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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


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/