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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


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).
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/