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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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.
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/