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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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.
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/