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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0001-0002

Author: Ronnay, Chevalier de
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-10-02

The Chevalier de Ronnay to Abigail Adams: A Translation

[salute] Madam

I am sorry that I forgot to return to you the memoir1 which you had the kindness to lend me when I had the honor of seeing you the time before last. Please forgive me.
This memoir greatly honors Mr. Adams not only because it is very well written but even more so because it is based on systems founded on his political conscience.

[salute] I have the honor to be with respect, Madam, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] de Ronnay2
Please ask Miss Adams to accept the assurance of my respect.3
1. Probably JA's A Memorial to Their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries, 19 April 1781. See vol. 4:109–110, note 3, and 122, note 4.
2. The Chevalier de Ronnay, an officer in the Armagnac regiment. On this same day Ronnay was forced to decline AA's invitation to dine at Braintree because 600 troops with Adm. Vaudreuil's fleet at Boston, including 300 of the Armagnac regiment, were assigned to help fortify Portsmouth, N.H., where three of the fleet's ships were being repaired. Vau• { 2 } dreuil's entire force left New England for Puerto Cabello on the northern coast of South America in December. (Ronnay to AA, 2 Oct. [2d letter], Adams Papers, not printed; 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, 2:194–195, 197–198; Cotton Tufts to JA, 10 Oct., and AA to JA, 23 Dec. 1782, and Ronnay to AA, 26 April 1783, all below.)
3. See Ronnay to AA, 26 April 1783, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-10-02

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

No Eliza2 I do not believe your real affection has decreased for Amelia,3 but a consiousness of my even doing wrong sometimes leads me to feel neglected, when, perhaps, I am not. But do not say that you love me better every time you converse with me. I must believe you sincere and this belief will lead me for the first time to dought your judgement. I do not say this to be contradicted. It is my belief, I feel it to my hourly mortification.
I have no news to relate to Eliza, only Mosieur Ronnay with his regiment is ordered to Portsmouth—to defend it from the invasions of the british fleet, that are feared. He called to take leave of us yesterday. He laments leaveing Braintree much—and wishes he had, had, the pleasure of seeing Miss Betsy Cranch.
The Ladies that I told you I expected a Wedensday were engaged. I shall expect them tomorow, and hope for the pleasure of Elizas presence. Mr. Robbins was excessively tired the other eve. He could get no further than hear.
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Betsy Cranch Weymouth”; endorsed: “AA—October 1782.”
1. This letter has been dated from the Chevalier de Ronnay's two letters of 2 Oct. to AA (both Adams Papers; the first above). The closing reference to Chandler Robbins Jr. also suggests an early October date (see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, Sept., vol. 4:389).
2. Betsy (or Eliza) Cranch, AA2's first cousin, was probably visiting Dr. Cotton Tufts and Lucy Quincy Tufts, her great-uncle and aunt, in Weymouth (vol. 4:389).
3. AA2 regularly adopted this name when corresponding with relatives and close friends, and AA, in her correspondence, often referred to her daughter as Amelia. AA, JA, the Cranches, and some of their friends had adopted similar names in the early 1760s. See vol. 1:passim; vol. 3:144–145, and note 5; and vol. 4:390.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Date: 1782-10-06

Abigail Adams to Benjamin Waterhouse

[salute] My dear Sir

Your obligeing favour of Sepbr 10th1 was put into my hands the day before I set out upon a journey2 which detained me a fortnight { 3 } abroad, and prevented my Reply to your kind inquiries after my absent Friends.
I did as you supposed receive Letters by Capt. Grinnel one of which was dated in july;3 but I have the mortification to assure you sir that our common Friend did not then entertain any hopes of a <speedy peace> general peace and a seperate peace he assures me will not be made even by Holland; the Independancy of America has at last triumphd in Holland. You sir will allow me a little vanity and exultation upon this occasion, because you are particularly knowing to the zeal the ardour and the indefatigable Labours of our Friend upon this occasion and will consider them in a light which the envy of some and the malice of others are little disposed to view them in. To express myself in the Language of one to whom you are no stranger, “this Cause has been carried, without Money without Friends, in opposition to mean Intrigues, by the still small voice of Reason and perswasion tryumphant against the uninterrupted opposition of Family connections, court influence and aristocratical despotism.”4 To what ever motives may be asscribed the littel notice taken of an event of so much importance to our country I will not pretend to determine. <Posterity> No doubt my connextion leads me to a more attentive observance of <every> an event which I cannot but consider as reflecting high honour upon the integrity and abilities of a Gentleman of whom from your personal knowledge of him you may well suppose I entertain the <highest> warmest regard and affection. It is no small satisfaction to me that my Country will reap the Benifit of my personal sacrifices, tho they little feel how great they are.
You sir who appear to possess the tender social feelings, and to enter into domestick attachments, can <better> judge <than the most> of the cruel strugle of my Heart <and my affections> in being repeatedly torn from the object of my <early Love> affections; and reconciling my self to <a 3 Years> an already 3 years seperation. Heaven only knows how much longer it is to continue, but were I assured that my Friend would be continued abroad for half that space of time longer—in spight of the Enemy and the uncertain Element, dissagreable as a voyage in Idea appears to me, especially deprived of my companion and protector, I would hazard all in compliance with your advise5 which I assure you has had great weight with me. I wait only for the return of Mr. Thaxter and a more explicit request from Mr. Adams to <deter> put my present intention in execution.
<Have you> I hope you have not formed such Local attachment at { 4 } Newport as to give up the Idea of a settlement in this vicinity. I cannot account for the Friendly attachment I find within my Heart to a Gentleman <who was so much of a stranger to me> whom I have only once had the pleasure of seeing; but in attributing it to what I really think the [true?] cause, the Superiour merrit of the object.
And the Poet tells us that there is a Natural instinct in <kindred> souls, which lead them to a Friendly union with each other.
I have the pleasure to answer your kind inquiries after the Health of my Friend and Brother Cranch by acquainting you of his recovery to a much better state of Health than <I ever> his Friends ever expected. He requets you to accept his thanks for your remembrance of him and his regards to you. Dr. Tufts also desires to be rememberd to you and wishes for a further acquaintance with you.6
Miss Adams empowers me to say that Dr. Waterhouse stands high in her esteem and she reflects with much pleasure upon the hours she spent in his company and relies upon his promise of bringing her acquainted with his amiable sister7 whom she is prepaird to Love and admire from the Worthy Sample she has already seen of the family. Master Charles presents his affectionate Regards to Dr. Waterhouse whom he both Loves and Reverences. And his Mamma concludes with assurances of the Friendship and Esteem of his Humble servant
[signed] AA
1. Vol. 4:380.
2. To Haverhill, where AA's sister Elizabeth Shaw lived (AA to JA, 8 Oct., below).
3. See JA to AA, 1 July, vol. 4:337–339. Grinnel was captain of the brig Sukey (Ingraham & Bromfield to AA, 1 July, vol. 4:339).
4. The passage, with some rearrangement, comes virtually verbatim from JA to AA, 14 May, vol. 4:323.
5. See AA's account of Waterhouse's visit to Braintree, during which he not only deeply moved her by his account of his visits with JA, JQA, and CA in Europe, but also “wished [her] exceedingly to go to [JA]” (to JA, 5 Aug., vol. 4:358).
6. Waterhouse's extensive medical studies abroad would naturally have been of interest to Dr. Tufts. For an extended sketch of Waterhouse, see vol. 4:32–34.
7. Rebecca Waterhouse (1757–1822), Dr. Waterhouse's only living sibling (George Herbert Waterhouse, “Descendants of Richard Waterhouse of Portsmouth, N.H.,” typescript, on deposit at MBNEH, p. 136–137).
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/