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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0081

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have been so much engaged this week with company that, tho I never cease to think of you I have not had leisure to write to you. It has been High Court week with us, judge C[ushin]g and Lady kept here, the judges all dined with me one day and the Bar an other day. The Court sit till Saturday Night, and then were obliged to continue many causes. The people seem to be pleased and gratified at seeing justice returning into its old regular channel again.1
I this week received two Letters, one dated july 27 and [another] july 29th. Where they have been these two months I cannot conceive, I hear of an other by the Express but have not yet been able to find it. I write now not knowing where to direct to you, whether you are in the American Senate or on Board the British fleet is a matter of uncertainty. I hear to day that you are one of a committee sent by Congress to hold a conference with Lord How. Some say to negotiate an exchange of General Sulivan, others say you are charged with other matters.
May you be wise as Serpents. I wish to hear from you, the 28 of August was the last date. I may have Letters at the Post office. The Town is not yet clear of the small Pox which makes it dificult for me to get a conveyance from there, unless I send on purpose.
I only write now to let you know that we are all well, anxiously longing for your return.

[salute] As this is a child of chance I do not chuse to say any thing more than that I am Sincerely Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at New York or Philadelphia”; franked: “Free”; endorsed (twice): “Portia.”
1. This was the first session of the Superior Court in Suffolk co. closing in Sept. 1774. In Feb. 1776 the General Court had named Dedham and { 126 } Braintree, alternately, as the places of sitting in Suffolk because the British still occupied Boston; and now, although the British had left months ago, the smallpox epidemic in Boston made another meeting place highly advisable. The act of Feb. 1776 was repealed in November, and beginning in Feb. 1777 the sessions returned to Boston. See Mass., Province Laws, 5:455–456, 593–594; Quincy, Reports, p. 341–342.
For more details on this session of the Superior Court in Braintree, see James Sullivan to JA, 22 Sept. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Postmaster at N. York, in a Panick, about a fortnight ago fled to Dobbs's Ferry, about 30 Miles above N.Y. upon Hudsons River, which has thrown the Office into disorder, and interrupted the Communication so much that I have not received a Line of yours, since that dated the Second of September.1 Nor have I received a News Paper, or any other Letter from Boston since that date. The same Cause, it is probable has disturbed the Conveyance, to the Eastward, and prevented you from receiving Letters regularly, from me.
One of the Horses, which has been sent me, is very low in flesh. I must wait, some time, I fear for him to recruit.
No new Delegates come yet. I hope to see some in a few days.
We have good News from France and the French West Indies. . . .2 There is great Reason to think they will not always remain inactive.
You commanded me to write every Post, and I obey altho I have nothing in Particular to say, only that I am as usual, not worse in Health, nor yet well, but ever Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree Massachusetts Bay”; franked: “Free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. SEP 16.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Her letter dated 31 Aug.–2 Sept., above.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0083

Author: Mason, Jonathan Jr.
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-18

Jonathan Mason to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I was extreemly sorry I could not pay that attention to your son Johnny, as I should wish to have done, had not I been very diligently employed in other business. Should esteem it as a favour that whenever You trust any of them to town, you would direct them to my father's house, and I am repeatedly desired by my sister to request your consent to Miss Nabby's coming into town and tarrying with us { 127 } as long as inclination and improvement can make it agreeable. My mite, I doubt not you are assured will be chearfully contributed to her emolument. I forwarded your last letters by the post the first Opportunity, and have only to beg that whenever occasion calls, you would not hesitate to command me to any task. It would afford me great pleasure to have it in my power to compensate in some measure, for many unexpected, unmerited civilities, I mett with at your house. Inclosed you have a letter just handed me, but I am ignorant by whom.—Had not a liberal mind induced you to mention it in your letter,2 I had notwithstanding determined in my own mind, to have wrote, when Politicks or some other general topic had occurred, and if proper, should be extreemly happy in perusing a return.

[salute] I am with great respect Your hum. Servt.,

[signed] J Mason Jr.3
One Mr. Payne in Boston is a fine tutor for the young ladies.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs. Adams In Braintree Pr. favour.” Enclosure: probably a recent letter from JA to AA, not now identifiable.
1. MS torn by seal.
2. Not found.
3. Mason, who was nominally still apprenticed to JA as law clerk, had written JA on 12 Aug. (Adams Papers), saying that he had “resolved . . . closely to pursue the science of the Law,” outlining his progress and plans, and asking whether he should accept an invitation to enter Perez Morton's law office. In his reply of 21 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers), JA suggested further studies and advised Mason to accept Morton's “kind Offer, provided you dont find the Practice of his Office interferes too much with your studies, which I dont think it will.”
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.