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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0016

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-11-08

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

I have taken the liberty to enclose a line to my Papa, under cover of yours; knowing it will go more expeditiously as well as safely—to your Excellency—than by itself, and presuming upon your goodness to excuse it. Let me request you to forward it to Boston as soon as may be convenient, and to accept my thanks therefor.
Permit me to congratulate you on the Event, of which Mr. A. has given you an account within. 'Tis an epocha, most favorable to our Cause, not only in America, but in Europe—and tho' Peace should not be the immediate Consequence, yet, the Circumstance abundantly gives us rank and sovreignty in the eyes of every Power on this side the water.
Mr. A. has advised your coming to Europe, upon certain Conditions—but, as he has given no directions where to apply on your arrival for advice and assistance, give me leave to mention his friends in the different ports, who will serve you with pleasure.2 At L'Orient, Mr. Barcley, our Consul, and Messrs. Cummings & Nesbit; At Nantes, Mr. Jona. Williams; at Bourdeaux, Mr. Bondfield, and Mr. Cabarrus—and at Bilboa, Gardoqui & Sons. At Amsterdam, you will have no difficulty, as you will bring an abundance of letters.3

[salute] With Respects to Miss Nabby, and other friends, in Braintree and the neighborhood, I am, Madam, Yr. humbl. servt.

[signed] C.S.
RC (Adams Papers). Dupl (Adams Papers). The RC was written on the last page of JA to AA, 8 Nov. (above, see descriptive note). The Dupl contains JA's letter to AA of 8 Nov. and Storer's comments before and after that letter, all followed by a { 31 } copy of his own letter to AA. The texts of the RC and the Dupl vary considerably (see notes 1 and 2).
1. The text of this letter, up to note 2, below, does not appear in the Dupl. Other material which does appear in the Dupl is quoted, in part, in note 2.
2. Storer's letter to AA, on the last page of the Dupl, and there dated 10 Nov., reads up to this point:
“'Sir, said I to Mr. A. today, will it not be necessary for Mrs. A. to have some direction where to apply for assistance when she arrives in Europe?' He looked at me near half a minute. 'No, not at all, says he. You don't know Mr. S. how great a personage you are connected with. As soon as it is known, in any part of Europe, that the Lady of son Excellence Mr. A. is arrived, there will be half the Town bowing and scraping, and begging the honor of serving her.' 'That may all be, Sir, but it would be as well if Mrs. A. has some proper person, to whom she might announce her arrival—would it not?' No—not at all necessary.
“However, Madam, as to mention some persons, who will with pleasure serve you, can do no harm, you will excuse me if I take the Charge upon myself. The address of the Gentlemen is as follows, viz.”
3. In the Dupl the last sentence of this paragraph reads: “Should you arrive at Amsterdam, you will be, in a manner, at home, as we are in the Neighborhood—and to that place, you will doubtless have an abundance of letters.”

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0017

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-11-09

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

A constant succession of company, is all I have to offer in vindication of my appearant inattention, to my Eliza. Not a moment have I been able to devote, to writing since your absense till these few days past. I have sometime lamented, but solely upon self interested motives, that it has not been in my power to write you. My fancy paints your situation, as agreed. Mrs. Warren, as ever, instructive improveing and agreeable. She has most certainly gained that point, that whatever she does or says, is universally pleasing. I think I never saw the great, the amiable, and the agreeable so happyly blended as in her character. A gentleman once said he had heard instruction given, he had felt reproof, but he had ever received them in a disadvantageous light, till he saw Mrs. W. She possessed the happy tallent of conveying instruction under the pleasing mask of sentiment. Every sentance conveyed a reproof, without seeming pointed. When he beheld Mrs. Warren, he saw virtue in its most amiable light. With her endearing partner you are pleased. Mr. W. is sociable and agreeable, Harry2 sprightly, and I need not say engageing. He has done all in his power to render you happy, and has I dare say gained his intended purpose. When my imagination has placed you thus, I felt conscious that it is not in my power to add in aney degree to the happiness of my friend. Perhaps I might have wrote a sheet, but it would have shewed you my ill forebodings. I could have repeated to { 32 } you, what you have known, that your friend is not happy, but it might have damped the joy of a moment, and was better omited. If we do not receive pleasure from reflection, from what cause shall it arise. Only to enjoy the present moment, scarce deserves the name of pleasure. My reflections of this eve, have not given me one ideal pleasure. I have recalled, this evening three years past. My pappa was with us, we were then looking forward to a painfull moment that should seperate us, for a time, we knew not how long. I am now looking forward, with wishes, delusive hopes, and fond expectations that this night twelvemonths hence, the painfull ideas of seperation may not inhabit my mind. But alas Eliza I cannot say what may be. Your friend may now enjoy the happiest moments that are desinged her. Time can only determine, and confirm a painfull thought that will sometimes intrude, and wound my peace of mind. Can I banish it—no—shall I cherish it—every sentiment and affection forbids it. You may perhaps condemn me for calling your attention from some more important pursuit, to a perusal of my gloomy ideas. It is not I think quite like you. But I will quit the subject of self, and ask your opinion of Julia, De Reubigre. What think you of the unfortinate Girl. She claimed your compassion, I think I know. I do not like Montoubon, he appears to feel a superiority of situation as a man, that does not render him pleasing. I loved him for a moment—at one time.3
I took my pen a saturday eve and scribled so far and have not had opportunity since to continue. I wish I could have found time since your absence to have wrote, a journal. It would have diverted at least, if not have pleased. The disappointments of your friend have not been few, her pleasures many, rather a varied scene. I do not recollect to have been out but once since I saw you. We have had much company. Madam Paine has past too or three days with us. Mr. Tyler quite <an> her attentive squire.4 Their behavour would divert you. Tell me Eliza has your time been so fully employed that not one moment could have been given to your friend. I will wish you a good night. If the wether should be fine tomorow, possibly mamma, will pass the day at M[ilton]. If not I will—forward this. If you have aney love for me oblige me so much as not to permit aney person to read hear or see this scralle, from your friend.5
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Millton”; endorsed: “Nov 1782 AA” and “83 Jan AA.”
{ 33 }
1. Since the first part of the letter was written on a Saturday evening shortly before the third anniversary of JA's departure for Europe on 13 Nov. 1779, as AA2 explains below, a likely date would be 9 November.
2. Henry Warren, fourth son of James and Mercy Otis Warren.
3. Henry MacKenzie wrote Julia de Roubigné, an epistolary novel, in 1777 (DNB) .
4. Probably Eunice Paine, unmarried but old enough (two years older than JA) to be called “madam” (see vol. 1:30, and note 1), and Royall Tyler. Tyler would soon figure prominently in AA's letters, and in AA2's life (AA to JA, 23 Dec., note 4, below).
5. In a brief undated letter written to Elizabeth Cranch from Hingham, probably in 1782 (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers), AA2 concluded with an even firmer command: “Do not let aney body see this but burn it as soon as read.”
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/