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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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