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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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