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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0166

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1779-07-28

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] Dear sir

Your favour of july 16 this moment received the contents of which have awakend in my Bosom the anxiety which had before almost subsided. By a Letter dated some time in june1 which you must before this time have received you have found that I had similar inteligance to what you have communicated. But I was strangely puzled, I knew not what to think. I had never received a hint of the kind from you. Upon Mr. A[dams'] return I desired my very worthy and attentive Friend General Warren to inquire into the Matter, which he did and was assured by him that my Friend was not recalld and that congress had no expectation of his return. Mr. A expressd some little surprize that I should even be anxious about his situation abroad, but believe me sir I knew the temper and disposition of my Friend too well to suppose that he would wish to be detained abroad an unemployed spectator—a useless figure. Nor is he sufficently the man of pleasure to be happy from his family unless he was rendering his country essensial service. But if that country had no further Demand upon him, methinks they might with honour have restored him to his family, and not have left him neglected and unnoticed. Far far be it from me to accuse him with Rashness. What ever I may suffer from fears, apprehensions and anxieties I must approve his conduct even tho in consequence of it he should become a prisoner to the Mad Tyrant of Britton.
You refer me to Mr. S A for further inteligance. My agitated mind would be glad to find present releaf from any quarter otherways I would wait for those probable causes hinted at by Mr. L[ovel]l from whence I am sure to gather more satisfaction than I shall from any other quarter. I need not add that Mr. S A is too much the politician to attend to purtubations and too much the phylosopher to realize the thousand nameless anxieties that distress the tender Heart of our frail Sex. I think I have a right to say this since he has not even wrote me a line since his return tho he could be no stranger to my perplexity having received a Message or two from me and being requested by Genll. W[arre]n to come and see me.
Since I last had the Honour of writing to you a vessel from Nantz brought me 3 Letters—one of December, one of Janry. and one of Febry.2 All that he say[s] with regard to his return in those Letters is in that dated December. I think I shall see you this year in spight of B[ritish] Men of war. I have expected every moment for more than { 215 } two Months my recall—and from this circumstance I supposed he held himself bound by his commision to Tarry till congress pleased to permit his return. But having waited month after month and no intelligance of the kind having arrived, I presume he received the inattention as a proof that they had no further service for him. What other motives he may have I know not.
He excuses himself from writing freely on account of the danger, but says thus much—I can say with perfect sincerity that I have found nothing to disgust me, discontent me, or in any manner disturb me in the French Nation. My Evils here arise altogether from Americans.
The vessel which brought these Letters brings a story also that the Alliance in company with a 40 gun frigate was gone upon some secret expedition. Sure Mr. A would not embark for any other purpose but a speedy return to America. I pray Heaven that her arrival may soon releave me from this defered hope which maketh the Heart sick.
The Carolina Bubble has made us hard of Belief—even General Wayne['s] success3 was not credited till Authentacated proofs of it arrived. Desolated Farefeild and Norwalk were too British exploits to be hesitated at. Too painfull are the retrospect of those scenes, and the Tragidy has so often been acted over that words are not left to discribe the Horrours of it.
Before I close suffer me with the most gratefull sensations to acknowledg your kind attention to me during the absence of my dearest Friend, by every method in your power alleviating my anxiety [and]4 rendering me all the information which you could obtain.
Dft (Adams Papers); mistakenly docketed by JQA at head of text: “to John Thaxter.” After AA's incomplete date JQA added “1779” and“Mr. Adams arrived from France five days after the date of this Letter.” The draft is a notably careless one, even for AA, and its punctuation has been slightly corrected for the sake of clarity.
1. 18–26 June, above.
2. 30 Dec. 1778, 1 Jan., 9 Feb. 1779, above. AA quotes briefly from all three below.
3. In taking the British post at Stony Point on the Hudson River, 16 July.
4. Editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0167

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Date: 1779-07-30

Abigail Adams to Samuel Adams

[salute] Dear sir

As your good Lady had promised me the favour of a visit before your return to your Native Town, give me leave sir to request a compliance with the promise and that you would do me the Honour of accompanying her here. I wish sir to be informed by you with regard { 216 } to the situation of my absent Friend and what congress propose to do with him. The publication of a report of a committe of Congress with regard to their commisoners has given me some dissagreable sensations. I know not whether the report was accepted, but it was such a general censure as must wound the Innocent with the guilty and will be Esteemed by one of them at least as no very delicate recall.1
The latest advices which I have from France are dated Febry. 9. By that I find that the address of Mr. Dean had arrived in France, and rekindled a Flame there which before was almost extinct, that parties ran high to the injury of our publick affairs, and the consequence would be the prolonging of the war. That he had found nothing to disgust, disturb or any ways discontent him from the French Nation, but all the Evils he experienced arose all together from Americans.
But tis probable you have Letters by the same vessel and may be more fully acquainted with his affairs than I am. He daily expects his recall, but will be not a little mortified to find it couch'd in terms which I am sure he has not deserved. In what other light can he view it, whilst Mr. Lee as I have been informed is appointed to Spain, and he many months without an explicit recall or any prospect of any other Destination. I cannot help giving some attention to the report of his returning in the Alliance since I know if he is not in a situation to serve his Country he will be very unhappy from his family.
You sir can set me right if I have been misinformed or if I have misconstrued the determinations of your respected assembly either of which will give me more pleasure than to be assured that I had not erred in judgement tho by so competant a judge.
Be pleased to present my most affectionate regards to your Lady and to hope for the pleasure of a visit as soon as you can render it convenient. Possibly it might be more so to you to come up of a Saturday and spend the Sabbeth with your Humble servant,
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA's hand: “1779.” Recipient identified and approximate date assigned from internal evidence in conjunction with the substance of the following letter from Samuel Adams to AA, which is presumed to be a reply to the present letter.
1. The “general censure” recommended by the special committee on foreign affairs, 15 April, and adopted by Congress on 20 April (JCC, 13:455–457, 487). See above, AA to Lovell, ca. 15 July, note 3, and below, JA to AA, 13 Nov., note 3.
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/