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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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

N:4.
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/