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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

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 belonged on Board Gillion who paid yesterday to Charles in Boston a Jo8 which he said you lent him. I mention this to his Honour and justice. Of all the money due to you, upon Book or note, I have not received a copper since your absence and must have been distresst but for the remittances you have made me.
I long to receive Letters from all my dear Friends. I wish you would write by way of France and send your Letters to Mr. Warren. He would be particularly carefull of them. Two vessels have just arrived in 30 days passage from Nants. Your Friends here make great complaint, that you do not write to them. Uncle S[mith] says he will not write you any more, yet believe he does not keep his word, for he { 347 } writes by every vessel. Genrll. W[arre]n says you have forgotten him and Dr. T[uft]s complains. You see how important a line from you is considerd.
I say all I can for you, but wish you would find leisure to notice those Friends who write to you. Uncle Q[uinc]y desires his regards to you. Your aged Mamma wishes to see you, but fears she never shall. My Father injoys as Good State of Health as his years will admit. My most affectionate regards to my Dear John from whom I have received but one Letter since his visit to P[etersburg].

[salute] Adieu my dearest Friend, and Believe me your Most affectionate

[signed] Portia
Black and white Gauze
Spotted and striped Gauze hankerchiefs
tapes Quality bindings low priced 7/8ths9 linnen
Black caliminco[]red tamies[]fine thread[]low
priced dark grounded calicos[]Ribbons—10 yd of
blew and white dark striped cotton
Nabby has just been giving me a Letter for you. I read it, and really beleive the child thinks herself serious; but you can give her better advice.10 Mr. Foster has just sent me word that he designs to wait upon me to morrow for Letters so that I shall give them to Him as he is kind enough to come out to see me. You will not fail to take notice of him.11
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia July 17. 1782.” Enclosures: (1) List of Articles wanted by Mrs. Warren (Adams Papers), printed herewith; see note 12. (2) AA2 to JA, undated letter; not found, but see notes 5 and 10.
1. Daniel Denison Rogers and his wife, the former Abigail Bromfield. According to Rev. Samuel Cooper, she was traveling to improve her health; see Cooper to JA, 22 July (Adams Papers). Rogers was a Boston merchant who spent some time in France but after the war took his wife to England, where they were on intimate social terms with the Adamses until 1786, when the Rogerses returned to Boston. See Thwing Catalogue, MHi; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:69; AA to Mary (Smith) Cranch, 21 March 1786 (MWA); scattered correspondence of AA and JA with the Rogerses in the Adams Papers.
2. That is, her letter was dated “about a month ago”; it was, in fact, dated precisely on 17 June, and sent by the Enterprise, as AA specifies below.
“On Wednesday the 17th instant, a public Commencement was, for the second time since the year 1773, celebrated in the University of Cambridge, with its ancient splendor” (Boston Continental Journal, 25 July 1782, p. 2, col. 1)
There follow three columns devoted to the exercises and festivities of the day—a much fuller account than is to be found in any other Boston paper.
4. AA meant to say Thomas Perkins, concerning whom see her letter to James Lovell, ca. 10 April, above, and note 2 there.
5. In AA2's (missing) letter to JA mentioned below as enclosed in the present letter. See note 10.
6. That is, in her letter to JA of 25 April, above. A similar listing is in her letter to him of 17 June, also above, and still another appended to her present letter.
7. AA's inquiry concerning the Braintree seamen in the Mill Prison at Plymouth was in her letter to JA of 9 Dec. 1781, above; see note 3 there for JA's actions in behalf of the prisoners.
8. A jo (joe, Johannes) was a Portuguese gold coin.
9. Thus apparently in MS.
10. AA2's letter, undated but doubtless written at the same time as AA's, has not been found. It proposed her coming to Europe to keep house for her father and look after his health. JA's reply, 26 Sept., below, discouraged the idea on the ground that he hoped to return home in the spring.
11. Possibly Joseph Foster, merchant in State Street, Boston, part owner of and a fellow passenger aboard the Active, in which AA and AA2 sailed to England in 1784. See AA's journal of that voyage, in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:155 ff.; Boston Directory, 1789, in Boston Record Commissioners, Report, 10 (1886):183.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0228-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-07-17

Enclosure: List of Articles1

6 lb. best Hyson Tea
2 China Cooffee Pots
1 doz: handled Cups & Saucers—China
2 doz Soup Plates & a Tureen
doz: flat do.
doz small long dishes
2 pr Pudding do.
<2 or 3 Brushes>
3 or 4 house Brushs
Mrs. Warren has left this memorandom with a request that she may have these articles and she will pay the money to me or send to her Son for any thing I may want from France, but at present I know of nothing, so that I should be glad if they are sent they may not be put with any thing which belongs to me, but invoiced and put up by them selves.
{ 348 }
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia July 17. 1782.” Enclosures: (1) List of Articles wanted by Mrs. Warren (Adams Papers), printed herewith; see note 12. (2) AA2 to JA, undated letter; not found, but see notes 5 and 10.
1. MS appears on a separate slip inserted within and now attached to AA's letter enclosing it. The list is in an unidentified hand, except for the crossing out and substitution of the final item, which was done by Mercy Warren. The explanatory paragraph that follows the list is in AA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0229

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-07-18

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

Aya—Eliza1—and is it thus you honour the bare resemblance, thus place round your Neck the Ideal Image, the unanimated form of one, whom if he were present would not be thus distinguished. Virgin Modesty and conscious honour would then forbid this publick mark of affection unless it were sanctified by choise.—But why Sir has the { 349 } painter been so deficient—it is barely a likeness of you—he has not taken that Manly jesture, that dignity of air and address which should have been the distinguising lines in the portrature?2
Sweet Sensibility Source of all that is pleasing in our joys or painfull in our Sorrows—to thee is the portrait indebted for a favour that would kindle a fervour in the Breast of the original in any climate, less unfriendly to the tender passion than the Humid Batavian.
Let me comfort you with the pleasing intelligence that you are kindly rememberd by all the Fair circle of your Female acquaintance since it appears by all your Letters that you consider there regard as Essential to your happiness—and who that knows Humane Nature but must acknowledge that the Social affections between the Sexes where purity of sentiment and politeness of Behaviour are preserved constitutes the principal felicity of Life. It is in the company of the virtuous Fair that Rusticity and asperity are softned and refined into Benevolence and philanthropy. There the Graces may be acquired without sacrificeing the virtues.
I have been interupted by company, my thread is Broken. I will take an other Subject. You have heard I suppose that Gillion arrived at Philadelphia some time in June but not a line of all the Letters you put on Board have yet come to hand or ever will I suppose, for Dr. Waterhouse left Gillion at the Havanna, but his ill fortune persued him, for he was captured upon his passage Home and all his Letters thrown over.—Major Jackson has been fighting a duel with Gillion and was wounded in the thigh, not dangerously I believe.3 This detestable practise I abhor and hold it inconsistant with the principals of Religion, in no sense better than Murder or Suiside. Can the fault of an other contaminate the Honour of a Man who is noway accessary to it? And is there any speicies of honour repugnant to virtue? The Man whose life is uniformly virtuous will be in no danger of the imputation of cowardice for abstaining from Murder, but on the other hand he who is not invariably restrained by the fear of evil will hardly be thought to refuse a challange from moral restraints, since his virtue is more than suspicious whose conscientious Scruples accompany only those Sins which are attended with danger. But he who has a due sense of religion will not willingly bid defiance to his Creator by ungratefully disowning a Blessing in mercy bestowed, or robbing it from an other. I have hopes my worthy Friend that however custom may have sanctified this Breach of the Laws of God and Man, your virtue and good Sense will deter you at all times, and upon all occasions, from so immoral and absurd a custom. It is a philosophick observation, { 350 } that he who deserves an affront has no right to resent it, and he who is base enough to affront an other without cause is unworthy of any thing but contempt.
Adieu my dear Sir I am hurried to close my Letters least the vessel sail without them. Your Friends propose writing by this opportunity, but I fear they will be too late.
Mrs. Dana was well yesterday. Our dear and worthy Friend Mr. Cranch is in a poor way. I wrote you particularly by the Enterprize concerning him.4
Yesterday was celebrated a publick and Brilliant commencement. I will forward a catalogue by the first opportunity.5 With regard to politicks, we have a perfect tranquility. We sensibly feel the loss of our Allies, but we shall not be induced to listen to any terms which haughty Britain may offer short of independance. Congress refused a passport for Morgan Carltons Secretary,6 and the different States are by their resolutions in their different assemblies renouncing the Idea of treating, and scorn a National Breach of Faith. Thus I see no prospect of the desireable object peace—but if we cannot make peace, at least make War.7 But once more adieu. I have so many last words that tis with reluctance I bring myself to that of
[signed] Portia
Forgive all inaccuracies I write in great haste.8
RC (MB); addressed: “Mr John Thaxter att The Hague”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 18th. July 1782 A[n]s[were]d Septr. Recd, same day.” (The answer, printed below, is dated 3 Sept. 1782.) Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee. The chief variations in substance between RC and Dft are indicated in notes below.
1. Thaxter's answer, 3 Sept., below, appears to clarify this expression by repeating it as “Ay, Ay—Eliza,” &c.
2. All this concerns a miniature likeness of Thaxter that he had sent to America a year earlier and supposed lost with his many letters dispatched in the South Carolina; see his letters to his sister Celia, 1780–1782 (MHi:Thaxter Papers), and esp. his reply to AA of 3 Sept., below.
3. The editors have found no further particulars on the Gillon-Jackson duel beyond an additional observation in AA's Dft: “I hear they are still inveterate.”
4. AA to Thaxter, 17 June, above.
5. In Dft this passage is amplified as follows: “Yesterday was celebrated a publick commencment—a Brilliant one I hear it was and had several invitations. But I have never enterd a publick assembly (Religious ones excepted) since the commencment of the War. I do not say this out of a dislike to publick commencments. I highly approve of them and think them a Stimmulous to youth and a reward to the Brilliant Genious.”
6. That is, Maurice Morgann (1726–1802), secretary to Sir Guy Carleton (afterward 1st Baron Dorchester), who had recently replaced Sir Henry Clinton as British commander in chief in New York City. Morgann was a member of Lord Shelburne's intellectual circle and a political writer and literary critic of some note; see DNB. On Congress' refusal of a passport to him and the background of this episode, see JCC, 22:263, under date of 14 May; also Burnett, ed. Letters of Members, { 351 } 6:351, with notes and references there.
7. The whole of the preceding passage on “politicks” (from note 5 to this point) does not appear in Dft.
8. Not in Dft.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0230

Author: Winthrop, Hannah
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-07-19

Hannah Fayerweather Tollman Winthrop to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Near the dusk of last Evening, I was Honored with your Favor, by the hand of the amiable Master Charles Adams, but was unhappy in not having a light ready to know the Contents. The Young Gentleman Seeming in hast, having Company in waiting, prevented my detaining Him.1
I regret my not having His Company to lodge and the Young Ladies who were with Him, as it would have greatly amusd me in my Solitude. And I should have had an opportunity to pay them the Attention, I should wish to pay any of Your Family and of making particular inquiry, after a Gentleman and Lady, for whom I always had the highest Esteem, and for whom I have felt the tenderest Sympathy in their Temporary Seperation, and I make no doubt, I have shard in their Sensibilities, in my Fatal Seperation, and Dissolution of the most endearing Tie! You Madam are yet Blessd with that Anchor of the Soul, the pleasing hope of a reunion with the Dear partner of all Your joys. There is No one I Believe Can enter more fully into the feelings of a Divided Heart, than myself. It is certainly an unhappy Situation. But Your Consolations in the Services His Excellency is rendering His Country, the prospect of His return, and the Dear Pledges You hold, must greatly relieve your Anxieties. Shall I wish him a Speedy return? For the Happiness of Domestick Life, I will. But my Faith in the Sovereign Disposer of those great Events, The Arrangements of Nations, and kingdoms, for peace or War, and the Selectment of proper instruments to Negotiate those Weighty Affairs, would induce me to wish His Excellency Prosperity Abroad, and to You my Friend, a joyful Acquiescence in the will of the Supreme Till the happy Period arrive that will Bless you with mutual joy, by the happy Sight of each other.
I shall think my Self happy in Seeing Mrs. Adams at Braintre or Milton, and will improve every opportunity. You would give me very great pleasure if you would Visit me in my Solitude at Cambridge. Pray present my Compliments to your little happy Circle, and accept of the Sincerest Sentiments of Esteem from Your Humble Servant,
[signed] Hannah Winthrop
{ 352 }
1. AA's “Favor” to Mrs. Winthrop by the hand of CA has not been found. She was the second wife, and widow, of Professor John Winthrop (1714–1779), JA's former teacher of science and friend in the patriot cause. No doubt AA had instructed CA, who on the 17th had attended, as a guest, his first Harvard commencement, to pay his respects to Mrs. Winthrop at her home on the northwest corner of what are now Boylston and Mount Auburn streets in Cambridge. See above, vol. 1:302; JA, Earliest Diary, p. x–xi and passim;Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9: 240–264.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0231

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-07-22

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Mon cher Monsieur

Monsieur D[ana] reçut il y a quelques jours une lettre, par la quelle vous lui mandéz prémiérement; que vous avéz été malade depuis six Semaines de la fiévre tierce ce qui m'a fait beaucoup de peine, ensuite que vous alléz vous en retourner en Amerique. Je voudrais bien être en train de suivre la méme route, car je suis tout a fait home-sick. Quoiquil en soit je crois que ce que je pourrais faire de mieux, serait de sortir de ce pays ci le plutot possible; car c'est je crois le plus mauvais pays de l'Europe pour cétudier. Le tems se passe vite et je n'en ai point a perdre. Il serait pent être loon que je retourne en Hollande pour m'y perfectionner dans les Langues Latine et Greque; et alors je pourrai faire mes autres etudes en Amerique.
Si le climat est mauvais dans le pays ou vous étês il ne vaut guere mieux ici. L'hiver ici est toujours pour le moins de 7. mois. Pendant tout ce tems là il fait si froid que les chemincées ne suffisent pas dans les maisons et les fenêtres sont toutes doublées, pendant quatre autres mois il fait pour ainsi dire une pluye continuelle, et pendant l'autre mois la chaleur est excessive dans la journée et la nuit il fait froid a porter un Surtout. Jugéz de là si le climat de ce pays ci est invitant.
Le 23 du mois V.S.1 passé Sa Majesté vint á Petersbourg de Czarsko Zelo sa residence ordinaire dans l'été. C'est un Palais qui est à peu prés à 25 wersts de Petersbourg. Le 26 elle alia voir lancer un vaisseau de 74 canons. Ensuite elle alia a Peterhof autre Palais situé à 33 wersts de la ville. Le 28 anniversaire du couronnement elle y dina en public. Et le 29 jour de la fête du Grand Due. Il y eut bal masqué et illumination.2 Sa Majeste resta à Peterhof jusqu'au cinq de ce mois, et alors elle s'en retourna à Czarsko-Zelo.

[salute] Je finis en vous souhaitant une traversée courte et heureuse, et en vous assurant que je suis vôtre trés humble et trés obéissant serviteur.

{ 353 }
1. That is, 23 June, “vieux style.” By the Western calendar all the events mentioned below accordingly took place in early July.
2. In his diary, kept according to newstyle dating, JQA recorded on 9 July that he went “to Mr. Rimberts ... to borrow Domino's for the mascarade of tomorrow.” On the 10th: “Grand Duke's fête. Mascarade ball and illumination at Peterhoff. At about 1. o'clock P.M. set out for that place with Mr. Artand and Mr. D. and arriv'd there at about half past 5. Walk'd in the Garden till seven and then went to the ball.” On the 11th: “Left the ball at about 1 ... and set out for St. Petersbourg. Arrived at about 5.... Went to bed and slept till noon.” On the 12th: “Returned the domino's.”
More typical of the way in which JQA passed his time is the record for 22 July, the day the present letter was written: “This forenoon I went to the English Library and took out the 2 last volumes of [Samuel Richardson's] Clarissa and [John] Nichols's collection of Poems. In the afternoon I wrote a letter to Mr. Thaxter in Holland. Mr. D. wrote to my Father. Windy Rainy weather. Finish'd Cicero's oration pro Milone.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-07-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

In this Country, as in all others, Men are much Addicted to “Hobby Horses.” These Nags are called in the Language of the Dutch “Liefhebbery,” as they are called in French “Marotte.” I had rather ride a Dutch Hobby Horse than an English one or a French. It is the wholesomest Exercise in the World. They live to great Ages by the Strength of it.
My Meaning is this. They pitch in early Life upon some domestick Amusement, which they follow all their days at Leisure hours. I shall give you the History of several.
I Yesterday made a Visit to one, a Mr. Lionet, a venerable old Man of 75, in full Health, Strength and Vivacity, respectable for several Offices which he holds, but more so for vast learning in various Kinds, and great Ingenuity. His Hobby Horse has been natural Knowledge. We went to see a Collection of marine Shells. We were two hours, and had not got half through. The infinite Variety of Figures and Coulours, is astonishing.
But his Curiosity has not been confined to Shells. It has extended to Insects, and he has had it in Contemplation to write as full an Account of these as Buffon has written of Birds, Beasts and Fishes. But beginning with Caterpillars, he has filled a Folio upon that Species—and drew, and engraved the Plates himself.
Thus he rode his Hobby Horse and lived. Without it, he would have died fifty Years ago.
Have you an Inclination to read and inspect Cutts of the Anatomy of Caterpillars—their Nerves, Blood, Juices, Bones, Hair, Senses, { 354 } Intellects &c. &c.—Their moral Sense, their Laws, Government, Manners and Customs.
I dont know whether he teaches the manner of destroying them, and Saving the Apple tree.
I doubt not the Book is worth studying. All Nature is so.—But I have too much to do, to Study Men, and their mischievous Designs upon Apple Trees and other Things, ever to be very intimate with Mr. Lionet, (whom I respect very much however) or his Book. Adieu.1
1. The extraordinary man concerning whom JA wrote this letter so extraordinarily revealing of himself was Pierre Lyonnet (1707–1789), whose family had fled France as Huguenot exiles. Lyonnet held posts as cryptographer and law translator to the States General at The Hague. He had been trained in the law and is said to have mastered nine languages, including Hebrew; he collected 1,300 varieties of shellfish; he executed work in painting and sculpture that won recognition; and among learned works in various fields he wrote on the theology of insects. But his most famous work was an illustrated Traitcé anatomique de la chenille, qui range le bois de saule, The Hague, 1760, which, according to Hoefer, “has won a place among the most astonishing masterpieces of science.” See Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1090–1091.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0233

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-07-27

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Soon after writing You at Amsterdam,1 I was unfortunate enough to have a Relapse, after I thought that the Fever had entirely quitted me. I was confined there about a fortnight, and then came to this place. I am at present perfectly recovered I hope—for another Turn would fret me out of Existence, which would be no great loss except to my “fair American,” who might whimper and sigh a day or two perhaps, but it would be soon over: whereas if She should put on Mortality and discharge the last great debt, I should get a broken Heart by it I suppose, be tormented a Year or two with ridiculous Visions and Spectres, and be ready every two or three days to commit some act of Violence upon my Life out of mere Despair. I pray therefore She may live, if it is only to save me all this Trouble; as it is I have Torment enough, being twenty or thirty times a day disturbed with her Image passing across the Brain.—This is not to be remedied.
I was much disappointed in not being honored with a Line from You by Return of Trowbridge in the Firebrand. Not a single Letter by this Vessel, tho' directly for this Country. However, Patience as { 355 } the Dutch say—a heavenly Balm for every Wound. I am much in the Practice of this Virtue. I hope I am not forgotten.
You will see by the Date of this, that We are removed from Amsterdam here into the Hotel des Etats Unis. Mr. Dumas, with his Wife and Daughter, are in our Family. Madam Dumas takes exceeding good Care of the House and I hope will save much Expence. She is a great Ceconomist. Her Daughter is a very pretty young Lady of about 16 or 17. Years old,2 and I am very well satisfied that She makes a part of the Family, being no Enemy to the fair Sex. I hope it will be unnecessary to make any Apology here to my “fair American,” or any Protestations to cure any little troublesome Jealousies that may spring up on Account of my being under the same Roof with this young Lady. I mentioned the young Lady's age on purpose to keep my lovely American quiet. She will see I am old enough to be her Father. Pray tell my Flame to make herself quite easy.—But I beg Pardon, Madam, for taking up so much of your time with these Trifles.
The World is in all the Anxiety of earnest Expectation, all on Tiptoe, for News from the combined Fleet. Lord Howe is out with the English Channel Fleet, and an Action is momently expected, tho' the combined Fleet is much superior. The Dutch Fleet is in the North Sea. It is expected the Jamaica and other merchant fleets will fall into the Hands of the French and Spaniards or the Dutch. God grant it, and if a Naval Battle takes place, Success to our Friends and Allies. Fox, Burke, and another of the new Ministry have quitted Administration, because the System they agreed to pursue, and upon which their Administration was founded has been departed from and a new one adopted. Fox is for granting absolute, unequivocal and unconditional Independence to America. Shelburne, who has become first Lord of the Treasury since the Death of the Marquis of Rockingham, is for making the Acknowledgment of our Independence a Condition of Peace, which is tantamount to declaring, We will not acknowledge it at all, for he knows a Condition of this Nature would involve Us in a seperate distinct Negotiation, contrary to good Faith and solem Treaties not only, but repugnant to our Interest. And this is Shelburne's rascally design, to detach Us from France, which would be seperating our Interests from those of the belligerent Powers. The King is determined not to grant unconditional Independence to America, but with his Crown and Life. Bravo.—America is ready to meet the Monster on that Ground. We do not stand in need of his Acknowledgment to make Us independent. The Work is done, and { 356 } he will sacrifice a tottering Crown and forfeited Life to no purpose. Shelburne, infamously deserting his Colleagues, has become the Premier upon Condition of supporting the King in this mad Project. Is there not some chosen Curse, some hidden Thunder &c.? Fox has taken his stand upon the only foundation that can save his Country. If he is not under the Influence of unwarrantable Ambition or mean Jealousy, but has adopted his plan upon mature Reflection and a Conviction of its Utility, and pursues it with firmness and Resolution, he may be as illustrious a Character in the British Annals as a Pitt. But it is Time for another Revolution in that Country, and to add another Martyr to the Rubric, and a few more Ornaments to Tyburn. The Liberties of the Kingdom are gone past Redemption if some bold Spirit does not check this formidable Combination against their freedom.

[salute] Remember me, if You please, dutifully and respectfully where due. My most affectionate Regards to the fair of my Acquaintance. Miss N[abby], Masters Charley and Thommy claim the Remembrance and Affection of him who has the honor to be, with the most perfect Esteem & Respect, Madam, your most Ob. & most Hble. Servt.,

[signed] J North3
1. Thaxter to AA, 23 June, above.
2. Little is known of Mile. Dumas except that her father refers to her as Nancy and that she had a talent for composing patriotic verse, specimens of which were sent to JA by Dumas, 28 March 1783 (Adams Papers).
3. Thaxter apparently first signed his letter “North Common,” a pseudonym he had occasionally used before in writing AA, then crossed out “Common” and prefixed the initial “J.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0234

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I know not any pleasure equal to that which arises from feeding the Hungry, cloathing the Naked and making the poor prisoners Heart sing for Joy. All the Honours which your Country has conferd upon you has never excited in my mind half the Satisfaction which your Benevolent exertions and generous aid to the poor prisoners which I recommended to you, has given me. I am sorry not to have learnt any thing from your own pen with regard to them, but they have not been deficient in manifesting their gratitude to you, and making mention of your kindness, to their Friends here by every opportunity, nor could I help feeling the Lamentation of a Milton prisoner to his Friends, that it was his misfortune not to be a Brain• { 357 } tree Man. Your Benevolence would lead you to do all in your power for the releaf of all those unhappy persons who are in confinement, yet those who were your towns Men and Neighbours have a particular claim to your attention.1 I expect a Letter to inclose from the Father of Lewis Glover. If you could forward it to him they will consider it as an additional favour and further let them know that all their Friends are well, which I suppose may be done through the commissary of prisoners. They frequently send Letters to their Friends here, but how I know not.
I yesterday saw Mr. Foster, as I hope he will tell you in a months time, I gave him Letters which he has promised to deliver safe. You so seldom acknowledge the recept of any Letters from me, that but for many of the vessels arriveing safe, I should suppose they never reachd you. There are Letters in Boston from Mr. Ingraham I am told so late as May, by the Ship Thomas from Nants. How happy would it have made me to have learnt by a line from you that you was well. What greater hazard would your Letters meet with by way of France than mine, especially coverd to the Consul Le Etomb.
You will find in one of the Letters a memmorandom for [i.e. from] Mrs. W[arre]n the articles of china which she has mentiond she supposes may be purchased for 20 dollors.2 I think she must be mistaken. She has given a different direction as you will see per the inclosed. I should like to prog3 a little too if I thought you could afford it. I will not disown having already done it in some things, but tis but a little. I sent for a compleat set of china for a dining table some time ago, I know not whether you received the Letter and if you did whether you will know what a set is. Now I take it to consist in a doz. of dishes 6 different sizes, 3 doz. of table flat plates and 2 of Soup, 6 pudding dishes, 2 pr. Butter Boats, to which I should like 2 pr. of double flint cut Salts—all to set my table “neat and trim” when dear Collin returns.4 Perhaps you are house keeper enough allready to know what is necessary but I fancy you must have been often imposed upon before you got your Learning. They tell me you have purchased a House at the Hague and some have gone so far as to say you have sent for all your family. I wish you were with your family. I hear Mrs. Jay5 is unhappy. Is Mrs. A[dams] happy? No. Is Mrs. D[ana] happy? The world say she is, but I believe she would say no. She is younger than Mrs. Adams and does not think it so necessary to domesticate herself6 nor has she learnt a lesson the World will soon teach her.
Thus far I wrote with an intention of sending by the Amsterdam { 358 } vessel, but she has given me the slip. I laid by my paper but tho I do not know of a present opportunity I feel a new Inducement to write. Dr. Waterhouse yesterday made me a visit. He tell[s] me he has written to you by the late vessel7 so it will be unnecessary for me to say any Thing concerning his Situation. The pleasure which I received from his company and conversation was next to that of seeing my dear absent Friend. He has lived in so much Friendship and intimacy with you, with Mr. T[haxter] and my dear Boys, related so many anecdotes, appeard to enter into all your feelings even of the tender domestick kind that he attached me more to him in a few hours than he could otherways have done in half a year, tho his manners are of that frank, open, unreserved kind which are universally pleasing. He wished me exceedingly to go to you. He was sure it was necessary to your happiness and he could see no prospect of a peace. Even if one took place you certainly was the most suteable Man to reside at the Hague, the Dutch had a Friendship for you and a confidence in you, you was on every account the best calculated to do essential Service to your country there. Your character was high throughout Europe, even the tories respected it, but you was not happy abroad. You sighd for domestick tranquility, you longed for the peacefull shades of Brain tree and the kind softningfostering care of Portia.
Thus did this gentleman run on whilst I had not a wish to stop the musick of his tongue for the sweetest of all praise is that which is given to those we best love. Had my dear Friend been half as earnest with me to have taken passage with him as this Gentleman has been that I should go to him, he would have prevaild over my aversion to the Sea. But great as I feel the Sacrifice is I believe he8 judged best that I should remain where I am.
But will you can you think of remaining abroad? Should a peace take place I could not forgive you half a years longer absence. O there are hours, days and weeks when I would not paint to you all my feelings—for I would not make you more unhappy. I would not wander from room to room without a Heart and Soul at Home or feel myself deserted, unprotected, unassisted, uncounseld.—I begin to think there is a moral evil in this Seperation, for when we pledged ourselves to each other did not the holy ceremony close with, “What God has joined Let no Man put assunder.” Can it be a voluntary seperation? I feel that it is not.9
Dft (Adams Papers); possibly incomplete; written (as stated within) on more than one day, but closing date is not determinable. Neither enclosure in (missing) RC has been found.
{ 359 }
1. For JA's “Benevolent exertions” in behalf of captured Braintree seamen, see above, AA to JA, 9 Dec. 1781, and note 3 there.
2. Enclosure in AA to JA, 17–18 July above.
3. See OED under Prog, verb, 2, obsolete except in dialect: “To poke about for anything that may be picked up or laid hold of; ... to forage ...; also to solicit, to beg.”
4. “When dear Collin returns”—from a Scottish song—alluding of course to JA's prospective return.
5. Sarah (Livingston) Jay had accompanied her husband on his long and dangerous voyage to Spain in 1779–1780, had shared his diplomatic frustrations there, and had borne him a daughter in 1780 that died three weeks after birth. See Monaghan, John Jay, and Morris, Peacemakers.
6. Here AA heavily inked out four lines in Dft. Their content can be sufficiently reconstructed to suggest that she blotted them after conveying their sense in a briefer and better way in the last paragraph of Dft:
“Critical as the Situation of a Lady is separated from the dear [two or three words] Protecter of her Life and honour my course [two or three words] that in every Step I have looked on all sides and steared clear of [one word; sentence may be unfinished].”
7. Letter not found.
8. That is, JA.
9. Text of Dft does not fill the page, and there is no leavetaking; so Dft may be incomplete. From JA's answer of 16 Oct. 1782 (Adams Papers) to AA's letters of 3 and 5 Sept., both below, it would appear that he did not receive the present letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0235

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-08-14

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Jack

Yours of 22d ulto. arrived a few days agone. I acknowledge myself much in Arrears, tho' I have by no means forgotten you. For three Months past I have been miserably tormented with the Tertian Ague, and have been a more useless being than common. However I hope the Game is nearly up at present. I had no Idea that your Climate was so bad—but you must remember that this has been an uncommon Season throughout Europe. At this Moment I am writing by a good Fire. I have had one for many days past both on account of my Indisposition and the cold. Curious Dog-Days these. We have incessant Winds and Rains: When they will end I know not. Patience, Patience. —You tell me you are home-sick. I can easily conceive of it, and that you are very anxious about your future Education. A young Gentleman of your studious, thoughtful turn of mind cannot be otherwise than anxious considering the disadvantage of Education in your City. This Sentiment does you much honour, and shews that you put a just Value on Time. But you must not consider your Boreal Tour as lost Time. It was an Opportunity few young Gentlemen enjoy, and you travelled with a Gentleman from whose Observations and Instructions you must have derived great Advantage. When you return to our dear Country, you will be in a Situation to make Comparisons, and run your Parallels between the Advantages of the old and new World. { 360 } If your European Travels have produced the same Effects upon you that mine have upon me, You are much more attached to your own Country than when you left it. I have seen much in mine that I hope will never be transplanted into America. We have Vices enough in our own Country without aping or adopting those of the old World: However there are many valuable things in Europe which I wish to see in America. Many Improvements in Mechanism, but few in Government or Laws. Such however is the unfortunate Condition of human Nature, that in attempting to acquire what is good and valuable from other Countries, We open a Communication to all their vices and Defects—that is, we are quite as apt to adopt the latter as the former, and perhaps rather more. But I must not be uncharitable.
My best respects to Mr. D[ana] and believe me to be your very sincere friend and Humble Servant.
Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand; at head of text: “From Mr. Thaxter.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-08-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr. Thaxter is getting better and Mr. Charles Storer is now with me, and We may be all now said to be pretty well. Our northern Friends are well too.
You will hear a great deal about Peace, but dont trust to it. Remember what I have often said “We shall not be able to obtain Peace, while our Ennemies have New York and Charlestown or either of them.” I know the Character and Sentiments of the King of England, and while he can hold a Post in the United States, he will have it in his Power to make the People of England believe that the People of America love him and them, and keep up their hopes of some turn of Affairs in their favour.
Lord Shelburnes System is equivocal. Fox has seized the right Idea. But the former will run down the latter for sometime. Yet the Plan of the latter must finally prevail. It is deeply laid and well digested. If he has Perseverance he will be the Man to make Peace.
By frequent Exercise on Horseback and great Care, I seem to have recovered my Health, strength and Spirits beyond my Expectations. And if the Company of Princes and Princesses, Dukes and Dutchesses, Comtes and Comptesses could make me happy, I might easily be so— but my Admired Princess is at the blue Hills, where all my Ambition and all my Wishes tend.
{ 361 }
I know not the Reason but there is some Strange Attraction between the North Parish in Braintree and my Heart. It is a remarkable Spot. It has vomited Forth more Fire than Mount Etna. It has produced three mortals, Hancock and two Adams's, who have, with the best Intentions in the World, set the World in a blaze. I say two Adams's because the Head of the Senate2 sprung from thence as his father was born there.—Glorious however as the flame is, I wish I could put it out.—Some People say I was born for such Times. It is true I was born to be in such times but was not made for them. They affect too tenderly my Heart.
I love the People where I am. They have Faults but they have deep Wisdom and great Virtues—and they love America, and will be her everlasting Friend, I think. I would do a great deal to serve this nation, I own.
If Spain should acknowledge Us as I think she will soon, the two great Branches of the House of Bourbon, Holland and America, will form a PHALANX which will not easily be shaken. I hope and believe We shall continue Friends. If We do, whenever England makes Peace She will be afraid to quarrell with Us, how much soever she may hate Us. And I think the other Powers of Europe too will prefer our Friendship to our Enmity, and will choose to excuse Us from meddling in future Wars. This is the Object of all my Wishes and the End of all my Politicks. To this End and for this Reason I look upon my success in Holland as the happiest Event, and the greatest Action of my Life past or future. I think that no Opportunity will present itself for a Century to come, for Striking a Stroke so critical and of so extensive Importance, in the political system of America. How critical it has been few Persons know. It has hung upon a Thread, a Hair, a silken Fibre. Its Consequences will not be all developed for Centuries. I know there are [those]3 who represent it a Thing of Course and of trifling moment. But they have not seen the Diary of Mr. Van be[r]ckel,4 nor mine, nor the Minutes of the Cabinets of Orange and Brunswick. Nor have they seen the History of future Wars in Europe. A future War in Europe will shew the Importance, of the American Negotiation in Holland.—Be discreet in the Use you make of this. Be cautious. I want to know how our Success here is relished with you.

[salute] Adieu, tenderly Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers); undated, but see note 1.
1. AA's acknowledgment of this undated letter in hers to JA of 13–25 Nov. (Adams Papers) infers that it was written at “about the same time” as JA's first and secondtwo letters to her of 17 Aug., both below. Internal evidence, such as the { 362 } news of Thaxter's convalescence and Charles Storer's presence in JA's household, supports her inference. But we may infer further that it slightly predated JA's first and secondtwo letters of the 17th or he would have mentioned in it, as he did in both of those, his concern over the severity of Richard Cranch's renewed illness, news of which did not reach The Hague until 16 or 17 August.
2. Samuel Adams, currently president of the Massachusetts Senate.
3. Editorially supplied for a word missing in MS.
4. Engelbert François van Berckel (1726–1796), first pensionary of Amsterdam, long an advocate of closer Dutch-American relations, sponsor of the abortive Lee-de Neufville treaty of 1778, and as warm a friend of JA as his official station permitted. See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 4:109–111; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:447–449, 452–453, 455. His brother, Pieter Johan van Berckel, was to become the first Netherlands minister to the United States.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0237

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-08-16

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I am to express my Acknowledgments to You for your kind favor of the 17th. June last, with which I was honoured this day. I expressed my Chagrin in not recieving a Letter by the Firebrand in mine of the 27th. July, which accompanies this. Little did I think that in that moment the tender sympathetic Heart of Portia was sharing, and participating in the Cares and Agonies of her dear Sister, who was waiting in aweful Suspense the Issue of her dear Mr. Cranch's Illness. We know not yet the Event, but hope that the Change was favorable. The Gazette of July 1st. makes no mention of his Death, and We flatter ourselves still with Hopes of his Recovery. May he who directs righteously all Events graciously grant it, and continue him still in Existence for the sake of his Family and Mankind. He is indeed an Ornament to human Nature, and has discharged the Duties of his several Relations in Life with a Fidelity that will ever distinguish his Character and point him out as an illustrious Pattern and Example to those, who wish to be great and good. My Heart bled at the pathetic Recital You gave me of his Sickness; and who is there that knows the Man that can withhold the sympathetic Tear? I venerate his Character, for he is indeed a venerable Man. I am impatient and tremble at the Idea of recieving the next Letter from home. May kind Heaven be propitious.
My Situation in this place is on many accounts more eligible than that at Amsterdam was. The Air is purer and We are much nearer the Sea. But You tell me, Madam, I sigh for America. It is true indeed, and so I should if I dwelt in any Paradise that Nature or Art has formed in the old World. I am not homesick neither for I should { 363 } be happy (had I the means) to pass two Years in France before my Return, to see a little the face of that Kingdom and to acquire more perfectly the Language. I should be happy to a certain degree I mean. However this cannot take place, and I must run the hazard of a British Prison sooner or later. I perfectly agree with You, Madam, that it is better to become a Captive in America than a Captive in a British Prison. The former Captivity I have been long accustomed to and am perfectly reconciled to it. I love the Toils the busy God has made. They are the first Webs which gently hold the willing Swain. I wish extremely to be fixed down in some reputable business but I fear it will be a long time first. Patience however sufficient unto the day is &c. I am a Batchelor to day, I may be tomorrow, and shall be I believe ten Year hence. If I do not cease to be tormented with Reveries, Visions and Dreams about this said subject of Matrimony, I shall be a Batchelor from Choice. I have been in the fidgets this Week past with a confounded Dream about being married and my Wife having three Children at a Birth, all born crying and yelping as if possessed. I cried out, oh Lord deliver from this Bondage thy miserable ruined Servant. Twice before I have dreamt of being connected with two young Ladies I love and esteem very much—as often repented and wept bitterly. I have almost taken the Vow of Celibacy, and nobody would care for that I believe. I fancy these are hints (pretty broad ones too) to remain even as I am. I intend to consult St. Paul upon the Matter and make up Judgment after a full hearing on both sides. You see what Sylphs are about me.
As to the dear Girls for whom I have expressed a particular Regard, I am very sorry that no young Gentlemen are to be found to their Taste. They are indeed virtuous and deserving, and merit Partners of the same Character. They possess all the Virtues and Accomplishments necessary in that Relation of Life, and whoever renders himself agreable to either cannot be otherwise than happy. I had thought the amiable Sally already connected. She is another of the deserving ones, and I wish her most sincerely happily fixed.
Mr. Guild, who takes my Letters, has just arrived here, and leaves me but little time to add: I hope he will be more fortunate this Passage.
I am not able to write all my friends by this Opportunity. I have not as yet Strength sufficient. The repeated Attacks of the Fever have weakend my Nerves, but I shall soon get over that.
{ 364 }
Mr. Guild will be able to give You so good an Account of Politicks as to render it unnecessary for me to say any thing. The English are as much disposed to tricking and Chicane as ever. They want Peace, but have either not Virtue, Honor or Sense enough to make it. The American Pill is yet a little unpalatable. It will however go down in time. Patience, Perseverance and Firmness are the only requisites.
My Friend Storer is with me at present, which makes me very happy. He means to remain here sometime, and is learning French—is very well. Please to remember me to all Friends—to the dear Girls particularly. I long to embrace them.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with an invariable Respect & Esteem, Madam, your most Ob. & M. H. S.,

[signed] J.T.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-08-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Favour of June 17. arrived this Day and gave me, all the tender and melancholly Feelings of which my Heart is susceptible.
How shall I express my solicitude for my amiable, my venerable Friend and Brother? This World contains not a wiser or a more virtuous Man. Just now placed in a situation, too where all his great Talents and excellent Virtues might have their full Effect!—But it is but a Part that We see. I tremble for his Family. Possibly he may still be spared. But We must all expect.—I have been within an Hairs Breadth, and although recovered to tolerable H[e]alth and Spirits, I am still feeble, and shall never be restored to all my former Force.
Before this Time, you will have learned our full Success here. The Treaty is not yet compleated but it is in a fair Way. This Nation cannot depart from its Forms, and it takes a long time for a Treaty to undergo the Examination of so many Provinces and Cities. But this Nation will stand firm. I am now happy in the Intimacy of many leading Characters and know their Views and Designs very well and We may depend upon their steady Attachment to Us and to the good System.
You have not yet an Idea of all the Difficulties I have had to encounter. Some of them ought not to be committed to Paper. They were cruel, but I bore them and they are over. I am now as agreably situated as I can ever be without my Family.
It is to me an insipid Life, this of an Ambassador, and I wish it at an End....2
{ 365 }
The naval Disaster you mention, has no ill Effect upon this People.
My dear Children are never long out of my Thoughts. Where is Charles's Pen? I hear sometimes of Miss Nabby in Boston. How is Mr. Tommy?
Our Northern Friends are well.

[salute] Adieu.

1. The order in which JA composed his two letters of this date to AA cannot be definitely settled, but a comparison of the opening sentences of the two at least suggests that this letter was the first and the following one a sequel.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-08-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Situation of my dear Brother, at the date of yours 17. June, has allarmed me so much that I dread to hear any further News of him. An Affection for him has grown old with me as it commenced very early in Life and has constantly increased. Mr. Smiths Letter of 6 of May1 did not surprise me so much because I had often known him in great distress in the Lungs but these disorders are new. The World has scarcely a worthier Man to loose.
My Friends may think strange that they dont receive Letters from me oftener. I believe they think I have a great deal of Leisure. I wish I could change Situations with them, and then they would see what a pretty Thing it is to be an American Minister.
I am not idler than I used to be. My whole Time is spent in necessary and unavoidable Services. The Silk Machine is not more complicated nor more delicate than the System of Politicks of the United States.2 It extends its Branches into every Court and Country of Europe. In order to know what it is they must come and see and try the Experiment.—I am weary of it.—I am no more able to maintain all the Correspondences I have than to remove mountains. I am obliged to sacrifice my Friendships as well as my other Affections to my Duty. Mr. T[haxter] has been sick this 2 or 3 months, which has made the Burthen heavier for me, indeed too much for my feeble Frame. He is now pretty well. If I should be obliged to go to Paris or Vienna, to talk about Peace, another Scaene of Pleasure and Amusement would open upon me, such as I have had a long succession of. Such Pleasure and Amusement as millions of Perplexities, and millions { 366 } of Humiliations and Mortifications aford. All of them however have not yet subdued my proud heart.
I have nothing to do but pray for the abundant Outpowerings3 of Patience, Patience, Patience.
A good Peace would be a Reward for all. I dont know how it is— I suppose it is my Vanity. But I was under no Fears of a bad Peace, while I was alone. I was very sure of my own Firmness or call it Obstinacy, if you will. I had no Jealousies, no Suspicions, no Misgivings. I cannot say the same now. I have a good Opinion, however, of one of my Colleagues, and wish I could have of the other. Yet if I had known that Mr. Jefferson would not have come and Mr. Laurens resigned, I would have refused to share in the new Commission.4 I shall do the best I can.—Adieu.
1. Isaac Smith Sr. must be meant; his letter has not been found.
2. From the context this appears almost certainly to be a slip of the pen for “the United Provinces,” i.e., the Dutch Republic.
3. Thus in MS.
4. In the preceding sentence JA alludes of course to Jay and Franklin, respectively. Jefferson had declined appointment to the peace commission at the outset (Aug. 1781) because of the illness of his wife (who died soon afterward). After much vacillation, Laurens eventually served, but only during the very last days of the negotiation in November. See the exchange between JA and Laurens, 18 and 27 Aug. 1782 (both in Adams Papers, that of 18 Aug. a letterbook copy); JA, Works, 7:612–613, 614–616.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0240

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-08-18

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

It is with Pleasure that I enclose this amiable Letter from your Sister, which breaths a very commendable affection for You and solicitude for your Welfare. There is nothing more tender than these Correspondences between Families, as there is nothing more sacred than the Relations of Brother and sister, except that of Parent and Child. It is your duty to answer her.
I say again, it is a moral and a religious duty to cultivate these amiable Connections by constant Correspondence, when We cannot by Conversation. But I need not recur to any Thing so austere as the Idea of Duty. The Pleasure of corresponding with a sister so worthy of you ought to be Motive sufficient. Subjects can never be wanting. Discriptions of Cities, Churches, Palaces, Paintings, Spectacles, all the Objects around you, even the manners and Dress of the People will furnish ample materials.
{ 367 }
It is a long time since you have written to me. You should think of your Fathers Anxiety, for the Success and Progress of your Studies.
You study I hope among other Things to make yourself as Usefull and agreable to your Patron as possible.
You have no doubt had the Opportunity to see the Empress upon some publick Occasions. I had that of supping, at Court, at the Maison du Bois with the Comte and Comptess du Nord.1 Your Patron will see in the Courier du Bas Rhin and in the Gazettes of Leyden and the Hague, a Projet or a Speculation, calculated to favour some of his Views.2 How does he like it? and how is it taken where you are? or is it not talked of.
I long to see you. You should be at Leyden or at Cambridge. A public Education you must have. You are capable of Emulation, and there alone you will have it.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JQA in a later hand: “J.A. Aug: 10: 1782.” Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand. Enclosure in RC was probably AA2 to JQA, 3 May 1782, above.
1. Name assumed by Grand Duke Paul of Russia during his and his wife's visits in western Europe from 1780.
2. A paper, perhaps by JA, on international and particularly Russian affairs. It has not been located among the newspapers searched.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Quincy, Norton
Date: 1782-08-28

John Adams to Norton Quincy

[salute] My dear Friend

I Sigh every day, in whatever Scaene I am in for a walk down to your House and a Day by your Fireside.1—I hope the Time will come, but not so soon as I wish.
It would amuze you, as it does me to wander about in scaenes once frequented by the great Princes of Orange, by Brederode, Barnevelt, Grotius, De Witts, Erasmus, Boerhave, Van Trump, De Ruyter and a thousand others, and I can assure you, that I dont think the Nation essentially changed from what it was in those days.—But it is too rich and loves Money too well. If however the present P[rince] of Or[ange] had the Genius and Enterprise of the 1st or 3d William or of Frederick Henry this Nation would now display as great Virtues and Resources as ever, provided it was directed in the Way the Nation wishes. The nation is discontented with the Management of Affairs, and is struggling to amend it. They will be steady and persevering tho slow.
I will inclose to you a Curiosity—a Pamphlet severely reprobated { 368 } by the Gov[ernmen]t, but which has made a deep Impression upon the Nation, and certainly contributed a great deal, to accelerate the Acknowledgment of the United States here. It arroused the People and allarmed the Court. When you have read it, lend it to the President of the Senate.2 Dont let it become publick. The Author is not known. In the original Dutch it is said to be a finished Composition.3 There is an astonishing Multitude of such free Writings here.
Surely this is the Court and Country where Liberty and Independence ought to be popular. But Courts change sooner than nations.
Cant you resolve to write to me for once? A Letter from you would do me great good. I want to be again Select Man with you4 and I intend to be, sooner or later.

[salute] Mean while Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers). For the enclosure, not found, see note 3.
1. Norton Quincy, identified above at vol. 1:146, AA's favorite uncle, lived as a recluse on his farm at Mount Wollaston on the shore of what is now called Quincy Bay. JA had embarked for Europe from Norton Quincy's house in Feb. 1778; its location is indicated by the word “Quinzey” on the chart of Boston Harbor in same, following p. 240. See also vol. 2:388–389; numerous references in JA's Diary and Autobiography; Eliza Susan Quincy's view of Mount Wollaston in Massachusetts Historical Society, A Pride of Quincys, 1969; Adams Genealogy.
2. Samuel Adams.
3. The pamphlet may be confidently identified as an English translation of Aan het Volk van Nederland (To the People of the Netherlands), the original Dutch version of which had been anonymously and surreptitiously printed and circulated in Sept. 1781. It was a devastatingly bold and bitter attack on the incompetence, reactionaryism, and proBritish policy of the House of Orange, and contained tributes to the republican character of the Swiss and American federations. High rewards were posted by the government for the apprehension of the author, printers, sellers, and even possessors of Aan het Volk, and copies were publicly burned by the executioner. The severity of these penalties gave the pamphlet such notoriety that it rapidly went through a number of editions and translations, and it became a kind of primer for the Dutch Patriot party. JA reported on the “Fermentation” it had produced by quoting some of the “placards” against it in letters to the President of Congress, 17, 25 Oct. 1781 (PCC, No. 84, III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:782–783, 810–812), in the second of which he discussed in a notable passage the rising liberty of the press and hence of “democratical Principles” in certain parts of Europe, which he attributed directly to the influence of the American Revolution.
The authorship of Aan het Volk remained a secret for a century. Its primary author was an aristocratic quasiphilosophe, Joan Derk, Baron van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741–1784), of Zwolle in Overyssel, long an interested observer of American affairs and a friend and correspondent of JA during the 1780's; see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:455 and references in note there. Capellen had the able and energetic assistance, especially in the difficult problems of printing and circulation, of Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (as his name was Americanized after his exile from the Netherlands), identified above in a note under JA to Richard Cranch, 18 Dec. 1781. Van der Kemp's Autobiography, ed. Helen L. Fairchild, N.Y., 1903, details his own relations with Capellen and with JA, whose close friend { 369 } and lifelong correspondent he became.
See also W. P. C. Knuttel, Catalogus van de Pamfletten-Verzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, vol. 5, 1776–1795, The Hague, 1905, Nos. 19864–19876; Hendrik Willem Van Loon, The fall of the Dutch Republic, new edn., Boston and N.Y., 1924, p. 322–332; Palmer, Age of the Democratic Revolution, 1:325–331.
4. JA and Norton Quincy had been Braintree selectmen together beginning in March 1766; see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:304.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-08-31

John Adams to Abigail Adams

All well.—You will send these Papers to some Printer when you have done with them.
We have found that the only Way of guarding against Fevers is to ride. We accordingly mount our Horses every day. But the Weather through the whole Spring and most of the Summer has been very dull, damp, cold, very disagreable and dangerous. But shaking on Horseback guards pretty well against it.
I am going to Dinner with a Duke and a Dutchess and a Number [of] Ambassadors and Senators, in all the Luxury of this luxurious World: but how much more luxurious it would be to me, to dine upon roast Beef with Parson Smith, Dr. Tufts or Norton Quincy—or upon rusticrat Potatoes with Portia—Oh! Oh! hi ho hum!—and her Daughter and sons.
RC (Adams Papers); enclosed “Papers” not found or identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1782-08

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Dr.

I have only time to inclose a few Papers and to pray for your Health and Prosperity.
I am much distressed for my Brother Cranch as the last Accounts were allarming. So pleasing a Friendship of near 30 Years standing is a Blessing not to be replaced. I cannot give up the Hopes that I may yet see him in good Health.
My worthy Father Smith must be greatly afflicted at this Sickness. The sorrows however, as well as the Joys of his Age, are either fatal, or soon over.
I long to be with you, even to share in your Afflictions. The Life I lead is not satisfactory to me. Great Feasts and great Company, the Splendeur of Courts and all that is not enough for me. I want my Family, my Friends and my Country. My only Consolation is, that { 370 } I have rendered a most important and essential service to my Country, here, which I verily believe no other Man in the World would have done. I dont mean by this, that I have exerted any Abilities here, or any Actions, that are not very common, but I dont believe that any other Man in the World would have had the Patience and Perseverance, to do and to suffer, what was absolutely necessary.—I will never go through such another Scene. Happily, there will never I believe be again Occasion for any body to suffer so much. The Humiliations, the Mortifications, the Provocations, that I have endured here, are beyond all description; yet the Unravelling of the Plot, and the total Change in all these respects make amends for all.
My Situation is at present as agreable as it ever can be to me, Out of my own Country and Absent from my family.
I cannot flatter you with Prospects of Peace. There are some Essays towards it, but their Success is too uncertain to be depended on. Yet England is too inadequate to her European Ennemies to hurt Us much. The Refugees are turning every stone to provoke fresh Hostilities against America, but I think they will be disappointed.—What a forlorn Situation those Wretches are in!—Yet I am told they modestly hope at least to be invited home, by their Countrymen. I suppose they think that America has not wit enough to govern itself without them.
It is now almost five Years since I left Congress, and what a Series of horrid scaenes have I got through. What storms, what Chases, what Leaks, what Mountains and Valleys, what Fatigues, Dangers, Hair Breadth scapes, what Fevers and Gouts, have I seen and felt!
If after all it should please God to preserve me home, I will leave the Splendid Pursuits of Fame, Fortune and Ambition to those, who have them in View and who may easily obtain them without the Pains, Achs and Dangers that I have run, from other Motives. My little Farm will be as extensive as my Expectations. My poor Boys must work—they have seen a little of their Fathers Pleasures in this Life, and knowing the Object he had in View, they will not reproach him for having neglected their Interests.
RC (PPAmP); endorsed: “Hon. John Adams Letter recd. March 1783.” Enclosed “Papers” not found or identified.
1. Thus approximately dated from JA's allusion to his “last Accounts” of Richard Cranch's renewed and severe illness. These had been received on 16 and ||the first and second letters of|| 17 August (see letters under those dates above), and this circumstance, together with other hints, suggests that the present letter was written at some point during the last two weeks of August 1782. See, further, Tufts to JA, 10 Oct. 1782 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0244

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

If my Letters have been as successfull as I wish them, you must have heard many times from me since I received a single line from your Hand. This is the sixth time I have written to you; since I received your last Letters, which were dated in March.1 From that time up to this 3d of September not a syllable has come to Hand. A few vague english News paper Reports, respecting a negotiation for a peace. I find your Name mentiond so late as June. Not a vessel has arrived from Holland since Capt. Deshon. We cannot account for so long a space of times elapsing: since it is said the United provinces acknowledged the Independance of America, without receiving any official account of it.
The enlargement of the prisoners from Mill prison, together with the intelligence they brought of the proposed acknowledgment of our independance, coincideing with the general wish for peace, the specious Letters sent out of New York by Carleton and Digby about the same time,2 so facinated all Ranks of people that a General Joy pervaded every class; I hardly dared to oppose, to the congratulatory addresses I received upon the occasion, the obstinate persuasion I had; that it was only a tub to the Whale.3
I ventured to say in some companies, where my unbelief appeared very singular, that altho I ardently wished for peace, I could not conceive that an object, of so great Magnitude, could be the Work of a few weeks, or Months; and altho the acknowledgment of our Independence, was an indispensable preliminary, yet there were many other important articles to be adjusted by the contending powers. I thought it would be better to suspend those warm expressions of joy; which could only be warranted by an assureance that an honorable peace had taken place. If any real foundation existed for such reports, a week or two would give us official assureances of it, and I must beg to suspend my belief untill that period.
It really pained me to see the sanguine hopes of my Country perish like the baseless fabrick of a vision. Yet in less than ten days they reflected, and doubted, the elated joy subsided, and they spurned the Idea of a seperate peace.
The Marquis de Vaudreuil arrived in Boston harbour about a fortnight ago with 13 ships of the Line. His intention is to repair the damaged ships.4
The two Armies have past an inactive Summer. When when shall { 372 } I receive any Letters from my dear Friend? Instead of being more and more reconciled to this seperation, every day makes it more painfull to me. Can I with any degree of calmness look Back and reflect that it is near 3 years since we parted, and look forward without seeing, or being in the least able to form an Idea of the period which is still to take place.
In my last Letter I made you a serious proposal. I will not repeat it at present. If it is accepted one Letter will be sufficient. If it is rejected, one Letter will be too many.5
We have had a most uncommon Season. Cold and dry—not one rainy day since the begining of June, and very few showers. The drought has been very extensive, and our corn is near all cut of.— Scarcly a spire of green Grass is to be seen. The B[osto]n prisoners have all reachd home except the 3 who were exchanged. There have been 3 of the Number to see me—to thank me for writing to you, and to acknowledge your kind attention to them. Beals and the two Clarks have offerd to repay the money you advanced to them; which they say was four pounds sterling a peice, but as I never received a line from you respecting them, or what you had done for them I am at a loss what to do.6 Some of them are able enough, others are not.
I have the very great pleasure to acquaint you that our dear and worthy Brother C[ranc]h is raised in a manner from the dead. His dropsical Symptoms have left him and he has for a month past surprizingly mended. His Cough still continues, but we have great hopes now of his recovery. He is not able to attend to any buisness nor will he be for many months, even tho he should get no relapse.
Let me beg you my dear Friend to be particularly attentive to your Health. Do not practise so indiscriminately lieing with your windows open, it certainly is a bad practise in a country so damp as Holland. My Notice of this opportunity is so short that I cannot write to Mr. T[haxte]r or my Son from whom I long to hear.
Mrs. D[ana] was well when I last heard from her. She has been at Newport ever since July. Our Friends are all well and desire to be rememberd. They make great complaints that you do not write to them, and will in Spight of all I can say, think themselves neglected.
I feel in my Heart a disposition to complain that when you write, you are so very concise. I am sorry I cannot prevail with you to write by way of Spain or France, but you must have reasons to which I am a Stranger.

[salute] Adieu my dearest Friend and be assured of the Strongest attachment and warmest affection of your

[signed] Portia
{ 373 }
Our two dear Boys are very studious and attentive to their Books and our daughter thinks of nothing else but making a voyage to her pappa.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia 5 Septr. ansd. 16 Oct. 1782.JA's date in the endorsement was probably not a misreading of AA's date but intended to cover her letters of both 3 and 5 Sept. (below), which came by the same conveyance.
1. JA to AA, 22, 29 March, above. Later letters from him to AA surviving in the Adams Papers are dated 1 April, 14 May, 16 June, 1, 25 July, and 15, first and second 17, and 31four more in August that she could hardly have received by 3 September.
2. The Carleton-Digby letter to Washington of 2 Aug. (text in Washington, Writings, ed. Sparks, 8:540–541), forwarded by Washington to Congress on 5 Aug., was not fraudulent, but it was misleading because it greatly overstated the concessions the British government was prepared to make for peace with America. On the ground that no word of this kind had been received from its own ministers in Europe, Congress took a properly wary attitude toward it. See Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 Sept., below; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 24:466, 468–469, 471–472; JCC, 23:462–463; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:438, 440, 442, 443.
3. To “throw a tub to the whale” was to “bamboozle or mislead an enemy” when in danger, as whalemen did when a boat was threatened by a whale or school of whales (E. Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, London, n.d., under Tub).
4. Louis Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil (1724–1802), French admiral (Ludovic de Contenson, La Société de Cincinnati de France..., Paris, n.d., p. 276).
5. See above, AA to JA, 5 Aug., a letter it is believed JA did not receive. However, see also below, AA to JA, 5 September.
6. See above, AA to JA, 9 Dec. 1781, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0245

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-03

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

What pleasing Sensations does a Packet from the other side of the Atlantic produce? Every part of the human frame sympathizes and is in Unison. This Truth I have most sensibly felt this day, in recieving three Letters from America. I was at Peace with myself before I opened them. The Superscriptions, in informing me from whence they came, saved me a Turn of the Fever, which threatened before. In opening that of Portia's of the 18th. July, I read these Words, “Ay, Ay—Eliza—is it thus You honor the bare Resemblance—thus place round your Neck the Ideal Image” &c. Heaven! said I, to my dear Friend Storer, with a deep Blush, (I have not forgot how to blush yet—horrible Misfortune to me) what can all this mean? There is a Mystery wrapt up in these Words. Read on, said he, and perhaps the Riddle will be unravelled. Half frightened I begun to read again, till I came to the Words, “why has the Painter been so deficient—it is { 374 } barely a Likeness of You.” The Mystery was developped—the Word Painter helped me thro' in an instant. I had flattered myself this miserable Portrait had been sent to bottom with the Letters by Dr. Waterhouse. I sent it away merely to get it out of my sight, and wished it at bottom an hundred times, but it was accompanied with Letters to my Sisters containing very particular Charges to be locked up. The Letters are sunk. I wish the Portrait in Holland again. But who this Eliza is, I don't know. I know not any one of the Name in whose good Graces I am so far initiated, as to do me so much honor as to wear my Portrait, except my dear Sister Betsy. Storer says he does not know who the Eliza is, and I have concluded that You are not serious. Upon my honor, Madam, if my Letters by Gillon, had arrived, it would have never been worn by anybody. You say, Madam, that “a manly Gesture, a Dignity of Air and Address should have been the distinguishing lines in the Portraiture.” In thanking You for the Compliment, You will permit me to observe at the same time, that those Traits would have rendered it still less a Resemblance. Unfortunately they are Accomplishments that do not belong to me, and the Painter was cautious not to flatter me in that Respect. That the fair Circle of my female Acquaintance kindly remember me, is a Circumstance not more flattering than pleasing to me. I never expect to be acquainted with a more amiable, virtuous and sensible Circle. I was ever happy in their Company. To have been ambitious of their Esteem was no fault I hope. It was ever an Object of mine, and in no Instance have I carried this Ambition to an undue length. To seek the Partiality or Affection of a young Lady, merely for the sake of it, and without intending to meet that Affection with an unequivocal proof of Sincerity, is an Object unworthy a Man of Honor and Virtue, and is as unjustifiable in itself, as the means which are often employed to attain this point. 'Tis the Ambition of a Knave, who is hostile to that Confidence and pleasing social Intercourse which Nature and Heaven designed should take place between the Sexes.
I am very happy to learn that our dear and worthy Friend, Mr. Cranch is still in being, but sincerely lament that his Health is yet precarious. May kind Heaven restore him, and be better to Us than our Fears. 'Tis hard parting with so invaluable a Character, with one in the midst of Usefulness. Your Letter concerning him in the Enterprize is not yet arrived. 'Tis hardly time to expect her yet.
I have read with extreme satisfaction your Observations occasioned by the Duel between Jackson and Gillon. They are excellent indeed. I have often reflected seriously on this Subject, but I am almost afraid { 375 } to come to a Conclusion or a Resolution upon it. How extremely difficult is it to recieve with Indifference the Sneers, Contempt and Imputations of Cowardice of the World, even of the base and abandoned part of it. It is a Practice most certainly against Reason and Common Sense, and the trivial ridiculous Incidents that often give rise to it, one would think should have exploded it long ago. 'Tis neither a proof of Bravery, nor is its Issue a Criterion of the Justice of the Cause. The greatest part of Mankind perhaps are agreed in the Folly of its Institution, but yet don't condemn the practice of it, or if they do, they consider him who is challenged as a Coward if he declines. Charity obliges me to say, that I believe a dread and fear of Contempt has induced many a well disposed Man to challenge, or accept one. How much stronger oftentimes is the Sense of this than of the Obligations of Religion or Morality? I have much more to say upon this Subject, considered in the Light of an Appeal to Heaven, and the Absurdity of such an Appeal, but I have not time at present. I cannot justify the Measure, yet it is difficult to foresee the part one would act, (who has his doubts) when called upon. Gustavus Adolphus took the most effectual Way to prevent it—cutting off the Head of the Victor is a short Method.
Your dearest Friend is much better in Health here than at Amsterdam. Dines to day with the Spanish Minister, a great friend—sups this Evening at Court, and tomorrow gives an Entertainment to the French Ambassador and some Members of the States General. A bad Example this to Us young Lads. However Storer and I are two sober Lads, and keep to our Business. But, Madam, all this and many things which preceeded are Triumphs over British Folly and Impolicy, the Crowns and Laurels of Patience and Perserverance which he is gathering who most deserves them from his Abilities and Integrity. The Treaty of Commerce will soon be finished I hope—another Triumph. The Resolutions of our States respecting a seperate Peace do them infinite honor in Europe. Oh! perfidious Britain. I would write another Sheet willingly, but should not be in time for the Vessel. Mr. Storer joins me in Respects to You and Family. Remember me as usual if You please. I have the honor to be with an invariable Esteem & Respect, Madam, your M. H. Servant,
[signed] J. North
Excuse this Scrall.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0246

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your kind favours of May 14th and June 16th came to Hand last Evening; and tho I have only just time to acknowledge them, I would not omit a few lines; I have written before by this vessel; which is Bound to France. Mr. Allen your old fellow traveller is a passenger on Board, and promises to be attentive to the Letters. In my other Letter I mention a serious proposal made in a former; but do not inform you of the Nature of it, fearing a rejection of my proposal and it is of so tender a Nature I could scarcly bear a refusal; yet should a refusal take place, I know it will be upon the best grounds and reasons. But your mention in your two kind favours, your wishes with more seariousness than you have ever before exprest them, leads me again to repeat my request; it is that I may come to you, with our daughter, in the Spring, provided You are like to continue abroad. In my other Letter I have stated to you an arrangement of my affairs, and the person with whom I would chuse to come; I have slightly mentiond it to him; and he says he should like it exceedingly and I believe would adjust his affairs and come with me. Mr. Smith is the person I mean, I mention him least my other Letter should fail.1
I am the more desirious to come now I learn Mr. Thaxter is comeing home. I am sure you must feel a still greater want of my attention to you. I will endeavour to find out the disposition of Congress, but I have lost my intelligence from that Quarter by Mr. Lovels return to this State. I have very little acquaintance with any Gentleman there. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Osgood are the only two Members there from this State.2 Mr. Lovell has lately returnd. I will see him and make some inquiry; as to peace you have my opinion in the Letter referd to by this vessel.
The acknowledgment of our Independance by the United provinces is considerd here as a most important Event, but the Newspapers do not anounce it to the world with that Eclat, which would have been rung from all Quarters had this Event been accomplished by a certain character. Indeed we have never received an official account of it untill now. Let me ask you Dear Friend, have you not been rather neglegent in writing to your Friends? Many difficulties you have had to encounter might have been laid open to them, and your character might have had justice done it. But Modest Merrit must be its own Reward. Bolingbrook in his political tracts observes, rather Ironically (but it is a certain fact,) that Ministers stand in as much { 377 } need of publick writers, as they do of him. He adds, “in their prosperity they can no more subsist without daily praise, than the writers without daily Bread, and the further the Minister extends his views the more necessary are they to his Support. Let him speak as contemptuously of them as he pleases, yet it will fare with his ambition, as with a lofty Tree, which cannot shoot its Branches into the Clouds unless its Root work into the dirt.”
You make no mention of receiving Letters from me, you certainly must have had some by a vessel which arrived in France some time before the Fire Brand reachd Holland. She too had Letters for you.
Accept my acknowledgement for the articles sent. As the other arrived safe, I could have wished my little memorandom by the Fire Brand had reachd you before this vessel saild; but no Matter, I can dispose of them. My Luck is great I think. I know not that I have lost any adventure you have ever sent me. Nabby requests in one of her Letters a pair of paste Buckles. When your hand is in you may send a pair for me if you please.
Adieu my dearest Friend. Remember that to render your situation more agreable I fear neither the Enemy or old Neptune, but then you must give me full assureance of your intire approbation of my request. I cannot accept a half way invitation. To say I am happy here, I cannot, but it is not an idle curiosity that make me wish to hazard the Watery Element. I much more sincerely wish your return. Could I hope for that during an other year I would endeavour to wait patiently the Event.

[salute] Once more adieu. The Messenger waits and hurrys me.—Ever Ever yours,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia Septr. 5. 1782.”
1. AA had discussed in more or less detail her thoughts on joining JA abroad in two recent letters that appear above, 5 Aug. (a Dft, of which the RC probably did not reach JA) and 3 Sept.; but the “arrangement of [her] affairs, and the person with whom [she] would chuse to come” are specified in neither. We must therefore suppose either that another letter of hers to JA on this subject was sent during the summer but is totally unrecorded, or that the missing RC of her Dft of 5 Aug.did add these details.
As for the “Mr. Smith” who was willing to come with her, the best conjecture the editors can make is that he was her cousin William Smith (1755–1816), the young Boston merchant, on whom see above, vol. 3:96; also Adams Genealogy.
2. Jonathan Jackson and Samuel Osgood (Biog. Dir. Cong.)

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0247

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-06

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

Coll. Vallentin having been detained some time at Amsterdam by the arrival of the Grand Duke there, and having been sick on the road, did not arrive with your letters of the 13th. of May last1 until the day before yesterday.—As to my return; if I can go with a French Courier from Hence as far as Frankfort on the Mayne, and from thence down the Rhine it will be the best course I can take; but if that is impracticable Mr. D[ana] proposes that I should go from hence to Lubeck in some neutral vessel and from thence to Amsterdam by land. I can indeed go directly from hence to Amsterdam by water; but as the season is so far advanced, I might very possibly be obliged to pass the whole winter in Norway or at Copenhagen.
But as soon as I shall be gone Mr. D will write you by the post, to let you know the course I shall have taken so that you will know when to expect me.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] J.Q.A.
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. JA to JQA, 13 May, above; JA to Dana, 13 May (MHi:Dana Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0248

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-07

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

I Yesterday received your long lookt favor being the Only One I have received for two Years.1 I dont know that I am intitled to any particular Notice, more than many of your friends but thought I might claim some share. I received a letter from Mdm. the Widow Chabenel incloseing some letters to be forwarded to her relations att the southward. Billey lately returnd from Philadelphia were he saw her Nephew that came in the Carolina ship. Any service I can do for any of your friends, shall be readily complyd with.
I have gave Mr. Jer. Allen who goes by this Conveyance a letter from Mrs. Adams since which I have forwarded yours by Grinnel. This Vessell was built in Town, under the direction of Mr. John Peck of the moddle of the Hazard and Bellesarius, but she is too deep loaded to Answer the end of sailing. She is in the room of a french Kings Brig [ . . . ]2 condemnd You will have heard of Admiral Vaudrell: lieing here with 13 ships of the line to refit. One of which in coming { 379 } up through carelesness is got a ground and itts feared will not be got of again.
Whilst now writing I have received another letter from Mrs. Adams which I forward.—Our friend Mr. Cranch is greatly recoverd, contrary to Our expectations.—As to political Affairs itts likely some of your friends more Verst in those matters have wrote you. General Carltons proclimation of Independancy, which was never supposd to be real has turnd Out so. The Continental Armies lay silent.
We are dayly expecting 25 or 30 sail from Jamaica and the Continent. G.W.3 writes he has some Advises as though designd this way. About 3,000 Troops lately Arrived att Halifax, said to be Hessians &c. from Ireland. We had a Town Meeting Yesterday and came into some spirited resolves in order to stop the Illicit Trade in runing goods into the states from N. York &c.4 There has lately Two Vessells been taken with about £4000 sterling carried into Rhode Island and Connecticut designed to be smuggeld this way, (all kind of British [goods]5 in Neutral bottoms liable). Several parcels have been seizd in coming on the Road, so that I beleive there will be a stopt put to itt. The Nantucket gentry have been exempted from having Taxes collected, who have in return been carrying on a Neutral trade with New York.
Itts said a ship with Continental Clothing came Out with Grinnel. Itts6 the most dangerous place on the Continent. I dont think Insurance could be had even att .60 PC. Capt. David Phipps is here a prisoner being taken by the french, (in a cruising ship from Penobscut, he being Comodore there).
Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Otis, with all your friends in general are well. Our DC7 time is chiefly taken up with Accompanying the F[rench] Officers &c.—I am with Respect Your hum. servt.,
[signed] I. Smith
1. Letter not found; JA's last recorded letter to Smith is dated 11 March 1781, above.
2. Illegible word: “Cutter”?
3. G[eneral] W[ashington]?
4. See the record of this meeting in Boston Record Commissioner, Reports, 26:272–275.
5. Word editorially supplied.
6. Thus in MS; place not specified, but probably Boston is meant.
7. The editors have no explanation for this cryptic expression.
{ 380 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0249

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-10

Benjamin Waterhouse to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

When I was at Braintree I mentioned to you that I was pretty certain I had a letter from Mr. Adams to you, among my papers which I left behind at N. York and that when my trunk arrived I would carefully examine it and send it to you. I have done so, but without success. I therefore conclude if there was one, the Goths have taken it.
We hear there is a Vessel arrived at Boston from Amsterdam; if so you undoubtedly have news from Mr. Adams and Mr. Thaxter and as it is possible I may not have a letter, in which case I hope to have some account of them from you. Did you know how much I honor and respect the one, and what friendship and regard I have for the other you would not wonder at my solicitude for their wellfare. Altho' I wish to hear from them politically, yet I am more anxious to hear from them personally.
Common report would lead one to believe that our prospects of a peace were vanishing. I fear that obstinate, miserable Man, Pharoah the 2d, is not yet sufficiently humbled to do a just thing—and that he will pursue afresh his abominable measures, untill the measure of his iniquity is quite full.
Please to present my best respects to your venerable Father—also to Mr. Cranch who I hope is better. My compliments to Dr. Tuffs. My most respectfull Compliments to Miss Adams, not forgetting my good friend Master Charles, who, if you have any good news from his father, will I hope stand scribe to save his Mama the trouble.

[salute] I am with every sentiment of respect Madam your most obedient humble servt.,

[signed] B. Waterhouse MD

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0250

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have transmitted Money to the young Men, whom you mentioned to me, and have expected every day for a long time to hear of their Sailing in a Cartel for America. They have been better treated since the Change of Ministers. My Respects to their Parents.
It is now five Months since my publick Reception here but We have not yet learned, that any News of it, has arrived in America.1
{ [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { 381 }
The Refugees in England are at their old Game again. Andrew Sparhawk has published in the Morning Post, that his Brother has received a Letter from New York, that Massachusetts and several other States were upon the Point of overturning the new Government, and throwing off the Authority of Congress, and returning to the Government of G. Britain. Their blood thirsty Souls are not yet satiated. They are labouring to bring on again an offensive War. But I think they cant succeed.2
I suppose the unhappy Affair of the County of Hampshire, is the Thing which gave Occasion to this Representation.3 Our Countrymen, must be very unreasonable if they cant be easy and happy under the Government they have. I dont know where they will find a better— or how they will make one. I dread, the Consequences of the Differences between Chiefs.
If Massachusetts gets into Parties, they will worry one another, very rudely. But I rely upon the honesty and Sobriety as well as good sense of the People. These Qualities will overawe the Passions of Individuals, and preserve a Steady Administration of the Laws.
My Duty to my Mother, and to your Father. I hope to see them again. Love to the Children and all Friends. What shall I say of my Brother Cranch? I long and yet I dread to hear from him.
I hope to sign the Treaty, this Week or next or the Week after. All Points are agreed on, and nothing remains but to transcribe the Copies fair. This Government is so complicated, that Months are consumed in doing what might be done in another in an hour.4
I dont know what to do with the Lists of Articles you send me. It would be better for you to write to Ingraham & Bromfield. I will pay.
1. Actually, this news, as officially reported by JA, did not reach Congress until just about the time of his inquiry. Secretary Livingston began a letter to JA of 15–18 September with an acknowledgment of the receipt of “your letters from the 19th of April to the 5th of July, by the Heer Adams” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:728). This vessel had had a slow voyage and evidently carried duplicates of dispatches JA had sent by earlier ships that had been captured.
2. These tory communications have not been traced. Others of a similar kind from London papers, enclosed in the following letter, have not been found.
3. During the preceding months of 1782 there were civil disturbances in the western counties of Massachusetts arising from similar grievances and taking the same forms of protest that the Shays insurrection did a few years later. For the background and a connected narrative of the so-called “Ely riots,” see Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the American Revolution, Providence, 1954, p. 109–120.
4. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and the United States was finally signed on 8 October. See JA's account of the formalities in his Diary and Autobiography, 3:16–17, with notes and references there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0251

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Lyars Stick at nothing. The Paragraphs in the enclosed Paper, which respect me, are impudent Forgeries. So far from thinking that the French never meant to treat, I have been long of opinion that the English never meant to treat, and that the French, from the Sincerity of their Desire to treat, have given a too ready Attention to Maneuvres of the English which have been only insidious Hypocrisies. There have been many other Paragraphs in the London Papers respecting me, equally false, shameless and abominable—and probably will be many more.
You see too, they begin to abuse G. Washington, more than they used to do, for his just Friendship to France.
Billy Walter and the two Sparhawks have made themselves ridiculous enough, by their Attempts to propagate an Opinion, that the Massachusetts was wavering.
It is a long time indeed, since We have any News from America. We have not yet learnd that you had any News of our Acknowledgment here, on the 19 of April, now more than five Months.
Dont be too sanguine in your Expectations of Peace. I see no Probability of it, before 1784. We shall not find it, this Winter. The English will have another Campain, unless there should come from the East and West Indies, North America, and Gibraltar, better News for Us, and more disastrous for them, than I expect.
There is nothing, but their Finances, which will dispose them to Peace, and I fancy, they will find Ways to get Money for one feeble Campain more. I call it feeble for such it must be, with all their Exertions.
We read in the Gazettes of Motions in Poland, and upon the Frontiers of Turkey and Russia, but I dont see a Probability of a War breaking out. If there should, I dont see how it can hurt Us. The English however seem to flatter themselves with Hopes, that by persevering, they may give an Opportunity to Time to ripen into Existence, conjunctures, now only in Embrio. They talk of a different Posture of Things on the Continent, which may cutt out Work, for the Bourbon Family nearer home.1
These however are only the Ravings of the Refugees in Dissappointment and Despair. Such Conjunctures are to give Time to England to blott out the Navies of France and Spain, and after that bring { 383 } America to Reason. How many Years will this require. And how are their Taxes to be paid and Supplies to be raised?
In short if our Country men are Steady, the British Delusion cannot last much longer. If Americans go to playing Pranks, and furnishing their Ennemies in Europe, especially in England, especially the Refugees, with Arguments, and Hopes, it may be protracted some Years. The People of England is now so much awakened, the American War is so unpopular, and there is so strong a Party for Acknowledging our Independence without Conditions, that a little ill Success would turn the Scale. The Loss of Gibraltar, the Loss of Jamaica, the Loss of a naval Battle, any remarkable Disadvantage in the East Indies, the Loss of the Jamaica or Balic2 Fleet. The Difference between the State of the English and their Ennemies is this—any unfavourable Event would compleat their Discouragement and unite a Majority in an Acknowledgment of our Independence. Whereas many great Disasters would not induce their Ennemies to give it up.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found or identified.
1. On the complex international issues and maneuvers touched on in this paragraph, which indirectly but effectively caused the failure of Dana's mission to the Empress Catherine's court, see the enlightening article by David W. Griffiths, “American Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780–1783, WMQ, 3d ser., 27:379–410 (July 1970).
2. Thus in MS, for “Baltic”?

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1782-09-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My dear Daughter

I have received your charming letter, which you forgot to date, by Mrs. Rogers.1 Your proposal of coming to Europe to keep your papa's house and take care of his health, is in a high strain of filial duty and affection, and the idea pleases me much in speculation, but not at all in practice. I have too much tenderness for you, my dear child, to permit you to cross the Atlantic. You know not what it is. If God shall spare me and your brother to return home, which I hope will be next Spring, I never desire to know of any of my family crossing the seas again.
I am glad you have received a small present. You ask for another; and although it would be painful for me to decline the gratification of your inclination, I must confess, I should have been happier if you had asked me for Bell's British Poets.2 There is more elegance and beauty, more sparkling lustre to my eyes, in one of those volumes, than in all the diamonds which I ever saw about the Princess of Orange, or the Queen of France, in all their birth-day splendour.
{ 384 }
I have a similar request under consideration, from your brother at P[etersburg].3 I don't refuse either, but I must take it ad referendum,4 and deliberate upon it as long as their H[igh] M[ightinesses] do upon my propositions. I have learned caution from them, and you and your brother must learn patience from me.
If you have not yet so exalted sentiments of the public good as have others more advanced in life, you must endeavour to obtain them. They are the primary and most essential branch of general benevolence, and therefore the highest honour and happiness both of men and Christians, and the indispensable duty of both. Malevolence, my dear child, is its own punishment, even in this world. Indifference to the happiness of others must arise from insensibility of heart, or from a selfishness still more contemptible, or rather detestable. But for the same reason that our own individual happiness should not be our only object, that of our relatives, however near or remote, should not; but we should extend our views to as large a circle as our circumstances of birth, fortune, education, rank, and influence extend, in order to do as much good to our fellow men as we can.
You will easily see, my dear child, that jewels and lace can go but a very little way in this career. Knowledge in the head and virtue in the heart, time devoted to study or business, instead of show and pleasure, are the way to be useful and consequently happy.
Your happiness is very near to me. But depend upon it, it is simplicity, not refinement nor elegance [that]5 can obtain it. By conquering your taste, (for taste is to be conquered, like unruly appetites and passions, or the mind is undone,) you will save yourself many perplexities and mortifications. There are more thorns sown in the path of human life by vanity, than by any other thing.
I know your disposition to be thoughtful and serene, and therefore I am not apprehensive of your erring much in this way. Yet no body can be guarded too much against it, or too early.
Overwhelmed as I have been ever since you was born, with cares such as seldom fall to the lot of any man, I have not been able to attend to the fortunes of my family. They have no resource but in absolute frugality and incessant industry, which are not only my advice, but my injunctions upon every one of them.

[salute] With inexpressible tenderness of heart, I am Your affectionate father,

[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, . . . Edited by Her Daughter, New York, 1841–[1849], 2:18–20. (Readers may note that this is an altered form of citation for this source. See entry for { 385 } AA2, Jour. and Corr., in Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited in the front matter of vol. 3, above.) The textual corrections made by the present editors suggest the general unreliability of Caroline A. de Windt as a transcriber of MSS.
1. Letter not found, but it is mentioned by AA as enclosed in hers to JA, 17–18 July, above.
2. The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill, issued in London by John Bell beginning in 1777, eventually ran to 109 pocket-sized volumes and was long a standard work. See DNB under Bell's name.
3. JA doubtless wrote “P,” which the editor of AA2's Jour, and Corr. mistakenly expanded to “Paris.”
4. Mrs. de Windt's rendering of this passage was: “I must take il ad referendum” which is meaningless.
5. Word supplied by the present editors.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0253

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-26

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of July 2d.1 I received being the first, since you left America. I rejoice at the Success of Your Ministry, but am sorry to hear that Your Constitution has been shock'd by a nervous Fever. Our Friend Mr. Cranch has been in a most critical Scituation. In the close of last Winter, after repeated Colds, he was seized with frequent Faintings. His Perspiration and Expectoration almost entirely Suppressed; a severe Pain in his left Side extending to his shoulder Blade with slight Deliriums and a want of Heat sufficient to give any Vigour to the Circulation came on and threatned him with speedy Dissolution. In this State he lay for some Days, at length he recovered so far as to attend Court in April Sessions. On May the 2d. AM. a Debate of great Importance came on in the House of Representatives, the Room was somewhat crouded, the Members being enjoind not to leave the House; the external Air was warm the Wind being at South and the Air of the Room much more so by the Breath of those present. The Wind changed just before the House broke up to N.E. [and] became cold and damp. By this Change of Air he was soon affected—about 4:00 PM. being then in Court he found himself so unwell as to retire. I found him with all the Symptoms of an approaching Fever. Before the next Morning a large spitting of Blood came on. In a few Hours his old Pain in his Side reaching to the Shoulder Blade, and Danger seem[ed] to be near at hand. However in a fortnight or Three Weeks his Fever somewhat subsided and he recoverd to so much Strength as to return Home tho' in a very languid State and with a low state of Bowells. I soon observed an Enlargement of his Legs which dayly encreased untill his Bowells were greatly distended and a general Anasarcous Swelling appeared. By the Assiduity uncom• { 386 } mon Care and judicious Management of his tender Consort and a succesful Operation of medicines, His Health is in a great Measure restored. He is now on a Journey to Haverhill, Newbury Port, Kittery &c. Heaven I trust has reserved both You and Him for further Services and may Gracious Heaven keep You both in Health.
We have suffered much in this State by a severe Drought. The smallest Quantity of Rain has fallen for Three Months, that has been remembered. The Water above the Bridge at the Iron Works in Braintree has been dried up for near Three Weeks. Our Crops of Grass were great. Our English Grain much blasted, and Syberian Wheat almost entirely cut off. Our Indian Corn is estimated at 2/3ds of a common Crop. The Drought was extended as far as Philadelphia at the Southward. It began later than with us. Their Crops of English Grain were very good.
A Medical Society is now established amongst us under the name of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the present President Edward Augustus Holyoke Esq. of Salem.2 We wish for the Aid and Communication of the Gentlemen of the Faculty in Europe. And as You are acquainted with some of the most eminent, would pray You to mention in your next, some Gentlemen both in France and Holland or elsewhere with their Titles &c. that You should judge would be for the Interest and Honor of the Society to elect as Members.
J[ohn] T[emple] Esq. since his Return to America from his last Tour to England has been questioned with Respect to his Designs &c. Pains were taken to induce the Legislature to make Enquiry into his Conduct. The Legislative Body considered it as belonging to the Executive, the supreme Executive at length directed the State Attorney to take it up, he presented a Bill, the Grand Jury returned Ignoramus, previous to this he had been laid under heavy Bonds, these he requested to be cancelled, still they are detained. At length he petitioned to the General Court that he might be released from his Bonds and have an Opportunity to lay before them Proofs of his Attachment to his Country, the Uprightness of his Intentions, the Services he had done &c. His Petition was sustained—a Committee appointed—they report in his Favour, the Consideration of it however was refered to the next Session after this. J[ames] S[ullivan] Esq. (lately one of the Justices of the Superior Court who not long since resigned his Seat and returnd to the Bar) attacked J.T. charging him with Falsehood, Toryism &c. This brought on a Paper War, which seems to be disagreable to the Friends of both. J.T. supposes his Antagonist to be the Tool of a certain Great Man and is not alone in his supposition. { 387 } Should he be proved a Tory it would be a favourable Circumstance—to [project?] in the Minds of People a Jealousy against his Rival. By the People I mean Populace to secure whom every little Art is to be practised.—After all it is generally thought that the Toryism of J.T. has been nothing more than Don Quixotism.3
Sir Guy Carlton and Admiral Digby in a Letter to General Washington Dated Aug. 2d. said to be written in Consequence of Directions from England, write as follows. “We are acquainted Sir by Authority, that Negociations for a general Peace have already commenced at Paris and that Mr. Grenville is invested with full Powers to treat with all the Powers at War and is now at Paris in the Execution of his Commission. And We are further Sir made acquainted that his Majesty in order to remove every Obstacle, to that Peace which he so ardently wishes to restore, has commanded his Ministers to direct Mr. Grenville, that the Independency of the Thirteen Provinces should be proposed by him in the first Instance instead of making it a Condition of a general Treaty; however not without the highest Confidence that the Loyalists shall be restored to their Possessions and a full Compensation made them for whatever Confiscations may have taken Place.”—This insidious Letter was published. People in general were amused for a while with the Ideas of a full Acknowledgement of American Independency and a speedy Peace. But the Eyes of People are now generally open, being pretty well satisfied that Carltons Independence is a Dependance on the King and Independance on the Parliament, &c. which is inadmissable with Americans.
On the 10th, of August Marquiss de Vaudreuil arrived here with 14 or 15 Ships of the Line from the West Indies; unfortunately the Magnifique of 74 Guns in entring the Harbour ran a ground near Lovells Island (in the Seamens Phrase) broke her Back and is ruined. Congress informed of this Event, immediately voted to present to Monsr. Lucerne for his most Christian Majesty the America a 74 now laying at Portsmouth, which seems to [be] very pleasing to People and I make no Doubt will be so to the French Nation.4 Admiral Pigot arrived sometime since at New York from the West Indies with 22 Sail of the Line. We have Accounts from thence of Embarkation, some say of Troops, some of Refugees. Some say the former destined here or to Rhode Island and the Latter to Hallifax. However a more probable Opinion is that they will bend the whole of their Force to the West Indies. Accounts from the Southward inform us that General Leslie has announced to the People of Charlestown S.C. the speedy Evacuation of that Place, and some of the Inhabitants have { 388 } made Application to be received into the Favour and Protection of their Country in consequence of it.
It gives me great Pleasure that Your Address has baffled the Arts of the British Court and that Your Patience and Perseverance has triumphed over every Opposition to Hollands Acknowledging our own Independence. This is an Event that will raise the Importance of America among the Nations in Europe, will secure her many commercial Advantages and render her Independance more compleat. As a Member of the United States I could wish Your Continuance in Europe till the Grand Object of our Wishes was obtained. As a Member of this Commonwealth and as a Friend I wish Your Presence here. Our Policy and Manners &c. are not improved of late Years. Were You to return, Your Talents would find full Exercise. But I must forbear and explain myself hereafter.
Mr. Thaxter would have received a Line with this, did I not suppose him to be on his Voyage here, if he is still with You be pleas'd to present my Regards to him. Your Connections are in Health.

[salute] I am Sir with great Respect Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Tufts Sept 26. 1782.”
1. Not found.
2. Cotton Tufts had been active in trying to establish a medical society in Massachusetts as early as 1765. He became one of the incorporators of the Massachusetts Medical Society chartered by the General Court in Nov. 1781. Edward Augustus Holyoke (1728–1829) served as president from 1782 to 1784. See Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society ... 1781–1922, privately printed, 1923, p. 5–7, 16–17, 462.
3. The controversy over John Temple's patriotism or toryism, touched on above in Richard Cranch to JA, 30 Oct. 1781 (see note 2 there), had been renewed with great virulence in 1782. The “Paper War” was principally between Temple and James Sullivan (1740–1808), Harvard 1762, a partisan of John Hancock (“a certain Great Man”), whose “Rival” was Temple's father-in-law, James Bowdoin. See Thomas C. Amory, Life of James Sullivan, Boston, 1859, 1:134–138; 2:388; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 15:305.
4. The ship presented was the America, just completed at Portsmouth (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships, 1:40).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0254

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-09-27

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

I received a few days agone your favour of the 14th. of August. You say you have had a Fire for several days. I believe there has not been a week together through the whole summer without our having one. For some flakes of Snow fell, one morning in the middle of July. It is true, this has been an Extraordinary summer, but it freezes every year in the month of August here: and sometimes in the month of { 389 } June. I think upon the whole that the climate of Holland is the most agreable of the two.
I am afraid I shall not have the pleasure of seeing you before you return to America. The season is at present too far advanced to think of going by water, and I believe I shall not be able to get away from here before the snow comes, so that I shall probably not arrive before the latter end of January, in Holland.
Mr. D[ana] desires me to tell you that he has receiv'd your letter; and does not answer it because, as he has heard that the treaty is signed; you will perhaps be gone before the letter would reach you: and because he is at present indisposed: he desires you would send him a copy of the Treaty if possible, and that you would let him know whether you have bought him a scrutoire. If so he begs you would put all his papers in it but send nothing forward, for he says he expects to set of himself in the month of May.

[salute] Permit me to reiterate the assurance of my best wishes for your safe return to our dear country, and believe me to be Sir Your most obedient humble servant.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0255

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-09

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My Dear Eliza

Mr. Robbins1 dined with us to day and has just now told me he intends to make you a vis this afternoon. I hope he will find you quite recovered, and wish you were to return with him. I shall want the pleasure of your company a Wedensy very much—and wish I could offer a sufficient inducement for you to return, tomorrow or next day. I know of nothing to write that will either amuse or give you pleasure. My head is quite barren, my heart is warm. Could you look there you would find it full of good wishes for your health, happiness and pleasure. You are pleased with your visit I know, I wish I was with you. My good my amiable aunt is doing every thing to amuse you, her endeavours will not fail of suckcess I dare say—I hope the dignity of my Eliza will have a good affect upon her cousin.2 If he knew that his conduct was exaggerated much, and heard the speach of every one, I think he woul[d] never have given the cause—but—I can say nothing in vindication of him. You are expected at Milton this week. I dont know how the disappointment will be survived—by—the good folks—whose hearts beat with expectation—for the approach of—Miss { 390 } ——C[ranc]h. I want to say something to you, to provoke you to answer this, if my wishes will not induce you to write me. Five letters in three days and not one line, or one thought, of Amelia. It is mortifiing Betsy how shall I help it. Do as you aught, Miss, says yourself and you will be thought of.—Ah—ah—ah—ah.—I am going to write to Miss Watson; have you aney thing to say to her. Mr. T——r3 goes tomorrow morning. Adieu my Dear I will release you from aney more nonsence, by subscribing your friend,
[signed] Amelia
I open my letter to tell you I dreamed a dream last night and had the pleasing idea of our friend T——s4 return but alas twas a false vision.—My Brother Charles is unwell.
RC (MHi:Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Weymouth per by Mr Robbins”; endorsed: “AA Septembre 1782.” Minimal corrections of punctuation have been made, but they have not resolved all of AAz's girlish ambiguities.
1. Chandler Robbins of Plymouth, who had graduated from Harvard in July, had been engaged as tutor for CA and TBA after Thomas Perkins' departure; see AA to JA, 17–18 July, above; AA to John Thaxter, 26 Oct. 1782 (MB).
2. Which “aunt” and male “cousin” at Weymouth these may be is not clear.
3. Possibly Royall Tyler, although it does not seem likely that AA2 would at this point entrust him with letters to her friends.
4. Doubtless John Thaxter.

A Note on Citations in the Appendix

In the Appendix, minimal information is included in the notes to identify letters which are printed in Adams Family Correspondence, volumes 3 and 4. Full information as to location and printings of other letters or documents cited in the Appendix is supplied at the point of first reference. Thereafter, only sender, recipient, and date are given.


The Lovell Cipher and Its Derivatives

The earliest instance so far located in the Adams Papers in which a passage in cipher appears is in a letter from James Lovell to JA of 14 Dec. 1780, a copy of which (also in the Adams Papers) Lovell enclosed in his letter to AA of 19 December.1 The presumption raised by the absence of any accompanying key or explanation that there had been some earlier communication in reference to the cipher, and perhaps use of it, is borne out by two letters of Lovell written six months before.2 In the letter to JA, Lovell had written that the cipher was one which had already been “communicated to Doctr. Franklin and which will serve great numbers with equal safety.” Lovell's letter to AA informed her that the cipher was being communicated to her both for her own use in letters to JA and so that she would be able to decode letters written to her in it. No instances have been found in the Adams Papers in which JA or AA employed the cipher themselves, and both continued to experience difficulty in decoding it.
A reluctance to employ the cipher and even to attempt to decode it is attributable to an aversion or hostility to the clandestine implications and attendant ambiguities of secret writing. AA had been clear on the point, and associated her husband with her view, in declining to give her attention to the cipher proffered by Lovell: “I . . . thank you for your alphabeticall cipher tho I believe I shall never make use of it. I hate a cipher of any kind and have been so much more used to deal in realities with those I love, that I should make a miserable proficiency in modes and figures. Besides my Friend is no adept in investigating ciphers and hates to be puzzeld for a meaning.”3
AA, however, with time became “more reconciled to ambiguity and ciphers, than formerly”4 when confronted by repeated instances of intercepted letters and by Lovell's affirmation in his letter of 19 Dec. 1780 that information of importance to JA and to her was being denied her because Lovell judged it safe to communicate it only in { 394 } code: “If you had not bantered me so more than once about my generally-enigmatic manner, and appeared so averse to cyphers I would have long ago enabled you to tell Mr. A some Things which you have most probably omitted, as well as to satisfy your Eve on the present Occasion.”5
Lovell responded to the modification in AA's dislike of ciphers “from the necessity of them” by enclosing another “Alphabet [i.e. key] for your use” in his letter to her of 30 Jan. 1781.6 Some months afterward, when faced with the cipher in a letter, she managed to read it with substantial help from Richard Cranch.7 Much later, upon having sight, through Lovell, of JA's letter of 21 Feb. 1782 to Secretary Livingston,8 and learning from it that JA continued to be unable to crack the code, AA undertook to induct her “dearest Friend” into its mysteries, reporting, “I have always been fortunate enough to succeed with it.”9
Lovell seems to have been the deviser of the cipher, which he employed in writing to Franklin, to Dana, and to others, as well as to the Adamses. At least it was called “M. Lovell's Cypher,” and Edmund Randolph and Madison acknowledged him as their instructor. The cipher's first recorded use was in a letter from Lovell to Horatio Gates, 1 March 1779; it had currency at least until 1784 in private communications among those in government, and seems to have been at least informally adopted for official use.10 The President of Congress, Samuel Huntington, wrote to JA in the cipher, as did R. R. Livingston after he became Secretary for Foreign Affairs.11 There were variations of Lovell's cipher, other than changes in the key-word, in use among America's representatives abroad. Dumas employed one with which Franklin was familiar, and Francis Dana sent a more complicated system based upon the same principles as Lovell's to JA from Russia.12
Lovell's cipher was of the type built upon the substitution of numerical equivalents for agreed-upon letters from a key-word or phrase. { 395 } Each of the letters adopted for use served in turn as the initial element in alphabets arranged on a sheet in parallel vertical columns. A column of corresponding numbers placed alongside these columns of alphabets provided the equivalents for the letters of encoded words, the substitutions being made alternately from two alphabets, or if more than two then in strict rotation, forward or backward as desired. Since the alphabets normally included the ampersand as a final element, the numbers used in substitution were from 1 to 27. In the cipher's purest form the numbers 28 and 29 were used at the beginning of a passage as indication that the substitutions were being made in the normal or in a reverse order, and the number 30 was used as a blind. However, more frequently all three numbers (28–30) served as blinds. Any uncoded word or words broke the continuity, the next succeeding coded passage beginning with that alphabet used at the outset of the first encoded passage, unless 28 or 29 signaled reversal.
The key letters which Lovell used and instructed others to use in communications with JA, Franklin, and Dana were the letters c and r, which he derived from and clued to (at least for JA) the name Cranch. In writing to Elbridge Gerry, Lovell used as key letters e and o, representing the second and third letters “of the maiden Name of the Wife of that Gentleman from whom I sent you a Little Money on a Lottery Score.”13 Other keys, all employing more than two alphabets, were used in ciphers of the same type by Madison and Randolph (Cupid), Jefferson and William Short (Nicholas), and Lovell with other correspondents.14
The difficulties in decoding experienced by JA, as well as by Franklin and Dana, can be attributed in part to their receiving instruction in the cipher exclusively from a distance. What was easy for domestic users by explanation and demonstration close at hand proved formidable when communicated by mail, which had to conceal as well as explain. This may account for Lovell's adopting for his tutees abroad a simplified form of the cipher in which only two letters were used as the key.
A more serious hazard was that Lovell, the expositor, was gifted with neither precision nor lucidity, and having once formulated his directions, was given more to repetition and even playful variation than to real clarification. Lovell was frequently chided, particularly by AA, for his natural bent toward obfuscation: “If Mr. L——I will { 396 } not call me Sausy I will tell him he has not the least occasion to make use of them [ciphers] himself since he commonly writes so much in the enigmatical way that nobody but his particular correspondents will ever find out his meaning.” She followed this statement with a sentence she decided not to include in the recipient's copy, attributing to JA similar sentiments about Lovell's style: “I have seen my friend sometimes rub his forehead upon the receipt of a Letter, walk the room —What does this Man mean? who can find out his meaning.”15
Lovell's first instructions to JA, communicated in May 1780, were that the “Mode ... is the Alphabet squared . . . and the key Letters are the two first of the Surname of the Family where you and I spent the Evening together before we set out from your House on our Way to Baltimore. . . . Make use of any of the perpendicular columns according to your key Letters.” To this he appended a vertical column of numbers, 1–27, a second alphabetical parallel column beginning with a and ending with &, a third and fourth column beginning with b and c respectively and carried only through the fourth letter, the rest of the “Alphabet squared” indicated by dots of elision. Aside from indicating that the key letters or key-word could be altered at will and suggesting the means to communicate the new key, there was nothing more. Explaining the cipher just afterward to AA, Lovell, less fearful of interception, added no help beyond using for his illustrative columns two alphabets in which the first letters were c and r. When AA six months later asked for help, he responded only by enclosing the same two alphabetical columns.16 His instructions to Franklin in Paris, which Franklin on request sent to Dana, differed in no essential, concentrating on the selection of the key-word or letters.17 Not until June 1781, when he wrote to JA, “I suspect that you did not before understand it from my not having said supped in Braintree,” did he undertake clarification. This time his column of numbers extended to 30, the numbers 28, 29, and 30 “to be used as Baulks in the Beginning and End or within your Words”; and apparently for the { 397 } first time explained the “rule of Sequence”: “Make 2 Columns of Letters. . . . Begin your 1st Column with the first letter and your second Column with the 2d letter of the Family Name formerly referred to. Go on to &, then follow a b &c. &c. &c. Look alternately into the Columns.”18 When Secretary Livingston unhappily concluded that JA had not understood his earlier letters in cipher, written without awareness of the difficulty, he had Lovell enclose still another explanation: “You are to form Alphabets equal in number and of the same commencement and Range, as the Letters of the first sixth part of the family Name where you and I supped last with Mrs. Adams, and you are to look alternately into these constructed Alphabets opposite to my figures, for the Elements to spell with, some figures however I may have used as Baulks.”19 Nearly a year later Lovell tried again, but in the same language.20 Livingston, meanwhile, had apparently decided to resolve the problem by adopting a different cipher: “I am sorry for the difficulty the cypher occasions you, it was one I found in the Office, and is very incomplete. I enclose one that you will find easy in the practice, and will therefore write with freedom.”21AA, during the same period, in a brave but misguided moment had decided to try her hand at explaining: “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.”22
More than two years after his first attempt at explication, Lovell wrote to JA: “I have not to this day Information that you comprehend the Cypher which I have very often used in my Letters.”23 Livingston, noting JA's lack of response, concluded earlier that JA did not comprehend “the cyphers. ... I had them from the late committee of foreign affairs, tho' they say they never received any letters from you in them.”24JA's own allusions to the cipher not only confirm fully the doubts felt in Philadelphia, but also convey an unconcern that must have had an effect there: “Your Plan of a Cypher I cannot comprehend—nor can Dr. F. his”;25 “I have Letters from the President and { 398 } from Lovell, the last unintelligible, in Cyphers, but inexplicable by his own Cypher—some dismal Ditty about my Letters of 26th July—I know not what.”26 “I am on this Occasion as on all others hitherto utterly unable to comprehend the Sense of the Passages in Cypher. ... I have been able sometimes to decypher Words enough to show, that I have the Letters right; but upon the whole I can make nothing of it, which I regret very much upon this Occasion, as I suppose the Cyphers are a very material part of your letter.”27
The frustrations attendant upon the efforts of Congress' committee and of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to have their representatives abroad master and use the cipher derived not from JA alone. Almost a year after JA reported Franklin's inability to comprehend it, Franklin himself wrote to Dana, “If you can find the Key and decypher it, I shall be glad, having myself try'd in vain.”28 Dana, in turn, seems to have had his own difficulties. To him Livingston wrote, “I need not tell you how impatient I shall be to hear that this has reached you, since I cannot use my cipher, till I receive a line from you written in it, nor can I write with freedom to you, till I have a cipher.”29
As for JA, while it is true that he gave an impression of insouciance in reporting his inability to comprehend the encoded messages, evidence exists that he made some effort to master Lovell's instructions. To Lovell's iteration of the clue to the key letters as the source of his difficulties, JA, with asperity, wrote, “I know very well the Name of the Family where I spent the Evening with my worthy Friend Mr.—— before We set off, and have made my Alphabet accordingly. . . . The Cypher is certainly not taken regularly under the two first Letters of that Name.”30 In the Adams Papers in JA's handwriting and endorsed “cypher” by him, undated, is a complete “Alphabet squared” with a vertical numerical column, 1–27, at left. The square is without indication that the columns in which c and r are the initial letters are more important than any others. A second attempt in JA's hand, also surviving in the Papers, and illustrated in the present volume, suggests one reason why he remained unenlightened. Across the top of the sheet is an alphabet including the ampersand, at the left is a vertical column of numbers, 1–30, paralleled by three columns of alphabets with initial letters a, c, and r. Failing to understand or to heed { 399 } Lovell's belated explanation that the numbers 28–30 were “baulks,” JA utilizes these numbers in the c and r columns to begin a new alphabetical cycle. Thus, in the one column the equivalent of c is not only 1 but 28, that of d is 2 and 29, of e, 3 and 30; in the second column the same holds true for r, s, and t. The application of such a system to the material in code could only produce results unsatisfactory to all.
A further account of the kinds of difficulties that recipients experienced in decoding the Lovell cipher is presented in the Descriptive List of Illustrations in the present volume, Nos. 3 and 4. The discussion there should be read in conjunction with what has been developed here, and the pertinent facsimile illustrations themselves examined.
Examples of other ciphers constructed on systems other than numerical substitution do exist in the Adams Papers. On the various types in use during the Revolutionary period, the discussions of the subject by Burnett and Boyd should be consulted.31
1. P. 36, above.
2. To JA, 4 May; to AA, post 4 May 1780, both in Adams Papers.
3. To Lovell, 11 June 1780, vol. 3:363, above.
4. To same, 3 Jan. 1781, p. 57, above.
5. P. 36, above.
6. Adams Papers. The new key is not now, however, with Lovell's letter.
7. Lovell to AA, 26 June 1781, p. 163, above; the undated fragmentary sheet containing Cranch's efforts to decode the ciphered passages is illustrated in the present volume.
8. LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:521–530; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:192–199.
9. To JA, 17 June 1782, p. 327, above.
10. Franklin to Dana, 2 March 1781, Adams Papers; Edmund C. Burnett, “Ciphers of the Revolutionary Period,” AHR, 22:331 (Jan. 1917); Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:149, 237, 451.
11. 5 July, 20 Nov. 1781, both in Adams Papers; Livingston's letter is printed without indication that passages are in cipher in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:849–851.
12. Livingston to JA, 26 Dec. 1781, Adams Papers, printed in Wharton, 5:73–74; Dana to JA, 18 Oct. 1782, Adams Papers.
13. 5 June 1781, MHi: Gerry-Knight Collection. Other examples of the cipher in the same collection are in letters from Lovell of 17 June, 13 July 1781.
14. Burnett, AHR, 22:331.
15. To Lovell, 11 June 1780, Dft, vol. 3:363, above. The Adamses' judgment of Lovell's deficiencies is amusingly echoed by CFA when in arranging the family's papers he came to read Lovell's letters: “A man whose situation gave his letters unusual interest. Yet he is so crackbrained that his prose is hardly intelligible and his cypher utterly unreadable. This is a great pity. Such half disclosures of the course of things are worse than none at all” (Diary, entry for 3 Jan. 1835).
16. 30 Jan. 1781>, Adams Papers. It should be noted, however, that at the end of his letter to AA of 8 Jan. he said flat out, without alluding to cipher or key: “This Evening four Years [ago] I passed with you at your Brother Cranche's” (above, p. 63).
17. Franklin to Dana, 2 March 1781.
19. Livingston to JA, 26 Dec. 1781, with enclosure of same date signed by Lovell and attested by L. R. Morris, Secy., “By Order Mr. Livingston,” Adams Papers.
20. To JA, 30 Nov. 1782, Adams Papers.
22. To JA, 17 June, p. 327, above.
23. 30 Nov. 1782.
26. To Dana, 12 March 1781, LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:377–378; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:284–285.
27. To Livingston, 21 Feb. 1782.
28. 2 March 1781. Franklin did, however, in the same letter write correctly two short passages in the cipher.
29. To Dana, 10 May 1782, in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:411–414.
30. To Livingston, 21 Feb. 1782.
31. AHR, 22:329–334; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:x–xi.



{ 402 } { 403 }


The Adams Family, 1761–1782

N.B. This is the first Chronology to appear in the Adams Family Correspondence and covers vols. 1–4. See Introduction, 3:xxxviii–xxxix.
1761   Feb.   John Adams (JA) records arguments in Superior Court of Judicature on writs of assistance (Petition of Lechmere).  
1761   May   Upon the death of his father, JA inherits Braintree property (later known as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace).  
1761   Nov.   JA admitted to practice in the Superior Court of Judicature.  
1762   Spring   JA begins serving on town committees and traveling the Inferior and Superior Court circuits. His circuit riding continues for fourteen years.  
1762   Aug.   JA admitted barrister in the Superior Court of Judicature.  
1762   Oct.   Courtship correspondence of JA and Abigail, daughter of Rev. William Smith of Weymouth, begins.  
1763   Feb.   Treaty of Paris concluded, by which France cedes Canada, and Spain cedes the Floridas, to Great Britain  
1763   March   JA's first known newspaper contribution, signed “Humphrey Ploughjogger,” is published in the Boston Evening Post.  
1764   Feb.   Beginning of smallpox epidemic in Boston which was to last throughout the year.  
1764   April–May   JA inoculated in Boston for the smallpox, conducting almost daily correspondence with his fiancée at Weymouth.  
1764   Oct. 25   JA and Abigail Smith (AA) marry and make their home in the house inherited from JA's father.  
{ 404 }
1765   Jan.   JA joins a lawyers' “sodality” in Boston for the study of legal history and theory.  
1765   March   JA elected surveyor of highways in Braintree.  
1765   March   Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament; repealed in March 1766, but repeal is accompanied by the Declaratory Act.  
1765   June   JA travels the eastern court circuit to Maine for the first time.  
1765   July 14   Abigail (AA2), 1st daughter and eldest child of JA and AA, is born at Braintree.  
1765   Aug.–Oct.   JA publishes “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law” in installments in the Boston Gazette.  
1765   Sept.   JA composes the Braintree Instructions denouncing the Stamp Act.  
1765   Dec.   JA named of counsel for Boston to plead for reopening of the courts.  
1766   March   JA elected a Braintree selectman.  
1766   July   JA becomes active in the improvement of professional practice of the law through the Suffolk bar association.  
1766   Aug.   Benjamin Blyth executes portraits of JA and AA.  
1767   July 11   John Quincy (JQA), 1st son of JA and AA, is born at Braintree.  
1768   April   The Adamses move to the “White House” in Brattle Square, Boston.  
1768   June   JA writes instructions for the Boston representatives to the General Court protesting the seizure of John Hancock's sloop Liberty. Later in the year he successfully defends Hancock in admiralty court against charges of smuggling in connection with the Liberty.  
1768   Sept.   British troops arrive in Boston Harbor to control resistance to Townshend Act duties, which are repealed, except for the tax on tea, in 1769.  
1768   Dec. 28   Susanna (d. 4 Feb. 1770), 2d daughter of JA and AA, is born in Boston.  
{ 405 }
1769   Spring   The Adamses move to Cole (or Cold) Lane, Boston.  
1769   May   JA writes instructions for the Boston representatives to the General Court protesting the presence of British troops and the growing power of admiralty courts.  
1769   May–June   JA successfully defends Michael Corbet and three other sailors in admiralty court for the killing of Lt. Henry Panton of the British Navy.  
1770   March   JA agrees to defend Capt. Thomas Preston and the British soldiers involved in the “Boston Massacre.”  
1770   May 29   Charles (CA), 2d son of JA and AA, is born in Braintree.  
1770   June   JA elected a representative to the General Court from Boston; serves until April 1771.  
1770   Oct.–Nov.   JA successfully defends Preston and the soldiers in the “Boston Massacre” trials.  
1770     The Adamses move during this year to “another House in Brattle Square.”  
1771   April   The Adamses move back to Braintree.  
1771   June   JA travels to Connecticut for his health and takes the mineral waters at Stafford Springs.  
1772   Sept. 15   Thomas Boylston (TBA), 3d son of JA and AA, is born in Braintree.  
1772   Nov.   The Adamses move to Queen Street (later Court Street) in Boston, and JA maintains his law office there until the outbreak of hostilities.  
1773   Jan.–Feb.   JA publishes articles in the Boston Gazette answering William Brattle and opposing crown salaries to Superior Court judges.  
1773   May   JA elected by the House a member of the Massachusetts Council but is negatived by Gov. Thomas Hutchinson.  
1773   Dec. 16   Boston Tea Party.  
{ 406 }
1774   Feb.   JA buys his father's homestead (later known as the John Adams Birthplace) from his brother Peter Boylston Adams.  
1774   March   JA furnishes legal authorities for impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Peter Oliver.  
1774   March   Boston Port Act passed by Parliament, closing port of Boston in June.  
1774   May   JA elected by the House a member of the Council but is negatived by Gov. Thomas Gage.  
1774   June   JA elected a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress. The family returns to Braintree.  
1774   June–July   JA travels “for the tenth and last time on the Eastern Circuit” in Maine, and parts with his loyalist friend Jonathan Sewall at Falmouth.  
1774   Aug.   JA travels from Boston to Philadelphia with the Massachusetts delegation to the Continental Congress.  
1774   Sept.–Oct   JA attends first Continental Congress.  
1774   Oct.–Nov.   JA returns from Philadelphia to Braintree.  
1774   Nov.–Dec.   JA attends first Provincial Congress in Cambridge as a member from Braintree.  
1774   Dec.   JA reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1775   Jan.–April   JA publishes essays signed “Novanglus” in Boston Gazette in answer to Daniel Leonard's “Massachusettensis” articles.  
1775   April 19   Lexington and Concord fights; first blood of the Revolution is spilled.  
1775   April–May   JA travels from Braintree to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1775   May   Colonial forces lay siege to British army in Boston, now under the command of Howe and Clinton.  
1775   May–July   JA attends second Continental Congress; makes first proposal of Washington as commander in chief of a Continental Army.  
1775   June 17   AA and JQA watch Bunker Hill battle from Penn's Hill above their house.  
1775   July 3   Washington takes command of Continental forces at Cambridge. AA conveys a high opinion of him to JA in a letter of 16 July.  
1775   July   JA elected by the House a member of the Council; resigns in April 1776.  
{ 407 }
1775   July   JA writes letters to AA and James Warren ridiculing John Dickinson's conciliatory views; the letters are intercepted and published by the British in August and produce a lasting sensation that promotes the idea of independence.  
1775   Aug.   JA returns from Philadelphia to Braintree, attends the Massachusetts Council in Watertown, and is reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1775   Aug.–Sept.   JA travels from Boston to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1775   Late summer and fall   Dysentery epidemic in Boston; JA's brother Elihu dies in camp in August, and AA's mother dies October 1.  
1775   Sept–Dec.   JA attends the Continental Congress and plays a principal part in the measures leading to the establishment of an American navy.  
1775   Oct.   JA appointed Chief Justice of Massachusetts; resigns in Feb. 1777 without ever serving.  
1775   Dec.   JA obtains leave from Congress and returns from Philadelphia to Braintree, attends the Massachusetts Council in Watertown, visits the army headquarters in Cambridge, and is reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1776   Jan.   JA drafts for the General Court a proclamation to be read at the opening of courts of justice and town meetings.  
1776   Jan.–Feb.   JA travels from Braintree to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1776   Feb.–Oct.   JA attends the Continental Congress.  
1776   March 17   The British evacuate Boston.  
1776   March–April   After reading Paine's Common Sense, JA writes Thoughts on Government, published anonymously.  
1776   Spring and summer   Smallpox epidemic in Boston.  
1776   May   JA advocates establishment of new state governments and writes preamble to the resolution of 15 May recommending such action to the states.  
1776   June   JA appointed president of the newly formed Continental Board of War and Ordnance.  
1776   June–July   JA appointed to committee to draft a declaration of independence and makes the principal speech in favor of the resolution for independence, adopted on 2 July, followed by adoption of the Declaration of Independence, 4 July.  
{ 408 }
1776   June–Sept.   JA drafts a “Plan of Treaties” and instructions to the first American Commissioners to France.  
1776   July   AA and children inoculated for smallpox.  
1776   Sept.   JA journeys to Staten Island with Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge as a committee of Congress to confer with Admiral Lord Howe.  
1776   Oct.   JA obtains leave from Congress and returns from Philadelphia to Braintree.  
1776   Nov.   JA reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1777   Jan.   JA travels from Braintree to attend the Continental Congress sitting in Baltimore.  
1777   March   JA travels to Philadelphia when Congress adjourns to that city.  
1777   July 11   AA gives birth to a stillborn daughter, Elizabeth.  
1777   Aug.   Beginning of correspondence between AA and James Lovell, a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress; the correspondence continues with growing frequency and intimacy through early 1782, when Lovell leaves Congress.  
1777   Sept.   JA leaves Philadelphia upon the adjournment of Congress after the American defeat at Brandywine Creek, and travels to York, Penna., where Congress reconvenes.  
1777   Oct. 16   Burgoyne surrenders his northern army to the American forces under Gates at Saratoga.  
1777   Nov.   JA obtains leave from Congress, returns to Braintree, and resumes his law practice, traveling to Portsmouth in December to defend the owners of the Lusanna, He there learns he has been elected by Congress a joint commissioner (with Franklin and Arthur Lee) to France, replacing Silas Deane.  
1778   Feb. 6   Treaties of alliance and of amity and commerce between France and the United States signed at Versailles.  
1778   Feb.–March   JA and JQA sail from Quincy Bay aboard the Continental frigate Boston, Capt. Samuel Tucker, to Bordeaux.  
1778   April   JA and JQA join Franklin's household at the Hôtel de Valentinois in Passy; JA begins his efforts to put the affairs of the American joint mission on a businesslike footing. His personal tensions with Franklin begin.  
{ 409 }
1778   April   JQA enters M. Le Coeur's pension academy in Passy.  
1778   May   JA has his first audience with Louis XVI at Versailles.  
1778   Sept.   Joint commission dissolved and Franklin named sole minister to France.  
1778   Dec.   AA2 makes extended visit to the James Warrens in Plymouth, not returning to Braintree until May 1779.  
1779   Jan.   AA writes to a member of the Continental Congress severely criticizing Silas Deane's controversial address in defense of his conduct in France.  
1779   March   JA takes leave of the French court.  
1779   March–June   JA, accompanied by JQA, in Nantes, Brest, Lorient, Saint Nazaire, and on board the Alliance arranging for the exchange of prisoners of war and awaiting passage to America.  
1779   April   JA makes acquaintance with the Joshua Johnson family at Lorient, perhaps providing JQA with the opportunity of meeting Louisa Catherine Johnson (later his wife, LCA), then aged four.  
1779   April   By secret treaty Spain becomes a co-belligerent with France in the war against England.  
1779   June–Aug.   JA and JQA sail from Lorient to Boston with the Chevalier de La Luzerne, French minister to the United States, aboard the French frigate La Sensible, arriving home on 3 August.  
1779   Aug.   JA proposes founding the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, incorporated May 1780.  
1779   Aug.–Nov.   JA elected to represent Braintree in convention to frame a new state constitution; attends the convention and drafts The Report of a Constitution. . . for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is adopted, after alterations, by the convention and by the towns of Massachusetts in June 1780.  
1779   Sept.   JA elected minister by Congress with sole powers to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain; commissions revoked June–July 1781.  
1779   Nov.–Dec.   JA, JQA, and CA, accompanied by John Thaxter as JA's private secretary, sail from Boston aboard La Sensible to El Ferrol, Spain.  
1779   Dec.–Jan.   The Adams party travels across northern Spain. From Bilbao JA sends the first of his consignments of European goods to AA, of which a number more were to follow from time to time from mercantile firms in Spain, France, and the Netherlands.  
{ 410 }
1780   Jan.–Feb.   The Adams party travels from Bayonne to Paris and takes up residence at the Hôtel de Valois in Rue de Richelieu.  
1780   Feb.   JQA and CA enter an academy in Passy conducted by M. Pechigny.  
1780   Feb.–March   Russian Declaration of Armed Neutrality at sea, aimed at Great Britain and later joined by various northern powers; it eventually proves ineffective.  
1780   May 19   A meteorological phenomenon occurs in New England: “the Dark Day.”  
1780   Spring and summer   The correspondence between JA and the Comte de Vergennes on such topics as the former's announcing his mission, Congress' devaluation of Continental currency, and French naval strategy in American waters leads to an open breach between them.  
1780   June   JA commissioned an agent by Congress to negotiate a Dutch loan.  
1780   July–Aug.   Accompanied by his sons, JA travels from Paris to Amsterdam, before learning of his commission, to explore the possibility of Dutch financial aid to the United States.  
1780   Aug.–Nov.   JQA and CA attend the Latin School on the Singel in Amsterdam. They are withdrawn when JQA proves insubordinate.  
1780   Oct.   Treason of Benedict Arnold. Capture of Henry Laurens, with incriminating papers, at sea.  
1780   Dec.   Francis Dana elected by Congress American minister to Russia; he proceeds there in 1781 but is never officially recognized.  
1780   Dec.–Jan.   JA elected minister by Congress, in the place of Henry Laurens, to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the Netherlands.  
1781   Jan.   JQA, CA, and John Thaxter matriculate as students at the University of Leyden through arrangements made by Benjamin Waterhouse.  
1781   Jan.–Feb.   Great Britain begins hostilities against the Netherlands, using the captured papers of Henry Laurens as a pretext.  
1781   March   Maryland's ratification of the Articles of Confederation, adopted by Congress in 1777, makes the confederation of American states complete.  
{ 411 }
1781   March–May   JA drafts, submits, and prints a Memorial to the States-General urging Dutch recognition of American sovereignty.  
1781   April   JA rents and furnishes a house on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. CA, because of illness and homesickness, leaves Leyden and comes to live with his father.  
1781   April   AA makes plans to buy land in Vermont and in the following year does so.  
1781   May   James and Mercy Otis Warren and their family move to Milton, occupying former Governor Hutchinson's house on Neponset Hill and thus becoming neighbors of AA.  
1781   June   JA elected by Congress first among five joint commissioners (JA, Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and Jefferson) to treat for peace with Great Britain. Their instructions make them strictly dependent on French advice and approval.  
1781   June   Austrian and Russian courts offer their services as mediators between the belligerents.  
1781   July   JA returns to Paris to discuss with Vergennes the proposed mediation of the Austrian and Russian courts; rejects Vergennes' proposals and returns to Amsterdam.  
1781   July   JA awarded LL.D. in absentia by Harvard College; not conferred until December.  
1781   July   AA writes letters to Lovell and to Elbridge Gerry, defending JA against aspersions cast on him by Franklin's letter to Congress of 9 Aug. 1780, written at the behest of Vergennes.  
1781   July–Aug.   JQA travels overland from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg as companion, interpreter, and clerk to Francis Dana.  
1781   Aug.   JA commissioned by Congress to negotiate a triple or quadruple alliance between the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the United States.  
1781   Aug.   CA starts his voyage home, traveling from the Texel aboard the South Carolina, Commodore Alexander Gillon, but disembarks at La Coruñia in September; completes his voyage, beginning in December, from Bilbao on the Cicero, Capt. Hugh Hill, arriving home late in January.  
1781   Aug.–Oct.   JA suffers severely from a nervous fever.  
1781   Sept.–Oct.   Siege of Yorktown ends in Cornwallis' surrender, 19 Oct., to the Franco-American allies.  
1782   Jan.–March   With the aid of Dutch friends, JA presses for recognition at The Hague.  
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1782   Feb.–March   North's ministry resigns and is replaced by that of Rockingham, which shortly sends peace emissaries to France.  
1782   April   JA is recognized by the States General as minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands and granted an audience with the Stadholder, Willem V.  
1782   May   JA takes up residence at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis at The Hague, purchased by him as the first legation building owned by the United States in Europe.  
1782   June   JA contracts with a syndicate of Amsterdam bankers to raise the first Dutch loan to the United States, 5,000,000 guilders.  
1782   June(?)   JA publishes anonymously A Collection of State-Papers, Relative to the First Acknowledgment of the Sovereignity of the United States of America, and the Reception of Their Minister Plenipotentiary, by Their High-Mightinesses the States-General of the United Netherlands, The Hague, 1782.  
1782   June   First mention in the Adams correspondence of Royall Tyler, who later becomes engaged to AA2.  
1782   July   Shelburne succeeds as British prime minister following death of Rockingham.  
1782   Summer   JA conducts lengthy negotiations for a treaty of amity and commerce between the Netherlands and the United States, signed at The Hague, 8 October.  
1782   Oct.   JA travels from The Hague to Paris.  
1782   Oct.–Nov.   JA participates in negotiating and, with his fellow commissioners, signs at Paris, 30 Nov., the Preliminary Treaty of Peace between the United States and Great Britain. He remains in Paris.  
1782   Oct.–Nov.   JQA leaves St. Petersburg and travels via Finland and the Åland Islands to Stockholm, where he remains until the end of the year.  
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.