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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0044

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I wrote you by Capt. Cazneau a wedensday, but as the post will go to day I will not omit telling you how we do, tho I repeat over what I have written before. If I do you must excuse it as I forget one day what I wrote the day before. This small pox is a great confuser of the mind, I am really put to it to spell the commonest words.
I feel well myself, only much weakened and enfeabled, I want the air of the Country, but cannot yet obtain it. We are bounded in our rides to the Lines which were raised last summer, where a smoak House and Guard are fixed. No person who has had the small pox can go beyond them, under a penalty of [ . . . ]enty1 pounds Lawfull money, under a time Limitted and a certificate from their Physician. Every person who comes into Town must be smoaked there upon their return with all their money and papers. Tommy is charmingly, he has about a Dozen out, and many more which just make their appearence. He has been very feverish, but is now so well as to go to School. I gave him a small Quantity of meat every day after his second innoculation till the Symptoms came on. Charles second has taken, I think but cannot be certain till next week.
I Received a wedensday by Mr. Gerry your Letter of july 15. I have not yet seen him to speak to him. I knew him at meeting yesterday some how instinctively; tho I never saw him before. He has not call'd upon me yet. I hope he will, or I shall take it very hard, shall hardly be able to allow him all the merrit you say he possesses. It will be no small pleasure to me to see a person who has so lately seen my best Friend. I could find it in my Heart to envy him.
You complain of me. I believe I was to blame in not writing to you, I ought to have done it. I did not suspect you would hear of my { 73 } intention till I told you myself. I had many cares upon my hands, many things to do for myself and family before I could leave it. The time granted was only ten days. I got here upon the 6th and then [wrot]e you a very long Letter.2 Since that I have scarcly omitted a Post, you will have more reason to complain of being tired out; I find the Method of treating the small pox here is similar to that sent by Dr. Rush, except that they use Mercury here. The common Practice here to an Adult is 20 Grains after innoculation. I took but 16; I dont admire this Mercury at this Season of the Year. Loyd I find practicess much more upon Dr. Rushs plan, makes use of the same medicines, but has not had greater success than others.
I greatly rejoice at the Spirit prevailing in the middle colonies. There is a fine company formed in this Town, call'd the independant Company consisting of young Gentlemen of the first families. Their Number is 80, they are the School for forming officers, they take great pains to acquire military Skill and will make a fine figure in a little while. Your Pupil Mason is one. He is an ambitious enterprizing creature and will make a figure some how or other, he always applies to his studies with method and diligence. I have lamented it that you have not been able to take him under your perticuliar care, as I know his abilities would have gratified you.
I Received by the Post a few lines from you july 20. It really greaved me to find you so anxious. Your kindness in so often writing shall be returnd in kind. I know not how you find the time amidst such a multitude of cares as surround you, but I feel myself more obliged by the frequent tokens of your remembrance, but you must not forget that tho my Letters have much less merrit, they have many more words, and I fill all the blank paper you send me. Adieu most affectionately your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia an. 14. Aug.”
1. MS torn by seal. AA probably wrote “twenty,” but this does not square with the pertinent acts passed by the General Court in July; see Mass., Province Laws, 5:552–553, 554–555. For the selectmen's regulations see Boston Record Commissioners, 25th Report, p. 3–5.
2. Here AA made a characteristic mistake in remembering a date. She had arrived in Boston on 12 July, as her “long Letter” to JA of 13–14 July, above, unequivocally states.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0045

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1776-08-02

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Sir

I received your Favour of 22 July, by last Tuesdays post. I thank you for the Trouble you have taken to inform me of the Circumstances { 74 } of your Family and my own. It gives me great Joy to think your Symptoms were so favourable.—I had a Letter, from my best Friend by the same Conveyance, which gave me more Pleasure than many Times its Weight in Gold would have done.
You mention the Exultation at a Declaration of Independence. Is not the Change We have seen astonishing? Would any Man, two Years ago have believed it possible, to accomplish such an Alteration in the Prejudices, Passions, Sentiments, and Principles of these thirteen little States as to make every one of them completely republican, and to make them own it? Idolatry to Monarchs, and servility to Aristocratical Pride, was never so totally eradicated, from so many Minds in so short a Time.
I thank you for your Account of the Prizes taken, by our little Fleet. We may judge by a little what a great deal Means. I hope We shall have more Power at sea, before long.
I wish it was in my Power to serve the Interest of Mr. N.C.1 both for his Merit, services and sufferings. But I dont see, how it will be possible for me to do it. The Appointment of all subordinate Officers in the Quarter Masters and Commissaries Departments is left to the Principals. Promotions of Persons from the Staff Offices, into the Line, gives Disgust, and creates Confusion, if Mr. C's Inclination should lead him to military Preferment. In short there is not the least Probability, that I can see, that any Opportunity will turn Up, in which it will be possible for me to serve him, but if it should I will most chearfully embrace it.—I shall inclose to my other self, some News papers.—Barry has taken another Tender. Another Prize is taken and carried into Egg Harbour, and a Vessell has arrived here with a rich Cargo of Arms, Ammunition, Flints and Lead, and dry Goods from Marseilles. She brings no bad News from France.
Remember me, to the whole Hospital, and all other Friends.

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Letter from Bror. Adams, when we had the Small Pox. Aug 2d. 1776.” LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent by Post Aug. 3d. Saturday.” Enclosed newspapers not identified. RC was among those acquired by JQA from William Cranch Greenleaf; see JQA's MS Diary, 21 Sept. 1829.
1. Nathaniel Cranch. JA mentioned his case to Thomas Mifflin, the quartermaster general, in a letter of 15 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers,).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.