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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0076

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-05-13

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

I wrote you by the last post2 with a freedom which perhaps you may think I had no right to make use of. I was stimulated to it by many severe speaches that I had heard, and from not knowing myself what to say in paliation of my Friend. All former excuses were worn out by time and tho I do not believe the hard things I have heard, I think he ought to suffer any temporary inconvenience which a short absence from the scene of his buisness might subject him to, rather than the world should judge that he was devoid of all domestick attachments.
A report prevails here that the Alliance is arrived at Philadelphia. If so I hope I shall again here from my dear connextions. I have been more unfortunate for six months past than usual. Not a line has reachd me of a Later date than Septbr. The Fame on Board of which was Mr. Guile upon his return from Holland, was taken off Newfoundland and carried to Ireland. By that vessel I had large packets from all my Friends. No vessel has arrived from that port since Davis in November, who threw over all his Letters. Two prizes arrived here last week taken by the Alliance 3 days after she saild from France. If she is come to Philadelphia and means to come round to Boston I would risk what property you have of mine and others in her rather { 113 } than by land. I hope what private Letters are come will be well gaurded this way. What publick News she bring[s] that may be communicated you will be so good as to write me. A French vessel arrived from Brest with an admiral for Newport, but brought no private Letters. We are longing for News with a hungry avidity. How will Holland realish the hard knocks she has received. Britain has done sufficient to make them feel where it is said they are most Susceptable. She has taken and distroyed so much of their property, that I should suppose they would retaliate with a vengance.
I forgot to mention the receipt of your favour of April 13th it is dated but I believe it was a mistake as the preceeding one was the 17th.3
No invoice was ever sent in the Alliance as the Ship was throughly examined by my Friends. This Buisness was transacted much like your continential cloathing, with the same attention and Honesty. In the Name of all concernd I most sincerely thank you for your care and attention as well to others, as to your obliged Friend,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee.
1. According to Lovell's reply, 29 May, below, the (missing) RC was dated 14 May.
2. Letter of 10 May, preceding.
3. Lovell's letter dated 13 April was actually written on 23 April (as he himself was to say in his to AA of 16 June, below) and is printed above under the corrected date.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0077

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-13

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

As you may possibly not come here before the 18th I write to know, if I must leave these lodgings at that time, as the month will then be up, and if I stay any longer I must begin another month.
I have finish'd Phaedrus's fables and the lives of Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Pausanias, Cimon, and Lysander; and Am going next upon Alcibiades in Cornelius Nepos, I shall begin upon Alcibiades next.1 I transcribe and learn also a Greek verb through the Active, Passive and Medium Voices every day.
We have no news here, though as you know Sir, this is a barren place for that. Please to write me them if you have any. I saw Mr. Luzac last evening he desires his respects to you.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
P.S. I hope brother Charles has got entirely well. Dr. Waterhouse says he gets flesh. I should be very glad if he would write to me.
{ 114 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Sur Le Keizers Gragt prés du Spiegel Straat à Amsterdam”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. May. 13. ans. 14. 1781.”
1. Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographical writer in the first century B.C. JQA was doubtless reading some school text of Nepos' De viribus illustribus, of which he acquired his own copy of a Latin and French edition, Paris, 1771, in St. Petersburg later this year (Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 114).
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/