 3. JA then concluded the letter, beginning with this sentence, also upside down, but at the top of page 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1795-01-17

John Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] My Dear Sir:

I received yesterday your kind letter of the 9th of the month. The letters to Vergennes were sent to him, not presented. He acknowledged the receipt of them; and Congress acknowledged the receipt of the copies of them, and several others written before those two, upon the same subject, in a vote they passed about Sir John Temple. They say, that although Mr. Adams had thought fit to write a letter to Congress in favour of Sir John Temple, yet he had not confided to his care other despatches of infinitely more importance, which he transmitted to Congress by the same vessel, or words to that effect.1 These despatches were copies of all my correspondence with Vergennes on the subject of the imperial mediation, including the two letters which Mrs. Smith now has.
Delicacy towards Mr. Jay will restrain me from publishing in print, at present, any part of these letters. The reason why I did not go to Paris sooner in 1782, was, that the British court had not sent { 352 } any one with a commission acknowledging our independence. The peace being of more importance than my treaty of commerce with Holland, I should have gone to Paris and left that treaty unfinished: but as neither Mr. Grenville, Mr. Fitzherbert, nor Mr. Oswald, had yet received a commission to treat with the United States of America by name, and I was determined not to treat without it, as well as Mr. Jay, I had time to finish off my business at the Hague on the 8th of October, 1782, before I set off on my journey to Paris.2
You may show these letters in confidence to Mr. Webster, and to Mr. McCormic, if you think it worth the pains.
By this time, or very soon, I hope to have to congratulate you and Mrs. Smith on the birth of a daughter. My love to her and my young gentlemen.
I am, with great regard, dear sir, / Yours,
[signed] John Adams.
Enclosed is a Grub-street production, fit to amuse you for half an hour, when you can find no better employment.3
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:136–138.
1. Congress acknowledged the receipt of JA’s diplomatic dispatch on 27 Feb. 1782 (JCC, 22:102). For the discussion surrounding John Temple, see JA, Papers, 10:418; 11:xiv, 452.
2. Britain effectively recognized the United States on 21 Sept. 1782 when, at the behest of the American peace commissioners, it issued a commission to Richard Oswald that authorized him to negotiate with the “Thirteen United States of America.” Formal peace negotiations began shortly thereafter with John Jay serving as the principal negotiator owing to the ill health of Benjamin Franklin and JA’s absence in the Netherlands. JA’s negotiations with the Dutch concluded with the signing of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce on 8 Oct., and he departed for Paris nine days later, arriving on 26 Oct. (JA, Papers, 13:xviii, xxii, 412–413, 483–485; 14:xvi).
3. Possibly William Cobbett, writing under the pseudonym Peter Porcupine, A Bone to Gnaw, for the Democrats; or, Observations on a Pamphlet, Entitled, “The Political Progress of Britain,” Part I, Phila., 1795, Evans, No. 28431. Offering a satirical condemnation of the Democrats, especially the recent pamphlet by James ThompsonThomson Callender, for whom see JA to AA, 26 Nov. 1794, and note 1, above, Cobbett wrote in his preface, “I throw it in amongst them, as amongst a kennel of hounds: let them snarl and growl over it, and gnaw it, and slaver it; the more they wear out their fangs this way, the less dangerous will be their bite hereafter.” See also JA to AA, 9 June 1795, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

On Saturday I Saw our sons Letter to the Secretary of State. Mr Randolph expressed his intire Satisfaction in it. Said “it was a justification of the Propriety of his appointment, a Presage of his future { 353 } Usefulness: and well digested, well arranged and well connected.” a handsome Compliment.1
In this Letter he says Mr Jay had shewn him the whole Negotiation with Britain— He Speaks very modestly and respectfully. I may not repeat any Thing: but I learn from this Letter that there is not only a Possibility but some Probability that Mr Jay or at least The Result of his Negotiations may be here by the fourth of March. If so I ought to be here too, which will derange my Plan of Spending thanksgiving with you. This will afflect me: but What shall I do?
Charles and I are very happy for the Present but he returns on Thursday. He sends his Love & Duty
Adieu
1. In his letter to Edmund Randolph of 22 Oct. 1794, JQA informed the secretary of state of his safe arrival in England and intended departure for The Hague on 29 October. He also provided a thorough review of the political situation in the Netherlands, from the increasing occupation by the French Army to the response of both the Dutch stadholder and the Patriots. JQA further reported that the strength of the French Army might soon force peace with all the nations at war, except Great Britain, and he closed his letter by remarking that the U.S. treaty with Britain was near its conclusion with acceptable, although not entirely satisfactory, terms (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 127).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0228

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1795-01-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I have a letter from your brother Thomas, dated London, 19th October; and the Secretary of State has one from John of the 22d. They had a good passage, and were in good health. They intended to go to Holland on the 29th.
Enclosed is a copy of a letter from me to Mr. Jay, dated at the Hague, August the 13th, 1782, which probably put him first upon insisting on a new commission from Great Britain, before he would treat, expressly authorizing Mr. Oswald to treat with the Ministers of the United States of America. Put this copy with those that I sent you before.1 Col. Smith, if he thinks fit, may show this in confidence to Mr. Webster, Mr. McCormic, and Judge Hobart, if he will.2
Charles and I smoke our segars and look over old letter books, in great comfort together. He talks of leaving me next Thursday.
I wish you good health and a daughter, and the blessing of Heaven on the mother and all her children.
[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:138.
{ 354 }
1. In this letter, JA reiterated his opinion that negotiations for peace should not commence until American independence was recognized. That it was a shared belief is evident by John Jay’s 1 Sept. 1782 response, in which he informed JA that he formally stipulated such recognition to the British commissioners (JA, Papers, 13:236, 238–239, 412–413).
2. John Sloss Hobart (1738–1805), Yale 1757, was born in Fairfield, Conn., but settled in Huntington, N.Y. After serving in the provincial congress from 1775 to 1777, he was elected to the state supreme court in May 1777, where he served until his election to the U.S. Senate in Jan. 1798. After only four months in the Senate, JA appointed Hobart a federal judge for New York, a position he held until his death (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0229

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I recd your favour of the 9th. Yesterday.1 The Weather is now extream Cold. The River is frozen and a snow covers the Ground. If the Season is as sharp and at the Same time so fine with you, it will present a good Opportunity to cross the Mill Pond.
It was judicious Advice and a prudent determination to cutt your Wood this Winter from the Mountain: and I hope you will pursue your Plan of preparing a sufficient Store for the Year.
I am “gallant” enough to think the time tedious, till I can begin my Journey home, and I shall think it all the Way tedious till I get home: But I am afraid I have flattered myself prematurely with the pleasing hope of Seeing you by the 19th of February. There is so general and so great Expectation of important Matter for the senate from Mr Jay, before the 4th of March, that, I have some doubts whether I ought not to Stay, though my own Opinion is not Sanguine that We shall have any Dispatches so soon.
What is to be the Fortune of General Knox, I know not. I am anxious about him and his Family. He has been raised to an Elevation, for which neither Nature, nor Education ever intended him. Fortune alone has been his Patron— His Family has been worse calculated for his situation than himself— He has been a laborious and I doubt not a faithful servant of the Public, and it would be melancholly to see him unfortunate in his old Age. I wish his Lands may prove a source of Abundance to him and his Family.
Hamilton will do better. He is younger and has more Œconomy. It is Said he refuses all public Employment and goes resolutely to the Bar at New York. He refuses to Stand Candidate for Governor.
Mr Morris has resigned. Mr Izard has resigned: and I dont know { 355 } but all the best Men will resign.2 The Government will fall for Want of Men to hold it up.
Charles drank Tea with Col Hamilton last Evening and dines with him to Day. He returns to N. York on Thursday. He sends his Duty. Our Mrs Smith is well but not abed as yet.
Cold as it is, my heart is as warm as ever towards her whom I commit A Dieu
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 20 1795.”
1. One of AA’s two letters of 9 Jan. is above; for the second, see AA to JA, 16 Jan., and note 4, above.
2. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania retired from the U.S. Senate after serving since 1789 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0230

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

We have had very Severe weather through the whole of this week, but very little snow. yet the Ground being hard froze, our people have been sledging Stones. to day the wind has come round to the Southard, & Thaws. we cannot do half the buisness I want to have done. from here they go out early & spend no Idle time. the other Team does not work so hard, but looking after so Many cattle takes up much time.
you will see by the papers The Govenours Speach.1 He has paid more attention to publick affairs than in any former Speach. mr osgood has really awakened him, and roused him to a sense of his Duty. his Speach however is a pretty cold one, & shews that he was constraind to say something, or look very unfeaderal
The Connecticut News Boy is really cruel to the old Gentleman.2 I hope it will not be a Death wound, as a similar insinuation from Burk killd Good Dr Price.3 he has given a sprig of Lawrel to embelish, (I am too much of a Democrat) to say Crown a Friend of mine. I think Congress had better have passd to the order of the Day than have Squabled so long to have made so much ill Blood, merely to give the Jacobines a Triumph— it was knowing the motives of the Mover, that raisd the indignation of the opposers— it was a Trap to catch those who scornd the Bate. it was done to allarm the credulous—and wound the feelings of those who possessd too much independance of Spirit to flinch at the trial having carried their point. I am sorry there was so much opposition to the Yeas & Nays—
{ 356 }
you will see by the papers that our sons had a fine passage.4 I am told that some private Letter informs that they left London on the 30 of october, for the Hague. I have written twice by way of London— tis strange that we get no Letters. are there none from mr Jay? I hope it will not be long before I shall hear from them. Perilious are the Times into which they have fallen— I hope it may prove for their good and the benifit of their Country that they are called into Service in so critical a period. many are my reflections upon it in the wakefull Watches of the Night. to an over ruling Providence I commend them. adieu Ever Yours &c
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 21 / ansd Feb 2. 1795.”
1. Gov. Samuel Adams addressed the Massachusetts legislature on 16 January. In his speech, the governor advocated for an engaged citizenry as the best means for effective government. He wrote, “No people can be more free under a Constitution established by their own voluntary compact, and exercised by Men appointed by their own frequent suffrages.” The address gave voice to Adams’ republican ideology but also supported the president’s recent decisions regarding neutrality with Europe and his suppression of the violence in western Pennsylvania and with Native Americans (Dft, Adams Papers).
The address was published in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 17 Jan., but did not appear in the Philadelphia papers until 26. Jan., when it was reprinted in the Philadelphia Gazette.
2. On 5 Jan. the Connecticut Courant published the newsboy’s address “to all Christian people,” one section of which poked fun at the Massachusetts governor: “And now, O Muse! throw Candour’s veil, / O’er aged Sam. in dotage frail; / And let past services atone, / For recent deeds of folly done; / When late aboard the Gallic ship, / Well fraught with democratic flip, / He praying fell on servile knees, / That France alone might rule the seas; / While Sense and Reason took a nap, / And snor’d in Jacobinic cap. / His other acts, both grave and jolly, / Behold! are in the book of Folly; / Yet should he with his fathers sleep, / We’ll strive with all our might—to weep.” Extracts of the address appeared in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 14, 17 January. See also AA to TBA, 23 April, and note 5, below.
3. Richard Price, the British dissenting minister and close friend of the Adamses, died in April 1791 only a few months after Edmund Burke published an attack on Price’s philosophical support of the French Revolution. JA believed the two events were connected (vol. 9:216), as apparently did AA. For further description of the differences between Price and Burke, see vol. 9:205.
4. On 21 Jan. the Boston Columbian Centinel reported that the Alfred had arrived in London on 13 Oct. 1794 and that “Mr. Adams, the American Minister Resident at the Hague, went passenger in this vessel. He immediately set out for the Hague.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I thank you for presenting a Barrell of Flour to my Mother, and wish you to do every Thing for her Comfort, that lies in your Power. My Duty to her.— Ames is not here nor is any other Vessell bound to Boston. We shall send more Flour as soon as there is Opportunity. I am glad to hear that at length after 5 or 6 Years meditation you have { 357 } made your Visit to Mrs Miller and Mrs Vezey. I am afraid you did not at last carry Madam Apthorp to those Places, as you ought to have done.1 We have had Severe cold for a few Days: but it has Since moderated and carried off the snow. Winter never Seems to be in earnest, when it comes so late.
Charles return’d yesterday to New York. and left me, more solitary, than he found me. I know not what Resolution to take about coming home. I fear, it will be expected of me that I stay till 4 March, waiting for Mr Jays Dispatches and his Treaty—not that I believe they will arrive so soon. Not that I can have any Voice in the Question for two thirds decidedly of the senate must agree— Not that one Member, will be in the least influenced by any Opinion of mine— Not that I can give any Information in the Affair to the most ignorant. But it will be expected, that I stay. Tout est dit—i.e. Although every Body else do as they please & go & come when they will, I alone must be chained to the oars. I shall keep a triste Thanksgiving in Philadelphia. The Second Week in March is moreover the Worst moment in the Year to travel. I shall be carted again or rather drawn in a Coach by oxen as I was [slosped?] ferry to New Haven, part of the Way, which is more ridiculous. But I have been horse carted from Leostoff in England fifteen miles and Boorswaggoned fifty miles, from Goree, Overflaekee and Helvoet to the Brille; and have been mule carried and walked on foot over the Mountains in Spain—and after that nothing can come amiss.2 The more a Man submits to be a slave the more he may.
I wish I had an exact Account of all the Voyages I have made between Harwich & Helvoet—and between Calais & Dover—The Voyage from New York to Providence last summer and from New Haven to New York last fall— Did ever any Man make so many uncomfortable Journeys and Voyages? They have been enough to kill any other Man for what I know certainly most other Men— But a kind loving grateful Country, is a sweet and ample Reward for all these Sufferings & services. You know how dearly she loves me, how kindly she treats me and how generously she rewards me.
Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 23. 1795.”
1. Elizabeth Hamock Miller (1734–1800), daughter of Capt. John Hamock and Sarah Hodgson of Boston, was the wife of Maj. Ebenezer Miller, for whom see JA, D&A, 1:64. Her sister-in-law was Mary Miller Veasey (1734–1806), daughter of the first Episcopal minister at Braintree’s Christ Church, Rev. Ebenezer Miller, and Martha Mottram. She was also the widow of Braintree mariner Ebenezer Veasey, who had died in 1762 { 358 } (Sprague, Braintree Families). “Madam Apthorp” was likely Grizzell Apthorp, for whom see vol. 7:111.
2. For JA’s overland trek between Ferrol, Spain, and Bayonne, France, from Dec. 1779 to Jan. 1780, see JA, D&A, 2:409–433. For his Jan. 1784 journey from Goeree Island to Brielle, in the Netherlands, see same, 3:152–153. For his mention of traveling by cart from Lowestoft to London in Aug. 1784, see same, 3:170.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0232

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-24

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I have had a very bad cold, attended with some other complaints which have enfeebled me, & made me look quite sick, for a fortnight I dare not go out of door, but I am now much better— The body, & the Mind are so nearly connected that the one cannot suffer without the other. To the indisposition of the former, would I attribute a certain depression of Spirits which has troubled me for some time. I feel as if my Heart was too, too big for its little Tenement— It is not because I suffer for the want of any-thing, for few women had ever more reason to be grateful than I. To a kind Providence do I feel myself indebted for the many Friends which have assisted me, & for the daily Favours I receive— It is cause of much thankfulness that when my Family is so changed, I have such agreeable Boarders, who are Companions that take a filial, or fraternal care of me— It serves greatly to sweeten the bitter Cup, which my heavenly Father has assigned me— The care of providing for them, occupies my mind, & keeps it from brooding over its own Sorrows in the Day—but in the night, in the Silence of night the Sleep I court, like a Phantom flies from me—& (I trust) “lights on lids unsullied with a Tear”—1I cannot sleep my sister, or but very little— may all gracious heaven preserve my mind, & in every visiscitude which I may be called to pass through, may my temper be equal, & sedate— I go to sleep repeating that beautiful Apostrophe wherein Pope describes a good woman—

“O! blessed with temper, whose unclouded ray,

Can make tomorrow chearful as to day.”2

& wish most earnestly, that I may be possessed of that serene & placid disposition which is a continual source of pleasure, & of happiness—
I often question myself in the language of the Psalmist “Why art thou cast down, O my Soul? why art thou disquieted Within me?— { 359 } dost thou not hope in God? & is it not as an anchor to thy Soul?”3 sure & stedfast—why should thou fear Evil, if enlisted under the banners of him, who has stiled himself the widows God—
The Doctor has advised me to go out, & ride every Opportunity. I know I always lost my sleep whenever I have been any long time confined— I hope the cold weather, & air will brace my Nerves— To any body less affectionate than a Sister, I should not dare to say so much of myself,— You who love, & know me, can enter into all my feelings even to those of a Mother, & are sensible with what weight my Children lie upon my heart— Their Education & their welfare is my greatest Concern— I am happy that my Daughter meets with your approbation you cannot think what a comfort it has been to think that you love her— I have trembled for her— It was absolutely necessary she should go from this house—yes, & from one Mother to another—that would kindly check her temerity, & who would carefully pluck from her youthful mind those <poisonous> weeds, which if left would soon root out those seeds of Virtue, which I hope are implanted there—4
Mr Kent came last monday & brought Miss Margeret Austin, & left her here, & took Cousin Betsy Smith home with him—5 I tried to perswade miss Austin to tarry here a week, or more, but she had been a year from home, & we could not prevail with her— she went in the Stage on thursday— She is an amiable Girl, & is much admired by the Gentlemen— She deserves to be the favorite of every body— Mr Abbot continues with us, growing every day in the Esteem of the People— I hope they will soon come to a determination concerning him— Some persons say he is courting—the common cant you know, to be said of young Gentlemen—but if his Heart is not engaged, there is one dear Girl who has a Soul that I think in perfect unison with his—6 their tempers are so sweetly harmonized to the pure precepts of the Gospel that they could not but be happy in promoting each others best interest— they have kindred minds— their Souls were formed in the same happy mould—may “Cupid yoke the Doves”—7 Perhaps, I am enthusiastick in my Friendships— but I never saw anything in either of them but what I should delight in, if they were my own Children, & should say, go on—pursue the path of virtue grow in Grace, & the God who is Love, make you perfect—
I hope whenever you hear from your Children you will inform me of it— I have not time at present to write to Sister Cranch, or to { 360 } Betsy Quincy— Please to give my Love to them, & / accept of the sincere affection of your / ever obliged Sister
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
1. Edward Young, Night Thoughts,The Complaint; or, Night Thoughts, Night I, line 5.
2. Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle 2, lines 257–258.
3. Shaw conflates two separate Bible verses. The first three sentences echo Psalms, 42:11; the final line derives from Hebrews, 6:19.
4. Betsy Quincy Shaw stayed with the Adamses nearly a year and returned again for another extended stay in the spring of 1796 (Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody to AA, 9 Jan. 1796, 28 Feb., 19 May, all Adams Papers).
5. This is possibly Ebenezer Kent (1759–1812) of Charlestown, who was the son of Mary Austin and Ebenezer Kent. Both he and Margaret Austin (b. 1770), the daughter of Charlestown pewtersmith Nathaniel Austin and Margaret Rand, were distant cousins of AA’s (L. Vernon Briggs, Genealogies of the Different Families Bearing the Name of Kent in the United States Together with Their Possible English Ancestry A.D. 1295–1898, Boston, 1898, p. 52–53, 72–76; Jim and Liz Austin Carlin, Some Descendants of Richard Austin of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1638, Baltimore, 1998, p. 41–42).
6. The Unitarian minister Abiel Abbot (1770–1828), Harvard 1792, began preaching at Haverhill in Nov. 1794 after the death of Rev. John Shaw. In Feb. 1795 the congregation invited him to stay, and he was ordained on 3 June. Abbot would marry Eunice Wales of Dorchester in 1796 and remained at Haverhill until 1803 (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 8:309–310).
7. Isaac Watts, “Few Happy Matches,” line 54.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Yesterday I had your favour of 16. Mr Osgoods sermon has been printed here. I have heard Mr Gardiner, hinted at as the Writer of the Jacobiniad— some think Mr Paine himself writes it.
I am sorry for Mr Cleverlys Mortification and think the Cause of it might have been avoided.
I am Still afraid I shall not be able to get away, so soon as I once hoped.— I will Spend as much time as I can with Nabby. She is a good Child. I wish I could hear of her Safety. She was well the last time I heard but not abed.
You have eer this recd two Letters from Thommy. John wrote to his Master and Thomas to his Parents.1
There is no Vessell here bound to Boston. Brisler will provide the Things you write for to be sent by the first Opportunity.
The Farm goes on very much to my Satisfaction. knowing your Attachment to Wood, I consider it a Sacrifice to let the Teams cart manure & stones.— You will have Sledding enough now, for the snow is deep & the Weather cold.
{ 361 }
I am anxious for Louisa— She must exercise. We have no News of late, from abroad. Mr Dexters Election is very pleasing here to all the good People. It would have been disgraceful to the People to have left him out.
The President & his Lady are remarkably well.— But Nelly Custis is as weakly as Louisa and for the same Reason want of Exercise.
The Governors Speech is pretty well— He is the better for a little Correction. It is the most constitutional and unexceptionable speech he ever made as Governor. A little of the old Leaven leaks out in an Insinuation against somebody. The Old Mans Virtue is at length lost in Ambition— And if Ambition and Avarice have seized him, who is Secure? When Ambition and Avarice, are predominant Passions and Virtue is lost Republican Governments are in danger. Honour & Profit instead of Virtue must soon become the Principle of the Government:
With the tenderest Affection I am as ever your
[signed] John Adams2
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 27th / 1795.”
1. For JQA’s letter to Edmund Randolph, see JA to AA, 19 Jan., and note 1, above.
2. JA had written a brief letter to AA the previous day in which he commented on the vagaries of the weather and the relatively calm political climate in Philadelphia, albeit with continuing delays in certain election results (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0234

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1795-01-29 - 1795-01-31

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I yesterday received your Several Letters inclosing those from Thomas—I do most sincerely rejoice in the safety and welfare, of our sons I hope I am not unmindfull of the repeated favours of Providence towards my Family, in Protecting and preserving them both by Sea & Land May the same gracious Providence continue to Gaurd them, and to make them usefull in the various Stations in which they may be called to act.
I had heard by a vessel which arrived at Marblehead, that there was a Letter from mr Dickinson, mentioning that the two mr Adam’s’s dinned with him on some day in october.2 the [cap]tain says he read in a Gazzet, the Treaty between great Britain, & America Signd sometime in Nov’br but by some accident he came away without the papers— if so important a matter is expected to come before Congress daily, I cannot urge you against your duty. I understand { 362 } that this Captain reports, that a vessel saild several days before him with dispatches from mr Jay—
you will see that the News Boy did not escape a comment from me. Honestus’s Father3 meeting mr Storer in the street, stopd him and askd him, if he had seen the Centinal of the Day, to which he replied Yes. well have you read that infamous Poetry, that Libel upon the Goveneur? Yes. well is not shamefull that our Printers should publish such rascally Scandelous stuff. Russel coppied it from the Hartford Paper. no Matter replies the old Man. he ought to be punished for Printing such a vile thing. pray mr Austin have not other Printers taken greater Latitude? upon which the old Gentleman walkd off— Such measure as they meet to others they cannot bear to have measured to them. Jarvis rules the House of Representitives. mr Dexters Friends have not exerted themselves as they ought. Varnum is said to be a shallow Man, a great prater. the Antis have exerted themselves for him, merely to revenge themselves for mr Ames Election
the third trial, there will be more exertion on both sides—4
we last night had a very pentifull southerly Rain which carried of all the Ice & what little Snow there was, but we have not had it upon a level, one inch deep. when ever our people could Sled stones, they have applied themselves to those in the common and have only got down the first wall. it employ joy and Shaw more than a week to Sled down the manure from joys place. he had 8 load of Summer manure. we shall be very dilligent, or rather as much So as I can prevail upon them to be. Elisha shaw want no Stimulous. he is all mrs Hobart described him.5 mr White her Father died this week very suddenly. he mounted his Horse & rode a few steps & fell of Dead.6
I have purchased three Tons of Hay. Captain Baxter from the Neck brought me a Tax Bill of a Hundred & 50 dollors for the last year.7 I told him I could not pay it till March. he was very desirious to have a part of it to prevent an execution being leveld by the State treasurer against him; so I told him I would pay him Your proportion of the State tax.
Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friend’s—and be assured of the Sincere affection of / Your
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “The Vice President of the / United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. / Ansd Feb. 10. 1795.” Filmed at Jan. 1795. Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 363 }
1. The dating of this letter is based on the death of Joseph White, for which see note 6, below.
2. For Thomas Dickason, see TBA to AA, 20 Oct. 1794, and note 3, above.
3. That is, the Boston merchant Benjamin Austin Sr. (1717–1806) (Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
4. AA refers to the layered process of local elections whereby each of the fourteen Massachusetts districts held elections until a majority result was determined. The third round of the congressional elections, which had begun the previous November, would be held on 23 March (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 60–65; Boston Federal Orrery, 23 March 1795).
5. Thankful White Adams, widow of JA’s brother Elihu, had married Col. Aaron Hobart in 1777 (NEHGR, 31:250 [April 1877]; Sprague, Braintree Families).
6. Lt. Joseph White (1706–1795), a local surveyor, tithingman, selectman, and warden, died on 28 Jan. (Sprague, Braintree Families).
7. Capt. Daniel Baxter (1758–1836) of Hough’s Neck, Quincy, son of Daniel and Prudence Baxter, was appointed tax collector in 1790 (same; Joseph Nickerson Baxter, Memorial of the Baxter Family, Boston, 1879, p. 25–26).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0235

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-29

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The public Prints, announce the Death of my old esteemed Friend General Roberdeau, whose Virtues in heart Searching Times endeared him to Philadelphia and to his Country. His friendly Attention to me, when Congress held their Sessions at York Town, I can never forget, and excites a more lively Interest in his Loss than that of some others who have lately gone before him.1
Mr King is re-elected by the Legislature of New York by a majority of five in the House and two in the senate, in opposition to Mr Tillotson, whom you know, to have married a Sister of Chancellor Livingstone.2 This is a great Point gain’d.
Mr Jay, Chancellor Livingstone, Mr Burr, Mr Yates and Mr Hamilton, are mentioned as Successors to Gov. Clinton who has resigned— Mr Jay, if he should not return, will not run very fast. Mr Hamilton it is Said will not serve. Chancellor will stand no Chance as I hear, and it is doubted whether Burr or Yates will prevail.3
We are Still at Uncertainties whether Mr Jay or Despatches from him will arrive before the 4th of March, which makes me Still dubious whether it will be right for me to go away. I am most earnestly and ardently desirous of it but Will it do?
Mrs Washington is very happy at present in a Visit from her two Granddaughters, Nelly’s sisters as I suppose they are—4 one of them is a fine blooming, rosy Girl, who I dare Say has had more Liberty and Exercise than Nelly.
I dined Yesterday at Mr Morris’s whose Hospitality is always prescious. a Company of venerable Old Rakes of Us three score Years { 364 } of Age, or a little over or a little Under Sat smoaking segars, drinking burgundy & Maderira & talking Politicks till almost Eleven O Clock— This will do once in a great While: not often for me—
In senate We have no Feelings this session— All is cool— No Passions. No Animation in Debate. I never Sat in any public Assembly, so serenely. What Storm may be preparing I know not.— a great Calm at sea & an uncommonly fine day at Land is called a Weather breeder— But if Jays Despatches dont Arrive We shall have no Tempestuous Weather this session.
I wish you a pleasant Thanksgiving though I fear I shall not be with you according to my Wishes.
Adieu
Instead of an additional Snow, and a return of cold as I hoped this morning We have now a warm and plentiful Rain, which is melting the Snow and Spoiling the Slaying. I hope you have more Snow, more Steady cold, good Sledding and a Solid Mill Pond.
The Post to day, brought me no Letter. I dont always very Sanguinely look for a Letter on Thursdays. I Should be inconsolable on a disappointment a Monday.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 29 1795.”
1. For Gen. Daniel Roberdeau, a former member of the Continental Congress and Philadelphia businessman, see vol. 2:350, 352–353. Notice of Roberdeau’s death, in Winchester, Va., on 5 Jan., first appeared in the Philadelphia newspapers on 28 Jan. (Aurora General Advertiser; American Daily Advertiser).
2. During New York’s congressional elections of 1794–1795, the Federalists retained both seats in the Senate with the narrow reelection of the incumbent Rufus King. His opponent was Dr. Thomas Tillotson (1750–1832), a Maryland native who had settled in New York after the Revolution. Tillotson served in the state assembly from 1788 to 1790 and then the state senate from 1791 to 1799. His wife was Margaret Livingston (1749–1823), the sister of Robert R. Livingston (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson, A Biographical History of Clermont, or Livingston Manor, Clermont, N.Y., 1869, p. 256; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 425).
3. On 22 Jan. 1795 Gov. George Clinton announced his decision not to seek a seventh term as governor, citing ill health. Robert Yates (1738–1801), chief justice of the New York Supreme Court, was one of the many candidates to emerge during the 1795 gubernatorial race. A patriot and lawyer, Yates had served on the state court since 1777 and been appointed chief justice in 1790. His Antifederal leanings had tempered enough by 1789 for him to unsuccessfully stand as a Federalist candidate for governor. Six years later, Yates was again courted by some Federalist supporters before firmly aligning himself with the Republican cause. He won his party’s caucus to become the Republican candidate, but he lost the election to the Federalist John Jay (DAB;Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 430–434).
4. Martha Washington’s two eldest granddaughters were Elizabeth Parke Custis (1776–1832) and Martha Parke Custis (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:4–5).
5. JA emphasized this last paragraph by writing it in large script.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-01-31

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

If C. as you Say in yours of the 29th.1 must provide for his Family, I Suppose it will be easy for him to do it: because being not only a Republican but a Democrat by Profession, no doubt he is possessed of the most essential Ingredient in that Character, which is a Love of Poverty and equality. Two Acres of Land is more than an Equality, and as much as Cincinnatus owned, who was an Aristocrat. One Acre then I should Suppose would Satisfy this great and eminent Profesor of deep Democraticallity.
The Election of Mr King is great Joy, to all the rational Part of the Public here, for he has great Information, Steady Conduct, and powerful Elocution. As it is a great Misfortune to the U. S. that New York by the Intrigues of your <Monsicur> Citizen Egalité, has been made a southern State, it would be a prosperous Event if your Prediction should be accomplished, and your fellow Citizens should be again restored to a sense of their real Interest and Duty. And for the reasons you assign the Change seems probable enough.
We are waiting with Impatience for the Mail from New York of this day to bring the Information by the ship Columbia. some flying Letters yesterday announced a Treaty Signed by Mr Jay.2
The happy Event in Col smiths family gives me much Joy— I hope the Increase of his family will teach him Moderation and Frugality.— If he has it in his Power to make a comfortable Provision for his Family he will be unpardonable to waste his means upon hounds and Horses. I dont wish him Cns.love of Poverty, but I wish him some of his Frugality. The Lands he is daily eating, would make handsome Portions for his sons and Daughters Thirty or forty Years hence.
You do not mention the Receit of Rowans Tryal which I sent you. I hope you will have all the Tryals I have sent you bound up in Volumes. In your Profession they will be valuable.3
I am afraid the Report of a Treaty will detain me here till the fifth of March, which will expose me to an uncomforable Journey in bad roads.— But it is wicked to complain. Let me be content. Your Brothers Arrival and your sisters Happiness are Blessings in my family for which I ought to be very thankful. I am my Dear Charles, with Thanks also for your comfortable Prospects, Affectionately yours
[signed] John Adams
{ 366 }
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “C. Adams.”
1. Not found.
2. On 30 Jan. the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States announced the arrival of private letters from London that confirmed the signing of the treaty. The following day, the same newspaper further identified the vessel that carried the letters as the Columbia, which arrived in New York from Bristol.
3. Archibald Hamilton Rowan (1751–1834), an Irish patriot, was born and educated in England but settled in Ireland in 1784. A member of the revolutionary republican organization the Society of United Irishmen, Rowan was arrested and charged with seditious libel in 1792. He was found guilty at his Jan. 1794 trial and imprisoned for two years. A record of his trial was published in Dublin in March and reprinted in New York later that year (DNB; Report of the Trial of Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Esq. on an Information, Filed, Ex Officio, by the Attorney General, to the Distribution of a Libel, N.Y., 1794, Evans, No. 27643).
CA did have Rowan’s trial report bound with the reports of the trials of Joseph Gerrald, Thomas Muir, and Robert Watt and David Downie, which JA had sent him previously; see JA to CA, 13, 20 Dec. 1794, both above. Until now in private hands, this bound collection of trials has recently been added to the John Adams Library at MB.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

You have sometime since, I presume, received my Letters inclosing those of our son Thomas of the 19th. of October: You have also I hope and doubt not been informed by Col smith or Charles of the good Fortune of our Daughter, who on the twenty Eighth of January went to bed in good health as could be expected with an healthy Daughter. I congratulate you on all these prosperous Events, and wish I could be with you at the time I have more than once intimated: We have Reason to be thankful for many Blessings in our Family as well as in our Country.
But a Treaty concluded by Mr Jay is announced to the Public, in the News Papers: and this Report, whether true or not, will excite such Expectation, that I suppose I must Stay here till the End of the Chapter. My Presence or Absence is indeed immaterial because I can in no Case have a Vote, two thirds of the Senate being required to ratify a Treaty: nevertheless both my Friends and my Ennemies, would remark my Absence the former with regret the latter with Malignity. Indeed I have Some scruples in my own Mind, whether I ought not to be present— It may be in my Power to explain some things, and to give some hints which perhaps might not occur to others, as the subject has been so long under my immediate Consideration.
The most mortifying Thing will be, the little Probability that the Treaty will arrive before the 4th. of March. If it were certain it would { 367 } come, I should Stay without hesitation: but as it is in my Mind most improbable that it will, I shall remain here with some Uneasiness.
Col. Ward of Newtown is here, and lodges in this Hotel.1 This Gentleman I believe is one of the most stedfast friends I have in the World. Indeed few have known me so long or been so attentive to my Conduct: but how different is his Behaviour from that of some others who have known me as long and as fully as he has.— A faithful Friend upon disinterested public Principles, is a Jewell: but political friendships which shift with popular Winds, are not worth a straw.
Mrs Otis & Miss Betsy are very well— I saw them last Evening— They send their regards.—
Oh my Hobby Horse—and my little Horse! I want you both for my Health And Oh my2 I want you much more, for the delight of my heart and the cheering of my spirits—
Louisa must walk or die— it does not signify she must be compelled to write and walk too—
I am my dearest Friend, most / tenderly yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 1 1795.”
1. Col. Joseph Ward, for whom see JA, Papers, 3:238. Ward, who had established a successful land office and then brokerage business in Boston following the Revolution, was likely in Philadelphia seeking payment on the new emission bills of credit issued by Congress after the revaluation of continental currency in 1780. Petitions Ward made in 1795, 1796, and 1798 were rejected (M. F. Sweetser, King’s Handbook of Newton, Massachusetts, Boston, 1889, p. 126; Hamilton, Papers, 22:401; JCC, 16:263–266).
2. JA left nearly a full line of blank space at this point.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This Morning I received your favour of the 21st. of January. I am Sure your People do a great deal of Work, So dont be concern’d— I am very well Satisfied with your Agricultural Diary.
The venerable Governor made the best Speech he ever made—but the old Leaven ferments a little in it.—
I wonder you had not recd two Letters from Thomas which I inclosed to you. I now inclose you one from Mr Jay, which shews that our sons were arrived in Holland and had passed through their Ceremonies at the Hague and gone to Amsterdam, to look as I Suppose after the imprudent Van staphorst, and American Money in his Hands.1
{ 368 }
The inclosed Postscript to Dunlap will shew you, that the Expectation of a Treaty, hourly to arrive, will not allow me to leave my Chair till the fourth of March—2 I shall be charged with deserting the President, forsaking the secretary of State, betraying my friend Jay, abandoning my Post and Sacrificing my Country to a weak Attachment to a Woman and a weaker fondness for my farm, if I quit at this moment. so be thou thankful alone, that thou hast a good Husband here, that thy Children are safe and in Honour in Europe, and that thy Daughter has given thee a fine Granddaughter; besides innumerable Blessings to thy Country. I will be thankful and joyous here all alone.—
We momently expect the Treaty: but it may not arrive this month.— When it does I expect to see wry faces as well as smiling ones.— Perhaps much Debate may take Place— Let Us know what it is first however before We oppose, or criticise or applaud or approve.
Your son John says it is better than War—that is all I know about it.—
tenderly Adieu
Keep all the Letters relating to our Sons.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 2. 1795.”
1. John Jay, in a letter of 24 Nov. 1794 (Adams Papers), informed JA that he had received two letters from JQA, of 14 and 21 Nov. (Windsor Castle, Royal Archives:Autographs from Correspondence of Chief Justice Jay, 1776–1794; NNC:John Jay Papers).
JA’s critical opinion of Nicolaas van Staphorst likely stemmed from the banker’s recent flight from Amsterdam to Hamburg. A member of the Dutch republican movement, Van Staphorst in Oct. 1794 publicly petitioned for revolution should either the English, retreating from Belgium, be welcomed in the city or action be taken against the encroaching French forces. He escaped prosecution by temporarily fleeing to Hamburg, thereby leaving the banking firm in the hands of remaining partner Nicolaas Hubbard. Van Staphorst would shortly return, however, to assume a prominent place in the government established after the French invasion (Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment, 1:526–527; Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 176–177, 179, 190). For TBA’s account of these events, see M/TBA/2, 16 Nov., APM Reel 282. Reports of Van Staphorst’s petition first appeared in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 7 Jan. 1795.
In his letter to JQA of 11 Feb., below, JA expressed concern about the impact of Van Staphorst’s actions on American credit. In his answering letter of 4 May, JQA assured JA that “the political sufferings of Messrs: Van Staphorst had no more effect to the detriment of our credit than their present power has in its favour. It did not indeed affect their personal credit or property. Mr: Nicholas Van Staphorst, who on my arrival here had privately withdrawn from the pursuit of the then Government, is now a member of the States-General, and employed in some of the most important executive Committees. He is one of the most respectable men, engaged in the public affairs at present” (Adams Papers).
2. On 2 Feb. the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser published a two-page supplement summarizing the London newspapers through 3 Dec. 1794, which had arrived { 369 } aboard the brig Columbia. Two of the extracts confirmed the successful conclusion to Jay’s treaty negotiations with the British, with one further noting that the messenger Jay had dispatched to deliver the news to America had sailed prior to the Columbia.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-02-02

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

A Letter from Mr Jay of the 24. of November informs me, that he had recd two Letters from your Brother in Holland, one of the 14th. and another of the 20th. the first at the Hague the last at Amsterdam, which inform’d him that your Brother had been presented to their High Mightinesses, and recd and acknowledged by them, and that he had Afterwards had an Audience of the statholder. so that he had gone through his Ceremonies at the Hague and proceeded to Amsterdam upon Business. Inform your Brother and Sister smith of this: and I congratulate you all upon it. It is a Satisfaction to know that they had escaped all Danges of Seas and of Ennemies or Friends in their Passage, and that the Hague and Amsterdam were neither under Water, nor Obstructed in their Communication with each other.
We are in anxious Expectation of the Treaty with England. I cannot now think of leaving this Place till the Treaty is dispatched or Congress rises.
Mr Wolcott is nominated to Day in Place of Col Hamilton. Mr Jay I think will be at home in Season to be what you please to make him in New York.
Letters from your Brother are much to be desired for his Account of the state of Things will be well weighed, and very entertaining. I waited on the President to Day to communicate my little Letter, to him, to whom Mr Jay had written the Week before Dispatches which have not yet arrived at the Office.1
I am afraid I shall not find time to write you my remarks on The Lecture. It is an elegant Thing and the Course will be well worth your Attention.2 I am Dr sir / yours affectionately
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr.”
1. On 19 Nov. 1794 John Jay informed the president that negotiations had concluded and the treaty was signed earlier the same day (NNC:John Jay Papers). The diplomatic dispatches containing the treaty were finally received in Philadelphia on 7 March 1795 (Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., special sess., p. 855).
2. For James Kent’s Introductory Lecture, see JA’s first letter to CA, 14 Feb., and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0240

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-02-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

on thursday I received a Letter from Col Smith informing me of the Birth of a Grandaughter.1 this You may be sure was much more agreable to me than to have heard of an other Boy. Mrs Smith is finely too, he writes me. this is an additional Blessing, to hear of the safety of our Dear Children abroad, and to receive the news of our Daughters being well abed—and with a Daughter, has given Such a spring to my Spirits, that if your return was a Month later I would meet you at New York—
The climate is reversed— You have all the Snow & winter with you. our people have not been able to go once this winter with a sled into the woods, and but for Some Ice they could not have sleded a single stone. the Harbour has been open the whole season the Rivers froze for about ten days— we have frequent and abundent Southerly Rains— I hope you will not have so dissagreable a Time Home as you apprehend, tho March has frequently bad Roads—
We have as usual a Derth of News— no arrival from abroad, and as to Domestick occurrences I go so little from Home, that I know very little of them.
our Friends here are Well as usual. till within this fortnight it has been remarkably Healthey in Town. our Neighbour mr Blacks Family are very sick a Cousin of mr Blacks is very Bad with the fever and Ague which he took in N york state a Year ago— Jimmy & the other Man are sick with a Lung fever. I believe mr Blacks Cannel and the Situation of his House, are not Healthy.2 Your Mother has past through this Winter very comfortably. She has not misst a single week through the Winter, spending a day with me— I expect her to day as I have sent the Chaise for her—
Sinc I began this Letter a vessel has arrived this Day the News from England I have not yet learnt only that Amsterdam was not taken the 13 December I have a Letter from Mrs Copley Dated 15 Novbr
Many vessels saild for N York and Bosten about the same time. I think we may look for News of importance daily. France must dread a General peace. What will such a Nation do with Such Armies and no Government? it sees to be the Age of Political Wonders—
I hope a few weeks more will return You in Health and safety to Your ever / affectionate
[signed] Abigail Adams
{ 371 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “The Vice President of the / United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs. A. Feb. 7. 1795.”
1. Not found.
2. Moses Black resided at the Quincy homestead. Black’s Creek, an outlet of Furnace Brook, flows on the property (Sprague, Braintree Families).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-02-07

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

I was So happy in the News of the agreable Circumstances of your Sister and her Infant, and of the Safe Arrival of your Brothers at the Hague and Amsterdam, that the melancholly Account in your Letter of the 5th came upon me by Surprize and afflicted me very much.1 The detestable Cause of your sisters Misfortune the Infidelity or Negligence of the Apothecary, is alarming to every Body. The Violence of the Operation of the hateful Dose, in her weak Condition leaves room for the most allarming Apprehensions. I pray God, that her situation may not be so dangerous, as my fears incline me to forebode. I beg you to write me every day, and let me know the worst. Give my tenderest Love to her and her Family.
I am not without Anxiety on account of your health. You appeared to me, when you were here, to be too plethorick. There are innumerable Disorders which originate in Fulness, especially in a sendentary and a studious Life. You must rouse yourself from your Lethargy and take your Wallk every Day. When you cannot wallk abroad, wallk in your Room: open your Windows and air your Room as often as you can. Make it a rule not to sit long in the Same Place. Rise up now and then, open your Windows & wallk about your room a few Times, then sit down again to your Books or your Pen.
One of the most essential Things for a Lawyer is to study his Constitution and take Care of his Health.— Exercise is indispensible— No Regimen without it, will do. No Abstinence no Medicine, No Diet will Supply its Place. Move or die, is the Language of our Maker in the Constitution of our Bodies. Your Constitution is a very good one, and it will be unpardonable in you not to preserve it.
In my Youth I read a good deal of Physick and among other Books Dr Cheyne whose system is now exploded among Physicians—2 I nevertheless think his Writings well worth reading and that a great deal of Useful Knowledge may be obtained from them. sir John Pringles Diseases of the Army I also read with no small Advantage.—3 Cullens first Lines4—or Buchan— In short I think that every { 372 } Man of Letters ought early in Life to give some Attention to the Theory of Physick for the Benefit of his own health and that of his Friends. But without immediate Ennergy, Exertion and Activity, Charles your health will decline and your Mind will become weak, heavy and clumzy like your Body. I am tenderly / Your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esq.”
1. Not found.
2. Dr. George Cheyne, The English Malady; or, A Treatise of Nervous Diseases of All Kinds, London, 1733.
3. Sir John Pringle, Observations on the Diseases of the Army, in Camp and Garrison, London, 1752.
4. William Cullen, First Lines of the Practice of Physic, 4 vols., Edinburgh, 1776–1784. A three-volume edition, published in Worcester, Mass., in 1790, Evans, No. 22435, is included among JA’s books at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Judges are now here— Judge Cushing is under the Hands of Dr Tate who is Said to have wrought many Cures of Cancers and particularly one for the President. The Judge appears to be under serious apprehensions for something in his Lip which he thinks is a Cancer but his hopes from Tates Prescriptions seem to be lively.1
Mrs Washington is happy in the Company of her three Grand daughters, the Eldest Patty and youngest Nelly whom you know are unmarried—the middle one is lately married to Mr Peters of George Town the son of a rich Gentleman of that Place. They are all three fine Women.
I have been Since Fryday very unhappy on Account of Nabby: she sent to an Apothecary for some Magnesia, and took it: but the negligent Wretch had sent her, something which operated as a violent Emetic, which in her weak State must be very disagreable. Although she was better when my Letter from Charles of the 5th. was dated,2 I am impatient for the Post to Arrive and bring me a further Account of her Condition.
Mr Jays Treaty is not arrived, and I must wait till it does.— A Battle royal I expect at its Ratification, and snarling enough afterwards.
I Admire the French Wit & Ingenuity of a Toast this Morning in Baches Paper

“Pichegru, Jourdan and Jay.”3

{ 373 }
It Snows plentifully at present.— I hope in your Letter which I expect to find at the senate Chamber to day you have acknowledged the Receipt of two Letters from Thomas in London. The Boys have been fortunate hitherto and I pray that they may be so through Life, and be made Useful Men. Their Country will want Men of Education acquainted with foreign Languages Manners Laws and Usages.
My Duty to my Mother and Love to all
Adieu
1. William Cushing, who lived until 1810, was likely under the care of Dr. James Tate (d. 1813), who had been a surgeon during the Revolutionary War. He had treated the president for a growth on his cheek the previous year (Washington, Papers, Retirement Series, 1:282).
2. Not found.
3. On 6 Feb. 1795 the anniversary of the 1778 Franco-American alliance was celebrated in Philadelphia with a military parade by the city’s second regiment and a dinner at Meyer’s Hotel, which featured a series of republican toasts, including “To Pichegru, Jourdan and Jay. Health and fraternity for their unwearied exertions in negociating a peace for this country” (Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 9 Feb.).
Jean Baptiste Jourdan (1762–1833) had served in the American Revolution and was sucessfully leading troops in France’s war against Britain and her European allies. In mid-1794 he became commander in chief of the Armies of the North, Ardennes, and the Moselle and pushed the Austrians from Belgium. In 1795 his focus shifted to the Rhine Valley (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:435–437; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0243

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-02-10

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my Dear son

It was with great pleasure that I received by Captain Perkings from Rotterdam your Letter of the 15th of December, which reachd me on the 7th of this Month, and is the first line from your Hand.1 A fortnight Since Your Father Sent me two Letters received from Thomas, one to him, and one to me, written in London the Day after His arrival. at the Same Time the Secretary of State received Letters from you, which your Father read. the Secretary exprest his intire satisfaction, and was pleasd to say, it was a well dijested well arranged, well connected Letter, that it was a proof of the Wisdom of the Appointment, and a pleasing presage of your future usefullness— as vanity is not a predominant principal with you, I thought this communication might give you pleasure, as it does me, and be some compensation for the many mortification you will be like to meet with in the course of your diplomatic carreer
I have written twice to you by way of London, once by Captain { 374 } Scott, and once by the Gallen.2 Several vessels, saild after you left us, for Amsterdam, but the uncertainty where to find you prevented my writing by them. it wanted 2 days of three Months when I heard of the arrival of the Alfrid in the Downs— vessels from England have had very long passages— The Treaty between Great Britain and America is hourly expected, but had not reachd Congress the 2d of this Month. it is well that the Senate only have the discussion of it. if it was to go to the House for Ratification, and was a Treaty from the Kingdom of Heaven, proclaming Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men, there would not be wanting Characters to defame and abuse it. as I feel satisfied from the well known, and establishd Character of mr Jay, that he would not put his Signature to any other, than a just and Equitable Treaty, mutually benificial to both Countries I presume at least two thirds of the Senate will be unanimous in a speedy ratification of it.
The new Elections for the Senate, are Said to be wise and good. mr King is ReElected for N york. he has lost his Father in Law, who has left him an estate of Sixty thousand pounds. Govenour Clinton declines an other Election as Govenour having secured an immense Landed Property, and betterd his circumstances by French politicks, and his connection with Genet he chuses to avoid an investigation. col Hamilton is put up as a canditate Burr is pitted against him, but when weigh’d in the balance, the latter must kick the Beam.3
The decline of the Jacobins in France has in some measure surpressd the venom of the Jacobins here but tis neither extracted or exhausted. it lies rankling in their Hearts, watching some favourable occasion, to burst forth its Deadly poison. yet every Blessing is ours which an all gracious Providence Showers down, even upon the ungratefull and unthankfull.
I cannot but hope that you may be mistaken respecting the continuence of war. I would fain flatter myself, that the Spirit of conquest, so gratefull to the Pride and ambition of Man, whether he wears a Diadem or a Red Cap, may at length yeald to the mild Beams of Mercy and phylanthropy, that the Dogs of war may be chained, and the Havock and Desolation which has scourged the Nations, and overwhelmd them with Blood and carnage, may no longer exhibit such scenes as lead a reflecting mind, not to doubt of the Being and perfections of a Deity, but to inquire wherefore it is that such judgments are Sent, and whether like Storms and Tempest they are commisoned to fullfill his word?
{ 375 }

“if plagues and Earthquakes break not Heavens design

Why then a Borgia or a Cataline”4

Our Friends here are all well and I am happy to inform you that on the 28 Janry Your Sister got well to Bed of a Daughter to the no Small gratification of the whole Family. both Mother and child were well when I last heard from them.
I miss you very much this winter. Your Fathers absence will not be of so long continuence as it was last Year. I expect his return by the 2d week in March—
This Letter goes by way of Hamburg Captain Marriot in the Brig Betsy is going a voyage there in the employ of messiurs W & J Cunningham5 I shall always write you when I know of an opportunity. I was much mortified when I learnt that mr J Freeman had s[aild] for England without my knowing it. Your aged Grandmo[the]r desires to be rememberd to you. she enjoys a tolerable state of Health— all your Friends present their Regards to you
I shall write to Thomas before the vessel sails if possible. if not let him know I acknowledg the recept of two Letters from him— adieu my dear son and always believe me most tenderly and affectionatly / Your Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by TBA: “Mrs A Adams / 10 Feby 1795 / 3 May Recd: / 16 Answd.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA to AA, 13 Dec. 1794, above, was carried by Capt. Joseph Perkins of the ship Charles, which arrived in Newburyport from Rotterdam on 3 Feb. 1795 (M/TBA/2, 14 Dec. 1794, APM Reel 282; Newburyport Impartial Herald, 6 Feb. 1795).
2. The Galen, Capt. John Mackay, was scheduled to sail from Boston to London in late Dec. 1794 but apparently was delayed, enabling AA to send JQA her letter of 10 Jan. 1795, above (Boston Columbian Centinel, 27 Dec. 1794, 29 April 1795).
3. To be grossly outweighed (OED).
4. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, lines 155–156.
5. William Cunningham Jr., for whom see CFA, Diary, 1:146, and his brother James (1769–1822) were part of a Boston mercantile family and cousins to JA (Henry Winchester Cunningham, “Andrew Cunningham of Boston, and Some of His Descendants,” NEHGR, 55:416–420 [Oct. 1901]). In early 1795, the brothers advertised their brig Betsey, their uncle Philip Marett as captain, bound for Hamburg and accepting freight (Boston Columbian Centinel, 14 Jan. 1795; Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charleston, Boston, 1942, p. 15–16; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I was not disappointed Yesterday, for the Post brought me your Letter of January. [] and I was relieved from an heavy Burthen of { 376 } anxiety On Account of Nabby by a Letter from Charles assuring me that she was much better and thought to be out of Danger.1 Your Gratitude for the kind Protection of Providence to your Family is as natural as it is pious. Few Families have oftener been at hazard, and fewer still have been so uniformly blessed with Protection, safety and Success. To look back and recollect the Adventures of myself and my Wife and Daughter and sons, I see a kind of Romance, which, a little Embellished with Fiction or Exageration or only poetical ornament, would equal any Thing in the Days of Chivalry or Knight Errantry.
Your Farmers Register is very Satisfactory. It is a great deal of Work to take Care of such stocks of Cattle and a great Quantity of other service cannot be expected of Joy & shaw, who have no Boys. I hope, Our shaw makes James and Prince assist him. I am sure they ought.
The inclosed Slip will shew you that Poor Jay has a fiery ordeal to go through—2 His Treaty dont arrive and I will not wait for it beyond the fourth of March— When I negotiated Treaties I sent Copies by five ships—or rather five Originals for I had so many executed.
I am very much afraid of this Treaty, but this is in Confidence.
with never ceasing Affection / Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 10 1795.”
1. AA to JA, [post 28] Jan., above.
2. Enclosure not found but possibly from the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, which between 6 and 10 Feb. published several comments regarding the treaty, most of which condemned it. On 6 Feb. one writer stated, “the treaty does not deserve a day of thanksgiving; for it appears that America has lost more than she has gained by it.” On 9 Feb. another contributor claimed that a treaty with Great Britain was “impracticable,” and the following day John Jay’s diplomatic mission was called “unconstitutional.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0245

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-02-11

Abigail Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] my Dear Son Thomas

When you address me again, let it be by the endearing Epithet of Mother, instead of the formal one Madam; I Should have thought your partiality for your Friends the Quakers would have prevented your substituting any other Epithet. and now having in a few words setled a point respecting titles, a subject which has occupied a great Legislature for many days, and occasiond much warmth and Heat, the Mad—sonian party, insisting that previous to Naturalization, all foreigners should renounce their titles, the other Party contending, that it was the priviledges annexed to Titles which renderd them of { 377 } concequence, that by the American Constitution no Man could hold a title, that Naturalization excluded him from titles as an American and that it was childish for that House to cavil at the Name of Baron Duke or Lord or Bishop which could have no effect here, and that obliging a Man to renounce them, might affect his interest in other Countries where estates were frequently annexd to titles. upon this the Yeas and Nays were call’d for. this occasiond much warmth, as it was then considerd as an Art to fix a stigma upon those who considerd the Subject too trifling in itself to occupy the House, but knowing the aversion in the Americans to the Bug Bear, it was supposed to be done to create a new allarm, and raise a cry of Aristocracy against all who opposed the motion. the vote was however insisted upon and taken and, Northern & Southern pitted against each other 58 Ayes 32 Nays—1
I have my Dear Son to acknowledg the Receipt of a two Letters from you, one written immidiately after your arrival in London, and the other from the Hague the 12 December one which your Brother mentions haveing written from London I have not received. I have a letter from mrs Copley 15 Novbr infoming me that She had procured and sent the silk for Mrs Welch. I thank you for your attention to this and my other commission, but there was one of more importance to me, of which I fear both Your Brother and you were unmindfull, and I have no fancy for a stiff Dutchman. I mean the Minatures for Braclets which I wish to have taken an Executed in England. the expence of them I should request the Willinks to reimburse. the Setting of them in gold with the Hair in cypher I would have executed by an old acquaintance of mine in cheepside Savory by Name, a Quaker a very honest and honorable silver smith and Jeweler from whom I used to procure all articles which I had occasion for in that way.2
I feel your embarrassment in a foreign Country the Language of which You cannot speak. I know by experience how unpleasent it is, but that is a difficulty which will daily diminish. I rejoice that you are with your Brother. I am sure either of you alone must have been triste. England you know is the Country of my greatest partiality. Holland appeard to me Such a place of still Life, Amsterdam & Roterdam excepted, that I thought I could not be reconciled to become an inhabitant of it, and I perfectly assented to Sir William Temples Character of it, that it was a Country where the Earth is better than the Air, and profit more in request than honour, where there is more sense than Wit, and more Wealth than pleasure, more good Nature { 378 } than good humour, where a Man would chuse rather to travel than to Live, where he would find more things to observe than to desire, & more persons to esteem than to Love.3 altho tis near a century since this Character was drawn, you will soon perceive that it, need not Sit for a New Likeness you will find many things in the Country well worthy your attention Some of those which I particularly remember, and which I would recommend to your notice. the statue of Erasmus, upon the great Bridge in the Grand market place at Rotterdam is one of them, and indeed Rotterdam itself is a curiosity. the Spaciousness of the streets and the Elegance of the Houses surpass those at Amsterdam. the Sight of Houses Masts of Ships—and the tops of Trees promiscuously huddeld together is at once Novel and Romantic. if you had any opportunity whilst in England to visit any of the celebrated Gardens and pleasure grounds, were it only those within a few miles of the city, Such as osterley place Sion House, or Tilney House, they would give you a through disgust to the stile of gardening in Holland where

“Grove Nods to Grove, each alley has a Brother

And half the platform, justs reflects the other”4

and yet you will find much expence. their walks are all a soft sand instead of the hard gravel of England. an object which struck me with the true sublime, was my ride from the Hague to scheveling. the strait Road and fine Trees are pleasing, but at the end, the Broad ocean opens Suddenly upon you when you have no suspicion of it, and creates a most pleasing sensation. in The Prines of oranges Cabinet at the Hague I thought there was the neatest, tho not the largest collection of curiosities Which I had met with, and according to the custom of the Country preserved in the nicest manner. in the little room call’d the Study are a fine collection of paintings by Dutch and Flemish Masters
There was one by Potter which You may have heard me mention. it is a Rural Scene, cattle drinking and their shade reflected in the Water, the flies upon the Cows seem alive, and a Toad Sitting upon the Grass is equally excellent.5
Leyden utrech, Harlem, all have monuments of Art worthy a strangers notice & the painted Glass in windows in a Church at Gorcum are a great curiosity. all these and many others which I visited I can traverse again with you, and it renews the pleasure to recite it to one who is going to enjoy the same gratifications6
{ 379 }
If the French get possession of Holland I hope they will not continue to war with the fine Arts as they have done
as you will see your Brothers Letter you will learn Domestic occurrences from that. present my respects to old mr Dumas to the Willinks Families—and to all others who recollect Your / ever affectionate Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A Adams / 11 February 1795 / 3 May Recd / 17 Do & 7th: June Answd:.”
1. For the Giles amendment, see AA to JA, 16 Jan., and note 1, above.
2. Joseph Savory, a goldsmith and jeweler in London’s Cheapside district (Henry Kent, Kent’s Directory, London, 1785).
3. AA quotes the description of Holland made by British diplomat Sir William Temple to close the fourth chapter of Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands, London, 1673. A copy of Temple’s Works, 2 vols., London, 1731, is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
4. Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle IV, lines 117–118.
5. AA conflates two paintings by the Dutch painter Paulus Potter (1625–1654). “The Bull,” painted in 1647, depicts in rich detail a young bull with flies buzzing around its back and surrounded by a farmer, a cow, three sheep, and a small frog. The second painting, “Cows Reflected in the Water,” dates to 1648 and depicts a herd of cattle at the edge of a pond. Both paintings were part of the collection assembled by William V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands, for whom see JA, Papers, 12:xiii. The prince built a gallery on the Buitenhof in The Hague and opened his collection to the public in 1774 (Ben Broos, The Mauritshuis: Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis and Gallery Prince William V, transl. Phil Goddard, London, 1994, p. 18, 20, 120, 122; Amy Walsh, Edwin Buijsen, and Ben Broos, Paulus Potter: Painting, Drawings, and Etchings, The Hague, 1994, p. 74, 95).
6. For AA’s descriptions of her travels through the Netherlands in 1786, see vol. 7:315–317, 318–320, 324–325, 333–336. The church was Sint Janskerk in Gouda, for which see vol. 7:335, 339.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0246

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-02-11

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

Your Letter of the 7th relieved my Mind, from a great Anxiety and Depression on Account of my dear Daughter.1 My Apprehensions foreboded very melancholly Things from the Strange Accident, of which you apprised me— A strict Enquiry ought to be made into the Conduct of that Apothecary.
The State of New York never behaved well— it has always been a fluctuating, injudicious selfish and unaccommodating Member of the Union— Always intriguing against the Eastern states with all their Ennemies whom they could either find or make among the southern and middle states. It is no great Wonder to me that they are to send Us Six Democrats as you Say.2
The Senate will be more fœderal next year than it has ever been, { 380 } and will not be warped into Measures essentially wrong by your six democrats.
You have represented the Absurdity, of Mr Jays Criticks and Censurers, with a good deal of Wit and Spirit. The Language you have put into their Mouths is as manly decent and delicate as any they have Used, a long time, in Conversation or in Print.
Keep me informed from Day to Day of your sisters Health and her family.
I know not whether I can get away from Philadelphia before the 4 or 5. or 6th. of March as Mr Jays Treaty will be hourly expected and Although the Constitution allows me no Vote in any possible Case of the Ratification of a Treaty I suppose it will be expected by my Friends that I should say and see how they vote.
In Senate We have had the calmest Session I ever knew— The Waves are smoothed and the roughness even of light Airs polished as if Franklin had Sprinkled his Oil from the Head of his Bamboo Cane over the Pool.3
When will your Electioneering Campaign begin? Mr Burr is as lively as a Sparrow— His Eyes glister and his Cheek glows, perhaps both with Ambition and Love. He hops about from spray to Spray and chirps and chatters like a Canary Bird. Will Mr Jay be Governor or Mr Burr?
I am, dear Charles your Affectionate / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams.”
1. Not found.
2. During New York’s Dec. 1794 election, the Democratic-Republicans claimed six of the state’s ten congressional seats. The incumbents Theodorus Bailey, Jonathan Havens, and Philip Van Cortlandt were returned. John Hathorn reclaimed the seat he had lost in 1792, and Edward Livingston and John Williams were newly elected (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 419–422).
3. One of Benjamin Franklin’s many scientific experiments involved testing the calming effect of oil on water. Having first tried the theory on a pond in Clapham, England, in the 1760s or early 1770s, Franklin thereafter “contrived to take with me, whenever I went into the Country, a little Oil in the upper hollow joint of my bamboo Cane, with which I might repeat the Experiment as Opportunity should offer; and I found it constantly to succeed” (Franklin, Papers, 20:463–474).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0247

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-02-11

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Mr Wilcocks a Son of Mr Wilcocks a respectable Lawyer of this City is bound to Hamborough and from thence intends to go to Holland where I hope you will Shew him as much Civility as you can. He will be able to tell you all the news we have.1
{ 381 }
Congress has had the most Serene Session I ever knew. We are waiting for Mr Jays Treaty and hope it will Settle all disputes with England and quiet many Animosities in America. The Senate for the next two Years will be the most decidedly for Peace & order of any which has ever Served under the Constitution.
I am under Some concern for American Credit in Amsterdam, on Account of the political Situation of the House of the Van Staphorsts. You will embrace every Opportunity to write, through Mr Jay and Mr Pinkney or some other Person in England as well as by other direct or indirect Conveyances: for the Benefit of your Services to the Publick, and the Interests of your own Reputation will depend upon the frequency and Punctuality of your Correspondence with the Secretary of State. Your first Letter, the only one as yet received gave good Satisfaction. I have not yet recd any from you and only one from your Brother.
Your Mother Brothers and Sister with her Children including a Daughter are all well. Charles is in good Business and is, as Mr Burr Says a Steady Man of Business.
Col Humphreys and Mr Cutting arrived here this Week: but upon what Enterprizes or Adventures I know not.2
Our Insurrections and Jacobin Clubbs are all en bas, at present.
I Shall be at Quincy by the Middle of March and remain there probably till the middle of November.
Write me some Account of my old Friends and present my cordial regards to them.
Jarvis rules the House in Boston but cannot get into Congress, as yet.
I am my dear son, with as much / Esteem as Sincere and tender Affection / your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J.Q. Adams Esqr”; endorsed by TBA: “The Vice President of the U. S.— / 11 Feby 1795 Philada: / 29 April Recd / 4 May Answd.”
1. Likely Benjamin Chew Wilcocks (1776–1845), who was later important to developing the U.S.–China trade. He was the second son of Alexander Wilcocks (1741–1801), College of Philadelphia 1761, a respected lawyer and the recorder of Philadelphia (Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1883, p. 331–332; Jean Gordon Lee, Philadelphians and the China Trade 1784–1844, Phila., 1984, p. 44).
2. Diplomat David Humphreys had been charged in March 1793 with negotiating the release of American hostages in Algiers. By Nov. 1794, the Dey of Algiers appeared open to negotiations, but Humphreys felt obligated to travel to the United States to discuss settlement terms directly with the state department. He arrived in Philadelphia on 10 Feb. 1795 (Hamilton, Papers, 18:14–15; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:538–540; Philadelphia Gazette, 12 Feb.).
Humphreys’ companion on the journey was Nathaniel Cutting, who had received the dual appointments of consul to the Port of { 382 } Le Havre de Grâce and secretary to Humphreys during the Algerian mission, in Feb. and March 1793, respectively (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 12:189, 190, 456; Jefferson, Papers, 25:470–471).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-02-11

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Thomas

Your Letter of the 19 of October from London gave me great Joy and all your other Friends of whom you have many much Pleasure— And I was again highly delighted to hear from Mr Jay that he had Letters from your Brother at Amsterdam the 20th of Novr.
Mr Wilcocks who is kind enough to take Charge of this Letter is probably an Acquaintance of yours: You must take him with you in your Daily Walks for your health, and shew him as many Places Persons and Curiosities as you can.
Europe must be a new World to You. Entertainment, Information and Instruction may be obtained wherever you go. The civil Law and the Law of Nature and Nations are to be obtained in Holland as in some sort their natural Country. The Politicks of Europe are seen from thence as well as from any Place whatever. Arts science Litterature are to be met with in every street almost.
But the English Language and English as well as American Law must, I fear lie dormant for some time.
Inclosed are some Newspapers for your Brother and you which will shew you the News Debates &c1 But We shall have nothing very interesting here till Mr Jays Treaty Arrives. Our People are very quiescent at present and our Self created societies a little humbled. Our Six Per Cent stocks have risen to Par and will not probably again fall—2
I feel the Want of your society: but your Travels will be a great Advantage to you and that consideration composes me.— You have lost the opportunity of seeing two sisters of Miss Nelly Custis older than her; Patty who is unmarried and Betsy who is married to Mr Peters of George Town. Fine Girls I assure you. Your young Acquaintance here are all well excepting Mr Clymer, whose Death you must have heard of.—
Our Family and Friends are all well. I want you or your Brother to Purchase Cujacius for me— Keep it for your own study sometime and then send it to me, or bring it when you come. Buy the best Edition.3 Gail and Hoppius and Vinnius you may get at a moderate { 383 } Price sometimes and often little Compendiums of Justinian for a trifle.4
I long to have a detail of your Travels, especially in Holland. You will soon get the Language, and Spreek with the Mynheers in their own Hollandsh—
The French too will be indispensable. When you travel in that Country you will run about in the Trecht Schuits. Dont let any vain notions of Dignity lead you to despize this method of travelling, it is the most agreable least expensive, most instructive, and most wholesome mode of conveyance in that Country.
Go to an English or French Church every Sunday and become acquainted with the Clergymen.
I am my dear son with a tender / solicitude for your Welfare your affectionate / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “T. B. Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “The Vice President of the United States / 11 Feby 1795 / 29 April Recd:.”
1. Enclosures not found.
2. For much of February, the value of 6 percent bonds remained at par value. A weekly snapshot of stock prices through July, when the treaty was made public, reveals little fluctuation with values dropping no lower than 19.2 and even rising above par on 20 June (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 3 Feb. – 31 July).
3. Jacques Cujas was a sixteenth-century legal scholar who published several works on jurisprudence. In 1658, his collected writings were edited by Charles Annibal Fabrot and published in Paris as Jacobi Cujacii, … Opera omnia, in decem tomos distributa. This ten-volume edition is part of JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
4. Offering comment on Justinian’s Institutes were Andreas von Gail, Practicarum observationum, tam ad processum judiciarium, praesertim imperialis camerae, Cologne, 1578; Joachim Hoppe, Commentatio succincta ad Institutiones Justinianeas, Danzig, 1693; and Arnoldus Vinnius, Commentarius … institutionum imperialium, Leyden, 1642.
Among JQA’s books at MQA are three editions of Justinian’s Institutes, two of which were published in Leyden, undated and 1761, and one in Paris, 1770; and Vinnius, published in Amsterdam, 1665. At one time JQA’s library also included a copy of Hoppe, published in Frankfurt, 1728. The copies of Vinnius and Hoppe were inscribed by him on 4 Dec. 1794 (Catalog of the Books Housed in the Stone Library Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, Mass., 1994; Catalogue of JQA’s Books).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0249

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Ceracchi, Giuseppe
Date: 1795-02-12

Abigail Adams to Giuseppe Ceracchi

Accept Sir my acknowledgment to you for the very valuable present of the Medallion, and the polite Letter which accompanied it. The workmanship is too exquisite, and reflects too much honor upon the Artist, to be lodged in a Private House. Works of this kind are a Novelty in America, and were I to accept it, it would be considerd as an object of vanity.
{ 384 }
The American are not accustomed to any other monuments or impressions of those whom they most esteem and value,1 but what is stampd upon their Hearts, nor will they even permit a perfect impression there, untill the recollection of importent Services renderd them, can no longer excite Envy.
Will you Sir do me the favour to present the Medallion to the Massachussets Accademy of Arts. it may be addresst to their vice President, who is President of Harverd Colledg.2 I will take charge of the conveyance of it.
any further information you may wish for, you may obtain from mr Adams—
present my compliments to mrs Cerachi and the Sweet Boy whom I Saw3
I am sir with Sentiments of esteem / your much obliged Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed: “Copy. Ceracchi”; “AA 1795”; and “Mrs Adams to / Mr Cerachi.” Dft (Adams Papers).
1. AA initially used “venerate” but wrote “value” over it. She also used “venerate” in the second, earlier Dft of the letter.
2. Joseph Willard was one of the founding members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780, serving as corresponding secretary and then vice president (DAB).
For a discussion of Ceracchi’s gift and AA and JA’s decision to donate the medallion, see JA to AA, 2 Dec. 1794, and note 3, above.
3. Ceracchi’s family included his wife, Therese Schlishan Ceracchi, and at least four children, the eldest of whom were sons Giovanni and Romualdo (Alberto M. Ghisalberti and others, eds., Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, 73 vols. to date, Rome, 1960– ).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0250

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-12

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

4.

[salute] My Dear Madam.

The arrival of the french Army in this Country, as the friends and allies of the Batavian People, and the Revolution, which has abolished the Stadholdership, the nobility, the former States of the Provinces, and the Regencies of the Cities, will undoubtedly be a subject of considerable attention in our Country; perhaps it may give occasion to many groundless rumours and reports, and possibly you may feel more than usually desirous to hear from your children, though there was no occasion for anxiety on their account.
You may therefore rest assured, that every thing here is in perfect tranquility; that personal liberty, individual property, and private opinions have not ceased for a moment to be respected. That with { 385 } seventy thousand french Republicans in the Province, the Streets of the Cities are as quiet as those of Boston. That among the People even the partizans of the former Government are not injured, molested or insulted, but only disarmed, and in short that all the external appearance of an alteration is a three coloured instead of a yellow ribband.
But we seem to be entirely secluded from the rest of the world. All the foreign communications are interrupted; even that with France is not yet restored.1 Intelligence from America therefore has become more uncommon, and more inaccessible than ever.— In the course of five months since we sailed from Boston, one short Letter from the Secretary of State constitutes, the whole receipt of our Correspondence from our Country.2 We hope you will not miss the opportunity of any vessel from Boston to Amsterdam or Rotterdam; and indeed as the communication with England from hence, may continue to be interrupted, We wish our friends also to write us by the way of Hamburg or Bremen; enclosing their Letters in the former case, to John Parish, & in the latter to Arnold Delius, Consuls of the United States in those two Ports.3
The Winter has been very unusually severe, but appears now to be breaking up. With respect to ourselves, the best information we have to give you is that we are in good Health and Spirits; we can hardly imagine a greater pleasure than we should receive in hearing the same from you.
Tilly is well too, and has got to be very serviceable. His Honesty makes him extremely valuable to us, for that quality has not become more common among the Servants to be had in Europe, than it was seven years ago.
The Messrs: Willink will send you the Articles, for which you sent as soon as possible; but there has hitherto been no opportunity to Boston, and we can scarcely foresee when there will be.
Please to remember us in duty and affection to our venerable Grandmother, and to our other relations and friends at Quincy and Boston.
From your affectionate Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.4
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: Adams. Quincy.”; endorsed: “J Q Adams 1795 / Febry 12.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128.
1. The letter to this point was published in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 2 May.
2. Edmund Randolph to JQA, 8 Nov. 1794 (Adams Papers), in which Randolph informed JQA about recent domestic events, including the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia and Baltimore and the insurrection in western Pennsylvania. Randolph further { 386 } inquired about the status of U.S. diplomatic funds and if JQA would look into the resale value of the Hôtel des États-Unis, for which see JA, D&A, 3:ix–x, 4–5. JQA received and replied to Randolph’s letter on 22 Dec. 1794 (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 127).
3. John Parish was named consul at Hamburg in 1793. Bremen merchant Arnold Delius was appointed consul to that city in May 1794 (JA, Papers, 14:288, 289, 429; Washington, Diaries, 6:298).
4. JQA also wrote a letter to JA of the same date, in which he provided a detailed description of the Dutch surrender to French control (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0251

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-02-13

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

It is peculiarly unfortunate that the Treaty has not yet reachd Ameria. on the 19 November it was sign’d, and the vessel which brings the King of Englands speach left London 5 Jan’ry in that he announces the conclusion of a Treaty with America, and that the States General of the united Provinces were carrying on negotiation with France for Peace.1 I believe he will find however dissagreeable that his Ministers must enter into negotiations with the ruling powers—or have the whole Force of France leveld against his kindom
I inclose our Sons Letters to you [I wo]uld have done it before, but I thought as JQA mentiond publick [dis]patches by this vessel from Rotterdam, that it was likly he had written to you, and then I wishd to keep them to answer them by a vessel going to Hamburg which I have done. just as you are about to rise a flood of Buisness will pour in upon you. Col Humphries’s arrival portends some matters of concequence
I should have been exceeding happy to have had you here at the time mentiond, but think your reason just, and judicious for remaining at a Time of such expectation as you will not be here, I shall go to Town, and accept one or other of the pressing invitations I have received from thence to keep thanksgiving there. You cannot but remark that each of our Thoughts run in the same channel. in many instances we have been expressing the same sentiments at the same time as may be calld the Tellegraph of the Mind— if it were not for the altercation which the Jacobin clubs occasion, we should have an unruffeld scene throughout the united states. all our Country growing Rich, except the publick Drudges, and the Ministers of the Gospel.
I have so little interesting to communicate to you in my Letters, that your anxiety to receive them, can arise from no other Scource than a desire to know weekly that I am not Sick. even the canker worm and Caterpillar do not yet furnish a Subject. I believe our { 387 } { 388 } present Tennants mean to remain an other Year I have directed them to cut & cart to each House two cords of pine wood which they have nearly compleated. that with the Brush they may get will supply them for the Dairy Buisness
Dr Tufts meets with difficulty in procuring the fenceing stuff, as the Swamps have not been sufficiently frozen to get it out. there is a vessel now going to Philadelp[hia] the Abbe captain Davis, by which mr Brisler may ship such things as I wrote for2
I yesterday received yours—29 Janry Febry 1 & 2 together with mr Jays Letter. the contents are agreable
The Weather here is mild the Ground Bare. Febry has been a cloudy Month ever since it came in. my Love to mrs otis cousin Betsy &c—and my Respects to Mrs Washington
Your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “The Vice President of the / United States / <Philadelphia> / Quincy / near / Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs. A. Feb. 13. 1795.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. This is the first of two letters originally addressed to JA in Philadelphia but redirected to Quincy, presumably after JA left Philadelphia on 19 February.
1. AA’s information derives from the Boston Federal Orrery, which on 9 Feb. printed news from London to 5 January. The newspaper reprinted George III’s speech to Parliament on 30 Dec. 1794, in which the king reported that negotiations between the Dutch and French had begun but would not alter England’s intended course. He further announced the successful conclusion of treaty negotiations with the United States, albeit without specifying details of the treaty itself.
2. The sloop Abby, Capt. Obediah Doane, arrived in Philadelphia on 9 March after a voyage of twenty days (Boston Columbian Centinel, 7 Feb.; Philadelphia Gazette, 9 March).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0252

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-02-13

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Sir

I received your favor of the eleventh yesterday. Mrs Smith has quite recovered from her illness and is doing very well
Our electioneering campaign was opened in due form last monday that is to say that The Freeholders of this City were called together to hear who were the men whom Ricd Harrison Robt Troup and Josiah Ogden Hoffman would chuse to have made Govr and Lt Govr of the State.1 The next evening there was another meeting where The Livingstons proposed their officers. The result is that on one side Mr Jay and Mr Van Rensalaer are started and on the other Messrs Yates and Floyd;2 nothing now remains to be done but for { 389 } each party to endeavour to out lie out villify and out detract the other To crop laurels e’en from the brows of friends to adorn the heads of their respective candidates Mr Yates though Chief Justice of this State is a man of no respectability of character He will sit tipling from morning to night in the dirtiest bar room of a tavern playing backgammon or checkers with the lowest of its inhabitants yet he is a great favorite with many people and will have more votes perhaps than Clinton had at the last election. Mr Floyd I need say nothing of you know him much better than I do. But where is Mr Bur[r?] I am inclined to believe he has some deep […] scheme to outwit them all or that he does not intend to stand his election. The Livingstons hate Burr and he hates them so that there will be no cordiallity between those Champions.
We shall send you as Representative from Washington and Saratoga District one Genl Williams who a few years since was turned out of our State Senate for perjury and peculation but who has been since constantly returned as a Senator and is now elected by a very large majority.3 what a glorious specimen of the virtue of the State of New York!!!
The contemplation upon such elections affords nothing but melancholy reflections. I do not suppose the people will grow more virtuous or have less knaves to deceive them hereafter than they have at present.
With real affection I am your son
[signed] Chas Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “C. Adams. Feb. 13. / 1795.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Richard Harison, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, and Robert Troup were likely members of the Federalist caucus that chose John Jay and Stephen Van Rensselaer as candidates in the New York gubernatorial election of 1795 (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 433–434).
For Robert Troup, see vol. 9:276. Richard Harison (1747–1829), King’s College 1764, was a lawyer appointed U.S. district attorney in New York in 1789. Josiah Ogden Hoffman (1766–1837), also a lawyer, served in the state legislature from 1791 to 1795 before becoming the state attorney general in Nov. 1795 (Colonial Collegians; DAB; Doc. Hist. Supreme Court, 5:557, 8:193, 194).
2. Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764–1839), Harvard 1782, was one of New York’s landed elite. A staunch Federalist, he had served in the state assembly in 1789 and 1790 and then the state senate from 1791 to 1795. His opponent, William Floyd (1734–1821), had a long record of political service. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776 and again from 1779 until 1783, Floyd had also been a member of the New York senate in 1777, 1778, and from 1784 to 1788. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1789 and 1791. Floyd lost his bid for lieutenant governor in 1795. Van Rensselaer would hold the office until 1801 (Biog. Dir. Cong.; DAB).
3. The English-born John Williams settled { 390 } in New York in 1773 and fought with the Americans during the Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of brigadier general. Elected to New York’s first state senate in 1777, he was expelled for embezzling from the militia. He was nonetheless reelected in 1784 and continued to serve in the state senate until 1795 (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 50, 422).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0253

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1795-02-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I heartily congratulate you on your fortunate escape from a dangerous accident. I was so very solicitous for your safety for two or three days, that I had a great mind to go to New-York, to see you: but the next post brought me from your brother the delightful news of your recovery.1
I have great reason to be thankful to a kind Providence, for the preservation of my children, and for many blessings on my family. The arrival of your brothers at the Hague, and Amsterdam, in these dangerous times, is a great comfort to me, and I hope they will avail themselves of the great advantages they have to become valuable men.
Enclosed is another letter to Mr. Jay of the 10th of August, 1782, which I desire you to file with the others.2 They will all together sufficiently decide the question, whether Mr. Jay joined Mr. A. or, Mr. A. Mr. Jay, in the project of refusing to treat till we were acknowledged to be Ministers of a Sovereign Power.
A question of some little importance to personal and family feelings, though of very little to the public. If Mr. Jay, did not receive the first suggestion from me, which I have no doubt was the case, he certainly only conceived by his own reflections the same opinion, and resolution which I had urged and insisted on to the Count de Vergennes above a year before.
My love to Mr. Smith, and my little boys, and little girl, whom I long to see—what is her name?
I am, my dear daughter, / With a tender affection, / Yours,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:139–140; internal address: “To Mrs. Smith.”
1. CA’s letter to JA of 7 Feb. has not been found.
2. In this letter, JA declined John Jay’s request, made to JA in a 2 Aug. 1782 letter, that JA come to Paris from the Netherlands. JA’s decision stemmed in part from his desire to complete treaty negotiations with the Dutch before entering into peace negotiations with the British; however, he also believed the United States should be expressly recognized { 391 } by the British government before negotiations proceeded (JA, Papers, 13:214–216, 227–228).
This was the final letter JA forwarded to AA2 addressing his role in the peace negotiations. For the others, see JA to AA2, 2, 19 Jan. 1795; WSS to JA, 9 Jan.; and JA to WSS, 17 Jan., all above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0254

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-02-14

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

As you Seem to wish to know my sentiments of Mr Kents Lecture I will give you a few Hints to assist your own Reflections and Inquiries but as they may be liable to misconstruction and Misrepresentation, they must be in Confidence between you and me.1
I am much pleased with the Lecture, and esteem the Talents and Character of the Professor: indeed I wish you to consider whatever I may write upon the subject as Queries proposed for your Research, rather than as opinions of mine, much less as Lessons didactically inculcated by a Father upon a Son.
I can Scarcely Say with Mr Kent, in the first & second Page that “the Attention of Mankind is Strongly engaged in Speculations on the Principles of Public Policy.” I see a general Dissolution of Society, a general Absence of Principle, a general Scamble of Factions for Power, but the Sincere Inquirers after Truth, the impartial Investigators of Principles are yet to appear. And after they shall appear, Miracles must be wrought, for what I see, before Mankind will respect and Adopt their Discoveries.
“The human Mind, says Mr Kent, which had been so long degraded by the Fetters of Feudal and Papal Tyranny, has begun to free herself from Bondage” When We speak of the human Mind We mean commonly in Europe: and there it is true Feudal and Papal Tyranny have declined. I shall say nothing of Popery at present, having chiefly in view the civil part of our subject. Feudal Tyranny has declined, but it may still be a question whether the human mind has proportionably freed itself from Bondage. Instead of Feudal Tyranny the Tyranny of national Debts, Taxes and Funds & stocks were Substituted: and it has been Sometimes a serious Question which was worst? Are the Standing Armies of Europe, which have created the Debts & Taxes, freer Men, than the Retainers and Tenants of the Feudal Barons? I trow not. Are not the People now universally tributary to the Holders of Stock, the Public Creditors,? obliged to labour as much to pay them, as they did formerly to pay their Landlords? It must be confessed that the funding systems have { 392 } been more friendly to Arts sciences, Agriculture Commerce Manufactures & Industry, than the Feudal System: they have also promoted more Corruption and Luxury and the Destruction of all Principle. They may have converted an ardour for honour and military Glory into universal Avarice. one Passion is exchanged for another one Tyranny is substituted for another: but it is not yet quite clear, that the “human Mind has even begun to free herself from Bondage.” or if it has begun it has made little Progress.
The Funding Systems and standing Armies have grown to Such an height of Tyranny and oppression, that Mankind can bear them no longer and they are shaking their shoulders to throw them off— and in the Struggle are increasing the Evil, by doubling both Debts Taxes & armies. Are they nearer freeing themselves from Bondage?
They have now Substituted a new Species of Bondage, without destroying the old one.— In france they have destroyed Monarchy & Nobility but they have substituted a Tyranny of Clubbs and Majorities, which for the time has been the worst Tyranny that ever existed among Men. They have committed more Cruelties in one night than the whole House of Bourbon ever committed from the Accession of H. 4. to the Death. of L. 16th.— Instead of being “strongly engaged in Speculations on the Principles,” instead of freeing themselves from Bondage, Mankind seem to have broken to Pieces the Feudal Bondage and demolished funding systems, only to bow their Necks to mere Popularity & Tyranny as terrible as either, it is the Tyranny of Hurricanes & Tornadoes, or the raging Waves of the Sea. All fredom of Thought, Speech Writing and Printing Shrinks and trembles before it, as if it were made up of Prætorian Bands or Turkish Janisaries.2
There may be a few Instances of Men who have examined the Theory of Government, with a liberal Spirit: but I really know not who they are— But certainly they have not been Attended to. Those who have taught for Doctrines the Commandments of Faction and the imperious Dogmas of Popularity are the only ones who have attracted the Public attention.
You may preserve my Letters, if you think them deserving any Notice and fity Years hence, compare them with the times.
I am my dear sir your / Affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr.”
1. In this letter and the next, JA quotes from and discusses James Kent, An Introductory Lecture to a Course of Law Lectures, Delivered November 17, 1794, N.Y., 1794, p. 3–5, Evans, No. 27183.
2. The Praetorian Guard was an elite army { 393 } founded in the second century B.C. to defend Roman generals, but it became the imperial guard under the emperor Augustus in 27 B.C. The guard was disbanded by the emperor Constantine in 312 A.D. Similarly, janissaries were the special forces that guarded the sultans of the Ottoman Empire from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century (Oxford Classical Dicy.; OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0255

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-02-14

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

Our amiable Professor, in the 5th Page, informs us that “The free Commonwealth of the United States, which in all its ties, relations and dependencies, is animated with the pure Spirit of popular Representation, offers the highest Rewards to a Successfull cultivation of the Law, and the Utmost Encouragement to Genius.”—
I Scarcely have the Courage, my dear son, to write even to you, my candid, free and independent Thoughts upon this Passage. Would to God it were true in any reasonable Construction of the Words.!
Is it animated with the pure Spirit of Popular Representation? And what is the pure Spirit of popular Representation? I know of no other Answer which can be given to this last question than this vizt a Spirit in Elections, of Candour, Truth, Justice, and public Affection: in Contradistinction and opposition to all Partiality, falshood, party Spirit Intrigue or other Species of Corruption.
Is the Commonwealth of the U. S. animated with Such a pure Spirit? Recollect the first Election of P. and V. P.— There were no Bribes received or offered. But were there not Intrigues of an unwarrantable Nature, wholly inconsistent with the pure Spirit We have described! Recollect the Second Election of the same officers. Collect together the Newspapers, in all the States and see what a monstrous Mass of Lies you will have before you. Recollect the pure Spirit of Clintonian Cabal—of Virginia Artifice—of Kentucky Delusion—and then Say whether all this is pure Spirit. Examine and see whether you find, this pure Spirit, in the Elections of Senators of U. S.— I shall not descend into minute Details: But in general, my son enquire whether the Elections of senators are not too often determined by Party Spirit and even by Factious motives in the Legislatures of the states and whether there is not danger that Such an Evil will increase?
But I have a more serious Question still to ask, whether the pure Spirit of popular Representation, when Elections are so frequent of the Executives as well as of the Senate is consistent with Liberty? { 394 } The purest Spirit of popular Representation will forever elect Representatives of the Majority in Number— Education Property Honour will not be proportionally represented. Consequently Education Property and Honour will not be Secure.
Moreover if the pure Spirit of Popularity is to give the Ton to every Thing why are the P. & V.P. chosen by Electors instead of the People? Why are senators chosen by another Description of Electors and not by the People? The Answer is obvious the pure Spirit of Popularity is not always and in all Things to be trusted.
We are told, further that “The free Commonwealth of the U. S. offers the highest Rewards to a successful Cultivation of the Law and the Utmost Encouragement to Genius.”—
Whether this is true or not, and in what degree it is true, or otherwise deserves your serious Consideration. The purest Spirit of Popularity that We have in this Country is adulterated if not poisoned with ancient monkish Prejudices against the Profession and Professors of Law, which it is difficult to overcome. It deserves your Consideration whether the highest Rewards are given to the cultivation of the Law, or not. Whether they are not given too often to a Successful Cultivation of popular Prejudices? to an assiduous fomentation of contracted notions—to a party Spirit? and to vulgar sophistry. to an abuse of Words? read Mr Locks Chapter on the Abuse of Words and see if the Frauds and Knaveries there described do not too often decide the Spirit of popular Representation, and bestow the highest rewards.—1
I am afraid “the Encouragements to Genius” will as little bear Examination.— Genius with Integrity appears to be very little Encouraged— and Genius without Integrity, had better not be encouraged at all. Genius is too much encouraged to affect Popularity; to flatter the People; to excite Prejudices; to inflame Passions; to unite with Parties; to associate with Clubbs: but not enough to study and pursue the public Good, in the plain path of Virtue Honour and Knowledge.
Tell me Charles is this Croaking.? At all Events you must keep it to yourself and not expose yourself or your / Affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams2
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr.”
1. John Locke, “Of the Abuse of Words,” An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London, 1690, Book III, ch. 10.
2. JA also wrote to CA on 13 and 15 Feb. (both MHi:Seymour Coll.). In the earlier letter, JA { 395 } commented on New York’s gubernatorial election. The letter of 15 Feb. continued his commentary on James Kent’s lecture.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0256

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

This is the coldest day We have felt this Winter, and if it were not for the hope I have of a Letter from you Tomorrow, I should freeze for what I know, to night. This Month has been all unpleasant Weather but none severe. You have had a North East storm I perceive which raised the Tides And I hope brought in a fresh and abundant supply of Seaweed.—
It is the dullest time We have seen this Winter No Arrivals no News from abroad, nor from any Part of our own Country. The Treaty appears not and when it will, no Man can tell. Are We to wait here till May for it? I wont. There is not the Smallest reason for my waiting. I can, in no possible Case have any Voice in its Ratification as two thirds of the Senators must agree. Nor will any opinion or Reasoning of mine have the smallest Weight with any one of the Senators. If I were disposed to wait how long must I wait.?
I am tired of reading and writing: My Eyes complain: I want Exercise: I must have my Horse: and I must be at home.
Charles writes me that Nabby has got the better of her unfortunate Accident and is out of all Danger— I rejoice and am thankful.—
We know not what to do with our Trunks & Flour & Porter &c &c There is no Vessell here for Boston. We must Store them and leave them with Some faithfull hand to be sent to Boston by the first Vessell.
You Say I must stay a few Days at New York— But I shall be uneasy and impatient— No Business, No Books, no Amusement, No Society much Suited to my Taste. Good Cheer is not enough for me. Balls Assemblies Hunting, are neither Business Pleasure nor Diversion for me—
What do you say shall I resign my Office when I am threescore, or will you come with me in a stage Waggon and lodge at a Tavern in fourth street?1
I must contrive something new against next Winter. The old Routine grows too insipid!
I shall never be weary of my old / Wife however—so declares your / Affectionate Husband
[signed] John Adams
{ 396 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “Febry 15 1795”; notation: “Class Second / No 2308 / George M Minot.”
1. That is, at Francis’ Hotel, for which see Samuel A. Otis to JA, 16 Oct. 1794, and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0257

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-02-17

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I did not receive your last letter until after it had been written some considerable time2 The request that I should write to my Aunt Shaw I have most willingly complied with. I send the letter to you open that you may peruse it, and if necessary make any alterations you shall think proper.3
There is always such a spirit of kindness in your letters to me that I could wish for them more frequently there is something more endearing in a mothers love than in a fathers. There was one passage with which I was exceedingly affected and which I did not fail to show to the Lady concerned I beleive we are both convinced of the propriety of the sentiments contained in it With the greatest truth I can say that from my first acquaintance with her my affections have not varied nor do I conceive why they should for I have always found her uniform. I could say much more but I know that Lovers lectures are seldom interesting to a third person.
As you are a polititian an abridgment of our State transactions will no doubt be acceptable. This State has been and still is the dupe of The Southern States. Continually wrong headed She will not perceive that the interests of New England and her own are intimately connected. We have elected six antifederalists for the lower house in Congress for the next two years. Mr King is however again chosen for the Senate to the great Joy of The friends of order. Clinton and Van Cortlandt have resigned or rather declined serving again and it is very doubtful whether Mr Jay or Mr Yates will succeed as Governor4 I cannot say much respecting the honest conduct of either party. Chicane and stratagem are opposed to the same weapons. lie to lie abuse to abuse. Such is the picture of our elections. Yet the people pretend to be Republicans though their conduct is diametrically opposite to the pure principles of Republicanism whose basis is purity in elections. But words govern men and rarely principles.
I congratulate you on the happiness of my Sister She is very well.
I have been these two days past engaged in writing to my brothers { 397 } in Holland. As by the Spirit of the King of Great Britain it appears that that power has made a separate peace with France They will probably remain undisturbed in their situations May heaven protect them is the fervent prayer of your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs A Adams. / Quincy / near / Boston.” Filmed at [Feb. 1795].
1. The dating of this letter is based on JQA to CA, 17 May, below, in which JQA acknowledged the receipt of CA’s letter, dated 16 February.
2. Not found.
3. Not found.
4. Pierre Van Cortlandt (1721–1814) had served in both the New York militia and the New York provincial congress during the Revolution and became New York’s lieutenant governor in 1777. Like George Clinton, Van Cortlandt cited ill health as his reason for not seeking reelection in 1795 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0258

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-02-17

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear father

Delighted and instructed as I have been by your two letters containing the strictures upon Mr Kent’s Lectures I was sorry at the injunction to keep them perfectly to myself, more so perhaps because I consider myself under some obligations to communicate to the members of our Society whatever may fall under my observation which can tend to the instruction of man kind and to the advancement of the Science of Government. As I conceived myself restricted I have made no communication. Yet how lamentable is it that in this Country with all its boastings The rising generation those of them more especially who have imbibed at an early period good principles and independent sentiments should be debarred from receiving instruction from meritorious characters who have gone before them, that ingenuous minds should be deprived of a freedom of communication that when mutual candour is predominant the young should not dare to be instructed by those of more experience. I could not say too much of the amiability of Mr Kent. I should find but few to compare with him of his age in point of abilities Yet you must acknowledge that in an introductory lecture of that kind expressions may be used not exactly investigated. Words create disputes more contention has originated from a misunderstanding of terms than any thing else. However such is my opinion of our Professor that I beleive he would have no hesitation at making those corrections which might be suggested.
It has of late become to fashionable to call this The age of Reason { 398 } that even men who upon reflection do not perceive the wondrous wisdom of the times yet fall into the cant phraseology of the day.1
I see nothing in the conduct of our elections to warrant the assertion that they are pure There may be in some parts of The United States more purity than in others but we are certainly verging towards corruption as fast or faster than any Nation ever did. Already in this State we look in vain for that purity about which we hear so much declamation. On the other hand we see Chicane and corruption made use of in every election from the lowest to the highest offices. When we talk then of purity we speak of a thing no longer prevailing.
Mr Wilcox was so obliging as to take letters and some newspapers for my brothers he will sail today
Holland it appears was about making a separate Peace with France it is quite time that a stop should be put to the effusion of human blood. Yet I fear that rivers will yet flow in France before She will establish a good Government. What is to become [of] England is it possible She can pay the inter[est] of her enormous debt? and if She should fail [at] that will it not overset every thing?
When will the treaty with England be public I am very anxious to see it.
With affection I am your son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / <Philadelphia> Quincy / Boston”; docketed by JA: “C. A to J. A. / 1795.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. In An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, Edinburgh, 1770, Scottish writer James Beattie first used the phrase “age of reason” to describe the Enlightenment (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0259

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-02-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I did not get my thursday Letters till fryday Eve when as you may well suppose I was greatly allarmd at the account You gave me of our dear daughter. I had written twice too her since her confinement, but had not received a line tho, I requested miss Peggy to write me whilst mrs Smith was unable.1 I Suppose the fear of allarming was the reason, and as it is ten days Since the date of yours and the Saturday post of this day brings me no letters I would fain hope that mrs Smith is on the recovery. I shall write however by the Monday post requesting an immediate answer—
{ 399 }
Dr Tufts calld upon me yesterday informing me that He came to Town in concequence of a Letter of mr Brights to him giving him the offer of his Farm—that he had been to converse with him upon the subject, that his Lowest Price was Seven Hundred and fifty pounds, to be paid down immediatly as he had in view making a purchase of an other Farm at a greater distance from Town.2 half the stock is included which is one yoke oxen one horse 4 cows 2 of them Brights. the oxen & horse are at the halfs— the whole amount of the Land is 100 Acers, 10 of salt Marsh 4 at the Farms good, Six at the neck poor—10 Acres wood Land chiefly cut of—8 acres pasture, 23 Mowing & Tillage 49 fresh Meddow & pasture. the price & Terms prevented the dr from giving him any answer, untill he received orders from you I have detaild facts— our Tennants upon the two places I hear from others, not from themselves think their Terms must be increased on account of the great price of the necessaries, particularly Grain and meat.—
I feel anxious that the Treaty Should arrive before the rising of Congress, but I begin to despair. the fire will in some measure be spent I hope. if it was a Treaty from Heaven pronouncing Peace on Earth & good will to Man—there would not be wanting a sufficient Number of Deamons to Nash their teeth, & rend it to peices if they can. Mr Jays mission was an unpleasent one and I fear he will be a sufferer for a while for the good he has done, and the Service he has renderd.
Parson Thacher in his Sermon on thanksgiving Day compared the French Revolution to a Volcano, which had not only overturnd the Government of that Kingdom Ravaging & destroying every thing near to its crater but by the voilence of its Eruption shaking all the Kingdoms arround, and the Lava of which came near to Scorching even the united States of America. he deliverd a very bold animated discourse for him.3 Many people from Town went to hear mr osgood. his text was in Psalms—“He hath not dealt so with any Nation”4 I am informd he took every part of the proclamation and commented upon it, and was not more mild with the Jacobins than before to them he asscribed and charged the late debt contracted in defence of the Laws— the Clergy in General exerted themselves as I am informd, with a truce sense of Liberty and in support of the Government there have been some exceptions taken I find that the President did not mention Gospel Priviledges, and call upon all denominations of Christians. one clergyman at a distance wrote to mr osgood to inquire if he really thought the President was a Christian? { 400 } The strict Churchmen here were hurt at thanksgiving being appointed upon their strict fasts. this they would not have regarded, if he had been a Dissenter but as a Churchman they could not reconcile it. I am sure the President did not mean to hurt the weak Bretheren of any denomination.
all Friends here desire to be rememberd to you.—
I know not whether I shall write again to you as it may not reach you.5 If I do I will direct it to N York to the care of col smith. I am my dearest Friend / most affectionatly Yours—
[signed] Abigail Adams—
P S I am going to take Tea with Mrs Hancock this afternoon by her particular invitation. on monday I return to Quincy—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 21. 1795.”
1. That is, Margaret Smith, sister of WSS, for whom see vol. 7:441.
2. Likely John Bright, a Boston upholsterer, whose wife, Mary, was the daughter of JA’s former neighbor Moses Adams (JA, D&A, 2:88; Sprague, Braintree Families; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
3. Rev. Peter Thacher of Boston’s Brattle Square Church, for whom see vol. 5:481.
4. Psalms, 147:20. David Osgood’s sermon was published as A Discourse, Delivered February 19, 1795: The Day Set Apart by the President for a General Thanksgiving through the United States, Boston, 1795, Evans, No. 29246.
5. AA wrote this final letter to JA after his early departure from Philadelphia on 19 February. Their correspondence would not resume until 8 June, after JA returned to the capital to preside over a special session of the Senate called to debate the Jay Treaty (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 825, 828; 4th Cong., special sess., p. 853, 855).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0260

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-03-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have but lately received your kind Letter from Amsterdam of the 17th of November and another from the Hague much longer and of an earlier date.1 The last I have Sent to Mr Randolph to be laid before the President, as it contains ample and important Information. These are the only Letters I have as yet recd from you. Your Mother has received others. Your Letters both public and private, I have reason to think have given Satisfaction.
The Treaty arrived Since the Dissolution of Congress and Senate are Summoned to meet at Philadelphia on 8. of June, which will occasion me a Supernumerary fatiguing Journey.2 The last Session of Congress was so peaceable that I presume the Treaty will be ratified, tho I know not what it is.
The News I can give you are worth very little. The Rage of Speculation in Lands in the southern and Eastern States is as violent as { 401 } ever. The Prices of Things are very high. The Banks have Stopped discounting for some Months, in Boston which may check the disorder in some degree. Our Governors will be the Same this Year as last.
The State of Europe is Such, that Peace must be made, this Year or the next. What Terms the French will exact of England I cannot conceive. Surrender, and Restoration of all Conquests; Demolition of Portsmouth to revenge Dunkirk;3 Limitation of the Number of Line of Battle ships & Frigates for the future, have been suggested by Some French Republicans here. But these are too humiliating for Englishmen as yet.
Our Friends are all well. Mr Cranch and Miss Lucy are both to be married next Week.4
My Farm gallops like a gay hobby Horse— My Eyes are worse this Spring than ever; So bad that I can Scarcely see what I write to you.
Any new Publications of real Merit, I shall thank you to send me.
Will not the flight of Mr Van Staphorst, injure our Money Interests somewhat? American Bankers, any more than American Consuls or Ministers or Agents of any sort, should not be Party Men, in Holland.
The American General you mention, is intitled to Attention and Respect from you as far as Justice claims: but I have particular Reasons for hinting, that, by what I have heard of his Conduct in America during & after the late War, although he is a Stranger to me, your Confidence Should be reserved with discretion.5
Collect yourself, my Dear son: Be always upon your Guard.— If your Father was not always so, he has dearly earned by Experience, the Right of advising you. No Character in human Life requires more Discretion, Caution, and Reserve, than that of a Public Minister in a foreign Country.
Make my Compliments acceptable, if you can, wherever I was known. You Say nothing of Mr Luzac Dr Maclane &c &c.6
May God bless and prosper you and your manly Companion My dear Thomas from whom We have recd Letters as charming as your own, and that is Compliment enough.
I am my Dear son, with a tender Affection your / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. Adams Esqr / Minister at The Hague.”; endorsed by TBA: “The Vice President / 26 March 1795 / 23 June Recd / 2 July Answd.” Tr (Adams Papers).
{ 402 }
1. For JQA’s letters to JA of 9 and 17 Nov. 1794, see JQA to AA, 11 Nov., and note 8, above.
2. A special session of the Senate was held between 8 and 26 June 1795 (Biog. Dir. Cong.). JA and AA departed Quincy on 26 May and stopped in New York where AA remained with AA2, while JA continued to Philadelphia, arriving on 6 June.
3. In the 1763 Treaty of Paris ending the Seven Years’ War, the French were forced to remove their fortifications, which the British considered a threat, from Dunkerque. The French considered the overall terms of the treaty a “disgraceful peace” as it marked the end of much of their empire and the acceptance of British naval superiority (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:345–347).
4. On 4 April 1795 Lucy Cranch married John Greenleaf (1763–1848), the son of Mary Brown and former Suffolk Co. sheriff William Greenleaf. Although blind since youth, Greenleaf was a proficient musician. The couple had seven children and lived in the Cranch homestead at Quincy (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 91, 217, 223–224; Frederick A. Whitney, “A Church of the First Congregational (Unitarian) Society in Quincy, Mass., Built in 1732,” NEHGR, 18:125–126 [April 1864]).
William Cranch married John’s youngest sister, Anna Greenleaf (1772–1843), on 6 April. The couple settled in Washington, D.C., and had thirteen children (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 222–223).
5. In his 17 Nov. 1794 letter to JA (Adams Papers), JQA wrote of the arrest of Gen. John Skey Eustace, for whom see vol. 7:333, by the Dutch government. JQA expressed his hesitancy at involving himself in the situation as Eustace had served in the French Army, but he concluded, “He is however as a Citizen of the United States, entitled to every proper exertion on my part, for securing to him the privileges of our neutrality, as far as he has not personally forfeited his right to them.”
JA’s opinion of John Skey Eustace likely stemmed from his eccentric behavior during and after the American Revolution; his unsuccessful petition to Congress for back pay, which was made after he resigned his army commission; and his subsequent military service in the French Revolution (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 3:67–68; JCC, 17:462).
6. While living at The Hague in 1782, JA attended the services of Rev. Archibald MacLaine, who was the pastor of the English Church (JA, Papers, 12:248).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0261

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1795-04-04

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to
Abigail Adams and Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sisters—

I believe in one of my Letters I told you I had troubles of various kinds— I need to be possessed of more wisdom than the Serpent, joined to the innocence of the Dove, more meekness than Moses, more patience than Job—& to abound richly in the fruits of the Spirit— In one word our people have been very Jealous of me, they were conscious they had not used Mr Shaw well, & thought it imposible for me, to be possessed of so great a share of Phylanthropy as not to inform Mr Abbot how much they are in the arrears, & so prejudice his mind as to make him unwilling to stay— In the true spirit of Chivalry they made windmills, for there own foolish passions to contend with, & vexed themselves with their own vain imaginations, & suspicions— Some were for removing Mr Abbot, & thought it very imprudent, & impolitick to place him with me— Nat B—— was so passionate as to tear up the paper which was { 403 } subscribed in order to get me some wood—& to carry the mony back—1 But thanks to a kind providence we had some cool heads, & good hearts among us, who took care to stiffle the flame in its beginings, & told them they knew me too well, to believe a word prejudicial to me— But notwithstanding this, I found the report produced some baneful effects, & was the cause of my not having it brought in season, & by that means lost the Opportunity of its being cut & brought by those who did not subscribe mony— However I believe I had about 5 Cords, I have been obliged to keep three fires, I have not wantd a stick, though it has been some care for me, but that is a triffle— Through the great kindness of my Friends, I have been enabled to pay for every article I have had— a sense of their favours & my own unworthyness quite overwhelms me, & I think sometimes I shed as many tears, as if they did not shew so much affection— strange creatures we are— I often long for your counsel, & direction— I say, what would my dear precious Sisters advise to—& if anything rational is suggested to my mind, I embrace it as their opinion— This little foolish matter among the People troubled very much— Some said I should not live here after the 12th of March— but they acknowledged to me it was the language of passion, & were very sorry afterwards— Indeed I did not know what method was proper to take— I was too proud to go after any person to tell them it was false— But Mr A. did me a great kindness without knowing it, to this moment— They enquired of him respecting me, & he frankly told them I said everything I ought to induce him to stay— I hope the method I took to convince them of their mistake, will meet with your approbation, which was by writing to the Committee— I send a Copy of it, & when you have read it please to return it—2 Some of the Committee waited upon me, immediately, & desired I would give myself no further uneasiness, for the report was quelled at once, & would do me no injury—in there minds they should have said— But when I consider it was owing to the great love, they have for Mr Abbot, I suppose I ought to forgive them— excessive Love often creates jealousies—especially where there is a consciousness of demerit on one side—
They are now quite restless, & uneasy because Mr Abbot does not catch at the bait, in a moment—they wonder what he can deliberate for— Whenever he can feel, as if he could chearfully accept he will not keep them in suspense one moment— It is as dissagreeable for him, as for the people— Mr Denny of Newbury is to preach here tomorrow, & I suppose Mr Merill will be here the next Sabbath, & { 404 } read his answer—if not in the affirmative— they are a reined parish, for the present, at lest—3 Not long since I received a letter from Mr Cranch, he says he shall be with us in April— He comes on the wings of Love, & will I suppose speed time away, that may bring him to the arms of his lovely Nancy—
May all gracious heaven shower down its richest blessings, & make my Nephews, & Neices as happy as they are deserving— They will all come, & make me a visit— I have room enough— I should be glad when he comes, to know by the Post when he will be here—
Excuse everything, I must go, & wait upon the good young minister, Mr Denae who was ordained at Newbury, over Mr Murrys Society, & has exchanged with Mr AA—4
Betsy Quincy has received her Gown I hope, do for her, I pray you, what you think is proper, for her body, but especially for her Soul— My Love to my dear Brother Cranch, & Brother Adams, & to all who enquire after / Your Sister
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw
1. Possibly Nathan BlodgettBlodget, son of Judge Samuel BlodgettBlodget of Haverhill (vol. 6:405).
2. Enclosure not found.
3. Rev. Daniel Dana (1771–1859), Dartmouth 1788, became the pastor of Newburyport’s First Presbyterian Church on 19 Nov. 1794. Gyles Merrill (1739–1801), Harvard 1759, was the pastor at the First Congregational Church of Plaistow, N.H. (Joshua Coffin, A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury, from 1635–1845, Boston, 1845, p. 372; Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.).
The parish perhaps became “reined” after their fears proved unfounded that Elizabeth Smith Shaw might retaliate for the poor treatment of Rev. John Shaw by attemtpting to dissuade Rev. Abiel Abbot from accepting the congregation’s offer.
4. The Irish-born Rev. John Murray (1742–1793), University of Edinburgh 1761, had preceded Reverend Dana as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Newburyport (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.). For Abiel Abbot, see Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 24 Jan. 1795, and note 6, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0262

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1795-04-08

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear William

A favorable occasion presents itself of dropping you a few lines by a vessel for Georgtown. It is the first direct opportunity that has offered since I have been in this Country. Indeed since the Conquest of it, by the french, external intercourse has been till very lately, altogether interrupted. You may easily conjecture that our residence here has not abounded with scenes of pleasure or amusement. A state of war is always unfavorable to both. The variety of incident however has been great, and the period of the last six months has been peculiarly eventfull in this corner of the Globe. In the north, { 405 } under the immediate influence of the Constellation, not improperly termed the Great She Bear of the Russians—we have witnessed the dismemberment of an heretofore powerful Empire; a completion of the partition of its territory, and the irrevocable subjection of its inhabitants. Even the poor title of nominal independence is deprived it.1 In this quarter we have seen the Conquest of a Country not less distinguished heretofore among the powers of Europe, but its Conquerors were men. Savage & brutal barbarity, has therefore neither marked their approach, nor characterized their residence among the people subdued. A conduct at once generous & just seems to be the peculiar attribute of a french army. Instead of promoting the intestine divisions of this people, they have uniformly restrained both public and private acts of hostility between the different partizans— They have ameliorated the condition of the subdued faction, and protected obnoxious individuals not only from violence, but even from insult. In short the french army have litterally given peace to this Country in its Conquest, and their presence is still necessary to maintain the tranquility. The two great factions which divide this people unite but in one sentiment, that of plotting the absolute ruin of each other; even the doctrine of Liberty, Equality & Fraternity, has brought them no nearer to a coincidence of design, than the opposite one that prevailed before.
Times of public adversity, should not be chosen to form an opinion of the character of a people; such has been the period of my residence here. Credulity, which is a child of weakness & terror, is one of the characteristic foibles I have remarked, as particularly operative upon the mind in this Country.
Reports & stories, are circulated to cheer the despondence of a defeated party, or to intimidate the dominant faction, so destitute of probability, that one hesitates to decide, which is the most extravagant he who fabricates, or he that believes them.
The internal Revolution of Government took place on the 19 of January. The french Army entered Amsterdam on the 20th:— They were received with cordiality by the multitude, and their conduct entitles them to great commendation. They have lived in harmony among the inhabitants ever since, at least in appearance.
Exertions are making to place the naval force of this Country upon a respectable footing— It had fallen much into decay, and all the efforts that can be bestowed, will not shortly regenerate its respectability, or make it formidable to those against whom it will probably be directed.
{ 406 }
France is upon the eve of another Revolution— The people of Paris have become already outrageous in their behavior towards the Convention. Real or nominal scarcity of Bread is made the pretext of an agitation, which has lately become alarming, which has threatned the Convention with dissolution, and individual members with death. The latest accounts which are to the 4th: Currt: represent violent tumults among the people; forcing the doors of the Convention, and treating that body with insult. The Convention had been for some days apprehensive of this extremity, because a similar attempt had been made a short time before. They took resolves, the severity of which was proportioned to the sense of danger, and a decree which contemplated the Massacre of a majority of the Convention, provided for the assemblage of the Survivors at Chalons sur Marne. But the last affair was more serious— It was a manœvre of the Jacobins to save their partizans Callot d’Herbois Barrere &ca: and to reestablish their authority on the downfall of the Convention. The Criminals or rather as an impartial observer I should say the accused members, were convicted & sentenced to transportation out of the limits of the Republic— Eight other Jacobins were arrested— Paris was declared to be in a state of siege, & the Command of the City given to General Pichegru, who was upon the spot, whether casually, or intentionally does not yet appear. The General had left this Country but a few days, and was supposed to have gone to Paris to receive instructions for further operations in the ensuing Campaign.2
This commotion will terminate either in the dissolution of the Convention, or the total ruin of the Jacobin faction— The latter at present seems to be most probable.3
The future condition of this Country with regard to external relations with other powers, is yet undecided. A demand of an Alliance with the french Republic has been made, but an answer is not yet given. The Sovereignty & Indepence of the Batavian People in the mean time is nominally maintained. The Revolution in favor of the rights of Man, sovereignty of the people &ca: is yet nothing more than words, which have been attended with so little real benefit, that they have scarcely operated a momentary delusion. Ancient forms have been abolished, but the substitutes in their stead, are hitherto directed by old principles. A National Convention which shall represent the whole people of the seven Provinces is talked of, but no measures have been taken to convoke it. At this moment there is actually no Constitutional Government in the Country.
{ 407 }
One thing however may be observed; The party now dominant is better disposed towards our country than the former. They have annulled several restraints upon our Commerce which the old Government had imposed; They have decreed the free importation of Flour & Rye Meal into the Province of Holland ’till the expiration of the present year, and have given other facilities to trade, which may eventually prove beneficial to our Countrymen. I mention the decree respecting the importation of flour &ca to you, because I suppose this letter will find you in a part of the Country of which Grain is the principal staple, & whose Commerce forms a very important object. The word Free, means free from duties.4
Hitherto my residence in the Country has been chiefly confined to this place— I have been twice at Amsterdam, & both times during the winter— I can only observe to you, that my past residence in the Country has been only not disagreeable— When I have seen more of the Country, you shall hear more from me about it.
The family in which Mr Greenleaf is connected have been particularly civil & friendly towards us— I have never seen Madam G—— because she has been ill all winter, and from the nature of her disorder, her friends have but small hopes of her recovery. We were in expectation of seeing Mr: G—— in Holland before this—5 He will probably arrive in the course of the Summer.
Believe me your’s sincerely
[signed] TBA
PS—
As you are in a land vegetating with Tobacco & other savory Roots & Plants—I beg you, as you respect an habit, which has established its Empire irrevocably upon your friend—To Ship me, by the first vessel coming to this Country; whether to Rotterdam or Amsterdam, half a dozen pounds of the best cake or plug tobacco, for chewing— If by a vessel for Amsterdam address to the care of Messrs William & John Willink Merchants of that City. If to Rotterdam address to Mr I Beeldemaker, & Co:6 I find this bad habit, a necessary of life in this Land of Fogs & Vapours— For fear of miscarriage or failure in the first consignment—I must beg a duplicate by a second vessel of the same quantity— I cannot conveniently remit you the cash for this order—But this Letter shall be your security for the future payment of whatever may be the expence—& I hereby bind myself, my heirs, Executors or Administrators to the discharge of the same, with all convenient speed—
My Brother is well— he desires his affectionate remembrance— Be { 408 } very particular in you account of the improvements &ca of the Federal City when you write me. There are many people in this Country interested in its prosperity, and if things go on well, there may be many more—
I am, &ca:
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Agent for the Affairs of James Greenleaf Esqr: / Washington Fedl: City. / United States of America—”; endorsed: “T.B. Adams— Hague / April 8th. 1795 / recd. Aug 20th. 1795—”
1. While Poland had had its boundaries and independence limited through partitions in 1773 and 1793, the final national uprising of Polish independence was suppressed in Nov. 1794 by the allied forces of Russia and Prussia, with limited assistance from Austria. The third and total partition of Poland was completed the following year, with the final treaty signed by the three conquering nations in Jan. 1797 (Norman Davies, God’s Playground: A History of Poland, 2 vols., Oxford, Eng., 1981, 1:511, 538–542).
2. The growing scarcity of food in Paris prompted the government in March 1795 to promise citizens a daily pound of bread. Unable to meet this obligation, riots spread across the city. The increasing threat of violence led the National Convention to outlaw popular uprisings and further to identify Châlons as the location for a reconstituted Convention should the Paris body be attacked. Such a scare occurred on 1 April (An. III, 12 germinal), when a mob, instigated by the Jacobins, stormed the Convention demanding bread and the reinstatement of the Constitution of 1793, a demand of the revolt’s Jacobin instigators. Gen. Jean Charles Pichegru quelled the uprising within two days (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:384–385).
3. At this point TBA inadvertently continued the letter on the fourth page. Realizing his error, he returned to the third page for his postscript and began, “Please to turn over page 4th: and pardon the blunder—”
4. On 1 April 1795 JQA reported to JA, “The neutral Navigation and Commerce is freed from its former shackles, and invited by encouragements. The States General have removed all prohibitions. In this Province flour and rye-meal will be admitted free from duties during the course of the present year. The Scarcity of grain and flour is great throughout Europe. In France it is extreme” (Adams Papers). While grain never became a staple export, the changes in Dutch trade policy greatly increased the overall volume of American exports to the Batavian Republic between 1795 and 1797 (Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment, 1:409, 415).
5. Antonia Cornelia Elbertine Scholten van Aschat married U.S. consul James Greenleaf in the Netherlands in 1788. The couple divorced in 1796 (same, 1:340, 376).
6. Likely Jan Beeldemaker, of the Rotterdam mercantile firm Rocquette, Elsevier & Beeldemaker, who had recently been appointed a U.S. consular agent (same, 2:717).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0263

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1795-04-15

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Sister.

By the arrival of Mr: Van Rensselaar, I am favoured with your letter of Novr: 29.1 I have not yet seen that Gentleman, who is still at Amsterdam, but proposes visiting this place in a few days; you well know what a pleasure we always derive in foreign Countries merely from the sight of one of our own Countrymen, and in this instance I { 409 } shall be still more gratified in meeting a person, who comes recommended from my best friends.
You have doubtless been informed long before this, that the french are in Possession not only of Amsterdam, but of this whole Republic. You will have learnt also at the same time, that our personal security has never been for a moment endangered; indeed we never had occasion for an instant of apprehension on our own Account, as we knew, we were under a protection which at any rate would be respected. But the principles proclaimed and observed by the French since their arrival, have extended personal safety to every individual, and private property has been equally inviolate.
They came as the Enemies only of the Government, but as the friends of the People. They have hitherto uniformly discovered this character in both its parts, and the probability seems to be that they will continue to preserve it.
Since the Revolution in France, which put an end at once to the power, and the life of Robespierre, the french councils have assumed a very different aspect from that which had for so long a time presented, a constant violation of every principle of Justice, and every Sentiment of Humanity. They have thrown off the burden of oppression which had become intolerable; they have recovered from the political fanaticism, which during one period had an influence among them, which they are now the first to lament; and nothing now remains for them but to settle into a state that may relieve them from the violent agitations which they still experience.
The greatest inconvenience that I have suffered in consequence of their success in this Country, has been the interruption of communication, with almost all Europe, as well as with America. It prevents me from hearing from, and from writing to my friends, so often as I should wish; and this privation is but partially balanced, by a free communication with France itself which enables us to observe more particularly the interesting occurrences which are daily taking place in that Country.
It gives me great pleasure to be informed by your letter, that our Parents, and our friends in general were well when it was written. The news of Mr Shaw’s death was equally painful and unexpected to us. The loss of a good Man, is always a misfortune to Society, but in this instance I fear it will be distressing in its consequences to his family. Our amiable Aunt especially, will need all her fortitude, and all her resignation, and I hope they will not be without their reward.
{ 410 }
We are indeed once more scattered about the world as you observe, and our destiny from our childhood, has been that of wanderers, beyond the common lot of men. But in the pursuit of no improper purposes distance of space and difference of clime, by temporary deprivations can only enhance the pleasure we derive from the Society of one another, and the hopes of meeting again all together which can never abandon us always affords some consolation against the tediousness of long absence and distant separation.
I would request you to present my compliments of Congratulation to your Sister Charity upon her marriage, were it not for the presumption that by the time my Letter will reach you, it will be an old Story. However, though I have not the pleasure of an acquaintance with Mr Shaw, I have such an opinion of the Lady’s taste and judgment, as well as her disposition, that I am perswaded the marriage is one of those the anniversary of which will admit of congratulation.
Thomas is well, and writes you by the present opportunity;2 he will give you perhaps a detail of his observations in a Country which presented to him an aspect altogether new. As yet he has not seen it in the most favourable point of view. A Revolution, a Conquest, and a Winter severe beyond a parallel combining all together cannot present the most agreeable scenes to the imagination or the Senses; but we have seen nothing so afflictive to humanity as might be expected from such Events, and at present we have a promising prospect of political tranquility, which will enable us to enjoy the beauties of the Season, which has already assumed its most pleasing forms.
Remember me affectionately to your children, and be assured of the invariable Sentiments with which I am your friend and brother.
[signed] John Q. Adams.3
RC (MHi:Adams Papers, All Generations); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: A Smith / New York”; internal address: “Mrs: A. Smith.”; docketed: “Mrs Smith New York.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128.
1. The letter has not been found but was carried by Robert S. Van Rensselaer, son of Philip and Maria Sanders Van Rensselaer of New York, when he traveled to Europe in late 1794 or early 1795. JQA and TBA would meet Van Rensselaer on 8 and 9 May 1795 (Maunsell Van Rensselaer, Annals of the Van Rensselaers in the United States, Albany, N.Y., 1888, p. 61, 181; M/TBA/2, APM Reel 282).
2. Not found.
3. On this same day JQA wrote WSS a brief acknowledgment of WSS’s letter of introduction for Robert Van Rensselaer, 1 Dec. 1794, not found, that also suggested American commerce to Dutch ports could proceed without interference (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 128).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0264

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-04-16

John Quincy Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I have to thank you for your favour of Decr: 1st: sent me a few days since by Mr Van Rensselaar.1 It is the first direct communication we have had from any part of our own family, since we left our Country, and it was an article which wanted no stimulus of scarcity to make it valuable.
Your political information was very acceptable, and I hope you will not fail to continue it by every future oportunity; that is, if there is to be any more communication between this Country and ours. If our merchants had continued their commercial speculations without any suspension, they would have made some of their best voyages at this time, and their property, would not have been a moment insecure.
Thomas takes care to send you very punctually the Leyden Gazette, and from thence you will collect the political news as early and as accurate as I can inform you. It is a subject, with which I find myself so much obsédé from necessity, that I am glad to escape from it occasionally, and have a little sociable chat with my particular friends.
We have had occasion to see and converse repeatedly with the french Representatives here in mission, and with the Generals who command the armies. We are also constantly in the midst of the troops, who are quartered in considerable numbers through all the Cities of this Country.
The national character discovers itself in the most unequivocal manner, and in its most aimiable forms. It becomes the more conspicuous from the comparison with that of this people, and affords a speculation equally interesting to the philosopher and the Philanthropist. It is almost inconceivable that characters so opposite and in such relative situations to one another, should harmonize so well as they do. The gaiety, the good humor, the vivacity and the vanity of the french never abandon them, and with so much reason to be vain as those at present here have, it would indeed be surprizing if they had taken this for the moment of reformation in that respect.
This vanity, which scarcely any of them has the art to conceal, is the only circumstance that can in the smallest degree balance the laudable part of their conduct. The discipline of the troops is { 412 } accurate and unexceptionable. We scarcely have heard of an instance of pillage or of violence; the soldiers have nothing like insolence in their manners, and the officers in high rank, have all the politeness and urbanity that ever distinguished that extraordinary people. The Representatives are members of the Convention who follow the armies, and have an authority almost unlimited over them. The Command of the Generals is merely military. They are all men remarkably young, I have scarcely met with a man of 40 years old among them.
Pichegru was the General in chief at the time of their arrival. He is since removed to the command of the armies of Rhine & Moselle. He is equally esteemed by the army, and by the Convention, who as you will see by the papers gave him a very confidential command, on an occasion lately critical to themselves. His popularity appears to be unmingled with the Jealousy, which has been so fatal to all his predecessors, and his removal from this army was rather the effect of confidence than of fear, as it was for the purpose of placing him in a more active situation than that in which he must have remained in Holland.
His personal appearance has nothing remarkable. His manners are pleasing, and his conversation particularly distinguished by a modesty, which is the more striking; because it is so uncommon. With many others, I, is the hero of each tale, and you hear of nothing but their courage, their sufferings, their victories, their humanity, their truimphs and their moderation; all which though certainly well founded, would come with a better grace from other mouths than their own. But nothing of this kind escapes from Pichegru, who appears to prefer any other conversation to that, the subject of which is himself, his army, or his nation, and who when they are introduced, speaks of them with moderation and simplicity.
We have had as you may well suppose a tolerably dull winter. When we arrived here the last of October, The Country was invaded— The Government at that time … but peace be to its ashes; its virtues and its frailties are now gone to sleep with their fathers, and it would not become me, to pronounce their funeral Eulogy. But when we arrived, they had discovered the inefficacy of their carnal weapons, and as an instrument of deliverance had addicted themselves to prayer. They fared none the better for it. Their enemies represented it as a kind of repentance in articulo mortis2 better calculated to prove guilt than to obtain remission. The effect { 413 } however was an universal gloom and sadness, which was augmented by the prohibition of all public diversions.
The winter came on, it was the severest season ever known; for eleven weeks the canals and rivers were frozen over, and in the midst of its most rigorous extremity, a singular political operation, half conquest, half revolution, toppled down headlong the Government and Constitution of the Country— Since that time the theatres have been opened. A few Concerts, Balls public dinners, fetes &ca have been given, but except among the french guests, very little cheerfulness and gaiety have been visible.
In the mean while, our time has not hung heavy upon our hands— The magnitude of events following one another in such rapid Succession around us—the novelty and importance of the political scenes of which we were witnesses, together with the attention to our own concerns, and the use of some valuable books, served as a full employment for our time, and if we had not been almost entirely deprived of communication from our friends, we should have had no reason to complain of tediousness.
Amid the din of arms, the muses meet with the same fate as the laws— The penury of Literature, Science and the arts throughout Europe—is as great as that of provisions.— In france, the objects in which all genius and talents are concentered are those of Government or of war. Their Generals have had the merit of introducing a new mode of warfare, and the brilliancy of their success proves the superiority of their system. In the National Convention since the fall of Robespierre and his tyranny, Eloquence has been cultivated and improved; the interests of the European nations, the laws and customs resulting from their intercourse, and the principles of negotiations, have commanded the attention of many members, whom the Revolution alone has brought into action. The admiration, which the People are always inclined to bestow upon the declamatory style of oratory, still perverts the taste of their speakers, and in the numerous discourses, which are pronounced in the Assembly, scarce a single exception can be found to their general character, which substitutes, epigrams instead of arguments, fine turn’d periods instead of reasoning, and poetry, instead of demonstration.
An enthusiastic attachment to the arts and siences, is however one of the fashionable professions of the day. Among the former, Music, among the latter Natural Philosophy, and in particular Chemistry, enjoy the most extraordinary favour. Every thing in that { 414 } Country has some relation with their Revolution. Their excessive fondness for music arises from their opinion of its powerful operation as an instrument upon the popular passions. Its effects upon them have given credibility to the story of Tyrtaeus, and almost realized the fables of Orpheus and Amphion.3 Their Chemical pursuits have had an application no less important to the necessities of their situation and enabled them to convert substances before deemed the most worthless into weapons of war. The passion for theatrical representations is also stronger than it ever was, at any preceding period. But their Dramatic Genius, has always been fettered with the shackles of occasional popular opinions, and their Stage instead of animating the productions of Poets, destined to immortality, has been a mere echo of the momentary sounds, which the perpetual variations of the public frenzy, have emitted under the name of public opinion. The Vandalism of political intolerance has extended its proscriptions to the models of the modern Drama, and the High-Priests of the scenic muses have been ignominiously driven from their temple, as seducers to aristocracy, and provokers to Royalism.
I finish, having neither paper nor time to continue, / your brother—
LbC in TBA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr: New York”; APM Reel 128.
1. Not found.
2. At the point of death.
3. Tyrtaeus was a Spartan elegiac poet of the seventh century B.C. whose poems addressed soldiers as if on the battlefield. Orpheus, a famed musician of Greek myth, could use his voice to create magic. Similarly, Amphion, the son of Zeus and Antiope, had been given a magical lyre, with which he charmed the stones used to wall the city of Thebes (Oxford Classical Dicy.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0265

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-04-21

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear son

I have but lately received your kind Letters of the 3d and 21. of Decr.1 They were like cold Water to a thirsty soul.— While I acknowledge your and your Brothers goodness in writing to me, I am afraid I ought to make an Apology to both, for having written so seldom to You.
The late Elections to Congress have gone in general in favour of the Fœderal Government, in the Senate especially. The Town of Boston has made an Exertion, and have Elected Mr Jones to the Senate of the State in the Place of Mr Austin, and Theophilus { 415 } Cushing instead of Charles.2 This is thought to be a great Event in favour of Peace, Order and Virtue. Some of the Representatives of that Town are in danger.
The Banks begin to excite Controversies with each other, and Seem to be aware that they have gone rather too far in discounting, and continuing &c. They certainly have Sent abroad too much of their Paper.
Although I have Knowledge enough of your Wisdom to be willing to trust you, in the critical Circumstances of the Country in which you reside, I am a little anxious to hear from you, Since the Revolution. You were soon relieved from Fitzherberts Impertinence by his precipitatd flight,3 and the French I presume both of the Army and of the civil state will behave towards you with Civility and Kindness.
Our Country, in this “piping Time of Peace” affords no News but of Marriages, Shipbuilding, House building, canal digging Bridge making &c &c. I hope to make my farm shine against your return.—
The inclosed Pamphlet, I wish you to translate and publish in Holland—or Perhaps our magnificent Friend Luzac will Save you the Trouble.4
I pray you my dear son not to think hard of your Father, if you do not receive Letters so often as you wish—and if the Letters when you receive any are not so particular as they might be— I write in great Pain and under Embarrassments. I am however not the / less affectionately your obliged and approving / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. Adams.”
1. In his letter to JA of 3 Dec. 1794, JQA reported rumors of impending peace negotiations between the Dutch and the French, popular discontent toward British protection, and the diplomatic posturing of the British ambassador. JQA’s letter of 21 Dec. offered more extensive commentary on the impediments to Franco-Dutch peace negotiations and the poor state of the Dutch economy. He also predicted that the increasingly cold weather might soon make possible a French invasion. JQA further suggested that JA subtly push the Dutch minister at Philadelphia to write favorably to his government about the United States (both Adams Papers).
2. Theophilus Cushing (1740–1820) of Hingham rose to the rank of brigadier general during the Revolutionary War and then served as a local selectman and member of the Mass. house of representatives prior to his election to the state senate. He joined Thomas Dawes, John Coffin Jones, and Oliver Wendell as the four senators representing Suffolk County for the 1795–1796 term (George Thomas Little, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, 4 vols., N.Y., 1909, 4:1756; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 459).
3. Alleyne Fitzherbert had been appointed ambassador at The Hague on 25 March 1794 but returned to England after the French invasion (DNB).
4. Enclosure not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0266

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-04-22

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

No. 4

[salute] My Dear Son

I received your very excellent Letter No 4 written from the Hague, dated 11 of November. accept my thanks. Your Letters are a source of consolation for your absence and do honor to the Hand which indites & the Heart which dictates them.
I hope you have received those which I have written to you. my last No 3 was sent by way of Hambugh1
Mr W Cunningham has a vessel going immediatly to Amsterdam. your Father writes by it, and I hope many of your other Friends will. we presume you are Still at the Hague, equally safe under the protection of our Allies the French as our Friends the Dutch, tho the Chronical was pleasd to make a matter of uncertainty of it, whether the American Minister was gone to England with the Stadtholder, or remaind under the protection of General Pichegrue. he however confessd that he heard nothing of him.2
As it will not be proper for me to write freely upon publick affair, I shall confine myself to such domestick occurences as relate to our own State and Country, and I know of none more important than the Election of mr Coffin Jones into the State Senate, in the place of Honestus, and this by a majority of four hundred votes. the Represeentitives stiled Jacobins are like to be displaced at the ensuing Election, and mr Codman & otis are talkd of to Succeed them.3 Should this be the case, the Boston Seat may again become respectable.
I am sorry to damp your pleasureable feelings, by informing you that mr Dexter after three trials has lost his Election in the National Representation, & Varnum Succeeds him, who to use an expression of your favorite Shakspears—[“]is no more to Dexter, than I to Hercules”4 Jarvis may be said to have Districted Dexter out of his Election, and for this he ought himself to fall
I inclose you the Jacobiniad,5 from which I wrote you some extracts in my last, and hope it will reach you as safely as the Jew did me, a play I was much gratified with. it had Several escapes the vessel in which you sent it was cast away and lost upon the Irish Coast. the Letter No 2 which you mention having wrote from England has never come to Hand. the last to your Father which he has received were No 3. & 4. dated in December.6
{ 417 }
upon the 8 of June the Senate are convened to consider the Treaty. I shall embrace that opportunity to visit your sister, and see my young Grandaughter, Carolina Emelia I have proposed a Treaty of Marriage, merely for the Names between Frederick Adolphus Packard & carolina Emelia Smith.7
our two Cousins William & Lucy Cranch were married the week before last. I was at both the weddings— they are gone on a visit to Haverhill. Your Aunt is left as Clergymens widows usually are in low circumstances. I wish you would write to her she would receive it very kindly—and if you think your circumstances will allow you to make her a small present of Nine or ten pounds, it would assist her and I know gratify the natural Benevolence of your Heart You can direct Dr Welch to do it in your Name. her Friends have been kind to her, or She could not have lived & have discharged to every one their full & just dues—
Dr Appleton dyed last week after a lingering illness of many Months.8
I hope to have frequent opportunities of writing immediatly to Holland. be assured that none of them will be omitted by your / ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
1. AA to JQA, 10 Feb., above.
2. In its commentary on the French invasion of Amsterdam, the Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 March, reported, “There is no account of the American Ambassador in this explosion; whether he has retired with the Stadtholder to the Court of St. James, or whether he has gone over to Gen. Pichegru to congratulate him on the signal success of the French Democrats.” For JQA’s response, see his letter to AA of 29 June, below.
3. John Codman Jr. was not a candidate for a seat in the Boston delegation to the Mass. house of representatives in the May election. Harrison Gray Otis was nominated but tallied eighth in voting for seven seats on 11 and 13 May. All seven seats would go to Federalists in May 1796, among them both Codman and Otis (Boston Federal Orrery, 14 May 1795; Samuel Eliot Morison, Harrison Gray Otis 1765–1848: The Urbane Federalist, Boston, 1969, p. 95; Boston Columbian Centinel, 14 May 1796).
4. “But no more like my father / than I to Hercules” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene ii, lines 152–153). For the race between Samuel Dexter and Joseph Varnum, see Thomas Welsh to JA, 15 Dec. 1794, and note 1, above.
5. Not found.
6. JQA’s only letter to AA from London, 25 Oct. 1794, above, was numbered one and enclosed The Jew. Letter no. 2, from The Hague, was dated 11 Nov., above, and was acknowledged by AA with this letter. His letters to JA of 3 and 21 Dec. were his fourth and fifth in number, respectively (Adams Papers).
7. Frederick Adolphus Packard, born 26 Sept. 1794, was the son of Rev. Asa Packard and Nancy Quincy (DAB). Preparations for the marriage of George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, to Caroline of Brunswick on 8 April 1795 were widely reported in the American press; see, for example, Massachusetts Mercury, 17–21 April.
8. Dr. Nathaniel Walker Appleton, for whom see vol. 3:118, was 39 years of age when he died on 15 April. Public tribute for the respected physician included a published funeral sermon and a lengthy obituary that extolled, “In the various relations of { 418 } husband, son, parent, brother, and friend, his conduct was most exemplary. With an uncommon gentleness of manners, he united an exalted firmness of character. And to the close of life, his moral and political virtues, reflected new lustre, because he was a Christian from inquiry, and a Patriot from principle” (John Clarke, A Discourse, Delivered … after the Interment of Nathaniel W. Appleton, M.D., Boston, 1796, Evans, No. 30199; Boston Columbian Centinel, 18 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0267

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-04-23

Abigail Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] Dear Thomas—

I did not receive any Letters from You when your Brother wrote last to me the 11 of Novbr.
I suppose you felt quite out of Sorts at not having received any Letters from Your Friends here. you must not however judge that your Friends have not written to you this is the fourth Letter which I have written, and your Friend Quincy I trust has written to you. I know he has received several Letters from You1
Much freedom of communication cannot be expected tho the contrast between America, and the Nations of Europe is so peculiarly Striking at this period, that it is next to impossible for our Hearts to be Sufficiently gratefull to the Supreme Arbiter and Govenour of the World, who maketh us to differ.2
In the full enjoyment of Health, Peace and competance, which Pope tells us, “is Reasons whole pleasure and all the Joys of Sense”3 we have great reason to pray, as the President directs in his Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving “that we may be preserved from the Arrogance of Prosperity”
Pope undoubtedly meant Peace of mind, yet a state of Peace is unquestionably as necessary for the happiness of a Nation, as Peace of mind to an individual.
The Clergy of this & some other of the states have distinguishd themselves in Support of the National Government on the late National Thanksgiving. I should like to make a collection of several of those Sermons which have been Printed, & send them to you. since the first settlement of the Country, upon no occasion have so many sermons been publishd none of them however have obtaind so great celebrity as one preachd by mr osgood of Medford upon our Annual Thanksgiving, which passd through three Editions in Boston, Six in new york & three in Philadelphia. the Sermon is a very good one, but its greatest merrit consisted in the Critical Moment of Publication, whilst the western Rebellion was just Subsiding, the Jacobine interest declining the Presidents Speach at the opening of Congress, the reply of the Senate, and the Debates in the House of { 419 } Representitives, all assisted in giving a currency to the Sentiments containd in the Sermon it was the first attempt from the pulpit to check the formidable combination of the self constituded Authorities, and embolden others to come forward. I have heard however of one Judas amongst the Apostles, and he is like to lose his Parish in concequence of it.
The people of Haverhill are like soon to settle an other minister a mr Abbot of Andover, perhaps a classmate of yours— he has received and Accepted a call.
I am anxious for your Dear & amiable Aunt who has many difficulties to struggle with her Friends are kind to her, and I hope will continue so. she has had 3 Boarders Gentlemen, now she must quit the House, which breaks her up for the present, but so good a woman can never be forsaken. her Friends have enabled her to continue her son at Cambridge— the funds of the university will assist him an other year4
I inclose you the Hartford News Boys address—said to be written by a dr Hopkins.5 write as often as possible / to Your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
1. In his Diary, TBA mentions receiving several letters from Josiah Quincy III; however, only his letter to TBA of 26 Dec. has been found (M/TBA/2, 28 July, 8 Oct., 12 Nov. 1795, APM Reel 282; TBA, Journal, 1798, p. 7; Adams Papers).
2. I Corinthians, 4:7.
3. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 79.
4. Following his father’s death, William Smith Shaw received two forms of financial assistance from Harvard. In May 1795 the Harvard Corporation awarded Shaw a direct grant from the legacy of William Pennoyer, a bequest that amounted to $127 per year and was distributed equally among four students. He continued to receive the award in 1796 and 1797. The college faculty also employed Shaw as a waiter in the school’s dining hall. This other form of aid was awarded first in July 1795 and renewed in 1796 and 1797 (MH-Ar:Corporation Records, 3:470; 4:488, 528; MH-Ar:Faculty Records, 6:281, 303, 341).
5. Enclosure not found. Dr. Lemuel Hopkins (1750–1801), a Hartford physician and one of the so-called Connecticut Wits, is credited with several carriers’ addresses, which annually appeared in the Hartford Connecticut Courant in early January (DAB; Charles W. Everest, ed., The Poets of Connecticut; with Biographical Sketches, Hartford, Conn., 1844, p. 51). For extracts from the 1795 address, see AA to JA, 21 Jan., and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0268

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-04-25

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

N. 5.

[salute] My dear Madam.

Your favour of Novr: 26. Was not quite five months in reaching me. I received it about a week since, and as the first direct { 420 } communication from you, since we sailed it was peculiarly acceptable, though it had been so long on the way.
You have received before this time I presume, my letter of Feby: 12. at least you are informed of the great changes which have taken place in the Government of this Country since our arrival.
The public tranquility has not been for a moment interrupted. The order and discipline of the french troops is above all praise. The parties within are more bitter than ever against each other, and but for a little superintendance, they would have been at work long ago. But as the friends and Allies of the Batavian People, have a very particular regard for them, they advise them in the most persuasive manner not to come to any extremities among themselves. So that in truth the greatest partizans of the Old Government, are those who are under the greatest obligations to the French.
It has not been without difficulty that the ardour of the popular Societies has been suppressed by the superior energy of their new Ally’s friendly counsels. These popular Societies, seem destined every where to grow as a monstrous wen upon the body of Liberty. In this Country there is scarce a town or village ever so small in which they have not sprung up since the Revolution; but hitherto they have been harmless, because they have been impotent. When the french armies entered the Province of Holland the Commissioners of the Convention published a proclamation promising to respect the Independence of the Batavian People; but declaring at the same time, that they would repress all excesses between the inhabitants. The only occasions upon which they have been obliged to carry this determination into effect has been furnished by the popular Societies.
It has been more than once proposed to me, and even urged upon me, to become a member of that which has been formed in this place. I have excused myself upon the ground of being a stranger, and of the impropriety which I should commit, in taking any part personally in the politics of the Country. This answer has been sufficient, but not satisfactory. The Patriots here say they are our only friends: That the Orange party detest us, and therefore that we are not equitable in preserving a neutrality between them.
As to the dispositions of the Orangists, there is too much truth in the assertion of their adversaries. The Court party, and all the former governing party here, never look upon the United States but with eyes of terror and aversion sometimes shaded with a veil of affected indifference, and sometimes attempted to be disguised under { 421 } a mask of respect and veneration.— I speak not of an universal sentiment. There are exceptions, among the thinking and respectable part of the Faction; but my reference is to the general sentiment of that class. I have had repeated opportunities of observing it, and if the situation of the whole party had been such as to admit of any sentiment relative to them, but compassion, I believe I should have been disposed before this to return them all their gall, and to exult in the foundation of their fears. But their humiliations from the time when I arrived to this day, have been such as would disarm any enmity but that of party. I have therefore invariably avoided every act that could be charged with partiality favourable to the patriots or against the others: not from regard to them, but to my own Duty.
It was therefore unnecessary for me to look for motives to justify my refusal, to the principles upon which I have an aversion to political popular Societies in general. To destroy an established power these Societies are undoubtedly an efficacious instrument. But in their nature they are fit for nothing else; and the reign of Robespierre has shewn, what use they make of power when they obtain its exercise.
While I am writing I receive your favour of January 10th: and am somewhat surprized that you had then received no letters from us. Indeed we have been informed that one of the vessels by which we wrote from England, was soon after she sailed wrecked upon the English coast, and we suppose our letters must have been lost.
Your short extracts from the poem published in the Orrery gave me much gratification. It did not assuredly proceed from the same pen as the few sketches which were communicated to you just before we sailed. I am suspicious however that the conjectures respecting the author (or authoress) are erroneous. And if there are no traces of discovery but mere conjecture, I am very confident that the writer will remain unknown. If I mistake not it is a person upon whom the public suspicion would not easily fall.
To write constantly about the news of the day is always tedious, and in all probability I can tell you nothing, but what will be known to you before the receipt of my Letter. The Peace between France and Prussia, which has already taken place, and that with Spain, said to be on the point of conclusion are the most important events of the present time.1 Luxemburg & Mentz are besieged by the french, but the action of the armies is languishing, and it is supposed that Italy is to become the most important seat of war.
The scarcity of provisions is excessive in almost every part of { 422 } France. And this circumstance is the cause or pretext of constant commotions and agitations in many of the departments and in Paris. The Convention as yet however stand their ground; the Jacobin party apparently weakens from day to day. They may be restored however by an explosion. Our American Jacobins I imagine will be puzzled to fix upon their creed as to french affairs. I question whether they will give at full length the debates in the Convention of the present time. If they do, you will perceive that Jacobin Clubs, Sans culottism, Démagogie, (if we have no word to express this idea, it is not for want of the thing) and all the madness and all the hypocrisy, which it was so long a fashion to profess and to admire, are now rated at their true value. There is however one fundamental political error, from which France has not yet recovered; It is the unqualified submission, and the unwise veneration for the opinion publique, which is in its nature inconsistent with any regular permanent system of government or of policy. Until they have the courage to explode this doctrine, they will not only be without a constitution, but totally destitute of the means of forming one.
I have not yet received a line from my father since we left America. I have written to him repeatedly, and hope that in general my letters in going having been more expeditious than those which have been coming to me. Hitherto we have been here in a kind of imprisonment, which has secluded us from the intercourse of our friends. In future we hope to be more fortunate.
Your affectionate Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A. Adams.”; endorsed: “J Q Adams April / 25 1795.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. On 5 April France and Prussia signed a peace treaty at Basel, Switzerland. In return for control of the west bank of the Rhine, France ceded possessions on the river’s east bank. The treaty also established a zone of neutrality in northern Germany, which would be controlled by Prussia.
The treaty between Spain and France would be signed at Basel on 22 July with the only significant condition being Spain’s cession of its territory on Hispaniola (Paul W. Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics 1763–1848, N.Y., 1994, p. 151–153).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0269

Author: Adams, John
Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-04-26

John Adams and Abigail Adams to
John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have received your Letters Numbers 1. 2. 3. 4. and 5. but not in the order, in which they were written— Number one, was the last recd as it came to hand by the last Post.1
{ 423 }
Never was a Father more Satisfied, or gratified, than I have been with the kind Attention of my sons Since they went abroad. I have no Language to express to you the Pleasure I have recd from the Satisfaction you have given to The President and Secretary of State, as well as from the clear, comprehensive, & masterly Accounts in your Letters to me of the public Affairs of Nations in Europe whose Situation and Politicks it most concerns Us to know— Go On, my dear son, and by a dilligent Exertion of your Genious and Abilities, continue to deserve well of your Father but especially of your Country. The more faithfully you have discharged and fulfilled your Duty to me, the more anxious I have been least I may not have fulfilled mine to you with so much Punctuallity. It is painful to the Vanity of an Old Man to acknowledge the Decays of Nature: but I have lost the habit of Writing, from the Want of a Clerk, from weak Eyes and from a trembling hand, to such a degree, that a Pen is as terrible to me, as a sword to a Coward, or which is perhaps a more suitable comparison, as a rod to a Child.
The Revolution in Holland as We generally call it, though some call it a Conquest, will probably have an Influence in Europe, and eer long produce a Peace. All Nations must be nearly exhausted.
Of France I presume not to predict any Thing except their Success in their military Operations, untill there is more tranquility and more toleration of political Opinions and discussions. Untill they discover, that a Bridle is necessary to the Horse whoever is the Rider, they will be in danger of Stumbling, Starting and being run away with.
In Politicks We enjoy a Serene sky— The Season is rainy beyond almost any Example in my Memory. This fair Weather in Public affairs and foul Weather in private Concerns is a Coincidence in favour of our Happiness which I pray may continue, and then blessed shall We be indeed. Pacific and Foederal Politicks prevail, even to the Overthrow of Mr Austin for the present. Mr Dexter however is supposed to have lost his Election to the great Regret of the best Men. The Clergy have loaded the Press with sermons in favour of Government.
Our Friends are generally well—extreamly anxious to read your Letters and your Brothers and highly delighted with them.
I am happy that Mr Jay communicated to you his Progress. I presume his Labours will be rewarded. I doubt not, though I know not the Contents of the Treaty, that the Same Honour, Candour, { 424 } Equity, Magnanimity, Address and Penetration which he has shewn on former Occasions will appear on this.
In the inclosed I have corrected a foolish Error of the Press, and put delighted for delightful and his for the. I wish you to have it translated and published in French—2
My Love to your Brother. I consider myself as writing to both when I write to one, being to / both an Affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I add a line to your Fathers Letter to inform you that I wrote to you and your Brother last week by a vessel going direct to Amsterdam belonging to W Cunningham, & I wrote you by an other vessel going to Hamburgh a month since.3 We are anxious to hear from you both. I feel the freedom of communication so curtaild that I can only add, what cannot suffer a Revolution, the fervent affection / of your Mother
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address by JA: “John Quincy Adams Esqr / American Minister in / Holland”; endorsed by TBA: “The Vice President / 26 April 1795 / 23 June Recd / 2 July Answd.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JQA to JA, 23 Oct., 9, 17 Nov., 3, 21 Dec. 1794 (all Adams Papers).
2. The enclosure has not been found but was likely “Dr. Belknap’s Letter to Dr. Kippis, Author of Biographia Brittanica,” MHS, Colls., 1st ser., 4:79–86 (1795). From 2 Jan. to 15 April 1795 JA corresponded with Jeremy Belknap regarding Andrew Kippis’ The Life of Captain James Cook, London, 1788, in which Kippis erroneously charged Congress with ordering Cook’s seizure if encountered by ships under commission to the United States in 1779. Both JA and Belknap corresponded with members of Congress in 1779 and 1780, and Belknap printed this correspondence with his letter, including JA’s original response to Belknap of 16 Jan. 1795, in which JA wrote, “I have been often a delighted Hearer of Dr Kippis in the Pulpit” (MHi: Kippis Papers). In his response to JA of 27 June, JQA makes no mention of the enclosure or of having had it published (Adams Papers).
3. The letters sent via Hamburg were AA to JQA, 10 Feb., and to TBA, 11 Feb., both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0270

Author: Adams, John
Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-04-26

John Adams and Abigail Adams to
Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My Dear Thomas

Your kind Letters of Nov. 2. and Decr 20 are before me. You will Soon learn the meaning of the Word Ennui, among others in the French Language, which have no parallel Expression in English. I Suffered more from this Dæmon in Europe than I can express; more for what I know than from all the other Pains of my whole Life. had I not found in Books a relief from it, I should have perished under it.
{ 425 }
Your Brother as well as Yourself, in your purchases of Books, will I hope be more judicious and OEconomical than I was.— Purchase none but the best— I purchased every Thing with too little discrimination.
The French Language will soon be yours— You cannot avoid it in that Country. I wish however you could have learned to Speak it in Paris, where it is Spoken with greater Accuracy and Elegance. Indeed it is probable by this time there are at the Hague So many Officers and other Gentlemen from France, who Speak their Language in Perfection, that you may learn it there as well as any where.
I am glad to find you attentive to your health. My daily Practice was to Cross the Barrier beyond The Maison [du] Bois with my Walking stick every day. If every night when you [. . . .] to rest you can recollect that you have performed this Ceremony in the Course of the day, your Conscience may serenely say that you have not entirely failed of your duty to yourself for that day.— Walk before dinner from 12 to 2.
My Curiosity is quite awake to see the new Dutch Constitution. But I fear Franklinianism and Turgotism will prevail there and if they should they will do more Mischief, than Mammonism and Devilism of every other Species I think. Indeed I have named it wrong.— It is Nedhamism and I think it has been found in Practice the most detestable form of Government, for the time it lasts, which God Almighty in his Anger ever permitted to chastise Mankind for their Sins.1
I hope there will not appear in Holland a Spirit of Intollerance in political Discussions— If there should, Chance and Passion will give them their Government— if there should not Reason may have a share in its Composition.
I long to hear of Peace in France that the Learning Ingenuity, Sagacity and sensibility of that Nation may have time to exert themselves in the formation of a Constitution for themselves.
I am my dear Child your / affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams

[salute] Dear Thomas

I wrote you at the same time I did your Brother and have only now to add, that all the fine Girls in Phyladelphia are marrying off Hitty Morris is married to a mr Marshall of virginia miss Anthony to a mr Polock of N york, and miss Wescot to—to Nobody that I hear of2 I find you were Susceptable in England. miss Copley was a fine Girl when I was there. You must take care & not get fascinated. be { 426 } carefull of your Health. the Air of Holland is as liable to Agues & Rehumatism as Penssylvania
adieu ever your affectionate / Mother
[signed] A Adams
RC (PWacD:Sol Feinstone Coll., on deposit at PPAmP); internal address by JA: “T. B. Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “The Vice President / 26 April 1795 / 23 June Recd / 13 July Answd.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. Following the French invasion, the new Batavian Republic had no overarching governing body. Instead revolutionary committees were established at the local level and then loosely federated into provincial assemblies, deemed “Provisional Representatives of the People,” which dismantled the Dutch constitution. A new one would not be enacted until May 1798. By invoking the seventeenth-century British journalist and propagandist Marchmont Needham, JA suggested the mercurial allegiances among the new and often overlapping governing committees and assemblies (DNB; Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 212, 217–219, 321).
2. On 9 April 1795 Esther (Hetty) Morris (1774–1816), the daughter of Philadelphia financier Robert Morris, married Virginia land proprietor and lawyer James Markham Marshall (1764–1848). Martha Anthony, whose father was Philadelphia merchant Joseph Anthony, married New York merchant Hugh Pollock, also on 9 April (DAB; Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 10 April; Washington, Diaries, 5:326). The announcement of both marriages was reprinted in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 22 April.
For Elizabeth Wescott, see AA to TBA, 10 Jan., and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0271

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Read, John
Date: 1795-05-02

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Read

[salute] My dear Sir.

It has long been my intention to commence the Correspondence, which I had the pleasure to propose to you by letter a few days previous to my departure from America, but like many other good resolutions; which suffer by procrastination, I have never before proceeded to the execution.1 I can promise you but little entertainment however, & though I should make frequent drafts of this kind upon your fund of good sense, you must expect to be a looser in the court of Exchange. I have but one correspondent in the City of Philadelphia vizt J Smith Esqr.2 and as I feel a particular interest in the affairs of that City and the State of Pennsylvania, by permitting me to add your name to the list, you will sensibly oblige me.
I have been in Europe between 6 & 7 months, during which period events of great consequence have followed each other in quick succession; and though an humble spectator of some of the most important, I cannot say but that I have taken some interest in them. The most prominent of these events are the foreign Conquest which french bravery & perseverance has atchieved of this Country, and the internal Revolution of Government; by the former of which an important member has been loppd off from the coalition, & by the latter, or by means of it, will be added to the Republican body.
{ 427 }
The fate of another Country, which in order of time should have been mentioned first, has caused many a sigh in the breast of suffering humanity. The Conquest & total dismemberment of Poland, which took place shortly after my arrival in this Country, caused many apprehensions lest the example of savage barbarity, which the Slaves of Catherine had given in their treatment towards the conquered in that unhappy Country, should be immitated by the then invaders of this, in case a similar success should attend their arms.
The result however has proved no less honorable to the latter than disgraceful to the former, and it now demonstrates that the very suspicion was injurious, no less to the courage than the generosity of the Republican Armies. The contrast was so striking, that the two examples will be transmitted to posterity as the light & shade of an historical picture, equally retentive of their coloring, and doubtless productive of opposite effects upon their mental vision. It cannot be denied however that in both cases it is Conquest, and the final decision of this Country’s future rank may be unfriendly to Sovereignty & Independence, though the faith of the french Government stands pledged to support the Batavian People in both.
The future prospects of Europe are gloomy to an excess that borders upon total darkness. The most dreadful in contemplation is that of famine which at this moment threatens every part of it. The scarcity & consequent dearness of provisions is complained of in England, Spain, Portugal, Prussia & the Empire, and in short there is no corner where it is not seriously apprehended. Above all the scarcity is alarming in France and though this circumstance has been used as a political engine by the Jacobins and Royalists against the Convention, yet at this time it is supposed to amount to something more real than fictitious.3 Peace with Prussia has not brought them plenty, nor yet much facilitated the means of procuring a supply. A Peace with Spain, which is supposed to be near at hand, may add a few Ships to the french Navy, but will not make them masters of the Sea—until which event, the scarcity must continue, though the approaching harvest may afford a temporary Supply.
American Commerce will reap essential benefit from the imperious necessities of the old world, provided our flag is respected. But the inveterate jealousies of the most powerful Maritime Nation, though curbed by Treaties, and checked by recent stipulations, may again insult & plunder our defenceless navigation under new { 428 } pretences. Better things are to be hoped however, as the impulse of fear may operate more in our favour, than a principle of justice, or a respect for our rights. Our Country has happily & wisely avoided a war, and I am well perswaded that no American, who knows the calamities to which the nations of Europe are reduced by it, would derive consolation in such company, from being but one among the miserable.
Hitherto I have had little opportunity of making remarks upon the natural and artificial curiosities of this Country. The chief Cities of the Province of Holland, I have occasionally visited. But till within a few weeks past the season has been so severe, that travelling was rather to be dreaded than desired. Perhaps at a future day I may amuse you with a detail of Dutch elegance.
I expect that the communication between this Country and America will be more frequent and direct in future than it has been since my residence here— I hope you will not fail to give me occasionally the state of the political thermometer among you. Not forgetting the little stories of domestic occurrences, nor yet the flux & reflux—of the polemic Ocean— Who among the bretheren are rising, who stationary, and who declining. Ask yourself only this question when any thing interesting occurs— “Were I three or four thousand miles from this scene, would this give me pleasure in relation”? and you cannot fail to find matter of amusement & gratification for him, who with all the cordiality of friendship & esteem, subscribes himself / your’s
[signed] TB Adams.
PS. I beg you to present my best remembrance to your brother Wm: if he should be with you when this comes to hand—also to Messrs Plumsted & Chs Ross—4 As these are all Merchants, tell them if you please that the best Voyage they can make, will be a trip to Amsterdam.
RC (DLC:Read Family Papers); addressed: “John Read Esqr: / Counsellor at Law / Philadelphia. / United States of America.”; internal address: “John Read Esqr:.”
1. Letter not found. John Read (1769–1854), Princeton 1787, was the son of Gertrude Ross and Delaware lawyer George Read. A lawyer himself who settled in Philadelphia during the early 1790s, Read was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1792 (DAB).
2. John Rhea Smith (1767–1830), Princeton 1787, was a classmate and intimate friend of John Read. The son of Susannah Bayard and Philadelphia merchant Jonathan Bayard Smith, he practiced law after being admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1791 (Princetonians, 4:227–232).
3. The harsh winter of 1794 to 1795 resulted in increasing prices and decreasing food supplies, especially grain, throughout Europe. In France, these shortages were { 429 } extreme and were exacerbated by the lifting of the maximum, a price ceiling on foodstuffs, which further increased prices and resulted in bread riots during the spring (Bosher, French Rev., p. 234; Schama, Citizens, p. 852).
By summer, bread continued to be in short supply, but JQA and TBA both noted the availability of other provisions and the prospect for a plentiful harvest (JQA to JA, 27 June, Adams Papers; M/TBA/2, 19 May 1795, APM Reel 282).
4. William Read (1767–1846), a Philadelphia merchant, later served as vice-consul for Naples and Sicily (Gregory B. Keen, The Descendants of Jöran Kyn of New Sweden, Phila., 1913, p. 207–208).
The Messrs. Plumsted are likely Clement (1758–1800) and George (1765–1805), sons of Philadelphia merchant and politician William Plumsted and his second wife Mary McCall (Eugene Devereux, Chronicles of the Plumsted Family, Phila., 1887, p. 34–35, 39–42).
Charles Ross (1772–1817) was the only son of Clementina Cruikshank and Philadelphia merchant John Ross. Entering the mercantile business, Ross later became active in U.S. trade with China (Jean Gordon Lee, Philadelphians and the China Trade 1784–1844, Phila., 1984, p. 61).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0272

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-05-08

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir.

Your favor of the 11th: Feby reached me on the 29th: ulto:; being the first direct communication from you since my residence in Europe, the receipt of it was peculiarly acceptable; it also had another merit, that of giving the latest intelligence from our Country and friends. Mr Wilcocks has not yet visited this Country; when he does I shall certainly pay him every attention, which his own merit, no less than your recommendation can demand in his behalf.
Europe is indeed a “new world” to me. But hitherto I have witnessed only its convulsions, & the prospect of a more tranquil State of affairs is partial, if not obscure. Instructive lessons however may be learnt from its present Condition; and a very short residence is sufficient to suggest the reflection that of all the sciences, that of Government is the least understood. The Feudal System, which is more or less incorporated with all the Governments that remain upon the old establishment, and which has hitherto “resisted the rudest shocks of time,”1 appears to have lost all its amiable traits, and has left behind it, only the dependence of vassalage, without the reciprocity of protection. It has lost its basis, which was acknowledged superiority, qualified by dignified submission; and its polar principle, which was Justice has given place to systematic fraud. With these essential variations from elementary institutions, it is less surprizing if the people of Europe should be impatient to return to original principles, and to commence their reformation by a total overthrow of existing forms. How long they will submit to present burdens, must depend in a great measure upon the success { 430 } of the experiment which France is making. If any thing favorable to rational freedom should result from it; the example will spread; it will be carefully propagated, however its horrors have given it the complexion of a pestilence. The first transition will be from Despotism to Anarchy, which will probably be organized as it has been in France under the name of Democracy, and the systems which will arise from subsequent variations, will probably add fresh examples to the Catalogue of impracticable Governments. But though the success of these experiments cannot be foretold, the spirit of prophecy is not necessary to predict that they will be made.
A Revolution has taken place in the Government of this Country, since my residence in it. The Ancient Constitution was the first sacrifice; four months have elapsed and no substitute has been found, & the only apology that can be made by the present rulers for the acts of their Administration is, that they call them Revolutionary instead of Constitutional. Rights have been nominally accorded to the people, but the exercise of them has no legal warranty; and the latitude in which some of them are acknowledged, is only harmless, because in execution they have been found impracticable. One of this description I take to be that of universal suffrage, for Christians, (even Democracy denies those who deny the Saviour of Mankind) which has been proclaimed as the basis of the new order of things.2 It is considered of so little value by the great mass of people in this Country, that no anxiety has been discovered by them to put it in force; and when the forms shall be agreed upon & the system organized, which is to afford an opportunity for the experiment, it is yet questionable whether any considerable portion of the community will take advantage of it.
A Government begun in paradox, and maintained by inconsistencies does not promise any essential amelioration of the condition of Man. And so sensible are the present possessors of power that such is the complexion of theirs, that they are willing to refer the question of its continuance rather to the strength of those who conferred it upon them, than to the good dispositions of those who are to be immediately affected by it. It is yet a question of great consequence to the prominent characters of the late Revolution, whether the affections, the passions and the interests of the people of this Country are engaged on their side. The immediate solution would probably be dangerous if not fatal to the cause in which they have embarked. Immense sacrifices are called for from the people; they are made; but with what sort of temper may be inferred from the { 431 } nature of the equivalent they may expect to receive. Obedience is required to the laws; it is given, but the people have sense enough to know that in free Governments the Constitution is the basis of law, and they do not forget to ask for their’s.
The private character of this people presents many peculiar traits. Arguing from their ability in the management of individual concerns, one would not expect to discover so striking deficiencies in the public administration of affairs. The people are industrious, frugal, and temperate; And they have apparently so much natural order & regularity in their dispositions, that one would imagine a small portion of positive law would answer the purpose of Government among them. Their intestine feuds & divisions however, have, ever since their existence as a separate Nation, been productive of continual struggles, which have rendered the victory of party the object of contention instead of the benefit of the Country. Alternate triumphs and defeats among themselves have been so often repeated, that foreign Conquest has no horrors for either faction whose superiority is established by it.
The Alliance does not yet appear to have taken place. Two new deputies have been charged with a secret commission on the part of the National Convention, to make the final arrangements respecting this Country’s future destiny; it is said they have already arrived here. Rewbell & the Abbé Séyés are the members. It is not in the nature of people who take the trouble to Conquer nations to be quite so disinterested as the french have professed to be; the conditions therefore that are said to be required as the price of Liberty & Independence from the people of this Country, amount to something like a complete indemnification for the expences of the last campaign. But the alliance must be purchased at all events, and the dismemberment of a considerable portion of the Dutch territory will be among the sacrifices required on one side and conceded on the other.3
Hitherto my travels in Holland have been very circumscribed. I have been several times at Amsterdam for a few days together, during the severest weather of the winter, and was much gratified with the novelty of the scenes we witnessed. The City in itself unites convenience and ellegance much beyond what my imagination had anticipated. The different inventions for the facilitation of labour, are monuments highly honorable to the ingenuity of the inhabitants, as they are the result of that characteristic œconomy for which they have been always famed. In works of real utility, they { 432 } can scarcely be surpassed by any people, and though they are not inattentive to ornament, it cannot be said to be so peculiarly their fort. Leyden, Haerlem & Delft are handsome Cities; remarkably neat, and wonderfully quiet. But as I have only seen them on the wing, I can yet give no satisfactory account of the particular curiosities of each.4 At Leyden indeed I was gratified with the sight of the Anatomical Theatre, and the Museum. In the Theatre there are a vast number of skeletons, the distortions and unnatural postures of which struck me with horror; but I have since seen so many living forms in conditions equally monstrous & deplorable, that I am no longer surprized that the collection should be so numerous, in an exhibition of that nature.5
The Curiosities of the Museum differed very little from all others I have ever seen; the collection of natural & artificial productions is perhaps larger than that of Peales in Philadelphia, but after having seen his there is not much left to admire in the Cabinet of Leyden.6 The then Rector Magnificus of the University was your friend Mr John Luzac; it was by means of his politeness & civility that we obtained a sight of these places. My brother was vastly pleased with this Gentleman’s politics, and had the hardihood to say, that he was the only rational man he had then met with in the Country. He told us that politic’s had usurped the seat of the Muses in that place; that Orangists & Patriots were as clearly visible within the limits of that institution, as they are in the Country at large, and that the pursuit of Science was often impeded by the influence of private animosities. Since the Revolution several of the Professors have been dismissed from their employment, and their Offices conferred upon adherents of the triumphant faction. The Scholars indeed were the chief Agents in affecting the change of Municipal Officers in that Town.
I shall be careful to purchase the Books you recommend. Cujatius in particular shall be sent you by the first convenient opportunity. There are sales of Books frequently in this place, and many valuable works are commonly found in the collections— The old editions of most all the Latin authors upon the Civil Law, and the Law of Nature & Nations sell cheap; but a fair type & an handsome binding seldom escape the rapacity of the knowing one’s. My Brother’s Library, which he has collected chiefly in this way abounds in Memoirs & Negotiations Diplomatique; it increases gradually, and will in time be respectable; it is already very useful to us.7
{ 433 }
We have been particularly unfortunate as to the Books & Baggage we left behind us in England— They have not yet come to hand, and we begin to despair of ever receiving them. They were shipped on Board a British Vessel in the month of November; but she was prevented from reaching her destination by the sudden frost which closed the River Maese, and she has lay’n all winter at Harwich.
I beg you Sir to present my dutiful remembrance to my Grandmother, & my Uncle’s family, and to accept for yourself the tribute of filial affection & respect from / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President &ca:”; endorsed: “T. B. Adams / May 8. 1795.”
1. Perhaps a paraphrase of Rev. George H. Spierin, A Sermon Delivered at Newburgh, on Thursday the Twenty-Fourth Day of June, Being the Festival of St. John the Baptist, Goshen, N.Y., 1790, p. 10, Evans, No. 22900.
2. One of the symbolic acts of the new republican leadership was to revoke the restrictions placed upon Catholics and Dissenters by the Synod of Dort, which in 1618 had established the Reformed Church as the true Dutch church. This newfound tolerance, however, did not extend to Jews. Competing interpretations of democracy further complicated the question of suffrage, with conservative republicans, like Nicolaas van Staphorst, endorsing a limited franchise for the wealthy and educated, while the more radical republican faction favored universal suffrage for all but criminals, recipients of public assistance, and the insolvent (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 212, 214–216).
3. Jean François Rewbell (Reubell, 1747–1807) and the Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836), described as a bear and a fox by one Dutch Patriot, were the members of the diplomatic section of France’s Committee of Public Safety dispatched to The Hague to negotiate peace with the Dutch. Diplomatic representatives of the Patriots had been in Paris since mid-Dec. 1794 but had received little formal recognition from the National Convention and no acknowledgment of the Batavian Republic as an independent nation. It was not until Rewbell and Sieyès arrived at The Hague that formal negotiations began on 11 May 1795 and concluded on 16 May with the Treaty of The Hague (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 195–196, 206–207). For more on the treaty, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 9, above.
4. In his Diary, TBA notes three separate trips to Amsterdam. The first, 15–27 Nov. 1794, also afforded his first introduction to Haarlem and Leyden, which he passed through en route to Amsterdam. He made a more extensive excursion through Leyden on the return trip, visiting the city on 27 and 28 November. TBA’s subsequent visits to Amsterdam were made between 18 and 31 Jan. 1795 and from 1 to 3 May. The latter trip also included an excursion to the Haarlem countryside. His impression of Delft was formed on 31 Oct. 1794, during his initial journey to The Hague (M/TBA/2, APM Reel 282).
5. For the anatomical theater at the University of Leyden, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 10, above.
6. In July 1786, American painter and naturalist Charles Willson Peale added a gallery of natural curiosities to his Philadelphia museum. His efforts to display specimens within their natural contexts, through the use of painted backdrops and “classed and arranged according to their several species,” set Peale’s museum apart from many European natural history collections and may have contributed to TBA’s lukewarm response to the Leyden collection. In his Diary, TBA found remarkable only the size of the Leyden collection and its “great variety of Christals, and precious stones, together with different kinds of Oar” but noted that he “had not sufficient time to examine its contents with much accuracy” and hoped “to have a better opportunity some other time” (Pennsylvania Packet, 7 July 1786; Charles Coleman Sellers, Mr. Peale’s Museum: Charles Willson Peale and the First Popular { 434 } Museum of Natural Science and Art, N.Y., 1980, p. 19, 23; M/TBA/2, 28 Nov. 1794, APM Reel 282).
7. The Diaries of both TBA and JQA record their attendance at book sales in Nov. and Dec. 1794, and most recently on 29 April 1795 (M/TBA/2, APM Reel 282; D/JQA/22, APM Reel 25; D/JQA/23, APM Reel 26). Upon his departure from Europe in 1801, JQA also compiled an inventory of the books shipped back to the United States, which is further divided into specific titles sent from The Hague in 1797 and then from Berlin in 1801 (M/JQA/52, APM Reel 248).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0273

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-05-16

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

N: 6.

[salute] Dear Madam.

We seem to be once more restored to some connection with our own Country; for six months after we left it, we might have been almost ignorant of its existence, but for the perpetual admonition of our own Hearts. A few days since I received from Hamburg, your favour of Feby: 10th. The third letter of yours that has reached me, and all within the course of three Weeks. Had you known of the occasion to write by my friend Freeman, I fear very much that your letter would have never reached me. I have heard that the vessel in which he was a passenger foundered on the Coast of France, that the people who took to one of her two boats, were fortunate enough to reach the shore, but that Mr: Freeman was in the other. I have still some hopes that he may have been saved; but my fears of the contrary are greater, and I dread the certainty of having to lament the loss of an amiable & valuable friend.1
I wrote him a letter from London, relative to some papers which he had entrusted to me when I came from America, and which were interesting to him.2 But as I have no acknowledgment from any of my friends in Massachusetts of their having received the letters I wrote them from London, I am apprehensive they must have all miscarried, or at least that Mr: Freeman, had not received that I wrote him, before he sailed himself.
Since I wrote you last (April 25) nothing very material has taken place here. We are very quiet very secure, and in danger of nothing that I know of but hunger. The scarcity of provisions begins to be very alarming here, and it is already severely felt in almost every part of Europe. In some places it amounts to an absolute famine.
Two new members of the french national Convention, and of the Com̃ittee of Public Safety, Rewbell and Syeyes arrived here a few days since and are negotiating with a deputation from the States General. They are both characters of note, but the latter is { 435 } { 436 } particularly famous. He appears to be between 40 and 50 years of age, middling stature, spare person, pale countenance, strong features, and bald head; dress simple but neat; manners cool, approaching to the asperate. A single interview of a quarter of an hour, would not warrant any more particular characteristic observations.
The object of this mission is supposed to be important, from the choice of the members. Syeyes was President of the National Convention, when he was chosen for this errand, and sat out upon it.
France is far from being entirely tranquil. I have repeatedly given you my ideas relative to the practical moderation to be expected from thence. The last accounts contain details of the execution of Fouquier Tinville, and of fifteen Judges and Jurors of Robespierre’s Revolutionary tribunal, condemned by the Judges and Jurors of a succeeding Revolutionary tribunal, to whom one of the present sufferers upon hearing his sentence, foretold, that their turn also would very speedily come.3
At Lyons on the 4th: of this month the people, forced the prisons, and massacred the persons detained to the number of 60 or 70.4 These severities and cruelties are the reaction of the Revolution, and although afflictive to all sentiments of humanity, seem to lose some of their horrors in the consideration that they are exercised upon the people who were the first examples & instruments of the murders without number with and without legal forms, which proved during so long a time the desolation of France.
On the other hand, fairer prospects rise from the complete pacification of the Vendee, said to be at length effected; from the Prussian Peace, negotiated at Basle, and signed on the part of France, by your old acquaintance Barthelemi,5 and from the increasing probability of a general Peace, or at least with the exception of Great Britain alone.
I have just got letters from my brother Charles of March 10.6 and New York papers from whence it appears that the Treaty signed by Mr: Jay had at length arrived, and that the Senate were to meet in June to determine upon the point of Ratification. I am apprehensive it will occasion a tour to Philadelphia in June, which will not be very pleasant to my father, as it will call him at a busy time from the pleasures of his farm. I rejoyce to hear that the next Senate will be so well composed; a little wisdom, and a little moderation is all we want to secure a continuance of the blessings, of which faction, intrigue, private ambition, and desperate fortunes have concurred in exertions to deprive us. The Government of the United States need { 437 } not even appeal to the judgment of posterity, whose benedictions will infallibly follow those measures which were the most opposed. The voice of all Europe already pronounces their justification; the nations which have been grappling together with the purpose of mutual destruction, feeble exhausted, and almost starving, detest on all sides the frantic War they have been waging; those that have had the wisdom to maintain a neutrality have reason more than ever to applaud their policy, and some of them may thank the United States for the example, from which it was pursued.
I know not when we shall have an opportunity to send you the articles for which you commissioned us. The situation of this Country has frightened away, almost all our Commerce, and only one opportunity direct to any part of Massachusetts has occurred since we have been in the Country. How long this state of things will continue it is not easy to anticipate; it is not so agreeable as to make us wish very anxiously for its long duration.
Your miniatures are not forgotten. We were so short a Time in England, and our Time there was so busily employed, that we did not find a moment we could spare for the painter.— We have however accidentally met an Englishman here, who is now about the work, and we believe it will be executed to your satisfaction.
I beg to be remembered in duty and affection to my grandmother, and to all our friends at Quincy, and Weymouth. We sympathize most cordially with the family of our Uncle Shaw, upon the heavy loss they have sustained so suddenly by his Death. I have requested Dr: Welsh to contribute for me a small portion of assistance towards supporting the expence of William’s education. Should that be otherwise provided for it is my wish that he should however appropriate the same sum to the occasions of my Aunt and the family.7 I am sure it will be impossible to make a better application of the money.
I remain, my Dear Mamma, your affectionate Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.8
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A. Adams.”; endorsed: “J Q Adams May / 16 1795.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Jonathan Freeman Jr. perished at sea when his vessel, the snow Enterprize, foundered on 20 Feb., just fifteen days out from Boston en route to Hamburg (Frederick Freeman, Freeman Genealogy, Boston, 1875, p. 187; Newburyport Political Gazette, 18 June).
2. RC not found. In the LbC of his letter to Jonathan Freeman Jr., dated 26 Oct. 1794, JQA informed Freeman that he had been unable to deliver documents to William Vans in London but had instead left the documents with John Jay. Vans, who was Freeman’s business partner, had departed for Paris as the new American consul. The two men had had a vessel seized in the West { 438 } Indies, and JQA informed Freeman of a recent Order in Council that would allow the firm to appeal the decision in the English courts (Lb/JQA/2, APM Reel 126; William Vans Jr., A Short History of the Life of William Vans, A Native Citizen of Massachusetts, Boston, 1825, p. ii, 8–9).
3. Antoine Quentin Fouquier Tinville was a public prosecutor on France’s Revolutionary Tribunal with direct power to sentence people to death. He was arrested during the Thermidorian reaction and later guillotined on 7 May 1795 (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxxviii–xxxix).
4. A mob killed 97 prisoners at Lyons on 4 April. The attack was part of the reactionary violence against imprisoned revolutionaries that spread across southeastern France during May and June and was termed the White Terror (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:387; Bosher, French Rev., p. 238).
5. François Barthélemy, who was the former chargé d’affaires at London and whom the Adamses had known while in London, was appointed the French minister to Switzerland in 1792. He was responsible for negotiating the Treaty of Basel (Repertorium, 3:137). For the Adamses’ social interactions with Barthélemy in 1785 and 1786, see vol. 6:303, 305, 472; 7:40, 153.
6. Not found.
7. In his letter to Thomas Welsh of 26 April, JQA asked that ten dollars be contributed quarterly to William Shaw’s Harvard education (MHi:Adams-Welsh Coll.).
8. JQA had written to JA on 4 May and reported better treatment from the Dutch since the French occupation. He had also reviewed the situation in Europe, including the general state of affairs in France, especially the scarcity of provisions and the internal organization of its government. In a second letter to JA, dated 22 May, JQA commented at length on the recent shifts in European allegiances and their potential implications for the United States, especially in light of the Jay Treaty (both Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0274

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1795-05-17

John Quincy Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favours dated Feby 16. which Mr: Wilcox sent me from Hamburg, and of March 10th: which came in a Vessel arrived a day or two since at Amsterdam.1 The newspapers came with them, and proved a great entertainment to us. The Herald is a very excellent paper and I wish you by all means to continue sending it by every opportunity.2 But when you send them by any private conveyance, I will thank you to request the bearers not to forward them in Europe by the posts, the charges of which upon such packets are very heavy.
Our brother has regularly sent you the Leyden Gazette by every opportunity to New York since our arrival, and is much surprized to find that you did not receive any thing from him by the Vessel, which carried my Letters.
The fate of this Country hitherto will be seen by the accounts contained in the newspapers I say hitherto, because with respect to futurity it remains not less uncertain than it has been from the time when I came into it. The french have proclaimed, but they have not acknowledged its Independence, and it is from time alone that we { 439 } can be informed, whether it is to continue the humble friend of France, or to return to the allegiance of Britain.
My situation has indeed been as you suspected difficult and embarassing; during the first three months it was unpleasant. But I have not been under any necessity from a dictate of duty to quarrel with any one, and though I have had many temptations, I have as yet found no inducement to discover any partiality towards either of the parties. Each of them has been in its turn, not the pilot, but the rudder of the political ship, and the persons with whom I transacted my first business, are all dismissed, expelled or imprisoned. How long it will be before the course of Revolution will again reverse the scene of political exaltation and debasement, I shall not pretend to say, but it may be observed with truth that it depends upon the policy of others, and not in the minutest particle upon any agency of their own.
The interest and reputation of our Country assuredly has not been advanced by Whiskey rebellions, and Club Resolves, as you express it. But the injury they have caused has been more than counterbalanced by the wise policy, which has hitherto been pursued by the Government. Faction at home may bawl, disappointment may invenom, external influence may cabal and pay, and ambition may declaim, the whole to no purpose, while the administration pursue with firmness the path of neutrality, which they were the first to take, and for the example of which the only Nations of Europe, which have escaped from the general desolation are indebted to them. The consideration and respect in which the American Government is held has been equally strengthened by the manner in which they have conducted their affairs abroad, and pacified their most troublesome dissensions at home.
Those who think or pretend to think that the language or the conduct of a bully is the property style for a public Minister to obtain redress of injuries or to settle differences, may be very proper persons to Command a Regiment or a man of war, but they must be very disingenuous or very ignorant of the most universal propensities of the human heart, as well as of the fundamental principles upon which all pacific negotiations are conducted. They must be therefore characters very improper to manage any negotiation whatever, and incompetent judges of one so complicated and delicate as that with which Mr Jay was Commissioned.
Insolence has within these few years been exhibited more than { 440 } once by public Ministers, but it would be difficult to name an instance in which it has been useful or successful. From the Minister of a powerful natioin it provokes irritation and excites hatred, when it is not backed by formidable power, it can meet nothing but derision.
Your bill for one thousand dollars in favour of William Rogers has not yet been presented to me, but will meet with all due honour when it comes.3 If you can employ the money upon safe security to so much advantage in America, I think with you that it will not be worth your while to keep any of your property here at an interest of five per cent. Unfortunately, owing to various circumstances, but particularly to the interruption of external communication, and the total stagnation of all Commerce, the obligations, which are to supply the fund for the payment of your Bill are at this time uncommonly low in price, and would sell at a loss of eight or ten per cent; when the interest shall be off, which will be on the first of next month, they will no doubt be yet lower, I shall keep your’s however until the time of payment for your Bill shall come, and shall endeavour that the loss upon their disposition may be as little for you as possible. If you conclude to draw the remainder of your property here to America, you can draw on me another Bill for one thousand Dollars. If from the price of the obligations at the time when the respective bills shall become payable the two draughts should excede the value in my hands belonging to you, I shall request you to pay the difference to some body in America; if on the other hand there should be a balance yet remaining in my hands, beyond the two thousand Dollars, (which would be the case, if the obligations should rise to par, but which is not at all probable) I will still keep it, remaining accountable to you for it.
At present the men of property are discouraged from every species of speculation; many of them actually suffer for want of current cash, and have not the means of sporting with superfluous wealth. It is to be observed that the usual payments from great Britain, from the Emperor, from Russia, from the Dutch East India Company, from France from Poland and from the Province of Holland, upon public Loans are all suspended; Commerce is at a stand and numbers of rich individuals are obliged to sell their securities to provide even for their daily expences.
As you say that money may be disposed of to so great advantage in New York, I submit the following proposal to your consideration; if you think proper to accept it, on my part it shall be fulfilled.
{ 441 }
Draw Bills on me to the amount of two thousand dollars, place the money upon safe security to the best advantage you can; you will receive the interest that will accrue from it, and which must be punctually, and at least annually paid, and remit it from me to Dr Welsh at Boston. I leave the employment to your own discretion, requring only that the security shall be unexceptionable, and that the interest shall neat me not less than six per cent on the whole sum, for the management of the business you shall take five per cent upon the Capital, and five percent upon the annual payment of the interest by you to Dr. Welsh. You will keep the securities upon which the principal will rest, subject to my order and disposal, and I should prefer, other things being equal, that it be so placed as to be able at any time to realize the property in specie, in case I should have occasion for it. If you think it worth your while to take this matter in your hands, and your arrangements prove satisfactory, I may perhaps charge you with a further Commission of the same kind. You may draw for the sum as soon as you please after the receipt of this letter. As I place an entire confidence in your integrity and prudence, as well as in your fraternal affection, I presume you will have no occasion to make use of my name in the employment of the money. That however shall be as you think proper.
In the beginning of this letter I told you that France had proclaimed but not acknowledged the future Independence of this Country. I can now inform you that a treaty for this last purpose was signed this morning, and will probably very soon be published. It contracts an Alliance between the two Republic’s, defensive during the remainder of the present war; offensive and defensive from the period of its termination. This event is of the highest importance to the interests of this Country, and of no inconsiderable consequence to the rest of Europe. It is perhaps connected with a more extensive system, which will unfold itself in the course of the present Season.
I am your affectionate Brother.
LbC in TBA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr:”; APM Reel 128.
1. Letters not found.
2. The New York Herald was a semiweekly newspaper begun by Noah Webster in June 1794 (DAB).
3. For the investment shares JA gifted to each of his sons, see JQA to CA, 20 Nov., above. With his shares entrusted to JQA, CA had to request disbursement from his brother. JQA received the bill from William Rogers, perhaps a London merchant, prior to 7 June 1795 but was unable to remit payment until 26 June (JQA to William Rogers, 7, 26 June, Lb/JQA/4, APM Reel 128; W. Lowndes, A London Directory, London, 1796).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0275

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-05-25

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my Dear Son

Your Letter of Febry 12th reachd me on the last of April, and gave me Sincere pleasure and satisfaction to learn that both you and your Brother were in good Health and spirits, and that in the midst of such a mighty Revolution as you have been witness too, You have beheld the still greater Phœnomenon of order Peace and tranquility, that they may be durable to our good Batavian Friends, and a free Government Erected upon their base; is the Sincere wish of every benevolent American whilst we implore this rich Blessing for them, we as Sincerely desire it, for our Allies the French, whose late adopted System of Moderation, has interested those Hearts in their favour, which sunk with horror, and recoild agast! whilst Terror was the order of the day, and as Milton expresses it,

[“]Where all life died, death live’d and Nature Bread

Perverse, all monstrous, all Prodigious things

Abominable, inutterable, and worse

Than fables yet have feign’d, or fear conceive’d”1

ah where is the shade dark enough to draw over the dreadfull Scenes, to hide them from future generations, where the Leathean fount oblivious enough to wash them out?2
May that conquering Nation be restored to peace to order and happiness, by what form of Government, or by what means So desirable an event can be accomplishd; is in the Dark Bosom of futurity, and bafels the short sighted ken of Mortals, even in this <enlightened> Boastd Age of Reason.
We enjoy so great a share of tranquility throughout united America, that even the Subterraneous wind of Jacobinism has retired to its cavern and scarcly ruffels the Serenity of its Surface. The discussion of the Treaty between the united States, and great Britain, which is to commence on the 8th of June may possibly rouse Some lurking venom, but I would fain hope that our dangerous crisis has past, and that we are to enjoy Halcion Days;
In this state the only thing which threatned to agitate it, the revision of the constitution, has by a large Majority been considered as too delicate a matter to agitate in this age of renovation and they will not risk a substance, least they grasp a shadow—3
{ 443 }
The Election for Representitives in Boston was not altogether what was wish’d by one Party or the other. Morten is out & Winthorp, Mason Tudor Eustice Jarvis Edwards Little & Goram are chosen, the first three by 19 hundred votes, the rest just came in, having better than 9 hundred votes—4
I hope You have received some of my Letters at least. I have written to you as often as I thought there was a probability of conveyance— The Secretary of state expresses his full satisfaction in Your Dispatches, and Says in a Letter to your Father “That he feels a sincere pleasure in announcing on all proper occasions, your attention penetration and fitness for your present functions.[”]5 he was also kind enough to assure us at an early period, that your instructions did not require You to incur the smallest personal danger—
our Friends here are well. tomorrow morning your Father and I sit out for Philadelphia. I shall remain at N york with your Sister. Mr Jay we are informd is undoubtedly Elected Govenour of N York— he is daily expected to arrive—
if I do not always write to Thomas, it is because you are both together, and will consider it as to each and share it, in common, as you do the Love and affection of / Your Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by TBA: “Mrs: A Adams / 25 May 1795 / 29 July Recd / 30 Answd.”
1. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, lines 624–627.
2. In Greek mythology, the waters of the Lethe River were reputed to cause forgetfulness in those who drank from them (OED).
3. The Mass. Constitution of 1780 provided for a constitutional convention in 1795 should two thirds of eligible voters approve such a measure. The question was put to the people on 6 May, and while a simple majority of the electorate voted for a convention, the necessary total was not reached (Samuel Eliot Morison, “The Vote of Massachusetts on Summoning a Constitutional Convention, 1776–1916,” MHS, Procs., 3d ser., 50:246–247 [April 1917]).
4. AA was mistaken in naming John Winthrop Jr., who was not returned as a state representative. William Little was a Boston merchant, selectman, and fire warden (Boston Directory, 1796, p. 69, 113; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 142, 460; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0276

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Through the finest Fields of Wheat Rye, Barley Oats and Clover, but very indifferent Roads We arrived on Saturday all well
{ 444 }
The Senators to the Number of five or six and twenty are in Town and will meet in this Chamber at Eleven O Clock.
I can form no Judgment how long We shall sitt.
I congratulate you and all good People on the favourable decision of the Elections in New York which indicates a Change of sentiment very desirable in that state, and of great Importance to the Union.
We are told that Adet is arrived and De Letombe and that Dudley Rider is to take the Place of Hammond1
The State of Things in Paris arising from Scarcity and from Party is gloomy—but the Particulars you will see in the Papers.
Mr Swan was in my old Lodings but has very politely offered me the saloon as usual—2 He is thought here to have made a great Fortune and to be a very important Man— it is said he has been the most Successfull of any Man in getting his Vessells to Port.
The Want of Bread in France & England will raise flour to 20 Dollars a Barrell—it is now 15.
My Love to all the Family
[signed] JA.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “June 8th 1795.”
1. Pierre Auguste Adet (1763–1834), a French scientist, government official, and diplomat, served as minister to the United States from 1795 to 1796. Philippe André Joseph de Létombe had been recalled as French consul general in 1792 but was reappointed in 1795 (Jefferson, Papers, 28:459; Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:34–35).
JA appears to have confused the brothers Dudley Ryder (1762–1847) and Richard Ryder (1766–1832), both British MPs. In early June 1795, newspapers in New York and then Philadelphia reported that Richard Ryder had been appointed minister plenipotentiary to the United States in place of the recalled George Hammond. Hammond, who departed the United States in August, was succeeded by Robert Liston in Feb. 1796 (DNB; New York Argus, 6 June 1795; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 9 June; New York Daily Advertiser, 18 Aug.).
2. Boston merchant James Swan, for whom see JA, Papers, 3:354, had gone to France in 1787 but returned to the United States in Feb. 1795 to negotiate a payment for the remaining U.S. debt to France (DAB; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 24 Feb.; Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 15:358).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0277

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The Senate are now in Possession of the Budget.— It is a Bone to gnaw for The Aristocrats as well as the Democrats: And while I am employed in attending the Digestion of it, I send you enclosed an Amusement which resembles it only in name.1
I can form no Judgment when the Proscess will be over. We must wait with Patience.
{ 445 }
I dined yesterday in the Family Way with The President— He told me that the American Minister, at the Hague, had been very regular and intelligent in his Correspondence. The whole Family made the usual Inquiries concerning You and Sent you the usual Compliments.
Be very carefull, my dearest Friend, of what you Say, in that Circle and City. The Times are perilous.
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. Not found but presumably Part II of A Bone to Gnaw, for the Democrats, Phila., 1795, Evans, No. 28434, in which Peter Porcupine continues his excoriation of the Democrats: “Once more the snarling democratic crew / (To discontent and mischief ever prone) / Show us their fangs, and gums of crimson hue; / Once more, to stop their mouths, I hurl a bone.” For Part I, see JA to WSS, 17 Jan., and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0278

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I yesterday received yours of June 8th, and am happy to learn that there was like to be no delay from the absence of Senators. I wish and hope that there may be no unnecessary cavils respecting the Treaty. mr Beauma came here last fryday, said he met you at Prince Town on thursday told us mr Fauchett was going to present a memorial againt the Treaty. perhaps Adets arrival may prove a fortunate circumstance. Mr Jays Election Seems to give great satisfaction here. I received a Letter yesterday from Louissa of June 4th1 she says the news of mr Jays arrival was received in Boston with general Joy—desires me to tell her uncle that every thing respecting the Farm went on with great Harmony and allacrity and that it would do his Heart good to see his Farm. she tarried a week after we left home. Mrs smith send duty to you. poor little John has got the Ague and fever to a great degree. I am at present much better in my Health for my Journey. I avoid the Evening air, and take Bark and drink porter & water as an Antidote to the Ague the weather is very Warm here, but I hope we shall not be detaind here longer than the present week—
Yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The vice President of the / united States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. recd & ansd / June 11. 1795.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0279

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

If I could take a Walk or a Ride to N. Y. in the Evening and come here again in the Morning how clever it would be!— I am Somewhat disappointed in not having recd a Line from you Since I left you—You are not sick I hope—
Mr Jay Spent last Evening with me and let me into the History of the Treaty and Negotiation, explaining his Views of its intent and operation— I can Say nothing upon it at present.
I have read 8 of Mr A’s Dispatches and 14 remain to be read.— Govt is much pleased with them.1
The Newspapers give you all the Public News.
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. The first eight letters from JQA to Edmund Randolph were dated 22, 25 Oct., 2, 5, 7, 16, 19, and 22 Nov. 1794. The subsequent fourteen letters spanned the period 24 Nov. to 22 Jan. 1795 (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 127).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0280

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I have recd yours of the 10th and a Cordial it was, for I began to be fearful for your health.
Louisa is a good Girl for writing Such comfortable Accounts from home— I believe the Farm looks well.—
I am grieved for my Dear Johnny. He must go home with Us for northern Air.
My Love to all. When I shall get away from this City is uncertain: but I have no hopes of being excused before the End of next Week. The Treaty is of great Extent and Importance and will not be rejected nor adopted without a thorough Examination. I presume every Member will wish for such an Investigation as will enable him to render a Reason for his Vote whether Pro or Con.
I am as ever
[signed] J. A.1
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. On 12 June JA wrote AA another brief note in which he reported that all senators attended the day’s session and that he expected the treaty debate to continue for at least another week (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0281

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-13

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I should be unpardonable if I neglected this Opportunity of writing to you by a private hand, & returning my grateful acknowledgements to my dear Brother Adams & you, for all your kindness—but alas! how inadequate are words to express the feelings of my heart. Upon those occasions I think it my duty to trace mercy’s to there great Source, & look up to heaven with thankfulness that I, & my Children are not left friendless; silently imploring the richest of its Blessings for my Benefactors—
I know your compassionate heart will be grieved to see from whence this Letter is dated— I came to Dr Welsh’s the day week you left me, expecting to spend a day, or two, & then return to Haverhill with my dear little Girl, in the Stage— but O my Sister I was taken sick the next day, & continued much worse than when at your House—till Sabbath Evening. I took nothing but flour milk porrage, & Laudinum at night; the Dr said nature would have its cource, & restringents were of no service—but I really thought it would swiftly carry me down the stream of time, & that I should never see you more, & you may well think what were the Objects of my tenderest Care— poor things thought I, what will become of you—for though your Mother has Enjoyed but feeble health, yet you will miss her when gone— It is an heart sinking disorder— I hope I shall not suffer with it again— I feel very weak, but am geting better as fast as I can— I have sent Abby Adams home in the Stage by Miss Betsy Harrod,1 & Mr Abbot is to come for me next Tuesday— I pray I may not be dissappointed—but patience must have its perfect work— I think sometimes, if I had less sensibility, I should enjoy better health—but I have naturally A cheerfull temper, which I find to be a most Excellent counterballance—against the ineviatable evils of Life—
Sister Cranch is this week again confined by Sister Smith, I fear she will never be able to keep her in the House— I am distressed for her, & the dear Children, I most tenderly compasionate— I very much fear she will come to an untimely end—& watching is but of little service— they will Elude the strictest care, when once the dreadful Idea is infused—
I am glad to hear you have suffered no more upon your Journey you had two hot Days, but upon the whole never finer weather— I long to have Mr Adams read Mr Dwights late Poem— I think it is { 448 } dedicated to him, & has great merit— He has a predilection for his native State, as all great Folks have— in him we deem it just—for it has certainly produced more literary characters than any other— Some parts of it are so descriptive, that if you had the Poem in your carriage, while passing through the well cultivated fields of Connetticut, I think your mind must be absorbed, & ravished with the beautious Scenes, & the justness of his Portrait—2
Before this reaches you, I hope you will have embraced your dear Daughter, & her Children, & are happily enjoying the Society of her amiable family— Please to kiss the sweet Children & tell them Aunt Shaw loves them, for their mothers sake, & wishes she had something to send them—
Dr Welsh & Lady present their regards, & believe me to be with the greatest affection, your ever grateful Sister
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
PS— Your Last Letter dwells forcibly upon my mind— the injunctions conincide exactly with my own sentiments, & though I would have no one think I am waiting yet I am willing to say, I am trusting, & that I will assent to whatever my best Friends shall think right, but cannot be precipitated into a State, which shall not appear to be for the interest of my Children— I would act for them, more than for myself— The attention, & disinterestedness of one, really distresses me, he has called at the House every week, since my absence—3
Sophocles being asked what harm, he would wish his enemy, answered, that he might love where he was not liked—4 but I would have said, that they might be beloved by those whom they respected, & esteemed, but could not make those returns which were wished for greater harm cannot befall a person of benevolence, & exquisite sensibility—
I think it is much best (at lest for the present) for me to sit solotary, & like the plaintive Dove in the Song, which so much affected me, coo—coo—coo—alone—& think more of an heavenly paradise, than of an earthly dwelling—5
I should not do justice to our amiable Louisa if I did not tell you she was one of the best of Nurses, for all those Daughters excell in their attention— they present every wish, that is in their power—& I think happy will be those gentlemen who obtain them—6
Dr Welsh & his wife have treated me with fraternal Affection, it is impossble for anybody to be kinder—
{ 449 }
Time, Experience, & a refined companion rubs of all the rough edges, & discovers the intrinsic value within—
Mr Shaw always enjoyed good health, yet no man was ever kinder to others in Sickness. I shall feel the want of his tender care in returning home— he would watched my countenance, & gone softly over every stone—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “Mrs Abigail Adams / at Col’l William S Smith’s Courtland Street / New york”; endorsed by WSS: “Mrs E Shaw / June 13th 1795.”
1. Elizabeth Marston Harrod (1776–1862) was a younger sister of AHA (John Harvey Treat, The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat, Salem, 1893, p. 270).
2. Rev. Timothy Dwight’s Greenfield Hill: A Poem, in Seven Parts, N.Y., 1794, Evans, No. 26925, extols the beauty and development of the land surrounding his home on Greenfield Hill in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. With a bird’s-eye view of the “loveliest village of the west” (Part II, line 1), Dwight describes the landscape: “Unnumber’d farms salute the cheerful eye; / Contracted there to little gardens; here outspread / Spacious, with pastures, fields, and meadows rich; / Where the young wheat it’s glowing green displays, / Or the dark soil bespeaks the recent plough, / Or flocks and herds along the lawn disport” (Part I, lines 23–28). Dedicated to JA, “This Poem is inscribed with Sentiments of the highest Respect for his Private Character, and for the important Services he has rendered his Country.”
3. Although Elizabeth Smith Shaw was also courted by Isaac Smith Jr., her more persistent suitor was Rev. Stephen Peabody of Atkinson, N.H., whom she married on 8 Dec. (Shaw to AA and Mary Smith Cranch, 24 Sept., Adams Papers; William C. Todd, “Rev. Stephen Peabody and Wife, of Atkinson, New Hampshire,” NEHGR, 48:179 [April 1894]).
4. Rather than Sophocles, Shaw appears to be referencing the discourse on justice attributed to Socrates by Plato in Book I of The Republic.
5. Shaw began the postscript at the bottom of the second page, continued it at the bottom of the third page, and after this point completed it at the top of the third page.
6. Of the three daughters of Catharine Louisa Salmon and William Smith Jr., only Elizabeth married. On 15 Nov. 1798 she wed Boston upholsterer James H. Foster (AA to JQA, 15 Nov., Adams Papers; Boston Columbian Centinel, 17 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0282

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It is painfull to feel an Impulse to write when there is nothing to Say. I write merely to let you know that I am alive and not Sick.— The Weather has been cold for several days which is more tolerable at least to me, than the heat which We Suffered for a day or two the Beginning of the Week past.
The new French Minister is arrived. Whether he has any Budget to disclose has not yet appeared.
Mr Jay is in fine Spirits and his health improves. I should Suppose he will remain here till the Fate of his Treaty is determined, which We hope, with some doubts however, will happen before the { 450 } End of this Week. 29 Senators attended Yesterday and the 30th is expected tomorrow. We shall meet for the future at an earlier hour in the Morning. The Deliberations have been temperate, grave, decent, and wise, hitherto and the Results judicious.1
I have recd but one Letter from you— I am anxious to hear further from Johnny Smith: whether he is better or not.2
My Absence from home at this season would be less distressing or rather less insipid, if my Presence here was more necessary, or indeed of any Utility: but to the Mortification of Seperation from my family and affairs at a time when they would be most agreable to me, is added the Consciousness that I can do no good to others any more than to myself. I have no Voice, and although the fate of the Treaty will not be justly imputable to me in any degree, yet there is reason to expect that many will suspect me, and other charge me, with a greater share of it that would belong to me if I had a Voice. All these Things terrify me little.—
A Mr Millar, a son of a Professor Millar of Glasgow known by his “Historical View of the English Government” last night brought me a Letter of Introduction & Recommendation from Dr Kippis who desires his “Sincere Respects to every Part of my Family” “In the Midst of the Desolations of Europe, he rejoices in the Prosperity of America and in the Wisdom and Moderation of its two chief Governors”—so much for Compliment.3
Moderation however is approved only by the Moderate who are commonly but a few. The many commonly delight in something more piquant and lively.
I am, with desires rather immoderate / to be going home with you, yours forever
[signed] J. A
Yesterday I dined at Mr Bingham’s with a large Company— While at Table a servant came to me with a Message from Mr Law who desired to speak with me in the Antechamber— I went out to him and found that he wanted to enquire of me concerning a young Lady of amiable manners and elegant Education whom Mr Law and Mr Greenleaf had found in Maryland in great distress and a little disarranged and brought with them to Philadelphia. she is connected with the Families of Col Orne and Col Lee of Marblehead. I knew nothing of her—4 Governor Bradford Says she has been Some Weeks in Rhode Island.5 I Sent Mr Law to Mr Cabot.
Mr Brown came in Yesterday— He keeps with all the Horses at { 451 } The Rising sun, between the 4th & 5th mile Stone in the Country, at Mr John Doves—6 His Horses are in fine order.— But I shall not be in a Condition to Use them this Week I fear.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “June 14 1795.” The postscript was filmed separately at 15 June 1795.
1. By the minimum two-thirds margin of twenty to ten, the Senate voted to consent to the ratification of all but one article of the Jay Treaty on 24 June. The Senate adjourned two days later. The section of the treaty deemed too detrimental to American interests was Art. 12, which opened the West Indies to American trade vessels of seventy tons burden or less but restricted the reexportation of cotton and other important trade goods (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., special sess., p. 859, 862–863, 868; Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, N.Y., 1993, p. 409, 412–413).
2. AA to JA, 10 June, above.
3. John Craig Millar (1760–1796) was the son of John Millar (1735–1801), a respected law professor at the University of Glasgow and author of An Historical View of the English Government: From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Accession of the House of Stewart, London, 1787. Also a lawyer, the younger Millar immigrated to the United States in 1795, where he secured work as a clerk in the state department before his sudden death in 1796 (DNB; Jefferson, Papers, 28:407).
Millar’s letter of introduction from Andrew Kippis was dated 10 March 1795 (Adams Papers). JA’s response, apparently of 14 June, has not been found.
4. The young lady could be a number of women among the interrelated families of Col. Azor Orne and Col. William R. Lee, who had both served in the Revolutionary War and were successful merchants in Marblehead (JA, Papers, 3:48; Thomas Amory Lee, Colonel William Raymond Lee of the Revolution, Salem, 1917, p. 7–8, 19).
5. William Bradford (1729–1808), who had been a doctor before becoming a lawyer and politician, served as Rhode Island’s deputy governor between 1775 and 1778. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1793 and served until 1797 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
6. John Dover (1754–1821), who rose to the rank of colonel in the Philadelphia militia during the Revolution, had been the proprietor of the Rising Sun Tavern, approximately four miles outside the city at the junction of the Old York and Germantown Roads. By 1795 Dover had relocated to nearby Frankford (W. A. Newman Dorland and others, “The Second Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry,” PMHB, 45:285–286 [1921]; 52:380 [1928]; Philadelphia Gazette, 20 March 1795).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0283

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I have regularly received Your Letters and thank you for them. I have read the pamphlets.1 the Bone has much good natured Witt, contains many painfull facts, & Shows in a strong light what manner of Spirit actuates the pretended Patriots. the writer has in some places taken, a poetical Licence I have not offerd it where I am. Society and Interest and dissapointed ambition will have their influence upon most minds— be assured I am remarkably cautious upon the Subject of Politicks. I am satisfied mine would essentially clash with any one, who could call the Peace System, a milk & water System.
{ 452 }
I hope and trust the decision upon the Treaty will be a wise and candid one. that it should not be Suddenly rejected or accepted will I believe be more acceptable to the people than if it was otherways. I hope however a fortnight at furthest will be found Sufficient. My Health has been much mended by my Journey. Johns Ague after 3 fits of it, terminated by falling into his face.
you mention having read a part of the Dispatches from the Hague. are they made publick to the Senate?
My best respects to the President & mrs Washington. Love to mrs otis Betsy smith &c
most affectionatly / yours
[signed] A Adams
have you read G. Adams Speach to the assembly it is Seasoned a little.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by CA: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. June 15 / Ansd 17. 1795.”
1. In addition to his letters of 9 and 11 (2) June, all above, JA wrote AA a second letter on 9 June in which he reported that the reading of the treaty and the record of negotiations had begun the previous day and also enclosed for AA a “misterious Poem for your Amusement,” which has not been found (Adams Papers).
2. On 3 June Gov. Samuel Adams addressed both houses of the Mass. General Court in a speech that extolled the virtues of American democracy and advocated for public schooling and increased judicial salaries. The speech was first printed in the Boston press on 6 June and in New York and Philadelphia on 11 June (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1794–1795, p. 609–613; Boston Columbian Centinel, 6 June; New York Argus, 11 June; Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 11 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0284

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-15

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam.

We have very seldom an opportunity of hearing from you; and still more seldom that of writing you by a direct opportunity. An indirect one presents itself, and I cannot let it pass, were it barely for the pleasure of writing you that we are well, and enjoy in profound tranquility the beauties of the Season.
The Peace and Alliance between France and Holland; the violent insurrection against the Convention recently suppressed at Paris; the revolt quelled at Toulon, the war broken out once more in the Vendee, and the surrender of Luxemburg to the french Army, are all, important events that have happened since I wrote you last;1 but this letter will be so long before it can reach you, that it would be idle to dwell upon any article of News.
Not one vessel has sailed for Boston from any port in this { 453 } Country since we have been in it. Not one has arrived from thence. Once in a while I see the face of an old acquaintance, and have recently seen my friend T. H. Perkins of Boston, and Mr Hichborn; they are now both returned to France.2
My latest letters from any part of America are more than three months old. We have however accounts down to the latter end of April.— Full of new complaints against british depredations and rapine.— The Spirit of Rapine is the character of the Nation; they have commenced again the capture of neutral vessels bound to France with provisions. It is some satisfaction to find the cordiality with which they are detested by every body. I am fully convinced that not a breath of air from any quarter of the Heavens over the whole surface of the Earth is wafted along, but is loaded with some malediction against them. For my own part I have always considered the wish of Caligula, as no less atrocious than it was extravagant.3 But reasoning from analogy, I begin to suppose, that it might be dictated by the purest and most refined sentiment of Justice and humanity.
your affectionate Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: A Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs: A. Adams.”; endorsed: “J.Q Adams June / 15 1795.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128.
1. Since JQA’s letter to AA of 16 May, above, several events had occurred in France and in the war in Europe. On 17 May (An. III, 28 floréal), a Jacobin revolt broke out in Toulon that took two weeks for the revolutionary government to quell. On 20 May (1 prairial), a Parisian mob again stormed the National Convention demanding bread and the reinstitution of the Jacobin Constitution of 1793. Unlike the previous mob of 1 April 1795, for which see TBA to William Cranch, 8 April, and note 2, above, this one became violent, killed one member of the Convention, and paraded his head on a pike. It took three days and the arrival of 20,000 troops in Paris before the mob surrendered.
From La Vendée, rumors emerged that the peace of 15 Feb. between the French government and one of the rebel leaders had been falsely signed by the Vendéens, and the disarmament of the rebels, a condition of the peace treaty, could not be achieved. In fact, terms were reached between the revolutionary government and other Vendéen factions in early May, and the peace, although tenuous, would hold until 1796.
The fortress town of Luxembourg, which had been besieged by the French Army in Nov. 1794, finally surrendered on 7 June 1795 (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:381–382, 386–387, 388–389, 391, 442; Edward Cust, Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century, 5 vols., London, 1859, 4:291).
In his long letter to JA of 27 June (Adams Papers), JQA further described these events but also questioned the actions of various foreign governments. France’s ill-conceived winter demonstration of its naval presence in the English Channel had left “the fleet so shattered and disabled, that it has not yet been repaired, and will be able to do nothing this Season.” He found in British military strategy that “the pride, pomp and circumstance of their hostility consist, not in the neighing steed, the shrill trump, the spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, or the royal banner, but in forgery and famine. Their troops have been the terror of their friends and the derision of their enemies; but their artists are inimitable at counterfeiting an assignat, and their frigates and privateers are invincible against the merchant vessels of neutral Nations.” And about the inchoate Batavian Republic, JQA wrote, “The same { 454 } languor and imbecility which characterized the former government is equally discovered by the present. No vigour, no exertions, no public spirit, but abundance of common place about liberty, equality and the rights of man; abundance of invective against the house of Orange and its partizans; abundance of patriotic exultation together with frequent ebullitions of rage restrained, and of revenge repressed but ready to burst forth in all its violence … This spirit of turbulence is preserved and stimulated by the popular societies, as numerous and almost as mischievous here as they are elsewhere.”
2. During an eight-month stay in Europe, the Boston merchant Thomas Handasyd Perkins, for whom see CFA, Diary, 2:151, visited JQA on 31 May and 1 June. Benjamin Hichborn, whom JQA characterized as “more frenchman than ever” after their 12 June visit, was a Boston lawyer and former state representative who had been living in Europe since 1792 (DAB;D/JQA/24, APM Reel 27; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:41–42).
3. Upon hearing a crowd of spectators applaud a rival competitor, the Roman emperor Caligula reportedly said, “If only the Roman people had a single neck” (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, Lives of the Caesars, transl. Catharine Edwards, Oxford, Eng., 2000, p. 153). Among JQA’s books at MQA is Suetonius, L’histoire de empereurs Romains, Amsterdam, 1699, which he purchased at The Hague on 9 Sept. 1795 (Catalogue of JQA’s Books;D/JQA/24, 9 Sept., APM Reel 27).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0285

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I received yours of the 12th. I wish congress may rise by the time you mention. a Gentleman reported here yesterday that he had heard that mr Langdon had said he was determind to oppose the Treaty in every article.1 people are very anxious— the col had letters from Halifax which informs him, that without Libeling the vessel, they proceed to unload her & will not permit the Captain nor a single hand belonging to the vessel to be on Board.2 Mr de Latomb came yesterday to see me, & is to Breakfast here this morning. he looks thin, but I believe considers himself a very fortunate Man to be able to return to America with his Head upon his shoulders— he is very communicative respecting the State of France both when he arrived there, & when he left it Says he has dispatches from our Son to the Secretary of state that he inquired after him of the Commissioners from Holland that they informd him, that the Minister & his Secretary were much respected there—
I was glad to hear that you were well. I hope you will be cautious of the Hot Suns, & the reflection from the houses & that you will get an umbrella— I walkt out yesterday a little way near the middle of the day, and felt such a sensation from the Heat of the Sun as I never before experienced— tho I had an umbrella and the distance was short, I was near fainting. mrs Fitch Sent me home in her carriage. I have had the Head ack ever since. I have often heard of the { 455 } Brick and stone reflection, but I never felt the force of the Sun in such a manner before—
Mrs Smith & children are well I have not heard again from Quincy
affectionatly Yours
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The vice President of the united / States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. June 18. ansd 19 / 1795”; notation: “Hond by monssieurr / de La Tombe.”
1. Sen. John Langdon remained steadfast in his opposition to the treaty, including the vote for ratification on 24 June (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., special sess., p. 861–863).
2. Between 1793 and 1812, the British Navy annually seized about twelve American vessels suspected of carrying contraband for France. A number of these prizes were brought before the vice-admiralty court in Halifax, which then ruled to either clear or condemn the ship, the cargo, or both. While the details of WSS’s specific involvement remain unclear, reports of seized vessels appeared in New York newspapers in the spring of 1795 (Julian Gwyn, Frigates and Foremasts: The North American Squadron in Nova Scotia Waters, 1745–1815, Vancouver, 2003, p. 115–117; New York Weekly Museum, 9 May; New York Argus, 25 May).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0286

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Mr Adet was presented to The President on Tuesday and accompanied by The Secretary of State made me a Visit immediately after his Audience. I was not at Home but in Senate. On Wednesday Morning I returned his Visit at Oellers Hotel.1 He is about the Size of Mr shaw, Charitys Husband and looks a little like him: not quite so rosy coloured.
He is not a Friend to Clubbs—announced to The President the entire annihilation of Factions in France. &c
His Excellency Governor Jay returned Yesterday to N. York— He has been very sociable and in fine Spirits. His Health is improving. We have no C. J. as yet nominated.2 It is happy that Mr J. Election was over before the Treaty was published: for the Parties against him would have quarrelled with the Treaty right or wrong that they might give a Colour to their animosity against him.
Some Think We shall rise this Week: but I fear We shall be obliged to sitt some days next Week.
I hope We shall not have many of these Supernumerary sessions.
one of our Senators yesterday, Mr Ross of Pensilvania after walking a great deal about Town went imprudently to a Pump and drank too freely of cold Water in Consequence of which he Was taken { 456 } very ill at Mr Binghams where he was at Dinner and obliged to go home & be bled and vomited. I hope he will be able to go out to day: but he had a nice risque of his Life.
Mr Bingham lives in great Splender and his Lady shines among the Senators as with all the rest of the World.
Mr Morris lives at Lansdown— seeing Mrs Morris in the House in Town I went in and made my Compliments. she made the usual Enquiries about you.
Kid, has bought the Land at 100£ a foot between the Presidents House and Mr Morris’s House and is building a new House there.3
My Love to all
[signed] J. A
Mr Otis’s family goes to their old Lodings in Dorchester after the senate rises
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “June 18 1795.”
1. In 1791 Francophile James Oeller opened a hotel on Chestnut Street that was decorated in the French style, employed a French staff, and became the headquarters for Philadelphia’s Democratic-Republican community (Peter Thompson, Rum Punch & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia, Phila., 1999. p. 190, 199).
2. John Jay resigned his post as chief justice effective 29 June 1795 to assume his duties as the new governor of New York. On 1 July George Washington appointed John Rutledge of South Carolina to the interim post; however, Rutledge’s outspoken opposition to the Jay Treaty irked the pro-treaty press and prevented his confirmation by the Senate in December. Another chief justice was not selected until 1796 (Doc. Hist. Supreme Court, 1:13, 17, 96–99, 118).
3. Robert Kid, a perfumer, lived next to the president’s house on Market Street in 1796 and 1797. By 1799 he had become a copper merchant and relocated to a different Market Street location (Philadelphia Directory, 1796, Evans, No. 30571; 1797, Evans, No. 32868; 1799, Evans, No. 36353).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0287

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-19

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I received yesterday yours of th 14 & 171 I am happy to learn that you are well, and hope the Senate will not be obliged to sit longer than tomorrow. I saw mr Jay last Evening. by the manner of his Speaking I thought he did not expect they would get up so soon. the Antis know not how to contain themselves, at the Secrecy of the Senate. they wish to be clamouring the whole time, and stand with their mouths open ready to sit up the Halloo. we see by the report of Merlin in the Name of the committe of publick Safety, this day publishd in the Gazzet, the declaration of the Essential principals of { 457 } social order, as they are called, every article of which, is to guard against the domination of self created Societies, and incendary publications.2
I rejoice with you in the late receipt of intelligence from our dear Sons— Mrs smith has letters to the 16 of April & Charles to the 9th.3 I would hope you may have some too. I presume the Secreatary of state has dispatches. they give a pleasing account of their Health & of their personal Safety and tranquility. the letters are excellent as usual. you will So soon see them that it is needless to make any extracts from them—
I am glad you wrote me about the Medallion. I did not chuse to ask you. I knew the Subject gave you pain. I think however that you had better see Mead, & shew him the Letter to bar any future Demand.4 General Gates desires his respects to you & says you must go out to Rose Hill & go over his Farm one day before you return home. I presume you will only stop here one day.5 present my kind regards to mrs Washington. I should be happy to see her. John is better I think as Mrs Washington did that it was a Worm Ague— adieu in hopes of seeing you the beginning of the week. I am as ever yours &c
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. June 19 / ansd 23. 1795.”
1. In his letter to AA of 17 June, JA described the Senate debate over the treaty as temperate and likely to continue for another week. He also informed AA that JQA’s dispatches had yet to be presented to the Senate and that he had read Gov. Samuel Adams’ speech and found it generally satisfactory (Adams Papers).
2. On 12 April Philippe Antoine Merlin de Douai, a member of the Committee of Public Safety, presented France’s National Convention with a list of twelve principles designed to maintain social order in the republic. The first article declared, “The sovereign people of France, are the collection of the ci[ti]zens from all the Departments, without distinction of condition, profession or fortune. Any section or fraction of the people, any condition or profession, any society, assembly or mob, are not the French people.” The report further proclaimed the right of the government to forcibly suppress such assemblies and prosecute the organizers. Translations of Merlin’s declaration, reprinted from Paris newspapers, appeared in the New York press from 19 June (New York Argus, 19, 20 June).
3. JQA to AA2, 15 April, and likely JQA to CA, 16 April, both above.
4. In his letter to AA of 16 June, JA reported Giuseppe Ceracchi’s recent departure for Hamburg and also that the sculptor had attempted to solicit exorbitant fees from some of his other subjects, including the president. Ceracchi made a similar request to JA on 8 May seeking $250, which he asked to be remitted to the Philadelphia merchant George Meade (both Adams Papers). Meade was apparently acting as Ceracchi’s agent and was designated in the sculptor’s requests for payment to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (DAB;Jefferson, Papers, 28:347–349; Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 16:5, 7).
5. For Rose Hill Farm, the estate of Gen. Horatio Gates, see vol. 9:408.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0288

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Last Night the Consul General De la Tombe made me a Visit with your kind Letter of the 18th.
He looks older than When I last saw him and he is indeed a fortunate Man: He gave me many details of affairs in France: a gloomy Picture of the Reign of Terror and a Smiling one of the present Reign of Moderation: but he is not without Inquietude on the subject of a Constitution.
By the Turn which the Debates and Deliberations in senate took Yesterday, We must Sitt next Week and I have now little hope of Liberty till the last day of it. Some Members, perhaps wish to give time to Mr Adet to open his Budget, which it is conjectured may contain Propositions on the Part of France.1
The Sun is terrible here as well as at N. Y. I beg you to be afraid of him and keep out of his Beams. I dread going out to Lansdowne to dinner at Mr Morris’s on sunday according to his invitation.
The News you mention from Hallifax is very disagreable. I wish that Misfortune and Adversity could Soften the Temper and humiliate the Insolence of John Bull: but he is not yet sufficiently humbled. If I mistake not it is to be the Destiny of America one day to beat down her Pride— But the Irksome task will not soon, I hope be forced upon Us.— All this is under the Rose.
My Love to the Family.
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “June 19 1795”; docketed: “J A.”
1. During its special session, the Senate neither received nor considered a communication from the newly arrived French minister Pierre Auguste Adet (Annals of Congress, 3rd Cong., special sess., p. 853–868).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0289

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I received yesterday two Letters from each of our Sons at the Hague, who were very well and in good Spirits on the 25th of April:1 but the Letters contain So much Information, that I have been obliged to lend them to The Secretary of the Treasury: I shall inclose them to you however on Monday
All the next Week will be taken up, I Suppose in further { 459 } Investigations of the Subject before Senate, and indeed I should be very glad to be ensured that the Decision will be as early as Saturday. If it should be earlier I shall be agreably disappointed. I shall take my Departure as soon as the Business is done, and I hope you will be ready to join me at New York on our Way home without further loss of time.
The Day is at hand when Governor Jay is to take the Reins in New York: may his Administration by easy to himself and happy for the People
That a violent Temper and a weak head should have Said He would combat every Article, is not improbable.
affectionately & ardently yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. JQA to JA, 1 April, in which JQA described the growing ideological divide between some of the old Dutch Patriots, with whom JA was familiar, and the new Patriots, for whom “the principles are changed, and the sacred Love of Universal Liberty is the only motive which inspires the actors upon the scene.” JQA also reported on the problems of the Dutch Navy and the weakened Dutch economy, which resulted in open commerce to Dutch ports including grains admitted without duty. He concluded his letter with remarks on French politics and the rumored peace between France and Prussia (Adams Papers).
In addition to this letter, JA may have been referring to JQA’s letter to AA of 25 April, above. The letters from TBA have not been found, although TBA recorded writing letters to America on 11 and 24 April (M/TBA/2, APM Reel 282).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0290

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The Sun is so bright and augurs Such heat that I am doubtful whether I shall go out to Landsdowne to dinner.
I dined Yesterday at Mr Wolcotts the Secretary of The Treasury with King Elsworth Cabot and a few others.1 The Conversation turn’d upon old times. One of the Company expressed such Inveteracy against my old Friend Gerry that I could not help taking up his Vindication. The future Election of a Governor, in Case of an empty Chair, excites a Jealousy which I have long perceived. These Things will always be so. Gerrys Merit is inferiour to that of no Man in the Massachusetts, except the present Governor, according to my Ideas and Judgment of Merit. I wish he was more enlarged however and more correct in his Views. He never was one of the threads tyed into the Essex knot, and was never popular with that Sett.
I Sent you Yesterday four Letters from our sons, which have been approved by all who have read them. Mr Wolcott thinks that the { 460 } Report of Merlin upon Clubbs as quoted in Tommys Letter ought to be published— Charles may get it inserted in a Paper without Names or any Circumstances which can indicate the source from whence it comes. If you know Mr Webster you may let him read those Letters in Confidence.2
My hopes are to be at N. York by Saturday night— But my fears are Stronger that I shall not get away from Philadelphia before Monday. if senate should finish on Wednesday I shall sett out on Thursday. But this will depend on the Will of others.
I am with unfeigned Affection
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “June 21 1795.”
1. Oliver Ellsworth (1745–1807), Princeton 1766, was a lawyer, a member of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1783, and a U.S. senator for Connecticut from 1789 until 1796, at which time he became the third chief justice of the Supreme Court, serving until 1800 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. TBA’s letter has not been found, but he was undoubtedly writing about the declaration presented to France’s National Convention on 12 April, for which see AA to JA, 19 June, and note 2, above. It does not appear that CA had TBA’s letter published by Noah Webster, who instead printed a translation of Merlin’s declaration, which had appeared in the Paris press (New York American Minerva, 22 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0291

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I was fearfull before I left Home of Such a Seige as has taken place. whatever else may be objected to the Treaty, that of a hasty decision cannot and ought not to be of the Number— as people are all alive upon the Subject, there are no doubt many Speaches put into the mouths of particular senators according to their former sentiments & opinions— one day we here of very warm Debates. an other, that there will be no decision, but the Treaty will be deferd to the next meeting of Congress— but What I fancy is more founded on Truth, is what a Gentleman wrote his Friend from Philadelphia “We know no more about the Treaty here, than if the Senate were sitting in Siberia”
I can have nothing to detain me here after you come. I am anxious to return & dread the Heat, both for you & myself—
Col smith has received Letters from his Agent at Halifax. after unlaiding the vessel clear to the bottom in serch of Some brass cannon which they were informd she had, & finding none nor any Naval stores, they reloaded her & sufferd her to sail after detaining her a Month in the buisness
{ 461 }
I was happy in the receipt of the Letters you sent me, and rejoiced that any of mine had at last got Safe to Hand
Boston Chronical goes on in its accustomed stile of abuse— G Knox has got his share—Lord of Maine &c &c1
We are all Well. I have not any intelligence from home I wrote last week that I was in hopes of sitting out on the wedensday of this
adieu yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. June 22 / ansd 25 1795.”
1. On 16 June a feast honoring Gen. Henry Knox was held in Boston as the former secretary of war paused on his way to his home in Maine. Attended by local merchants, diplomats, and Federalist politicians, the event drew criticism from the Republican press. One satirical “Soliloquy” mocked, “Feast of Gratitude!—I must again inquire, where are the men who claim this exclusive notice? Are they those who revel in affluence, and whose luxury and dissipation have become proverbial? Whose fortune has been encreased a thousand fold. Who have retired from office, in all the splendor of Nabobs—not like Cincinnatus, to ‘till their acres,’ but like Lords of an immense territory” (Boston Independent Chronicle, 18 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0292

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Some Senators are confident We shall rise tomorrow or next day. if so, I shall be with you on Sunday— But these Conjectures are always uncertain. I shall write you every day so that you will be apprized of the time when you may expect me.
Both the public Dispatches and private Letters of our dear Boys are the delight of all who read them— No public Minister has ever given greater Satisfaction, than Mr Adams has hitherto. His Prudence Caution and penetration are as much approved as the Elegance of his Style is admired. Providence I hope and pray will make him a Blessing to his Country as well as to his Parents.
I went out to Lansdowne on sunday about half a mile on this Side Judge Peters’s where you once dined. The Place is very retired, but very beautiful a Splendid House, gravel Wallks shrubberies & Clumps of Trees in the English style—on the Bank of the Skuylkill— Jona. Williams’s House, which was once McPhersons is over the River.1 It is the first time I have trodden the new Turn pike Road which is a great Improvement.2
I am affectionately your
[signed] J. A3
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Ms A.”
1. Mount Pleasant, built by the privateer John McPherson in 1761, was purchased by the Philadelphia merchant Jonathan Williams in 1792 (Thompson Westcott, The { 462 } Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia, with Some Notice of Their Owners and Occupants, Phila., 1877, p. 214, 229). For JA’s description of McPherson and his country home, see JA, D&A, 2:176, 183.
2. For the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 3, above.
3. JA also wrote to AA on 24 June to inform her of the Senate’s likely adjournment within the next day or two and to express his wish to return immediately to Quincy without taking time to visit friends in New York (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0293

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received yours of 23d. it is reported here that 19 Senators are for a ratification of all but the 12th article of the Treaty. Greenleafs paper contains daily Some weak foolish superficial sausy reflections & abuses upon the senate the President & the supposed Treaty but they cannot make an impression; but upon such minds as are, as weak, foolish, and superficial as the writers.1
Have you read Pelets speach on the 8 of April upon the External and internal situation of the Republick of France. it contains many judicious observations & Reflections. he evidently aims at a balance of power tho he dare not Speak out baldly. “what he observes is the Guarantee in the constitution of 1793 which insures to the Nation a lasting Republican existance? where is the force, where is the protecting institution which shelters the Nation from innovations on the part of the legislators? ought we not to Surround Liberty with more secure formalities and with more Solid barriers? Does Liberty exist in a Country where a power detached from the people, altho sit up by them would enjoy the Strange capacity of giving them arbitrary constitutional Laws; or without consulting them; change their opinions their manners their Character & their Religion according to the convenience or capacity of the Legislators? as long as the political Goverment of the Nation shall be intrusted in the hands of persons who can offer me no other Security but their presumed probity, I shall always fear their ambition. I shall never set confidence in Men. the Law alone must be my security. I have no reliance but upon the Law; I believe only the promises of the Law. of the constitution of 93—he observes that it is the general opinion that its Principles are those of Democracy; but some say it wants a Spring, but I say it wants also wheels and to be set in motion. A constitution ought to include every thing which interests the Liberty of a Country and that of every individual”
read the Whole Speach it is well worth a perusal tho the Speaker { 463 } like all the rest of his countrymen, does not appear to have thought deeply upon the Subject of Govenment, yet he has thrown out many wise & judicious observations.2 I am however of Stuarts (the great Walkers) mind who says he told Tom Paine, that he might as well teach a Hen to Swim, as make a real Republican of a French Man—3
I went on twesday to Breakfast at Rose Hill—General Gates Seat. I am solisitious you should see it. it is the most Beautifull Spot I have seen here, 92 acres of Excellent land, and a House to gratify any moderate ambition for two thousand pounds, was a bargain indeed tho only a Life estate. I walk with the General to his Garden to his Farm house & to his Barns to his Feilds of Grain &c he may literally be said to live in clover. he pointed to a parsnip bed in his garden prhaps a quarter of an Acre, & told me that he made 27 pounds from that spot the last year beside sufficient for his Family & this Years says he from that Spinnage bed about 20 foot, I have taken 20 pounds & My Sparigrass beds neated 3 pounds pr day during the Season of it. the market people go to the Garden & take it so that he has no trouble of sending it to market. one man takes the whole care of it after it is dug in the Spring. the whole Garden is not so large as our lower Garden, but vegitables are very dear in the market, cowcumbers sold at 3 shillings a peice a fort night ago. mr Hammond has a Garden out below where we used to live at Greenwich.4 he told me one day last week that his Gardener Sold in one day 60 dollors worth of vegitables. When Shall We Farm So?
I have past my time very pleasently Since I have been here, but I know our presence is wanted at Quincy tho I hear that every thing goes on well. I shall be ready to return with you as soon as the Senate will give you permission, the sooner the more agreeable to / Your affectionate
[signed] A Adams
P S—
We have a delightfull rain to day. We are engaged to Rose Hill to dinner. I wish I may not covet my Neighbours House & lands. I think my ambition would be bounded by such a situation—just so much Land so productive “but we know not ourselves—[] the General has a Grindstone upon a new construction which I want you to see when sit in motion it will go a quarter of an hour without any assistance so that one person may grind a tool Crugher price was Seven thousand pounds for the fee simple of that place. it would now fetch 15 prhaps 20—
{ 464 }
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by TBA: “Mrs Abigail Adams / 25th: June 1795— N york—”; and by JA: “Mrs. Adams / 1795.”
1. Both of Thomas Greenleaf’s New York newspapers, the daily Argus and the semiweekly New York Journal, adopted strong anti-treaty stances and reprinted the excoriations of the treaty from the Republican press in Boston and Philadelphia. Much of this criticism lambasted the secrecy surrounding the Senate deliberations, and on 24 June both newspapers printed a contribution that challenged, “What are we to infer from this secrecy? No doubt that the treaty will be unacceptable to the public; for if it would prove agreeable to them, it would not be concealed. What are we to infer, if the treaty obtains contrary to the wishes of the people? That the people have not public servants but public masters, and that there exists a tyranny among us.”
2. French politician Jean Pelet de la Lozère (1759–1842) became a member of France’s National Convention in 1792 and briefly served as the body’s president in 1795. On 8 April Pelet addressed the Convention, attacking the Constitution of 1793 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). Quoting from a translation printed in the New York Journal on 24 June, AA combines several passages from Pelet’s speech into a single quotation.
3. British writer John Stewart (1749–1822) was known as “Walking” Stewart because of his travels on foot across India, Persia, and much of Europe (DNB).
4. Abijah Hammond (1757–1832) was a New York City merchant (Hamilton, Papers, 15:644).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0294

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1795-06-25

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister:

I yesterday received your Letter giving me an account of the distressd Situation of Sister Smith.1 I fear her disorder will terminate in a setled distraction Burrel Shall have the Room & bed Room for Mrs Smith at 12 Dollors a Year, but he shall have them only for her2 that is he shall not consider himself at Liberty to let them to any one else if she should not continue with him. I mention this because when I let him the House there was a misunderstanding between us, but if she goes there care should be had that she should have a Sufficiency of good & wholesome food. they are poor people and live pretty near. indeed they are obliged to. Mrs smiths place is let at much too small a Rent as produce is—
I was in hopes to have been on my way home by this time, but the Senate are not yet up, and mr Adams does not give me much hopes of its rising till Saturday. the Fate of the Treaty is not yet Known it is however the general opinion that it will be ratified. I say the out door opinion, for the Senate are Secret and Silent.3 it has been discussed with much calmness coolness and deliberation, and considerd in all its various lights and opperations. I hope the decision will be wise & judicious Satisfactory & benificial to the Country. the Grumblers will growl however. party will shew it self, and be bitter. I have had letters from <our> my sons late as 24 April they were well & desire to be particularly rememberd to all Friend’s at Quincy—
{ 465 }
Mrs Smith Sends her duty & Love. She is well & so is Emelia, a lovely Girl I assure you tho She has got red Hair which mortifies her mother not a little. John has the Ague poor fellow—
I hear frequently of Your Son, & from every body the just praises which he merrits. mr Greenleaf drank Tea here last week. he talks of returning to Holland Soon. the Girls here I believe wish his wife dead. he is sufficiently a favorite where ever he goes, & seems too much of an American not to have all his affections, all centerd in this country his manners are more like Nancys than any of the rest of the Family. he looks like her— I askd how Polly was like’d he told me very much & Julia he said was well.— I wishd him to go on to Boston that he enjoy the happiness of his Brother to which he had so much contributed. he said he must rejoice in it at a distance as his buisness would not allow him that pleasure
Remember me affectionatly to all our Friends. tell Brisler the week after next he may look for us— affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A Adams (N:Y.) / June 25th. 1795.”
1. Not found.
2. Likely Peter Burrell (1764–1852), originally of Weymouth, who occupied one of the smaller Adams properties when the tax assessment was made in Dec. 1798 (“The Presidents Valluation,” [Dec. 1798], Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds; Sprague, Braintree Families).
3. For the order of secrecy regarding the Senate’s deliberations, see JA to JQA, 29 June 1795, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0295

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The Senate is to meet at Ten, this morning and I hope will finish: but it is still uncertain. I shall Sett out this Afternoon, provided the senate rises— But I shall not be able to reach New York by tomorrow night— if I am not restrained from riding on sunday I may arrive on that day: But on Sunday or Monday I think, barring accidents, you may expect me. I have been detained so long, the hot weather advances So rapidly and our Attention at home is so much wanted that We must take Leave the next morning after my Arrival in N. Y.
I shall say nothing of Public affairs because the least Said is soonest amended
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0296

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-06-29

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

I arrived here Yesterday from Philadelphia in my Way to Quincy. My little Flock are now all collected, except the two in Holland and all in good health excepting Johnny Smith who has the Ague severely.
The Senate after a Session of 19 or 20 Days compleated their deliberations on the Treaty. The Result is Advice to ratify it except one Article or rather to ratify it all provided a new Agreement is made to suspend one Article. To consent to limit surplues in the Export of our own Productions as Cotton for Example, in short to restrain ourselves from exporting what We please is humiliating, and a mean surrender of a part of our Independence which our senators could not Submit to, no not for an hour. No Part of the Treaty is to be copied till after the Ratification of it, and Exchange of Ratifications.1
I recd last Week your Letter No. 7. and you cannot conceive the Pleasure it gave me. I have shewn it to several Gentlemen, who all expressed their great Satisfaction in the Penetration and discretion of it as well as in the style. The President and his Ministers of state expressed to me their entire Approbation of your Conduct and Correspondence. Mr Jay is to take the Rains of Government in N. York on Wednesday and the 4th of July is to be celebrated with great solemnity. We are kindly invited but my Affairs at home require my immediate Attention.
Your Brother Charles has taken a Second Clerk a son of Mr Henry Cruger formerly Member of Parliament for Bristol.2 Charles’s Reputation is rising and his Business increasing as fast as can be reasonably expected and I hope he will succeed very well— Go on, my Dear sons in the Paths of Honour Virtue and Industry and I pray Heaven to make you all Blessings to your Friends and your Country.
It grieves me that I have not written you oftener but your Father is allmost three score years of Age and has gone through Scænes which have almost worn him out. Your Letters by Captn Boadge have been all received and have done you great honour—so have Thommys.3 We sett out this afternoon for Quincy where I shall remain till the middle of November.
I am, my Dear son, with great satisfaction and / the tenderest affection your Father
[signed] John Adams
{ 467 }
My kind Compliments to all my old Friends
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Adams.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. At the start of the session on 8 June, the president leveled an order of secrecy on the Senate. Several motions to rescind the order were made throughout the two-week session, with an amended motion passing just before the Senate adjourned on 26 June. The adopted resolution removed the original gag order but “enjoined upon the Senators not to authorize or allow any copy of the said communication.” Sen. Stevens Thomson Mason of Virginia, however, ignored the resolution and allowed his copy of the treaty to be reprinted as a pamphlet by Benjamin Franklin Bache on 1 July (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., special sess., p. 855, 856, 858, 867–868; Stewart, Opposition Press, p. 198; Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, between His Britannick Majesty, and the United States of America, Phila., 1795, Evans, No. 29743).
2. Henry Cruger Sr., for whom see JA, Papers, 2:256, had returned to his native New York after a number of years in England and was elected to the state senate in 1792. John, Cruger’s youngest son by his second wife, Caroline Elizabeth Blair Cruger, clerked for CA (Edward F. De Lancey, “Original Family Records, Cruger,” NYGBR, 6:77–78 [April 1875]; JA, D&A, 3:234).
3. On 17 June 1795 Capt. John Boadge of Portsmouth, N.H., arrived in New York aboard the brig Minerva after a journey of 46 days from Amsterdam (New York Argus, 18 June; New York Daily Advertiser, 20 June). For the letters he likely carried, see JA to AA, 20 June 1795, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0297

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1795-06-29

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My Dear son Thomas

I last Week at Philadelphia recd your kind Letter of April by Captn Boadge, and it has been a delicious Morcell to me and to several other of your Friends.
As you are in the best Country of Europe for the study of the civil Law, I hope you will embrace the Opportunity of making yourself acquainted with all the best Writers on that divine Science, as my Master Gridley used to call it.
The French I presume begins to be familiar to you and the Dutch I hope is not wholly neglected. You have many Friends who enquire after you, and who read your Letters with Eagerness and Delight.
We begin to flatter Ourselves with hopes of a general Pacification in Europe: and are all heartily weary of the Noise of war.
Your Mamma will write you every Thing concerning the Ladies and particularly the Marriages of Miss Morris Miss Anthony &c.
You will do well to form some Connections with Gentlemen of Letters as well as Persons in Trade with whom you may correspond hereafter through Life upon subjects of Science as well as Business to your Profit as well as other Advantages.
We expect a great deal of Jacobinical Insolence in the News papers about the Treaty: but no great Impression will be made upon { 468 } the People. There is a great Change of sentiment in America Since you left it in favour of Peace and order. You very early took a decided aversion to disorderly Clubbs and your opinion is now general in this Country as it seems to be in Europe.
My farm begins to shine. a rainy season makes it appear to more Advantage than it has done, in Years past.
Let me know your Views and Prospects from time to time—and whether you intend to return as you proposed at the End of two years.
If you should go to England Go out to see Paines Hill and Osterly House— Stow Hagley The Lessows &c are too far off—But the Gentlemens Seats in England are the greatest Curiosities in it.—
Speculation in Lands goes on rapidly in this Country— other Speculations run now chiefly into foreign Commerce. I am my Dear / Child with a tender Affection your / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (NAlI:Presidential Autograph Coll., CP547); internal address: “Thomas Boylston Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “The Vice President of the U, S / 29 June 95 / 8 Septr. Recd / 14 Decr. Answd.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0298

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-06-29

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

8.

[salute] My Dear Mamma.

Your favour of April 22. marked N. 4. reached me a few days since; I have already acknowledged the receipt of your three preceding letters and have answered them. The sight of a letter from America has lost none of its charms in Europe, and that of one from you can never lose them in any part of the world.
I have just written an encyclopaedia of politics (I mean in point of quantity) to my father, and have indeed so exhausted myself by it, that I shall say nothing more upon the subject to you, at this time.1
Please to accept my best acknowledgments for the little poem enclosed with your letter; the perusal of it gave me great pleasure. It is not without ingenuity, though it is an imitation rather too close of the Rolliad. I could not help applying to the author, a remonstrance of Peter Pindar to one of the Painters, who had borrowed with a similar liberality from Snyders. “But Zounds! friend, do not pilfer the whole dog.”2
{ 469 }
My friend T. H. Perkins, who was here some time since had already informed me of the discomfiture the Jacobinical Heroes had suffered in Boston, by the loss of Honestus’s election.
His Chronicle Printer, the Tom Tit, twittring on this goose’s back, cannot forget it seems his little wish to be malicious against me. He will never forgive me for having put some truth and Justice into his paper. It was such a violence to the personal character of the man, and the political character of the print, as would have made him my enemy forever; if he had dared to be the enemy of any man. The American Minister neither went to England with the Stadtholder, nor remained at the Hague under the Protection of General Pichegru. He remained at his Post under the protection of the laws of Nations; that is of certain usages and principles to the printer and editor of the Chronicle unknown, but which all civilized human beings, hold in singular veneration, and which General Pichegru as well as the other french generals and Representatives of the People who have been in this Country took particular pains, to preserve inviolate. It did not once enter their minds that the Minister of a neutral and friendly Nation, could be a subject of protection to them. But they were anxiously solicitous that none of the rights annexed to the character should suffer the minutest injury from them, and strange as it may seem to the aforesaid Printer and Editor, they universally valued very highly the reputation of being scrupulously observant of the Laws of Nations.3
I have a Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury dated only one day later than the last of those I have from my father. It is in answer to one from me of February 2d: written subsequent to the Revolution here;4 as I wrote a long Letter to my father of the same date I suppose it must have been received within a few days after your last Letters. I have also continued from time to time the relation of public events here since the Revolution, and have written you as frequently as I could with a communication so much interrupted as that with America has been. There is at length one vessel about to sail from Rotterdam for Boston, by which this letter will be conveyed.5 I shall take the same opportunity to send you the bracelets, which I hope will be to your mind.
It gives me great pleasure to hear of the marriages of my Cousins William and Lucy Cranch. I find by Letters from some of my friends in Boston, that every body is married or about to be. The case at Philadelphia is the same it seems. If the market as we left it should fail totally, it is to be hoped there will be new supplies.
{ 470 }
I shall write by this opportunity to my aunt Shaw. I hope Doctor Welsh has ere this time received my letter in which I have anticipated your recommendation6
When we came from England we were in such an hurry, that we were obliged to leave the principal part of our baggage behind. After we came away it was put on board an English vessel coming to Rotterdam. The vessel came from London as far as Harwich, and was there delayed by the wind. The winter came on; the Maes froze up, and the vessel did not venture to come over. The french armies arrived, and the English vessel instead of coming to Rotterdam, as soon as the spring opened returned to London. My baggage was there several months longer, until at length it was put on board an american vessel coming to Rotterdam, and at the end of nine months we have this day received it.7 I expected that my books and cloathing would be very much damaged if not entirely ruined; but I find they have sustained no injury whatever.
Please to make my remembrance of duty and affection acceptable to my grandmother and to all our relations and friends at Quincy and Weymouth, and to be assured of the invariable dutiful Sentiments of your Son
[signed] John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: A Adams.”; internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”; endorsed: “J Q Adams / 29 June 1795.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 128. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. For his letter to JA of 27 June, see JQA to AA, 15 June, and note 1, above.
2. “But, z——ds! thou must not smuggle the whole dog” (Peter Pindar, More Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians, London, 1783, Ode III, line 24).
3. For the gibe leveled at JQA by Thomas Adams, editor of the Boston Independent Chronicle, see AA to JQA, 22 April 1795, and note 2, above.
4. JQA wrote to Alexander Hamilton on 2 Feb. (Lb/JQA/3, APM Reel 127) to inform the treasury secretary that payment of the interest due on the U.S. loan at Antwerp might be necessary, as the French had closed the counting house of the United States’ banking agent in that city. In Oliver Wolcott’s response to JQA of 27 April (Adams Papers), Wolcott empowered JQA to renegotiate the U.S. debt at Antwerp and suggested TBA travel there in order to countersign credit obligations in conjunction with the distressed U.S. banking agent Charles Jean Michel De Wolfe.
5. The bark Ulysses, Capt. Samuel Russell Trevett, sailed from Rotterdam on 20 July and arrived at Marblehead between 8 and 15 Sept. (AA to JQA, 8 Oct., Adams Papers; Salem Gazette, 15 Sept.; Benjamin J. Lindsey, comp., Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in Which They Sailed, Marblehead, 1915).
6. JQA to Thomas Welsh, 26 April (MHi: Adams-Welsh Coll.), for which see JQA to AA, 16 May, and note 7, above.
7. Possibly a vessel captained by James Scott Jr. that sailed from Rotterdam to London on 24 July. TBA records boarding Scott’s ship in Rotterdam on 29 June, the same day JQA mentions in his Diary dining with the captain and receiving his luggage (Salem Gazette, 15 Sept.; Boston Columbian Centinel, 19 Sept.; M/TBA/2, APM Reel 282; D/JQA/24, APM Reel 27).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0299

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-06-30

Charles Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

The last letter I received from you was dated the 16th of April and contained not only the latest but by far the most satisfactory intelligence, we had received. I thought that is was proper to give the most of it to the public, especially, as the accounts from England of the same date were very unfavorable.1 The conduct of the French toward the Batavians, since the conquest of Holland, has given sincere pleasure to true Americans: if anything for a moment restrains their joy, it is the apprehension that this system of lenity may not be permanent.
The direct communication between this Country and Holland, has been stopped for nearly four months. Our merchants, uncertain respecting the power the French might chuse to exert over that Country; have for a while suspended their intercourse. The vessel by which I now write, is the first for a long period that has sailed for Amsterdam. The change of opinion since the suppression of the whiskey insurrection, is very remarkable throughout the United States Democratic Societies in some of the States the most violently Antifederal, have adjourned Sine die. In no one particular State, has there been a greater regeneration than in this; which hitherto has been miserably misguided Clinton’s popularity and that of his adherents, is gone with the days before the flood. In the fairest election we have ever had in this State, Mr Jay was elected Governor by a majority of 1580 votes and in each house of the legislature there is a large majority of Federal members. The weight thrown into the Federal scale by this revolution, will be very important. At the last session an act was passed for taking a census of the inhabitants this will give those of our new Counties which are peopled principally from NewEngland an equal representation, and firmly fix our political concerns in their proper channel.2
After a long discussion the treaty with Great Britain has been ratified. The twelfth article is to be further explained before its adoption. I have read the treaty and beleive it the best we could procure; yet there are many things in it which will give rise to much abuse, both on the Negotiator and the Senate, except the virtuous ten, as your friend Bache calls them, who voted against it.3 Peace to this Country is secured, and that great object must compensate for some inconveniences. The Southern people make many mouths at { 472 } the prospect of being obliged to pay their debts. They never could bear to hear of the subject. but alas they must be honest; or rather must be forced to do justice. There are many people who now wish to raise a jealousy between Mr Jay and our father, but I trust they are aware of it, and know one another too well to flatter the views of so base a Clan. In case of the Death of the President they will endeavour to divide the Federalists and by that manœuvre to put in a person of their own sentiments. You will be at no loss to know whom. Such is the sentiment as drawn from conversations and insinuations preparatory to an event, which God grant may not happen these many years.
We have been happy for three weeks past in the company of my mother She enjoys a tollerable share of health, more I think than for some years past.
The Anniversary of our Independence has passed with more than usual brilliancy. People who are ignorant, are deluded by the Artful into a beleif that the treaty will be ruinous to this Country. Those who are wholly unacquainted with the precarious state of our Commerce here to fore, who never read, and many perhaps who could not read, our treaties with the different nations of Europe, set themselves up as competent judges and without hesitation condemn the late negotiations, and all concerned in them. There will be many Newspaper discussions on this subject and they must tend to enlighten: If those who condemn will state the grounds of their objections, they must be wholly defeated.
I look upon this clamour as the expiring groan of Jacobinism. Col Hamilton has returned to the practice of the Law. he has been for a long time wanting in this City I know of no man better calculated to keep men in the right road His talents are very popular, and very great respect is paid to his opinions; yet it is in vain to hope for unanimity in so motley a mixture of inhabitants as are found throughout the United States.
The Ship by which this goes has not sailed so early as was expected. The inhabitants of the town of Boston have been very hasty in condemning the treaty and have sent the resolutions passed in their town meeting on to The President with a view of preventing { 473 } his signature4 Such a measure, was sufficient to rouse the discontented in this City: accordingly a meeting was called. Those who condemned the treaty, were invited to join with their bretheren in Boston in expressing their execration. on Saturday there was a very large assemblage of the inhabitants at The City Hall. Mr King Col Hamilton and some others were prepared to discuss the treaty with candour; but The Livingstons, who had the Democratic Society embodied directly by them, would not hear a word. Hamilton first endeavored to speak to the people but in vain. They hissed, clamoured, shouted in such a manner that he could not be heard. Col Smith was then appointed chairman: upon his taking his seat one of the Livingstons arose to speak. Hamilton insisted as he was first up he had a prior right upon this there arose such a clamour, that no Speaker could be heard. A proposition was then made, that those who condemned the treaty should go to the left, and those who were friends to a fair discussion, to the right. A separation was made. Hamilton then read a resolution to this effect, That the meeting had a full confidence in the virtue, ability and integrity of The President and that they did not conceive it necessary to give any opinion respecting the treaty. The vote was taken; both sides claimed a majority: but so tumultuous was the assembly that it was impossible to determine. The enemies to discussion then proceeded to the battery and burnt the treaty. The friends to good order retired. When The dissaffected returned, they had the ground to themselves and nominated a Committee to draw up resolutions and forward them to The President; who will pay that attention to them they diserve5
It is remarkable, that those who are most immediately concerned, the Merchants, have at a large meeting of The Chamber of Commerce testified their approbation of the negotiation almost unanimously.6 I never before was witness to a scene to scandalous Hamilton was abused reviled and stoned!— There was a Mr Morris who many years ago went to England to obtain a Charter for some Company in which the Citizens of New York were very much interested; upon his return, having obtained his object; The mob took the horses from his carriage and drew him home amidst the universal huzza’s of the people; as he alighted, he turned and spoke to them thus. Gentlemen I am obliged to you for your kindness, but not in the least elevated. I recollect well, that the same men who one day cried Hosannah to The Son of David, the next exclaimed Crucify { 474 } Crucify him.7 Such are the people of all Countries, and I fear Americans do not grow wiser as they advance.
Adieu my dear brother beleive ever yours
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by TBA: “Charles Adams Esqr / 30 June 1795 – 23 July / 8 Septr Recd / 15 Answd.”
1. With the exception of its opening and closing paragraphs, JQA’s letter was reprinted in the New York American Minerva, 22 June, and countered reports from London, dated 21 April and printed in the same issue, that described the harsh treatment inflicted upon the Dutch populace by the French occupation.
2. On 3 March the New York legislature authorized a state census to be completed by 10 Jan. 1796. Apportionment of the increased population was made on 4 March when 20 new seats were added in the senate and 34 to the assembly, many of which provided increased representation for the state’s western district (Laws of the State of New-York, 18th sess., N.Y., 1795, p. 10–11, Evans, No. 29189; 19th sess., 1796, p. 11–12, Evans, No. 30876; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 465). For CA’s earlier complaints about inadequate representation in the state’s eastern and western districts, see vol. 9:369–370, 372.
3. The Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 27 June 1795, asked “the virtuous ten that opposed sanctioning a law, in direct hostility to the French Republic, and in diametric opposition to the sovereignty, faith, independence and interests of the American people” to publish the treaty for public scrutiny.
4. Even before the full text of the Jay Treaty was published in a special issue of the Boston Columbian Centinel on 8 July, a town meeting had been called to discuss the treaty and “to petition the President not to ratify, but to reject it wholly” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 8 July). Convened on 10 July, the town meeting was adjourned for three days in order that a committee of fifteen could review the individual articles and draft a resolution for consideration. This resolution, “expressive of the dissatisfaction of the town with the Treaty with Great Britain,” was unanimously adopted at the reconvened town meeting on 13 July and was then forwarded to the president (Boston Federal Orrery, 13 July; Boston Columbian Centinel, 15 July).
5. From the time the Jay Treaty was published in New York on 4 July, Republican groups had been agitating against it. When word of Boston’s town meeting reached the city on 16 July, Republican leaders called for a similar meeting to be held on 19 July, which Federalist supporters unsuccessfully tried to join and then disrupt. Similar to events in Boston, a motion passed nominating a committee of fifteen to draft a resolution opposing the treaty. On 21 July a crowd estimated at 5,000 to 7,000 people reconvened in front of city hall and unanimously approved the resolution’s 28 objections, most of which were made on commercial grounds (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 445–454).
6. On 22 July approximately seventy members of New York’s chamber of commerce met and with ten dissenting votes adopted a resolution approving the treaty (same, p. 454–455).
7. Lewis Morris (1671–1746) was chief justice of New York and governor of New Jersey. More than once during his years of public service he traveled to England to lodge petitions on behalf of the two colonies. The event to which CA refers possibly occurred in 1736 after Morris petitioned the king to remove the royal governor of New York and New Jersey; on his return he was met by a large group of supporters (DAB; The Papers of Lewis Morris, Governor of the Province of New Jersey, from 1738 to 1746, ed. William A. Whitehead, N.Y., 1852, p. 22, 27).

Appendix

List of Omitted Documents

The following list includes 85 documents that have been omitted from volume 10 of Adams Family Correspondence and one document that has come to the editors’ attention since the publication of the volume in which it would have appeared. Each entry consists of the date, correspondents, form in which the letter exists (Dft, FC-Pr, LbC, RC, Tr, etc.), location, and publication, if known. All copies that exist in some form in the Adams Papers are noted.
The letters between John Adams and John Quincy Adams in their public roles that have been omitted here from the Family Correspondence will be considered for inclusion in forthcoming volumes of Series III, General Correspondence and Other Papers of the Adams Statesmen.
1788
31 Aug.   Abigail Adams Smith to Elizabeth Cranch, RC (WHi:Caroline Chamberlain Family Papers).  
1794
5 Jan.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
12 Jan.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:138.  
23 Jan.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
26 Jan.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
27 Jan.   John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
{ 478 }
27 Jan.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
30 Jan.   Abigail Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
30 Jan.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
30 Jan.   George Cabot to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
31 Jan.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
1 Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
9 Feb.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:140–141.  
19 Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
19 Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
[22] Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
25 Feb.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
[Feb.?]   Abigail Adams to George Cabot, Dft (Adams Papers).  
1 March   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
8 March   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
10 March   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
10 March   George Cabot to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
10 March   Samuel Dexter to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
14 March   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
16 March   John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
18 March   John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
19 March   John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
{ 479 }
27 March   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED (in part): JA, Works, 1:469.  
[ca. 5 April]   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
12 April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
12 April   John Adams to John Quincy Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
13 April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
14 April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
15 April   Abigail Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
18 April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
19 April   Charles Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
20 April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
22 April   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:186–189.  
25 April   Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
27 April   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
27 April   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
April   Charles Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
April   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
5 May   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:158.  
8 May   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
14 May   Charles Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
17 May   Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch, RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers).  
24 May   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
24 May   John Adams to John Quincy Adams; PRINTED (in facsimile): John Jay Smith, ed., American Historical { 480 } and Literary Curiosities; Consisting of Fac-Similes, 2d series, N.Y., 1860, plate 62.  
15 June   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
20 July   John Adams to John Quincy Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
13 Sept.   Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch, RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers).  
15 Sept.   Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch, RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers).  
23 Oct.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126; PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:201–209.  
9 Nov.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126; printed (in part): JQA, Writings, 1:224–227.  
13 Nov.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
15 Nov.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
17 Nov.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126.  
18 Nov.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126.  
3 Dec.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126; PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:246–247.  
11 Dec.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
11 Dec.   John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126.  
18 Dec.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
21 Dec.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 126; printed (in part): JQA, Writings, 1:254–255.  
[1794–1798]   Thomas Boylston Adams to [John Adams?], RC (Adams Papers).  
1795
4 Jan.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
9 Jan.   Abigail Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
10 Jan.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
15 Jan.   Joseph Cranch to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
{ 481 }
26 Jan.   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
8 Feb.   Abigail Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
12 Feb.   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128; Tr (2, both Adams Papers); PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:276–285.  
13 Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.).  
15 Feb.   John Adams to Charles Adams, RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); PRINTED: William Kent, Memoirs and Letters of James Kent, LL.D., Boston, 1898, p. 69–73.  
27 Feb.   John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, extract (MHi:Pickering Papers).  
1 April   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); FC-Pr (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128; Tr (2, both Adams Papers); PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:310–316.  
15 April   John Quincy Adams to William Stephens Smith, LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128.  
4 May   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); FC-Pr (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128; Tr (Adams Papers); printed (in part): JQA, Writings, 1:339–344.  
22 May   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, FC-Pr (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128; PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:353–363.  
9 June   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:180.  
12 June   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
16 June   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
17 June   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
24 June   John Adams to Abigail Adams, RC (Adams Papers); printed (in part): JA, Works, 1:480.  
25 June   Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams and Thomas Boylston Adams, RC (Adams Papers).  
27 June   John Quincy Adams to John Adams, RC (Adams Papers); LbC (Adams Papers), APM Reel 128; Tr (Adams Papers); PRINTED:JQA, Writings, 1:371–380.  
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/