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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

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.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0138

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0139

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

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

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

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0140

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0141

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0142

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

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0143

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0144

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

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

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

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

1. 27 Aug. new style.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0145

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0146

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Hond. and dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0147

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

William Jackson to John Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0148

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0149

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

Benjamin Waterhouse to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0150

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0151

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0152

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0153

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

Joseph Gardoqui & Sons to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0154

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

John Adams to William Jackson

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0155

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0156

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

[salute] With never ceasing affection, yours.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0157

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0158

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

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

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

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0159

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

William Jackson to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0160

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

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0161

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0162

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0163

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

John Adams to William Jackson

[salute] Dr. Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0164

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell


There is a Lust in Man no Charm can tame

of loudly publishing his Neighbours Shame

on Eagles wings immortal scandles fly

whilst virtuous actions are but born and die.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0165

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

[salute] Your most humble Servant,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0166

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0167

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

Joseph Gardoqui & Sons to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0168

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

William Jackson to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0169

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

John Adams to William Jackson

[salute] Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0170

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

Elizabeth Ellery Dana to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0171

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0172

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0173

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

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0174

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

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

“an elegant Sufficency, content

Retirement, Rural quiet, Friendship, Books

Ease and alternate Labour, usefull Life

progressive Virtue and approveing Heaven.”

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0175

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

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0176

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0177

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Child

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0178

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest friend

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0179

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

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

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

[salute] Remember me to every Body.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0180

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

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

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

[signed] North Common

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0181

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

John Thaxter to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Mon cher Ami

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0182

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

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0183

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

[salute] Yours forever,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0184

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

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

[salute] Most affectionately Yours,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0185

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

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

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

[salute] Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0186

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

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

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

[salute] I am your dutiful Son.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0187

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

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Mon cher Monsieur

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0188

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

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0189

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

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