A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0168

Author: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-07-31

Samuel Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Saml. Adams and Mrs. Adams present their most friendly Regards to Mrs. Adams of Braintree. In Answer to her Message to Mr. A, he informs her, that in a Letter he receivd a few days ago from Arthur Lee dated the 6th of March, Mr. Lee acquaints him in these Words,“Our Friend my late Colleague means to embark soon, and from him you will learn the State of our Affairs here.” The Letter was dated at Nantez. Mr. Lee does not explain or hint at the Motive. Other Letters I am informd, are come to hand at Philadelphia dated as late as the 6th of April.1 Mr. and Mrs. A. intend to do themselves the Pleasure of visiting Mrs. A at Braintree soon.2
RC (ICHi); in Adams' hand.
1. For Arthur Lee's letters here mentioned, see James Lovell to AA, 16 July, above, and notes there.
2. It is not known whether this visit took place, for on this day the Sensible “Found Bottom . . . on St. Georges Banc” 100 miles east of Cape Cod, and two or (possibly) three days later JA reached home.
The evidence furnished by JA himself respecting the exact time and place of his disembarkation with JQA is contradictory and confusing. But in all probability on Monday, 2 Aug., they left the vessel in Nantasket Roads and were rowed with their baggage to the Braintree shore, whence they had departed in mid-February 1778. It is certain that La Luzerne and his party proceeded into the inner harbor and landed with due ceremony on Tuesday the 3d. (See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:342, 344, 400.) It is also certain that on the 3dJA sat down at home and addressed a letter to John Jay, president of Congress, reporting and explaining his movements since learning in February that he had been relieved of his duties as a commissioner in Europe (RC in PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:276–278; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:97–99, with CFA's silent correction of JA's probable error in giving the 3d rather than the 2d as the date of his actual arrival home). On the 4th, JA wrote (or at least began) a much longer letter to Jay submitting for the consideration of Congress his “Reflections . . . on the general State of Affairs in Europe, so far as they relate to the Interests of the united States” (RC in PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:278–286; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:99–110). This, which JA then viewed as his final dispatch and testament, was a major effort and was recognized as such; it was read in Congress on 20 Aug. (JCC, 14:981), and the numerous contemporary copies of it recorded in the Adams Papers Editorial Files show that it circulated widely.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0169

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-08-06

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Friend

“And are you sure the News is true,

And are you sure He's Come.”

{ 218 }
Beneath the shady Forrest of Ele River, while my Best Friend has walked towards the Fertile plains to survey the Reapers, or perhaps asscends the Rugged Hills to View the sportive Flocks, I take up my pen to Congratulate you, most sincerely to Congratulate you on the safe Return of yours, from the Busy and wearisom scenes of politics, pleasure, and politeness, to the still Delights of Domestic Felicity, where the Gladned mother Can scarcly suppress the tear of Rapture, to [listen?] and smile Alternately at the Narrations of her young traveler, and the simple tale, with which the two younger Masters (Emulous for Papahs Attention) strive to Entertain Him, while the observing Daughter silently Watches Every accent, and treasures up Every article of Inteligence for her Future improvement. The Father Thanks His Neglegent Countrymen for suffering Him so soon to Indulge in the Highest Joys of Life. But the patriot must secretly Chide the want of Decission, that Inattention to the Interests of the states, that has permited him thus Early to Leave Europe, when by a Longer stay He might have Rendered them such Essential service.
When I participate the Family Happiness, and take a part in the Felicity of my Friends, I Flatter myself it is an Emenation of Benevolence.
But There is not a spark of patriotism in the Cordial Gratulation in the Larger scale which is the Measure of patriotic Merit. What are the Little streams of social affection, the Heart felt pleasure of the Wife, the parent and the Friend, who would not sacrifice without a sigh these smaller Considerations when pro bono publico Requires, always assured of the Gratitude and applause of the unchanging Multitude.
But to be serious both you and I wish well to our Country, and will hope that some Good may result Even from the Mistakes of Her Rulers.
It is strongly impressed on my mind that the Return of a Gentleman Rather unexpectedly to his American Friends, May Give a New turn to the state of parties, and Eventually be productive of Happy Consequences. But my design is to say Little of public affairs. The full Heart Enwrapt (after the Anxieties and impatience of a Long abscence) in the tender scenes of Mutual affection has no Room, at pre[sent for]1 Forreign Cares. Yet hope your own Happiness will not prevent the Recollection, nor His Avocations the Completion of a promiss you made when we parted to Come to Plimouth soon after Mr. Adams Came home. You Little Thought then I should have a Demand upon you so soon. However I shall not Relinquish it. I will not admit Even the Indolence of Felicity as an Excuse. And though it has been observed by some that Indolence is Characteristic of Genius, I think { 219 } Generosity Indicates a Greatness of soul that will supply the Defects of Genius, but when we see them united in their Exertions to Bestow Happiness, we then see the perfection of Human Nature. And with my Friendly and Respectful Complements to Mr. Adams you will tell him this Visit shall be placed on the List of Charities. But if he is a Believer in the Doctrine of superrerogation, He will have more to do, for more will Certainly be Required. Mean time I shall hear from you both if you wish to Gratify your assured & affectionate Freind,
[signed] Marcia Warren
My Regards to Monseur [Jeany?] and to the sister of the young Frenchman.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree.”
1. MS torn by seal.
2. Probably a playful reference to JQA, “the young Frenchman,” and his sister.
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/