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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0093

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1781-05-25

Abigail Adams 2d to John Thaxter

My mamma has so often reminded me of a deficiency in politeness in not replying to your letter1 which is now too long out of date to answer, that I can no longer withstand her frequent solicit[at]ions, and an opportunity offering by Mr. Charles Storer I am prevailed upon to take your attention from more important subjects to the perusal of a letter which will afford no pleasure but as it will give me an opportunity of receiveing an answer.
Were I to form an opinion of the whole circle of Mr. Storers acquaintance by the number of too or three I should judge their regret to be great upon his leaving America. There are so few Gentlemen in these days of modern refinement who arrive at the age of twenty; before they are Characterised for some fashionable vice; and we so rarely meet with persons before that age that pass their time in the { 132 } rigid Schools of Virtue; that you cannot wonder at the wish exprest for his continuance in his native Country.
Methinks I might have been favoured in the course of eighteen months past with a letter had you wished for a revival of your former correspondence; if it will admit of the term. I can claim no title to such a favour; upon the Score of merrit; tho the advantage I might have received would have laid me under a greater obligation then I could have returned.
Our sweet Eliza has for these too years past enjoyed a very unequal State of health; a gloomy disposition of mind has prevailed at times, within these few months her chearfulness has returned; and her health restored in a great degree. A mind so susceptible of the distresses of others as hers; will meet with a greater degree of pain then pleasure in this Life. The greatest pleasure she can receive must result from her own goodness of heart.
The vissit which was proposed my makeing at Hingham before you left us has never been accomplished. Your Mammas ill health this winter has only prevented me. Mr. Rice has at last drawn the prize in the matrimonial Lottery; past a short time in the Society of his Lady; and returned to camp to take a part in the next campaign.2
I shall tire your patience with a detail of events perhaps uninteresting to you, whose time is taken up in the important pursuits of buisness or pleasure; but if a few moments can be spared from either or both may I ask it as a favour that they may be employed in pointing out the many foibles that are conspicuous in this letter from your young friend.
RC (Adams Papers); gift of Mrs. Harold Kellock, 1961; addressed: “Mr John Thaxter. Amsterdam.”; endorsed: “Miss Adams 25th. May 1781.”
1. No earlier letters from Thaxter to AA2 have been found.
2. Nathan Rice, a former law clerk of JA's, identified at vol. 1:142, above; see also MHS, Procs., 82 (1970) 1146. In Feb. 1781 he had married Meriel Leavitt of Hingham (History of the Town of Hingham, Mass., Hingham, 1893, 2: 433).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0094-0001

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-25

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

We are honor'd with your Ladyship's letter of the 15th Jany. last,1 and deem ourselves peculiarly unfortunate, not to have been more happy in the choice of the Color of Silk we sent you. 'Tis the more { 133 } painful to us, as we can make no amends but by redoubling our attention and Vigilance, In the execution of your future Commands which we set so high a value on that we consider your Continuance of them, Notwithstanding the egregious mistake comitted, as a mark of distinguish'd favour. We flatter ourselves we shall not Incur your Ladyships reprehension in the execution of your last order, having had His Excellency Mr. Adams Sanction, where you required it. This we are certain will ensure Approbation, as We believe him to be as infallible in his choice on trivial Matters; as we know him to be unerring In his Opinion on those of greater Importance: and although he is in that respect above our praise, we cannot withhold our Testimony from that of all who have the honor and happiness of knowing him: with equal truth we repeat the Young Gentlemen, your Amiable Sons bid fair (in good time) to imitate the Virtues &c. of so Noble a Model. We confess the Knowledge of so much intrinsic worth united, exalts our Ideas, on a Cause and a Country that Engrosses our best, and most earnest wishes: so Congenial with your Ladyships, and of all who have proper Ideas on so Sublime a subject. May heaven grant speedily the wished for Boon, as a due Reward to the Superior virtue of the Inhabitants of your States, a relief to the Calamities so long suffered by that part of Mankind which are Involved in the Contest, and as a Benifit to the world in General.
We entertain a due regard of the very flattering opinions Your Ladyship expresses of our principles in the glorious Cause. They are as fix't and unalterable, as we beg you to be assured, Our respectful Attachment to your Ladyship and family is great, having the honor to Subscribe ourselves Your Ladyships Most Obt. Humbl. Servts.,
[signed] John de Neufville Son
We address to Isaac Smith Esqr. the sundry articles your last pleased to order us,2 and have sent said Gentleman the bill of Loading. They are shippd on board the Juno Captn. Haydon. Inclose herein the Invoice amounting to f364:18:—and we annex thereto the produce of the Bill your Ladyship sent us of 100 Dollars at 5£ = £500 livres Tournois Negotiated at the Exchange of 51 3/4
Bco.   f.215:   12:   8  
agio 4 3/4   f. 10:   5:    
Currency   f.225:   17:   83  
The difference between the Cost of the Goods and the proceeds of your Ladyships bill of 100 Dollars we have settled with his Excellency Mr. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed “To the Honble Lady Adams Braintree near Boston. P[er] Gates Captn. Newman”; postal markings appear to read: “NP/h, 3.8 2/3.” Dupl (Adams Papers); addressed as above but with routing: “P[er] Juno Captn. Haydon.” Both RC and Dupl are in a clerk's hand and signed in a different hand. Enclosed invoice is printed herewith; see note 4.
1. Not found. This missing letter, referred to in AA to JA, 15 Jan. 1781, above, was in answer to Neufville's letter of 2 Sept. 1780, in vol. 3 above.
2. This order on the Neufville firm, invoice below, had first been sent to JA in AA's letter of 13 Nov. 1780, above, and is printed there as an enclosure.
3. The net credit in florins purchased by the $100 sent by AA seems to have been arrived at by transferring dollars to livres at 5 for 1, then calculating the rate of exchange from livres to florins at .5175. That sum was then subjected to a bank discount or charge (banco) of 16 2/3 percent. To the discounted figure was then added an allowance (agio) of 4 3/4 percent accruing from the exchange of currencies. The lack of explanation of these charges and allowances suggests that they were standard and would be understood by JA.
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/