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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0090

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-23

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Not knowing but this may reach you as soon or sooner than a conveyance from Newbury (a ship of the Tracy's Capt. Brown) by whom Mrs. Adams has wrote you—As such I take upon me to trouble you with a few lines, to let you know Mrs. Adams and family were well Yesterday.
We have a ship from Port Loreon [Lorient] last week in 27 days, but as to News we have nothing Material, was in hopes the Dutch had made a decliration but we dont find they have. The Alliance and a large french ship sent in here lately a large privateer, they took on there passuage. Another of which sort they took likewise which they carried with them to Philadelphia. This privateer belonged to Guernsey &c. We are in pain for the Alliance and the Other ship which itt is said are very Valuable, As there are ships superior Cruising of the Delaware, who have taken the Confederacy with the Clothing that has been sometime att Hispaniola and we have lost Our state ship the Protector, Capt. Williams, both ships being carried to N. York. The french are good in coming to Our Assistance, but as they are not superior [by] sea, the british has the Advantage of transporting by water to any part of the Continent which makes the charge to us by land very heavy. Iff we had but a superiority by sea but for One six Months we should be Able to do any thing and every thing we want to do. Iff we could have from Our Allie's, the charge itt might cost in the transporting and maintaining troops Vested in the shiping itt would Answer better purposes, and till then we may linger Out the Warr seven Years longer. The british have kept att Gardner-bay a harbour Opposit to N[ew] London were they lay exposed to any superior force.
{ 126 }
The seat of the Warr itt looks likely will be in the southern goverments. As Genl. Phillips, Arnold &c. keep footing in Virginia and go on in the burning way, I have Often thought whether some remonstrance to the Neutral powers representing there barbarous and Unpresidented method of burning private property wherever they go might not have some influence to make them asshamed of there Conduct, but, there late conduct att St. Eustatia gives but little hopes of a reformation. Iff the british Conduct, towards the dutch dont stirr them up to Act with spirit, nothing ever will.
Genl. Cornwallis put Out a pompuss proclimation after the battle with generall Green the 15 March, Offering protection to the Inhabitants when itt was not in his power to defend himself as Genl. Green drove him Out of the Country. Although Cornwallis kept the ground, which is all he had to boast of, Yet as the Old saying is he came off second best as the battle ruined him haveing 700 killed, taken &c. and Green not half the Number. The latest Account from the Southward is that General Green was att Cambden, the garison on his Approach haveing fled.
Here is a ship called the Robin Hood in which Charles Storer, and half a dozen more Young passengers, are going bound to <Gottenburgh> Denmark in there way to Holland.
Mrs. Dana received a letter from Mr. Dana (by the Loryon ship) of the 22d. March. She was well Yesterday.
You would get much the best conveyance by way of Bilbao for any private letters as there is several Armed Vessell's gone there round by the way of the West Indies.

[salute] And when you are att leisure iff you would favor me with a line itt would be Agreeable—to Your huml. Servant,

[signed] IS
Doctor Tufts is returned a senator in the room of Mr. Nyles.1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Isaac Smith Esqr. 23d. Feby. [sic] 1781.”
1. Cotton Tufts was elected one of the senators for Suffolk co. in the place of Deacon Samuel Niles of Braintree, and sat in the Senate for over a decade (Boston Gazette, 4 June, p. 2, col. 2; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:497). On Niles, JA's early political mentor, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, index; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:72.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0091

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-24

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

And are you really determined my Dear Brother not to condescend to write to your Sister again till She has answered some of your letters.1 { 127 } I must acknowledge myself rather in arrears, but you must consider that you are daily removing from one scene to another, new and pleasing objects continually engage your attention, and furnish you with new subjects and pleasing ideas which if related by you will ever give pleasure to your friends on this Side the water and particularly to your Sister who is so sensible of her own unworthiness as to be partial to the foibles of her Brother. It has hitherto fallen to my lot to pass my time in a very contracted Sphere, I have scarcely visited as many towns as you have kingdoms: your improvements I hope will be in proportion: you have now an opportunity of receiving advantages, which if neglected will ever be out of your power again, and if improved aright may make you an useful member of Society and an ornament to your parents, who watch with attention each improvement, and whose hearts would be wounded by a misconduct, and may it be our joint effort to study their happiness.
The presence of your Pappa is an advantage you cannot realize, he will commend every laudable action and discountenance every foible e'er it grow to a vice, and by a strict attention to his precepts may you reap the promised blessing of length of days.
The account you give us of our little Charles gives pleasure to all that knew him.2 He was a sweet little fellow when he left us, and I hope neither the Vices of other Climates or the captivating delusions of pleasure will make any impression on his young mind which was the seat of innocence.
We were a few days since relieved from painful anxiety on Mr. Guiles account, hearing he had not met a more dreadfull fate than falling into the hands of the enemy.
This letter will be delivered to you by Mr. Charles Storer who has offered to take letters from Mamma, and intends to reside in Holland.
Please to present duty to my Pappa, and Love to little Charles, from your Sister.
Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand; at head of text: “1. From my Sister.” This is the first of a series of letters received by JQA that he copied into a letterbook he began shortly after arriving in St. Petersburg in August 1781 (Lb/JQA/1; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 125). The copies of letters received are interspersed with copies of letters sent.
1. The only earlier recorded letter of JQA to AA2 is that of 27 Sept. 1778, printed in vol. 3 above. AA2's papers were destroyed by a fire in 1862; see above, vol. 1:xxix–xxx.
2. This “account,” mentioned again in AA to JQA, 26 May below, appears to be missing.
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, 2018.