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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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.
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/