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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-10-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I closed a long Letter to you only two days ago and sent it to Cales,1 but as no opportunity is omitted by me, I embrace this, as Col. Flury was kind enough to write me on purpose from Newport to inform me of it, and to promise a carefull attention to it. Yet I feel doubtfull of its safety, the Enemy seem to be collecting a prodigious force into these seas, and are bent upon the destruction of our Allies. We are not a little anxious for them, and cannot but wonder that they are not yet reinforced. Graves Fleet, Arbuthnots and Rodneys, all here. With such a superiority, can it be matter of surprize, if Mr. de Ternay should fall a sacrifice? My own Mind I own is full of apprehension, yet I trust we shall not be deliverd over to the vengance of a Nation more wicked and perverse than our own. We daily experience the correcting and the defending Arm. The enclosed paper will give you the particulars of an infernal plot, and the providential discovery of it—for however the Belief of a particular Providence may be exploded by the Modern Wits, and the Infidelity of too many of the rising generation deride the Idea, yet the virtuous Mind will look up and acknowledge the great first cause, without whose notice not even a sparrow falls to the ground.
I am anxious to hear from you. Your last Letter which I have received was dated in June the 17. I have wrote you repeatedly that my Trunk was not put on Board the Alliance. That poor vessel was the sport of more than winds and waves, the conduct with regard to her is considerd as very extrodanary. She came to Boston as you have no doubt heard. Landay is suspended—the Man must be new made before he can be entitled to command. I hope Capt. Sampson arrived safe, he carried the resolve of Congress which you wanted.
{ 7 }
As to our domestick affairs Mr. H[al]l is dead, and your M[othe]r went to your B[rothe]r he having lost his wife in the Spring, and was there taken Ill. I sent for her home, and have nursed the old Lady through a severe turn of a fever in which I feard for her life. She is however upon the recovery and desires her tenderest regards to you, tho she fears she shall not live to see your return. I am myself just recovering from a slow fever, weak and feeble yet. If you have an opportunity by way of Holland by Mr. Austin to send me some paint and oil, stone coulour, I wish you would. You tell me to send you price current. I will aim at it.2 Corn is now 30 pound, Rye 27 per Bushel, flower from a hundred and 40 to a hundred and 30 per hundred, Beaf 8 dollors per pound, Mutton 9, Lamb 6, 7 and 8, Butter 12 dollors per pound, cheese 10, Sheeps Wool 30 dollors per pound, flax 20. West India articles Sugar from a hundred and 70 to 2 hundred pounds per hundred, Molasses 48 dollors per Gal., Tea 90, Coffe 12, cotton Wool 30 per pound. Exchange from 70 up to 75 for hard Money. Bills at 50—Money scarce, plenty of Goods, enormous Taxes. —Our State affairs are thus. H[ancoc]k will be Governour by a very great Majority—the Senate will have to choose the Leiut. Governour —our constitution is read with great admiration in New York and pronounced by the royall Governour to be the best Republican form he ever saw, but with sincere hopes that it might not be accepted. How will it be administered is now the important Question?
I request you would write to me by the way of Bilboa and Holland. I have sent you a set of Bill[s] for 4 hundred dollors. I have one more for a hundred which I have not yet enclosed. I did not know but I had best send it to Holland or Bilboa, but am not determined. Enclose a Letter for Mr. T[haxte]r. Shall write again to Amsterdam a vessel will soon sail. Let Mr. D[an]a know that I heard last Night from Mrs. D——a that she, the judge and family were all well.—The Report of the day is that 3 thousand troops are arrived at New York from England.

[salute] Adieu most affectionately yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by Thaxter: “Portia Octr. 15. 1780.” Enclosures not found.
1. Thus in MS, but AA unquestionably meant Cadiz since the long letter she had “closed” two days before must have been that dated 8 Oct., above, sent by “a vessel going to Spain.”
2. The following list has been repunctuated for clarity.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0005

Author: Bishop, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-10-16

John Bishop to Abigail Adams

[salute] Mrs. Adams

I received yours of the 14th. ultmo.,1 should not have defer'd answering it so long had I been able to have wrote you, but have had a lame hand, and was unable to put Pen to Paper when I receiv'd it.
I sent you a b[arre]l of Flower which you acknowledge the Rec[eip]t off in your Letter. I hope it will prove good. I got Mr. Hall (Baker of this place) to exammine all the Flower we then had in Store which was very considerable, and to chuse out One bl. of it for you, which he should think to be the best; accordingly he did, and inform'd me, that he tho't it equal, if, not superior, to any he had seen since the War, and hope it will prove as good as he tho't it to be. The Current Price then for Flower was 8 Hard Dollars or, the exchange.
You mention'd in your Letter that you had some Silk Handkerchiefs which you would prefer making Payment for the Flower, rather than the Money; I have Handkerchiefs by me which at present have no demand for. With Respect to the ballance due on the Flower, you need not trouble yourself about, but when it's convenient you may send it. The trouble you was kind enough to take in getting my Stockings Wove, join'd with the other favors receiv'd lays me under infinite Obligations, and have the Honr. to be, Madam, Your mo. Humble St.,
[signed] John Bishop2
1. Not found.
2. Presumably John Bishop (1722–1791), a miller of Medford, who had married Abigail Tufts, sister of Dr. Cotton Tufts and cousin of AA (Brooks, Medford, p. 394, 501, 545).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-10-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

The vessel by which I mean to send this is bound for Amsterdam and had very nigh given me the slip.
I have been writing to you when ever I was able by other opportunities, and should have compleated several Letters for this conveyance, but I have been very sick with a slow fever, and your Mother has been sick here of a fever, occasiond by great fatigue, the old gentleman dyeing about 3 weeks ago of a fever. Both of us are much better. { 9 } I have got out, tho she has not yet left her chamber. The rest of our Friends are well.
I wish this Letter might find you in Holland. I think it not improbable if you have received a Commission forwarded to you some months ago.
My Trunk about which you have been so anxious, and so often wished me safe, is not on board the Alliance to my no small mortification. You have found out the cause I dare say before this time. Party and cabal ran so high that the person to whose care it was intrusted, did not chuse to come in the ship—so that it may possibly lay in France till Sampson arrives. If it should I wish it may be put on Board of him and be so good as to get an invoice of Mr. Moylan and send the first opportunity. This I wish you to do. If it should come by the Dr., it will be no damage to compare them.
Holland is so much improved in the way of Trade, that ten nay twenty opportunities offer for sending from there, to one from France.
Enclosed I send a set of Bills received from Mr. L[ovel]l. They do not amount to near the Balance reported in your favour, but I suppose the rest to be connected with the other Gentlemens accounts, which they say can not be gone into at present for want of a state of theirs. I have however written to Mr. L——l to know if it is really so.1
As to politicks if I begin I shall not know where to end, yet I must tell you of a horrid plot, just ready to have been sprung, which would have given us a shock indeed. Arnold, you know him unprincipald as the ——. He missirable wretch had concerted a plan to give up West point where he commanded with its dependancies, into the hands of the Enemy. He had made returns of every important matter to them; with a plan (but a little before concerted, between the General officers) and State of the Army. Major Andry was the person upon whom these papers were found. An officer in the British Army, sensible, bold and enterprizing, universally beloved by them, and regreated with many tears—he was young and very accomplished, but taken in our Camp as a Spy, he was tried, comdemned and Executed. Arnold upon the first allarm that Andry was taken, conveyd himself on Board a ship of war and deserted to the Enemy. I have by two late papers sent you enclosed to you the whole of this Black transaction, so providentially discoverd which must excite gratitude in every Breast not wholy devoid of principal.2—It is now a long time since I heard from you, the 17 of June was the last date.
I have just sent Letters for Mr. T[haxte]r to Newport to go in a French Frigate. I shall write to him by a vessel soon to sail for France { 10 } and to my dear Boys. Remember me tenderly to them. Ah! when shall I see them again, or their dear parent?—I must bid you good Night, tis late and I am yet feable and weak. Believe me with sentiments of tenderness & affection ever yours.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia,” to which CFA added later: “October 18th 1780.” Enclosures not found.
1. See Lovell to AA, 14 May, vol. 3, above, with enclosure, and references in note 31 there.
2. The classic modern account of Benedict Arnold's treason and Major John André's capture, trial, and execution as a spy is in Carl Van Doren's Secret History of the American Revolution, N.Y., 1941, p. 143–388, to which are appended full texts of the Arnold-André correspondence and Sir Henry Clinton's narrative of the plot and its outcome, p. 437–495.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0007

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Verheyk, H.
Date: 1780-10-18

John Adams to the Rector and Preceptor of the Latin School at Amsterdam

Mr. Adams presents his Compliments to the Rector and the Preceptor, and acquaints them that his eldest Son is thirteen Years of Age: that he has made considerable progress already in Greek and Latin: that he has been long in Virgil and Cicero, and that he has read a great deal for his Age, both in French and English; and therefore Mr. Adams thinks it would discourage him to be placed and kept in the lower Forms or Classes of the School; and that it would be a damage to interrupt him in Greek, which he might go on to learn without understanding Dutch. Mr. Adams therefore requests that he may be put into the higher Forms, and put upon the Study of Greek.1
LbC (Adams Papers); in John Thaxter's hand; at foot of text: “not sent.”
1. On the placement of JQA and CA as boarding students in the Latin School on the Singel in Amsterdam at the end of August, with JQA's diary entries about their life there, see JA to AA, 25 Sept., vol. 3 above. The present letter, which on second thought JA did not send, indicates that the school authorities had held JQA back from his proper scholastic level because of his deficiency in the Dutch language—a decision that JA thought unwise and that soon proved so in its effect on JQA. For the upshot see the exchange of notes between Rector Verheyk and JA under 10 Nov., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0008

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-10-20

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Friend

A Promiss made to my son to spend a week with our Friends at Braintree is readily Caught at nor Can I Receed had I inclination. I { 11 } hope his Behaviour is such as no one will think it too Long Except his mamah who is very Choice of the Precious Moments of Youth. But you will put into his hand such Books as will both instruct and Entertain.1
I am sorry Naby is not at home. Why will my Friend be so Ceremonious. Why not sometimes a Letter Gratis. You have a Great deal of Leasure when Compared with me, who Constantly am preparing a Large Family to Go from home. Half a Dozen agreable young are now a going from me among whom I sat down to write. Judge what sort of Letter you are Like to have. How ever tis no matter. Inteligence I Can Give You none. Sentiment you dont Need. Therefore an Expression or two off Friendship is all I shall aim at, in which your sister will Ever have a share Though have Niether Letter or Message from her, but suppose she is all the Mother. Tell her to Gaurd her heart. These little Encroachers soon Get full Possession. The Entrenchments are made strong about them, and when Time, Curiousity or Bussiness Calls them to a distant World, or Death Calls them out of it: what a shock. How shatered the Citadel, how weakned the whole Fabrick. But I can Neither speculate, Morallize or Anticipate. The Room is a Meer Wind Mill. One says Mamah your Letter Cant be very Elegant, another is still more saucy. But I aim at Nothing of the kind, and must spite of my inclination Abruptly bid you Adieu. Though not without assuring you of the affection of your Friend,
[signed] M. Warren
Let me hear from you.
1. The Warrens had five sons, of whom two were away and the others were still in their teens: Charles, Henry, and George (Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, Richard Warren of the Mayflower . . ., Boston, 1901, p. 28). Which of the three younger sons was to visit Braintree does not appear.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0009

Author: Verheyk, H.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-10

Rector Verheyk to John Adams

[salute] Monsieur

La Desobeissance et L'impertinence de Monsieur votre Fils ainé, qui fait de son mieux pour corrompre son aimable Frere, n'etant plus a soufrir, puis qu'il cherche lui même par sa brutalité, a s'attirer le chatiment qu'il merite, dans l'Esperance de quitter les Ecoles, sous ce pretexte.
Je vous prie donc Monsieur d'avoir la bonté de le retirer d'ici, { 12 } plutot que de voir la Discipline publique rendue risible, puisque je serai a la fin obligé de le traiter selon les Loix de notre Ecole.

[salute] J'ai L'honneur d'être Monsieur Votre Tres Humble Serviteur,

[signed] H. Verheyk Rector Gymn. Publ.
RC (Adams Papers); in a clerical hand, signed by Verheyk. JA's reply, q.v. following, is on the verso of Verheyk's note and furnishes the date here assigned.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0010

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Verheyk, H.
Date: 1780-11-10

John Adams to Rector Verheyk

[salute] Sir

I have this moment received, with Surprise and Grief, your Billet.
I pray you Sir, to send my Children to me this Evening and your Account, together with their Chests and Effects tomorrow. I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, Sir, your humble servant,
[signed] John Adams1
FC (Adams Papers); in JA's hand, written on verso of Verheyk's note, q.v. preceding; at foot of text: “M. H. Verheyk, Rector Gymn. Publ.”
1. For the background of this exchange with Verheyk, see JA to AA, 25 Sept. and note (vol. 3, above), and JA's letter, “not sent,” to the Rector and Preceptor of the Latin School, 18 Oct., above.
From surviving correspondence it does not appear that JA explicitly told AA of this incident, but a few weeks later, in reporting to her that he was sending the two boys with Thaxter to continue their studies at Leyden, he spoke bitterly of the mean-spiritedness of Dutch schoolmasters (to AA, 18 Dec., below).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0011-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-13

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

How long is the space since I heard from my dear absent Friends? Most feelingly do I experience that sentiment of Rousseaus' “that one of the greatest evils of absence, and the only one which reason cannot alleviate, is the inquietude we are under concerning the actual state of those we love, their health, their life, their repose, their affections. Nothing escapes the apprehension of those who have every thing to lose.” Nor are we more certain of the present condition than of the future. How tormenting is absence! How fatally capricious is that Situation in which we can only enjoy the past Moment, for the present is not yet arrived. Stern Winter is making hasty Strides towards me, and chills the warm fountain of my Blood by the Gloomy prospect of passing it alone, for what is the rest of the World to me?

“Its pomp, its pleasures and its nonesence all?”1

{ 13 } The fond endearments of social and domestick life, is the happiness I sigh for, of that I am in a great measure deprived by a seperation from my dear partner and children, at the only season in life when it is probable we might have enjoyed them all together. In a year or two, the sons will be so far advanced in life, as to make it necessary for their Benifit, to place them at the Seats of Learning and Science, indeed the period has already arrived, and whilst I still fondle over one, it is no small relief to my anxious mind, that those, who are seperated from me, are under your care and inspection. They have arrived at an age, when a Mothers care becomes less necessary and a Fathers more important. I long to embrace them. The Tears my dear Charles shed at parting, have melted my Heart a thousand times. Why does the mind Love to turn to those painfull scenes and to recollect them with pleasure?
I last week only received a Letter written last March, and sent by Monseiur John Baptiste Petry.2 Where he is I know not. After nameing a Number of persons of whom I might apply for conveyance of Letters, you were pleased to add, they were your great delight when they did not censure, or complain, when they did they were your greatest punishment.
I am wholy unconscious of giving you pain in this way since your late absence. If any thing of the kind formerly escaped my pen, had I not ample retaliation, and did we not Balance accounts tho the sum was rather in your favour even after having distroyed some of the proof. In the most Intimate of Friendships, there must not be any recrimination. If I complaind, it was from the ardour of affection which could not endure the least apprehension of neglect, and you who was conscious that I had no cause would not endure the supposition. We however wanted no mediating power to adjust the difference, we no sooner understood each other properly, but as the poet says, “The falling out of Lovers is the renewal of Love.”

Be to my faults a little Blind

Be to my virtues ever kind

and you are sure of a Heart all your own, which no other Earthly object ever possessd. Sure I am that not a syllable of complaint has ever stained my paper, in any Letter I have ever written since you left me. I should have been ungratefull indeed, when I have not had the shadow of a cause; but on the contrary, continual proofs of your attention to me. You well know I never doubted your Honour. Virtue and principal confirm the indissoluable Bond which affection first began and my security depends not upon your passion, which other { 14 } objects might more easily excite, but upon the sober and setled dictates of Religion and Honour. It is these that cement, at the same time that they ensure the affections.

“Here Love his golden shafts employs; here lights

His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings.”

I had written thus far when Capt. Davis arrived. The News of your being in Amsterdam soon reachd me, but judge of my dissapointment when I learnt that he had thrown over all his Letters, being chased by an American privateer, who foolishly kept up British coulours till she came along side of him. One only was saved by some accident and reachd me after hearing that the whole were lost. This tho short was a cordial to my Heart, not having received a line of a later date than 15 [i.e. 17] of June. This was the fourth of Sepbr., and just informd me of your Health and that you had been in Amsterdam a few weeks. My dear sons were not mentiond, and it was only by a very polite Letter from Mr. de Neufville that I learnt they were with you, and well. He is pleased to speak in high terms of them, I hope they deserve it.3
A week after a Brig arrived at Providence and brought me your favour of Sepbr. 15 and Mr. Thaxters of August and Sepbr. from Paris.4 You do not mention in either of your Letters which were saved, how long you expect to reside in Holland. I fancy longer than you then Imagined, as Capt. Davis informs that you had not heard of the Capture of Mr. Lawrence.5 This event will make your stay there necessary. I fear for your Health in a Country so damp, abounding in stagnant water, the air of which is said to be very unfriendly to Foreigners. Otherways if I was to consult my own feelings I should wish your continuance there, as I could hear more frequently from you. If it is not really nearer, its being a sea port, gives me that Idea, and I fancy the pains of absence increase in proportion to distance, as the power of attraction encreases as the distance diminishes. Magnets are said to have the same motion tho in different places. Why may not we have the same sensations tho the wide Atlantick roll between us? I recollect your story to Madam Le Texel upon the Nature and power of Attraction and think it much more probable to unite Souls than Bodies.6
You write me in yours of Sepbr. 15 that you sent my things in the Alliance. This I was sorry to see, as I hoped Mr. Moylan had informd you before that time, that Dr. Winship to whom he deliverd them { 15 } neither came in the vessel or sent the things. I am not without fears that they will be embezzled. I have taken every opportunity to let you know of it, but whether you have got my Letters is uncertain.7 The cabals on Board the Ship threw the officers into parties, and Winship chose to involve my trunk in them. He certainly sent goods by the same vessel to other persons. General W[arre]n, my unkle and others examined and went on Board, but could find no Trunk for me. The Articles sent by private hands I believe I have got, except you sent more than one packet by Col. Flury who arrived at Newport [and] sent forward a package containing a few yards of Black Silk. A month afterwards, received a Letter from him desireing to know if I received two packages and some Letters which he brought.8 I received no Letter, and but one package by him. I have been endeavouring to find out the mistery, but have not yet develloped it.—The Articles you sent me from Bilboa have been of vast service to me, and greatly assisted me in dischargeing the load of Taxes which it would have otherways been impossible for me to have paid; I will enclose you a list of what I have paid, and yet remains due from July to this day. The Season has been so unfortunate in this state, that our produce is greatly diminished. There never was known so severe and so long a drought, the crops of corn and grass were cut of. Each Town in this State is called upon to furnish a suffering Army with provision. This Towns supply is 40 thousand weight of Beaf or money to purchase it. This has already been collected. Our next tax is for Grain to pay our six months and our 3 Months militia, to whom we wisely voted half a Bushel per day, the state pay, and a Bounty of a Thousand dollors each or money Equivalent to purchase the Grain. This is now collecting and our Town tax only is four times larger than our continential.9 You hear no such sound now, as that money is good for nothing. Hard money from 70 to 75 is made the standard, that or exchange is the way of dealing, everything is high, but more steady than for two years before. My Tenants say they must leave the Farm, that they cannot live. I am sure I cannot pay more than my proportion yet I am 10th they should quit. They say two Cows would formerly pay the taxes upon this place, and that it would now take ten. They are not alone in their complaints. The burden is greater I fear than the people will bear—and whilst the New England states are crushed by this weight, others are lagging behind, without any exertions, which has produced a convention from the New England States. A motion has been made, but which I sincerely hope will not be adopted by our Goverment, I mean to vest General Washington { 16 } with the power of marching his Army into the state that refuses supplies and exacting it by Martial Law. Is not this a most dangerous step, fraught with Evils of many kinds. I tremble at the Idea. I hope Congress will never adopt such a measure, tho our delegates should receive such Instructions.10
Our publick affair[s] wear a more pleasing aspect, as you will see by the inclosed Gazet yet are we very far from extirpating the British force. If we are not to look for peace till that event takes place, I fear it is very far distant. Small as our Navy is, it has captured near all the Quebeck Fleet, 19 have arrived safe in port, and fill'd Salem and Cape Ann with Goods of all kinds. Besides not a week passes but gives us a prize from some Quarter.
As to the affairs of our common wealth, you will see who is Govenour. Two good Men have been chosen as Leiut. Governour, both of whom have refused. The late judge of probate is now Elected, and tis thought will accept.11 Last week his Excellency gave a very Grand Ball, to introduce our Republican form of Goverment properly upon the Stage.12
It was a maxim of Edward king of Portugal, that what ever was amiss in the manners of a people, either proceeds from the bad example of the Great, or may be cured by the Good. He is the patriot who when his Country is overwhelmed by Luxery, by his example stems the Torrent and delivers it from that which threatens its ruin. A writer observes with Regard to the Romans, that there must have been a considerable falling off, when Sylla won that popular favour by a shew of Lions, which in better times he could only have obtained by substantial services.
I have twice before enclosed a set of Bills, received from Mr. Lovell for you. I ventured to detain one hopeing for an opportunity to send to Holland. I enclose it now together with a list of the Articles if you think you can afford them to me. If not I shall be better satisfied in a refusal than in a compliance. The Articles you were so kind as to send me were not all to my mind. The Led coulourd Silk was clay coulour, not proper for the use I wanted it for, it was good however. A large Quantity of ordinary black ribbon, which may possibly sell for double what it cost, if it had been coulourd there would have been no difficulty with it. The tape is of the coarsest kind, I shall not lose by it, but as I wanted it for family use, it was not the thing. The Tea was Excellent, the very best I ever had and not so high priced as from other places. All the rest of the articles were agreable.—I have written to Mr. de Neufville encloseing a duplicate Bill, and a list of { 17 } the same articles, but directed him to take your orders and govern himself by them.13 When ever you send me any thing for sale, Linnens especially Irish, are always saleable. Common calico, that comes cheep from Holland, any thing of the wollen kind such as Tamies, Durants or caliminco14 with ordinary linnen hankerchiefs answer well.
I have written a very long letter. To what port it will go first [I] know not; it is too late for any vessel to go to Holland this winter from hence.—Our Friends all well. Your Brother has lost his youngest daughter.15 I will write to my dear John and Charles and hope [my?]16 Letters will not meet the fate of theirs.

[salute] Ever & at all time yours,

[signed] Portia
The enclosure that appeared on page 17 in the printed volume appears on digital page 20.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in Thaxter's hand: “Portia 18th.–24th. Novr. 1780.” Only one of the numerous enclosures mentioned in the text has been found; it is printed herewith; see further, Neufville & Son to AA, 25 May 1781 and enclosure.
1. Closing quotation mark supplied. Throughout this letter AA's very indifferent punctuation has been minimally regularized.
2. JA to AA, 18 March 1780, in Adams Papers but omitted here, a brief note in which the only significant passage (beyond introducing Petry) is paraphrased by AA at the end of the present paragraph.
JA's note was one of nine he wrote on the same date to friends in Boston and Philadelphia introducing in complimentary terms “Monsieur John Baptiste Petry, Secretary of the Comte de Chatelet [elsewhere “Chatelux,” i.e. Chastellux] a Marshall of the Camps and Armies of the King of France.” It is somewhat doubtful, however, whether Petry came to America at this time, or at any rate to Boston. He is not mentioned in Chastellux' Travels, and in a letter to JA of 22 Nov., James Warren said he had neither seen nor heard from “the Gentleman ... recommended” (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:150–151). But a Jean Baptiste Petry served as vice consul of France at Wilmington, N.C., and Charleston, S.C., 1783–1792, and appears as consul in Pennsylvania in 1793 or 1794 and { 18 } evidently stayed until 1798. There have been doubts whether this was the same J. B. Petry who came to America in 1815, upon the restoration of the French monarchy, as consul at New Orleans and who became consul general of France at Washington in 1819. From allusions in JQA's diary entries in Paris during “the hundred days,” when Petry and JQA exchanged visits, it seems clear that it was the same Petry who served in America at such long intervals. See JQA, Diary, 14 Feb., 7, 27 April, 12 May 1815. During JQA's secretaryship of state he and Petry became good friends, and CFA recorded on 24 Dec. 1823 Petry's keen regret upon leaving the United States to take a post in Spain o which he had been ordered (CFA, Diary, 1:20; see also JQA, Diary, Dec. 1823-Jan. 1824, passim). Information on Petry's tours of duty in America has been furnished to the editors by Howard C. Rice Jr., Princeton University Library, who has long collected biographical data on French consular agents in the United States. See also A. P. Nasatir and G. E. Monell, comps., French Consuls in the United States: A Calendar of Their Correspondence in the Archives Nationales, Washington, 1967, p. 553, 567.
3. The letter from Jean de Neufville, Amsterdam, 2 Sept. 1780, is printed in vol. 3, above.
4. These letters will also be found in vol. 3. ||See Thaxter to AA, Augt. 21, JA to AA, Sept. 15, Thaxter to AA, Sept. 19, and Thaxter to AA, Sept. 20.||
5. Henry Laurens had sailed from Philadelphia on 13 Aug. in the brigantine Mercury, which was captured off Newfoundland on 3 Sept. by the British frigate Vestal. Laurens was taken into St. John's and then to England in the sloop Fairy in a somewhat ambiguous status. Arriving in London on 5 Oct., he was promptly committed to the Tower under “suspicion of high treason.” See Laurens' “Narrative,” S.C. Hist. Soc., Colls., 1 (1857): 18–25. JA's secret informant in England, Thomas Digges, who wrote over a great variety of signatures, reported with remarkable promptness, accuracy, and indignation what happened with respect to Laurens in the ensuing weeks. His first letter on the subject was dated 3 Oct., even before Laurens reached London. Although this letter was delayed in transit, JA had word of Laurens' capture by the 11th and of his incarceration by the 14th. See “W.S.C.” [Thomas Digges] to “Ferdinando Ramon San” [JA], 3, 6, 10, 17, 20, 2427 Oct. (Adams Papers); JA to Huntington, 11 Oct. (PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:95); “F.R.S.” to “W.S.C.,” 14 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:315). JA furnished extracts from some of Digges' letters to Dumas at The Hague for publication in Dutch papers (JA to Dumas, 3 Nov., LbC, Adams Papers); the extracts will be found in Wharton, 4:84–85.
6. This alludes to one of the racier anecdotes in JA's Autobiography, recorded by him to illustrate the (to him) shocking freedom of conversation between the sexes in France. The incident had occurred at a dinner party in Bordeaux in April 1778, when JA had just arrived in France for the first time. In his Autobiography he did not name his dinner companion who asked him an embarrassing question that he handled with great finesse, identifying her only as “One of the most elegant Ladies at Table, young and handsome” (Diary and Autobiography, 4:36–37).
7. JA had already made inquiries about the missing trunk of goods intended for AA; see his letter to James Moylan at Lorient, 28 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers).
8. Fleury to AA, 6 Oct., above.
9. On these matters, indicative of the burdens borne by ordinary citizens in the fifth year of the war, see the votes of the town meetings of 17 July, 28 Sept., and 23 Oct. in Braintree Town Records, p. 513, 515–516.
10. The convention to which AA alludes was held at Hartford, Conn., in mid-November. The four New England states and New York sent delegates; copies of the proceedings were transmitted to the governors of all the states, to General Washington, and to Congress. The ten resolutions adopted by the Convention were designed to guarantee—by “Coertion” if necessary, since some states were seriously delinquent—the filling up of state quotas of “Men Money Provisions or other Supplies” levied by Congress. The premise on which the Convention acted in this the bleakest year { 19 } of the Revolution was that “Our present Embarrassments ... arise in a great Measure from a Defect in the present Governments of the United States,” which meant to those who held this view that Congress lacked effective power over the state governments. As E. James Ferguson and others have pointed out, the Hartford Convention of 1780 betokened a shift in American leadership from those who had begun and hitherto largely conducted the struggle for independence to a more conservative class of merchants and propertied men who thought the cause was faltering through want of vigorous, efficient, centralized authority. The leaders now coming forward were “nationalists,” whose thinking anticipated that of the majority of members of the Federal Convention of 1787 and of the Federalist party of the 1790's. See E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961, ch. 6; also the older account of the Hartford Convention of 1780 in George Bancroft, History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States of America, N.Y., 1882, 1:12–16. The letters and proceedings of the Convention as laid before Congress and committed on 12 Dec. (JCC, 18:1141) are in PCC, No. 33:391–418. Texts of these, contributed by Bancroft and apparently not available in print elsewhere, are in Magazine of Amer. Hist., 8 (1882): 688–698.
As soon as the recommendations of the Convention became known they excited strong feelings among those less “nationalist” in their outlook—the “old revolutionaries,” so to speak. One clause in the fourth resolution, to which AA is alluding here, proved particularly offensive because it proposed to elevate military over civil power in a way painfully suggestive of Roman precedents familiar to all literate Americans. The original reads:
“That it be earnestly recommended to the several States represented in this Convention to Instruct their respective Delegates to use their Influence in Congress. That the Commander in Chief of the Army of the United States be Authorized and Impowered to take such Measures as he may deem proper and the publick Service may render necessary to induce the several States to a punctual Compliance with the Requisitions which have been or may be made by Congress for Supplies for the Years 1780 and 1781.”
James Warren interpreted this passage in the same manner and with the same alarm as AA did. Writing Samuel Adams on 4 Dec., he said:
“I suppose you have before this seen the doings and Resolutions of the Hartford Convention. If one of them does not astonish you I have forgot my political Catechism. Surely History will not be Credited when it shall record that a Convention of Delegates from the four New England States and from the next to them met at Hartford in the Year 1780, and in the heigth of our Contest for public Liberty and Security solemnly Resolved to recommend it to their several States to Vest the Military with Civil Powers of an Extraordinary kind and, where their own Interest is Concerned, no less than a Compulsive power over deficient States to oblige them by the point of the Bayonet to furnish money and supplies for their own pay and support. This must have been done without recollecting political Maxims, without attending to Historical Admonitions and warnings, or the Principles upon which our Opposition to Britain rests. General Washington is a Good and a Great Man. I love and Reverence him. But he is only a Man and therefore should not be vested with such powers, and besides we do not know that his successor will be either Great or Good. Much less can we tell what Influence this precedent may have half a Century since.” (Warren-Adams Letters), 2:151–152.
When the Convention's proposals came before Congress in December, the fourth resolution appeared to be essentially a renewal of a motion made in that body early in September by John Mathews of South Carolina and then defeated. Its substance is known only through a passage in a letter from James Lovell to Elbridge Gerry (both “old revolutionaries”), written on 20 November. Under its terms Washington was to be “fully authorized and empowered to carry into Execut'n in the most compleat and ample manner such measures as shall { 20 } appear to him best calculated for raising and bringing into the field on or before the 1st day of Jan'ry next, an army of 25000 men to continue in the service of these United States during the present war with Great Britain,” together with the arms, ammunition, and stores required by them. “And the Congress of these United States do in the most solemn manner pledge themselves to the said Gen. W fully and vigorously to support him and to ratify whatever shall be by him done in the premises.” A second resolve declared these virtually unlimited “powers and authorities ... to be in full force” until 1 Dec. 1781. (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 5:542). We know something of the circumstances that led to the defeat of this motion from a letter that Mathews, its mover, addressed to Washington on 15 Sept.; it was thought, he said, to be “too strongly tinctured with ... Army principles” (same, p. 374). And so was the Hartford Convention's fourth resolution, on which John Witherspoon (a member of the committee to which the resolutions were referred) commented as follows in a letter of 16 Dec. to Governor William Livingston of New Jersey:
“Though it is well known to you that few persons have a higher opinion of or confidence in Gen. Washington than myself or a greater desire of having vigorous executive powers put into the hands of persons at the head of affairs either in the military or civil department, yet that resolution is of such a nature that I should never give my voice for it unless you or my constituents should specifically direct it, perhaps even not then, and I have that opinion of Gen. Washington that I do not think he would accept or act in consequence of such powers. What could induce that Convention to recommend such a measure is a mystery to me, but I believe it will have few advocates” (same, p. 487–488).
For the subsequent history of Congress' action, or inaction, on the Convention's proposals, which, minus the more offensive ones, became embodied in administrative reforms carried out after the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in March 1781, see Madison, Papers, ed. Hutchinson, 2:318–319.
11. On the election of John Hancock over James Bowdoin as first governor under the new constitution, see AA to JA, 5 July (vol. 3, above), and note 7, with references there. On 31 Oct., Bowdoin addressed a letter to the General Court declining, “by reason of a continued ill-state of health,” his election both as a member of the Senate and as lieutenant governor (Boston Gazette, 6 Nov. 1780, p. 2, col. 1–2). On 7 Nov., James Warren was elected lieutenant governor, but he too declined (same, 13 Nov., p. 4, col. 1; his letter of declination, dated 10 Nov. and citing the distance of his residence from Boston and prior obligations, is in same, 20 Nov., p. 4, col. 2). Shortly thereafter, Thomas Cushing, a supporter of Hancock and Suffolk judge of probate, was chosen; after some deliberation he accepted. See Cotton Tufts to JA, 27 Nov., below.
12. “Thursday evening last [23 Nov.] a ball and entertainment was given by His Excellency the Governor to the officers of the army and navy, and principal ladies and gentlemen of this city” (Continental Journal, 30 Nov. 1780, p. 3, col. 1).
13. This letter and its enclosure have not been found.
14. Tamis (variously spelled), a cloth made for straining or bolting; durant, a woolen stuff, sometimes called “everlasting”; calamanco, a Flemish woolen cloth with a glossy surface (OED).
15. Elizabeth, daughter of Peter and Mary (Crosby) Adams, born just before her mother's death; see AA to JA, 15 April, vol. 3, above.
16. One or two words having been rubbed out, the text is obscure.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0011-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-13

Enclosure: List of Articles

26 yards of Dutch bed tick
2 Gray muffs and tippets
2 Bundles of english pins
2 sets of House Brushes
1 doz. of blew and white china tea cups and sausers
half a doz. pint china Bowls
half a doz. diaper table cloths 2, 5 Ells wide 2 four 2 three.
one Scotch carpet 4 yards square or 6 Ells.
half a doz. white gauze handerchifs the same size that the black were
NB an Ell in Holland is but 3 quarters of our yard.
You will be so good as to find out where that young gentleman is and forward the Letter.1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in Thaxter's hand: “Portia 18th.–24th. Novr. 1780.” Only one of the numerous enclosures mentioned in the text has been found; it is printed herewith; see further, Neufville & Son to AA, 25 May 1781 and enclosure.
1. Perhaps a letter intended for Winslow Warren; see Winslow Warren to AA, 26 May (vol. 3, above), and note 2 there.
{ 21 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0012

Author: Smith, William (1755-1816)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-11-20

William Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] Mrs. Adams

Cap. Davis arrived here last Thursday, by him Mr. Adams had sent a number of Letters, and was order'd to throw them over in case he was chased. He was chas'd on his passage and threw them over. Messrs. De Neufville wrote a Letter to my father inclosing one for you which was saved and have sent it by the Bearer. The packet for you will be taken care of as soon as it is out of the Vessell. A Sloop that saild in company with Davis has arrived at Providence, shou'd there be any Letters come to hand I will forward them by the first oppertunity.

[salute] Yours Affectionately,

[signed] W. Smith
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree.” Enclosure: Jean de Neufville & Son to AA, 2 Sept., vol. 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0013

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-11-27

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

The enclosed is from no new Admirer. But it will not be less wellcome on that Score to a Female devoid of Coquetry. It came under Cover to the hon. Mr. Bee from Commodore Gillon, who has been so kind as to aid Mr. A——by interpreting, in Holland.1 Mr. A——is authorized to negociate the money matters that were entrusted to Mr. Laurens and had actually received his Powers by the happy Arrival of the hon. Mr. Searle who sailed from hence in the Jay on some Affairs for the State of Pensylvania.2
Mr. A was well Sepr. 25. I wish I may be able to say Something to him of the same kind about you before Col. Palfrey sails;3 it may serve as a Douceur. He writes not to me. He is as captious as P— I will not say who, because the eastern Post has failed Today, and possibly there may be in the Office at Fish Kill a “Thank you for forwarding the Bills of Exchange” and an “I wish you happy” with a P at the Bottom of it.4
I have not yet seen the Carolina Mr. Brown5 to prove to him of what worth is a good Word from you. It shall wellcome to me even the “Countenance” of a Saracen.
I hear nothing yet of Capt. P. Jones. I have 3 Commissions respecting Goods to come by him. They are from 3 much esteemed Friends. I will not say of which of the Commissions I am most proud, for I { 22 } wish to avoid even the Appearance of being a Flatterer in these Days of Slander when even Portia has “been left” to miscall my Honesty.
Now, Daughter of Eve, for a few Dashes in the News-way. Russia, Sweeden and Denmark are jointly doing Right to their mutual Commerces. Holland is all tameness, pretending to expect that the northern confederating Powers shall guarantee her east india Interests as a preliminary to her joining the Confederation. England releases Captures made upon the 3 first mentioned Nations, but condemns the Hollanders. Minheer I should think will not much longer hold out under such evident Indignity.
The british Force has suddenly left Portsmouth in Virginia without destroying their Works or taking the collected negroes with them. There is a Report that they relanded higher up the Bay and have cooped in our Friends on the Neck to the amount of 5000. I suspect this to be the Fabric of a Speculator. There is more than a single Account that French Ships were off Charlestown Bar.
I forgot to tell you that Mr. A is turned a french Surgeon and is anatomizing Govr. Hutchinson. I will give you a Sketch of the Skeleton if I can find Time by next post day.6
A Foreigner who has travailed much and knows several Languages told me last Evening that he knew of Nothing that pleased him so much for the Occasion as the Quaker's Farewell.7
[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A Adams Braintree Care of Isaac Smith Esqr. Mercht. Boston Philada. Jas. Lovell.” Enclosure not found, but see note 1.
1. Thomas Bee was at this time a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress (Biog. Dir. Cong.). Alexander Gillon, a naval adventurer from South Carolina, was in Europe attempting to raise funds and buy vessels for his state's war effort; see a note on him in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:447; also under Benjamin Waterhouse to JA, 26 Dec., below. At Paris early in July, JA had entrusted Gillon with several consignments of letters to America to find conveyance for at Amsterdam; see Thaxter's note following entries for 6 and 8 July 1780 in Lb/JA/12 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 100). But since no letters to AA are specified in these lists, it is not clear, though it is quite possible, that Lovell is here forwarding a letter to her from JA.
2. On James Searle and his European mission, see Lovell to AA, 14 July, vol. 3 above, and note 4 there.
3. Col. William Palfrey, of Boston, who had been serving as paymaster general of the Continental Army, was on 4 Nov. elected by Congress the first American consul to reside in France; he sailed in December from Philadelphia in a vessel that was never heard from again (JCC, 18:1018; John Gorham Palfrey, “Life of William Palfrey,” in Jared Sparks, ed., The Library of American Biography, 2d ser., Boston, 1844–1848, vol. 7:335–448).
4. By “P” Lovell certainly means “Portia,” whom he characterizes as “captious” because in her letter of 3 Sept. she had chided him for his silence, and in her letter of 17 Sept. had called his { 23 } letter of the 3d “very Laconick.” All three of these letters are in vol. 3 above.
5. Joseph Brown Jr. of Charleston, S.C.; see JA to AA, 15 March, and AA to Lovell, 3 Sept., both in vol. 3 above.
6. JA's “anatomizing” of the late Governor Thomas Hutchinson was in his dispatch to President Huntington from Paris, 17 June. AA was shortly furnished with a copy, which she permitted to be published, anonymously, in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 4 Jan. 1781. See JA to AA, 17 June 1780, vol. 3 above, and AA to Nathaniel Willis?, ante 4 Jan. 1781, below.
7. Lovell evidently means that the best mode of leave-taking is silence.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0014

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-27

Cotton Tufts to John Adams, with a Copy of a Letter from Daniel Little

[salute] Dear Sir

I wrote to You last March also in June, the former by Capt. McNeil who had the Misfortune to be taken, the Latter by the Ship Mars Capt. Sampson bound to France, which must have reached You before this Time if no Misfortune has befallen the Ship. By Capt. Sampson I sent You Allens Narrative, a Journal of the Weather from November last with a general Account of Vegetation also a particular Account of a remarkable Darkness that happened here on the 19th. of May last and the Evening of the same Day with some Observations, and Attempts to account for it.1—In my several Letters the Proceedings of the Convention were mentioned &c. The Government is now formed—Hon. J. Hancock Esq. Governor—Hon. J. Bowdoin Esq. was chosen by the Senate and House of Rep[resentatives] Lt. Governor—refused on Account of his Health—next Hon. J. Warren—refused on Account of his Office in the Naval Board—next Hon. Thos. Cushing Esq. who is now absent at Hartford and has not given an Answer.
The House and Senate are fully convinced of the Necessity of establishing a standing Army and are taking Measures for that Purpose, as they seem to be determined to carry this Matter into Execution. In the Operation of it I imagine, the Paper Currency will die away and solid Money spring up in its Room, indeed it already circulates and the Value of the former being pretty well known, it has become indifferent to the Buyer and Seller which he pays or receives. The Exchange for several Months has been from 65 to 75, but is generally thought to be falling. Our Markets are stocked with Provisions, the Price dayly falling. Should one Helmsman steer with a steady Hand, a brighter Scene must e'er long open, notwithstanding the Misfortunes of the present Year.
An Academy of Arts and Sciences is now established in this State { 24 } President of which is the Hon. James Bowdoin Esq.—Vice President Dr. Cooper—Corresponding Secretary Rev. Jos. Willard—Recording Secretary Revd. Caleb Gannett. At the last Meeting, it was voted to transmit to the Learned Societies in France and in Europe the incorporating Act and invite their Correspondence &c.
Revd. Mr. Little of Wells a Fellow of the Academy has been engaged for some Time past in the Manufacture of Steel, which he has brought to considerable Perfection. In a Conversation with him upon the Subject he expressed a strong Inclination to become acquainted with the Methods practised in Europe more especially the Construction of the Furnaces. It occurd to my Mind sometime after, that Your opportunities of gaining Intelligence would enable You to gratify his Wishes, and not having the least doubt of your Inclination I took the Liberty to inform him that any Questions relative thereto, that he would propose, I would transmit to you by the first Opportunity.— A Copy of his Letter follows.
I received Yours of the 17 Augt. a few days since and thank You for so favourable an Opening to further Improvements in the Art of manufacturing Steel. I wish, as You suppose, to be acquainted with the various Methods practised in Europe.
My own Experiments fully evince to me that America affords the best Iron for manufacturing Steel of the first Quality for edge Tools, but I wish to be informed with what Substance that best endures the Fire, and in what Mode their Furnaces are constructed. Indeed as full an Information as can be obtained of all the different Processes in the Art of making Steel in other Countries I apprehend may hasten the Perfection of the Art in the united States to the great Benefit of the present and succeeding Generations.
Natural History and Botany have engaged my Leisure Hours for some Time past—and since some worthy Gentlemen in France have requested a Minute History of the vegetable Kingdom in America, I wish to be informed of the best Method of preserving the Flowers of Plants in their natural Form and beautiful Colourings to be transported to different Countries, and the rather because the best System of Botany is founded on the Knowledge of the Sexes of Plants, the distinguishing Characters of which are obtained by a minute Knowledge of their Flowers.
I have no Correspondent beyond America. If an Answer to the above Request may be obtained through Your Hand, it will doubtless { 25 } invite further Inquiries, that will benefit the Public, gratify the Curious, particularly, Yr. obligd Fd. &c.
[signed] D.L.2
Mr. Little is a Gentleman of much Ingenuity, fond of natural History, vastly inquisitive and industrious. I sincerely wish him all possible Encouragement and every Advantage thrown in his Way that may contribute to facilitate his Experiments and make his Researches useful to his Country and to the World in general.—Permit me to engage Your Attention to his Letter, and in due Time to favour Him through my Hands or otherwise with an Answer.
The Treachery of Genl. Arnold—His Flight to the Enemy at New York—The Execution of Major Andre (Aid D.C. to G. Clinton and Adjutt. Gen. of the British Army,) as a Spy—the severe Check the Enemy have met with at the Southward &c.—and many other Articles of Intelligence, You will receive from other Quarters, a minute Detail of which, from an Apprehension of burdening My Friend, with unnecessary Repetitions, have not inserted.
Our Connections are all well. Present my Love and Regards to Your Family and accept the same From Your Affectionate Friend & H. St.,
[signed] C. T.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in Thaxter's hand: “Dr. C. Tufts 27. Novr. 1780.”
1. Tufts' letter of “June ... by the Ship Mars Capt. Sampson” was actually dated 25 July 1780 and is printed in vol. 3 above, with two of its several enclosures. Another enclosure was evidently a copy of Ethan Allen, A Narrative of Colonel Ethen Allen's Captivity, first published in Philadelphia, 1779, with other editions following in that year and the next (Evans 16180–16182, 16692–16693); JA's copy has not been located.
2. Daniel Little (1726–1801), for half a century Congregational minister at Kennebunk and a noted missionary to the Maine Indians, had been self-educated but was awarded an honorary A.M. by Harvard in 1766. Like Tufts, he had diversified interests, among which were Indian languages, mountaineering, and natural history as well as the manufacture of steel. His efforts in this last enterprise won him financial support from the Massachusetts General Court in 1778, and in 1785 he published “Observations upon the Art of Making Steel” in the first volume of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Memoirs, p. 525–528. “But alas,” wrote the sympathetic chronicler of the annals of Kennebunk in a charming sketch of Little, “for all his calculations, and the hopes of the public! The laws of nature were against him; his philosophy was not sufficiently extensive. There was a stubborn disposition in some of the materials, which all his wisdom could not subdue, and his fond anticipations were blasted. Reluctantly, and much to his mortification, he was compelled to abandon his enterprise.” See Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.; Edward E. Bourne, The History of Wells and Kennebunk, Portland, 1875, p. 708–723, esp. 716–718.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0015

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1780-12-06

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

Your Favours of August 21. and Sept. 9. I have received and am much obliged to you for them.1 I hope you will be so good as to write me, by every Vessell.
From the great Number of American Vessells which have arrived, in Europe in the Course of the past summer, I think our Commerce as well as Privateering is on the rising hand, and I hope that next year, it will increase considerably, and that We shall hear oftener from home.
I shall probably reside hereabouts for sometime, nevertheless I hope my friends will not fail to write me by the Way of France and Spain.
Mr. Laurens is in Strict Confinement, and so are Mr. Trumbull and Mr. Tyler, who imprudently went over to England.2 I believe, that in Time Americans will realize that the English are their Ennemies.
Nobody need be afraid of Privateering, from Apprehensions of Peace. There is no Peace to be had. My affectionate Respects to all the Family.
[signed] John Adams
1. That of 21 Aug. is printed in vol. 3 above; that of 9 Sept. has not been found.
“Govr. Trumbulls Son and Mr. Tyler, are taken up in England and committed for high Treason.—This will cure the Silly Itch of running over to England”
(JA to Arthur Lee, 6 Dec., LbC, Adams Papers).
On the recent adventures of John Steele Tyler and his companion, John Trumbull the painter, in London, see note on Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April, vol. 3 above, and references there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0016

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1780-12-08

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

I have been all impatience for several Months looking and longing to hear from abroad. From June to december would be many Eternitys in the warm imagination of a Lover. Such extravagancys are at no time admissible in a Female Breast, but the anxiety of a wife and the affection of a parent, may be productive of sensations known only to those who feel them, and which language would poorly represent.
You who have a Heart open to Friendship (if not to the softer passions) can commisirate my situation upon the late arrival of Capt. Davis from Amsterdam who being chased threw over all his Letters. I scarcly knew how to endure so cruel a misfortune. A few days how• { 27 } ever in some measure relieved me; by the arrival of a Brig from the same port, which brought me one Letter from Amsterdam and 3 from France, Bearing date August 21, 27 and Sepbr. 31 for which I most sincerely thank you. You have afforded me much entertainment by your discriptive pen. I felt a degree of pitty mingle with my Indignation at an Institution equally incompatible with publick Good, and private happiness, an Institution which cruelly devotes Beauty and Innocence to slavery, regret and wretchedness, and is contrary to the dictates of that Being who pronounced it not good for Man to be alone and who created Eve, not for a secluded Bower, or a Grated Part[it]ion, but for the associate, the companion, the sharer of the Labours and pleasures of our Ancient Parent, united in them the best affections of the Humane Heart, the tender social ties from whence have flowed all the fond endearing Relatives of Parent, Son, Brother, Husband, Friend; thus a favorite Author discribes the Universal Cause, not “acting by partial, but by general Laws” and making what happiness we justly call, subsist not in the good of one, but all.
We were formed for a scene of active virtue. He is the Hero who conquers, not he who cowardly flees from the Enemy. Take care my dear Sir that you do not make the fair Maroni repent her vows and convert, instead of being converted. She would then bathe with the bitter tears of repentance and remorse, those altars to which she is consecrated. At so early an age can her passions be all sublimated? and the Love of God substituted to the Love of Man? is each prayer accepted and each wish resignd?

Desires composed, affections ever even?

Tears that delight, and Sighs that waft to heaven.

Dissapointed Love and the enthusiasm of Religion only can receive consolation in such a seclusion from the world,

“Where stern Religion quench'es the unwilling flame

Where dies the best of passions, Love and Fame.”

I was sorry to find that any of your Friends had given you uneasiness in the Way you mentiond.2 You well know that the Love of Slander is the prevailing passion of many in this place, and the spirit of levelling all characters has prompted them to strike at the best, and the most unexceptionable, but I trust their malice left not a Spot behind, since the parties have so lived that no one dared to believe the slander. Others since your absence with Hearts as pure, { 28 } and with conduct as irreproachable have equally suffered, even the tender and Gentle Eliza3

“Whose mind is virtue by the Graces dresst”

from a disorder to which you know she has been long subject, and which will I fear put a period to her days, even in the Bloom of life, has sufferd reproach for no other cause. Let this be your consolation that you have sufferd with good company, and that

“True conscious Honour, is to know no Sin

He's arm'd without that is Innocent within.”

You know I ever valued you for a purity of Morals which every young Gentleman would retain, if he knew the Evils ariseing from dissolute connexions, before experience taught them. It is an old observation that a Man is known by his company. You were Intimate with a youth, who I fear is much changed in his manners and principals from Evil communications. You have often lamented his contracted Education, that I fear has led him into company you would Blush to have your name mentiond among. Yet the Sanction of former Intimacy with him prompted a Dissolute Imp of Satan, to Name you as one of those whom she could call hers when she plased. I ventured to send her word by this very person, that she had better take care how she mentioned your Name again. I could assure her you had Friends here who would not suffer your character to be abused with Impunity. This together with a publick exorciseing from the pulpit laid the devil, and I have never heard a syllable of slander since.4 That you may retain every virtue you exported from America, pure and unsullied, and return with them brightned and improved, is the sincere and ardent wish of your ever affectionate Friend,
[signed] Portia
N[a]b desires her Regards to you. I cannot persuade her to write, not even to enquire who the fair American is, tho she has great curiosity to know.
RC (MB); addressed: “To Mr. John Thaxter Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams. 8th. Decr. 1780. R. 19 March 1781.” Dft (Adams Papers); without date or name of recipient, but CFA wrote at head of text: “Jany. 1781. Mr. Thaxter.” Some passages in Dft were rewritten in more guarded language in RC, but only one of these is editorially noted below.
1. That of 21 Aug. will be found in vol. 3 above; that of 27 Aug. is in Adams Papers but omitted here except for the paragraph quoted in the following note; that of 3 Sept. has not been found; nor has another, dated 1 Sept., which AA acknowledged in Dft of present letter but apparently by oversight omitted mention of in RC.
“I understand my Character has { 29 } been slandered and defamed since my Absence from B[raintree] but I know not in what respects. I charge this to the Score of Misfortune and not to that of Fault. I am as conscious that I have given no occasion for it as I am of my Innocence. I therefore despise the utmost Extremes of the Malice of my Enemies, whoever they may be. I have some to be sure rather bitter and spiteful. I am not indifferent as to my Reputation—my Ambition while there was to deserve and maintain a good one. My Friends (and I flatter myself I have some there) will judge between me and my Calumniators” (Thaxter to AA, 27 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers).
3. Probably Elizabeth Palmer, referred to several times in vol. 3 above.
4. In Dft the preceding passage (beginning “Yet the Sanction . . .”) reads: “Vanity and impudence prompted the infamous trolope to say, she would not marry a young fellow who was fool enough to be fond of her, because she could have Mr. A——n, Mr. Joh T, Mr. T——r or Mr. V——y when she pleased. I believe only one can be exempted from the Number as Innocent. Evil communications corrupt good manners, and it has been the misfortune of a youth whom you once loved to suffer in that way.” The names may be filled out with more or less confidence as follows: Allen or Austin, John Thaxter, Thayer, Veasey.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0017

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1780-12-09

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Favour of July 25th was received in Paris in my Absence, and I have never had opportunity, to acknowledge it, till now.
You are now I hope happy, both in the Constitution and Administration of Government. It cannot be long before We shall see the Lists.
I am obliged to you for the Journal of the Weather, but cannot admit your Excuse for not writing me Politicks. Every one says you will have publick Affairs from others. So I get them from none.
The Institution of an Accademy of Arts and Sciences, does you much honour in Europe, and it will after a little Time be incouraged, many Ways. But dont set your Hearts upon Benefactions from abroad. It is a shame that We should beg for Benefactions. There have been but two Hollis's—there will perhaps be no more.1
Indeed America will never derive any good from Europe of any Kind. I wish We were wise enough to depend upon ourselves for every Thing, and upon them for nothing. Ours is the richest and most independent Country under Heaven, and We are continually looking up to Europe for Help! Our Riches and Independance grow annually out of the Ground.
The English are hiring ships here to carry Troops and Provisions to America—they have hired about a Dozen and there are Orders to hire as many as they can.
The Dutch are waiting for the English stocks to fall below Sixty { 30 } and then every body will put their Money into them. These Gudgeons are deceived. The English Emmissaries give out that there will be Peace, and the credulous Dutch believe it, and they think that after a Peace the English stocks will rise, as they did after 1763. So they hope to get 15 or 20 Per Cent clear Profit. But there is not the least Probability of Peace: nor will the English stocks rise after it, when it comes.
The Dutch have acceeded to the neutral Confederation, but this I suspect, will be brutum Fulmen.
I inclose you a Pamphlet or two2 and am, with affectionate Respects to the Family &c.
LbC (Adams Papers). The “Pamphlet or two” enclosed in missing RC have not been found, but one has been identified; see note 2.
1. Thomas Hollis and his adopted heir, Thomas Brand Hollis, were British “republicans” who had been generous benefactors of Harvard College and other American institutions of learning. See DAB under Thomas Hollis, and references to both men in JA, Diary and Autobiography.
2. Undoubtedly one of these was a literary effort that had cost JA much time and trouble during the preceding months. Entitled Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-unie, extraites de l'ouvrage anglois, intitulé Mémoire, adressé aux souverains de l'Europe, sur l'état présent des affaires de l'ancien & du nouveau-monde, Amsterdam [&c.], n.d. (Sabin 64829), it had a long and complex history which can be given in only summary form here. It was a translation of what JA called an “Abridgment,” from his own hand, of an influential pamphlet by Thomas Pownall, A Memorial Most Humbly Addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe ..., London, 1780 (Sabin 64826). JA had prepared his version of this tract in the spring of 1780 and furnished a copy to Congress in the form of a letter to Pres. Samuel Huntington, 19 April (PCC, No. 84, I; LbC, Adams Papers). What appears to be JA's draft or working copy, a holograph MS in nineteen folio pages much corrected in his own and another hand (probably Edmund Jenings'), is in the Adams Papers under the assigned date of 5 Sept. 1780; it bears the title “A Translation of the 'Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe,' into common Sense and intelligible English.” This or another English text was made available in June or early July 1780 to a Parisian named Addenet for translation into French. The translation followed JA to Amsterdam and was sent by him on 5 Sept. to the Leyden scholar-journalist Jean Luzac, who wrote a lengthy and valuable preface and caused the whole to be published anonymously under the title Pensées, &c. (as given above in this note). Copies reached JA in mid-November, and he at once began to circulate them diligently. Early in 1781, as a result of efforts by Edmund Jenings, JA's friend in Brussels (on whom see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:355–356 and passim), the London publisher John Stockdale brought out an English edition under the by now sufficiently confusing title A Translation of the Memorial ... into Common Sense and Intelligible English (Sabin 35987). No subsequent edition has ever been issued, since CFA did not include it in JA's Works, and Wharton unaccountably omitted from the Diplomatic CorrespondenceJA's letter to Huntington of 19 April 1780 embodying JA's revision of Pownall's observations. This is the more regrettable because Pownall, who posited that the Americans had already won their independence, broke new ground in setting forth the future political and commercial relations between the Americas and Europe. JA's redaction is significant both for what it includes and what it omits.
{ 31 }
The foregoing summary is based on extensive correspondence during 1780 and early 1781 between JA and Addenet, Jenings, Luzac, and J. D. van der Capellen surviving in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0018

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-13

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Respected Sir

It so happened that I could not see the persons of whom I wished to enquire concerning the Schools, mode of education &c. untill yesterday, otherwise I should have written before.—The Gentlemen from whom I have my information have each of them a young person under their care about the age of your eldest, and are well acquainted with every thing appertaining to education in this City, from conversing with them I am able to inform you that besides the publick-school which is a good one, there are private masters in the latin and greek, who at the same time they teach these languages, teach the greek and roman History. With boys who are far advanced in greek they read and explain Euripides, Sophocles and others. The same person will if required repeat any of the Law-lectures to the pupil, and that indeed is what they are principally employed for, by those whose wives are to be Mevrouws.— There is a teacher of this kind in Leyden who is both an elegant schollar and a gentleman, such a one asks 20 ducats a year. There are besides two Professors of the greek languague, the one gives lectures on the new Testament, his hearers are generally students of Theology, the other on Euripides, Sophocles and such like, and are attended by young Gentlemen whose pursuits are similar to what I imagine your sons to be. To reap advantage from these classes it is necessary they should understand the latin pretty well because the explanations of the greek passages are given in that languague.
In regard to living I am persuaded they can live here for much less than at Amsterdam. Three furnished rooms would probably cost 20 guilders a month. We find our own tea, sugar, wine, light and fire, and give one ducat a week for dinner, it is always the same price whether we go to the public-house, or have it brought from thence to our own rooms, and it makes no difference with the people where we live, who never refuse to prepare our tables for us. In respect to their being Americans or Sons of Mr. Adams they will never meet with any thing disagreeable on that head, where any profit is like to accrue little do the Dutchmen care for their political, or even religious principles—Turk, Jew, or Christian make no difference with { 32 } them. I beleive we may say of them as they said of themselves at Japan when the Japonese enquired if they were christians—they answered, they were Dutchmen. If the Gentlemen should come, I can insure them an agreeable Society and a genteel circle of acquaintance. If they should not, I hope at least they will come and pay us a visit, and I think I need not add how ready I should be to render them any service in my power.

[salute] With my compliments to Comdr. Gillon and Mr Searl I remain with much respect your friend & Countryman,

[signed] Benjn. Waterhouse1
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honbe. John Adams Esqr. Amsterdam; endorsed: “Dr. Waterhouse Decr. 16 ansd.” (no answer has been found), to which CFA later added “1780.”
1. Benjamin Waterhouse (1754–1846). This is the first known letter in a correspondence between Waterhouse and successive generations of Adamses which continued with no real intermissions for sixty years and documents a relationship, at all times warm and sometimes peculiarly intimate, between this gifted, eccentric, and controversial physician and the two Adamses who became Presidents of the United States.
Benjamin Waterhouse, born at Newport, R.I., had been apprenticed to a physician there, and then sailed to England from Newport in March 1775 in what is said to have been “the last ship to have left the blockaded port of Boston” (Trent, “London Years,” as cited below). His object was to obtain a truly professional medical education and training, and he succeeded in doing so by spending some seven years in Edinburgh, London, and Leyden, three of the chief centers of medical science in Europe.
Of great benefit to him during most of these years were the active patronage and advice of Dr. John Fothergill, a prominent London physician and philanthropist, who was first cousin to Waterhouse's Yorkshire-born mother; see Waterhouse to JA, 26 Dec. 1780, below. At Fothergill's suggestion, Waterhouse enrolled as a student with the medical faculty at Leyden in the fall of 1778, adding to his name in the matriculation register the words “Liberae Reipublicae Americanae Federatae Civis.” This gesture may have demonstrated that there was no tincture of toryism in Waterhouse's makeup, but since the Dutch had not yet recognized the new United States of America it caused some “uneasiness” among the authorities of the University (Anonymous “Sketch” in Polyanthos, as cited below; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 572). Waterhouse took his medical degree in April 1780 with a dissertation De sympathia partium corporis humani, Leyden, 1780, spent the summer again in Fothergill's London home, and returned to attend lectures in history and the law of nations at Leyden, where JA found him extremely helpful in the critical matter of his sons' education. He was, JA later wrote, “though a sprightly genius, very studious and inquisitive, as well as sociable. ... As to his morals, I could hear of no reproach or suspicion; as to his politics, though he came from England, he came under the guardianship and pupilage of Dr. Fothergill, who was as good a friend to America, as any Englishman could be.... I did not, therefore, hesitate to consider him, in some respects, as one of my family” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 572). Later letters in the present volume show the progress of Waterhouse's friendship with the Adamses. His observation at close range of JA's campaign in the spring of 1781 to win Dutch recognition of American independence filled him with an admiration for JA that increased with the years. “I shall never forget some of his paroxysms of patriotic rage,” Waterhouse later { 33 } wrote of JA's negotiations with the French minister at The Hague, who, under Vergennes' orders, tried to block JA's efforts (Waterhouse to Levi Woodbury, 20 Feb. 1835, DLC: Woodbury Papers, vol. 16. This letter contains a number of details not elsewhere available; among other things it corrects JA's account of his first meeting with Waterhouse, which actually took place “at the table of Dr. Franklin in Paris,” and furnishes a vivid description of JA's composition and delivery of his Memorial to the States General of 19 April 1781).
When, in the summer of 1781, JA determined to send CA home, CA sailed with Capt. Alexander Gillon in the South Carolina from the Texel. A fellow passenger was Waterhouse, who, unlike CA, continued with Gillon to Havana and in consequence did not reach home until June 1782. In the following year he was appointed first professor of the theory and practice of physic in the Harvard Medical School, then just being organized; before long, he established himself and his (first) wife, the former Elizabeth Oliver, whom he married in 1788, in “a small but handsome seat with ten acres of land, on the Cambridge common, about 200 paces in front of the colleges” (Waterhouse to Dr. James Tilton, 24 March 1815, MHS, Procs., 54 [1920–1921]: 163). The house still stands at 7 Waterhouse Street facing the Common on the northwest; see Hannah Winthrop Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, An Historic Guide to Cambridge, Cambridge, 1907, p. 142 and facing illustration. When JA sent JQA home from Paris to prepare for admission to Harvard College, he placed him as “your old Acquaintance” under Waterhouse's special care, writing him a remarkable letter detailing JQA's studies to this point (JA to Waterhouse, 23 April 1785, MHi:Adams-Waterhouse Corr.; printed in Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 5–8); and in 1806 JQA lived in the conveniently located Waterhouse home when he gave his first Boylston lectures on rhetoric and oratory at Harvard.
This is not the place to try even to summarize Waterhouse's long and versatile career as a physician, popularizer of natural history studies, promoter of vaccination for smallpox, health crusader, polemicist, journalist, and, during his later years, inveterate beggar of government appointments. It is enough to say, for one thing, as Dr. Trent has very well said, that, although Waterhouse returned from Europe “without doubt one of the best educated men in America,” America itself was at the time “not ready for so ambitious a young physician” and promoter of scientific causes. “[H]is experiences abroad,” in the company of leaders in medicine, science, and politics, “incapacitated him, in a sense, for the life he had to live at home” as a physician practicing in a provincial town. (See Trent's two articles cited below; also the two studies by Blake, also cited below, which reach similar conclusions from additional evidence, especially in relation to Waterhouse's campaign introducing Jennerian vaccination to the United States, a campaign that was successful but marred by Waterhouse's pervasive egotism and his hankering for “excessive personal pecuniary profit.”) Irked by the humdrum of ordinary practice and meeting repeated disappointments in what he considered purely philanthropic projects, he grew embittered and quarrelsome. These traits did not, however, impair his powers as a letter-writer. On the contrary, his habit of telling his troubles in circumstantial detail, mixed with engaging reminiscences, sarcastic wit, and the unfailing inquisitiveness JA had observed in him as a student at Leyden—all these enlivened his correspondence with JA and JQA to the end, and in turn evoked some of their best letters in reply. “[A]s you are among the most pleasant of my Correspondents,” JQA wrote Waterhouse as late as 1833, “as well as among the choicest of my friends, I cannot leave home without ... craving the continuance of your kind communications during the ensuing Winter” (21 Oct. 1833, MHi:Adams-Waterhouse Corr.). The truth was—and this is the second telling point to be put on record here—that both of the Adamses shared a fellow feeling with Waterhouse not simply because of their early intimacy with him but because they believed he was to some ex• { 34 } tent the victim of the same forces in Federalist New England with which the Adamses were increasingly embattled after 1800, “the Junto-men” (as Waterhouse denominated them) who, at least in the eyes of these correspondents, dominated business and politics in Boston and academic affairs at Harvard. Over three hundred letters exchanged by Waterhouse with JA and JQA are known to survive, but this is by no means all that once existed, for Waterhouse's widow (the former Louisa Lee, his second wife, whom he had married in 1819) requested the return of his letters after his death, and her request was complied with, though fortunately only in part. (See correspondence of Mrs. Waterhouse with JQA and CFA in 1847–1848, in the Adams Papers.) It would appear that Mrs. Waterhouse destroyed most if not all of the letters then returned but preserved a substantial number of JA's and JQA's letters to her husband, now comprising the Adams-Waterhouse Correspondence in the MHS. Of these materials Worthington C. Ford edited a portion, chiefly JA's letters, with a few of Waterhouse's replies from the Adams Papers, in the pleasant volume he entitled Statesman and Friend (1927); and Donald M. Goodfellow printed one complete letter from JQA and extracts from others in his article, “Your Old Friend, J. Q. Adams,” NEQ, 21:217–231 (June 1948).
On Waterhouse's career and his relations with the Adams family, see—besides the Ford and Goodfellow collections just mentioned, the specific letters cited above, and Waterhouse's published writings, often autobiographical in character —the following: Anonymous, “Sketch of the Life of Benjamin Waterhouse, M.D.,” The Polyanthos, 2:74–86 (May 1806); John B. Blake, Benjamin Waterhouse and the Introduction of Vaccination: A Reappraisal, Phila., 1957; John B. Blake, “Benjamin Waterhouse, Harvard's First Professor of Physic,” Jour. of Medical Education, 33 (1958), unpaged offprint; Robert H. Halsey, How the President, Thomas Jefferson, and Doctor Benjamin Waterhouse Established Vaccination as a Public Health Procedure (N.Y. Acad. of Medicine, Hist, of Medicine Ser., No. 5), N.Y., 1936; William Coolidge Lane, “Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse and Harvard University,” Cambridge Hist. Soc., Pubns., 4 (1909): 5–22; William Roscoe Thayer, ed., “Extracts from the Journal [1836–1844] of Benjamin Waterhouse,” same, p. 22–37; Josiah C. Trent, “Benjamin Waterhouse (1754–1846),” Jour. of the Hist, of Medicine, 1 (1946): 357–364; Josiah C. Trent, “The London Years of Benjamin Waterhouse,” same, p. 25–40; Henry R. Viets, article on Waterhouse in DAB.
It is certain that Waterhouse kept a journal while in Europe, for references in later letters and writings allude to or imply the existence of such a journal, and a letter from JA, 10 Jan. 1810, cautions Waterhouse: “The Extracts from your Journal I should think, those Parts I mean which relate to [James] Searle and another [Major William Jackson?], I should advise to be reserved from the Publick for the present” (MHi: Adams-Waterhouse Corr., printed in Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend). This suggests that Waterhouse was preparing his early journal, at least that part relating to his voyage home with CA and Gillon in 1781–1782, for publication at this time, but perhaps thanks to JA's advice his European journal seems never to have been published, and recent efforts to locate the original have been unsuccessful. It would doubtless shed desired light on the Adamses sojourn in the Netherlands if it could be found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0019

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-12-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Portia

I have this morning sent Mr. Thaxter, with my two Sons to Leyden, there to take up their Residence for some time, and there to pursue their Studies of Latin and Greek under the excellent Masters, { 35 } and there to attend Lectures of the celebrated Professors in that University. It is much cheaper there than here: the Air is infinitely purer; and the Company and Conversation is better.
It is perhaps as learned an University as any in Europe.
I should not wish to have Children, educated in the common Schools in this Country, where a littleness of Soul is notorious. The Masters are mean Spirited Writches, pinching, kicking, and boxing the Children, upon every Turn.1
Their is besides a general Littleness arising from the incessant Contemplation of Stivers and Doits, which pervades the whole People.
Frugality and Industry are virtues every where, but Avarice, and Stingyness are not Frugality.
The Dutch say that without an habit of thinking of every doit, before you spend it, no Man can be a good Merchant, or conduct Trade with Success. This I believe is a just Maxim in general. But I would never wish to see a Son of Mine govern himself by it. It is the sure and certain Way for an industrious Man to be rich. It is the only possible Way for a Merchant to become the first Merchant, or the richest Man in the Place. But this is an Object that I hope none of my Children will ever aim at.
It is indeed true, every where, that those who attend to small Expences are always rich.
I would have my Children attend to Doits and Farthings as devoutly as the meerest Dutchman upon Earth, if such Attention was necessary to support their Independence.
A Man who discovers a Disposition and a design to be independent seldom succeeds—a Jealousy arises against him. The Tyrants are alarmed on one side least he should oppose them. The slaves are allarmed on the other least he should expose their Servility. The Cry from all Quarters is, “He is the proudest Man in the World. He cant bear to be under Obligation.”
I never in my Life observed any one endeavouring to lay me under particular Obligations to him, but I suspected he had a design to make me his dependant, and to have claims upon my Gratitude. This I should have no objection to—Because Gratitude is always in ones Power. But the Danger is that Men will expect and require more of Us, than Honour and Innocence and Rectitude will permit Us to perform.
In our Country however any Man with common Industry and Prudence may be independant.
But to put an End to this stuff Adieu, most affectionately Adieu.
{ 36 }
1. This is apparently as close as JA came to informing AA at this time of the circumstances attending the withdrawal of JQA and CA from the Latin School in Amsterdam. See JA to the Rector and Preceptor, 18 Oct., “not sent,” and the exchange between Rector Verheyk and JA, 10 Nov., all above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0020

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-12-19

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

As you are entitled to a Wife's Portion of Mr. A's Honors and Satisfactions I inclose for your Reading some Papers to be afterwards forwarded to Holland.1 I do not intend to have any of my future Letters to Mr. A. thrown overboard unless they are specially so directed on the Cover. I chalenge any body to tell the Contents truly. The Letters of Mr. Luzerne are never sunk.—I am told the Enemy have another Mail of ours or yours, this prevents my giving you such Explanations of my private Letter to Mr. A as I at first intended. I will only say that he has most ably and with becoming Dignity supported our Plan of March 18. without much piquing any great Minister. 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. I will a little enlarge by Mr. Penny in a few days and send you a Key to use upon such Occasions as you may have from Mr. A or to him.—I am told Letters from Holland have been thrown from Vessels now arrived at Boston when only chased. Those losses at least might be avoided.
It is positively said to be a Post from hence Novr. 21 that has been robbed. In that Case I suppose you have lost a Letter from Mr. Adams covered by a few Lines from me.2 We did on the 20th receive a Packet from Mr. A. and I see by my Almanack that on the 20th. and 21st. I wrote to many.
20th. Clarke & Nightingale, Isaac Smith, Mrs. L[ovell], Jemmy Jnr., Jos. Tho[ma]s, Doctr. Holten, Mr. Gerry.
21. Mrs. L[ovell], Doctr. Whitwell, Mrs. Adams, Govr. Hancock, Mr. S. Gridley.
I hope I gave the Letter for you to the Gentleman who must have carried those for Clarke & Nightingale and Mr. Smith but I really cannot recollect. I forwarded another to you on the 30th.3
The long Letter in the Advertizer is one of Mr. A's among the many that do him great honor. But I really think the Essence would have { 37 } been the printing of it in a London Paper at the Time it was written.4

[salute] I am my dear Madam yours respectfully,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers). For the enclosures see notes 1 and 4.
1. Presumably these included the following, all in Adams Papers: (1) a “public” letter to JA from Lovell, “for the Committee of foreign Affairs,” 12 Dec., covering (2) Congress' resolution of the same date (printed in JCC, 18: 1147), acknowledging JA's letter of 26 June, and expressing “the Satisfaction which Congress receives from his Industrious Attentions to the Interest and honor of these United States, abroad, especially in the Transactions communicated to them by that Letter,” which related to JA's correspondence with Vergennes on Congress' currency measures (see note 5 on Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug., vol. 3, above), and (3) a “private” letter from Lovell to JA, 14 Dec., which is partly in cipher and which among other things tells how this commendatory resolution came to be passed; also, possibly, (4) Samuel Huntington to JA, 18 Dec., expressing his pleasure and satisfaction in the dispatches received from JA during the past year and announcing that a secretary for foreign affairs is soon to be designated to conduct business with American representatives abroad (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:343).
2. No letter from Lovell to AA of 21 Nov. 1780 has been found, and the letter from JA, to whomever addressed, has not been identified.
3. Lovell to AA, 30 Nov., in Adams Papers but omitted here; it commends JA for the “very masterly and independent manner” in which he defended Congress' financial policy “against the Sentiments of the Ct. de Vergennes.”
“The long Letter” from JA was that of 2 June to Huntington commenting on Germain's speech of 65 May in Parliament (PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:752–758; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:180–186). According to Edmund Jenings, it had already been published in the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer; see Jenings to JA, 9 July, JA, Papers of John Adams, 9:504, 506. It appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet, 19 Dec., and AA arranged to have it reprinted in the Boston papers; see her letter to Nathaniel Willis?, ante 4 Jan. 1781, below.Which “Advertizer” this was is not certain, but it was evidently a Philadelphia newspaper. “The long Letter” from JA was that of 2 June to Huntington commenting on Germain's speech of 65 May in Parliament (PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:752–758; LbC, Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works, 7:180–186). AA promptly caused it to be reprinted in the Boston papers; see her letter to Nathaniel Willis?, ante 4 Jan. 1781, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0021

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-19

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

We arrived here last Evening at six oClock. This Morning We have a Sky and Air truly in the American Style. We have been to a Lecture, where many curious Experiments were made by the Professor of Medicine Mr. Horne.1 At four Clock We go to a Law Lecture.
I have engaged two Rooms at fifteen Guilders per Month, in the same Lodgings with Mr. Waterhouse, whom I find very polite and attentive. On Thursday We take possession of them—I am very sorry We cannot be accommodated sooner.2
The Master for the Greek and Latin Languages will be engaged as soon as possible.
I hope soon to learn that your Eyes are much better.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, Sir, your most obedient Servt.,

[signed] J Thaxter Junr.
{ 38 }
1. Johann David Hahn; see note 7 on (second) letter of JA to JQA, 23 Dec., below.
2. For details on the lodgings see JQA to JA, 21 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0022

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-12-20

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Son

You are now at an University, where many of the greatest Men have received their Education.
Many of the most famous Characters, which England has produced, have pursued their Studies for some time at Leyden. Some, tho not many of the Sons of America, have studied there.
I would have you attend all the Lectures in which Experiments are made whether in Philosophy, Medicine or Chimistry, because these will open your mind for Inquiries into Nature: but by no means neglect the Languages.
I wish you to write me, an Account of all the Professorships, and the names of the Professors.1 I should also be obliged to you for as good an Account of the Constitution of the University as you can obtain. Let me know what degrees are conferred there; by whom; and what Examination the Candidates undergo, in order to be admitted to them.

[salute] I am your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams2
1. JA himself shortly supplied these to JQA, in his (second) letter of 23 Dec., below.
2. The order in which JA wrote his two letters to JQA of this date has been established only by guesswork. The beginning of the letter here placed second suggests that JA had been expecting a letter from JQA by the post of this day and was disappointed not to receive one. Besides writing twice to JQA, JA wrote twice this day to Thaxter at Leyden (see Thaxter to JA, 22 Dec., below), but these letters have not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0023

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-12-20

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

I have just received a Letter from Mr. Thaxter and another from your Brother,1 and should have been equally pleased with one from you.
Write me as often as you can, and let me know what Professors you Attend and what Instructors attend you, whether you understand the Lectures &c.
{ 39 }
The Lectures upon the Greek of the New Testament, I would have you all attend, and those upon Euripides, Sophocles, &c. too if you have Time, and it is thought proper.
You have now a Prize in your Hands indeed. Such as if you do not improve to the best Advantage, you will be without Excuse. But as I know you have an Ardent Thirst for Knowledge and a good Capacity to acquire it, I depend upon it, you will do no Dishonour to yourself nor to the University of Leyden.

[salute] Your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams
1. Their letters were dated on the 19th, as stated in the following letter. That of Thaxter is printed above, but CA's has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-21

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

Mr. Thaxter and brother Charles wrote both to you the day before yesterday and as I had no subject to write upon, I did not write But I can now give you an account of our journey.
We dined on Monday at Haerlem and arrived at Leyden at Six oclock. We lodged at the Cour de Hollande and saw Mr. Waterhouse that evening. The next day we went to hear a Medicinal lecture by Professor Horn, we saw several experiments there. In the afternoon we went to Hear a Law lecture by Professor Pessel.1 Each lecture lasts an hour.
Yesterday Afternoon we moved from the Cour de Hollande to private lodgings in the same house in which Mr. Waterhouse boards our address is Mr. &c. by de Heer Welters, op de lange Burg, tegen over t Mantel Huis. Leyden.2
I was to day in company with the parson of the brownist Church Who seems to be a clever man, he is a scotch-man but does not pray for the king of England.3
I should be glad to have a pair of Scates they are of various prices from 3 Guilders to 3 Ducats those of a Ducat are as good as need to be but I should like to know whether you would chuse to have me give so much.
Mr. Waterhouse says that for riding I must have a pair leather breeches and a pair of boots. I should be glad if you would answer me upon that as soon as you receive this for there is a vacancy here { 40 } which begins to morrow and in the vacancy is the best time to begin to learn to ride.
In the vacancy there will be no lectures at all but our Master will attend us all the while as much as when there is no vacancy.
I continue writing in Homer, the Greek Grammar and Greek testament every day.

[salute] I am your most dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “a Monsieur. Monsieur Adams. Chez Monsieur. Henry Schorn. Amsterdam”; endorsed: “John. Decr. 21,” to which CFA added “1780.”
1. Frederik Willem Pestel; see note 4 on (second) letter of JA to JQA, 23 Dec., below.
2. That is, at Mr. Welter's (more fully and correctly, F. Weller's or Willer's) in the street called Langebrug (Long Bridge) near the Mantle House. Recent efforts to identify the house have not succeeded, but it was not far from the main University building on the other side of the Rapenburg canal and still closer to the cathedral called the Pieterskerk (views of both buildings are reproduced in this volume) and to the Kloksteeg (Bell Lane), where Pastor John Robinson had ministered to his company of self-exiled English Separatists from 1609 to 1620 (and for some years afterward to those who did not leave for America); see the following note.
3. This passage shows JQA involved in at least a double confusion; and since JA and AA also, like many other Americans—historians and tourists alike—have been similarly confused, JQA's allusion to “the brownist Church” at Leyden requires clarification. By the term “brownist” JQA unquestionably meant the English Separatists, later commonly known as the Pilgrim Fathers; see the preceding note. But to call John Robinson's company Brownists was not accurate, for although the eccentric Robert Browne (1550?–1633?) is regarded as a precursor of New England Congregationalism, those Englishmen who followed Robinson first to Amsterdam in 1608 and in the following May to Leyden rejected much of Browne's teaching, and Robinson expressly rejected the term “Brownist” as applicable to his views. It was hardly to be expected, however, that 18th-century Americans, great as their reverence was for the Pilgrim Fathers, would be aware of such theological niceties.
A worse confusion, and one that still troubles modern American pilgrims to Leyden, concerns the place where Robinson's company worshiped. JQA implies that it was in a building then still standing. A year and a half later JA was to write: “I have been to that Church in Leyden where the Planters of Plymouth worshiped so many Years, and felt a kind of Veneration for the Bricks and Timbers” (to Samuel Adams, 15 June 1782, NN:Bancroft Coll.). During her only visit to the Netherlands, AA also, of course, paid her respects to the founders of Plymouth Colony: “ I would not omit to mention that I visited the Church at Leyden in which our forefathers worshipd when they fled from hierarchical tyranny and persecution. I felt a respect and veneration upon entering the Doors, like what the ancients paid to their Druids” (to Mary Smith Cranch, 12 Sept. 1786, MWA, printed repeatedly in CFA's editions of AA, Letters, 1840et seq.). But the fact is, and was, that Robinson's company of Separatists had neither their own church building nor the use of any other in Leyden. If they had, it would have been a matter of public record, and no such record has been found by successive generations of diligent investigators. One of the first and most competent of these, the British scholar George Sumner, writing in 1842, concluded “that their religious assemblies were held in some hired hall, or in the house of Robinson, their pastor,” which was in 1611 described as “large” { 41 } (George Sumner, “Memoirs of the Pilgrims at Leyden,” MHS, Colls., sd ser., 9 [1846]:51–52). Sumner also identified the source of the Adamses' and others' confusion as Rev. Thomas Prince's famous Annals, first published in Boston, 1736, which in a footnote related that “when I was at Leyden in 1714, the most ancient people from their parents, told me, that the city had such a value for them [the English Separatists], as to let them have one of their churches, in the Chancel whereof he [Robinson] lies buried, which the English still enjoy” (Thomas Prince, A Chronological History of New-England, in the Form of Annals ..., Boston, 1826, p. 238). This would make the cathedral church of St. Peter's (the great Pieterskerk, 1593) the Pilgrims' church, for here, as Sumner found from its records, Robinson was buried (although not in the chancel). What must have been pointed out by the Leydeners to Prince and later American visitors as the Pilgrim Church was the English (often and perhaps more correctly called the Scotch) Presbyterian or Reformed Church, which by coincidence had been founded at the same time that Robinson's congregation came to Leyden. With state approval and support, this church conducted public worship for almost two hundred years in a chapel allotted to it in a church on the grounds of the Cloister of the Veiled Nuns or Beguines (the Falyde Beguynhof). This church, as the Dutch scholar Plooij has pointed out, was “a part of the Dutch Reformed Church, organized as a separate congregation merely on account of the language used in its meetings.” It was “Presbyterian, nonepiscopal, and Non-conformist,” but was “a State Church” (D. Plooij, The Pilgrim Fathers from a Dutch Point of View, N.Y., 1932, p. 47). The building the city provided backed up on the garden plot of Robinson's house on the Kloksteeg and in modern times has been used as part of the University's library; eventually most of the Leyden Pilgrims who stayed behind, including Robinson's widow and children, joined this congregation (same, p. 48, 90–91, 103). Sumner, who located the records of this church in Leyden for the period 1609–1807, concluded that “it is this chapel which, from being shown to American travellers as the old church of the English, has, I believe, been sometimes supposed by them to have been the church of the Pilgrims” (MHS, Colls., 3d ser., 9 [1846]:49; see also p. 63–69).
Clearly this is what happened in the case of the Adamses, and it is confirmed by the extensive researches of the Dexters; a diagram in their monograph, though it is in part conjectural, shows the close physical relationships among the Pieterskerk, John Robinson's house (long since gone) where the Pilgrims conducted their private religious meetings without state support or interference, the large lot behind it on which small houses for some of Robinson's people were built, and the Beguine Cloister abutting that lot (Henry Martyn Dexter and Morton Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, Boston and N.Y., 1905, p. 500 ff.).
JA eventually corrected himself (and Benjamin Waterhouse) on the distinction between the followers of Browne and those of Robinson, in a letter to Water-house of 8 Jan. 1807 (MHi: Adams–Waterhouse Coll.; Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 39–40), but he persisted in believing that the church he had attended in Leyden was the church of the Pilgrims.
The Scottish “parson of the brownist Church” whom JQA met was named William Mitchell, according to the records printed by Sumner (MHS, Colls., 3d ser., 9 [1846]:66).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0025

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1780-12-21

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mrs. Adams

I should have wrote before according to promiss, but have been prevented the use of my Eyes by a Cold fixing there and Even now { 42 } believe I had better not write, but unless I do your Excelency may think it too Great Condesention to inquire after the Cottagers, at Plimouth.
You have spent a week at Boston, and what think you of affairs now. I dare say you have Collected many Curious annecdotes, and have had opportunities of observing much on the Manners, [ . . . ] petition,1 inclinations and Adulation of the times.
We have scarcly heard from the Capital since we left it, and so totally secluded is this place from any thing that passes in the rest of the World, that only one Common News paper has found Its way hither since we were at your house. Yet I have more than a Ballance for all the Amusements the City or the Court can give, when my best Friend is my Companion, my Children are well, and Domestic peace reigns under my Roof.
Have you found an opportunity to forward my letter to my son, and do you hear any thing to be Communicated from yours or their Good father.
I forgot to ask when at Braintree why you was so solicitous when at Plimouth for the Copy of a letter to my son on his reading of Chesterfeild. Whither Mrs. Adams had made any use of it, and what, and if she had done with it to return the Manuscript.2
Tomorrow is a sort of Festival in this town.3 I Wish you and yours and some other Choice Friends were hear to make it truly so.
A thousand Reflections might occupy the Mind on this occasion, and then I beleive I must keep them and hasten to shut my Eyes, least I should not be able to read your Epistles which I soon Expect.

[salute] Love to My Dear Naby from your assured & affectionate friend,

[signed] M Warren
A Word or two on Trade and Commerce. Have not sold a single Article nor Can. The town is full of Hank a[chiefs.]4 Your price is too high. They are dull at a Doller. But shall not sell so without your order. I will send the Apron by Mr. Warren. You need not send the silk till I Call for it. Perhaps I may prefer the taking some other article in Lieu therof.
What did my Freind do with a billet Left to her care for my sister. She never Recevd it.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Foot of Pens hill Braintree Favd. by Mr. Green.”
1. Word partly covered by seal.
2. Mercy Warren's epistolary essay on Lord Chesterfield's letters to his natural son, 24 Dec. 1779, a copy of which re-mains among the Adams Papers. See AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb. and 1 Sept., { 43 } both in vol. 3 above, and, for the publication of the essay in a Boston newspaper, AA to Nathaniel Willis?, ante 4 Jan. 1781, below.
3. The earliest American annual patriotic “Festival,” Forefathers' Day was celebrated at Plymouth on 22 Dec., beginning in 1769 under the convivial sponsorship of the Old Colony Club. (The Club had a short life, but its role as sponsor was later taken over by the Pilgrim Society.) The date chosen was supposed to be the anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at “Forefathers' Rock” (later called Plymouth Rock), given by William Bradford in his History as 11 Dec. 1620. Forgetting, or not knowing, that the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars in the 17th century was ten rather than eleven days as in the 18th century, the promoters of the celebration made an error of a day (it should have been the 21st), which later occasioned a warm dispute among antiquarians. The records of the Old Colony Club, 1769–1773, are printed in MHS, Procs., 2d ser., 3 [1886–1887]:382–444. For the dispute over the date, in which JQA found himself somewhat ludicrously involved, see same, vol. 20 [1906–1907]:237–238.
4. MS torn.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0026

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-21

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Respected Sir

I have the satisfaction of informing you that Mr. Thaxter and your Sons are now settled in their lodgings in the same house with me. I could wish the rooms were better as well as larger, but they think the[y] answer very well, and seem well pleased with their situation. Tomorrow we are to converse with the teacher of Latin and Greek, and to make our terms &c. with him, this person teaches the Sons of the Griffier Fagell1 and gives great satisfaction. I imagine your eldest must attend him a while before he attends the public lectures on the greek, the master however can judge of that when he examines him. The Christmas vacancy commences this day, but that makes no difference with these private-teachers. I think with Mr. Thaxter and several others that Charles is too young to attend any of the publick lectures yet. The Lectures on Grotius and the Law of nature are what I imagine you wish them to attend, one is given in the forenoon, the other in the afternoon by the same Professor. I am in hopes by Monday next we shall get fairly under:way. The gentlemen came into their lodgings but last night, and to day have been visited by all those gentlemen who call themselves the english-Society only because they speak our languague. The English-clergyman2 came to see us this morning and to tell us how glad he was to have this addition to his little flock. Tomorrow we are invited to Mr. Luzac's,3 and that finishes our visits. I had sent me a day or two since a number of questions concerning this University, they were written at Boston, or Jamaica-plains by I guess Mr. G.4 I have answered them as well as I could and sent them to the gentleman who transmitted them to me, they were dated No• { 44 } vember 4th 1780. The history of this University is I find almost too intricate for a stranger to unravell.
I believe Mr. John reather wishes me to propose to you his learning to ride. I can only say I would not have missed those few lessons I have had for ten times the sum they cost me besides the advantages resulting from the exercise, and the company we generally find there; Mr. Luzac and his brother ride twice a week with us, more for exercise than instruction. We pay, for the first 16. Lessons 30. guilders: for every 16. after 20 Guilders; and generally take three lessons a week. I imagine Mr. Thaxter from what he already sees thinks they three can live here for the sum, that it would cost for one at Amsterdam, that may however not be, yet I am confident a person can live here for half the sum he pays at Amsterdam provided he lives and takes his rooms as a student.

[salute] Mr. Luzac desires his compliments to you. I am with great respect your friend & Countryman,

[signed] Benjn. Waterhouse
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Son Excellence Monsieur Adams Ministre Plenipotentiare des Etats Unis de l'Amerique Chez Monsieur Henry Schorn a Amsterdam”; postal marking, stamped(?) in script characters: “Leyden”; endorsed: “Dr. Waterhouse Decr. 21. Leyden,” to which CFA added “1780.”
1. Hendrik Fagel (1706–1790), griffier (secretary or “graphiary”) of the States General, a leading figure in the Dutch government and at the court of the Stadholder (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:390–391). JA was to have important relations with him, not always of the pleasantest sort because Fagel was a strong adherent of the House of Orange and hence of the pro-English party in the Netherlands; see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:1, 5, and passim.
2. William Mitchell; see note 3 on JQA to JA, this date, above.
3. Jean Luzac (1746–1807), legal and classical scholar, later rector magnificus of the University of Leyden, and for many years editor of Nouvelles extraordinaires de divers endroits, better known as the Gazette de Leyde, a Dutch newspaper with an international circulation. An apostle of the Enlightenment and a deeply interested observer of events in America, Luzac was one of JA's first and firmest friends in the Netherlands, and their friendship long survived JA's mission there. See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:1290–1294; JA, Diary and Autobiography, vols. 2–3 passim. There is extensive correspondence of both JA and JQA with Luzac in the Adams Papers.
4. Presumably Rev. William Gordon of Jamaica Plain near Boston, on whom see the editorial note and references at 1:229–230.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-22

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I have this day received two letters from you of the 20th. in one of which you say you would have me attend all the lectures in which Experiments are made, but I shall have to attend two lectures upon { 45 } law, and therefore shall have no time. As to the lecture upon Greek; there is but one, and the Gentlemen with whom Mr. Thaxter has consulted, think that it is necessary, to have made some proficiency in the Greek Language, to be able to attend it.
I have this day seen the master who is to teach us greek and Latin.1 He is to come to us twice a day; from twelve to one oclock and from five to six in the afternoon, so that I shall be two hours occupied with our master an hour at each lecture is two more and the rest of my time I shall be writing from Homer, the Greek testament, of Grammar, and learning lessons for our Master.2
This is a famous day in new England. The anniversary of the landing of our forefathers at Plimouth.3
Our master is to begin with us to morrow.
We are all invited to drink tea with Mr. Luzac to day.
The scene in which Shakespear speaks of Brownist is in the third volume page 121. in Twelfth night or what you will, Act 3 Scene 4th. If you borrow Mr. Searle's Shakespear you will see it there.4

[salute] I am your Dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Chez Monsieur Henry Schorn. a Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr. John Decr. 22. ansd. 23,” to which CFA added “1780.” This letter was originally enclosed in Thaxter's to JA of this date, following.
1. JA on 11 Jan. 1781
“Was present [in Leyden] from 12. to one O Clock, when the Praeceptor gave his Lessons in Latin and Greek to my Sons. His Name is Wenshing. He is apparently a great Master of the two Languages, besides which he speaks French and Dutch very well. . . . He is pleased with [his pupils] and they with him” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:451).
John Thaxter in his letter of this date, following, gives the tutor's name as “Wensing.”
2. Punctuation as in MS.
3. See note 3 on Mrs. Warren's letter to AA of 21 Dec., above.
4. Sir Andrew Aguecheek: “An't be any way, it must be with valour; for policy I hate. I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician” (Twelfth Night, Act III, scene ii, in modern editions). The volume- and page-reference furnished by JQA is to an edition of The Works of Shakespeare published at Edinburgh in 8 vols., 1769–1771, Alexander Donaldson printer.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0028

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-22

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I had the Honour of your favour of the 20th1 this Morning. I am happy to hear that your Eyes are better.
Altho' I have not as yet been able to obtain a Master for the Children, yet they are pursuing their Studies. The Master that is recommended is said to be the best in the place, and has a happy Faculty { 46 } in teaching the Languages. The Vacancy begins to day and lasts for three Weeks. The Lectures of a Public kind finish to day also, for the same Term as the Vacancy. This is a great Misfortune, but nevertheless the Time may be profitably spent in the Languages with the Master, who will have perhaps the more Leisure.
There are public Lectures here of various Denominations—namely, upon the Law of Nature, upon Grotius, Natural Philosophy, Theology, Medicine, Chymistry, Anatomy, and one upon Greek. Besides these there are private Lectures upon the History and Constitutions of particular Countries and Nations; but these are given to young Gentlemen of those Countries and Nations for their own Information and Instruction. The Professor of Law is a celebrated Character—his Name is <Pestle> Pestel—a German. He gives the private Lectures above-mentioned.
Since writing the above, I have recieved your other Letter of the 20th and the Inclosure.2 I have engaged the Master this Moment, at the rate of thirty Guilders per month—his Name is Wensing—he is an Usher of the high School here. Mr. Gunter who has resided here for seven Years, and is a Governor to a German Baron, has been very polite in this Business. The Master will attend the Children two Hours every day, and I am informed his Price is modest. He comes tomorrow to give Lessons, and I hope things will go on smoothly.
When I am more informed of the Constitution, Laws and Arrangements of this University, I shall be particularly happy in communicating them to You. As to my Situation, it is agreable as any European Spot of Earth can be. You have desired to know all my Wants and Wishes. I esteem it a fresh Instance of your Kindness to me, Sir: but few fall to my Share at present. Some You know, Sir, every one has, that there is an Impropriety in revealing.

[salute] I have the Honour to congratulate [you]3 on the day, and to be with perfect Respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Thaxter Decr. 22. ansd. 24. 1780.” Enclosure: JQA to JA, 22 Dec., preceding.
1. Not found.
2. Neither letter nor enclosure has been found.
3. Word editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0029

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-12-23

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I last night received yours of 21st. I have written twice to Mr. Thaxter and inclosed in each Letter, one for you and another for Charles.1 I directed the Letters to Mr. Thaxter a la Cour D'Hollande. Enquire for them at that House.
You tell me you attended a Lecture on Medicine, but you have mistaken the Name of the Professor. It is not Horn, but Hahn. Is not the Professor of Law named Pestel?
Mr. Thaxter may purchase each of you a Pair of Scates. He may go to what Price he thinks proper—but be careful and moderate in the Use of them.
You may get the Leather Breeches and Boots, but have them made large, otherwise, you grow so fast, that you will not be able to wear them many months. I would have you all take some Lessons at the Riding school.
I am pleased to hear that you continue writing in the Greek Testament, &c.
Your Letter is well written, but I think that in order to improve your Hand you should write Copies every day. Write to me, as often as you can, and let me know every Thing concerning that famous University, where you are.—I am your affectionate Father,
[signed] John Adams
I have received Lillys Grammar and Clarks Exercises for you.2 Perhaps you can get them at Leyden. If you can I will keep these. I have this Moment received Mr. Thaxters, inclosing yours and your Brothers of the 22d3—shall answer in due time.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mynheer John”; endorsed: “Pappa's letter of December 23d Answer'd December 24th 1780 No. 3”; docketed by JQA in a later hand: “J. Adams 23 Decr: 1780.” (JQA's answer of 24 Dec. has not been found.)
1. JQA to JA, 21 Dec., is above. JA's two letters to Thaxter have not been found; his letters to JQA, enclosed therein, must be the first and secondthose of 20 Dec., both above; his letters to CA, also enclosed, have not been found.
2. Both these books survive in the Boston Athenaeum, probably in the very copies sent by JA for JQA's use. They are William Lily, A Short Introduction of Grammar ... of the Latin Tongue, London, 1742, which bears the inscription “John Quincy Adams, his Book”; and John Clark, Introduction a la syntaxe latine, two copies, both Paris, 1773, but with different publishers' names, one bearing JQA's signature and the date 1778, and the other with his signature, a handwritten jingle, and the date 1779. See Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 107, 91.
3. Thaxter's and JQA's letters of the 22d are above; no letter from CA of that date has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0030

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-12-23

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Yours of the 22d came to hand this Morning. I shall leave it wholly to Mr. Thaxters Judgment, what Lectures you are to attend, as at this distance I cannot form any opinion.
You will apply the most of your Attention, I hope, to your Latin and Greek Master, for the present.
I am pleased to see that you recollect the 22 of December, the day on which, those Patriots and Heroes landed at Plymouth, who emigrated immediately from the Town where you now are. It is impossible, but you must ever entertain a Veneration for the Memory of those great and good Men, to whose adventurous Spirit and inflexible Virtue you certainly, as well as I owe our Existence.
I wish you, in your next Letter, to transcribe me the Passage of Shakespear, in which the Brownists are mentioned.
You should treat the Minister of that Society, in Leyden with the greatest Respect, and attend his Meeting, every Sunday both in the forenoon and Afternoon.
You will also behave with the Utmost Respect to Mr. Luzacs Family who are worthy People and very good Friends to your Country.
I have heard a very great Character of Mr. Hemsterhuis, formerly Professor of Greek, in the University of Leyden,1 and that the present Professor of that Language is a Disciple of his Mr. Valkennaar.2
And that another Disciple of his Mr. Rhunkenius, is Professor of History and Eloquence. This Mr. Rhunkenius has published an Edition of an Hymn to Ceres, (found in Russia, and supposed to have been composed by Homer) with a Latin Translation and Notes. I would have you purchase that Hymn.3
Mr. Pestel is Professor of the Law of nations and of the publick Law.4
Mr. Voorda is Professor of the civil Law, that is to say as I understand it, of the Roman Imperial Law, as the Institutes of Justinian &c.5 Pray enquire whether he reads Lectures upon the whole Corpus Juris, the Digest, the Code, the Novells &c., whether he takes any Notice of the Feudal Law, that is of the Consuetudines Feudorum, and whether any Mention is made of the Cannon Law.
Mr. Vanderkesel is another Professor of the civil Law, but what is his Department?6
Mr. Dehahn is Professor of Medicine and Chymistry.7
Mr. Allemand is Professor of Experimental Philosophy.8
{ 49 }
I wish you to make all the Enquiries possible concerning these learned Professors, and let me know whether I have their Names and Departments right.
Let me know also whether you are matriculated into the University. If not, I wish you to procure the Priviledge and Honour, provided you can by the Rules of the University be admitted to it. The Expence is not to be regarded.
I hope in short that you will inform yourself as perfectly as possible concerning, the Origin, the Progress, the Institutions, Regulations, Revenues &c. of that celebrated University, and especially to remark every Thing in it, that may be imitated, in the Universities of your own Country.
Let me know whether there is any Professor of Mathematicks and in what manner they are taught.—Here are Enquiries enough for you, a long time.—Dont neglect to write me often.

[salute] Your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Pappa's letter of Decr: 23 Answer'd Deer: 26–1780 No. 4”; docketed by JQA in a later hand: “J. Adams 23 Decr: 1780.” (JQA's answer of 26 Dec. has not been found.)
Also Tr in hand of CFA, numbered by him “No. 275.” This is one of the large number of transcripts of family letters, 1780–1843, mentioned in the Introduction to Series II of The Adams Papers (vol. 1:xxxiii, above). These were evidently prepared in and about 1843, some doubtless earlier and others quite possibly after JQA's death in 1848, with a view to publishing a more comprehensive collection of family letters than, in the end, CFA issued. The numbering of the earliest letters among the transcripts suggests that CFA proposed to include these in his edition of the JA-AA Familiar Letters of 1876, because numbers he assigned them correspond closely with the numbers of adjacently dated letters printed in that volume (see note on JA to JQA, 17 March 1780, vol. 3:309, above); but he finally excluded them and never carried out his earlier plan for a collection of family letters in which JQA was to be the central figure and his parents, wife, brother TBA, and son CFA the other correspondents. It should be stated here that, except for special circumstances, the existence of a CFA transcript alongside the original in the Adams Papers will not hereafter be recorded in descriptive notes on letters in the Adams Family Correspondence.
1. Tiberius Hemsterhuis (1685–1766), professor of Greek and of national (i.e. Dutch or “vaderlandsche”) history, 1740–1765 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:1068–1072; Album studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae, MDLXXV-MDCCCLXXV . . . , The Hague, 1875). The register of the Leyden faculties in the compilation called the Album studiosorum has also been used in the biographical notes below to confirm dates of appointment, &c.
2. Lodowijk Caspar Valckenaer (1715–1785), professor of Greek from 1766, and of native history from 1768 (Nieww Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:1514–1516).
3. David Ruhnken (1723–1798), reader in Greek from 1757, and professor of history and oratory from 1761 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 10:851–854). His edition of the Hymn { 50 } to Ceres, from a codex recently found in Moscow and attributed to Homer, was published this year: Hymnus in Cererem, nunc primus editus a Davide Ruhnkenio, Leyden, 1780; a copy was sent by Thaxter to JA under cover of a letter dated 25 Jan. 1781, below, and remains among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 122).
4. Frederik Willem Pestel (1724–1805), professor of jurisprudence from 1763 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:968–969). Pestel was one of the great figures in Dutch legal scholarship, and JA acquired both his Commentarii de Republica Batava, Leyden, 1782, and Fundamenta jurisprudentiae naturalis, Leyden, 1777 (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 191; see also Thaxter to JA, 1, 23 Jan. 1781, below).
5. Bavius Voorda (1729–1799), professor of Roman law from 1765; in 1781 he served as rector magnificus of the University; because of his prominence in the Dutch Patriotic (anti-Orangist) party he was dismissed from the University in 1788, but was restored in 1795 during the French regime (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3: 1336–1338).
6. Dionysius Godefridus van der Keesel (1738–1816), professor of Roman law from 1770 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:674–675).
7. Johann David Hahn (1729–1784), professor of medical practice and of chemistry from 1775 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:666; mention only).
8. Jean Nicolas Sébastien Allamand (1713–1787), professor of philosophy and mathematics from 1749, and of experimental physics from 1761 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:75–77).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0031

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

How much is comprised in that short sentance? How fondly can I call you mine, bound by every tie, which consecrates the most inviolable Friendship, yet seperated by a cruel destiny, I feel the pangs of absence sometimes too sensibly for my own repose.
There are times when the heart is peculiarly awake to tender impressions, when philosophy slumbers, or is overpowerd by sentiments more conformable to Nature. It is then that I feel myself alone in the wide world, without any one to tenderly care for me, or lend me an assisting hand through the difficulties that surround me, yet my cooler reason dissaproofs the repineing thought, and bids me bless the hand from whence my comforts flow.

“Man active resolute and bold

is fashioned in a different mould.”

More independant by Nature, he can scarcly realize all those ties which bind our sex to his. Is it not natural to suppose that as our dependance is greater, our attachment is stronger?—I find in my own breast a sympathetic power always operating upon the near approach of Letters from my dear absent Friend. I cannot determine the exact distance when this secret charm begins to operate. The time is some• { 51 } times longer and sometimes shorter, the Busy Sylphs are ever at my ear, no sooner does Morpheus close my Eyes, than “my whole Soul, unbounded flies to thee.” Am I superstitious enough for a good Catholick?
A Mr. Ross arrived lately at Philadelphia and punctually deliverd your Letter's.1 At the same time a vessel arrived from Holland, and brought me yours from Amsterdam of the 25 of Sepbr. which Mr. Lovell was kind enough to forward to me. I have written you largely since Davis arrived here, tho not in reply to Letters brought by him, for old Neptune alone had the handling of them. He was chased and foolishly threw over all his Letters into the sea, to my no small mortification. A Brig which came out with him arrived at Providence and brought me yours of Sepbr. 15th together with some from Mr. Thaxter.—The things you sent came safe to hand. Jones not yet arrived. I suppose he may have the much wanted trunk on Board, which you suppose came in the Alliance. You call upon me to write, by every opportunity. I do not omit any, yet my Letters many of them must take so circuitous a Route, that they must cost you much more than they are worth.
This I hope will go direct to France by Col. Pallfry, if he does not sail before it reaches Philadelphia.—The Enemy have met with many disastrous events in Charlestown. As much as they Boast, they have more occasion to mourn. We have had several successes there which do honour to American Arms.
If the people can strugle through the demands this year made upon them, and accomplish what they are striving after, the filling their Army for 3 years or the War, they will do great things towards a negotiation for peace.
The present demand for supplies for the Army, the payment of our 3 and 6 months Men, together with our continential taxes, and govermental expences, oblige every person to look about them, to retrench every Luxery and economize with the utmost frugality. The remittances you have been so kind as to make me, have enabled me hitherto to answer all demands made upon me. I have still much more to pay before the close of the year. I have been trying to collect a list of the Taxes for the present year but have not yet been able. My Tenants groan and say they cannot live, that the whole stock of the place would not pay the yearly tax. Every body groans, yet every body sees the necessity of complying with the requisition. We have in this Town allready collected money to purchase 22 thousand weight of Beaf. We had just accomplished it when out comes an other tax for 46 { 52 } thousand weight more to be paid by the first of Jan'ry. We have just paid our 3 months men, and our six are returning with loud calls upon us, 46 men are calld to fill our continental Army for 3 years or the war, which are to be procured at any rate. Can you judge of our present Burden? I hope we shall surmount all and yet see happy and peacefull days.
I told you in a former letter that our Season was embitterd by a most distressing drought, yet the year is crowned with universal Health. We have reason to sing of Mercy and judgment.
Admiral de Ternay died last week with a Fever at Road Island. Our Friends are all well, so is your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
Complements to Mr. Dana. Love to my dear John and Charles. I mourn the loss of their Letters by Davis.
Stevens'ens2 Brother has received a Letter from him dated in Amsterdam in August, in which he tells him that he had sent a Number of hankerchifs, some for Mr. Bracket and some for Mr. Bass and a Letter with them directing him what to do with the remainder, but is so stupid as not to say, by whom he sent them nor from whence, neither the vessels Name nor captains—they are not come to hand. The owners come to me to inquire. I cannot give them the least direction, know not a word about them. In future if he does Buisness, he had better be more correct—he must write to them about them.3
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia. Decr. 25th. 1780.” As stated in the text, this letter was sent to Philadelphia to be carried to France by William Palfrey, who however sailed before it arrived. James Lovell forwarded it to JA in a letter of 8 Jan. 1781 (Adams Papers); see Lovell to AA, 8 Jan. 1781, below. Concerning the second postscript see note 3.
1. These letters, clearly not addressed to AA, are not precisely identifiable.
2. Joseph Stephens (or Stevens), JA's servant, who accompanied JA abroad, has been earlier identified (vol. 3:33).
3. It is not certain that this second postscript belongs with the foregoing letter. It is on a detached fragment of paper, and though filed with this letter may have been sent at another time.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0032

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-26

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I had the Honour of your favour of the 24th. instant1 this morning.
The Master has been here twice this day and given for the first time Lessons in Greek and Latin to the Young Gentlemen. I am happy that they have begun. Their Instructor appears to be well acquainted with his Business, and to proceed with great Judgment. The Greek Grammar is one of his own Composition, and at present in Manu• { 53 } script. It appears an Analysis of the Principles of Grammar. Master John transcribes his Lessons from it, which will be useful to him; for he forms a Grammar as he advances, becomes acquainted by Consequence with its principles, and establishes them firmly in his Mind. One would think this foundation good and sure.
Master Charles transcribes his Lessons in Latin also. In this Language his Exercises are equally good with Master John's in Greek. He has the principles before him, and his Instructor to explain them. The Exercises in the Articles, Nouns, Verbs &c. in both Languages cannot fail to be beneficial. In my humble Opinion they are fundamentally right, and will go on in the Languages with great Satisfaction to You and themselves. They both desire their Duty to You, and desire me to acquaint You that their Instructor has prevented them from acknowledging the Receipt of their Papa's Letter.2 They have been busy indeed.
As to News, Sir, was I mured in a Cloister I should not hear less. I hear no Politicks at all—every thing is Peace here.
Your Question I will answer in a few days. I hope to have some Conversation on that Subject with a Gentleman, who was about writing an Account of this University.

[salute] I have the Honor to be, Sir, your most obedient Servt.,

[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter, Ans. 27. Decr. 1780.”
1. Not found.
2. JA had written his first and second letters to JQA of the 23dtwo letters to JQA on the 23d, which are above; no letter to CA of that date or immediately thereafter has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0033

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-26

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Respected Sir

I was glad to find by your letter of the 23d. inst.1 that what we have hitherto done meets with your approbation, and it is with no small satisfaction that I see all three of my countrymen pleased and contented with their situation.
In regard to Mr Charles's attending the lectures there is no rule or custom that forbids him. As there are none so young who attend the public-lectures, we only thought the students would consider him as a little boy brought by his governor to keep him out of harms way and treat him accordingly, but nothing hinders him from frequenting them if you desire it. They began with their language master this day. I stood by this afternoon while he taught them, and I am sure you { 54 } would be highly pleased both with his method and his pains. He uses no printed grammar, but the boys form one from his dictating, so that I tell Mr. John that he can send his father a greek grammar in his own hand writing, and Charles a latin one. The Master spends an hour with them in the forenoon and an hour in the afternoon leaving them full two hours writing a peice every day. This with two Lectures is I am sure as much as they possibly can do at this season. Mr. Thaxter, Mr Gunther (preceptor of the german Noble) and myself have considered the point with attention and we are convinced they cannot go to three lectures a day and perform the task set them by the Master.
I am not a little afflicted at hearing by the last Mail that Dr. Fothergill was suddenly seized with a very dangerous disorder in the bladder, insomuch that I dread to hear the next news from London. If he dies he will not leave a better man behind him, nor has America a warmer or more constant friend in that country than he. We owe him much, his friendship for our country will be better known and felt in a future day, his partiality for us and our cause have drawn upon him more than once the calumny and hatred of a set of men who are prone to speak evil of the things they know not.2
I never knew till you mentioned it that the church where we now meet is the same where our venerable forefathers worshiped for a few years before they went to the Land of promise; had I known it, I should like you have venerated the very stones.3 With no less veneration and wonder will the transactions even of these our days be read and contemplated in future times. I often amuse myself by looking thro', as it were, the mental-telescope to distant times to see if I can discover their opinions concerning us, I mean so far distant when some of our countrymen go over to England in the character of Antiquarians to search into a heap of rubish, where they can scarce believe once stood the capital of a mighty kingdom. I hear them disputing which side of the river St. Paul's stood, and see them struck with astonishment when they are assured that the city which once stood there or thereabouts, was as large as Philadelphia is now! I say when I look thus into future times I am in hopes they will not at least curse their active forefathers of the present day, on the contrary I trust they will venerate some now living with a veneration equal to that of any men of any country that ever was. But I think of these things as I do of our own happy fire: sides in America without remembering the immense tract of rough, rude sea, that lies between us, so am I apt to forget the wars, bloodshed, horrors, and confusion, that { 55 } will in all probability intervene between this and the time I speak of.
I imagine this frost will impede Comdr. Gillons preparations.4 If he is bound to Boston I should be very sorry to miss such a favourable oppetunity, but if [he does not]5 go to any port in New England I had pe[rhaps] better wait untill the next Ship.

[salute] I am with great respect your friend & Countryman,

[signed] Benjn: Waterhouse
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Son Excellence Monsieur Adams”; docketed in John Thaxter's hand: “Dr. Waterhouse 26th. Decr. 1780.”
1. Not found.
2. John Fothergill (1712–1780), of London, Quaker physician, botanist, philanthropist, and friend of Americans and the American cause; he died on the day this letter was written (DNB; Betsy Copping Corner and Christopher C. Booth, eds., Chain of Friendship: Selected Letters of Dr. John Fothergill of London, 1735–1780, Cambridge, 1971). Waterhouse's close relationship with Fothergill has been noted in the sketch of the former under Waterhouse to JA, 13 Dec., above.
3. See note 3 on JQA to JA, 21 Dec., above.
4. Alexander Gillon (1741–1794), said to have been born in Rotterdam but long established in Charleston as a merchant and shipowner, had introduced himself to JA on the road between Paris and Nantes in the spring of 1779. He held the title of commodore of the South Carolina navy and had come to Europe to obtain ships, stores, and funds to launch this navy. When JA arrived in Amsterdam in Aug. 1780, Gillon was readying a vessel, renamed the South Carolina, and supplies he had obtained on credit, and he proved helpful as an interpreter and in finding lodgings for JA and his family at the Widow Schorn's. In Aug. 1781, when Gillon finally sailed with great secrecy from the Texel in order to escape his creditors, two of the passengers on board the South Carolina were CA and Benjamin Waterhouse. Gillon's route was highly circuitous, quarrels broke out between him and some of his passengers, and in the end CA crossed the Atlantic in another vessel, from La Coruña in Spain. See Biog. Dir. Cong., under Gillon; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:446–447; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 178, 267–268, 345–346, 572; JQA, Diary, 1112 Aug. 1780; Gillon to JA, 12 Nov. 1780 (Adams Papers); John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 75–77; D. E. Huger Smith, “Commodore Alexander Gillon and the Frigate South Carolina,” So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 9 (1908): 189–219; Madison, Papers, ed. Hutchinson, 4:111–113; also letters later in the present volume touching on CA's voyage, especially AA to JA, 29 Sept. 1781, and Waterhouse to JA, 30 Sept. 1781.
5. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0034

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-12-28

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Son

The Ice is so universal now that I suppose you spend some Time in Skaiting every day. It is a fine Exercise for young Persons, and therefore I am willing to indulge you in it, provided you confine yourself to proper Hours, and to strict Moderation. Skaiting is a fine Art. It is not Simple Velocity1 or Agility that constitutes the Perfection { 56 } of it but Grace. There is an Elegance of Motion, which is charming to the sight, and is useful to acquire, because it obliges you to restrain that impetuous Ardour and violent Activity, into which the Agitation of Spirits occasioned by this Exercise is apt to hurry you, and which is inconsistent both with your Health and Pleasure.
At Leyden, I suppose you may see many Gentlemen, who are perfect in the Art.—I have walked, several Times round this City from the Gate of Utrecht to that of Harlem, and seen some thousands Skaiting upon the Cingel, since the Frost set in. I have seen many skait with great Spirit, some with prodigious Swiftness, a few with a tolerably genteel Air, but none with that inimitable Grace and Beauty which I have seen some Examples of, in other Countries, even in our own.
I have seen some Officers of the British Army, at Boston, and some of our Army at Cambridge, skait with as perfect Elegance, as if they had spent their whole Lives in the study of Hogarths Principles of Beauty, and in reducing them to Practice.
I would advise you, my Son, in Skaiting, Dancing and Riding, to be always attentive to this Grace, which is founded in natural Principles, and is therefore as much for your Ease and Use, as for your Pleasure.
Do not conclude from this, that I advise you to spend much of your Time or Thoughts upon these Exercises and Diversions. In Truth I care very little about any of them. They should never be taken but as Exercise and Relaxation of Business and study. But as your Constitution requires vigorous Exercise, it will not be amiss, to spend some of your Time, in swimming, Riding, Dancing, Fencing and Skaiting, which are all manly Amusements, and it is as easy to learn by a little Attention, to perform them all with Taste, as it is to execute them in a slovenly, Awkward and ridiculous Manner.
Every Thing in Life should be done with Reflection, and Judgment, even the most insignificant Amusements. They should all be arranged in subordination, to the great Plan of Happiness, and Utility. That you may attend early to this Maxim is the Wish of your affectionate Father,
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Pappa's letter of Dec'r 28th 1780. N. 5”; docketed by JQA in a later hand.
1. JA wrote “Oelocity,” an obvious slip of the pen.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0035

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-01

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inclose You “Les fondemons de la Jurisprudence Naturelle” by Professor Pestel. It was originally wrote in Latin; but the french Translation is allowed even by the Professor himself to be well executed.1
If You prefer the Original, I will purchase and forward it to You.
The Young Gentlemen have been very steadily employed since they have had an Instructor, and their Improvement is in proportion. The Master seems very desirous to advance them, and their Zeal is equal to his in the Business.

[salute] I have the Honour to wish You a happy New Year, and to be with perfect Respect, Sir, your very humble Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
1. See JA to JQA, 23 Dec. 1780 (2d letter), above, and note 4 there; also Thaxter to JA, 23 Jan. 1781, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0036

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-01-03

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear sir

Your favour of december 19 was deliverd me this day. I would not omit by this post to thank you for it, and for your confidential communications. I cannot however comprehend your Letter to my best Friend for want of the promised key. I am more reconciled to ambiguity and ciphers, than formerly, and not a little thankfull, that the Robberies have been committed now rather than twelve Months ago.2
You judged rightly when you thought you should communicate happiness by the Honorable testimony of Congress in favour of my absent Friend. My little Barke attendant sails, persues the triumph and partakes the Gale.
Nor will it be considerd presumtious if I Graft my Love, immortal on his fame. The first of Gratifications arise from his deserving and the next in the approving voice of his country.
If you wrote me the 20 of November the Letter was among those which went to the Enemy.3 You will see by a Letter written you last post,4 that I had not received a Letter from you for a very long time, but having renewed all your former kindness every dissagreable Idea vanishes. I wish you not to mention the Supposition of my having { 58 } lost a Letter by the robbery of the Mail to Mr. A[dams]. It will make him still more reserved and cautious, he is enough so now to freze one.
You will greatly oblige me by a continuation of your favours to your—I will not Scruple to say—affectionate
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee; at head of text in CFA's hand: “Mr. Lovell 1781.”
1. Dated from Lovell's acknowledgment on 30 Jan. (in Adams Papers but omitted here).
2. Among the “confidential communications” enclosed by Lovell in his letter of 19 Dec. was a letter to JA (14 Dec., Adams Papers) which included passages in cipher without reference to a key. In his acknowledgment, Lovell welcomed AA's indication here that she had modified an earlier hostility “to ambiguity and ciphers,” and he enclosed an “Alphabet” [i.e. key] for her use. The problem of Lovell's cipher in his letters to the Adamses is recurrent in the years 1780–1782 and has been fully dealt with, in relation to other uses of the cipher, in an appendix to this volume: The Lovell Cipher and Its Derivatives.
3. Lovell's letter to AA of 21 (not 20) Nov. 1780 had indeed been intercepted by the British somewhere above New York City, and was to occasion AA much anguish. See Lovell to AA, 19 Dec. 1780, above, and 8 Jan. 1781, below; also AA to Lovell, 17 March, below, esp. note 4 there.
4. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0037

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Willis, Nathaniel
Date: 1781-01-04

Abigail Adams to Nathaniel Willis?

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favour of december 211 was deliverd me enclosing the extract relative to Mr. Hutchinson. As you were pleased to express an approbation of it, and to suggest a publication of it, I have returnd it, that you may make that use of it if you think proper.2 In a Letter from Mr. Adams dated the 25 of Sepbr. he writes me that the late orders he had received from Congress would oblige him to a continuance in Holland till countermanded. Britain thought not of peace. She forgot the State of Ireland, France, Spain, West Indies, N. America, the Armed Neutrality of the Maritime powers and their own distracted state in their joy for the News of Charlstown. That the Ways of Heaven were dark and intricate. It seems as if they were permitted to have Success enough to lead them on, untill they become the most striking Spectacle of Horrour that ever was seen. That they were revenging the loss of their power upon those who had uniformly endeavourd to save it. Burk, Kepple, Sawbridge, Hartly, all thrown out.
Ought not this to convince every American of the importance of Independance and the wretched State of Slavery and Subjugation they must submit to by a reunion with her.
I take this opportunity Sir to enclose to you a coppy of a Letter { 59 } which I wish to see published. The writer is well known to you and the Letter stands not in need of any enconium of mine. I requested that it might be given to the publick, and obtaind permission.3 I thought it might serve in some measure as an Antidote to the poison so profusely administered by this celebrated Letter Writer. His Lordship has most certainly laid himself open to the utmost severity of Female pens—but you will find in this Letter Elegance of Stile, Solidity of Judgement, discernment and penetration which would do honour to either Sex but which peculiarly distinguish this Lady. You will be so good Sir as to introduce it in the publick paper secreting the Ladys name and place of abode.

[salute] I have the Honour to be with a respectfull esteem your Friend and Humble Servant,

[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); without date or indication of addressee (but see note 2 below); docketed by CFA: “1781.” Enclosures in (missing) RC are identified in notes 2 and 3 below. Text has been minimally repunctuated for clarity.
1. Not found.
2. The “extract relative to Mr. Hutchinson” was originally drawn from JA's letter to President Huntington of Congress, 17 June 1780, commenting on Hutchinson's death in London and his (as JA believed) malign role in the Revolutionary struggle (PCC, No. 84, II; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:794–798). The text of these comments had been promised to AA by Lovell in his letter to her of 27 Nov. 1780 (q.v. above), and was forwarded to her a few days later via Rev. Samuel Cooper (Lovell to AA, 30 Nov. 1780, Adams Papers). Cooper may have first suggested that JA's remarks be published in Boston; at any rate they were printed in Nathaniel Willis' Independent Chronicle, 4 Jan. 1781, p. 3, col. 2. From these circumstances the editors deduce that the intended recipient of the letter here drafted was Willis and that the letter was written shortly before 4 Jan. 1781. Another possibility, quite as likely, is that this letter was sent to Samuel Cooper for him to forward the enclosed “extract” to Willis.
At about this time AA must have furnished another such communication to Willis and also to John Gill, publisher of the Boston Continental Journal. This was a longer passage, from JA's letter to Huntington of 2 June 1780 (PCC, No. 84, II; printed in Wharton, 3:752–758), containing strictures on Lord George Germain's speech of 65 May in Parliament. Both papers printed the passage in their issues of 11 Jan. 1781 (Independent Chronicle, p. 1–2; Continental Journal, p. 1, 4). AA had evidently received it as an enclosure in a letter from Lovell. It had already been printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, 19 Dec., and earlier in Europe from a text JA must have furnished directly or indirectly; see above, Lovell to AA, 19 Dec. 1780, and note 4 there; also a note by CFA in JA, Works, 7:179. AA refers to its publication in Boston in her letter to Mrs. Warren, following, and again in a letter to JA, 15 Jan., below.AA had evidently received it as an enclosure in a letter from Lovell. It had already been printed in a Philadelphia paper of unspecified date and earlier, apparently, in Europe from a text JA must have furnished directly or indirectly; see above, Lovell to AA, 19 Dec. 1780, and note 4 there; also a note by CFA in JA, Works, 7:179. AA refers to its publication in Boston in her letter to Mrs. Warren, following, and again in a letter to JA, 15 Jan., below.
3. AA was now submitting for publication a text of Mercy Warren's letter to her son denouncing the immoral teachings of Lord Chesterfield's letters to his natural son. A copy of this letter, dated 24 Dec. 1779, is in the Adams Papers and has been mentioned several times in this correspondence; see AA to Mrs. Warren, 28 Feb. and 1 Sept. 1780, in vol. 3; Mrs. Warren to AA, 21 Dec. 1780, above; AA to JA, 21 Jan. 1781, below. Willis printed it in his Independent Chronicle for 18 Jan. 1781, p. 2, col. 1–3, as “by a Lady, born and edu• { 60 } cated in this State, whose friends have repeatedly ventured offending her delicacy by obliging the public with some of her ingenious and elegant productions.” The editorial introduction went on to quote most of the present paragraph from AA's letter. Thus the members of the Adams-Warren circle continued their efforts to furnish antidotes to the “poison” of Chesterfield's “libertine Morals and base Principles,” as JA had long since characterized them (1:376, above).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0038

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1781-01-08

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

No, my dear Madam, not affronted I hope; you did not say so with a good grace, the only time I ever knew you miss it in my life.1
Yet by recalling your son so soon, I believe you a little out of the Way. I thought you would have spaird him longer, and given me a little time to have wrote you a Letter. Now I shall only scribble you a line, not worth your worrying your Eyes to read. You have calld upon me too, to tell you a great many things, some I am inclined to, and some Not. The Letter which you wrote me about and which was left to my care I sent with my own by way of Bilboa some time ago; an other which you inquired about, was not in my power to return. I had several uses to appropriate it to, most, if not all of which I have answerd.—As to News from abroad, I have had but one Letter since I saw you of a late date; I meant to give you an extract, but have mislaid it. It however speaks not of peace. Mr. A[dam]s instructions, received by Mr. Searl, will oblige him to continue in Holland this winter. A letter arrived for me at the southward. Mr. L[ovel]l coverd it with a letter of his own, and the Enemy kid Napt them both, when they stole the last Mail.2 Possibly Mr. Rivington may give it me by and by. I question it however. My absent Friend made wise by experience is so warry that I dare say, they will get no Booty in politicks from him. I saw by the last Pensilvana paper under York News, that they had got a Letter of Dr. Rushs which they have promissed to print in the next paper, in which say they, he treats the Rebel Senate with great freedom. That both you and I can believe, from former Specimens. Rush will care as little as any body.3—I wait for a key to a letter which I have now in my possession to give you something, I fancy which will be entertaining. I mean to write you soon and send to Boston for conveyance. My hands freaze by the fire.—I return the Muslin having been supplied. The black hankerchiefs Mr. Gorge may sell at 75, but I had rather the coulourd should be returnd if they will not fetch 80. I can part with them so here.
Regards to the young Gentleman. Enclose a Letter and peice of { 61 } News paper. Have you seen Hutchinsons character, and an other peice in the paper, remarks upon Gorge Germains spea[c]h in the house of commons? You will know the writer.4—Pitty my fingers now, and I will tire you out an other time. Nabby sends Duty, longs to come to Plimouth, but I am jealous of trusting her there again least she should love it better than home. I wish you would not live there. Come to Boston, to Braintre I had rather. I fancy the place will be to be sold again.—Yours most affectionately when you are not affronted. When you are—sorrowfull very sorryfull, &c.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Collection); addressed: “To Mrs. Mercy Warren Plymouth”; docketed in an unidentified hand: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Jany. 8th. 1781,” to which has been added in another unidentified hand: “No. 13.” Enclosed “Letter and peice of News paper” not found.
1. A recent letter from Mrs. Warren is obviously missing; hence some of the allusions here to inquiries by Mrs. Warren cannot be explained with certainty. Nor can the several other letters AA mentions be identified, though see the following notes.
2. The post robbed was that of 21 Nov. from Philadelphia; see Lovell to AA, 19 Dec. 1780, above.
3. The letter in question was presumably Benjamin Rush to Dr. William Shippen, 18 Nov. 1780, a contribution to their bitter dispute over the administration of the medical department of the army. It is printed in Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:256–260, and does indeed treat the Continental Congress “with great freedom.”
4. See the preceding letter and note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0039

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-01-08

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Yes I will try it. To one of the most sensible, virtuous and consequently most lovely of the Loveliest Sex, it will drop its Ink in Paragraphs of calmer Stile than for the last fifteen minutes. My Penknife formed it at first for the Purposes of Friendship; whence then such a Flow of Bitterness and Execration? All this too to the Husband of Portia! Will he become a Distributor of such Evil? No. He is more philosophic, more benevolent and wise. He can exquisitely feel an Injustice done to his Country, but he will not suffer himself to be transported beyond the Language of grave Censure. It must however, be acknowledged that the Provocation was great. Let an Appeal be made to the Throne of Complacency.—Listen then, Portia. I had according to your Wish superscribed your Letter to Mr. Adams1 to go by the Brig Duke of Leinster that will sail for Europe probably Tomorrow. To wish him every Happiness myself while I conveyed a real Portion of it from you was the main Intent of my adding a new { 62 } Cover.2 Fresh Ideas sprang. Facts came forward on my memory. The Pensylvania Line are mutinous; yet, have they given up two Spies of Clinton's who were tempting them with most seductive Promises. Should such virtuous Soldiers be barebacked and barefooted Subjects of Temptation? By a Vessel which left France late in November I yesterday received Copies of Letters dated in March and April last year, telling of Cloathes going from Nantes to Brest, to Rochelle, here there, to and fro to be shipped for America, Satan knows when. Tis plain not before January 1781. This Thought was too much for my Pen; away it flew over the Paper Gall here, Gall there, Gall and Bitterness every where. I doubted whether it would again ever become fit for civil Purposes. I took it therefore a second Time in Hand just now, with Hesitancy, to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favor of Decr. 25th.3
Why did you strive to make me vile in my own Eyes? I “renounce all Connexion with your Sex”!!! Then should I be vile indeed. I entreat you, charming Lady, to consider that the Letter of Recommendation which you say I had not noticed is the very one in which you ask “Can he suffer Letters repeatedly to reach him and not deign a Line in Reply”? And was also the identical one of September 3d. to which I had Reference in mine of November 27th, and which I had also acknowledged on the 21st. as Jemmy Rivington well knows, tho he does not tell it in print. I cannot say when I inclosed the Bills of Exchange but I do not find my memoranda in my Almanack cancelled by the mark of your Acknowledgement, June 13, July 17 and 21 and Sept. 26.4 Perhaps those were only a few Lines of Cover to news papers.
It was only last Week that I had the Pleasure of seeing Mr. Brown whom I acquainted with your kind Mention of his name and Person to me, as I had before done in regard to Doctor Lee. I am out with both those Gentlemen, for tho they expressed their Admiration of you yet they did it not with that extraordinary fervor which accords with my own Sentiments, and which I think an Hour's Conversation with you demands.
Col. Palfrey sailed some time ago. J. P. Jones was at L'Orient Novr. 17th. Should he arrive here, depend upon my Attention to what he may bring for you.—Mr. Dana is appointed to proceed as Minister to Russia; but I am almost decided in Mind that he will not incline to accept the Mission.5 Col. J. Laurens will be in Boston by the Time this reaches you,6 and, if he does not ride to Braintree, you can not fail to hear of him by Gen. Warren.
{ 63 }
This Evening four Years I passed with you at your Brother Cranche's.7 Did I imagine on the Noon of that day I was thus long to be seperated from a most amiable Wife? No indeed; nor can I boast of the Patriotism that would have mounted me then on Horseback under such Ideas, with a chearful Resolution. Yrs. affectly.,
[signed] JL
1. AA to JA, 25 Dec. 1780, above; see descriptive note there.
2. Lovell to JA, 8 Jan. 1781 (Adams Papers).
3. In Adams Papers but mistakenly filed and microfilmed under 25 Dec. [1781]; omitted here.
4. Lovell's letter of 13 June 1780 is printed in vol. 3 above; that of 21 July is in the Adams Papers but not printed here. That of 27 Nov. is above in the present volume. No letters from Lovell to AA dated 17 July, 26 Sept., or 21 Nov. 1780 have been found; the last is known to have been intercepted by the British; see AA to Lovell, 17 March 1781, below. Her letter to Lovell of 3 Sept. 1780 is in vol. 3 above.
5. Congress elected Francis Dana minister to Russia on 19 Dec. 1780 and issued his commission and instructions on the same day (JCC, 18:1166–1173). A recent and very illuminating study of the Dana mission to Russia, which was to involve both JA and JQA in vital ways, is by David M. Griffiths, “American Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780 to 1783,” WMQ, 3d ser., 27:379–410 (July 1970).
6. John Laurens (1754–1782), son of Henry Laurens, lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army, was elected by Congress on 11 Dec. 1780 a special envoy to the French court to obtain further funds and stores and to plead in particular for increased French naval assistance so that a “superiority” over the British could be maintained along the coast. Laurens sailed from Boston in the Alliance early in February, carrying, among other things, a long letter from AA to JA (28 Jan., below). He arrived in France in March and embarked to return at the end of May. Correspondence and other documents relative to this mission, which under the circumstances was remarkably successful, have been printed in “The Mission of Col. John Laurens to Europe in 1781,” So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 1(1900)–2(1901), running through six consecutive issues. These must be supplemented with his instructions of 23 Dec. 1780 and his final report of 2 Sept. 1781, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:205–206, 685–692.
7. This paragraph may have been added by Lovell to enable AA to read the occasional ciphered passages in his letters. As he kept hinting, without ever actually saying, in other letters to AA and JA, the key to his cipher was the name of the family where he and the Adamses had spent their last evening together in Braintree (i.e. Cranch). Here he mentions the name of the family but not the cipher. She was expected by this hint to make the connection. See Appendix to this volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0040

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Capt. Caznew is now just about to sail. I wrote large packets to go by him a month ago, but hearing Capt. Trash was going from Newbury to Bilboa I sent them by him. It was thought that Caznew would not sail till Febry.
{ 64 }
But all of a suden I am calld upon unprepaird having but an hours warning—he shall not however go without a line or two. Your last which I have received was by way of Philadelphia dated in Sepbr. 15.
I see by last weeks paper that a Capt. Updike is arrived at Providence. I fear he has no Letters for me, as he brings word that the Fame saild the day before him, but has not yet been heard of. We are Fearfull that she is lost, or taken.—I have written to you twice since Davis arrived, and told you that he threw over all his dispatches, being chased, to my great sorrow and mortification. The things however which you were so kind as to order for me, came safe to hand. I shall be obliged for ought I know to part with them, to pay taxes, which are beyond account. 20 thousand dollors are already assessed upon this place for the last year.
I have written to the House of de Neufville for a few articles, which I wrote to you about by way of Bilboa. I have inclosed them a Bill, and at the same time directed them to take your orders with regard to them.1
Neither Jones or Sampson have yet reachd America. We have had a moderate winter and a general Health throughout the State. We are making every Effort to fill up the continential Army, and hope to succeed. Our paper Credit has kept a steady value for more than 3 months. 75 for one is the rate of exchange. Our hard Money tax is punctually paid for the redemption of it. I cannot say that the Money appreciates yet, but it certainly must from the great taxes which are daily collecting. We now see where our errors lay, but a people must feel to be convinced.
I enclose to you a Letter and resolve of Congress forwarded to me by Mr. L[ovel]l.2 It contains an approbation of more value to you, than a Lucrative reward and it communicates pleasure to me, in proportion as it is valuable to you, and as it is a testimony, that your assiduity and attention to the publick Interest is gratefully noticed by your Country. To Merrit and receive it, is the only compensation I can receive for the loss I sustain of your society.
The Letter containing remarks upon Lord Gorge Germains Speach, was first published in Philadelphia and sent me by Mr. L——1. I had it republished here—it is much approved of. The Enemy lose ground every day in Carolina. The infamous Arnold is gone with a Number of Troops to Virgina—he was too knowing to come out, as was first talkd of against New england who to a Man would have risen to have crushd the monster. Whilst Andry has been lamented by a Generous Enemy Arnold has been execrated by all ranks.
{ 65 }
My Love to my dear Sons, there Letters by Davis I mourn the loss of. I designd to have written to them by this vessel but fear I shall not have time. I wrote by Trash to Mr. Thaxter. Our Friends are all well—excuse haste, from your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 15th. Jany. 1781.” For the enclosures see note 2 below.
1. AA's letter to Neufville & Son in Amsterdam was dated this day but has not been found. It is acknowledged in their reply of 25 May, below.
2. The enclosures were doubtless those transmitted by James Lovell in his letter to AA of 19 Dec. 1780, above; see note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0041

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-18

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] My dear Friend and Bror.

As there is a Vessell now here bound for Holland by which (if not sooner) you will doubtless hear various accounts of the Affair that has lately happen'd in the Pensilvania Line of the Army, I embrace the Oportunity to let you know the true state of that affair as far as the Genl. Court has been inform'd of it, to prevent your being misled by false Reports.1 Genl. Knox who left Head Quarters the 5th. Instant arriv'd here Express last Sunday with Dispatches from Genl. Washington respecting the affairs of the Army, to be laid before the Genl. Court which is now sitting. He was heard before the two Houses.—His account of the Matter, as near as I can collect it, was as follows.—The Soldiers of the Pensilvania Line complained that they were unjustly held to serve during the War, when they inlisted, as they say, conditionally for three Years or during the War; supposing it left at their Option to leave the Service at the end of three Years if they pleas'd. They complain'd also that their Wages was near twelve Months behind-hand. That they were unprovided with sufficient Clothing, and short of Provision. All these Grievances seem'd to be agravated in their Minds, on seeing the new Recruits, for filling up the Army, come to Camp with good Clothes and Money in their Pockets (having received a Bounty of twenty four hard Dollars each) while they themselves, who had born the Burden and heat of the Day, were neglected. These Discontents were carried to such a Hight that on the Evening of the first of Jany. Instt. and the Day following, the greatest part of the non-Commission Officers and Soldiers of the Pensilvania Line, amounting to about two Thousand, refused to serve any longer in the Army unless their Grievances were redress'd; and { 66 } seizing six Field Pieces, stood on the Defensive. The Commission Officers and some of the Men who endeavour'd to quell them, were fir'd upon; one Officer (a Capt.) was kill'd, and several wounded. Some also of the Insurgents were kill'd. After this they march'd to Prince-Town where they determined to make a Stand; for the Purpose, as I conceive, of treating with the Government of Pensilvania about the Redress of their Grievances.—I cannot find from the best Enquiery that I can make, that the Insurgents were moved by any Disaffection to the American Cause, or from any formal design of helping the Enemy, but merely for the Purpose of getting their Grievances removed.
The Genl. Court of this Commonwealth is taking Measures for retrieving the sunk Credit of this Government; for which purpose we are repealing all Laws making Paper-Money a Tender at any other Rate than the current Exchange. We are making a Law that all Debts due from Government shall be liquidated to their just Value, and then to have Interest allow'd annually in hard Money or Paper equivalent. This, it is expected, will induce the loaning of Money freely to Government. Besides this we have in contemplation Imposts and Excises. Without Loans we fear the Taxes will be too heavy to be born, (without murmuring), by the People at large.
We have received Letters from Mr. Austin informing the Court of the large Advances made for this Government by Messrs. Deneufville & Sons, and the Court has given Direction for the immediate purchasing of Bills of Exchange equall to three Thousand Pounds, to be remitted with a Letter of Thanks to that worthy House for their generous Exertions in our favour.
I am so hurried with publick Business that I cannot be so particular on our publick Affairs as I could wish. I must therefore leave some room to tell you that your Hond. Mother and your Brother are well; Your Dear Lady and Children were well last Sunday when I pass'd the Evening at your House. Father Smith, Uncles Quincy, Thaxter, Tufts and Smith are well with their Families.
Please to give my kindest regards to your dear little Boys and to Mr. Thaxter. Mrs. Cranch and our Children join me in wishing you all the success and Happiness that the warmest affection can dictate. A Line from you would greatly oblige your Bror.,
[signed] R: Cranch
P.S. Should Messrs: Deneufville & Sons think of making a tryal here in the Commission way I should be glad to serve them. I find the general advance on European Goods is three Pounds Sterling here, for what cost one Pound sterling there. Such Articles as suit the Ladies would be very saleable, also Linnens.
{ 67 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Mr. Cranch 18. Jany. 1781.” Dft (MHi:Cranch Family Collection).
1. On this incident, which occurred in the first days of January, see Carl Van Doren, Mutiny in January, N.Y., 1943.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The vessel is not yet gone, and I find I have a towns man going in her. He came this evening to let me know it, and to take Letters from me. What has taken place in the last week Mr. C[ranc]h has informd you of, so that I shall not write politicks. I inclose a paper or two, and a journal or two of congress. In one of the papers you will see an Excellent Letter from a Friend of yours, and a comment by an other who sent it to a Gentleman requesting his care of the publication and with his usual complasance, he has published all, together.1—Many of your Friends will write you by this vessel. I hope it will not be long before some one will arrive with Letters from you. I feel impatient.
The Bandano hankerchiefs you was so kind as to send me, are as good an article as has ever come. I can scarcly keep one of them. Tho they are double the price of a Barcelona, they sell much better. Holland is a good place for crockery ware, I should be glad of some for family use from thence.—I wish you to write by every vessel bound to America. Updike arrived at Providence, but we fear the Fame is lost or taken. Friends all well. Adieu yours ever yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Honbll. John Adams Esqr Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at Paris or Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 21st Jany. 1781.” For the single identifiable enclosure see note 1.
1. AA was sending JA a copy of Willis' (Boston) Independent Chronicle for 18 Jan., containing Mercy Warren's letter to her son on Chesterfield's letters; see note 3 on AA to Nathaniel Willis?, ante 4 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0043

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-01-21

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Tis a long time since I had the pleasure of a Letter from you. If you wrote to me by Capt. Davis as I suppose you did, your Letters were all thrown over Board.
If you have since written by a Brig call'd the Fame, I fear it will { 68 } never reach me. She is still missing and must be taken or lost. The Mars from France we daily expect. The last Letters which I received from you came by the Alliance, and were dated in April so that tis Nine Months since a single line from your own hand reachd me.
I expect your observations upon your New Situation, an account of Holland, and what you find there, worthy of remark, what improvements you have made in the languages, in the Sciences, and the fine Arts.
You are now become resident in a Country famous for its industery and frugality, and which has given Birth to many Learned and great Men. Erasmus, Grotius and Boerhaave, so well known in the Literary world, stand foremost in the List of Fame.
You must not be a superficial observer, but study Men and Manners that you may be Skilfull in both. Tis said of Socrates, that the oracle pronounced him the wisest of all Men living because he judiciously made choice of Humane Nature for the object of his Thoughts. Youth is the proper season for observation and attention—a mind unincumberd with cares may seek instruction and draw improvement from all the objects which surround it. The earlier in life you accustome yourself to consider objects with attention, the easier will your progress be, and more sure and successfull your enterprizes. What a Harvest of true knowledge and learning may you gather from the numberless varied Scenes through which you pass if you are not wanting in your own assiduity and endeavours. Let your ambition be engaged to become eminent, but above all things support a virtuous character, and remember that “an Honest Man is the Noblest work of God.”
I hope you will not let any opportunity slip or any vessel sail, which is bound for America without Letters from you. Your Friends here all desire to be rememberd to you. Your cousin Billy has written to you several times, and is quite impatient to hear from you. Your sister—not a word in excuse will I say for her. She ought to write to you and I call upon her too, but she is very neglegent.

[salute] I am my dear Son with sincere wishes for your Health and happiness affectionately yours,

[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers). Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA's hand: “Draught of the preceding.”
{ 69 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0044

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-23

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I had the Honour of your Note and the inclosed Extracts yesterday Morning; I waited on Mr. Luzac immediately with the Paper and shewed him the Extracts, with which he was highly gratified.1 He sent them so late last Evening that I had only time to inclose them to You. The News cannot but be agreable to every one who loves his Country, and feels interested in every Event that affects it: but the Quantity of it is too great to claim an immediate Credit. Altho' the whole and much more may be within the Compass of one's Wishes, and however fashionable it may be to shape one's language to his Wishes, yet after the confident Reports from that quarter of the Continent in the Summer of 1779, and their palpable falsity, one will be moderate in wishing; and modest in speaking, 'till there is an ample Confirmation.
Master John and I attend Professor Pestel's Lectures sur les fondemens de Jurisprudence naturelle. They are very ingenious and learned. His Lectures upon Grotius We do not attend—he has not time. I have thought it most adviseable for him to attend the former of the two. I wish however for your direction. He and his Brother are extremely diligent, and I presume their progress will be satisfactory to You.
The Rector Magnificus has consented to matriculate Master Charles. If it is agreable to You, I will wait upon him for that purpose.2
I have the honor to inclose You Mr. Pestel's Latin Edition, and Homer's Hymn to Ceres, and to be with perfect Respect, Sir, your most humble Servt.,
[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter reed. & ansd. 24 Jan. 1781.” (This answer has not been found.) For the enclosed or accompanying books written or edited by two professors at Leyden, see notes 3 and 4 under JA to JQA of 23 Dec. 1780 (2d letter), above.
1. JA's “Note” has not been found. The “Extracts” it covered were acknowledged with touching gratitude by Jean Luzac in a letter to JA of 22 Jan. (Adams Papers); they probably form part of the news and comment on the war in America, especially in the South, printed in the Gazette de Leyde and its supplements for 23 and 26 January.
2. See Thaxter to JA, 1 and 11 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0045

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-25

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Your favour of yesterday1 was recieved this morning. I suspect it was opened before it came to my hands. The Seal appeared to have been good at first, but when delivered to me, it the Impression was very faint in many places—perhaps it may be accidental.
The Hymn to Ceres was forgotten at the time that I inclosed the fundamenta Jurisprudentiae Nat:—I shall send it by this Opportunity.
I shall wait on the Rector tomorrow with Master Charles, and procure a Writing Master as soon as possible.
I have recieved Mr. Dana's Letter that You was so good as to inclose. He mentions that two Letters were inclosed in it to You, which I hope You have recieved, as well as the other Letters. You will oblige me, Sir, if You will be kind enough to acquaint me with his Address. His Letter came open to me, or rather without Cover. I presume that it was opened by You, Sir. I am not sorry for it for my part, but You will confer a particular favour upon me, if You will open no more.
The Young Gentlemen are well and desire their Duty to You.
I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, Sir, your very humble Servant,
[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA. Concerning the “Hymn to Ceres,” which accompanied this letter, see above, JA to JQA, 23 Dec. 1780 (2d letter), note 3.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0046

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Last Evening General Lincoln call'd here introducing to me a Gentleman by the Name of Col. Laurence1 the Son as I suppose, of your much esteemed Friend, the late president of congress who informed me that he expected to sail for France in a few days, and would take dispatches from me. Altho I closed Letters to you by way of Holland a few days ago, I would not omit so good an opportunity as the present. Tis a long time since the date of your Last Letters, the 25 of Sepbr. I wait with much anxiety, listning to the sound of every Gun, but none anounce the arrival of the Fame from Holland, which we greatly fear is lost, or taken, nor the Mars from France. I wish you had been fortunate enough to have sent Letters by Updike to Provi• { 71 } dence, who saild the day after the Fame, but suppose you wrote by her, and sailing so near together, did not think it worth your while to write by him.
Col. Laurence is enabled I suppose to give you, every kind of intelligence respecting the Army which you may wish to learn. Mr. Cranch has written you upon the same Subject by way of Holland.2 Your Friends here complain that you do not write to them. I suppose Davis threw over half a hundred Letters. If you are unfortunate in that way tis not to be helped.
I have the pleasure to inform you that a repeal of the obnoxious Tender act has past the House and Senate.3 The G[overno]r as has been heretofore predicted, when any thing not quite popular is in agitation, has the Gout and is confined to his Bed.
A false weight and a false ballance are an abomination, and in that light this tender act must be viewed by every impartial person. Who but an Ideot would believe that 40 was equal to 75. But the repeal gives us reason to hope that justice and righteousness will again exalt our Nation, that publick Faith will be restored, that individuals will lend to the publick, and that the heavy taxes which now distress all orders, will be lessned.
A late committe who have been setting upon ways and means for raising money, tell us that a tax for two years more equal to what we have paid in the last would clear this State of debt. You may judge of the weight of them, yet our State taxes are but as a Grain of Mustard Seed, when compared with our Town taxes.
Clinton I hear, has sent out a proclamation upon Germains plan, inviting the people to make a seperate peace, which will only be a new proof of the Ignorance and folly of our Enemies without making a single prosilite—even the revolted Pensilvany Troops gave up to justice the Spys which Clinton sent to them, offering them, cloathing and pay, letting him know that it was justice from their State, not favours from their Enemies that they wanted.
It is reported that Arnold with a Body of troops is gone to Virginia, where it is hoped he and his Myrmidons will meet their fate. Had Clinton been a generous Enemy, or known humane Nature, he would like Aurelian upon a like occasion, have given up the traitor to the hands of justice, knowing that it was in vain to expect fidelity in a man who had betrayed his own Country, which from his defection may learn to place a higher value upon integrity, and virtue, than upon a savage ferocity so often mistaken for courage. He who as an individual is cruel, unjust and immoral, will not be likely to possess { 72 } those virtues necessary in a General or Statesman. Yet in our Infant Country, Infidelity and debauchery are so fashionably prevalent that less attention is paid to the characters of those who fill important offices, than a Love of virtue, and zeal for publick Liberty, can warrant, which we are told by wise Legislators of old, are the surest preservatives of publick happiness.
You observe in a late Letter4 that your absence from your Native State will deprive you of an opportunity of being a man of importance in it. I hope you are doing your country more extensive Service abroad than you could have done, had you been confined to one State only, and whilst you continue in the same Estimation amongst your fellow citizens, which you now hold, you will not fail of being of importance to them: at home or abroad.
Heaven preserve the life and Health of my dear absent Friend and in its own time return him to his country, and to the Arms of his ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
PS Love to my Dear Boys. I have sent you a present by Col. Laurence.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honbll. John Adams Esqr Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America att Paris or Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Portia. Jan. 28. 1781.”
1. John Laurens. On his mission to Europe see above, James Lovell to AA, 8 Jan., and note 6 there.
2. Richard Cranch to JA, 18 Jan., above.
3. An Act for Repealing Certain Parts of an Act Postponing Payment of Government Securities to a Distant Period, &c., passed on 25 Jan. 1781 (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of Jan. sess., ch. 2).
4. JA to AA, 25 Sept. 1780, in vol. 3, above, mentioned earlier in the present letter as the latest AA had received from JA.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0047

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-01-31

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Boy

I have received, by the Way of Bilboa, a Letter from your Mamma, of the 8th of October, in which She presents her tender Affection to you and your Brother, as well as her Respects to her agreable Correspondent Mr. Thaxter. Your Sister was at Boston, your youngest Brother at School learning fast.
You should write me a few Lines, now and then, to inform me of your Health and of your Progress in Literature. I have a Set of Popes Works but I am so glad to see an old Acquaintance that I cannot part with him yet.
{ 73 }
I hope We shall now, soon have some further News from our dear native Country.
By the Accounts hitherto received, Things are in a good Way, and I have strong Hopes, that We shall not experience so many Mortifications, the ensuing Summer as the last. Our Ennemies will have their Hands too full to do Us much Mischief.

[salute] My Love to Mr. Thaxter and your Brother. Your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Mr. J. Q. Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0048

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-01

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have waited on Mr. Luzac with the Crisis, who is much obliged to You for it, and will either translate it into Dutch or French, as shall be most agreable to You, and as soon as possible. You will be so good as to acquaint me, which of the two Languages is your Choice.1
I waited a few days agone on the Rector Magnificus with Charley, and was informed by him, that his Matriculation was consented to by the Curators.2
The Letter You was so kind to forward me, was from America, dated the 1st. and 16th. of September. I am at a loss how it came, as I hear of no Arrival.
It seems rather difficult to determine upon the various News from the Southward. The American Papers and Accounts differ exceedingly from the English. One knows not what to make of such Contradictions. If it [is] News fabricated by any of our Countrymen, I am very sorry—they are Spots and Blemishes in a good Cause, and such a Species of Aid as our Cause does not require.
The young Gentlemen are well and desire their Duty to You.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most humble Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter
1. In a letter from Brussels, 28 Jan. (Adams Papers), William Lee wrote JA: “I send you a Crisis which perhaps you may think worth being translated and publish'd in Holland.” This was quite possibly Thomas Paine's The Crisis Extraordinary, published in Philadelphia in Oct. 1780 (Evans 16918), but no Dutch or French translation published in the Netherlands has been found.
2. During a visit to his sons in Leyden early in January, JA recorded that JQA was approved for matriculation (he and John Thaxter were formally admitted on 10 Jan.), but that “Charles was found to be too young, none under twelve Years of Age being admitted” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:452). In his letter { 74 } to JA of 23 Jan. (above), Thaxter reported that he would wait again upon the Rector to obtain special consent, and on 11 Feb. he wrote JA (letter below) that this had been done and CA had matriculated on 29 January.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0049

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-03

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

I yesterday received your's of the 31st of Jany. in whic you desir'd me to write you a few lines now and then to inform you of my progress in Literature. I have just finish'd Copying a Treatise upon Greek by Mr. Hemsterhuis which our master has been so good as to lend me. It is very rare and there are but very few exemples of it here, and I believe that you would be very much pleas'd with it.1
I should be very much obliged to you if you would send me The Vocabulary of Words of the same terminations in French, English, and dutch, which Mr. Searle had.
I am very impatient to see Pope's works. I should be very glad also to see my old acquaintance.
Our master desires me to send his respects to you.

[salute] I am your most dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams: chez Monsieur Hendrik Schorn Sur l'agter burgwal by de hoogestraat a Amsterdam”; docketed in John Thaxter's hand: “Johnny 3d. Feby. 1781.”
1. This, though attributed to Professor Hemsterhuis, may in fact be a MS in 104 folios that remains among JQA's papers entitled “Dictata Celeberrimi Valckenarii ad Analogiam Linguae Graecae” (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel 217). JQA dated his copy at the head “January 21st. 81,” and at the end “January 31st. 81.” It seems doubtful that he was copying still another treatise on Greek at the very same time.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0050

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1781-02-05

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

I have not had the pleasure of a line from you since your arrival in Holland. I fear I have lost Letters by a missing vessel call'd the Fame, if so I regret the loss of much pleasure and entertainment, which your pen always affords me. I flatter myself you will continue to pay a particular regard to my amusement, by a recital of whatever you meet with worthy of communication.
Rousseau some where observes, “that Science in general may be considerd as a coin of great value, but of use to the possessor only in as much as it is communicated.” His maxim is founded upon a liberal and social plan, which might be improved to the advantage of the { 75 } Fair Sex to whom little indulgence is shewn in this way. Possess'd at least with an equal share of curiosity with the other sex, little or no care is taken to turn it into a channel of usefull knowledge, or literary endowments.
In America we have heretofore had so little connextion with other countries, and so few Ladies have a taste for Historick knowledge, that even their own Country was not much known to them untill the present revolution, which [is]1 become so interesting, that few I hope remain Ignorant of the principals which led our Ancestors to seek an asylum in the uncultivated wilds of America, nor the dangers which they encounterd in rearing the wilderness into a fruitfull Feild, that they might transmit to us their posterity those treasures, which we find worth our contending for in Blood, against that very Nation whose former userpations peopled America. From this contention we are become connected with other climes, who have discoverd themselves as Friendly, as Britain was Hostile. We therefore feel ourselves Interested in a knowledge of their customs, Manners, Laws, and Goverments. It is not very probable that many of our American Ladies will ever become travellers, yet judgeing of others by myself, we could wish to obtain from those Gentlemen who have that priviledge, and who are capable of observation, a recital of them.
Tho it is a path which has been repeatedly trod, it ought not to discourage a Gentleman of penetration through apprehension that he can observe nothing New. Sir William Temple observes “that Mankind are a various creature,” that at different periods they differ, from themselves, as much as they do from other Nations.
This you may easily see, by turning your Eye towards a Nation which not half a century ago was famed for her justice, Humanity, Bravery, and her Equitable Goverment—but now! how Arbitary, How cruel, how venal, how prostitute! Other Nations who have not experienced a like misirable change may not furnish so horrid a tale to the Historick page, yet they are ever changeing for the better or worse, and will supply something new in Science, Arts, or Arm's to a critical observer.
I do not remember to have read any History of the united provinces, except Sir William Temples, and that written a Century ago.2 From his account of the Genious and Manners of the people at that period, I should suppose they had made great improvements of every kind. A writer observes that

“Their much Loved wealth imparts

convenience, plenty, Elegance and Arts.”

{ 76 }
Sir William observes in his day and a more modern writer confirms the observation upon the manners of the people, that they are not airy enough for joy, nor warm enough for Love—a fine climate for a young fellow to repair to after having been an Inhabitant of Paris for twelve months.
But as an Inhabitant of a climate where all the softer passions dwell, where they are born of Honour, nursed by virtue, and united by Liberty, I would not wish to exchange it for a Mexico or Peru, if they possesssd the temperature of the united provinces. For Sir William observes that he never knew a man amongst them, that he thought at Heart in Love, or susceptable of the passion—and what is still more incredible—a woman that seem'd at all to care, whether they were so, or not.
Horrid Horrid place! What defy the power of the sex at this rate? Rob us of more than half our talents. Never never will we become inhabitants of such a frigid country, where Mercury the patron of Merchandize and the God of Gain, by inventing Contracts, weights and measures, and teaching the Arts of Buying and Selling and Trafficking, has formed a League against Cupid and the Graces.
I hope to forward this to you by the Alliance, in which Col. Laurence has taken passage. I knew not that she was designed for Europe till a few days ago, and she is now expected to sail the first fair wind.
Present my complements to Mr. Dana. How will he relish the cold Regions of the North? If he goes3 to Russia, tell him I shall ask permission to become one of his correspondents. I have not heard from Mrs. Dana, since his appointment, but fear she will be in affliction about it. Every body seems to think that they have a better right to our Husbands, than their partners, and monopolize them accordingly without asking our consent.—This too in a land of Liberty.—O! for absolute power. I would soon be the mistress of mine.4 I am apprehensive for his Health in Holland. Those sudden changes to which the climate is subject will not suit his constitution. I hope their will be no necessity of his resideing there longer than the winter. If you should find his Health impaired I beg of you to urge his return to Paris.
As to politics, they are a subject that I am not in a humour to write about at present, so refer you to other correspondents. Not that they are less interesting—they are too much so to be lightly considerd. If I had reflected upon them when I first began my Letter, it would have imbibed a tincture of Depression from them.
{ 77 }
The young Ladies of your acquaintance remember you with affection, especially the Fair American who is much gratified at your residence in Holland, where she is not like (from the character of the Ladies) to meet a Rival. She is not quite so secure at Paris, tho she builds some security upon the difficulty of forming an acquaintance with unmarried Females, and she has too much reliance upon your honour, to suppose you would form any other.

[salute] I hope you received a large packet sent by Capt. Trash to Bilboa, from your affectionate Friend,

[signed] Portia
RC (MB); addressed: “To Mr. John Thaxter Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 5th. Feby. 1781 Recd. 7th. April.” Dft (Adams Papers); without date; text incomplete; docketed on face by JA in old age: “A A. to J Thaxter.” LbC (Adams Papers); dated “december 1780”; text incomplete. The date of Dec. 1780 at head of LbC is questionable. Although Dft could have been begun in that month and some part of LbC entered, AA's allusions to the respective missions of John Laurens and Francis Dana strongly suggest that she was writing in the middle of or late in Jan. 1781. The order of composing the three versions seems to have been: (1) Dft, which may at one time have been more complete (see note 4 below); (2) LbC, which elaborates in substance and improves in phrasing on Dft; and (3) RC, which on the whole continues the elaboration and improvement.
1. Supplied from LbC.
2. Temple's Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands, London, 1672, a work which JA characterized as “elegant and entertaining, but very brief and general” (to AA, 21 July 1777; vol. 2:286>, above).
3. LbC ends abruptly here, although the next-to-last paragraph below, on “The young Ladies of your acquaintance,” had been incorporated in LbC text following the paragraph above that ends “against Cupid and the Graces.”
4. Dft ends here, at the foot of a single sheet folded into four pages; a further page or two of Dft may therefore have been written but later have become separated and lost.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0051

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1781-02-08

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams and Charles Adams

[salute] My dear sons

I fear you will think Mamma is unmindfull of you if she does not write you a few lines by so good an opportunity. I wrote to both of you by Mr. Beals of this Town about a week ago,1 and my notice by this vessel is very short. I can only find time to tell you that tis a very long time since I heard from your Pappa, and much longer since I had a Letter from either of you. I think Dr. Lee brought the last.
I hope you are both well and very good children which is the best News I can possibly hear from you. I cannot prevail with your Sister to write—I believe she is affraid you will shew her Letters and she is so proud that she thinks she cannot write well enough. I do not { 78 } like it that she is not more socible with her Brothers. Thommy would write if he could. He sends Love, is a very good Boy, and wants to know if you cannot send him some present from Holland.
Is my Charles grown as fat as his Brother? Can he talk French, Dutch, &c.
Ask Mr. Thaxter to write me word whether he bought Mr. Trottes and Mrs. Welchs things. I know nothing about them. Tell Pappa I am like to have a fine Neighbour. General W[arre]n has bought the Farm at Milton, that formerly belonged to G[overno]r Hutchinson and moves in April.2
We have had a fine pleasent winter, as mild as the last was severe. How has it been in Holland, have you learned to skate finely?
Master Samll['s] Pappa is a going to France. I send this Letter by him.3 Col. Lawrence has got some for Pappa and Mr. Thaxter.—Your Grandpappa sends his Love to you, talks about you with much pleasure, so does your Grandmamma, who is so very infirm I fear you will never see her again. I do not see any prospect of your speedy return. It wants but a few days of 15 months since you left home. Do you not want to see the rugged rocks of Braintree again?
Some day or other, I wish it may not be far distant when I shall embrace my dear Sons in their Native land. Till that period arrives I would have them ever mindfull of writeing to their affectionate Mother,
[signed] A A
Dft or RC (Adams Papers); from the irregularity of the paper, this has more the appearance of a retained draft than of a recipient's copy, but this question is not now answerable.
1. Letter, or letters, missing.
2. Former Governor Thomas Hutchinson built his countryseat on Milton Hill, often called Neponset Hill, overlooking Boston Harbor, in 1743. He regularly occupied it during summers from 1754, and occasionally during winters after his Boston house was sacked in 1765, until June 1774, when he abandoned it to sail for England. Seized and sold at auction as tory property in 1779, this fine estate was purchased by James Warren in Jan. 1781 for £3,000. The Warrens lived there from May 1781 until sometime in 1788, when they returned to their Plymouth home. The house survived in radically altered form into the present century but was torn down in 1946. The most detailed and authoritative account of this once celebrated countryseat is in Malcolm Freiberg's Thomas Hutchinson of Milton (Milton Hist. Soc., 1971). A water color of the house is reproduced in this volume. For the Warrens' occupancy, see Alice Brown, Mercy Warren, N.Y., 1896, ch. 12; Warren-Adams Letters, vol. 2: passim.
3. Gabriel Johonnot (d. 1820), son-in-law of Rev. Samuel Cooper and father of JQA's companion and schoolmate in France, Samuel Cooper Johonnot, was a Boston merchant. See above, vol. 2:202–203, and JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:417–418. In a letter to JA of 9 Feb. 1780 [i.e. 1781], Samuel Cooper explained: “Colonel Johonnot who sails in the Frigate Alliance, I expected would have tarried with us a day or two longer. His sudden and unexpected Call to go on Board this Ship which now lies at some Distance from the Town allows me { 79 } but a Moment to write you.... [He] goes to France upon a Plan of Business; your Friendship to him in this will oblige us both. He will see you upon the Affairs of his Son” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0052

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-11

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I received a day or two agone the vocabulary which I desir'd you to send, for which I am much obliged to you. Last Thursday I went to hear the Rector Magnificus for last year speak an oration. The Rector for this year is professor Voorda. All the Professors of the university, the Burgomasters and the Schepens of the city were there. Professor Hollebeek (the last years rector) is Profesor in theology.1 He treated upon the advantages of the Christian religion.
Perhaps you may remember when you was here you was speaking of the rules of the drama. There is a book here entitled l'art Dramatique by Mercier with his Dramatick works in 6 Volumes in Octavo which cost 18g. 14 st. but I can buy l'art Dramatique alone for 1. 16. If you please I will buy it.2

[salute] I am your most dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams chez Monsieur Henry Schorn a Amsterdam”; endorsed: “John ansd. 12 Feb. 1781.” JQA's punctuation has been slightly rectified for clarity.
1. Ewald Hollebeek (1719–1796), who at the end of his incumbency as rector gave special permission for CA to be admitted to the University, had been professor of theology since 1762. See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:1140–1141; Album studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae, The Hague, 1875, p. xii and col. 1136.
2. In his reply of 12 Feb., below, JA consented to the purchase of the treatise but not the plays. In all likelihood the copy of [Louis Sébastien Mercier,] DM théâtre, ou nouvel essai sur l'art dramatique, Amsterdam, 1773, listed in Catalogue of JA's Library, now in MB, was bought by JQA at this time.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0053

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-11

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inform You that Charles was matriculated the 29th. of last Month, by the Consent of the Curators, to whom the Matter was proposed.
The Letter, that You was so good as to inclose, was from Mr. Williams of Nantes, who informs me that the Aurora Captain Porter had arrived at L'Orient to his Address. She mounts eighteen six pounders, and is to be dispatched as soon as possible for Boston, taking any Freight that offers, without being detained however for { 80 } want of any: that he hopes to get the Marquiss de la Fayette, of twenty four eighteen pounders ready to go out in Company with the Aurora.
If You should incline, Sir, to send any thing to your Family, the Opportunity seems good.
He desires his best Respects to You, and tells me to shew his Letter to You. He says that his Commercial and Family Occupations have a little got the better of his political and friendly Attentions, and desires me to acquaint You, that if You will have patience with him, he will pay You all. The Letter is dated the 30th. Jany., and after taking the Substance from it, it will not be necessary to send the Letter to You.
My Respects and Compliments, where due, Sir, if You please.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, Sir, your very humble Servt.,

[signed] J. Thaxter

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0054

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I received to day, your Favour of 11.
You may purchase L'Art Dramatique, alone if you please. But I know nothing of the Dramatick Character of Mercier. He is not very famous, as I remember, and therefore, I think it is Scarcely worth while to go to the Expence of all his Works.
I shall make you a present of Some Volumes of Pope soon.—I have seen a Terence, in three Volumes, with the Latin on one Side, and a French Translation on the other. Should you be fond of having it?
Terence is remarkable, for good Morals, good Taste and good Latin—his Language has a Simplicity and an elegance, that makes him proper to be accurately studied, as A Model. But perhaps your Master would not choose you should have a Translation.
These great Masters of Antiquity, you must sooner or later, be able to judge of critically. But you must never imitate them. Study nature, and write accordingly, and you will resemble them. But it is nature not the Ancients that you are to imitate and Copy. But I must stop. I wish I had nothing to interrupt me, from indulging this familiar Way of Writing to you.

[salute] Your affectionate Father,

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “John Quincy Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0055

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

The other day I received your letter, of the 12th of this month, in which you ask me whether my Master would choose that I should have Terence with a translation? I believe that he had rather I should not; because when I shall translate him he would desire that I might do it without help.
I should be glad if you would bring me Mr. Cerisier's history of this Country, if you can spare it.1 There is a gentleman in this city whose name is Keroux who has also wrote a history of this Country in four volumes in octavo. Perhaps you have heard of it.2
I should be much obliged to you if you would be so good as to desire Stephens to buy me a penknife, I want one very much, and can't get one here.

[salute] I am your most dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A. Monsieur Monsieur Adams, chez Madame la veuve Hendrik Schorn a Amsterdam”; docketed in Thaxter's hand: “Johnny 18th. Feby. 1781.”
1. This work, issued anonymously, was currently in progress: Tableau de l'histoire générale des Provinces-unies, 10 vols., Utrecht, 1777–1784. Two sets remain among JA's books in MB. Antoine Marie Cerisier (1749–1828), a journalist of French birth who had long resided in the Netherlands, was a leading propagandist for the Patriot or anti-Orangist party and became an enthusiastic supporter of JA's efforts to win recognition for the United States. See a documented sketch of Cerisier in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:454.
2. Louis Gabriel Florence Kerroux, Abrégé de l'histoire de la Hollande et des Provinces-unies ..., 4 vols., Leyden, 1778. The copy at MQA contains JQA's bookplate.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0056

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-02-27

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Your Effects, expected in the Alliance, came in the Ariel. Yesterday two Cases were brought to my Chamber, the Size of which I give on the other Side to govern your future Directions as to Transportation.1
Inches   }   54 long   }   27 long  
18 high   17 broad  
16 broad   14 high  
I received at the same Time a Box for my Friend Gerry and another for Col. Peabody. Having deliver'd the former agreable to his order, I was told in the Evening that the Articles were in Part rotten. This { 82 } made me immediately open Col. P's. I found them not much injured. I thoroughly examined, wiped and dried them properly for second Package. The Appearance of his Box indicated his medium Luck: Not so yours, my dear Lady. The large Case was shattered; and, thro' the Cracks appeared neither full nor regularly packt; and it smoaked so in the Sun in my Chamber as to warrant the further Search of my Eye even if I had been warned of its containing only Secrets.
I was agreably disappointed in finding that the Damage was not equal to my Fears. It was such however as to oblige me to pass over every Article seperately; for those which are not really injured were in a warm fermenting moisture. Your Diaper, very pretty, was among the worst. Mr. Shutes Linnen the next, your No. 7507 next, Mr. Wibert's No. 19 next, Brother Cranche's Cambrick No. 1216 next.2 The other Linnens and Cambricks do not properly fall under the Head of Damage, nor any of the other Articles, except your Gloves which are useless in their present party-colored State; and They had nearly ruined those of your Articles among which they were wron[g]fully inserted: They should be wrapped in wollen. There was a good Fire in my Room and a pretty-handy Watchman till 5 this morning; in Consequence, all of the smaller Parcels have had due Airing, Wiping and Repacking. I must particularly acquaint Miss that, tho the Fans stuck much together, they are now in no Measure defaced. They would have been lost if they had dried in that Posture. One of them is the prettiest of the shining Kind that I have yet seen; and a Lady who lately lodged here was supposed to have them the prettyest. I like those better which I used to see 19 years ago. The green Mould is next-to-intirely taken from the Gauzes, among which the Gloves were placed for their Security.—Tell the Men their Cloths are become quite dry without any Change of Colour.—I should have named Miss P. B. A's Linnen Handkerchiefs as damaged, but I suppose within the Power of some of her Arts to recover: Her Chintz was not injured tho' in the same wet Paper; it is almost a Beauty.3 It has a large Flower too much. Your striped Persian is spotted but I believe the Wind will recover it. Your nice quaker Broad Cloth escaped, tho the wrapper was very wet. You had better keep to your Cardinal and not run into the Pride of the female Lucifers of this City with their uncouloured Long Cloaks. The Linnens and Diapers are still at the Fire. The best shall be done for them that can be. I hope your Fears will magnify the Damage that you may have more Satisfaction in the End.
The large Case is larger than was necessary, by many Inches. And I suspect will not easily find Transportation when perhaps I shall be { 83 } able to send the whole Articles in two or three Parcels more readily.
But, now Madam the worst of the Future is to be mentioned: how is the smaller Box to reach you. For the Past, it has escaped well, but I fear the long, rough Waggonnage: Perhaps shortly there will be a most decided Superiority in our favor by Sea so as to make the Winds the only Risque to be run. Capt. Penny sold his China here some time ago, because of the great Risque to Jamaica Plains. But I cannot advise you to part with yours. Nevertheless, I will in my next send you the current Price that if you wish to chip and change you may do it with your Eyes open.
The fate of the South is balancing between Cornwallis and Green; and of the Middle States—War between the Commanders near Gardner's Island. I never have yet been so agitated by present Moments since the War began. God be better to us than our Deserts!

[salute] Your very humb. Servt.,

[signed] JL
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams.”
1. The dimensions of the “Cases” are inserted here from the third page of Lovell's letter. These cases contained the goods JA had ordered a year earlier from James Moylan, merchant at Lorient, to be sent as gifts to AA and various relatives and friends; see JA to Moylan, 22 Feb. 1780 (LbC, Adams Papers), the relevant portion of which is quoted in a note on JA's letter to AA, 12 Feb. 1780, vol. 3:273, above. As numerous allusions in the correspondence that followed make clear, the goods were to have been shipped to Boston in the Alliance in care of Dr. Amos Windship. But they became the victims of the quarrels that beset that unfortunate vessel and all who had anything to do with it, and were left behind when the Alliance finally sailed in the summer. See AA to JA, 3 Sept. (vol. 3:406), 18 Oct., 13–24 Nov. 1780, both above. JA repeatedly inquired what had happened to the goods, and Moylan at length replied on 29 Dec. 1780 that John Paul Jones had “encharged himself” with them and had sailed in the Ariel on the 18th of that month (Adams Papers). In a letter to AA of 1 March 1781, below, Lovell furnished an itemized list, and he soon forwarded some of the less bulky articles (see his letter of 5 March, below), but late in April AA was still awaiting most of the shipment and gave vent to her feelings about Moylan's negligence from start to finish (to JA, 23 April, below).
2. The numbers in this sentence, which are clearly not ciphered forms of words, may possibly be entries in a missing invoice, though it is hard to account for the numbers running so high, and Lovell used no numbers in his itemized list at 1 March below.
3. Lovell's reference to “Miss P.B.A” is characteristically ambiguous. “Miss” is a shortened form of “Mistress,” and though it usually designated an unmarried woman, it could still be used for a married one; see entry of 2 Dec. 1760 (and note) in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:176–177. JA was far more likely to have sent gifts from France to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Peter Boylston Adams (the former Mary Crosby), than to his niece, Mary (1769–1830), later Mrs. Elisha Turner. Mrs. P. B. Adams had, however, died in June 1780; see vol. 3:323, above. On Mary (Adams) Turner see Adams Genealogy.
{ 84 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0057

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-27

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

I wrote you a few days since1 by a ship which goes in Company with this of the success under Genl. Morgan in the Caralinions Over the famous Tarleton. Since which we have the Agreeable Advize of an Expedition of a 64 ship and <2 frigates> part of the french fleet att Rd. Island, haveing been to Virginia in order to ketch Genl. <Phillips and> Arnold, which business they have compleated haveing saild from Rd. Island the 9th and returned the 24th with the Romulous a 44 gun and 2 sloops of Warr, of the british with 500 seamen prisoners. They distroyed the most of the transport, and brought of there stores. The Enemy got ashore, but as the Virginians had been under Arms before itts most likely they will be Obliged to surrender As they are deprived of every thing. Itts said to be a plan concerted by Congress and Genl. Washington and has Answered the happy effect. We cant but with gratfully2 Acknowledgments, Acknowledge the particular kind hand of heaven in the late successes Over the Enemy in the southern goverments. We have not got all the particulars as itt came but last Evening.—We hope in a post or two to have Advize from Virginia. The dispute between Virginia and Maryland About the land Affair is settled and Maryland delegates have signed the Confederacy.3
Itt is thought best that Vermont should be a seperate state and will or is Allready.4—Mrs. Adams is well. Mrs. Smith has been confined to her Chamber a Month with a fever but through the goodness of god, is geting better.

[salute] I am, Sr. Your Most hum. Servt.,

[signed] Isaac Smith
PS A french frigate is just arrived from france with a large sum of Money and the Marrs from Nantes, with a prize, something Valuable.—Do let my friend M. Hadshon5 know I received his of the 8th Novr. Yours by said Conveyance is forwarded to Mrs. Adams.
[Insted?] of 2 sloops [of] War, some Armed Transports with stores.6
The famous Capt. Paul Jones is Arrived att Phila.
1. A very brief note dated at Boston, 24 Feb. 1781, in Adams Papers but omitted here.
2. Thus in MS.
3. This was substantially true but in part premature news. The long delay in completing the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, originally submitted to the states in 1777, was owing in good part to differences between states (such { 85 } as Virginia) with large claims to western lands and those (such as Maryland) with none. Virginia at last ceded her claims to Congress on 2 Jan. of the present year; in February the Maryland delegates were instructed to ratify; and on 1 March they signed the Articles, the last of the thirteen state delegations to do so. Appropriate acts of celebration followed. See JCC, 19:138–140, 208–223; Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (Old South Leaflets, Nos. 228–229), Boston, 1960; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:1–4; Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation, Madison, 1959, ch. 12.
4. Vermont had assumed the status of an independent republic in 1777–1778; despite efforts of some Vermonters and of some groups in Congress to bring it into the Union, it was not admitted as a state, the fourteenth, until 1791 (Burnett, Continental Congress, p. 540–546; DAH). See also AA to JA, 23 April, below.
5. John Hodshon, head of a mercantile firm in Amsterdam well disposed toward America (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:444).
6. This may refer back to the end of the second sentence in the first paragraph of this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0058

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-03-01

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[In my last I told] you that the Case [which was brought] to my Lodgings for your Benefit did not appear full according to the common Mode of Packing for a Voyage. I ought to have endeavored to give you a Kind of Invoice of its Contents. I had not Time. It will now perhaps enable you to decide whether there have been Filchings if I give you only the following Sketch.
For Mrs. Adams
18 Ells of Diaper at 10
some Persian & Gauze
Gloves & a Band Box with a number of small Articles Fans Ribbons Lace Ferrets
Threads of difft. Colrs, and Cotton for Tambour
3 p[iece]s Linnen
White Broad Cloth & some Yards of blue Silk
a Box of Tea
For Mr. Wibert
Black broad Cloth
2 ps. Linnen
1 ps. Cambrick
Silk Hose. Gloves. Hankerchifs. sewing silk
For Mr. Cranch
Broad [Cloth] & Serge
1 ps. Linnen
{ 86 }
1 ps. Cambrick
Silk Hose
For Mr. Shute
6 Ells Linnen
For Mr. Tuffts
1 ps. Cambrick
some Gauze & Fans
Mr. P. B. Adams
1 ps. Linnen
1 ps. Chintz
12 Handkerchfs.
some black Parisnett & Lace
What made me most apprehend Roguery is finding no Cambrick for yourself. However, there was such a general Slovenlyness in the Packing, that there is Room to hope the Vacancy is no Proof of Loss.
[The Articles of Confederation] have been signed by [the delegates of Maryland] this day, which will have a good Effect in Europe if not in America.1—But it is needless to enlarge on this or any other Topic of Intelligence as the Opportunity by Doctr. Winship will be slower than the Post. Perhaps I shall send you some little Articles, at least the Band Box, or the Tea Box.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A Adams Braintree near Boston”; endorsed: “March 1. 81.” MS has a large hole near the top of all four pages. Conjectural readings have been supplied for the resulting gaps in the text.
1. See note 3 on the preceding letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0059

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1781-03-05

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] My dear Madam

Your two sons did me the favour of calling upon me yesterday morning and Breakfasting with me.1 The bad roads prevented their lodgeing here the Night before as they kindly intended. I was very glad to see them, and would have had them remain2 with me till the Storm was over, but they were apprehensive of worse weather, and chose to go on.
I feel for these young Gentlemen a particular affection, not only from their own amiable dispositions and agreable Manners, which alone would entitle them to a large share, but from the sincere regard and affection which I bear to their most Excellent Mamma, who { 87 } I hope has not a doubt of the particular satisfaction and pleasure her Friend takes in the Idea of soon having her for her Neighbour.
I most sincerely regret the misfortune, both you and your Friends suffer from the disorder of your Eyes, but having a fund of usefull knowledge laid up in store, like the immortal Milton, you may better afford to be deprived of them than others.
I hoped before this time to have given you some intelligence from abroad—but the Mars brings me only two letters from Mr. Thaxter, written before he left Paris. I find by a few lines of Mr. Dana, that Mr. Guile had many Letters, he sailed in October and has not since been heard of. The best that can be hoped of him, is that he may be taken, and even that is a situation to be deprecated considering the inhumane policy which the New Parliment and the Successes of the Britains at Charlestown have induced them to adopt as you will see from extracts from Mr. A[dam]s Letters to Congress, which I enclose to you, but should be glad may be returnd to me as soon as a safe conveyance offers.
Retaliation is a painfull task to the Humane Breasts of Americans, yet is certainly due in justice to the worthy suffering citizens and especially to so aged and so respectable a personage as the late President Laurence, and more particularly so on account of the publick character with which he was invested.3
O! My Dear Madam when I reflect upon this worthy Mans situation, I cannot feel sufficient Gratitude to Heaven for preserving my dearest Friend from a similar Situation, and thereby trying me with a calamity which would have “harrowd up my Soul.”
I congratulate you Madam upon the rising Hero in the South. General Morgan by his repeated Successes has brightned the page of our History, and immortalized his own Name, whilst the opportunely4 expedition of our Allies checkd the treacherous Arnold in his cruel ravages, and opens a prospect for his speedy destruction. May the ancient Spirit of America rise with her Successes, and crush the venal passion for Gain, may every virtuous citizen cooperate with the Martial Spirit, and drive from these Distressed States the Mercenary invaders since that and that alone is like to give us peace.
With regard to our commercial affairs, you must have misunderstood me with regard to Tea, because I never had any but what I purchased by the pound for my family. The hankerchiefs sent the other day were a mistake, the flowerd papers had always containd the coulourd hankerchiefs and I did not think to open them.
Nabby desires to be affectionately rememberd to you and rejoices { 88 } in the prospect of your removeing, sends her Love to Miss Betsy and Master Gorge as there is no other young Gentlemen at home to share it.

[salute] Believe me my dear Madam at all times most affectionately Yours,

[signed] A A5
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Collection); slightly mutilated; addressed: “To Mrs. Mercy Warre[n] Pli[mouth]”; docketed in two later unidentified hands: “Mrs. Abigail Adams March 5th. 1781 No. 14.” Dft (Adams Papers). Enclosed “extracts” not found.
1. Probably Charles and Henry, third and fourth of the Warren sons, both identified in vol. 3 above.
2. RC and Dft both read: “remained.”
3. Dft reads: “President Laurence whom they wish to Distroy, (and I fear from the extracts,) either have or will effect their purpose.”
4. Thus in both RC and Dft.
5. Initialed signature from Dft; lower part of second leaf of RC torn away.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0060

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-03-05

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dr. Madam

Doctr. Winship left this City Today and has been so kind as to take into his Care two small Packages. I could not impose more on his Goodness. I hope they will escape Thieves and all Injury from Wet or Rubbing. I have cautioned and he has promised. You will find at Mrs. Lovell's or Mr. Smith's after the Doctr. reaches Boston, a Package in a very coarse Wrapper. It contains your Band Box, your Gauzes, your striped Persian and your Gloves, Your Threads and your Tambours Cotton. Mrs. L will find in a small Bag a few Articles for Mr. Wibert with some for Mr. Gerry. My Daughter's straw Trunks have also a little parcel for Mr. Wibert with something for Col. Peabody. It would have afforded me much Pleasure to have been able to send all the small Articles for my Friend Cranch, Mr. P. B. Adams, Mr. Tuffts and Mr. Wibert. If I do not soon find a Chest Conveyance I shall as the Weather mends the Roads find frequent private Opportunities for small Parcells.
I am not very well; and it is too late to detail News, and the opportunity of Carriage is not that by which I chuse to say the great Deal I have to say about our Friends in Holland. He is doing well I am persuaded.

[salute] Yr. respectfully affectte.

[signed] JL

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0061

Author: Dana, Elizabeth Ellery
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-03-06

Elizabeth Ellery Dana to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Your favor of the 5th gave me sensible pain. Had I had the least doubt that you was not so happy as to have heard from Mr. Adams by the Mars, I should before this communicated part of the contents of mine from Mr. D[ana] dated Amsterdam Nov. 7th when all friends were well. Mr. D was to leave Holland for Paris the next week but whither in company with Mr. Adams he did not write. He writes that Mr. A——s had recieved a letter from Mr. Smith Boston in which he tells him he forwards letter[s] from you and me. Mr. A——s was fortunate enough to recieve yours some time After—as for mine it had not got to Mr. Dana when he wrote. I cannot but flatter myself that you have a letter. I went into Boston the day after I recieved mine and enquired particularly whither there was letters for you. Mr. Austin told me that you had letters and some things come. I will send to him to Morrow and know what has become of them, and if any forward them immediately. Could persons have but a faint Idea of what we suffer through their inattention they would never neglect our letters as they do, but be as impatient to convey them as we are to recieve. It was above 6 months from the date of my last from Mr. D when I recieved this last welcome one. He mentions writing me in that time. But they are gone. I wish from my heart there was soon to be an end of this intercours by letters—and we in exchange might be happily seated down with the objects of our affections. But to wish and hope is all we can do—and at times I am almost afraid to wish their return without there should be Peace, for should they fall into the hands of the cruel Britain—I will not dwell upon the thought it is too, too, painful. Must hope that before you recieve this that you have been made as happy by letters from Mr. A——s as I was the last week by mine.

[salute] The ladies desire their best regards to you Madam and family in which joins them your affectionate and sympathizing Friend,

[signed] Eliza Dana

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0062

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-03-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

My Letters by Davis, Mr. Guild1 &c. are lost.—Pray did you get the Goods by Davis?
{ 90 }
This goes by Mr. De L'Etombe Consul of France, a worthy Man. He will do honour to his Country and good to ours.
My Boys are both Students in the University of Leyden.—All well.—Write me by the Way of Spain, France, Holland, Sweeden and every other. Jones carried your Chest, Samson carried another.—Yours with more Tenderness than it would be wise, if it were possible to express.
[signed] J.A.2
1. Benjamin Guild (on whom see sketch at vol. 3:322–323, above) was captured off Newfoundland on his return voyage in the Fame, which was carried to Ireland (AA to James Lovell, 13 May, below). In a manner unknown, Guild soon made his way back to the Netherlands; see JQA to JA, 17 May, below.
2. It will be noted that this laconic note is the first surviving communication from JA to AA since his letter of 18 Dec. 1780, above. Presumably he had written others, as he implies in his first sentence here, but he did not keep copies of them, and it seems likely that he had not written often or at length. One reason was his fear of enemy interception at sea, but this did not cut off the flow of his dispatches to Congress on European affairs, especially in regard to the Anglo-Dutch war crisis. It may be suggested that, as sometimes before when JA was deeply troubled, he simply did not record his inmost thoughts, either in correspondence or diary entries. (His diary contains essentially no entries between the end of Aug. 1780 and the brief and scattering entries in Jan.–Feb. 1781, and a very long gap ensues.)
A more obvious, yet in some degree superficial, explanation for the lack of personal records by JA at this time would be his quite literal “busyness” on the Dutch scene. During his early months in the Netherlands he was cultivating friends among journalists, moneyed men, and political functionaries; writing and circulating pro-American propaganda; and studying Dutch life, literature, and institutions. The most detailed and thoroughly documented account of these activities yet available is by Sister Mary Briant Foley, The Triumph of Militia Diplomacy: John Adams in the Netherlands, 1780–1782, Loyola Univ. doctoral dissertation, 1968, chs. 2–3.
During the weeks immediately before he wrote the present letter JA had been much on the move between Amsterdam, Leyden, and The Hague. On 25 Feb. he received dispatches from Congress which commissioned and instructed him as minister plenipotentiary to the States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in succession to the captured Henry Laurens, to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce as voted by Congress on 29 Dec. 1780, and also to adhere on the part of the United States to the Armed Neutrality among the northern maritime powers, according to a resolve of Congress voted on 5 Oct. 1780. See Samuel Huntington to JA, 1 Jan., with duplicate of 9 Jan. 1781, and enclosures (Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:349, letter only; printed from PCC, with letter of credence, in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:224–225; for the respective resolves of Congress, including JA's instructions, see JCC, 18:905–906, 1204–1217; 19:17–19). At The Hague on 8 March JA submitted a brief memorial to the States General regarding the Armed Neutrality (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:373; see the related correspondence which follows in Works and also in Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 392–395).
For JA's strategy and efforts to obtain recognition of American independence by the Dutch as that nation drifted into a full-scale war with Great Britain, see the notes under his next and only slightly less laconic letter to AA, 28 April, below.
{ 91 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0063

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1781-03-11

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

Your favour of the 18th. of Decr.1 reached me to day. I lament the Loss of my Letters by Davis, but I hope Mrs. Adams did not lose her Present, which I hear nothing of. I thank You, Sir, for the kind News of my Family. Mr. Guild is taken and all my Letters and other things sent by him lost.
I wish I could give You any good News, especially of Peace, but alass there is no hopes of it. The English are labouring with all their Art and Might to spread the Flames of War thro' all Europe. I don't know that they would get or We lose any Advantage by that: but such is their incendiary Temper at present.
I am glad to learn that the Army is to be placed on a more permanent footing. I wish to know the State of Commerce and Privateering. Your Letters Via Spain always reach me.
This will go by Mr. De L'Etombe; the new Consul, a valuable Man—so thinks your's respectfully &c.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0064

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-03-17

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

It was not till the last week in Febry. that your favour of Janry. 8th reachd me. I had waited the arrival of each post with impatience but was so repeatedly dissapointed that I almost gave up my correspondent even in the way of Friendship. I struck up of1 the list of Galantry some time ago. It is a character in my mind very unbefitting a senator notwithstanding the Authority of Chesterfeild against me, yet the Stile of some Letters obliged me to balance a long time and study by detail the character I was scrutinizing. I wished to divest myself for the time of a partiality which I found predominant in my Heart, yet give to every virtue its due weight. I wished for once, for a few moments and 3 hundred miles distance observe, to consider myself in the nearest connexion possible, and then try the force of certain Epethets addressed to a Lady—we will suppose her for Arguments sake amiable, agreable and his Friend. I found from trial that those Epethets only would bear [i.e. be bearable] . If they were carried { 92 } a Syllable beyond, to Lovely, to charming, they touchd too too sensibly the fine tuned instrument and produced a discord where Harmony alone should subsist. What right has she who is appropriated to appear Lovely or charming in any Eyes but his whose property she is?2 I am pursuaded says a Lady who had seen much of the world, that a woman who is determined to place her happiness in her Husbands affections should abandon the extravagant desire of engageing publick adoration, and that a Husband who tenderly loves his wife should in his turn give up the reputation of being a Gallant. However antiquated and unpolite these Ideas may appear to our Modern refiners, I can join with Juba in the play “by Heavens I had rather have that best of Friends approve my deeds than Worlds for my admirers.”3
A particular reason has led me to wish the Man whose Soul is Benevolence itself flowing out in these exuberances would more circumspectly guard a pen.—A Captured Letter, not to Portia thank fortune, but to his Friend G[err]y published by the Enemy, has made some talk. I have tried to obtain it that I might judge whether what was said of it was true. Have not yet been able to, but his own conscience must tell him whether any thing written to a confidiential Friend should give just occasion of pain to an affectionate wife. That it has done so I know not, but ought there to be room for the world to suppose it capable of it? I will not judge unheard and unseen, only repeate an observation which I once before made to you, that no situation was more delicate, more critical or more liable to censure than that of a Lady whose Husband has been long seperated from her. The world will judge from selfish motives nor will they consider of any obligation prior to that which binds a man to his family or that the demands of his country must silence the voice of pleading Nature. A similarity of circumstances leads me to sympathize with every sufferer. I own I am exceedingly tenacious of my prerogative and it would wound me to the Soul even to have it suspected.
I had many things in mind to say to you in the political way when I took up my pen, but will defer them for the subject of an other Letter or untill you tell me that you have received this in that Spirit of Friendship with which it flowed from the pen of
[signed] Portia4
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee, but this letter set off a long train of exchanges between Lovell and AA, running all the way to the following August; see note 4 below. The (missing) RC was not received by Lovell until late in May, and then in the form of a duplicate RC (also missing) enclosed in hers to him of 10 May (below), the original having either strayed in the mail or actually been captured by the enemy. See Lovell to AA, 14, 29 May, and 16 June, all below.
{ 93 }
1. Thus in MS. AA probably meant to write: “struck him off.”
2. The reasons impelling AA at this juncture “to balance a long time and study by detail” the propriety of the language Lovell had employed in his letter of 8 Jan. (above) and, generally, in other letters he had written her, are discussed in note 4 below. In the present passage, written in some agitation, she is saying that “Epethets” like amiable and agreeable addressed to a [married] Lady” by a male friend are perfectly acceptable, but lovely and charming are not. They smack too much of the Chesterfieldian code of “Galantry,” which she rejects.
3. Initial quotation mark supplied. AA is quoting, a little inaccurately, from Addison's Cato (1713), Act II, scene v, lines 144–145.
4. AA's concern and admonitions as expressed in this letter sprang from two different but related causes. Lovell in his correspondence with her habitually indulged in a queer sort of gallantry, imitative of Laurence Sterne's writings, which she in turn indulged him in without protest and thus apparently found acceptable. However, in his letter of 8 Jan., which she found indiscreet (see note 2 above), he spoke of her as one of the “most lovely of the Loveliest Sex,” and at the same time blandly mentioned that recent letters of his, including one to her (dated 21 Nov. 1780, not found), had fallen into the hands of “Jemmy Rivington,” the tory newspaper printer in New York. This naturally suggested to her that the combination of what she here calls Lovell's “exuberances” and the increasingly frequent British interception of American mails made her reputation more vulnerable than was pleasant to contemplate. Six weeks or so elapsed between Lovell's writing his letter of 8 Jan. and her receipt of it in late February, and meanwhile AA learned that Rivington and other loyalist printers had published one or more of Lovell's private letters, specifically one to Elbridge Gerry, 20 Nov. 1780, containing enough indiscretions to excite talk in Boston. Though she had not seen the paper or papers in question, she was bound to wonder what further epistolary indiscretions her correspondent might have committed and she was still to hear about. Waiting for several weeks, and still without sight of what Rivington had printed, AA here phrased her multiple rebukes to Lovell with care and tact. In a letter of 10 May, below (and perhaps in others intervening but not found), and still not having seen the offending letter to Gerry, AA renewed her “Stricktures” on Lovell's conduct in severe terms; see the notes and references there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0065

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-19

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It was only an hour ago that I was informd of a vessel just ready to sail for Amsterdam; by forgetfullness in the Messenger I have so short warning as to be able to write you only a few lines, yet a few is more than have come to my hand for six months, in all which space only a few lines written last May have reachd me. The Mars arrived the beginning of this Month after a very long passage, but brought me only Letters from Mr. Thaxter written before he left Paris. By a Letter from Mr. Dana to his Lady I find you were all well in November, yet wonder I should not hear so from your own hand.
Jones too has arrived at Phili—pia but brought no Letters for me. I have just heard of the loss [of a]1 vessel belonging to my unkle bound to Cales, by which [I w]rote largely to you in Sepbr.2—Such is { 94 } the Luck of absent Friends. Suppose I have shared the same fate by the loss or Capture of the Fame which has not been heard of since she left Amsterdam. I have written to you by the Captains Hayden and Cuznew who both sailed for Amsterdam and by the Alliance which is once more gone to France, by Trash to Bilboa. I received by Capt. Sampson a very acceptable present 11 peices of Calico. They were as Good and as pretty as I could have wished for, but to my great misfortune so damaged by the long passage as some of them to be nearly ruined.
When I received them, which was as soon as possible after his arrival, they were the cheif of them so wet and mildewed as I never saw any Goods before and this was the fate of his cargo except what was in his own Cabin. I am almost affraid to tell you, least you should be discouraged from trying again, that my Trunk at Philadelphia was in as bad or worse State, by Mr. L[ovel]l['s] account whose care I had requested, if it should arrive there. It was well I did, for it was oweing to his immediate attention, that every thing was not rotten which it contained. He was obliged to unpack and dry by the fire in his chamber every article which were many of them much damaged, the diaper and linnens the worst. I have otherways been fortunate, from Bilboa and from Holland every thing was in good order. My Box of china is safe at Philidelphia where I believe it must remain for the present.
The Fate of the Southern States is balanceing between Green and Cornwallis. The late Successes of General Morgan in Carolina and at Gorgia have occasioned the British Army to collect all t[heir] force to that Quarter, we Dayly expect some important Ev[ent.]
By the loss of one British ship from New York of 74 Guns and the damage of two others, the Capture of the Romulus by the French, the British were so weakned as to induce the Fleet of our Allies to plan an expedition to the Southward in order to give assistance to the American Arms in that Quarter. Two days after they sailed, all the British ships followed, even the disabled one with jury Masts, which shews their weakness. The French took their troops with them and Road Island is now guarded by American millitia. The infamous Arnold by the last accounts was like to fall into the Hands of the justly incensed Americans. Such is our present anxious state.
We have recent accounts of an attack upon Eustatia by the Mad Britains and of a Declaration of war by the united provinces. The Insolence of Sir Joseph York was an abusive declaration of the British.
Excuse haste written late in the Evening. I long to hear from you.
{ 95 }
When O! when will the time come. God Grant me happy tidings. My Love to my dear Sons, from whom I have not received a line for nine months.

[salute] Yours with sincere affection,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honble John Adams Esqr Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Portia March 19. 1781.”
1. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
2. A mistake for October; see AA to JA, 8, 15 Oct. 1780, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0066

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-04-01

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I have been duly honoured with your two favours of the 18th. of Novr. and 8th. of December.1 I am much obliged by the particular Account You have given of the Rise, Progress and fatal Issue of the fond Attachment of Mr. C. to Miss P.2 I confess with great Candour it contains many Circumstances hitherto unknown to me. I have indeed, Madam, an unavoidable and involuntary Share in the dreadful Catastrophe of this unhappy Man. The Story in itself is affecting—but the polish and Ornaments of your Pen together with those Observations which your nice Sensibility has suggested and which are so judiciously interspersed have rendered it peculiarly interesting. I have weeped his Fate as a Brother—nor is the unhappy Lady less an Object of my tenderest Commiseration. Would to God I had never seen the unfortunate Pair! It has been a Source of constant Misery to me, but this last and fatal Event has been painful and afflicting to an extreme degree. I do not however reproach myself. I have felt Stings and Arrows, but not those of Guilt or Remorse, tho' equally poignant. I am fully confident that I stand justified and acquitted of the least Shadow or particle of Criminality—I may have been innocently accessary.——There are undoubtedly bounds set to the Sacrifices which one may and ought to make to promote the Happiness of another—how far the Obligation may extend in a Circumstance similar to her's or mine, is a Question that involves so many Considerations and interests so much the Passion of Self Love and the social feelings, that it is of difficult Determination. Philosophy has very little to do in general in governing the decision. It is a most unhappy Dilemma—so strong is the desire of promoting our personal Felicity, so essential a Spring is it of our Actions, so fixed are we in deriving it from Objects where our Hopes centre, that, however disposed We may be to advance { 96 } each other's Happiness, yet in Cases of Competition between personal and relative, the former turns the Scale but too commonly. In an Object so essential as the Choice of a Companion for life, it is proper that it should.——You observe I may be disappointed in my fair American—it is very possible and I think upon the whole very probable. I wish her to observe in that Case the same degree of Generosity, which I hope I may say without Vanity I have shewn in a similar one, and that the Issue of my Affection may not be so melancholy as that of the Gentleman who makes the Subject of your excellent Letter. I am as little capable as ambitious of female Conquests. I wish to merit the Esteem of all the fair, and boast the particular Affection of but one. I may be unhappy—may I be innocently so.
As to the fair Maroni, the Vestal Nun, it is long since I have seen or heard from her. The best Answer I can give is in adopting the Words of Your Quotation, stripping it of its Interrogations and substituting an Affirmation, viz. that her “Passions are all sublimated, and the Love of God substituted to that of Man,” &c. &c. I am not sufficiently acquainted with her history to determine absolutely her Motives for entering that gloomy Abode. If I was to hazard a Conjecture, I should attribute her Motive to an enthusiastic Zeal rather than to “disappointed Love.” It is a silent Retreat for “hopeless Passion,” where Sighs, Tears and Woes to the unfeeling speechless Walls are rais'd and shed, but rais'd and shed in vain.
Accept, Madam, my most grateful Acknowledgments for your kind Attention to what is most dear to me, that is my Reputation, which those have attempted to asperse, whose Approbation would be its greatest Blot. There are some Persons in that Town, whose Element is Malice and Envy, who cannot bear to see a Character contrasted with their own. I despise their Calumny—I have little merited it. I feel the most sovereign Contempt for her who has said She could call me her own, or any other of the same Stamp there or in this Country.—God forbid that I should become a Slave to Wretches of that Cast.
The English are in open War with this Republick—have taken Statia, St. Martins and Saba,3 but yet the Dutch have not a Ship of War or even a Privateer as yet gone out to revenge these Insults. This Irresolution and Inactivity is unaccountable—But my Pen must stop.
My Duty, Respects, and Compliments, if you please, where they are respectively due. My Love to your amiable Daughter, am very sorry She is not to be persuaded to favour me with some of her in• { 97 } genious epistolary Productions. As to my fair American She is so curious about, I must refer her with the other curious young Ladies to her Aunt Cranch to whom I have written. I am with every Sentiment of Respect & Esteem Madam your most obliged & obedient Servt.,
[signed] J.T.
1. That of 18 Nov. has not been found; that of 8 Dec. is printed above.
2. Nathaniel Cranch and Elizabeth Palmer; see Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April 1780, in vol. 3 above, and note 5 there.
3. Three small and more or less adjacent islands in the Lesser Antilles, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, and Saba, all Dutch possessions except St. Martin, which was divided with France. St. Eustatius, a free port, had served as an important depot for the transshipment of supplies from Europe to America throughout the war. In the winter of 1780–1781 its harbor and warehouses were crammed with ships and goods vital to the American war effort and to the welfare of Dutch merchants and capitalists. Even before the British declaration of war on the Dutch in December 1780, secret orders had been prepared for Admiral Rodney and his fleet in the West Indies to attack St. Eustatius in case of war, and on 3 Feb. 1781 Rodney fell upon the virtually unfortified island and received its absolute surrender. When the news of this devastating loss reached the Netherlands in March, it had a profound effect, dampening what little popular enthusiasm remained for war with England and cutting off all prospects of a loan to the United States. See the classic study by J. Franklin Jameson. “St. Eustatius in the American Revolution,” AHR, 8:683–708 (July 1903); and, for the calamitous effect of the loss on the Dutch business community, see the letters of Jean de Neufville & Son to JA in March and April, esp. 21, 27 March (Adams Papers).
Much of the enormous booty which was taken and which Rodney had counted on to make himself rich, was before long retaken by a French fleet that intercepted a British convoy off the Scilly Islands; see JA to AA, 16 May, below. Nor was this the final irony that sprang from the capture of St. Eustatius. Jameson pointed out, as did contemporary critics and later naval historians, that Rodney's lingering for more than three months at St. Eustatius had disastrous consequences for Great Britain in the war. While Rodney gathered his treasure, “De Grasse, watched only by Hood, had slipped around the shoulder of Martinique and joined the other French ships in the roadstead of Fort Royal. Yorktown itself might never have happened if this juncture of the French had not been effected, and in all probability it would not have been effected if Rodney, with his whole fleet, had been where Hood wished him to be, to windward of Martinique” (Jameson, p. 706–707).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0067

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-05

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Knowing that the Fever of your dear Charles is a Source of continual Anxiety to You, any thing tending to decrease or remove it cannot fail to be agreable. The Fit of this day was mild and only of an hour and an half or two hours duration. It came on at ten—he laid upon his Bed during the Fit, and rose up after it very gay and merry, { 98 } dined with Us and has been in good Spirits all the Afternoon, and is now reading Gil Bias very devoutly—he will have an easy Night of it. The Professor1 has been here and says every thing goes on agreably to his Wishes.
I have recieved the English Papers that Mr. De Neufville forwarded.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the most perfect Respect, Sir, your most obedient & most humble Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter
1. Not identifiable with certainty.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0068

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1781-04-06

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sister

When I received your last kind, and daily Remembrance of me,1 I felt doubly obliged, for I knew I was in the arrears, and had not deserved it, and my gratitude rose in proportion. You have greatly the advantage of me in the enjoyment of quiet Life, in thinking over Letters while you [ . . . ] at work, and in the possession of your own thoughts. For if Ideas present themselves to my Mind, it is too much like the good seed sown among Thorns, they are soon erased, and swallowed up by the Cares of the World, the wants, and noise of my Family, and Children.
My little Creatures are well now, though they have been often indisposed this winter. Betcy Quincy2 sleeps but little, wants to be waited upon every moment, and if she can have present necessities supplied, cares nothing about the future, or whether her mamma works, thinks, or plays. I have no patience with the saucy Girl.
I have been uneasy that I could not send my Letter, but I find by yours that Brothers Conduct with regard to the Rates has determined my Father not to let him take the Farm into his own hands.3 I am sorry for the misfortune and loss, but believe it may be a means of preventing much greater evils.—I shall long to hear how things are. I hope you will continue your kind Informations.
What is the matter that I cannot be favoured with some of my dear Sister Adams's Letters. Does publick speculations, and an absent Husband and Children engross all her attention, and leave not one crevice for a sister who tenderly loves her.
{ 99 }
We had a report here that Brother Adams was returned last week with proffers of Peace &c., but I did not believe he had stolen a march again.
I wish I knew what our situation was, with foreign Powers. Can Holland, and the States of Germany see the mart of the world destroyed, and preserve their Neutrality? It has greivously affected our merchants, Capt. Cordis particularly—he is a very great sufferer.
I am very sorry for your loss and dissappointment in Your Goods. I hope you have got them and find them not so bad as you feared. For it costs almost an estate to procure any article either foreign or domestic.—I have been trying to get some spining done, and have hired a Girl into the house for that purpose, but it keeps the house in confusion. I hate it.
I am sorry to hear my Aunt Thaxter has been so unwell.4 Are any more of my Cousins married. Is my Aunt a Grandmama? Give my Love to them all. I wish they were useful heads of Families in this town. If it was not so great a distance, and such chargeble travelling, I flatter myself I should see them scattered here and there. I want to see them.
I think it strange you cannot any of you find out who Mr. Thaxters favorite is. I think if I had seen him as often as you I should have known who the happy Girl was, for I suppose she will think herself so, when he returns with so much good-sense embelished by the advantages of travelling, and the Graces of the polite World.
I am glad to hear you are like to have such an agreeable addition to your neighbourhood, as Col. Warren's Family. Family Friendships are often-times exceedingly beneficial. They have Sons and you have Daughters.
I should be glad if sister Smith would see about the making Betcy Smith5 a pair of black draw-boy Shoes.6 I sent a piece by Sister Adams last Summer—the measure of her foot I send—she wants them directly. She is well and send duty, and Love.
Mr. Shaw presents his regards—he is sick with a Cold. I hope it will be nothing worse. He says you must be very ignorant of his Disposition if you fear he's making any unkind criticisms upon so good a Sister.
Billy is come. Mamma—Mamma.
Bea wants a peice of breaden—peas—mamm—hold your tongue Child—till I subscribe myself your dear Aunt Cranch's most affectionate Sister,
[signed] Eliza. Shaw
{ 100 }
I received the handkercheif.
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); docketed on face in Richard Cranch's hand: “Letter from Mrs. E. Shaw Apl. 6th. 1781.”
1. Letter not round.
2. Elizabeth Quincy Shaw (1780–1798), on whom see Adams Genealogy.
3. Presumably the farm in Lincoln where the numerous family of William Smith Jr. (1746–1787) lived. This property was left in trust by Rev. William Smith in 1783 for the support of his errant son's family. See Rev. William Smith's will, Sept. 1783 (attested copy in MHi:Cranch Papers). On William Jr., frequently mentioned in vols. 1–2 above, see also Adams Genealogy.
4. Anna (Quincy) Thaxter (1719–1799), wife of John Thaxter Sr.; see Adams Genealogy.
5. “[S]ister Smith” must be the former Catharine Louisa Salmon (1749–1824), wife of William Smith Jr., mentioned above (see note 3). “Betcy” is presumably another niece of the writer, Elizabeth (1770–1849), daughter of Isaac Smith Sr., the Boston merchant; she married John Patton Hall in 1813. See Adams Genealogy under both names.
6. Shoes made of figure-woven material; see OED under draw-boy.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0069

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-04-08

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honour'd Mamma

I have been wanting to write to you this sometime but there has been nothing worth writing, and even now I know not what to write. We have not long since, heard of the taking of St. Eustatia, it cast a great damp upon the spirits of the dutchmen here; however the latest news from America make up for it for in the English news papers there is paragraph which makes mention that by the latest dispatches from New York they learn that the corps under Col. Tarleton was defeated, but it is not yet confirmed; however if it is true, it is no news to you, but what will be perhaps is the check the English have had in the East Indies, and of the two Colonels Fletcher and Baily one was kill'd and the other taken, they also have lost a great number of men.
Since I begun this letter Pappa is arrived from Amsterdam, he has received two letters from you which came by Col. Laurence, but I was very much disappointed, to find there was none for me; as to Sister, she has not done me the honour of writing me one line since I have been in Europe. The last letter that I recieved was one from you containing some excellent advice1 for which I am very much obliged to you.
I am now at the most celebrated university in Europe which was founded here for the valour of its inhabitants when it was besieg'd, when they were at war with Spain, it was put to it's choice whether to be exempt from all taxes for a certain number of years, or to have { 101 } an University founded here, and they wisely choose the latter. I will give you a short description of this city.
Leyden is fortified as are all the other Towns in the seven Provinces, with a strong Rampart of Earth and a very broad Canal, so that it is able to sustain a seige. The Citizens are able to lay the whole Country about them under water, as was done by the advice of the Prince of Orange during the famous Siege which they sustain'd which was in 1574. They had recourse to the desperate Remedy of cutting the Banks of the Maes and Issel, by which all the neighbouring country was turn'd into a kind of Sea, and 1500 Spaniards were drown'd before they could retire. The besieg'd were reduced to extraordinary straits, they were forced to make paper money, which was afterwards chang'd for Silver. They had these Legends upon them, on one side, Haec libertatis ergo, and Pugno pro patria; “These miseries we suffer for the Sake of our Liberty, and in defending our Country.” And on the other side were these Initials N.O.U.L.S.G.I.P.A.C. that is Nummus obsessae urbis Lugdunensis sub gubernatione Illustrissimi Principis Auriaci cusus. In English The Money of the besieged city of Leyden, coined during the Government of the most illustrious Prince of Orange. The University was founded about a year after the city's deliverance.
Hengest castle or the Berg said to have been built by Hengest The saxon as a Trophy for his conquest of England is situated in the middle of the city in an Angle formed by the Channels of the Old and New Rhine and is planted with Trees. From the Top of it is an Extensive Prospect of the adjacent Country and Villages, of the Haerlem lake and the Sand hills. Some Antiquarians pretend, that it was built by the Romans as a garrison for one of their Legions. There is a Well here out of which it is said the Inhabitants took a Fish alive when the Place was almost famish'd during the siege, Which was shewn to the Enemy over the walls, in order to discourage the besiegers, by making their condition appear better than it was. This well is now dried up.—The plesantest Street in Leyden is the Rapenburg. It has a fine Canal over which are several handsome bridges. Each side of it is adorned with a Row of lofty Trees and the Streets as well as those of all the other cities of Holland have a small Declivity towards the Canals so that they can never be dirty even after the greatest rains.
The Physick Garden is a curiosity here. The inscription on old Clusius's tomb, flatters him a little.2 The Poet in extolling this Professor of Botany who died in 1619 says, wittily enough
{ 102 } | view

“Non potuit plures hie quaerere Clusius herbas

Ergo novas campis quaerit Elysiis.”

“Since no more herbs the Earth to Clusius yields

New ones he seeks in the Elysian fields.”

This is all that is remarkable in this City.3

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
1. AA to JQA, 21 Jan., above.
2. Charles de l'Escluse (1526–1609), generally known as Carolus Clusius, the celebrated botanist, professor at the University of Leyden from 1592 until his death (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 9:150–153).
3. JQA's historical and topographical matter above was undoubtedly derived from a guidebook, perhaps the one JA purchased in Rotterdam when the Adamses first arrived in the Netherlands (see JQA, Diary, 7 Aug. 1780), but it has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0070

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-04-17

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

By your Letter of the 3d.1 received this day I find that I have lost the Pleasure of having what you and Mr. Cranch wrote some Time ago respecting your little Invoices. Tho' I make little Progress in forwarding your Property yet my past Notifications will show that I am constantly attentive to the Business. I suspect that Mr. Cranch may have mentioned some Waggons which came to this City with Mr. Dugan's Goods: But I found it dangerous to send small Boxes in those Waggons; and I could not obtain Room for your strong one. The Waggoners would have been glad to get Freight but they were both honest enough to tell me that the uncouth manner in which they had been obliged to place their first Charge would expose all after-loading to be crushed. Each had one Hogshead and one Pipe of Tobacco in his Waggon.
graphic here
There was one other Opportunity but I was advised not to trust to the Character of the Owner of the Waggon.
I may not have the Chance of seeing Capt. Jones before this Letter goes off, but I will endeavor to obtain all the Information he can { 103 } give respecting the Invoice. I have so closely packed the Goods, after lessening the Case, that I am unwilling to open it again without I receive some particular Request, from you or some other of the concerned, for some Part of the Contents, when a known Conveyance offers.
Mr. G[erry]'s and Mr. P[almer]'s Good's were put up by the Direction of Mr. Ross, not by Mr. Moylan. I have transmitted Letters of Advice and Invoices to my two Friends. I shall write to Mr. Moylan as you desire.
I am very sorry that the Packages delivered to Doctor Winship have not reached you. My Charges to him and his Promises of Care are my only Warrants for sending your Things unboxed. Tho' they are well secured against Friction by the Wrappers, they will be ruined if Rain gets to them. If you had mentioned who has the particular Charge of them at Fishkill, I could have taken Measures by this Post to recommend them strongly to the Attention of a Friend. I will write at Random to Col. Hughes.
I will, at more Leisure use Cyphers to answer some of your Questions. I shall only now add assurances of respectful Affection and my best Wishes for your Happiness.
[signed] J: L.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0071

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

You will wonder I suppose to what part of the world all the Letters you have written since the 25 of Sepbr. are gone, that not a line of a later date has reachd me, even up to this 23 day of April. My Heart sickens at the recollection, and I most sensibly feel the sacrifice of my happiness from the Malignant Union of Mars with Belona. My two dear Boys cannot immagine how ardently I long to fold them to my Bosom, or the still dearer parent conceive the flood of tenderness which Breaks the prescribed Bounds and overflows the Heart, when reflection upon the past, and anticipation upon the future unite in the mind of Portia. Unaccustomed to tread the stage of dissipation, I cannot shake of my anxiety for my Country and my dearest connextions, in the Beau Mond, whilst the one is Bleading, and the others seperated far, far from me, but in a frugal and republican stile; I pass the lonely Hour, with few enviers and fewer Imitators.1
{ 104 }
Your predictions with regard to peace and war are verified and the united Provinces are at last obliged to declare themselves. Happy for them if they had sooner attended to the voice of their Friends, they would then I dare venture to affirm been sooner upon their gaurd against the Hostile depredations of Britain, but if the old Batavian Spirit still exists among them, Britain will Rue the Day that in Breach of the Laws of Nations, she fell upon their defenceless dominions, and drew upon her, as it is thought she must, the combined force of all the Neutral powers. If these people do not possess an ambition for conquest, yet they have heretofore exhibited a spirit superior to domination, that Spirit which prompted them to repel the Tyranny of Philip administerd by the cruel Alva, will excite them under superior advantages to Retaliate the Hostilities of the British Alva, that Spirit which prompted from Prince William that Heroick reply, “that he would die in the last Ditch, e'er he would see his Countrys ruin,” will cement an indissoluble bond of union between the united States of America and the united Provinces who from a similarity of circumstances have each arrived at Independance disdaining the Bondage and oppression of a Philip and a Gorge.2
Our own American affairs wear a more pleasing aspect. Maryland has acceeded to the confederation at the very time when Britain is deludeing herself with the Idea that we are crumbling to peices. New York has given up her claims to Vermont, and a 14tenth State will soon lift her Head under the auspices of Congress.3 Our Leavies are generally raised for 3 years and on their March to join the main Army. The Spring is advanceing and our Soldiers will have less occasion for cloathing—patience, perseverance and intrepidity have been their Armour and their cloathing through an inclemnant Winter. Who is answerable for the shamefull conduct which deprived them of their outward cloathing which they had reason to expect and justice demanded. I presume not to say, but if the omission has arisen from fraud, negligence or cabal, may the inhumane wretches be exposed to view and meet the infamy they justly merrit.
You will see by the paper inclosed that the Seat of war is chiefly in the Southern States, and there our Enemies by victories and defeats are wasteing daily, whilst they are training to Arms, and inureing to dicipline and hardships those states as they have before our Northern ones, to persue them to Inevitable distruction, and to prove to all Europe the falsity of their assertions, when not a single State submits to their haughty userpations, in all their Boasted conquered dominions.
Our Finnances have been upon a much more respectable footing for some time. Goods of all kinds fell in their prices, and exchange { 105 } kept at 75 for one for five months. The Capture of Eustatia and the War between Holland and england has raised Goods again Tea in a particular manner to double what it ever has been before, it was down to a hard dollor per pound or 75 it is now at 15 Shillings.
I have thought that a small chest of about one hundred weight of Bohea Tea, would turn to as good an account as any thing you could send me. This Letter is to go by a vessel of Mr. Tracys. If you think it expedient you may order it by her, as it will come freight free if consigned to him, as the other articles were from Bilboa.
The best Green Tea I have ever had was that sent by Davis. If you send again, let it be Suchong, it is not so dear and answers better here. The Bandano hankerchiefs from Holland were the best article for sale I have ever received. The chints you were so kind as to order me by Sampson arrived—safe I cannot say. They were put up with some things which came to Mr. Austins Brother and were so unfortunate as to be wet, and half of them damaged, mildewed and in a manner spoilt. I parted with them in the best manner I could, the damaged for rather more than the sterling cost and the others very well. They were all good as well as handsome which renderd it more unfortunate to have them wet, but the cargo was so in general.—As to my long expected trunk, it has at last arrived in Philadelphia.4 I am 10th to discribe the state of it, because I am loth to make you angry, yet you ought to know it, least the person who put them up should again be imployed by you. I have neither Letter or invoice, which is the first time an omission of this kind has taken place. I cannot determine the price of a single article or know what were really put up, or what omitted. From your Letters alone in which you have repeated that all was orderd which was requested, and the loss of all Dr. Tufts things; leads me to think that the many others which are missing were stolen out. My Muslin hankerchiefs, Aprons, Nabbys plumes, Mr. Tufts Buckles, Brothers velvet, the linings and trimmings for the Gentlemens cloaths are among the missing articles. According to Mr. L[ovel]l['s] invoice for I have not yet seen them. When I found they would be like to go to Philadelphia I requested Mr. L——1 to receive them for me when ever they arrived, and it was well he did or what remaind would have been intirely lost. They were put in a Box without any wraper, through the cracks of which you might see the things; they were liable not only to be wet but plunderd, both of which they sufferd. Dr. Winship whom I have seen, says that when Mr. Moylan requested him to take them; he refused them, unless he would repack them, and purchase a hair Trunk for them; he replied that he had no money in his hands, that he had sent the account to you, and you { 106 } had paid it, and that if he would not take it, he would deliver it to Capt. Jones, which he accordingly did; when Mr. L——1 received them together with a Box for Mr. Gerry, they were in a smoaking state. He examined his, found them rotton upon which Mr. L——1 unpacked mine and found them so wet as to oblige him to dry every thing by the fire. The linnings, the diaper all damaged, Mrs. Cranchs cambrick mildewed, happily the wollen cloths were only wet, the leather Gloves quite rotton. I could wish you to repeat that article by the first opportunity and order a peice of wollen between every pair as they are the most liable to damage by wet. The Box of china was deliverd safe to Mr. L——1. If this should reach you before the Alliance leaves France be so kind as to order me one half a dozen tombour worked Muslin hankerchiefs, 4 Ells Book Muslin, one pound of white threads, 12 Ells of light crimson caliminco with a peice of coarse cambrick and any light wollen stuff that will answer for winter gowns, half a dozen coulourd plumes and a small Box of flowers for Miss Nabby at her request to her pappa. My chints came just in time to enable me to purchase the 3 part of a Man which fell to my share in the class to which I belonged at the head of which I had the Honour to stand. We gave 300 hard Dollors for 3 years, and a third part fell to my share, a third part is paid in hand, the remainder annually. The Town was divided into classes, and in about a months time the men were all raised. 38 fell to the share of this Town.5
Poor Mrs. D[an]a says she is taxed to death and she shall be ruined if he stays any longer. What shall I say—why that I have paid 21 hundred pounds since last July, Lawfull money, and have a thousand pound still to pay, and that you have enabled me to do it—but I do not increase in wealth, nor yet diminish the capital.—I have ventured to make some improvements in Husbandry and have a desire to become a purchaser in the State of Vermont. I may possibly run you in debt a hundred dollors for that purpose. Many people are removeing from this Town, and others. Land is sold at a low price, what do you think of a few thousand acres there? I know you would like it, so shall venture the first opportunity a hundred and 20 or 30 dollors will Buy a thousand acres.6
I have written very often to you by way of Spain and Bilboa, which places I wish you would try. If you sent me any thing by the Fame, let me know. She is lost or taken—and Mr. Guile we fear in her. Adieu my dear Friend my Love must suffice my dear Lads now. I have not time to write to them or Mr. T[haxte]r.

[salute] Yours ever yours,

[signed] Portia
{ 107 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. April 23. 1781.” Enclosed newspaper not found or identified.
1. Sentence thus punctuated in MS.
2. Sentence thus punctuated in MS except for closing quotation mark, editorially supplied.
3. See Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 27 Feb., above.
4. See Lovell to AA, 27 Feb., above, and notes and references there.
5. The following paper, evidently documenting this transaction by which a Braintree man was enlisted and paid for Continental service on a pay-as-you-go basis to avoid further inflation, is in the Adams Papers:
“Braintree April 9th. 1781.
“Recd, of Mrs. Abigail Adams four hundred and thirty Pounds and ten Shillings old Currency, equal to £5–15–10 1/2 hard Money, towards raising a Man for Class No. 7, I say Received in behalf of said Class pr. Richard Cranch.”
For the “classing” of inhabitants for tax purposes in towns deficient in their troop quotas, see Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of Jan. 1780 sess., ch. 161 (Resolve of 26 Feb.); also Braintree Town Records, p. 521.
6. Sentence thus punctuated in MS. It is possible that AA intended to place a full stop after “opportunity.”
In 1782 AA acted on her desire, which she had continued to cherish, to purchase wild land as a speculation in Vermont, buying 1,620 acres in Salem township, Orleans co. See AA to JA, 25 April 1782, below, and references cited in note 4 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0072

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-04-23

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Not receiving any Line from you by this day's post, I recur to your favor of April 3d.2 already answered in part. I wrote to Col. Hughes to endeavor to forward the two Packages left by Doctor Winship, if he could find where they were deposited. I hope he will have found them and had them cased in Boards.
Capt. J. P. Jones is without Letter or Invoice and supposes they must have been sent by the Alliance. A Vessel is in the River from France in 11 Weeks Passage, perhaps I shall get some Light by her. I assure you I have had some considerable fears of losing on the Road what I have to forward. The Tories rise in Insolence of Pillaging. But we have Today Reports of such large Embarkations from New York as will make that City very weak. It is even said that the Refugees are ordered to prepare for Halifax or Georgia.
Be persuaded, amiable Friend, that I will act for you as for myself.
Capt. All has been 9 Weeks from France. He put his Letters ashore at the Cape; perhaps they will be here before the Post goes.
P.M. The Letters are come. None from France, but a short one of Decr, from J. Williams about his hopes and Intentions of forwarding what had been granted Us months before to cover our naked Soldiers.
{ 108 }
We have at last a very long Letter from Mr. Jay. But, your Curiosity, charming Patriot, must await the Return of Mr. <S.A.>3 which may precede next Post.

[salute] Very sincerely and self-pleasingly yr. Servant,

[signed] J L
1. AA suggested in her letter to Lovell of 13 May, below, that the present letter was mistakenly dated, his of 17 April, above, having certainly been written earlier. To this Lovell responded in his of 16 June, below: “My Letter dated April 13. was written the 23,” and its postscript, accordingly, on 24 April.
2. Not found.
3. Samuel Adams left Congress for Boston near the end of April or very early in May (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:xlvi).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-04-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Congress have been pleased to give me so much other Business to do, that I have not Time to write either to Congress, or to private Friends so often as I used.
Having lately received Letters of Credence to their High mightinesses the states General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries and to his most serene Highness the Prince of Orange, I am now fixed to this Country, untill I shall be called away to Conferences for Peace, or recalled by Congress. I have accordingly taken a House in Amsterdam upon the Keysers Gragt i.e. the Emperors Canal, near the Spiegel Straat i.e. the Looking Glass street, so you may Address your Letters to me, there.1
I have hitherto preserved my Health in this damp Air better than I expected. So have all of us, but Charles who has had a tertian fever but is better.
I hope this People will be in earnest, after the twentyeth of June. Americans are more Attended to and our Cause gains ground here every day. But all Motions are slow here, and much Patience is necessary. I shall now however be more settled in my own Mind having something like a Home. Alass how little like my real home.—What would I give for my dear House keeper. But this is too great a felicity for me.
I dont expect to stay long in Europe.—I really hope I shall not—Things dont go to my Mind.
Pray get the Dissertation on the Cannon and feudal Law printed in a Pamphlet or in the Newspapers and send them to me by every { 109 } Opportunity untill you know that one has arrived. I have particular Reasons for this.2—My Nabby and Tommy, how do they do.3
1. On his return from Leyden to Amsterdam late in February JA gave up his lodgings at Madame Schorn's in “the Agterburgwal by de Hoogstraat” and set up interim headquarters at the Arms of Amsterdam. It appears that there had been some “whisperings” and “remarks” among the Dutch and others about the obscurity or even impropriety of such lodgings for the American minister, whether or not his status was yet officially recognized. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:450–451; Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 345–346. Though JA spent much of his time in March and April at Leyden and The Hague, the question of a suitable residence was very much on his mind, and in letters to the newly formed American firm of Sigourney, Ingraham & Bromfield in Amsterdam, he instructed them to find, rent, furnish, and staff a house “fit for the Hotel des Etats Unis de L'Amerique” (9, 11, 13 April, LbC's in Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 426–428). On 27 April he announced to Edmund Jenings: “I have taken an House on Keysers Gragt near the Spiegel Straat, and am about becoming a Citizen of Amsterdam—unless their High mightinesses should pronounce me a Rebel, and expel me their Dominions, which I believe they will not be inclined to do” (Adams Papers). For two views of what is now No. 529 Keizersgracht, one from an engraving in Het Grachtenboek (“The Canal Book”), 1771, and the other from a photograph in 1960, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, vol. 2, facing p. 322.
2. JA's “Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law” (as it came to be called, though he had given it no name) was his first major political tract. It argued on historical and philosophical grounds for the necessity of resistance to tyranny, and was published in installments in the Boston Gazette in the year of the Stamp Act, reprinted in the London Chronicle before the end of that year, with the title (furnished by Thomas Hollis) it has generally been given since, and reprinted, still without the author's name, by Hollis in the collection he entitled The True Sentiments of America, London, 1768. There were later editions issued in London, 1782, and Philadelphia, 1783, but their bibliographical history is complex, and whether JA directly or indirectly promoted either of them is not clear. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:255–258; 3:284; and, for the most accessible text, JA's Works, 3:445–464.
3. A background note on how the Dutch drifted into war with England in the winter of 1780–1781 appears in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:452–453. Late in February, at the very crisis of Anglo-Dutch relations, JA received his powers and instructions to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the Dutch Republic. See above, JA to AA, 11 March, note 2. Despite the deeply divided state of Dutch opinion over whether to fight or humbly submit to England, JA determined to do what he could to obtain recognition of American sovereignty by the Republic, for he now realized that this was an absolute prerequisite to not only a treaty but a loan, all the efforts of Dutch friends to America having so far failed to raise more than insignificant sums.
He chose a characteristic way to proceed, namely through the press. From the end of March through mid-April he spent such time as he could at his sons' lodgings in Leyden composing a paper appealing to the ancient spirit of patriotism among the Dutch people, drawing parallels between their country's successful struggle for independence and America's current struggle, and urging the immediate and future advantages to them of closer commercial relations with the American states. A fellow lodger in the house in the Langebrug at this time was Benjamin Waterhouse, who many years later drew from memory a vivid account of this episode which was to have such momentous results for the United States:
{ 110 }
“I never shall forget the day and the circumstances of Mr. Adams's going from Leyden to the Hague with his Memorial to their High Mightinesses the States General dated, whether accidentally or by design April 19! I know not. He came down into the front room where we all were—his secretary, two sons, and myself—his coach and four at the door, and he full-dressed even to his sword, when with energetic countenance and protuberant eyes, and holding his memorial in his hand, said to us, in a solemn tone—Young men! remember this day—for this day I go to the Hague to put seed in the ground that may produce Good or Evil—GOD knows which,—and putting the paper into his side-pocket, he steped into his coach, and drove off alone—leaving us his juniors solemnized in thought and anxious, for he had hardly spoken to us for several days before—such was his inexpressible solicitude.” (Waterhouse to Levi Woodbury, 20 Feb. 1835, DLC:Woodbury Papers, vol. 16; photoduplicate in Adams Papers Editorial Files.)
This, one of the principal state papers of JA's entire career, appeared as a pamphlet issued at Leyden under the title A Memorial to Their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries, signed and dated by no means accidentally 19 April 1781. Its formal presentation to Dutch officials early in May and its subsequent circulation, in Dutch and French as well as in English, had, however, to await translation and printing, undertaken by JA's friends Dumas and Luzac. Various drafts and copies survive in the Adams Papers and in PCC, No. 84; readily accessible printed texts are in JA, Works, 7:396–404, and in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:370–376. The story of its presentation and reception has been summarized in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:457; and see also, for the tussle between JA and the Duc de La Vauguyon, the French minister at The Hague, over JA's mode of proceeding, JA's Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 431–434. The fruits of the Memorial—Dutch recognition and the first Dutch loan—belong to the following year, 1782.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0074

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-02

Joseph Gardoqui & Sons to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Your much respected and highly Esteemed favour of the 4th of Septr. last1 we duelly received and after a due acknowledgment for its agreable Contents are not a little sorry to Informe you that it was not in our power to comply with your desire of shipping the articles you are pleased to order by our freind Mr. Smiths Vessell as she putt in at Ferrol and proceeded from thence back to America. However haveing at present the opportunity of the Armed ship Commerce Capt. Ignatius Webber have Taken the freedome of shipping in her directted to the care of Isaac Smith Esqr. a packadge that containes the goods you was pleased to order as you will see by the within Invoice which very cordially wish safe to your hands after a prosperous and pleasing Navigation and that they may merritt your Kind approvation. The bills you was pleased to Inclose have been placed to the Creditt of our very worthy freind the Hble. Mr. Adams Account who have the pleasing satisfaction to hear Enjoys a perfectt Scane of health at Amsterdam on which sincerely congratulate you and beg your Commanding on all occations those who respectfully Subscrive.
{ 111 }
DuplRC (Adams Papers); at head of text: “Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree.” Text of Dupl precedes text of another letter, in a different hand, from the Gardoqui firm to AA, 14 Oct. 1781, q.v. below under that date. Enclosed invoice not found.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0075

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

Upon opening your favour of April 17 my Heart Beat a double stroke when I found that the Letter which I supposed had reachd you was the one captured2 in the room of that you received which was what I had supposed lost, but I should have been secure from the knowledge of the writer if Mr. Cranchs Letter and one I wrote at the same time had not accompanied it.3 The Letter which I would not have chosen should have come to any hand but yours, was in reply to two of yours and containd some Stricktures upon the conduct of a Friend.4 Least you should imagine it freer than it really was I enclose the coppy. I risk no more should it be captured than what the Enemy already have.—The Letter which occasiond some of the remarks I have not yet seen, tho I find it was published in the Halifax paper as well as Riveingtons.5 If what I have heard with regard to its contents is true, I cannot open my lips in defence of a Friend whose character I would wish to justify, nor will I secret from him that it suffers exceedingly even in the Eyes of his Friends from his so long absenting himself from his family. How well he may satisfy her who is nearest concernd I presume not to say, but if she possesses that regard for her partner which I presume she does, she must be exceedingly hurt even by the Speach of the world, if she is otherways sufficiently convinced of the attachment and affections of her partner. I write from a Sense of the feelings which under similar circumstances would harrow up my Soul, and wound with a Bearded Arrow. I have but a very small personal acquaintance with the Lady whom I esteem and commisirate, those who have speak highly of her. I have as little personal acquaintance with the Gentleman connected with her; but it has so happened that I have stood in need of his services, and he has exhibited an assiduity and Friendship in the discharge of them that has bound me to him in the bond of Friendship. Add to this he is the particular Friend and correspondent of him who is dearest to me and for whose sake alone I should Esteem him, but it would mortify me not a little to find I had mistaken a character and in the room of a philosopher, { 112 } a man of the world appeard. If I could credit the report [remainder missing]
Dft (Adams Papers); text incomplete and without date or indication of addressee; at head of text in CFA's hand: “<March> May 1781.”; see note 1. Enclosure: copy (not found) of AA to Lovell, 17 March, printed above from Dft; see descriptive note there.
1. Lovell furnished the date of the (missing) RC of this letter in his replies of 29 May and 16 June, both below.
2. That is, her letter of 17 March, of which the draft text is printed above and a “coppy” was enclosed in the recipient's copy of the present letter. It was only a presumption by AA that this letter was actually captured.
3. The letters here alluded to (other than AA's of 17 March) have not been found, but see the opening sentences of Lovell to AA, 17 April, above, and 14 May, below.
4. That is, Lovell himself.
5. “Lovell's letter to Elbridge Gerry, 20 Nov. 1780, captured by the British and published in a Halifax paper and in James Rivington's New York Royal Gazette, 27 Dec. 1780. From the cryptic and circumlocutory remarks below, it appears that AA, although she had not yet seen the text of this letter, had gathered from common report (“the Speach of the world”) that Lovell had alluded in some demeaning way to his wife, Mary (Middleton) Lovell. For what Lovell actually wrote, and his plea in extenuation, see below, Lovell to AA, 16 June, and notes there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0076

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1781-05-13

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

I wrote you by the last post2 with a freedom which perhaps you may think I had no right to make use of. I was stimulated to it by many severe speaches that I had heard, and from not knowing myself what to say in paliation of my Friend. All former excuses were worn out by time and tho I do not believe the hard things I have heard, I think he ought to suffer any temporary inconvenience which a short absence from the scene of his buisness might subject him to, rather than the world should judge that he was devoid of all domestick attachments.
A report prevails here that the Alliance is arrived at Philadelphia. If so I hope I shall again here from my dear connextions. I have been more unfortunate for six months past than usual. Not a line has reachd me of a Later date than Septbr. The Fame on Board of which was Mr. Guile upon his return from Holland, was taken off Newfoundland and carried to Ireland. By that vessel I had large packets from all my Friends. No vessel has arrived from that port since Davis in November, who threw over all his Letters. Two prizes arrived here last week taken by the Alliance 3 days after she saild from France. If she is come to Philadelphia and means to come round to Boston I would risk what property you have of mine and others in her rather { 113 } than by land. I hope what private Letters are come will be well gaurded this way. What publick News she bring[s] that may be communicated you will be so good as to write me. A French vessel arrived from Brest with an admiral for Newport, but brought no private Letters. We are longing for News with a hungry avidity. How will Holland realish the hard knocks she has received. Britain has done sufficient to make them feel where it is said they are most Susceptable. She has taken and distroyed so much of their property, that I should suppose they would retaliate with a vengance.
I forgot to mention the receipt of your favour of April 13th it is dated but I believe it was a mistake as the preceeding one was the 17th.3
No invoice was ever sent in the Alliance as the Ship was throughly examined by my Friends. This Buisness was transacted much like your continential cloathing, with the same attention and Honesty. In the Name of all concernd I most sincerely thank you for your care and attention as well to others, as to your obliged Friend,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee.
1. According to Lovell's reply, 29 May, below, the (missing) RC was dated 14 May.
2. Letter of 10 May, preceding.
3. Lovell's letter dated 13 April was actually written on 23 April (as he himself was to say in his to AA of 16 June, below) and is printed above under the corrected date.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0077

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-13

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

As you may possibly not come here before the 18th I write to know, if I must leave these lodgings at that time, as the month will then be up, and if I stay any longer I must begin another month.
I have finish'd Phaedrus's fables and the lives of Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Pausanias, Cimon, and Lysander; and Am going next upon Alcibiades in Cornelius Nepos, I shall begin upon Alcibiades next.1 I transcribe and learn also a Greek verb through the Active, Passive and Medium Voices every day.
We have no news here, though as you know Sir, this is a barren place for that. Please to write me them if you have any. I saw Mr. Luzac last evening he desires his respects to you.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
P.S. I hope brother Charles has got entirely well. Dr. Waterhouse says he gets flesh. I should be very glad if he would write to me.
{ 114 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Sur Le Keizers Gragt prés du Spiegel Straat à Amsterdam”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. May. 13. ans. 14. 1781.”
1. Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographical writer in the first century B.C. JQA was doubtless reading some school text of Nepos' De viribus illustribus, of which he acquired his own copy of a Latin and French edition, Paris, 1771, in St. Petersburg later this year (Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 114).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-14

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I received yours of 13 this morning.
If you have not found a convenient Place to remove into, you may continue in your present Lodgings another Month.
I am glad you have finished Phaedrus, and made Such Progress in Nepos, and in Greek.
Amidst your Ardour for Greek and Latin I hope you will not forget your mother Tongue. Read Somewhat in the English Poets every day. You will find them elegant, entertaining and instructive Companions, through your whole Life. In all the Disquisitions you have heard concerning the Happiness of Life, has it ever been recommended to you to read Poetry?
To one who has a Taste, the Poets serve to fill up Time which would otherwise pass in Idleness, Languor, or Vice. You will never be alone, with a Poet in your Poket. You will never have an idle Hour.
How many weary hours have been made alert, how many melancholly ones gay, how many vacant ones useful, to me, in the course of my Life, by this means?
Your Brother grows dayly better but is still weak and pale. He shall write to you, Soon.

[salute] Your affectionate Father,

[signed] J. Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0079

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-14

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

By a Letter of the 1st.,1 this Moment received, I find that my amiable and respected Friend is under the mistake of supposing the Enemy in Possession of one of her former which has reached me, and that I have neglected to answer some others. She will know better before this reaches her. The Enemy have the one which attended Mr. { 115 } Cranche's: So that I have no Knowledge of the Mode He or She particularly pointed out for forwarding the Goods in my Possession.2
I have had the Satisfaction of knowing that Mr. Hugh Hughes has well guarded, by boxing, what I committed to Doctor Winship and I have this day desired Mr. Brown, who setts off with a Light Waggon, to take the Box from Mr. Hughes and deliver it to Mrs. Lovell who has my former Directions about the Contents which are for different Persons. I was not able to send by Mr. Brown your large Box or the China. He goes greatly loaded from hence, but as he drops part of his Charge at Head Quarters, he can conveniently take what I have mentioned, at Fishkill, if it has not yet been sent on by the Kindness of Mr. Hughes.
The Enemy have published one Letter from Mr. Adams, dated in December3 and they say they have intercepted a Pacquet from him and Doctor Franklin; but I do not think they say truly. I imagine they have got only that general Letter of News not ordered to be sunk. We have had nothing from Holland a long Time, except something which Mr. Carmichael transmitted in the handwriting of a known Correspondent at the Hague, and which you must have seen republished, I imagine, in your own Gazettes.4
I have endured much Pain lately from a Fall: I shall not soon be free from the ill Effects. But I have been very stoical. For it would have been a Shame to groan at what happened, while I reflected that neither Back nor Limb was broken, nor any Joint absolutely dislocated. Portia will however do me the Justice to think that neither Pain or Affliction shall make me neglect Endeavors to render her Service in finishing the little Business of sending on her Invoices or rather her Goods. I have written for the Invoices agreable to her Hints.
I imagine that some of the Articles supposed missing are in the Band Box, and that Mr. Wibert may find some Things within his Package of Cloth, which was in so good order as not to need opening. I have so thoroughly packed the Case for Transportation, that I do not incline to make a Scrutiny anew of the Contents. D[ea]r Lady, Yrs.,
[signed] JL
1. Not found.
2. These letters have not been found, or at any rate are not identifiable from the allusions made to them here. See also AA to Lovell, 10 May, above.
3. Probably JA to Samuel Huntington, 28 Dec. 1780, mentioned more specifically in AA to JA, 28 May, below; see note 2 there.
4. Probably the letters, not specifically identified, from C. W. F. Dumas that were enclosed in William Carmichael to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Madrid, 4 March (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:272–273).
{ 116 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0080

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am now settled at Amsterdam on the Keysers Gragt near the Spiegel Straat. Charles is with me to recover his Health after his fever. John is at Leyden. Mr. Thaxter with me.
De la Motte Piquet has taken half Rodneys Plunder.1 I know not what other News to write. We hope, that Vessels will soon arrive from Boston. Hope you have received your Boxes by Sampson and Jones. I shall send you, as I can, but you must draw upon me, if you find it necessary.
I am more busy than ever, but to no Effect, at least no immediate Effect.
Oh! Oh! Oh! that you were here, to do the Honours of the United States, and to make the beautifull Scaenes with which this Country and Season abounds, agreable to yours forever.
RC (Adams Papers). Written on verso of a canceled “Copy” (in Thaxter's hand) of a note from JA to Hendrik Fagel, 19 April 1781, transmitting JA's Memorial to the States General of that date.
1. That is, the plunder taken by Rodney following his capture of St. Eustatius earlier this year. See above, Thaxter to AA, 1 April, and note 3 there. JA observed of this event a little later that “the Cards are once more turned against the Gambler; and the [British] Nation has gained nothing but an Addition to their Reputation for Iniquity” (to Pres. Huntington, 29 May, PCC, No. 84, III; Wharton, Dipl Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:460).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0081

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-17

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I reciev'd this morning your letter of the 14th. in which you speak of Poetry, and although I have not read much of it, yet I always admired it, very much.
I take the Delft Dutch paper to learn to read the language. To day there is a report which I read in it that Admiral Kingsbergen had taken fourteen of the German Transports, but this is only a report.1
Inclosed is a letter which I reciev'd this morning, I should have sent it by Mr. Thaxter (who is arrived here with Mr. Guild) but he says that it would be better to send it, this night.2 I will write to brother Charles by Mr. Thaxter.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des etats unis de l'Amerique Sur le Keizers Gragt prés du { 117 } Spiegel Straat à Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Master John 17th. May 1781.” For the enclosure see note 2.
1. The report JQA had read in “the Delft Dutch paper” (on which see JA's reply of 18 May, below) related to Adm. Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen, soon to be better known for his part in the Dutch naval action against the British at the Doggerbank, Aug. 1781 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 4:839).
2. The letter enclosed was a note to JA from the Duc de La Vauguyon, French minister at The Hague, 16 May 1781, acknowledging receipt of copies of JA's Memorial to... the States General (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:416).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-18

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have this Morning received yours inclosing a Letter from the Duke de la Vauguion.1
Please to inform me in your next, when the Vacation begins. It is my Design that you shall come and spend a Part of the Vacation with me.—I approve very much of your taking the Delft Gazette the Writer of which is a great Master of his Language, and is besides a very good Friend to his Country and to yours.2
You go on, I presume, with your latin Exercises: and I wish to hear of your beginning upon Sallust who is one of the most polished and perfect of the Roman Historians, every Period of whom, and I had almost said every Syllable and every Letter is worth Studying.
In Company with Sallust, Cicero, Tacitus and Livy, you will learn Wisdom and Virtue. You will see them represented, with all the Charms which Language and Imagination can exhibit, and Vice and Folly painted in all their Deformity and Horror.
You will ever remember that all the End of study is to make you a good Man and a useful Citizen.—This will ever be the Sum total of the Advice of your affectionate Father,
[signed] John Adams
1. See the preceding letter.
2. The “Delft Gazette,” which JQA subscribed to and read in order to improve his knowledge of Dutch, was the Hollandsche Historische Courant, whose publisher and editor was Wybo Fynje (1750–1809), a former Mennonite minister and a strong adherent of the Dutch Patriot party. In 1775 Fynje had married Emilie, a sister of JA's friend Jean Luzac, publisher of the Gazette de Leyde. The Fynjes were forced to flee to Antwerp and then to St. Omer in France following the suppression of the Patriot movement in 1787. With the establishment of the Batavian Republic, Fynje returned to The Hague in 1795 and resumed his journalistic and political activities. (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, i: 906–908; information furnished by C. D. Goudappel, Director, Gemeentear-chief Delft, Netherlands.) In later years JA remembered that it was the “editor of a gazette at Delphi, who had the reputation of one of the most masterly writers in the nation in their own language,” who had translated JA's Memorial of 1781 for publication in Dutch, but he did not record his name (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 430).
{ 118 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0083

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-19

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

I reciev'd this morning your yesterday's favour, in which you say, you want to hear of my beginning in Sallust; I have not begun yet but shall soon; but am for the present continuing in Cornelius Nepos. I have got a fair copy of Phaedrus bound, it is My Master's Translation which if you desire to read, and have time for it, I will send to you.1
The Vacancy does not begin at the same time, sometimes it begins the 15th of June, sometimes the 24th, and sometimes the last; I should not desire to stay at Amsterdam above a fortnight then, for if I should stay any longer it might do harm to my Studies, of which I have Just got into a steady course, and my master's manner of teaching I find agree's with me very well.
Perhaps you may remember that you told me before you left this place, that you should give me lessons of Algebra by writing. I am always ready Sir, whenever you have time.
Dr. Waterhouse desires his Compliments to you.

[salute] I am you[r] dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
P.S. My love, if you please to brother Charles. I should write to him, but I have not time.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire Des Etats Unis de l'Amerique Sur le Keizers Gragt Entre Les Leide et Spiegel Straaten à Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Mr. J. Q. Adams 19th. May 1781.”
1. In the Adams Papers (M/JQA/23; Microfilms, Reel No. 218) is a bound MS of 100 folios in JQA's hand containing a translation into French of five books of Phaedrus' Fables. On fol. 1 JQA inscribed the date “February 10th. 81,” and on fol. 100, “May 11th 1781.” The translation was apparently the work of JQA's language “Master,” Wenshing or Wensing, on whom see JQA to JA, 22 Dec. 1780, above. JQA's earlier study of Phaedrus is noted at vol. 3:308.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0084

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-21

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

Inclosed are some numbers of the lettres Hollandoises.1I took them out of thier covers, because I knew they were nothing else, and I could not do them up so well when they were in, however, if you please, I will not take out any more; Mr. Luzac's this day's paper is also inclos'd.
{ 119 }
I wrote to brother Charles by Mr. Thaxter, and to you the night before last,2 but have not yet reciev'd answers to either.

[salute] I am, your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Master John 21st. May 1781.” Enclosures not found, but see note 1.
1. Lettres hollandoises, ou correspondance politique sur l'etat present de l'Europe, notamment de la Republique des Sept Provinces-Unies, a journal or news sheet published in Brussels friendly to the American cause; the author or editor was said by Edmund Jenings to be named Rivales (Jenings to JA, 24 Jan., 18 Feb. 1781; Adams Papers). A set of this work with JQA's bookplate, vols. 1–3, 5–7, is in MQA; the whole or parts of vols. 3–4 are in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 145).
2. JQA's letter to his father of 19 May is above; that to CA has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0085

Author: Hughes, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-21

Hugh Hughes to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I do myself the Honour, at the Request of the Honble. James Lovel Esq; Member of Congress, to address two Packages, that were left here by Doctr. Winship, to you. They came to Hand without a Case, which I have order'd made for their Security. They are in Charge of a Mr. Brown, who conducts a Wagon from Philadelphia to Boston, for some Members of Congress and others.
When I began this, Brown was not got here from the Landing. He is now arriv'd and I inclose his Receipt for the Box and its Contents, which I wish safe to Hand.
Lest it should be imagin'd that the Packages had been neglected, I must beg Leave to acquaint you Madam that they were left in Store without my Privity, unless as a Part of Doctr. Winship's Baggage which I never saw, but told him that he was welcome to store it, till he could send for it, which Situation they remaind in till I received Mr. Lovell's Requisition to make Inquiry for them, in doing which they were discover'd by the Storekeeper, as above, that is, with the Doctr's. Chest and Trunk &c. They appear'd to be entire, and in tolerable Order, and I hope they have sustain'd no Injury. I beg Pardon for being this tedious, which I should not have been, had I not conceiv'd it an indispensable Duty.
As I perceive by Mr. Lovell's Letter that his Lady has some Interest in the Packages, I beg you will please to communicate the Contents of this to her.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Madam, your most Obedient and very Humble Sert.,

[signed] Hugh Hughes1
{ 120 }
RC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “The Honble Mrs. John Adams.” Enclosed “Receipt” not found.
1. Hugh Hughes, mentioned passingly in earlier letters, was a New York officer in the Quartermaster General's department who was stationed on the east side of the Hudson at Fishkill (now Beacon), N.Y. (Heitman, Register Continental Army). Lovell had explained the arrangements with Hughes in his letter to AA of 14 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0086

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-21

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

I hope you are not still without later Dates from Mr. A's Hand than what we have—Oct. 24.1 I conclude he was well about the last of Febry., because Mr. Carmichael under Date of March 11th sends us Mr. A's Plan of a Loan to be opened at the House of Nieufville & Son March 1st.2 We have no Vessels from Holland. Accept of my Conjecture as a Proof of my uniform Wish to contribute to your Ease of Mind and general Happiness.
I have sent an open 3plicate to Mr. A. for Mr. Moylan respecting your Invoice.3
Free from Pain, I shall however limp for many a day.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adam[s] Brain[tree] near [Boston]”; franked: “Philada. Jas. Lovell.” Lower portion of MS torn off, destroying part of address on cover.
1. JA to Pres. Huntington, 24 Oct. 1780, is in PCC, No. 84, II (printed in Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4: 103–104); LbC is in Adams Papers (printed in JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 259–260).
2. Carmichael's letter of 11 March was addressed to the Committee of Foreign Affairs and is printed in Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:279–280. The plan of a loan through the house of Neufville was premature and came to nothing; see JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 377–378, 398–400.
3. No such communication has been found. Concerning Moylan and his invoice, see above, Lovell to AA, 27 Feb., and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0087

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-21

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Almost every body here is preparing for the fair which opens next Thursday, and as this is Leyden-'Lection I was saying to my companion that it was a pity Master Charles was not here that he might see that a Dutchman can be merry when he is resolved upon it. And John seems to wish it so much, that I thought I would write to you and if you had no objection we should have the little Gentlemans company. We thought he would perhaps find some of his Countrymen { 121 } in Amsterdam who having as much leisure as curiosity would accompany him here. At this time every one turns the best side outwards and the Dutchmen and Women try to look pleasant. The vast number of tents—merchandize—the different nations, together with a multitude of things to be seen as sights— would perhaps both please and instruct my little friend. This idea together with that of the pleasure of his company for a day or two induces me to request you would let him come.1
It is with no small pleasure I inform you that John adheres to his studies with a constancy rarely seen at that age, and what is happy for him the adding to his knowledge does not diminish his flesh. We have no news. With my best compliments to Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter, I remain with great respect your humble servt.,
[signed] Benj. Waterhouse
1. It does not appear that CA came to Leyden for the fair. See below, JA to JQA, 30 May, and note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I Yesterday received your Letters by Captain Cazneau and Mr. De Neufville received his, and will accordingly send the Things you wrote for.1
You had better pursue this Method and write to Mr. Guardoqui at Bilboa and Mr. De Neufville here for what you want and desire them to draw upon me for the Pay.
I will answer the Letters of my Friends as soon as I can, but I have so many Things upon me at present, that I have not Time. We are all well but Charles, who is yet weak from his Fever, but is getting better daily.
We are anxious to hear further of Green and Cornwallis. Tho Green lost the Field on 15 March, it seems Cornwallis must be in a critical situation.2
I know not what this People will do. I believe they will awake, after some time. Amsterdam, Harlem and Dort have represented the Necessity of an Alliance with America but when the rest will be of their Mind, I know not.3 If they neglect it, they and their Posterity will repent of it.
The Trade will turn away from this Country to France and Spain if the Dutch act so unwise a Part, and indeed, according to every { 122 } Appearance, this Country will dwindle away to nothing. Other Powers will draw away all its Commerce. By an early Treaty with America and active Exertions they might save it: but they seem little disposed as yet.
My dear Nabby and Tommy how do they do? Our Parents, our Brothers, sisters and all Friends how are they?
If I could get back again I would never more leave that Country, let who would beg, scold, or threaten.
As to Peace, mark my Words, the English will never make it with Us, while they have a ship or a Regiment in America. If any one asks whether there is like to be Peace, ask in return, whether G. Washington has taken New York, Green Cornwallis and Charlestown, and Nelson Arnold and Portsmouth?
Rodney has lost most of his Statia Booty. De la Motte Piquet has taken it. The English East India Possessions seem to be going to wreck—their Trade is torn to Pieces, but all is not enough.
If Congress and the states execute their Resolution of cutting off all Communication and Commerce, directly and indirectly with America, this will affect them more than any Thing. But how the Authority can prevent British Manufactures from being imported from France, Holland, Brabant &c. Is the Question.4
RC (Adams Papers). Partial Tr (MHi:Cranch Papers), in hand of Richard Cranch; see note 4. For an important enclosure, not now with the letter, see note 4 also.
1. AA wrote JA on 15 Jan. by Cazneau; her letter is printed above. A letter she wrote Jean de Neufville & Son the same day has not been found; see their reply, 25 May, below. A version of her order for goods from the Neufville firm had first been enclosed in her letter to JA of 13 Nov. 1780 and is printed above as an enclosure in that letter.
2. Although Nathanael Greene “lost the Field” at the battle of Guilford Court House, N.C., the action has generally been accounted an American strategic victory because Cornwallis suffered heavier losses and was obliged to abandon the interior of the state; see Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 23 May 1781, below.
3. JA refers to the Amsterdam “Proposition” of 18 May, soon thereafter endorsed by the deputies of Haerlem and Dort (Dordrecht). A French text is in the Gazette de Leyde, Supplément, 25 May 1781, and JA sent an English version in his letter to Huntington, 24 May (PCC: No. 84, III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:431–433). See also Thaxter to AA, 27 May, below.
4. In her reply to the present letter, AA informed JA that it had been almost exactly a year since the date of the last letter that she had received from him (AA to JA, 29 Sept., below). She promptly shared the letter with the Cranch circle, and Richard Cranch copied most of the text, probably for publication, though it has not been found in print (Tr in MHi: Cranch Papers, omitting only the paragraphs dealing with personal matters). In his letter to JA of 26 Sept., below, Cranch remarks that the present letter enclosed JA's “excellent Address to the States General of the United Provinces” and that he had “put it into the Press.” This was the English version of A Memorial to ... the States General, dated 19 April 1781; it was reprinted in the Independent Chronicle of 27 Sept., p. 1, col. 2-p. 2, col. 3.
{ 123 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0089

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1781-05-23

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

The sight of your old Friend Mr. Storer will give you sensible pleasure, he means to be the Bearer of this to you. I wish him safe.
I need not add any thing in recommendation to you, who know him so well further than to say his character is not less fair or amiable, than it was when you quitted your native Land. He will I hope continue as free abroad from the fashionable vices of other countries; as he has steared clear of those of his own. He posseses engageing manners, and an Attractive form. I saw the Gloom which spread over the countanances of some of his Female acquaintance here when he bid them adieu, the other day, and as it was a circle of sensible, virtuous Girls, it was a proof of his merit, considering there was no partiality of a particular kind amongst them.1
The Gentle Eliza dropt a tear as it brought fresh to her mind the amiable Phylander, the chosen Friend of this young Gentleman—now alas! no more.2 As to the other Eliza, I believe if their were any Convents in America, she would immediately devote herself. She still excludes herself from company, wears her widow garments, and mourns for the living or dead refusing to be comforted. There is another Lady of the same Name in whose heart it is said your Friend Charles has an Interest. I tell you this that you may decide the matter between you, as all parties are agreed that your Fair American bears that Name. I do not mean any Lady belonging to this Town—I clear the favorite of your youth from the Number.
Not a line from you this age—the climate of the United provinces does not extinguish Friendship, I hope, if unfriendly to Love. I am so anxious to hear from my dear Friends, that every arrival is eagerly sought after, and inquired into, but every one proves a dissapointment to my hopes. I wish you would write journals so far as you could with safety. They would greatly entertain me.
Politicks my Friend—learn them from the statesmen. I have written enough allready. They told us from York that poor Trumble was Executed—I never doubted their good will, tho I never credited the report. May his sufferings teach wisdom to our American youth.3
Are you not satisfied with Europe? Do you not wish to return to the wild and native Beauties of America—to the rugged Rocks of B[raintre]e and the contemplative Groves

“Where the free soul looks down to pitty kings.”

{ 124 }
The season is delightfull, it is the Charming month of May. Who can forbear to join the general smile of Nature?

“Full of fresh verdure and unnumberd flowers

The negligence of Nature, wide and wild

where undisguised by mimic Art she spreads

unbounded Beauty to the roving Eye.”

The cultivated charms of Europe will give you a higher realish for the Natural Scenes of your own country, were it only by way of variety, which Gentlemen4 are always fond of, but if you wish to connect yourself happily, you must banish all roving Ideas. There is no Country where matrimony is held in higher estimation than your own, where the conjugal union is considerd in a more solemn and sacred light or adhered to with a stricter fidelity. Property is so equally distributed, Nobility excluded, Rank and precidency gained so small a footing amongst us, that Heart for Heart is the only Barter known. The affections have full scope; Decorum alone is necessary.
Prize O! prize the blessing whilst it lasts, e'er Luxery and corruption debases and debauches the natural Innocence and Simplicity of our Land, e'er she eradicates all those tender Sentiments which constitute domestick felicity.
Your Worthy Mother is recovering from a long and painfull disorder with which she has been greatly afflicted through the winter. Your Pappa came very near representing your Native Town this year.5—I enjoin it upon my Friend to let no opportunity slip of writing—your Friend Watson6 would sometimes be able to convey Letters. We long for News from abroad, all intelligence seems to be cut of, 8 months have elapsed since I received a line from Amsterdam. I am wholy uncertain where my Friends are, but think they cannot be in France or I should have heard from them.7

[salute] All happiness is wished you by your affectionate Friend,

[signed] Portia
RC (MB); addressed in AA2's hand: “Mr. John Thaxter Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 23d. May 1781.” Dft (Adams Papers); varies from RC at a number of points, two of which are recorded in notes below.
1. Charles Storer (1761–1829), Harvard 1779, a distant family connection of AA, was an intimate of the Adams and Smith family circles in Braintree and Boston and, after arriving in Europe, was at first to join and then replace his friend John Thaxter as JA's private secretary. He was the son of Deacon Ebenezer Storer of Boston by his first marriage and thus a stepson of Hannah (Quincy) Lincoln Storer. See Adams Genealogy and numerous allusions to young Storer in letters that follow, as well as some correspondence between Storer and more immediate members of the Adams family.
2. The “amiable Phylander” was doubtless Nathaniel Cranch, who had died in an accident in April 1780 when engaged { 125 } to his cousin Elizabeth Palmer (“The Gentle Eliza”); see Adams Genealogy on both, and a note on the accident at vol. 3:328–329, above. The other two Elizas mentioned by AA, below, and Thaxter's “Fair American” are too shadowy for certain identification.
3. By “York” AA means New York, and her source was doubtless one of the loyalist newspapers published there. John Trumbull, who had gone to Europe to pursue his studies in painting, was not executed but had a close call with the law in London. See note at vol. 3:328, above, and John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 58 ff.
4. Dft reads: “which you Gentlemen.”
5. Col. John Thaxter (1721–1802), Harvard 1741, of Hingham, lost his bid for election to the General Court, in which he had served earlier, to Capt. Charles Cushing (Boston Independent Chronicle, 7 June 1781, p. 3, col. 1; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11: 69). The elder Thaxter was AA's uncle by marriage; see Adams Genealogy.
6. Not further identified.
7. Preceding two sentences not in Dft.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0090

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

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0091

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

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0092-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

In this Beautifull month when Nature wears her gayest garb, and animal and vegetable life is diffused on every side, when the Chearfull hand of industery is laying a foundation for a plentifull Harvest who can forbear to rejoice in the Season, or refrain looking “through Nature up to Nature's God?”1

“To feel the present Deity and taste

The joy of God, to see a happy World.”

While my Heart expands, it sighing seeks its associate and joins its first parent in that Beautifull Discriptive passage of Milton
Sweet is the Breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest Bird; pleasent the Sun,
When first on this delightfull land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit and flower
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers, and sweet the comeing on
of Gratefull Evening mild; then Silent Night
with this her solemn Bird, and this fair Moon
And these the Gems of heaven, her starry train;
But neither Breath of Morn when she assends
With charm of earliest Birds nor rising Sun
on this delightfull land: nor herb, fruit, flower
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers
nor Gratefull Evening mild, nor Silent Night
with this her Solemn Bird, nor Walk by moon
or Glitt'ring Star light, “without thee is sweet.”2
This passage has double charms for me painted by the hand of Truth, and for the same reason that a dear Friend of mine after having viewed a profusion of Beautifull pictures pronounced that which represented the parting of Hector and Andromaque to be worth them all. The journal in which this is mentiond does not add any reason why it was so, but Portia felt its full force, and paid a gratefull tear to the acknowledgment.3
This day my dear Friend compleats 8 months since the date of your last Letter, and 5 since it was received.4 You may judge of my anxiety. I doubt not but you have written many times since but Mars, { 129 } Belona and old Neptune are in league against me. I think you must still be in Holland from whence no vessels have arrived since the Declaration of War. Their are some late arrivals from France, but no private Letters. I have had the pleasure of hearing of the Safety of several vessels which went from hence, by which I wrote to you, so that I have reason to think I have communicated pleasure tho I have not been a partaker in the same way. I have just written to you by a vessel of Mr. Tracys, Capt. Brown bound for Amsterdam which I hope will reach you.5 If you made use of Bilboa your Friends there could forward ten Letters from thence, for one opportunity else where. Many vessels from Boston and Newbury are now bound there.
This will be deliverd to you by Mr. Storer, who is going first to Denmark and who designs to tarry abroad some time. If you had been a resident in your own country it would have been needless for me to have told you that Mr. Storer is a young Gentleman of a Fair character, I need not add amiable manners as those are so discoverable in him upon the slightest acquaintance. You will not fail to notice and patronize him according to his merrit.
We are anxiously waiting for intelligence from abroad. We shall have in the Feild a more respectable army than has appeard there since the commencement of the War and all raised for 3 years or during the war, most of them Men who have served before. The Towns have excerted themselves upon this occasion with a spirit becomeing patriots. We wish for a Naval force superiour to what we have yet had, to act in concert with our Army. We have been flattered from day to day, yet none has arrived, the Enemy exult in the Delay, and are improveing the time to ravage Carolina and Virginia.
We hardly know what to expect from the united Provinces, because we are not fully informd of their Disposition. Britain has struck a blow by the Capture of Eustatia sufficent to arouse and unite them against her, if there still exists that Spirit of Liberty which shone so conspicuous in their Ancestors and which under much greater difficulties led their hardy fore Fathers to reject the tyranny of Philip.
I wish your powers may extend to an Alliance with them, and that you may be as successful against the Artifices of Britain as a former Ambassador was against those of an other Nation when he negotiated a triple Alliance in the course of 5 days with an address which has ever done Honour to his memory. If I was not so nearly connected, I should add, that there is no small similarity in the character of my Friend, and the Gentleman whose memoirs I have read with great pleasure.6
{ 130 }
Our state affairs I will write you if the vessel does not sail till after Election. Our Friend Mr. C[ranc]h goes from hence rep' by a unanimous vote. Dr. T[uft]s of W[eymout]h is chosen Senator, our Govenour and Lieut. Govenour, as at the begining. Our poor old currency is Breathing its last gasp. It received a most fatal wound from a collection of near the whole Bodys entering here from the Southward. Having been informed that it was treated here with more respect, and that it could purchase a solid and durable Dress here for 75 paper Dollors, but half the expence it must be at there, [it]7 traveld here with its whole train, and being much debauched in its manners communicated the contagion all of a sudden and is universally rejected. It has given us a great Shock. Mr. Storer can give you more information.
I have by two or 3 opportunities acquainted you that I received the calicos you orderd for me by Sampson, tho many of them were much injured by being wet. I have not got my things yet from Philadelphia. I have acquainted you with my misfortune there, oweing to the bad package. I have no invoice from Mr. Moylan or Letter, tho I have reason to think many things have been stolen out as all Dr. T[uft]s are missing, and several of mine according to Mr. L[ovel]ls invoice who was obliged to unpack what remaind and dry them by a fire, most of them much damaged. I have been more particular in other Letters.
Our Friends in general are well, your M[othe]r in a declining way. I rather think the Good Lady will not continue many years, unless Her health mends. I fear not the present. She is anxious to hear from you whilst she lives, but bids me tell you not to expect to see her again. To my dear sons I shall write by this opportunity. I have not received a line from them for this twelvemonth. I hope they continue to behave worthy the Esteem of every body, which will never fail to communicate the greatest pleasure to their affectionate parents. I inclosed an invoice of a few articles by Capt. Brown. I will repeat it here. Any thing in the goods way will be an acceptable remittance to your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Honble. John Adams Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 25th. May 1781.” AA's enclosed “List of Articles,” printed herewith, is written on verso of a short note from Richard Cranch to her, 10 May 1781 (Adams Papers).
1. Initial quotation mark supplied.
2. These sentiments, quoted with reasonable accuracy, are Eve's in her dialogue with Adam, Paradise Lost, bk. IV, lines 641–656.
3. AA alludes to a passage in JA's diary for 20 May 1778, repeated in different language in his Autobiography (Diary and Autobiography, 2:313–314, 4:105).
4. The latest letter AA had received from JA was that of 25 Sept. 1780, acknowledged in her reply of 25 Dec. 1780, both above. It was September before she received another; see AA to JA, 29 Sept., below.
5. AA's last preceding letter to JA was dated 23 April, above, and was “to go by a vessel of Mr. Tracys.” Doubtless Tracy's Captain Brown had carried AA's order for goods of which the enclosure in the present letter is a duplicate.
6. The allusion is to Sir William Temple's negotiations in the Netherlands, 1668. AA had been reading Temple's Observations upon the United Provinces; see her letter to John Thaxter, 5 Feb., above. This essay is in his Works, where AA could also have read his letters and memoirs relating to his diplomatic missions. In JA's library in MB is an edition of Temple's Works edited by Jonathan Swift, 2 vols., London, 1731. Temple had performed the remarkable feat of negotiating in five days a defensive alliance among England, the United Provinces, and Sweden that protected the Dutch from threatened French aggression, “the commissioners from the seven provinces taking the unprecedented step of signing without previous instruction from the states” (DNB, under Sir William Temple).
7. Editorially supplied for sense.

Enclosure: List of Articles1

A List of Articles per Capt. Brown. Half a Doz. Tambour worked Muslin hankerchiefs. 9 Ells Book Muslin. 1 pd [sic] of white Threads. 12 Ells of light crimson caliminco. 1 peice of coarse cambrick. Any light wollen Stuffs that will answer for winter Gowns. 3 coulourd { 131 } waveing plumes (all Stolen from Capt. Jones). A small Box of flowers for Miss N[abb]y, with a couple of peices of Genteel Ribbon. 6 Ells of white flowerd Gauze. 1 peice of fine Linnen.
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); addressed: “To Honble. John Adams Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Portia 25th. May 1781.” AA's enclosed “List of Articles,” printed herewith, is written on verso of a short note from Richard Cranch to her, 10 May 1781 (Adams Papers).
1. See both descriptive note and note 5 above.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0093

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

Abigail Adams 2d to John Thaxter

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

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

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

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0094-0002

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1781-05-30

Enclosure: Invoice of Goods1

INVOICE of Sundries Shipped on board the Juno William Haydon Commander, bound for Boston. Consign'd to Mr. Isaac Smith Mercht. there, on order, and for Account of the honorable Lady Adams, in Braintree, mark'd, and number'd, as in margin Viz.
No. 1   1 Box Containing        
  No.   1   2   Damask Table Cloths 5 by 3 1/4 Ell at f.11 1/2     23    
    2   2   do.  do. 1 1/2 by 3 1/4 [at f.]10 1/4     20   10  
    3   2   do.  do. 3 1/4 by 3 [at f.]7 1/2     15    
    4   2   Pack Pins [at f.]3 1/4     6   10  
    5   1   Pc. 6 1/4 fine Bedtick 36 Ell [at f.]2     72    
      1   very handsome flower'd Persian Carpet 6 by 6 Ells and 36 Ells @ f.3     108    
      1   dark gray muff & Tippet     24    
      1   Light gray do.  do.     22   10  
                  f.291   10  
          Discount 1 PCt on f. 183 10s   1   17  
                  289   17  
          Box   3    
                  292   13  
No. 2   1 Box Containing            
  12   pair blue & white Tea Cups & Saucers @ 6s.   3   12        
  6   pint bowls   10   3          
  12   fine Cut wine Glasses  16   9   12        
            f.16   4        
          Disct 1 PCt     4        
          Boxs &c.     12     16   12  
No. 3   1 Pack Containing 2 Setts House brushes @ 42S.   4   4        
          Packing Matt     9     4   13  
                  313   18  
    Duty Passeport and Officers fees   7   18        
    Carriage and boathire     16     8   14  
                  322   12 { 135 }  
          Freight @ 12 1/2 PCt   40   6        
          Primage    5 PCt   2       42   6  
                  f.364   18  
Errors excepted.
[signed] John de Neufville Son
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); addressed “To the Honble Lady Adams Braintree near Boston. P[er] Gates Captn. Newman”; postal markings appear to read: “NP/h, 3.8 2/3.” Dupl (Adams Papers); addressed as above but with routing: “P[er] Juno Captn. Haydon.” Both RC and Dupl are in a clerk's hand and signed in a different hand. Enclosed invoice is printed herewith; see note 4.
1. The original invoice sent to AA is missing. Text is printed here from a retained copy in DLC:de Neufville Letterbook, 1781–1785, fol. 689, docketed “Invoice of Sundries Shipped by de Neufs. for Acc. of Lady Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0095

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1781-05-26

Abigail Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

I am sometimes affraid my dear Boy that you will be spoilt by being a favorite. Praise is a Dangerous Sweet unless properly tempered. If it does not make you arrogant, assuming and self sufficient, but on the contrary fires your Breast with Emulation to become still more worthy and engageing, it may not opperate to your Disadvantage. But if ever you feel your Little Bosom swell with pride and begin to think yourself better than others; you will then become less worthy, and loose those Qualities which now make you valuable. Worthy and amiable as I hope you are, there are still imperfections enough [in] every Humane Being to excite Humility, rather than pride.
If you have made some small attainments in knowledge, yet when you look forward to the immense sum; of which you are still Ignorant, you will find your own, but as a grain of sand, a drop, to the ocean.
{ 136 }
If you look into your own Heart, and mind, you will find those amiable Qualities, for which you are beloved and esteemed, to result rather from habit and constitution, than from any solid, and setled principal. But it remains with you to Establish, and confirm that by choise and principal which has hitherto been a natural impulse.
Be modest, be diffident, be circumspect, kind and obligeing. These are Qualities which render youth engageing, and will flourish like a natural plant; in every clime.
I long to receive Letters from you. To hear of your Health and that of your dear pappas, would give me a pleasure that I have not experienced for 8 months.
O My dear children, when shall I fold you to my Bosom again? God only knows and in his own time will I hope return you safe to the Arms of your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] A Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0096

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-26

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

I hope this Letter will be more fortunate than yours have been of late. I know you must have written many times since I had the pleasure of receiving a line from you, for this month completes a year since the date of your last Letter.1
Not a line from you or my dear Charles since you arrived in Holland, where I suppose you still are.
I never was more anxious to hear yet not a single vessel arrives from that port, tho several are looked for.
I hope my dear Boy that the universal neatness and Cleanliness, of the people where you reside, will cure you of all your slovenly tricks, and that you will learn from them industery, oconomy and frugality.2
I would recommend it to you to become acquainted with the History of their Country; in many respects it is similar to the Revolution of your own. Tyranny and oppresion were the original causes of the revoult of both Countries. It is from a wide and extensive view of mankind that a just and true Estimate can be formed of the powers of Humane Nature. She appears enobled or deformed, as Religion, Goverment, Laws and custom Guide or direct her.
Firce, rude, and savage in the uncultivated desert, Gloomy, Bigoted and Superstitious where Truth is veiled in obscurity and mistery. Ductile, pliant, Elegant and refined—you have seen her in that dress, { 137 } as well as the active, Bold, hardy and intrepid Garb of your own Country.
Inquire of the Historick page and let your own observations second the inquiry, whence arrises this difference? And when compared, learn to cultivate those dispositions and to practise those Virtues which tend most to the Benifit and happiness of Mankind.
The Great Author of our Religion frequently inculcates universal Benevolence and taught us both by precept and example when he promulgated peace and good will to Man, a doctrine very different from that which actuates the Hostile invaders, and the cruel ravagers of mighty kingdoms and Nations.
I hope you will be very particular when you write, and let me know how you have past your time in the course of the year past.
Your favourable account of your Brother gave me great pleasure—not only as it convinced me that he continues to cultivate that agreable disposition of mind and heart, which so greatly endeared him to his Friends here, but as it was a proof of the Brotherly Love and affection of a son, not less dear to his Parents.
Your Brother Tommy has been very sick with the Rhumatism, taken by going too early into water, by which means he lost the use of his Limbs and a fever ensued. He has however happily recoverd, and learnt wisdom I hope by his sufferings. He hopes soon to write you a Letter. He has a good school and is attentive to his Books.3 I shall write to your Brother, so shall only add the sincere wishes for your improvement and happiness of your ever affectionate Mother,
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand; at head of text: “1. From my Mother”', see descriptive note on AA2 to JQA, 24 May, above.
1. This reference to JQA's “last Letter,” written at least a year earlier, is too vague to permit identification. From AA's allusion below to JQA's “favourable account” of CA, it would appear that a letter from JQA to AA written in the spring of 1780 is missing.
2. The foregoing paragraph was silently omitted by CFA when he first printed this letter, in AA, Letters, 1848, and again later in JA-AA, Familiar Letters.
3. Preceding three sentences were silently omitted by CFA in printing this letter in the editions named in note 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0097

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have written so largely to you by Mr. Storer1 who goes in the same vessel, that I should not have taken up my pen again, but in { 138 } compliance with the request of a Friend whose partner is going abroad, and desires a Letter to you as an introduction. Of Mr. Dexter the Bearer I know nothing but his Name. I have inclosed the Letter which I received from his partner who you know is a valuable Gentleman, and Eminent in his profession.2
As Election is not passed I have nothing New to add. My wishes for your Health and happiness and my anxiety to hear from you are an old Story. Should I tender you my warmest affections, they are of a date, almost with my first knowledge of you, and near coeval with my existance, yet not the less valuable I hope to a Heart that know[s] not a change, but is unalterably the treasure of its ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Honble. John Adams Esqr Amsterdam”; docketed by CFA: “Portia May 27. 1781.” Enclosure missing, but see note 2.
1. Presumaby her letter of 25 May, above.
2. “Mr. Dexter the Bearer” was Aaron Dexter (1750–1829), Harvard 1776, hon. M.D. 1786; professor of chemistry and materia medica at the Harvard Medical School, 1783–1816 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Kelly, Amer. Medical Biog.). The enclosed letter from Dexter's “partner” has not been found, but Richard Cranch in his letter to JA, 28 May, below, not only specifies Dexter's errand abroad but identifies his partner as Dr. Thomas Welsh of Boston, a family connection, on whom see a note at vol. 3:78–79, above, and Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0098

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0099

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0100

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror:

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0101

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

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

[salute] I am your affectionate Father,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0102

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0103

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0104

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

Elizabeth Cranch to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Cousin

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0105

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0106

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0107

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

Sarah Sever to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0108

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

Alice Lee Shippen to Elizabeth Welles Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0109

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

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear S[ir]

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0110

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror:

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0111

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

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

“There Love his golden shafts employs, there lights

His constant Lamp and waves his purple wings.”

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0112

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0113

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0114

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

Abigail Adams to Alice Lee Shippen

[salute] My dear Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0115

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

Hugh Hughes to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0116

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Ma'am

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

[salute] Your humbled Servt.,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0117

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0118

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Ma'am

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0119

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0120

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0121

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

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0122

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

[salute] With much Esteem Yr. Frd.,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0123

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

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Sir

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

“What can Cato do

Against a World, a base degenerate World

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0124

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

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

“All humane virtue to its latest Breath

Finds envy never conquer'd but by death.”

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0125

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0126

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

Jean de Neufville & Son to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0127

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

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0128

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

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

Falsehood and fraud shoot up in ev'ry soil

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

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

True consious Honour is to know no Sin—

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0129

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

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0130

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0131

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0132

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0133

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0134

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams 2d

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0135

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

John Boylston to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0136

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

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0137

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

Alice Lee Shippen to Abigail Adams

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

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

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