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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0102

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1774-09-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear

I received your very agreable Letter, by Mr. Marston, and have received two others, which gave me much Pleasure. I have wrote several Letters, but whether they have reached you I know not. There is so much Rascallity in the Management of Letters, now come in Fashion, that I am determined to write nothing of Consequence, not even to the Friend of my Bosom, but by Conveyances which I can be sure of.
The Proceedings of the Congress, are all a profound Secret, as yet, except two Votes which were passed Yesterday, and ordered to be printed. You will see them from every Quarter. These Votes were passed in full Congress with perfect Unanimity.1
The Esteem, the Affection, the Admiration, for the People of Boston and the Massachusetts, which were expressed Yesterday, And the fixed Determination that they should be supported, were enough to melt an Heart of Stone. I saw the Tears gush into the Eyes of the old, grave, pacific Quakers of Pensylvania.
{ 158 }
You cannot conceive my Dear, the Harry of Business, Visits and Ceremonies which we are obliged to go through.
We have a delicate Course to steer, between too much Activity and too much Insensibility, in our critical interested situation. I flatter myself however, that We shall conduct our Embassy in such a manner as to merit the Approbation of our Country.
It has taken Us much Time to get acquainted with the Tempers, Views, Characters, and Designs of Persons and to let them into the Circumstances of our Province. My dear2 do, intreat every Friend I have to write me. Every Line which comes from our Friends is greedily enquired after, and our Letters have done us vast service.
Middlesex and Suffolk have acquired unbounded Honour here.3
There is No Idea of Submission, here in any Bodies head.
Thank my dear Nabby for her Letter4—tell her it has given me great Spirits. Kiss all my sweet ones for me.

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “C 1 No 5.” This and JA's other letters of this date were conveyed by Paul Revere, who had brought the Suffolk Resolves to Philadelphia; see JA to Cranch, 18 Sept., below.
1. These were resolutions approving the proceedings of the Suffolk co. convention held at Dedham and Milton, 6–9 Sept. (the well-known “Suffolk Resolves”), and calling on all the Colonies for continued contributions to alleviate “the distresses of our brethren at Boston.” The Suffolk Resolves and the resolutions thereupon were entered in the Journal, 17 and 18 Sept. (JCC, 1:31–40), and the latter were ordered to be printed in the newspapers. See also JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:134–135.
2. Here JA wrote and then for reasons of his own heavily inked out a word which may be “Charmer.”
3. The Middlesex co. convention held at Concord on 30–31 Aug. had communicated its proceedings to the Massachusetts delegates in Congress, who presented them to Congress on 14 Sept. (JCC, 1:31). The Middlesex Resolves were printed in Boston Gazette, 12 Sept., suppl., and a broadside text is in MHi (Evans 13439).
4. Not found, but see JA's answer, 19 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1774-09-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear

In your last you inquire tenderly after my Health, and how we found the People upon our Journey, and how We were treated.
I have enjoyed as good Health as usual, and much more than I know how to account for, when I consider the extream Heat of the Weather, and the incessant Feasting I have endured ever since I left Boston.
The People, in Connecticutt, New York, the Jerseys and Pensyl• { 159 } vania, we have found extreamly well principled, and very well inclined, altho some Persons in N. York and Phyladelphia, wanted a little Animation. Their Zeal however has increased wonderfully since we began our Journey.
When the horrid News was brought here of the Bombardment of Boston, which made us compleatly miserable for two days, We saw Proofs both of the Sympathy and the Resolution, of the Continent.
War! War! War! was the Cry, and it was pronounced in a Tone, which would have done Honour to the Oratory of a Briton or a Roman. If it had proved true, you would have heard the Thunder of an American Congress.
I have not Time nor Language to express the Hospitality and Civility, the studied and expensive Respect with which we have been treated, in every Stage of our Progress. If Cambden,1 Chatham, Richmond2 and St. Asaph had travelled thro the Country, they could not have been entertained with greater Demonstrations of Respect, than Cushing, Paine and the Brace of Adams's have been.
The Particulars will amuse you, when We return.
I confess the Kindness, the Affection, the Applause, which has been given to me and especially, to our Province, have many a Time filled my Bosom, and streamed from my Eyes.
My best Respects to Coll. Warren and his Lady when you write to them. I wish to write them.

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “C 1 No 6.”
1. Charles Pratt (1714–1794), 1st Baron and, later, 1st Earl Camden, an eminent jurist, lord chancellor in Chatham's administration, and popular in America as an opponent of North's American policy (DNB).
2. Charles Lennox (1735–1806), 3d Duke of Richmond and Lennox, one of the great whig lords who opposed North's American policy (DNB).
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/