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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0205

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-18

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

I was last Evening at your House and left Mrs. Adams, Miss Nabby and Master Tommy well, as are also all the rest of our Connections. The Communication between this Town and Braintree is at present extremely difficult by means of a greater Quantity of Snow on the Ground than has been known for forty Years past. I bro't two Pacquets from Mrs. Adams which I deliver'd to Genl. Warren for conveyance. The Vessell by which these will be sent, will bring Jonathan Loring Austin who is sent by this Government for the Purpose of negotiating a Loan in Europe of 150 Thousand Pounds Sterling for the Use of this State, to be laid out partly for Supplies for the Soldiers of our part of the Continental Army, and partly in such other Goods as a Committee appointed for that Purpose shall direct: The rem[ainde]r to lye in safe Hands to be drawn for as shall be hereafter ordered. This measure originated from a Committee of the House appointed to devise Ways and Means for supplying the Treasury, who were permitted to consult Mr. Broom and the Honble. Mr. Bowdoin on the subject, who after fully examining the measure, and hearing what was offer'd for and against it were fully in favour of it. The members of Court as well as those Gentlemen, were, and yet are under an Injunction of Secresy. By a Letter from Government to you and Mr. Dana you will perceive that in Case of his Death or Capture you are requested to procure some Person or Persons to carry the matter into effect.1 The chief reason for this Measure that weighed with the House as far as I could observe, was this—That a fine new Frigate built by this State now almost ready for the Sea, might make a Cruise in the European Seas, without any extra expence, and when that was finished, go into a proper Port and take on board the Goods order'd for the Army &c. and then make the best of her Way back. It was supposed that the Insurance on a Vessell of such force, would be much lower than what must be given on other Vessels by private Merchants, and consequently that we should have a fairer Prospect of getting a real Supply for our Army, and that seasonably. It was supposed to be a fact that the Board of War now give to the Merchants for Goods to supply the Army more than Cent per Cent2 above what the same Goods would cost if procured in this manner, and this consideration had its weight with the House. Many other Advantages of a Political nature were supposed to be connected with the Measure. The Act providing for the Payment of the Sum borrow'd, will be sent to you.
{ 264 }
The Convention for forming a Constitution are now meeting in the State House according to an Adjournment that took place soon after you left them, but I fear the excessive Snows that have lately fallen will prevent many members from being present. I will now come to my private Concerns; I have taken Borland's Place in Braintree by Order of the Genl. Court for the Term of five Years. I suppose before that Term is expired the Place will be to be sold, and I should be glad to buy it if I was able, I would therefore suggest to your Consideration whether, if I could purchase it of Government for four or five Hundred Pounds Sterling, you would be willing to let me draw on you for that Sum, on my giving a Mortgage of the Place?3 The great Number of Tory Estates that will be soon to be sold, makes me think that some Gentlemen among our worthy Allies might make Purchases of some of them on very advantageous Terms. Auchmuty's fine Seat at Roxbury about 2 Mile from Boston might have been bought for seventeen Hundred weight of Bohea Tea,4 and others in like Proportion. If any Gentlemen should incline to send Effects here for the purpose of purchasing such Houses or Lands within this State, I should be glad to transact the Business for them on Commission or otherwise. And as I read French and am one of the Commitee of the G. Court for selling such Estates it might perhaps be more agreeable and advantageous for french Gentlemen to write to me than to a Person unacquainted with that Language and unconnected with the Gen. Court. I throw out these hints to you in confidence that if any thing of that sort should turn up, you might mention me if you should think proper. I am just now informed that the Vessel sails early in the Morning, and as it is now late at Night, I must conclude with assuring you that I am with every Sentiment of Esteem, your affectionate Bror.,
[signed] R.C.
Present my kindest Regards to the dear Boys, and to Mr. Thaxter.
Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “Coppy of a Letter to Bror. Adams. Jany. 18th. 1780.” Sent by Jonathan Loring Austin, the RC of this letter was never received; see note 6 on the preceding letter.
1. Two copies of this letter, well enough summarized by Cranch, are in the Adams Papers under date of 13 Jan. 1780; both are signed by Jeremiah Powell, president of the Council.
2. That is, more than double the amount.
3. “Borland's Place in Braintree” was the current name for a fine country seat in that town, the Vassall-Borland house, built by Leonard Vassall about 1730, and the garden and farm surrounding it on the old coast road from Boston to Plymouth. With the house enlarged and outbuildings added, but with the farm property greatly reduced, it is today the Adams National Historic Site, having been in the possession of the Adams family from 1787 to 1946 and usually referred to by the family itself (and { 265 } sometimes in these volumes) as “the Old House.” For a summary note on its history, see above, vol. 1:219; on John Borland specifically, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:74–75.
Since John Borland (whose wife was Anna, daughter of Leonard Vassall) had died on the very eve of hostilities, and since the provisional government of Massachusetts took some time to determine what was to be done about abandoned loyalist property, the status of the Vassall-Borland house remained for several years ambiguous. In the fall of 1775, during the siege of Boston, it was commandeered by the selectmen of Braintree (after no little trouble with a squatter named James Hayward who was a friend of the Borlands) for the use of refugees then flooding the neighborhood and of Braintree people who, living close to the shore, needed to get out of the way of British warships operating in the bay. Early in 1776 the family of Joseph Palmer were living in the house, and during the next couple of years it continued to be leased out, although the occupants are not known. See Palmer's petition, Sept. 1775, in M-Ar: Legislative Records of the Council, 33:222–223; Mass., Province Laws, 19:88; petition of Braintree Committee of Correspondence, 9 Oct. 1775 (M-Ar, vol. 180:189); Abigail (Paine) Greenleaf to Robert Treat Paine, 22 Jan. 1776 (MHi: Paine Papers); advertisement of lease of Borland estate by public auction, Boston Gazette, 24 March 1777, p. 3, col. 3.
Richard Cranch had a long but fruitless flirtation with this choice piece of loyalist property, which partly adjoined his own Braintree farm. Under a new Resolve for Leasing Absentees' Estates at Public Auction, 19 Feb. 1779 (Mass., Province Laws, 20:620–622), Cranch had been admitted by the Suffolk Probate Court “Agent” of the very extensive properties owned by “the late John Borland Esqre. an Absentee deceased” (Suffolk County Court of Probate, Records, No. 16987; photostats in Adams Papers Editorial Files; see also Cranch to Mrs. Cranch, n.d. [probably March 1779], MHi: Cranch Papers). The Confiscation Acts of April and May 1779 followed soon afterward, and Cranch was named a member of the General Court's Committee for the Sale of Absentee Estates in Suffolk County, whose proceedings are recorded in a Journal in M-Ar; see also AA to JA, 8 June 1779, above, with references in note 5 there. He was thus decidedly an “insider” with respect to news and transactions relative to loyalist property. On 7 Oct. 1779 he obtained permission from the General Court to cut wood from Borland's wood lot “for the Use of his own Family” (Mass., Province Laws, 21:208); and on 4 Jan. 1780 he successfully petitioned the same body to lease for himself the house and farm for five years, contingent on its sale (same, 21:329). He was now determined to buy the place for himself if he could raise the money. But his plans went awry.
At a Braintree town meeting on 6 March, upon its being reported “that there had been great Strip & waste made in the wood Lott belonging to sd. Estate by Mr. Cranch or by those under him,” the town petitioned the General Court to put the lease of the Borland property up for public auction as the law required (Braintree Town Records, p. 506). The issue, apparently, was Cranch's status as an “insider,” for he shortly petitioned the Court, reporting that, “contrary to [his] expectation, a large number of the inhabitants . . . are uneasy and dissatisfied” because the lease had not been publicly auctioned. “And as your Memorialist,” he continued, “would by no means take possession of said Estate, in a way that might give the least umbrage for a supposition of partiallity in the Honourable Court in his favour,” he asked that his lease be rescinded and the auction be held. The legislature so resolved on 7 April (Mass., Province Laws, 21:427–428). In the Boston Gazette for 24 April (p. 2, col. 1) appeared the following notice:
“A genteel Country Seat to Let.
“On Tuesday the 25th of this Instant, April, at Twelve o'Clock, will be leased for one Year, at Public Auction, (by special Permission of the Honorable General Court).
“A very genteel Dwelling House, Barn, and Coach-House, with a Garden, planted with a great Variety of Fruit Trees, an Orchard, and about 40 Acres of Land, lately belonging to john bor- { 266 } land, Esq; deceased. This agreeable Seat is pleasantly Situated in the Town of Braintree, about ten Miles from Boston, on the Great Road to Plymouth.
“The Auction will be on the Premises.”
Two days later Cranch renewed his request to JA for a loan to enable him to purchase the property, offering a mortgage in return (Cranch to JA, 26 April, below).
From this point on, the history of the Borland estate becomes confused and obscure. Edward Church of Braintree obtained a deed for it from the General Court by making a first payment of £200 (M-Ar, vol. 190:120), but he did not retain it, for the deed is not on record in the Suffolk Registry. By 1782, when the war was about to end, allusions appear in contemporary correspondence to the plans of Borland's widow to return to Boston and recover her husband's property. With respect to his Braintree estate she succeeded. On 19–20 Nov. 1783 she conveyed this property to her son Leonard Vassall Borland (Suffolk County Registry of Deeds, vol. 142:6, 8; Tr in Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds), and a month later AA reported that “Mrs. Boreland since her return to America, has sold her House and Farm in this Town. Mr. Tyler has made the purchase at a thousand pounds Lawfull money. . . . None of it was ever confiscated” (to JA, 27 Dec. 1783). The purchaser was young Royall Tyler, a lawyer and literary man, who in acquiring the estate, as AA went on to say “has but one object in view,” namely marriage to AA2. With the failure of that “object” in the course of the next two years, Tyler lost all interest in his country seat, and when he failed to keep up his payments it reverted to the Borlands. For these matters, see the detailed account in the Introduction to JA, Earliest Diary, p. 18–28. Tyler's final settlement with Leonard Borland took place in 1787, when the Adamses were beginning to think of returning home from England. By now, Richard Cranch had given up hope of obtaining the property for himself, and he and his wife repeatedly and warmly urged the Adamses to buy it. This they did, through Cotton Tufts, on 26 Sept. 1787, at a cost of £600, and they moved in upon their return in the following June. See Mary (Smith) Cranch to AA, 22 April–20 May, 21 May [citation removed per Adams Papers editors] 1787; Cotton Tufts to AA, 21, 26 May, 13, 30 June 1787; AA to Tufts, 1, 4 July 1787 (all in Adams Papers); AA to Mrs. Cranch, 16 July 1787 (owned by J. Delafield DuBois, New York City, 1957); AA to Tufts, 20[19] July 1787 (NHi: Misc. MSS); JA to Cranch, 20 July 1787 (MeHi); Tufts to JA, 18 Sept., and to AA, 20 Sept. 1787 (both in Adams Papers). The deed of sale from Borland to JA is in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds, vol. 161:123 (photostat in Adams Papers Editorial Files). It conveys seven parcels of land, amounting in all to about eighty-three acres, including the home lot of seven acres with its “House, Barn and other Buildings” on the north side of the Plymouth road; three parcels, among them the “great Pasture” of twenty acres, on the south side of the road (i.e. up present Presidents Hill); a tract of salt marsh on the Town River; and thirty acres of “Woodland” in two parcels elsewhere in the town.
4. Robert Auchmuty (ca. 1723–1788), a prominent Boston admiralty lawyer, had fled to England early in 1776, and his property was confiscated in 1779 (JA, Legal Papers, 1:xcvi and passim; DAB; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:12–16). The notice of the sale of his estate by the General Court's committee (of which Cranch was a member) remarked that “This very handsome and agreeable seat is so happily situated (a little beyond the main-street in the lower part of Roxbury) that it enjoys the united advantages of town and country” (Boston Gazette, 1 Nov. 1779, p. 1, col. 1).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0206

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-01-18

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

After twenty odd days spent in climbing Mountains, sinking into Valleys, tumbling over Rocks, pocking thro' Mud and Mire, creeping along Plains, oversetting of Carriages &c., to the End of the Chapter of Evils, We arrived at this place. In addition to the above Combination of Evils, We had smoaky, scolding, dirty Inns to put up at. Cleanliness is a moral Virtue undoubtedly, but very little Attention is paid to it in that part of Spain in which We have travelled: So that We have had Evils natural and moral to cope with. We struggled patiently and perseveringly, like resolute Pilgrims, but thank Heaven this is not to be our abiding place. A Journey thro' this part of Spain performed in the manner in which ours was, is sufficient to plant Stings of Asperity in the most placid Tempers and serene Dispositions. To be driven violently over rough rocky Road, and carted as it were upon a plain level Surface, would have made Yorick exclaim in very different Language from that which he prayed he might be enabled to use in perplex'd Situations. We bore it well, but Nature now and then would heave out Sighs and Groans.
We however are tolerably well off now, and should forget past Sorrow, was it not for the violent Colds that hang about Us—the Colds of Gallicia, Leon and Castile, the three province[s] thro' which We came.
Bilbao is about half as large as Boston. In it there are four Parish Churches, two Convents of Men; one of the Franciscan and the other of the Dominican Order—seven Nunneries of various Orders, Franciscan, Augustine &c. There is a Nunnery directly opposite our Lodgings. We see them peeping out of their Cells very often. It is a Cloister of very old Maids. I should reverence them, if they were obliged to continue in this Line of Life from the same principle, which holds and will hold me a Batchelor, viz. Necessity. Nay I should pity them too. But their Situation was originally the Result of Choice—it may be Election still perhaps.
Please to present my Duty, Respects, Compliments and Love where due. Accept my sincerest Wishes for your Health, and for all that Happiness which it is possible for you to enjoy in a Seperation from one of the best of Friends.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, Madam, with great Respect, your most obedient humble Servt.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0207

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-01-19

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I hope you have had no occasion either from Enemies or the Dangers of the Sea to repent your second voyage to France. If I had thought your reluctance arose from proper deliberation, or that you was capable of judgeing what was most for your own benifit, I should not have urged you to have accompanied your Father and Brother when you appeared so averse to the voyage.
You however readily submitted to my advice, and I hope will never have occasion yourself, nor give me reason to Lament it. Your knowledge of the Language must give you greater advantages now, than you could possibly have reaped whilst Ignorant of it, and as you increase in years you will find your understanding opening and daily improveing.
Some Author that I have met with compares a judicious traveller, to a river that increases its stream the farther it flows from its source, or to certain springs which running through rich veins of minerals improve their qualities as they pass along. It will be expected of you my son that as you are favourd with superiour advantages under the instructive Eye of a tender parent, that your improvements should bear some proportion to your advantages. Nothing is wanting with you, but attention, dilligence and steady application, Nature has not been deficient.
These are times in which a Genious would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. Would Cicero have shone so distinguished an orater, if he had not been roused, kindled and enflamed by the Tyranny of Catiline, Millo,2 Verres and Mark Anthony. The Habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. All History will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruits of experience, not the Lessons of retirement and leisure.
Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the Heart, then those qualities which would otherways lay dormant, wake into Life, and form the Character of the Hero and the Statesman.
War, Tyrrany and Desolation are the Scourges of the Almighty, and ought no doubt to be deprecated. Yet it is your Lot my Son to be an Eye witness of these Calimities in your own Native land, and at the same time to owe your existance among a people who have made a glorious defence of their invaded Liberties, and who, aided by a { 269 } generous and powerfull Ally, with the blessing of heaven will transmit this inheritance to ages yet unborn.
Nor ought it to be one of the least of your excitements towards exerting every power and faculty of your mind, that you have a parent who has taken so large and active a share in this contest, and discharged the trust reposed in him with so much satisfaction as to be honourd with the important Embassy, which at present calls him abroad.
I cannot fulfill the whole of my duty towards you, if I close this Letter, without reminding you of a failing which calls for a strict attention and watchfull care to correct. You must do it for yourself. You must curb that impetuosity of temper, for which I have frequently chid you, but which properly directed may be productive of great good. I know you capable of these exertions, with pleasure I observed my advice was not lost upon you. If you indulge yourself in the practise of any foible or vice in youth, it will gain strength with your years and become your conquerer.
The strict and invoilable regard you have ever paid to truth, gives me pleasing hopes that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add justice, fortitude, and every Manly Virtue which can adorn a good citizen, do Honour to your Country, and render your parents supreemly happy, particuliarly your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] AA
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “A Duplicate”; endorsed: “Mamma's letter No. 29”; docketed in JQA's more mature hand: “A. Adams 12. Jany. 1780.” LbC (Adams Papers). The true date of this letter is difficult to determine. AA apparently dated RC as “Janry. 12 1780,” thus accounting for JQA's docketing and the date under which CFA printed this letter in AA, Letters, 1840, p. 143–145, and in subsequent editions. But the digits of “12” are smeared and overwritten, suggesting a correction that is not now clear. LbC is clearly dated “Janry. 19 1780,” and that date has been followed here. From the fact that RC adds a few words and phrases not in LbC, it would appear that AA drafted her letter in the letterbook, and hence RC could not correctly bear an earlier date. Variations between the two versions are too minor to be recorded.
1. See the descriptive note on this letter.
2. AA's superficial knowledge of Roman history here betrayed her. Cicero was an ardent champion, not an adversary, of Milo. In his text of this letter CFA simply, and discreetly, dropped Milo's name from AA's listing.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0208

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1780-01-19

Abigail Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

How does my son after the fatigues of a voyage. A young adventurer { 270 } indeed, how many times did you wish yourself by mammas fireside. But pappa wrote me that you made as good a sailor as your Brother, flatterd you a little I suppose, But I was very glad to hear you did so well.
I hope before this time that you are safe landed possibly arrived at Paris and placed at school, where I hope you will strive to obtain the Love and good will of every Body by a modest obliging Behaviour. You was a favorite in the Neighbourhood at home, all of whom wonder how Mamma could part with you. Mamma found it hard enough tis true, but she consulted your good more than her own feelings, and hopes you will not dissapoint her hopes and expectations by contracting vices and follies, instead of improveing in virtue and knowledge which can only make you usefull to society and happy to yourself.
You have an opportunity very early in life of seeing a foreign Country and of Learning a Language which if you live may be very serviceable to you, and even at this early period of your life you may form Friendships, if you behave worthy of your country, which will do honour to [you]1 in future, but in order to [do?]2 this you must be very attentive to your Books, and to every Branch of knowledge and improvement with which your pappa is pleasd to indulge you.
Let your ambition lead you to make yourself Master of what you undertake, do not be content to lag behind others, but strive to excell.
I hope soon to hear of your welfare and happiness which are always near the heart of your ever affectionate Mother.
1. Word omitted in MS.
2. Word omitted in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0209

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-01-19

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Hond. Mamma

I can never keep my pen out of my hand when ever there is an oportunity of writing and as there is one now by a Captn. Lovett I will make the best of it.
I am Sorry to inform you that the Jason and Monmouth are taken and Manly for a third time is in a british prison but you very probably will have heard of this before this reaches you but what more than makes up for it is that there are 50,000 Men in arms in Ireland all united in the generous intention of freeing themselves from the yoke of that Tyrant George the 3d.
{ 271 }
We are anxious about the Confederacy having heard nothing of her Since we Left America.1 The last papers from France mention nothing of her arrival but I must conclude in Subscribing myself your most dutiful Son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
PS Excuse the writing I being a little unwell and not having a very good pen.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Adams Braintree near Boston”; endorsed: “J Q Adams 19 Jan 1780.”
1. The Continental frigate Confederacy, Capt. Seth Harding, had sailed from the Delaware late in October bound for France, with C. A. Gérard, Mme. Gérard, John Jay, and Mrs. Jay among the passengers. Eleven hundred miles at sea it was dismasted in a storm but managed to creep into St. Pierre, Martinique, in mid-December, whence the diplomats took passage in a French vessel. See Morris, Peacemakers, p. 1–6.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0210

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Wendell, Oliver
Date: 1780-01-20

Abigail Adams to Oliver Wendell

I return you thanks Sir for the trouble you took in exchangeing my Money, our currency is some thing like the Stocks abroad, rises and falls with the News of the Day.

[salute] I have the Honor to be Sir with Sincere Esteem your obliged Humble Servant,

[signed] A Adams
MS (not found). Printed from a facsimile in Letters of Mrs. Adams, the Wife of John Adams, ed. CFA, 2d edn., Boston, 1840, vol. 2, frontispiece. At foot of text: “Honble. Oliver Wendell.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0211

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

On Wednesday, the 9th. of this Month, We all arrived in tolerable Health at the Hotel De Valois, in Paris where We now are.1 On Thursday the 10th We waited on Dr. F[ranklin] and dined with him at Passy. On Fryday the 11, the Dr. accompanied Us to Versailles, where We waited on Mr. De Vergennes, Mr. De Sartine and Comte Maurepas, from all of whom We had a polite Reception.2 To day We stay at home.
I put my three Children to Mr. Pichini's Accademy the next day after my Arrival, where they are all well pleased.3
We had a tedious Journey by Land, from Ferrol in Spain, of not much short of four hundred Leagues. My dear Charles bears travelling { 272 } by Land and Sea as well as his Brother. He is much beloved wherever he goes.
Since my Arrival here I had the Joy to find a Letter from you which came by your Unkles ship to Cadiz.4 It gives me more Pain than I can express to see your Anxiety, but I hope your fears will be happily disappointed.
I wrote you, from Cape Anne, from the Banks of Newfoundland, from Corrunna and from Bilbao, from whence I ordered you some Things by a Vessell to Mr. Corbet [Cabot] of Beverly, and another to Mr. Tracy of Newbury Port. These are a few necessaries for the Family. I will send Mr. W. and Mr. S. Things and my Brothers and Dr. T.s and his Sons, by the first Safe Conveyance that I can hear of.5

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

1. The Adams party had remained in Bilbao until 20 Jan., when they left and proceeded to Bayonne in France, arriving on the 23d. From there JA addressed a letter of thanks to the Messrs. Gardoqui, remarking on the improved roads and tavern accommodations in Biscay and Guipuzcoa and adding that “We discovered two or three fine Chimneys besides that which you mentioned to Us, which contributed not a little to our Health and Comfort” (24 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers). At Bayonne, JA later recalled, “We paid off our Spanish Guide with all his Train of Horses, Calashes, Waggon, Mules, and Servants,” and “purchased a Post Chaise and hired some others” for the journey to Paris (Diary and Autobiography, 4:238). They were on the road from Bayonne to Bordeaux from 25 to 29 Jan., paused at the latter until 2 Feb., and spent a week on frozen roads before arriving in Paris on the afternoon of the 9th (same, 2:433–434; 4:239–241). They followed the same route that JA and JQA had traveled in the preceding April, namely through Coué, Angoulême, Poitiers, Châtellerault, Tours, Orléans, and Toury. Much the most detailed record of this last part of the long journey that had begun in December is in Francis Dana's Journal, or what he called his “Memo, made While in Spain” (MHi:Dana Papers). JA's Accounts as printed in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:435 ff., furnish glimpses of his personal and domestic activity during his early weeks in Paris.
2. Jean Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas (1701–1781), French minister of state, is elsewhere described by JA as “the Prime Minister or the Kings Mentor,” which appears to be something of an overestimation of his powers and role (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:48; see Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de Sartine, Comte d'Alby (1729–1801), was currently minister of marine (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:295 and passim; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
On this day JA addressed a letter to Vergennes, as suggested by Vergennes during their meeting at Versailles, asking whether JA should assume “any Public Character” or whether he should remain for the present “upon the Reserve.” This letter and Vergennes' reply of 15 Feb., which JA found irritating and humiliating, are given in full in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 4:243–245.
3. The “three Children” were of course JQA, CA, and Samuel Cooper Johonnot. Pechigny and his wife conducted a pension academy in Passy favored by Americans who had children in France. It was sometimes called the Pension or Ecole de Mathématiques. Apparently JQA had attended this school at least briefly during his first stay in Europe. { 273 } See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:434, 439–440, 442; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 5:55, 75, 88, 507; several letters under date of 16 and 17 March, below; and JA to Pechigny, 16 May, also below.
4. AA to JA, 10 Dec. 1779, above.
5. The initials in this sentence stand for Rev. Anthony Wibird, the Adamses' minister at Braintree; Rev. Daniel Shute, minister at Hingham; and Dr. Cotton Tufts, AA's uncle. On 22 Feb.JA wrote to James Moylan at Lorient:
“As the Alliance is bound to America, and probably will go to Boston, I wish to avail myself of the opportunity to send a few Necessaries to my Family, and a black Coat or two to a few Parsons in my Neighbourhood, whose Salaries are so reduced by the Depreciation of our Paper Currency that they cannot afford to buy a black Coat nor a Band at home. . . . I should be glad if you could distinguish the Parcels—for Mr. Wibirt—for Mr. Shute—and for Mr. P. B. Adams, for Mr. Cranch and for me. Let each be separated from the other but all packed up in one Chest or Box, and I suppose a very small one will contain the whole” (LbC, Adams Papers; see also Moylan's reply, 28 Feb., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0212

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-02-13

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

With fingers so soar that I can scarcly guide a pen tho it cost me ever so much pain I must I will call you—wicked Man. I told you that I had discoverd in your character, a similitude to that of Sterns and Yorick, but I never was before tempted to add that of Shandy.
From your own Authority I quote him as a wicked creature—What demon prompted you to carry the character through.
I have read Sterns Sermons and Yoricks Sentimental journey [and] his Letters to Eliza, but I never read Shandy and I never will.1 I know it would lessen my opinion of him, I know it would sink him in my Esteem. It is not in humane Nature, to regard those we dispise.
What I have read are the purest of his works, even in these there are exceptionable passages, but so intermixed with a rich Stream of Benevolence flowing like milk and Honey, that in an insensible heart, he creates the sensations he discribes—in a feeling one, he softens, he melts, he moulds it into all his own.
Possessd of an exquisite Sensibility, a universal phylanthropy, what a perverse Genius must he have to hazard those fine powers and talents for a wicked wit, that admits of no defence, and almost calls in Question the stability of his understanding. Shandy should have considerd that true wit

“Was not a tale, was not a jest

Admir'd with Laughter at a feast

Much less could that have any place

At which a Virgin hides her face.”

{ 274 }
What a figure would some passages of a Letter Dated Janry. 6th and an other of Janry. 13th have made in a publick Newspaper? For a Senator too? Did they not run the hazard of a 300 miles travel? I trembled with the Idea when I read them.—For Decencys sake Sir, return to the Humanizer, the polisher and the Softner of Man. I have charity Enough for the Writer to believe that his associates have been wholy of his own sex for 3 years past, or he could not have so offended.—

“Tis just—the Author Blush there,

Where the reader must.'”

By this post I return a duplicate journal or two. Your Letter in which you mention a probability of your going abroad did not reach me till after the matter was published in the publick News papers to my no small surprize.2
This day 3 months I was misirable indeed. Some mitigation I received in about ten days afterwards by a Letter wrote at sea from my Friend near the Banks of Newfoundland, which they reached in 5 days after they saild from this harbour, which gives me pleasing hopes that he had a short and safe passage. He has indeed excaped a view of the sublimest winter I ever knew. Since the Storms we have had 30 days without either snow, rain or the least thaw. But Sol is returning to us with his all enlivening influence and will I hope soon make a passage by conquering Boreas for the arrival of happy tidings to your Friend.
If I ever wrote well it would be worth while to excuse the present Scrawl by saying that my fingers are coverd with Whitlows.3 I would however advise you to distroy it when read that it may never appear in judgment against you. I assure you yours shall pass the ordeal as an atonement to
[signed] Portia
LbC (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee, but internal evidence makes clear that AA is answering Lovell's letters of 6 and 13 Jan., above. Enclosed journals not identified.
1. The works by Laurence Sterne mentioned by AA are The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, 1760–1767; The Sermons of Mr. Yorick, 1760–1769; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. By Mr. Yorick, 1768; and the posthumous Letters from Yorick to Eliza, 1775.
2. Lovell's letter in question was dated 22 Dec. 1779 (Adams Papers). On that day he was nominated in Congress as secretary to Franklin's mission in Paris (JCC, 15:1391), but he did not go. No newspaper mention of the nomination has been found.
3. Whitlow: “A suppurative inflammatory sore or swelling in a finger or thumb, usually in the terminal joint” (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have the Honour to be lodged here with no less a Personage than the Prince of Hesse Castle [Cassel], who is here upon a Visit. We occupy different Apartements in the same House and have no Intercourse with each other to be sure: but some Wags are of Opinion, that if I were authorized to open a Negotiation with him, I might obtain from him as many Troops to fight on our Side the Question, as he has already hired out to the English against Us.
I have found every Thing agreable here as yet: The Children are happy in their Academy, of which I send you the Plan inclosed.
The English bounce1 a great deal about obtaining seven Thousand Troops from the pety german Princes and ten Thousand from Ireland to send to America: but this is only a Repetition of their annual Gasconade. We are in Pain for Charlestown S.C. being apprehensive that they have made or will make an Effort to obtain that: which will be a terrible Misfortune to that People and a great Loss to the United States: but will be no lasting Advantage to our Ennemies.
The Channel of Correspondence you propose by Way of Bilbao and Cadiz will bring me many Letters no doubt, and I have received one of the 10 Decr. but the Postage is so expensive, being obliged to pay forty four Livres for the Packet that came with yours, that I would not advise you to send any Thing that Way unless it be a single Letter, or any Thing material in the Journals of Congress, or Letters from my friends in Congress or else where that contain any thing particularly interesting. The House of Joseph Guardoqui and Sons have sent to you by Capt. Babson of Newbury Port belonging to Mr. Tracy, some necessaries for the family,2 and you may write to Mr. Guardoqui, for any Thing you want, by any Vessell belonging to your Uncle, to Mr. Jackson or Mr. Tracy, provided you dont exceed one hundred Dollars by any one Vessell. Mr. Guardoqui will readily send them and draw upon me for the Money.
I had a great deal of Pleasure in the Acquaintance of this Family of Guardoqui's and was treated by them with the Magnificence of a Prince. They will be very glad to be Usefull to you in any Thing they can do. You will remember however that We have many Children, and that our Duty to them requires that We should manage all our Affairs with the strictest Oeconomy. My Journey through Spain, has been infinitely expensive to me, and exceeded far my Income. It is very ex• { 276 } pensive here and I fear, that I shall find it difficult to make both Ends meet, but I must and will send you some thing for necessary Use by every Oportunity.
If Mr. Lovell does not procure me the Resolution of Congress I mentioned to him, that of drawing on a certain Gentleman or his Banker, I shall soon be starved out. Pray mention it to him.3
If you should have an Inclination to write to Cadiz, for any Thing by any Vessell going there, Mr. Robert Montgomery, who is settled there I fancy would chearfully send it you, and draw upon me in Paris for his Pay.4 If any Vessell should go to Corunna, Mr. Michael Lagoanere would do the same, but this is not a likely Way.
I shall write as often as possible: but Conveyances will be very rare, I fear.

[salute] I am as I ever was and ever shall be Yours, Yours, Yours.

RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “Plan” of Pechigny's school at Passy not found.
1. Bounce, verb, 4: “To talk big, bluster, hector; to swagger” (OED).
2. That is, in a vessel belonging to Nathaniel Tracy; see above, JA to AA, 16 Jan., note 4, and references there.
3.
“I beg one favour more, and that is for an order to draw in Case of Necessity and in Case all other Resources fail on Dr. Franklin or on the Banker of the United States, for a sum not exceeding My salary Yearly, and also for a Resolution of Congress, or a Letter from the Commercial Committee, requesting the Continental Agents, in Europe and America, to furnish me Aids and supplies of Cash &c., and to the Captains of all American Frigates, to afford me a Passage out or home upon demand. . . . I to pay for my Passage to Congress, or be accountable for it. . . . I hope I shall find the Funds provided for me sufficient, but if I should not I may be in the Utmost distress and bring upon myself and you Disgrace. Franklin will supply me, and so will any Agent in France, if they have a Resolution of Congress, or even a Letter from the Commercial Committee” (JA to James Lovell, 25 Oct. 1779, LbC, Adams Papers; printed in Works, 9:501–503).
4. There are letters in the Adams Papers from Robert Montgomery at Alicante to JA, 5 and 19 Feb., offering mercantile services.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0214

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-16

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

On the ninth of this Month We all happily arrived here, and with Hearts replete with Gratitude. Our Journey was long, cold, tedious and painful to an extream degree. After being fortunately delivered from a crazy and leaky Ship, We had conjectured our future Enterprises would be less irksome. Our Consolation and Triumph upon the Occasion terminated almost as soon [as] they existed. We had hardly begun our Journey in Spain, before a Battalion of Difficulties of a different Complexion surrounded Us. Our Carriages, (the Tops of { 277 } which resemble Calashes, and they are so called) were not more remarkable for the Antiquity of their Fashion, than that of their Building. They were in a truly decripid State and were continually out of Repair. The Mules which draw'd them, were as dull as obstinate. The Carriages were disoblegeant, but not in the Sense, in which Yorick appropriates the Term; for they would accommodate two persons as to Seats; but in every other Sense they merit very justly his Appellation.1 The Roads were mountainous and rocky to a terrible Degree from Corunna to Astorga, which is fifty Leagues, and where there were no Mountains, in our passage, yet Rocks, Mud and Mire, were the pleasing Objects that perpetually presented themselves. The Accommodations at the Inns were exceedingly bad, the Houses being in a Situation, which Decency forbids me to describe. Thus much I hope I may say without any offence to Delicacy, that they each of them appeared to me to be a Republic of Men and Beasts. There were some Exceptions to be sure. In addition to the above assemblage of Evils, the Weather was cold oftentimes, and we found no Chimnies to repair to in Spain, whose friendly Heat could refresh the fatigued Traveller. They would bring Us a small Braziaro, or Pan of Coals—the scanty Pittance of Fire in them, would chill one at first Sight. They hardly warmed a place upon the Stone Floor of so large a Compass as they stood upon. We found the Inns cold, arising from the Materials of their Construction, being almost all of Stone; from the Stone Floors; from a Want of Fires in different parts of them and finally from the State of the Air. Their Chimnies are rather a Burlesque upon the Name than any thing else, for they are nothing more than a small circular platform of Stones, having no other passage for the Smoke, than as it expands itself about the Room, and creeps out of two or three Holes pierced thro' the Top of the House, so that you are rather suffocated with Smoke, than warmed by the Fire. These kind of Hearths are only in one Apartment, the Kitchen. It required great Resolution to venture to some of them—the Smoke precluded all Foresight. You was forewarned indeed, but you could not be forearmed.
With these natural and artificial Evils and Embarrassments We travelled from Corunna to Bayonne. The Capital Towns or Cities we pass'd thro', were Lugos, Astorga, Leon, Burgos and Bilbao. We stop'd a day at Astorga to repair our Carriages. We visited the Cathedral Church there, as We did that at Leon. The Finery, the Trumpery, the Baubles, the Gewgaws and the Bagatelles in them as well as in all others almost We visited, were astonishing. Indeed they are exceeded in nothing but the Superstition of the People. I have written freely— { 278 } perhaps indiscreetly—but I have written nothing but Facts, which will not admit of Controversy. The Statuary, the Sculpture, Paintings and Architecture were very well executed in general. But what the End and Design of these things are, would not at this Juncture become me to explain, if they were not sufficiently obvious to you already.
Amidst all our perplexities We had now and then some Comforts. We found many worthy Men in our Route, whose Hearts were not in Unison with the temperature of their Air. In most of the considerable Towns We passed thro, We met with Gentlemen, who treated Us with politeness, Attention and Hospitality. The French Consul and Mr. Lagoanere at Corunna, the Messrs. Gardoqui's at Bilbao, treated us, more particularly, with great kindness and Friendship.
All News of a political Nature you will have from another Source and with more precision than I can pretend to.
Your Letter to Madam G[rand] is rendered into French and <I am told> admired by every one that reads it, for its excellent Sentiments. Many high Encomiums have been deservedly passed upon it.2 I must and will subjoin, that its Admirers discover pure Taste and good Judgment.
I have done myself the Honor to inclose You a few Extracts from the English Newspapers. You will find in them fresh proofs of their inflexible Adherence to Truth.
Please to present my Duty and Respects where due—a copious Effusion of Batchelor's Love I beg to send forward to the Young Ladies of my Acquaintance.
I have the Honor to be with the greatest Esteem and Respect your most obedient & most hble. Servt.
By Order I added to your Memorandum, the Article of delicate fine Chintz or thin Silk for a Gown for Mrs. W.3 If either should arrive, You will please to inform her. The Money for it, I have, which will be paid to Mr. A., when the Invoice comes, which will determine whether any Money will be left to purchase other articles. My Respects to General W. and Lady.
Your little Charles was highly diverted last Sunday with my modern parisian Vamping or Metamorphosis. He wanted a Subject to write upon. I gave him my new Appearance for a Subject. The bag I have laid aside. I cannot yet reconcile my self to it. The Sword I have used but once. I can bear with one, but both of them is too much.
{ 279 }
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “Extracts from the English News papers” not found.
1. An early, and celebrated, section of Sterne's Sentimental Journey, 1768, is entitled “The Desobligeant. Calais.” The unusual term in the title is defined in a footnote as follows: “A chaise, so called in France, from its holding but one person.”
2. On AA's exchange of letters (which are now lost) with Mme. Ferdinand Grand, see JA to AA, 23 Sept. 1778; and AA to AA2, ca. 11 Feb. 1779, both above; also JA to AA, 27 Feb., below.
3. From the mention of “General W.” (doubtless Gen. James Warren) below, Mercy (Otis) Warren must be meant here. AA's “Memorandum” of goods to be purchased in Europe for her and others has not been found, but is discussed in James Moylan's letter to JA from Lorient, 28 Feb. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0215

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-17

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Hond. Mamma

As there is an opportunity of writing to you, I must by no means let it Slip me; I have wrote you a Small account of my Voyage and that we were obliged to put into Ferrol in Spain. After a terrible journey from thence to Paris of about 1000 Miles we have at last once more reach'd Paris, the day after we arrived Pappa put me to one of the Pensions where I was before, and I am very content with my Situation. Brother Charles begins to make himself understood in French and being as he is he will learn that Language very soon. The Count d'Estaing is in a very fair way of recovery of his wounds. We have here a young Gentleman who was on board of the Languedoc when the Count was in Boston, a son of the Governor of Martinico's. I am your dutiful son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Adams Braintree near Boston,” to which is added in Thaxter's hand: “To be sunk in Case of Capture”; mistakenly docketed in a later unidentified hand: “Adams G. W.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0216

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1780-02-22

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I am once more settled down in a school and am very content with my situation. I was the other night at the Foire St Germain in Paris which is a publick place and full of curiosities.1 We went and saw a Woman who (in truth) was not very tall but who weigh'd 450 weight. The large part of her arm was as big round as my body and she cover'd With her thumb a Crown peice. Her thimble was big enough to put my thumbs in to and so was her ring which she wore on her little finger.
{ 280 }

[salute] As I must write to all my Freinds I can write only a short Letter to each and must conclude in subscribing myself your affectionate Brother,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (PHi:Conarroe Coll.); addressed: “Mr. Thomas Boylestone Adams Braintree near Boston.”
1. An account of this annual winter fair appears in Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris, p. 290:
“La Foire S. Germain, située dans le voisinage de S. Sulpice, à l'extrémité de la rue de Tournon, fut établie par Louis XI dès 1'an 1482, & donnée à 1'Abbaye S. Germain-des-Près. Elle ouvre le 3 Février, & dure jusqu'à la veille du Dimanche des Rameaux. C'est un quarré régulier, percé de rues couvertes qui rendent les unes dans les autres. Ces rues sont garnies de boutiques occupées par des Marchands, des Cafés, des Jeux & des Spectacles, tels que les Variétés amusantes, l'Ambigu-Comique, les Danseurs de corde, le Waux-Hall d'hiver, &c. La quantité de monde qui s'y rend, présente un coup-d'oeil fort gracieux.
“On y vend toutes sortes de choses. Cette Foire est franche, & tous Marchands de dehors peuvent y venir vendre leurs merchandises.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Children made me a Visit to day, and went with me to dine with my old Friends the two Abbys, whom you have often heard me mention, Chalut and Arnoux, who desire me to mention them to you in my Letters as devoted Friends of America, and particular Friends to me and to you, notwithstanding the difference of Religion.1
The Children are still in good Health, and Spirits and well pleased with their Academy. Ah! how much Pain have these young Gentlemen cost me, within these three months. The Mountains—the Cold—the Mules—the Houses without Chimneys or Windows—the——. I will not add.
I wish for a Painter to draw me and my Company mounted on Muleback—or riding in the Calashes—or walking; for We walked, one third of the Way. Yet by the Help of constant Care and great Pains and Expence, I have been able to get them all safe to Paris. The other Moyety of the Family is quite as near my Heart, and therefore I hope they will never be ramblers. I am sick of rambling.
If I could transport the other Moyety of the Family across the Atlantick with a Wish and be sure of returning them, when it should become necessary in the same manner, how happy should I be!
I have been received here with much Cordiality, and am daily visited by Characters who do me much Honour. Some day or other you will know I believe, but had better not say at present.
{ 281 }
Your Friend, the Comte D'Estaing, however I ought to mention because you have been acquainted with him. I have dined with him, and he has visited me and I him, and I hope to have many more Conversations with him, for public Reasons, not private, for on a private Account great Men and little are much alike to me.
Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard are going home in the Alliance, and I hope will make you a Visit. How many Vicicitudes they are to experience, as well as I, and all the rest of our Countrymen I know not. The Events of Politicks are not less uncertain than those of War. Whatever they may be, I shall be content. Of one thing I am pretty sure, that if I return again safe to America, I shall be happy the Remainder of my days because I shall stay at home—and at home I must be to be happy.
There is no Improbability at all that I may be obliged to come home again soon, for want [of] means to stay here. I hope however, that Care will be taken that something may be done to supply Us.
My tenderest Affection to my dear Nabby and Tommy. They are better off than their Brothers, after all.
I have been taking measures to send home your Things, my Brothers, Mrs. Cranches, Mr. W. and Mr. S.2 I hope to succeed by the Alliance, it shall not be my fault if I do not. If I cannot send by her I will wait for another Frigate if it is a Year, for I have no Confidence in other Vessells.

[salute] Yours, forever yours.

1. On the Abbés Arnoux and Chalut, warm friends of the American cause and correspondents of JA, Franklin, and Jefferson, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:317; 4:59.
2. Mr. Wibird and Mr. Shute; see JA to AA, 12 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0218

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This day I am happy in the News of your safe arrival at Corruna by a vessel arrived at Newbury port in 60 days from thence.1 I cannot be sufficiently thankfull for this agreable intelligence, or for the short, and I hope agreable voyage with which you were favourd. I suppose you will proceed from thence by land and flatter myself that a few weeks will bring me the agreable tidings of your arrival in France.
Capt. Sampson has at last arrived after a tedious passage of 89 days. By him came 3 Letters for you, 2 from Mr. Lee and one from Mr. Gellee. Both these Gentlemen are pleasd to make mention of me.2 You { 282 } will therefore return my Respectfull complements to them, and tell them that I esteem myself honourd by their notice.
I wrote you by Mr. Austin who I hope is safely arrived. He went from here in the height of the sublimist winter I ever saw. In the latter part of December and beginning of Janry. there fell the highest snow known since the year 1740, and from that time to this day the Bay has been froze so hard that people have walked, road, and sleded, over it to Boston; it was froze across Nantasket road, so that no vessel could come in or go out; for a month.3 For 30 days after the storms, we had neither snow, rain, or the least Thaw. It has been remarkably Healthy, and we have lived along tolerably comfortable, tho many people have sufferd greatly for fuel.
The winter has been so severe that very little has been attempted, and less performed by our army. The Enemy have been more active and mischievous; but have fail'd in their Grand attempt of sending large succours to Gorgia: by a severe storm which dispersed and wrecked many of their Fleet.
We have hopes that as the combined Fleets are again at sea, that they will facilitate a Negotiation for peace—a task arduous and important, beset with many dangers.
In one of those Letters Received by Capt. Sampson, Mr. Gellee mentions a report which was raised and circulated concerning you, after you left France.
The best reply that could possibly be made to so groundless an accusation, is the unsolicited testimony of your Country, in so speedily returning you there, in a more honorable and important Station, than that which you had before sustaind.
Pride, vanity, Envy, Ambition and malice, are the ungratefull foes that combat merrit and Integrity. Tho for a while they may triumph to the injury of the just and good, the steady, unwearied perseverence of Virtue and Honour will finally prevail over them. He who can retire from a publick Life to a private Station, with a self approveing conscience, unambitious of pomp or power has little to dread from the machinations of envy, the snares of treachery, the Malice of Dissimulation, or the Clandestine stabs of Calumny. In time they will work their own ruin.
You will be solicitous to know how our Constitution prospers. Convention are still setting. I am not at present able to give you an accurate account of their proceedings, but shall endeavour to procure a satisfactory one against a more direct conveyance.
I earnestly long to receive from your own hand an assurance of your safety and that of my dear Sons.
{ 283 }
I send all the journals, and papers I have received. All our Friends are well, and desire to be rememberd. Enclosed is a list of Taxes, since December. In April a much larger is to be collected to pay Penobscot score.4
Complements to Mr. Dana. His unkle is recoverd from a plurisy which threatned his life, but Mrs. Dana will no doubt write by this conveyance which renders it unnecessary for me to be perticuliar.5
Success attend all your endeavours for the publick weal and [that] the happiness and approbation of your Country be the Reward of your Labours is the ardent wish of your affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Feb. 26,” with “1780” added in CFA's hand. Enclosures not found. LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To the Honble. john Adams Minister Plenipotentary residing at Paris.” The two texts vary in many particulars that scarcely affect the substance. Both were carelessly written and punctuated. The text given here has been slightly repunctuated to indicate ends of sentences. In presenting his text in JA–AA, Familiar Letters, p. 377–379, CFA not only revised AA's punctuation, spelling, and grammar as usual, but eliminated colloquial expressions (e.g. “tolerably comfortable” becomes “very comfortable”) and struck out domestic and personal items toward the close of the letter.
1. This news had evidently been brought by Captain Trash (or Trask), who had arrived at Newburyport on 23 Feb.; see Thaxter to AA, 15 Dec. 1779, above.
2. Only one of Arthur Lee's letters can be identified with certainty, that of 24 Sept. 1779 (Adams Papers, with a “3plicate,” which was not likely to have been sent by the same vessel). The letter from N. M. Gellée was written from “Chaalons en Champagne,” 11 Oct. 1779 (Adams Papers). Gellée had earlier served in a secretarial capacity at the headquarters of the American Commissioners in Passy; see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index. Concerning his letter see, further, AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb., below.
3. Thus punctuated in MS. Text of LbC suggests that “for a month” should have been scratched out in RC.
4. That is, to pay for the costly and unsuccessful Massachusetts expedition against the British in Penobscot Bay in the preceding summer.
5. Dana's uncle was the distinguished colonial judge Edmund Trowbridge (1709–1793), now in retirement in Cambridge; Dana's wife was the former Elizabeth Ellery (Elizabeth Ellery Dana, The Dana Family in America, Cambridge, 1956, p. 473, 486; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 8:520).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1780-02-26

Abigail Adams to John Quincy and Charles Adams

[salute] My Dear Sons

I am happy to hear of your safe arrival tho not at the port, I wished to hear you were. You will however have a more extensive opportunity of seeing that part of the world, if you travel by land to France.
I wrote you largely by Mr. Austin which I hope you have received. A very soar hand prevents my writing many things which I have in my mind, and which will be committed to paper as soon as I am able to write without pain. I shall daily expect Letters from you. I have for• { 284 } warded Letters to Mr. Thaxter from his Friends here, and hope he is well.
You have by your absence mist the view of a most uncommon winter, but this I suppose you will not regret, as the climate to which you are gone is more Friendly to Health and Spirits, consequently to Genius.
I have requested your sister to write, but she has not forgot that her Brother is a critick and chuses to bestow her favours upon those who will deal more candidly1 with her. She however presents her Love to you, as does Master Thommy who is very desirious I should write you to send him some Almonds, and acquaint you with Lady Trips2 Health, and prospect of increase—and to his Brother Charles that his favorite Songster is alive, has been well nourished and carefully attended through the winter, and now repays all his care by the Melody of her voice.
Your Grandpappa sends his Love to you and says you must write him a Letter in French.
I indulge myself in the fond hope of seeing the return of my Dear Sons in some future day improved in person and mind. They will not I hope dissapoint the affectionate wishes of their
[signed] Mother
1. A slip of the pen for either “more kindly” or “less candidly”?
2. Doubtless the family dog.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0220

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-26

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

Last Evening we had an Account from Newbury that a Vessell was Arrived there from Bilbao, but haveing stopt att Coronia, brings the Agreeable news of your having Arrived att that port after a very short passuage.
I sent word to day to Mrs. Adams, and iff any letters should come to hand from Newbury, shall forward them. But as yet no letters are come, Occasiond by the badness of the roads. I sent word to Mrs. Adams of this Conveyance but as I am just told the Vessell will sail sooner than was expected that am Affraid she wont get her letters down in Season.—Capt. Sampson is Arrived att Plymouth after a passuage of 90. odd days. There were two letters for you which I sent Mrs. Adams.—We have nothing very new from the so[uth] Ward. You have heard of the great forse gone from York to Georgia. We have had a Vessell arrived here that came a thaught of One of the fleet, { 285 } which was in distress, haveing carried away three Masts and lost all there horses being 25, and they suppose that every horse in the fleet was lost which they say was Twelve hundred and upwards, which will be a great damage to them and itts probable many of the fleet have suffered greatly as they had two very severe stormes after they left York.—I suppose you may be wanting to here how Constitution work goes on, which is but very slowly. They have been seting two Months. One third of the time disputing whether itt would be best to proceed on Account of there being so few Members, there not being but about 50 for sometime, and the Most that has been to this day is not One hundred.1 They have Agreed to have a govenor, Lt. Govr., a Senate and a privey Councel, but the Country Gen[tleme]n dont choose that the Govr. should have much power, but finally agreed that he should have a revisal of all Acts, and is to give his reasons iff he dont Approve of them, and after being disapproved iff two thirds of both houses Agrees then itt shall pass and be enacted.
I hope itt will be finally finisht so as to take place, and will iff the Country party dont hinder itt, as many of them seem to be Affraid of every thing that has the Apperance of power or dignity Assentiall to a governor or goverment.—We have had One of the severest Winters for many years, not so much snow since the Year 1713. Our harbour has been shut up for a long time till within these few days. Your da[ugh]ter was with us the Other day, who came on the Ice all the way, and people have come from farr below. I forward this to the care of Mr. John Hodshon Mer[chan]t in Amsterdam. This Vessell is to return here Again, & are Sr. Yr. hume. Servt.,
[signed] Isaac Smith
PS I have to day received some letters by the Vessell from Coronia, but none as yet come to hand for Mrs. Adams iff any, but two from Allen to his brother.
Mrs. Adams has not sent any letter to go by this Conveyance, nor Mrs. Dana to whom I sent word of the Conveyance.
The Convention have Voted to Choose represantatives in the Old way and that all incorporated Towns that have heitherto sent Members should still have the liberty, but for the futer, no new Town to send One unless there be 150 Voters in the Town.
I forward you a peice of a News paper.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams”; endorsed: “M. Smith. Feb. 26. 1780. ansd. 16. May.” Enclosure not found, but see note 2.
{ 286 }
1. Only forty-seven out of some three hundred towns were represented when the third session of the Convention at length voted to proceed to business. It is noteworthy, however, that on that day, 27 Jan., the Convention voted “That the galleries be opened during the sitting of the Convention”—an action that helps explain Smith's detailed knowledge of the deliberations he reports here. See Mass. Constitutional Convention, 1779–1780, Journal, p. 55–57.
2. JA's reply, 16 May, below, indicates that the enclosure contained an account of Capt. Daniel Waters' recent successful cruise in the armed ship Thorn of Boston. Such an account appeared in the Boston Gazette, 21 Feb., p. 2, col. 1–2, which must therefore have been the newspaper extract sent by Smith to JA, who promptly circulated copies for reprinting in European papers. See also MHS, Colls., 77 (1927):299–300, which reprints part of the Gazette's news story.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The House of Joseph Guardoqui and Sons of Bilbao, have sent you some necessaries to the Amount of about 200 Dollars, by Captain Babson of N[ewbury] Port, belonging to Mr. Tracy, and I have ordered them to send duplicates and Triplicates, by other good Opportunities. I have also written to Mr. Moylan of L'orient to send all the Things of which you gave me Minutes, for yourself, Mr. W[ibird], M. S[hute], my Brother and Mrs. W[arren], by the Alliance.1 If these things should all arrive safe, they will be of Use.
I am afraid however to send more, which I wish to do, because I am not sure of Remittances, nor of Authority to draw upon a Gentleman here. I wish you would give a hint to Mr. L[ovell] of the Embarrassment I shall be in, if he does not send me the Necessary, either in Bills, Merchandizes, or Orders to draw upon he knows whom.
The English are more in a Disposition to go to War with one another, I think than to make Peace, with the rest of the World, at present. But notwithstanding a few late successes, they will have their Hands full another Campaign.
I am told I am to be presented to the King and Royal Family, soon.
I have delivered your Letter to Madam Grand, and she makes a thousand Compliments upon it.2 It is indeed a fine Letter, and I confess myself very proud of it, as I am of my two Boys, who behave very well. My two other Children, are however, I think oftener in my Mind, altho I think their Morals and studies too, under a safer directress. Yet the Academy where they are is very well governed.
Mr. Thaxter is of more Service to me than you can well imagine. He is steady, prudent, firm, faithful and indefatigable. He is a great { 287 } Expence to me, and must unavoidably be, but I am very happy in having taken him.
Mr. Dana has enjoyed very good Health since his Arrival here. His Headachs have left him entirely.
I hope my dear Nabby pursues her studies, what would I give that I could assist her?
The Marquis de la Fayette is going as well as Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard, and further the Court have divided the American Continent into three districts, for their Consuls, and have appointed Mr. Holker to the Middle one, Mr.[]to the southward and Monsieur De L'Etombe, for the northern Department, or the Eastern states, to reside at Boston where he will soon go.3 I shall write by him.

[salute] Yours Yours &c.

1. See JA to James Moylan, 22 Feb. (LbC, Adams Papers), quoted in a note on JA's letter to AA of 12 Feb., above.
2. This letter is lost, but see JA to AA, 23 Sept. 1778; Thaxter to AA, 16–27 Feb. 1780, both above.
3. The three consuls were John (or Jean) Holker, the younger, who was to be stationed at Philadelphia; Charles François, Chevalier d'Anmours, at Baltimore; and Philippe André Joseph de Létombe, at Boston. Copies of their commissions are in PCC No. 128; see also Howard C. Rice Jr., “French Consular Agents in the United States, 1778–1791,” Franco-American Review, 1:368–370 (Spring 1937). On Holker and his family, whom JA had known in France, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:54–56; and on Anmours, see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 3:162–166 and passim.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0222

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1780-02-28

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

How does my Dear Mrs. Warren through a long and tedious Winter? in which I have never been honourd with a single line from her hand. Possibly she may think me underserving of her favours; I will not presume to lay claim to them upon the score of merrit, but surely she should have charitably considered my lonely State, and Brightned the Gloomy hour with the Benign Rays of her Friendship dispenced through her elegant pen.1
A Succession of tormenting whitlows has prevented me from inquiring after the Health of my much valued Friend. Those difficulties being now removed I have the pleasure of making that inquiry? and of communicating to her the agreable intelligance I received last week, by a vessel arrived at Newburyport from Corruna in Spain, of the safe arrival of Mr. Adams at that Port, in Eighteen days2 after he left Bos• { 288 } ton. I have not as yet, received any Letters, nor any certain account why they made that port, it is rumourd that the vessel sprung a leak.
I suppose he will proceed by land to France tho a journey of 700 miles, from whence I hope soon to be favourd with the certainty of his arrival.
By Capt. Sampson there came two Letters, one from Mr. Lee [and] one from a Mr. Gellée, to Mr. Adams. By Mr. Lee's I find that affairs go on in the old course at Passy. “The Counsel there is composed of the same Honorable Members, says Mr. Lee, as when you left it, with the reinforcement of Samll. Wharton, Samll. Petrie and the Alexanders, a match is concluded between one of the daughters and Jonathan Williams this August and natural family compact will I hope promote the publick as well as private Interests.”3
There is a party in France of worthless ambitious intrigueing Americans, who are disposed to ruin the reputation of every Man whose Views do not coinside with their selfish Schemes. Of this you will be satisfied when I tell you that Mr. Gellee writes thus,
“After your departure reports were circulated here that you were gone to England and that during your Station here, you had entertaind an Illicit correspondence with the British Ministry. It was even published here that Mr. Samll. Adams had headed a conspiration and contrived to surrender Boston to the English. In vain did I endeavour to shew them the absurdity of the former opinion, by your embarking in the same ship with the Chevalier, but you know the people in this country are in general very Ignorant of American affairs which give designing Men an opportunity to shew their Malignity.”4
How happy my dear Madam would America have been, had it been her Lot, to have contended only with foreign Enemies, but the rancour of her internal foes have renderd the task of the patriot peculiarly difficult and Dangerous.
I sometimes contemplate the situation of my absent Friend, honourd as he is at present with the confidence of his Country, as the most critical and hazardous Embassy to his reputation, his honour, and I know not but I may add life, that could possibly have been entrusted to him. I view him beset with the machinations of envy, the Snares of Treachery, the malice of Dissimulation and the Clandestine Stabs of Calumny.
Can the Innocence of the dove or the wisdom of a more subtle animal screne him from all these foes? Can the strictest integrity and the most unwearied exertions for the benefit and happiness of Mankind secure to him more, than the approbation of his own Heart.
{ 289 }
All other applause without that would be of small Estimation, yet one would wish not to be considerd as a selfish, designing, Banefull foe, when they have worn out their lives in the service of their country.
Those who Envy him, his situation see not with my Eyes, nor feel with my Heart. Perhaps I feel and fear too much.5
I have heard this winter of a Letter from a Lady to her son containing Strictures upon Lord Chesterfields Letters. I have not been favourd with a sight of it, tho I have wished for it. A collection of his Lordships Letters came into my Hands this winter which I read, and tho they contain only a part of what he has written, I found enough to satisfy me, that his Lordship with all his Elegance and graces, was a Hypocritical, polished Libertine, a mere Lovelace, but with this difference, that Lovelace was the most generous Man of the two, since he had justice sufficient to acknowledge the merrit he was distroying, and died penitently warning others, whilst his Lordship not content himself with practiseing, but is in an advanced age, inculcateing the most immoral, pernicious and Libertine principals into the mind of a youth whose natural Guardian he was, and at the same time calling upon him to wear the outward Garb of virtue6 knowing that if that was cast aside, he would not be so well able to succeed in his persuits.
I could prove to his Lordship were he living that there was one woman in the world who could act consequentially more than 24 hours, since I shall dispise to the end of my days that part of his character. Yet I am not so blinded by his abuse upon our sex, as not to allow his Lordship the merrit of an Elegant pen, a knowledge of Mankind and a compiler of many Excellent maxims and rules for the conduct of youth, but they are so poisoned with a mixture of Libertinism that I believe they will do much more injury than benifit to Mankind. I wish my dear Madam you would favor me with a coppy7 of the Letter said to be in your power.8
How does that patient sufferer Mrs. Lothrope? She is one of those who is to be made perfect through sufferings, nor will the prediction be unaccomplished in her, my affectionate regard to her, and a tender commiseration for her sufferings.
I spent a most agreable Evening with you not long since in immagination. I hope to realize it in the approaching Spring.

[salute] My respectfull regards to Generall Warren, complements to my young Friends from their and your affectionate Friend,

[signed] Portia
My Daughter presents her duty and reflects with pleasure upon the winter she so agreably spent with you. She remembers Master George with affection, the other young Gentlemen with complacency.
{ 290 }
RC (MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed at head of text in two unidentified hands: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Feb. 28th 1780 No. 11.”Dft (Adams Papers); incomplete; docketed by CFA: “April 1780”; see notes 5–7.
1. It may be noted in passing that this sentence is worthy (if that is the word) of Mrs. Warren herself, and that in writing to this correspondent AA tended to take on Mrs. Warren's flowery mode of expression.
2. By any count this is five days short of the time the voyage actually took. The Sensible had sailed from the outer harbor of Boston on 15 Nov. and reached El Ferrol on 8 December.
3. Quoted from Arthur Lee's letter to JA of 24 Sept. 1779 (Adams Papers); see AA to JA, 26 Feb., above. For the members of Franklin's circle mentioned by Lee, see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index. Mariamne, daughter of William Alexander, married Franklin's grandnephew, Jonathan Williams, in Sept. 1779; see Franklin, Papers, ed. Labaree, 1:lviii; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:62, 134.
4. Quoted from N. M. Gellée's letter to JA of 11 Oct. 1779 (Adams Papers); see AA to JA, 26 Feb., above.
5. This paragraph is not in Dft.
6. Remainder of this sentence is not in Dft.
7. Dft ends at this point.
8. A copy of the paper here alluded to was later furnished to AA and survives in the Adams Papers as a five-page MS in an unidentified hand captioned “Remarks on Lord Chesterfield's Letters from a Lady to her Son,” dated at Plymouth, 24 Dec. 1779, and signed “M. W.” In it Mrs. Warren characterizes Chesterfield, as revealed in his letters to his natural son, as a monument of “finished Turpitude.” The volume in which AA read the now famous but then highly controversial letters, first published in 1774, has not been found. Early in 1776 AA had requested JA to buy her a copy in Philadelphia, but he declined to do so, on the ground that she would not wish to have in her library a work so “stained with libertine Morals and base Principles,” and she had meekly submitted to his judgment; see above, vol. 1:359, 376, 389. Eventually AA saw to it that Mrs. Warren's strictures on Chesterfield were published in a Boston newspaper; see AA to Nathaniel Willis, ante 4 Jan. 1781, vol. 4 below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0223

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have sent you, one yard of fine Cambrick, at 14 Livres an Ell, two of a coarser sort at 6 Livres an Ell. Eight India Handkerchiefs at 6 Livres each and three of another stamp at 6 Livres a Piece. These seem monstrous dear, but I could not get them cheaper.
If the Marquis1 should make you a Visit You will treat him with all Distinction that is due to his Merit and Character, as well as his Birth and Rank which are very high.
He has been the invariable and indefatigable Friend of America, in all Times, Places and Occasions, and his Assiduity have2 done Us much service. He is my particular Friend, and therefore deserves from mine, the greatest Respect, on my private Account as well as on the public.
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Portia”; addressed: “Mrs. John { 291 } Adams Braintree near Boston favd. by the Marquis de la Fayette To be sunk in Case of Capture.”
1. Lafayette; see the following letter.
2. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-02-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have already sent to the Marquis de la Fayette, a Number of Letters for you, and the Children, from their Brothers, who favoured me with their Company last night and are just gone off to the Accademy. Charles's Master is full of his Praises, and John I think is more solid and steady than ever.
In two of the Letters to you, you will find no Writing, only a small Present to you and Miss Nabby, not meaning to exclude Mr. Tommy. I will endeavour to send more little Things of this Nature in the same manner, by several Opportunities. I can send small Things in this Way by Gentlemen, who may go by french Frigates or other good Opportunities, and I wish you would inform me, what Things you want that may be sent in the same manner.
I hope the Marquis will do your Ladyship the Honour of a Visit, at Braintree, and am sure he will if he comes to Boston and is not too impatient to get to the Field of Honour, which from the Keenness of his Passion for Glory, may very possibly be the Case.
The Marquis has a son since his Arrival in Europe, whom he has named George, not from the King of G.B. but his Friend Washington.1
Dr. F. told me News Yesterday, which he has from England, but it seems too extraordinary to me, to be true. That the Irish Parliament have repealed Poynings Law:2 declared that no Legislature has Authority over Ireland, but the Irish Houses of Lords and Commons and the King of Ireland, and prohibited all Appeals from the House of Lords in Ireland to the House of Lords in England —and sent these Laws to England for Approbation of the King. Ireland to be sure is not yet quieted, by all Lord Norths Address, which contrasted with his Conduct to America is curious.3
We have no News from America since Christmas, and very little since We sailed from Boston.
According to present Appearances the Field of Action the next Campaign will be the West India Islands.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: John Adams Braintree near Boston Favd. by the Marquis de la Fayette. To be sunk in case of Capture.”
{ 292 }
1. George Washington Lafayette was born on 24 Dec. 1779 and after an early military career was active in politics most of the rest of his life. He accompanied his father on his tour of the United States, 1824–1825, and died in 1849. See Gottschalk, Lafayette, 3:57–58; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale. An Card to John Adams Announcing the Birth of George Washington Lafayette, Paris, 1779 facing 212announcement of G. W. Lafayette's birth, on the day it occurred, is in the Adams Papers and is reproduced as an illustration in this volume.
2.
“An act of parliament, made in Ireland (10 Hen. VII. c. 22, A.D. 1495); so called because Sir Edward Poynings was lieutenant there when it was made, whereby all general statutes before then made in England were declared of force in Ireland, which, before that time, they were not” (Black, Law Dictionary).
3. The “News” in this paragraph was almost entirely the product of wishful thinking in Paris. Sympathy on the part of Irish patriots for the American cause and rumored threats of invasion by France, as well, of course, as the Irish people's numerous and long-standing grievances against the British government, had driven Ireland into a state of serious unrest. A vigorous movement for Irish parliamentary independence was in progress, but it failed, and no insurrections of the kind hoped for by the French and Americans took place. See W. E. H. Lecky, A of England in the Eighteenth Century, 8 vols., N.Y., 1878–1890, 4:520–551.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0225

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-03-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I had scarcly closed my packet to you when I received your Letters dated Ferrol and Corunna. I am happy indeed in your safe arrival and escape from the danger which threatned you.

“Alas how more than lost were I,

Who in the thought already die.”

I feel glad that you have determined to proceed by land tho so tedious and expensive a journey. I grow more and more apprehensive of the dangers of the sea, tho I have really no Right to Quarrel with old Neptune, since he has 3 times safely transported my Friend. Tho he has grumbled and growld, he has not shewn the extent of his power.
I hope you will meet with so much pleasure and entertainment in your journey, as will be some [comp]ensation1 for the fatigues of it, and the recital amuse me whenever you can find opportunity to communicate it.
The sailors you relieved at Corunna passt through this Town, and told their story at Brackets, where a Number of persons collected 40 dollors for them. I wished they had called upon me, I should have been glad to have assisted them.
Enclosed are a few journals received yesterday. Am rejoiced to hear my Charles behaves so well, but he always had the faculty of gaining { 293 } Hearts, and is more mournd for in this Neighbourhood than I could have believed if I had not heard it. Adieu most affectionately your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Paris”; endorsed: “Portia Recd, and ansd. 17. May,” to which CFA added “1780.” Enclosed “journals [of Congress]” not found.
1. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0226

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-03-02

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I cannot close the packet, without acknowledging the recept of your Letter, and thanking you for it.
You have great reason for thankfullness to your kind preserver, who hath again carried you through many dangers, preserved your Life and given you an opportunity of making further improvements in virtue and knowledge. You must consider that every Moment of your time is precious, if trifled away never to be recalled. Do not spend too much of it in recreation, it will never afford you that permanant satisfaction which the acquisition of one Art or Science will give you, and whatever you undertake aim to make yourself perfect in it, for if it is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.
I have written to you several times since your absence, and as you are seperated from me I must endeavour to supply my absence by continuing to you all the advise I am capable of giving you. To know that you attend to it will be ample satisfaction to your ever affectionate
[signed] AA
1. MS reads: “March 2 11780,” which has hitherto been read (erroneously, the editors believe) as “March 21 1780.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0227

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1780-03-02

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Dear sir

I must attempt a few lines to you (tho very much troubled with whitlows upon my fingers) in reply to your favours from Ferrol and Corruna, which gave me much pleasure and entertainment.
I rejoiced at your safety after the hazard you run of a spacious Grave.
I think myself fortunate in having received all the Letters that my { 294 } Friends have written since their absence, by which means I follow them through all their various stages, and partake in their pleasures and sympathize in their Dangers.
I have ever thought that in the seperation of near and Dear Friends, and you know I have often experienced it, that the one who was left behind was the greatest sufferer, for the Mind must necessarily accompany the Body, and while that is in motion, it feels a kind of rotation too. Diversity of objects take of the attention, whilst the Lonely Being who is left behind, has no other amusement but to sit down and brood over the dangers and hazards to which the other may be exposed, the Hair Breadth Scapes, to which they are incident. Anticipated evils have often as much power over the mind as real ones. To guard against this imbecility of the mind an ancient Author observes “that sufficient unto the day was the Evil thereof.”
You have given me an agreable account of the country through which you passt, but not a word of the Dulcinas. There is surely a language common to all Countries by which a young Gentleman of your age and penetration might have discoverd some of the charms and accomplishments of the fair inhabitants.
I dare say the parisian Ladies will rouse you from that Apathy in which you have so securely slumberd all your days. I would not have you an Infidel to their power, yet whilst you bow before it; guard against being conquered by it, reserve that triumph for some fair American, who will

“charm by accepting, by submitting sway.”

I have had the pleasure of making your Friends very happy by forwarding your Letters to them from time to time, and I have enclosed under cover to Mr. Adams a Number for you.
I hope you will continue to entertain me as you have leisure and opportunity with a recital of all you meet with worth communicating to your affectionate Friend
[signed] AA
RC (MB); addressed: “To Mr. John Thaxter Parris”; endorsed twice by Thaxter: “Mrs. Adams 2. March 1780. R[eceived] 17. May.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0228

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-07

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

The Post but now arrived will be again on his Way in an Hour; I retire therefore from a Circle of public Debate, to acknowledge, at a { 295 } Side-Window, your Favor of February 13th. this Moment unsealed. I admire the Remarks. Be persuaded, lovely Moralist, to indulge me with a Sight of what occasioned them—“Passages of Letters of January 6th. and 18th.”1 I shall be much chagrined if you do not comply. Mutilated as to Names, inclosed without Comment under a bare Superscription to me there will be no Renewal of “Hazard.” You have said “they shall pass the Ordeal.” Let me perform your Vow. It will be done religiously; you may depend upon it. My Head and Heart have known no Moment in which Esteem for Mrs. Adams has not been joined with their Affection for Portia. And, if my Pen has been untrue to that Union, may a Whitlow punish the Fingers that moved it! I am not yet competent by Recollection to venture any Thing further, in Arrest of your Judgement, than a mere Hint, suggested by the last Line of your Quotation respecting Wit. While in Winter I speak to Virgin Portia, only about the keen Air of the Days and the Comfort of my domestic Fire-Side; may I not, to married Lucretia, take Notice of the lonesome tedious Nights, and lament a Seperation from my own faithful Mate? Am I to expect a double Answer? Yea for a Shepherd, Nay for a “Senator.”—I could not rest satisfied without some Explanation; yet every Word that is papered frustrates more and more my Wish and I hope yours for an Oblivion of the Whole so far as relates to any third Person. I am sure something is wrong. I am anxious to know the Degree. I deprecate the Continuance of the Impressions under which you wrote. I would not have a Monument remain either of my real Deficiency of Respect for you or of your Conception of such a Thing. Therefore this Scrawl must be devoted as the 3 others have been.2
The New Minister is much esteemed. Mr. Laurens has only a Clerk with him, as he means to change in Europe as he may find Occasion on Account of Languages. I am pledged to go if chosen, but I have not nor will I utter a Word that shall seem like soliciting. My Inclination is against going. I foresee much Vexation in the Undertaking. I am enraged at the Publication you speak of, tho' no one here has yet seen it. I have heard of it from Mrs. L[ovell] and from a Friend at Portsmouth.
A Vessel that sailed from hence 14 days after Mr. Gerard, got to France in 25 days; so that I am led to hope the Sensible fell in with the same Winds, sailing about the same time.
The Letters by the Mercury were some time prior in date to what we had before received.
As to the Pages of [17]78 which began the Year they were for• { 296 } warded by Mr. Gerard. I have continued —79 under Enclosures to Mr. S. Adams so as that you should also see them unless a Vessel was on the Point of Sailing. I am momentarily in Expectation of being able to give you News of the Arrival of your Husband. It is a favorable Circumstance that we have not yet heard of him Via New York.

[salute] With respectful Affection I am Madam your humble Servant,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed letter or letters to Samuel Adams and serial numbers of Journals of Congress not found or further identified.
1. “18th” should read “13th,” as correctly given in AA's letter to Lovell of 13 Feb., above. For Lovell's allusions here and below, see AA's letter.
2. Lovell here left more than half a page blank in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0229

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-10

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

I have to thank my Friend Mrs. Adams for a very agreable Letter Received a few days since. I shall make no other Apology for my long silence, but a Frank acknowledgment that I had layed asside my pen in Complesance to her, supposing her time and Attention taken up in more profitable correspondencies. But shall Fail at no time to shew myself Equally ready to Resume it. I Rejoice in the Happy opportunity to Congratulate you on Mr. Adams's arrival in Europe. [I] hope by this time you have Letters, which are the best and almost the only Consolation in the absence of such Friends.
I am obliged for the Communication of some Extracts from Mr. Adams's Friends in France. I think they shew both the spirit of the times and the Industry of our Enemies, but I think they Contain nothing to enhaunce your fears.
The probity of the best of Men may for a time be suspected. But when there is a uniform principle of Integrity, a Man May bid Defiance to the stings of Calumny, for the General sense of Truth still Remaining among mankind will in time do justice to his Character.
Curiosity burns not so high in my Bosom as it has done in Former Days. I feel more Indiferent to the transactions on a Theatre which will soon be taken down, or the actors Removed to more permanent scenes. Yet if there is anything Communicable in your Late letters, it may be an amusement of a solitary Moment, and prolong the Obligations of Friendship.
Having no conveyance for the above it lay till by Mr. Warrens re• { 297 } turn I learn you have again had letters from your Husband, Children and other Friends. You must be very happy in this Circumstance, and suffer me to take a part in your Happiness whether I have the Confidence of a perusal Reposed in me or not.
My son, who designs for France soon will Call on you in the Course of this week.1 He will Execute your Commands thither, or what is of far less Consequence anything you may have for Plimouth.
I delivered the Friendly Messages to my young Gentlemen from your amiable Daughter, And Return their affectionate Complements. I am sure they will Never be behind her in Every Expression of Regard nor is there any Defficiency towards her in the Bosom of her and your assured Friend,
[signed] M. Warren
1. This was Winslow Warren; see the exchange of letters between AA and him, 19 and 26 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0230

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1780-03-13

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Sir

Altho this is the first time I ever took up my pen to address you,1 I do it in perfect confidence that you will not expose me, having been long ago convinced that you are the sincere and constant Friend of one deservedly Dear to me, whose honour and character it is my Duty at all times to support.
I observed in a late Philadelphia paper of Janry. 27, that the Philosophical Society had chosen a Number of Members, among whom they were pleased to place The Honorable J[ohn] A[dam]s Esqr. late Member of Congress, no doubt with an intention of confering an Honour upon him. Before him is placed—His Excellency John Jay Esqr. Minister of the united States at the court of Madrid.2
May I ask you Sir, why this distinction? Tho I do not know that you are any ways connected with the Society,3 I presume no person will say that the commission with which Mr. A——s is invested, is of less importance than that of Mr. J—ys. I suppose they both bear the same title of Minister plenipotentary. Mr. A——s had acted under a commission from Congress near two years before Mr. J—ys appointment, which if I am not mistaken, both in the Army and Navy gives a pre'eminence of Rank.
It may be considerd as pride and vanity in me Sir, for ought I know, to take notice of such a circumstance, nor should I have done it, if I { 298 } had not before observed similar Instances with regard to Mr. A——s.
In a publick Society where they mean to Confer an Honorary Distinction, such things as these ought to be attended to, especially as they have a much greater influence abroad where Rank is considerd of more importance than in our Young Country.
I do not Imagine Sir that this distinction was aim'd so much at the person, as the State. You have not been so long conversant with the Southern Department as to be inattentive to4 the jealousy that there is of the Massachusets, and of every Man of any Eminence in it.
Is it not therefore particuliarly incumbent upon the Members of this State carefully to gaurd the Honor of it, and of those who represent it, which never can be done if such Little Stigmas are sufferd to be fixed upon them.
The journals of Congress will sufficently shew the various Departments in which Mr. A——s acted whilst a Member of it. Those who sat with him, are the best judges of the Integrity of his conduct, an ample testimony of which has been given him by the unsolicited honor conferd upon him, in the important Embassy with which he is at present charged. Yet there is envy and jealousy sufficient in the world to seek to lessen a character however benificial to the Country or useful to the State.
Nor are these passions Local. They are the Low, Mean and Sordid inhabitants of all countries and climates, an Instance of which I can give you, with regard to Mr. A——s. When he first arrived in France, he found great pains had been taken to convince all Ranks that the person sent them in a publick character was not the famous A[dam]s.5 Who then could it be? Why some one of no importance, of whom the World never heard before, tho he however was not under the necessity of borrowing a reputation, nor had he any reason to complain of the French court or nation, from whom he received every mark of respect and attention.
A prophet is not without honour save in his own country. By that, he was left in a situation which I need not discribe to you sir who felt it for him, but which I am now satisfied, arose more from the Embarrassment in which foreign affairs were involved, than from any designed slight or neglect of Mr. A——s. Yet the light in which it was viewd abroad gave designing malicious persons an opportunity to shew their malignity, and they improved it to that purpose, for imediately upon Mr. A——s quitting France a report was circulated, (as I have learnt from a Letter lately received from a correspondent of Mr. A——s directed to him) that during his station there, he had entertaind an { 299 } illicit correspondence with the British Ministery, and that he was gone to England. “In vain says the writer did I endeavour to shew them the absurdity of such an opinion, by your embarking in the same ship with the Chevalier, but the people in this country are very Ignorant of American affairs, and eagerly swallow any thing.”6
If Sir America means to be respected abroad, she must chuse out such characters to represent her as will disinterestedly persue her Interest and happiness, in whom she can place an approved confidence, and whenever she is in possession of such characters, she must support them with honour and delicacy, nor hearken to the Machinations of envy, jealousy, vanity or pride. For if those who have stood foremost in her cause, supported her through all her perils and dangers, borne a large share in some of the most hazardous of them, do not find themselves and their characters defended and protected by her, will it be any wonder if she should finally be forsaken by every Man of Merrits withdrawing from her Service.7
I can answer for my absent Friend that he never regarded the appendages of Rank and precedence any other ways than they affected the publick; more Espicially this State, and that he would think himself happier in a private Station, beneath this Humble cottage in the cultivation of his farm, and the Society of his family, than in his envyed Embassy at foreign courts, where tho he possesst the Innocence of the dove, and the wisdom of a more subtle animal, they would be found insufficient to serene him against the Clandestine Stabs of calumny.
I have presumed to write thus freely to you sir, upon a subject which will not bear noticeing to any but a confidential Friend. In that light my dear Mr. A——s has always considerd you, and from the intimate union which constitutes us one, permit me through him, to consider you in the same character and to Subscribe myself your Friend and Humble Servant,
[signed] Portia8
RC (PHarH); endorsed: “Braintree [ . . . ] Mrs. Adams March 13 recd & ansd. Apr 17 1780.” Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA's hand: “1781.” Of the numerous, mostly minor, variations between RC and Dft, only two are recorded in the notes below.
1. This would seem to preclude Gerry as the intended recipient of AA's draft letter to an unidentified member of the Massachusetts delegation to the Continental Congress, printed above under the assigned date of Jan. 1779. But if, as seems likely, AA did not send that letter, she might then have had Gerry in mind and still have opened a correspondence with him in these terms fourteen months later.
2. The Pennsylvania Packet for 27 Jan. 1780, p. 3, col. 1, carried a notice of twenty-two persons elected to the American Philosophical Society at a meeting on 21st. The list is headed by { 300 } “His Excellency George Washington, Esq; General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of North America.” Washington and eight others, including Jefferson, La Luzerne, and Marbois, do indeed seem to have been duly elected. But for no fewer than nine other persons in the list, no other record whatever of their election exists (the original minutes of the Jan. 1780 meeting are missing); and three more, namely Jay, Hamilton, and JA, were later elected (in 1787, 1791, and 1793, respectively) without reference to their publicly reported election in 1780. According to Whitfield J. Bell Jr., librarian of the Society, who has kindly furnished information for the present note, this puzzle of the elections of Jan. 1780 and the apparent double elections has never been resolved.
3. Gerry was not a member.
4. Dft: “insensible of.”
5. For the incident of “the fameux Adams,” see JA's diary entry of 11 Feb. 1779 and note there (Diary and Autobiography, 2:351–352). See also Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 17 June 1778, above.
6. Quoted from N. M. Gellée to JA, 11 Oct. 1779 (Adams Papers).
7. Dft adds at this point the following paragraph, perhaps unintentionally omitted from RC: “We have an Instance of the delicacy and politeness with which foreign courts treat their Servants in the recall of Mr. Gerrard.”
8. Gerry replied not once but twice; see his letters to AA of 17 April and 16 May, below.
AA and, in turn, her correspondent Gerry may seem to have taken a small matter overseriously, but the necessity in the 18th century of using official titles fully and correctly is substantiated in an engaging way (though in a very different connection) in a letter JA addressed on 25 May 1780 to John Bondfield, a merchant friend at Bordeaux who had undertaken many weeks before to supply the wines for JA's legation at Paris. The wines did not arrive and despite repeated inquiries could not be traced. The trouble was, as JA's French friends explained to him after examining his papers relating to the transaction, that the consignment had been addressed simply “to Mr. John Adams at Paris. They say that it should have been addressed to me, by my name and quality and the Hotel and street where I live. So that I dont expect to get a Glass of this Wine to the Lips of any of my Friends these six Weeks, [and] not then without writing many Letters and sending many Messages.” What is more, he continued, he is having the same kind of difficulty with respect to parcels of books and papers from Ostend and the Adams party's trunks which had come by sea from Spain to Brest. Considering the reputation JA later acquired for standing upon punctilio concerning titles of dignity, the conclusion of his letter is instructive:
“There is not a Being upon Earth who has a greater Contempt for all kind of Titles than I have in themselves, but when I find them in this Country not only absolutely necessary to make a mans Character and Office respected, but to the transaction of the most ordinary Affairs of Life, to get a glass of Wine to drink, a pamphlet to read or a shirt to put on, I am convinced of their Importance and necessity here. By the Etiquette of all the Courts in Europe a minister Plenipotentiary has the Title of Excellency, and the wise men of Europe cant believe it possible a Man should be one without it. I therefore request that for the future, you would address every Letter, Pamphlet, Bundle, Case and Cask for me, A Son Excellence, Monsieur Monsieur John Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis De L'Amerique, Hotel de Valois, Ruë de Richelieu a Paris” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have sent you Things from Bilbao, by Captain Babson, and a small { 301 } present by the M. de la Fayette, another by Mr. Lee, another by Mr. Wharton, and shall send another by Mr. Brown, another by Mr. Izard, and perhaps another by the Viscount de Noailles, and the Alliance will bring you and your Neighbours, what you and they wrote for.
I intend to tax every Gentleman who goes from here, towards the Support of my Family so far as to buy the favour of him to take a small present.
I have had the Honour to be presented in Form to the King, Queen and Royal Family of France,2 but see no great Prospect of being presented in a similar manner in London. I fancy, his Majesty of St. James's would not look so placidly upon me, as that of Versailles did, nor the Queen, nor the Princesses and Princesses.3 They would be apt to reflect that I had some hand in disseizing them of some Part of the Inheritance of the Princess Sophia of Hanover altho they are protestants, in Spight of the Act of Settlement.
The West Indies will be according to Appearances the Field of Battle, so you will be at Your Ease, I hope. I hope this will go by the Viscount Noailles, Brother of the Marquise de la Fayette, and an amiable Youth he is.4 I dont know whether to prefer the Marquis to him. He was with the C. D'Estaing in Georgia. I wish Success to all Enterprizes, that are directed at right Objects. I dont pretend to tell Tales nor guess at Secrets. The K[ing] and the General only ought to know.
Rodney and Digby have had a run of Luck, that vexes one a little, but the Tide may turn, and that would be ruin to them, which is only Vexation to their Ennemies.
The Gentlemen, the Children, and servants are well.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree near Boston To be Sunk in case of Capture <Favd. by the Marquis de Noailles.> Favd. by Mr. Brown.”
1. Dated from what is said in the first sentence of the following letter, in conjunction with the correction (from “the Marquis de Noailles” to “Mr. Brown”) on the address leaf of the present letter.
2. On 7 March; see JA to Samuel Huntington, president of Congress, 8 March (PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:539).
3. Thus in MS, probably for “Princes and Princesses.”
4. Louis Marie, Vicomte de Noailles (1756–1804), actually the Marquise de Lafayette's brother-in-law; see note on the Noailles family in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:84–85.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr. Brown, whom I left at Passy, when I returned to you, and whom I found here, upon my return to Paris,1 will deliver you this and another Letter which I intended to have sent by the Viscount de Noailles, and two small Bundles containing a Piece of Chintz each. The Price is horrid, Sixty Livres a Piece, but I cannot trade, I suppose others would get them at half Price.
If you will make me buy Dittoes2 you must expect to be cheated. I never bought any Thing in my Life, but at double Price.
The Children, with Sammy Cooper dined with me to day. Charles begins to speak French very well, and Cooper too.
Mr. Brown formerly lived with Governor Trumbull.
Captain Carpenter who sailed a few days after me in the Cartell for London dined with me to day. The English Ministry will not allow of an Exchange. He tells me the Gentry of Brompton Row3 firmly believe that America cannot hold out five Months longer.
My Duty to your Father, my Mother, Brothers, sisters, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

[salute] Yours Yours, forever and forever.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree near Boston favoured by Mr. Brown to be sunk in Case of Capture.”
1. Joseph Brown Jr., a young Charlestonian who came to Boston in the Alliance on the voyage in which Captain Landais was deposed. He made a great impression on AA; see her letters of introduction for him to Mrs. Warren, 1 Sept., and to James Lovell, 3 Sept., both below; also The Second Part of the Memorial to Justify Peter Landai's [sic] Conduct during the Late War, N.Y. [1785?], p. 23.
2. That is, other things of the same kind. Compare a passage in JA to AA, 12 Aug. 1776 (vol. 2:90, above): “Here they [the troops in Philadelphia] wait for Canteens, Camp Kettles, Blanketts, Tents, Shoes, Hose, Arms, Flints, and other Dittoes.” The passage just quoted is cited in OED as the earliest use of “Dittoes” as a noun in precisely this sense, and the later examples there cited are not, strictly speaking, parallel in meaning. This is apparently another instance of JA's verbal innovativeness.
3. That is, the colony of American loyalists in London.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0233

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-15

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

On Monday Morning I had the Honor to go with his Excellency and Mr. D[ana] to breakfast with the celebrated Abbè Reynald,1 in Com• { 303 } pany with a large Collection of Nobility and Gentry of both Sexes. In opening upon this Company, (which was unexpected to poor me) I felt all that irksome Discomposure and painful Confusion, which so respectable an Assembly of Strangers could produce in one accustomed to humble Life and simple Manners. In this unhappy Predicament I made as respectful a Bow, as Nature, untutored in the Art of Conges, and Confusion would permit. It was a Devoir of Respect unaccompanied with Ease—the latter never was or can be an Accomplishment of mine. I was however soon relieved from this disagreeable Situation, by the Vivacity and repeated Salutations of the venerable Abbey. The Reciprocal Salutations between the Abbey and Ladies formed an Intercourse among them too partial to be highly pleasing to one, who for the first Time had the Mortification to see a Monopoly of Salutations. Who would not have wished to have possessed the pre-eminent Priviledge of being an Abbey? Who would not have readily become a Subject of so tender and pleasant an Administration as that of being saluted by so beautiful Ladies.—But I have done on this Head.
Not long after Breakfast the Abbey introduced to his Excellency a Countess or Marchioness, who had expressed a great desire to see the Man, who had taken so able a part in bringing about a Revolution, which She approv'd. The Beauty, the Softness, the Delicacy and the Ease of this Lady were striking. Do you approve of the Revolution says the Abbey? Yes answerd the Lady.—You therefore, subjoined the Abbey, approve of his Excellency.—Oui Monsieur, replied the Lady.—I thanked her silently and cordially for this Testimony to the Merit of the Man I love, esteem and respect, as I did many other Ladies, to whom the same Questions were put, and to which the same Answers were given. The Abbey observed that the Name of his Excellency would be respected for ever.—Yes, replied he, if the Abbey Reynald should insert the Name in his celebrated Works. This Compliment the Abbey felt most sensibly.
After passing an agreeable Morning at the Abbey's we went to Mr. Grand's where we dined and where I had the Honor of being introduced to Madam Grand and Mademoiselle Labhar her Niece. Madam Grand is a worthy and respectable Character. Mademoiselle her Niece, is a pretty young Lady, has great Vivacity, a fine blooming Countenance, and a fortune of £800 sterling [a] Year. She is a fine Girl.
The Seal that I have chosen for my Letters may appear curious.2 It is not an emblem of my past Life, nor do I think it emblematical of the future. The Motto is “bonne Moisson.” I was not born with a Silver Spoon in my Mouth, nor have I ever reapt Harvests, nor do I wish { 304 } to reap any, but two—viz., the one a decent and comfortable Subsistence, the other the Happiness, Comforts and Enjoyments of a tender Partner, with whom I may share in the pleasures of the first.
Your dear Sons dined with Us to day. They are in good Health, and live happily at the Pension.
My Respects, Duty and Compliments where due if you please.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with the most perfect Esteem and Respect, your most obedient & very humble Servant.

1. Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé Raynal (1713–1796), author of one of the most popular works of the French Enlightenment, Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes, Amsterdam, 1770, which was frequently reissued and widely read in translation as well as in French (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). For surviving copies of this and other works by Raynal owned by JA, see Catalogue of JA's Library. JA's first impressions of Raynal, highly favorable, are recorded in diary entries of Feb. 1779; see Diary and Autobiography, 2:344.
2. No example of this seal has as yet been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0234

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I have never answered your Letter of the 8th. of June,1 that I remember, and there is nothing in it that requires a particular Answer but it affects me, with a Pleasure and a Tenderness and an Anxiety and a Pain, that I cannot describe to you, as all your Letters ever did and ever will, that describe your own sentiments and your own Distresses as well as those of our Country. They are the Delight of my Soul.
Captain Bartlet, who is escaped from an English Prison, will carry this.2 He will dine with me today, with Captain Nathaniel Cutting,3 and another American, but are in such Haste and going off this Afternoon, so that I have no time to be particular only to say, that my fine Boys are well and behave well, which will give Joy to your Heart as it does to mine.
Remember me to your father and my Mother, to your two dear Pledges, and to all Friends. Thaxter learns french fast. He is very clever.
Captain Chevagne, who ceases not to sing the high Praises of Boston and Braintree, writes me his desire that I would present his Respects to you, and to tell you that he hopes one day to carry me back, to you.
{ 305 }
No News, since the Dismal Tales of Rodneys League with old Harry, for one would think nothing less would have given him so much Luck, but his Friend will leave him in the Lurch.
Pray give me, in all your Letters, the Price currant.
1. 8 June 1779, above; see note 6 there.
2. Probably Nicholas Bartlett Jr., master of the brigantine Favorite, who had been captured in April 1778 (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors).
3. Of Brookline, Mass., a ship captain who was long in the employ of Nathaniel Tracy of Newburyport and who, after a wandering life both by land and sea, was for many years to hold a minor post in the War Department in Washington, where he died about 1822 (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 9:352; MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 12 [1871–1873]:60–67).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0235

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I have not particularly answered your amiable Letter of 10 Decr. Your tender Anxiety distresses me, much: I hope your Faith however, has returned before now with your Spirits. If Captain Trash arrived safe from Corunna you have heard from me, or if Babson from Bilboa.
Your delicate Charles is as hardy as a flynt. He sustains every thing better than any of Us, even than the hardy Sailor his Brother. He is a delightful little fellow. I love him too much. My fellow Travellers too are very well. Mr. D[ana']s head ack is perfectly cured—not a groan nor a wry look.
There are some ladys, one at least that can never be odious, by Sea nor Land, yet she would have been miserable in both if she had been with me. The Governor of Gallicia told me I risqued a great deal to bring my two [sons]1 with me, but I should have risqued my All if I had brought you.
We have a calm at present: no News from America, nor from any other Quarter since the long Roll of Rodneys successes, which have made the English very saucy for the Moment, but this will not last long.
Captain Carpenter of the Cartel ship has been here from London and dined with me yesterday. They took his ship from him, and refused the Exchange of Prisoners. Thus ill natured are they. The Refugees, according to him are in bad Plight, not having received their Pensions these 18 Months, which are detained on some Pretence of waiting for Funds from Quebec. Yet they console themselves with the Thought that America cannot hold out another six Months. Thus { 306 } Whally and Goffe expected Deliverance, Glory and Tryumph every day by the Commencement of the Millenium, but died without seeing it.2 Governor Hutchinsons son Billy died in London about 3 Weeks ago.3

[salute] Yours, ever and forever.

1. Editorially supplied for a word missing in MS.
2. Edward Whalley and William Goffe, the regicides; they fled to America at the Restoration and died obscurely (DNB, under both names).
3. William Sanford Hutchinson (b. 1752), Harvard 1770, died on 20 Feb. 1780 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Hutchinson, Diary and Letters, 2:341–342).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1780-03-16

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

I duly received your Favour of December the 12, and thank you for your Attention to the Widows, whose Letters came safe by the same Conveyance.1 The Way of Spain is a very good one to send light Letters containing any interesting Intelligence, but large Packetts mount the Postage so high as to make it too heavy. The Method of cutting out from Newspapers interesting Paragraphs, and inclosing them, would do well. The loose Leaves of the Journals of Congress, recent ones I mean, I should be glad to have in this and all other Ways.
When I was in Spain I formed an Acquaintance with Mr. Michael Lagoanere of Corunna, a Merchant of the best Character, most extensive Business, and first Fortune in that Place. If your Vessells should ever touch at Corunna or Ferrol, or Vigo even, they cannot be addressed to a better Man. I also became acquainted with the House of Joseph Guardoqui and Sons, who will take the best Care of any Letters or Papers that may be sent to me, and will send any Thing Mrs. Adams may want of small amount and draw upon me for the Money, at Paris.
My respects to Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Gray and your son and Miss Betcy,2 I say Mrs. Gray alone because I fear by your Letter Mr. Gray is no more.3
I dont know whether this Letter will go by Mr. Brown, a young Gentleman who has been here some time, from America, or by the Viscount de Noailles. The latter is one of the most illustrious young Noblemen in this Kingdom, full of military Ardour and the most amiable Dispositions, in short fit to be as he is the Brother of the Marquis de la Fayette. Mr. Izzard also and Mr. Lee are going to Bos• { 307 } ton, where I hope they will be treated with all the Respect that is due to their well known Characters. I am, sir, with great Respect, your most obt.
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Esqr. Paris March 16. 1780.” LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Smith's letter of 12 Dec. 1779 and the letters of “the Widows” it enclosed have not been found.
2. Elizabeth (1770–1849), youngest daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Storer) Smith; in 1813 she married Jonathan P. Hall of Boston. See Adams Genealogy.
3. Mrs. Gray was Mary (or Polly), another daughter of the Smiths. In 1777 she married Edward Gray, a Boston merchant, who died at the age of 29 in Dec. 1779; there is a brief obituary of him in the Continental Journal, 23 Dec. 1779, p. 3, col. 2. In 1782 his widow married Samuel Allyne Otis. See vol. 2:356, above, and Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0237

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-03-16

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

My Work for a day.
Make Latin,  
Explain   Cicero  
  Erasmus2  
  Appendix3  
Peirce   Phaedrus.4  
Learn   greek Racines5  
  greek Grammar  
Geography  
geometry  
fractions  
Writing  
Drawing6  
As a young boy can not apply himself to all those Things and keep a remembrance of them all I should desire that you would let me know what of those I must begin upon at first. I am your Dutiful Son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams Hotel de Valois Richlieu A Paris,” with sender's address written in JQA's hand across one corner of the cover: “Ecole de Mathematiques.” Postmarked: “16 4e. Lvee. K/EI BANL E/P.D 3S,” the very last element being handwritten, the others stamped; see facsimile of cover reproduced as an illustration in this volume, and the Descriptive List of Illustrations, p. John Quincy Adams Lists His Studies and Seeks His Father's Advice following 212xvii–xviii, above, which attempts an elucidation of these markings of the Petite Poste de { 308 } Paris prior to its attachment to the Grande Poste in July 1780; compare also the postal markings on JQA's letter of 21 March, below. Endorsed: “My Son.” The name “Bethune” appears in John Thaxter's hand on the cover sheet, but this must have been written later for a purpose not now apparent.
1. Date supplied from the postmark (“16”) in combination with JA's reply of 17 March, following.
2. Probably a Latin edition of Erasmus' Colloquia, of which there were many prepared for French students' use from the early 16th century on. Among the many works by Erasmus at MQA, most of them no doubt acquired by JQA, are two editions of the Colloquia, an Elzevir published at Amsterdam, 1679, and a Colloquia selecta familiaris, Paris, 1767, which may have been the copy used by JQA at Passy.
3. JA, who was evidently keeping close track of his sons' studies, gives a fuller title for this work in his reply of the next day. According to JA this was an “Appendix de Diis et Heroibus ethnicis,” or Supplement on the Pagan Gods and Heroes, that is, an account of classical mythology, presumably for young readers. This was a common type of work, but the particular one being studied by JQA, whether a separate publication or part of a Latin reader, has not been identified.
4. That is, “Parse Phaedrus.” The OED records the spellings peirse, parce, and pearce in the 16th and 17th centuries, and there was evidently great variation in pronunciation. The Fables in verse of Phaedrus were a favorite book for beginners in Latin at the end of the 18th century. At MQA is a Latin edition, Paris, 1742; among JQA's books at the Boston Athenaeum are two others, London, 1750, and Paris, 1783, both with JQA's bookplate, but the latter ineligible by date for JQA's use at Passy.
5. “Racines” is the French word for “roots.” Hence: Learn Greek roots.
6. In the MS there follows a crude ornamental design spread across the whole page; see the facsimile John Quincy Adams Lists His Studies and Seeks His Father's Advice following 212illustration in this volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-03-17

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have received your Letter,1 giving an Account of your Studies for a day. You should have dated your Letter.
Making Latin, construing Cicero, Erasmus, the Appendix de Diis et Heroibus ethnicis, and Phaedrus, are all Exercises proper for the Acquisition of the Latin Tongue; you are constantly employed in learning the Meaning of Latin Words, and the Grammar, the Rhetorick and Criticism of the Roman Authors: These Studies have therefore such a Relation to each other, that I think you would do well to pursue them all, under the Direction of your Master.
The Greek Grammar and the Racines I would not have you omit, upon any Consideration, and I hope your Master will soon put you into the Greek Testament, because the most perfect Models of fine Writing in history, Oratory and Poetry are to be found in the Greek Language.
Writing and Drawing are but Amusements and may serve as Relaxations from your studies.
{ 309 }
As to Geography, Geometry and Fractions I hope your Master will not insist upon your spending much Time upon them at present; because altho they are Useful sciences, and altho all Branches of the Mathematicks, will I hope, sometime or other engage your Attention, as the most profitable and the most satisfactory of all human Knowledge; Yet my Wish at present is that your principal Attention should be directed to the Latin and Greek Tongues, leaving the other studies to be hereafter attained, in your own Country.
I hope soon to hear that you are in Virgil and Tully's orations, or Ovid or Horace or all of them.2

[salute] I am, my dear Child, your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams
P.S. The next Time you write to me, I hope you will take more care to write well. Cant you keep a steadier Hand?3
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JQA's mature hand: “J. Adams. 17. March 1780”; also docketed in an unidentified hand. Tr in CFA's hand (Adams Papers); at head of text: “No. 267,” indicating that the letter was copied for inclusion in JA–AA, Familiar Letters, but in the end it was excluded.
1. Undated, but sent on 16 March, preceding; see the notes there on JA's allusions in this reply.
2. See, further, JA to Pechigny, 16 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0239

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1780-03-17

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My Dear Cousin

As there is a very good opportunity of writing to you by a Gentleman from South carolina who is about embarking for America I must write one short Letter to all my Freinds.
I am in one of the schools which I was in when I was here before and am very content with my situation. I will give you an account of our hours. At 7 o clock A.M. we get up and go in to school and at 8 o clock we breakfast which consists of bread and milk. At 9 go into school again, stay till one when we dine, after dinne[r] play till half after two, go into school and stay till half after 4 and then we have a peice of dry bread. At 5 we go into School and stay till 7 when we sup, after supper we amuse ourselves a little and go to bed at 9 o clock.

[salute] I am your affectionate freind and Cousin,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JQA in later life (presumably when the letter was returned by Cranch to JQA): “Adams J.Q. 17. March 1780. to William Cranch.” Text has been slightly repunctuated for clarity.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0240

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-03-20

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Your Letter last evening received from Bilboa relieved me from much anxiety, for having a day or two before received Letters from your Pappa, Mr. Thaxter and Brother in which packet I found none from you, nor any mention made of you, my mind ever fruitfull in conjectures was instantly allarmed. I feard you was sick, unable to write, and your Pappa unwilling to give me uneasiness had concealed it from me and this apprehension was confirmed by every persons omitting to say how long they should continue in Bilboa.
Your Pappas Letters came in Capt. Lovett to Salem, yours by Capt. Babson to Newburry Port, and soon gave ease to my anxiety, at the same time that it excited gratitude and thankfullness to Heaven for the preservation you all experienced in the imminent Dangers which threatned you. You Express in both your Letters a degree of thankfulness. I hope it amounts to more than words, and that you will never be insensible to the particular preservation you have experienced in both your Voyages.
You have seen how inadequate the aid of Man would have been, if the winds and the seas had not been under the particular goverment of that Being who streached out the Heavens as a span, who holdeth the ocean in the hollow of his hand, and rideth upon the wings of the wind.
If you have a due sense of your preservation, your next consideration will be, for what purpose you are continued in Life?—It is not to rove from clime to clime, to gratify an Idle curiosity, but every new Mercy you receive is a New Debt upon you, a new obligation to a diligent discharge of the various relations in which you stand connected; in the first place to your Great Preserver, in the next to Society in General, in particular to your Country, to your parents and to yourself.
The only sure and permanant foundation of virtue is Religion. Let this important truth be engraven upon your Heart, and that the foundation of Religion is the Belief of the one only God, and a just sense of his attributes as a Being infinately wise, just, and good, to whom you owe the highest reverence, Gratitude and Adoration, who superintends and Governs all Nature, even to Cloathing the lilies of the Field and hearing the young Ravens when they cry, but more particularly regards Man whom he created after his own Image and { 311 } Breathed into him an immortal Spirit capable of a happiness beyond the Grave, to the attainment1 of which he is bound to the performance of certain duties which all tend to the happiness and welfare of Society and are comprised in one short sentance expressive of universal Benevolence, “Thou shalt Love thy Neighbour as thyself” and is elegantly defined by Mr. Pope in his Essay on Man

“Remember, Man, the universal cause

Acts not by partial, but by general laws

And makes what happiness we justly call

Subsist not in the good of one but all

Theres not a Blessing individuals find

But some way leans and hearkens to the kind.”2

Thus has the Supreme Being made the good will of Man towards his fellow creatures an Evidence of his regard to him, and to this purpose has constituted him a Dependant Being, and made his happiness to consist in Society. Man early discoverd this propensity of his Nature and found

“Eden was tasteless till an Eve was there.”

Justice, humanity and Benevolence are the duties you owe to society in general. To your Country the same duties are incumbent upon you with the additional obligation of sacrificeing ease, pleasure, wealth and life itself for its defence and security.
To your parents you owe Love, reverence and obedience to all just and Equitable commands. To yourself—here indeed is a wide Field to expatiate upon. To become what you ought to be and, what a fond Mother wishes to see you, attend to some precepts and instructions from the pen of one who can have no motive but your welfare and happiness, and who wishes in this way to supply to you, the personal watchfulness, and care which a seperation from you, deprives you of at a period of Life when habits are easiest acquired, and fixed, and tho the advise may not be new, yet suffer it to obtain a place in your memory, for occasions may offer and perhaps some concuring circumstances give it weight and force.
Suffer me to recommend to you one of the most usefull Lessons of Life, the knowledge and study of yourself. There you run the greatest hazard of being deceived. Self Love and partiality cast a mist before the Eyes, and there is no knowledge so hard to be acquired, nor of more benifit when once throughly understood. Ungoverned passions have aptly been compaired to the Boisterous ocean which is known to pro• { 312 } duce the most terible Effects. “Passions are the Elements of life” but Elements which are subject to the controul of Reason. Who ever will candidly examine themselves will find some degree of passion, peevishness or obstinancy in their Natural tempers. You will seldom find these dissagreable ingredients all united in one,3 but the uncontroulable indulgence of either is sufficient to render the possessor unhappy in himself and dissagreable to all who are so unhappy as to be wittnesses of it, or suffer from its Effects.
You my dear son are formed with a constitution feelingly alive, your passions are strong and impetuous and tho I have sometimes seen them hurry you into excesses, yet with pleasure I have observed a frankness and Generosity accompany your Efforts to govern and subdue them. Few persons are so subject to passion but that they can command themselves when they have a motive sufficiently strong, and those who are most apt to transgress will restrain themselves through respect and Reverence to Superiours, and even where they wish to recommend themselves to their equals. The due Government of the passions has been considered in all ages as a most valuable acquisition, hence an inspired writer observes, He that is slow to anger is better than the Mighty, and he that ruleth his Spirit than he that taketh a city. This passion unrestrained by reason cooperating with power has produced the Subversion of cities, the desolation of countries, the Massacre of Nations, and filled the world with injustice and oppression.—Behold your own Country, your Native Land suffering from the Effects of Lawless power and Malignant passions, and learn betimes from your own observation and experience to govern and controul yourself. Having once obtained this self goverment you will find a foundation laid for happiness to yourself and usefullness to Mankind. “Virtue alone is happiness below,” and consists in cultivating and improveing every good inclination and in checking and subduing every propensity to Evil. I have been particular upon the passion of Anger, as it is generally the most predominant passion at your age, the soonest excited, and the least pains taken to subdue it.

“What composes Man, can Man destroy.”

I do not mean however to have you insensible to real injuries. He who will not turn when he is trodden upon is deficient in point of spirit, yet if you can preserve good Breeding and decency of Manners you will have an advantage over the agressor and will maintain a dignity of character which will always insure you respect even from the offender.
{ 313 }
I will not over burden your mind at this time. I mean to persue the Subject of Self-knowledge in some future Letter, and give you my Sentiments upon your future conduct in life when I feel disposed to reassume my pen. In the mean time be assured no one is more sincerely Interested in your happiness than your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] A A
This Letter has lain ever since March waiting for a passage. Since it was written I have had the pleasure of receiving Letters from your Pappa by the Marquiss Fayette, your Sister and Brother Letters from you. Your Sister replies to you,4 your Brother wishes to. If I have time I shall write for him. It gives me great pleasure to hear that you and your Brother are setled in a regular way. Roving is not benificial to study at your age, Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence. I hope you have received Letters from me long e'er now, I have written to you often. My dear Charles I hope is a good Boy. Remember my Dear your example will have great weight with him. Your Pappa commends your Steadiness. If you could once feel how gratefull to the Heart of a parent the good conduct of a child is, you would never be the occasion of exciteing any other Sensations in the Bosom of your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] A A
Do not expose my Letters. I would coppy but hate it. Enclosed are two patterns which I wish you to deliver to your Pappa.
RC and LbC (Adams Papers). LbC essentially a draft lacks the continuation of 8 May, but of the other minor differences between the two extant texts only one is recorded in the notes below. Enclosed “two patterns” (presumably samples of cloth) not found.
1. Emended by CFA in his editions of AA's Letters to read “for the attainment,” but note the closely parallel construction (“to this purpose,” also emended by CFA [“for this purpose”]) in the paragraph following the quotation from Pope, below.
2. Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, lines 35–40.
3. LbC: “in the same person.”
4. No letter from JQA to AA2 at this time has been found, nor any reply from her.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0241

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-03-21

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

I yesterday asked Mr. Pechigny if he thought it would do brother Charles any good to begin upon Latin at present, he answered me, { 314 } that on the contrary, that he thought that it would spoil his taste for it; That he must conjugate verbs about a month, and then he might begin upon Latin, he desired me to ask you if you thought his proposition good and if you should he would Set Brother Charles upon conjugating verbs immediately, and if you Should not he would keep him upon Latin.1 Please to give my respects to M[ess]rs. Dana and Thaxter. I am your dutiful and affectionate Son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Monsieur Monsieur Adams Hotel de Valois rue de Richlieu a Paris,” with sender's address in JQA's hand: “Pension de Mathematiques.” Postmarked: “21 8e. Lvee. K/EI E/P.D,” all stamped impressions; endorsed: “My Son March 21. 1780.” See facsimile reproduced as an illustration in this volume, and for an explanation of the postal markings see Descriptive List of Illustrations, p. John Quincy Adams Consults His Father About His Brother Charles' Studies following 212xvii–xviii, above.
1. This is sufficiently confusing even for a twelve-year-old adviser to his father on the studies of a younger brother. As JA's reply of the next day (below) makes clear, JQA by “conjugating verbs” meant conjugating French verbs; and in the last clause he must have meant, not “keep,” but startCA “upon Latin.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0242

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-21

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I most sincerely rejoice with you on the safe Arrival of Mr. Adams in Spain after so short a Passage tho' attended with some Hardships.
In addition to the News in the Prints I venture, upon some confidential assurances from the worthy Genl. Lincoln, to excite your Hopes as to our affairs in that Quarter.1
It is recommended to redeem the continental Currency at 40 for 1 and to model the Tender Laws equitably. It is a Thing of uncertain Event and the Balance of Blessings and Cursings consequent cannot shortly be fixed. It is one of those Decisions about which much very much may and will be said on both Sides. I believe that most of those who said nay here on the Determination were glad it was carried against them. I cannot see how the Continent can suppose that Congress has any separate Interest to guide their Determination on this important Point.2

[salute] Yrs. affly.,

[signed] J Lovell
1. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln's defense of Charleston, S.C., had no such happy outcome for the American cause. See Massachusetts Historical Society, Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Benjamin Lincoln Papers, Boston, 1967, p. 11–13 and passim; see also note 1 on JA to Isaac Smith Sr., 26 May, below.
2. See Congress' resolutions of 18 March (JCC, 16:262–267). For their { 315 } background and sequels see E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961, chs. 3–4. See further below, Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April; John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug., especially note 5.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-03-22

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have just now received your Letter, of Yesterday, and am very well pleased with it, because it is written with care,1 in an handsome Hand, and is prettily expressed, which shews that nothing is wanting but Pains and care, to make you an excellent Writer, for your Age.
I am of Mr. Pechini's Opinion that it is better to keep your Brother Charles to conjugating Verbs for some time, I agree therefore to his Proposition, and will give him some Assistance in this Exercise, by making Charles a Present of another Grammar, which I found Yesterday. The Title of it is, Les Verbes Francois, ou nouvelle Grammaire en form de Dictionaire Par. M. Demarville.2
The Critical Reviewers, March 1 1767 said of this Book. “Every one acquainted with the french Language, knows, that the Intricacies of the irregular Verbs render it the most difficult for Foreigners to speak or write with Propriety; and this Pocket Dictionary will certainly be serviceable to those who are desirous of attaining the Niceties of the French Tongue.”
The monthly Reviewers say. “It is sufficiently known to every one who has studied the French Language, that the most difficult Part of the Task, consists, in the Conjugation of the Verbs. In almost every Language indeed, the Conjugation of the Verbs, constitutes one of the most essential, and at the same Time one of the most difficult Parts of Grammar. Even in English, the few Verbs that can properly be said to be conjugated, are so amazingly irregular, that they give foreigners a great deal of Trouble. But the French Verbs are very different from the English, and like those of the Latin are conjugated through the different Moods and Tenses. The Work before Us is calculated to remove this Difficulty, and will in a great measure answer the Intention and save the Learner much Time and Trouble.”
Mr. Demarville's Grammar is confined, wholly to one Part of Speech, the Verb. There are a great Number of Verbs conjugated through all the Moods and Tenses, some of them both of the Active and Passive Voices, and some are even conjugated affirmatively, negatively, and interrogatively.
I should Advise Mr. Charles to take his Pen and Ink, and tran• { 316 } scribe some of these Verbs as conjugated by Demarville, and place the English down against every Word.
As the Letter you inclosed3 in yours to me, was not Superscribed to any one: I thought it was intended for me, and accordingly opened it, when, to my Surprize I found it written very differently from that to me—very hastily: very carelessly: the Letters badly made, the Lines as crooked as possible. I desire you would write it over again, and take more care. I will not over look one such heedless Piece of Work. I have suffered too many Inconveniences my self, from writing a bad Hand, all my Life, to neglect your Education in this Particular, as mine was.
Let me give you one Piece of Advice more, which is not to spend much of your Time in learning to flourish, with your Pen. Ornaments of this Kind, if not done with very great skill, are worse than none, and an Accuracy, and real Elegance in them would cost you more time to acquire than they are worth.—I am with the tenderest Affection, your Father,
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JQA's hand of about 1800: “J. Adams. Paris 22. March 1780”; contains other docketings in unidentified hands.
1. JQA had taken the pains, after his father's rebuke in his letter of 17 March (above), to line his letter paper and thus to regularize his handwriting in his letter of 21 March (also above, and see a John Quincy Adams Consults His Father About His Brother Charles' Studies following 212facsimile of this letter reproduced in this volume), to which the present letter is a reply.
2. JA had purchased this lexicon of French verbs for English students from the bookseller Pissot the preceding day; see his Personal Expenditures as printed in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:437, 441. The volume, which is a copy of the 2d edition, “augmentée,” London, 1773, survives among JA's books in the Boston Public Library, and its Book Purchases by John Adams for Himself and His Sons in Paris and Amsterdam facing 213titlepage is reproduced as an illustration in the present volume. The extracts from English reviews, quoted by JA below, were printed as advertisements in the 1773 edition.
3. Probably JQA's letter to William Cranch, 17 March, above, which fits JA's description.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

This goes by Colonel Fleury, whom you know, who desires to carry a Letter to you.1 My three Boys dined with me Yesterday, being a Playday for them, in fine Health and Spirits.
I long to hear, whether Captain Trash arrived from Corunna, who had Letters from me to you, or Captain Babson who had Letters and more. I dont know whether you have yet heard of our Arrival.
There are a great Number of Letters for You, in the Hands of the Marquis de la Fayette, the Viscount de Noailles, Mr. Lee, Mr. Brown, { 317 } Mr. Izard, and others. I hope you will receive them and some small Packetts with some of them.
My dearest Love to my N[abby] and T[ommy]—Affections, Duties, and Respects, &c.
If you send me any Minutes in future of any Thing to send you, pray be more particular in describing the Things. I find a great difficulty in getting french Words to express them often, because not knowing the Nature and the Prices of the Things myself, I am puzzled.

[salute] Yours.

1. François Louis Teissèdre de Fleury, a volunteer French officer who had served with distinction in the Continental Army, 1776–1779, and who then, following a leave in France, returned to serve with Rochambeau's army, 1780–1781 (Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:425–433; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:104). Congress voted Fleury a medal for his gallantry in the storming of Stony Point, July 1779; see reproduction in Lasseray, vol. 2, facing p. 430. From a list of passengers recorded in JQA's Diary under date of 24 Nov. 1779, it appears that Fleury returned to France on the Sensible with the Adams party; thus he could have met AA in Boston or Braintree before they sailed. See, further, Fleury to AA, 6 Oct.; AA to JA, 15 Oct. and 13–24 Nov., in vol. 4, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-03-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

Mr. Izard goes off, the day after tomorrow, and will carry this, and all the News there is. We have none from America, a long time. I have only yours of 10 decr. since I left you. I hope you have received Letters from me, from Corunna and Bilbao. There are gone many for you, since my Arrival here, but I suppose are still detained at the Sea Ports. They will soon sail.
My 3 Boys dined with me to day, all well. Send their Duty, and their brotherly Love.
There are no present Appearances of Peace, altho the English House of Commons have voted down the Board of Trade, which signifies that they are convinced the Plantations are lost.—I think you will have a quiet Summer: The English are too much exhausted to send Troops to N. York.
The News, i.e. the common Talk is that there is an Armament preparing at Cadiz and another at Brest, to act in Concert—but where is a great Secret. You will know sooner, than We. There will be more Communication this summer, than ever. Dont loose opportunities to write.
{ 318 }
My Duty to your Father and my Mother, Love &c. to Brothers and sisters and Children. A Trunk of Things will go in the Alliance, but she will go to Philadelphia, I fear. If she does the Trunk will be left with Mass. Delegates, and must be sent by Land in a Waggon.

[salute] Adieu.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0246

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1780-03-28

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sister

It is so long since the enclosed was written that I am almost ashamed to send it. However I wish it may be accepted as a convincing Argugument that I have not been wholly unmindful of my Friends, and that the variety of Cares which have unavoidiably crouded upon me this winter, has not in the least abated my Concern and love for them. I have really so little Time for literary Employments, that writing has become a burden to me, though I conffess it arises from a consciousness, that what I write will not be worth spending time to peruse, and my Friends must not think it is owing to any want of Respect or Affection, particularly my much vallued Friend Betsy Leppington.1 When you see her tell her we love her as much as ever, that she is often the subject of our most grateful Conversation, and that it would give us the greatest pleasure to see her here.
Our little Son makes rapid proggress in his Parents affections, and I have the vanity to think you would love him too, were you with him, espicially if you could invest him, with a new pair of Eyes, more assimilated to the Coulour and Brightness of my Sisters. However I cannot perceive but that they may answer all the purposes of the finest Eyes in the World, unless it be in the matter of fascinating Ladies Hearts; it is true he may not have so many Trophies of that kind to boast of, nor so frequent Opportunities of shewing (as Gay expresses it) the Sugar on his Lips but this I conceive will no ways retard his progress in Literature.
Mr. Duncan, and Mr. Sparhawk have arrived at the threshold, and will very soon bow at the Shrine of Hymen—from hence we may conclude no Widower will ever die with Grief.2 All Haverhill seem disposed to join in the bands of wedlock—an excellent example this, in these days of peace and plenty.
We are greatly obliged to Brother Cranch for giving us so early intelligence of Brother Adam's safe arrival in Spain. Prosperity strew his Paths, and waft him safe to his destined Shores.
{ 319 }
We had no Opportunity of purchasing you any Flour, till after you had informed us you was provided for—and the money we were in hopes of procuring you some Wheat with, and after repeated importunities to Judge Seargant,3 we are happy to find you are furnished with some.4 The Judge expected a large quantity and was dissappointed several times, and at last did not get half so much as he expected.
It would have given us great pleasure to have fullfilled Dr. Tufts's request, but there has been so much counterfeit Siberian Wheat, that it would not do to purchase any but of some particular Acquaintance.—My best regards attend his Family, and my Uncle Quincy's.
If you have any pieces of that straw couloured russel5 that will do for a couple of heel Quarters6 I should be glad you would let me have it, and I send four Dollars for that purpose.—The two Miss Marshes, and I intended to have had, each of us a pair of Shoes, but the Man cut them so that we could not possibly get enough.
I hope my Friends will come and see me this spring. Mr. Shaw, and his Man Pratt propose taking a Journey as soon as the riding will permit but it is not probable I shall accompany them. I will forbear saying any more, least my sisters should exclaim as the Man who had a number of Twins, and cry send One at a time—and I will be content. Adeiu, my much loved Friends,
[signed] E. Shaw
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); endorsed or docketed in Richard Cranch's hand: “Letter from Mrs E. Shaw Mar 28th. 1780.”
1. The Lappington sisters, Betsey and Rebecca, were orphans who seem to have been brought up largely in the Palmer and Cranch homes in the Germantown section of Braintree in the years before the war. See Tyler, Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 62–63, 85, 109.
2. James Duncan (1724–1817), of Haverhill, married as his second wife Elizabeth Leonard of Plymouth in April 1780 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 6:326; Vital Records of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 1:97; 2:95, 387). Nathaniel Sparhawk Jr. (1744–1815), Harvard 1765, of Kittery, Maine, married as his second wife Elizabeth Bartlett, of Haverhill, in April 1780 (Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 25 [1888]: 132–133, 281; 38 [1902]:316).
3. Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant (1731–1791), Harvard 1750, of Haverhill, a justice of the Superior Court of Judicature since Sept. 1776; later chief justice (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:574–580; JA, Legal Papers, 1:cix and passim).
4. Sentence thus in MS.
5. “A kind of woollen fabric formerly used for articles of attire.” (OED)
6. More or less explained in the following sentence, but see OED under heel, noun, 26: “heel-quarters, the part of the shoe round the heel, the counter.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0247

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-04-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

There is a great deal of hatred against the Govt. in England as you { 320 } will see by the song inclosed. They are going on, with County meetings, Petitions, Committees, Correspondences, Associations &c. in our mode.1 What it will come to, I dont know.
They talk in London about withdrawing the Troops, &c., but I suspect, We had better take em, least they should alter their minds.
At last a Vessell has arrived at Bourdeaux from Baltimore, brings two or three newspapers, as late as 17 feb. but no Letters.—You have had a hard Winter, but I hope you had a good fire. I had a harder, without any fire, in Spain.
I am so taken up, with writing to Phil[adelphia] that I dont write to you so often as I wish. I hope you wont complain of me this time for not writing often enough, and long enough whatever may be the worth of it.
I hope you will advertise me, if there are any Machinations going forward. All well.

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed anti-ministerial “song” not found.
1. On the “Association” movement that had begun during the past winter under the leadership of the Yorkshire clergyman-reformer Christopher Wyvill, see Ian R. Christie, Wilkes, Wyvill and Reform . . ., London, 1962, especially chs. 3–4. In his letters of 3 and 11 April to President Huntington, JA furnished details on the Associators' aims and current activities (RC's in PCC, No. 84, I; LbC's in Adams Papers; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3: 593–596, 610–611).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0248

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

By Mr. Guile who is bound to Amsterdam and from thence to France, I embrace this opportunity of writing to you; and inquiring after your welfare. Mr. Guile was the Bearer from Mrs. Dana who received them, of the first Letters I received from you. I wish he may be the safe conveyer of mine to you.1
I have written to you various times since your absence, but have never had one direct conveyance to France, and I am apprehensive I shall hear but very seldom from you, unless you convey your Letters by way of Spain and Holland. Be sure not more than once a year, which is a situation I deprecate.2 Experience has however taught me more patience, tho it has not lessend my anxiety, or my affection. I wish to know your situation, and to hear of your welfare and happiness, I have philosophized so long upon my own that I have brought my mind to a patient acquiescence in it. The social and tender affections have been { 321 } sacrificed to it, yet the agitation of my mind and spirits, has debilitated my faculties and impaired my Health but I find myself at the same time less attached to the world and the enjoyments of it, whether I am better fitted for an other is a matter I am not resolved in.
I have been very fortunate in receiving all your Letters from Spain. I have traced and followed you upon the Maps through all your peregrinations. It has been a pilgrimage indeed, and the care of the children must have added greatly to your anxiety. I cannot wish to have shared with you as it would have been an additional Burden to you.
I have received by Capt. Babson the articles you orderd for me. Mr. Guardoqui has given in his commissions and Mr. Tracy & Co. the freight, which I esteem very kind in them as I find 15 per cent freight was paid out of articles imported in the same vessel by others.
All the articles you were so kind as to send me were very acceptable. The tumblers came safe. They were all of one size. I should have rather had a part in wine Glasses, but nothing comes amiss. The Linnens tho rather coars were an article I stood in great need of, and they are in great demand here. The Tea proves of the best kind, the Hankerchiefs will turn to good account sold for hard Money, the only currency that can be delt in without immense loss. I do not wish to tell you the state of our currency, you may learn it by word of mouth from others.
I am about purchaseing an article which you directed me to, and for which you gave me Liberty to draw upon you for payment.3 I shall only do it in part. The remittance lately made me in hankerchiefs only would make the purchase, but as the person would gladly take Bills for the whole, I thought I would give one for a part as the risk would be his, and pay the remainder here.
I would not have drawn even for that, but I have some prospect of making a purchase of the House and land, belonging formerly to Natell. Belcher who died this winter.4 I have been trying to agree with the Heir, he asked the moderate price of 20 thousand Dollors when exchange was at 30, it is now 60 and he doubles his demand. There are several persons very eager to purchase it, which has determined the owner to put it up to vendue, if he does shall endeavour to buy it. People here tell me that it was formerly valued at a hundred pounds Lawfull money. It is not so good now as then, yet I should have ventured to have exceeded that price as it would accommodate this place so well, if I could have done any thing with him, but he was more distracted in his hard money price than in his paper. If he puts it up to vendue, believe that will be the best chance for obtaining it.
{ 322 }
Mr. C. Tufts has left with me a list of a Number of articles which I enclose, which he wants for his own use, and 7 Louis D'ors, but asked it as a favour that I would keep the money and let his risk be but once. I ventured to do it, as I enclose a set of Bills of a much larger amount from which I knew you could deduct the sum if you pleased. I should be obliged if you will order me 12 Ells of Led coulourd Lutestring and 12 of black and white changeable with half a peice of black ribbon and a peice of Narrow about 4 sols per yard with 3 yards of plain black Gauze and 3 of figured.
If you should think proper not to deduct the 7 Louis from the Bills you will please to order the remainder remitted in common Calico and hankerchiefs which are the most saleable articles here. I request at the same time that you would not straiten yourself for supplies to me, especiall[y] whatever you may esteem a superfluity.
Your Brother I fear will very soon become a widower. It appears to me and to others that his wife is far gone in a consumption.5 Your Mother is in tolerable Health tho much broken I think with the Severity of the winter which has been very unfavourable to people in years. The old gentleman is almost helpless.6
All the rest of our Friends are well. Publick News you will learn from the papers.
Some vessel or other will sail for France soon by which I shall again write. The Spring is advanceing fast, which after the rigour of a Canadian Winter is more particuliarly agreable to those who do not feel that Lassitude from it; which anxiety of mind, confinement, and want of exercise produce in your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia”; docketed by CFA: “April 15th. & May 1st. 1780,” to cover this and her letter to JA of the latter date (printed below). Enclosures not found.
1. Benjamin Guild (1749–1792), Harvard 1769, had been serving as a tutor in Harvard College since 1776, “in which Office,” Rev. Samuel Cooper told JA in a letter of introduction dated 11 May (Adams Papers), “he has acquitted himself with Capacity and Honours and is much esteemed by his Acquaintance. He goes abroad to enlarge his Knowledge of the World, to extend his Connections and make useful Observations of which he is very capable.” Guild spent the better part of a year in the Netherlands and France, and then after only a short time in America returned to Europe early in 1782 on an unspecified errand. Returning to Boston in the fall of that year, he married in 1784 Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Josiah and Elizabeth (Waldron) Quincy. It is said that he was “for some time a preacher,” but by 1789 he was conducting a bookstore and circulating library on Cornhill (now Washington Street) in Boston. He was an incorporating member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and became a donor of books to the Massachusetts Historical Society, where his valuable though somewhat irregular MS Diary for 1774–1779 was deposited in 1958. See AA to JA, 1 May, below; Guild to JA, 18 Jan., { 323 } 28 Nov. 1782 (both in Adams Papers); JA to Elbridge Gerry, 19 Aug. 1782 (MHi: Gerry II Papers); Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Charles Burleigh, The Genealogy and History of the Guild, Guile, and Gile Family, Portland, Maine, 1887, p. 85; MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 1 (1791–1835): 33; New Select Catalogue of Benjamin Guild's Circulating Library . . ., Boston, 1789; Adams Genealogy.
2. The meaning appears to be: I can be sure not to hear more than once a year, &c.
3. This “article,” which it may be significant to note that AA mentioned only allusively, was “a genteel Chaise,” being made for her by Thomas Bumstead of Boston; see Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April, below, and references there.
4. The Belchers were a numerous family in Braintree and owned several of the farms on and about the north side of Penn's Hill, at the foot of which was JA's patrimonial property, in part acquired from one of the Belchers; see Waldo C. Sprague, The President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams Birthplaces, Quincy, Massachusetts, Quincy, Mass., 1959, passim; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, passim. Lt. Nathaniel Belcher (1700–1780) was a neighbor of the Adamses for many years; he had held sundry town offices and militia commissions and died during the preceding winter (NEHGR, 60 [1906] 1248). JA had had his eye since at least 1771 on Nathaniel's and other Belcher properties, which he hoped to acquire in order to improve his own farm; see Diary and Autobiography, 2:16–17, 41, 49. It is not certain whether he and AA succeeded in this object.
5. The former Mary Crosby, wife of JA's only surviving brother, Peter Boylston Adams, died on one of the first days of June, leaving several children, including a newborn daughter, Elizabeth, who lived only a few months. See Richard Cranch to JA, 9–10 June, and AA to JA, 13 June, 16 July, all below; also Adams Genealogy.
6. John Hall, JA's stepfather, who lived with the Peter Boylston Adamses, died on 27 Sept. 1780 (Quincy, First Church, MS Records, fol. 225; see also AA to JA, 8 Oct., below, and Adams Genealogy).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0249

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-04-17

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

By the last Post I was honored with your Letter of the 13th March, communicating in Confidence your Sentiments on a certain publication in the Philadelphia Paper, which had been too striking to escape the Notice of Mr. A[dams]'s Friends in this Quarter.1
It is not easy to ascertain the Intentions, of the philosophical Society in their Election of Mr. A . . . . s, or how far they were concerned in making such an invidious Distinction, but it is highly probable that the List was sent to the press by some of their Members, and certain it is, they might have corrected the Measure, had they disapproved thereof. Nevertheless Madam, to pursue these Enquiries, I presume, will be no Ways pleasing to You, if “the Honor and Character” of our Friend can be guarded by any Mode that is more agreable, and at the same Time that promises as happy an Effect.
Previous to the Audience of Mr. Gerard, who was the first foreign Minister received by Congress, it was determined, that all Ministers { 324 } plenipotentiary, whether sent to or from Congress, should have the Title of “honorable”; and altho this appeared to many Members unequal to the Dignity of the Office, yet, in all the publick proceedings of Congress, the Rule has been invariably observed to the present Time. Doctor F[rankli]n, Mr. A——s, and Mr. J[a]y, are by their respective Appointments Ministers plenipotentiary, and no one who has seen their Instructions can suppose, that the Powers of Mr. A——s are less, or indeed that they are not more important than what are given to either of the other Gentlemen. Dr. F——n's Commission not being renewed represents him to have been “Deputy from the State of Pennsylvania to the General Congress and president to the Convention of the said State.” Mr. A——'s “late Commissioner of the united States of America at the Court of Versailes, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts Bay and chief Justice of the said State” and Mr. J—y's “late president of Congress, and chief Justice of the State of New York,”2 from all which I think it evident, that whether We refer to the Commissions, Instructions, or Appointments of the Gentlemen mentioned, Mr. A——'s Rank is at least equal to either of the others, and by the Resolutions of Congress, he has the same Title.
But the Subject, as You justly consider it Madam, is delecate in it's Nature, and requires Measures that point not directly at the Object. I am therefore of Opinion, that it will be well, for the Information of the Friends and Correspondents of our Ministers plenipotentiary and the Secretaries of the Embassies, to publish such Circumstances as have been mentioned relative to their respective Commissions and Titles, in the same Paper in which the List of the Society was published. It may also be proper to have Mr. A——s appointed a Member of the “American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” for the Institution whereof I have been lately informed a Bill is depending in the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts;3 and should You think it expedient to consult our Friend General Warren on the Occasion, he will undoubtedly promote the Appointment, and see that it is properly communicated to the publick. A third Mode will be attempted, but I am doubtful whether it will succeed, which is to move Congress to grant a more dignified Title than “honorable” to all Ministers plenipotentiary, whether sent to or from Congress; for indeed they will always have it de Facto if not de Jure.
The Attempts mentioned in your Letter to traduce Mr. A——s in France, are convincing Proofs of the Necessity of opposing every Measure of this Kind, however trifling it may at first appear; and I assure You Madam that on every Occasion I shall with the greatest pleasure { 325 } endeavour to support him as a particular Friend, as well as a valuable Statesman.
At Mr. A——s Request in Novr. last I transmitted You the Rate of Exchange of Specie, which is now sold in this City from 60 to 62£ for 1,4 and remain with every Sentiment of Respect your sincere Friend & most hume. Sert.,
[signed] E.G.
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Portia.” Dft (PPAmP); docketed in margin: “Copy of a Letter to Mrs. Adams 17th. Apr. 1780.” Dft is heavily revised throughout and varies at a number of points from RC; one major variation is recorded in note 2 below.
1. See above, AA to Gerry, 13 March, and notes there; see also Gerry's further reply on the same subject, 16 May, below.
2. From here to the end of this paragraph Gerry first wrote and then crossed out in Dft the following: “and with some Difficulty carried this point, in order to guard them and especially the former [i.e. JA], against the Attacks of disappointed Ambition and Envy, to which notwithstanding his conspicuous Merit, I was apprehensive he would be liable in his elevated Station. I mention this likewise Madam to shew, that not even the [president?] of Congress, the Minister of France, Doctor Franklin, or Mr. Jay have by the Resolution of Congress a higher Title than Mr. Adams, whose Commission is by far the most important.”
3. An Act to establish a Society for the Cultivation and Promotion of Arts and Sciences was passed by the General Court on 4 May and was printed as a broadside (Ford, Mass. Broadsides, No. 2237; Evans 16841; example in Adams Papers). “Hon. John Adams, Esq.” was named therein as one of the sixty-two incorporators of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, but of course without mention of the offices he held.
4. Gerry had sent this information in a letter to AA of 24 Nov. 1779, which is known to the editors only in a printed summary of Gerry's draft, listed for sale by Walter R. Benjamin, Autographs, New York City, The Collector, 70:60 (May–June 1957).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0250

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-26

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

I have this Moment heard of an Oportunity of writing a line to you by Coll. Tyler of this Town who sets out this Day from hence and is going in a Vessel bound to France from New London.1 I would in the first Place (to fore-close Anxiety) inform you that your Wife and Children, your Mother, Brother &c. are well.
Mr. Partridge is return'd from Congress last Week—brings no News of importance. Genl. Hancock and Genl. Ward are not yet set out for Congress. Mr. Adams, it is said, will soon set out for Philadelphia.2 We have no News from Charlestown, South Carolina, later than the 22d of March, when the Inhabitants were in good Spirits, had got the Works in the Town in good order, and their out-works, for preventing the Enemy's approach, so strong that they were in no great apprehen• { 326 } sion of their succeeding in their Attempt on that Place. The storm that overtook the Enemy's Fleet after they left N: York, was very Providential. The Loss of their Cavalry and Warlike Stores was very great, but the Delay of their Attack upon Charlestown by that means for so long a Time, was of unspeakable Advantage to the State of S. Carolina and to the Town of Charlestown in particular, as by that means they had time to compleat their Works and collect Forces from distant Parts to defend them.
We have a strong Rumour in Town, via Plymouth, that a very formidable French Fleet is arrived at Martinico consisting of 17 Sail of the Line, 20 Frigats and 100 Transports with a large Body of Troops. Should this News prove true I fancy Britain may soon bid farewell to the West Indies as well as to North America.
You will see by the Papers the Congress has recommended a total Revolution in the Paper Currency. The Genl. Court is now sitting here. We have adopted the Spirit of the Recommendation, and a Bill for that purpose has pass'd both Houses but is not yet enacted. By this Act a Tax of £72,000 per Annum for seven Years including the present Year, is to be raised in hard Money, or Produce at a certain Rate; which Sum is supposed sufficient to redeem our Quota of the Continental Currency at its present depreciated value, estimated at forty Paper Dollars for one hard one. This Tax is to be paid in Silver at 6/8 per Oz. or Gold in proportion: or else in Wheat, Rye, Corn, Merchantable Fish, Barrell'd Pork and Beef, &c. &c. which are to be deliver'd into the State-Stores free of Charge at a certain stipulated Price, such as the Merchants would be willing to pay for them in Silver and Gold.3
This is the Fund on which the New Bills proposed by Congress for this State are to be founded, and will at the end of seven Years be sufficient to redeem them with Gold and Silver, and pay the intervening Interest. The Form of Constitution has received various alterations since you left it in less able Hands, that as I conceive are not for the better. It is now printed and sending out to the People. I let sister Adams have one of them to send to you in her Pacquet by Mr. Guile (one of the Tutors) who is going in a Vessel from Beverly, bound to Holland. I will endeavour to send you another by this Conveyance per favor of Coll. Tyler, if I can get it soon enough.4 Sister Adams has received from Mr. Tracey of Newbury Port the Goods that you directed Messrs: Gardoqui and Sons to send to her, consisting of several Pieces of family Linnen, some silk Handkerchiefs, a sett of Knives and Forks, some Glass-Ware &c. I suppose such Articles, if to be sold here, would { 327 } fetch four Dollars in hard Money, for what cost one Dollar in Europe; so that I think a few Remittances of that kind from time to time to Mrs. Adams would be very proper. And upon this occasion I would beg leave to mention to you that if any of your Mercantile Friends should be willing to become Adventurers to America in that way, I should be very glad to serve them in disposing of any Merchandize that might be consign'd to me. I am oblig'd to keep in my Hands part of a very good Warehouse built with Brick and cover'd with Tile, on the Town Dock in Boston where I could store the Goods without Expence of Truckage, and would transact the Business on the most reasonable Terms. And should any of them be inclined to purchase Lands now when so many Confiscated Estates will soon be to be sold (as I wrote you more at large in my Letter of the 18th. of Jany. last, which I hope you have received) my Connection with Public Affairs would enable me to transact such Business with some Advantages that a Person in a more private Station of Life would not have: and my knowledge of the French Language may also facilitate such a Correspondence.
You will see by the enclosed Paper that I have lost a very worthy Relative Mr. Natl. Cranch by an unlucky Fall: What makes this Event truly melancholy is the Connection between him and Betsy Palmer—they were soon to be Married.5
I want to write a thousand things to you but have not time, as I must Seal this directly. Give my kindest Love to the dear Boys Johnney and Charley, and to Mr. Thaxter. I intend writing to Mr. Thaxter by the next Oportunity that offers. His Friends at Hingham, Father Smith, Uncle Quincy &c. are all well. Sister Adams has drawn a Bill on you for one Hundred Dollars or £22–10–0 Sterling in favour of Mr. Thos. Bumstead who is making a genteel Chaise for her, she pays the rest here. The lowest Price I could get it for was three hundred hard Dollars. I suppose Mr. Bumstead has sent the Bill by Coll. Tyler.6 We were very happy in hearing from you soon after your dangerous Passage. Your Letters from Spain I suppose all arriv'd safe to hand, but we have not receiv'd a Line from you since your Arrival in France. I hope we shall soon have that Pleasure, which will add greatly to the Happyness of our friendly Circle, and particularly to that of your affectionate Brother,
[signed] Richard Cranch
P.S. I mentioned in my last that it was probable that Borland's Estate in Braintree would be to be sold before long by Order of Government; should that be the case I should be glad to buy it if I could { 328 } without selling my own Farm that joins upon it and makes it so very convenient for me. I should therefore be glad to know from you, by the first Oportunity, whether if I should be able to purchase that Place [for a]bout7 four or five Hundred Pounds Sterling you would let me draw [on yo]u for that Sum, on my Mortgaging the Place to you for security of Payment? Your Answer either to Sister Adams or to me would greatly oblige yours, ut supra,
[signed] R.C.8
RC (Adams Papers); addressed (half of address leaf torn away; missing matter supplied from indication of address at foot of text in Dft): “[To his Excellency John] Adams Esqr. [Minister Plen]epotentiary [from the United] States of [Americ]a at Paris”; endorsed by JA: “Mr. Cranch 26 April 1780”; endorsement repeated in Thaxter's hand. Dft (MHi:Cranch Family Collection); indication of address (as given above) follows text; docketed: “Lettr. to Bror. Adams Apl. 26th. 1780.” Concerning the enclosed newspaper see notes 5 and 8.
1. This was John Steele Tyler (d. 1813), older brother of Royall Tyler the (future) playwright whose tangled relations a few years later with the Adams family have been fully set forth in The Earliest Diary of John Adams. John Steele had served in the Continental Army, resigning as major in 1779, and thereafter in the ill-fated Massachusetts expedition against Penobscot, in which he held a commission as lieutenant colonel. A fellow passenger on his voyage from New London to Nantes in 1780 was the aspiring artist John Trumbull, and the two young men made their way, apparently without difficulty even though they were both former Continental officers, to London via Paris, where Tyler called on JA late in June; see note 6 below.
On Tyler and his career see Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 257 and passim; Mass. Soldiers and Sailors; John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 58–59, 64–66; G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler, Cambridge, 1967, passim. In the early 1930's, while investigating Trumbull's sojourn in London during the Revolution, Lewis Einstein brought to light in the Public Record Office a letter written by Tyler to Lord George Germain from Bordeaux, 6 Aug. 1781, in which the writer offered to serve in the British forces, asking only £1,000 in compensation for the property he would thus forfeit in America (Einstein, Divided Loyalties . . ., Boston and New York, 1933, p. 365–366, 447). The offer was not taken up, and Tyler later returned to Boston without known damage to his reputation.
2. George Partridge had been elected to the Continental Congress in June 1779 and had attended from the following August until early April 1780. John Hancock, although a delegate, did not attend at all in 1779 or 1780. Artemas Ward, elected in Nov. 1779, did not attend until mid-June 1780. Samuel Adams extended his leave from Congress, begun in June 1779, for a whole year. See Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 4: liii; 5: lvii–lviii.
3. This was An Act making Provision for Calling in, to be destroyed, this State's Quota, according to the present Apportionment, of all the Public Bills of Credit which have been emitted by Congress, &c., through a title of fifteen lines, passed 5 May 1780 and printed in Province Laws, 5:1178–1183. See, further, note 8 below.
4. The third session of the Convention had adjourned on 2 March until 7 June after having empowered a committee to print and distribute the text of the Constitution as agreed on for the consideration of the towns, together with an Address of the Convention . . . to Their Constituents (Mass. Constitutional Convention, 1779–1780, Journal, p. 163–164, 168–169, 216–221). For the background see above, JA to AA, 13 Nov. 1779, note 3.
5. Nathaniel Cranch was a nephew of Richard Cranch, who probably wrote { 329 } the following obituary, printed in the Boston Independent Ledger, 24 April 1780, p. 3, col. 2:
“On Wednesday evening last [19 April], a very melancholy event happened near this place. As Nathaniel Cranch, Esq; (lately returned from a public employment at Philadelphia) was passing over the Neck that leads from this town to Roxbury, the weather being very stormy, and he walking alone as is supposed, too near the edge of the Abuttment built there to guard against the tide, by some mis-step fell over, and striking his head against a sharp rock that lay on the Beach, received such a wound, that to all appearance put an instant period to his life.
“Mr. Cranch was the Son of a very worthy Clergyman in England: He came into America some years before the commencement of the present contest; when that interesting event had taken place, he did not stand an inattentive spectator, but throwing aside his local prejudices, carefully weighed the merits of the cause, and seeing clearly on which side truth and justice lay,—that honesty of mind, that invincible attachment to truth and justice, that were the characteristic qualities of his Soul, determined him to risk every thing in defence of the American cause. In this glorious struggle, he was engaged from the first forming of the army at Cambridge, untill a few weeks past—when the flattering prospect of a settlement in life, that would have crown'd his tenderest wishes, brought him back.—The feeling heart alone can tell the sequel!”
At the time of this “melancholy event” young Cranch was engaged to his cousin Elizabeth (1748–1814), daughter of Brig. Gen. Joseph Palmer; in 1790 she married Nathaniel's younger brother Joseph; see Tyler, Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 55–56, and Adams Genealogy. See also Thaxter to AA, 12 May, below.
6. JA's record of personal expenditures contains an entry showing that on 28 June he paid Tyler 535 livres to redeem AA's bill of exchange in the amount of 100 dollars (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:440). Cranch, as he states here, had made the arrangements with Thomas Bumstead, a carriage-maker, dealer, and auctioneer of “Long Acre,” Boston, who advertised frequently in the papers in 1780. It is clear that AA had JA's approval for this personal indulgence, but when he heard its cost he pronounced it “horribly dear” (JA to AA, 17 June, below).
7. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
8. JA received Cranch's letter on 16 June and immediately sent on to Vergennes the enclosed newspaper (presumably the Independent Ledger, 24 April; see note 5 above), together with an extract from the letter itself, namely the third paragraph, on the measures of Congress and of Massachusetts to check further depreciation of the currency. See JA to Vergennes, 16 June (RC in Archives Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., Etats-Unis, vol. 12; LbC in Adams Papers, printed, with the enclosed extract, in JA, Works, 7:187). Since many of Congress' creditors were French, Vergennes deeply disapproved of the Gordian method adopted to redeem the old currency, and JA's defense of it was one of the chief causes of the breach between him and Vergennes that took place in June–July 1780. The fullest account of this historic quarrel is in John E. Little, John Adams and American Foreign Affairs, 1755–1780, Princeton Univ. doctoral dissertation, 1966, ch. 8.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0251

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-04-30

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

That a Nation once distinguished in the Annals of Mankind, should by the Pride, Avarice, Ambition, Injustice and Oppression of its Governors, loose its distant Dependencies, is not an uncommon Event in { 330 } the History of the World; but that the same Nation, from the Operation of the same Causes, together with Folly and Madness, should league one half the World against her, is not only a Phenomenon in Modern Times (reserved to be exhibited by a neighbouring Nation) but a melancholy Monument of divine Vengeance. That this is the present State of England is but too true. Behold her a public Enemy, hostile to the Rights of Mankind, but too impotent to sport much longer. Such extremes of Wickedness and their Consequences, unhappily for human Nature and the Peace of Nations, are not local—other States and Kingdoms become infected by them, their Virtues and Morals become shaken and debauched. Britain then is to be considered not only as attempting to subvert the Civil and political Institutions of Men but indirectly their religions also. To You, Madam, who are so well versed in History, another observation is unnecessary.
The present Picture of England is truly melancholy. Her Tyranny has dismembered the best Part of her Empire—America is independent—Ireland is perfecting her Strength in her (England's) Weakness, and gliding on very calmly and smoothly to Independence. Behold her interrupting the Commerce of the United States, of Holland, seizing and condemning Articles not contraband by Treaty nor the Law of Nations, and insulting their Flag to crown their Injustice. The King by Proclamation has declared all Stipulations of the Treaties between England and the Republic are to be suspended, and the Republic to be considered as a Neutral Power no Ways priviledged by Treaties, because the Dutch have refused the Succours demanded in Virtue of a Treaty. Russia, from whence England expected a considerable Assistance in Men and Ships to promote her System of Rapine and Depredation, has determined upon a rigorous Neutrality between the belligerent Powers, declared her Resolution to maintain her Flag in Honor, invited Holland to make Common Cause, and sent Copies of her Resolutions and Declarations, to the Courts of the Powers at War. This Neutrality is against England—hard fate indeed that even a Neutrality is against her.1 She has insulted the Flag of Sweeden, by one of her Cruisers, attacking a Sweedish Frigate innocently and peaceably pursuing her Course. Behold her engaged in a War against America, France and Spain, singly and alone, without an ally or a Prospect of obtaining one in Europe. It is said that there is a Quintuple Alliance forming or formed between Russia, Prussia, Sweeden, Denmark and the Republic of the United States of Holland. I affirm it not for a Fact. If You recollect the System of Europe pointed out in an Judicious and ingenious Letter now in Manuscript in your Cus• { 331 } tody,2 You will probably think this Event not unlikely. The Object of it is, the protection of their Commerce and respective Flags. I cannot say that it is entered into—I can only affirm that such an Alliance is not improbable; for those Powers and no others in Europe love England with much Cordiality, but on the contrary see without Regret the decay of her Power. Add to all this, Intestine Broils and Divisions rending the Kingdom asunder. Such is the State of England internally and externally. A Tear of Pity an American is magnanimous enough to shed upon this Spectacle. Britain should shed Tears of Blood.
I had the pleasure of seeing Masters Johnny and Charley, my two dear little Friends, this day—they are well. With equal Satisfaction and equal Justice, can I send this acceptable Tribute, which is due to them, to a tender and fond Mamma, that they behave well.
I had the Honor of dining to day with his Excellency at Mr. Grand's, where were beaucoup de monde and amongst the rest Madamoiselle Labhar is not to be forgotten. Think me not smitten, Madam. If I have any Partiality for any one in particular (which I will neither affirm nor deny) it is not on this Side the Water.
Remember me affectionately to your dear Nabby and Tommy, and respectfully and dutifully where due.

[salute] With the highest Respect & Esteem, I have the Honor to be &c.,

[signed] J. T.
1. The latest scholarly study of the Armed Neutrality of 1780 is by Isabel de Madariaga, Britain, Russia, and the Armed Neutrality of 1780, New Haven, 1962. Since it concentrates on the mission of Sir James Harris (later 1st Earl of Malmesbury) to the Court of Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg, it does virtually nothing to indicate American interest in this significant episode of northern European diplomacy. See, however, Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, chs. 11–12; Morris, Peacemakers, ch. 8.
2. Undoubtedly Thaxter is alluding to the long and remarkable letter JA addressed, or at least began, to John Jay, president of Congress, within a day or two of his return to Braintree from France, 4 Aug. 1779. When composing it, JA regarded it as his last diplomatic dispatch and therefore a kind of testament, embodying 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, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:278–286; LbC in Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:99–110). The influence of this testament on Thaxter's present letter is manifest. In the Adams Papers is a twelve-page contemporary copy in an unidentified hand which may possibly have been the version Thaxter saw and studied, although it is more likely that he read the letterbook copy. Numerous other contemporary copies were made, of which a number survive (four besides those already mentioned are recorded in the Adams Papers Editorial Files as in various repositories and private collections). The explanation is in a letter from James Lovell to JA, 14 Sept. 1779 (Adams Papers): “The dull letter you mention has been received [by Congress; see JCC, 14:981, under date { 332 } of 20 Aug. 1779], and I believe wished never to have been written, by the poor Drudges in the Secretary's Office who are called upon for Copies by every lazy Member, and I assure you that is more than the sanctified Number 13.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1780-04 - 1780-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

Yesterday We went to see the Garden of the King, Jardin du Roi, and his Cabinet of natural History, Cabinet d'Histoire naturell.
The Cabinet of natural History is a great Collection, of Metals, Mineral[s], shells, Insects, Birds, Beasts, Fishes, and presscious stones. They are arranged in good order, and preserved in good condition, with the name of every thing beautifully written on a piece of paper annexed to it. There is also a Collection of Woods and marbles.
The garden is large and airy, affording fine Walks between Rows of Trees. Here is a Collection from all Parts of the World, of all the plants, Roots and Vegetables that are used in medicine, and indeed of all the Plants and trees in the World.
A fine Scaene for the studious youth in Physick or Philosophy. It was a public day. There was a great deal of Company, and I had opportunity only to take a cursory view. The whole is very curious. There is an handsome statue of Mr. Buffon, the great natural Historian whose Works you have,2 whose labours have given fame to this Cabinet and Garden. When shall We have in America, such Collections? The Collection of American Curiosities that I saw at Norwalk in Connecticutt made by Mr. Arnold, which he afterwards to my great mortification sold to Gov. Tryon, convinces me, that our Country affords as ample materials, for Collections of this nature as any part of the World.3
Five midshipmen of the Alliance, came here last night, Marston, Hogan, Fitzgerald and two others, from Norway, where they were sent with Prizes, which the Court of Denmark were absurd and unjust enough, to restore to the English. They however treated the Officers and People well, and defrayed their Expences. They say the Norwegians were very angry, with the Court of Copenhagen, for delivering up these Vessells. It was the Blunder of Ignorance, I believe, rather than any ill Will.
Every day when I ride out, without any particular Business to do, or Visit to make, I order my servant to carry me to some place where I never was before, so that at last I believe I have seen all Paris, and all the fields and scenes about it, that are near it. It is very pleasant.
{ 333 }
Charles is as well beloved here as at home. Wherever he goes, every body loves him. Mr. D[ana] is as fond of him, I think as I am. He learns very well.
There is a Volume in folio just published here, which I Yesterday, run over at a Booksellers shop. It is a description and a copper Plate of all the Engravings upon precious stones in the Collection of the Duke of Orleans. The stamps are extreamly beautiful, and are representations of the Gods and Heroes of Antiquity, with most of the fables of their Mithology. Such a Book would be very usefull to the Children in studiing the Classicks, but it is too dear—3 Guineas, unbound.
There is every Thing here that can inform the Understanding, or refine the Taste, and indeed one would think that could purify the Heart. Yet it must be remembered there is every thing here too, which can seduce, betray, deceive, deprave, corrupt and debauch it. Hercules marches here in full View of the Steeps of Virtue on one hand, and the flowery Paths of Pleasure on the other—and there are few who make the Choice of Hercules.4 That my Children may follow his Example, is my earnest Prayer: but I sometimes tremble, when I hear the syren songs of sloth, least they should be captivated with her bewitching Charms and her soft, insinuating Musick.
1. Available evidence does not permit a more precise date. The letter is related in mood and substance to another undated letter that JA wrote to AA about this time, printed below under the assigned date of post 12 May 1780. Clearly, however, the present letter, reporting JA's visit to the Jardin du Roi on the preceding day, was written before his second undated letter.
2. Among JA's books surviving in the Boston Public Library are two multi-volume editions of Buffon's Oeuvres completes, both published in Paris in the 1770's and both apparently imperfect, and also a set of the Histoire nat–urelle des oiseaux, 6 vols., Paris, 1770–1775 (Catalogue of JA's Library). Marginal markings indicate that JA read at least portions of Buffon's compilations with attention; see Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress, p. 302.
3. JA had briefly viewed this collection—one of the earliest recorded museum enterprises in America—when on his way to the first Continental Congress in Aug. 1774, and it made a lasting impression on him. From Gov. William Tryon's possession it passed into the hands of Sir Ashton Lever and became part of the Leverian Museum in London, which JA was to visit in Nov. 1783 but which was dispersed by auction early in the 19th century. See above, vol. 2:236–237; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:151; JA to Benjamin Waterhouse, 7 Aug. 1805, printed in Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 22–24.
4. The Choice of Hercules was JA's favorite classical allegory. In 1776 he had proposed it as a theme to be used in the Great Seal of the United States. See above, vol. 2:ix–x, 96–98, and illustration following p.102.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0253

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Last week arrived at Boston the Marquis de la Fayette to the universal joy of all who know the Merit and Worth of that Nobleman. He was received with the ringing of Bells, fireing of cannon, bon fires &.1
He was so kind as to forward my Letters immediately, but his haste to set of for Philadelphia deprived me of the Honour of a visit from him at Braintree which I had hoped for, and but just gave me the opportunity of writing him a Billet.2
I am just informed that the General Pickering is to sail from Salem in a day or two, and that my Letters must be instantly ready. I was in hopes that the new State Frigate call'd the Protector would have gone, but find it otherways determined. I have written to you by Mr. Guile, who goes first to Amsterdam. I could have wished that those Letters had gone by this vessel as it is the first direct conveyance I have had since you left me.
You will be so good as to notice the dates of Letters which you receive from time to time. I shall then be able to judge what is necessary to repeat if any should be lost. I will however mention again that Capt. Babson arrived and that I received the articles you ordered for me to the amount of 40 pounds sterling.
All your Letters have come safe to hand that you have written since you left me, except what may be on Board the Alliance who is not yet arrived by which I hope the tide of fortune is turned in my favour.
I enclose a set of Bills. I have been particuliar in my Letters by Mr. Guile, but as I wish a return by this vessel, and least he should not arrive I will repeat that I requested you to send me 12 Ells of black and white striped Lutestring or changeable, Mr. Bondfeild sent a peice to Mr. Warren, the same kind I want, would send a pattern, but have none, and 12 Ells of Led coulourd proper for mourning. The first I want for Nabby, the other for myself, as I greatly fear I shall soon have a call for it. Your Brother will soon be a widower we all apprehend, his wife is in the last stages of a consumption, has been confined to her room for more than two months, and in circumstances too, otherways allarming.
I added to those a peice of black Ribbon common width and a peice of Narrow about 4 or 5 sols per yard, 3 yard of black plain gauze and 6 figured, 2 black fans, 3 black gauze hankerchiefs. I also mentioned that what remained of the Bills you might if you pleased order re• { 335 } mitted in common calico low priced hankerchiefs and fans which are articles that turn to the best account here. I have enclosed a list of some articles for Cotton Tufts for which he paid me 7 Louis d'oers to be deducted from the Bills in lieu of the calico, and other articles provided you find yourself in the least straitned which I fear you will. The remittance from Bilboa will render me very comfortable for this 12 month, even tho I should purchase the land which belonged to Nate'll Belcher, which I have written to you about. I have drawn one Bill of an hundred dollors in favour of Bomstead for you know what.3 He used formerly to have 50 pounds for the best Sort, I could not get it so low now, but have paid the rest myself by turning my hankerchiefs (a part of them) to very good account. I would not have drawn at all; but hoped to make a purchase of the land.
Received the present by the Marquis. You desire to know what I want that may be sent in the same manner—a peice or two of Holland Apron tape, a pair of silk mitts or Gloves, an Ell or two of Muslin or figured Lawn, and as a little of what you call frippery is very necessary towards looking like the rest of the world, Nabby would have me add, a few yard of Black or White Gauze, low priced black or white lace or a few yards of Ribbon but would have Mamma write to Pappa at the same time that she has no passion for dress further than he would approve of or to appear when she goes from home a little like those of her own age. But I must add that I do not wish you to send much of any of these articles in this way as I find by compareing the articles you was so kind as to send me, with those put up, both by Mr. Bondfeild, and the other Gentleman, whose Name I cannot undertake to spell, that they turn out much Dearer by retail. The hankerchiefs were exceeding nice, but being Linnen they will not last like the India Silk which are hardly so high priced, and which here will fetch double.
Crosby has had his medow measured again and makes 6 acres and a quarter. French measured it and has given a plan of it. It will not do to call for an other measure, it will multiply to 7, so I must settle in the best manner I can. I have a Castle in the air which I shall write to you upon by the next opportunity, either for you to laugh at and reject, or to think of if practicable.4
I wrote to Mr. L[ovel]l two months ago that I feard you would be embarrassed if he did not supply you.5 I shall as you desire repeat it to him.
I have written to my dear sons by Mr. Guile. Your daughter too, has written to you.6 If I have time I shall not fail writing to Mr. Thaxter who is very good to remember me so often. I highly esteem both { 336 } him and his Letters. I found him to be all you discribe him, and knew you could not be better suited. I am happy however in finding that my loss is your gain, I really miss his services and attentions.
Our Friends are in pretty good health excepting Sister A[dam]s. Your worthy parent is much broken by the severity of the winter—mine stood the winter—well but fails much more than I have known him this spring.
So many others will write you the state of politicks that I believe I shall not touch upon them. I have enclosed Philadelphia papers and journals. Our currency too is a Subject which you must learn from others; if I can procure sufficient to pay my taxes I shall be content, I want no more. I will just mention that the last years tax upon only two acres and half of Medow in Milton was 60 dollors and a parish tax for the land you own in the next parish 50 dollors. This year tis impossible to say to what amount they will rise. The tenants are all scared and declare they will quit Farms as tis impossible for them to pay half the taxes. Mine talked in the same strain but finally concluded to tarry an other year.

[salute] This Letter wholy upon Buisness must conclude with an assurance of the most affectionate regard of your

[signed] Portia
Complements to Mr. Dana and to my correspondent Madam Grand.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosures missing.
1. For the public ceremonies attending Lafayette's arrival at Boston, 28 April, in the French frigate Hermione in 36 days from Rochefort, see the Boston Gazette, 1 May, p. 3, col. 2.
2. Not found.
3. See AA to JA, 15 April, and Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April, both above.
4. What this was does not appear from AA's next letters that survive.
5. See AA to James Lovell, undated, in Adams Papers under the assigned date of post 26 Feb. 1780; not printed in the present edition.
6. None of these letters has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0254

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

Having just heard of a Small Brig bound directly from Nantes to Boston, I write you, one Line. The day before Yesterday, I had a letter from your Uncle S[mith] by Way of Amsterdam, 26 February. I should advise you to embrace these Opportunities by Way of Spain and Holland, otherwise I shall very seldom hear from you. There are a full Bushell of Letters from me, and your share is among them, on their Way, but when they will arrive I know not.
{ 337 }
The English Stocks are fallen two Per Cent and they are expected to fall much more on Account of the Confederation of the maritime Powers in support of Reason, Justice and Common Sense against the Extravagancies of Great Britain. Convulsed at home, Ireland falling off, after America, and all the Nations of Europe agreed in one Plan, against her: Yet the Government of England diminish none of their Pride, Obstinacy, or other, unsocial Passions.
I have not a Line from Congress, and but one from you, since my departure now almost 6 months. I wrote you by Trash, Babson, and the Marquis de la Fayette—these are all arrived I hope. The Alliance has many Letters from me to Congress and to you and others on board—so has the Fleet of de Rochambeau.
We are all well. So Nabby goes to Boston on the Ice. Tell Tommy he is his Papas favourite, because he left him to enjoy the Company of his Mama, and his sister. His Brothers are well and learn cleverly, but not so fast as he, I believe.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0255

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

By your Uncles Letter of 26 feb., he could not hear of any Letters from me by Trash. I certainly wrote by him from Corunna, so did the Children. I wrote to Congress, as well as to you. I wrote also by Babson, who carried some Things for you, from Bilbao. I hope the letters are not lost.
I went a few days ago to Biçetre, to see the Curiosities of that Place.1 It is a Bedlam for the Mad, a Prison for Felons, an hospital for the Poor, and particularly for the most abandoned and decayed Women of the Town.—What a Collection of Insanity, Criminality, and Misery!—It is impossible for me to find time to describe in detail the Things that I saw there. The Objects of Horrour, which are there in such Numbers and such Variety of sorts, would be too painfull to describe.
There are 4600 Persons, in this Castle and its Appendages, including the distracted, the Culprits, the Poor, and the Tradesmen who reside there, and whose labours are necessary, for the subsistance and Accommodations of the Inhabitants of the Place. It is about 3 miles out of the City. In a beautifull and airy situation—it has a large fine Garden—a spacious Court Yard: but the most remarkable thing is a Well, 45 feet in Circumference and of a vast depth out of which they { 338 } draw all the Water for the Place. It is poured into a vast Reservoir, Square, and 9 feet deep, from whence it is taken for the supply of the People.
I went next Day to see the Guarde Meubles of the King, which is at the Place of L[ouis] 14. Here were riches and Magnificence without End—Gold, silver and prescious stones. But I cannot enter into Descriptions of particulars.2 After which We all went to see the Hospital of Invalids.

[salute] Adieu.

1. Under 1 May 1780 JA's account of personal expenditures has the following entry: “Gave at Biçetre, the bedlam of Paris 9 [livres]” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:439). This famous hospital, asylum, and house of correction, founded in the 1630's, took its name from a château in the countryside, just south of the then limits of Paris, which was the earliest building devoted to hospital use. For a description of the buildings and grounds of the Bicêtre at the time of JA's visit, see Dict. historique de la ville de Paris, 1:606–610.
2. The Garde-Meuble de la Couronne was the private art collection or “précieux dépot” of the King. See a detailed contemporary description in Dict. historique de la ville de Paris, 3:111–116. It was housed in 1780 in a building in the Rue Royale, Place de Louis XV (not XIV).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0256

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

Mr. Austin has at last arrived—he dined with me, Yesterday and today. He has been taken, and been to London [and] from thence to Amsterdam. All his Letters to me from Congress, the Council and my friends, he cast into the Sea.—What a Loss!—Oh how I regret it!1
But he brought from Amsterdam, yours of 26 Feb.—but how was I mortified, to find that you had not received my Letters from Ferrol and Corunna. It was only to day that I went out to carry My sons Letter from his Cousin, that I learnt by a Postscript the 29 of Feb. that he had just received a Letter from him dated Ferrol Decr. 12.2 From this I conclude, you had mine.
I have this day a Letter from Mr. Moylan, that he has delivered to Dr. Winship in the Alliance a Chest with the Things you desired and others.3 But after all I fear she will go to a wrong Place. It is the only Opportunity I could get. Pray write me by every Vessell to Holland and Spain—I find they are the best Opportunities.
You cant imagine how C[harle]s was pleased with the Welfare of his Bird &c. I have given him a beautiful pair, which pleases him much.4 He speaks french like an Hero.—My dear daughter dont write { 339 } me. I wish I could write to her, but I cant get time.—Tom too, how fares my favourite boy? He's best off. We all envy him.
As to Taxes, the more they tax me, provided they tax others in Proportion, the happier I am. It is our best Policy and I fear our only Resource.
The fleet and Army are sailed from Brest, and another I suppose from Spain—Cadiz. We hope Clinton wont get Charlestown but We are afraid. If he does he wont keep it long I fancy.
There are many Letters from me on board the french fleet, wherever it is gone—many others with the Marquis de la Fayette—many more in the Alliance which have been there I know not how long.
I never wrote so much in my Life, yet it seems as if none of it would ever get to America. You had Letters by Babson and Knives and Forks—and Tumblers.
Peace is my dear delight, but when shall I see it? They have not attacked me very furiously, in the English Papers, as yet. They have called me once Rebel Chieftain and once Rebel Plenipotentiary, no more yet. I expect they will have at me, by and by. True conscious Honour is to know no sin.
I wish you had told me what Gellee's Report was—I cant hear a Syllable of it, nor guess what it is.5 He is gone from hence. Mr. L.6 goes in the Alliance. Remember me to all friends.

[salute] Adieu.

1. On Jonathan Loring Austin and his current mission and capture, see AA to JA, 18 Jan., above.
2. This exchange between JQA and his cousin William Cranch has not been found.
3. The letter from James Moylan, a merchant at Lorient, was dated 8 May but has not been found. JA acknowledged it on 14 May and instructed Moylan:
“I have received your Favour of the 8th. inclosing Invoice, of sundry goods shipped on board the Alliance to the Amount of Liv. 2187: 3s: 0d. . . . I am much obliged to Dr. Winship, for undertaking the Care of the Caisse. If he should go to Philadelphia and not return soon from thence to Boston, I should be glad he would deliver it, to Mr. Gerry or some of the Mass. Delegates and ask them to convey it by the first Waggon” (LbC, Adams Papers).
4. In JA's record of personal expenditures there is an entry of 28 April 1780: “Paid for Singing Birds and Cages 35 [livres]: 10: 0” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:439).
5. See AA to JA, 26 Feb., and AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb., both above.
6. Arthur Lee.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0257

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-12

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

On the 10th. of this Month I had the pleasure of recieving Letters { 340 } from Hingham dated in February, which informed me of the Health of all Friends at both my dear Homes. They contain the first News I have recieved of the Kind. They gave me Relief from a Burden of Anxiety I had been under respecting the Severity of the Winter there.
I have also Letters from Braintree, which inform me, that a Marriage (that most honorable and most happy of States on this Side that great Society above) is on foot between Miss B[etsy] P[a]l[me]r and Mr. N. Cranch.1 I rejoice with the most unfeigned Sincerity in the Information. But there is a Circumstance accompanying this Hint, which is not more novel than extraordinary. It is this—that this is the fruit and Result of ten Years Courtship, Love, &c. Ten Years—ten years!! It is a long Time indeed. I fell into a Soliloquy upon reading it: but it was a short and pleasing one. I am too well acquainted, with the Intrigues and Finesse of some Characters, to hesitate one Moment in judging of the End and Object of giving to this Transaction so early a date. A Concurrence of Hints and Circumstances previous to my departure, tho' artfully enveloped, and hidden in the Shades of Intrigue, did not escape my Observation. This last Circumstance of ten Years, this pure vestal flame of Love of ten Years Duration and Growth is a master piece of Policy, and is fraught with this twofold Advantage, that as it does honor to their Invention, so it acquits me indirectly if not immediately, of all Culpability, even if my Conduct had been subject to Reprehension, which I absolutely deny. But I forbear any further Animadversions—they may have the Air of Vanity, perhaps of Truth. You will judge charitably and candidly, who are acquaintainted with the Rise, Progress, different Stages, forms and Appearances as well as Conclusion of this Matter so far as it respects me personally. It is no small Happiness to me to stand acquitted of any fault in this affair, by so respectable a Friend and Character as You Madam. Injurious Imputations would have fallen upon me, if You had not interposed. Happy am I in so able and so worthy an Advocate, but still more happy in a Consciousness of my entire Innocence.
Je vous prie, Madame, que vous voulez me faites de l'honneur presenter mes Respects a Madame C[ranch] et souhaiter Madame C. beaucoup de joie en mon parti, if She is married.—You will pardon, Madam, my writing thus freely to You on this Subject. Tis from a Conviction of your full Acquaintance of all the Circumstances in which I am in any Way connected. I could wish to talk one hour—and to write three—but the least said is best.
Give me leave to intreat You, Madam, not to let any Eye run over this Scroll but yours—not even Miss Nabby's, who from her very inti• { 341 } mate Connection with Miss B.P. or Mrs. Cranch that it is now possibly, may mention these Observations to her; tho' perhaps with no Intention to injure me, yet it may have a contrary Effect, and it would give me pain to be the Occasion of ill will. You will oblige me much if You will be so good as to commit it to flames.
P.S. Tho' my Head and Heart have been for many years running upon Courtship and Matrimony, and more especially since the ten Years Affair, I had like to have forgot to enquire after the Weymouth Match. I wish it more success than I did another made there in the same House.2 Much Joy if married. What a miserable, forlorn Wretch I am, who have been fixed as Fate in my Affection and Choice for a long while, should be condemned to find the Grapes sour all my Life, whilst all my Cotemparies are settling down in Life in the most respectable and happy Connections. But so it is. But this is wild Talk, and perhaps there is more advanced than can be proved. I know not how it is. However no Body is the wiser or better for my affection, for nobody knows it but myself, and perhaps not even myself. I will rattle no longer. There is Jargon and Contradiction enough indeed in so few Lines.

[salute] I am very respectfully your most obedient Servant,

[signed] J.T.
1. See, however, Richard Cranch's letter to JA of 26 April, above, in which Nathaniel Cranch's sudden death is reported. The hints in Thaxter's “Observations” that follow are too cryptic for interpretation, although their general drift suggests that he had at one time considered himself, or been considered by others, a suitor for Betsy Palmer.
2. The editors have not identified the persons concerned in these two Weymouth matches.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0258

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

The inclosed Dialogue in the Shades was written by Mr. Edmund Jennings now residing at Brussells, a Native of Maryland. I will send you the Rest when I can get it.2
How I lament the Loss of my Packets by Austin! There were I suppose Letters from Congress of great Importance to me. I know not what I shall do without them. I suppose there was Authority to draw &c. Mr. T[haxter]'s Letter from his father, hints that Mr. L.3 is coming here. This will be excellent.
Since my Arrival this time I have driven about Paris, more than I { 342 } did before. The rural Scenes around this Town are charming. The public Walks, Gardens, &c. are extreamly beautifull. The Gardens of the Palais Royal, the Gardens of the Tuilleries, are very fine. The Place de Louis 15, the Place Vendome or Place de Louis 14, the Place victoire, the Place royal, are fine Squares, ornamented with very magnificent statues. I wish I had time to describe these objects to you in a manner, that I should have done, 25 Years ago, but my Head is too full of Schemes and my Heart of Anxiety to use Expressions borrowed from you know whom.
To take a Walk in the Gardens of the Palace of the Tuilleries, and describe the Statues there, all in marble, in which the ancient Divinities and Heroes are represented with exquisite Art, would be a very pleasant Amusement, and instructive Entertainment, improving in History, Mythology, Poetry, as well as in Statuary. Another Walk in the Gardens of Versailles, would be usefull and agreable.—But to observe these Objects with Taste and describe them so as to be understood, would require more time and thought than I can possibly Spare. It is not indeed the fine Arts, which our Country requires. The Usefull, the mechanic Arts, are those which We have occasion for in a young Country, as yet simple and not far advanced in Luxury, altho perhaps much too far for her Age and Character.
I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c.—if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty.—The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.—I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.4

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers). For the enclosed newspaper piece by Edmund Jenings, which has not been found, see note 2.
1. It is difficult to date this letter with precision but not at all difficult to date it within a day or two of its composition. It must have been written after JA's letter to AA of 12 May, above, which reported the capture of Jonathan Loring Austin and the loss of the letters he was bringing JA from America—a loss plaintively mentioned again in the present letter. It was very probably written before JA's letter to AA of 15 May, below, because it mentions incidents that occurred { 343 } earlier in May, for example JA's receipt of Jenings' “Dialogue” (see the following note) and Thaxter's receipt of letters from Hingham, which Thaxter's letter to AA of 12 May, preceding, states he received on the 10th.
2. The editors have not seen this political piece. The “first part” was sent by its author, Edmund Jenings (1731–1819), to JA on 2 May (letter in Adams Papers, enclosure missing) as printed in a recent but unidentified London newspaper; it was warmly acknowledged in JA's reply of 6 May (LbC, Adams Papers). In a dispatch dated 27 May, JA told President Huntington: “Among the English Papers, which I enclose to Congress, will be found a Dialogue in the Shades between the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Chatham and Mr. Charles York—it was written by Edmund Jennings Esqr. of Maryland, now residing at Brussells, a Gentleman of Merit” (PCC, No. 84, II, without the newspaper in question; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:735).
As for Jenings, a Marylander long resident in London who played an obscure but interesting and controversial part in the international intrigues of the day, see a biographical note in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:355–356, and numerous mentions of him in that work.
3. Henry Laurens?
4. For an attempt to put the foregoing celebrated passage in the context of JA's general view of the fine arts, see the Foreword to Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. xii–xvi. See also the Introduction to the present volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0259-0001

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-14

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

The inclosed Papers will show you how the Business of Mr. A's Accounts has been conducted—with indecent Delay. I presume the Treasury will draw a Bill of Exchange for the Balance.—You had all the News respecting Mr. Adams which has yet come to us. We hear some agreable Things from Mr. Carmichael at Madrid where he was preparing for Mr. Jay's Reception who remained at Cadiz.1
It is not necessary for you to send any Extracts to Mr. A——of what is here conveyed respecting his Accounts as I have already done it in Cyphers of which I shall make duplicates.2
I can only add to what I before said about Exchange, that you will certainly do well to get all the continental you can just at this Time. It cannot fail to be a Benefit.

[salute] Yrs. with Esteem,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure, printed herewith: copies in Lovell's hand of several reports and the final vote of Congress, 1779–1780, on the settlement of JA's accounts as joint United States commissioner in Paris, 1778–1779.
1. William Carmichael was secretary of legation to John Jay's mission to Spain. For a sketch of Carmichael see above, vol. 2:199.
2. See Lovell to JA, 4 May (Adams Papers), which summarized Congress' action on JA's accounts.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0259-0002

Author: Govett, William
Author: Lovell, James
Author: Mercier, John D.
Recipient: Continental Congress
Recipient: Forbes, James
Recipient: Mathews, John
Recipient: Houston, William Churchill
Date: 1779-10-25
Date: 1779-10-27
Date: 1780-05-14

Enclosure: Reports on John Adams' Accounts

Mr. Adams' Letter of Aug. 3d. was referred to the Board of Treasury on the 20th. to take Order.1
The Commissioners report
That agreable to an Order of the honble. Board of Treasury of the 12th Instant, they have examined the Accounts of the honble. John { 344 } | view Adams Esqr. one of the Commissioners of the United States at the Court of Versailles for his Expences to, at and from thence, and find that He has received from the following Persons, the Sum of forty eight thousand nine hundred and fifty five Livres four Sols Vizt.
Of the honble. Navy Board, Boston   2400   0   0  
The honble. Benjn. Franklin Esqr.   10610   16   0  
Wm. T. Franklin   480   0   0  
John Bonfield   2292   12   0  
Mr. Grand sundry Drafts and payments   32159   16   0  
Mr. Puchelberg   1012   0   0  
    48955   4   0  
And that there is an Error in his Account of Expences at and from Bordeaux to Paris for which he is to be charged   53   11   0  
The whole Amounting to forty nine thousand and eight Livres fifteen Sols   49008   15   0  
That he charges for Expenditures for which there are many Vouchers wanting, and which, from Circumstances, they think could not easily be obtained, the following Sums vizt.
Joint Expences with the Honble. Benjamin Franklin   15261   4   6  
Expences paid for B. Franklin as per Account A   1981   3   0  
His Secretary and Servants Wages, travelling and other Expences   7742   3   6  
Cash paid for Cloathing for himself   5248   15   6  
Do. Books for Do.   1955   9   0  
Do. Schooling his Son   1861   1   0  
Money borrowed and repaid   45   12   0  
Money lost which was sewed in the lining of a Coat which was stolen3   192   0   0  
Expences at Boston on public Business, and Postage since his Return   48   0   0  
    34335   8   6  
And he also charges for his Allowance for Twenty Months at 11428 Livres per Ann:   19046   0   0  
The whole amounting to fifty three Thousand three hundred and eighty one Livres eight Sols and six Deniers   53381   8   6  
{ 345 } | view
From which accounts there appears a balance of four thousand three hundred and seventy two Livres thirteen Sols and six Deniers in favor of the honble. John Adams Esqr. But, as they have no Rule to go by in allowing his Expenditures or Pay, they have stated the Account as above, and beg Leave to submit the whole to the Honble. Congress.
They beg Leave to remark that the Examination of the Copy of an Account marked A which they received with Mr. Adams's other Accounts and is for joint Expences of himself, Doctr. Franklin and Mr. Deane, cannot be gone into at Present, the Monies credited therein having been received, and the Vouchers to said Account remain with him. But from a View of the Charges therein they find
That their joint Expences amount to           13307   13   0  
The particular Account of Benja. Franklin           2979   14   0  
Ditto Silas Deane           1323   18   0  
Cloathing for Mr. J. Adams   54   0   0   }   1014   0   0  
Cash received by him and which he credits for in his Account reported on   960   0   0          
Amounting to eighteen thousand six hundred and twenty-five Livres five Sols           18625   5   0  
[signed] signed Wm: Govett
[signed] John D: Mercier
Committed and a Report made Decr. 154 which Report was resumed April 15. 1780.
The Committee to whom was referred the Report of the Commissioners of Accounts of the 25th. of Octr. last on the Accounts of the honble. John Adams Esqr. late one of the Commissioners of the United States at the Court of Versailles report5
That they do not find any Vote or Proceeding of Congress nor are they informed of any general or received Custom on which the Charge of Monies for the Education of the Accomptants Son can be admitted; and, though the same is inconsiderable they are of Opinion it ought to be rejected that a Precedent be not established.
That they are of Opinion the charge for Books ought to be admitted on the Ground of a practise which has obtained in different Nations respecting their public Ministers and which is mentioned by Mr. Adams in the Explanations attending his Vouchers.
That they find the several charges in the said Accounts conformable { 346 } to the strictest principles of Oconomy and that as far as Mr. Adams has been intrusted with public Money the same has been carefully and frugally expended.
Resolved That Congress agree to the said Report.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure, printed herewith: copies in Lovell's hand of several reports and the final vote of Congress, 1779–1780, on the settlement of JA's accounts as joint United States commissioner in Paris, 1778–1779.
1. In his letter to President Jay of 3 Aug. 1779 reporting his return home, JA had asked “whether Congress will choose to receive my Accounts alone, or to wait untill the other Commissioners shall exhibit theirs, so as to have the whole together under one View, in order to do equal Justice to all” (PCC, No. 84, I; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:277). The letter was read on 20 Aug. and referred to the Board of Treasury to decide this question (JCC, 14:981). What followed has been set forth in detail in a note by the editors on Lovell's letter to AA of 9 Aug. 1779, p. 220–222, above, and need not be repeated here. See, however, JA's record of Personal Receipts and Expenditures, Feb. 1778–Aug. 1779 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:325–344), and his letter to the Board of Treasury, transmitting and explaining his accounts, together with such vouchers as he possessed, 19 Sept. 1779 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:111–114).
2. The original of this document has not been found in PCC and may now exist only in the present copy made by Lovell and sent to AA.
3. This was actually “a pair of coarse homespun Breeches” belonging to JQA, into the waistband of which eight or more guineas had been sewn (JA to William McCreery, 15 April 1778, above). This humble article, lost either in Bordeaux or on the road between Bordeaux and Paris, became “a Garment” in JA's rough accounts (Diary and Autobiography, 2:326) and has here completed its evolution into respectability by becoming a lined coat.
4. The accountants' report had been referred on 27 Oct. to a committee of three members—James Forbes, John Mathews, and William Churchill Houston. They presented their report on 15 Dec., but no action was then taken on it. See JCC, 15:1212, 1383.
5. The original, in W. C. Houston's hand, is in PCC, No. 19, I. Deducting 1,861 livres 1s. for “Schooling his Son,” Congress agreed to the audit, without further change after what Lovell called “indecent Delay,” on 15 April 1780 (JCC, 16:368–369). The balance in JA's favor (not indicated in the Journal) then stood at 2,511 livres 12s. 6d., the sum finally paid over to him. See further, Lovell to JA, 4 May (Adams Papers); AA to JA, 5 July; Lovell to AA, 3 Sept.; and AA to Lovell, 17 Sept.; all below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0260

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I inclose for your Amusement, a Publication, made here within a few days.1
Somebody has inserted in the Amsterdam Gazette, that this Gentleman lodges with me. This is done with a political design, but whether { 347 } it was intended to do honour to me, or him or both, I dont know.—It is not true.—However there is a good Understanding between him and me, and therefore I did not trouble myself to enquire whether it was done to serve or hurt him or me, or both.2
I went Yesterday, Pentecost, to Versailles, and saw the Nights of the order of St. Esprit. There was magnificence enough.3 The Queen shone, like a Star—and the K[ing] had a new Throne. This striking Character discover[ed] by his Countenance, that he had not a very profound Admiration of the Pomposities about him. He manifestly smiled Contempt, upon some of the Ceremonies. But He made a most profound, and reverential Bow to the Altar, when he came up and when he went away. This was done with an Air of real serioussness and Gravity.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found; see note 1.
1. Evidently a French publication about the American naval hero John Paul Jones; see the following note.
2. “[T]his Gentleman” was John Paul Jones, as appears from an item of Paris news in the Gazette d'Amsterdam, 5 May 1780: “Le Commodore Paul Jones, qui est actuellement ici logé avec Mr. Adams, a reçu Mardi dernier á 1'Opéra de grands Applaudissemens du public, qui a paru voir avec un vif Sentiment de plaisir et d'Admiration, cet intrépide Marin” (cited from a collection of extracts from European newspapers concerning American affairs, 5 April–4 July 1780, copied by JA and John Thaxter, in Adams Papers). Between cruises, Jones was spending six weeks of April and May enjoying his celebrity and the other diversions offered him by the chief capital of Europe; see Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones, Boston and Toronto, 1959, p. 275 ff.
3. This was not the first time that JA had witnessed the ceremonial investiture of the Knights of the Holy Ghost. See his brief diary entry of 7 June 1778 and the colorful elaboration thereof in his Autobiography (Diary and Autobiography, 2:316; 4:130–132).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0261

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Pechigny, M.
Date: 1780-05-16

John Adams to Pechigny

[salute] Sir

I have recieved your two favors of the 9th. and 10th. of this Month with the Accounts of my Sons and Mr. Cooper [i.e. Samuel Cooper Johonnot] for the first Quarter.1
They did, I must confess, appear to me very high—and I have shewn the Account of Mr. Cooper, to some Gentlemen, who know the prices of things here, and they are of Opinion with me, that they are very high. They pointed out to me the Articles, especially those of Cloathing, which they thought were charged too high —on the whole they thought there ought to be an Abatement of at least three Louis D'Ors, on Mr. Cooper's Account. I find the Accounts of my Sons, are nearly as high, so that I fancy there ought to be an Abatement of the same { 348 } Sum of three Louis at least upon each of them. If You consent to this Abatement, I will pay You the Money for all three, as soon as You please.2
As to an Agreement to give 1200 Livres a Year to commence from the 10th, I will readily come into it, provided You mean that it shall be in that proportion for any longer or shorter Time, and that I shall be at Liberty to take them away, whenever I shall think proper.
I am uncertain how long I may stay here. I may be ordered to some other place. I may think it necessary to send my Children to Geneva or Holland, or I may take an House here, and see to the Education of my Sons myself, under proper Masters. In any of these Cases I must be at Liberty to take them from your Pension, paying in the proportion of 1200 Livres for a Year, for the Time they shall actually stay with You. If You agree to these proposals, please to inform me, as soon as possible by Letter—if You do not, I would desire You not to provide any of the three young Gentlemen with any more Cloaths of any kind, nor furnish them with any more Money or Books. I will take this upon myself, and further I would not have them put any longer to the Master of Fencing or Dancing—let them attend the Drawing and Writing Masters, and bend all the rest of their Time and attention, to Latin, Greek, and French, which will be more useful and necessary for them in their own Country, where they are to spend their Lives.
If I should take them from your Pension, it will not be from any disgust or dislike, for I am well satisfied with the Care that is taken of them, and with the progress they make. I am however very far from being determined to take them away at all. The sooner You favor me with your Answer, and the sooner I pay You, what is justly your due, for the first Quarter, the more agreable to me.

[salute] I am with much Respect and Esteem, Sir, your most obedient and humble Servant.

LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). At foot of text: “Monsieur Pechiny.”
1. Neither the letters of M. Pechigny nor the accounts he rendered have been found.
2. In JA's record of personal expenditures the following entry appears under 17 May 1780: “Paid Mr. Pechini's Account for my Sons John and Charles 980 [livres] 10: 0” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:439). This suggests that the schoolmaster had come to terms with JA very promptly indeed.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0262

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1780-05-16

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

Your kind favor of 26th. Feby. was sent me by Mr. John Hodshon of Amsterdam, whom I shall request to convey You this. You can't imagine how much pleasure this Letter gave me. I should be obliged to You to write me and desire Mrs. Adams, and my friends to write by every Vessel to Amsterdam and Spain. The Newspaper inclosed was very agreeable. I have procured the Account of Captain Water's glorious Cruise, to be translated and published, and it will be published in the English papers, and all the papers of Europe. It does him and Us much Honor.
You could not have gratified me more, than by the Account of the proceedings of Convention. The Report of the Committee is publishing in the Courier de L'Europe, and is well received.1 The Liberality on the Subject of Religion, does Us infinite Honor and is admired and applauded every where. It is considered not only as an honest and pious Attention to the unalienable Rights of Conscience, but as our best and most refined Policy, tending to conciliate the Good Will of all the World, preparing an Asylum, which will be a sure Remedy against persecution in Europe, and drawing over to our Country Numbers of excellent Citizens.2
From your Account I flatter myself we shall have a good Government. Two Armaments have sailed—one from Brest the 2d. May, Eight Ships of the Line and four thousand Men, with a fine Train of Artillery. Another from Cadiz of 12 Ships of the Line and 12,000 Men, with another Train of Artillery on the 28th. April. Accounts from the West Indies at the same time are very favorable.
One would think without some Uncommon Misfortune, these Armaments must tend to bring the English to Reason. My Regards to Mrs. Smith and the Family. I am &c.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. It was JA who had submitted The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, 1779, for publication in the Courier de l'Europe, an international journal that was published in various cities and seems to have had an office at Paris at this time; see JA to the Editor of the Courier de l'Europe, 8 May 1780 (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. Although the articles on religion in the proposed Constitution by no means satisfied certain minority groups in Massachusetts, they did attract favorable comment in Europe. An example, quite possibly one among those to which JA is specifically referring, is an article in the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 21 April 1780, copied by JA into his collection of extracts from European newspapers concerning American affairs (Adams Papers, under date of 5 April 1780).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0263

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-16

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the pleasure of addressing You on the 17th of April last, since which Congress have received several Letters from our worthy Friend at Paris, containing Copies of his Correspondence with the Count de V[e]rg[enne]s, Primier of F[ranc]e. In one of his Letters to Mr. A[dam]s the Count says “the principal object of your Mission, I mean what regards the future Pacification, shall be announced in the Gazette of France, when a Mention is made of your presentation to the K[in]g and R[oya]l F[amil]y”: and also proposes, that an Extract of Mr. A——s Commission of M[iniste]r P[lenipotentiar]y should at the same Time be published, and that similar Insertions should be made in the Leyden Gazette: all of which will undoubtedly be sent to America and communicated to the publick.1 Previous to this Intelligence, I had prepared for the press a paragraph to rectify the partiality of the P[hilosophica]l S[ociet]y, but as the Inconveniences apprehended from their publication in Europe will be now effectually prevented, I think it best to take no other Notice thereof, than to hint to one of their Members who is a Friend to Mr. A——s, that their Appointment, circumstanced as it was, could not be supposed honorary, but must appear deficient in Delicacy to Mr. A——s as well as to the State in which he resided.
I had the pleasure last Evening of a Visit from the Marquis la Fayette with a Letter of the 29th Feby. from Mr. A——s2 and one of the 26th from Mr. D[an]a, both of whom were happy in the Friendship and Confidence of the Court of F[ranc]e, and in the Hopes of seeing in due Time, the present tragical Scene closed, and the Cause of Liberty established on a permanent Foundation. I remain Madam with the sincerety, Friendship & Esteem your most obedt. & very hum. ser.,
[signed] G.
RC (Adams Papers). At foot of text: “Portia.”
1. Vergennes' note to JA quoted by Gerry was dated 24 Feb. (Adams Papers), and a translation of it was enclosed in JA's letter to President Huntington on the 25th (PCC, No. 84, I; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:518–519). Having had his presentation at Versailles on 7 March, JA waited a fortnight and then inquired concerning the promised official announcement of his mission (letter to Vergennes, 21 March; copy enclosed to Huntington in PCC, No. 84, I; Wharton, 3:564–565). In a reply nine days later Vergennes suavely explained that, upon inquiry, he had found that the presentations of neither ambassadors nor ministers plenipotentiary were announced in the Gazette de France and consequently that an announcement there of JA's presentation would appear an “affectation.” He proposed instead to insert a notice of it { 351 } in the Mercure de France (an organ of the French government, but not officially so), whence JA himself could see to it that it was copied in “les gazettes étrangères” in a postscript he subjoined a text for JA's approval, as follows: “Le S[ieur] Adams que le Congrès des Etats Unis de l'Amérique a désigné pour assister aux conférences pour la paix lorsqui'il y aura lieu, est arrivé depuis quelque tems ici et a eû I'honneur d'être présenté au Roi et à la famille royale” (Adams Papers; translation in Wharton, 3:580). JA had to be satisfied with this brief and bare gesture, which was made on 5 April, but in reporting it and his compliance therewith to Congress on the same day he could not refrain from commenting: “I ought to confess . . . that the Delicacies of the Comte de Vergennes about communicating my Powers, are not perfectly consonant to my manner of thinking” (letter to Huntington, 30 March, PCC No. 84, I; Wharton, 3: 581). Needless to say, the result of these “Delicacies” fell far below the expectations of Gerry as expressed in the present letter.
2. LbC, Adams Papers; printed in Austin, Gerry, 1:333–334.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0264

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

This day I received yours of the first of March from Bilbao, with the Journals &c.—the Postage of this Packet, is prodigious. I would not Advise to send many Journals, or Newspapers, this Way, or by Holland, but cut out pieces of Newspapers, and give me an Account of any Thing particularly interesting in the Journals, in your Letters, by such Conveyances, and send large Packetts of Journals and Papers directly to France.—Dont omit any Opportunity of Writing however by Holland or Spain. The Communication this Way is more frequent than any other.—Your two Sons were at Table, with me, when your Letters arrived, and a feast We had of it indeed. Your Uncle writes me that Babson has arrived, who carried you Letters and Linnen. The same Articles are repeated in Trash. The Alliance, if she ever sails, has all your Affairs and those of our friends on board. I wish them safe.
Your account of the brave Jacks that I saw at Corunna, moves me.1 I saw another such Crew at Bilbao, who belonged to Mary land, and had the sweet Satisfaction [to] do them a similar Service. Amidst all my Pains and Heart Achs, I have now and then the Pleasure of doing a little good, and that is all the Pleasure I have. I wish however it was in my Power to do more for the Numbers of my unfortunate Countrymen, who fall in my Way. The Rogues however, committed a great fault in not calling upon you, to give you an Opportunity of having the same satisfaction. They ought too to have called to let you know, I was ashore, and well.
1. See AA to JA, 1 March, above. The incident is not recorded in JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0265

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-17

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

I was made happy this day by the Receipt of your esteemed favor of the 2d. of March.
You say, that in the seperation of near Friends, You have ever thought the person left at Home the greatest Sufferer, and that anticipated Evils have often as much Power over the Mind as real ones. This Observation is the Result of that extream Sensibility of which You are possessed, and which has been but too often wounded by repeated Seperations from your dear Friend. In point of duration of Suffering the Person at Home is the greatest, but in point of degree the Traveller is the greatest. It is sometimes the reverse. The Mind by its creative Power forms more dangers and Misfortunes for Friends at Sea and upon Journeys, than it provides Escapes for them, and altho' they hope and wish for their Safety, yet Fears, unfriendly Fears, do but too often damp their pleasing Prospects, and rob the Soul of its Anchor.
Pardon me, Madam, if I once sincerely rejoiced in the Absence of a Family, where I lived so agreeably and happily for several Years. It was in the Storm at Sea; which however would not have been very dangerous to Us had it not have been for the Leak and Age of the Ship. I did then rejoice that You was in Safety and far from witnessing a Scene, which would have awakened, all the Tenderness of a Wife and Mother, and doubly aggravated the Anxiety and Pain of your dearest Friend. In such a Case as this, I think the suffering of the Traveller is greatest.
You tell me, I have given a tolerable Account of Spain, but have not said a Word of the Dulcinas. I saw but one in the Route, that deserved so sweet a Name. This is harsh; but I dare not recal it.
You have rallied me upon my Apathy. This is another part of Speech. But the Parisian Ladies are to rouse me from my secure Slumbers you believe. They are fine Women its true, and have a Vivacity, Sprightliness, Civility, and Politeness which would disturb ones Philosophy. I am not an “Infidel to their Power,” I “bow before it,” yet am “guarded against being conquered by it,” and “do reserve that Triumph” (if it would be a Trophy) “for some fair American” (If I have a Claim to a fair one) “who will charm by accepting, by submitting sway.”
In my Conscience I believe, I have no Apathy nor Stoicism, by Nature, Habit or Grace. I am an Admirer of the Charms of the fair, { 353 } whether of Person or Mind and have felt their Force. But I refer You to the Postscript of my Letter of the 12th. of May for an honest Confession. I have said enough—the Subject always turns my Head and makes me wild and eccentric. You will pardon them I hope.
Masters Johnny and Charley dined with Us to day and are well and conduct well.
Much Duty, Love and Compliments where due. With the greatest Respect, I have the Honor to be, Madam your most humble Servant,
[signed] J T

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0266

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Winslow
Date: 1780-05-19

Abigail Adams to Winslow Warren

From the Friendship with which I have long been honourd by your Mamma, and the personal knowledge of the amiable disposition of her Son, I am led to the freedom of addressing him upon his quitting his Native land, and joining my wishes with those of his other Friends that his voyage may be fortunate and safe, and that as he becomes acquainted with other Countries he may do credit to his own, which unfortunately for America, has not been the case with many who have visited France.1
The watchfull care of tender parents and the distinguished abilities of his most Excellent Mamma renders every admonition from every other pen unnecessary. Yet her anxiety for the future welfare of her Son and partiality for her Friend led her to obtain a promise from her that she would write him a few lines, e'er he embarked. He will not I hope consider what is written in the Spirit of Friendship as intruded upon him, nor take it amiss if I intimate to him that he has many excitements to do honour to his Country.
The Merrit and example of his parents are an inheritance to him, but an inheritance upon which he cannot subsist unless he transplants into his own life those virtues which distinguish them.
The two most important Lessons in life for a young person to acquire, is a knowledge of themselves, and of the connections they form. As the latter determines and establishes the character, too much attention cannot be paid to this important matter. Who can touch pitch and not be defiled? Tho Merrit alone seldom obtains the distintion that is its due, yet when united with a knowledge of the world and those Graces which happily for Mr. W[arre]n he has not now to ac• { 354 } quire, they will not fail obtaining favour with every character whose acquaintance he would be ambitious to cultivate. May I add that those very accomplishments which ensure him the Esteem of the good and Worthy, expose him to the snares, and machinations of different characters, and that he is entering a world where every thing is sacrificed by the greater part of it, to ambition, to Interest and to the passions. This tho an unpromiseing picture is the Idea that must possess him, in order to avoid falling into the snares which continually await the unguarded and unsuspecting to whom vice frequently makes her approaches in the Form and appearence of Innocent amusements—a well-bred compliance with received customs, and a Liberty which must be allowed in order to please.
The Humane mind is easily intoxicated with pleasure and the purest Manners soon sullied. Virtue may come by degrees to be thought too severe, and an Enemy when it opposes the ruling passion —a Matter of mere decency, a politick phantom, a popular prejudice which ought to be shaken of. Thus the infatuated understanding leads the Heart astray till it fall a prey to crimes of the deepest dye.—May I ask if the Manners of the present day are not a proof of these assertions? but

“Thy tender age that Loves instructions voice

Promise thee Generous, patient, brave and wise

And Manhood shall confirm thy glorious choice

Whilst expectation waits to see thee rise.”

That you may rise to honour and to Fame, the ornament of your Country and the blessing of your parents is the ardent wish of your Friend & Humble Servant,
[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA's hand: “Mr. W. Warren May 19. 1780.”
1. For what lay back, and ahead, of this letter, see Winslow Warren's reply, 26 May; AA to JA, 23 Aug.; both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0267

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-19

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] My much esteemed Friend

Large Packets are here received from Mr. Adams up to March 4th. His Reception was of the most cordial Kind. I shall execute speedily all his confidential Requests, and shall tell you the Nature of them in some Moment of more Leisure than the present. If a depreciating Currency has not ruined our Spirit and Principles of Patriotism, it { 355 } is not a mad Thing to hope that this Year's Campaign will give us Peace. But I must own that I feel great Uneasiness lest Ships and Troops should be in vain sent to co-operate with us. They may be hourly expected—we are much unprepared. I am sure that Mass: will do her utmost to forward what Congress may find necessary to recommend on this extraordinary Occasion. It is very material that the Nest at Penobscot should be broken up.

[salute] I am Madam, Your Friend and Servant,

[signed] JL
The inclosed is from Col. R. H. Lee, to be forwarded to Mr. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure: Richard Henry Lee to JA, “Virginia May the 7th 1780” (Adams Papers); printed in R. H. Lee, Letters, ed. Ballagh, 2:182–184, from a transcript furnished by CFA2, but misdated 17 May 1780; the letter deals almost exclusively with war news in the southern states.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0268

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-05-24

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favour of May the Second came last Evening to Hand, and is the only line received from you since the 21 of March.2 Former puntiality lead[s] me to fear the miscarriage of my Letters, but a multiplicity of publick avocations may easily account for omissions where nothing very important calld for a reply.
In Letters from Paris received by the Marquis, Mr. A[dam]s requests me to write you upon the Subject of remittances and that he shall be in trouble unless supplied in that way, or receives orders to draw upon you know whom,3 he says. You will not I trust be unmindful of him. Shall not fail to acknowledge any care or attention that you may take with regard to his former accounts.
When I requested you to negotiate an exchange for me, it was only 35 for one. The day that the resolutions of congress respecting exchange &c. was known here, it rose to 50 to 60 to 70 even up to 90, and has ever since been fluctuating in that manner. The 7 Labours of Hercules were not more difficult and complicated than the Subject of Finance. Congress are censured yet no one sees how the Evil can be easily cured tho every one is for administering a remedy.

[salute] When ever any thing respecting our publick affairs occurs which may be communicated, you will be so kind as to indulge in that way your Friend & Humble Servant,

[signed] Portia
We have had a strange Phenomena in the Natural World.4 On fryday the 19 of May the Sun rose with a thick smoaky atmosphere { 356 } indicating dry weather which we had for ten days before. Soon after 8 oclock in morning the sun shut in and it rained half an hour, after that there arose Light Luminous clouds from the north west, the wind at south west. They gradually spread over the hemisphere till such a darkness took place as appears in a total Eclipse. By Eleven oclock candles were light up in every House, the cattle retired to the Barns, the fouls to roost and the frogs croaked. The greatest darkness was about one oclock. It was 3 before the Sky assumed its usual look. The Luminous clouds dissapeard, and it raind gently for an hour or two. About 8 oclock in the Evening almost Instantainously the Heavens were covered with Egyptian Darkness, objects the nearest to you could not be discerned tho the Moon was at her full. It continued till 12 at Night and then dissapeard without either wind or rain. The clouds passt of to the south and east.—I have given you only my own observations. I hope some of our Philosophical Geniousess will endeavour to investigate so unusual an appearence. It is matter of great consternation to many. It was the most solemn appearence my Eyes ever beheld but the Philosophical Eye can look through and trust the Ruler of the Sky.
Dft (Adams Papers). CFA added at the head of the postscript: “1780.” On the (otherwise blank) fourth page of the folded sheet of Dft are several lines of a letter to “Sir,” possibly the rejected beginning of the present letter. Postscript has been slightly repunctuated for clarity.
1. Dated from Lovell's acknowledgment of the missing RC in his letter to AA of 13 June, below.
2. Thus she had not yet received Lovell's letter of 14 May, above, which enclosed copies of papers relating to the settlement of JA's accounts.
3. Benjamin Franklin.
4. AA's account of the famous “dark day” in New England, Friday, 19 May, was probably added a day or two after the foregoing was written, for, although her account is in her own language, it appears to draw some details from a communication signed by “Viator” and published in both the Continental Journal and Independent Chronicle, 25 May. See also Cotton Tufts to JA, 25 July, below, enclosing Tufts' own account of the dark day, which quotes some sentences from “Viator.”
This was a case of early American “smog,” doubtless caused by the smoke and ashes from forest fires burning in many places, as “Viator” notes, after a long stretch of very dry weather. According to Samuel Tenney, who later wrote a quasi-scientific description based on extensive inquiries, “the darkness was most gross in the county of Essex, the lower part of the state of New-Hampshire and the old Province of Maine. In Rhode-Island and Connecticut it was not so great, and still less in New-York” (“Dr. Tenney's Letter on the Dark Day, May 19, 1780,” MHS, Colls., 1st ser., 1 [1792, repr. 1806]:95).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0269

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1780-05-26

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

I must intreat You to write me, and persuade others to write by every Vessel to Spain and Holland.
We have just received Clinton's Letter.1 A Spanish Armament, 12. Ships of the Line, 5 Frigates &c. &c., 12,000 men sailed 28th. April. The Brest Armament of 8 Ships and 6000 Men sailed 2d. May. Walsingham and Graves are still in Port, for any thing We have heard. The maritime Powers have all acceded to the Russian proposal for an armed Neutrality. Our hopes are flattered at present with something this Campaign more favourable than the last, but the Events of War are always uncertain.
The American Trade certainly spreads.
The House of Commons had cleared their Galleries by the last Accounts, devising nothing honest I fear.
Some new plan of delusion perhaps for themselves and Us. They still think they can detach Us from our Alliance with France. They might as well think of our surrendering our Sovereignty. They say America is distressed—the Consequence they draw from it is, that America will distress infinitely more by going to War, with France and Spain.

[salute] Yours.

LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. A purported confidential letter (“Private No. 15”) addressed by Sir Henry Clinton at Savannah to Lord George Germain, 30 Jan. 1780. It recited in great detail the difficulties under which the British labored in holding New York City against threats of combined American and French land and naval forces, painted the gloomiest prospects for Clinton's southern campaign, where “a train of Incidents peculiar, and beyond human Foresight have set in, against the Arms of my royal master,” and held out no hope of an American collapse as a result of the current monetary crisis. Whatever its actual origin, this letter reached Paris with assurances that it had been captured at sea and published in Philadelphia in April with the authority of Congress. Both JA and Franklin gave it credence and circulated copies for publication in European journals. But it was very soon exposed as a forgery—“a mere Jeu d'Esprit,” JA later heard, and conceded, “written by an Officer in the [Continental] Army, upon the North river,” and yet a most ingenious and plausible piece of fictionizing, quite in character with Clinton. Since Lincoln had surrendered Charleston to Clinton on 12 May, this was one instance of JA's activities as a propagandist that seriously backfired, and he was much embarrassed by it.
See JA to Arthur Lee, 25 May (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:178–179); Edmund Jenings to JA, 27 May (Adams Papers); JA to Jenings, 30 May, enclosing a copy of the spurious letter, to be communicated to “the English Papers” (Adams Papers); C. W. F. Dumas to JA, without date (Adams Papers, under date of May–June 1780[ante 30 May 1780]); William Lee to JA, 31 May, 8 July { 358 } (both in Adams Papers, the latter printed in JA, Works, 7:215–216); Franklin to Dumas, 5 June (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:82–83); JA to Dumas, 6 June (MHi:Hoar Autograph Coll.; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:771– 772); Dumas to JA, 6 June (Adams Papers); JA to Jenings, 4 July (Adams Papers); JA to William Lee, 20 July (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7: 231). A French text of the forgery will be found in the so-called Gazette de Leide (Nouvelles extraordinaires de divers endroits), No. 43 (30 May), suppl., and No. 44 (2 June), suppl.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0270

Author: Warren, Winslow
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-05-26

Winslow Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I had the honor of receiving your Letter the last Week handed Me by Mr. Cranch; accompanied with your Letters for Mr. Adams1 Which I shall take particular pleasure in Conveying safe.—I shant here Attempt to Discribe my Gratitude to you for your Good Wishes and friendly advice to Me, In which I should fall so far short of what I would wish to express that it would neither give me the satisfaction in Conveying nor perhaps sufficiently convince you of the Obligation I feel myself under for this mark of your Condescention and friendship. To you it may suffice to say I think such a Letter from a Lady, and a Lady so Very Capable of dictating to a Youth as Mrs. Adams would stimulate the Most Depraved to the path of Virtue and Honor.
I have ever Endeavoured as far as the Caprices and Instabilitys of Youth and My Situation would Allow me, to avoid every friendship and Connection from which I might Hazzard the least personal reproach and dishonor. You May immagine I have met with mistaken friendships and formed too Contemptable Connections.
If I had, I Could Not entertain suspicions so dishonorable to Understandings as to suppose Any would Attribute them to more than Misfortune and Mistake. To whatever cause Mrs. Adams would Ascribe them I am sure her Generosity and Candour would Overlook Every Inadvertance of that kind which may have happened, at least till she perceives that Maturer Years and a better knowledge of the World does Not Guide with More Judgement thro: the snares and Machinations you Mention. I do Now and perhaps may have better reason to Consider my Voyage as a fortunate Opportunity to shake of Intimacys Many of which I hold in ineffable Contempt.—After informing you of my disappointment that I had Not the Honour of Again Waiting on You, and after wishing You every felicity subscribe with every sentament of respect and Esteem yr. Most Obedt: and very humb: Servt:
[signed] Winslow Warren2
{ 359 }
1. When Warren, 21-year-old son of James and Mercy (Otis) Warren, was about to embark in the brigantine Pallas, scheduled to sail from Boston on 20 May, his mother wrote AA offering her the opportunity of sending letters by him to JA (Mercy Warren to AA, 8 May 1781 [i.e. 1780], Adams Papers). AA embraced the chance, but the letters were doubtless lost when Warren was captured; see the following note.
2. Winslow Warren, in leaving for the Netherlands and France designed to seek his fortune by setting up a commission business dealing in goods to and from America. (See a brief sketch of Warren, vol. 2:151, above.) The Warrens were at least as protective of their children as other parents; Winslow's youthful friendships and proclivities had evidently already caused them concern; and his mother had solicited AA's advice to a son about to face temptations of a kind assumed to be far more numerous and seductive in Europe than in America; see AA to Winslow Warren, 19 May, above.
The departure of the Pallas was delayed until late in June, and not long after it finally sailed, from Newburyport, it was captured by the British man-of-war Portland and carried into St. John's, Newfoundland, where Warren at least briefly joined other Americans aboard the prison ship Proteus (James Warren to JA, 11 July, Warren-Adams Letters, 2:134; Winslow Warren and others to Adm. Richard Edwards, 20 July, MHi:Misc. Bound), then remaining at St. John's until September when he continued to England. (For the events of this interval, see below, AA to JA, 23 Aug., note 1.) For a time after arriving in London, Warren suffered no restraints and enjoyed the pleasures of London life with two other young Americans who had recently arrived there via Nantes, Paris, and Ostend. They were the fledgling artist John Trumbull, of Connecticut, and John Steele Tyler, a Bostonian whose errand was not to be known until 150 years later; see above, Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April, and note 1 there. In passing, Trumbull characterized Warren as “a somewhat amphibious character, and withal young, handsome and giddy,” but they must all have seemed so to the British authorities, who, following the news of Major John André's execution for his part in Arnold's treason, moved with vigor to restrain the Americans' movements. Trumbull was arrested, Tyler escaped arrest only by fleeing to the Continent, and Warren was allowed early in 1781 to leave the country only after submitting to repeated examinations of himself and his papers. According to his own account, written to his mother from Amsterdam in April 1781, one of the grounds for the leniency shown him was the fact that Secretary of State Lord Hillsborough was impressed by reading Mercy Warren's letters sent to her son in London: “His Lordship Condescended to Give me a great deal of advice saying he was prepossessed in my favour from my appearance. He and others to whom my papers were exposed, lavished many praises on my Mothers Letters—said 'they would do honour to the Greatest Writer that ever wrote,' and added, 'Mr. Warren I hope you will profit by her instructions and advice.' I had the honour of three private Conferences with him.”
Warren remained in Europe for more than three years without settling down to anything anywhere. He looked up JA in Amsterdam in March and April 1781 and in Paris in July (AA to JA, 28 May 1781, in vol. 4 below; Winslow Warren to Mercy Warren, 28 April, 25 July 1781, MHi:Mercy Warren Papers), but JA's mentions of him are laconic and unenthusiastic. The fullest reference he made to Warren is in a letter he wrote Mercy Warren, 29 Jan. 1783:
“I have never had an Opportunity, Madam, to see your Son since he has been in Europe, but once or twice at Amsterdam, and that before I had an House there. He has been travelling from Place to Place, and altho' I have often enquired after him, I have seldom been able to hear of him. I have heard nothing to his disadvantage, except a Shyness and Secrecy, which, as it is uncommon in young Gentlemen of his Age and Education is the more remarked, and a general Reputation which he brought with him from Boston of loving Play. But I have not been able to learn, that he has indulged it improperly in Europe. But { 360 } my Advice to him and every young American is and uniformly will be, to stay in Europe but a little while” (LbC in John Thaxter's hand, Adams Papers).
The whole of the foregoing paragraph has been scratched out beyond legibility in RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); it strains belief to suppose that this could have been done by the sender.
The chief source of information about Winslow Warren is in his travel journals and correspondence with his parents in MHi:Mercy Warren Papers and Winslow Warren Travel Journals and Letters; the materials there concerning his first sojourn in Europe have been drawn on in Charles Warren, “A Young American's Adventures in England and France during the Revolutionary War” (MHS, Procs., 65 [1932–1936]:234–267). Though useful in bringing together scattered materials, Charles Warren's account must be used with caution as to details, particularly on matters of date. The Warren-Adams Letters of course contain numerous references to Winslow; see index. For John Trumbull's characterization of Winslow and his part in helping John Steele Tyler to escape arrest in London, see Trumbull's Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 64.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0271

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-06-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I went a few days ago to see the Hotel de Monnoie or the Mint, the Building where all the Kings Coin is cast and stamped.1 We viewed all the various Machines, from the first melting of the gold and silver, to the final issuing of the shining Morsells. The Metal goes thro many Operations that I have not time to describe. There are many Appartements in the Building the Architecture of which is solid and convenient as well as elegant. Their is a noble Reservoir of Water which is conveyed by Pipes to every Appartement. There is a large Well, by which the Reservoir is supplied.
I was most entertained however with the Cabinet of Minerals, Metals of all sorts, sulphurs &c., and every Thing that had any Relation to silver and gold. There is a vast Variety—very curious and in nice order. How should I delight to spend my days in such Enquiries into Nature, if I were not necessitated by every Tye, to devote all my Moments to other Uses.—I send you an Extract from an English Newspaper, for the Amusement of your Friend.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found.
1. This was “le nouvel Hôtel des Monnoies” on the Quai de Conti on the left bank of the Seine, a very imposing building completed in 1774 and elaborately described in Dict. historique de la ville de Paris, 1779, 3:568–570, and Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris, p. 349–352.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0272

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-09

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

The Bearer Mr. John Leverett has just now inform'd me that he is bound to Holland and intends to wait upon you at Paris before he { 361 } returns.1 I gladly embrace the Oportunity of writing a Line to you by him.
I am again chosen by the Town of Braintree to represent them in the Genl. Court which is the reason of my being here as the Court is now sitting in this Capital. We have been certified by a Committee of Congress and by Genl. Washington that a Fleet and a Number of Troops from our Illustrious Ally, may be hourly expected to co-operate with us in this Quarter of the Globe, requesting us to fill up our Battallions immediately. We have Order'd 4000 Men from this State to be immediately raised for that purpose, who are to be ready to march in twenty Days from this Time.
Rivington in his lying Gazett has announced the surrender of Charlestown on the twelfth of May;2 but as nothing has yet reach'd us to coroborate that Account from any other Quarter, we hope it is without Foundation, especially as we have pretty certain Advice that Charlestown was safe and in good Spirits on the tenth of May, being but 2 Days before.
The House has this Day pass'd a Bill for repealing the tender Acts, and for allowing a Depreciation agreeable to a Recommendation of Congress. I inform'd you in my last of the Revolution in the Currency that is to take place. I left Braintree on Sunday Morng. (the House being oblig'd to sit that Day to finish the affair of Raising the 4000 Men) when I left your dearest Connections Mrs. Adams and Children well; they knew nothing of the Conveyance, else they would doubtless have embraced it. Your poor Brother is in great Affliction—his Wife died about a fortnight ago. She was just bro't to Bed of a fine Girl, but her previous very low state of Health render'd her too weak to survive above three or four Days.3 Your Mother, Father Smith, Uncle Quincy, Dr. Tufts, Coll. Thaxter and Families are well. I wrote you, about a month ago, by Coll. Tyler who sail'd from New London for France. A large Pacquett also is gone forward from Mrs. Adams &c. &c. about a fortnight ago by Mr. Guild (one of the Tutors of Harvard Colledge) who is about to make the Tour of Europe and expects to land first at Gothenburg in Sweden. I wrote to Mr. Thaxter a few Days ago by Genl. Warren's Son bound to Holland. Please to give my kindest Regards to the young Messrs. Johnney and Charley and tell them that their young Correspondants at Braintree are very happy in receiving their Letters by the Marquis de Fayett. I thank Mr. Thaxter for his esteem'd Favour by the same conveyance, and beg the Favour of his Corespondence in future.
When you find a leisure Moment (if that should happen) you { 362 } would make me very happy if you would employ it in letting me know how Matters are going on your side the Water.
The Gentleman by whome this will be deliver'd to you (fortune of War excepted) is a worthy Son of Harvard, who would think himself greatly honour'd in being made known to you. He is waiting for this, therefore hope you will excuse this hasty Scrawl from your ever affectionate Bror.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
Mrs. Cranch and Children were well when I left home.
The Post brings advice this evening that Charlestown was safe the 16th. Ulto. but that Ft. Moultrie was taken by 1500 Granadiers after being twice repulsed, on May 12th. Only 50 Me[n taken,]5 the rest having [with]drawn the preceding Night. Those 50 had the honors of War.
RC (MHi:Cranch Family Collection); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at Paris”; docketed in an unidentified hand: “Richd. Cr. to Mr. Adams June 9th. 1780.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “Letter to Bror. Adams June 9th. 1780.” Dft is written on blank sides of printed bill-of-lading forms. There are numerous small variations in phrasing between the two texts, but they are not recorded here.
1. John Leverett (1758–1829), Harvard 1776, later a lawyer and merchant of Windsor, Vt. ([Charles E. Leverett,] A Memoir, Biographical and Genealogical, of Sir John Leverett, Knt., . . . and of the Family Generally, Boston, 1856, p. 155–158, where the date of Leverett's death is erroneously given as 1839). Leverett sailed in the Pallas with Winslow Warren, was captured at sea, and in August returned in a cartel ship to Boston; see above, Winslow Warren to AA, 26 May, note 2, and two documents of 20, 27 July from Leverett, Warren, and others, one being a petition to, and the other an agreement with, Admiral Richard Edwards, Governor of Newfoundland, in MHi:Misc. Bound MSS.
2. This news was reported in the Boston Continental Journal, 9 June, p. 2, col. 2, from Rivington's New York Royal Gazette of 31 May, which was not lying.
3. See above, AA to JA, 15 April, note 5.
4. This addition was written by Cranch on the cover of his letter after he had folded and sealed it.
5. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0273

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-06-11

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] Dear sir

Your repeated favours of May 14, May 19 and 30 together with one bearing no date2 merrit my acknowledgement that amidst so great a Number of correspondents you should so often think of Portia. At the same time a sigh mingels with my gratitude that a Heart so benevolently disposed towards others whose life and Labours are so { 363 } intirely devoted to the publick Service should have occasion for an anxious moment for the situation of those dearest to him—that he cannot even receive the consolation of visiting those dear connextions without increasing difficulties.—Blush Massachusets that so ardent, so zealous an advocate in your cause and in the cause of Liberty, so patient a sufferer and so indefatigable a Labourer still should not at least be placed in a situation where he would have less occasion to feel for the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
But I quit a subject which always give[s] me pain to reflect upon, and thank you for your alphabetacall cipher tho I believe I shall never make use of it. I hate a cipher of any kind and have been so much more used to deal in realities with those I love, that I should make a miserable proficiency in modes and figures. Besides my Friend is no adept in investigating ciphers and hates to be puzzeld for a meaning. If Mr. L——1 will not call me Sausy I will tell him he has not the least occasion to make use of them himself since he commonly writes so much in the enigmatical way that no body but his particular correspondents will ever find out his meaning.
<I have seen my friend sometimes rub his forehead upon the receipt of a Letter, walk the room—What does this Man mean? who can find out his meaning.>
Your favour of May 14th enclosed Mr. A's accounts and the proceedings of congress upon them. You mention that you suppose the Treasurer will draw a Bill of Exchange for the Ballance. If this could be done it would benifit me as I doubt not I could sell the Bill for hard Money. I shall take it as a favour Sir if you will endeavour to get it done for me. If a power of Attorney is necessary I will forward one to you; enclosed is a coppy of one given me by Mr. Adams which possibly may be of service to you in transacting this Buisness. If the Bills could be drawn for a thousand Livres each it would be still more advantageous to me. You will be so good as to let me know what is necessary for me to do in this Buisness.
You mention having received packets from Mr. Adams up to the 4th of March which is a few days later than any I have had from him. You mention some communications that you will make in a more leisure hour. You will not let them slip your memory I trust.—Heaven send forward our Allies and prosper their Arms in this Hour of distress. I tremble for the fate of Carolina. Rivington has given us a list of terrors but I hope the lieing Spirit has not left him. Massachusets will do all that is required of her if possible. Believe me whatever some interested sordid wretches may say or write the people have { 364 } confidence in congress and tho some of their measures may not have been productive of all the good they wished for, the Generality of the people consider them as aiming at the publick Benifit—yet few feel for few know their difficulties and embarresments.—May I ask for a continuance of your favours, they amuse me in my retirement. I live secluded from the Gay world and have not been more than four miles from home for these 6 months. I mourn not that as a loss. The society of a few select Friends and my correspondents give me more solid satisfaction than dissapations for which I am not calculated. I feel myself so much Interested in the Fate of my country that she feel[s] not a misfortune in which I do not participate. You will not wonder Sir that I am anxious to know her situation from one so capable of and disposed to give information to his assured Friend and Humble Servant,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers). The “power of Attorney” enclosed in (missing) RC has not been found.
1. The (missing) RC of this letter must have been dated 13 June; see Lovell's acknowledgment in his reply of 14 July, below.
2. The first two of those enumeratedletters of 14 and 19 May are printed above, and the last twoletter of 30 May and that bearing no date are in Adams Papers but omitted here. That “bearing no date” was written after 4 May but before 14 May; it enclosed a simple alphabetical cipher for AA to use in letters to JA if she cared to; Lovell had sent the same cipher to JA in a letter of 4 May (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0274

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-13

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Palles which I thought had saild a fortnight ago, still lies at Newbury Port, and gives me the opportunity of acquainting you with the death of a Sister in Law, who I followed to the grave a week ago, leaving behind a Babe about 5 days old, and a distressd family of children, by which loss your Brother is bereved of an Excellent wife and his children a most kind and affectionate Mother. I have had one of the little Girls with me, and shall keep her till he can supply his family with better assistance.
We are greatly anxious for the fate of Charlestown, no Fleet arrived, yet no Alliance—am tired a looking for them.—Constitution will pass, will be accepted, we shall have a constitution of good goverment soon.1—Mr. L[ovel]l writes me your accompts are pass't. There is a balance in your favour for which the treasurer will draw Bills of exchange. Shall I send them to you, or sell them here for hard Money which I can easily do? Shall wait your determination when ever I { 365 } receive them. Enclosed is a pattern of which should be glad of 4 yards. —Friends all well—impatiently waiting to hear from you. Most affectionately Yours.
Love to the children. But a moments warning to write this.
1. The new Constitution was promulgated on 16 June, the last day of the last session of the Convention; see Mass. Constitutional Convention, 1779–1780, Journal, p. 186–187.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0275-0001

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-06-13

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I will not omit to acknowledge by this Post the Receipt of your Letter of the 24th. Ulto. because I can in some measure afford you Satisfaction in Regard to what Mr. A[dams] mentioned to both of us. On the 31st. of May Doctr. F[ranklin] was directed to pay the Draughts of Mr. A and Mr. D[ana] to the Amount of their respective Salaries. I will on Friday send you an authentic Resolve which you can forward in addition to those I have sent already. You will thus be able to keep a Copy for your own Satisfaction.
Only last Night could we determine that Charlestown was taken. It is a fatal Blow indeed to that Country in particular as well as injurious to the common Interest of the Union. Look for the Cause in the <Aristocratic> Temper of Mind which must of Course be generated in the rich Masters of many Slaves. You will find too little regard has been paid to general Interest. More than one Man has been induced to risk a great Sacrifice of public Interest for the Sake of a Confederation of very dissonant Parts.—If there are not extraordinary Exertions in the Middle and Eastern States, this Year will be filled with our Disgraces.
It is a lamentable Thing that we have been so very drowsy as to need such severe Strokes as the present to rouse us.

[salute] I have a most painful Finger to manage the Pen which assures you of the Continuance of my great Esteem as yr. humble Servt.,

[signed] J L

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0275-0002

Author: Continental Congress
Author: Thomson, Charles
Date: 1780-05-31

Enclosure: Resolution of Congress of 31 May1

In Congress May 31. 1780
Resolved That the Establishment of the Salaries of the Honorable { 366 } John Adams and his Secretary Mr. Dana be transmitted to the Minister Plenipotentiary of these States at the Court of Versailles and that He be directed to pay their Draughts to the Amount of their respective Salaries till Congress shall take further Order for that Purpose.
Extract from the minutes
[signed] Chas. Thomson secy.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams.” Concerning the enclosure, printed herewith, see note 1.
1. In Lovell's hand, with authentication and signature in Charles Thomson's hand. From a remark in Lovell's letter to AA of 14 July, below, it seems probable—though not beyond all doubt—that the resolution accompanied rather than followed the present letter. See JCC, 17: 476. AA forwarded the resolution in her letter to JA of 5 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0276

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-06-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I yesterday received a Letter of 26 April from Brother Cranch, for which I thank him and will answer as soon as possible. He tells me you have drawn a little Bill upon me. I am sorry for it, because I have sent and should continue to send you, small Presents by which you would be enabled to do better than by drawing Bills. I would not have you draw any more. I will send you Things in the family Way which will defray your Expences better. The Machine is horribly dear. Mr. C. desires to know if he may draw on me. I wish it was in my power to oblige him but it is not. I have no Remittances nor any Thing to depend on, not a Line from Congress nor any member since I left you. My Expences thro Spain, were beyond all Imagination, and my Expences here are so exorbitant, that I cant answer any Bill from any body not even from you, excepting the one you have drawn. I must beg you, to be as prudent as possible. Depend upon it, your Children will have Occasion for all your CEconomy. Mr. Johonnot must send me some Bills. Every farthing is expended and more. You can have no Idea of my unavoidable Expences. I know not what to do.
Your little affairs and those of all our Friends, Mr. Wibert &c. are on Board the Alliance and have been so these 4 months, or ready to be.—Pray write me by the Way of Spain and Holland as well as France. We are all well.—My Duty to your father, my Mother, and affections and Respects where due.
My affections I fear got the better of my Judgment in bringing my Boys. They behave very well however.
London is in the Horrors.—Governor Hutchinson fell down dead { 367 } at the first appearance of Mobs.1 They have been terrible. A Spirit of Bigotry and Fanaticism mixing with the universal discontents of the nation, has broke out into Violences of the most dreadful Nature–burnt Lord Mansfields House, Books, Manuscripts—burnd the Kings Bench Prison, and all the other Prisons—let loose all the Debtors and Criminals. Tore to Pieces Sir G. Savilles House—insulted all the Lords of Parliament &c. &c. Many have been killed—martial Law proclaimed—many hanged—Lord George Gordon committed to the Tower for high Treason—and where it will end God only knows.—The Mobs all cryd Peace with America, and War with France—poor Wretches! as if this were possible.2
In the English Papers they have inserted the Death of Mr. Hutchinson with severity, in these Words—Governor Hutchinson is no more. On Saturday last he dropped down dead. It is charity to hope that his sins will be buried with him in the Tomb, but they must be recorded in his Epitaph. His Misrepresentations have contributed to the Continuance of the War with America. Examples are necessary. It is to be hoped that all will not escape into the Grave, without a previous Appearance, either on a Gibbet or a scaffold.
Govr. Bernard I am told died last fall.3 I wish, that with these primary Instruments of the Calamities that now distress almost all the World the Evils themselves may come to an End. For although they will undoubtedly End, in the Welfare of Mankind, and accomplish the Benevolent designs of Providence, towards the two Worlds; Yet for the present they are not joyous but grievous.
May Heaven permit you and me to enjoy the cool Evening of Life, in Tranquility, undisturbed by the Cares of Politicks or War—and above all with the sweetest of all Reflections, that neither Ambition, nor Vanity, nor Avarice, nor Malice, nor Envy, nor Revenge, nor Fear, nor any base Motive, or sordid Passion through the whole Course of this mighty Revolution, and the rapid impetuous Course of great and terrible Events that have attended it, have drawn Us aside from the Line of our Duty and the Dictates of our Consciences!—Let Us have Ambition enough to keep our Simplicity, or Frugality and our Integrity, and transmit these Virtues as the fairest of Inheritances to our Children.
1. Former Governor Thomas Hutchinson died suddenly of apoplexy or heart disease in London on 3 June, almost at the outset of the week-long disturbances known as the Gordon Riots (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 8:212–213). In a letter to President Huntington of the present dateJA added extensive reflections on Hutchinson's role in history (PCC, No. 84, II; LbC in Adams Papers; { 368 } printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:794–798). AA subsequently permitted the passage to be published, anonymously, in the Boston Independent Chronicle; see Lovell to AA, 27 Nov. 1780, and AA to Nathaniel Willis, ante 4 Jan. 1781, both in vol. 4 below.
2. Besides accounts in London newspapers of the rioting inspired by Lord George Gordon and his Protestant Association, JA had received a vivid account in a letter from his secret informant Thomas Digges, who wrote over the pseudonym “W. S. Church,” 8–10 June (Adams Papers).
3. Former Governor Sir Francis Bernard had in fact died in June 1779 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0277

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-06-18

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

About a fortnight since Mr. Hutchinson, formerly Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, dropped down dead in England. The Reflection made by some one in the English Papers is this. “Governor Hutchinson is now no more. On Saturday afternoon he dropped down dead. It is charitable to hope, that his Sins may be buried with him in the Tomb, but they must be recorded in his Epitaph. His Misrepresentations have added Fuel to the unnatural War which has been kindled against America. Examples are necessary; and there is Reason to wish, that all Incendiaries may not escape into the Grave, without a previous Appearance, either at the Gibbet, or on the Scaffold.” This ought to be engraved in indelible Characters on his Tomb. The Viper has lost his Sting. He has left Monuments of Infamy behind him to make his Memory execrated. He has not lived long enough, to see the Liberty and Independence of the Country he wished to subjugate, established and confirmed. Doubtless he has foreseen what must be. Even the Anticipation ought to have been Death to him.
There have been great Convulsions in England. Perhaps these have killed him. The Mob have burnt Lord Mansfield's House and many other private Houses, besides three Prisons. It was a Mob of fifty thousand Men. They visited Parliament, buffeted several Lords and Bishops. Lord George Gordon was at the Head. They went to Parliament to insist upon a Repeal of an Act in favor of Popery.1 I am sorry they have risen upon this principle. It was but an act of Toleration. Had they turned Administration out of Doors for bringing them into an American War, and a War with France and Spain, they would have done nobly. If they had beheaded their obstinate King, and a few others, they would have done better.
Lord Gordon is in the Tower, and impeached for High Treason. If he is beheaded something more serious will take place. Lord Gor• { 369 } don is a Scotchman and powerfully supported. What the End of these things will be Time will determine. In its present Stage, it is no Advantage to Us. Mobs fighting against Toleration are of no Service to America. I wish it may not be known in America that the Insurrection was upon that Ground. At any Rate it is a ruined Kingdom, more despised than ever respected by Europe.
The Abbies Chalut and Arnoux have Copies of the Celebrated Letter of Madam A[dams] to Madam Grand.2 It is a Subject of Panegyrick, and very justly. It is full of good Sense, and Affection—no Husband of Sensibility can read it without Encomiums and Tears.
I had the pleasure of dining there last Sunday, and of seeing Miss Labhar and many other Ladies who were very handsome, but I have seen none as yet that have made so great an Impression on my Heart as my favorite Miss —— in America. I will say no more.—Johnny and Charley dined here to day and are very well, and behave in a Manner the most charming. I have the Honor to &c. &c.

[salute] Duty, Love, &c. where due.

[signed] J.T.
1. The Catholic Relief Act, passed by Parliament in June 1778 in the hope of encouraging Catholics to enlist in the army. See Christopher Hibbert, King Mob: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the London Riots of 1780, Cleveland and N.Y., 1958, p. 34 ff.
2. On this (lost) letter see Thaxter to AA, 16–27 Feb., above, and references in note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0278

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-06-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

We are very much affected with the Loss of Charlestown—it seems the most disagreable Affair, We have ever met with. I dont know that the Consequences will be bad, but the Loss of so many Men, ships, and Artillery and stores is heavy besides the Town. To maintain it, they must weaken themselves at N. York and elsewhere. We hope to hear of something to ballance it.
I inclose a Paper, giving an Account of the Troubles in London. What they will come to, in the End, I dont know. It seems hitherto a fanatical Business. Their civil Liberties, and most essential Interests are forgotten, while they are running mad for their own contracted notions. It is said, that the Catholic Bill will be repealed. The true motive for making that Law, with the Ministry and King, was to engage the Irish Catholicks, on their Side, and get them to inlist into the American service.
{ 370 }
In the midst of the dismay of these Mobs, comes the News from Charlestown.
The Ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, it seems as if they were to be permitted to have Success enough, to lead them on, untill they become the most striking Spectacle of Horror that ever was seen.
These Riots discover Symptoms of deep distress and misery, among the lower Classes of People. The particular Spight against the Prisons is one mark of it. The decided Part they took against the Ministry, shews upon what Ground they stand. It is however a Shocking Scaene. The King seems in a fair Way to the Summit of all his wishes, absolute Power. Martial Law is very agreable to him. G[overnor] Hutchinson died in the Beginning of the Affray. Lord Mansfields House underwent a worse Fate, than his.
I suppose that it will cost two millions Sterling, to indemnify the Sufferers. This must be added to all the other Expences of the War. They forget the state of Ireland, France, Spain, West Indies, N. America, the armed Neutrality of the maritime Powers, and their own distracted State, in their Joy for the News of Charlestown, which in reality however unpleasant to Us ought to be more dreadful to them, because it will be a Grave to their Army and a drain to their Purses without any considerable Advantage.
They however think not of Peace.—We are all well.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Collection). Enclosed “Account of the Troubles in London,” doubtless from a newspaper, not found. The letter itself must have been sent on by AA to Mercy Warren; it remained among her and her husband's papers and was included by Worthington C. Ford in his edition of the Warren-Adams Letters, MHS, Colls., 73 (1925): 133–134, where, despite the salutation to “Portia,” the addressee is wrongly assumed to be Mrs. Warren.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0279

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Your favour of April 6th reachd me to day per favour Mr. Williams, and is the only one I have had the pleasure of receiving since the arrival of the Marquiss.
I wish you would be so particular in yours as to notice any you may receive from me, for to this day I am at a loss to know whether you have yet received a line. Mrs. D[an]a told me that Mr. D—a had mentiond hearing twice from her. I never omitted an opportunity which she improved, if I knew of it, so imagine you must have received some.
{ 371 }
I wish I had agreable intelligence to communicate to you, I should certainly write you with more pleasure. Our present situation is very dissagreable, it is Alarming, but perhaps not more so than you have heretofore been witness to; who ever takes a retrospective view of the war in which we are engaged, will find that Providence has so intermixed our successes, and our defeats, that on the one hand we have not been left to despond, nor on the other, to be unduely elated. We have been taught to sing both of Mercies and of judgements—and when our Enimies have supposed us subdued, we have rise[n] the conquerors. That Charlestown is taken is a Truth—yet it excites not the Rage which our Road Island or Penobscot dissapointments did. They stung as Disgraces, this after a Gallant Defence yealded to superiour force, and is considerd as a misfortune, and each one is reanimated with spirit to remedy the Evil. The 3 years Men all disbanded, a large victorious Army in persuit of a small brave, but unfortunate one—a currency in which there is no Stability or Faith—are circumstances to puzzel wise Heads and to distress Benevolent Hearts. But as “affliction is the good mans shining time” so does America give proof of her Virtue when distressd. This State have raised, and are procuring their Men with vigor to act in concert with the Fleet and Army of our Generous Ally which we are impatiently looking for. The importance of immediately recruiting our Army is known to be such, that the Demands of pay are exorbitent, yet we fill up at any rate. We pay any price. “To spare now would be the height of extravagance and to consult present ease would be to sacrifice it perhaps forever,” says C[ommon] S[ense].1
Goverment now see to their sorrow their deplorable mistake in not inlisting their Army during the war. Thousands of Lives might have been saved and a million of treasure. We now only patch and patch, find a temporary relief at an immence expence and by this false step give our Enemies advantages they could never have obtained if we had possessd a Regular Army.
Nothing could have been more fortunate for me than the arrival of the few articles you orderd for me from Bilboa, just as the time when the calls for large sums of money took place. (The Quarterly tax for the state and continent amounts to 7 hundred pounds Lawfull, my part.) Mr. Tracy kindly forwarded them to me, with this complement, that he wished there had been ten times as much.
Enclosed is a Resolve of Congress with regard to your sallery and a coppy of their Resolve with regard to your accounts.2 Mr. L[ovel]l wrote me that the Treasurer would draw a Bill for the Balance, which { 372 } shall enclose as soon as I receive. From Spain there are ten opportunities of getting merchandize to one from France. If you should think proper to make further remittances from Bilboa, be so kind as to send the following list, in lieu of Barcelona hankerchiefs with which the Market is at present Glutted. Order 15 yards of thin black mode,3 ditto white, ditto red, ditto blew, some black sattin proper for cloaks and low priced black lace, calico and Irish linnen, which is not higher priced than dutch, but sells much better, the best Hyson tea, the first I had was of the best sort, the last very ordinary.
Enclosed is a set of Bills.4 The other sent by Mr. Guile who I hope is safely arrived, but least he should not I will enclose a list of some things which I wrote for by him and some patterns of silk which I want for mourning for myself and Nabby5—15 yards of each kind which will be about four Livers per yard. If any thing of the wollen kind could be had which would answer for winter wear, be so kind as to order enough for two Gowns. 2 or 3 pair of black silk Gloves, if they were not in a former list which you carried. I have forgot. 3 black fans, a peice of black ribbon, half a peice of Narrow, 6 yard of plain black Gauze, 6 figured, four yard of plain Muslin. If I omitted in a former list a pound of white thread, (none to be coarse) we can make that; please to add it now and half a dozen peices of Quality binding different colours, ditto shoe binding. Calico can never come amiss, nothing in greater demand here. With Linnen am well supplied. Spain the best port to send that from. Some figured Lawn like the pattern enclosed about 2 Livers per yard, 6 or 8 yard—of Cap wire, a dozen peices.—The Alliance not yet arrived, a speady passage to her, I want my trunk.
No intrigues, no machinations that I hear of. There are some Great Folks here who I believe are sincerely glad that you do not stand in their way which from all Quarters is said would have been the case had you been here. I had rather distant as it is that you abide where you are for the present.6 The Man who from Merrit, fortune and abilities ought to be our Chief is not popular, and tho he will have the votes of the sensible judicious part of the State, he will be more than out Numberd by the Lovers of the tinkleling cymball.7
What a politician you have made me? If I cannot be a voter upon this occasion, I will be a writer of votes. I can do some thing in that way but fear I shall have the mortification of a defeat.
Adieu. How many pages does it take to pay the debt of one? How do my dear sons. Well I hope. Charley, the darling of the Neighbourhood is more deared over than all the rest, he possessd the faculty of { 373 } fastning every body to him. Thommy sends duty to pappa, respects [to] Mr. T[haxte]r and Loves his Brothers. I will not add any thing for their Sister, but that She does not write half so often as I urge her to. My paper warns me to close, yet gives me room to add the Signature of your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers). For the sundry enclosures see notes 2, 4, and 5.
1. Closing quotation mark supplied. The quotation is from Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis, No. IX,” dated at Philadelphia, 9 June, signed “Common Sense,” and reprinted in the Boston Continental Journal, 29 June 1780, p. 2, col. 3.
2. The first of these enclosures, a resolution of 31 May ordering Benjamin Franklin to pay JA's and Dana's salaries, was enclosed in (or perhaps shortly followed) Lovell's letter to AA of 13 June and is printed with that letter, above. The second, “a coppy of their Resolve with regard to your accounts,” survives with the present letter in the Adams Papers. It is a copy, or rather summary, in AA's hand of Congress' vote, 15 April, approving JA's accounts as audited; the original had been transmitted by Lovell to AA in his letter of 14 May, and is part of the enclosure printed with that letter, above; see the notes there. On the verso of the copy she sent to JA, AA added: “I have the whole account as it is stated, but do not think proper to send it—believe it most prudent to keep it here. However if you think otherways, it shall be forwarded.”
3. A kind of thin, glossy silk formerly used for hoods, scarves, &c. (OED, under Mode, noun, 11).
4. These have not been found.
5. The silk “patterns” (i.e. samples) were doubtless sent with this letter as a confirmation or cautionary duplication of AA's requests in her letter to JA sent by Benjamin Guild, 15 April, above. But the items that follow in the present paragraph appear to be for the most part additional to earlier requests, and so one should probably read AA's expression “enclose a list” as meaning “furnish a more inclusive list here.” For the sake of clarity the punctuation of her listing has been minimally regularized by the editors.
6. Sentence thus in MS.
7. This only slightly cryptic passage indicates that electioneering for office began immediately upon the adoption of the new Constitution. In the Adams vocabulary John Hancock was a “tinkleling cymball,” and he won the governorship in the election held early in September. “The Man who . . . ought to be our Chief,” in AA's opinion, was James Bowdoin, who was not “popular” at this time, in part at least because of his loyalist connections. When no candidate for lieutenant governor was elected by the people in September, the General Court chose Bowdoin, but he declined the lesser office, and Thomas Cushing was chosen. See Barry, History of Mass., 3:180–181. There are illuminating comments on the Bowdoin-Hancock rivalry for the governorship in James Warren's letters to JA of 11 July and 12 Oct. (Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:135, 141); in William Gordon to JA, 22 July (Adams Papers; MHS, Procs., 63 [1929–1930]:436–437); and in Samuel Cooper to JA, 8 Sept. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0280

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-07-14

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Your favour of June 13th.1 reached me this Morning. I will endeavour to write intelligibly in answer;—but, alas! I have already fallen into my old track, and must give a note of explanation before I pro• { 374 } ceed further. N.B. The above underscoring means that I love flattery and a flatterer; nay, more, tho it may seem contradictory to the first part of my nota bene, it means that I love Saucyness and a Saucy-box. I think that I have done away all the “enigmatical” part of the word as it respected one particular epistle, and was not written in that honest sense in which I generally make use of it to mark whatever comes to me from the pen of Portia.
I will endeavour to accomplish speedily what you wish in regard to the Balance of long standing in favour of Mr. A.
You will find from the inclosed Gazette the Substance of 3 of Mr. A's Letters received the 10th. of this month. There was another very long one of Apr. 3d. but it contained only what had been before published here respecting the Affairs of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.2—As to what I promised about his former Letters, you afterwards appeared to have had the substance of them so far as related to his travails; and I judged you also got by the Marquis a Knowledge of Mr. A's Situation in France. I will, notwithstanding, catch the Leisure to see whether I can send you any Novelty from them. <Your mention of one of my Letters without date, and at the same time reminding me of such a promise in a late Letter confounds me because I find yours of May 24th. endorsed “recd. June 12—answered 13th.” Mr. A's Letters were read 15 of May.>3 I have had a good Opportunity of sending to Mr. A. this morning by Mr. Searle a Member of Congress for Pennsylvania and shall in a few days have another by Mr. Laurens, late President. I have forwarded a Commission to him to execute what was entrusted to Mr. L. as to a Loan in Holland4—and another Commission which he is to deliver to Mr. D[ana] for the same Purpose in case of his own Inability upon any Score. The Business was too critical to risque upon Mr. L's safe Passage. The Commissions are only provisory till he or another arrives. Mr. A.s Embassy was considered as too important to be absolutely broken in upon by a decisive order from hence. He signified to me his Readiness to undertake any Thing of public Utility to fill up those Hours of Leisure which british Backwardness towards a Treaty of Pacification might give him.
I think I sent you on the 13th the Orders to Doctr. F[ranklin] to pay Mr. A. and D. their Salaries.
I am called off. I care not what Comments you make upon my general Style and manner if you will only own to me that you do not think me enigmatical when I profess myself Madam, Affectionately your Friend and Servt.,
[signed] JL
{ 375 }
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “Gazette” not found.
1. Doubtless her letter drafted and dated 11 June and printed above under that date.
2. Four letters from JA were read in Congress on 10 July; one was dated 3 April, and three were dated 4 April (JCC, 17:595)||; see JA to the President of Congress, Nos. 34, 35, and 36, all 4 April||. All are present in PCC, No. 84, I, and, as letterbook copies, in the Adams Papers.
3. No fewer than eight letters from JA, dating from 15 Feb. through 4 March, were read in Congress on 15 May (JCC, 17:428). All are present in PCC, No. 84, I, and, as letterbook copies, in the Adams Papers.
4. James Searle (1733–1797) held a commission for the State of Pennsylvania to borrow £200,000 in Europe and to lay part of it out in military stores in the current fiscal and supply crisis both in that state and in the Continental Army. He sailed in mid-July and arrived in Paris before mid-September, bringing letters of introduction to JA, together with his “provisory” commission and instructions to act for Henry Laurens in negotiating a loan in the Netherlands pending the arrival of Laurens himself. On Searle and his mission see DAB; Biog. Dir. Cong.; and especially Mildred E. Lombard, “James Searle: Radical Business Man of the Revolution,” PMHB, 59:284–294 (July 1935). JA's “new Orders,” voted by Congress on 20 June, are printed in JCC, 17:534–537; they were enclosed in a letter from James Lovell and William Churchill Houston (for the Committee of Foreign Affairs) to JA, 11 July (Adams Papers; text of letter only in JA, Works, 7:217). Searle received little encouragement for his mission from Franklin in Paris and soon followed JA to Amsterdam; see Thaxter to JA, 17 Sept., and JA to Thaxter, 23 Sept.; both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0281

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I had just retired to my Chamber and taken up my pen to congratulate you upon the arrival of the Fleet of our Allies at Newport,1 when I was call'd down to receive the most agreable of presents—Letters from my dearest Friend—one Bearing date March 28 by Mr. Izard and one of May 3d, taken out of the post office, but to what port they arrived first I know not. They could not be those by the Fleet, as in these you make mention of Letters which I have not yet received, nor by the Alliance since Mr. Williams sailed 25 days after the Fleet, and she was then in France. A pitty I think that she should stay there when here we are almost destitute, our Navy has been unfortunate indeed!
Am sorry to find that only a few lines have reached you from me. I have written by way of Spain, Holland and Sweden, but not one single direct conveyance have I had to France since you left me. I determine to open a communication by way of Guardoca.2 I wish you would make use of the same conveyance.
This with some others will go Direct to you, by the Mars, Capt. Sampson commander, a state vessel. She will return in the Fall, by her should be glad you would order all the Articles I have written for { 376 } by Mr. Guile, or any other way. So few opportunities offer that my list will contain more articles than I should otherways mention.
What shall I say of our political affairs. Shall I exclaim at measures, now impossible to remedy? No I will hope all from the generous aid of our allies in concert with our own exertions. I am not suddenly elated or depressed. I know America capable of any thing she undertakes with spirit and vigour, “Brave in distress, serene in conquest, drowsy when at rest, is her true characteristick.”3 Yet I deprecate a failure in our present Efforts. The Efforts are great, and we give this Campaign more than half our property to defend the other. He who tarries from the Feild cannot possibly earn sufficient at Home, to reward him who takes it. Yet should Heaven bless our endeavours and Crown this year with the blessings of peace, no exertion will be thought too great, no price of property too dear.
My whole Soul is absorpt in the Idea. The Honour of my dearest Friend, the welfare and happiness of this wide extended Country, ages yet unborn, depend for their happiness and security, upon the able and skillfull, the Honest and upright Discharge of the important trust committed to him. It would not become me to write the full flow of my Heart upon this occasion. My constant petition for him is, that he may so discharge the trust reposed in him, as to merrit the approveing Eye of Heaven, and Peace, Liberty and Safety crown his latest years in his own Native Land.
The Marchioness at the Abbe Reynald is not the only Lady who joins an Aproveing voice to that of her Country, tho at the expence of her present domestick happiness. It is easier to admire virtue, than to practise it, especially the great virtue of self denial. I find but few sympathizing souls. Why should I look for them? since few have any souls but of the sensitive kind. That nearest Allied to my own they have taken from me, and tell me Honour and Fame are a compensation.

“Fame, wealth or Honour—what are ye to Love?”

But hushd be my pen. Let me cast my Eye upon the Letters before me. What is the example? I follow it in silence.
I have repeated to you in former Letters that I had received all your Letters from Spain, unless you wrote by Capt. Trash, who brought me some articles, but no Letters. In a former Letter I wrote you an account of the death of Sister A[dam]s and that she left a poor Babe only 5 days old—a distressd flock of little ones besides. My Father desires to be rememberd to you, but will I fear never again { 377 } see you. He declines daily, has a slow fever hanging about him, which wastes his flesh and spirits. These are tender ties, and how far so ever advanced in life, the affectionate child feels loth to part with the Guide of youth, the kind adviser of riper years, yet the pillows4 must Moulder with time and the fabrick fall to the dust.
Present my complements to Mr. D[an]a. Tell him I have calld upon his Lady, and we enjoyed an afternoon of sweet communion. I find she would not be averse to takeing a voyage should he be continued abroad. She groans most bitterly, and is Irreconcilable to his absence. I am a mere philosopher to her. I am inured, but not hardned to the painfull portion. Shall I live to see it otherways?
Your Letters are always valuable to me, but more particularly so, when they close with an affectionate assurence of regard, which tho I do not doubt, is never repeated without exciteing the tenderest sentiments—and never omitted without pain to the affectionate Bosom of
[signed] Your Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Letters.—5. 16: 24. July,” to which was later added in CFA's hand: “1780.”
1. Admiral de Ternay's fleet of about a dozen fighting ships had sailed from Brest on 2 May and arrived at Newport, R.I., 12 July, convoying the transports of Rochambeau's army of some 6,000 men.
2. Gardoqui & Son, merchants at Bilbao in Spain.
3. Another quotation from Paine's “American Crisis, No. IX,” as reprinted in the Continental Journal, 29 June 1780, p. 2, col. 2.
4. That is, pillars. The words seem to have been used more or less interchangeably in New England dialect; see Thaxter to AA, 16 Dec. 1779, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0282

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1780-07-21

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

Your agreable favour of March 15 reachd me yesterday. I most sincerely thank you for every token of rememberance. You have been puntual to your word.
I have constantly replied to your favours but whether they have ever reachd you, I know not. So bad has our communication been, where it ought to have been best, that not a single opportunity has offerd, for a direct conveyance since your absence now 8 months. If this is sound policy, I lay no claim to a share in it. Our packets have lain still in our Harbours at the same expence to the continent, as if they had been passing and repassing. I believe I shall be in favour of Monarchy soon. We have so many wheels within wheels, and such Master workmen, it is next to impossible to set them all at work, the { 378 } right way at once, so one runs against the other and Crash goes the whole fabrick at once. Some move so slow that they never accomplish their journey, but there is no danger of their suffering from rapidity of motion.
I want an Energetick force that will draw forth our resourses, put them in motion with vigor and lead on decisively. The present mode would undoe Peru.
Will you go, and will you go? from day to day. “We will give you a thousand dollors bounty, 40 shillings per Month hard money, and a Bushel of corn per day till you return: or the value there of” is sufficient to bring ruin upon the richest Country upon the Globe, and puts an Everlasting bar against procuring a standing Army.—Should you not Grieve for such a stain upon the page of History? Well then, tell it not then to the Abbe Reynal. Yet virtue exists, and publick spirit lives—lives in the Bosoms of the Fair Daughters of America, who blushing for the Languid Spirit, and halting Step, unite their Efforts to reward the patriotick, to stimulate the Brave, to alleviate the burden of war, and to shew that they are not dismayed by defeats or misfortunes. Read the Pensilvana papers, and see the Spirit catching from state to state.1
America will not wear chains while her daughters are virtuous, but corrupt their morals by a general depravity, and believe me sir a state or nation is undone. Was not Adam safe whilst Eve was Innocent? If you render us wicked you inevitably bring ruin upon yourselves.
I thank you sir for the agreable account you have given me of your Visit to the Abbe Reynal. I venerate the character of that Celebrated Historian and wish to become acquainted with his Works. Write me from time to time, every thing you meet with, entertaining and improveing.
The Ladies to whom you desired me to distribute your Love, are so eager to share it, and there are so many who lay claim to it, that divided and subdivided as it is, not one of them I fear will be warmed with its influence. They even fear that the Parissian Ladies will rob them of their favorite American. But we have so few Gentlemen at this day whose morals and principals are so pure and unimpeachable, that I own, I should be loth that some worthy Girl in my own Country should not monopolize a Heart unhacknyed in Gallantries. It is a rara avis in these days of Modern refinement and Chesterfieldian politeness, but the Devotees to his Lordships sentiments, must excuse me if I observe, that with all his Graces and politeness he has exhibited { 379 } a peculiar Asperity against the Sex, inconsistant with that boasted refinement of sentiment upon which he lays so great stress, and Marks him in my mind a wretched votarie of vice, a voluptuary whose soul was debased by his dissolute connexions, a habit which vitiates the purest taste; and excludes all that refined and tender Friendship, that sweet consent of souls in unison, that Harmony of minds congenial to each other

“Where thought meets thought e'er from the Lips it part

And each pure wish springs mutual from the Heart”

and without which it is in vain to look for happiness in that Indissoluble union which Nought but death Dissolves. The Heart must be engaged to reap the genuine fruits of tenderness; contemptibly low must that commerce be in which the mind has no share. Love is an intellectual pleasure, and even the senses will be weakly affected where the Heart does not participate.
Believe me my young Friend, I say this to you in a firm belief and with a view to your persevering in that purity of sentiment which has always distinguished you in my mind; those persuits only are worth a reasonable Mans attention which will neither disgust by possession, nor sting with remorse; such you will find a soft and tender Friendship, enlivened by taste, refined by sentiment, which time instead of destroying, will render every hour more dear and interesting.
I cannot close this Letter without mentioning to you a connexion soon to take place between a Brother of your profession and a celebrated Lady who resides some times here and some times at B[osto]n. You know who publickly affronted the whole Sex, and you know what Lady had refused such a Gentleman and such a Gentleman—for a Gambling Rake. Can a Bosom of Sensibility and Innocence, accept a Heart hardned by a commerce with the most profligate of the Sex? a Constitution enfeabled, the fine feelings of the soul obliterated? What but disgust, suspicion, coldness, and depravity of taste, can be the consequence?2
But I must close a Letter already long enough for a trial of your patience, but not till I have assured you of the affectionate and Maternal regard of
[signed] Portia
RC (MB); addressed: “To Mr. John Thaxter Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams July 21st. 1780 Recd. Sept. 19th.” LbC ( (Adams Papers)).; dated at foot of text: “july 22 1780.” A few mistakes made by AA in copying from her letterbook version (which was unquestionably written first though dated later) have been silently corrected in the present text.
{ 380 }
1. AA refers here to a little-known but diverting episode of 1780, in which the wives of American governors and other leading citizens contributed cash and jewelry to buy materials and make up shirts and stockings for the ill-clothed and discontented Continental regiments that were encamped in New Jersey and facing what proved to be a severe winter. The idea appears to have originated in the French legation at Philadelphia, and the campaign was organized by Mrs. Joseph Reed, wife of the president (governor) of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Reed conducted a brisk correspondence with Washington on the subject of the soldiers' needs. Before long, socially prominent women in other states were drawn into the effort, which strikingly anticipated the “home-front” activities of American women in later American wars. See a brief and undocumented article by L. H. Butterfield, “General Washington's Sewing Circle,” in Amer. Heritage, 2:7–10, 68 (Summer 1951). The principal sources for the “ladies' association” movement are William B. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, Phila., 1847, 2:260–271, 428–429 (recording the results of the door-to-door “drive,” as we would say today, in Philadelphia); Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, vols. 19–21, passim; Frank Moore, comp., Diary of the American Revolution, N.Y. and London, 1860, 2:293–298, 341–342 (reprinting newspaper accounts).
Mrs. Reed's appeal to the Massachusetts ladies is in a letter to Mrs. James Bowdoin, 30 June 1780, printed in MHS, Colls., 9 (1897):441–442. Writing to JA from Philadelphia, 13 July, Benjamin Rush announced that “The women of America have at last become principals in the glorious controversy” (Letters, 1:253); and JA in his reply of 20 Sept. struck the expected note of mingled compliment and drollery: “The Ladies having undertaken to support American Independence, settles the Point” (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 172–173).
2. The personal allusions in this paragraph, which, in AA's small world, should not be difficult to explain, have proved baffling to the editors. It might be plausibly supposed that the lawyer (“a Brother of your profession”) and the “celebrated Lady who resides some times here and some times at B[osto]n” were Perez Morton, a rising young Boston attorney, and Sarah Wentworth Apthorp, an heiress of Boston and Braintree who had gained some little reputation as a poet. Morton and MissMrs. Apthorp, who have been identified in a note at vol. 1:141–142, above, were to be married on 24 Feb. 1781 (Continental Journal, 1 March 1781, p. 3, col. 1). A few years later the couple shocked the public by a scandal that involved adultery, bastardy, and the suicide of Mrs. Morton's sister Frances Theodora, and inspired an early American sentimental novel; but there is no evidence known to the editors of their misbehaving before marriage in the manner hinted at here by AA. For the scandal, in which JA was to act as one of the public arbitrators who cleared Morton's good name, see Emily Pendleton and Milton Ellis, Philenia: The Life and Works of Sarah Wentworth Morton, 1759–1846, Orono, Maine, 1931, p. 32–40; and [William Hill Brown,] The Power of Sympathy. Reproduced from the First Edition [of 1789], ed. Milton Ellis, N.Y., 1937.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0283

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-07-22

Abigail Adams to Charles and John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Sons

I must write you a few lines by this opportunity, altho tis a long time since I had the pleasure of hearing from you by your own Hands. You used to be fond of writing and have been very good since your absence. Letters are always valuable from those we Love, if they con• { 381 } tain nothing but an account of their Health. I cannot but reflect with thankfullness to the Great Preserver of my dear absent Friends, that I have the pleasure of knowing them alive and well, whilst I drop a Sympathetick [tear]1 with the family of General Palmer and your unkles over the remains of the Amiable Youth who left them last fall, just reachd the Arms of his Friends, after a long absence, endeared himself to them by his benevolence of Heart, his amiable and virtuous Manners, was summoned by a voilent Fever, and cut of in the full bloom of youth.2
Your Friends here all send their affectionate Regard, the domesticks of the family desire to be rememberd to master John and to the dear Charles.
Tis well he went away, he would have been spoilt by the fondness and carressess of his acquaintance. I hope you both live in Brotherly Love and Friendship. Your Brother desires to be particuliarly rememberd to you, have not time to write for him, as the person now waits who is to take this from your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] A A
1. Editorially supplied for a word missing in MS.
2. Joseph Palmer, a nephew of Deacon Joseph Palmer, came from Plymouth, England, to enroll in Harvard College; upon his return home after graduating in 1779, he was suddenly taken ill and died (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:250). Another tribute to him appears in John Thaxter's letter to AA, 20 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0284

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-24

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Love

Your affectionate Letter by the Count de Noailles reachd me but yesterday, together with your present by Col. Fleury which was very nice and Good.1 Should you send any thing of the kind in the same way, be so good as to let it be blew, white or red. Silk Gloves or mittins, black or white lace, Muslin or a Bandano hankerchief, and even a few yard of Ribbon might be conveyed in the same manner. I mention these things as they are small articles, and easily contained in a Letter, all of which by Resolve of congress are orderd to come Free. The Articles you orderd me from Bilboa are of great service to me. The great plenty of Barcelona hankerchiefs make them unsaleable at present, but Linnens are an article in great demand, and will exchange for any family necessary to good account, or sell for money, which is in greater demand at present than I have known it since { 382 } paper was first Emitted. High prices, high taxes, high bounties render such a Quantity of it necessary, that few people can procure sufficient to answer necessary demands. The usual Estimation is a Dollor at a copper, yet exchange at the highest has been at 75 for one. Country produce exceeds foreign articles, Lamb at 10 Dollors per pound, veal at 7, flower a hundred and 60 pound per hundred, Rye 100 & 10 Dollors per Bushel. I had determined not to have written you the account of prices &c., have avoided it all along, chose you should learn it from inquiry of others but insensibly fell into it.
I have a request to you which I hope you will not dissapoint me of, a minature of Him I best Love. Indulge me the pleasing melancholy of contemplating a likeness. The attempt here faild, and was more the resemblance of a cloisterd Monk, than the Smileing Image of my Friend. I could not endure the sight of it.—By Sampson will be a Good opportunity. Should he be taken none but a Savage would rob a Lady, of what could be of no value, but to her. Let him put it into his chest and it will come safe I dare say. Let it be set, it will be better done with you than here.2
I mentioned sending Bills by this opportunity but as I have already sent 3 sets was advised to defer the others till I knew whether they had faild. If I have not been too extravagant already, I would mention one article more, as I do not expect an other opportunity from France for a twelve month. It is a Green umbrella.
You think you run great risks in taking our two Sons. What then was mine? I could have accompanied you through any Dangers and fatigues, but whether I could have sustaind them I know not. An intimation that I could have renderd you more comfortable and happy, would have outweighd all my timidity. I should have had no other consideration. Yet the dangers of the sea, of Enimies and the fatigues of a long journey are not objects that I wish to encounter. A small portion of my own Country will be all I shall ever visit, nor should I carry my wishes further, if they would not seperate what God joined together. Ever remember with tenderness and affection yours & yours only,
[signed] Portia
1. See JA to AA, 24 March, above; Fleury to AA, 86 Oct., in vol. 4 below.
2. JA complied with this touching request, for in a letter of 25 Oct. 1782AA asked him: “Do you look like the Minature you sent? I cannot think so. But you have a better likeness I am told. Is that designd for me?” (Adams Papers). Neither the miniature AA already had, the one sent in response to her present plea, nor the “better likeness” she had been told of but had not seen can now be located. See Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. 209–210.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0285-0001

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-25

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

My Letter of the 1st. of May last1 gave You some Account of the Proceedings of the Convention, the Business of which has been since compleated, the Constitution agreed upon And in September We shall proceed to the Choice of Governor, Lt. Governor, Senators, &c. On the last Wednesday of October the first General Court is to be held.
Had a Negtive on the Governor and his Appointment of the Militia Officers been insisted upon in the Convention, I am persuaded it might have been carried, and accepted by the People. But a Fear of losing the whole prevented some of the leading and most able Members from pressing it.
As You will from other Hands receive an Account of the Politicks of the Day, I shall say nothing upon the Subject—and shall for Your Amusement give You a Journal of the Weather from November last with some Observations on the Darkness of the 19th. of May, relying that what was pend down in a loose Manner for my own private Amusement and now presented to You in its native state, will meet with Your Candor.
An Academy of Arts and Sciences is now established here, the incorporating Act will be transmitted to you—a List of the Fellows You have enclosed.2—What shall we do for want of Funds! Can we hope for Benefactions from abroad. I hope the tender Plant will somehow or other be nourished but I am sure it must be watered.—Adieu.

[salute] Yours with Affection,

[signed] C.T.
RC (Adams Papers). Two enclosures (Adams Papers), in Tufts' hand, are printed herewith; for a third, now missing, see note 2; for a possible fourth, see Tufts to JA, 27 Nov., vol. 4, below.
1. Not found.
2. This enclosure has not been found. It was probably a clipping from a newspaper listing the members (“Fellows”) of the newly organized American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of whom JA and Tufts were two. A copy of the printed Act of incorporation, 4 May 1780, is in the Adams Papers under its date; see also Elbridge Gerry to AA, 17 April, above, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0285-0002

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1779-11 - 1780-06

Enclosure No. 1: Weather Journal, 1779–1780

A General Account of the Weather from Nov. 17. 1779 to June 1780, to which is added some Account of Vegetation &c.1
The Autumn of 1779 was the most pleasant and agreable for its Fertility and the Mildness of the Air that has been remembered, scarce any Rain had fallen from the Month of August to November, the frequent Rains that fell in the Summer had sufficiently moistned the Earth, but little Rain afterwards was necessary as the Air was temperate between the Extremes of Summer Heat and Cold. The { 384 } Winter following was a perfect Contrast. In the Memory of Man so cold and severe a Winter has not been experienced.
About the 17th. of November the Air began to alter, a slight Snow fell this Day, and on the 26th. Much Rain and in the Evening a Considerable Snow, the Cold dayly encreasing.
Dec. 5. In the Evening it snowd attended with a very high Wind.
8th. The Fore River in Weymouth froze over. It opend again a Day or two after and shut up for the Winter on the 15th.
12th. 14th. & 16th. Snowd on each Day.
18th. It Snowd. The Ground coverd so as to admit of good Sledding. The Cold has encreased gradually through this Month. Winds—West, North and East on all the Days except the 13th. Wind South. 16th. So. West and the 24th. South.
1780. January. This Month Winds chiefly North, West and N. East. The 10th. Wind South, 16th. So. W., 21. S., 27 and 30. S., with steady uninterrupted Cold through the whole. Violent Storms of Snow the 2d., 3d., 4th., 6th. & 7th. in all which a great Quantity of Snow fell and by the violence of the winds was lodgd very irregularly upon the Earth. In the Roads it was much bankd and pretty generally lay in Depth from 3 to 6 Feet tho in many Places it exceeded. In the Woods the Level exceeded rather 3 Feet. From the 2d to the 12 or 14th the Roads impassible for Horses and Carriages (and continued so in By Lanes and Roads in many Parts of this Town through this Month and February). About the 14 or 15. some Horse Sleds pass from hence to Boston.
17th. Loads of Wood, Hay &c. are conveyed on Ox Sleds from Weymouth, Braintree and Milton across the Rivers and Dorchester Bay to Boston, they continue in this manner to transport untill the 21. February on which Day the Ice began to give Way, and none venturd after this.
No Arrivals in the Month of January nor scarce any Intelligence from any Quarter.
February. The Winds continue as in the last Month West, North and East except the 15, 26. and 28th. Wind at South. The Weather extreme cold to the middle of the Month. It then became more moderate.
7. No Water to be seen in the Rivers and Bay from Pens Hill, nor from Hull. Ice has extended as far as Cape Ann or beyond.
19. Ice remains in the Harbour as far as Hull, below it is clear.
The Weather cold to the Expiration of the Month tho not so severe as January.
{ 385 }
March. The Weather remains cold through this Month. Very little Snow has fallen since that in January of which mention has been made.
8. Our Rivers open and navigable.
31. At Northward and West Ward 40 Miles from Boston Snow still 3 Feet Deep and good Sledding.
April. The Weather cold through this Month, the Winds have held chiefly through this and last Month to the West, North and East.
A General State of Health has prevailed for a Year past. The only Disorders of the last Winter were Colics, those of the Spring Rheumatisms. Not a Cough or any Pulmonic Complaints during the cold Weather.
May 1. Not a Warm Day since last November, not a Blossom to be seen nor scarce a Tree budded.
10. The only Warm day since Novr. last.
12. A few Blossoms to be seen on Peach Trees.
16. Apple Trees show some Blossoms.
18. Wind. S.E. extremely chilly, Hazy and cold. Ice in Tubs of Water standing abroad. The Earth extremely dry. Dandelions appear in Flower.
19. Wind. S.W. In the Morning Thundered and raind, about Nine AM—a Surprizing Darkness came on and continued untill half past 3 PM.
May. 23. Peach and Cherry Trees in full Blow. The Earth very dry. But little Pasturage as yet.
27. Peach and Cherry Trees drop their Blows.
28. Apple Trees in full Blow.
31. Forest Trees in full Leaf.
Very little Rain through this Month and not much Heat. In the fore Part of the Month Winds chiefly at W., N. and E. In the Latter at So. W.
Many Trees have been destroyed by the Winters Cold and Frost. The everGreens have sufferd most, Acres of Cedar Swamp appear as if singd with Fire. No Verdure to be seen on them. Red Cedars have shard the same Fate—some Pines and Holly Bushes, though not so much as the Former.
Sometime past it was feared that Cedar Trees were entirely destroyed. In July they begin to assume their former Verdure.
In the middle of June a new Species of Worm fell upon the Apple Trees, eat the Leafs and enterd the Apple, did considerable Mischief, { 386 } disappear about the 10 and 12th of July. Calld by some the Palmer Worm. The Worm stripd with Green on the Back, about half an Inch long, spins down the Tree like the Canker Worm, moves backwards or forwards when [placd?] in the Hand if opposd.
Great Havock is made upon the Locust Trees by a Worm which eats into the Heart of the Tree and will defeat all attempts to raise this Tree.
RC (Adams Papers). Two enclosures (Adams Papers), in Tufts' hand, are printed herewith; for a third, now missing, see note 2; for a possible fourth, see Tufts to JA, 27 Nov., vol. 4, below.
1. On the severity of the winter of 1779–1780, see also AA to JA, 18 Jan., above, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0285-0003

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-19

Enclosure No. 2: Account of the Dark Day in May 1780

An Account of the extraordinary Darkness which appeared in New England on the 19th. May 1780, Extending Southward as far as Fish Kill, to the Northward not as yet ascertained, Less (from this Place) in Degree to the Southward, greater to the Westward and northern Parts of this State.1
May 19. It thunderd early this Morning and raind about 7 or 8. About 9 a Darkness came on gradually encreasing at 11. I could neither read nor write without a Candle which soon became necessary for Family Business and continued untill past 3 P.M. A Heavy black Cloud hung at the Westward and Northward, a Thin Vapour Smoak or Fog rising up now and then and almost covering it at Times streaming like the Corruscations of the Aurora Borealis. In the Southern Hemisphere the Clouds appear low, thin and empty running in different Directions. Very little Wind or Rain during the Darkness. The Clouds have a brassy Appearance and the whole Complexion of the Clouds impresses the Mind with an Idea of an Approaching Hurricane, and a universal Gloom everywhere appears. About half after 3 the Wind which before had been South and So. West, sprung up at the North West, dispersd the Clouds and brought us Day. In the Evening the Wind Shifted to the East about 9. at Night and Darkness came on and held untill 12. The Moon had then risen and was full. I frequently during that Time went out of my House and could not abroad discern my Hand tho applied ever so near my Eyes. During the Darkness of the Day, a disagreable Smell was perceivd, some resembling it to the smell proceeding from a Chimney on Fire, others to that which arises from Swamps on Fire. A like Smell was perceivd In the Evening united with that of Sea Salts.
This uncommon Darkness, greater in Degree and longer in Duration than had ever been before amongst us occasioned much Speculation, some attributed it to the Influence of the Planets, some to the Effects of a Comet and some to an Eruption of a Vulcano. The Vulgar { 387 } considered it some as portending great Calamities, others as a Prelude to the general Dissolution of all Things. A close Attention to what appeared before and during this Event will help us to (at least) a probable Solution of this Matter, without having Recourse to the Planets &c. for a Cause. Prior to this, The Woods from Ticonderoga for Thirty Miles downwards had been for some Time on Fire. No Rain for many Days, Winds chiefly at West and N. West. By these the Smoak and Vapours were carried to a great Distance, insomuch that in our Vicinity, the Sky was at Times obscurd, the Air crowded with Smoak and Vapours, a disagreable Smell like what proceeds from Swamps on Fire. The Sun from rising to setting appeard extremely red, on setting very large and when in the Meridian as if confind to a narrow Compass and capable of emitting only its rectinilear2 Rays. The Air chargd above and below with these smoaky Vapours, that had been for some Time collecting some of which had been driven off to Sea were now brought back by the South East Wind of the preceding Day and the South West Wind of this Morning helpt to bring forward those that came within its Influence by which there must be at this Time as gross a Collection as could be sustaind in the Air. The Thunder and Rain of this Morning might contribute to precipitate them towards the Earth. After the Rain somewhat abated, the Darkness came on, the Clouds some of them appeared very low and thin, above them were seen others passing in different Directions, apparently sliding one over the other. But little Wind, some Rain, what fell in Tubs left a Skum on the Top as of burnt Leafs, of a sooty Cast. What fell on Snow left the same Marks, as was observd in some Parts of Newhampshire State, where Snow still remained. From this Account Must We not infer, that this extraordinary Darkness was owing to a vast Collection of Smoke and Vapours brought together by a Number of concurring Causes and by Reason of different Currents of Air, conveyed in different Columns or Bodies so that when the Rays of Light struck one, they passed from that to the next with an impaired Force and so on, hence the Feebleness of Rays which reached us.
The Darkness was different in different Places, with respect to the Degree of it, a tolerable Idea You will form from the following Account, transmitted to the Public by some curious Observers at Ipswich Hamlet. “About 11 o'Clock the Darkness was such as to demand our Attention and put us upon making Observations; At half past 11 in a Room with Three Windows 24 Panes each, all open towards the South East and South large Print could not be read by Persons of { 388 } good Eyes. About 12. the Windows being still open, a Candle cast a Shade, so well defined on the Wall as that Profiles were taken with as much Ease as they could have been in the Night.
“We dined about Two of the Clock, the Windows all open and Two Candles burning on the Table. In the Time of the greatest Darkness, some of the Dunghill Fowls went to roost, Cocks crowed in Answer to one another as they commonly do in the Night. Wood Cocks which are Night Birds whistled as they do only in the Dark—Frogs peeped—in short there was the Appearance of MidNight at Noon Day.”
A North West Wind sprung up about 3 o'Clock PM, dispersed the Vapours, carried them to Sea. These by the shifting of the Wind to East in the Evening, were brought back again and a Darkness from Nine to Twelve ensued—tho' the Moon was risen and full, a Darkness greater than which I believe has not been experienced since the Children of I[s]rael left Egypt.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the two preceding documents.
RC (Adams Papers). Two enclosures (Adams Papers), in Tufts' hand, are printed herewith; for a third, now missing, see note 2; for a possible fourth, see Tufts to JA, 27 Nov., vol. 4, below.
1. For other accounts (including the one here partly quoted by Tufts) of this atmospheric phenomenon, long remembered in New England, see AA to James Lovell, printed under the assigned date of 24 May, above, and note 4 there.
2. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0286

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-07

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Since Mr. Appleton left Us,1 the inclosed Letters came to hand with a packet of Newspapers as late as the middle of May. The Letter signed Portia came in the State that You will receive it in; it was under a Cover superscribed by I. Smith Esqr.2 In the Letter were two bills of Exchange on the Minister at this Court, one of eighteen dollars and the other of sixty, which Mr. D[ana] will present to day for acceptance. A Memorandum in the letter is forwarded. I am so unfortunate as not to have recieved a single line from any of my friends—for my Consolation Mr. D. says, Batchelors have no right to any. This is neither the Law nor the practice.
{ 389 }
The papers announce the death of Mr. Jona. Williams tertius, the Gentleman who studied with You. The convulsive fits, to which he had been latterly subject, returned upon him with great violence, and after three days severe struggling with them, he died.3
Dr. Gordon has been scribbling in the papers, about the time when a new Convention shall be held for revising and amending the Constitution if necessary. He objects not to the Year 1795 as a proper time, but looks upon a revision then as something precarious and contingent, because it is said in the Address may be held, and not shall be held. He is for having this made certain, that there shall be a Convention in 1795. He quotes an “excellent Speech” of yours in the Convention, upon the Impossibility of human Wisdom forming a plan of Government adapted to all future Emergencies, and the necessity of periodical revisions, and of a frequent recurrence to first and fundamental principles, to preserve the Constitution sound and free. He makes a few Observations on the Nature of Power, its often becoming dangerous from the frailties and imperfections of human Nature, where its Exercise is not guarded and limited, is for having a Constitution so framed and principled, that the People, as Mr. Burgh says, may lay hold of it without Violence to it, wield it as they please and turn it against those who have or would pervert it. He acquits the present Convention of any design of preventing a future one in 1795, but is jealous of some. These are his words—“but I am jealous lest there was a design in some to provide for the prevention of it: nor is this jealousy lessened upon reading in the Address, 'on the expiration of 15 Years a new Convention may be held.' I know not who were the Compilers of the Address, but were they full in the Idea that a Convention was to take place in 1795, I suppose that the words would have been, 'a new Convention is to be held.'” He supposes a Convention may be prevented at that time, by the influence of those, who possess Seats in the Government, over their “Creatures, friends and Dependents” in the Towns and Counties. Quere, whether the words, may, is, or shall, will make any mighty difference in the operation and effects of this Influence? A Gentleman under the Signature of Tribunus has answered him, and handled the Dr. rather roughly, vindicated the Convention from a sinister design. Tribunus says, “When the Convention had finished the performance sent to their Constituents for Examination, it was thought necessary to provide for a revision to cure the defects Experience might point out, and 15 years was judged a proper period to take the minds of the people upon the subject, and determine whether the Constitution or form of Govern• { 390 } ment should be or not be revised. Convention did not suppose they had a power to compel the people to revise or alter the form at that time, nor to prevent their doing it before, and therefore laid it down as a first principle in the declaration of Rights, that the people have at all times this power in themselves.” This is the substance, some parts of it are severe. I am not sorry for it, for altho' the Dr. has shone with the borrow'd lustre of the Names of Adams and Burgh in this performance, whose Characters and Opinions will ever be respected, yet pardon me, Sir, if I think and say, that he would on this occasion have been better employed in the Cure of Souls, than in quarrelling with Moods and Tenses.4
The Dr. has wrote something to conciliate the Minds of religious disputants in the 3d. article of the declaration of Rights.
Mr. D. who presents his respects to You, requests when you return, that You would bring a few pounds of Dutch sealing Wax and a few Bunches of the best Dutch Quills.5
I sincerely wish You better health and agreable prospects. Much Love to my two little Friends.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, Your Excellencys most obedient humble Servant,

[signed] J. T.
RC (Adams Papers). Only one of the enclosures is now identifiable; see note 2.
1. John Appleton (1758–1829), son of the Boston merchant and commissioner of the Continental Loan Office Nathaniel Appleton. He had been in Paris on a mercantile mission and followed JA to the Low Countries, carrying letters for him. See Samuel Cooper to Benjamin Franklin, 15 March 1780, introducing Appleton (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); Francis Dana to JA, 31 Aug.Jul. 1780 (Adams Papers); Isaac A. Jewett, Memorial of Samuel Appleton of Ipswich, Massachusetts . . . , Boston, 1850, p. 36; Paige, Hist, of Cambridge, Mass., 2:19; JQA, Diary, 10, 11, 13 Aug. 1780.
2. Probably AA to JA, 1 May, above.
3. Williams, identified earlier in this volume, had returned from France, married, and, on 1 May 1780, died; there is an obituary notice of him in the Continental Journal, 4 May, p. 3, col. 2.
4. Rev. William Gordon's letter on the amending process, dated 28 April and addressed “To the Freemen of Massachusetts-Bay,” appeared in both the Continental Journal (p. 2, col. 1–2) and the Independent Chronicle (p. 1, col. 1–3) on 4 May. His summary of JA's speech, which, if made, must have been made at an early sitting of the Convention in the fall of 1779, is the only contemporary record of such a speech, but it has an air of authenticity. The answer to Gordon by “Tribunus” was published in the Continental Journal on 25 May 1780, p. 2, col. 2–3.
5. This passage indicates clearly enough that when JA left Paris, as he did with his two sons on 27 July on a journey to Brussels, The Hague, and Amsterdam, he did not intend to be gone long. But as things turned out he did not come back to Paris until the following July. The motives for his trip and its prolongation to almost a year's stay in the Netherlands require explanation.
Soon after his arrival in France with powers to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, JA discerned from Vergennes' aloofness that neither negotiation was likely to be put { 391 } in train for some time. On 16 March he wrote to James Lovell in Congress:
“I wish to know your private Opinion whether Congress will continue Mr. Dana and me here, at so much Expense, with so little Prospect of any Thing to do, for a long time, . . . or whether they will revoke our Powers and recall Us? or what they will do with Us. A Situation so idle and inactive, is not agreable to my Genius, yet I can submit to it, as well as any Man, if it is thought necessary for the public Good.—I will do all the Service I can, by transcribing Intelligence and in every other Way” (LbC, Adams Papers).
In the role of intelligence gatherer and transmitter JA was phenomenally industrious during the next several months, and he combined with it another function, that of publicist and propagandist for the American cause, composing and sending a steady stream of communications for publication in French, Dutch, and (through a secret but efficient channel) British newspapers. The full story of his activities as a propagandist in 1780, before going to the Netherlands where his work of this kind is better documented, remains to be written from scattered hints in his correspondence and from the files of the newspapers themselves, few if any of which exist in adequate files in the United States.
He also furnished items of news from America to the French government. One such, which reported Congress' measures to support its currency by buying up old emissions at the rate of 40 to 1, led to questions from Vergennes; see above, Lovell to AA, 21 March, and Cranch to JA, 26 April, with notes and references under both; also CFA's account in JA, Works, 1:314 ff. A spirited correspondence ensued that led to a complete break in personal relations between the two men. “[J]e pense,” Vergennes wrote sharply on 30 June, “que toute discution ultérieure entre nous a cet égard serois superflüe” (Adams Papers; translation of full text in JA, Works, 7:212–213). Vergennes either forgot, or perhaps (as Professor Morris acutely observes) was only too well aware, that he himself had started this quarrel. His questions about American financial policy should have been directed to Franklin, the American plenipotentiary to France, rather than to JA. “Even a captious mood on the part of Vergennes came as the result of careful calculation” (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 196).
In July JA took up other subjects in a manner that proved at least equally exasperating to the French foreign minister, who at this moment was facing difficulties both in his own government and with his uncooperative ally, Spain. The last thing he wished for was pertinacious advice and questions from the American peace minister, who had little to do in Paris except to write letters and newspaper pieces; but this is precisely what he got. One series, beginning 13 July, related to the grand strategy of the war, in which JA argued in detail and with cogency that a greater concentration of French naval power on the North American coast could easily pen up the British armies in the port cities they occupied and bring the war to a conclusion—if indeed, he had the temerity to hint, France really desired such a conclusion. Vergennes replied on 20 July that this was the very reason the Chevalier de Ternay's fleet had been dispatched to Rhode Island (where it arrived at just this time). JA, however, was by no means ready to drop the subject. In a letter of 27 July he disputed some of Vergennes' language concerning French-American relations and observed that Ternay's force was not large enough to gain the vital supremacy he had been arguing for (as was shortly proved by Ternay's being bottled up by Admiral Graves' larger fleet). Two days later Vergennes returned a short and crushing rejoinder, informing JA “que le Roi n'a pas eu besoin de vos Sollicitations pour s'occuper des intérêts des Etats-unis.” See JA to Vergennes, 13 July (Archives Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. pol., Etats-Unis, vol. 13; printed in JA, Works, 7:218–227, from LbC, Adams Papers, and in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:848–855, from PCC, No. 84, II). Vergennes to JA, 20 July (Adams Papers; translation printed in JA, Works, 7:232–233; another translation printed in Wharton, 3:870–871, from PCC, No. 84, II). JA to Vergennes, 27 July (Archives Aff. Etr., as above, { 392 } printed in JA, Works, 7:241–243, from LbC, Adams Papers, and in Wharton, 4:12–14, from PCC, No. 84, II). Vergennes to JA, 29 July (Adams Papers; translation printed in JA, Works, 7:243; another translation printed in Wharton, 4:16–17, from PCC, No. 84, II). It is of some significance that the actual recipient's copies of these and of the other letters from JA to Vergennes cited below in this note are those now filed in the Papers of the Continental Congress, they having been sent by Vergennes to Franklin, and by Franklin at Vergennes' request forwarded to Congress (Wharton, 4:18–19, 22). Only copies and translations remain in the French Archives of Foreign Affairs.
In the midst of these stinging exchanges JA chose to raise again the question of announcing his missions to the British government, a subject on which Vergennes had imposed a ban almost from the moment JA had reappeared in Paris early in 1780. On 17 JulyJA proposed “a frank and decent Communication of my full Powers” as a means of stirring up British popular sentiment in favor of peace and of offsetting the rumored secret peace negotiations between England and Spain. Vergennes' answer of the 25th is a massive document in twenty MS pages which was intended to refute every one of his correspondent's arguments and, whether it did or not in JA's mind, forbade any notice to the British government until Congress had seen the exchange between JA and Vergennes and furnished fresh instructions. In the life of his grandfather, CFA correctly characterized Vergennes' letter as “rough and dictatorial. . . . The tone is that of a master” (JA, Works, 1:327). JA, who had begun to suspect a certain insincerity if not duplicity on the part of the hard-pressed foreign minister, replied temperately on the 26th and departed on the following day for the Low Countries. For his part, Vergennes on the last day of July transmitted to Franklin the entire correspondence that had passed between him and JA during June and July. The covering letter emphasized Vergennes' confidence in Franklin's principles and sentiments, but as for JA,
“Vous trouverés, je pense, dans les lettres de ce plénipotentiare, des opinions et une tournure qui ne répondent ni à la maniere avec laquelle je me suis expliqué avec lui, ni avec la liaison intime qui subsiste entre le Roi et les Etats unis. . . . [J]e desire que vous les fassiés passer au congrès afin qu'il sache la conduite que Mr. Adams tient à notre égard, et qu'il puisse juger s'il est doué autant que le congrès le desire sans doute, de 1'esprit de conciliation qui convient à besogne aussi importante et aussi délicate que celle qui lui est confiée (PCC, No. 84, II, printed in translation in Wharton, 4:18–19).
See JA to Vergennes, 17 July (Archives Aff. Etr., as above; printed in JA, Works, 7:228–230, from LbC, Adams Papers, and in Wharton, 3:861–863, from PCC, No. 84, II). Vergennes to JA, 25 July (Adams Papers; printed in translation in JA, Works, 7:235–240; another translation in Wharton, 3:882–883, and 4:3–6, from PCC, No. 84, II). JA to Vergennes, 26 July (Archives Aff. Etr., as above; printed in JA, Works, 1:322–327, from LbC, Adams Papers, and in Wharton, 4:7–11, from PCC, No. 84, II). The degree of Vergennes' success in endeavoring to obtain JA's recall or at least a reduction of his powers will appear subsequently. Among many comments JA later made on this incident, perhaps the most incisive is in a letter of 18 Aug. 1809 (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 284–286).
As for the trip to the Netherlands, it was a “fishing expedition,” of the very kind that both Vergennes and Franklin heartily disliked but could scarcely forbid. “I have never yet chang'd the Opinion I gave in Congress,” Franklin told Arthur Lee in 1777, “that a Virgin State should preserve the Virgin Character, and not go about suitoring for Alliances, but wait with decent Dignity for the Applications of others” (21 March 1777, Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 7:35). The Lees did not subscribe to this view, nor did JA. Hints of the possibility of Dutch support for America, or at least of marked antipathy to Great Britain as arbitrary mistress of the seas, had reached the Continental Congress, and JA as a member, from various quarters for several years. (An example will be found { 393 } in JA's letter to AA, 3 April 1777, summarizing a letter written to Congress by William Carmichael from Amsterdam, 2 Nov. 1776; see above, vol. 2:198–199, and references there.) Whether these were well or ill authenticated, it was natural and easy for Americans to give them credence, for the Dutch Republic (in official language the United Provinces of the Low Countries) was a confederation of states that had won its freedom from a distant imperial power and was governed, at least in part, by a representative body, the States General. In July 1777 Congress instructed its Committee of Foreign Affairs to prepare a commission for an American representative to the United Provinces, and this was done, but the whole matter was then laid on the table (JCC, 8:523, 527, 531). The reason for postponing action was the very correct one that the sentiments of their High Mightinesses the States General ought to be known first, since “possibly their connections with England, might make the receiving an American Minister, as yet inconvenient, and . . . a little embarrrassing” (American Commissioners at Paris to C. W. F. Dumas, 10 April 1778, JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:44–45). Meanwhile JA began reading Dutch history, particularly commending to AA and the ten-year-old JQA Cardinal Bentivoglio's History of the Warrs in Flanders, in which they were to note the remarkable parallels between the Dutch and American revolutions (JA to AA, 21 July, and to JQA, 27 July 1777, above, vol. 2:286–287, 289–292). The first official but very tentative American overtures to the Dutch were made in the spring of 1778, via C. W. F. Dumas, and JA happily reported that “In Holland there is more Friendship for Us, than I was aware before I came to France” (to Samuel Adams, 21 May 1778, JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:107). But nothing meaningful had resulted by early 1779, when JA learned that he was to be relieved of his duties as a commissioner. That he yearned to go to the Netherlands at this time is clear from his conversation with Marbois on his return voyage to Boston. “My own Inclinations would have led me to Holland: But I thought my Honour concerned to return directly home” (same, 2:390). In the very long letter—his diplomatic testament—that he wrote to Secretary Jay immediately after reaching Braintree, JA commented thoughtfully on a possible entente between the two republics. He supposed this would be favored by the “Similitude of Manners, of Religion and in some Respects of Constitution,” by “the Analogy, between the Means, by which the two Republicks arrived at Independancy,” and, most of all, by “the Attractions of commercial Interests” between the United Provinces and the United States. But these affinities, JA felt in the summer of 1779, were unlikely to show themselves “in a public Manner before a Peace, or a near Prospect of Peace. Too many Motives of Fear or Interest place the Hollanders in a Dependance on England, to suffer her to connect herself openly, with Us, at present.” Even so, on the basis of the inquiries the American Commissioners in Paris had made and the information they had received, JA felt that the prospects of obtaining loans and promoting trade between the two countries were good enough to warrant Congress' sending a minister to The Hague. The minister should be given “a discretionary Power, to produce his Commission, or not, as he shall find it likely to succeed”; he should have full powers and clear instructions for borrowing money; “and the Man himself, above all, should have consummate Prudence” and “a Caution and Discretion that will be Proof against any Tryal” (4 Aug. 1779, full text printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3: 278–286, from PCC, No. 84, I, and in JA, Works, 7:99–110, from LbC, Adams Papers).
It is perhaps not surprising that, having prescribed these exacting qualifications, JA should have thought of himself as eligible for the post in question. At any rate, having accepted his altogether unexpected and unsolicited mission as peace minister in Europe, he intimated to a close friend in Congress that a commission to the Netherlands might be attached to it without added pay (to Elbridge Gerry, “Secret as the Grave,” 18–19 Oct. 1779, LbC, Adams Papers). The idea had already occurred to his friends there, and he was in fact { 394 } nominated on 18 Oct. as agent to seek a loan, but Congress thought best “to make a distinct Appointment” and on 21 Oct. chose Henry Laurens, who shortly afterward was given further powers to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the States General (Lovell to JA, 19 Oct. 1779, Adams Papers; JCC, 15:1186, 1198, 1230).
For one reason or another, Laurens did not sail for Europe during the winter and spring of 1779–1780, and the surrender of Charleston (in which his son Col. John Laurens was made prisoner) delayed his departure still longer. Ultimately, as we shall see, Laurens never served in the Netherlands. Evidence meanwhile accumulated in both Paris and Philadelphia showing that relations between the Dutch and British governments were deteriorating—a theme recurrent in JA's voluminous dispatches to Congress throughout the spring of 1780. Reporting on Sir Joseph Yorke's latest memorial to the States General, invoking ancient Dutch treaty obligations to England, JA said, “[I]t looks as if England would force the Dutch into the War: but if they take a Part it will be certainly for Us.—Oh that Laurens was there.—Oh that Laurens was there!” (to Lovell, 29 March, LbC, Adams Papers; see also JA to Huntington, 3 April, PCC, No. 84, I, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:588–592, ||(also printed in Papers of John Adams)||and a long series of long dispatches that followed on the subject of Anglo-Dutch relations and the Armed Neutrality that Russia had initiated among the northern European powers to curb British naval power). By mid-June Congress felt it must take some step, and on the 20th it empowered JA (or, alternatively, Francis Dana) to act in Laurens' place, until Laurens himself arrived, with respect to obtaining a Dutch loan (JCC, 17:534–537). Such a commission was precisely what JA would have liked to have at just this time, but he had made his own plans to reconnoiter Amsterdam and The Hague long before it reached him. (It was not sent until 11 July, in a letter from the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Adams Papers). At the beginning of July he waited on Vergennes and told him “that I had an intention of making a Journey to Amsterdam for a few weeks, as I flattered myself I might form some Acquaintances or Correspondence there and collect some Intelligence that might be useful [to] the United States.” Vergennes asked him to wait for further news from the diplomatic front but on the 16th informed him that since the current Anglo-Spanish negotiations would be delayed until further instructions could be sent for from Madrid and received back from London, which would take perhaps two months, there was time enough for JA to pay his visit to the Netherlands (JA to Huntington, 23 July, printed in Wharton, 3:877–878, from PCC, No. 84, I; also in JA, Works, 7:233–235, from LbC, Adams Papers). Hence the entry of 27 July in JA's diary: “Setting off on a Journey, with my two Sons to Amsterdam.—Lodged at Compiegne. Fryday night lodged at Valenciennes. Saturday arrived at Brussells.—This Road is through the finest Country, I have ever seen”—and the diarist went on to describe the topography and crops with enthusiasm (Diary and Autobiography, 2:442). This brief interval in the beautiful and fertile French countryside was deeply refreshing to him after his labors and frustrations in Paris.
On 3 Aug. Franklin acknowledged Vergennes' letter of 31 July, quoted above, which enclosed the entire correspondence Vergennes had had with JA during June and July. Without particularizing, Franklin characterized JA's “Sentiments therein expressed” as proceeding from his “Indiscretion alone, and not from any Instructions received by him” from America; nor was it possible that his conduct would be “approved” by Congress. “I am glad,” he went on, “he has not admitted me to any Participation of those Writings” (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:123–124)—a statement only partly true since at JA's request Franklin had himself written Vergennes in June about the issue of Congress' fiscal policy, and at the end of that month had received copies from JA of all the correspondence that dealt with it (JA to Franklin, 23 June, printed in JA, Works, 7:193, from LbC [dated 22 June], Adams Papers; the original was enclosed in Franklin to Vergennes, 24 June, which, with its en• { 395 } closure, is in Archives Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. pol., Etats-Unis, vol. 12; JA to Franklin, 29 June, printed in JA, Works, 7:211–212, from LbC, Adams Papers; RC in PPAmP:Franklin Papers, with postscript: “I have added Copies of the whole Correspondence”).
Dutifully but not very happily, Franklin on 9 Aug. forwarded to Congress the papers Vergennes had sent him, and gave his view of JA's conduct in Paris and his motives in traveling to the Netherlands:
“Mr. Adams has given Offence to the Court here, by some Sentiments and Expressions contained in several of his Letters written to the Count de Vergennes. . . . Mr. Adams did not show me his Letters before he sent them. I have . . . mentioned some of the Inconveniencies, that attend the having more than one Minister at the same Court; one of which Inconveniencies is, that they do not always hold the same Language, and that the Impressions made by one, and intended for the Service of his Constituents, may be effaced by the Discourse of the other. It is true, that Mr. Adams's proper Business is elsewhere; but, the Time not being come for that Business, and having nothing else wherewith to employ himself, he seems to have endeavoured to supply what he may suppose my Negociations defective in. He thinks, as he tells me himself, that America has been too free in Expressions of Gratitude to France; for that she is more oblig'd to us than we to her; and that we should show Spirit in our Applications. I apprehend, that he mistakes his Ground, and that this Court is to be treated with Decency and Delicacy. . . . Mr. Adams, on the other hand, who at the same time means our Welfare and Interest as much as I, or any man, can do, seems to think a little apparent Stoutness, and greater air of Independence and Boldness in our Demands, will procure us more ample Assistance. . . .
“He is gone to Holland to try, as he told me, whether something might not be done to render us less dependent on France.” (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:126–128.)
To JA, on the next occasion he communicated with him, Franklin allowed himself, in touching on this last topic, only the observation that “Our Credit and Weight in Europe depend more on what we do than on what we say; And I have long been humiliated with the Idea of our running about from Court to Court begging for Money and Friendship, which are the more withheld the more eagerly they are sollicited, and would perhaps have been offer'd if they had not been asked” (2 Oct., Adams Papers; Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:146). Judged by ultimate results, Franklin's view proved correct in regard to American relations with all the European powers, major and minor, except France, where, at the outset, Franklin himself had participated in the “militia diplomacy” he now so deprecated, and the Netherlands, where JA in due time proved Franklin's view wrong and his own irregular tactics overwhelmingly right.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0287

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-08-17

Richard Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

The Alliance arriv'd yesterday after a Passage of about 36 Days.2 I went this Morning to see Mr. A. Lee (who came in her) but he was engag'd in Writing and could not be spoke with, his Nephew inform'd me that Mr. Adams and the Children were well, as were also Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter. Mr. Blodget bro't a Letter from Mr. Adams for you.3 I sent it (just before Peter4 came) by Mr. Seth Spear, who promised to leave it at our House. I have spoke to Uncle Smith who will take care of any thing that may be on board for you.
{ 396 }
There has been a great Mob in London headed by Lord Gordon: Marshall Law was proclaim'd, great numbers kill'd, and others hang'd without Judge or Jury, as 'tis said. Gordon is taken and put in the Tower. A Captain of a Vessell from Holland says that the Hopes of Amsterdam inform'd him that in their Opinion War was inevitable with E[n]gland. The French knew nothing of Admiral Graves being come to America, and Mr. Lee was surprized when he heard of it. He brings no news of a second French Fleet from France. I propose to see Mr. Lee in the Morning when I shall receive your Letters if he has any; He dines out to Day so that I cannot see him soon enough to let you know to night.
The Interest on your Note is not yet due, I will return it to you. I have not seen Mr. Newell, he has been out of Town. Pardon haste and blunders from Yours affectionately,
[signed] R. Cranch
1. Cranch's misdating appears to be a mere inadvertence. Thursday of this week fell on the 17th, and all accounts agree that the Alliance arrived on Wednesday the 16th; see the following note.
2.
“Yesterday arrived here the Continental Frigate Alliance, Capt. Landais, in 40 days from L'Orient, in France, in whom came passengers the Hon. Arthur Lee, Esq.; and his two nephews [&c.]” (Boston Continental Journal, 17 Aug. 1780, p. 3, col. 2).
3. This particular letter has not been identified, but AA actually received numerous letters from JA via the Alliance; see her letter to him of 23 Aug., below.
4. Probably a servant in the Adams household.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0288

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-21

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

I received your favor of the 16 March sometime Ago. The fleet and Army are still att Rd. Island by the arrival of Admiral Graves the british are superior. There intention Against Rd. Island seems to be laid aside. The french fleet and Spanish were att the Cape about 20 days Ago. We were in hopes they were bound to Jamaica.
Several privateers belonging to Salem, Cape Ann And Newbury have made a haul upon the Quebeck fleet, have taken about 16 that they have got in, some wholly with goods and some with provisions. On an Average supposed to be worth £15,000 sterling.
The Alliance Arrived here a few days Ago. Mr. Lee is come in her. He has been to see Mrs. Adams.1
Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Cranch are gone to Plymouth so you may judge they are well.
The french General has exprest great satisfaction to the Councel { 397 } on Account of the readiness in going to Aid him on the late Apprehension of there being Attackt att Rd. Island, and mentions a circumstance which suppose was very striking to him, That of one Mr. Thatcher who lives near Rd. Island, [who] went Over with Three Sons and headed is whole parish, which being something not ever seen before was the more pleasing.
Mr. Cranch and my self are going Over to Charlestown with Mr. Lee to show him were the battle was fought. Mr. Brown I have seen and has been to drink Tea with us.
I dont recollect any thing worth your Notice & Are Yr. Most hume. servant,
[signed] Isaac Smith
Ps. Itt seems the Conduct of the Captn. of the Alliance was such As that the ship came in here under the charge of the Lt.2
1. Probably on Sunday, 20 Aug.; see AA to JA, 3–4 Sept., below.
2. On this voyage Captain Landais “became irrational and was removed by his lieutenants” (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships, 1:33). Concerning the controversial Pierre Landais, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, passim, particularly the brief sketch, with references to biographical accounts, at 2:366. The record of Landais' court-martial, Nov. 1780–Jan. 1781, is in PCC, No. 193, II.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0289

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-08-21

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I have the pleasure of informing You, that Mr. Dana this day recieved a letter from Mr. A[dams] of the 17th. of this Month,1 who was well with his two Sons at Amsterdam. He thinks the Air of the Low Countries not so salubrious as that of France. They have too many Canals and too much stagnant Water there to make it the most healthy Spot in the World: The Air and Climate of this Country are exceedingly good. The farmers have blessed the Summer, for the Summer has blessed them in suffering 'em to enjoy the fruit of their labours. The Season has been most excellent indeed they say. I can answer for the Weather in the City that it has been in general very fine. The public walks of Course have been good. How happy should I be to traverse them with my young female Acquaintance on the other side the Atlantic, but this cannot be. My Acquaintance with young Ladies here is very contracted. The Customs of this Country are very different from ours—it is best they should be so. It is not the hardest task in Creation to form female Acquaintances here, but it is necessary previously to determine, whether they will not be such as { 398 } will lead one into that path, which is neither that of Wisdom or Riches, of Peace or of Pleasantness. I will not however undertake to form comparisons between the virtues or vices, the good or ill manners and Customs of one Country with another, or to run parallels—sufficient is it for a Resident to make the proper discriminations and to play the Roman in matters of indifference.
Tomorrow morning I have an Invitation to go and see a Nun take the Veil. I am told the Ceremony is singular. My Curiosity will lead me there to see it and I am persuaded my Inclination will induce me upon my return to give You an Account of it, for which purpose I leave the letter unfinished to night.
I have this moment returned from the Monastere des filles de Dieu, the Cloister of the Nuns where the Ceremony was performed. The Ceremony is as follows. The Lady who took the Veil was elegantly dressed and conducted forward to a grated Partition, which seperates the Nuns place of worship from the Chapel, by two of the Sisterhood, and seated in a Chair. When Mass begun, She left the Chair and kneeled—directly before her was standing a large Candle to which a Crucifix was affixed. After Mass, a discourse was addressed to her by a priest, in which he spoke perhaps more largely than learnedly upon the Advantages of a Cloister. The discourse being finished, She paid her Reverence to the Crucifix in the Chapel, and her devoirs to all the Sisterhood, and then retired with a Torch and Crucifix to put off her gaudy attire. Upon her return She was clad in Linen, carrying the lighted Candle that stood before her, and conducted by two of the Sisterhood to the Grate. After each of the Sisters had lighted up their Candles, they began to chant. After this two of them bound a piece of white linnen about her head. She then retired to a little Chapel adjoining, where the black Robe was put on and a white Veil. Upon her return the whole Nunnery chanted a te deum—after this She embraced most cheerfully the old and young of the Sisterhood and retired with them. I had forgot to mention that when She appeared clad in white linen She had a Crown or Garland upon her head.
I was invited to this Ceremony by one of the Sisterhood, about one or two [and] twenty years of age, whom I visit now and then. Her Name is Miss Maroni, a young Lady of Irish Extraction, has travelled much and is very sensible—speaks good English by the Way. I love to go to the Grate to chat with her, because She is cheerfull and full of { 399 } innocence tho' not very handsome. She would willingly convert me to the Catholic faith, but my heretical Notions I fear are too firmly established to be eradicated by her Importunities, which are always accompanied with a Sweetness of Expression and the Charms of Innocence. She is an amiable Girl indeed. The young lady, who took the Veil to day, is perhaps about the same Age. In this Nunnery are about four and twenty who have taken the Veil, and eight or ten probationers. The Veil is not taken immediately upon their Entrance. They rest one or two years there to make a Trial of the life. If in that time, they find themselves sufficiently detached from the World, they put on the Veil. If on the contrary, the Life is disagreeable to them, they have liberty to retire, but when they have once taken the Veil, they must continue there, 'till kind death releases them. This is the Regulation I am told. They go to prayers seven times a day—seven times a day I hope my amiable Nun prays for me. What an institution this? A voluntary and perpetual seclusion from the World, if humanity does not forbid, Religion does not require. It is a Species of devotion somewhat misterious to me, but as one is not obliged to “copy their humility,” let him take care not to “disturb their devotion.”
Much Respect and Duty where due. J'aime beaucoup les Mesdemoiselles de ma connoissance et je vous prie, Madame, pour leur dire mille choses que sont agréables de mon part.
I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect, your most obedient and most humble Servt.
1. ||Letter of 17 August, ||LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 151–152.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0290

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-08-21

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear young Friend

Your favor from Brussells1 was duly recieved, and ought to have been acknowledged before this. By the size of your Packet that came to hand this day, I concluded that it contained a particular description of your Travels, of the Curiosities you had met with &c., but upon opening it I found one line of request, and another (truly laconic) hinting at my neglect in writing. If You had been kind enough to have given me a short sketch of Amsterdam, the tartness of one line in this day's packet would have been much more palatable. However I have not taken it much in dudgeon, because You had a just claim to an answer.
{ 400 }
I have forwarded You a letter2 some days agone from America. It was inclosed with others to your Papa. I wrote your Papa but a day or two ago by Mr. McCreary.3 I hope he will recieve both packets. Possibly they may be at Brussells.
We were very happy to hear of your safe arrival at Amsterdam. You have travelled there at a good time of life, and under the Advantage of an excellent Instructor in your Papa. No doubt you have profited of both. As You are fond of keeping a Journal, be very particular in your description of the capital Towns you pass, of their Curiosities, their manners, Customs, Dress, but more particularly of their Religion and Governments.4 This will be of great Advantage hereafter.—Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.5 I have only time to request You to present my best Respects to your Papa, and Love to your Brother Charles, and to subscribe myself in great haste your affectionate Friend,
[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. J. Thaxter's letter dated August 21st 1780. Answered september the 3d 1780. No. 25”; docketed in JQA's later hand. (JQA's answer has not been found.)
1. Not found.
2. Not identified.
3. Probably Thaxter's letter to JA of 18 Aug. (Adams Papers).
4. After beginning his diary with his voyage to Spain and continuing it during his journey across northern Spain and into France, Nov. 1779–Jan. 1780, JQA had given it up (so far as we know from the surviving MS) until 25 July 1780, when, in anticipation of his journey to the Low Countries, he resumed his daily entries and kept them up through the end of September. Boyish as these are, they are so detailed as to be very valuable in tracing the Adamses' movements and stops during their first weeks in the Netherlands.
5. He has carried every point who has mingled the useful with the agreeable (Horace).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0291

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I could not omit so favourable an opportunity as the present of writing you a line by Mr. Warren who is upon his travells, and tis not unlikely may take France in his way.1
I know the welfare of your family so essential to your happiness, that I would improve every means of assureing you of it, and of communicating to you the pleasure I have had in receiving every Letter you have written since you first left the harbour of Boston. Mine to you have not been so successfull.
Several packets have been sent to Neptune, tho improperly directed, and I Query whether having found his mistake he has had complasance enough to forward them to you. So that you must not charge to me any failure in point of puntuality or attention, but to the avidity of { 401 } the watery Gods who I really believe have distroyed them—but enough of romance.
You see I am in good Spirits—I can tell you the cause. The Alliance arrived last week and brought me “the Feast of Reason and the flow of Soul.” Assurances too, of the Health of my dear absent Friends. Those only who know by experience what a Seperation is from the tenderest of connextions, can form adequate Ideas of the happiness which even a literary communication affords—

“Heaven first taught Letters for some wretches aid.”

I have written to you and to my dear Sons2 by Capt. Sampson. If Mr. Warren should be the Bearer of this, I need not ask you to love him, his Merrit will ensure him that, and every attention he may stand in need of from one who never suffers the promiseing youth to pass unnoticed by him, more especially one who has a double claim to your Friendship, not only on his own account, but from the long and intimate Friendship which subsists between his worthy parents and the Friend I address—who will be pleased to accept of the tenderest Sentiments of affectionate3 from his
[signed] A. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Paris”; addressed in an unidentified hand: “To His Excellency John Adams Esq: Minister Plenepotentiary Paris”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 23d Augst. 1780.”
1. On 16 Aug. a British cartel ship from St. John's, Newfoundland, bearing American sailors, including some taken in the capture of the Pallas (see above, Winslow Warren to AA, 26 May, note 2), arrived at Boston (Independent Chronicle, 17 Aug.) under a plan devised at St. John's for the exchange of prisoners. Winslow Warren, remaining at St. John's as a hostage until the arrival of the exchanged British seamen, sent word of his good treatment and that the possibility of continuing to Holland by way of England was open to him. His parents in a reply to go by the returning ship offered no objection (articles of agreement, 27 July, MHi:Misc. Bound; Mercy Warren to JA, 15 Nov., Warren-Adams Letters, 2:145–146; to Winslow Warren, 20 Aug., MHi:Mercy Warren Papers). AA, given notice of the opportunity, such as it was, to send a letter to JA did so here, expressing in the first and last paragraphs her uncertainties about Warren's plans.
Word that when free Warren would resume his journey did not reach home for another month. Meanwhile, he was given passage on the sloop-of-war Fairy, which sailed on or about 18 Sept. and reached Dartmouth ten days later, carrying also Henry Laurens (James Warren to W. Warren, 27 Sept.–13 Oct., MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.; Mercy Warren to same, 7 Nov., Jan. 1781, MHi:Mercy Warren Papers; “Narrative of . . . Henry Laurens,” S.C. Hist. Soc., Colls., 1 [1857]: 22–23). Warren's experience in England and on the Continent later is given at p. 359–360, above. If he retained AA's letter to deliver by hand, it did not reach JA until March 1781 (see AA to JA, 28 May 1781, vol. 4 below).
2. CFA, perplexed by the letter, when publishing it altered silently the date from 1780 to 1778 and substituted “son” for “sons” to accord with JA's first European mission when only JQA was with him (JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 340–341).
3. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0292

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1780-09-01

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] My dear Madam

From your Hospitable Mansion of Benevolence and Friendship, I reachd my own Habitation, the day I left you, and found my family well, but the Scenes arround me wore a dismal aspect—the dyeing Corn, the Barren pastures and the desolated Gardens threaten us with distress, and Hunger. Not a vine that had modestly and silently crept along the Ground unasspiring of a nearer approach to the Burning God, but had crumbled to dust beneath his scorching Rays.
Ceres witherd Head reclines, Virtumnus is fled, and Pomona is scattering here and there the half Grown fruit e'er she too bids us adieu. To the Father of the rain, and the Mercifull dispencer of the dew Drops, must we lift up our Beleiving hearts, for that releif which he does not refuse to the young Ravens when they cry, nor to the more important works of his Hands, but to oblige them to confess from whence cometh every good and perfect gift.
How happy should I be my dear Madam, Honourd as I am with your Friendship, if I could often join a sister mate, instead of sitting in my own solitary chamber the representitive of the lonely dove. Methinks we might coo, to each other, in accents which might Mitigate pain and illude the Solitary Hour, but when this is deliverd you that Idea will vanish from your mind, yet whilst you felicitate your own happier Lot, lend a pittying Sigh of commisiration to a sufferer.
The young Ladies returnd last wedensday so highly Gratified with their visit that there regret at parting, could be mitigated only by the pleasing recollection of what they had enjoyed.
My Dear Mrs. W[arre]n will not forget her promise of a Letter to be coppied for her Friend. She may rest assured proper care shall be taken of one committed to her—and the young Gentleman, if he visits France shall receive a coppy of it.1
The packet by Mr. Brown received since my return, but no later dates than what I had before. This young Gentleman made me a visit this week. He is a Native of Carolina, a youth about 22 or 3, of easy address, soft Manners and modest Deportment, he bespeaks your good opinion the moment you look upon him, and is sure to have it before he leaves you. His Soul is perhaps softned by the Filial tenderness he feels for parents who he believes prisoners, if nothing worse has befallen them, and from whom he has not heard since the Capture of Charlestown.
{ 403 }
Present my Regards to the young Gentlemen, and Let me hear from your own hand, of your Health and happiness. You must quit Plimouth, you who so well love Society and who always adorn it, must not be secluded,2 the constant enjoyment of it. I should have felicitated myself if you had exchanged Plimouth for Braintree. It would have greatly added to the happiness of your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (MHi: Warren-Adams Collection); docketed in two unidentified hands: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Sepr. 1st 1780 No. 12.”
1. Both of these were evidently didactic essays in epistolary form addressed by Mrs. Warren to one or another of her sons Winslow and Charles. One of them can be identified as a letter dated 24 Dec. 1779, which survives in copied form in the Adams Papers, on the false teachings of Chesterfield in his letters to his natural son; see AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb., above; Mrs. Warren to AA, 21 Dec., vol. 4, below.
2. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0293

Author: Neufville, Jean de & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-02

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honourd Lady!

May we begg leave to offer our Respects to your Excellency, and to enclose here the list of some particulars His Excellency favourd us with the honour to procure, and which we hope may prove to satisfaction, or if any thing may be wanting, which never will be owing to the least inattention; we most frendly begg to be guided by your Ladyships instructions for the future; and we will pay the highest regard to Any orders we may ever find ourselfs honourd with.
We are very happy enjoying the presence of so worthy a Professor of the Liberty and the Rights of his Country as all the World must assure Mr. Adams to be, and pay him the highest Regard, so every body must and doth Love Madam your [sir?] John and young Mr. Charles, who under so worthy Parents will grow to be an ornament to their Country as they promiss already for their age, may time soon bring forth that all the worthy in America and Holland through the spirit of Liberty and the ties of humanity make butt one family.
We have the honour to be with the most profound Respect and Unfeignd Regard, Honourd Lady Your Excellencys most Obedient and Most devoted humble servants,
[signed] John de Neufville & Son1
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure missing. This letter was originally sent under cover to Isaac Smith Sr.; see William Smith to AA, 20 Nov., vol. 4, below.
1. Jean (Jan or John) de Neufville (1729–1796) was the head of an Amsterdam mercantile firm that, as the present letter indicates, was conspicu• { 404 } ously friendly to the American cause. In Sept. 1778, acting somewhat vaguely on behalf of the Amsterdam Regency, he had met William Lee at Aix-la-Chapelle and agreed with him on the draft of a commercial treaty with the United States. This got little further in any official way, but the capture at sea by the British of a text among the effects of Henry Laurens the day after the present letter was written not only led to Laurens' imprisonment in the Tower but was made the pretext of England's breaking off relations with the Netherlands in Dec. 1780. Early in 1781, at the height of the Anglo-Dutch war crisis, Jean de Neufville & Son tried with little success to raise a loan for the United States. See the article on the elder de Neufville in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1211–1214; Van Winter, Het andeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche Gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, passim; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:444–445, 452–453; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 378, 399–400; JQA, Diary, 11 Aug. 1780et seq.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0294

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-02

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

By yesterday's post from Nantes Mr. Austin recieved a Letter from Mr. Williams, informing him that a french Vessel had just arrived there from Philadelphia, the Captain of which reports that Kniphausen had been repulsed in the Jerseys—that besides the killed and wounded, there were seven hundred prisoners taken, which he saw in Philadelphia—that the Militia on this occasion behaved with great Spirit and Bravery. This Vessel sailed from Philadelphia the first of July, but did not leave the Deleware until the eighteenth of the same month. The day before she sailed, a Vessel going out of the Deleware informed the Captain that Mr. de Ternay had arrived, but that he did not know when or where. No dispatches have arrived by this Vessel. Mr. Deane has recieved a Letter from Mr. Robert Morris by this Conveyance,1 informing him that Kniphausen had burnt Springfield in the Jersies, some Farm Houses and Barns, but that he had been checked. No mention however is made of the loss or Number of Prisoners—a Circumstance somewhat singular, and renders the Account of the Capture of the seven hundred men rather doubtful. It may be true; but it seems so material a Circumstance would hardly have been omitted. We do not as yet give full Credit to the News. Mr. Morris further adds, that Clinton has made an Excursion towards West Point, but finding it of too difficult Access, quitted the Object, went to Tarry Town and burnt it, from thence directed his Course towards White Plains and the Country round about, burning, pillaging, and destroying as he passed along. It is supposed that Kniphausens Operations in the Jerseys prevented the sending detachments from our main Army to check the Ravages of Clinton. Perhaps Kniphausen's Operations { 405 } were designed to employ the Attention of our Army, so as to favour Clinton's Diversion. The latter it seems has not met with much opposition. Individuals are doubtless much distressed by these merciless burnings. The Confederacy at large is benefited—they are the distracted feats of a despairing Enemy—Union and Stability are the fruits which We reap from them. The Conduct of these Generals is so conformable to the Objects of Administration that it cannot fail to charm them, nor of the rhetorical decorations of the Morning Post. The Parson2 and his Adherents will have ample Scope for Panegyrick, and no doubt the Atchievements of Clinton and his Co-adjutor tho' to the last degree base, will be whitewashed with an euloge of these Tools of Corruption.
Mr. Dana desires his respects to You, and would have given You the Accounts brought by the french Vessel, but his Eyes are again in a bad State, and he has directed me to do it, which I have done besides adding a little trumpery of my own. He requests that You would have the goodness to purchase for him a sufficiency of Cambrick for three or four Handkerchiefs, and have them made up there, and take them with You in your Trunk when you return. Stevens possibly knows that kind which is proper for Handkerchiefs—if You would be kind enough to direct him to purchase enough for the purpose, he would be much obliged.
I have the Honour to be, with the most perfect respect, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant,
[signed] J Thaxter
My Love if You please to the Masters Johnny and Charley.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter ansd. Septr. 8”; docketed by CFA: “Septr. 2d 1780.” (JA's answer of 8 Sept. has not been found.)
1. Morris to Silas Deane, Philadelphia, 3 July, from which much of the war news communicated in the present letter appears to derive (Deane Papers, 4:170–174). Deane had recently returned to Paris in an effort to have his accounts audited so that they could be settled by Congress.
2. Rev. Henry Bate, later Sir Henry Bate Dudley (1745–1824), at this time editor of the London Morning Post, a pro-ministerial paper. His quarrelsomeness led to his being called “the Fighting Parson.” (DNB.)

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0295

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By a Vessel of my unkles bound to Bilboa I write you a few lines, and commit them to the care of our Friends Gardoqui to whom I have written for a few small Articles, and desired them to draw upon you { 406 } for pay, but the demand will not amount to more than 20 dollors I think.
Tho I have been so unfortunate as to have my Trunk left in France, and the Alliance arrive safe here without it, to the no small dissapointment of our Friends, yet I know you will be full as much so. You have I know taken as much pains to forward it as you possibly could: to the dissentions on Board the Ship, and to no other cause is the dissapointment oweing. I could wish if it should not be shiped before this reaches you that it may wait, and come in Sampson if he is arrived: if he has, you have the Resolve of Congress which you wrote for and which will render you comfortable, till some other plan can take place. I have not been able to procure the Bills which are due to you from Congress. Shall forward them as soon as I receive them.
All your Letters are come safe to hand, as well as the presents you mention, except that by Mr. Wharton, who waits to come in Jones. I find you can greatly benifit me in this way. The chintz by Mr. Brown was very good and not dear as you Imagined.
This Gentleman spent a day with me, I was much pleased with his modesty and affability. Mr. Lee did me the Honour of keeping the Sabbeth with me. I expect an other visit from him when he returns from Plimouth where he is now gone.1
This is a Great and important day in the political System of this State. Mr. B[owdoi]n has merrit and integrity, all the judicious people will vote for him, but popular Clamour will elect an other,2 who ought to forfeit every vote, by the low mean Arts he has taken to procure them. I could tell you many, if prudence did not restrain me, yet nothing that would surprize you, for you know every Avenu of his vain Heart. Give an extensive cord, and you know the adage.
We have a Melancholy prospect about us. The most severe drought known for many years, has cut of our grass, our corn and our Gardens. Yesterday we had a plentifull rain, and the first since the begining of May. Many person[s] have been obliged to give Hay to their cattle for more than a month, but in the midst of this calimity we have a general time of Health.
No News stiring. General Washington has the best Army that he has had since the commencment of the war, yet tis like to be a very inactive campaign. The arrival of Graves fleet so soon after that of our Allies, put a stop to every measure which had been concerted for the Benifit of these States and at an amazeing expence we are keeping a defensive army.
{ 407 }
Tis true our Enemies have done nothing since the takeing of Charlestown, but we ought to have balanced accounts with them. I shall not write to my dear Sons now on account of the postage. You will remember me to them, and let Mr. D[an]a know that his family are well, Mr. T[haxte]r too.
I wrote you in May, an account of the death of sister A[dam]s.3 If this vessel should not sail immediately will enclose a list of our Great folks.4 I know you will be earnest to hear.—Pray write to me by every opportunity. I shall omit none to you. Your Letters are the cordials which keep my Spirits alive. Ever believe me with the tenderest sentiments of affection and Regard your
[signed] Portia
PS Unkle S[mit]h thinks you neglect him that you did not write him by the Alliance—says he wont write again.
I open my Letter to tell you the votes of this Town. Mr. B[owdoi]n 11, Mr. H[ancoc]k 75 as chief. General W[arre]n 75, Lieut. G[overno]r, only 3 scattering for any other person.5 Modest merrit—coy Nymph—how is she slighted.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “The Honble. John Adams Esq. Ambassador from the United States of America Passy near Paris”; endorsed: “Portia Sept. 3. 1780.”
1. Lee's first visit to AA was apparently on 20 Aug.; see Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 21 Aug., above. His second was on 6 Sept., for on the 10th he wrote JA: “I left Mrs. Adams, your Children, General and Mrs. Warren in good health four days ago” (Adams Papers).
2. John Hancock; see the addition to this letter dated 4 Sept., below.
3. AA's letter to JA reporting the death of Mrs. Peter B. Adams was dated not in May but 13 June, q.v. above, together with a note on AA to JA, 15 April, also above.
4. Meaning those who were to be elected next day as governor, lieutenant governor, and members of the Council and Senate.
5. Different figures are given in the Braintree Town Records (p. 514) for the results of the election held on 4 Sept.: “For Governor. Honr. John Hancock, Esqr. 95 Honr. James Bowdoin Esqr. 11 [For] Lt. Governor. Honr. James Warren Esqr. 80 Honr. Joseph Palmer Esqr. 1 Honr. James Bowdoin Esqr. 1 Honr. Samuel Adams Esqr. 1.”

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0296

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-09-03

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

Where is my Friend Mr. L[ovel]l? Can he be an inhabitant of this world and inattentive to a Lady? Can he suffer Letters repeatedly to reach him and not deign a line in reply? Can he be so apsorbed in the Region of politicks as to have forgotten Social engagements?
Snatch him some friendly Genius from the Region of torpitude, { 408 } bear him hence Benevolence, he is your intimate acquaintance. Hospitality open your doors, his are ever ready to receive you, Friendship and Love embrace a wanderer who is still your own.
Not a line nor even a vagrant paper for six whole weeks. So long have I been accustomed to indulgence, that like the Nobler Sex I claim that as a right, which was first granted me as a favour, and look every post for a line or two at least, and feel myself inti[t]led to a return where I have not remitted a refusal. I have more patiently sufferd under my dissapointment, having been much engaged in writing and receiving Letters from abroad, yet do not feel satisfied with my own portion tho a large one. An Evish disposition prompts me to ask of you any communications from your Letters that may safely be entrusted to Portia.—No advances towards a negotiation have yet taken place. Brittain still persists in her mad career, nor will she exchang her Hostile weapons for the peacefull olive Branch. I had hoped e'er this period that the Tranquil Goddess would have erected her Banners and every sighing Heart rejoiced beneath the Roof of domestick felicity, and even the long absent Mr. L——1 been permitted once more to visit his Native State.
Tomorrow will be a great and important day in the political Systim of this State. There is one Man who it is said will have the votes of the wise and judicious part of the State, but the popular choise will fall where it has been meanly sought and much coveted—

“Then Let me have the higher post

Suppose it but an Inch at most

I have no title to asspire

Yet when you sink I seem the higher.”

Rejoice with me sir on the plentifull rain this day dispenced to the dyeing corn, the Barren pastures and desolated Gardens. So severe a droubth as we have experienced through this Summer has not been felt for many years. Not a vine that had Humbly and modestly crept along the Ground, unasspiring of a nearer approach to the Burning God of Day, but has crumbled to dust beneath his scorching Rays. Ceres witherd Head reclines, Virtumnus is fled and Pomona is scattering here and there the half grown fruit, e'er she too, bids us adieu.
I rejoice to hear that our Sister States are not sharers in the same distressing calamity, and hope they will Benevolently feed the Hungry and satisfy the poor with Bread.
This will be handed you by Mr. Brown a young Gentleman who is a Native of Carolina, but last from France. He brought me Letters from Mr. Adams, and a Letter of recommendation in his countanance. { 409 } I was much pleased with his modest and affable deportment, his easy manners and his Good Sense. He wishd for a Letter as he was unacquainted in Philadelphia and I have taken the Liberty to introduce him to you and know you will esteem him according to his merrit, which is all that is requested by your unalterable Friend,
[signed] Portia

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0297

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-03

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I have at length an Opportunity by Mr. Brown1 to forward Bills of Exchange; and I only add the News Paper of Yesterday. Bell so long expected from France is arrived. He sailed with the Alliance. You know much more of your Mr. Adams than we, as only a Letter of April 10th. is come to hand from him.2 I assure you we feel very angry with Somebody, as neither Congress or the Minister have yet received a single Letter brought by the Alliance twenty days ago.

[salute] Your most obedt.

[signed] J L
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “Bills of Exchange” (not found) paid the balance due JA on his accounts for 1778–1779 as settled finally on 15 April 1780; see Lovell to AA, 14 May, above, and references in note 3 there. Enclosed newspaper not found.
1. This Mr. Brown, obviously not Joseph Brown Jr. of South Carolina, mentioned several times just above, has not been further identified.
2. JA addressed the first, second, and thirdthree letters to President Huntington on this dateof 10 April that survive in PCC, No. 84, I, and in JA's letterbooks; two are printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:604–608.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0298

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I have ordered the Things you desired for yourself and Mr. Tufts by Captain Edward Davis in the Brig Dolphin. They are very dear, as you will see. I insured them at 25 per Cent.
The French and Spaniards have at length, made a Hall as the saying is of 40 or 50 ships at once from the English. A few more such strokes will answer a very good End.1 But not make Peace. This will never be while the English have one soldier in the United States.
We are all well—thank Nabby for her Letter,2 and tell Master T. that I should have been obliged to him for one.
We are all Impatience to hear from N[orth] A[merica] and the W. Indies. Proportional good News from thence would make Us very happy.
{ 410 }
I have been here three or four Weeks, and have spent my time very agreably here. I am very much pleased with Holland. It is a singular Country. It is like no other. It is all the Effect of Industry, and the Work of Art.
The Frugality, Industry, Cleanliness, &c. here, deserve the Imitation of my Countrymen. The Fruit of these Virtues has been immense Wealth, and great Prosperity. They are not Ambitious, and therefore happy. They are very sociable, however, in their peculiar Fashion.
Adieu, yours forever.3
1. This action took place off Cape St. Vincent, Portugal, on 9 August. Nearly sixty ships in a British convoy, mainly bound for the West Indies but including some East Indiamen as well, were intercepted by the combined French and Spanish fleet and were brought into Cadiz. See JA to Huntington, 4 Sept. (PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:45; Annual Register for 1781, p. 2–3).
2. Not found.
3. It is not now possible to tell whether this is the first letter JA wrote to AA from the Netherlands. The announcement “I have been here three or four Weeks” suggests that it may be; on the other hand, the letter appears much too brief and casual to cover so long a period and such important news. (Note that JA does not even mention here that the two boys have come with him from Paris—an oversight for which AA chided him in her answer of 13–24 Nov., vol. 4, below.) We also know that Captain Davis of the Dolphin, who sailed from a Dutch port early in September and arrived in Boston in mid-November, threw overboard most of his mail when chased by an American privateer flying British colors. Among that mail there must have been other JA letters, presumably including some to AA. See William Smith to AA, 20 Nov.; AA to JA, 13–24 Nov.; both in vol. 4 below.
At all events this was the first letter AA received from JA after his of 23 June, above. The Adams party had traveled by way of Brussels (where JA had satisfying talks with Edmund Jenings and William Lee) to Antwerp and Rotterdam, from there by canal boat (“trekschuit”) to Delft and The Hague (where JA met C. W. F. Dumas, who was to become his faithful man-of-all-work in the Netherlands), and then via Leyden and Haarlem to Amsterdam, where the Adamses arrived on 10 Aug. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:442–445; JQA, Diary, 29 July10 Aug. 1780). In Amsterdam they stopped at the Hôtel des Armes d'Amsterdam but moved on the 12th to better family quarters in the house of “Madame La Veuve du Monsier Henry Schorn, op de Agterburgwall by de Hoogstraat” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 343; JQA, Diary, 1112 Aug. 1780).
On 14 Aug.JA resumed his dispatches to Congress, writing President Huntington that day explaining his trip to the Netherlands and deploring Laurens' continued absence:
“He would not be publickly recieved, at least until the States [i.e. the States General of the United Provinces] shall take a decided part with the other Maritime Powers against England. This Case however may soon happen. But there is not in Europe a better Station to collect Intelligence from France, Spain, England, Germany, and all the Northern Parts; nor a better Situation from whence to circulate Intelligence, through all parts of Europe, than this. And it may be depended on, that our Cause has never suffered from any thing more, than from the failure of giving and recieving Intelligence. A Minister here from Congress would be considered as the Center of Communication between America and this and many other Parts of Europe; and I have since my Arrival here been more convinced { 411 } than ever, that Congress might open a considerable Loan here, and be supplied from hence with Stores, and with Clothing, and at the same time be gradually extending the Commerce between this Country and America to the great Advantage of both” (PCC, No. 84, II; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:29–32; also in JA, Works, 7:244–246, from LbC, Adams Papers).
The two matters dealt with in the foregoing paragraph, together with his work as a publicist and propagandist of the American cause, principally occupied JA's attention in the coming months. After receiving in mid-September his “new Orders” to stand in for Laurens, he decided to stay and doubled his efforts; and after learning in October of Laurens' capture at sea he redoubled them. No brief summary of his intense and wide-ranging activities during the latter part of 1780 and the first half of 1781 can approach adequacy, which is the more unfortunate because the correspondence in the present volumes reflects them very spottily. His diary entries are equally spotty, and, to make matters worse, his Autobiography breaks off (in the middle of a sentence of a letter copy) in March 1780. To compensate for these gaps there is the fairly full documentation for this period selected by CFA for publication in JA's Works, 7:244–430, and the very valuable but extremely disorderly mass of documents and comment in what the editors of the Adams Papers have called JA's “second autobiography,” namely his Correspondence in the Boston Patriot—now, unfortunately, a rare book. Nearly four-fifths of that portion of his reminiscences that was issued in serial parts in 1809–1810 is devoted to these eleven months of “militia diplomacy” in Amsterdam and The Hague. Short of the manuscript files themselves, the Correspondence is thus the best single source for this chapter of JA's public life, and since JA did not keep copies of the letters he wrote to the Patriot at such white heat and in such profusion, important material is printed in the Correspondence that can be found nowhere else at all.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0299

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-04

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I was this day honoured with your favour of the 30th. of last Month.1
I cannot give a fuller answer to your question respecting President Laurens, than the following Extract from Mr. Jay's Letter to Mr. Dana, dated at Madrid the 19th. of August.2
“As to Col. Laurens, I have heard nothing of him except as follows. Captain Bryan of the Schooner Peggy arrived at Cadiz the 18th of July in forty nine days from Wilmington No. Carolina, freighted with thirty four hogsheads of Indigo by Col. Laurens on account of Congress. He says that Col. Laurens had had his stores on board this Vessel upwards of ten weeks and was to have come with him to Europe, but was determined by the fate of Charlestown to return to Philadelphia.” The above, Sir, is the only information respecting the President. There is not a syllable of any other Appointment made or to be made, nor of what may or will be his final Determination.
Mr. Jay also mentions, that Captain Cook, who left Salem the 19th. of July, had arrived, and brought news that M. de Ternay and M. { 412 } le Cte. de Rochambeau had arrived at Rhode Island and that the latter had landed his Troops there, but there is not a word of the time of their Arrival.
There are some other Matters in the same letter, which Mr. Dana will communicate in his next, as he informs me.
All the News that came by the Fier Rodorique has been communicated already by Mr. Dana. When She sailed, they had but just heard of the news of the Surrender of Charlestown, so that the Passengers know nothing of its Effects. The most frightened and dejected were happily the right side of the Atlantic.
The Capture of the two fleets is esteemed here a great Acquisition, and is a general Topic of Conversation. The combined fleets have opened the Campaign prosperously; may they finish it gloriously. The Harp in England is where it ought to be, and this heaving of sixties instead of sixes will keep it there. The combined fleets have opened the true Vein, and if they have the good fortune to prevent its closing, England may grow faint and feel feeble.3
Mr. Dana would be happy to know whether any Vessels are bound from Holland to the Massachusetts or St. Eustatia.
It is not inferred from your not mentioning the time of your Return, that You intend to fix your Residence at Amsterdam. It is supposed your present situation is not disagreeable. We should be happy to know when You intend returning but much more so in seeing You.
I am much obliged by Mrs. A's mention of my Letters, but am very sorry that I have nothing more interesting for so respectable a Correspondent.
Mr. Dana presents his Respects to You and Love to the young Gentlemen.
I have the Honor to be, with the most perfect respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant,
[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Thaxter 4: Septr. 1780.”
1. Not found.
2. This letter is in MHi:Dana Papers.
3. The general tenor of this paragraph relating to the capture of the British convoy off Cape St. Vincent is clear, but some of the phrasing remains cryptic to the editors.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0300

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-09-04

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

I had the pleasure of your agreeable favour of the 31st. of August { 413 } this day, and am much obliged by the Continuation of your Journal.1 You have refreshed my Memory encore. I acknowledge my Engagements, and think I have in part fulfilled them. You have I am persuaded recieved my first before this.2 The portions of your Journal are very short, but nevertheless choice and well written—was You to add a page and an half more it would give an agreeable length to the letter. But I will not urge You too much—perhaps a want of leisure may Occasion two Pages being left blank.
I have sent your Letters to the Pension, as they have been recieved, and forwarded some to You, which must have come to hand before this.3
You are at present in a Country very different from that of France in many Respects. You have turned over another Leaf of the great Volume of Nature—a Book worth reading and Study. Many good lessons are to be learnt from it—it forewarns and if well read it forearms.
John4 desires that Stephens would purchase for him a German Bible—be kind enough to mention it to Stephens. Pray what progress have you made in the language, and how do You find it? Is it as musical as the Spanish, and as agreeable as the French? If You have undertaken to learn, I wish You much satisfaction and Improvement.
Mr. Dana's Compliments are returned to You.

[salute] Your affectionate friend,

[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed on face: “Mr. Thaxter's letter No: 26”; docketed on verso by JQA in his mature hand.
1. Neither JQA's letter nor the enclosed “Continuation” of his journal has been found.
2. Dated 21 Aug., above.
3. Of these, only one has been found. This is a letter from JQA to his Passy schoolmate Samuel Cooper Johonnot, from Brussels, 30 Aug., signed “Polydore” (NjMoW).
4. John (or Johannes) W. C. Fricke, Dana's German-born servant.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0301

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I wish you to write me, by every Opportunity to this Place, as well as to France. It seems as if I never should get any more Letters from America. I have sent you some Things by Captn. Davis, but he has no Arms, and I fear they will be lost, by Capture.—I sent Things by the Alliance.
The Country where I am is the greatest Curiosity in the World. This Nation is not known any where, not even by its Neighbours. The Dutch Language is spoken by none but themselves. Therefore They { 414 } converse with nobody and nobody converses with them. The English are a great nation, and they despize the Dutch because they are smaller. The French are a greater Nation still, and therefore they despize the Dutch because they are still smaller in comparison to them.
But I doubt much whether there is any Nation of Europe more estimable than the Dutch, in Proportion.
Their Industry and Oeconomy ought to be Examples to the World. They have less Ambition, I mean that of Conquest and military Glory, than their Neighbours, but I dont perceive that they have more Avarice. And they carry Learning and Arts I think to greater Extent.
The Collections of Curiosities public and private are innumerable.
I am told that Mr. Searle is arrived at Brest: but I have learned nothing from him as yet—nor do I know his Destination.
The French and Spanish Fleets have made a sweep of Sixty upon the English E. and W. India Fleets. This must have great Effects.
We are all well.—Dont expect Peace. The English have not yet forgot the Acquisition of Charlestown, for which they are still making the most childish Exultations. The new Parliament will give Ministry a Run. Mark my Words, You will have no Peace, but what you give yourselves, by destroying Root and Branch all the British Force in America.
The English cannot bear the Thought that France should dictate the Terms of Peace, as they call it. They say they must make a dishonourable Peace now—a shameful Peace, a degrading Peace. This is worse than death to them, and thus they will go on, untill they are forced to sue for a Peace, still more shamefull and humiliating.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0302

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-09-17

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My Dear Sir

I was much gratified at again receiving a few lines from you, tho very Laconick.1
I wrote you about ten days since by a Mr. Brown,2 who came in the Alliance and brought Letters from my Friend to congress and to some of his Friends which he put into the post office, but they must be of an old date, as he was waiting near four months for the Sailing of the Alliance. Such conduct with regard to one vessel was I believe never before practised. I suppose Jones kept the publick packet and all other Letters. By Letters I received by the Fleet from Mr. Adams { 415 } dated in May, He says there are a full Bushel of Letters on board the Alliance for Congress, for my Friends and your Share amongst them.
I received by a Number of private Gentlemen Letters to the 3 of june, and one last week by way of Amsterdam of the 15 of june,3 in which he says, I have no remittances nor any thing to depend on, not a line from Congress nor any Member since I left you—at which I was really astonished. When you write I wish Sir you would forward your Letters to me, I can certainly convey them better from here. In that time he had received 3 Letters from me from different ports. I forwarded the resolve of congress to him by Capt. Sampson respecting his sallery which you was so kind as to send me. Shall do the same with the Bills now sent but I either misunderstand the account you sent me some months ago, or there is a mistake in the Bills, for after stateing the account the report is in these words—From which accounts there appears a balance of four thousand 3 hundred & seventy two Livres thirteen Sols & Six Deniers in favour of the Honble. John Adams Esqr.
The Bills received are only for two thousand five hundred Livres, besides £30 6 shillings in paper. I wish to have this explained.4
O my dear Sir I am Sick Sick of politicks. How can you exist so long in the midst of them? There is such mad ambition, such unbounded avarice, such insufferable vanity, such wicked peculation of publick property. Yet Hosana to these wretches, Cry all the vipers who nknaw at the vitals of our republicks—in vain do you toil and Labour at the oar, whilst such pilots guide the helm abroad, your vessel will unavoidably suffer ship wreck.
But why should I exclaim where I cannot remedy. You have so much of this from all Quarters that it is cruel for a female to wound who ought to sooth the statesmans harrowed Brow, but at that moment my Indignation overpowerd my tenderness.
I am happy in thinking that my Friend abroad is so happily connected with a man of probity and principal, and that both of them have no sinister views or any Interest to serve seperate from that of their country.
But—I put a stop to my pen upon recollecting that for more than two months I have only received a few lines from Mr. L[ovel]l nor will I defraud the publick by calling of his attention further than to assure him of the affectionate regard of
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); conjecturally dated “Aug. 1781” at head of text by CFA; this could hardly have happened if the second leaf of Dft, bearing the full and correct date at foot of text, had not at an early date become separated { 416 } from the first leaf; the two leaves have been brought together since the Adams Papers Microfilms were produced.
1. Lovell's letter of 3 Sept., above.
2. Her letter of 3 Sept., also above, sent by Joseph Brown Jr.
3. JA's letters to AA of 3 June and 17 (not 15) June are both printed above.
4. The explanation lay in the fact that Congress had not allowed the item for JQA's schooling (1,861 livres ls.), which JA had somewhat diffidently entered among his charges. See the audit and report as enclosed in Lovell to AA, 14 May, above, and notes there.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0303

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-17

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I was honoured with your favour of the eighth Instant1 on the fifteenth.
So general an Approbation of the Constitution of the Massachusetts is an Event of great Importance to our State, and it's Acceptance at this juncture affords an unequivocal proof of the Wisdom and Magninimity, Concord and Unanimity of its Inhabitants. I rejoice that I am to live under a Constitution of Government, that has for Object the Liberty and Happiness of the governed, and am penetrated with the liveliest gratitude towards its framers in general, but more particulary towards him, whom I know to have had the most capital share in its formation. With the addition of a wise and equitable Administration of it, no State perhaps can be more happy in this respect.
Mr. Searle brings a very pleasing Account of the Situation of our public Affairs. His History of matters is a compleat fulfillment of your prophecy and rather more, but Mr. Dana by this I presume has given You a minute detail. Mr. Dana's departure was very sudden indeed. I knew not his Object, and am happy to say that my total Ignorance of it, has put it out of my Power to gratify Speculators, and has saved me an abundance of Evasions, short answers &ca. I am exceedingly glad that I do not know it, and that I have once found Ignorance to be an excellent Species of saving Knowledge.2
I am a lonely solitary Being, even in this Croud of fellow Mortals—it is a situation not the most eligible. To you, Sir, the Reason must be obvious. I shall endeavour to be as prudent and oeconomical as possible, and to take the best care of the things in my charge until your Return, which I sincerely hope is not far distant.
I have written to Mr. Austin, and as I know not his Address, have directed to him at Amsterdam, where I presume he is by this time. I pray You to be kind enough to inform him of it, if he does not get the letter of this day's date, and another sent a few days agone.3
{ 417 }
The English have taken two Russian Vessels, whose Cargoes are not contraband according to the Empress's declaration, but expressly excepted. Their Cargoes were Hemp and Iron. What Part England will take, whether dismiss or condemn, and what part the Empress will take in Case of Condemnation, are questions of great Speculations. If they are condemned the Confederation it should seem is brought to a Crisis.4 If not, there is a pointed partiality on the part of England towards Russia, and an odious distinction set up between the former and Holland in precisely the same Circumstances. Monsr. Linguet says, “Il me semble que si les ministres anglois sont adroits, ils n'ont qu'un échappatoire pour concilier l'orgueil et l'intérêt national: c'est en laissant passer galamment le pavillion de Catharine, de dire froidement à l'Europe, vous voyez bien que c'est une femme.”5 He calls her not only une femme but une maitresse femme. Linguet's Wit and British Politicks do not always quadrate, and (tho' I am no Lover of War) I hope they will not in this instance, as far as they respect the fate of the two captured Vessels of Russia.
Respects to Mr. Dana and love to the Children. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect, &c.,
[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed on face:“M. Thaxter 17. Septr. 1780.”
1. Not found.
2. The reason for Dana's sudden departure from Paris was the receipt of the letter brought by James Searle from the Committee of Foreign Affairs, 11 July, empowering JA (or, alternatively, Dana) to act in Henry Laurens' stead to try to obtain a loan in the Netherlands until Laurens himself arrived there; see Lovell to AA, 14 July, above. Dana reached Amsterdam on the night of the 16th and immediately conferred with JA (Dana to JA, 16 Sept., Adams Papers; JQA, Diary, 17 Sept.; JA to William Churchill Houston, 17 Sept., LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 168–169). Hence JA's decision to remain where he was and not to return to Paris. This was conveyed to Congress in an important dispatch of the 19th (printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:60–61, from PCC, No. 84, II; and in JA, Works, 7:258–260, from LbC, Adams Papers), and to Thaxter in a letter of the 23d, below, summoning Thaxter to join him in Amsterdam, no doubt because he needed someone to help him take care of the boys.
3. Jonathan Loring Austin arrived in Amsterdam on the 17th and put up at The First Bible inn with Francis Dana (JQA, Diary, 17 Sept.).
4. By “the Confederation” Thaxter means the Armed Neutrality of 1780, which the Dutch were on the verge of joining; if they did, however, Great Britain intended to force a rupture with them. See Isabel de Madariaga, Britain, Russia, and the Armed Neutrality of 1780, New Haven, 1962, p. 233 ff.
5. Simon Nicolas Henri Linguet (1736–1794) was an extremely prolific writer on legal and historical subjects (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). Among other things, Linguet was the editor of Annales politiques, civiles et littéraires du dix-huitième siècle, which bore a London imprint, 19 vols., 1777–1792, and which Thaxter may well have been reading since in May 1780 JA had bought some of the volumes and perhaps subscribed to future issues (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:439).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0304

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-19

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

A few days since I had the honor of a letter from Mr. A., who I have the pleasure to inform You is well with his two Sons.1 Mr. Dana is gone also to Amsterdam—he left Paris the 12th instant. What his Object is I know not—his determination was sudden and unexpected, and occasioned by the Arrival of Mr. Searle, but this by the bye.
I am left here of Course a miserable, solitary lonely Being, altho' in this gay City—a situation very embarrassing and disagreable to me. I sincerely wish for their return, and flatter myself that the Time is not far distant.
Was I not one of the soberest and steadiest of all the five and twenty's in the World, I should run wild in this Climate of Amusement. As a kind of Consolation in my Solitude, I have got a Limner to sketch my Phiz. It is rather a silent Companion, but perhaps as proper a one as I ought to have at present.2
Master John and I have commenced smart Correspondents. He sends me now and then small portions of his Journal which is very judiciously written. Master Charles and I have just opened—I have wrote him,3 but have not recieved his Answer. They are indeed both fine young Gentlemen and conduct themselves with great propriety. Charles will be loved every where—his delicacy and sensibility always charm. He is beloved I find at the Pension by his Schoolmates which is a happy Circumstance for him and his Brother, who is also highly esteemed there. I have great satisfaction in assuring You of these facts, for I well know how interested and tender a part You take in every thing that respects them, and the Pleasure it will give You to hear of their good Conduct.
Mr. Searle brought a most pleasing, charming Account of our public Affairs, which made him a most welcome visitor. The original Spirit seems to have revived—may the English feel its Energy. The loss of Charlestown may prove great gain. The English made a great handle of this Acquisition and their Adherents have endeavoured to cast “Shadows, Clouds and darkness” upon our prospect, but the flames of Springfield and Tarry Town have dissipated them. The burning of Villages (tho' distressing to Individuals) has no bad effect upon the Confederacy at large. It rouses up a spirit of Indignation and Resentment, and kindles a flame pure in its birth, rapid in its growth and terrible in its Consequences.
There is nothing too absurd and ridiculous for them to publish, and { 419 } to make believed. They have killed the Chevalier de la Luzerne in a Mob at Philadelphia, made the french Fleet take possession of Rhode Island in the name of the King of France, turned this same Chevalier (whom they destroyed long ago at Philadelphia) out of Boston in Consequence of it, killed Genl. Washington forty times over and defeated his Army as often, taken N. Carolina and Virginia, all the World running voluntarily to their King's Standard, and a vast abundance more of the same kind of Flummery, Nonsense, Contradictions and Inconsistencies. It was high diversion to read the Court Gazette after the loss of the East and West India fleets. The Turnings, the twistings, the Comparison of one Event with another, diminishing their losses, running parallels, &c. &c. was a rich repast for an American.
Much Duty, and respect where due. Much Love to the young Ladies, a few of whom I wish were here to keep House for me.
With great respect, I have the Honor to be, Madam, your most obedient humble Servant.
1. JA's letter has not been found.
2. From letters to his family it appears that Thaxter not only had a portrait painted but a miniature later executed from it. After many delays and with frequent disclaimers of vanity, he subsequently sent both home to Hingham. The miniature was apparently lost in transit; the portrait may survive but has thus far eluded the editors' searches. See Thaxter to his sister Celia, 21 Dec. 1780; 1 April, 24 May 1781; 27 July, 9 Oct., 25 Nov. 1782; 7 Feb. 1783 (MHi:Thaxter Papers).
3. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0305

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-19

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

This Evening Capt. Simeon Sampson of the State Ship Mars of 20 Guns arrived here, and delivered me a large Budget of Letters for You and Mr. Dana. According to your direction, I opened your's, and read them excepting Mrs. A[dams'] which I had no business to read. Postage for her Letters you will never think dear, I therefore have forwarded them with the highest satisfaction. I have the honor of a most excellent Letter from her1—indeed She never writes otherwise than well. It is a Correspondence not more honorable than instructive to me.
There are two Letters from Genl. Warren, one from I. Smith Esq., one from Dr. Tufts, one from R. H. Lee Esqr. of the 7th. May, one from Dr. Gordon, one from Mr. Vernon, one from Tristram Dalton Esqr. and one from Ellis Gray Esqr. all dated about the middle of July last.2
{ 420 }
With Mr. Dalton's Letter is a large bundle of Papers respecting the Brigantine the Fair Play, which was sunk by a Battery on the Island of Guadaloupe. The Papers relative to this Case are very numerous, and I have not as yet read them. In his letter to You, he states the facts concisely—that the King had ordered a reparation from the Chest at Guadaloupe, that the order had been evaded there, altho' repeated applications had been made: that as an Excuse it was alledged that the Chest was empty, and was therefore recommended to apply to the Minister of the King, to obtain an order for payment in France. He requests your assistance in the Business, if You have a spare moment. There is a letter to Dr. Franklin from the same Gentleman in the same Budget—it is open.3 I pray your direction in the matter, whether to deliver it now or wait your return. If the Letter is delivered, the Papers may be required also. There is a letter to Mr. Gerard in the same budget, directed to Mr. Dana's Care, which he is to deliver if he thinks proper—it is also open.
Mr. Gray has had a Vessel condemned at Martinico. The Judge, he says, declares in his decree of condemnation Vessel and Cargo to be Dutch Property, but that the Vessel was navigated by Englishmen. This is absolutely denied, and Capt. Andrews has appealed, and is coming to France by the Way of Holland to support his Appeal. Mr. Gray requests your Assistance; with what propriety is not my business to determine. Mr. Andrews must have arrived at Holland by this, as he sailed the beginning of July.
In one of Genl. W[arren's] letters, he complains much of English Goods arriving by permit, that Duncan and Mitchel had arrived with a Cargo, thinks it ought to be publickly avowed or discountenanced, and that it will not leave a very agreable impression upon our new Connections.
Captain Sampson is much embarrassed by not finding Mr. Austin here. In Case of Mr. Austin's Absence he was instructed to apply to You, and in your Absence to Mr. Dana. He desired me to read his private instructions, which I did, and find by them he is ordered not [to] exceed six weeks stay in France. His Ship wants cleaning, his Men money &c. &c. It is absolutely necessary that Mr. Austin return without loss of time to Paris, and the Captain has desired me to acquaint him with it, or at least to request the favour of You, Sir, to do it. The Captain says he has wrote to Mr. Austin, and upon the presumption that he will return immediately, I shall not forward the Councils dispatches to him, lest he should set off before they could reach there.
If I have managed these dispatches and Letters to your satisfaction, { 421 } Sir, I shall think myself happy. The business was novel, and can make no other Apology for any Error in it, than having conducted it to the best of my knowledge.
I have opened none of Mr. Dana's letters, not having permission for that purpose. They are somewhat bulky and heavy—if he thinks proper to have them forwarded, I shall readily comply.
The best news from home is, that the Spirit of 1775 is revived. The loss of Charlestown has roused up every body—Genl. W[arren] writes We are likely to have a fine Army. There is a large bundle of Newspapers, but have not yet read them.
My respects to Mr. Dana and love to the young Masters.

[salute] I have the Honor to be with perfect respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and humble Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Thaxter,” to which CFA later added “19 Sept. 1780.”
1. AA to Thaxter, 21 July, above.
2. Most of the letters mentioned are in the Adams Papers: from James Warren, 11, 19 July (both printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 2:134–137); from Cotton Tufts, 25 July (printed above); from R. H. Lee, 7 May (printed in R. H. Lee, Letters, ed. Ballagh, 2:182–184); from Rev. William Gordon, 22 July (printed in MHS, Procs., 63 [1929–1930]:436–438); from William Vernon, 22 July; and from Ellis Gray, 25 July. Those from Isaac Smith Sr. and Tristram Dalton have not been found.
Tristram Dalton (1738–1817), a Harvard classmate of JA and later a U.S. Senator, was at this time a Newburyport merchant and shipowner and a member of the General Court (JA, Diary and Autobiography, passim; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578; Benjamin W. Labaree, Patriots and Partisans . . ., Cambridge, 1962, p. 210–211 and passim).
Ellis Gray (1740–1781) was a Boston merchant whose family was related by marriage to the family of Isaac Smith Sr. (AA to JA, 20–22 Oct. 1777, vol. 2, above; Thwing Cat., MHi).
3. Dalton to Franklin, 22 July 1780, respecting the loss of the brigantine Fair Play (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S, 2:273).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0306

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-20

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I had the honor yesterday of a most excellent letter under the signature of Portia dated 21st. July; and altho' I wrote You largely but yesterday, yet it would be unpardonable to omit the earliest opportunity of most gratefully acknowledging the receipt of a letter, which from its Morality, its refined Sentiments and its Patriotism does infinite honour to the Writer.
I have read with the highest satisfaction your ingenious observations on the works of my Lord Chesterfield.1 Your known Impartiality and the justice of your remarks have confirmed me in an Opinion I had before entertained of this Writer. I confess with Candour, that { 422 } I have not read all the Works of his Lordship; but have however read enough to convince me of his Object, and of the difficulties with which he was embarrassed in the execution of it. His Object was the education and instruction of his Son, in the Arts, Intrigues and Chicane of Policy, in the use of the Weapons of Gallantry, and in the fashionable and polite Vices of the Age. But his Son, if not belied, was a Clown and Blockhead, a promising Pupil for such excellent Doctrines. To form a Statesman and Gallant from such materials was a Task full equal to the Talents of the Father. What progress his own Son made I know not. That of his adopted Sons is no Mystery. There is a great difference of Sentiment in respect to the merit of this Work. Some say it was written to preserve Morality, others that it tends to poison it. I mean not to set up an Opinion of my own, but if the most scandalous deviations from the principles of Morality are to be justified upon the principles of Chesterfield, as is often the Case, the natural Inference seems to be, that Morality has found but a weak Advocate in his Lordship. Happy would it be, if Burgh was more read,2 and Chesterfield less admired. It must be allowed that his Lordship has wrote many excellent letters and that he was a Man of Talents, Experience and Observations. Unfortunately for Posterity, he hath left more proofs of the great, than the good Man.—These are my Sentiments, for which I shall be called, fool, blockhead, Pedant, &c. &c.—be it so. I wish I had more Wisdom and more Morality.
I am to thank You for your kind distribution of my very sincere affection to the young Ladies, and for your polite and flattering Communication of their reception of it. They have laid me under an Obligation of renewing my request to you to tender the same to them again. I am very happy in their Esteem. I will not say I should be particularly happy in the Esteem of one out of the Number, nor one word about partiality. You acquitted me of any before my departure. Here I must stand my own Voucher.
Your three letters to your dearest friend are forwarded to him at Amsterdam. Captain Sampson delivered me a large budget for Mr. A. and D. with yours. I was almost tempted to break open one of Mrs. D. to her dear friend, but was afraid She would take me to Task for it, as well as Mr. D. I had liberty to read all Letters to Mr. A. in his Absence. Yours to him I did not. Perhaps You would not have given me liberty. I ought not then to have taken it. I did in one instance but apologized for it.
Captn. Sampson informed me that Mr. Pearse Palmer told him just before his departure, that they had had news of the Death of Josey Palmer in England.3 It was unexpected and shocking to me. I { 423 } loved him for his amiable Virtues, his good Heart and engaging manners. The World had a prospect of an useful Citizen in him. I scarcely knew a more promising young Gentleman, but he is cropt in the Bloom of Life, in the Morning of his days and in the beginning of Usefulness. I sympathize most sincerely with his friends.
I cannot close without assuring You, that I think myself extremely happy in having a Share in your Esteem, and without thanking You for your charitable Opinion of me. To continue to be more deserving of both will [be] the ambition of him, who has the Honor to be with the most perfect Respect, Madam, your most obedient and very humble Servant,
[signed] J T
1. In her letter of 21 July, above. For more on the Adams-Warren circle's views respecting Chesterfield's Letters to His Son, see AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb., above, and references there.
2. James Burgh (1714–1775) was a Scottish miscellaneous writer who taught in a dissenting academy at Newington Green near London. His Political Disquisitions: or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses, 3 vols., London, 1774–1775, was a popular work among American patriots for the very reasons that they repudiated Chesterfield's worldly morals. Burgh denounced the corruptions of British society and politics from a puritanical point of view that appealed particularly to New Englanders. See the very perceptive study by Oscar and Mary Handlin, “James Burgh and American Revolutionary Theory,” MHS, Procs., 73 (1961):38–57. JA owned two presentation sets of Burgh's Political Disquisitions (both in Boston Public Library) and wrote the author a letter glowing with praise (Catalogue of JA's Library; JA to Burgh, 28 Dec. 1774, incomplete Dft in Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 9:350–352).
3. On the death of “Josey,” i.e. Joseph Palmer, see AA to CA and JQA, 22 July, above. “Pearse Palmer” was Josey's cousin, Joseph Pearse Palmer (1750–1797), son of Deacon (and Brig. Gen.) Joseph Palmer; see vol. 1:18, and Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0307

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1780-09-23

John Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Dear Sir

Last Night I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 17th. After reflecting a little upon matters I think upon the whole it will be necessary, that you wait on Dr. Franklin and ask the Favour of him to take the Charge of my Books, at his house, and also of my cloaths. If he declines permitting them to be left there, ask the same favour of Mr. Grand. You may leave the Books open for their use or purchase trunks and lock them up leaving the keys with them.
All my Letters, Letter Books, Account books and papers must be brought here by you, with the utmost care, especially the most valuable Papers, which you will easily distinguish.
The Wine I know not what to do with. If the Landlady will keep { 424 } it in the Cellar it may remain, taking an Account of the number of Bottles and a Receipt for them. Otherwise consult Mr. Grand, or Dr. Franklin. Perhaps they would buy it, or procure a Store for it, which I should chuse. If Mr. Grand Could procure a Cellar for it, to lye untill I should call for it, which may soon happen, I should prefer that.1
Apply to Mr. Grand for all the Money you want to pay off Scores and to bear your Expences here, keeping an Account.
Above all Things take Care of my Papers. Get Mr. Harry Grand2 to assist you in purchasing an Handsome Porte Feuille with a Lock and Key. Lock up in this the most prescious Papers, and lock up the Port Feuille in your Chest.
My Linnen and Stockings I wish you to bring with you.

[salute] Affectionately your's,

[signed] John Adams3
LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). This may have been the first occasion on which JQA, now thirteen, served as his father's amanuensis.
1. This paragraph has been slightly repunctuated in the interest of clarity.
2. Henry Grand (more properly and fully Henri Maximilien Grand), second son of Ferdinand Grand, the banker for Congress in Paris (Lüthy, La banque protestante en France, 2:618, 820).
3. This letter superseded another, immediately preceding it in JA's letterbook, dated 23 Sept. but corrected to the 21st by overwriting and with its text entirely canceled, containing somewhat different and less detailed instructions to Thaxter regarding JA's books, clothing, wines, and papers in Paris. On 8 Oct. Franklin wrote from Passy to JA: “Your Books and Trunks have been lodged here by Mr. Thaxter, and will be taken care of. They are of no Inconvenience to me” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0308

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-09-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

The new Orders I have received from your side the Water, have determined me to stay here untill further Orders. Write to me, by every Vessell this Way, or to France or Spain. The Air of Amsterdam is not so clear and pure as that of France, but I hope to preserve my Health. My two Boys are at an excellent Latin School, or in the Language of this Country, Den de Latÿnche School op de Cingel by de Munt. The Scholars here all speak French.1
John has seen one of the Commencements when the young Gentlemen delivered their Orations and received their Premiums, and Promotions which set his Ambition all afire. Charles is the same amiable insinuating Creature. Wherever he goes he gets the Hearts of every Body especially the Ladies. One of these Boys is the Sublime and the other the Beautifull.
{ 425 }
You promised me a Description of the Castle you were building in the Air, but I have not received it.
The English are revenging the Loss of their Power upon those who have uniformly endeavoured to save it. They are totally abandoned and lost. There is no Hope for them but in a civil War nor in that neither. Burke, Keppell, Sawbridge, Hartley are thrown out.
We are anxiously waiting for News from America and the Islands; but my Expectations are not very high. The Fleet is not strong enough in N. America.—I sent the Things you wrote for by Captain Davis, Son of Solomon, but they cost very dear.
I have written to Mr. Thaxter to come here—Mr. Dana is already here. I want to know how the season has been, with you, and who are your Governor and Lt. Governor &c. &c. &c.
I shall loose all Opportunity of being a man of Importance in the World by being away from home, as well as all the Pleasures of Life: for I never shall enjoy any, any where except at the Foot of Pens hill—When Oh When shall I see the Beauties of that rugged Mountain!
By your last Letters I fear my Brother is in Affliction. My Love to him and his family—and Duty & affection where due.
1. “After supper Mr. Le Roi went with us to a School and left us here. How long we shall stay here I can not tell” (JQA, Diary, 30 Aug. 1780).
The school was the celebrated Latin School on the Singel (innermost of Amsterdam's concentric canals), close to what is today one of the busiest sections of the city, marked by the ornate and highly conspicuous Mint Tower in the Muntplein (Mint Square) and across from the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market). The building then used by the school is now, much altered, occupied by the city police. On 31 Aug.JQA listed in his diary the names of the other boys who were boarders, described the scholars' regimen in interesting detail, and copied out in his own translation an account of the school printed in Le guide ou nouvelle description d'Amsterdam . . ., Amsterdam, 1772, p. 220–222, which JA had given the boys to read and use. (This volume is now among JA's books in MB.) In the following weeks JA and his Dutch friends paid occasional visits to the school, and the boys spent Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and Sundays with their father. JQA's diary contains only brief glimpses of school life. On 6 Sept., for example, “Brother Charles and Myself study in a little Chamber apart because we dont understand the Dutch.” On 22 Sept. the boys went with the rest of “the scholars to see the promotion and the proemiums given” by the burgomasters “in the old Church” (Oude Kerk). Although a three-week “vacancy” then began, the Adams boys continued to live at the school, doubtless to cram because of their language problem, but during this interval they had rather more liberty to visit fairs and the like.
JQA's diary unfortunately breaks off on 30 Sept., not to be resumed until the following June; and the next we hear of the school is in JA's letter to the Rector and Preceptor, 18 Oct., vol. 4, below, which indicates that all was not going well there for JQA.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0309-0001

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-06-05

Enclosure In

James Lovell to Abigail Adams, 5 June 1779

1 Nankin Jacket
1 Brown Coat
1 Flannel Drawers
1 Shirt
2 Stocks
1 Pr. Thread Stockings
1 Pr. Worstead Stockings
1 Beaver Hatt
1 Straw Hatt
6 Packets of Papers
1 Raisor Case with 2 whole & 1 broken Razor
1 Letter Book, Manuscript
1 Printed Book latin
1 small Pamphlet
1 Shoe Brush
As to the Nankin Jacket it happens most accurately to fit me in the Length and Width, and, having two Pair of B——'s [Breeches] of that Sort made modest from the only Remnant at the Cloathiers, I have stopped the Jacket, which happens to be as much worn as the said two Articles and therefore will make a more tollerable Uniform than a new. I would have served the Worsted Hose in the same Sherriflike Manner, if I had not considered two Things. One is that they appear to be knit by a Mother or a Wife and therefore could not be replaced by me. Another is that they will exactly fit several other People as well as me, which I did not chuse to think would be the Case with the Jacket, the Materials of which can be repaid, and, if my present honest Temper of Mind continues, shall be.
The last Article invoiced will be also arrested for a Season, to keep Company with the Box.
I think the Razor Case is in Danger of like Confinement and I am sorry the Razors are not so good as my own.
MS (Adams Papers): without date, signature, or external indication of recipient. In his letter to AA of 5 June 1779 (p. 197–199, above), Lovell states that he is enclosing a list of the articles left by JA in his Philadelphia lodgings in Sept. 1777, when the British army was moving toward the city. But the enclosure strayed from the letter and was not identified for what it is until after the present volume was in page proof. See also AA's reply to Lovell, 18–26 June 1779, p. 206–208, above.
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/