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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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.
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/