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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5

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.
{ 372 }
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—the Adamses had only been in France for about three weeks. But AA may well have written this passage many weeks after the opening of her letter, and she apparently completed the draft only in December (see notes 14 and 15).
10. In the draft this paragraph begins with the following crossed out passage: “Very few of them sup, nor have I ever been invited to spend an evening abroad since I have been in this country.”
11. In the draft this paragraph continues on: “<I have been Surprized. I have the company and Society of my best Friend which largely compensates for the want of many others. I have a part of my family with me, but I see them sighing for the social intercourse of America and in the midst of the world in solitude, but thus it must be or give into pleasures and amusements> unbecoming the Characters of Republicans and of Americans and wholy unequal to our finances—which whatever our countrymen may think are wholy unequal to the manner of living which is required of [a] person in the publick Character in which they have placed my Friend. I dinned the other day at the table of a former Farmer General and at one dinner the equipage upon the table could not have been purchased for a whole Years american ministers sallery. There [are] American Gentlemen and their families now in Paris who live in a higher Stile and expend much more than is allowed to the American ministers. But why should I grumble. I would not, if they would let us live at Braintree in a private Character where an english Shilling would go farther than a Louidor here.” AA certainly intended to strike out the entire passage, but stopped at the bottom of the page. Compare her sentiment here with that in her letter to Mary Cranch, [5 Sept.], and note 4, above.
12. Charles Warren had been ill with consumption for several months; he died near Cadiz, Spain, in 1785, while on a futile third journey to regain his health (AA to JA, 15 March, above; Alice Brown, Mercy Warren, N.Y., 1896, p. 256–257).
13. James Warren Jr.
14. This paragraph, the next three paragraphs, and the dateline, “December 12th,” do not appear in the draft, although the draft has a considerable amount of blank space following the long deleted passage in note 11. AA might have dictated these four paragraphs to JQA. All of the text following “December 12th,” however, is in the draft, with the exceptions noted below.
15. The draft has the more precise expression “the above date,” but no date actually appears; AA perhaps left this blank until the letter was ready to copy, and then did not bother to enter a date on the draft. The editors do not know of any letters written by AA between 9 Sept. and 2 Dec. 1784.
16. In the draft after “Emperor,” AA crossed out: “has declared War against the states.”
17. The phrase “opening of the” is not in the draft.
18. In the draft, AA began this sentence: “When the Count de Vergennes,” and then broke off, and proceeded to the next paragraph, “Thus much for Politicks.”
19. Quotation marks have been supplied before “I” and “but” in this passage. The Scheldt River and its major port, Antwerp, had been closed to shipping since the Dutch Republic had obtained control of the barrier fortresses at the river's mouth under the terms of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. By closing the river the Dutch forestalled commercial competition from Antwerp and considerably lessened the value of the Austrian Netherlands to Austria. The Dutch ability to enforce the prohibition of navigation was considerably dependent on their treaties with Great Britain which required British aid if the Netherlands was attacked, but Britain's suspension of those treaties in 1780 and the subsequent Anglo-Dutch war isolated the Netherlands and provided the Austrian Emperor, Joseph II, with an apparent opportunity to alter the status quo. He, therefore, opened a campaign of diplomatic and military intimidation that, by December 1784, seemed about to result in a major war. But Joseph relied too much on the existing Franco-Austrian alliance and the influence of his sister, Marie Antoinette, to force France to come to his aid, for while Louis XVI and Vergennes were willing to make some accommodations to the Austrian position and mediate a settlement, they were unwilling to ignore Dutch interests or, more importantly, their own in not having a strengthened Austrian presence on their northern border. The resulting Treaty of Fontainebleau of 8 Nov. 1785 thus included important Dutch concessions, but the Scheldt remained closed (Orville T. Murphy, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes: French Diplomacy in the Age of Revolution, 1719–1787, Albany, 1982, p. 405–416). For the acrimonious { 453 } exchanges between Marie Antoinette and Vergennes, including that quoted by AA but with Vergennes replying “I remember, Madame, but I recall, above all else, that Monseigneur le Dauphin is your son,” see p. 415–416.
20. See JQA to Richard Cranch, 6 Sept. (MeHi); AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec., under dateline 12 Dec., below; and JA to Cotton Tufts, 15 Dec. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0233

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1784-09-05

Abigail Adams 2d to Mercy Otis Warren

I should have availed myself, Madam, of your permission to write you, ere this, had an opportunity presented. I now have the pleasure to present myself to you from Auteuil, a few miles from Paris, where we are, and expect to reside some time. Mr. Charles is ere this, I hope, quite recovered from his indisposition, and that health smiles again through your habitation.
I had the pleasure of seeing your son Winslow when in London. He was well, and left the city for Lisbon while we were there. Mamma was very unfortunate in the letters which you entrusted to her care for him. In the purtubation of spirits at leaving her friends, she put them in the pocket of the chaise, and unfortunately forgot them, nor did she recollect them till we had been a week or two at sea.1
I hear you inquire, Madam, how I am pleased with this European world; whether my expectations, imagination, and taste, are gratified; and how the variety of objects which are presented to my view, impress my mind. All these questions I can answer, but in a manner, perhaps, that may surprise you, or lead you to think me very unobserving, and possessed of an uncultivated taste, which has received very little improvement by visiting Europe.
In viewing objects at a distance, we see them through a false medium. As we approach, the disguise wears away, and we often find ourselves disappointed. I have indeed found this observation to be just. The contrast is by no means so remarkable between America and Europe, as is generally supposed. I am happy to assure you, that I give the preference to my own country, and believe I ever shall. In England the similarity is much greater to our own country, than here, and on that account I found it more agreeable. There is the appearance of greater wealth, as is very natural to imagine; but I have seen nothing that bears any proportion to my ideas of elegance, either in their houses,—especially in this country,—or in the appearance of the people.
This day we dined with Madame le Grand, the lady from whom mamma formerly received a letter.2 It is, I believe, an agreeable family. { 454 } After dinner it was proposed to go and see the Dauphin, whose palace was but a little distance from the house.3 However ridiculous I might think it to pay so much obeisance to this infant, I joined the company. The Palace is by no means an elegant building. There was a garden before it, surrounded by an open fence, and guards placed all around. The Dauphin was playing in the garden, and four ladies attending him. He is a pretty, sprightly child. We had the honour of seeing him, and paying him the compliment of a bow or a courtesy. He was amusing himself with as much ease as any other child of his age would have been. There were, I believe, a thousand persons crowding to take a view of this child, and from them he received every mark of respect and reverence that it was in their power to present. The gardens are only open on Sunday, and no one has an opportunity, on any other day, to see this representative of despotism and monarchy. One cannot but regret, that any people should, either from necessity or choice, be led to pay so much obeisance to a being who may rule them with a sceptre of iron.
Will you permit me, Madam, to hope for the pleasure of hearing from you? It will, I assure you, confer happiness, and shall be esteemed a favour by your young friend,
[signed] A. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:30–32.)
1. See AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July, above, under “July 7th.”
2. For references to the lost correspondence between Madam Grand and AA, 1778–1780, see vol. 4.
3. Louis Joseph Xavier François, heir to the French throne, was born 22 Oct. 1781, and died on 4 June 1789. The Adamses saw the dauphin at the Château de la Muette, a royal hunting lodge in the Bois de Boulogne (JQA, Diary, 1:211, and note 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0234

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1784-09-05

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Friend

I am here, happily Settled with my Family and I feel more at home, than I have ever done in Europe.
I have not time to enlarge, as Mr. Tracy who takes this, is upon his Return to London.
The Pasture you mention,1 rocky and bushy as it is, I should be glad to purchase, and if you can, I wish you to buy it for me and draw upon me for the Money, and if you know of any Salt Marsh or Woodland to be Sold in Braintree, buy it for me and draw for the Money to be paid in London, Amsterdam or Paris, at your Pleasure.
{ 455 }
Or you may purchase Ves[e]ys dry Plain, near me, and draw in the same manner.2 But dont lay out more than Three hundred Pounds Sterling in this manner, at least dont draw upon me, for more than that Sum, unless you Should purchase both Veseys and Verchilds, for I have little Money to Spare, and am not likely to have more.
If all the Fishes in the Sea, all the Deers in the Forrests and all the Beavers in the Swamps Should furnish me a few Bitts of Marsh and Lotts of Wood, a quarter Part as much as my Profession would have furnished my Family, if I had let the Fishes Deers and Beavers, all go to the Devil together, I shall think myself well off, and be thought by others too well, miserable bes[otted?] human Kind, loading with their Rewards those who betray them and Starving without Mercy those who Sacrifice themselves for their Service!3
Pardon this Misanthropic Ejaculation at a Time when I assure you, I think myself one of the happiest Men in the World. If I had been less happy I should not have been So Saucy.

[salute] My best Regards to Uncle Quincy Your Lady and Son, and believe me forever your Friend

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honorable Cotton Tufts Esqr Weymouth”; notation by Nathaniel Tracy: “London Sept 16. 84 Rec & forwarded by Your most obedt Sev N Tracy”; endorsed: “Hon John Adams Esq Paris. Sept. 1784 recd. Nov.” Some damage to the text where the seal was partially torn away.
1. See Tufts to JA, 3 July, and note 1, above.
2. In her letter to Tufts, 8 Sept., below, AA criticizes this tract of land and dissents from JA's wish to buy it.
3. JA refers to his successful efforts, in the recent peace negotiations with Great Britain, to secure access to the northeastern fishing grounds and the northern and western game and fur bearing forests for America, at the expense of his profitable legal career. Those rewarded for trying to betray America's interests in the negotiations were presumably Benjamin Franklin, the Comte de Vergennes, and their allies, as JA had come to believe from 1780 to 1783; and Congress, by cutting back JA's salary, was “Starving [him] without Mercy.” See AA to Mary Cranch, [5 Sept.], and note 6, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0235

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1784-09-06

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

Know all Men by these Presents, that I John Adams of Braintree in the County of Suffolk in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have constituted and do hereby constitute the Honourable Cotton Tufts of Weymouth in said County Esq. my lawfull Attorney, giving him full Authority for the Management of all my Estate and Effects Real Personal and mixed in the said Commonwealth, for me and in my Name and Stead as fully as I myself might do if personally present, and to appear for me in all Causes real personal and mixt and for me { 456 } and in my Name and Stead to plead and pursue to final Judgment and Execution with Power of Substitution.

[salute] Witness my Hand and Seal, at Auteuil near Paris, in the Kingdom of France this Sixth Day of September A.D. 1784.

[signed] John Adams
[signed] Witnesses
Nathaniel TracyJohn Briesler
MS (MHi).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0236

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1784-09-08

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear Sir

To a Gentleman I so much respect, and esteem, I am ashamed to write only a few hasty lines, yet I fear he would consider it as still more disrespectfull if I should wholly omit writing.
My intention has been to take some leisure Day, and devote it wholly in writing to my Friends.
Since I arrived here my time has been engrossed, not with publick Shews, and Spectacles, as they are called, but in the necessary care of organizeing my family, which I find a much more difficult matter than in America.
There are so many instruments the use of which I have to learn, and composed of so many parts, which I have heretofore been taught to believe unnecessary, that it requires a very skillfull hand to make them all harmonize. Each Servant has a certain Etiquet, and one will by no means intrude upon the department of an other. For Instance your Coiffer de femme, will dress your Hair, and make your bed, but she will not Brush out your Chamber. Your cook will dress your vituals, but she will not wash a dish, or perform any other kind of business. With a swarm of them I have to inquire pray why is not this or that done? O tis not the buisness of their department, that belongs to the femme de Chambre; and this to the Cuisine femme.
In short there is no knowing when you have filled every department. A pack of Lazy wretches, who eat the Bread of Idleness, are Saddled upon you to Support and mantain for the purpose of plundering you, and I add to make one unhappy.
I have been So vext Sometimes, that I have been ready to send { 457 } them all packing at once, but the misery is, you cannot help yourself: and you only exchange one evil, for an other. This Sir is one of the blessings attendant upon publick life. We have 8 servants in pay no washing done in the House, and were it not for the double and trible Capacity in which my American servants act, we should be plagued with half a dozen more.
Yet even here is an evil, for it will create heart burnings to see a pack of lazy [lares?], in reality much beneath them; disdaining to perform what they do. Yet were we at Lodgings it would be Still more expensive, as we have already experienced, for there they will take care to make you pay for all these wretches, whether you have their Service or not, as they oblige you upon the road to take a certain number of Post Horses, and whether you take them or not, you are obliged to pay for the number.
Every thing I have yet seen, serves to endear my own Country more and more to me. I often recollect what Mr. Thomas Boylstone1 once said, that the true art of living, consisted in early learning to “ward off” but the Parissians render this art useless for they have established a tyranny of fashion, which is above Law and to which their must be an implicit obedience.
Both in England and here I find such a disposition to Cheat, that I dare not take a step alone. Almost every person with whom you have to deal, is fully determined to make a prey of you. Those who are friendly to us warn us of it, and inspect our accounts. You have however the privilege of paying them only what is usual, when ever you are fortunate to make the discovery, but every Stranger pays Dear for his knowledge.
Long, Long, my dear Sir may our Country preserve that integrity, that modest diffidence, and that open Hospitality which I now see it possesses in preference to all I have yet seen. There is not a servant in any department either in London or here, but what will come with the same boldness, for what are called perquisites of office, (of Insolence it should be) as if you had enterd into an engagement to pay them, and this you have to do, at every inn, over and above all your other Charges. The Chamber Maid has half a Crown for her fees, the postilion the Hostler the waiter all among themselves and make their demands.
I was highly diverted at Deal, tho provoked, where I first landed. The passengers had brought on shore 7 hand trunks, concequently 7 porters laid hold of them. These were to be carried to the Custom House, only a few Steps, and when they returnd we had 14 of these { 458 } Rascals to pay, 7 of them for carrying them and 7 more for bringing them back. 3 Americans would have done the whole buisness and thought themselves well payd with half a Dollor; whereas, they demanded, a Guiney and half, and were pay'd a Guiney.
I fancy I have by this time satisfied you with European Customs. I will turn to a subject more pleasing and inquire after my American Friends. My dear Aunt, How does she do? Not tempted I dare say to take a voyage with you to France.
Indeed she is happier in her own country as I should be were her family all there. Cousin Tufts,2 pray send him abroad to try his patience. Poor Mr. Jefferson and Col. Humphries could not keep their's. They Breakfasted with us this morning on their way to Versailles. You must know Sir that a certain young prince about 8 years of age, whose Father is in alliance with the King of France,3 has been so unfortunate as to put these Gentlemen to 50 Guineys expence in order to appear at court to day where they are obliged to go every tuesday. The real truth he died, and the Court were orderd to wear mourning Eleven days. Accordingly the Tailers were set to work and they full trimmed in Awfull Sable came out to accompany Mr. Adams to Court, who the day before had been informd that for some reason, I know not what, no court would be held this week. I own I took not a little pleasure in makeing them feel what others had felt before them, and anounced to them that their Labour was all in vain, for their was no Court this week and by the next the mourning would be out. I had concluded myself to go into no company for the Eleven days in order to avoid the expence as the time was so short, and tho I had black it was not the silk for the Season and therefore could not be worn. Mr. Jefferson who is really a man who abhors this shew and parade full as much as Mr. Adams, yet he has not been long enough enured to it, to Submit with patience, or bear it without fretting. Back they had to go to Paris and lay by their mourning untill the next death. His Hair too is an other affliction which he is tempted to cut off. He expects not to live above a Dozen years4 and he shall lose one of those in hair dressing. Their is not a porter nor a washer woman but what has their hair powderd and drest every day. Such is the Jeu.
Mr. Adams tell[s] me he has written you requesting you to buy him wood land Salt Marsh or Veseys place. To the two first I do not object, but Veseys place is poverty, and I think we have enough of that already.5 The land which Col. Quincy formerly owned, is the place I wish for, but our income is so curtailed that I fear we Shall be obliged to Spend Annually more than our present allowance.
{ 459 }
How do my black tennants?6 I hope they live in Peace. I received a few lines from you since my arrival. Mr. Smith is in America I hope by this time, by him my Friends will learn whatever they wish to know about me.
I dined the other Day with Dr. Franklin7 who appears to enjoy good Health. There was a Lady present who so cordially embraced him, and repeated it so often, that I think the old Gentleman cannot be averse to the example of King David, for if embraces will tend to prolong his life and promote the vigour of his circulations, he is in a fair way to live the age of an Antediluvian. Be kind enough my dear Sir to present my Duty to my good Aunt and Love to Mr. Tufts. Instead of apoligizing for the Shortness of my Letter, I ought to ask excuse for its length, but I have been insensibly led on. I beg you to honour me with your correspondence which will greatly contribute to the happiness of your ever affectionate Neice
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Paris Sept 1784 recd Nov. 13—.”
1. JA's mother's cousin, the wealthy merchant of Boston and, after 1779, of London.
2. Tufts' son, Cotton Tufts Jr.
3. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, [5 Sept.] and note 7, above.
4. Jefferson had been ill in Annapolis in March, and would suffer persistent illness in Paris, from early November, or earlier, through the winter (Jefferson, Papers, 7:31, 500, 503, 545, 602, 636–637; AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec., below).
5. See JA to Tufts, 5 Sept., above.
6. Phoebe and William Abdee.
7. Probably the dinner of 1 Sept., at which AA met Madame Helvétius (AA to Lucy Cranch, 5 Sept., above).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1784-09-11

John Adams and Abigail Adams to Benjamin Franklin

Mr. and Mrs. Adams present their Compliments to Dr. Franklin and hope to have the Honour of his company to day at Dinner, with his Grandson Mr. Bache.1 They also beg the Favour of him to lend them the Assistance of one of his servants this morning if he can without Inconvenience as they are so unlucky as to have both their Men servants confined to their Chambers by very serious Sickness.
RC in JA's hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “His Excellency Dr. Franklin en son Hotel a Passy”; endorsed: “Adams 11 Sept. 1784.”
1. Benjamin Franklin Bache had accompanied his grandfather to Europe in 1776, was a schoolmate of JQA in Paris in 1778, and later studied in Geneva. He resumed his residence in Paris in 1783, and returned to Philadelphia with Franklin in 1785. JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:301, note 1; 4:10; JQA, Diary, 1:181, 182; DAB.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0238

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-09-26

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear and ever honourd Aunt

The last evening we were all made happy by the reciept of Letters from you and Cousin Nabby,1How happy, you may more easily concieve than I describe; 8 days since we heard of the arrival of Captn. Lyde, but not particulary from you. Mama recieved a few Lines from you dated London the second of August. She has been at Haverhill these 10 days last past, and we sent the Letter to her. She is now there and could not enjoy with us the pleasure of last evening. Papa forwarded her one Pacquet, which got in day before yesterday, brought by Mr. Cushing.2 Another by Mr. Smith, he venturd to open last evening, not having an oppertunity to send it to her. This we found to be a Journal from the 16 day after you saild untill my Couzin Jacks arrival.
O my dear Aunt how good you are to gratify us in this manner! How did my Heart feel interested in every Line! How many different emotions were caused, but the first was Gratitude to that Best of Beings, whose providential care had preserved you from the raging Billows, and Landed you safely, on an hospitable Shore.
Yes my dear Madam your Eliza felt truly grateful!
Tis now Sunday Morning, a fine clear Sepr. Sunshine, I have just finishd reading your journal. I have accompanyd you through every stage. I have eat, drank, slept, and felt sick with you in immagination. I have enjoyed the transports of that happy moment, when your maternal Arms embraced a dear and long absent Son. I have seen him, you and my Nabby dissolvd in the softest tears of fond Affection, when Silence only could express your joy.
Ah! I felt this moment; but you will say, no! You have never been a Mother!
Most sincerely do I thank you for your kind Letter to me,3 and for the little token of your regard inclosed [in] it, but it has recievd it[s] greatest value, as being a Gift from you. I feel a real pleasure from knowing that your fingers folded it, and that you spread it upon your Hand, and saw it was a delicate Ribbon. You know these pleasures I am sure my Aunt, and will not call me silly Girl for telling you I felt them.
Thank You my dear Madam for thinking of me when engagd in pleasures or amusements, and for wishing that I might have partook { 461 } of them. I should really have felt a gratification that I fear I must ever banish the Idea of recieving, could I have been with you in your Visits to the Hospitals, Westminster Abby, and to all the remarkable and curious Places and Things which you describe.
Had Fortune put in my power to have accompanied you to Europe, nothing should have detain'd me. It was ever my wish to see England, but I must check it. Descriptions from you of your Travels, I doubt not will afford me equal pleasure, with this additional one, that they are testimonies of your regard and remembrance. Your Accounts of the Magdelen and Foundling Hospitals really interested me so much, that I am going to find all the Historys of them and read them. How descriptive is your Pen! How tender, how feeling the Heart which dictates it! Pray my dear good Aunt employ it frequently to enlarge the understanding, improve the mind, and mend the heart of your Eliza! She will endeavour by this means to become more worthy of that affection, which she has so often recievd proofs of from you.
I most sincerely rejoice with you in the pleaseing appearance, of those opening Virtues, conspicious in the manners of my amiable Cousin John. Added Years and parentel examples will encrease, establish and mature them. I recievd a Letter from him last July, dated April.4 His improvements have been very rapid, his account of his visit to England, and of the many curosities he saw there afforded me much entertainment, and [I] feel greatly obligd to him for them, and intend telling him so early.
Your Charles and Tommy were well a few days since, happy e'er this in the pleasing knowledge of your safe arrival. Indeed my dear Aunt your request that my sisterly advice may be offered them, both flatters and humbles me, but when you tell me that my endeavours in this way will in some degree discharge that debt of Gratitude, which is every day accumalating, how can I refuse to exert every talent, (however small indeed they may be,) which I possess. Yes my dearest Aunt, I will exert them. True sisterly affection shall warm my heart, whilst Love for them, and gratitude to you will impel me to every act of kindness or attention in my power.
I may e're this, I presume, congratulate you on the happy meeting with your best Friend, and I suppose I may now imagine you at the head of your Family quite settled in the domestick Line. How different from the simple lowly Cottage, the tranquil pleasures, the uniform, but not unsatifactory, way of Life at B[raintre]e, is your present situation? I contrast the Scenes, and the present appear to me, the { 462 } least pleasing, but there are many circumstances to render it more so to you, that I may be ignorant of—but you are not altered my dear Aunt—happy thought! I want to know how you live? What you do? What colour your House is? (I speak in our style Madam)5—what kind of apartments, What is your Chamber, what my Cousins, the Gardens, the walks, the rides, &c. You know all what I want my Aunt. In one of your Letters to Mama6 you promise me a discription of a fine Garden, or some Such beauteous scene. I expect it with impatience. Do not let me be dissapointd M'am. Your goodness alone encourages me to make so many petitions. If I am too presuming, check me my dear Madam, and I will not again offend. I hope you will not lay aside the practice of early-rising. Habit has rendered it necessary to your Health I immagine. You will see that there is some selfish motive in this wish. I conclude you will employ those early hours in writing to America.
I cannot find any News to send you. Things go on in much the sam round as when you us'd to be here. We find a great chasm in our pleasures. I hardly feel as if in Braintree. Tis sadly alter'd!!
All our little Village are this day rejoicing at the pleasing intelligence of your arrival, and every countenance, that wore sadness on the brow, the Sunday you saild, is this day deck'd in Smiles. This Eulogium my dear Madam is the sincerest praise, tis the voluntary tribute of grateful Hearts.
I have been several times to visit your deserted habitation, but I do not love it. It gives me pain. The long Grass is grown over the step of the doors in both Yards. It went to my heart to see it. The present Inhabitants are very comfortable, and very careful. All your Friends in Braintree are much as when you left us, not any material alterations, in any body, or any thing. All who I have seen make enquiries after you, and all desird to be rememed to you. As one of the last, Betsey Winslow wished me to present her regards to you; yesterday, she spent here, and is in much the same situation as she has been for many years. Your aged Mother is well, and feels innexpressible joy at the certainty of your arrival. She begs me always to present her best Love to you, and my Cousins.
Mrs. Feild, desired me to thank you for your tender care of her daughter. She is anxious for her health, hopes you will continue to gaurd her health, and reputation. Her family is all well. To Job, she sends all Love and good wishes, wants to know if he is to return with the Ship, or whether he means to continue abroad?
{ 463 }
My Mama has not yet returnd, and I fear will not have oppertunity to write by this conveyance. She will be dissapointd I am sure, but Vessels are continually going out, and she will certainly embrace the first. We will all write as soon as possible. Billy is yet a good Boy, and has not given us cause to Sigh. He will write his Cousin soon. I hope he will favour him with his Letters as often as possible. I really request it of him, earnestly. They will not only amuse and instruct my Brother, but serve to raise that spirit of emulation which ought to possess every youthful bosom. Lucy I am sure would send her duty Love and every good wish if she was here, good Girl! Do write to her my dear Aunt. There is no end to my petitions and requests.
I must now close my Letters, the time approaches when they are to be sent away. I wish it had been in my power to have Offerd you something more entertaining, in return for that feast of entertainment and amusement which yours afforded me, but I could not. To inform you of the health of your Friends, of the Variation in their circumstances and situations, is all that I shall be able to say. This, at the great distance you are from them, will not be uninteresting.
Will you make my most respectful regards acceptable to my much honourd Uncle. My affectionate Love to Cousin J[ohn] and accept my dear Aunt, of the sinceret warmest, wishes for your Happiness, of your ever Obligd and most affectionate Neice
[signed] Eliza Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by JQA: “Miss E. Cranch Septr. 26. 1784.”
1. These letters, carried by William Smith Jr. on the return voyage of Capt. Lyde's Active, and described in the last sentence of this paragraph and at later points in this letter, are: AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July (“a Journal”); and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 9 July, and 30 July, all above. AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 1 Aug., and AA to Mary Cranch, 2 Aug., both above, came by another vessel that sailed sometime after the Active, but reached the Cranches before the letters brought by Smith.
2. This letter is AA to Mary Cranch, 25 July (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
3. Of 1 Aug., above.
4. 18 April, above.
5. Closing parenthesis added.
6. The journal letter of 6 July, above, under 29 July.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0239

Author: Palmer, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-09-29

Joseph Palmer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madm.

I heartily rejoice to hear of Your safe arrival; pray make My best respects acceptable to Mr. Adams, Miss Nabby, and Your Son.
{ 464 }
I can write but little, being very weak, confined by lameness, about 8 Weeks, but am growing better; this day, I was carried out and put into a Chaise (the first time of being out) and rid out on the Farm; but I hope to go to Connecticut, next Month.
They at Mr. Cranch's are writing, as are my Girls, so that nothing remains for me to say; only, that Mr. Swan declines concern in the Sp. Ceti business, because there is no certain market for the Oil, which is expected will be provided for in a treaty of Commerce with GB.1 “The World is all before us, and Providence our Guide.”2 And that there is a new publicaton, in London, on the Salvation of all Men; I wish You and Yours to See it, for I think You will be charm'd with the Spirit, and manner; and believe you will think the Subject, and the reasoning thereon, worthy of Serious attention. Doctr. Chauncy is the Author, and his name will be affixd to the Second edition. Of Dr. Price you may obtain it.3

[salute] May God bless you all, now and ever. Adieu.

[signed] J: Palmer
PS. My Sincere love to C. Storer.
1. James Swan was a Boston merchant and land speculator (DAB). The “Sp[erma] Ceti business” was the plan for American whalers to provide oil for street illumination in Paris and other French cities which JA, Jefferson, and Lafayette promoted in 1784–1785, using JQA to bring letters and oil samples to Boston merchants. See JA to JQA, 9 Sept. 1785, below; JQA, Diary, 1:313, and note 2, 317; and Jefferson, Papers, 8:144–145.
2. Milton, Paradise Lost, 12:646–647: “The world was all before them, where to choose/Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.”
3. See Richard Cranch to JA, 12 Aug., note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0240

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-09-30

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

N 3.1
Your letter N 2. Eliza, I was so happy as to receive a day or two ago.2 I searched my journal, upon your request to know were I was the 4 of August and found that I was in London, and that day dined at Mr. Vaughans,3 a very agreeable family, and from whom we received much attention. I was perhaps at the time you wrote at dinner for I recollet we did not dine till five oclock, the usual hour in London when people have company. From three to five is the general hour which every body dines at. Whether it is right or not I wont determine. I confess the custom was agreeable to me.
{ 465 }
“Happy happy clime, I hope one day to visit thee” was your expression. Indeed Eliza as I wish you the gratification of every desire your heart knows, I wish you may, be gratified in this request. And if you wish to gain a higher relish for your own Country I would advise you to visit Europe. In the climate alone I do not at present see any meterial difference from our own. Even in this Country which has been represented as the finest climate in the World I do not think from what I know already that it is more agreeable than our own. There are not so violent extremes of heat and cold, but I think there is as much rain and we have had as violent storms since I have been here as I ever know in America at this Season. However I find myself more reconciled, since I have formed some few acquaintances here. Most of them are with Americans. There are several American Ladies here, and we make a little society that is very agreeable. I wish I could give you some idea of the French Ladies, but it is impossible to do it by letter, as I should absolutely be ashaimed to write, what I must if I tell you truths. There is not a subject in Nature that they will not talk upon, in any company, and there is no distinction of sex, after they are Married. I will venture to give you one very small instance of their unreserve in what is called a descent Woman. It was young Madam Grand, who has lately been married and expects an addition to her family. An English gentleman dined there the other day, and asked her if she had any family. Ah No said she, I was Married in March, but you see it is comeing. She told My Brother who saw her at Work upon little things, that she was at Work, for her petit Enfant. Do not Judge from my giveing you these proofs of French Manners that I am reconcoiled to them. I sometimes think Myself fortunate in not understanding the Language. What do you think of such a people.
I hope you have received by this my letters by Mr. Smith. According to our calculations he must have arrived ere this. You know by them of our voyage and arrival with many other interesting particulars. You have made an agreeable visit I doubt Not at Haverhill, and renewed your former acquaintances there. They cannot have improved in the means of being agreeable to you as they were perfect before. But why did you not tell me who was your gallant4 and all about it, and likewise of your entertainment at Commencment, as I judge you were there. I hear it was a very gay one, and that Mr. B—Sons made a figure, at least in expence. You have forgot Eliza how very interesting every circumstance is to those so far distant from their friends even { 466 } the most trivial, those, which perhaps you would not think of mentioning were we together become realy important, at this distance. I dont know that they do not even receive a consequence from their Travels. But this is the usual reply, “nothing interesting has happened since you left us.” Do you relate them, and leave me to Judge of their interesting qualities. Should you write me where you had been or [who?][what?]5 you saw, or what you heard upon any particular day, why I should half imagine myself amongst you.
You ask me how I spent my time on board Ship, whether I kept to my resolution of not working and whether I slept the Whole way. I should have been very glad to have slept, I assure you and indeed, I slept my portion.6 I was the most fortunate in this respect than either of the other Ladies, for I never was kept awake a single moment, by the least fear or apprehension. It is a queer Life I assure [you]7 and I am very far from thinking it agreeable.
This Morn we have received letters from your Pappa and Mamma,8 with a Number of others that have informed us of the health of our friends, the most pleasing inteligence that we could have received I assure you. Your Mamma writes us you were still at Haverhill, and that Mr. Shaw was at commencment. Why did not my Dear Aunt Shaw write to her friends. I am happy to hear that her Journey was of service to her health. My Brothers too are well, may they be good and as happy as they can. Mr. Thaxter we have not heard from. He shares in our good wishes.
Sister Lucy is a little punctilious I suppose, upon the account of debt and credit which by the way surely should be laid aside at this distance. She is now in my debt. The only judgment we have to form of the attention of our friends is certainly from the frequency of their letters, and to those who favour us oftenest we are certainly the most obliged.

[salute] Remember me affectionately to my Brothers and to all my friends and believe me Eliza your sincere friend

[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Braintree or Haverhill—docketed: “Letter from Miss A Adams to Miss Eliz: Cranch. France Sep 30 1784.”
1. This is AA2's fourth extant letter to Elizabeth Cranch since her departure from America; she did not number her letter of 4 Sept., above.
2. Elizabeth Cranch's letter “N 2” to AA2, evidently (from the next sentence) written on 4 Aug., has not been found.
3. Benjamin Vaughan's invitation, dated 2 Aug., to AA, AA2, and JQA to dine with him on 4 Aug., is in the Adams Papers. On Mr. { 467 } and Mrs. Benjamin Vaughan and the Adamses, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, vol. 4:index.
4. Betsy's “gallant” has not been identified.
5. AA2 omitted a word here.
6. AA records AA2's sleeping at noon in her 6 July letter to Mary Cranch, above.
7. AA2 left a blank space at this point.
8. Richard Cranch to JA, 12 Aug.; Mary Cranch to AA, 7 Aug., both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0241

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-10-03

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

Accept my dear Sister a thousand thanks for your charming Journal,1 it is just Such an one as I wish'd, so particular that while reading it, I could not help fancying my self with you. We hoped as we had Such fine weather for six weeks after you Sail'd, that you would have had a quicker Passage than I find you had. You did not feel more joy when you set your feet upon the British Coast, than I did when I reciev'd your first Letter. It was that dated “the 2d of August” just after Mr. Smith Sail'd. I answer'd it the next day,2 and hope you have receiv'd it, and that you will do as I desir'd you would with it, if you have not done it already. I have read your journal four times, but never with dry Eyes, nor shall I ever be able too. Oh my Sister what have you suffer'd! I pity you more for what you have not express'd than for what you have—my immagination has read that close Lock'd journal.
Let me intreat you my Amiable Sister not to indulge unnecessary anxieties. The evening of your Days will I hope be as happy as the morning. Your Letters excited a variety of immotions in my Breast as I read them. I was at Haverhill when they arriv'd. One I recievd upon my journey, the other while I was there3 and the journal I found when I came home. It was late before I could begin it, the Family all retir'd to rest. It was one o clock before I had finish'd it. Your tender and affectionate expressions for me and mine softend me to a Baby, and your sufferings wounded my Heart. In short when I had finish'd I set down and weep'd heartily.
When I arriv'd at Sister Shaws, I found her very Ill of a Fever, the Doctor feard a settled one.4 She had taken a violent cold. It seiz'd her Lungs and took away her voice for a week. She was taken Sneezing to such a degree that she was in danger of breaking a vein in her Stomack. I believe this occation'd the Loss of her voice. She had [a] watcher5 above a week, but by good nursing and a kind Providence, she has escapd a settled Fever and was so well as to ride out the day before I came away. I was with her a fortnight.
Your dear children are well, and Look very Happy. Cousin Charles { 468 } came home with Lucy and I, he is here now; and a so poor child has miss'd of his Letters.6 Mr. Cranch had sent them to Haverhill the day we came away: He thinks he cannot write till he has seen them: He sends his Duty. I went yesterday to see your Mother and told her I had come to read part of your journal to her. Aya said she “I had rather hear that she is coming home.”7 She has had her Health this summer much better than for Several years past, and is grown quite Fat. You would have been pleas'd to have seen with what eagerness Little Boylstone8 devour'd every word as I read. I dare say he does not forget a sentence. While I was reading his Papa sent him for something he wanted; I saw he was unwilling to go least he should lose some of the Letter. I was so pleas'd that I promiss'd to stop till he return'd, and then away he flew like the wind. This child is a Genious Sister. Mr. Porter has been keeping a Grammer School in this Parish all Summer. Your Nephew has attended it, and it has given him such a thirst for Learning that of his own head without his Papas knowledge, he procur'd himself some Latin Books and set himself in good earnest to the study of the Language. He has rose with the Day all summer that he might have time for his studys. I have often met him going to School with his Book open studying his Leason as he walk'd along. His Master told me he would make a fine Schooler.
Mr. Adams and the children are well, they all send their Love, Mrs. Hall in perticular. She often spends the day with me. If she walks to meeting, I take her home with me at noon, and send her home at night. Mr. Adams's Horse will not go in the chaise. You may be assur'd she shall not want any comfort that I can give her.
Oh my dear Sister when will you return and make us all happy? Your Neighbours are often coming to know when I heard from you, they will cry as much for joy when you return as they did for sorrow when you left them. Delight Newcomb dyed about six weeks ago. “Cap” Joseph Baxters wife about a month since. Eunice Bellhou is sick with a slow Fever. Mr. Thaxter is well, has as much business as he could expect for the time he has been there. Peggy White of Haverhill has fallen into a melancholy, is quite distracted at some seasons. The Family are greatly distress'd. I was there about an hour one evening, Mrs. White took me into the other room to tell me her trouble. Poor woman my Heart bore its part in her woe. The sympathiteck Tear stole from my eye. They doated upon her! She was the delight of their Eyes. This was her Language. She ennumerated her virtues. She was Spritely prudent and Dutiful—but now how chang'd! The sight of this dear Girl affected me greatly. She was seting upon { 469 } a couch, dress'd in a Queens nightcap with a white ribbon bound round her head and a white long loose Gown on, her Hands cross'd before her, and her Eyes fix'd upon the Flour. When I enter'd Her Mama took my Hand and led me to her, and told her I was the mama of her Brothers Friend.9 She rose courtesy'd and sat down, but did not speak nor move a Feature of her Face. Her skin was of a delicate white, and a Fever which she has, had given her cheeks a Beautiful flush. She made me think of Clementina.10 I greatly suspect she has something Labouring in her mind which ought to be drawn from her. I told her mama so, but she did not seem to think there was any thing.
Billy is well and pursues his studys steadyly and behaves well, has the Love of all his Class and the approbation of his Tutors. May he always continue to do so. Leonard and he are as happy in each other as two young Fellows can be. I believe I can tell you one peice of news. Aunt Smith is like to be a grandmama!!! There is not much joy among the children.11
Continue your journal my dear Sister, you cannot immagine how it entertains us. I rejoice that you have found such Friends. If nothing unforeseen happens your Tour must give you great pleasure. Give my most affectionate regard[s] to Mr. Adams and my Cousins, and accept the be[st wishes?] of your affectionate Sister.
[signed] M. Cranch
I have not receiv'd the things you mention. When I do I shall destribute them as you desire. Lucy will write if the vessel does not sail too soon for her. I sent a Long Letter to you in a vessel going to Holland. The others went in the Cencinatus: Capn. Farris'.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams. Paris.” Some damage to the text just above the signature.
1. Of 6 July, above.
2. Letter not found.
3. The letters of 2 Aug., above, and 25 July (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
4. Fixed in the bodily system; said of coughs (OED).
5. One who watches over a sick bed (OED).
6. These letters have not been found.
7. Closing quotation mark supplied.
8. Boylston Adams, son of JA's brother, Peter Boylston Adams, was thirteen in 1784.
9. JQA gives a vivid portrait of Peggy White in 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:321, 322, note 2, 377), and describes her parents and her brother Leonard (same, vol. 2). Peggy recovered from her depression and married in 1786. Leonard, a close friend of Mary Cranch's son William (“Billy” in the next paragraph), would also become one of JQA's best friends when all three attended Harvard in the same class (1787).
10. Clemmentina Porretta, a character in Samuel Richardson's The History of Sir Charles Grandison, suffered from depression when Grandison, whom she loved, was absent.
11. Mary Smith Gray, daughter of Isaac Smith Sr. and Elizabeth Storer Smith, married Samuel Allyne Otis, her second husband, in 1782. Otis had five children from his first marriage.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0242

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-10-10

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

When I return'd from Haverhill I hurry'd over a very incorrect Scrowl, being as I thought very much in danger of not geting it on board Capt. Scott before he saild, but here is Mr. Tyler just return'd from Boston and tells me he will not Sail till Teysday. I dont Love to have Letters lay by so. They will seem such old things when you get them that half their value will be lost. Mr. Tyler has receiv'd another Letter from Mr. Adams and one from Cousin with her Picture1 which we think is very well done and a pretty good likness but I had rather see the original Dear Girl. You must return with her as soon as you possibly can and make us all happy. Braintree has lost all its charms for me. How sweetly did we live Oh thou dear Companion of my Infant days. In afflictions darkest night thou hast been my greatest human support and the debt remains yet unpaid. Tell me my sister how I shall discharge it?
I greatly rejoice with you that after so long an absence you have once more met the Friend of your Heart. How does he look? Not a year older now than when he left us I dare say, now he has found his best Friend. Your letters have put us all into such fine spirits that we are the most agreable Companions to each other in the world. I hope we shall [remain?] such, but we are changable mortals you know. I last night receiv'd a Letter fro[m sister] Shaw. She is better and your Letters have done not a [litt]le towards restoring her. Cousin Charles return'd last Thursday. It felt a little like coming home. We did every thing in our [power] to make it appear so to him. Tommy does not seem to wish to come without he can see Mama. Mrs. Hall and Suky2 din'd with me last Friday. Your Brother and Miss Polly3 drank Tea with me. You would be surpriz'd to see how much Flesh your Mother has gather'd. She told me she had been dreaming that she was so Fat that she could not move herself. She really seem'd concern'd about it. My little Favourite Boylstone4 was to see me yesterday and brought me a letter for you. He is going to board in the upper Parish to attend Mr. Porters Schoole. If ambition and deligince united with genious will make a great Man, he promises fair to be one. Cousin Charles has examin'd him, and says he is surpriz'd at the rapid progress he has made in his studies. He told me he design to catch cousin Tom, and enter colledge with him.
I suppose you are now in Paris. Where ever you are write to me as { 471 } often as you can. I shall do so by every vessel that I can hear off, by the Marquis5 you may be sure. Adieu my dear Sister.
[signed] M C
RC (Adams Papers). The folding marks suggest that this letter may have been enclosed in Mary Cranch's letter of 3 Oct., above. Slight damage to the text where a seal was removed.
1. Neither the letters nor the picture of AA2 have been found.
2. Susanna Adams, daughter of JA's brother Peter Boylston Adams..
3. Mary Adams, Peter Boylston Adams' eldest daughter.
4. Boylston Adams.
5. The Marquis de Lafayette had landed in America in August, arrived in Boston from Connecticut on 15 Oct., stayed a week, and then traveled south to Virginia. He sailed for France on 23 Dec. (Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:xliii–xliv).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0243

Author: Shaw, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-10-15

John Shaw to Abigail Adams

Most Sincerely do I congrattulate you, Madam, and your amiable Daughter upon your Safe arrival at the wished for Port: my busy imagination persued you through the whole of your voyage untill it Saw you Safely and joyfully Landed upon the British Shores. I doubt not but long before this, you have been made happy, in meeting with Mr. Adams your long absent Friend. May Heaven reward him for the Sacrafices he has made for; and the extensive Good he has done to his Country. And may a Consciousness of that integrity and uprightness, which must ever preserve and keep the Good man be his Consolation and Support under the further Services which the happiness and welfare of his Country May call upon him for. And as soon as the interest of that will permit, may he with his family be returned to a grateful People, whose Patroatick Souls Shall Glow with ardour for an opportunity of doing him Honour. You will undoubtedly wish to know, and be Glad to hear concerning the welfare of your Sons who for the present are entrusted to my care. They have both enjoyed a Good State of Health, ever since you left them: And at present I have no reason to fear a disappointment, if I offer Master Charles next commencement. He is Sober and Steady and persues his Studies with an eagerness which convinces me, he is more and more Sensible of the importance of improving his time, in order to his entring the university with Credit and reputation to himself and his Preceptor. Master Thomas also persues his Studies with as much persevering constancy, and makes as great improvements as could be expected from a Youth his age. They both of them behave well, and hitherto have conducted in Such a manner, as Shall give you no cause to { 472 } Blush to own them your Sons. It is not likely that you have heard of the Death of Mr. Teel.1 He died in August after a very short illness; and I have engaged to lease the place to a Nephew of his for forty Pounds a year. I have been at Some considerable expence for necessary repairs, of which I Shall keep a particular account. As to a more particular account of the affairs of my family, I Suppose you will receive that, from Mrs. Shaw, who is Scarcely recovered from the most dangerous fit of Sickness She has ever been visited with Since I have been acquainted with her.

[salute] You will be kind enough to present my most respectful regards to Mr. Adams, and to your Son and Daughter, and believe me to be, Madam, your affectionate Brother and Humble Servant

[signed] John Shaw
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Adams”; endorsed by JQA: “Mr. Shaw Octr. 15th. 1784.”
1. Benjamin Teel (or Teal), who rented the Medford farm that AA and her sister Elizabeth Shaw had inherited from their father in Sept. 1783. See also Cotton Tufts to AA, 29 Oct., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0244

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-10-15

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Permit me to congratulate both you and my dear Neice upon your safe and happy arrival upon the British Shore. I do not wonder that you appear pleased and gratified, when everything that can delight the Eye, or charm the Sense appears opening to your view, and then there was such a contrast between the stifled Cabin, and the spacious elegant drawing Room, as must very sensibly affect the Mind, and give a beauty and lustre to every surrounding Object.—And what must crown all other Pleasures, before this reaches you, “Heart has met Heart” reciprocally kind, and you are made happy in the Society of your long absent Friend.
We did indeed my Sister watch the Winds, and the Weather, and was pleased to find it holding west and north west with us, for 3 weeks steady, and with little (for 5 weeks) variation. As I never before had so dear a relation upon the Water, I never felt so interested, nor so anxious, and if the weather-Cock could have been worn out by looking at, the Parish would have been displeased, if we had not have procured a new one. I looked up, and considered the same Sun, as guiding your Course—the same azure Vault bespangled with Stars as spread over your Head—and with pleasure I beheld the Moon walking in brightness, and fancied you at the same moment contemplating { 473 } its glory—but above all, it was and is with unspeakable satisfaction that I consider you, as under the Care of that ever watchful Providence, who has hitherto blessed you, and who is able still to encircle you in the Arms of his parental Love, in whatever Clime, or situation you may be.
And now my Sister, I believe I must give you some account of my Family, and I know you will be grieved to hear, that I have not been able to say, we are all well since you left us. Your dear Sons are not of the number of invalids, for they have enjoyed a fine state of Health, and Charles has escaped a Fevor turn in the Summer, and thus far through the Fall, which he tells me he has not done for several years before. Mr. Flint our worthy Schoolmaster was seized early in the Summer with a voilent Cough, and had every disagreeable symtom of a Consumtion, he however set off with Mr. Shaw to go to Commencement, though we all verily believed he would himself commence an immortal Being, before the expiration of six Weeks, and I really felt rejoiced when he left us to visit his Friends at Lyncoln, and thought myself freed from many painful Scenes, which I felt myself unable to go through. But in about 3 weeks home came my Gentleman, gay as a Lark, laughing at us for our Fears, and appeared to us like one almost raised from the Grave. I believe he partakes of the nature of the Cat, and is possessed of as many lives. He boards here yet, and is in quite a good state of Health.
I have likewise taken into our Family a Young Lady of sixteen years old, last August—through the solicitation of Master and Mrs. White I have been induced to admit her. She is a Neice, and adopted Daughter of General Hazen's.2 She has been at School at Boston, and boarded with Mrs. Sheaff the two last years. Her Uncle has endeavored to polish her Manners, he now wishes, he says, to see the accomplished Lady, and the good house-wife happily and pleasingly united, and expresses great satisfaction in having her placed under the Care of your Sister. When we describe a Lady I think it is generally the Custom to begin with the exterior. Her Person then is of a midling size, rather slender—her Complexion delicate, and of the hectic kind, her Chin pretty—her Mouth tolerable, her Cheek bones high, her Nose something smart, her forehead handsome, her hair dark, her eyebrows not remarkable, but such an Eye as is noticed by every One—the coulor bright blue, sparkling with natural Wit, sweet sensibility, and the most perfect good humour. She is possessed of a most benevolent, humane disposition, with a Mind capable of improvment, but too volatile at present to attend closely to anyone { 474 } thing. It has entered too deeply upon triffles, and been too long engrossed by the fashionable, and dissipating Amusements of the Town. It is Time only, and quite a different set of acquaintance that will put her upon furnishing her Mind with useful knowledge—the excresent parts must be gradually, and gently loped of, least we injure the Tree, and sap the Foundation—for that is indeed promising, and excellent.
I know a Mother's thoughts fly quick. But at present she need not have a fear. Master Charles is yet a School Boy, and Miss Nancy considers him as such, and their behaviour to each other is polite and attentive—Just as I would have it—and when they play together with battledores, or the like, it is conducted with all the sweet simplicity of little Children, and she has an endearing innocence in her Manners that almost borders upon childishness, and sometimes makes her appear difficient in good breeding and in paying that defference, which is certainly due to persons superior in Age, and which could not be dispensed with, only as good-nature, and a good Heart shines through all.
She had not been in our Family but 3 weeks, before she catched a Cold which laid her up with the Reumatism, and I had her to tend up stairs for 5 weeks. All this I went through, by the help of Cousin Lucy Cranch, whom Mr. Shaw brought home with him from Commencment and who has tarried with me ever since, till last week she left me, and Cousin Betsy Smith is come in her room, for I do not mean to be left alone with so large a Family. I have enjoyed a better state of Health myself through the Summer than I have for several years, notwithstanding my numerous Cares. But upon the 11th. of September, my dear Billy, my only Son, was suddenly seized at play with a voilent pain in his Head, came home, wished Mamma would lay him upon the Bed, and set by him—from which he never raised his head for 3 days, only as I put my arm under, and raised him up to take his medicine. He had a voilent Fever while it lasted, but by good tending, pouring down Beverage, or lemon squeezed into a Tea of elder Flowers and flax-seed, the voilence of it broke, and he happily exscaped a setled Fever, which the Dr supposed he must have gone through, if He who carries the Lambs in his Arms, had not mercifully remembered his tender Age. So that by the next Thursday, he was able to set up and play about. But my Sister you cannot think how much I was dejected with his Sickness, for I have a terrible Idea of Fevers coming into a Family, and there were several round us sick, { 475 } and dying with a long putrid Fever.3 My anxiety for my Son prevented my Sleep, and my Spirits were so low, that I was on that account more exposed to the malignity of his Disorder, and I soon felt very unwell. A Friday and Saturday we had a cold Storm, and I kept about House when I believe it would have been better for me if I had kept my Room, for [I] had then an exceeding bad Cold in my Head, and sneezed till I racked my poor Stomach all to peices. In the Night I waked up, found myself very ill, but was not able to speak one word. I could only whisper, but I did not appear hoarse as we have heard People, but more like a weakness. But it throwed me into what I call a Lung Fever, for I have forgot the Drs. hard Name. Sabbath day and Monday I was very sick. As my Fever abated my Voice came, and in a Week the Dr told me he believed I should get through without having the long Fall Fever.4 I never before new how valuable the Use of my Tongue was, nor how distressing to wish to speak, without being able to utter a Word. What I felt for my own little Children, you who are a Parent can realize. What I felt for those You had commited to my Care, was but little less, for then indeed I beheld them with ten-fold affection.
I attribute my recovery in part, to the kind, and good nursing of my Sister Cranch. You know what an excellent one she is. She came here upon a Visit, and brought home my little Quincy5 and Cousin Betsy Smith, got here the Monday Evening after I was taken sick. It seemed as if a good Providence sent her. Brother Cranch was so kind as to leave her, and she said she would stay till I was better. The next week a Wednesday she returned with Cousin Lucy, and your Son Charles to escort them. He wished to make a Visit this Fall, to Braintree, and I find he still retains a natural affection for the Mansion, though the rightful Owners have deserted it. Master Tommy was quite easy to tarry at home, he did not want to see the Walls, if he could not see Pappa and Mamma. I wanted to have Cousin go to bring some of his Clothes for winter, I find the white Coat will do with a little alteration. The Green Coat and Jacket answers compleatly for Tommy, and the blue velvet you left they chuse for jackets, so I have procured them some black sattin lasting for Breeches. Their new Shirts I took care of, and they have never wore one of them yet, so they will be the warmer for Winter. I take the same prudent Care for them, that I think you would, and I dare say you are not uneasy. Mr. Shaw and I think ourselves happy that it is in our power to relieve you, and my dear Brother Adams from many { 476 } anxieties you might have, were your Sons placed in any Family, less bound by Inclination, Love, and Gratitude, to treat them well, and to Watch over them with the tender, solicitous Eye of fond Parents.
If I did not love to have you very particular, I should think it necessary to apologize for the narative manner in which I have writtn. Adieu adieu my dear Sister, may you be happy prays your Sister
[signed] E S
RC (Adams Papers); filmed at October 1784 in Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 363.
1. The date is assigned from John Shaw's letter of 15 Oct., above, and his remark there that he assumed that Elizabeth Shaw, just recovered from her illness, would write more fully.
2. Nancy Hazen was the daughter of Capt. John Hazen, recently deceased, and niece of Gen. Moses Hazen, a Haverhill native who settled in Vermont after the Revolution. Nancy Hazen lived with the Shaws until Feb. 1786. JQA, Diary, 1:321, 400–401; DAB, under Moses Hazen.
3. Probably either typhus or diptheria; the term “putrid fever” was used for fatal sore throat fevers (OED).
4. Sometimes used for typhoid fever or remittent fever (Dict. of Americanisms).
5. Elizabeth Quincy Shaw.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0245

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-10-29

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

It gives me great Pleasure to hear of your safe Arrivall in Europe, and that you are once more enjoying the Society and Friendship of Your Bosom Friend.
I have wrote to Mr. Adams,1 relative to a piece of Land <you> He formerly exchanged with Thos. Thayer and now claimed by his Son in Law James Thayer. You will be able to refresh his Mind with respect the Exchange and inform him of the Circumstances of the Claim, if what I have wrote should not be sufficient. I wish for Instructions relative to this Matter. Your Lands in Braintree are in as good order as You left them. Your House and Furniture Pho[e]be has attended to with Care and Diligence. The Farm at Medford is now under the Care of the Executors of Benj. Teal the former Tenant, who died about a Month or six Weeks after you left us. With the Executors I expect we shall have some Difficulty. We are made to apprehend that no Rent will be paid untill the Expiration of the Year. Very considerable Repairs are necessary in the Buildings, We have already shingled the Barn. The necessary Expences will exceed the Years Rent.
Your House in Boston also wants Repair, which it will not be for your Interest to delay another Summer. Mr. Russell presented me with a Bill for 16 years Rent of Verchilds Land £38. 8. 0 which I have discharged. I have not as Yet received any Money for Book Debts or { 477 } Notes on2 but hope I shall be able with the Rents to answer such Demands as will arise, for the Education of the Children their Cloathing, some small Debts &c without breaking in upon any Securities in my Hands, unless Taxes or Repairs should oblige me to it. The Powers You gave me are not of sufficient Validity as I apprehend, to secure and defend your Interest effectually, if called to contend in Law. Mr. Adams will judge of the Propriety of isuing me a fuller Power and Govern himself accordingly.3 I have given you a short History of your Affairs which is all that Time will permit me. I wish to have written upon many Matters—and to Mr. Adams particularly with respect to a Convention relative to the Powers and Privileges of Consuls in France and America said to be agreed upon between the former and the latter—which I am pretty Certain he never had a Hand in forming, if the Nature and Tenor of it be such as I conceive it to be.4 With my affectionate Regards to Mr. Adams, Miss Nabby and Master John and with the most ardent Wishes for Yours and their happiness I am Your Affectionate Friend and Kinsman
[signed] Cn. Tufts
Dont forget to inform me, in what Channel my Letters are to be conveyed to Mr. Adams with the greatest Ease Safety and least Expence, pray write to me Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams”; endorsed by JQA: “Mr. C. Tufts. Octr. 29th. 1784.”
1. Tufts' last letter to JA known to the editors was that of 3 July, above, but it is not certain that Tufts refers to that letter here. He writes here of land claimed by James Thayer, but in his 3 July letter, he wrote only of land owned by the Verchild estate, which he also mentions below.
2. Or possibly “in.” Tufts may have intended “in hand.”
3. See JA's power of attorney to Tufts, [6 Sept.], above. This granted full power of attorney over all of JA's property in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thus satisfying Tufts' request here (see Tufts to JA, 26 Nov., below).
4. Tufts refers to “The Scheme of A Convention Between His Most Christian Majesty and The United States of North America for defining and regulating the Functions and Privileges of Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Agents and Comissaries,” signed by Franklin and Vergennes on 29 July (PCC, No. 47, f. 261–271). This convention was not approved by Congress, and the two countries did not have a ratified consular convention until the U. S. Senate, in 1789, approved the plan agreed upon by Jefferson and the Comte de Montmorin in Nov. 1788 (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:228–244).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0246

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1784-11-05

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

Monitor, Amelia? I don't know whether the idea is more flattering or affronting. What an old fellow would one suppose Eugenio to be, from the task you assign him!1 But to advise, as you say, is the { 478 } criterion of friendship, and this only was the extent of my offer to you on your arrival. I thought it would be of advantage to you to consult, or, to use a more familiar term, to chat, with one acquainted with the ways and things of this old world, that you might better know how to accommodate yourself to your new situation. Therefore I made you a tender of my services, and am not a little pleased at your accepting them. Be assured, they will always be at your disposal, and the more you are willing to rely upon them, the more satisfaction will it be to me. You flatter me much, Amelia, but I will hope to merit your commendation.
Well may you say, “why have you not wrote me so long a time?” To justify myself, know that I have been buried among trees and bushes these two months past, out of the way of the post. Far retired from the busy world, in a sequestered valley, bordering upon the wild, uncultivated moors, what had I to employ my pen upon?2 Trees, birds, flocks, rivers, hill and dale, are themes long since worn out. But shall I make you one reflection? 'Tis very like a monitor indeed. Human nature, Amelia, is the same throughout the world. In this retired corner were pride, vanity, ostentation, with the long, &c. of worldly dispositions to be found elsewhere, in full and due proportion to different circumstances.
You seem to be very strong in American acquaintance at Paris. I am sorry for it, though you are so much pleased with it. I could rather wish you to be more Frenchified, that you might be more intimately acquainted with the character of the people. You would object to the means, perhaps, and condemn the trifling requisites, such as dress, levity, &c. But what are these? Things of no lasting moment to a sensible mind, and may be disposed of when we please. This, then, is the task I assign you en qualitè de Tuteur.
I shall duly attend to your several commissions, viz: * * * *.3
When I shall have the pleasure of meeting you at Auteuil, I cannot say, further than that I wish it might be to-morrow.4 But here, there, or wherever, believe me to be, with much esteem, respect, and friendship, Yours,
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:33–34.)
1. No letters from AA2 to Charles Storer have been found.
2. Storer spent late September and most of October in Yorkshire (Storer to William Smith Jr., 31 Aug., 15 Sept., MHi: Smith-Carter Papers).
3. Thus in text.
4. The editors have found no evidence that Storer did visit the Adamses at Auteuil.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0247

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-11-06

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Mr. Tyler has this moment reciev'd a Letter from Cousin Nabby by Captn. Lyde.1 I hope there are some in Boston for me. I have not heard one word from you Since you left England. The time has appeard very long. The Scenes you are now ingag'd in are so very different from any of your former ones, that I fear you will not have so much time to devote to your Pen as your Friends could wish. I am all curiosity and want [to] be made acquainted with every Step you take. As to us we travel on in the same old road we use'd too—very few changes have taken place either in our Family Town or Neighbour'd Since you left us. A few marriages and Births make up the list, and Mr. Tyler I dare say has inform'd you of them.2 He has been Shut up on his chamber three Days writing to France. We have insisted upon his giving us the Heads of his discourses least we should give you nothing but a repetion of anecdotes. He has not yet done it. I have written Several Letters I know not how many. Hope you have receiv'd them. If they give you no entertainment, they will Serve as Tokens of remembrance and affection. Mr. Shaw and Sister were here last week, She has recover'd her Health much better then I expected She would this winter. Your children were well. Capn. Beals has apply'd to Mr. Shaw to take Two of his Sons and I suppose he will. They cannot be put to a better place I am Sure. I have forgot whether there was a Mr. Hazlett3 an Irishman preaching at Doctor Coopers meeting before you went away. He is a very Sensible fine Preacher, but alass is not orthodox, and takes no pains to Secret it. He wishes to be Settled in this State but unless he will be more prudent (I call it) he Says tis erring he never will get a Parish. He has a Family, a wife a very pretty Sensible well Bred woman, and three very likely children. He was Settled in England was a high Whig and was as explicit in Politicks there, as he is here in his Sentiments of Religion. His Life became so uncomfortable that he remov'd to Ireland, of which Island he is a native as I said before. There he Secreted Prisoners and refused preaching upon a Fast day &c. His life was then threaten'd by the Solders; but being an acquaintance of Lord Shelburns, who arrived there about that time, he was protected, and procured a court-martial (for the trial of the Solders).4 I should not be so particular about this Family, if they did not live in one part of our House at Weymouth. He has been preaching at Hingham and { 480 } Situate. The People like him much. The people at Weymouth I hear wish to hear him, but however they might like him as a preacher, I fear his freedom of Speech would prevent there ever Settling him, let his Heart and his Head be ever so good. Doctor Coopers People have invited Mr. Thacher of Malden5 to Settle among them, and he ask'd a Dismission Last Sunday of his People. Many of the Principle People of the Doctors Society oppos'd it. Some were Silent you may be Sure for obvious reasons. What a mistake Mr. Thacher will make if [he] accepts. He will certainly loose his Popularity if he goes to Boston. His publications do not denote very great abillities. He Shines most as a Speaker. Mr. Hazlett Says Mr. Smith has as much Sense as five Hundred of him.
We have had a very fine Fall, but a remarkable Season for bad colds. I have been confin'd with one for above a fortnight. Tis better but my cough is not yet gone. We have all been almost Sick. I[s?] Tirrel lost their eldest child this week with the throat Distemper and Miss Hannah Hunt6 has almost lost her reason. You know how she acted when they mov'd away from her.
Cousin Jo. Cranch7 has been very Sick with a Nervous Fever. Lucy has been there a week assisting them. He is mending but very weak. There is no end to the destresses of that Family.
Miss Betsy Leppington8 and Miss Sally Duvant have been here upon a visit, they were at Lincoln last week. Sister9 and the children were well: they live very comfortably. She Says she never was so happy in her Life. We have not heard a word from Brother Since you went away. Your Mother Hall is well, but longing for your return, and when oh when my dear Sister may I tell her that you will? I long to here how you find Mr. Adams Health. Is he almost worn out with the cares of the Publick? I am Sure the attention of So dear a Friend will do much towards restoring him. How are my dear Cousins? My best wishes attend you all. Pray write me often. It will be the only thing to make your absence Supportable to your ever affectionate Sister.
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in Royall Tyler's hand: “Madam Abigail Adams Auteaul”; endorsed in JQA's hand: “Mrs. Cranch Novr. 6th 1784.”
1. Not found.
2. No Royall Tyler letters addressed to France have been found, but see AA to Tyler, [4 Jan. 1785], below, which replies to and indirectly describes Tyler's letter to AA of early November.
3. The Irish-born William Hazlitt, one of the the earliest Unitarian preachers in England, emigrated to Pennsylvania in May 1783. Invited to preach at Boston's Brattle Square Church in June 1784, he was a visiting minister at pulpits from Maine to Rhode Island over the next two years, and became a good friend and ally of Boston's Unitarian { 481 } minister James Freeman of King's Chapel. Hazlitt, his wife, Grace Loftus Hazlitt, and their three children occupied the late Rev. William Smith's house in Weymouth, then owned by Mary Cranch, from Nov. 1784 to July 1786; the following summer they returned to England. The Hazlitts had stayed a night at the Cranches in Braintree a few days before Mary Cranch wrote this letter. The Hazlitt children were the artist John, then seventeen, the essayist William, then six, and thirteen-year-old Margaret, who in later life wrote an account of her family's four years in America. The Journal of Margaret Hazlitt, ed., Ernest J. Moyne, Lawrence, Kansas, 1967, p. 3–24, 61–64.
4. Closing parenthesis added.
5. Peter Thacher, son of Oxenbridge Thacher, had been minister at Malden since 1770. He did obtain a release from that congregation in Dec. 1784, and succeeded the late Dr. Samuel Cooper at Brattle Square the following month. Thacher became one of Boston's most popular preachers, and JQA admired his oratory, if not always his intellectual abilities (DAB; Diary, 1:316; 2:31–32). Thacher was also a founding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Handbook of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, 1948, p. 20.
6. See AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 4 Sept., above.
7. Joseph Cranch was Richard Cranch's nephew.
8. Betsy Lappington was raised by the Palmers and Cranches; see vol. 3:318, and note 1.
9. AA's and Mary Cranch's sister-in-law Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith. “Brother,” two sentences below, is Catharine's husband, William Smith Jr.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0248

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-11-22

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

Very well, Madam; this fine house of the Comte de Rouhaut, spacious Gardens, Courts &c. have seemingly banished from your thoughts humble Basinghall Street. I say seemingly, since I am not willing to believe it really so. Don't you remember you told me once you wished me to write you, and that you would duly acknowledge my letters?1 This was, however, when we were in different Quarters of the world; but shall our Correspondance drop, because we are now on the same side of the water? I hope not. You are reading now the page I have gone through; and you know my sentiments thereon. I would therefore wish to know if they correspond with yours: Besides, the giddiness of Youth may have passed over parts where maturer age and riper Judgment would have made some usefull reflections. These too, with judicious observations from you will be a most agreable ground-work to continue the Correspondance upon: therefore you will not let it fall to the ground, I hope.
This is only No. 4, and the long lapse of time, between this and the date of my last,2 can only be excused from the unsettled, uncertain state you have been in this some time past: However, as I have but one letter from you,3 there seems no apology necessary on my side.
By Mr. Bowdoin,4 who is the bearer of this, I send you Buchan's { 482 } family or domestic Medicine, which you desired. In regard to the Japan Tea-Urn, I am afraid there will be some difficulty attending it, since I think it is a contraband Article.5 However, Madam, if you are in want of it, I will make enquiries about the possibility of getting it to Paris and will do my best in respect to it. The only difficulty will not be at Calais: there are examinations at almost every town between that place and Paris, as you must have noticed on your journey. However, a little matter will gain the good will of these faithfull Servants of the King.
I want to hear your opinion of the gay world you are in—both as to itself and comparatively—with the many observations I know you will not be able to refrain from making.
My Sister6 is at present very unwell; yet, (as does Mr. Atkinson,) joins with me in best Compliments to yourself and family. Yours, Madam,
[signed] Chals. Storer
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madame Madame Adams, Auteul, pres de Paris”; endorsed by JQA: “C Storer Novr. 22. 1784.”
1. AA to Storer, 28 April 1783, above.
2. Not found; Storer's second letter was dated 26 April 1783, above.
3. That of 28 April 1783, above, is AA's only letter to Storer known to the editors before 1785.
4. Of Virginia. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:33 (28 Nov., presumably the date of this letter's arrival at Auteuil); JQA, Diary,1: 262, 264.
5. JQA to Storer, 16 Sept. (Adams Papers), contains AA's full order: “an handsome japan tea urn, (<not plated>) . . .—item. three hundred needles. 100. N: 7. 100. No:8 and 100. n:9—Buchan's domestic medicine 1. vol: 8 vo.—6 pound of good tobacco for chewing which you will bring with you, if you think yourself expert at smuggling—1 pr. of English Scissars.”
6. Elizabeth Storer Atkinson.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0249

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-11-26

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr

Yours of Sept. 5. I received the 13th. Instant and rejoice to hear that You are in the Enjoyment of that Family Felicity, which your Scituation heretofore necessarily prevented.
The Powers which You have given and the Trust which You have committed to me are great.1 How well I shall execute them Time must determine. New Care and new Trusts have for some Years past been encreasing upon [me?], they have more than ever pointed out to me the Importance of a right Improvement of Time and have obliged me to an encreased Industry. You may be assured However, that amongst these, Your Interest shall have a full Share of my Attention.
{ 483 }
Your Instructions relative to the Purchase of Lands I am pursuing and have already bargaind with David Bass for several Acres of salt Marsh adjoining to a piece already owned by You, and dayly expect to contract with James Theier for the Pasture adjoyning Yours,2 which when done will put an End to the Dispute between us relative to the Watering Place concerning which I have already wrote to You. The Recovery of Your Debts is a Work so slow in its Progress, that I fear but little will fall into my Hands, timely for Purchases, and Your Incomes some of them will be taken up in Repairs, so that after providing for the Education of Masters Charles and Thomey there will not for some Time be much of an Overplus that I can avail myself off. On these Considerations it is probable that I shall shortly draw on You for £100 sterling, tho shall avoid it, If I can negociate Your Affairs to my Mind. I have taken a View of Your House at Boston and find the Roof so defective as to require a thorough Repair, this must be done next Spring or Summer. It is the Opinion of Your Friends whom I have consulted, that it will be best at the same Time to raise the Roof to a Level with the adjoyning Buildings. The House will rent higher and the Expence will be but comparatively small with doing it at any other Time. This part of Your Estate yields an Income the most certain and productive. I wish for Your Instructions relative to this.
At a Meeting of the Overseers, last Week, A Vote of the Corporation was confirmed, passed in Consequence of Your Address to Presid. Willard, relative to Your Design of sending Your Son to finish his Education at our University provided he might be admitted to such Standing as his Qualifications should entitle him to. It was most chearfully voted. In Consideration of Your great Merit and important Services done Your Country that Your Son (in case You should send him) be accordingly admitted and without any extra Payments.3 I assure You it gave me great Pleasure to find that You had such a Design in View and I hope it will be effected.
In our last Session of the General Court which began in October and ended the 13th. Instant A Bill passed for the regulating the Exportation of Flax Seed Potash Pearl Ash, Barrelled Beef Pork Fish and Dry Fish. Do. for establishing the Rate at which Gold and Silver Coin shall Pass. Do. for impowering the Delegates in Congress to make Cession of Western Lands to Congress. Do. for Appointing Agents to support our Claims to the Western Lands, which have been laid before Congress (who have appointed a Day for the Appearance { 484 } of the Parties) &c.4 During the Session Much Time was spent in debating upon the 4th. Article of the Treaty of Peace whether it obliged to the Payment of Interest during the War on bona Fide Debts contracted before the War. The Recovery of Interest on them was considered by some as unjust, the Debtor during the War having been under a legal Incapacity to pay either Principal or Interest and by the War rendered unable to improve the Principal to Advantage. These and some other Arguments had so far their Weight as to produce An Act for suspending of Execution so far it related to the Interest, untill the next Sitting of the General Court which will be on the 3d. Wednesday of January. In the mean Time to consult Congress with Respect to the Sense of it. I must confess I am not able to see (in case of Doubt) what Congress has to do with the Matter, untill the Contracting Powers shall have mutually agreed upon an Explanation. But always having had an Idea that Interest was as much a Debt as principal and as reducible to a certainty—and not being severed by any formal Act in the Treaty—Were I an Englishman or an American I should consider myself as having a Right to make the Claim.
It was much in Agitation to lay a Duty on Lumber exported in British Bottoms. A Bill was formed for that purpose, and will be taken up the next Sessions and probably be enacted.
It has been said that both France and England can import their Timber and other Articles of Lumber much cheaper from Denmark than from America. If Your Leisure will permit, do give me Your Sentiments on this Subject.

[salute] Be pleased to present my Affectionate Regards to Mrs. Adams and Your Children And Am Your Aff. Friend and H Serv

[signed] Cotton Tufts
1. See JA's power of attorney to Tufts, [6 Sept.]; and Tufts to AA, 29 Oct., both above.
2. On 14 Dec., Tufts purchased 2 1/2 acres and 23 rods of salt marsh from David Bass for JA, paying £32 16s 3d; on 8 Jan. 1785, Tufts purchased a 20-acre lot in the Braintree north common from James Thayer Jr. and his wife, Mary Thayer, for JA, paying £60 (Deeds in Adams Office Papers, box 2, folder 13).
3. On 8 Sept., JA had written to Harvard President Joseph Willard (MH: Corporation Papers) to thank him for his letter of 8 June (not found), which AA had brought to Europe along with the engrossed honorary L.L.D. (Adams Papers) that Harvard had granted to JA in 1781. In this letter, JA also encouraged Willard to make a contemplated tour of European universities, and offered to arrange introductions for him. But JA was not eager “to See [Harvard] essentially changed, much less conformed to the Models in Europe, where there is much less Attention to the Morals and Studies of the Youth." For this reason, he continued, he wished JQA to finish his studies at Harvard. Because his son was “advanced in Age and I flatter myself in Literature" through his studies, including those at the University of Leyden, JA hoped that JQA might be admitted “after an Examination and upon the Payment of a Sum of Money for the Benefit of the Society, with the Class of the fourth or third Year.”
In his 14 Dec. reply to JA's letter (Adams Papers), Willard reported that Harvard's Corporation { 485 } and its overseers concurred that JQA should be admitted, upon examination, “into one of the higher classes in this University, free from all extra expense to you,” and enclosed a copy of the Corporation's 16 Nov. vote to this effect. He added that if JQA could enter Harvard in April 1785, he could have fifteen months at the college, take two courses in “experimental philosophy,” and graduate in 1786.
JA answered Willard on 22 April 1785 (MH: Corporation Papers), stating that JQA would deliver the letter personally to him, and adding that his son would probably find it easier to be examined for admission “in French, with which Language he is more familar than his own.” But JA did not expect this, and only hoped that the examiners would make an allowance for JQA's “long absence from home.” JA elaborated on the state of JQA's learning in a letter to Benjamin Waterhouse, 23 April 1785 (MHi: Adams-Waterhouse Coll.). JA's two letters to Willard are printed in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns, 13:114–116 (Feb. 1910).
4. In June Congress resolved that Massachusetts and New York should bring their conflicting claims to western lands before that body in December. On 11 Nov., Massachusetts named John Lowell and James Sullivan to join its congressional delegation in arguing the Commonwealth's case. Representatives from the two states presented their credentials on 8 Dec., and on 24 Dec. they agreed on a panel of judges from other states to arbitrate their dispute (JCC, 27:547–550, 662–663, 666–667, 678, 709–710). JA had been heavily involved in Massachusetts' boundary disputes with its neighbors, New Hampshire and New York, in the spring of 1774 (JA, Papers, 2:22–81; p. 65–81 deal with New York).
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, 2018.