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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0236

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

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0237

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

John Adams and Abigail Adams to Benjamin Franklin

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0238

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

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear and ever honourd Aunt

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0239

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

Joseph Palmer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madm.

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0240

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

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0241

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0242

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0243

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

John Shaw to Abigail Adams

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0244

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

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0245

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

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0246

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

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0247

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0248

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

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0249

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

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr

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

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

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