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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0164

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[epigraph]

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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/