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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0098

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-27

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I have been honoured with your favor of the 5th. February last. It would give me infinite Satisfaction to contribute in any way to your Enquiries into the Religion, Government, manners and Customs of this Country: and in some future Letter I will endeavour to give a small sketch (tho very imperfect) of them. The best History of this Country is in Dutch, and according to the Stile of the Nation unconscionably long: two insuperable Obstacles to my becoming acquainted with it. There is in English a History of 2 Vols. 8vo. written by Mr. Watson, of the Reign of Philip 2d, which is worth reading, as the Springs and Causes of the Revolution of this Country are in some good measure traced in this work.1 There are two Histories of this Country in French, which I could wish to have transported to America—that of Mr. Cerisier is by far the best,2 the other being an Abridgment. Temple's Observations were perhaps calculated for the Merid• { 139 } ian of the Times in which he lived.3 He is not without his Errors, Imperfections and Prejudices: and whatever Credit he may have obtained in England and among Foreigners, this Country allows him but a small share of Merit.
You will learn from your dearest Friend, what he has done respecting his Commission here. The Memorial has been admired and applauded beyond Expectation.4 The Tories or Anglomanes themselves do not pretend to dislike it, tho' they wish to turn their Eyes from the Glare of Truth. The Deputies of this City, by the express Orders of the Regents, have presented a noble and spirited Proposition as it is called to the States of Holland. They have remonstrated against the Inactivity and Sloth of this Country in a Language, that an ardent Love of their Country, and a disinterested Zeal for its Dignity, Honour and Salvation alone could inspire. They direct their Deputies to endeavour to push on in the Generality a Negotiation with the Court of France, and that such measures may be taken for the future as “to repair the past, and wash out the Shame and Dishonour with which this Country is stained in the Eyes of Foreigners.”5 Tho' nothing is said of America in the Proposition so far as it respects a Negotiation with France, yet one would think if a Negotiation was completed with that Court, this Republick would not object to a better Acquaintance and a more friendly Intercourse with her new born Sister on the other side of the Atlantic. We have a common Enemy, and if She enters into a Treaty with France, why not connect herself with America? It is impossible to foresee what will be the Event. (An old Maid is sometimes coy and shy, as well as a young one. Pray don't show this to any antique Maid, for I shall have my Neck broke if You do.)
The Government and People of this Republick are infinitely more enlightened than formerly upon American affairs. The reason of that is obvious. You well know one whom I think inferior to None in Ability, Zeal and Activity in the service of his Country. You know who has but one Object, the Good of that Country, who is and was ever industrious and indefatigable. It is needless to add—the Man is designated.
The Body of this People are decidedly against England, and their Anger, Rage and Resentment are daily bursting forth in pointed Execrations of their old ally. They are perpetually lashing, pelling6 and cursing the English in Songs and Ballads—and Americans being sometimes taken for the English in this City are exposed to Insults, until they mention their Country—the Sailors of America more par• { 140 } ticularly. But all this is only Smoke and Ton7—it is not Powder and Ball, the only Arguments to be employed against that mad Enemy to the Rights of Humanity: but it will come to this in time. Meanwhile these are good Symptoms.
Mr. A. has taken a House here, and We are getting affairs into a little Order, but things are not well arranged yet. There is but one of the whole sett of Servants who speaks any French or English, and that one but little of either, so that We do notably indeed with Dutch and German. I have proposed to Mr. A. to get me a Wife as a real Conveniency; he approves the matter much, as She might oversee domestic Affairs. If I could find one of about twenty or thirty ton of Gold (for that is the method of Estimation and Value here) I should begin to think a little soberly and seriously about it; or in other words in “sober sadness.” But then it is such a prodigious Embarrassment if I should think of returning soon, (for I suppose She would not go with me) that it almost discourages me.
My most affectionate Regards to the young Ladies. I am much obliged by their kind mention of me. I have a Civil Thing or two to say to my “Fair American,” but I dare not commit it to writing. You have written that She was much gratified at my Residence in Holland. I cannot say so much for myself. But how You came by that Piece of Information, Madam, is inconcievable to me. I had presumed that nobody knew my Flame, as the Phrase is, and I cannot help suspecting a little mistake in this matter. Who the “fair American” is that has made the declaration I know not: but I am sure that the one I mean would trust me in any Country.
Please to remember me dutifully, respectfully and affectionately where due: I wrote Mrs. C.8 last December, and propose to write again. I cannot as yet forward any Letters.

[salute] I have the honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Madam, your most obedient humble Servant,

[signed] J.T.
1. Robert Watson, The History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, 2 vols., London, 1777. A copy at MQA of the 5th edn., 3 vols., 1794, has JQA's bookplate. JA owned a French translation, 4 vols., Amsterdam, 1778, now in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 262).
2. On this work see above, JQA to JA, 18 Feb., and note 1 there.
3. See above, AA to Thaxter, 5 Feb., to which Thaxter is here replying.
4. On JA's Memorial of 19 April, see note 3 on JA to AA, 28 April, above.
5. See JA to AA, 22 May, and note 3 there.
6. Pell, an obsolete word meaning to beat or knock violently (OED).
7. Ton, from the French, meaning the vogue or fashion of the moment (same).
8. Presumably Mary (Smith) Cranch (on whom see Adams Genealogy); the letter has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0099

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I could not have conceived that a Letter written upon merely political subjects could have communicated so much pleasure to my Bosom as yours of the 28th of December to the president, of Congress, has given to mine.
This Letter was taken by the Enemy, carried into New York, and published by them, and republished [by]1 Edes.2 For what reason the Enemy published it I cannot tell, as it contains nothing which can possibly [injure]3 us or the writer. It has proved a cordial to my anxious Heart for by it I find you were then living, and in Amsterdam, two facts that I have not received under your own hand for 8 months. This Letter is 3 months later than any which has reachd me.
Dr. Dexter by whom I have before written, has since, been polite enough to visit me, that he might, as he expresses it, have the pleasure to tell you, that he had seen me, and take from me any verbal message, that I would not chuse to write, but my pen must be the faithfull confident of my Heart. I could not say to a stranger, that which I could not write, nor dare I even trust to my pen the fullness of my Heart. You must measure it, by the contents of your own when softned by recollection.
Dr. Dexter appears to be a sensible well bred Gentleman, and will give you much information respecting our state affairs which may not be so prudent to commit to paper. I have written to the House of de Neufvilla for a few articles by an other opportunity and have now inclosed a duplicate.
I intreat you my dearest Friend to forward Letters to the various ports in France as you have some acquaintance with many of them. I should then be able to hear oftner.
Our Friends from P[lymout]h have made me a visit upon their remove to Neponset Hill which they have purchased of Mr. Broom. You will congratulate me I know upon my acquisition in the Neighbourhood, it is a very agreable circumstance. By them I learnt that the late vessels from France had brought them Letters from their Son up to the 10 of March, in which he mentions being with my dear Friend, my Sons, and Mr. T[haxte]r. They have received five Letters, by different vessels yet not a line has yet blest my hand. May I soon be made happy, and the Number compensate for the delay.
{ 142 }
I hope you do not think it necessary to continue in Holland through the summer. I am very anxious for your Health—so flat a country will never agree with you. Pray do not be negligent with regard to an article which so nearly concerns the happiness of Your Ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Honble. john Adams Esqr Amsterdam”; docketed by CFA: “Portia May 28. 1781.” Enclosed “duplicate” order on the firm of de Neufville is missing, but a text of it is printed as an enclosure in AA to JA, 25 May, above.
1. Editorially supplied for a word missing in MS.
2. The original of JA to Pres. Samuel Huntington, 28 Dec. 1780, was captured at sea and published in the New York Mercury extraordinary of 19 April 1781, from which it was reprinted in Edes & Sons' Boston Gazette, 28 May, p. 2, col. 3–p. 3, col. 1. A duplicate is in PCC, No. 84, II; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:213.
3. Editorially supplied for a word missing in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0100

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-28

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror:

Having an Oportunity by Doctor Dexter, now bound to Europe, I gladly embrace it to write you a few Lines. We have been longing to hear from you a great while—not a line received from you or Mr. Thaxter for near six months. A Dutch War—Northern Powers arming for Defence of their Trade &c. are important Events since we last heard from you, which we wish to have an account of from you with your Opinion what the Issue of them will probably be. The Enemy in America are making their efforts in the southern States with various success, often repulsed with great loss, but always victorious, if you believe Rivington's Gazett. We have some way or other been taught to believe for a number of Months past, that a second Divison of Ships of War and Troops were coming to our assistance from our Illustrious Ally: Such a Belief and Expectation has been very injurious with respect to some of our publick Measures, and we feel a Disappointment with respect to the reinforcement of Ships more especially; as, for want of having more Men of War, those already here have been of little or no Service, being generally kept in Port by a superiour British Fleet. A Superiority by Sea in North America would probably terminate the War gloriously in this Part of the World. Our new Army fills up finely; Government has order'd all the Inhabitants to be Classed according to their Polls and Estates, Poor and Rich together, and each Class is to find a Man for three years or during the War, by which method our Army fills up very fast with fine Men. I mentioned above, { 143 } the want of a superiour Fleet of Men of War in these Seas; it appears to me that a small Reinforcement in addition to the Ships that are already here would give a decided superiority, and would be of infinite importance to the common Cause, as by that means a few Ships might be spared from time to time, which, in conjunction with our Forces, might easily break up those little Nests that now keep a large Territory almost constantly in an Alarm by means of their paltry Lodgements, as is the Case at Ponobscutt, Chesepeak, &c: And at the same time might clear the Coasts from those small Piqueroons that Harbour there and infest our Trade. Another great Advantage that would arise from having the command of the American Seas would be that of transporting our Stores for the Army &c. as well as the different Produce of the United States, by Water carriage, which would be an amazing Saving in Expence as well as Time, compar'd with the expensive and tedious method of Land Carriage.
To the same want of a superiour Fleet I think we may charge the Loss of our State Ships of War from time to time as the Confederacy lately; and, we fear, the Protector also. 'Tis almost impossible to prevent our Enemies from knowing very soon when any of our State Ships of War sail, and we having no Fleet on the Coast, or, (which is much the same thing) none that is strong enough to venture freely out of Port; the Enemy by means of having a few more Ships are able to dispatch a Ship or two of superiour force after them and so take one by one, our best Ships. It appears to me plainly that our greatest Difficulties and the prolonging of the War is almost entirely owing to the want of having a superiority of Ships of War in these Seas. Had we a sufficient Fleet to cooperate with such an Army as we are now every Day getting into the Field, we might with the Smiles of Heaven, very soon extirpate the Enemy from the United States. My earnest Wish is for a Fleet!
I have mentioned to you that I send this by Doctor Dexter, whome I now take the liberty to recommend to your Notice as a very worthy Man;—he is engaged in Business with our Friend and Cousin Doctor Welsh and two other Gentlemen in a Plan of importing Druggs and Medicines in the wholes[ale] way. Doctor Dexter will bring with him Bills to a large amount to begin with. Your taking Notice of him will give him Rank.
Braintree has honour'd me [this?] year with an unanimous Choice to represent them in General Court the following Year. Doctor Cotton Tufts is chosen [sen]ator. I was at Braintree yesterday, when I had the pleasure of seeing your Mother, your Lady and Children, your { 144 } Brother and Children, Messrs. J. Quincy, and N. Quincy, Palmer, Wibird &c. all well. Father Smith was well a few Days ago. Coll. Thaxter's Family were well the last time I heard from them.1

[salute] I hope you will excuse my taking up so much of your valuable Time and believe me to be with every Sentiment of Friendship and Esteem, your affectionate Bror:

[signed] ——
Please to give my kindest Regards to my dear young Friends Johnney and Charley, and to Mr. Thaxter, (to whome I intend to write by Doctor Dexter.) My dear Mrs. Cranch and Children are well and retain the kindest Wishes for your Happiness. I suppose our little Folks will write by this Oportunity.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqre. at Amsterdam. [Per fa]vr. of [Dr. De]xter,” followed in another hand by: “Forwarded by Excellency's Most obedt. hume. Servant Aaron Dexter Gottenberg. Augt. 15 1781”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Cranch May 28th. 1781.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “Rough Draft of a Letter to Bror. Adams. May 28th. 1781.” Dft differs from RC in many details, one of which is recorded in note 1.
1. Dft adds in this paragraph: “I am almost constantly in this Town [i.e. Boston] (excepting Sundays) on Committees of the General Court.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0101

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-29

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I am two Letters, I believe in your Debt, but I have been too busily engaged, to be able to write you.
I am pleased with the divisions of your time, which you tell your Brother you have lately made, which appears to be a judicious distribution of Study and Exercise, of Labour and Relaxation.1
But I want to have you, upon some higher Authors than Phaedrus and Nepos. I want to have you upon Demosthenes. The plainer Authors you may learn yourself at any time. I absolutely insist upon it, that you begin upon Demosthenes, and Cicero. I will not be put by. You may learn Greek from Demosthenes and Homer as well as from Isocrates and Lucian—and Latin from Virgil and Cicero as well as Phaedrus and Nepos.
What should be the Cause of the Aversion to Demosthenes in the World I know not, unless it is because his sentiments are wise and grand, and he teaches no frivolities.
If there is no other Way, I will take you home, and teach you Demosthenes and Homer myself.

[salute] I am your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams2
{ 145 }
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Mr. J. Q. Adams.”
1. JQA's letter to CA on “the divisions of [his, i.e. JQA's] time,” probably written on 20 May, has not been found; see JQA to JA, 21 May, above.
2. Although CFA did not choose to print this quaint but characteristic letter advising JQA on his Greek and Latin studies, he did permit the publisher or anonymous editor of Homes of American Statesmen ... by Various Writers, N.Y., 1854, to make a facsimile of the MS, which appears as a double-page insert with Clarence Cook's account of John Adams in that volume, following p. 150.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0102

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-29

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Yesterday's Post brought me your Letters of the 10th and 14 with a Copy of March 17. on the Subject of which I shall be particular when I have a proper Opportunity.1 I have a Friend2 to whom I communicate most unreservedly all the Ocurrences which tend to govern my Pleasures and my Pains; your Letters will of Course be submitted in that mixt View: I have already hinted their Influence in the latter; so that there is a Chance of some Eclaircissement before I can convey them in whole, should you meet each other.
“You have a very small personal Acquaintance with the Lady whom you esteem and commisserate—you have as little personal Acquaintance with the Gentleman connected with her.”3—Had you greater with both, you could not fail to think more highly of the former, and not so well or so ill of the latter as you seem at present to think, if I, who am perfectly intimate with them, may conclude from the Communications which you have lately made to me.—When I write again on this Subject I shall transmit some Anecdotes which you will think interesting to your Friend abroad. I believe I have already told you to see S[amuel] A[dams] as a Preparative.
I please myself with imagining you had Letters by Capt. Porter who appears to have reached Boston the 13th. in 27 Days from France. We are still without a Line from Mr. A or Mr. D[ana] since October.
I shall be attentive to Mr. Cranch if an Occasion offers to Fishkills.
I need not betray the Secrets which I am enjoined to keep. Your Eveship ought to be satisfied with what the Printers are pleased to give to the good People of Boston-Town. Glory or Shame, great in Degree of either Kind, depends upon the Behavior of the Americans in the coming six months, but more especially in the two first. I shudder verily at the Thought. Is it not almost a Resurrection from the Dead that I am looking for?
And now, avaunt ye Emanations of an honest Pen! Come to my aid { 146 } ye Products of Insincerity! It is not the candid but the sentimental to whom I send you.

[salute] “I have the Honor to be with the most perfect Consideration Your Excellency's most obedt. & devoted humble Servant,”

[signed] James Lovell
PS By way of Nota Bene Excellency in English is of both Genders.
1. All three of AA's letters here acknowledged are printed above, but that of 14 May appears under the date of her draft, 13 May, the only surviving text. Lovell found “a proper Opportunity” to enter into the subject of AA's reproaches of 17 March in his letter of 16 June, below.
2. Mrs. Lovell.
3. Lovell is quoting from AA's letter to him of 10 May, above. The lady and gentleman are of course Lovell and his wife.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-30

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

If there are any extraordinary Productions of Nature or Art, exhibited, at the Fair of Leyden, write me an Account and a description of them, and insert them in your Journal.1
There were so many Rarities, at the Fair of Amsterdam, that I think these Fairs worth seeing. A Youth may store his Mind with many new Ideas, and with many usefull Reflections by attending to these Things. To open your Views and enlarge your Ideas of Nature, you ought not to neglect any innocent Opportunity.
[signed] J. Adams
1. See Waterhouse to JA, 21 May, above. If JQA followed his father's advice, no record of it appears. No “Journal” kept by him has been found for this period, though he resumed his diary in a new booklet on 9 June (D/JQA/4 in the Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No.7).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0104

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05

Elizabeth Cranch to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Cousin

How shall I excuse myself for my long neglecting to write to you? Should I offer any other apology, than want of proper abilities, it would be false; and should I offer that, which is the only true one, perhaps it might be thought I wished for a compliment. But I had rather my Cousin should have a less favourable opinion of my understanding; than have cause to doubt my regard for him. That regard, joined to your Mama's repeated solicitations and my wishes for that { 147 } improvement, and entertainment, which I shall receive from your letters, have at last encouraged me to write; and if you should read this letter, let it be with the candour of a Friend, not with the scrutinizing eye of a Critick.
It gives me pain to think that we are deprived of so many of your Letters by means of the frequent capture of Vessels. We have not heard from you but once, since you have been in Holland. We are impatient for some news from you; I hope it will not be a great while yet before we shall have it.
I expect to see you at your return, the accomplished gentleman; possessed of all the solidity and resolution of the American, finely polished by the ease, and sprightliness of the French. And may you not be destitute of the greatest of all accomplishments, that which can alone make you amiable, that which constitutes a Good Man; a due regard for Virtue and Religion. I am sensible my dear Cousin that they are words, which are very seldom, if ever, mentioned in the modern Plan, for what is called a Polite Education. But I dare say they are neither new, or unpleasing Sounds to your Ear. From your Papa (who practises them so well), I do not doubt you often receive the rules for attaining both and from your Mama's Letters (if you are so happy as to receive them) you may collect an excellent System of Morality. Your advantages for improvement are much greater than most young Gentlemen who travel; though they are generally provided with a Tutor, he is not their Parent, and cannot be supposed, to feel so interested for their good behaviour. The advice you receive from your Papa, you are sure, is free from all motives, but such as tend to promote your happiness. Let me beg of you my dear Cousin, by all means and as you prize your's, and the happiness of all your dearest Friends, to regulate your conduct by his precepts invariably—but I must stop and beg you to forgive the earnestness of a Friend and desire you not to impute what I have said to arrogance or self-sufficiency, but to the true motives, which were, my ardent desires to promote your good.
I could wish you to make my most respectful regards acceptable to your Papa and Mr. Thaxter, and my Love to my dear little Charles, (if they still remember me) and if amidst many much more important concerns you should think it proper to favour me with some of the productions of your Pen, I should think myself greatly obliged. May not the time be far distant, when you will all return in safety to your Friends, among which number I hope you include her who is sincerely and affectionately Your's,
[signed] E. C.
{ 148 }
Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand; at head of text: “1. From Miss E.G.”; see descriptive note on AA2 to JQA, 24 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0105

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-06-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr. Le Roy the Bearer of this is a native of N. York but has lived nine years in Amsterdam with his Aunt Mrs. Chabanelle, a Lady who with her whole respectable Family, have been vastly civil to me and mine. Our Children have found that House a kind of home. I therefore wish Mr. Le Roy every Respect in America that can be shewn him.1
He wishes to form Mercantile Connections in America and therefore, it might be mutually convenient, for him to see your Unkle Smith and Mr. Cranch.

[salute] With the tenderest affection, to Miss Nabby and Mr. Thomas, I am, yours,

[signed] J. Adams
1. The Adamses had been introduced to the Le Roy-Chabanel circle at Amsterdam at the very outset of their sojourn in the Netherlands. See entries for August and September in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:446–447. Jacob Le Roy, a native of Rotterdam, had lived for some time in New York in the mid-18th century, and his son Herman was born there. Herman translated into English the questions submitted to JA by the jurist Hendrik Calkoen that led to JA's first propaganda effort in Amsterdam, eventually published as Twenty-Six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects Respecting the Revolution in America, Written in Holland, in the Year M.DCC.LXXX, London, 1786 (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 194; Works, 7:265). Herman returned to America with Gillon in the South Carolina in 1781–1782, and formed successive partnerships in New York City that were long active in developing lands in western New York. The village of Le Roy in Genesee co., N.Y., was named for him. See P. J. van Winter, Het Aandeel van den Amsterdamschen aan den Opbouw van het Amerikaansche Gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, passim; John Lincklaen, Travels in the Years 1791 and 1792 in Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont, ed. Helen L. Fairchild, N.Y., 1897, p. 141–146; Paul D. Evans, The Holland Land Company (Buffalo Historical Society, Publications, vol. 28), Buffalo, 1924, passim.
JQA's diaries, kept irregularly during 1780 and 1781, show that he and CA were constantly under the care of one or another of the Le Roys and their relative, Mme. V. Chabanel, when not in school or at Leyden.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0106

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-06-16

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I have already acknowledged the Receipt of your Letter of May 10th covering a Copy of March 17th, and accompanied by one of May 14th.1 I think I told you I would be more particular, at some { 149 } future Day, in considering certain Parts of them. I meant to do it by Cyphers; but the present Opportunity renders that mode needless. Genl. Ward will probably take a safe Road for himself and consequently for my Scrawl.2
“A captured Letter, not to Portia thank Fortune,—published by the Enemy—has made some Talk; let the Writer's Conscience tell him whether any Thing ought to escape his Pen, even to a confidential Friend, that might be just Occasion of Pain to an affectionate Wife.” —“I have not yet seen it, I fear it is not fit I should.”3
As to the Letter Madam, there is one Expression or rather one Mode of Expression that I wish was not there. I am very unwilling that it should be submitted to the Eye of one so very much my Friend as you profess yourself to be. My Enemies are welcome to read it a thousand Times over. It was an unbecoming Levity, and quite unfit for a “Senator.”4 But it is not that which will give Pain to my affectionate Wife. She will be pained with what you would smile at. For she is more apt to fear than to despise the Enmity of Little-GreatFolks. I should have submitted the Letter, however to your severe anti-shandean Criticism, if I had not thought that an angried Few would have wisely kept from saying any Thing about it, rather than to make spiteful Interpretations of Parts that did not refer to themselves purely to vent that Malice which had been put into a State of Fermentation by Jemmy Rivington's marginal Notes upon those Parts which did really appertain to their Worthyships.5 I am persuaded Madam I thus hit upon the authors—original Authors I mean, of those Suggestions which have troubled you. I did not want to aggrivate their Feelings by giving Communications of what I imagined they would chuse to stifle; that is to say the marginal Notes. By Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] I sent to Mr. G[erry] the original Print. I assure you there is only the Levity of an Hieroglyphic instead of the Words at home that I regret.
I must now be very serious. There is in the World, in the Hands of one of my best Friends, a Bond of about 80 Pounds Lawful Money against me, but I have that Amount and more against a Farm mortgaged to me for myself and others, tho' not worth what it is dipped6 for. This is the whole Connexion I have with Money matters, and a poor one it is, except with my Pay for Time and Service as a Delegate, which ceases the day I arrive in Boston, though my Wife and Children will expect to dine the day after and peradventure they will be extravagant enough to expect it the third Day also. I shall not say much about the Probability, that many of those who have dined and supped { 150 } formerly, often, for a Course of years, elegantly both as to the Table and Sideboard, tho not luxuriously, upon the Product of the exemplary Industry of the Usher of a Grammar School, will call to pay their Compliments to the Honorable Delegate of Congress, and wellcome him Home, while He poor Wretch cannot in Return offer them a Glass of small Beer to drink in Case of Thirst.
Do those who condemn my Absence mean to take me into their Stores as a Clerk? Will they risk such a Test of my Desire to live with one of the most faithful endearing Wives within the Circle of my whole Acquaintance, the tender and discrete Mother of my numerous Children, the benevolent Neighbour, the chearful sensible Companion of both Sexes.
“I must return if only for a short Visit.”7 Will they be willing to maint... —But, I shall forget who I am writing to, and shall draw upon myself, and not myself only, a Condemnation of a secret Compact against short Visits.—I am told that a Dollar and an Half per Day is to cloathe me as a Delegate, and to support the Wife and the seven Children of the same Delegate! Some of my Boys however begin to help me.
And now Madam, do not think that this serious Subject shall prevent my taking Occasion to censure your Sophistry in one part of your Letter.8
“What Right has She, who is appropriated, to appear lovely or charming in any Eyes but his whose Property she is?” I answer, all that Right and Title which Virtue inherits above Vice.
“I am persuaded” says a Lady who had seen much of the World, “that a Woman who is determined to place her Happiness in her Husband's Affections, should abandon the extravagant Desire of engaging public Adoration.”
I underscore Part to show that it had nothing to do with your own Question above.
But I go further, and say, that the Lady needed not to travel to get double the Wisdom of what she here discovers. She might have sat in her Chamber and known that a Woman who is determined to place her Happiness in her Husband's affections not only “should” but would abandon “the extravagant” and even any Desire of Engaging “public Adoration.9
“Portia can join with Juba in the Play.” “By Heavens I had rather have that best of Friend's approve my Deeds than Worlds for my Admirers.” In Troth a very pretty Scrap of a Play! but quoted very unseasonably. For let me ask may not those very Deeds be approved { 151 } and the Author of them consequently be admired by Thousands and Tens of Thousands; and has not a Wife, as well as a Maid, a Right thus “to appear lovely and charming to other Eyes than his whose Property she is”? Property! oh the dutch Idea!10
Besides, Madam, your fine tuned Instrument cannot be an american one; it must be english with which we are at War. It cannot be italien, or it would be more sensibly touched by the amiable than by the lovely, the first being of roman and the last of british Extract; but otherwise, critically the same.
My Letter dated April 13. was written the 23.11—The Duke of Leinster not Leominster carried your Letter safely, but she is herself carried into New York.
I begin now to be uneasy about your Goods. Oeconomy has banished all Waggoning almost from this City; and if I send by Water to Trenton I know not the Store Keeper's there, so that I shall run new Risques. Perhaps I may hear from you or Mr. Cranch Tomorrow. I am worried by a Paragraph in one of my Son's Letters which mentions your Good's by Doctor Winship being injured by the Rain. It must have been before Mr. Hughes boxed them; and he mentioned no such Thing to me.
I “have received your Letter of March 2712 (and worse ones too) in that Spirit of Friendship with which they flowed from the Pen of Portia.”13 You see nevertheless that I think it a bad one and it is that Thought which prevents me from following the Dictates of my own Sincerity in subscribing:

[salute] I have not yet worn out the Word Madam

[signed] J L
1. All the letters mentioned are printed above, that of 14 May under the date of AA's draft, 13 May. Lovell had acknowledged receipt of these in his of 29 May, also above.
2. AA acknowledged receipt of the present letter, brought by Maj. Gen. Artemas Ward, in her reply of 14 July, below.
3. Lovell is quoting from AA's letter of 17 March, as he does repeatedly below, not always verbatim and hence sometimes distorting her emphasis if not her meaning.
4. For a nearly complete printed text of Lovell's letter to Elbridge Gerry of 20 Nov. 1780, intercepted and published by the British in Rivington's New York Royal Gazette, 27 Dec. 1780, p. 2, col. 1, see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 5:451–453. Burnett's text is from the intercepted original in the Sir Henry Clinton Papers in MiU-C, and he locates another MS and another contemporary newspaper printing. He also furnishes excellent explanatory notes on the somewhat cryptic allusions in Lovell's letter to Congressional business, to George Washington, and to John Hancock. But he prints without explaining Lovell's brief paragraph mentioning his wife that had, from what she had heard about it, so perturbed AA and prompted the reproaches in her letter to Lovell of 17 March. This paragraph reads:
{ 152 }
“'Is it not Time to pay a Visit to Mass:'? Does my Wife look as if she wanted a toothless grey headed sciatic Husband near her? I am more Benefit to her at a Distance than in ♂ as the Almanac has it.”
This is “the unbecoming Levity” toward Mrs. Lovell which had caused so much talk and was all that Lovell admitted to AA he regretted coming to light through the interception and publication of his letter. Specifically, as he explains below, he regretted using “an Hieroglyphic” (i.e. “in ♂”) “instead of the Words at home.” With its mixture of learned and sexually suggestive implications, this was a bit of verbal play very typical of Lovell: in astronomy ♂ is the sign for Mars; in biology it is the male principle.
5. Rivington's “marginal Notes” were footnotes appended, not to the text of Lovell's letter to Gerry of 20 Nov. 1780, but to another Lovell letter intercepted at the same time and printed in the same issue of the Royal Gazette (27 Dec. 1780, p. 2, col. 2). This letter was addressed to John Hancock, 21 Nov. 1780; besides dealing with certain financial matters, it tendered Hancock warm congratulations on his recent election as governor under the new Constitution. The printer commented on Lovell's “duplicity of ... heart” in toadying to Hancock, since the two men were known to be political enemies, and cast sundry reflections on Lovell's humble origins and doubtful solvency. It should be observed that, since AA had not seen the newspaper text or notes, Lovell's labored explanation must have been largely meaningless to her, except for the revelation that if he gave up his post (and pay) in Congress he would have no means of supporting his family.
6. See OED under dip, verb, 7b: “To involve in debt or pecuniary liabilities; to mortgage ... (colloq.).”
7. Paraphrased from AA's letter to Lovell of 13 May, above.
8. Of 17 March, to which Lovell now reverts.
9. Opening quotation mark editorially supplied.
10. For AA's disapproving response to this phrase, see her reply of 14 July, below.
11. It is printed above under the corrected date.
12. Error for March 17.
13. Quotation marks as in MS, but the opening quotation mark should in fact precede “in that Spirit.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0107

Author: Sever, Sarah
Author: Russell, Sarah Sever
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-06-16

Sarah Sever to Abigail Adams

I am exceedingly oblig'd to Mrs. Adams for her condescention, in the communications she has made in the very kind billet, this day handed me, by Mr. Austin.1
I am sincerely pain'd at the disagreable intelligence from my Cousin!2 Poor unfortunate youth! I hope his life is not so near drawing to its close! Just as his conduct merited the approbation of the Judicious; when his freinds might flatter themselves, with the satisfaction he might afford; from his alter'd manners in the morning of life, to be cut of—'twou'd be melancholy! But it might have been still more so!—had the fatal ball snapt the brittle thread, and not have left one moment for reflection,—it might have aggravated the wounds of the sorrowing bosom.—I am very anxious to hear from him; I hope he will be spar'd! Shou'd he suffer an amputation, Tho' 'twill be apparently a severe misfortune, it may prove a blessing.
{ 153 }
I am rejoic'd that my Aunt is recovering. It must be ever regreted when eyes so valuable, shall lose their usefulness. Tis no small misfortune to us, the removal of my Uncle's family. But tis a satisfaction my Dear Madam, that the same cause, carrys you an addition of happiness. I expect to be familiariz'd to gloomy scenes; and I hope they will teach me useful lessons.—Mama has been confin'd more than a month to her chamber,—she is very frail and indispos'd. And My brother, who this week puts on a military garb, and leaves us to take the feild, will not hasten her recovery.3 She and papa join in offering their best regards to Mrs. Adams.
I hope, Madam, you continue to have agreable tidings from your absent freinds. May the period be not far distant, when the Atlantic will no longer separate you from the partner of your heart. May you enjoy many years of domestic felicity in peace and freindship.
Will Mrs. Adams condescend to pardon the presumption of engaging her attention so long, from one so ev'ry way unworthy?—'Tis a proof of her goodness if she does.—Miss Nabby promis'd I shou'd hear from her; she has not been good as her word. I hope we shall have the pleasure of seeing her with Miss Betsy, in the course of the summer. Our alter'd village does not promise many pleasures, but our little power shall be exerted to make it agreable to them.—To see you at Kingston my dear Lady, wou'd make us all very happy.—Will you be pleas'd to make my affectionate regards acceptable to your good sister and family. My love to Miss Nabby, and give me leave to subscribe myself with ev'ry sentiment of respect & esteem, your sincere freind & humble servant,
[signed] S. Sever
1. The “very kind billet,” presumably from AA, has not been found. The messenger may have been Jonathan Loring Austin, who returned about this time from Europe after being captured by the British; see note on him in vol. 3:262, above, with references there.
The writer of this letter, Sarah Sever (1757–1787), was the daughter of James Warren's sister Sarah (Mrs. William Sever), of Kingston. Though romantically linked with John Thaxter, she married in 1784 the Boston merchant Thomas Russell. See Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:575–578; Vital Records of Kingston, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1911, p. 132, 276; Mass. Centinel, 28 Nov. 1787, p. 3, col. 2.
2. James Warren Jr., identified above, vol. 3:133, was wounded in one or more actions on board the Alliance, which had just arrived in battered condition in Boston (Boston Gazette, 11 June 1781, p. 2, cols. 1–2; William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803, N.Y., 1938, p. 224).
3. James Sever (1761–1845), Harvard 1781, had been commissioned in Feb. 1781 ensign in the 7th Massachusetts regiment (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors; Heitman, Register Continental Army).
{ 154 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0108

Author: Shippen, Alice Lee
Recipient: Adams, Elizabeth Welles
Date: 1781-06-17

Alice Lee Shippen to Elizabeth Welles Adams

I have long promis'd my self the Honor of a Correspondence with you Madam, and now I cannot in person enquire of your Health and Welfare from Mr. A— your good Spouse, I can no longer deny my self the satisfaction of doing so in this way; and if I can be of the least Service to you here, either by communicating or otherwise, you cannot oblige me more than by commanding me.1 My Brother A. L— is with us, and with Mr. S— desires to be remember'd in the most respectfull manner to yourself and Mr. A—, on whose safe arrival at Boston I congratulate you Madam, and it gives me great pleasure to hear that the People have Virtue and Discernment enough still to respect and love him: may they long continue to do so; and may he live long, very long, to serve them and enjoy their Gratitude.2
The British are making sad Havock in Virginia, they have taken six Members of their Assembly: I am much distress'd lest a Brother I have in that Body should be one of their number. I am sure none of my Brothers will find any Mercy with them. A French Fleet in Virginia now might do every thing we wish, but I despair of such assistance while a certain person is our Minister. He has sent his resignation to Congress; this is probably no more than a State Trick to fix him more firm in the Saddle. He says perhaps he is too Old, but he does not perceive any thing like it himself; and then gives a strong Proof of it by recommending his Grandson as the Person who will, in a Year or two, be most fit for our Plenepotentiary.3 From this recommendation one or the other of these two things is clear, either Mr. F—'s faculties are impair'd, or he thinks ours are. This same Gentleman is now blackening the Character of Mr. J:A. to Congress more than he did Mr. L—'s, and he has got the french Minister to join him.4—I fear I shall quite tire you; I will only beg leave to add that I am with the highest Esteem, Madam, your very humble Servt.,
[signed] A:S.
Early Tr (Adams Papers); in the hand of Richard Cranch; at foot of text: “(A. Shippen).” The (missing) RC, “addressed to Mrs. A. but without any christian Name or place of abode,” was erroneously delivered to AA in Braintree rather than to its intended recipient, Mrs. Samuel Adams, in Boston. After having had a copy made by her brother-in-law Cranch, AA forwarded the original, with “a proper excuse,” to Mrs. Samuel Adams. See letters of AA to James Lovell and to Mrs. Shippen printed below under 30 June.
1. The writer, Alice (Lee) Shippen (1736–1817), wife of Dr. William Shippen Jr. (1736–1808) of Philadelphia, was the sister of four Lee brother of { 155 } Virginia (Richard Henry, Francis Lightfoot, William, and Arthur), all of whom made their mark on Revolutionary history and appear with more or less prominence in The Adams Papers. The Lees' political ties were especially close with Samuel Adams, and only slightly less so with JA; there is a witty saying without a known author to the effect that the American Revolution was the result of a temporary alliance between the Adamses and the Lees.
2. Samuel Adams, who had recently left Congress, was now serving as president of the Massachusetts Senate (Boston Gazette, 4 June 1781, p. 2, col. 2).
3. See Benjamin Franklin to Pres. Samuel Huntington, 12 March 1781, in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:220–223. It hardly needs to be added that Mrs. Shippen's summary at second hand of Franklin's letter offering his resignation and recommending his grandson, William Temple Franklin, to the further favor of Congress, is not unprejudiced. Congress' reply to Franklin, declining his offer, 19 June, is in JCC, 20:675–676.
4. The reference is to Franklin's role in the dispute in the summer of 1780 between JA and Vergennes and its aftereffects now current in Congress, whereby, through La Luzerne's influence, JA's powers to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain were revoked. Mrs. Shippen's term “the french Minister” is ambiguous; it could mean either Vergennes or La Luzerne. See editorial note in vol. 3:390–395, above; Lovell to AA, 26 June, 13 July10 Aug.; AA to Lovell, 14 July; all below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0109

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-06-20

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear S[ir]

I am told that a Vessell will this Day sail for Holland. I know not how to neglect so fair an Opportunity of Writing, convinced that a Line from your Friend will be acceptable, if it be only to inform you that we have an Existence in America as an indepen[den]t Nation, that our Commonwealth lives, that our annual Election is Compleated, the Legislative and executive Bodies organized, That our Families and Connections are well and that the Season is truly promising having been blessed with frequent Rains. Our Crops of Grass will be great and the English Grain has a fine Aspect. Great Quantities of the Syberian wheat have been sown this year throughout the State. Hitherto it has succeeded and no blast has happened to it, since its first Introduction in the Country, it is about Six years since any of this Grain was heard of here—a few Quarts was in the Hands of [blank in MS] in Portsmouth—last year some Farmers raised 2 or 300 Bushells.1
The Scituation of our public Affairs is not at present so favourable as I could wish for. For want of naval Assistance, the Enemy have gaind many Advantages, they have bent all their Force to the Southward, have established Posts at Virginia, North Carolina &c. and are ravaging the Southern States. They have met with many severe Checks, have lost many Men and the Army at South Carolina under Gen. Cornwallis is supposed to be lessened one half—by Battles, Sick• { 156 } ness, Desertion &c. Gen. Green has opposed the Enemy with a very inferior Force and under the greatest Embarassments has kept a Body sufficient to prevent the Conquest of those Countries, he has performed Wonders.—The Depreciation of our Paper Currency has been the fatal Source of almost all the Misfortunes We have suffered for several years past. Our Enemies are continually availing themselves of every Advantage that can be obtaind from a fluctuating Currency. They have but too well succeded in their Plans. A late Shock We have sustained, by a sudden Depreciation of the old continental Emission from 75 to 200, 250 and even 300—in one Week it fell from 75 to 150. I flatter myself that this will in the End rather serve than disserve us. It has pretty generally convinced People that We must not any longer depend on a paper Medium, and such Measures are now pursuing and will I hope be carried into effect, as will enable us to conduct our affairs with Stability. It was necessary that we should be severely whipd and a whipping we have had, such as is sensibly felt and will leave a lasting impression. It will purify our Minds, open our Faculties and lead us to guard against those Evils, which must have proved our Ruin if persisted in.
This Morning a Report prevails that the French Fleet and Army under the Command of [blank in MS] have retaken St. Lucia. I think there is a great Probability of it. We have had Advice some Days agone, that on the arrival of this Fleet in the West Indies, Rodney was before Martinico, who upon their Appearance, left his Station, attacked the French, found his Fleet unable to cope with the French and ran. The French pursued and cut him off from St. Lucia, took that Opportunity of Landing 4 or 5000 Troops and laid Seige to it.
By authentic Accounts from the Southward, The Enemy have joined their several Armies at Richmond—to the Number of 6000. Marquiss of Fayette commands our Forces in that Quarter. At present his Army is much inferior to the British. The latter will triumph for a Time; but I trust their Triumphs will be short, as such Measures are taking as will with the Smiles of Providence turn the Scale. While Cornwallis has withdrawn his Army from South Carolina, Genl. Green is taking one Post after another and will soon be master of all their Fortresses except the Capital.
This day a Letter from Genl. Washington to Genl. Heath Dated New Windsor June the 15. 1781, contains the following Intelligence “Since the Enemy formed a Junction of their several Corps in Vir• { 157 } ginia, nothing material has happened in that Quarter. On the 10th of May Lord Rawden was compelled to evacuate Camden with Precipitation, leaving behind him three of his Officers and 50 Privates so dangerously wounded as to be unable to be removed. On the 11th the strong Post of Orangeburg surrendered to Genl. Sumpter: a Colenel, several Officers and upwards of 80 men were made Prisoners. On the 12th. the garrison of Fort Mott, consisting of 7 officers 12 non commissioned officers and 165 Privates, surrendered by Capitulation to Genl. Marian.
On the 15th Fort Granby capitulated to Lieut. Col. Lee, the Garrison were made Prisoners and consisted of 1 Lieut. Col., 2 Majors, 6 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, 2 Sergt. Majors, 3 Ensigns, 2 Surgeons, 17 Sergeants, 9 Corporals, and 305 Privates. Large Quantities of Provisions were captured at some of the Posts. At the same Time the Posts of Augusta and Ninety Six were invested by Gen. Pickings: and Gen. Greane on the 16th of May had determined to march the Army to expedite their Reduction.”2
I have wrote to You by 4 or 5 Conveyances but have not been so happy as to receive a Line from you since you left America. Be pleased to remember me to Mr. Thaxter to whom I have repeatedly wrote and have received but one Letter of March 1780. His Parents and Connections are well—Your Family also, on whom I called on Tuesday in my way to this Town, where I am at present stationed and have taken a Post in public Life in compliance with the Call of the Electors of the County of Suffolk.

[salute] I am with sincere Regards Yr. affectionate Friend & H Sert,

[signed] C.T.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr. Tufts 20. June 1781.”
1. Sentence thus punctuated in MS.
2. Washington's letter to Maj. Gen. William Heath, 15 June, is printed in full in Washington's Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 22:217–218.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0110

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-06-22

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror:

I wrote you by Doctor Dexter on the 28th Ulto. which I hope will come safe to hand. Tho' I have not had the Happiness of a Line from you since you left America yet I shall gladly embrace the Oportunity that now offers (by a Ship bound to Denmark) to write you a few Lines. We have just received Letters from Spain giving an account of the very great successes against the English in India by Hyder { 158 } Ali &c.—'Tis remarkable to observe how far the Destruction of the Indian Weed at Boston a few Years ago, has operated towards the loss of the very Country itself from whence the Pride of Britain has been so fed and fostered. I mentioned in my last that the Enemy in the southern States were making their Efforts with various success. By a Letter from Genl. Washington to Genl. Heath received yesterday by Express, (which the General was so kind as to read to me) it appears that Genl. Green about the 15th Ulto. had made himself Master of the Enemy's Strong Post at Camden and three other of the strongest Posts that the Enemy held in South Carolina, together with their Stores of Provisions, Cannon and Baggage; and had taken seven or eight Hundred Prisoners. The numbers of Field Officers, Subalterns and Privates are mention'd, but I do not recollect them exactly. Genl. Washington mentions in the same Letter the junction of the Enemy's Forces in a part of Virginia, as being what would give them room to make some partial Depredations at first, but as what will finally prove destructive to them. Genl. Washington has call'd upon this State to fill up its Battallions immediately, which the Court has accordingly order'd to be compleated by the last of this Month. Three Thousand Melitia are also call'd upon from this State for “supporting Communications and for other Purposes,” together with Beef &c. for their Support. Above two hundred and fifty Yoke of Oxen and Carriages are now taken up here in this Neighbourhood for transporting Large Mortars and heavy Battering Cannon, and other Warlike Stores from this Place which will set out immediately, some of them this Day; and the like Movements are making in other Parts of this State. What the Plan of our illustrious General is, may be infer'd from the following Passage in his Letter to this Government, dated Weathersfield May 24th 1781.
“In consequence of a Conferance held between his Excellency the Count De Rochambeau and my self at this Place, the French Army will march as soon as Circumstances will admit, and form a junction with the American on the North River. The accomplishment of this Object which we have in contemplation is of the utmost importance to America, and will in all probability be attained unless there be a failure on our Part in the number of Men which will be required for the Operation, or the Enemy should withdraw a considerable part of their Force from the Southward. It is in our own Power by proper Exertions to prevent the first—and should the last take place, we shall be amply repaid our Expences by liberating the Southern States where we have found by Experience we are only vulnerable.“—”The Enemy { 159 } counting upon our want of Abillity or upon our want of Energy, have, by repeated Detachments to the southward, reduced themselves in N: York to a situation which invites us to take advantage of it.”1
We have heard that you have succeeded in Holland in a Loan, thro' the House of Messrs. Deneufville and Son, of about 100,000 Pounds Sterlg.2 If by means of that Loan you should want to have any Publick Business transacted in this Place I should be glad to be assisting in it. Or if any of your Friends should be inclined to make a Tryal of sending any Merchandize this way on Commission, I should be glad to transact Business in that way for them with the greatest care and Dispatch, and on the most reasonable Terms. I suppose any Goods that are vendable in this Country, and are well bought in Europe, will fetch here double their first Cost in Gold and Silver or Bills of Exchange by the large quantity together; and in smaller quantities such as single Pieces of Linnen &c. three for one. My meaning is that an Invoice of well chosen Goods, that amounted to one hundred Pounds Sterling first Cost at the usual wholesale Price in Europe, would fetch here, from two Hundred to three hundred Pounds of the same Sterling Money in Specie, or in good Bills of Exchange.
I know that the transacting of those Matters lays entirely out of your Line, as well as out of your Inclination; but as you must sometimes mix with the Mercantile World, should a Hint of this kind be drop'd by you it might be of Service to me. Verbum sat &c.
I expect every moment when the Vessell will be under Sail, so that I must in haste conclude, with Love to your dear little Boys and Mr. Thaxter (to whome I wrote two Letters by Doctor Dexter) your affectionate Bror. and humble Servt.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
A French Fleet of Transports from Brest under convoy of several Frigates is arrived here within about ten Days past. I hear that all but one are arrived safe, and that one, (being the ship that had most of the Wine on Board) is drove on Shore not far from Plymouth, whether she will be got off or not I dont learn, nor do I know exactly where she is. The Troops that came in this Fleet march'[d] about a Week ago.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr: to the Care of Messrs: De Neufville and Son, Merchants in Amsterdam.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Cranch 22d. June 1781.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “Rough Draft of a Letter to Bror. Adams June 22d 1781.”
1. These are extracts from Washington's circular letter to the New England States, 24 May, printed in full in his Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 22:109–11.
2. This effort had failed; see above, Lovell to AA, 21 May, and note 2 there.
{ 160 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0111

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-06-23

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

And is there no medium Sir, between terms which might be misconstrued, and the cold formal adieu of mere ceremony tagd with a title. Your Sentimentilist as you are pleased to stile her2 prizes the Emanations of a pure and friendly Heart, before all the studied complasance of a finished courtier.
Uncandid do you say? You never will find Portia so. When the character of the Statesman, the Senator, the Benevolent Philanthropist is maintained in its purity the grave parent of children who look up to him for an example for their future conduct should not suffer an impeachment in the Eye of the World, much3 less should there be just occasion for it.
I will give you a specimen of a conversation that passd not long since between Portia and a Lady of her acquaintance for whom she entertains a high Esteem as one of the best Female characters in America tho Portia would fain believe she errs in judgeing of one character. Cornelia. Have you seen the intercepted Letter of your Friend L[ovel]ls to Mr. G[err]y.4—Portia. No Madam but I have heard much of it, and some severe strictures about it. I could wish to see it—Cornelia. I have read it, and can give you an account of it. It is Enegmatical, as all his Letters are, but there are some things in it which for decency sake ought never to have been there. Were I his wife they would make me misirable, but I believe he cares little for her.—Portia. O, Madam do not judge so hardly. I have ever thought him to have a high value for her, he has never mentioned her but with respect and tenderness, of which I believe her very deserving.—Cornelia. True I am not acquainted with her, but I hear her well Spoken of by every body, and believe her much too good for a Man that can allow his pen such a lisence in writing of her, and add to that can leave her 3 or 4 years together.—[Portia.] Pray my dear Madam do not measure a Gentlemans regard for his wife by the last reason given. Is it not misfortune enough to be seperated from our best Friends without the worlds judgeing hardly of us or them for it. How would you wound me should [you] think thus of my own dear partner.—Corn[elia]. The case is different with him. It is in the power of one without much hazard or risk—but not of the other, and I tell you my Friend that this gentleman whom you think so favourably of, is in my opinion a deciple of Mandivile Nursed in the School of Chesterfeild—and looks upon the whole Sex as common prey [or free?] plun• { 161 } der.5—Portia. O my dear Madam I cannot think so. Were I once satisfied that such was his sentiments and character, I would Instantly renounce all acquaintance with him. I must condemn the Levity of his pen, but he cannot have a bad Heart. I have but little personal acquaintance with him but I never supposed him a man of the world. I never heard his conjugal character aspersed—did you.—Cornelia. No, only as the world will naturally believe that a Gentleman possessing domestick attachments would visit his family in the course of 4 years, when only 3 hundred miles distant.—Portia. Why Madam he may have reasons which he would not chuse to manifest to the World.—Cornelia. Then let him be uniformly delicate and I will believe them.
Thus ended a conversation but not a conversion. Uncandid as you are pleased to stile Portia, if she had not valued her correspondent for real and substantial virtues of Heart and mind, the just or unjust reflections of the world would have affected her no more than any other vague reports. By giving freedom to her pen and unreservedly censuring what she must ever consider as the Shades of a character she has given proof of a real Friendship which will not be diminished untill she shall be convinced that the character drawn by Cornelia is a just one.—And now Sir for one passage in your Letter which you may well think has not escaped my notice. “When I write again on this Subject, I shall transmit some anecdotes which you will think Interesting to your Friend abroad.” Now what Inference am I to draw from this? If you mean to retaliate for the pain you say I have given you, by this dark hint, you are mistaken, for my confidence in my Friend abroad is as unbounded as my affection for him which knows no limits. He will not injure me even by a thought. Virtue and principal confirm the Bond which affection first began, and my security depends not upon passion which other objects might more easily excite, but the sober and setled Dictates of Religion and Honour. It is that which cements at the same time that it ensures the affections.

“There Love his golden shafts employs, there lights

His constant Lamp and waves his purple wings.”

I shall not make any inquiry of Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] should I see him, but I hold you in duty bound to explain yourself.—Not a vessel from Holland or a line from that Quarter. My Heart sickens at the recollection. O for the wings of a dove that I might flie away.
Great and important is the day. May America shew herself equal to the call. Our wretched finances undoe us. This Town exerted itself { 162 } and has forwarded all the Men required and has paid the money required for the Beaf.—What a stupid race are the British retalers of News, to think one sensible American would credit their story of peace makers excluding America, when they would all be glad to hug her.
I hope you have recoverd from your fall, if it was an honest one from your Horse and not down a pair of dark stairs.6—I will not receive your sarcasam so have blotted it out, and in lieu of it “read Portias affectionate Friend,”7 and in return bestow the sincere Emanations of Friendship which glow in the Bosom of
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee; at head of text in CFA's hand: “May 1781.” AA's very careless punctuation, particularly in the dialogue between Cornelia and Portia, has been slightly regularized for clarity.
1. Lovell's reply of 13 July, below, mentions two letters from AA, dated 10 and 23 June, in language making it clear that the present letter is the second of these two. AA's letter of 10 June has not been found.
2. In Lovell's letter to AA, 29 May, above, quoted again later in the present letter and alluded to in its leavetaking.
3. MS: “must.”
4. From AA's characterization of her, from the general tenor of her comments, and from other hints, one may at least guess that “Cornelia” was Mercy Warren, but the identification cannot be established without more evidence than is now available. On “the intercepted Letter” from Lovell to Gerry, 20 Nov. 1780, see especially AA to Lovell, 17 March and 10 May, and Lovell to AA, 16 June, all above.
5. The first word in brackets has been editorially supplied for sense; the second word is only partially legible. Another reading of the passage might be: “common prey for plunder.”
6. See Lovell's reply, 13 July, below.
7. Closing quotation mark editorially supplied. Lovell's “sarcasam” was in the highly formal phrasing of the leavetaking in his letter of 29 May, q.v. above, responding to AA's disapproval of his earlier use of terms of gallantry.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0112

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-06-26

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

The Alliance may have brought you Letters: neither that nor the Franklin have given us any from Mr. Adams. Mr. Dana on the 4th of April resolved to go from Paris to Holland on the Sunday following.1 He mentions nothing of Mr. A but I send you a Scrap from the Hague2 which proves the Health of him and his, in a good Degree, March 4th. Any Thing to the contrary would have been mentioned by Mr. Dumas.
There is surely nothing of the Gallant, nothing which need hurt the fine toned Instrument, in this Solicitude of mine to administer even the smallest Degree of Satisfaction to a Mind very susceptible of Anxiety, and, a little prone, I fear, to see Harm where Harm is not.
{ 163 }
Hague. Dumas. March 5.3
His Excellency J. Adams favored me, Yesterday, both with his Visit and with a Sight of his late Dispatches from your Excellency of December last. I have promised him, in Consequence, what I repeatedly had promised him before; vizt. to assist him with all my Heart and Powers, and I am as sure to have already convinced him of my Zeal in doing so, as in good hope that Things will ripen and our Endeavors be blessed.
There have been some Proceedings nearly affecting Mr. A's public Character. Lest you should be uneasy at Hints catched here and there, I think proper to tell you that a Change of Circumstances in Europe has made it necessary according to the major Opinion, to ||be liberal in discretionary powers|| and it hath been made Part of the Plan to ||colleague|| the Business in Consequence. I do not think upon the Whole that the latter Circumstance will be the most unpleasing to our Friend; the real Truth being that ||our allies are to rule the roast|| so that the Benefit of the latter Provision will be that the ||insignificance will be in shares.|| This is my poor angry Opinion of the Business.4
Now Woman be secret.5

[salute] Y m o m d h St.,

[signed] J.L.
Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] will have told you of the two Peices of Business which led to the two Resolves inclosed.
RC (Adams Papers). The enclosed “two Resolves” mentioned in the postscript are not now with the letter. One was the resolution of 10 Jan., forwarded to JA in a letter from Pres. Huntington of that date, approving Vergennes' position on JA's not communicating his powers to the British government (JCC, 19:42; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:229). The other enclosure must have related to the actions in Congress in early June modifying JA's instructions as peace minister and joining him in a commission with four others to negotiate peace; see note 4. Four brief passages that appear in cipher in Lovell's letter have here been deciphered between double verticals. In the original, the ciphered passages are marked “A” through “D”; these are Richard Cranch's marks for his decipherment, made at AA's request and surviving as an undated scrap of paper among the Adams Papers. On Lovell's cipher generally, see Appendix to this volume.
1. See Dana to the President of Congress, 4 April 1781, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:349–351.
2. Incorporated in the text below.
3. This caption is a marginal gloss in Lovell's letter. The full text of Dumas' letter to the President of Congress of 5 March is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:273–274.
4. Lovell here touches in a very gingerly way on recent actions of Congress that were to have a profound effect on JA's diplomatic career and to embitter him permanently toward those who, in the course of a brief but intense struggle in Congress, had brought them about. { 164 } These were, of course, the alterations in his instructions of 1779 as sole minister for peace, whereby he was now empowered to accept a truce under the proffered mediation of Russia and Austria; was ordered “ultimately to govern” himself in everything by the “advice and opinion” of the French court: and, to top off these (to JA at least) degrading instructions, was deprived of his exclusive powers as peace minister by being joined in a commission with four others, namely Jay, Franklin, Laurens, and Jefferson. These and sundry other modifications of the 1779 instructions debated and voted in the first half of June 1781 were the product of a diplomatic strategem that had been initiated months earlier in the French foreign office and was effected by La Luzerne in Philadelphia through his influence with certain members of Congress who, for varying reasons, held pro-French views and/or distrusted JA's independent views and conduct (his “Stiffness and Tenaciousness of Temper,” as John Witherspoon phrased it; Burnett, Letters of Members, 7:116). Among them were John Sullivan, James Madison, and John Witherspoon. The circumstances of this maneuver and its sequels are repeatedly touched on in JA's Diary and Autobiography; see text and notes in that work at 3:3–4, 104–105; 4:252–253; see also above, vol. 3:231–232. The long series of motions and votes in Congress, as recorded in its Secret Journal, 6–15 June, are given in convenient sequence in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:471–481; the drafts and notes of Madison relating to these proceedings are printed in his Papers, ed. Hutchinson, 3:133–134, 147–155, with valuable editorial commentary. John Witherspoon's remarkable speech in Congress on 11 (or possibly 9) June should also be consulted (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:115–118); it appears unexceptionably fair-minded toward all the parties in question or contention, including JA. However, later statements by Witherspoon throw a different and possibly sinister light on his and his supporters' motives. William C. Stinchcombe in The American Revolution and the French Alliance, Syracuse, 1969, p. 166–168, has discussed this difficult question acutely. Irving Brant, in his Madison, vol. 2, ch. 10 (“Clipping Diplomatic Wings”) has furnished a lucid and detailed narrative account of what happened in Congress respecting peace policy at this time. But he proceeds on the assumption that nothing Madison did could be wrong, and Stinchcombe's point of view throughout his chapter dealing with this subject is more objective. Another recent account, based on French as well as American sources, is in Morris, Peacemakers, p. 210–217. Morris observes that the “stakes” of Vergennes' moves at this time “were nothing less than the control of America's foreign policy.... Lacking all the facts and relying upon the assurances of La Luzerne, the innocent and the corrupted together marched meekly to the slaughter” (p. 210, 213). See also below, Lovell to AA, 13 July, and note 7 there.
5. This injunction is written lengthwise in the margin beside the preceding paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0113

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-06-30

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

At length the mistery is unravelld, and by a mere accident I have come to the knowledge of what you have more than once hinted at. A Letter of Mrs. Shippen addressed to Mrs. A. but without any christian Name or place of abode,2 was put into my Hands Supposed for me, I opened and read it half through before I discoverd the mistake. Ought Eve to have laid it by then when so honestly come at? But pay for peeping is an old adage and so have I—for after mentioning our { 165 } affairs in France and giving a Specimin of the Abilities of the present plenipotentiary together with his recommendation of “a mere white curd of asses milk” she adds “this same Gentleman is now blacking the character of Mr.—to Congress more than he did Mr. S— and he has got the French Minister to join him.”3 This allarmed at the same time that [it] enlightned me. Is Monsieur G—r or L—n meant?4 If the Latter I am very Sorry that he should become a dupe to the wiles of the Sorcerer, he was no Stranger when he left France to the views and character of the Man and I always supposed him Friendly to my——.5 The duce take the Enemy for restraining my pen. I want to ask you a hundred Questions and to have them fully and explicitly answerd. You will send me by the first opportunity the whole of this dark prosess. Was the Man a Gallant I should think he had been monopolising the Women from the enchanter. Was he a Modern Courtier I should think he had outwitted him in court intrigue. Was He a selfish avaritious designing deceitfull Villan I should think he had encroached upon the old Gentlemans perogatives but as he is neither, what can raise his malice against an honest republican? Tis fear, fear, that fear which made the first grand deciver start up in his own shape when touchd by Ithuriel['s] Spear. The honest Zeal of a Man who has no Sinnester views to serve, no Friends to advance to places of profit and Emolument, no ambition to make a fortune with the Spoil of his country, or to eat the Bread of Idleness and dissapation—this this man must be crushed, he must be calumniated and abused. It needs great courage Sir to engage in the cause of America, we have not only an open but secret foes to contend with. It comes not unexpected upon me I assure you, he who had unjustly traduced the character of one Man, would not hesitate to attack every one who should obstruct his views and no Man however honest his views and intentions will be safe whilst this Gentleman holds his office. I hope you will be very particular not only in transmitting the accusation but what Effect it has had in your Body, what measures have been taken in consequence, and whether you have acquainted my Friend with it. If not I beg it may be done that he may take proper measures in his defence.—We receive no inteligence from Holland. Mr. D[ana] was in France from November to March when he went to Amsterdam to Mr. A. who was there in March and at the Hague as I learn by a Letter from Young W——n6 dated 10 of March at Brussels. I suspect Mr. A. is apprehensive of trusting Letters or dispatches by way of France or he would certainly have written by vessels which have come from thence.—You will smile when you see by my last Letter, how { 166 } much I misunderstood your hints. I believe you did it on purpose. I supposed by what you wrote that some slanderous tongue wished to wound me by reports injurious to the character of my best Friend. He is a good Man, would to Heaven we had none but such in office. You know my Friend that he is a man of principal, and that he will not voilate the dictates of his conscience to Ingratiate himself with a minister, or with your more respected Body.
Yet it wounds me Sir—when he is wounded I blead. I give up my domestick pleasure and resign the prospect I once had of an independant fortune, and such he could have made in the way of his Buisness. Nor should I grudge the sacrifice, only let not the slanderous arrow, the calumniating stabs of Malice rend in peices an honest character which is all his Ambition.
Who steals my purse steals trash twas mine, tis his and has been slave to thousands but he who filches from me my good Name takes that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.
Inclosed is a Letter for Mrs. S[hippe]n. You will be so good as to deliver it and transmit a reply should she ask you. I have invited your good Lady to make me a visit, offerd to send a chaise and Brother C[ranc]h would Gallant her, but she pleads indisposition—the very reason why she ought to come. Do Sir use your influence and request her to visit me. Tell her you know I shall love her as much as I respect her now and that not only for her own sake but for a certain connection that she has who tho some times very sausy yet taking his correction patiently is the more Esteemed by
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee; at head of text in CFA's hand: “1782.” Enclosure in (missing) RC: AA to Alice (Lee) Shippen, 30 June, of which Dft is printed following the present letter.
1. Date supplied from Lovell's acknowledgments of 17 July and 10 Aug., both below.
2. Alice (Lee) Shippen to Elizabeth (Welles) Adams, 17 June, q.v. above, with notes there.
3. Opening quotation mark editorially supplied. “[T]his same Gentleman” is Benjamin Franklin, and the “mere white curd of asses milk” his grandson William Temple Franklin. The blank in this sentence should be filled in with “Adams” (meaning JA). “Mr. S—” is AA's miswriting of “Mr. L—” (Arthur Lee).
4. AA's question derives from Mrs. Shippen's reference to “the French Minister” as Franklin's accomplice. This left AA puzzled whether the French foreign minister, “Gravier” (i.e. Vergennes), or the French minister to the United States, La Luzerne, was meant. The matter is clarified in Lovell to AA, 13 July, below, and in note 7 there.
5. Doubtless “husband” is meant.
6. Winslow Warren; see AA to JA, 28 May, above.
{ 167 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0114

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shippen, Alice Lee
Date: 1781-06-30

Abigail Adams to Alice Lee Shippen

[salute] My dear Madam

Your favour of june 17 was put into my Hands last Evening, and tho not realy intended for me, I cannot but consider it as a fortunate mistake on two accounts not only as it explained to me the machinations of a Man, Grown old in the practise of deception and calumny, but as it give me an opportunity of an epistolary acquaintance with a Lady, whom a dear absent Friend long ago taught me to respect;—my Friend Mr. Lovell had before given me some hints respecting an affair which you speak of more explicitly, but the late captures of the post have taught him caution, and he waited for a private hand to convey to me in full the particulars to which you refer. You Madam who have Sufferd yourself from the unjust aspercions cast upon a much injured Brother can judge of my feelings upon this occasion and they I trust will plead my excuse with you for replying to a Letter which was meant for a Lady of the same name but by mistake was given to me. I shall however forward it with a proper excuse to her.1 As I am wholy Ignorant of the Nature of the charges which this finished character has exhibited to Congress against my absent Friend, I can only say that those who have no private Interest to serve, no Friends to advance, no Grandson to plenipotentiarise, no Views incompatable with the welfare of their country, will judge I hope more favourably of a Gentleman whose Heart and Mind are truly republican, and who has through a course of years to the great loss of his private Interest sacrificed that and his domestick happiness of which he was not a little fond, to the repeated calls of his country which he ever obeyed, tho I challange his greatest Enemy to Say that he ever sought or in the remotest degree solicited the employments with which he has been honourd. If upright and good intentions with a fair full and diligent discharge of the duties of his office will merrit the approbation of his employers I dare say my absent Friend will be able to justify his conduct and to exculpate himself from the Slander of his accuser whose sly secret Malice is of a more dangerous kind than the open attacks of an avowed Enemy. It is some consolation however to have an associate even in misfortune, and my Friends character is not the first which has been immolated by this unprincipeld Gentleman to the Alters of envy, Calumny and disapointed ambition. It has been the Misfortune of America in the unhappy tradigy in which She [has] been engaged, that some of her principle characters have discraged2 the Scenes. Her Frankling, Dean, and { 168 } Arnold may be ranked with her Hutchinson and Galloway. If the Aspercions you mention are such as to obtain the Notice of congress, I hope they will do my Friend the justice to acquaint him with them before they give credit to a Gentleman whom they have long had reason to execrate and who if continued in office will still embarrass their affairs and discourage the faithfullest servants of the publick from engageing in its service.
I mourn my dear Madam with the Cittizens of Virginia their depopulated Towns and dessolated habitations. May it not be the intention of providence that each one of the united states should itself suffer the cruel ravages of the Merciless foe, that they may thus be taught to sympathize with each other, and prize the dear bought blessing earned with the blood of some of their best citizens who with less danger and hazard might not realize the intrinsick value of their Independance. Is the Brother for whom you are Distressd Mr. Richard Henry Lee?3 I have often heard my Friend express a great regard for him as a Gentleman firm in the Cause of America and an able defender of her Rights.
You will be so good Madam as to present my respectfull Regards to Dr. Lee who did me the Honour of a visit and with whom I have some little acquaintance and pardon the freedom I have taken in replying to a favour designd for an other, but which will not deprive you of a return from her. Permit me Madam the Honour of subscribeing myself with Sentiments of Esteem your Humble Servant,
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); at foot of text in AA's hand: “To Mrs S Shippen”; at head of text in CFA's hand: “1782.” The (missing) RC was enclosed in the (missing) RC of AA's letter to James Lovell of the present date, of which the Dft is printed above.
1. Doubtless AA forwarded to Mrs. Samuel Adams the missent original of Mrs. Shippen's letter of 17 June, q.v. above, but neither the original of that letter nor AA's covering note has been found.
2. Thus in MS, for “disgraced.”
3. AA's conjecture was correct. Richard Henry Lee was serving in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0115

Author: Hughes, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-01

Hugh Hughes to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I am honoured with your very polite Favour of the 10th of June,1 which arrived in my Absence.—No Expense has accrued but what you are justly entitled to as the Consort of a Gentlem[an] of distinguished Rank and Merit, in publick Life.
{ 169 }
When the other Boxes arrive, they will claim my Attention, as well as any other Commands you may please to favour me with.
As I have the Honour of being known to your Mr. Adams, I beg you would, whenever Opportunity presents, offer my most respectful Regards to him, Madam.

[salute] With the greatest Respect, I am, Madam, your most Obedient and very Humble Serv.,

[signed] Hugh Hughes
1. Not found; it was in reply to Hughes' letter to AA of 21 May, q.v. above, with note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0116

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-02

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Ma'am

The Gentleman by whom I meant to send the inclosed was obliged unexpectedly to return to Baltimore. I do not find, upon breaking the Seal that it can give Mr. Rivington much Amusement.
I am sorry to find by this day's Receipt of yours of June 10th.1 that you had not more Satisfaction from the Arrival of the Alliance.
You will know, by what Genl. Ward had to convey to you,2 that an Expression in the within Letter was not calculated for you after you should have seen what I now3 observe you have, for there was harm in reality, but more grounded in Folly than Viciousness.
Our News from the southward is of the very best but not yet the most authentic.
I will be industrious to forward your Cases. I am much relieved by hearing the Things sent were not wet.

[salute] Your humbled Servt.,

[signed] J L.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not identified, but see note 3.
1. Not found.
2. Lovell to AA, 16 June above.
3. In the MS at this point appears a double-dagger sign and in the margin appears another, accompanied by the figure 5, or possibly the letter S, in parentheses. Since these marks link in some manner the enclosure in the present letter and AA's letter of 10 June, the first of which is unidentified and the second of which is missing, the editors can offer no explanation of their significance. The matter is touched on again in Lovell's letter to AA of 13 July, below, q.v. at note 3.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I am called to this Place, in the Course of my Duty: but dont conceive from it any hopes of Peace. This desireable object is yet unhappily at a Distance, a long distance I fear.1
{ 170 }
My dear Charles will go home with Maj. Jackson. Put him to school and keep him steady.—He is a delightfull Child, but has too exquisite sensibility for Europe.2
John is gone, a long Journey with Mr. Dana:—he will serve as an Interpreter, <if not a Clerk,> and the Expence will be little more than at Leyden.3 He will be satiated with travel in his Childhood, and care nothing about it, I hope in his riper Years.
I am distracted with more cares than ever, yet I grow fat. Anxiety is good for my Health I believe.
Oh that I had Wings, that I might fly and bury all my Cares at the Foot of Pens Hill.
1. As the sole American representative in Europe empowered to discuss terms of peace with Great Britain, JA had been summoned to Paris by Vergennes to consult on proposals for a joint Russian and Austrian mediation between the warring powers. He set off from Amsterdam on 2 July and arrived in Paris on the 6th, where he put up at his former residence, the Hôtel de Valois in the Rue de Richelieu; see his account of travel expenses in Diary and Autobiography, 2:456–457. Not without justification, JA deeply distrusted the motives not only of the imperial mediators but of Vergennes toward the United States, and for this and other reasons the proposed mediation came to nothing; see same, 2:458, with references there; also the very full treatment of the mediation, its background, and its collapse, in Morris, Peacemakers, chs. 8–10.
2. CA's recent illness is alluded to in John Thaxter to JA, 5 April, above, and in following letters. In his “second autobiography” JA said in explanation of his sending CA home at this time: “My second son, after the departure of his brother, found himself so much alone, that he grew uneasy, and importuned me so tenderly to let him return to America to his mother, that I consented to that, and thus deprived myself of the greatest pleasure I had in life, the society of my children.” JA continued: “On or about the 10th [actually, after various and devious maneuvers by the captain, on the 12th] of August, 1781, the South Carolina, commodore Gillon, put to sea from the Texel, with Mr. Searle, Colonel Trumbull, Major Jackson, Mr. Bromfield, Dr. Waterhouse and Charles Adams on board as passengers.” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 572.)
The choice of a ship and commander for CA's conveyance home proved unlucky. After leaving the South Carolina in La Coruña in Spain in September, CA sailed home from Bilbao in a different vessel, the Cicero, Captain Hugh Hill, which at length reached its home port of Beverly, Mass., on 21 Jan. 1782. CA arrived in Braintree on the 29th. Not until June 1782 did AA receive any of the mail put aboard the South Carolina for her ten months earlier. See note on Alexander Gillon under Waterhouse to JA, 26 Dec. 1780, above, with references there; and below, letters to JA and to AA from Gillon, Waterhouse, William Jackson, Richard Cranch, Isaac Smith Sr., and Hugh Hill. AA's final word on the whole subject is in her letter to JA, 17 June 1782, also below.
Major William Jackson (1759–1828), under whose particular care JA had placed CA during the voyage, was a Charlestonian who had served under Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln in the latter's southern campaign and had come to Europe with John Laurens' mission to obtain further aid for the American military effort. JA had recently told Pres. Huntington that “Major Jackson has conducted through the whole of his Residence here [in Amsterdam], as far as I have been able to observe, with great Activity and Accuracy in Business, and an exemplary Zeal for the public Service” (27 June 1781, PCC, No. 84, { 171 } III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:522). Some of the military goods, obtained in the Netherlands, were on board the South Carolina when it sailed surreptitiously from the Texel in August. The erratic conduct of Gillon led to an early and bitter quarrel between him and Jackson; they parted in Spain and afterward fought a duel in America, in which Jackson was wounded; see Jackson's correspondence with JA, Aug.-Dec. 1781, and AA to John Thaxter, 18 July 1782, below. Jackson, who became secretary to Washington when President and afterward surveyor of customs in Philadelphia, is best remembered as secretary of the Federal Convention of 1787 (DAB; JQA, Memoirs, 4:174–175).
3. This first allusion by JA to JQA's departure for St. Petersburg was written on JQA's fourteenth birthday. JQA had left Amsterdam on 7 July to join Francis Dana in Utrecht, after JA had already left for Paris; see JQA, Diary, 7 July et seq., for the overland route that he and Dana followed through Germany and Poland to Riga, Narva, and St. Petersburg, where they arrived on 27 August.
On Dana's mission as the first American minister appointed to Russia but never accredited by that court, see above, Lovell to AA, 8 Jan., note 5, and references there. JA's recollections in old age, not always reliable in details but in this case correct in general substance, throw light on the motives of those involved in this unusual and unexpected incident:
“Congress had ordered [Francis Dana] to go to St. Petersburg, and had sent him a commission as their minister, with instructions to conclude a treaty of friendship and commerce with the empress of Russia; but they had given him no secretary of legation, nor made any provision for a private secretary, or even a copying clerk. They had, moreover . . . reduced Mr. Dana's compensation below that of the other ministers. Mr. Dana had taken pains to persuade some gentlemen to accompany him, but could find none that would consent to go. He had before him the dreary prospect of an immense journey by land, through Holland, Germany, Denmark, and he knew not how many other nations, of whose languages he knew not one word; and in the French, which was the travelling language of Europe, he was yet but a student. In this situation, he requested me to let him have my oldest son, John Quincy Adams, for a companion and a private secretary or clerk. The youth was, in conversation, a ready interpreter of French for an American, and of English for a Frenchman; he could easily translate in writing, as Mr. Dana had seen, any state paper. He wrote a fair hand, and could copy letters, or any other papers, as well as any other man; and he had the necessary patience of application to any of these services. I was at first very averse to the proposition, but from regard to Mr. Dana, at last consented. I would not however, burthen Mr. Dana with his expenses, but advanced him money for that purpose, and desired Mr. Dana to draw upon me for more when that should be expended, which he did. He returned from Russia before Mr. Dana was recalled, and in this interval, Mr. Dana must have been put to other expenses for clerkship. Mr. Dana agreed with me in opinion that congress would finally make him a grant for a private secretary at least, and in that case he was to pay me the money I had advanced, or should advance for expenses, and nothing more. All this I presume was known to congress, when they made the grant to Mr. Dana, not for the form but for the substance, for it was Mr. Dana's right. When Mr. Dana received the grant from Congress, he returned me the sums I had advanced for expenses and no more. Neither the father nor the son ever received any thing for services.”
In Dana's Account with the United States, rendered 30 Aug. 1785, the sum requested for “Mr. John Quincy Adams's Expences in his Journey with Mr. Dana to Petersburgh during his Residence there as Mr. Dana's Private Secretary and his return to the Hague” is given as £357 16s 9d (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 364). The sum finally allowed when Dana's accounts were settled in 1787 was $2,410 3/19 (PCC, No. 122, Book of Resolves of the Office of Foreign Affairs, 1785–1789, p. 101).
{ 172 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0118

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-13

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Ma'am

I have already acknowledged the Receipt of your Favour of June 10th.1 Severely as it concluded in Regard to my Reputation I did not arraign its Justice, but wrote an ingenuous Confession, similar to one I had before made by the Opportunity of Genl. Ward.2 I thought your Conclusion was founded upon a natural Construction of what you had been reading.3 I venerated the Purity of your Sentiments. I was persuaded that no unkind Suspicions guided your Pen. But your Letter of the 23d. of that month wears a different Complexion from the former. My Fall, Ma'am was not from a Horse, but still it was an “honest” one. I had been engaged in the most benevolent Way, at my Pen for hours that Evening, witness, among others my Letter to Mr. Thos. Russel and Mr. Nathl. Barber April 24th. I was forced out, in the Rain, to procure Money for a Person who wanted it much against the Dawn of next Morning. I found when abroad that I had misguided a Stranger as to the Lodging of the Gentleman from whom I was to receive the Money. I meant to rectify that Error by taking the Stranger with me. I suddenly crossed the Street where I was, at right Angle; and looking up under my flopped Hatt saw a Vacancy immediately before me, which I took to be an Alley I had often gone through; but I found that a Shop had been drawn away and a Cellar 10 feet deep had been dug to receive me. The Consequences were nearly mortal. I had delivered my Letters at the Office. The giving of early Intelligence to Mr. R of the miserable State of his captive Unkle was honest Employment. The Endeavour to prevent an abrupt Notice to Mr. B of the death of an amiable Son was equally honest. The Seeking of money for one of my Creditors who was then in want of Cash, and the putting of a Stranger into the right Way were both of them honest Works. But, as the Honesty of my Pursuits was no Security against a Fall, neither has it been a Preventive against false Constructions of that Destiny. Michael Morgan Obrian, most naturally indeed, concluded that I had staggered sideways drunken into the Dock. Some, as naturally, and One against Nature have supposed I fell dishonestly down a Pair of dark Stairs. I have Hopes of being intirely free from Lameness in the Course of the Summer; and I am sure that Portia will rejoice at such an Event as my walking rightly for the Rest of my Life.
Give my Compliments to your amorous Friend Cornelia. I hope her Husband never leaves her for a Night. I presume she holds the { 173 } general opinion that Friendship may be even encreased by Seperation of the Parties; tho, differently from some of Us, she thinks bodily Presence essential to Love. She may be assured that there is that mixture of Friendship and Love in the Affection which unites Mrs. L and Me that Presence does not burn up the former, nor Absence congeal the Latter.
I send you an Extract that will prove the confidential Sincerity of my former Letters to you. I would not wish that any other should see it. The Friends she alludes to are perhaps now my Enemies. I sacrifice to my Value for your Good Opinion.4
Yes, I am “Portia's affectionate Friend,” and I did not “mean to retaliate for the Pain she had given me.” I “could” not, I “would” not. Led astray by Cornelia's Fancy, your Mind had taken a “dark” Turn, and you found dreadful Things in an innocent Phraise “on this subject.” Why, Ma'am, in my Thoughts the Subject simply was Absence; and compoundly long Absence, but in yours it was a Breach of the Commandments and What not.5
I have no Copy of any Letter to you but I imagine I was not very unconnected or enigmatical. If you had ventured to converse with Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] you would have found that your All is not servile enough to gain the unbounded Affection of the foreign Court at which he resided when he had the Correspondence which produced the two Resolves of Congress already communicated to you.6 You would have found that ||Gravier|| wrote two Letters in a Pet against Mr. A to ||old Fkln|| and that the latter had also written a most unkind and stabbing one hither; which he was under no necessity of doing, as he needed only to have transmitted the Papers given to him, for the Purpose, by the former. This Knowledge would have prepared you for my last Letter in Cyphers; and for the Information that Mr. A has now ||no distinct powers.||7 I shall write minutely in Cyphers “on this Subject” to S.A. and you must have it at 2d. hand.8 I will only say for your Satisfaction that I cannot accuse any one or more of any want of Esteem for Mr. A, but I see him indelicately handled by Means of wrong measures on a general Scale.
That I may be more at Leisure to be attentive only to senatorial Subjects, I will now close the former by telling you that Mrs. L added in her Letter “I think, however, you will be obliged to come and show yourself this Fall.”—This you will find is enough, tho it is not founded in her Wishes but in her Fears. The enevitable ill Consequences which I have proved to you, and the almost enevitable ones which I was afraid to name to you or to your Husband, who glories { 174 } in what I should be sorry for, will not deter me from obeying this Half-Call, which is what I have never had before since I quitted Home.—I add also—That the Expression, which I wish had never seen Light, was in Fact the Fruit of a Desire to pass a Compliment upon the Figure and Portrait which Mr. G[erry] had drawn in his Letter, it was indiscretely worded and was very liable to the worst Interpretation by any one whose Mind was in the least Measure predisposed to make it.—What is the most decent Day Labour you can think of for me while I am there?9
I do not find Opportunity to send your Boxes. I wish you would keep a good Account of what I sent: for really I cannot tell. I think I wrote you exactly at the Time of sending. Mr. Moylan perhaps will give an Invoice some Time or other. J. P. Jones is on the Road and will see you.
RC (Adams Papers); contains ciphered passages which are here deciphered between double verticals. (On Lovell's cipher, see Appendix to this volume.) Enclosure: extract from a letter of Mrs. Lovell to James Lovell, not found. MS of the present letter consists of two small sheets each folded into four pages. At some point in the past, before CFA had the letters received by AA in the 1780's bound up, the second sheet was by mistake attached to Lovell's letter to her of 15 Sept. (below), the MS of which has a similar physical appearance; and in the Adams Papers, Microfilms it will be found there instead of in its proper place as the second sheet of the present letter. Because of this mistake a key paragraph, beginning “I have no Copy of any Letter to you,” was printed by Burnett in Letters of Members, 6:219, under the later and wrong date.
1. Not found. Lovell had acknowledged its receipt in his reply of 2 July, above.
2. Lovell to AA, 16 June, above.
3. In the MS at this point appears the figure 5, or possibly a capital S, in parentheses. This parallels the use of the same symbol in a cryptic passage in Lovell's letter to AA of 2 July, above, q.v. at note 3.
4. Thus apparently in MS, although because of ink marks that may be blots it is not clear whether a full stop, a colon, or no punctuation at all was intended by Lovell after the word “Enemies.”
Here the first sheet of Lovell's MS ends; see descriptive note.
5. In the foregoing paragraph Lovell is echoing and answering AA's letter to him of 23 June, above, particularly its animadversions on his letter to her of 29 May, also above.
6. Sent in Lovell to AA, 26 June q.v. above.
7. Lovell here returns to, and under the protection of ciphered phrases is a little more explicit about, what was currently happening to French-American relations in Paris and Philadelphia. The immediate background is given in his letter to AA, 26 June, above; see especially note 4 there on Congress' alteration of JA's peace instructions and its joining him with other commissioners in the peace negotiation. The incidents which led up to these actions, and which Lovell refers to here, nearly a whole year later, are set forth above in note 5 on Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1780 (vol. 3:390–395).
“Gravier” is the family name of the French foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes. His “two Letters [written] in a Pet against [JA] to old F[ran]kl[i]n” are (1) that dated 30 June 1780, disagreeing with JA's support of Congress' new monetary policy and requesting Congress' reconsideration of that policy (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., { 175 } 3:827); and (2) that dated 31 July 1780, enclosing the mass of his recent correspondence with JA on other topics in dispute between them, and demanding that the whole of it be submitted to Congress for appropriate action, by which Vergennes certainly meant a reprimand (same, 4: 18–19; text of French original quoted at vol. 3:392, above). Franklin's “unkind and stabbing” letter transmitting the documents to Congress is dated 9 Aug. 1780 and is the fullest comment Franklin ever permitted himself to make on JA's conduct as a diplomat, contrasting it with his own more accommodating approach to the French court and condemning the whole concept of what has come to be known as “militia diplomacy.” The original is in PCC, No. 82, I; it is printed in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:124–130 (see esp. p. 126–128); a normalized text is in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:21–25 (see esp. p. 22–23). Relevant portions are quoted in vol. 3:394, above, but to understand the deepening embitterment between the partisans of JA and of Franklin on both sides of the Atlantic, the whole passage dealing with JA should be read and pondered.
Just how Franklin's remarks got into circulation at this time in Boston and vicinity is not known, but letters that follow in the present volume make clear that they indeed did and that they stirred up strong feelings there. See AA to Lovell, 14 July; Richard Cranch to JA, 16 July; AA to Elbridge Gerry, 20 July; Gerry to AA, 30 July; all below.
Congress had considered the JA-Vergennes exchanges on 26 Dec. 1780, together with numerous dispatches from JA dating between the previous July and October (JCC, 18:1194). Not a word was recorded at this time concerning Franklin's dispatch of 9 Aug., which according to the Journals was not read in Congress until 19 Feb. 1781, together with other Franklin letters and enclosures (same, 19:174). While a good deal of discussion “out-of-doors” must have followed from the revelation of the disputes between JA and Vergennes, Congress officially noticed only three of the letters read in December, namely JA to Vergennes, 17 and 26 July, and Vergennes to JA, 25 July, in which JA had asked leave to communicate to the British ministry his powers to negotiate a commercial treaty, and Vergennes had refused to give such leave (texts in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:861–863; 4:3–6, 7–11). A committee consisting of Thomas Burke, John Witherspoon, and James Duane was appointed to report on these letters (JCC, 18:1194), and on 10 Jan. it brought in a draft of a letter which was agreed to and sent over Pres. Huntington's signature to JA on that day (same, 19:41–42). Although the letter recognized the “zeal and assiduity” displayed by JA in his request of Vergennes, it amounted to a rebuke because it approved Vergennes' reasons for refusing the request (Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:353; JCC, 19:42).
During the following months La Luzerne, under guidance from Vergennes that was hardly needed, conducted his campaign among friendly delegates in Congress that culminated in the measures taken by that body in June to curb JA's freedom of action. A further measure to the same effect was taken the day before Lovell dated the present letter. This was the outright revocation of JA's commission and instructions to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, issued to him in Sept.–Oct. 1779 simultaneously with his peace commission (see Diary and Autobiography, 4:179–180, 183–184; see also vol. 3:230–233, above). The immediate initiative for this had come from the committee of conference with La Luzerne in May, and an attempt was made on 19 June to transfer these powers from JA to the five newly named peace commissioners (of whom JA was one), but this failed at the moment (JCC, 20:619, 676). After further maneuvers which cannot be traced here, James Madison moved on 12 July that JA's commercial powers be revoked and that, among other things, the peace commissioners be instructed to place the territorial claims of the United States all the way to the Mississippi on an equal footing with its claims to the Atlantic fisheries—neither of these claims being any longer ultimatums because of the alterations in the instructions for peace and the contemplated revocation { 176 } of JA's commission to negotiate a treaty of commerce. This motion passed by a large majority, only the New England delegates dissenting (same, 713–714, 746–747; Madison, Papers, ed. Hutchinson, 3:188–189). Madison's multiple and complex motives have been discussed by Brant in his Madison, 2:143–145, from Madison's point of view. Justly or not, Madison had by this time come to distrust JA's egotism and impulsiveness, his New Englandism, and his suspected partiality for British as opposed to French interests. Subsequent events deepened Madison's prejudices toward JA, as will later appear.
JA's view of these transactions was that they constituted the most humiliating stroke ever dealt him in the house of his supposed friends. See his confidential conversation in Jan. 1783 with Benjamin Vaughan as recorded in Diary and Autobiography, 3:103–105; also his letter to Secretary R. R. Livingston, 5 Feb. 1783, in which he endeavored to reconstruct Congress' motives, as shaped by French intrigue, and to show how mistaken they were (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:33–40).
8. No letter from Lovell to Samuel Adams on this subject at this time has been found. In forwarding to JA the resolution of 12 July, Lovell was laconic in his official note for the Committee of Foreign Affairs, but he added a “private” postscript, partly in cipher, that was more revealing:
“The whole of the Proceedings here in regard to your two Commissions are, I think, ||ill-judged but|| I persuade myself no ||dishonou[r] int||ended[. T]he business greatly in every View ||chagrins me.||[T]his you will have learnt from my former Letters written in an half-light”
9. The allusions in this paragraph can be only partially clarified. The “ill Consequences” of Lovell's now seriously contemplated return home would be poverty, which JA might glory in but Lovell would not. It would appear from this and similar remarks elsewhere in Lovell's correspondence that he feared outright impoverishment if he gave up his seat in Congress. (See especially Lovell to Gerry, 13 July and 14 Sept., MHi: Gerry-Knight Coll.; and Lovell to AA, 10 Aug., below.) The letter from Gerry to Lovell here mentioned must have been one of the several acknowledged in Lovell's by now notorious intercepted reply of 20 Nov. 1780 (see AA to Lovell, 17 March, above, and notes and references there).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0119

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-07-14

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

Your favour by General Ward2 was not deliverd me till this day or I should have replied to it by the last post; the Generous acknowledgement of having tran[s]gressed forbids any further recrimination even tho I had more than the Right of a Friend. The serious part of your Letter drew a tear from the Eye of Portia. She wished for ability she wished for power to make happy the Man who so richly deserved far better treatment than he had ever yet met with. The pittance you mention, is meaner than my Immagination could possibly form tho I have had sufficient Specimins of it here to fore but it must and shall be enlarged if the Friends to whom Portia is determined to apply have any influence in a Body who too often strain at a knat while they gulph down a camel with great facility.
I am gratified however to have from your own Hand arguments { 177 } to rectify the Ideas of some who I really believe your Friends, but who not knowing or fully attending to the circumstances you mention, have been left to wonder at a conduct they could not account for. The affectionate regard you profess for a Lady who I believe every way deserving of it, intirely banishes from my mind the insinuations of Cornelia, and I could wish that Letter might not be submitted as you tell me others have been,3 least it should unnecessaryly give pain to a Lady I must more and more Esteem—and with whom I am determined to cultivate a more particular acquaintance. Possibly I may be able to render her some small services. I cannot be so particular as I wish because this must take its chance by the post. I will not thank you for your comments upon my Letter of March 17th. They are not generous. However as I have never spaired my correspondent when I thought him wrong, I will suppose that he really believed Portia deserving the censure he has bestowed.—“Dutch Idea” abominable. You know I meant by the Word property, only an exclusive right, a possession held in ones own right.4 Will you please to consult Johnson upon the term?—Still more Sophistical is your comment upon the fine tuned Instrument. If I did not know you I should suppose you a practiseing Attorney. There is one thing however that sticks a little hardly by me—“I am very unwilling that it should be submitted to the Eye of one so very much my Friend as you profess yourself to be.” This looks like such a distrust of my sincerity as wounds me. There are some other strokes to which I am not callous, but can forgive them considering the freedom I have exercised in my own remarks.
Will you balance accounts? and we will begin a New Score upon the old Stock of Friendship. I do not pretend to exculpate from censure what I really thought deserving of it, but only the doubtfull right I had to use it as it did not at that time particularly affect me.
You have not fulfilled one part of your promise which was to transmit to me some Annecdotes respecting my Friend abroad and as a preparitive I was to see Mr.——.5 I have [now?]6received my preparitive. In the Name of Indignation can there be any thing more diabolical than what is put into my Hands? False insinuating disembling wretch—is it for this your Grey Head is spaired—is this the language of courts?—is this the reward of an Independant Spirit, and patriotick virtue? Shall the Zealous and Strenuous asserter of his countrys rights be sacrificed to a court Sycophant? This finished Courtier has first practised his Arts upon the M[iniste]r till he has instilled into his mind the most ungenerous prejudices, played over the same Game he practised against Dr. L[ee] by reporting Speaches I dare say that were { 178 } never made, or taking them seperately from what might be connected with them and therby rendering offensive what in an other view might be quite harmless—and having gained his point there, is now in the most specious manner crocodile like whining over the prey he means to devour, to your Body who if they mean peace and good will to their country will immediately accept a resignation which it is said he has tendered but for Heavens sake do not join him in commission with my Friend, they cannot act in concert, after such a proof of jealousy, envy and malice can you suppose it?7
Join to him an upright honest Man of real abilities and he will thank you for an assistant should a negotiation commence, but do not Saddle him with a Man who looks no further than the present state of existance for a retribution of his virtues or his vices, but who considering this world as the summum bonum of Man might I think have a little more regard to the happiness of his fellow Mortals in the present state, and not quite so willing to relinquish their Natural Rights. One will speak a bold and firm language becomeing a free sovereign and Independant Nation, the other will be indesisive yealding fauning flattering. Are these consistant qualities? Very justly does he observe that they do not always hold the same language and the one may erase the impressions of the other.—If after all the Efforts of the Friends of Liberty C[ongre]ss should join them you may be assured my Friend will resign his commission. I shall intreat him to, but he will not want persuasion. He shall not share if I can prevent it in the disgrace which will most assuredly fall upon these States. Humiliating thought, that so much Blood and treasure should be sacrificed to state intrigues and our negotiation disgraced by a Man—but I will believe a more virtuous Majority exists among you. I ask not the support of my Friend because he is my Friend—I ask it no further than as you find he persues the best Good of his country, than as you find he acts a disinterested part <considering himself only as one individual of the many he represents>.
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee; text probably incomplete, breaking off above the middle of last page of MS and without leavetaking.
1. Day of the month, left blank by AA, supplied from Lovell's acknowledgment of receipt of this letter in his reply of 10 Aug., below.
2. Dated 16 June, above.
3. The “Lady” is Mrs. Lovell, and “that Letter” (which AA did not wish to have “submitted” to Mrs. Lovell) is AA's to Lovell, 23 June, above.
4. On the “Dutch Idea” see Lovell to AA, 16 June, above, at note 10.
5. Samuel Adams; see Lovell to AA, 29 May, above.
6. AA wrote “&.”
7. Sentence thus punctuated in MS. The allusions in this paragraph will not { 179 } be clear unless read in the light of a number of letters that precede. The “False ... wretch” is Franklin, and what had been put into AA's hands—her “preparitive”—was a text of Franklin's letter to Congress of 9 Aug. 1780, which took the French side in the dispute between JA and Vergennes and which Lovell characterized as “most unkind and stabbing” toward JA (Lovell to AA, preceding; see note 7 there; and see also vol. 3:394–395, above).
AA's term “the M[iniste]r” (on whom Franklin had “practised his Arts”) echoes phrasing used in Mrs. Shippen's letter to Mrs. Samuel Adams, 17 June, above, and means Vergennes. See notes on AA to Lovell, 30 June, and Lovell to AA, 13 July, both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0120

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-07-16

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I have enclosed to you a Copy of certain Letters lately transmitted to Congress by B:F: Esqr.—Copies of them having been sent from <Congress> Philadelphia to your Friends here, I tho't it my Duty to let you know as soon as possible what treatment you receive from that Gentleman. I have heard (sub rosae) that influence has been used in a certain <Place> august Assembly to have the <Regulator of Heaven's Artillery> Conductor of Lightning joined with you in <a certain Negotiation> bearing the Olive Branch. This Time may discover. I know not whether you have ever seen an Order of Congress of Decr. 12th. 1780. I have enclos'd a Copy of it as sent to your Dear Lady. I suppose it referrs to the same Subject when transmitted by you to Congress, which is now said to have given such offence elsewhere.1
I have wrote you often, particularly by Doctor Dexter on the 28th of May, and again largly by a Vessell bound to Denmark on the 22d of June: And tho' I have never yet had the happyness of receiving a Line from you since you left us, yet I shall embrace every Oportunity, of writing to you, believing that you have written to me tho' I have been so unhappy as not to have received your Letters.
The General Court is now prorogued untill the 3d Wednesday in September sufficient Provision having been first made for filling up what is yet wanting in our Quota of the Continental Army; and also for sending into the Field immediately 3,200 Melitia from this Commonwealth to assist in the present Campaign on the North River &c. As I wrote you before, so I must still lament the want of a sufficient number of Ships of War on this Coast. For want of a very few More Ships those that are here already can do little or no service, being too weak to venture far out of Port. By this means the Enemys Ships of every sort on the Coast of Virginia and the Carolinas can with safety by water carriage facilitate every movement of their Army without { 180 } interruption, while our Troops and those of our Generous Allies under that best of Men and of Generals, the Marquis de la Fayett and other excellent Commanders, are subjected to the slow tiresom and expensive Modes of Land Carriage by which all their Plans for our defence are [retarded?] and often rendered abortive. You that are placed nearer the Centre of the grand System can perhaps discover the Wisdom of this Conduct as it regards the whole, while to us who view but detached Parts it appears like a most fatal Failure in the management of the American War.
I saw your dear Lady and Children Yesterday, who with your Mother and Brother &c. are all well. My Dear Partner and Children are in usual Health, and join with me in the tenderest sentiments of Love and Friendship to you, your dear little Boys, and Mr. Thaxter. We have not heard from you for above eight Months (if I recollect right) a tedious Period! especially to those whose “Love is without Dissimulation,” among whome I hope you will always find him who in Days of Yore signed himself
[signed] Damon
Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Rough draft of a Letter to Bror. Adams July 16th. 1781 by Capt. Davis bound to Amsterdam (Suppos'd to be taken.).” Written on a folio sheet, on verso of which is a canceled draft in Cranch's hand of a Massachusetts House of Representatives committee report on printing the resolves of the General Court. For the enclosures in the (missing) RC, see note 1.
1. At least two of Cranch's enclosures, though not found, are clearly identifiable: (1) a copy of Franklin's letter to Pres. Huntington, 9 Aug. 1780, enclosing copies of JA's recent correspondence with Vergennes and commenting unfavorably on JA's high tone toward the French court; see above, Lovell to AA, 13 July, note 7, and vol. 3:394–395; (2) copy of Congress' resolution of 12 Dec. 1780 approving JA's letter to Vergennes of 26 June 1780, which had defended the new monetary policy of Congress against Vergennes' criticisms; see vol. 3:391–392. JA's letter had been read in Congress on 30 Nov. and referred to a committee of three, Lovell chairman; the committee reported on 6 Dec. but action was postponed; and on the 12th Congress ordered “That the said letter be referred to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, and that they be instructed to inform Mr. Adams of the satisfaction which Congress receives from his industrious attention to the interests and honor of these United States abroad, especially in the transactions communicated to them by that letter” (JCC, 18:1107, 1123, 1147).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0121

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-07-16

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose You the 23d. No. of the Politique Hollandais.1
I have this moment heard of your safe arrival, and of your good { 181 } health and Spirits, which is a vast addition to my happiness. I had a hint of your visit at P[aris], and altho' some Folks are surprized at the peculiar Nature of it, yet I am persuaded that Chaleur and froideur can exist politically, if not naturally, together.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with the most respectful Attachment, Sir, your most humble Servant,

[signed] John Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers). For the (missing) enclosure see note 1.
1. The weekly journal published by JA's friend A. M. Cerisier at Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0122

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-17

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

The Dates of my Letters connected with the Time of the Receipt of yours are become somewhat essential towards a right Judgement of my Character, so much called in Question lately by the Censorious. Though John Paul Jones may not even yet have left the City you will sometime or other find what I wrote to go by a Mr. Anderson and afterward delivered to the said Chevalier Jones. You will also find by Mr. Jeremiah Allen or by a Post my Comments in Season upon your Frightability at the Expression “on this Subject.1 Since that Season I have received your Letter of June 30th brought yesterday by the Post. I translated two letters for Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] and he took a Copy of a 3d which was in english relative to the Subject of your Anxiety.2 It would be a very laborious Task indeed to copy more than those; which being considered with what I have already sent you will give a full Comprehension of the Scene. You must talk with S A who will communicate what he knows.
I delivered yours to Mrs. Sh[ippe]n3 who is greatly pleased at her own Profit from your mistake.
Every Civility to Mrs. L[ovell] excites my Gratitude doubly to what the same Conduct immediately towards myself effects. There is a peculiarly obliging Tenderness in your Argument for her complying with your Invitation. But I cannot press her to comply; and I cannot be deceitful enough to conceal my selfish Reasons. The dear Woman now has the most just Persuasion of the Countinuance of an Affection towards her which constitutes great Part of her Happiness. I should be sorry to have that Persuasion poisoned accidentally by any Cornelia. The Suggestions of “trifling” People have not injured me. The same from “one of the best Characters” might embitter some of my future Days. The Ingenuous will always “take Correction patiently” { 182 } when Justice lays it on. Censoriousness cannot prove itself to be even a distant Branch of the Family of Justice.

[salute] With much Esteem Yr. Frd.,

[signed] J L
1. See Lovell to AA, 29 May, and AA to Lovell, 23 June, both above.
2. None of the three letters alluded to is now identifiable.
3. AA to Alice Lee Shippen, 30 June, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0123

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1781-07-20

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Sir

When I looked for your Name among those who form the Representative Body of the people this year I could not find it. I sought for it with the Senate, but was still more dissapointed. I however had the pleasure of finding it amongst the delegates of this Commonwealth to Congress, where I flatter myself you will still do us Honour which posterity will gratefully acknowledge; and the virtuous few now confess. But as you are no worshiper of the rising Sun, or Adulator at the shrine of power, you must expect with others, who possess an Independant Spirit, to be viewed in the shade, to be eyed askance, to be malign'ed and to have your Good evil spoken of. But let not this Sir discourage you in the arduous Buisness. I hope America has not yet arrived at so great a pitch of degeneracy as to be given up by those alone who can save her; I mean the disinterested patriot—who possessing an unconfined Benevolence will persevere in the path of his duty. Tho the Ingratitude of his constituents and the Malevolence of his Enemies should conspire against him, he will feel within himself the best Intimations of his duty, and he will look for no external Motive.
History informs us that the single virtue of Cato, upheld the Roman Empire for a time, and a Righteous few might have saved from the impending Wrath of an offended deity the Ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorah. Why then my dear Sir, may I ask you, do you wish to withdraw yourself from publick Life?
You have supported the cause of America with zeal with ardour and fidelity, but you have not met even with the gratitude of your fellow citizens—in that you do not stand alone.
You have a mind too Liberal to consider yourself only as an Individual, and not to regard both your Country and posterity—and in that view I know you must be anxiously concerned when you consider the undue Influence excercised in her Supreme Counsels. You can be no stranger I dare say Sir, to matters of the Highest importance to the { 183 } future welfare of America as a Nation; being now before her Representitives—and that she stands in need of the collected wisdom of the United States, and the Integrity of her most virtuous members.
I will not deny Sir, that personally I feel myself much Interested in your attendance there. I fear there is a spirit prevailing, too powerfull for those who wish our prosperity; and would seek our best Interests. Mr. L<ove>ll and Mr. A<dam>s have informed you I suppose of the Intrigues and malicious aspersions of my absent Friends character, if they have not, I will forward to you a coppy of a Letter which will not want any comment of mine.2
The plan which appears to be adopted both at Home and abroad, is a servile adulation and complasance to the Court of our Allies, even to the giving up some of our most valuable privileges. The Independant Spirit of your Friend, abroad, does not coinside with the selfish views and inordinate ambition of your Minister, who in consequence of it, is determined upon his distruction. Stung with envy at a merit he cannot emulate, he is allarmed with the apprehension of losing the Honour of some Brilliant action; and is useing his endeavours that every enterprize shall miscarry, in which he has not the command. To Effect this purpose he has insinuated into the minds of those in power the falsest prejudices against your Friend, and they have so far influenced the united Counsels of these States, as to induce them to join this unprincipled Man, in Commission with him for future Negotiations. If Congress had thought proper to have joined any Gentleman of real abilities and integrity with our Friend, who could have acted in concert with him; he would have gratefully received his assistance—but to clog him with a Man, who has shewn himself so Enimical to him, who has discovered the marks of a little and narrow Spirit by his malicious aspersions, and ungenerous insinuations, and whose measures for a long time they have had no reason to be gratified with, is such a proof to me of what my absent Friend has reason to expect, and what you know Sir, I very early feared; that I can see nothing but dishonour, and disgrace attending his most faithfull, and zealous exertions for the welfare of his Country.
These Ideas fill me with the deepest concern. Will you suffer Female influence so far to operate upon you; as to step forth and lend your aid to rescue your Country and your Friend, without inquiring

“What can Cato do

Against a World, a base degenerate World

which courts a yoke and bows its Neck to Bondage.”

{ 184 }
There is a very serious Light in which this matter is to be viewed; the serious light in which a late distinguished Modern writer expresses it—“that we are all embarked on the same Bottom, and if our Country sinks, we must Sink with it.”
Your acknowledged Friendship and former politeness has led me to the freedom of this address, and prevents my asking an excuse which I should otherways think necessary for her who has the Honour to subscribe herself your Friend and Humble Servant,
[signed] Portia
PS The communication of the minister at Versails being joined with my Friend was made in confidence—I wish it may not be mentiond at present.
RC (PPAmP); endorsed: “Braintree Lettr Mrs. Adams July 20 1781 & Ansr. July 30.”
1. It seems likely that AA did not finish, or at any rate did not send, this letter on the day that it is dated but, rather, some days later. See her remark in the following letter to Lovell about deliberating “some time” before writing Gerry, and her acknowledgment of Gerry's “very quick reply” of 30 July (to Gerry, 4 Aug., below). Ten days between Marblehead and Braintree could not by any standard be called “quick.”
2. Which particular letter is meant, among the numerous ones revelatory of recent proposals and actions at Paris and Philadelphia to put restraints on JA, is not perfectly certain. In his reply of 30 July, below, Gerry assumed that AA meant Franklin's letter of 9 Aug. 1780, on which see above, Cranch to AA, 16 July, and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0124

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
DateRange: 1781-07-20 - 1781-08-06

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

Your two Letters of june 26 and july 2d came safe to hand together with the resolves which would gratify me if there was a sufficient stability in the Body which confer'd it to render it truly honorary, but the Letter of Janry. 10th strikes me very dissagreably and is highly tinctured with parissian influence.2 It bears a striking likeness of a servility to a court that ought not to have so undue an influence upon an Independant Nation. <Are we not throwing ourselves into hands and rendering ourselves subject> If ever America stood in need of wise Heads and virtuous Hearts it is at this juncture. The ship wants skilfull hands, your old sea men are chiefly retired, your Hands are new and inexperienced. Sylla is on one Side and Caribdis on the other—how will you Stear between them? In avoiding the rocks you are in danger of being swallowed up in the sands. I am greatly agitated at your movements. I see nothing but dishonour and disgrace in the union of——with——.3 I wish I had sooner been apprized of the design. You most assuredly have a party who do not mean the best { 185 } welfare of their country by this movement. You or Rivington will have my mind upon the Subject before this reaches you. If the union is still undecided let me beg you to oppose it with all your influence. I wish your Friend G[err]y was with you. He is I hear unwilling to continue to be one of you. I will try persuasion upon him, and see if Female influence has any force with him.4
Three post days have passed since I received a line from you. You will see by the date of this Letter that I designed you a speedy reply to your favours but I really felt so unhappy and my mind was so intent upon consequences that I threw down my pen. I deliberated some time then took it up and wrote to our Friend G[err]y. He very obligeingly replied to me, and assured me that he would not decline a publick station whilst there was any prospect of rendering Service to his country. He informed me that by a Late Letter from Mr. L[ovell] he expected him soon in B[osto]n and that we should then be better able to judge from his information of the late measures of C[ongress].5 This has been the true reason why I did not write by the two last posts as I had no inclination my Letters should fall into other Hands than those for which they were designed, but hearing nothing further I shall venture to forward this, requesting you to communicate to me the whole Fraternity to whom our Friend is joined, for what reason the comercial part of his commission is taken from him. Is it because he has enterd into no private contracts nor laid any plan for a fortune for himself and others who wish to be connected with those who will? I will tell you Sir the consequence of the late movements. If British Ships and old Neptune are not more intent upon dissapointing me than C[ongres]s I shall in the course of six months embrace my Dear Friend in his own native land. He will have no part in executing orders dishonorary to his country. One path is plain before him. He can and he will resign his commission. This his Enemies know and they will effect their purpose. I could (said he to a Friend upon an occasion not unlike the present) return to my practise at the Bar and make fortunes for my children and be happier and be really more respected than I can in the hazardous tormenting employments into which C[ongress] have always put me. I can be easy even under the marks of disgrace they put upon me, but they may depend upon it, they either mistake their own Interest in putting me into these employments, or in putting these Brands upon me—one or the other.6 Time Sir will determine which of these predictions are true.

“All humane virtue to its latest Breath

Finds envy never conquer'd but by death.”

{ 186 }
I hope you received all my late Letters. Yet I know not how to account for not hearing from you unless you are realy returning to your Family and Friends, and in that Number I flatter myself you will ever consider
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee; at head of text in CFA's hand: “1782”; see note 1.
1. The dates on which the first part and the longer continuation of this letter were written are established from the postscript of Lovell's letter to AA of 4 Aug. [i.e. Sept.], below: “Your Letter of July 20/Aug. 6 reached me yesterday.” In the interval between beginning her present letter and completing it (see note 4), she had written a letter to Gerry bearing date of 20 July (preceding, but probably not sent until some days later) and had received Gerry's answer of 30 July, below.
2. Sent in Lovell's letter to AA of 26 June, above; see descriptive note there.
3. Adams (JA) and Franklin must be meant.
4. The foregoing was presumably written on the day this letter was dated. What follows was written with a different pen on 6 Aug.; see note 1.
5. See AA to Gerry, 20 July, preceding; Gerry to AA, 30 July, below.
6. AA is quoting from a letter written by JA to Elbridge Gerry, 18 Oct. 1779 (LbC, Adams Papers), which JA marked “Secret as the Grave” and then apparently did not send. See a longer passage from this letter quoted by AA in her letter to Gerry of 4 Aug., below; AA there says that the letter was never sent.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0125

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-21

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Ten months have I been waiting for an opportunity to forward my Letters, but none has presented, which of Course leaves an immense budget of Trumpery on hand.1 I know not whether to continue writing or begin burning.
You will find by the inclosed Gazette Madam, an Account of our Celebration of the Anniversary of Independence. Every thing was conducted with the utmost order and decency—in one word, We were merry and wise.2
Mr. A. left this place the 2d. of this month for Paris. Mr. D. and your Son John set out on their Journey for Petersbourg the 7th of this month; Master Charles and I keep House together, with one Man Servant and three Women Servants.
Mr. Guild has this moment come in to see me. I never in my life saw a Man more matrimonially mad, and more impatient to get home. I am as impatient as he can be to be here, and really he has talked, preached, and dwelt so everlastingly upon Matrimony, that I feel my head and heart not a little deranged, and have almost fallen into that infirmity of Madness with him. Is all this Sympathy, Compassion, fellow feeling or personal Propensity to that State of life? I have at { 187 } this moment the Care of a Family, and am at the head of it, without Wife and without Children—or in other words a Batchelor learning to keep House, the Expences of a Family &c. &c., which I hope will be some recommendation of me to my “Fair American.” I think I do tolerably well, at least I may say so, for there is nobody either to contradict me or stand Trumpeter for me.
I intended to have wrote a long Letter when I begun; but since writing the above I have had a hint to close immediately, but cannot do it without informing You, that Mr. A. is in good health and Spirits at Paris, as I am just informed by a Person directly from thence. Pray acquaint my dear Parents and family that I am very well at present—I have not time to add a line to them. Oh! how happy should I be to embrace this Opportunity to go home, or some where out of this Capitol of Mammon. I never was so thoroughly tired of any Spot of Creation as this Atom stolen from the dominion of Neptune. I cannot live here I think.—'Till within this fortnight I have not been too well, nor very sick, but I impute it in part to the want of an old Companion, the Salt Rheum, which however has at length returned to renew its acquaintance.

[salute] Remember me, Madam, respectfully and affectionately where due, and believe me to be, with the most perfect Respect & Esteem, your most obedient & obliged humble Servant,

[signed] JT.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found, but see note 2.
1. In her letter to Thaxter of 8 Dec. 1780, above, AA acknowledged several letters from him, the latest dated 3 Sept. 1780 (not found). None from him were acknowledged in subsequent letters from her up to the present date, though several are in the Adams Papers and are printed above. They were perhaps all sent together with the present letter.
2. There is a very full and engaging account of this celebration, which lasted from dawn till midnight, reprinted from an Amsterdam paper, in the Boston Gazette, 24 Sept. 1781, p. 3, cols. 1–2. It is also mentioned by JQA in his Diary under 4 July, although he and CA did not attend.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0126

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-25

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

We regret that your Ladyship's letter of 25th April1 should not have Came to our hands soon enough to have prevented our executing your orders p[er] the Ship Juno, in Lieu of that of our good friends Messrs. N. & T. Tracey (the Minerva) as a freight of 12 ½ PCt. is an object worth saving. But they were Shipped as early as the 25 May, and we were in hopes you would have received them before now, but the ship on board which they are, having waited for the { 188 } Convoy of a Large Frigate going to your Continent, prevented its departure till now.2
We are very Sencible of what America must expect from us, and feel too much for its disappointment at our tardiness in Seeking revenge for Such attrocious Insults, and Injuries. It has been a Subject of wonder to Europe, also, and to ourselves a Cause of painfull Sensation though we are Still persuaded we shall see our nation fully avenged. The Slowness of measures here having been more owing to the banefull influence of a Court, then to a want of proper Spirit in the nation, who on the Contrary gave us to dread from their resentment against Some Leaders, the most dreadful Consequences. True patriotism however Seems to gain the ascendancy with us, from which we hope the happiest effects will result, and finally that Iniquitous and haughty power (in Lieu of bringing the world at her feet to unconditional Submission) be punished for the wickedness of her measures.
It now is in the State of a ruined Gamester throwing its last Stake Neck or nothing: All in the East Indies is in as forlorn a State as in America. In short their Situation in all quarters is so deplorable that tho' an honest Brittain Cannot behold it without weeping he sees no Safety for himself or posterity from being enslaved but by further disgrace and ruin to their arms in hopes the remaining virtue left amongst them will at Last from despair unite in attempting to drag from the Seat of power the wretches who have perverted it, to their ruin, by every Corruption. May the good genius of your rising States ward them from every kind of it, and preserve their virtue and may our former one be restored to us, that we may be the more worthy of that union we so earnestly wish for, and to which we direct all our Labours. We flatter ourselves it is not far off. Tho' it will not add to our attachment or devotion to America, we believe it will to the energy of our assurances of that respect with which we have the honor to be most respectfully, Your Ladyships Most obt. hume. servts.,
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
RC (Adams Papers); in a clerical hand, signed by a member of the firm; at foot of text: “The honorble. Lady Adams.” AnotherRC (Adams Papers), marked “Triplicate” at head of text.
1. Not found.
2. See Jean de Neufville & Son to AA, 25 May, above, and enclosed invoice and notes there.
{ [fol. 188] } { [fol. 188] } { [fol. 188] } { [fol. 188] } { 189 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0127

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-07-30

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

I have been honored with your Letter of the 20th Instant, on a Matter of the highest Concern to the Continent, as well as to our mutual Friend, who represents it in Europe.
Previous to the Receipt of the Letter I saw a Copy of one from Dr. F[ranklin] to C[ongress],1 and was soon after confidentially informed by a Gentleman at the southard of the proceedings thereon, which I confess have given me the greatest Pain and uneasiness. I cannot write so freely, Madam, as I shall confer with You, at a convenient Opportunity; but thus much I am greived to impart, that the Decree is past for revoking all the former Powers of our Friend, and for appointing him to execute new Instructions, with a Fraternity, some of whom to injure him, would I fear go greater Lengths than Judas did, to betray his Lord.2
I think it no difficult Task to trace the Vestiges of an undue Influence, which dared to approach our publick Councils as early as the period of the first Instructions, and which appears to me, for political purposes foreign to the Interest of America, to have produced a deep layed Plan for removing a Gentleman from office, upon whom alone many of the States could rely for obtaining a safe and honorable Peace.
If I have a right Idea of the last Powers, there can be no great Honor in executing them, either seperately or jointly; and the only object worth contending for in C[ongress] will be, a Revocation of these, and a Confirmation of the former Instructions with one Minister to execute them: but it is a Matter of Doubt in my Mind, whether the proceedings of C[ongress] have not made such a Measure altogether impracticable.
We shall however, Madam, be better able to judge understandingly, on the Return of Mr. L[ovell] who in his last Letter proposed soon to be in Boston: and altho the Times may justify the Sentiment that “the Post of Honor is a private Station”3 I shall not decline a publick one, whilst there is the least prospect of serving my Country on so important an occasion. I need not add Madam that nothing will afford me greater pleasure than an opportunity of rendering Services to Yourself and Family, and that I have the Honor to be with the sincerest Esteem your most obedt. & very hum. sert:,
[signed] E. Gerry
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Portia.” Dft (MHi:Gerry-Knight { 190 } Collection). Only one of the numerous cancellations and alterations in Dft has been noted below.
1. Franklin's controversial letter to Huntington, 9 Aug. 1780, criticizing JA's conduct toward Vergennes; see above, Lovell to AA, 13 July, and note 7 there. Gerry's allusion makes clear that copies of Franklin's letter were sent to Boston at this time through more than one channel.
2. In a letter of the present date to Lovell (Dft, heavily corrected, on verso of Lovell to Gerry, 17 June 1781, MHi: Gerry-Knight Coll.), Gerry wrote:
“I have seen a Copy of the Letter from <Doctor Franklin> to <Congress> respecting <Mr. J. Adams>and fear that his Zeal for his Country has far exceeded his usual Caution. Be that as it may I feel a deep Concern for our worthy Friend, and apprehend that the<ungrateful and>ungenerous Treatment he has received will be productive of Disgrace and irreparable Injury to his Country. <Gerard> You well remember was ever against our saving the Fishery, and as he received his Instructions from the <Court of France>, is it not probable they have layed a plan to oust Mr.<Adams> in order to carry their Measures into Effect.”
Whether the names stricken by Gerry in his Dft, and which appear here as cancellations, were replaced in RC with identifying initials, were written in cipher in keeping with Lovell's usage in his letter on recto, or were left blank to be supplied by Lovell, cannot be known.
3. In Dft, Gerry at this point wrote and then cancelled: “I would chearfully make a Tour to the southard.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0128

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-08-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

O that I could realize the agreable reverie of the last Night when my dear Friend presented himself and two Son[s] safely returnd to the Arms of the affectionate wife and Mother. Cruel that I should wake only to experience a renual of my daily solicitude. The next month will compleat a whole year since a single Line from your Hand has reachd the longing Eyes of Portia. No vessels have arrived here since the declaration of war from Holland. Congress have no dispatches later than october from you. I hope and hope till hope is swallowed up in the victory of Dispair. I then consider all my anxiety as vain since I cannot benifit any one by it, or alter the established order of things. I cannot relieve your mind from the burden of publick cares, or at this distance alleviate the anxiety of your Heart, tho ever so much distressed for the welfare of your Native land or protect you from the Slanderous arrow that flieth in Secret, a Specimin of which you will find inclosed in a Letter from Mr. C[ranc]h1 but which you must I think have received before as many coppies have been sent. My Indig[nation] is too big for utterance.

Falsehood and fraud shoot up in ev'ry soil

The product of all climes—Rome had its Cea[sar.]

I will not comment upon this low this dirty this Infamous t[his] { 191 } diabolical peice of envy and malice as I have already do[ne] it where I thought I might be of service—to your two Friends L[ovell] and G[err]y.

True consious Honour is to know no Sin—

and the firm patriot whose views extend to the welfare of Mankind tho obstructed by faction and vice, tho crossed by fortune, tho wounded by calumny and reproach, shall find in the end that his generous Labour is not lost—even tho he meets with no other reward than that self approveing hour, which the poet tells us [outweighs?] whole years of stupid starers and of loud Huz[zas.]
When ever any opportunity occurs write, and write me a volume to amuse, to comfort and inform me. I turn to the loved pages of former days and read them with delight. They are all my comfort, all my consolation in the long long [in]terval of time that I have not received a line. Should I name my dear Boys a tear will flow with the Ink—not a line have I received from them for more than a Year. May they be their Fathers comfort and their Mothers delight.
No very important military events have taken place since I wrote you last which was by Capt. Young to Bilboa. Green is driving Cornwallis acting with much Spirit and viggour. We are here looking upon each other in a mere maze. Our old currency died suddenly, the carkases remain in the hands of individuals, no Burial having been yet provided for it. The New was in Good repute for a time, but all of a Sudden and in one day followed [its] Elder Brother—so that with old and New in my hand, I can not purchase a single Sixpence worth of any thing yet taxes must be paid, men must be raised for Road Island and West Point and paid too, yet the profits of what each one has sold for paper avails them not. This was a stroke of our Enemies by employing Emissaries to depreciate it who were detected and put into jail. Barter and hard money is now the only trade. The strugle will be to supply our army. How after having sold our commodities for paper we can raise hard money to pay the next demand which must be speedy, I know not. I had collected a sufficient Sum of paper to pay a very large tax which the last Session of the court levied. It now will avail me not a groat. I mentioned in a former Letter that [I] wished you to send me a chest of Bohea tea by any vessel of Mr. Tracys or Smiths.2 It would turn into money quicker [remainder missing]
Dft (Adams Papers); incomplete. The MS is worn and torn along one edge, requiring a number of words to be partly or wholly supplied by editorial conjecture.
{ 192 }
1. Franklin's letter to Huntington of 9 Aug. 1780, a copy of which was enclosed in Richard Cranch to JA, 16 July, q.v. above.
2. AA to JA, 23 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0129

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1781-08-04

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

The very quick reply with wish [which] you honourd my Letter together with the Friendly contents of your polite favour demand my acknowledgement.2
If you Sir as a patriot and a Friend feel for the injurys offerd to your Country and the disgrace with which those in power are endeavouring to load our Friend, you may easily judge of the anxiety of one whose happiness is so interwoven and blended with the injured, that he cannot receive a wound at which the other does not blead.
I presume not to judge of all the consequences which will follow the late determinations of C[ongress]. One only I am satisfied in. If our Friend is cloged and embarrassed as you hint, if his instruction[s] are such as he ought not consistant with the Good of his country and the duty he owes to it, to execute, he will resign his commission and return to his native country.
Here Sir I will give you a few extracts which will shew you his Sentiments not upon the present, but upon his Situation when he returnd from Europe, which you know was not then very Eligible. They were written in a confidential Letter to you, but some parts of the Letter was written with so much freedom that he thought proper to surpress it.3 In speaking of the Jealousy which he had ever observed in C[ongress] of the Massachusetts, he adds “Is it possible that C[ongress] should be respected if she suffers those Men upon whom she has as her records shew most depended from the begining, those Men who had a chief hand in forming her Navy and Army, who have supported her Independance, who have promoted and formed her alliances, to be slandered and disgraced. These things are of more importance in Europe than here to the publick but they [are] of too much here to be neglected. If the Mass[achusetts] is to be made the But and Sport in the Manner it has been you will soon see it abandoned by all Men of Spirit, or you will See it break the union. For myself I care nothing at all, for my children I care but little for these things, but for the publick I care much. It is really important that congress should not dishonour their own members without cause and is really Important that the Members of Mass Bay should support each others honours and characters. I could return to my practise at the Bar, and { 193 } make fortunes for my children, and be happier and really more respected than I can in the hazardous tormenting employments into which Congress have always put me. I can be easy even under the marks of disgrace they put upon me but they may depend upon it they either mistake their own Interest in putting me into these employments or in putting these Brands upon me.”
Time will shew which of his predictions are true. If our Friend Mr. L[ovel]l returns I shall be fully informed, he has often refered me for information to Mr. A. but that Gentleman is so much ingrossed that I cannot get him even to spend one day with me. Have only been able to see him for half an hour and that in company. I shall be happy sir to see you at Braintree, whenever it suits your convenience; I doubt not of your Friendship or of your assiduity to support my Friend in every measure He may persue for the benifit of his country, but by your Letter and Mr. L[ovel]ls late hints I fear it is wholy out of his power. He will immediately upon the recept of the new plan feel his dissagreable Situation and I am pained when I reflect upon the anxiety it will give him. He must and will quit a Situation in which he cannot act with Honour, this his enimies know and they will assuredly answer their end. Those who wish well to their country must mourn the corrupt influence that has poisoned the fountain of power from whence issue Streams which Instead of nourtering and refreshing these Infant States are like to prove as Banefull as the ten fold plagues of Egypt. If you should receive any further information from your Friends at Congress respecting these matters I should take it as a favour if you would communicate them to Sir Your obliged Friend & humble Servant,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); written on discarded cover sheets of old letters, one bearing the address “Mr. John Thaxter Paris”; docketed by CFA at head of text: “1781?”
1. Dated from Gerry's acknowledgment, 31 Aug. (below), of the (missing) RC.
2. AA to Gerry, 20 July (which may not have been sent until some days later), and Gerry's reply, 30 July, both above.
3. JA to Gerry, 18 Oct. 1779 (LbC, Adams Papers), marked “Secret as the Grave” and then, according to AA, not sent; see above, AA to Lovell, 20 July–6 Aug., and note 6 there. Quotation marks have here been editorially supplied, but it should be noted that AA quotes JA's letterbook text freely and with her own improvements in phrasing.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0130

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08-10

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I am persuaded to believe that I have acknowledged the Receipt of your Favor of June 30th tho it is not so endorsed.1 I think I recollect { 194 } to have discovered my Unwillingness to persuade my dearest Friend, my affectionate, faithful, generous-spirited Maria to put herself in the Way of a Meeting with a Stranger prejudiced against me and perhaps prompt to utter her Prejudices. I am sure such Ideas rose in my Mind when I first read your Wishes that I should urge an Acceptance of your Invitation, given I am sure, in unfeigned Politeness and pressed afterwards for a most benevolent Purpose. I thank you cordially for your kind Intentions. But I maintain my former Judgment of the Consequences. I hope you see enough of my Temper to prevent you from ever giving me the real Name of Cornelia or Clarinda or whatever C. it was mentioned in one of your Letters, now in Boston. The good Opinion and Confidence of Mrs. L is one of the Chief of the very few Things that are to constitute my Happiness for the short years I may have to live.
I have made Communications to Mr. S[amuel] A[dams] if not to you that will answer all those Questions which you was restrained from asking thro' Fear of Rivington. I do really think that no Pique or ill Will against your Mr. A— exists here. Whatever has been done that can excite a Suspicion of the Kind has sprung out of mistaken Principles of general Policy. I am not induced to suppose La Luzerne otherways than friendly and respectful; But when he has, agreably to what Vergennes wrote to him, desired Instructions to our Negotiator to act cordially and unreservedly with those of France, the Measures adopted here, in Consequence, have exceeded his Expectations.
I wish you not to suffer any Vexation of Mind beyond what I do myself. There is no such Idea here as any Criminality in Mr. A—. He is much esteemed. But such is the uncouth way of Proceeding here at Times that unintended Chagrin must arise. Doctor F[ranklin] is experiencing very much I am persuaded on the Appointment of J. Laurens. It is therefore that he has asked for Retirement rather than because of his age.
I am to acknowledge the Receipt of your very kind Epistle of July 14 received the 23d. Your Tenderness will betray you into an Indiscretion if you press your Friends as you proposed.2 There has been a Disposition in the Court to make a Distinction in my Favor. They have done it in more Instances than one, without giving Offence to any of my Colleagues. I have no Right to complain beyond what the Rest have. A Batchelor or a Man with a very small Family can afford to serve. There are 3 of the former and 1 of the latter in our List. I know not Genl. Ward's Number. Those with many may refuse to accept when chosen.
{ 195 }
I do not recollect what I have written to make you judge so severely of the Pittance. But be it what it may, it cannot be now altered. In short it is so involved in the Cloud of Calculation in the Case of Mr. Gerry who was 3 Years here that I doubt whether any Member of the Assembly can tell what has been given per day to the Delegates for their Time and Service, exclusive of Expences. It is a Fact that modest Oeconomical Connecticutt has never given less than 3 Spanish or an Equivalent, from the first Congress till this day.—It is my Mishap that I am not what your Ladyship maliciously, in Appearance, wished to call me—“a practicing Attorney.”
I really do not foresee how I am to begin the World at 42 without any of what are called the 3 learned Professions, without Farm or Stock for Trade; and yet if you will believe me I do not feel distressed, for, tho slandrous Females will speak slightly of my Morality I know that I am one of the most religious Men in the World. I am in perpetual Adoration of the Supreme who sent me into this State of Existence and who has given me the Will to labour. While he continues my Health therefore I can maintain more than one especially on the other Side of the Alleghenny Mountains, near the Ohio.
I think that Cornwallis must be on his Way to New York and that the Embarkation in the Cheseapeak was only amusing the Neighbourhood by sailing up and down till the Capital Ships of Convoy should appear at the Capes.
I am, dear Madam, respectfully Your Friend,
[signed] J L
1. Lovell had acknowledged AA's letter of 30 June, above, in his of 17 July, also above.
2. For a raise in Lovell's pay as a delegate to Congress; see AA's letter to him of 14 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0131

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08-20

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I am too ill to write much. Your Ease of Mind is what I wish to promote by confirming what I have before said vizt. That Mr. A[dams] was greatly esteemed here tho' we have an odd way of discovering it sometimes. He is sole Minister Plenipo to form a triple Alliance between Holland, France and these United States with Discretion to make it Quadruple by joining Spain—for the Purpose of our Independ[ence] and finishing the War.1
{ 196 }
Should a french Fleet be on this Coast, I shall have Opportunity to send your Things by Water.
[signed] JL
A Cold Scrawl for a Man in a Fever. I have quite forgot what Word I may use. What I may not is at my Pen's End.
1. This project, which in the end had no material result, was set in motion by La Luzerne, no doubt under direction from Paris. The original of JA's commission, endorsed by him “Commission of 16. August 1781.—to negotiate a triple or quadruple Alliance,” is in Adams Papers, together with his instructions, endorsed “Instructions of Aug. 16. Holland.” For the background and printed texts see JCC, 21:846–848, 859, 876–880; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:636–638. See also Elbridge Gerry's comment in his letter to AA, 31 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0132

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08-23

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I feared moths—have opened your Goods—aired and shook the Wollens—added good Tobacco leaves and again secured them for Transportation. I shall put Clamps to the Chest and send it to the Store of the Deputy Commissary General1 where Mr. Jno. Checkley will secure the first good public or private Carriage to Mr. Hughes or to Boston.
I mentioned Gauze for Mr. Tufts. You say he misses some gauze Handkerchiefs. These are Handkerchiefs and not simply Gauze. I discover no other Relief to your Fears than that there are Serge and Buttons and Twist for Mr. Wibert and some Satinett or like it for Small Cloaths. They were within the Cloath which needed not opening at first. I am recovered from a slight Fever; have been abroad; and am again going to deliver this mark of my Devo—no, no! Lov—worse and worse! my humble Desires to serve you,—flat as Dishwater! my Respect, Madam, my affectionate Esteem Ma'am—
[signed] JL
1. The deputy commissary general of prisoners, as the following letter makes clear. He was Col. Abraham Skinner, a Pennsylvania officer (Heitman, Register Continental Army).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0133

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08-24

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

After giving a few Lines for you yesterday to the Commissary { 197 } General of Prisoners who was going for Boston; I held Conversation with a Capt. Mason who had just landed from a Flag of Truce of Bermuda. He sailed from the Texel May 29 was taken close off the Capes of Delaware, after about 8 weeks passage and carried to the island from whence he is now arrived on parole to release another Captain for a balance. He had lately before sailing from Holland, dined with Mr. Adams and his family, who were all well. This gentleman brought out from the Texel the quantity of a barrel of letters, but was obliged to sink them on the 8th of June, when he was brought to by the Suffolk man of war, and endured a search and examination for 5 hours, but was not discovered to be an American vessel. The Suffolk was with three other ships of the line convoying 65 merchantmen from Jamaica, and had, a few days before, taken, after 3 hours engagement, the Marquis de Fayette a 44 gun ship with our cloathing, &c.
Capt. Mason mentions that about three days before he left Holland Mr. Adams had made a very great change as to an exhibition of character, had taken a large house, proper equipage and servants; and it was not doubted to be according to the wishes and designs of their High Mightinesses.1 I conclude from my memorandum book that Mr. A. must have received at that Period our Resolves and Instructions respecting the Completion of the Union, March 1st. by the signature of Maryland to the articles.
You may expect Commod: Gillon momently in a ship of 24 42 pounders on one deck. There is also a Capt. Eden or something like it bound for Boston. People connected Mr. a's appearance with a certain proceeding of Gillon, and judged both originating in the Government there. Gillon very suddenly unloaded known private property and received other Goods at the same Hours, one Shallop going and another coming constantly. The memorial of mr. a is spoken of by Capt. Mason, as it is by Mr. Carmichael, very familiarly, both conceiving we have it amongst us, but we only see it hinted at sneeringly in British papers. Is not this vexatious to us Evites?
I hope the Children with you, and their Mama enjoy perfect Health. They have much of my Love. There is a Cnot of Emphasis and Grammar which may amuse the Teeth of any one of the C's of your Circle who chuses to search for mischief.
I am induced, upon second thought, to repeat what may lag on the road with Col. Skinner.
Upon reviewing and securing your Goods against moths, I found that instead of Gauze I might have said Gauze Handkerchiefs for D. { 198 } Tafts: that there are Buttons, Twist, Serge and something of the Sattinet kind for Mr. Wibert found within his Cloth.
Rationally respectfully, Mistriss Adams's humble Servant,
[signed] JS——2
MS not found. Printed from Rivington's New York (Royal Gazette), 8 Sept. 1781, p. 2, col. 4—p. 3, col. i. Without indication of place, without salutation, and with an obvious misreading of its initialed signature, the letter appears with a number of others in Rivington's paper under the heading “Part of the Contents of a new Rebel Mail (being the Fifth) which was taken by a party of Refugees, On Tuesday last” (i.e. on 4 Sept.).
1. In a letter to Mrs. Francis Dana of 23 Aug. which was captured in the same mail and published in Rivington's New York Royal Gazette of 12 Sept., Lovell elaborated as follows:
“Within half a week of the sailing of Captain Mason from the Texel Mr. Adams had gone into a vast change of Living; from a course of private Lodging with command of two rooms, He took a grand House rolled his Chariot multiplied his Servants and put on the minister plenipo: without any other Explanation than what the free publication of his memorial in all the Gazettes naturally gave. The general persuasion was that their High mightinesses were fully decided to declare in our favour.” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:194.)
2. A misreading by Rivington's printer of “J L——,” as Lovell himself pointed out in his letter to AA of 15 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0134

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1781-08-25

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams 2d

I was yesterday honoured with a Letter from Braintree dated the 25th of May last, and tho' an anonymous one, yet the hand writing, connected with other Circumstances, warranted my subjoining the Signature of the amiable and accomplished Daughter of one of the first Ladies of the Age, to whose Goodness added to your Politeness I am indebted for this mark of Attention. I have embraced the first moment to acknowledge the Receipt of so unexpected a favor, and to assure You of my readiness to commence, renew or “revive” a Correspondence. Indeed it has been so rare for me to converse or even to speak with a Lady, to write to or receive from one a Letter, for these two years past, that I esteem any Civility or attention from them, an Instance of Compassion to one who was formerly very happy with the fair Circle of his female Acquaintance.
My worthy friend Mr. Storer, who forwarded your kind favor, is safely arrived at Gottenbourg, and he is expected in this City every moment. I am impatient to take him by the hand. I can easily concieve that the absence of so amiable a Character will be exceedingly regretted by his Friends, and by the fair particularly. Europe may be { 199 } a good School for an exterior Polish: but Morality is a plant of slow Growth in this quarter of the Globe, where the polite and fashionable Vices of the Age have but too much extinguished the sentiment of it, and given an air of Awkwardness to Virtue. A good Education in our own Country is not an object of difficult Acquisition. An easy deportment and graceful Address are the fine polishes of a polite and may be of a virtuous and good moral Character: but the Graces and Virtues are not always united. When they do harmonize, they add a mutual Lustre to each other, and form one of the most pleasing Spectacles in Life.
The tender the gentle Eliza, “whose Mind is Virtue by the Graces drest,” as your good Mamma has observed, has had a Share of my sincerest and tenderest Pity during her Indisposition. I am very happy to find by your Letter, that She has recovered her Chearfulness and her health to so great a degree—be good enough to wish her affectionately for me a long Continuance of both.
You have informed me that Mr. Rice has at last drawn the Prize in the matrimonial Lottery—the happier he. Of all Lotteries this is the most hazardous. And being at all times unlucky, is a sufficient Objection with me to putting any thing to the Risque. However I am not too envious to wish any one success in this Wheel of Fortune.
You have closed a charming Letter, by calling me off from “my more important Business or Pleasures to point out the foibles of it.” I am almost tempted to scold at You for endeavouring to make me a Scrutinizer or critical Reviewer and sarcastically giving me an air of Importance. My pleasures are few but the most “important” of them is writing to my dear Friends on the other side of the Atlantic, whom may God bless and preserve. I cannot undertake the office of a Critic. To point out Foibles and Faults where none exist, is the mark of an ignorant, envious, ill-natured one, a Character which I hope no one will fix upon me.
If a Correspondence with You can give You the least pleasure or entertainment, I shall be happy to be ranked in the Class of them, and will not suffer another eighteen Months to pass away, without convincing You that You have a Correspondent in the old World. I shall make but an indifferent figure among your others, but that shall not discourage me. As to scores and Ballances of Merit, I make no pretensions.

[salute] Remember me dutifully and respectfully to all friends at Braintree, Weymouth and Boston, and believe me to be, with sincere Esteem, your affectionate Friend and Hbl. Servant,

[signed] JT
{ 200 }
An abundance of Love to all the young Ladies of my Acquaintance, and particularly to my fair American, if it is yet discovered who She is.
RC (MHi:Thaxter Papers); at foot of text: “Miss Nabby Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0135

Author: Boylston, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-08-31

John Boylston to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

You may possibly wonder at my Silence in not writing you during so long a period and which might yet have continu'd from the danger which attends it did not the cruelty and injustice of this Govt. impel me to sollicit you and Doctor F[ran]k[li]n to use your utmost interest with the Court of V[e]rs[ail]les to take the American Prisoners under its immediate Protection by insisting on a Cartel for exchanging them forthwith and liberating them from the vindictive Confinement many of them have suffer'd for three years past which has induc'd many (despairing of relief) to enter in the Navy and which is the ultimate motive of this treatment.1
There are at present in Forton jayl only, above 500 for whose particular situation I wish to refer you to the Revd. Thos. Wren at Portsmouth2 who merits the highest praise for his constant and unwearied attendance in distributing the charitable Contributions hitherto collected for their relief, and in which I have not been wholly useless, altho' am mortified to find it now grows very cold and languid which requires your utmost speedy exertions to prevent the consequences in their seduction thro want of proper necessaries.—I am here much vex'd to find those necessaries considerably abridg'd by the infamous Peculation of T. D[ig]gs in having withheld several sums received from Doctor F——k——n, besides several other considerable Private Donations which I am inform'd the said D——gs has receiv'd for their relief.3 He is one of that description I had in veiw when I formerly wrote you my Sentiments4 that no other than persons of establish'd reputation and property should be any ways employ'd in the Affairs of America.—The severe treatment which many have suffer'd here for illicit Correspondence may apologize for the omission of Place and Signature hereto, but which you may supply from the recollection of my having formerly sent you the Arms of B[oylston].5—I should be extreamly happy to hear of your success in the above application which will greatly adorn your Embassy and procure you much Merit. If you favour me with a Line in answer take good care it is under safe Conduct as my Letters are often open'd.

[salute] Ardently wishing you all health & prosperity, I am

{ 201 }
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA at head of text: “from <Dr. Bancroft> J. Boylston.”
1. John Boylston (1709–1795), son of the famous Dr. Zabdiel Boylston and first cousin of JA's mother. He had been a merchant in Boston and is depicted in JA's diary in the 1760's as a lively but somewhat affected conversationalist (Diary and Autobiography, 1:293–294). By 1771 he had taken up residence in London, and he remained in England for the rest of his life, though with misgivings because (despite statements commonly made to the contrary, including notes in the present edition) he seems always to have been more of an American patriot than a loyalist at heart. His correspondence with the Smith family in Boston (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers) shows that he remained sympathetic with the American cause and that he continued his charitable activities in Massachusetts, through intermediaries, during and after the war. In the Franklin Papers are letters respecting his proposal in 1778 to take an oath and give security in order to return to America (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:272, 274), but this did not occur. In a letter to JA, 28 June 1782 (below), Boylston heatedly denied he was in any sense a loyalist “Refugee,” having “ever been constantly and invariably attach'd to the cause and interest of my native Country.” In his reply of 5 July 1782 (also below), JA assured Boylston that “I have long known your Sentiments to be favourable to your native Country, as well as to Liberty in General.”
When JA and JQA came to England late in 1783, Boylston was established in prosperous retirement at Bath, where he entertained his relatives handsomely, as he again did JA and AA some years later (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:151; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 Jan. 1787 [ MWA ]). As the present and later letters relate, Boylston was active in efforts to relieve the distresses of American seamen imprisoned in England. See further, Adams Genealogy.
On the whole subject of American seamen in British prisons during the war, particularly Forton Prison at Portsmouth and Mill Prison at Plymouth, their treatment, British policy relating thereto, and humanitarian efforts by both Americans and British, see the authoritative and well-documented articles by John K. Alexander, “'American Privateersmen in the Mill Prison during 1777–1782': An Evaluation,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 102:318–340 (Oct. 1966); and “Forton Prison during the American Revolution ...,” same, vol. 103:365–389 (Oct. 1967).
On JA's activities in behalf of captured American seamen in general, and of a number of Braintree men at Mill Prison in particular, see below, AA to JA, 9 Dec. 1781, and note 3 there.
2. Rev. Thomas Wren (1725–1787), a dissenting minister in Portsmouth who administered relief to Americans in Forton Prison and whose zeal in their behalf was said to be “prodigious.” According to John K. Alexander, Wren “mixed a little treason with his humanity” in helping escapees get out of England (Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 103:383 [Oct. 1967]). Franklin, with whom Wren corresponded, recommended that Congress officially thank “this good Man” and that he be given an honorary degree by “some of our Universities.” Congress did thank him, and the College of New Jersey awarded him a doctorate of divinity in 1783 (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 9:72, 124; JCC, 25:588, 619, 632). There is correspondence between JA and Wren in the Adams Papers; and in the Gentleman's Magazine for Nov. 1787 there is a long and eulogistic obituary (57:1026–1027).
3. Thomas Digges (1742–1821), a Marylander in England who had a very checkered career that has been traced in great detail by William Bell Clark in his article “In Defense of Thomas Digges,” PMHB, 77:381–438 (Oct. 1953). Although Digges has long been condemned as a double agent as well as an embezzler of funds raised to aid American prisoners in England, Clark has established that he was never in the pay of the British and that his embezzling was the last resort of a man in great difficulties and by no means on the grand scale that Franklin and others believed. Digges was a secret correspondent of JA under a { 202 } great variety of pseudonyms.
4. Letter not found.
5. No earlier communication from John Boylston to JA has been found. There can be no certainty whether the Boylston arms which Boylston “formerly sent” was in the form of a seal or on paper. However, by 1782 JA did have in his possession a seal bearing the Boylston arms and perhaps a drawing or engraving as well. Following American recognition by the States General in April 1782, JA as minister plenipotentiary had occasion to frame a form of passport for issuance. He chose to imitate closely the one devised by Franklin in Passy in 1780, substituting for the coat of arms Franklin had used to give the document an official character, the coat of arms of the Boylston family (the woodblock of the coat of arms he had made is in MHi and is illustrated in Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA's Books, facing p. 136; the passport utilizing it is reproduced in the present volume). In November of the same year in affixing his signature to the Preliminary Treaty with Great Britain, JA used a seal in cornelian and gold of the Boylston arms, thenceforward known in the family as the Treaty Seal (the seal, now a part of the family memorabilia at the Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, was given by JA to JQA and by JQA in trust to CFA on the baptism of JQA2; the seal is illustrated in Catalogue of JQA's Books, facing p. 135).
AA had used a seal of the Boylston arms, presumably left in her care in Braintree, on the cover of her letter to JA aboard the Sensible, 14 Nov. 1779; see vol. 3:234, note. This tends to support HA2's assertion that the seal had come to JA from his mother, Susanna Boylston (Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 136). However, it seems unlikely that AA would have sent the seal to JA in Europe in the interim, and no instances are presently known of JA's employment of a Boylston seal in Europe before the use in 1782 described above. One possible explanation is that the Boylston seal that JA affixed to the Preliminary Treaty may have been the “Boylston Arms” sent to him by John Boylston, who was unmarried and in 1781 over seventy years of age. There would then have been two seals of the Boylston arms in the possession of the Adams family, but only one remains.
Between 1783 and 1785, JA, in devising a seal to commemorate his signing of the treaties, adapted the Boylston seal by having the three roundels, earlier blank, replaced with roundels bearing respectively a lion, a fleur-de-lis, and a lion. Later Adamses incorporated the Boylston arms, as adapted, in a variety of ways in their seals and bookplates (Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 136–148; see also JQA, Diary, 26 Oct. 1827, 3 Sept. 1836, 4 Nov. 1841; JQA to CFA, 28 Feb. 1831, 27 Oct. 1833 [ Adams Papers ]). When a bookplate for Ward Nicholas Boylston's benefactions to the Boston Medical Library was devised, the coat of arms used was in the form as adapted by JA.
In the Boylston arms the shield consists of six silver (white) crosses crosslet fitché, arranged 3, 2, 1, on a red field, above which, in chief, on a field of gold or yellow are three black roundels or pellets. The crest above shows a lion, passant guardant, holding in his dexter paw an angled cross crosslet fitché of the type on the shield (Charles K. Bolton, Bolton's American Armory, Boston, 1927, p. 1, 20.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0136

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08-31

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Agreable to the Request contained in your Letter of the 4th, I have the Pleasure of transmitting You some further Intelligence, respecting our Friend in Europe, received last Evening in a Letter from Philadelphia. Mr. L[ovell] says “Mr. J.A. is sole Plenipo[tentiary] for { 203 } forming a triple Alliance between Holland, France, and America, for bringing the War to a speedy Issue. Spain may make it quadruple.”1 I conceive not however, that either Mr. A[dams] or the State is obliged to C[ongress] for their last Appointment; which was probably made for the double purpose of reconciling him to the extraordinary Revocation of his former Powers, and of preventing an Enquiry into the Injuries which the State has Reason to apprehend from an Alteration of his first Instructions. I hope nevertheless, that some Gentlemen of ability and Leisure will investigate the Matter, and remain Madam with the sincerest Esteem your assured Friend & most hum. Sert,
[signed] G.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr. to the Care of his Lady at Braintree to be left with Isaac Smith Esqr. Boston”; at foot of text: “Portia.”
1. See above, Lovell to AA, 20 Aug., and note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0137

Author: Shippen, Alice Lee
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08

Alice Lee Shippen to Abigail Adams

I rejoice at any circumstance that begins a correspondence with a lady whose acquaintance I have long wish'd for; but am sorry the contents of my letter must have given you pain.1 I would much rather endeavor to console you, but am sure your own good sense will suggest to you every consolation. I can truly sympathize with you Madam. I have learnt to mourn for injured worth and merit, your case indeed is not singular, my amiable brothers are as you observe fellow sufferers, they have sacrificed every other prospect for the sole one of serving their Country, and how are they rewarded! and what is worst of all, how are they tied up from the sweet service of America! I will not trouble you with details, or “I could a tale unfold,” but suffice it to say that the wounds we receive are deeper, because they wound our Country, the honest men of America are her barriers, they must be pull'd down, before she can be destroyed. Money and power are now in the hands of bad men, and there is no popular Ear. You are acquainted by this time with particulars. It is a little surprizing is it not that Congress should have join'd Dr. Franklin in commission with your Friend after what has pass'd; Can harmony be expected by joining a mans calumniator with him? It is certainly putting your friend in a disagreable situation, 'tis most probable if an advantageous peace should be negociated, Dr. Franklin will take the credit: if otherwise, he will throw the blame on him he has already marked out; but my { 204 } dear Madam, the slander of corrupt men in a corrupt age, is better than their praise. The Dr. appears to be no respecter of persons, he breaks through every tye of gratitude, and of Country, all his affections centre in one character. He loves a knave wherever he finds him.
Genl. Sullivan is on his return to New Hampshire. I hope he does not deserve what is generally said of him here, that he is under French influence, surely if it be true, he is most unfit for the Councils of America. I am not surpriz'd that the French should interfere, but am both astonished and grieved that any in our Councils should have adopted the weak policy of being governed by them.2
It was my brother R. H. Lee for whom I expressed my anxiety, several Tories laid in ambush for him, but were providentially dissappointed: 15 of them are taken, but I have not yet heard their fate. The Enemy have taken 50 Negroes from my brother Williams estate in Virginia—but this is a small part of what he has lost in this contest.
Dr. Cutting will do me the favor to take care of this letter, he is returning to his native country with the good wishes of every honest, sensible acquaintance wherever he has been.3 His friends are purchased by merit, for he has made no money in the public Service to purchase them with. I refer you to this Gentleman for the news of the day.
Our friend Mr. Lovell delivered your polite letter with his own hand. I thank you, Madam, for the obliging things you are pleased to say in it. My brother A. Lee begs me to return you his most respectful compliments. And I beg you will believe, I always pray that yourself and worthy friend may long continue the ornaments of your Country.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with great respect your much obliged humble Servant,

[signed] A H Shippen
RC (Adams Papers); text in an amanuensis' hand; signed by Mrs. Shippen, whose full maiden name was Alice Harriet Lee.
1. See Alice Lee Shippen to Elizabeth Welles Adams, 17 June, above.
2. This is the earliest reference in the Adams Papers to a subject long and bitterly debated in the 19th century among partisans for and against John Sullivan, and now definitely resolved against him. Maj. Gen. Sullivan retired from the army late in 1779 and served as a New Hampshire delegate in Congress, 1780–1781. Here he was on the most intimate terms with the French minister, La Luzerne, and followed a vigorously pro-French (that is to say, anti-Adams) line in his votes relating to foreign affairs. The latest student of Franco-American relations during the Revolution, William C. Stinchcombe, adduces evidence from both the official and personal papers of La Luzerne to show that Sullivan was in the pay of the French foreign office from 1780 to at least 1784 (The American Revolution and the French Alliance, Syracuse, 1969, p. 163 and note); see also William E. O'Donnell, The Chevalier de La Luzerne, Bruges, 1938, p. { 205 } 63–65, 171; Charles P. Whittemore, A General of the Revolution: John Sullivan of New Hampshire, N.Y. and London, 1961, ch. 11, which offers some palliatives but by no means exculpates Sullivan; Morris, Peacemakers, p. 210 ff.; and Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:332–334.
3. Dr. John Brown Cutting served as apothecary general in the eastern and middle departments of the Continental Army hospital establishment, 1777–1780 (Heitman, Register Continental Army). According to Heitman, Cutting was a New Yorker, not a New Englander.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0138

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-08

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I am almost ashamed to intrude another Letter by this Conveyance, which, if it should prove a safe one, will throw into your hands an Abundance of trumpery from me, sufficient for one Year.
Accept my thanks, Madam, for your Goodness in forwarding my Sister's Letter to me. I feel myself much obliged by your kind attention to me in this way, and particularly for not reading the Letter which You broke open from the best motives. I confess with great Candor, Madam, I had given just Cause for Retaliation: but I felt myself justified in breaking the Seals of your Letters in the Absence of your best Friend, from his Instructions to and Confidence in me. Add to this, an irresistible Inclination to profit of every line from so instructive and so elegant a Pen.—But the Moment You signify your displeasure at such a freedom, I will make a point of disobeying his directions, rather than incur your Censure.
It is near eight Months since the English declared War against this Republick, and the Dutch have done nothing. There may have been one or two Privateers at sea, and they have a small fleet out at present. The most shameful Sloth and the most disgraceful Inactivity have marked their whole Conduct: such are the Principles, systems and Interests of the different Cities and Provinces, there are so many who have Money in the English Funds, <they are so hampered with a Love of...>1 so much Jealousy of one another, <so many Anglomanes in and out of Government,> so many Altercations about augmenting their Army and Navy, so much Crimination and Recrimination, such shifting of Faults from one quarter to another, <so much Avarice, so little Love of Country and public Spirit, and so little of any thing...>;2 that it will be a long time perhaps before any thing is done to purpose. There must be a great Revolution within before there is much War without. I have written very freely, Madam, and I pray You to take particular Care of this Letter. The Americans that are here feel more for the Injuries and Insults this Country has recieved from England, { 206 } than the Dutch themselves—but I will quit the subject, and I wish to Heaven I was going to quit the Country. There are many worthy Characters in the Republic, real Patriots, and they are pitied, but at large (the Country in general I mean), they have experienced as small a share of that tender sentiment as they deserve. Perhaps they mean to stand still and see their Salvation. May it come to them in due Season.
You will please to present my Duty and Respects where due, and to remember me affectionately to your family.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with the most perfect Respect, Madam, your most obedient and much obliged humble Servant,

[signed] JT3
RC (Adams Papers). Two passages, heavily scored out because Thaxter evidently thought them too “freely” critical of the Dutch to be entrusted to any eye at all, have been only partially reconstructed editorially.
1. Remainder of scored-out passage, some eight or ten words, illegible.
2. One or two scored-out words illegible.
3. The initialed signature is a monogram.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0139

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-01

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

We arrived here on Monday the 16/27 instant having left Amsterdam the N.S. 7th of July And rode the greatest part of the way day and night. The distance is about 2400 English Miles.2
The first place of any consequence we stopp'd at was Berlin the capital of the king of Prussia's Dominions; this is a very pretty town, much more so than Paris, or London as Mr. Dana says; but it will be still more so if the present King's plan is adopted by his successor, for wherever there is a row of low, small houses he sends the owners out of them, pulls them down and has large, elegant houses built in the same place and then sends the owners in again. But notwithstanding this, he is not beloved in Berlin, and every body says publicly what he pleases against the king; but as long as they do not go any farther than words, he don't take any notice of it but says that as long as they give him all he asks, they may say what they will.
But they have a great reason to complain of him, for he certainly treats them like Slaves; Among other things, if a farmer has two or more sons the eldest3 inherits all the land and all the others (when of age) are soldiers for life at a gros and a half which is about two pence sterling per day, and they must with that find their own provisions; if a farmer has but one Son He inherits his land; whenever a { 207 } Vacation happens in any regiment, he chuses one of his subjects to fill the place and this subject from that time becomes a soldier for life; every body that is tall enough is subject to this law. In peace time the Native troops are disbanded Nine months in a year, and in all that time their pay ceases and they must get their living as they can.
There is nothing very remarkable in Dantzic, Konigsberg, or Riga; in coming to this last we pass'd thro' Courland, a province which does strictly speaking belong to Poland but Russia has much more influence there than Poland itself in that Province. All the Farmers are in the most abject slavery, they are bought and sold like so many beasts, and are sometimes even chang'd for dogs or horses. Their masters have even the right of life and death over them, and if they kill one of them they are only obliged to pay a trifling fine; they may buy themselves but their masters in general take care not to let them grow rich enough for that; if any body buys land there he must buy all the slaves that are upon it.
Narva is the last place which we stopp'd at before our arrival here, it is a small, insignificant town but will be always famous for the battle fought there.4 As to this place, I have not been here long enough to know much about it, but by what we have seen of it I think it to be still handsomer than Berlin. The streets are large and the houses very well built but it is not yet half finish'd and will require another century to be render'd compleat.
Just before we got to Berlin, by the carelessness of a postillion our carriage overset and broke so that Mr. Dana was obliged to buy another there but luckily no body was hurt by the fall.
Nothing else Extraordinary befel us on our journey.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams Ministre Plenipotentiare des Etats-Unis de L'Amerique à Amsterdam.”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams 21. Aug. Ansd. 15. Decr. 1781.”LbC (Adams Papers); the first true letterbook entry in Lb/JQA/1 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 125); see descriptive note on AA2 to JQA, 24 May, above.
1. Adams Papers editorial style requires adhering to new style dates (eleven days later than old style) when either old style is known to have been used or double dates appear in the documents. This is one of the rare cases when JQA gives an old style date only.
2. For the circumstances leading to this journey, see above, JA to AA, 11 July, and note 3 there. For Dana's and JQA's itinerary across Europe see JQA, Diary, 7 July–27 Aug. 1781; Francis Dana, Journal from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg, July–Aug. 1781 (MHi:Dana Papers); Dana to JA, 28 Aug. / 8 Sept. 1781 (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:461–463).
3. Two words supplied from LbC; RC torn by seal.
4. Charles XII of Sweden defeated a greatly superior force of Russians at Narva in 1700.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0140

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-09-04

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Supposing Col. Laurens to have arrived at Rh. Island, I was greatly chagrined when he told me he had no Letters for you; and I was searching his papers to pick from them all the Comfort I could, to be transmitted to Braintree, when I found he had landed at Boston and had sent you a Message of what Satisfaction he could furnish relative to your dear Partner and your Children. What I told you from Mason was indubitably true being all in the Train of natural Consequence to what is now communicated to us.2
We are, at this present Writing, in high Glee with our General in the City and the french Troops encamped on the Commons, and with the Log Book of a Vessel this Afternoon, putting the highest probability of compleat Success upon the present military Movements.3 I want only my Spectacles which are left at the State House to make me quite happy by enabling me to prosecute the pleasing Task of Correspondence with one of the ——est and ——est and ——est Women. I am sure Madam there is nothing of Flattery or improper Affection in those half written Epithets though they partake of the superlative Degree. I am equally sure that the Spirit of Misinterpretation of any one of your Circle can find no Malice there: It is impossible for a single Heart in this City to feel malicious while the Bells are so sweetly chiming—always however excepting the Hearts of the Tories.
[signed] JL
Your Letter of July 20 / Aug. 6 reached me yesterday.
1. Date corrected from internal evidence and the sequence of AA-Lovell letters and replies.
2. See Lovell's (intercepted) letter to AA of 24 Aug., above.
3. Rochambeau's army, together with a part of Washington's army, marched through Philadelphia on their progress south to Yorktown on 3 to 5 September. For the excitement this martial display stirred in that city see letters in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:205–207.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0141

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-09-12

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

I cannot swallow your prohibition with a good grace and yet I am glad I know the real cause of Marias Silence to my repeated invitation.1 On one account I could have wished that the Letter containing the conference between Portia and Cornelia might not have been com• { 209 } municated.2 Portia is loth that Maria should be witness to the freedom of her pen least unknowing to all the circumstances which have calld it forth she should judge hardly of her intentions.—Of her Friend she is not affraid, yet when she sees him so nearly touched she feels both pain and pleasure. In the anxiety he discovers, he gives full proof of the Sincerity of his attachment where alone it is due, and if he feels a pain let it serve to Gaurd his words and actions with the Strictest Scrutiny. The unhappy of every denomination have a claim upon a Benevolent Heart—yet I know not, if that very principal which leads us to sympathize with the afflicted may not so deeply Interest a Generous mind, as to be miscontrued by a world too apt to judge more by outward appearance than to trace the real Source from whence they Spring.
I had no thoughts of entering deeply or so seriously into matters which personally so little concernd me as I find I have insensibly been drawn into, but if you have no other cause for uneasyness than what has fallen from my pen let not that wound you. You have sometimes given a latitude to your pen which I thought exceptionable and I have ever told you so with the fredom of a Friend. At the same time I could not hear unkind or injurious reflections and insinuations without hinting them to you—and wishing you to remove one great cause from whence I supposed them to arise. But no intimation could have possibly escaped me where I know you to repose your utmost confidence. Maria therefore might have visited B——n3 unpoisoned even by Cornelia who is not a resident here and who had she been would not have wounded her. But to be very sincere Sir I do not think female Slander has been the busyest—you might possibly find it in the city where you reside. I wish to close a subject upon which too much has prehaps been already written by one who has no other claim to attention than Friendship may demand and who thinks too favourably of the party to give credit to more than a degree of imprudence. If I was possessd of Parissian delicacy I might notice your consequences, but as I am not I can only advise to discretion.4
I freely own I should have been made misirable for a time under certain circumstances. Too great anxiety put a period to the existance of one at the very time you have hinted at and came nigh finishing the other.
Heaven only knows what might have been the concequences under a still greater degree of anxiety.
Are you very sick?—poor Maria—how anxious must She feel. Why did you not leave that pestilential air before this Sickly Season. You { 210 } have scarcly ever escaped—why will you not learn prudence? Have you a good Nurse? You ought to have. I know from the Benevolence of your own Heart you would make a good one. Gladly would Portia administer to your relief were you within her reach. Tis due to the Friendly hand which neither pain or Sickness could ever restrain from affording ease and satisfaction to a mind possibly too anxious—and it has done so in the assureances given that no ill will presided in your assembly whose measures have lately given me pain. For myself I have little ambition or pride—for my Husband I freely own I have much. With him this rustick cottage would yeald me all that high fancy forms or lavish hearts could wish—Truth Goodness honour Harmony and Love—Retirement rural quiet Friendship Books—ease and alternate Labour—usefull life—progressive Virtue, and approveing Heaven.
But [since]5 the stormy Scenes of life have disturbed this peacefull tranquility and calld him forth a principal actor upon the Stage, my ambition is that he exhibits there a character which shall do Honour to his country whilst he secures to it Freedom, independance, and fame. And whilst he is invariably persueing its best Interest divested as I know him to be of self Interested views and private Emolument, Gaurd and protect his Honour ye who ought to be a terror to evil doers and a praise to those who do well.
You will have received Col. Laurence [John Laurens] before this reaches you. I was much dissapointed in not hearing from his transatlantick Excellency as the British call him by Col. Laurence. I hope however that congress have dispatches from him. Mr. L[aurenc]e is a Gentleman of so much dispatch that I had no opportunity to see him. We have some curious publications in our papers since his arrival which I believe with discretion.
I hope he has succeeded well, if he has not I dare say it has not been oweing to want of zeal, firmness or industry. If any thing is communicable I hope you will be well enough to let me hear from you. I shall be very anxious till I do for I assure you I feel much Interested in your Health and happiness a large share of which is most sincerely wished you by your ever affectionate Friend,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee; docketed by CFA at head of text with date only.
1. see Lovell to AA, 17 July, above.
2. AA to Lovell, 23 June, above.
3. Thus in MS, but AA must have meant Braintree, where this letter was written, not Boston, where Mrs. Lovell lived.
4. This and what follows in the next two brief paragraphs is cryptic but apparently echoes sentiments in the first paragraph of Lovell to AA, 10 Aug., above.
5. Word editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0142

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-13

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

Itt is sometime since any of your friends have had a line from you though many Vessells have Arrived from France by which conveyance they have been expecting letters from you.
There has been Three frigates with money, some for the Congress, and Cloathing. The Marquis Lafaett that had a quantity of Cloathing is supposd to have founderd.
We have been very much troubeld on Our Eastern Coast and have lost some very Valuable Vessells taken in Our bay. A french frigate about Ten days ago coming from Piscataqua haveing a Mast ship under convoy was taken by a 50 Gun ship after a very smart engagement. The Mast ship escapd.
Last week Traitor Arnold and a Colo. Mongomery came Over from N York to N London with about 1400 and burnt about 120. houses &c. before Assistance could be had. They took the fort commanded by a Colo. Ledger who defended itt as long as he was Able and then surrended (he delivered his sword up to the surviveing officer Colo. Ayre [Eyre] & C. Montgomery <being kild>), after which he with about 70. were put to the sword. They find they cant conquer so go upon distroying property.
But that method dont make proselids for a Gentleman from Virginia tells me all the time they have been there their has not three Inhabitants joyned them. On the Contrary, every One that was before in their favor have become the greatest Wiggs, Scotchmen likewise.
There is Advise of a Vessell from Holland being taken and carried into Bermuda, belonging to Philadelphia which itts said left Holland the 16th. June.
Count Degass [de Grasse] Arrived att Virginia the 24th. Ulto. with <36> sail of the line. Genl. Washington with part of his Army and Count Deshombo [de Rochambeau] are gone to Virginia, with a view, iff the french can get the Mastery by Sea, to see Cornwallis.

[salute] I am Sr. Yr. Most O. Servt.,

[signed] Isaac Smith
Last sabbath a Certain worthy Old Doctor C[]y1 exprest himself Good Lord iff thou pleasest to continue the Warr let Our enemies fite like Men and not Act as savages and brute beasts.
PS. We have Authentick Accounts from Genl. Green that on the 18th August he had an engagement near Charlestown, defeated { 212 } the whole party took 150 prisoners besides which were 140. horse—the chief of these baggage and Waggons in which were 720 Guineas which he distributed Among his soilders—burnt 5 Vessells with store; and drove the remainder of what of the party2 into Charlestown, so that he is in possession of that Country except Charlestown and Oranburgh. To day an express is Arrived with Advise of Count De Grasse arriveing att Virginia the 26th. Ulto. landed 3,000 Troops, had 28 sail of the line. Count De Gassee took a packet from Carolinia with Lord Rawden on board bound to England.
There has been an Engagement between Count Degass, and Graves Wood3 &c. which went from N York with 21 sail of the line and a Number of frigates off the Capes of Virginia the 5th. Instant, but have not been Able to here how itt has ended.
As Count Degass had sent some of his ships up the river and Barraas with 7 ships from Rd. Island not joyned him am Affraid how matters are. The latter, there is some danger of the English falling in with seperate, but hope Otherwise.
As we have no Vessell bound to Holland, did not know but the4 way I forward this might reach you as soon as any Other some part of the intelligence being of a publick and something interesting.—Judge Cranch from home to day all well.
Genl. Washington and Count Deshombo went down the Elk the 8th. with 8,000 Troops.
This Morning letters by Capt. Newman Arrived in Town. Your publick Letters are going forward by Express. Your Letter Judge Cranch carries this Afternoon to Mrs. Adams.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Isaac Smith Esqr. 13th. Septr. 1781.”
1. Presumably Rev. Charles Chauncy (1705–1787), minister of the First Church in Boston for sixty years.
2. Thus in MS.
3. Smith's error for Adm. Samuel Hood (later Viscount Hood), who commanded the rear of Adm. Thomas Graves' fleet in the Battle of the Capes, which resulted in the French under de Grasse retaining command of the Virginia coast.
4. MS: “they.”
5. JA to AA, 22 May, above; see AA's reply, 29 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0143

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-09-15

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Under a Date of Aug. 24 I did myself the Pleasure to endeavour to convey to you later Information respecting your dear Connection in { 213 } Holland than you had before received, but my Letter was with others carried to New York.1 Mr. Adams and Family were well May 28th; and he had a few Days before taken upon himself much more of public Character than at any prior Time. Instead of Lodgings he took an House with Equipage and Servants in Proportion. It was judged to be according to the Wishes of the Dutch Government. Capt. Mason who gave me the Information had been captured so that he cautiously sunk all his Dispatches. I do not find any Particulars by Mr. Laurens worth communicating in regard to the Affairs of Holland. I have before me a Letter of Mr. Adams to him dated May 8th. in which he says: “I have communicated my Credentials to the States General, who after the Deliberations which the Form of their Constitution requires will determine whether they can receive them or not. It will probably be long before they decide.”2 His Change in Appearance towards the End of the Month makes me conjecture he was a little mistaken. He must in a few Days after Writing have received our Resolves passed March 1st. upon the compleat Signature of the Articles of Confederation, which gave him new Confidence.
Perhaps before the Chevalier L'Etombe, the Bearer, leaves Philadelphia we may have Something authentic from Cheseapeak of the agreable Kind: I will not give you Baltimore Reports, which are become proverbial, for Falsities.
Rivington got so little by the late Capture of our Mail, that he was induced to misspell, mispoint, and misletter to afford Amusement to his Customers by the Assurance of a literatim and verbatim publication. My Letter is printed without being directed to any Body and is signed J.S.
I imprudently mentioned that you might momently expect Commodore Gillon, and a Capt. Eden at Boston. I now hope they are arrived.

[salute] I wish you every Happiness and am with much Esteem Your humble Servant,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers). In the Adams Papers as arranged and bound up by the family in the 19th century, the second sheet of Lovell's letter to AA of 13 July (above; see descriptive note there) was placed with the present letter as if it were a continuation of it; and a paragraph of the supposed continuation was printed by Burnett in his Letters of Members, 6:219, under the later and wrong date.
1. This letter is printed above under its date from Rivington's Royal Gazette, the only known surviving text; see notes there.
2. Quoted from JA to John Laurens, 8 May (LbC, Adams Papers). The complete text is in JA, Works, 7:415–416.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0144

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1781-09-19

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

We arriv'd here the 16th of August old stile,1 (which is universally used yet, all over this Country;) having left Berlin, the 2d. of the same month, new stile, and rode the whole way, day and night, stopping only at the principal towns which lay in our way, viz: at Dantzic, three days, at Konigsberg, one, at Memel, one night, at Riga, four days, and at Narva, two: between these places, which are distant from one another, from one to four hundred English Miles there is hardly a Village to be seen. The whole route from Berlin here may be call'd a barren desart; and except a few places in Pomerania, Courland and Livonia, the road is pretty much like that between Bayonne and Bordeaux. When we left Prussia we entered into the province of Courland, which belongs to Poland, here all the Farmers are in the greatest slavery imaginable, their masters having the right of life and death over them, which they have not in Russia, tho' the common people are all Slaves.
The city of Petersbourg is the finest I ever saw, it is by far superior to Paris, both for the breadth of its streets, and the elegance of the private buildings, which are for the most part made of brick, and plastered over in imitation of Stone; but the police of the city is very bad, for almost every night, we hear of some robbery or murder committed.
As to the climate, the season is not yet far enough advanced for us to be able to form a judgement about it, but as yet, we don't find that it is colder here than it is in our country at this time; they have but little Sun here in the winter, for on the shortest day of the year it is but five hours and a half above the horizon, and on the longest it is eighteen and a half.
The common people here wear almost universally long beards, that is, the men; and in the summer cloth gowns which come down to their knees, and in the winter sheep skin ones, and most commonly boots. The people of fashion wear cloth clothes winter and summer, but in the winter when they go out, they put on furs, and boots lined with flannel, which they slip off as soon as they go into a house.

[salute] I am Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

1. 27 Aug. new style.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0145

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-09-20

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

In truth Friend thou art a Queer Being—laugh where I must, be candid where I can.—Your pictures are Hogarths. I shall find you out by and by—I will not Build upon other peoples judgements. My philosopher (I like the Name exceedingly) used to say I was a physiognomist. I have tried not unsuccessfully to find out the Heart of many a one by the countanance. I do not recollect that I ever had that opportunity with my correspondent, twice only in my life do I remember to have seen him, and then my harp was so hung upon the willows that I cared not whose face was sweet or sour. Yet do I remember the traits of Friendship and Benevolence were so conspicuous that they demanded a return in kind, and something like compassion, pitty, commisiration, call it by what Name you please I remember to have felt for the unjust sufferings of a worthy Man. But I did not study the Eye that best Index to the mind to find out how much of Rogury there was in the Heart, so here I have been these four years obtaining by peacemeal what I could have learnt in half an hour.
You may easily suppose that I have before me your Letters of August 4th and 23 and Sepbr. 10th2 but where the inteligence is which you say you told me from Mason I know not. Possibly Rivington may give it to me.3 I suspect it was with the captured post. I perceive you are up in alt with your Superlatives. So am I. Rejoice with me, for I have got a Letter at last. My Dear Friend well—that is a cordial to my Heart. Longs to come home to his American dame—for all the French Spanish Dutch Madams. That is flattering to my vanity—but he does not say so. I only find it out by his saying if he once gets back he will never leave me again. If I ever live to see that once I will hold him to his word. My dear Charles, sweet Boy, been sick of a Fever, and no Mother at hand to nurse and administer to the dear fondling. How does this inteligence soften every fibre and improve the Mothers sad Capacity of pain.
Thus do I run on because I know you take an Interest in my happiness and because I know I can make you feel. I hate an unfealing mortal. The passions are common to us all, but the lively sweet affection[s] are the portion only of a chosen few. I rejoice to find you have recoverd your Health and Spirits. Maria too tells me she has been sick, by Sympathy I suppose—that she will come and see me as soon as she can ride. The embargo is taken of[f] I find. If she comes { 216 } suppose I should make an exchange, give her my Letters for hers. No I wont, I will keep them for—for—there would be too much honey for me who have no right to it.—Laugh and Satirize as much as you please. I Laugh with you to see what a figure your inventive Genious makes in picking up terms—tis necessary to keep a Watchfull Eye over you.
Now to be a little serious, I think my good Gentleman is not very well pleased with the slow movements of the Mynheres—they do not accord with his feelings. He has no doubt forwarded his memorial with his Letters.4 The date of mine is the 22 of May. If any thing of a later date is sent to Congress, I wish you to transmit it by a private hand, I fear the post. We are in great hopes and high expectations of good News from the South. May it be better than our deserts or our hopes will again be Blasted. This vessel brings us News of a Naval engagement between Sir Peter Parker and some dutch Ships. You will have it in the papers. Many thanks for your attention to my and others things. If I had known of your Intention of again opening them I should have requested you to have kept out the white cloth and blew Sasnet to have forwarded provided an opportunity had offered. The rest may take their chance when they can.
I did not misapply Cornelia for Portia. I new it to be no fiction. There realy existed the Dialogue I related and nearly in the same words as I could recollect.
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee; CFA added “1781” to AA's incomplete date. Written on both sides of a folio cover sheet of a letter, date unknown, sent and franked by James Lovell in Philadelphia to AA in Braintree “To the Care of Isaac Smith Esq Boston.” AA's extremely careless punctuation has been slightly regularized for clarity.
1. The real date of this letter is questionable. AA clearly wrote “20 Sepbr.” at head of Dft, but in the course of it she mentions receiving “a Letter at last” from JA and specifically identifies his letter as that of 22 May, above. That letter came by Capt. Joseph Newman in the Gates, the precise date of whose arrival in Newburyport, 21 Sept., we know from the Boston Gazette of 24 Sept. (p. 3, col. 1), and whose mail reached Boston on 22 Sept. (see the last postscript in Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter to JA, 13–22 Sept., above; also Richard Cranch to JA, 26 Sept., below). In replying to AA on 9 Oct., below, Lovell speaks of “your Favour of Sepr. 26th,” for which date no letter of hers, either Dft or RC, has been found, and both there and in subsequent acknowledgments (29 Nov., 4 Dec., both below) Lovell, though echoing some points in the present letter, mentions others not in the text as we have it. The best explanation that can be offered is that AA did indeed misdate her Dft (20 for 26 Sept.) and that in the (missing) RC she extended the text and dealt with matters, or raised questions, not in Dft. Both were common enough practices with her, but the evidence available at this time is sufficient only to question, not to redate, the present letter.
2. These letters are all in the Adams Papers. That of 4 Aug. was really written on 4 Sept. and is printed above under { 217 } its correct date. That of 23 Aug. is also printed above. That of 10 Sept., in a Shandean vein but of little substance, is omitted here.
3. This was correct. See Lovell's (intercepted) letter to AA of 24 Aug., above.
4. That is, in his letters to Congress which had come in the Gates and were being forwarded from Boston.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0146

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-26

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Hond. and dear Sir

Tho' I have often wrote to your Excellency, yet I have not had the Happiness of a Line from you since you left us. I have this Day heard that Mr. Codman, who had his mercantile Education under our worthy Uncle Isaac Smith Esqr, will sail tomorrow Morning for Spain.1 I therefore take the liberty of sending a few Lines by him, tho' the Conveyance be somewhat circuitous.
Our Affairs at the Southward wear a very pleasing Aspect at present. The French Fleet under the Count De Grass, consisting of twentyeight Sail of the Line arrived lately at Chessepeak-Bay, and landed three Thousand Men in James River, to reinforce the Marquis De Fayett. General Washington and the Count De Rochambeau with eight Thousand French and American Regular Troops arrived at the Head of Elk, from Rhode Island and North River about the 8th. Instant, where every thing was ready to carry them down the Bay to assist in the great Cause of taking Lord Cornwallis and his Army, and so to free Virginia and the southern States;—an Event that seems in the highest degree probable, nay, we hear from various Quarters that Cornwallis has already proposed Terms on which he would surrender, but which are not accepted. Genl. Green has driven all the Troops that remain in South Carolina, into Charlstown; so that the English hold no other Post in that State at present. Lord Rawdon himself, with a number of others, was taken Prisoner by the Count De Grass's Fleet in their Passage to Virginia: He was on board a Pacquet bound to England. The General Court, now sitting here, received Information yesterday from Genl. Parsons near N. York, that a large Embarkation is taking place at New York, but he could not learn where they were destin'd. Capt. Newman in the Brig Gates from Amsterdam arrived at Newbury Port last Week in five Weeks. Your Lady received by him your Letter of the 22d of May inclosing your excellent Address to the States General of the United Provinces. I have put it into the Press, and it will be out tomorrow.2 I had a few Days before met with the same in French, and had just finished a Translation of it when yours came to hand. I have not yet seen Mr. { 218 } Brush who came Passenger in Capt. Newman, but I hear he brings information that your dear Johnney is gone to Petersbourg with Mr. Dana, and that Master Charles is coming home in Comr. Gellion [Gillon]. I want much to see Mr. Brush, that I may hear more particularly.3 Your most amiable Lady and Children were well to day, when I received a Line from her,4 dictated by unaffected Tenderness to you and the dear Little Boys, requesting me to see Mr. Brush and enquire every thing that he knows concerning you and them. I have not yet been happy enough to see him.—We have not received a Line from you since last October, except the Letter mentioned above.
The Action between the Dutch Squadron and Admiral Parker on the 5th. Ulto., is worthy the antient Batavian Spirit. I long to see that Spirit fully rouz'd. Time will not permit me to enlarge. I must however give you the Pleasure of letting you know that we are all well in the several Families of Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham &c. longing for the arrival of Comr. Gellion, Capt. Hayden, &c.; when we hope to hear more particularly from you, Cousin Thaxter, &c. In Expectation of which I remain with the highest Esteem and warmest Affection your obliged Friend and Bror.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
Please to present my kind Regards to Mr. Thaxter and tell him I have wrote to him several times, but have never received an Answer. I fear most of my Letters to You and Him have miscarried.5
P.S. Should the fate of War throw Mr. Codman in your way, and he should want your Assistance I would warmly recommend him as a young Gentleman of a good Family, and worthy of your Notice. His Brother is Partner with Cousin Billy Smith.
Thursday Morning. 8. o'Clock. As Mr. Codman is not yet gone on board I have enclos'd this day's Paper.6
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr: Minister from the United States of America to the States Genll: of the United Provinces. Residing at the Hague.”; stamped postal mark: “ASTURIAS”; endorsed: “Mr. Cranch Sept. 26. 1781.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Papers); written on both the blank and printed sides of a broadside resolve of the General Court, “State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, June 8, 1779,” instructing towns to settle their accounts with the State for payment to soldiers' families. Dft omits a portion of the postscripts; see note 5. For the (missing) enclosure in RC, see note 2.
1. Stephen or Richard Codman, both Boston merchants and younger sons of John Codman Sr., whose eldest son, John Jr., was a business partner of AA's “Cousin Billy Smith,” as mentioned in the postscript to this letter. See Cora Codman Wolcott, The Codmans of Charlestown and Boston, 1637–1929, Brookline, 1930, p. 63–66.
2. JA's Memorial of 19 April 1781 was { 219 } printed in the Independent Chronicle of 27 Sept., p. 1–2, and a copy of that issue of the paper was enclosed in Cranch's letter, as the postscript states.
3. Eliphalet Brush is repeatedly mentioned as a member of the growing American circle in Amsterdam in JQA's Diary, 10 Juneet seq., and was present at the Fourth of July celebration held there this year. He brought JA's dispatches for Congress in the Gates and is the only passenger noted in the Boston Gazette's account of the arrival of that vessel (24 Sept., p. 3, col. 1). The Gazette identifies him as “of the State of New York.” Brush called on AA and furnished her with much-wanted family news; see AA to JA, 29 Sept., below.
4. Not found.
5. Dft ends at this point.
6. See note 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0147

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-26

William Jackson to John Adams

Lest the date of my letter should alarm your Excellency, I am happy in prefacing it with an assurance that your dear little Boy, who is now at my elbow, is perfectly well.
Mr. Gillon (to the baseness of whose character no term of reproach is equal) has, after adding insult to injury landed us in Spain. I would enter into the detail of his unparalleled villainies—but the late hour at which I write obliges me to defer it until the next post.1 Colonel Searle, Colonel Trumbull, and myself propose going to France on board a frigate which will sail in twelve or fourteen days. I shall take Charles with me, and should your Excellency honor me with farther instructions respecting him, I will follow them with pleasure and punctuality. You will please to forward these instructions to your Correspondents at the different Ports in France, as it is not yet known to which the Ship goes.
I shall do myself the honor to write you fully by the next post. Your goodness must excuse my present brevity. I was unwilling to lose the first conveyance to announce our situation—and the extreme hurry in which I write will scarce admit my adding Colonel Searle's, Col. Trumbull's and my own affectionate and respectful compliments to your Excellency and Mr. Thaxter.—Be assured your Son's happiness will be my peculiar care—he has, and continues to read french and english to me daily, and is in every respect the Boy you would wish him to be, endearing himself to every-body.

[salute] I am with the most perfect esteem and respect, Dear Sir, Your most obedt. Servant and sincere friend,

[signed] W. Jackson
1. For the background of the remarkable voyage of the South Carolina, which sailed surreptitiously under the command of Alexander Gillon from the Texel on 12 Aug., with CA, Capt. Joshua Barney, William Jackson, James Searle, John { 220 } Trumbull, and Benjamin Waterhouse, among others, as passengers, see above, Waterhouse to JA, 26 Dec. 1780, note 4; JA to AA, 11 July 1781, and note 2 there. Gillon had wandered in the North Sea for weeks, circumnavigated the British Isles, and at length put into La Coruña in Spain for want of water and provisions to make the Atlantic crossing. During one storm that was encountered, Joshua Barney had had to take command to save the vessel (John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 76). In this or another storm the vessel also suffered some damage and therefore required repairs. At La Coruña, CA, under Jackson's care, together with some of the other passengers, left the South Carolina and sought other transportation home. Waterhouse elected to continue with Gillon and had further adventures in the West Indies. These sequels will unfold in the correspondence, during the next nine months, of Jackson, Waterhouse, Capt. Hugh Hill of the Cicero (which ultimately brought CA home), and Isaac Smith Sr. with JA and AA, and between JA and AA, who both were to go months without word of CA's whereabouts.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0148

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Three days only did it want of a year from the date of your last Letter,1 when I received by Capt. Newman in the Brig Gates your welcome favour of May 22d.
By various ways I had collected some little intelligence of you, but for six months past my Heart had known but little ease—not a line had reachd me from you, not a syllable from my children—and whether living or dead I could not hear. That you have written many times, I doubted not, but such is the chance of War; and such the misfortune attending a communication between absent Friends.
I learn by Mr. Brush, that Mr. Dana is gone to Petersburgh, and with him Master John. For this I am not sorry. Mr. Danas care and attention to him, I shall be well satisfied in—and Russia is an Empire I should be very fond of his visiting. My dear Charles I hear is comeing home with Gillion.
I know not your motives for sending him but dare say you have weighty reasons. That of his Health is alone sufficient, if the low countries are as prejudicial to him, as I fear they are—and will be to his Father too. Why did you not write me about it? At first I learnt it, only by hearing of a list of passengers who were to come in the Indian,2 amongst which was a son of Mr. A——s. This made me very uneasy—I had a thousand fears and apprehensions. Nor shall I be much at ease, you may well suppose, untill I hear of her arrival. I fear she will be an object, for the British to persue. The Event I must commit to the Supreme Ruler of the universe.—Our Friends here are all well, your Mother has recoverd beyond my expectation, my Father { 221 } too is in good Health for his years. Both our parents remember you with affection.
General Green, is making the Requisition you require, and setling the preliminarys for a Peace, by extirpating the British force from Carolina. We are from the present prospect of affairs in daily expectation that Cornwallis will meet the Fate of Burgoine. God Grant it—and that this winter may produce to America an honorable Peace. But my fears are well grounded when I add, that some of your Colleagues are unfit for the Buisness and I really am in suspence whether you will hold your Garbled commission, for reasons to which you will be no stranger before this reaches you. But if you resign, I am not the only person by hundreds who dread the consequences, as it is probable you will find, from instructions which I hear are to be sent, from several States to their delegates in Congress. You have a delicate part to act. You will do what you esteem to be your duty, I doubt not; fearless of consequences, and futurity will discriminate the Honest Man from the knave tho the present Generation seem little disposed to.
I cannot write so freely as I wish. Your Memorial is in high estimation here.
So you have set down at Amsterdam in the House keeping way. What if I should take a trip across the Atlantick? I tell Mrs. Dana we should pass very well for Natives.—I have received a very polite Letter from Mr. DeNeufvilla.3 How did this Man discover, that extolling my Husband was the sweetest Musick in my ears? He has certainly touched the key which vibrates Harmony to me!
I think I have requested you to send me a chest of Bohea Tea, by any vessel of Mr. Tracys. Do not think me extravagant—I economize with the utmost Frugality I am capable of, but our Taxes are so high, and so numerous, that I know not which way to turn. I paied 60 hard dollars this week for a State and county Rate. I have 30 more to pay immediately for hireing a Man for 6 months in the Service, and a very large town tax, now comeing out. Hard Money is our only currency. I have a sum of old and new paper which lies by me useless at present. Goods of the West India kind are low as ever they were—Bills Sell greatly below par. Hard money is very scarce, but I hope never to see an other paper Medium. Difficult as the times are, and dull as Buisness is, we are in a better situation than we were before.
Where is my Friend Mr. Thaxter? that not a line has reachd me from him? His Friends are all well, but longing and impatient to hear from him. We see by the paper that he was well enough to celebrate independence on the fourth of july.4—The Robinhood had Letters to { 222 } all my Friends which I hope you have received. I send many to Bilboa, do you get any from thence, pray write to me by way of France and Bilboa.
This is to go by a Brig to France which I heard of but yesterday. You have I suppose received a commission for forming a Quadrupple alliance—such an one is made out.
O my dear Friend, how far distant is the day when I may expect to receive you in your Native Land?
Haughty Britain sheath your sword in pitty to yourselves. Let not an other village be added to the long list of your depredations. The Nations around you shudder at your crimes. Unhappy New London Named after your capital—may she close the devastation.

[salute] How many tender Sentiments rise to mind when about to bid you adieu. Shall I express them or comprise them all in the assurence of being ever Ever Yours,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Portia Septr. 29. 1781.”
1. His letter of 25 Sept. 1780, acknowledged by AA in her reply of 25 Dec. 1780, both above.
2. The original name of the frigate which Commodore Gillon had obtained from the French government and renamed the South Carolina was L'lndien (So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 9:199–200 [Oct. 1908]).
3. Of 25 May, above. The original came by Capt. Newman in the Gates.
4. See above, John Thaxter to AA, 21 July, and note 2 there. This letter had obviously not yet been received.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0149

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-09-30

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I imagine You heard by the last Post of our being at this Place, and the reasons of our coming here. It is a great disappointment to Us all; yet the danger of our proceeding in the Condition We were in and the hopes of getting out soon, ought to make Us content.
You already know I believe that there has been a very unfortunate difference between two of the Passengers1 and our Commodore, which has been carried to very great lengths indeed—a private pique has been tortured into a public affair, and matters have gone near to the destruction of our Ship. Affairs however have a better Aspect at present, and I fully believe We shall proceed on to America in a Week or ten days. I am mortified, grievously mortified, that We should injure ourselves in a foreign Country by our little private Animosities. If You ask me what gave rise to this difference? I answer I cannot positively say—various Reasons have been assigned for it. Whatever they may be You will think with me that this place or any other out { 223 } of America are unfit for settling them, more especially if they any how concern public Affairs. Major Jackson takes Charles with him; as he says he has the absolute Charge of him, I cannot interpose. The Commodore was in some difficulty how to act on this head: he has done however as I should have done under the like Circumstances. If We arrive safe I shall not fail to acquaint his Mother with the reasons for his not coming at the same time I did. I have suffered much Anxiety and Mortification in this dispute, altho' I have not been immediately concerned. Mr. Van Haslet, Le Roy, Bromfield, Brailsford and myself have private Lodgings ashore, where We enjoy Peace and Quietness, and here We chearfully wait until We are called on board again, which I hope will be soon, unless another cruel step should be taken to detain Us and ruin the Ship.
We shall not get the Repairs We wished for, but shall patch up our defects as well as We can. If You wish to know why We proceed to sea at this season without thorough Repairs and ample provisions, I must refer You to Colo. James Searle and Major William Jackson, who I believe are the only People in the World capable of informing You.

[salute] With great Respect I am your obliged Friend,

[signed] B. Waterhouse
Early Tr (PPAmP); in the hand of John Thaxter, who wrote at head of text: “Copy of a Letter from Dr. Waterhouse to Mr. Adams.” JA had Thaxter make this copy to enclose in his 25 Oct. letter to Benjamin Franklin; see JA, Papers, 12:49.The reasons for making this copy (now the only known text) are unknown.
1. William Jackson and James Searle.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0150

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-05

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I doubt not Madam, you have Letters from Mr. Adams of later Date than what we have received but that Fact will not prevent your Expectations of Something from me in the Way of retailed Politicks: — He has sent as I imagine but few duplicates of what are actually on Board Gillon. He dated May 16 and Augst. 3d. from Amsterdam, July 11. 14. 15 from Paris.1 He thinks Britain altogether insincere as to honorable Peace. He sees in Holland the almost absolute Certainty of ||no Loan till|| our Independence ||is|| acknowledged by the States General — ||a distant Period.||
The other day Mr. Cumberland Dugan sent a Wagon from hence to Boston. He made me hope for a Chance of conveying at least a Part of your Goods, but found it impossible, finally, being obliged to load 400 lb. more than his first Contract. I had the large Chest { 224 } hooped with Iron, and I hope soon to get an Opportunity of sending it.

[salute] I wish you every Happiness being with much Esteem, Madam, Your humble Servant,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers). Words in cipher have been deciphered between double verticals; in MS they are interlined in the hand of Richard Cranch. On Lovell's cipher see Appendix to this volume.
1. RC's of the letters mentioned, all addressed to the President of Congress and including two of the first date (16 May), are in PCC, No. 84, III; LbC's are in JA's letterbooks in use at the time (Lb/JA/16–17; Microfilms, Reel Nos. 104–105); printed texts are in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:419–421, 560–561, 574, 575–576, 619–621.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0151

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This is the first Time, I have been able to write you, since my Sickness.—Soon after my Return from Paris, I was seized with a Fever, of which, as the Weather was and had long been uncommonly warm, I took little notice, but it increased very slowly, and regularly, untill it was found to be a nervous Fever, of a dangerous kind, bordering upon putrid. It seized upon my head, in such a manner that for five or six days I was lost, and so insensible to the Operations of the Physicians and surgeons, as to have lost the memory of them. My Friends were so good as to send me an excellent Physician and Surgeon, whose Skill and faithfull Attention with the Blessing of Heaven, have saved my Life. The Physicians Name is Osterdike.1 The surgeon the same, who cured Charles, of his Wound.2 I am, however still weak, and whether I shall be able to recover my Health among the pestilential Vapours from these stagnant Waters, I know not.3
I hope Charles is well and happy with you, by this Time. He sailed with Commodore Gillon seven Weeks ago. We have no News from Mr. Dana and his young Fellow Traveller, since they left Berlin.
The Pamphlet inclosed, is a Dutch Translation of the Abby Raynals History of the American Revolution. It is a Curiosity for you to lay up.4

[salute] With Sentiments and Affections that I cannot express, Yours.

RC (Adams Papers). For the enclosure see note 4.
1. Nicolaas George Oosterdijk (1740–1817), professor of medical theory at Leyden from 1775 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:935–936).
2. The surgeon is unidentified. CA had been ill in the spring, and it was in part for this reason that he was being sent home, but the editors have found no other allusions to a “Wound” he had sustained.
{ 225 }
3. AA did not learn of JA's illness for a long time to come, because this letter was not received for many months; her first reference to the news in it was in her letter to JA of 17 March 1782, below.
JA had returned to Amsterdam from Paris by the end of July. On 24 Aug. he received a letter from Franklin dated on the 16th enclosing a packet from Congress that contained JA's new joint commission and instructions to treat of peace as adopted by Congress in June (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:456–457). JA replied next day, 25 Aug. (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:459–461); but on 4 Oct. he wrote again to Franklin in a letter that began: “Since the 25th of August, when I had the honor to write You, this is the first Time that I have taken a Pen in hand to write to any body, having been confined and reduced too low to do any kind of business by a nervous Fever” (PPAmP: Franklin Papers; printed from LbC, Adams Papers, in JA, Works, 7:465–466). The letter sent to Franklin is, however, actually in John Thaxter's hand and only signed by JA, as are the two or three other letters sent over his name during the preceding six weeks.
The illness was severe. In apology for having lately written so little to Congress, JA told Pres. Thomas McKean on 15 Oct.:
[N]ot long after I got home I found myself attacked by a Fever, of which at first I made light, but which increased very gradually and slowly, until it was found to be a nervous Fever of a very malignant kind, and so violent as to deprive me of almost all sensibility for four or five days, and all those who cared any thing about me, of the hopes of my life. By the help however of great skill and all powerful Bark I am still alive, but this is the first time I have felt the Courage to attempt to write to Congress. Absence and Sickness are my Apologies to Congress for the few Letters they will receive from me since June.
“Whether it was the uncommon Heat of the Summer, or whether it was the Mass of pestilential Exhalations from the stagnant Waters of this Country that brought this disorder upon me, I know not: but I have every Reason to apprehend, that I shall not be able to re-establish my Health in this Country. A Constitution ever infirm, and almost half an hundred Years old, cannot expect to fare very well amidst such cold damps and putrid Steams as arise from the immense quantities of dead Water that surround it.” (PCC, No. 84, III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:780||; also printed in JA, Papers||.)
For his later recollection of this illness, see JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 148, in which he says it resulted from “Anxiety concerning the state of my affairs in Holland,” the “unwholesome damps of the night,” and “excessive fatigue” from travel and work, and “brought me as near to death as any man ever approached without being grasped in his arms.”
4. Abbé Guillaume Thomas François Raynal, Staatsomwenteling van Amerika. Uit het Fransch, Amsterdam, 1781. Two copies are among JA's books in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 208).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0152

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-09

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Yesterday's Post brought me your Favour of Sepr. 26th.1 Your dear Boy Charles should most certainly have had half of the Bed of one of his Father's devoted Friends here, if the Winds had so directed the Ship's Course in which he is a Passenger; but I am told she is arrived at Falmouth in Casco Bay. I wish you an happy Meeting with him. I shall be rejoyced to find that the Voyage has been beneficial to his Constitution.
I have already given you the dates of Mr. A's Letters which came { 226 } by Newman: viz. May 16. July 11. 14. 15. Aug. 3d.2 In the 1st he says
“This Country is indeed in a melancholy Situation — sunk in Ease, devoted to the Pursuits of Gain, over-shadowed on all sides by more powerful Neighbours, unanimated by a Love of military Glory or any aspiring spirit, feeling little Enthusiasm for the Public, terrified at the Loss of an old Friend and equally terrified at the Prospect of being obliged to form Connexions with a new one, encumbered with a complicated and perplexed Constitution, divided among themselves in Interest and Sentiment, they seem afraid of every Thing. Success on the Part of France, Spain, and especially of America raises their Spirits and advances the Good Cause some what; but Reverses seem to sink them much more.” He adds “The War has occasioned such a Stagnation of Business and thrown such Numbers of People out of Employment that I think it is impossible Things should remain long in the present insipid state. One System or another will be pursued. One Party or another will prevail; much will depend on the Events of the War. We have one Security, and I fear but one; and that is the domineering Character of the English who will make Peace with the Republic upon no other Terms than her joining them against all their Enemies in the War; and This, I think, it is impossible she ever should do.”
It is to be hoped that the Events of this Campaign will be such as to influence Holland and even Britain to do us Justice. There has been a most severe Engagement on the 8th. of Sepr. in South Carolina.3 I think I shall be able to send a printed account to Boston by the Bearer of this. It has been spoken of, here for some days; and this Evening Gen. Green's Thanks to his Army are brought to Philada. by a Gentleman of good Character. It is said the Enemy are Sufferers to the Amount of 1100 and our Army to 500. These Numbers being for killed, wounded and missing.—In Virginia Things are proceeding surely and faster than we had a Right to expect.
I have been chagrined about your Goods the last Week. I hoped to send them by two different Opportunities being promised a Chance. I weighed them and bound the heaviest with Iron Hoops ready for loading, but the Waggoners could not take the Charge. I cannot without great Trouble and Injury to the Chest take out the white BroadCloth. I will double my Diligence to send the Whole.
Your Attentions to Mrs. Lovell prejudice me so much in your Favour that I can let you call me “queer” or any Thing else that hits your Fancy, provided always that you do not call or even think me { 227 } deceitful when I profess myself with affectionate Respect Madam your Friend & humble Servant,
[signed] JL
Perhaps after my Profession of Respect it will [be] incongruous to hint that you also Madam are a “queer Being.” I verily believe you would be willing to hear any one call your best Friend, “old Darby,” rather than to hear it said he appears lively as Chesterfield. You talk of your Philosopher and his Dame. Why, Nothing was farther from my Intention than your sprightly Husband when I wrote of your Philosopher. No, No, he is too modern to be adduced in the Reasoning I sent you. It was your “Antient,” Ma'am, that had been held up to me as a Pattern, That Wiseacre, who, “had he lived in the House or Family” &c. &c.
Take the Song of Darby and Joan in Hand and stand before your looking Glass to find the Resemblance;—a pretty Dame Adams indeed!4
You “did not misapply Cornelia for Portia.” But, you did, most assuredly. “There was no Fiction in the Story.” “The Dialogue really existed as related.” I supposed so; and therefore all the little malicious Things I have written were intended [for] Cornelia and not for Portia.
1. Probably the (missing) RC of the (incomplete?) Dft of AA's letter dated 20 Sept., above. Certainly that letter is referred to in the present one, but whether an AA letter of 26 Sept. was also written and is now missing, is not clear.
2. These letters are accounted for in note 1 on Lovell to AA, 5 Oct., above.
3. Battle of Eutaw Springs.
4. Darby and Joan: “A jocose appellation for an attached husband and wife who are 'all in all to each other', especially in advanced years and in humble life”; the names derive from the central figures in a song or ballad published in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1735 (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0153

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-14

Joseph Gardoqui & Sons to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Since the above duplicatte of our last Respectts to you1 has Kissed our hands your allways obliging Esteemed favour of the 18th. Jully2 and therewith your Remmittance for Livers 300 on Paris which in Repply have the pleasure to Informe you has by us been punctually forwarded for Acceptance, as such when in Cash your Account with us will be creditted for the same at the Exchange of 76 Souls per current dollar in Riales 1188 & 29 mrs. of Vellon3 which if Right be pleased to notte in Conformity with us.
The Brigg Boston Packett Capt. White putt in at Coruna, by { 228 } contrary winds from whence we Expectt her hourly, and as you are pleased to directt our shipping the Ammount of the above bill in Sundry goods in her the present Chiefly serves to advice you that it will be with pleasure punctually Comply'd with, by those who Salutting you with due Respectts Subscrive with the highest Reggard & Esteem, Madam, your mt. obt. hble. Servts.,
[signed] Joseph Gardoqui & sons
RC (Adams Papers). Follows on same sheet of paper (though it is in a different hand) text of DuplRC of Gardoqui & Sons to AA, 2 May 1781, q.v. above under that date.
1. See descriptive note.
2. Not found.
3. That is, 1188 reals and 29 maravedis of vellon (or billon), a form of Spanish currency (Patrick Kelly, The Universal Cambist and Commercial Instructor, 2d edn., London, 1826, 1:316–318).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0154

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jackson, William
Date: 1781-10-20

John Adams to William Jackson

Your Letter, Sir, of the 26 Ult. I received last night, and should have [been] astonished at its date and Contents if I had not seen yours to Mr. De Neufville, of the same date, which he received three days before.
I had ever1 taken Mr. Gillon, for a Man of Honour, drawn insensibly into difficulties by a Train of Disappointments: but I cannot reconcile his Conduct upon this occasion.—But it is to no Purpose to enlarge upon this Subject.—What is become of the Dispatches to Congress? There were on board half a Cart Load from me. All my Letters to Congress for 6 or 8 months were there.
Your Account of the Health, and especially of the good Behaviour of my dear Charles, gives me great Pleasure.
I can give you, no Instructions what to do with him. If you have a Prospect, of a Passage soon to America, and can conveniently, take him with you, I suppose that would be most agreable to him. In this Case, if you go to Paris, I wish you would leave him in the meantime, in the Care of Mr. Johnson or Mr. Williams at Nantes, or Mr. Cummings at L'orient,2 desire those Gentlemen to give him a Latin or a French Master, and draw upon me for the Expence. But if you should come to Amsterdam, bring him with you: but in this Case Mr. Charles must lay aside his Thoughts of going to America, untill I go.
I am extreamly sorry you are likely to be embarrassed with the Care of this Child, in Addition to all your other Vexations.
{ 229 }
My best Regards to Mr. Searle and Coll. Trumbull. I have received some Letters for Mr. Searle from his Excellency Governor Reed. Should be glad of Mr. Searles directions where to send them.

[salute] With great Esteem, I have the Honour to be Sir your most obedient & obliged humb. sert.

Pray what do you intend to do, with the Continental Goods left here?
1. MS apparently reads “even.”
2. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), of Maryland and London, whose daughter Louisa Catherine (LCA) was in 1797 to become the wife of JQA; the Johnsons resided at Nantes during the later years of the war, and JA and JQA became familiar with their household there when awaiting passage to America in the spring of 1779 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:300, 357–359; Adams Genealogy).
Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), a merchant at Nantes, identified in vol. 3:72, above.
James Cummings, an American merchant at Lorient (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:357, 370; George H. Lincoln, A Calendar of John Paul Jones Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, Washington, 1903, p. 159).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0155

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It is now four weeks since Capt. Newman arrived in the Brig Gates and brought me your Letter of the 22d of May. It wanted but a few days of a year from the date of your last when this reached me.1 Time which is said to soften and alleviate Sorrow, encreases anxiety when connected with expectation. This I hourly experience, and more particularly, since Mr. Brush acquainted me that my dear Charles was on Board Commodore Gillion.
3 frigates of the Enemies and a 50 Gun Ship the Chatham, are cruising upon our Coast for the vessels which are expected from Holland. I tremble for the dangers to which he may be exposed from the Enemy, and of our coast, if he should not speedily arrive, but there is one consolation to which I must ever resort, in all my anxietyes. I thank Heaven who has given me to believe in a superintending providence Guiding and Governing all things in infinate wisdom and “to look through and trust the Ruler of the Skye.”
From Mr. Brush I learnt something of your domestick affairs—that you had taken a House in Amsterdam, that you had Sent our eldest Son to Petersburgh with Mr. Dana, and Charles Home on account of his Health—and the desire he had to return again to his native Country, which must have been great indeed to induce the poor fellow to cross the atlantick without Father or Brother. How { 230 } much does the anxious Heart of a Mother feel upon this occasion. No doubt you have some kind Friends, to whose care you have entrusted him, but I should have felt easier if you had written to me about it.
The Cheval[ier] L'Etomb arrived here and did me the honour of a visit soon after.2 He brought me your favour from Leyden dated March 11th. He has kindly offerd me a safe conveyance of my Letters, by covering them himself to you, and by particular orders which he has promised to give about them. If you should write by way of France I could wish you would send under cover to him. I am not without Suspicion that you have written by way of France, and that they have been stoped. I know not how else, to account for my not hearing from you for so long a space of time. No doubt their are British Emissaries and American knaves employed for that purpose. I am told D——n is in Holland—for no good I dare say.3 The whole junto will be soon known in America for a set of wicked unprincipled debauched wretches, from the old Deceiver down to the young Cockatrice.
You flatter me with a pleasing Illusion that if ever you see your Native land again you will not quit it. If you once see it at peace, I should hope you would not, but untill then, I can have little faith in the promise—for tho you should return with that desireable object unaccomplished, the same principle which first led you to quit your family and Friends would opperate again, when ever you could be brought to believe that you could render your Country more Service abroad than at Home; altho providence has been pleased to seperate us, it is not with the mortifying reflection that you quited your Native Land through fear, malice or Ill Will towards it, but by the unanimous voice of a free people you were deputed to give peace to Britain. Her haughty and unjust principles and sentiments have heitherto obstructed the Benevolent wishes of the United States.—Some late measures of [Congress]4 have led the Friends of American Freedom to fear that an undue influence presides in her C[ounci]ls, and that partiality will confer the recompence due to virtue upon elegant and polished vice—that complasance is preferred to honest zeal, adulation, to Truth, and meaness of Spirit, to Elevation of Soul. Are We an Independant Nation? If we are, why not speak a language becomeing a free people?
You will receive dispatches no doubt before this will reach you that will serve to explain what I have said. You will see with whom and what you are colleagued. Some you can have little hopes of { 231 } assistance from, considering their present situation—and some will have no Inclination, but to obstruct your measures.
But at present I see no prospect of your negotiating jointly or seperately. Yet Cornwallis is in a most deplorable situation, his out works all taken, himself cooped up, and must be necessitated to surrender with his army soon from present appearences. Green is fighting like a Hero, as he is. I believe he has fought more Battles than any General in the Army, and has been as successfull. Our affairs look Brilliant I assure you.
My dear dearest Friend write by every opportunity, why not by Bilboa. It is as good and safe a way as any I know of. Do not if you can possibly prevent it, let me pass such an other twelve month as the year past. I have sighd enough to have borne your Letters over could they have reachd you.—My Charles, o when shall I see him. May no misfortune befall him prays your ever Ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Portia 21st. Octr. 1781,” and by JA: “ansd. Decr. 2.”
1. See above, AA to JA, 29 Sept., and note 1 there.
2. P. A. J. de Létombe, French consul; see above, vol. 3:287.
3. AA must mean Silas Deane, who has appeared with some frequency in the Adams Family Correspondence and more often in JA's Diary and Autobiography. Deane had returned to France in the summer of 1780, reaching Paris soon after JA left that city for Amsterdam, and resumed his residence with Franklin at Passy (Deane Papers, 4:174, 190, 218). He spent some weeks in the Netherlands early in 1781, and apparently paid another brief visit there in the summer of that year (same, 4:274–275, 287, 290; 5:30), but he seems otherwise to have been steadily in Paris. He had come back to Europe ostensibly to settle his accounts with Congress as a joint commissioner, but he was much occupied with fruitless commercial ventures of his own and with long letters of apologetics that by May 1781 turned into arguments for renouncing American independence as a hopeless cause. A number of these letters written to Deane's friends in America may have been paid for and were certainly circulated by the British government; the tory printer James Rivington was beginning to publish them, as if intercepted, at just this time in his New York Royal Gazette, Oct.–Dec. 1781 (same, 4:311–315, 500–505, and passim; see also AA to JA, 23 Dec., below; and Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:262–263). At about the same time Deane left Paris, “distressed both in mind and circumstances” according to Franklin, to live in Ghent, where he remained until he went to England for his final tragic years early in 1783 (Deane Papers, 4:491, 497; 5:70, 145). On the subject of Deane's character, wanderings, and lurid last years, see Julian P. Boyd: “Silas Deane: Death by a Kindly Teacher of Treason?” WMQ, 3d ser., 16:164–187, 318–342, 515–550 (April, July, Oct. 1959).
4. Blank in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0156

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have not yet seen the Work from whence the inclosed Extracts were made. A set is on the Road, a Present from the Friend of Man, to me. Meantime a Friend at a Distance who has a Set has sent me these Extracts.1 They are worth printing in the Gazette, not to gratify the Vanity of an Individual so much as for the noble Testimony of a Character so much respected as that of Mr. Hollis in favour of our Schools and System of Education. I think too his sentiments that an Agent should stay but 3 years applicable to Congress Ministers, according to which Rule, my time is out.
I have great Occasion for a few of the New England shillings. Pray send me, half a dozen if you can procure them by different Occasions.2

[salute] With never ceasing affection, yours.

RC (Adams Papers). For the enclosure see note 1.
1. The “Extracts” (of which JA enclosed a copy in his own hand, now in MHi:Cranch Papers, under date of 1781) were originally furnished by Edmund Jenings in his letter to JA from Brussels, 17 Sept. (Adams Papers). Jenings' letter devoted three of its six folio pages to two quotations from [Francis Blackburne,] Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq., London, 1780, a work in two large and elegant quarto volumes containing numerous engravings. (On JA and Hollis see index to JA's Diary and Autobiography.) The first quoted passage from the Memoirs, 1:400–401, relates to the publication and authorship and extols the substance of JA's anonymous essays, originally published in the Boston Gazette in 1765 and reprinted in London by Hollis in 1768 under the title Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law. It concludes with the text of a brief letter Hollis addressed to the Empress Catherine of Russia in 1768, transmitting a passage from the Dissertation in praise of the New England plan of education at public expense. The second passage from the Memoirs, 1:416–417, quoted in Jenings' letter is from a letter written by Hollis to the Boston clergyman Andrew Eliot Sr., 10 May 1769, and deals chiefly with the qualifications of a colonial agent, mentioning JA as a person well qualified.
After some difficulties, JA obtained a set of Hollis' Memoirs; see JA to Jenings, 9 Oct., 28 Dec. (both in Adams Papers). Volume 2 of this set survives among JA's books in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 28).
2. In his letter to JA of 17 Sept., cited in note 1, Jenings had mentioned that Thomas Brand Hollis, heir of Thomas Hollis (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:188), desired a specimen of early Massachusetts coinage. It was JA's intent to send one to supply this want. He repeated his request in his (2d) letter to AA of 4 Jan. 1782, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0157

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-10-23

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

I am afraid you will think I was negligent in not writing more than I did by so good an opportunity as my brother Charles, but I hope you will excuse me as a journey of two thousand of our miles of which I had not the least thought a week before I set out was the only reason for it, so that I had not time to write before I left Holland, as all my time was employed in getting ready to go.
We left Amsterdam the 7th of July and arrived here the 16/27 of August: and I have not yet had an opportunity of writing, but as now a very good one presents itself1 I cannot let it slip without writing you, to tell you at least that I am well and that I have got to the end of my Journey without any accident, except having been overset once in the carriage, but luckily nobody was hurt.
Voltaire in his history of Russia gives the following description of this city, by which you will be able to form an opinion of the place where we are.
“The city of Petersbourg is situated upon the gulf of Cronstadt, in the midst of nine branches of rivers, by which it's different quarters are divided. The center of the town is occupied by a very strong castle upon an island formed by the great arm of the Neva. The rivers are branched out into seven canals which wash the walls of One of the imperial palaces, of the admiralty, of the dockyard for the gallies, and of several manufactories. The city is embellished by five and thirty large churches among which are five for foreigners; Roman Catholic's, Calvinists and Lutherans. These five temples are monuments of the spirit of toleration, and an example to other nations. There are five imperial palace[s]; the old one, called the Summer Palace, situate on the river Neva is bordered by a handsome stone ballustrade along the river side. The new Summer Palace, near the triumphal gate, is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in Europe. The admiralty, the school for the instruction of cadets, the imperial colleges, the academy of sciences, the exchange, the merchants warehouses, the dock-yard belonging to the gallies, are all magnificent structures. The town-house, or guild hall, the public dispensary, where the vessels are all made of porcelaine; the magazine belonging to the court, the foundery, the arsenal, the bridges, the market-place, the public squares, the caserns for the guards of horse and foot, contribute to the embellishment, as well as to the security { 234 } of this metropolis. They reckon at St. Petersbourg at present no less than four hundred thousand souls. Round the town there are villa's or country-houses surprizingly magnificent: some of them have jet d'eaus or water-works, far superior to those of Versailles. There was nothing of all this in 1702, it being then an impassable morass.”2

[salute] I have not time to write any more at present, and must conclude by subscribing myself your most dutiful Son,

[signed] John Q. Adams
1. This letter was doubtless brought from St. Petersburg to Amsterdam, for posting there, by Stephen Sayre, who brought JQA's letter of this date to JA, following; see JA's reply to JQA, 15 Dec., below.
2. Copied and translated by JQA from the first chapter of Voltaire's Histoire de l'empire de Russie sous Pierre le grand.JQA's copy of this work, 2 vols., n.p., 1759–1763, remains among his books in MBAt and bears a few corrections and annotations apparently in his hand. According to notes on the front flyleaves, JQA paid 5 guilders and 2 stivers for the first volume and 3 guilders and 10 stivers for the second, on 13 July 1781. His diary records that on that day he traveled from Cologne to Coblentz, and so he either paid a German bookseller in Dutch currency or erred by a few days in recording the date of his purchase. At any rate, the book was acquired for study as JQA started on his journey to St. Petersburg. A notation in vol. 2 indicates that binding the volumes cost him “80 Cop[eks].” Though done in Russia, the bindings, in the French style of the period, are among the handsomest in JQA's library and are still in pristine condition.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0158

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-23

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I wrote you just after I arrived here,1 and gave you a short sketch of my Journey from Amsterdam to this Place, and promised you in my next a description of this city, but I dont find any thing more than what Voltaire says of it in his history of Russia nor even quite so much, for according to his description, the city is situated upon the Gulf of Cronstadt in the midst of nine branches of rivers, which divide its different quarters. Seven of these nine branches of rivers are nothing more than creeks made into canals about as wide as the cingel at Amsterdam, the rest of his description is pretty exact.
I left at Amsterdam Littleton's Latin and English Dictionary which Dr. Waterhouse gave me;2 if I should stay here, I should be glad if you would send it to me by the first vessel that shall come here in the spring, as I can't get here any good dictionary either French and Latin or English and Latin. Indeed this is not a very good place for learning the Latin and Greek Languages, as there is no academy or school here, and but very few private teachers who demand at the { 235 } rate of 90 pounds Sterling a year, for an hour and a half each day. Mr. Dana don't chuse to employ any at that extravagant price without your positive orders, but I hope I shall be able to go on alone.
The night before last it froze hard; and yesterday it snow'd a little for the first time. It snows at present; by this you see how soon the winter begins with us here, we dont find as yet that it is colder than it is sometimes in America at this time.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. Oct. 12. ansd. Decr. 15. 1781.”LbC (Adams Papers). JA's reply, 15 Dec., below, indicates that JQA's letter was brought from St. Petersburg to Amsterdam by Stephen Sayre.
1. Letter of 21 Aug. / 1 Sept., above.
2. Adam Littleton, Latin Dictionary, 6th edn., London, 1735, now among JQA's books in MBAt, bearing JQA's autograph and the date 1781 on a flyleaf.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0159

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-26

William Jackson to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the honor to address your Excellency from Corunna on the 26 of last month, in which letter I promised myself the pleasure of writing you more fully in a few days—but an opportunity offering unexpectedly for this place, from whence I propose embarking for America I embraced it. Our passage from Corunna has been uncommonly long owing to a continued contrary wind, which obliged us to make a second port. As the Vessel in which we shall go to America is a remarkable fast Sailer, quite new, well armed, (having cruised as a privateer on the English coast during the summer) and commanded by a very good Man, I purpose in compliance with your Son's very earnest request to take him with me, unless You should dispose otherwise. The Ship we shall sail in is the Cicero of 20 guns, Captain Hill, belonging to Mr. Cabot of Beverley.1 I hope this measure, which is dictated by the warmest wish of friendship will meet your Excellency's approbation. The Ship is indeed one of the very best I ever saw, and I do not conceive there is more risque, than there was in going on board the South Carolina. Charles is very anxious to go to America. He says his younger Brother will be greatly before him in his education if he remains in Europe, and he begs I will not by any means leave him.
As the Ship will not sail before the 16 or 18 of November I shall expect to receive your Excellency's orders.2 In the mean time I beg you will be persuaded that my best attention shall be bestowed upon { 236 } your Son. He writes and reads to me daily. I will give him every instruction in my power, and by an assiduous care endeavor to compensate other deficiencies as a preceptor. He is now reading, in english, Dr. Robertson's history of America.3 I have requested him by the next post to collect the general heads of the first volume, and make them the subject of a letter. Don Quixote is the book which he reads in french4—and I believe, if Sancho's principles of government equalled the Constitution of Massachusetts, Charles might soon emulate his Sire as a Law giver. Those two books being both elegant and entertaining he reads them with pleasure, and I believe will improve his english considerably, while he retains his french. His health is very good, and he takes sufficient exercise and moderate diet to preserve it so.
The recital of Mr. Gillon's unvaried villanies has already employed a great part of my time, and a minute detail of them requires infinitely more patience than the retrospect affords me. But it is proper and necessary that your Excellency should be informed of some circumstances, and I must beg leave to trespass on your leisure with a narration of them.
The violation of his contract with Colonel Laurens by refusing to carry in his own ship the cloathing purchased for the Continent, your Excellency is already acquainted with. The manner in which he pretended to remedy this breach of faith by chartering two other ships you are likewise informed of. I will therefore begin with the relation of his conduct from the 7 of August upon which day he weighed anchor in the Texel under a pretence of trying how the frigate sailed. But as soon as he had passed the Dutch-fleet and cleared the shoals he informed me that it was his intention to put to sea. I expressed my astonishment and exclaimed against the measure. He told me he meant to wait off the Texel for his Convoy, but it was necessary he should leave the port. I now found that his debts (notwithstanding the solemn assurances repeated in his contract) had accumulated far beyond his resources, and that he was resolved, in order to elude his Creditors, at once to prostitute the honor and sacrifice the dearest interests of America. I intreated and threatned him alternately with the consequences of his neglecting to convoy these Ships. Colonel Searle joined me in representing to him the fatal effects, which must ensue to America in the disappointment of this cloathing. Every argument was urged, every means tried, but all in vain. He even refused, as Mr. de Neufville may have informed you to execute the Charters for the Vessels which he had taken up, { 237 } and finally he resolved to leave the coast although his Officers had requested that the Ship might return, and they would wait for the Convoy. But this he evaded by ordering the Ship, when informed how the Texel bore from the mast-head, to be kept [on] such a course as brought us greatly to leeward of it, and then he gave directions to proceed to America. But this was by no means what he designed, for his baseness has been conducted upon a systematical scale, nor did it end here. He would not permit me to send a letter to your Excellency which I had wrote to request, as I now do, that you would be pleased to give such directions for the disposal of the Continental property as you should think best,5 and another to Messrs, de Neufville & Son, by a Neutral Ship which we spoke at sea, bound to Amsterdam—and by which Vessel he himself wrote to Holland.
After cruising four weeks on the coast of Ireland and near the Eng[lish] channel he put into Corunna, and there we experienced a treatment which even exceeded the common audacity that characterises this base Man. He positively refused Col. Trumbull, Col. Searle, and Myself permission to go on shore, and actually detained us prisoners upwards of twenty four hours, and had it not been for the interference of the Captain of a french Man of War then in port, with whom I was acquainted in America, it is my belief he would have continued us confined. He refused to deliver some trunks belonging to Colonel Searle, which obliged him to stay at Corunna, until Mr. Carmichael arrives, as Col. Searle had requested Mr. Jay to send that Gentleman. In short to enumerate all the base actions of Mr. Gillon sense we left the Texel would require a Volume. He has detained the Masters of Vessels who had escaped from Prison in England and embarked with him as Passengers for America, telling them that they should not leave his Ship while he commanded her. Some of them have escaped, and are now here; but they were obliged to abandon their clothes to obtain their liberty.
I shall do myself the pleasure to write your Excellency in a few days. I beg that you will present my best compliments to Mr. Thaxter, and that you will believe me to be with profound respect, and esteem, Dear Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient, humble Servant,
[signed] Wm. Jackson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Majr. Jackson. ansd. 14 Nov. 1781.”
1. Concerning the ship Cicero, of 300 tons, 16 guns, and 60 men, commanded by Hugh Hill and owned by Andrew Cabot and others, of Beverly, see Gardner W. Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution (MHS, Colls., 77 [1927]), p. 99. The tonnage and number of guns and crew vary in other sources.
2. See JA's reply, 14 Nov., below. The { 238 } Cicero did not sail from Bilbao until about 10 Dec.; see Isaac Smith to JA, 23 Jan. 1782, below, and note 1 there.
Jackson does not mention here an adventure of his with CA in the passage between La Coruña and Bilbao, which accounted in good part for their detainment so long in Spain and Spanish waters. This is related in colorful detail by John Trumbull in his Autobiography, ed. Sizer, 1953, p. 78–79. Trumbull reports that, on finding the Cicero at La Coruña readying to sail for Bilbao and then for America, he, Jackson, CA, and some other passengers from the South Carolina
“endeavored to get a passage to Bilboa, on board of this ship, and were permitted to go on board of their prize, a fine British Lisbon packet. The usual time required to run from Corunna to Bilboa was two or three days. We were again unfortunate; the wind being east, dead a-head, we were twenty one days in making the passage, and, as if Jonas himself had been among us, at the end of eighteen days, we fell in with a little fleet of Spanish coasters and fishermen, running to the westward before the wind, who told us that when off the bar of Bilboa, they had seen a ship and two brigs, which they believed to be British cruisers, and cautioned us to keep a good look-out. Capt. Hill of the Cicero, immediately hailed his prize, a ship of sixteen guns, which was also in company, and directed them to keep close to him, and prepare to meet an enemy. At sunset we saw what appeared to be the force described, and about midnight found we were within hail. The Cicero ran close alongside of the ship, and hailed her in English—no answer; in French—no answer. The men, who were at their guns, impatient of delay, did not wait for orders, but poured in their broadside; the hostile squadron (as we supposed them) separated, and made all sail in different directions, when a boat from the large ship came alongside with her captain, a Spaniard, who informed us that they were Spanish vessels from St. Sebastians, bound to the West Indies—that his ship was very much cut in her rigging, but happily, no lives lost. He had mistaken us for British vessels, and was delighted to find his mistake. We apologized for ours, offered assistance, &c. and we parted most amicably. Soon after, we entered the river of Bilboa, and ran up to Porto Galette. The disabled ship with her comrades put into Corunna, where it was found that one of our nine pound shot had wounded the mainmast of our antagonist so severely, that it was necessary to take it (the mast) out, and put in a new one. This was not the work of a day, and her consorts were detained until their flag ship was ready. In the mean time, we had almost completed taking in our cargo at Bilboa, when a messenger from Madrid arrived, with orders to unhang the rudders of all American ships in the port, until the bill for repairs of the wounded ship, demurrage of her consorts, &c. &c., was paid. We were thus detained in Bilboa until the 10th of December, and even then had to encounter one more vexation and delay.”
3. JA owned a set of William Robertson's History of America, 3d edn., 3 vols., London, 1780, and two editions in French, all surviving among his books in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 214). Other, later editions in English of this very widely read work are in the Stone Library (MQA).
4. JA owned a French translation of Cervantes' Histoire de l'admirable Don Quichotte de la Manche, nouv. édn., 6 vols., Paris, 1768, of which only the first volume survives among his books in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 47). In the Stone Library (MQA) are two other editions in French, published at The Hague, 1768 and 1773 respectively, both in six volumes.
5. See JA's reply to Jackson, 14 Nov., below. On 12 Aug., Jackson had written to JA from “On board the South Carolina,” sending his respects and little more, explaining: “I am scarce allowed time by Mr. Thaxter's immediate departure to bid Your Excellency farewell in this abrupt manner” (Adams Papers). Thaxter had come aboard to place CA under Jackson's care. Jackson's letter is helpful in fixing the date of Gillon's final departure from Dutch waters.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0160

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-29

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

In my last I informed You of the Enemy's taking a Post in Virginia.1 At that Time they were in possession of Georgia and Charlestown and had overrun the greater part of S. Carolina. I have the Pleasure to inform You, That American Government is now again settled in Georgia, that the Enemy are confined to Charlestown in S. Carolina and that on the 18th. Inst. York Town and Gloucester the only places in Virginia the Enemy were in possession of there, surrenderd with the Army under Command of Genl. Cornwallis to our illustrious Genl. Washington. Count de Grasse commanded by Water with a Fleet of 36 Sail of Men of War. 1 Ship of 44 Guns, 1 of 32, some smaller Armd Vessells and 100 Sail of Transports were captured also 9000 Soldiers and Seamen composing the Garrison.—Count De Grasse arrived in the Chesapeak in the Beginning of September. The British Fleet consisting of 18 or 20 Ships of the Line followed De Grasse, attacked him, receivd a severe drubbing, lost one or more Ships and returned to New York sadly maimed. The particulars of this Engagement youll probably have before this reaches You.
I have not Time to give You particulars; arriving in Town this Afternoon and hearing that a French Frigate was under sailing orders, stole a Moment just to give You this Information (which may be relied on for Truth) and also to tell You that Your Family was this Morning well. Mrs. Adams received some Articles by Brown and Skinner who are arrived.2 Newman also has arrived and last Night Somes from Copinhagen came into port.

[salute] Fine Crops this Year—Plenty of Provisions—Paper Money abolished &c. Yr. Affct. Friend & Obt. Sert.,

[signed] C.T.
1. See Tufts to JA, 20 June, above.
2. Brown and Skinner were captains of vessels that had arrived from Amsterdam at Cape Ann and Boston respectively on 20 Oct. or a day or two later (Boston Independent Chronicle, 25 Oct. 1781, p. 3, col. 3).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0161

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-30

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

I am just come from Braintree, and hear a Vessell is to sail for France directly: I have only time to enclose you two Hand-Bills, on the Contents of which I heartily congratulate you.1—American Affairs { 240 } never wore a more agreeable Aspect than at present. I want to hear how this News will be relish'd at St. James's.
Captains Brown, and Skinner are arriv'd from Amsterdam last Week, and Capt. Newman about three Weeks ago. Hayden was parted within the North Sea soon after they sailed. Mr. J. Temple2 and Mr. Guild came Passengers in Capt. Brown who arriv'd at Cape Ann. Have seen both of them, but they bro't no letters to Town with them from you or Mr. Thaxter. Mr. Temple supposes there are Letters on board, but they are to be sent to Newbury to Mr. Tracy. A few Things for your Lady are come to hand by Capt. Skinner. We long to hear from Cousn. Charley who is suppos'd to be on board the Frigate.
Your Daughter is in town at Doctr. Welsh's. I saw her this Morning. Your dear Lady was well yesterday and Master Tommy also. I have only time to say that we are all well, and that I am with every sentiment of Esteem and Respect your affectionate Bror.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
Dft or FC (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed by Cranch: “Copy of a Lettr. to Bror. Adams Octr. 30th. 1781.” For the enclosures, not found, see note 1.
1. These doubtless related to Cornwallis' surrender and Greene's victories in the South. See Ford, Mass. Broadsides, Nos. 2282, 2312, &c.
2. For more on the arrival and condu t of John (later Sir John) Temple (1731–1798), see Cranch to JA, 3 Nov., following. This was the beginning of a protracted controversy over the real motives for the return of Temple, who was James Bowdoin's son-in-law and, from 1785, British consul general in New York. See various references to him in JA, Diary and Autobiography; Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 Sept. 1782, below; and, for a connected account, Lewis Einstein, Divided Loyalties, Boston and N.Y., 1933, ch. 3.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0162

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-11-03

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

By Capt. Haydon who arrived here the day before yesterday I received a Pacquet of News-Papers and Pamphlets from you, also I received two other Pacquets by Capt. Brown a few Days ago, for which I thank you. I had however the mortification of not finding a Line in either of them from you or Mr. Thaxter. I have wrote you often but have not had the Happiness of receiving a Letter from you since you left America. I have just now heard of a Vessell at Newbury that is now waiting for a Wind to sail for Holland, I shall endeavour to send this by her.
I heartily congratulate you on the great and important Event, the taking of Lord Cornwallis and his whole Army. They surrender'd Prisoners of War on the 18th. of October. Though we have not yet { 241 } received the News under the Signature of Charles Thomson, yet we have it from publick Officers of distinction by Express. One Letter in particular from Coll. Cobb Aid de Camp to his Excellency Genl. Washington, dated at York-Town, the very Place where the Army surrender'd, mentions that Lord Cornwallis is to return to England on his Parole not to serve in the War untill he is exchang'd, that the Officers had their private Baggage given them, and were with the Army to remain Prisoners of War untill an Exchange shall take place. —How will this News relish at St. James's?—Genl. Green as you will see by the inclosed Paper, has done Wonders in South Carolina. As soon as Lord Cornwallis had surrender'd, Genl. Washington (as I am inform'd) sent off on Horsback a strong Reinforcement of light Troops to strengthen Genl. Green, so that the Remains of the broken British Army in that Quarter will probably soon melt away.
I suppose you have heard that Paper Money, which has made such a Noise in Europe, and from the Depreciation of which England has expected such great things, is now done with in this Commonwealth. We have a Tax now gone out sufficient to draw in the whole of the Bills of the New Emission that have been issued by this State, and which are not to be re-issued, but to be destroy'd. And another Tax for three hundred Thousand Pounds in hard Money to be collected in Lieu thereof for the Purposes of Government. This is a great Effort, but I think we shall be able to bear it; for, it appears by the new Valuation which pass'd this present Session, that the Property and Polls in this Commonwealth are much increased since the last Valuation in 1778 notwithstanding the great Expences of the War: particularly we find that we have now in this State many thousand Horn'd Cattle more than we had in 1778 when the last Valuation was taken, notwithstanding the amazing Quantities of Beef supply'd for the Army. And the Harvests in the United States this Year have been perhaps the plentyest ever known.—May our Hearts be duely affected with Gratitude to the great Ruler of the World for his unspeakable Favours!
I have received by Capt. Haydon a Letter and an Invoice of Merchandize sent to my Care by Mr. Joseph Mandrillon.1 I have wrote him a Letter by this Conveyance, directed to the Care of Messrs. De Neufville and Son. I should be glad you would please to inform him that I shall take the utmost care in disposing of the Goods for him to the best advantage, and shall make the Returns as soon as possible. The Goods are not yet out of the Ship. I am much oblig'd to you for this beginning of Commission-Business, as I learn by his { 242 } Letter that I am indebted to your Friendship for it.—Your Character and Connexions might be of most essential Service to me and my Family, by your only mentioning my Name to such Gentlemen as may have publick Business to transact here respecting publick Supplies for this State or for the Continent; or to such Gentlemen in Trade as may be disposed to send Effects here to be sold on Commission. My Connexion with the General Court and the Court of Common-Pleas keeps me almost constantly in this Town on publick Business, Committees &c, and Uncle Smith's Warehouse is always ready for taking in any Merchandize that may be sent to me. I shall spare no Pains to give Satisfaction in making the best and quickest Returns.
In Capt. Brown came Passengers John Temple † Esqr. and Mr. Guild. We hear by a Passenger that came in Capt. Skinner that your dear Little Charley is on board the Frigate Capt. Guillon, and are anxious to hear from him, as the People who came in the Ships lately arriv'd mention a dangerous Storm having happen'd on the Coast of Holland while Capt. Guillon was out on a short Cruise a few Days before they sailed. I hope Providence has preserved him and will preserve him. We long to hear how Master John likes the Northern Regions. He will be the greatest American Traveller of his Age. Your amiable Daughter is at present at Mr. S. A. Otis's in this Town.2 Your Lady and Master Tommy, and your Mother and Brother were all well last Monday when I left Braintree, as were also our other Friends at Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham &c. Please to give my kindest Regards to Mr. Thaxter and tell him that I have wrote him several Letters, and should think my self happy in receiving a Line from him. I fear many of our Letters on both sides have miscaried. I hope you will excuse the tedious Length of this Letter, and believe me to be with the highest Esteem your affectionate Bror.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
† This Gentleman has given great umbrage by going over to London in the manner he did. He has been under Examination before the Governor and Councill, who are unsatisfied with his Conduct, and sent his Defence in Writing down to the House. The two Houses have sent it back to the Executive. I don't know what will be the end of it.
I suppose you have heard that our University has conferr'd the Degree of Doctor of Laws on You.3 I congratulate you on it, tho' I think the University receives therby a greater Honour than it gives.
The Vessells lately arriv'd from Holland are commanded by the { 243 } Captains Newman, Brown, Skinner and Haydon. I don't remember any others.
RC (Adams Papers). The “inclosed Paper” has not been identified. This letter after some vicissitudes was not dispatched until 31 Jan. 1782 or later, when Cranch sent it with his letter to JA of that date, below.
1. An Amsterdammer of French origin who was both a merchant and a writer on political and geographical subjects. Correspondence between JA and Mandrillon, 1780–1790 (Adams Papers), deals chiefly with books, maps, and the like. Mandrillon, strongly pro-American, was also a correspondent of George Washington; see Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 27:499–500; 30:68–69, 136.
2. Samuel Allyne Otis; identified at vol. 3:155, above.
3. At Commencement in July 1781, the Harvard Corporation voted to confer the honorary degree of LL.D. on JA, the Chevalier de La Luzerne, and Arthur Lee, among others. But perhaps because the office of president was vacant, there was no public announcement of these honors until after a new president, Rev. Joseph Willard, was elected. Willard made the announcement at his installation on 19 Dec. 1781, but with respect to at least JA no action followed until 1 April 1783, when the Corporation voted “That the Diploma for a Doctorate of Laws, conferred on His Excellency John Adams Esqr., some time since, be immediately engrossed, and the seal enclosed in a silver box.” The diploma, bearing the date of 19 Dec. 1781 and with its seal enclosed in a silver box, remains among the Adams Papers. But JA did not receive it for more than a year, when AA sailed to Europe and brought it, together with a letter from the Corporation, 8 June 1784, requesting his aid in raising funds for Harvard in Europe. JA warmly acknowledged the honor that had been paid him but discouraged any notion of “pecuniary Advantage” to Harvard from solicitation in Europe (to Joseph Willard, 8 Sept. 1784, MH-Ar: Corporation Papers). For an account of this affair, with some of the documentation, see William Coolidge Lane's remarks in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 13 (1912): 112–117.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0163

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jackson, William
Date: 1781-11-14

John Adams to William Jackson

[salute] Dr. Sir

Last night I had the Honour of your Favour of 26 of October1 and congratulate you on your Arrival at Bilbao and your agreable Prospect of a Passage to America. I thank you sir, for your kind Attention to my Son, and wish you to take him home with you. Mr. Guardoqui will be so good as to furnish Charles with Stores, and draw upon me.
What can be done with the Continental Property I know not, unless Dr. Franklin will advance Money to charter Vessells to send them along to take their fate, at all hazards. We shall do the best We can, but it is a melancholly and affecting Dissappointment.—I presume, you will be saild, before this reaches Spain, or I should be more particular. I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
[signed] J. Adams
{ 244 }
RC (DNA: PCC, No. 84, III); endorsed: “from J. Adams Novr. 14. 1781 received November 28. 1781.” LbC (Adams Papers); in John Thaxter's hand.
1. Above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0164

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-11-15

Abigail Adams to James Lovell


There is a Lust in Man no Charm can tame

of loudly publishing his Neighbours Shame

on Eagles wings immortal scandles fly

whilst virtuous actions are but born and die.

Do you know a Man by the Name of More[?] What is his character?1
I have never replied to your favour of october 9th. I felt a reluctance at writing. Yet I love your Letters when they are not too sausy, or do not border upon what I never will pardon or forgive. I cannot withdraw my esteem from the writter, yet if his Friends do not tell him how much his character suffers, they do not act the part of Friends in that particular. Massachusets air can alone purify it. I never meant to have touched so dissagreable a string again. There is but one thing wanting to have put a final stop to it, a conviction of the cause'es realy existing. If ever that takes place do not recollect that you ever knew Portia, for she will blot from her memory every vestage of a character in which she has been so much deceived.2
At length Sir I have heard [of] Gillion after many terrors on account of the storm which took place after he saild. A vessel from Bilboa last night arrived brings word that he put into Corruna in Spain—no further particulars yet come to hand. She is certainly bound to your port. Mr. Guile who arrived in Brown about 3 weeks ago embarked on Board the frigate, but went on shore for one Night. She saild and left him, from him I learnt her orders were to go to Philadelphia, from whence I hope to hear of her arrival soon, and of my dear Boys safety.
I congratulate you Sir upon the Capture of Cornwallis and upon every other important and favorable event which has taken place since I wrote you last. There may possibly be some opportunity opened by water for a safe conveyance of the articles about which you have already taken much trouble. If there should I would rather risk the Box of china that way than by land.—I will subscribe myself what I now am and ever wish to be your real Friend,
[signed] Portia
{ 245 }
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee. At head of text CFA misassigned the date as “October 15. 1781.”
1. See Lovell's answer, 4 Dec., below.
2. This cryptic paragraph, involving a further charge against Lovell's character, is clarified in AA to Lovell, 8? Jan. 1782, below; see note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0165

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-11-26

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I shall have an excellent Opportunity to send those Articles of yours, which have been long under my Care, by a Waggon of Genl. Lincoln going in a few days to Boston and perhaps also to Hingham. I feel a Sort of Mortification, at the Air of Negligence which seems to be thrown over my past Endeavors to serve you, by this early Execution of the Promises which our good Friend Lincoln made to you or Mr. Cranch not long ago. The Articles will now go by one of the very best Conveyances both as to Honesty and Carefulness in the Waggoner.
You will be quite particular in making out Invoices of the Contents of the Case as they come to Sight. I doubt not you will find my first Suspicions of a Loss confirmed, when you get Invoices from Europe. All I can say is that while the Boxes were open in my Room, I always turned the Key and pocketed it, when I went out.

[salute] Your most humble Servant,

[signed] James Lovell
P.S. The Goods are gone. I shall write to Col. Crafts to give you notice of the Arrival of the Waggon in Boston, if it should not proceed to Hingham.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams Braintree”; franked: “Philada. Jas. Lovell.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0166

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-11-29

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

My Almanac says that I wrote to you on the 9th. of October, but your Favour of Sepr. 26.1 received the 8th. of Octr. is not endorsed answered. Is this the Reason of your Silence? Or, Heaven forbid it! are you sick? At best, I fear you are in Distress.—Mr. Adams was well late in Augst., but I cannot conceal my anxieties about your second Son, who was to take Passage with Gillon. That Frigate which was to bring him was forced out to Sea without taking the Merchantmen under Convoy, which had been loaded with a View of having her { 246 } Protection. 13 Weeks have elapsed since. I do not however despair of her Arrival. I only deal justly by you in giving the real State of the Case that your Hopes may be duely regulated.
I do not now answer your Letter. I write for Post Conveyance and am not in the Humour to use Cyphers.
I find by a Letter of Sepr. 13th. from Doctr. Franklin that Mr. Adams had received our Proceedings of June before the Doctor's Communication of them:2 I mean those Proceedings to which you refer in your Letter now before me. I wish much to learn the Effect upon his Philosop[h]y. I feel Satisfaction in thinking him a much calmer Man than myself. Whatever he determines will be well weighed. He is practised in sacrificing his personal Feelings and Interest to his Country.
I have received some Gazettes from him without a Line of Epistle. This is not the only Reason I have for thinking that my Letters Via France do not reach his Eye.

[salute] I hope you are not very ill. You are surely not very well. Yr. m h Servant,

[signed] J. L.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A Adams Braintree.”
1. Perhaps the same as her draft letter of 20 Sept., printed above under that date; see note 1 there.
2. See Franklin to Congress, 13 Sept., Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:709–710.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0167

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-11-30

Joseph Gardoqui & Sons to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

We beg leave to Trouble you above with duplicate of our last Respectts to you,1 and as have had since the very high pleasure and satisfaction of seeing with us your worthy Amable little Son Mr. Charles Adams under the Care of Major Jakson Intending boath to Returne home on Board the Armed Ship the Cicero Capt. Hugh Hill, have with the Majors advice Taken the liberty of altering your dispositions, accordingly have Instead of shipping the order you was pleased to give us on Board the Boston Packett Capt White, Embarkt the same under the Immediate care of your little Dear Son on the above Vessell the Cicero as you will see per the within Invoice and bill of loading which Request the favour of your ordering it to be Examined and if without Errors to place its ammount to our Credit In Riales 914 & 10 mrs. of Vn.2 We most affectionately wish that your dear little Darling may present you in full health the Articles contained { 247 } in the Invoice after a safe prosperous and pleasing Passage of 30 days, which will be the highest Satisfaction to those who have the honour of subscriving with the most profound Respectts of Esteem Madam your mt. obt. hble. Serts.,
[signed] Joseph Gardoqui & sons
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Originall per Hill, Copy per Dixzy”; see note 1. Enclosed “Invoice and bill of loading” not found.
1. That is, a duplicate of their letter to AA of 14 Oct., above. No duplicate has been found; nor is it clear whether the present letter is the “Originall” sent by Hill or the “Copy” sent by “Dixzy,” presumably Capt. John Dixey of New-buryport (Gardner W. Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution [MHS, Colls., 77 (1927): 246]).
2. Maravedis of vellon; see Gardoqui & Sons to AA, 14 Oct., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0168

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-11-30

William Jackson to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

The last post brought me your Excellency's letter of the 14. I hope Doctor Franklin will be fully in sentiment with you respecting the disposition of the Continental property, and I am happy in anticipating the pleasing close, which may still attend this hitherto unfortunate business.
Previous to the receipt of your last letter I had drawn upon Messrs. de Neufville & Son for a sum of money to supply Colonel Trumbull and Doctor Browne,1 and I apportioned two hundred & fifty guilders for Charles's use. This is considerably more than was necessary to defray his expences, but in case of accident at sea it would be proper he should have a little money. When we arrive I shall do myself the honor to wait upon Mrs. Adams, and I will then pay her the surplus.
It is no compliment paid to Charles when I assure your Excellency that his behaviour is unexceptionably good. He reads as much as I wish him to do both in french and English. His writing is considerably improved and his spelling tolerably correct.
I shall continue to give him every instruction in my power. During the passage we propose to read latin.
I felicitate your Excellency upon the very acceptable news of Cornwallis's capture, which we celebrated here yesterday with singular satisfaction.
I most sincerely wish you a perfect restoration of health and the full enjoyment of every blessing which can render life estimable. Your Excellency will do me justice by believing me at all times to be, with the most perfect esteem and profound respect, your most obedient, humble Servant,
[signed] W Jackson
{ 248 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Major Jackson Nov. 30. 1781.”
1. Browne has not been further identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0169

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jackson, William
Date: 1781-12-01

John Adams to William Jackson

[salute] Sir

Last night I received yours of the 12 Novr. and am very sorry to find, that you were not likely to sail as you expected.1 My dear Mrs. Adams has heard that Charles is coming home in Gillon and has a Thousand Anxieties about him which will increase every Moment untill his Arrival, but when We trust ourselves to Winds and Waves We must be patient under their Caprices.
I thank you for the good News, by this Time you will have learned better. I give you Joy of it, all, Coll. Trumbull, Capt. Hill, Messrs. Gardoqui and every one who has Feelings for America, and for injured Innocence, not forgetting my dear Charles, from whom I have received two or three very pretty Letters.2 I thank you for your kind Care of him. Beg Mr. Gardoqui to let him have any Thing he may want and draw upon me for it.
The Infant Hercules will go through all the twelve Labours, as tryumphantly as he has strangled the two serpents Burgoine and Cornwallis.
The continental goods are left in such a Situation, that I see no Possibility of getting them to America, this Season. I am doing all I can to get them sent or sold, or any Way disposed of, to prevent a total Loss, but they are detained for freight, Damages and nobody knows what. Very unjustly, and I have no Money to make the dull Jacks go.
1. Jackson had written to JA from Bilbao on 12 Nov. (Adams Papers), saying that the Cicero would not sail on the 16th as he had hoped, because “a sudden fresh in the river, which impedes the ship's loading, will oblige us to wait for the next spring-tide.” (For details on the sailing, on or about 10 Dec., see John Trumbull's account, quoted below at Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 23 Jan. 1782, note 1.) Jackson added the news from America that Cornwallis had offered to capitulate and reported that CA “is very well.”
2. None of these has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0170

Author: Dana, Elizabeth Ellery
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-01

Elizabeth Ellery Dana to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

This is the first opportunity I have had since my Journey of congratulating you upon your dear Sons safe arrival in Spain, and hope { 249 } it will not be long before you have the happiness of seeing him. The frequent arrivals lately from Europe have I hope made you happy in letters from Mr. Adams. Mr. Dana I hear nothing of by letter. Mr. Guild informed me that he left Amsterdam for Russia in July and your Son with him which I was much pleased with hearing.
Before I went to Portsmouth I heared that I was to be so highly favored as to have a visit from you this fall. I was very sorry that my Journey deprived me of that pleasure, but flattered myself that upon my return I should have seen you. But Miss Dana1 lying dangerously ill of the Throat distemper when I returned prevented my writing to you. She is now better and the season pleasant Must hope that Miss Nabby and you will make us a visit. The Judge2 and young ladies respect [request?] my love to Miss Nabby and Master Tom. Your affectionate friend and Sister,
[signed] Eliza Dana
1. Lydia Dana, afterward Mrs. John Hastings, sister of Francis Dana (Elizabeth Ellery Dana, The Dana Family in America, Cambridge, 1956, p. 474).
2. Presumably Judge Edmund Trow-bridge, of Cambridge, uncle of Francis Dana (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 8:507–520).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0171

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favours of September 29 and Oct. 21. are before me. I avoided saying any Thing about Charles, to save you the Anxiety, which I fear you will now feel in its greatest severity a long time. I thought he would go directly home, in a short Passage, in the best Opportunity which would probably ever present. But I am dissappointed. Charles is at Bilbao with Major Jackson and Coll. Trumbull who take the best care of his Education as well as his Health and Behaviour. They are to go home in Captain Hill in a good Vessell of 20 Guns. Charles's health was so much affected by this tainted Atmosphere, and he had set his heart so much upon going home in Gillon that it would have broken it, to have refused him.—I desire I may never again have the Weakness to bring a Child to Europe. They are infinitely better at home.—We have all been sick here, myself, Mr. Thaxter, Stephens and another servant, but are all better. Mr. Thaxters Indisposition has been slight and short, mine and Stevens's long and severe.
I beg you would not flatter yourself with hopes of Peace. There will be no such Thing for several years.
{ 250 }
Dont distress yourself neither about any malicious Attempts to injure me in the Estimation of my Countrymen. Let them take their Course and go the Length of their Tether. They will never hurt your Husband, whose Character is fortified with a shield of Innocence and Honour ten thousandfold stronger than brass or Iron. The contemptible Essays made by you know whom, will only tend to their own Confusion. My Letters have shewn them their own Ignorance <and Folly>, a sight they could not bear. Say as little about it as I do. It has already brought them into the true system and that system is tryumphant. I laugh, and will laugh before all Posterity at their impotent <, despicable, ridiculous folly> Rage and Envy. They could not help blushing themselves if they were to review their Conduct.
Dear Tom thy Letter1 does thee much honour. Thy Brother Charles shall teach thee french and Dutch, at home. I wish I could get time to correspond with thee and thy sister, more regularly, but I cannot. I must trust Providence and thine excellent Mamma for the Education of my Children.
Mr. Dana and our son are well, at P[etersburg].
Hayden has some things for you. Hope he is arrived. I am sorry to learn you have a sum of Paper—how could you be so imprudent? You must be frugal, I assure you. Your Children will be poorly off. I can but barely live in the manner that is indispensibly demanded of me by every Body. Living is dear indeed here.
My Children will not be so well left by their father as he was by his. They will be infected with the Examples and Habits and Taste for Expensive Living, without the means. He was not.
My Children, shall never have the smallest soil of dishonour or disgrace brought upon them by their father, no not to please Ministers, Kings, or Nations.
At the Expence of a little of this my Children might perhaps ride at their Ease through Life, but dearly as I love them they shall live in the service of their Country, in her Navy, her Army, or even out of either in the extreamest Degree of Poverty before I will depart in the smallest Iota from my Sentiments of Honour and Delicacy, for I, even I, have sentiments of Delicacy, as exquisite as the proudest Minister that ever served a Monarch. They may not be exactly like those of some Ministers.
I beg you would excuse me to my dear Friends, to whom I cannot write so often as I wish. I have indispensible Duties which take up all my time, and require more than I have.
General Washington has done me great Honour, and much public { 251 } service by sending me, authentic Accounts of his own and Gen. Greens last great Actions.2 They are in the Way to negotiate Peace, it lies wholly with them. No other Ministers but they and their Colleagues in the Army can accomplish the great Event.
I am keeping House, but I want an Housekeeper. What a fine Affair it would be if We could flit across the Atlantic as they say the Angels do from Planet to Planet. I would dart to Pens hill and bring you over on my Wings. But alass We must keep house seperately for some time.
But one thing I am determined on. If God should please to restore me once more to your fireside, I will never again leave it without your Ladyships Company. No not even to go to Congress at Philadelphia, and there I am determined to go if I can make Interest enough to get chosen, whenever I return.
I would give a Million sterling that you were here—and could Afford it as well as G. Britain can the thirty Millions she must spend the ensuing Year to compleat her own Ruin.
Farewell. Farewell.
1. Not found.
2. George Washington to JA, 22 Oct., with two enclosures (Adams Papers; text of letter printed in JA, Works, 7:475, and in Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 23:253–254).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0172

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-02

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

'Tis a pleasing Reflexion to one absent, that his Correspondence with his friends meets with no untoward Accidents, even though the subject matter of his Scralls should be in a stile little interesting or entertaining. But I am deprived of even this satisfaction, for almost all my Letters are on board the Indian.1 It is needless for me to add an Apology after this, especially as Newman, Brown, Skinner, Hayden &c. were to have sailed under Convoy of this same Indian. I had the honor to write You by a Brig bound to Philadelphia commanded by Capt. Reeler, which sailed in Septr. or October. I also answered a polite Letter from Miss N[abb]y by the same Opportunity.2 I hope they will arrive safe. If they do not, I hope my dear friends will pardon my [not] attempting any thing further against so decisive a fatality.
With the most unfeigned Joy, I congratulate You at this late period on the glorious News of the surrender of Cornwallis. It is an Event { 252 } that has acquired much Reputation to our Arms in Europe; nor has the humidity of this Climate prevented its Inhabitants from exhibiting some symptoms of Life and Warmth on the Occasion. Indeed I must say that this is a peculiar People; but whether zealous of good Works or saved of the Lord, is not for me to determine.
I believe I promised You, Madam, in a former Letter to transmit You some Account of this Country. What Demon of Madness or Folly seized me at that time, to precipitate myself into so rash an Engagement I know not. I am totally unequal to the Task. I was certainly mad or in Love or something quite as distracted as either, to promise an undertaking of this kind. I beg You to have the Goodness to excuse me, and to apply to your dearest friend, who will throw more light on this subject in one Line, than I could do in many pages of my flummery.
Thus much I must say for this Country, that upon this Occasion (I mean the last Surrender) they have discovered much Joy and satisfaction. Some are affected to America upon principles which a Love of Liberty and an attachment to the Dignity and Rights of Humanity alone can inspire. These are few in number. Others would love Us if they had less Money in the English funds. Some are too rich to trouble their heads about America—others too poor, tho' perhaps well disposed, to aid her. Some would trade if they dare. Others are governed by the immense profits in view. As to national Affection, extended one Jot or tittle farther than an Idea of Gain, it is a mere Chimera. Nations collectively are not capable of this noble Sentiment, and Policy is often employed to smother and extinguish the first dawnings of it. The History of the Policy of most Governments seems to be little else than a portrait of the worst passions of the human Heart, a Compound of the Intrigues, Subtleties, Subterfuges and Caprices of the weak, the wicked, and the great, and the Blood and Treasure of poor miserable Mankind must flow in Torrents to support their nefarious System. Such is the Lot of Humanity. Who can mend it? I know not.
I have not as yet seen my dear Friend Mr. Storer. I am impatient to see him, and not less so to enquire of him, which of the Betsy's it is that belongs to me, as all parties are agreed, You inform me, Madam, that it is one of that Name. I beseech You to gratify my Curiosity in sending me her Name: otherwise I shall be fidgeting for six Months and perhaps fall in Love with some one of that Name upon the Strength of it.—Are none of the young Ladies of B[raintre]e about entering into Wedlock or courted? For Heaven's sake what do { 253 } the young Gentlemen mean? Are there not five Suitors to be found, possessed of Accomplishments and Virtues sufficient to render themselves agreable to the amiable five, who live at the foot of Penns Hill, by the Church, down a Hill and on the Farms? If I saw the least possible Chance for myself; if I was not so old and advanced in life as to be indifferent; if I had not set my Heart upon living in the Woods upon my Return, I would begin to make Propositions at least to one. My best Love to them all. God bless them with good Husbands. Much Duty and Respect where due. With the most perfect Esteem, I have the honour to be, Madam, your most humble Servant,
[signed] North Common3
Excuse haste and Errors and so much of love affairs.
1. That is, the South Carolina; its name under French ownership had been L'Indien.
2. Thaxter to AA, without day, Aug.; and to AA2, 25 Aug.; both above.
3. What prompted Thaxter to adopt this pseudonym, briefly, is not known. Later he occasionally used another, “J. North,” in writing AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0173

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-04

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

In answer to some Questions contained in your Letter of Sepr. 261 you may know that Mr. Laurens might ||pay any sum up to five hundred po[unds]|| s[terling] therefore the same is now to be done at discretion. ||F. Dana is||accompanied under somewhat similar discretionary stipulations. Indeed you are mistaken about the Scales. I should be happy to be sure of what you only conjecture. I mean that ||J. Jay goes.||
The Boston Papers first and afterwards your Letter of Novr. 15 made me yesterday very happy after eight and forty hours of most painful Condolance with your Family upon information given to Genl. Lincoln by his Son from Cambridge under date of the 17th.2 I will permit my dull Thoughts under a former date3 to go on that you may the better judge of my present Joy. You will yet embrace your dear Charles whom I had buried under the Waves without daring to tell you the whole of my Imaginations.
I have already mentioned the Goodness and Punctuality of Genl. Lincoln by which my honest tho ineficacious Endeavours to serve you are intirely eclipsed. You will look to Col. Crafts for what has been long under my Care.4
{ 254 }
There is in this City a Gentleman by the Name of Philmore.5 I know not that I have ever seen him; but I have been accustomed on hearing his Name mentioned to suppose it Philip More. Mr. Osgood6 tells me he spoke with a Man at a Tavron here by the Name of More, and if I recollect right I sought the same Person to be the Bearer of some Letters to Boston but found he was gone to Baltimore. As to his Character Mr. O supposes him to be one of the Chiefs of that honest industrious Class who have made the Roads smoke for two or three Years by their Changes and Exchanges. If I saw him, I have forgot it. But, my esteemed Friend, what is he more or less to me than any other of his Tribe or Name?
“You had not replied to mine of Oct. 9. You had felt a Reluctance at Writing.”7 You do not say at answering or noticing it. Yet your following Expressions excite an Idea of the Kind, and have in them a sort of Asperity which I own I never expected to experience again after the date of some of your former Letters. I have not a Copy of any one Line that I have ever written to you; nor do I recollect that I have at any Time made a Copy; so that I know not whether the Scrawl of Octr. 9th. was a simple one or whether it had any Thing about it that you could conceive was intended as a “Border.” Be assured of my settled deliberate Resolution not to waste a drop of Ink or injure the Fibre of a Quill in that Way.—I presume you can turn your Eye upon what is before me of Novr. 15. You have said too little or too much: I think the former. I must know More, or you will “not act the part of a Friend in that particular.” I have a Right to conclude that some Circumstances have retarded the Progress of your (friendly) Pen if “only one is wanting to put a final Stop to it.” I am very uneasy at this same Letter of yours of Novr. 15th. And my present Circumstances make that Assertion convey the most respectful Compliment that I have ever paid you. For you are to know that I am so far pressed with what I call real substantial Misfortune, the End of which I do not foresee, that a Letter verbatim like yours from any other Pen but one on Earth would not have been read a second Time over, much less would it have found Room to have operated in my Head or Breast. Your good Sense and your Friendship make the second Claim to my Attention after that Sovereign one which Mrs. Lovell secures by an avowed, uniform, unabating Love and a prudent Confidence which is sure not to be abused.
Must I become the Slave to Opinions? You betray me Madam. You have almost brought me to think that the Breath of a Villain is an Object for my Resentment.
{ 255 }
RC (Adams Papers). Passages within double verticals have been deciphered from Lovell's cipher, on which see Appendix to this volume.
1. No letter of this date from AA to Lovell has been found, but an apparently incomplete Dft of it, dated 20 Sept., is printed above under the latter date; see note 1 there. AA's “Questions,” here answered by Lovell, are not in AA's Dft. They must have related to the sums allotted by Congress to JA and to Dana for payment of secretaries, and whether John Jay would attend the peace negotiations at Paris.
“As I was coming out of Boston yesterday Col. Crafts informed me that a ship had just arrived from France and brought an account that the Carolina frigate was wrecked on the coast of Holland and that the Captain of the ship had on board a list of the people that were lost. Jackson, John Trumbull and a son of Mr. Adams' were among the number” (Benjamin Lincoln Jr. to Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, Cambridge, 17 Nov., MHi: Lincoln Papers).
AA had, however, already written Lovell on 15 Nov. (though it reached him later than Lincoln's report) that the South Carolina had put into La Coruña in Spain.
3. Lovell to AA, 29 Nov., above.
4. See Lovell to AA, 26 Nov.—2 Dec., above.
5. Lovell is here responding to a query in AA's letter to him of 15 Nov., above. Philip More (or Philmore?) has not been further identified.
6. Samuel Osgood (1748–1813), a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress, 1780–1784 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
7. Lovell here paraphrases AA's letter to him of 15 Nov., q.v. above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0174

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-09

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I hear the Alliance is again going to France with the Marquis Fayett and the Count de Noiales.1 I will not envy the Marquis the pleasure of Annually visiting his family, considering the risk he runs in doing it. Besides he deserves the good wishes of every American and a large portion of the Honours and applause of his own Country.
He returns with the additional Merrit of Laurels won at York Town by the Capture of a whole British Army. America may boast that she has accomplished what no power before her ever did, contending with Britain—Captured two of their celebrated Generals and each [with] an Army of thousands of veteran Troops to support them. This Event whilst it must fill Britain with despondency, will draw the union already formed still closer and give us additional Allies; if properly improved must render a negotiation easier and more advantageous to America.
But I cannot reflect much upon publick affairs; untill I have unburthend the load of my own Heart. Where shall I begin my list of Grievences? Not by accusations, but lamentations. My first is that I do not hear from you. A few lines only dated in April and May, have come to hand for 15 Months. You do not mention receiving any from me, except by Capt. Caznew, tho I wrote by Col. Laurence, { 256 } by Capt. Brown, by Mr. Storer, Dexter and many others. By Babson to Bilboa by Trash, and several times by way of France.2 You will refer me to Gillion I suppose. Gillion has acted a base part, of which no doubt you are long e'er now apprized. You had great reason to suppose that he would reach America, as soon or sooner than the Merchant vessels and placed much confidence in him, by the treasure you permited to go on Board of him. Ah! how great has my anxiety been, what have I not sufferd since I heard my dear Charles was on Board and no intelligence to be procured of the vessel for 4 months after she saild. Most people concluded that she was founderd at Sea, as she sailed before a voilent Storm. Only 3 weeks ago did I hear the contrary. My unkle dispatchd a Messenger the Moment a vessel from Bilboa arrived with the happy tidings that She was safe at Corruna, that the passenger[s] had all left the Ship in consequence of Gillions conduct, and were arrived at Bilboa. The vessel saild the day that the passengers arrived at Bilboa so that no Letters came by Capt. Lovett but a Dr. Sands reports that he saw a child whom they told him was yours and that he was well. This was a cordil to my dejected Spirits. I know not what to wish for. Should he attempt to come at this Season upon this coast, it has more Horrours than I have fortitude. I am still distresst. I must resign him to the kind protecting Hand of that Being who hath heitherto preserved him, and submit to what ever dispensation is alloted me.
What is the matter with Mr. T[haxte]r, has he forgotten all his American Friends, that out of four vessels which have arrived, not a line is to be found on Board of one of them from him?
I could Quarrell with the climate, but surely if it is subject to the Ague, there is a fever fit as well as the cold one. Mr. Guile tells me he was charged with Letters, but left them with his other things on Board the frigate, She gave him the Slip, he stept on Board Capt. Brown and happily arrived safe. From him I have learnt many things respecting my dear connexions, but still I long for that free communication which I see but little prospect of obtaining. Let me again intreat you to write by way of Guardoca, Bilboa is as safe a conveyance as any I know of.—Ah my dear John, where are you— in so remote a part of the Globe that I fear I shall not hear a Syllable from you.—Pray write me all the intelligence you get from him, send me his Letters to you. Do you know I have not a line from him for a year and half.—Alass my dear I am much afflicted with a disorder call'd the Heartach, nor can any remedy be found in America, it must be collected from Holland, Petersburgh and Bilboa.—And now { 257 } having recited my Greifs and complaints, the next in place are those of my Neighbours. I have been applied to by the parents of several Braintree youth to write to you in their behalf, requesting your aid and assistance if it is in your power to afford it. Capt. Cathcart in the privateer Essex from Salem, went out on a cruise last April into the Channel of England, and was on the 10 of June So unfortunate as to be taken and carried into Ireland, the officers were confined there, but the Sailors were sent prisoners to Plimouth jail 12 of whom are from this Town, a list of whom I inclose. The Friends of these people have received Intelligence by way of an officer who belonged to the Protector, and who escaped from the jail; that in August last they were all alive, several of them very destitute of cloathing, having taken but a few with them, and those for the Summer, particularly Ned Savils and Jobe Feild. There request is that if you can, you would render them some assistance, if not by procuring an exchange, that you would get them supplied with necessary cloathing.
I have told them that you would do all in your power for them, but what that would be I could not say. Their Friends here are all well, many of them greatly distresst for their Children, and in a particular manner the Mother of Jeriah Bass.
I wish you to be very particular in letting me know by various opportunities and ways, after the recept of this, whether you have been able to do any thing for them, that I may relieve the minds of these distresst parents. The Capt. got home about 3 months ago, by escapeing to France, but could give no account of his Men after they were taken.3
Two years my dearest Friend have passd away since you left your Native land. Will you not return e'er the close of an other year? I will purchase you a retreat in the woods of Virmont and retire with you from the vexations, toils and hazards of publick Life. Do you not sometimes sigh for such a Seclusion—publick peace and domestick happiness,

“an elegant Sufficency, content

Retirement, Rural quiet, Friendship, Books

Ease and alternate Labour, usefull Life

progressive Virtue and approveing Heaven.”

May the time, the happy time soon arrive when we may realize these blessings so elegantly discribed by Thomson, for tho many of your country Men talk in a different Stile with regard to their in• { 258 } tentions, and express their wishes to see you in a conspicuous point of view in your own State, I feel no ambition for a share of it. I know the voice of Fame to be a mere weathercock, unstable as Water and fleeting as a Shadow. Yet I have pride, I know I have a large portion of it.
I very fortunately received by the Apollo, by the Juno and by the Minerva the things you sent me, all in good order.
They will enable me to do I hope without drawing upon you, provided I can part with them, but Money is so scarce and taxes so high, that few purchasers are found. Goods will not double, yet they are better than drawing Bills, as they cannot be sold but with a large discount. I could not get more than 90 for a hundred Dollers, should I attempt it.
I shall inclose an invoice to the House of Ingraham Bromfild,4 and one to de Neufvilla. There is nothing from Bilboa that can be imported with advantage, hankerchiefs are sold here at 7 dollers & half per dozen. There are some articles which would be advantageous from Holland, but Goods there run high, and the retailing vendues which are tolerated here ruin the Shopkeepers. The articles put up, by the American House were better in Quality, for the price than those by the House of de Neufvilla. Small articles have the best profit, Gauze, ribbons, feathers and flowers to make the Ladies Gay, have the best advance. There are some articles which come from India I should suppose would be lower priced than many others—bengalls,5 Nankeens, persian Silk and Bandano hankerchiefs, but the House of Bromfeild & C[o]. know best what articles will suit here.
I have been fortunate and unfortunate. The things which came in Jones remain at Philadelphia yet.
Our Friends here are all well. Your Mother is rather in better Health, and my Father is yet sprightly. Believe me with more affection than Words can express ever Ever Yours,
[signed] Portia
P.S. I have inclosed a memorandom of some articles. I have not written to any one about them. You will give it to whom you think best and send it when you can. I shall in some future Letter mention a list of articles which I wish you to bring home with you whenever the happy time comes, but which I do not want without you. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Portia 9. & 23d. Decr. 1781 inclosing Dean's Letter.” It was in her letter of 23 Dec., q.v. below, that AA enclosed Silas Deane's letter. The enclosures mentioned in her present letter and its postscript have not been found.
1. Louis Marie, Vicomte de Noailles, who served with Rochambeau, was Lafayette's brother-in-law; see sketch in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:85.
{ 259 }
2. Punctuation as in MS.
3. Although the list enclosed by AA of the Braintree sailors who were made prisoners and sent to Mill Prison at Plymouth after capture of the Essex by the English privateer Queen Charlotte has not been found, it may be reconstructed by adding to the names of Jeriah Bass, Job Field, and Edward Savil, named in this letter, those of two Beales (Nathanael and another), Gridley and Lemuel Clark, Samuel Curtis, Lewis Glover, William Horton, Briant Newcombe, and Thomas Vinton. (The documents on which the present note is based are listed in a single sequence in a separate paragraph below.)
Before AA wrote, JA had already been apprised by five of the men themselves of their plight, had been requested by them to provide for their relief, and had responded promptly by sending them two guineas apiece through Edmund Jenings in Brussels for disbursement through Jenings' friend Michael Sawrey, a benevolently inclined merchant who lived in Plymouth. Before or at about the same time JA received AA's appeal, he had also heard directly from two more of the Braintree lads, had had letters singly or jointly from the parents of the rest of the twelve, and had received a plea for additional aid from the five he had supplied in October. To these requests, JA responded by having Jenings transmit, as he had before, 40s sterling to each of eight of the men, including two who had shared in the earlier distribution. At the same time he asked that Sawrey inform him through Jenings whether these or any of the others “befriended before” were in need of more and how much. Sawrey responded with a list of seven: Bass, the two Clarks, Curtis, Glover, Horton, and Vinton. JA advanced additional sums then or later, so that all or most of the twelve had received £4 or more each from him before their return to Braintree.
The letters to JA from the Braintree prisoners and their families in 1781–1782 make clear that all the financial aid given by JA was on the express promise of reimbursement. Since he had no public funds available for this purpose, the advances were out of his own funds. Most of the recipients attempted to repay AA, who put them off while awaiting instructions from her husband.
Although JA did not himself acknowledge to AA until Sept. 1782 that he had responded to her appeal in behalf of the prisoners, word of his “Benevolent exertions and generous aid” reached her through their families in July and August. By that time, “enlargement” or exchange of all twelve (whether or not by JA's efforts is not clear) had taken place, and by October eleven of them had reached Braintree.
Two additional prisoners at Plymouth, Capt. John Manley and Capt. Silas Talbot, apparently were added by Sawrey in the fall of 1781 to those JA had named to receive disbursements. What was evidently still another group, of whom the grandson of Rev. Charles Chauncy of Boston was one, escaped to the Netherlands in the summer of 1781 and were there given money and aid by JA. Beyond these instances, JA responded, without apparent success, to appeals in 1781–1782 to locate and aid in having exchanged, Benjamin Brackett, fifteen-year-old nephew of Joshua Brackett of Boston, and a Capt. Armstrong, friend of Tristram Dalton of Newburyport. It is edifying to find that two of the prisoners aided by JA while in the Netherlands turned up aboard the Active when AA sailed from Boston to Europe in that vessel in 1784. Dr. Chauncy's grandson, “A likely young fellow whose countanance is a good Letter of recommendation,” was serving as second mate of the Active; and Job Field, a seaman “whose place on board the ship I had procured for him,” AA recorded, was so “Handy, attentive, obligeing and kind, [and so] excellent [a] Nurse, [that] we all prized him” (AA, Diary, June-July 1784, in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:155, 162).
The documents on which the above account is based are listed in chronological order herewith. All are in the Adams Papers, and the letters between JA and AA that fall within the time span of the present volume are printed herein. Job Field et al. to JA, 8 Sept.; JA to Job Field et al., 24 Oct., LbC; JA to Edmund Jenings, 24 Oct.; Jenings to JA, 28 Oct., 26 Nov.; JA to Jenings, 29 Nov.; Samuel Bass 2d to JA, 13 Dec.; Joshua Brackett { 260 } to JA, 15 Dec.; Thomas Vinton Jr. to JA, 20 Dec. 1781. Thomas Vinton Jr. to JA, 5 Feb.; Edward Savil et al. to JA, 14 Feb.; JA to Jenings, 21 Feb.; Jenings to JA, 31 March, 6 June; AA to JA, 17 July, 5 Aug., 3 Sept.; JA to AA17 Sept.; AA to JA, 25 Oct.; Tristram Dalton to JA, 26 Oct. 1782. AA recounts taking tea with Michael Sawrey and his wife when the Adamses visited Plymouth, England, in 1787 (AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA; quoted in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:209).
JA's concern with the plight of prisoners was of long duration. In the early days of hostilities he had been exercised over the reported treatment accorded prisoners of war taken by British troops in America; while in France in 1778 he had with Franklin and Arthur Lee dispatched to the British Ministry numerous protests against the treatment of prisoners in British hands and proposals for exchange of naval prisoners. While awaiting the sailing of the Alliance at Nantes in 1779 he had overseen an exchange; again at Bilbao in early 1780 he had undertaken to see that American prisoners escaped from Portugal received proper clothing. See above, vol. 2:224–226, 230–231; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:358–359, 432; 4:127–128, 138–139, 236, and index under Prisoners of War.
During his mission to the Netherlands JA's problem with prisoners and former prisoners of war became more acute. The nature of this problem is epitomized and illuminated in the case of Thomas Beer and his family, which JA had recently had to deal with. Beer was not an American or a prisoner but an Englishman who had “been obliged to flee from England on account of his having assisted the American prisonners to Escape.” So Francis Coffyn wrote JA from Dunkirk on 2 Oct. 1781, adding that, on advice from Franklin in Paris, Coffyn had paid Beer “ten Guineas to help him to Holland, with his wife and two young children; I hope your Excellency will be pleased to recommand him and get him Employed in the Rope makers business in which he seems to be Expert, as he was one of the Surveyors in the King of England's yards; to facilitate his passage to America” (Adams Papers). On 18 Oct.JA wrote from Amsterdam to Franklin:
“Thomas Beer, with his Wife and two small Children, came to my House, this Forenoon, and presented me, a Letter from Mr. Coffyn of Dunkirk ... recommending Beer to me as a Person who had been obliged to flee from England, for having assisted American Prisoners to escape; and inclosing a Copy of a Letter from your Excellency to Mr. Coffyn of 22 of August, advising Beer to go to Holland, where your Excellency imagined there was great demand for all Kind of Workmen, who are usefull in fitting out ships, ... and requesting Mr. Coffyn, for the future to send the Prisoners, to my Care, at Amsterdam, and to desire his Friend, at Ostend, to give them the same direction.
“As to Beer, I know not what to do with him. He has spent his last Guilder, and the Man, Woman and Children all looked as if they had been weeping, over their Distresses in deplorable Misery. I gave him some Money, to feed his Children a night or two and went out to see, if I could get him Work with a Rope Maker. But I was told that your Excellency was much mistaken.... That Navigation being in a manner stopped, such Tradesmen had the least to do of any, and particularly the Rope Makers complained of Want of Work more than ever and more than any other set of Tradesmen. However, a Gentleman will enquire if he can find a Place for him.
“I have no Objection to American Prisoners coming this Way, and shall continue to do any Thing in my Power, as I have done, to solace them in their distress. I have now for a Year past, relieved considerable Numbers who have escaped from England, with small Sums, and with my best endeavours [tried] to procure them Employment and Passages.
“But your Excellency is very sensible I have no publick Money in my Hands, and that therefore, the small sums of Money, which I have been able to furnish them must have been out of my own Pockett. This Resource is likely to fail very soon, if my Salary is not to be paid me, in future.
“If your Excellency would give me { 261 } your Consent that I should take up small Sums of Money, of M[ess]rs. Fizeau and Grand, &c., for the Purpose of assisting our Countrymen who escape from Prison, I should esteem myself honoured by this Trust, for none of my Time, is spent with more Pleasure than that which is devoted to the Consolation of these Prisoners.—The Masters of Vessels have hitherto been very good in giving Passages, and We have made various shifts to dispose of such as have been here, and have succeeded so as to give tolerable Satisfaction but we should do much better if We had a little more Money.
“I have often told your Excellency, that the House of De Neufville & son had received a few thousand Guilders, upon the Loan Opened by me in behalf of the United States.—I have not yet touched this Money, because I thought it should He, to answer Bills of Exchange upon the Draughts of Congress: But as there is so little, if your Excellency would advise me to it, I would devote it to lie for the Benefit of the poor Prisoners, and would make it go as far, in relieving their distresses as I could.” (LbC in JA's hand, Adams Papers; RC in John Thaxter's hand, PPAmP.)
4. This American mercantile firm in Amsterdam had originated earlier this year as Sigourney, Ingraham & Bromfield; see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:453–454 and passim.
5. “[P]iece goods (apparently of different kinds) exported from Bengal to England in the 17 c.” (OED), and evidently to Europe generally in the 18th century.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0175

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1781-12-09

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

I do not take up my pen by way of reply to any Letter of yours— that is not in my power. 15 Months have elapsed since the date of your last.1 I must take you a little to task to give you an opportunity of justifying yourself. Here are no less than 3 of the Heathen deities arrived from your port without a single Syllable from You. Minerva— surely it is her peculiar province to communicate Wisdom, yet she is as silent as Apollo whom I consulted upon the occasion, but both of them affirm that they know nothing of you. Juno indeed produced your Hand writing, as a cover to some Newspapers and pamphlets which is all that could be obtained from her. I cannot reconcile this with your former punctuality. It is true I have no more reason to complain, than your other Friends, but we all look sober about it, I assure you: and the more so for hearing that you are not well; and that your wishes are to return to America. I hope you are not so uneasy as to opperate upon your Health; if that is the case, loth as I know my dear Friend would be to part with you, he would not detain you, if you once made known your desires; I have not told your Friends all I have heard upon this subject as I fear it would give them uneasyness.
You will have heard before this reaches you of the strange part Gillion has acted; my dear Charles is at Bilboa, and must exchange September for Jan'ry or Febry., a dreadful Season to come upon this { 262 } coast. The Letters which were put on Board of him must be still with him, if any were committed to his care. I do not think he means to come to America soon.
I hope you have been made very happy by the agreable tiding from America. The aspect of our affairs is Brightned, an other British Army is added to our Glorious exploits and conquests, with an abhored, because a merciless and cruel Captive General to swell our triumphs. The Month of October is a memorable one to America, and a fatal one to Britain. Will she can she still persist in her wanton cruelties, in her mad projects of domination, whilst she is crumbling to attoms? Will not the united provinces be proud to allye themselves to our vallient states—will they not acknowledge our Independance and claim kindred with us? Is there any prospect of peace? May a Glorious one incircle us with its blessings before an other year Elapses, but I fear from certain movements to which I suppose you are no Stranger that it may not be all we wish. Yet the Capture of Cornwallis must opperate in our favour.
Most of the Ladies of your acquaintance still remain Single. Several whom you left just rising into notice now figure with Eclat. You are not forgotten amongst them. I often hear your name mentiond with much esteem, an Epethet well suited to the tempreture of the low Countries.
Master Tommy desires me to remember to insert his affectionate regard to you, and Miss Nabby looks it, tho not articulated.
Your Friends were all well last week when your Brother was here. Your Sister Celia spent a fortnight here in the last month, and Miss Nancy2 is expected this Week to spend a month or two. Your Friend Abel Alleyne is sailed for Antigue and from thence designs for Barbados. Provisions plenty here, money a scarce commodity indeed, taxes, exorbitant. Luxery still prevailing in Building, furniture, Equipage, and dress. The scarcity of cash will Lessen it with some, but many realized their enormous sums of paper.

[salute] Let me beg of you to be punctual in writing and let no opportunity slip by which you may convey comfort and satisfaction to your Friends particularly to your ever affectionate Friend,

[signed] Portia
RC (MB); addressed: “Mr. John Thaxter Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 9th. Decr. 1781.”
1. AA must allude to a letter or letters from Thaxter dated at Paris, 19 and 20 Sept. 1780, both in vol. 3 above. Thaxter had written her a number of times in 1781, and most of these letters are printed in the present volume, but some had been delayed in the sending and she had as yet received none of them. { 263 } See above, Thaxter to AA, 21 July, and note 1 there.
2. Presumably Hannah, John Thaxter's other sister, identified above at vol. 3:43; see Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-12-14

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Your Letter of 21 Aug. O.S.1 the first I have received, reached me only two or three days ago.
I am pleased to see, your hand Writing improve, as well as your Judgment ripen, as you travel. But I am above all happy to find that your Behaviour has been such as to gain the Confidence of M[r]. D[ana] so far as to employ you in copying. This Employment requires a great degree of Patience and Steadiness as well as care. It will be of vast Use to you, to be admitted thus early into Business, especially into Business of such Importance.
Make it a Rule, my dear Son, To loose no Time. There is not a moral Precept, of clearer Obligation, or of greater Import. Make it the grand Maxim of your Life, and it cannot fail to be happy, and usefull to the World.
You have my Consent to have any Masters, which Mr. D. thinks proper for you. But you will have none, upon whom I shall depend so much as upon him. He will form your moral and political Principles, and give you a Taste for Letters as well as Business, if you can but be so wise and happy as to continue to deserve his Confidence, and be admitted to assist him, in Copying his Business.
I have Letters from your Mother who sends you her Blessing and your youngest Brother who sends you his Love.2
Charles writes me from Bilbao 24 Nov.3 expecting to sail the next Week, he desires his Love to you, and his affectionate Respects to Mr. D.
Write me often. Let me know the State of Education and Letters in St. Petersbg. Pray do you hear any Thing of a Passage by Land, from Russia to America? What Discoveries have been made?

[salute] It is not necessary to add my Name, when I assure you of my Affection.

RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. That is, 1 Sept. N.S.; printed above under that date.
2. No letter from TBA to JA at this period has been found.
3. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0177

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-12-15

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Child

This day Mr. Sayre arrived,1 with your Letter of the 12/23 of October. Yours of August I answered, Yesterday.
You have not informed me whether the Houses are built of Brick, Stone or Wood. Whether they are seven stories high or only one. How they are glazed, whether they have chimneys as in Spain. What publick Buildings, what Maison de Ville or state house. What Churches? What Palaces? What Statuary, what Paintings, Musick, Spectacles, &c. You have said nothing of the Religion of the Country, whether it is Catholick or Protestant. What is the national Church. Whether there are many Sectaries. Whether there is a Toleration of various Religions &c.
I think the Price for a Master is intolerable. If there is no Academy, nor School, nor a Master to be had, I really dont know what to say to your staying in Russia. You had better be at Leyden where you might be in a regular course of Education. You might come in the Spring in a Russian, Sweedish or Prussian Vessell, to Embden perhaps or Hamborough, and from thence here, in a neutral Bottom still. I am afraid of your being too troublesome to Mr. D[ana].
However, I rely upon it that you follow your Studies with your wonted Assiduity. It is strange if no Dictionary can be found in French nor English.
I dont perceive that you take Pains enough with your Hand Writing. Believe me, from Experience, if you now in your Youth resolutely conquer your impatience, and resolve never to write the most familiar Letter or trifling Card, with2 Attention and care, it will save you a vast deal of Time and Trouble too, every day of your whole Life. When the habit is got, it is easier to write well than ill, but this Habit is only to be acquired, in early life.
God bless my dear Son, and preserve his Health and his Manners, from the numberless dangers, that surround Us, wherever We go in this World. So prays your affectionate Father,
[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. Stephen Sayre (1736–1818), Princeton 1757, was an international adventurer and free-lance diplomat who had spent more than a year in St. Petersburg intriguing to promote U.S.—Russian trade and his own fortune. The most recent biographical account of Sayre is in Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates (he held a Harvard M.A.), 14:204–215. Still valuable is Julian P. Boyd, “The Remarkable Adventures of Stephen Sayre,” Princeton Univ. Libr. Chronicle, 2:51–64 (Feb. 1941). The article by David W. Griffiths, “American { 265 } Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780–1783,” WMQ, 3d ser., 27:379–410 (April 1970), is informative on Sayre's Russian mission; see esp. p. 384–389.
2. Thus in RC, and so copied by JQA in Tr. In printing this letter in an appendix to AA's Letters, 1848, p. 424, CFA silently corrected “with” to “without.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0178

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest friend

I have Letters from Mr. Dana and his young Attendant, at St. Petersbourg. Both well and in good Spirits. Letters to Mrs. D. and to you go by Captn. Troubridge and by Dr. Dexter.
I have no certain News, as yet of Charles's Sailing from Bilbao, but I presume he is sailed. You will have suffered great Anxiety on his Account, but I pray he may arrive safe. I acted for the best when I consented he should go in Gillon, little expecting that he would be landed in Spain again. Keep him to his studies and send him to Colledge, where I wish his Brother John was.
My Health is feeble, but better than it was. I am busy, enough, yet not to much perceptible Purpose as yet. There is no Prospect at all of Peace. Let our People take Care of their Trade and Privateers, next year. They have not much of a Land War to fear.
General Washington, has struck the most sublime stroke of all in that Article of the Capitulation, which reserves the Tories for Tryal by their Peers. This has struck Toryism dumb and dead. I expect that all the Rancour of the Refugees will be poured out upon Cornwallis for it.1
Our Ennemies now really stand in a ridiculous Light. They feel it but cannot take the Resolution to be wise.
The Romans never saw but one caudine Forks in their whole History. Americans have shewn the Britains two, in one War.—But they must do more. Remember, you never will have Peace, while the Britains have a Company of Soldiers at Liberty, within the United States. New York must be taken, or you will never have Peace.—All in good time.
The British Army Estimates are the same as last Year, the Navy less by several ships of the Line. What can these People hope for.
I fancy the southern states will hold their Heads very high. They have a right. They will scarcely be overrun again I believe, even in the hasty manner of Cornwallis. Burgoine dont seem to be affronted that his Nose is out of Joint. He is in good Spirits. Experience has convinced him.—So I hope it has Cornwallis, that the American War is { 266 } impracticable. The flour, the Choice of the British Army was with him.
The K[ing] of Eng[land] consoles his People under all their Disgraces, Disasters, and dismal Prospects, by telling them that they are brave and free. It is a pity for him that he did not allow the Americans to be so Seven Years ago. But the great designs of Providence must be accomplished. Great Indeed! The Progres of Society, will be accellerated by Centuries by this Rev[olution]. The Emperor of Germany is adopting as fast as he can American Ideas of Toleration and religious Liberty, and it will become the fashionable system of all Europe very soon. Light Spreads from the day Spring in the West, and may it shine more and more until the perfect day.
Duty to Parents, Love to Brothers, sisters and Children. It is not in the Power of Worlds2 to express the Tenderness with which I bid you farewell.
“Article X [of the Articles of Capitulation at Yorktown, 19 Oct. 1781]. Natives or inhabitants of different parts of this country, at present in York or Gloucester, are not to be punished for having joined the British army.
“This article cannot be assented to, being altogether of civil resort.” (Washington, Writings, ed. Sparks, 8:535.)
Cornwallis' acceptance of the Allies' negative of this article, thereby abandoning the loyalists with the British army “to the power of an inveterate, implacable enemy” (to use Sir Henry Clinton's words), outraged George III and became one of the issues in the bitter controversy between Cornwallis and Clinton. See Benjamin Franklin Stevens, ed., The Campaign in Virginia, 1781 ..., London, 1888, 1:44, 199 ff.; 2:202; William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion: Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative of His Campaigns, 1775–1782, New Haven, 1954, p. 352–353, 582–583, 592–594, 597–598.
2. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0179

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1781-12-18

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I send you a Volume of Politics. A Second Volume will be ready in 6 or 7 Weeks.—You will hear more about this Paper, in time.1
I have received several kind Letters from you. Pray continue to write me, altho you should be disappointed of my Answers. I have noted your Desire, in one of them and have taken such measures as I could, but fear you have received nothing as yet, although some have been sent.2 Little can be done in this Way. This Country begins to think seriously of Us but they must think a long time, you know.
There is no Prospect of Peace. Let our Country men look to their Trade and Privateers, for I suspect the English will strain every Nerve, to hurt them in this Way finding so many Caudine Forks in { 267 } the Land War. The English are amuzing the Dutch with insidious Proposals of a seperate Peace. But I am perswaded no such Thing can take Place. A Quadruple Alliance would be much more for the Honour and Interest of this Rep[ublic] but whether they will think so time must discover.
The Emperor has acceeded to the armed Neutrality: so that all the Powers of the World, are either at War with England or pledged to be Neutral. The King of Prussia acceeded sometime ago.
The Brit[ish] Ministry seem to give over the Ideas of Conquest. By their Speeches in Parliament, their Hopes are extinct. Yet perhaps this may be a feint. It is impossible however, that they should do much. The People are meeting and making a Bustle, but all will evaperate in a few frothy Speeches, and fruitless Remonstrances.
Our Allies have at last found the true Method of obtaining Tryumphs. If they pursue the Plan the War will be easy.
The British Navy will be much weaker next year than this. Their Army is not proposed to be stronger, and they will not find it in fact, near so strong.
Let Dr. Cooper read the Politique Hollandais, and tell him that I will send him his sermon and the Governors Speech and the Massachusetts Constitution, translated into Dutch, as soon as I can. The Translation is published with an elegant Comparison between the Mass[achusetts] Constitution and that of this Rep[ublic].3

[salute] Remember me to every Body.

[signed] Your affectionate Brother
RC (MHi: Washburn Collection); endorsed: “Letter from Bror. Adams Decr. 18th. 1781 (from Amsterdam).” For the accompanying “Volume” see note 1.
1. Evidently the “Volume” sent was the first volume of Le politique hollandais, issued at Amsterdam late in 1781 and mentioned by name in the last paragraph of this letter. The editor of this proFrench, pro-American, anti-Orangist weekly periodical was JA's friend A. M. Cerisier, identified above in this volume; for a fuller account of him and his journal, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:453–454.
2. See Cranch to JA, 22 June and 3 Nov., both above.
3. JA alludes to a collection of documents relative to the American Revolution translated and edited pseudonymously by the Patriot writer and clergyman Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (1752–1829), on whom see further, JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:456. Entitled Verzameling der Stukken tot de dertien Vereenigde Staeten van Noord-Amerika betrekkelijk, Leyden, 1781, it contained among other things (in part furnished by JA) a text of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780; Rev. Samuel Cooper's Sermon Preached ... October 25, 1780, Boston, 1780; and Governor John Hancock's speech at the opening of the first session of the Massachusetts legislature under the new constitution, 31 Oct. 1780. JA's copies are in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 255). See also Van der Kemp to JA, 26 Nov., and Jean Luzac to JA, 10 Dec. 1781, both in Adams Papers; and Van der Kemp, Autobiography, p. 44–45, 214.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0180

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-12-19

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

By the last Mails came the King's Speech, the Address of the two Houses in answer, and the debates in Parliament. His most gracious Majesty is sorry, that the Americans and French have catched one of his flying Generals with an Army, because the Rectitude of his Cause entitled him to better luck. He tells his Parliament the Rebellion is still fomented, and that his Subjects continue in that state of delusion, that the Bravery of his fleets and Armies was to have removed seven Years agone. He seems to be anxious about America, and wishes to bring them back to that happy state which their former Obedience placed them in. Never mind it, my Lords and Gentlemen, to be sure it has been rather a bad season for Us, and I am sorry for it, but next Year, if You will keep the Purse full, I will rely with a firm Confidence upon the Assistance of divine Providence, the Justice of my Cause, and the Bravery of my fleets and Armies, and do great things. What solemn Mockery coupled with a most ridiculous Farce? This, Madam, is the Language of a Monarch, who has had seven Years Experience of the most pointed Indignation of Heaven against his despotic Projects; seven Years experience of the Iniquity of his Cause, and an equal peri[o]d of the most convincing proofs, that neither the Bravery or Skill of his fleets and armies are adequate to the Task of subduing a People determined to assert the Rights and Dignity of human Nature, and to be free. Yet with this Torrent of Evidence, he means to go on, as if abandoned by that Providence on which he affects to rely. He is now flattering his People with the Epithets of “brave and free.” America will hear much of large Armies — perhaps 20 or 25,000 men—large fleets &c. &c. being to be sent out next Spring by England. But these Men are all to be raised by the way, which will take six or seven Years at least. They cannot fit out a larger fleet than last Year: and this Fleet must be divided in proportion to their Objects and Number of Places to guard and relieve, which have increased much. In the debates of Parliament their fleet is stated to be only seventy nine Ships of the Line—this is not contradicted. France alone has seventy-one, Spain near sixty, and Holland between twenty and thirty. The fleet of England is not in general well manned—many of their ships very old—their standing Army is very small. Supposing the whole regular Army of the three Kingdoms were sent out, it would not replace the losses they sustained last Year in America, the West Indies &c. Altho' We need be { 269 } under no apprehension at all of any force they can send out next Spring, (which cannot but be small) yet We ought not to relax in the least in our Exertions by Sea and Land, and more especially by Sea; for these Gentry have been so buffetted in this War, so baffled and disappointed in their Expectations, that they will never make Peace 'till they can no longer make War. Commerce is the Heart of the Kingdom, and Blood drawn from this Source will create sensations that will bring them at least to Reflection. Nothing like Privateering for this purpose.
I have become acquainted with an amiable Circle of Ladies in this City. I pay my Respects to them now and then, for the pleasure of their good Company, an improvement in the French Language, and to divert a little Gloom and Melancholy, which this horrible Climate casts over me at times. Three or four of them are handsome, and the rest very agreable, but make no pretensions to Beauty. I find much formality and Ceremony in families that are most intimate, which gives an appearance of an introduction to their most familiar Visits. However they are very sociable and one finds a display of good humour in their Company. The Ladies always salute each other upon entering and parting when they make Visits: And where I dared, I have endeavoured to introduce the practice of Gentlemen's (as far as respected me) making Use of the same feeling Expression of Respect towards the Ladies.

[salute] Much Duty and Love where due. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect Esteem & Respect, Madam, your most humble Servant,

[signed] North Common

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0181

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-12-22

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Mon cher Ami

J'ai bien-recu les Lettres que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'ecrire de Francfort et de Berlin.1 Votre Lettre de St. Petersbourg sous la date de 8/19 7bre. est aussi parvenue. Je vous suis très obligé pour toutes les trois. J'ai été fort content de vos observations sur le Caractere, les manieres et les coutumes des Peuples de ces pays dans lequels vous avez voyagé: et je vous prie de vouloir bien m'envoyer de terns en terns quelques morceaux de votre Journal, parce que je suis persuade que c'est plein des remarques et des choses extrémement interressantes. Je suis étonné que vous navez pas trouvé plus des Villes entre Berlin et St. Petersbourg, et que le terrein est si stérile. Com• { 270 } ment trouvez vous les Villes de Dantzic, de Konigsberg, de Memel, de Riga, de Narva, et enfin la grande Ville de St. Petersbourg? Monsieur D[ana] a remarqué dans ses Lettres que cette derniere Ville etoit la plus belle et la plus magnifique du monde. Ayez la bonte de m'ecrire tout ce que vous pensez ou remarquez de cette Ville.
J'espere que Monsieur votre Frere est parti de Bilbao. Vous savez bien qu'il est parti d'ici premierement dans la Sud Caroline et qu'il est arrivé a Corogne en Espagne dans le mois de ybre. Après il se trouvoit abord d'un Corsaire Americain destiné a Bilbao, ou il est heureusment arrivé. Nos dernieres Lettres de cet endroit-la sont sous la date de 30. Novembre, et ces Messieurs, qui sont là, ecrivoient qu'ils doivent partir sur le champ, tellement que nous attendons la nouvelle de leur départ incessament.2
Je vous felicite très sincerement sur la prise de Milord Cornwallis avec toute son Armée: c'est un evénément très important pour notre chere patrie.
J'espere que vous trouvez votre situation très agreable et avantageuse. Prenez garde de votre santé. Suivez assidument vos études et je vous conseille en ami a suivre les conseils de Monsieur D. dans toutes choses. Croyez moi, mon cher, qu'il est votre meilleur Ami dans ce pays-la. II n'y a personne plus capable que lui, ou plus prêt de vous aider et conseiller en tout ce qui vous regarde. Fait bien des Complimens a Mr. D. Tous vos Amis m'ont prie de vous faire leurs Complimens. Soyez assuré de mon affection pour vous et croyez moi que je suis très sincerement votre fidele Ami et Serviteur.
Voila une Lettre pleine des fautes3—n'importe. Peut-être vous pouvez la comprendre; mais si vous ne pouvez pas, dit moi franchement.—Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur J. Q. Adams à St. Petersbourg”; endorsed: “Mr. J. Thaxter's Letter recd. January 2/13 1782. dated Decr. 22. 1781. No. 1. answered Jan'y 2/13 1782”; docketed in JQA's more mature hand: “J. Thaxter 22 Decr: 1781.” Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand; see note 3.
1. Not found.
2. See William Jackson to JA, Bilbao, 30 Nov., above.
3. In the early Tr (i.e. in copying the text into his letterbook) JQA corrected some of Thaxter's misspellings and grammatical errors and supplied numerous missing accent marks.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0182

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I knew not untill half an hour ago that Mr. Guile intended for Europe, he did not know it himself, it was a suden movement. He has not been able to come [up?] as the vessel is expected to sail tomorrow, the Marquis and Count are already gone on Board. I have written by them,1 but should have been more full and particuliar by Mr. Guile if I had sooner known of his intention.
He can give you a full and particular account of our Situation at present.2 I need say nothing on that Head. He can tell you how anxious we have all been for my dear Boy, of whom I hear nothing further since his arrival at Bilboa. He can tell you how much dissapointed I was that he should have [had] all his papers on Board Gillion so that not one line reachd me. I have not a syllable of a later date than May. It seems as if a fatality attended all our exertions for cloathing, and for intelligence. I have so short warning that I have not a line for my Russian vissiter, have you heard from him? When O when shall I?
I hope you enjoy your Health. I am anxious for you. My own I find infirm enough, my Nervous System is too easily agitated. I am frequently confined by slight indispositions to which I was always subject. I hope you have not experienced so much anxiety for our dear little Boy, as I have. It is not over. I fear the Dangers of our coast, every Storm agitates me least he should be comeing upon the coast.
I have written to you already that the things you orderd me all came safe to hand by the Minerva, by the Apollo and the Juno.
I have inclosed by the Count an invoice but have not written to any Body but to you about the articles.
I also inclose to you a coppy of a Letter, said to have been published abroad. You may have seen it before, but if you have not, it is a curiosity.3 There is a great scarcity of Money here, and will be a greater I believe when our taxes are paid. I shall not draw upon you if you can continue to make me remittances as you have done. I enter not into the present stile and mode of living. The whole of your Sallery would be inadequate to the expence in which some live now, in furniture, equipage, cloathing and feasting, who were not worth ten Spanish milld Dollors when the war commenced. But this rant cannot last long, they must again descend to their nothingness.
{ 272 }
Excuse this hasty Scrawl. I would not that Mr. Guile should go without a line. Believe me at all times most assuredly yours.
Inclosed is a letter. You will understand more about it when you receive my Letter by the Count de Noiales.4
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “A.A. Decr. 23. 1781.” John Thaxter's endorsement of this letter, “Portia 9. & 23d. Decr. 1781 inclosing Dean's Letter,” appears on cover of AA to JA, 9 Dec., above, which was sent by the same vessel, the Alliance, but by a different hand, the Vicomte de Noailles. For the enclosures see notes 3 and 4.
1. AA to JA, 9 Dec., above.
2. See Benjamin Guild to JA, Lorient, 18 Jan. 1782 (Adams Papers).
3. This “coppy of a Letter,” mentioned in Thaxter's endorsement as “Dean's,” was probably Silas Deane's letter to William Duer, Paris, 14 June 1781, a contemporary copy of which in an unidentified hand is in the Adams Papers and cannot be otherwise accounted for. This was one of the purportedly intercepted letters Deane wrote at this time to American friends criticizing American policy and discouraging the idea of independence; see AA to JA, 21 Oct., above, and note 3 there. A text of Deane's letter is printed in Deane Papers, 4:424–429.
4. Probably the enclosure, not now precisely identifiable, was a letter to JA from one of the parents of the Braintree seamen held captive in the Mill Prison, Plymouth; see AA to JA, 9 Dec., above, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0183

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-01-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

My Health is returning to me by degrees, and I hope to be fully reestablished by the Help of constant Exercise, and great Care, but I want the Consolations of my family.—Alass! When shall I have it.
Charles I presume is sailed in the Cicero from Bilbao, and John is well with Mr. D[ana] at Pete[r]sbourg.
The political Questions here are, a seperate Peace with England and the Mediation of Russia on one Hand and an Alliance with France, Spain and America on the other. The Deliberations will be as long as possible—and the Result nobody can guess.
My Blessing to my Children, Duty to Parents, Affection to Friends, &c.

[salute] Yours forever,

[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). There is no evidence, external or internal, indicating which of JA's two letters to AA bearing the present date was written first.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0184

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-01-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I hope, Charles is at home by this time or that he will be in a few days. I presume he sailed from Bilbao in the Cicero, with M[ajor] { 273 } Jackson and Mr. Trumbul, one of the first days of december yet I have no certain news of his sailing at all. John is well with Mr. D[ana] at Petersbourg.
I cannot tell you any News—there are great questions upon the Tapis here, but how they will be decided, I know not.—This Rep[ublic] is a Jilt. When you think you have her Affections, all at once you find you have been deceiv'd.
There is not so much as a Talk of a general Peace, nor is there any one who believes in a seperate Peace bet[ween] England and Holland.
Take Care of the War of Ports which the English talk of. Perhaps Falmouth, perhaps Rhode Island. Look to Privateers and trade.
Let not a Bow be unstrung. There will be, there can be no Peace.
I hope Hayden, who had some things for you, is arrived.
I shall not be able to send any thing more I am afraid untill next summer.
My Blessing to my Daughter and Son, my Duty to Parents and Affection to Brothers and Sisters.
Pray send me, half a dozen, N.E. shillings by different Opportunities, if you can find them.1

[salute] Most affectionately Yours,

[signed] J.A.
1. See above, JA to AA, 21 Oct. 1781 and note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0185

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1782-01-08

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

Yes I have been Sick confined to my chamber with a slow fever. I have been unhappy through anxiety for my dear Boy, and still am apprehensive of our terrible coast should he come upon it, besides the tormenting cruizers infest our Bay with impuinity and take every thing. You have heard I suppose that the passengers all left the Ship and went to Bilboa upon Gillions abusive treatment of them. My Son was arrived there the day the vessel which brought the News sailed, since which time have heard nothing from thence. The sympathetick part you took in my suposed loss, bespeaks a feeling Heart. I thank Heaven I have not yet been called to taste the bitter cup.
Your kind endeavours have at last happily succeeded and the Boxes have arrived in safety, all the articles in much better Situation than I expected. The contents agree with your former invoice tho not with Mr. A——s memorandom—the china came all safe, one plate and Glass { 274 } excepted, which for such a journey is trifling indeed. I shall acknowledge General Lincolns kind attention by a few lines to him.2
You Query why Portia has not written to you as usual. The real reason was that she was perplexed. The character which she supposed she had in former times corresponded with, was that of a Man of Honour in publick and in private Life, sincere in his professions a Strickt observer of his vows, faithfull to his promisses—in one word a Moral and a Religious Man. Shall the cruel tongue of Slander impeach and abuse this character by reporting that the most sacred of vows is voilated, that a House of bad fame is the residence, and a M[istre]ss the Bosom associate. Truth is the one thing wanting to forever withhold a pen.3
An infamous falsehood I would believe it. My reason for inquiring a character was founded upon the report. Sure I am I sought it not. Since the recept of your last, I have endeavourd to come at the report in such a manner as should give you Satisfaction, this is the reason why I have delayed writing but as I did not chuse to inquire but in a transient manner, I have not been able to obtain it. I observed to you in my last that Massachusets air was necessary for you. I still think so, as it would be the most effectual way to silence the abuse which for near a year has circulated. I know your former reasons will recur and perhaps with more force than ever. Indeed I pitty you. If cruelly used, my Heart Bleads for your troubles, and for your real and substantial misfortunes. I suppose I know your meaning.
Post conveyances are so doubtfull and have been so dangerous that I cannot write freely neither upon publick or private affairs.
You had as good be in Europe as Pensilvana for all the intelligence we have from Congress. No journals, no news papers and very few Letters pass. Deans is taking great Latitudes, one would think him a pensioned hireling by his Letters. Would to Heaven that the whole of his Letters could be proved as false as the greater part of them, but are there not some Sorrowfull Truths?

[salute] Sir

Whilst I acknowledge your kind attention to a couple of Boxes in which I was interested and which you was kind enough to forward with Safety by your waggon to Boston, I would not omit congratulating you upon your late honorable appointment which gives universal Satisfaction in your native State at the same time that it demonstrates the Sense which your Country entertain of your meritorious Services. It gives a pleasing prospect to those who wish her prosperity to see { 275 } those advanced to office whos virtue and independant Spirit have uniformly shone from the begining of this unhappy contest.4
1. Date supplied from continuation; AA may of course have begun her letter on an earlier date.
2. This acknowledgment has not been found.
3. The charge of immorality against Lovell, darkly alluded to in AA's letter to him of 15 Nov. 1781, above, was one that recurred more than once in his career, with or without justification, from his undergraduate days on. See Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:31, 33. It may have been revived at this time in conjunction with his intercepted letters and his five-year absence from his family. Possibly it influenced his decision to return home for a visit at just this time; see Lovell to AA, 28 Feb., below.
4. Lovell's new post was that of “continential Receiver of taxes” in Massachusetts, according to AA's letter to JA of 10 April, below. Lovell took up his duties after quitting Congress for good in that month (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:xlvi, 328 and note). The office was regarded as a gift of Robert Morris, Congress' Superintendent of Finance, and Rev. William Gordon said he must now consider Lovell “as a Deserter from the cause of liberty, as a place man” (to Horatio Gates, 24 Jan. 1783 [error for 1782], MHS, Procs., 63 [1929–1930]:480). It was true that Lovell was to live the rest of his life on the public bounty, showing great political agility in obtaining successive state and federal offices under different governors and national administrations. The chronology of these appointments and of Lovell's tenure of them is at best confusing, but see the sketch of Lovell in Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:31–48, for the most nearly satisfactory account.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0186

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-12

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

Last night I received your letters of the 14th and 15th. You make me a great number of questions at a time, but I will answer them as well as I can.1
The Houses are for the most part built of Brick, and plastered over. They are from two to four Stories high. They are glazed with large panes as in France, and in the winter they have double windows which are taken down in the Spring, that is, in the Months of May or June. They have no Chimneys, but Stoves of which I have given a description to Mr. Thaxter.2 I dont know anything about their State-house, but I beleive it is nothing extraordinary. Voltaire says there are thirty-five Churches here, but I believe if anybody had set him about finding them out he would have found it very difficult; there is a church building here upon the plan of St. Peter's at Rome; It was to be entirely finish'd in fifteen years, has been already work'd upon twenty five, and is far from being half done. There are two Palaces in the city, in one of which her Majesty resides in the winter, and is call'd the summer3 Palace. The Empress stays all summer at a palace called { 276 } Czarskozelo about twenty five English Miles from the city. There is no famous Statuary or Paintings, that I know of. There are concerts once a week in several places. There is a German, an Italian and a French Comedy here. The last is in the Empress's Palace.
The Religion is neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant, but as Voltaire has in his history of Peter the great, treated upon that subject, I will give you what he says about it.
“La Religion de L'Etat, says he, fut toujours depuis le onzieme siecle, celle qu'on nomme Grecque, par opposition a la Latine: mais il y avait plus de pays Mahometans et de Payens que de Chrétiens. La Sibérie jusqu'a la Chine etait idolatre; et dans plus d'une province toute espece de Religion etait inconnue.
“Le Christianisme ne fut reçu que trés tard dans la Russie, ainsi que dans tous les autres pays du Nord. On prétend qu'une Princesse nommée Olha l'y introduisit á la fin du dixieme siécle. Cette princesse Olha ajoute-t'on, se fit baptiser à Constantinople. Son exemple ne fit pas d'abord un grand nombre de proselytes; son fils Stowastoslaw qui regna long terns ne pensa point du tout comme sa mere; mais son petit fils Volodimer, né d'une concubine, ayant assassiné son frere pour regner, et ayant recherché l'alliance de l'Empereur de Constantinople Basile, ne l'obtint qu'a condition qu'il se serait baptiser; c'est a cette époque de l'anneé 987. que la Religion grecque commenca en effet a s'etablir en Russie.
“Il y eut toujours, depuis la naissance du Christianisme en Russie, quelques sectes, ainsi que dans les autres etats; car les sectes sont souvent le fruit de l'ignorance, aussi bien que de la science pretendue. Mais la Russie est le seul grand etat Chretien où la Religion n'ait pas excité de guerres civiles, quoiqu'elle ait produit quelques tumultes.
“La secte de ces Roskolniki composée aujourd'hui d'environ deux mille males, est la plus ancienne; elle s'etablit dès le douzieme siècle par des zélés qui avaient quelque connaissance du nouveau testament; ils eurent, et ont encore la pretention de tous les sectaires, celle de le suivre à la lettre, accusant tous les autres Chrétiens de relachement, ne voulant point souffrir qu'un pretre qui a bu de l'eau de vie, confere le bâteme, assurant avec Jesus-Christ, qu'il n'y a ni premier ni dernier parmi les fideles, et surtout qu'un fidele peut se tuer pour l'amour de son Sauveur. C'est selon eux un très grand peché de dire alleluja trois fois, il ne faut le dire que deux, et ne donner jamais la bénédiction qu'avec trois doigts. Nulle societé, d'ailleurs, n'est ni plus regleé, ni plus severe dans ses moeurs: ils vivent comme les Quakers, mais ils n'admettent point comme eux les autres Chrétiens dans leurs assem• { 277 } bleés, c'est ce qui fait que les autres leur ont imputé toutes les abominations dont les Payens accuserent les premiers Galiléens, dont ceux-ci a chargerent les Gnostiques, dont les Catholiques ont chargés les Protestans. On leur a souvent imputé d'egorger un enfant, de boire son sang, et de se mêler ensemble dans leurs ceremonies secrettes sans distinction de parenté, d'age, ni même de sexe. Quelquefois on les a persecutés: ils se sont alors enfermés dans leurs bourgades, ont mis le feu à leurs maisons, et se sont jettés dans les flammes.
“Au reste, il n'y a dans un si vaste Empire que vingt huit Siéges Episcopaux, et du terns de Pierre on n'en comptait que vingt deux: ce petit nombre etait peut-être une des raisons qui avaient tenu l'Eglise Russe en Paix. Cette Eglise d'ailleurs etait si peu instruite, que le Czar Fédor frére de Pierre Le Grand, fut le premier qui introduisit le plein chant chéz elle.
“Fédor et surtout Pierre, admirent indifféremment dans leurs armées et dans leurs conseils ceux du rite Grec, Latin, Luthérien, Calviniste: ils laisserent a chacun la liberté de servir Dieu suivant sa conscience, pourvu que l'etat fut bien servi.
“Il n'y a jamais eu en Russie d'etablissement pour les juifs, comme ils en ont dans tant d'etats de l'Europe depuis Constantinople jusquà Rome. De toutes les Eglise Grecques la Russe est la seule, qui ne voye pas des Synagogues à coté de ses temples.”4
I don't wonder that you find it Strange that there is no good Dictionary to be had, but there is nobody here but Princes and Slaves; the Slaves cannot have their children instructed, and the nobility that chuse to have their's send them into foreign countries. There is not one school to be found in the whole city.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son.

P.S. Please to present my respects to Messrs. Deneufville and to all friends.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J.Q.Adams, ansd. 5. Feb. 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. JA's letters to JQA of 14 and 15 Dec. 1781 are both above. From a letter Francis Dana wrote JA on 31 Dec. 1781 / 11 Jan. 1782 (Adams Papers), it appears that he too had read these, and he had this to say in response to JA's concern over JQA's studies and his possibly being “troublesome” to Dana:
“My ward is not troublesome to me. I shou'd be unhappy to be deprived of him, and yet I am very anxious about his education. Here there are neither schools, instructors, or Books. A good Latin Dictionary is not to be got in this City. Had he finished his classical studies I shoud meet with no difficulty in his future education. I wou'd superintend and direct that in the course you wou'd choose and point out. I cou'd not indeed do without him unless a certain person cou'd replace him.”
2. In the letter immediately following.
{ 278 }
3. This slip of the pen occurs also in LbC.
4. Copied, with silent deletion of some phrases, sentences, and paragraphs, from Voltaire's Histoire de l'empire de Russie sous Pierre le grand, 2 vols, n.p., 1759–1763, p. 65–73. Concerning JQA's purchase of a copy of this work, now among his books in MBAt, see above, JQA to AA, 23 Oct. 1781, note 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0187

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-01-13

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Mon cher Monsieur

Je viens de recevoir la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'écrire le 22 du mois passé et je suis bien embarassé pour vous repondre. Car vous écrivez le Francais comme un Parisien, en sorte que j'ai peur de m'engager avec une personne de votre force; Mais il le faut bien, et je vous écrirai comme je pourrai.
Je vous enverrais bien quelques morceaux de mon Journal, mais je l'ai discontinué depuis mon arriveé ici,1 et je vous ai donné le précis de mon voiage dans mes lettres précédentes.2 Vous me démandéz comment je trouve les villes de Dantzic, Konigsberg &c. Il ny a rien de curieux dans toutes ces villes. Pour la grande ville dans laquelle j'ai présentement l'honneur de résider, les maisons sont bien baties et les Rues larges, Mais il n'y a pas encore de Portes; il n'y a pas grande chose à voir, si ce n'est un cabinet d'histoire naturelle qu'on dit être très belle; nous ne l'avons pas encore vu mais nous espèrons le voir un de ces jours. Vous savéz qu'il ne fait pas trop chaud dans ce pays ci en hiver, et le Soleil est presque aussi prodigue de ses raions qu'en Hollande. Mais je vous dirai qu'on vit ici aussi chaudement qu'en aucun pays. Car dans chaque chambre, ils ont un poël (quelquefois deux) gros comme quatre qu'ils remplissent tous les matins de bois et quand il est bien brulé en charbon, et qu'il ne fume plus ils ferment la porte du poël: ils ont aussi dans le poël une porte qui va au trou de la chéminée, on couvre ce trou de sorte que la chaleur ne pouvant sortir par la chéminée donne toute sa force dans la chambre; mais ces poëls sont fort mal sains; surtout pour les étrangers, et si on ferme le trou de la cheminée avant que le bois est bien brulé on risque de se suffoquer ce qui arrive quelquefois. Pour se garantir du froid dehors des maisons on a des pelisses de peaux de Castor, de Zibeline, d'ours, de Renard, de Loup, de Chien, ou de mouton; ces trois derniers sont fort commun, les autres sont très cher, mais on ne peut absolument pas s'en passer, car la chaleur ordinaire des chambres est de 14 or 15 dégrès dessus de la glace et il a déja fait ici cet hiver 28 dégrès dessous la glace deux fois, ainsi vous pouvez imaginer qu'en sortant d'une chambre, et rencontrant 42 dégrès de différence il faut autre chose { 279 } qu'un surtout de drap. On porte aussi des bottes doublées de laine dans les quelles les souliers entrent aussi; et aussi tôt qu'on entre dans une maison on s'en débarasse.
Mon frere a donc revu l'Espagne....3 J'aurai mieux aimé entendre son arrivée en Amerique.
Je vous suis trés obligé pour vos bons conseils et je tacherai de m'y conformer; pour ce qui est de ma situation, je ne puis pas dire qu'elle est bien avantageuse, car il ny a ni college ni maitre particulier ni bon Dictionnaire pour le Latin ou le Grec.
Mr. D[ana] vous écrira peut être la prochaine poste. Faites bien mes respects a Madame Chabanel et á sa famille; j'espere que vous me feréz l'honneur de m'ecrire de terns en tems.
Je suis vôtre tres humble et tres obéissant serviteur.
P.S. A propos, j'ai oublié de vous souhaiter une bonne et heureuse nouvelle année.
1. JQA's MS Diary covers in some detail his journey from the Netherlands to Russia, but breaks off on the day of his arrival in St. Petersburg, 27 Aug. 1781, and does not resume until 27 Jan. 1782.
2. The only surviving letter from JQA to Thaxter since the former's departure from Amsterdam is that dated from St. Petersburg, 8/19 Sept. 1781, above.
3. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0188

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-23

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

In Haveing an Opportunity by Via Bilbao, I have the pleasure of communicating to you the Arrival of your son Charles, after a passage of 45 days from Bilbao.1—The ship Robinhood that Charles Storer &c. went in is Arrived from Gottenburgh, in 45 days likewize a Brig att Providence from france by which we here the News of the Capture of Cornwallis had reacht there.
The Congress has past an Act prohibiting any british goods of any kind being imported after the first March, and in case the Owner cannot prove them (not to be british) they are forfeited, let them come from any ports whatever, or by any Neutral power whatever— which is a pitty was not done sooner.
As there is a person in Town that has considerable of goods from his father in London.2—I hope the recapture of St. Eustatius will put some New life into the Dutch. The British frigates have done more damage to Our trade the last season than any time since the War. That confounded Penobscot is a handy resort.—Your family and { 280 } friends are well. Itts very happy the Cicero Arrived as she did as the next day came On a very bad snow storm and has continued two days, which has prevented Charles from coming to Town.
As to News we have had nothing from Genl. Green for some Months. A reinforcement is gone from York to Carolinia.

[salute] I am Sr. Yr. [humble?] servant,

[signed] Isaac Smith
1. Richard Cranch in the following letter to JA says “51 Days” from Bilbao to Beverly, the Cicero's home port, where she arrived on 21 Jan. (Gardner W. Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, MHS, Colls., 77 [1927]: 99). Smith would appear to be nearer the mark, if the narrative of John Trumbull, a fellow passenger of CA, is trustworthy—though that narrative is a little confusing about dates (see below). For the events leading up to the Cicero's departure from Bilbao, see William Jackson to JA, 26 Oct. 1781, above, and Trumbull's account as quoted in note 2 there; also JA to Jackson, 1 Dec. 1781, note 1. Trumbull states that the passengers who had left the South Carolina in La Coruña and made their difficult way to Bilbao “were detained” in that port “until the 10th of December,” and then continues (Autobiography, ed. Sizer, 1953, p. 79–81):
“At the entrance of the river of Bilboa is a bar, on which the water is so shallow, that a ship of the Cicero's size can pass over, only at spring tides. When we dropped down from Porto Galette, we found the wind at the mouth of the river, blowing fresh from the north-ward, which caused such a heavy surf upon the bar, that it was impossible to take the ship over. We were obliged to wait until the wind lulled, and then the pilot insisted that he could not take her over safely, until the next spring tide. Several of the passengers thought it was folly to remain on board, consuming the ship's stores, and proposed to the captain that we would go back to Bilboa for a few days. He acceded, promising to send up a boat for us, whenever he might have a prospect of getting to sea. We went, and amused ourselves among the friends we had made; on the third or fourth day, we were walking with some ladies in the Alameda, a public walk which ran upon the bank of the river, when we espied a boat coming up with sails and oars, which we recognized as being from below. One of her men sprang on shore, and ran to us, with the information that the Cicero, and other vessels, had got over the bar that morning at eight o'clock, and were standing out to sea, with a fair wind-that Capt. Hill desired us to make all possible haste to get on board—that he would stand off and on for a few hours, but not long, as he could not justify it to his owners. We, of course, made all possible haste, but the distance from town was eight or nine miles, and when we got down, it was near three o'clock, and the ship was out of sight. We obtained a spy-glass, ran to the top of the house, and could thence discern a ship in the offing, apparently standing in. We persuaded ourselves that it must be the Cicero, and bid for a boat and crew to put us on board. The pilots made great difficulty—the sea was very rough—the ship was too far out—perhaps it was not the Cicero— they thought it was not; all this was said to work up the price. On the other hand, we were desperate; among us we could not muster twenty guineas to carry us through the winter, and the bargain was at last made, at a price which nearly emptied all our pockets, and before sunset we got on board the Cicero, in the Bay of Biscay, two or three leagues from land. The mountains of Asturia were already covered with snow, but the wind was fair, and we went on our way rejoicing.
“No accident befel, until the last day of our passage. We saw the land of America, (the Blue Hills of Milton, near Boston,) in the afternoon of a beautiful day in January; at six o'clock, P.M., we laid the ship's head to the { 281 } eastward, and stood off under easy sail until midnight, when we hove about, and stood in to the westward, under the same sail, expecting to find ourselves at sunrise, at about the same distance from the land, and all was joy and merriment on board, at the near approach of home. One honest old tar was happily on the lookout, and at three o'clock sung out from the forecastle, 'breakers! breakers! close under our bow, and right ahead!' He was just in time; the crew, though merry, were obedient, and flew upon deck in time to escape the danger. We found we were close upon the rocks of Cape Ann. We must have been drifted by a very strong current, for our course had been judicious, and could never have brought the ship there. Before noon, we were safe in the port of Beverly, where we found eleven other ships, all larger and finer vessels than the Cicero—all belonging to the same owners, the brothers Cabot—laid up for the winter. Yet such are the vicissitudes of war and the elements, that before the close of the year they were all lost by capture or wreck, and the house of Cabot had not a single ship afloat upon the ocean. In the evening, after we got into port, a snow storm came on, with a heavy gale from the eastward. The roads were so completely blocked up with snow, that they were impassable, and we did not get up to Boston until the third day; but, per tot discrimina rerum, I was at last safe on American land, and most truly thankful.”
Unfortunately it is not clear whether Trumbull's single specifically mentioned date of 10 Dec. is intended to be that of the Cicero's actual departure or the date after which he spent three or four days in the city before hearing of the ship's sudden sailing and having to overtake her in the bay. From 10 Dec. to 21 Jan. would be 43 days for the Atlantic voyage.
2. Thus in MS, but it would appear that this fragmentary sentence is really the concluding part of the sentence ending the preceding paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0189

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-31

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

I have the happiness to inform you that your Son Charles arriv'd at Beverly from Bilboa last Week, in the Ship Cicero, after a Passage of 51 Days.1 He is in fine Health and behaves himself with such good Breeding as gives pleasure to all his Acquaintance. He return'd to Braintree the day before Yesterday where he found his joy full Mother and Brother and Sister all well. His Trunk and Things are not yet got to Braintree so that I have not the pleasure of knowing what Letters you have sent, but hope I may have one, as I have not yet received a Line from You or Mr. Thaxter since you left us. I wrote you just after the taking of Genl. Cornwallis, but the Vessell after several weeks absence put back again.2 I put the Letters afterwards into the Hands of a Gentleman who expected to sail for Holland by way of Virginia, and as he is not yet gone I take the freedom of desiring him to wait upon you with them (tho' they are something antiquated) and with this also; knowing that you must be anxious for your dear little Boy untill you hear of his arrival. I long to hear from Master John, how he likes his Tour to Petersbourg &c. Your Mother, Brother, Father Smith, Uncle Quincy, Uncle Thaxter, Uncle Smith &c. &c. { 282 } and their Families are all well. I wrote to Cousin Thaxter by the Count De Noailles, which I hope he has received. We have no News since the retaking of St. Eustatia by the French. This was a brilliant Coup De Main. The General Court are now sitting here, and now batteling of it whether an Excise Act pass'd last Session shall be repeal'd or not. “Much may be said on both Sides.”
I received by Capt. Hayden the Things consign'd to me by Monsr. Mandrillon, they all came safe except the Glass-ware which was much broken. I have not yet sold them, as I could not get a Price that suited me. I hope soon to make him a Remittance. Hayden arriv'd so long after the other Ships that the Market was supply'd for that Season before the Goods came to hand. I have wrote to him, and shall write to him again by the first Oportunity. I have never received the Letters that he mention'd to me as being sent by Commodore Guillon. Should be glad you would please to present my most respectfull Compliments to him and let him know that I shall do every thing in my Power to serve his Interest. We have been very anxious on Account of your Health, having heard that you have been very Sick, but Master Charles has reliev'd us by informing us that he had received Letters from you of a later Date, and that you was recover'd.
Mr. Sherburn, who has been so obliging as to promise to deliver this and the other Letter to you if he arrives safe to Holland, is a Gentleman who has signalized himself in behalf of his Country, and lost a Limb in the Expedition on Rhode Island.3 I have heard a good Character of him, but have not the pleasure of a Particular Acquaintance with him. He says he is going on board directly, so that I have only time to add that I am with every Sentiment of Esteem and Friendship, your affectionate Bror.,
[signed] Richard Cranch
Mrs. Cranch and our Children are well.
1. See, however, Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, preceding, and note 1 there.
2. See Cranch to JA, 3 Nov. 1781, and descriptive note there.
3. John Samuel Sherburne, an officer in the New Hampshire militia, who lost a leg at Quaker Hill, R.I., Aug. 1778 (Heitman, Register Continental Army).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-05

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Boy

Yesterday I received your Letter of Jany. 1/12, and thank you for your account of the Place where you are.
I will send you a Dictionary, as soon as I can, but it will be a long { 283 } time before you can have it. I am very anxious for your Studies. Write me what Books You can procure there, and what others you want.
I am much pleased with your Letter to Mr. Thaxter,1 but it is a Mortification to me to find that you write better, in a foreign Language than in your mother Tongue. Your Letters discover a Judgment, beyond your Age, but your Style is not yet formed in french or English.
You must study accurately the best Writers in both, and endeavour to penetrate into their Spirit, to warm your Imagination with theirs, to inkindle the flame of Wit by their Fires and to watch the Delicacies in the Turn of Phrases and Periods which constitute the Charms of style.
I have a Letter from your Mamma, 23d Jany.2 All friends well.
With her Blessing to you, She sends her Wishes to hear from you, as often as you can write.
Your Brother was not arrived, on Christmas day when the Alliance Sailed.
Your Account of the Difference in the Air, in and out of your Chamber, allarms me for your Health but more especially for Your Patrons.3 You must take Care, not to make the Air of your Chamber too hot, and to change it often, otherwise your Friends Health will suffer immediately and yours after a little time, perhaps more than his.
Pray, what is the Language of the Russians?
Do you find any Company? Have you formed any Acquaintances of your own Countrymen, there are none I suppose. Of Englishmen you should beware; Frenchmen probably many. It must be an unsociable dull Life to a young Man, if you have not some Acquaintances. Alass! I regret that the Friendships of your Childhood cannot be made among your own Country men. And I regret your Loss of the glorious Advantages for classical studies at Leyden.
[signed] Your affectionate Father.
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. Dated 2/13 Jan., above.
2. Error for 23 Dec. 1781, above.
3. That is, for the health of your patron, Francis Dana.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0191

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-02-28

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

“Mr. Lovell, do let me entreat you, this thirtieth time, to write a few Lines to Mrs. Adams. Are you not clearly convinced that it is { 284 } in vain for you to determine, as you have done, day after day, that you will go to see her? You are betrayed, by a thousand Interruptions, not merely into Unpoliteness, but really into Ingratitude to that Lady. If you do not feel for yourself, I pray you to convince her that I am not insensible to her repeated kind Invitations and other Proofs of her friendly Thoughtfulness of me.”
Stop, prithee, stop, Mary. I will write, this moment. Thou art indeed a good Woman. What Pity 'tis, as Some Folks think, that you have not a better Husband!1
And now, my esteemed Friend, do you not willingly conceive that it is very difficult for me to seize Hours sufficient to secure the great Pleasure of seeing you at Braintree.
Be assured that I am not yet so quit of pressing Business as to have found Leisure to visit at the South West or North parts of this Town many Friends of my early Love or my later Gratitude.
I have many Things to tell; many also to ask about. I will not omit any possible Opportunity of doing both within the next Fortnight.2 In the mean time, be assured of the Reality of that Regard which is now jointly professed by, Madam, Your obliged Friends,
[signed] J. & M. Lovell3
1. Lovell was in Boston on leave from Congress for the first time in five years. He had last attended Congress on 23 Jan. and later returned for a brief period of service, 3–16 April, but thereafter took up the duties of his new appointment as Continental receiver of taxes in Massachusetts. See above, AA to Lovell, 8? Jan., and note 4 there.
2. Whether or not the Lovells visited AA at this time does not appear.
3. Text and signature are in Lovell's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0192

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
DateRange: 1782-02 - 1782-03

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

I yesterday received a congratulatory Letter from you,2 upon the safe arrival of my dear Charles, an event which has relieved me from many anxieties and filld my Heart with gratitude to that gracious Being who protected him from the perils of the deep, and from the hostile foe, who raised him from Sickness and has restored him to his Native Land, undepraved in his mind and morals, by the facinating allurements of vice, decked in Foreign garbs—and this I assure you I esteem not among the least favours with which his absence has been distinguished.
The fond Mother would tell you that you may find in him the { 285 } same solid sober discreet Qualities that he carried abroad with a modesty bordering upon diffidence, no ways inclined to relate his adventures but as you question him concerning them—perfectly attached to the modest republican Stile of Life, as tho he had never experienced any other. As to any alteration in his person, I perceive none but growth which has not been rapid. If no unforeseen disaster prevents I hope to bring him to visit you in the course of the Spring. He desires his duty to you, and love to his unknown cousins.
I wrote you a long Letter a months ago,3 but thought to coppy it as it was very carelessly written. I was that Night calld to attend the Sick and I greatly feared dying Bed of our worthy Brother Cranch. For ten days I beheld him in this critical state. Encompassed with my own anxiety, and the anguish of his whole family, I was greatly distresst. Gracious Heaven has restored the good Man to his family and Friends who were trembling least he should cease to be and the faithfull faill4 from among the children of Men. Whilst I attended round his Bed, I could not avoid often looking abroad and in imagination beholding my dearest Friend laid upon his sick Bed unattended by the wife, the sister or daughter, whose constant and solicitous care and attention might mitigate the riggour of the fever, and alleviate the pain—but with strangers and in a foreign Land my dear Friend has experienced a most severe sickness. In November he wrote to Charles in Bilboa5 that he was recovering from a fever which had left him very weak and lame, and this is the latest intelligence I have received.
You may well suppose me anxious. My Heart sometimes misgives me. I long yet fear to hear. I have one only confidence to repair to. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right and have I not experienced signal favours—shall I distrust his providentiall care?
I am sorry to hear you complain as the Spring approaches. You have but a slender constitution. I would advise you to a free use of the Bark and a journey. I hope you are not in the increasing way, as I think your Health ill able to bear it. We have none of us nursing constitutions—twice my life was nearly sacrificed to it.
Is our intelligence true that you are like to have cousin B——y6 for a Neighbour. I hope it will prove for her happiness and then I shall most sincerely rejoice in it. Mrs. Gray is like soon to confirm the observation that there scarce was ever any such thing under the Sun as an inconsolable widow. Grief is no incurable disease; but time, patience and a little philosophy with the help of humane fraility and address will do the Buisness. She is however like to be { 286 } joined to one of the most amiable of Men, which is too great a temptation to be over balanced by the Sum total of 5 children.7
Let me hear from you oftner my Sister. I really am conscience smitten at my neglect. A Good example will awaken my future attention and produce the consequent reformation of your ever affectionate Sister,
[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee; docketed by CFA: “1782.”
1. Dated thus approximately from the references to CA's return home from Europe (late January); to the imminent Otis-Gray marriage (see note 7, below); and to the recovery of Richard Cranch, also reported in AA to JA, March 17–25, below.
2. Letter not found.
3. Thus in MS. Letter not found.
4. Thus in MS.
5. Letter not found.
6. Not identified. The Shaws lived in Haverhill.
7. Mary, or Polly (Smith) Gray, cousin of AA and Mrs. Shaw, widowed in 1779, was to marry the widower Samuel Allyne Otis on 28 March 1782. See Adams Genealogy under both names

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0193

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I receiv'd three days agone your favour of Feby. 5th. I have found a good Latin and french Dictionary, but I should be glad to have one Latin and English, because I am obliged at present to translate every thing into French, unless I translate the words twice; by which, (besides it's being very troublesome), the sense of the Latin will be often lost. I can get any Latin books here that I want. I have finished Cornelius Nepos, and have translated Cicero's first oration against Catilina.
I have not made many acquaintances here, but there is a subscription Library of English books, to which Mr. D[ana] has subscribed, so that I have as much as I want, to read. I have lately finished Hume's history of England and am at present reading Mrs. Macaulay's.1 In the third volume of Hume's history I find an exact description of the present state of this Country in these few lines.
“If we consider the antient state of Europe, we shall find that the far greater part of the society were every where bereaved of their personal liberty and lived entirely at the will of their masters. Everyone that was not noble was a slave. The peasants were sold along with the land. The few inhabitants of cities were not in a better condition. Even the gentry themselves were subjected to a long train of subordination, under the greater barons or chief vassals of the { 287 } crown, who tho' seemingly plac'd in a high state of splendor, yet, having but a slender protection, of the law, were exposed to every tempest of state, and by the precarious condition in which they lived, paid dearly for the power of oppressing and tyrannizing over their inferiors.”
Please to give my duty to Mamma whenever you write. I will write to her as often as I can.
We have had here lately some days exceeding cold. Reaumur's Thermometer has been as low as 32 degrees below the degree of freezing but it thaws at present, and it is likely we shall not have again this winter such severe cold weather. We open a window every morning for about a half an hour, so that we always have fresh air in our chambers.
You ask me in your letter, what is the Language of the Russians? Voltaire says, “Un Grec fut premier Métropolitain de Russie ou Patriarche. C'est déla que les Russes ont adopté dans leur langue un alphabet tiré du Grec; ils y auraient gagné si le fond de leur langue qui est la Slavone, n'était toujours demeuré le même, à quelques mots pres, qui concernent leur Liturgie et leur Hiérarchic.”2 To this may be added that their alphabet is composed of 36 letters. But all the nobility speak French and German.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] J. Q. A.
P.S. Please to present my respects to Mr. Thaxter, and to all Friends. Mr. D. is well and writes by this post.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Mr: Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis de l'Amérique. a Amsterdam.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Catharine (Sawbridge) Macaulay's massive History of England, from the Accession of James 1 to That of the Brunswick Line, 1763–1783, was considered an antidote to David Hume's History of England ... to the Revolution in 1688, 1754–1761. Hume's England was frequently reprinted, and a number of editions were owned by the Adamses. JQA had borrowed the eight-volume set of Hume he was reading from “the English Library” in St. Petersburg (JQA, Diary, 4, 18, 24 Feb. 1782), and the Macaulay History from the same source (same, 25 Feb.). The Diary also indicates that he had located some booksellers' shops and was making frequent book purchases.
On Mrs. Macaulay's reputation as an historian and JA's early correspondence with her, see above, vol. 1:xiii, and references there.
2. Quoted by JQA from his copy (in MBAt) of Voltaire's Histoire de l'empire de Russie sous Pierre le grand, n.p., 1759–1763, 1:67.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0194

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-03-07

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Your favor of the 9th. of December last informs me of the Arrival of the Apollo, Minerva, and Juno, three of fabulous Divinity who know nothing of me You observe. I do not wish to altercate even with Gods, much less with Goddesses: but I have a Right to quarrel with the Destinies, or bad Men, and there is but little benefit, I fear, arising from Contests of this kind. What am I to do with such respectable Evidence against me? Conscious of an exact Punctuality in my Correspondence, I have no Occasion to have Recourse to the miserable Subterfuges of the Lovers of Apology for my Justification.— In one Word, all my Letters to You, Madam, and all my Friends were put on board Gillon, who was to have convoyed Minerva, Apollo, Juno and several other Vessels from this Port. I thought that Ship was the safest opportunity, and therefore put all my Letters for eight or nine Months on board of her. I pray You to be assured, Madam, that I have omitted no opportunity in writing to You, and that I am too sincere an Admirer of every Trait of your Pen, which never fails of Instruction or Improvement, to be ever culpable in this Respect. I am doubly obliged by your last favor, as it flowed from a Principle of Benevolence, which has ever distinguished and done Honor to the Heart of Mrs. A. Indeed, Madam, I confess You had Reason to suspect me of Inattention or Indolence; but your Goodness has spared me the Reproach.
I wish to return to America, as You have heard: but this does not affect my Health, and I apprehend You have heard more respecting my Health than is true. I have enjoyed as great a share of this Blessing as most Foreigners do. This City I believe is the most unhealthy Spot of the seven Provinces: but We shall soon go to the Hague to live, which is infinitely more healthy. It is not however the pure Atmosphere of America.
The News of the Surrender of Cornwallis produced an agreable Sensation here. I have the honor to congratulate You, Madam, upon the entire Reduction of the Island of Minorca, which is another humiliating Event for poor old England, for they have puffed a long time about its Impregnability, its excellent State of Defence &c. &c. à la mode Angloise. The few wise men of that Country see their Kingdom crumbling to Atoms and lament it: but Wisdom and Virtue are too feeble to stem the overbearing Torrent of Corruption and { 289 } Venality. All the noble Virtues which formerly distinguished that Kingdom are lost in the infamous Vortex of ministerial Bribery.
Genl. Conway has moved in the House of Commons, that they should resolve to pursue the American War no longer by Force, and his Motion was carried by a Majority of nineteen against the Minister —a grand Triumph for Opposition. The House have resolved to wait upon his Majesty with an Address, shewing that an offensive War in America, to the End to reduce to submission the revolted Colonies by Force, tends only to weaken the Efforts of this Country against its European Enemies, and in the present Circumstances to increase the mutual Enmity, so fatal to the Interests of Great Britain and America.1
The Lord Mayor, Alderman2 and Common Council of London presented a Petition to the House of Commons, to pray them to interpose to put an End to the American War—a most deplorable, lamentable, dismal, ghastly Petition it is—full of Horror and Spleen. It was presented before the Resolution passed, and perhaps contributed much to the Success of Conways Motion. Peace with America, Peace with America is said to be the universal Cry at present in England. It is said there has been Illuminations, Bonfires &c. &c. on the Occasion of the Success of Conway's Motion. What a Nation! Crucify and pacify almost in the same Breath. There is nothing too absurd and inconsistant for them. In one moment rending the Sky and confounding Heaven and Earth in their mad Acclamations of Joy for burning a poor defenceless American Village and massacring its Inhabitants, and in the next cursing and consigning their Ministry to Perdition for carrying on the American War.—And what is to become of Conway's Motion for Peace with America? Quit the American War, to fight France, Spain and Holland, their European Enemies. This seems to be the drift of the Motion, and perhaps America is to be again insulted with Peace making pardoning Commissioners. A seperate Peace is their Object. Nothing can be more insidious than this, and I rest happy in the Persuasion, that there is too much Wisdom in our Councils and Rulers to be duped by such a semblance of friendly Policy, and too sacred a Regard to the Virgin Faith of America to ever suffer it to be spotted by the Intrigues of a British Court, or the still more dangerous Efforts of those who, apparently opposed to the Court and under the Mask of Friendship to America, are secretly and perhaps more surely pursuing the same villanous Policy of a seperate Peace.
Whether Conway's Object was to get rid of the present Ministry, to make Room for Opposition to wriggle themselves in, or to make a { 290 } seperate Peace, or to prepare the Minds of the People to a general Peace, by holding up the Idea of seperate Peace as some think I am not able to say. The Situation of the Kingdom is deplorable enough to make them wish for general Pacification; but they love France and Spain too well to quit them yet, and I cannot help thinking they mean to try for a seperate Peace. America ought to be upon her Guard and not to relax one Iota, but to dispise such an offer. Let them acknowledge the Independence of America and invite her to assist in making a general Peace, and not pursue a mean, dirty tricking Policy. But to quit a Country which no American has any Occasion to love, and to return to this. They begin to think somewhat in this Country of acknowledging our Independence. Friesland has taken the Provincial Resolution to acknowledge it and to admit your dearest Friend to an Audience, and have instructed their Deputies in the States General to move it. Guelderland is thinking about, and Holland is seriously deliberating upon it.3 Things look well at present and perhaps a few Weeks will decide what Character America is considered in in this Country. I am not sure of it, for every thing is fluctuating here, and Fear does more in five Minutes than all the Rhetorick and Oratory of Demosthenes could do in as many Years. There cannot be a more excellent Opening than the present. If they do not make a Bargain now, it is impossible to foresee when they will. England can't hurt them now, for their Lion has lost too many of his Teeth and is too old. For my own Part, I am an Infidel. I pray they may help my Unbelief.
I hope You have had the Happiness of embracing your dear Charles long since. He is an amiable little fellow and has left a charming Character and many admiring Friends in Europe. My most affectionate Regards to him, your equally dear and amiable Nabby and Master Thommy.
I am grieved that so many of the young Ladies of my Acquaintance remain single. You observe that most of them are so, and that several who were first rising into Notice when I left home now figure with Eclat. I am charmed to occupy a Place in their Esteem, for I love and esteem them most sincerely, and the first Wish of my Heart is to conduct one of them to the sacred Altar, and pledge an everlasting Affection and Fidelity to her: a pretty loving warm Speech indeed for so cold and humid a Country as Holland. I am not quite out of the Reach of the Influence of this same Passion of Love neither. My tenderest Regards to them all if You please, and to any one [in] particular that You choose. It will do her nor me any harm at this { 291 } distance.—Duty and Respects as due.—With the most perfect Respect & Esteem, I have the honor to be, Madam, your most obedient & most humble Servant,
[signed] North Common
I designedly left my Letter unclosed, in expectation of some Event worth communicating; for the Occurrences of every day are more or less interesting at present in this Country. I had no Idea however of so soon congratulating You upon so pleasing an Event, as the Acknowledgment of American Independence by the Province of Holland. Ten out of eighteen Cities declared in favor of the Measure last Thursday, and the remaining eight will give their Opinion on Wednesday next perhaps. The Reason for their not coming to a decision on the day with the other ten, was, that they had not recieved their Instructions at that time. Altho' ten Cities are a plurality of Voices, yet it is expected that the other Cities will conform to the Resolution of the ten, which were the most opulent and respectable. I wish ardently for Unanimity, for this Spirit in a good Work is a source of pleasing Sensations.
The Merchants of several Cities have contributed much to the Acceleration of this Business by their Petitions to their Regencies, the States of Holland and the States General. Amsterdam, besides petitioning their Regency, joined with Haerlem and Leyden in a Request to the States of Holland and the States General. Never was more Ardor and Zeal discoverd than in signing the Petitions. Between four and five hundred merchants &ca. signed that to the States of Holland and the States General.4 Twice as many would have signed if necessary. (When the Deputies of this City in the States of Holland acquainted the great Man of this Country of the Resolution their Regency had taken respecting American Independence, he said, “Gentlemen, I have still some difficulties on my Mind, but I shall not attempt to oppose You.”)5 But this by the Bye. This answer You will be pleased to communicate only to a few discreet Friends. The Grand Pensionary of Holland6 promised to promote the Business all in his Power, which is another Secret. Thus have I given You, Madam, a short Sketch of the state of Affairs in this Country. You will doubtless conclude, that Mr. A. will soon be admitted to an Audience, and a Treaty formed. But there are five other Provinces in the Rear, who have not yet explained themselves upon the great Question. However the general Opinion is, that they will follow without much Hesitation, and indeed several of them have discovered good disposi• { 292 } tions, Guelderland in particular, who delayed on account of the Maritime Provinces not having declared themselves in favor of a Measure, in which they were more immediately interested. This Objection is now removed. Be not too sanguine in your Expectations. An Event at present unforeseen may still prevent the friendly Embrace—some Northern Blast, or some Demon of Discord from Britain may yet disappoint our well grounded Expectations. I will hope for the best: but to wait the Issue with Dutch Patience would be a progress in this Virtue as yet unattained to by him, who is with all possible Respect & Consideration, Madam, your Most Ob. & very Hbl. Servt.,
[signed] N. C.
1. On Henry Seymour Conway's famous motion against continuing the war in America, introduced in the House of Commons on 22 Feb. and defeated by one vote only, reintroduced in a more elaborate form on the 27th and carried by 234 to 215 votes, the reluctant response to it by George III, and the “general demonstrations of joy” with which it was greeted by the public, see Ann. Register for 1782, p. 168–172, and the more personal but incisive account in Horace Walpole, Last Journals during the Reign of George III, ed. A. Francis Steuart, London and N.Y., 1910, 2:406–413. (In Walpole's account Conway is represented as having heard that “Lawrence [i.e. Henry Laurens], formerly President of the Congress,” and “another person in Holland,” were available and empowered to treat for peace with Great Britain.) Thus JA's existence and powers were known in London but not his name! It is to be noted, however, that, in spite of popular impressions to the contrary, Conway's winning motion of 27 Feb. was not meant by him to announce the opening of peace negotiations with America, to say nothing of a British surrender there. It was intended, rather, to force the ministry to give up further offensive operations looking toward a conquest of America, in order to strengthen England's hand against her European enemies. See Ian R. Christie, The End of North's Ministry, 1780–1782, London and N.Y., 1958, p. 319–321.
2. Thus in MS.
3. These were very recent developments, and others of the same import were to follow rapidly, as related below in the addition to Thaxter's present letter. Editorial notes on Dutch recognition of American independence appear under JA's letter to AA of 1 April and Thaxter's letter to JA, 20 April, both below.
4. Texts of these petitions, without the names of the signers, are printed in JA's compilation entitled A Collection of State-Papers, Relative to the First Acknowledgment of the Sovereignity[!]of the United States of America ..., The Hague, 1782, p. 26 ff. Most of them were prepared or inspired by Dutch friends of JA. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:ix–x, facing p. 323; 3:4.
5. Presumably Thaxter is quoting Willem V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. “[T]he Prince has declared that he has no hopes of resisting the Torrent and therefore that he shall not attempt it” (JA to Franklin, 26 March 1782, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:555).
6. Pieter van Bleiswyck (1724–1790), who was a correspondent of JA and is mentioned with some frequency in his Diary and Autobiography.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0195

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-17

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Altho I know not of a single opportunity by which I can convey to You my constant anxiety and solicitude for your Health; or obtain from you any knowledge of your present situation, yet I cannot refrain writing my sentiments upon the knowledge I have been able to obtain concerning you here. There has been a motion in C[ongre]ss to recall all their M[inisters] and s[ecretaries] except at V[ersaille]s but it did not obtain.
I have been in daily expectation for months past, that Letters would arrive from you requesting leave to resign your employments; and return again to your Native Land, assured at least of finding one Friend in the Bosom of Portia, who is sick, sick of a world in which selfishness predominates, who is sick of counsels unstable as the wind, and of a servility to which she hopes your mind, will never bend.
Most sincerely can she unite with you in the wish of a sequestered Life, the shades of Virmont, the uncultivated Heath are preferable in her mind to the servility of a court.
Some writer observes “that censure is a tax that a Man pays the publick for being eminent.”1 It is in the power of every Man to preserve his probity; but no man living has it in his power to say that he can preserve his reputation. Is it not in your power to withdraw yourself from a situation in which you are certain, no honour can be obtained to yourself or Country? Why Letters have not reached America from you as well as from the minister at Versails, and Madrid since the extrodonary revocation of former powers, I cannot devine— unless purposely stoped by Intrigues and Cabals. The minister at Madrid has done himself and country Honour by refuseing to take a part in the New instructions.2
What changes may have taken place in the cabinets abroad since the Capture of Cornwallis, we have not yet learnt. If America does not improve it to her own advantage, she is deficient in that Spirit of Independance which has on former occasions distinguished her.
It is true that her Finances are rather in an unpleasent state. Her Faith has been so often pledged, and having no stable funds, it has been so often forfeited to the undoing of those who confided most, that their is a distrust amongst her best Friends; C[ongres]s have not been able to obtain an impost of 5 per cent which was recommended to be laid upon the importation of all Foreign articles, salt and military { 294 } stores excepted, for the purpose of raising a revenue to be at the sole disposal of C[ongre]ss.
Thus far I wrote and laid by my pen untill I could hear of an opportunity of conveyance. By a Letter last evening received from my unkle I was informed of a vessel soon to sail for France.3 I reasume my pen, but my trembling anxious Heart scarcly knows what to dictate to it. Should I discribe all that has passd within it, since I heard of your illness, you would pitty its distresses. I fear the anxiety you have felt for the disgracefull concequences which your [country]4 was about to involve itself in, have affected your Health and impaired, your constitution. I well know how Essential the Honour and dignity of your country, its Independance and safety is, to your peace of mind and your happiness; if that cannot be promoted under present circumstances, let me intreat you to withdraw. Let me beg of you to resign; your Health suffers; my Health suffers from a dejection of Spirits which I cannot overcome—
“O thou whose Friendship is my joy and pride
Whose Virtues warm me; and whose precepts guide
Say A. amidst the toils of anxious State
does not thy secreet soul desire retreat?
dost thou not wish the task, the duty done
Thy Busy life at length might be thy own
that to thy Loved philosophy resign'd
No care might ruffle thy unbended mind?”
It is this hope, this distant Idea that cheers my languid spirits and supports me through domestick perplexities. I mentioned to you that I had received no Letters from you of a later date than July, and in a former Letter I acquainted you that our dear Charles arrived here in January in good Health,5 and by him I first learnt that you had been sick. My Friends were not Ignorant of it, having some months before been made acquainted with it; by Letters from Mr. Ingraham to Mr. Daws, but they had carefully concealed it from me, knowing the distress it would give me, and supposeing it would be long before I should hear again from you. Your Letter to Charles in Bilboa greatly alarmed me.6 God Grant that you may have recoverd your Health, and preserve a Life essential to the happiness of Portia. What a cordial, what a comfort would a Letter, with the happy tidings of { 295 } your returned Health prove to the distressed Bosom of Portia. Heaven grant it speedily.
Charles is perfectly happy in his safe return, to his dear Native Land, to which he appears the more attached from having visited foreign climes. May the promiseing dawn of future usefullness grow with his Growth and strengthen with his Strength whilst it sweetens the declining Life of those to whom he is most dear.
Major Jackson to whose care you intrusted him, was high in his praises'es and commendations. As I did not know in what situation he was placed, I inquired of Major Jackson. He informd me that when he arrived at Bilboa he drew a Bill upon you for money to answer his expences, that he had kept an account of Charles's which together with a small Balance he would leave at Col. Crafts where he lodged in Boston for me; he was a second time at Braintree, but said he had forgot his papers. Soon after he went for Philadelphia, and I heard no more of him; or his papers—which after a reasonable time I thought proper to inquire for, at his Lodgings, but was assured nothing was ever left for me. With regard to Charles passage the Captain and owners demand 25 guineys for it, which my unkle thinks very extravagent as he is well acquainted with passages, having both paid and received them from Bilboa, 80 dollors being the extent, he ever gave or received even when the Captain found stores,7 which was not now the case, but the Capt[ain] says the other passengers gave that, and he expects the same for him.8 I must therefore be under the necessity of drawing upon you for it, as I cannot answer it without dissapointing myself of a favorite object; I mean a Lot of Land of 300 acers for each of our children in the New State of Virmont, for which I have been very assidiously collecting all I could spair from taxes. They sell only 300 acers in a share and will not admit of one persons purchaseing more, so that the deeds must be made out in each childs or persons Name who is the purchaser. Several of our Friends have been purchaseing in the same Township, which is well situated upon two Rivers. I wish it was in my power to purchase 12 hundred for each instead of 3, but I dare not run ventures.9 The Goverment is like to be amicably setled and in a few years it will become a flourishing place.—Land here is so high taxed that people are for selling their Farms and retireing back. I can Instance to you one tax Bill which will shew you the difference of the present with the former. There are two acers and half of salt medow which you know you own in Milton, it formerly paid 3 shillings tax, and this year 36.—Mr. Alleyne has Burried his Mother { 296 } and sister. He now wishes to sell his Farm and has accordingly put it upon sale. It is a place I should be fond of, but know it must still be my castle in the air.
You are loosing all opportunities for helping yourself, for those who are daily becomeing more and more unworthy of your Labours and who will neither care for you or your family when their own turn is served—so selfish are mankind. I know this is a language you are unwilling to hear. I wish it was not a truth which I daily experience.
I do not recollect through all your absence that I have ever found the person who has been inclined to consider me or my situation either on account of my being destitute of your assistance or that you are devoteing your time and talents to the publick Service (Mr. Tracy excepted who has twice refused the freight of a few articles from Bilboa).10 It is true my spirit is too independant to ask favours. I would fain believe you have Friends who would assist me if I really stood in need, but whilst I can help myself I will not try them. I will not ask a person to lend me money who would demand 30 per cent for it. I never yet borrowed for my expences, nor do I mean to do it. Charles passage I must draw upon you for, if they will not take a Bill. They may wait your return for borrow I will not. I shall add a list of a few articles which I wish you to send me, or rather Bring—as you will I hope whatever you have in the House keeping way, when ever you return.
I should be glad the List may be given to the House of Ingraham &c. They best know what will suit here and do Buisness with more judgement and exactness as I found by what they once put up before. I shall depend wholy upon the remittances you may make me from time to time in the same way you have done. As to draughts I can make none but with loss. Goods are dull, but do better than Bills. Not a word from John since he went to Russia, not a Line from Mr. Thaxter. If I have not time to write to him, let him know that his Friends are well and his Sister Loring has a daughter.11
Mrs. Dana was well this week. Her Brother and sister dined here to day. So did our Milton Friends who desired to be rememberd to you. Mrs. Gray is this week to be married to Mr. S.A. Otis. Are you not too old to wonder? Mr. Cranch is recovering from a very dangerous Sickness in which his Friends all dispaired of his Life. My regards to all my Friends abroad. Nabby, Charles, Tom send duty to Pappa and long again to see him.
When o when will the happy day arrive that shall restore him to the affectionate Bosom of
[signed] Portia
{ 297 }
A set of china blew and white for a dining table consisting of Dishes and plates.
12 yd of crimson damask 12 yd of f[l]owerd Muslin proper for a Gown for a young Lady 5 yd of plain Book Muslin a peice of white Silk blew blond Lace 6 yd of Black velvet like Charles Breaches and 12 yd of Black like the pattern I inclose, blew and pink 5 yd each like the patterns I inclose for a peticoat if pink is not to be had, white.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia. March 17th 1782.” Incomplete Dft (Adams Papers); varies markedly in order of topics and in language but not in substance except that RC is more expansive. Enclosed “patterns” (samples of cloth) missing.
1. Closing quotation mark conjecturally supplied. Possibly it belongs at the end of the following sentence.
2. See John Jay to the President of Congress, 20 Sept. 1781, quoted in Morris, Peacemakers, p. 245–246.
3. Presumably a letter from Isaac Smith Sr.; it has not been found.
4. Blank in MS.
5. A recent letter or letters from AA to JA are missing. Her latest recorded letter is that of 23 Dec. 1781, above, which mentions that she had received no letter from him later than May 1781.
6. Letter not found.
7. That is, furnished meals, &c.
8. On this complicated transaction see the exchanges between AA and Hugh Hill: Hugh Hill to AA, 10 April; AA to Hugh Hill, 16 April; Hugh Hill to AA, 16 April. See also , 10–16 April, and AA to JA, 25 April, all below, with notes there.
9. AA's plan to purchase land in Vermont was now at least a year old, and before long she was to act on it. See AA to JA, 23 April 1781, above, and esp. 25 April 1782, below, with references in note 4 there.
10. Probably Nathaniel Tracy, Newburyport shipowner.
11. Joanna Quincy Thaxter had in 1780 married Thomas Loring (History of the Town of Hingham, Hingham, 1893, 3: 35).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0196

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-03-17

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Cousin

Some days agone I received a letter from you dated May last. The true reason why I have not written to you since I have been in Europe, is, that as you expect that my letters would be very entertaining, by the variety of the subjects, that I have had to write upon, I do not wish to disappoint you by writing letters that would give you no pleasure. But as you have begun, I can no longer excuse myself, and must do as well as I can.
I am at present distant 2000 of our miles from my father, but my being with Mr. D[ana] compensates if any thing can, for my loss.
Perhaps you would be glad to hear something about this country; I will give you briefly what I know about it.
The Empire of Russia is supposed to be the largest in the world but it was formerly of no consideration in Europe. It was indeed plunged into the lowest degree of barbarism, when Peter the first { 298 } very justly surnamed the Great came to the throne. He was born in 1672. At twenty five years of age he went into Holland to the village of Saardam, and there enrolled himself as a common ship-carpenter, until he had learned the art of ship-building. He applied himself by turns to every sort of the mechanicks, and in the mean time reformed his country. The following is an eulogy of this prince by Thomson in his Winter.

“What cannot active government perform,

New moulding man? wide stretching from these shores

A people savage from remotest time.

A huge, neglected empire, ONE VAST MIND

By heaven inspired from Gothic darkness call'd.

Immortal Peter! first of Monarchs! He

His stubborn country tamed, her rocks, her fens;

Her floods, her seas, her ill submitting sons;

And while the fierce Barbarian he subdued,

To more exalted soul he rais'd the Man.

Ye shades of antient heroes, ye who toil'd

Thro' long successive ages to build up

A labouring plan of state, behold at once

The wonder done! behold the matchless prince!

Who left his native throne where reign'd till then

A mighty shadow of unreal power;

Who greatly spurn'd the slothful pomp of courts;

And roaming every land, in every port

His sceptre laid aside, with glorious hand

Unwearied, plying the mechanic tool,

Gather'd the seeds of trade, of useful arts

Of civil wisdom, and of martial skill.

Charg'd with the stores of Europe, home he goes!

Then cities rise amid th'illumined wastes

O'er joyless desarts smiles the rural reign;

Far distant flood to flood is social joined,

Th'astonished Euxine hears the Baltick roar,

Proud navies ride on seas that never foam'd

With daring keel before; and armies stretch

Each way their dazzling files, repressing here

The frantic Alexander of the North,

And awing there stern Othman's shrinking sons.

Sloth flies the land, and ignorance, and vice

Of old dishonour proud: it glows around. { 299 }

Taught by the ROYAL HAND that rous'd the whole,

One scene of arts, of arms, of rising trade:

For what his wisdom plann'd and power enforc'd

More potent still, his great example shew'd.1

The famous Voltaire has written a history of the Empire of Russia, under Peter the great, which altho' it is very partial towards this country, yet it is well worth reading, as it gives an idea of what, that extraordinary prince was.
Please to present my best respects to your Pappa and Mamma and love to your brother and sister.

[salute] I am your affectionate Cousin.

LbC (Adams Papers); at head of text: “I. To Miss. E.C.”
1. A celebrated passage (lines 950–987) from “Winter,” the first-written but last-placed section of James Thomson's perdurably popular poem The Seasons (1726–1730).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0197

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-03-18

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Mon cher Monsieur

Monsieur Faleisen1 qui vous remettra ceci se proposant de partir aujourd'hui pour Amsterdam, nous a offert de prendre des lettres, mais comme il part tout subitement je n'ai que le tems de vous ecrire quelques mots, en vous priant de vouloir bien prendre soin de la lettre ci incluse.
Mais a propos, puisque j'y suis je vais vous raconter un petit voiage que nous avons fait dernierement; Il y a eu Samedi huit jours que plusieurs Messieurs et une Dame de notre connaissance, Mr. D[ana] et votre serviteur partimes de St. Petersbourg sur le Golfe de Cronstadt en trois traineaux pour Cronstadt, nous fumes une heure et cinquante cinq minutes en chemin, depuis onze heures moins vingt minutes jusques è un heure moins vingt cinq minutes; la distance est de 28 wersts ce qui fait 20 Milles d'Angleterre; nous dinames a Cronstadt, et nous allames voir le port, &c. mais en hiver il n'y a jamais grande chose è voir lè. Aprés diné è cinq heures et cinq minutes nous quittames Cronstadt et nous allames è Oranienbaum, ou nous arrivames en trente cinq minutes de terns le passage est de neuf wersts ou 6 1/2 Milles Anglais; Nous passames la nuit è Oranienbaum, et le matin suivant nous fumes voir le palais qui est lè. Aprés diné nous partimes d'Oranienbaum pour Peterhoff qui en est eloigné de 7 wersts ou 5 Milles. Nous mimes 35 minutes è ce trajet parceque nous le { 300 } fimes sur la terre et non pas sur le Golfe comme le jour d'avant. Arrivés è Peterhoff nous vimes le palais qui y est. Ces Palais sont asséz magnifiques mais on n'y trouve rien d'extraordinaire. Enfin A quatre heures nous partimes de Peterhoff encore sur le Golfe et nous arrivames è St. Petersbourg, qui en est eloigne de vingt-sept wersts, en une heure et trois quarts de terns.2

[salute] Je n'ai plus de terns pour écrire, ainsi je finirai en vous assurant que je suis vôtre trés humble et trés obéissant serviteur.

P.S. Faites bien mes respects s'il vous plait è Madame Chabanel et a toute sa famille.
LbC (Adams Papers). Enclosure may have been the (missing) RC of JQA to Elizabeth Cranch, preceding, sent to Amsterdam for forwarding to America.
1. This name appears as “Felleisen” in JQA's Diary entry of 18 March and again in JQA's letter to JA, 20/31 March, below. He is not further identified.
2. JQA furnished a similarly prosy account of this outing in his Diary entries for 910 March. The lady in the party was Mme. Peyron, wife of the Swedish consul in St. Petersburg, who was himself in the company.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0198

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-03-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your humble Servant has lately grown much into Fashion in this Country. Nobody scarcely of so much importance, as Mynheer Adams. Every City, and Province rings with De Heer Adams &c. &c. &c. and if I were to judge of things here as We do in other Countries, I should think I was going to be received, at the Hague in awfull Pomp in a few Weeks.1 But I never can foresee one hour what will happen.
I have had however, great Pleasure to see, that there is a national Attachment to America, in the Body of this nation that is well worth cultivating, for there are no Allies more faithfull than they, as has abundantly appeared by their long Suffering with England.
Our Friends at Petersbourg are well. Pray God Charles may be with you.
I cant conceive what the English will do. They are in a strange Position at present. They cannot do much against America. But I hope, America will take their remaining Armies Prisoners in N.Y. and Charlestown. We must not relax, but pursue our Advantages.
The Proceedings of Rotterdam, will shew you, in the inclosed Paper, the Substance of what all the great Cities in this Republick are doing. Let Mr. Cranch translate it, and print it in the News { 301 } papers. It is good News. You will have an Abundance of more, which will shew you, that We have not been idle here, but have sown Seeds for a plentifull Harvest. Some Folks will think your Husband, a Negotiator, but it is not he, it is General Washington at York Town who did the substance of the Work, the form only belongs to me.
Oh When shall I see my dearest Friend.—All in good Time. My dear blue Hills, ye are the most sublime object in my Imagination. At your reverend Foot, will I spend my old Age, if any, in a calm philosophical Retrospect upon the turbulent scaenes of Politicks and War. I shall recollect Amsterdam, Leyden and the Hague with more Emotion than Philadelphia or Paris.

[salute] Adieu Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “Proceedings of Rotterdam,” not found, was a text, in Dutch or French, of a Petition of the Merchants, Insurers, and Freighters of Rotterdam to the Regency of that City, which was without date but which reached JA's hands about 20 March; an English translation is in Lb/JA/1708f; printed English texts are in JA's Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 45–46, and Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:256–257. The petition pleaded for recognition of American independence and the opening of commerce with the United States.
1. See below, JA to AA, 1 April, and note 4 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0199

Author: Ingraham & Bromfield (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-03-23

Ingraham & Bromfield to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

By direction of Mr. Adams We have Consignd to Isaac Smith Esqr. a Case of Merchandize for you, which is Ship'd in the Enterprize Capt. Daniel Deshon for Boston. This encloses the Invoice for it, the Amount being f428:1. H[ollan]d Curr[enc]y. We wish the goods may arrive Safe, and to your Approbation. Presenting our Respectful Compliments, We are Madam.
DuplRC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Copy) Orig[ina]l P[er] Deshon.” Dupl precedes on the same sheet of paper the RC of Ingraham & Bromfield to AA, 1 July, below. Enclosed invoice not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-03-29

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The states of Holland and West Friesland have resolved, 28 March to admit Mr. Adams to an Audience.
The inclosed Papers will shew what is going on here. You will { 302 } [hear?] much more of it.1—I have yet no news of Charles's Arrival. John is well—&c.
British Ministry changed.2
RC (Adams Papers). “[I]nclosed Papers” not found.
1. The relevant passage in “the Resolutions of the Lords the States of Holland and Westfriesland, taken in the Assembly of their Noble and Grand-Mightinesses, Thursday 28 March 1782,” resolving “that Mr. Adams be admitted and acknowledged, as soon as possible, by their High-Mightinesses [the States General], in quality of Ambassador of the United States of America,” is printed in JA, Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 81–82.
2. Thus in MS—an indication of JA's extreme haste in getting off this momentous news. See below, JA to AA, 1 April, and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0201

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I should have written to you by Mr. Felleisen, who will doubtless have arrived before this comes to hand, but I did not know that he was going until it was too late to write. Mr. D[ana] thinks that I had better not write every post; because the postage of the Letters would soon amount to a very considerable sum.
I have lately begun to learn German, I have a master who gives me three lessons per week, at about a Guinea a month.1 I have finished three of Cicero's Orations against Catiline and have begun the fourth. And I have finished reading Mrs. Macaulay's history of England.
Mr. D. begs that you would be so good as to send to England for the best history of New England that is to be got; for Hutchinson's if you think there is no better. And that Mr. Thaxter would desire Messrs. Sigourney and Ingraham to send him a piece of Linen of the same sort with that which he has already had. It can come in the Secretaire or Scritoire that he has sent for, and which he says he must have by all means. He wishes also to have sent in it all the Amsterdam Gazettes from the time we left Holland to the first of April, when his year expires so that he may have them compleat: and Mr. Cerisier's Tableau de l'Histoire Generale des Provinces Unies des Pays-Bas. Mr. Thaxter will be so good as to write by the Post a list of every thing that will be sent, with their prices, because, so much per cent, is paid for the entrance of every thing here.
We hear that you have bought a house at the Hague.
Mr. D. is every day complaining of Mr. Thaxter's negligence in not writing him the news, especially so important a thing as the { 303 } resolution of Friesland. He says that it is of importance that he should know all such news, and not be obliged to wait for them till the Newspapers give them; and he wishes to know what is intended to be done as well as what is already done, as far as may be.
The weather here, has been for some days very fine. The thermometer has been this day at 9 degrees above the degree of freezing.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] J.Q.A.
P.S. Please to present my respects to all Friends.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis de L'Amerique è Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Ansd. 28 April J. Q. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers).
“Master John is in high health. He does not study the language of this Country, but he is learning German, which, I believe, you wou'd prefer before Russian” (Francis Dana to JA, 28 March O.S., Adams Papers).
“This Morning our German master came to give us a lesson for the first time” (JQA, Diary, 21 March [N.S.]). Later entries record a few further lessons, but JQA did not pursue the study of German very long or very far at this time. Fifteen years later, on his going as United States minister to Berlin, he became proficient in the language and an American pioneer in the study of German culture. See Walter John Morris, John Quincy Adams, Germanophile, Pennsylvania State Univ. doctoral dissertation, 1963, microfilm edn., University Microfilms, 1965.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0202

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-04-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The States of Holland and West Friesland have followed the Example of Friesland, in acknowledging American Independence. <I received> The American Minister received Yesterday officially, from the Grand Pensionary of Holland a Copy of their Resolution.
We have not yet the Mail, with an Account of the new British Ministry, tho the last informed Us of a Change. Whether for the better time will shew.1
I have yet no News of Charles's Arrival.
The French Ambassadors House at the Hague, has been burnt, which I regret very much, more on Account of the Interruption to his Thoughts and Exertions in these critical Moments, than for the Value of the Loss which is however very considerable. The Due de la Vauguion is an able Minister and my very good Friend.2 I have bought an House at the Hague to which I shall remove the 1st. May.3 Will you come and see me?

[salute] Adieu—Adieu!4

{ 304 }
1. North's ministry resigned on 20 March in the face of an opposition motion of censure which everyone knew would pass if put to a vote. Parliament then adjourned, and after tortuous negotiations between the King (who would not deal directly with Lord Rockingham, leader of the opposition) and Lord Shelburne, the Rockingham ministry was formed on 27 March, to be succeeded, upon Rockingham's death, by Shelburne's ministry on 4 July.
2. The Duc de La Vauguyon (1746–1828), briefly identified under JQA to JA, 17 May 1781, above, appears with some frequency in JA's Diary and Autobiography; see esp. vol. 2:457. A year earlier he had endeavored to dissuade JA from delivering his Memorial of 19 April to the States General, but, after failing in this attempt, La Vauguyon cooperated with JA to the extent of his powers, particularly in the strategy JA was now pursuing; see further, note 4 below.
The French Embassy on the Prinsessegracht at The Hague was destroyed by fire on 26 March. There is an account in the s'Gravenhaagse Courant of 29 March. See an illustration in this volume of the building when it was built twenty years earlier in what was then a new part of the city.
3. On 15 March, anticipating his recognition as minister, JA reported to Francis Dana that he had purchased “an house at the Hague, fit for the Hotel des Etats Unis, or if you will L'Hotel de nouveau Monde” (MHi:Dana Papers). The building was on the Fluwelen Burgwal or Street of the Velvet Makers' Wall, on a site which, with adjacent property, is now occupied by the Netherlands Government Printing Office. Documents bearing on its acquisition (through JA's agent at The Hague, C. W. F. Dumas) and an engraved illustration of the site about 1830 will be found in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:ix–x, 4–5, and facing p. 65. JA moved into this first American-owned legation building in Europe on 12 May. Dumas, his wife, and their young daughter were the caretakers. See JA to JQA, 13 May; Thaxter to AA, 27 July; both below.
4. What this letter conveyed, more by implication than in so many words, was that the first and chief objective of JA's year of watchful waiting, mixed with strenuous journalistic and diplomatic campaigning, was about to be realized. In the spring of 1781 he had written and, in spite of obstacles strewn in his way, had presented to the States General his Memorial announcing his receipt of powers from Congress as minister plenipotentiary, requesting recognition in that capacity, and arguing the advantages that would flow from an alliance and the opening of commerce between the United Netherlands and the United States. For details see notes on JA to AA, 11 March and 28 April 1781, both above; also JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:457. As he had been taught to expect, the ad referendum process, from the States General to the assemblies of the seven provinces and back again, would take time. At length in December he was advised by La Vauguyon, who under instruction from Versailles was eager to promote the plans of the Dutch Patriots against the pro-English Stadholder, that he might “now assume an higher Tone, which the late Cornwallization will well warrant,” and might begin formal calls upon the great officers of the republic, the several regencies, and especially the deputies of the cities of the Province of Holland, requesting “an Answer to my former Proposition” (JA to Pres. Thomas McKean, 18 Dec. 1781, PCC, No. 84, III; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:55; La Vauguyon to JA, 30 Dec. 1781, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:500–501). On 9 Jan. 1782, accordingly, JA began a round of visits at The Hague to present a “réquisition verbale” demanding “a Categorical Answer” to his request for recognition. An English text of the “réquisition” or “Ulteriour Address” is in JA's Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 21; see also JA to McKean, 14 Jan. (PCC, No. 84, III; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:97–100). Meanwhile JA's friends among the merchants, publishers, and political leaders of the Patriot party, chiefly in the cities of Holland but in some other provinces as well, busied themselves getting up petitions { 305 } favoring recognition of and trade with the United States, some of the results of which have been alluded to in preceding letters in this volume. These had their effect: the first province to instruct its deputies to vote for recognition was Friesland, 26 Feb.; on 28 March, after some last-minute hesitations, the assembly of Holland similarly instructed its deputies. Dumas wrote instantaneously: “La grande oeuvre est accomplie,” adding that he was unable to see more than one or two of the members because they “sont actuellement è célcébrer l'oeuvre en bonne compagnie, et le verre en main” (to JA, 28 March, Adams Papers). Holland's action virtually determined that of the remaining provinces, all five of which announced favorable decisions on or before 17 April. Texts of the provincial resolutions and instructions are in JA's Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 79–91. See further, John Thaxter to JA, 20 April, below, and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0203

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

How great was my joy to see the well known Signature of my Friend after a Melancholy Solicitude of many months in which my hopes and fears alternately preponderated.1
It was January when Charles arrived. By him I expected Letters, but found not a line; instead of which the heavy tidings of your illness reachd me. I then found my Friends had been no strangers of what they carefully conceald from me. Your Letter to Charles dated in November2 was the only consolation I had; by that I found that the most dangerous period of your illness was pass'd, and that you considerd yourself as recovering tho feeble. My anxiety and apprehensions from that day untill your Letters arrived, which was near 3 months, conspired to render me unhappy. Capt. Trowbridge in the Fire Brand arrived with your favours of October and December and in some measure dispeld the Gloom which hung heavy at my heart. How did it leap for joy to find I was not the misirable Being I sometimes feared I was. I felt that Gratitude to Heaven which great deliverences both demand and inspire. I will not distrust the providential Care of the supreem disposer of events, from whose Hand I have so frequently received distinguished favours. Such I call the preservation of my dear Friend and children from the uncertain Element upon which they have frequently embarked; their preservation from the hands of their enimies I have reason to consider in the same view, especially when I reflect upon the cruel and inhumane treatment experienced by a Gentleman of Mr. Laurences age and respectable character.
The restoration of my dearest Friend from so dangerous a Sickness, demands all my gratitude, whilst I fail not to supplicate Heaven { 306 } for the continuance of a Life upon which my temporal happiness rests, and deprived of which my own existance would become a burden. Often has the Question which you say staggerd your philosophy occured to me, nor have I felt so misirable upon account of my own personal Situation, when I considerd that according to the common course of Nature, more than half my days were allready passt, as for those in whom our days are renewed. Their hopes and prospects would vanish, their best prospects, those of Education, would be greatly diminished—but I will not anticipate those miseries which I would shun. Hope is my best Friend and kindest comforter; she assures me that the pure unabated affection, which neither time or absence can allay or abate, shall e'er long be crowned with the completion of its fondest wishes, in the safe return of the beloved object; the age of romance has long ago past, but the affection of almost Infant years has matured and strengthend untill it has become a vital principle, nor has the world any thing to bestow which could in the smallest degree compensate for the loss. Desire and Sorrow were denounced upon our Sex; as a punishment for the transgression of Eve. I have sometimes thought that we are formed to experience more exquisite Sensations than is the Lot of your Sex. More tender and susceptable by Nature of those impression [s] which create happiness or misiry, we Suffer and enjoy in a higher degree. I never wonderd at the philosopher who thanked the Gods that he was created a Man rather than a Woman.
I cannot say, but that I was dissapointed when I found that your return to your native land was a still distant Idea. I think your Situation cannot be so dissagreable as I feared it was, yet that dreadfull climate is my terror.—You mortify me indeed when you talk of sending Charles to Colledge, who it is not probable will be fit under three or four years. Surely my dear Friend fleeting as time is I cannot reconcile myself to the Idea of living in this cruel State of Seperation for [4] or even three years to come. Eight years have already past, since you could call yourself an Inhabitant of this State. I shall assume the Signature of Penelope, for my dear Ulysses has already been a wanderer from me near half the term of years that, that Hero was encountering Neptune, Calipso, the Circes and Syrens. In the poetical Language of Penelope I shall address you

“Oh! haste to me! A Little longer Stay

Will ev'ry grace, each fancy'd charm decay:

Increasing cares, and times resistless rage

Will waste my bloom, and wither it to age.”

{ 307 }
You will ask me I suppose what is become of my patriotick virtue? It is that which most ardently calls for your return. I greatly fear that the climate in which you now reside will prove fatal to your Life, whilst your Life and usefullness might be many years of Service to your Country in a more Healthy climate. If the Essentials of her political system are safe, as I would fain hope they are, yet the impositions and injuries, to which she is hourly liable, and daily suffering, call for the exertions of her wisest and ablest citizens. You know by many years experience what it is to struggle with difficulties —with wickedness in high places—from thence you are led to covet a private Station as the post of Honour, but should such an Idea generally prevail, who would be left to stem the torrent?
Should we at this day possess those invaluable Blessings transmitted us by our venerable Ancestors, if they had not inforced by their example, what they taught by their precepts?

“While pride, oppression and injustice reign

the World will still demand her Catos presence.”

Why should I indulge an Idea, that whilst the active powers of my Friend remain, they will not be devoted to the Service of his country?
Can I believe that the Man who fears neither poverty or dangers, who sees not charms sufficient either in Riches, power or places to tempt him in the least to swerve from the purest Sentiments of Honour and Delicacy; will retire, unnoticed, Fameless to a Rustick cottage there by dint of Labour to earn his Bread. I need not much examination of my Heart to say I would not willing[ly] consent to it.
Have not Cincinnatus and Regulus been handed down to posterity, with immortal honour?
Without fortune it is more than probable we shall end our days, but let the well earned Fame of having Sacrificed those prospects, from a principal of universal Benevolence and good will to Man, descend as an inheritance to our ofspring. The Luxery of Foreign Nations may possibly infect them but they have not before them an example of it, so far as respects their domestick life. They are not Bred up with an Idea of possessing Hereditary Riches or Grandeur. Retired from the Capital, they see little of the extravagance or dissipation, which prevails there, and at the close of day, in lieu of the Card table, some usefull Book employs their leisure hours. These habits early fixed, and daily inculcated, will I hope render them usefull and ornamental Members of Society.—But we cannot see into futurity. { 308 } —With Regard to politicks, it is rather a dull season for them, we are recruiting for the Army.
The Enemy make sad Havock with our Navigation. Mr. Lovell is appointed continential Receiver of taxes and is on his way to this State.3
It is difficult to get Gentlemen of abilities and Integrity to serve in congress, few very few are willing to Sacrifice their Interest as others have done before them.
Your favour of december 18th came by way of Philadelphia, but all those Letters sent by Capt. Reeler were lost, thrown over Board. Our Friends are well and desire to be rememberd to you. Charles will write if he is able to, before the vessel sails, but he is sick at present, threatned I fear with a fever. I received one Letter from my young Russian to whom I shall write—and 2 from Mr. Thaxter.4 If the vessel gives me time I shall write. We wait impatiently for the result of your demand. These slow slugish wheels move not in unison with our feelings.
Adieu my dear Friend. How gladly would I visit you and partake of your Labours and cares, sooth you to rest, and alleviate your anxieties were it given me to visit you even by moon Light, as the faries are fabled to do.

[salute] I cheer my Heart with the distant prospect. All that I can hope for at present, is to hear of your welfare which of all things lies nearest the Heart of Your ever affectionate

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia. April 10th 1782.”
1. AA is acknowledging JA's letters of 9 Oct. and 2 and 18 Dec. 1781, above.
2. Not found.
3. See above, AA to Lovell, 8? Jan., and note 4 there.
4. Presumably JQA to AA, 23 Oct., and Thaxter to AA, 2, 19 Dec. 1781, all above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0204

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1782-04-10

Abigail Adams to James Lovell?

[salute] Sir

I have not had the pleasure of a line from you since your arrival in Philadelphia, but I have had the satisfaction of hearing from abroad and finding that the situation of my Friend was not so dissagreable as I feard.1 You have had publick dispatches and probable private Letters. Have you not some intelligence which you may communicate?
There is not a prospect of peace I think. Thus my Friend expresses himself. “Do not flatter yourself with the hopes of peace. There will be no such thing for several years.
{ 309 }
“Do not distress yourself about any malicious attempts to injure me in the estimation of my countrymen. Let them take their course and go the length of their Tether, they will not hurt your H[usband], whose character is fortified with a sheild of Innocence and Honour ten thousandfold stronger than brass or Iron. The contemptible Essays made by you know whom will only tend to their own confusion. I have already brought them into the true system and that system is triumphant. They could not help Blushing themselves if they were to review their conduct.”
By this I am led to think that matters are in a different train from what I apprehended. You may be better able to judge by your publick dispatches.
This Letter will go by a Gentleman whose name is Perkings, who has been preceptor to my children and Mr. Cranchs for more than a year.2 He is going at the desire of Mr. Ganet and in compliance with the request of a Gentleman in Virginia to keep a private school there. He is a young genteleman of a fair character and good abilities. As he is quite a Stranger in Philadelphia to every person except General Lincoln and Mr. Partridge,3 any notice you will please to take of him, or any civilities you may shew him will be gratefully acknowledged by Sir your old Friend & Humble Servant,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee and dated only “April,” to which CFA later mistakenly added “1781.” For evidence establishing the approximate date, see note 1. AA's careless punctuation, especially in placing quotation marks, has been minimally corrected.
1. The letter alluded to and quoted (not altogether accurately) in the following paragraphs is that of JA to AA, 2 Dec. 1781, above. AA acknowledged recent receipt of this letter in her reply of 10 April, preceding. Lovell, who seems the only eligible intended recipient of the present letter, had returned to Congress for a brief and final period of service at the beginning of April; see above AA to Lovell, 8? Jan., note 4.
2. Thomas Perkins, Harvard 1779, of Bridgewater. He soon afterward settled in western Virginia, already known as Kentucky, and took up the practice of law but died suddenly in 1786. See Nahum Mitchell, History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater ..., Boston, 1840, p. 266; AA to JA, 17 July 1782, below; Mary (Smith) Cranch to AA, 22 May 1786, and Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw to AA, 1–3 Nov. 1786, both in Adams Papers. In 1785 Perkins wrote Gen. Joseph Palmer from Lincoln co., Kentucky, on the salt springs and other natural curiosities of that region; his letter is printed in MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 12 (1871–1873): 38–39.
3. George Partridge, currently a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0205

Author: Hill, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-04-10

Hugh Hill to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Shold Estem a fever to Ordr Som of your frends to pay me for your Son Charls Pasheg from bilbao to America Mr. Smith I heare had Som altication on the matr and thinck it is too much, but Madam Shold thinck a great Desrespet Cast on a son of Mr. Adames not to Charge him the Saim as Other Gentelmen ples to ordr it Payd to Captn. Joab Prince I am Madam most Respetfoly your most homble Servt
[signed] Hugh Hill
The Pasage is £35: 0: 01
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Brantree”; enclosed in AA to JA, 25 April, below. Text is printed in literal style.
1. The tangled matter of CA's passage money is dealt with in detail in AA to JA, 17–25 March, above; 25 April, below; and in an exchange of letters between AA and Hill immediately following the present letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0206

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Hill, Hugh
Date: 1782-04-16

Abigail Adams to Hugh Hill

[salute] Sir

The day after my Son reachd home I wrote to you2 and requested you would inform me what I was indebted to you for my Sons passage. I had inquired of Major Jackson, who said he made no particular agreement respecting him; but that if I would write he would take charge of the Letter, and deliver it himself. I accordingly wrote and requested you to direct a Letter to me; to be left at Isaac Smiths Esqrs Boston but I never heard any thing from you; untill your favour of April 10th. Mr. Smith inquired respecting the other passengers, and found that 25 Guineys was the price you had demanded of them which he thought very high and much more than was given by other passengers who came from the same place at the same time.
With regard to myself I am wholy Ignorant of the customs and useages in such cases, but neither Mr. Adams or myself would wish to do otherways than was customary and reasonable nor should we have been offended if a distinction had been made between the passage of a Man and a child. It would oblige me if you would take a Bill of exchange upon Mr. Adams for the Money, as it is not in my power to pay it without inconveniency. If you will leave a Letter for me at Mr. Smiths I will send the Bills there or to Capt. Prince as you direct. Your Humble Servant,
[signed] AA
{ 311 }
FC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To Capt Hugh Hill Beverly”; enclosed in AA to JA, 25 April, below.
1. Dated from Hill's reply, which follows.
2. This letter, which must have been sent about 30 Jan., has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0207

Author: Hill, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-04-16

Hugh Hill to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Yours I reseved this morning and I asner you madam that twenty five Guines is the Costomry Pasage that is payd too or from uerap I apeled to Captn. Dixey that Comanded a ship of Mr. Treaseys in bilbao wher I was: You will ples to Draw me a set of bils at the present Discount Which is fiften pr cent and fored them to Captn. Job Prince: four Sets1 the Som is thirty Nin pounds at ten Dayes Sight2 now mor at present from your very homble Sert
[signed] Hugh Hill
My regards to Charls.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams in Branetree” (or “Branstree”); enclosed in AA to JA, 25 April, below. Text is printed in literal style.
1. Thus in MS; the meaning is not clear.
2. In his letter of 10 April, above, Hill stated that the charge for CA's passage was £35. Now, contradicting himself, he accepts AA's information as given in the preceding letter that the usual fare is 25 guineas, and asks that amount. But he then further confuses matters by saying that if payment is to be made in bills of exchange, they will be discounted by 15 percent, and therefore AA should pay him £39. Neither £35 nor 25 guineas plus 15 percent add up to £39. A possible or at least partial explanation may be found below in AA's letter to JA, 25 April (in which the present letters were enclosed); see note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0208

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-20

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to congratulate You on the final Resolution of the Generality, the News of which I received last Evening.1 This Step makes an agreable Impression here, and they pride themselves in the Unanimity and Rapidity, and I may add Velocity with which it has been carried thro'. It will indeed make a memorable Epocha in the Annals of this Country, and stand as an eternal Monument that the Vox Populi is the——.
I shall be extremely happy to hear that the Credentials are delivered. If You have time to drop hint You will oblige me exceedingly and many Friends. I received a Letter last Evening from Mr. Jenings for You, and he thinks very justly of the present Ministry, that is, { 312 } that they are as wise and as good as their Predecessors. He professes that he is ashamed of them.2 You will do me a favor in acquainting me whether that tumor in your Neck is less troublesome than when You left me. Mr. Barclay desires his Respects to You, and is rejoiced with the News.3

[salute] I am with an invariable Attachment, Sir, &c.,

[signed] JT.
Compts. to Mr. D. and Family.
1. The “final Resolution of the Generality” was the action of the States General of the United Provinces, 19 April 1782, one year from the dayJA had signed his original Memorial to that body. A MS in Dutch, signed by Willem Boreel as president of the week and attested by Hendrik Fagel, as griffier or secretary of the States General, is in Adams Papers. An English text is printed in JA's Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 92, and reads as follows:
“Deliberated by Resumption, upon the Address and the ulteriour Address, made by Mr. Adams the 4 May 1781, and the 9 January of the currant year to Mr. the President of the Assembly of their HighMightinesses, to present to their HighMightinesses his Letters of Credence in the name of the United States of North-America; and by which ulteriour Address the said Mr. Adams hath demanded a categorical answer, to the end to be able to acquaint his Constituents thereof; it hath been thought fit and resolved, that Mr. Adams shall be admitted and acknowledged in quality of Ambassador of the United States of North-America to their High-Mightinesses, as he is admitted and acknowledged by the present.”
Two days later this was followed by a further resolution reporting the reception of JA with his credentials as minister plenipotentiary to the States General in “a Letter from the Assembly of Congress, written at Philadelphia the first of January 1781.... Upon which, having deliberated, it hath been thought fit and resolved, to declare by the present: 'That the said Mr. Adams is agreable to their High-Mightinesses; that he shall be acknowledged in quality of Minister Plenipotentiary; and that there shall be granted to him an Audience, or assigned Commissioners, when he shall demand it.'” This resolve was signed by W. van Citters, president of the week, and likewise attested by Fagel. MS in Dutch (Adams Papers); English translation printed in Collection of State-Papers, p. 93.
This same day, 22 April, JA “was introduced by the Chamberlain to his most Serene Highness the Prince of Orange.” No one else was present, and at JA's request they spoke in English. JA voiced the proper formal sentiments, and the Stadholder answered “in a Voice so low and so indistinctly pronounced, that I comprehended only the Conclusion of it, which was, that “he had made no Difficulty against my Reception.'” However, some “familiar Conversation ... about indifferent things” followed, and the audience passed agreeably enough. So JA told R. R. Livingston in a letter written before the day was over (PCC, No. 84, IV, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:319–320; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:571–572).
Next day, 23 April, JA met with President van Citters and presented a brief memorial proposing a treaty of amity and commerce between the two powers. He was then introduced to “a grand committee” of the States General and laid before it the project of such a treaty, which was taken under consideration (and was to bear fruit six months later). See JA to Livingston, 23 April (PCC, No. 84, IV, printed in Wharton, 5:325; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 7:572–573). But meanwhile, as he told Livingston in the letter just cited, “The greatest Part of my Time for several Days has been taken up in recieving and paying of Visits from all the { 313 } Members and Officers of Government, and of the Court, to the Amount of one hundred and fifty or more.” There is a partial listing of these in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 3:1–3; and although JA did not keep daily entries in his diary at this period, his correspondence during the following days and weeks is crowded with references to ceremonial and social events growing out of his public recognition. See also Sister Mary Briant Foley, The Triumph of Militia Diplomacy, Loyola Univ. doctoral dissertation, 1968, p. 244 ff.
2. Edmund Jenings to JA, 18 April (Adams Papers).
3. Thomas Barclay (1728-1793), a Philadelphia merchant who had recently come to Europe to serve as American consul (later consul general) in France. He was in Amsterdam endeavoring to make a settlement for the goods abandoned by Alexander Gillon. JA was to be a guest in Barclay's house at Auteuil when ill in the fall of 1783, and Barclay later served as an American diplomatic agent in Morocco. See a documented sketch of him in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:120.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0209

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Whenever any difficulty encompasses me, my first thought is how would my Friend conduct in this affair. I wish to know what his mind would be and then to act agreable to it. If I err in my conduct it is an error of the judgement, not of the Heart. Wholy deprived of your aid, and even advice in domestick occurences, my next resource is in that of my Friends. My present difficulty arrises from the demand upon me for C[harle]s passage Home.
I have once written to you respecting it,1 but least you should not receive it, I repeat several things already written together with what has since occured. When Mr. J[ackso]n arrived and came to B[raintre]e to see me, I inquired of him what measures he had taken with regard to C——s expences after he left Gillion, where I presumed you had provided for him. I had received no Letters from you, so that I was wholy Ignorant. He replied that when he arrived at Bilboa he drew a Bill upon Mr. de Nuffville a part of which he appropriated to C——s use, of which he had informd you, that he had not his accounts with him, a memorandum excepted of a few articles, that he had not paid the expences from Beverly, where they first arrived, but as soon as he had done it, he would make up the account and send it, together with a balance which he had left, of a few dollors. He then Shew me the Mem'dum, which containd as near as I can recollect a charge of 57 dollors for Stores, one peice of linnen of an ordinary Quality, the price I forget (this he thought necessary as C——s had lost half his shirts together with one pair of sheets, stockings &c. stolen from him), 2 yard of Cambrick, 2 Barcelona hank[erchie]fs and a Hat which was charged 4 dollors, C——s having his in Mr. Guiles Trunk with some { 314 } other articles and that I suppose you know before this time was on Board Gillion. A Sailors Baize Jacket and trousers compleated the mem'dum. With regard to the expences of living there, you are better acquainted than I am, and must judge for yourself, as I have not a single paper that will enable me to do it. After waiting some time I sent to Col. Crafts where Major J. lodged for the papers, but he was not at home, and there was none left. The same Week he went to Hingham to see General L[incol] and caild upon me. He then told me that he had left a Letter at Col. Crafts together with the papers which belonged to me but comeing unexpectedly he forgot to take them. He returnd in a day or two from Hingham and immediately set of for the Army since which I have neither heard of him or his papers, for upon applieing for them, I received for answer that there was not any thing left for me, if there had have been, the earliest opportunity would have been taken to have forwarded it. I have stated facts. You know this Gentleman much better than I do, so I shall not comment. After he had informd me with regard to the Bill he drew, I inquired what had been done with regard to the passage. To this he replied that no agreement had been made with Capt. Hill respecting C——s, but that the other passengers paid 25 Guineys. Supposeing that they would not make the like demand for the passage of a child, I wrote to Capt. Hill desireing to know what I was indebted to him, but I heard not a word from him untill some time this Month I received a Letter a coppy of which I inclose together with my unkles Letter, my reply to Hill and his answer2. Upon my unkles hearing what the other passengers gave, he said it was an unreasonable demand, and that advantage was taken of the situation of the passengers. He went to the Agent and then to Capt. Hill, but to no purpose, as you see by the inclosed. Hill says, they were a month in passing from Corunna to Bilboa and that they then lived at the expence of his owners, that the other passengers agreed to give it,3 and that he will not take less. I think you would not advise me to enter into an altercation with him which would give me much trouble, and very little if any relief. You see by the inclosed that I requested him to take Bills and by his reply that he wanted a discount of 15 per cent. I sent him word that I would draw Bills, but that I would not discount. He said if he had the money he could Buy Bills at 20 per cent discount, and he would not take them at a [word omitted] less than he had offerd. I went to Town to see if I could not do better, I tried one and then an other. Some had no money, others did not want Bills. At last a cousin of mine in whose favour it is probable I must draw the Bills, offerd to { 315 } pay the money for me, and take the Bills at 10 per cent discount, if I could not do better. I might try and if I could dispose of them to better advantage he should be content, he accordingly paid the money, and I am still trying to get them accepted, but cannot yet effect it. I could pay the Money myself but I must then relinquish the object I have in view, of purchaseing an original Right in the State of Virmont and I have brought that matter so near a close that I think you would not advise me to do it. I expect the deeds in a week or two for 16 hundred and 20 acres of Land when I must pay the money. As it is in the Neighbourhood of some of our Friends who are purchasers, and I have set my Heart upon it, I am loth to relinquish it. The Town is called Salem, laid out in lots of 300 & 30 acres, no one person permitted to own more than one Lot in the same township, but you may purchase in the Names of yourself and children. I have engaged one for my best Friend and each of our children. The 5 lots will amount to 200 Dollors. At the expiration of 5 years there is a House to be built of 18 feet square and a family setled, or 5 acres of Land cleared upon each Lot. No taxes to be paid untill the expiration of 5 years. I shall soon be able to be more particular. Every person of whom I have inquired agree, that it is a fine Country, and will daily become more and more valuable. This Town is situated upon two navigable Rivers. There internal affairs are in a good way, and they are now sending delegates to congress. If you approve of what I have done, and should like to purchase further I shall have more opportunities.4 Remittances in Goods, tho they will only double the sterling cost, are preferable to Bills in which I am under a necessity of becomeing a looser. I told you before that I had very seldom met with any person who either considerd my situation or yours, any other than to make a proffit if they could. Our Brother C——h would help me if it was in his power, and is every ready and willing to do for me what ever he can. About six months ago I placed a hundred pounds Sterling in the hands of a Friend but I am loth to break upon it, as I know it to be in good hands and promised not to call for it without giving them 3 months warning.
I have endeavourd to make the best of what ever remittances you have made me. The necessary repair of Buildings, the Anual Call for 3 years Men, and the very large taxes which are laid upon me oblige me to the strickest frugality. I cannot but think I am hardly delt by, being rated in to 20 shillings as much as Mr. Alleyne of this Town, who has 3 polls, and I none. He estimates his place at 3000 sterling, whilst I believe you would take half the money for yours, { 316 } but he cannot find a purchaser for his. The rage for purchaseing land ceased with the paper currency, and the taxes are felt severely enough. I complain but without redress.
With regard to remittances calicos answer well especially chocolate ground, as they are calld Blew ground or Green ground. They should be coulourd stripes or flowers; ribbons are still more profitable gauze tape fine threads [Menting?]5 hankerchiefs Bandano hankerchiefs coulourd tamies or Calimincos, black serge denim Bindings either shoe or Quality.6 The House of Sigourney Bromfield &c. best know what will answer here. I close this Letter being wholy upon Domestick Matters with assureances of the affectionate regard of your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia recd. & ansd. 1. July. 1782.” For the enclosures see note 2.
1. AA to JA, 17–25 March, above.
2. The four enclosures were: Hugh Hill to AA, 10 April, above; Isaac Smith Sr. to AA, of recent date but not found; AA to Hill, ante 16 April, above; and Hill to AA, 16 April, above.
3. This point is not raised in the correspondence between Hill and AA above (see preceding note), but it may possibly explain the difference between the £35 demanded for CA's passage and the 25 guineas elsewhere spoken of as the customary fare.
4. AA's purpose, long contemplated (to JA, 23 April 1781, above), to purchase land from a large tract granted for settlement by the General Assembly of Vermont to Col. Jacob Davis, Abner Mellen, Jonas Comins, and others of Worcester in Oct. 1780, which here seems at the point of realization, was in fact dropped for a time and not acted upon finally for another three months (to JA, 17 June, 17–18 July 1782, both below; deed of Jonas Comins to JQA, 20 April 1782, Adams Papers). Although the belief, shared with or perhaps derived from the Cranch family, in the likelihood of easy profit was a leading motive in her purchase of the five lots, another evidently hardly less important motive—the dream of a refuge with JA from public controversies in a sylvan retreat—appears again and again when AA writes of Vermont (to JA, 9 Dec. 1781, 17–25 March 1782, both above; 17–18 July, below). That JA's requirements for a retreat were not the same as AA's, he revealed not to her but to his friend James Warren in a letter written before he received AA's present account of the imminent purchase: “God willing, I wont go to Vermont. I must be within the Scent of the sea” (to Warren, 17 June 1782, MB: Chamberlain Coll.; printed in JA, Works, 9:513). To AA, his only response so far noted to her reports about the purchase was “dont meddle any more with Vermont” (12 Oct. 1782, Adams Papers).
Despite the requirement that a portion of each lot be cleared and a house built upon it within five years, the acreage long remained unimproved and declining in value in the hands of those for whom AA purchased it, or their heirs. Some forty years later, TBA, acting for himself and the other owners, made plans to sell the lots at auction (TBA to Alexander Bryan Johnson, 9, 30 Oct. 1819; 20 April, 8 May 1822; MSS privately owned, 1964–1965, photoduplicates in Adams Papers Editorial Files). Whether any lots were sold at that time is not clear. However, JQA disposed of his, which a squatter had partially cleared and built upon, by sale to Leonard Bouker in 1825 (deed of Comins to JQA, 20 April 1782, cited above, docketed by JQA, 30 June 1825). { 317 } TBA's lot was still his at his death and became a part of his estate (JQA, Diary, 19 July 1833).
5. Semilegible word; possibly AA's rendering of “Menin,” a Flemish town well known for its fine linens.
6. No attempt has been made to correct AA's punctuation in the foregoing two sentences, so as to separate the individual items. Compare more or less duplicate listings appended to her letters to JA of 17 June and 17–18 July, both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-04-28

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Child

Yours of March 20/31 I have received.
I am well pleased with your learning German for many Reasons, and principally because I am told that Science and Literature flourish more at present in Germany than any where. A Variety of Languages will do no harm unless you should get an habit of attending more to Words than Things.
But, my dear Boy, above all Things, preserve your Innocence, and a pure Conscience. Your morals are of more importance, both to yourself and the World than all Languages and all Sciences. The least Stain upon your Character will do more harm to your Happiness than all Accomplishments will do it good.—I give you Joy of the safe Arrival of your Brother, and the Acknowledgment of the Independance of your Country in Holland. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur J. Q. Adams, chez Monsieur Dana, aux soins de Messrs. Strahlborne & Wolff Banquers a St Petersbourg”; endorsed: “Mr.: J.As letter, received at St: Petersbourg May. 15. 1782.” Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. Dated from JA's endorsement of JQA's letter to JA of 20/31 March, above, to which this is a reply.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0211

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-04

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

Knowing your benevolent heart is ever gratified by hearing of the wellfare of your friends, and feeling a disposition to scrible, you Eliza first claim my attention. I hope ere this your health and spirits are perfectly restored and every one of the family to their usual chearfulness. Do not my Dear Girl dwell too long on the dark side of affairs, it impairs your health and sinks your spirits. Was it in the power of your friend to remove the causes of your anxiety it would be the happiest moment of my Life but alas I feel my inability even to offer that consolation that a sweet but feble friend requires. I will attempt { 318 } to give you some idea of the manner my time has past hear. I arrived late in the afternoon, we were received in the usual manner, some sociable, others reserved. Mamma drank tea and returned home. Some retired for a short time. We chatted and as Yorick somewhere expresses himself in his letters to Eliza (thou was the star that conducted our discourse) for some time, the evening passed in a reserved manner, at ten I retired to my room. Then my friend I more preticularly wished for your company. I was soon lost in sleep and not one idea presented to my imagination till seven in the morning. To day Miss H O and my friend Polly Otis dined here, some other company. Mr. S. Otis and Lady passed the afternoon, our good Cousin O. appears to have obtained as great a share of happiness as I think consistent with the Lot of mortals, may she long continue as pleased as at present she appears to be with her new partner. I must confess I can have no idea that a heart wounded by grief should be healed by aney one event in so short a space of time, perhaps my ideas may be romantick.1
I had wrote thus far and laid aside my pen with a secret impulce that I should receive a letter from you on monday but did not beleive you would pass and not ask your friend one word, you were in a hurry and are very excuseable. Your Letter2 gave me the pleasure that I ever feel from hearing from you. I need not add it was great. Your observations are just, but from what cause our attachment increases to a greater degre to those of our friend[s] who have felt the severe hand of affliction I cannot determine. Experience has often convinced me of the truth of the sentiment.—Your anxiety for your parent has been great but what would it have been had you been seperated from the best of parents as is the case of your friend. A wide Atlantick rolls between us and we know not wheather we shall be made happy or miserable by the much wished for inteligence. It is one of the most unhappy situations in Life to be thus seperated from those friends that claim the greatest share of our Love by the ties and bonds of natural affection, and are doubly deserving our hiest esteem by their good conduct th[r]ough this Life so far as they have past. Their future conduct no one can answer for.
I have given you some idea in what manner my time has past hear. I am sometimes gratified by the company of a friend—the gentlemen you mention are as sociable as usual. Mrs. W[arren?] passesses the happy tallent of ever rendering herself pleasing to all. My happiness is not greatly augmented by this visit neither will it be greatly de• { 319 } creased—a proof of the depravity of my taste perhaps you will say. I cannot help it I answer. I veryly beleive I possess too large a share of that same indiference that some persons attribute to me. If I do possess it, it is natureall. This is some consolation I think. Do my Dear put your friend into some way to avoid the appearance of this detested disposition. I have endeavoured all in my power to erase it but find it impossible, perhaps your segasity can point out some remedy. Your benevolence will direct you to give your friend all the assistance you are capable of. I dont know wheather a person who is not possessed of the least degree of it can have aney idea of it.
Adeiu for the present. If I do not see you tomorow I may make some addition to this scroll. It is not necesary you will think ere you have perused half of it. As it is from a friend who sincerely loves you it may perhaps be acceptable.

[salute] Yours,

[signed] A.A.
RC (MHi:Cranch Papers); endorsed: “AA April 1782.” If the “Mrs. W.” referred to in the text was, as conjectured, Mercy (Otis) Warren, this letter was written from the Warrens' home at Milton Hill. AA2's punctuation has been minimally corrected for clarity, particularly by the insertion of periods at the end and capitals at the beginning of sentences.
1. “Miss H O” is not certainly identifiable. Polly (or Mary) Otis later married Benjamin Lincoln Jr. and still later Professor Henry Ware of Harvard (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:304; DAB, under Ware). Samuel Allyne Otis had in March of this year married Mary (Smith) Gray, AA's cousin; it was a second marriage for both; see AA to Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw, Feb.–March, above.
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0212

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-05-03

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

I am conscious my dear Brother that I have appeared deficient in my duty and affection by neglecting to write you often. I have very little encouragement to continue a correspondance without any return from you. I do not believe you deficient in writing; it is a disagreable circumstance that we receive so small a part of the letters that are written. Mamma has receiv'd letters from Pappa and Mr. Thaxter as late as December and from yourself so late as October from Petersbourg. I was not made happy by one line, have you forgot your Sister. No such an idea shall ever dwell in my mind. We lament the loss of the letters, Gillon had in his possession. You will no doubt hear of his conduct ere this reaches you. Charles after many distresses and dangers has safe landed on his native shore. The anxiety we suffered from an apprehension of his danger was great: it is now fully { 320 } recompensed by his safe return to those friends that dearly love him. He was ever a favourite you know, and still continues to possess the amiable qualities that in his younger years gained the affection of his friends. You, my Brother are far, very far removed from your friends and connections: it is a painfull reflection to those that have parted with a son and a Brother. It is not the person that goes abroad in quest of any object whether Knowledge, business, or pleasure that is pained by the seperation. Every object they meet imprint[s] new ideas on their minds; new scenes soon engage their attention, still looking forward they have but little time to reflect on their past time, the pleasure they receive is so much more than a balance for the pain that their time passes in almost an uninterrupted course of happiness. On the contrary the friends they leave are still dwelling on the painfull event that deprived them of much happiness; no pleasing scenes present to the mind, the imagination pained with a repetition of past pleasures and present pains seeks a new source in anticipating future events.
You are I hope sensible of the peculiar advantages you are receiving. Very few at any age of life possess so great a share. It is your own fault if you neglect to make a right improvement of the talents that are put into your hands; your reflections in a future day will be brightened if you can look back on your past conduct conscious of not having deviated from the path of your duty. I will not draw a contrary supposition.
Some persons Lives are scarcely clouded by any event unfavourable to their happiness, fortune seems to court their favour and pour liberally her blessings on their wishes. We see another character struggling with events through life: all their intentions appear to be frustrated, and every wish is clouded by a disappointment. To judge from the few years you have passed in Life the former seems descriptive. But do not be deceived by appearances; she may yet have in store for you, trials and troubles unthought of; neither distress yourself with events that may never take place but learn this necessary lesson neither to be too much elated with prosperity nor depressed with adversity. Could I anticipate your soon return it would give me much pleasure. The pleasure we shall receive from a mutual exchange of friendship and sentiments when the happy period shall arrive will I hope be increased greatly by so long a seperation. I know of no opportunity of conveyance soon, but whenever this reaches you, let it remind you of the pleasure you ever give your Sister by answering her letters. May you my Brother return and answer the expectations { 321 } of your Friends is the sincere wish of your affectionate friend and sister.
Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0213

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-04

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have sent to Mr. Hodshon1 since your Departure to send the Packer, but he cannot come 'till Monday, which I suspected as this is a busy day all over the World. As soon as he comes on Monday, I will set him to work and give all the Assistance that depends on me. There is between twenty and thirty Tons of Turf, and a few Bushels of Coal, which Stephens seems very desirous of having. He does not ask it as a Gift, but imagine it would not be unacceptable.2 This lays with You, and it shall be sent forward if You choose or left to be sold. —There will be some empty Bottles, which the Wineseller had better take, paying the ordinary Price. However as You please. The Baskets will take them all I believe.
I have seen Mr. Barclay, and he is much better—desires his best Respects and wishes You better Health.
Best Compliments to Mr. Dumas and Family.

[salute] With an invariable Respect & Attachment I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient & most humble Servant,

[signed] J Thaxter
1. John Hodshon, of Hodshon & Zoon, was an Amsterdam merchant with whom JA sometimes did business and had occasional correspondence. See also note 2.
2. Joseph Stephens (sometimes Stevens), JA's servant since JA had first come to Europe, was making plans to marry and set up a shop in Amsterdam selling silks, linens, &c., especially to American sailors and other visitors from America. He expected to obtain capital from Hodshon to buy his goods, but a little later was trying to obtain credit and/or employment from other firms. By the end of June, according to Thaxter, Stephens and “his Family” were ill and in considerable distress. See Stephens to JA, 6 Feb., 23 May (Adams Papers); JA to Willink & van Staphorst and to Ingraham & Bromfield, 13 June (LbC's, Adams Papers); Thaxter to JA, 29 June (Adams Papers). In his recollections many years later, JA wrote that Stephens married “a very pretty English girl” and not too long afterward set sail for America, where the ship apparently never arrived (to the Editor of the Bostow Patriot, 14 Feb. 1812, published 29 April 1812). What happened to his wife and their shop does not appear.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0214

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-06

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

We have made a serious Beginning this morning, and have already completed the packing of the Books, and shall finish packing to night I hope the Decanters, Wine Glasses, and China. The looking Glasses will require Time and Care, as well as the great Cabinet. We shall be ready to load Thursday Morning, perhaps Wednesday Afternoon, not later however than Thursday. I find the Eye can pack much faster than the Hands. We shall make all possible Expedition, and if the Boat is ready, which is already applied for, She may be loaded in a short time.1
If You can find a Leisure day this Week, would it not be most advisable to return to settle the Accounts? Will there not be much Trouble and Inconvenience in delaying it, 'till after all the Things are removed? People might be apt to grumble, and would not know where to go for their Money, and You would be tormented hereafter with little and great Accounts for a long time. I only mention this Matter as it strikes me.
The Arrival of Mr. Dumas last Evening at 10. o Clock brought my Heart to a Spot where it often was when Dr. Osterdyck was so well acquainted with You: however the old Gentleman soon quieted the Alarm.
I hope the Treaty goes on well, as my Penchant for returning home increases daily perhaps much faster than the Business goes forward.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, &c.,

[signed] J Thaxter
1. For the goods moved from the Keizersgracht house to the newly acquired American legation at The Hague, see below, JA to AA, 14 May, note 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0215

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-05-13

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have the Pleasure to inform you, that Yesterday I removed into this House, and am now employed in setting it in order. You will see by the Gazettes, that I have been received in Character, that I have laid before the States a Plan of a Treaty, which they have now under Consideration, and I suppose will be soon finished.
{ 323 }
The Bearer of this, Coll. Vallentin, will deliver it. Perhaps he may be serviceable to you. I am however, very uneasy on your Account. I want you with me. Mr. Thaxter will probably leave me soon, and I shall be alone. I want you to pursue your studies too at Leyden. Upon the whole, I wish you would embark in a Neutral Vessell and come to me. If there should be a Treaty, to send, Mr. Thaxter perhaps will carry it.
Your Studies I doubt not, you pursue, because I know you to be a studious Youth: but above all preserve a sacred Regard to your own Honour and Reputation. Your Morals are worth all the Sciences. Your Conscience is the Minister Plenipotentiary of God almighty in your Breast. See to it, that this Minister never negotiates in vain. Attend to him, in Opposition to all the Courts in the World. So charges, your affectionate Father,
[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0216

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-05-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

On the Twelfth, I removed into this House which I have purchased for the United States of America. But, it will be my Residence but a little while.1
I must go to you or you must come to me. I cannot live, in this horrid Solitude, which it is to me, amidst Courts, Camps and Crowds. If you were to come here, such is the Unsteadiness of the Foundation that very probably We should have to return home again in a Month or six Weeks and the Atlantick is not so easily passed as Pens hill. I envy you, your Nabby, Charly and Tommy, and Mr. Dana his Johnny who are very well. A Child was never more weary of a Whistle, than I am of Embassies. The Embassy here however has done great Things. It has not merely tempted a natural Rival, and an imbittered, inveterate, hereditary Ennemy, to assist a little against G[reat] B[ritain] but it has torn from her Bosom, a constant faithfull Friend and Ally of an hundred Years duration.
It has not only prevailed with a Minister or an absolute Court to fall in with the national Prejudice: but without Money, without Friends, and in Opposition to mean Intrigue it has carried its Cause, by the still small Voice of Reason, and Perswasion, tryumphantly against the uninterrupted Opposition of Family Connections, Court Influence, and Aristocratical Despotism.
{ 324 }
It is not a Temple forming a Triple Alliance, with a Nation whose Ruling Family was animated as well as the whole Nation, at that time, with even more Zeal than De Witt in the same Cause.
But you will hear all this represented as a Thing of Course, and of little Consequence—easily done and not worth much.—Very well! Thank God it is done, and that is what I wanted.
Jealousy is as cruel as the Grave, and Envy as spightfull as Hell— and neither have any regard to Veracity or Honour.
1. This proved a true prediction. Although JA remained in Europe for six more years, his only steady occupancy of the American legation at The Hague was from mid-May through mid-October 1782. He made some use of it during his later returns to the Netherlands in 1784, 1787, and 1788 to obtain further loans from Dutch bankers to the United States, but much of his business on those occasions was in Amsterdam rather than The Hague.
There is an account extant of the furnishings of the Hôotel des Etats Unis at The Hague, as JA liked to call it in the current diplomatic style, in a document dated and filed in the Adams Papers under 14 May 1782. The first six pages of this fourteen-page paper have the descriptive heading “A true copy of the Inventory made by Mr. John Thaxter,” the original of which was presumably compiled when Thaxter supervised the moving of the goods from JA's house in Amsterdam (see Thaxter to JA, 6 May, above). The listing bears notations “received in good order,” “Wanting,” “broken,” &c., apparently in the hand of F. Lotter, who signed it at the end and probably made the copy and comments on 16 Oct. 1782, another date that appears on the document and that was in fact the day before JA and party left The Hague for the peace negotiations at Paris.
The last eight pages of this document are another inventory of the furnishings in The Hague legation, compiled by Mme. Marie Dumas and dated 22 June 1784, shortly before JA left the Netherlands for London and reunion with his family there that summer. This too is attested by F. Lotter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-06-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I find that the Air of the Hague, and the Return of warm Weather, tho later than was ever known, is of great Service to my Health. I mount on Horseback every Morning, and riding is of Use to me.
I have not escaped the “Influenza,” as they call it, which began in Russia and has been epidemical, in all Europe. Mr. Thaxter too has at last submitted to this all subduing Climate and had a Fever, such as Charles had, but is growing well.
You can scarcely imagine a more beautifull Place than the Hague. Yet no Place has any Charms for me but the Blue Hills. My Heart will have in it forever, an acking Void, in any other Place. If you and { 325 } your Daughter were here! But I must turn my Thoughts from such Objects, which always too tenderly affect me, for my repose or Peace of Mind. I am so wedged in with the Publick Affairs that it is impossible to get away at present. I would transmit a Resignation of all my Employments but this would occasion much Puzzle and be attended with disagreable Consequences. If I thought it probable I should stay in Europe two or three Years, I would certainly request you to come here, but this is opening a scaene of Risque and Trouble for you that I shudder at.—But all is uncertain. I am not properly informed of what passes in Congress, and I know not their Designs. If they would send out another in my Room it would be the most happy News to me, that ever I heard.
The American Cause has obtained a Tryumph in this Country more signal, than1 it ever obtained before in Europe. It was attended with Circumstances, more glorious than could have been foreseen. A Temple, a D'Avaux, a D'Estrates, had more masterly Pens to celebrate their own Negotiations, and Hearts more at Ease, to do it with Care.2 Your Friend will never have Leisure, he will never have the Patience to describe the Dangers, the Mortifications, the Distresses he has undergone in Accomplishing this great Work. It is better that some of the Opposition and Intrigues he has had to encounter should be buried in Oblivion.
After all, it will be represented in America as a Thing of Course and of no Consequence. Be it so. It is done—and3 it is worth as much as it is.
My dear Nabby and Tommy how do ye? Charles you young Rogue! You had more Wit than all of Us. You have returned to a happy Spot. Study earnestly, go to Colledge and be an Ornament to your Country. Education is better at Cambridge, than in Europe. Besides every Child ought to be educated in his own Country. I regret extreamly that his elder Brother is not to have his Education at home. He is well [and] so is his Patron.

[salute] Adieu, Adieu, Adieu.

1. MS: “that.”
2. Sir William Temple (mentioned with some frequency earlier in the Adams Family Correspondence”), Jean Antoine de Mesme, Comte d'Avaux, and Godefroi, Comte d'Estrades, all conducted diplomatic negotiations in the Netherlands, and each wrote accounts of them. For editions of their published works owned by JA and now in the Boston Public Library, see Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 242, 17, 86.
3. MS: “at.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0218

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-17

Abigail Adams to John Adams, with a List of Articles wanted from Holland

[salute] My dearest Friend

There is not any thing in this Life, now my Dear Friend is seperated from me, that can communicate equal delight and pleasure to that which I feel upon the Sight of Letters written in the well known Hand of my Friend. My Heart Leaps forward to meet them, whilst the trembling Hand uncloses the Seals, and my eager Eyes devour the contents; tho unwilling to reach the close.
Capt. Deshon had the good fortune to arrive safe and brought me Letters only six weeks old;1 these were a cordial to my Spirits; since your first residence in Holland, I have not experienced the happiness of hearing from you in so short a space of time.
The prospect which was opening before you, and the Success with which I hope before this time your negotiations have been Blessed, has communicated a pleasure to my mind, which no one can feel in an equal degree with her, whose happiness is so nearly connected with all you Hope, and all you wish.
What tho old ocean rolls between these vehicles of transitory duration, the immortal Spirit can unite with its kindred mind, and participate in its pains and pleasures.
My dear Friend will feel the truth of what I have now asserted, and mingle the sorrowing tear with Portia, and with a distressed family over the almost departing Spirit of our Dear Brother Cranch.
I wrote you some time ago an account of the severe fit of Sickness with which he was visited, during the winter, but it then pleased Heaven to restore him to some degree of Health.2 His eager desire to be upon his duty in the publick Service, overpowerd the advice of his Friends: and he went to Town, before he had sufficiently recoverd his Health, where he was: only a few days, before he was seized with a pain in his Breast and Side, which terminated in a fever upon his Lungs and immediately threatned his Life. He struggled through the fever, but is now apprehended by his phisicians and Friends to be in a Hectick, accompanied with dropsical Symptoms. He however, as is common in such cases, flatters himself that he shall get well, tho tis 7 weeks since he was taken, and he can scarcly walk his room. He rides out, but cannot bear food equal to an Infant, whilst a cough and swelling of his Stomack, bowels and Legs indicate a speedy dissolution. For him we need not heave an anxious Sigh—but his family { 327 } —his Friends.—You who know his worth can feel their, and your own loss. I dare not flatter myself—my Hopes and fears are at varience. The anxious distress of an afflicted Sister Bears a load of Sorrow to my Heart, whilst I supplicate Heaven that I may not be called to experience a like overwhelming calamity. “O! Spair him, Spair him, Gracious power: O! Give him to my latest Hour” is the constant prayer of Portia.
I reassume my pen, and would tell you that I last evening received from Philadelphia a Letter written May 29, 1781 written Immediately after you took a House in Amsterdam;3 I suppose it to be one of those which was put on Board Gillion—as he has at last arrived at Philadelphia, having been commodore at the taking of Providence by the Spaniards.4 Our poor Charles would have had a fine time of it, if he had continued on Board. I wrote you by the Fire Brand, that I had drawn a Bill upon you for C—s passage,5 but finally finding I could not do it without a discount of ten per cent, and failing in an object which I then had in view, making a purchase in Virmont, on account of the dissagreable turn which affairs took at that time, relative to that state, when it was in the fairest way of being setled, I was advised not to purchase for the present, upon which I paid the passage. I shall not pretend unless upon a pressing necessity, which I do not at present see, to draw any Bills. The Remittances which you have from time to time made me, and which I have been very fortunate in receiving, assist me much better than Bills upon which I must pay a discount. I shall inclose a List of Articles upon which the best profit arrises, and which have the quickest sale. I have a Friend or two, into whose Hands I put what I do not want for my own family, who dispose of them for me. Accept my thanks for those received by Deshon. They came in good order.
Mr. L—l not long since favourd me with the sight of two Letters from you dated in February.6 With regard to the cypher of which you complain, I have always been fortunate enough to succeed with it.7 Take the two Letters for which the figure stands and place one under the other through the whole Sentance, and then try the upper Line with the under, or the under with the upper, always remembering, if one letter answers, that directly above or below must be omitted, and sometimes several must be skiped over. The contents of those Letters gave me a clearer Idea of the difficulties you have had to encounter, than I before had conceived of. But it must be a pleasing reflection to you that your Labours are at last like to be crowned with { 328 } Success. I wish there was as fair a prospect of an Honorable peace. I hope the late Naval disaster of our Allies will not have a dissagreable Effect upon the united provinces.8
The english will puff and vaunt their Dear Bought victory, without once recollecting that pride commeth before Humility and a haughty Spirit before a fall. The Cabinet counsels of Britain are held in detestation here, and to be insulted by the New Ministry is considerd in a more contemptable Light, than the same offers would have been from the old. America cannot but consider the virtues as all fled from that devoted Island. The different States are instructing their delegates to consider every offer as an insult from Britain (which should give a new edge to their Swords) if Independance is not made the Basis. Ardently as I long for the return of my dearest Friend, I cannot feel the least inclination to a peace but upon the most liberal foundation. Patriotism in the female Sex is the most disinterested of all virtues. Excluded from honours and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Goverment from having held a place of Eminence. Even in the freeest countrys our property is subject to the controul and disposal of our partners, to whom the Laws have given a soverign Authority. Deprived of a voice in Legislation, obliged to submit to those Laws which are imposed upon us, is it not sufficient to make us indifferent to the publick Welfare? Yet all History and every age exhibit Instances of patriotick virtue in the female Sex; which considering our situation equals the most Heroick of yours. “A late writer observes that as Citizens we are calld upon to exhibit our fortitude, for when you offer your Blood to the State, it is ours. In giving it our Sons and Husbands we give more than ourselves. You can only die on the field of Battle, but we have the misfortune to survive those whom we Love most.”
I will take praise to myself. I feel that it is my due, for having sacrificed so large a portion of my peace and happiness to promote the welfare of my country which I hope for many years to come will reap the benifit, tho it is more than probable unmindfull of the hand that blessed them.
Your Friends complain that you do not write to them. I say all I can in excuse, but I wish you to notice them all, and in a particular manner to continue your affectionate Regard and attachment to
[signed] Portia
Black and white Gauzes
and Gauze hankerchiefs (the best articles imported)
tapes Quality bindings Shoe binding
{ 329 }
Low priced linen, Black caliminco red tammies
fine threads low priced calicos Ribbons9
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr Amsterdam or the Hague”; endorsed: “Portia. June 17. 1782.”
1. These must have been JA's letters of 22, 29 March, above, but apparently not his brief but important letter of 1 April, also above. See AA to JA, 17 July, below: “Your last Letters were dated in March.”
2. See above, AA to JA, 17–25 March.
3. No letter of this date from JA to AA has been found. He had, however, reported his taking up his new residence in Amsterdam in a letter to her of 16 May 1781, above.
4. For the extraordinary adventures of Gillon and the South Carolina after CA and his party had left that vessel at La Coruña, see D. E. Huger Smith, “Commodore Alexander Gillon and the Frigate South Carolina,” So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 9 (1908): 1214 ff. Among other things, Gillon had joined a Spanish naval force at Havana and in May participated in the taking of New Providence, which meant the (temporary) transfer of the Bahamas from English to Spanish rule.
5. AA to JA, 25 April, above.
6. JA to Robert R. Livingston, 21, 27 Feb. (PCC, No. 84, IV; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:192–199, 206–207). These had been transmitted by Lovell in a letter to AA of 31 May (in Adams Papers but omitted here). In that of 21 Feb., JA had complained that he could “make nothing of” the coded passages in Livingston's letters.
7. But only with the help of Richard Cranch; see Appendix to this volume.
8. Rodney's defeat and capture of de Grasse at the battle of the Saints Passage, 9–12 April.
9. Compare the nearly duplicate lists at the end of AA's letters to JA of 25 April, above, and 17–18 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-06-17

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

I had no intention that the Fire Brand should sail without my replying to your repeated kind favours; I have been happy in receiving several Letters from You; the intrinsick value of which lead me most pathetically to mourn the loss of those which have failed.
The time which I meant to have appropriated in writing to you, was most melancholy employed in attending the sick and I feared dying Bed of our dear and worthy Friend Mr. Cranch who was seized with a repeated Sickness, before he had recoverd his Strength from a former illness—by which means the vessel sailed without a line to testify the sense I had of your goodness. It will greatly aflict you I know to hear, that this worthy Friend of ours, is in so great a decline as to Baffel the Art of the physicians, and to have the most allarming Symptoms of a speedy dissolution. Your sympathetick Heart will enter into the Distresses of a family for whom you have ever entertaind an affectionate Regard. They are great indeed. Heaven support them through them all.
{ 330 }
“When Heaven would kindly set us free
And Earths enchantments end
It takes the most Effectual way
And robs us of our Friends.”
I hope my dear Sir that your situation is more agreable by this time, and that your residence is at the Hague rather than in Amsterdam. But you sigh for America. You had better become a Captive in America, than an American Captive in any of the British dominions. A British prison has many horrors, their tender mercies are cruelties. The advantages to be derived by a return, in the present State of things will hardly compensate the risk. The young Gentlemen of the present day scarcly know what to do with themselves. Trade is so hazardous having no protection, and Money so scarce that there is little encouragement in that Branch. Our Staple, our fishery, we possess not, and we have no other. Divinity, you know what encouragement that meets with, and have no appetite to become a preacher. Phisick, that swarms—we have been Blessed with a large portion of Health throughout the State, and have had but small employ for the faculty. Law, upon that you fix your Eye. Some get Bread, some have made fortunes, but that time is passed away with the destruction of our Navy. But methinks I hear you say, I am spending the best of my days, I am advanceing towards 30, I could wish to settle down in my own Country in some reputable Buisness, this I shall have to do when ever I return. How can I connect myself untill this is done, and a Batchelor I do not wish to live. All the dear Girls for whom I have a Friendship will get married—even my fair American does not know how highly I value her.—Softly Sir, and I will tell you for your consolation, not one of all the number for whom you have particularly expressd a regard, have the least present prospect of being united—even your Sally is far distant from the Alter, and the triumvirate of Betsys are yet single, the solitary Hannah has lost her Grandmamma and Aunt, her cousin is gone to Barbados, and she still wears the appearence of a young Nun. The widowed Betsy is a widow still.
Matrimony is not in vogue here. We have Ladies, but not a gentleman in the whole Town, and the young Gentlemen of the present day, are not intirely to the taste of those Ladies who value a virtuous Character. Licentiousness and freedom of Manners are predominate. Rosseau observes, that the manner of thinking among Men in a great measure depends upon the taste of the Ladies. If this is true, the manners of the present day are no complement upon the fair Sex. The { 331 } Manners of the two Sexes, I believe keep pace with each other; and in proportion as the Men grow regardless of character, the women neglect the Duties of their Sex. Of how much importance then are Manners to a young [Esquire?]. Tis Luxery my dear Sir which ruins and depraves our Manners. We are ready imitators of the Nations with which we are connected, and it is much to be feared if the days of American simplicity and virtue are not already passed.
Fordyce, to whom our Sex are much indebted for the justice he has done them, observes that the company of virtuous and well bred women is the best School for Learning the most proper demeanor, the easiest turn of thought and expression and right habits of the best kind, that the most honorable the most Moral the most conscientious Men, are in general those who have the greatest regard for women of reputation and talents.1
I have nothing new to write you of the political kind, but what will be old e'er it reaches you.
We mourn the naval defeat of our Allies, and dispise the offers of the British Cabinet. Infamy and disgrace be their portion and the inheritance of their childrens children.—I fear the fate of this Letter. Scarcly any thing can pass we are so infested with British cruizers.

[salute] Should it find its way to you receive it with the affectionate Regard and Sisterly Love of

[signed] Portia
RC (MB): addressed: “To John Thaxter Esqr Amsterdam or the Hague”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 17. June 1782. Recd, in August & Answered.”
1. AA earlier cited with commendation James Fordyce's Sermons to Young Women (vol. 1:61–62, above), of which a copy of the 4th edn., 2 vols., London, 1767, is in MQA. Fordyce also published The Character and Conduct of the Female Sex, London, 1776.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1782-06-17

John Adams to Richard Cranch

“I can tell you no secrets about Peace—a Mr. Forth, a Mr. Aswald [Oswald] and a Mr. Greenville1 have been at Paris, to sound the Dispositions, but I cannot learn that they have sufficient Powers, or that they have made any serious Propositions. The work of Peace is very difficult to accomplish. The pretentions of so many Nations, are to be adjusted, that my Hopes are faint. It serves the Stocks to keep up the Talk, but I fear the English Nation is not yet sufficiently humbled, to satisfy Spain, Holland, France, the armed Neutrality and America.
{ 332 }
“Pray how is the News received of the new Alliance with the Dutch? —Is it represented as of no Importance? At least it will be allow'd of importance to prevent this Nation from taking Part against us. Their Fleet would have been much more powerfull against us than it is for us. As it is, it makes a Diversion in our favour.
“We shall however feel the Benefit of this new Connection in every part of the World. I hope the World will one Day see, when my Head shall be in the Dust, the Measures that have been taken to accomplish it, and the Intrigues from England, Russia, Denmark &c. &c. &c. to prevent it—I should be very sorry to add—but “Suum cuique Decus Posteritas rependit.”2
“It is a Protestant, a Republican and a commercial Nation. The Hand of Providence was never more visible, than in bringing this Business to a Conclusion. A number of Circumstances have conspired, in a very remarkable manner. We shall see the Consequences of it, which will not soon come to an End.—Men and Nations have Reason to seek Assistance sometimes against the extravagant Pretensions of Friends, as well as against the Malice of Enemies. While we stood acknowledged only by one Power, a Branch of the House of Bourbon and a Catholick, we stood exposed to the Jealousy of the Enemies of that House and that Faith. This Passion will be at least diminished by this Alliance. It is our Policy to seek and obtain the Friendship of all the Powers of Europe if possible; by which means we may be neutral. We may even keep England in Awe and at Peace with us by this means but by no other. I confess it is the Object I have had most at Heart; and, it being accomplished, I wish most ardently to come home.
“I have been desired to write a Word concerning Mr. Amory. He has lived long at Brussells and wishes to return; I have never seen him, but I believe if any one has a Claim, it is he. You know his amiable Character, and that he was never properly a Tory. He was rather a moderate Whig. I cannot advise in this matter, but I really wish he could be admitted. He has not done any thing I believe against us“.3
Early Tr (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); in the hand of Richard Cranch and captioned by him: “Extract of a Letter dated at the Hague June 17th 1782.” Obviously prepared by Cranch for newspaper publication, but no printing has been found. Cf. below, JA to Cranch, 2 July, esp. the descriptive note there.
1. Nathaniel Parker Forth, Richard Oswald, and Thomas Grenville. For their various quasi-official and official roles in opening peace negotiations, see Morris, Peacemakers, passim.
2. Posterity allows every man his true value. Tacitus, Annales, IV, 35.
3. John Amory (1728–1803), mem• { 333 } ber of a well-known mercantile family in Boston, went to England in 1774, ostensibly on business, but his wife dying and he lingering there, he was proscribed as a loyalist refugee. During the war, however, he moved to Brussels, returned to America at the close of it, after some difficulties was restored to citizenship in Massachusetts, and died a wealthy man. See Gertrude E. Meredith, The Descendants of Hugh Amory, London, 1901; Sabine, Loyalists, 1:162–163.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0221

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-06-23

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Since my last an important Revolution has taken place here respecting our Country. A formal Acknowledgment of our Sovereignty and Independence in the Admission and Reception of your dearest Friend is what I allude to. But You will have heard of the Event long before this reaches You, with many of its Circumstances. At present I am too feeble to enter into a detail of Matters, being upon my Recovery from the vile Fever and Ague. Ask your dear Charles if he remembers the tertian Fever at Leyden? I had the same at the Hague, (where We now live), with a Touch of the Rheumatism. However it went off with the Fever. I was never so sick and weak, and could any thing have been necessary to add to my disgust to this Country, this last Bout would have effectually done it. I hope to quit it in six or eight Weeks and take my Passage for Boston or Philadelphia. I pray You, Madam, not to mention this, as it may be longer before I embark, and my Friends might be uneasy if I did not arrive according to their Calculations. I have not hinted any thing of it to my Father in my Letter to him. I hope in a few days to be completely established in my Health. My Friends will excuse my not writing to them—indeed I have not strength enough as yet. Remember me particularly to your Family and to all Friends.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with an invariable Respect, Madam, your most obed. Servt.,

[signed] J Thaxter Junr.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0222

Author: Boylston, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-28

John Boylston to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I am now most happy to felicitate you and our Parent Country on the fortunate Event which has attended your unwearied efforts for obtaining the Dutch accession to the American Independency and that you are accepted by them as fully empowered for the final accomplishment of this glorious Aera.
{ 334 }
Indeed when I reflect on the injustice and savage cruelty of the late Administration I much wonder that all Europe have not united in chastising such vindictive measures. However that Being to whom Vengeance belongs appears to have been greatly displeas'd by involving them in such a labyrinth of difficulties from which no human Agency can extricate them; Yet deeply penetrated as I am with a sense of the injuries done my Native Land I most ardently wish for a happy peace, but nothing short of an intire independency.—Observing in the publick Papers that you are solliciting a Loan for A[me]rica I would willingly contribute my Mite thereto provided that I might be secure of Receiving my interest in Europe as at my Period of 72 it is rather too late to cross again the Atlantick, although I might the British Channel for the pleasure of seeing and conferring with you on some personal affairs which cannot be as well discuss'd by letter.
I was much mortify'd in not receiving by my most worthy Friend the Honble G. W. Fairfax one Line in answer to what [I] wrote you sometime since relating the American Prisoners,1 but with the greatest pleasure now find my wishes answer'd in their embarkation for their native homes.—In some of the late London Papers I find myself highly dishonour'd in being class'd by some malevolent Knave among a List of Amer[ican]refugees said to be printed at Boston but which has fail'd of giving me the least disquiet conscious that it is well known there, that I have ever been constantly and invariably attach'd to the cause and interest of my native Country for which have incurr'd the Odium of great Numbers here and expended near One hundred Guineas for the releif of our distress'd Captives.
The favour of a Line address'd for me at Messrs. Maitlands Esqr. Colman Street London will much oblige me. I shall remain here about fourteen days before my return to Bath.
That all happiness may attend you and Heaven prove propitious to your endeavours for procuring a happy and lasting peace is the sincere and ardent wish of, Dr. Sr. Yr. Most Obt. Servt,
[signed] John Boylston
P. For safe conveyance I have prevail'd with my good friend Mr. Brigden2 to inclose you this in his Pacquet, and to whose care (if agreable) You may return a Line in answer.
1. See above, Boylston to JA, 31 Aug. 1781, and references there. George William Fairfax, formerly of Virginia but currently of Bath in England, had evidently been in the Netherlands recently; see JA's reply to Boylston, 5 July below. For a sketch of Fairfax, see Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 1:5, and numerous letters and references following.
2. Thus in MS, but very likely Edward Bridgen is meant. Bridgen was a London { 335 } artisan and sometime alderman who seems to have kept up a clandestine correspondence with Americans and American sympathizers on the Continent throughout the war. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, index; correspondence between JA and Bridgen in Adams Papers; Cal. Franklin Papers in A.P.S.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0223

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-06

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My Dear Eliza

I have not heard a word from B—1 since Wedensday last. I want much to know how you all do. I wrote you last Saturday. Mrs. Quincy took my letter yesterday.2 Hope you have received it. You will not complain of my not writing you I bleive, my letters can give you little pleasure only as they are dictated by a heart that rearly3 loves you. My affection for you is an inducement for my writing you at this time more particularly. I have my friend been in company with many persons since I have been in town who were formerly acquainted with the gentleman that lately has resided in your family. Every one expresses great surprise at the event, these persons say [that]4 he is practicing upon Chesterfeilds plan, that [he] is the essence and quintessence of artfulness and fear he will in some way or other ingratiate himself into the good opinion of your self. You are not acquainted with his character they say. I have told them I have not a fear about the matter, that I think you are too well gaurded against art in aney shape and that you would despise the attempt, and detest the action. But my friend I dont know but a word by way of caution is nesesary. Perhaps you will laugh at me as I have at others who have made the supposition but I know your heart is at present uncommonly softened by affliction and should he learn your disposition and find a way to sooth your sorrows I will not answer for you, that you will not at least esteem him. His character and his conduct are not deserving the least degree of your friendship and I dare say you will discover it soon if you have not at present. I was told the other day that I could not see him and not become acquainted with him. I am determined to avoid the least degree of acquaintance if anything short of affrontery will answer his whole study, his dissimulation; our sex cannot be too carefull of the characters of the acquaintance we form.5
I passed the day yesterday with Mrs. Mason. She was pleasing and he as agreable as ever. His pappas family dined with us, Mr. Ben Mason and a sister of his.6 He was very particular in his enquireyes about Miss Cranch, whether she was married or like to be. I liked him better than ever I asure you. Indeed my Dear I answer many about { 336 } [you.] “She is a lovely Girl, I was much pleased with her,”7 and the like questions from persons whose esteem is valluable. And those I have to answer you may suppose I ever join them in their opinion. Indeed I do. It would be at the expence of my sincerety was I to join otherwise. But I should not have said aney thing about these things as it is I beleive more agreable to persons to imajine these civil things said of them then to heare them, dont you think so. A lively imagination can embellish to their own satisfaction.—But your heart is too much affected to receive such a letter from aney one as this. I have wished much to hear from your pappa in the week past but the fates have denied me. I will hope he is better, may I not be disappointed. Adeiu till I hear of an opportunity of conveiyance to you.
Wedensday evevening. I have this moment perused your postscript.8 It rearly gave me pleasure as I have not heard one word from you this week. The time has seemed long indeed. I pitty you my Dear. Your benevolence was hurt by being the messenger of an event that gave pain to a friend. Do let me hear from you and answer both of my letters. I intend to write Miss Betsy. My Love ever attends her and every one dese[rving?] it. Beleive me your friend.
Thursday mor[ning]9
[Written lengthwise in margin of first page:] Have you wrote to Mr. Thaxter if you have not there is a vessel going for Amsterdam soon so I was told.
RC (MHi:Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Braintree”; endorsed: “June—82 AA.” Punctuation has been minimally corrected for clarity, but some passages remain a little ambiguous.
1. Braintree must be meant. From AA2's allusions below, her own letter was unquestionably written from Boston; see note 6.
2. None of the letters here referred to has been found, and Mrs. Quincy is not further identifiable among the many bearing that name.
3. Thus in MS, doubtless for “really.”
4. Here and below, MS is torn.
5. This extraordinary passage, veiled though it is and without a name mentioned, introduces a figure who was to play an important and dramatic role— though in the eyes of the Adamses a discreditable one—in the domestic history of the Adamses over the next several years. “[T]he gentleman that lately has resided in your family” and is said by AA2 to be “practicing upon Chesterfeilds plan” of artful “dissimulation” among the young ladies of Braintree and Boston, can only be Royall Tyler, who, according to AA's letter to JA, 23 Dec. 1782 (Adams Papers), had been lodging for the last nine months at the Cranches' home in Braintree.
Royall Tyler (1757–1826), author of The Contrast (1787), the first American comedy produced on an American stage, became a well-known figure in American letters and later the chief justice of Vermont. See DAB and G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler, Cambridge, 1967, which is the first book-length biography and which treats in detail the checkered ro• { 337 } mance between AA2 and Tyler. A summary treatment of that suppressed chapter in Adams family history, based largely on unpublished material in the Adams Papers, was furnished a year earlier by the Adams editors in the introduction to The Earliest Diary of John Adams, the MS of which was discovered in 1965 in the Royall Tyler Collection, long closed to researchers, in the Vermont Historical Society; see JA, Earliest Diary, p. 14, 16–32,.
Many letters to be included in the next volume of the Adams Family Correspondence develop this story and exhibit most of the major and some of the minor members of the Adams-Cranch circle in characteristic roles. Tyler's courtship of AA2 had a definite part in the Adams ladies' subsequent voyage to Europe. What is most remarkable in light of AA2's impressions of Tyler as given in the present letter is that six months or so later AA was warmly pressing Tyler's suit upon a daughter who overcame her own doubts very reluctantly.
6. Jonathan Mason Jr. of Boston, on whom see a sketch above, >vol. 1:280, and another in JA, Legal Papers, 1: civ. He had studied law and lived in JA's household in 1775–1776 and became a correspondent and admiring friend of both JA and AA. In 1779 he had married Susan Powell. His father, Jonathan Mason Sr., was a prominent Boston merchant, married to Miriam Clark; see DAB under Jonathan Jr. They had three daughters and also a younger son, Benjamin (Harvard 1779), who practiced medicine and became an honorary M.D. in 1800 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
7. Initial and terminal quotation marks editorially supplied.
8. Not found.
9. Thus in MS, perhaps indicating that the letter was completed and sent off on the day after it was mainly written (Wednesday).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-07-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your charming Letters of April 10 and 22d1 were brought me, Yesterday. That of 22d is upon Business. Mr. Hill is paid I hope. I will honour your Bill if you draw. But be cautious—dont trust Money to any Body. You will never have any to lose or to spare. Your Children will want more than you and I shall have for them.
The Letter of the 10 I read over and over without End—and ardently long to be at the blue Hills, there to pass the Remainder of my feeble days. You would be surprised to see your Friend—he is much altered. He is half a Century older and feebler than ever you knew him. The Horse that he mounts every day is of service to his Health and the Air of the Hague is much better than that of Amsterdam, and besides he begins to be a Courtier, and Sups and Visits at Court among Princesses and Princes, Lords and Ladies of various Nations. I assure you it is much wholesomer to be a complaisant, good humoured, contented Courtier, than a Grumbletonian Patriot,2 always whining and snarling.
However I believe my Courtierism will never go any great Lengths. I must be an independent Man, and how to reconcile this to the Character of Courtier is the Question.
{ 338 }
A Line from Unkle Smith of 6. of May3 makes me tremble for my Friend and Brother Cranch! I must hope he is recoverd.
I can tell you no News about Peace. There will be no Seperate Peaces made, not even by Holland—and I cannot think that the present English Ministry are firm enough in their Seats to make a general Peace, as yet.
When shall I go home? If a Peace should be made, you would soon see me.—I have had strong Conflicts within, about resigning all my Employments, as soon as I can send home a Treaty. But I know not what is duty as our Saints say. It is not that my Pride or my Vanity is piqued by the Revocation of my envied Commission. But in such Cases, a Man knows not what Construction to put. Whether it is not intended to make him resign. Heaven knows I never solicited to come to Europe. Heaven knows too what Motive I can have, to banish my self from a Country, which has given me, unequivocal Marks of its4 Affection, Confidence and Esteem, to encounter every Hardship and every danger by Sea and by Land, to ruin my Health, and to suffer every Humiliation and Mortification that human Nature can endure.
What affects me most is the Tryumph given to Wrong against Right, to Vice against Virtue, to Folly vs. Wisdom, to Servility against Independance, to base and vile Intrigue against inflexible Honour and Integrity. This is saying a great deal, but it is saying little more than Congress have said upon their Records, in approving that very Conduct for which I was sacrificed.—I am sometimes afraid that it is betraying the Cause of Independence and Integrity or at least the Dignity, which they ought to maintain, to continue in the service. But on the other Hand I have thought, whether it was not more dangerously betraying this Dignity, to give its Ennemies, perhaps the compleat Tryumph which they wished for and sought but could not obtain.
You will see, the American Cause has had a signal Tryumph in this Country. If this had been the only Action of my Life, it would have been a Life well spent. I see with Smiles and Scorn, little despicable Efforts to deprive me of the Honour of any Merit, in this Negotiation, but I thank God, I have enough to shew. No Negotiation to this or any other Country was every recorded in greater detail, as the World will one day see. The Letters I have written in this Country, are carefully preserved. The Conversations I have had are remembered. The Pamphlets, the Gazettes, in Dutch and French, will shew to Posterity, when it comes to be known what share I have had in them as it will be, it will be seen that the Spanish Ambassador expressed but the litteral Truth,5 when He said
{ 339 }
“Monsieur a frappé la plus grand Coup de tout L'Europe.—Cette Reconnaisance fait un honneur infinie a Monsieur.—C'est lui qui a effraycée et terrassee les Anglomanes. C'est lui qui a rempli cet nation d'Enthusiasm.”—&c.6
Pardon a Vanity, which however is conscious of the Truth, and which has a right to boast, since the most Sordid Arts and the grossest Lies, are invented and propagated, by Means that would disgrace the Devil, to disguise the Truth from the sight of the World. I laugh at this, because I know it to be impossible. Silence!
1. Error by JA for 25 April; see AA's letter of that date, above.
2. That is, as the word suggests, a grumbling patriot or member of the anticourt party. For the origin of this word in 17th-century English politics, see OED.
3. Not found.
4. MS: “his.”
5. JA revised this sentence in the course of writing it, spoiling its structure without losing its meaning.
6. JA relished this praise well enough to convey it, in varying language but always bad French, to others; see, for example, his letter to Edmund Jenings, 28 April (Adams Papers), quoted in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:5. The Spanish minister plenipotentiary at The Hague was Sebastián de Llano y de la Quadra, Conde de Sanafcé and Vizconde de Llano (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:435).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0225

Author: Ingraham & Bromfield (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-07-01

Ingraham & Bromfield to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

We had the Honor to write you 23d. March by the Ship Enterprize, Capt. Danl. Deshon and then sent an Invoice of Articles to Amount of f428.1— Hol[lan]d Cur[renc]y.
By Direction of Mr. Adams we now enclose a like Invoice of Goods ship'd on his Account on the Brig Sukey, Capt. Grinnel for Boston— the Bill of Lading for which we forward to Isaac Smith Esqr. Wishing that they may reach you safely, We remain, with sincere Respect Madam, Your most obedient, Humble Servants,
[signed] Ingraham & Bromfield
Amount of Invoice now enclosed is f525.0.10.
RC (Adams Papers). Text follows on the same sheet of paper the DuplRC of Ingraham & Bromfield to AA, 23 March, above. Enclosed invoice not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1782-07-02

John Adams to Richard Cranch

“I am among a People, whose slowness puts all my Patience to the Tryal, and in a Climate which is too much for my Constitution: I { 340 } love this Nation however, because they love Liberty.—You will have learn'd the Progress of our Affairs here, which has been slow but sure. —This Dutch Legation has very nearly cost me my Life, and has taken away forever much of my Strength, and some of my Memory. Tomorrow the States of Holland assemble and go upon my Project of a Treaty.—A Mr. Greenville is at Paris about Peace, and is authorised to treat with all the belligerent Powers, but England has not acknowledged us to be a Power, and therefore I fear it will end in Chicane.1 Certain Persons of the Courts of Petersbourg and Copenhagen are intriguing, to favour England a little, but they can do no great things. Holland will not make a seperate Peace.
“I believe that the Acknowledgement of the Sovereignty of no Nation was ever made with such solemnity, and made so particularly the Act of the whole Nation, and of all the Individuals in it, as ours has been here.2—What say the Clergy to their new Allies, Protestant, Calvinist, Antiepiscopalians, Tolerant, Republican, Commercial. How do they pray and give Thanks? Into whatever Country I go, I listen to the Sentiments of the Clergy, because it is a good Index often of the sense of the People. The Clergy here, are in this War, generally well disposed in our favour and against England. I hope our Dutch Friends of all sorts will be treated with Respect and Affection, as well as the French—tho' we are under greater Obligations to the latter.
“It has been a critical Business to conduct this Nation right, amidst their Connections with England, the Influence of their Court, the Intrigues of foreign Courts &c. &c. It has required all the Patience, all the Skill, Address and Capacity, of their own Patriots, aided by the Duke de la Vauguion, not to mention any more, to prevent them from joining England; and it never would have been done but by appealing to the Nation, and arrousing their long dormant Bravery and love of Liberty.—Thanks to Heaven it is done, and we have nothing to fear from them, if we have not room to hope very much.”
Early Tr (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); in the hand of Richard Cranch and captioned by him: “Extract of another Letter dated at the Hague July 2d 1782.” Prepared by Cranch for newspaper publication and in small part published in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 19 Sept. 1782, p. 3, col. 3, under the caption “Extract of a letter from an American gentleman in Holland, dated July 2.” The omission of the word “another” in the newspaper caption indicates clearly that Cranch originally prepared his abridged versions of bothJA's letters to him of 17 June (above) and of the present date for publication en suite. In the end, however, the first letter was apparently not printed at all, and the second emerged in a form so altered as to be nearly unrecognizable. The printed text actually uses only two sentences from JA's original letter as excerpted by Cranch (see notes 1 and 2), and these are followed by added { 341 } matter that fills about three-quarters of a newspaper column. Much of the added matter seems to have been taken from letters JA did write, or at least could have written, at this period from the Netherlands about his successful negotiations there and affairs in Europe generally, but it is a pastiche or at times even a paraphrase of these letters, together with comments, such as “The Memorial of Mr. Adams was admirably well adapted to accomplish these purposes,” which both praise JA's accomplishments and conceal his authorship, so far as he was the author of the letter or letters on which the newspaper text was based.
1. This sentence begins the text published in the Independent Chronicle and constitutes its first paragraph.
2. This sentence begins the second paragraph in the Independent Chronicle text.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Boylston, John
Date: 1782-07-05

John Adams to John Boylston

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your kind Letter of the 28 June, and thank you for your Congratulations.
British Politicks, it is true, are in a Labyrinth. There is never the less, one clue, and but one, which is to acknowledge American Independence, by an express Act of Parliament. This, once done, they would not find it difficult to make Peace.
Those who lend Money to the United States of America in this Country, receive their Interest, in Europe, and will ever receive it here, and much more certainly I suspect, than British Creditors will receive theirs, after some time.
I should certainly have answered your former Letter, if I had known of your Friends return, but I never knew till now, by whom the Letter came.
I am sorry they have put you in a List of Refugees because I have long known your Sentiments to be favourable to your native Country, as well as to Liberty in General.1
If you should cross the Channell I should be glad to see you here. Pray have you any News of our Relation your Name Sake. Ask him, if he has given all his fortune to Harvard Colledge, as he promised me he would. Tell him I am afraid he will forget to make his Will— if he will come over here I will make it for him, without a Fee.2
I am extreamly happy to hear, that the present Ministry have the Magnanimity and Wisdom to send home my Country men the Prisoners, and to treat them kindly. This is not only the Way to do themselves Honour, but to do real Service to their Country. If Great Britain ever excites a Sentiment in her favour, either in Europe or America, it must be, by such Measures as these.
{ 342 }
But nothing will ever compleatly answer the End, but a frank Acknowledgment of American Independence. The United States will Support their Sovereignty, with Dignity, and their Alliances with Honour and good Faith, without ever being diverted from either, by Severity or by Flattery. The Man who now flatters the British King or Nation, with a Hope of the Contrary, is a worse Ennemy to both, than was a North or a Grenville, fifteen or 20 years ago. Delusions now will be fatal. Mistakes now will have worse Fruits than bad Intentions could have in the Beginning.
I wish for Peace, as ardently as you, or any Man. But in my opinion, our Country is less interested in it, than any Power, at war. The more is embroiled, and the longer it is embroiled the better it will be in the End for America, which is a Country so circumstanced and situated as to turn every Thing That happens to her own Advantage. People on your Side the Water, [are] exceedingly deceived in their opinions, that America sighs so ardently for Repose. But why do I scribble upon such Subjects? My Business is to preach to my Friends the Dutch.
I am &c.
1. On John Boylston's “Sentiments,” see Boylston to JA, 31 Aug. 1781, above.
2. JA is almost certainly alluding to Boylston's cousin, Thomas Boylston of London (1721–1798), though in calling him John Boylston's namesake an ambiguity is introduced, especially since there were no other John Boylstons alive at the time. The only other male Boylston recorded as then living in England or America was Ward Nicholas Boylston, born Hallowell (1749?–1828), on whom see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:295; CFA, Diary, 3:5, 13, 146; Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. 35, 38; Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife, p. 122–129; Adams Genealogy. But Ward Nicholas Boylston had left Boston in 1773 when still a young man, had resided in London from 1775, a loyalist, at the time was an officer in the British militia, and seems not to have been known to JA before May 1783. Though he was much later to become a benefactor of Harvard as his late uncle Nicholas (1716–1771) had earlier been, he was not at this time possessed of such a fortune as would enable him to contemplate substantial benefactions (Jones, Loyalists of Mass., p. 48–50; Thomas Boylston to JA, 20 April; JA to Thomas Boylston, 12 June 1783, both in Adams Papers, the second LbC).
Thomas Boylston, Ward Nicholas' uncle and sometime patron and employer, was at the moment a man of great wealth; he never married, had long been notoriously of a disposition to seize an opportunity to have legal or other work done where there was no fee, and though there is elsewhere no record of an interest in making Harvard College his heir, he did nurse philanthropic notions toward Boston, both during the time he had a fortune and after he was stripped of it in 1793 by the failure of the London firm of Lane, Son, & Frazer. Boylston, already wealthy by his own efforts and as principal heir of his even wealthier brother Nicholas, and already with a reputation for stinginess, had left Boston for London by 1779, taking a purported £100,000 with him. His emigration seems to have been dictated more by economic than political considerations, and there is little to connect him with loyalism in London. He renewed relations with JA as soon as { 343 } there was a likelihood of the resumption of commerce between the United States and Great Britain, and between 1783 and 1785 developed several schemes for the import of whale oil from America and the export of sugar, processed in his refinery, to the United States. JA, bent on the encouragement of trade, lent his help to the project and recommended Boylston in letters to Jefferson as “one of the clearest and most solid Capitalists, that ever raised himself by private Commerce in North America” (25 Sept. 1785) and to Lafayette, 13 Dec. 1785: “You may depend upon it, he will do nothing but what is profitable. No man understands more intuitively, everything relating to these subjects, and no man is more attached to his interest.” JQA and TBA have provided admirable sketches of Thomas Boylston as he was just after he served his term in bankrupts' prison, though their accounts of him, like those of others, seem heavily colored by the many unpleasant anecdotes of him given currency by Ward Nicholas after he became aware that he was not to be Thomas' heir. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:280–281, 290–295; 2:85; Adams Family Correspondence, 2:295–296, 305–306; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:550; 9:41–42, 45–46, 88–89; Jones, Loyalists of Mass., p. 49; H. E. Scudder, ed., Recollections of Samuel Breck, Phila., 1877, p. 159–160; [Ward Nicholas Boylston,] The Will of Thomas Boylston, Esq. [Boston, 1816]. In the Adams Papers: JQA, Diary, 25 Oct. 1794; TBA, Diary, 16, 25 Oct. 1794 (M/TBA/1 and 2, Microfilm Reel Nos. 281, 282); Thomas Boylston to JA, 23 Dec. 1782; JA to Isaac Smith Sr., 2 Sept. 1785; to James Bowdoin, 24 March 1786 (both LbC's). See also Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0228-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1782-07-17 - 1782-07-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have delayed writing till the vessel is near ready to Sail, that my Letters may not lay 3 weeks or a month after they are written, as is commonly the case. Mr. Rogers and Lady1 are going passengers in this vessel; and tho I have only a slight knowledge of them I shall commit my Letters to their care. I have not heard from you since the arrival of Capt. Deshon. Your last Letters were dated in March. I replied to them by the last vessel which saild for France dated about a month ago2 tho she has not sailed more than a fortnight. I again grow impatient for intelligence. From the last accounts which reachd us by way of Nantys we learn that the Dutch are acquiring a firmness of conduct, that they have acknowledged the independance of America, and are determined to turn a deaf Ear to that prostituted Island of Britain. If this is true, and I sincerely hope it is, I congratulate you upon the Success of your negotiations, and hope your Situation is more eligible than for the time past. If I know you are happy, it will tend to alleiviate the pains of absence.
The Count de Grasse misfortune in the West Indias, we sensibly feel. The British will feed upon it for ages, but it will not save their Nation from the destruction which awaits them.
{ 344 }
The Season has advanced thus far without any military Exploit on either Side. We want the one thing necessary for persueing the War with Vigor. Were we less Luxurious we should be better able to support our Independance with becomeing dignity, but having habituated ourselves to the delicacies of Life, we consider them as necessary, and are unwilling to tread back the path of Simplicity, or reflect that

“Man wants but little here below

Nor wants that little long.”

By the Enterprize I gave you a particular account of the dangerous Situation our dear Brother Cranch is in. He still continues, but we have little to build our hopes upon of his long continuance with us. Heaven be better to us than our fears. The rest of our Friends are well. Charles has been to see a publick Commencement; and has returned to night much gratified with the exhibitions.3 He has followed his Studies with attention, since his return, under the care of a Mr. Thomas4 of Bridgwater; who appears well calculated for the instruction of youth; and is said by good judges, to be an admirable proficient in the Languages. But with him we are obliged to part immediately, as he is going into Buisness. I know not what to do with my Children. We have no Grammer School in the Town, nor have we had for 5 years. I give this Gentleman 2s. 6 pr week a peice, for my two. I must (could I find a School abroad to my mind) Board them at 18 Shillings pr week which is the lowest. In Boston 6 and 8 dollers is given by Gentlemen there for Board, formerly a Gentleman Boarded as well for 12 Shillings, but such is the difference. I know not how to think of their leaving Home. I could not live in the House were it so deserted. If they are gone only for a day, it is as silent as a Tomb.
What think you of your daughters comeing to keep House for you? She proposes it.5 Could you make a Bridge she would certainly present herself to you, nor would she make an ungracefull appearence at the Head of your table. She is rather too silent. She would please you the better. She frequently mourns the long absence of her Father, but she knows not all she suffers in consequence of it. He would prudently introduce her to the world, which her Mamma thinks proper in a great measure to seclude herself from, and the daughter is too attentive to the happiness of her Mamma to leave her much alone, nor could repeated invitations nor the solicitation of Friends joined to the consent of her Mamma, prevail with her to appear at commencement this year. But much rather would the Mamma and daughter embrace the Husband and Father in his Native Land than think of visiting foreign { 345 } climes. Will the cottage be sweet? Will Retirement be desirable? Does your Heart pant for domestick tranquility, and for that reciprocation of happiness you was once no stranger to. Is there ought in Courts, in Theaters or Assemblies that can fill the void? Will Ambition, will Fame, will honour do it. Will you not reply—all, all are inadequate, but whether am I led? I cannot assume an other Subject—the Heart is softned. Good night.
Sol rises this morning with great splendor. I had much rather have seen his face overspread with clouds dispenseing their fruitfull drops to the thirsty earth. It is very dry. Our Corn suffers. Should we be cut of or shortned in our crops we should more sensibly feel it, as our celebrated Siberian wheat is universally blasted, and much of the Rye. Our Success with a little last year led my Tennant to sow 3 acres this year, which we were obliged to mow for foder. Col. Quincy succeeded last year, and raised a hundred and sixty Bushels of as fine wheat as I ever saw, but his Has shared the same fate, and it is so where ever I hear of it. My favorite Virmont is a delightfull Grain Country. I cannot tell why, but I feel a great fondness for the prosperity of that State. I wrote you in my last that I had laid aside the thoughts of being an adventurer there for the present—but soon after Col. Davis of Woster to whom the township was granted, with his associates, brought me the Charter, and the proceedings of Congress with Regard to Virmont by which it appears that Virmont had complied with the requisitions of Congress and the committe to whom, the Matter was committed, report that having complied they consider Congress as obliged to set them of and ratify their independance. This Gentleman has taken pains to have every propriater persons of character and property and that they should all belong to this State. He says it is one of the best situated townships in the State, and will rise in value daily. Salem is the Name it bears. As he had got the deeds all drawn and executed I recollected the old adage Nothing venture nothing have; and I took all the Lots 5 in number 4 of which I paid him for, and the other obligated myself to discharge in a few months. You are named in the Charter as original propriater, so no deed was necessary. Each lot is to contain 300 and 30 acres at about 11 pounds a Lot. This payment has reduced my purse pretty low; having a little before paid Charles passage and repaird Buildings to the amount of a hundred dollers. My taxes I might mention as a heavy load, but as every Body complains, I will be silent, tho I might with as much { 346 } reason; my continental tax which I am calld upon to pay next week, and is only a half year tax, amounts to 50 dollers. 19 pounds 15 & 10 pence I paid about a Month ago for a State tax and 7 pounds 10 & 2 pence for a town tax and 6 pound some shillings for a ministerial tax, to make up paper money deficiencies, besides 9 pounds 13 & six pence for Class number 7 towards hireing a Man for 3 years. All this I have discharged since April, as will appear by my Receits.
I have not drawn any Bills and will not if I can possibly help it. I shall have no occasion to, if I can get black and white Gauze and Gauze hankerchiefs. It may not be to the Credit of my country but it is a certain fact, that no articles are so vendible or yeald a greater profit. It was with difficulty I could keep a little for my own use of what I last received. I inclosed a list of articles by the Enterprize6 which I wish you to direct Ingraham and Bromfield to forward, and should they meet with the same Success my former adventures have, and arrive safe, they will be much more benificial than drawing Bills upon which I must discount. I shall inclose a duplicate of the articles with an addition of 5 yard of scarlet Broad cloth of the best kind and 3 yard of Sattin of the same coulour which I want for my own use leaving it at all times to you to determine the Quantity which you think proper to remitt.
You have heard I suppose that Gillion arrived at Philadelphia in June. Only two Letters have come to hand. Dr. Waterhouse left him at the Havanah but was unfortunately taken upon his passage home and carried to New York, by which means the rest of the Letters perished.—I wrote you by the Alliance respecting the Braintree prisoners, but have not received a line in which you make mention of them. That you took measures to relieve them several have testified to their Friends, but it would be more satisfactory if you had mentiond them yourself.7 There is in Boston a Mr. Marstins' who belon