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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0285

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-10-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Tis true my dearest Friend that I have spent an anxious 3 weeks, and the sight of a Letter from you gave me joy beyond expression. I had sent every post day, and every post was dissapointed. For 3 week[s] I could not learn one word with certainty—nor can I now determine whether you are 88 miles nearer to me or farther of than you were before.
I was greatly surprizd when I heard that the Enemy were in possession of Philadelphia without any engagement upon our part. If Men will not fight and defend their own perticuliar spot, if they will not drive the Enemy from their Doors, they deserve the slavery and subjection which awaits them.1
There is much I think comprised in that short Sentance, “I shall avoid all history and make no reflections.” I think I can construe a volum from it, I will follow the example least a miscarrage of this should give triumph to an Enemy.
Our affairs at the Northward wear a more pleasing aspect. The Sunshine from the North gilds the dark Clouds of the South or the Storm would look dismal indeed.
It is a Newengland observation that in some late general orders when many motives and stimulatives were set before the men to excite them to action, they were assured of conquest without once acknowledgeing the Superintendance of divine providence. Our favorite Dr. Tillotson “observes that in all our concernments we ought to have a perticuliar regard to the Supreme disposer of all things and earnestly { 355 } to seek his favour and blessing upon all our undertakeings, but more especially in the affairs of war, in which the providence of God is pleasd many times in a very peculiar manner to interpose and interest itself, because all war is as it were an appeal to God, and a reference of those causes to the decision of his providence which through the pride, and injustice, and perverse passions of men can receive no other determination.”
Tis not more than 3 weeks since I thought our affairs looked in a more prosperious train than they had done since the commencement of the War. Tho they have not taken the turn I hoped for, yet I doubt not they will finally terminate in our favour. Providence for wise purposes has oftentimes since the commencement of this war brought about our deliverence by ways and means which have appeard to us the most improbable and unlikely—has given into our hands those things which we were destitute of, and in the greatest necessity for. So true it is acknowledge him in all thy ways, and he shall direct thy paths.
To you my dear Friend I need not excuse these Moral reflections. I have ever considerd it as a happiness to be united to one whose Sentiments in Religion were not only agreable to my own, but to what I have ever esteemed the Truth.
I believe I may venture to congratulate my Love upon the completion of his wishes with regard to Burgoin. Tis reported to day from many ways that he has with his whole Army fallen into our hands and tis said the post brings the same inteligance.2 If true, as I most sincerely hope, let us with gratitude acknowledg the interposition of Heaven in our favour.
We have accounts too of an engagement at the southard. I am glad to hear of fighting even tho we come of second best, not because Heaven is my witness that I delight in the Effusion of humane Blood, but because I believe by delay we should loose more lives than by the sword. It sinks our spirits, disheartens our soldiers, makes them both Idle and wicked. How great would be my joy could I see peace and quietness once more restored to this distressed land.

“Peace o'er this land her olive Branch extend

And white Robed Innocence from heaven desend.”

It gave me great pleasure to hear of your Health and Spirits. Did you save your cloaths, or have they fallen into the hands of the { 356 } Enemy? We are all very well in the family. The hooping cough prevails much and is just comeing into the family. I long for the month of your return to come. I wrote you with regard to B[racket]t3 but received no answer. You will let me know, and when to send. Dr. T[uft]s desires to know if you have received a Letter from him within these two months, he fears that it did not reach you, as it was about the time of your removal.
The Spirit of Barter and exchange predominates so much here that people dispose of their own Bodies. Matrimony prevails among all orders and Ages; the scarcity of the Commodity enhances the value. Men are a very scarce article to be sure. Among the late mariages which have taken place and are like to, Miss B[ets]y S[mit]h to Mr. S[ha]w last thursday, old Deacon W[eb]b of this Town to a maiden Sister of John Ruggles'es wife, who has lived to the age of 66 unmarried, our Friend Mrs. L[incol]n of this Town to Deacon S[tore]r of Boston, an exceeding good match and much approved of. Numbers of others in the lower class not worth mentioning, but I ask my Cousin P[oll]y S[mit]hs pardon for omitting her. She marries in about 2 months to a Mr. Gray, a Brother of Mr. Eliss Grays of B[osto]n.4
Tis very cold for the Season. We had Snow yesterday and Ice in the Streets this morning. When shall I see my Friend? Tis more than Nine long months since we parted. Shall I send the beginning of december? Heaven grant us a joyfull meeting.

[salute] Ever yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. in Congress at Yorktown in Pensylvania”; franked: “Free.”
1. Howe's army had entered Philadelphia on 27 Sept.; Washington's attack in force on Germantown, 4 Oct., failed because of fog.
2. Burgoyne was defeated at Bemis Heights on 7 Oct., proposed to capitulate on the 14th, signed the articles of convention on the 16th, and formally surrendered at Saratoga the next day.
3. See AA to JA, 27 Aug., above.
4. Elizabeth Smith, AA's younger sister, married Rev. John Shaw on 16 Oct.; see Adams Genealogy. Deacon Jonathan Webb of Braintree married Elizabeth Jones on 7 Oct. (Braintree Town Records, p. 867). Hannah (Quincy) Lincoln, a widow since 1773, and Ebenezer Storer, a Boston merchant, newly appointed treasurer of Harvard College, and a widower since 1774, filed marriage intentions in Braintree on 17 Oct. and were married on 6 Nov.; see Adams Genealogy. AA's cousin Polly, i.e. Mary, daughter of Isaac Smith of Boston, was to marry Edward Gray on 11 Dec.; he died two years later, and she subsequently married Samuel Allyne Otis, first and for many years clerk of the U.S. Senate; see Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0286

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It is with shame that I recollect that I have not written you more than two or three Letters these 5 Weeks, and those very short.
News I am afraid to write, because I never know untill it is too late what is true. From last Sunday to this Moment Fryday afternoon 4 o Clock, We have been in a state of tormenting Uncertainty concerning our Affairs at the Northward. On Sunday, We had News, from the Committee of Albany, through Governor Clinton and G. Washington, of a Capitulation of Burgoine and his whole Army.1 To this Moment We have no Express from Gates, nor any Authentic Confirmation.2
Howe has drawn his Army into the City and Washington is at Germantown. Supplies will be cutt off, from the British Army, in a great Measure.

[salute] I am &c. yours forever,

[signed] John Adams
We shall finish a Plan of Confederation in a few days.3
1. The earliest news of Burgoyne's capitulation reached York on Sunday the 19th, though this was actually premature, since Burgoyne had only offered to surrender on the 14th, the letter of the Albany committee, transmitted through various hands, was dated the 15th, and the Saratoga convention was not signed until the following day. See the very careful and enlightening editorial note on the transmission of the news, with locations of the relevant texts, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:526–527. The record in JCC is incomplete and otherwise unsatisfactory on this important affair.
2. The reason was that Lt. Col. James Wilkinson, Gates' adjutant, took twelve days to bring Gates' dispatch of the 18th and a copy of the convention from Saratoga to York. Dawdling sociably on the way, he did not arrive until 31 Oct. (JCC, 9:851), by which time the news he brought had reached Congress from various unofficial sources. In a letter written many years later, Thomas McKean recalled that Samuel Adams had formally proposed that Congress reward Wilkinson by voting him “a pair of spurs” (McKean to JA, 20 Nov. 1815, Adams Papers). JA's recollection was that his own “impatience” had never in his life been “wrought up to an higher pitch, than by the total failure of all Intelligence Official and unofficial from Saratoga, for so long a time after We had heard a confused fugitive rumour of the defeat of Burgoine,” and that on the morning after Wilkinson's arrival “a jocular Suggestion [was] thrown out in a private Conversation” among JA, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, “that it would be proper to present the Courier with a horsewhip and a pair of Spurrs” (to McKean, 26 Nov. 1815, PHi). What in fact happened, however, was that Congress on 6 Nov., acting on Gates' strong recommendation, breveted Wilkinson a brigadier general (JCC, 9:870). Wilkinson's own account of his journey from Saratoga and arrival in York, with the text of Gates' dispatch which he carried and of other pertinent documents, is in James Wilkinson, Memoirs of My Own Times, Phila., 1816, 1:323–332
{ 358 }
3. This was premature. Debate over the Articles of Confederation had occupied Congress during the present session intermittently since early April, but a final text to be submitted to the states for adoption was not agreed on until 15 Nov., some days after JA had left York for Braintree. See JCC, 9:907–928, and entries under Articles of Confederation in index to JA's Diary and Autobiography.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0287

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-10-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

The joyfull News of the Surrender of General Burgoin and all his Army to our Victorious Troops prompted me to take a ride this afternoon with my daughter to Town to join to morrow with my Friends in thanksgiving and praise to the Supreem Being who hath so remarkably deliverd our Enimies into our Hands.
And hearing that an express is to go of tomorrow morning, I have retired to write you a few line's. I have received no letters from you since you left P[hiladelphi]a by the post, and but one by any private Hand. I have wrote you once before this. Do not fail writing by the return of this express and direct your Letters to the care of my unkle who has been a kind and faithfull hand to me through the whole Season and a constant attendant upon the post office.
Burgoine is expected in by the middle of the week. I have read many Articles of Capitulation, but none which ever containd so generous Terms before. Many people find fault with them but perhaps do not consider sufficently the circumstances of General Gates, who <perhaps> by delaying and exacting more might have lost all. This must be said of him that he has followed the golden rule and done as he would wish himself in like circumstances to be dealt with.—Must not the vapouring Burgoine who tis said possesses great Sensibility, be humbled to the dust. He may now write the Blocade of Saratago.1 I have heard it proposed that he should take up his quarters in the old South,2 but believe he will not be permitted to come to this Town.—Heaven grant us success at the Southard. That saying of king Richard often occurs to my mind “God helps those who help themselves” but if Men turn their backs and run from an Enemy they cannot surely expect to conquer them.
This day dearest of Friends compleats 13 years since we were solemly united in wedlock; 3 years of the time we have been cruelly seperated. I have patiently as I could endured it with the Belief that you were serving your Country, and rendering your fellow creatures essential Benefits. May future Generations rise up and call you { 359 } Blessed, and the present behave worthy of the blessings you are Labouring to secure to them, and I shall have less reason to regreat the deprivation of my own perticuliar felicity.
Adieu dearest of Friends adieu.
[Added in the hand of William Smith:] Please to enquire of Mr. Reese Meredeth if he has received a Letter from my father enclosing a Bill upon Philadelphia.—Yrs.,
[signed] WS3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in the hand of William Smith (see note 3): “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Member of Congress at York-Town State of Pensylvania”; endorsed (perhaps not contemporaneously): “Portia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. An allusion to The Blockade of Boston, acted in Boston by British army officers in 1776; see AA to JA, 14 April 1776, note 4.
2. In allusion to the fact that the Old South Meeting House had been converted to a riding school for officers during the British occupation of Boston. See William Heath, Memoirs, new edn., ed. William Abbatt, N.Y., 1901, p. 126.
3. AA's cousin, William Smith (1755–1816), Harvard 1775, second son of Isaac Smith Sr. of Boston; see Adams Genealogy. AA was staying at her uncle Isaac Smith's home in Queen (later Court) Street, Boston.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0288

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My best Friend

This Town is a small one, not larger than Plymouth.—There are in it, two German Churches, the one Lutheran, the other Calvinistical. The Congregations are pretty numerous, and their Attendance upon public Worship is decent. It is remarkable that the Germans, wherever they are found, are carefull to maintain the public Worship, which is more than can be said of the other Denominations of Christians, this Way. There is one Church here erected by the joint Contributions of Episcopalians and Presbyterians, but the Minister, who is a Missionary, is confined for Toryism, so that they have had for a long Time no publick Worship. . . .1 Congress have appointed two Chaplains, Mr. White and Mr. Duffield, the former of whom an Episcopalian is arrived and opens Congress with Prayers every Day.2 The latter is expected every Hour. Mr. Duche I am sorry to inform you has turned out an Apostate and a Traytor. Poor Man! I pitty his Weakness, and detest his Wickedness.3
As to News, We are yet in a painfull Suspense about Affairs at the Northward, but from Philadelphia, We have Accounts that are very pleasing. Commodore Hazelwood, with his Gallies, and Lt. Coll. { 360 } Smith in the Garrison of Fort Mifflin, have behaved in a manner the most gallant and glorious. They have defended the River, and the Fort with a Firmness and Perseverance, which does Honour to human Nature.4
If the News from the Northward is true, Mr. Howe will scarcely venture upon Winter Quarters in Philadelphia.
We are waiting, for News, from Rhode Island.
I am wearied with the Life I lead, and long for the Joys of my Family. God grant I may enjoy it, in Peace. Peace is my dear Delight. War has no Charms for me.—If I live much longer in Banishment I shall scarcely know my own Children.
Tell my little ones, that if they will be very good, Pappa will come home.
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. Rev. (later Bishop) William White and Rev. George Duffield had been appointed chaplains to Congress on 1 Oct. (JCC, 8:756).
3. On Rev. Jacob Duché, Congress' first chaplain in 1774, see JA to AA, 16 Sept. 1774, above, and note 3 there. His eventually notorious letter to Washington, dated at Philadelphia, 8 Oct., urging him to negotiate for peace at once and asking him “Are the Dregs of a Congress, then, still to influence a mind like yours?” was forwarded by Washington to Congress in a letter of 16 Oct. (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 9:382–383). The original is in PCC, No. 152, V; a copy in John Thaxter's hand was enclosed in Thaxter to AA, 20 Jan. 1778, printed below, and is in Adams Papers. Duché's letter was read in Congress on the 20th, and although it provoked private cries of outrage, the members thought it best treated with official silence (JCC, 9:822; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:523, note, 526–527, 538). All the relevant correspondence was gathered and published, with useful commentary, by Worthington C. Ford in The Washington-Duché Letters, Brooklyn, 1890.
4. In mid-October Commodore John Hazelwood of the Pennsylvania navy and Lt. Col. Samuel Smith of Maryland, commanding at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, repulsed British attacks designed to open supply lines to Philadelphia. On 4 Nov. these two officers were voted swords by Congress (JCC, 9:862).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0289

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr. Colman goes off for Boston Tomorrow.
I have seized a Moment, to congratulate you on the great and glorious Success of our Arms at the Northward, and in Delaware River. The Forts at Province Island and Red Bank have been defended, with a Magnanimity, which will give our Country a Reputation in Europe.
Coll. Green repulsed the Enemy from Red bank and took Count { 361 } Donop and his Aid Prisoners. Coll. Smith repulsed a bold Attack upon Fort Mifflin, and our Gallies disabled two Men of War a 64 and 20 Gun ship in such a Manner, that the Enemy blew them up. This comes confirmed this Evening, in Letters from Gen. Washington inclosing Original Letters from Officers in the Forts.1
Congress will appoint a Thanksgiving, and one Cause of it ought to be that the Glory of turning the Tide of Arms, is not immediately due to the Commander in Chief, nor to southern Troops. If it had been, Idolatry, and Adulation would have been unbounded, so excessive as to endanger our Liberties for what I know.
Now We can allow a certain Citizen to be wise, virtuous, and good, without thinking him a Deity or a saviour.
1. Washington's letter of 24 Oct. informing Congress of the bitter (and, so far, successful) fighting cn 21–22 Oct. to keep control of Forts Mifflin and Mercer on the Delaware below Philadelphia, with large extracts of his enclosures, are printed in Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 9:422–424. They were read in Congress on the 27th (JCC, 9:841). Col. Christopher Greene, of the 1st Rhode Island regiment, was voted a sword by Congress on 4 Nov. (same, p. 862).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0290

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have been three days, soaking and poaching in the heavyest Rain, that has been known for several Years, and what adds to the Gloom is the Uncertainty in which We remain to this Moment, concerning the Fate of Gates and Burgoigne.—We are out of Patience. It is impossible to bear this suspence, with any Temper.
I am in comfortable Lodgings, which is a Felicity that has fallen to the Lott of a very few of our Members. Yet the House where I am is so thronged, that I cannot enjoy such Accommodations as I wish. I cannot have a Room as I used, and therefore cannot find Opportunities to write as I once did.
The People of this Country, are chiefly Germans, who have Schools in their own Language, as well as Prayers, Psalms and Sermons, so that Multitudes are born, grow up and die here, without ever learning the English.—In Politicks they are a Breed of Mongrels or Neutrals, and benumbed with a general Torpor.
If the People, in Pensylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Jersy had the Feelings and the Spirit of some People that I know, Howe would { 362 } be soon ensnared in a Trap, more fatal than that in which, as it is said, Burgoigne was taken.
Howe is compleatly in our Power, and if he is not totally ruined it will be entirely owing to the Aukwardness and Indolence of this Country.
Fighting however, begins to become fashionable. Coll. Green has exhibited a glorious Example, in the Defence of Red bank. But this must be done by a New Englandman at the Head of two N. England Regiments, Rhode Islanders.
Coll. Smith however, is a Marylander, from Baltimore. He has shewn another Example of Magnanimity, which gives me the most agreable Hopes. Commodore Hazelwood too, has behaved in a manner that exceeds all Praise. This Spirit will be caught by other Officers, for Bravery is epidemical and contagious as the Plague.
This Army suffers much for Want of Blanketts and Shoes.
I celebrated the 25th. of this Month, in my own Mind and Heart, much more than I shall the 30th.—because I think the first a more fortunate day than the last.1
My Duty to your Father and my Mother—to Unkles and Aunts. Love to Brothers and sisters—but above all, present all the Affection that Words can express to our dear Babes.
1. The 25th was his wedding anniversary; the 30th was his birthday, according to the New Style calendar.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0291

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Jr.
Date: 1777-10-30

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Jr.

[salute] Dear Sir

A favourable opportunity offering by Mr. Austin2 of writing to you, I embrace it, in compliance to your pappa's request as well as my own inclination.
The uncertainty of a conveyance to you has prevented many of your Friends from writing to you, and when an opportunity has offerd the fear of a miscarrage has obliged them to say little else than what regards the State of their Health and the place of their abode.
But having taken the pen I am determined to write freely regardless of consequences.3
When you left your Native land it was in a state little able to { 363 } defend itself4 against the force which had invaded it, but providence remarkably smild upon our virtuous exertions in defence of our injured and oppressed land, and has opened resources for us beyond our most sanguine expectations, so that we have been able not only to repel, but conquer, the Regular Troops of Britain, the Mercinaries of Germany, the Savages of the wilderness and the still more cruel paricides of America with one of the most celebrated British Generals at their head.
I have the pleasure Sir to inform you that the British arms have submitted to American fortitude, courage and bravery, and have received terms tho humiliating to them the most generous ever granted to an Enemy5 cruel and inhumane as these have been.
But true courage is always humane, and we submit the punishment of their crimes to that Being who has stiled himself the Husband of the widow, the Father of the orphan and the avenger of the oppressed. Cruel have been the depredations of these foes of the rights of Humane Nature. Our Commerce has been distroyed, our cities burnt with fire, our Houses plunderd, our women a sacrifice to brutal Lust, our children murderd, and the hoary head of age has oftentimes glutted their savage malice.
These Sir are indisputable facts and will I hope be recorded by the faithfull Historyan to the everlasting infamy and disgrace of Britain, and would almost tempt one to immitate the parent of Hannible and swear the rising generation to Eternal Enmity against them.—But as christians tho we abhor the6 deeds we wish them reformation and repentance.
We most sincerely wish for peace upon honorable terms. Heaven is our witness that we rejoice not in the Effusion of Blood, nor the Carnage of the Humane Speicies but having forced us to draw the Sword we are determined never to sheathe it the Slaves of Britains—and whether it is creditted or not tis a truth for which we have great reason to be thankfull, we are at this day in a much better situation to continue the war for 6 years to come, than we were to contend for 6 months in the commencment of it. We have defended ourselves against a force which would have shaken any kingdom in Europe without becomeing tributary to any power whatever, and I trust we shall continue too, with the blessing of heaven.
Providence has permitted for wise ends that every one of the united States should feel the cruel depredations of the Enemy, that each one should be able to sympathize with the other—and this so far from weakening has served to strengthen our bond of union. Tis { 364 } a thirteenfold cord which all the Efforts of our Enemies have not been able to break.
The perticuliars of the Capture of General Burgoyne and his whole Army will be transmitted you by other hands. I hope soon to congratulate you upon a similar account from the Southard, but whether I am [can] or not7 you may rely upon it that the invincible american Spirit is as far from being conquerd as it was the day the cruel mandates were issued against her. She gathers strength by oppression and grows firmer by resistance.8 Tis the cause of truth and justice and will finally prevail tho the combined force of Earth and hell rise against it.
To this Cause I have sacrificed much of my own personal happiness by giving up to the counsels of America one of my dearest connexions and living for more than 3 years in a State of widowhood.
A return to your native land with a heart and mind truly american would rejoice all your connexions perticuliarly your Friend and former Correspondent,9
[signed] AA10
Dft (Adams Papers); undated; at head of text in JQA's hand: “To Isaac Smith junr. November,” to which CFA added “1777.” RC not found, but a printed text of it appeared in a British periodical, the Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature, 17:670–671 (Nov. 1822), with this editorial note prefixed: “Copy of a Letter from Mrs. Adams, Wife of Mr. Adams, a Member of the American Congress, to the Rev. Mr. Smith, then of Sidmouth, in Devonshire, but a Native of Boston, in New England, which place he left at the Commencement of the War, and returned to it at the Peace. (Communicated by the Rev. Joseph Cornish.)” Dft has been followed in the present text because it better represents AA's usage than RC in its normalized printing; but the more important variations between Dft and RC have been recorded in notes below.
1. Supplied from RC. AA was evidently writing from Boston. It is hardly necessary to point out how promptly she seized the advantage of the first great American military victory to lecture her (as she believed) errant cousin.
2. Jonathan Loring Austin (1748–1826), Harvard 1766, sailed the next day from Boston for Nantes in the brigantine Perch to carry the news of Burgoyne's surrender to the American Commissioners at Paris; he then served Franklin in various capacities in Europe, and during the summer of 1778 acted as JA's secretary at Passy. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:300, and references there; also E. E. Hale and E. E. Hale Jr., Franklin in France, Boston, 1887–1888, 1:154–160.
3. This sentence was revised in RC to read: “But whether this meets with the fate of some others or not, I am determined to congratulate you upon our present situation.”
4. RC here inserts a phrase in commas: “to all human appearance.”
5. RC has a full stop here and continues, without a paragraph break: “Their deserts they never can receive in this world, nor we inflict, but must submit them to that Being who will equally distribute both rewards and punishments, and who hath assured us that he will espouse the cause of the widow, the fatherless and the oppressed.”
6. RC: “their”–probably AA's intended wording in the draft, though she did not write it.
{ 365 }
7. RC here inserts a phrase in commas: “as the events of war are uncertain.”
8. This sentence omitted from RC, perhaps unintentionally.
9. RC reads, instead: “I hope before long you will be able to return to your native land with a heart truly American; as such, no one will rejoice more to see you than your affectionate friend and former correspondent.”
10. RC adds a sentence below signature: “If you can write to me with safety, a letter would be very acceptable.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0292

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-11-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This Moment I received your favour of Octr. 6. by Mr. Niles.—I am as well as can be expected.
We have no News, but such as is old to you.
I congratulate you on the great and glorious Events in the northern Department. Congress have ordered a Thanksgiving, and have done great Honour to the Officers.1
We shall finish the Confederation in a few days.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA in old age: “J.A. to A.A. Nov. 3. 1777.” The letter was written on a blank leaf torn from an earlier letter addressed to JA in an unidentified hand: “The Honble: Jo[ . . . ] in Congress.”
1. See the Journal for 31 Oct., 1, 4 Nov. (JCC, 9:851, 854–855, 861–862).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0293

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-11-10

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

As the delivery of this Billet cannot be attended with the disagreable allarm which the amiable Mrs. Adams some time ago suffered from a well meant but indiscretely-managed little Compliment of one of her Admirers,1 I improve this fair opportunity to congratulate her, thus, upon the late happy events at Saratoga, greatly important to the Public and, consequently, interesting to her patriotic mind. At the same time, I wish her many years continuance of that domestic Felicity which will be restored to her at the hour when she receives this written assurance of affectionate Esteem from her very humble Servant,
[signed] James Lovell
1. See Lovell to AA, 29 Aug., and AA's reply of 17? Sept., both above. The present letter was obviously brought by JA himself to Braintree; see the following letter and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0294-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-11-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Here I am.–I am bound home.–I suppose it will take me 14 days, perhaps 18 or 20, to reach Home.–Mr. S.A. is with me.–I am tolerably well.1
The American Colours are still flying at Fort Mifflin.
The News on the other Side, is from a Merchant to his Partner.2

[salute] I am in great Haste, most affectionately yours.

RC (Adams Papers). Concerning the enclosure, if it can be truly called one, see notes 2 and 3.
1. On 7 Nov. JA and Samuel Adams were voted a “leave of absence to visit their families” (JCC, 9:880). On the 11th they set off from York and proceeded by way of Lancaster, Reading, and Bethlehem to Easton, meeting Francis Dana, who was on his way to help fill up the depleted Massachusetts delegation, near Reading; their route from Easton home is at least partly indicated in JA's fragmentary diary entries (Diary and Autobiography, 2:267–269). According to a letter he wrote James Lovell on 6 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers), JA reached Braintree on 27 November.
2. This appears on the verso of JA's letter, which is written on an irregularly shaped sheet. Paper was scarce, and, although there is no evidence that the letter from “Eustatia” was read in Congress, JA may have copied it before leaving York and then found the blank side of the sheet convenient for writing his note to AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0294-0002

Author: UNKNOWN
Recipient: UNKNOWN
Date: 1777-09-17

Enclosure: Extract of a Letter1

Business still continues dull but am in Hopes of a Speedy Change as it seems by the last Accounts from Amsterdam that a War with France and England is inevitable. Lord Stormont, the English Ambassador has left the Court of France,2 upon meeting with an unsatisfactory Answer relative to the French's supporting the Americans which they and the Spaniards are determined to do. And you may soon expect to see a Number of Vessells from his Christian and Catholick Majestyes Dominions in America with every necessary Supply for carrying on the War, and the King of Prussia has opened the Port of Mendin3 for the Americans to carry their Prizes in and to trade. Stocks fell in England 15 Pr. Ct. upon the Ambassadors leaving the french Court. I hope a french War may break out as it will be the Means of our making great Fortunes which I should be happy to acquaint you with.
1. The caption in the original reads: “Extract of a Letter from a G[entleman] { 367 } at Eustatia 17. Sept.” The editors have no certain clue as to who the writer was.
2. This was premature. Stormont was not recalled until March 1778.
3. Minden, on the Weser River, in Westphalia.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0295

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

In a Letter which came to me to Night you chide yourself for neglecting writing so frequently as you had done. Tis true a very long space of near a fortnight past, without my hearing one word from you. I cannot help feeling anxious when such a space elapses without receiving a line, but I have no reason to complain. You have considering your avocations been more attentive than I had reason to expect.

”Heaven sure taught Letters for some wretches aid,

Some banishd Lover or some captive maid.”

I have been more fearfull than formerly of writing by the post as I have never received a Letter from you by that conveyance since you left Philadelphia. Mr. Coleman brought me yours of October 25 and 26. You have before this time received from me one of the same date, since which I have not wrote. I have been too much mortified with a late expedition to write you any perticuliars concerning it. Indeed it was from the begining a subject of Burlesque, oweing I believe to the small opinion most people had of the Heroick talents of the commanders. It was call'd a secret Expedition to Newport. A fortnight before the troops marchd, there were by all accounts as fine a set of troops collected, as any spiritted commanders could have wishd for, and tis said for 20 Days the Island might have been succesfully (to all appearence) attacked. The publick are very angry as well they may be, and demand an enquiry.
I know you will be mortified, because it has been a favorite object with you—but if you want your Arms crownd with victory you should not appoint what General Gates calls dreaming deacons to conduct them.1
General Burgoine and his troops arrived last week in Cambridge—all seems to be quietness at present. From the southard we get no very authentick accounts. To day How and his whole Army are captives! To morrow they have got possession of our forts and weighd the Cheveaux de Frize.
{ 368 }
No News at all, our Mountabank Story of Captivating How and his Army is come to nothing.
The Southern Troops must have some assistance from the Northern before any thing very Brilliant will take place. Providence over rules all things for the best, and will work out our Salvation for us in the wisest and best manner—provided we perform our Duty.
My Brother has had the misfortune to be taken upon his return from a cruise up the Baltick. They had a valuable prize with them loaded with duck and cordage. He was captain of Marines on board the Tartar Capt. Grimes Master, and was carried into Newfoundland since which we have not heard from him.2
Now my dear Friend shall I ask you when you will return, a Question I have not asked you for these ten Months. Knowing your determination when you left me I have summond patience, and endeavourd to submit to my destiny. By the time this reaches you Eleven months will be Elapsed, and you I hope prepairing for your journey. It will be a tedious one I fear in the depth of winter, but let the thought of the cordial reception you will be assured of meeting warm the cold wintry blasts, and make your return joyfull.
You make no mention of receiving any Letters from me for a long time. I hope none have miscarried. I must beg you would write whilst you continue absent. We have had very great rains this fall, and severe cold weather for the Season. A flight of snow yesterday and to day as cold as January.

[salute] Adieu yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Congress in Pensilvania”; endorsed (probably not contemporaneously): “Portia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Concerning the abortive expedition to Rhode Island, in which Deacon and Brig. Gen. Joseph Palmer commanded the Massachusetts militia, see note 2 on AA to JA, [5] Oct., above; also Cotton Tufts to JA, following.
2. On 12 July Capt. John Grimes' American Tartar attempted unsuccessfully to capture the Liverpool vessel Pole and was perhaps disabled in the engagement, which lasted several hours. For an account deriving from a Liverpool newspaper, see MHS, Colls., 77 (1927):73.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0296

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-21

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

Sometime in September last I wrote to You,1 and am not a little anxious to know whether you receivd my Letter, as it was sent about { 369 } the Time You were removing from Philadelphia; In Your next to me or to Your Bosom Friend dont forget to inform me.
I congratulate You on Our Success to the Northward.—When I saw Burgoines Proclamation I read the Man, when I saw his Orders to Col. Baum I was confident that the Imagination of the Poet would work the Destruction of the Soldier. True it is that Vanity worketh a Lye.
You may be anxious no Doubt to hear of the Event of the Rhode Island Expedition. I wish it were in my Power to give You a satisfactory Accountt of it (that indeed is more than can be expected from those Conductors of it as some are pleased to say). It is said an Enquiry is making or hath already been made, why it prov'd abortive.
From what I can collect, The Failure principally arose from a Want of previous Preparations. When the Troops arrivd, Boats were wanting &c. &c. The Inlistment was but for a Month and by the Time every Thing was in readiness, the Enemy was reinforced and such Works erected by them as might require a regular Siege, which could not be entered upon without an Assurance of the Mens continuing untill the Conquest could be effected in that Way.—A fine set of Men composed the Soldiery, who were Zealous in the Cause and urgent for attempting, untill worried out by Expectations disappointed and by Measures ill conducted.

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esq Member of the Continental Congress At York Town in the State of Pensylvania”; endorsed: “Dr. Tufts”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. On 18 Sept.; this letter is printed above.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0297

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-12-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

Yesterday was as fine for Travell as ever occurred at this season of the Year.—I reached Ipswich, and lodged, at the House where I used to put up, old Mrs. Treadwells.1
This Morning I satt off, in a horrid cold Rain, and after getting wett through all my Coverings, I putt up at our Friend Mr. Tufts's, having no Courage to proceed farther.
Tomorrow Morning, I must proceed. Coll. Doane who was in a stage Coach and his son who was in a close sulky proceeded on, today.2
The fashionable Conversation all along the Journey is that Goods { 370 } are fallen and falling in Consequence of calling in the Money.3—I am—&c.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams At Mr. John Adams's Braintree To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths in Queen Street Boston”; postal marking: “NP——2.”
1. For a lively sketch of her and her husband, Capt. Nathaniel Treadwell, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:38.
2. JA had been engaged by Col. Elisha Doane, a wealthy Cape Cod shipowner, and his son-in-law, Shearjashub Bourne, to defend them in a case about to come before a maritime court sitting in Portsmouth. The case was that of Penhallow and Treadwell v. Brig Lusanna and Cargo. Doane was the owner and Bourne had been supercargo of Lusanna, which had been captured by a New Hampshire privateer under circumstances strongly indicating that she had been trading with the enemy. The case was in the courts for many years because the question of the authority of the Continental Congress, as opposed to that of individual states, was at issue; it was not in fact settled until the United States Supreme Court rendered a final decision in 1795, which was in favor of JA's clients. But JA's connection with it was brief, his argument for the Doanes in Portsmouth in Dec. 1777 being probably his last appearance as a practicing lawyer. See his recollections of the trial as given in his Diary and Autobiography, 4:2–3, and the editorial note there. His MSminutes of the case are in M/JA/6, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185, and will presumably be printed in JA, Legal Papers.
3. On 13 Oct. the General Court repealed the “regulatory” (or price-fixing) acts that had proved so objectionable and unworkable, and passed an act to draw in the state's badly depreciated bills of credit (Mass., Province Laws, 5:733–737).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0298

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1777-12-15

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Letters arrived in the absence of Mr. Adams who is gone as far as Portsmouth, little thinking of your plot against him.1
O Sir you who are possessd of Sensibility, and a tender Heart, how could you contrive to rob me of all my happiness?
I can forgive Mr. Geary because he is a Stranger to domestick felicity and knows no tenderer attachment than that which he feel[s] for his Country, tho I think the Stoickism which every Batchelor discovers ought to be attributed to him as a fault.
He may retort upon me and ask if in such an Instance as this he is not the happier Man of the two, for tho destitute of the highest felicity in life he is not exposed to the keen pangs which attend a Seperation from our dear connexions. This is reasoning like a Batchelor still.
Desire him from me to make trial of a different Situation and then tell me his Sentiments.
But you Sir I can hardly be reconciled to you, you who so lately { 371 } experienced what it was to be restored to your family after a painfull absence from it, and then in a few weeks torn from it by a call from your Country. You disinterestedly obeyed the Summons. But how could you so soon forget your sufferings and place your Friend in a more painfull situation considering the Risk and hazard of a foreign voyage. I pittied the conflict I saw in your mind, and tho a Stranger to your worthy partner sympathized with her and thought it cruel in your Friends to insist upon such a Sacrifice.
I know Sir by this appointment you mean the publick good, or you would not thus call upon me to sacrifice my tranquility and happiness.
The deputing my Friend upon so important an Embassy is a gratefull proof to me of the esteem of his Country. Tho I would not wish him to be less deserving I am sometimes almost selfish enough to wish his abilities confind to private life, and the more so for that wish is according with his own inclinations.
I have often experienced the want of his aid and assistance in the last 3 years of his absence and that Demand increases as our little ones grow up 3 of whom are sons and at this time of life stand most in need of the joint force of his example and precepts.
And can I Sir consent to be seperated from him whom my Heart esteems above all earthly things, and for an unlimited time? My life will be one continued scene of anxiety and apprehension, and must I cheerfully comply with the Demand of my Country?
I know you think I ought, or you [would]2 not have been accessary to the Call.
I have improved this absence to bring my mind to bear the Event with fortitude and resignation, tho I own it has been at the expence both of food and rest.
I beg your Excuse Sir for writing thus freely, it has been a relief to my mind to drop some of my sorrows through my pen, which had your Friend been present would have been poured only into his bosome.
Accept my sincere wishes for your welfare and happiness and Rank among the Number of your Friend[s], Your Humble Servant,
[signed] AA
Dft (Adams Papers); undated; at head of text in JQA's hand: “to James Lovell,” to which CFA added: “1778.”
1.
“I am charged by all those who are truly anxious here for the best prosperity of our affairs in France to press your acceptance of the Commission which has this day been voted you. The great sacrifices which you have made of private { 372 } happiness has encouraged them to hope you will undertake this new business. As one I hope that you will not allow the consideration of your partial defect in the Language to weigh any thing, when you surmount others of a different nature. Doctor Franklin's Age allarms us. We want one man of inflexible Integrity on that Embassy. . . . You see I am ripe in hope about your acceptance, however your dear amiable Partner may be tempted to condemn my Persuasions of you to distance yourself from her farther than Baltimore or York Town. [¶] Great as Brother Geary's hurry is he threatens to take his Pen in hand because I am not enough urgent with you; he feels all the Callosity of a Bachelor. I am but too ready to pardon his hard heartedness on this occasion where the eminent Interest of my Country is pleaded in excuse for him.” (James Lovell to JA, undated, but undoubtedly written on 28 Nov. 1777, Adams Papers.)
On 28 Nov. Henry Laurens, recently elected John Hancock's successor as president of the Continental Congress, wrote JA enclosing “an extract from the Minutes of Congress” in Charles Thomson's hand (letter and enclosure in Adams Papers), as follows:
“Congress proceeded to the election of a commissioner at the court of France in the room of S. Deane esqr. and the ballots being taken
“John Adams esqr. was elected
Extract from the minutes
[signed] Charles Thomson secy”
Though the Journal is, as usual, uninformative, it is known that the nomination of JA was made by Elbridge Gerry, who told Congress that he had sounded out JA on the subject before the latter left York. In a letter to JA of 29 Sept. 1779 (Adams Papers; printed in JA's Works, 9:491–496), Gerry told JA some of the story behind the nomination and the vote, which was between JA and Robert R. Livingston, who had been nominated by the New York delegates. By marking a copy of the Journals for 1777, called Volume III, just printed by Dunlap in Philadelphia, Gerry signified to JA who had voted for him (and by implication who had not). This marked copy is among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (shelfmark 200.1, vol. 3; see p. 547 therein). CFA recorded Gerry's tabulation of the vote in a note in JA's Works, 9:492. See also note 3 on JA to AA, 15 Dec., below.
2. This word editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0299

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Roberdeau, Daniel
Date: 1777-12-15

Abigail Adams to Daniel Roberdeau

[salute] Dear Sir

Your obliging favour came to hand yesterday in the absence of my dearest Friend, and as he will not I fear reach home before tis too late to write by the post, or this conveyance, I have venturd to take up the pen least you should accuse him of neglect or inattention.1
I have been the more readily induced to write as it gives me an opportunity of acknowledging with gratitude the many civilities which Mr. Adams assures me he received from you and your worthy Sisters whilst he was an inmate in your family.
Be pleased Sir to acquaint them that I shall ever retain a gratefull Sence of their kindness.
The fresh instance of your regard to my worthy partner, and the honour conferd upon him by the important Embassy to which you have deputed him, together with the Sympathy you discover for his { 373 } domestick happiness demands my warmest acknowledgments, tho I feel that the distinction given him by his Country must be at the expence of my present tranquility and happiness.
Taught both by his precept and example to sacrifice every private view to the publick good, ought I to say that I fear he will not be able to withstand the solicitations of his Friends upon this occassion, tho his partial knowledg of the Language will be an objection with him.
O Sir you who know as my dear Mr. Adams has informd me by melancholy experience, what it is to be seperated from one of the worthyest of women, and the dearest connexion in life, will forgive me when I say this is the hardest conflict I ever endured.
Danger and hazard, fear and anxiety will ever be uppermost in my mind, tho I have made use of his absence to prepare my mind for what I apprehend must take place least I should unnecessaryly embarras him.
I could easily su[r] mount the Dangers of the Sea and every other impediment, provided his tenderness would suffer me to accompany him.
At present he knows nothing of the appointment as the Presidents and all other Letters have come to my hand in his absence.
I shall endeavour as much as posible to leave him free to act <for himself> as he thinks best.
My most respectfull regards to Mrs. Climer and Roberdeau whom Mr. Adams always speaks of with the affection of a Brother. Love to Miss Nancy and the other little folks whose Names I have forgot. I must beg your Excuse for troubling you with this Epistle, and ask leave to subscribe myself your obliged Friend,
[signed] AA
Dft (Adams Papers); undated; at head of text in CFA's hand: “Jany. 1778.”
1.
“Your domestick views of happiness was not consulted on this occasion, but the necessity of your Country for your Talents, which being devoted to her service, I expect a chearful acquiescence with a call so honorable, which I doubt not will prove a lasting honor to you and your Connections as well as a blessing to these States. . . . I wish you had improved the opportunity when here of studying the French language, which our friend Mr. Garry is now doing. I would advise your taking french books with you and a french Companion, and if an Opportunity does not immediately present from Boston a trip to the West Indies and a passage in a french vessel to Paris would be of considerable advantage” (Roberdeau to JA, “York Town,” Penna., 28 Nov. 1777, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0300

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-12-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

I arrived here, last Evening, in good Health. This Morning, General Whipple made me a Visit, at the Tavern, Tiltons, and insists upon my taking a Bed at his House, in so very affectionate, and urgent a Manner, that I believe I shall go to his House.1
The Cause comes on Tomorrow, before my old Friend Dr. Joshua Brackett, as Judge of Admiralty. How it will go I know not. The Captors are a numerous Company, and are said to be very tenacious, and have many Connections; so that We have Prejudice, and Influence to fear: Justice, Policy and Law, are, I am very sure, on our Side.
I have had many Opportunities, in the Course of this Journey, to observe, how deeply rooted, our righteous Cause is in the Minds of the People—and could write you many Anecdotes in Proof of it. But I will reserve them for private Conversation. But on 2d Thoughts why should I?
One Evening, as I satt in one Room, I overheard Company of the Common sort of People in another, conversing upon serious subjects. One of them, whom I afterwards found upon Enquiry to be a reputable, religious Man, was more eloquent than the rest—he was2 upon the Danger of despizing and neglecting serious Things. Said whatever Person or People made light of them would soon find themselves terribly mistaken. At length I heard these Words–“it appears to me the eternal son of God is opperating Powerfully against the British Nation for their treating lightly serious Things.”
One Morning, I asked my Landlady what I had to pay? Nothing she said–“I was welcome, and she hoped I would always make her House my Home, and she should be happy to entertain all those Gentlemen who had been raised up by Providence to be the Saviours of their Country.” This was flattering enough to my vain Heart. But it made a greater Impression on me, as a Proof, how deeply this Cause had sunk into the Minds and Hearts of the People.—In short every Thing I see and hear, indicates the same Thing.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen Street Boston.”
1. William Whipple (1730–1785), formerly a New Hampshire delegate to the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, had left Congress in June of this year to command state troops in the campaign against Burgoyne (Biog. Dir. Cong.). Ezra Stiles was in Portsmouth at this time and recorded conversations with JA at Whipple's (and elsewhere), in { 375 } which JA spoke very freely of persons and measures; see Stiles' Literary Diary, 2:236–238.
2. A word may be missing here, perhaps “discoursing” or “speaking.”
3. As JA recalled in 1806, it was “while I was speaking” in the Lusanna trial at Portsmouth that “Mr. [John?] Langdon came in from Phyladelphia and leaning over the Bar whispered to me, that Mr. Deane was recalled, and I was appointed to go to France. As I could scarcely believe the News to be true, and suspected Langdon [to] be sporting with me, it did not disconcert me. As I had never solicited such an Appointment, nor intimated to any one, the smallest inclination for it, the News was altogether unexpected.” To be sure, Gerry had mentioned this possibility just as JA was mounting his horse to leave York for home, but “I entreated him that neither [he] nor any one else would think of me” as Deane's successor, “for I was altogether unqualified” for that post, and thereafter, JA added, he quite dismissed the whole matter from his mind. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:2–3.) Stiles in his Literary Diary (2:239) records the news of JA's appointment on 20 December. JA must have left Portsmouth that day or the day before, because he arrived in Boston on the 22d and received “Large Packetts from Congress” which AA had sent from Braintree in order for them to reach JA at the earliest possible moment. Getting home later the same day, JA made his decision at once and during the following two days answered—feelingly but affirmatively—all the official notifications and personal pleas he had received from York. See his letters of 23 Dec. to Henry Laurens, PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:458 (LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA's Works, 7:7–8), and to Elbridge Gerry, LbC, Adams Papers. Also his letters of 24 Dec. to R. H. Lee and James Lovell jointly as members of the Committee for Foreign Affairs (who had sent him his commission in a letter of 3 Dec., Adams Papers), PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, 2:459–460 (LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 7:8); to Lovell personally, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 9:471; and to Daniel Roberdeau, LbC, Adams Papers. The letter to Laurens and the letter to Lee and Lovell jointly are formal acceptances. To Gerry, JA said: “You wish for the Concurrence of a certain Lady, in a certain Appointment.—This Concurrence may be had upon one Condition, which is that her Ladyship become a Party in the Voyage, to which she has a great Inclination. She would run the Risque of the Seas and of Enemies, for the Sake of accompanying her humble servant.–But I believe it will not be expedient.” To Lovell JA ruefully observed: “I should have wanted no Motives nor Arguments to induce me to accept of this momentous Trust, if I could be sure that the Public would be benefited by it.—But when I see my Brothers at the Bar, here, so easily making Fortunes for themselves and their Families, and when I recollect that for four Years I have abandoned myself and mine, and when I see my own Children growing up, in something very like real Want, because I have taken no Care of them, it requires as much Philosophy as I am Master of, to determine to persevere in public Life, and engage in a new Scaene, for which I fear I am very ill qualified. [¶] However, by the Innuendoes in your Letter, if I cannot do much good in this new Department, I may possibly do less Harm, than some others.” And to Roberdeau he communicated his doubts about his acquiring a speaking knowledge of French at so late an age: “I shall try the Experiment, however, and if I find any great Inconvenience by which the Public may be likely to suffer I shall ask Leave to return. [¶] I shall devote my Time henceforward, to the Acquisition of a Language, to which I am not a total Stranger, having had some Knowledge of the Grammer and Construction of it, early in Life, and having practised Reading something in [it] all along, but which however, I never before aimed at learning to speak.”
JA's decision to accept his appointment, though difficult, was speedy; indeed there seems never to have been any real question in either his or AA's mind about what that decision would be. Much more difficult to answer were the closely related questions whether AA would accompany him and which, if { 376 } any, of the children would accompany him or them. When John Thaxter left for York, Penna., two or three days after JA had returned from Portsmouth, he had the impression that JA would take not only AA but the two oldest children, AA2 and JQA, as well (Thaxter to AA, “York Town,” 20 Jan. 1778, below). But the very serious possibility of capture by the enemy at sea changed the Adamses' first tentative decision; and in the end only JQA, on his own plea, was permitted to sail with his father. See AA's letters printed under the present date, above, and others to family and friends in Feb.–March 1778, below; also, JA's Diary and Autobiography, 4:4-5, 15–16; and his conversations in old age recorded by Harriet Welsh: “I never would have gone any where without my Wife. Nothing but the deadly fear that I might be in the tower and she not permitted to be there with me prevented my taking her” (transcript in CFA's hand, Adams Papers, M/CFA/31, Microfilms, Reel No. 327).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0301

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-01-02

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Friend

Great Advantages are often Attended with Great Inconveniencies, And Great Minds Called to severe tryals. If your Dearest Friend had not Abilities to Render such important services to his Country, he would not be Called to the self Denying task of leaving for a time His Beloved Wife and Little pratling Brood. Therefore while I Weep with my Friend the painful abscence, I Congratulate her that she is so Nearly Connected with a Gentleman Whose Learning, patriotism And prudence qualify Him to Negotiate at Foreign Courts the affairs of America at this Very Critical period.
I think I know your public spirit and Fortitude to be such that you will Throw no Impediment in his way. Why should you. You are yet young and May set Down together many Years in peace after He has finished the Work to his own Honour, to the satisfaction of his Constituants and to the Approbation of his Conscience. You Cannot my Dear avoid Anticipating the Advantages that will probably Redound from this Honorable Embassy to Your self, to your Children and your Country.
But while I wish to say somewhat to support your Resolution and spirits Methinks somthing Wispers me within that you will justly say we are very Ready to Give advice when we but Illy practice upon the principles we lay down. True—but we may profit by the advice Though we despise the Weakness of the Adviser. Yet I have not so Ill an opinion of myself as to think were I just in your situation I shoud not strive for the Exertion of a Little Heroism upon such an Occasion.
I was in hopes we should have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Adams at Plimouth before he left America. I should be very happy to see you together by my fire side if it was but for one day before { 377 } he Crosses the Atlantic, but if that Cannot be my best Wishes await him. Assure him that my Fervant prayer is that he May Experience the peculier protection of providence through Every stage of his useful Life.
But I think before we part I Must desire him to Look into A Letter from Marcia Dated March 1776 (if he has not Destroyed it) which will Remind him of a Certain Bargin which I Expect he will fulfill.1 His Excuse was once that he should Never be Called to the Different Courts of Europe. But I have seen Events so precipitated, and the Wheels of Revolution so Rapidly Move on, that I have Expected it for several Years. And if I am Notwithstanding His Vast Avocations Gratifyed with one Letter from the Court of France, however high I May Esteem the Indulgence, I shall not be More pleased with the Honour done me by the Embassadour of America, than obliged by this Mark of Friendship from Mr. Adams.
One thing More I Must beg you to assure him that if it is possible for me or mine to do any thing to Lessen the Inconvenience or pain of absence that His Portia or Her Children May suffer, He May Depend upon the Ready aid of His And Your Very Affectionate Friend,
[signed] Marcia Warren
RC (Adams Papers'); addressed: “Mrs. Adams.”
1. In a letter to her of 8 Jan. 1776JA praised certain “Characters” Mrs. Warren had drawn, and added: “I think I will make a Bargain with you, to draw the Character of every new Personage I have an Opportunity of knowing, on Condition you will do the same” (MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:201). In replying, 10 March, Mrs. Warren agreed to the bargain but said she would be the gainer by it: “I Expect to be made Acquainted with the Genius, the taste, and Manners, not only of the Most Distinguished Characters in America, but of the Nobility of Britain, And Perhaps before the Conflict is Ended, with some of Those Dignifyed personages who have held the Regalia of Crowns And Scepters, and in the Zenith of power are the Dancing Puppets of other European Courts” (Adams Papers). To the latter part of this prediction JA strongly demurred in a characteristic passage in his reply of 16 April, q.v. in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:223.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0302-0001

Author: Tufts, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-01-06

Samuel Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sr.

Inclosed you have a letter from Saml. Moody Esqr. dated the 5th. Inst. came to my hands by his Brother, unsealed. You will therein read his propossals respecting your son. If you should send him, I shall be ready to offer him my Service so far as lays in my power, in any respect, to make his life happy in his Absence from his Friends.1
{ 378 }
The Owners and Agents of the Civel Usage have followed your Advice to me respecting the Unloading the Prize Brigantine Lafortune. As Capt. Bertrand declined giving his Consent to Takeing out the goods, had the goods been taken out upon her Arrival, I Imagine it would have been a means of saving many Thousands of Dollars to the Concerned. The Next Superior Court, Which you with Messrs. Lowell and Parsons will Attend in our behalf, Will (I suppose) decide the Dispute, between the Captain and those Concerned in the Prize.2—With my complements to Mrs. Adams and all friends, I am Sr. your Honor's Obedt. Hume. sert.,
[signed] Samll. Tufts
Mrs. Tufts desires her Compliments to be deliverd to Mrs. Adams &c.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure: Samuel Moody to Samuel Tufts, 5 Jan. 1778, printed herewith.
1. Samuel Moody (1726–1795), Harvard 1746, was the first master of Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, founded in 1763, and during more than a quarter-century in that post acquired great repute for his success in preparing boys for Harvard and other New England colleges. His brother Joseph and wife “ran the academy farm and boarded the boys.” See Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:48–54; James Duncan Phillips, “Harvard College and Governor Dummer's School,” MHS, Procs., 69 (1947–1950): 194–206.
Doubtless JA discussed with Tufts (whose wife was a Moody) arrangements for placing JQA at Dummer Academy when JA stopped at Tufts' home in December. But the family's decision to let JQA accompany his father to Europe made any such plans obsolete.
2. Tufts had no doubt consulted JA on this case in December. He was acting as agent for the officers of the Civil Usage, Capt. Andrew Giddings, a Newburyport privateer, which in September had captured a French vessel, La Fortune, Capt. Yves Bertrand K'Enguen, carrying a cargo of British goods. The maritime court in Boston had condemned the cargo (though not the vessel) in Nov. 1777, but the French captain appealed to the Superior Court, which in its Suffolk session of Feb. 1778 upheld the previous decree. John Lowell and Theophilus Parsons represented Capt. Giddings when the appeal came on. See Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 103, Records, 1775–1778, fol. 203–205; MHS, Colls., 77 (1927):99.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0302-0002

Author: Moody, Samuel
Recipient: Tufts, Samuel
Date: 1778-01-05

Enclosure: Samuel Moody to Samuel Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

With a very particular Satisfaction shall I take into our School and Family the Son of your respectable Friend Mr. Adams but as we are now so full and incumbered I believe it must be postponed till the 22 April after our Spring Vacation when he may be Chumm or Chambermate to the Son of the Hon. William Ellery of the State of Rhode Island. Our Pupils find their Bed and Bedding. Board a { 379 } Dollar per Week when Silver was our Currency and not more now allowing for the Difference of the Money. My Perquisite a Guinea in hard Money a Year which in Compassion to the present Times I reduced to less than that Sum in Paper Money. My Agreement with Mr. Shimmin is equivalent in Paper Money to a Guinea in Silver a Year. That your worthy Friend may have the full Completion of his Wishes in the present Accomplishment and Future Usefulness and Prosperity of his Son is the sincere Wish of My dear Sir Your assured Friend & hum. sert.,
[signed] Samuel Moody
The present fluctuating State of Things renders it impossible to be more explicit on the Subject. My Brother can be particular.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mr. Samuel Tufts In Newbury-Port.” Enclosed in Samuel Tufts to JA of 6 Jan. 1778, preceding.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0303

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-01-08

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Did I think it in my power to afford any Consolation to my Friend I Would Readily undertake the tender task and as she Request[s] offer many Arguments for her support. But is it Really Necessary to Muster up arguments to prevail with my dear Mrs. Adams to Consent to what she knows is Right, to what she is sensible will Contribute Much to the welfare of the public. No [surely?] she has Already Consented And I hope from the best Motives.
In your Late hasty scrip1 You ask 3 questions, Viz. what I think of a Certain appointment, what You ought to do, and what I would do. To the first I answer I think the Appointment most Judicious—and though we want his services hear I think the Stat Holder the best qualifyed of any man on the Continent to Represent the united States of America. By his penetrating Genius he May see through and Defeat the tricks of old statsmen and Courtiers at the same time He Gaurds against the Imbecility and Wickedness of more Modern politicians. To the second I Reply you Must be too sensible of the path that duty points out and the part you ought to act to stand in Need of the premonitions of Friendship. To your 3d question I have too Great a Regard to my own Character to [say]2 Frankly No, Yet am too suspicious of my own Heart positively to say Yes. Therefore must Leave it a Little problematical till further Examination and tryal.
I had some secret hopes that a Certain Embarkation would have { 380 } been made from Plimouth, but if there is a better place Layed you will with my best Regards bid your Friend Adieu in my Name, and suffer me to accompany your Every Good wish for his safty, success And happy Return.
I am sorry I Cannot supply you with the Little Articles you wrote for, but I Lend out of my own store 1/2 oz. of different threads just to keep you At Work till Either You or myself Can Get a Larger supply.
My son has no Cambrick. But there is A Frenchman here with whom I should have traded for you but he Cannot Yet Give me his price, and I dare not purchase at a Venture as he seems fully acquainted with the spirit of the Country, and knows no bounds to his Demands. If you will Limit me I will follow your Directions and purchase whatever You want. He has a Great Variety of those Luxeries we have been Fond off.
This European Commerce is Attended with some Inconveniences, for though we want their Cloathing, Warlike stores &c. &c., They Throw in upon us such an Innundation [of]3 useless Baubles, that the Wealthy may purchase, and the poorer Will, that I fear Their will be Little of that Frugality and Oeconomy so Necessary to support the Increasing public Burdens.
Since the Above was wrote I have been trying to trade with Monsieur, but find it will not do for Either of us. I Cannot Get a bit of Cambrick fit for your use under £4 per yd. Threads he has in plenty at 1/ per scain. I therefore send 10 scains of a sort from my Little stock till You Can do better.

[salute] With Great sincerity subscribes your Friend,

[signed] Marcia Warren
1. Not found.
2. This word editorially supplied.
3. This word editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0304

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1778-01-10

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I am very sorry I lost the Opportunity of conveying a Letter to Braintree by Mr. Thayer last week. We had company engaged to dine with us, expected Ladies to visit here in the PM and a very cold, short Day, when he called upon us. Otherwise I would have { 381 } perswaded him to have tarried while I wrote a few Lines and thanked you for your very kind enquiries after Madam and her Spouse.—I have the Pleasure of assuring you they are in fine Health, are exceedingly pleased with their Situation, have every thing they want, more than a Clergyman just entered into a Family could expect, in such perilous Times. She is as happy as she can, or ought to be, at such a distance from her dear Friends. You my Sister have experienced how much kindness, affection, and tender assiduity contributed to make you easy even in this particular; and Without these Cordials of Life, I should be miserable was I situated even in the midst of my numerous Friends.
You say I must give you an account of every thing a sister ought to know.—In the first place I will begin with our Family matters—Of which I cannot give you a very Economick Discription. In short we spend our Time in Eating, Drinking, sleeping, geting victuals, cleaning house, Dressing, receving, and returning Visits, like other fine Folks.—A dismal kind of life I hear you say. I acknowledge it. But while we are in this World, Society is essential to Man's happiness, and we are induced to conform, and suffer many things dissagreeable, for the sake of the Blessings, and the Comforts that flow from it. Charity, and Benevolence are thus spread from Family to Family, and Friendships are formed that soften the Cares, and mitigate the Ills of Life.
Among other things I suppose I must tell you what oppinion the People have formed of me. In general, they say my Character was very good, and they are no ways dissappointed, (thats clever). One says that I am a little heavenly body. Others are so favourable as to say “that she talks, and is as sociable as one of Us,” and the Children think that I am a dear pretty woman.–The People appear kind and hospitable, and as far as I can discern, no ways disposed to censure each other. If I live, I hope to gain their Affections, and to grow more and more worthy of their regards and Esteem.
Haverhill was once a beautiful and wealthy Town, flourished by Commerce, but now the best Families have quitted Trade, and live upon the Interest of their Money, which has greatly reduced their Estates.–This is now the Case of most populous Places.—I rejoice that you are out of them, and are the happy possessor of a long desired little Farm.
I am really troubled with Brother Adams for not returning from Portsmouth this way, it would have been but a few miles, if any, out of his way, and it would have rejoiced our Hearts to have seen him after so long an abscence. We congratulate Sister Adams however, { 382 } on his Health, and safe return, and wish that e'er long he may see Peace restored to the Commonwealth, and after toiling for the publick Good, enjoy unmolested, the sweets of domestic Life.
I want to hear from our Friends at Weymouth, how they do, whether Sister Smith has got to bed, and whether it is a son or Daughter.1 From my Father, from the Doctors Family, from Yours, from Sister Adams, from Miss Lucy, from Cousin Betsy, from Phebe, and all—every thing indeed that you, in exchange of places would wish to know.
This Day I was invited to a very elegant Entertainment at Mr. Duncan's, where I meet with Mr. Black from Boston who courted the once beautiful and amiable Polly Duncan, who instead of enjoying the fond endearments of a kind husband, lies now folded in the cold arms of Death. This is the dark side—a brighter Scene (from her Character) I trust she is the possesor of, than any earthly prospect could afford her.2
By this unhappy Lover, (for he had a tender and ardent affection for her) I propose to send a letter to Uncle Smith's, and from thence I hope it will soon be conveyed to my dear Sister, from Your truly affectionate
[signed] Eliza Shaw
PS My Love to Brother Cranch, and my little Cousins. Mr. Shaw desires to be remembered to every branch of my Connections.—When when shall I see them.
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); docketed in Richard Cranch's hand: “Letter from Mrs. E. Shaw Jan. 10th. 1778.”
1. “Sister Smith” was the former Catharine Louisa Salmon (1749–1824), wife of William Smith, the writer's brother. The fourth of the Smiths' six children, Isaac, was born about this time, but neither his birth date nor much else about him is known to the editors. See Adams Genealogy.
2. Mary, daughter of James Duncan, a prominent Haverhill merchant, died on 31 Oct. 1777, aged 28 (Vital Records of Haverhill, Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 2:387; George W. Chase, The History of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Haverhill, 1861, p. 452).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0305

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-01-10

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

The morning after my arrival to this place, I waited on the President with your letter; upon reading of which, he informed me, that he did not think it in his power to give me the place which you so { 383 } kindly sollicited for me, but assured me he would use his Endeavours to procure some place for me.1 I then waited upon General Roberdeau and the Massachusetts Delegates, who gave me the same assurances. Mr. Lovell, who has been particularly friendly, advised me to write in the Secretary's Office for the present, till some other Employment could be found. In pursuance of his Advice, I have enter'd the Office, with an Allowance of fifty five Dollars pr. Month. Ten Dollars and better, I am obliged to give a Week for Board, besides paying a seperate Bill for washing. My board is cheaper than I could have expected from Mr. Lovell's Representation of matters; who says a Man must pay ten dollars for glancing at a Tavern, and ten or twelve Shillings a night for his horse's gnawing the Rack.—I am in great hopes something will turn up for me, in another department, or that my present allowance will be augmented; otherwise I must return home, as the present office will not support me.
Lord Cornwallis, it is said, was kill'd in an Action lately, in which the Marquiss de Fayette was engaged. The Report seems tolerably well founded. Dr. Rush says the following facts are well attested, viz., That an Officer was seen carried off the field, to a certain House—that about a fortnight after, a very elegant Coffin was carried to that House—that a most pompous funeral was made—and that the Officers of the Army wear black Crape on their Arms. The Doctor, however, is not positive. There is an Account also that his Lordship's baggage is on board the Vessel bound to England, but no Certainty of his being on board; it is said he is not.
Mr. Duchè is gone to England: very penitent, Dr. Rush says. The illiberal manner in which he has treated Congress and General Washington has excited some Emotions of Grief and penitence. This may be depended on.–Please to give my respects to Mrs. Adams and Love to the Children.

[salute] I am, Sir, your most obedient Servt.,

[signed] John Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. thaxter”; docketed by CFA: “Jany. 10th. 1777.”
1. Thaxter had arrived at York after “a long, cold and tedious Journey of 16 days” from Hingham (Thaxter to John Thaxter Sr., 10 Jan. 1778, MHi: Thaxter Papers). He was armed with five letters of introduction from JA, all dated 9 Dec. and all found in Adams Papers, Lb/JA/1; they were directed to Pres. Henry Laurens, to three Massachusetts delegates (Dana, Gerry, and Lovell), and to Daniel Roberdeau; and they commended Thaxter's qualifications for a secretarial post in the office of the President or elsewhere. Laurens' reply (which is in his own hand, not that of a clerk) contains a paragraph sufficiently remarkable to be quoted here even though the full text will presumably be included in Series III of The Adams Papers:
“I desired that Young Gentleman to { 384 } call on me the Morning after he arrived intending to have conversed with him and to have aimed at some plan for procuring a suitable employment for him, but I found that by the Interest of his friends he had been introduced into the Secretary's Office. You may depend upon it Sir, if it shall hereafter be in my power, I will not fail to join those friends in order to give him a lift in proportion to his merit. For my own part long experience has convinced me that inaccuracy and confusion attend supernumerary Clerks in any Office. The duties of mine demand the Eye and hand of the principal and afford sufficient, oftentimes heavy employment for every moment between adjournments and Meetings of Congress, borrowing deeply of the Night and stirring very early every Morning but there is not half work enough for a Clerk who would have the whole day for the easy business of Copying which is all he ought to be entrusted with. I have a Young Man who serves me tolerably well in that branch and at intervals he finds other necessary work to do” (to JA, 15 Jan. 1778, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0306

Author: Roberdeau, Daniel
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-01-19

Daniel Roberdeau to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

So much good sense, prudence, conjugal affection and patriotism blended in your favor to me1 was a juster portraiture of the dear deceased, the subject of your compassionate sympathy, than I have met with, since the awful Catastrophe from which you borrow a comparison, to illustrate your feelings by anticipating a separation from your worthy partner my friend. Nor be offended at the comparison, which needs no apology, for truely She was “the worthyest of women” the loss of whom would beggar discription. But permit me to say your Subject will not bear a comparison. You may go with or follow Mr. Adams, at a more agreeable season, or suffer only a temporary separation whereas time fixes no limits to my sufferings. I most earnes[t]ly wish Mr. Adams may be long preserved a comfort to you and a blessing to his Country. I rejoice to find he purposes to go, and congratulate you on that fortitude of mind, which I presaged from your Letter, you have shown on the occasion. Please to accept the salutations of my Sisters and my thanks for your remembrance of my poor motherless Children. May yours be long blessed with maternal care, which cannot be supplied. I am with tender regard to your whole Household Dear Madam Yr. most obt. & very hume. Servt.,
[signed] Danl. Roberdeau
1. Printed above, from AA's undated draft, under the assigned date ca. 15 Dec. 1777.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0307

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-01-20

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am happy in having it in my power to furnish you with a Copy of Mr. Duche's Letter, which is inclosed, as also an Extract from the public Ledger of Sept. 10.
By the Journals it appears that Mr. Adams has accepted the appointment.1 The Appointment marks the Wisdom of Congress, and the Acceptation evinces his zeal in “the great and sacred Cause.” Upon those great and important Exertions which he will make in our favour, depend under heaven the salvation of an insulted Country. It is my sincere belief—I have long thought so, and still maintain it. It may have the Air of Adulation, but it is not. It is the effusion of a heart sincere at least in this. Adulation I offer to those whose breasts contain Altars to recieve its incense. He is possessed of all those qualifications requisite to fill the Station.
I presume your Ladyship accompanies him. It gives me great pain on your account to indulge an Idea to the Contrary.
It would give me great Satisfaction to see my very worthy friends and the two you mentioned that you should take if you accompanied Mr. Adams, before they set out [on] their Journey. I should part with them very reluctantly. I shall hereafter feel lost in Braintree, when ever I go there.
My Duty to your Father, and Uncle Quincy if you please, not forgetting other friends.
My Love to Miss Nabby, Master John, my little friend Charley, and Master Tommy.
I wish you a safe and an agreeable Journey Madam, if you go, as also Miss Nabby and Mast: John. I shall journey far with Mr. Adams and You in Idea.

[salute] I am, Madam, your most obdt. Servt.

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “Janry. 20.” Enclosures: (1) Jacob Duché to George Washington, 8 Oct. 1777, copy in Thaxter's hand (in Adams Papers, filed under date of original); see JA to AA, 25 Oct. 1777, above, and note 3 there. (2) “Extract from the public Ledger of Sept. 10,” not found or identified.
1. JA's formal acceptance of his appointment as joint commissioner to France, in a letter to Pres. Laurens, 23 Dec. 1777 (RC in PCC, No. 84, I; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:458||; also printed in Papers of John Adams||), reached York and was read in Congress on 19 Jan. (JCC, 10:64; Laurens to JA, 22 Jan., Adams Papers). But there was no public announcement.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0308

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-01-20

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr. Lovell informed me last Evening of your acceptation of the appointment; and also that he should send an express immediately to the Eastward with dispatches, by whom I write.1
I feel a mixture of joy and grief on this event. As a Patriot, I ought to congratulate my Countrymen upon it, as having thereby a glorious prospect of seeing the liberties of America supported by so able an advocate; but as an interested individual the event is exceedingly grievous—as thereby an invaluable friend and patron is lost to me for a time.
We are informed by Genl: Gates (who arrived here yesterday) that a general disaffection prevails mong the Canadians; Genl: Carleton, by scourging and bastinading 20 or 30 prisoners under the convention, has obliged them to enlist. By this Conduct, he has evidenced to the world that he is possessed of a Howe's humanity and a Burgoyne's faith. They are fit instruments for executing the wicked projects of the sanguinary Administration of Britain.
It is currently reported here that Genl: Lee is exchanged.2 A man, who saw him in New York, says, that upon asking the Commissary of Prisoners who the Genl: was exchanged for, was answered that it was none of his business, that he was exchanged and that was sufficient. The same man further adds, that the Genl: told him, that he should come out of New York in a day or two.
If there is any thing respecting your domestic matters that can be left to my Care, I will manage them with the utmost Cheerfulness and fidelity.
Permit me, Sir, after most sincerely wishing you a good———and that your life, health and Usefulness may be preserved, to subscribe myself, Your very hble. Sevt.,
[signed] J. Thaxter Jr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Esqr. Braintree”; endorsed: “Mr. thaxter”; docketed by JA in old age: “Jan. 20 1778 Yorktown.”
1. Lovell's letter to JA of the present date, which originally enclosed numerous papers—mostly to be forwarded or to be carried by JA to France—is in Adams Papers.
2. A false rumor, like so much else that Thaxter reported from York at third or fourth hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0309

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-01-28

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

One day last week a number of british waggoners, who were carrying Cloathing &c. to some of their soldiers in our power, had the honor of being introduced to a goal, for attempting to pass counterfeit money. These waggoners with a number of Serjeants of the enemy, were sent out by Genl: Howe, and permitted to pass by Genl: Washington's leave. When they arrived at Lancaster, they din'd or took lodgings there, and endeavoured to impose a counterfeit bill in payment of their reckoning. This induced some suspicions, that they might be furnished with some considerable quantity of said money; and upon examining their pockets, a pretty large Sum was found to be lodged there. The people, alarmed at this Villany, immediately applied to proper Authority to have these Villains confined. Upon which, they were apprehended and committed to close goal. The one that did actually pass the money, it is said, will hardly return a waggoner, before trial, to the General. If he is not hanged, I shall think Justice is hunted from our Courts.
Congress has adopted Retaliation at last; a copy of the resolution I have the honor to enclose you.1 I think it a debt of Justice and humanity our poor soldiers, in their power, have a right to think due to them. It would be needless to mention the Cruelty and Inhumanity that have been invariably and uniformly exercised towards them; it is a matter of too much notoriety. The delay of this measure has been construed into timidity. I hope they will now be convinced to the Contrary.
A most valuable prize has been taken by the Jersey Militia. She was bound to Philadelphia from New York. The ice obstructed the navigation up the Delaware in such a manner as to force her so near shore as give the militia an opportunity of firing Cannon balls from Reedy Island. Her Cargo consists of 300 hogsheads of loaf sugar, near 200 of Rum, a quantity of Tea and a number of other articles of English goods. There were 90 Soldiers on board.
Yesterday afternoon and this morning was spent by a Committee of Congress in hearing Doctors Shippen and Rush. Dr. Rush informed me this morning, that he imagined the favorite System of Shippen's would be essentially altered in consequence of it. Dr. Brown says in a letter, that one half of the soldiers that died last year, perished by the present medical Establishment. A shocking black picture indeed Dr. Rush painted. But by all accounts it is a just one. It is a { 388 } very melancholy reflection, that buildings erected for the relief and comfort of the sick and wounded, should become tombs to them. A bad System and a bad administration have produced great mischiefs in the Hospital. Peculation and embezzlement of Stores prevail as much in this department as in others. I do not alledge these things without authority or proof. They are facts too well authenticated.2
Please to give my respects to Mrs. Adams and love to the Children.

[salute] I am Sir, with great respect your very Hble Servt.,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA in old age: “John Thaxter Jan 28 1778.” Enclosure not found; see note 1.
1. This was presumably the report of the Board of War brought in on 21 Jan. setting forth British mistreatment of American prisoners and recommending retaliatory measures (JCC, 10:74–81). It was to have been followed by a published manifesto, which, however, was not adopted until the following 30 Oct. (same, p. 81–82, and 12:1080–1082, 1281; see also Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 3:42–43).
2. Rush wrote Pres. Laurens on 25 Jan. offering to furnish proof for his charges against Dr. William Shippen's management of the Continental hospitals. On the 27th a committee was appointed to hear both doctors. The committee and Congress sustained Shippen, and on the 30th Rush resigned. See Rush's letters to JA, 22 Jan., 8 Feb., and to Laurens, 25, 30 Jan. (Letters, 1:190–194, 199–200); JCC, 10:92, 93–94, 101.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0310

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dearest of Friends

I had not been 20 Minutes in this House before I had the Happiness to see Captn. Tucker, and a Midshipman, coming for me.2 We shall be soon on Board, and may God prosper our Voyage, in every Stage of it, as much as at the Beginning, and send to you, my dear Children and all my Friends, the choisest of Blessings—so Wishes and prays yours, with an Ardour, that neither Absence, nor any other Event can abate,
[signed] John Adams
Johnny sends his Duty to his Mamma and his Love to his sister and Brothers. He behaves like a Man.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. The house of AA's uncle Norton Quincy was on his Mount Wollaston farm, in that part of Quincy Bay still known as Adams Shore, just east of where Black's Creek empties into the Atlantic. (This farm later passed into the possession of the Adamses, and here soon after the Civil War JQA2 built his { 389 } home called “Merrymount” from its proximity to the site of Thomas Morton's famous maypole. See CFA2, Three Episodes, vol. 1: chs. 10–19. A state highway marker has been placed near the site of the maypole.) Norton Quincy's house is pretty accurately located, by a building called “Quinzey,” on “A Plan of the Town and Chart of the Harbour of Boston” in the Gentleman's Magazine for Jan. 1775, which is reproduced in the first volume of the present work.
2. Capt. Samuel Tucker (1747–1833) commanded the Boston, a 24-gun Continental frigate launched at Newburyport in June 1776 (DAB; Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships). His instructions from the Navy Board in Boston concerning this voyage are printed in JA's Works, 3:94, note. There is implied if not explicit evidence in JA's papers, comparatively scanty as they are at this time, that his appointment as joint minister and particularly his sailing arrangements were kept as secret as possible, no doubt in order to avoid alerting British cruisers in New England waters. This may well be the reason why he embarked at Braintree rather than Boston. It will be noted from subsequent letters (and there are others in the files to the same effect) that JA left for France without taking care of pressing legal business and that some of his close friends and family connections did not know of his appointment until after he had sailed.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0311

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dearest of Friends

I am favoured with an unexpected Opportunity, by Mr. Woodward the lame Man who once lived at Mr. Belchers, and who promises in a very kind manner to take great Care of the Letter, to inform you of our Safe Passage from the Moon head, on Board the ship.1—The seas ran very high, and the Spray of the seas would have wet Us, but Captn. Tucker kindly brought great Coats on Purpose with which he covered Up me and John so that We came very dry.—Tomorrow Morning We sail.—God bless you, and my Nabby, my Charley, my Tommy and all my Friends.

[salute] Yours, ever, ever, ever yours,

[signed] John Adams
1. JA's term “Moon head” is puzzling, but from various sources it is known that he and JQA walked from Norton Quincy's across Hough's Neck (the peninsula that forms Quincy Bay on the southeast) to a barge which took them to the Boston lying in Nantasket Roads. See AA to Thaxter, 15–18 Feb., following; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:269–271;4:6–7. The fullest contemporary record of the voyage is JA's own Diary, beginning in vol. 2 as just cited, supplemented by Tucker's log (quoted in editorial notes on the Diary entries) and also by the retrospective account in JA's Autobiography, beginning in vol. 4 as cited.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0312

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1778-02-15

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Dear Sir

I little thought when you left me, that so much time would have Elapsed before I had taken my pen to write to you, but indeed Sir my Hands and my Heart have both been full. My whole Time has been taken up in prepareing my dearest Friend, and Master John for their Voyage, and yesterday they Embarked from this Town, the place you well know, Hofs Neck.2 I think the wind has been fair for them to day, but they have not yet saild. I hope before I close this Letter to acquaint you that they are gone, tis a mortification to me to have them one day inactive. Since they are seperated from me I long to know that they are making the best of their Way to their desired Haven.
And now cannot you immagine me seated by my fire side Bereft of my better Half, and added to that a Limb lopt of to heighten the anguish. In vain have I summoned philosiphy, its aid is vain. Come then Religion thy force can alone support the Mind under the severest trials and hardest conflicts humane Nature is subject to.

“Religion Noble comfort brings

Disarms our Greifs or Blunts their Stings.”

You were not ignorant of the agitation of my mind upon this occasion. The World may talk of Honour, and the ignorant multitude of profit, but sure I am no Consideration weighd with me, but the belief that the abilities and integrity of Your Friend might be more extensively usefull to his Country in this Department at this perticuliar time, than in any other. I resign my own personal felicity and look for my satisfaction in the Consciousness of having discharged my duty to the publick.
My desire was you know to have run all hazards and accompanied him, but I could not prevail upon him to consent. The Dangers from Enemies was so great, and their treatment to prisoners so inhumane and Brutal, that in case of a Capture my sufferings would enhance his misiry, and perhaps I might be subjected to worse treatment on account of my connection with him. These arguments prevaild upon me to give up the favorite wish of my Heart. Master John was very happy in his pappa's consent to accompany him, But young as he is a Mothers Heart will feel a thousand Fears and anxieties upon the occasion. There are many snares and temptations, I hope some of the { 391 } worst [of] which on account of his age he will be likely to escape. Yet there are many very many which may stain his morals even at this early period of life. But to exclude him from temptation would be to exclude him from the World in which he is to live, and the only method which can be persued with advantage is to fix the padlock upon the mind.
I have to acknowledg the Recept of your very obliging favour of Janry. 10th, and the papers which accompanied it.3 Mr. Duche has acquired immortal fame by his performance if fame consists in being talked of, but tis a fame similar to what I have heard of a Man who murderd his Friend that he might not die unnoticed.
It gives me pleasure to see so distinguished a Genious as Mrs. Macauly Honourd with a Statue, yet she wanted it not to render her Name immortal. The Gentleman who erected it has sullied the glory of his deed by the narrow contracted Spirit which he discovers in the inscription, and if a Quotation from Lord Lyttleton (as I understand it) it is a pitty that what was meant to perpetuate the memory of that Lady should cast a shade upon the character of that Nobleman for whom heretofore I have had a great veneration. Even the most Excellent monody which he wrote upon the Death of his Lady will not atone for a mind contracted enough to wish that but one woman in an age might excell, and she only for the sake of a prodigy. What must be that Genious which cannot do justice to one Lady, but at the expence of the whole Sex?4
It is really mortifying Sir, when a woman possessd of a common share of understanding considers the difference of Education between the male and female Sex, even in those families where Education is attended too. Every assistance and advantage which can be procured is afforded to the sons, whilst the daughters are totally neglected in point of Literature. Writing and Arithmetick comprise all their Learning. Why should children of the same parents be thus distinguished? Why should the Females who have a part to act upon the great Theater, and a part not less important to Society, (as the care of a family and the first instruction of Children falls to their share, and if as we are told that first impressions are most durable), is it not of great importance that those who are to instill the first principals should be suiteably qualified for the Trust, Especially when we consider that families compose communities, and individuals make up the sum total. Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me Sir if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this Neglect { 392 } arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealosy of rivals near the Throne—but I quit the Subject or it will run away with my pen.
Present my Regards to Mr. L[ovel]l and tell him I will compound with him for the Robbery he has lately been accessory to, since his motives were such as I cannot condemn, if he will permit you to communicate to me all the News and intelligence from your Quarter of the world which may be communicated to a Woman. Tell him I have a large share of Grandmother Eves curiosity and have had a very indulgent partner, but being deprived of him I claim some small right of knowledge from others.—I feel very lonely and miss you more than ever.5 The Boston saild a Sunday morning 6 o clock with a fair wind.
This Moment a Letter is deliverd me from on Board the Boston.6 I will note the contents and tell you.
They are these, that they got on Board safe tho the Sea ran very high, and that they saild on Sunday, but a Snow Storm obliged them to put in to Marble Head, from whence they saild a twesday since which I know they have had fair weather and a fine wind. I dont know whether you know it, but I am governd by impulces a little, and cruel as the Seperation is I receive some comfort from a secret impulse that they will have a short and favourable passage. God Grant it is my fervent prayer.

[salute] You must write me by every opportunity unless discouraged by the length of this Epistle from Your Assured Friend,

[signed] Portia
PS Enclosed you will find a Letter from your old Friend.7 All the young folks desire to be rememberd.
RC (MHi: Waterston Coll.); addressed: “To Mr. John Thaxter York Town”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 15th. Feby. 1778.” Dft (Adams Papers); incomplete and dated only “Saturday”; at head of text in JQA's hand: “to John Thaxter Yorktown Pa.,” to which CFA added: “Feby. 1778.” There are numerous small variations in phrasing between Dft and RC, but they have not been recorded here. Enclosure not found; see note 7.
1. AA's letter was almost entirely composed, in draft form, on Saturday the 14th, the day after JA and JQA had gone on board the Boston. She copied it fair, so far as her draft extended (see note 5) on Sunday the 15th, but in doing so she did not correct her reference to the embarkation “yesterday” (i.e. Friday the 13th). The last three paragraphs of text in RC, together with the postscript, must all have been added on Wednesday the 18th after AA heard from Marblehead that the Boston had sailed from there on Tuesday the 17th.
2. Hough's Neck; see note on preceding letter.
3. AA means Thaxter's letter to her of 20 Jan., above.
{ 393 }
4. All this relates to an incident in the life of Catharine (Sawbridge) Macaulay that caused a good deal of talk in England at this time and evidently also in America, where she had many admirers. In 1777 her generous but eccentric patron, Rev. Dr. Thomas Wilson, rector of St. Stephen, Walbrook, London, caused to be erected in his church (where he seldom officiated because he resided mostly at Bath) a white marble statue of her as Clio, leaning on the five stout volumes of her History. Whatever the merits of the statue, which was by a well-known sculptor, J. F. Moore, and heroic in its proportions, the vestry of St. Stephen's did not like it where it was and demanded its removal. Wilson eventually acceded, having lost some of his interest in Mrs. Macaulay after she married, in Dec. 1778, a 21-year-old surgeon's mate named William Graham. In 1872 the statue was given to the town of Warrington and placed in its town hall. A photograph of it is reproduced in Lucy M. Donnelly's article, “The Celebrated Mrs. Macaulay,” WMQ, 3d ser., 6:173–207 (April 1949).
The inscription of which AA speaks here was on a marble table at the base of the statue: “You speak of Mrs. Macaulay; She is a Kind of Prodigy! I revere her Abilities; I cannot bear to hear her Name sarcastically mentioned; I would have her taste the exalted Pleasure of universal Applause; I would have Statues erected to her Memory; and once in every Age I could wish such a Woman to appear, as a proof that Genius is not confined to Sex; but at the same time—you will pardon me—We want no more than One Mrs. Macaulay. 'Late Lord Lyttelton's Letters to Mrs. Peach,' p. 114.” There is reason to believe that the quotation from Lord Lyttelton was spurious. On the whole incident see the article on Mrs. Macaulay in DNB, and the very detailed and careful communications of Robert Pierpoint in Notes and Queries, 11th ser., 1 (1910):101–103, 142–144.
5. Dft breaks off here at foot of page with the phrase: “—a Sunday morning Six.”
6. One can only suppose that this was a letter from JA, written from Marblehead when the Boston sailed from there; but it has unaccountably not survived. See AA to JA, 8 March, below.
7. Not found. In a letter to AA from York on 13 March (Adams Papers), Thaxter mentions receiving “letters from Mr. Adams and master John,” presumably written before they left Braintree.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0313

Author: Lowell, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-22

John Lowell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am not displeased that the Call of Business obliges me to address you at this Time, and gives me an Opportunity of expressing my sincere good Wishes, that Mr. Adams's Voyage may be agreable, and happy; I am sensible that the Prospect of so long a Seperation must be painfull to you, the tender social Connection which you have so highly enjoyed, must make the Struggle hard, but the Consideration that he is called to so honourable an Employment in the Service of his Country, I doubt not will greatly alleviate your Trouble. If during his Absence I can be of any Service in your Affairs, I hope you will command me freely, and be assured I shall be highly gratified in executing your Commands.—Judge Tyng of Dunstable will be the Bearer of this, there were two Actions of considerable Importance in one of which he was Plaintiff, and in the other Col. Eleazer Tyng, { 394 } both against Dr. Gardner and others.1 Mr. Adams was engaged for Dr. Gardner, and by the Clerks Minutes divers Papers filed in these Causes, were delivered to Mr. Adams, if they are at Braintree Judge Tyng will be obliged if you will let him look into them, and see whether some, which he must otherwise seek after, are among them. I do not propose, that Judge Tyng should take them as he was not Mr. Adams's Client, but if you will send them to Mr. Tudor there can be no Inconvenience as he is engaged on the same Side with Mr. Adams.

[salute] I am with most Esteem your most obedt. Servt.,

[signed] J Lowell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams In Braintree.”
1. The cases were John Tyng v. Silvester Gardiner et al. and Eleazar Tyng v. Silvester Gardiner et al. (Eleazar was John's uncle; see sketches in Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, at 5:651–653, and 7:595–601, respectively.) They were part of the complex litigation over the Maine lands of the Plymouth or Kennebec Company, in which JA had been involved for some years before the Revolution; see his Diary and Autobiography, 1:54; 2:5–6; 3:280–282; and also a collection of printed tracts and MSS in the Robert Treat Paine Papers (MHi), mounted in a volume and labeled “Tyng v Gardiner / Kennebeck Purchase.” The particular cases to which Lowell alludes were subject to repeated delays and were in the courts until 1785, when, at length, the record of the Supreme Judicial Court reads: “Neither party appears.” See the letter immediately following, and Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Books 99, 105; Supreme Judicial Court, Minute Book 56; Records, June-Nov. 1785, fol. 21. Paine acted for the Kennebec Company in the later stages of this litigation.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0314

Author: UNKNOWN
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-23

—— —— to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Mr. Adams for a long time has been engaged by the Kennebeck Company in a cause in which Colo. Tyng is a Party, which was reduced in one or more points to a special Verdict and was to have been argued this Court, but unfortunately being deprived of Mr. Adams to conduct the cause, by his sudden departure for France, the matter is suspended untill April, to give us time to provide for the debate.
When I had the pleasure to see Mr. Adams in Town he expected to conduct the cause and I gave him a Copy of the special Verdict, which with any other papers he may have left should be glad you will send by Colo. Tyng who will be so good as bring them to Boston.
I am not without expectations that Mr. Adams has left some minutes of importance to the Company as he promised me in consequence of his recommending Mr. Tudor to be joined with him, to confer with Tudor on the subject in dispute, who informs me he has { 395 } had no opportunity for it, and therefore hopes to be assisted by his advice on paper.1
If Mr. Adams has not mentioned any thing on this head to you, probably he did to the Young Gentleman who studied with him; should be much obliged to you to desire him to make sarch and if he finds any thing to seal it up and send it by this opportunity.
I sincerely hope Mr. Adams will have a safe and pleasant Passage; and that the consideration that he may be extensively usefull to his Country will console you who are more entimately connected, and his other Friends, in the absence of so agreable a Companion.

[salute] I am with great respect Your most obedint hum. servt.

RC (Adams Papers). Signature omitted inadvertently, but this doubtless indicates that the body of the letter is in a clerk's hand, prepared for another to sign. The intended signer was either a partner or agent of the Kennebec Company and may have been James Bowdoin. The tone and substance of the letter both suggest Bowdoin, but since he did not sign it and the clerk's hand has not been identified, this is only a plausible conjecture.
1. In R. T. Paine's collection of papers on Tyng v. Gardiner (see note on preceding letter), there are a few notes in JA's hand which may or may not be the “minutes” here inquired for.
So secret and “sudden” had been JA's preparations and departure that as late as 11 Feb. his friend and colleague William Tudor had written him from Cambridge: “Col. Henley waits upon You to engage You as Council upon the Prosecution against him by Genl. Burgoyne. Should You appear for him, which I hope You will, I would wish for an Opportunity of talking with You on the Subject. . . . Can You not come to Boston on Thursday or friday?”
(Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0315

Author: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-02-24

Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams

I have often thought of You My good friend, and as often wish'd to See You, and did flatter Myself that I should injoy that happiness before Mr. A——departure. I am really Sorry that I was so unfortunate as to be absent from home when your first friend call'd to see Me. You Must Surely have call'd up all your Philosophy to Stand the Shock of his Absence a Second time for a Year.—Will My owning a truth lessen Me in your Esteem, if I thought it would, I Shoud be cautious how I confessed it. Indeed My good friend, I am Not so Stanch a friend to My Country as I find You are, for upon Examineing My heart I can't [say]1 that I should be willing to Make Such S[acrifices] as I think you have done. I hope that My patriotism will Never be proved in the way that Yours has, for I am confidant, that I should Make but a poor Figure in the like Situation.
{ 396 }
I had wrote thus far a few days back, but interruptions of Various kinds prevented My proceeding, and Now I have only time to Let My Worthy friend know that it would afford great pleasure both to Mr. Storer and Me to See you with your Children at the habitation, where I know that you'd receive a Sincere Welcome. I can [write]2 No More at present but am
[signed] H. Storer
P.S. Mr. Storer presents his Respects. My Love to Miss Nabby, and a[lso] to C——, T——.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams In Braintree.”
1. Here and immediately below, MS is torn by seal.
2. This word editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0316

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1778-03-01

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

I am greatly allarmed and distressd at the intelligence from Bordeaux, with regard to Dr. Franklin, which if true must be attended with very serious consequences. I had just acquired fortitude sufficent to withstand the dangers of the Sea and open and avowed Enemies, but was not prepaird for the assassinateing knife of a Ravellick.1—Is there no method that congress can take to chain these infernal Emissarys, and render the persons of their Commissioners safe? Indeed Sir I wanted not this additional terror to heighten my anxiety.2
I want words to express my indignation at this black and infamous deed. Such a barbarous act of cruelty and injustice must fill every mind with horrour and can be eaqueld only by the “Macedonian Madman and the Sweede.” Must a Man so Respectable as the Dr., known and revered throughout Europe both as a Philo[so]pher and a Statesman, whose only crime is that of defending the rights and privileges of his Country, be meanly assassinated for fulfilling the first of duties. O Britain can the Lusture of former deeds, or the Splendor of high atchivements blot out such baseness or cover such cruelty. May all Nations detest thee and the indelible Stains of this Haughty Tyrants Reign decend upon his posterity even to the third and fourth Generation.
I should be very much obliged to you Sir if you would let me know by the first opportunity what foundation you have for this report, tis said that it comes confirmd in a Letter from you. You cannot wonder at my concern when what I hold dearest on Earth is embarked in the same hazardous enterprize.
{ 397 }
Your Letters of the 8 and 10th of Febry. have just arrived.3 Those which accompanied them I deliverd to General Warren to be forwarded by the first opportunity.
Tell Mr. G[err]y that if my heart was more at Ease I would rally him upon his Defence of Batchelors. I am sure he can shine in a good cause, but I will not affront his abilities so much as to take this as a Specimen of them.
When ever any perticulars arrive with regard to this black affair I must beg of you to acquaint me with them. They cannot add too, but may possibly Mitigate the anxiety of your Friend & Humble Servant,
[signed] Portia
1. François Ravaillac assassinated Henry IV of France, 1610 (Century Cyclo. of Names).
2. The “intelligence” that so agitated AA was a news story published in the Boston Gazette, 23 Feb., p. 3, col. 1: “A Letter from Bourdeaux of December 12, mentions, That the illustrious Patriot Dr. Benjamin Franklin has been assassinated in his Bed-Chamber, at the Instance of Lord Stormont. The Villain left him for dead; but one of the Doctor's Ribs prevented the Stab from being instantly fatal, and he lay in a languishing Condition when the Vessel sail'd that brings this Account.” This rumor was not discredited for more than a month; see Thaxter to AA, 31 March, below, and Lovell to AA, 1 April 1778 (Adams Papers).
3. These were both addressed to JA and are in Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0317

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Date: 1778-03-01

Abigail Adams to Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer

My dear Mrs. Storers obliging favour was handed me to day. It found me with an additional Weight of anxiety upon my mind. I had been just able by the force of philosophy and I would fain hope by nobler Motives, to acquire a sufficent Stock of fortitude to support me under the most painfull Seperation I have yet been call'd to endure, when last Mondays paper gave me a Shock that I was not armd against.
Against an open and avowed Enemy we may find some guard, but the Secret Murderer and the dark assassin none but that Being without whose Notice not a Sparrow falls to the ground, can protect or secure us. My own solicitude1 will not avail. When I was call'd to this trial, I asked not my Heart what it could, but what it ought to do, and being convinced that my Friend might be more extensively usefull in this department at this perticuliar time than in any other, hard as the Struggle was I consented to the Seperation. Most willingly { 398 } would I have hazarded the danger of the Sea to have accompanied him, but the dangers from Enemies was so great that I could not obtain his consent.
You have a sympathetick Heart, and have often I dare say compasionated your Friend who feels as if she was left alone in the world, unsupported and defenceless, with the important weight of Education upon her hands at a time of life when the young charge stand most in need of the joint Efforts and assistance of both parents. I have sacrificed my own personal happiness and must look for my Sati[s]faction in the consciousness of having discharged my duty to the publick. Indulge me my Friend when I say few people have so valuable a treasure to resign, none know the Struggle it has cost me. Tender as Maternal affection is, it was swallowed up in what I found a much stronger, nor had it, its full opperation till after the departure of my Son when I found a larger portion of my Heart gone than I was aware of.
I was in hopes that a few Months would releave me from a Large Share of anxiety by the happy tidings of the safe arrival of my Friend, but a new Source of Distress has opened to my view. I was not aware of the assasinating knife of a Ravelick. Join with me my Friend in Suplications to Heaven for the safety of my Friend, and for the success and faithfull discharge of the important trust committed to him.
I rejoice in the happiness of my Friend, tho my own felicity is over cast. I little thought so much time would have elapsed before I had the pleasure of seeing her in her own habitation. She has left a vacancy here which cannot be supplied, but I will not regret it since she has contributed to the happiness of a worthy Man, and a deserving family—to whom as a peculiar Blessing of Heaven may she long be continued which will contribute much to the happiness of her affectionate
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA's hand: “March 1778.”
1. MS: “solicituted.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0318

Author: Cooper, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-03-02

Samuel Cooper to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Many besides my self partake with you in the Sollicitude you express respecting our dear Friend; for no Man could carry with him more of the ardent good Wishes of his Country than Mr. Adams did. { 399 } His Merit is great in denying himself so much for the Service of his Country, and your's not a little in giving up so much domestic Happiness for the Sake of this Service. Heaven, I trust, will protect and reward you both. I deferr'd till this Time answering your Letter,1 in Hopes of an exact Copy of the Account you refer to, but have not been able to procure it; I remember, however, all the material Circumstances distinctly. Mr. Purveyance, a Gentleman of Character in Maryland, writes to his Friend at Congress, that Capt. Moore had arriv'd there from France, which he left the 12th. Decr.; that on the Day before he sail'd the Governor of the Place where he was receiv'd Dispatches from Paris, among which was an Account that Dr. Franklin had been assassinated by an Emissary, as was suppos'd, of L[ord] Stormont, who got into his Chamber, stabb'd him with a Knife, left him for dead, and made his Escape; but the Knife striking upon a Rib, it was hoped the Wound was not mortal. The Governor's Secretary gave this Account to Capt. Moore. Nothing can be more just than your Reflection on the Horror of this Deed. How many keenly feel the Weapon that pierc'd the Bosom of a Franklin! But this Assassination at once heightens his own Glory, and the Infamy of our Enemies; and the Abhorrence and Indignation it cannot fail to excite, must prove in the End highly advantageous to our Cause, and to the future Safety of our Friends in that Quarter: for it must unavoidably produce such Precautions on all Sides, and particularly in the Court of France, as to render the illustrious Sufferer himself, should he survive, as well as all his Colleagues, more secure than ever from such Attempts. It is in this Way I sooth my own Mind upon so affecting an Occasion, and would alleviate the Anxiety of your's.
The Sentiments and Expressions of your Letter have given me so much Pleasure that I cannot but wish to have it repeated as often as your Leisure will allow; and must beg you to command me in ev'ry Thing in which I can be suppos'd capable of doing you the best Service.
I am, Madam, with particular Regard, Your Friend and humble Servant,
[signed] Saml: Cooper
Mrs. Cooper and my Daughter remember you in the most affectionate Manner.
1. Not found. AA had presumably asked Cooper to inquire more closely into the origin of the story of Franklin's supposed assassination. See, further, James Lovell to AA, 1 April 1778 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0319

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-03-06

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Your much esteemed favor came to hand this day, in which you inform me of the departure of your “dearest Friend.” I sincerely wish for your sake it had been convenient and safe for you to have accompanied him: But the danger you mention must, I think, have made the voyage disagreeable and had the event taken place, doubly aggravating on his part.—I can picture to myself the separation and your present situation; but it is too affecting a picture. My feelings are exceedingly interested. I feel the force of sympathy sensibly on the occasion. But let the consideration of its being a sacrifice to the glorious American Cause draw a shade o'er this affecting Picture, and Religion, which supplies the place of weak failing philosophy, on which you rely not, support you. To this source you have applied to blunt the edge of keen anguish—the sincerity of the application must ensure those consolations which “disarm grief or blunts it's stings.” The principle, on which you assented to his departure, was noble, and marks that zeal and attachment to the cause of our country, which has so eminently distinguished you. Honor or profit weighed not with either of you, I am certain. Let the inadvertent and ignora[n]t amuse themselves with the rattle of Honor and profit. Time will convince them that far more noble and disinterested principles actuated the bosom of him who under heaven, is securing and will be securing and establishing that Independance which haughty Britain compelled us to avow.
A sacrifice like this is almost without parallel. But I will no longer dwell on a subject, which must wound that exquisite sensibility which your delicately susceptible mind is possessed of.
You will pardon me Madam for not writing oftener when I tell you that I have been in suspense ever since you had thoughts of going. I did not know till I received your letter, but that you was gone. I will now trouble [you]1 often with my Scrolls.
I cannot pass over that part of your agreeable favor which contain some strictures on the statue of [Mrs.]2 McCaulay, and the difference in point of Education between [male] and female, without an acknowledgment of the justice of the observations. They are so ingenious, and at the same time so just, that if complaisance did not suggest silence, Reason would tell me that the subterfuges of sophistication would be defyed in breaking silence and attempting to explain them { 401 } away. After mentioning that our sex wish a disparity, you subjoin a suspicion that Jealousy of rivalship is the foundation of the neglect of your sex. Madam, I am positive it is too often the case. It is an “ungenerous Jealousy” as you justly term it.
General Burgoyne and his family have leave to embark for England. This was in consequence of a representation of his ill state of health. He is desirous of going to the Baths in England—he thinks the only method of saving his life—he has tried the Bath often he says with success. He gives his parole and the officers of his family to return and redeliver themselves when called upon.
Congress will not recede from their resolutions of the 8th. of Jany. for suspending the embarkation of the troops. There is nothing they say in his last long argumentative letter sufficient to induce them to recede.3
<[ . . . ]>4 My duty is excessively laborious—eight, ten or twelve hours in the day at the pen. This York Town is a vile quarter. The streets and its Dutch inhabitants are happily assimilated.
Remember me to all friends—your little remaining flock. Poor Johnny is gone you tell me. I think he is now laying the foundations of a great man.
I hope to be honored with your further correspondence, and believe me when I say there was sufficient encouragement in the last for the perusal of many however long, yet to be sent to Your most obedient & very humble Servant,
[signed] J T.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “March 16 [sic].”
1. This word editorially supplied.
2. Here and immediately below, MS is torn by seal.
3. The report of a committee recommending that the embarkation of Burgoyne and his army be suspended “till a distinct and explicit ratification of the convention of Saratoga shall be properly notified by the court of Great Britain to Congress” was adopted by Congress on 8 Jan. and is printed with the accompanying resolves in JCC, 10:29–35. This action had been preceded and was to be followed by a controversy which still continues in historical discussions of the “Convention troops” and their fate. Burgoyne's remonstrance mentioned by Thaxter was in a letter to Congress of 11 Feb., in PCC, No. 57, printed at p. 73–76 in Charles Deane's still valuable memoir on the Convention of Saratoga, Amer. Antiq. Soc., Procs., Oct. 1877, p. 12–77. On 3 March Congress voted to permit Burgoyne and his immediate military family to sail home on parole (JCC, 10:218).
4. One or two sentences at the beginning of this paragraph were heavily scratched and blotted out, probably but not certainly just after they were written. They cannot now be read.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0320

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Tis a little more than 3 week[s] since the dearest of Friends and tenderest of Husbands left his solitary partner, and quitted all the fond endearments of domestick felicity for the dangers of the Sea, exposed perhaps to the attack of a Hostile foe, and o good Heaven can I add to the dark assassin, to the secret Murderer and the Bloody Emissary of as cruel a Tyrant as God in his Riteous judgments ever sufferd to Discrace the Throne of Brittain.
I have travelled with you over the wide Atlantick, and could have landed you safe with humble confidence at your desired Haven, and then have set myself down to have enjoyed a negative kind of happiness, in the painfull part which it has pleased Heaven to allot me, but this intelligance with Regard to that great Philosopher, able Statesman and unshaken Friend of his Country, has planted a Dagger in my Breast and I feel with a double Edge the weapon that pierced the Bosom of a Franklin—

“For Nought avails the Virtues of the Heart

Nor tow'ring Genious claims its due Reward

From Britains fury, as from Deaths keen dart

No worth can save us and no Fame can guard.”

The more distinguished the person the greater the inveteracy of these foes of Humane Nature. The Arguments of my Friends to alleviate my anxiety by perswading me that this shocking attempt will put you more upon your Gaurd and render your person more secure than if it had never taken place, is kind in them and has some weight, but my greatest comfort and consolation arrisses from the Belief of a Superintending providence to whom I can with confidence commit you since not a Sparrow falls to the ground without his Notice. Were it not for this I should be misirable and overwhelmed by my fears and apprehensions.
Freedom of sentiment the life and soul of Friendship is in a great measure cut of by the Danger of Miscarrages, and the apprehension of Letters falling into the hands of our Enemies. Should this meet with that fate may they Blush for their connextion with a Nation who have renderd themselves infamous and abhorred by a long list of crimes which not their high atchivements nor the Lusture of former Deeds, nor the tender appellation of parent nor the fond connextion which { 403 } once subsisted, can ever blot from our remembrance or wipe out those indellible stains <of their> cruelty and baseness.1 They have engraven them with a pen of Iron and Led in a Rock forever.
To my dear Son Remember me in the most affectionate terms. I would have wrote to him but my notice is so short that I have not time. Injoin it upon him Never to Disgrace his Mother, and to behave worthy of his Father. Tender as Maternal affection is, it was swallowed up in what I found a stronger, or so intermingld that I felt it not in its full force till after he had left me. I console myself with the hopes of his reaping advantages under the carefull Eye of a tender parent which it was not in my power to bestow upon him.
There is nothing material taken place in the politicall world since you left us. This Letter will go by a vessel for Bilboa from whence you may perhaps get better opportunities of conveyance than from any other place. The Letter you deliverd to the pilot came safe to hand.2 All the little folks are anxious for the Safety of their Pappa and Brother to whom they desire to be rememberd—to which is added the tenderest Sentiments of affection and the fervent prayers for your happiness and Safty of Your
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers). RC, sent by a vessel bound for Bilbao, has not been found, was never acknowledged by JA, and therefore probably never reached him.
1. Thus in MS. The sentence is defective, but only because it is not clear which words AA would have omitted and which she would have let stand in her fair copy.
2. His second letter of 13 Feb., above, sent from the Boston in Nantasket Roads, or a missing letter sent from Marblehead when the Boston sailed from there? See AA to Thaxter, 15–18 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0321

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-03-21

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Ma'am

I am to thank you, in my own name, and on the public account, for that exercise of laudable patriotic prudence, which you have modestly termed the “Freedom” of inclosing to me Mr. McCreary's letter to your worthy Husband.1 I read it in Congress, and I think it will be useful to the commercial Committee. The same Gentleman wrote to Mr. Adams in Sepr. some interesting history,2 of which he gave me a copy, just before he undertook his late vast Sacrifice to his Country's Wellfare.—I fear I shall have wounded you by carrying { 404 } your mind back to a day which you ought to strive to forget, by confining your imagination strictly to that of your future reunion: but, your billet under my eye, by developing your character, made my pen mark the expression “vast Sacrifice,” while my heart acknowledged its individual portion of the debt of gratitude, which our Mr. Adams may charge against the Public.
All the intelligence which we received from France, about the period of Mr. McCreary's letter, was of the same tenor; our friends in Martinique wrote in like style on Decr. 3d.; but, on the 28th. of that month and the 26th. of January we have an ecclaircisement of the gallic finesse. The most open protection is afforded to our trade, privateers are fitted out, and their prizes not only sold, but a duty of 1 pr. Ct. regularly paid upon their cargoes towards the governmental revenue. The Governor of Antigua has no resource left but impotent threats to the General at St. Pierres of the Resentment that may arise in the breast of his Britannic Majesty, when the affair is properly represented. I suspect that England will more easily draw France in to open War by talking about Reconciliation than by boasting of subduing us by force. Louis thinks the latter impossible: his only fears are about the former.
I cannot give you any thing agreable from this neighbourhood. I cannot promise you that we shall owe our prosperity to our own spirit and preperations, in any degree comparable to what we shall owe to the Enemy's embarrassments and the unmerited favour of Providence, but, our hope of the latter is hardly supported in a ballance by the Justice of our Cause, counteracted by the selfish spirit of the Times: Justly may I be turned to the Parable of the Beam and Mote while I beg you to count me among yr. affectionate humb Servant[s].
1. AA's letter to which Lovell is replying has not been found. In the Adams Papers, however, is a paper in AA's hand containing copies of two letters to JA from William McCreery at Bordeaux, 10 and 25 Oct. 1777, the substance of either or both of which AA may have furnished to Lovell. There is no record in the Journal that they were read in Congress. Concerning McCreery, a Maryland merchant who had some acquaintance with JA and had recently established himself in Bordeaux, see JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:293–294, and passim; also AA to JA, 18 May (Adams Papers). JA and McCreery corresponded for some years on commercial matters.
2. This may refer to McCreery's letter to JA from Nantes, 29 Sept. 1777 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0322

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1778-03-31

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Since I wrote you last,1 the mystery of blank Dispatches being sent by Capt. Folgier from France has been developed. One Capt. Hinson (who was honored with Dr. Franklin's confidence) was guilty of the treachery and robbery. Hinson it seems was to have brought the Dispatches if Folgier declined. But when he found that Folgier accepted the trust, he, from his knowledge of the position and, I believe, nature of the dispatches, was not put to any difficulty which to select for Stormont. He carried the dispatches from the Dr. to Havre de Grace where Folgier was. There was a circumstance which render'd Hinson's conduct rather suspicious previous to the delivery of the packet containing the dispatches. He went to a certain place after he found that Folgier was determined to take charge of them, where it is conjectured he took such papers as he wanted. Folgier says he was at a loss to conceive what he could have to do at that place with the Dispatches. However the affair is now unfolded, and it is beyond the reach of doubt that he robbed the packet at said place.2
How few men, Madam, have virtue enough to withstand the temptation of a glittering bribe. May it not shelter this perfidious wretch when apprehended, from the hand of strict Justice. The secret machinations and subterfuges as well as the open assaults of our enemies are to be guarded against.
Men of inflexible fidelity and uncorrupted virtue should only be employed, and honoured with the confidence of our Commissioners. Such [men]3 will be hereafter engaged.
It gave me great uneasiness to find your apprehensions alarmed respecting the attempt on Dr. Franklin's life; I have now the pleasure to inform you that the report appears to be without foundation. Mr. Lovell will write you particularly about the matter4 as also the foreign news, which I would have done myself the pleasure of transmitting you, had he not with great cheerfulness undertaken the business himself. I will postpone my congratulations till the agreeable and important news receives an authentic confirmation from proper authority.5
It comes, says the gentlemen6 at Martinico, through so many channels, that the most incredulous cannot doubt. The General of Martinico pays full credit to it, altho, he has not received any particular advices. The proposal of Ld. Chatham for an accomodation, and the relinquishment of that Independence which American virtue first established, and still supports with unabated fortitude, will produce { 406 } some serious deliberations in the cabinet of Versailles if America inclines to accede to it. The French Court will defeat the possibility of an accomodation says the Gentlemen at Martinico. America will not easily be flattered or frightened into an accession. Lord Chatham is a great and good man I sincerely believe, but I must subjoin with great deference to his Lordship, that he is a stranger to American politicks, if he thinks to mediate an accomodation upon that footing.

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

[signed] J T.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “March 31.”
1. Since his letter of 6 March, above, Thaxter had written to AA on the 7th, the 13th, and the 21st. None of these except the last was of much moment, but in that letter he gave a long paraphrase of Burgoyne's “argumentative” letter to Congress of 11 Feb., with critical comments thereon. The letters of the 7th and 13th are in the Adams Papers; that of the 21st is in MHi: Thaxter Papers, is incomplete, and may be a retained copy.
2. The story of the “blank Dispatches,” innocently brought to Congress in January by Capt. John Folger, is told in detail by Lewis Einstein in Divided Loyalties, Boston and N.Y., 1933, p. 55–71. The originals, being a large packet of letters from the American Commissioners in France, had been stolen and taken to London by Joseph Hynson, a Marylander who had been very confidentially entrusted with the dispatches by Silas Deane but who was in the pay of the British secret service.
3. MS torn by seal.
4. See Lovell to AA, 1 April (Adams Papers).
5. This may be the first hint of the proposals by the British ministry that developed into the famous but wholly abortive Carlisle conciliatory mission. Contrary to Thaxter's present assurance, Lovell did not think himself at liberty to discuss this highly secret matter outside Congress so soon and so freely as the young clerk in the Secretary's office did. For a connected and authoritative account of the British conciliatory mission of 1778, see Carl Van Doren, Secret History of the American Revolution, N.Y., 1941, chs. 3–4.
6. Thus in MS, here and below.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0323

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1778-03

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

I was meditating a Letter to my dear Sister when her agreable favour2 reachd my Hands. Tho my own felicity is over cast, I can rejoice in that of my Friends and tis with pleasure I hear of your Health and happiness which are very dear to me.
The Scene which I have had to pass through, and in which you so kindly sympathize has put to the full proof all my fortitude and patriotism, and required the aid and assistance of a still nobler motive to bear up and support the pained anxious mind.

“Religion noble comfort brings

Disarms our Greifs or blunts their Stings.”

{ 407 }
Known only to my own Heart, is the Sacrifice I have made, and the conflict it has cost me. Call'd by the unanimous voice of his Country to an Embassy important to America and attended with much greater difficulties than tis prudence to represent—willing to resign all his domestick felicity and to devote fame, fortune and life to the Service of his Country, he bid defiance to ease, affluence and the allurements of ambition on the one hand and pushd forward against the threats of Calamity on the other. Satisfied as I was that his integrity and abilities were calculated to do essential Service at this critical season, I was determined to resign my own personal felicity and happiness and at all Events to bring my mind to acquiese in the cruel Seperation from the dearest conexion on Earth—a connexion formed early in life, matured by age and strengthend by the virtues of a Heart all my own, a Seperation for an unlimitted time, if it should please Heaven to preserve his life—seldom like to hear from him, unable to afford him any assistance in case of sickness, exposed to the Dangers of the Sea, to the open assaults of Enemies, and O Good Heaven, perhaps to the dark assassin and secret Murderer.
In this conflict my Heart has sufferd a distress which words cannot discribe and which nothing could alleviate but a confidence in that Being without whose notice not a sparrow falls to the ground.
The infamous attack upon the life of a Man so respectable as Dr. Franklin is a convincing proof that no regard is paid even to venerable age dignified by virtue, and distinguished by abilities which do honour to humane Nature.

For Nought avails the virtues of the Heart

Nor tow'ring Genious claims its due reward

From Britains Fury as from Deaths keen dart

No Worth can save us and no fame can guard.

Tis with a double edg I feel the weapon that pirced the Bosome of a Franklin. Nor can I refrain from imprecating the just vengance of Heaven upon the base and diabolical Counsels of a Nation who have not only deprived individuals of happiness, but by their cruelty, Rage and rapine laid waste oppulent cities, populus Towns, fruitfull villigaes and pleasent Feilds, but reduced to misiry and famine the widow, the Fatherless and the orphan. No former atchivements of Glory, illusterious deeds nor high renown can wipe out the indelliable stains dyed with Rivers of American Blood, and shed by the hands which ought only to have been lifted for her protection.
But I quit the subject and return to my own private affairs. I am { 408 } endeavouring to put the Farm I am in possession of out of my Hands which will releive me from a load of care, and be more Beneficial to my Interest I believe than to struggle along as I have done from year to year. If I effect this I hope to be more at leisure to visit my Friends. One of the first visits will be to Haverhill.
Our Worthy parent was well this day and in good Spirits. The Roads have been so bad that I have not been to Weymouth since I saw you. I have but a few enducements to encounter difficulties to visit a place which has but one link left of a chain which once bound me to it.
Remember me in affectionate Terms to Mr. S[ha]w, who I dare say from the sympathetick Soul he possesses has participated in my anxiety—and to my Little Neice who I compasionate that she has not a Father whom she can Honour.3 I thank my Sister for her Remembrance of a Nephew who I hope will never disgrace his parents or bring shame upon his relations. He mantaind a manly firmness at parting tho his Sister and Brothers burst into Tears. I need not add that the Mothers Heart is dissolved at the recollection, yet what ever it pleases Heaven to allot me the knowledg of your happiness will always give joy to Your Sister,
[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in JQA's hand: “to Mrs. Elizabeth Shaw. Haverhill,” to which CFA added: “March 1778.”
1. This letter was answered by Mrs. Shaw on 5 April (Adams Papers).
2. Not found.
3. The “Little Neice,” presumably staying with the Shaws at the time, was one of the daughters of AA's and Mrs. Shaw's brother, William Smith. This is the first indication in the Adams correspondence—there will be many more and quite explicit indications later—that William was delinquent toward his family.
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/