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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0092

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-05-29

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

It gives me great Pleasure to find, that your Situation is agreable to you. An abler Instructor than Mr. Dumas is not to be found. Is not an 100 Verses at a Time too long a Lesson?1 Are you familiar enough with the Latin to comprehend So many Verses at once? You have Ainsworths Dictionary2 I presume. Let no Word escape you, without being understood.
Drydens is a good translation, but it is not Virgil. You will do well to Study the Difference. There is another English Translation of Virgil. It is in blank Verse, done by Dr. Trapp.3 This is thought by Some to be better than Dryden's, but I am not of that opinion. It is worth your while however to have it if you can get it.
I dont know but the Book of Games would be more proper for your young head, than the History of Dido.4
You translate Suetonius in Writing, I hope, and preserve your Translation as you did that of Phaedrus.5 I Should advise you to make a compleat Translation of Suetonius, in order to make yourself Master of the Work.

[salute] Your affectionate Father

[signed] John Adams
1. See JQA to JA, 24 May, above, for JQA's reading of Virgil, and for Dryden's translation of Virgil, to which JA refers below.
2. Robert Ainsworth, Dictionary, English and Latin, London, 1773 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
3. Joseph Trapp, Aeneis of Virgil, Translated into Blank Verse, 2 vols., London, 1718–20. At { 167 } some point JQA acquired Virgil's complete Works in Trapp's blank verse translation (4th edn., 3 vols., London, 1755; now in MQA).
4. The romance of Queen Dido of Carthage and the Trojan leader Aeneas is the subject of Virgil, Aeneid, book IV, which JQA was reading (to JA, 24 May, above). Book V of the same work, the “Book of Games,” describes the athletic contests held by the Trojans in Sicily after their departure from Carthage.
5. See JQA to JA, 12 May, note 2, above. JQA had studied the Latin fabulist Phaedrus in Paris in 1780 and in Leyden in 1781, but the French translation that he copied out in Leyden was the work of his language teacher, not his own (see vols. 3:307, and note 4; 4:xvi, 113, 118, and note 1).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-05-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Here I am, out of all Patience. Not a Word from America. The British Ministry, lingering on. Mr. Hartley uncertain what to do. No Regulation of Commerce agreed on. No definitive Treaty of Peace, Signed, nor likely to be Signed very Soon. My Spring Passage home lost. To embark in July or August, would be the worst Season of the whole Year—on Account of Heat and Calms. I dont See a Possibility of embarking before September or October.
The total Idleness, the perpetual Uncertainty We are in, is the most insipid and at the Same Time disgusting and provoking Situation imaginable. I had rather be employed in carting Street Dust and Marsh Mud.
Neither do I know how or where, I shall get a Passage. I could now go with Mr. Van Berckel in a fine new 68 Gun ship. In the Fall, I suppose I shall be obliged to step on board a Merchant ship loaded down to the Brim. But whether from Holland, or from Some Port in France I know not. So many Vessells will run away to England, that I fear it will be difficult to find a Passage from France or Holland.
But We must bear it all, if We can.
Our Son is at the Hague pursuing his Studies with great Ardour. They give him a good Character wherever he has been, and I hope he will make a good Man.
It is unaccountable that not one Vessell should have arrived from any Part of New England, Since the Peace nor for so long a Time before. But all is Mystery. Pray write me. Dont omit to write, untill I arrive home, direct to the Care of Mr. Dumas a L'hotel des Etats Unis D'Amerique, at the Hague, or to the Care of Mr. Jay, at Paris. These Gentlemen will take Care of your Letters, if I should be gone.

[salute] Yours with great Affection

[signed] J.A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs John Adams Braintree near Boston.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0094

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-06

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I receiv'd last Tuesday your favour of the 29th of last month. As Mr. Dumas is so good as to read Virgil with me; 100 verses at a time is not too much at a Time. I have not Ainsworth's Dictionnary, but I have Lyttleton's,1 and several French one's. I don't think I shall be able to find Trapp's translation of Virgil here; but I have enough with that of Dryden. I had already began to translate Suetonius in writing. I have began it in French, as it is more convenient to me and to Mr. Dumas who corrects the translation. I have began with the Life of Caligula.
I have heard nothing about the finishing the Peace for some time; it was said here, near a fortnight agone that all was over; but at present I hear nothing said about it.

[salute] I am, your Dutiful Son. Please to present my respects to Messrs. Thaxter and Storer.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
1. Adam Littleton, Latin Dictionary, 6th edn., London, 1735, is in MQA; it has JQA's signature and “1781” on the titlepage.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0095

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-06-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

What would I not give for an Arrival from America? or for certain Advice from London of the Appointment of a Ministry, or for the Arrival here of a Minister to Sign the definitive Treaty?1
What would I not give for an Arrival from America or for Advice from London what the Ministry intend to do? Mr. Hartley is now here but We advance slowly to the definitive Treaty. I can now have no hopes of Seeing you before late in the Fall. If the Acceptance of my Resignation arrives, as I expect, and We finish the Peace, as soon as I can reasonably hope, I shall not now be able to embark before October. The Affairs of the World have little Complaisance for my Happiness, or yours, but it is not worth our while to be impatient, because it will do us no good. I am astonished however that We have nothing from Congress nor from you.
{ 169 }
If you and your Daughter were with me, I could keep up my Spirits, but idly and insipidly as I pass my time, I am weary, worn and disgusted to death. I had rather chop Wood, dig Ditches, and make fence upon my poor little farm. Alass! poor Farm and poorer Family what have you lost, that your Country might be free and that others might catch fish and hunt Deers and Bevers at their Ease?2
There will be as few of the “Tears of Gratitude” or “the Smiles of Admiration,” or the “Sighs of Pity” for Us, as for the Army. But all this should not hinder me from going over the same Scaenes again upon the Same Occasion, Scaenes which I would not encounter for all the Wealth Pomp and Powers of the World.
Boys! if you ever Say one Word, or utter one Complaint, I will disinherit you. Work you Rogues and be free. You will never have so hard Work to do as Papa has had.
Daughter! Get you an honest Man for a Husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the Honour and moral Character of the Man more than all other Circumstances. Think of no other Greatness but that of the soul, no other Riches but those of the Heart. An honest, Sensible humane Man, above all the Littlenesses of Vanity, and Extravagances of Imagination, labouring to do good rather than be rich, to be usefull rather than make a show, living in a modest Simplicity clearly within his Means and free from Debts or Obligations, is really the most respectable Man in Society, makes himself and all about him the most happy.
I long to see my dear John, as much as the Rest, but he is well at the Hague and I cannot go to him nor do I think it prudent to bring him to Paris.
I have accomplished a Correspondence between the Royal society of Medicine here, and the Republican one at Boston at the Desire of Dr. Tufts3 but have not yet found a carefull Hand to send the Diploma.

[salute] Adieu Adieu Adieu

1. The reason for JA's failure to complete this letter in April is not known to the editors. In the two months following this date, JA wrote at least six letters to AA; all are printed above. But with the similarity between his April and June opening sentences JA underscores how little his situation had changed.
2. Compare JA to Richard Cranch, 15 Dec. 1782, above, and note 1 there.
3. JA had visited the Académie Royale de Chirurgie on 19 Dec. 1782, and about 20 Dec. had written to the Société Royale de Médecine to propose a correspondence between them and the Massachusetts Medical Society, founded in 1781. Members of these and other French medical societies soon { 170 } wrote to JA, accepting his proposal. Copies of eight letters in this correspondence are in Lb/JA/22 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 110), dated from [ca. 20 Dec. 1782] to 3 June 1783; several of the originals are in the Countway Medical Library in Boston. JA also wrote to Edward Augustus Holyoke, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, on 10 June (LbC, Adams Papers), the day following this letter (Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 Sept. 1782, and note 2 [vol. 4:386]; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:97, and note 1, 98, and note 1).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0096

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-06-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Day after day, Week after Week, Month after Month, roll away and bring Us no News. I am So weary of this idle useless Time, that I dont know what to do with myself. I dont wonder that People who have So much more of Such Time, than has fallen to my Share, have recourse to Play for dissipation.
I find myself in the Same Situation with my Lord Chesterfield who Says in one of his Letters, that he had a dangerous Fever in Holland, that after his Recovery the febrific humour fell into his Legs which Swelled to Such a degree as to be very troublesome to himself and all who came near him. That upon his Return to England he consulted Mead, Broxholme and Arbuthnot who were ignorant of his Disorder and did him no good but on the contrary increased the Swelling by improper Applications of Poultices &c. That he then consulted a surgeon who told him his Evil proceeded from a Relaxation of the skin and that he must bath his Legs, every Morning in Brine from the Salters in which Meat had been pickled, as warm as he could bear it. He followed this Advice and in three Weeks all his Symptoms disappeared and never returned.1
My Swelling has never been So violent, but it is not yet cured. If I increase my Exercise, beyond the usual degree, it returns in [same?] degree. I know not where to find the Brine, and have never done any Thing for it but Walk every day. But this Weakness in the Ankles is not all. I am vexed with other Relicks of that fever, which are very troublesome. They appear in sharp fiery humours which break out in the back of my Neck and in other Parts of me and plague me, as much as the Uncertainty in which I am in of my future destination. Let me get home and I will take Care how I run away again.
It is now 3 Months Since Barney arrived in Philadelphia and We have no answers to any of our Letters. What is the Meaning of it?
1. JA is paraphrasing Lord Chesterfield's letter to his son of 15 Nov. 1766 (Letters of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, ed. Bonamy Dobrée, London, { 171 } 1932, 6:2778–2780). Chesterfield's illness occurred in 1732 while he was the British ambassador at The Hague. Dr. Richard Mead was a physician to royalty and author of notable treatises on poisons and on the control of the plague; Dr. Noel Broxholme was sometime physician to Queen Caroline, and to Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of George II; and Dr. John Arbuthnot was a favorite physician to Queen Anne (all in DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0097

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-06-10

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

It would give me great Satisfaction to have it in my power to reply to any Letter from you since October last. But that pleasure is denied me. I feel that I am deprived of one Source of Instruction and Entertainment, in being deprived of your excellent Letters. And I support the Privation with little Philosophy. I am thoroughly tired of this cold Consolation, “wait with Patience.” Tis oftentimes the Counsel of the deepest, tho' disguised, Impatience. With this opinion I quit it, or I shall soon fall into a violent fit of fretting, unless I go and pass an Hour with my fair Nun,1 whose Countenance and Language are Contentment. I have seen her several times of late. On my last Visit, She was doing Penance, and it was with the utmost difficulty I could obtain Leave to speak to her, as in that Season they are not allowed to speak to any Visitant but upon a very pressing Occasion. I was happy enough to succeed, and to introduce Mr. Codman2 who delivered her a Letter from her Mother, which was some kind of Atonement for withdrawing her even but for a Moment from the good work of Penance. Why She was in this State, I know not. I had concieved that the Life of a Nun was an eternal Series of Acts of Penance, and was much surprized to find that certain portions of time are allotted to this pious business. What offences the Spouses of Jesus Christ can be capable or guilty of, I am not enough in the Secrets of a Convent to determine. So that I am left to Conjectures, which perhaps may be ill founded and injurious, and therefore very proper to remain where they originated.
Two Nuns have lately taken the Veil. As I had an Invitation to the Ceremony, I conducted a married Lady of my Acquaintance to see it. The Ceremony was much the same as that I formerly gave you an Account of.3 The Sermon was decidedly in favor of that kind of life, as freest from the Evils, Vices and Embarrassments of the World; assuring that it was the only State of Happiness this side of Heaven. He really gave his Audience a severe Lecture, and represented them as in a doubtful State. He did not say, that they would all perish finally, but lashed them without Mercy in speaking of the World at { 172 } large. If he had been a little spare meagre Abby with one foot in the Grave, he might pardonably have painted the World in hideous Colours and bid it a sour Adieu. But the contrary was the fact. Our Orator was in the Bloom of Life and a Picture of Health, but an Abby, condemned by his State to Batchelorism. He made but few Proselytes, if even he himself gave full Credit to his own Doctrine. The married Ladies and Widows deny his System, and are angry enough with him to blanket him.4 And indeed I would inlist as a Volunteer in their Service in so laudable an Undertaking. But the World is full of Contradictions and Absurdities, and the Sermon was only a small Addition to the great Mass.
I have lately met with the Life of Eloise and Abeilard5 in French, as well as the Letters that passed between them. I have bought them, and read them through. 'Tis an interesting Story to Lovers I believe, and I think at 19. I should have read it with more Goût than at present. My Season is over. And for a Year past I have philosophized so much upon Love and Matrimony, that the Sentiment of the former is extinguished to its due degree, and an Inclination for the latter entirely lost. Therefore if I can now read the History of the unfortunate Pair without the ordinary Marks of Sensibility, it must be esteemed rather as a proof of Philosophy than a want of a proper feeling. No one is to be deemed callous whose Sensibility does not instantly melt into Tears on reading or hearing an affecting History or Anecdote. Passions operate differently on different Subjects—more or less violently. Who knows the Sufferings and convulsive Agitations of one who shews few external Marks of them? A Tear is often an equivocal proof of Sensibility.
However notwithstanding my smart Philosophy, I have a strange Inclination to go to Paraclete,6 the Convent built by Abeilard, and of which Eloise was the Superior. I feel a kind of Veneration for the Place, and I believe that kind of Curiosity which leads People to visit particular celebrated Spots of Earth will carry me there, with Pope's Translation of Eloise's Letter. As I have made up my Mind about Matrimony and am in no danger of becoming Love sick I may go in safety. If I should take the Journey, as it is only a day's ride, you may depend on a particular Description from me.
Please to remember me affectionately to your Family, particularly to Miss A. <at her nuptial Ceremony> as an old Acquaintance I may claim <an Invitation>. Respects to all Friends.

[salute] With the utmost Esteem and Respect, Madam yours

[signed] J T
{ 173 }
1. Miss Maroni.
2. Probably Stephen Codman of Boston; see vol. 4:218, and note 1, and John Jay to the president of Congress, 6 Feb. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:150).
3. In Thaxter to AA, 21 Aug. 1780 (vol. 3:398–399).
4. Probably to toss him in the air, using a blanket; possibly to cover up (stifle) him (OED).
5. The twelfth-century theologian Pierre Abélard seduced his pupil Héloise, and when he learned that she was pregnant, secretly married her. But Héloise's uncle, upon discovering Abélard's deception, had him castrated. Héloise then retired to a convent, and Abélard entered a monastic order. This medieval love story, told in a long correspondence attributed to the two lovers, held a powerful appeal in the eighteenth century. Thaxter's interest in the tale may have been sparked by Pope's “Eloisa to Abelard,” a poem to which he refers, below, as “Pope's Translation of Eloise's Letter.”
6. Le Paraclet, which Thaxter locates, below, as “only a day's ride” from Paris, is near Nogent-sur-Seine, over sixty miles southeast of Paris.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0098

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-06-12

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

The Bearer of this Letter, Eliphalet Fitch Esqr., a Gentleman of large Fortune and high in office in Jamaica, is a Grandson of Dr. Boylston and consequently your Relation.1
You will wait upon him and his Lady, and do yourself the honor to shew them all the Attention and Respect in your Power, while they stay at the Hague.

[salute] Your affectionate Father

[signed] John Adams
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Eliphalet Fitch was receiver general and a judge of the supreme court of Jamaica. He was born in Boston in 1740, the son of Benjamin Fitch and Jerusha Boylston, the daughter of Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, who introduced innoculation for smallpox into America. Dr. Zabdiel Boylston was the brother of JA's grandfather, Peter Boylston; thus Fitch and JA were second cousins. See JA to C. W. F. Dumas, 12 June (Adams Papers); Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:335–336; DAB (Zabdiel Boylston).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0099

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1783-06-14

Abigail Adams to Royall Tyler

I had thoughts of writing to you before I received my last Letters from abroad, because you have frequently flatterd me with an assurance that my advise is not unacceptable to you.1 I thought I had some hints to drop to you which might Serve your interest. I feel an additional motive to take my pen, and communicate to you a passage from my Last Letter.2
“My dear daughters happiness employs my Thoughts Night and { 174 } day. Do not let her form any connection with any one who is not devoted intirely to Study and to Buisness—To honour and to virtue. If there is a Trait of Frivolity and dissapation left I pray that She may renounce it forever; I ask not Fortune nor favour for mine, But prudence Talents and Labour—She may go with my consent whereever She can find enough of these.”
You have before you sentiments and principals which your Reason must assent to, and your judgment approve, as the only solid foundation upon which a youth can Build: who is entering into Life, with satisfaction to his own mind, or a prospect of happiness for his connections. Talants are not wanting, shall they lack Labour for improvement, or industery for cultivation?
Honour and virtue, are they not inmates and companions? Is their a Trait of Frivolity and dissapation left? Examine your own Heart with candour, let it not deceive you. These are the Rocks and quick Sands. Dissapation enervates the Man, dissolves every good purpose and resolution, it excuses a thousand ways his deviations from the path of Rectitude, and in the end becomes his distroyer. It puts on like a mere Proteous a thousand different forms, and too frequently calls itself Relaxation. The one is necessary the other ruinous. To draw the line requires both skill and judgment; perhaps there is no more certain cure for dissapation, than method, and order, and were I to advise any one liable to this infirmity, it would be to portion out the Day, and appropriate a certain Number of Hours to Study, or to Buisness. With a determined Resolution to be inflexable against every temptation which might allure them from their purpose; untill fixed habits were formed which could not be easily shaken.
Perhaps more industery and application, are necessary, in the profession of the Law, in order to become Eminent; than in either phisick, or divinity; if it is, as I realy believe, in the power of my young Friend, to become so; it is also a duty incumbent upon him. Doubling the Talant of him, who possesst but one, would have obtaind him the Eulogy of a Faithfull Servant, but if he to whom ten was committed had gained only one, how neglegent and Sothfull would he have been deemed?3
Have you not Ambition, let it warm you to Emulation, let it fire you to rise to a Superiour height; to be well accomplished in your profession, I have heard a Friend of mine4 observe that it was indispensably necessary to have a perfect knowledge of the Theory of Goverment, and foundations of society, to study Humane Nature not { 175 } to disguise, but to present Truth in her Native Loveliness. Shall I not See you become an honour to your profession in the excersise of a generous candour; an inflexable integrity; strict punctuality, and exact decision, virtues which are by no means incompatable with your profession, notwithstanding the Sarcastick reflexions it is daily liable to. If you can find within your own breast any additional motives, let them serve to enforce my Recommendations. I have so far interested myself in your advancement in Life, as to feel a peculiar satisfaction in your increasing Buisness. I shall rejoice in your success, and in the consistancy of your Character. Much depends upon a uniformity of conduct. There is a strenght of mind, a firmness and intrepidity which we look for in a masculine character—an April countanance, now Sunshine and then cloudy, can only be excused in a Baby faced girl—in your sex, it has not the appearence of Nature, who is our best guide.——Be assured you have my best wishes that you may merit and obtain whatever may conduce to your happiness, for I am most Sincerely a Friend to Your Fame; and a Lover of your Virtues. Adieu—
RC (VtHi: Royall Tyler Coll.); addressed: “To Mr Royal Tyler Braintree”; docketed, in an unknown hand: “From Mrs John Adams to R. Tyler Esq. June 1783.”
1. The period is supplied.
2. That is, JA to AA, 28 March, above; see note 5.
3. See Matthew 25:14–30.
4. Probably JA.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0100

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1783-06-14

Abigail Adams to Royall Tyler?

You wish me to devote half an hour to you in your absence; you requested and I comply, to shew you that I have a disposition to oblige, but I am very unequal to the task you have assigned as I have no Herculian properties, but can say with Gays Shepard

“the little knowledge I have gaind

is all from simple nature draind.”

I study her as my surest safest guide, for our actions must not only be right, but expedient, they must not only be agreable to virtue but to prudence. It was upon this principal that my late advise2 was founded. You differd so widely from me in sentiment, that I determined never again to tender an opinion unaskd—yet I did not wish you any further influenced by it than appeard to me, to conduce to your <own> happiness.
{ 176 }
Horace has in some of his Epistles this sentiment better one thorn pluct out than all remain, Humane nature is represented by an english poet as a wild where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot

A garden tempting with forbiden fruit.

Let it be our study to cultivate the flowers, and root out the weeds, to nourish with a softening care and attention those tender Blossoms, that they may be neither blasted in their prime nor witherd in their bloom but as the blossom falls may the fruit <encrease> yet green <. . . to a perfect> ripen into maturity untill the Beauty of its appearence, shall tempt some Fair hand to pluck it from its native soil and transplant it in one still more <beneficial> conducive to its perfection.
Sternses observation may be just, but King Richards was a more independant one. God says, he helps those who help themselves.3 Advise is of little avail unless it is reduced to practise nor ought we implicitly to give up<on> our judgement to any one what ever may be our regard or esteem for them untill we have weighed and canvassed that advise with our reason and judgment—then if it is right agreable to virtue expedient and prudent we ought strictly to adhere to it—a mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of Humane Nature, and will render us little and contemtable in the Eyes of the World. There are certain principal which ought to become unchangeable in us justice temperance fortitude hold the first rank—he who possesses these will soon have all others added unto him.
I have not been alone to day. My Weymouth Friends dined with me together with my sister and cousins. You was kindly enquired after, and the vacant Chair lookt solitary. The provision too was not carved with that dexterity and allertness which your hand is accustomed to.4 This evening—I know you think of your solitary Friend—whilst the lightning plays from cloud to cloud and threatens a tempestous Night. You wish yourself at hand to read me some amuseing or entertaining subject, or to beguile the hour with the incidents of the past day, or converse upon some literary subject, but my little slumbering Guests are all locked in the Arms of sleep. My candle and my pen are all my companions. I send my thoughts across the broad Atlantick in serch of my associate and rejoice that thought and immagination are not confined like my person to the small spot on which I exist.

[salute] Adieu—I have complied with your request recive it in the Spirit of Friendship for that alone dictates to the pen of your Friend

[signed] A A
{ 177 }
1. The editors have redated this letter, originally filed and filmed at [June–July 1779][1779], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 350. Royall Tyler is AA's likely correspondent for several reasons. First, the letter seems to be a response to a reaction by Tyler to AA's letter of 14 June, above. Second, Tyler is the only person outside the family who enjoyed such an intimate relationship with AA's household in JA's absence. Finally, AA's mention of her correspondent's carving abilities, at note 4, resembles a passage in a later AA letter that almost certainly refers to Tyler.
2. See AA to Royall Tyler, 14 June, above.
3. This may be AA's joke, since one source of this saying, which appears as early as AEsop's fables, is Benjamin Franklin's Maxims Prefixed to Poor Richard's Almanac (1757). See also AA to Dr. Thomas Welsh, [25 Aug. 1785], below.
4. See AA's reference to the carving abilities of “Mr. T—r” in her letter to Elizabeth Cranch, 8 March 1785, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0101

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-06-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Legion of Lauzun has arrived,1 and We hope has brought the Orders of Congress, for Us, but We have not yet received them, and are as much at a Loss as ever. I know not whether my Resignation is accepted, and consequently can give you no Conjecture, when I Shall be able to get away. As the Spring and Summer Passage is lost, I cannot now embark before September or October, or November. Whether I Shall embark from France, Holland or England I dont know. It will be according as I shall hear of a convenient Passage. Write me by all these Ways. I have received no Line from you, dated Since December.
The definitive Treaty may be Signed in three Weeks: and it may as probably be trained2 on till Christmas. In the last Case, provided the Acceptance of my Resignation Should not arrive, it may be Spring before I can embark. In this State of Suspense and Perplexity you may well Suppose I do not Sleep upon a bed of Roses, especially, as the Public Affairs are as uncertain as our private ones.
I Should like very well, to take a Short Tour to London before my Return, for the Sake of taking a look at that Country, and Seeing Some Personages there, because if I waive this Opportunity, it is not likely I Shall ever have another. Once more at home, it is not probable, I Shall again go abroad. Indeed it is more for the Sake of Mr. John than my own, that I wish to see England, at all.
I was at Versailles, the day before Yesterday and paid my Respects to the King and Queen, Monsieur and Madame his Lady, the Comte D'Artois, Madame Elizabeth and the Mesdames of France Adelaide and Victoire.3 As the Weather was more like a Spring Equinox than a Summer Solstice, the Number of Ambassadors was Smaller than { 178 } usual, and the Attendant Croud less, So that I had a better Opportunity, of viewing the Royal Family at Leisure, then ever I had before.
I dined and breakfasted in deed, with the Ambassadors and found them universally more Sociable, than ever they were before. They begin now universally to consider and treat Us, as Members of their Body.4
It is forbidden I Suppose to Princes and Princesses upon these Occasions, to utter a Sentiment least they Should betray a Secret of State or Say something which might lead a Sagacious Ambassador to political Consequences. According No one Word is ever Said, except asking a Question about some common Thing, as the Weather, the Spectacles, or have you come from Paris to day.
I know an Ambassador who has been fourteen Years at a Court, who has attended regularly once a Week, who says that a Prince has never failed to ask him the Same question, every Time. “Did you come from home to day”—and never any other. This Ambassador too, is of the highest Rank.
Among all the Officers, who come in Play upon these Occasions Such as Introducers of Ambassadors, Secretary of the Presentations of Ambassadors &c., there ought I think to be one, Praeceptor to teach the Princes and Princesses, the Art of asking Questions and making Observations upon these Occasions.
The Prince of Orange's Court is a Miniature of that of Versailles. The Ceremonials, and the Conversation of Princes and Princesses is much the Same. The English Gentlemen here particularly Mr. Hartley tells me, I must be presented at Court, if I should go to London only for a Visit, in my publick Character as a Minister at the Peace. This is rather a discouraging Circumstance, as I should wish to go incog. as much as possible, and my Appearance at Court would make more Talk than I wish. I should be Stared at, as a Sight. I Should be treated however complaisantly enough, I doubt not. The Case is altered. I had rather make my Court to my Princesses at5 Pens Hill, than to all the others in the World. This Honour I hope for but cannot promise myself so soon, as I wish.
1. The French forces commanded by the Duc de Lauzun, the last major unit of the Comte de Rochambeau's army to return to France, were formally released from service by George Washington on 23 April, and thanked by Congress on 1 May, shortly before their departure (Howard C. Rice Jr. and Anne S. K. Brown, eds., The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, Princeton and Providence, 1972, 1:76, 168; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:397–398; JCC, 24:317–318).
2. Dragged, now obsolete (OED).
3. “Monsieur” was the Comte de Provence, { 179 } brother of the king, who later became Louis XVIII; the Comte d'Artois, youngest brother of the king, later became Charles X; Elisabeth was the king's sister; Adélaïde and Victoire were sisters of the king's father, the late Louis Dauphin (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:137, and note 2; Dorothy Moulton Mayer, Marie Antoinette: The Tragic Queen, N.Y., 1969, p. 20, 23, 366).
4. JA gives a detailed account of his conversation with several of these diplomats in his Diary entry for 17 June (Diary and Autobiography, 3:137–138).
5. Here JA thoroughly crossed out two or three words, rendering them illegible.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0102

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

If I was certain I should welcome you to your native Land in the course of the summer, I should not regret Mr. Smiths going abroad without me. Should it be otherways, should you still be detained abroad—I must submit, satisfied that you judge best, and that you would not subject me to so heavy a dissapointment, or yourself to so severe a mortification as I flatter myself it would be, but for the general good: a European life would, you say, be the ruin of our Children. If so, I should be as loth as you, to hazard their embibeing sentiments and opinions which might make them unhappy in a sphere of Life which tis probable they must fill, not by indulging in luxuries for which tis more than possible they might contract a taste and inclination, but in studious and labourious persuits.
You have before this day, received the joint commission for forming a commercial treaty with Britain.2 I am at a loss to determine whether you will consider yourself so bound by it, as to tarry longer abroad. Perhaps there has been no juncture in the publick affairs of our country; not even in the hour, of our deepest distress, when able statesmen and wise Counsellors were more wanted than at the present day. Peace abroad leaves us at leisure to look into our own domestick affairs. Altho upon an Estimate of our National debt, it appears but as the Small Dust of the balance, when compared to the object we have obtained, and the benifits we have secured, yet the Restless spirit of man will not be restrained; and we have reason to fear that Domestick Jars and confusions, will take place, of foreign contentions and devastations. Congress have commuted with the Army by engageing to them 5 years pay, in lieu of half pay for Life. With Security for this they will disband contented. But our wise Legislators are about disputing the power of Congress to do either;3 without considering their hands in the mouth of the Lion, and if the just and necessary food is not supplied, the outragious animal may become so ferocious as to spread horrour, and devastation, or an { 180 } other Theseus may arise who by his reputation, and exploits of valour, whose personal character and universal popularity, may distroy our Amphictinik system and subjugate our infant republicks to Monarchical domination.4
Our House of Representitives is this Year composed of more than a hundred New Members, some of whom no doubt are good Men. Near all the able and skillfull Members who composed the last House have lost their Seats, by voting for the return of Mr. Brattle; notwithstanding the strongest evidence in his favour, and the many proofs which were produced of his Friendly conduct towards America. For this crime, our worthy Friend Mr. Cranch was droped by this Town.5 The Senate is a loser this year by the resignation of some excellent Members.6 We have in this state an impost of 5 per cent, and an excise act,7 whilst the Neighbouring states have neither. Foreigners finding this the case, cary their Cargoes to other states. At this the Merchant grumbles, the Farmer groans with his taxes, and the Mechanick for want of employ. Heaven Avert that like the Greek Republicks we should by civil discension weaken our power, and crush our rising greatness; that the Blood of our citizens, should be shed in vain: and the labour, and toil, of our statesmen; be finally bafled; through niggardly parsimony; Lavish prodigality; or Ignorance of our real Interest. We want a Soloman in wisdom, to guide and conduct this great people: at this critical aere, when the counsels which are taken, and the measures which are persued; will mark our future Character either with honour, and Fame, or disgrace, and infamy; in adversity, we have conducted with prudence and magninimity. Heaven forbid, that we should grow giddy with prosperity, or the height to which we have soared, render a fall conspicuously fatal.
Thus far I had written when your welcome favour of March 28th reached me;8 I was not dissapointed in finding you uncertain with regard to the Time of your return; should the appointment which I fear; and you have hinted at; take place, it would indeed be a dull day to me. I have not a wish to join in a scene of Life so different from that in which I have been educated; and in which my early and I must suppose, happier days, have been Spent; curiosity satisfied and I should sigh for tranquil Scenes,

“And wish that Heaven had left me still

The whisp'ring Zephyr, and the purling rill?”

{ 181 } Well orderd home is my chief delight, and the affectionate domestick wife with the Relative duties which accompany that character my highest ambition. It was the disinterested wish of sacrificeing my personal feelings to the publick utility, which first led me to think of unprotectedly hazarding a voyage. I say unprotectedly for so I consider every lady who is not accompanied by her Husband. This objection could only be surmounted by the earnest wish I had to soften those toils which were not to be dispenced with, and if the publick welfare required your Labours and exertions abroad, I flatterd myself, that if I could be with you, it might be in my power to contribute to your happiness and pleasure, but the day is now arrived, when with honour and well earned Fame, you may return to your native land—when I cannot any longer consider it as my duty to submit to a further Seperation, and when it appears necessary that those abilities which have crownd you with Laurels abroad, should be exerted at home for the publick Safety.
I do not wish you to accept an Embassy to England, should you be appointed. This little Cottage has more Heart felt Satisfaction for you than the most Brilliant Court can afford,9 the pure and undiminished tenderness of weded Love, the filial affection of a daughter who will never act contrary to the advise of a Father, or give pain to the Maternal Heart. Be assured that she will never make a choice without your approbation which I know she considers as Essential to her happiness. That she has a partiality I know, and believe, but that she has submitted her opinion to the advise of her Friends, and relinquished the Idea of a connection upon principals of prudence and duty, I can with equal truth assure you. Yet nothing unbecomeing the Character which I first entertaind has ever appeard in this young Gentleman since his residence in this Town, and he now visits in this family with the freedom of an acquaintance, tho not with the intimacy of a nearer connection. It was the request of Emelia who has conducted with the greatest prudence, that she might be permitted to see and treat this Gentleman as an acquaintance whom she valued. “Why said she should I treat a Gentleman who has done nothing to forfeit my Esteem, with neglect or contempt, merely because the world have said, that he entertained a preferable regard for me? If his foibles are to be treated with more severity than the vices of others, and I submit my judgment and opinion to the disapprobation of others in a point which so nearly concerns me, I wish to be left at liberty to act in other respects with becomeing decency.” And she { 182 } does and has conducted so as to meet with the approbation of all her Friends. She has conquerd herself. An extract from a little poetick peice which Some months ago fell into my Hands10 may give you some Idea of the Situation of this Matter. You will tell me you do not want a poet,11 but if there is a mind otherways well furnished, you would have no objection to its being a mere amusement. You ask me if this Gentleman is a speaker at the Bar. He attends Plimouth Court and has spoke there. He is not yet sworn in to the Superiour Court, but is proposed to be sworn in the Next court, with his cotemporaries. I cannot say what he will make, but those who most intimately know him, say he has talants to make what he pleases, and fluency to become a good Speaker. His buisness encreases here, and I know nothing but what he is well esteemed. His temper and disposition appear to be good. The family in which he boards12 find no fault with his conduct. He is Regular in his liveing, keeps no company with Gay companions, seeks no amusement but in the society of two or 3 families in Town, never goes to Boston but when Buisness calls him there. If he has been the Gay thoughtless young fellow which he is said to have been and which I believe he was, he has at least practised one year of reformation. Many more will be necessary to Establish him in the world, whether he will make the man of worth and steadiness time must determine.
Our two sons are placed under the care, and in the family of Mr. Shaw. They have been near 3 months absent from me. This week with my daughter and Mr. Smith to accompany us I go to see them. My dear John, where is he?13 I long to see him. I have been very anxious about him. Such a winter journey. I hope he is with you. I want to receive a Letter from him. If you should continue abroad untill fall I should be glad you would make me a small remittance, goods will not answer. We are glutted with them. I do not wish for any thing more, than I want for my family use. In this way a few peices of Irish linnen and a peice of Russia sheeting together with 2 green silk umbrellas I should be glad of as soon as convenient. If you should have an opportunity from France to send me 3 Marsels cotton and silk quilts I should be very glad; they are like the Jacket patterns you sent me by Charles. I want a white, a Blew and a pink. Mr. Dana sent 3 to Mrs. Dana; I think she said Mr. Bonfeild procured them. I mentiond in a former Letter a few other articles.14 I am going to marry one of my family to a young fellow whom you liberated from jail, a son of Capt. Newcombs, to the Jane Glover who has lived 7 years with me and as she never would receive any wages from me I think { 183 } myself obligated to find her necessaries for house keeping.15 I have been buying land, and my last adventure came to so poor a market, that I am quite broke. My letter is an unreasonable long one, yet I may take an other sheet of paper—not to night however. I will bid you good <night> by.16 I seal this least Mr. Smith should sail before I return. Mean to write more. Have a Letter for Mr. T[haxter].
1. This letter was probably begun before 14 June, and substantially finished before 20 June; see note 8.
2. AA's information was incorrect. On 1 May a congressional committee had reported on a letter from JA to the secretary for foreign affairs, R. R. Livingston, dated 5 Feb. in which he strongly recommended that steps be taken to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain. Struggling to control his distress at Congress' earlier decision (July 1781) to revoke his 1779 commission to negotiate a commercial treaty with Britain, but nonetheless taking the opportunity to wonder about the reason for that loss, JA discussed extensively how such a treaty might be initiated, who might undertake the task, and what the advantages of a treaty would be (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:242–247). The committee responded by recommending that JA, Franklin, and Jay be authorized to enter into a commercial treaty (JCC, 24:320–321, 405, note 1), and JA received a copy of the committee's resolution from Franklin on 7 Sept., which he recorded verbatim in his Diary, and in two different Letterbooks. But Congress never implemented this resolution, and in the fall of 1783 they initiated new measures to settle their diplomatic establishment, which they did not complete until May 1784. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:141–142, and note 2.
3. For a thorough discussion of the effect upon Massachusetts factions of Congress' commutation of officers' pay, see Van Beck Hall, Politics without Parties: Massachusetts, 1780–1791, Pittsburgh, 1972, p. 152–158.
4. The Amphictionic League of city-states in central Greece existed throughout the classical period and centered on the temple of Apollo at Delphi. At first primarily religious in nature, the League occasionally exercised real political power. As a confederation of representatives from several sovereign states, however, the League was never able to sustain its unity or power over long periods. Theseus, from a much earlier period of Greek history, was the presumably mythical hero who united the several communities of Attica into the powerful city-state of Athens. Oxford Classical Dictionary.
This passage is the first extant expression of AA's concern that if the states did not support Congress' settlement with the recently disbanded Continental Army (“the Lion”), a “Theseus” (George Washington or another military leader) might lead the discontented forces to destroy the American confederation of free sovereign states. Other expressions of fear and distrust of the Army, and particularly of its officers, appear in letters by AA and JA beginning in 1784, below. In those letters the immediate object of the Adams' criticisms was the newly formed Society of the Cincinnati.
5. In 1779 Thomas Brattle, who had left Massachusetts in 1775, returned from Europe to New York and then to Rhode Island, but was denied permission to return to his home in Massachusetts on the grounds that he was a loyalist refugee, even though JA had written a letter on his behalf (to Oliver Wendell, 14 Nov. 1779, JA, Papers, 8:289). Staying in Rhode Island, he gave evidence of his patriotism by serving on the staff of Gen. James M. Varnum and by performing services for the French forces. In the spring of 1783 Brattle once more sought permission to return to his home state, but Massachusetts' House of Representatives rejected his petition by a vote of 52 to 51 (see John Thaxter to JA, 12 Aug., Adams Papers). Brattle finally won back his citizenship and property through court action.
The new House of Representatives that assembled at the end of May 1783, considerably larger than its predecessor, had 135 new faces. Of the 51 representatives that had voted for Brattle, 28 were replaced or resigned, while 37 of the 52 who voted against Brattle returned to office. While AA exaggerates the connection between the vote on Brattle and { 184 } the membership of the new House, she may have thought that several of the 28 who voted for Brattle and were replaced were particularly “able and skillful Members” of the legislature. Independent Chronicle, 6 March 1783; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:568–572; membership lists for 1782–1783 and 1783–1784, Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass. A.1b, Reel No. 10, Unit 3, p. 1–9; Reel No. 11, Unit 1, p. 1–9).
6. Eight of the thirty nine senators elected in 1782 were not listed in the records of the 1783 election. One other senator, Caleb Strong of Northampton, declined to serve after being elected (Records of the States, A.1a, Reel 16, Unit 1, p. 4–11; Unit 2, p. 5–9, 20).
7. On Massachusetts' impost and excise taxes, see Hall, Politics without Parties, p. 111–112 and references there.
8. This sentence indicates that the foregoing paragraphs were written before 14 June, when AA wrote to Royall Tyler, above, and quoted JA's letter of 28 March, also above.
9. In all of his editions of AA's Letters (1840, 1841, 1848), CFA omitted virtually the entire text after this point, up to the close: “I will bid you good night.” The only material that he included, in any editions, is marked at note 13.
10. See AA to JA, 30 Dec. 1782, above.
11. See JA to AA, 22 Jan., above.
12. Royall Tyler boarded with Richard and Mary Cranch, AA's brother-in-law and sister.
13. In his 1841 and 1848 editions of AA's Letters, CFA included the passage from “My dear John” to “I want to receive a Letter from him.” He omitted this passage from AA, Letters, 1840.
14. Probably that of 7 May, above, at note 5.
15. Bryant Newcomb and Jane Glover formally announced their intention to marry on 2 Aug. (Braintree Town Records, p. 885). On JA's role in freeing Bryant Newcomb from Mill Prison in Plymouth, England, where he and other Braintree residents were being held as prisoners of war, see vol. 4:257, 259–261, note 3.
16. The remainder of the text was written in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0103

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-24

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I receiv'd some days agone two setts of the 3d. and 4th. volumes of the Politique Hollandais, from Mr. Cerisier.1 I suppose your intention is to have them bound in the same manner as the 2. first, and shall therefore have it done.
I have been obliged to borrow a Suetonius. Please to let me know if you chuse I should Purchase one. There is an edition with the Commentaries of Ernesti which I believe would be the best.2
We have had no news about the Peace this long while: it seems it goes on but slowly. Tis said hostilities have commenced between the Russians and the Turks. Mr. van Berkel left Rotterdam, yesterday was a week and will probably sail within these two or three Days.

[salute] I am your Dutiful Son

[signed] J. Q. Adams
My best respects if you please to Messrs. Thaxter and Storer.
1. Antoine Marie Cerisier was publisher of Le politique hollandais, a pro-American journal that appeared weekly in Amsterdam. Four bound volumes are preserved in JA's library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. Probably Suetonius, Opera ex recensione et cum animadversionibus, ed. J. A. Ernesti, 2d edn. rev., Leipzig, 1775. This work is in MQA.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0104

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-06-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Frind

No Letters from you Since last December. Write by the Way of England Holland, France Spain all the Winds of Heaven. You may desire Mr. Storer to inclose your Letters to the Care of his Connections in London.1 Letters come now by that Way very well.
I know not when I shall see you. I begin to fear it will not be, till next year. Yet I am in constant hopes every Moment of receiving from Congress my Quietus. If it comes I shall embark in September, October or November. But whether from France, Holland or England I know not. The Uncertainty in which We are left is cruel. We have no Information of the sentiments of Congress upon the Peace, nor any Intimation of their Pleasure for the future.
My dear Daughter and my brave Boys, what would I give to see them and how much more their Mamma. John is translating Suetonius and Virgil into French at the Hague. He says very gravely it is more convenient to him to turn them into French than English. This is not pleasing to me, who still love the English Language better than the French.
We dont yet know whether you are angry with Us for making Peace, or what you think of Us.

[salute] Yours forever

[signed] J.A
1. Probably Ebenezer Storer's daughter Elizabeth and her husband, John Atkinson, whom the Adamses would see often in London in 1785.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0105

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-26

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

Your most esteemed Favour of the 15th. of December came safe to hand, for which I heartily thank you. I have also been favour'd with the sight of several of your other Letters, particularly one to Uncle Smith about the Fishery;1 and I got liberty from him to let some of your Essex Friends have a sight of it, particularly your Friend and Class-mate Mr. Dalton (the Speaker) and some other Members of the Fishing Towns.2 They are very highly gratified with the Honour you do them in saying that “for the rest of your Days you shall consider your self as a Marblehead or Cape-Ann Man.” I am perswaded that something higher than the “Freedom of their Cities in { 186 } a Box of Heart of Oak, or the Quintal of dumb Fish” that you humourously mention for your Lady, is very seriously tho't of by them; and, as I think, by the People at large. I think it is the general Wish that He whose great Talents in Negotiation (under God) have given us Peace, and whose unshaken Firmness has caused our “Independance to be Independant,” should be our first Magistrate. Holland in the American Scale, and in consequence thereof a Treaty enter'd on. An unrestrained Fishery obtained. Boundaries of Territory so ample, that we could scarcely in Idea comprehend their Extent and future Advantages. All these and a thousand other publick Benefits, we think ourselves indebted for, to your Virtue, great Abilities and indefatigable Application in favour of your Country.
But the Tories—there's the Pinch. The Spirit runs very high here at present against letting any one of the Absentees return. I wish to be informed by you whether any of the Articles of Novr. 30th. 1782 respecting those Persons were understood by the contracting Parties as being any thing more than meerly recommendatory, and which of them (if any such there be) are to be considered by the States as absolutely binding. I will endeavour to explain my self. If, for instance, the Estate of A (an Absentee) had bean confiscated and sold before the Treaty was Signed; the Restitution of such an Estate to the former Owner, would rest only on the Recommendation of Congress, according to the 5th. Article,3 which Recommendation, I conceive, may or may not be comply'd with by the State where the Estate lies; and therefore it would be uncertain to A whether his Estate should ever be restored to him or not. But if B, another Absentee in the same Predicament as the former, has been so lucky as not to have had his Estate libelled or prosecution commenced against it until after the signing of the Treaty; He, if the 6th. Article4 be considered as absolutely binding on the States, seems to me to be secured from any future Prosecution or Confiscation of his Property. So that A may loose his Estate, because the Restitution of it, according to the 5th. Article, is meerly recommendatory, and may not be comply'd with by the Government of the State where the Estate lies: while B, on the contrary will be secure from loosing his Estate because by the 6th Article (if that is absolutely binding on the several States) it is stipulated that no further Prosecutions shall commence against any Person on account of the Part he has taken in the War. These are difficulties that we would wish to have solved, and we should be glad to know from you in what latitude we are to take the sense of the { 187 } 5th. and 6th. Articles respecting the Restitution of the Absentee's Estates, their Return &c.
Our very worthy Friend, the Honble. Cotton Tufts Esqr., is of the Senate this Year, and is now here (the General Court being sitting). I expect he will write to You and Mr. Thaxter more fully on Publick Affairs, and to his Letters I must referr you. We shall send the present Pacquet by Cousin William Smith who will sail in a few Days for London, and I hope he will have the happiness of seeing you and our worthy Friends Thaxter and Storer before he returns; and particularly our young Northern Envoy, who before this time, I hope, is happily return'd to you. We all long to see and embrace him here.
Our dear Boys, Charles Tommy and Billy, are all at Haverhill at present under the Tuition of Brother Shaw, who, with our excellent Sister, will take the best Care both of their Learning and Morals. Your Lady and Daughter and my Betsy are gone to pay them a Visit. I heard from them last Saturday, when they were all well.
We have lately heard from N: Hampshire of the Death of your aged and truly venerable Uncle the Revd. Mr. Adams of Newington.5 I have been informed that the last Sermon he ever preach'd was a Thanksgiving Sermon on the Peace, in which he express'd his great satisfaction at having lived to see that great Event take place (he being then, if I mistake not; about 96 or 97 Years of age) and more especially on considering the firm and decisive Part that One of his own Blood and Family had born in bringing about that glorious Period.
Your Mother and Brother and his Children are well. Uncle Quincy is not very well. Father Smith, Coll. Thaxter and Family, and all our near Connections are as well as usual. Poor Mr. Crosby the Preacher is dead: he died lately of a Consumption, his Wife died about a Year ago and his Infant Child. There is only one Child, a little Girl, remaining.6
We are all longing for the happy Day when the great Publick will so far release you as to give your particular Friends and Relatives an Oportunity of personally congratulating the Father of their Country and the Friend of Mankind. In which no one will join with more sincerity or warmer Gratitude than your ever affectionate
[signed] Brother Richard Cranch
P.S. My dear Wife and Children join with me in our best Wishes for your Health and Safety, beging that you would present our kindest Regards to your amiable Son, if return'd, and to our worthy and very { 188 } esteemed Friends Thaxter and Storer. I intend to write to Mr. Thaxter by this Oportunity if possible.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister for the United States of America, at Paris”; endorsed: “Mr. Cranch. 26. June 1783 ansd. 10. Septr.”
1. JA to Isaac Smith Sr., 15 Dec. 1782 (MHi: Cranch Family Papers).
2. Tristram Dalton represented his native town, Newburyport (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578).
3. See AA to JA, 28 April, note 7, above.
4. Art. 6 begins, “That there shall be no future Confiscations made, nor any prosecutions commenced against any Person or Persons, for or by reason of the Part which he or they may have taken in the present War” (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:99).
5. Rev. Joseph Adams, older brother of JA's father, who died on 20 May at the age of ninety-five (A. N. Adams, Geneal. Hist. of Henry Adams of Braintree, p. 394).
6. Joseph Crosby, Harvard 1772, son of Maj. Joseph Crosby of Braintree, and brother-in-law of Peter Boylston Adams, JA's brother, died on 28 May. His wife Betsey had died on 28 July 1782. His surviving daughter, Elizabeth Anne, later married Boylston Adams, JA's nephew and her first cousin (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:52; 3:277; MH-Ar; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 156; New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 30:8).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0106

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-30

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I wrote you a Letter a fortnight ago1 to send per this opportunity, but meeting with the Consul in Boston,2 he informd me, that the America would sail in a few days. I gave it to him and hope it has reachd you as he promised a particular attention to it. Mr. Smith will be the Bearer of this; I need not ask your particular attention to him. He is most worthy and Good, Benevolent and kind, Generous to his Friends and connections who stand in need of his assistance; he has been industerous and successfull in Buisness, and is untainted by the vices of the age. Yet with all these virtues and accomplishments he has not found Success among the Fair. Why? Because he has not address.3 I know not any other reason. He can inform you of our little excursion to Haverhill where he was kind enough to accompany me, on a visit to my sister and our two dear Boys, whom I found well pleased with their Situation. I tarried with them 8 days. Whilst I was there, Charles whose constitution is exceedingly delicate was seazd with a pluratick disorder. Giving him an Emetick and attending immediately to him, he so far recoverd as to be able to ride home with me, to which the doctor advised. And it was of so much service to him, that I hope he will be able to return to his studies in a week or ten days. The weather was so extreemly hot, and the fatigue of my journey, has so enfeabled me that I scarcly know how to hold my pen.
The Country looks well, and the season is promising, tho rather { 189 } dry. But I never shall take a journey which will be truly pleasent to me, unaccompanied by my Friend. And yet how few in the course of 19 years that we have been connected, have we taken together? Tho your life has been one continued Scene of journeying, in the early part of my Life, Maternal duties prevented my accompanying you, and in the Later the Stormy Scenes of war. Few persons who so well Love demestick Life as my Friend; have been calld, for so long a period, to relinquish the enjoyment of it; yet like the needle to the pole, you invariably turn towards it, as the only point where you have fixed your happiness. It is this belief which has supported me thus far through the voyage, but alass how often have I felt the want of my pilot, obliged “to act my little part alone.” I cannot say with Dyanthe4 that I wished not for my associate. And is the time near at hand, when Heaven will again bless us in the Society of each other? I would fain flatter myself that it is. O! May we taste, may we drink of the cup of happiness without one alloy, and be as blest as we can bear, “all Various Nature pressing on the Heart.” Thus let us retire into ourselves, and rejoice in the purity of our affections, the simplicity of our manners and the Rectitude of our Hearts, for without an ostentatious boast we may claim them all.

“And that which nothing Earthly gives, or can distroy

The Souls calm Sunshine, and the Heartfelt joy.”5

But from this picture of domestick felicity shall I reverse the Medal and shew you a political state of discontent, jealousy, and rangling. The Stormy Scenes of war have subsided—but in lieu of them, what have we—a Legislature composed of wise Heads, and skillfull hands—by their deeds shall ye know them.

“In parts Superiour what advantage lies?

tell (for you can) what is it to be wise?

Tis but to know how little can be known;

To see all others faults, and feel our own

Condemn'd in bus'ness or in arts to drudge

Without a second, or without a judge

Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land

All fear, none aid you, and few understand.”6

By the best information I can obtain few of these superiour parts are like to become troublesome to our Legislators the present year. In my last I gave you some account of them, and the principal upon which many of them were Elected. Last week came on the choice of { 190 } delegates for Congress, and every Member who composed the last,7 was left out. They even went so far, as to propose recalling them immediately; and voting that they should never be again chosen. Here I believe they exceeded the bounds of the constitution, and the limits of Reason. So high does the spirit run against commutation to the Army. Connecticut I hear has voted their Army one years pay, and Road Island were doing something of the kind.8 All seem determined to act contrary to the Resolve of Congress. The Army are disbanding fast, without a six pence to bear their expences home; and live upon the kindness of the people. The New Members chosen for Congress are our Friend Mr. Gerry, who is gone on, Mr. Dalton your old Friend, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Danilson, Judge Sullivan. I have engaged our Friend Dr. Tufts to write you fully upon political matters.9 He will give you much better information than I am able to; yet I cautiond him not to coulour even to the Life, least you should reluct at the Idea of a return to us. Yet no one has experienced a larger share of the turbulent scenes of political Life than my Friend, or steared through them with more honour and reputation. I heed not the little sarcastick reflextions of Reviewers, Magazine writers or News paper scriblers and rather consider it as a compliment, than a reflextion, that they should have nothing to offer against my Friend, but that he was not nobly descended. Mean are those arts indeed which would derogate from the Merit of a Man, upon account of the honest occupation of his parents. The truly noble mind spurns the Idea.

“Honour and shame from no condition rise

Act well your part, there all the Honour lies.

What can ennoble sots or slaves or cowards?

Alass! not all the Blood of all the Howards.”10

I hope my dear John is with you. I long to hear from him, much more to see him. I shall expect you by September. Do not delay it till late in the year. I shall continue writing to you untill you tell me You are about to embark. Continue to Frank your letters, if they catch one without they make me pay enormously. I Sent per the America a little invoice of a few articles.11 As there is little hazard of the loss of the Letter, I do not think it worth repeating. Our Friends are all well and desire to be affectionately rememberd to you. I call upon Nabby to write you and suppose she will. Adieu—and believe me most sincerely when I echo back, the most pleasing attestation of my Friend, Yours entirely and forever,
[signed] Portia
{ 191 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Royall Tyler: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America. at Paris”; endorsed: “Portia. 30. June 1783”; docketed in a later hand: “Family Letter.”
1. That of 20 June, above, which was probably largely written well before that date (see note 8 to that letter).
2. Philippe André Joseph de Létombe, French consul general to the United States, 1781–1792 (Abraham P. Nasatir and Gary Elwyn Monell, French Consuls in the United States, Washington, 1967, p. 563).
3. Either a dutiful and courteous approach in courtship or a general presentation or bearing (OED).
4. Perhaps the Roman goddess Diana, usually thought of as virginal.
5. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, epistle IV, lines 167–168.
6. Same, lines 259–266.
7. Those dropped were Nathaniel Gorham, Samuel Osgood, Stephen Higginson, and Samuel Holten, all of whom voted for commutation (JCC, 24:210). In the first vote for new congressmen on 27 June, Elbridge Gerry received by far the highest number of votes cast jointly by the two legislative houses—141 out of 145—and 101 legislators supported Tristram Dalton. No other candidates won a majority of the votes on this first day. The next day, George Partridge, James Sullivan, and Timothy Danielson were chosen, but only after the first tallies were rejected for irregularities. Dalton declined his election, and Samuel Osgood was chosen on 9 July by a vote of 79 out of 142, a rather slim majority. Sullivan never attended Congress and resigned in Feb. 1784, to be replaced by Francis Dana, who was elected unanimously. Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass., A.1b, Reel 11, Unit 1, p. 130, 132–133, 161, 341, 375; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:lxviii, lxix.
8. See Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 June (Adams Papers).
9. Same.
10. Pope, Essay on Man, epistle IV, lines 193–194 and 215–216.
11. No separate “invoice” enclosed with AA to JA, 20 June, above, has been found, but see the items that AA lists in that letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1783-07-01

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My Dear Sir

Mr. Smith is at last about to leave us. I cannot in conscience omit so good an opportunity of writing, altho I hope you will be here almost as soon as he arrives abroad. He expects to sail the Next day after tomorrow which will be the 3d. of july. He went from here this morning, not a little dissapointed that he was to go abroad without me, as he politely expresst the pleasure he had anticipated in accompanying my Ladyship and daughter abroad. Few young Gentlemen have gone from hence with a worthyer character than Mr. Smith possesses, and he will do honour to his Country, where ever he resides. If he has not all those Brilliant accomplishments which distinguish some who are favorites of the Fair, he has all those virtues of the Heart which endear him to his Friends, and will render him respectable among the worthy of every Country. He “that commends an other,” Says the Spectator, “engages so much of his own Reputation as he gives to the person commended.”1 I can safely trust mine upon the Established character of this Gentleman. He can inform you of every thing respecting us, which you wish to know. He can { 192 } tell you that your Fair American, and many other Fair Americans, are still Single, tho he has made some efforts to lesson the Number, but in spight of him, they will continue blind to their own Interest.
I scarcly know what to entertain you with, in return for the many kind, and repeated favours You have of late obliged me with. Politicks—I think you must be surfeited with them. Shall I talk of my self and contrast my simple manners; and republican stile of Life, with the pagentry, Splendour, and courtly Life you are necessatated to endure. As a novelty, it may please for a time, but I dare say you have seen enough of the painted greatness to discern the daubing, and to prefer the Native Beauties, and comparitively Simple, Rustick, and plain manners of America, to the more Luxurious and refined Manners of European Courts.
You have drawn a very agreable picture of your American party.2 I should have been happy to have made one of the number, but now think it improbable that I shall ever visit Europe. I sometimes think the pleasentest days of my life are past, I have slided on in the absence of my Friend, with few enviers, because I stept not out of the path in which I had been accustomed to walk, nor sought to vie with the Beau Mond. I mixed not with the frequenters of the Ball or assembly room, and I extended not my acquaintance amongst the polite and fashionable circle of the present day, but convinced that the Honour, and Reputation of a Lady in the absence of her Husband, was necessaryly connected with retirement, I followed my own inclination, and gratified my taste; by associateing only with a seele[c]t number of Friends whose manners and taste, corresponded with my own, and from whose converse and society, I could reap profit and entertainment. Large mixed companies, are not calculated for true Social converse. It is an observation of Rochfoucaults that a company to be truly agreable should not consist of more than the number of the Muses, nor less than the Graces.3
I presume he meant to except Lovers, who you know are all the World to each other, and to whom the company of a third person is dissagreable, or if it is not it is seldom fit that a third person should be witness, to what they cannot be actors in, for if I recollect aright, there are a thousand little tendernesses, which pass between persons of this character, which can make no one but themselves happy.
But to return to my subject, I foresee a different scene of Life opening before me, I see my Friend still connected with publick life in his own Country, and probably in a situation which will create envy { 193 } in the Breasts of some and Calumny in the mouths of thousands, himself his wife his children will all be scrutinized with an Eye of jealousy. I shall become a spectator of a thousand anxious cares, and tormenting perplexities, of which I have heitherto only heard—at least there is a strong probability that this may be the case. I have no reason to think that my Friend would be permitted to retire from publick life, whilst his active powers can be of any service to his Country. A State of inactivity was never meant for Man; Love and the desire of glory as they are the most natural, are capable of being refined into the most delicate and rational passions.4 That Ambition which in the mind of Alexander became a scourge to mankind, in an Alfred and Augustus would have been employed for the benifit of their fellow Mortals.5

“Reason the bias turns to good, from ill.

And Nero reigns a Titus if he will

The fiery Soul abhorr'd in Cataline

In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine

The same ambition can distroy or save

And makes a patriot, as it makes a knave.”6

Remember me kindly to Mr. Storer, tell him I mark him as one of those Genious'es capable of being eminently serviceable to mankind. There is a large tax upon his merit I expect he always pays, in solid coin, even without alloy. Accept my kindest wishes for your Health and prosperity. And believe that no one is more sincerely Interested in the safety of your return to your native Land, than Your Sincerely affectionate
[signed] Friend Portia
RC (MB); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams 1. July 1783.” Dft (Adams Papers). Substantial material in the Dft that is not in the RC is noted below.
1. Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, The Spectator, No. 188, 5 Oct. 1711.
2. Thaxter's letter to AA of 19 Nov. 1782, above.
3. That is, between three (the Graces) and nine (the Muses).
4. The passage following the semi-colon, to the end of the sentence, was substituted for this long passage in the draft:
“. . . and he is truly unhappy who has nothing further to hope. If mankind were divested of those two great active principals hope and fear, an unmanly indolence and security would unfit him for all the social and relative duties of life.
“'Strength of mind is exercise not rest' (Pope, An Essay on Man, epistle II, line 104). It is storied of Domitian that after he had possessd him self of the Roman empire, his desires turned upon catching flies. Tho this was a <more laudible> less criminal persuit than many in which he had been engaged, those Qualities which made him a conquerer might have been more honorably employed.”
5. The draft concludes as follows: “He is the truly noble minded man whose enlarged { 194 } soul can embrace the whole Humane Race, who is charmed alone with that applause which is the Fair attendant of virtue.
“But whither does my fancy lead me? If I had Eugenio['s] pen I might fill six pages with one impertinance, but to tell you the real truth, we have been scorching under the torid Sone for ten days past, and it has enervated [and] enfeabled every faculty of my mind.”
6. Pope, Essay on Man, epistle II, lines 197–202.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0108

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1783-07-01

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

Every moment of my time has been employd since we got home,1 in writing to my friends abroad, to forward by Mr. Smith who sails a thursday—that I have not had any opportunity to give you my dear Eliza an account of our return home. Twas disagreeable enough I assure you—the day was very warm. However we got to Wymans to dine.2 There we stay'd till five in the afternoon. Went to Mr. Brooks3 and drank tea—and intented to have lodged at Mrs. Danas. When we got there we found that Mrs. D. was gone to Hingam and no body to see us at home. There was too many to go to Mrs. Winthrops,4 and twas not best to go back to Mr. Bro[oks]. Our horses went very well, we were very much fatigued. Twas likely it would be as warm the next day as it had been for some time. However we set of for Braintree after sunset from Cambridge—and arrived at our own door at one a clock in the morning—as tired as I ever wish to be. Charles bore the fatigue of the day as well as any of us. We are all alive and well after it.
You will perceive that a few days have elapsed since I began this and that I have changed my place of residence. Thursday [Friday] the fourth of july an oration was delivered by Dr. Warren.5 Mamma and your friend came into Town. Mammas political sentiments induced her to come. Indeed I cannot trace to any particular course my accompanying her—except inclination. I followed its dictates as you see, and shall not return till after commencement.6 A fryday I received a quarter of a sheet from you, one side only filled. I have thought to return line for line—but my disposition to communicate is ever so great, that I cannot withstand my inclination to intrude upon your patience a very long letter. This disquallifying speach will answer for the Whole, will it not?—or must I make more apologyes for the liberty I am going to take.
Mr. Smith went on board this afternoon—ah—he looked a kind { 195 } farewell to me. It has comforted me all this warm afternoon. I prevailed upon myself to go to meeting—least my absence should be noticed. However I sincerely wish him an agreeable voyage and a safe return with an amiable agreeable Wife—as good a wish as ever existed in the most benevolent mind—say, is it not.
How does my Dear Aunt Shaw—does she not intend to write to me. I should esteem it as a particular favour—assure her.—A peice of news Miss Betsy Cranch—Mr. Hary Otis7 is very sorry Miss Cranch is not to be at commencement. He expressed his disappointment in a very striking manner—my words will not do it justice.
A sweet letter from Sally Bromfeild8—containing more sentiment than I ever wrote in my life.—After trifling so long permit me to inquire after the health and happiness of my Cousin—each I hope attend you. May you long continue to experience the happy affects of their presense—is the sincere and ardent wish of your friend and Cousin.
Another hour shall not pass my Dear Eliza ere I close a letter to you, some little engagements have prevented me since sunday, or rather I have not felt in a disposition to write. Not one idea has passt my mind that would appear well upon paper. I past the afternoon yesterday with Betsy Mayhew.9 She has a most strange facinating power over me—I cannot account for it. I only know by experience that it is most true, and, I lament it. I was not so happy as to see the little Dr.10 I spent an agreeable afternoon. I must conclude a very dull letter—and if it will give you pleasure, assure you that I will attempt to say something that may afford you entertainment in my next,—if it is possibly in my power. Make my respects and love acceptable to all who remember with regard esteem and affection your friend
[signed] Amelia
Your pappa came to town yesterday and is well.
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers).
1. AA2 and AA had been visiting the Shaws in Haverhill. They brought the ailing CA home to Braintree for a brief vacation.
2. “Wymans” has not been identified, but may have been a tavern in Woburn, a town on the route from Haverhill to Cambridge. Wymans were numerous in Woburn, where they had intermarried with the Fowles, to whom AA was related. See NEHGR, indexes.
3. Thomas Brooks of Medford, whose second wife was Mercy Tufts, sister of Dr. Cotton Tufts (NEHGR, 51:303 [July 1897]).
4. Hannah Winthrop of Cambridge, widow of Prof. John Winthrop who had died in 1779 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:262–263).
5. John Warren, An Oration, Delivered July 4th, 1783, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, Boston, 1783. Dr. John { 196 } Warren was the youngest brother of Dr. Joseph Warren, the patriot. In 1783 Boston inaugurated the Independence Day address as a substitute for the annual oration commemorating the Boston Massacre, of which Dr. Joseph Warren had delivered the first, in 1772. The younger Dr. Warren's oration culminated in a paean to the preliminary peace concluded at Paris in November (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:515–516; 17:666–667). For a comment on his performance, see Cotton Tufts to JA, 5 July, below.
6. On AA2's attendance at Harvard commencement, see her letter to Elizabeth Cranch of 17 July (Adams Papers).
7. Harrison Gray Otis, a graduating senior.
8. Letter not found. The author was probably Sarah Bromfield, daughter of Margaret and Henry, who married Prof. Eliphalet Pearson in 1785 (NEHGR, 26:38–39 [Jan. 1872], 142 [Apr. 1872]).
9. AA2 first mentions Elizabeth, daughter of Elizabeth Clarke and Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, in Oct. 1779 (vol. 3:223), but she already knew her well and admired her. Elizabeth Mayhew later married Peter Wainwright (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:469; Charles Edward Banks, The History of Martha's Vineyard, 3 vols., Boston and Edgartown, Mass., 1911–1925, 3:314).
10. “The little Dr.” has not been identified; see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 20 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0109

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1783-07-01

Abigail Adams 2d to John Thaxter

On my return from a little excursion to Hingham some time since, I was presented with a letter from you.1 It pleased me and I felt quite in the spirit of answering it at the time, but there was no opportunity of conveyance, and I have so long delayed writing, that the genious which presided over my mind at that time, has fled and my thoughts have all wandered from my intention, my ideas are all afloat, twill take some time at least to collect them. When all this is necessary to be done, tis rather a task than a pleasure, to each, for letters wrote in this disposition of mind are rather dull and insipid, and cannot possibly give much pleasure. My pen is bar'd against apologizes, never again will it write one on any occation, you must not attribute any thing to the score of my vanity.
Mr. Smith sails for England next Thursday, I could not let so good an opportunity escape me. Of him you will have an opportunity of makeing very particular inquire's after all your friends in America. The Peace which I hoped would have forwarded the communication between America and Europe, seems to have retarded it and closed all prospects of hearing from you. Vessells dayly and almost hourly arrive, but we receive no letters. This is doubly mortifying. I have wrote you lately by every opportunity that has presented, I hope you will receive my letters as they will show you that I am very punctual.2 But I am almost discouraged for I receive no returns. I shall very soon exhaust all my writable subjects and necessity will oblige me to lay my pen aside.
We are anxiously waiting in expectation of hearing particularly { 197 } from my Brother John. I hope he is with you long before this time. We are quite impatient to see him. It seems as if he was lost to his American friends, he is very deficient in writing to us. I fancy tis not the custom in Rusia to write letters.3 This is the best excuse that I can furnish him with, to be unmindfull of his nearest friends is unpardonable but I will not tax him too severely with inattention. I hope however that he will be induced to give us some proof of his remembrance.
Shall I tell you Sir that I have half a mind to be affronted with you. I rather think I shall defer the matter till you have an opportunity of explaining yourself. This is a method that I never have recource to unless I can reap some advantage, and indeed I do not see any that can occur in this case, so I'll defer the matter till I see you.
When are we to expect this pleasure? In your last letter you mention nothing of the matter. You have so often disappointed our expectations, I suppose you mean to take us by surprize, and so have avoided saying any thing about it. I think tis the best way. I dislike these premeditated partings or returns. They heighten our painfull sensations, and do not increase our pleasureable ones.
We hope to hear from you all soon. Do not cease to write me, but while you continue abroad permit me to ask you to continue to favour with your correspondence one who is ever happy to hear from you and who subscribes herself your friend
[signed] Amelia
RC (Private owner, Boston, 1957); addressed: “Mr. John Thaxter. Paris”; endorsed: “Amelia 1. July 1783.”
1. Not found. Thaxter's only extant letter to AA2 is dated 25 Aug. 1781 (vol. 4:198–200).
2. AA2's most recent extant letter to Thaxter was that of 27 April, above.
3. JQA's most recent letters to Braintree, and his only extant letters sent to America from Russia, were to AA, 23 Oct. 1781, and to Elizabeth Cranch, 17 March 1782 (vol. 4:233–234, 297–299). See JQA to AA, 23 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0110

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-03

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I can tell you nothing with Certainty when the Peace will be finished. I hope it will not be long.
You may purchase a Suetonius, provided you intend to make a good Use of it.1
I long to See you, but can as yet form no Judgment when I shall have that Pleasure. We have no News from Congress, a Neglect which is to the last degree astonishing and inexplicable.
{ 198 }
Do you find any Society at the Hague? The Family2 where you are is good Company but have you any other?
I want your Company very much, for the Time hangs heavily upon me very often. Your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
1. See JQA to JA, 24 June, above.
2. Of C. W. F. Dumas.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Not a Line from you since December. Congress has not cutt off our heads for making Peace, and that is some Comfort. I am not in health and dont expect to be, untill I can get home. But when will this be? We are all at as great Uncertainty as We have been these six Months. Yet one should think it cannot be long before the Treaty is finished. You must not cease to write to me, untill I arrive at your Door. Write by England Holland France. The Letters will find their Way. Write decently and then I dont care if they open your Letters, at present.
My Duty to my Mother and Father,1 Brothers and sisters, Unkles and Aunts, Sons and Daughter, Cousins and all the rest.
I am very angry with my Freinds in Mass. They neglect me most Shamefully. I wrote them a Multitude of Letters from the Hague last summer and again from Paris last Winter, and have no answer from any one, but a friendly Letter from Mr. Dalton of Newbury Port.2 I Suppose they are afraid to write me. Fine indeed. I should have excepted a Letter or two from Gen. Warren. I cant learn whether he is in Congress or not.3 He will receive some long Letters from me.4 Pray him to be very cautious of them. Neither they nor I can do any good in the present Circumstances.
Dr. Franklin gives out very seriously that he must return and he has been lately more than commonly Smooth and gracious. I know not what his Intentions are.
Receiving no Answers to publick or private Letters that We know have been received is very painfull. And the long Uncertainty about every thing is enough to kill one. All but me are pretty well. Adieu.
1. That is, JA's mother and AA's father. In the same way, JA uses “Brothers and sisters” to include AA's two brothers-in-law as well as his own brother, and AA's two sisters (he had no sister).
2. Tristram Dalton had written on 26 April { 199 } (Adams Papers). Samuel Adams had last written to JA on [ante 2 March 1782] (Adams Papers), and Elbridge Gerry had not written since July 1781 (MHi: Gerry-Knight Coll.), although JA had written to Adams on 15 June and 19 Aug. 1782 (NN: George Bancroft Coll.), and to Gerry on 2 July, 19 Aug., and 14 Dec. 1782 (ICN; MHi: Gerry II Papers; CtY: Franklin Papers).
3. James Warren had written on 7 Oct., and 1 Nov. 1782, and, so far as the editors know, not again until 24 June 1783 (all in Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:178–179, 181–183, 217–220). Elected to Congress in Oct. 1782, Warren never attended and resigned his seat on 4 June (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:lxix). Without mentioning his resignation, Warren told JA in his 24 June letter that he had not attended because he had “been sick the whole Spring, and dare not Venture to go at this Season.” See AA to JA, 13 Nov. 1782, note 3, above.
4. JA had written unusually long letters on 20 and 21 March, and 13 April, and shorter ones on 9, 12, and 16 April, but in his letter to JA of 24 June (Adams Papers), Warren listed JA's letter of 15 Dec. 1782 as the last that he had received. All of these JA letters are in MHi: Warren-Adams Collection, except 9 April (MB), and are printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 2:190–199, 205–215 217–220, with that of 9 April printed from LbC, Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0112

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had for a Fortnight or Three Weeks a Succession of Hot Weather, attended with an unusual Fog, that has been worse for me to bear than were ever the extreamest heats of Philadelphia. My Scorbutic1 Habit is very ill fitted to bear it.
But all this is not so tedious as the mournfull Silence of every Body in America. Not a Line from you or any Body near you Since Christmas. Congress have given Leave to Mr. Laurens and Mr. Dana to go home. My Congé is not yet arrived. Mr. Dana however will not get home this Year as he will have a Treaty to make.2 I am weary to death of the idle tasteless Life I lead. It would be more tolerable to be at the Hague.
At the Hague I should have my Books Papers and Conveniences about me; which would be some Comfort tho no Compensation for the seperation from my Family.
Pray let me know the History of the Affair you mentioned formerly.3 I hope there is an End of it. I hope never to be connected with Frivolity. Youths must Study to make any Thing at the Bar. The Law comes not by Inspiration. An Idler I despise. You will keep this to yourself but I dont like the Affair at all.
My Daughter is very dear to me and need not be in haste to form Frindships. Let her keep her Reserve I say. I wish her Mother had been more so than she has been upon this Occasion.4
My Duty to Father and Mother and Love to the Children. How cruelly I am tormented to be kept thus from you?

[salute] Adieu Adieu Adieu.

{ 200 }
1. Of or related to scurvy (OED).
2. The congressional committee that recommended on 1 April that JA's resignation be accepted made the same recommendation for Henry Laurens and Francis Dana, although it said that Dana should stay if he were engaged in making a treaty with Russia. Congress accepted the report as it pertained to Laurens and Dana, but took no action on JA (JCC, 24:225–227; and see JA to AA, 4 Dec. 1782, note 1, above).
3. Royall Tyler's courtship of AA2; see AA's reply to JA, 19 Oct., below.
4. See JA to AA, 22 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0113

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1783-07-17

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

For these Two days my Dear Eliza, I have been in expectation of hearing from you. Mr. Shaw tells me he brought letters but I have not yet been so happy as to receive any. You see by the date of my letter that the publick occasion brought me to this place to gratify that degree of curiosity that is so universally attributed to our sex, but I do not think that the other sex are deficient by any means. Tis to me an interesting part of a persons character, when directed to proper objects. When it is not it is troublesome to every one.
Here we have had much company. If I had time I would give you a very particular account of myself and all that I have seen and heard for this week past, but at present it is not in my power. We came here a tuesday Eve.1 Mr. Lincoln2 accompanyd us wondrous sivil, Eliza. Yesterday Morn we went to meeting, an amaizeing croud of people, I am quite satisfied with commencement, for this year. I had but a tolerable seat, the company some of it was agreeable to me. Miss E. Q.3 and Miss Leonard. Dr. Dexter and Mr. Guild. But I must not nor can I pursue any other subject till I have given you some idea, if tis in my power, of the bright and blazeing star that has arrived from the South, and engaged the attention of all persons of every rank. She is beautifull as an angell of Light, and accomplishd beyond the description of Human pen. Immagination cannot paint her perfections. Methinks I hear you say what does all this mean, what are you after Amelia. Ill tell you Eliza, it is Miss Betsy Hunter from Newport. She has been in Boston a week, and had there an army of cupids graces and Loves, arrived from some prety castle such as immagination only can form any idea of, they would not been more the subject of admiration. I have heard a particular account of this Lady from Dr. Waterhouse. He does justice to her merit and accomplishments, and from him I have received an agreeable idea of her unbiassed by { 201 } prejudice. And yesterday I had the happiness of being a silent spectator of her charms of person. She is tall and very genteel rather pale a very agreeable dark eye and dark hair beautifull mouth teeth and lips. In fine I think she is very handsome a sweetness in her countenance, which every person is engaged with. But the perfection of her mind are wonderfull, She speaks french and Italian, as well as her native tongue, translate each and writes poetry in both Languages. She has mortified the Boston Girls very much. It would divert you to hear them speak of her.
We dined at Mr. Storers a large company. This Eve Mr. Otis gives a Ball. Your friend is going to accept her invitation, a very general invitation is given. Twill not be in my power, to give you an account of it in this letter. Must defer it till I get setled down in the ould path at home.
I have received an invitation from Miss Dalton to spend a few weeks with them in the Country and Mr. D. is so very urgent that Mamma seems inclined that I should accept it. If I should I shall be in your neighbourhood, and shall wish to go to see you.4
What Eliza will you say to Betsy Lincoln5 after given the preference to a gentleman for near Two years, to doubt her affection. Ought she not to have considered that the whole sex would be stiled inconstant from her conduct, such general asser[t]ions are unjust but they will be made, and not intirely without a cause. Sallys situation is pittyable indeed. I realy feel distress'd for the family. It has wounded their Brother very much, and what must not the parents feell.
Tis time to prepare for the entertainment and amusement of the evening. I do not expect happiness. Tis not a scene that my fancy paints happiness to proceed from by any means. A small circle of sincere friends will not bear a comparison. I very much fear that your letter will be lost. I have not heard of it since your sister gave it to Grandpappa. No secrets I hope Betsy. Adieu. Write me soon. My Love present to all who deserve it and believe me yours sincerely and affectionately
[signed] Amelia
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Haverhill”; endorsed: “July–17–83 AA.”
1. 15 July.
2. Possibly Henry Lincoln of Hingham, Harvard 1786 (History of Hingham, 2:467).
3. Elizabeth Quincy, AA2's Braintree neighbor and distant cousin, who married Benjamin Guild in 1784.
4. “Miss Dalton” was probably Ruth, eldest daughter of Ruth Hooper and Tristram Dalton; she was about two years younger than AA2 (JQA to AA2, 1 Oct. 1785, note 10, { 202 } below). Tristram Dalton's summer home, Spring Hill, was several miles west of Newburyport, on the Merrimac River, and just a few miles east of Haverhill, where Elizabeth Cranch was visiting the Shaws (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:573; and see AA to JA, 21 July, below).
5. Betty, daughter of Elizabeth Whitcomb and Ezekiel Lincoln of Hingham, would marry Samuel Pratt in 1787; AA2 mentions her sister Sally and her only brother, Elisha, below (History of Hingham, 2:467).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0114

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

No Letter from you, yet. I believe I shall Set off Tomorrow or next day, for the Hague, and Shall bring John with me back to Paris in about 3 Weeks. There will be an Interval, before the Signature of the definitive Treaty, and Several publick Concerns oblige me to go to the Hague for a Short time.1 When I get my Son with me, I shall be ready to go to any Place, where I may embark for home, as soon as I get Leave.
I am weary beyond all Expression of waiting in this State of Uncertainty about every Thing. It is at this Moment as uncertain as it was six months ago when the definitive Treaty will be signed. Mr. Laurens and Mr. Dana have leave to go home. Mr. Danas is upon a Condition, however, which is not yet fullfilled so that he will not go home for some time. Dr. Franklin Says he is determined to go home, and Mr. Jay talks of going next Spring.
In Short it is a terrible Life We lead. It wearies out the Patience of Job, and affects the health of Us all.
Mr. Smith writes me2 that Charles and Thomas are gone or were going to Haverhill, under the Care of Mr. Shaw. I approve of this very much. They will learn no Evil there. With them at Haveril, yourself and Miss Nabby and Mr. John with me, I could bear to live in Europe another Year or two. But I cannot live much longer without my Wife and Daughter and I will not. I want two Nurses at least: and I wont have any, at least female ones but my Wife and Daughter.
I tremble too, least a Voyage and change of Climate should alter your health. I dare not wish you in Holland for there my Charles, Mr. Thaxter, My servants and myself were forever Sick. I am half a Mind to come home with the definitive Treaty, and then if Congress dismiss me, well—. If they send me back again I can take you and your Daughter with me. However I can determine upon nothing. I am now afraid We shall not meet till next Spring. I hear, by Word of Mouth that Congress will not determine upon my Resignation till they have received the definitive Treaty. Heaven know when this will { 203 } be. It will be a Mercy to Us all, if they let me come home: for if you and your Daughter come to Europe you will get into your female Imaginations, fantastical Ideas that will never wear out, and will Spoil you both.3
The Question is whether it is possible for a Lady, to be once accustomed to the Dress, Shew &c. of Europe, without having her head turned by it? This is an awfull Problem. If you cannot be Mistress enough of yourself, and be answerable for your Daughter, that you can put on and put off these Fooleries like real Philosophers, I advise you never to come to <your> Europe, but order Your husband home, for this you may depend on, your Residence in Europe will be as uncertain as the Wind. It cannot be depended on for one Year no nor for Six Months. You have Seen two or three very Striking Instances of the Precariousness, of Congress Commissions, in my first, second and third. The Bread that is earned on a Farm is simple but sure. That which depends upon Politicks is as uncertain as they.
You know your Man. He will never be a Slave. He will never cringe. He will never accommodate his Principles, sentiments or Systems, to keep a Place, or to get a Place, no nor to please <his Wife> his Daughter, or his Wife. He will never depart from his Honour, his Duty, no nor his honest Pride for Coaches, Tables, Gold, Power or Glory. Take the Consequences then. Take a Voyage to Europe if the Case should so happen that I shall write to you to come live three Months. Let your Man See something in a different Light from his Masters, and give them offence, be recalled. You and he return back to the Blue Hills, to live upon a Farm. Very good. Let Lyars and slanderers without any of this, write Reports and nourish Factions behind his back, and the same effect is produced. I repeat it. It will be a Blessing to Us all, if I am permitted to return.
Be cautious my Friend, how you Speak upon these subjects. I know that Congress are bound, from regard to their own honour as well as mine, to send me to England, but it is the most difficult Mission in the Universe, and the most desperate, there is no Reputation to be got by it, but a great deal to be lost. It is the most expensive and extravagant Place in Europe, and all that would be allowed would not enable one to live, as a set of insolent Spendthrifts would demand. I am quite content to come home and go to Farming, be a select Man, and owe no Man any Thing but good Will. There I can get a little health and teach my Boys to be Lawyers.
I hope New York and Penobscot will be evacuated before this reaches you. That will be some Comfort. You must pray Mr. Storer { 204 } or your Unkle Smith to send Your Letters to me, by Way of New York Philadelphia, London Bilbao, Holland France or any way. If they inclose them to any of their Friends in London they will get to me.

[salute] Farewell, my dearest Friend Farewell.

1. Thomas Barclay, the American consul general in France, had just told JA that he (Barclay) and Matthew Ridley, an agent for Maryland who was seeking a European loan, were authorized to adjust “all the accounts which the United States have in Europe.” JA explained to Barclay that he needed to obtain his papers at The Hague to render his accounts (JQA, Diary, 1:181, and notes 2 and 3; Barclay to JA, 8 July, and JA to Barclay, 9 July, LbC, both Adams Papers). To Robert Livingston, JA explained that he was going to The Hague to improve his health and to “endeavor to assist the loan” sought by the United States from Holland (18 July, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:560–562).
2. This letter, presumably from Isaac Smith Sr., has not been found.
3. This sentence was squeezed into the space before JA's original last paragraph (“I hope New York . . .”), and a mark following the inserted sentence indicates that the following three paragraphs, beginning “The Question is whether . . .,” although written below JA's close, were also intended to precede “I hope New York . . . .”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0115

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-07-18

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

The Bearer Mr. Benjamin Austin is a Son of the Honble. Benjamin Austin Esqr. of this Town, and Brother to Mr. Jona. Loring Austin who was lately in Europe.1 He expects to see France and Holland before he returns, and wishes that he may have an Oportunity of being made personally known to your Excellency. I am not very particularly acquainted with this young Gentleman, but the great Esteem that I have for his Father and Family makes me wish that you would take a friendly notice of him, not doubting but his Conduct will be such as to make him deserving of it.
I wrote you the 26th. ultimo by Cousin William Smith, who sail'd from hence the 7th. Instant, bound to London, on board Capt. Callahan. I then gave you an account of domestick matters, and that all our dear Connections were well. Nothing remarkable has taken place since. Our Honble. Friend Cotton Tufts Esqr. wrote you at the same time,2 giving you some account of our Publick Affairs. The General Court was adjourned the 11th. Instant to the 24th. of September. The two chief Objects of Debate this session have been the 5 Per Cent Duty recommended by Congress as a Fund for paying the Interest of the National Debt; and the Commutation with the Officers of the Army in lieu of the half Pay for life that Congress had promised them. The former was pass'd, but clog'd with such Condi• { 205 } tions as, I fear, will make a Difficulty.3 But the present Spirit of the House seems very averse to the Commutation, (how consistant with Justice and good Faith is yet to be shewn) so that nothing is done in that behalf; but a Remonstrance, on the contrary, has been agree'd upon to be sent to Congress to shew their disapprobation of the Conduct of Congress in making such a Promise to the Army. I now send you, by the care of the Bearer, a Collection of State Papers on the Subject, and among the rest the cellebrated Letter of his Excellency Genl. Washington on his quitting the publick Theater and retiring to his Farm and private Life; which he does with a Dignity that would do honour to a Roman General in the most virtuous Days of their Republick.4
Please to present my best Regards to your Son, if return'd, and to our very worthy Friends Thaxter and Storer; and believe me to be, with the highest Esteem, your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
I saw your Lady and Daughter, and Master Charles at Commencement yesterday, all well. They were at Mrs. Dana's who with her Family are all well. Master Tommy was well, the Day before Commencement, at Haverhill.
1. In 1780 the Massachusetts Council named Jonathan Loring Austin to negotiate a loan in Europe (vol. 3:262, note 6, and 263; Council to JA and Francis Dana, 13 Jan. 1780, JA, Papers, 8:308–309, and notes).
2. Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 June (Adams Papers).
3. For Congress' action on the debt and its address to the people concerning it, see JCC, 24:257–261, 277–283. During this summer session the Massachusetts General Court did not in fact agree upon an impost bill for the benefit of the Confederation; but the legislative history is complicated, and Cranch, who was not in the legislature, could easily have been confused (Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass., A.1b, Reel No. 11, Unit 1, p. 148, 155, 157–159, 163, 165–167, 170; Mass. A.1a, Reel No. 16, Unit 2, p. 113). The impost was passed during the second session on 20 Oct., the measure repealing the impost of 4 May 1782. Again the legislative struggle was prolonged and sharp (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1782–1783, p. 541–543; same, 1780–1781, p. 589–592; AA to JA, 27 Dec., note 9, below). The text of the final impost act heaped up conditions: violators were to be tried by jury only in Massachusetts with final appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court. Excessive fines and cruel punishments were forbidden. The state was to have an annual accounting of monies received and the amount for each imported item and an annual statement of receipts taken by Congress from each of the other states.
4. See also Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 June (Adams Papers). Washington's long circular letter, sent to each of the thirteen states, addressed several topics that the General deemed of the utmost importance, among them the commutation of the army's half-pay as recommended by Congress (The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, 39 vols., Washington, 1931–1944, vol. 26:483–496). On an order from the Massachusetts General Court, Washington's letter was printed along with earlier letters of his and of other army officers, and the related actions of Congress, as A Collection of Papers Relative to Half-Pay and Commutation thereof Granted by Congress . . ., Boston, 1783. The collection is similar to, but contains fewer { 206 } documents than, that with a like title printed in Fishkill, New York, 1783, by Samuel Louden. The title of this collection ran, in part, Compiled, by Permission of General Washington, from the Original Papers in His Possession; although quite extensive, it omitted Washington's farewell to the states (Evans Nos. 18256 and 18255). Washington probably sent this larger collection with his farewell letter to Massachusetts, and the General Court chose to print several documents from it along with the farewell.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0116

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-07-18

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] My dear Friend and Brother

The Pamphlets herewith inclosed, I send you by favour of Mr. Benjamin Austin, Merchant (Brother to Mr. Jonathan Loring Austin) by whome I have wrote you more at large. He proposes to sail tomorrow for London with Capt. Love. I wrote you also by Cousin William Smith1 who sailed for London the 7th. Instant with Capt. Callahan.
Last Wednesday I attended at the old Seat of the Muses, having not been at Commencement until now, ever since your Friend and Class Mate Doctr. Locke was President.2
A Republican form of Government has been observ'd to have been most productive of Oratory, and I think it is natural to suppose it; as in a popular Government an able Orator addressing the People on weighty Matters of State, must become a very important Personage. I could not help observing an alteration much for the better, as I think, in the more free easy address and manly manner in which our young Gentlemen now perform their Parts as publick Speakers than formerly; owing, probably, to that State of Freedom and Independance in which they feel themselves placed, and to that laudable Ambition which our free Constitution inspires by making every Freeman a Candidate for Places of trust and Honour in the Commonwealth. Mr. <Henry> Harrison Gray Otis (Son of Saml. Allen Otis Esqr.) and Mr. George Storer did themselves Honour by the Part they bore in the Publick Performances of the Day. Mr. President Willard conducted the Exercises with great Ability and Dignity. The Day was very fine and the Concourse of People from all Parts was numerous and Splendid. Your Lady and Daughter and Master Charles were present, but Master Tommy did not come from Haverhill where our three Boys3 are placed under the tuition of Brother Shaw. I left Sister Adams and Miss Nabby at Mrs. Dana's yesterday, who with Mrs. Dana and Family, are all well.
My dear Mrs. Cranch and Children join me in ardent Wishes for your Health and safety, and for your happy Return to your Country { 207 } and Friends, among whome I hope you will always include your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
P.S. I had this Day the happiness of Receiving a Pacquet from Cousin Thaxter of the 20th. of April. Please to present my kind Regards and Thanks to him for it. It came too late for me to write to him by this Oportunity. His Friends are well.
RC (Adams Papers); enclosures not found.
1. On 26 June. See Cranch's first 18 July letter to JA, above.
2. Samuel Locke, a close college friend of JA's, served as the twelfth president of Harvard College, from Dec. 1769 to Dec. 1773. He resigned when it became known that, with an ill wife, he had begun a relationship with his housekeeper, who became pregnant (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:625–626).
3. That is, CA, TBA, and William Cranch.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0117

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1783-07-20

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

Amid the numberless letters that you receive from your various and numerous correspondents, can a few lines from your friend afford you any pleasure. Tis perhaps vanity in me to suppose you can receive any satisfaction from my letters, but I assure you if I thought you did not I should not have resumed my pen.—You well know that Nature has given me pride enough to balance all my other qualities, whether tis an advantage or not I have never yet been able to determine.
I should have acknowledged the receipt of your letter by Mr. Shaw,2 ere this time, but the weather for this week past has been so extreme hot that I have not been capable of complying with my own wishes or intentions. Has it been as unfavourable with you, or have you been singularly favourd.
I do not intirly agree with you Eliza. I believe our happiness is in a great measure dependant upon external circumstances. At the same time I think that there are some persons—I hope they are few, that wan[t] every outward event through their lives to prove favourable, either from their natureal unconquerable dispositions, or from habitual uneasiness, would never find any source of happiness pleasure or contentment within themselvs.—Your wishes for the continueance of my health and happiness are gratefully received. My natural disposition will ever lead me to look upon the fairest side of things. Tis no merit. I do not mean to claim any from it. When I look arround me and see numbers of my fellow mortals, equally deserving the blessings and enjoyments of Life with myself, deprived in numberless instances of even the necessarys and conveniences of it, it leads me to reflect { 208 } that it is my Duty not only to feel gratefull, to the Wise disposer of all events, but to express my gratitude by the acknowledgement of my happiness. I am in reality happy my friend. I have ten thousand scources of happiness which others are deprived of. If there is an equal degree of happiness and misery strewd in our path, I sometimes fear least some unforeseen event should deprive me of that degree of contentment and quietude that I now experience. But I will not forebode evil. Twill not lessen the poignancy of the stroke.
Your letters to your friends since you have been at Haverhill, if I may judge from them, bespeak a tranquility of mind which I think is the result of an agreeable situation. I dare say you feel intirely happy. We are apt, perhaps too often, to judge of others by our own feelings. In this instance I acknowledge I do, from my own feelings when I visited my good Aunt, I know yours are not only pleased but happy.
You ask me to give you an account of commencement.3 Indeed my Dear I could wish to comply with all your requests, but I should not give you an agreeable idea of it should I make an attempt, so I think it is best to be silent. I saw many of my friends, and this circumstance pleased me, but such a scene of noise and confusion was no place for me to enjoy their presence. We had an elegent Ball, there was much company, too much to be agreeable and as much confusion as I ever wish to be witness to again, and yet it was executed as well as could be expected. The court house was not an agreeable place for the purpose of danceing. I think you will find out that I was not very much gratified, with my part of the evening. I came away at twelve, prudent Girl was I not, many of the company that I went with stayd till three. No one from Mrs. Danas family except Miss Lidia,4 was there, oweing to a little desinged affront from Mr. Otis. Mr. Hary I mean.
I hope and wish to hear from you soon, my friend. Do not let the multiplicity of your correspondence neglect, the first that you ever had. A tuesday there is to be a little party here. We shall miss you. The Miss Q[uincy], Polly Otis,5 she is to spend the next week with me, Miss Frazier6 and Mr. Head. Louisa has just begun to complain of the symptoms of the measels. We expect Charles will have them this week, he is anxius to return to Haverhill. I wish they were well through them.
We have received no letters from Pappa since you left B[raintree]. Mamma received one from Mr. Thaxter dated in April7—no news of any kind. He does not particularly mention returning. And when are { 209 } we to look for you in Braintree. I do not wish to deprive your Haverhill friends of the pleasure that your presence affords them. But I cannot avoid wishing you to return. I have not yet gained any great degree of disinterestedness, and fear I never shall.
Your Cousin Betsy Palmer has become quite a rambler, goes to Boston every week. I am sincerely glad of it. I hope it will be of advantage to her health and spirits. She was at meeting to day in her quaker coulourd habit. I have not seen her since I came from Haverhill. Tis a strang circumstance. I have this instant recollected it. Present my respect and Love if it will be acceptable to Mr. Shaw and my Aunt. Love to Tommy, if I do not find time to write him. If you will take the trouble you may if you please present my compliments to Miss Peggy White.8—Here is I think a considerable long letter. I hope it will ensure me as long or a longer one in return. Adieu believe me your sincere friend
[signed] Ab. Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); endorsed: “July-83-AA.”
1. AA2 refers below to AA's receipt of a letter from John Thaxter “dated in April”; AA received that letter, dated 18 April (above), on 20 July (see AA to JA and to Thaxter, both 21 July, both below). AA2's remarks in the second paragraph below suggest that this letter was written several days, and perhaps a week, after her return from Cambridge and Boston to Braintree with AA, ca. 18–20 July.
2. In her letter of 17 July, above, AA2 complained that she had not yet received Elizabeth's letter by their uncle, John Shaw. She may have received this letter from Elizabeth upon her return to Braintree with AA (see AA to JA, 21 July, below).
3. On AA2's immediate reaction to Harvard commencement, and to the announcement of the Otis' ball, described in this paragraph, see her letter to Elizabeth Cranch, 17 July, above.
4. Lydia Dana, sister of Francis, who married Capt. John Hastings in December 1783 (Elizabeth Ellery Dana, The Dana Family in America, Cambridge, 1956, p. 474).
5. Probably Mary Otis, daughter of Ruth Cunningham and the patriot James Otis Jr. (NEHGR, 2:296 [July 1848]).
6. Perhaps a daughter of Moses Frazier, Newburyport merchant (JQA, Diary, 2:337, and note 1). Mr. Head remains unidentified.
7. Dated 18 April, above.
8. The Whites were near neighbors of the Shaws in Haverhill; Peggy was the sister of Leonard, who later became a close friend of JQA's at Harvard (JQA, Diary, 2:passim).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0118

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-07-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I last evening received a Letter from Mr. Thaxter dated in April,1 and Mr. Storer received Letters from his Son, but not a line has yet come to hand from you. I Know not what to think. I should feel more anxious, but Mr. Thaxter mentiond you as well. I fancy you must feel impatient at the delay of your return. I fear you will compleat the four years2 before you reach America. Do not think of a winter voyage, I dread this coast in winter. From a state of our publick { 210 } affairs, the knowledge of which will reach you, if your Friends have written as they promised you will feel, both a wish, and a reluctance at a speedy return.
A Gentleman observed to me the other day, that he believed you had served your Country almost long enough to be forgotten. But it will not be a forgetfulness that will diminish or depreciate your Services, but jealousy and envy of those abilities which have crowned you with Success; the insolence of wealth will endeavour to trample down what it cannot emulate. But it is an observation of Swifts, that persons of transcendent merit force their way in spight of all obsticals, but that those whose merit was of a second third or fourth rate, were seldom able to perform any thing; because the Knaves and dunces of the World, had all the impudence, assiduity, flattery, and servile, compliance, divided among them; which kept them continually in the Way; and engaged every body to become their Solicitors. Swifts observations generally carry a Sting with them—yet he had too much reason for his severity.
There is a position in Machiavel says a late elegant writer that a country should sometimes be without order, and over run with all sorts of calamities, that Men of great Genius may distinguish themselves by restoring it. We certainly see a country sufficiently disorderd, and embarrassed to satisfy any speculator in the utmost wantonness of his imagination. But where and to whom shall we look, for a restoration of internal peace and good order, so necessary for the preservation of that very freedom for which we have so long and so successfully contended.
Tis a long time since I heard from You.3 I flatterd myself that when there was no danger from enemies, that the communication would be much more frequent.
I know but little of the movements of Congress, the States are jealous of their assumeing too great power, and there are certain restless Spirits who keep up the Hue and cry, the impost will not go down in any shape, the treasury has no money, and was obliged to borrow of private persons to pay the last Sessions of the court, the most expensive that we ever had and the least performd. No money has ever been paid upon loan office certificates since France stoped payment.4 Taxes are Still enormous, what becomes of the money I cannot say. The Soldiers have no pay, and every department is crying out—give, give.
I was lately in conversation with Mr. Osgood upon our publick affairs. He told me that the British influence in Congress were all in { 211 } your favour, and that he was certain, they wished to support you—that it was matter of great Speculation among the Gallicians,5 how your aged Colleigue was brought to coinside and act in concert with you. This same Mr. Osgood is a sensible modest Man. When he came from congress, I wished to see him, and he was introduced to me. I made some inquiry of him respecting the situation of my Friend. Ever since that time he has taken it into his head to be vastly civil to me. I told him I wished he would write you a state of publick affairs. He said he had not the honour of being personally known to you. I promised to introduce him to you, and he has promised to write you, if he goes again to Congress, of which he appears at present doubt-full. The House past a most pointed censure upon him by recalling all their Delegates at once, but when they cooled upon reflection, and <when> Mr. Dalton refused they chose Mr. Osgood again. I know I cannot recommend him more, than by saying, he appears to me a second Mr. Gerry.6 Mr. Dalton made me a visit in Boston the other day, told me he had been writing you, was vastly pleased with your Letter to him not long since.7 He became acquainted with Nabby at the assembly, the last winter, and has always been very polite to her. He visited me with a request from his daughter, an agreable young Lady of about 16 that I would let Nabby go and tarry a month with her at his country Seat where the family reside in the summer, and at the same time deliverd a Letter from his Daughter pressing the same request. She became acquainted with Nabby at Haverhill and then insisted upon her making this visit. Mr. Dalton was so polite as to insist upon sending for her when ever she could go. I promised him that as soon as my family got through the Measels which I daily expected them to have, she should go.
I think I feel a greater regard for those persons who Love me for your sake, than I should if they Esteemed me on my own account only. Where is my wanderer, is he not yet arrived. I do not forget him, but am anxious to hear from him. Mrs. Dana too, is desirious of hearing from her long absent Friend. I went to commencment this year at the pressing invitation of my Friends many of whom were there, but I have such unfashonable feelings that I cannot bear to go into publick assemblies. I always find some gentleman who is polite enough to tender me his service, yet I should be pained at receiving that particular attention which every Lady stands in need of when she goes into publick. Besides I have <too> so much pride, that if I cannot go by your side, and be introduced as your companion, I will not go at all.
{ 212 }

[salute] Adieu my Friend. Heaven bless and prosper you is the ardent wish of yours for ever

[signed] Portia
1. Of 18 April, above.
2. Since JA's second departure for Europe, on 15 Nov. 1779.
3. AA had received JA's letter of 28 March by mid-June (AA to Royall Tyler, 14 June; AA to JA, 20 June, both above).
4. France stopped payment of interest on loan office certificates in the spring of 1782 (E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 149).
5. Evidently AA's label for the Gallican, or pro-French, faction, composed either of congressmen or of Frenchmen and Americans lobbying Congress.
6. Samuel Osgood of Andover, Mass., like Elbridge Gerry an Essex County man, had entered Congress in June 1781 and was reelected to that body, for a third time, on 9 July (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:lxviii; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:412–419).
7. Not found. The latest extant letter from JA to Tristram Dalton known to the editors is of 23 Feb. 1780 (JA, Papers, 8:356). Dalton wrote to JA five times between May 1782 and July 1783 ||: 25 May 1782, 19 July 1782, 26 Oct. 1782, 26 April 1783, 16 July 1783|| (all Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0119

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1783-07-21

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My dear Sir

I almost fear I shall be too late for the Vessel which is about to sail for England. I did not know of it untill a few days ago, and then I was absent from Home. I have been to Cambridge to visit my sister Dana. Mr. Storers and Mr. Allen Otis'es sons took their degree and made a large commencment as it is call'd. From both these families I received invitations. Emelia was urgent with me to go, and my Friend Mrs. Dana's repeated invitation, prevaild upon me to accept, accordingly I went. I attended the forenoon Service, it was said to be the largest the most splendid and Brilliant assembly which has appeard there for many years. The young Gentlemen who received their degrees exhibited to great acceptance. In a particular manner Mr. Gorge Storer who deliverd a lattin oration, and altho I could not understand the language, yet his voice and action did him Credit. Mr. Otis'es oration was in english, a Celebration of independance and peace, the freedom [of] Republicks and the Nature of Government. It was a sensible, elegant and well adapted performance, deliverd with much Decency and Spirit, and procured him a universal Clap. He is a polite, accomplished young fellow, and much too handsome. I know not a finer person. Aya my young Friend, beware, beware, or that address and Beauty will prove your bane, the Calipsoes are laying Snares for You. Would you be truly great, court no Mistress but Science and no companion at your early age, but Learning. I own I could scarcly help envying his Father, his feelings { 213 } upon that day. Were this a Son of mine, how would my Heart dilate and beat with joy, at the same time it would rejoice with trembling. There were a Number of dialogues upon various subjects. Whether a Monarchical or a Republican Goverment was most condusive to the happiness of mankind, whether a publick or private Education was most benificial to the morals of youth, whether a larger portion of happiness or misiry fell to the Lot of Man. There were many good speakers and sensible observations upon both sides of the Questions. The President1 conducted with great dignity through all the Services of the Day. After the young Gentlemen had performed their parts, he rose and made a very pathetick address to them. He observed to them, that they were going out into the World, steping upon the stage of action under greater advantages than any of their predecessors—at a time when their Country was emanicipated from the chains of thraldom, and ranked among the Nations of the earth—at a time when the blessings of peace encompassed the land—and under an Excellunt form of goverment, which it became their Duty to support and mantain to transmit to posterity those blessings which their Fathers had so dearly purchased for them. He advised them to frugality industery and oconomy, but above all things a due regard to the Supreem Being, as the foundation and Scource of all their happiness. The croud was so great, that I had no inclination to attend the afternoon service. There was an oration deliverd upon Law and an other upon phisick. On thursday evening Mr. Otis gave a Splendid Ball at the Court House, and a cold collation, but as I never attend any of these amusements, I must refer you to Emelias pen for the account of it.2
Your obliging favour of April 18 reachd me last evening, unaccompanied by a single line from Mr. Adams, the reason of which I cannot define. Nor did you make any mention of my Wandering Son, of whose arrival at the Hague or Paris, I have not yet been informd. I have not received a line from him for 18 months,3 nor has Mrs. Dana heard from Petersburgh since Jan'y last. I have formed no expectations of the return of all my dear Friends untill fall of the year, I hope it will not be deferd untill late in the Season. From your last letter, I am happy to find, that you are still in a climate, more favorable to Health than Holland, and if my Friends must be detained abroad, I had rather hear of them at Paris than else where.
I hate to touch upon our publick affairs. Many of Mr. A's Friends have written largely to him upon the Subject, and to him I must refer you. I should feel easier if I could fully believe, an observation of a { 214 } Gentleman who is acquainted with publick affairs tho not a present actor—the Ship is safe says he, but the pilots will have a tough time. I rejoice that they have obliged me to become only a passenger.
Your Friends at Hingham are all well. I shall not be able to acquaint them of this opportunity. Tis said your two youngest sisters are going to change their state, tho not both of them their Names.4
Remember me kindly to Mr. Storer. I wrote you by Mr. Smith who saild a fortnight ago. The young Gentlemen are very fond of a trip across the Atlantick. A dozen I am told are going [passe]ngers in this vessel. Adieu my Worthy Friend. Continue to write me by every opportunity so long as you continue abroad. Yours affectionately
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr John Thaxter Paris”; docketed by JA in a late hand: “AA 83.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. Thaxter's departure for the United States in September accounts for JA's docketing of this letter and its presence in the Adams Papers.
1. Joseph Willard, president of Harvard College from 1781 to 1804.
2. AA2 gives a brief account of the Otis ball in her letter to Elizabeth Cranch of [post 20] July, above. No extant AA2 letter to Thaxter descibes this event.
3. See JQA to AA, 23 July, and note 1, below.
4. Lucy Thaxter married John Cushing in 1785; Anna Thaxter married Thomas Thaxter in 1786 (History of Hingham, 3:233).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0120

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-23

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

It is indeed a long time since I have receiv'd any Letters from my friends in America, and I must own I have been a little behind hand within these two years; in writing to them.1 However, I hope they will consider that I have been all that time, almost at the world's end, or to make the best of it, in such an out of the-way place, as made it very inconvenient for me to write: But I should think myself deficient in my duty, if I should let pass the present opportunity; without giving you some account of my travels, since I left Mr. Dana.
I Set off, from Petersbourg the 19/30 of last October,2 in company With Count Greco an Italian gentleman with whom I was acquainted, at that place: and on account of the badness of the roads and weather; and of our having a great number of considerable water passages, which had began to freeze over, did not arrive in Stockholm, the capital of Sweeden untill the 25th. of November. The distance is about 800 English Miles. I stay'd at Stockholm about 6 weeks and was much pleas'd with the polite manner in which the people of the
{ 215 } { 216 }
Country treat strangers. Sweeden is the country in Europe which pleases me the most. That is; of those I have seen. Because their manners resemble more those of my own Country, than any I have seen. The King3 is a Man of great Abilities. In the Space of one day from being <one of> the most dependent, he rendered himself one of the most absolute Monarchs of Europe. But he is extremely popular, and has persuaded his people that they are free; and that he has only restor'd them their ancient constitution. They think they are free, and are therefore happy. However in the interior parts of the Kingdom he has lost a little of his Popularity because he has laid some heavy taxes upon Brandy, and some other articles.
I Left Stockholm the 31st. of December and was obliged to stop at a small town call[ed] Norrkiöping at about 120 miles from Stockholm, for a fortnight, because of a very heavy fall of Snow which happen'd just at that time; I stopp'd also about 3. weeks at Gottenburg, and arriv'd at Copenhagen, the Capital of Denmark (it is about 600. miles from Stockholm) the 15th. of February of the present year. I found there Count Greco who had taken a different road from Stockholm. He had taken a place in a vessel which was to sail three days after my arrival, for Kiel a town in Germany near Hamborough: not to lose the opportunity I took a place in the same vessel, but after having waited three weeks for a Good wind The harbour froze up and we were obliged after all to go to Hamborough by Land. The people in Denmark treat strangers with a great deal of Politeness and Civility, but not with the same open-heartedness, which they do in Sweeden. The government is entirely Monarchical. But it astonishes me, that <mankind> a whole people can place at the Head of their goverment such a Man as the king of Denmark because his father was a king. The hereditary prince it seems is at least possess'd of common sense, and is regarded in the Country as a prodigy, as he indeed is, if he is compared to his father.4
I arrived at Hamborough (which is about 300 English Miles from Copenhagen) a the 11th. of March. I stay'd there near a Month: it is a large city; quite commercial, and will I dare say, carry on hereafter a great deal of Trade with America. But its commerce is somewhat restrain'd because it is surrounded by the Dominions of the King of Denmark, and of the Elector of Hanover.5 The Danes have built a town, at about a quarter of a Mile from Hamborough, which is become now its rival in commerce, the Hamburgers have named this Place Al-te-na, which signifies, much too near as indeed it is for their commercial interests.
{ 217 }
The [last]6 city where I made any stay before I arriv'd at Amsterdam was Bremen which is another commercial Republic but the city is much smaller than Hamborough. It was anciently one of the Hanseatic league; and has been in a much more flourishing condition than it is at present. There are at Bremen some publick cellars, which are famous. I drank there some Rhenish wine about 160. Years old. I stay'd only four days at Bremen and arriv'd at Amsterdam the 15th. and at this Place the 21st. of April, and here I have been ever since.7 Hamborough is about 450 English Miles from this Place.
Last night, at about 11. o'clock, Pappa arrived here from Paris all alone, only accompanied by a Servant; he intends to return to Paris in about three weeks.
I hope, Charles, and Tommy are both well, and my dear Sister, who has been very obliging within these three years. I have receiv'd already from her two letters.8 I should take it as a great favour if she would favour me with some more; I have quite left off criticizing, especially upon faults in Language at least untill I shall be my self less faulty in this respect.

[salute] I am your most dutiful, and affectionate Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
1. JQA's only extant letters to America written between his departure for Russia in July 1781 and his return to Holland in April 1783 were one to AA of 23 Oct. 1781, and one to Elizabeth Cranch of 17 March 1782 (vol. 4:233–234, 297–299); but see his statement about lost correspondence in his letter to AA of 30 July, below. His only regular correspondents during these two years were JA and John Thaxter.
2. Compare the following account of JQA's journey with JQA, Diary, 1:153–174; and JQA to JA, 1 Feb., 20 Feb., 12 March, and 22 April, all above.
3. Gustavus III, King of Sweden from 1771 to 1792; the constitutional coup to which JQA refers below occurred over several days, 18–21 Aug. 1772, with the critical seizure of power on the 19th (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
4. Christian VII of Denmark (1766–1808), son of Frederick V (1746–1766), was mentally troubled and increasingly incompetent. His only son, born in 1768, took control of the government in a bloodless coup in 1784, the year following JQA's visit, and served as regent until his father's death, when he became Frederick VI (1808–1839). Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
5. The Elector of Hanover was George III, King of England.
6. The text here was lost by the removal of the seal.
7. JQA had taken short trips to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Delft since his return to The Hague in April (Diary, 1:174–175).
8. That is, two letters since he had set out for Russia in 1781: those of 3 May 1782 (vol. 4:319–321), and of [ca. 10] May 1783, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0121

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Last Saturday, I left Paris, and on Tuesday arrived, at the Hague. To Day I am come to this Town. I Shall return to Paris in a Fortnight. { 218 } So as to make my whole Absence about three Weeks. Soon after my Return I expect the definitive Treaty will be Signed, but in this I may be mistaken. My Son is with me in good health. I had a tender Meeting with the dear Companion of my Voages and Journeys, and have been very happy with him, ever Since. He is grown a Man in Understanding as well as Stature. He gives a very intelligent and entertaining Account of his Travels to and from the North. I shall take him with me to Paris, and Shall make much of his Company.
I have no Letters from you this Year,1 and not knowing what to do with myself, I am in much Perplexity. I hope Soon to be informed of the orders of Congress. If they accept my Resignation, I may come home in October. If not, I know not what will become of me. To Stay another winter hung up between one Thing and another in suspence would be the most disagreable Thing that could happen to me. Patience however. If my Health was as good as it was two Years ago, before my great Sickness2 I could be patient. But continual ill health added to all the Perplexities that distract me, is too much for me. I want two Nurses, my Wife and my Daughter, and three gay Boys about Us to keep Us all in good humour. But this is too much. My Boys must have their Educations.
I am told a Vessell is just arrived from Boston and another, Cazneau expected. I hope for Letters by both.
A Letter from Mr. Dalton and a few Lines from Mr. Smith and Mr. Storer are all I have had from N. England an immense long Time. What have I done to be thus punished?
I am come here to See if any Thing can be done to get Money, to prevent Mr. Morris's Bills from being protested. I hope that Some thing may be done but am not very Sanguine.3
I wonder whether any body but you would believe me Sincere if I were to Say how much I love you, and wish to be with you and never to be Seperated more?
1. In late January, JA had received letters from AA dated in Oct., Nov., and Dec. 1782 (JA to AA, 22 and 29 Jan., above).
2. JA's first serious illness in Europe occurred in Amsterdam, from late August to early Oct. 1781 (see vol. 4:224, and note 3). Since that dismal event, JA periodically complained of poor health, especially when he was in Holland, and a fear of the return of his illness colored his statements that he was in good health (vol. 4:265, 272, 324, 337, 360, 369).
3. Robert Morris was Congress' superintendent of finance. JA's efforts to secure funds from Dutch bankers for Morris' bills of exchange, which America's Paris banker, Ferdinand Grand, could no longer cover with the funds remaining in America's account, and his efforts to advance the Dutch loan that he had earlier contracted for the United States, appear in the correspondence between JA, Robert Morris, R. R. Livingston, Benjamin { 219 } Franklin, Thomas Barclay, and John Jay, between May and Nov. 1783, in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., vol. 6; in Morris to JA, 12 May (Adams Papers); and in Morris to JA, 23 Oct. (DLC). Grand's letter of 12 May to the Peace Commissioners, announcing the depletion of America's funds, is also in Wharton, 6:420–421. Background documentation and commentary on America's fiscal crisis of 1783 appears in The Papers of Robert Morris, ed. John Catanzariti and others, vol. 7, Pittsburgh, 1988.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0122

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-29

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Mr. Adams having taken a Journey to Holland for three or four Weeks, and there being nothing of consequence to do in his Absence, Mr. Storer and myself thought it an exceeding good opportunity of executing our Project of a Voyage to this place, for the sake of the Sea Bath. We arrived here on the 27th. instant, after a delightfully fatiguing Journey. We passed thro' the Province of Normandy, which is extremely fertile, producing Grains of all kinds in Abundance, Cyder &c. The People are very hardy and laborious, and the fine Crops on the Earth seemed to have amply rewarded their Labors. The Women in general are not handsome. And one sees no where in Europe the common Women so handsome and well made as in America. This Class of Women in Europe are much accustomed to all kinds of farming business from their Infancy almost, and are obliged to be out basking and baking in the Sun and employed in the severest parts of the Labors of a Farm. Whether this accounts for the difference, I know not, or what physical Reason there may be for it. That there is a difference every American, that travels with his Eyes open, must observe. They seemed contented and happy, which are the most principal Objects. There are some of them that are very smart, and parry rude questions with great dexterity. We had one in the Diligence (a travelling Carriage in this Country holding 6. or 8. persons), who was a mere Country Girl. As there were a Number of young fellows in the Carriage, and Miss looked very clean, neat and tidy, it was natural to ask her some questions. She behaved with vast propriety, was modest, sensible and reserved. Obliged often to answer questions, and as often to be silent. Her Repartees confounded a Gentleman in the Carriage to a great degree, tho' he did not feel them as a Man of Sensibility, and indeed if he had been one he would not have asked some questions that he put. I admired her Character very much, as a discreet prudent Girl, who spoke without fear, or Confusion, yet modestly. Most of the young Girls of our Country are timid, and frightened, if a Stranger interrogates them. In this Country, there { 220 } is a confident Assurance and a possession of self without pertness, impertinence or impudence. I dont mean always, but the Country Girls in general have the former without the latter. I have mentioned our Miss as one Example. And I should have been very sorry to have lost her Company, if one of our rude Companions had been out of the Carriage. However She rode but a little ways with us, and then left us. I might as well have said nothing about the matter, as I have said nothing of the Conversation. But as it was rather curious and connected with what ought to be omitted, I may as well be silent. She was not handsome, but charming, and I shall always love and esteem her even upon so short an Acquaintance.
I write in great haste, and shall not have time to write to my other friends, if I have any, as I very much doubt; and perhaps this may be an unwelcome Letter to your Ladyship.
Mr. Storer has Packet after Packet, but I am either forgotten or neglected.
You will please to forward the inclosed Letters. My Sister is well catechised in my Letter, if She takes it seriously.1
My Respects to all Friends if you please, and particular Regards to your Family.

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the honor to be, Madam, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J Thaxter Junr.
1. Letter not found, but “My Sister” must be Celia Thaxter, John Thaxter's oldest sister (1749–1829), to whom he wrote at least twelve extant letters from Europe, 1780–1783, and another twelve from Haverhill, 1784–1791. He also addressed three extant letters to his sisters collectively. MHi: Thaxter Papers; History of Hingham, 3:232–233.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0123

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-30

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

Altho' I have already written you by Mr. Brush who will probably deliver this to you; yet I cannot help writing a few more Lines to justify myself with you, from a reproach; the Idea of which I cannot bear. If the Northern Regions have frozen up that Quick and Lively Imagination, which you are please to say, used to be agreeable to my Friends, they have most certainly not chilled my affection, but have if possible augmented my Love for my Friends, and my reverence for the dearest and most honoured, of mothers. I must beg your pardon for having scratch'd out of your letter these words, to be forgotten by my Son,1 for I could not bear to think that such an Idea should ever { 221 } have entered the mind of my ever honoured Mamma. I should certainly have written oftener to you while I was in Russia than I did. But there were no vessels which sail'd from there, directly for America, and we had very few private opportunities to forward letters here; so we were obliged to send them by the post which was not only a very expensive manner; but the letters would have been all opened for in that Country, not a letter passes, the Contents of which, are not known at the Post Office, and they take so little pains to hide it, that I have receiv'd several Letters, the seals of which were broken, and the Letters open. If you complain, they will tell you that they know nothing about it, and that they suppose the rubbing of the letters have broken the seals: and one does not Love to have the Letters he writes seen by every body. But I used to write you by every private opportunity: I suppose the greatest part of my Letters failed, for I wrote several times to you, and to my other friends, and you mentioned having receiv'd but one letter from me since I left Amsterdam.

[salute] I am your most dutiful and Affectionate Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams. Braintree Massachusetts Bay.”
1. See AA to JQA, 13 Nov. 1782, note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0124

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-08-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have received your two favours of 7 May and 20 June.1 I had received no Letter from you for so long an Interval that these were really inestimable. I always learn more of Politicks from your Letters, than any others. I have lost all my Correspondents in Congress. I wrote to Mr. Jackson and Gen. Warren2 Supposing they were Members. Mr. Gerry is there now, to my Great Joy. Beg of him to write to me, if I stay in Europe.
I learn with great Satisfaction the Wisdom of my Daughter, whom I long to see. What is to be my Fate I know not. We have not received any joint Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain. I hate to force my self home without Leave, and Congress have not given me Leave as Mr. Lee gave you Reason to expect.3 My Son is with me, at present, and you will be as proud of him as I shall be of my Daughter, when I see her. He is grown up a Man, and his Steadiness and Sobriety, with all his Spirits are much to his honour. I will make of him my Secretary while I Stay.
{ 222 }
I like the Situation of Charles and Tom.
Your Purchase of Land tho of only the Value of 200 Dollars4 gives me more Pleasure than you are aware. I wish you had described it. I Suppose it to be that fine Grove which I have loved and admired from my Cradle. If it is, I would not part with it, for Gold. If you know of any Woodland or salt Marsh to be sold, purchase them and draw upon me for the Money. Your Bills shall be paid upon Sight. Direct the Bills to be presented if I should be returned home, to Messrs. Wilhem and Jan Willink Merchants Amsterdam, who will accept and pay them for the Honour of the Drawer. Pray dont let a Single Tree be cutt upon that Spot. I expect, very soon, to be a private Man, and to have no other Resource for my Family but my Farm, and therefore it is my Intention when I come home to sell my House in Boston and to collect together all the Debts due to me and all other little Things that I can convert into Money and lay it out in Lands in the Neighbourhood of our Chaumiere.5 The whole <will not> will make <a large> but a Small Farm, Yet it will be large enough for my Desires if my Children are content. You Speak of a high Office.6 In Gods Name, banish every Idea of such a Thing. It is the Place of the Greatest slavery and Drudgery in the World. It would only introduce me to endless Squabbles and Disputes, and expose me to eternal obloquy and Envy. I wish that all Parties would unite in the present one who has the Hearts of that People and will keep them. The Opposition will only weaken and distress his Administration, and if another were chosen in his Place, the Administration of that other would be weakened and distressed by a Similar Opposition. I have not health to go through the Business, nor have I Patience to endure the Smart. I beg that neither You nor yours would ever encourage in yourselves or others such a Thought. <If I return home> If after my Return home, the state should think proper to send me to Congress and you will go with me, I will go, for a short time, but not a long one. After that if I should be chosen into the senate or House, I should be willing to contribute my Mite, to the publick service in that Way. At home, upon my Farm and among my Books assisting in the Education of my Children, and endeavouring to introduce them into Business to get their Bread and do some service in the World, I wish to pass the feeble Remnant of my Days. But I am too much hurt, by those Exertions to which the Times have called me, to wish or to be capable of any great active Employment whatsoever. You know not how much your Friend is altered. The Fever burnt up half his Memory and more than half his Spirits, and has left him, with scorbutic { 223 } Disorders about him that are very troublesome. Without Repose, if with it, he can never hope to get the better of them. This is said to you my friend in Confidence and is to be communicated to no one else. <Adieu> After having seen so many of my friends, thro Life fall Victims to the great Contest, I think my self very happy to have got through it, in no worse a Condition. Adieu.
1. JA had also received AA's letter of 28 April, above (see JA to AA2, 14 Aug., below).
2. JA had last written Jonathan Jackson on 17 Nov. 1782 (MHi: Misc. Coll.); Jackson's next extant letter to JA was dated 27 April 1784 (Adams Papers). Jackson resigned from Congress on 5 Nov. 1782 (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:xlvi). On JA's correspondence with James Warren, see JA to AA, 9 July, notes 3 and 4, above.
3. See Arthur Lee to AA, 23 April, above.
4. See AA to JA, 7 May, note 8, above.
5. Thatched cottage. AA also referred to the Adams' modest home in Braintree as a cottage (to JA, 20 June, above), and even as “our own Republican cottage” (to JA, 28 April, above).
6. See AA to JA, 7 May, above, for the oblique reference to the governorship of Massachusetts, which some opponents of John Hancock thought JA might fill if he returned.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1783-08-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My Dear Daughter

I have received your affectionate letter of the 10th of May, with great pleasure, and another from your mother of the 28th and 29th of April, which by mistake I omitted to mention in my letter to her to-day. Your education and your welfare, my dear child, are very near my heart; and nothing in this life would contribute so much to my happiness, next to the company of your mother, as yours. I have reason to say this by the experience I have had of the society of your brother, whom I brought with me from the Hague. He is grown to be a man, and the world says they should take him for my younger brother, if they did not know him to be my son. I have great satisfaction in his behaviour, as well as in the improvements he has made in his travels, and the reputation he has left behind him wherever he has been. He is very studious and delights in nothing but books, which alarms me for his health; because, like me, he is naturally inclined to be fat. His knowledge and his judgment are so far beyond his years, as to be admired by all who have conversed with him. I lament, however, that he could not have his education at Harvard College, where his brothers shall have theirs, if Providence shall afford me the means of supporting the expense of it. If my superiors shall permit me to come home, I hope it will be soon; if they mean I should stay abroad, I am not able to say what I shall do, until I { 224 } know in what capacity. One thing is certain, that I will not live long without my family, and another is equally so, that I can never consent to see my wife and children croaking with me like frogs in the Fens of Holland, and burning and shivering alternately with fevers, as Mr. Tha[xt]er, Charles, Stephen[s], and myself have done: your brother John alone had the happiness to escape, but I was afraid to trust him long amidst those pestilential steams.
You have reason to wish for a taste for history, which is as entertaining and instructive to the female as to the male sex. My advice to you would be to read the history of your own country, which although it may not afford so splendid objects as some others, before the commencement of the late war, yet since that period, it is the most interesting chapter in the history of the world, and before that period is intensely affecting to every native American. You will find among your own ancestors, by your mother's side at least, characters which deserve your attention. It is by the female world, that the greatest and best characters among men are formed. I have long been of this opinion to such a degree, that when I hear of an extraordinary man, good or bad, I naturally, or habitually inquire who was his mother? There can be nothing in life more honourable for a woman, than to contribute by her virtues, her advice, her example, or her address, to the formation of an husband, a brother, or a son, to be useful to the world.
Heaven has blessed you, my daughter, with an understanding and a consideration, that is not found every day among young women, and with a mother who is an ornament to her sex. You will take care that you preserve your own character, and that you persevere in a course of conduct, worthy of the example that is every day before you. With the most fervent wishes for your happiness, I am your affectionate father,
[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:202–204.)
1. The date is corrected from JA to AA, 14 Aug., above (see the opening sentence of the present letter).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0126

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1783-08-20
Date: 1783-08-29

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

Why my Dear Eliza have I not had the pleasure of hearing from you but once in an absence of two months. Is this right Betsy? I have been half of a mind to believe that you had ceaced to wish to hear { 225 } from me—the idea has given me pain. Surely you received a letter by Mr. Shaw at commencement, and I have wrote you since.1 I cannot say that you have certainly received that but methinks you might have devoted one hour, even had it have been 'the sixth' to your friend.
I must acknowledge that at times I have felt greived by your inattention—perhaps you thought me void of those feelings that would create unpleasing sensations by a neglect of friendship.
We have had such a profusion of folks here for these some weeks that it has been absolutely out of my power to write at all. Betsy Otis spent a forghtnight with me. Polly is here at present. Mrs. Dana and Miss Elery2 spend this week with us. We have all passed this afternoon with your Mamma and sister. We all regreted the absence of my Cousin. This Eve we have had a disagreeable scene. It has thundered and lightened exceedingly. You know my natureal insensibility or from some cause quite simular, I am not at all affected by it. Nancy Elery is much affected. Poor Polly Otis feels from it severely. She is a girl of sensibility gentleness and softness natureally, and affliction has increased her amiability. The scenes of this Eve, have recalled to her mind that period, which time has not so far effaced as to permit her to reflect upon without very painfull sensations, it is a painfull remembrance and she must often be called to the reflections by causes unavoidable.3
The little Dr.4 who seems to be the subject of many of your late letters, has I fancy by the charms of musick quite enchanted my friend.

“Musick the fiercest greifs can charm

And pains severest rage disarm.”5

Dont you know Eliza that tis daingerous to give way to such enchantment—and do you recollect that Haverhill is a fortunate situation for Laidys, who declare they risk to be connected before two and twenty.
The first part of this letter Elisa was wrote almost a forghtnight passt. No opportunity of conveyance has presented, and I have been in hopes that I should have it soon in my power to acknowledge the receipt of at least a line from you. I hear dayly of your letters to various persons, but have the mortifycation not to hear of any for myself. I came over here to spend a week with Polly Otis, before she goes into town.6 Charles and Harry are both gone to reside in Boston. We feel their absence—as you may well suppose. Harry comes a { 226 } saturdays and spends the sunday with us. He retains his sprightliness, and has increasd in volubility greatly I assure you. His spirits are raised by his prospect of business and he can scarce contain himself. Charles has been gone but a week. He is a more sedate young Man. You know they are both good amiable and agreeable at all times—tho I must confess I am more pleased with the dignity, and delicacy, of Charles, than with all the sprightliness and airryness of his Brother Harry. Winslow is hourly expected to return. When he arrives we shall see an extrordinary.
At last my friend I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from you7—a pleasure I have long and ardently wished. Last Eve on my return from Milton, your letter was handed me. From your own feelings, you may judge of the pleasure that I received from this event. Indeed my Dear after so long a silence once more to receive the product of your pen was a pleasure, that I cannot pretend to describe. You may see by various dates of my letter that I have not been unmindfull of you. Charles sets out tomorow. He is all impatience to return to his studys and discovers a disposition that will ever be of advantage through life to him.
You have drawn a sweet picture Eliza of your visit, but to whom it was, you thought it was unnecessary for me to know, I suppose. If the agreeable couple are not indebted to your imagination for the embellishment of the scene, I imagine they are happy.
Have you concluded to spend the next winter in your present situation, or do you think of favouring your friends in this part of the World with your presence. I assure you we are almost impatient to see you, and flater ourselvs with the prospect.
Let me hear from you soon. Remember me to all who think of me. Present my love regards and respects to Uncle and Aunt Shaw. My Love to Tommy and Billy. And believe me your affectionate Cousin and friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); endorsed: “August 20 83 AA.”
1. Letters of 17 July, and [post 20] July, both above.
2. Nancy Ellery, sister of Elizabeth Ellery Dana (AA to JA, 24 Aug., below).
3. Mary (Polly) Otis was the younger daughter of the patriot orator James Otis Jr., who had been struck dead by lightning on 23 May (see John Thaxter to JA, 12 Aug., Adams Papers; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:277–286).
4. Not identified; see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 1 July, above.
5. Alexander Pope, “Ode for Music on St. Cecilia's Day,” lines 118–119; Pope has “grief” { 227 } in line 118, and “Fate's,” not “pains,” in line 119.
6. Polly Otis was visiting her aunt, Mercy Otis Warren, and her cousins Charles and Henry (Harry) Warren, and eagerly awaited the return of her cousin Winslow Warren from Europe.
7. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0127

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-08-20

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

This will be convey'd to you by the Honble. Natl. Gorham Esqr. our late Speaker, who return'd this Summer from Congress in which he has Serv'd this Commonwealth as a Delegate, with great Ability and Honour. I hope he will, if possible, have a personal Interview with you, as he can doubtless throw much Light on many of the Transactions of that Body. The special Purpose for which Mr. Gorham now goes to Europe, is, to solicit Donations for the distressed Inhabitants of his native Town of Charlestown. You are well acquainted with the uncommon Sufferings that worthy Community has undergone by having all their Houses burnt, and a great part of their Moveables, by the British Army; and then forced to retire almost naked, and destitute, to every part of the State where any Provision could be made for their Support, either by private Charity, or by the Publick permitting them to be entertained for the present as the Poor of the Towns to which they were sent.1
In this unhappy Condition most of the Inhabitants of Charlestown have remained ever since the time when that wanton Violence took place. Some of the former Inhabitants of that Town who yet retain some Property, have formed the laudable design of assisting in rebuilding the Town on a much more regular and elegant Plan than it stood on before it was burnt. An Act of the General Court has pass'd to enable them to lay out the new Streets commodiously and regularly, according to a Plan exhibited to the Legislature.2 The Honble. Mr. James Russell is among the foremost (notwithstanding his great Age)3 to bring forward the Rebuilding of the Town, and has earnestly requested his old Friend, our Father Smith, to write to you on the Subject. Father says he cannot write to you at present but wishes me to write.4 He says his Friend Mr. Russell is so engaged in raising up Charlestown (like the Phoenix from its Ashes) that he has scarce another Object on Earth for which he wishes to live.
The Plan, therefore, on which the Honble. Mr. Gorham now comes to Europe, is, to solicit Benefactions from the Rich and Generous, to assist the Poor of Charlestown (many of whome yet retain the { 228 } small Spots of Ground on which their former Houses stood) in erecting such necessary Buildings, in the room of those that were burnt, as may enable them to return to their native Place, and enjoy with some degree of Independence, the common Blessings of Providence.
The manner in which you may best give Assistance in the prosecution of such a Plan, must be left entirely to your Prudence and Wisdom: But it is thought that the high Character you have so deservedly acquired both in Europe and America, would give great weight and encouragement to the Undertaking if it should meet with your approbation.
You know the Interest that Father Smith and the whole Family take in the Rebuilding of their native Town—it would be peculiarly pleasing to them if any thing of this sort should take place.
I wrote you the 26th. of June by Cousin Wm. Smith, who sail'd for London in Capt. Callahan; and two Letters of the 18th. of July, by Mr. Ben. Austin, who sail'd for London in Capt. Love, by him I sent you two Pamphlets containing some late Transactions of Congress—which I hope are come to hand. Your Mother and your Lady and Family are all well. Master Charles is just got well of the Meazels, he has had them favourably. Master Tommy was not at home, so that he has not catch'd them. The Ladies Adams, Dana, Warren, Quincy &c. drank Tea at our [House?] last Monday, all well, and wishing for your Re[turn] to crown the other Blessings of Peace, in the procuring of which you have born so essential a Part. My Family and all our Connections are as well as usual, and desire to be remember'd to you. I am, with the highest Esteem, your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
Please to present my kindest Regards to your Son and to our worthy Friends Thaxter and Storer, and let them know that their Friends are all well. Your Lady has received your Letters of the 20th. and 30th. of May.
The Ship Lady Ann, Capt. Richard Chapman arriv'd here last Saturday Night, by which I rec'd a Letter from Mr. Eyma fils of Amsterdam, by which I perceive that he has sent me a considerable Consignment thro' your recommendation, for which I thank you. You may please to inform him that I shall take the utmost care of his Interest, and make Sale of them as quick as possible. The Goods are not yet come on shore. I shall write him very particularly as soon as I have examined the Goods. Adieu.
{ 229 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister from the United States of America at Paris”; endorsed by JQA: “Mr. Cranch. Boston. Augt. 20th. 1783.” The cutting out of the seal caused the loss of two words of text.
1. The burning of Charlestown occurred during the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775. Only a few buildings escaped the flames; estimates placed the number of houses destroyed at 400 and property loss at over £115,000. After the British evacuated Boston, the residents began slowly to return, but rebuilding did not begin in earnest until 1783. Nathaniel Gorham had been involved in relief efforts for Charlestown since 1777, when he had presented a petition to Congress for that purpose. See vol. 2:214, and note 1, 240; JA, Papers, 5:198–199; Richard Frothingham Jr., The History of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Boston, 1845, p. 367–368; Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, 1893, p. 8–9.
2. This act was dated 30 Oct. 1781 (Private and Special Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from . . . 1780 to 1805, 3 vols., Boston, 1805, 1:21–24).
3. James Russell, age sixty-eight in 1783, was a representative from 1746 to 1759, a member of the Council, 1759–1771, and a superior court justice from 1771 until the Revolution (Thomas Bellows Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, Boston, 1879, 2:831, 832; William Davis, History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts, Boston, 1900, p. 141).
4. Rev. William Smith, AA's father, was born in Charlestown in 1707, and joined the First Church there before graduating from Harvard in 1725 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:588). It may have been failing health that prevented Smith from writing to JA; he would die on 17 Sept. (AA to JA, 20 Sept., below).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0128

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-08-24

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By Capt. Freeman who Sails on Sunday for England I embrace the opportunity of writing you a few lines. Mr. Goreham is gone to Portsmouth to embark from thence, impowerd by the Town of Charlstown to solicit Charity for them. I have not the best opinion of his errant; nor of his politeness, or I should have Supposed that as he means to apply to you for assistance; he would have <Supposed> imagined that a Letter from your family would not have been unacceptable, but he moved off, without giving me any notice. I do not regret it much as Capt. Freeman will be so kind as to take this, and carefully forward it. I have written frequently, written by way of England Since the Peace, and hope you have received my Letters. I have not heard so frequently from you as I wish; your last date was the 30 of May. I hope it was not long after that date, that you remaind in the dissagreable suspence which you then appeard to be in, and that your publick dispatches were agreable to your mind and that you will not be delayed by them. Every Letter which reaches me places your return at a further remove; I pray that it may not exceed November as I have a dread of our coast. I fear for your Health, and hope a voyage will prove benificial. When I reflect upon the many perplexing scenes, and difficulties through which you have passt in { 230 } the last ten years, I conceive them sufficient, to batter down a stronger building than the Fabrick you occupy. It is however a pleasing consolation that the Deity which inhabits it, is formed for a duration, beyond the brittle tennament, and is capable of extending its views to an existance more suitable to its nature and capacity—and where I trust it will meet with a due regard for that Benevolence and good will which upon all occasions, has been exerted for the benifit of Mankind.
To the blessings of Peace, we have, that of plenty added. The Earth yealds in abundance, Ceres flourishes with her sheaves and her cornicopia. Pomona cannot boast of being so richly laiden, Boreas committed a Robbery upon her in her Infancy which she is not like to recover, and the plague of Eygipt followed him.1
Our son Charles is just recoverd from the Measles, and is going again to Haverhill. I wish his Brother Tom, had been here to have had them with him, my Neice2 too has had them and recoverd, tho it has proved very mortal in Boston. Tis said 300 children have been buried since last March. Our Friends are all well, your Mother dined with me to day, and desires to be rememberd to you. I think she enjoys better health than she did a Year ago. I am going with Genll. Warrens family, and a small party of Friends to dine with my Father. How happy would it make the good old gentleman could you be one of the party; alass the Sons his Daughters have given him, are those only in which he can rejoice. How often have I heard him both with pain and pleasure, say, when reflecting upon his misfortune, I desire to bless God, I have three comforts to one affliction—and he might have added four, for his Daughter in Law is to him, like an own child in kindness and attention, to be otherways she must be a monster of ingratitude for to her he has supplied the place of Father Mother and husband. There are Six fine children as you would wish to see—all without a Father, or what is worse.3 My little Neice who has lived 6 years with me is a sweet Girl, tho she is no Stranger to her unhappy lot. She never speaks a word upon the Subject, all that she ever said was the other day, a stranger had askd who she was. She came with tears in her Eyes and said she wished nobody would ask who she was, or whether she had a Father. She frequently asks whether I think you will let her live with me when you return.
Mrs. Dana and sister have been with me this week. She is very anxious to hear from Mr. Dana, her last letter was dated 7 months ago. She hopes you will not come without him. I know not how to realize that I shall see you soon. Hope and Fear have been the two { 231 } ruling passions of a large portion of my Life, and I have been banded from one to the other like a tennis Ball. We are waiting with a degree of impatience for the definitive Treaty. There is nothing New in the political World—cheating is an old story, even from the Days of Jacob. Inclosed is a little poetical performance.4 You will be at no loss to comprehend it—it has too much Truth for its basis.
I hope Master John will find his pen once more, his Brother's and Sister desire to be affectionately rememberd. I shall write to him if the vessel does not Sail immediately. Uncle Quincy desires to be rememberd to you. Let Mr. Thaxter know his Friends were all well this week—are so sanguine with regard to his speedy return that they do not think it worth while to write again.

[salute] Adieu my dear Friend. So many Ideas croud upon me when about to close, that I can utter only that I am Yours.

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Royall Tyler: “His Excelly. John Adams Minister Plenipty From the United States at Paris”; endorsed: “Portia August 24. 1783.”
1. Ceres was the ancient Italian goddess of grain; Pomona the Roman goddess of fruit. Boreas was the north wind in Greek lore. Jehovah visited Egypt with several plagues in Exodus, chaps. 7–10.
2. Louisa Catharine Smith, whose situation AA descibes so affectingly below.
3. AA refers to her father's grief over his prodigal son William, who had abandoned his family by 1783 (Elizabeth Shaw to Mary Cranch, 20 Jan., [DLC: Shaw Family Papers]). His children, by Catharine Louisa Salmon, were Elizabeth, later Mrs. James H. Foster, Louisa Catharine, who lived with AA, William, Mary, Charles, and Isaac.
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0129

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have not received my Letters of Recall from Holland and therefore must disappoint you and my self. I have requested them anew1 and Suppose I shall receive them about Christmas, but whether I do or not, I shall come home, at latest in the first Spring ships, unless I should receive Some new Commission in Europe, which is not likely. I am unalterably determined not to stay in Holland where I never have any tollerable Health. To break away and come home without Leave, would neither be civil to Congress nor to the states General nor to the statholder, I hope I shall not be obliged to do it, but if I cannot obtain Leave, I must take it. I propose a Tour of three Weeks to England and shall take my son with me, whose Company is the greatest Pleasure of my Life. His Behaviour and close Attention to his studies are very pleasing to me, and promise to produce, a worthy Character.
{ 232 }
I have received Several, very agreable Letters from my Daughter, which I shall answer if I can, as well as yours,2 which always afford me more Intelligence, than I get from any other American source. You may continue to write me under Cover. I am much pleased with your Purchase, and with the Boys Shool and Preceptor.3
Mr. Dana is embarked as I suppose from Petersbourg, and will be soon in Boston, defeated in his Endeavours to serve his Country, by jesuitical Schemes from Passy and other sources,4 from whence have Sprung so many obstacles to the publick Good. Never was a Country, more imposed on by Finesse. Our late Minister of foreign affairs5 appears to have been a mere Puppet danced upon French Wires electrified from Passy. I hope there will be, an End of this Philosophical and political Conjuration, if not, I am determined to get out of its striking Distance. Hitherto, altho it has tossed and tormented me, and prevented me from doing a great Part of the Good I meditated, and am Sure should have accomplished without it: yet it has not totally defeated me. Yet it has defeated me in so many Things and others in so many more, that it is high time to break it up.
I thank the Dr. and Mr. Cranch for their very friendly Letters, but their Speculations into futurity, are not well grounded.6 Give Us Peace in our Day, for there is none that fightest for Us but thou O God, is a Prayer <of the Church of England> which no son of the Church has a better right to offer up than I—and none can make it more sincerely.7

[salute] Adieu, My dearest Friend Adieu, oh when Shall We meet? Next Spring most certainly God Willing.

1. See JA to the president of Congress (Elias Boudinot), 1 Sept. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:668–669).
2. The only extant previous AA2 letter to JA is that of 10 May, above; AA's letter was that of 30 June, also above.
3. See AA to JA, 7 May, on AA's purchase of land; AA to JA, 7 April, on the education of CA and TBA; and JA's reply of 14 Aug., all above.
4. Francis Dana left St. Petersburg on 3 Sept. and arrived in Boston on 12 Dec. (W. P. Cresson, Francis Dana: A Puritan Diplomat at the Court of Catherine the Great, N.Y., 1930, p. 317–318; AA to JA, 7 Dec., below). JA's charge that Benjamin Franklin intrigued against Dana's mission is unfounded, although Vergennes did instruct the French minister to Russia not to support Dana's moves. A number of reasons have been given for Dana's failure to secure recognition of American independence and a commercial treaty with Russia. As an absolute monarch, Catherine II did not look favorably upon a republican revolution against a monarchy. Moreover, Catherine, who was attempting to mediate an end to the war, could hardly as a mediator sign a treaty with the United States. American inexperience in diplomacy hampered Dana. He sought recognition of independence through admission to the League of Armed Neutrality, but membership was not likely to be accorded to a belligerent. Further, Dana resorted to moral arguments rather than to appeals to Russia's self-interest. Finally, he chose to ignore the court tradition of { 233 } distributing bribes. Had Dana followed the practices current at the Russian court and used the greatest skill, he still would have had little chance of success, given Russia's conception of its national interests. See H. W. L. Dana, The Dana Saga, Cambridge, 1941, p. 25–28; Cresson, Francis Dana, p. 183–184; Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution: The Foundations of American Foreign Policy, 1775–1783, N.Y., 1935, p. 164–166; and David M. Griffiths, “American Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780–1783,” WMQ, 3d Ser., 27:379–410 (July 1970).
5. Robert. R. Livingston had left office in June.
6. Dr. Cotton Tufts' letters of 26 June and 5 July (both Adams Papers), and Richard Cranch's letter of 26 June, above. JA refers to Cranch's speculation that Massachusetts would reward JA's labors by electing him governor.
7. Book of Common Prayer, Morning Prayer, Versicles.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0130

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have the Satisfaction to inform you that the definitive Treaties were all Signed yesterday, and the Preliminaries with Holland were Signed the day before.1 Ours is a Simple Repetition of the provisional Treaty. So We have negotiated here, these Six Months for nothing. We could do no better Situated as We were. To day We dined with Mr. Hartley and drank Tea with the Duchess of Manchester. Thus you see We are very good Friends, quite free, easy and Social.
Now I dont Know what to do with my self. I wish I knew more of the Intentions of Congress. The Leave to come home which Mr. Lee promised you is not arrived, and I cannot go with Decorum without Leave, and the Loan, an important matter would Suffer.2 I believe upon the whole I Shall wait, untill We hear from Congress of their Reception of the definitive Treaty, when no doubt they will Send me their Orders. I Shall have a gloomy Winter at the Hague, but a Tour to London of two or three Weeks and the Company of my Friend your Son, will relieve me a good deal. This Boy is a cordial to me.
I Suppose that our foreign affairs will be wholly new modelled, on the Receipt of the definitive Treaty. Some Say We shall all be recalled, and Consuls only appointed. Others Think that Ministers will be continued, or new ones Sent to Versailles, London, the Hague and Madrid. Others that Ministers will be sent to the two Empires. But all is uncertain.
I Shall make you a Small Remittance by Mr. Thaxter. I Shall make Mr. John, my Secretary. He has acted in that Capacity, some Weeks and done very well.3
I Shall not be able to find Time to write to many of my Friends by this opportunity although it is so good a one.
Mr. Dana will be home before me. I envy him. But he will do great { 234 } good. He is a thoroughly Sensible Man, and entirely well principled. No Man knows our foreign affairs, and difficulties better than he. I have no Patience at the insidious Manoeuvres by which he has been defeated.
Dr. Franklin has fallen down again with the Gout and Gravel.4 He is better, and has been to Versailles and Paris, but he breaks visibly. Mr. Laurens, has a Brother declining, So that he will go to the south of France, untill he knows his Brother's Fate.5 I Shall go to Holland and Stay some time. I may be called to Paris again, and may take a Tour to England. Write me, prudently, by any Way. If my Health was firm, I could bear the Uncertainties of Life better. Tell Mrs. Warren I am already quite enough exhausted to retire. If I could, perfectly obey the Precept, “Fret not thy self, because of evil Doers,”6 I might wear a little longer. But I forget it sometimes. Mr. Jay has been my Comforter. We have compared Notes, and they agree. I love him so well that I know not what I should do in Europe without him: Yet how many times have I disputed Sharply with him in Congress!7 I always thought him however an honest Man. He is a virtuous and religious Man. He has a Conscience, and has been persecuted, accordingly, as all conscientious Men are. Dont suspect me of Cant. I am not addicted to it. He and I have Tales to tell, dismal Tales: But it will be most for his Happiness and mine to forget them. So let them be forgotten. If the publick Good should not absolutely require them to be told.
But I am wandering from my favourite Point which is the Recollection of my fervent affection for my Dearest Friend and the Dear Pledges of her Love.
1. These were the peace treaties between the United States and Great Britain, between France and Great Britain, and between Spain and Great Britain, all 3 Sept., and the preliminary treaty between the Netherlands and Great Britain, 2 September. The Anglo-American treaty was signed at Paris; all the others were signed at Versailles.
2. JA interlined “and the Loan . . . would Suffer.”
3. See JA to AA, 7 Sept., and note 8, below.
4. Visible urinary crystals or painful urination (OED).
5. Henry Laurens, still in England as late as 16 Sept., would soon visit his younger brother, James, who had suffered from poor health for a number of years. James died in Feb. 1784 in Vigan, France. Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:693, 699; David Duncan Wallace, The Life of Henry Laurens, N.Y., 1915, p. 226, 418.
6. Psalms 37:1.
7. JA's congressional disagreements with John Jay ran back to 1774, when Jay favored Joseph Galloway's Plan of Union and urged the colonies to pay the British East India Company for the property destroyed in the Boston Tea Party, but the two were often in agreement, especially concerning independence in 1776. See JA, Papers, 2:149; 4:71, 99–100, 219, 238; and JA, Diary and Autobiography, vol. 4.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0131

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-04

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

I should deserve, all the reproaches which my friends in America have made me if I neglected writing, by so good an Opportunity as the one that presents itself at this time. Mr. Thaxter who will deliver you this expects to sail for New-York in the course of this Month. He will probably carry the Definitive Treaty, (which was at last signed yesterday,) to Congress.1 So you will not receive this so soon as if, it went directly, but, I suppose, he will not stay long to the South-ward. I suppose we shall soon leave this Place, and return to the Hague, as the business which called my Father here is now all finished, the Treaties having been signed yesterday on all sides. The Dutch signed their preliminary articles with Great-Britain the day before Yesterday. It seems they have ceded Negapatnam,2 or rather have left the matter to be decided in their Definitive Treaty so that

“Peace o'er the world her olive wand extends”3

But, how long it will last, no body knows; it is feared not long; for it is thought almost universally that the affair between the two European Empires and the Turkish one, will not be arranged without some blood-shed. They have been for these 9 months in the Situation of a couple of Dogs, growling at one another, yet each afraid to touch the other; however, they will probably get at it, before they have done.4
I suppose you will see Mr. Dana before this reaches you. He left Petersbourgh, in a yacht which sailed directly for Boston. Mr. Allen I believe is gone with him. Mr. Storer is expected here every day, he wrote Mr. Thaxter that he intended to leave London the first or second of this month.

[salute] I am your most dutiful Son

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams. Braintree Massachusetts.”
1. Thaxter sailed from the Ile de Groix, off Lorient, on 26 Sept., landed at New York, and reached Philadelphia with the treaty on 22 November (see Thaxter to JA, 18 and 22 Sept., Adams Papers; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:143; and Elbridge Gerry to AA, 24 Nov., below).
2. Negapatam, a seaport on the southeastern coast of India and principal Dutch settlement in India, was captured by the British in 1781, and was ceded to them in the definitive peace (Piers Mackesy, War for America, Cambridge, 1965, p. 495–496, 509).
3. Alexander Pope, “Messiah,” line 19; also quoted in AA to JA, 28 April, at note 3, above.
4. In 1783 Catherine II took over the Crimea from the Turks, who for the moment had to accept what they could not prevent. Actual war between Russia and the Ottoman empire did not break out until 1787; Austria entered on Russia's side the next year (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:674–676).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This Morning for the first Time, was delivered me the Resolution of Congress of the first of May, that a Commission and Instructions Should be made Out, to Me, Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain.1 If this Intelligence had been Sent Us by Barney, who Sailed from Philadelphia a Month after, the 1st of May, and has now been Sailed from hence on his return home above a Month2 it would have Saved me and others much Anxiety. I am now even at a Loss. It is of great Importance that Such a Treaty Should be well made. The Loan in Holland must be attended to, and when the present one is full, another must be opened, which cannot be done but by me or my Successor. There are other Things too to be done in Europe of great Importance. Mr. Laurens has Leave to go home, and Mr. Dana is gone so that there remain in service only Mr. Franklin Mr. Jay and my self. In these Circumstances I must stay another Winter. I cannot justify going home. But what Shall I do for Want of my Family. By what I hear, I think Congress will give Us all Leave to come home in the Spring. Will you come to me this fall and go home with me in the Spring? If you will, come with my dear Nabby, leaving the two Boys at Mr. Shaws, and the House and Place under the Care of your Father Uncle Quincy or Dr. Tufts, or Mr. Cranch. This Letter may reach you by the <first of> middle of October,3 and in November you may embark, and a Passage in November, or all December will be a good Season. You may embark for London, Amsterdam, or any Port of France. On your Arrival, you will find Friends enough.4 The Moment I hear of it, I will fly with Post Horses to receive you at least, and if the Ballon, Should be carried to such Perfection in the mean time as to give Mankind the safe navigation of the Air, I will fly in one of them at the Rate of thirty Knots an hour.5 This is my Sincere Wish, although the Expence will be considerable, the Trouble to you great and you will probably have to return with me in the Spring. I am So unhappy without you that I wish you would come at all Events. You must bring with you at least one Maid and one Man servant.
I must however leave it with your Judgment, you know better than I the real Intentions at Philadelphia, and can determine better than I whether it will be more prudent to wait untill the Spring. I am determind to be with you in America or have you with me in Europe, { 237 } as soon as it can be accomplished consistent with private Prudence and the publick Good. I am told that Congress intend to recall Us all, as soon as a few Affairs are finished. If this should be the Case, all will be well. I shall go home with infinite Pleasure. But it may be longer than you think of, before all their necessary Affairs will be dispatched. The Treaty of Commerce with G. B. must take Time. A Treaty will be wanted with Portugal and Denmark if not with the Emperor and Empress.6 If you come to Europe this Fall, in my Opinion you will be glad to go home in the Spring. If you come in the spring you will wish to return the next fall. I am sure I shall, but Six months of your Company is worth to me, all the Expences and Trouble of the Voyage.
This Resolution of Congress deserves my Gratitude; it is highly honourable to me, and restores me, my Feelings, which a former Proceeding had taken away.7 I am now perfectly content to be recalled whenever they think fit, or to Stay in Europe, untill this Business is finished, provided you will come and live with me. We may Spend our Time together in Paris London or the Hague, for 6 or 12 Months as the Public Business may call me and then return to our Cottage, with contented Minds. It would be more agreable to my Inclinations to get home and endeavour to get my self and Children into a Settled Way, but I think it is more necessary for the Publick that I should stay in Europe, untill this Piece of Business is finished. You dont probably know the Circumstances which attended this Proceeding of Congress. They are so honourable to me, that I cannot in Gratitude or Decency refuse.
I must Submit your Voyage to your Discretion and the Advice of your Friends, my most earnest Wishes are to see you but if the Uncertainties are such as to discourage you, I know it will be upon reasonable Considerations and must submit. But if you postpone the Voyage for this Fall, I shall insist on your coming in the Spring, unless there is a certainty of my going home to you. Congress are at such grievous Expences, that I Shall have no other Secretary than my son. He however is a very good one.8 He writes a good hand very fast, and is very Steady, to his Pen and his Books. Write me by every Ship to Spain France Holland or England, that I may know. You give me more public Intelligence than any body. The only hint in Europe of this Commission was from you to yours forever
[signed] John Adams
1. This resolution was Congress' response to a committee report on JA's letter of 5 February. In that letter JA subtly protested Congress' July 1781 revocation of his commis• { 238 } sion to negotiate a commercial treaty with Britain while making the case for America's need for such a treaty. The new commission for the three diplomats, however, was never issued, the necessary instructions were never drafted, and Congress did not again consider its foreign assignments until October, and did not complete those assignments until May 1784. JA to AA, 29 Jan., note 1, above; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:142–143, note 2.
2. See John Thaxter to JA, 4 Aug. (Adams Papers).
3. On 20 Nov., AA wrote to JA, below, that she had just received one of JA's two letters of 10 Sept. (one below; the otherAdams Papers), which gave the same information and exhortation as the present letter. In her letter to JQA of 20 Nov., below, she says that she received JA's “Letters of 10 September.” This letter of the 7th went to America with John Thaxter, who traveled to New York and Philadelphia before reaching Braintee on 14 December (AA to JA, 15 Dec., below).
4. See Charles Storer to AA, 8 Nov. 1782, note 2, above.
5. Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier developed the first hot-air balloons in 1782–1783; the first public launching occurred in June of the latter year. The Montgolfiers' balloon immediately caught the fancy of the French, and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette witnessed the first attempt to send animals aloft from Versailles. Pilâtre de Rozier made the first free manned flight in November. JQA's great interest in the Montgolfiers' balloon in Aug.–Sept. is evident in his Diary entries (Diary, 1:187–190,192–194).
6. Joseph II, of Austria; and Catherine II, of Russia.
7. That is, the loss of his earlier commission to negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain (see note 1).
8. With John Thaxter's departure for America on 14 Sept., JQA fully assumed the role of JA's secretary. He had begun making copies for his father, however, from the moment of JA's arrival at The Hague; over a dozen JA letters are in JQA's hand from 23 July to 13 Sept., the day before Thaxter's departure. This was a new role for JQA, although he had made copies of two JA letters in 1778: to AA 18 Dec., vol. 3:138; and to Mercy Warren, 18 Dec., JA, Papers, 7:281–284. See also JA to Richard Cranch, 10 Sept., descriptive note, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0133

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have received from Congress a Resolution by which We are to be impowered to negotiate a Treaty of Commerce with G. B. My self Mr. Franklin and Mr. Jay. This will detain me in Europe this Winter. If this Letter arrives in Season, that you can come to me this Fall with Miss Nabby, I shall be Supreamly happy to see you. But Still Things are so unsettled in Congress that you may expect to return with me in the Spring. You may come to London Amsterdam or L'Orient, to either of which Places I will soon go to receive you after hearing of your Arrival.
It is however attended with so many Inconveniences that I must submit it to your Discretion with the Advice of your Friends whether to come this Fall, or stay till Spring and then come in Case Things should not be so altered as to oblige me to came home then to you.2 I have written more fully by Mr. Thaxter who sails the 20 of this Month from L'Orient, in the French Packet to New York. If you come { 239 } Leave the Boys at their School, bring a Maid and a Man servant. Leave the Place in the Care of Dr. Tufts or yr father.3 John is well.

[salute] Yours unfailingly

[signed] J. Adams
1. JA wrote AAanother letter of this date, also in the Adams Papers, with virtually the same content. Neither letter is addressed or endorsed. Both evidently went directly to Boston, perhaps in the same ship. It is likely that JA included one with his letter to Richard Cranch, and the other with his letter to Cotton Tufts (both of this date, below). AA received at least one, and probably both, on 20 Nov. (see AA to JA, and AA to JQA, both 20 Nov., below).
2. JA concludes his other letter of this date with the sentence: “If Affairs should require my stay another Summer in Europe I shall insist upon your coming at least in the Spring.”
3. In his other letter of this date, JA instructs: “Leave . . . the Farm in the Care of your Uncle Quincy, Dr. Tufts, your Father Mr. Cranch or other good Fr[ien]d.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0134

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1783-09-10

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have received with very great Pleasure, your favours of June 26 and July 18. If my Townsmen of Marblehead, Salem, Cape Anne, Plymouth &c. are pleased with the Peace, I am very glad:2 But We have yet to Secure, if We can, the Right to carry Some of their Fish to market. This and other Things is like to detain me longer here than I expected. I do not regret this, on Account of what you Say is meditated,3 because I have not the qualifications necessary to give Satisfaction in Such a Station, which no Man can obtain with[out]4 divisions or hold without Reproach in these turbulent Times. A great deal of dangerous and disagreable Service, it is true has fallen to my Lot, and it has been done with as much Success as could be expected and I am content.
I regret the Articles concerning the Tories, even for their sakes as well as ours. I thought and Still think it would have been better to have Said nothing about them. But What was done, was insisted on and could not be avoided.
The Treaty must Speak for itself. I do not Think myself qualified for a Commentator, nor should I think myself at Liberty to comment if I knew how. From the Treaty itself, the Stipulations may be easily distinguished from the Recommendations. The former should be Sacred and the latter coolly considered, at least. It will never do to quote me in Explanation of the Treaty: Your ministers have Said, and will Say in their Letters to Congress as much as they think proper upon the subject, and such Parts as Congress think fit to communi• { 240 } cate you will have from them. All I can Say is I wish the real Sense and Spirit of the Treaty may be complied with, and would recommend to all a dispassionate Consideration of it. If there are any Serious Things among Men such a Treaty is one of them.
I am much obliged to you for your particular Account of my Friends and particularly of the Death of my Aged Uncle5 for whom I had a great Regard, and am much affected with his kind Remembrance of me in his last Days. When I shall be released and see you I know not. We must finish off, in Europe, if Such is the Will of Congress, which may take Us a Year, and may be done sooner, or may require longer time. I should hope to finish all in a Year. I have written to my dear Partner to come to me, this Fall if she can, but have Small hopes that my Letters will reach her soon enough and I would not have her Think of a Winter Passage. It is a cruel Punishment to me to live without her, but I should choose this for 6 months longer rather than expose her health, to a turbulent Winter Passage without me. My kind Regards to sister and the Children and all our Friends.

[salute] With great Affection, your Friend and Brother

[signed] John Adams
RC (Tioga Point Museum, Athens, Penna.:Tidd Coll.); endorsed: “Letter from His Excellency J. Adams Esqr. Paris Sepr. 10th. 1783.” LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). This is the first JA letter transcribed by JQA into JA's letterbook (see JA to AA, 7 Sept., note 8, above).
1. JA probably began to write the date of one of Cranch's letters to him, 26 June, above.
2. Responding to Cranch's letter of 26 June, above, JA is clearly pleased by the reaction of Massachusetts' fishermen to the rights gained under the Anglo-American peace treaty, but is also concerned over the need for commercial treaties to insure that American ships could carry the fish to market.
3. That JA should be chosen governor of Massachusetts; see Cranch to JA, 26 June, above.
4. This word, mutilated on the worn right margin, is completed from the LbC.
5. Rev. Joseph Adams.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0135

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1783-09-10

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I thank you for your Favours of [June] 26 and July 51 and for your obliging Congratulations, on the Peace. The Articles respecting Refugees had [better] have been [omitted], but [we could not] have Peace without them and the Peace as it is, is better than none. The[se] Articles must be [explained] by a Consideration of the [words] of them and the whole Treaty, [and] I do not consider myself at Liberty to Say any Thing about their Meaning any more than if I had [drawn] a Will, I could explain the [Intention] of the Testator. { 241 } Give it as generous a Construction as you can, and call in Christian Charity as well as public Faith and human Policy to your [Aid].
I am more anxious about the Settlement of the Question between Congress and the States. The Public Debts must be paid, Yet you must take Care who raises the Money. At this distance, not hearing the Arguments I am not competent to decide for myself. But who shall govern foreign Commerce? Who shall preserve an Uniformity of Duties and Prohibitions? Can We preserve our Union without Such Uniformity? Can We defend our Sea Coast? Can We preserve the Respect of foreign Nations? But there is so much Sense among you and you have Such Resources that you will soon get over these difficulties, I hope.2
I was lately in hopes of joining and assisting in the discussion of these Matters, but Congress have sent me a new Business or a Revival of an old one,3 which will detain me this Winter at least. Pray Advise Mrs. Adams, whether to come to me or not. I have written to her to come, but it will be so late, before she receives the Letters, and Things are so unsettled in Congress respecting foreign affairs, that I am full of Doubt and Fears, whether it would not be more prudent to postpone it untill next Spring. If Things should not be arranged by my Masters so [that] I come home [then], I must insist on her coming to me, if it is even to live at the Hague. My John is a cordial to me, and if I had my two Nabbys I should be as happy as any Lord with my two Boys at Mr. Shaws and my little Farm under your Eye.

[salute] My affectionate and dutifull Respects to Father Smith, Your Lady and son.

[signed] John Adams
RC (NPV); docketed: “Letter fm. Hon John Adams dated Sept. 10 at Paris.” LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). Extensive bleeding of the ink has obscured several words in the RC; they have been supplied from the LbC.
1. Both Adams Papers.
2. This paragraph, like the one preceding it, is in response to Tufts' letter of 26 June (Adams Papers). As JA well understands here, the manner in which Congress raised money to pay off its debts would determine whether the United States would develop a strong central government or remain a collection of sovereign states. Those who favored the first course wanted Congress to have the power to levy taxes and to appoint and control its own tax collectors. Their opponents preferred either to divide the national debt among the states or to have the states collect the money and turn it over to Congress as payment of their share of the cost of government. In April Congress offered the states a number of proposals, packaged as one, that would give Congress power to levy duties on foreign imports for twenty-five years in order to pay the interest and principal of the national debt, and to levy an additional tax of $1,500,000 annually, apportioned among the states, also for twenty-five years; that would have all states cede their western land claims in accordance with the congressional resolu• { 242 } tions of 1780; and that would offer the states an amendment to the Articles of Confederation changing the proportion of assessments on the states from one based on land values to one based on population, with three-fifths of the slaves being counted. Aside from their dislike of the different effects that duties and taxes would have in different regions, opponents of the package of proposals feared that the new duties and taxes would create too powerful a central government, one dangerous to liberty. JCC, 24:170–174, 223–224, 256–262; Jensen, The New Nation, p. 400, 407–419.
3. Negotiating a commercial treaty with Great Britain.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0136

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-10

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Honoured Mamma

As you have ordered me in a Letter which I have Lately receiv'd1 to give you my own Observations on the Countries thro' which I have travelled, the following are some upon Russia; but I must previously beg you will remember, that you Say in your Letter that you expect neither the precision of a Robertson, nor the Elegance of a Voltaire, therefore you must take them as they are.2
The government of Russia is entirely despotical. The Sovereign is absolute, in all the extent of the word. The persons, the Estates, the fortunes of the Nobility depend entirely upon his Caprice. And the nobility have the same power over the people, that the Sovereign has over them. The Nation is wholly composed of Nobles and Serfs, or in other words, of Masters and Slaves. The Countryman is attached to the Land in which he is born; if the Land is sold he is sold with it; and he is obliged to give to his Landlord the portion of his time, which he chuses to demand. It is commonly two days in the week, I think. Others make them pay a sort of tax, of two or three Roubles a year (N.B. that a Rouble is 4 shillings sterling or thereabouts).3 This makes a large Revenue for the Landlords if they have a great Number of Serfs. And there are some of the Nobles who have an amazing Quantity of them: out of each five hundred they are obliged to furnish one to the Empress every year, and this forms her Army. I have been assured from good Authority that there is one Nobleman who furnishes 1300 men a year to the Empress, according to that the number of his Slaves would be 650,000. Supposing each of these Slaves pay him a Rouble a year his revenue will be more than 100,000 £ Sterling per annum.
This form of Government is disadvantageous to the Sovereign to the Nobles and to the People; for first, it Exposes the Sovereign every Moment to Revolutions of which there have been already four in the Course of this Century vizt: when Anne, Dutchess of Courland4 was set upon the throne, which was the right of Elizabeth, daughter of { 243 } Peter the first. This was done by some Noblemen who wanted to limit the prerogatives of the Sovereign, and be more powerful themselves. And they thought, they would find Anne more ready to agree to their Stipulations than Elizabeth because she had no right to the Crown. But she soon overturned all their Schemes; for as soon as she found herself well seated upon the throne, she rendered herself Absolute, by reinstating the Ancient form of Government; and banished all those who had made those restrictions, this was the second Revolution. The third was when Elizabeth dethroned Iwan an infant of 6 months old, and had him shut up in a Tower where he lived 20 years and was then murdered in it. And the 4th. when Peter the third was dethroned by the present Empress: this I think is sufficient proof that the Government is disadvantageous for the Sovereign. Secondly, As the Nobles all depend wholly upon the Sovereign they are always in danger, of their estates being confiscated, and themselves sent into Siberia. It is commonly the fate of the favourites. Menzicoff, the Dolgoroucki's, Biron, Bestucheff, Osterman, L'Estocg,5 all these have been the sport of Fortune. For some time the favourites of the Emperors and then sent to Siberia into exile, there to live in Misery. The History of Menzicoff is the most extraordinary, and he did not deserve his fate. He was born at Moscow, he was of low extraction, and used to Carry about the Streets, while a Child, pies, and sing ballads. Peter the first, saw him several times, and asked him several Questions; his answers pleased him so much that he took him to the Palace, and by degrees he became the favourite of the Emperor, who gave him the title of Prince and made him general of his Army &ca. At the battle of Pultowa, he saved the Empire, because [by]6 a manoeuvre of his he was the means of the battle's being decided in favour of the Emperor. During the whole Reign of Peter the 1st. and that of Catharine7 he was high in favour, but under that of Peter the 2d.8 he was stripped of all his dignities, his fortune which was immense, was confiscated, and himself sent in exile, where he died in misery. This is very nearly the history of all the others. An author who has written upon Russia (Manstein's Memoirs of Russia)9 says he has seen Lands change masters three or four times in the Course of a year. This is certainly not advantageous for the Nobility. And Thirdly, as to the People, No body I believe will assert that a People can be happy who are subjected to personal Slavery. Some of these Serfs are immensely rich: but they are not free and therefore they are despised, besides they depend still upon the Nobles, who make them contribute the more for their riches. A Nobleman wants money, { 244 } if he has any rich Serfs, he sends and lets one of them know that he must have at such a time a thousand Roubles (more or less according to Circumstances). This the Serf has a right to refuse: but in that Case his Landlord orders him to go and work upon such a piece of Ground: so he is obliged either to give the money or to go and work. The richer they are the more the nobles prize them: thus a Common man costs but 80 or 100 Roubles at most: but I have seen a Man who gave to his Landlord for his Liberty and that of his descendents 450,000 Roubles. This proves the esteem they have for Liberty: even where one would think they should not know that such a thing exists.10

[salute] As I am a little pressed for time, and as my Letter has already run to a considerable Length, I must for the present subscribe myself your most dutiful Son

[signed] J Q Adams
1. AA's letter of 13 Nov. 1782, above, was addressed to St. Petersburg.
2. The account of Russia that follows is nearly identical to the first four pages of JQA's seven-page, incomplete essay on Russia, which is now among his miscellaneous MSS (M/JQA/43.13). The essay is probably little more than a long extract or set of extracts from published sources (see note 9). It is not known whether JQA began or completed this essay in St. Petersburg, the Netherlands, or Paris. The letter appears to be a fair copy of the essay.
3. The clause in parentheses appears in the essay on p. 4, coming after “thus a Common man costs but 80 or 100 Roubles at most.” The position of the explanation in the letter is more logical, coming as it does after the first mention of rubles.
4. The relationships and reigns of the rulers named in the following passage are, in the order given: Anne, niece of Peter I, 1730–1740; Elizabeth, 1741–1761; Peter I (the Great), 1682–1725; Ivan VI, great nephew of Anne, 1740–1741 (d. 1764); Peter III, nephew of Elizabeth, 1761–1762; and “the present Empress,” Catherine II (the Great), widow of Peter III, 1762–1796.
5. Alexander Menshikov; the Dolgoroukis (Yuri, Ivan, and Vassili were active between 1680 and 1746); Ernst Johann Biren (or Biron), Duke of Courland; Michael Bestoujef; Heinrich Johann, Count Osterman; and Johann Herman, Count L'Estocq.
6. “By” is interlined in the essay.
7. Catherine I, 1725–1727, the widow of Peter I.
8. The grandson of Peter I; he reigned, 1727–1730.
9. The earliest edition of Christof Hermann von Manstein's Memoirs of Russia . . . from the year 1727 to 1744 was translated from the original French MS, edited by David Hume, and published in London in 1770. French and German editions appeared in 1771. JQA purchased the Paris edition of 1771 in St. Petersburg on 7 March 1782, according to his notation on p. iii of the volume, which is now in MQA. Manstein's Memoirs; Voltaire's Histoire de l'empire de Russie sous Pierre le grand (1759–1763), which JQA bought in July 1781, either in Germany or in Holland (vol. 4:234, note 2; JQA, Diary, 1:94–95); and JQA's observations were the sources for his descriptions of Russia. See JQA to AA, 23 Oct. 1781 (vol. 4:233–234).
10. The clause after the colon is not included in the essay.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0137

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-09-12

Will of Reverend William Smith

In the Name of God Amen, I William Smith of Weymouth in the County of Suffolk and Commonwealth of Massachusetts in New England Clerk,1 being of a sound disposing Mind and Memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament as follows—
Imprimis—
My will is that my farm at Lincoln in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth aforesaid with the Stock and Utensils thereto belonging and the household stuff in the dwelling house on said farm contained in a bill of Sale given me by my Son William, also a wood lot in Concord in the County of Middlesex aforesaid bought of one Minot shall all be possessed by my Executors herein named during the natural life of my Son William and the profits thereof by them applied according to their discretion to the seperate maintenance and comfort of Catharine Louisa the present wife of my said son William and her children and after the death of my said son William I give the use of my said farm, stock, utensils and household stuff and wood lot to my Daughter in law Catharine Louisa the present wife of my said Son William for her maintenance and support and the maintenance and support of her children by my son William. And my will further is that after the decease of my said daughter in Law, the said farm, stock, utensils, household stuff and wood lot shall go to her children by my said son to be equally divided between them, their respective heirs and assigns forever as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And in case my Executors should die before my said Son William my desire is that the Honorable the Judge of Probate appoint an Administrator cum testamento Annexo to manage my said farm, stock, utensils, household stuff and wood lot and apply the profits of them, for the support and comfort of my said daughter and her children during the life of my said Son.
Item—
My Will is that all and every part or parcel of Land in said Lincoln with the buildings thereon mentioned and described in a quit claim given to me by William Dodge bearing date August the fifteenth Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty shall all be possessed by my Executors hereafter named during the continuance of my right in or to any of the said lands and buildings and the profits arising therefrom shall be applied as my Executors shall see fit either to the
{ 246 } { 247 }
support and benefit of my said Son William or to the support and benefit of his present wife Catharine Louisa and her children by my said Son.
Item—
I do give unto my Son William all my wearing apparel and whatever shall be due from him to me on Notes, Bonds or Accompt at my decease.
Item—
I do give unto my Daughter Mary Cranch, wife of Richard Cranch of Braintree in the County of Suffolk Esquire to her, her heirs and Assigns forever all my lands, buildings and real estate in Weymouth aforesaid with the Stock and Utensils thereto belonging.
Item—
I do give my farm in Medford and my Salt marsh in Malden both in the County of Middlesex aforesaid with all the buildings, stock and utensils thereto belonging unto my daughter Abigail Adams wife of the Honorable John Adams Esquire of Braintree aforesaid and unto my daughter Elisabeth Shaw wife of the Reverend John Shaw of Haverhill in the County of Essex and Commonwealth aforesaid Clerk, to be to them, their heirs and Assigns for ever, to be equally divided to and among them or their heirs respectively.
Item—
I do give unto my Said Daughter Abigail Adams my Silver Tankard.
Item—
I do give unto my said Daughter Elisabeth Shaw all my real estate in Hingham in the County of Suffolk aforesaid, to her, her heirs and Assigns forever.
Item—
I give unto my Negro Woman Phoebe her freedom, in case she should chuse it; but if she should not chuse it I do then give the said Phoebe unto either of my Daughters Mary Cranch, Abigail Adams or Elisabeth Shaw, viz, unto such one of them as she shall within three months from my decease manifest to my Executors her desire to live and dwell with; And it is my will that one hundred pounds be retained out of my estate, and that to such my daughter with whom the said Phoebe shall live, the annual interest thereof shall be paid so long as she shall live with her if by sickness, or age the said Phoebe shall become a charge to her; or otherwise my Executors shall have full liberty to apply the said one hundred pounds or any part thereof for the comfortable maintenance and support of said Phoebe if they shall { 248 } judge it necessary and expedient. And if it should so happen that the aforesaid one hundred pounds or any part thereof should not be expended for the purposes aforesaid, the same shall be divided among my residuary legatees.2
Item—
I do give unto my Grand Daughter Elizabeth Smith Sixty six pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence to be improved by my Executors for the use and benefit of my said Grand Daughter untill she shall arrive at the age of eighteen years or untill her Marriage.
Item—
I do give unto each of my Executors hereafter named the sum of thirty pounds. And my will is that they discharge my just debts, funeral charges and legacies out of my personal estate, such of them as are ordered to be paid in money.
Item—
I do give and devise the remainder of my estate both real and personal, not before disposed off, unto my aforesaid Daughters Mary Cranch, Abigail Adams and Elisabeth Shaw, to be to them their heirs and Assigns forever to be equally divided to and among them or their heirs respectively.
I do constitute and appoint Cotton Tufts of Weymouth aforesaid Esquire and Richard Cranch of Braintree aforesaid Esquire Executors of this my last will and testament, confirming and declaring this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twelvth day of September Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty three.
[signed] William Smith
Signed Sealed published and declared by William Smith the Testator Aforesaid & a Seal for and as his last Will and Testament
[signed] In presence of us
Danl: Shute Junr. swornCotton Tufts Junr. swornJonathn Darby Junr. absent
Suffolk ss. The within Will being presented for Probate by the Executors therein named Daniel Shute Junr. and Cotton Tufts junr. made Oath that they saw William Smith the Subscriber to this Instrument sign and Seal and also heard him publish and declare the same to be his last Will and Testament and that when he so did he was of sound disposing mind and memory according to these Depo• { 249 } nents best Discerning and that they together with Jonathan Darby junr. now absent set to their Hands as Witnesses thereof in said Testators presence.
[signed] O. Wendell Jud Prob3
MS (Suffolk County Probate Records, file no. 18039, presently located at M-Ar).
1. That is, a member of the clergy.
2. It is interesting to note that Rev. Smith made this manumission provision shortly after Chief Justice William Cushing of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a charge to the jury in the case of Commonwealth vs. Jennison (April 1783), argued that slavery was illegal under the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. The jury evidently concurred, and their decision in favor of Quock Walker, who charged his former master, Nathaniel Jennison, with assault and battery, ended two years of judicial controversy, involving six cases, that came to center on the question of whether slavery was legal in the Commonwealth. Other evidence involving Jennison and his other slaves, however, suggests that slavery did not entirely cease in Massachusetts with the final disposition of these cases. See John D. Cushing, “The Cushing Court and the Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts: More Notes on the 'Quock Walker Case,'” American Journal of Legal History, 5:118–144 (April 1961).
3. A survey of the two inventories and the final statement of the settlement of the estate suggests that Rev. Smith disposed of his possessions according to his perception of his several heirs' financial needs. The final statement, presented by the executors, Richard Cranch and Dr. Cotton Tufts, to the heirs on 20 May 1784, and agreed to by them on that day, distributed the estate as follows:
To Mary Smith Cranch: 18 acres of land, with buildings, tools, and household goods, all in Weymouth, all valued at £513.2.7.
To AA: a one-half share in 86 acres of land, with buildings and tools, in Medford and Malden, and a silver tankard, all valued at £439.12.10.
To Elizabeth Smith Shaw: a one-half share in 86 acres of land, with buildings and tools, in Medford and Malden, and 46 1/2 acres of land in Hingham, all valued at £685.13.0.
To Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith: the use, under the supervision of the executors, of over 261 acres of land, with buildings, tools, and household goods, in Lincoln and Concord, all valued at £761.0.7.
To William Smith Jr., who had abandoned his family: only his apparel, valued at £21.13.4, and the forgiveness of all debts (not evaluated).
These provisions appear to reflect the fact that Mary Cranch's husband was not prosperous, but that her three children were nearly grown by 1783; that AA's husband was prosperous, and her two oldest children nearly grown; that Elizabeth Shaw's husband was a country parson, probably of modest means, and that her two children were quite young; and that Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith had six children, many still quite young, and no means of support beyond the farm that Rev. Smith owned in Lincoln, on which she lived.
Of interest in understanding AA's early education is that part of the inventory of Rev. Smith's Weymouth possessions that accounted for his library. It listed, usually in large groups with only a few major titles specifically identified, over 430 volumes, of which 85 were in French.
See “An Inventory of the real & personal Estate whereof the Revd. William Smith late of Weymouth died seized and possessed of . . . .” 9 April 1784, submitted to the judge of probate, 6 August 1784; “Inventory of Rev. William Smith's Real and Personal Property at Concord and Lincoln”; and “Dr. Cotton Tufts & Richard Cranch Executors of the last Will of the Revd. Willm. Smith late of Weymouth deceased,” 20 May 1784, also submitted to the judge of probate, 6 August 1784. All documents are in M-Ar.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0138

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1783-09-17

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] Dear Sister

It will not be in my power to get Beaf. Bisquit I can procure, I shall prepaire a dinner here and stop all our Boston Friends with me, in order to save you as much trouble as I can.1 Cannot you get [mourning clothes?] made at the drs [Dr. Cotton Tufts]. Sister Cranch sent for 15 yds possibly she may spair some. You had better take what black Gauze you want for the family at the drs. I think it answers very well. I have procur'd you the Cloaths I mentiond. There was no cuffs, Nabby is making you a pair. Cousin Betsy will borrow a skarf for you in Boston that you need not be hurried to make your Cloak. I send Louissa to day because I shall not know how to convey all the family to morrow.
I do not wonder that the unhappy House looks desolate and mourns. Desolate indeed will it ever look to us. But the House not made with hands, is the mansion I trust where our dear parents are, and there may all their children meet them, is the prayer of your ever affectionate
[signed] AA
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. AA is consulting with her sister about mourning arrangements for their father, who died on 17 Sept.; Elizabeth Shaw and her family had traveled to Weymouth to be present with the Cranches and the Adamses during the Rev. William Smith's final days (AA to JA, 20 Sept., below).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0139-0001

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-09-18

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I embrace the Oppertunity by Mr. Guild, of informing You, that Mr. Adams was well the 27th. of July,1 and that by a Letter to the Minister of France of the 29th,2 the Dutch Negotiation with the British was finished, by which one great Obstacle to the definitive Treaty is removed.
Inclosed is an Extract of an official Letter from Doctor F—to Mr. Livingston Secretary of foreign affairs dated July 22d., which is calculated to give a private Stab to the Reputation of our Friend; at least it appears so to me.3 By the Doctors Observation that by writing the Letter “he hazzarded a mortal Enmity,” I think it evident, he did not intend the Letter should be seen by Mr. Adams's particular Friends, { 251 } but that Mr. Livingston should make a prudent Use of it to multiply Mr. Adams' Enemies. Mr. L. could easily do this, by not communicating to Congress the paragraph: but being now out of Office,4 the Doctor's Craft is apparent. You will please to keep the Matter a profound Secret, excepting to Mr. Adams, General Warren and Lady; and let the Channel of Communication be likewise a secret. My Compliments to Miss Adams, and all our Friends in your Quarter, and be assured I remain with the highest Esteem Madam your very hum ser
[signed] E Gerry
RC with enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams at Braintree favd. by Mr. Guild.” The enclosure is in Gerry's hand. AA had Royall Tyler make a copy of it and sent it to JA with her letter of 15 Dec., below (see note 3 there).
1. Gerry may be referring to the letter of 27 July from Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens to R. R. Livingston that described the progress of the definitive peace treaty and noted that JA had “gone to Holland for three weeks” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:600). Gerry was a member of a committee to consider that and other letters from American diplomats in Europe, but there is no mention of the letter of the 27th until 25 Sept. (JCC, 25:617).
2. The preceding three words were interlined and an alternative reading of the date is the “27th,” but no letter of either the “27th” or the “29th” to the Chevalier de La Luzerne has been identified. Elbridge Gerry, however was a member of a committee appointed on 18 Sept. to meet with La Luzerne. At the meeting, probably on the 18th, the French minister related the contents of a letter from the Comte de Vergennes of 21 July, in which the foreign minister commented on the progress of the various peace treaties, including that between Britain and the Netherlands. Not mentioned by Gerry was Vergennes' criticism of the American negotiators for pursuing tactics which he believed had delayed the definitive treaty (JCC, 25:588–589).
3. AA received this letter, with the extract from Franklin's letter, before 15 Oct. (AA to Gerry, below), but she did not send a copy of the extract to JA until she wrote him on 15 Dec., below. In her December letter she explains her delay.
4. Congress accepted Livingston's resignation as secretary of foreign affairs on 4 June (JCC, 24:382). Gerry read Franklin's 22 July letter because he was one of five congressmen appointed to report on the dispatches of America's foreign ministers (JCC, 25:587–588).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0139-0002

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-07-22

Enclosure: Extract of a Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Robert R. Livingston

Extract of a Letter from D[octor] F[ranklin] to Mr. L[ivingston]

After declaring that neither the Letter from Mr. Marbois nor the conversation respecting the Fishery, Boundaries, Royalists and recommending Moderation in our Demands, are of Weight sufficient to fix in his Mind an opinion, that the Court of France wishes to restrain us in obtaining any Degree of Advantage We could prevail on our Enemies to accord to, the Doctor goes on—
“I ought not however to conceal from You, that one of my Collegues is of a very different Opinion from me in these Matters. He thinks the french Minister one of the greatest Enemies of our Country; that he would have straitned our Boundaries to prevent the Growth of our people; contracted our Fishery to obstruct the Increase of our Seamen; and retained the Royalists amongst Us to keep us divided—that he privately opposes all our Negotiations with foreign Courts, and afforded us during the War the Assistance We received, only to keep it alive that We might be so much the more weakened by it. That to think of Gratitude to France, is the greatest of Follies, and that to be influenced by it, would ruin us. He makes no Secret of his having these opinions, expresses them publickly, sometimes in presence of the english Minister, and speaks of hundreds of Instances which he could produce in proof of them. None however have yet appeard to me, unless the Conversation and Letter above mentioned2 are reckoned such. If I were not convinced of the real Inability of the Court to furnish the farther Supplies We asked, I should suspect these Discourses of a person in his station, might have influenced the Refusal; but I think they have gone no farther than to occasion { 252 } a Suspicion that We have a considerable party of Antigalicans in America, who are not Tories, and consequently to produce some Doubts of the Continuance of our Friendship. As such Doubts may hereafter have a bad Effect, I think We cannot take too much Care to remove them: and it is therefore I write this to put you on your Guard (beleiving it to be my Duty, tho I know that I hazzard by it a mortal Enmity) and to caution You respecting the Insinuations of this Gentleman against the Court, and the Instances he supposes of their Ill Will to us, which I take to be as imaginary as I know his Fancies to be that the Count de V[ergennes] and myself are continually plotting against him, and employing the News writers of Europe to depreciate his Character &c., but as Shakespear says “Trifles light as Air” &c.3 Persuaded however that he means well for his Country, is always an honest Man, often a Wise one, but sometimes and in somethings absolutely out of his Senses.”
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 with enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams at Braintree favd. by Mr. Guild.” The enclosure is in Gerry's hand. AA had Royall Tyler make a copy of it and sent it to JA with her letter of 15 Dec., below (see note 3 there).
1. The full text of Franklin's letter appears in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:580–588.
2. That is, the letter by Barbé-Marbois, intercepted by the British and given to the Americans, and certain conversations “respecting the Fishery, Boundaries, Royalists and recommending Moderation in our Demands,” mentioned above, which Franklin does not identify any further than does Gerry.
3. Othello, III, iii, 322–324: “Trifles light as air/Are to the jealous confirmations strong/As proofs of holy writ.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0140

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-09-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Dearer if possible than ever; for all the parental props which once sustaind and supported me are fallen! My Father, my Father, where is he? With Humble confidence I can say; he is with the spirits of just Men made perfect, become an inhabitant of that Country, from whose Bourn no traveller returns.1
In my last Letter to you,2 I recollect to have particularly mentiond both our dear and venerable parents. My Father then appeard to sustain his age, with fewer of the infirmities of it, than most aged persons are subject to, his Health, his spirits, and his activity were remarkable. He sat out upon a visit to my sister at Haverhill, and with an intention of carrying our son Charles, who had just recoverd from the Measles: he reachd here for the Night, and tho he complaind of having felt rather unwell for a few days, he spent as pleasent and cheerfull an evening as I had known him for many Years. About midnight, I waked with his calling a servant, and desireing him to rise, upon which I rose, and went into his Chamber, I found him in great distress with the strangery;3 I made every application which I could think of untill morning, but his pain increasing he could neither lie nor set, he insisted upon being carried home. It was with great difficulty to himself, that he reachd his own House, where for 15 days he lived in most exquisite distress, during which time no medicine or outward application procured him relief. He supported himself through his distressing pain, and exemplified that Christian patience and fortitude, which he had, through his whole Life taught to others.

“Here real and, apparent, were the same

We saw the Man, We saw his hold on heaven

A lecture silent, but of sov'reign power!

to vice confusion, but to virtue peace.”

Not a complaint fell from his Lips during his sickness, his reason was clear to the last moment of his Life; every hour of which, he exerted himself, to admonish and warn the youth, who attended round his Bed, intreating them to devote themselves early to their Maker. To them and to others, he was with a most Cheerfull resignation, manifesting the joy and comfort, derived from unfeigned piety; and a Life well Spent; he had a well grounded hope; and his last end was peace.
{ 254 }
His affection towards his children and his grandchildren seemed heightned by the Idea, of parting with them.
O my children, said he, you are so kind and tender, I fear you will make me loth to leave you. Through his sickness he was but once heard to say, that he wished it had pleased God to have spaired his Life longer, and that was, to have seen the return of my dearest Friend; but tell him says he, I hope to meet him in a better world.

“The Sweet remembrance of the just,

Shall flourish when they sleep in dust.”

Sweet indeed, is the remembrance of this my dear parent; and his death bed Scene the greatest consolation for his loss. Painfull as it was, I would not have exchanged it, for the triumph of the Greatest Monarch.

“The Chamber where the good Man meets his Fate

is privileg'd beyond the common walk

of virtuous Life, quite in the verge of Heaven

whatever farce the Boastfull Hero plays,

virtue alone has Majesty in death.”

How trifling, and of how little importance does such a scene, make all the wealth, power and greatness of the world appear. I have; Said my dear parent, made two things the principal Study of my Life, let me injoin the Same upon my Children. I have endeavourd to do all the good I could with the talants committed to me, and to honour God with my substance. Well may his Children rise up; and call him blessed—gratefully acknowledging the hand which bestowed upon them such a parent, doubling their diligence to walk in his Steps. Like good old Jacob, our parent blessed all his of[s]pring,4 may our children never forget the Solemn Scene.

“We gaze'd we wept, mixt tears of greif and joy.”

I know my dear Friend, you will most sensibly feel this bereavement. You have lost one of your firmest Friends, no man could be more delighted, with your successes, or entertaind a higher sense of them, than my dear parent, he knew your Worth, and he honourd it at all times. No man was happier in the sons his daughters had given him,5 two of whom attended him in his last moments, administering to him, those kind offices, which his afflicted daughters could not perform.
{ 255 }

“His God sustaind him in his final hour!

his final hour brought Glory to his God

Mans Glory Heaven vouchsafes to call her own.”

In the midst of my affliction several of your kind Letters6 were brought me. My Heart I hope was not unthankfull to Heaven for the blessing, but my Mind is not sufficiently calm to reply to them. I shall close this and wait a more tranquil hour; how much do I feel the want of the Soothing kindness of the Friend of my Heart. The Idea is too painfull—adieu. Your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Sept. 20. 1783. ansd. 25. Jan. 1784”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Mrs. AA—Sep—'83.”
1. Shakespeare, Hamlet, III, i, 79–80; “bourn” means “boundaries” or “frontiers” (OED).
2. Of 24 Aug., above.
3. A blockage of the urinary tract (OED).
4. Genesis 48 and 49.
5. That is, Richard Cranch, Rev. John Shaw and JA.
6. Perhaps those mentioned in AA to JA, 19 Oct., below, although she may have received those letters after 20 September.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-10-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have had another Fever, which brought me low, but as it has carried off certain Pains and Lamenesses the Relicks of the Amsterdam Distemper, I am perswaded it will do me, much good.
I am going next Week to London, with my son. I may Stay Six Weeks, if nothing from Congress calls me away Sooner.2
I have only to repeat my earnest Request that you and our Daughter would come to me, as soon as possible. The Business that is marked out for Us, will detain me in Europe at least another Year, as I conjecture. You may take the Voyage and Satisfy your Curiosity and return with me. It is not very material, whether you arrive in Nantes, Amsterdam or London—the Distance from Paris is about the Same.
You, once wrote me that Mr. Allen had offered his Place for Sale. Pray what was his Price?3
I Suppose that Bills, upon Europe will now sell for Money or more than Money. If So draw upon me, for what you want, and your Bills shall be paid, upon Sight. I Sent you a little by Mr. Thaxter.
I have particular Reasons for wishing to own that Piece of Land where <>4 Mr. Hancocks House stood and the Addition which has been made to it.5 If Coll. Quincy will Sell it, at any tollerable Price, and you can sell a Bill upon me, for Cash to pay for it, buy it. Pray Dr. Tufts to do it, if you have not time.
{ 256 }
Your Letters by the Way of England have all come to me very regularly and in good order. It is the best Way at present of Writing. You may write however, by the Way of the French Packet from N. York to L'Orient. But Secrets should not be trusted to that Conveyance by you nor me.
The Family affair which has been mentioned in Several of your Letters,6 may be managed very well. The Lady comes to Europe with you. If the Parties preserve their Regard untill they meet again and continue to behave as they ought, they will be still young enough. Lawyers should never marry early. I am quite unqualified to decide upon that matter. To Your Judgment, with the Advice of our Friends, I must leave it. One Thing I know, that Knowledge of the Law comes not by Inspiration, and without painfull and obstinate Study no Man will ever have it. Yours, without Reserve.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “october 14th.”
1. JA moved from Paris on 22 Sept. to live in Auteuil, just west of the city on the right bank of the Seine, near the Bois de Boulogne, as a guest of Thomas Barclay, who was renting a house from the Comte de Rouault. As JA explained in a long and vivid reminiscence published nearly thirty years later in a Boston newspaper, the noise of carriage traffic outside the Hôtel du Roi in Paris, where he was lodging, was so loud and continuous that loss of sleep threatened his recovery from the ravages of a serious fever (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:143 and note 4; and see illustration opposite 3:257). In Aug. 1784, JA rented the same house and brought his family to live there.
2. Despite his program of exercise at Auteuil, JA's health did not improve as rapidly as he hoped, and on the advice of his physician, Sir James Jay, JA decided to take the waters at Bath in England (same). JA, JQA, and their servant Levêque left Auteuil on 20 Oct., and arrived in London the 26th (same, 3:146–148).
3. On the farm of Mr. Alleyne of Braintree, see AA to JA, 17 and 25 March, and 25 April 1782, vol. 4:295–296, 315–316.
4. Six to eight words have been deleted here.
5. The residence of Rev. John Hancock, father of the governor, stood on land that became the property of Col. Josiah Quincy; the house burned down in 1759. JA acquired this property sometime after Col. Quincy's death in March 1784, and he refers to it in his Diary as “the Hancock Cellar.” In 1822 he gave the property with other land to the Town of Quincy in trust for the eventual establishment of a private school to train young men for college. Adams Academy was completed in 1871, constructed on the site of the “cellar.” The building is now the home of the Quincy Historical Society. See AA to JA, 15 March 1784, below; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:111–113, and note 15; 3:249; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 341–342.
6. Royall Tyler's courtship of AA2.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0142

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1783-10-15

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Dear Sir

Your obligeing favour was handed me from Mr. Guild,1 at a time when I was engaged in the Melancholy office, of attending the dieing Bed, of a dear, and venerable parent.
I need ask no further excuse of you for omiting a speedy replie, { 257 } and thanking you for your kind attention to me. Neither the contents of your Letter; or the extracts inclosed, were unexpected to me; from many of Mr. Adam'es Letters, I have been fully satisfied, that the gentleman who wrote the Letter, you inclosed, in conjunction with the Count,2 were determined if possible, to get so troublesome, and watchfull an inspector, of their conduct, and views removed out of their way, and if this could not be Effected; at least attempt to ruin his usefullness. The latter I presume is out of their power. The former, I know not whether I should be very much their Enemy if they accomplished. Tho it would mortify me to have the faithfull Services of my Friend undervalued, or depreciated by their influence, yet I so sincerely wish his return; that I should receive that for good; which might be meant for evil.
Seriously Sir; the state of Mr. Adams'es Health is such, that I suffer, every anxiety on account of it. The Fever he had two years ago in Amsterdam, left him with many disorders, amongst which; he complains of the scurvy, a swelling of his legs, a weakness of his joints, lowness of spirits. A voyage might do much towards restoreing him to Health, but without that, and a little of my good Nursing, I fear he will fall a sacrifice to perplexities and anxieties of mind, added to his bodily infirmities.
Amongst many observations which my Freind makes, in his late Letters respecting our Country, I transcribe the following, “our Country will be envied, our Liberty will be envied, our virtues will be envied. Deep and subtle Systems of corruption, hard to prove, impossible to detect, will be practised to Sap and undermine Us, and the few who penetrate them; will be called Suspicious, envious, restless, turbulant, ambitious; will be hated, unpopular and unhappy.”3 This Sir, it is to be a real patriot. How much courage perserverence and fortitude are necessary to compleat the Character? In this age of the world, that Man has an awfull Lot, who dares to “Love his Country and be poor.”4
If any thing offers at Congress respecting my Friend, I will thank you to let me know it. You may relie upon it sir, that no use will be made of it; but such as you permit. If you have received publick dispatches, and they are of a Similar nature with private Letters, they are filled with complaints and anxieties, ariseing from want of intelligence.
Genll. Warren has a large number of Letters supposing him a Member of Congress; the contents of which I hope he will transmit to you. They were written for his information, supposing him a { 258 } Member of that body, and knowing him to be an unshaken Friend to his Country.
If any Letters should arrive for me I will thank you sir if you will forward them. Mr. Adams'es Letters are not calculated for the post office, many of them being written upon very thick paper and under two and sometimes 3 covers. Tis true he franks them according to a resolve of Congress which passt Soon after he went abroad, but the post master insists that, Congress by putting the post office upon its former establishment superseded that Resolve.5 You would oblige me sir, by informing me whether it is realy so or not. I am the rather led to this inquiry, from a demand which Genll. Warren had, the other day for postage, for a Letter which was from a Member of Congress.

[salute] Be pleased to present my respectfull Regards to Dr. Lee, and to Mr. Osgood, for whom I have a high Esteem, and believe me dear Sir your Friend & humble servant

[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Private owner, Boston, 1956).
1. Gerry to AA, 18 Sept., above, which AA could hardly have received much before 25 Sept., despite her comment here.
2. Vergennes; “the gentleman who wrote the Letter” is Franklin.
3. JA to AA, 16 April, second letter of this date, above.
4. JA, same letter, above, quotes this line from Alexander Pope, “On His Grotto at Twickenham.”
5. Congress resolved on 28 Dec. 1779 that letters to and from the Commissioners abroad should be free of postage charges, but the ordinance to regulate the post office adopted on 18 Oct. 1782 limited free letters to those sent on public business. On 28 Feb. 1783, Congress made it clear that the franking privilege was not to cover private letters sent along with public ones (JCC, 15:1415; 23:670–678; 24:156–157). But see Gerry to AA, 6 Nov., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0143

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-19

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

My last Letter to you was written in Sepbr.2 I closed it, because I knew not how to think upon any other subject than the solemn one I had just past through; since that date I have received a Number of Letters from you, written in April, May, june and 2 in july.
To hear from you is a satisfaction, but the whole tenor of your Letters rather added to my melancholy, than mitigated it. The state of your Health gives me great anxiety; and the delay of your return increases it. The Season is now so far advanced, that if you embark I shall have a thousand terrors for you; if you tarry abroad; I fear for your Health.
{ 259 }
If Congress should think proper to make you an other appointment, I beg you not to accept it. Call me not to any further trials of the kind! Reflect upon your long absence from your family, and upon the necessity there is, of your returning in order to recover that Health which you have unhappily impaired and lost abroad.
Your Children have a demand upon You, they want your care, your advice and instruction; I mean at all times to consult and promote their interest and happiness, but I may be mistaken in it; I cannot feel so safe or so satisfied as I should if Your approbation was added to it.
There was a time when I had brought my mind to be willing to cross the Seas to be with you, but tho one strong tie which held me here, is dissolved, the train of my Ideas for six months past has run wholy upon your return; that I now think nothing short of an assurence from you, that your happiness depended upon it, would induce me to alter my oppinion. The Scenes of anxiety through which you have past, are enough to rack the firmest constitution, and debilitate the strongest faculties. Conscious Rectitude is a grand support, but it will not ward of the attacks of envy, or secure from the assaults of jealousy. Both ancient and modern history furnish us with repeated proofs, that virtue must look beyond this shifting theatre for its reward; but the Love of praise is a passion deeply rooted in the mind and in this we resemble the Supreem Being who is most Gratified with thanksgiving and praise. Those who are most affected with it, partake most of that particle of divinity which distinguishes mankind from the inferiour Creation; no one who deserves commendation can dispise it, but we too frequently see it refused where it is due, and bestowed upon very undeserving characters. “Treachery venality and villainy must be the Effects of dissipation voluptuousness and impiety, says the Great Dr. Price and adds, these vices sap the foundation of virtue, they render Men necessitous and Supple, ready at any time to sacrifice their consciences. Let us remember these Truths in judging of Men. Let us consider that true goodness is uniform and consistant; and learn never to place any great confidence in those pretenders to publick Spirit, who are not men of virtuous Characters. They may boast of their attachment to a publick cause, but they want the living root of virtue, and should not be depended upon.”3
You call upon me to write you upon a subject which greatly embarrasses me,4 yet I ought to tell you what I conceive to be the real Truth. The Gentleman whom I formerly mentiond to you, resides { 260 } here Still, and boards in the same family. I wrote you the Truth when I informd you that the connection was broken of—and nothing particular has since past. Yet it is evident to me, as well as to the family where he lives, that his attachment is not lessned. He conducts prudently, and tho nothing is said upon the subject I do not immagine that he has given up the Hope, that in some future Day he may be able to obtain your approbation. Your daughter so highly values your esteem and approbation, that She has frequently said she never could be happy without it. That she will not act contrary to the opinion of her Friends, I am fully satisfied, but her sentiments with regard to this Gentleman she says are not to be changed but upon a conviction of his demerrit. I wish most sincerely wish you was at Home to judge for yourself. I shall never feel safe or happy untill you are. I had rather you should inquire into his conduct and behaviour, his success in Buisness and his attention to it, from the family where he lives, than Say any thing upon the subject myself. I can say with real Truth that no Courtship subsists between them, and that I believe it is in your power to put a final period to every Idea of the kind, if upon your return you think best. There is a young Gentleman, who formerly kept our school, by the Name of Perkings,5 who is now studying Law with Mr. Tyler. He has been in Virgina for a twelve month past and designs to return there again.
I was very unhappy to find by your Letters that you was so long without any intelligence from America, but I hope you have been amply compensated before this time. Your Letters which were dated in April May and june did not reach me untill Sep'br. I must request you in future to calculate those you send to Philadelphia for the post office. Every line of yours is invaluable to me, yet blank paper is not so, and the double covers pay as large postage, as if they were wholy written. I have disputed the matter some time with the postmaster, and now he will not deliver a Letter untill the postage is pay'd. I payd 3 dollors the other day for what one sheet of paper would have containd. I do not yet believe that congress mean to make their foreign ministers subject to postage, and I design to write to Mr. Gerry upon the Subject.6
I hear of a vessel bound to France. I will forward this and write to Mr. Thaxter by way of England. I hear he is there, and that Mr. Smith arrived after a short passage. At this I rejoice tho I was not his companion. Our two sons are gone to Haverhill. I hope to hear frequently from you if I do not see you, which I now almost dispair of, this winter. Adieu my dearest Friend ever yours
[signed] Portia
{ 261 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Oct. 19. 1783. ansd. 25. Jan. 1784.”
1. The date indicates when AA completed the letter since her stated intention of writing to Elbridge Gerry makes it evident that she wrote most of the letter before 15 October (AA to Gerry, 15 Oct., is above).
2. Of 20 Sept., above. On that date, AA may already have received at least some of the letters from JA that she mentions immediately below; see AA to JA, 20 Sept., above. Note that one of the “2 [letters] in july” that AA received was that of 13 July, above (see note 4).
3. AA's quotation of these sentiments may have been prompted by reading the extract from Franklin to Livingston, 22 July, which Gerry enclosed in his letter of 18 Sept., above.
4. See JA to AA, 13 July, above, for his request that AA write more about Royall Tyler's courtship of AA2.
5. On Thomas Perkins, see vol. 4:309, note 2.
6. See AA to Gerry, 15 Oct., and note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0144

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1783-10-20

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

To you my young Friend upon whom the parential ties are strong and unbroken; who never yet knew the agonies which attend the loss of a fond Mother; or the pangs which rend the filial Heart Bereaved of a dear and venerable Father, to You I say, may Heaven long continue those blessings, nor teach you, experimentally to Sympathize with your afflicted Friend.
My dear parent is no more! His illness was Short and accute, his patience resignation and Submission, exemplary.

“His conduct was a legacy for all

Richer than Mammons for his single heir

His comforters, he comforts; great in ruin

With unreluctant Grandeur, gives, not yealds

His soul sublime.”

Few persons enjoyed so rigorous an old age, few persons of his age are so universally regreted.

“Virtuous and wise he was, but not Severe

He still rememberd, that he once was young

His easy presence checked no decent joy

Him even the dissolute admired; for he

A Gracefull loosness, when he pleasd put on

And laughing would instruct.”

Even in his last hours, he retaind that Cheerfullness which had distinguishd him through his Life. I never before past through so painfull and yet so instructive a Scene, I reflect upon the last fortnight of his Life with a melancholy satisfaction and pleasure.
{ 262 }

“Sweet peace and Heavenly hope, and humble joy

Divinely beamd on his exalted Soul.”

I will not ask an excuse for thus dwelling upon the memory of one so deservedly dear to me, and for whose death you will yourself feel a regret; he affectionately rememberd you upon his death Bed and left his blessing for all his young Friends and acquaintance. During the afflictive Scene, I received several Letters from you,1 but my mind has not long recoverd such a state of tranquility as to be able to replie to you. I most sincerely thank you for all your kind attentions to me. Mr. Storer you observe2 receives many large packets when you get none. I do not know of half the opportunities by which Mr. Storers Friends write to him, I never omit writing when I have timely notice, but you must not charge your Friends too severely, who from many of your Letters had reason to expect your return for many months. The present severe Storm fills me with a thousand apprehensions least my Friends should attempt comeing to America this winter. We have had in the course of 3 weeks two as severe storms of wind and rain, blowing a mere Huricane for 48 hours, as I ever knew.
Ardently as I long to see my long absent partner I would not; that he should hazard a voyage upon this coast in the winter season—and yet I have a thousand anxieties at his continuence abroad upon account of his Health.
I hear by way of Mr. Smith that you have made a little excursion to our good old Friend Britania. Pray how do you like her? Is she Great in Ruins? In decay at least, for she past her zenith Eight years ago. You must discribe this visit to me, for tho by the residence of my Friends abroad, I have felt particularly interested in the various Countries they have inhabited, and a sort of acquaintance with them, I now dispair of a nearer view of them, having quitted all thoughts of ever visiting them.
Depreciated and depraved as our manners are, from the purity of former days; I think our own country the best calculated to make “Men happy and to keep them So.” Here domestick virtues are more Esteemed and cultivated, Gallantry is less practised, those passions which enoble humanize and soften Man, are not prostituded at the Shrine of Mammon. Gameing that Bane of civil Society, that antidote to good Humour and Beauty, that distroyer of female delicacy and honour, is not yet; and I pray Heaven, it never may become fashionable amongst the Females of the Northern States. The Manners of the Southern are much nearer assimilated to those of Europe. You { 263 } appear to have retained so many of your Yankee sentiments, that I fancy you will highly realish the Simplicity of your own country, you can anticipate a “well orderd Home, Mans cheif delight” with sincere pleasure.
Confess my Friend your wishes for a connection and an agreable companion for life, it certainly would not engross so much of your attention, as to be the subject you oftenest write upon, unless it was very near your Heart. All your declarations of conquering your passions and of your insensibility, like a Monk in his Cloister, are proofs, of what you think and what you feel. Let me comfort you with the Idea that Heaven has in reserve for you; much domestick felicity, the enjoyment of which is sincerely wished you by your affectionate Friend
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Thaxter Esqr. Paris”; endorsed by JA: “Portia Oct. 20. 1783 ansd. 25. Jany. 1784.” For an explanation of the presence of this letter in the Adams Papers, see AA to Thaxter, 21 July, descriptive note, above. Despite his endorsement, JA makes no reference to AA's letter to Thaxter in his letter to her of 25 Jan. 1784, below.
1. Probably those of 10 June and 29 July, and possibly that of 28 March, all above.
2. Thaxter to AA, 29 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0145

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-11-06

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Since I had the Pleasure of addressing You,1 nothing of Importance has occurred in the Concerns of our Friend excepting a Letter from Mr. Jay, wherein he with great Candour and good Sense has endeavoured to do Justice to Mr. Adams' Character, and recommended him as the most suitable person to represent the united States at the Court of London; declaring at the same Time in the most positive Terms, that should the place be offered to himself, he would not accept it.2 I should be exceedingly happy on my own Account, but more particularly on yours, Madam, to see Mr. Adams in America, because I am persuaded he would not only be in the Way of rendering at this Time essential Services to his Country, but also (by recovering his Health), to himself and Family. The perplexities of American politics, are neither pleasing nor salutary; much less so must those be, which are in the Center and subject to all the Subtleties and Intrigues of European Systems; but the probability is I think against his immediate return.
The postmasters have either misconstrued or perverted the Design { 264 } of the post office Ordnance, which provides that Letters to and from certain persons in publick office, on publick Business shall be exempt from postage—the Endorsement of such persons Names on their Letters is therefore sufficient to acquit the Receiver thereof from postage; but the postmasters have, as I am informed, in many Cases where the Members of Congress and the Commander in chief have not endorsed with the Words “on publick Business,” had the Assurance to take postage; not so much I apprehend to benefit the publick, as to save the 20 per Cent allowed to the postofficer, but Measures are taken since the Receipt of your Letter to correct this Error, and I presume the Franks of our foreign Ministers will be admitted in Future by order of Congress.3 Doctor Lee and Mr. Osgood join in their best Respects to yourself and Family, with Madam your sincere Friend and most hum Servt.
[signed] E Gerry
1. On 18 Sept., above.
2. On 30 May, Jay wrote to R. R. Livingston, the secretary for foreign affairs, to recommend JA for the London post. Declaring that he would not stand in JA's way, he added, “Were I in Congress I should vote for him. He deserves well of his country, and is very able to serve her. It appears to me to be but fair that the disagreeable conclusions which may be drawn from the abrupt repeal of his former commission should be obviated by its being restored to him. I do, therefore, in the most unequivocal manner decline and refuse to be a competitor with that faithful servant of the public for the place in question” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:457–458). Several months earlier, JA had recommended either Jay or Francis Dana for this position (5 Feb., in same, 6:246).
3. See AA to Gerry, 15 Oct., and note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0146

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-11-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Yours of Jany. 10 to Mr. Robbins,1 he shewed me this Moment and informs Me, he goes on Board on Monday.2 I regret that I have had no earlier Knowledge of this young Gentleman. My son and I have been here, this fortnight, and have been very civilly and obligingly treated, by some private Gentlemen. <But this Government?> It is a fine Country; but it is undone by Prosperity. It has the Vertigo in the Head, yet.
Yesterday a Letter from Unkle Smith informed me of the Death of my dear and honoured Father.3
I have flattered myself with Hopes of Seeing him again, but it was not to be, and he is better Situated.
My Life is Sweetened with the Hope of embracing You in Europe. Pray embark as soon as prudently you can, with Nabby. Come to { 265 } England France or Holland, no matter which. But We must go to the Hague to live. My Second Fever, has so cured me that I hope I could live with you in Holland, at the Hague at least, if you will perswade me to ride on Horseback every day. Yours in haste, but most tenderly
[signed] J. Adams
1. Above. It was on this occasion that Robbins delivered AA's letter to JA of 10 Jan., also above.
2. 10 November. Robbins reached Boston in December; see AA to JA, 3 Jan. 1784, below.
3. JA's father-in-law, Rev. William Smith. The letter from Isaac Smith Sr. has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-11-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have this Day, by Special Permission from their Majesties obtained by Mr. West the Painter who with Mr. Copely do so much honour to our Country, Seen the Appartements in the Queens House, as it is called, or Buckingham House.1 It is a great Curiosity indeed. There is an inestimable Collection of Paintings by the greatest Masters, Raphael, Rubens, Vandyke, and many others.
There is one Room which the King calls Mr. Wests, as it is ornamented with a Collection of his Works—the Return of Regulus—The Death of Epaminondas—The Death of Bayard—The Death of General Wolf2—and &c.
The Cartons3 of Raphael, are a wonderfull Production of Art.
The Library is the most elegant Thing I ever saw.4 But the Kings Military and Naval Room, pleased me best as it is a Collection of Plans, and Models of every Dockyard, Fortress and Man of War in his Empire.
Come to Europe with Nabby as soon as possible, and Satisfy your Curiosity, and improve your Taste, by viewing these magnificent Sceenes. Go to the Play—see the Paintings and Buildings—visit the Manufactures for a few Months—and then, if Congress pleases return to America with me to reflect upon them.
I am in earnest. I cannot be happy, nor tolerable without you. Besides I really think one Trip across the Sea would be of Service to you and my Daughter to whom my Love. I Shall expect you constantly untill you arrive.
I mourn the Loss of my Father, but it was time to expect it, from his Age. You must be melancholly and afflicted, and I hope that the Voyage, will divert your Thoughts.
{ 266 }
Mr. Thaxter is in America before this no doubt. My dear Son, is the only Secretary, I have or propose to have at present. I believe I Shall go to the Hague, and reside chiefly there but write to me untill you embark by Portugal Spain France England or Holland. The nearer you Arrive to the Hague, the nearer I believe you will be to me, yet I may be in Paris. I shall stay but a Short time in London.
You will read in the Newspapers, innumerable Lyes about Jay and me.5 Regard them as little as I do. I have met with an agreable Reception here, as agreable as I wish. In short I have been received here, exactly as I wished to be.

[salute] Yours with Tenderness unutterable

[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “No 8.”
1. Compare JA's description of this visit with JQA, Diary, 1:201–202. According to JQA, they were taken to Buckingham House by Benjamin West himself. For a similar but fuller JA description of Buckingham House, drawn apparently from memory nearly thirty years later, see his Diary and Autobiography, 3:150. This mansion, built in 1705 for John Sheffield, first duke of Buckingham and Normanby, was bought by George III in 1762, and settled on Queen Charlotte in 1775, whence it was called “the Queens House.” All of the children of George III and Queen Charlotte except the Prince of Wales (later George IV) were born there. The mansion was razed in the 1820s, and replaced with the present Buckingham Palace (Wheatley, London Past and Present).
2. These four historical paintings were all commissioned by George III. The title of the first, done in 1768, should be “The Departure of Regulus.” The rendering of “The Death of General [James] Wolfe,” finished in late 1769 or early 1770, was a popular sensation. West's novel depiction of heroes in contemporary dress powerfully directed the course of painting in England away from the neo-classical style, with its “chaste academic severity, muted colors, and repressed emotion.” “It was like no other modern picture Englishmen had seen. It made the viewer feel that he was present at and a part of a great historic event of his time, that he was an accessory with others in a tragic but inspiring occasion.” Because of its modern treatment, the King refused to buy the painting; but when he observed the nearly universal approval it won, he commissioned a copy from West. This was the painting that JA saw. In his enthusiasm the King commissioned the other two death scenes here mentioned (Robert C. Alberts, Benjamin West, Boston, 1978, p. 89–90, 103–109).
3. JQA identifies these as seven cartoons—drawings or rough paintings on stout paper—as the designs for a set of Brussels tapestries depicting “several of the Acts of the apostles” (Diary, 1:201).
4. This magnificent library, which occupied three rooms, was given to the nation by George IV, and became part of the British Museum (Wheatley, London Past and Present; Alberts, Benjamin West, p. 86).
5. This probably refers to JA's and Jay's disagreements with Benjamin Franklin during the treaty negotiations; no specific newspaper issues critical of JA or Jay have been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0148

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-11-11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Col. Trumble1 has been so kind as to visit me, and request a Letter from me to you; I have promised him one. You direct me to write by every opportunity, I very seldom let one slip unimproved, but I find { 267 } many more conveyances by way of England than any other. I have written twice to you since the recept of your last favour, which was dated july 17th.
I wish you to write by way of England but to send no letters to the southard.
I pleased myself with the Idea of seeing you here during the summer, but when I found how publick Buisness was delayed I endeavourd to banish the Idea, for one month of daily expectation, is more tedious than a year of certainty. I think it would be a releif to my mind if your next Letter was to assure me, that you had no intention of comeing out till next spring; Yet think not, that I am more reconciled to your absence, or less ardently desire your return, but your Life and Health are too dear to me, to gratify my wishes at the expence of either.
I have but last evening returnd, from a visit to Haverhill, where I was led at this season, by the Sickness of Master Tommy, who has a Second time experienced a severe fit of the Rheumatism. It was an unfortunate bequest, but it is so Similar to what at his age I was excersised with, that I think it must have descended to him. He lost the use of his Limbs for a fortnight. It was attended with a fever, and a Stricture across his Breast. I had the Satisfaction to find him upon the recovery, and much better than my fears, for Seazing him at this Season and with so much voilence, I feard he would have been disabled all winter.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, speak very well of our young Lads, who begin to think of a Colledge Life, as not more than a year and half distance. Charles is very desirious that he may be ready at 15, and Master Tommy is determined that he shall not out strip him, in his learning, what ever he may do in his entrance at colledge, for which purpose he requests that his lessons may be the same with his Brothers. He took great pains to overtake Charles, during his absence and sickness with the Measles, nor did he rest untill he accomplished it. Mr. Shaw is I believe an excellent preceptor and takes great pains with them. Their Morals and Manners are strickly attended to, and I have every satisfaction I can wish with respect to care and tenderness both in sickness and Health. I wanted for nothing but to see you Mamma, says Master, during my sickness. Mrs. Shaw is the same amiable good woman you always knew her. She has one son and one daughter,2 but her Health is feeble and her frame exceedingly delicate and tender, her spirits lively, her temper placid. The children Love her with a <parental?> filial affection.
{ 268 }
I longed for you to accompany me in this journey, and to have participated the pleasure of seeing our Children attentive to their studies, and promiseing to be wise and good.
While your own Heart dilates, you will tell me, that the season for temptation is not yet arrived, that altho they are carefully Guarded against evil communications, and warned of the danger of bad examples, no humane foresight can effectually preserve them from the contagion of vice; true, but I have a great opinion of early impressions of virtue, and believe that they take such hold of the mind, as neither time, or temptations can wholy subdue. They recall the wanderer to a sense of his Duty, tho he has strayed many many times. Attend says the Good Ganganella,3 more to the Hearts, than the understanding of your pupils, if the Heart is good, all will go well.
I have a thousand fears for my dear Boys as they rise into Life, the most critical period of which is I conceive, at the university; there infidelity abounds, both in example and precepts, there they imbibe the speicious arguments of a Voltaire a Hume and Mandevill. If not from the fountain, they receive them at second hand. These are well calculated to intice a youth, not yet capable of investigating their principals, or answering their arguments. Thus is a youth puzzeld in Mazes and perplexed with error untill he is led to doubt, and from doubting to disbelief. Christianity gives not such a pleasing latitude to the passions. It is too pure, it teaches moderation humility and patience, which are incompatable, with the high Glow of Health, and the warm blood which riots in their veins. With them, “to enjoy, is to obey.” I hope before either of our children are prepaird for colledge you will be able to return and assist by your example and advise, to direct and counsel them; that with undeviating feet they may keep the path of virtue.
I have heitherto been able to obtain their Love their confidence and obedience, but I feel unequal to the task of guiding them alone, encompassed as I know they must be with a thousand snares and temptations.
I hope our dear son abroad will not imbibe any sentiments or principals which will not be agreable to the Laws the Goverment and Religion of our own Country. He has been less under your Eye than I could wish, but never I dare say without your advise and instruction. If he does not return this winter, I wish you to remind him, that he has forgotten to use his pen, to his Friends upon this Side the water.
With Regard to what passes in the political world I hear little said upon the subject. We are anxious to receive official accounts of the { 269 } Signing the definitive Treaty. The Merchants will Clamour if the commercial Treaty is not to their taste. The Peace necessitates many of them to a less extravagant mode of living, and they must retrench still more if ever they pay their debts abroad. Bills are now sold at par, if you continue abroad, I shall be under a necessity of drawing upon you, for tho the War is ceased, taxes have not. Since I took my pen, and within this hour, I have been visited by the collector with 3 tax Bills; the amount of which is 29 pounds 6 and 8 pence, the continental tax state tax and town tax, beside which, I have just paid a parish tax. I live with all the frugality in my power. I have but two domesticks, yet I find it as much as I can do to muster cash enough to pay our sons Quarter Bills and Cloath them decently.
Of one thing you may rest assured, that I involve you in no debts, no[r] go one Inch without seeing my way Clear; you laugh at me with regard to my Virmont purchase. I still value it, and do not doubt of its becomeing so. I have a Right in about [2?] hundred acers of land some where in Northburry which comes to me from my Mother; I will exchange with you. My Father left to me and Mrs. Shaw his Medford Farm stock buildings &c. and his medow in Malden the value of which is Estimated at near 800. Now what I wish is to persuade my Sister to sell you her part of the Farm, and make a purchase in the Town where <they> she lives, but I do not chuse to Say any thing upon the Subject at present. I Suppose it will sell for more than the apprizement, and as I hope you will return early in the spring, that will be as soon as any thing can be done about it. The estate is some cloged in concequence of a Numerous family but the personal estate will clear it and pay the Legacies which amount to about 300 pounds and Some small debts.

[salute] Adieu my dearest Friend. Heaven preserve your Life and Health, and safely conduct You to Your ever affectionate

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia. Novr. 11. 1783.”
1. John Trumbull (1756–1843), soldier and painter, first traveled to Europe in 1780, where he briefly studied painting with Benjamin West. Returning to America in Jan. 1783, he again sailed for Europe in December to develop commercial interests, but quickly abandoned these plans and turned a second time to Benjamin West for instruction in painting. Influenced by both West and John Singleton Copley, Trumbull soon became the principal painter of the great events of the American Revolution (DAB).
2. William Smith Shaw and Elizabeth Quincy Shaw. William served as private secretary to JA for two years during his presidency, later became a lawyer, and gained some renown as librarian of the Boston Athenaeum, whence his nickname “Athenaeum Shaw” (DAB).
3. Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, Pope Clement XIV. The editors do not know whether AA acquired or borrowed a copy of the Interesting Letters of Pope Clement XIV (London, 1770, 1781, and other editions). At some point JA acquired the 1781 edition for his library (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0149

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-11-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dearest Friend

I have time only to inform you that We are well, and to repeat my earnest Wish and Expectation to see you as soon as possible. Draw upon me for Whatever Money You want and it shall be paid at Sight.
I have been invited by the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox to See them and I have Seen them and Mr. Burke [an]d met a cordial Reception from all three.1 These would [do?] right if they governed. But I am not certain, they are not Sometimes overruled or overawed.
Comfort yourself for the Loss of your Father amiable and excellent as he was. His Age was such as to have renderd it a duty, to be prepared to hear of his Decease: and his Virtues were such as to leave Us no room to doubt that the Change is happy for him.

[salute] My Duty to my Aged Mother, and Love to the Children.

[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Some text was damaged where the seal was cut out.
1. This meeting took place on 15 Nov. (David Hartley to JA, 14 Nov., Adams Papers). The Duke of Portland had become titular head of the government after Shelburne's fall in April; Charles James Fox was Foreign Secretary. Both Fox and Edmund Burke had been critical of the preliminary peace terms that Shelburne had negotiated with France and America. Fox thought Britain should have sought more advantage over France in India; Burke opposed ceding the Ohio Valley to the United States (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 421). JA later recalled that his visits with these men were purely ceremonial: “I did not ask favours or receive any thing but cold formalities” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:150). Charles James Fox and George III hated one another and when Fox's India Bill faltered in the House of Lords in December, the King dismissed the Portland ministry (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:456–460).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0150

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-11-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favour dated at Amsterdam in july1 was last evening handed to me; and this evening your Letter of the 10th of Sepbr. by Col. Ogden reached me.
I had for some time supposed that the delay of publick buisness would retard your return; hearing that the definitive treaty was not compleated untill september, and knowing that the commercial Treaty was still to form; I had little reason to expect you; unless your State of Health required an immediate resignation of all your publick employments. Your Letter2 therefore which informs me of your determination to pass an other Winter abroad is by no means unex• { 271 } pected. That we must pass it with a vast ocean between us; is a painfull reflection to me, yet thus it must be; I am so much of a coward upon the Water, that even a summers voyage had its terrors. A Winter passage I cannot possibly think of encountering. If I was instantly to set about it, I could not adjust my affairs so as to leave them in any order under a month. Mr. Temple and family sail this week.3 I do not know any person except Mr. Jackson [o]f Newburry-port, who is going abroad; with whom I should like to become [a] passenger, and he goes to Ireland.
But I have a stronger objection than even a winters voyage against comeing at present. It is the undetermined counsels of Congress. They have not yet made any appointment to the Court of Britain. Many are seeking for the place, with more splendid titles, if wealth can give them, and many more thousands to claim it with: I am informd that Mr. Jay, has written pressingly to Congress in your favour, at the same time assureing them, that he would absolutely refuse the appointment, if it should be offerd him;4 but whether you will finally be the person, is left to futurity.
Of this I am sure, that I do not wish it. I should have liked very well, to have gone to France, and resided there a year, but to think of going to England in a publick Character, and resideing there; engageing at my time of life in Scenes quite New, attended with dissipation parade and Nonsence; I am sure I should make an awkward figure. The retired Domestick circle “the feast of reason and the flow of soul”5 are my Ideas of happiness, and my most ardent wish is, to have you return and become Master of the Feast.
My Health is infirm, I am frequently distresst6 with a nervious pain in my Head, and a fatigue of any kind will produce it. Neither of us appear to be built for duration. Would to Heaven the few remaining days allotted Us, might be enjoyed together. I have considerd it as my misfortune, that I could not attend to your Health, watch for your repose, alleviate your Hours of anxiety, and make you a home where ever you resided. More says a very skillfull Dr. depends upon the Nurse than the physician.
My present determination is to tarry at home this winter; lonely as it is without my children; and if I cannot prevail upon you to return to Me in the Spring—you well know that I may be drawn to you.7 One strong tie which held me here is dissolved, my dear Parent; who used to say: I cannot consent to you[r] going child, whilst I live. An other cord and almost the only one which binds me to this place, is like to be loosed. I mean Mr. Cranchs family who talk of removeing to { 272 } Boston in the Spring. Should this take place Braintree would indeed become a lonely spot to me.
Mr. Thaxter will be able to give me when he arrives; the best intelligence upon the Subject.
I hope I shall not miss the French Brig which was to sail to day, but may possibly be detained. I knew not of her going untill last evening.

[salute] Adieu and believe me whether present or absent, most affectionately Yours

[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Royall Tyler: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America residing at Paris”; endorsed by JQA: “Mrs. Adams. Braintree Novr. 20. 1783”; slight damage to the text where the seal was cut out. Dft (Adams Papers) with some stylistic differences and no mention of the intention of the Cranches to move to Boston; dated 19 November.
1. That of 26 July, above.
3. John Temple, a native of Massachusetts and a relative of England's powerful Temple-Grenville family, had married Elizabeth Bowdoin, daughter of James Bowdoin. A customs agent in Boston before the Revolution, Temple strongly sympathized with the patriot cause, but had mixed feelings about American independence. He was in England from 1773 to 1781, then in Massachusetts until he sailed again for England on 21 November. In 1785 he returned to America and served in New York as Great Britain's first consul general in the United States. Temple's reasons for returning to England in 1783 were to seek a permanent office, to help promote a commercial treaty between Britain and the United States, and to clear himself of any remaining suspicion that he, in 1770–1772, had played any role in the passing to Benjamin Franklin of copies of Gov. Thomas Hutchinson's confidential letters to British officials, a still mysterious incident that had further poisoned the deteriorating relationship between Massachusetts and the British government. See Richard Cranch to JA, 21 Nov. (Adams Papers); JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:70–71, 79–80 and note 1, 91; 3:174, note 2; Franklin, Papers, vol. 20; and Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, Cambridge, 1974.
4. See Elbridge Gerry to AA, 6 Nov. and note 2, above.
5. See AA to JA, 7 April, note 2, above.
6. The draft reads: “I am still subject to a severe nervious pain . . .”
7. The draft adds: “provided there is any Stability in Congress.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0151

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-20

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

This evening as I was Setting, with only your sister by my side, who was scribling at the table to some of her correspondents, my Neighbour Feild enterd, with “I have a letter for you Madam”;1 my immagination was wandering to Paris, ruminating upon the long, long absence of my dear son, and his parent; that I was rather inattentive to what he said, untill he repeated; I have Letters for you from abroad. The word abroad, roused my attention, and I eagerly seazied the Letters,2 the hand writing and Seal of which gave me hopes that { 273 } I was once more like to hear from my Young Wanderer; nor was I dissapointed.
After two years silence; and a journey of which I can scarcly form an Idea; to find you safely returnd, to your parent, to hear of your Health, and to see your improvements!
You cannot know, should I discribe to you; the feelings of a parent. Through your pappa, I sometimes heard from you, but one Letter only, ever reach'd me after you arrived in Russia.3 Your excuses however, have weight; and are accepted; but you must give them further energy by a ready attention to your pen in future. Four years have already past away since you left your native land, and this rural Cottage—Humble indeed, when compared to the Palaces you have visited, and the pomp you have been witness too. But I dare say you have not been so inattentive an observer, as to suppose that Sweet peace, and contentment, cannot inhabit the lowly roof, and bless the tranquil inhabitants, equally guarded and protected, in person and property, in this happy Country, as those who reside in the most elegant and costly dwellings.
If you live to return, I can form to myself, an Idea of the pleasure you will take, in treading over the ground, and visiting every place your early years were accustomed wantonly to gambol in—even the rocky common and lowly whortleberry Bush will not be without its Beauties.
My anxieties have been, and still are great least the Numerous temptations and Snares of vice, should vitiate your early habits of virtue, and distroy those principals, which you are now capable of reasoning upon; and discerning the Beauty, and utility, of, as the only rational Source of happiness here, or foundation of felicity here after, placed as we are, in a transitory Scene of probation, drawing nigher and still nigher, day after day to that important Crisis, which must introduce us into a New System of things. It ought certainly to be our principal concern to become qualified for our expected dignity.
What is it that affectionate parents require of their Children; for all their care anxiety and toil on their accounts? Only that they would be wise and virtuous, Benevolent and kind.
Ever keep in mind my son, that your parents are your disinterested Friends, and if at any time their advise militates with your own opinion, or the advise of others, you ought always to be, diffident of your own judgment, because you may rest assured that their opinion is founded in experience, and long observation, and that they would not direct you; but to promote your happiness.
{ 274 }
Be thankfull to a kind providence who has hitherto preserved the lives of your parents, the natural guardians of your youthfull years. With Gratitude I look up to heaven blessing the Hand, which continued to me my dear and honoured parents untill I was setled in Life, and tho I now regreet the loss of them, and daily feel the want of their advise and assistance, I cannot suffer as I should have done, if I had been early deprived of them.
You will doubtless have heard of the Death of your worthy Grandpappa, before this reaches you. He left you a Legacy, more valuable than Gold or silver—he left you his blessing and his prayers, that you might return to your Country and Friends improved in knowledge, and matured in virtue, that you might become a usefull citizen, a Guardian of the Laws Liberty and Religion of your Country, as your Father, (he was pleased to Say) had already been. Lay this bequest up in your memory, and practise upon it, believe me, you will find it a treasure that neither Moth, or Rust can devour.4
I received Letters from your Pappa last evening dated in Paris the 10 of sepbr. informing me of the necessity of his continuance abroad this winter. The Season is so far advanced that I readily sacrifice the desire of seeing him, to his safety. A voyage upon this coast at this Season, is fraught with dangers. He has made me a request, that I dare not comply with at present; No Husband, no Son, to accompany me upon the Boisterous ocean, to animate my courage, and dispell my fears, I dare not engage with so formidable a combatant.
If I should find your Pappa fixed in the Spring; and determined to continue abroad a year or two longer, the earnest desire I have to meet him, and my dear son, might overcome the reluctance I feel, at the Idea of engaging in a New Scene of Life and the love I have for domestick attachments—and the still calm of Life. But it would be much more agreeable to me, to enjoy all my Friends together in my own Native land. From those who have visited foreign climes I could listen with pleasure; at the narative of their adventures, and derive satisfaction from the learned detail, content myself that the “little Learning I have gaine'd is all from Simple Nature divind.”
I have a desire that you might finish Your Education at our university, and I see no chance for it, unless You return in the course of a year. Your cousin Billy Cranch expects to enter next july. He would be happy to have you his associate.
I hope your Pappa will indulge you with a visit to England this winter, it is a country I should be fond of your Seeing. Christianity which teaches us to forgive our enemies, prevents me from enjoining { 275 } upon you a similar vow, to that which Hamilicar obtained from his son Hanible,5 but I know not how to think of loveing those haughty Islanders.
Your Brothers will write to you soon. Your sister I see is prepairing a Letter; Your Friends send you their affectionate regards. And I enjoin it upon you to write often to Your ever affectionate Mother.
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr john Quincy Adams Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams. Novr. 20th. 1783”; docketed, also by JQA: “Mrs. A. Adams. 20. Novr. 1783.”
1. Closing quotation mark supplied. AA may refer to Job Field, who would accompany her to England in 1784 and substitute for her ailing servants, John Brisler and Esther Field, on the voyage (AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, and note 2, below; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:155, and note 5); several other Fields also lived in Braintree (same, 4:index).
2. Apparently those of 23 July, written at The Hague, and 30 July, written at Amsterdam, both above.
3. That of 23 Oct. 1781, vol. 4:233–234.
4. Matthew 6:19–20.
5. Sometime before his departure with his father from Carthage for Spain in 237 b.c., young Hannibal was made to swear, upon an altar, eternal enmity to Rome, with whom Carthage had been in an intermittent state of war for three decades (Oxford Classical Dictionary).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0152

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-11-24

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

Mr. Thaxter is arrived with the Definitive Treaty and I have the pleasure of receiving a number of letters from Mr. Adams.1 I think it will be Indispensably necessary to continue him in Europe, and shall therefore use my best endeavours for this purpose;2 but can form no Idea of what will be the determenation of Congress on the Occasion, as the Representation of the present year will be very different from that of the last.
Mr. Adams in one of his letters has desired if he is continued in Europe to send him his Family “for he is decided, God willing, never to live another year without you.” In another letter he desires me “to write you and advise you whither it is prudent to Come to him or not this fall or next spring.” I cannot think it advisable this fall as it is almost elapsed and a winters passage would be extremely disagreeable as well as dangerous, but I flatter myself before the Spring, the Bussiness of Congress will admit of an adjournment, or if not that our Foreign Arrangements will be compleat and leave you no doubt of the expediency of embarking as Mr. Adams wishes with your Family for Europe. Yours &c.
[signed] E. G—
{ 276 }
Copy in Royall Tyler's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Tyler: “Copy of a letter from E.G. Esqr. to Mrs Adams,” and “Copy of letter from E.G. Esqr to Mrs. A—”; notation by AA: “To be deliverd to your Pappa.” AA's notation may have been a direction to AA2 to include the copy in a packet of letters that she would send to JA from Boston where she was staying in mid-December (see AA to JA, 15 Dec., and 3 Jan. 1784, both below). Or the notation could have been intended for JQA, then acting as JA's secretary, and likely to open packets of letters from America.
1. Probably those of 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 Sept. (MHi: Gerry II Papers [3d] Hoar Autograph Coll. [5th, 10th], Gerry-Knight Coll. [6th]; and DLC: Gerry Papers [photostat; 8th]; all LbCs, Adams Papers [Microfilms, Reels No. 106 and 107]). Those of 3 Sept., in full, and 9 Sept., in part, are in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:669–670, 684–685. John Thaxter had reached Philadelphia, via New York, on 22 Nov. (Gerry to JA, 23 Nov., Adams Papers).
2. Gerry's position here is sharply at odds with that taken in his letter to AA of 6 Nov., above, where he favors JA's return to America.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0153

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-12-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

Will you honour a Bill of mine, drawn in favour of Uncle Smith1 for 60 pounds, to pay for 9 acres of wood land which I have purchased of William Adams being part of the estate of Benjamin Ruggles, which fell to Mr. Adams in right of his wife. You will think I have given a large price for it, but it is not so much as your Brother2 has given him for a 6 acre Lot adjoining to his. The Lot I have purchased is much nearer home, and much easier getting the wood of than any which you owned before of so large a Growth. I am informd that it is very well wooded, and if I was inclined to have a part cut of, for the market, I might at the price wood bears now; raise the money with a third of the wood; it fetches 7 dollors a cord, in Boston, oweing to the few vessels which remained to us after the peace, and these all imployed in carrying Lumber, so that no wood comparitively speaking has been brought from [the?] eastward this fall. I gave 6 pounds pr acre and have trusted to my [cr]edit with you to reimburse me the money I have paid for it, it being what I had collected for the payment of my present taxes and my Quarters Board and Schooling for my children. The land cost a hundred and eighty dollors.3 I have drawn for 200 being an even Sum.
I have not heard any thing further from you since your Letters of Sepbr,4 which I replied to immediately and hope you received the answers to them. Mr. Thaxter it is said arrived at New York the 20 of November and proceeded on to Congress immediately.
Capt. Callihan in the Peace and Plenty, is not yet arrived, and we { 277 } are anxious for him as he saild the 7 of october. I hope to receive Letters by him. We have had most terrible weather upon this coast.
I have considerd your invitation to me, the arguments for and against it, with all the deliberation I am mistress of. I have arranged before me all your former objections, I have added to them the state of your Health as you have discribed it, and upon the whole, your return here, is the object my Heart pants for. A relaxation from the fatigues and vexations of publick Life appears necessary for your Health, from these you cannot be exempted whilst you continue abroad. The envyed embassy to a certain Island5 is surrounded with so many thorns, that the Beauty and fragrance of the Rose, would be but a small compensation for the wounds which might be felt in the gatheiring and wearing it.
If you felt yourself under obligations during the dangers and perilous of war, to sacrifice, your Health your ease and safety, to the independance and freedom of your Country, those obligations cannot now be equally binding. The Golden Fleese is won. If you have no female wiles to contend with, the dragon may secure it to us; but I believe it is as necessary that he should <reside> watch in America as Europe.6
Letters from our sons last nig[ht] from Haverhill7 inform me of their Health, and of their intention of writing to their Pappa and Brother by the next opportunity.
Dr. Cooper lies very dangerously ill of a Lethargy.8 I shall write you again very soon, for the present adieu. I know not whether I shall believe myself how well you Love me, unless I can prevail upon you to return in the Spring to your ever affectionate
[signed] Portia
I have learnt that the vessel which carried Letters from me10 answers to your last from Amsterdam and letters to Johnny in reply to his and Letters in reply to your of Sepbr. this vessel is dismasted and returnd into port Cape Cod after having been out 3 weeks so that what fate the Letters will meet with I know not. Mr. Dana, arrived in Boston yesterday from Petersburgh. I have not time to Say what my Sensations were. A flood of tears unbidden flowed from my Eyes. Yet I am sure I sincerely rejoiced in his return. Mr. Thaxter has not yet reached Braintree. I received a letter from him [ . . . ] dated New York, December 3.11 He had been to Philadelphia and was upon his return. I shall in a few days write you again.
{ 278 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by JQA: “Portia. Braintree Decr. 7. 1783.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed.
1. AA filled in “Uncle Smith” in the same ink used for the text under “December 13,” below. This textual completion, the current news under “December 13,” and AA's attendance at sermons in Boston on 14 Dec. (see AA to JA, 15 Dec. and note 1, below), suggest that AA finished the letter in Boston, and that she was not certain from whom she could obtain the loan of £60 when she began it.
2. Peter Boylston Adams, also of Braintree.
3. A deed for the land, dated 15 Dec. and signed by William and Ruth Adams of Hopkinton, Mass., is in the Adams Papers. As AA writes here (9 acres at £6 per acre), the price is given as £54 lawful money.
4. Of 10 Sept. (one above; the other, Adams Papers); see JA to AA, 7 Sept., note 3, above.
5. Great Britain.
6. AA's intention in her use of certain details of the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts is a bit uncertain here. The “Golden Fleese” is the Definitive Treaty of Peace, and the “female wiles” (of European high society?) play the role of Medea. JA is presumably Jason, who can now return home, although he might be the Dragon who can guard the “Fleese” in America. The Dragon might also be Franklin, who can stay in Europe to protect America's interests, provided he does not succumb to “female wiles.”
7. Not found.
8. Rev. Samuel Cooper of Boston's Brattle Square Church had been ill since mid-November, and would die on 29 Dec.; see AA to JA, 27 Dec., note 13, below.
9. This text begins on a separate sheet, and is written in lighter ink, but the docket on the back and the fold marks establish its inclusion with the previous text. See note 1.
10. AA to JA, and AA to JQA, both 20 Nov., above.
11. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0154

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-12-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I returned last Evening from Boston, where I went at the kind invitation of my uncle and Aunt, to celebrate our Anual festival. Doctor Cooper being dangerously Sick, I went to hear Mr. Clark; who is Setled with Dr. Chauncey;1 this Gentleman gave us an animated elegant and sensible discourse, from Isaah 55 chapter and 12th verse—“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with Peace; the Mountains and the Hill Shall break forth before you into singing, and all the Trees of the Field shall clap their Hands.”
Whilst he asscribed Glory and praise unto the most high, he considerd the Worthy disinterested, and undaunted Patriots as the instruments in the hand of providence for accomplishing what was marvelous in our Eyes; he recapitulated the dangers they had past through, and the hazards they had run; the firmness which had in a particular manner distinguished Some Characters, not only early to engage in so dangerous a contest, but in spight of our gloomy prospects they persevered even unto the end; untill they had obtained a Peace Safe and Honorable; large as our designs, Capacious as our wishes, and much beyond our expectations.
How did my heart dilate with pleasure when as each event was particularized; I could trace my Friend as a Principal in them; could { 279 } say, it was he, who was one of the first in joinning the Band of Patriots; who formed our first National Counsel. It was he; who tho happy in his domestick attachments; left his wife, his Children; then but Infants; even surrounded with the Horrours of war; terified and distresst, the Week after the memorable 17th. of April,2 Left them, to the protection of that providence which has never forsaken them, and joined himself undismayed, to that Respectable Body, of which he was a member. Trace his conduct through every period, you will find him the same undaunted Character: encountering the dangers of the ocean; risking Captivity, and a dungeon; contending with wickedness in high places; jeoparding his Life, endangerd by the intrigues, revenge, and malice, of a potent; tho defeated Nation.
These are not the mere eulogiums of conjugal affection; but certain facts, and solid truths. My anxieties, my distresses, at every period; bear witness to them; tho now by a series of prosperous events; the recollection, is more sweet than painfull.
Whilst I was in Town, Mr. Dana arrived very unexpectedly, for I had not received your Letter by Mr. Thaxter.3 My uncle fortunately discoverd him, as he come up into State Street, and instantly engaged him to dine with him, acquainting him that I was in Town, and at his House. The news soon reached my Ears. Mr. Dana arrived, Mr. Dana arrived—from every person you saw, but how was I affected? The Tears involuntary flowed from my eyes, tho God is my witness, I envyed not the felicity of others. Yet my Heart swelled with Grief, and the Idea that I, I only, was left alone, recall'd all the tender Scenes of seperation, and overcame all my fortitude. I retired and reasoned myself into composure sufficient; to see him without a childish emotion.
He tarried but a short time, anxious as you may well imagine, to reach Cambridge. He promised me a visit with his Lady, in a few days, to which I look forward with pleasure.4
I reach'd home last evening, having left Nabby in Town, to make her winter visit. I found Mr. Thaxter just arrived before me. It was a joyfull meeting to both of us, tho I could not prevail with him only for half an hour; his solicitude to see his Parents was great, and tho I wished his continuance with me, yet I checked not the fillial flow of affection. Happy youth! who had parents still alive to visit, Parents who can rejoice in a Son returned to them after a long absence; untainted in his morals, improved in his understanding; with a Character fair and unblemished.
But O my dearest Friend what shall I say to You in reply to your { 280 } pressing invitation; I have already written to you in answer to your Letters which were dated Sepbr. 10th and reachd me a month before those by Mr. Thaxter. I related to you all my fears respecting a winters voyage. My Friends are all against it, and Mr. Gerry as you will see, by the Coppy of his Letter inclosed,5 has given his opinion upon well grounded reasons. If I should leave my affairs in the Hands of my Friends, there would be much to think of, and much to do, to place them in that method and order I would wish to leave them in.
Theory and practise are two very different things; and the object magnifies, as I approach nearer to it. I think if you were abroad in a private Character, and necessitated to continue there; I should not hesitate so much at comeing to you. But a mere American as I am, unacquainted with the Etiquette of courts, taught to say the thing I mean, and to wear my Heart in my countantance, I am sure I should make an awkward figure. And then it would mortify my pride if I should be thought to disgrace you. Yet strip Royalty of its pomp, and power, and what are its votaries more than their fellow worms? I have so little of the Ape about me; that I have refused every publick invitation to figure in the Gay World, and sequestered myself in this Humble cottage, content with rural Life and my domestick employments in the midst of which; I have sometimes Smiled, upon recollecting that I had the Honour of being allied to an Ambassador.6 Yet I have for an example the chaste Lucretia who was found spinning in the midst of her maidens, when the Brutal Tarquin plotted her distruction.7
I am not acquainted with the particular circumstances attending the renewal of your commission; if it is modeled so as to give you satisfaction I am content; and hope you will be able to discharge it, so as to receive the approbation of your Sovereign.
A Friend of yours in Congress some months ago, sent me an extract of a Letter, requesting me to conceal his Name, as he would not chuse to have it known by what means he procured the Coppy. From all your Letters I discoverd that the treatment you had received, and the suspence You was in, was sufficiently irritating without any thing further to add to Your vexation. I therefore surpresst the extract; as I knew the author was fully known to you: but seeing a letter from G[e]n. W[arre]n to you, in which this extract is alluded to;8 and finding by your late Letters, that your situation is less embarrassing, I inclose it;9 least you should think it much worse than it really is: at the same time I cannot help adding an observation which appears pertinant to me; that there is an ingredient necessary in a Mans { 281 } composition towards happiness, which people of feeling would do well to acquire—a certain respect for the follies of Mankind. For there are so many fools whom the opinion of the world entittles to regard; whom accident has placed in heights of which they are unworthy, that he who cannot restrain, his contempt or indignation at the sight, will be too, often Quarrelling with the disposal of things to realish that Share, which is allotted to himself.”10 And here my paper obliges me to close the subject—without room to say adieu.
RC with enclosures (Adams Papers); endorsed: “recd. 5. May 1784.” Enclosures: (1) A copy of Elbridge Gerry to AA, 24 Nov., in Royall Tyler's hand; printed above. (2) An extract, also in Tyler's hand, copied from an extract that was originally enclosed with Gerry to AA, 18 Sept.; printed with that letter, above. The extract is from Benjamin Franklin to R. R. Livingston, 22 July. Following the extract, Tyler added an “Extract from Mr. G[erry']s letter Inclosing the above,” which consisted of the first three sentences of the second paragraph of Gerry's 18 Sept. letter, ending “the Doctor's Craft is apparent.” This second enclosure is endorsed, like the inclosing letter: “recd. 5. May 1784” at the bottom of the text; and docketed on the back, in an unknown hand: “AA 83 19 December.” AA's rather unclear “5” was misread for a “9.”
1. The annual festival was the commemoration of the Boston Tea Party, which had taken place on 16 Dec. 1773; the sermons marking this event in 1783 were preached on Sunday, the 14th. AA probably went to Isaac Smith Sr.'s home on Saturday, if not earlier (see AA to JA, 7 Dec., note 1, above). John Clarke, Harvard 1774, was ordained as assistant to the aged Rev. Charles Chauncy, Harvard 1721, the pastor of Boston's First Church (the “Old Brick”) in 1778, and succeeded him in 1787 (William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, N.Y., 1857–1869, 11 vols., 8:10).
2. That is, the 19th of April 1775, the day of the battles of Lexington and Concord; JA departed for Congress about 26 April (vol. 1:188–189, and note 1).
3. That is, JA's letters of 1, 4, and 7 Sept., all above; that of 1 Sept. gives the fullest information on Dana's departure for America.
4. In AA, Letters, 1840, CFA omitted this and the following paragraph. He included them in AA, Letters, 1841 and 1848.
5. Probably Gerry's letter to AA of 24 Nov., printed above.
6. From this point, CFA omitted the entire text from AA, Letters, 1840. In AA, Letters, 1841 and 1848, he dropped the sentence after “Ambassador,” included the following brief paragraph, and omitted the long concluding paragraph that discussed Franklin's attack on JA.
7. In Roman legend Lucretia, the wife of Tarquinius Collatinus, was famed for her virtue. When her husband and several other Roman nobles each boasted of their wives' decorum, and then returned from a military camp unannounced to test their claims, only Lucretia was found spinning with her handmaidens; the other wives were all dancing and revelling. Lucretia's beauty, however, aroused Sextus, son of Tarquin, king of Rome, who by deception and then violence entered her home and raped her. She made her relatives swear to avenge her and then took her own life. Outraged by Sextus' crime and his father's oppressive rule, the Romans drove the Tarquins from the city and established the republic. The primary ancient sources of this story are Livy and Ovid; the major English literary source is Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece (1594), a long poem of rhymed seven-line stanzas.
8. James Warren to JA, 27 Oct. (Adams Papers). In this long, rather gloomy letter about the enemies of virtue, in and out of Congress, Warren remarked: “the Old Man [Franklin] . . . is, as You might expect Your determin'd Enemy,—You will before this reaches You get a Paragraph of one of his Letters, which if You should by an Interval be in possession of Your right Mind will put the Matter out of Doubt.” JA had probably received this letter by 6 April, when he wrote to Arthur Lee { 282 } (Adams Papers). JA is not known to have received any extract of Franklin's letter prior to 5 May 1784, when he marked the receipt of both the present letter from AA and the extract which accompanied it.
9. Printed at Gerry to AA, 18 Sept., above.
10. AA neglected to provide opening quotation mark. The quotation has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0155

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1783-12-16

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam,

I have this moment received your polite Invitation to dinner tomorrow, and am extremely sorry, that a severe Cold, which has confined me a day or two to the House, prevents my accepting it. I had engaged to dine in Company tomorrow if well enough, but could easily set aside the Engagement, if nothing else but that prevented. I should be very happy to see Mr. Shaw, and if I have not that pleasure on this Visit, I will wait on him and Mrs. Shaw at Haverhill very shortly.1
Under No. 1244. in the inclosed Paper, you will find 19. Lines which made a very sensible Impression upon your dearest Friend.2 He requested me to give them to you, which I should have done on Saturday last,3 if I could have readily put my hands upon them.
My Sisters are very sensible of your kind Invitation to them, but as my Brother is gone to Town, and they have no Gentleman to accompany them, they hope you will excuse them.

[salute] Please to present my best Regards to all Friends, and to be assured that I am, Madam, with the most perfect Respect, Your most obedient and most Hble Servt.

[signed] J Thaxter Junr.4
1. Thaxter would set up a law practice in Haverhill in May 1784 (Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 6 May 1784, below).
2. Enclosure not found; the reference is probably to an English newspaper.
3. AA to JA, 15 Dec., above, says that she saw Thaxter in Braintree upon her return from Boston on Sunday evening, 14 December.
4. On 26 Dec., Thaxter wrote to AA (Adams Papers) to apologize again for not visiting Braintree. On this occasion, the failure of his baggage to arrive from New York left him with “an absolute Want of Cloathes” with which to appear in polite society. With that letter he enclosed an unidentified “Gazette and Pamphlet” for James Warren.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0156

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-12-26

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

Your Letters by Mr. Thaxter I received;1 and was not a little pleased with them; if you do not write with the precision of a Robertson, nor { 283 } the Elegance of a Voltaire, it is evident you have profited by the perusal of them.
The account of your northern journey and your observation upon the Russian Goverment; would do credit to an older pen.
The early age at which you went abroad; gave you not an opportunity of becomeing acquainted with your own Country. Yet the Revolution in which we were engaged, held it up in So striking and important a Light, that you could not avoid being in some measure irradiated with the view. The Characters with which you were connected, and the conversation you continually heard; must have impressed your mind with a Sense of the Laws, the Liberties, and the Glorious privileges, which distinguish the Free sovereign independant States of America.
Compare them with the vassallage of the Russian Goverment you have discribed, and Say, were this highly favourd land Barren as the mountains of Swisserland, and coverd ten months in the Year with Snow; would she not have the advantage, even of Italy, “with her orange Groves, her Breathing Statues, and her melting Strains of Musick” or of Spain with her treasures from Mexico and Peru; not one of which can Boast that first of Blessings, the Glory of Humane Nature; the inestimable privelege of setting down under their vines; and fig trees, enjoying in peace and security what ever Heaven has lent them; having none to make them affraid.2
Let your observations and comparisons produce in your mind, an abhorrence, of Domination and power, the Parent of Slavery Ignorance, and barbarism, which places Man upon a level with his fellow tennants of the woods.

“A day, an hour of virtuous Liberty,

is worth a whole eternity of Bondage.”3

You have seen Power in its various forms—a Benign Deity, when exercised in the surpression of fraud, injustice, and tyranny, but a Demon when united with unbounded, ambition: a wide wasting fury, which has distroyed her thousands: not an age of the World, but has produced Characters, to which whole humane Hecatombs have been sacrificed.
What is the History of mighty kingdoms and Nations but a detail, of the Ravages, and cruelties, of the powerfull over the weak? Yet it is instructive to trace the various causes, which produced the strength of one Nation, and the decline and weakness of an other; { 284 } to learn by what arts one Man has been able to Subjugate millions of his fellow creatures; the motives which have put him upon action, and the causes of his Success—Sometimes driven by ambition and a lust of power; at other times, swallowed up by Religious enthusiasm, blind Bigotry, and Ignorant Zeal, Sometimes enervated with Luxury, debauched by pleasure, untill the most powerfull Nations have become a prey, and been subdued by these Syrens; when neither the Number of their Enemies, nor the prowess, of their Arms, could conquer them.
History informs us that the Assyrian empire sunk under the Arms of Cyrus with his poor, but hardy Persians. The extensive, and opulent empire of Persia, fell an easy prey to Alexander, and a handfull of Macedonians, and the Macedonian empire when enervated by the Luxury of Asia, was compelld to receive the yoke of the victorious Romans. Yet even this mistress of the World, as she is proudly stiled, in her turn, defaced her glory, tarnished her victories, and became a prey to Luxury, ambition, faction, pride, Revenge, and avarice, so that Jugurthy after having purchased an acquittance for the blackest of crimes, breaks out into an exclamation, “O city, ready for Sale, if a Buyer rich enough can be found!”4
The History of your own country, and the late Revolution, are striking and recent Instances of the mighty things achived by a Brave inlightned and hardy people, determined to be free, the very yeomanry of which, in many instances, have shewn themselves superiour to corruption, as Britain well knows, on more occasions than the loss of her Andry.5
Glory my son in a Country which has given birth, to Characters, both in the civil and military Departments, which may vie with the wisdom and valour of antiquity. As an immediate descendent of one of those characters, may you be led to an imitation of that disinterested patriotism and that Noble Love of your country, which will teach you to dispise wealth, tittles, pomp and equipage, as mere external advantages, which cannot add to the internal excellence of your mind or compensate for the want of Integrity and virtue.
May your mind be throughly impressed with the absolute necessity of universal virtue and goodness as the only sure road to happiness, and may you walk therein with undeviating steps—is the Sincere and most affectionate wish of your Mother
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mr John Quincy Adams Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams. Decr. 26. 1783”; docketed, also by JQA: “My Mother. 26. Decr. 1783.”
{ 285 }
1. Those of 4 and 10 Sept., above.
2. Micah 4:4.
3. Joseph Addison, Cato, II, 1.
4. Sallust, Jugurthine War, 35. Jugurtha, prince of Numidia, a client state of Rome, assassinated his rivals for the throne and bought off Roman army commanders and an ambassador before he was defeated and captured. The Romans executed Jugurtha in 104 b.c. (Oxford Classical Dictionary). JA's library has The Works of Sallust, translated into English, by Thomas Gordon, London, [1744], and Bellum Catilinarium et Jugurthinum, a Latin edition with parallel English text, by John Clarke, 4th edn., London, 1766 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
5. AA refers to the virtue of American militiamen who seized Major John André on 23 Sept. 1780 and, refusing his offers of large bribes to release him, carried him before American officers, who found him guilty of spying and executed him on 2 October. For America's patriots, the determination of their militiamen and officers in seizing, convicting, and executing André made a gratifying contrast to the treachery of the American general Benedict Arnold, whose plans of the fortifications at West Point Major André was carrying to the British army at the time of his capture (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0157

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-12-27

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I did not receive your Letter of August the 14th. untill this very Evening; I was much gratified to find I had done what you directed, before your Letter reach'd me. That is, that I had bought a wood Lot. Concerning this purchase I have already written to you; but least that letter should not arrive, I will repeat, that the Lot I have purchased is a part of 27 acres which belonged to Samuel Ruggles,1 and in the division of that estate fell to William Adams in right of his wife. Out of regard to you, as he says whom he has carried about in his arms (and now I Suppose feels a merit in it) he came to offer it to me, and an other reason I told him I fancyed weigh'd full as much; which was that he wanted the money down. I inquired of my Neighbours and took the advise of your Brother, who purchased at the Same time a 7 acre Lot2 adjoining to his, and I bought the Lot containing 9 acres and gave him 20 dollors per acre; which at that time I thought a large price. But this week 5 acres of wood, upon Ruggles'es homestead was sold at vendue at a hundred and fifty dollors per acre, for the wood only; and purchased by persons able to pay for it. They estimate the wood 3 dollors per cord standing; you will from hence conclude, that money is very plenty, or wood very scarce. The latter only is true. The scarcity of vessels to transport wood from the eastward has been such, that during all the war; the Town of Boston was never so bare.
The land I purchased before, is part of the Grove below the Hill, and not an ax has been put to it since the purchase.3 I had it immediately fenced in with stone wall; I wish I could have commanded the whole, but some of the Children are not of age, and the Father in Law is levelling this Beautifull woods without mercy.
{ 286 }
Mr. Vesey4 I hear is comeing to make me an offer of his Farm, but here I shall be wholy at a loss. He is determined to sell, and I dare not buy without hearing from you; taxes run so high upon land that he has discoverd that he is a looser, as he cannot himself improve it. If my dear Friend you will promise to come home, take the Farm into your own hands and improve it, let me turn dairy woman, and assist you in getting our living this way; instead of running away to foreign courts and leaving me half my Life to mourn in widowhood, then I will run you in debt for this Farm; I have a hundred pounds sterling which I could command upon such an occasion, but which upon all others is a deposit I do not chuse to touch. I will however let you know his terms, and if he should not sell untill spring, I may possibly by that time learn your pleasure.
I have had an offer of ten acres more of wood land, but having just purchased I dared not venture further, untill I received your approbation, and now the owner does not chuse to part with it, and I could not advise him to, as he will be under no necessity of doing it.
Mrs. Boreland since her return to America, has sold her House and Farm in this Town. Mr. Tyler has made the purchase at a thousand pounds Lawfull Money. The estate chiefly came by her. None of it was ever confiscated; it is considerd in Town as a good Bargain, there is about a hundred and eight acres in the whole 50 of which is fine wood land. The Garden contains the best collection of fruit in Town, and there is land enough contiguous to it, to be sold, to make a very pretty Farm, when ever he finds himself able to make an addition.5
I should deceive you if I did not tell you that I believe this Gentleman has but one object in view, and that he bends his whole attention to an advancement in his profession and to an oconomy in his affairs which enables him to pay for this purchase without being involved at all; he looks forward to some future day with a hope that he may not be considerd unworthy a connection in this family. The forms of courtship as the word stiles it, do not subsist between the young folks, but I am satisfied that both are fixed, provided your consent may one day be obtained. She intends however to take a voyage with me, provided I cross the water.
The opinion you express with regard to the chief seat of Goverment, is perfectly agreable to my sentiments.6 Ever since I have been capable of observation I have been fully satisfied that it is a most unthankfull office, subject to continual wranglings. And tho by a very general voice, you are and have been named as a successor, and your { 287 } return earnestly wished for on that account, yet I have generally chosen to be silent upon the subject. There was even a proposal of putting you up last year, upon the Faith of your being here during the summer. It was mentiond to me, and I beged that no such thing might take place, as I was certain it would be very dissagreable to you, and instead of serving your interest, would greatly injure you.
The present Gentlemans Health is much upon the decline. He has been confined more than half of the last year and unable to do any buisness on account of the Goute.7
I most sincerely wish you would prosecute the plan discribed in your Letter.8 I feel myself so much better calculated for private and domestick Life, that it is with pain I think of any other. And I cannot yet help hoping You will return in the Spring of the year. Your ill Health distresses me and your complaints allarm me.
Congress have gone to Anapolis in Maryland. I shall constantly endeavour to inform myself of what passes there respecting my Friend, and to transmit it to you. In this state we appear to be in a much better temper than we were at the commencment of the year; things appear Setling into their old channel. Many of our Gay Gentry are returning to New York from whence they came. Commutation will go quietly down, the impost is passt in this state. Mr. Moris asscribes this, wholy to the extracts of your Letters which he sent to the Govenour, and through him to the assembly. They had a great influence tis true, and turnd the scale in favour of it.9 Mr. Morris mentiond the success you had obtaind in Holland respecting the loans with great approbation, as Mr. Thaxter informd me. He has been sick ever since his return confined to the house, so that I have only seen him for half an hour.
My uncle had furnished me with money to pay for my wood land before Mr. Thaxter arrived, upon my promiseing him a Bill. He wished to have it drawn upon London, but the Sum he wanted was 300 Dollors and I wanted two only. He is uncertain with respect to the Bill whither it will be upon Holland or England. If it is drawn upon Holland I had better apply to the Merchants you mention, because there is some expence attending the negotiation if it must be sent from thence to Paris. Bills upon London are in most demand, and would be more advantageous.
I will make the best use of your remittance in my power. You do not mention having sent me the articles I wrote for, the Irish linnen I should have been very glad of, and half a dozen pound of Hyson tea,10 we do not get any such as you used to send me.
{ 288 }
I inclose to you a paper containing Govenour Trumbles farewell, which would do honour to an old Roman.11 A scheme for a Bank, which I am informd is already nearly fill'd, the utility I am no judge of.12
Dr. Coopers life is dispaird of, I shall mourn his loss. He has been by some very unkindly used and many gross falshoods reported of him, amongst the rest, that you had written a Letter last spring in which you had named 3 Gentlemen as pensioners to France, the Govenour, Dr. Cooper and Judge Sullivan. This I denied upon all occasions, and traced it to the Temple of Scandle.13 Trust not that Man. He means to visit you, and will bring you letters I suppose. I hope you know him.14 Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Portia. 27. Decr. 1784”—an obvious inadvertance.
1. In her letter of 7 Dec., above, AA had called him Benjamin Ruggles. This individual has not been identified.
2. AA called this a six-acre lot in her letter of 7 December.
3. See AA to JA, 7 May, and note 11, above.
4. For several Veaseys (in various spellings) in Braintree, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:index; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy; and Braintree Town Records.
5. Royall Tyler held this property until 1787 and made some improvements, intending, as AA asserts in this letter, to marry AA2 and settle there. Not long after the failure of his courtship of AA2 in late 1785, however, he decided to abandon Braintree, and the farm reverted to Leonard Vassall Borland, who sold it to JA in Sept. 1787. Occupied by Adamses from 1788 to 1927, it was given by the family to the United States in 1946, and is now the Adams National Historic Site. The Adamses have traditionally referred to it as the “Old House.” See G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler, Cambridge, 1967, p. 13, 18–19; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:74–75, note 1; 3:217, note 7.
6. See JA to AA, 14 Aug., and note 6, above.
7. John Hancock suffered from increasingly severe and prolonged attacks of gout from the early 1770s to his death in 1793 (Herbert S. Allan, John Hancock, Patriot in Purple, N.Y., 1948; William M. Fowler Jr., The Baron of Beacon Hill, A Biography of John Hancock, Boston, 1980, p. 162–163).
8. In his letter of 14 Aug., above, JA wrote that he planned to sell his Boston house, collect his debts, and put his money into land, rejecting any high public office in favor of supervising the education of his children.
9. Robert Morris' letter to Gov. Hancock, dated 20 Sept., enclosed extracts from two of JA's letters to Morris, dated 10 and 11 July, in which he stressed the importance of the several states adopting a plan to pay the interest on the national debt. In his second letter JA wrote at length on the public honor requiring the payment of the debt: “The thirteen States, in relation to the discharge of the debts of Congress, must consider themselves as one body, animated by one soul. The stability of our confederation at home, our reputation abroad, our power of defence, the confidence and affection of the people of one State towards those of another, all depend upon it. . . .
“The commerce of the world is now open to us, and our exports and imports are of so large amount, and our connexions will be so large and extensive that the least Stain upon our character in this respect will lose us in a very short time advantages of greater pecuniary value, than all our debt amounts to” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:531–532, 536–537).
This kind of persuasion was needed in the House, which on 8 Oct. voted down by 97 to 26 a motion to concur with the Senate in approving the 5 percent federal impost. The position of the House was that the impost should be used to pay the state's proportion of the national debt, that its collection should be regulated by the state legislature, and that no part of its receipts should be used to provide half-pay for Continental Army officers.
{ 289 }
The next day Gov. Hancock addressed a joint meeting of the legislature, in which he referred to JA's extracted letters. Much of his address, which was printed in the Boston newspapers, dwelt upon the knowledge and accomplishments of JA, whose recommendations he urged the legislators to weigh carefully: “I need not remind you, Gentlemen, of the political knowledge of that minister; of the confidence he has acquired from the United States; of the part he bore in framing the constitution of this commonwealth, and the confederation of the states, the intent and spirit of which he well understood; nor need I mention the advantage afforded him by his important public employments in Europe for taking an extended view of the subject on which he writes, for examining it nicely, and feeling its whole force” (Continental Journal, 16 October).
Following Hancock's address the House proposed a conference with the Senate to exchange views, and in the next ten days opposition to the impost as voted by the Senate steadily eroded. When it was revealed that only 37 members had instructions from their constituents to oppose half-pay, the House approved the Senate measure by 70 to 65. On 17 Oct., a motion to bar the use of the impost for half-pay failed by 74 to 64, but the final text of the act stipulated that sums raised could be applied only to discharge the interest or principal of debts incurred in fighting the war. The measure finally passed on 20 Oct., with 108 members present, 57 yeas (Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass. A.1b, Reel No. 11, Unit 1, p. 224–225, 231–233, 234, 236, 238, 252–254, 258–261, 267; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1782–1783, p. 541–543).
10. See AA to JA, 7 May, above.
11. Enclosure not found. The only Boston newspaper that carried Gov. Jonathan Trumbull's speech was the Continental Journal of 18 December. The speech was separately printed as An Address of His Excellency Governor Trumbull, to the General Assembly and the Freemen of the State of Connecticut: Declining Any Further Election to Public Office. With the Resolution of the Legislature, in Consequence thereof, New London, 1783, Evans, No. 17885. In his address, Trumbull laid heavy emphasis on the need for a stronger central government, urged the faithful payment of public and private debts, and entered a plea for virtuous living and love among community members.
12. This fragmentary reference must be to the establishment of the Massachusetts Bank, the first in the state (later called the First National Bank of Boston, and from 1984, The Bank of Boston). On 10 Dec., six Bostonians, including AA's uncle, Isaac Smith Sr., wrote to Thomas Willing, president of the Bank of North America in Philadelphia, the nation's first bank, asking for information on how to start and run a bank. Willing's reply of 6 Jan. 1784 encouraged the six to seek legal incorporation, and on 7 Feb. the General Court passed an act to establish the bank. The first stockholders met in March to organize the institution and elected James Bowdoin its first president. It is likely that AA first heard of this endeavor while visiting Isaac Smith on 13–14 December. Norman S. B. Gras, The Massachusetts First National Bank of Boston: 1784–1934, Cambridge, 1937; Ben Ames Williams Jr., Bank of Boston 200: A History of New England's Leading Bank, 1784–1984, Boston, 1984.
13. No JA letter of any date accusing Gov. John Hancock, the Rev. Samuel Cooper, or the prominent attorney and former superior court judge James Sullivan of being in the pay of France has been identified, and it seems as unlikely to the editors as it did to AA that JA would ever have made such a charge.
Yet the Rev. Cooper, who died on 29 Dec., had in fact, in Jan. 1779, accepted the offer of an annual stipend of £200 sterling from Joseph de Valnais, the French consul in Boston, to promote the French alliance through his speeches and newspaper writings. This stipend was approved by Conrad Alexandre Gérard, the French minister to the United States, and then by the Comte de Vergennes, who continued it until Cooper's death. Cooper later informed the French of the contents of letters written by Arthur Lee and JA to Cooper's good friend, Samuel Adams (William C. Stinchcombe, The American Revolution and the French Alliance, Syracuse, 1969, p. 124). According to his biographer, Charles Akers, Rev. Cooper sincerely believed that the alliance and French leadership were in the best interests of the United States.
As AA suggests here, John Temple, the son-in-law of James Bowdoin, had become suspicious of Cooper's strong pro-French sympathies, and either Temple or his friends began attacking Cooper in Boston's newspapers in Jan. 1782 for being too political a clergyman. By the spring of that year, James Sullivan emerged as a defender of both Cooper and James Bowdoin's political rival, Gov. Han• { 290 } cock, against Temple.
Once the question of whether the American Commissioners would observe Congress' instructions that they follow the French lead in the peace negotiations with Great Britain became a public issue, the acceptance of a stipend from the French crown would have seemed to many Americans to be disloyalty to the interests of the United States. Because JA as Commissioner refused to observe these instructions, he and those holding like views would certainly have been dismayed to learn that Cooper was taking French money. Apparently without any such suspicion on JA's part, but after warnings from William Gordon to JA in Sept. 1782, that Cooper had become “Franklified & Frenchified” (Stinchcombe, p. 124), the old warm relationship between JA and Dr. Cooper was cooling by 1783. Neither man, however, would acknowledge this alteration.
Dr. Cooper died without the knowledge of his pension being revealed to his countrymen. No evidence has been produced that either John Hancock or James Sullivan was ever a French pensioner. Cooper, however, so strongly supported Hancock that he was dubbed the governor's “Prime Minister” in the early 1780s. And James Sullivan, one of Cooper's stoutest defenders, wrote a laudatory obituary of the pastor for the Boston newspapers. See Charles W. Akers, The Divine Politician, Boston, 1982, p. 278–281, 290, and chaps. 21–22; Stinchcombe, p. 67, 113, and chap. 9.
14. This, AA's first criticism of John Temple, contrasts sharply with the favorable view expressed in Richard Cranch to JA, 21 Nov. (Adams Papers). AA may have learned of Cranch's opinion, which she had not countered in her letter of 20 Nov., above, and therefore felt a need to caution JA here. In any event, AA's wariness of John Temple, despite his strong opposition to Gov. Hancock, whom she despised, and her continued high opinion of Dr. Cooper, who remained one of Hancock's principal supporters, points to the complexity of Massachusetts politics, and to its interconnections with the foreign policy of the United States, in 1783.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0158

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-01-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have already written you 3 Letters, which have been waiting a long time for a passage;1 they will now all go in one ship, provided I can get this to Town to morrow; tho She was ordered for sailing to day, yet I trust to the delay which vessels usually have.
Last evening I received a packet of Letters from Nabby who has been in Town a month; inclosing Your Letters by Mr. Robbins,2 who arrived in a passage of 33 days only. By him, I was happy to hear you were well when he left you, but alass! you know not the anxiety I suffer upon account of your Health, or how often my Heart is overwhelmed, with the Idea that I never shall see you more.
I cannot without terrour, think of your going to reside at the Hague, indeed you cannot live in that country, and you have repeatedly told me so. Why then will you risk a Life invaluably dear to me; and for the comfort and enjoyment of which, there is no earthly pleasure, I would not willingly relinquish; and it is the apprehension which I have for your precarious Health, and the hope that by a watchfull attention I may be able to preserve it, that leads me to seriously to think of quitting all my Friends and my dear Boys, to cross the ocean, coward as I am; without Husband or son to protect { 291 } or support me; it is one thing to encounter dangers or difficulties with you; and an other without you.
Why with a Heart Susceptable of every tender impression, and feelingly alive, have I So often been called to Stand alone and support myself through Scenes which have almost torn it assunder, not I fear, because I have more resolution or fortitude than others, for my resolution often fails me; and my fortitude wavers.
As my own judgment, and the advice of my Friends, will prevent my comeing out this winter, I shall by spring know the determinations of congress with respect to your situation, and in some measure be governed by them.
Your Daughter writes me thus, “this mor'g I was agreeably Surprized by the sight of Mr. Robbins, who came with Letters from Pappa and my Brother. You will see that I have taken the liberty to open them, which I hope your own feelings will lead you to excuse. I find my dear Pappa has again been sick with a severe fever. O Mamma what have we not to fear from his continuance abroad in climates so enemical to his Health? I shudder at the thought, and wish he could be prevailed upon to consider his danger.”
“I know perfectly well how I should act with regard to Pappas requests, were I exatly in your situation, tho I own, I now dread the result. Yet my duty, and my fears for the critical state of his Health, operate so powerfully upon my mind being never absent from my thoughts, that I would rather influence than dissuade you from going.”3
In concequence of your last Letters I shall immediately set about putting all our affairs in such a train as that I may be able to leave them in the spring; you have written to me with Regard to Mr. Alleynes Farm, during the war he talked of selling; but I have heard nothing of it of late. I will have him sounded, and if he should sell, leave it in charge with some Friend to purchase if you can; the land you mention belonging to Col. Quincy I know he wants to sell. Mr. Tyler applied to him for it tho not very pressingly, before he purchased Mrs. Borelands Farm, but the Col. had got such wild notions of foreigners of fortune comeing over to settle here, and the high value of Land, that there was no reason in him; but after he heard that Mrs. Boreland had sold her Farm, of which he had then no Idea, he was shagreen'd that he did not sell it, and has since offerd it to him, but he asked 26 pound pr acre. I will take the opinion of your Brother and one or two others, of the real value of it; and make him an offer, through some Friend, for if he should suspect that you wanted it, he { 292 } would immediately suppose that it was because you knew of gentlemen of fortunes comeing over, and supposed land would run very high near Boston.
There is a method of laying out money to more advantage than by the purchase of land's, which a Friend of mine advised me to, for it is now become a regular merchandize. Dr. T[uft]s has sold a Farm with a design of vesting it in this manner, viz in State Notes. Provision is now made for the anual payment of Interest, and the Notes have all been consolidated. Foreigners and monied Men have, and are purchaseing them at 7 shillings upon the pound, 6 and 8 pence they have been sold at. I have mentiond to you that I have a hundred pounds sterling in the hands of a Friend, I was thinking of adding the 50 you sent me, and purchaseing 600 pounds L M in state Notes provided I can get them at 7 shillings or 6 and 8 pence. This would yeald me an anual interest of 36 pounds subject to no taxes:4 and be some thing to leave in the hand of a Friend for the support of our Sons.
If I should do this I shall have occasion to draw upon you, tho not for any large sum. I wish you would put me in a way to have my Bills answerd in London, as those will sell above par.
If I come out in the Spring I hope to prevail with Dr. Tufts to take under his patronage our little cottage and Farm. The care of our two sons I will leave in charge with my two Sisters, but as they reside at Haverhill, it will chiefly devolve upon Mrs. Shaw. To Mr. Shaw I shall leave the trust of the Medford estate which was left jointly between my sister and me.5 It will be his interest to take the best care of it, and to make such arrangements from time to time as he may find necessary. I shall direct him to receive my part of the Rent, as part pay for the schooling of the children. Forgive me if I sometimes use the singular instead of the plural, alass I have been too much necessitated to it. Mr. Pratt our old tenant still lives upon the Farm. If he continues here it will be necessary to come into new conditions with him.
Your account Books I put six months ago; into the hands of Mr. Tyler, that the whole might not be lost, by insolvent debtors and Refugee Tories as a great part already is. He is in a way to get them adjusted; some little money he has received, many of the accounts he has got into Notes of Hand, which if sued will not admit of dispute as accounts do.6 Many persons very barefacedly deny their accounts. This is not so much to be wonderd at, when they can totally forget Notes of Hand. The Sloans Bond I sued, and got some land under { 293 } mortgage which I put upon record.7 I have some thoughts of selling at vendue part of the house furniture, as I suppose I could purchase new for what this would fetch. With regard to cloathing, there will be no occasion of my taking more than a change. I could wish to receive any particular directions which you may think proper to give before I embark.
To my uncle Smith I shall apply to look me out a proper vessel captain &c.
My Neice I must send to her Mother. She mourns sadly at the thoughts of my going. I must seem nearer to her than her own Parent, as she has lived 6 years with me, and has little remembrance of any thing before she came to me. She has been as earnest to know the result of every letter from you as if her life depended upon it. I have promised with your consent; that if I live to return she shall come again to me; but I fear that I can no more live in Holland than you; tis a climate no way suited to Rheumatick complaints, of which I have had a larger share than I have for many winters before, and I am so subject to a nervious pain in my head that I think my own Health in a precarious situation. Adieu, ever, ever Yours
[signed] AA
Love to my son. I have written him by this vessel.8
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Jan. 3. 1784.”
1. Those of 7, 15, and 27 Dec. 1783, all above.
2. Probably the first and secondtwo of 8 Nov., and possibly also that of 18 Nov. 1783, all above. Although Robbins was to board his ship on 10 Nov. (JA to AA, 8 Nov. 1783, first letter, above), his sailing may have been sufficiently delayed to allow him to carry the last letter.
3. AA2's letter has not been found, but see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 4 Jan., and AA2 to AA, 6 Jan., both below.
4. “L M” is lawful money, the official Massachusetts currency. During the early 1780s, the legislature passed acts to consolidate the state's outstanding debts from the war. State notes, also called consolidated notes, were issued to creditors upon the redemption of old paper money and debt certificates. Taxes were levied to pay interest and principal in successive years (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1780–1781, p. 75–77; 1782–1783, p. 175–176). In a separate act, the legislature stated that income from consolidated notes would be exempt from taxes (same, 1780–1781, p. 954).
5. See Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 26 March, note 3, below.
6. Royall Tyler kept these accounts of JA's legal practice from 1783 to 1786, when he turned them over to Cotton Tufts (Tufts to AA, 15 Aug. 1786, Adams Papers; JA, Earliest Diary, p. 25, 26, 28).
7. The editors have found no further information about this transaction.
8. AA to JQA, 26 Dec. 1783, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0159

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-01-04

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

And why my Dear Eliza has my letter1 layn unanswered. That it merited a reply I will not pretend to determine, but as the motive which actuated me to write was a very friendly and Cousinly one, I { 294 } had the vanity to hope you would favour me with a second letter. If I have been presumtious, be pleased to let me know it, and I will indeavour to step back—tho a very mortifying movement.
If I recollect right I was prevented from answering your congratulations upon the return of our friend Mr. Thaxter. Tho I rejoiced at his arrival,2 I could not but feel a degree of regret that he should come back unaccompany'd by those of my friends who left us with him. I hope it was not any species of envy or any of its detestable train, that tinctured my mind at the time. I will hope it was rather a natureal desire to receive an equal degree of happiness with my friends. We cannot so justly judge of the joys or sorrows of others, unless we have experienced simuliar ourselfs.
Letters from my Brother, Eliza, of the 8th of November,3 and agreeable accounts of him, pleasing indeed to the partiallity of a sister. But alas my friend there is neer a rose without a thorn. The same letter that conveyed the flattering accounts of a Brothers health, conveyed the idea of a fathers <danger> haveing been dangerously ill of a Nervous fever. Reflect a moment my friend, upon the feelings of a Daughter, and your gentle heart will not refuse a sympathetick tear. Sick and distressed in a land of strangers. No Partner to sooth and comfort him in his unhappiness. No Daughter to offer the tender attentions, that Duty, affection and feeling, would lead her to pay. Oh my friend the picture is too <distressing> painfull, my imaginations paints the scene far more distressing than words can express. I fear his continuance in those climates, will prove fatal to his future health, if not his life. But I will not distress you my friend, with the feelings of my heart.
Since I have been in Town I have twice seen Miss Howard. This afternoon I drank tea with her at Mrs. Coffins. Her person I think I should have known from the discription I have received from Miss Sever.4 She is neither beautifull handsome or pretty, but genteel, and agreeable. Her manners are pleasing, and the impression she made upon my mind the first time I saw her was agreeable. And I believe it is from the very first impressions, that we are biassed. True it is that we carry them along with us many times when they are very eronious, because we would not mortify our penetration. Whether it is right or not I will leave you to determine.
Remember my Love to your sister, and tell her that serimony and punctilio ought never to step into a worthy and vallueable acquaintance. The usual interruptions of this place prevent my pursueing many of my wishes and intentions. But I intend very soon to remind { 295 } her that she has a Coussin and a friend united in one character, here.
Do Eliza give me some account of yourself. Since I left you I have not heard a word about any of the folks since I left them scarcely. How do they at Coln. Quincys. At Germantown.5 Please to distribute my regards and good wishes to all <you> who spend a thought upon your friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Braintree”; endorsed: “Jany 4. 1784.”
1. Not found.
2. AA2 wrote a brief letter of welcome to Thaxter on 3 Jan. (Private owner, Boston, 1957).
3. Not found; AA2 received these letters on 2 Jan. (AA2 to Thaxter, 3 Jan.).
4. Probably Sarah Sever, a niece of James Warren, who married Thomas Russell in 1784 (see vol. 4:153, note 1).
5. The family of Gen. Joseph Palmer, husband of Richard Cranch's sister Mary.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0160

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-01-04

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

I received Yours,1 last Friday just as We were siting down to dinner, favoured by Mr. Ludden. We mortified our bodily appetite for a few moments, for the sake of gratifying our mental—and I assure you we found it an agreeable Repast, notwithstanding it informed us of your Reheumatism for which we are sorry, Tommy and I more espicially. I confess it was not written in the spirit, and humour of a Person, exercised with such excruciating Pain, and I cannot account for the vivacity, and chearful Air, which runs through the whole Letter, only from some external Object acting more powerfully upon the Mind; some pleasing Circumstance, some fortunate Occurence had taken place, that exhilerated your Spirits. Tell me, am I not right? Tell me, that I may rejoice with you, and be happy too; for it does not suit my Constitution in the lest to grieve.2 I am really hurt for Cousin Betsy Hunt.3 Poor Girl, been sick too. The Laodicean4 Lover came in a little while after I had received the intelligence. I would he were cold, or——. However, I was determined to try his feelings and if possible put him in a Barrel stuck with nails, and roll him down Hill. I very formaly asked him, if he had heard from Boston Yesterday, or to Day—looked solemn, made a pause. Mr. Shaw motioned my going into another room and leting him know what I had heard there, but after I had fixed his attention, and I hope, harrassed him sufficiently, I gently told him, that Cousin Betsy had been very sick, and still confined to her Chamber. He wondered he had not been informed of it. Strange he had not received a Letter. Upon which I observed { 296 } with a look that I intended should reach his Heart—that it might be as well that he had not, for as he had been so engaged in Study for these eight weeks, that he could not come here to see us, it was not in the lest probable that he could take such a Journey as Boston.
But I must not be too severe—worthy good Men, we always ought to suppose, have just prudent and equitable motives which influence their Conduct, though they may not always be obvious, nor appear as such to the by-stander.
I found my Letter that I mentioned to You at Mr. Coles,5 I wrote it in great haste and sent it down, and thought it of some importance then, as it was a Token of remembrance—and I believe I will send it now unsentimental as it is. I fear Sister Cranch will think me unmindful of her. Mr. Ardoa is come, and I intended to have written to her this Evening.
Sister Adams Mr. Shaw has purchased a Horse, and given a note payable in February but the Man has been to him repeatedly and begd it as a Favor that he would let him have a part of the sum now—it would oblige him &cc. If it would suit you to send a few Dollars by Mr. Ardoa, Mr. Shaw would be obliged to you, he knows the quarter Bill is not yet out. If you please Mr. Ardoa may give a receipt.6

[salute] I am with love and affection to all my Friends and acquaintance theirs most sincerely.

[signed] E S
PS Mr. Thaxter Mr. Tyler and all, come and see us next week. Ask sister Cranch to send a Bottle of honey if she pleases.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams Braintree.”
1. Not found.
2. The source of AA's “exhilerated Spirits” is also unknown to the editors.
3. Betsy Hunt has not been identified, but she may have been a descendant of JA's aunt, Bethia Adams Hunt.
4. That is, luke warm, said of the early Christian church at Laodicea in Asia Minor (Revelation 3:14–16; OED).
5. Neither this letter, presumably from Elizabeth Shaw to AA, nor Mr. Cole(s) have been identified.
6. Well to the right of the end of this sentence, in AA's hand, appears the word or name “ardway.” This may refer to “Mr. Ardoa,” who has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0161

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-01-06

Abigail Adams 2d to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma

Yesterday afternoon Mr. V——handed me your letter.1 I am sorry that you were prevented from communicating your farther sentiments, as I wished to know them fully. I presume you do not propose the question, “whether I would consent to your leaving this country without me,” with an intention of being influenced by my reply, if { 297 } you did, I confess I should not know what to determine. I had rather go from necessity than choice—the latter would never carry me, the former must. My inclination and wishes must be subservient to my duty. Willingly would I sacrifice my happiness, my peace, pleasure, and every agreeable idea, for a time, did I only involve myself in the event.
It is my opinion that by your going my father will return much sooner than otherwise he would. The state of his health is critical. The life you must live will not be agreeable to you, and I flatter myself that twelve months, or eighteen at farthest, will not elapse ere he is influenced to return. I have known your sacrifices, I have shared them with you, and have felt them sufficiently to judge in some degree of the anxiety and unhappiness you have suffered, and to dread their continuance or repetition. * * * * * *2 What I have said is all I shall ever say on the subject.
You ask of Mrs. Jones; she is better, and Mr. Jones3 expressed a wish to Mrs. Otis,4 that if you should go out in the Spring, you might go with his family.
Yesterday I received a very polite invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Tudor5 to spend this evening with them. It storms violently; but as this is the first time I was ever honoured with their attention, I suppose I must go at all events.

[salute] Your letters are not gone yet; it seems as if the vessel could never sail. Believe me Dutifully yours,

[signed] A. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:28–29.)
1. Not found; it may have accompanied AA to JA, 3 Jan., above, which AA intended to send to Boston on 4 January.
2. Thus in text.
3. Probably John Coffin Jones, justice of the peace, prominent Boston merchant, and owner of a house on Hanover Street. Jones' first wife, Mary Lee, died on 1 March 1785, and there is no record of him or his wife traveling to England in 1784 (see AA to JA, 15 March, 12 April, and 25 May, all below; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:49–54).
4. Probably AA's cousin Mary Smith Otis, wife of Samuel Allyne Otis.
5. William Tudor, JA's law clerk, 1769–1772, and his wife, Delia Jarvis Tudor (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:252–265).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0162

Author: Tyler, Royall
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-01-13

Royall Tyler to John Adams

[salute] Sir

When a man's views are direct and his Intentions consistant with Honour and Virtue he seldom affects Concealment. I will not presume therefore that my Attentions to your Daughter are Unknown to you. If you demand why an affair of so much importance to your Domestick Concerns was not communicated by me sooner, I hope { 298 } that my Youth, the early progress of my professional career, and the continued expectation of your daily return to your Family will be accepted as a sufficient Apology. The encrease of the strongest attachments is often imperceptable; while I every day Anticipated your return I heeded not that every day encreased my esteem for her Virtues. But as that Event must now be viewed as distant as she is about to leave this Country, my own sense of propriety forbids me any longer to Defer the soliciting the Sanction of your Approbation to my Addresses, and 'tho' I do not think myself entitled to your Consent to an immediate Union Yet I cannot suffer this separation without requesting your permission to expect it when ever she shall return to Her Native country.
It will I presume be needless to trace the rise and progression of that attachment which now Authorizes me to apply solely to her parents for the Completion of my Wishes: suffice it to say: that our mutual Esteem was formed under the Inspection of your Lady and with the knowledge of the worthy Family in which I reside.1 Permit me, then, to apply to you Sir, for your Approbation and Consent to my looking forward to a Connection with your Daughter as the reward of my Deserving her, and if I Know my own Heart, on no other Terms would I solicit it.

[salute] Sir I am with respect Your Humble Servt.

[signed] Royall Tyler
RC (Adams Papers). This letter was enclosed in Richard Cranch to JA, 20 Jan., below.
1. The Cranches.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0163

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-01-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I write you again by this vessel altho it seem's as if there was a Spell to detain her; she has letters of various dates from me as you will find, some of which I hoped had reachd you, but the vessels by which they were sent, met with bad weather and were dismasted obliged to return into port.1 This letter will not be able to boast of any other merit than that of being last dated, for I can tell you no News unless what has lately taken place in the natural world, occasiond by a very sudden thaw upon a Quantity of snow; which produced such a freshet as carried away all our Bridges, mills, and in some places houses; filld our cellars with water and distresst us for several days. The Bridge known by the Name of the Iron Works { 299 } Bridge in this Town was amongst the number, and for several days people were obliged to pass it in Boats. The Ship Rosamond Capt. Love, bound to England is the one by which I have written you largely—belonging to Guild and company.2 I am studying an arrangement of my affairs and getting into some method to be able if necessary to leave them in the spring. Mr. G[err]y writes that the Situation at Anapolis is pleasing, the New members are Men of abilities and appear right in politicks, that a committe of congress was appointed to take up foreign affairs upon a Broad and liberal basis. Who they are he does not mention, but he appears pleased with the present prospect.3
I beg you to continue to write me by every opportunity. Our Friends are all well, remember me to our son who will find Letters to him by this conveyance.4 Samll. Cooper Johonet is just arrived, but not untill after the death of his Grandpappa.5 Adieu. Yours ever yours
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Royall Tyler: “His Excellcy John Adams L:L:D: Minister Plenippy. From the United States To the United Provinces residing at the Hague”; endorsed: “Portia 15 Jan. 1784.”
1. See AA to JA, 7 Dec. 1783, addition dated 13 Dec., above. The letters sent by AA in this January vessel thus included those to JA of 20 Nov., 7, 15, and 27 Dec. 1783, and 3 Jan., and perhaps that of 11 Nov. 1783, all above; and her 20 Nov. and 26 Dec. 1783 letters to JQA, also above.
2. This was the ship that brought all the letters mentioned in note 1, as well as Royall Tyler's letter of 13 Jan., above, which was enclosed in Richard Cranch's letter of 20 Jan., below, to England. John Thaxter's letter to JA of 19 Jan. (Adams Papers), probably also went on this ship. Cranch fixes the ship's departure at 20 January.
3. Elbridge Gerry's letter to AA has not been found. The only committee appointed to consider foreign affairs about this time was on Gerry's motion of 24 Dec. 1783; it was directed to make a list of the papers of the late secretary for foreign affairs, R. R. Livingston, which were then in the office of the secretary of Congress, and to have the documents made available for the inspection of the members of Congress. The committee's members, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Osgood, and Arthur Lee, were certain not to accept passively the guidance of France in the conduct of American foreign relations; Gerry could feel confident that they would prefer the independence of JA to what they saw as the excessively pro-French attitude of Livingston.
The committee's only resolution, however, which it intended to offer on 29 Dec. 1783, merely recommended that a “deputy Secretary for foreign affairs should be appointed at some early day” (JCC, 26:49–50). There was no quorum in Congress on 29 Dec., and the issue of appointing a new foreign secretary was not resolved until May 1784, when John Jay was elected, on Gerry's motion. Since Livingston's resignation in June 1783, the papers of the foreign secretary had been under the care of the secretary of Congress, kept in locked and sealed cases. The documents received since that date had remained largely unexamined (same, 26:49–50, 104–105, 354–355).
4. See note 1.
5. Samuel Cooper Johonnot, grandson of Rev. Samuel Cooper and the same age as JQA, had sailed to Europe with JA and JQA in Nov. 1779, and studied with JQA at Passy from Feb. to July 1780. When JQA returned to Paris from Holland in Aug. 1783, he learned that Johonnot, who had gone to Geneva to study, had recently returned to Paris and then gone to Nantes to board a ship for America (JQA, Diary, 1:2, and note 2, 181).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0164

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-01-20

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] My dear Friend and Brother

I have received your esteemed Favour of the 10th. of Sepr. 1783, and am sorry to find that the Happiness we flatter'd our selves with soon enjoying on your Return, is postponed to a more distant Period. But the Consideration of the very important Services for your Country that you are still engaged in, makes it our Duty to sacrifice our private Enjoyments to the greater Good of the Public. The unhappiness that you and your dear Partner must feel from your mutual Absence, must be great: and the Loss that we on our part must sustain in parting with two of our most amiable and desirable Friends by their taking a Voyage to Europe, added to the Breach that has been already made upon us in the Death of our dear and honour'd Father, will be truly great on our part. I pray God that the Voyage, whenever it is undertaken, may be prosperous and happy.
Inclosed is a Letter from my esteemed Friend Mr. Tyler,1 the Subject of which is not unknown to me. As you are not personally acquainted with that young Gentleman, I would take the liberty of informing you that he has boarded at our House for near two Years past, and, from my acquaintance with him, he appears to me to be possess'd of Politeness, Genious, Learning and Virtue;2 and I think he will make a very respectable Figure in his Profession of the Law. His Business in that Department increases daily. I tho't it my duty thus freely to give you my Sentiments of a Gentleman, who, I have reason to think, is making honourable Addresses to your Daughter, grounded on mutual Affection.
I rejoice to hear of your Recovery from your late Sickness, and hope your Health will be confirmed. I suppose you will receive Letters from your Lady and Daughter by this Conveyance (Capt. Love) who is to sail in a few Hours. Our Friends at Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, Haverhill &c. are well. The public Papers will inform you of the Death of the excellent Doctr. Cooper, who died the 30th. of Decr. in the 59th. year of his Age. Mr. Thaxter was here last Saturday. My dear Partner and Children are well, and join with me when I assure you that we wish you every kind of Happiness.—I am, with the highest Esteem, your ever affectionate Bror.
[signed] Richard Cranch
Please to give my kindest Regards to your Son, and let him know that I should think my self happy in receiving a Letter from him.
{ 301 }
RC (Adams Papers). Dft (MHi:Cranch Family Papers).
1. Royall Tyler to JA, 13 Jan., above.
2. Crossed out in the draft at this point is: “His Gaiety and sprightliness when at Colledge (which he entered very young) led him perhaps into some youthfull.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-01-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I was much disappointed, on the Arrival of Mr. Temple in London, at not finding a Letter from you, but last Week at Amsterdam, I had the Happiness to receive your kind favours of Sept. 20. and Oct. 19. Mr. Trumbull is not arrived.2
The Loss of my kind Father, has very tenderly affected me, but I hope, with full Confidence to meet him in a better World. My ever honoured Mother I still hope to see in this. I feel for you, as I know how justly dear [to] you, your father was.
You have Seen, before now Mr. Thaxter and I hope Mr. Dana. The Determinations of Congress, upon the Arrival of the definitive Treaty, will be your best Guide for your own Conduct. You will juge best from thence whether it is worth your while to come to The Hague or to Europe. If Congress <sh> would determine to continue me in Europe, I must intreat you to come to me, for I assure you, my Happiness depends so much upon it, that I am determined, if you decline coming to me, to come to you. If Miss Nabby is attached, to Braintre, and you think, upon Advizing with your Friends, her Object worthy, marry her if you will and leave her with her Companion3 in your own House, Office, Furniture Farm and all. H[is] Profession is, the very one, I wish. His Connection[s] are respectable, and if he has Sown his will [wild] Oats and will Study, and mind his Business, he is all I want.
I must at present leave all to your Judgment. If you think it not advizeable to come to Europe, I will come to you, although I should be Sorry, to break away and return, without Permission from Congress. I should not care, a Farthing my self whether it were in England or Holland, if I could preserve my Health, which I should hope to do with my Family in a settled Way of Life, for I am determined, not to venture in future upon Such Journeys and Wanderings as have heretofore been necessary, and have done me so much harm. Somewhere or other, I am determined to have a regular Habitation and Settled Abode.
John is a great Comfort to me. He is every Thing you could wish { 302 } him. Wholly devoted to his studies he has made a Progress, which gives me intire Satisfaction. Miss N[abby']s Friend must rise very early or he will be soon overtaken by her worthy Brother. In the Course of two or three Years, John must go home, and go into some Office, and if he should have a Brother in Law of sufficient Merit, why should he wish for any other Master? These Things are but Speculations. Miss hopes I shall approve of her Taste.4 I can Scarcely think it possible for me to disapprove, of her final Judgment formed with deliberation, upon any Thing which so deeply concerns her whole Happiness. But she will listen to the Advice of her Mother Grandmother, and her Aunts, in whose Wisdom I have great Confidence.
The next Dispatches from Congress, and from you, after Mr. Thaxters Arrival will determine me and I shall write you more fully.
I have enjoyed better Health, Since my Fever last Septr. at Paris. I got poisoned at Amsterdam with the Steams of the Canals, and bad Water in the Cisterns, and my Constitution has been labouring, these two or three Years to throw it off. Two violent Fevers, have not been Sufficient, wholly to relieve me, but the last has made me better. I am cured of the Imprudence of living in a great City in hot Weather.

[salute] Adieu my dearest Friend. Adieu.5

RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand: “JA to AA Jan 25 1784.” Some damage to the text through wear on the margin.
1. For JA and JQA's difficult journey from London to The Hague in January, see JA to Richard Cranch, 3 April, and note 3, below.
2. This sentence appears to have been inserted at the end of the paragraph. On John Trumbull, see AA to JA, 11 Nov. 1783, above. Either that letter arrived in The Hague after JA began this letter, or JA had heard of Trumbull's plan to return to Europe from another correspondent.
3. Royall Tyler.
4. This may refer to a lost AA2 letter to JA, but the editors have found no letter, to any person, in which AA2 even mentions Royall Tyler until her letter to him of [ca. 11 Aug. 1785], below, terminating their relationship.
5. The lack of an endorsement by AA, and AA's insistance, in several letters through late May, below, that she had received no letters from JA dated after Nov. 1783, suggest that she may not have received this letter before sailing to England in June. This is the last extant letter from JA to AA written before her departure from Boston.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0166

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-02-11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Two days only are wanting to campleat six years since my dearest Friend first crost the Atlantick. But three months of the Six Years have been Spent in America. The airy delusive phantom Hope, how has she eluded my prospects. And my expectations of your return { 303 } from month to month, have vanished “like the baseless Fabrick of a vision.”1
You invite me to you, you call me to follow you, the most earnest wish of my soul is to be with you—but you can scarcly form an Idea of the conflict of my mind. It appears to me such an enterprize, the ocean so formidable, the quitting my habitation and my Country, leaving my Children, my Friends, with the Idea that prehaps I may never see them again, without my Husband to console and comfort me under these apprehensions—indeed my dear Friend there are hours when I feel unequal to the trial. But on the other hand I console myself with the Idea of being joyfully and tenderly received by the best of Husbands and Friends, and of meeting a dear and long absent Son. But the difference is; my fears, and anxieties, are present; my hopes, and expectations, distant.
But avaunt ye Idle Specters, the desires and requests of my Friend are a Law to me. I will sacrifice my present feelings and hope for a blessing in persuit of my duty.
I have already arranged all my family affairs in such a way that I hope nothing will suffer by my absence. I have determined to put into this House <my> Pheby,2 to whom my Father gave freedom, by his Will, and the income of a hundred a year during her Life. The Children furnished her to house keeping, and she has ever since lived by herself, untill a fortnight ago, she took unto her self a Husband in the person of Mr. Abdee whom you know. As there was no setled minister in Weymouth I gave them the liberty of celebrating their nuptials here, which they did much to their satisfaction.
I proposed to her taking care of this House and furniture in my absence. The trust is very flattering to her, and both her Husband and She Seem pleased with it. I have no doubt of their care and faithfullness, and prefer them to any other family. The Farm I continue to let to our old tennant, as no one thinks I shall supply myself better.3
I am lucky too in being able to supply myself with an honest faithfull Man Servant. I do not know but you may recollect him, John Brisler, who was brought up in the family of Genll. Palmer, has since lived with Col. Quincy and is recommended by both families as a virtuous Steady frugal fellow, with a mind much above the vulgar, very handy and attentive. For a maid servant I hope to have a Sister of his, who formerly lived with Mrs. Trott, who gives her a good character.4 It gave me some pain to refuse the offerd service of an old servant who had lived 7 years with me, and who was married from { 304 } here, as I wrote you some time ago.5 Both she and her Husband solicited to go, but I could not think it convenient as Babies might be very inconvenient at Sea, tho they offerd to leave it at Nurse if I would consent to their going, but tho I felt gratified at their regard for me I could not think it would answer. On many accounts a Brother and sister are to be prefered. This far have I proceeded but I know not yet what Ship, or what month or what port I shall embark for, I rather think for England.
I wrote you largely by Capt. Love, who saild for England 3 weeks ago. By him I mentiond a set of Bills which I expected to draw in favour of Uncle Smith for 200 dollors. He did not send me the Bills untill yesterday. Instead of 60 pounds Lawfull, he requested me to sign a Bill for 60 Sterling, as that was just the sum he wanted, and that it would oblige him. I have accordingly drawn for that;6 as I supposed it would not make any great odds with you; whether I drew now; or a month hence, as I suppose I shall have occasion before I embark. You will be so kind as to honour the Bill.
I have not heard from you since Mr. Robbins arrived. I long to hear how your Health is. Heaven preserve and perfect it. Col. Quincy lies very dangerously ill of the same disorder which proved fatal to my dear and honourd parent. The dr is apprehensive that it will put a period to his life in a few days.7
Your Honourd Mother is as well as usual. The thoughts of my going away is a great Grief to her, but I shall leave her with a particular request to my sister Cranch, to pay the same attention to her during her Life, which I have done, and to supply my place to her in sickness and Health.
However kind sons may be disposed to be, they cannot be daughters to a Mother. I hope I shall not leave any thing undone which I ought to do. I would endeavour in the discharge of my duty towards her, to merit from her the same testimony which my own parent gave me, that I was a good kind considerate child as ever a parent had. However undeserving I may have been of this testimony, it is a dear and valuable Legacy to me and will I hope pruve a stimulous to me, to endeavour after those virtues which the affection and partiality of a parent asscribed to me.
Our sons are well. I hope your young companion is so too. If I should not now be able to write to him, please to tell him I am not unmindfull of him.
I have been to day to spend a few Hours with our good Uncle Quincy,8 who keeps much confined a winters and says he misses my { 305 } two Boys almost as much as I do; for they were very fond of visiting him, and used to go as often as once a week when they lived at home.

[salute] There is nothing stiring in the political world. The Cincinati makes a Bustle, and will I think be crushed in its Birth.9—Adieu my dearest Friend. Yours most affectionately

[signed] A.A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. 11. Feb. 1784.”
1. Shakespeare, The Tempest, IV, i, 151.
2. For this arrangement, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 June, below. On the slave, or “servant,” Phoebe, see vol. 2:346, 382; her intended marriage in 1777 to a Mr. Bristol, a free black of Boston, mentioned there, apparently never occurred. See also Rev. William Smith's will, 12 Sept. 1783, above.
3. AA began looking for a tenant for the family farm in March 1778, immediately after JA's first departure for Europe. It is not known when she found one, but in Nov. 1780 she wrote to JA that her “Tenants” threatened to quit the farm because they could not support themselves, given the rising taxes that AA was forced to pay. In 1784–1785 AA's tenant was Matthew Pratt. See vol. 2:407–408; 4:15; AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 June, below; Cotton Tufts to JA, with enclosed account, 10 Aug. 1785, below.
4. AA did take John Briesler to England, but not his sister. In her place she took Esther Field, daughter of a Braintree neighbor. AA's observation, below, that on “many accounts a Brother and Sister are to be preferred,” stated a reasonable precaution. John Briesler and Esther Field married in London while serving the Adamses, and Esther gave birth to a daughter on 28 May 1788 on shipboard, as the Brieslers were returning with AA and JA to America. The Brieslers continued to serve the Adamses into the 1790s. JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:154–158, 212–215, and note 7, 226–247 passim.
5. AA mentioned Jane Glover's upcoming marriage to Bryant Newcomb in her letter to JA of 20 June 1783, above.
6. AA drew this bill on Isaac Smith Sr. on 6 February. On 10 May, JA directed AA's cousin William Smith, who had received the bill from his father, to cash it at C. & R. Puller, Broadstreet Buildings, London, adding that his Amsterdam bankers, the Willinks and van Staphorsts, would cover it (LbC, Adams Papers). On AA's decision to purchase land with this sum, see AA to JA, 7 and 27 Dec. 1783, above.
7. Col. Josiah Quincy died on 3 March (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:475). AA's father had died of the strangury, a blockage of the urinary tract (AA to JA, 20 Sept. 1783, above).
8. Norton Quincy, of Mt. Wollaston in Braintree.
9. AA's prediction of the rapid demise of the new Society of the Cincinnati (founded in May 1783) proved too optimistic. See John Thaxter to JA, 19 Jan. (Adams Papers), and discussions of the Society's character and future by JA and AA in 1785, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0167

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Green, Hannah Storer
Date: 1784-02-28

Abigail Adams to Hannah Storer Green

[salute] Dear Mis Green1

I inclose to you my sons Letters,2 which you will be so kind as to return safe to me again; as they are very valuable to me. For a Lad of Sixteen they do credit to him. This you; who are a parent will permit me to say to you, nor charge upon me more than a maternal partiality in the observation.
Mr. Green Spoke to me yesterday upon an affair in which Mr. Adams he says was formerly engaged. I did not fully comprehend what he wanted, if you will be kind enough to desire him to state in { 306 } writing what he wishes to have done I will endeavour that he Shall have all the intelligence in my power to give him.3
Accept the inclosed4 as a Small token of our ancient Friendship, and be assured I shall in all countries and climates which the vicissitudes of fortune may place me in, always remember with pleasure and affection the early and lasting Friendship of Caliope for her
[signed] Diana5
RC (MHi: S. A. Green Papers).
1. This is AA's first known letter to her girlhood friend since 1764. Hannah Storer, sister of Ebenezer Storer, married Joshua Green in 1762. AA had corresponded with Hannah since at least 1761; Hannah's last known letter to AA prior to this was in 1775 (vol. 1:10, and note 1, 273–274).
2. Not identified further; JQA wrote to AA on 23 and 30 July, and on 4 and 10 Sept. 1783, all above.
3. With her reply of 12 March (Adams Papers), in which she returned JQA's letters to AA, accompanied with high praise and word that “a number of our friends have partook of the pleasure” of reading or hearing them read, Hannah Green enclosed some account of her husband's business. But this enclosure has not been found, and the subject remains obscure.
4. Not identified. Green's reply (see note 3) makes it clear that AA was not referring to JQA's letters.
5. AA used this name frequently in her courtship letters to JA in 1763–1764, but she abandoned it upon her marriage in favor of her first name, or initial, followed by “Adams,” or simply “AA.” Beginning in May 1775, AA signed “Portia” in correspondence with JA, and she soon extended the use of this signature to her closest non-family correspondents, James Lovell, Elbridge Gerry, and Mercy Warren. She continued to use “Diana,” however, when writing to her old friend “Caliope,” a pseudonym that Hannah Storer Green used since the early 1760s. See vol. 1:4–8, 10, 16–51 passim, 193.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0168

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1784-03-14

Charles Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear Cousin

NB This is not performing the promise of writing to one another every week. I know you can write if you have a mind to for you have <as much> enough time to write. I have just done getting my mornings lesson, began at the verbs in ao eo oo at the indicative mood have got the active voice out.1 Have I not been spry. Had I began Virgil when you went away. Oh yes well I have got the second Georgic out allmost; fifty lines is my common lesson. Ben Willes2 is very well only has got his nose broke by a brother. Oh William how careless I am. My letter is nothing but scrols3 but I hope you will find it out because I expect it will give you a great deal of pleasure. Since you went away4 We have got to keeping doves and we have got the bell up boy and we are fine folks here. Now do you mind and write a good long letter to me pretty soon.
[signed] Charles Adams5
RC (Private owner, New York, 1957); addressed: “Mr. William Cranch Cambridge”; endorsed: “C A—ms March 14 1784.”
{ 307 } | view
1. CA refers to the Greek contract verbs, e.g. τιμαω, φιλεω, , and δηλοω, in which the vowel that ends the stem of the verb—α, ε, and ο—is dropped or altered in the present and imperfect tenses.
2. On Benjamin Willis Jr., who was about fifteen or sixteen at this time, see JQA, Diary, 1:368–369.
3. CA's handwriting is certainly informal and the editors have supplied much of the punctuation in this text. CA's penmanship contrasts sharply with that of JQA at the same, or indeed at a much younger age.
4. Cranch had just left the tutelage of his uncle John Shaw to enter Harvard College at the winter break, half a year before the usual beginning date. He graduated in 1787, in the same class with JQA, who entered in March 1786, with advanced standing. CA entered Harvard, as a freshman, in Aug. 1785, and graduated in 1789. See AA to JQA, [ca. 15 March], below.
5. This is the earliest extant letter written by CA.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0169

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-03-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I have not received a Line from you, nor heard a Syllable Since yours of November 18th, which I have allready acknowledged.1
I am impatient now, to receive further intelligence from you; and to learn where you are. Captn. Love in the Ship Rossamond, bound to England, must have arrived before this time, by him I trust you have received many Letters from me.2 I have had but one opportunity of writing since which was by a Vessel bound to Amsterdam. In that Letter I was particular with regard to the manner in which I had adjusted our affairs so as to leave them.3 Mr. Jones designs to have his vessel ready to sail the latter end of May, and from present prospects I think it most probable that I shall accompany Mr. Jones and his Lady.
We have intelligence here, of the fluctuating State of the British Ministry.4 Whether it bodes well or ill for America time must determine, it is not a matter of so much Concequence to us, as it has been in times past.
The Court of this commonwealth is now sitting. They have taken up the recommendation of Congress Respecting the Reffugees and there has been, as you may well suppose, much debateing upon it. And it is generally thought, that the Court will rise, without any thing final taking place.5 Dr. Gorden, it seems has been making use of a private Letter, of yours, to him upon this subject,6 the contents of which are variously reported. The Committe I am informed who have this matter under consideration, have sent for the Letter, which will speak for itself: I do not feel very anxious with regard to it, Since I think I know your prudence so well, that you would not communicate, to that Gentleman; any private sentiments, which you would be loth should be made publick.
{ 308 }
One Gentleman sends me word, Mr. A. has written to judge, such a one7—“pray desire him to be cautious, he is not his Friend.” And an other tells me Mr. A. has written a Letter to Mr. Speaker8—“he is not to be confided in, he has no discretion, he communicates the contents of his Letter to persons who are not to be trusted, he is in a certain Box without knowing it.” “And pray,” I ask these persons, “why do you not make use of your own pens to give these cautions, and your reasons for so doing. Why do you not give Mr. A. information respecting those matters which are of importance for him to know?” “O I am so perplext and worried with buisness, that I have not time.” “Very well sir, these Gentlemen of whom you speak, I suppose have found time to write to Mr. A. One of them I know has. I know Mr. A. has always had a Friendship for that Gentleman, a Friendship of an early date, contracted when they were at Colledge—and I believe the regard he professes for Mr. A. is Sincere.” “I dont pretend to say that it is not, but he wants prudence.”
I have not heard any thing from Congress since my last to you; nor can I learn a single step they have taken since. I am now going to write to Mr. Gerry for information.9
Our family is well. Of whom does it consist? Myself and Neice, and two domesticks, Nabby is at Milton. Genll Warren is like to lose his Son Charles, whom they apprehend far gone in a Hectick.10 Col. Quincy died last week with the disorder which I mentiond to you, he made a donation in his will of a hundred pounds to the Society of Arts and Sciences.11 The Land you wish to purchase12 he has given to his Grandsons Samll and Tommas, to be appropriated for the benifit of their education. Mr. Storer is their Gaurdian. They are not yet of age, but I Suppose it will be sold. Dr. Tufts is executor to the Col. and he will take care to procure it when ever it is to be sold.

[salute] I send this Letter by way of Lisbon,13 and beg you to write me by every Opportunity. Yours most tenderly and affectionately

[signed] A A
1. See AA to JA, 3 Jan., and note 2, above.
2. JA received Richard Cranch's letter of 20 Jan., above, which also went by Capt. Love, on 2 April, but he did not receive AA's letters until May (see JA to Cranch, 3 April, and JQA to JA, 18 May, both below).
3. See AA's letter of 11 Feb., above.
4. William Pitt the younger, who became prime minister in Dec. 1783, met repeated reverses in the House of Commons in early 1784. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 25 March, however, Pitt won a great majority in the general election and dominated the new Parliament, which convened on 18 May (DNB; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 1:87–96, 536).
5. Congress passed this resolution on 14 Jan., immediately after ratifying the definitive peace treaty. In keeping with the treaty, Congress recommended that the states return confiscated property to British subjects and to others who were resident in areas controlled { 309 } by the British between 30 Nov. 1782 and 14 Jan. 1784, and who had not borne arms against the United States. All other persons were to be permitted to return to America for up to twelve months to seek restitution of their property through the courts, and the states were asked not to put obstacles in their way (JCC, 26:30–31). As AA expected, the legislature took no action on this recommendation in the Jan.–March session.
6. JA to William Gordon, 10 Sept. 1783, which Gordon copied and sent to Elbridge Gerry in a letter of 24 Dec. 1783; Gordon also circulated extracts among Massachusetts political leaders (Samuel Adams to JA, 16 April, Adams Papers). In his letter, JA urged moderation in dealing with the loyalists and said in part: “The Stipulations [in the peace treaty] should be sacred, and the Recommendations at least treated with decency and seriously considered. I cannot help saying I wish they could be complied with. We could not obtain the Peace without them. When I agreed, that Congress should recommend, I was sincere” (MHS, Procs., 63:500–502 [June 1930]).
Although AA here expresses her confidence that JA had not written to Gordon any sentiments that he would withhold from the public, the end of his letter contains a quite negative appraisal of Benjamin Franklin's diplomatic skills. Despite JA's candor, Gordon asked Gerry to “clear my way to the records of Congress to which others besides members may be admitted, without sacrificing congressional Honour” (same, p. 502), presumably so that all congressmen might read JA's words to Gordon.
7. Possibly James Sullivan, who resigned from the Supreme Judicial Court in 1782, but who was still called “Judge.” Sullivan wrote to JA on 24 July 1782 and 21 Dec. 1783; according to his Letterbook, JA wrote to Sullivan on 6 Sept. 1782 (all Adams Papers). Other letters may have been lost at sea or have disappeared in later years. No letters for 1782–1783 between JA and the four supreme court justices have been found. The editors have added all of the quotation marks in this paragraph except those around the last sentence.
8. Tristram Dalton, speaker of the House of Representatives, who was JA's Harvard classmate, as AA mentions toward the end of this paragraph (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578). For 1782–1783 the editors have record of seven letters sent by Dalton to JA, but of none in the other direction except for Dalton's acknowledgment of a letter from JA of 18 Aug. 1782 (Dalton to JA, 26 Oct. 1782, Adams Papers).
9. AA wrote Gerry on 19 March, below.
10. That is, consumption (OED).
11. That is, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; AA had referred to Col. Quincy's disorder, urinary obstruction (strangury), in her letter of 11 Feb., at note 7, above. CFA omitted the text from this point to the end of the paragraph from AA, Letters, 1841 and 1848. The letter did not appear in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840.
12. JA to AA, 14 Oct. 1783, and note 5, above.
13. On 13 March, Isaac Smith Sr. wrote to JA (Adams Papers), that “The Ship, Dutche's, of Kingston, in which Mr. Dana came in is now bound to Lisbon, from whence this will be forwarded, as probably itt may reach you allmost as soon as any Other way.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0170

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-03-15

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

As I did not write you by the last conveyance I will not omit the present. I supposed your sister had got a Letter for You, but I found afterwards that she did not send it, because she could not please herself.
This Week I received your trunk which Mr. Dana brought with him. You cannot conceive the pleasure I took in looking it over. The Books it is true were in a language that I understand very little off,2 but I know enough of them to be pleasd with the collection and to { 310 } be satisfied that You profitted by them. The first Idea which struck me upon opening the trunk was the order and care in which they were placed. Here I saw the example of your patron was carefully followed. In the next place the Books were all of the usefull kind, such as tended to make you a good classical Scholar and others to store your mind with usefull Historick knowledge. The large pile of translation shew me that you had not been Idle and your little poettical transcripts, convinced me that your taste in poetry was delicate chaste well chosen and made with great judgment. These little Volumes I value more than all the contents of the trunk besides, first because they are in a Language which I can read, secondly because they are in your own hand writing, and thirdly because they shew a purity of sentiment and are seclected by yourself.3
I shall have good care taken of your Books that they may be preserved for you against your return which I hope I shall live to see. And I please myself with the prospect of your growing into Life a Wise and Good Man. In your early days you had a great flow of Spirits and Quick passions. I hope you have acquired reason to govern the one and judgment to Guide the other, never suffer the natural flow of your Spirits to degenerate into noisy mirth. Tis an old observation that empty vessels sound the loudest; I never knew a Man of great talants much given to Laughter. True contentment is never extreemly gay or noisy. My own Ideas of pleasure consist in tranquility. I do not mean by this that you should assume a character foreign to your age. Youth is the season for Innocent Gayety and mirth, and the laughing philosopher was I believe the happier man. But in moderation of enjoyment consists the most perfect felicity of the humane mind and there is a certain point which I term tranquility, beyond which is disgust, or pain—and I know from experience that sudden and excessive joy will produce tears sooner than Laughter.
We have had a very severe winter but some very good Sleying which I improved one week in visiting your Brothers. I found them happy and studious. Your Uncle Shaw offerd your Cousin Billy at the Winter Vacancy half a Yeard forward, and he was accepted without any difficulty. He is now become a Student at Harvard and promises by his good disposition and his attention to his Studies to make a Worthy Man. Your Brother Charles expects to enter the commencment after next.
I hope some future day will bring me the happiness of seeing my family again collected under our own roof happy in ourselves and { 311 } blessed in each other. If it is determined that I and your sister must first cross the Atlantick, heaven Grant us a happy meeting in a foreign Land with those who are so dearly allied to us by conjugal and fillial parental and Fraternal bonds—which is the most ardent Wish of your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] AA
RC (Adams Papers); marked at the top by CFA: “178<3>4 Copy. J. Q. Adams.”
1. AA sent this letter by the same vessel bound for Lisbon that carried her letter of 15 March to JA, above (see AA to JA, 12 April, below).
2. Probably Latin, of which AA had virtually no knowledge. She acquired some familiarity with French in her teens (vol. 1:3–4).
3. Several of the books that JQA purchased while in St. Petersburg, and which ended up in his library in Quincy, are identified in JQA, Diary, 1:102–148 passim. JQA's unbound MS translations of Cicero's orations and biographical sketches by Cornelius Nepos are in M/JQA/44 and 45 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 239 and 240). Of JQA's four commonplace books containing material written in Russia, M/JQA/24 and 26 (Reel Nos. 219 and 221) are filled with the verse of Dryden, Pope, Thomson, and Gray, as well as of over a dozen minor poets of the period. These two little books likely came to America in 1783, and appear to be the focus of AA's remarks here. The arrival dates of the other booklets is less certain. M/JQA/1 (Reel No. 199) contains a few passages from the British historians Hume, Robertson, and Catherine Macauley copied in 1782, as well as fragmentary notes from the 1830s. M/JQA/25 (Reel No. 220) contains JQA's 1782 transcription, made in a contemporary German handwriting style, of a German play, Ludwig Holberg's Der Geschwätsige Barbierer (The Talkative Barber), as well as passages from the Iliad that are accompanied by translations by Pope and Cowper. JQA entered the Homeric passages several years after he left Russia, for Cowper's Iliad was not published until 1791. The annotation in JQA, Diary, 1:102, 103, 107, 115, 138, and 139 gives further details on many of these MS booklets.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0171

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1784-03-19

Abigail Adams to Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Sir

I received Letters dated about the middle of November from Mr. Adams, in which he was very urgent with me to come out early in Spring, if I declined a Winters voyage. Since that time I have not heard from him.
Capt. Callihan will sail for London in April. My Friends advise me to take passage in him, but I cannot feel fully determined untill I hear from you. Your favour by Mr. Thaxter1 gave me reason to suppose that there was not a probability of Mr. Adams'es Speedy return. I wish to know your present Sentiments upon the Subject, as it would be exceeding dissagreable to me to make a voyage, and be under the necessity of immediately returning. When he wrote me last, he had but just recoverd from a fever. He thought his Health which had been very infirm ever since his Sickness in Amsterdam, much mended since his last illness; but you cannot wonder sir that I feel anxious { 312 } for his return, or if that cannot be, to go to him. You will be so kind as to give me the earliest intelligence upon the Subject which you possibly can.
Our Friend Col. Quincy is no more, he died about a fortnight since of a disorder to which he has long been Subject. Mr. Adams in his last Letters complains much for want of intelligence, rejoices to hear that you are in Congress, and begs that I would request you to write to him.2 Mr. Thaxter informd me that you had written to him before he left Philadelphia.3 I hope sir you will continue your favours, whether in or out of Congress so long as Mr. Adams remains abroad, as I know of no Gentleman for whom he has a sincerer Friendship or a higher Esteem.
Please to present my Respectfull compliments to Dr. Lee and Mr. Osgood. If you have Mr. Laurences replie to Mr. Jennings4 I will thank you for it, I am very Sorry that there ever was any occasion for a publication upon either side.

[salute] I am sir with Sentiments of Esteem Your Humble Servant.

[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (NNPM: MA 157); addressed in an unidentified hand: “The Honble. Elbridge Gerry Member of Congress Annapolis”; endorsed: “Braintree Lettr Mrs Adams Mar 19 ansd April 16 1784.”
1. Of 24 Nov. 1783, above.
2. See JA to AA, 14 Aug. 1783, above.
3. Apparently a reference to Gerry's long letter to JA of 23 Nov. 1783 (Adams Papers).
4. Mr. Laurens True State of the Case. By Which His Candor to Mr. Edmund Jenings Is Manifested and the Tricks of Mr. Jenings Are Detected, London, 1783 (Sabin, No. 39258). Laurens was answering Jenings' The Candour of Henry Laurens, Esq.; Manifested by His Behaviour to Mr. Edmund Jenings, London, 1783 (Sabin No. 35984), which John Thaxter first heard of in London in Aug. 1783 (Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1783, Adams Papers). Jenings' reply to Laurens' answer appeared as A Full Manifestation of What Mr. Henry Laurens Falsely Denominates Candour in Himself, and Tricks in Mr. Edmund Jenings, London, 1783 (Sabin, No. 35985). On this complex and still mysterious controversy, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:355–356; and Thaxter to JA, 1 June (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0172

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-03-26

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

The Roads have been so bad for several Weeks past, that there has been but little travelling, and it has been difficult to get a conveyance. I did not know when Cousin Charles sent his Letter.1 I intended to have written and conveyed them together, and to have thanked you most heartily, most tenderly for your excellent Care of Mr. Shaw, and for your ingenuity in managing his Case so exactly right. I assure you { 313 } he came home full of Gratitude, sounding your praise in the highest Strains. He thinks there are not three better Nurses, than we Sisters.
We are all highly gratified and pleased with the thoughts of Mr. Thaxters coming here. Cousin Charles, says, how clever it will be Aunt, to have Cousin Betsy Hunt upon the other Side of the River, and Mr. Thaxter here! It will in some measure compensate for the absence of Mamma and Sister. Mr. Shaw thinks Haverhill will be an excellent place for a young Gentleman of honesty, and good Morals to settle in. Such are an honour to any Society or proffession, and if such an one can be found, it may serve to bring a Lawyer into credit here. Should he come and succeed, in business agreeable to his utmost Wish, and equal to his merit, should he be so happy as to perswade the fair American, to be the faithful Partner of his Joys and Sorrows, and should this fair American be my amiable, my lovely Friend Sally Sever2——Rapt into future time——How pleasing is the prospect——may I live to see it realized——
My dear Sister Adams I am afflicted, I am vexed at the Heart, at what you tell me relative to One who is bound by every human tie to speak well of that Family for Days and Years to Come, that has, and still would do every thing in their power to promote and secure her Interest—that has mercifully sheltered her, and hers—that has secured her honour, and as far as was possible screened her, from the rude blasts of a censorious World, too apt to blame the unfortunate.
True she has virtues, but how are they shaded? They bring to my mind, what Mr. Pope says of Lord Bacon, “The wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind.” Misrepresentation, or a false gloss put upon Facts, I have always thought to be the most vile, and cruel way of destroying the Interests, and the Reputation of Families. Who of us are safe, if such things are to be tolerated? Not to be able to deny the whole, oftentimes puts us upon the necessity, of making an apology to the world, for what was really a wise and virtuous Act. And could every One know, how much we have endeavored to shew mercy, and to do Justice towards her, and her Family, I should not be affraid of ten thousand such ungrateful, inconsiderate, and distracted Tongues.3
I think the Athenians classed Ingratitude among their criminal Cases. Had Hypocricy been coupled with it, what punishment do you suppose, that wise, and prudent Republic, would have thought proper to have inflicted?
{ 314 }
As to Betsy Smith4 her Uncle and I most affectionately love her, and should be really glad to have her return, did I certainly know what were her Mother's real, or prevailing Sentiments with regard to it. All the difficulty that ever arose with regard to her, was upon the account of cloathing, I knew it was not in my power to give such satisfaction to her Mamma as I could wish, and I did not know but Betsy herself, might think harder of waiting for things she might want than my own Children would. I should however, be exceeding glad to have the dear Girl, come and spend the next Summer with me, if it was agreeable to her Mamma.
The money you sent, we received from Judge Seargant.5 The Dollar you sent for the surtout, I mean to be accountable for. 1s for bringing it, 1s 4d for culing it out, and I mean to help make it in the house, so that it will not take quite the whole for that. It is with the greatest pleasure that I do any little service for you my dear Sister, to testify to you, that I am not insensible, of the many favours you are always conffering upon me, and mine. Your Children are well, Charles studies as if it was a pleasure to him, and he in some degree sensible of the importance of Time. Tommy makes Latin, his Uncle says better than he did. The care of Doves has been their amusement for some time past, but now it is of shooting the poor sweet Robins, as soon as they have begun to chant forth their melodious notes. Ever yours
[signed] Eliza Shaw
1. Not found.
2. This passage adds yet another twist to the mystery of the “fair American” and John Thaxter (see AA to Thaxter, 26 Oct. 1782, and note 3, above). On Sarah Sever, see vol. 4:153, note 1; and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 4 Jan. 1784, note 4, above.
3. Pure speculation suggests that Catharine Louisa Smith, wife of AA's and Elizabeth Shaw's ne'er-do-well brother, William Smith Jr., is the subject of this passage. AA had told JA how good Mrs. Smith was to Rev. William Smith in his old age, and added: “to be otherways she must be a monster of ingratitude for to her he has supplied the place of Father Mother and husband” (24 Aug. 1783, and note 3, above). AA herself had taken her brother's child Louisa Catharine into her home, but she was having to return her to her mother before joining JA in Europe.
Guessing further, the terms of Rev. Smith's will may not have pleased Mrs. Smith. She received the income from his farm in Lincoln, Mass., on which she and her young children lived, but the property itself remained under the control of Smith's executors, Richard Cranch and Dr. Tufts. Moreover Rev. Smith cut her out of any share in “the remainder of my Estate both Real and personal, not before disposed of.” See Rev. William Smith's will, 12 Sept. 1783, above.
4. William Smith Jr.'s oldest daughter is probably meant; she was living with the Shaws in Sept. 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:324, note 4, where she is mistakenly identified as Smith's youngest daughter).
5. Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant of Haverhill.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1784-04-03

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

Your kind Letter of 20 Jany. I received Yesterday. Mr. Tylers Letter inclosed is here answered.1 Your Opinion has great Weight with me. I hope to See Mrs. and Miss Adams before this reaches you. I have as yet received no Letters from them by this Vessell. They may be on the Way.
By a quiet Life, riding on Horse back and constant Care I am somewhat better, but I shall never be a Strong Man. Yet I am determined to be easy, for the future, whatever may be my Lot.
Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter are happy. If my two Girls arrive, I will be happy too, in the Hague or Paris, I dont care which, for another Year. I find a Man may get Sick in Paris as well as in Amsterdam, and when I was in London I had no Reason to think that healthier than either. Nothing will keep me in Health in either, but a more quiet Mind, than I have had, and this I thank God is now in my own Power.
Where have I been? What have I seen! What have I felt! in the last ten Years? Ask the Ocean and the Mountains, and the Fens, and Ask Kings Princes and Ministers of State. And all of these together cannot tell the whole, even if they would acknowledge all they know.
But my political Career is run. I will wind off as decently as I can, and notwithstanding my family is coming to Europe, I hope in another Year to imitate the General in the only Thing perhaps in which I am capable of imitating him, in Retreat.2
Mr. Morris drew Bills at a Venture, for a great sum, which obliged me to come over to Holland in one of the worst Seasons ever known, and I underwent Such severe hardships in Packet Boats, Boors-waggons and Iceboats as again endangered my Health and my Life. It was a long time, before I could See the least hopes, but at last I succeeded and have obtained the Money to save our Credit once more.3
When Madam comes I shall take her to Paris and shew her that fine City, there perhaps I may Stay, untill with my Colleagues We have executed our Orders, then I may remove to the Hague, and there arrange my Affairs to go home. In a Year I hope to do this, and in the Month of May 1785 embark for Boston. This is my Plan, but Plans are easily dashed. And therefore I dont intend to attach myself much to any. I am employed at present in arranging a commercial Treaty { 316 } with Prussia, at the Invitation of the King by his Minister here the Baron de Thulemeier. The King of Prussia I believe is the Second Monarch who has made Advances.4

[salute] My Love to sister and the Children. Your faithful Frd & Brother

[signed] John Adams
RC (Private owner, New York, 1957); endorsed: “Letter from his Exy. Jno Adams Apl 3d 1784.”
1. See the next document.
2. George Washington had resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army on 23 Dec. 1783, and returned to private life at Mt. Vernon.
3. JA and JQA had interrupted their visit to England just after New Year's Day when they received word that bills of exchange, many of them drawn by Robert Morris on behalf of Congress, were being protested for insufficient funds remaining in the first Dutch loan to the United States. To avoid default, JA set out on 2 Jan. for Holland to try to secure a second loan for which, according to his bankers, there was little likelihood of success. With his health not at its best and the winter weather at its most severe, JA undertook the dangerous North Sea crossing with JQA, landed on an island in Zeeland, and walked several miles to the nearest town. There they learned that they would have to proceed by iceboat, which they reached by traveling in a peasant's wagon (Boorswaggon). Next, in crossing a partially frozen inlet from the sea, the passengers walked whenever the crew dragged the iceboat along ice thick enough to bear its weight, and reboarded whenever there was thin ice or open water. JA reached The Hague on 12 Jan., and promptly began negotiations with Dutch bankers. He concluded the second Dutch loan, for two million guilders, on 9 March; Congress ratified it on 1 Feb. 1785. This loan extended the credit of the United States until 1787. JA later wrote a full account of his harrowing winter journey to Holland, dated 17 Feb. 1812, for the Boston Patriot (9, 13, 16 May 1812); it is reprinted in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:151–154.
4. The Baron von Thulemeyer proposed a commercial treaty to JA on 19 Feb., at The Hague (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:784–785). JA expressed interest and promptly consulted with Franklin and Jay at Paris, and with Congress, to begin preparations for the necessary negotiations. On 9 April, von Thulemeyer presented JA with a 27-article plan, in French, which JA promptly sent to Congress (9–10 April, Adams Papers, copy in JA's hand). The United States and Prussia finally concluded their commercial treaty on 10 Sept. 1785, with von Thulemeyer, Franklin, Jefferson, and JA signing it at different dates, in different cities (Miller, ed., Treaties, p. 162–184).
The first monarch to seek a commercial treaty with the United States was the king of Sweden. Von Thulemeyer suggested to JA that the treaty with Sweden of April 1783 could serve as a model for a Prussian-American treaty (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:782–783).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0174

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1784-04-03

John Adams to Royall Tyler

[salute] Sir

I Yesterday received your Letter of the thirteenth of January. The Subject of it has for some time been to me an Occasion of Solicitude, chiefly on Account of the Uncertainty in which I have been too long left respecting every thing which concerns me and my Family.
Your Connections and Education are too respectable for me to entertain any objections to them: Your Profession is that for which I have the greatest Respect and Veneration. The Testimonials I have { 317 } recieved of your personal Character and Conduct are such as ought to remove all scruples upon that head.
It is a Serious affair which most of all concerns the Happiness of the Parties: So that I should scarcely in any Case have opposed the Final Judgment and Inclination of my Daughter.
But the Lady is coming to Europe with her Mother.1 It would be inconvenient to you to make a voyage to Europe, perhaps, and when the time will come for her to return with me to America, is Uncertain.
I approve very much of your Purchase in Braintree2 and if my Library may be of use to you, in the prosecution of your Studies or your Practice, the loan of it, is at your Service.
Finally, Sir, you and the young Lady have my Consent to arrange your Plans according to your own Judgments, and I pray God to bless and prosper you both whether together or asunder.

[salute] With much Esteem and Respect I am Sir your most obedient Servant—

[signed] John Adams
Copy in Royall Tyler's hand (VtHi: Royall Tyler Coll.). Dft (Adams Papers); marked “Copy” at the upper left; marked “Answer” on the back. The RC is lost, but there are only minor variants between the Dft and Tyler's Copy.
1. JA received definite word of AA's and AA2's coming on 2 April, in Richard Cranch's letter of 20 Jan., above. In his 3 April reply to Richard Cranch, above, he wrote that he had not recently received any letters from AA, although she had sent several to England in the same ship as Cranch's letter; but see note 2, below. In the draft, JA crossed out: “as I am informed” after “the Lady is coming,” perhaps because Tyler himself, in his letter of 13 Jan. to JA, above, stated that AA and AA2 were planning to go to Europe.
2. The Vassall-Borland house and farm (see AA to JA, 27 Dec. 1783, and note 5, above), although if JA had not yet received AA's December—January letters (JA to Richard Cranch, 3 April, above), it is not clear how he knew of this purchase. Tyler, in his reply of 27 Aug., below, assumed that JA was referring to this property.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0175

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-04-12

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I hope this will be the last Letter which I shall have occasion to write to you, before I embark for Europe. Uncle Smith has been urgent with me to embrace the present opportunity and take passage on Board Capt. Calihan, and Captn. Callihan has sent me word that he would wait ten days for me, but I cannot think it prudent to embark untill I hear again from you, which I am daily expecting. Not a line has reachd me from you Since yours of November by Mr. Robbins,1 nor have I heard of you since. I am very anxious to know where you are, and how you do!
We have had an uncommon long and severe winter and tho the 12 { 318 } of April it Snows like Janry. All communication Seems to have been cut of for five months past. I wrote you last by way of Lisbon, about 3 weeks ago.2 If I receive letters from you in the course of a few days; I shall embrace the first good opportunity, which offers in May; Mrs. Jones continues in so bad Health that I fear She will never be able to go abroad: there is no prospect of my being able to be accommodated to any place but London.3
Mr. Winslow Warren to whom I commit this Letter is a passenger on board Captn. Callihan; it would have been agreeable to me to have accompanied him. He appears an amiable modest young Gentleman and I hope will succeed abroad: he is going to fix himself in Lisbon. Our Friends4 will lose their 3d son, Charles who is far gone in a Hectick.
And now I have adjusted all my affairs and determined upon comeing out, I summon all my resolution that I may behave with fortitude upon the occasion. The Hope, the Soothing flattering hope of meeting my dearest best Friend rejoiced, and rejoiceing with him, buoys me up, and supports my Spirits in parting with my Dear connexions.

“one sacred oath has tied our Loves

one destiny our Lives Shall guide

nor wild nor deep our common way divide

My thoughts are fixed, my latest wish depend

On thee Guide, Gaurdian, Husband, Lover, Friend.”

I derive a pleasure from the regret of others, a pleasure which perhaps I might never have experienced if I had not been called to quit my Country, the blessing and regret of the poor and the needy, who bewail my going away. The World furnishes us with real objects of Charity where ever we are placed, but the circle around me have been particularly necessitous through this long and severe winter. The real want of employment has multiplied the necessities of those, who are disposed to industery; and willing to obtain a livelihood by their Labour; and the expence of fire wood through this winter has far exceeded the ability of the widow, and the Fatherless. Much happier should I be if my abilities were such as would enable me to be more extensively usefull; that I might Streatch out my hand to the needy, and manifest the Law of kindness which is written upon my Heart.
With regard to politicks I hardly know what to write you. Our { 319 } General Court resembles the Parliments of Charles 2d. and James the 2d. By that time it has set a few days, it gets so turbulent that there is no manageing of it. Commutation, taxation, and Tories, set them all in a Flame. You know this people, they will Squable a while but do right in the end, when once they comprehend the whole System and are rightly informd they will submit. We have had our Anual meeting in this Town. The Govenour had the Majority of votes, but many persons at the meeting publickly declared that they voted for him upon no other principal, than that of keeping him in untill an other gentleman should return. I told Some of the persons who mentiond this to me, that however that gentleman might be flatterd by their good opinion of him, yet he would not approve of the principal, upon which they acted,—Since if a better Man was to be had, it was their duty as good citizens to Elect him, without favour or affection to any other. But there is a Town pride as well as a national pride, and they plume themselves that Braintree has given Birth to such Great Men, that the first Govenour of the common Wealth originated from them, that their foreign minister originated from this Town, and they say; God willing that their second Govenour shall be a Native of this Town too.5
Who can withstand the Majesty of the people! Our Brother Cranch had the vote here for Senator.6 We hope for a House chosen upon more liberal principals than the last. The passions of the people with regard to refugees are much cooler than they were, and I am ready to think they will attend to the Spirit of the Treaty and perform it with good Faith. But we have Some among us who love to fish in troubled waters, and who are more wroth at being neglected than at the measures of Goverment on any other account.
Remember me tenderly to our Son to whom I wrote by way of Lisbon.7 I press our Daughter to write and hope she will. Our Sons I heard are well. A Letter from Charles last week.8 His Aunt in speaking of him says, he studies as if he considerd the importance of Time. Tom, a Rogue loves his Birds and his Doves, makes bad Lattin9 and says as he grows older he shall grow wiser. Adieu my dear Friend and believe me ever ever Your affectionate
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed twice, virtually identically, by CFA: “Portia April 12th 1784.”
1. Of 8 Nov. (first and second letterstwo letters), and probably also that of 18 Nov. 1783, all above.
2. On 15 March, above.
3. That is, ships from Boston were sailing only to England; AA could find no ships going to Holland (AA to JQA, 25 April, below).
{ 320 }
4. James and Mercy Warren.
5. See AA to JA, 7 April 1783, and note 9, above. Gov. John Hancock, like JA, was born in Braintree, but moved to Boston at age nine, after his father's death, to be raised by his uncle (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:416).
6. But he did not succeed in the countywide vote. Cotton Tufts was reelected a senator from Suffolk County (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1784–1785, p. 197.)
7. On [ca. 15 March], above.
8. Not found; see Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 26 March, above.
9. This directly contradicts the Rev. Shaw's opinion, as stated to AA by Elizabeth Shaw, 26 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0176

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-04-16

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

I am this day, Madam, favoured with your Letter of the 19th. of March, and embrace the earliest Oppertunity of informing You, that it is highly probable, Congress will make their Arrangements, for negotiating commercial Treaties this Week. The Subject has several Months been prepared, for Deliberation, but this has been prevented by the Want of a full Representation; untill of late, there being eleven States on the Floor, the Matter has been much discussed. I think it not improbable, that the Report, which provides, that a Number of commercial Negotiations shall be set on Foot, under the joint Direction of Messrs. Adams Franklin and Jay, will be accepted; upon our consenting that Mr. Jefferson of Virginia, who has an excellent character, and has been always on the most friendly Terms with Mr. Adams, shall be added to the Commissioners. I cannot however Madam, give You the fullest Assurance on this head, as some States are opposed to the augmenting the Number of the Ministers, and seem to insist on accepting the Resignation of Doctor Franklin, and on appointing Governor Jefferson to fill the Vacancy. This is a point, I should be disposed to push, was it practicable; but as I know it is not, at the present Crisis, the Addition appears to me a desirable object, more especially as Mr. Jay will probably return.1
Under these Circumstances, unless You have particular Reasons for wishing to take passage in Capt. Callahan it may be best to have every Thing in Readiness to embark on the shortest Notice, but not to engage positively to take a Cabin; lest, when the Ship is ready for the Sea, You should find the Measure inconvenient. If the Matter should be thus conducted, and You receive no further Information, You can proceed or not, as You may judge expedient; and should You determine in the Negative, You will probably not loose much Time, by taking Passage in the next Vessel, and will have an equal Chance for favorable Weather.
{ 321 }
I am very unhappy, to hear of the Death of Colo. Quincey. He was [a] Gentleman for whom I had the greatest Respect, and I sincerely condole with the Ladies of his Family and with all his Friends.
I have been somewhat explicit on the Subject of your going to Europe, that You may give our Friend some Information by Callahan, should You not proceed in his Vessel, and that Mr. Jay may be thus prevented, if possible, from returning. I would write a Line to Mr. Adams with the greatest Pleasure, but I have a dozen Letters to answer by this post, and must defer the Matter, untill I can give him more satisfactory Information.2
Inclosed is the Pamphlet You have mentioned,3 Mr. Jennings' two Publications are here, but they exceed the Bulk admitted to be carryed by the post, under the Denomination of a packet. I remain Madam with perfect Esteem & Respect, your most obt. & very hum ser
[signed] E Gerry
Neither Doctor Lee, nor Mr. Osgood are in Congress, the first has made an Excursion to Virginia; the other You will probably see at Braintree.
1. This report, presented by a committee composed of Jefferson, Gerry, and Hugh Williamson, was read in Congress on 22 Dec. 1783. As printed in the Journal at that date, the text has Jay's name crossed out as a commissioner, and Jefferson's added. The report was recommitted on 22 Jan., reported again on 4 March, recommitted on 12 April, and reported again on 14 April (JCC, 25:821–828). Finally, on 7 May the Congress, having been informed by Franklin's letter of 9 March that John Jay definitely intended to return to America, elected Jay secretary for foreign affairs, and named Jefferson to replace him as a commissioner. It then granted the three commissioners, Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, “or the greater part of them,” specific powers to negotiate treaties of commerce with sixteen nations, and approved detailed instructions for them (same, 26:355–362). Gerry reported this final action in a brief note to AA on 7 May (Adams Papers), declaring that “Mr. Adams, Docter Franklin and Mr. Jefferson are appointed in the Order mentioned,” and thought their new responsibilities would keep them abroad for “about two Years.” The order of appointment on this commission was of great importance to JA. He had complained in Oct. 1779, in a letter to Gerry that he never sent, that Congress had placed his name after that of Arthur Lee in the three-man commission of 1778–1779, even though he had done far more in service to his country than either Lee, ranked third in the commission of 1776–1778, or Silas Deane, the second-ranked commissioner, whom he replaced. In this same letter, JA voiced his irritation that Congress was placing John Jay, minister to Spain, above him in rank as a diplomat, although Jay, too, had achieved far less than he had. The latter complaint, however, was based on a misunderstanding that was soon cleared up (JA, Papers, 8:213–214). More important in 1784, of course, was the fact that Congress had renewed the first-place position that JA had held on the peace commission of 1781–1783, and thereby confirmed his clear precedence over his archrival, Franklin.
2. Gerry wrote to JA at length on 16 June (Adams Papers).
3. Enclosure not found, but see AA to Gerry, 19 March, and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0177

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-04-18

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Cousin

While I was at St. Petersbourg, I had, the Pleasure, of receiving a Letter from you; I answered it,1 but since that time I have shamefully neglected writing to you. I own my fault, and promise to repair it for the future; and I hope, that you will pardon me, upon that Condition. The only reason I had for it, was a bad one. I feared that if I wrote, you would perceive that the improvements I had made, were by no means equal to the expectations, you had conceived, of the improvements, which, (from the advantages I enjoyed) I ought to have made: and this false shame continually withheld my Pen. But I have now got over it, and will for the future, confide entirely, in the indulgence of my Friends.
It is now going on upon the fifth year since I left last my Native Country. I have in that space of time, visited almost all the Nations of Europe; and the further I go, the more I love and cherish the place of my Birth. I know of no punishment, that would give me more Pain, than to be condemned to pass my Life in Europe. But of all the European Nations, I think I should prefer England. Because I think it has preserved its Liberty the best, and because, in many things, the manners and Customs there, are the least unlike, those of our Country, of any Part of Europe. Last Fall my honoured Parent, having had a violent Fever at Paris, was advised for the benefit of his Health, to pass some time in England: we arrived in London the 26th. of October. It is the largest City I have seen; and both for convenience, and beauty is far superior to Paris. A few days after our arrival we went to see the Monuments in Westminster Abbey, which is surely one of the greatest curiosities in the Place. I own I was struck with Awe and Veneration, at finding myself on the spot, where lay the Remains of the greatest part of the Sages, and Heroes, which Great-Britain has produced, but I felt a painfull Sensation, at seeing a superb monument, erected to Major André, to reflect how much degenerated that Nation must be, which can find no fitter Objects for so great an honour, than a Spy, than a man whose sad Catastrophe, was owing to his unbounded Ambition, and whose only excuse for his conduct, was his Youth; as if youth, gave a Man the right to commit wicked and Contemptible Actions.2 The Monuments in the Abbey are for the most part simple, and are not remarkable, for their Sculpture. There is only one monument extraordinarily beautiful. It { 323 } is of one Mr. Robert Gascoyne, and his Lady.3 It represents a Lady lying sick, in the arms of her Husband, Death from beneath the tomb holds the dart, which the Husband wards off: the terror and anguish, which appear in the countenance of the Husband are most admirably expressed, and it is looked upon as one of the finest Pieces of Sculpture extant. St. Paul's Church, which is so much talk'd of, did not answer my expectations. Its steeple is very high, and you might have a very fine view of all the City from it, if the smoke was not too thick, to be able to see far: but the Church itself appears to be rather a heavy building, and looks more to advantage on the outside than within. The British Museum Contains a great Number of very curious things. Besides, numbers of ancient medals, Statues, Urns, etc. there is a collection of Letters written by the hands of all the Kings and Queens of England since Henry the 8th. Little or no instruction can be acquired from such a thing; yet I felt a certain Pleasure, which I could not well account for, at seeing the original productions of Persons so illustrious, especially of Queen Elizabeth, of whom there are several Letters in the Collection; another thing, much more ancient, an original of the Magna Charta, is also there, and several other very curious Manuscripts. . . . .4 Sir Ashton Lever's Museum, contains the completest collection of natural history, (such as stuff'd birds and beasts, insects, minerals &c) of any in Europe; but what is still more curious, he has a whole Room ornamented with instruments and articles of dress, of the Inhabitants of those Countries alone, which were discovered in the last voyage of the unfortunate Captain Cook. The dress is entirely made of birds feathers, and their warlike instruments, of stone, besides some necklaces, and a kind of Coat of mail, of dogs teeth. . . .5 The Tower is remarkable for the admirable disposition of the small arms, which are all placed in a most beautiful order: there are also some wild beasts there, but no great number. They show still many old things, and among others, the axe with which the famous Earl of Essex (they say,) was beheaded.6 The royal treasure, or Regalia, is also kept there. It consists of a number of crowns, scepters, &c. The crown which the Kings wear at their coronation is said to be worth a million. The money might I think have been better employed. By particular favour we got sight of the Queen's Palace, called Buckingham House, because it was built by, Villers duke of Buckingham, favourite of Charles the first.7 There we saw the Apartments, of the King, of the Queen, and, of the rest of the family, as also a great number of beautiful paintings, by the greatest Masters, at the Head of which are the Cartoons of { 324 } Raphael, looked upon as the Master Pieces of the Art. But besides this we also saw there the models in miniature of every fortress, and of every Man of War in the service of the Government.
There my dear Cousin, is as exact an account as my memory is capable of giving, of the most remarkable things I saw in London; while we were in the Kingdom we took a jaunt to Oxford and Bath. At Oxford in somme of the Colleges of the University, there are things worth notice, but which would give you little or no entertainment to hear. On that Journey, as well as in the one from Dover to London, and the one from London to Harwich, when we entered, and departed from the Kingdom, we had Occasion to remark, that it might be a most happy Country, for Nature seems to have been really partial in their favour; but the general corruption and Vice, which possesses them all, high and low, effectually prevents them from being happy, as it is impossible, as well for whole Nations, as for particular persons to be Vicious and happy.

[salute] But I fear of becoming tedious, and <must> will therefore after desiring you to present, my dutiful Respects to your honoured Parents, and my best compliments to my Cousins, conclude in subscribing myself invariably Your affectionate friend and Cousin.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (MBilHi); endorsed: “April 18. 1784 from J. Q. Adams to his Cousin E. Cranch”; and “From J. Q. Adams to his Cousin E Cranch.”
1. JQA's letter of 17 March 1782 (vol. 4:297–299) answered Elizabeth Cranch's letter of May 1781 (vol. 4:146–148).
2. See AA to JQA, 26 Dec. 1783, and note 5, above.
3. The monument, to Joseph Gascoigne Nightingale (d. 1752) and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Shirley, was carved by Louis François Roubiliac (Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, London, 1882, p. 304–305).
4. Elipses in MS, here and below. The British Museum was established by Parliament in 1753, and incorporated the museum collection of Sir Hans Sloane, the manuscript collection begun by Robert Harley, the first earl of Oxford, and the Cotton Library. It was lodged in Montague House, on Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury. The early Museum was open only three hours a day, to a maximum of sixty visitors who had to apply for tickets of admission in writing (Wheatley, London Past and Present).
5. Sir Ashton Lever established his natural history museum at Leicester House, Leicester Square, in 1774, and charged 5s. 3d. admission. He offered to sell his collection to the British Museum in 1783, but the trustees declined to buy it. Lever disposed of his museum in 1788, and his collection soon moved to the south bank of the Thames, where it was dispersed by auction in 1806. Capt. James Cook had set sail on his last voyage in July 1776, and was killed by Hawaiians on what he named the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) in Feb. 1779; his expedition returned to England in 1780. Both in DNB.
6. Robert Devereux, the second earl of Essex, was executed for treason in the Tower of London on 25 Feb. 1601, at the order of Queen Elizabeth I (DNB).
7. Here JQA errs; Buckingham House was built in 1705 for John Sheffield, a later duke of Buckingham. On this visit, see JA to AA, 8 Nov. 1783, second letter, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0178

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-04-25

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have been much dissapointed in not receiving any Letters from your Father or you by the late arrivals from England. Capt. Lyde, and a Brig have come in very short passages, but not a single Letter. This is very painfull as well as unfortunate for me just at this period. I thought it not prudent to take passage for Europe untill I heard from your Pappa. If I had received letters I should have come out in Capt. Calihan who is not yet sailed. It is some consolation however to have heard of you, which I have by two private Letters, one from Mr. Temple to Genll. Warren in which he mentions finding your pappa in London upon his arrival, and an other from a Mr. John Cranch to his uncle. In this he mentions receiving a Letter from your pappa dated at the Hague 31 of Janry.1
This same Mr. John Cranch appears an original. He writes his cousin Betsy Palmer, that out of the great Respect he entertaind for the publick character of your Pappa he sent him a Basket of Hares, but not having heard from him he is in great tribulation least it should be construed presumption. He adds a postscrip to his Letter in which he calls upon her to congratulate him upon having received a letter full of civility and urbanity. He observes in a droll way, that he would only dip his pen once more, to tell her that having mended his pen, he finds that he can when he has mind too, that he can write a handsomer hand than his illusterous correspondent with all his accomplishments, therefore he desires her to recommend him as a Secretary.
The weather has been so unfavourable that Capt. Calihan has not been able to go to sea. I hope the storms will all subside before I Embark, which I mean to do by the next opportunity, provided I receive no letters to the contrary. I do not find as any vessel is like to sail for Holland; so that you must look for me to arrive in England. Alass! poor Britain what is like to be thy fate, shook and torn with intestine divisions. I had in very early Life an earnest desire to visit that once great Nation, but neither my sex, or situation in life afforded me the least prospect of gratifying that inclination. But the mighty Revolution which has since taken place; and which I contemplate with astonishment, the intimate union and connection, I hold with one of the principal Characters, joined to the desire I have of passing the remainder of my life in the society of your dear parent, { 326 } is now the principal motive with me to undertake a Voyage which at the early part of my Life curiosity prompted me to wish for. I have seen many obsticals, but I conceive it my duty to Regard them as trifles when put in compe[ti]tion with promoteing the happiness of those most dear to me. I now pleasingly flatter myself with the prospect of meeting the Father and Son from whom I have been so long, unwilling Seperated, of bringing a daughter and sister that you will have reason to rejoice in. Heaven Grant that no adverse fortune may impeed my voyage or blast my tenderest wishes.
I have written to your Pappa by this vessel tho it was ten days ago.2 I hope all the Letters by Love3 came safe to your hands. Beg of your Pappa not to reside at the Hague if it affects his Health. Continue to write by every opportunity and request your Pappa to do the same for it is yet uncertain what time I shall be able to embark. I hope many days will not pass without Letters to your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in Royall Tyler's hand: “Mr. John Quincy Adams—at—The Hague”; endorsed by JA: “Portia 25 Feb. 1784.” No reason for JA's error is known.
1. The letters by John Temple to James Warren, and by John Cranch to Richard Cranch, have not been found. John Cranch of Axminster, Devonshire, was a nephew of Richard Cranch and his sister, Mary Cranch Palmer. The Cranch Family Papers in the Boston Public Library contain several interesting letters exchanged between John Cranch and his American relatives. John Cranch wrote JA on 17 Jan. (Adams Papers); JA replied on the 31st (LbC, Adams Papers); and Cranch replied to this on 11 Feb. (Adams Papers).
2. Letter of 12 April, above.
3. Capt. Love; see AA to JA, 15 Jan., and notes 1 and 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0179

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-05-06

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

I am glad to hear that my Cousins got home well. Poor Boys I believe that they had their Coats wet enough a Thursday, I was really sorry, but I hope they did not catch cold. The thoughts of seeing their Mamma, and Sister, kept their Spirits in motion I dare say.
Mr. Thaxter got here Tuesday noon. He looks very natural, and appears exceeding agreeable. I hope he will meet with Success. Mrs. West1 will board him, and provide him with a fine situation for an Office.
I really wish if you have not found your Gloves, that you would by the Post next week send me an exact discription of them. I have seen a pair at a neighbours that I am affraid are yours. She is a poor { 327 } Woman, and might be ashamed to buy such a pair. She has not wore them yet, but has showed that she has a pair to Miss Sukey Remick. Miss Sukey told me they were as thick a pair as ever she saw, and has procured me a sight of them—as they were not my own, I could not possitively say whether they were yours or not. They are marked with open work just like mine, three stripes upon the back of the hand, round the Thumb, and a dimond in the Palm.
I really feel engaged to find out the truth if possible, if they should prove to be yours I doubt not but I have been greatly injured as well as you.

[salute] My Love to my Cousins, and believe me to be with sincerity Yours

[signed] E Shaw
PS Tell Tommy I have 6 Gosslins—the young Doves are well, and here-Sarepta is gone. The Cat is better, her Nose does not look so much like his Aunts as it did.
1. Perhaps Joanna Kast West, wife of the Haverhill farmer and merchant Henry West; see JQA, Diary, 1:354, and note 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0180

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-05-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

I have only time to write a few lines for the present as the Post is about to depart. On Saturday the 15th. instant I sailed in the Packet Boat from Hellevoetsluys,2 and had another, long tedious voyage, tho' the weather was so fine as to compensate for it in some measure. I arrived yesterday in the afternoon at Harwich, from which place I came in the Stage Coach here. The Adelphi Hotel, being full, I took my lodging for the present in the Imperial Hotel, Suffolk Street, but I believe, the surest way is to address your Letters to Mr. Johnson,3 or some other house, if you please, as I shall probably stay here but a day or two.
Mr. Fox has at length carried the election for Westminster by a majority of 235. Votes, and all the City was illuminated last evening. But Sir Cecil hopes still, to get the better by the verification of the Votes.4 Parliament met this day for the first Time.

[salute] With my best Respects to Mr. Dumas and Family, I am Your Dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
{ 328 }
1. JA had sent JQA to London to meet AA and AA2, whom he expected to arrive from Boston on Capt. Callihan's vessel (see JQA to JA, 1 June, below). Why JA expected AA's arrival with Callihan, however, is far from clear.
None of AA's letters to JA, written between November 1783 and February 1784 (all above), said anything more explicit about her departure than that she was “putting all our affairs in such a train as that I may be able to leave them in the spring” (3 Jan.), and that she expected to sail for England rather than Holland (11 Feb.). On 13 March, Isaac Smith Sr. wrote JA that Callihan was planning to sail to England in April if he could get a ship ready, and that if Callihan should “get a good Vessell, [I] should Advise Mrs. Adams to go with him” (Adams Papers). On 15 March, however, AA wrote to JA, above, by the same vessel, sailing for Lisbon, that her friend Mr. Jones planned to have a ship ready to sail “the latter end of May,” and she thought it likely that she would embark on it. JA received AA's letters through January on 5 May (see AA to JA, 15 Dec. 1783, descriptive note); it is not known when he received her February and March letters, or Smith's March letter. Finally, AA's 12 April letter to JA, above, went to England with Callihan, reaching London about 1 June (JQA to JA, 1 June, below). No other letters from America which stated that Callihan's ship might take AA to England are known to the editors.
None of this correspondence throws much light on JA's apparent failure to write AA any letters between that of 25 Jan., above, and 3 July, below; but see his own explanation in JA to JQA, 6 June, below.
2. Hellevoetsluis was a small Dutch port about twenty miles south of The Hague.
3. Joshua Johnson, JQA's future father-in-law, who had returned to London with his family from Nantes, where JA and JQA had visited them in April 1779. The Johnsons lived in Cooper's Row, Great Tower Hill, when JA and JQA visited them in the fall of 1783 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:299, and note 1, 357, 3:363; 149; JQA, Diary, 1:203).
4. On 17 May, Charles James Fox, leader of the opposition in the Commons to prime minister William Pitt the younger, who had the enthusiastic backing of George III, defeated the Pittite Sir Cecil Wray, 6126 to 5895, very close to the margin JQA gives here. Wray and his allies contested this election for nearly a year, but Fox was declared the victor in March 1785. In the intervening months, Fox sat in Commons for the tiny borough of Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, one of the Tain (Northern) Burghs. (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 1:336–337, 510–511; 2:455.)

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0181

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-05-18

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

By Mr. Bourne,1 who was here last Week, I informed You that our commercial Affairs were arranged, that Mr. Adams Mr. Franklin and Mr. Jefferson were to carry on the Negotiations, that three2 Years would probably be requisite to compleat the Business, and that you may embark for Europe, without Delay, as there is not a possibility of any Departure from the Measures adopted by Congress. Mr. Jefferson proposed when he left Annapolis, to spend about a fortnight at Philadelphia, and afterwards to proceed to Boston: and it is probable, that Colo. Humphreys, formerly an Aid to General Washington will go with him, and that both will take passage from Boston,3 in which Case You will have very agreable Companions.
I have only Time Madam to bid You adeiu, sincerely wishing You { 329 } and such of your Family as may accompany You, a pleasant Passage, and happy Interveiw with our mutual Friend, and assuring You that I am on every Occasion your Friend and most obt servt
[signed] E Gerry
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr.”; notation: “to be forwarded by Isaac Smith Esqr of Boston, without Delay to Mrs Adams at Braintree”; further marked: “E Gerry”; franked: “free.” All notations in Gerry's hand. Gerry may have addressed this letter to JA so that the postmaster would not protest the free franking.
1. Shearjashub Bourne, who was in Annapolis to present a memorial to Congress relating to prize money due to him and other Massachusetts naval officers for whom he was acting. This memorial arose out of a legal contest between Massachusetts and New Hampshire over the brig Lusanna that had continued for years, and in which JA had been briefly involved in Dec. 1777. See Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:516; JA, Legal Papers, 2:352–395; and JCC, 16:17–21, 38–41, 174–175.
2. In his letter to AA of 7 May (Adams Papers), Gerry wrote two years (see Gerry to AA, 16 April, note 1, above).
3. Jefferson left Annapolis on 11 May, spent the remainder of the month in Philadelphia, and then traveled slowly up the coast, visiting important figures in each city and town, before reaching Boston on 18 June. Too late to arrange a passage on the same ship with AA, who sailed on 20 June, Jefferson continued on to Salem, and then to Portsmouth, N.H., in order to complete his survey of the government and commerce of the northern states, preparatory to assuming his new duties as a commissioner to negotiate commercial treaties. He returned to Boston on 25 June, sailed for Europe on 5 July, and reached Paris on 6 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 7:2, 312, 323–349, 364).
Congress named Lt. Col. David Humphreys of Connecticut as secretary to the commissioners on 12 May, and thus began his diplomatic career. Gerry later reported to JA that Benjamin Franklin had wanted William Temple Franklin named secretary to the commissioners, but Congress objected to this nepotism, and felt, too, that the young Franklin might make secret reports on JA to his grandfather (Gerry to JA, 16 June, Adams Papers). Humphreys was warmly recommended to JA by John Trumbull, poet and former law student of JA's (to JA, 14 June, Adams Papers), and as a poet he was later included among the Connecticut Wits. In the 1790s Humphreys served as a secret intelligence agent in London, Lisbon, and Madrid, then as commissioner to Algiers, and finally as minister to Spain (DAB). In 1784 Humphreys accompanied Jefferson from Philadelphia as far as New Haven, but then returned to New York to take the packet boat for France in July, ten days after Jefferson's departure from Boston (Jefferson, Papers, 7:252, 279, 363–364).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0182

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-05-20

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hon'd Sir

I have been looking out for lodgings, yesterday and this day, and have at length found a bed Room, in the House, where Mr. Smith1 lodges; and as he intends to go into the Country next week, I shall then take those Rooms which he now occupies. Captain Calohan, is expected every day, and it is very probable that within a fortnight, I shall hear from our Ladies.
I have not seen Mr. Stockdale2 yet, nor our books, as all my time has been taken up in looking after lodgings, but to morrow morning { 330 } I shall go and see, in what state they are; Mr. Lawrence, is in the lodgings at present, but intends to sail, for America, in about a fort'night; he is chosen member of Congress for S.C. with Messrs. Jacob Read, Alex. Gillon, J. Bull, and C. Pinckney. The Delegates for N.Y. are Messrrs. A. M:Dougal, J. Lansing, Ephraim Paine, Walter Livingston and C. De Witt. This is all the News I could find in a Charlestown, Newspaper, of the 30th. of March.3
I shall go and hear the debates in the house of Commons in the beginning of the week, if (as I hope,) I find any body to introduce me. I went this morning to see Mr. Jackson4 but he was not within, when I called upon him; I saw Mr. Gorham this morning at the Coffee House, he intends, I believe, sailing soon, for America.

[salute] Your Dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
1. JQA's cousin once removed William Smith, son of Isaac Smith Sr.
2. John Stockdale, London publisher and bookseller in Picadilly. In 1781 he had published JA's A Translation of the Memorial . . . into Common Sense and Intelligible English (Sabin 35987). Stockdale put up JA and JQA in Oct. 1783; forwarded letters to them after their departure for Holland in Jan. 1784; and published a pamphlet edition of JA's “Novanglus” letters in 1784 (vol. 4:30, note 1; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:149, note 3, 207, note 2, 313–314, note 6; JQA, Diary, 1:197, note 1; JA, Papers, 2:224).
3. Henry Laurens reached New York on 3 Aug. (DAB). For the election of South Carolina and New York congressmen, see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:lxxv–lxxvi, lxxi–lxxii.
4. Jonathan Jackson; see JQA to JA, 1 June, and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0183

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-05-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I came to Town yesterday and have engaged My passage on Board the ship Active Capt. Lyde, agreable to the advise of my Friends: she will sail in about a fortnight or 3 Weeks and is the only good vessel now going. Mrs. Jones with whom I hoped to have been a passenger is still in so poor Health that there is no prospect of her going very soon and my Uncle Smith upon whose judgment and care I place much dependance advises me by no means to delay my passage. It gives me some pain that I can only hear of you by second hand; and that not since the last of Janry.1 I find Congress have commissiond the Gentlemen now abroad to transact and form all their commercial Treaties, and Mr. Gerry wishes me to give you the earliest notice; and requests that Mr. Jay may be prevented from returning. There was a trial to add Mr. Jefferson to you, but I cannot learn that it is done.2
And now my dear Friend let me request you to go to London some { 331 } time in july that if it please God to conduct me thither in safety I may have the happiness to meet you there. I am embarking on Board a vessel without any Male Friend connection or acquaintance, my servant excepted, a stranger to the capt. and every person on Board, a situation which I once thought nothing would tempt me to undertake. But let no person say what they would or would not do, since we are not judges for ourselves untill circumstances call us to act. I am assured that I shall have a state room to myself and every accommodation and attention that I can wish for. It is said to be a good vessel copper Bottom and an able Captain. Should I arrive I know not where to apply for accommodations. I shall carry with me a Number of Letters and rely upon the Captains care of me. The United States, Capt. Scot, is not yet arrived tho we are in hourly expectation of it.3 I hope to hear from you by her. Tis six months since a single line reachd me from you. All communication seems to be shut out between Amsterdam and America. I think after the arrival of the Letters by Capt. Love, that you would write as you would not then look for me untill july.4 I have given you my reasons for not going with Capt. Callihan. I could get no satisfaction from Mr. Gerry with regard to the movements of Congress untill this month.
Our children are all well. Charles and Tommy are both at home now but will return to Haverhill next week. The expence attending my voyage will be great I find. The Captns. have got into a method of finding5 every thing and have from 20 to 25 guineys a person. I shall draw Bills upon you for this purpose but in whose favour I do not yet know. I shall embark with a much lighter Heart if I can receive Letters from you. I dare not trust my self with anticipating the happiness of meeting you; least I should unhappily meet with a bitter alloy. I have to combat my own feelings in leaving my Friends. And I have to combat encourage and Sooth the mind of my young companion whose passions militate with acknowledged duty and judgment.6 I pray Heaven conduct me in safety and give me a joyful and happy meeting with my long long seperated best Friend and ever dear companion and long absent son to whom my affectionate Regards. I hope to be benefitted by the voyage as my Health has been very infirm and I have just recoverd from a slow fever. I have one anxiety on account of the Maid who attends me. She has never had the small pox. The one I expected to have come with me undertook to get married and dissapointed me. The one I have is a daughter of our Neighbour Feilds and has lived with me ever since Jinny was married. I shall be very happy in two excellent servants.7—Adieu my dear { 332 } Friend. Heaven preserve [us] to each other. Yours with the tenderest affection
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers). endorsed: “Portia. May 25 1784.”
1. AA refers specifically to the news of JA's being at The Hague on 31 Jan., which was contained in a letter from John Cranch to Richard Cranch, probably written in Feb. (see AA to JQA, 25 April, above), although by this time she must have known of JA's residence there from other sources as well.
2. See Gerry to AA, 16 April and note 1, above; AA had yet to receive Gerry's letter of 7 May (Adams Papers). John Jay embarked for America on 1 June, and reached New York on 24 July, but he had already been chosen secretary for foreign affairs on Gerry's motion, on 7 May (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:816; JQA to JA, 25 May, and JA to JQA, 28 May, both below; JCC, 26:355).
3. Capt. James Scott did in fact arrive on the 25th (Independent Chronicle, 27 May).
4. On 2 April, JA received some letters sent via Capt. Love, but AA's letters sent with Love apparently did not reach JA until 5 May (see JA to Richard Cranch, 3 April; JQA to JA, 18 May, and note 1, both above). JA's letter to Cranch had evidently not reached Boston by this date.
5. Supplying or furnishing (OED).
6. This must refer to AA2's feelings about Royall Tyler.
7. Esther Field and John Briesler. The servant she had wanted to take was Jane Glover Newcomb (Jinny).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0184

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-05-25

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

Yesterday, I met Mr. Bridgen1 at the Coffee House; he told me he had a book for you, and this morning he sent it to my lodgings; [Mr.] Watson2 who leaves this place to morrow, has been so kind as to offer to take charge of any thing I wish to send, and will deliver you the volume, with this.
The Parliament have done nothing as yet, as all the time has been taken up, in swearing in the Members, which may take up some days more; but as soon as any thing worth while comes upon the Carpet, I shall endeavour to go and hear the debates as often as possible; I hope to get acquainted with some member, to introduce me; both Messrs. Hartley3 are left out. The Courts of Justice are I believe, not setting at present.
I believe I shall send off the trunk of books by the latter end of <next> this week. I shall either address them to Mr. Freeman,4 or to you at the Hague; however, when I send them, I will write you what measures, it will be necessary for you to take to get them. Mr. Smith wishes to have, a good impression of his family arms; and would be obliged to you if you would send one of the seal you have;5 inclosed in the first Letter you write to me.
Mr. Jay is I believe at Calais, waiting for a vessel which sailed two days agone from this Place, and will take him up at Dover; he left { 333 } Paris the 15th. of this Month. Mr. Laurens sails in a few days for Boston. We have no late arrivals, but Callihan is expected every day.

[salute] Your dutiful Son

[signed] J.Q. A[dams]
RC (Adams Papers). Some damage to the text and signature from a tear, probably made in removing the seal.
1. Edward Bridgen, a London artisan and sometime alderman, who corresponded with JA from 1781, and spent much time with the Adamses in 1785–1786 (vol. 4:334–335, note 2; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:179, and note 1, 188, 196–200; Bridgen letters to JA in the Adams Papers).
2. Elkanah Watson, a native of Plymouth, Mass., who had lost his mercantile house, based in Nantes, to creditors as a result of the financial crisis of 1783. In May 1784 he was still liquidating his remaining assets; later in the year, after a tour of Holland and England, he would return to the United States. Watson later moved to New York, and then to Pittsfield, Mass., where he organized America's first county agricultural fair. Watson would correspond with JA to 1825, and with JQA into the 1830s. DAB; Adams Papers.
3. David Hartley had represented Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire for nearly a decade, but retired from politics after this defeat. His younger half-brother Winchcombe Henry Hartley had been knight of the shire for Berkshire since 1776, and would win his seat again in 1790. Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:592–594.
4. Probably P. I. Freeman, a Rotterdam merchant who corresponded with JA in April 1782 (Adams Papers).
5. Since William Smith shared with his first cousin, AA, a great grandmother, Sarah Boylston, the reference is probably to a seal bearing the Boylston coat of arms that JA used on passports and when he signed the peace treaty in 1783. JA employed this seal because his mother was Susanna Boylston; Sarah was the sister of JA's great grandfather, Thomas Boylston (Adams Papers Editorial Files). William Smith may have wanted to find a craftsman who would do as well for him in making a seal as a Dutch artisan had done for JA. See vol. 4:xv–xvi, 202, illustration at 381; “The Seals and Book-Plates of the Adams Family 1783–1905,” by Henry Adams, in Catalogue of JQA's Books, esp. p. 135–137, and illustrations.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0185

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-05-28

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

At Amsterdam I received your Letter of the 18 and to day that of the 20th.
Write me, when you Ship the Books for Rotterdam, and by what Captain what Vessell and to whom addressed.1
Your principal Attention Should be to Parliament, and the Bar at present. Your Stay will be short and you will not probably have another Opportunity of being much in London, for upon your Return I shall keep you very close to Business and your Studies.
Mention to me all the Americans you fall in Company with.
Mr. Jay and Family are embarked at Dover, on board of Captain Cooper for N. York, according to my Information. Let me know, when Mr. Laurens Mr. Gorham &c. Sail and when Mr. Hartley returns from Paris. And continue to give me the News from America, which is always pleasant to hear, but dont put me to an Expence again of five { 334 } Guilders for the Postage of a List which is not to me, worth five doits.2 Dont think of Postage however, when you have any Thing of Consequence to Send, or any Thing, altho it be of mere Amusement to write.
I had a delightful Tour to Amsterdam, in the Yacht of the City with the Deputies and their Ladies, last Saturday, and returned last night, after finishing, much to my Satisfaction the Business I went on,3 and taking the Amusement of the French Comedy and an Excursion to Sardam.4 I shall get your Books Cloaths &c. and mine from Paris sooner than those which you are to send by Rotterdam as I expect, so that We Shall be all collected with all that belongs to Us when you return, ready to embark alltogether for Boston as soon as We shall be ordered or judge it expedient. I dont intend to go, however under a Year, at least, unless some necessity for it should occur which I dont at present foresee. In short I begin to take Pleasure in this Country, and to find the Way of preserving my Health. As I Said to you here. Be discreet.—Slow to Speak, and Swift to hear.—Make no Ennemies, and as many Friends as you can honestly.
Buy me the History of English Poetry, by Watson5 I think it is, the great Man who was shewn Us at Oxford, and Send it with the rest, or by a private Hand.
Our Ladies have a fine Season, and may they soon arrive. They will not stay long in England I hope. They and you will find the Hague in all its Glory. It is now a beautifull charming Country.
Do you remember a Miss Pynchon who lived with Mrs. Green in Boston? She is now Mrs. Platt in Amsterdam.6 I thought I met one of my family. Dont let any body see my Scroles. My Breakfasts dont relish, for want of a little Plutarch, with the Coffee.
Give me your Character of the Oratory of the great Speakers in the House, &c. If you dont judge with the Infallibility of Longinus and Quintilian, at present, if you begin to judge now you will be Skillful in time.
[signed] your Papa
RC (Adams Papers). docketed: “My Father. 28. May 1784”; and in CFA's hand: “Mr. Adams. May 28. 1784.” This letter is written in an unusually expansive hand. Perhaps this reflected JA's mood which, in expectation of AA's arrival, with improving health, and following the successful completion of so much financial work in Amsterdam, was more confident than it had been in years.
1. See JQA to JA, 25 May, and note 4, above.
2. Perhaps a reference to JQA's list of recently elected New York and South Carolina congressmen (JQA to JA, 20 May, above), taken from the kind of source that JA could easily acquire, a newspaper. JA's remark here suggests that JQA may have enclosed or sent separately the newspaper itself, thereby increasing the postage.
{ 335 }
3. JA left The Hague sometime after 20 May for Amsterdam, and returned on the 27th. His primary business was to collect over five hundred large denomination bills, worth nearly half a million florins, from Messrs. Fizeaux, Grand & Co., and deliver them to his Amsterdam bankers, the Willinks. JA directed the Willinks to send the bills to Thomas Barclay in Paris. He also instructed Barclay to send his personal belongings from Paris to Amsterdam by the same express that brought the bills to Paris. He added that Barclay “need not mention at present that I have sent for my Effects.” JA hoped to spend the rest of his European stay at The Hague, away from Benjamin Franklin, but he did not care to advertise this intention (JA to Barclay, 20 May [LbC, Adams Papers], 24 May [PHC; LbC, Adams Papers], and 28 May [LbC, Adams Papers]; the quotation is from his letter of 20 May).
4. Or Saardam, a commonly used name for Zaandam, a large town about five miles northwest of Amsterdam. Among its attractions for tourists, then and now, is a small building called the Hut of Peter the Great, after the Russian monarch's brief stay there, while working in a Zaandam shipyard in 1697, during his tour of western Europe in 1697–1698.
5. Thomas Warton, The History of English Poetry from the Close of the Eleventh to the Commencement of the Eighteenth Century, 3 vols., London, 1775–1781 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
6. Perhaps Abigail Pynchon, daughter of George Pynchon and Abigail Pease of Springfield, Mass., who married Jeremiah Platt of New Haven, Conn., in June 1780 (NEHGR, 38:47 [Jan. 1884]). JQA visited a Jeremiah Platt in New Haven in Aug. 1785 (Diary, 1:306).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0186

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-01

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

Yesterday I received your favour by Dr. Parker, and was very glad to find you pleased with your situation, tho' I was myself in pretty low Spirits. I have been continually endeavouring to get acquainted with some person who would introduce me into the House of Commons, and have not as yet succeeded; on the other hand, Callihan is arrived; has had a delightful passage, but in lieu of our ladies, has only brought some letters which you will receive by Mr. Bingham1 who leaves this Place, next Friday. So that I have not been able as yet to put in execution the two principal Reasons, for which you sent me here. It gives me real pain, to find that I am so unsuccessful an Ambassador. Still I hope to do something. I shall however wait for your orders to determine upon what I have to do. The Letter unsealed, in the Packet Mr. B[ingham] will deliver you is from Mr. Higginson to Mr. Jackson—or rather, extracts from such a Letter.2 Mr. Jackson desired me to Copy those extracts, as he supposed they would be interesting to you. The seal upon the Packet, is that of the Quincy arms,3 and is a good impression, tho the middle part is not quite plain. Mr. Jackson thinks these details are ne[cessary?].
The Cincinnati seem to be very much disliked, [on the?] other side the Atlantic; several States have shown [their?] disapprobation of them and it is supposed the order w[ill] soon be entirely annihilated.
{ 336 }
The House of Representatives of our State have taken some Resolutions upon the Subject, which are I think quite noble. But perhaps you have seen them.4
Mr. Jay is at Dover, or has sailed from thence within these few days, Mr. Laurens went down to see him last Saturday, and I believe, returned yesterday tho' I have not seen him, since then. He intends sailing himself within a fortnight for Boston. Mr. Chace,5 and Mr. Gorham are both here still.

[salute] With Respects to Mr. Dumas and family, Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
The enclosed letters were brought by Mr. W. Warren, who came with Captn. Callihan; the cover of the large one, you will find torn; I intended to open it supposing there might be letters in it for me; but before I had opened it I was told the hand writing and the seal were Mr. Daltons:7 I therefore left it as it was, and hope you will receive it so.

[salute] Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “à Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire Des Etats Unis de l'Amerique Hollande à La Haye”; endorsed: “John 1. June 1784.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed.
1. These letters included AA to JA, 12 April, above, carried on Capt. Callihan's ship by Winslow Warren (see the postscript). Warren also carried AA to JQA, 25 April, above. William Bingham, a wealthy banker and land speculator from Philadelphia, had served as American agent in Martinique, and had corresponded with the American commissioners in 1778. In 1784–1785, he and his wife, Ann Willing Bingham, became well acquainted with the Adamses while traveling in Europe. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:149; JA, Papers, 6:37; DAB.
2. The extracts in JQA's hand are dated April and 4 May 1784, and are under those dates in the Adams Papers. The extracts for April, printed in part in Amer. Hist. Assoc., Annual Report for 1896, 1:713–719, speculate on the effect on trade if Britain were to repeal its Navigation Acts. In this letter Higginson also asserted that if Franklin alone were to represent the United States, without the restraining influence of JA and John Jay, or any other person, France would quickly determine the character of Anglo-American commercial relations. The May letter deals at some length with French influence in Congress and its harmful effects. Jackson referred to these extracts in a 7 June letter to JA (Adams Papers). Stephen Higginson and Jonathan Jackson, both former congressmen from Massachusetts, were business partners (Benjamin W. Labaree, Patriots and Partisans: The Merchants of Newburyport, 1764–1815, Cambridge, 1962, p. 62).
3. Presumably the arms of Roger de Quincy, second earl of Winchester (1195–1264), from whom the American Quincys believed they were descended. Roger's father, Saer de Quincy, first earl of Winchester, was one of the twenty-five barons chosen to compel King John's observance of Magna Carta. In 1787, while traveling through the south of England, AA became greatly interested in the tradition that she was descended from the thirteenth-century Quincys. And in 1831, JQA incorporated the Quincy coat of arms in an elaborate book-plate that drew together ar• { 337 } morial devices from several of the families from which he was descended (DNB; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:204; Henry Adams, “The Seals and Book-Plates of the Adams Family, 1783–1905,” in Catalogue of JQA's Books, p. 135–148, esp. 144, and illustrations opposite p. 142, 146 [Quincy arms in the lower left quadrant of the shield]).
4. All that the journals of the House and Senate record is the naming of a joint committee to consider how “to prevent the ill consequences of any combinations . . . to promote undue distinctions among the citizens of this free State and tending to establish an hereditary nobility.” Soon thereafter, a new joint committee was created to inquire into details and report back (Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass. A. 1b, Reel No. 11, Unit 1, p. 389, 16 Feb.; p. 420, 26 Feb.). But a condemnation of the Cincinnati attributed to the legislature was published (see John Thaxter to JA, 19 Jan., Adams Papers).
5. The State of Maryland had sent Samuel Chase, a former congressman and a friend of JA's from 1774, to England to try to recover the state's stock in the Bank of England, which two loyalists had carried off with them (DAB).
6. The following note is written on a separate sheet.
7. Tristram Dalton to JA, 6 April (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0187

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-06-05

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I have the pleasure to inform you of my safely being lodged in our Haverhill Dwelling, last Friday night, and found all in good Health. Billy was sadly dissappointed in not finding his Sister.1 “When Mamma will Aunt Cranch bring little dear Sister home?” The Box of turtles you sent him, though greatly pleased with them, would hardly make up for the loss of her.
Alas! my Sister this will be a sad week to my Braintree Friends. My Spirit feels the pressure. Whatever you may think, after you have collected all your phylosophy, and placed it as a mighty rampart about your Heart, one affectionate look from our dear Sisters speaking Eyes, will fix the Fear of separation, and in spite of all your efforts leave you overwhelmed and lost in Grief.
It is too tender, even for me to reflect upon.
I must think of the pleasure it will give to her Friend and Son to clasp their Dearest connections once more in their Arms, and how happy I shall be to see them return all together, blesed again in the sweets of domestic Life, and in each others Society.
I hope Betsy will be a good Girl, and give you as little trouble as possible. Kiss her, for her pappa and me.

[salute] My Love awaits you all, ever yours affectionately,

[signed] E Shaw
I received sister Adams Letter she mentioned by the post.2
I wish if Sister Adams is not gone, you would inform her that I shall take it as a great favour, if she could without too much trouble { 338 } send me by Cousin Billy Smith a pair of black sattin Shoes, and black lace enough to go round a Cloack. I will give her credit for it, if she will send by him the Cost.
I send a Box with a Bonnet and a white Gown, Cousin Betsy knows how she wears it. In haste ever Yours
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Mrs. Shaw—31. June 5. 1784. to 1792. 36 letters.”
1. William Smith Shaw, age six, missed his sister, Elizabeth Quincy Shaw, age four.
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0188

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-06-06

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Last night I received yours of the 1. with the Letter from your Mother to you,1 by which it appears so uncertain when She will arrive or embark, that if you can persuade Mr. Smith to come over here with the Ladies when they arrive, I would not have you wait for them.
Make a Visit to Mr. Whitefoord,2 and ask the favour of him in my name to procure you a Place in the Gallery of the House of Commons, to hear the Debates.
You Say nothing of our Books at Stockdales; have you shipped them? And by whom? If not do this Business as soon as possible. I am impatient to collect together here, all the little Things which belong to me, that I too may be in a Condition to return home, upon Occasion. I expect soon what we left at Paris. I am amazed that the Opportunity by Calahan has been neglected, and that because Letters were not received.3 How could Letters be expected from me when I had reason to expect every Moment, their Arrival in England?
My best Respects to Mr. Laurens Mr. Chase and Mr. Gorham when you see them, and to all other Acquaintances.
If you can get a few Opportunities in the House of Commons, I would not have you wait for any Thing else except shipping the Books. Indeed I dont know but you might as well bring them with you to Helvoot, you might send them to Harwich by the Machine4 I suppose. I want you here, as a Secretary, as a Companion and as a Pupill. Leave a Letter for Your Mamma and Sister, with Mr. Puller or Mr. Copeley,5 that if they should arrive they may know you have been over to meet them, and that I beg them to come here with Mr. Smith as soon as possible. I have now no Expectation of their Arrival before the month of August or latter End of July, perhaps not before the Fall. Happy Mr. Jay! Happy Mr. Laurens! in their Prospects of { 339 } Seeing home. I wish I had been wise enough, to have persisted in my Plan of going home too. But the Resolution of Congress of the 1. May 1783,6 and the desire of doing Some little service in the Execution of it if I could, deceived me. What will now be the Consequence I know not. It has put me to sea, in an Ocean of Uncertainties, public and private. The Return of Mr. Laurens and Mr. Jay, will make still further alterations probably in the Intentions of Congress. I have nothing to do but wait, here untill I know. Come to me, and help me, for I must remain here now untill the Ladies arrive, and I hope untill I embark for Boston.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers). endorsed: “Mr. Adams. June 6. 1784”; docketed, also by JQA: “My Father. 6. June 1784.”
1. See JQA to JA, 1 June, note 1, above.
2. Caleb Whitefoord had been secretary to the British peace commissioner Richard Oswald in 1783 (DNB).
3. JA is reacting to the opening paragraph of AA's letter of 12 April, above; see also JQA to JA, 18 May, note 1, above.
4. That is, by stage or mail coach (OED).
5. Richard or Charles Puller, JA's London bankers (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:172); the painter John Singleton Copley, whom JA had met, for the first time since the Revolution, in London in Nov. 1783 (same, 3:150).
6. Naming JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay as ministers to negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0189

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-06

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

Last Wednesday Mr. W. Vaughan, got me introduced into the house of Commons, and I was there, from about 2. in the afternoon till 1. the next morning. The Subject, was a very dry, uninteresting one to me, it was the Westminster election, and the time, till 10 at night was taken up in hearing the Council [counsel], on one side for Mr. Fox, and the electors of Westminster who petitioned, and on the other, for the high Bailiff of Westminster. But the Council for the high Bailiff, having desired to be permitted to produce to the House, an Evidence, to prove, that there were several hundred illegal voters upon the poll, a debate in the House arose.1 Mr. Fox and his party opposed the admittance of the Evidence, and the ministerial Members, spoke in favour of the admittance. The debate lasted 'till 1. in the morning, when, the Question being put, the galleries were cleared and I retired; the next day the house adjourned, on account of the king's birth day, to 12. o'clock to morrow. . . .2 In the course of the debate the principal persons who spoke were, on one side, Mr. Fox, Lord North, Mr. Sheridan, and Mr. Lee, on the other Mr. Pitt, Lord Mulgrave, Sir L. Kenyon, Mr. P. Arden, and Mr. Wilberforce: { 340 } and if I may be allowed to give my opinion, Mr. Pitt, is upon the whole the best, and most pleasing speaker of them all. He has much grace, in speaking, and has an admirable choice of words, he speaks very fluently, so distinctly that I did not lose a word of what he said, and he was not once embarassed to express his Ideas. Mr. Fox on the contrary speaks with such an amazing heat and rapidity, that he often gets embarassed, and stammers sometime before he can express himself; his Ideas are all striking, but they flow upon him, in such numbers, that he cannot communicate them without difficulty: I should think he would carry all before him if he spoke to persons, who were to be convinced by any thing that was said. . . . Lord North is very cool, but does not I think speak, like either of the two before mentioned: Mr. Sheridan speaks extremely fast, and has a wonderful facility of expression, but is not so distinct as Mr. Pitt. . . . There Sir, in obedience to your Commands, have I given you my opinion of the eloquence of several great Orators. If it is erroneous my judgment is in fault, for I have followed in this matter the Ideas of no one.
The other day, I met with Govr. Pownall who desired me to present his Compliments to you; he wishes to know something about the business of the donation,3 but I told him I believed you had heard nothing of it; he is going to spend some time in the South of France.
I saw Mr. Temple this day: he desired I would send you the enclosed Letter, on account of the paragraph marked + thus. He would wish to have the Letter by the return Post.4
Captn. Callahan informs me that a wedding, was talked of in our family when he left America; if so I fear we shall not have the pleasure of seeing my Sister here.
Mr. Jay sailed about a week since from Dover; Mr. Laurens left this place last evening for Falmouth, to sail for New York in the Packet.

[salute] Your Dutiful Son,

[signed] J. Q. A.
RC (Adams Papers). docketed by CFA: “J. Q. Adams. June 6th 1784,” and “J.Q.A. June 6th 1784.”
1. See JQA to JA, 18 May, and note 4, above.
2. Elision points in the MS, here and below.
3. This may refer to Nathaniel Gorham's effort to raise funds for the rebuilding of Charlestown, Mass. (see Richard Cranch to JA, 20 Aug. 1783, and note 1, above). JA and JQA had visited Thomas Pownall at his home at Richmond Hill, Surry, in Nov. 1783. Pownall had been governor of Massachusetts, 1757–1760, and was warmly thought of by many Americans for his liberal views on colonial administration in the years before the Revolution (JQA, Diary, 1:206; DNB).
4. See JA to JQA, 11 June, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-06-06

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

A young Gentleman of 17, must not talk of low Spirits for Small disappointments. He must reconcile his Mind to them. He will meet with many. My Friend Dr. Warren often told me, I was the most uniformly lucky Man, he ever knew,2 and indeed I must acknowledge, I have been often fortunate, both before and Since his Compliment. Notwithstanding which my Life has been a Series of dissappointments, chequered with only now and then a Ray of good Luck, and this rather for the Public than myself.
If you Still find a difficulty to get a Look at the British orators dont distress yourself, but return. You may embark with the Books for Rotterdam or come by the Way of Harwich as you please. If Mr. Smith cannot come with the Ladies, you must go over again when they arrive. Get the Books on their Way at all Events.
I Should think that Mr. Copeley Mr. West, Mr. Oswald or Mr. Stockdale might ask a Member to let you make Use of his Name, or I Suppose that for a Guinea to the Door Keeper he would admit you, but I would not advise you to go alone.
Desire Mr. Copeley to get a Frame made for my Picture and do you give him the Money. He will tell you how much and give you a Receipt.3 The Frame should be made, to take to Pieces, so that it may be removed to the Hague or to Boston, in time. Thus this Piece of Vanity will be finished. May it be the last.
The Sooner you come here the better. I will immediately introduce you to the foreign Ministers, and all the Principal People, and you will find yourself very well here. Your Studies can be no where So well prosecuted. I would have you finish Suetonius and begin Ovid.4 I am now Sorry I interrupted your Career, but it will do you no harm. A Change of Air and Diet and an Increase of Exercise, are very usefull sometimes. Besides you have now Seen England in its Bloom and Verdure. I will take the Dutch Gazettes and We will learn together the Language, which I find may easily be done. Dont fatigue yourself in travelling. Keep your Mind easy and your Body cool, your Spirits chearfull and your humour gay. Let nothing frett you, or grieve you but your own faults which I hope will be few. Nothing Should distress Us in this World but our own Blunders. Hardly any Man that ever existed, met with more Vexations than I have, and although I have not been always able to observe my Maxim, I have often found an { 342 } Advantage in it. So I recommend it to you in its Utmost Extent. Have a Care of Mistakes. Be Sure you do your own Duty; fill your own Sphere: and then leave the Rest.
I cant be quite reconciled to your coming off, without one look at the Commons. Beg Mr. Vaughan, Mr. any Body to go with you, and if no other Way will do give Money to the Door Keeper. Dr. Jebb,5 perhaps would oblige you, or Mr. Jennings so far as to ask this favour of some Member. Talents at Negotiation much inferiour to yours, I should think might carry such a Point.
RC (Adams Papers). endorsed: “Mr. Adams. June 1784”; docketed, also by JQA: “My Father—May 1784.”
1. This letter would appear to be a second answer to JQA's letter of 1 June, above; note JA's reference in the first sentence to the “low Spirits” of which JQA complained on 1 June.
2. Compare Dr. Joseph Warren's remarks to JA of 1 Jan. 1773 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:77).
3. In Dec. 1783, JA had paid one hundred guineas for this portrait, the only known life-sized painting of him; but despite his payment and his directions here to have a frame made for it, he did not receive the portrait until 1817, shortly after Copley's death. Engravings were made from the portrait in 1786 and 1794. See Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. 23–38, and illustrations 9–17.
4. Between 1 March and 13 May, JQA translated into French Suetonius' lives of Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius, and copied his earlier translation of Suetonius' Caligula, which he had made from May to July 1783. Upon his return to The Hague, he translated Suetonius' Nero (9–26 July), thus completing his 462–page translation of the first six of Suetonius' Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Also at The Hague, JQA had finished (29 Feb.) his translation into English of Virgil's Aeneid, begun in Nov. 1783 (237 p.), and translated Tacitus' Agricola into French (60 p.). These translations are in M/JQA/44 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 239), and M/JQA/45 (same, Reel No. 240). He does not seem to have begun his study of Ovid, however, until he purchased the poet's works in March 1785, in Paris (JQA, Diary, 1:235, and note 1).
5. Dr. John Jebb, a warm friend of America, with whom JA and JQA had dined in Nov. 1783 (JQA, Diary, 1:202, and note 1).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0191

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-11

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Boy

I am so pleased with your Letters, in general, that you may well believe that of the 6. has contributed very much to my Happiness.
As you have found the Way into the Gallery, I hope you will not neglect it, but attend every Day. It is a great and illustrious School.
I return you inclosed, the Letter from Mr. Dexter to Mr. Temple,1 to whom present my Compliments. In a Letter I wrote a Year ago to Mr. Adams2 I urged upon him to make and publish a Collection of his Writings and I have mentioned it many Times in Conversation with Americans. It is a Work which ought to be given to the Public: But Mr. Adams will never do it. It will be done, imperfectly by some { 343 } other, hereafter. My Advice to you is to Search for every Scratch of his Pen, and lay it up with Care.
My Respects to G. Pownal and Mr. Jackson. I have no News about the Donation.3 Thank Mr. Jackson for introducing his polish Acquaintance,4 and assure him that his Friends Shall ever meet with a cordial Reception from me and his Intelligence will be not only agreable but usefull to me.
I have not yet seen Mr. Bingham nor the Packet by him.
I would not have you stay long. I want you. Send me my Books &c. I dout whether your Mamma will come: but could judge better, if I had the Packet by Mr. Bingham.
I should be glad to see the Resolves against the Cincinnati, and any other News from America.

[salute] Your Father

[signed] John Adams
1. See JQA to JA, 6 June, above. The letter is likely that of [Sept. 1782], in MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 9:482–484, in which the Boston merchant Samuel Dexter asserts that in 1775 the Massachusetts provincial congress had given him custody of all the letters found in Gov. Thomas Hutchinson's Milton home, and that the Rev. William Gordon had them for only a brief period (see JA, Papers, 3:117). Dexter had made extracts from these letters demonstrating that John Temple, far from being a loyalist, was denounced by Hutchinson, who wanted his removal from his customs house position because he was so much liked by the colonists. In copying out the extracts, Dexter did not sign his name; but in his letter to Temple, Dexter expressed his willingness to be identified. The extracts, with commentary, appeared in the Continental Journal (Boston), 26 Sept. 1782, signed simply “Y.” In writing to Temple, Dexter mentioned “malicious invectives” against Temple “and my old friend Mr. Adams.” Although Dexter does not make clear whether he meant JA or Samuel Adams, this reference may have led JA to comment below on Samuel Adams' reluctance to publish his papers.
2. JA to Samuel Adams, 5 April 1783 (NN: George Bancroft Coll., printed in NYPL, Bull., 10:235 [April 1906]; see JA to AA, 28 March 1783 and note 10, above).
3. See JQA to JA, 6 June, note 3, above.
4. An unnamed Polish nobleman of wide acquaintance among the influential about whom Jonathan Jackson wrote at some length in a letter to JA of 7 June (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0192

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-15

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I this day receiv'd your favour of the 11th. instant and expect to send the Books away, in the course of this week, if I receive no contrary orders from you I shall leave this place, to morrow se'en [nig]ht, and shall attend Parliament, and the courts of Justice, which are now sitting, as often as possible, in the mean time. Mr. Whitefoord, who has been extremely polite and kind to me, introduced me to a Member of Parliament, who will take me into the House; I was { 344 } there yesterday, and heard Mr. Burke make a very long speech; you may have seen in the Papers, that he informed the house, some time since, of his intention to make a motion, respecting an adress to the King, upon his speech, at the opening of the present Session; the day finally appointed for the motion, was yesterday, and Mr. Burke, spoke, for better than two hours, and then made a motion, which the Speaker was an hour reading; the public papers will give you a much more particular account of, both the speech and the motion than I am capable of, but the purport of both was to inform the King, “that the late Parliament, was a most excellent and virtuous one, and that he did very wrong, in dissolving it; that the People had no right to present addresses, to his Majesty, to thank him for dismissing any ministers whatever, that the late Ministry was the best Ministry this Country could have, and that they had pursued a very wise method for the government of India, and finally [, if?][In]dia was entirely lost it would be because their plan had [ . . . ]ted.”1 When the Speaker had read the motion, he called upon those who were of the same opinion to say “aye” and about four voices were heard, the “no's” being demanded (for no one person answered a word to any of the arguments of Mr. B—) the whole house, cried “no” and at about 8. in the evening the house broke up. This morning I went and heard the pleadings before Lord Thurlow, in the Court of Chancery,2 several Lawyers spoke, but the subject, was not very interesting; to morrow Mr. Sawbridge's motion for a Parliamentary reform is to come forward, and I shall endeavour to attend.

[salute] With my Respects to Mr. Dumas & family I remain, Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
P.S. There is a young American here named Murray3 from Maryland, he is studying Law in the Temple, and intends making a Tour thro' Holland this Summer; perhaps he will go over at the same time I do.
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “à Monsieur Monsieur J. Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis De l'Amerique à La Haye Hollande”; postmarked: “[16?]/IV”; docketed: “J.Q. Adams. June. 15. 1784.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA's quotation from Burke's speech does not convey the main thrust of Burke's argument: that the House of Commons was threatened as the protector of the people's liberties. For a full summary of Burke's speech and motion, see Parliamentary Hist., 24:943–975.
2. Edward, first Baron Thurlow, was lord chancellor of Great Britain, presiding over the Court of Chancery from 1778 to 1792. In the 1770s he had vigously defended Britain's efforts to quell the rebellion in America. DNB.
3. William Vans Murray, then age twenty-four, { 345 } quickly became a close friend of JQA. The two corresponded in 1784–1785, and again, very frequently, from 1797 to 1801, when JQA was U.S. minister to Prussia, and Murray succeeded JQA as U.S. minister at The Hague. While in this post, Murray played a crucial role in promoting peace between the United States and France, following the XYZ Affair and the quasi war of 1799–1800. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:188, note 1; JQA, Diary, 1:265, and note 3.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0193

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1784-06-18

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Sir

As You have been so kind as to undertake the care of Mr. Adams'es Estate and affairs during the absence of his family, for which it is my desire that you would regularly charge your time and trouble, the power of Attorney1 will enable you to transact all Buisness relative to the estate, but as there are some few things which could not be particularized there I have committed them to this paper as they occured to my mind. First all monies due to Mr. Adams to be paid to you. Mr. Pratt my tenant to setle Quarterly with you agreable to the lease. The House Rent in Boston will become due the last day of july. It Stands at 60 pounds pr annum. A small peice of land which Mr. Boies2 of Milton hires adjoining to his House in Dorset Alley now occupied by Mrs. Otis is let to him at 6 dollers a year and becomes due in August. The Rent due from the Medford Farm Mr. Shaw is to receive for the present Year and to account with you for the same. The next Quarters rent will be due 11th of july. He is desired to consult you from time to time respecting repairs. Mr. Shaw is to draw upon you for money from time to time for the Board and instruction of our two sons which stands at 12 shillings a week a peice, and for what ever other necessary charges of cloathing Books &c. which they may stand in need of. The dwelling house, Garden and furniture to be left in the care of Pheby and Abdee, who are to have their Rent the privilege of occupying the kitchen, Buttery, 2 Back chambers and cellar with the yard belonging to the house upon condition that they keep out all Hogs cattle &c., but this does not mean to exclude the cattle belonging to the Farm from passing through the yard in the winter Season. They are to be allowed to keep a pig, in the yard upon which the Barn stands and which I used to occupy for the same purpose. They are during the present year to have the use of the Garden east of the House and that part of the Great Garden next the road—all the fruit which grows in the Garden. Mr. Pratt and his wife may have liberty to eat currents out of the Garden but no Children to be permitted to go in to the garden. <They> Pheby is to be allowed { 346 } a pint of milk a day. But in case that there should not be more than a pint a day in the winter season, then it is to be divided. They are allowed to clear up Brush and Birches in what is called Curtises pasture—but to take no wood. I give them 6 pd. of salt pork, 6 pd. of tallor in consideration of Phebys making up what is now in the house into candles and disposeing of them—1 Bushel of corn, 1 Barrel of cider or what remains in the house. I give her also a pig seven weeks old 3 pd. hogs lard and what Salt Beaf there is in the house. What Salt pork, hogs lard, tallor are left after what I have given her is deducted, she is to dispose of and account with you for the Same. The House and furniture to be taken care of by opening and airing rubbing and cleaning it—Pheby always to be under your direction and controul to be continued or displaced when ever you think proper, and always to apply to you for advice and direction. They are to be allowed the use of the Team in the fall to bring up a load of sea wead. What ever money you may receive more than sufficient for the expences of the children, you will be so kind as to employ to the best advantage. Mr. Pratt is desired to consult you in the same manner he would Mr. Adams respecting the concerns of the Farm. The Library to be under the care of Mr. Cranch. No Books to be Lent out unless to him and Mr. Tyler without <the> your permission <of>. No house furniture to be lent out. Mr. Adams account Books to be left in the hands of Mr. Tyler who is desired to collect what debts are due, and pay the same to you. In November you will be so good as to give on my account the Sum of 2 dollors to the widow Abigail Feild 2 dollors to the widow Sarah Owen who lives in the same house with her sister Feild, 2 dollors to Miss Hannah Hunt and 2 dollors to the widow Hannah Bass, 1 dollor to Mrs. Fuller and 1 dollor to the widow Mary Howard and 1 dollor to the wife of John Hayden who is an aged woman and one of my pensioners—1 dollor to the widow Mary Green.

[salute] I am dear Sir with the sincerest wishes for your Health & that of my dear Aunt your affectionate Neice

[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MiU-C: Gold Star Coll.); addressed: “To Honble Cotton Tufts.”
1. No power of attorney dated in June or earlier has been found; see JA's power of attorney to Cotton Tufts, dated 6 Sept., below.
2. Perhaps James Boies (Boyes), owner of paper and slitting mills on the Neponset River in Milton in the 1760s and 1770s (JA, Legal Papers, 1:68–72, 81–84).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0194

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

In my last Letter, I informed you of my intention to set off for the Hague next Wednesday; since that I have thought that it would be more prudent for me to wait 'till the Saturday after;1 because Mr. Smith is now in the Country, and will in all probability return <before> in the course of the next week, and I shall then be able to see him before I go: I believe he intends returning to America with Captn. Callahan, who sails by the middle of next month; in that case he will not be able to go with the Ladies, to Holland if they come; however when he arrives I shall know for certain what his intentions are. . . . The wind has been for several days very favourable, for arrivals, and one or two Vessell's are hourly expected from Boston; this is another Reason for me to wait; for surely the first Vessell will bring letters, that will inform us whether the Ladies come over this Season or not. . . . However I expect to hear from you both by next tuesday's and next friday's posts, and if you then think I had best wait no longer I shall certainly leave this place, tomorrow se'ennight: either alone, or in Company with the young Gentleman I spoke of in my Last.2
I was in the house of Commons the day before yesterday again, and heard the debates upon the subject of parliamentary reform. I was witness to something very extraordinary: I mean that Mr. Fox spoke with Mr. Pitt in support of the motion, and Mr. Dundas, with Lord North against it. . . . I have never been so much pleased with the debates as that day. Alderman Sawbridge, moved for a Committee, “to enquire into the State of Parliamentary representation,”3 and after several of the secondary speakers had delivered briefly their opinions, Lord North, made a masterly speech, against the motion, and was about two hours and an half delivering it, but Mr. Pitt in a speech of a little more than an hour's length took Lord N—'s arguments all to pieces, and turned them all against them; he spoke in a most striking and pathetic manner of the unfortunate situation in which this Country now is, and endeavoured to show that, it was for the most part owing to the defects of the representation in Parliament; this speech confirmed me in my opinion that he is the best speaker in the house, and I really think, that

“take him for all in all

I shall not look upon his like again.”4

{ 348 } Mr. Dundas spoke for about half an hour against parliamentary reform, at least for the present time. . . . Mr. Fox then spoke near an hour and a half extremely well for the motion; he made use of a great number of very artfull and specious arguments against Mr. [Pitt] and seemed as if he found some consolation for his misfortunes in [tea?]sing the minister, tho' he spoke on the same side of the Question. But tho' I don't pretend to say Mr. Pitt surpasses him in argumentation, yet I think no body will deny that he does in the delivery. Mr. Fox has a small impediment in his speech, and one would think his nose was stopped by a cold when he speaks, whereas, Mr. P—has the clearest voice and most distinct pronunciation, of any person I ever remember to have heard; but they are both very great men, and it is a real misfortune for this Country that those talents which were made to promote the honour and the power of the Nation, should be prostituted, to views of interest and of ambition.

[salute] Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “à Monsieur Monsieur J. Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire Des Etats Unis de l'Amerique à La Haye Hollande”; postmarked: “18/IV”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. June 18 1784.” Some damage to the text where the seal was torn away.
1. JQA probably did leave London about 26 June—“the Saturday after” that he projects here—because by 1 July he was again entering letters into JA's Letterbook at The Hague (Adams Papers).
2. William Vans Murray.
3. Opening quotation mark supplied. JQA is paraphrasing John Sawbridge's motion of 16 June: “That a committee be appointed to take into consideration the present state of the Representation of the Commons of Great Britain in parliament” (Parliamentary Hist., 24:980).
At least twenty members of Commons spoke to this motion, with Pitt, North, and Sawbridge speaking several times (same, 24:975–1006). William Pitt, the prime minister, initially urged Sawbridge to withdraw the motion because he intended to bring in a motion for parliamentary reform in a later session, at what he judged would be a more favorable time (24:976). Sawbridge, however, insisted on an immediate consideration of the issue, and after Lord North's long denunciation of any and all attempts at reform (24:987–992), Pitt felt that he had to support Sawbridge, and he vigorously attacked North, not only for opposing reform, but also for his management of the American war (24:998–999). Henry Dundas, M.P. for Edinburghshire, treasurer of the Navy, member of the Board of Trade, and a firm supporter of Pitt on most questions, then opposed Sawbridge. Dundas expressed his doubt that the Commons could ever be reformed, but unlike Lord North, he was disturbed by the historic corruption of parliamentary representation (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:354–355; Parliamentary Hist., 24:999). Finally, Charles James Fox, richly enjoying the irony of a debate that found William Pitt in agreement with him, supported Sawbridge's motion for reform. Fox used the occasion to attack both Crown influence in the Commons and Mr. Pitt, whom he charged with a lack of respect for the nation in his attack on Lord North's leadership during the American war when Pitt knew perfectly well that the war, which Fox had always opposed, had enjoyed popular support (24:999–1000).
With both the Fox-North and the Pitt coalitions temporarily in disarray, Sawbridge's motion failed, 199–125. Pitt did introduce a parliamentary reform measure in Feb. 1785, but after weeks of debate the prime minister was no more successful in carrying reform than the radical London alderman had been. The reform of the House of Commons' uneven { 349 } electoral districts and its pocket and rotton buroughs had to wait until 1832.
John Sawbridge, the younger brother of Catharine Macauley, the historian so much admired by JA and other Americans of whiggish views, had introduced motions for shorter parliaments every year since 1771. A founding member of the Supporters of the Bill of Rights and an ally of John Wilkes, Sawbridge had served as sheriff (1769–1770), alderman (1769), and lord mayor (1775–76) of London, and had sat for the City in Commons almost continuously since 1774. He was an ardent friend of America and one of Lord North's fiercest opponents during the War for Independence. In March 1785 it was Sawbridge who successfully moved, over William Pitt's objections, that Charles James Fox be finally seated for Westminster (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:409–411).
4. Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, ii, lines 187–188.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0195

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-18

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

The Oportunity that now presents of sending this by your most amiable Friend, while it makes me glad to think that so great an Addition will be made to your Happiness by the arrival of two Persons so deservedly dear to you; yet at the same time our Loss is such, as, in spight of all our Philosophy must throw a melancholly Shade over our remaining social Enjoyments. May Heaven preserve those dear Objects of your Love! Our Hopes have long been that you would have return'd to <us> America and added to the general Happiness by further helping us to conduct and regulate the Motions of that great political system, to the bringing of which into Being your unequal'd Exertions have so essentially contributed. But this Happiness must be postponed. I heartily wish you Success in your further Labours for the good of your Country, and will wait with Patience for that happy Period when I shall again be able to tell you by Word of Mouth with what sincere Friendship and high Esteem I am your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
Mrs. Adams and Miss Nabby will inform you of our Domestick and Family Circumstances. Please to give my kindest Regards to your Son, and tell him I should be happy to receive a Line from him.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0196

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Dana, Elizabeth Ellery
Date: 1784-06-20

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Ellery Dana

Little my Dear Mrs. Dana did I think I should leave America without seeing you, but a slow fever, your absence and now a thousand thousand cares are like to deprive me of that pleasure. I must { 350 } therefore submit to biding you adieu in this way. I am going to embark very soon upon the mighty waters. Never did I think I could have been persuaded to such an undertakeing unaccompanied with Husband son or some near connection, but thus it is. Hope that springs Eternal in the Humane Breast, I pray may in some early day realize to me the promised blessing. You know the joy of meeting the long absent partner of your Heart without the personal dangers to which Your Friend may be exposed in search of that happiness.2 May your Seperations in future be of short duration and your happiness be as large as your wishes. Make my Respectfull Regards to Mr. Dana and tell him I was much dissapointed in not seeing him at Braintree. Let me hear of your welfare, and recollect that the daughter; is bethrothed and that She must be called Harriet.3 Make my Compliments to Your Brother and Sister,4 and accept my dear Madam the affectionate Regard of Your Friend
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers). docketed at the top, by CFA: “1784”; originally filed and filmed under the date of [ca. 15 June] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 363). At the bottom of the page AA wrote “serch,” followed by “search,” undoubtedly in an attempt to spell more accurately.
1. On 20 June, AA and AA2 departed from Boston for London on the Active, Capt. Nathaniel Byfield Lyde.
2. Francis Dana had returned to Elizabeth Ellery Dana from Europe on 12 Dec. 1783 (AA to JA, 7 Dec. 1783, above, under “December 13”).
3. The daughter in this cryptic sentence refers to Elizabeth Dana's unborn child, whom AA evidently wished the Danas to name Harriet, if a daughter, and whom she apparently imagined as marrying one of her sons. Elizabeth Dana did in fact give birth to her first daughter on 29 Sept., but Francis Dana, writing to JA on 12 Dec. (Adams Papers), explained that: “She is not named Hariot, as Mrs. Adams requested, but Martha Remington after our [Elizabeth's] much esteemed late Aunt.” Martha Remington Dana married the painter Washington Allston (NEHGR, 8:318 [Oct. 1854]).
4. Elizabeth Ellery Dana, the eldest of seven children, had two brothers, William and Edmund Trowbridge, and three sisters, Lucy (wife of William Channing), Ann, and Almy (later married to William Stedman). She also had several quite young half-brothers and sisters (same, p. 318, 320).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-06-21

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I received your Letter of the 15th. on the 18th. and that of the 18th. this moment, and am happy to find that you Spend So much Time and take so much Pleasure in Chancery and Parliament.
Present to Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Whiteford, my Thanks for their Politeness to you.
I want to know if the Books are on their Way. You Should tell me { 351 } Something of them in every Letter untill they are gone off, by Sea or Land.
Your Mothers Voyage is Such an Uncertainty that I would not have you wait longer, than the day you have fixed for your Departure. I know nothing in particular of the Young Gentleman you mention: But my Advice in general is to have a Care of Templars.1 You should remember I have no Secretary or Companion, and I cannot do without you. You may be here in 3 days from London, and if the Ladies arrive you may go again in 3 more, if Mr. Smith goes home.
Mr. Bingham and his Lady have been here and Spent a few Days with me. I introduced them to the Princess of Orange and the young Princess conversed with her, very agreably in English.2 Last Evening came an Invitation to them to sup at Court this night, but they went off on Saturday for Amsterdam.
You have had a Taste of the Eloquence of the Bar and of Parliament: but you will find Livy and Tacitus, more elegant, more profound and Sublime Instructors, as well as Quinctilian Cicero and Demosthenes.
There will be everlastingly a Demades and an Aeschines to plague a Demosthenes.3 Wherever a great able and Upright Man appears, there will be ever a Swarm of little, corrupt, weak or wicked ones, who will find among the People Such Numbers like themselves, as to form a Body capable of obstructing diverting and interrupting him, so that he will be able to serve the publick only now and then and generally by surprize and4 against their Will. Such will be the Fate of Mr. Pitt, if he persevers in the Line of Integrity he has taken.
This however Should not discourage, for Integrity is the only Line in which a Country can be greatly served.

[salute] Your affectionate Father

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Adams. June 21. 1784”; docketed, also by JQA: “My Father—21. June 1784.”
1. If JA is expressing a distrust of the law students of the Middle Temple, where William Vans Murray was studying, the origins of that distrust are not known to the editors.
2. JA gives further details on Anne Willing Bingham and the Dutch court in his Diary (Diary and Autobiography, 3:167).
3. JA inserted “and an Aeschines” above the line. Demosthenes, Athens' greatest orator, was his city's most outspoken opponent of the growing power of Phillip of Macedon, and contended with the Athenian orator Aeschines throughout the 340s B.C. over the most effective policy for maintaining the independence of the Greek city states. The Athenian politician Demades, who was more deeply influenced, and corrupted, by Phillip and his successor, Alexander the Great, than was Aeschines, became an implacable foe of Demosthenes. After Macedon's final triumph over the resistance of the Greek city states in 322 B.C., Demades condemned Demosthenes to death. The great orator, in flight from Athens, then committed suicide (Oxford Classical { 352 } Dictionary). Although JA applies this historical lesson to William Pitt the younger in this paragraph, he sounds like he is remembering his own struggles as a political leader and diplomat.
4. JA inserted “by surprize and” above the line.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0198

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-06-26

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

Mr. Dodge has just informed me of his design to go to Boston tomorrow, and has kindly offered to convey a Letter. I thank you for Yours,2 and more for the Care of our little Daughter, and for the affection you discover in writing to me so much about her. I find that almost every thing is of importance, that relates to our dear Children. She never lodged out of the House a night in her life without me before now, and I feel that her absence, has touched some maternal strings, that never before were put in motion, though her Father sometimes calls me Pelican, and believes I think but little [but?] about her.3
Indeed my Sister I was glad I left her with you, for though when I got home I was much fatigued with the heat, &c., Susa desired me to let her go the next day which was Saturday to see her Sister. I gave her leave, but was sorry immediately, for it was so near the Sabbath that there was no probability of my procuring any other help. But fortunately for me the Girl that sometimes used to assist me, came home from Election, Just time enough to milk my Cows, that night, though very tired with her little Excursion, which she had made on foot. When I came to over look my family matters, and find how little attention had been paid to my milk, and to every thing else I was determined she should never come into the house to do any more for me. Accordingly when she returned, we told her, we had no further service for her. It was almost ten Clock, and it rained. My heart aked you may believe, but since she had told me that our kindness had been her snare, I hoped the severity of Justice would restore her to a proper state of mind. We have now got rid of root, and branch. I hope this affair will not make me a tyrant to my help.
Mr. Thaxter got here a Friday, will go to Mrs. Wests tomorrow.
Where now is our dear Sister Adams, and our charming Niece, upon the mighty billows! May gentle Zephyrs waft them safely to their distined Shore.
Ah! my Sister my spirit was witness to the parting Scene. I saw all the various passions rioting in my nabby's Face. I saw——I saw the struggle in the Parents Br[eas]t——the <awful> absolute necessi[ty]——
{ 353 }
Eliza and I can dream you know. If Sister is not yet gone she must not know that my Spirit nightly visits her, though I am sure it is no spirit of mine, if it would not gladly calm every anxious thought, and sweetly lull her fears to rest.
It is bed time and I am called, but I must be as good as my word to Billy, for he will ask me in the morning. Billy says “Sister must be a good Girl, and when she comes home not pester him. Please to give my Love to her and tell her I long to kiss her,” and he is not the only one that wants to I can assure him.
I can [ . . . ][y] more than that [I am?]

[salute] Affectionately

[signed] E S
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); docketed: “Letter from Mrs. E. Shaw. 29 June 1784.” The “29” may be in a later hand. Some loss of text where the seal was torn away.
1. The date assigned is the nearest Saturday—“ Sabbath Eve”—to 29 June, the date in the docketing (which could have been the date on which Mary Cranch received the letter). The letter may, however, be of an earlier Saturday in June; in the sixth paragraph, beginning “Eliza and I can dream. . .,” Elizabeth seems unsure whether AA has yet sailed.
2. Not found.
3. The pelican, in fable and in Christian symbolism, would tear open its breast to feed its young with its blood.
4. In the imagined parting scene here, the “various passions rioting in my nabby's Face” must refer to AA2's mixed feelings upon leaving Royall Tyler.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0199

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-06

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

There is no Accomplishment, more usefull or reputable, or which conduces more to the Happiness of Life, to a Man of Business or of Leisure, than the Art of writing Letters. Symplicity, Ease, Familiarity and Perspicuity, comprehend all the necessary Rules. But these are not acquired without Attention and Study. The Habit you now form will go with you through Life. Spare no Pains then to begin well. Never write in haste. Suffer no careless Scroll ever to go out of your hand. Take time to think, even upon the most trifling Card. Turn your Thoughts in your Mind, and vary your Phrases and the order of your Words, that a Taste and Judgment may appear, even in the most ordinary Composition. I cannot offer you my Example, with my Precept.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Adams. June 1784”; docketed, also by JQA: “My Father—June 1784.” On the third page of the letter, at the top, JQA wrote at a somewhat later time: “Very good advice, and easily comprehended.” At the bottom of the page, JQA wrote in quotation marks, also in a somewhat later hand: “Nothing has so much influence over the human heart as the voice of undoubted friendship; { 354 } we know that our friend may possibly be mistaken, but we are certain he can never deceive us; we may differ from him in opinion, but we can never treat his <unself> counsels with contempt.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

From the first of April to this time, I have been in constant and anxious Expectation of hearing of your Arrival in London. Your Letters encouraged me to hope and expect it, otherwise I should have been with you at Braintree before now. I still expect to hear of your arrival every moment, but as your last letters by Mr. Warren1 expressed a doubt, it is possible, even that this Letter may find you in America. If it does, I shall leave it to your discretion, to embark or not, if you embark, burn the inclosed.2 But notwithstanding that you will probably have to return again to America in the Spring with me, if you do not embark, send the enclosed on to the President of Congress, and I will be at home as soon as I can. But I fear it will not be before the Spring, perhaps not before June or July; if you conclude to come to me, you may marry your Daughter beforehand if you will and bring her Husband with her. If you do not come, you may still marry your Daughter if you think proper.
My own Opinion is, you had better Stay. I will come home, and make my Hill shine as bright as General Warren's, and leave Politicks to those who understand them better and delight in them more, Breed my Boys, to the Bar and to Business, and My Girls too, and live and die in primaeval simplicity and Innocence. You may depend upon it, I will not be jockied again. Yours &c.
LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). RC and its enclosure (see note 2) not found. It is not certain that AA ever received, or indeed that JA ever sent this letter and its enclosure.
1. AA to JA, 12 April, and AA to JQA, 25 April, both above, brought by Winslow Warren to London, in Capt. Callahan's ship.
2. In the letter to the president of Congress (Thomas Mifflin) of the same date (LbC, Adams Papers), which he may have enclosed with an RC of this letter to AA, JA expressed his doubt whether Congress still wanted him to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, since he had never received a commission for this task. He then repeated his desire to return to America and requested a letter of recall, which was required for decency's sake in taking leave of the States General of the Netherlands. He concluded: “it is my unalterable Resolution, not to remain in Europe, consuming in vain but unavoidable Ostentation, the Labour of my fellow Citizens, any longer than I can see a Probability of being of some use to them.” It appears almost certain that this letter never reached Congress.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0201

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-03

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

I wrote you a few Lines1 by your most amiable Partner who sailed in a Ship commanded by Capt. Byfield Lyde, from Boston, the 20th. Ulto. I hope that before you receive this you will have had the inexpressible Happiness of meeting her and your dear Daughter in Europe. Our worthy Friend the Honble. Cotton Tufts Esqr. wrote you this Morning, since which the Secretary has deliver'd me the inclosed Act. As the Doctor intended it for you but was gone out of Town before I received it, I now enclose it to you by favour of the Honble. Mr. Tracy.2 Our Friend the Honble. James Lovell Esqr. was this Day chosen Naval Officer for the Port of Boston. I hope the Post will afford him a genteel Living. His Virtues and great Sufferings in the common Cause have entitul'd him to a much better Support than he has hitherto met with. Our Friends are all well. I am with the greatest Love and Esteem for you and your dear Connections, your affectionate Bror.
[signed] Richard Cranch
I long to hear of the safe arrival of our dear Friends.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Hague”; endorsed: “Mr Cranch July 3d. 1784. ansd. Dec. 13. 1784.” Enclosure not found.
1. That of 18 June, above.
2. The secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was John Avery Jr. (“A Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” p. 2, in A Pocket Almanack. . .1784, T. & J. Fleet, Boston). The bearer of this letter was probably not the Newburyport merchant Nathaniel Tracy, owner of and passenger on the Ceres, but Thomas Jefferson, who took passage on this ship and carried Cotton Tufts' letter of 3 July to JA, above; see note 4 there, and Jefferson, Papers, 7:311, 321, 358.
Only one act passed by 3 July in the session of the Massachusetts legislature that began in late May would have profoundly interested JA—that designed to protect American commerce from the measures being taken by Great Britain. On 30 April, Congress had resolved to urge the states to grant to it, for fifteen years, the power “to prohibit any goods, wares or merchandize from being imported into or exported from any of the states” in ships owned or navigated by subjects of any country that had not signed a commercial treaty with the United States. Further, aliens were not to import into or export from the United States any goods not the products of their country of citizenship unless “authorised by treaty” signed with the United States. Massachusetts passed the appropriate legislation on 1 July, with the proviso that it would not be effective until every state had passed the same law (JCC, 26:321–322; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1784–1785, p. 41).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0202

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-03

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Since Mrs. Adams's Departure I have revolved within myself, whether you would not have an Inclination to purchase the piece of Land on Pens Hill (belonging to the Estate of the Honle. James Verchild late of St. Kitts deceased)1 which you have for some years past improved. His Heirs, I am informed, are now in England, that the Estate in the West Indies is under Mortgage, But that part of it which is in this State is free. I am told that he has a Son by Name James who is probably the Heir to it. Mr. Cranch has wrote to his Kinsman Mr. Elworthy to enquire out the lawful Heir and to confer with Him upon the Subject so far it relates to that which he has under Improvement. There is also a piece of Land belonging to the same Estate, which for many years past was improved by Col. Quincy and which His Heirs would wish to purchase. As these Lands cannot be an Object to the Heirs Worth Keeping, I should suppose they would readily agree for the Sale of them either in Person or by Authorizing some Person here for that Purpose. Should you obtain any Intelligence with respect to the lawful Heir of these Lands and their Disposition to sell, youll be pleased to give me the earliest Intelligence.
A Bill passed Yesterday for voting certain Powers in Congress—x a Copy of which is enclosed.2 Mr. Partridge one of our Delegates to Congress is returned. Mr. Gerry is expected dayly. Mr. Dana remains at Annapolis as one of the Committee of the States,3 the Committee I am informed, will probably adjourn to Trenton on or before September next.
For 8 or 9 Months past we have been alarmed with repeated Accounts of Encroachments on our Eastern Territories by British Subjects, they are rapidly forming Settlements to the Westward of what we suppose to be the River St. Croix intended by the Treaty. But of this You have already or probably will have more particular Information. Mr. Cranch presents Love &c.

[salute] I am Sr. Your most Affec. Friend and Hum Sert

[signed] Cotton Tufts
xI expected the Secretary would have furnished me with a Copy timely enough to have enclosed it before I should go Home it being Saturday and my Horse [abed Down?]. I have requested Mr. Lovell { 357 } to give it to Mr. Jefferson who is going to join You—and by whom this will come.4
1. Presumably James George Verchild, who also owned the Braintree house in which Richard Cranch lived (William Cranch to Richard Cranch, 26 April 1806, MHi: Cranch Family Papers).
2. Enclosed with Richard Cranch to JA, 3 July, above.
3. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress was empowered to create a committee made up of one delegate from each state to act while Congress was in recess. Congress spelled out the powers of the committee and appointed its members on 29 May, and adjourned on 3 June (JCC, 27:474–477, 555–556).
4. This passage, keyed to the “x” in the text, was written in the margin. Thomas Jefferson sailed from Boston on 5 July, and presumably took Cranch's letter of 3 July, above, as well as this letter and Lovell's letter of [5 July], below. Jefferson reached Cowes, England, on 26 July, and Paris on 6 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 7:2). On this same date, Tufts wrote a brief letter to AA (Adams Papers); its only news was the death of her Braintree neighbors Joseph Nightengale Sr., and Deacon Savil's widow.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0203

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-05

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Suppose every proper Epithet to occupy these two upper Lines.
Under them all I most cordially salute you. Once upon the Arrival of a Ship from France “you was too happy to find Time for answering Letters.”2 I do not now want any Answer. All I wish is that you may steal from yourself and one other a Minute for reading this short Scrawl. Your Benevolence and your Curiosity secure my Wish; and, here you are, if there is a Providence protecting Virtue—Don't let that if throw my Paper into the Fire, for it was not a mark of real Supposition. Here you are, I say, going to receive what you did not expect or even wish for five minutes ago.—an Addition to your Felicity.
You once wept at my confidential Communication of the veritable Cause of my seemingly obstinate and naughty long Seperation from my dear Wife and Children.3 To the Tears then shed, I owe the Gratitude of an Information that two days ago I was most unexpectedly appointed Naval Officer of this Port, instead of that Draft of small Beer which I have told you I should want, cannot fail to afford a very competent Support to a Family whose Wellfare you have proved to be one of your tender Concerns. I had often told my Confidents that I could not expect even a decent Sustinence till the Reign of Portia's Husband here when an Application for Favo[r] would not involve the Sacrifice of manly Integrity. But the Imprudence of the late Naval Officer4 has not only rendered my Application to Man { 358 } Woman or Child unnecessary but has even overruled the little Doings of a big one of the latter Class5 to prevent my Success.

[salute] Most respectfully yours Madam

[signed] J L
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A Adams in England Holland or France”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Mr. Lovel.”
1. James Lovell received his appointment as naval officer at Boston on 3 July (Richard Cranch to JA, 3 July, above), which, he says below, occurred “two days ago.” The 5th was also the day that Thomas Jefferson sailed for Europe, apparently taking this letter with him (Cotton Tufts to JA, 3 July, above). Lovell, AA's closest correspondent outside her family, exchanged nearly one hundred letters with her between 1777 and 1782, the years of his service as a Massachusetts delegate in Congress. This is his only known letter to AA between May 1782 and 1789. See vols. 2 and 4:indexes; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:288, note 1.
2. Closing quotation mark supplied. The reference must be to JA's return from France in 1779, but if AA did write something similar to the quoted passage, it is in a letter that has not been found.
3. See AA to Lovell, 13 May 1781, and Lovell's reply of 16 June 1781, especially his reference there to “small Beer,” which he uses again in this paragraph (vol. 4:112–113, 148–151).
4. Lovell's predecessor was Nathaniel Barber (“A Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” p. 28, in A Pocket Almanack. . . 1784, T. & J. Fleet, Boston).
5. Perhaps a reference to Gov. John Hancock.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0204

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
DateRange: 1784-07-06 - 1784-07-30

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sister

I have been 16 days at sea, and have not attempted to write a single Letter; tis true I have kept a journal1 when ever I was able, but that must be close locked up; unless I was sure to hand it you with safety.
Tis said of Cato the Roman censor, that one of the 3 things which he regreted during his Life, was going once by sea when he might have made his journey by land; I fancy the philosopher was not proof against that most disheartning, disspiriting malady, Sea sickness. Of this I am very sure, that no Lady would ever wish; or a second time try the Sea; were the objects of her pursuit within the reach of a land journey; I have had frequent occasion since I came on Board, to recollect an observation of my best Friends, “that no Being in Nature was so dissagreable as a Lady at Sea,” and this recollection has in a great measure reconciled me to the thought of being at sea without him; for one would not wish my dear sister; to be thought of, in that Light: by those to whom we would wish to appear in our best array; the decency and decorum of the most delicate female must in some { 359 } measure yeald to the necessitys of Nature; and if you have no female, capable of rendering you the least assistance; you will feel gratefull to any one who will feel for you and relieve, or compassionate your sufferings.
And this was truly the case of your poor sister, and all her female companions, when not one of us could make our own Beds; put on, or take of our shoes, or even lift a finger. As to our other cloathing we wore the greater part of it, untill we were able to help ourselves; added to this misfortune Brisler my Man servant was as bad as any of us; but for Jobe,2 I know not what we should have done; kind, attentive quick, neat, he was our Nurse for two days and Nights, and from handling the sails at the top gallant masthead, to the more femenine employment of making wine cordial, he has not his equal on Board; in short he is the favorite of the whole ship.
Our sickness continued for ten days; with some intermissions. We crawled upon deck when ever we were able, but it was so cold and damp that we could not remain long upon it, and the confinement of the Air below, the constant rolling of the vessel and the Nausea of the Ship which was much too tight, contributed to keep up our disease. The vessel is very deep loaded with oil and potash, the oil leaks the potash smoaks and ferments, all adds to the flavour. When you add to all this the horrid dirtiness of the ship, the slovenness of the steward, and the unavoidable sloping spilling occasiond by the tossing of the Ship, I am Sure you will be thankfull that the pen is not in the hands of Swift, or Smollet, and still more so that you are far removed from the Scene. No sooner was I able to move; than I found it necessary to make a Bustle amongst the waiters, and demand a Cleaner abode; by this time Brisler was upon his feet; and as I found I might reign mistress on Board without any offence I soon exerted my Authority with scrapers mops Brushes, infusions of viniger; &c. and in a few hours you would have thought yourself in a different Ship. Since which our abode is much more tolerable and the Gentlemen all thank me for my care; our Captain3 is an admirable Seaman—always attentive to his Sails, and his rigging, keeps the deck all night, carefull of every body on Board; watchfull that they run no risks, kind and humane to his Men; who are all as still and quiet as any private family, nothing cross or Dictatorial in his Manners, a much more agreable Man than I expected to find him; he cannot be called a polished gentleman; but he is so far as I have Seen; a very clever Man.
We have for passengers a Col. Norten,4 who is a grave sedate Man, { 360 } of a Good Natural understanding, improved by Buisness, and converse with Mankind; his litterary accomplishments not very great. A Mr. Green, a scotch Man I am persuaded, high perogative Man plumes himself upon his country; haughty and imperious, but endeavours to hide this with the appearence of politeness; which however he is too apt to transgress upon any occasion; whenever any subject arises, which does not intirely agree with his sentiments. He calls himself an english Man, has been in the British Service during the war as a secretary on Board some of the British Admirals; he is a Man of sense and of reading, the most so of any we have on Board.5 Next to him is Dr. Clark6 to whom we are under obligations for every kindness, and every attention that it is in the power of a Gentleman and a physician to shew. Humane Benevolent tender and attentive, not only to the Ladies, but to every one on Board, to the servant, as well as the master, he has renderd our voyage much more agreeable and pleasent than it possibly could have been without him, his advice we have stood in need of, and his care we have felt the Benifit of, a Brother could not have been kinder, nor a parent tenderer, and it was all in the pleasent easy cheerfull way, without any thing studied Labourd, or fullsome, the natural result of a good Heart, possesst with a power of making others happy.
Tis not a little attention that we Ladies stand in need of at sea, for it is not once in the 24 hours that we can even Cross the cabbin; without being held, or assisted. Nor can we go upon deck without the assistance of 2 Gentlemen; and when there, we are allways bound into our Chairs: whilst you I imagine are scorching under the mid summer heat; we can comfortably bear our double calico Gowns; our Baize ones upon them; and a cloth cloak in addition to all these.
Mr. Foster7 is an other passenger on Board, a Merchant; a Gentleman soft in his manners; very polite and kind, Loves domestick Life, and thinks justly of it. I respect him on this account. Mr. Spear brings up the Rear, a single Gentleman; with a great deal of good humour, some wit; and much drollery, easy and happy blow high or blow low, can sleep and laugh at all seasons. These are our Male companions. I hardly thought a Leiut. Mellicot worth mentioning who <only [eats?] with us and> is I believe a mere pot companion, tho he keeps not with us, except at meal times, when he does not behave amiss. My Name sake8 you know, she is a modest pretty woman; and behaves very well. I have accustomed myself to writing a little every Day when I was able; so that a small motion of the Ship does not render it more unintelligible than u[sua?]l.
{ 361 }
But there is no time since I have been at sea; when the Ship is what we call still; that its motion is not equal to the moderate rocking of a cradle. As to wind and weather since we came out; they have been very fortunate for us in general, we have had 3 Calm days, and 2 days contrary wind with a storm, I call'd it, but the Sailors say it was only a Breeze. This was upon the Banks of Newfoundland, the Wind at East. Through the day we could not set in our Chairs, only as some Gentleman set by us, with his Arm fastned into ours; and his feet braced against a table or chair that was lashed down with Ropes, Bottles, Mugs, plates crasshing to peices, first on one side; and then on the other. The Sea running mountain high, and knocking against the sides of the vessel as tho it would burst the sides. When I became so fatigued with the incessant motion; as not to be able to set any longer; I was assisted into my Cabbin,9 where I was obliged to hold myself in; with all my might the remainder of the Night: no person who is a Stranger to the sea; can form an adequate Idea, of the debility occassiond by sea Sickness. The hard rocking of a Ship in a storm, the want of sleep for many Nights, alltogether reduce one to such a lassitude, that you care little for your fate. The old Sea men thought nothing of all this, nor once entertaind an Idea of danger, compared to what they have sufferd; I do suppose it was trifling, but to me it was allarming and I most heartily prayed: if this was only a Breeze; to be deliverd from a storm.
Our accommodations on Board are not what I could wish, or hoped for. We cannot be alone, only when the Gentlemen are thoughtfull enough to retire upon deck, which they do for about an hour in the course of the day; our state rooms are about half as large as Cousin Betsys little Chamber, with two Cabbins in each. Mine had 3, but I could not live so; upon which Mrs. Adams'es Brother10 gave up his <Berth> to Nabby, and we are now stowed, two and two. This place has a small grated window, which opens into the Companion, and is the only air admitted. The door opens into the Cabbin where the Gentlemen all Sleep; and wh[ere] we sit dine &c. We can only live with our door Shut, whilst we dress and undress. Necessity has no law, but what should I have thought on shore; to have layed myself down to sleep, in common with half a dozen Gentlemen? We have curtains it is true, and we only in part undress, about as much as the Yankee Bundlers,11 but we have the satisfaction of falling in, with a set of well behaved, decent Gentlemen, whose whole deportment is agreeable to the strickest delicacy both in words and action.
If the wind and weather continues as favorable as it has hietherto { 362 } been; we expect to make our passage in 30 days, which is going a hundred miles a day. Tis a vast tract of ocean which we have to traverse; I have contemplated it with its various appearences; it is indeed a secret world of wonders, and one of the Sublimist objects in Nature.

“Thou makest the foaming Billows roar

Thou makest the roaring Billows sleep.”

They proclaim the deity, and are objects too vast for the controul of feble Man, that Being alone, who maketh the Clouds his Chariots and rideth upon the wings of the wind;12 is equal to the Goverment of this Stupendous part of Creation.
And now my dear sister after this minute account of my important self, which judgeing by myself, you take an affectionate interest in, I call upon you to inquire after your welfare, my much Esteemed Brothers, and my dear Neices? Not a day, or Night, but I visit your calm retreat, look at my own deserted Habitation, and recollect past endearments, with a melancholy composure. And realy am so vain, as to commisirate you, on account of the vacuity I fancy my absence occasions.
We are so formed, says an injenious writer, as to be always pleased with some what in prospect, however distant or however trivial; thus do I gratify myself with the Idea of returning to my Native land, tho the prospect is distant. Pleasures, says Pope are ever in our hands or Eyes. I have lost part of the other line, but the Idea is, that if We are not in the present possession of them, they rise to us in prospect. I will now tell you, where I am sitting, at a square table in the Great Cabin, at one corner of which is Col. Norten and Mr. Foster engaged in playing back Gammon, at the other, Mr. Green writing, and at the fourth, Dr. Clark eating ham. Behind Col. Norten, Mr. Spear reading Tompsons Seasons with his Hat on, young Lawrence behind me reading Ansons Voyages, Ester kniting, the Steward and Boys Bustling about after wine and porter, and last of all as the least importantly employ'd Mrs. Adams, and Nabby in their Cabbin a sleep and this at 12 oclock in the day. O Shame! The Captain comes down and finds me writing, kindly tenders me some large paper to write upon. I believe he thinks I shall have occasion for it. This man has a kindness in his disposition which his countanance does not promise.
Mr. Green comes down from deck and reports that the Mate says we are 16 hundred miles on our Way. This is good hearing. I can scarcly realize myself upon the ocean, or that I am within 14 hundred { 363 } miles of the British coast. I rejoice with trembling. Painfull and fearfull Ideas, will arise and intermix, with the pleasureable hopes of a joyfull meeting of my long absent Friend. I frequently recollect some lines of Miss Mores, in her Sir Eldred of the Bower.13 Discribing a mixture of hope and anxiety, she says

“Twas such a sober sense of joy

As Angles well might keep

A joy Chastis'd by piety

A Joy prepair'd to weep.”

I shall write whilst I am on Board when ever I can catch a quiet time, it is an amusement to me, reading tires me, work I do sometimes, but when there is no writing there is less pleasure in working; I shall keep the Letter open untill I arrive and put it on Board the first vessel I find comeing to America. Tis impossible for me to find any variety at Sea to entertain my Friends with, so that this Letter with all its inaccuracies must be submitted to them. Do not however expose me, especially where I have a little credit; you know very well that affection and intimacy will cover a multitude of faults.
If I did not write every day, I should lose the days of the month, and of the week, confined all day <to day> on account of the weather; which is foggy, misty, and wet. You can hardly judge how urksome this confinement is; when the whole ship is at our Service; it is little better than a prison; we Suppose ourselves near the western Islands.14 O dear variety! how pleasing to the humane mind is Change; I cannot find such a fund of entertainment within myself as not to require outward objects for my amusement. Nature abounds with variety, and the mind unless fixed down by habit, delights in contemplating new objects, and the variety of Scenes which present themselves to the Senses, were certainly designd to prevent our attention from being too long fixed upon any one object; and this says a late celebrated medical writer; greatly conduces to the Health of the animal frame. Your studious people and your deep thinkers, he observes, seldom enjoy either health or spirits. This writer I recommend to your perusal; and will tell you that you may borrow <him> it of our Friend Mrs. Warren, tis Buchans domestick Medicine.15 I have read him since I came to Sea with much pleasure.
I have been in much trouble, upon looking over my Letters since I came on Board, to find those given me, by my Friend Mrs. Warren; { 364 } missing; I cannot account for it, in any other way; than that I must have put them into the pocket of the Chaise, when I received them; which I recollect; and I did not think to take them out; you remember the day, with all its circumstances, and will accordingly apoligize to our Friend, whose goodness, I know will pardon the omission; nor add to my mortification, by charging it to inattention.
An other wet drisly day, but we must not complain, for we have a fair wind; our sails all square and go at 7 knots an hour. I have made a great acquisition, I have learnt the Names and places of all the masts and sails; and the Captain compliments me by telling me that he is sure I know well enough how to steer to take a trick at Helm; I may do pretty well in fair weather, but tis your masculine Spirits that are made for Storms. I love the tranquil scenes of Life; nor can I look forward to those in which tis probable I shall soon be engaged, with those pleasureable Ideas; which a retrospect of the past presents to my mind.
I went last evening upon deck, at the invitation of Mr. Foster to view that phenomenon of Nature; a blaizing ocean. A light flame Spreads over the ocean in appearence; with thousands of thousands Sparkling Gems, resembling our fire flies in a dark Night. It has a most Beautifull appearence.16 I never view the ocean without being filled with Ideas of the Sublime, and am ready to break forth with the psalmist, “Great and Marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty; in Wisdom hast thou made them all.”17
Yesterday was a very pleasent day, very little wind; but a fine sun and smooth sea. I spent the most of the day upon deck reading; it was not however so warm; but a Baize gown was very comfortable; the ship has gradually become less urksome to me. If our cook was but tolerably clean, I could realish my victuals, but he is a great dirty lazy Negro; with no more knowledge of cookery than a savage; nor any kind of order in the distribution of his dishes, but hickel tapickelta, [higgledy piggledy] on they come with a leg of pork all Brisly, a Quarter of an hour after a pudding, or perhaps a pair of roast fowls first of all, and then will follow one by one a peice of Beaf and when dinner is nearly compleated a plate of potatoes. Such a fellow is a real imposition upon the passengers—but Gentlemen know but little about the matter, and if they can get enough to eat five times { 365 } a day all goes well. We Ladies have not eat upon our whole passage, more than just enough to satisfy nature; or to keep body and soul together.
A Sunday I wrote part of a Letter to Sister Shaw;18 since which I have not used my pen, even in my journal. Monday we had a fair wind but too much to be able to write, as it was right aft, and we pitch'd exceedingly, which is a motion more dissagreeable to me than the rocking's tho less fatigueing; a twesday a Calm. Should you not suppose that in a Calm we at least had the Satisfaction of lyeing still? Alass it is far otherways; as my flesh, and bones, witness. A Calm generally succeeds a storm or a fresh Breeze; the Sea has a great swell after the wind is silent, so that the Ship lies intirely at the mercy of the waves, and is knocked from side to side with a force you can form no Idea of without experience; I have been more wearied and worn out with the motion and exercise of a calm, than in rideing 50 miles in a day. We have had 3 days in succession nearly calm. The first is the most troublesome, as the motion of the Sea Subsides in a degree. It is however a great trial of ones patience, to think yourself within a few days of your desired port, to look at it, as the promised land; and yet to be held fast.

“Ye too ye winds, I raise my voice to you

In what far distant region of the Sky

Hush'd in deep Silence, Sleep you when tis Calm?”

I begin to think that a Calm is not desireable in any situation in life, every object is most Beautifull in motion, a ship under sail trees Gently agitated with the wind, and a fine women danceing, are 3 instances in point; Man was made for action, and for Bustle too I believe. I am quite out of conceit with calms. I have more reason for it too, than many others, for the dampness of the ship has for several day threatned me with the Rheumatisim, and yesterday morning I was seazed with it in good earnest; I could not raise my Head, nor get out of bed without assistance, I had a good deal of a fever and was very sick; I was fearfull of this before I came to sea and had medicine put up proper, which the doctor administerd. What with that, good Nursing and rubbing, flannel, &c. I am able to day to set up in my Bed, and write as you see. To day we have a small wind, but tis night a Head. This is still mortifying, but what we had reason to expect. Patience, patience, patience is the first second and third { 366 } virtues of a seaman, or rather as necessary to them, as to a statesman.19 3 days good wind would give us land.
We have an other wet misty day; the Cabbin so damp that I dare not set in it; am therefore obliged confined as it is to keep in my own little room; and upon my bed. I long for the day which will give us land. Ester makes but a poor hand at sea; scarcly a day but what she is sick some part of it, I hope she will be the better for it when she gets on shore. We have but one passenger which we should have been willing to have been without; I have no particular reason to dislike him, as he is studiously complasant to me; but I know his politeness to me, is not personally upon my own account; but because of my connection which gives me importance sufficient to intitle me to his notice. Nabby says he is exactly Such a Character as Mr. Anger;20 I realy think there is a stricking resemblance; he is always inquiring who was such a General? What was his origin and rank in Life? I have felt a Disposition to quarrel with him several times; but have restraind myself; and only observed to him mildly, that merit; not tittles, gave a man preeminence in our Country, that I did not doubt it was a mortifying circumstance to the British nobility, to find themselves so often conquerd by mecanicks and mere husband men—but that we esteemed it our Glory to draw such characters not only into the field, but into the Senate; and I believed no one would deny but what they had shone in both. All our passengers enjoyed this conversation, and the Gentleman was civil enough to drop the Subject, but the venom Spits out very often; yet the creature is sensible and entertaining when upon indifferent Subjects: he is a haughty Scotchman. He hates the French, and upon all occasions ridicules them and their Country. I fancy from his haughty airs, that his own rank in Life has not been superiour to those whom he affects to dispise. He is not a man of liberal Sentiments, and is less beloved than any passenger we have on Board. A mans humour contributes much to the making him agreable, or other ways, dark and sour humours, especially those which have a spice of malevolence in them are vastly dissagreable. Such men have no musick in their Souls. I believe he would hardly be so complasant if he knew how meanly I thought of him; but he deserves it all, his whole countanance shews his Heart.
Give me joy my dear sister, we have sounded to day and found bottom 55 fathom. We have seen through the course of the day 20 { 367 } different Sail, Spoke with a small Boat, upon a smuggling expedition, which assured us we were within the Channel.
This day four weeks we came on Board, are you not all calculating to day that we are near the land? Happily you are not wrong in your conjectures, I do not dispair of seeing it yet before night, tho our wind is very Small and light. The Captain has just been down to advise us as the vessel is so quiet, to get what things we wish to carry on shore into our small trunks. He hopes to land us at Portsmouth 70 miles distant from London tomorrow or next, day. From thence we are to proceed in post chaises to London. The ship may be a week in the channel before she will be able to get up.
Be so good as to let Mrs. Feild know that Ester has stood her voyage as well as I expected. She has been very sick Sometimes, but not a day since a few of the first, but what she has been able to go upon deck when it was proper weather. She says she is not home sick, nor has ever repented her comeing. I have sometimes thought she had reason too, and have wonderd how she could help it when she has sufferd so much, and no greater temptation to carry her out, than just comeing with me; she has not wanted for any kind of care, as the doctor has been very good, Jobe and Brisler very attentive. The doctor thinks she will enjoy her Health much better than ever.
Heaven be praised I have Safely landed upon the British coast. How flattering how smooth the ocean how delightfull was Sunday the 18 of July. We flatterd ourselves with the prospect of a gentle Breeze to carry us on shore at Portsmouth where we agreed to land, as going up the channel always proves tedious, but on sunday Night the wind shifted to the south-west, which upon this coast, is the same with our north East winds: it blew a gale on sunday night on monday and monday night equal to an Equinoctial. We were obliged to carry double reef top sails only, and what added to our misfortune was; that, tho we had made land the day before it was so thick that we could not certainly determine what land it was; it is now twesday and I have slept only four hours since Saturday night, such was the tossing and tumbling in Board our ship. The Captain never left the deck the whole time either to eat or sleep, tho they told me there was no danger, nor do I suppose that there realy was any; as we had sea room enough. Yet the great number of vessels constantly comeing { 368 } out of the channel and the apprehension of being run down, or being nearer the land than we imagined kept me constantly agitated. Added to this I had a voilent sick head ack. O! what would I have given to have been quiet upon the land. You will hardly wonder then at the joy we felt this day in seeing the cliffs of Dover: Dover castle and town. The wind was in Some measure subsided. It raind, however; and was as squaly as the month of March, the sea ran very high. A pilot boat came on Board at about ten oclock this morning; the Captain came to anchor with his ship in the downs and the little town of Deal lay before us. Some of the Gentlemen talkd of going on shore with the pilot Boat, and sending for us if the wind subsided. The boat was about as large as a Charlstown ferry boat and the distance from the Ship about <the same> twice as far as from Boston, to Charlstown. A Shore as bald as Nantasket Beach, no wharf, but you must be run right on shore by a wave where a number of Men stand to catch hold of the Boat and draw it up. The surf ran six foot high.
But this we did not know untill driven on by a wave, for the pilots eager to get money assured the gentlemen they could land us safe without our being wet, and we saw no prospect of its being better through the day. We accordingly agre'd to go. We were wraped up and lowerd from the ship into the boat; the whole ships crew eager to assist us, the gentlemen attentive and kind as tho we were all Brothers and sisters! We have Spent a month together, and were as happy as the sea would permit us to be. We set of from the vessel now mounting upon the top of a wave high as a steeple, and then so low that the boat was not to be seen. I could keep myself up no other way than as one of the Gentlemen stood braced up against the Boat, fast hold of me and I with both my Arms round him. The other ladies were held, in the same manner whilst every wave gave us a Broad side, and finally a Wave landed us with the utmost force upon the Beach; the Broad Side of the Boat right against the shore, which was oweing to the bad management of the men, and the high Sea.
(Thus far I had proceeded in my account when a summons to tea prevended my adding more; Since which I have not been able to take my pen; tho now at my Lodgings in London I will take up the thread where I left it, untill the whole Ball is unwound; every particular will { 369 } be interesting to my Friends I presume, and to no others expose this incorrect Scral.)
We concequently all pressd upon the side next the Shore to get out as quick as possible, which we need not have done, if we had known what I afterwards found to be the Case, that it was the only way in which we could be landed, and not as I at first supposed oweing to the bad management of the Boatmen; we should have set still for a succession of waves to have carried us up higher, but the roar of them terrified us all, and we expected the next would fill our Boat; so out we sprang as fast as possible sinking every step into the sand, and looking like a parcel of Naiades22 just rising from the sea. A publick house was fortunately just at hand, into which we thankfully enterd, changed our cloathing, dried ourselves and not being able to procure carriages that Day we engaged them for Six oclock the next morning, and took lodging