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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0043

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1766-07-15

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

Tomorrow being Commencment, suppose this will not fail thro want of a conveyance. I therefore set, to tell you that I was much obliged by your kind Letter.1 When ever I receive a Letter from you it seems to give new Springs to my nerves, and a brisker circulation to { 54 } my Blood, tis a kind of pleasing pain that I feel, and I some how, or other catch the infection which you speak of, and I feel so glad that I can scarcly help feeling sorry. These seem to be odd, tho I believe they are very natural Sensations.
You ask me if I will not come and tarry a Week with you. I have been Scheeming of it this forghtnight, and this was the week we pitch'd upon but some difficulties arose, then we talked of keeping Thanksgiving with you, but farming and the Courts come so thick upon us, that we cannot bring that to bear, for next week the Superior Court sets, the inferiour is adjournd to the week after. So that there is no opportunity till the week after that, and then I hope there will not any more Mountains arise to hinder me. Mole hills I always Expect to find, but them I can easily surmount.2
As to Sister Betsy, poor Girl her heart is with you, but when her Body will be, is uncertain, for one while her cough is too bad, then it is too hot weather. O you know how it always was. Dont you remember the time when I wanted to go to Commencment.—These matter[s] you know we always wish'd were otherways. I desire to be very thankful that I can do as I please now!!! I have had upon a visit here, from Saturday till tuesday Mr. Samll. Adams and wife, and indeed Sister they are a charming pair. In them is to be seen the tenderest affection towards each other, without any fulsome fondness, and the greatest Complasance, delicacy and good breeding that you can immagine, yet seperate from any affectation—in them you might see those Lines of Thomson verified

“There, friendship full exerts her softest power,

Perfect Esteem, enliven'd by desire,

Ineffable, and Sympathy of Soul

Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,

With boundless confidence.”

Had you been at Germantown, you should have been an Eye Witness of what I have told you. How often do I think, now if She was but there, I would run away and see her.

“How Blessings brighten as they take their flight.”

Dont you begin to think of comeing this way. And my Dear Betsy, I am affraid she will forget me. The weather will be so hot that I cannot think of bringing Nabby with me. Poor Rogue She has been very poorly these 3 or 4 Days, cutting teeth I believe. Her cough too is bad again.—Well tis time for me to think of drawing to a close, for tis pretty { 55 } late, but I assure you I shall not follow your practise of rising by 4 oclock. It does not agree with my inclination to Laziness.
Your Stockings will send the first good opportunity, Love to Mr. Cranch. I have a little business for him, haveing broke the Spring of our timepiece. Mr. Adams sends Love to you and yours. So does your Truly affectionate Sister,
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (NAlI); address leaf largely torn away but contains endorsement: “Mrs. Adams June 16 1766.”
1. Not found.
2. The Adamses paid their first visit to the Cranches in Salem in August and another in November of this year (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:318–320).

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0044

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1766-10-06

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Dear Sister

I wrote to you a week ago, and sent my Letter1 part of the way, but like a bad penny it returnd, to me again. This I write in hopes that it will reach you this week by Sister.
Your Letter2 I received and it gave me both pleasure and pain, it rejoiced my heart to hear from you, and it pained me to hear how Ill Mr. Cranch had been, and how low he still was. Many are the afflictions of the righteous was a text which immediately occured to my mind. I was in hopes that in leaving Braintree he would have left all his troubles behind him, but alass change of place has not yet had the desier'd effect.
O my Dear Sister I mourn every day more and more the great distance between us. I think Well now if She was but at Germantown I would run away and see her. I think I could come as often again as I used to. However as it is I please myself with the thoughts of seeing you in November, and hope I shall not be dissapointed, for I long to see you all; my Dear Betsy, what would I give to hear her prattle to her Cousin Nabby, to see them put their little arms round one an others necks, and hug each other, it would really be a very pleasing Sight, to me.—But to leave these little charmers—methinks your S[ale]m acquaintance have a very odd kind of politeness. By what I have heard of them, they have well learnd the lesson of Iago, to Rodorigo, “put money in thy purse.” It is the Character of the whole people I find, get what you can, and keep what you have got. My advice to you is among the Romans, do as the romans do. This is a selfish world you know. Interest governs it, there are but very few, who are moved by any other Spring. They are Generous, Benevolent and Friendly when { 56 } it is for their interest, when any thing is to be got by it, but touch that tender part, their Interest, and you will immediately find the reverse, the greater half the World are mere Janases.
I want to know how you make out, how business is with you, whether you have a Sufficent Supply?—&c.
As for News I know of none. We do pretty much as We used to of old. Marry and give in Mariage, encrease and multiply all in the old fashiond way. Parson Weld has an other son, Ludovicus by Name. Your friends here are all in good Health. Grandfather is much as he used to be.3 I saw Mrs. Eunice a Sunday, She told me that She left you well, and that Mr. Cranch (which I could scarcly credit) was leaner than ever. My Good Man is so very fat that I am lean as a <rail> rale. He is such an Itinerant, to speak [ . . . ] that I have but little of his company. He is now at Plymouth, and Next week goes to Taunton.—Butt is dinner time, and I must bid you good by, may be I shall find time to add more than that I am your affectionate Sister,
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MeHi); addressed: “To Mrs. Mary Cranch att Salem.” A single cover served for both the present and the following letter, both of which were sent at the same time. A docketing note in an unidentified hand reads: “Octr. 6th 13th Her Grandfather Mothers Salem friends.”
1. Not found.
2. Not found.
3. Col. John Quincy (1689–1767) of Mount Wollaston, AA's maternal grandfather, for whom the Adamses' eldest son, born the following July, was to be named. See Adams Genealogy.
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, 2018.