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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5

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—
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I do give unto my Said Daughter Abigail Adams my Silver Tankard.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Thulemeier 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 Thulemeier 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 Thulemeier, 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 Thulemeier 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 lodgings <here> there, all of us; ten in Number. Mr. Green set of immediately for London—no body mourn'd.
We were all glad to retire early to rest. For myself I was so faint and fatigued that I could get but little; we rose by 5 and our post Chaise being all at the door we set of in the following order. Mr. Foster myself and Ester in one, Dr. Clark and Nabby in the second, Col. Norten Mrs. Adams and Brother in the 3 and Mr. Spear and Lieut. Millicot brought up the rear. Our first Stage was 18 miles from Deal, to Canteburry where we Breakfasted, the roads are fine, and a stone a Novelty. I do not recollect to have seen one, except the pavements of Canteburry, and other Towns; from Deal to London which is 72 miles; vast Feilds of wheat, oats, english Beans, and the horse Bean, with hops: are the produce of the country through which we past; which is cultivated like a Garden down to the very edges of the road, and what surprized me was, that very little was inclosed within fences. Hedg fence, are almost the only kind you see, no Cattle at large without a herdsman, the oxen are small, but the Cows and Sheep very large, such as I never saw before. When we arrived at the end of our Stage; we discharge the first carriages, call for New ones which will be ready in a few moments after you issue your orders. Call for Breakfast. You have it perhaps in ten moments for ten people, with the best of attendance and at a reasonable price.
Canteburry is a larger town than Boston, it contains a Number of old Gothick Cathedrals, which are all of stone very heavy, with but few windows which are grated with large Bars of Iron, and look more like jails for criminals, than places designd for the worship of the { 370 } deity. One would Suppose from the manner in which they are Gaurded, that they apprehended devotion would be stolen. They have a most gloomy appearence and realy made me shudder. The Houses too have a heavy look being chiefly thatched roofs or coverd with crooked brick tile. Now and then you would see upon the road a large woods looking like a Forest, for a whole mile inclosed with a high Brick Wall or cemented stone, an enormous Iron gate would give one a peep as we passt of a large pile of Building, which lookd like the castles of some of the ancient Barons; but as we were strangers in the Country, we could only conjecture what they were, and what they might have been.
We proceeded from Canterburry to Rochester about 15 miles,23 an other pretty town, not so large as the former, from thence to Chatam where we stoped at a very Elegant Inn to dine. As soon as you drive into the yard you have at these places as many footmen round you as you have Carriages, who with their politest airs take down the step of your Carriage assist you out, inquire if you want fresh horses or carriages; will supply you directly, Sir, is the answer. A well dresst hostess steps forward, making a Lady like appearence and wishes your commands. If you desire a chamber, the Chamber maid attends; you request dinner, say in half an hour, the Bill of Fare is directly brought, you mark what you wish to have, and suppose it to be a variety of fish, fowl, meat, all of which we had, up to 8 different dishes; besides vegetables. The moment the time you stated, is out, you will have your dinner upon table in as Elegant a stile, as at any Gentleman's table, with your powdered waiters, and the master or Mistress always brings the first Dish upon table themselves. But you must know that travelling in a post Chaise, is what intitles you to all this respect.
From Chatham we proceeded, on our way as fast as possible wishing to pass Black Heath before dark. Upon this road, a Gentleman alone in a chaise past us, and very soon a coach before us stoped, and there was a hue and cry, a Robbery a Robbery. The Man in the chaise was the person robbed and this in open day with carriages constantly passing. We were not a little allarmed and every one were concealing their money. Every place we past, and every post chaise we met were crying out a Robbery. Where the thing is so common I was Surprized to see such an allarm. The Robber was pursued and taken in about two miles, and we saw the poor wretch gastly and horible, brought along on foot, his horse rode by a person who took him; who also had his pistol. He looked like a youth of 20 only, { 371 } attempted to lift his hat, and looked Dispair. You can form some Idea of my feelings when they told him aya, you have but a short time, the assise set next Month, and then my Lad you Swing. Tho every robber may deserve Death yet to exult over the wretched is what our Country is not accustomed to. Long may it be free of such villianies and long may it preserve a commisiration for the wretched.
We proceeded untill about 8 oclock. I was set down at Lows Hotel in Covent Gardens, the Court end of the Town. These Lodgings I only took for one night untill others more private could be procured as I found Mr. Adams was not here, I did not wish such expensive appartments. It was the Hotel at which he kept when he resided here.24 Mr. Spear set out in quest of Mr. Smith, but he had received intelligence of my comeing out with Capt. Lyde and had been in quest of me but half an hour before at this very place; Mr. Spear was obliged to go first to the custom house, and as good fortune would have it, Mr. Smith and Mr. Storer, were near it and saw him allight from the coach, upon which he informd them of my arrival. Tho a mile distant, they set out upon a full run (they say) and very soon to our mutual satisfaction we met in the Hotel. How do you and how do ye? We rejoice to see you here, and a thousand such kind of inquiries as take place between Friends who have not seen each other for a long time naturally occured.
My first inquiry was for Mr. Adams. I found that my son had been a month waiting for my arrival in London, expecting me in Callighan, but that upon getting Letters by him, he returnd to the Hague. Mr. Smith had received a Letter from his Father acquainting him that I had taken passage in Capt. Lyde. This intelligence he forwarded three days before I came,25 so that I hourly expect either Mr. Adams or Master John. I should have mentiond that Mr. Smith had engaged lodgings for me; to which Mr. Storer and he accompanied me this morning after paying a Guiney and half for tea last evening and Lodging and Breakfast, a coach included; not however to carry me a further distance than from your House to our own; the Gentlemen all took less expensive lodgings than mine, excepting Dr. Clark who tarried with us, said he would not quit us untill we were fixed in our present Hotel, the direction to which is Osbornes new family Hotel, Adelphi at Mrs. Sheffields No. 6. Here we have a handsome drawing room Genteely furnished, and a large Lodging room. We are furnished with a cook, chamber maid waiter &c. for 3 Guineys per week—but in this is not included a mouthfull of vituals or drink all of which is to be paid seperately for.
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I have little time for writing now, I have so many visitors. I hardly know how to think myself out of my own Country I see so many Americans about me; the first persons who calld to see me after my arrival here, were Mr. Jackson Mr. Winslow Warren Mr. Rogers Mr. Ward Boylstone, Mrs. Atkingson, and yesterday mor'g before I had Breakfasted,26 (for the fashonable hours of the city had taken hold of me, not out of choice but necessity Miss A[dams] having a hair dresser, I had directed Breakfast at 9 oclock—it was ten however, but those were early visiting hours for this fine city).27 Yet whilst I was Breakfasting who should be anounced to me; but Parson Walter and Mrs. Hollowell.28 Both appeard very glad to see me, Mrs. Hollowell treated me with her old affibily and engaged me to dine with her to day. Not says she to a feast, for we make none, but to an unceremonious family dinner. Luxery says she is the mode, but we know too, how to practise frugality and oconomey.
I am not a Little surprized to find dress unless upon publick occasions, so little regarded here. The Gentlemen are very plainly dresst and the Ladies much less so than with us. Tis true you must put a hoop on and have your hair dresst, but a common straw hat, no Cap, with only a ribbon upon the crown, is thought dress sufficient to go into company. Muslins are much in taste, no silks but Lutestrings29 worn but send not to London for any article you want, you may purchase any thing you can Name much lower in Boston. I went yesterday into Cheepside to purchase a few articles, but found every thing higher than in Boston. Silks are in a particular manner so. They say when they are exported there is a draw back30 upon them which makes them lower with us.
Our Country, alass our Country they are extravagant to astonishment in entertainments compared with what Mr. Smith and Mr. Storer tell me of this. You will not find at a Gentlemans table more than two dishes of meat tho invited several days before hand. Mrs. Atkinson went out with me yesterday and Mrs. Hay to the shops. I returnd and dined with Mrs. Atkinson by her invitation the Evening before, in company with Mr. Smith Mrs. Hay Mr. Appleton.31 We had a turbot; a Soup and a roast leg of Lamb, with a cherry pye. I was more gratified by the social friendly stile in which I was treated than if a sumptuous feast had been set before me. Mr. Goreham, Dr. Parker, Mr. Bromfeild,32 a Mr. Murray from the Hague came to see { 373 } me yesterday morning, and when I returnd last evening I found cards left by a Number of Gentlemen, Some of whom I knew others I did not. But knowing Mr. Adams and being Americans they calld to make their compliments. Prentice Cushing I met with yesterday at Mr. A[tkinson']s. I am going to day to see Mr. Copeleys pictures. I am told he has an Excellent likeness of Mr. Adams. Mr. Murray informd me that he left Mr. Adams last fryday, excessively anxious for my arrival; he had removed Mr. Dumas and family in expectation of my comeing:33 says John with whom he went to the Hague, was melancholy when Callihan arrived without me, and Mr. Adams more so; I have sent to day by the post34 to acquaint him with my being here, but hope every hour to see him or Master John. The wind has prevented the arrival of the post.
The city of London is pleasenter than I expected, the Buildings more regular the streets much wider and more Sun shine than I thought to have found, but this they tell me is the pleasentest season to be in the city. At my lodgings I am as quiet as any place in Boston, nor do I feel as if it could be any other place than Boston. Dr. Clark visits us every day, says he cannot feel at home any where else, declares he has not seen a handsome woman since he came into the city, that every old woman looks like Mrs. Haley35 and every young one like, like the d—l. They paint here, near as much as in France, but with more art, the head dress disfigures them in the Eye of an American. I have seen many Ladies; but not one Elegant one since I came; there is not to me that neatness in their appearence which you see in our Ladies.
The American Ladies are much admired here by the Gentlemen, I am told, and in truth I wonder not at it. O my Country; my Country; preserve; preserve the little purity and simplicity of manners you yet possess. Believe me, they are jewells of inestimable value.
The softness peculiarly characteristick of our sex and which is so pleasing to the Gentlemen, is Wholy laid asside here; for the Masculine attire and Manners of Amazonians.
This moment a very polite card is deliverd me from Mrs. Hallowell desireing me to remove my lodging to her House whilst I continue in London—to which I have replied with thanks excuseing myself, that I am very well accommodated and in hourly expectation of my son, not the less obliged however by her politeness. Mr. Ellworthy36 I have not yet seen, tho I have had Several Messages from him. This is not oweing to inattention in him, but to being informd that every { 374 } thing was done for me before my arrival which I stood in need of. Our ship is not yet got up the Channel.37 What a time we should have had of it, if we had not landed.
Mr. Smith expects to sail on Monday or twesday, I shall keep open this Letter untill he goes. Let Sister Shaw see it, and read such parts as you think proper to the rest of our Friends, but do not let it go out of your hands. I shall not have time to write to the rest of my Friends, they must not think hardly of me. I could only repeat what I have here written, and I think it is best to have the whole Bugget38 together. Besides Nabby writes to all her acquaintance39 which must answer for me. Remember me to them all, first to my dear and aged parent,40 to whom present my duty—to Dr. Tufts to my Aunt41 to Uncle Quincy to Mr. Wibird, to all my Friends and Neighbours. Tell Mrs. Feild that Ester is very well that She sleeps in the Same Chamber with me; and keeps in it constantly, Which I chuse rather than that She Should mix below with Dick Tom and Harry whom I know nothing of. My drawing room and Chamber are up one pair of stairs. Into a closet by my chamber, water is conveyd by pipes, and as there is not half an inch of Ground unoccupied we have no occasion to go out of our rooms, from one week to an other, for by ringing the bed chamber bell, the Chamber Maid comes; and the drawing room Bell brings up the other waiters; who when you go out attend you from the Stairs to the Carriage, the Land Lady waiting at the foot to recive you, and so again upon your return. This is the stile of the Hotels.
I went yesterday accompanied by Mr. Storer and Smith to Mr. Copelys to see Mr. Adams picture. This I am told was taken at the request of Mr. Copely and belongs to him. It is a full Length picture very large; and a very good likeness. Before him stands the Globe: in his hand a Map of Europe, at a small distance 2 female figures representing peace and Innocence.43 It is a most Beautifull painting. From thence we went to what is calld Mr. Copelys exhibition. Here is the celebrated picture, representing the death of Lord Chatham in the House of Commons, his 3 Sons round him, each with strong expressions of Grief and agitation in their countanances. Every Member is crouding round him with a mixture of surprize and distress.44 I saw in this picture, what I have every day noticed since I came here, a Strong likeness of some American, or other, and I can scarcly persuade myself, but what I have seen this person, that and the other
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before, there countanances appear so familiar to me, and so strongly mark our own Decent.
There was an other painting which struck me more than this. It is the death of Major Peirson the particulars account of which I inclose to you;45 I never saw painting more expressive than this. I lookt upon it untill I was faint, you can scarcly believe but you hear the groans of the sergant who is wounded and holding the hankerchief to his side, whilst the Blood Streams over his hand. Grief dispair and terror, are Strongly marked, whilst he grows pale and faint with loss of Blood. The officers are holding Major Peirson in their Arms, who is Mortally wounded, and the black servant has leveld his peice at the officer who killd him. The distress in the countanance of the women who are flying, one of whom has a Baby in her Arms, is Beautifully represented. But my discriptions, of these things give you but a faint resemblance of what in reality they are.
From thence I went to see the celebrated Mrs. Wright,46 Mr. Storer, and Smith, accompanying us. Upon my entrance (my Name being sent up) she ran to the Door, caught me by the Hand, “Why is it realy and in truth Mrs. Adams, and that your daughter? Why you dear Soul you, how young you look! Well I am glad to See you, all of you Americans! Well I must kiss you all.”47 Having passt the ceremony upon me and Nabby, she runs to the Gentleman. “I make no distinction,” says she, and gave them a hearty Buss, from which we had all rather have been excused; for her appearence is quite the slattern. “I love every body that comes from America,” says she, “here,” running to her desk, “is a card I had from Mr. Adams. I am quite proud of it, he came to see and made me a noble present, dear creature I design to have his Head.” “There,” says she pointing to an old Man and women who were sitting in one corner of the room, “is my old Father and Mother. Dont be ashamed of them because they look so. They were good folks,” (these were there figures in wax work), “they turnd quakers and never would let their children eat meat, and that is the reason we were all so injenious; you had heard of the ingenious Mrs. Wright in America I suppose.” In this manner She ran on for half an hour. Her person and countanance resemble an old maiden in your Neighbourhood Nelly Penniman, except that one is neat, the other the Queen of sluts, and her tongue runs like, Unity Badlams.48 There was an old Clergyman sitting reading a paper in the midle of the room, and tho I went prepaird to See strong representations of real Life, I was effectually deceived in this figure for 10 minuts, and was finally told that it was only Wax.
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From Mrs. Wrights I returnd to my Hotel, dresst and at 4 went to dine with Mrs. Hollowel; he had in the morning been to see me and Mr. Thomas Boylstone, both of whom urged me to take up my Lodgings with Mrs. Hollowell. I chose to decline, but went and dined with them, here I found Parson Walter. We had a handsome dinner of salt fish pea soup Boild fowl and tongue roast and fry'd Lamb, with a pudding and fruit. This was a little in the Boston stile. Mr. Smith and Storer dined with us. Mr. Hollowell lives handsomely, but not in that Splendour which he did in Boston. On Sunday I engaged to take a Coach for the day which is only 12 and 6 pence sterling, and go to church to the foundling Hospital, Mrs. Atkingson Smith and Storer with me.
Well my dear sister if you are not tired with following me I will carry you to the Foundling Hospital49 where I attended divine service yesterday morning. Realy glad I was, that I could after so long an absence, again tread the Courts of the most high and I hope I felt not unthankfull for the mercies I had received.
This Hospital is a large Elegant Building situated in a Spot as airy, and much more Beautifull than Boston Common. The chapel which is upon the second floor is as large as <where Mr. Apely> what is called the Old South with us. There is one row of Galleries: upon the floor of this Chapel there are rows of seats; like [a] concert hall; and the pulpit is a small ornamented Box near the center. There were about 2000 person, as near as I could guess, who attended. In the Gallery, opposite to where I set, was the organ loft, upon each side an allcove; with Seats, which run up like a piramid. Here the foundlings sat, upon one side the Boys; upon the other the Girls, all in uniform, none appeard under 5 nor any older than 12, about 300 attended the service. The uniform of the Boys was a brown cloth with a red coller and a red stripe upon the shoulder. The Girls were in brown with a red Girdle round the Waist, a checked stomacher and apron sleaves turnd up and white cloth caps with a Narrow lace, clean and neat as wax. Their governessess attended with them. They performd the vocal Musick, one Man, and Woman, upon each side the organ; who sang an Anthem; both blind, and educated at this foundling hospital. When we came down we went into the dining rooms which were upon each side the assent into the Chaple; here the tables were all arranged, and the little creatures curtssying and smiling; some as sweet children as ever you saw. There is an inscription over the door { 378 } in gold Letters—Can a Mother forget her Sucking child &c. In a hall are placed the pictures of many noted Benefactors and founders of this institution (I should have mentiond that the chaple windows are painted Glass, the Arms, and Names of the most distinguishd Benefactors are in the Different Squares of the Glass). We were Shewn into their bed Chambers which are long airy chambers with 10 or 15 windows in each; and about 50 or 60 beds placed in rows upon each side; coverd with blew and white furniture check. At the head of the Chamber is a bed for the Governess. When you have seen one of them you have a specimin of the whole.
I dined with Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson in company with Mr. Jackson, Smith &c. Mr. Atkinson is a very modest worthy Man and Mrs. Atkinson a most amiable woman, you see no parade no ceremony. I am treated with all the kindness of a sister, in as easy a way as I could wish. As I took the Carriage for the day; after forenoon service, we rode out to see Mrs. Atkinsons twins, who are at Nurse at Islington; about 2 miles from the city. It is a fine ride. We went through a Number of the great Squares. Portland Square is one of the finest. In short the representations which you and I, amused ourselves with looking at, not long ago, are very near the Life. When we returnd we dined, and at six oclock went to the Magdeline Hospital,50 which is 3 miles from where I dined, for this is a Monstrous great city. We were admitted with a ticket, this assembly was very full and crouded. Yet no Children or Servants are admitted. In Short I begin to hope that this people are more Serious and religious than I feard they were. Their is great decorum and decency observed, here are only two small Galleries which hold the unhappy beings who are the Subjects of this Mercifull institution. Those who attend the Service, are placed upon seats below like [a] concert Hall. The Building is about as large again as Braintree Church, in a most delightfull Situation surrounded by weeping Willows. All the Publick Buildings here have large open spaces arround them, except those churches which are in the Heart of the city. I observed upon going in; a Gallery before me railed very high and coverd with Green canvas. Here set these unhappy women screened from publick view. You can discern them through the canvas, but not enough to distinguish countenances. I admired the delicacy of this thought. The Singing was all performd by these females accompanied with the organ. The Melancholy melody of their voices, the Solemn Sound of the organ, the serious and affecting discourse of the preacher together with the Humiliating objects before me, drew tears from my Eyes. The Chapel to these appart• { 379 } ments is always in the Heart of the building, the dinning working and lodging appartments surround them.
Returnd about 8 oclock, found many cards left for me, some from Virginians some from Marylanders some from Conneticut. Col. Trumble has call'd twice upon me but I was so unfortunate as not to be at home. Amongst the Americans who calld yesterday to see me during my absence was Mr. Joy.51 He left his Name and direction with a polite Billet, inviteing me to dine with him a twesday if I was not engaged, and if I was the first day I was disengaged. I have replied to him that I will wait upon him on wednesday. Invited by Mr. Jackson [and] by Mr. Murray to the play this evening, declined going in hopes my best Friend will be here to attend me very soon. Besides have no cloaths yet which will do. No Mail from Holland yet arrived. The wind has been so contrary that two are now due. Dr. Clark our constant and daily visitor is just come in to drink tea with me; Mr. Smith and Storer are here great part of the day. Captain Lyde did not get up the Channel untill Sunday; so that I have no occasion to repent landing when I did. Contrary winds and bad weather prevented his comeing up only with the tide; his vissel too like to have been sunk by a Collier running foul of him, they did him a good deal of damage. These are vessels that take pleasure in injureing others. He told me many dismall stories about comeing up the Channel, which made me determine to Land at any rate.
On Saturday Mr. Elworthy calld upon me, and tenderd me any service I could wish for; I thanked him, but Mr. Smith Storer and Dr. Clark render any other assistance necessary, as either and all of them are ready and willing to oblige me. On Sunday morning Mr. and Mrs. Elworthy, came to see me. She is a very agreeable Women, and looks like one of us, that she had more of our American neatness about her than any Lady I have seen, for I am yet so unpolite as not to be reconciled to the Jaunty appearence, and the Elegant Stoop. There is a rage of fashion which prevails here with dispotick Sway, the coulour and kind of silk must be attended to; and the day for putting it on and of, no fancy to be exercised, but it is the fashion and that is argument sufficient to put one in, or out of countanance. I am comeing on half way; I Breakfast at 9 and dine at 3 when at home, but I rise by six. I am not obliged to conform in that, but the other hours I am forced to submit to upon account of company. This morning Dr. Clark and Col. Trumble are to Breakfast with me. I long for the hour when I shall set of, for the Hague or see Mr. Adams here; I meet with so many acquaintance <here>; that I shall feel loth { 380 } to quit the city, upon that account. There are no Americans in Holland and the language will prevent any Sociability but what I find in my own family. But having a house, Garden, and Servants, at command, feeling at home will in some measure compensate for the rest. I have a journey of 80 miles to make to Margate52 before I can embark, and as soon as Mr. Jefferson arrives suppose we must go to France. I have not executed your orders with regard to Sattin because upon inquiry I find you can Buy cheeper with you; I have not found any thing except shoes that are lower. Such a sattin as my black you must give as much sterling for a yard as I gave lawfull Money. No silk but Lutestring and those which are thinner are worn at this Season; mode cloaks Muslin and Safnet, Gauze Hats Bonnets and ribbons—every thing as light and thin as possible, different gowns and skirts. Muslin Skirts flounced; chintz with Borders, white, with a trimming that looks like Gartering. The Silk which is most in taste is what is calld new mown Hay, the pattern I inclose and this part of the Letter is for the tastety53 folks of my acquaintance. Mr. Smith brings home a Specimin of the Newest fashion hats.
Determined to Tarry at home to day and see company. Mr. Joy came in and Spent an hour. He is the Same pleasing Man you formerly knew him, that Bashfull difidence is supplied by a manly confidence, and acquaintance with the world has given ease and politeness to his Manners; he realy is quite the accomplished Gentleman, bears a very good Character, has made a great deal of Money, and married a Yorkshire Lady of a handsome fortune about [3?] months since. He again repeated his invitation to me, to dine with him accompanied by Mr. Smith. Tomorrow I go. Many Gentleman have called upon me this forenoon so that I have only time to dress before dinner, which I order at an earlier hour than the London fashion; at 3 is my hour and Breakfast at 9. I cannot dine earlier because from nine till 3 I am subject to company. From the hours of 3 till 5 and 6 I am generally alone, or only Mr. Smith or Storer here to whom I am never denied. The servant will frequently come and ask me if I am at home!
I have walked out to day for the first time, and a Jaunt Mr. Storer has led me. I shall not get the better of it for a week. The walking is very easy here, the sides of the street being wholy of flat stones, and the London Ladies walk a great deal, and very fast. My walk out, and { 381 } in was only four miles, judge you then what an Effect it had upon me. I was engaged to dine out. I got home at one but was obliged to lie upon the bed an hour, and have not recoverd it yet.
At four I was obliged to go out. Mr. Joy lives 3 miles from where I lodge, the house in which he lives is very Elegant; not large but, an air of taste and neatness is seen in every appartment.
We were shewn into the drawing room where he waited us at the door, and introduced us to his Lady and her sister.
She is quite young, delicate as a lily, modest and diffident, not a London Lady by any means. After we had dinned, which was in company with 5 American Gentlemen, we retired to the drawing room, and there I talked off the Ladies reserve, and she appeard agreeable. Her dress pleased me and answerd to the universal neatness of the appartments furniture and entertainment. It was a delicate blew and white copper plate calico with a blew Lutestring skirt flounced, a Muslin Apron and a hankerchief, which are much more worn than Gauze; her hair a fine black, drest without powder; with a fashionabl cap, and Straw ribbons, upon her head and Breast, with a Green Moroco Sliper. Our dinner consisted of fryed fish of a small kind; a boiled ham a fillet of veal a pair of roast ducks an almond pudding; current and goose berries, which in this country are very fine. Painted Muslin is much worn here, a straw hat, with a deep Crown lined, and a white Green, or any coulourd ribbon you chuse. I returnd and found a Number of Cards left from Gentleman who had called during my absence. To morrow I am invited to dine again with Mr. Atkingson and Lady. I feel almost ashamed to go again, but not being otherways engaged they insist upon it. It is a thanksgiving day, for the Peace. I design to hear Mr. Duchee who officiates at the Assylum or orphan house.54
I found myself so unwell that I could not venture to day into a crouded assembly. My walk Yesterday gave me a pain in my head, and stiffned me so that I can scarcly move. Nabby too has the London cold, which they say every body experiences who comes here. But Mr. and Mrs. A[tkinson] would not excuse my dinning with them and Charly [Storer] came for us. We went and found the same friendly hospitable attention, nothing more on account of the day, a neat pretty dinner consisting of two dishes and vegatables. After dinner returnd the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Elworthy who were very glad to see me. Mr. Elworthy carried us to Drapers Hall. This is a magnificent { 382 } Building belonging to a company of that people, to which is [attached] a most Beautifull Garden, to walk.55 In some of these places; you would think yourself in a land of enchantment. It would just Suit my dear Betsys romantick fancy. Tell her I design very soon to write to her; it shall be a discription of some pretty Scene at the Hague, and Lucy shall have a Parissian Letter.56 But writing to one, I think I am writing to you all.
To day my dear Sister I have determined upon tarrying at home in hopes of seeing my Son; or his Pappa; but from a hint dropt by Mr. Murray I rather think it will be my Son, as political reasons will prevent Mr. Adams'es journey here. Whilst I am writing a servant in the family runs puffing in, as if he was realy interested in the matter. “Young Mr. Adams is come.”57 “Where where is he,” we all cried out? “In the other house Madam, he stoped to get his Hair dresst.” Impatient enough I was, yet when he enterd, (we have so many Strangers), that I drew back not realy believing my Eyes—till he cried out, “Oh my Mamma! and my dear Sister.” Nothing but the Eyes at first Sight appeard what he once was. His appearence is that of a Man, and in his countanance the most perfect good humour. His conversation by no means denies his Stature. I think you do not approve the word feelings, but I know not what to Substitute in lieu, or even to discribe mine. His sister he says he should have known in any part of the World. He inquired if his Cousin Betsy had received a long letter of Several pages which he wrote her in April.58
Mr. Adams chuses I should come to the Hague, and travell with him from thence. Says it is the first journey he ever lookd forward to with pleasure since he came abroad; I wish to set out on fryday, but as we are obliged to purchase a Carriage and many other matters to do, Master John thinks we cannot go untill the twesday after. In the mean time I shall visit the curiositys of the city, not feeling 20 years younger, as my best Friend says he does,59 but feeling myself exceedingly Matronly with a grown up Son on one hand, and Daughter upon the other, and were I not their Mother, I would Say a likelier pair you will seldom see in a summers day.
You must supply words where you find them wanting and imagine what I have left unfinished, for my letter is swelled to such a Bulk, that I have not even time to peruse it. Mr. Smith goes to morrow morning, and I must now close requesting you to make the distribution of the little matters I send as directed. Tell Dr. Tufts my dear { 383 } and valued uncle, and Friend, that I design to write to him by the next vessel.
Particularly remember me to Uncle Quincy to Mrs. Quincy and Nancy to all my dear Boston Friends. Tell Mr. Storer, that Charly is very good to me; and that walking with Nabby the other day; she was taken for his wife. Ask him if he consents? Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson treat me like a sister, I cannot find myself in a strange land. I shall experience this when I get to a country the language of which I cannot speak. I sincerely wish the treaty might have been concerted here. I have a partiality for this Country—but where my treasure is there shall my heart go.60 I know not when to close. You must write often to me and get Uncle Smith to cover to Mr. Atkinson, then where ever I am the letters will come safe. Adieu once more my dear sister and believe me most affectionately yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); docketed: “Voyage from America to England 1784.” Slight loss of text from wear at the edges.
1. Printed in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:154–166; hereafter cited as AA's Journal.
2. Job Field, for whom AA had obtained a place on the crew of the Active. Field was one of several prisoners of war from Braintree to whom JA had sent money out of his own pocket. Held in Plymouth, England, they were freed through a prisoner exchange in 1782, and returned to their Braintree homes (vol. 4:257, and note 3; AA's Journal, p. 155, and note 5).
3. Nathaniel Byfield Lyde of Boston.
4. Beriah Norton, colonel in the Dukes co. militia regiment and senator from that county (same, p. 155; Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston, 1896–1908).
5. Green was secretary to British Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot (AA's Journal, p. 155).
6. Dr. John Clarke, was the sixth in a line of notable physicians, all with the same name (Henry R. Viets, A Brief History of Medicine in Massachusetts, Boston, 1930, p. 39, 73).
7. Joseph Foster of Boston, a part owner of the Active (AA's Journal, p. 156, note 2).
8. Love Lawrence Adams, daughter of Rev. William Lawrence of Lincoln. Her husband Joseph Adams, a physician, was a loyalist refugee (same, p. 155; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:245).
9. Here and once in the following paragraph AA uses “cabbin” to mean “berth” (OED). In other places “cabin” means a room, and later in this same day's entry she refers to the “Great Cabbin” where the passengers ate and where the men slept at night. AA and her maid occupied two berths in one “stateroom,” here a sleeping room; Love Adams and AA2 had the two berths in the other stateroom. See under “Fryday [16 July]”; and AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 11 July, below.
10. Probably Abel Lawrence; he was then nearly thirteen years old (Vital Records of Lincoln, Massachusetts, Boston, 1908, p. 52).
11. Persons of the opposite sex who lay, at least partly clothed, in the same bed; this was a widespread courtship custom in eighteenth-century New England (OED). CFA Jr. provided the first full discussion of bundling, and quoted this passage, in “Some Phases of Sexual Morality and Church Discipline in Colonial New England,” MHS Procs., 2d Ser., 6:477–516 (June 1891), see p. 503–509.
12. Psalms 104:3.
13. Hannah More, an intimate of David Garrick, Dr. Samuel Johnson, and other literary figures of her day, published “Sir Eldred of the Bower” in 1776 (DNB).
14. That is, the Azores. If the position of the Active given in the dateline of this letter (44° N, 24° W) is accurate, AA was, on 6 July, some four hundred miles north, and already slightly east, of the Azores. See AA to Royall Tyler, 10 July, and AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 11 July, both below.
15. William Buchan, Domestic Medicine; or, the Family Physician, Edinburgh, 1769, with many later editions. See AA's Journal, p. 158 { 384 } and note 1. JA's library contains a 7 vol. French edition, 1781–1782, published in Geneva (Catalogue of JA's Library).
16. AA is describing phosphorescence, or more properly bioluminescence, caused by the slow oxidation of material found in certain marine organisms. See also AA's Journal, p. 164–165.
17. Opening quotation mark supplied. AA quotes Psalms 104:24, slightly altered; see also Psalms 139:14; Revelations 15:3.
18. 11 July, below.
19. See JA's characterization of a politician (to Benjamin Rush, 8 Feb. 1778, JA, Papers, 5:404).
20. AA2 compares Mr. Green to Oakes Angier in her letter to Elizabeth Cranch, 9 July, below. Angier had studied law with JA, ca. 1766–1768, and he remained a friend of JA's for many years, but AA took a dislike to him in 1774 (vol. 1:83, and note 4, 140–141).
21. It appears from the text that AA wrote the material from “Deal july 20” to this point at the inn at Deal, between taking lodging there and tea time. She wrote all of the material from this point to the end of the letter at “Osbornes new family Hotel, Adelphi at Mrs. Sheffields No. 6,” to which she moved, from “Lows Hotel in Covent Gardens,” on the morning of 22 July, her first full day in London.
22. Actually, river nymphs in Greek mythology (OED).
23. AA's geography is somewhat inaccurate here. If she was remembering a town about 15 miles toward London from Canterbury, it was probably Sittingbourne. Chatham and Rochester are close together, another ten miles west, toward London.
24. AA is imprecise and perhaps misleading here. It was at Osbourne's Hotel, in the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand (to which AA moved on 22 July; see the following paragraph), that JA and JQA stayed in the fall of 1783. David Low's hotel on the western side of Covent Garden, her first lodging, had opened in 1774 as London's first family hotel. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:148–149, note 1; Wheatley, London Past and Present. “Mr. Smith,” below, was AA's cousin, William Smith Jr., of Boston.
25. On 16 July, in a letter not found, William Smith Jr. sent JA the news that AA would arrive with Capt. Lyde; JA replied to Smith on 19 July (LbC, Adams Papers).
26. It would appear that all five persons visited AA before her late breakfast on 22 July, her first day at Osborne's Hotel. Daniel Denison Rogers, a Boston merchant, and his wife, Abigail Bromfield Rogers, had sailed for Europe in 1782, and lived mostly in England, where they became socially intimate with the Adamses, until their return to Boston in 1786 (vol. 4:343, and note 1). Elizabeth Storer Atkinson was Charles Storer's sister (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:213–214). On Ward Nicholas Boylston, see note 28.
27. The closing parenthesis is supplied; it could as plausibly follow “. . . hair dresser,” or perhaps “at 9 oclock.”
28. Mary Boylston Hallowell, first cousin of JA's mother, Susanna Boylston Adams Hall, was the mother of Ward Nicholas Boylston who had taken the Boylston name to obtain an inheritance from his uncle Nicholas Boylston (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:295, note 1). The Hallowells and Ward Boylston were loyalists, as was Rev. William Walter, also formerly of Boston. He had served Trinity Church in that town but fled with the British in 1776 and later went to New York to serve the loyalists there. At the war's end he migrated to Nova Scotia. In 1784 he was in London seeking compensation for his losses (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:111–121).
29. Dresses made of a light, glossy silk (OED).
30. A British import duty on silk that was refunded, in part, for goods that were re-exported to America (OED). Drawbacks had been a standard feature of certain import duties just before the Revolution, notably upon tea.
31. Katherine Hay, wife of Capt. John Hay, was the daughter of Daniel Farnham, a tory lawyer from Newburyport; the Adamses would see her again in Paris in September (JQA, Diary, 1:210–211, note 2). John Appleton, a merchant and son of the Boston merchant Nathaniel Appleton, had known JA and JQA in France and Holland in 1780 (vol. 3:390, note 1; JQA, Diary, 1:36, note 2).
32. Henry Bromfield Jr., a Boston merchant, joined two other American merchants to establish the firm of Sigourney, Ingraham, and Bromfield in Holland in 1781, and had known JA and JQA since that year or earlier (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:ix; JQA, Diary, 1:81, and note 1, 87).
33. C. W. F. Dumas, his wife and daughter had been living at the American legation building in The Hague (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:9–10, note 6).
34. AA to JA, 23 July, below.
{ 385 }
35. Probably Mary Wilkes Hayley; see Eunice Paine to AA and AA2, 7 July, note 4, below.
36. Husband of one of Richard Cranch's nieces; see AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July, below.
37. Here and below AA means the shipping channel of the River Thames; her earlier uses of “channel” referred to the English Channel.
38. That is, budget bag or pouch, or its contents (OED); see AA to Mary Cranch, 2 Aug., note 1, below.
39. The only AA2 letters written between June and Aug. 1784 known to the editors are two received by Elizabeth Cranch, of 9 and 30 July, both below.
40. That is, AA's mother-in-law, Susanna Boylston Adams Hall.
41. Lucy Quincy Tufts.
42. On this day, learning that Prentice Cushing was departing immediately for America, AA wrote a fairly brief letter to Mary Cranch; most of the text merely gives the contents of this letter in condensed form (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.). AA did, however, add a few details of her life in London. Speaking of JQA's friend William Vans Murray, she reported that he “entertains me with encomiums upon John, has some how, found my weak side (perhaps you will say that is not hard to do).” After referring to her visits to various London sites, she added: “I have refused going to any place of publick Amusement untill Mr. Adams comes, or Master John.” Finally, she described the furnishings of her room at Osborne's Hotel: “My drawing room and chamber are very Elegant. A light Green borderd with Gold a Soffa and red Morocco chairs with arms to them 2 card tables and a dining table with 2 Elegant Glasses make up the furniture of the room, in short nothing but the dust is wanting to have every thing Heart can wish.”
AA then resumed this journal letter, and sent it to Boston with William Smith Jr. at the end of the month (see under “fryday [30 July], ” below).
43. See Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. 23–27; JA to JQA, [post 6 June], note 3, above. Although Copley retained possession of the painting to have engravings made, it did not “belong to him”; JA had already paid for it. AA's description of the portrait is not entirely accurate: JA is not holding a map of Europe, and only one female figure is visible in the background.
44. This remarkable “history painting” caused an artistic and political sensation in London upon its public presentation in May 1781, and firmly established Copley's reputation in England. The artist based it on life portraits of over fifty individuals, all peers of the realm or relatives of Chatham. It dramatizes the final collapse of William Pitt the elder, earl of Chatham, during a debate on the war in America in the House of Lords (not Commons, as AA believed) on 7 April 1778. Chatham lived for another month as an invalid, but did not attend Parliament again. See Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1966, 2:275–291, and figs. 392–415. This painting is now in the Tate Gallery, London.
45. If AA is referring to a separate enclosure, it has not been found; she may simply be introducing her detailed description, below. Copley's “Death of Pearson,” a vivid recreation of the successful British repulsion of the French invasion of the island of Jersey on 5–6 Jan. 1781, was exhibited to great acclaim in May 1784. The American artist John Trumbull, who had just arrived in London in June, was deeply moved by this work. Trumbull's first history painting based on the American Revolution, “The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill,” presented in London in 1786, owed much to “The Death of Pierson.” See Prown, Copley, 2:302–310, and figs. 442–464. This painting is also in the Tate Gallery, London.
46. Patience Wright, a New Jersey Quaker, came to London in 1772, already skilled as a wax modeller. Her London “repository” of busts and full figures was soon well patronized by the king and queen, and the upper classes. During the American Revolution she had worked as an American spy, in close contact with Benjamin Franklin. Notable American Women.
47. The editors have supplied the quotation marks in this paragraph and added commas as needed.
48. JA makes several casual references to the numerous Penniman family of Braintree in the 1760s (Diary and Autobiography, vol. 4:index; see also Braintree Town Records). “Unity Bedlam is likely either Unity Moss Badlam (Bedlam), who had married Samuel Badlam of Weymouth in 1748, or her daughter, Unity, born in 1755, both of whom AA and her sisters would have known while growing up in Weymouth (Vital Records of Weymouth, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1910).
{ 386 }
49. Established in 1739, the Foundling Hospital enjoyed the patronage of noble women and the support of artists and musicians, among them Hogarth and Handel. The latter gave benefit concerts there and presented his manuscript of the Messiah to the institution. The chapel was completed in 1747. After 1760 the hospital ceased admitting foundlings and accepted only the illegitimate children of mothers who were known, and whose situation could be determined by the staff. Hugh Phillips, Mid-Georgian London, London, 1964, p. 205; Wheatley, London Past and Present.
50. Founded in 1758, Magdalen Hospital on Blackfriars Road was a refuge and place of reform for prostitutes. It accommodated about eighty women. Their singing for visitors behind a screen was a practice carried on well into the nineteenth century (Leigh's New Picture of London, London, 1834, p. 234).
51. Michael Joy, son of a loyalist Boston housewright, left Massachusetts with his parents when the British left Boston in 1776. The family settled in England, where Michael became a housebuilder, and later engaged in shipping and trade. Joy and several friends visited JA and his colleagues at Passy in May 1778. In the late 1780s he visited America and befriended Jeremy Belknap, whom he advised concerning the publication of Belknap's History of New Hampshire. Shortly thereafter, at Belknap's urging, he took an interest in the Massachusetts Historical Society, of which the became a corresponding member in 1816. The maiden name of Joy's wife was Hall (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:310–311; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:546–549).
52. A port at the northeastern tip of Kent, not far north of Deal, used for North Sea crossings to the Netherlands.
53. AA's spelling of “tasty,” meaning characterized by having good taste; now rare (OED).
54. Rev. Jacob Duché, former chaplain to the Continental Congress, became a loyalist in 1777, to JA's disgust, and promptly sailed for England. He returned to America in 1792. The Asylum, founded in Lambeth in 1758, was a refuge for orphan girls (JA, Papers, 3:245; 5:403, and note 4; Leigh's New Picture of London, p. 234).
55. The Draper's Hall, on Throgmorton Street near the Stock Exchange, was built in 1667 to replace the great house of Thomas Cromwell, owned by the Draper's Guild since the 1540s, but destroyed in the great London fire of 1666. The Hall was restored in 1774, following another fire, by the Adam brothers, builders of the Adelphi Buildings in which various Adamses stayed in 1783 and 1784. Wheatley, London Past and Present.
56. AA would write to Elizabeth Cranch on 1 Aug., from London, and to Lucy Cranch on 5 Sept., from Auteuil, near Paris, both below.
57. The editors have supplied the quotation marks in this paragraph and added commas as needed.
58. JQA to Elizabeth Cranch, 18 April, above.
59. See JA to AA, 26 July, below, delivered to AA by JQA.
60. See Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0205

Author: Paine, Eunice
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1784-07-07

Eunice Paine to Abigail Adams and Abigail Adams 2d

It is now the 7th. of July, the 18th. day Since we Saw You Quit our shores to seek a happier Climate. We perceived the Active passing as we went up to Publick worship, there we did not forget to ask favour for our friends (who had commited themselves to the Variable Elements) of him who alone Governeth. Our fondest wishes have been granted as far was we can yet know; a happier season for the Voyage has not been known. We kept your Journal from day to day. Fair winds and a plenty of it, but very little Sick, arrived on the Grand Bank by thursday &c. Imagination was please'd and while it was following you { 387 } felt satisfied, but awaking to the reallity that you was gone the Countenance Sadned. Time which is to be the restorer of our Union is yet Young. We hope pleasures from it as it advances. Tis a great want which we Sustain at present but an account of your Safe arrival and happy meeting of a Husband and Son will reconcile us to the Chasm here.
I pouted at my Knight1 last Evening for Letting Mr. Jefferson go without our knowlege but breakfasting with your Sister this morning heard there is another Vessel to sail this week. I have come home eager to improve the privilege you kindly afforded me to keep alive the remembrance which will Ever be dear to my almost desolated bosome. My visit to Mrs. Quincy and the company she introduced me to awoke many Ideas which have long Slept in darkness. I wisht to write from thence but the aparatus was disperst. Death and mariage have made very great alterations in the house.2 Mr. Guild was so good as to come the Evening after you Sailed and assured us that you were in good Spirits on board. We were next day refresst with your first report and fine hopes Sent by the pilot and we further hear that you were Seen a week out and going fast. These are our Consolations and my ardent wish is that this may find you in possession of all your heart can desire. Please to make my Love and best wishes acceptable to Mr. Adams and your Son. You have many more intelligent Correspondents. Therefore I withdraw, leaving you the Leizure you have from Novelty and parade to Enjoy the Testimonies of friendship which Every ship will be charged with from your desiring Americans. No materiel alterations have taken place Since your absence within my Knowledge. I shall be proud to add at any time to your intelligencies. This for the first from your much Obliged friend and servt
[signed] Eunice Paine3
And Now miss Nabby will you ask your mamas pardon for me that I tack on to hers a line for You. Tis to go a great way and among friends we may be prudent of making the packet too large. If I am Wrong instruct me and I shall be proud to be inform'd of any inaccuracy. My heart can never Err Essentialy toward your happy family, it is possest of so perfected an Esteem that a very little flightiness apart it Must ever Express the most proper truths. I hope I may congratulate you by the receipt of this of having been received into the arms of a Father and a Brother. Happy child—may Every circumstance be propitious to your warmest wishes. I fancy you at { 388 } the receipt of this in the midst of London. Tis not so warm as tis here I hope, but what can not Youth and firm health such as you Enjoy I trust Endure when all the Spirits are in tune.
Youll write by the first opportunity and give us somthing to say to Each other and to write to you. My Don is remarkably Silent. He galanted me up from the Lower house on my feet last Evening but I heard nothing of his Knight Errentry, he is not worth a pin. He has promisd me one of your Bottles of salts, perhaps when I am possest of that I may be able to rouse his Genious.
If you See or correspond with Charles Storer make my Compliments to him, tell him that I fear Mr. Butterfly has dipd his wings into Some Tempting Sweetmeats at St. Quintins and clogd them So that he Cannot Escape.
My imagination will perpetually wander after you, and very many Scenes do I divert myself with as asking by you, give us Some Specimens of real[i]ty to regulate fancy by. I greatly fear you cannot read my writing, tis worse than common I think when I woud wish to do best. Make your Papa acquainted with my very Unhappy Circumstance but assure him from me that notwithstanding these shackles of the body and Estate my Spirit is as vigorous as when he tho't it worthy his notice. Does this savour of vanity? If it does dark it out. My ill Expressed meaning will Yet remain.

[salute] Adeiu my Dear good Girl. Happiness attend you wherever you go says Your Ever mindfull

[signed] E. Paine
Poor Mrs. Holy4 balkd of her Exhibitions of fire works in independence Evening by the churlishness of the master of the Ceremonies, but youll hear more of it from abler pens. Da da.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Abigail Adams”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Miss E. Pa<y>ine July. 7th. 1784.”
1. This individual has not been identified; he may have been a member of Gen. Joseph Palmer's family, with whom Eunice Paine was living at this time. He is probably the man referred to as “my Don” in Eunice's letter to AA2, which she added to the text of this letter, below.
2. Col. Josiah Quincy died in March; his daughter Elizabeth married Benjamin Guild in May. Left in the colonel's home were his widow, Ann Marsh Quincy, and their daughter, Ann (Nancy).
3. Eunice Paine, the unmarried sister of Robert Treat Paine, was a friend of JA and AA from the 1750s; this is the first extant letter from her to any Adams since 1775. See vol. 1:197–198, 209–211; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:120–121, and note 25.
4. Perhaps Mary Wilkes Hayley, sister of the English politician John Wilkes. Mrs. Hayley visited Boston toward the end of the War for Independence, where AA had met and conversed with her (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:160, and note 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0206

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-07-09

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

No. 1
My Dear Eliza will be one of the first to inquire after the welfare of her friend. Nor shall she be the last unanswered. Thus far we have proceeded on our voyage with as good weather and in as good health as we could expect. We find many things disagreeable and many inconveniencies, which might have been remedied had we have known them. Others that are the necessary attendants of a sea Life which I assure you exceeds my expectations, in the disagreeable. Were I to give you an account of our passengers at this moment, I should not, perhaps do them the justice that they deserve—for I am a little out of humour with some of them. They are sivil—indeed—most of them. Mr. Green—who you had the felicity of seeing at Uncle Smith the morning we met, there, you may possibly recolect the first impression that I received, and I assure you that it has been gradually increasing in the same stile. If you had the same idea of Mr. Anger as I have, you would receive a just idea of this Man. In person, Manners, and disposition, he is the most exact resemblance, that it would be possible to draw. Judge you, how agreeable he is to me.1 The rest of our shipmates are tolerably agreeable. Dr. Clark has been a counterpoise to them all. To him we are indebted, for every sivility and attention that it is in the power of Man to offer. It seems as if he was providentially sent with us. Had we searched the whole circle of our acquaintance—or indeed the Whole State of Massachusets, this should have been the person that we should have made choice of. We have wanted his assistance in the line of his profession, and have received it, not as confering a favour but as contributing to our happiness. His humanity and benevolence would lead him to aleviate the distresses of every situation and every station of Life.
The first week we were sea sick the greater part of the time, and I assure it exceeds every idea that I had formed. Ester remained sick longer than any of us, but has now quite recovered. Briesler was very sick for a few days. That we were deprived of both their services, Job Feild, supplied the place of both and I think I never knew so good a nurse, as a Man. The gruel that Job made had a relish that no one else could give it. It seemed like being at home almost, to have so many of our own people about us. We have quite recovered any return of this disagreeable complaint.
{ 390 }
My friends will I doubt not judge that the new scenes that are presenting to me, will furnish me with many and copious subjects for letters. Let me assure them that, a life on Ship board, has so little variety and so few anecdotes Worth relating that I fear they will all be disappointed, oweing to the expectation they have formed. Observations on the weather and wind with the variation of the compass, and a few of the like remarks, make the importance, and variety, of a sea Life. Tis these little circumstances represented in an interesting manner that render them pleasing. I can only lament that it is not my talent.
Remember me Eliza to all my friends, every one of whom will claim an additional share of my remembrance, to My Grand Mamma in particular if I should not have time to write after my arrival. It is not in my power to particularize every one. To Lucy I shall write as soon as an opportunity presents. My Love to her, to your Brother, respects to your Pappa and Mamma, and believe me your friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch. Braintree”; endorsed: “NA july 9 1784 Ship board”; docketed in another hand: “Letter from Miss A Adams to Miss Eliza Cranch. On board Ship July 9 1784.”
1. See AA's equally negative description of Mr. Green, in which she refers to AA2's comparison of Green to Oakes Angier, under “Fryday [16 July]” in her letter of 6 July to Mary Cranch, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0207

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1784-07-10

Abigail Adams to Royall Tyler

[salute] Dear sir

As well in compliance with your request, as to gratify my own inclination I take my pen after 3 weeks absence to inquire after you: you have been frequently in my thoughts during this interval, and I have traced you in my imagination, Sometimes in one Situation, and sometimes in an other. I have fanci'd you riseing with the morning sun,

“And Sprin[g]ing from the bed of Sloth enjoying,

The cool, the fragrant, and the Silent hour

To meditation due, and sacred song.”

From then[c]e I have followed you to your professional employment, investigating the principals upon which the Law of Nature and Nations is founded, with pleasure have I seen your delight in the { 391 } company, and Society, of Grotius, Puffendorf, Bacon, Vatel and numerous other writers cal[c]ulated to inform the mind and instruct the judgment; not Superficially skimming, the surface which in every science Serves only to bewilder the understanding and creat pedants in literature, but resolving by a close and Steady application to become master of the Subject in which you engage. A want of learning is not so much to be dreaded, as errors and false judgment. Reflection is a pole Star which will point to truth; and the consideration of what you <ought> wish to be, will make you what you ought to be. True greatness has its seat in the heart, it must be Elevated by asspiring to great things and by dairing to think yourself capable of them.
Upon all occasions I have deliverd my sentiments to you with freedom; <and shall continue to do;> but it remains with you to give them energy and force. Your favorite Rochefoucault observes we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.2 If I could I would kindle in your Breast a spirit, of emulation, and ambition, that should enable you to shine with distinguished Brightness as a deep thinker a close reasoner an eloquent Speaker, but above all a Man of the strickest honour and integrity, for without these, the former would be only of temporary duration and the fame acquired by them would be like a faint metor gliding through the Sky, shedding only a trancient light, whilst the latter like the fixed stars never change their place but shine on to endless duration; here let me add the sentiments of a celebrated writer,
“Take care to have sentiments and thoughts worthy of you, virtue raises the dignity of Man, and vice degrades him. If one was unhappy enough to want an honest Heart, one ought for ones own Interest to correct it; nothing makes a Man truly valuable but his Heart, and nothing but that can make him happy, since our happiness depends only on the nature of our inclinations. If they are such as lead us to triffling passions, we shall be the Sport of their vain attachments. They offer us flowers, but says Montaign, always mistrust the treachery of your pleasures.”
And why all this grave advice my dear Madam to one who so well knows his duty? Aya my dear sir who of us practise so well as we know? Nobody take a reproof so kindly as he who deserves most to be commended; we are always in want of a Friend who will deal plainly and gently with us. “Be to our faults a little blind, be to our virtues ever kind.”3
Having followed you through some of your persuits by a parrelel { 392 } of opinion I conceive you interested in my happiness and Success. You have I doubt not traversed the Latitudes and Longitudes of my European voyage, now passing Cape Sable then the Grand Banks and next in succession near the Western Islands where I now am. Hitherto our voyage has been fortunate and the weather in general favourable. We were most severely afflicted with sea sickness for 8 or ten days. Many circumstances contributed to keep up the disorder, which might have been prevented by a cleaner ship and better accommodations; but custom which reconciles us to many untoward events, has renderd our habitation more tolerable, and some alterations for the better which have taken place in the oconomy of our dwelling, with the hopes of a speedy releasment from it serve to keep us in tolerable Spirits. I cannot think however that the ocean is an Element that a Lady can delight in; or that any thing less than necessity would tempt one to cross it. Considering we have a number of passengers brought together by chance rather than inclination, I esteem myself very happy in the collection; all of them married Gentlemen except one, and he said to be engaged: they are very civil and polite endeavouring all in their power to render the passage agreeable and pleasent to us. From Dr. Clark we have received every attention of a Gentleman and physician, both of which we stood in need of. The necessary forms of previous acquaintance <we> have <not felt the want of> been banished by the Benevolence of his disposition <has banished ceremony> and his Brotherly kindness, in short I believe he merits the Eulogyum of the most politely attentive married Gentleman I have known. Mr. Foster is a Gentleman whose manners are soft modest and pleasing. They all know what belongs to the decorum of Gentlemen and practise accordingly.
The Ships company is as peaceable and quiet as a private family, and Capt. Lyde the more he is known, will be the more valued. He has not all the polish of a fine Gentleman, but he has that which is more valuable to his passengers, a strikt attention to his Ship and a Humanity and kindness which his countanance does not promise.
Pray how does Braintree look, is the Season favourable? On ship Board we are almost frozen; the old camblet cloak is of Emminant Service upon deck to wrap round us, and our Baize gowns are rather thin without the addition of a cloak. Has not habit led you to visit the cottage altho deserted? Recalling to your rembrance what it once was; I have vanity enough to commisirate all your Situations, and Benevolence enough to wish my place happily supplied by pleasures from some other Scource.
{ 393 }
Remember me kindly and affectionately to all our B[raintree] Friends, to my Neighbours each one by Name, and be assured you have a share and that not a small one in the affectionate Regards of
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); marked on the back, in AA's hand: “To Royall Tyler Esqr.” RC not found.
1. If both this position and that heading the letter from AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above, are correct, the Active had by 10 July sailed northwest to a position about 200 miles north, and 100 miles west of its position on 6 July. This could have happened if the ship was taking a long tack in the face of steady winds from the northeast.
2. One of the over five hundred Maxims of François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, published in various editions during his life, beginning in 1665, and long after his death in 1680. JA bought a Paris 1777 edition in 1780. See Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Catalogue of JA's Library.
3. Opening quotation mark supplied. The sentence is adapted from Matthew Prior's “An English Padlock,” lines 79–80.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0208

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1784-07-11

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

This day 3 weeks I came on Board this Ship; and Heaven be praised, have hietherto had a favourable passage. Upon the Banks of Newfoundland we had an easterly Storm, I thought, but the Sailors say it was only a Brieze. We could not however sit without being held into our chairs, and every thing that was moveable was in motion, plates Mugs bottles all crashing to peices: the Sea roaring and lashing the Ship, and when worn down with the fatigue of the voilent, and incessant motion, we were assisted into our Cabbins; we were obliged to hold ourselves in, with our utmost Strength, without once thinking of closeing our Eyes, every thing wet, dirty and cold, ourselves sick; you will not envy our situation. Yet the returning sone, a smooth sea and a mild Sky dispelld our fears, and raised our languid heads.

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

In what far distant region of the sky

Hushed in deep Silence, sleep you when tis calm?”

There is not an object in Nature, better calculated to raise in our minds sublime Ideas of the Deity than the boundless ocean. Who can contemplate it, without admiration and wonder.

“And thou Majestick Main,

A secret world of wonders in thyself

{ 394 }

Sound his stupendous praise; whose greater voice

or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.”

I have contemplated it in its various appearences since I came to Sea, smooth as a Glass, then Gently agitated with a light Breize, then lifting wave upon wave, moveing on with rapidity, then rising to the Skyes, and in majestick force tossing our ship to and fro, alternately riseing and sinking; in the Night I have beheld it Blaizing and Sparkling with ten thousand Gems—untill with the devoute psalmist I have exclamed, “Great and Marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty, In Wisdom hast thou made them all.”2
It is very difficult to write at sea, in the serenest Weather the vessel rolls; and exceeds the moderate rocking of a cradle, and a calm gives one more motion, than a side wind going at 7 and 8 knots an hour: I am now setting in my State room, which is about 8 foot square, with two Cabbins, and a chair, which compleatly fills it, and I write leaning one Arm upon my cabbin, with a peice of Board in my lap, whilst I steady myself by holding my other hand upon the opposite Cabbin; from this you will judge what accommodations we have for writing; the door of my room opens into the Great Cabbin where we set, dine, and the Gentlemen sleep: we cannot Breath with our door shut, so that except when we dress and undress, we live in common. A sweet Situation for a delicate Lady, but necessity has no law: and we are very fortunate, in our company.
We have 6 Gentlemen passengers and a lad, Brother to Mrs. Adams whom I find a very agreeable modest woman. There are two State rooms; one of which I occupy with my Maid, the other Mrs. Adams and Nabby; when we first came on Board, we sufferd exceedingly from sea Sickness, which is a most disheartning disorder. This held us in some degree for ten days; and a more than ordinary motion will still affect us. The Ship was very tight, and consequently very loathsome. In addition to this our cargo was not of the most odorifferous kind consisting of oil, and potash, one of which leaked, and the other fermented, So that we had that in concert with the sea Smell. Our cook and steward is a laizy dirty Negro, with no more knowledge of his Buisness than a Savage. Untill I was well enough to exert my Authority, I was daily obliged to send my Shoes upon deck to have them Scraped: but the first time we were all able to go upon deck; I Summoned my own man servant, who before had been as sick as any of us; and sent him down with all the Boys I could muster; with Scrapers mops Brushes infusions of vinegar &c. and in a few hours { 395 } we found there was Boards for a floor. When we returnd, we scarcly knew our former habitation; since which I have taken upon me the whole direction of our cabbin, taught the cook to dress his victuals, and have made several puddings with my own hands. We met with a great misfortune in the loss of our cow, which has deprived us of many conveniences. The poor creature was so bruized in the storm which we had, that they were obliged to kill her the next day.
Our Captain is the very Man, one would wish to go to sea with, always upon deck a nights, never sleeps but 6 hours in the 24, attentive to the clouds, to the wind and weather; anxious for his Ship, constantly watchfull of his Sails and his rigging, humane and kind to his Men, who are all quiet and still as a private family. Nor do I recollect hearing him swear but once since I came on board, and that was at a vessel which spoke with us, and by imprudent conduct were in danger of running on Board of us. To them he gave a Broadside.3 Since that I have not wished to see a vessel near us. At a distance we have seen several sail. We came on Board mere Strangers to the passengers, but we have found them obligeing and kind, polite and civil, particularly so a Dr. Clark, who has been as attentive to us as if we were all his Sisters; we have profitted by his care, and advice, during our sea sickness when he was Nurse, as well as physician. Doctors you know have an advantage over other Gentlemen, and we soon grow fond of those who interest themselves in our welfare, and particularly so of those who Show tenderness towards us in our Sickness.
We have a Mr. Foster on Board, who is a very agreeable Man, whose manners are soft and modest, indeed we have not a dissagreeable companion amongst them, all except one are married Men. Dr. Clark is a great favorite of Nabbys. He found I believe, that the mind wanted soothing, and tenderness, as well as attention to the Body. Nobody said a word, nor do I know from any thing but his manner of treating her, that he suspected it,4 but he has the art of diverting and amuseing her, without seeming to try for it. She has behaved with a dignity and decorum worthy of her.
I have often my dear Sister lookd towards your habitation, since I left America; and fancied you watching the wind; and the weather, rejoiceing when a favourable Brieze was like to favour our passage, and lifting up a pious Ejaculation to Heaven for the Safety of your Friends, then looking upon the children committed to your care with additional tenderness. Aya why drops the tear as I write? Why these tender emotions of a Mothers Breast, is it not folly to be thus agitated { 396 } with a thought?—Nature all powerfull Nature! How is my dear Brother?5 He too is kindly interested in my welfare. “Says, here they are” and there they go. Well when is it likely we shall hear from them? Of a safe arrival I hope to inform you in ten days from the present; I will not seal my Letter but keep it open for that happy period, as I hope it will prove.
You must excuse every inaccuracy and be thankfull if you can pick out my meaning. The confinement on Board Ship is as urksome as any circumstance I have yet met with; it is what we know there is no remedy for. The weather is so cold and damp, that in the pleasantest day we can set but a little while upon deck. There has been no time so warm, but what we could bear our Baize Gowns over our double calico, and cloaks upon them whilst you I imagine are panting under the mid Summer heat. Tell Brother Shaw I could realish a fine plate of his Sallet, and when his hand is in a few of his peas; but not to day, I would not have him send them, as I am now upon a low Diet, for yesterday my dear Sister I was seazed with a severe fit of the Rheumatism, which had threatned me for several days before, occasiond I Suppose from the constant dampness of the ship. I was very sick full of pain a good deal of fever and very lame, so that I could not dress myself. But good nursing and a good physician, with rubbing, and flannel, has relieved me.7
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. The geographical coordinates given in the dateline are highly unlikely; the Active was probably at least 1000 miles north and 500 miles east of this position by this date (see AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, and note 14, and AA to Royall Tyler, 10 July, and note 1, both above; and AA's Journal, entries for 3 and 17 July, in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:162, 166). AA started this letter on Sunday, 11 July (see the opening sentence of this letter, and AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above, under “thursday 15 of july”). The text closely resembles the early parts of her 6 July letter, which should be compared for additional details and consulted for annotation. See also AA's Journal, in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:154–166; hereafter cited as AA's Journal.
2. Psalms 104:24.
3. This incident occurred on 3 July (AA's Journal, p. 162).
4. AA refers to AA2's sadness at departing from Royall Tyler; see AA's Journal, p. 160–161.
5. Rev. John Shaw, AA's brother-in-law. The opening quotation marks in the following passage would logically follow, not precede, “Says,” with the closing marks following “. . . them?”
6. AA says below that she came down with rheumatism “yesterday”; in her letter to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above, under “thursday 15 of july,” she says this attack occurred “yesterday morning.”
7. The opening sentence of AA's next letter to Elizabeth Shaw, of 28 July, below, states that this sentence did close this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0209

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

At length Heaven be praised I am with our daughter safely landed upon the British Shore after a passage of 30 days from Boston to the Downs. We landed at Deal the 20 instant, rejoiced at any rate to set our feet again upon the land. What is past, and what we sufferd by sickness and fatigue, I will think no more of. It is all done away in the joyfull hope of soon holding to my Bosom the dearest best of Friends.
We had 11 passengers. We travelled from Deal to London all in company, and tho thrown together by chance, we had a most agreeable Set, 7 Gentlemen all except one, American, and marri'd men, every one of whom strove to render the passage agreeable and pleasent to us. In a more particular manner I feel myself obliged to Mr. Foster who is a part owner of the Ship, a modest kind obliging Man, who [p]aid me every Service in his power, and to a Dr. Clark who Served his [t]ime with Dr. Loyd1 and is now in partnership with him. He took a kind charge of Nabby in a most Friendly and Brotherly way, shewed us every attention both as a Gentleman physician and sometimes Nurss, for we all stood in great want of both. My Maid was unfortunately sick the whole passage, my Man servant was so sometimes, in short for 2 or 3 days the Captain and Dr. who had frequently been to sea before, were the only persons who were not sea sick. Capt. Lyde is a Son of Neptune, rather rough in his Manners, but a most excellent Sea man, never leaving his deck through the passage for one Night. He was very obligeing to me. As I had no particular direction to any Hotel when I first arrived a Gentleman passenger who had formerly been in London advised me to [L]ows Hotel in Covent Garden, where we stoped. My first inquiry was to find out Mr. Smith, who I presumed could inform me with respect to you. Mr. Spear a passenger undertook this inquiry for me, and in less than half an hour, both he and Mr. Storer, were with me. They had kindly provided lodgings for me to which I removed in the morning, after paying a Guiney and half for tea after I arrived and lodging and Breakfast a coach included to carry me to my lodgings. I am now at lodgings at 34 and 6 pence per week for myself daughter { 398 } and two servants,2 my Man servant I left on Board the Ship to come up with it, but it has not yet got up. I drew upon you before I left America one Bill in favour of Dr. Tufts of an hundred pound Lawfull Money, 98 of which I paid for our passages. This Bill is to be paid to Mr. Elworthy. I drew for two hundred more in favour of Natll. Austin to be paid in Holland. One hundred and 80 pounds of this money I Shall bring with me to the Hague as I cannot use it here without loss, it being partly Dollors partly french crowns and French Guineys. Mr. Smith has advised me to this and tells me that what money I have occasion for he can procure me here. My expences in landing travelling and my first Nights entertainment have amounted to 8 Guineys. I had a few english Guineys with me. I shall wish to shelter myself under your wing immediately for the expences frighten me. We shall be dear to you in more senses than one. Mr. Jefferson I left in Boston going to Portsmouth where he designd spending a week and then to return to Newyork to take passage from thence to France. He urged me to wait his return and go with him to New York, but my passage was paid on Board Capt. Lyde, the Season of the Year was the best I could wish for, and I had no desire to take Such a journey in the Heat of summer. I thanked him for his politeness, but having taken my measures, I was determined to abide by them. He said Col. Humphries the Secretary to the commercial commission had sailed before he left Philadelphia,3 and that he did not doubt I Should find you in France. I have a Letter from him which I inclose4 and Several other Letters from your Friends.5 Mr. Smith thinks Master John will be here to Night from the intelligence he forwarded to you before I arrived. I do not wish to tarry a day here without you, so that if he comes I shall immediately set out, provided I have not to wait for the Ship to come up. How often did I reflect during my voyage upon what I once heard you say, that no object in Nature was more dissagreeable than a Lady at sea. It realy reconciled me to the thought of being without you, for heaven be my witness, in no situation would I be willing to appear thus to you. I will add an observation of my own, that I think no inducement less than that of comeing to the tenderest of Friends could ever prevail with me to cross the ocean, nor do I ever wish to try it but once more. I was otherways very Sick, beside Sea Sickness, but you must not expect to see me pined,6 for nothing less than death will carry away my flesh, tho I do not think I eat more the whole passage than would have sufficed for one week. My fatigue is in some measure gone of and every hour I am impatient to be with you.
{ 399 }

[salute] Heaven give us a happy meeting prays your ever affectionate

[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia London July 23. 1784.” Slight textual damage where the seal was removed. Notation below AA's signature, by JQA: “Accepted 2. Bills in favour of N. Austin Esqr. 1 of 70£ Sterling 1. of 40. 1st. of the set. dated June 19. 1784.”
1. Dr. James Lloyd of Boston; his son James became a classmate of JQA's at Harvard (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:184–193).
2. In her letter to Mary Cranch of 6 July, above, at the end of the section dated “[London, ca. 22 July],” AA stated that the charges were three guineas (63 shillings) per week, nearly double the amount given here.
3. AA perhaps misunderstood what Jefferson said. Col. David Humphreys accompanied Jefferson from Philadelphia to New Haven in May–June and then returned to New York, where he took the packet for France on 15 July, ten days after Jefferson sailed from Boston for England and France (see Elbridge Gerry to AA, 18 May, note 3, above).
4. That of 19 June (Adams Papers, printed in Jefferson, Papers, 7:309–310).
5. From John Thaxter and Mercy Otis Warren, both 1 June, Tristram Dalton, 16 June, Joseph Palmer, 16 June, and Samuel Adams, 20 June (all Adams Papers); and from Richard Cranch, 18 June, above.
6. To be wasted away, diminished in weight, through cares or suffering (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Letter of the 23d. has made me the happiest Man upon Earth. I am twenty Years younger than I was Yesterday. It is a cruel Mortification to me that I cannot go to meet you in London, but there are a Variety of Reasons decisive against it, which I will communicate to you here. Meantime, I Send you a son who is the greatest Traveller, of his Age, and without Partiality, I think as promising and manly a youth as is in the World.
He will purchase a Coach, in which We four must travel to Paris. Let it be large and Strong, with an Imperial,1 and Accommodations for travelling. I wish you to See the Hague before you go to France. The Season is beautifull both here and in England. The Journey here will be pleasant excepting an Hour or two of Sea sickness between Harwich and Helvoet Sluis. You may come conveniently with your two Children and your Maid, in the Coach, and your Man may ride on Horseback, or in the Stage Coach.
I can give you no Council, about Cloaths. Mr. Puller will furnish the Money you want, upon your Order or Receipt. Expences I know will be high but they must be born, and as to Cloaths for yourself and Daughter, I beg you to do what is proper let the Expence be what it will.
{ 400 }
Every Hour to me will be a Day, but dont you hurry, or fatigue or disquiet yourself upon the Journey. Be carefull of your Health.
After Spending a Week or two here, you will have to set out with me to France, but there are no Seas between, a good Road a fine season and We will make moderate Journeys and See the Curiosities of Several Cities in our Way—Utrecht, Breda, Antwerp, Brussells &c &c.
It is the first Time in Europe that I looked forward to a Journey with Pleasure. Now, I promise myself a great deal. I think it lucky that I am to go to Paris where you will have an opportunity to see that City, to acquire its Language &c. It will be more agreable to you to be there, than here perhaps for some time.
For my own Part I think myself made for this World.2 But this very Idea makes me feel for a young Pair who have lately seperated. If my Consent only is Wanting they shall be asunder no longer than they choose. But We must consult upon Plans about this. They have discovered a Prudence. Let this Prudence continue and All will be right by and by.

[salute] Yours with more Ardor than ever.

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JQA's hand: “Mr. Adams July 26th. 1784.”
1. A box or trunk for luggage attached to or fitted onto the roof of a coach (OED); JA describes its use upon his first mention of purchasing a coach, in his letter to William Smith Jr., 19 July (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. The text was omitted from this point to the end of the paragraph in JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:107.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0211

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1784-07-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

With the tenderest emotions of a father's heart, I congratulate you on your agreeable voyage, and happy arrival; and hope that your journeys in Europe, and your returning voyage to your own country, will be equally prosperous.
At your age, travels are pleasing and instructive. But that you may be able to derive the full benefit from them, let me recommend to you to keep a journal.
I have never had influence enough with your brother to prevail upon him to attend to this exercise, as pleasant as it is useful. But the punishment of this negligence is certain; if he lives sixty years, he will spend them all in continual repentance, and self-reproaches. A regular journal of his travels would be very valuable.2
{ 401 }
I cannot reproach myself, because my eyes have made it impracticable.3 With the utmost difficulty have I performed the writing, which my public duty required of me; and I may add, that my head and heart have been so occupied with necessary business, that objects of curiosity, and even the fine arts, had few attractions for me.
Your case and that of your brother are very different. In travelling with me, through the Dutch and Austrian Low Countries to France, you will have a great opportunity.4
In London you see one of those enormous masses of human nature, which exhibit to view its utmost extremes of grandeur and littleness, of virtues and vices, of wisdom and folly. In Paris you will see another; and all along between them, are countries and cities which will deserve your attention.
I need not say to you, that the end of travel, as well as study, is not the simple gratification of curiosity, or to enable one to shine in conversation, but to make us wiser and better.
The British Museum, Sir Ashton Lever's Museum, Wedgwood's Manufactory of Earthen Ware, Parker's Manufactory of Glass, I saw with great pleasure. You cannot see Mrs. Siddons, as she is absent. Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's Church you should see.5
But I presume you will not be long in England after your brother's arrival.

[salute] Hasten, my dear girl, as much as you can with prudence, to your affectionate father,

[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:3–5.)
1. The date is likely a printing or transcription error. JA did not know of AA2's arrival in London, on 20 July, until he received AA's letter of 23 July, which he answered on the 26th (both above).
2. For JA's first known exhortation to JQA to keep a diary, in 1778, and JQA's initially sporadic but often successful attempts to do so, from Nov. 1779 through Dec. 1783, see vol. 3:92–93, 224, note 1, 400, 425, note 1; JQA, Diary, 1:xxxvii–xli. On 8 Aug., after an eightmonth hiatus, JQA resumed his Diary, and after another lapse in the fall, he began keeping it regularly in Jan. 1785.
3. JA had complained of inflamed eyes and weak vision since 1774. See vol. 2:163, 243; vol. 4:37, 45; JA, Papers, 2:200, 404; 3:11, 49, 87; 4:413.
4. Compare JA's attitude here toward his own duty to perform “necessary business,” and his belief that AA2 and JQA had much greater cultural opportunities than he did, with his earlier celebrated observation that he “must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy . . . . in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine” (to AA, [post 12 May 1780], vol. 3:342).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0212

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
DateRange: 1784-07-28 - 1784-07-30

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

I think when I finishd the last page I was rubbing myself up on Board Ship.2 But this was not the only rubbing I had to go through, for here is the stay maker, the Mantua maker, the hoop maker, the shoe maker, the miliner and hair dresser all of whom are necessary to transform me into the fashionable Lady. I could not help recollecting Molieres fine Gentleman with his danceing master his musick Master &c.3 nor dispiseing the tyranny of fashion which obliges a reasonable creature to submit to Such outrages. You inquire of me how I like London. For particulars I refer you to sister Cranches Letter,4 but I charge you as you expect to hear again from me, not to expose it, or let any body see it, except Brother Shaw, who is one and the same with yourself. My Lads may read it if they please. I assure you my dear sister I am better pleased with this city than I expected. It is a large magnificent, and Beautifull city, most of the Streets 40 feet wide built strait, the houses all uniform, no [ . . . ] small tennaments, many fine open Squares where the nobility reside, and where most of the publick Buildings are Erected. I have been only to two or 3, the foundling Hospital where I attended divine service on sunday morning and to the Magdeline in the afternoon, of which you will find an account in the Letter to which I refer you. You will also learn from that all the particulars of my voyage and journey. Mr. Adams is not yet come from the Hague. I wrote him by the first opportunity, but the wind has been contrary ever since I arrived. He had removed the family which was in the House,5 out more than a month ago, and sent Master John to wait for my Arrival in Calihan where he expected I had taken passage. He tarried here a month and upon Callihans comeing went back, very low Spirited, and made his Father more so, I am told by a Gentleman who accompanied my son back, a Mr. Murray whom you will find mentiond in my Letter to sister Cranch. Americans from all Quarters are daily calling upon me, some of whom I know, and others whom I never saw; out of Respect I presume to Mr. Adams, or curiosity to see the wife and daughter. Amongst those of my American acquaintance who have calld upon me, is a Mr. Joy of whom you once had some knowledge. Nay Blush not my sister, he is still a Character that you need not blush at having an Esteem for.6 I was unfortunately not at home. He left his card with his Name, and direction and a polite { 403 } Billet requesting me to dine with him to day if I was not engaged, and if I was, the first day I was disengaged. He married a Yorkshire Lady and is in high esteem here. So tomorrow I dine with him, being the first day I have. I have received great politeness and attention from some of my (Tory) acquaintanc. Mr. and Mrs. Hollowell came to see me upon my arrival, invited me to dine with them, and then sent an invitation to me to take up my Lodgings with them whilst I resided in <town> the city, then sent and presst me to accept the offer, but I excused myself not chuseing on many accounts to encumber a private family, and having a large leavie, to Speak in Stile. I however accepted their invitation to Dinner, and was treated with a great deal of hospitality and kindness. Mrs. Atkinson [is like a sister to me?] and I have dined twice with her. Mrs. Hay I have dined with once. She lives a mile or two from the city. I was invited last Night to the play; but declined going for several reasons. Parson Walter amongst others has made me a visit.
Tis Nine oclock and I have not Breakfasted, for we dine at four and I am half dead. Dr. Clark one of my fellow passengers whom I mentiond before and Col. Trumble are to Breakfast with me, and here they are.
From nine till 2 I have not had a moment. Mr. Appleton, Mr. Joy Mr. Cushing Mr. Murray Mr. Storer and Smith have all been to make their morning visits. Morning in this country signifies from Nine oclock till 3 and from that hour till four, you are left to yourself to dress for dinner. I do not conform wholy, when I dine at my Lodgings, I have dinner at 3, but an earlier hour would Subject me to company. The buisness of this city is all done before dinner. I have never Supped abroad, Suppers are little practised here, unless upon publick invitations. Mr. Smith received a Letter from Mr. Adams last evening in replie to one he wrote him informing him that I had taken passage in Captain Lyde.7 He tells him that it is the most agreeable News Next to that of my certain arrival, gives some directions with regard to me, expects to be obliged to set out for France as soon as I reach the Hague. Before this; he has from my own hand, received an account of my arrival.8 This is wednesday; on fryday, I expect either Mr. Adams, or Master John, and this day week, I shall set of for the Hague. I design to see this week, Westminster Abbey, and the British Museum, together with Mr. Wests paintings. I have been to see a very Elegant picture of Mr. Adams which belongs to Mr. Copely, and { 404 } was taken by him, it is a larg full length picture. He is drawn with a Globe before him: the Map of Europe in his hand and at a distance 2 female figures representing Innocence, and Peace. It is said to be an admirable likeness.9 I went from Mr. Copelys to the Hay Market, to what is called Mr. Copelys exhibitions. These are open only for a certain Season: there are two or 3 most [beautifull?] paintings here, the death of Lord Chatham in the house of Lo[rds with?] likenesses of every Member, and an other picture more Strikeing [even?][th]an that. This was a picture of Major Peirson and the defeat of the [French?] Troops in the Island of Jersey. Mrs. Cranch will send you the account of this which I have inclosed to her. One is ready upon viewing these pictures to apply those Lines of Popes upon Kneller.

“Copely! by heavn and not a Master taught

Whose Art was Nature, and whose pictures thought;”10

Here is Mr. Storer come to Breakfast with me and then I am going out to Cheep Side; if to be found, but it is not this Side Boston I assure you; I am astonished to find that you can purchase no article here by retail but what comes much dearer than in Boston. I had heard these Stories; but never believed them before. I shall dine with Mr. Joy to day and when I return I will tell you all about our entertainment.
I went out yesterday as I told you I should; I had never been out before but in a Coach. Mr. Storer advised me to walk as it was a fine morning and the sides of the streets here are laid with flat stone as large as tile. The London Ladies walk a vast deal and very fast. I accordinly agreed to go out with him, and he led me a jaunt of full four miles. I never was more fatigued in my life, and to day am unable to walk across the room; having been on Board ship for some time, and never being used to walking: it was two miles too far for my first excursion; but if I was to live here I would practise Walking every day when the weather was pleasent. I went out at Nine and did not return untill one, when I was obliged to lye upon the bed an hour before I could dress me. In the mean time Mrs. Copely called upon me; and the Servant came up and asked me if I was at Home? The replie ought to have been no, but Ester not being yet accustomed to London Stile, replied yes. Fortunately Nabby was near dresst, so we past off Miss Adams, for Mrs. Adams, one being at home, the other not. You must know, having brought a concience from America with me, I could not { 405 } reconcile this to it, but I am told not [to be at?] home; means no more, than that you are not at home to company. [In?] London visitors call, leave a card, without even an intention, or des[ire of being?] company; I went to see a Lady; the Gentleman inquired of the servant if his Mistress was at home, the servant replied “no sir,” upon which he questiond the servant again, (this Gentleman was Husband to the Lady), upon which he stept out and return'd, “realy Mrs. Adams” Says he “She is gone out, and I am very sorry for it.”11
Well say you, but have you been yet to dine as you told me, with my old Friend? Yes I have: and was much pleased. This Gentleman retains all that pleasing softness of manners which he formerly possesst, in addition to these, he has all the politeness and ease of address which distinguish the Gentleman. He has been Married to a Yorkshire Lady about 3 Months, a Lady of fortune I am told. She has been Educated in the Country, and has none of the London airs about her. She is small, delicate as a Lily and Blushing as a rose, diffident as the sensitive plant which shrinks at the touch, their looks declare a unison of Hearts; Mr. Joy has made a great deal of money during the war and lives Elegantly, the dinning room and morning room were the most elegant of any I have Seen, the furniture all New, and had an air of neatness which pleased me; I am in Love with what I have seen of the London Stile of entertaining company. There were 4 American gentlemen who dinned with us. I would mention that fish and poultry of all kinds are extravagantly high here; we had a table neatly set, fish of a small kind, at the head; a ham in the middle, and a roast fillet of veal at the foot, peas and collyflower, an almond pudding and a pair of roast ducks were brought on, when the fish was removed, cherries and coosburries. One servant only to attend, but he a thorough master of his Buisness. This I am told was a much higher entertainment than you will commonly meet with at a Gentlemans table who has an income of 10 thousand a year. I have dined out Six times by invitation and have never met with so much as or so great a variety as yesterday at Mr. Joys table. This is a day set apart for publick thanksgiving for the peace. The Shops are all shut and there is more the appearence of Solemnity than on the Sabbeth, yet that is kept with more decency and decorum than I expected to find it. The Churches which I attended last Sunday were large, yet were they crouded. I was to have attended divine Service to day at the Assylum or orphan House where Mr. Duchee formerly of Philadelphia, and chaplin to Congress, officiates, but my walk yesterday and a bad head ack prevents me; for in this country they keep the doors { 406 } and windows shut; this in a crouded assembly is not only prejudicial to Health, but I soon grow faint; Nabby has taken a Sad12 cold by comeing out last Sunday from the Magdelin, tho we were in a coach; but tis the fashion they Say for all Stranger to have colds and coughs. I wonder not at it if they attend publick assemblies. It has not been warm enough, since I came into the city, to Set with the windows open, and for two Nights past I have had my bed warmed. Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson would not excuse us from dinning with them to day. Charles Storer calld for us about 3 oclock. This is a fine young fellow, uncorrupted amidst all the licentiousness of the age, he seems like a child to me; is as attentive and obligeing as possible. There is not a day when I do not have 10 to a dozen Americans to see me, many of the refugees amongst them. Mr. Leanard of Taunton13 made me a visit to day, assured me Mrs. Leanard would call upon me. Col. Norton Mr. Foster Mr. Spear Mr. Appleton Mr. Mason14 Mr. Parker have been our morning visitors. Dr. Clark comes 2 miles twice a day to see us, and is like one of our family. When say you do you write[?] Why I rise early in the morning and devote that part of the day to my pen. I have not attempted writing to many of my Friends, the Bugget is pretty much together. I have no leisure to coppy or correct, on that account beg I may not be exposed, for you know if one has a little credit and reputation we hate to part with it, and nothing but the interest which my Friends take in my welfare can possibly excuse Such a Scrible.
In the afternoon I called and drank tea with Mr. and Mrs. Elworthy to whom I had letters, and who very early called upon me. Mrs. Elworthy is a Neice of Brother Cranchs. They are Buisness folk, worthy good people, make no pretentions to fine living, but are of the obligeing Hospitable kind. He lives near a publick Building call'd Drapers Hall. The tradesmen of this Country are all formed into companys, and have publick Buildings belonging to them. This is a magnificent Eddifice at the end of which is a most Beautifull Garden surrounded by a very high wall, with four alcoves and rows of trees placed upon each side the walks: in the middle of the Garden is a fountain of circular form, in the midst of which is a large Swan; out of whose mouth the water pours; and is convey'd there by means of pipes under ground. Flowers of Various Sorts ornament this Beautifull Spot: when you get into these appartments and others which I have Seen similar; you are ready to fancy yourself in Fairy land, and the representations which you have seen of these places through Glasses,15 is very little hightned.
{ 407 }
Whilst we were at dinner to day a Letter was brought to Nabby from her cousin Betsy.16 You can form an Idea how pleasing it was to hear from home only 25 days since. Dear Romantick Girl, her little narative of her visit to the deserted cottage made me weep; my affection for which is not lessned by all the Magnificent Scenes of the city, tho vastly beyond what our country can boast. Mr. Jefferson had a very quick passage, and tho he saild a fortnight after me, arrived here only Six days after me. He landed at Portsmouth and is gone on for France; this I imagine will make an alteration in my excursion to the Hague, as my Friends here advise me not to go on, untill Mr. Adams is acquainted with Mr. Jeffersons arrival. I know he must go to Paris, and by going directly there much time fatigue and expence will be Saved.
Either Master John or his Pappa will be here to day, unless detained by the wind. Mr. Smith sets of tomorrow in order to embark for America, so that my Letter must Soon come to a close. I send a Book for my little Nephew, and as I am going to France, I think to purchase your lace there where it can be bought upon better terms than here. Remember me to Mr. Thaxter. Tell him he must write to me, and he will find me punctual in return.

[salute] My dear Boys I will write them if I can possibly. My Love to them. Remember me to Mr. Whites family and to Judge Sergants, to good Mrs. Marsh18 and all others who inquire after Your ever affectionate Sister

[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers). Some loss of words where the letter was folded.
1. AA's references toward the end of the long opening paragraph to Michael Joy's invitation to dine, and to the invitation that she received from Jonathan Jackson and William Vans Murray to attend a play (see AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above), date the first part of the text to 27 July.
2. See AA to Elizabeth Shaw, [11 July], concluding sentence, above. The pages of that letter were numbered 1 to 4, and of this letter, 5 to 11; the two letters were probably sent separately, but the lack of addresses or dockets on either letter leaves this in doubt.
3. Molière, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. JA's library has incomplete editions of Molière, in French, published in Paris, 1760, and London, 1784 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
4. AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above. The latter part of that letter supplies further details on most of the subjects treated below.
5. C. W. F. Dumas and his family.
6. The editors have found no other evidence suggesting a courtship or a close friendship between Elizabeth Smith Shaw and Michael Joy before the Joy family left Massachusetts in 1776, but Joy could have been the unidentified “Pollio” mentioned in Elizabeth Smith to AA, 8 Feb. 1774, vol. 1:96. Elizabeth Smith married Rev. John Shaw in 1777.
7. JA to William Smith Jr., 19 July (LbC, Adams Papers).
8. AA to JA, 23 July, above.
9. Compare this description with AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, following “Sunday morg july 25,” where AA says that Copley's portrait { 408 } “is . . . a very good likeness.”
10. With Copley substituted for Kneller, these are the first two lines of Alexander Pope's epitaph “On Sir Godfrey Kneller,” a German-born portrait painter of Britsh rulers and other prominent figures, who died in 1723. Pope's lines were inscribed on Kneller's monument in Westminster Abbey. DNB.
11. The editors have supplied the quotation marks in this paragraph.
12. Thus in MS.
13. In 1816, JA named Daniel Leonard, originally of Taunton, Mass., as one of his “three . . . most intimate Friends” seduced away by Gov. Thomas Hutchinson to the loyalist cause during the Revolution (the other two being Samuel Quincy and Jonathan Sewall). In 1774–1775, Leonard wrote the anonymous “Massachusettensis” letters, to which JA responded in his “Novanglus” letters of 1775. JA, however, did not know that Leonard was his antagonist until the 1820s. See JA, Papers, 2:217, 221–222.
14. Perhaps Jonathan Mason Jr. of Boston, who clerked in JA's law office briefly in 1776, and later became a Federalist state legislator, and a U. S. senator and congressman. A Mr. Mason visited JA in Paris in Nov.–Dec. 1782. See vol. 4:335, and note 6; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:58, 91; DAB.
15. Probably painted glass slides inserted into a magic lantern, a device of mid-seventeenth-century invention (OED, under “magic lantern”).
16. Not found; see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, below.
17. There is no break in AA's paragraph at this point, but her expectation of JQA's or JA's arrival suggests 30 July for this passage; William Smith Jr.'s departure “tomorrow” argues even more strongly for the 30th, since he was scheduled to depart, and did depart, on 31 July. AA2's receipt of Elizabeth Cranch's letter “to day” dates the composition of the beginning of the paragraph at 29 July. See AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above, under “fryday [30 July],” and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, below.
18. John and Sarah White, Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant, and Mary Marsh were all Haverhill residents, and all appear in JQA's letters written to family members from Haverhill in the fall of 1785, below, and in JQA, Diary, vol. 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0213

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-30

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I was this day made very happy by the arrival of a son in whom I can trace the strongest likeness of a parent every way dear to me. I had thought before I saw him, that I could not be mistaken in him, but I might have set with him for some time without knowing him.
I am at a loss to know what you would wish me to do, as Mr. Jefferson arrived last week at Portsmouth, immediately from Boston, altho he saild a fortnight after me, and went on to Paris.
Some of my Friends suppose that you would rather I should proceed from hence; and agree upon meeting at Brussels than make the journey first to the Hague. If I was to follow my own inclinations I should set off next twesday, but our son thinks I cannot come with convenience untill fryday. We have concluded upon this, to wait your replie to these Letters untill this day week, and come to the Hague or set of for Paris as you think best, or meet you at any place you may appoint. As to the article of cloathing I am full as much at a loss as you can possibly be. I have bought a Lutestring for myself and { 409 } Nabby which I have had made, and Nabby is equipt with a rideing dress, but I thought the fewer I purchased here the better, as I was so soon to go to Paris, where I suppose it will be necessary to conform to the fashion. If by comeing on first to the Hague, I could relieve you from any trouble, or render you any assistance, I will most cheerfully perform the journey, but Mr. Storer thinks it will be attended with less trouble and expence; which is a matter worth considering, to proceed with my family to Paris. The sooner we meet the more agreeable it will be to me, for I cannot patiently bear any circumstance which detains me from the most desirable object in my estimation that hope has in store for me. I hardly dared flatter myself with the prospect of your comeing for me yourself, and was the less dissapointed when Master John arrived. I shall feel myself perfectly safe under his care. There are many American[s] in this city, most of whom I believe have called upon me, some of whom were quite strangers to me. I have not been to any publick entertainment or even seen the curiositys of the city. I chose to wait yours or my Sons comeing. I have not sent on the Letters which I have for you as they contain no particular intelligence, are mere Letters of Friendship.2
Nabby has had Letters from Boston, from Dr. Welch and her Cousin Betsy written only 25 days since.3 Mr. Tracy came out with Mr. Jefferson.

[salute] Adieu and believe me most affectionately, most tenderly yours and only yours and wholly yours.

[signed] A Adams
I have two excellent servants tho they are not used to the manners and customs of the country, one of whom the maid I am anxious for, never having had the small pox. Dr. Clark would have innoculated her upon her first comeing but I knew not whether we should stay here till she got through it.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in JQA's hand: “His Excellency J. Adams Esqr. Hague”; endorsed: “Portia”; docketed by CFA: “July. 1784.”
1. Dated from JQA's arrival in London, on 30 July (AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, under “fryday [30 July],” above.
2. For the letters to JA that AA brought with her from Boston, see AA to JA, 23 July, notes 4 and 5, above.
3. Dr. Thomas Welsh had married Abigail Kent, a cousin of AA (JQA, Diary, 1:316, note 1). Neither Welsh's letter nor Elizabeth Cranch's has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0214

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-07-30

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

N 2.
This day [ . . . ] I [was?] Dining with Mamma at Mrs. Atkinsons in hourly expectation of receiving letters from America, Mr. Elworthy called and sent me up, one from my Dear Eliza.2 It was a pleasure that I have not known till now. You cannot form an idea of the sensations that operates in the mind of one, at receiving letters from those we esteem when situated from almost every friend. Sure I am you cannot judge of the disappointment after haveing flattered yourself with the hopes, of receiving letters, not to find any. Charles Storer laughs at me and tels me that I shall find my correspondents fall off in a little time. They will be attentive at first but soon grow negligent. I answer him that I do not fear it, as indeed I do not. He says our friends in America never know of a Ships sailing unless they come from the yard or garden, or where it is impossible not to hear of it. However I do not complain. Thankfull shall I be to any friend that will take the trouble to address a few lines to me, and shall esteem myself indebted to them. Let them be who they will.
Your letter Eliza called afresh to my memory every scene that I so lately passed, a retrospect that I can never take without paying the tribute of tears. Perhaps tis a weakness, if it is, it is a weakness that I would not exchange, for every other sentiment that was ever admitted to the heart. The remembrance of our friends is indeed dear to us. I shall never entertain so unworthy an opinion of myself as to believe it possible that mine should ever forget me, let me be placed in whatever clime fortune designs me for.
Your mention of the flower reminds me of my air plant. It is yet alive and flourishes finely. The sea Aair agreed very well with its constitution, it has grown near a quarter of a yard. There is a pleasure and satisfaction in indulging these thing that contributes to our happiness greatly. You who feel them so forcibly, can judge of them in an other.
Mamma has written and is writing so fully to your Mamma that it is impossible I believe to touch a string that, has not been canvassed, and received the polish of her pen. I have written so many letters3 and have so often repeated what I have said, that I believe it will be best for my friends not to communicate any of my letter to each other. { 411 } They will find if they do, that I have given the same thing to as many as I have different correspondents.
I fear I shall not find so leasure a time as I now have to write in a great while. When I get to learning french, I shall not be able to, leave my letters when Mr—or Mrs—Calls, and return to it again when they have left us—as is the case now.
Yesterday afternoon Mamma, myself, and Charles Storer, took a walk from Mr. Atkinsons to Mr. Elworthys, and drank tea. They are very agreeable people. Two of their Daughters I saw. One of thirteen the other five years of age. The oaldest is the one that Mr. Robbins said looked like you. I do not think there is the least likeness between ye.
More than a week we have been in this City and every hour of the time expecting my Pappa or Brother to arrive. There is a mail due to day. We are in expectation of his certain arrival. I have seen a Mr. Murry an acquaintance of my Brothers that has given me very pleasing accounts of him. Happy shall I be, to find him equal to my wishes—and happy will he be to equal my expectations. At present I am in a state of suspence, of all others the most painfull. We have a levee of American gentlemen every day, ten or a dozen are daily visiters, that it does not seem like being in a land of strangers. Indeed I have not seen but one or two Englishmen since I have been here. These folks are very sivil, but there are situations when even sivility is painfull from strangers.
Last Wedensday we dined at Mr. M. Joys. He has lately maried a Lady of fortune from Liverpool, and lives exceedingly elegant. Mrs. J. is the sweetest creature I ever saw. The most delicoy sweetness and sentiment are united in her countenance that I ever beheld, before. She appears to be very young and as much difidence and modesty about her, as in any Yankee Girl. She blushes, a sensation that the English Ladies are I believe in general Strangers to.
Mr. J—s happiness is imprinted in his countenance. They have both countenances very expressive of the happiness they seem to enjoy.
That I am in the City of London, I can scarce believe.
This moment a servant tells me that my Brother has arrived and has stoped at the next house to dress. Why has he done this. He knowns not the impatience of his sister and Mamma. My happiness is but half compleat—but why did I think of this. Let me enjoy the { 412 } present moment and anticipate future satisfaction. I cannot write now. When I have seen him I will at least tell you how he looks, if he is any thing short of a monster I shall be disappointed, from the accounts I have had of him.
I have the pleasure to inform you Eliza that I have seen my Brother, actually seen him, and do not find him a monster as I expected. He is not larger and not so tall as Harry Otis. You may form some judgment of him. We shall not set out from this place, till next fryday. From the Hague we shall go immediately to Paris, and there expect to reside. John looks like a sober lad. I am indeed gratified, and hope to inform you that I am satisfied, when I become acquainted with him.
Mr. Smith tells me tis necessary that I should seal and deliver to him my letters this night. You will naturally suppose me much engaged by my Brother, and will excuse this little blank,4 which otherwise I would not have left. Remember me to all our friends, oald and young, and to every one of whom I have any knowledge. Your sister I shall write to in a few days. Till then assure her and yourself of the sincere regard of your Cousin
[signed] A Adams
My Brother says he lately wrote you a long letter of four pages5 and sent it by a Mr. Brinton.
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); endorsed on the first page: “N A july 30th. London”; docketed on the last page in another hand: “Letter from Miss A. Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch London July 30th. 1784.” Slight damage to the text at a worn fold.
1. AA2 began this letter on 29 July, the day on which she received a letter from Elizabeth Cranch while dining with Mrs. Atkinson (AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, under “thursday [29 July]”; AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July).
2. Not found.
3. AA2's only other extant letter of this period is that to Elizabeth Cranch of 9 July, above.
4. The letter does not quite fill the last page.
5. That of 18 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0215

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-30

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Hond. Sir

I was so lucky as to have a passage of 26 hours from Helvoet[sluis] to Harwich and arrived in town this morning. I will not attempt to describe my feelings at meeting two persons so dear to me after so long an absence: I will only say I was completely happy.
You will perhaps have heard before this reaches you, that Mr.
{ 413 } | view { 414 }
Jefferson is arrived, and is gone forward to Paris. This may perhaps alter your intentions about our going to the Hague. We shall therefore not leave this Place, untill we receive Letters from you. If you think of going directly to Paris, we might go there to meet you; or we could meet you at some other place in France—the disagreeable passage might thereby be saved—but you will be able to judge, and will be so good as to let us know your intentions, as soon as possible.
I have seen a Coach, which I think would do extremely well for your Purpose; it is large; convenient, for four Persons, and has every necessary accommodation; it is nearly new and will come I believe to about 120 Guinea's. It is second hand, but as good as if new, and I think it will be preferable to having one made, which besides being much more expensive, would, take up a great deal of time.

[salute] Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0216

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-08-01

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Betsy

Enclosed is a tasty ribbon for you, I do not mean to forget my other dear cousin, but could not light of one that all together pleased me at the time: Your cousin Jack, arrived here yesterday from the Hague to my no small joy I assure you. There is in his manners behaviour and countanance, Strong resemblance of his Pappa. He is the same good humourd Lad he formerly was. I look upon him Scarcly realizing that he belongs to me, Yet I should be very loth any one else should lay claim to him. I hope the two dear Boys whom I left behind, will be equally comforts and blessings to their Parents. Will you my good Girl give them from time your Sisterly advice and Warning; in this way you can repay all the little Services it was ever in my power to render you: next to my own children are those of my dear sisters in my affection and Regard; the personal merit of those who have arrived to years of maturity, need not the ties of consanguinity to endear them to me.
Your cousin has written to you largely I believe,2 for her pen has been employed ever since we left home when She was able on Board Ship; and when She could catch a moments time at home. Were you here I would introduce you to some very agreeable company, in particular to a Mr. Murray, a Friend of your cousin Jacks who is a Student in the Temple, an American who bears a very good Character { 415 } is a young Gentleman of polite Manners easy address and real good sense, very chatty and Sentimental, writes handsomely and is really an accomplished youth. There are very few American Ladies here, but Gentlemen by the dozens, and not a day but what we have our Share of them; as you know I am fond of sociabil[it]y, you will suppose I do not look forward with the most pleasureable Ideas, to my visit and residence in a Country the language of which I am a Stranger to. This is a real truth, I believe England should have been the last Country for me to have visited—but I cannot be unhappy surrounded by my own family. Without it no country would be pleasing. Some Sweet delightfull Scenes I have beheld Sinc I came here, the Situation of the foundling Hospitel would enchant you Betsy, I have wished for you, and longed to carry you with me to Drapers Garden. Find these places if you can amongst your pictures, paint has very littled hightned them I assure you: I am going to day to see Mr. Wests paintings, he is out of the city, but Mr. Trumble is a Pupil of his and resides with him when in Town. He attends us accompanied with Master Jack and Charlly [Storer], who is not the least alterd. He does credit to his country his family and himself.
Your cousin received your Letter last thursday whilst we were at dinner at Mr. Atkinsons, Mr. Elworthy brought it, who lives but a little distance from them: you will receive your reward in the pleasure; in the painfull pleasure I assure you it gave us.3 I rose very early this morning to get an hour before Breakfast to write to one or two of my Friends. I have only my wrapping Gown on, and the clock warns me that company which I expect will be here before I am ready. Mr. Murray is to Breakfast with us and accompany us by his desire to this excursion. From Mr. Wests we are to visit the Monuments of Kings and Queens in Westminster Abbey.

[salute] To my Germantown Friends remember me, I design <visiting> writing them by the next opportunity. Adieu most affectionately Yours.

[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MSaE: Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by AA2: “Miss Elizabeth <Hunt> Cranch, Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs AA—London Augst 1 1784 (No. 1)”; docketed on the third page: “A. Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch London Aug 1st. 1784”; notation at the top of the first page, in Elizabeth Cranch's hand: “No. 1.”
1. AA may have begun this letter on 31 July, since she says below that JQA “arrived here yesterday.”
2. AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 9 and 30 July, above.
3. See AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-08-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favour without a Date,1 just now received and Mr. Jeffersons Arrival, a Month sooner than he expected, have indeed changed my Plan. Stay where you are, and amuse yourself, by Seeing what you can, untill you See me. I will be with you in Eight Days at farthest, and sooner, if possible. I will cross from Helvoet[sluis] to Harwich, by the Packet of the day after tomorrow if I can. If this is impossible, by the next. I must take Leave, here, and write to Paris and arrange my Household, as well as I can before I depart. But I will join you in London. Let your Son buy his Coach, and have every Thing ready, to depart for Dover, for I cannot Stay a Day in London. I must join my Colleagues in Paris without Loss of Time. Your Daughter may write her Freind as favourably as she pleases. I wrote him on the 3 of April2 my Approbation of his Views, and hoped he had the Letter before you Sailed.

[salute] Yours without Reserves.

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by JQA: “Mr. Adams. Augt. 1. 1784.”
1. That of [30 July], above.
2. To Royall Tyler, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-01

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I have the Pleasure of yours of July 30. and advise you to purchase the Coach and prepare every Thing to set off with me to Dover in a Week from this Day. I will not loose a Moment, of the agreable Company, that I can avoid. Indeed I have repented 20 times that I did not go with you. The Pas of Calais and the Pas of Harwich will make me sick, but do me no harm.
[signed] Your Father
Purchase Johnsons Lives of the Poets1 which will amuse Us on the Road. We will take the Journey fair and easy.
Mr. Elworthys Bills I will bring with me and pay in London.2
1. JA's library has Samuel Johnson's The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, London, 1783, in four volumes. Each volume has JA's bookplate; vol. 3 has his autograph. Catalogue of JA's Library.
2. JA wrote this sentence in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-08-02

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Dear sister

Before Mr. Smith went away1 I had no opportunity to ask Master John a Question but in company. I find by his accounts that Some Letters are gone to America the contents of which should they come into your hands; I hope you will keep wholy to yourself. I own I am rather surprized at them, and I think I may rely upon your prudence, and all connected with you to keep them intirely to yourselves. I have thought it a very fortunate circumstance that they did not reach me, before I saild, as they would have greatly embarrassed me. The present trial must be the test, if the Gold is genuine failing neither in weight or value, time will not diminish it—but should such a mixture of alloy be finally found in it, as to prove the coin either counterfeit, or base, it will not pass for current where it is now valued as intrinsick.2
I am anxious that you should receive this; and if at any time you wish to communicate to me, any thing that no other person ought to see, let it be always inclosed in an other Letter with such a mark upon the outside as this ⦶.
I have been so much occupied for several days that I have not had leisure to write; and am engaged for more time now than tis probable I shall tarry in London. I have been to the Tow[e]r to St. Pauls to Westminster Abbe and to day to Kew, and to the most delightfull Spot my Eyes ever beheld, to Twick[en]ham to Popes Grotto—but I can only add adieu—at present I am So fatigued. Yours affectionately
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed in AA2's hand: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree, near Boston, Massachusetts.”
1. William Smith Jr. departed London for America on 31 July, carrying etters from AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, and to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July, and from AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, all above.
2. Only one JA letter to AA known to the editors was not received before AA sailed for England, that of 25 Jan.; a second, of 3 July, was written after her departure (both above). In each, JA gave his permission for AA2 to marry Royall Tyler. In January, JA wrote that AA2 could marry immediately and take over the family house while AA was abroad. In July he proposed that AA bring AA2 and Tyler, as newlyweds, along to Europe.
After JA's initial strong disapproval of Tyler in early 1783, AA had come to see a separation between AA2 and Tyler as a suitable test of the strength of their love. And none of JA's letters in the summer or fall of 1783, above, showed a clear change in his attitude toward Tyler's courtship. Thus AA's discovery, in conversation with JQA about 1 Aug., that JA had acquiesced to his daughter's marriage in his Jan. and July letters, and possibly in other letters of which there is no record, was { 418 } acutely embarrassing to her.
JA had also written Tyler directly on 3 April, above, giving a rather general approval of Tyler's suit, but also stating that he expected AA2 to come to Europe with AA before she married. Richard Cranch received this letter and forwarded it to Tyler on 11 Aug. (Cranch to JA, 12 Aug., below).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0220

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-06

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

We have not received as yet any answer to the letters we wrote you the day I arrived in town;1 and are yet in a State of great uncertainty and doubt whether to go over to Holland or to go directly on to Paris to meet you there. We have got all ready to leave this Place to morrow morning if we had received any directions from you, and indeed we had some thoughts of setting off for Harwich at any rate to'morrow; But we have given over that intention, not knowing but you may have written us to go directly to Paris to meet you there, and may perhaps have already left the Hague. The Journey from hence to Paris would be attended with much less difficulty and much less fatigue, than to go first to Holland and immediately after to France. The Post from Holland must have been unluckily detained, and the mails are not arrived; I presume we shall receive Letters when it comes, which will direct us what to do. If our orders are for France, and we receive them to morrow, we shall leave London the next day; if for Holland we shall not be able to go, on account of the sailing of the Packet untill Tuesday. These delays are very disagreeable, but they were unavoidable; had Mr. Jefferson not arrived we should probably have been with you at this time.
I have bought the Coach of which I wrote you in my Last, and I believe that it will come upon the whole to about 120. Guineas as I wrote you. The Coach itself cost £102. 10S. the Imperial £6. 18S., but there will probably be some few trifles to add, and a Coachman's box, must be put on it at Paris, which will be about 10 or 15 Guineas more; I hope that it will prove satisfactory to you. I had it cheap because it is second hand, that is, it has been about 70. miles; it was built for a gentleman, who intended travelling thro' France, and Italy in it, but having altered his mind, disposed of it, at a low Price; the same carriage, new, would not be sold I dare say at less than £150. and perhaps more: it has every accommodation necessary for travelling, and may be converted into a town Carriage without the least diffi• { 419 } culty. I am upon the whole very well contented with it, and believe it will please you.

[salute] I have only time to add, that I am your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis de l'Amerique à La Haye. Hollande”; postmarked: “6/AV”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. Aug. 6 1784.”
1. 30 July, above.
2. JA arrived the following morning from The Hague, from which he had departed on 4 Aug.; the only record of his reunion with his family is in AA2's journal (Jour. and Corr., 1:viii; reprinted in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:170–171, note 1). Staying in London only one night, JA departed for Paris with his family on the following day, Sunday, 8 Aug., in the coach that JQA had just purchased. The Adamses boarded the Channel boat at Dover on 9 Aug.; upon reaching Calais they traveled in their coach through Boulogne, Amiens, and Chantilly to Paris, which they reached on the 13th. AA2's journal provides the only detailed description of this journey, but AA and JQA vividly record their impressions of certain parts of it in various letters, below. Four days after their arrival in Paris, where they lodged at the Hôtel de York, dined with Thomas Barclay and David Hartley, and received the abbés Arnoux, Chalut, and de Mably, the family moved to Auteuil, outside Paris, to a house which AA and AA2 describe minutely in their letters, below. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:7–15; JQA, Diary, 1:207–209.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0221

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-08-07

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

Long e'er this time I hope my dear Sister and Cousin have sat their Feet upon the British shore, and been made happy by the sight of their long absent Friends. Your mind must have been greatly agitated as you drew near the place where you expected to meet them, uncertain as you were whether the first inteligence would produce you the most exquisite pleasure, or the most Poignant distress. I hope you are all as Happy as this checkerd scene will permit you to be. Time will hang heavy upon me till I hear from you. I long to have the particulars of your voyage. If you was well enough to keep a journal pray send it me. I have miss'd two oppertunitys of writing to you, by not knowing of them, till it was too late. Betsy happen'd to be in Boston when one Vessell Saild and wrote by it.1 I hope you have receiv'd it. My Letters my dear Sister will not be compos'd of Politicks; I am entirly out of the line of them. Now you are absent from me I know you expect Subjects in which your Heart is more interested. The week after you left us Mr. Tyler and I carried Louissa and Polly to Lincoln and brought back Betsy.2 We found sister and her Family Well, and seemingly very happy. Sure I am She is very com• { 420 } fortably supply'd with every neccessary. Louissa shed many a Tear at being left, but I hear She soon got reconcil'd to her situation. Betsy is still with me. Lucy return'd With Mr. Shaw when he was here at commencment. When she comes home Betsy will go. We had a letter from Lucy Last Week. Sister Shaw and your dear Boys were well. Sisters Health is much mended by her journey this Spring. Billy and Betsy3 are now upon a visit of a week to Haverhill. We have had a sharp drought, scarcly a drop of rain for six weeks after you left us. Since that we have had frequent showers and things begin to revive. Every Body supposes you must have had a very short Passage, by the constant strong west winds we have had and by the uncommonly long Passages all the vessels from Europe have had. Capt. Beals was out sixty Days. He has brought a fine Family of children with him, five Sons and a little Daughter. Mrs. Beals is a Handsome amiable, Well-Bred woman exceedingly affable.4 She did not wait for a visit from me, but call'd upon us herself, (which oblig'd me especially as I was not at home when they came)5 to make her a very earley visit. If he has not brought with him too great a Tast for the Luxurys of Europe, they will be a pritty addition to our Neighbourhood. All the genttry that have come into the Town for these Several years have rather injur'd than other ways our morals. Mr. T-m-es Negro girl is dead: she was a misirable object. Mrs. T. is affraid to sleep above stairs since her death. She is affraid of a visit from her—O conscience how faithfully thou doest thy office! Mr. T. is gone to the West Indies, and since the Death of the poor Negro she is affraid also to sleep without a Man—in the next Parlour at least, and as nobody appear'd so unapropriated as Josiah Veasy she has chosen him for a protector and given him an asylum in her House. Scandal hold thy Tongue.6
Aunt Tufts has been very sick but is better. The Docr. will I suppose write. I have made several visits to your House, but I dont Love too. It has a dismal look. Pheby keeps it in nice order. It is sweept and every thing that wants it, rub'd once a week. She looks very happy and would be so I believe if some of the Neighbours did not trouble her. She says She Believes they think that you left her your Almoner, for she cannot think that they can Suppose her able to supply all their wants. They impose upon her sadly. I design'd to have told you long before now that your Mother Hall, and your Brother Adams's Family are well. I think your Mother has been better this summer than usual. We have visited each other as often as we could. She has din'd with me twice. I should have seen her to day if I had not been writing to you. You may depend upon my utmost attention to her { 421 } Health and Happiness. I suppose Mr. Tyler will write, he is well. Tell Cousin Nabby that she has left a sorrowful looking Picture behind her. I dont like it.
Mr. Cranch is well. Betsy has had her Health very well for her, has been upon a visit of three weeks at Weymouth return'd last week. Old Mr. Nightingail is dead, and old Mrs. Savil also. Both died very suddenly, the former was found dead in his Bed, the later walk'd out in the Garden the Day before her death, and about an hour before she died she smook'd her Pipe and drank a dish of Tea, layd her head upon her Pillow and said “Tis over,” and expir'd without a Pang. They both died on the same day. Delight Newcomb langushes still, without any prospect of recovering. I think I have given a purty particular account of your Friends and acquaintance. Our Germantown Friends must not be forgot, nor our good Uncle Quincy, they are well as usual. Miss Paine wrote to you Some time past,7 but was too late for the vessel. Cousin Palmers Family mov'd to Boston this Day—and now my dear sister, the companion of my youth, My sweet Friend, when will you return? Can you conjecture? My days will, they must be lonely till you do. Let me participate in all your amusements. You my sister are one of the sentimental Travellers. You love your Pen and I expect much entertainment. Yesterday I went to see Deacon Adams.8 He had the misfortune to break his Thigh about Twelve days ago. A cart ran over it. Tis Set and we hope he will do well.
I want a Wilton carpit for our best room. It measures five and an half yards one way, and four and three quarters the other. I have been told that it can be had for five Shillings a yard in London. It will take about Twenty five yards if we get the yard wide. I should rather have it in one piece. Will you be so kind as to inquire what you can get one for? I hop'd to have sent you a Bill by this conveyence, but I have not got the money yet. You know where I expected it. Give my best regards to [Mr.?] Adams and my Cousins and accept the best wishes of your ever affectionate sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Lady of his Excellency John Adams Esqr. at Paris or at the Hague”; endorsed by JQA: “Mrs. Cranch. Augt. 7th. 1784.” Slight damage where the seal was cut out.
1. Letter not found. See AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July, and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, both above.
2. Louisa Catharine Smith, Mary (Polly) Smith, and Elizabeth (Betsy) Smith were all daughters of AA's brother, William Smith Jr., and Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith. William had permanently left his family shortly before this date.
3. William Cranch and Elizabeth Cranch. The “Betsy” who was to go to Haverhill when Lucy Cranch returned was Elizabeth Smith.
4. Capt. Benjamin Beale, a Braintree native, and his English-born wife settled in the { 422 } Squantum district in the 1780s, but built a home just west of the Adams' Old House in 1792, which still stands. Their sons Benjamin Jr. and George were good friends of the Adamses well into the nineteenth century. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:124; JQA, Diary, 2:166, and note 1, 267–272 passim; and Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, index.
5. Opening parenthesis supplied.
6. Mr. and Mrs. “T-m-es” and their servant have not been identified. A Josiah Veasey (Veazie; Vessy) had seen military service in 1776, and was listed as paying a poll tax in 1792. See Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, index.
7. On 7 July, above.
8. Ebenezer Adams.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0222

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-12

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

After a long Interval, I had Yesterday the great Happiness of receiving your esteemed Favour of the 3d. of April. I immediately sent the inclosed1 to Mr. Tyler. I have not seen him since your Letter came to his Hand.
When I consider the amazing Exertions of Mind that you must have been continually making, and the Anxieties that must necessarily have prey'd upon your Spirits while Events of the greatest Magnitude hung in Suspence and Uncertainty, I do not wonder that your bodily Machine has suffer'd and been much worn, under such various Pressures of Fatigue from without, and Agitations from within. I rejoice however to hear that your Health is better. The Arrival of your “dear Girls” in Capt. Lyde (which I hope has taken place before this time) will, I doubt not, greatly facilitate your Recovery, by renewing those pleasing domestick Attentions that will in some degree efface those disagreeable Impressions which an incessant Application to the most knotty and perplexing Affairs must have imprinted deep on your Mind.
I hope you will not be disappointed in your Plan of coming home next May. I wish it might be sooner. You have a very great Number of Friends in all Parts of this Commonwealth who earnestly wish for your Arrival here before April.2 We now wish more than ever to hear from Europe, as the Object of our Love and anxious Concern there is enlarged. May God preserve your most faithfull Friend, the Partner of your Cares; and your amiable Children; and return you and them again to America in Safety!
At the Desire of the Honble. C. Tufts Esqr. I have enclosed to you a very sensible Sermon preached before the General Assembly last Election, by your old Friend and Class-Mate the Revd. Moses Hemmingway of Wells.3 I also want you to read a Piece of Divinity that is like to make a great Noise in the World, written by Doctr. Chauncy { 423 } of this Town, but printed in London this Year, by Dilly.4 The Doctor has not put his Name to it. The old Gentleman has favour'd me with the reading of one of them that was sent over to him by Doctr. Price. His Design is to prove from Scripture that the eternal Salvation of all the human Race will be the final Issue, sooner or later, of Christ's mediatorial Undertaking; tho' perhaps various successive States of Discipline, after the present, may be necessary to take place before the most hardened Sinners shall be brought to true Repentance and such a State of moral Rectitude as to fit them for Happiness. The Plan is great, and benevolent; and, I think, supported in a masterly manner.
Our Friend Deacn. Ebzr. Adams has met with a bad Misfortune about 3 Weeks ago by a Cart, which broke his Thigh; we hope he is in a good way of Recovery. Your Mother and Brother and Family are as well as usual. Your fine Boys at Haverhill were well a few Days ago. Our children are all three gone there on a Visit, so that they will have a joyous time of it. My Family and Mr. Tyler were well when I left home a few Days ago, as were also all our Friends in Braintree, Weym[outh], Hingham &c. Mr. Thaxter is making Tryal of the Practice of Law at Haverhill; I have not yet heard what his Success has been.

[salute] The inclosed Letter is from my dear Partner to her Sister5—to whome and your children I beg to be kindly remember'd. I am, with the warmest Sentiments of Esteem and Friendship, your affectionate Brother.

[signed] Richard Cranch
1. JA to Royall Tyler, 3 April, above.
2. In time for Massachusetts' annual election for governor; JA's friends had hoped for over a year that he would return to oppose John Hancock for the governor's chair.
3. Enclosure not found. Moses Hemmenway, A Sermon Preached before His Excellency . . . May 26, 1784. Being the Day of General Election, Boston, 1784. Hemmenway, Harvard 1755, a moderate to liberal Calvinist and a staunch Whig, was much admired by JA from their college days, and JA visited the pastor at Wells, Maine, while riding his law circuit in the 1770s, and corresponded with him. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:357, 359; 3:260; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:609–618.
4. If enclosed, not found. Charles Chauncy, The Mystery Hid from Ages . . . or, The Salvation of All Men, London, 1784. Printed in London because of the scarcity of Greek and Hebrew typeface in Boston, the work capped the long career of this ardent Arminian and Whig preacher, then in his eightieth year (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 6:439–467, esp. p. 458–459).
5. Mary Cranch to AA, 7 Aug., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0223

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-08-24

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I thank you, and my Betsy Smith for your kind Care of my dear little sick Girl. She has had 2 in her life, of such sudden and voilent ill turns before this, that frighted you so much. If she was to be sick longer than 12 hours, I should indeed be exceedingly anxious. I need not say I wish you to be so kind as to give her something for her Worms, your goodness has already done it. I hope she will be well, and not give you any further trouble. She must be good, and love you dearly for tending her. I know she cannot help it, for little Childern are not naturally ungrateful, but are always inclined to love those who are kind, and pleasant to them. I find she is Cousin Lucy's favorite, for she is always telling me of her prattle, more than I should dare to repeat, lest others should charge me with being a fond doating mamma.
How good it was in Brother Cranch to write to Mr. Shaw, and inform him of the agreeable intelligence of our worthy Brother Adam's intended return to America in the year 1785. Amen—and Amen. But I fear the Commissions he has received from Congress since the date of his Letter,1 will necessarily detain him much longer than any of them wish. But what are the sensations of Brothers and Sisters, when compard with the extatic feelings of a fond Lover, kept 18 months in fears, and doubts, and hopes and dreams of fancied Happiness. To be told—to be assured “Amelia shall be thine. We shall return.”2 It was too much. No wonder feeble nature faultered in the struggle. No wonder that the Tabril3 and the Harp, and every Instrument of musick were wished for, to vibrate in Unison with the soft thrilling of his Joy: expanded Heart. How would it have smoothed Amelia's passage, could she have known of her Fathers determination before she embarked.4 I [ . . . ]5 pass her time abroad, much more agreably than any of her Friends expected she could have done.
I do not know but Cousin Lucy will think, that there is a fatality in her coming to Haverhill, and that somebody must be sick. Miss Nancy6 has not been down stairs, only as Mr. Shaw carried her down in his arms, and put her into a Chaise to ride and then carried her up again, since Cousin Betsy was here. I am much obliged to Cousin Lucy for her kindness, for it would be impossible for me to do alone. You need not have put her in mind of assisting me. It is the nature of your dear Children, to wish to do good. So much like—their—I need { 425 } not say who—Conscience will tell you—as mine does me, that I am your affectionate & greatly obliged Sister
[signed] E. Shaw
PS. I am sorry Cousin Betsy had such a disagreeable ride to Lincoln. My love tender Love to the three Betsys.7
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch. Braintree”; endorsed: “Letter from Mrs E Shaw, Aug 24. 1784.” Marked in a later hand: “Alluding perhaps to Royall Tyler and his Engagement with Miss A. A.” Some loss of text where the seal was torn away.
1. JA to Richard Cranch, 3 April, above.
2. No source for this quotation has been identified. The words may have been spoken by AA to Royall Tyler before her departure from Boston with AA2 (Amelia) on 20 June.
3. Probably a variant of the Biblical tambour, a tambourine-like instrument (OED).
4. This must refer to JA's consent to have AA2 marry Tyler. Elizabeth Shaw may have learned this from the Cranches, who could have received and opened JA's letter to AA of 25 Jan., above, after AA's departure for England, or from Tyler, who had just received JA's letter of 3 April, granting his consent.
5. Three or four words lost at the top margin.
6. Anna (Nancy) Hazen; see Elizabeth Shaw to AA, [ca. 15] Oct., and note 2, below.
7. Presumably Betsy Cranch, Betsy Smith, daughter of AA's brother William, and Betsy Smith, daughter of AA's uncle, Isaac Smith Sr.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0224

Author: Tyler, Royall
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-27

Royall Tyler to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I received your Letter of the Third of April, Two Days since.
Whether from the very great Interest I have in the Subject, or some more latent cause; I never Felt more at a loss to Express myself with Propriety, than on the present Occasion. I can only generally Desire you, to accept from me, all those returns of Gratitude, which, a Man of Ingenuity may be supposed to render to the person, to whom he shall have been Indebted in a High Degree, for the Principal Enjoyments of his Life.
Marriage is indeed a “Serious Affair,” But the “Parties” have not proceeded thus far in their endeavours to attain it, without suitable Reflections upon its importance, as involving their own Happiness, and that of their Friends and Relatives.
The Young Lady probably Arrived in England, before I received Your letter, but if it had have been received previous to her Departure, and even countenanced her remaining in this Country, and the State of my Affairs had renderd an immediate Union Feasible and Prudent: Nevertheless, the many Filial Incitements she had to cross the Atlantic, would have silenced every selfish suggestion, and have induced her to Accompany her Mother.
I Feel gratified by your approbation of my Purchase in Braintree.1
{ 426 }
This Estate is at present encumberd by a mortgage and Lease from the Commonwealth, but the Legislature is about passing an Act, enabling the Absentees to take Possession of their Estates, by paying the Consideration of the mortgage to the Lessees:2 Thayer the present Occupier, under the Commonwealths Lease and Mortgage; is will[ing] to Recceive, and Borland to pay this, so that I expect to be in Actual Poss[ess]ion immediately. Mr. Thayer sensible of this, permits me now to Enter for the purpose of Repairing.
Accept Sir my Thanks for the kind Proffer, of the Loan of your Library; I shall endeavour to make that Use of it, which is becoming a Man, who wishes to be serviceable to his Friends and Country.
Our present “Arrangments” notwithstanding your Liberality, We—I venture to speak for your Daughter—shall chearfully submit to your Inspection and Advice, and I hope that our Union will afford you and your Lady, that Enviable Satisfaction, which Parents experience when They Perceive their Children, Usefull, Worthy, Respectable and Happy.

[salute] Sir, I am with the Greatest Respect, Your Humble Servant.

[signed] R: Tyler
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Tyler Aug. 27 1784”; marked at the bottom of the signature page: “Duplicate.”
1. The Vassall-Borland property. See JA to Tyler, 3 April, and note 2, above; vols. 1:219, note 4; 3:264–266, note 3.
2. The editors have found no record of any such act passed in the legislative session May 1784–March 1785.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0225

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Quincy, Anna
Date: 1784-09-04

Abigail Adams to Anna Quincy

[salute] Madam

It was not untill yesterday that I had the Honour of your Letter1 inquireing into the Character of Capt. Lyde, and I embrace the earliest moment Madam to inform you that Cap. Lyde has the Character of a man of Honour and integrity. Tho a perfect stranger to me untill a few Weeks before I embarked on board his ship, he treated me with great kindness and attention. And altho a rough son of Neptune in his outward appearence he really possesses a native Benevolence and goodness of heart, and is one of the most attentive and carefull seamen that perhaps ever traversed the ocean having made 43 voyages without ever having met with any dangerous accident. I could add many things more in favour of Cap. Lyde, but fear I shall increase your regreet at missing a passage with him, as he expects to sail in a very few days for America. And if you should not { 427 } meet with any favourable opportunity of embarking this Month, I could not advice any Lady to make a voyage to America later. The passages at this season are frequently long stormy and Boisterous, our Coast a very dangerous one in the winter season, the Spring passages are generally much quicker and less hazardous. But I have myself too great an aversion to the Sea to advise with that judgment which you may meet with from more adventurous persons. For this purpose Madam give me leave to introduce to you, <the> Jonathan Jackson Esqr. an American Gentleman now in London, and a Relation of yours being immediately descended from a sisters of your kinsmans the Honbl. Edmund Quincy.2 This Gentleman is possessd of a most amiable disposition, is in high credit and esteem in his own Country, and respected where ever he is known. As this Gentleman is in the Mercantile line, he is perfectly acquainted with the American Captains vessels &c and will take pleasure I dare answer for him in rendering you any Service or advise <you> respecting your voyage to America. I inclose to you his address in London. When ever you embark Madam be pleased to accept my good wishes for your prosperous voyage and Safe arrival in a Country very dear to me, and not the less so I assure you for having visited some part of Europe. My Country can not Boast that extensive cultivation or that refinement in arts and Manners which old and more luxurious kingdoms and empires have arrived at, but you will find amongst the people of America a sincerity hospitality and benevolence of disposition which are rarely <to be met with> exceeded abroad. A Lady possesst with Miss Quincys accomplishments and good Sense cannot fail of Friends and admirers in America, connected too by name and Blood with a respectable family many Branches of which do honour to it.
I thank you Madam for your kind inquiries after my Health and that of my daughters which have not Sufferd by a change of climate.
The polite terms in which you are pleased to mention the publick Services of my best Friend demand my acknowledment. Nothing will give him more pleasure than promoteing harmony and the mutual advantages of both Countries. For this purpose he has incessantly Laboured for ten years past, sacrificeing his private enjoyments and domestick happiness of which he is very fond, to the publick demand. The success which has crowned his negotiations will ever be a source of pleasure to his family, and real and permanant happiness to his Country, to which he hopes to return with his family in the course of a Year or two, there to pass the remainder of his days in peace and tranquility.
{ 428 }

[salute] Be assured Madam I am with sentiments of Esteem Your Humble servant

[signed] A Adams
1. Of 14 Aug. (Adams Papers). Anna Quincy lived in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the county from which the Quincys had emigrated to Massachusetts in the 1630s. She had recently received a letter, brought to England by AA, from her “worthy Kinsman Mr. Edmund Quincy,” that evidently encouraged her to visit America. In both the 14 Aug. letter, and her 25 Sept. reply to AA (Adams Papers), Anna refers to her “return to America,” but it is not known when her earlier visit had occurred, and AA was under the impression that Anna had never crossed the ocean.
2. Jackson was the son of Edward Jackson and Dorothy Quincy, sister of Edmund Quincy.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0226

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-09-04

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

Here my Dear Eliza is your friend placed in a little village two or three miles from Paris, unknowing and unknown to every person around her except our own family. Without a friend a companion, or an acquaintance of my own sex. In this may I expect to spend the next Winter, retired, within myself, and my chamber, studiously indeavouring, to gain a knowledge of the French Language which I assure you I find not a very easy matter.
There are at Present fewer American Ladies here than for some years past. Ladies of our own Country are the only ones with whom we can with pleasure or satisfaction have any society with. We have become acquainted with Mrs. Volnay,2 and find her an agreeable Woman. Mrs. Hay dined with us yesterday, with another American Lady. She intends to spend the Winter in France, but not near us3—which I regret very much. We should find so agreeable a Woman quite an acquisition.
Were I to attempt giving you my real opinion or a just description of this Country and of the City of Paris in particular I am sure you would not believe it. The people are I believe, the dirtiest creatures in the Human race. Paris has been stiled a beautifull City, perhaps it is judged by the strict rules of—architecture and proportion—but it strikes the eye as very far from beautifull. The streets are very narrow in general, and the buildings amaizing high, all built of stone, and which was once white but by the smoke and dirt they have acquired, a very disagreeable appearance. The publick building[s] are I believe more elegant than in London. I was last Eve at the French Comedy4 which is a most beautifull building without, and within it is the most { 429 } elegant perhaps in the World. But as a City I do not think that Paris in point of beauty and elegance, will bear a comparison with London.
The appearance of the lower class of people, is of a heavy leaden kind of creatures, whose greatest art and what indeed is most attended to by almost all classes is to cheat you of as much as they possibly can, in which they succeed with strangers, much to their own satisfaction.
I shall learn to prize my own Country above all others. If there is not so much elegance and beauty and so many sources of amusement and entertainment, there is what to every honest and virtuous mind will be far preferable, a sincerity, and benevolence which must be prized above every other consideration. Even those who do not possess it admire it in others. I do not see an American that does not ardently wish to return to their Country. Of this I am sure, that it is the first wish of my heart, and <only> not three months absent. At the end of twelve months I shall be quite satisfied with Europe, and impatient to return home.
No arrivals from America since I received yours5 by Mr. Tracy's Ship. I am impatient to hear, from my friends. If they knew what a pleasure and satisfaction they would confer upon me sure I am that they would never permit a Ship to sail without letters. You must remember that I have a dozen Correspondents, and you have to write only to one, and that one feels more interested than ever in every circumstance that may affect her friends. Tell me all about our circle, and what each have done and are doing, who is married and who Dead the two important periods you know. Our friend Miss J—is perhaps by this Mrs. R—. Ah Eliza I shall set down the day as Julia says, and leave its property [it properly?] blank. Time will fill it up. Sincerely do I wish her happy. Perhaps you have by this heard as much of the matter as I did before I left Boston. Interested friends should be very cautious that their influence does not lead them to advise to too great a sacrifise.
How is Nannett—on the high road. I shall be disappointed if I do not hear she is—from my observations when I last saw her. Oh that I could as easily transport myself in reality as I do in idea, amidst you all, you would indeed see a happy Girl if I could. But alas, I have long to sacrifise at the shrine of patience till my own will be quite exhausted I believe.
Remember me affectionately to your family—all of them. To your sister I shall write, from your Brother I shall be happy to hear. When { 430 } I set down to write to my friends, and in idea place myself amongst them, I say to myself surely it is impossible that we are indeed so far seperated.

[salute] Remember me to every one who take the pains to inquire or feels interested enough to think of your friend

[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch. Braintree”; endorsed: “Auteiul. AA. Sepr. 4. 1784”; and docketed in another hand: “Letter from Miss A. Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch France Sepr. 4. 1784.”
1. On 17 Aug., the Adamses “removed to Auteuil . . . at the House of the Comte de Rouault, opposite the Conduit. The House, the Garden, the Situation near the Bois de Boulogne, elevated above the River Seine and the low Grounds, and distant from the putrid Streets of Paris, is the best I could wish for” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:171). Auteuil was then a village on the right bank of the Seine, about four miles west of Paris, and one mile south of Passy, where Benjamin Franklin had lived since 1777, and where Franklin, Jefferson, and JA regularly conducted their business during the Adams' stay in Auteuil. Boileau, Molière, and several other distinguished French authors had established country villas at Auteuil in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. JA and JQA had stayed at the Comte de Rouault's house from 22 Sept. to 20 Oct. 1783, while JA was recuperating from a serious illness, at the invitation of its tenant, Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul general in France, and Barclay arranged JA's rental of the house in 1784.
The Adamses lived in the Hôtel de Rouault, a large, elegant structure built early in the century, from 17 Aug. 1784 to 20 May 1785, when they departed for London. The house is fully described in AA's letters of September and December, below. It is effectively illustrated with photographs taken in the 1940s in Rice, The Adams Family in Auteuil; and in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:xi–xii, and opposite p. 257 (photograph ca. 1920). Further information on the Adams' stay in Auteuil and their activities in Paris is in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:120, note 1, 143–146, 171–178; JQA, Diary, 1:209–266; and AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:14–78.
2. Eunice Quincy Valnais. Eunice Quincy, a distant cousin of AA2, had married Joseph de Valnais, the French consul in Boston, in 1781 (JQA, Diary, 1:210, note 1; AA to Mercy Warren, 5 Sept., below).
3. Katharine Hay was traveling with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mather of Boston, and would spend the winter in Beaugency, fifteen miles southwest of Orleans and about eighty miles southwest of Paris (JQA, Diary, 1:210, and note 2; Katharine Hay to AA, 1 Nov., Adams Papers; Hay to AA, 17 Dec., and 7 March 1785, both below).
4. AA2 went with JQA; the play was Le mariage de Figaro (JQA, Diary, 1:210). The Comédie Française opened its new theater, the largest in Paris (1900 seats) in 1782, at what became the Place de l'Odéon. Highly successful in the 1780s, when the Adamses and Thomas Jefferson frequently attended its productions, the theater became politically factionalized during the French Revolution, and the building was destroyed by fire in 1807. The present Théâtre de l'Odéon was built on the site in 1819. Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel.
5. Not found, but see AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0227

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1784-09-04

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch

No. 1
Will you not think me very unmindfull of you my Dear Lucy that I have not ere this, written you. Be assured that it has not been for { 431 } any reason, but Want of time. A want of subject I am realy ashaimed to offer as an appology, however just it may be, when you will undoubedly suppose me presented with subjects every day to employ my pen upon. There is indeed ample scope for the immagination of an observing sentimental mind to employ itself in. You will be better convinced from my letters than from my assureances, that I either always was or have grown very stupid. A person of a sprightly imagination would find ten thousand scources of amusement and entertainment, a description of which would afford a fund of entertainment, which I pass over without even knowing that they exist.
With this crow quil that I now write and the beautifull flower garden of which I have a fine prospect from the Window I am now sitting at, and the voice of a pretty lass in a garden adjoining, would inspire your Sister Betsys imagination with poetical images sufficient to compose ten pages of poetry—while I can only view them as they realy are, and admire the variety of the flowers and their various colours with the exact proportion of their manner of growing, and can only observe upon the crow quil, that it is much smaller than a goose quil, and that I can write much better with it. Dont you think so too Lucy.1
Believe me my Cousin that comeing to Europe alters people very little. I think my Mammas head is more Metamorphosed than any think elce about us, unless it is your Cousins waist which the mantuamakers have brought to a much less compass than you would believe it possible. The former, has not gained in point of beauty I assure you. It is naturial I believe for us to suppose that people alter in a few months, if they visit Europe. When we hear from them we expect something new, and agreeable, and when we see them again we expect to find them other kind of beings than what we used to know. These expectations are false and will ever be disappointed. It is best for every one to banish the idea and to expect no more of their friends, than that they are and will be human beings. If they are humane after seing and Liveing in this European World, they deserve some merit I assure you.
We have seen but little French company yet. I have seen but one French Lady or rather I have been in company with but one. She was a Lady of Sixty years of age with whom I dined this week at Dr. Franklins.2 I wish it were possible to give you a just idea of her. I know not in America any person of any class that would serve as a description, or comparison, unless it is Mrs. Hunt3 when she is crazy. I could not judge of her conversation as I could not understand a { 432 } word, but if it was in unison with her dress, and manners, I assure you that I consider myself fortunate that I did not. She was a person of some distinction here, a Widow, who has erected a monument to the memory of her husband. From this circumstance and from the character I had heard of her, I was very much disappointed. It would be very wrong to form a judment of the Ladies in general from this one disagreeable figure. When I become more acquainted I will give you a further idea of them.
One of my Pappas friends the Abbyes who visits us very frequently and, is a Man of a good deel of Wit, tho perhaps past sixty years old, himself, and the youngest of three who visit us,4 told me the other day that the French Ladies Counted their age, as you do a game of Piquet. They were always twenty Nine till they were sixty.
I have been writing all day to America. A good opportunity presents from hence to London, and I hear that several Ships sail for America in the course of the next week, and I would not fail to write by every opportunity that presents as I well know from experience, the anxiety of not hearing from our friends and especially of the disagreeable situation of mind when a Ship arrives without any letters.
Remember me to all our friends, to Louisa,5 in particular. I have not time or I would write to her. Write me often Lucy and believe me your friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. The formation of the characters in this letter, and even more in AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, of this same day, above, is sharper and more precise than most of AA2's letters to Elizabeth Cranch written in America in 1782–1784.
2. This is the celebrated Anne-Catherine, Comtesse de Ligniville d'Autricourt, Madame Helvétius, widow of the philosophe Claude Adrien Helvétius, a near neighbor of the Adamses at Auteuil, and hostess of a major salon, often called l'Académie d'Auteuil. She was sixty-five in 1784. The dinner occurred on 1 Sept. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:17); AA describes Mme. Helvétius even more vividly on that occasion in her letter to Lucy Cranch, 5 Sept., below. Madame Helvétius had been one of Benjamin Franklin's most intimate friends from his arrival in Passy in 1777. He called her Notre Dame d'Auteuil, proposed marriage to her in the winter of 1779–80 (she declined), and maintained a correspondence with her after his return to America. See Claude-Anne Lopez, Mon Cher Papa: Franklin and the Ladies of Paris, New Haven, 1966, chaps. 9–10, and the descriptive list of illustrations.
3. Not identified, but see the reference to “Miss Hannah Hunt” in Mary Cranch to AA, 6 Nov., below.
4. This is the Abbé Arnoux, whom AA thought to be about fifty (to Mary Cranch, 5 Sept. below). His senior colleagues were the Abbé Chalut, whom AA judged to be about seventy-five, and the Abbé de Mably, whom she thought about eighty, but who was actually seventy-five (same; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:59–60; JQA, Diary, 1:260).
5. Perhaps AA2's cousin Louisa Catharine Smith.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0228

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Betsy

I am situated at a small desk in an appartment about 2 thirds as large as your own little Chamber; this appartment opens into my lodging Chamber which is handsome and commodious, and is upon a range with 6 or 7 others all of which look into the Garden. My Chamber is hung with a rich India patch,1 the bed, Chairs and window curtains of the same, which is very fashionable in this Country, two handsome Beaureaus, with marble tops make up the furniture, which wants only the addition of a carpet to give it all, the air of Elegance, but in lieu of this is a tile floor, in the shape of Mrs. Quincys carpet, with the red much worn of and defaced, the dust of which you may suppose not very favourable to a long train. But since I came we have been at the expence of having several of the floors new painted. This is done with Spanish brown and [glew?] afterward with melted wax, and then rubbed with a hard Brush; upon which a Man sets his foot and with his Arms a kimbow striped to his Shirt, goes driveing round your room. This Man is called a Frotteurer, and is a Servant kept on purpose for the Buisness. There are some floors of wood which resemble our black walnut, these are made of small strips of wood about six inches wide, and placed on Squares; which are rubbed with wax, and Brushes in the same manner I have before discribed: water is an article spairingly used. I procured a woman when I first came, (for the house was excessive dirty), to assist Ester in cleaning. I desired her to wash up the dinning room floor, which is stone made in the same shape of the tile, so she turnd a pail of water down and took a house Brush and swept it out. You would think yourself poisoned, untill time reconciled you to it.
I have however got this place to look more like neatness than any thing I have yet seen. What a contrast this to the Hague? The Garden Betsy! let me take a look at it. It is delightfull, such a Beautifull collection of flowers all in Bloom, so sweetly arranged with rows of orange Trees, and china vases of flowers. Why you would be in raptures. It is square and contains about 5 acres of land, about a 3d. of the Garden is laid out in oblongs, octagons, circles &c. filled with flowers; upon each side are spacious walks with rows of orange trees and pots of flowers, then a small walk, and a wall coverd with grape vines; in the middle of the Garden a fountain of water in a circle walled; about 2 foot, and a thin circle of fence painted Green, in the { 434 } midst of which are two little images carved in Stone. Upon each Side, and at a proper distance, are two small alcoves filled with curious plants exoticks; and round these are placed pots of flowers which have a most agreable appearence, then a small open chineess fence coverd with grape vines, and wall fruit incloses 2 Spots upon each side, which contains vegetables surrounded by orange trees; which prevents your view of them untill you walk to them: at the bottom of the Garden are a number of Trees, the Branches of which unite and form Beautifull Arbours, the tops of the Trees cut all even enough to walk upon them, and look as I set now at the window like one continued tree through the whole range. There is a little summer house coverd by this thicket, Beautifull in ruins, 2 large alcoves in which are two statues terminate the view; the windows to all the apartments in the house are rather Glass doors, reaching from the Top to the bottom, and opening in the middle; give one a full and extensive view of the Garden. This is a Beautifull climate, soft and serene and temperate, but Paris you must not ask me how I like it—because I am going to tell you of the pretty little appartment next to this in which I am writing; why my dear you cannot turn yourself in it without being multiplied 20 times. Now that I do not like; for being rather clumsy and by no means an elegant figure, I hate to have it so often repeated to me. This room is about ten or 12 foot large, is 8 cornerd and panneld with looking Glasses, a red and white india patch with pretty borders encompasses it: low back stuft chairs with Garlands of flowers incircleing them adorn this little chamber, festoons of flowers are round all the Glasses, a Lusture hangs from the cealing adornd with flowers, a Beautifull Soffa is placed in a kind of alcove with pillows and cushings in abundance the use of which I have not yet investigated. In the top of this alcove over the Soffa in the cealing is an other Glass, here is a Beautifull chimny peice with an elegant painting of Rural Life in a country farm house, lads and lasses jovial and happy. This little apartment opens in to your cousins bed Chamber. It has a most pleasing view of the Garden, and it is that view which always brings my dear Betsy to my mind, and makes me long for her to enjoy the delights of it with me; in this appartment I sit and sew, whilst your uncle is engaged at Passy where the present negotiations are carried on,2 and your cousin John in his appartment translating lattin, your cousin Nabby in her chamber writing, in which she employs most of her time: she has been twice at the opera with her Brother, of which I suppose she will write you an account. The present owner of this House and the Builder of it, is a M. le { 435 } Comte de Rouhaut.3 He married young to a widow worth 1,800,000 Livres per annum, 80,000 £ Sterling, which in the course of a few years they so Effectually dissipated, that they had not 100,000 £ Sterling remaining. They have been since that seperated. By some inheritances and legacies the count is now worth about a 100,000 livres a year and the Countess 75,000. They have a Theatre in this house now gone to decay, where for 8 years together they play'd Comedies and tragedies twice a week, and gave entertainments at the same time which cost them 200 £ Sterling every time, they entertaind between 4 and 5 hundred persons at a time. The looking Glasses in this house I have been informd cost 300 thousand liveres. Under this Chamber which I have discribed to you is a room of the same bigness in which is an elegant Bathing convenience let into the floor and the room is encompassed with more Glass than the Chamber, the ceiling being intirely glass. Here too is a Soffa surrounded with curtains.
Luxury and folly are strong and characteristick traits of the Builder. There are appartments of every kind in this House, many of which I have never yet enterd.
Those for which I have a use are calculated for the ordinary purposes of Life, and further I seek not to know.
Write to me my dear Girl and tell me every thing about my dear Friends and country. Remember me to your Brother, to your sister I will write, to Mr. Tyler4 I hope to be able to send at least a few lines. Tis very expensive sending letters by the post, I must look for private opportunities to London. Adieu I hear the carriage; your uncle is come. I go to hasten tea of which he is still fond: yours sincerely
[signed] AA
RC (MSaE: Abigail Adams Letters); notation by Elizabeth Cranch on the first sheet: “No: 2”; docketed on the first sheet: “Letter from Mrs. A Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch; France Sepr. 5th. 1784.”
1. This material, sometimes described as “copper plate,” was the fashionable indienne textile, also known as toiles de Jouy from the manufactory of Oberkampf at Jouy-en-Josas. An example of this pattern, depicting idyllic French rural life, is the cover design of Rice, Adams Family in Auteuil; see p. 23, note 11 of that work.
2. That is, the daily meetings between JA, Franklin, and Jefferson at Franklin's house, in which they prepared to negotiate commercial treaties between the United States and several European powers. The commissioners were currently opening up communications with the Holy Roman Emperor, as ruler of the Austrian Netherlands, and with Spain, and were continuing negotiations with Prussia, which led to a commerical treaty in 1785. In addition, Franklin and Vergennes exchanged formal notes in August and September concerning the interpretation of certain articles of the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1778, whereby the United States formally pledged to France most favored nation status in their commercial relations. See Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:819–821; Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:158–184.
{ 436 }
3. AA errs here. The Comte de Rouault bought the house, which dated from early in the century, in 1767 (Rice, Adams Family in Auteuil, p. 26, note 12).
4. This is printed as “Mr. T.” in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0229

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

[salute] My dear Lucy

I promised to write to you from the Hague,1 but your uncles unexpected arrival at London prevented me. Your uncle purchased an Excellent travelling Coach in London, and hired a post chaise for our servants. In this manner We travelled from London to Dover, accommodated through England with the best of Horses postilions, and good carriages, clean neat appartments, genteel entertainment, and prompt attendance, but no sooner do you cross from Dover to Caliss than every thing is reversed, and yet the distance is very small between them.
The cultivation is by no means equal to that of England, the villages look poor and mean the houses all thatchd and rarely a Glass window in them. Their Horses instead of being handsomely harnessed as those in England are, have the appearence of so many old cart horses. Along you go with 7 Horses tied up with roaps and chains rattleing like trucks, 2 ragged postilions mounted with enormous jack Boots, add to the comick Scene. And this is the Stile in which a Duke or a count travel through this kingdom. You inquire of me how I like Paris? Why they tell me I am no judge, for that I have not seen it yet. One thing I know, and that is, that I have smelt it. If I was agreeably dissapointed in London, I am as much dissapointed in Paris. It is the very dirtyest place I ever saw. There are some Buildings and some Squares which are tolerable, but in general the streets are narrow, the shops, the houses inelegant, and dirty, the Streets full of Lumber and Stone with which they Build. Boston cannot Boast so elegant publick Buildings, but in every other respect, it as much Superiour in my Eyes to Paris, as London is to Boston. To have had Paris tolerable to me; I should not have gone to London. As to the people here, they are more given to Hospitality than in England, it is said.
I have been in company with but one French Lady2 since I arrived, for strangers here make the first visit and nobody will know you untill you have waited upon them in form.
This Lady I dined with at Dr. Franklings. She enterd the Room
{ 437 } { 438 }
with a careless jaunty air. Upon seeing Ladies who were strangers to her, she bawled out ah Mon dieu! where is Frankling, why did you not tell me there were Ladies here? You must suppose her speaking all this in French. How said she I look? takeing hold of a dressing chimise made of tiffanny which She had on over a blew Lutestring, and which looked as much upon the decay as her Beauty, for she was once a handsome woman. Her Hair was fangled, over it she had a small straw hat with a dirty half gauze hankerchief round it, and a bit of dirtyer gauze than ever my maids wore was sewed on behind. She had a black gauze Skarf thrown over her shoulders. She ran out of the room. When she returnd, the Dr. enterd at one door she at the other, upon which she ran forward to him, caught him by the hand, helas Frankling, then gave him a double kiss one upon each cheek and an other upon his forehead. When we went into the room to dine she was placed between the Dr. and Mr. Adams. She carried on the chief of the conversation at dinner, frequently locking her hand into the Drs. and sometimes spreading her Arms upon the Backs of both the Gentlemans Chairs, then throwing her Arm carelessly upon the Drs. Neck.
I should have been greatly astonished at this conduct, if the good Doctor had not told me that in this Lady I should see a genuine French Woman, wholy free from affectation or stifness of behaviour and one of the best women in the world. For this I must take the Drs. word, but I should have set her down for a very bad one altho Sixty years of age and a widow. I own I was highly disgusted and never wish for an acquaintance with any Ladies of this cast. After dinner she threw herself upon a settee where she shew more than her feet. She had a little Lap Dog who was next to the Dr. her favorite. This She kisst3 and when he wet the floor she wiped it up with her chimise. This is one of the Drs. most intimate Friends, with whom he dines once every week and She with him. She is rich and is my near Neighbour, but I have not yet visited her. Thus my dear you see that Manners differ exceedingly in different Countries. I hope however to find amongst the French Ladies manners more consistant with my Ideas of decency, or I shall be a mere recluse.4
You must write to me and let me know all about you. Marriages Births and preferments—every thing you can think of. Give my respects to the Germantown family. I shall begin to get Letters for them by the next vessel.

[salute] Good Night. Believe me your most affectionate Aunt

[signed] Abigail Adams
{ 439 }
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. AA may refer to a letter that has not been found, but in her 6 July letter to Mary Cranch, above, under [29 July], she promised Elizabeth Cranch “a discription of some pretty Scene at the Hague, and Lucy shall have a Parissian Letter.”
2. Madame Helvétius; see AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 4 Sept., and note 2, above.
3. The rest of this sentence was omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, but restored in the 1841 and 1848 editions.
4. AA wrote “or I shall be a mere recluse,” in finer, lighter characters, apparently as an afterthought.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0230

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sister

It is now the 5th of September, and I have been at this place more than a fortnight, but I have had so many Matters to arrange, and so much to attend to, since I left London, that I have scarcly touchd a pen. I am now vastly behind hand in many things which I could have wished to have written down and transmitted to my American Friends, some of which would have amused them: and others diverted them. But such a rapid succession of events, or rather occurrences have been crouded into the last two Months of my Life, that I can scarcly recollect them, much less recount them by detail. There are so many of my Friends who have demands upon me, and who I fear will think me neglegent that I know not which to address first.
Nabby has had less of care upon her, and therefore has been very attentive to her pen, and I hope will supply my difficiences.
Auteuel is a Village 4 miles distant from Paris, and one from Passy. The House we have taken is large, commodious, and agreeably situated, near the woods of Bolign [Boulogne] which belong to the King, and which Mr. Adams calls his park, for he walks an hour or two every day in them. The House is much larger than we have need of, upon occasion 40 beds may be made in it. I fancy it must be very cold in Winter. There are few houses with the privilege, which this enjoys, that of having the saloon as it is called the Appartment where we receive company upon the first floor. This room is very elegant and about a 3d larger than General Warrens Hall. The dinning room is upon the right hand, and the saloon; upon the left of an entry, which has large Glass doors opposite to each other, one opening into the Court as they call it, the other into a large and beautifull Garden. Out of the dinning room you pass through an entry into the kitchen which is rather small for so large a House. In this entry are stairs which you assend, at the Top of which; is a long Gallery fronting the { 440 } street with 6 windows and opposite each window, you open into the Chambers, which all look into the garden.
But with an expence of 30,000 liveres in looking Glasses there is no table in the house better than an oak Board, nor a carpet belonging to the House. The floors I abhor, made of red tile in the shape of Mrs. Quincys floor cloth tile. These floors will by no means bear water, so that the method of cleaning them is to have them wax't and then a Man Servant with foot Brushes drives round Your room danceing here, and there, like a merry Andrew. This is calculated to take from your foot every atom of dirt, and leave the room in a few moments as he found it. The house must be exceeding cold in winter. The dinning rooms; of which you make no other use, are laid in small stone like the red tile, for shape and size. The Servants appartments are generally upon the first floor; and the Stairs which you commonly have to assend to get into the family appartments; are so dirty that I have been obliged to hold up my Cloaths as tho I was passing through a cow yard. I have been but little abroad; it is customary in this country for strangers to make the first visit. As I cannot speak the language, I think I should make rather an awkward figure; I have dined abroad several times; with Mr. Adams'es particular Friends the Abbes, who are very polite and civil, 3 Sensible worthy Men. The Abbe Mabble has lately published a Book which he has dedicated to Mr. A.1 This Gentleman is near 80 years old2 the Abbe Charnon 75 and Arnou about 50, a fine sprightly Man, who takes great pleasure in obligeing his Friends, their appartments were really nice. I have dinned once at Dr. Franklings, and once at Mr. Barcleys our Consuls, who has a very agreeable woman for his wife, and where I feel like being with a Friend. Mrs. Barcley has assisted me in my purchases, gone with me to different shops &c. Tomorrow I am to dine at Monsieur Grands. But I have really felt so happy within doors, and am so pleasingly situated that I have had little inclination to change the Scene. I have not been to one publick Amusement as yet, not even the opera tho we have one very near us.3 You may easily suppose I have been fully employed beginning house keeping anew, and Arrangeing my family, to our no small expence and trouble, for I have had bed linnen table linnen to purchase and make, spoons and forks to get made of silver 3 dozen of each, besides tea furniture, china for the table, servants to procure &c. The expence of living abroad I always supposed to be high, but my Ideas were no ways adequate to the thing. I could have furnished myself in the Town of Boston with every thing I have, 20 and 30 per cent cheeper than I have been able { 441 } to do it here. Every thing which will bear the name of Elegant, is imported from England, and if you will have it, you must pay for it, duties and all. I cannot get a dozen handsome wine Glasses under 3 guineys, nor a pair of small decanters, for less than 1 and half. The only gauze fit to wear is english at a crown per yard, so that realy a guiney goes no further than a Copper with us. For this House Garden Stables &c we give 200 Guineys per year. Wood is 2 Guineys and half per Cord. Coal 6 livers per Basket about 2 Bushel. This article of fireing we calculate at a 100 Guineys per Year. The difference of comeing upon this negotiation to France, and that of remaining at the Hague where the House was already furnisht at the expence of a thousand pounds Sterling, will increase the expence here to 600 Guineys or 700, at a time too, when congress have Cut of 500 Guineys from what they have heretofore given.4 For our coachman and horses alone, (Mr. Adams purchased a coach in England) we give 15 Guineys per month. It is the policy of this country to oblige you to a certain number of servants, and one will not touch what belongs to the buisness of an other, tho he or she has time enough to perform the whole. In the first place there is a Coachman who does not an individual thing but attend to the Carriages and horses. Then the Gardner who has buisness enough. Then comes the cook, the Maiter de Hotle, his Buisness is to purchase articles into the family and oversee that no body cheats but himself, a valet de Chamber John [Briesler] serves in this capacity, a femme de Chambre Ester [Field] serves in this line, and is worth a dozen others, a Coëffeire de Chambre, for this place I have a french Girl about 19 whom I have been upon the point of turning away because Madam will not brush a Chamber. It is not de fashion, it is not her buisness. I would not have kept her a day longer, but found upon inquiry that I could not better myself. <Head> Hair dressing here is very expensive unless you keep such a Madam in the house. She Sews tolerably well so I make her as usefull as I can, she is more particularly devoted to Madamosel. Ester diverted me yesterday evening by telling me that she heard her go muttering by her chamber door after she had been assisting Nabby in dressing. Ha mon dieu, tis provokeing, tis provokeing. She talks a little english. Why whats the matter Paulin, what is provokeing? Why Mademosel look so pretty I so Mauvai.
There is an other indispensable Servant who is called a Frotteurer. His buisness is to rub the floors,5 and to do a still dirtier peice of Buisness, for it is the fashion of the country, and against that neither reason convenience or any thing else can stand, or prevail, tho there { 442 } is plenty of land and places sufficiently convenient for Buildings, no such thing is known out of your own House, to every appartment of which, you have accommadations. But I hate them as a part of their poison.
We have a servant who acts as Maiter de Hottle, whom I like at present, and who is so very gracious as to act as footman too, to save the expence of an other servant; upon condition that we give him a Gentlemans suit of cloath in lieu of a Livery. Thus with 7 servants and hireing a chore woman upon occasion of company, we may possibly make out to keep house; with less we should be hooted at as ridiculous and could not entertain any company. To tell this in our own Country would be considerd as extravagance, but would they send a person here in a publick Character to be a publick jeast.6 At Lodgings in Paris last year, during Mr. Adams negotiations for a peace, it was as expensive to him as it is now at house keeping without half the accommodations.
Washing is an other expensive article. The servants are all allowed theirs; besides their wages, our own cost us a Guiney a week; I have become Steward and Book keeper determining to know with accuracy what our expences are, and to prevail with Mr. Adams to return to America if he finds himself straigtned as I think he must be. Mr. Jay went home because he could not support his family here, with the whole Sallery. What then can be done, curtailled as it now is with the additional expence. Mr. Adams is determined to keep as little company as he possibly can, but some entertainments we must make and it is no unusual thing for them to amount from 50 to 60 Guineys at a time. More is to be performed by way of negotiation many times at one of these entertainments, than at 20 serious conversations, but the policy of our country has been, and still is, to be a penney wise, and a pound foolish. We stand in sufficient need of oconomy, and in the curtailment of other salleries I suppose they thought it absolutely necessary to cut of their foreign ministers, but my own interest apart, the system is bad, for that Nation which degrades their own ministers by obligeing them to live in narrow circumstances cannot expect to be held in high estimation themselves. We spend no evening abroad, make no suppers attend very few publick entertainments or spectacles as they are called, and avoid every expence which is not held indispensable. Yet I cannot but think it hard, that a Gentleman who has devoted So great a part of his Life to the publick service, who has been the means in a great measure, of procureing such extensive { 443 } territories to his country, who saved their fisheries, and who is still Labouring to procure them further advantages; should find it necessary so cautiously to Calculate his pence for fear of over running them. I will add one more expence. There is now a court mourning and every foreign minister with his family must go into mourning, for a prince of eight years old whose Father is an ally to the King of France,7 this mourning orderd by the Court and to be worn Eleven days only: poor Mr. Jefferson had to hie away for a Tailor to get a whole black silk suit made up in two days, and at the end of Eleven days should an other death happen, he will be obliged to have a new Suit of mourning of Cloth, because that is the Season when Silk must be cast of. We may groan and scold but these are expences which cannot be avoided. For Fashion is the Deity every one worships in this country and from the highest to the lowest you must submit. Even poor John and Ester had no comfort amongst the servants, being constantly the Subjects of their ridicule, untill we were obliged to direct them to have their Hair drest. Ester had several Crying Spells upon the occasion that she should be forced to be so much of a fool: but there was no way to keep them from being trampled upon but this; and now they are a la mode de Paris, they are much respected. To be out of fashion is more criminal than to be seen in a state of Nature to which the Parissians are not averse.8 What my dear Sister can you conceive of the Manners of a Country, one city of which has 52 thousand licenced unmarried women, Who, are so lost to a sense of shame, and virtue, as publickly to enter their Names at the police, for abandoned purposes. This I heard from the mouth of one of the Abbee's who is a man of virtue, and unblemished Character.
Sunday here bears the nearest resemblance to our commencement and Elections days. Every thing is jolity and mirth and recreation.
But to quit these subjects, pray tell me how you all do. I long to hear from you. House and Garden with all its decorations, are not so dear to me as my own little Cottage connected with the Society I used there to enjoy, for out of my own family I have no attachments in Europe, nor do I think I ever shall have. As to the language I speak it a little, bad grammer, and all, but I have So many French Servants that I am under a necessity of trying.
Could you my sister and my dear cousins come and see me, as you used to do, walk in the Garden and delight ourselves in the alcoves and Arbours, I should enjoy myself much better. When Mr. Adams is { 444 } absent, I set in my little writing room, or the chamber I have discribed to Betsy,9 and read, or sew. Nabby is for ever at her pen, writing or learning French. Sometimes company and sometimes abroad we are fully employed.
Who do you think dined with us the other day. A Mr. Mather and his Lady son of Dr. Mather10 and Mrs. Hay who have come to spend the winter in France; I regret that they are going to some of the provinces. To day Mr. Tracy Mr. Williams Mr. Jefferson and Humphries11 are to dine with us, and one day last week we had a company of 27 persons. Dr. Frankeling Mr. Hartly and his Secretary &c. &c.12 But my paper warns me to close. Do not let any body complain of me. I am going on writing to one after an other as fast as possible. If this vessel does not carry them the next will. Give my Love to one of the best Men in the world. Affectionately Yours.
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); docketed in a later hand, on the first sheet: “5th. September. 1784,” and “No. 3.”
1. Abbé Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, Observations sur le gouvernement et les lois des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784. This work is in the form of four letters, dated Passy, July and Aug. 1783, and addressed to “Mr. Adams, Ministre-Plénipotentiaire des Etats-Unis en Hollande & pour les Negotions de la Paix générale.” Two copies of this work, and a copy of the translation, Remarks Concerning the Government and the Laws of the United States of America, London, 1784, are in JA's library (Catalogue of JA's Library; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:315, note 1; 3:102, note 1).
2. See AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 4 Sept., and note 4, above.
3. Probably the Comédie du Bois de Boulogne, which AA2 and JQA attended on 21 Aug. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:15).
4. On 7 May, the same day on which it named John Jay its new secretary for foreign affairs and appointed Thomas Jefferson to take Jay's place as minister plenipotentiary with JA and Franklin, Congress approved Elbridge Gerry's motion to reduce the annual salaries of its ministers from $11,111 to $9,000. This motion followed the 5 May recommendation by a congressional committee, which included Gerry and Jefferson, that America trim its civil list by several positions and reduce the salaries of several of its remaining officials. See JCC, 26:342–343, 349–350, 352–356.
5. The rest of this paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
6. JA expanded on the insufficiency of his salary for the social requirements of European diplomacy in letters to Elbridge Gerry of 9 Sept. (Private owner, Chicago, 1960), 4 Nov. (CSmH), and 12 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers), and to Francis Dana, 4 Nov. (MHi: Dana Papers).
7. The young prince was Charles August Frederick, son of Charles II, Duke of Zweibrücken (Leiden Gazette, Supplement, 31 Aug. 1784). In 1778, during the Austro-Prussian conflict over the Bavarian succession, Charles II had been the Prussian candidate for the electorship of Bavaria. By the Treaty of Teschen of 1779, which settled the War of the Bavarian Succession, Charles received compensation, but not the electorship (JA, Papers, 8:110, and note 6).
8. The rest of this paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
9. AA to Elizabeth Cranch, this same day, above.
10. Samuel Mather, son of Rev. Samuel Mather, grandson of Cotton Mather, and nephew of the late Gov. Thomas Hutchinson, had served as chief clerk of the Boston customs office before the Revolution, and fled with the loyalists. He returned to Boston after the death of his patriot father in 1785. JQA, Diary, { 445 } 1:210, note 1; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:222, 233, 235.
11. Nathaniel Tracy; probably Jonathan Williams, who had served as American commercial agent at Nantes; and Col. David Humphreys.
12. This was probably the dinner of 28 Aug., at which the abbés de Mably, Chalut, and Arnoux, and John Paul Jones, were also guests (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:17).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0231

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams to Royall Tyler

[salute] Dear Sir

I have scarcly toucht a pen since I came from London nor have I written a single Letter to a Friend untill now. Mr. Tracy is here for a few days only. Part of that time I am under engagements abroad and part of it obliged to see company at home, which prevents my writing to severel of my Friends—who must not be dissapointed if several vessels arrive from London without Letters for it is only by private hands that we can convey them there and packets would be too expensive to them. In future I determine to write as I have leisure and embrace every opportunity I can find of forwarding them to London. You have learnt by Mr. Smith I hope long before this will reach you what may set your Heart and mind at ease,2 and I hope you are going on in Such a way as to give those who are disposed to <befriend> assist you no cause to repent their friendly disposition towards you. Europe has no charms to attach me to it disconnected with my family, nor ever can have, curiosity gratified, and I turn my thought to my lowly cottage, to my rough hewn Garden, as objects more pleasing than the Gay and really beautifull one which now presents itself to my view. My taste is too riggedly fixed to be warped by the Gay sun shine and Splendour of Parissian attractions, it is true that like or dislike you must eat drink and dress as they do. I will not say Sleep, for to that I have not conformd. I will not pretend to judge of a people by the Manners of a few individuals. The acquaintance I have had with several Gentlemen of this nation lead me to more favourable opinion of their exteriour, than what I have seen and heard respecting the other Sex. I shall however be better able to judge as I mix more with them. It is manners more than conversation which distinguish a fine woman in my Eye, so that my being unacquainted with the Language is not so material in this particular. A woman whose manners are modest and decent cannot fail of having some merit. Emelia on this account strikes where ever she appears, the old Abbes who are Mr. Adamses particular Friends call her une Ange and the Lady with whom I dined at Dr. Franklings, threw her self into a { 446 } chair with this exclamation, une Belle figurer3 Monsieur Adams. Parissian dress with American neatness gives an advantageous appearence, and as you are a conissure in a Ladys dress I will tell you what it was: a white Lutestring Robe and petticoat, with hair drest and a white Gauze baloon Hat with a dress hankerchif ruffels &c. The Hat worn upon one side to give a little of the parissian appearence of fashion.
I have seen or rather been in company with but few French Ladies. I am going to go dine with my correspondent Madam Grand, when I return I will tell you how I like her. I beg to understand much better than I can speak the language. I venture to talk with my coiffeiur de femme, who is fluent enough as most of those kind of people are. She tells me that I shall Soon <parley fransoize beinny> parlaiz François fort bien, Mais Madomesel ne parler François ni Anglois.
Dft (Adams Papers, filmed under date of [Sept.? 1784], Microfilms, Reel No. 363).
1. The dateline is based on AA's imminent departure for dinner at Madam Grand's, mentioned below, which AA2 places on 5 Sept. (Jour. and Corr., 1:17; see also JQA, Diary, 1:211).
2. William Smith Jr. reached Boston by 18 September (see Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 26 Sept., below).
3. “Mon dieu qu'elle est Belle!” is written by JQA above the line, in the lighter shade of ink in which AA wrote the last paragraph of this letter. The speaker was evidently Madam Helvétius (AA to Lucy Cranch, 5 Sept., above).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0232

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

Although I have not yet written to you, be assured Madam, you have been the subject of some of my most pleasing thoughts: the sweet communion we have often had together, and the pleasant Hours I have past both at Milton, and Braintree I have not realized in Europe; I visit, and am visited; but not being able to converse in the language of the Country, I can only silently observe Manners and Men. I have been here so little while that it would be improper for me to pass Sentence, or form judgments of a People from a converse of so short duration. This I may however say with truth that their Manners are totally different from those of our own Country. If you ask me what is the Business of Life here? I answer Pleasure. The Beau Monde you reply. Ay1 Madam from the Throne to the footstool it is the Science of every Being in Paris, and its environs. It is a matter of great Speculation to me, when these People labour. I am persuaded the greater part of these people, who crowd the Streets, the publick { 447 } walks, the Theatres, the Spectacles as they term them, must subsist upon Bread and Water. In London the Streets are also full of People, but their Dress, their Gait, every appearance indicates Business, except upon Sundays, when every Person, devotes the Day, either at Church or in walking, as is most agreeable to his fancy: but here from the gayety of the Dress, and the Places they frequent I judge Pleasure is the Business of Life. We have no days with us, or rather in our Country by which I can give you an Idea of the Sabbath here; except Commencement and Election. Paris upon that Day pours forth all her Citizens into the environs for the purposes of recreation; we have a Beautiful wood, cut into walks, within a few rods of our dwelling, which upon this Day, resounds with Musick and Dancing, jollity and Mirth of every kind. In this Wood Booths are erected, where cake, fruit, and wine are sold. Here Milliners repair with their gauzes ribbons and many other articles in the pedling Stile, but for other purposes I imagine, than the mere sale of their Merchandize, but every thing here is a subject of merchandize.
I believe this Nation is the only one in the world who could make Pleasure the Business of Life, and yet retain such a relish for it, as never to complain of its being tasteless or insipid; the Parisians seem to have exhausted Nature, and Art in this Science; and to be triste is a complaint of a most serious Nature.
What Idea my dear Madam can you form of the Manners of a Nation one city of which furnishes (Blush o, my sex when I name it) 52,000 unmarried females so lost to a Sense of Honour, and shame as publickly to enrole their Names in a Notary Office for the most abandoned purposes and to commit iniquity with impunity: thousands of these miserable wretches perish, annually with Disease and Poverty, whilst the most sacred of institutions is prostituted to unite titles and Estates.2 In the family of Monsieur Grand, who is a Protestant I have seen a Decorum and Decency of Manners, a conjugal and family affection, which are rarely found, where seperate apartments, seperate Pleasures and amusements shew the world that Nothing but the Name is united. But whilst absolutions are held in estimation and Pleasure can be bought and sold, what restraint have mankind upon their Appetites and Passions? There are few of them left in a Neighbouring Country amongst the Beau Monde, even where dispensations are not practised. Which of the two Countries can you form the most favourable opinion of, and which is the least pernicious to the morals? That where vice is Licenced: or where it is suffered to walk at large soliciting the unwary, and unguarded as it { 448 } is to a most astonishing height in the Streets of London and where virtuous females are frequently subject to insult. In Paris no such thing happens, but the greatest Decency and Respect is shown by all orders to the female Character. The Stage is in London made use of as a vehicle to corrupt the Morals. In Paris no such thing is permitted, they are too Polite to wound the Ear. In one Country, vice is like a ferocious Beast, seeking whom it may devour: in the other like a subtle Poison secretly penetrating and working destruction. In one Country you cannot travel a mile without danger to your person and Property yet Publick executions abound; in the other your person and property are safe; executions are Rare. But in a Lawful way, Beware for with whomsoever you have to deal, you may rely upon an attempt to over reach you. In the Graces of motion and action this People shine unrivalled. The Theatres exhibit to me the most pleasing amusement I have yet found; the little knowledge I have of the Language, enables me to judge here, and the actions to quote, an old phrase, speak louder than words. I was the other Evening at what is called the French Theatre (to distinguish it from several others) it being the only one upon which tragedies are acted, here I saw a piece of the celebrated Racine, a sacred Drama called Athalia.3 The dresses were superb, the House Elegant and Beautiful, the Actors beyond the reach of my pen. The Character of the high-Priest admirably well supported. And Athalia, would have shone as Sophonisba,4 or Lady Macbeth: if the term shine, may be applied to a Character full of Cruelty and Horrour. To these publick Spectacles (and to every other amusement) you may go, with perfect security to your Person, and property; Decency and good order, are preserved, yet are they equally crowded with those of London, but in London, at going in and coming out of the Theatre, you find yourself in a Mob: and are every Moment in Danger of being robbed; in short the term John Bull, which Swift formerly gave to the English Nation,5 is still very applicable to their Manners; the cleanliness of Britain joined to the civility and politeness of France, would make a most agreeable assemblage: you will smile at my Choice, but as I am like to reside sometime in this Country, why should I not wish them the article in which they are most deficient.
It is the established Custom of this Country for Strangers to make the first visit; not speaking the Language, lays me under embarassments, for to visit a Lady, merely to bow to her, is painful especially where they are so fond of conversing, as the Ladies here generally are, so that my female acquaintance is rather confined as yet, and { 449 } my residence 4 miles from Paris will make it still more so. There are four American Ladies who have visited, me, Mrs. Barclay with whom I have a Friendship, and whom I can call upon at all times without Ceremony, and who is an excellent Lady, a Mrs. Price, a canadian Lady,6 Mrs. Valnais, and Mrs. Bingham. Mrs. Bingham is a very young Lady, not more than 20, very agreeable, and very handsome: rather too much given to the foibles of the Country for the mother of two Children, which she already is.7
As to politicks, Madam, the world is at Peace, and I have wholly done with them. Your good Husband, and mine would speculate upon treaties of Commerce, could they spend their Evenings together as I sincerely wish they could or upon what they love better, agriculture, and Husbandry; which is become full as necessary for our Country. This same surly John Bull is kicking up the Dust and growling, looking upon the fat pastures he has lost, with a malicious and envious Eye, and though he is offered admission upon Decent Terms, he is so mortified and stomachful,8 that although he longs for a morcel, he has not yet agreed for a single Bite.
This Village of Auteuil, where we reside is 4 miles from Paris, and 1. from Passy, a very pretty Summer retreat, but not so well calculated for Winter: I fear it will prove as cold as Milton Hill; if I was to judge of the Winters here by what I have experienced of the fall I should think they were equally severe, as with us. We begin already to find fires necessary.9
During the little time I was in England, I saw more of the curiosities of London, than I have yet seen of Paris so that I am not able to give you any account of any publick Buildings or amusements, except the Theatres of which I shall grow very fond, as soon, as I am mistress enough of the Language to comprehend all the Beauties of it. There are 3. theatres in Paris constantly open, but that upon which tragedies are acted is the most pleasing to me. Corneille, Racine, Crebillon and Moliere are very frequently given here upon the Stage. The best pronuntiation is to be acquired. There is a Mrs. Siddons in London, who is said to be the female Garrick of the present day. I had not the happiness to see her when I was in London, as she was then in Ireland, but I saw no actors upon their Stage, which by any means equal those which I have met with here: The People of this Country, keep up their intercourse, with each other by dining together after which they repair to the Theatres and to the publick walks.
I sigh10 (though not allow'd) for my social tea parties which I left { 450 } in America, and the friendship of my chosen few, and their agreeable converse would be a rich repast to me, could I transplant them round me in the Village of Auteuil, with my habits, tastes and Sentiments, which are too firmly rivetted to change with change of Country or Climate, and at my age the greatest of my enjoyments consisted in the reciprocation of Friendship.11
How is my good friend Charles? Finely recovered I hope.12 I do not despair of seeing him here, and at this house he may be assured of a welcome whenever he wishes to try the air of France. Gay Harry, has he got any more flesh and Health? Grave Mr. George is well I hope, and fixed in some business to his mind. Let not my esteemed Friend the eldest of the Brothers,13 think I have forgotten or neglected him by naming him last. His tenderness for his Brothers, and his better Health will excuse me, if I have been guilty of a breach of order. He will accept my good wishes for his Health and Prosperity without regard to place.14
Shall I ask General Warren how farming and Husbandry flourish; I thought often of him, and the delight he would have received in a Journey from Deal to London. The rich variety of grass and Grain, with which that Country was loaded as I rode through it, exhibited a prospect of the highest cultivation. All Nature look'd like a Garden; the Villages around Paris are pleasant, but neither the Land, nor the cultivation equal a neighbouring Nation.
When you see our good Friend Madam Winthrop, be pleased to make my regards to her; you will also remember me to your Neighbours at the foot of the Hill, and let me hear from you, by every opportunity, as the correspondence of my Friends is the only compensation I can receive for the loss of their Society.
Is Polly married? Happiness attend her and her partner if she is. To Mr. and Mrs. Otis, to one and all of my dear Friends be kind enough to remember me; the truth of one Maxim of Rochefoucault I experience, “that absence heightens rather than diminishes those affections which are strong and Sincere.”
You will see, my dear Madam, by the date of the above,15 that my Letter has lain by long, waiting a private conveyance. Mr. Tracy and Mr. Jackson, design to return to London this week and I shall request the favour of them to take charge of it. Since it was written there have been some changes in the political world, and the Emperor16 has recalled his Ambassador from the United Provinces. Every thing { 451 } seems to wear an Hostile Appearance. The Dutch are not in the least intimidated but are determined at all events to refuse the opening of the17 Scheld to the Emperor. This Court is endeavouring to Mediate between the Emperor and the Dutch. When the affair was to be debated in the Kings Counsel18 the Queen said to the Count de Vergennes, “M. le Comte, you must remember that the Emperor is my brother.” “I certainly shall Madam,” replied the Count, “but your Majesty will remember that you are Queen of France.”19
Thus much for Politicks. You ask about treaties of Commerce. Courts like Ladies, stand upon Punctilio's and chuse to be address'd upon their own ground. I am, not at Liberty to say more.20
This is the 12th. of December, and we have got an American Snow Storm, the climate is not so pleasant as I expected to find it; I love the cheerful Sun shine of America, and the Clear blue Sky.
Adieu my dear Madam, I have so much writing to do, that I am, tho unwillingly obliged to close requesting my Son to copy for me. You will not fail writing soon to your Friend and humble Servant.
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC in JQA's hand (MHi: Warren Papers); docketed: “Mrs Abigail Adams Sepr 5 & Decr 12th 1784 No. 15.” Dft (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “To Mrs. James Warren. Sept. 1784.” Important variants in the draft are noted below, but JQA's occasional corrections of AA's spelling, mostly of French proper names, have not been marked.
1. AA's characteristic “Aya” appears in the draft.
2. This long sentence is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848.
3. Racine's Athalie (1691) was performed at “the French Comedy,” also called “the French Theatre.” AA may have seen this play with AA2, who saw it on either 6 or 13 Sept. (JQA to Charles Storer, 16 Sept., Adams Papers).
4. Sophonisba, daughter of the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal, committed suicide to escape capture by the Romans. She was the subject of several English tragedies, most recently (1730) by James Thomson, one of AA's favorite authors (The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Sir Paul Harvey, Oxford, 1932).
5. The History of John Bull (1712) was actually the creation of John Arbuthnot; it was republished in Pope and Swift's Miscellanies in 1727 (same).
6. JA had known a Mr. and Mrs. Price in Paris since Nov. 1782 (Diary and Autobiography, 3:46), and John Thaxter records meeting a Mrs. Price about the same time (Thaxter to AA, 19 Nov. 1782, above). Mr. Price may have been the Montreal merchant, mentioned by JA in 1775 (JA, Papers, 3:17, and note 2), who was a business partner of John Bondfield, also a Canadian, in 1778–1779 (same, 7:203, note 1, 374).
7. Anne Willing, daughter of the prominent Philadelphia merchant and banker Thomas Willing, married William Bingham in 1780, shortly after her sixteenth birthday (Notable American Women; DAB). In the draft AA substituted the latter part of this sentence, after the colon (and writing “follies” rather than “foibles”) in place of the following crossed out passage: “as to Gentleman I see a variety of them, amongst the French Gentlemen who have visited here I have not been better pleased with any than Count Sarsfield, who is an elderly Gentleman of good Sense and probity. He speaks English, and has ever been a warm and steady Friend of Mr. Adamses.”
8. Obstinate, self-willed, or resentful (OED).
9. In the draft AA wrote, “we have kept fires { 452 } for six Weeks.” If AA wrote this on 5 Sept., and not considerably later, she exaggerated—