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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


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.
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/