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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0018

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1764-04-09

Abigail Smith to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Unkle

I suppose you have written to me, tho I have not received it, for Mr. Ayers left his pocket Book with the Letters at Roxbury. However full { 21 } in the Faith that I have a Letter there, I return you my thanks for it.
We are all very sollicitious to hear from you; Brother has they tell us two eruptions; upon which I congratulate him. I hear also that he is in high Spirits, and more agreeable than ever he was. This cannot arise from the Distemper, it must certainly be oweing to the virtue and example of his Companion—for if Evil communications corrupt good Manners, why may not those which are virtuous, have as great a tendency to inlighten the Mind and rectify the Manners?
Your Letters for Mr. Adams1 I had the curiosity to unfold (he serves me so sometimes) But was sufficiently satisfied. You blew up a train of Ideas—not very delicate ones I assure you. What a Scene did you paint? The thought of it makes me Squemish. Mr. Adams returnd from Plymouth a fryday, and a Saturday morning—left Weymouth, to see it no more for these 5 weeks, this Day received a line, wherein he informs me that he took his Vomit a Sunday morning; and his pill as you directed—follows your prescriptions also in Diet—and experiences the Truth of your observation. Says he never felt a clearer head, or a neater flow of Spirits than at present—desires me to inform you that he with his Brother design for Boston next fryday—that he should be obliged if you would engage Doctor Perkins—and also write him word whether Mrs. Lefebure can accommodate him and his Brother, (without any damage to you) in case of Need, for his Unkle has written him word that he has engaged to take in Deacon Palmers Children, and that he must bring a Bed. He has returnd him word, that he cannot carry one, and if his unkle cannot procure him one, he must look out elsewhere. He has not received an answer yet, but expects to hear to Night, if you can write by Mr. Ayers you will greatly oblige him.
Your Friends here want to see you; and long for the time of your return. My Aunt writes so I need say nothing more about her, than that she perseveres in the way of well doing. My Mother2 makes bugbears sometimes, and then seems uneasy because I will not be scared by them. I tell her we ought to conclude that you are comfortable, and that I cannot distress my self about you.

“He who directed and dispenced the past

O'er rules the present, and shall guide the last.”

Tis Bed time, even my Bed time, I therefore wish you a good Nights rest, and the continuance of your Spirits—and a safe return is also wished you By your affectionate Niece,
[signed] A. Smith
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Cotton Tufts Esqr. In Boston.” On the third page is Tufts' draft answer, printed under 19? April, below.
{ 22 }
1. These have not been found.
2. Elizabeth (Quincy) Smith (1721–1775), daughter of Col. John Quincy of Mount Wollaston. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0019

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1764-04-11

John Adams to Abigail Smith

[salute] My ever dear Diana

The Room which I thought would have been an Hospital or a Musaeum, has really proved a Den of Thieves, and a scene of Money Changers. More Persons have been with me about Business, since I shut up, than a few, and many more than I was glad to see, for it is a sort of Business that I get nothing by, but Vanity and Vexation of Spirit. If my Imprisonment had been in Consequence of Bankruptcy, I should not have endured much more Mortification and Disquiet. I wish this Day was a Fast, as well as Tomorrow, that I might be sure of two Days Tranquility, before my Departure. I am not very impatient at present: Yet I wish I was at Boston. Am somewhat fearful of foul weather, on Fryday. If it should be, the very first fair Opportunity must be embracd.
Abstinence from all, but the cool and the soft, has hitherto agreed with me very well; and I have not once transgressed in a single Iota. The Medicine we have taken is far from being loathsome or painful or troublesome, as I own I expected. And if I could but enjoy my Retreat in silence and solitude, there would be nothing Wanting but Obliviscence of your Ladyship, to make me as Happy as a Monk in a Cloyster or an Hermit in his Cell. You will wonder, perhaps at my calling in Monks and Hermits, on this Occasion, and may doubt about the Happiness of their situations: Yet give me leave to tell you freely, the former of these are so tottally absorbed in Devotion and the latter in Meditation, and such an Appetite, such a Passion for their Respective Employments and Pleasures grows habitually up in their Minds, that no Mortals, (excepting him who hopes to be bound to your Ladyship in the soft Ligaments of Matrimony) has a better security for Happiness than they.
Hitherto I have written with the Air and in the style of Rattle and Frolick; but now I am about to shift to the sober and the Grave.—My Mamma1 is as easy and composed, and I think much more so than I expected. She sees We are determined, and that opposition would be not only fruitless, but vexatious, and has therefore brought herself to acquiesce, and to assist in preparing all Things, as conveniently and comfortably as she can. Heaven reward her for her kind Care, and her Labours of Love!
{ 23 }
I long to come once more to Weymouth before I go to Boston. I could, well enough. I am as well as ever, and better too. Why should not I come? Shall I come and keep fast with you? Or will you come and see me? I should be glad to see you in this House, but there is another very near it,2 where I should rejoice much more to see you, and to live with you till we shall have lived enough to ourselves, to Glory, Virtue and Mankind, and till both of us shall be desirous of Translation to a wiser, fairer, better World.

[salute] I am, and till then, and forever after will be your Admirer and Friend, and Lover,

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Miss Abigail Smith Weymouth These.”
1. Susanna (Boylston) Adams (1709–1797), who by her 2d marriage, 1766, became Mrs. John Hall. See Adams Genealogy.
2. That is, the house now known as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, which JA had inherited and to which he brought AA after their marriage in the following October. This passage establishes beyond question the fact that JA continued to live with his mother in the house next door (the John Adams Birthplace) into the year 1764. But it leaves open the question whether or not he had yet opened his law office in the JQA Birthplace. A note by the present editors in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 1:225, under the entry dated 20 Nov. 1761, is too positive on this point.
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/