A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0005

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-12-06

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

I yet do not know that you have receiv'd one of the many Letters I have sent you but hope you have all. I too well know the pleasure of receiving intelligance from my absent Friends, to let one vessail Sail without carring Some Token of Sisterly remembrance from me if I know of the oppertunity Soon enough. I have not an Idea that I shall inhance the value of my Letters, by withholding them. I will never dissapoint the Freind I Love in this way.1 If Scott is arriv'd I hope you have all receiv'd Letters which will give you pleassure, and Some of them by there quallity as well as quantity make up for all Seeming—omissions.2 I have my Dear Sister receiv'd your Letter Dated September 5th and most heartily long to Strole with you in your Beautiful Garden, but I do not fancy your House Grand as it is, nor your Pack of Servants nor the Company of your French Ladies, if they are all Such as you have describ'd one of them, but I do not believe they are. It would be very unfair to form a judgment of the American Ladies by an Aunt Edwards who's manners was She in France would be much Like the Ladys you Saw at the Doctors, and we know Mrs. Edwards is not a bad woman.3
Billy has receiv'd a Letter from Cousin John4 giving him Some hopes that he may yet be his Class-mate. He will answer his quistions. The Governors of the College have voted to receive him into any Class that he shall be found quallified for, and in consideration of the great Services Mr. Adams has done his Country will admit him without the Custumary Fees. Give my most Tender and affectionate Love to him and tell him he will be receiv'd by his uncle and aunt Cranch with an affection truly Parental, and Shall not want for any { 13 } attention that we can give him and that he will only leave one Sister to gain two.
Old Coll. Thayer has lost his wife, and a dreadful loss it is to the whole Family.5 Doctor Fogg was married about a month ago.6
Has any Body told you that Mrs. Otis is like to increase—! Tis true I assure you.7
Poor Mr. Palmers Family are likely to be greatly distress'd I fear. Germantown has Shifted owners till the Whole of it with all the Building is fallen into the Hands of Major Swan and Mr. Parkers Creditors, and is now to be sold. What will become of them I know not. We are greatly distress'd about them.8
I fear this will be the last letter I shall be able to send you this winter. I hear of no more vessails for Europe till Spring. We are in dayly expectation of Some from you. I wish you was in London, we hear much oftener. I had a Letter from Sister Shaw last Week.9 She had recover'd her Health finely, She Says. The children were all well. They have a dancing School at Haverhill. Your Sons are Figuring away I hear. Mr. Shaw has Sent Betsy Smith to it. This will please her mama. Lincoln Friends were all well last week.

[salute] Present my best wishes to Mr. Adams and my dear Cousins and accept the warmest affection of your Sister

[signed] Mary Cranch
Your Mother Hall and Brother Adams's Family are well. I was there last week.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed, probably by Elizabeth Cranch: “Mrs Abigail Adams”; and possibly by Royall Tyler: “Auteul, pres de Paris. Pr. favr. of Mons. de Valnais”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch December 26 1784.” AA's endorsement is misdated; the dateline clearly reads “December 6th.”
1. Given her emphasis upon the initial “I” in the first of these two sentences, Mary Cranch may intend here a reflection upon Royall Tyler, who wrote few letters to AA2 after her departure for Europe.
2. Capt. Scott took Mary Cranch's letters of 3 and 10 Oct., and perhaps those by Elizabeth Cranch, 26 Sept., and by Joseph Palmer, 29 Sept., all above.
3. Perhaps their aunt, Sarah Smith Edwards (1704–1775), although Mary Cranch's use of the present tense makes this quite uncertain.
4. Not found.
5. Rebecca Miller Thayer died on 3 Dec. (Braintree Town Records, p. 816, 865).
6. Dr. Daniel Fogg married Susannah Thayer on 29 Oct. (same, p. 868).
7. Mary Cranch here repeats the news she had reported on 3 Oct., above.
8. Gen. Joseph Palmer had fallen deeply into debt by this date, and by 1786 he had left Germantown for Charlestown and then Dorchester. He soon established a successful salt works on Boston Neck to replace the numerous manufactories that he had had to abandon in Germantown—of glass, chocolate, and spermaceti candles, as well as salt—but his health was broken and he was unable to recoup his losses before his death in 1788 (DAB; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 486–490).
9. Elizabeth Shaw to Mary Cranch, 23 [28?]] Nov. (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-12-09

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

No. 4.

[salute] My dear Sister

Your Letter by way of Amsterdam2 had a quick passage and was matter of great pleasure to me. I thank you for all your kind and Friendly communications, by which you carry my imagination back to my Friends and acquaintance; who were never dearer to me than they now are, tho distanced so far from them.
I have really commiserated the unhappy Refugees more than ever, and think no severer punishment need to be inflicted upon any mortals than that of banishment from their Country and Friends. Were it my case, I should pray for death and oblivion. The consolations which Bolingbrooke3 comforted himself with would afford me little Satisfaction, for tho the Same Heavens were Spread over me, and the Same Sun enlightned me; I should See the Heavens coverd with darkness and the Sun bereft of its Splendour.
We reside here at this village 4. miles distant from Paris. It is a very agreable summer situation but in winter I should prefer Paris on many accounts, but upon none more than that of Society. The Americans who are in France and with whom I have any acquaintance all reside in Paris. They would frequently fall in and spend an Evening with us. But to come 4 miles unless by particular invitation is what they do not think of, so that our Evenings which are very long, are wholly by ourselves. You cannot wonder that we all long for the Social Friends whom we left in America, whose places are not to be supplied in Europe. I wish our worthy and Sensible Parson could visit us as he used to in America, his Society would be very precious to us here.
I go into Paris sometimes to the plays of which I am very fond, but I So severely pay for it, that I refrain many times upon account of my Health. It never fails giving me a severe Headack, and that in proportion as the House is thin or crowded, one 2 or 3 days after <I suffer>. We make it a pretty general rule to entertain company once a week, (I do not call a transient Friend or acquaintance dining, by that Name). Upon those occasions our company consists of 15 18 or 20, which commonly costs us as many guineys as there are persons. You will naturely be surprizd at this as I was when I first experienced it, but my weekly Bills all of which pass through my Hands and are pay'd by me; convince me of it. Every American who comes into Paris, { 15 } no matter from what State, makes his visit and pays his respects to the American ministers, all of whom in return you must dine. Then there is the foreign ministers from the different Courts who reside here and some French Gentlemen. In short there is no end of expences which a person in a publick Character is obliged to be at. Yet our Countrymen think their ministers are growing rich: believe me my dear Sister I am more anxious for my Situation than I was before I came abroad. I then hoped that my Friend in his advanced years would have been able to have laid up a little without toiling perpetually, and had I been with him from the first, he would have done it, when the allowence of Congress was more liberal than it now is. But cutting of 500 [guineas] at one blow, and at the same time encreasing our expences by removeing us from place to place is more than we are able to cope with, and I see no prospect but we must be loosers at the end of the year. We are now cleverly sittuated, I have got a Set of Servants as good as I can expect to find, Such as I am pretty well satisfied with. But I apprehend in the Month of Janry that we shall be obliged to give up our House dismiss our servants and make a journey to England. This is not yet fully agreed upon but I suppose the next Letters from the court of England will determine it, and this has been Mr. Adams'es destiny ever since he came abroad.4 His Health which has sufferd greatly in the repeated attacks of the fevers he has had, obliges him to live out of cities. You cannot procure Genteel Lodgings in Paris under 25 and 30 Guineys a month, which is much dearer than we give for this House, besides the comfort of having your family to yourself. When I Speak of 25 and 30 Guineys per month not a mouthfull of food is included.
I have too little exercise here which I find the want of. My domestick buisness is so different and my family cares so lessned that unless I ride I have no excersise. The Cooks department relieves me from every care of that kind, and cleaning house is performd by Men Servants so that poor Esther has really had a fit of sickness lately merely for want of due excercise. After she came to Auteuel she grew very fat and enjoy'd the best Health that she ever had, but got herself so croweded in concequence of it, that She was seized with a pleurisy. But she is recovering now and I will make her contrive some way to prevent the like again from the Same cause; She is perfectly contented and happy.5
As to Speaking French I make but little progress in that, but I have accquired much more facility in reading it. My acquaintance with French Ladies is very small. The Marquise Fayette6 was in the Coun• { 16 } try when I first came and continued out untill November. Immediately upon her comeing into Paris I calld and paid my compliments to her. She is a very agreeable Lady, speaks english tollerably easy. We sent our servant as is the custom with our Names into the House to inquire if she was at Home. We were informd that she was not. The Carriage was just turning from the Door when a servant came running out to inform us that Madam would be glad to see us, upon which Mr. A carried me in and introduced me. The Marquise met me at the door, and with the freedom of an old acquaintance and the Rapture peculiar to the Ladies of this Nation caught me by the hand and gave me a salute upon each cheek, most heartily rejoiced to see me. You would have supposed I had been some long absent Friend, whom she dearly loved. She presented me to her Mother and sister who were present with her, all setting together in her bed room quite in the family way, one of the Ladies was knitting. The Marquise herself was in a chintz polinee. She is a middle siezd Lady Sprightly and agreeable, professes herself strongly attached to Americans. She supports an amiable Character, is fond of her Children; and very attentive to them, which is not the General Character of Ladies of high rank in Europe. In a few days she returnd my visit, upon which we sent her a Card of invitation to dine. She came, we had a large company. There is not a Lady in our Country who would have gone abroad to have dined so little drest, and one of our fine American Ladies who sat by me whisperd me; good Heavens! how awfully she is drest. I could not forbear returning the whisper which I most sincerely despised, by replieing the Lady's rank sets her above the little formalities of dress: she had on a brown flowence gown and peticoat which is the only Silk except Sattins which are worn here in Winter, a plain double Gauze hankerchief a pretty cap with a white ribbon in it, and lookd very neat. The Rouge tis true was not so artfully laid on as upon the faces of the American Ladies who were present, whilst they were Glittering with diamond watch Chains girdle Buckles &c. The Marquise was no ways ruffled by her own different appearence. A real well bred French Lady has the most ease in her manners that you can possibly conceive of, it is studied by them as an Art, and they render it Nature. It requires some time you know, before any fashion quite new becomes familiar to us. The dress of the French laidies has the most taste and variety in it, of any I have yet seen, but these are topicks I must reserve for to amuse my young acquaintance7 with. I have seen none however who carry the extravagance of dress to such a height as the Americans who are here, { 17 } some of whom I have reason to think live at an expence double what is allowed to the American ministers. They must however abide the consequences.
Your Letters date Sepbr. I received,8 one of which gave me pain and mortification, because it shewd a want of delicacy and Honour, where I wished to have found both. I did with it as you requested. If I had written immediately upon the receipt of it, I should have exprest myself with a warmth that I might afterwards have repented. Time has made me consider it, as an imprudent triumph over mortification, but if I had been here, well as I wish to think of . . . . and happy as I hope to see . . . . I should have prevented so explicit an answer. But you know, who never does any thing by halves. Any family unhappiness would Soon put a period to the days of a person whose warmth of passions are meliorated and Softned by time, whose Health is infirm and whose great publick exertions in the most hazardous times have batterd and impaired the fabrick.9 Mr. Jefferson has been sick and confined to his house for six weeks. He is upon the recovery tho very weak and feeble.10 Dr. Franklin is much afflicted with the Stone, which prevents his going abroad unless when the weather will permit him to Walk.
Do you say that Scott has arrived in England, said I to my Friend when he returnd from Paris, and that Mr. Tracy and Jackson have received their Letters by the post and that we have none, how can this be? News too of Mr. Smiths arrival. Emelia lookd sad but said nothing. Six months and not one line was hard accounting for. The last pacquet which I received from you, as there were no Letters for her, I kept the knowledge of it wholy from her.11 Thus past the day and the next which followed, but in the Evening a letter was brought for JQA. from London from Charles Storer,12 informing us that he had received sundry large pacquets from America. Not being able to find a private conveyance he had sent them by the New dilligence lately set up, which past once a week from <Dover> Callis to Paris. It was Evening no sending in that Night, because a servant could not get them. There was nothing to be done but wait patiently untill the next morning. As soon as Breakfast was over the Carriage was orderd and Mr. JQA. set of for Paris. About two oclock returnd, and was met with a well, have you found the Letters? Yes he had heard of them but could not procure them; they refused to deliver them at the post office, because he had carried no proof that the Letters belonged to { 18 } the family. He might be an imposture for ought they knew, and they were answerable for them. He Scolded and fretted, but all to no purpose. They finally promised to send them out in the Evening to our Hotel. O how provokeing. About 8 in the Evening however they were brought in and safely deliverd to our great joy. We were all together, Mr. A in his easy Chair upon one side the table reading Platos Laws.13 Mrs. A upon the other reading Mr. Saint Johns Letters.14 Emelia setting upon the left hand in a low chair in a pensive posture. Enter JQA. from his own room with the Letters in his Hand, tied and seald up as if they were never to be read, for Charles had put half a dozen new covers upon them. Mr. [A] must cut and undoe them leisurely each one watching with eagerness, finnally the originals were discoverd: “Here is one for you my dear, and here is an other, and here Miss Nabby are 4, 5 upon my word six for you and more yet for your Mamma. Well I fancy I shall come of but slenderly, one only for me.” “Are there none for me, Sir?”15 says Mr. JQA erecting his Head and walking away a little mortified.
We then began to unseal and read, and a rich repast we had; thank you my Dear Sister for your part of the entertainment.16 I will not regreet sending my journal uncooth as I know it was. To Friends who so nearly interest themselves in the welfare of each other, every event as it passes, becomes an object of their attention. You will chide me I suppose for not relateing to you an event which took place in London, that of unexpectedly meeting there my long absent Friend, for from his Letters by my son I had no Idea that he would come. But you know my dear sister, that poets and painters wisely draw a veil over those Scenes which surpass the pen of the one and the pencil of the other. We were indeed a very very happy family once more met together after a Seperation of 4 years. For particular Reasons we remained but one day in England, after the arrival of Mr. A. We set of a Sunday Morning as I believe I have before related, in a Coach and our two servants in a post Chaise. As we travelled over the same part of the Country which I had before described in my journey up to London, I was not particular in relateing my journey to Dover. We were about 12 hours in crossing to Calais.
The difference is so great between travelling through England and through France, that no person could possibly immagine that these countries were Seperated only by a few Leagues. Their Horses, their Carriages their postilions their Inns! I know not how to point out the difference, unless you will suppose yourself a stranger in your own Country first entertaind at Mr. Swans then at Gen'll Warrens and { 19 } next at Brackets Tavern.17 Such is the difference I assure you. From Calais to Paris you pass through a number of villages which have the most misirable appearence in general, the Houses of the pesants being chiefly low thatchd Huts without a single Glass window. Their Feilds were well cultivated and we saw every where women and children Labouring in them. There is not however that rich Luxurience which Beautious England exhibits, nor have they ornamented their feilds with the Hedge; which gives England a vast advantage in appearence over this Country. The place most worthy of Notice between Calais and Paris, is Chantilly where we sloped one day, but as I was so much fatigued with my journey I made no minuts of what I saw there, tho richly worth a particular discription. I must therefore request the favour of Mr. JQA to transcribe a few incorrect minuts from his journal which will give you some Idea of what we saw there.18 I have not a wish to repeat this journey in the winter Season, but I greatly fear we shall be obliged to, as England does not chuse to Treat in France. This however you will not mention at present, as I cannot yet assure you what will be the result of the last dispatches sent to that Court.
This is the 12 of December and a severer snow storm than the present, is seldom seen in our Country at this Season. I was pleasd at the appearence because it lookd So American, but the poor French man will shrug his shoulders.
Your sattin I shall deliver to Mr. Jackson requesting him to forward it to you, and desireing your acceptance of it as a small token of my affection. There is a very great difficulty in sending any thing from Paris, there is no water Carriage, and such a train of custom House officers inspecting your Baggage that nothing escapes them. You are constantly in danger of having your things taken from you. You wrote me respecting a Carpet.19 In France they are very little used and nothing to be had here of the kind but tapestry. I do not know their prices in England, but I should judge you would suit yourself better in America and full as cheep. Mr. Smith can inform you with respect to every article better than I am able to, because I tarried there so little time. I would send my dear Mother some token of my Regard towards her and remembrance of her, if it was not attended with so much difficulty. I have inclosed to you two Joes,20 one of which I request you to lay out for her in such things as she may want, and the other for Louissa. I give you the trouble of both, in one case the money might be expended in the family and in the other, I need not add.21
{ 20 }
I thank you most sincerely, and so does Mr. Adams for all your kind attention to our Worthy Parent, and he requests that she may not want for any thing which may render the remainder of her days comfortable. If you find her in want of any comfort procure it for her, my dear Sister, and Dr. Tufts will be so good as to Supply the money chargeing it to Mr. Adams. If I should not be able to write to Dr. Tufts at this time will you desire him to give Pheeby 7 pd of sugar and a pd of tea on my account as a present, and let her know that I am pleased with her care, and that I send my Love to her and Respects to her Husband. All my good Neighbours too, Remember me to them. With regard to any linnen which Charles and Tommy may want, I think it best to purchase it in America. You kindly offerd to take that Charge from Sister Shaw and my cousins22 told me they would make it. You will draw upon Dr. Tufts for the money. Should their cousin return to America in the spring, as he wishes to, I shall then have an opportunity of sending them some little articles which I now wish to; but dare not subject a Gentleman to the loss of his Baggage on my account.23 I feel very loth to part with my son and shall miss him more than I can express, but I am convinced that it will be much for his advantage to spend one year at Harvard, provided he makes, as I have no reason to doubt; a suitable improvement of his time and talants. The latter the partiality of a Mother would say, no young fellow of his age can boast superiour, yet their are many Branches of knowledge in which he is deficient, and which I think he will be best able to acquire in his own Country. I am sure he will acquire them with more pleasure to himself, because he will find there companions and associates. Besides America is the Theater for a young fellow who has any ambition of distinguishing himself in knowledge and Literature, So that if his Father consents24 I think it not unlikely that you will see him in the course of next summer. I hope I shall follow him the next Spring. Europe will have fewer Charms for me then, than it has at present.
Our dear Sister Shaw, I tremble for her Health. Heaven preserve the good creature. My Love to Mr. Cranch, I hope he enjoys good Health. Love to Cousin Billy. I fancy he will have his cousin J Qu As company one year at least in colledge. The <young> gentleman who lives in your family I hope you will Gaurd and Guide advise and counsel. I was happy to find he improved upon his situation. What a source of anxiety has it been to me!! More I pray than it ever may again. There are certain requisites which Mr. A. thinks necessary in the Character of a Man to whom he would be willing his daughter { 21 } should be united. I have never told him that they were not the original Growth of a certain Soil.25 I have done all in my power to plant them there, and hope they may be so cultivated as to appear deep rooted <there>. Remind him often of the expectations of his Friends, remind him of what he hopes one day to be, tell him the Eyes of the World are more than ever fixed upon him, and that he stands not immoveable; if this should be necessary: which I hope it will not.26
I know not how to bid you adieu. You did not say a word of Uncle Quincy. How does he do? My duty to him, tell him if Mr. A was in Braintree he would walk twice a week to see him. Madam Quincy too, how is she. My Respects to her, and to Mr. Wibird who I think misses me as much as I do his Friendly visits.
Emelia is constantly at her pen so there is no need of mentioning her. I must bid you good by, for I have got a prodigious Letter to write to cousin Betsy, besides half a score more. My paper too bids me tell you that I am most27 affectionately yours
[signed] AA
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.)
1. The spelling of “Auteuil” was corrected by JQA.
2. Either Mary Cranch to AA, 7 Aug., above, or an August or September letter that has not been found. See Mary Cranch to AA, 3 Oct., postscript, above.
3. Henry St. John, 1st viscount Bolingbroke, England's brilliant Tory opposition writer, lived in exile in France, 1714–1723, where in 1716 he wrote his “Reflections Upon Exile,” and where he was in self-imposed exile again for some years after 1735. Several volumes of his political tracts, letters, and miscellany, published between 1748 and 1778, are in JA's library. DNB; Catalogue of JA's Library.
4. Anglo-American relations had remained strained since the signing of the peace in Sept. 1783, and from the outset of their mission, JA, Franklin, and Jefferson recognized the difficulty of bringing Great Britain, which was reasonably satisfied with its American trade, to any commercial agreement that would have important advantages for the United States (see JA to Joseph Palmer, 26 Aug., MSaE: Benjamin Pickman Coll., and to Thomas Cushing, 27 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers; and JQA to Richard Cranch, 6 Sept., MeHi).
Nevertheless, the commissioners communicated their eagerness to negotiate a commercial treaty to David Hartley on 31 August. Following Hartley's recall to England in September, they repeated this overture to John Frederick Sackville, 3d duke of Dorset, Britain's ambassador to France, on 28 October. On 24 Nov., Dorset replied that the British ministry was ready to negotiate, but preferred that the United States send a properly authorized envoy to London to negotiate the treaty (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:503–504, 515–516, 542–543).
After some hesitation, the commissioners replied on 9 Dec. that if Britain “intended that the United States should send a public Minister to reside constantly at the Court [of St. James's],” they were not authorized to play that role, but they would transmit the request to Congress. If Britain “intended only that the proposed negotiation should be concluded in London,” however, they had the authority “not only to treat but to conclude upon all the Subjects in question” in that city (same, 1:543–544).
The commissioners' hesitation was due to their reluctance to travel to London, both because of the attendant expense at a time when all three felt that their salaries were inadequate to the performance of their duties even in one location, and because of Franklin's and Jefferson's ill health. Further complicating the picture was Franklin's longstanding request to Congress to be relieved of his post so that he could return to America.
For his part, however, JA clearly understood { 22 } that America's only chance at securing a satisfactory commercial treaty, as dubious as that chance might be, lay in sending a minister to Britain. And he knew that he was the logical, but not the inevitable choice (see JA to Cotton Tufts, 15 Dec., Adams Papers). On 15 Dec. the commissioners sent copies of Dorset's 24 Nov. letter, and of their reply of 9 Dec., to the president of Congress, virtually without comment (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:544–545); but in letters to Massachusetts congressmen Elbridge Gerry (12 Dec., LbC, Adams Papers) and Samuel Osgood (13 Dec., NHi: Osgood Papers), JA insisted on the necessity of the American commissioners' going to London. And in letters of early 1785 he wrote of the need to post an American minister there. In these letters, however, JA offered no opinion on proper candidates for that post, and he gave no explicit indication that he wanted to fill it himself. His most candid recorded expression of his belief in his suitability for the position was in his 15 Dec. letter to Cotton Tufts.
Thus when AA, in this letter, anticipates moving to London in January, it was because the commissioners thought that the British ministry might accept their second offer, in their 9 Dec. letter to Dorset, and invite them to begin negotiations immediately. See also JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:177–178, note 1.
5. This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
6. Adrienne de Noailles, the Marquise de Lafayette. AA2 also records the Marquise's first meeting with AA and AA2, in an undated journal entry following that of 28 Oct., and preceding that for 7 November. The first dinner that she attended at the Adamses', mentioned below, occurred on 18 Nov., and she was the only non-American present (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:30–31, 32, 33). Further references to the Marquise de Lafayette, of whom both AA and AA2 became quite fond, appear in AA2's journal from February to May 1785.
7. Presumably Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch.
8. Not found; see note 2.
9. All of this paragraph up to this point is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA. The person (or persons) whose behavior gave AA “pain and mortification” has not been identified, and she, in dealing with the letter containing the distressing news “as you [Mary Cranch] requested,” presumably destroyed the evidence. The concluding sentence of this passage suggests that the problem would have upset JA as deeply as AA.
10. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 8 Sept., and note 4, above.
11. The text from “Emelia looked sad” to this point is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
12. Not found. On 15 Dec., JQA received a letter from Storer dated 7 Dec. (JQA to Storer, 16 Dec., Adams Papers); the letter to which AA refers here was probably written about 1–4 December.
13. Several editions of Plato's works, in Greek, Latin, French, and English, are in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). See AA to Royall Tyler, 4 Jan. 1785, note 1, below.
14. See note 3.
15. The editors have supplied the quotation marks in this sentence, and have moved the question mark which follows “mortified” in the MS to “Sir.”
16. Mary Cranch to AA, 3 Oct., and perhaps also Mary Cranch to AA, 10 Oct., both above.
17. James Swan's house in Dorchester, James Warren's house on Milton Hill (formerly Gov. Hutchinson's country seat), and James Brackett's tavern just south of Braintree (Quincy) center, a short walk from the Adams' house (the JQA birthplace). The first two were country seats of the well-to-do; the last a long-established country inn. See JQA, Diary, 1:313; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 168–169.
18. JQA to Mary Cranch, 12 Dec., below; see also AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:11–14.
19. Mary Cranch to AA, 7 Aug., above.
20. “Johannes” or “Joes” were the terms used for the Portuguese gold coin, the dobra de quatro escudos. The gold dobra and the silver Spanish piece of eight were the most widely circulated coins in the Americas (John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, Chapel Hill, 1978, p. 300).
21. AA probably feared that any money given to her young niece, Louisa CatherineCatharine Smith, would be spent by her mother; see Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 26 March, note 3, above. She apparently also had doubts about giving money directly to JA's mother, Susanna Boylston Adams Hall; see Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April 1785, below.
22. Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch.
23. The previous paragraph, and this paragraph to this point, are omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
24. Because JA was eager, long before this { 23 } date, to have JQA complete his education in America (see Cotton Tufts to JAAA, 26 Nov., note 3, above), AA may mean that JA would have to consent to losing his son's valuable services as a secretary.
25. It would appear that AA's memory fails her here; in Dec. 1782 she quite candidly admitted to JA that certain virtues upon which he insisted in a son-in-law were not at first evident in Royall Tyler, but that he was acquiring them (AA to JA, 23 Dec. 1782, above).
26. This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
27. This paragraph, to this point, is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0007

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1784-12-10

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

N 4.
You can judge of my impatience my Dear Cousin, the last week when we heard from Mr. Storer who informed us that he had forwarded some days before a large packet of letters from America to my Pappa, by a diligence established for transporting letters and packets from London to Paris, and he supposed it must have arrived some days before we should receive his letter. The next Morning my Brother went to Paris and Mamma and myself were anticipating the pleasure we should receive from his return, but to our disappointment he came without the letters. The People who received them in Paris, were officers perhaps de la Roy, and they pretended that they could not deliver them, to any person except where they were directed. They knew not but he was deceiving them, and that they would send them to us at Auteiul in the Eve. How provoking was this answer, to us so greatly interested in the Contents. The truth of the matter was I suppose that they had not sufficiently inspected them, for when we received them we found every seal had been opened, and seald again, but in a manner as not to conceal it. This is often the case, and there is no avoiding it, in this Country.1 With respect to politicks it will sometimes put people upon their Gaurd, but in domestick matters the knowledge they can get is of no importance. Let it not influence any of my friends. Perhaps we shall soon be in London, where there will not be this dainger. We have some expectation of spending some Months in London. Pappa thinks he shall be obliged to go, and he determines in all his journeys, to take his family with him. It would indeed be very disagreeable to be in a strange Country without him.
I am obliged to you my Dear Eliza for more letters than I have received from any one of my friends. I have never omitted answering them, which will I hope induce you to continue your frequent com• { 24 } munications. Any thing is pleasing to me now, and your letters my Dear will always afford me entertainment and gratification.
Poor Braintree, seems to fall away strangly. There will be nothing left I fear by the time I return but uninhabbited houses. I suppose, I shall soon be informed by my letters from thence that my friend Eliza Cranch has added to the Number who have left it. Perhaps by following the example of E[lizabeth] Q[uincy].2 I beg you would be the first to give me this information. It is an event in which I shall ever feel interested, as I shall never cease to Love and esteem you. I think however you had better remain an inhabitant, even should you follow the example of EQ, as I think it is a pitty that so prety a place should be deserted.
Believe me my Dear Eliza I can never loose the recollection of the Eve you speak of, nor can I ever describe <the [ . . . ]>3 what I then suffered. I sometimes fear it was ominous of some future dreaded event. I can never reflect upon it with calmness of mind.
I confess my Dear that I do not feel influenced by a great Share of disinterested benevolence, nor can I suffer you to give me credit for what I do not deserve. The appologies that you make for your letters are the only uninteresting parts of them. I will request that in future you will spare them, and fill your paper, with what you stile uninteresting, which I assure you I find quite otherwise. I will answer your trifling questions. Some persons would stile them very important, but your mind being usually employd, upon things of higher consequence, you thought perhaps some apology necessary. I rise in the Morning between eight and nine oclock. As soon as I go out of my chaimber I set down to the Breakfast table, where I make tea for my Mamma, Brother and myself. My Pappa always breakfasts upon Chocolate. When we have finished breakfast I wash the tea things and ring the bel for John B[riesler], to take the plates and the fragments of toast and bread, which we have left. When I have dismissed the things I employ myself either in reading Moliere, in French, or in translating Telemaque,4 from french into English, I have got into Livre 4—or in writing letters to America, and sometimes in Working, which I am not like to forget I assure you, as I find it quite as necessary here as I ever did in Braintree, till twelve or one oclock, when I repair to our dressing room and Pauline my <Mammas> Chaimber Maid, dresses my head. The time appropriated to this business, I either talk French to her or read French. We dine at two oclock in general, and we eat and drink in the same manner that we did in America. Our table is laid for 4 persons, each has two plates, { 25 } the one soup the other a flat plate, a knife, fork, and spoon to each. In each plate is laid a Napkin and a peice of bread. We have every day a soup and a peice of bouilli5 with as many other things as our Cook pleases to give us. Pappa and Mamma have each a servant behind their Chairs, who, tend the table. It is the Custom in this Country to have a servant to each Person. If you have a company of twenty People they each bring with them a servant to tend upon themselvs, but they do not dine in your Kitchen, which would be rather an inconvenience. But you allow them 3 livres, I think it is for their dinner, which they get at some place or other. We never have but one course and a desert unless we have company, then the custom of the Country obliges us to have two. After we have dined, we retire to our chaimber up stairs which we Live in, and if my Pappa does not walk in the Morning he with my Brother take a walk of five or Six miles, which is my Pappas daily practice. By half after four oclock it is dark. Between five and six, we drink tea. After tea I take a stove and go to my chaimber, and write or translate again. About nine oclock, when I have made myself prety cold, and my Brother has tired himself with his studys and my Pappa read till his eyes are tired and my Mamma in a disposition to amuse herself by playing a game of Cards, we play, a game or two for amusement, an hour perhaps or more, till it is time to retire for the night. Pappas hour is a little after ten. My Brother and my self generally have a little conversation afterwards. And when it pleases us, we retire to our several chambers. We see but little company, and visit much less. We sometimes dine out, but seldom. We have company generally once a week, sometimes not so often. Now judge you Eliza whether I find so much amusement and entertainment as you have supposed. Oh how I should now enjoy that social friendly intercourse which we have in our friendly circles in America. But alas it is not found here.
The dress of the Ladies here, is more agreeable than in Either England or America. We in America coppy the English. There is more taste more variety, and more ease here than in England. Their cloaths are not richer or more expensive except upon account of the variety one is obliged to have. They wear at Present very little trimming, if any, and the people of highest rank dress least. I have had two or three dresses made since I have been here, and not the least triming upon either. For my own part I like it much.
Mr. Smith carried with him to America two hats of the newest taste in England, then, they were excessively stif. I had one of the same fashion in England, not tho because I was pleased with them, but { 26 } there was no others worn. When I came to France, I found the same kind of hats, but made in a manner much more agreeable to the Eye. They trim them much prettier and give them an airiness that is very prety. If it was not so very dificult I would sometimes send my friends, some things that might be agreable to them to receive, but from hence it is impossible. There is no conveyance to England but by private persons except for letters, and I have not found any person as yet who I could ask this favour of. Mr. Jackson and Tracy, go soon, but it is a long time before they go to America. I expect that my Brother will go as soon perhaps as they will. By him I shall have an opportunity which I shall take advantage of. Remember me to every body who inquires after your friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); docketed: “Letter from Miss A Adams to Miss Eliz Cranch, Paris, Decr 10 1784.”
1. Compare this with JQA's experience in Russia (JQA to AA, 30 July 1783, above).
2. Elizabeth Quincy had married Benjamin Guild on 27 May.
3. One or two words are too thoroughly struck out to be legible. The editors do not know either the date or the nature of this upsetting event.
4. Les aventures de Télémuque, published in 1699, was a didactic novel by Fénelon, written shortly after he was dismissed from his post as tutor to Louis, Duc de Bourgogne, son of the dauphin, and father of Louis XV (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
5. AA2 first left a blank space, and then filled in this word for boiled or stewed meat.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1784-12-12

John Quincy Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

My Mamma has desired me, My dear Aunt, to give a Copy of a few cursory minutes, that I took at Chantilly of the Prince de Condé's Seat there.1 They are very incorrect and confused, but I dont love to make apologies, and will therefore give them such as they are, and trust for the rest in your Candour.
Chantilly is the seat of the Prince de Condé, and is perhaps the most magnificent, and most elegant place of the kind, in the world. It took us from 9 in the morning to 2. afternoon to see it imperfectly; we saw an immense variety without seeing all. We first went through the Stables. A very magnificent piece of Architecture; so much so, that it has been said, that the Prince de Condé's horses, were lodged more superbly, than two thirds the kings in Europe. It was built by one of the Princes, who had made a very large fortune, by the System, which turned every thing topsy turvy in France, in the beginning of the present Century.2 There is place for 240 horses, and there are { 27 } almost always 160, or 170 there. In the same building are about 150 dogs for hunting Stags; an amusement of which the Prince is very fond. The next thing we saw was a theatre, upon which the Prince himself plays with his Courtiers every Sunday while he is at Chantilly, from Octr. to January. Near this is the armoury, where the armour of the great Condé, and of many others are shewn, among which is that of the famous Maid of Orleans. These Pieces of old iron, the intrinsic value of which is very little more than nothing are looked upon by some People, as inestimable. The castle we had not time to see it is almost surrounded by a large pond of water, in which there is vast number of Carps so tame, that you may take them in the hand. The garden is very large, and has in it a variety of flowers, and a number of fountains from which the water spouts up ten feet high. There is also an English Garden as they call it, because in the English taste, and in it is a little farm with a mill. There are two or three buildings which appear on the outside to be small huts or cottages, but are furnished within, in the most elegant and splendid manner imaginable.3 One of them the present Prince built in 1782 for the reception of the grand Duke of Russia, and gave him an entertainment in it. Opposite the Garden is a Ménagerie where there are a few curious birds, and some wild beasts, but this is not equal to the rest and I think it would be as well if it was not shown at all, as there is at Versailles a very extensive Ménagerie, and this must suffer by the Comparison. There are besides all this two buildings, one of which is called pavillon de Venus and the other, which is built in imitation of the Chinese manner, pavillon Chinois; they are both very elegant, but are not otherwise Remarkable. The Castle appears to be an ancient building, and is said to contain a number of very fine Pictures, but we had not the time to see it.
Besides the pavillon de venus, is a small statue of Cupid. Not represented with mischievous instruments as he commonly is, nor with wings, not with a bandage round his eyes. He is Standing in an easy posture, and holds in one hand a flaming heart. The Inscription under him is very pretty it is as follows. / I give it in French; because it would lose by a translation, and you will be able to understand it in the original.

N'offrant qu'un coeur à la Beauté,

Ausse nud que la Verité.

Sans armes, comme l'Innocence

{ 28 }

Sans ailes, comme la Constance

Tel fut l'Amour, au siécle d'or

On ne le trouve plus mais on le cherche encore.

If this last line surprises you, you will remember that it was written in France, where the assertion will doubtless hold good and the writer probably thought it was every where as it was in his own Country. I think it will do very well to be in the Garden of a Prince, who can certainly know nothing at all about l'Amour.
I am, my dear Aunt, your obliged Nephew and humble Servant.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.)
1. The Adams family visited Chantilly, twenty-five miles north of Paris, on 13 Aug. (JQA, Diary, 1:208). The town was best known for its chateau and park, which passed to the House of Condé in 1632. The first Prince de Condé to reside at Chantilly was Louis II de Bourbon (1621–1686), called the great Condé, whose fame rested on his military genius. The Prince de Condé mentioned in this letter is his direct descendant, Louis Joseph (1736–1818), who had distinguished himself in the Seven Years War (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2. The stables were built from 1719 to 1735 by Louis Joseph's father, Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
“The System” was a financial scheme set up by the Scottish economist John Law under the Regency in 1716. Law's System, in its initial form, the Banque Générale, issued paper money redeemable for a fixed amount of coin and offered loans at low rates, thus increasing the supply of money and encouraging French industry. The System took control of France's non-European trade, became the dominant creditor to the State, and assumed the function of receiver-general in tax collection. Speculation in the System soon became frantic, and the boom, called the “Mississippi bubble,” burst in 1720 when stock-holders started to demand their paper gains in specie, and Law attempted to impose regulations limiting its ownership. Popular opposition forced the government to withdraw a decree that would have gradually reduced the value of bank notes, but the System, Law, and many investors were ruined. Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:168–176; DNB.
3. AA2 gives a more detailed description of the interior of one of these cottages in her journal: “It had the appearance, on the outside, of a little dirty place, with old windows and little doors, with every appearance of rustic simplicity—when, to our surprise, we were shown into an elegant apartment, with pictures and paintings; the furniture of pink silk, trimmed with a deep, rich silver fringe and tassels; in the centre was a table with a set of Sevres China—white, with a gilt edge” (Jour. and Corr., 1:13–14).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0009

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1784-12-14

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear Sister

I know your good will to have written to me if you had been able. It gives me pain to hear that you were not. Hearing of your indisposition was the only alloy to the pleasure I experienced when my last pacquet arrived. I fear you are not sufficiently carefull of your Health. Let me beg of you, and if you will not hear, Let me desire Mr. Shaw to assert the authority of a Husband1 and forbid your ever touching { 29 } wet Cloaths, or Ironing, which is but a slow poison for you in Your state of Health. You know my sister that you were not the production of sound Health, but that the infirmities of the Parent2 have been visited upon the Child, and that your constitution is heriditarily feeble. Let me read you a medical lesson from a favorite Author, Buckhan, who says more consumptive patients date the beginning of their disorders from wet feet; damp Beds, Night air, wet Cloaths or catching cold; than to any other especially after the body has been overheated. As to the Regimin for people of weak lungs; he advices to Milk light food fruits &c and to riding even long journeys to a voyage at sea, but for the latter I imagine you will have no inclination.3
From the interest you take in every thing which concerns your Friends, I hear you inquiring how I do? How I live, whom I see? Where I visit, who visits me? I know not whether Your curiosity extends So far as the coulour of the House which is white stone, and to the furniture of the Chamber where I sleep. If it does you must apply to Betsy Cranch for information whose fancy has imployd itself so Busily as to seek for intelligence even in the minutias; and altho they look trifling upon paper, yet if our Friends take an interest in them that renders them important, and I am the rather tempted to a compliance from the recollection, that when I have received a sentimental Letter from an absent Friend, I have passt over the sentiment at the first reading, and hunted for that part which more particuliarly related to themselves.
This Village where we reside is four miles from Paris, and is famous for nothing that I know of, but the learned Men who have inhabitted it. Such was Boileau, Mollire, <d'Auguisson> d'Aguesseau4 and Helvitius. The first and last lived near this Hotel, and Boileaus garden is preserved as a Choice relict. As to my own Health it is much as usual. I suffer through want of excersise, and grow too fat. I cannot persuade my self to walk an hour in the day in a long entry which we have merely for exercise, and as to the Streets they are continually a Quagmire; no walking there without Boots or Wooden Shoes, neither of which are my feet calculated for. Mr. Adams makes it his constant practise to walk several miles every day without which he would not be able to preserve his Health; which at best is but infirm. He professes himself so much happier for having his family with him, that I feel amply gratified in having ventured across the ocean. He is determined that nothing but the enevitable Stroke of Death shall in future seperate him; at least from one part of it, So that I know not { 30 } what climates I may yet have to visit. More I fear than will be agreeable to either of us.5 Master John, who is a Man in most respects: all I may say but age; wishes to return to his own Country, and to become a while a resident in your family; that he may acquire what ever knowledge is necessary, for spending one year at Harvard Colledge. I know not how I shall part with him, for he is companion; assistant interpreter &c. Yet he lives a recluse life for a young fellow of his age, he has no companions of his own, and never stirs out unless to accompany his Mamma or Sister. The consideration alone of his advantage will prevail with us, but we shall make a great Sacrifice in doing it. My other dear Lads are well I hope and good and dutifull. I have got their profiles6 stuck up which I look at every morning with pleasure and sometimes speak to; as I pass, telling Charles to hold up his Head. My little Cousins too, I hope are well. Can they say Aunt Adams yet?
If you want to know the manners and customs of this Country, I answer you that pleasure is the buisness of Life, more especially upon a Sunday. We have no days with us, or rather with you, by which I can give you any Idea of them, except commencment and Elections. We have a pretty woods within a few rods of this house which is called the Bois <Beloing> Boulogne. This is cut into many Regular Walks, and during the Summer Months upon Sundays, it looked like Boston and Cambridge Common upon the publick Days I have mentiond. Paris is a Horrid dirty City, and I know not whether the inhabitants could exist, if they did not come out one day in the week to Breath a Fresh air. I have set at my window of a Sunday and seen whole cart loads of them at a time. I speak literally, for those who neither own a Coach, nor are able to hire one, procure a cart, which in this country are always drawn by Horses. Sometimes they have a peice of canvase over it. Their are benches placed in them, and in this vehicle you will see as many well drest women and children as can possibly pile in, led out by a Man or drove just at the entrance of the wood they descend. The day is spent in musick danceing and every kind of play. It is a very rare thing to see a Man with a Hat any where, but under his Arm, or a Women with a Bonet upon her Head. This would brush of the powder, and Spoil the elegant tupee. They have a fashion of wearing a hood or veil either of Gauze or silk. If you send for a Tailor in this Country, your servant will very soon introduce to you a Gentleman full drest in Black, with his Head as white as a Snow Bank, and which a Hat never rumpled. If you send { 31 } to a Mantua Maker she will visit you in the same stile, with her silk gown and peticoat, her hood in ample order, tho prehaps she lives up five pair of Stairs and eats nothing but Bread and water, as two thirds of these people do. We have a Servant in our family who dresses more than his young Master, and would not be guilty of tending table unfriz'd upon any consideration. He dresses the Hair of his young Master, but has his own drest by a Hair Dresser. By the way I was guilty of a sad mistake in London. I desired the Servant to procure me a Barber; the fellow staird, was loth to ask for what purpose I wanted him. At last he said you mean a Hair Dresser Mam, I believe. Aya says I, I Want my Hair drest. Why Barbars Madam in this country do nothing but Shave. When I first came to this Country I was loth to submit to Such an unnecessary number of Domesticks as it appeard to me. But I soon found that they would not let me do without them, because every one having a fixed and settled Department; they would not lift a pin out of it: all tho two thirds of their time they had no employment. We are however thankfull that we are able to make 8 do for us, tho we meet with some difficulties for want of the ninth.
Do not Suppose from this that we live remarkably nice. I never put up in America with what I do here. I often think of Swifts High Dutch Bride who had So much Nastiness and So much pride.
With regard to Cloathing for the Children, the distance I am at from a sea port makes it very difficult to send any thing to them. Their Brother has written to the Hague to have a trunk of Cloaths sent home which he has out grown.7 If they arrive some will answer for one and some for the other, and what ever else they want You will be kind enough to provide for them drawing upon Dr. Tufts for the money. Mr. Tracy and Jackson assure me they shall set of for London a thursday, and that they will be here tomorrow to take leave. Remember me to Mr. Thaxter. How does he, I think he ought to tell me himself. Alass poor Mrs. White. I am grieved for her, to every body remember me. Your best Friend be sure. My paper is too short, but I dare not take an other sheet. I must find room to say your8
[signed] A A
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers)
1. AA wrote “Husband” in larger letters than other words in the text.
2. Elizabeth Quincy Smith died at age 53 in 1775, after repeated illnesses (vol. 1: 148, 169, 284, 287–289). Rev. William Smith also suffered serious illnesses years before his death at age 76 in 1783 (vol. 2:130; 3:376–377; AA to JA, 20 Sept. 1783, above).
3. The opening paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
{ 32 }
4. JQA made this correction. Henri François d'Aguesseau was a prominent magistrate and legal reformer under Louis XV (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
5. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec., and note 4, above. The remainder of the paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
6. These “profiles,” perhaps silhouettes, of CA and TBA have not been found.
7. Elizabeth Shaw, in her letter of [ca. 15] Oct. to AA, above, mentioned altering clothing for CA and TBA to see them through the winter. See the inventory of JQA's clothing and books sent to Boston from The Hague, made out by Christian Lotter on 6 Nov. (Adams Papers).
8. The closing paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1784-12-14

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

I have been so much taken up these four or five days, in copying both for my Pappa and Mamma, that I have not been able to write at all for myself. I expected that Mr. Tracey and Mr. Jackson would not leave Paris till next Monday, but I dined with them this day, and they seem determined upon setting out the day after to morrow: I shall see them to morrow for the Last time, and have therefore only this evening and morning for writing.
You can imagine what an addition has been made to my happiness by the arrival of a kind, and tender mother, and of a Sister who fulfills my most sanguine expectations. Yet the desire of returning to America still possesses me. My Country has over me an attractive power which I do not Understand. Indeed I believe that all men have an attachment to their Country, distinct from all other attachments. It is imputed to our fondness for our friends, and relations; yet I am apt to think I should still desire to go home, were all my friends and relations here. I cannot be influenced by my fondness for the Customs and Habits of my Country, for I was so young when I came to Europe, and have been here so long; that I must necessarily have adopted many of their customs.
But I have another Reason, for desiring to return to my native Country. I have been such a wandering being these seven years, that I have never performed any regular course of Studies, and am deficient on many Subjects. I wish very much to have a degree at Harvard, and shall probably not be able to obtain it, unless I spend at least one year there. I therefore have serious thoughts of going in the Spring so as to arrive in May or June; stay a twelve-month at Mr. Shaw's; (who I hope would be as kind to me, as he has been to you and is to my Brothers) and then enter college for the last year, so as to come out with you. I imagine that with steady application I might { 33 } in one year, acquire sufficient proficiency, in all the Sciences necessary, for entering the last year. . .1 however I know not whether I shall do any of these things, for it is still very uncertain whether I shall return next Spring or not.
I have been this day to see one of the greatest curiosities that P[aris contains]. The abbé L'Epée, Who for many years has made his sole employment, to alleviate, the unhappy fate of that unfortunate class of human beings the Deaf and Dumb.2 He teaches all, indiscriminately, and whoever desires to be instructed in his method, has only to present himself, and not pretend to offer any recompense because that would give offence. Oh! how consoling it must be to these Europeans, that they are able to say that there still are such Characters who devote all their time, to assist the unfortunate! The name of such a man deserves to be transmitted to Posterity, more than all the Kings in Europe. His success has been astonishing, he teaches the deaf and dumb, not only to converse with each other by signs, but to read and write, and comprehend the most abstracted metaphysical Ideas. He has published a book, which contains his complete System. I would send it you, but it is in French, which you do not understand I suppose sufficiently to read it. When the Emperor was here, he went to see the Abbé, and was so pleased with his School, that when he returned to Vienna, he wrote him a very flattering Letter and sent him a gold box, containing a medal with his Picture.
Your Mamma in one of her late Letters3 desired I would get a Violin, for you. Will you accept of that I left at home? My Mamma tells me that Mr. C. Warren had it when she came away; but if he has sailed for Europe, as he intended, he probably left it. I shall never make any use of it, for I have not touched a violin Since I left America: and I fansy I should not be able to get so good a one for you here.
Believe me to be, my Dear Cousin, your sincere Friend
[signed] J.Q. Adams
RC (Private owner, N.Y., 1957); addressed: “Mr. William Cranch. Cambridge. Massachusetts”; endorsed: “J.Q.A. Auteuil. Decr. 14 1784.” Printed in the N.Y. Examiner, 20 Dec. 1855. Some damage to the text where the seal was torn away. Missing words supplied from newspaper copy..
1. Elipses in MS. On JQA's plans to enter Harvard, see Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 Nov., and note 3, above.
2. The seventy-two year old Charles Michel, Abbé de L'Epée, had just published the third edition of what JQA, below, calls “his complete System”: La veritable manière d'instruire les Sourds et Muets (1784), and was working on a dictionary of manual signs for the use of deaf mutes, which was com• { 34 } pleted after his death. The Austrian emperor, Joseph II, sent a cleric who learned L'Epée's system of instruction and returned to Vienna to establish that city's first school for teaching deaf mutes. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
3. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0011

Author: Hay, Katherine Farnham
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-12-17

Katherine Hay to Abigail Adams

Permit me My Dear Madam to express my warmest gratitude for your kind attention, in conveying me Intelligence that I am so much Intrested in. Your second letter2 entirely reliev'd my Mind from the anxiety your former letter had excited. I had the pleasure of receiving a packet of letters from America By Capt Scott the Evening before yours of the 10th. instant came to hand. They were replete with every pleasing account that cou'd rejoice my Heart.
I partook of your pleasure and feasted with you, nothing cou'd render the seperation from our friends tolerable but the Aid of pen Ink and paper, and I every Hour of my life Bless the Inventon.
I am now alone my Dear Madam seperated from all that is Dear to me on Earth, Freinds that have my thorough love amity, confidence and esteem, if my Husband cou'd be with me it wou'd in some degree compensate for the loss of such near connexions. But Alass Heaven, has ordain'd otherways, I must live alone the greatest part of my Life, and friends are rare to be found. I do not mean to complain for it is my constant study to Build contentment in my own Breast. And pardon me for naming unavoidable Evils, my feelings overflow'd this instant and it was impossible but to drop some on the paper.
I can give you nothing New and entertaining from hence, my apartment with a constant fire I have made tolerable. And my Cheif employment is my French, which if I attain, I shall think will fully repay me for any inconveniency I may meet with. I am by no means eligibly situated however the Winter will soon pass away and I shall make the Best of it.
I am rejoic'd with the Idea of seeing Mr. Jackson I hope I shall not be disappointed. I often wish I had taken my Winter residence near you, it wou'd have afforded me much pleasure. Your observations are very just in giving the preference to the purity of manners in our Country no Doubt these old Countrys have arriv'd to the highest pitch of improvment and refinement which will excite our admiration, but they too often Sacrafice all the finer feelings of the Soul to fashion Etiquette parade and ceremony. I own my path has been chequer'd with much pleasure since I have been in Europe but { 35 } nothing has charms for me to Balance the delightfull society I left in my own Country. Freindship and sincerity are only knon here by Name. My only fear is on my return I shall find a change in their Manners for travellers too often transplant the follys of other Countrys instead of their Virtues. I have ever been a conformist to fashion because I think it a civility due to a Country from a Stranger, excepting where it interferes with our principles, in that case, we have an undoubted right to dissent without any Breach of politness. In your situation you will find conformity to fashion Necessary, and often convenient, the Multiplicity of Visits that you must receive and repay wou'd be tedious to a degree without the ceremony of a Card.
I was much entertain'd with your descrip[tion] of a Court Introduction. I think you so goo[d] at de [scribing?][th]at I shall be always entertain'd <at> w[ith] any [thing you?] may think worth relating. I find [it?] difficult [to] write to America from Hence. I will Beg the favour of you to mention that I am well to Mrs. Shaw when you write, she is so near my Mother she can easily acquaint her with it.3
I join with you in wishing for a little more sunshine however I find the weather vastly more agreable than in England. I have as yet enjoy'd my Health exceedingly well and Mrs. M[ather] I think seems perfectly recover'd.
How do you succeed in your French My Dear Madam I wish to know. My Best respects to Mr. Adams and Family, Mr. and Mrs. M[ather] Join. Is Mr. Storer in Paris yet? I shall be always happy to hear from you My Dear Madam.
With great esteem your Obliged Freind & Servt.
[signed] K Hay
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Madame Madame Adams a la Maison de M. le Comte de Rouhaut á Auteiul près Paris”; stamped: “BEAVGENCY”; endorsed: “Mrs Hay December 17. 1784.” Some loss of text where the seal was cut out.
1. Katherine Hay had traveled to Beaugency, on the bank of the Loire River near Orleans, in late October with Samuel and Margarette Gerrish Mather. See Katherine Hay to AA, 1 Nov. (Adams Papers).
2. Not found, but evidently dated 10 Dec. (see the following sentence in the text). AA's first letter to Katherine Hay, also not found, was probably dated ca. 10 November. In it, AA apparently informed Hay that three American ships were missing. Hay was alarmed by this because her brother, William Farnham, had recently sailed for Boston on board Capt. Callahan's packet Gloucester. However, he arrived after a passage of forty days on 23 or 24 Sept. (Katherine Hay to AA, 18 Nov. [Adams Papers]; John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass., Newburyport, 1909, 2:260–261; Independent Chronicle, 30 Sept.).
3. Sibyll Angier Farnham lived in Newburyport (Vital Records of Newburyport, Mass., Salem, 1911, 2:626; also, Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 10:364–366).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0012

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-01-03

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch


[salute] My dear Betsy

I am determined not to neglect my pen for so long an interval as I did before your last Letters; for then I always go to it with reluctance. Mr. Appleton came here this Day week; from London, and as he thinks he shall return before Captain Young sails, I am induced to proceed to the fulfilment of my promise,1 and attempt a Description of the French Theater. I have from time, to time, survey'd it with as much accuracy as I am capable of, that I might be able to render my account intelligible. If I fail in architecture, your lively imagination must supply my deficiency.
This superb Building, the French Theater, is situated near the Palace of Luxembourgh, and was Built by Messrs. De Wailly and Peyre the ablest Architects of the King.2 This Monument is open on every side, and is in the form of a parallelogram (for this figure see the Preceptor,3 plate 1st in Geometry, Figure 9, B.D.). This is surrounded with porticos which form galleries, by which means you go up and come down under cover. The front, where you first enter, is simple but noble, and announces its Majesty by a perystyle, or a circular range of pillars jutting out, Decorated with Eight collumns in the Doric order, you ascend to it by nine large stone stairs. The back is ornamented with partitions, and the whole is covered by an Attic, which term signifies having the Roof concealed, and is a peculiar kind of base, used sometimes in the Ionic and Doric orders. Under this porch there are three doors, each of which introduce you into a Hall, decorated with collums in the Tuscan order (for this order see the Preceptor). These sustain an arched roof. In front of the middle Door; and at the bottom of the Hall, there is a marble statue of Voltaire. The doors which open upon both sides of this statue, serve as an entrance into a large entry, which was designd as a safe retreat in case of fire. Accordingly it communicates with the highest Galleries as well as the pit, the orchestra and the stairs of all the Boxes. In this entry you are presented with two great flight of stairs opposite each other, which conduct you equally to the first stage or two galleries in Collonade, a series of pillars disposed in a circle, which communicate with the entry of the first Boxes, and through them into the great public retiring room. This Room is
{ 37 } { 38 }
decorated in the doric order of a new invention. It represents a Hall in the Italian form square at the bottom and octagon (which is a plain figure consisting of Eight equal sides and angles), at the first entablature (that is at the first frieze and cornice of the pillars,) and circular at the top which supports the cupola, which signifies a dome, the hemispherical summit of a building. This Hall is concecrated to the memory of the great Men, who have renderd the French Theater illustrious; accordingly you find their Marble Busts placed round it. Moliere, as the Father of commedy, has his seat over the Chimny, and upon the right hand is Piron and Voltaire, Racine and Regnard, upon the left Crebillon, Nericault Destouches, Pierre Corneille, Dufresny.4 Over the Doors are the medallions of Plautus, Terence, Sophocle, and Euripides. This hall is enlightned by six large Lustures, each of which holds 50 lights, they are of great service to the entry which communicates with it. To compare great things with small, imagine yourself in the gallery of the cupola of Dr. Coopers meeting House, and this cupola under the covering which I have described. It has as many small doors just large enough for one person to enter at a time: as there are boxes within, open one of them, and it introduces you into the first Boxes of the great Theater. Look above you and you will see 3 galleries divided into Boxes in the same manner as the first. Look below you, and you will see what is called the Amphitheater, in which are two rows of benches, advanced sufficently forward to give the spectators an equal chance of seeing. You must never loose sight of the perfect circular figure of the House and that taking off a quarter part of your circle for the Theater, you leave the other three quarters, for the spectators who all necessarily face the theater; below the Amphitheater, is the pit upon the first floor; and here are rows of benches, that every person may sit down; between the pit and the theater; is the orchestra. The Musisians when sitting, have their heads just even with the floor of the Theater. The inside of the Boxes are coverd with green velvet, and cushions of the same. The first Boxes will hold six persons, but 4 are sufficient for comfort. The front of the Boxes, which resembles the Gallery of a meeting house, is ornamented with Drapery, and the second galleries, which are advanced a little forward of the first, are adornd with garlands of flowers, and fruits in Relievo, which you know is the seeming prominence of a figure in sculpture. Above the uppermost Boxes are 12 bendings in the vault, which is supported by 12 pilasters. The 12 signs of the Zodiac ornament these arches, which are all in arabesk sculpture. Before the scene are four pillars adorned, with { 39 } Caryatides, as large as life. This is an order of columns under the representation of women, cloathed in long robes and serving to support entablatures; for a figure of this kind, look in the Preceptor to the Corinthian order, and for the arabesk which adorns the vault, look to the composite order against the term foliages, a a. Over the top of the stage is the Lyre of Apollo, supported by Melpomene, who represents the tragick Muse, and holds a dagger in her hand, and Thalia, the Comick Muse, who has a mask in hers. These figures are in sculpture and large as life. The inside of this Theater is painted a sky blue, and the ornaments are all white. From the middle of this vault hangs a prodigious Lustre, containing I imagine two hundred lights.5 There is over this Lustre in the arch of the Ceilling, a circle, prehaps 40 foot in circumference which is inlaid with some shining metal and reflects back the lights in such a manner that I have easily read the finest print as I set in the Box. The floor of the stage is lighted by two rows of lamps which are placed upon it just before the orchestra; and are so constructed as to be drawn below it, whenever the part acted requires that it should be night. Fancy, my dear Betsy this house filled with 2000 well drest gentlemen and Ladies! The house is large enough to hold double the number. Suppose some tragedy to be represented which requires the grandest scenery, and the most superb habits of kings and Queens, the parts well performed; and the passions all excited, until you imagine yourself living at the very period; and witnessing what you see represented, or, in the Words of Pope,

“Live o'er the scene, and be what you behold.”6

Can you form to yourself a higher repast, or one more agreeable to your taste? To my dictionary and the Preceptor I am indebted for the explanation of the terms of Architecture; and, like many other preceptors; whilst I have endeavourd to instruct, I have found my own knowledge increased, for I should never have comprehended half the Beauties of this Theater, if I had not attempted a description of them to you.
Since I began this Letter, yours of November 6 reached me.7 You was at Germantown assisting a worthy family whose various and complicated distresses would furnish sufficient materials for a tragick muse. The Book of fate is wisely closed from the prying Eye of man, or “who could suffer Being here below.” My affectionate regards to them. My paper calls upon me to close, and to assure you, whilst I have sufficient space of the affection of your Aunt,
[signed] AA
{ 40 }
RC (Private owner, 1991.)
1. See AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Dec. 1784, above.
2. Charles de Wailly and Marie Joseph Peyre (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
3. Robert Dodsley, The Preceptor; containing a general course of education . . ., 2 vols., London, 1748, with numerous later editions. A copy of the 1764 edn. is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library); a copy of the 1783 edn. is in MQA.
4. These dramatists, in addition to Voltaire, Racine and Corneille, were Alexis Piron, Jean-François Regnard, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, Philippe Nericault Destouches, and Charles Rivière Dufresny.
5. Starting with the second paragraph until this point, this highly detailed description of the French Theater is translated verbatim from Luc Vincent Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris, Paris, 1783, pp. 584–588. A copy of the 1784 edn. is in JA's library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
6. “Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold,” line 4 of the “Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato.”
7. Adams Papers. This letter closely resembles Mary Cranch to AA, 6 Nov. 1784, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0013

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Charles
Date: 1785-01-03

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] My dear Charles

You bring me much deeper in Debt than I was aware of,1 but thus it often happens to those who are irregular in their accompts: nor is it in my power to detect you in a wrong Charge as my Receipts are all in America; I will therefore submit to your statement, and plead insolvency. There is not a little due to you too, on the score of acknowledgment for your adroitness in executing the several comissions with which I have charged you since my arrival here.2 I can only say to you come to Auteuil and the Cordial reception you shall meet with here; shall testify to you how much I esteem and Love you. The House indeed is not calculated for a winter Habitation, and the present unrepaired state in which it now is, proclaims the poverty of its owners. Before we came here, we were assured that every necessary repair should be made to our satisfaction, but from week to week the promises failed, and last week we were requested to pay no more Rent to the owners as the House was attached, and taken by execution, so that this once elegant Building will not bear the term which you apply to it, for neither House or furniture in its present state is really fit for a publick minister to live in. I have had one Chamber furbishd up for you some time ago. We do not want for House Room such as it is, and such as it is, you will be welcome to a part of it.
As to my observations upon the Beau Mond, which you request of me, they are such I suppose as accrue to every person who thinks and reflects. Objects appear different, according to the different positions in which they are placed, or the point from which you view them. Dukes and Duchesses, Lords and Ladies, bedizened with { 41 } pomp, and stuck over with titles, are but mere flesh and Blood, like their fellow worms, and sometimes rather frailer. He who possesst the greatest riches, and what was far better, the most extensive knowledge, who had exhausted Nature and art in the gratification of all his passions, pronounced upon the whole: vanity of vanities, all is vanity!3 Nor have any of his successors been able to make a more judicious estimate of the whole circles of pleasures. Their are many customs in this Country worthy a transplantation to the Soil of America and there are others which would lead me to repeat in the words of the Church Service, “Good Lord Deliver us” “Good Lord save thy people.”
I enclose to you a Letter4 which I beg you to forward by the first vessel which sails for America. My best Regards to Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, whose Friendly kindness towards me whilst in London is not forgotton by me. I am sorry to hear Mrs. Atkinson is so unwell, I hope the air of her native Soil will prove more favourable to her. The Great folks upon Your Side the Water, keep us yet in uncertainty. I rather begin to think that we shall be saved the trouble of a winter journey, for which I have no realish. The Duke of Dorset who is vastly civil to Mr. A. gave him to understand that he hourly expected a replie.
I have often heard it said, that their is more art in concluding a Letter genteelly than in writing one handsomely. If I can make no pretentions to either of these, I can to the Sincerity with which I subscribe myself affectionately Your Friend.
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in JQA's hand: “Mr. Charles Storer No. 7. Basinghall Street London. England”; endorsed: “Portia to Eugenio. 3d. January. 1785.” See also AA to Storer, 28 April 1783, descriptive note (above).
1. See Storer to AA, 22 Nov. 1784, above.
2. AA requested “half a pound of the best red Peruvian Bark, and four ounces of Castor Oil” (JQA to Storer, 23 Nov. 1784, Adams Papers). See also Storer to AA, 22 Nov. 1784, note 5, above.
3. Ecclesiastes 1:2.
4. Not identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0014-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-01-03

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

In a Letter which Mr. Tyler wrote me not long since1 he informd me that Mr. Alleyne was about parting with his House and Farm and that he would sell it reasonably, but did not Say for what Sum.2 If Mr. Alleyne is really in earnest, and means to part with it, Mr. Adams requests You to see it, and to estimate what you think, to be the real { 42 } Worth of it, to inspect the House; and buildings &c and if it falls within or about two thousand pounds Sterling, he empowers you to Close the Bargain for him and draw Bills upon him for the payment, but if it is not to be had for that Sum, or under, we must give up the thoughts of it, and content ourselves to return again to our small Cottage. If it is not to be had Mr. Adams would be glad that no mention may be made of his intention respecting it. I am very desirous of having it, and have; I own persuaded Mr. Adams to attempt it. “It is a bold Stroke for a Wife.” Mr. Adams has Some Money due to him; which he was able to save when Congress allowd him 25 hundered a year,3 and he has some furniture at the Hague4 which is or ought to be very valuable; and which I had much rather he should part with; than not be able to pay for this place. As to saving any thing upon the present establishment, I find it impossible, unless we submit to meannesses which neither of us are inclined to whilst a copper of the Salary remains unexpended: it is rather hard that a person should be placed in such a situation, as to be necessitated to expend all his income without regard to old age which is approaching fast, or to a family whose circumstances would have been very different in all probability, if private business had not been relinquished for publick service. Dr. Franklin has really been in a less expensive department than Mr. Adams, for he has been fixd to one spot, where as Mr. Adams has been obliged to make no less than ten different journeys to and from France since he came last abroad.5 No person who has never travelled 500 miles upon paved roads can form any Idea of the injury which it is, both to a Carriage and baggage. Mr. Adams purchased a Carriage in England perfectly New and made for travelling, the wheels of which lookd firm enough to stand for Years, Yet we had not been here a month before we were obliged to have intire new wheels.
Last Saturday was New Years Day. As we experienced I will give you a short history of the parade of the Day. The Secratary of the King sends notice to all the Ministers that his Majesty holds a Court to receive the Compliments of all the Foreign ministers. Upon this occasion also all officers civil and Military pay their compliments to all the Royal family every branch of which are with their train, in different appartments. This however is allways the case, so that upon every twesday the ministers have to make the tour of the whole Court. There is a high Mass held in the Chappel upon this day where all the Royal family attend, with the Chevaliers of the order of the St. Esprit, in their Robes. His Majesty Creates these Knights upon this { 43 } day which Ceremony is perform'd by the Kings putting a blue ribbon over their necks and shoulder. Their Robes are immensely rich, one of them told Mr. Adams that his Robe cost him sixteen thousand livres.6 Upon this occasion there are Etrennes as they are termd to all the servants, and for the curiosity of it I enclose you a list, which every minister has as regularly as if they were all his creditors, as indeed they are. Yet here is one amongst a thousand other expences of which our Countrymen have no Idea, but which habit and custom have made as absolute as the Laws of the Meads and Persians.7 Therefore of what avail would it be to complain? or execrate and detest the Custom? If you Should chance to omit or forget one of these Harpies, he will follow you to Auteuil or to Paris and demand his due. Besides these: there are all the Servants of ones own family; the Clerk of the Parish; the Newspaper Carrier. In short I know not yet where it is to end.
I know not whether I shall be able to content myself to tarry out my two years, my Heart and Soul is more American than ever. Yet we are a family by ourselves. We do not even see so much Company as would be agreeable to me, that is provided I could See it in my own way, in a rational Conversable Friendly Stile. But every Country has its customs and manners peculiar to it. You inquire how commercial matters proceed? There has nothing very material taken place Since Mr. Adams wrote you. The Loan which Mr. Adams procured in Holland is the only resource which Supports the Faith and credit of the united States, for he is obliged to draw from thence money to pay the interest which is due to this Court and for which they are continually dunning Dr. Franklin. And tho C[ongre]ss expected that Mr. Jefferson and Col. Humphries would receive their salaries here, let me whisper it to you, that neither of them could get a Farthing and Mr. A has been obliged to draw upon his Bankers in Holland to supply them, even he who once wrote it as a criminal Charge against a certain person to C[ongre]ss, that “he had said he would go to Holland and see if he could not make the united states less dependent upon France,”8 and who during the times of our greatest distress in that Country; threatned to with hold the Salary which was then paid here. This Same Gentleman is now obliged to apply for his own from that very Country and through that Same person: which I think is a little sweet and innocent revenge. Will our Country make any provision for the payment of their Foreign debt, do they not feel that interest is a Canker Worm? And do they not feel for those who in their Names have become responsible for them? If the Foreign debt { 44 } | view was once consoladated and the interest paid, we might have credit enough in Holland to procure the principal which is due to this Court, and which the politician of America and the independant Spirits Say, they would do as soon as it becomes due. But if our Countrymen will do nothing towards collecting where with to pay even the Interest, but are remitting millions of dollors to England for mere trumpery, where in future can they look for credit?
I hoped my dear sir to have heard from you before now. Letters from my Friends are a cordial to my Soul. Are you like to Settle any body with You?9 I feel an interest in and a Regard for a people over whom my dear and honourd parent so happily presided for many years. How do my sable Tennants, and my white ones too.10 I am so habituated to talk in the singular stile, that I forget it should be plural, but if we should be so happy as to procure the place I wish for, I will use my utmost endeavours to prevail upon my Friend; and convince him that Agriculture is the only thing for him the remainder of his Life. The commercial commissions compleated, I will most joyfully quit Europe for ever. If they should be equally fortunate with the treaty of peace, perhaps Congress may be induced to reward their ministers by a vote of thanks, which they have never yet done. The only recompence afforded them for the extensive territory secured to them; and their fisheries, was to curtail their Salleries 500 pounds.
Sir do you envy an American Minister his Station? It has but one Charm for me; that of doing good to ones Country, and virtue in this as in many other departments must be its own Reward.
My best Regards to my worthy Aunt. How is her Health? And to your son be so good as to present my Love and tell him I advise him to get married, for a Man makes but a poor figure solo.
Mr. Adams my son and daughter desire to be affectionately Rememberd to your family. Believe me Dear Sir most affectionately Yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); one enclosure, in JQA's hand.
1. Not found.
2. AA had been interested in the farm of Thomas(?) Alleyne of Braintree since March 1782 (vol. 4:295–296, 315–316).
3. That is, £2500 sterling, JA's salary from Oct. 1779 to March 1784 (JCC, 15:1143–1144; 26:126).
4. See the inventories of household goods at The Hague, made on 14 May and 16 Oct. 1782, by John Thaxter, and on 22–24 June 1784, by Marie Dumas (Adams Papers, all filmed at 14 May 1782).
5. AA is evidently counting each one-way journey that JA took from one country to another; JA did in fact take ten of these journeys, between France, the Netherlands, and England, between July 1780 and Aug. 1784. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:263–265.
6. JA records seeing the Chevaliers du St. Esprit in June 1778 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:316; 4:130–131), and again in May 1780 (to AA, 15 May 1780, vol. 3:347).
7. Daniel 6:8.
8. AA quotes, only slightly inaccurately, from Benjamin Franklin to the president of Congress, 9 Aug. 1780 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:21–25). For a full discussion of AA's first reaction to this letter, in the summer of 1781, see vol. 4:154 and notes 3 and 4, 162–192 passim.
9. See AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Dec. 1784, and note 11, above.
10. AA's black house tenants, Phoebe and William Abdee, and the white tenant of the Adams' farm, Matthew Pratt. Three women are recorded as marrying a Matthew Pratt in Braintree: Lydia Hunt in 1765 (Matthew Pratt Jr.), Sarah Jones in 1774, and Mary Niles in 1784 (Braintree Town Records, p. 873, 878, 885).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0014-0002

Date: 1785-01-03

Enclosure: Account from the Salle des Ambassadeurs

Salle des Ambassadeurs.
1. Louis to the Suisse.1     1.  
2. Do. to each of the Coffee-Men   2.   2.  
At the Oeuil de Boeuf2   1. Louis to each of the Suisse's   2.  
At M: de Vergennes's      
1. Louis to the Porter   1. Do. to the Livery   2.  
{ 45 } | view
2. Louis to each of the Valet de Chambre's,   4.  
M: de Rayneval's Porter   1. Louis   1.  
Mr. Secqueville's Servant   1. Louis   1.  
Mr. Tolozan's   Do.   1.  
Mr. La Live de la Briche's   Do.   1.  
Marechal de Castries's Porter.   Do.   1.  
Marechal de Ségur's. Do.   Do.   1.  
    Louis d'or's.  
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers); one enclosure, in JQA's hand.
1. Porters or doormen.
2. The Salle de l'Oeil de Boeuf, named for its oval window, was an anteroom both to the private apartments of Louis XVI, and to the Great Hall at Versailles.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0015

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1785-01-04

Abigail Adams to Royall Tyler

[salute] My Dear sir

Half the pleasure of a Letter consist in its being written to the moment and it always gave me pleasure to know when and Where Friends received my Letter. Know then sir that this fourth of Janry 1785 of which I give you joy, I was sitting by my fire side at one end of a table and at the other my best Friend studying his favorite Author Plato.2 I was a reading a French comedy called the, procurerer which { 46 } I saw acted a few evenings ago and was at that part in which Aristes who is the Attorney says,

D'ailleurs, j'ai voulu voir Si, Sous ce vêtement,

Un homme ne pouvoit aller droit un moment,

Si cette Robe etoit d'essence corruptible

Si l'honneur avec etoit incompatible3

when John Brisler entered with two large packets in his hand, upon which I cried from America I know from America and seizd my sizer to cut them open. Emelia and her Brother went to Paris this afternoon and have run away to some play I fancy by their not being yet returnd, so that we had the reading of our Letter wholy to ourselves. Hers I have tuckd away with an intention of teazing her a little. This packet is dated November 6th. and is the second received from you since my arrival.4 I wrote to my Friends about 10 days since, but only a few line to you5 as I wished to set down and write you a long Letter, but the receipt of this 2d Letter has determined me to Seaize my pen this very moment and thank you for both your excellent Letters. To discribe to you the pleasure that a packet from America gives me, I must take a theatrical Stile and Say it is painted upon my face it Sparkles in my Eyes and plays round my Heart. News that is not what I want, politicks well enough by the by. I Love to hear every domestick occurrence then I live with you tho absent from you, and your paper of occurrences I approve much. It is not my fault that Cap. Lyde did not take my Letters, I sent them to London with orders to be put on board of him, but Mr. Tracy gave them to some other Captain. London is the best and only way of safety by which you may convey Letters or to Amsterdam. I write by no other way than London; direct there to Mr. Cranchs Friend Mr. Elworthy.
You and the rest of my Friends seem to think me engaged in a round of pleasures and amusements. I have pleasures and I have entertainments but they are not what the Beau Mond would esteem such. I never was more domestick or studious in my Life. I will tell You how, and give you a journal not in the stile of Swift, but of my own. We rise in the morning, not quite so early as I used to when I provided the turkies and Geese we used to Feast upon, but as soon as my fire is made and my room cleaned I then repair to Emelias Chamber and rouse her, from thence knock at my sons door, who always opens it with his Book in his hand: by that time we are all assembled to Breakfast, after which Mr. A sets down either to writing { 47 } or reading, I to prepareing work for my Chamber Maids or sewing myself, for I still darn stockings, my son retires to his Chamber to his studies and translations of Horace and Tacitus,6 Emelia to her room to translating Telemack. In this manner we proceed till near 12 oclock when Mr. A takes his cain and hat for his forenoon walk which is commonly 4 miles, this he compleats by two. The Ladies at 12 repair to the toilite where some Author employs their dressing hour. At 2 we all meet together and dine, in the afternoon <I> we go from one room to an other sometimes chat with my son or make him read to me. Emelia in the same manner works reads or plays with her Brother which they can do together in a game of Romps very well. The afternoon here are very short and tea very soon summons us all together. As soon as that is removed the table is coverd with mathamatical instruments and Books and you hear nothing till nine oclock but of Theorem and problems besecting and desecting tangents and Se[quents?]7 which Mr. A is teaching to his son; after which we are often called upon to relieve their brains by a game of whist. At 10 we all retire to rest, and this is the common method in which we spend our time varying sometimes by receiving and sometimes by going into company. Ten oclock and these young folks not returnd, a dark stormy night too, but then there are Lamps from Paris here which enlightens the road. This is a very pretty ride in agreeable weather, for upon your right hand you have the River Sein; Ceasar barks and the gate bell rings which announces the return of the Carriage. Now for a little pleasure of which you shall have the whole History. Enter Miss A, “What are you cold?” Enter Mr. JQA with a set of Mathamatical instruments, “Pray what Spectacle have you been at to Night?” “A Variety, into the palais Royal. I have seen <the> du palais du bon goüt l'Intendant comedien malgre lui; le Mensonge excusable, et le nouveau parvenu.”8 Now what had I best do, give her these letters to night which will keep her up till 12 or give them for her Breakfast to morrow morning? “Hem, come take of your Cloak and I will give you an etrennes”; which in plain english signifies a new Years Gift. Off went the Cloak in an instant, then I delt out the letters one by one, at every one Miss calling out for more, more untill I had exhausted the bugget; but so secret and so affraid that one can hardly get a peep at a single line. I believe you will think by my thus trifling that I am tinctured with the frivolity of the Nation. Manners are very catching I assure you, and dissagreeable as I found many customs when I first came here, 5 months habititude have made them less so. { 48 } For instanc when I dine abroad I am not so grosely offend at seeing a Gentleman take a partridge by the leg and put it to his Nose to see if it is in a condition to offer to the Ladies, because I have learnt that this is politeness instead of incivility. Nor do I look with so much amazement when I see a Lady wrapturously put her Arms round a Gentleman and Salute him first upon one cheeck and then upon the other, I consider it as [a] thing of mere course. I can even see that the Rouge gives an additional splendour to the Eyes: I believe however there are some practices which neither time nor Custom will ever make me a convert to. If I thought they would, I would fly the Country and its inhabitant[s] as a pestilence that walketh in darkness and a plague that waisteth at noon day.9 I believe you need be under no apprehension respecting a young Lady of your acquaintance, who has never yet found her self so happy in Europe as America, and who I dare say will ever find in herself a preference to the manners of her Native Country. She has had an ernest desire to spend half a Year in a celebrated Convent in Paris for the purpose of acquiring the Language perfectly, but her Father entertained not so favourable an opinion of those abodes as some who have placed their Children there, and thought that the advantages arising from speaking the Language perfectly would never compensate for one less strickt Idea either of Modesty or Manners. I pretended not to judge in this Case. There is a certain saying not the less true for being often repeated, that habit is second nature. The Phythagorian doctrine of Reverenceing thyself is little practised among the Females of this Nation; for in this Idea if I comprehend it aright is included an incorruptable virtue joined to the strickest modesty. There is so little Regard paid here to the conjugal union that it naturally introduces every kind of licentiousness. The distinction of families is the corrupt Source from whence the pestilential Streems issue. The affections of the Heart are never traced. The Boy of <12> 14 or <13> 15 is married to the miss of 10 or 11, he is sent upon his travels and she confined in a convent. At 20 or 21 he returns and receives his wife; each of them perhaps cursing their shackels. Dispositions and inclinations varying, he seeks a mistress more pleasing, and she a Gallant more affectionate and complasant. Or if it is thought necessary to perpetuate the family titles and estate perhaps a year or twos fidelity is necessary upon the Ladys part, and it is esteemed a sad misfortune when more than two or 3 children fall to the share of a family. The young Ladies of a family are gaurded like the Hesperian fruit and never sufferd to be in { 49 } company without some watchfull dragon. They have no Idea of that sure and only method of teaching them to reverence themselves which Prior so beautifully discribes—

<Let all their ways be unconfined>

Be to her faults a little blind,

Be to her virtues ever kind

Let all her ways be unconfine'd

And clap the padlock on her mind.10

Yet dissolute as the manners of this people are said to be they Respect virtue in the Female Character almost to Idolating and speak of a Lady whose Character is unblemished and some such there are even here, as the Phoenix of the age. A Gentleman carries his Galantry to such a pitch here that altho he knows that his Lady has her Lover, yet if any person dares to insinuate the least reflextion upon her honour, nothing but blood can wash it out. I have had a Rouncounter related to me which happend last year at the opera where they frequently have Mask Balls. The Count D Artois the kings youngest Brother taking a fancy to a Lady in a Mask and supposeing her a Lady of pleasure used some familiarity with the Lady which she resented. Feeling his Rank he gave her a Box on the ear, upon which he was instantly seizd and his Mask torn of. The Lady proved to be the sister of the Duke de Bourbon. This being an offence for which even the kings Brother could not <repair> attone by asking pardon, he was challenged by the Duke they fought and the Count was wounded.11 Are not these things lessons to our Country to avoid family titles and every distinction but those which arise from Superiour Merit and Virtue: to cut of the Hydra headed Cincinnati and every appendage which pertains to it. The Heraditary Monster is already <distroyed> routd, but who sees not others which in time may grow to be equally distructive? The most fatal poison is that Secreet kind which distroys without discovery.
I can offer you no advise, at this distance but such as you already have upon paper and if as you are pleased to say you feel disposed at all times to attend to it, I flatter myself it has ever been of that kind which will promote both your honour and Reputation, for which you may be assured I am not less solicitious when I view you with more confidence as the person to whose care and protection I shall one day resign a beloved and only daughter. Industery integrity frugality and honour are the Characteristick Virtues which will recom• { 50 } mend and ensure to you parental Regard and Fraternal affection and which will continue to you the Friendship the Esteem and the Maternal Regard of
[signed] A Adams
1. Possibly 3 Jan.; see AA to Lucy Cranch, [ 5] Jan., note 1, below.
2. Whether JA really did hold this high opinion of Plato in January 1785, and if so, when he first formed it, is not known to the editors, but it did not endure. He may have begun his first serious study of the philosopher in the fall of 1784 (AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, and note 12, above), and over the next year or two he evidently read through all the dialogues. In 1786, JA briefly summarized what he regarded as the major lessons of Plato's political dialogues in the first volume of his Defence of the Constitutions of the United States.
Three decades later, in response to a sweeping denunciation of Plato by Thomas Jefferson, JA described this period of study and its surprising outcome: “Some thirty Years ago I took upon me the severe task of going through all his Works. With the help of two Latin Translations, and one English and one French Translation, and comparing some of the most remarkable passages with the Greek, I laboured through the tedious toil. My disappointment was very great, my Astonishment was greater and my disgust was shocking. . . . his Laws and his Republick from which I expected most, disappointed me most” (JA to Jefferson, 16 July 1814, DLC Jefferson Papers; printed in Lester J. Cappon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters, 2 vols., Chapel Hill, 1957, 2:437). Five editions or translations of Plato survive in JA's library, including one complete edition in parallel Latin and Greek columns, a complete French translation, with some marginal comments by JA, and English and French translations of the Republic (Catalogue of JA's Library).
3. This passage is from Philippe Poisson's Le Procureur arbitre, comedie en vers (ii, 54–57), which was first performed in 1728.
4. Tyler's most recent extant letter was to JA, 27 Aug. 1784, above.
5. Not found.
6. JQA pursued a keen interest in both authors into adulthood, and was translating various odes of Horace into his seventies. Several of JQA's translations of Horace and Tacitus made in the 1780s survive in the Adams Papers (see Adams Papers, M/JQA/30, 42, 44, and 45, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 225, 237, 239, and 240).
7. This word appears to be corrected from either “segments” or “secants.”
8. The editors have supplied all the question and quotation marks in this passage, and in the two following sentences. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:39–40; and JQA, Diary, 1:212, and note 3, which gives the authors, exact titles, and publication data for these four plays.
9. Psalms 91:6, somewhat altered.
10. Matthew Prior, “An English Padlock,” lines 79–82, somewhat altered, with lines 79 and 80 interchanged.
11. This event actually occurred on mardi gras, 3 March 1778 and involved the Duc de Bourbon's wife. Charles Phillipe, the Comte d'Artois became Charles X of France in 1824. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0016

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1785-01-05

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

[salute] My dear Lucy

I Hope you have before now received my letter, which was ordered on board with Captain Lyde, but put on board another vessel, because it was said she would sail first.2 By that you will see that I did not wait to receive a letter from you first. I thank you for yours of November 6th,3 which reached me last evening; and here I am, seated { 51 } by your cousin J.Q.A.'s fireside, where, by his invitation, I usually write.
And in the first place, my dear Lucy, shall I find a little fault with you? A fault, from which neither your good sister, nor cousin Abby, is free. It is, that all of you so much neglect your handwriting. I know that a sentiment is equally wise and just, written in a good or bad hand; but then there is certainly a more pleasing appearance, when the lines are regular, and the letters distinct and well cut. A sensible woman is so, whether she be handsome or ugly; but who looks not with most pleasure upon the sensible beauty? “Why, my dear aunt,” methinks I hear you say, “only look at your own handwriting.” Acknowledged; I am very sensible of it, and it is from feeling the disadvantages of it myself, that I am the more solicitous that my young acquaintance should excel me, whilst they have leisure, and their fingers are young and flexible. Your cousin, J.Q.A., copied a letter for me the other day, and, upon my word, I thought there was some value in it, from the new appearance it acquired.4
I have written several times largely to your sister, and, as I know you participate with her, I have not been so particular in scribbling to every one of the family; for an imagination must be more inventive than mine, to supply materials with sufficient variety to afford you all entertainment. Through want of a better subject, I will relate to you a custom of this country. You must know that the religion of this country requires abundance of feasting and fasting, and each person has his particular saint, as well as each calling and occupation. To-morrow is to be celebrated, le jour des rois. The day before this feast it is customary to make a large paste pie, into which one bean is put. Each person at table cuts his slice, and the one who is so lucky as to obtain the bean, is dubbed king or queen. Accordingly, to-day, when I went in to dinner, I found one upon our table. Your cousin Abby began by taking the first slice; but alas! poor girl, no bean, and no queen. In the next place, your cousin John seconded her by taking a larger cut, and as cautious as cousin T——5 when he inspects merchandise, bisected his paste with mathematical circumspection; but to him it pertained not. By this time, I was ready for my part; but first I declared that I had no cravings for royalty. I accordingly separated my piece with much firmness, nowise disappointed that it fell not to me. Your uncle, who was all this time picking his chicken bone, saw us divert ourselves without saying any thing; but presently he seized the remaining half, and to crumbs went the poor paste, cut { 52 } here and slash there; when, behold the bean! “And thus,” said he, “are kingdoms obtained;” but the servant, who stood by and saw the havoc, declared solemnly that he could not retain the title, as the laws decreed it to chance, and not to force.
How is General Warren's family? Well, I hope, or I should have heard of it. I am sorry Mrs. Warren is so scrupulous about writing to me. I forwarded a long letter to her some time since. Where is Miss Nancy Quincy? Well, I hope. We often laugh at your cousin John about her. He says her stature would be a great recommendation to him, as he is determined never to marry a tall woman, lest her height should give her a superiority over him.6 He is generally thought older than your cousin Abby; and partly, I believe, because his company is with those much older than himself.
As to the Germantown family, my soul is grieved for them. Many are the afflictions of the righteous.7 Would to Heaven that the clouds would disperse, and give them a brighter day. My best respects to them. Let Mrs. Field know, that Esther is quite recovered, and as gay as a lark. She went to Paris the other day with Pauline, to see a play, which is called “Figaro.”8 It is a piece much celebrated, and has had sixty-eight representations; and every thing was so new to her, that Pauline says, “Est is crazed.”

[salute] Affectionately yours,

[signed] A.A.
MS not found. Printed from (AA, Letters, ed., CFA, 1840, p. 275–278.)
1. The supplied date is derived from AA's statement, below, that “to-morrow is to be celebrated, le jour des rois” or ephiphany, the 6th of January. The current location of the recipient's copy, which was privately owned earlier in this century, is unknown. The dateline probably read “Jany 4,” with a superscript “y” that was misread as a “2.” The “4,” which is validated in several auction catalogues (Adams Papers Editorial Files), is probably AA's error. It may, however, be the correct date, because the arrival of the letters from America and AA2's and JQA's evening at the theater may have occurred on 3 Jan. (see AA to Mary Cranch, 7 Jan., below; JQA, Diary, 1:214, note 1, to the first entry for 4 Jan.; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:39–40).
2. The letter is that of 5 Sept. 1784, above.
3. Not found.
4. This may be AA to Mercy Warren, 5 Sept. 1784, above, completed only on 12 Dec.; this is the only extant AA letter of the period in JQA's hand.
5. Probably JA's cousin, the merchant Thomas Boylston.
6. Ann (Nancy) Quincy was nearly four years JQA's senior. When she married the Rev. Asa Packard of Marlborough, Mass., in 1790, JQA wrote to AA: “thus you will perceive your darling project for the advancement of your Son blasted even before the bud. Indeed Madam I hope you will not think the worse of your Son, if he assures you that he never will be indebted to his wife for his property” (14 Aug. 1790, Adams Papers). AA replied on 20 Aug.: “I approve your spirit, I should be ashamed to own him for a son who could be so devoted to avarice as to marry a woman for her fortune. . . . I always loved Nancy Quincy from a native good humour and honesty of heart which she appeared to possess, but I never was in earnest in ralying [railying?] you about it” (Adams Papers).
7. Psalms 34:19.
8. Beaumarchais' Le mariage de Figaro received its first public performance at the Théâtre Français in April 1784, after strong royal opposition to its production. JQA, and { 53 } probably other Adamses, had seen it on 3 September. The play's potentially revolutionary theme, centering on the triumph of clever and virtuous servants over their slow-witted and venal aristocratic masters, made it an instant sensation in Paris, and soon thereafter throughout much of Europe, especially after Mozart and Da Ponte transformed it into an Italian opera buffa in 1786. See Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; JQA, Diary, 1:210, 233–234.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0017

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-01-07

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

No. 5.

[salute] My Dear Sister

Your kind Letter of November 6, I received the 4 of Jan'ry. I hope you have received my September Letters which were so unfortunate as to be put on Board a vessel which Mr. Tracy thought would convey them sooner than Lyde, but which I find had not reach'd you when you wrote me; by Mr. Jackson who left Paris in December I wrote 12 Letters1 which were to be put on Board Captain Young, one of the packets addresst to Mr. Cranch, in which was a peice of sattin for you; and Some Money which I requested you to dispose of, I desired Captain Young by a card, which I wrote to him; to put that into his trunk and to deliver it himself: which I hope he has done. Mr. John Appleton has ben here for 3 weeks, and I expect him with other Company to dine with us to day: he will go on twesday to London2 and I am very desirious of getting my letters ready to send by him.
I wrote you so lately that I have nothing material to entertain you with: even the common topick of conversation, the Weather, were I to discribe it as I find it, would rather Serve to make you gloomy than Cheerful, yet the present Beautifull Sunshine which invigorates my Heart, almost tempts me to pass over, the last ten days of fog and clouds and rain, and the ten which will probabily succeed according to the custom of the present Winter, this one Days clear Sky. I think I had rather feel our severe frosts, and see our hills and Feilds glittering and sparkling with Snow; in the clear Sun beams; and the delightfull azure which paints our Sky; than this more temperate climate; which has so much more Shade than light. The parisians have certainly a better excuse for continually seeking amusements; than our Country will be ever able to produce. The suicide which is so frequent in London I have heard attributed to the everlasting fogs of that Island. There is no object in nature so exhilarating to the Spirits, or so invigorating to the animal as well as the Natural World, as that Glorious Luminary which was worshiped by the Heathens as { 54 } a deity, and is truly one of the most magnificent productions of the Great architect.
I am sorry to find that there is such a prodigious Dearth of Clerical Genius in our Country as to tempt, one church to rob an other. I have no personal acquaintance with the Gentleman who is called to set in the seat of the late Dr. Cooper, to supply his place will be no easy matter. There are some stars which shine best in their own Hemisphere, and I rather think from the Character I have heard of that Gentleman, that his wisest course would be to imitate those stars which are fixed.3 The Church over which our dear parent so happily presided, have my good wishes for their prosperity, and I feel an affection towards them, not for having my birth amongst them but because they are the Sheep of a Shepherd who was every way dear to me.
With those Letters which went by Captain Young was one to Mr. Cranch; from the Dutch Merchants; which they enclosed to Mr. Adams with bitter complaints; that they had not received any letters from Mr. Cranch for a long time: they had received remittances; but they know not the state of their affairs: what goods remained unsold, nor what best suited the American Market. Mr. Cranch will look into these matters and satisfy them; as soon as possible.4 There is such a crumbling to pieces of the merchants every where, that I suppose they feel allarmed. Unless the price of goods rise with you, they that have the least to do with trade are the best off. I should think myself very well off to purchase goods here as I could in America. Every article which goes into Paris pays a heavy Duty. From thence I am obliged to supply myself. In the Seaports and the manufacturing towns I suppose they are more reasonable. The few articles I left at home, I am very glad I did not part with.
Mr. Adams desires to be rememberd both, to Mr. Cranch and the rest of the family. Continue to write to me by every opportunity, and believe me most tenderly and affectionately Your Sister
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed in JQA's hand: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree near Boston Massachusetts.”
1. Six Adams letters carried by Jonathan Jackson to London, dated from 3 to 14 Dec., appear above; three were by AA. All other extant Adams letters of December sent from France were by JA, except JQA to Charles Storer, 16 Dec. (Adams Papers).
2. John Appleton did not leave Paris on Tuesday, 11 Jan., but on 19 Jan. (JQA, Diary, 1:216), giving AA until that date to complete her letters to America.
3. On Rev. Peter Thacher, see Mary Cranch to AA, 6 Nov. 1784, note 5, above.
4. JA's letter to Cranch of 13 Dec., which forwarded the van Heukeloms' letter has not { 55 } been found; but see Messrs. van Heukelom to JA, 27 Oct. (Adams Papers), JA's reply of 11 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers), Richard Cranch to JA, 3 June 1785, below, and Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, note 14, also below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0018

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1785-01-11

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear Sister

I was doubly rejoiced to receive a Letter from you1 not only on account of the pleasure which I usually enjoy from your pen: but because it informd me of your recovery from a dangerous illness. In a Letter which I wrote you the latter part of December,2 I have given you a long lesson respecting your Health: which altho it might savor something of the Quack, and a little of the Authority of Eldership, Spoke not my Heart, if it manifested not the tender solicitude of a Sister anxious for the Health of one deservedly Dear to her. I must therefore repeat to you; not to encumber your family beyond your Strength. A life of ease, and gentle excercise, is absolutly requisite for you: a tranquil State of mind, which has much to hope and nothing to fear. A different Situation would remove you, much sooner than Your Friends wish, to a state greatly Superiour to that which you now possess. I own myself so selfish that tho I doubt not of your qualifications for it, I hope to see you remain many years subject to the incident infirmities of Mortality, and like your fellow Mortals grow Grey and wrinkled here, before you Bloom afresh in the regions of immortality. I am not a little rejoiced that my Letters proved so benificial to you as you describe, and that I was capable of serving you, tho so far removed from you. A sudden exhilaration of the spirits, has proved of vast service in many disorders. I have experienced the benifit myself. Your family narrative afforded me pleasure because it related those calamities which were happily past, and displayd a more pleasing picture.
I am rejoiced to find that my Sons have been bless'd with so large a share of health since my absence, if they are wise they will improve the rigor of their early Days, and the Bloom of their Health in acquiring such a fund of learning, and knowledge, as may render them usefull to themselves, and benificial to Society, the great purpose for which they were sent into the World. That knowledge which is obtaind in early Life becomes every day more usefull, as it is commonly that which is best retaind. To be Good, and do Good, is the whole Duty of Man, comprized in a few words; but what a capacious Field does it open to our view? And how many Characters { 56 } may grow from this root, whose usefull branches may shade the oppressd; May comfort the dejected: may heal the wounded: may cure the sick, may defend the invaded; may enrich the poor. In short those who possess the disposition will never want employment.
How justly did you describe my Ideas; when you said “a parents thoughts flew quick.”3 Mine, I own, had outstriped that passage; I would not, that a son of mine, should form any sentiments with respect to any female, but those of due decorum, and a general complasance, which every Youth acquainted with good manners, and civility will practise towards them, untill years have matured their judgment, and learning has made them wise. I would; that they should have no passion but for Science, and no mistress but Literature: “so shall discretion preserve them and understanding keep them. If they incline their ears to wisdom and apply their Hearts to understanding.”4
The age of the Young Lady relieved me from some anxiety, especially as I have since heard that she has much older admirers.5 Charles's disposition, and sensibility will render him more liable to female attachments, than the Young Hercules who sits beside me, and who like many other Youths pretends to brave the danger which has never assaild him; but who in time, like that Hero, may find an Omphalia to bring him to the distaff, but who, at present is much better occupied with his Horace and Tacitus.6
I thank you for all your kind Maternal care towards my sons. I hope they will be both sensible of it; and gratefull for it, and that both their uncles and your advice to them will not fail to have a due influence upon their conduct.
I suppose every Letter I write; you will expect that I should give you some account of the amusements I have; and the curiosities I see; there are enough of each in Paris to employ my pen. But of the amusements, the theaters are those only which have yet occupied me; the description of which I must reserve for my Young correspondents.7 As there are a variety of cuorisities I shall endeavour to adapt the account of them to the different tastes of my Friends; I am going this afternoon to visit the Enfans trouvés, which at my return I will recount to you because I know your Benevolence will lead you to rejoice in an institution calculated to save from Death and wretchedness, those helpless Indigent Beings brought into existance by criminality; and owned by no one.
I have returned from my visit to the Hopital des enfans-Trouves, and truly it is a painfull pleasing sight. This House was built in the { 57 } Reign of Louis 14th. in the year 1747.8 It was built by a decree of the king and is under the direction of Eight administrators, and is Superintended by Nuns, or charity sisters as they are call'd. We were shewn into a Room Large and airy which containd about a hundred cribs, cradles they call them, but they are more properly cribs, as they are fixd all round the room and are not moveable. Through the middle of the appartment are two more rows the length of the Room, which was I am almost tempted to say the cleanest I have seen in France. Every bed was white linnen, and every child in them appeard neat, and with cloathing that lookd comfortable. I observed too; the large quantitys of necessary linnen which hung at fires in the different rooms, which like every thing else which I saw here; was very white and clean. The rooms too were sweet, which was an other proof of the attention of the Nurses. There were numbers in the Arms; great numbers a sleep; and several crying, which you will easily credit, when I tell you; that this is but the Eleventh day of the Month, and the Charity sister who appeard an intellegent well bred woman informd us; that two hundred had been brought in since the year commenced. Whilst I stood talking with her there was one brought in which appeard to be 3 months old. They generally receive at this House Six thousand a year, (there is an other House of the same kind.) Last year she told us that five thousand five hundred were lodged there, and that House had sent into the provinces 15 thousand which were now at nurse: they keep them out untill they are 5 years old. Children are received here at any hour of the Day, or Night, in the day they are brought in at the door, and in the Night the Nuns watch to receive them. There are certain parts of Paris which are appropriated to this purpose, and small Boxes which may be drawn out from under a cover; in which the child is deposited, and the person who finds it Carries it to this House; where they are received without any further form or declaration from the Commissary of the quarter than naming the place the Day and Hour when the child was found. The person is not obliged to relate any other circumstance. They have always four wet nurses in each appartment for the youngest and weakest of the children: but as fast as they can provide accommodations for them in the Country, they are sent there: where the Air is purer and better than in Paris. The Governess told us that about a third of them died, notwithstanding all their care and attention, that they were sometimes so chill'd with the cold; and so poorly clad that they could not bring them to any warmth, or even make them swallow.
{ 58 }

“Where can they hope for pity, peace or rest

Who move no softness in a parents Breast.”

The Hôpital de la pitié which joins upon this is the place where they are received when they return from the Country. There they are taught to read and write, the Boys to knit, and the Girls to sew and make lace. When they have made their first communion which is from 10 to 12 years of age they are put to trades. They have a church which belongs to the Hospitals, but I had not time to see it. Whilst we approve the Charatable disposition, and applaud the wise institution which alleviates the fate of helpless innocence; can we draw a veil over the Guilty Cause, or refrain from comparing a Country grown old in Debauchery and lewdeness with the wise Laws and institutions of one wherein Mariage is considerd as holy and honourable, wherein industry and sobriety; enables parents to rear a numerous ofspring, and where the Laws provide a resource for illegitimecy by obliging the parents to a maintenance; and if not to be obtaind there, they become the charge of the town or parish where they are born: but how few the instances of their being totally abandoned by their parents? Whereas I have been credibly informd that one half the Children anually born in that immense City of Paris, are enfans trouvés.
Present my Regards to Mr. Shaw, to whom I will write if I have time. Pray has Mr. Allen carried home his Lady yet?!9
I believe Mr. Thaxter has forgotton that I was formerly a correspondent of his, but I design soon to remind him of it. I hear of his success with pleasure; you will not fail to remember me to your Venerable Neighbour at the foot of the Hill, and all her Worthy family. I feel for the sore calimity of Mrs. White: by how many instances are we taught, not to place our affections too firmly upon earthly objects. How doatingly fond was this good Lady of her children, and she had reason to be fond, for they were both amiable and good. To Judge Sergant and family present my Regards. Honest, Modest Mr. Flint shall not be forgotten by me. The air of Haverhill Hill is too keen for him, he should live below it. Mr. Adams by me, presents his affectionate Regards to Mr. Shaw and my worthy Sister, to whom I tender the compliments of the New Year. May this and many succeeding ones find her happy is the ardent wish of her affectionate Sister
[signed] Abigail Adams
Will my sister accept a peice of sattin for a peticoat, which if I can smuggle into England in the form of a large Letter; will I hope go { 59 } safe to her hand. There is a trunk of Cloaths sent from the Hague for the Children10 which you will be so good as to let me know when they arrive. Whatever is out grown you will dispose of as you think best and if there is any thing which will serve Mrs. West, who prehaps may be more needy than some others, you will be so good as to give them to her but dont mention my name, as they are all at your disposal.
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. That of [ca. 15] Oct. 1784, above.
2. 14 Dec. 1784, above.
3. AA rephrases Elizabeth Shaw's speculation, in her [ca. 15] Oct. letter, that AA would be concerned that CA might take a premature interest in Nancy Hazen, who had come to live with the Shaws, and to whom AA refers in the next paragraph.
4. Proverbs 2:11 and 2:2.
5. The source of AA's information is not known to the editors, but Elizabeth Shaw mentions one of Nancy Hazen's admirers, a William Osgood, in her letter of 30 Jan., to Mary Cranch (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
6. In Greek mythology, Omphale was a Lydian queen who bought Hercules' labor for a year. Alexandrian poets and Ovid, in his Heroides, portray Hercules performing domestic chores, and Omphale bearing Hercules a son. Oxford Classical Dictionary.
7. See AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Jan., above.
8. AA2, in her description of this institution (under 12 Jan.) helps to explain AA's chronological error: “Louis 14th, by a declaration of an order of his council, authorized the establishment of this hospital, .... This house was built in the year 1747” (Jour. and Corr., 1:41).
9. Rev. Jonathan Allen of Bradford, Mass., would marry Elizabeth Kent of Charlestown, AA's first cousin, on 11 Dec. 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:369, note 1).
10. See the inventory of JQA's clothing and books, 6 Nov. 1784, Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0019

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-01-16

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Not one line from my dear Sister have I reciev'd sinc last September. What can be the reason? I hope the letters we have written to you are all come safe to your Hands and that you have had no great expence in geting them. We have done all we could to prevent it. John Cranch tells us of a large Pacquit coming from the Hague by the English Ambassador which Mr. Elworthy sent to you. I hope one of them was mine the first I sent you.1 It was directed to be sent to London but Uncle Smith thought you would be at the Hague and sent it to Holland.
I long to know what you have been doing since you wrote last. What you have seen and whether you can speak French glibly. Where Cousin Nabby is, whether in a Nunnery or not. If She is how She likes it. What success my dear Brother meets with, and above all when you will come Home. Indeed my Sister Braintree is a dull place without you. I missd you Sadly in the Summer, but this Winter much { 60 } more. Mr. Cranch keeps in Bostoon as usual, but he has mov'd his Lodgings to a Brother of the Mr. Fosters2 where he was when you went away. He is now well accomidated with room enough. The People neat sensible and obliging. We have been blessed with Health, excepting little indispositions <now and then> some times. I have had more Rhumatick Pains this winter than I ever had in my life. Betsy has not had one of her Ill turns since you went away, I hope She has out grown them. I heard last week from Haverhill. They were all well. Sister Says you said you should send the children some stockings. Charles is in want of some. I have bought two pair for him. Your Mother Hall is well, desires I would give her Love to you all. Our Germantown Friends affairs are yet in a bad way, and Cousin Jo3 is again shut up in Boston. He open'd a shop in town. He had goods of Mr. Swan and others upon commission, but he could not do business enough to pay his rent and support his Family and make payments as they expected. Mr. Swan more careful than the others Siez'd every thing he had in his Shop which oblig'd him to Shut up. I pity them from my Heart. What can they do next. The House is strip'd of almost all the furniture. You may remember a consignment of about four Hundred pound Sterling that Mr. Bond Who married Hannah Cranch sent him. I fear he will lose the greatest part of it. He happen'd to come to Boston just as he shut up,4 part of his goods were among those that Mr. Swan took. Most of them were Sold and the Money Spent. He has got part of the Firniture made over to him. Their distresses are very great and will be greater I fear.
Mr. Bond is a little sprilly kind good natur'd sensible Man. They hop'd to have seen you in the West.5 You would be diverted to hear him give an account of the Preparations that were made to recieve you. Their Houses were all set in order, and new cloaths purchased to waite upon your Ladyship in. John Cranch had his Hair dress'd and Powder'd a thing which was never done but twice before in his life. A new Hat was procur'd and a pair of Buckels were put into his shoes which had not been fastend with any thing but shoe strings for Seven years before. John Palmer had a new coat &c. and was greatly concern'd least the Lane leading to his House should not be wide enough to admit your carriage to come up to the Door. But poor Creatures how you dissapointed them by landing at Dover. If you should go to England again you must if you can, make them a visit.
Mr. Thacher was installed on wednesday last, and on thursday evening he married Judge Quincy to Miss Gerrish.6 I expect to see a pompous account of it in the news Paper. I was in Boston yesterday. { 61 } All our Freinds were well. Mrs. Otis and Mrs. Guild are in a very thriving State.7 The Doctor and Aunt Tufts are well. Aunt has had her Health better than common this winter. Lucy8 has been with her for above a month. You never saw such a fine winter as we have had thus far. We have had fine slaying for Six Weeks without any interuption. Snow enough and not a Bank to be Seen. You may turn out of the road better than in Summer.
Mr. Tyler had determin'd to carry all our Children to Haverhill this week in his sleigh but the court sets in Boston and will prevent him he thought, it would have been up. His business I think increases and as far as I can judge he attends it with steadiness. He has his share at this court. Billy is now at home and will write to cousin John if the vesel does not sail too soon for him. He is Studous and behaves well, is determin'd to study Law if he lives to come out of College, hopes for the Company of his Cousin next spring. Your Neighbours are all well, and desire to be remember'd to you. Mrs. Quincy sends her Love to you. Uncle Quincy has been confin'd to his chamber above two months with the Rhumatism in his Hip and Leg. He is better but not down Stairs yet. I frequently visit him. He sends his Love too, and indeed I do not know Who does not, so pray excuse me for the future from particularizing. I am out of all patience with my Letters. They are all narritive, do not expose me to any body. Pray find some way to let me hear9 from you oftner. Rem[ember] me kindly to Mr. Adams and my Cousins and believe [me at all?] times your affectionate Sister.
RC (Adams Papers); slight damage where the seal was cut away.
1. Probably Mary Cranch to AA, 7 Aug. 1784, above; see Mary Cranch to AA, 3 Oct., postscript, and AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec., note 2, both above.
2. Perhaps a brother of Joseph Foster, the State Street merchant who was a passenger with AA on the Active in June-July 1784 (see vol. 4:348, note 11; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:164; AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, above).
3. Joseph Pearse Palmer.
4. Comma supplied.
5. That is, the West Country of England. The persons appearing in this paragraph lived in Devon, near the ports of Plymouth and Exeter. In July-Aug. 1787, AA, JA, and AA2 visited several Cranches and Palmers in this area, including Joseph Cranch of Axminster, nephew of Richard Cranch, and John Palmer of Horsham, nephew of Gen. JohnJoseph Palmer. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:203–210; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:85–89; and particularly AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 1 Oct. 1787 (Adams Papers), which describes John Cranch's dress and manners, and the impossibility of reaching John Palmer's farmhouse by coach.
6. Edmund Quincy IV, then age 81, married Anna Gerrish, who was in her sixties, on 13 Jan. 1785. The Boston Gazette of 17 Jan. carried an account of Rev. Peter Thacher's installation at the Brattle Square Church, and a brief notice of the Quincy-Gerrish wedding.
7. Both women, AA's cousins, were pregnant. Elizabeth Quincy Guild gave birth to Benjamin Guild Jr. on 8 May 1785.
8. Lucy Cranch.
9. Mary Cranch wrote the text after “hear” in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0020

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, John
Date: 1785-01-18

Abigail Adams to John Shaw

I find Sir, what I never doubted; that you are a Gentleman of your word: I thank you for the agreeable proof which you have given me of it,1 and that I may not be wanting in punctuality I have taken my pen2 to discharge the debt which I acknowledge is due to you. Amongst the publick Edifices which are worthy of notice in this Country are several Churches. I went a few days Since to see three of the most Celebrated in Paris.3 They are prodigious Massess of Stone Buildings, and so surrounded by Houses which are seven story high that the Sun seldom enlightens them. I found them so cold and damp that I could only give them a very hasty and trancient Survey. The Architecture, the Sculpture, the paintings are Beautifull indeed, and each of them would employ my pen for several pages, when the Weather will permit me to take a more accurate and critical inspection of them. These Churches are open every day, and at all times of the Day, so that you never enter them without finding preists upon their knees, half a dozen at a time, and more at the Hours of confession. All kinds of people and all ages, go in without Ceremony, and regardless of each other, fall upon their knees, cross themselves say their pater nosters, and ave Marias, silently and go out again without being noticed, or even seen by the priests whom I found always kneeling with their faces towards the Alter. Round these churches (for they have not pews and Galleries as with us; Chairs alone being made use of) there are little Boxes, or closets, about as large as a Centry Box, in which is a small grated window, which communicates with an other closet of the same kind. One of them holds the person who is confessing, and the other the confessor, who places his ear at this window, hears the crime, absolves the transgressor,4 and very often makes an assignation for a repetition of the Same Crime, or prehaps a new one. I do not think this a breach of Charity, for can we suppose that of the many thousands whom the Religion of the Country obliges to Celibacy, one quarter part of the number can find its influence sufficently powerfull; to conquer those passions, which nature has implanted in Man, when the gratification of them will cost them only a few livres in confessions. The Priest who is known to betray his trust, or devulge any thing committed to him in confession; is punished with Death.5
I was at the Church St. Rock6 about ten oclock in the morning, { 63 } and whilst I was there, about three hundred little Boys came in from some Charity Seminary which belongs to that Church; they had Books in their Hands. They followed in each other in regular order, and fell upon their knees in rows like Soldiers in rank and file. Their might be 50 other persons in the Church at their devotion. Every thing was still and Solemn throughout this vast edifice. I was walking with a slow pace round it, when all at once, the drear Silence which Reignd was suddenly broken by all these Boys at one instant Chanting; with loud voices which made the dome ring; and me spring, for I had no apprehension of any Sound. I have never been to any of these Churches upon a Sunday, when the weather is warmer I design it, but their Churches seem rather calculated to damp Devotion than excite it. I took such a cold there; as I have not had since I have been in France before. I have been several times to the Chaple of the Dutch Ambassador; and should go oftner, if I could comprehend the discourses which are all in French. I believe the American embassy is the only one to which Chaplings are not allowed. Do Congress think that their Ministers have no need of Grace? Or that Religion is not a necessary article for them. Sunday will not feel so to me, whilst I continue in this Country. It is High Hollyday for all France.
We had a visit the other day from no less a personage than Abbe Thayer in his Habit, who has become a convert.7 His visit I suppose was to me, for he was a perfect stranger to Mr. Adams. He told us that he had spent a year at Rome, that he belonged to a Seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris; that he never knew what Religion was untill his conversion, and that he designd to return to America in a year or two, to see if he could not convert his Friends and acquaintance. After talking sometime in this Stile he began to question Mr. A. if he believed the Bible, and to rail at Luther and Calvin, upon which Mr. A took him up pretty short, and told him that he was not going to make a Father confessor of him, that his Religion was a matter that he did not look upon him self accountable for, to any one but his Maker, and that he did not chuse to hear either Luther, or Calvin treated in such a manner.
Mr. Abbe took his leave after some time, without any invitation to repeat his visit.
With respect to our interest at Medford what ever is necessary to be done8 for our mutual benifit, you will be so good as to direct performd. I am glad that the old Tennant did not go off, untill death removed him.9 The account you give of your Nephews is vastly pleasing to their, and Your affectionate Friend.10
[signed] A Adams
{ 64 }
RC (DNDAR); addressed in JQA's hand: “The Revd. John Shaw Haverhill Massachusetts”; endorsed: “Jan 18th 1785.” Dft (Adams Papers), originally identified as written to Cotton Tufts, dated [1784], and filmed under that date (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 363).
1. John Shaw to AA, 15 Oct. 1784, above.
2. At this point the draft completes this sentence: “without any previous preparation of Subject to entertain you with.”
3. The draft sentence begins: “I went last week,” and AA2 records visiting Notre Dame and St. Sulpice with her parents on 12 Jan. (Jour. and Corr., 1:41). The third church was St. Roch.
4. The rest of this sentence is not in the draft. The text from “I do not think” to “a few livres in confessions” is written at the end of the draft, with no indication that it was to be inserted at any point. In place of the last sentence in this paragraph, the draft has “From hence come <those> many of those foresaken beings call'd enfans trouves which I have described in my Letter to Mrs. Shaw” (AA to Elizabeth Shaw,11 Jan., above).
5. This sentence is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
6. St. Roch, on the Rue Saint Honoré, a little north of the Tuileries Gardens, was built in the 1650s, with alterations to 1740 (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
7. John Thayer, born in Boston in 1758 and related to the Thayers of Braintree, preached as a Congregationalist in Boston during the War for Independence. In 1781 he traveled to France, where he offered to become Benjamin Franklin's personal chaplain. Franklin declined. In 1783 Thayer converted to Roman Catholicism. He completed his theological studies at the Séminaire de St. Sulpice in 1787, was ordained, and in 1790 returned to America, where he proselytized for over a decade, from Massachusetts to Kentucky. He spent his last years in Limerick, Ireland, where he recruited young clerics to go to New England (DAB).
8. At this point the draft adds: “by way of repairs.” The Medford interest was the farm left by Rev. William Smith to AA and Elizabeth Shaw. John Shaw had reported the death of tenant Benjamin Teel (or Teal) in his letter of 15 Oct. 1784, above.
9. At this point the draft adds: “tho we may meet with some Difficulty in getting the Rent.”
10. In place of this sentence the draft has: “I hope you will continue from time to time to write to [your] affectionate Friend and sister.” This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0021

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Date: 1785-01-20

Abigail Adams to Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer

[salute] My Dear Madam,

For your kind congratulations upon my arrival in Europe,1 receive my thanks. Those only, who have crossed the ocean, can realize the pleasure which is felt at the sight of land. The inexperienced traveller is more sensible of this, than those who frequently traverse the ocean. I could scarcely realize that thirty days had removed me so far distant from my native shore; but the new objects which surrounded me did not efface from my remembrance the dearer ones which I left behind me. “And is this the country, and are these the people, who so lately waged a cruel war against us?” were reflections, which did not escape me amidst all the beauty and grandeur, which presented themselves to my eyes. You have doubtless heard from my friends, that I was pleased with England, and that I met with much civility and politeness there, and a large share of it from your connexions.2
I am now resident in a country, to which many Americans give the { 65 } preference. The climate is said to be more temperate and mild. I can pass no judgment by comparison, but that there are more fogs in both, than are agreeable to me. A North-American, however, has no right to complain of the rigor of a climate, which, in the middle of January, is as mild as our May; though I think the fall of the year was near as cold as ours.3
Do you know, my dear Madam, what a task you have set me? a description of ladies!

“Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.”

To a lady of Mrs. Storer's discernment, the mere superficial adorning of the sex would afford but little satisfaction. Yet this is all I shall be able to recount to her. A stranger in the country, not only to the people but to the language, I cannot judge of mental accomplishment, unless you will allow that dress and appearance are the index of the mind. The etiquette of this country requires the first visit from the stranger. You will easily suppose, that I have not been very fond of so awkward a situation as going to visit ladies, merely to make my dumb compliments, and receive them in return. I have declined visiting several personages, to whom Mr. Adams would have introduced me, upon this account. An acquaintance with a gentleman by no means insures to you a knowledge of his lady; for no one will be so ill-bred as to suppose an intercourse between them. It is from my observations of the French ladies at the theatres and public walks, that my chief knowledge of them is derived.
The dress of the French ladies is, like their manners, light, airy, and genteel. They are easy in their deportment, eloquent in their speech, their voices soft and musical, and their attitude pleasing. Habituated to frequent the theatres from their earliest age, they become perfect mistresses of the art of insinuation and the powers of persuasion. Intelligence is communicated to every feature of the face, and to every limb of the body; so that it may with truth by said, every man of this nation is an actor, and every woman an actress. It is not only among the rich and polite, who attend the great theatres, that this art is acquired, but there are a dozen small theatres, to which all classes resort. There are frequently given pieces at the opera, and at the small theatres, where the actors speak not a single word, but where the action alone will delineate to you the story. I was at one of this kind last evening. The story is too long to relate here; but there was a terrible sea-storm in it; the rolling of the sea, the mounting of the vessel upon the waves, in which I could discern a lady and little { 66 } child in the utmost distress, the terrible claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, which flew from one side of the stage to the other, really worked me up to such a pitch, that I trembled with terror. The vessel was finally dashed upon the rocks, and the lady and child were cast on a desert island.
The dancing on the stage is a great amusement to me, and the dresses are beautifully fanciful. The fashionable shape of the ladies here is, to be very small at the bottom of the waist, and very large round the shoulders,—a wasp's,—pardon me, ladies, that I should make such a comparison, it is only in shape, that I mean to resemble you to them. You and I, Madam, must despair of being in the mode.
I enclose to you the pattern of a stomacher, cape, and forebody of a gown; different petticoats are much worn, and then the stomacher must be of the petticoat color, and the cape of the gown, as well as the sleeves. Sometimes a false sleeve is made use of to draw over the other, and, in that case, the cape is like the gown. Gowns and petticoats are worn without any trimming of any kind. That is reserved for full dress only, when very large hoops and negligees, with trains three yards long, are worn. But these are not used, except at Court, and then only upon public occasions; the Queen herself, and the ladies of honor, dressing very plain upon other days. Abby has made you a miniature handkerchief, just to show you one mode; but caps, hats, and handkerchiefs are as various as ladies' and milliners' fancies can devise.4
Thus Madam, having displayed the mode to you, be so good as to present Mr. Adams's and my regards to Mr. Storer, and, in one word, to all who inquire after your affectionate friend,
[signed] A Adams
RC not found. Printed from (AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 271–275.) Dft (Adams Papers); dated [ca. 15 January.] The Dft is incomplete and about one third shorter than the printed text, which must have been based on the RC or a copy made from it. Two cases of material in the Dft that is not in the printed text are noted below.
1. Not found.
2. Charles Storer and Elizabeth Storer Atkinson, two of Hannah Storer's stepchildren.
3. In the draft, AA adds that the fall was said to be “not so pleasant as usual.” She also wrote that in “the middle of Janry the grass is as green as it commonly is in May with us,” and reported just one snowfall “which might be 6 inches deep,” probably from the snowstorm of 12 December, mentioned in her letter of 9 Dec. 1784 to Mary Cranch, above.
4. In her draft AA added: “No such thing as a quilted peticoat to bee seen and Scarcly an Apron of any form or fashion.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0022

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-02-20

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

No. 6.

[salute] My Dear Sister

Your last favour which was dated in December came to hand in Febry.1 If Capt. Young has arrived safe, my Friends will find a sufficent number of Letters there, to convince them that I have been mindfull of them. It was no fault of mine that Capt. Young was detaind Months after I hoped that he was in America. Concequently my Letters must lose a large part of their value by being of an old date, for they are not of a quality to grow better for age. Yet they spoke not my heart if they bear not strong traits of that which time can neither injure; or impair.2
This Day 8 Months I sailed for Europe since which many new and interesting Scenes have presented them selves before me. I have seen many of the Beauties and some of the Deformities of this old World. I have been more than ever convinced that there is no Sumit of virtue, and no Depth of vice which Humane Nature is not Capable of riseing to, on the one hand, or sinking into on the other. I have felt the force of an observation which I have read, that “daily example is the most subtle of poisons.” I have found my taste reconciling itself to habits customs and fashions, which at first disgusted me. The first dance which I saw upon the Stage shoked me, the Dress'es and Beauty of the performers was enchanting, but no sooner did the Dance commence, than I felt my delicacy wounded, and I was ashamed to bee seen to look at them. Girls cloathd in the thinest Silk: and Gauze, with their peticoats short Springing two foot from the floor poising themselves in the air, with their feet flying, and as perfectly shewing their Garters and draws, as tho no peticoat had been worn, was a sight altogether new to me. Their motions are as light as air and as quick as lightning. They balance themselves to astonishment. No description can equal the reality. They are daily trained to it from early infancy, at a Royal academy instituted for this purpose.3 You will very often see little creatures not more than 7 or 8 years old as undauntedly performing their parts as the eldest amongst them. Shall I speak a Truth and say that repeatedly seeing these Dances has worn of that disgust which I first felt, and that I see them now with pleasure. Yet when I consider the tendency of these things, the passions they must excite, and the known Character, even to a proverb, which is attached to an opera Girl, my abhorrence is not
{ 68 } { 69 }
lessned, and neither my Reason or judgment have accompanied my Sensibility in acquiring any degree of callousness. The art of dancing is carried to the highest degree of perfection that it is capable of; at the opera. The House is neither so grand, or Beautifull architecture as the French Theater, but it is more frequented by the Beau Mond, who had rather be amused than instructed. The Scenary is more various, and more highly decorated, the dresses more costly and rich. And O! the Musick vocal and instrumental, it has a soft persuasive power and a dying dying4 Sound. Conceive a highly decorated building filled with Youth, Beauty, Grace, ease, clad in all the most pleasing and various ornaments of Dress which fancy can form; these objects Singing like Cherubs to the best tuned instruments most skilfully handled, the softest tenderest Strains, every attitude corresponding with the musick, full of the God or Goddess whom they celebrate, the female voices accompanied by an equal number of Adonises. Think you that this city can fail of becoming a Cytherea5 and this House the temple of Venus?

“Where Musick Softnes, and where dancing fires”6

it requires the immortal Shield of the invincible Minerva to skreen youth from <being wounded by> the arrows which assail them upon every side.7 How many of them resemble the Simple youth which Solomon describes as void of understanding, and when he drew the picture of his H[ear]t he drew the portrait of a Par[isia]n. She Caught him says the wise king, and kissed him with an impudent face.8 How often have I seen this upon the Stage?
As soon as a Girl sets her foot upon the floor of the opera, she is excommunicated by the Church and denied Burial in holy ground; she conceives nothing worse can happen to her, all restraint is thrown off and she delivers herself to the first who bids high enough for her. But let me turn from a picture of which the outlines are but just sketchd. I would willingly veil the rest as it can only tend to excite sentiments of Horrour.
You will see by the former date that my Letter has lain by me some time. Mr. Pickman of Salem who is going to London has promised to take this with him, and will carry it himself if no opportunity offers before to America. We are all well, some prepairing for America,9 and others longing for the time of their departure there. What a sad misfortune it is to have the Body in one place and the Soul in an { 70 } other. Indeed my dear sister I hope to come home the Spring after the present. My acquaintance here is not large nor ever will be. Then what are dinners and visits of ceremony, “compared with the Feast of Reason and the flow of Soul.”10
I have dined twice at the Marquiss Fayette with a large company11 some of whom I was acquainted with, and others that I never saw before, and tomorrow are to dine here Mr. Brantsen the Ambassador extrodonary from Holland12 the Chevlr. Luzern late minister in America Marquiss de la Fayette and Lady, Mr. W. T. Franklin late Secretary to the American commission, Col. Humphries our present Secretary, and Mr. Williamos13 a worthy clever gentleman who has been very Friendly to us. Mr. Jonathan Williams14 a Bostonian who very often comes to have a social talk about all our old Friends and acquaintance in Boston, the Chevlr. Jones,15 Mr. Bingham and Lady, a Mr. and Mrs. Rooker16 and Mrs. Rookers sister lately from New York. Strangers to me, but all strangers from every part of America visit the American Ministers, and then are invited to dine with them. The Duke de la Vauguyon was invited also, but not hearing from him suppose him not in Paris, at present. He was late minister from this Court to Holland. Madam la Marquise F. is a very agreeable Lady, and has two very pretty children. The 3[d,] Virgina I have never seen, it is in the Country. The Eldest daughter is 7 years old and Gorge Washington about 5. After dinner miss and master are always introduced to the company, both of them Speak English, and behave very pretty.17 Madam Fayette has promised to bring me acquainted with her Mother the Dutchess de Noailes who is now at Versailles waiting for the Birth of a prince or princess which is daily expected,18 and as she is one of the Ladies of Honour to the Queen her attendance is indispensable.
I find by a late Letter from Charles Storer19 that Mrs. Atkinsons going to America will be defered for some time as she daily expects to be confined, and she will not let him come away tho we have constantly expected him for months untill She gets to bed. Mrs. Hay and I correspond <once in a while> some times. I had a letter from her a few days since when she was well.20 She is at a place calld Beaugency.21 I have Scarcly room left to say that I am Your affectionate sister
[signed] A.A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. Mary Cranch's letter of 6 Dec. 1784, above, probably arrived on 6 Feb. (JQA, Diary, 1:220).
2. The opening paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
3. The Académie Royale de Musique et de { 71 } Danse, or Paris Opéra, gave performances of 17th- and 18th-century opera, primarily French, and of ballet, at the opera house built in 1781 near the Porte St. Martin, one of the northern gates of Louis XIV's wall around Paris (Rice, Jefferson's Paris, p. 44–45).
4. Thus in MS.
5. In Greek mythology this island off the south coast of Greece was the birthplace of Aphrodite (Venus).
6. With slight modification this quotation is taken from Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock,” canto 1, line 76.
7. The remainder of this paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
8. Proverbs 7:7, 13.
9. That is, JQA.
10. Alexander Pope, “The First Satire of the Second Book of Horace,” line 128.
11. These dinners were given on 21 Feb., and 7 March; for detailed accounts, see JQA, Diary, 1:225, 230; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:49–50, 52–53.
12. JA had known Gerard Brantsen, the Dutch minister plenipotentiary to France from late 1782, and ambassador extraordinary from 1783 to 1787, since April 1782 (Diary and Autobiography, 3:1, 14; and see JQA,Diary, 1:184).
13. The Swiss-born Charles Williamos, who had traveled widely in America, was close to the Adamses and Jefferson in 1784–1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:232–233, note 1).
14. Jonathan Williams Jr., Benjamin Franklin's great-nephew, acted as American agent in Nantes; JA had known him since 1778 (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, vol. 4; JA, Papers, vols. 6–8).
15. “Jones” is smudged and nearly illegible; AA may have attempted to erase and write over a name here. Neither JQA nor AA2 mention John Paul Jones' presence at the Adamses on 14 March (JQA, Diary, 1:235; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:56).
16. Mr. and Mrs. John Rucker had visited the Adamses on 11 March; John Rucker was a partner in Robert Morris' New York commercial house (JQA, Diary, 1:233, and note 2).
17. The three Lafayette children mentioned in this passage were Anastasie, the eldest, Georges Washington, and Marie Antoinette Virginie, still an infant, AA's “3[d,] Virginia I have never seen.” See JQA, Diary, 1:225, note 1 .
18. This was to be Louis Charles, born on 27 March. He became the dauphin upon the death of his older brother, Louis Joseph, in June 1789. The royalists declared him to be Louis XVII upon the execution of his father in 1793. He apparently died in prison in 1795, but several pretenders advanced the tradition that he had escaped from France. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
19. Probably Storer to JQA, 2 March (Adams Papers).
20. Letter of 7 March, below.
21. This paragraph, to this point, is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0023

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-03-05

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dr Sir

Last night I received yours of 1 Jan.1 and immediately accepted the Bill for 50 £. St. payable in London. Whenever you draw upon me, you may draw payable in London, Amsterdam or Paris, as you shall find most beneficial. I accepted the Bill with Pleasure, as the purchases you have made are much to my Taste. I consent too, very readily to your raising my low House.2 It has need of it. If Verchilds Pasture, which lies between me, can be purchased, I wish you to do it. You may continue to purchase, such Scraps of Marsh or Woodland as are to be sold at reasonable Rates and draw upon me. Mrs. A. I believe has hinted a larger Purchase3 but I could not get through it without running in debt, or Selling my Furniture, or both, and I love to feel free. So I had rather you should go on, in the small Way.
{ 72 }
My Love to your Lady and son and all Friends particularly Uncle Norton [Quincy].
[signed] John Adams
1. Not found.
2. On Tufts' purchases, see Tufts to JA, 26 Nov. 1784, note 2, above. The same letter discusses raising the roof of JA's Boston house.
3. The farm of Thomas(?) Alleyne (see AA to Tufts, 3 Jan., above; AA to Tufts, 8 March, below).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0024

Author: Hay, Katherine Farnham
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-03-07

Katherine Hay to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

I intended writing you before this but have been waiting very impatiently for letters from Mr. Hay, (but hitherto in vain) as they will fix the time of my leaving France. I have expected my next letter to you wou'd be to ask the favour of you to take a lodging for me, but I am now under the Necessity of troubling you very unexpectedly upon an affair that has given me a good deal of uneasiness.
It was fix'd when I came to this Country that I shou'd draw a Bill on my Freind in England, if I shou'd want more Money than I brought with me. January last I found I shou'd be Oblig'd to Draw for Money by February, at that time a quarter wou'd be due for my Board accordingly. I try'd to get Money here for my Bill on London, but it was impossible. Mr. Mather advis'd me to write to a Mr. Graff in Paris, and get him to Negociate the Bill for me. This Mr. Graff Mr. Storer recommended to me for Cambrick or laces and every Article in the Linin way; we lay'd out some Money at his Magazin, and he appeared much of the Gentlemen, was very polite to us while in Paris. He came every Day to see us, and offer'd his service for any commission when we got into the Country. From this knowledge of Mr. Graff, without any doubt, I drew a Bill on my friend in London payable to Mr. B Graff for £30. Sterling at 7 Days sight, enclos'd it to Mr. Graff, desiring him to get me the Money for it, and send it to me, by a rescription on the financier of this place. He immediately answer'd my letter with all possible politness and attention, and told me he had taken the Bill himself, and wou'd send me the Mony in the way I propos'd or some other way very soon. In about a Week after he wrote me a friend of his that was a going to Bordeax had taken charge of 30 louis d['O]r, and would pay them to me at this place and desir'd me to acknowledge the receipt of them in due time;—I waited 10 or 12 Days and heard nothing of his friend nor Mony (in the mean time I receiv'd a letter from my friend in London { 73 } acquainting me he pay'd my Bill the 30th. Janry.). I then wrote to Mr. Graff acquainting him that I had not receiv'd the Money and I was in want of Money, and wou'd be much Oblig'd to him to send it as soon as possible. I every Day expected an Answer. I waited 10 Days without hearing a Word. I then wrote the second letter, this is the 8 Day and I have not heard a word of him.
Mr. Mather thinks that he heard your son say he knew him, however I must beg the favour of you to Intercede for me with your son, and get him to go [to] Mr. Graff and know if he is alive, for I cannot help thinking he is Dead; if he is in existance, will he be so good as to let him know that I have not receiv'd the Money and have wrote him two letters to that purpose, that perhaps have miscarried (tho' it is hardly possible that two letters shou'd miscarry) and that the delay has put me into a very disagreeable situation.1 I am reduc'd to my last Crown for pocket Money. I have been Oblig'd to ask Mr. Mather to pay my Board for me that was due last Month. Six Weeks has elaps'd since I first sent him the Bill, and I suppos'd I shou'd have reciev'd [the?] Money in [8?] or 10 Days.
Shou'd their be any trouble or difficu[lty. . .] matter, (which I hope not and am ready to think its oweing to something that I cou'd not foresee,) will you be so good as to shew Mr. Adams the letter Ask his advice what steps I shou'd take. I wish Mr. Graff wou'd pay your son the Money and he wou'd give him a receipt for it. If I cou'd get it, into your hands I shou'd be quite contented. I would give a Bill upon Paris for it. Will you be so good as to write me my Dear Madam as soon as you know what is the Difficulty.2
I must rely on your goodness and candour to excuse the frequent favours I ask of you. I can only say I shall ever be ready to serve you or yours. My Best respects to Mr. Adams Miss Adams and Mr. A——Junr. in which Mr. and Mrs. Mather Joine.
With great esteem Dear Madam your Oblig'd freind and Servt.
[signed] K Hay
Mr. Graffs Direction Magazin de Dentelles Rue de Deux Portes St Sauveur.
PS This Week receiv'd a letter from Mrs. Atkinson, she has been in very bad Health all the Winter and in a way of having an addition to her Family.
RC (Adams Papers);addressed: “A Madame Madame Adams a la Maison de M. le Comte de Rouhaut á Auteuil prés Paris”; stamped: “BEAVGENCY”; endorsed: “Mrs Hay March 6th 1785.”
{ 74 }
1. JQA briefly records visiting P. B. Graff, a Paris clothier, with his mother, “upon some business for Mrs. Hay,” on 12 March (Diary, 1:233).
2. AA evidently replied to this letter on 13 March (not found), to which Katherine Hay in turn replied on 26 March (Adams Papers). In that letter, she told AA that Mr. Graff had also written to her on the 13th, and sent her a bill which she cashed immediately. Although Graff's letter “was full of Apologies, and mentions not a word of seeing you,” Mrs. Hay was convinced that he had written to her because of AA's and JQA's intervention.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0025

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-03-08

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

No 5

[salute] My Dear Betsy

There is a Gentleman by the Name of Blakney1 a Philadelphian who is with other company to dine here to day and on Monday is going to England. I think to charge him with a Letter or two, tho I know not of any present conveyance unless Young is yet there, who has been going every week, ever since December, and who has, as my Friends will find, Letters on board written in that month, which is very discouraging. I could write by way of New York monthly, but I am loth to load my Friends with a postage. If Mr. Gerry continues there I shall some times take the freedom of covering a Letter to him, and getting him to forward it by a private hand.2 And my Friends may in the same manner enclose at any time under cover to Mr. Jay who is minister for foreign affairs directed to your uncle which Letters have a right to come as far as the packet, without postage, and from thence will not be more expensive nor indeed so much so, as those which come by way of England. Never omit writing for want of Subjects, every thing and every object is interesting to me, ten thousand times more so than any thing which I can write you from hence, because I had almost Said I love; every thing and every body in that Country. Tell me when you begin to garden. I can brag over you in that respect, for our flower pots were set out in February and our garden began to look smilling. The orange Trees were not however brought out of the House, and it was very lucky they were not, for since this month commenced came a nipping frost very unusual at this season, and stiffend all our flower roots. I really fear they are kill'd. O Betsy how you would delight in this Garden. As to the House it is large and with 20 thousand livers expence in repairs and furniture would be very elegant and fit for a minister to live in, but as it is, let it pass, it is as good as we can afford, and is a fine clear air. The Garden too is much out of repair and bespeaks the too extravegent provision of its owners who are not able to put it in order. The Garden { 75 } is however a fine walk in summer and the beautifull variety of flowers would tempt you to tan yourself in picking and trimming them. The garden has a number of statues and figures, but there is none which pleases me more than one of a Boy who has robed a bird of her nest of young; which he holds in one hand and in the other the old bird, who has laid hold of his finger with her Bill and is biteing it furiously, so that the countanance of the lad is in great distress between the fear of loosing the young and the pain of his finger.
Cousin Nabby says Mam, the company are come some of them. Well then go down and entertain them, for I will finish my Letter to Betsy. There is amongst them a Mr. Pickman of Salem, to whom Mr. Tracy gave a Letter of introduction. Do you know him? I have never seen him yet. He calld and left his Name one Day and his address. Your cousin Jack returnd his visit but not being at home, he also left a card, and we sent him an invitation to dine here to day. That is the form and process in this country. There is a Mr. Williamos here who was in Boston after I left it. He is a Swiss by Birth, a very clever sensible obligeing man, who is a very great intimate at Mr. Jefferson's, which alone would be sufficient to recommend him. He dines here to Day and Col. Humphries our Secretary, a Mr. Waren3 a Carolianian and Miss Jefferson from the Walls of her convent4 does us the favour of a visit to day. Those form our Society for this day. O, could I transport you and your Dear family how much it would enhance the pleasure. Mr. T——r5 too should assist at table as he is very handy that way, but his Carveing abilities would be almost useless here as the provision seldom wants any thing more than shaking to peices. I have got a long Letter begun to your Mamma6 and I have had some thoughts of changing the address and sending it to you, only I owe her one and not you. Tell Lucy I would give a great deal for one of her Cats. I have absolutely had an inclination to buy me some little Images according to the mode of this country that I might have some little creatures to amuse myself with, not that I have turnd worshiper of those things, neither.
There is not one creature of you that will tell me a word of our good parson.7 How does he do? Alass he deserves it, for being a simple individual. I will however remember him and tender him my Respects.
I design to get my other Letters ready to send on, about the middle of the week, but if this should have the Luck to get a passage as soon as it arrives in England, why it may possibly travel along accompanied only, with one to Dr. Tufts and an other to Mrs. Feild8 which is all I { 76 } have had leisure to get ready. Your cousin John thinks very much of it that none of his Friends have written to him.9 Remember me to all my dear Friends. I can name none in particular but your good Parents. I have vanity enough to think it would take all the rest of my paper to enumerate them.
I have written you all this, to shew you how to triffle and as it is unworthy of a copy and written in great haste I must apoligize for its inaccuracy.
Believe my dear Girl affectionately yours,
[signed] A A
I darnt send my Elder Sister such a hasty scrip, besides I may venture to triffel with the daughter when her Mamma requires a steadier pen.
RC (MB); docketed in an unknown hand: “Letter from Mrs. A. Adams, to Miss Eliz. Cranch Mar. 8. 1785. France. (No. 5).” The name “John” appears to the right of the docket.
1. John Bleakley (JQA, Diary, 1:227, 230).
2. Elbridge Gerry attended Congress in New York, 31 Jan. to 1 March, and 12 July to 4 Nov. 1785 (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:lxxxvii). No letter from AA to Gerry in 1785 is known to the editors.
3. JQA has “Mr. Waring”; this may have been Dr. Thomas Waring of South Carolina (JQA, Diary, 1:216, and note 2, 230).
4. Martha Jefferson, age twelve, had accompanied her father to France and would remain there, receiving her education at the Abbaye Royale de Pentemont, a fashionable Paris convent school, until April 1789, shortly before her return with her father to America (Jefferson, Papers, 7:364, 410–411; 14:356–357; 15:490–498, 560–561).
5. Probably Royall Tyler; see AA to Tyler, [post 14 June 1783], above.
6. Of 20 Feb., above, finished on 13 March.
7. A “+” appears above the line at this point. Written in lighter ink, it was probably not inserted by AA. The “good parson” is Rev. Anthony Wibird.
8. AA's letter to Esther Field's mother has not been found; her letter to Cotton Tufts is immediately below.
9. The last extant letter received by JQA from anyone in America, except for his mother and sister, is that from Elizabeth Cranch, May 1781 (vol. 4:146–148). Following his 17 March 1782 reply to Elizabeth (vol. 4:297–299), the only extant JQA letters to anyone in America outside his immediate family are those to Richard Cranch, 6 Sept. (MeHi), to Mary Cranch, 12 Dec., above, and to William Cranch, 14 Dec. 1784, also above. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, above; and JQA, Diary, 1:214.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0026

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-03-08

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear Sir

Mr. Adams received last Evening a Letter from you dated January 1st,1 in which you inform him of some little purchases which are very agreeable to him. I wrote you by his consent in January respecting Mr. Alleynes Farm. I suppose my Letters have not yet reachd America, as Captain Young has been detained Months in England longer than was expected. We are a little alarmed at the Hazard we have run, { 77 } because we find it impossible upon the present Establishment to save any thing from it. I believe I mentiond to you that with the assistance of my son I had kept a Regular account of all our expences. And I am sure you will suppose that we live very differently from what we really do, when I assure you that I am obliged to Economize not to be in debt at the close of every Month; if Congress would place us where we were at first, we might get through the purchase of the place, but as that is yet dubious and our sons are going into College which will be attended with a large expence, we are fearfull of being involved in difficulties, and tho it is an object very desirable to us, we fear we shall be obliged to give up the Idea of it. If Mr. Alleyne however should be as dilatory as he has hitherto been, I will not dispair, if our former request have not reachd you so as to have taken decisive measures. You will go no further at present than to make inquiries what it may be had for, and what you really think the value of it, which you will be so kind as to transmit to us. I recollect a story of a minister of Queen Elizabeths whom she one day visited, and observed to him that he had a very small and indifferent House. May it please your Majesty said the minister, the House is big enough for the Man, but you have made the Man too big for the House.
As to the Medford Farm you will be so kind as to have every thing done which will be for the benifit of it. We have so perfect a confidence on your judgment with regard to all these matters that we scarcly wish to direct about them, and Mr. A has been so long a statesman that I cannot get him to think enough upon his domestick affairs. He loves to have every thing as it should be, but does not wish to be troubled about them. He chuses I should write and think about them and give directions. Tho I am very willing to releive him from every care in my power, yet I think it has too much the appearence of weilding instead of sharing the Scepter.
I cannot Sir give you any very promising account with Regard to the Treaties of commerce. Prussia have compleated theirs all to signing. As to England they appear as much infatuated as ever, no answer has been as yet sent to the information which our ministers gave them in December, that they were ready to go to England and treat with them.2 I have heard that our Merchants are very Angry that the ministers do not Treat, and that they reflect upon them. What more can be done than to inform the Courts of their powers, and to offer them term of treatys. They cannot compel nations into treaties. England is very sour and bitter haughty and imperious, and I hear abuses America upon every occasion. Time was you know Sir, when { 78 } an amicable treaty might have been made with England very favourable to Am[erica], and you know to what intrigues it was oweing th[at the?] Commercial powers were taken from the person in w[hom] they were first invested;3 but Time past, can not be recalled, as our Country Men now feel, and as was then predicted.
Mr. Jays acceptance as minister for Foreign affairs4 gives us hopes that his wisdom and integrity will have a happy influence upon our affairs. Mr. Adams's Colleigue Mr. Jefferson is an Excellent Man. Worthy of his station and will do honour to his Country. He has been sick all winter and is now far from being well. Dr. Franklin goes not out at all. Remember me sir to my dear good Aunt and to your son and Neice.5 My Heart always overflows when I think of all my dear Friends in America, in the first of that Number I hold you and yours and such I hope you will ever c[onsi]der your affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “Honble. Cotton Tufts Esqr. Boston Massachusetts”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Lettr. March 5th”; in another hand?: “recd. by Dr. Clarke May. 17. 1785.” Some damage to the text where the seals were torn away, and along one edge.
1. Not found. JA's letter to Tufts of 5 March, above, acknowledges receipt of the letter.
2. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, note 4, above.
3. Congress' decision, in July 1781, to revoke JA's sole power to negotiate a commercial treaty with England (see AA to Tufts, 3 Jan., and note 8, above; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:104, and note 1).
4. Congress elected John Jay secretary of foreign affairs in May 1784, just as he was preparing to return to America (JCC, 26:354–355). Jay assumed his office on 21 Dec. 1784, and formally notified JA, Franklin, and Jefferson of his acceptance on 14 January (Jefferson, Papers, 7:606). JA, who had expressed his concern to Jay on 15 Dec. over whether he would accept the office, warmly congratulated him on 9 March (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 363, 371).
5. Probably a daughter of Dr. Cotton Tufts' brother, Dr. Simon Tufts, and his first wife, Lucy Dudley Tufts, who died in 1768.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0027

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1785-03-20

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] My Dear Sir

To what cause shall I attribute your silence, that not a line has reachd me since I arrived in Europe? Altho I have not written to you since my arrival, yet as a Friend and former correspondent I feel myself entitled to your remembrance. I have heard from others of your welfare and pleasing prospects, in which be assured no one more sincerely rejoices than your Friend.
My son too complains that altho he has repeatedly written to you, and other Friends, he has not received a line in reply. He hopes soon however to refresh the memory of them, by his return to America, { 79 } where he flatters himself he shall be kindly and cordially received notwithstanding their failure in literary testimonies of remembrance.
It is with no small regret that I see the day speedily hastning, which is again to seperate me from this Branch of my family, but I do not consult my own pleasure or satisfaction which must necessaryly suffer a diminution; but the future benifit and prospects of a Youth just Launching into the world. An American breize will be more likely to set him forward on his Voyage with less danger to his passage than the European gales, which too often wreck the adventurous Passenger, and always hazard his safety.
But to quit Allegory, it is in complience with his own requests, that both his Parents have consented to his return. A Year spent at Harvard with diligent application may qualify him to commence the study of the Law, and prepare him for a usefull Citizen in his native Country. You and the rest of our Friends I hope will aid him, by your advice and counsel, and from his present disposition and inclinations, I think he will not willingly give them any cause of displeasure.
You may posibly think it much out of season, if I should now congratulate you upon your return to your native Country, but I never before could do it, with such a firm persuasion of the utility of it, or paint to myself the amaizing difference which subsists between those Countries which have passt the Zenith of their glory, saped by Luxury, and undermined by the rage for pleasure, and a Young a flourishing a free, and I may add, a virtuous Country uncontrouled by a Royal Mandate, unshackled by a military police, unfearfull of the thundring anathamas of Ecclesiastic power, where every individual possest of industery and probity, has a sure reward for his Labour, uninfested with thousands of useless virmin, whom Luxery supports upon the Bread of Idleness, a Country where Virtue is still revered; and modesty still Cloaths itself in crimson. But you have lived too long in Europe to require any description from my pen, and I dare say have too often contrasted the difference not to wish a long long youth to America.
Do you expect from my pen a detail of politicks? I can only tell you, that neither England or Spain will enter into any treaty here; Prussia is the only power with whom a final treaty is closed. Other Courts move so slowly that no buisness is yet concluded with them. We hear daily and bitter complaints of the British temper and disposition towards America, but it is not the Mercantile Clamour of a people which designates the sense of the Cabinet. We suffer for want of a Minister there. You know it is the policy of ....1 to prevent an { 80 } exchange of ministers with the British Court, but the invitation from St. James to Congress to send a minister and the late appointment of Mr. Temple as consul General,2 are proofs that they are not so indifferent with regard to a connection with America as Refugees and others pretend. You are too well acquainted with Courts not to know, that you must look behind the scenes to discover the real Characters of the actors, and their naturel appearence, whilst the World see no further than the Stage, without once conceiving that all Courts are James'es.
The ministers have received Authentic accounts that an American vessel has been Captured by one of the Emperor of Morocas Corssairs. He has not sufferd the Men to be enslaved, as those which are taken from other Nations are, but has informed the Ministers that he will release them as soon as Congress will send a person to treat with him, and that he is ready to enter into an alliance with America upon the same footing with other Nations, which you know is with Cash in hand, but as the Ministers here have no Authority upon that score, they are much perplexed what course to take.3 Some are for making war upon these people as pirates, but England France and Holland treat and pay, would it not be folly and madness in America to Wage War? Mr. A's dutch loan has succeeded so well that there is cash enough to treat with, provided Congress think proper. The words which were once represented as so reprehensible, viz. “I will go to Holland and see if I cannot make America less dependant upon France,” have been literally accomplishd, in more instances than one, for not a single stiver is to be had any where but in Holland, even the interest due to this Court is drawn from thence.4 But what does our Country design. Interest is a canker worm which will knaw to the vitals, and to borrow abroad even for the payment of interest they will find very bad policy.
On Monday last I dined with the Dr. [Franklin]5 who has always been vastly social and civil to me. He looks in good Health, but is much afflicted with his disorder which prevents his riding or walking. He tells me that he is fully determined to go out to America in the spring, but I think whatever his inclination may be, his infirmities will prevent him. Mr. Jefferson too has been sick these four months. Mr. A is very happy in him. As to Col. Humphries he looks Built for duration.
Pray make my affectionate Regards to all your family and tell me how they do. I cannot in future suffer either Courts or Writs to Rival me in your Regards, nor will I give place to any female but a wife. { 81 } Be not alarmed at the word, Since you will find the reality a very necessary ingredient in your future portion of happiness. At least that is the opinion of one who has had twenty Years experience in the Connubial State. A greater felicity than a happy union cannot therefore be wished you by your affectionate Friend
[signed] Abigail Adams
Be so good as to present my Respects to Judge Sergent and family. Emelia joins in affectionate Remembrance to you.
RC (MB); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams March 20th. 1785.” Dft (Adams Papers); notation in JQA's hand: “To J. Thaxter. May 1785”; originally filmed under May 1785, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 364.
1. AA probably intended Vergennes, the French foreign minister. Many French and British merchants were also cool toward Britain exchanging ministers with the United States.
2. John Temple was appointed the first British consul general in the United States on 5 Feb., presented his commission to John Jay on 24 Nov., and was formally accepted by Congress on 2 Dec. 1785 (JCC, 29:886, 897–898).
3. JA discusses this issue at length in his Diary for 19 and 20 March (Diary and Autobiography, 3:173–175).
4. JA had negotiated the most recent Dutch loan on 9 March 1784 (same, 3:168, note 1). For the quotation, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 Jan., note 8, above.
5. Both AA2 and JQA place the most recent Adams visit to Franklin's for dinner on Thursday, 17 March, and give details of that occasion. The Adamses had entertained several guests on Monday, 14 March, but the ailing Franklin probably did not attend (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:56–57; JQA, Diary, 1:235–237).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0028

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-11

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

I have not received any Letter either from Mr. Adams or from you since Yours, just after your Arrival at Passy.2 We are solicitous to hear, from You—and I flatter myself that We shall for the future have more regular Intelligence. We have had much to do in the Electioneering Way. So far as we can judge from Accounts from different Parts of the Country, Mr. Bowd[oi]n will be elected Governor. Am doubtful whether the Lt. Governor is elected by the People. Had Your nearest Friend been here, No Struggle would have arisen who should have been the first Magistrate. I think there would have been a Unanimity. Mr. H[ancock] and his Adherents struggled hard to introduce Mr. C[ushin]g.3
Bror. Cranch and Sister, Betsey and Lucy are all well. Mr. P[alme]r is reduced to a deplorable Scituation as to Estate. German Town is advertised f[or sale?]4 and he still possesses his State for planning. His Daughter B[etsy] is I fear in a Hectic State.5 I had no expectation [of] writing a Line to you, But Mr. Smith presenting to me this Letter6 { 82 } and informing me that Col. Norton who will probably be the Bearer of this, will not go on Board untill half an hour hence I could not resist the Impuls of writing. Love to Cousins. More hereafter. Your Affectionate Frd. & Kinsman
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at the Honble. John Adams Esqr. Boston favd. by Capt. Grant with A Box”; marked: “<Postage 12d>”; endorsed: “Mrs Fitchs Letter.”
Tufts wrote this letter on the blank third sheet of Mary Fitch's brief letter to AA, dated “Kingston Jamaica Jan. 11th. 1785” (Adams Papers). Fitch sent her letter with “a small Box, which contains [three?] Potts of our Country preserves and two Bottles of Cayan Pepper,” to AA in Massachusetts as a token of her appreciation for the “polite Attention” which JA and JQA had paid to her and her husband, Eliphalet Fitch, one of JA's Boylston relations, in Europe in 1783 (see JA to JQA, 12 June 1783, above; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:134; JQA, Diary, 1:175, 204). Isaac Smith Sr. gave the letter and box to Cotton Tufts, who wrote the following postscript to Fitch's text: “April 11. 1785. I have broke open this Letter and finding that it communicates sweet Things, which as You cannot reep the Advantage of them, personally, consulting Your Disposition I shall take the Liberty to give Your Friends a Taste of them.” Then, after adding the text printed here, Tufts entrusted the letter to Col. Beriah Norton. See Tufts to AA, 19 April, below.
1. Dated from Tuft's postscript to Mary Fitch's letter of 11 Jan. to AA; see the descriptive note.
2. Of 8 Sept. 1784, above.
3. John Hancock abruptly resigned the governorship on 29 Jan., in a winter of increasing economic distress, political controversy, and social discord. He was succeeded by his protégé, Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing, but Cushing was defeated by James Bowdoin in the spring, and the Hancock forces were out of office until the spring of 1787. See Tufts to JA, 11 March (Adams Papers); William M. Fowler Jr., The Baron of Beacon Hill, A Biography of John Hancock, Boston, 1980, p. 255–261.
4. The bracketed text here and below was lost by the cutting away of the seal; for the inserted text, see Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, below.
5. Whatever medical problem she had in 1785, Elizabeth Palmer, daughter of Gen. Joseph Palmer, survived it to marry Joseph Cranch in 1790.
6. Mary Fitch to AA, 11 Jan. (Adams Papers); see the descriptive note.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0029

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-04-15

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

No. 7.

[salute] My Dear Sister

There is a Young Gentleman going from Passy in the pacquet for New York. His Name is Chaumont, the Son of a Gentleman whose Name is well known in America. I have met him once or twice at Dr. Franklin: whose next Neighbour he is, and he has once dinned here: the Ministers have intrusted him with publick dispatches of importance to Congress. He appears a modest agreeable Young Gentleman. He proposes visiting all the States and has requested Letters of introduction from Mr. Adams, which he has given him, to some of { 83 } our Boston Friends who will be kind enough to notice him.2 All foreigners who have visited America speak in the highest terms of the Hospitality of the people of Boston, and with reason, for I do not believe that it is exceeded, if equald: in any part of the World. Mr. Chaumont speaks english tolerably, so that he will have that advantage, over many others of his Nation. Nothing can be more dissagreeable than liveing in a Country, the language of which you cannot speak.
He has requested me to give him Letters but as I expect my son will sail in the next pacquet, I have not been very solicitious to write this way, as it is probable the Letters will be very old before they reach you.
I have not heard from my American Friends since December, but as the Spring opens I begin to have my usual impressions that there are some Letters on their way. If my Friends have any thing pressing at any time which they wish to communicate by covering to Mr. Jay who is Minister of foreign affairs; or to Mr. Gerry whilst he is at Congress it will come more speedily by the pacquets; I have writen by way of England when ever a private opportunity has offerd of conveying Letters from hence; most of the Americans who have past the winter in Paris, have left it, and are going, so that I fear we shall be very trist, especially when Master JQA leaves us. In proportion as a person becomes necessary to us we feel their loss: and in every way I shall feel his absence: I dare not trust myself with thinking upon the Subject. He is now at a time of Life when it is necessary for him to Regularly compleat his Education at some Seminary: that he may go into the Study of the Law which he proposes; we expect he will be at Home before his Brother enters Colledge: but if he should not, so that I should be able to write by him concerning Charles: I must request you to take care to provide what ever is necessary for him, and to have the Same care of him, that I would take for Yours, in the like circumstances. Whatever expences occur you will apply to Dr. Tufts, and consult with him in all things with respect to him. Mr. Adams and I both think that in order to prevent confusion all money Matters should pass through the hands of the Dr, and that he should make the necessary draughts upon Mr. Adams here, both for our sons in America and that which is going out, always remembring that there is to be no extrodanary expences on account of the publick Character which Mr. Adams sustains, because he is not half so able to bear them, as he would have been if he had been only a private citizen. In short I am weary of being obliged to eat and drink up all we have. { 84 } This is very easily done, and have company no oftner than once a week neither: I dare say we should be able to live, and I hope educate our children in America. We shall do no more here, and must excercise a frugality to accomplish that; which is thought meaness here. A Minister who cannot keep a train of Servant[s], a publick table &c. is thought very little off. The Spanish Ambassodor Count d'Aranda has no less than Seventy 50 of whom are Livery and the British minister the Duke of Dorset who was invited to dine here to day, but was prevented by our inviting him upon one of the days in which he gives publick dinners: he has a train of 50 servants 25 of which are in Livery and lives in every other respect answerable to that Retinue, and So does every other foreign minister who resides here.3 It would be vastly more to my taste, and much more to my satisfaction to return to my own Country and live in that social Friendship and that Simplicity in which I formerly rejoiced. I take no pleasure in a life of ceremony and parade. I had rather dine in my little room at Braintree with your family and a set of chosen o[ld] Friends, than with the Marquisses Counts and countesses Abbes and Great folks who dine with us to day.4 Madam de la Fayette, I will however except. I should always take pleasure in her company. She is a good and amiable Lady, exceedingly fond of her Children and attentive to their education, passionatly attached to her Husband!!! A French Lady and fond of her Husband!!!
Remember me to all my Dear Friends in America. Tell Cousin Betsy, that I have procured of our gardner a parcel of Beautifull flower seeds for her, which I design sending her by her cousin, and that she must new Name them, calling them after our family. It is a fine season now a little too dry, but I have got some pots of flowers with which the gardner has presented me, now flourishing in my Chamber, and the peach blossoms are just shewing themselves. They complain here that it is very cold for the season. We are all well. Pray is Mrs. Otis a Mother yet? I want to hear; has Mr. Cranch forgot us that we see not his hand writing? Regards to Mr. Tyler. I hope he is very buisy and to great purpose.5 My paper calls upon me to close. Most affectionately and tenderly Yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed in JQA's hand: “Mrs. Mary Cranch. Braintree near Boston Massachusetts.”
1. The body of this letter may have been written, or at least drafted, on 14 April; see note 4.
2. Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont (later known in America, where he lived after 1800, as James Le Ray) was the son of the owner of the house in Passy in which Benjamin Franklin lived, rent-free, for nine years, { 85 } and which JA shared with Franklin in 1778–1779. JA and JQA had known young Chaumont since 1778; AA met him on 17 March 1785, if not earlier, at Franklin's. Chaumont left Paris for Lorient and the New York packet on 14 April. JQA would travel with Chaumont from New York to Boston in August, and would correspond irregularly with him to 1821. See JQA, Diary, 1:236, and note 2, 249, 298–318 passim.
On 14 April, JA wrote letters of introduction for Chaumont to Samuel Adams (NN), Thomas Cushing, John Hancock, Samuel Allyne Otis (all LbC, Adams Papers), and William Tudor (MHi).
3. In February, JQA had commented on the servants, equippage, and other trappings of wealth and power displayed by the Conde d'Aranda, and had recorded the Duke of Dorset's expression of disgust at the ceremony of court life (Diary, 1:224, 225–226). AA2 made similar observations on Aranda's and Dorset's households in April (Jour. and Corr., 1:71).
4. AA may be referring to the dinner which the Adamses gave on 14 April, for the Lafayettes, the Count and Countess Doradour, the abbés Chalût and Arnoux, Daniel Hailes, the secretary of the British embassy, and Count Sarsfield (JQA, Diary, 1:249).
5. Royall Tyler was in Braintree, maintaining his social ties with the Cranches, and by mail with the Shaws and the young Adamses in Haverhill. On 20 March, Elizabeth Shaw reported to Mary Cranch (DLC: Shaw Family Papers) that the previous week they had received a letter from Tyler, “accompanied by a genteel Present, of a Morocca Pocket-Book to Mr. Charles, and an elegant Set of Geographical Cards for Mr. Thomas; informing us at the same time that he had made several attempts to make us a Visit, but that all had proved ineffectual, and must therefore give it up for the Present. I hope however when the soft Season is further advanced, and the roads are become good, both Mr. Tyler, and my Cousins will be more fortunate. It would have given me pleasure to have seen them here.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0030

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-19

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

It is now a violent Snow Storm (PM) and I hope it will be the last for this Spring, for the Snow has been on the Earth through the Winter and from January to the first Instant the Sledding has continued; on the 26th. of March I rode to Abington, from Mr. Williams's Meeting House,1 in one of the Roads for near two Miles the Snow was level with the Walls and the Crust so hard as to bear my Horse, the Snow supposed to be 2 ½ Feet upon a Level at that Time. On the 10th. of this Month Your Sister Shaw writes, Ice continues in our River over which People pass and repass &c.2 The Weather however has not been so cold through the Winter as in some former Seasons.
Last Week Mr. Smith handed me a Letter from a Mrs. Fitch of Jamaica directed to You and informed me what he supposed it related to. I took the Liberty to open it, write a few Lines in it sealed it and as Col. Norton was just then going to Europe committed it to him. I found Mrs. Fitch as an Expression of Gratitude for the Kindness and Civilities shewn by Mr. Adams to Mr. Fitch and herself when in Europe had sent you some Sweet Meats and Cuhen.3 I advised Mr. Smith to distribute them among Your Friends, but afterwards finding that they consisted of several Parcels, packed up in great order and { 86 } no Danger of spoiling, Your Sister Cranch thought it best to let them laiy untill We had Your Directions and She will accordingly write to You therefor.
I have wrote both to Mr. Adams and to You 3 or 4 Letters since You left America. Cap. Young arrived last Wednesday and brot sundry Letters for Haverhill and Braintree4 also One for me from Mr. Adams of Dec. 15. 1784 in which he makes no Mention of his or Your having received any from me. Should some Things be repeatedly mentioned Youll excuse it, as I am in doubt whether my Letters reach my Friends and for want of some sure Conveyance I think it prudent to withhold many Things which I wish to communicate.
I just received Yours of January 3d. which affords me much entertainment and Pleasure. Your Scituation methinks is Curious, to be obliged to appear in high Life in Europe (and indeed almost any where else) and submit to all its Follies is I suspect laying Nature upon the Wreck but as You justly observe when Necessity calls it is best to obey with Patience.
I received a Letter from your Brother Shaw the other Day. Your two Sons are in Health. They have besides their Studies attended a Singing and Dancing School through the Winter. I took Occasion upon Mr. Shaws consulting me with respect to their attending the dancing School, to express some sentiments relative to Master Charles's Attention being engaged to his Studies, the Expectation of his entring at our University next Commencement and my Wish that He might be so fitted as to enter with Honor to his Instructor and to himself. I received an agreable Answer Viz. “If Master Charles has his Health and pursues his Studies as Well as he has done I doubt not but he will enter College with Reputation to himself and his Instructor.” I am pleased with the Intention of Mr. Adams's sending Master John to our University, I am of Opinion, the sooner he sends him the greater will be the Advantage. If there is any particular Branch of Learning that he may be unacquainted with and necessary for his Admission to an advanced Station, he may be placed under some of the Professors or some eminent Instructor for a short Time previous thereto if thought best. I cannot but urge the Expediency of his residing a Year and an half or two Year[s] at the University, he may be of great Service to his Brother Charles and he will have the Company of his Cousin Cranch, a sober amiable and studious Youth.—It is reported here that Miss Nabby is to return with Your { 87 } Son.5 Would it not be best for her to defer it untill You return which I presume will not exceed another Year for I am pretty Certain You will by that Time be well tired of Europe. And by that Time I hope Mr. Adams will have compleated the necessary Treaties in Europe and that We shall once more have the Pleasure of seeing You all at Braintree.
I last Week went to Medford, leased the Farm at £40 Per Annum to Benj. Teal a Nephew of the Old Tenant. The Farm Buildings and Fences are all in bad Order. Repairs must soon be made. The House at Boston I have contracted with a Carpenter to take down the Roof (which is rotten) and raise it one Story higher. Belcher is going out of the House at Braintree. Turner the Stocking Weaver is coming in. I know not what to do with this House, the South End of it is going to Wreck and Ruin. Real Estates in the Country are Sunk greatly in Value, they afford but little Profit. This is a Subject if Time permits I shall enlarge upon in some future Letter.
Pheobe and Abdy is still in your House, she takes good Care of it. Notwithstanding her Attention, somethings will suffer. I call'd in this Week and took a general View. Some of the Woollen Articles, and especially some of Mr. Adams Cloaths, that will not answer for the Children, had they not better be disposed of? However Your Sister will write You more fully upon this. I have now and then a little Trouble to keep down the Spirit of the African and reduce it to a proper bearing, but upon the whole I generally succeed.
The Farm under the Care of Mr. Pratt is conducted as heretofore. I have made an Addition to it of 20 Acres bott of James Thayer and between 2 & 3 Acres of Salt Marsh bott of Davd. Bass of which I suppose You have received Information by this Time as I drew a Bill on the 5th. January on Mr. Adams for £50, in favour of Mr. Elworthy on Account of the Purchases. On Settling with Mr. Pratt he claimed a Remission of such Part of the Town Taxes as exceeded the ordinary Taxes of the Town, this he said You agreed to, and as I had hitherto found him honest, I allowed it, But wish You to write in Your next what lies in Your Mind with respect to it.
I have not had an Opportunity to negociate any thing relative to Allens Farm, but shall attend to it as Opportunity presents.
You kindly enquire after the State of our Parish. I wish I could give You a pleasing Account, but we are still unsettled. We have made several unsuccesful Attempts. Two have been called and have re• { 88 } fused, Viz. Mr. Shuttleworth, and a Mr. Packard.6 Their Refusal perhaps, may prove in the Issue advantageous. But Time must settle the Minds of contending Parties and I hope Time and Patience will bring us a good Man.
I need not tell You my Letters are wrote in haste, they sufficiently shew it, besides my Eye sight is so weak that I suffer much by writing. I can only add that Mrs. Tufts presents her Love to You Mr. Adams and the Children, a Turn of the Cholic kept her Low through the fore part of the Winter but she is now in her former State, begins to think of getting into her Chaise and take an Airing. Lyde I am informed will sail to Morrow and hope to forward this seasonably in the Morning, and trust it will reach You in London. With Love and Affection to Mr. Adams, Yourself and Children I am Yr Affectionate Kinsman
[signed] C. Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by AA2: “Dr Tufts April 19.”
1. Probably the South Congregational Church of Weymouth, of which Simeon Williams was minister from 1766 to 1818 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:272–273).
2. On 20 March, Elizabeth Shaw wrote Mary Cranch: “The Ice has longer held in Our River [the Merrimack] than for many years past, it is said there is 3 feet of Snow now upon the Ground, caked into a sort of ice. I do not know but it will be June before it is all melted” (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
3. Preserves and cayenne pepper; see Tufts to AA, [11 April], descriptive note, above.
4. The letters written in Dec. 1784, and probably several of AA's letters of early January, all above (see AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Jan., above; Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, below).
5. The source of this rumor is not known to the editors. In her letter of 30 April to Mary Cranch, below, Elizabeth Shaw assumed that neither AA nor AA2 would be returning to America in the near future.
6. Probably Samuel Shuttlesworth, Harvard 1777, and Asa Packard, Harvard 1783 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 197, 199).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0031

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-04-24

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

It was yesterday only that I received your Favour of Nov. 26, which contains many Things which you mentioned in a posteriour Letter which I have answered.1
I am glad you purchased the Pasture and Marsh.2 I accepted your Bill at sight and it was paid to Mr. Elworthy at sight fifty Pounds. I wish you to repair the House in Boston, and to go on purchasing Bits of Marsh and Wood, if you can find them at moderate Prices, but I am not zealous about this. You may draw upon me, to the amount of Three hundred Pounds when you please, and also to pay for Veseys Place if he will sell it reasonably, and provided you can obtain a good { 89 } Profit upon Exchange. With this purchase I Stop my Land Projects, but poor as it is, it lies so situated that I wish it added to my little territory.
My Son John Quincy will embark in the Packet at L'Orient, for New York, and will be with you before Commencement I hope, perhaps he will deliver this.3
Charles as well as John I hope will enter Colledge this summer and I hereby place them both under your Superintendence. I pray you to pay all their Bills and draw upon me for the Moneys necessary. It is my Intention that both of them shall be accountable to you for their Expences of every kind, and receive nothing but by your Order. They must be as frugal as possible, otherwise I shall find the Utmost difficulty to get along with them.
Dr. Franklin has been soliciting for Years, to get his Grandson appointed a Minister abroad,4 Supposing no doubt that his own Services, would prevail: I know too well the Character of my Countrymen, to believe that they will thus impute the Merit of the Parent to the Offspring, and therefore instead of proposing my son for publick Employments, I am Sending him to qualify himself for private ones. I might retain him as my private Secretary, But I will not educate him in such a state of Dependence upon Congress nor my self. He shall Stand on his own Legs, place himself on a Level with the Youth his Contemporary Countrymen, and become a Town Meeting Man first, if he ever wishes for public Employment.
You ask my Opinion concerning the 4[th] Article of the Treaty of Peace. I wish to avoid being quoted upon these Points. I cannot See the Propriety of the Legislatures interfering. If a Jury determine the Interest to be a bona fide debt, there is no Remedy. An Explanation will never be obtained unless a Minister should be sent to London, if then. We have written and demanded long since, but have no Answer from the British Ministry. In short they are determined not to treat in France. These Interferences of the Legislatures will be construed Violations of the Treaty and the great Posts upon the Frontier will be pretended to be held against Treaty for this Reason. But the little Interests of Individuals in such Governments as ours, will if We are not cautious, disturb publick Interests of infinitely greater Magnitude, and involve our Reputation and even our public Faith.
Whether England and France can import Timber and Lumber from Denmark cheaper than from America I know not. I dont believe they can. But if they could they should consider how they are to pay. There { 90 } is a great difference between paying Cash and paying in Produce and Manufactures.
Shewing what I had written to Madam she has made me sick of purchasing Veseys Place. Instead of that therefore you may draw upon me, for two hundred Pounds at as good an Exchange as you can obtain and lay it out in such Notes as you judge most for my Interest, so that the Interest may be a little Fund for assisting you in paying the Expences of the Education of my Children. Indeed if you See a Prospect of making any considerable Advantage in this Way, for me, you may draw upon me for more.
My regards to you Lady & son, and believe me with great Affection your Friend
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Esq Letter April 24th 1785. recd. Aug. 29”; docketed, also by Tufts: “recd. Aug. 29, 1785.”
1. On 5 March, above, JA answered Tufts' “posteriour” letter of 1 Jan. (not found).
2. See Tufts to JA, 26 Nov. 1784, and note 2, above.
3. JQA did deliver this letter (see JQA, Diary, 1:312–315, 318; the docketing in the descriptive note; and Tufts to JA, 6 Oct., below).
4. JA had first objected to Franklin's efforts to promote William Temple Franklin when the Doctor arranged, in Oct. 1782, to have his grandson named secretary to the peace commission without JA's prior approval (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:38–39, and note 3, 102–103). On 22 July 1783, Franklin wrote R. R. Livingston, secretary for foreign affairs, that young William was qualified to head a mission, and informed Livingston that both Swedish and Danish officials had asked him whether his grandson might not be named an envoy to their courts (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:586). And on 27 June 1784, JA wrote to Elbridge Gerry that he suspected Franklin of trying to secure his grandson's succession to his mission at Versailles when he returned to America. Franklin's suggestion of Sweden as an appropriate post for William, JA wrote, “is only a stalking Horse” (LbC, Adams Papers). William Temple Franklin never did receive another diplomatic appointment.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0032

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-25

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

How shall I express to you the grateful Sense I feel, for your kind remembrance and attention in favouring me with such charming Letters? I find indeed that I cannot do it as I wish; if you know my heart, tis unnecesary to say more. I have written so much to Cousin Nabby, that I find it difficult to find a Subject for another Letter.1—I have informed her of all my past adventures; but have not told her of any of my intended employments or amusements; You know my dear Aunt how fond my good Papa is, of gratifying all the wishes of his Children; I have long felt a very great inclination, to learn musick; it has ever been Papa's desire that I should; the expence of it, only, has { 91 } prevented; He has lately purchas'd me a good second hand Harpsichord, and has determin'd to let me have a few months instruction from Mr. Selby;2 I know not how well I shall succeed; but I hope after a little instruction, (and it can be but a little) by practise, and attention, to make some progress in this Art.—I am so (I believe, passionately) fond of Musick, that I shall improve the time, to the best advantage, that I am able to. It would amuse many a solitary hour, and soothe perhaps, many a sad one. Do you recollect my dear Aunt the use Lady G.3 made of her Harpsichord? May-hap in process of time, mine may answer a like serviceable purpose.—I shall board where my Papa does; at a Mr. Forsters [Foster's]—a very agreable good Family. How do you think Ma'am I shall, live two months in Boston? I shall be quite a rustick Lass among the polishd Belles of Boston, I intend however to be happy; and I hope from that seat of bussiness, and amusements, to find some things that may afford you more entertainment, than tis possible for me to offer you from this unvaried scene; I propose to go abroad among my Friends, to mix in all the agreable Circles, which my station will, with propriety, admit me to, and it will be my endeavour to improve every event, and every occurence, to some advantage, either to myself or friends.
I believe it will be good for me to change this scene, which has been so long continually before me; not that the present is unpleasing, for I do not expect to find an equal proportion of pleasure any where else; but because the mind is apt to contract; to be biggoted to certain forms and opinions by being always confined to a certain spot, to a particular Set of accquaintance.—In the course of a few weeks I expect to leave Braintree; it will be with regret just at the approach of the finest Season; but the hope of improvement, will overcome this reluctance. I intend to rise very early, and take a walk every pleasant morning in the Mall; it is near my Lodgings, and has been much improved within this past year; they have made a fine Gravel Walk, that will prevent my damping my feet. There I expect to ruminate, and reflect: and while I enjoy the freshness of the morning breeze, with health and calm contentment for my companions, I hope to feel my heart rise, in grateful adorations to that good Being, from whose benificent hand I recieve all my happiness.
I thank you my dear Aunt for your directions with regard to my learning French;4 I shall implicitly follow them. I am determined to read nothing but French while I am in Boston. My work will be to make Shirts for my Cousin's Charles and Tommy, which I am going about directly, as they are in much want of them. There last Linnen { 92 } wore very badly. Every attention which it is mine or my Sisters power to afford them, we shall be happy to offer. I have written to each of them,5 but cannot recieve any reply to my Letters. These young Men dont love writing. My Brother is quite defficient in this respect, and troubls me by his neglecting it. Time will remedy this error. With inexpressible Satisfaction, I think, I yet, see him innocent and good; his conduct has not yet cost me one Sigh. I pray heaven, it never may. He knows he is tenderly belov'd by Parents and Sisters, and he knows how deep would be the wound in their Hearts, should he become a Votary to Vice. Independant of these reasons, ('tho to a good mind they would be very powerful incentives to Virtue) I hope and trust, he has a higher principle, firmly fix'd, and conscienciously adhered to.
I have indeed made out a long Letter without thinking of it; You will know, my Aunt if this Letter reaches you soon, what is like to be my employment for some months to come, if no unforeseen event should oblige me to alter my Plan.
If you accept this prattle as a testimony of undissembled affection and grateful remembrance; It will have answerd the intent with which it was written. Will you make my most respectful and affectionate regards acceptable to my honoured Uncle, and believe me to be your truly affectionate and oblig'd Neice
[signed] E Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “E Cranch April 25 1785.”
1. No letter from Elizabeth Cranch to AA2 has been found.
2. William Selby was a British-born composer and choral director, and an organist at King's Chapel. JQA would hear Selby's music on 4 July 1787 (Diary2:249, and note 2; DAB).
3. Almost certainly a reference to Charlotte Grandison, a character in Samuel Richardson's The History of Sir Charles Grandison. She was the sister of Sir Charles and was usually referred to as “Lady G.” See also, Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 5 Sept., below.
4. AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Dec. 1784, above.
5. Letters not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0033

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-25

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams


[salute] My Dear Sister

I reciv'd your September Letters a little while after I sent off my November ones, and a Feast they were to me. Mr. Storer inform'd us of your leaving England, any thing further was all conjecture. We have not had one chance of Sending to you this winter except by the way of Amsterdam last week: but as I thought you would get a Letter sooner from England, and Capn. Lyde was to sail soon, I would wait { 93 } and Send by him. Doctor Tufts met with Colln. Norton in Boston who was going Passenger in the Amsterdam Vessal and was to be landed or left in the Downs. By him he wrote a short Letter he had not time for more. I should have done the same had I known of the opportunity in Season.
Your December and January Letters we reciev'd the 13th. of this month. I need not decribe the pleasure we felt upon being inform'd of your welfair after a tedious interval of Six month. Had you been in England we could have heard from you often. There have been many Letters from thince in the course of this winter. We reciev'd your December Letters almost a week before we knew we had later ones on board the Ship. Mr. T[yler] reciev'd only one from Emelia, Dated September in the first Pacquit.2 He look'd very cross. It was nothing but a scolding Letter he said. I told him I was very glad of it. Such an one was all he deserv'd, and that had my Cousin possessed my Spirit he would not have had one. I told him also that my last date was the 12th of December.3 That [Captain] Scot had arriv'd, and that you had receiv'd the Letters sent by him, but I refused to read him that part of your Letter in which you so Pictures[q]uely decribe the reception of them. Ask'd him whether after setting such an example of neglect and exerciseing the Power he knew he had to give Pain, He thought he ought to expect any more. He was nettled and I design'd he should be. I had no doubt but he had more on Boad ship, but it was hard, that one should suffer so long Such Cruel Suspence and the other none. He was gone to Plymouth Court when we reciev' his Pacquit, and did not come home till the last of the Week. He stay'd at home and pouted away all Sunday. Monday morning He sent a messanger to Deacon Storers to inquire if he had not reciev'd a Pacquit for him. The man return'd about Noon with a volume of Letters for him and several for others. I gave him yours to him Which was inclosed in Mr. Cranchs.4 I have read both Mr. Adams's and yours, and have heard parts of Emelias, and you may if you please assure her that he never fails of reading that part in one of them, wherin She tells him that Mrs. Hall5 told her Papa that Mr. T. was a very handsome Man.
We thought for a long time that you were in England. We had some accounts that made it probable you would be there, and concluded you were ingag'd in a round of company and amusements, but by your Letters I find that Some of our Social evening[s] would have been a cordial to you. This winter has been indeed a Solotary one to me. There never has been a time since I liv'd in Braintree, when I { 94 } should have miss'd your Company so much as since you left us. Your Supporting presence and kind assistance, through the goodness of Providence, I have not needed as in times past. I have had much of the Rhumatism this winter but have not been confin'd to my Chamber above three or four Days. Betsy has had her Health much better than usual, not one turn of the pain in her Stomach that used to afflict her so.
Mr. Cranch has been as usual in Boston except Sundays all winter. Billy at College and Betsy or Lucy have been either at Weymouth or Germantown. Mr. T but little at home.—He is very fond of being drove about in a Sliegh you know, and we never had finer roads for it than the last winter, nor did it ever continue longer. The poor Cattle and Horses would tell us so if they could speak, both Beast and Man were tir'd of it. Mr. T has been rather unlucky in his plans for the sleighing season. In the beginning of it, he took a Gay Horse of Thomson Baxters to keep for the use of the Sleigh. He had not used him above three times before he lamed him so much that he could not use him again the whole winter and was oblig'd to keep him, and hire another, for the Sleigh could not go with one: and ours made so poor a Figure by the side of his, that he would not do by any means. But this is not all. About the middle of March the lame Horse was thought well enough to be return'd, and Mr. T was very loth to be at the expence of keeping him so long for nothing. He was determin'd to have one ride with him before he put him home. He invited us Ladies to go to Germantown with him. The Horse was so fat and so Gay that we were affraid: but Mr. T could not think there could be any danger. We Ventur'd. The Snow was in some places quite gone tho much bankd in others. We got as far as Deacon Webbs Bridge. It was bare. The Horses were obstinate and would not draw. It was a dangerous place. We got out, and left Mr. T and John in. Mr. Vessy happen'd to be ingag'd. They whip'd but all to no purpose. They got out. Mr. T whip'd and John push'd behind, and we three stood in the wet to see what the result would be. After much Flagilation they started and went like the wind. Mr. T being out, had no command of the Horses. The Lane between Mr. Mashes [Marshes?] and Mr. Vesseys was much bank'd. The Sleigh was immediately overset. The Horses ran Scraping the Top of it against the Fence till they tore it all to peices. Thus ended the Sleighing for the winter. The Glass lamps happen'd not to be on and the Glasses in the Back and Sides were not broke. Mr. T had depriv'd the Sleigh of its Gloomy appearence by rendering it light both by day and night.
{ 95 }
I am really greiv'd that your Friend Should Sacrifice his Health and spend all the best of his days in the service of his Country and yet not be able to lay up enough to admit him to spend the evening of them in retirement and repose. Dearly as I love you and much as I miss you I most Sincerly wish you had been with him from his first going abroad. I dare say he is now more than ever sensible how necessary you are to his Health and Happiness. The more important the Business is in which a Man is ingag'd the more he stands in need of a Sensible prudent and discreet companion, and he never will make so good a Figure without as with such an one. Turn your thoughts to our worthy Parson.6 I need not bring an other Instance.
Mrs. Hall looks in fine Health considering her age. I told her soon after you went a way that if She wanted any thing and would be so good as to apply to me I had orders to supply her. She said she did not want any thing. I sent Betsy one day this winter to bring her to dine with me. As she was comeing she told Betsy She heard you had left orders with Doctor Tufts to give your poor Neighbours and a number of widows something at Thanksgiving. She took it very hard that She was not among the number. She was sure nobody was poorer than she was. That she had nothing that she could command, “That every thing she had was in Mr. A's Hands.” Betsy told her that the Doctor would have thought he should have insulted her if he had done it in that way. That she knew I had orders to supply her with every thing she wanted, and that she was Sure that her uncle and aunt wish'd her to have every thing for her comfort. I did not know of this till after she was gone or I should have talk'd with her upon the matter. As soon as I reciev'd your Letters I went to see her, and told her I had again reciev'd orders to supply her with any thing She might want and ask her to let me know what she wish'd for. She said as before, that she did not want any thing. I did not tell her, you had sent me money to lay out for her, for the reason you gave for not sending it immediately to her.7 She was very warm. She said she thought very hard of it that you did not leave her something when you went away that she could have commanded and done what she pleas'd with. That Mr. A had all she was worth in the world in his Hands. That she had not ask'd for any Interest for twenty four years.8 That she could not now earn her living. That she was a burthen upon her son,9 not that he complain'd She said, but she was sure she was. That you was very kind to her while you was here. That you did not let her want for any thing. But to ask for any thing of Doctor Tufts or me, was so like beging that She Could nor would not. I ask her { 96 } why she did not tell you so before you went away. She10 did not think You would have gone so soon. I told her I knew you wish'd her to have every thing in that way that would make her happiest. That I should let you know her mind. I thought it would be best to give her the money you sent, taking a recept for it. I did not give it to her then, thinking it best to wait till I should recieve another Letter, and then tell her that you had sent it to her. I ask'd the Doctors advise. He thought so too. I have now reciev'd another and shall give it to her as soon as I can see her and shall wait your orders before I offer her any thing further.
I shall dispose of the money for Louisia as I think best. She is well and so they were all. We have no very good accounts of her Papa. Some people from the place where he is say that he is out of business and does not behave well.11
I had a Letter from Sister Shaw last week. She is well. Your Sons also. They are very good children. Cousin Charles will enter College without doubt Mr. Shaw thinks. Tommy pulls up his uncle says.
I shall be gratified, when they are where I can be of use to them and repay some of the obligations I am under to their Parents. I fear you will think Cousin John so necessary to your Happiness that you will not part with him. From the accounts I have of him I do not wonder you wish to detain him with you, but our own pleasures are soon given up when we cannot enjoy them without injuring our children. To know that they are great and good will give us the most Satisfaction, be they where they will. I want more than I can express to see him, Sweet Youth! I could have shed Tears at your description of his walking away a little morftified upon not finding any Letters for him among those he had taken so much pains to procure.12 It shall not be so again. He will have enough this time to make up his dissapointment. I shall thank him for mine. His uncle is much pleass'd with those to him13 and will not fail to answer them. His cousins will remember him also. If I have time I shall write to Cousin Nabby. Dear Girl she does not know how anxious I am for her Happiness.
I fear my dear sister your Health will suffer greatly for want of exercise. I hope soon to hear you are in England. You will be then able to walk, as tis the Fashon to do so there, unless your rank Should render your Feet useless. There are a thousand things which I want to ask you, and want to tell you that the distance renders improper, as Letters are so liable to be open'd. When you get to London we shall do better. Mr. A mentions his design of returning to his own { 97 } country Soon, but I suppose he did not then know of his appointment to the Court of Great Britain. This I fear will retard your return but if you are there I shall feel as if you were half way home.
Thank you my dear sister for the sattin you sent me. Tis a beautiful colour. I shall never veiw it but as a Token of the Tender affection of my sister. Uncle Quincy has been confind to his chamber with the Rhumatism in his hip and Leg ever since the beginning of November. He came down Stairs last week but has not been out of the House yet. He has been very sick part of the time. My visits when I was able to go out have been divided between him and the distress'd Family at Germantown. The latter have been so long the Tool-ball of fortune that they are almost wore out. The Farm The Great House and all the Land except thirty acres, Has by Some negotiations have fallen into the Hands of Major Swan. The remainder Mr. Guild attach'd as Mr. Parkers property and they have been all advertiz'd for Sale. The Family have been in expectation of being oblig'd to move they knew not where this whole winter. What will yet be done they know not. Mr. Guilds affairs are so involv'd with Mr. Parkers, that every thing he has in the world is attach'd, all the Furniture, and all her14 fortune in the Hands of the Executors. I hope she has not been so romantick as not to secure it. She was advis'd to do it before she was married, but she would not. Poor Creature, I went to see her last week; she looks as if she would sink into the earth. She lays in, this month. Mrs. Quincy is with her. She has charming spirits you know. Nancy will pine all the Flesh off her Bones.
The Doctor wrote you that Mrs. Fitch had sent you a Box of Sweetmeats from the West Indias, and that he had desir'd uncle Smith to divide them among your Friends. He told me of it and desir'd me to see to its being done, but when I came to unpack the Box I found a Pot holding about two Quarts, mark on the cover Green citron and two others holding one Quart mark'd I know not what. They were rub'd out—and two pint Bottles of Cayenne. I did not open them as I thought it best to let them remain unopen'd till I heard from you. They are so well secur'd that I think they will keep a long time. Had they been articles that would have perish'd soon I should not have scrupled useing them, but as they are not, I chuse you should have the direction of them your self. Billy is under great obligations to his uncle, for the kind present of Books which he has made him. Be so kind as to present him my thanks also, but as he is not in present want of any, we shall wait till Mr. Adams returns. He will recieve them with double pleasure from the Hands of his uncle. { 98 } At present we hardly know what will be of the most advantage to him. If he should Study Law as he now seems determin'd too do, Law Books would be most acceptable.
The Violin cousin John is so kind as to give Billy is gone a Voyage to Cape Francois.15 Whether it will be benifited by it I cant say. I ask'd to borrow it till Mr. Cranch could meet with one for Billy as I supposed he would not carry it with him when he went, but his mama thought it would be an amusement to him and advis'd him to take it. “Then let me Buy one mama.” I found how the matter Stood so said no more about it. I thought you would have been as willing I should have it as that it should go a voyage.
Aunt Smith16 would take it kind in you to write to her. She Says her Hands are too lame to hold a pen or she would write. Uncle open'd the Pacquit directed to him and was almost affronted that he had not one line. He talk'd of Sealing the cover and Sending it back a Blank paper.
Our Neighbour Mrs. Bass has been confin'd the whole winter by bad managment of the shingles which she had in the beginning of it. She was in Boston. Was taken with a pain in her hip, thought it was the Rhumatism, advis'd with a Doctor. He order'd a Blister upon it. She came home, her Hip Broke out. She did not know what it was. She put on the Blister in the midst of them, but a dreadful peice of work she had with it. The irrupttion spread half round her and a great Blister as big as your hand besides did not help the [naturaler?] Irritabillity of her Temper. She was seizd as soon as they began to heal with such Spasms in that side as if possible exceeded Betsy Winstows [Winslows?].17 They lasted a month. I had no expectation of her Life, but she is now much better, I think. I have seen enough of this dissorder to dread it.
Mrs. Field is made quite happy by hearing from Ester. She is well and so are all your Nieghbours.
Captain Brackit has lost that pale delicate little Daughter of his. Scattering the Kings-Evil18 which she had in her neck was the cause. Fanny Nash we fear will not live long. She is in a consumtion. Captain Jo. Baxter is going to marry Deacon Arnolds Widdow, much against her Friends advice, but of how little avail is this in such cases. But tis very hard when we think we see our Friends connecting themselves in a manner that will make their future Days unhappy, to be silent.
I have heard so much of the fine climate of France, that the { 99 } account you give me of the Gloom appearence of the winter Surprises me. Give me a warm House and an american winter I say.
There are a number of things in your House which I think will be usefull for your Sons at college. They will want Sugar and Tea. There is one cannester unoppend and a little Breakfast-Tea in another. The Bag of Pepper Doer. Tufts thinks had better be sold. It will loose its strength. We find it necessary to open and shake the woolen Cloaths in your House very often. The Moths have got into the Hair of the trunks. We have order'd them to be keept Brush'd. I have at present a violent cold but as soon as tis better, I shall make a thorough rummage and pin all the woolens up close in Sheets. There is no other way to preserve them. Are there none of those cloaths that will do to be alter'd for Cousin Charles? The Fashon may alter so much, that Mr. Adams will not chuse to wear them. Cousin Charles is grown very tall I am told. I bought three pair of stockings for him last winter. Sister Shaw Says they must have more this Spring. I cloth'd them in Lamb-Skin for winter. Sister writes me that they did not put on their new Shirts till January, but that the Linnen was so poor that by the Time they had been wash'd twice or three times she had to mend them from one end to the other. I have I think got them a very pretty Piece of Linnin, and have sent for their measure. The children will make them as soon as they recieve them. I disign to take care of Cousin[s] washing when he becomes a Collegian. I can then mend them in Season.
Mr. Thacher is settled at Doctor Coopers, and is become quite [an] old story. Many of the People are gone to the old Brick.19 By the way they have made a very elligant house of it and have got an organ in it. Have you read Doctor Cha[u]ncys Book, which was publish'd in England last Summer? It has been much talk'd of there. It has been republish'd here, but instead of making a noise as it was thought it would, it has silenc'd every body. There has not been one attempt to answer that I can hear off. True or not, tis most admirable done.
Weymouth are in an unsettled State yet and like to be so for any thing that appear at present. They have behaved oddly this winter, and treated the Doctor Shamfully, and all because he would not vote for a man he did not like.
I hear that Lyde is to sail next Sunday. Mr. T would not write till the Court which began to set <excepting two days last week> this week was over, so that unless he writes in Boston which I should think he may, he will not write by this vessel. I dont know how it is with you, { 100 } but I had rather have a Letter by every vessel than a volume at a time, and that but seldom. I wish you could see him when he is writing. Shut up in his chamber for a week together with about forty Books round him: I told him one day, that one Letter warm from the Heart and sent in Season was worth all of them. I ask'd him also what excuse he could make for his neglect. He said he should make none. I confess I felt too much to answer him. I will not take another Sheet. Som thing shall be left for the next vessel. Love to Mr. Adams and cousins. Adieu, may you be happy prays your affec Sister
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed at the top of the first page: “Mrs Cranch.”
1. This is Mary Cranch's second letter of 1785 to AA; the first is dated 16 Jan., above.
2. Not found.
3. AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, above, was finished on 12 December.
4. AA to Royall Tyler, 4 Jan., is above; no letter to Richard Cranch for this period has been found.
5. “Hall” may have been corrected from, or to, some other name. No letter from Susanna Boylston Adams Hall to her son, JA, has been found.
6. Rev. Anthony Wibird.
7. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, and note 21, above.
8. JA's father, Deacon John Adams, had died in May 1761. Under the terms of his will, dated 8 Jan. 1760, and proved on 10 July 1761 (JA, Papers, 1:33–38, 51–53), Susanna Boylston Adams was to receive one-third of the income from the Deacon's estate, and one third of his personal estate. JA and his brothers, Peter Boylston and Elihu, received particular bequests of real estate, and were expected to support their mother from the income of those bequests.
9. Peter Boylston Adams of Braintree, Susanna Boylston Adams Hall's only surviving son in America, with whom she lived after John Hall's death in 1780.
10. Mary Cranch wrote quotation marks before “She.”
11. AA's brother, William Smith Jr., may have been in New York state, where later in the year he would be tried and acquitted for passing forged notes. See Mary Cranch to AA, 10 Dec., below, and 22 March 1786 (Adams Papers).
12. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, above, under 12 December.
13. JQA's last known letter to Richard Cranch is 6 Sept. 1784 (MeHi); his 12 Dec. 1784 letter to Mary Cranch is above.
14. Elizabeth Quincy Guild. Her husband Benjamin Guild, like many Boston merchants, suffered a serious business failure in 1785 (see Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, below; JQA, Diary, 1:315).
15. See JQA to William Cranch, 14 Dec. 1784, above. James and Mercy Warren's son Charles had gone to Cap-Français (now Cap-Haitien) in Ste. Domingue for relief of his tuberculosis (JQA, Diary, 1:313–314). The fate of JQA's violin is not known.
16. Elizabeth Storer Smith; “uncle” shortly below is her husband, Isaac Smith Sr.
17. Perhaps Elizabeth Winslow, daughter of the late Rev. Edward Winslow, the Anglican minister who preached in Braintree for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel from 1763 to 1777, and then served as a chaplain for the British navy at Newport and New York until his death in 1780 (vol. 1:154, note 1; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:97–107).
18. Scrofula, a chronic enlargement and degeneration of the lymphatic glands, which was traditionally believed to be curable by the touch of a king or queen (OED: “King's evil”; “scrofula”).
19. The “Old Brick” was the First Church of Boston, located on Washington (Cornhill) Street, near the old State House, and fairly close to the Brattle Square Church (Annie Haven Thwing, The Crooked & Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston 1630–1822, Boston, 1920, map opposite p. 78). Mary Cranch had voiced her reservations about Peter Thacher succeeding Samuel Cooper at the Brattle Square Church in her letter of 6 Nov. 1784, to AA, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0034

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-25

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Not to hear one word from Novem. to April seemed a very long space of Time, to One solicitous for the Welfare, and deeply interested in every-thing relative to, or that can affect the Happiness of a much loved Sister. I have this Week been made happy by receiving two charming Letters from you.1 It was a Repast my very Soul thirsted after. And as I am informed that a Vessel is to sail the last of this Month, I wish to improve this Opportunity of Writing to you, as I flatter myself you will be gratified by hearing from me. Altho' my Letters cannot boast of the same excellencies, as those I receive, yet I may venture to say, they are not presented with less love, and tender Affection. I thank you my Sister for your kind solicitude for my Health. Be assured I received it just as you intended, as an effusion of your Love, and Benevolence, and I never entertained even in younger Life, an Idea that You wished to assert the superiority of eldership. If at any time your Counsel and Advice, ever opposed my Inclination, I always believed it to arise from the heighth of goodness, and from too great an Opinion of, and Love for me.—Let me assure you I have acted agreeable to your Injunctions, though I cannot say it was without Mr. Shaws interposition, and have not Ironed or touched the wet Cloaths this Winter. I have been obliged to content myself by employing my Time in a Way that would expose my Health less, and I hope as useful to my Family: As we have had twelve in it all Winter,2 I find there is sufficent sewing, and no occasion for my being idle. My Health this Spring is much as usual, I have no Cough, but my Lungs are still weak. When I see how many hardships Others can endure I am almost tempted to repine at my own feeble Constitution, but that would be opposite to that Humility of Heart which makes happy. Gratitude for present Mercies, and cheerful Resignation to the dispensations of Providence in all time to come is a Temper of Mind I would wish devoutely to cultivate.
Your Children are still in fine Health, they have been two Quarters to dancing School, and they both dance excellently, but Mr. Charles exquisitely. You know what an Ear he has for Musick, and that has been of Great advantage to him in his movements. He is graceful in all his motions, and attitudes, he, as if his Profile had been faithful to the maternal charge, has held up his head much better than formerly. At the close of each Quarter the[y] have had a Ball, in our { 102 } new assembly Room, and Mr. Charles had the honour of opening it, with a Minuet, with Miss Sally White.3 I find the Misses all like to have him for a Partner. Mr. Le Blanch closed his School with a publick Ball the 15 of this Month, and now Mr. Charles having improved by the Graces, must pursue after their Mistress Literature, with greater diligence than ever, for it is but a few Months now, before Mr. Shaw expects to offer him, with Mr. Samuel Walker, at the University of Cambridge, where I hope neither Preceptor, nor Scholar will have the mortification of a Refusal.
Thomas is a very good Child, he does not want for fondling over because your are absent, he has many a kind stroke, and kiss upon that account. Miss Nancy often makes me think of your Jenny's behaviour to Tommy, the pleasantness and innocence of two little Children. I think his natural roughness is much worn of, and he never thinks of seting down out of his School Room, but with us.
I have not received the Trunk of Cloaths you mention yet, but hope to, before I make their Summer wear, for Cousin Charles has outgrown all his, and Thomas must have them. I have made them both Winter Coats and waistcoats of cloth couloured Lambskin. It was Mr. Charle's Taste. Tommys uniform blue coat and Jacket, and [I?] shall carry to Braintree. I believe they both will make a very good coat for his Cousin Boylstone. What they have not out-grown, I have mended so that they are not worth much. I shall endeavour to distribute their cloaths so as to do as much good as possible, or in other words, I shall act as I think my Sister would. I believe the Linnen which was made up for my Cousins before you embarked was damaged, for they did not put them on till the midle of January, and they are now mended more than you would wish to see them. I sent Last week to have Linnen purchased for them and it is accordingly done. So you need not think the poor Boys will suffer. For I shall always take unspeakable pleasure in serving them, while their dear native Gaurdians are absent.—Judge Seargants [Sargeant] Family are well. Mr. Payson was married to Mrs. White a month ago, and I have made the wedding Visit, and found them as fond a Couple as you would chuse to see in the honey-Moon.—Dear Venerable Mrs. Marsh has been confined to her room, and cheifly to her Bed, ever since September, but as meek, and resigned as Patience itself. Faith, Hope, and humble Zeal asswages her Pain, and lightens the weight of her heavy Sufferings.
I have most got to the end of my paper, and have not said half what I intended. I have not thanked You for your account of Enfans { 103 } Trouves, I indeed lament the Cause, while I am pleased with the Institution. I think that country that will admit 52 thousand unmarried Women to enter their Names at the police for abandoned purposes, ought certainly to make ample provision for such a spurious Offspring.
1. Of 14 Dec. 1784, and 11 Jan., both above.
2. The family included four Shaws, CA, TBA, Samuel Walker, Nancy Hazen, Betsy Smith (daughter of AA's brother William), and for extended periods, either Betsy or Lucy Cranch, plus a few servants.
3. Sarah, daughter of Samuel White of Haverhill (JQA, Diary, 1:373).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0035

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-04-26

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

It was not untill the 21 of April that your Letter of December 1st. reach'd me, tho forwarded by Mr. Elworthy the 2 of Feb'ry. Where it has lain ever since I cannot divine, as many letters from all quarters come to us weekly. The contents of yours were not so political as to have made it necessary to have detaind them so long, four hundred and fifty thousand livres anual Salary to the intendant of posts for decyphering and Copying Letters one would think a sufficient Sum to render them expert at the buisness.2
This Letter I trust will be deliverd you by my son3 whose departure from hence will be Soon. You will easily believe that we make a Sacrifice of our present enjoyment in consenting to his return without us. Indeed he has been so usefull that I know not what his Father will do without him, as close application to writing is become so injurious to him that he never applies himself a few hours together to his pen without Suffering for it, and there is So much Copying to do for a person in publick Life, that I think he cannot do without a secretary. But neither Mr. Adams or I are willing that our Sons should be brought up without a regular Education and some profession or Buisness by which they may honestly earn their Bread. For this purpose we have thought it best, that he should return to America and pass a Year or more at Colledge, and by obtaining a degree there be able to rank amongst his fellow citizens. Altho so long in Europe I think I may with confidence Say, that he will carry Home neither the vices or Fopperies of it. Tho he has been a Witness to the pomp and Splendour of Courts, he is I hope Republican enough to leave these Ideas in their native Soils, and to exhibit an example of prudence and frugality which he knows to be very necessary for him in { 104 } order to the compleation of his and his Brothers Education. I recommend him Sir to your Friendship your care and patronage, as well as his Brother who I Suppose will enter Colledge this Year. Mr. Adams has written you upon this Subject4 and requested you to take the charge upon you of Supplying their expences and drawing upon him for the discharge of them. I am sensible it is an important Charge, because merely paying their Bills is not all we ask of you. We beg you to counsel and advise them as Children of your own, and we hope and trust that they will not give you any unnecessary trouble. I know that your Family is not calculated to receive them at the vacancies.5 I have therefore requested Mr. and Mrs. Cranch to let them make their House their Home, and Mrs. Cranch will be kind enough to take care of their linen and cloathing, for I would not over burthen one Friend. It is uncertain whether my son JQA, will be admitted to Colledge this year. The Gentlemen who examine him will judge of his qualifications and advise him with regard to his Studies, which we think if he does not enter colledge at present, he had better persue at Haverhill under the care of his uncle.6 You will find by conversing with him, that in many branches of knowledg he has few superiours of his age, and he has a habit of Study and application which I hope will not quit him by a Change of climate.
With regard to our family affairs Mr. Adams has written you upon them, he has however directed me to enlarge to you upon the subject of Bills, and to request you to invest 3 or four hundred pounds sterling in them, and in that kind which you shall judge most for his advantage. I should think it might not be amiss to invest one hundred pounds in the Army certificates7 which tho not so valuable at present, will become so in time. But all this we leave to your judgment. I see by the publick papers that there had been some frauds practised in alterations of figures. You will not let that matter escape you I dare say. And you will be so good as to inform Mr. Adams whether it would be best to make larger purchases if he should find himself able. But of that I despair unless Congress should see fit to place the Salaries upon the former footing, nor then neither if as I have reason to apprehend Mr. Adams should be sent to England, where it is Still more expensive liveing than here. If we had a private fortune which we could afford to add, to what Congress allow, we might then be in Some measure upon a footing with the publick ministers of other powers, but it would then be, as it is now, a dissagreable Life to me. My happiness has ever been in a domestick State, in the Society of my Friends, rather than the World. In these European Countries you { 105 } must either engage in a Life of dissipation and amusement, company and play continually, or you must live a retired one without any intimates, and See company only in a ceremonious Way. There are very few Foreign Ministers here who do not expend their Salarys their private fortunes and run deep into debt besides, unless like the Count d'Aranda the Spanish minister, they have the income of a prince. Judg you Sir whether Seperate from the Idea of serveing ones Country, any satisfaction or pleasure is to be derived to persons feeling, and thinking as we do. Few Ministers it is true have ever met with more Success than has Crownd Mr. Adams's endeavours for the publick Service, but I wonder now, much more than I did before I came abroad; how he has lived through the perplexing Scenes he has had to encounter: twice it has very nearly cost him his Life,8 and if he should be as I fear he will appointed to England he will not have a less thorny road to tread than those which he has already past. There are many difficulties and perplexities to adjust in order to bring England and America yet together even in a commercial intercourse. The passions of both Nations instead of being cooler, appear more irritable every day: Greivious words Stir up Wrath, and perhaps our Countrymen are not sufficently aware that it is the wish of some other nations to keep us still at varience, or that the Friendship of Nations is only an other Word for interest. Mr. Adams has been so long abroad, and so largly engaged in the Field of politicks, so accustomed to “look quite through the deeds of Men,” and haveing himself no other views or desires, but those of promoteing the welfare of his Country, and laying a foundation for its permanant Glory and happiness that I think he would be more likely to succeed in England than a New Hand. I cannot therefore oppose it should he be appointed, but at the same time I must solicit to return to America next Spring unless some important unfinishd negotiation Should oblige us to a longer Stay. I think from the conversation which Mr. Adams had yesterday with Mr. Hales the British Charge des affairs that if he was in England he would be like to Succeed in obtaining the Frontier Post[s], and bringing matters upon a more amicable footing. Here neitheir England or Spain will treat, and no great object can be accomplishd. If he does not Succeed in England, America will know better than now; what course to take. Mr. Adams met Mr. Hales at dinner at Count Sarsfields9 and fell designedly into conversation with him upon the Subject of the Frontier Posts. He ask'd him what could be the reason of the delay to surrender them. Mr. Hales replied that he could not pretend to say precisely, but he had no doubt it was the { 106 } private interest of some individual officer or Trader which had heitherto studied pretences, and excuses for delay, but that he might depend upon it, there were no thought at Court, or in the Nation, of holding these posts; he said Mr. Pit was a man of the most perfect Moral Character, and of the highest Sense of publick and private honour, and would abhor every Idea of voilating the National Faith. He askd Mr. Adams if he did not think Mr. Pit a wonderfull young Man? He replied that he did, and that he had often seen with Surprize his firmness and coolness and his perfect command of himself, qualities in which he had shewn him self superiour to all his Rivals, that he seem'd to be the Man for the Salvation of the Nation if it was yet in a Salvable State, but that he did not appear to be sufficiently sensible how large a share America must have in assisting him to Save it, that he would finally miss his object, and fail in all the great projects if he did not place the intercourse with America upon a proper footing. Mr. Hales laughd and said it was very true; and as soon says he as we have Settled with Ireland,10 we will take you in Hand, and settle with you, upon honest and generous terms, but it is dangerous attempting too many things at once. This Mr. Hales appears to be a well informd sensible Man, he supports a good Character here. His Grace the Duke of Dorset I have not yet seen, but expect that honour soon, as he is to dine here this week, together with Mr. Hales and other company. Mr. Adams has dined with the Duke several times who has always been very civil and gracious to him. He lives very magnificiently here, the British court allow him a salary of nine thousand some say ten a year, but tis said he spends that, and his private fortune too. He keeps a publick table twice a week, and tho a sensible Man is a lover of pleasure, and some say, of Play too.
Company comeing in I broke of my writing, last evening. Mr. Jefferson came in from Paris and informd us that the March packet had arrived and that he had received some Letters, one of which from Mr. Gerry <informd> acquainted him that Congress had appointed Mr. Adams Minister to London.11 This is an event tho not unexpected, from the late Letters which have been received, yet an event which will load with cares and anxieties the Head and Heart of my Friend, subject him I suppose to many censures, and no small share of ill nature. I hope each State will do all in their power to render the { 107 } burden as light as they can, by stricktly adhereing to the National Faith and honour pledged by the Treaty, that they will suffer no undue warmth to prevail, or the intrigues of any Nation to blind their eyes to the prejudice of their own.
The Spring is opening now in great Beauty, and Auteuil begins to look Charming. The exchange of climate must be for the worse. I shall regreet that, and the loss of Mr. Jeffersons Society. In some respects I shall find myself happier in England. I expect that we shall necessarily be subject to much more company, and concequently more expence, but I will not be over anxious. Our Country will not forget their best Friends, and our Children I hope will be qualified to earn their Bread.
What ever you find necessary to be done in our private affairs, you will do, tho you have not immediate opportunity to inform us of it. With Regard to Mr. Pratt, you will do what you think just and reasonable. And be so good as to add to the list of the poor the wife of John Hayden, the old Man who lives by the meeting house. 2 dollors to her, but at different seasons of the Year. I wish it was in my power to enlarge the sums, and increase the number. I reflect upon this trifle with more pleasure than all the Sums I am necessatated to spend here.
My most affectionate Regards to my Aunt and cousins. Pray sir continue to write to me. Writing to my Friends and Receiveing Letters from them; is one of the highest pleasures I enjoy here. I know not when we shall be obliged to leave this Country, as no official account has yet reachd us, nor any commission, but I suppose Congress see so fully the necessity of adjusting their affairs in England, that they will not delay the Matter. Your next Letters you will address to London and to Mr. Adams as Minister there. Nabby sends her duty to you and my Aunt. She is well, and a Good child. I hope she will ever be a happy one, and to this purpose sir I wish you to give advise to a Young Friend of hers,12 when ever you see it necessary. I was not without anxiety, as every thoughtfull young person must be, when they are going to connect themselves for Life, when I changed a Single for a Married State. I need not say to you Sir that my own union has been of the happiest kind, but I am not the less desirious that my daughters should prove so too, tho I have had more fears and more anxieties for her than ever I felt for myself. This Sir is between ourselves. I will leave my Letter open untill my Son goes and possibly I may fill my paper.
{ 108 }
Mr. Adams has received his commission and we must hasten to arrange our affairs as soon as possible. We talk of going the 20th. I hope however not quite so soon, tho the nature of the Buisness is such as requires an immediate attention, and we shall make no unnecessary delay. Mr. Adams is full of anxiety. If he does not succeed it will not be oweing to any want of application or endeavours for the publick service. The Duke of Dorset has been so polite as to tell him, that either in a publick or private capacity he should be happy to serve him. Mr. Smith the Secretary of Legation13 has not yet arrived. Dr. Franklin has received leave to return and talks of going out in july, but with his disorder I cannot conceive how he will bear a voyage.
By my son I have sent you 50 pounds Lawfull Money,14 part of which is money which I brought with me, but not passing neither here or in England I thought it best to return it, to America. With this money which I call mine I wish you to purchase the most advantageous Bills and keep them by themselves. If hereafter I should be able to add to it, I may establish a little fund for my pensioners.
My Son will give you all the politicks of the Day. Yours
[signed] A A
PS. As there is a communication between the Medical Society of Paris and Boston I thought it might not be amiss for the improvement of one of its members15 to communicate the inclosed, as a Specimen for his future practise. It is usual for Physicians when they attend any person of character to write daily as you see, and very particularly the Symptoms of their paitients. A Lady who is my Neighbour being very sick, I sent frequently to inquire after her and have a collection of such kind of Billets in replie.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Abigl. Adams May. 1785 recd. Aug. 29.”; and “Recd. Aug. 29. 1785.”
1. “May 2d. 1785” is written in a different pen point than both “Auteuil” and the first section of the text, which was written on 26 April (see note 9). It does not appear that any part of this letter was written on 2 May, which was the day on which JA received his commission to the Court of St. James's (JQA, Diary, 1:259–260).
2. See AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 10 Dec. 1784, and note 1, above.
3. See JA to Tufts, 24 April, note 3, above.
4. JA to Tufts, 24 April, above.
5. Lucy Quincy Tufts was in poor health, and not able to care for JQA and CA during their school and college vacations.
6. Rev. John Shaw.
7. Final settlement certificates given to army troops in lieu of cash; freely bought and sold by investors.
8. AA refers to JA's two serious illnesses in Europe: in Aug.–Oct. 1781, in Amsterdam; and in Sept.–Oct. 1783, in Paris (vol. 4:224, and note 3; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:143–144; JA to AA, 14 Oct. 1783, above).
9. The Adamses—at least JA and JQA—dined at Count Sarsfield's on 25 April (JQA, Diary, { 109 } 1:255). The secretary of the British embassy was Daniel Hailes; he had dined with the Adamses on 14 April (same, 1:249).
10. In Jan. 1785, at a time when Ireland was in great economic distress, the Pitt ministry proposed a new Anglo-Irish commercial relationship. Resistance from merchants in northern England, and amendments proposed by the Irish Parliament in February, forced Pitt to reconsider his plan. On 12 May, he submitted a heavily revised proposal to the British House of Commons, and this was altered further before passage by both houses of Parliament in July. But the entire proposal was rejected by the Irish Parliament in August, and no further reforms were attempted for several years. AA2 to JQA, 4 July, and note 31, below; Vincent T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire, London, 1952, vol. 1:558–616.
11. See JA to Richard Cranch, 27 April and note 1, below. The next three paragraphs were written between 27 April and 2 May, the day on which JA received his commission to Great Britain (see note 1, above).
12. Royall Tyler.
13. William Stephens Smith, of New York, was appointed secretary of the American legation in Great Britain on 1 March, and arrived in London in May, just before the Adamses. The Adamses first learned of his appointment on 29 April. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:177, note 1, 183–184, note 3; JQA, Diary, 1:258, and note 1"
14. Massachusetts paper currency.
15. AA refers to Tufts himself. AA's ailing neighbor was Madame Helvétius. When AA first heard of her illness and inquired how she was doing on 11 April, she “received a curious handbill for answer” (JQA, Diary, 1:248), probably the first of the enclosed “billets” referred to below. These items have not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0036

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1785-04-27

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] Dear Sir

Last Evening, Mr. Jefferson, my worthy Friend called upon me to shew me a Letter from Mr. Gerry which came by the March Packet,1 in which it is said that Mr. Adams is appointed to London, so that I suppose you will have no more occasion to write to me, but in that way.
It will be pleasanter in some respects to me and my Family to be in England, than in France, or Holland, but it will be more expensive, more laborious, and what is of more consequence to my Feelings more difficult to give Satisfaction to my Countrymen. I know not whether I shall meet a candid or even a decent Reception in England. It is not to be expected that I should be cherished and beloved, but I may be more likely to succeed, if it is true as a Gentleman from London once told me, at the Hague, about a year ago. “Sir, says he, I certainly know there is no Man in public Life whom the English fear so much as you.”2 They have however less cause to fear from me, than some others because, I confess that although I would contend for my Country's Rights against them, as much as any Man, yet my System of Politics is not so hostile to them, nor so subservient to the Views of some of their Enemies as some others.3
Congress I see are aroused, at the Conduct of the English, and are about to act, with Spirit and Dignity. They shall be seconded, as far
{ 110 } { 111 }
as may depend upon me, to the Utmost of that little Prudence and Fortitude which remains in me, and I confess I do not yet despair, entirely of Success. I shall find no where so fine a little Hill, so pleasant a Garden, so noble a Forest and such pure Air and tranquil Walks, as at Auteuil: But although my Health is dear to me, the Public Peace, and Prosperity are dearer.
Would you believe that my young Secretary should prefer Harvard Colledge, and the Bar at Boston to the Delights of England? I see with Pleasure that he does. He carries my Affections and best Wishes to you and Sister Cranch and your Children.
I shall part with Mr. Jefferson, with great Regret, but as he will no doubt be placed at Versailles, I shall be happy in a Correspondence of Friendship, Confidence, and Affection with the Minister at this Court, which is a very fortunate Circumstance, both for me, and the public.
My Love to Uncle Quincy, Mr. Wibert, and Mr. Palmers Family; my Duty to my Mother and Brother, and regards to Mr. Tyler.
If I should not be able to accomplish any Thing in England, I shall come home the next Spring. I consider this Appointment as critical, and decisive to me if my Health can Sustain the Anxiety, I shall be happy. You must watch over my Boys, in their Orphan State and advise and admonish them when you have opportunity. Your affectionate Brother.
LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers)
1. Gerry to Jefferson, 25 Feb., in Jefferson, Papers, 7:651–652.
2. The speaker has not been identified.
3. JA undoubtedly intends Benjamin Franklin, and all Americans whom he believed were under strong French influence.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0037

Author: Smith, Catharine Louisa Salmon
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-27

Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Your kind Letter of the 15th. December1 came to me last week, and should I pretend to describe the innate Plesure I felt on the perusal, words would be wanting in the description. I most ardently wish to see you, and hope it will not be many years before I shall have that pleasure.
I realy wish that those customs you speak of were indeed adopted here. I have more reason to wish it than many others, haveing been too much used to be considered as a Species apart from the Lords of the Creation. There are very few but what wishes it, yet have not { 112 } resolution to bust those Magick fetters which that tyrant Custom has shackeled them with.
You must not expect news from the shades of Lincoln. I know but very little of what passes in the gay world. My imployments or diversions do not often extend beyond the little circle at my own fire side. I am indeed so vain as to think that nothing I can say will afford more satisfaction to you than to tell you we are in fine Health, my little Girls and Boys are very good, and I have had nothing to interrupt my Domestick peace and tranquility. I have the inexpressible happiness to see my little tribe reward and justify my cares, by paying a strict attention to what I injoin upon them. I [look?] forward with many pleasurable ideas. You may judg with what pleasure I go through the task of instructing them (for I have no schools to send them to) when I hear them commended for their good behaveour by every mouth. You will say I write with the partiality of a fond mamma, but you I hope will excuse it.
We have had the most severe Winter and Spring that I ever remember—the Snow so deep that the Roads have been impassable for two months past. Never was such a time known in this part of [the] Globle before. Yesterday I went to Concord, the first time I have been in a Chaise for more than Six months.
Mr. Smith I have seen but once since I came to Lincoln. It grieves me to say that fame speaks him to be the same he has been for many years.
Judg Russell2 and the Ladies I saw last Sunday. They Present their regards. The Children send their most humble Duty.
Remember me to Mr. Adams Miss Nabby and M[r. John?] and beleive me ever Your most obliged and affectionate Sister
[signed] Catharine L. Smith
Louisa3 is grown very tall, and has injoyed a good state of health ever since she has been here, excepting now and then a pain in her side and shoulder.
RC (Adams Papers); slight damage to the text at a tear, and where the seal was cut away.
1. Not found.
2. Judge James Russell occupied the Lincoln estate which his son Charles had inherited from James' brother Chambers in 1766; see Catharine Smith to AA, 26 Oct., and note 3, below.
3. Louisa Catharine Smith.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0038

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-30

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

After long Expecting that Pleasure I was Gratifyed about four days since by the Receipt of a very agreable Letter from my Friend.2 I have so long answered in the Negative, when in all Company, the question is asked “No Letter from Mrs. Adams, your particular Friend,” that I have been obliged to make many apologys for your silence, to prevent some unfavorable Construction.
I find by yours that you are not yet a European Lady, that the splendor of a Court dos not obliterate the undissembled Pleasure of sociallity in a Private Circle of Friends. You seem to wish for the afternoon interviews of your Country, which Custom has rendered an agreable hour. I assure you we miss you much at the little tea parties. This is a pleasure Ridiculed by Frenchmen. Yet perhaps it is as Rational an amusement as a Rope Dancing, a puppet show or an opera.
In the Ramblings of the Vissionary slumber, I often Visit the European shores where I have an Interest seperate from my Friends at Auteiul.3 But I more frequently transport them all to the summit of Milton, or its Neighbouring hills. When I awake I wish to Realize the Phantom. Yet I acknowledge more for my own than for their sakes.
I think you must be Exceedingly happy, though I beleive more from your Domestic than your Public Connexions. The affections of the Former are strengthened by time, while the Parade of the latter Fatigues and the Glare of Grandeur pall, upon the Eye, and after a Certain age Even Novelty dos not posses Charms sufficient to wean us from the local Attachments of Earlier life.
I do not wonder you are pleased with the Theatrical Entertainments. The Refined and Elegant Compositions must improve the Taste, while the lively Representation of Character, and the Exhibition of Great Historical Events lay open a wide Field of amusement to the Reflecting mind. And I think your situation has been peculiarly advantagous, as you Could retire to the sequestered Villa, without the interruption of thought by the bustle of a Crowd to push away the agreable images.
I Expect your next will be dated from England. I think it must be more agreable to you in many respects than France. I dare say you { 114 } will be very happy there, though that Nation have not discovered Either a wise or a Friendly disposition towards the Americans in General since the Conclusion of the Peace. Perhaps the treaties of Commerce may put the two Countrys on a more amicable Footing. I beleive it unfortunate that this was not done Earlier. I wish we were wise Enough to render ourselves wholly independant. But the foolish passions of mankind will forever prevent. You know it has long been my opinion that the Human Race were made for slaves, for in all ages whatever advantages Valour Virtue or Fortune throws into <their> our hands, they are Generally bartered away for the Gratification of our own Vanity, or the agrandizement of a few individuals who have not Enough to Facinate the undistinguishing Multitude.
I fear the Conduct of our own Country will stand upon record as a striking Example of the truth of this Observation. We have Goverments of our own Forming, Magistrates of our own Electing, but without Confidence in their abilities, or Energy and Decission on their part to acquire or sucure it. The Bostonians are wrangling with British Factors, Yet runing mad for their Commodities. The Narrow scale of their Politics is a Contrast to the spirit of this People previous to the Late Hostilities.
But why do I touch on a Political subject in a Letter to a Lady who has announced her determination, to Relinquish the Theme. I will ask Pardon for introducing it, when I have told her I know of another, who most ardently wishes that neither she or her Connexions had Ever been Engaged in the thorny Path. It is doubtless best for man that he cannot look into the Page of Futurity. A kind of apathy might overspread the World that might be Fatal to the Exertions of the mind. Yet few Revolutions that take place are Favorable Either to the Virtue or the Happiness of Mankind, and Even in those singuler instances when salutary Effects have resulted to the Public, most of the leading Characters who Early Embarked in the struggle have been rendered miserable, Either by the sacrifice of Fortune and Friends, the Fickleness and ingratitude of their Country, or the Machinations of a few individuals who would never have been brought into Consideration but from the Convulsions of the times. This is not a trait peculier to America. It is the story of Man. Past ages bear testimony of its authenticity, and Future Events will Convince the unbeleiving. But I hope my dear madam that Neither you nor yours will Ever Reallize it from painful Experience.
I thank you for your Friendly inquiries after my sons, and as you particulerized all but one, I will take them in the same order.4 The { 115 } youngest is a very diligent student under the tuition of Mr. Strong of Northhamton. Harry I beleive is not too Gay for his years. Enjoys tolerable Health, but thinks it is necessary to Get into bussiness, in order to be thrifty Either in purse or in flesh. He is at present at home, waiting the Return of his Brother Charles from Cape Francois [Cap-Français], where he has spent the winter with much advantage to his Health. If, as we flatter ourselves his Recovery should be perminent, these two youths mean to take the manssion, the stores &c. &c. go into Bussiness at Plimouth, as that Decayed Village begins again to hold up its Head. The unfortunate wounded officer thanks Every one who inquires after him, and desires particuler respects to Mr. and Mrs. Adams.
There is yet one whom you have seen several Months since I had that pleasure. But we hear often from Lisbon where he means to Reside Yet for a time, but with a preference to his Native Country that gives me Pleasure, and an attachment unusual in a young Gentleman who has lived so long in the European World. He loves both the People and the Manners of America, better than those of any other Place. I hope None of my Friends Either young or old will stay5 abroad long Enough to be weaned.
Are the Ladies in England6 all Gamblers, and the Gentlemen all pleased with the accomplishment: It is a new thing to us for any one who has a Claim to Character, to Go from the Dining, to the Card table, and sit till Near midnight Painfully agitated least she rises with fewer Guineas in her poket than when she set down. It is not many years since such a Conduct would have been deemed almost unpardonably disgracful in the heedless Youth of the other sex.
You will have so many letters to read from sisters Neices sons &c. that a protraction of this Can very well be dispenced with. Yet I shall Claim a full share in the returns.7
Mr. Warren would like very well to take a Veiw of the agricultural improvments in England. But rather think8 it is too late for him to Visit Europe. Though he sometimes talks of running to Lisbon to spend a few weeks with a Beloved son, but this is the sugestion of a fond Moment, that I believe will never be Executed.
Mr. John I understand is Coming to America. My love to Him. Tell him he must by no means make himselve a stranger at Milton, but Consider it as one of his homes at least.
It seems as if you was Rather nearer by Coming to England. If it appears so to you we shall have the Pleasure of Hearing oftener from you. Do you think it will be saying too much if I tell you none will { 116 } be more Gratified with this Circumstance than your affectionate Friend
[signed] M Warren
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Warren April 30 1785.” Tr (MHi: Mercy Warren Letterbook). This letterbook is a selected and somewhat edited set of transcriptions, many of which are evidently based upon drafts that have not been found. None of the Trs are in Mercy Warren's hand, but they may have been done in the last years of her life (see vol. 1:93–94, note 1). The editors have noted only major differences between the Tr and the RC.
1. The transcript is dated 24 April.
2. AA to Mercy Warren, 5 Sept. 1784, above, finished on 12 December.
3. The transcript confirms that Mercy is here referring to her son Winslow, then in Portugal; see below.
4. Mercy Warren reports on her sons in a somewhat different order than AA inquired about them (AA to Mercy Warren, 5 Sept. 1784, above). George Warren, then reading law with Caleb Strong, was eighteen. Henry Warren was twenty-one; Charles Warren was twenty-three. “The unfortunate wounded officer” was James Warren Jr., age twenty-seven, who was injured in a naval battle in 1779, and lost a leg. AA had not mentioned Winslow Warren, age twenty-six, whom Mercy discusses in the following paragraph, probably because she had seen him in London in July 1784 (AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, above). See Alice Brown, Mercy Warren, N.Y., 1896, p. 38, 39, 47, and 278.
5. The transcript concludes this paragraph: “long enough abroad to wean them from their native country: yet you will all find a remarkable change of manners when you return.”
6. The transcript has “Europe.”
7. This paragraph is not in the transcript.
8. The transcript has “but thinks.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0039

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-04-30

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I have but a moments time to write you a Line, and send you by Mr. Allen the measure of Charles and Thomas Shirts. If you make them 2 now, each, it will be sufficient. I have indeed been made happy by receiving 2 Letters from my Sister,1 but we have none from my Cousin Nabby. I really commiserate her Situation—look round on every side, and infelicity must be her present portion.
I suppose Sister, nor Cousin has any thoughts of returning at present to America. Time may do much upon both sides. A State of probation we are all in, if we act our parts with fidelity, we shall receive an ample reward. I should think this would be a motive, to excite us to great Circumspection.
You have my Sister a critical, delicate, part to act. You are at all times apprized of the necessity of Candor, and impartiality in our inquires respecting persons, and things. It is not sufficient to hear only upon one side. I know not anything of the merits of the Cause. Your own prudence, and goodness of heart, will direct you in the Path of Duty.—And I sincerely hope it will ultimately tend to the Peace, Satisfaction, and happiness of all our Families.2
{ 117 }
Alas, how I lament the unhappy Situation of General Palmer. It seems as if Misfortune had marked him for her own—Those fair Possessions—But when these fail us we must look to the bright realms above, and even in the midst of every earthly Enjoyment, it is there we must fix our eye, our affections, and it is there we may place our trust.
The length of Charles Shirt, is a yard and Thomas about 2 inches shorter. I have [no] time now to say more than that I hope soon to see you here, but if not I hope to come myself the latter part of May, if it ever grows warm enough to settle the ways.
My Love to all—Ever Yours
[signed] E Shaw
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); docketed, probably not in Mary Cranch's hand: “Letter from Mrs Shaw Apl. 30. 1785.”
1. See Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 25 April, note 1, above.
2. This and the preceding paragraph appear to refer to some difficulty between Royall Tyler and AA2, or at least to express a concern over that relationship.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0040

Author: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-05-03

Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams

I am, My dear Madam led by Various Motives to take My pen to Scribble a few lines at least by this conveyance. The first is that you May be Sensible of My readyness to Acknowledge the favur1 you have been pleased to shew Me in Answering My Short letter in such a descriptive Manner as to make it quite Needless for Me (to wish) to cross the line to become acquainted with the Mind the form the Manners the Customs dress &c. of the French Ladies.
An other is to Thank you for the receipts patterns &c. And a Third to tell you how much pleasure it Gives Me to hear that you and yours are in health and happy. May the first of Earthly blessings attend you, (at least,) while you are ingaged abroad and “obliged to pay Compliments to those you can't endure.” You Now I Suppose often—

“Laugh when your Sad, Speak when yo've Nought to Say

And, for the fashion, when your blyth Seem wae:”

As Our Magnitude Must be diminished to become a Wasp, I am quite content, that the French Ladies shou'd laugh at us, and indulge their taste.
I feel Much Obliged to you good Lady for part of the interesting Story of the Dumb Show. It is indeed very Surpriseing that they can Operate So forcibly upon the human Mind by Mere Shew.
{ 118 }
As Mr. Storer is closeing his Letters I have only time to add that all your friends are well, And Betsey G[uild], but alass, She's unfortunate her Husband was, and is involved in Mr. Parkers Affairs. The Story is long and you'll No doubt have it from another quarter. Farewell, and ever belive that you have a friend in her that has the happiness to Subscribe Your Affe[c]tionate
[signed] H Storer
P.S. Mr. Storer join's me with the Children in proper regards to Mr. A——ds. Gorge an Polly2 send a return of their particular regards to you.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams. Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs Storer May 3d 1785.”
2. George and Mary Storer were two of Ebenezer Storer's children by his first wife, Elizabeth Green Storer (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:208, 213–214).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0041

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-05-08

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

Can my dear sister realize that tis near eleven Months since I left her. To me it seems incredible, more like a dream than a reality. Yet it ought to appear the longest ten Months of my Life if I was to measure the time by the variety of objects which have occupied my attention. But amidst them all my Heart returns like the Dove of Noah2 and rest only in my native land. I never thought myself so selfish a being as since I have become a traveller, for altho I see Nature arround me in a much higher State of cultivation than our own Country can boast, and elegance of taste and manners in a thousand forms, I cannot feel intrested in them. It is in vain for me, that here

“Kind Nature wakes her genial power

Suckles each herb, & nurtures every flower”

Tis true the garden yeilds a rich profusision, but they are neither plants of my hand, or children of my care. I have bought a little Bird lately, and I realy think I feel more attached to that, than to any object out of my own family animate, or inanimate. Yet I do not consider myself in the predicament of a poor fellow who not having a house, in which to put his Head, took up his abode in the stable of a Gentleman; but tho so very poor he kept a Dog, with whom he daily divided the small portion of food which he earnd. Upon being ask'd { 119 } why when he found it so difficult to live himself, he still kept a Dog, What Says the poor fellow part with my Dog! Why who should I have to Love me then? You can never feel the force of this replie unless you were to go into a foreign Country without being able to Speak the language of it. I could not have believed if I had not experienced it, how strong the Love of Country is in the humane mind. Strangers from all parts of America who visit us, feel more nearly allied than the most intimate acquaintance I have in Europe. Before this will reach you, you will have learnt our destination to England. Whether it will prove a more agreeable situation than the present, will depend much upon the state of politicks. We must first go to Holland to arrange our affairs there and to take leave of that Court.3 I shall wish to be moveing as soon as my family lessens, it will be so lonesome. We have as much company in a formal way as our Revenues will admit, and Mr. Jefferson with one or two Americans visits us in the Social friendly way. I shall realy regreet to leave Mr. Jefferson, he is one of the choice ones of the Earth. On Thursday I dine with him at his house, on Sunday he is to dine here, on Monday, we all dine with the Marquis, and on Thursday we dine with the Sweedish Ambassador, one of the most agreeable Men and the politest Gentleman I have met with, he lives like a prince.4 I know you Love to know all my movements which make me so particular to you.
I wrote to you by the last pacquet which sailed for New York5 in which letter I requested you to take upon you the care of Charles, after he shall have enterd Colledge, and let him make your House his Home in vacancies &c. Will you also give your Elder Nephew that leave too? At the same time we mean to pay their Board, and every other expence which they may occasion to you. I know however there are many for which you will not be pay'd only by the pleasure you take in doing good, and in sisterly kindness and affection. I hope Charles will be placed with a good Chamber mate, as much depends upon that. I do not desire that you should attend to having their washing done in your family, only be so good as to see that they have a good place at Cambridge for it, provided they should both be in colledge at the same time, which I scarcly expect will take place this year.6
I have many affairs upon me at present, what with my sons going away, my own adjustments for a final leave of this Country, many things must pass through my hands. But I am the less anxious to write as your Nephew will tell you all about us. You will think I ought to have written you more now, but I am almost sick of my pen, and { 120 } I know you will see what I write to others. I will not however close untill the day before he quits this House.
Tomorrow morning, My son takes his departure for America, and we go next week to England. I have nothing further to add than my Regards to Mr. Cranch and a desire that you would let me hear from you by every opportunity. I shall lose part and the greatest part of American intelligence by quitting France, for no person is so well informd from all the states as the Marquis de la Fayette. He has Established a correspondence in all the states and has the News Papers from every quarter.
Adieu my dear sister and be assured I am most affectionately yours,
[signed] A Adams
My Regards to Madam Quincy and daughter to Mr. Wibird to Mr. Alleynes family, and my duty to unkle Quincy.7
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed by JQA: “Mrs. Mary Cranch. Braintree Massachusetts.”
1. The “8th” was added later (see notes 3 and 4). “No. 8” was written above the dateline, in a different hand.
2. Genesis 8:8–12.
3. On 2 May, when JA received his commission to the British court, he also learned that Congress had resolved to appoint a seperate minister to The Hague, but had yet to make the appointment or to recall him. For several days JA considered traveling first to The Hague to take formal leave of the Dutch court before going to England, but on 7 May he decided to go to London at once, and not to visit The Hague until he was formally recalled from that court. See JA to the secretary for foreign affairs (John Jay), 4 and 7 May (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 389–392, 397–400; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:485–487, 489–490); and JA to C. W. F. Dumas, 11 May (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:246–248). AA's statement here that the Adamses would first go to Holland suggests that this letter was begun on or before 7 May, and perhaps as early as 4 May (see note 4).
4. If AA began this letter as early as 4 May, the first two engagements would have been on Thursday, 5 May, and Sunday, 8 May (see JQA, Diary, 1:262, 264). The third, dinner at the Lafayette's, occurred on Monday, 9 May (same, 1:264). The last engagement, dinner with the Swedish ambassador, the Baron de Staël Holstein, was certainly that which occurred on Wednesday, 11 May, attended by JA, AA, and AA2 (AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 12 May, below; JQA, Diary, 1:265; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:71–72).
5. AA to Mary Cranch, 15 April, above.
6. This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
7. This sentence is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1785-05-05

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

I presume my dear Lucy would be dissapointed if her cousin does not deliver her a line from her Aunt. Yet it is hardly fair to take up { 121 } an exhausted pen to address a young Lady whose eager serch after knowledge entitles her to every communication in my power.
I was in hopes to have visited several curiosities before your cousin left us; that I might have been able to have related them to my friends; but several engagements in the company way, and some preparation for his voyage; together with the necessary arrangements for our own journey; have so fully occupied me that I fear I shall fail in my intentions. We are to dine to day with Mr. Jefferson. Should any thing occur there worthy of notice it shall be the subject of my Evening pen.
Well my dear Neice I have returnd from Mr. Jeffersons;2 when I got there I found a pretty large company: it consisted of the Marquis and Madam de la Fayette, the Count and Countess Douradou,3 a French Count who had been a General in America, but whose name I forget; Commodore Jones, Mr. Jarvis4 an American Gentleman lately arrived, the same who married Amelia Broom, who says there is so strong a likeness between your cousin, and his Lady that he is obliged to be upon his gaurd least he should think himself at Home and make some mistake. He appears a very sensible agreeable Gentleman. A Mr. Bowdoin,5 an American also. I ask the Chevalier de Luzerns pardon I like to have forgot him. Mr. Williamos of course as he always dines with Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. Short, the one of Mr. Jeffersons family. As he has been absent some time I name him; he took a resolution that he would go into a French family at St. Germains and acquire the language, and this is the only way for a foreigner to obtain it. I have often wisht that I could not hear a word of English spoken. I think I have mentiond Mr. Short before in some of my Letters. He is about the statue of Mr. Tudor a better figure, but much like him in looks and manners. Concequently a favorite of mine. They have some customs very curious here. When company are invited to dine, if 20 Gentlemen meet, they seldom or ever set down, but are standing or walking from one part of the room to the other, with their Swords on and their Chapeau de Bras, which is a very small silk hat, always worn under the Arm. These they lay asside whilst they dine, but reassume them immediately after. I wonder how this fashion of standing crept in, amongst a Nation who realy deserve the appellation of polite; for in winter it shuts out all the fire from the Ladies. I know I have sufferd from it many times. At dinner the Ladies and Gentleman are mixed, and you converse with him, who sets next you, rarely speaking to a person across the table; unless to ask, if they will be served with any thing from your side; conversation is never general { 122 } as with us; for when the company quit the table, they fall into tete a tetes of two, and two, when the conversation is in a low voice and a stranger unacquainted with the customs of the Country, would think that every body had private buisness to transact.
Last Evening6 as we returnd, the Weather being very soft, and pleasent, I proposed to your uncle to stop at the Tuiliries and walk the Garden: which we did for an hour: there was as usual a collection of four or 5 thousand persons in the Walks. This Garden is the most celebrated publick walk in Paris. It is situated just opposite to the River Seine, upon the left hand as you enter Paris from Auteuil. Suppose that upon Boston Neck one side flows the River Seine and on the other hand the Garden of the Tuiliries. There is a high Wall next the street, upon which there is a terace which is used as a winter walk. This Garden has six large Gates by which you may enter. It is adornd with noble rows of Trees straight, large, and tall, which form a most beautifull shade. The populace are not permitted to walk in this Garden, but upon the day of Saint Louis; when they have it all to themselves. Upon one side of this Garden is the Castle de Tuiliries, which is an immence pile of Building, very ancient. It is in one of these Chateaus that the concert spiritual7 is held. Upon the terrace which borders this Chateau, are six Statues and 2 vases. These vases are large circular spots of water, which are conveyed there from the Seine by leaden pipes under ground. Round the great vase which is in the midst of the parterre are four Groups of white Marble; one represents Lucretia, the story I know is familiar to you. The Parissians do well to erect a statue to her, for at this day there are many more Tarquins than Lucretias. She is represented as plunging the dagger into her Bosom in presence of her Husband. There is an other statue Anchises saved from the flames of Troy, by his son Aeneas who is carrying him out upon his shoulders, leading Ascanius his son by his hand. The 3d. is the Rape of Oryth'a [Oreithyia] the daughter of Erectheus king of Athens by Boreas, and the fourth the ravishment of Cybele by Saturn. The two last very pretty ornaments for a publick Garden. At the end of the Great Alley fronting the largest water peice, which is in the form of an octogone, are eight more marble statues. Upon the right is Hannible counting the rings which were taken from the Chevaliers who were kill'd in the battle of Cannes [Cannae]. Two Seasons Spring and Winter are upon the left hand, and a very beautifull figure of Scipio Africanus, near which are the two other { 123 } Seasons, Summer and Autumn, and a statue of the Empress Agripina. Over against these are four Rivers Collossus represented sleeping, viz. the Seine, the Loire, the Tiber and the Nile. At the end of the two terraces are two figures in Marble mounted upon winged Horses. One is Mercury and the other Fame, who as usual is blowing a Trumpet. In very hot weather the Alleys are waterd. Under the Trees are Seats and chairs which you may hire to set in for a Sou, or two. There are many plots of Grass intersperced.
Thus you see I have scribled you a long Letter. I hope my description will please you. This is my Eleventh Letter and I have yet several others to write. So adieu my dear Lucy and believe me most affectionately Yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
PS. I have sent by your cousin a peice of silk for your sister and you a Gown of which I ask your acceptance. There are 17 yard/2. I would have had a yard half more if I could, but it was all: being 3 quarters wide I believe it will answer.8
1. For the assigned dates of the sections of the text, see notes 2 and 6.
2. JQA places this dinner, with the guests named here, on 5 May (Diary, 1:262).
3. Comte de Doradour had recently lost much of his fortune in a lawsuit, and was planning to settle with his family in Virginia where, he thought, his modest means would be less of a burden than in polite French society. The count planned to sail with JQA in the May packet, but at the last minute he delayed his departure for a month, much to JQA's annoyance. Doradour was soon disappointed with Virginia, and returned to France in 1786 (JQA, Diary, 1:249, 262, 265–266; and see Jefferson, Papers).
4. James Jarvis of New York, who had married the daughter of the New York merchant Samuel Broome (JQA, Diary, 1:254, note 2, 307).
5. This was John Bowdoin of Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses in 1774 (Jefferson, Papers, 1:108).
6. This “Evening” was either immediately following the dinner at Jefferson's on 5 May, or on 6 May when AA and AA2, at least, were in Paris quite late in the day (JQA, Diary, 1:262–263).
7. The concerts spirituels, begun in 1725 and held on Sundays and holidays, were originally devoted to sacred music, but the programs soon became thoroughly secular and included both vocal and instrumental compositions. Italian composers were especially favored, but certain French pieces and Haydn symphonies were also popular. Beginning in 1784 the concerts were held in the Salle des Machines, in the northern wing of the Tuileries. AA and AA2 attended one such concert on 2 or 3 April. See Rice, Jefferson's Paris, p. 30; AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:68; JQA, Diary, 1:244; and Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel.
8. The postscript is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0043

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-05-06

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

I have now before me your two last Letters by [my?] Dear Eliza1 received by Capt Calliham which I mean to answer before my Brother { 124 } departs, and this will be in a very few days. You cannot wonder that is an event that I am not at all gratified with. I think of it as little as possible for tis hard to [ . . . ] the [ . . . ]2 that he is to be with us by anticipating the lonesomeness of our situation when he Shall be gone. The hope that it is promoting his advantage renders it less Painfull and the idea that he is going home and to all our friends and relations is much less disagreeable than if he were going to a land of Strangers. You have promised to admit him as a fourth Brother.3 I doubt not that you will find him deserving your regard friendship and esteem.
If you could Eliza be transported into our garden at this time, I think you would enjoy much satisfaction, and I am sure you would confer upon me a great degree of pleasure. At the bottom of it there is a thicket of Lilacs and jasmines, planted to attract the Birds in the spring. They will in a few days be out in blossom, and there is already a Number of Nightingales who have taken their residence in the bushes and every Morning and evening when the weather is warm enough to admit, they Sing to us most beautifully. The scenes I am sure would enchant my Dear Cousin, I never go into the garden without thinking of her. My fancy often places her by my side, and I sometimes even Listen to her raptures upon the surrounding scenes.
But I am going to call your imagination from this rural and romantic picture to a description that will afford ample scope to your fancy. It is of an Opera which has lately appeard and which I have seen, the title is Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes.4 It appears that the Lovers in this Island cannot unite themselvs but under the good pleasure of the Goddess who they adore under the name of Lignobie. The actions begins the day consecrated to the fete of the Goddess. She is invoked by the whole People to consent to the Marriage of two of the principle inhabitants of the Island who are beloved by their Misstresses as much as they themselvs love them, and replys by the mouth of her Preist that she approves the double marriage, and that they shall be happy, if without ceasing to be faithfull to their Lovers the two Misstresses become equally beloved by a stranger which a tempest shall throw upon their shore. Dispair seizes the minds of every one, not only because it is a new delay but also because that Thunder was never known in their climate and the accomplishment of the oracle appears impossible.
Nevertheless in the midst of their universal discouragement, the Heavens become obscure and they hear at a distance the begining of { 125 } the tempest. From their particular situation hope springs in every heart, and the joy of the inhabitants augments more and more in proportion as the Storm increases. They discover an unhappy wretch tossing upon the Waves in a frail boat, but his crys only excite their curiossity. They determine finally to retire; he declares in arriving that his name is Panurge. The Lovers interested to bring about the accomplishment of the oracle, load him with caresses. Panurge natureally possessing a good opinion of himself attributes to his Personal attractions the flattery they bestow upon him. He appears in the 2d. act dresst in the fashion of the Country. Tenire one of the two Lovers interested to please him, receives him and makes him many compliments. Panurge not only takes them as serious but is persuaded that they are from the mouth of the young Lanternaise a true declaration of Love, and he begins himself to find them amiable. The tete a tete is interrupted by Agarenne the second Misstress sister to Tenire, who feigns to be jealous for a moment, and finishes by affecting a great share of indifferance and gaiety. Panurge attracted by the vivacity of Agarenne thinks that she may have more regard to become agreeable to him. Finally the two sisters agree between themselvs, to demand Panurge to explain himself and make a choice. Panurge cannot determine, and they quit him to return to the Ball.
Poor Panurge when left alone complains to Love for not having rendered him less amiable or less amoureux. Climéne Wife of Panurg, who the corsaires had taken in the voyage that she had made to meet her husband, and who they had sold as a slave and who served in this capacity the two sisters beloved by Panurge, had a Project to punish the vanity of her husband and at the same time to indeavour to remind him of his first attachment, disguised herself as the Master of the ceremonies, instructs him in what manner he must conduct himself at the Ball, and engages him to decide. Panurge allways uncertain when he sees the two Misstress[es] together cannot pronounce. He at last determines to follow the Consell of Climene and goes to consult the Sibylle. Climene agrees with the four Lovers to change herself with the character of the Sibylle. Panurge in the third act renders himself to the place appointed; he sees the little Lutins5 who reply to him only by ridiculous gestures from which he can comprehend nothing; he interrogates the Sibylle, she even, replys to him at first while concealed from his eyes only by pronouncing the last monosyllable of his demand. She appears finally and recalls to him his first engagements. Panurge cannot deny them, but declares that he determines to break them because that his Wife was Wicked { 126 } and ennuyeuse. The Sibylle takes the part of Climene, brings to the remembrance of Panurge his first promises, and tells him that she has no more those faults which he reproaches her with. She finally discovers herself to him, and Panurge embrases with avidity the occasion which so natureally presents, to dispence with his making a choise that he considered as impossible. The Oracle being accomplished in every point, the Goddess appears in a Great Lanterne and Consents to the marriage of the Lovers, which they celebrate by a general feast.
“The Plan of this peice and the situations are very comique. It has been received with great applause, and has had a great success. The Principle Parts are those of Panurge and of Climene his Wife; that of Panurge is much the most dificult as he is allways in a situation Comique, and as it is necessary to avoid rendering it low by addapting too much buffoonery. Mademoiselle St. Huberti a celebrated actress at the Opera, excelles in the two kinds, which seem to exclude each other. She is as natureally placed in the Part of the Wife of Panurge who amuses herself with the foolishness of her husband, as in that of the Queen of Carthage, in which she has been so generally crowned.”
Thus my Dear Cousin I have given you an account of a peice which is much admired, in Paris. I hope it will please you. The scenery and dresses were very curious, as you may suppose in the Island of Lanterns. When a celebrated peice appears at either of the Play houses, there is very soon some Hat or Cap, comes out named after it. Panurge appears in a very large hat as large as an umbrella, and it was not a week before the Milliners had made a hat, which is calld Chapeau à la Panurge; it is a straw hat striped with black.
The dansing was superior to any thing you can have an idea of, without having seen it. There were four of the best dansers, all dansing at a time, “each in their kind seemd to dispute the Palm of their art.” But I am very sure the Dansing upon the Stage here could not please you at first, for tho it is carried to the greatest Perfection, it is nevertheless divested of every idea of female delicacy and modesty. An American Lady who came to Paris with American ideas of delicacy, told me, and it was my own observation upon myself also, that when she first went to the Opera and saw the dansing, She wanted to conceal herself. But in a very little time she could see it with the rest of the World and admire it as they did.
Be so good my Dear Cousin as to Present my Duty and respects { 127 } to all my friends to whom they are due. Particularly to your Pappa and Mamma, and beleive me at all times your friend
[signed] Amelia
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); docketed in an unknown hand: “Letter from Mis A Adams to Miss Eliz: Cranch. France. May 6th. 1785.”
1. Not found.
2. Two words on a badly worn fold are illegible.
3. That is, after William Cranch, CA, and TBA.
4. Panurge dans l'île des lantenes, an opera in three acts with libretto by Etienne Morel de Chedeville and the Comte de Provence and music by André Gréetry opened in Paris on 25 Jan. 1785. The hero was drawn from Rabelais' Pantagruel.JQA saw Panurge on 25 Feb., the “12th time” it was performed, and was impressed with the music and dancing, but thought the words “very bad” (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel; JQA, Diary, 1:226–227).
5. Elves or goblins.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0044

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1785-05-06

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch

N 2.
Your agreeable favour1 my Dear Cousin was received by me some time since. I have defered answering it till my Brother should go, that he should have the pleasure of delivering it to your own hand. He leaves us in less than a week, and tho he is going to many friends and will soon form many acquaintance, he feels himself allmost a stranger to them from having been so long absent and at a Period of Life when a few years makes more alteration in People than any other. You will all tell him Perhaps as the Chavalier de la Luzerne did the other day, he speaks English, but pronounces it as most People who Learn a Language at so advanced an age, “You was little boa when you went to America last but now you are great Man.”2
Do not in future make me so many apology's for your Letters least they should not compensate for my own, &c &c &c.
You wonder whether I am more pleased with the Gentlemen than the Ladies of this Country. Those Ladies with whom I am acquainted are very amiable and pleasing. I am not a judge of the Gentlemen for I have seen but very few who have not been in America, and those who have resided any time with us, have most certainly imbibed a degree of the manners of our Country, which must consequently flatter and please an American, and lead me to a favourable opinion of them. You know I had not the happiness to please the French Gentleman who I have ever seen in America,3 they thought me reserved and haughty, a character so totally unknown to the Ladies of their own Country that I do not wonder at their disapprobation of { 128 } those qualities in any other. I am not fond of drawing General characters of People because I think they are seldom just, and I am not qualified I am very sure to form a General opinion of the French, for I have neither Knowledge sufficient of their Language, Country, People, manners or customs. But I beleive one may without danger of deceiving say that Sprightliness vivacity and affability are characteristic of the French Women.
You suppose by the date of your Letter that I had gained a knowledge of the French Language sufficient to enable me to read and speak it fluently. This is more you know than I ever could do in my own Language. And I am told that I am more silent, if Possible, than ever. I wish however that you was not egregiously mistaken, it is not so easy a Matter to acquire a Language Perfectly I assure you. Yet I feel very much ashaimed that I have been in this Country eight Months and have not made a greater Proficiency, till I see People who have been in America or England for several years and can scarce speak enough to make themselves understood. There is nothing easier than to learn to read French, so as to understand it Perfectly, by translating a Page every day from French to English with looking every word in the dictionary, and in three months any Person may insure to themselvs knowledge enough to read the Language. If you have an inclination to Learn it provided you do not understand the Language already, I advise you to this method. It is the same I pursued. At first I found it very tedious but perseverance for some time conquered every obstacle. I can now read with facility to myself any French Book. Mr. Short who came over from America as Private secretary to Mr. Jefferson was so well convinced of the impossibility of acquiring the Language while he lived in a family where he heard nothing but English that he has been for two Months in a French family at St. Germains about twelve miles from <Boston> Paris, and I am told he makes great proficiency. Mr. Jefferson says the French Language Spoken by Ladies or Children is very pleasing, but by Men, it is wretched. It has often been said that there is more softness in the French than English Language, so far as I can judge I am of this opinion.
Tis probable that you know ere this time, that we expect to Leave France soon for England. A residence there will be upon many accounts more agreeable to your Aunt and to me than here, because we know the Language, and shall have many acquaintance. There are some very agreeable American Ladies there from whose society we anticipate much pleasure and satisfaction, and we Shall have an { 129 } opportunity of hearing from our friends in America much oftener and sooner than we have here. The manner of Life of most of the People of rank and consideration in Europe, is so very different from our own or what would be agreeable to us, that an acquaintance with them is rather to be avoided than solicited. There is indeed but one alternative, you must either give into their manners and customs, you must be of their card parties in the Winter and of their retirements in the Country in the summer, you must frequent the Plays Opera's Balls and all their amusements, which are necessary for them to pass away, their time and absolutely essential to their happiness, every thing in short must be sacrifised to pleasure amusement dress and etiquet, or you must live perfectly retired, and form but few acquaintance. People who have been educated in a manner very different from theirs will be induced from Principle and inclination to pursue the latter path, for they would find themselvs wretched beyond description if obliged to follow such a Life. You will naturally judge from this account my Dear Lucy, that your Cousins acquaintance in the European World is like to be very contracted.
There are some it is true from our Country with educations truly American who have derived pleasure and happiness in the acquaintance they have formed here, and I have know[n] a most amiable American Lady this Winter so absorbed in the pleasures and amusements of Paris as to quit it with tears. Yet this Woman, my Cousin, was possessd of every qualification requisite to have formd as amiable a character as I have ever known, if her attention had been directed to the improvement of her mind instead of Dansing dress and amusements. If she was a friend of mine I should regret exceedingly the sacrifice she has made to European Manners.4 Mr. Jefferson says no Gentleman or Lady should ever come to Europe under five and thirty years oold, unless they are under very good Gaurdianship—and he is a Man of great Judgement.
Be so good as to Present my Duty respects and remembrance where due, particularly to My Grand Mamma and My Aunt Tufts. To the latter I expect it will be peculiarly acceptable by being presented by my Dear Cousin.5 Write often to your friend,
[signed] Amelia
RC (MWA: AbigaiI Adams Corr.)
1. Not found.
2. Anne César, Chevalier de La Luzerne, the French minister to the United States, 1779–1784, had first met JQA and JA in 1779, when the three sailed to America aboard La Sensible. On that voyage, JQA had helped La Luzerne learn English. La Luzerne may have made this remark to JQA on 2 May, when JA and JQA dined with several Frenchmen in Paris; JQA had also seen La Luzerne at the Lafayettes', and at Auteuil, in March. JQA, Diary, 1:230, note 1, 235, 241, 259.
{ 130 }
3. See the Chevalier de Ronnay to AA, 2 Oct. 1782, and note 3, above. AA2's awkward construction, “who I have ever seen,” replaces an illegible erased word or phrase.
4. AA2 probably intends Anne Willing Bingham, whom the Adamses saw often with her husband, William, from Sept. 1784 until the Binghams' departure from Paris in April. She appears frequently in AA2's journal as “Mrs. B.”, and by Feb.–March in much the same character as the unnamed woman here. The Adamses would see the Binghams again in London. AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:19, 28–29, 47, 52, 56, 59; JQA, Diary, 1:230, 250.
5. Both Lucy and Elizabeth Cranch spent much time with their ailing great aunt in Weymouth, Lucy Quincy Tufts, and Lucy was her namesake.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0045

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-05-08

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

No 6
Yes my dear Neice, it was a Ceremony2 that one must study Some time to find out either utility or pleasure in it. I own tho I made one in the procession I could not help feeling foolish as I was parading first up one side of a very wide road, for a mile and half and then turning, and following down a vast number of Carriages upon the other as slow as if you was attending a funeral. By this adjustment you see, one row of Carriages are constantly going up, whilst the others are comeing down, so that each calvicade have a fair view of each other, and this is call'd going to Long Champs.
About the 3d of Feb'ry the Carnival begins. During this time there is great festivity amongst the Parissians, the operas are more frequent, and Mask'd Balls succeed them.3 The Theaters are crowded, and every place is gay. But upon the 27 of March,4 or the Sunday upon which the celebration of the passion of our Saviour commences, the Theaters are closed, and continue so during 3 weeks. Lent lasts six weeks, all of which is fill'd up with Church ceremonies, one of which is the Kings washing the feet of a dozen poor Boys, and the Queen as many Girls, after which they give them a dinner in the Palace at which their Majesties and the princiss of the Blood, attend them at table, the princes and Lords carrying the plates.5 There is an other ceremony which is call'd the day of Branches. The people go very early to mass, before day light and continue a long time at it, after which the Priests go forth preceeded by some Church officer, with a large picture of our Saviour, and an other with a silver cross. The people follow two, and two, Men Women and Children with Branches in their hands, and Book[s] chanting their prayers. They go to kneel and pray before the crusifix one of which is placed upon the Road in every villiage. There are 3 days also when a peice of the Real and true Cross, as they say is shewn in the holy Chapel of Paris, { 131 } and every good Catholick kisses it. Then comes holy Sunday when every body goes to Church and the Night it begins the Clergy make a solemn procession into the Halls of the palace at 3 oclock in the morning, and as nothing is performed here without the assistance of the Military, the Commandant of the Watch sends two Companies to escort this procession. But neither the Concert Spiritual which is held three times a week in the Château des Tuileries, nor all the ceremonies of the Church can compensate with the sad Parissians for the absence of the Plays. To fill up the time and vary the Amusement, this parade at Long Champs was invented. It continues 3 days. The place is about one mile from hence. It is a fine plain upon each side of which are rows of trees, like Germantown Woods. Here the Parissians appear with their Superb equipages drawn by six fleet Coursers, their Horses and servants gayly drest. All kinds of Carriages are to be seen here, from the clumsy fiacre to the gilded Chariot, as well as many Gentleman on horse Back and swarms of people on foot. The city Gaurds make no small part of the shew, for the Maré Chaussee6 as they are call'd are placed along in rows between the Carriages, and are as despotick as their Master. Not a Coach dares go an inch from its rank, nor one carriage force it self before an other, so that notwithstanding there are many thousands collected upon this occasion, you see no disorder. But after all it is a senseless foolish parade, at which I believe I shall never again assist.
Your Cousin who I hope will have the happiness to deliver you this will tell you so much about us, that less writing will be necessary for me than on many other occasions. He cannot however say, that I feel myself happier here than I used to, at the Humble Cottage at the foot of the Hill. I wish the dimensions of that was enlarged, because I see no prospect of a more convenient one; and I hope to rejoice there with my Friends in some future Day. I think I am not unlike the Nun who used once a year to be permitted to make an excursion into the World, half of the Year she diverted herself in recounting the pleasures she had met with and the other half in those which she expected.
I shall have some regret I assure you in quitting Auteuil, since I must leave it for London instead of America, that being the destination which Congress has assignd us. The trees in the Garden are putting on their verdure, and the flowers springing into Life. The Song of the Nightingale too regales me as I walk under the trees whose thick branches intwin'd, form a shade which secures you from the rays of the Sun. I shall mourn my garden more than any other { 132 } object which I leave. In many respects I think I shall feel myself happier in London, but that will depend much upon our reception there, and the Course which politicks take. If that is not agreable we shall return so much the sooner to America.
It is a long time Since I had a line from you, and I believe I have brought you very deep in debt.
I have sent you some flower seeds. You will not get them early enough for the present Season, but plant and preserve them next year that I may find them blooming when I return, and be so good as to give some of them to Mrs. Warren. Believe me my dear Girl most affectionately Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); addressed by JQA: “Miss Eliza Cranch. Braintree”; docketed in an unknown hand: “L[et]ter from Mrs. A. Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch. France, May 8. 1785 (No. 6.).”
1. The “8 1785” is written in a different ink; it was probably added upon the completion of the text.
2. Betsy had apparently inquired, in a letter now lost, about the parade out of Paris and along the Allée de Longchamp through the Bois de Boulogne, which was held on three days each year during Holy Week. JA, AA, and AA2 briefly witnessed this affair on 24 March, and AA, AA2, and JQA joined the procession on 25 March, Good Friday, the last and most crowded day of the event. Both JQA and AA2 left vivid descriptions of Longchamp (Diary, 1:238, 239; Jour. and Corr., 1:55–56, 62–63). Two years earlier, John Thaxter had devoted an entire letter to AA to this festive occasion (18 April 1783, above). See also the Descriptive List of Illustrations, vol. 5.
3. JQA saw masked revellers in the streets of Paris on 7 and 8 Feb. (Diary, 1:220, 221 ); carnival week ended on 8 Feb., Shrove Tuesday (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:46–47).
4. AA is in error here. In 1785, Easter fell on 27 March; the week of Semaine Sainte (Holy Week) began on Palm Sunday, 20 March (JQA, Diary, 1:238–239).
5. In 1785 this event occurred on 24 March. JQA noted it briefly (JQA, Diary, 1:238); AA2, after mentioning the royal ceremony, gave a highly critical description of a similar washing ceremony at St. Sulpice (Jour. and Corr., 1:61–62).
6. Maréchaussée, or mounted constabulary.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0046

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1785-05-08

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear Sister

I do not expect to date you any more letters from this place. Delighfull and blooming Garden, how much shall I regreet your loss. The fish pond and the fountain is just put in order, the trees are in blossom, and the flowers are comeing on in succession. The forest Trees are new clad in Green, several beautifull rows of which form arched bowers, at the bottom of our Garden, the tops being cut, so that they look like one continued plain. Their leaves and branches entwine and shade you intirely from the Rays of the sun. It will not be easy to find in the midst of a city so charming a scene.2 I shall quit it however with less reluctance on account of my sons absence { 133 } which would be more urksome to me here, than in a Country the language of which I shall be able to speak without an interpreter, or so much twisting and twirling of my tongue, and then pronouncing badly at last.3 I expect to be more Scrutinized in England than here.4 I said I will take heed to my ways5 is a text of holy writ fruitful! of instruction in all Situations of Life, but speaks more loudly to those who sustain publick Characters.
Your Nephew returns with some expectation, if you give him leave; of becomeing an inhabitant in your family for six months, or more: I hope he will render himself agreable to you and all his Friends. Charles I suppose will have left you before his Brothers return. Tho absent from your family I trust he will not be so from your care, but that both his uncle and you will advise him as you find necessary.6 I feel myself happy that I have Friends so kind and attentive to my Children that I am not anxious but what they will find good care either in Sickness or Health.7
It is so long since I heard from my American Friends that I begin to grow impatient. I had hopes that an other Years wandering would have put an end to our pilgrimage. You can hardly form an Idea how difficult, and expensive it is, to be house keeping, a few Months at a time in so many different Countries. It has been Mr. Adams's fortune ever since he came abroad, not to live a year at a time in one place. At the Hague he has a House and furniture, but they could not be removed 500 miles. Therefore it was necessary to hire a house and furniture here, to buy table linnen; bed linnen, China Glass and plate. Here we have resided 8 months and now we must quit this for England; removals in these Countries is not so easy a matter as in ours, for however well you may pack up your things for the purpose they must undergo so many Scrutinizes, besides paying heavy Duties for passing from one Country, to an other, of which I can give you one instanc which happended a few moments ago. A Gentleman in one of the provinces8 sent Mr. Adams a present of 5 bottle[s] of wine which he wisht recommended in America, and this was to serve as a sample. The duties which we had to pay upon only those five bottles mounted them up to 3 livres a peice, and the real value of the wine might be nine or ten coppers a bottle, be sure not more. The injury which cloathing sustains in such long journeys upon paved roads is incredible. I fancy I never related to you a droll adventure which happen'd to me on my journey here. My Friends advised me when I came abroad to take my money in Crowns and Dollors, as being the most advantageous for me, but when arrived; I found I could not part { 134 } with them without much loss, so I concluded to take them with me to France. There were about 200 which I had put into a strong bag and at the bottom of my travelling trunk, they were placed, in the middle of which I had put a large Band Box in which I had packd a very nice Gauze Bonnet 4 Caps hankerchiefs &c. to the amount of about 5 Guineys, which I had made for me, whilst I was in London. The 3d day of our journey I had occasion to open the trunk. I found a prodigious black Dust upon the top. I directed it to be taken out, when o! terible to behold, Dust to Dust, and ashes to ashes, nothing was left of all my riging but a few black rags,9 so that when I got to Paris, I could not bee seen untill I had sent to the Millinars and bought me a cap. You can carry nothing with any safety but what is upon the top of the carriage.10
I hope my Nephew and Niece are well, when I get to England I will send them some Books.11 I hope I shall be able to suit you in your lace, but fear you will think you could have done better in Boston. You will not fail writing by every good opportunity.
Tomorrow morning my son sets out for L'orient from whence he will embark on Board a French pacquet for his Native Land, where I hope he will happily arrive. And next week we commence our journey for England. I mourn more and more leaving this place, for it is daily more Beautifull, and I find too that six months more would make me tolerably expert in the Language. But all things must Yeald to Buisness. The weather continues very dry, and not the least symptom of a change. We hear it is still worse in England where the provisions have risen to an enormus price.
I received a Letter from uncle Smith last week dated 25 of Febry12 and was happy to find by it, that my Friends were all well. About this season of the Year you used to visit your Braintree Friends. When You meet be sure to talk about us, and that Idea will give me no small pleasure. I send Your lace and hope it will be agreeable to you. There are 10 yard/4. I gave Eight Dollors for it, for which if you please you may give credit. I hope the little peice of blew silk came safe to your hand which I sent by Capt. Young. If you wish me to get you any shoes in England write me word. There are none good under 2 dollors.
Remember me to Mr. Shaw and all my Haverhill Friends, Good Madam Marsh if she is still living,13 and be assured of the affectionate Regards of Your Sister
[signed] Abigail Adams
{ 135 }
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers) Dft (Adams Papers); incomplete and undated, with the material arranged quite differently from the RC (dated and filmed under [May 1785], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 364). The editors have noted a few instances of interesting additional material in the Dft.
1. The “8th” and “1785” appear to have been added later; see AA to Mary Cranch, [ante 5] May, note 1, above.
2. In the draft AA concludes her description of Auteuil with the sentence: “I must not expect for 5000 a Year to be so well situated in London. I hope our Country will think that without any extravagance our expenses are necessarily very great.”
3. At the beginning of the draft, well before giving this same reason for regretting JQA's departure, AA remarks: “A few day[s] more will Seperate my Son from us. On that account I shall less reluctantly quit Paris, for we should find a vacuity in his absence which will call for much amusement to supply his place.”
4. In the draft AA writes more forcefully: “Yet I shall never feel a real freedom of speach whilst I am an Appendage of a publick Character, and I expect to be more scrutinized in England than here.”
5. Psalms 39:1: “I said, I will take heed of my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”
6. The draft adds here: “I hope Tommy is attentive to his Books. Tis probable he will remain with you for several years.”
7. This paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
8. Gazaigner de Boyer, who wrote to JA about wine on 7 and 21 April (Adams Papers). De Boyer lived in Gaillac, probably the town on the river Tarn, about thirty miles northeast of Toulouse.
9. In the draft AA explains the misfortune more fully: “the Silver had worn through the bag and into the side of the Box and then had mortised to rags every attorn of my Gauze.”
10. All the text from this point to the signature is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
11. The draft has AA inquiring after her sister's health in the next sentence, and then briefly after her friends, before closing. The material under “May 10th,” below, does not appear in the draft.
12. Not found.
13. Mrs. Mary Marsh was still alive; JQA would visit her on 3 Feb. 1786 (JQA, Diary, 1:397).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0047

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1785-05-08

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Letter by way of Bilboa dated February 25,1 did not reach me until the 2d. of this Month, yet it was 2 Months later date than any I have received from my Friends, and I feel myself much obliged to you for your information. We had heard by way of New York of the resignation of your Governour, and we have had many conjectures, who amongst all the Canditates will succeed him. We rather thing it will fall upon the Gentleman you named2 especially if the late Governour gives him his influence. Mr. Adams has written you by this opportunity,3 and my son will give you all the News. We shall set for London as soon as we possibly can, but what success Mr. Adams will meet with time can only determine; the mission is a very delicate and difficult one.
You did not write me wheather you was a Grandfather. I suppose by this time I may congratulate you upon that event.4 We have had a mild winter here, but a very dry Spring. There has been no rain { 136 } worth mentioning for more than 3 Months, which has brought upon this County a serious calamity and such a scarcity of Herbage that the poor people in many places have been obliged to kill their cattle to prevent them starving. But as it must be an ill wind which blows no good to any one, the drought will contribute to silence the provinces and the Clamours which they are making against the commerce of America with the French West India Islands. Supposing that they could supply them themselves, the price of provision is much raisd by the dry season. We should have been very glad of some of the fat Turkies you mention, for a fat one I have not seen since we left America. Geese Ducks and Turkies are very indifferent here, but poor as the latter are we have given more than a Guiney a peice for them stuft with truffels which is the only fashionable way of dressing them here. Poultry and fish are excessive high here as well as in London. We have given three Louisdore's for a turbut, and 10 livres for an Ell. The Capons and poulards of this Country are the best in world. Vegetables and fruit are not so high as in London, but all enormus when compared to Boston Market. The expences of persons in publick Life in Europe even upon the frugal plan in which we live, are beyond the conception of those who have not tried it, and what is worse is, that the importanc of persons is Estimated by the show they make. The inquiry is not, whether a person is qualified for his office, but how many domesticks and horses does he keep? If he is not able to support an army of them, all of whose buisness it is to rob and plunder, he is considerd as a very small person indeed.
Mr. Brantzin the Dutch Minister dined here not long since. He was himself the plainest drest of all the company, but he had an Equipage of six Horses5 and 5 liveried servants to attend him. An attendance upon Courts cannot be done in the small way, unless a person will submit to be the object of universal Ridicule.
I have no ambition for a Life of this kind and I am sure our Country can have no Idea of the expences. It is my wish to return to America, where frugality and oconomy are, or ought to be considerd as virtues.6
Pray sir present my duty to my Aunt in whose better Health I rejoice, and my Regards to My cousins, as well as to Mr. Otis's family and believe me most affectionately Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed by JQA: “Isaac Smith Esqr. Merchant. Boston.” Copy (MHi: Smith-Townsend II, E. H. Smith Scrapbook). The copy has several strike-outs and alterations characteristic of a draft, but it is dated “May 9th”; it also has less text than the RC, with two exceptions noted below.
{ 137 }
1. Not found.
2. Presumably Thomas Cushing, the lieutenant governor and Hancock supporter who replaced Hancock when he abruptly resigned the governorship in January.
3. Dated 6 May (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers).
4. See Mary Cranch to AA, 16 Jan., note 7, above.
5. The copy finishes this sentence: “. . . six Horses, none but the Royall family are allowed to ride with 8, and four livered servants to attend him.”
6. The copy adds: “and to which necessity will compell us to the practise of them.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0048

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1785-05-09

Charles Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear Cousin

I receiv'd your letter of the 27th. of April1 sometime last week, and as your Chum2 is going to Cambridge next Wednesday I here see fit without more ceremony to give you a small scroll; and you will please to think that you have been at College allmost a year and an half and that between us both four letters have been the production of our Correspondence; now as to your thought's about this matter I do not know them: but for myself I feel quite ashamed, but I shall come and see you one of these days but I beleive not before Commencement, if I get in then I shall be glad. What do you think of it? Why say you how should I know any thing about it in the first place, tell how far you have got. Why I been through Virgil and Tully twice and have got as far as the second of Corinthians. We are all well here and we study in the bedroom as usual two young fellows from Bradford being added to our number, One of whom will be my chum if we get in3 and who I should be very glad to introduce to you. I shall either send your slate by Leonard or by the post. Now I must leave you and so farewell dear Cousin. Amen Αμην Αμην λεγω σοι4 Amen from
[signed] C Adams to W Cranch
PS Errors excepted.
RC (Private owner, New York, 1957); addressed: “William Cranch Harvard Coledge Cambridg,” and “Favoured Honoured and supported by the Honl Mr L W Esqr”; docketed: “C-A H-C May 9 1785.”
1. Not found.
2. Leonard White of Haverhill, whom CA names below and on the address page (see the descriptive note). White would become a good friend of his Harvard classmate JQA in 1786–1787, and he appears often in JQA's Diary (Diary, 2:237, and index).
3. Upon entering Harvard in August, CA roomed with Samuel Walker of Bradford, Mass. Shaw's other student from Bradford may have been Ebenezer Webster. See JQA to AA2, 20 Aug., below; JQA, Diary, 1:316, note 3, 393.
4. Amen Amen I say to you.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0049

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1785-05-10

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Dear Madam

I cannot let my son return to America without a few lines to you, nor will I doubt their being acceptable altho it is nine months since I left Home during all which time neither Mr. Adams or I have had the honour of receiving a line either from the General or your Ladyship, altho we have repeatedly written to you.1 Your Son who is resident in Lisbon and mine who has inhabited France have regularly corresponded2 by which means I have had the pleasure of knowing that there was one Branch of the Family yet on this side the land of forgetfullness. I left America not a little anxious for the Health of my two young Friends Mr. Charles and Henery, and tho I have heard from them by way of my Braintree Friends, it would have been more agreeable to me to have received the account from the Hand of their Mama. My son has made a wise choice I think in prefering to return to his own country and compleat his education at Harvered that he may become acquainted with the Youth of his own Standing and form connextions in early life amongst those with whom he is to pass his days. An acquaintance and intimacy in your family will be an object with him, and as you and I Love to praise our children and why when deserving should we not? I think you will find him as intelligent as most young Men of his age, and as little tincturd with the vices and follies of Europe. He loves his Studies too well to be much addicted to any thing else. Having spent ten years abroad uncorrupted, I hope he will not be less cautious in his own country where there is little less danger than in Europe. But as he is yet young the advice and Friendship of the ancient Friends of his Parents will ever be usefull to him.
You will hear before this reaches you of the completion of an ancient prophecy of yours, but I do not recollect whether you auguerd good or evil from it.3 At present there are so many Clouds to peirce, some of them armd with thunder and lightning that I query whether the Electrical Phylosopher himself could devise means to secure a person from the burning flashes. I think too it has been said that when clouds meet from opposite directions the severest tempest ensues. What then can a person expect who stands unshelterd beneath so inclemnant a hemisphere?
But to quit Allegory we are destined to England. An embassy I dare say in which your penetration discovers many difficulties, some aris• { 139 } ing from one side of the Atlantick and Some on the other. I never could find either sufficient honour or profit to balance the anxiety which I have both seen and felt in the various employments to which my friend has been call'd. His Success and the benifit derived to our Country from that, has given me great pleasure. Whether his usual good fortune in negotiation will follow him in this embassy time must unfold, but it has brought a weight of care and a load of anxiety upon him. I shall feel some Regreets at quitting so agreeable a climate and the delightfull Garden which is just unfolding all its Beauties. My acquaintance with French Ladies is rather small and none that I value much save Madam da la Fayette, who is a Lady with whom you would be much pleased. Her high Rank and family have not made her like most others forget eitheir the Maternal or Domestick Character. She said to me in conversation one day that she dissapr[o]ved very much the Manner in which the conjugal connection was formed in this Country. I was married said she before I was capable of Love. It was very happy for me that my friends made so wise a choice. I made it the Study of my Life to perform my duty and I have always been so happy as to find my pleasures result from the performance of my duty. I am happier says she and I have more reason to be so than many others of my sex and country. They seek their pleasures in dissapation and amusement, they become insipid to them; and they have no resource in Domestick Life. She is passionately fond of America and she has reason to be so, for America has shewn itself passionately fond of her family. The Marquis you know. He is dangerously amiable, sensible, polite, affible insinuating pleasing hospitable indefatiguable and ambitious. Let our Country Gaurd let them watch let them fear his virtues and remember that the summit of perfection is the point of declension. This Gentleman has had the offer of going to America in the quality of minister Plenipotentiary, but he would not accept it because it would forfeit him the right of citizenship.4 The Apotheose of the ancient Romans is not yet introduced into our Country, but it may follow the Knights of Cincinnatus,5 as regularly as Statues &c., and these are honours which are paid only to Military Characters, that the people may look to them, and them only as the preservers of their Country and the supporters of their freedom. That they have deserved well of their Country no one will dispute. But no Man or body of Men can Merit the sacrifice of the Liberties of a people for the agrandizement of them or their families. It is not a little mortifying that both the Secretarys of Legation are knights of the order. Col. Humphries is a sensible { 140 } worthy Man, and I believe abhors the Idea which those who have more maturely traced concequences fear from these family distinctions, but tis dissagreeable laying aside a Badge of Merit, which he sees and feels give him weight and distinction here. Col. Smith is a perfect stranger to us. Col. Humphries gives him a good Character and so does the Marquiss of whose family he has been.
We are told here that Governour Hancok has resignd the Chair!!!— and are much at a loss for his Successor out of the many candidates which will no doubt be upon the list. I hope our state will not get so divided as to fall into unhappy parties. I hear Mrs. Macauly says that she does not find so much Republicanism as she expected. She went there ten years too late. Yet let her serch whatever part of the Globe she pleases, it is not probable that she will find a larger Proportion of it else where. Pray make my Respectfull compliments to her,6 and remember me to all my Friends of your family. Be assured Dear Madam that frequent communication with you will give real pleasure to your Friend and Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); notation by AA: “To Mrs Warren”; docketed by CFA: “To Mrs. J. Warren. Auteuil.”
1. The Warrens' only letters to the Adamses for this period known to the editors are: James Warren to JA, 29 June 1784 (Adams Papers), which AA is perhaps not counting because it followed so closely on her departure for Europe; James Warren to JA, 28–29 Jan. (Adams Papers), which was evidently slow in reaching France; and Mercy Warren's letters of 27 April to JA (Adams Papers), and 30 April to AA, above. AA's only known letter to Mercy Warren for this period was that of 5 Sept. [completed 12 Dec.] 1784, above. JA, however, had written to James Warren on 30 June, and 27 Aug. 1784, and on 26 April (all LbCs, Adams Papers), and to Mercy Warren on 13 Dec. 1784, and 26 April (both MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.), and on 6 May (MB). Six of these letters, dated 30 June and 5 Sept. 1784, and 28–29 Jan., 26 April (to James Warren), 27 April, and 6 May, are printed in Warren-Adams Letters, vol. 2.
2. The Adams Papers contains letters from Winslow Warren to JQA, dated 13 July, and 1 Sept. 1784, and 4 Jan., 1 March, and 29 June; all except the first are from Lisbon. JQA's letters to Winslow Warren have not been found.
3. In Jan. 1776, JA had proposed to Mercy Warren that they exchange characterizations of notable people whom they met (JA, Papers, 3:397). Mercy Warren responded with enthusiasm, but predicted that she would gain more than he from the bargain, because she believed that he would soon make the acquaintance “not only of the Most Distinguished Characters in America, but of the Nobility of Britain. And perhaps before the Conflict is Ended, with some of those Dignifyed personages who have held the Regalia of Crowns And Scepters” (10 March 1776, same, 4:51). JA replied, on 16 April, that Mercy Warren would be disappointed in this expectation: “Your Correspondent, has neither Principles, nor Address, nor Abilities, for such Scenes” (same, 4:125). When JA was appointed a commissioner to France, Mercy Warren wrote to AA and asked her to remind JA of her prediction, for she expected that he would keep his part of their original bargain (2 Jan. 1778, vol. 2:377).
4. The editors have found no evidence that Lafayette sought an appointment as French minister to the United States in the 1780s, but had he been appointed to that post, it seems hardly likely that the two American cities—New York and Hartford, Conn.—and the two { 141 } states—Maryland and Massachusetts—that had made him a citizen between September 1784 and February 1785 would have considered his appointment grounds for terminating that honor.
From his return to France in 1782, however, Lafayette had in effect acted as an extra American minister to France, and to Spain, and in February 1783 he sought an appointment as American minister to Great Britain in order to present the peace treaty, once Congress had ratified it, to the Court of St. James's. In letters to America's secretary for foreign affairs, R. R. Livingston, and to George Washington, Lafayette explained that he only wanted to carry out a brief ceremonial mission, and he declared that he had no interest in being America's “Sedentary” minister, a position for which he recommended Alexander Hamilton (Lafayette to Livingston, 5 Feb. 1783 [2d letter], Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:88–90; Lafayette to Washington, same date, 5:90–93). Both Livingston and Washington concluded that it would be better not to have a foreigner, even the Marquis de Lafayette, make such a presentation to Great Britain.
Meanwhile, both in France, where he consulted frequently with Benjamin Franklin and with the Comte de Vergennes and the French comptroller general Calonne, and on his 1784 tour of America, Lafayette worked tirelessly to promote Franco-American commerce as a counterweight to Britain's growing commercial power in America following the conclusion of peace. In addition to providing strong informal competition to JA as an American diplomat, Lafayette worked in greater harmony with Franklin and his diplomatic objectives than he did with either JA or John Jay, with whom he occasionally had some friction. This fact alone, quite aside from Lafayette's association with the Society of the Cincinnati (see note 5), seems adequate to explain AA's criticism here. The fullest account of Lafayette's activities in this period is in Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette and the Close of the American Revolution, Chicago, 1942, chaps. 15–16; Gottschalk, Lafayette Between the American and the French Revolution, 1783–1789, Chicago, 1950, chaps. 3–15; and Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., vol. 5.
5. Here AA probably intends a further criticism of Lafayette, the head of the French chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati. The new military order had earned the immediate disapproval of the Adamses, of John Jay and Thomas Jefferson, and even of Lafayette's ally Franklin, as well as that of many other Americans in France. Lafayette, sensitive to their anti-aristocratic criticism, labored to explain the Society to its critics, while urging George Washington to seek the alteration of the Society's rules to eliminate the provision for hereditary membership. Washington supported this change, and hostility to the order, strongest in New England and among civilian servants of America in Europe, soon subsided. But AA's remarks here and her concern, immediately below, that Col. Humphreys and Col. Smith were “Knights of Cincinnatus,” demonstrate that republican hostility to the order did not die out quickly. AA probably learned of Col. Smith's membership in the Cincinnati in late April. See JA to Elbridge Gerry, 28 April (LbC, Adams Papers); AA to JA, 11 Feb. 1784, and note 9, above; and Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette Between the American and the French Revolution, 1783–1789, chap. 5.
6. Catherine Sawbridge Macaulay had traveled to America with her second husband, William Graham, in 1784, and visited George Washington at Mt. Vernon in 1785 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0050

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-05-12

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

No 7
Did you ever my dear Betsy see a person in real Life such as your imagination form'd of Sir Charles Grandison? The Baron de Stael the Sweedish Ambassador comes nearest to that Character in his Manners and personal appearence of any Gentleman I ever saw. The first time I saw him I was prejudic'd in his favour, for his countanance { 142 } Commands your good opinion, it is animated intelligent sensible affable, and without being perfectly Beautifull, is most perfectly agreeable. Add to this a fine figure, and who can fail from being Charmed with the Baron de Stael?
He lives in a Grand Hotel, and his suite of apartments his furniture and his table are the most Elegant of any thing I have seen. Altho you dine upon plate in every noble House in France, I cannot say that you may see your face in it, but here the whole furniture of the table was burnished and shone with Royal Splendor. Seventy thousand Livres in plate will make no small figure, and that is what his Majesty gave him. The desert was servd in the richest China with knives, forks, and spoons of Gold. As you enter his apartments you pass through files of servants into his antichamber, in which is a Throne coverd with green velvet upon which is a Chair of State over which hangs the picture of his Royal Master. These thrones are common to all Ambassadors of the first order as they are the immediate representatives of the king. Through his antichamber you pass into the grand Saloon which is elegantly adornd with architecture, a Beautifull Lusture hanging from the middle. Settees Chairs and hangings of the richest Silk embroiderd with Gold, Marble Slabs upon fluted pillars round which wreaths of artificial flowers in Gold entwine. It is usual to find in all houses of fashion, as in this, several dozen of Chairs, all of which has stuft backs and cushings standing in double rows round the rooms. The dinning room was equally beautifull, being hung with Gobelin tapestry the coulours and figures of which resembled the most elegant painting. In this room were hair bottom mahogony back chairs and the first I have seen since I came to France, two small statues of a venus de Medicis and a venus de bel—(ask Miss Paine for the other Name,) were upon the Mantle peice, the latter however was the modestest of the kind, having something like a lose robe thrown partly over her.
From the Sweedish Ambassadors we went to visit the Dutchess of D'Anville, who is Mother to the Duke de Rouchfoucault.1 We found the old Lady sitting in an Easy chair, around her set a circle of Academicians and by her side a young Lady. Your uncle presented us, and the old Lady rose and as usual gave us a Salute. As she had no paint, I could put up with it, but when she approachd your cousin I could think of nothing but death taking hold of Hebe.2 The dutchess is near 80, very tall and lean. She was drest in a silk chimise with very large sleaves comeing half way down her arm, a large cape, no stays a black velvet Girdle round her waist. Some very rich lace in { 143 } her chimise round her neck and in her sleaves, but the lace was not sufficient to cover the upper part of her neck which old time had harrow'd. She had no cap on, but a little black gauze Bonet which did not reach her Ears and tied under her chin, her venerable white hair in full view. The dress of old women and young girls in this Country is detestable to speak in the French stile. The latter at the age of Seven being cloathed exactly like a woman of 20 and the former have such a fantastical appearance3 that I cannot endure it. The old Lady has all the vivacity of a Young one. She is the most learned woman in France. Her house is the resort of all Men of literature with whom she converses upon the most abstruse subjects. She is [of] one of the most ancient as well as richest families in the kingdom. She askd very archly when Dr. Franklin was going to America; upon being told, says she, I have heard that he is a prophet there, alludeing to that text of Scripture, “a prophet is not without honour” &c.4 It was her husband who commanded the Fleet which once spread such terror in our Country.
Thus you have my yesterdays entertainment. The only pleasure which I shall feel to day, is that which I have taken in writing you this morning. I forgot to mention to you that several persons of high rank dined with us yesterday, but not one of them can claim a stroke of my pen after the Baron de Stael.
Adieu my dear Betsy your cousin leaves us in a few hours. I will gratify myself in thinking that he is going to his Friends. May heaven Bless him and prosper his Voyage. Yours affectionately
[signed] A. A
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch. Braintree Massachusetts”; docketed: “Letter from Mrs. A. Adams, to Miss Eliz. Cranch May 10 1785. (France).”
1. JA had met the Duchess d'Anville and her son upon his first arrival in Paris, in April 1778. The late Duc d'Anville, to whose military career AA refers at the end of this paragraph, had led the unsuccessful French expedition to recapture the fortress at Louisbourg in 1746, and had died, perhaps by his own hand, near the site of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From early reports, New Englanders had feared that d'Anville's expedition would be “a kind of Armada” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:42, note 43, 67). The Duchess's son, Louis Alexandre, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, was a leading philosophe and friend of America with a keen interest in American state constitutions. He was killed by a Revolutionary mob in 1792 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2. The daughter of Hera and Zeus, and a cup-bearer to the gods, Hebe was a symbol of youthful beauty.
3. The words “woman of 20 and the former have such a fantastical appearance” have been made nearly illegible by a badly worn fold. This reading has been confirmed by AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 251.
4. “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house” (Mark 6:4; see also Matthew 13:57, and John 4:44).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0051

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
DateRange: 1785-05-12 - 1785-05-17

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

You will perhaps be surprised, to see that in less than 8 hours I have come 9 ½ posts.2 But the Roads, as far as this place, are excellent, and the horses, exceeding sprightly, because, they have very little to do: I did not expect myself, to get to this place, to-night, when I left Auteuil, but my first horses served me much better than, I had hoped. I could have gone with ease, another post and half; but should have found no house to put up at: had I proceeded I must have gone all night, which I did not think necessary.
The roads from Paris here, are vastly agreeable; the ground has not yet, the true tincture of green; but almost all the trees are in blossom, and exhale a fragrance, which would perhaps have had a poetical influence upon me, if my Spirits had not been too low: the dust, was not so inconvenient, as I had feared. Luckily, the wind, blew it all before me, so that very little came into the Carriage. My Cabriolet has held out as well as possible till now: I have not been obliged to have any thing done to it, and I think it is a very good, strong Carriage. It is none of the easiest, and if you see Mr. Randall, present my best Compliments to him, and tell him, I believe, he and his fellow travellers did not want for exercise, after riding a day, in this vehicle: he will understand you, I am sure. Upon the whole, I don't know of any Journey I ever made, that pleased me more, than this would have done, had not all my enjoyments been poisoned by Recollection. You know by experience, what it is to leave, for a long, we know not how long, a time those we love. I shall not there fore describe you my feelings upon this Occasion: you will however easily imagine, that I shall never set down this day, as one of my happy days.
The only remarkable place, you pass by between Auteuil and this, except Versailles, is the Abbaye de Saint Cyr, which was founded by the famous Madame de Maintenon, who died there in the 84th. year of her age.3 She was of noble birth, but very poor, so that her Education was not so perfect as perhaps it might have been: when she became the Wife of Louis the 14th. she made this institution, in order to be of service to the young Ladies that might be in the same predicament, that she had been in herself. A Number of young Ladies, are educated in this place at the Expence of the king: in the { 145 } compleatest manner: but they must be noble: and their Parents must be so poor as not to be able, to give them a proper Education, at their own Expence.
At 4. in the morning I shall depart from this: and, God willing, to-morrow night I will add something to this Letter: which I shall send you immediately on my arrival at L'orient.
At 4 ½ in the morning, I left Dreux, and have rode to day 16 Posts. I am now 50 leagues from Paris, and should have gone on further but the Carriage goes so terribly hard, and the roads, are so exceeding Rough, that I am really very tired. To-morrow the moon will be higher, and I shall more easily ride in the night, if it should be necessary. The roads have been much inferior to day, to those I had yesterday, and the dust has been much more inconvenient as the Wind drove it into the Carriage.
By what I can learn from the Postillons &c. I have been all day in the Province of Normandy: I am not sure of it however: for I have no map about me, and the Postillons, are some of the most ignorant, beings in the Creation: Real Yahoos: their horses have much more merit than they themselves.5 I have seen no Vines on the whole Rout; but grain of diverse kinds, some grass, (which is not an inch high,) and a great number, of orchards, with all the Apple trees in blossom. This is I think, the only Province in France, which produces Cyder, a bottle of which I now have upon my Table, (I drink your health:) 'tis nothing but water Cyder, and this is I think, the worst house I ever was at in France. When I came in they ask'd me, if I meant to faire maigre:6 as I had eat nothing all day except, from the Provision, I brought with me, I told them I would eat some meat. Well, they had du Veau frais and de la Sallade. But they were determined I should not transgress, and have brought, me, only a couple of ribs without any meat: so that I shall breakfast dine and sup to day upon some sallad.
I did not sleep above three hours last night, and am so fatigued that I must go to bed immediately. My Cabriolet, though it goes, too hard, holds out very well as yet. I have however been obliged, to have one of the wheels mended to day.
Worse and worse! I think I never was at such a tavern in my life: there is a very good one in town, and I went to it, but there was not { 146 } one bed vacant.7 They have nothing to give me here, and I have eat nothing since 9 in the morning; though I have swallowed dust enough, to take away all my appetite.
I have come only 13 and ½ posts to day. I came a different road from the ordinary, and thereby shortened my Journey, three posts; I have had most horrid roads, and trembled at the sight of every town: for they are all paved in such a manner, that one would think it had really been done, with a design to break Carriages all to pieces: never in my life was I so banded about: my poor Cabriolet too is dreadfully injured: what with the heat of the Sun, and the badness of the Roads, the pannels are split in a number of places; and I think I shall be very lucky if I get 15 guineas for it: I hope it will be taken for that.
I came several leagues more through Normandie, cross'd through the Province of le Maine, and about 7 Posts back, entered into Bretagne: but something very extraordinary, and unexpected, was that when I came on the frontiers of this Province, a custom-house officer appeared, and ask'd me whether I had nothing contrary, to the kings orders: and upon my answering, I had only, my baggage necessary, he replied it was well, without demanding to search my trunks; or a sou of money; he told my Postillion to proceed: so that I have nothing to fear for your silks nor for Esther's Dols.—The Country all along, looks dreadfully for want of Rain. Grain is the product of the fields in general, and there are a great number of orchards; much Cyder is made in this Province, as well as in Normandy and le Maine; though it has not so high a reputation.
I have eighteen posts from this to l'Orient, and shall not stop on the road, for I am determined, not to lodge again in such houses, as this and the one I was in last night.
Just arrived here, and have got again into a very indifferent house:8 I will continue in the evening for I must now go to bed.
At about 11. o'clock yesterday morning I went to see Mr. Barclay who has bean detained here several days, by illness: he is not yet well by any means, but proposes leaving this place for Paris to-morrow morning: (you will not let Mrs. Barclay know that he is unwell.) He will be at Paris, very near as soon as the Post, and I shall therefore send this by him: What think you was my astonishment when he told me, that all the packets have positive orders to sail on the 3d. Tuesday { 147 } of every month: and that they never wait for the mail from Paris that arrives here, wednesday morning, unless they are detained by contrary winds. Is it not abominable that Monsr. le Couteulx the director of the Packets, should not know this: he told Mr. Chaumont that he would be here soon enough if he left Paris on Saturday: he depended upon this, and would have arrived here a day too late, had not the last packet been detained 24 hours by a bad wind. Unless the same happens now, (which is not probable, for the wind is quite fair) I shall lose all the Letters that will come by to-morrow's post; as the Captain has positive orders, to sail to day. When I went to Monsr. de Mazois; (the director of the Packets here) to pay for my Passage:9 I told him how disagreeable it would be for me to lose the Letters that will come to me to-morrow: he was very polite, and said, that if he had the power of ordering the packet for a day, he would do it: but if he was to do this, and the wind should become contrary on wednesday, he should be responsable for the detention of the packet: so my only hope now is that the wind may stop us one day. I saw the Captain, who told me Mr. Williamos, had written him on my Subject: and that he had kept the round house for me:10 Present my best Compliments to Mr. Williamos, and let him know how much I feel myself obliged to him for this and all past favours: tell him I have thought of nobody since I left Paris more than of him: my Imagination has very often represented to me how much more agreeably I should have <performed> gone thro' this Journey, had it bean with him: and on the voyage I shall have equal Reason to regret him.
I went yesterday to the man,11 who sold the Cabriolet to Mr. Randall: he appeared very glad to find it so soon returned, and said he would give the 30 louis as he agreed: but when he saw it and found all the damage, that had happened to it, his face lengthened very considerably. Mr. Rucker and Mr. Grubb12 were with me, and we prevailed upon him to give me 25 louis d'ors, for it, as it was: which upon the whole was very reasonable: besides the repairs I had done to it, and a trunk which I have bought to put the things the imperial contained, in, I am still a gainer, of about 3 louis d'or's in this bargain; so that my Speculation has turn'd out very well.
I have not yet been to see Mr. Thevenard, the commandant, but think of going to day. I shall write to your Pappa, if I can find any time, but I am much hurried by the Packet's sailing to day. You will present my respectful Compliments to all our friends in Paris; but especially to Mr. Jefferson and Coll. Humphreys. I regret exceedingly, the Letters of Introduction, that the Coll. was so kind, as to promise { 148 } to send by the Post. I promised myself much entertainment, and instruction, from the acquaintances, they would have enabled me to form. Mr. Jarvis will I suppose be gone before this reaches you: if not, remember me to him: and present my hearty thanks to him, for his very obliging letters: I must not forget Mr. Randall, who will hear with Pleasure, that I have been so successful, with respect to the Cabriolet.

[salute] Your very affectionate brother.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on eight small numbered pages. JQA continued using the same size leaves for his next ten numbered letters to AA2, extending through 1 Oct., and running to 104 sequentially numbered pages. All ten letters appear below, and all should be read with JQA's Diary entries (Diary, 1:266–346 ).
1. Dreux is about forty-five miles west of Paris, on the border between Normandy and the lle de France. JQA gives the correct date of his departure, Thursday, 12 May, at 12:30 p.m., in his Diary.
2. The French post stations were about six miles apart.
3. Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, founded this school at Saint-Cyr, about two miles west of Versailles, in 1686, about the time that she was privately married to Louis XIV. For the remainder of Louis' reign, Madame de Maintenon showed an increasing preference for the daily life of her school over the court life at Versailles, and following the king's death in 1715, she spent her last four years at Saint-Cyr, in almost total seclusion from the outside world. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
4. This small town, now spelled Pré en Pail, was in Maine, about fifteen miles west of Alençon.
5. JQA makes this reference to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels especially apt by contrasting his postillions with their horses, just as Swift placed his Yahoos, beasts in the shape of men, below his rational horses, the Houyhnhnms.
6. That is, to abstain from meat.
7. The good inn was at “the sign of the sheep, (au mouton)”; the bad one was the Hôtel d'Artois (Diary, 1:268).
8. The Hôtel de la Marine (Diary, 1:269).
9. JQA paid Mazois “500 livres for a passage, on board the Courier de l'Amérique, Captain Fournier” (Diary, 1:270).
10. JQA felt fortunate to be in the “round house” because the rooms below deck were “so small that two persons cannot easily fit together in one of them. They have no windows in them, which makes them so dark that it is impossible to read without a candle and must render the air extremely unwholsome. But the roundhouse has a large window and two small ones that open and being upon the deck it is not subject to the bad air that reigns continually below” (Diary, 1:271–272; and see JQA to AA2, 17 May, below).
11. In his Diary JQA calls him Soret (Diary, 1:270).
12. James Grubb, whom JQA identified as “from Carolina” when he first met him on 16 May, was a young Virginian; thirty years later JQA would employ him as his private secretary in London (Diary, 1:233, note 2, 270, 271, note 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0052

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-05-17

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

Our winds are now contrary, and as they changed with the moon they may be three weeks as they are; which would by no means be { 149 } mon compte. I am not sorry however that they have come round, because, I shall not lose my Letters from Paris, which I should have regretted extremely, if I had been obliged to leave them. When I went to see Mr. Barclay yesterday, he told me to have my baggage carried to his house, and take a Room in it: but I thought it was not worth while to give him or myself the trouble of moving my things, for one or two days: but I have been with him continually since my arrival, except when my business called me away. I went this morning with Captain Fournier, to see Mr. Thevenard, but he was not at home: I saw him a minute in the Street, and spoke to him. I have been this afternoon on board with the Captain, and have taken possession of my birth, which is the airiest and best on all accounts, in the Ship, except those of the Officers: somewhat dirty, but that cannot be helped: you know very well how the french are, on Land; it is impossible for their Vessels to be supportable. By what I can learn, we are but few passengers; I have already seen one or two whose appearance I must own, does not prepossess me in their favour; but the first Rule of a person, who has any thing to do with the world, should adopt, should be never to judge from appearances: I wish that in this Case they may be as deceitful as they often are.
I have become acquainted with a Mr. Grubb, from Virginia, much a friend of Mr. Barclay: he appears to be very much a gentleman, and, has been very polite to me: (and you know that we all form opinions of persons according to their Conduct with respect to ourselves.)
At 6. this morning I went on board the Packet with my two trunks and shall now be ready at 1/4 of an hours warning. After I return'd I went immediately to the post office and enquired if the Post from Paris was arrived: it was: I ask'd if there were any Letters for me, there were none: I then went to Mr. de Mazois the director of the Packets, and ask'd if he had received any Letters or Packets for me. Not one. I will make no observations upon this disappointment: I am sure, you will conceive, what were my feelings. Only one thing can excuse you: which is that your Letters were sent too late to come by the Saturday's post, and will not arrive till friday morning. Mr. Barclay has been so unwell to day, that he has put off his Departure till to-morrow. He will be the bearer of my No. 1. to you; and also of a Letter to your Pappa.1 I owe him obligations, in addition to those we all owe him, and of which you are as sensible, and as grateful, as I { 150 } am: he offered to pay me the 21. louis d'or's I carried to his Lady; but as I had no necessity for the money, I neither wished, nor supposed myself authorised to receive it. I have desired him to tell you that I shall not forget, going to the Post Office without effect. You know my vanity is wounded at any appearance of neglect from any of my friends: how much must it then be mortified, when, the person is so dear to me.
Our winds continue still directly contrary. I have been on board all the morning, and have arranged all my Linen &c. in my draws. Among our Passangers, we have one Salvius a Sweed: if you see Mr. Jarvis pray ask him, what he could make of him, and who or what he is. His looks are certainly not in his favour. Mr. Barclay, left l'Orient this morning. He was not so well as I wish he had been. I sincerely hope, the Journey will be of Service to him. Please to present my best Respects to him, and thank him, for his hospitality and all his kindnesses to me, since I have been here.
I must begin by begging your pardon, for having accused you of neglecting me: the charming No. 1.2 I received from you this day, has proved the injustice of my Suspicion: I received at the same time a Card from Mr. Williamos and one from Coll. Humphreys: with a number of letters of Introduction,3 for which I pray you would present my grateful thanks. The Letters from Miss Nancy, and from her Parents,4 gave me much pleasure: more especially, as they inform me of the receipt of the pin. You are pleased with the Letter you have received; and I think I can say, you will not be disappointed in the opinion you have form'd of Miss Nancy's accomplishments. Your Letter I kept for the Last: I will not attempt to express my Sensations in reading it. Was I to tell you that a tear involuntarily started from my Eye, you would think I carry sentiment too far, and that I am weak: That Circumstance I will therefore keep to myself. I also received this morning from M. Thevenard, a packet from the Marquis.5 So that I have now nothing, to make me wish to remain here any longer. The wind is fair this evening: if it continues so to-morrow morning, we shall positively sail. I will therefore close this Letter; and am your affectionate brother.
[signed] J.Q.A
RC (Adams Papers). The text is on four small pages, numbered 9 through 12. See the descriptive note to JQA to AA2, [12] May, above.
{ 151 }
1. JQA to AA2, [12] May, above; JQA to JA, 18 May, below.
2. Not found.
3. Charles Williamos to JQA, 14 May, and David Humphreys to JQA, undated (filmed under [May 1785]) are in the Adams Papers. Williamos enclosed a letter to a “Col. Burr,” which introduced JQA; this was probably Thaddeus Burr of Fairfield, Conn., to whom JQA delivered a letter on 17 August. The recipients of the four letters of introduction enclosed with David Humphreys' letter have not been identified, but Humphreys had already given JQA letters of introduction to Gov. George Clinton and Gen. Samuel Webb.
In addition, Thomas Jefferson to JQA, 12 May (Adams Papers) mentions the Virginia congressmen Samuel Hardy and James Monroe as recipients of Jefferson's letters whom JQA would find “very worthy gentlemen” to know. Jefferson recommended JQA in his 11 May letters to Elbridge Gerry, to Hardy, and to Monroe, and he entrusted to JQA letters to Francis Eppes and to John Jay (two letters), all of 11 May, and to Edward Burd, to the governor of Virginia (Patrick Henry), and to Phillip Mazzei, all of 12 May. See JQA, Diary, 1: 273, and notes 1–3, 306, and note 1; Jefferson, Papers, 8:141–152.
4. The letters “from Miss Nancy, and from her Parents” have not been found, and these persons have not been identified.
5. Lafayette's letter of 14 May, in French, is in the Adams Papers; the Marquis enclosed with it several documents for delivery and a page of current news from the Leiden Gazette. See also JQA, Diary, 1:273, and notes 2 and 3.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0053

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Charles
Date: 1785-05-18

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] Dear Charles

I received your Letter1 this Day when I was in Paris—for the last time! I took my leave of it, but without tears. Yet the thought that I might never visit it again gave me some pain, for it is as we say a dieing leave when we quit a place with that Idea.
But now with regard to the appartments, I shall wish to be supplied with dinner. Supper, we eat none. Breakfast and tea in the afternoon we shall find ourselves. One of the Adelphia Buildings at which I lookd when in London and I think the next to that which I had, was of the kind I mentiond. It had all the appartments I wish for, but was not supplied with linnen. I shall only want table linnen perhaps for a week untill ours arrives and I should rather have appartments in which we could be wholy to ourselves and only supplied with our dinners from without. Bed linnen I have with me. I have lived here in so large a house and so good an air that I dread being pent up. We expect to set of the 20th. [I]2 know not how long we shall be in reaching nor where we shall alight. I believe it shall be at my old Lodgings the Adelphi untill I can see or here from you. Congress oblige us to oconomize. We must do as well as we can, but upon this Score, Silence.3 Your Friend and my son left us the 12th. We have not since heard from him. Your Cloaths are pack'd and your Books will come with our things,4 for which we have a permit, and the Duke of Dorset has been so obliging as to write to Mr. Pitt to give orders to the custom houses that we be admitted without Search, and has { 152 } himself written to Dover for us. His Grace is vastly obliging. You see my haste, a thousand things are upon my hands and mind. Adieu remember me to your Sister. Yours
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. A.A. to C.S. 18th. May. 1785.” See also AA to Storer, 28 April 1783, descriptive note (above).
1. Not found.
2. A dense ink blot makes the letter illegible.
3. Storer responded to this request, and to another by JA (see Storer to JA, 13 May, Adams Papers), by engaging rooms for the family at the Bath Hotel in Picadilly (see Storer to AA2, [24 May], and AA to Thomas Jefferson, 6 June, both below).
4. These items may have been stored in Paris since July 1783, when Storer ended his service to JA and left France for England.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0054

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

After a very warm and dusty Journey, setting out early, and riding late, I arrived here on Monday the 16th. instant at about 4. o'clock in the morning. As soon as I had taken a little rest, I enquired for Mr. Barclay; and immediately went for him. He would have been in Paris, before now, had he not been retained by illness: he is not yet well but seems determined to go for Paris to-morrow morning: as Auteuil will be in his way, I desired him to stop there before he goes into Paris, and he will do so, if he arrives in the day Time: he has been exceedingly kind and serviceable to me, and was even so obliging as to offer me a Chamber in his House here: but I thought it would be best to remain at the Inn, as it was very probable that we should sail yesterday: the wind is now directly contrary, which for me is a lucky Circumstance, as it will enable me to receive the Letters, which I expect from Paris, this morning. I have got an excellent, and very airy birth, which I owe to the kindness of Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Williamos, who were so <kind> good as to write to the Captain in my favour: I have this morning been on board with my trunks; and as soon as the wind changes, if it is only 3 points, we shall certainly sail.
With Respect to my Cabriolet, I have been much luckier than I expected: as the wood of which it is made was quite new, the heat of the Sun, had split the pannels in a number of places, and it was otherwise much damaged: yet the man who sold it to Mr. Randall agreed to take it back for 25 louis d'or's, which was much more reasonable than I had hoped: I have received the money, and the Carriage has been delivered. The Imperial was of vast Service to me, for the Linen that came in my Trunk, was very considerably rubb'd, { 153 } while every thing, that was put in the Imperial, arrived here without any damage at all.
Please to present my best respects to Mr. Jefferson, Coll. Humphreys, and all our friends in Paris. If you see the Marquis, you will inform him, that his Dogs are on board,1 and shall be well kept, if my attention to them has any Effect.
Believe me to be, your dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
1. Lafayette was sending seven hounds bred in Normandy to George Washington. In a letter of 18 May (Adams Papers), which JQA probably did not receive before sailing, Lafayette asked JQA to see that the dogs were properly fed, and to deliver them to Dr. John Cochran in New York, who would send them to Mt. Vernon. See Lafayette to George Washington, 13 May, in Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:324–327.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0055

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-05-24

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

I wrote you this, Amelia, in answer to yours, No. 8,1 received a day or two ago, for which accept my thanks. I had really begun to think our correspondence had, to use a common phrase, “seen its best days,” as you had suffered so long a time to pass without improving it. Now I hope other things. The number of this I cannot give you, as, being in the country, I have not my memorandum book near. But 'tis time I had put some date to my letter, that you may know when and where I write. 'Tis the 24th of May, and I write you from Woodford, a mile or two beyond Epping-Forest, from town. Here I have been some time, but mean to return to London again tomorrow. The Spring in this country is delightful—that is, the months of May and June—and this is a most charming spot. Hill and dale, lawn and grove, are upon each side of us; and melody is there without end, from every tree. Here is the noble prospect, seats, temples, castles, the river, villages, &c.; and here, too, are scenes where

“Nature wantons as in youthful prime,

And plays at will her virgin fancies.”

This is being quite romantic, you'll say. This is the season, Amelia, and here the place. But I quit these pretty scenes, to reply to your letter, and change as far as change can carry me: I mean from hence to a court drawing-room.
You ask my advice respecting the dress necessary at Court. I of { 154 } myself know nought about it, but have made some little inquiry. They tell me that the queen appears always in silk, and very plain, except on the king's birth-day. The princesses, too, generally appear in silk. The nobility dress variously. The last year muslin was much wore, worked with gold sprigs, flowers, &c., and may be worn this year also; 'tis worn over pink, lilac, and blue silk. The laces that are used are what the French term spring and summer laces, as I believe point is only worn in winter. But all join in telling me that you had not only better provide yourself in every common dress, laces, silks, &c., before you come here; but had also better make up a fashionable court dress, such as is worn at Versailles, which will just be the ton here; as fashions here are most all borrowed. This going to court will be very expensive. You must go upon all public days, and cannot appear twice or above twice, in the same suit. So you see the worst is not the presenting. This, to be sure, will be disagreeable—not, however, on account of being before their Majesties. You have too much good sense to be afraid of a king and queen. But the court all have their eyes upon one, and are too apt to make their remarks, sometimes aloud. This is very unpleasant, especially where there are—and there will be many, I believe—ill-natured observers. I should like, however, to bear you company, was it only to see how the king would receive your father.
How a certain young man will bear his late change, I cannot say. It will require some philosophy, and he has much good sense. As to the Knight of Cincinnatus, I know but little; I wish, however, they were as coolly received in America as they will be here.2
And Mrs. Jaris3 is at Paris? I had not an idea of her coming to Europe. Please to return her my best compliments, and assure her I shall be very happy to wait upon her, on her arrival here.
To your papa and mamma you will not fail to present my best respects. I wrote him a few posts ago respecting his lodgings, and hope to have his instructions by to-day's post. I shall do my best to get him good accommodations.4 I hope you will inform me dans quell endroit vous proposez descendre, that I may be ready to receive you.
Adieu! mais sans adieu! Qu'il vous puisse arriver tout ce que vous pouvreiz desirer, avec un bon voyage! Yours,
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:35–37.)
1. Not found.
2. If “Knight of Cincinnatus” was correctly transcribed as singular from the lost MS, Storer may refer to Col. William Stephens Smith, the recently appointed secretary of the American legation in Britain whom neither Storer nor the Adamses had met, but whose membership in the Society of the Cincinnati { 155 } was known to AA2's parents (AA to Mercy Warren, 10 May, and note 5, above), and probably to AA2 and Storer. Whether Storer wrote “Knight” or “Knights,” however, he may simply be responding to a general question or remark about the Cincinnati in some lost letter from one of the Adamses. The “certain young man” at the beginning of the paragraph refers to JQA.
3. Probably Amelia Broome Jarvis; see AA to Lucy Cranch, [5] May, above.
4. See AA to Storer, 18 May, note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0056

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
DateRange: 1785-05-25 - 1785-07-17

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

You have doubtless received before this, my Letter by Mr. Barclay, and you will have my N:2 in a day or two.1 I address'd it under cover to Mr. Jefferson, in case it should arrive after your departure.
The morning after the date of my last, our Captain, ordered me to go on board, and at about 10 o'clock we weigh'd our anchors and set sail, but before we could get clear of the Harbour, the wind changed, and we anchored before Port Louis: a small town opposite l'Orient, which in the time of Louis the 14th. before l'Orient existed was a very considerable place. Its Citadel was built by Vauban, one of the greatest engineers that France has produced: but it has much fallen into decay, since l'Orient was built for the East India Company. In the evening our wind came round again, and at about 7 o'clock, we finally set sail, and in the morning when we rose we had nothing but the Sea, and the azure vault bespangled with Stars, within our Sight. We have had very good weather ever since but my hopes of a short passage, are much diminished: for we have already had two days of calm weather and I fear much that we shall have many more. The Captain is determined to go for the trade winds, which lengthens the voyage more than 200 leagues: but it is said the passages are much more certain, than when we go to the North of the western Islands.
Our agreement when we parted was, never to let a day pass without adding something to the Letter which we were to be continually writing. This arrangement is too favorable to me, for me to fail fulfilling it: but the time I am at Sea, will not, I hope be comprised. Sea sickness has already prevented me for several days from putting pen to paper. You have been at Sea: you know the Sterility of Events, on board ship. I <will> need not therefore tell you that I have not every day, something interesting to say to you. I will not however be lazy. We have had very little wind these several days. We have not yet { 156 } got into the trade winds. When we sail'd I did not expect to be more than 40 days at Sea: I now fear we shall be at least 50, which will be a very disagreeable Circumstance to me: for in the number of officers and passengers on board, there are two or three disagreeable Characters: I shall speak of them some future day.
Yesterday we had a great deal of wind; but it was contrary. To day we have little which is fair. We expect in a few days to be in the Latitude of the trade winds. This afternoon we saw a large ship at about half a league's distance, but the weather being foggy, we could not well distinguish, what Nation she belonged to.
By this time I suppose you are in London, and in a more agreeable situation than you was at Auteuil: for several days past I have often <calculated> imagined, where you was at different times. Now you was before the door of the post house, with half a dozen beggars around you, now stopping at a public house, and at sight of the floor, and of the furniture; making comparisons, not very advantageous to France; Now at Monsr. Dessein's2 waiting for a wind: and now, arrived safe in London. There is a real pleasure in thinking of our friends when absent, and the greater the illusion is, the more satisfaction we enjoy. I have here half my time when I have nothing else to do: for the rolling of the Ship prevents me from reading or writing much at a time: and in the evening no body is suffered to have any light: although this order is troublesome to me I cannot help approving it, because it is very possible, that in the number of passengers that sail in these packets there may be some whose imprudence, might be cause of a misfortune; and nothing certainly is more dreadful than a fire at Sea.
Calm weather still. We do not certainly run more than 15 or 20 leagues a day, which is but slow travelling. We have continually the same scene, before us, and have seldom the small satisfaction, of being in sight of another vessel, which would at least furnish a little variety. Our Captain Mr. le Fournier is an excellent Seaman, and a good man. He has been a Seaman these thirty years. He has not all the politeness of a courtier, but what is much better, he is open hearted and sincere.
The second in command, is also a very good Seaman, but a man { 157 } without any Principles, and as such I have no esteem for him. He is the person who displeases me the most on board.3
The third is a young man of about 20. I should like him very well: if he was a little older, and had a little more experience: he is certainly too young to command a watch in a stormy weather, but in this Season he may do very well.4
The fourth, is a boy, just let loose from a College, full of his knowledge, which is not very deep; and as proud, as if he <was> descended from the Royal family of France: yet nobody knows who he is. He knows very little more of the Sea, than I do. Very luckily there is a good Seaman on board, who keeps the watch with him: if it was not so, I should not sleep very sound in bad weather.5
The surgeon, is a good man: who understands his profession very well, which is a very agreeable circumstance on board a ship: as nothing is more disagreeable at Sea, than to have a number of sick people on board, and the extreme hot weather which commonly reigns in summer, in these parts, is very unwholsome.6 I will speak of the passengers, another day.
Contrary winds, and calm weather seem to have conspired together against us. We suppose ourselves now not far from the Western Islands, which according to the course we have taken is not more than a quarter of the passage. If we continue at this rate we are to be 70 days at Sea. I hope however we shall be more fortunate in future. At about noon we saw a large brigg, which pass'd about 2 leagues from us, and hoisted an English flag.
Was I to write something every day, I should have nothing to say, unless I was to repeat continually, calm weather. From 8 to 15 leagues a day, has been the utmost extent of our navigation, for a week, but last night the wind freshened considerably, and we now run between 6 and 7 knots an hour. We are now in the trade winds which will carry us as far as the Bermudas. We shall then have two hundred leagues more to run; and shall be more exposed to calm weather than we have been till now so that I have but very little hopes of a shorter passage, than 55 days; and think it very probable we may be 2 months.
We are five passengers on board. A French gentleman, who went to America early in the war, and is settled at Albany. He is very much { 158 } of a gentleman and a person of much information. I wish all the other passengers and the officers were like him.7 . . . A Merchant from Nantes who has established a house in Philadelphia, and is going there to settle his affairs. He is <a> great wit, and a connoisseur in french poetry.8 But I am not so much disposed to talk upon this subject at Sea, as when I am on shore. A Dutch merchant, who has a commercial house in Charlestown: A true Dutch man, except in two capital points: one, is that he never smokes, and the other that he sleeps 12 or 14 hours in the 24. which makes him so absent that we tell him he is in Love. He is a great traveller, and yet he has not lost the Character attached to that people.9 Every nation seems to have a peculiar Characteristic, which nothing can efface: whether it is owing to Education, or to the nature of the different climates, I cannot tell. I rather think to both.
But the most curious character on board is a Sweed who came from America in this Packet, when Mr. Jarvis cross'd; remained a month at l'Orient where, he says himself, he had nothing to do: and is now going back to New York. I never saw in one person such a mixture of good and ill nature, of folly, and of good Sense. He has receiv'd a liberal education, and will at times reason upon different subjects very pertinently. But at other times he is really out of his head. When the moon is full there is really no living with him.10
Still the old Story over again. I don't know when it will end. I was in hopes, when I wrote last, that we should keep the fine breeze we had: but it departed the day before yesterday, after having pushed us about 150 leagues. This day at about noon we saw something about ½ a mile from us, an object which immediately became a subject of discussion. About half a dozen spyglasses, were fixed upon it, and some said it was a boat overset; others a rudder others a part of a mast, and others a mere huge piece of wood. It did not pass far from us, but the question after all was not decided. All this will appear very trivial to you, but at Sea, the least object, that can form a variety in the midst of the most insipid uniformity, becomes interesting. For that reason we are never happier on board than when we have a vessel in sight, because, it makes diversity, and causes among us a vast number of speculations. In war time the effect produced by the same cause is quite different. Whenever a sail is seen, the first question, is, can she take us? The second: can we take her? And according, as those questions are decided, one vessel flies and the other pursues.
{ 159 }
This morning, we were again favoured with a breeze, after a week of calm weather we are now as far Southward as we shall go. Our Latitude is 26 degrees 30 minutes. The weather is extremely warm, and would be intolerable, were it not for the Sea air, which makes it a little less disagreeable. We have now been 33 days out and are not more than half way. We can hardly hope to be less time performing the other half; for the worst part of the voyage, is from the Bermudas, to the Coast, about 250 leagues.
Since I wrote last we have had very fine winds, and have run upon an average 45 leagues a day. We spoke this afternoon to an American brig, from New London to Santa Cruce,11 loaded with horses. Her estimation agrees very well with ours and we suppose ourselves about 400 leagues from the american Coast.
We have again had upwards of a week without any wind, and such extreme heat, that we can bear no cloaths. We have not since the first of this month, proceeded 100 leagues. We have been not at a great distance from the Bermudas, and consequently under skies continually subject to thunder storms and gusts of wind. We had seen a number pass at a small distance from us, and had often prepared to receive them in case they should come to us. But they had only threatened untill, last evening, when five or six thunderstorms burst about our heads, one after the other. We had in the course of the day more air, than we had been favoured with for near ten days, but at about 6 in the evening, the weather darkned on every side, and the lightened flash'd in many quarters at the same time, from the blackest Clouds, I ever saw. The storms were violent and the thunder fell at a short distance from our vessel. The weather remained the same almost all night but this morning it cleared up and has left us a noble breeze, which I heartily wish may continue: we are much in want of it: for our fresh provisions, begin to be very scarce, and we have still 250 leagues at least to run: I have now made up my mind to a passage of 2 months: and I wish it may not be longer.
In the morning we spied a sail which did not pass more than 2 miles from us, and we might with great ease have spoken with her. I { 160 } wishd it much in order to ascertain more positively where we are; but our Captain did not chuse to. There is among mariners a false point of honour, which induces them, never to trust any estimation but their own, and a Captain thinks it almost dishonourable to be obliged to ask the opinion of another. This is one of the most absurd punctilio's that exist, for it is utterly impossible to know the space you have run through at Sea, especially after being near 50 days out of sight of Land. Many causes may concur to lead them into considerable errors; yet such is the power of prejudice, they prefer being mistaken, to being right by the information of another. Such are the pitiful passions that possess the breast of man. Don't laugh at me for moralizing: it is excusable after having been 50 days at Sea, between Europe and America, and not near arriving, to be a little misanthropic.
Our fine weather continues still: and at length the Captain has been so modest as to speak to a schooner, that we spied this morning. She had been 5 days out of New York, was bound to Jamaica, and supposed we were about 120 leagues from the nearest land. This makes an error of about 15 leagues in the best calculation on board, which is the Captain's. 15 leagues is but a small error in this case, but it is of considerable importance, when a vessel arrives on the coast. The wind increased all day, and in the evening we have it very high. The weather looks very threatning. The heat lightening is so frequent, that the heavens appear in a blaze. If we had a painter or a writer of Romances, he would make much of the scene now around us.
Your birth day, and consequently a jour de fête for me.12 I have thought of you still more to day than I do commonly. You will doubtless pass the day much more agreeably than I have, though it has not been unpleasant to me. At two this afternoon we spoke to the Packet from Charlestown S. Carolina, bound to New Port. She has been 7 days out and tells us we are 45 leagues from land. The weather has been fine all day.
Sounded this morning at 4 o'clock and found bottom at about 35 fathom. Very little wind all day. In the afternoon a most tremendous { 161 } thundergust appeared to arise. It mounted by degrees, until about 7 o'clock, when it attack'd us all on a sudden, with an amazing violence.
The thunder rumbled, and the tempest frown'd.
It lasted about an hour, after which the wind abated considerably, but it was still so high, that our Captain chose to lay to, all night, in order not to be driven too near the land, which was a very prudent precaution.
At half after 7 in the morning, a sailor came from the head of the mast and gave information that he had discovered land. We went immediately up to ascertain the fact, and found it real. Before noon we fired a number of guns for a pilot to come on board. At about 1. o'clock, we had one on board, and at 4 the wind, and tide being both against us we anchored, about a league from the light house on Sandy Hook. In the night we again sailed. I was obliged to remain on deck all night in order to translate the Pilot's orders. Form to yourself an idea how I was puzzled to translate English Sea terms that I did not understand into french Sea terms, which I knew no better. However I did as well as I could; at about midnight we pass'd by the other french packet; which had sailed from N. York in the morning; and was then at anchor, waiting for a tide. They sent their boat on board our vessel, and I had just time to write three lines to inform you of our arrival,13 but the boat did not stay long enough for me to compleat and seal up this Letter. Mrs. Macauley with her husband, goes passenger in this packet. I fancy she leaves the Country with a less exalted idea of our virtues, than she had when she came to it. Young Chaumont came in this packet and had only 37 days passage. May, is too late for short passages from Europe.
At length we are at anchor before New York and we shall all go on shore to dine. I will here close this Letter, which contains the account of my voyage alone. One of the numerous reasons for which I am rejoyced at arriving, is that for the future I shall not be obliged incessantly to speak of myself. I shall immediately begin another Letter, and I hope it will not be so insipid as this.

[salute] Your ever affectionate brother

[signed] J. Q Adams
{ 162 }
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on twelve small pages numbered, beginning with the second, 14 through 24. See JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. JQA to AA2, [12] May (“N:1.”); and 17 May (“N:2”), both above.
2. Pierre Quillacq, called M. Dessein, owned the Hôtel d'Angleterre at Calais, made famous in Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey (JQA, Diary, 1:195, note 1).
3. This was M. Le Bel, whom JQA characterizes as “a perfect egoist” in his Diary (1:276).
4. In his Diary JQA describes this officer, M. Halley, as “the most agreeable of the 3 officers on board” (1:276).
5. The “boy” was Well de Singler, age eighteen, and this was only his second voyage. In his Diary JQA noted that Singler “pretends to be of noble birth and affects to despise everybody who is not noble.” The “good Seaman” who kept watch with Singler was M. Le Breton, a twenty-year veteran of the sea (1:277, 278).
6. The surgeon was M. Bouchant (Diary, 1:279).
7. This was probably Jean Baptiste Fontfreyde, who had established himself in Albany by 1781. JQA praises M. Fontfreyde's virtues in his Diary (1:281, and note 2). The following elipses are in MS.
8. JQA says much more about M. Huron Du Rocher in his Diary. This man may have gone by the name Lawrence Huron in Philadelphia (1:282, and note 1).
9. In his Diary JQA notes that Mr. Molich of Amsterdam, who established the firm of Schmidt & Molich in Charleston, S.C., “is the person on board with whom I am the most intimate, and whose Sentiments agree the most with my own” (1:280–281).
10. The Swede was Mr. Salvius; if he had arrived at Lorient on the same packet with James Jarvis, he had been in France since April (same, 1:285, 254).
11. Probably Saint Croix in the Virgin Islands (same, 1:281, note 1), or a port in Cuba or Costa Rica. Another possibility is either of two ports in the Canary Islands.
12. AA2 turned twenty on this day, three days after JQA's eighteenth birthday.
13. This must be JQA to AA, 17 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0057

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-06-03

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

This will be handed to you by a worthy young Gentleman Mr. Bulfinch1 Son of Doctor Bulfinch; I doubt not but his Conduct will render him worthy of your Notice. I have not time to write you on publick Matters at present. The County have put me into the Senate this Year and we have very hard Service. I have enclosed the Speech of our new Governour2 &c. He is a Man of System and Application, and I hope our publick matters will take a better Turn by his Assistance. Your Children are well, Master Tommy spent last Week at our House, he left his Brother and all well; Brother and Sister Shaw were here Yesterday. Your Honored Mother and your Brother and Family are well, and all the other Branches of our old Circle. I received your esteemed Favour of the 13th. of December,3 and must assure you that, without denying my Senses, I cannot but conclude that you would have the Suffrages of the People for filling a certain Chair, notwithstanding you think “it is impossible that the Body of the People should think of you for their G[overno]r.” I design to get you some Information on the Exports and Imports, Fisheries, Distilleries &c. { 163 } in this State, and send you as soon as possible. I wrote by the last Ship Capt. Lyde to your Son, in answer to several very obliging Letters4 that I have received from him. As this Letter is a Miscellany I w[ill][ . . . ] that the Corporation of Harvard Colledge have voted the degree of [Doctor] in Divinity to the President Willard, Mr. Stevens of Kittery and your old Class-Mate Hemmingway—To Doctor Cotton Tufts the Degree of M.D. and Doctor Welsh the Degree of Batchellor of Physick. Which Votes were laid before the Overseers this Week, and will probably be con[firmed?].5
Brother Shaw informs me that Master Charles will be well fitted to enter the University at the ensuing Commencement.
I have but just time to add that I am with the highest Esteem and Friendship your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
Mrs. Cranch is just come to Town and will send a few Lines which will be enclosed.6 We desire our kindest Regards to our dear Sister and your amiable Children. You will excuse this incoherent Scrawl as I write it in the Lobby in the midst of noise and disturbance. Adieu.
I have wrote some time ago to Messrs. John van Heukelom and Son respecting the Goods in my Hands not yet disposed of.7 Sales are not quite so dull this Spring as they were, so that I hope to do something better with his Cloths now than I could last Year when the Glut of Goods was excessive.
RC (Adams Papers). The single sheet of text has split and been repaired at a worn fold with some loss of text, and a worn corner has damaged another word.
1. Charles Bulfinch the architect, not quite twenty-two, departed Boston in June, resided in London from July to Dec. 1785, and then traveled through France and Italy as far as Rome, returning to London in Aug. 1786, and to Boston in Jan. 1787 (DAB; Charles A. Place, Charles Bulfinch, Architect and Citizen, Boston, 1925, p. 6–11; Ellen Susan Bulfinch, The Life and Letters of Charles Bulfinch, Architect, Boston, 1896, p. 43–57).
2. Enclosure not found. James Bowdoin gave his inaugural address to the General Court on 27 May; it appeared in the Independent Chronicle, 2 June, p. [3].
3. Not found.
4. Only one letter, that of 6 Sept. 1784 (MeHi), has been found.
5. Receiving the S.T.D. degree were Joseph Willard, A.B. 1765, Benjamin Stevens, A.B. 1740, minister at Kittery Point, Maine, and Moses Hemmenway, A.B. 1755, minister at Wells, Maine. Harvard awarded an honorary M.D. in 1811 to Thomas Welsh, A.B., 1772, who had married one of AA's cousins (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 1150; 195); but there is no record of Harvard awarding Welsh the degree of “Batchellor of Physick” at any time. Harvard granted the bachelor of medicine degree from 1788 to 1810 (same, p. 851–852).
6. Of 4 June, below.
7. See AA to Mary Cranch, 7 Jan., and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0058

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-04

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have just heard that Scot is to sail tomorrow. I cannot let a vessel go without a few Lines when I know of it. I have a letter began at home for you, but I cannot get it Soon enough to go by this conveyence. The children have Letters for you and their Cousin but they must all wait for the next vessel.1 I have had so much company lately that it has been impossible to write as we would have done. Our dear Sister Shaw has made us a visit and is just return'd. She is in better Health than I have seen her some time. Her ride Mr. Shaw says has been of great Service to her. Cousin Tommy has made us a little visit also. He is a fine Boy and I hope will make a good man. Miss Peggy White and Miss Hazen have spent a few Days with us. Miss White is perfectly recover'd and is grown very fat. Miss Hazen is as thin and sprightly as ever. She is with us still. I have receiv'd your Letter of March 13th.2 Mr. Tyler has also receiv'd a Pacquet containing Letters from Cousin N[abby] to her Friends:3 which I hope he will deliver in Season. <Miss> Mrs. Guild receiv'd her Letters <from> which came to Mr. T. the 24th. of May, and then only two. From some circumstances, she thinks more have been sent her. He receiv'd them the beginning of April and why he did not send them to her before is as hard accounting for as why he did not forward one he receiv'd last Fall for Miss Broomfield,4 till this Spring. She must never wonder why She does not receive answers to her Letters till She is sure they are receiv'd. She will receive Petitions from many of her Friends to have their Letters not incloss'd in Mr. T's Pacquit. They may give various reasons but they all mean the Same thing. It is one of his whims not to deliver Letters for a long time after he has recev'd them. He would not like to be Serv'd so himself. You may read this to her or not, as you may think best. I wish you were in England. I could write with much more freedom than I dare too at present as I find Letters can be oppend in France as well as in America.
If there is any thing which you may wish to be inform'd of which I have not told you ask me, and I will endeavour to Satisfy you.
It is no Small job I assure you to keep the moths from devouring all your woolen cloaths in your House. We examin them once in three weeks and always find it necessary to do so during the Summer Season. We have ventur'd to take the best Suit of Mr. A's cloaths for Cousin Charles. They were too Short Skirted for his Papa and would { 165 } not have done for Cousin Charles another Summer if the moths had spair'd them. I have taken all the cloth and Cloaths out of the Hair Trunk as the moths had got into the Hair, and put them into a sheet and into a ceder chest. You may depend upon the utmost care, that we can take to preserve them. The whole pieces of red cloth we have pin'd up in a Sheet So Securly that I think nothing can get to it.
As you are in a Land of cambrick, you had better Supply your Self well. There is not an article so dear here. You cannot get any fit to wear under three Dollars a yard. We have taken the piece of unglaz'd to make ruffles for your Sons. By cousin Nabbys Letters I think we may expect your Son Soon. Dear youth with how much Joy will he be receiv'd. We will do every thing in our Power to make him happy. Betsy is rather feeble this warm weather. How this town will Suit her I know not. Musick may Possibly amuse, it does not often Serve as a brace.
Mr. Cranch is well, but is so busy that I have Scarcly had time to speak to him. The Senate is very thin and they keep him fully imploy'd. I will write you further Soon. I wish I could see you. Do not fail of Sending by every vessel. I know not if Mr. T. has wrote. He knows of this chance. He is well but grown so fat that he cannot wear his wastcoats without inlarging them. Your mother Hall is well, Sends her Love and thanks you for the money you sent her.5 My dear Sister let nobody see this letter but your Self. Tis bad written I know, but this will not be what you will first attend too. If the vesel Should not sail so soon as we expect I will endeavour to write again. Remember me in the tenderest manner to Mr. Adams and my cousin6 and believe me affectionately yours
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “May 22 Mrs Cranchs Letter 1785.” No reason for the date in the endorsement is known to the editors.
1. See Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, below. The next extant letters from Betsy and Lucy Cranch to AA were written in Sept. 1785; see below.
2. That is, AA to Mary Cranch, 20 Feb.[– 13 March] , above.
3. None of these letters from AA2 have been identified.
4. Not found.
5. See AA to Mary Cranch, 9 Dec. 1784, and note 21, and Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, and note 8, both above.
6. That is, AA2.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0059

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-04

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I had a few days since the pleasure of your favor of the 20th. of March last. Your reproofs are always accompanied with so much { 166 } delicacy, that the reproved forget the Censor in the Friend. I confess I have been strangely inattentive to my friends on your Side of the Atlantic, and that I am entitled to a large Share of their Remembrance. 'Tis but an indifferent Apology to say, that I seldom write unless upon business—yet it is nevertheless true. My Aversion to Letter writing has become almost invincible. My long Silence must be imputed to that Cause, not to premeditated design. My friends have the same Share of my Remembrance and affectionate Regards as ever, altho' they have had but few epistolary Testimonies of the same on my part for a long time.
Your Picture of the old World is an exact Resemblance, and just such an one as I expected from you, who must have seen and most sensibly felt the Difference between the two Countries in contrasting them. When a Nation has reduced to Cultivation the last Inch of its Soil, it has passed the Zenith of its Virtue. I contemplate with pleasure the vast Extent of our back Territory, and view it not only as a Mine of Wealth but a future Nursery of hardy and virtuous Citizens. Agriculture must be one of our Bulwarks. The more we cultivate our Lands, the more free and independent will be our Country. 'Tis an honorable Profession, and to him who reaps in peace the fruit of his Labor, an independent one, more exempt from dangerous Temptations and those fascinating Vices, which hold up in appearance a substantial good but in reality leave us a substantial Evil to combat with.
You tell me not to expect a detail of politicks from your Pen. I was very sorry to find that Clause in your Letter, as I expected much useful Information with a few Cabinet Secrets accompanied with your ingenious Observations upon them. Let me intreat you, Madam, not to deprive me of such a Source of Happiness. I am much obliged however by the short detail you sent me. Mr. A. has a knotty perplexed Negotiation to go through before a Commercial Treaty is formed with England. I can hope every thing from his diplomatic Talents and Experience in Negotiation, but from my knowledge of his past sufferings and difficulties, from a consideration of the present temper of the English Nation; <from> the false friends and disguised Enemies that he must detect and will detect in every stage of his progress, I say, from a consideration of these matters, I cannot but feel for him most sensibly. It must be a work of time. The golden opportunity for this business is past. The Year 1783 opened the best prospect of a liberal Treaty. The English are now possessed of an Idea that we cannot do without them, and I confess our own Conduct has too { 167 } much favoured and confirm'd such a Sentiment. We have verified their predictions, that all the Trade of America would return to its antient Channel after the peace. Indeed they courted it back by their large and long Credits, and some of them will find that the poverty of their Debtors will last much longer than the Credit of their Creditors, and of Course meet with disappointments, that they did not expect from what they supposed to be a masterpiece of policy. But they have done with Credits to this Country. For one I rejoice, and believe it will produce the best effects eventually. It will be a long time before our Merchants pay day comes. Their present Debts will remain for a very considerable time unpaid, not from a want of disposition, but from inability. We have swallowed their Bait and left the Hook bare. They have sent us their Luxuries, and we can remit nothing but ardent wishes for more with complaints of poverty and inability to pay for what we have already recieved. Our Importations have been a peaceable kind of privateering upon them, and will prove so in the end, if they don't alter their System. They may laugh at and deride what they call our Miserable situation since our Seperation from them—but let them laugh that win. Time will shew whose Calamity is to be laughed at, and who are to mock when fear cometh.1
Whenever your Son returns, you may be assured, Madam, that Inclination and Duty will equally induce me to render him all that Assistance, and to furnish him with such Advice and Council, as may be in my power. His Genius and Application will ever secure the Attention and Advice of his Friends, and enable him to make a distinguished figure in whatever profession he engages in. I am persuaded, it is Mr. A.s Ambition, that he should study the Law, after spending some time at our University. It is natural for Parents to wish to see their Children distinguishing themselves in a profession in which they have shone with a peculiar Lustre. Children become more endeared to their Parents. It <often> reminds me of what Thomson says of the smiling Offspring of the happy pair—“and every day Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm, The Father's Lustre, and the Mother's Bloom,” whenever I see a promising Youth.2 Parents renew their Age, and go through life as it were a second time in that of their Children.
This is certainly the best Country for our own Youth to be educated in. I have no very exalted Opinion of foreign Schools, Acadamies, or Universities or whatever other name they are called, for the Education of American Youth. They advertise with great Pomposity, and promise to teach every thing, while few of their Scholars learn any { 168 } thing of Consequence. Fidling, Dancing, Fencing and Horsemanship are the Accomplishments of a fine Gentleman, but are not the substantial benefits for which our Youth ought to be sent to Schools and Universities. They engross too much time, are too captivating and too consonant to the Volatility of Youth and the Warmth and Activity of that <age> period to be so much indulged in this Country as in the old World.
The Words, “I will go to Holland and see if I cannot make America less dependent upon France,” I very well remember, as you suppose.3 It is sound Doctrine, and has stood the Test in more Instances than one. It was founded in a most laudable Ambition and supported with as much Ability as Integrity. It was genuine Policy, as it is increased our Reputation at the same time that it divided a Dependence that one Power wished to engross. It demonstrated to all Europe, that altho' America might boast of one Philosopher who could guide the Thunder bolts and disarm the winged Lightning of their fatal shafts,4 yet could She exult in another, who atchieved more noble exploits still, one who had softened and conquered the prejudices and guided the temper of a whole Nation, and counteracted the plots of <a second> two more. You will readily perceive, that I allude to the Treaty with Holland, and to the Opposition of two great Nations.5 I shall ever reflect with pleasure upon the progress and close of that Negotiation, and that all the plots, difficulties, Objections, dissuasives and even threats that were conjured up by open and disguised enemies to thwart and obstruct it, were eventually counteracted in the formation of a liberal Treaty. I saw and felt so much, that I could not but rejoice at the disappointment of some Enemies.6 And tho' we are forbid to rejoice when our Enemy falleth, yet there is no Law against it when his devices are confounded, or at least in acquiesing in the determinations of Providence.
You have forbid Courts, Writs and females to rival me in your Regards. You except a Wife—a solemn Exception. As it does not apply to me, nor never will I believe, there will be no necessity for that Exception. You tell me not to be alarmed at the Word, “Wife.” The Idea makes me shudder. Courtship in this place is systematic. It begins with Attentions, then follows Addresses which is succeeded by Courtship and Matrimony. I am only in the first stage of this Labyrinth, and if all Accounts are true, I have made a rapid progress—but common fame is a common Liar. I am slow of belief in these matters. Confidence is of slow growth in a Batchelors bosom. I die daily unto the Sin of Courtship, and am more and more alive unto { 169 } the righteousness of a single life. But still I am no Enemy to the fair Sex. I cannot live without a female friend—there however I must stop. I dare not “soothe the Ear with more than friendship.” To mention “Love's suspected name” would “startle” me, if not one of the fair. I am so ignorant of the mode of proceeding in these matters, that I am persuaded I should faulter, stammer, stutter and never give Utterance to that dreadful Word Love. I don't think I am faint hearted, and yet there is something in the popping of the question so called, that strikes me with more terror, than addressing a large Assembly. What is the Reason of it? I wish I knew of a good Receipt to fortify the Heart. If I was sufficiently bold, I cannot say what would take place shortly. You will think by all this, that I would be serious if I could. Be not decieved. I am at a great remove from Matrimony, I assure you. But of this enough.
You will please to remember me very affectionately to Amelia. I esteem her sincerely, tho' She thinks I have forgotten her. She judges me too hard.
With unfeigned Respect, I am, Madam, your most humble Servt.
[signed] JT
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Thaxter june 4 1785.”
1. Proverbs 1:26.
2. James Thomson, The Seasons: Spring, lines 1145–1147.
3. See AA to Thaxter, 20 March, and note 4, and AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 Jan., and note 8, both above.
4. For this image of Benjamin Franklin, see JA, Papers, 6:173, 174 and note 5; and Franklin, Papers, 27:frontispiece and p. xl.
5. That is, Great Britain and France.
6. Proverbs 24:17.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0060-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-06-06

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear Sir1

Mr. Adams has already written you that we arrived in London upon the 27 of May.3 We journey'd slowly and sometimes silently. I think I have somewhere met with the observation that nobody ever leaves Paris but with a degree of tristeness. I own I was loth to leave my Garden because I did not expect to find its place supplied. I was still more Loth on account of the increasing pleasure, and intimacy which a longer acquaintance with a respected Friend promised, to leave behind me the only person with whom my Companion could associate; with perfect freedom, and unreserve: and whose place he had no reason to expect supplied in the Land to which he is destinied.
{ 170 }
At leaving Auteuil our domesticks surrounded our Carriage and in tears took leave of us, which gave us that painfull kind of pleasure, which arises from a consciousness, that the good will of our dependants is not misplaced.
My little Bird I was obliged, after taking it into the Carriage to resign to my Parissian Chamber Maid, or the poor thing would have flutterd itself to death. I mourn'd its loss, but its place was happily supplied by a present of two others which were given me on Board the Dover pacquet, by a young Gentleman whom we had received on Board with us, and who being excessively sick I admitted into the Cabin, in gratitude for which he insisted upon my accepting a pair of his Birds. As they had been used to travelling, I brought them here in safety, for which they hourly repay me by their melodious Notes. When we arrived we went to our old Lodgings at the Adelphia,4 but could not be received as it was full, and almost every other hotel in the city. From thence we came to the Bath hotel where we at present are, and where Mr. Storer had partly engaged Lodgings for us, tho he thought we should have objections upon account of the Noise, and the Constant assemblage of Carriages round it, but it was no time for choice, as the sitting of parliament, the Birth Day of the King, and the celebration of Handles Musick5 had drawn together such a Number of people as allready to increase the price of Lodgings near double. We did not however6 hesitate at keeping them tho the four rooms which we occupy costs a third more than our House and Garden Stables &c. did at Auteuil. I had lived so quietly in that Calm retreat, that the Noise and bustle of this proud city almost turnd my Brain for the first two or three Days. The figure which this city makes in respect to Equipages is vastly superiour to Paris, and gives one the Idea of superiour wealth and grandeur. I have seen few carriages in Paris and no horses superiour to what are used here for Hackneys. My time has been much taken up since my arrival in looking out for a House. I could find many which would suit in all respects but the price, but none realy fit to occupy under 240 £. 250, besides the taxes, which are serious matters here. At last I found one in Grovenor Square which we have engaged.7
Mr. Adams has written you an account of his reception at Court, which has been as gracious and as agreeable as the reception given to the Ministers of any other foreign powers. Tomorrow he is to be presented to the Queen.8
Mr. Smith appears to be a Modest worthy Man, if I may judge from { 171 } so short an acquaintance. I think we shall have much pleasure in our connection with him.9 All the Foreign Ministers and the Secrataries of Embassies have made their visits here, as well as some English Earls and Lords.10 Nothing as yet11 has discoverd any acrimony. Whilst the Coals are coverd the blaize will not burst, but the first wind which blows them into action will I expect envelop all in flames. If the actors pass the ordeal without being burnt they may be considerd in future of the Asbestos kind. Whilst I am writing the papers of this day are handed me. From the publick Advertiser I extract the following. “Yesterday morning a Messenger was sent from Mr. Pitt to Mr. Adams the American plenipotentiary with notice to suspend for the present their intended interview.” (absolutely false.)12 From the same paper.
“An Ambassador from America! Good heavens what a sound! The Gazette surely never announced anything so extraordinary before, nor once on a day so little expected. This will be such a phenomenon in the Corps Diplomatique that tis hard to say which can excite indignation most, the insolence of those who appoint the Character, or the meanness of those who receive it. Such a thing could never have happened in any former Administration, not even that of Lord North. It was reserved like some other Humiliating circumstances to take place

Sub love, sed love nondum


From the morning post and daily advertiser it is said that “Mr. Adams the Minister plenipotentiary from America is extremly desirious of visiting Lord North whom he Regards as one of the best Friends the Americans ever had.”14 Thus you see sir the begining Squibs.
I went last week to hear the Musick in Westminster Abbey. The Messiah was performd, it was Sublime beyond description. I most sincerely wisht for your presence as your favorite passion would have received the highest gratification. I should have sometimes fancied myself amongst a higher order of Beings; if it had not been for a very troublesome female, who was unfortunately seated behind me; and whose volubility not all the powers of Musick could still.15
I thank you sir for the information respecting my son from whom we received Letters.16 He desires to be remembered to you to Col. Humphries and to Mr. Williamos. My Daughter also joins in the same { 172 } request. We present our Love to Miss Jefferson and compliments to Mr. Short. I suppose Madam de la Fayettee is gone from Paris. If she is not be so good sir as to present my Respects to her. I design writing her very soon. I have to apoligize for thus freely scribling to you. I will not deny that there may be a little vanity in the hope of being honourd with a line from you. Having heard you upon some occasions express a desire to hear from your Friends, even the Minutia respecting their Situation, I have ventured to class myself in that number, and to Subscribe myself, Sir Your Friend and Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
The enclosure that appeared on page 172 of the print edition appears on page 173 of the digital edition
RC (DLC Jefferson Papers); endorsed on the back of the enclosure: “Adams Mrs”; and, also in Jefferson's hand in list form: “<Sanois>/<Nightingale>/<journal>55/<Pilatre>/Houserent/<Wealth> of Lond./Squib.” This was a list of topics that Jefferson discussed in his reply of 21 June, below (Jefferson, Papers, 8:181). Dft (Adams Papers). Material in the Dft that does not appear in the RC will be noted below.
1. With this letter, AA begins a rich correspondence that extended, with long interruptions, to 1817. She and Jefferson eventually exchanged over fifty letters, over two thirds of which were written from 1785 to 1788.
2. The Adamses resided in the Bath Hotel in Picadilly from 26 May until 2 July; see notes 3 and 7. Both the performance of Handel's Messiah, and JA's conference with Lord George Gordon mentioned in the enclosure to this letter, occurred on 8 June, indicating that part of the letter was written sev• { 173 } eral days subsequent to the dateline; see also note 8.
3. JA wrote two letters to Jefferson on 27 May, both saying that the Adamses reached London on the 26th (Jefferson, Papers, 8:166–167). JA recounts the family's journey from Auteuil to Calais in his letters of 22 and 23 May to Jefferson (same, 8:159–161).
4. AA and AA2 had stayed at Osbourne's Hotel in the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand when they first arrived in London in July 1784 (AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, and note 24, above).
5. Parliament had been in session since 25 January. George III's birthday was on Saturday, 4 June, and occasioned a massive levee which JA attended, and which he described to Jefferson on 7 June (Jefferson, Papers, 8:183). Handel's Messiah was performed in Westminster Abbey on 8 June, with AA in attendance (see The London Chronicle, 4–7 June and 7–9 June; and AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 2 Sept., below).
6. The draft has “therefore.”
7. On 9 June, JA signed a lease for this house for twenty-one months with its owner, John Byron of Purbright. The late eighteenth-century structure, standing at the northeast corner of Grosvenor Square, became the Adams' home, and the first American legation in Britain, when the family removed to it from the Bath Hotel on 2 July. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:xii–xiii, 180–181 note 1, and illustration facing p. 288. A copy of the lease, dated 9 June, is in the Adams Papers.
8. At this point in the draft AA adds: “after which I suppose I must pass through a similar ceremony.” JA was received by George III on 1 June; he described that moving occasion quite briefly to Jefferson on 3 June (Jefferson, Papers, 8:176), and in detail to John Jay on 2 June (LbC, Adams Papers; PCC, No. 84, V, f. 469–484; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:367–371; JA, Works, 8:255–259). JA was presented to Queen Charlotte on 9 June, thereby dating this section of the letter at 8 June (see JA to Jefferson, 7 June, Jefferson, Papers, 8:183). JA's remarks to George III, and his reply, are recorded in JA's hand in the Adams Papers (1 June), as are his remarks to Queen Charlotte, and her brief reply (9 June).
9. AA noted the appointment of Col. William Stephens Smith as secretary of the American legation in her letter to Cotton Tufts of [26 April], above. Smith arrived in London on 25 May (JA to Jefferson, 27 May [2d letter], Jefferson, Papers, 8:167).
10. See JA's list of visitors, [June—July? 1785], in his Diary and Autobiography, 3:178–180. This list of about three dozen names is certainly not a complete record of those who called on the new minister, but it does include envoys from Prussia, Sardinia, and Russia, the earls of Abingdon and Effingham, Lord Mahon and Lord Hood, two generals, several other prominent Englishmen who were well disposed to America, and a few of JA's old friends.
11. The draft adds: “in the publick papers.”
12. The draft adds: “for as the forms of presentation are not yet past with her Majesty, no application has yet been made to any minister upon Buisness,” and omits “From the same paper.”
13. “Under Jove, but Jove not yet barbaric.”
14. This exact passage appeared in the Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 7 June 1785. The Morning Post was one of the most anti-American of London papers at this time.
15. The draft adds: “for she had such a general acquaintance throughout the whole abbe that not a person enterd but what she knew and had some observation to make upon their dress or person which she utterd so loud as to disturb every person who sat near her.”
16. Jefferson sent word of JQA's arrival in Lorient in his letter of 25 May to JA (Adams Papers; printed in Jefferson, Papers, 8:163). From Lorient JQA had sent the letters of [12] May and 17 May to AA2, and of 18 May to JA, all above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0060-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-06-06

Enclosure: Extracts from Newspapers

The publick Advertiser—
Yesterday Lord Gerge Gordon had the Honour of a long conference with his Excellency John Adams, (honest John Adams) the Ambassador of America, at the hotel of Mons. de Lynden Envoye extraodinaire de Leurs Hautes Puissances.1
This is true, and I suppose inserted by his Lordship who is as wild and as enthusiastic as when he headed the Mob. His Lordship came here but not finding Mr. Adams at home was determind to see him, and accordingly follow'd him to the Dutch Ministers. The conversation was curious, and pretty much in the Stile of Mrs. Wright2 with whom his Lordship has frequent conferences.
An other paragraph from the same paper—“Amongst the various personages who drew the attention of the drawing-room on Saturday last, Mr. Adams, minister plenipotentiary from the States of America was not the least noticed. From this Gentleman the Eye of Majesty and the Court glanced on Lord—; to whose united Labours this Country stands indebted for the loss of a large territory and a divided and interrupted Commerce.”3
RC (DLC Jefferson Papers); endorsed on the back of the enclosure: “Adams Mrs”; and, also in Jefferson's hand in list form: “<Sanois>/<Nightingale>/<journal>55/<Pilatre>/Houserent/<Wealth> of Lond./Squib.” This was a list of topics that Jefferson discussed in his reply of 21 June, below (Jefferson, Papers, 8:181). Dft (Adams Papers). Material in the Dft that does not appear in the RC will be noted below.
1. An almost identical paragraph appears in The Daily Universal Register of 9 June, dating the conference at 8 June. Lord George Gordon first came to prominence when, as a member of Parliament and president of the Protestant Association, he had petitioned the Commons to reimpose certain disabilities recently lifted from Roman Catholics. This led quickly to London's massive “Gordon Riots” of June 1780, which were only quelled by twenty thousand troops. Gordon was imprisoned in the Tower for several months, and tried for high treason in Feb. 1781, but was acquitted. He remained a Protestant hero for several years, and by 1784 was at the center of national and international controversy involving the Dutch and Emperor Joseph II. By 1786 Gordon's polemical targets included the French court. About 1787 he converted to Ju• { 174 } daism. In 1788 he was convicted of two counts of libel, one against Marie Antoinette, and was sent to Newgate Prison, where he died in 1793. DNB. Dirk Wolter Lynden van Blitterswyck was the Netherland's minister to Great Britain. JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:180, note 1.
2. See AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, above, under 25 July, and note 46.
3. Lord North is probably intended here.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0061

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-12

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

I have but just returned, my much loved Sister, from my Southern Excursion. You know how agreeable these always were to me. To see, and to visit my Friends constitutes a great part of my Happiness. To behold the Smile of Benevolence and Friendship, heightened by the Ties of Relationship is a rich ingredient in the Cup of Life. The pleasure it gives cannot be described, but we find, that indeed it “doth good like a Medicine.”1
I will pass over what I suffered, for want of your charming Society in the dear rural Cottage, and only tell you that as necessity led me to go with Eliza, to look for some things you left there for your Sons, I felt strangely upon entering your Chamber—I steped back for a moment—the Chamber Stairs was the last place I saw you. It felt like hallowed Ground, and as if I was going to commit sacrilege.
Upon looking after something in a Trunk, we came across Brother Adams Green velvet Cap. Look Eliza said I, we have heard of a Fools Cap, but here is the Cap of Wisdom—for how much have I seen contained in this little Cavity—and how much <are we> is our Country indebted to its good and excellent Owner. We fell into as moralizing a strain as the Son of Henery the 4th., when he took up the Crown of his dying Parent.2 I folded it at last with great veneration, and pressed it with an ardent petition to Heaven, that I might live to see him return, whom his Country “delighteth to Honour.”3 The Journals and the Letters I met with at Braintree, afforded me a most agreeable Repast.4 Knowing Your Taste for Literature, I am not at all surprized that you should prefer Theatrical Amusements to any-other. To find the Soul alive to all the finer feelings, can be no unpleasing Sensation to the humane Breast, and the frequent Exercise must give them strength and greatly conduce to refine the moral Taste, and strengthen the virtuous Temper, for a very slight inspection into human Nature must convince us, that no Objects have so powerful an impresslion on us, as those which are immediately impressed on our Senses—and therefore those things which have not a tendency to { 175 } mend the Heart, and improve the Genius, ought never to be exhibited.

“To make Mankind in conscious Virtue bold,

Live o'er each Scene, and be what they behold.”

was the Purpose for which the Comic Muse first trod the Stage.
We have had a Cold Winter, and Spring. There was good passing over Merimac upon the Ice till the 14th. of April which is much longer than has been known for a great number of Years. Months after you told me of your going into your Garden, to give directions about your Flower-Pots, we in the Latitude of forty two were shivering by our fire sides.—But you can hardly conceive of a more rapid Vegetation, than we have had for these three Weeks past, or of a richer Verdure upon the Earth, “the Vallies are covered over with Grass, and the little Hills rejoice on every side.”5 Though I sometimes long to be with you in your beautiful Gardens, viewing the Curiosities and Embelishments of Art, yet I imagine the Mind may be as much delighted with the rough, and august strokes of Nature. Here, in her wild Scenes, the sight wanders up and down without confinement and is charmed with an infinite variety of Images, without limitation or controul.
Upon our Journey we called at General Warren's, found all well but poor Charles, he is still in a bad way. The Doctor thinks will not continue through the Summer. We kept Sabbath at Hingham, Mr. Shaw preached for Mr. Gay, our Fathers venerable old Friend. We drank Tea there with the Widow Derby. She seems as alert as ever. Some of the Company observed Ralph Inman had very lately buried his Wife, and he was expected in Town soon, to pay his Compliments to Madam. Upon which she simpering6 told us that her Son in Law Derby advised her last Week, that if Mr. Inman, or any one else solicited her hand in Marriage, to crook her elbow, and swear by the living—that she would never enter into Wedlock again.
Uncle and Aunt Thaxter are well. Cousins are well, rather lean, as well as I. Cousin Lucy Thaxter was married to Mr. Cushing three Weeks before I was there,7 and was going to housekeeping in about a fortnight. Cousin Nancy has made us a Visit, since my return, with one of Mr. Benjamin Thaxters Sons, who will be married to her next Fall I suppose.8 Mrs. Lorring9 is well. She has two Daughters. We returned a Sabbath Evening to our hospitable and kind-hearted Aunt Tufts's. Weymouth can never be to me what it once was. Yet dear is the place of my Nativity. Every Hill, and every Vally, and every Tree { 176 } I recognize as my former Friends. On the brow of this Hill, how often have I sat, encircled by the little social band, and talked down the Summers Sun. How have I set delighted beneath the Shade of yonder Tree, while every Grove was Melody, and every Gale was Peace. All, all speak of pleasures past. For my life I cannot look upon the Mansion which was once the beloved Habitation of our dear Parents without bursting into Tears. And there is nothing but a firm belief that they are gone to a House, not made with Hands, that calms and sooths my Mind.
I received your kind Letter dated March 30th.10 at Braintree. Uncle and Aunt Smith came and made a friendly Visit, and handed me your Letter which gave us the agreeable intelligence of your Health and welfare. I do not wonder that you feel the greatest reluctance at parting with your Son. But it is their Children's good, and not merely their own pleasure, and satisfaction, that the wise Parent regards.
I pity Cousin Nabby the most, as it must deprive her of her most intimate Friend, and Companion. We at this distance cannot be competent judges of the Qualifications of your Son. But Mr. Shaw, Mr. Thaxter, Judge Dana and all his Friends here suppose it would be more advantageous for Mr. JQA to tarry at Colledge 2 years, On account of the phylosophical Lectures, and the excellent Library. But what his Fathers chuses must determine the Matter. Mr. Charles has been here so long and behaved so well, that it is with grief I think of parting with him, (and his Chum that is to be) Samuel Walker. They mean to live together at Colledge. They are very fond of each-other. Samuel Walker is determined to find knowledge, if it is to be acquired by hard Study. He is a steady virtuous Youth. His Father modestly objected against their living together, as Mr. Charles was one of the first Families, he supposed he would look higher for a companion. But we told him we knew his Parents did not wish for any such distinction, Merit alone, in your Minds was the Test of Rank.
The Trunk you mentioned11 is not yet arrived. I have taken 2 yards of red Cloth, and that Camblet for Coats, for Cousin Charles. I purchased black Sattin for Waistcoat and small Cloaths, and I have got 2 good Taylors into the House, and have made him 2 Suits of Cloaths. But I cannot perswade him to honour us, with the wear of them, till after his return from Cambridge.
I find you are anxious about your American Friends, even in your Dreams. Indeed my Sister, when I went into Boston I was upon the point of beleiving that if he was there, it would be wholly verified. For I found Cousin B. Relations greatly incensed against Mr. <. . .>12 { 177 } Conduct. Cousin herself was troubled, and knew not what to make of all his speeches, though I thought she was much disposed to put the best constructions, upon every-thing he said. It was evident to me that Love covered a multitude of Faults. Nothing can be more emblematical than to portray the little Deity as blind. And they are certainly so, who are under his Dominion.
Both my Cousins are in good Health. Tommy is a nice Child. He went the week before we went our Journey to Braintree, because I thought it would be best for him to be absent at the same time we were. We got Mr. Williams who is School-master to stay here, and gave him his board for taking Care of the Others in Mr. Shaws absence. I must bid you adieu, assuring the best of Sisters, of the tenderest, and most affectionate Love of her
[signed] Eliza Shaw
Mr. Shaw presents his best regards, hopes soon to assure you of your sons acceptance at Cambridge.
Excuse the writing. I cannot Copy.13
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by AA2: “Mrs Shaw june 12th 1785.”
1. Proverbs 17:22.
2. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV, IV, v, 20–47.
3. Esther 6:6–11.
4. Shaw refers to letters from AA to the Cranches, and to herself, mailed in March, particularly those to Mary Cranch, 20 Feb. [– 13 March] , and to Elizabeth Cranch, 8 March, both above.
5. Psalms 65:12, 13 (quoted in reverse order).
6. Shaw added “simpering” in the margin.
7. Lucy Thaxter married John Cushing on 8 March (History of Hingham, 3:233).
8. Anna Thaxter married her first cousin, Thomas Thaxter, on 27 Aug. 1786 (same).
9. Undoubtedly Joanna Quincy Thaxter, who had married Thomas Loring Jr. in 1780, is meant (same; vol. 4:296, and note 11).
10. Not found.
11. JQA's trunk sent from The Hague to Boston; see the Inventory of JQA's Clothes and Books, 6 Nov. 1784 (Adams Papers), and AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 14 Dec. 1784, and note 7, above.
12. A character is struck out here. Shaw may refer to a passage in AA's lost letter of 30 March; AA does not record a dream expressing such anxiety in any extant letters written from France. The editors have not been able to identify “Cousin B.” or her suitor, but on 6 June, in a letter to Mary Cranch, Elizabeth Shaw wrote: “When I got to Boston I imagined Sisters Dream, was near to be realized, for I found Cousins friends very much incensed against Mr. A—. Four years have elapsed since the Courtship commenced. From Spring to Fall, and from Fall to Spring has been the Line; Winter nor Summer, it seems, are no Friends to the hymenial Torch. However he talked to the Col. who called to see him a Saturday about keeping House—having a family &c. This looked well did it not?” (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
13. This line was written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0062

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-21

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I have received duly the honor of your letter,2 and am now to return you thanks for your condescension in having taken the first step for { 178 } settling a correspondence which I so much desired; for I now consider it as settled and proceed accordingly. I have always found it best to remove obstacles first. I will do so therefore in the present case by telling you that I consider your boasts of the splendour of your city and of it's superb hackney coaches as a flout, and declaring that I would not give the polite, self-denying, feeling, hospitable, good humoured, people of this country and their amability in every point of view, (tho' it must be confessed our streets are somewhat dirty, and our fiacres rather indifferent,) for ten such races of rich, proud, hectoring, swearing, squibbing, carnivorous animals as those among whom you are; and that I do love this people with all my heart, and think that with a better religion a better form of government and their present governors their condition and country would be most enviable. I pray you to observe that I have used the term people and that this is a noun of the masculine as well as feminine gender. I must add too that we are about reforming our fiacres, and that I expect soon an Ordonance that all their drivers shall wear breeches unless any difficulty should arise whether this is a subject for the police or for the general legislation of the country, to take care of.
We have lately had an incident of some consequence, as it shews a spirit of treason, and audaciousness which was hardly thought to exist in this country. Some eight or ten years ago a Chevalr.3 was sent on a message of state to <demand> the princess of—of—of (before I proceed an inch further I must confess my profound stupidity; for tho' I have heard this story told fifty times in all it's circumstances, I declare I am unable to recollect the name of the ambassador, the name of the princess, and the nation he was sent to; I must therefore proceed to tell you the naked story, shorn of all those precious circumstances). Some chevalier or other was sent on some business or other to some princess or other. Not succeeding in his negociation, he wrote on his return the following song.

Ennivré du brillant poste

Que j'occupe récemment

Dans une chaise de poste

Je me campe fierement:

Et je vais en ambassade

Au nom de mon souverain,

Dire que je suis malade,

Et que lui se porte bien.

{ 179 }

Avec une joue enflée,

Je debarque tout honteux:

La princesse boursoufflée,

Au lieu d'une, en avoit deux;

Et son altesse sauvage

Sans doute a trouvé mauvais

Que j'eusse sur mon visage

La moitié de ses attraits.

Princesse, le roi mon maitre

M'a pris pour Ambassadeur;

Je viens vous faire connoitre

Quelle est pour vous son ardeur.

Quand vous seriez sous le chaume,

Il donneroit, m'a-t-il dit,

La moitié de son royaume

Pour celle de votre lit.

La princesse à son pupitre

Compose un remerciment:

Elle me donne une epitre

Que j'emporte lestement,

Et je m'en vais dans la rue

Fort satisfait d'ajouter

A l'honneur de l'avoir vue

Le plaisir de la quitter.4

This song ran thro all companies and was known to every body. A book was afterwards printed, with a regular license, called “Les quartres saisons litteraires” which being a collection of little things, contained this also, and all the world bought it or might buy it if they would, the government taking no notice of it. It being the office of the Journal de Paris to give an account and criticism of new publications, this book came in turn to be criticised by the redacteur, and he happened to select and print in his journal this song as a specimen of what the collection contained. He was seised in his bed that night and has been never since heard of. Our excellent journel de Paris then is suppressed and this bold traitor has been in jail now three weeks, and for ought any body knows will end his days there. Thus you see, madam, the value of energy in government; our feeble republic would in such a case have probably been wrapt in the flames { 180 } of war and desolation for want of a power lodged in a single hand to punish summarily those who write songs.
The fate of poor Pilatre de Rosiere5 will have reached you before this does, and with more certainty than we yet know it. This will damp for a while the ardor of the Phaetons of our race who are endeavoring to learn us the way to heaven on wings of our own.
I took a trip yesterday to Sannois and commenced an acquaintance with the old Countess d'Hocquetout.6 I received much pleasure from it and hope it has opened a door of admission for me to the circle of literati with which she is environed. I heard there the Nightingale in all it's perfection: and I do not hesitate to pronounce that in America it would be deemed a bird of the third rank only, our mockingbird, and fox-coloured thrush being unquestionably superior to it.
The squibs against Mr. Adams are such as I expected from the polished, mild tempered, truth speaking people he is sent to. It would be ill policy to attempt to answer or refute them. But counter-squibs I think would be good policy. Be pleased to tell him that as I had before ordered his Madeira and Frontignac to be forwarded, and had asked his orders to Mr. Garvey7 as to the residue, which I doubt not he has given, I was afraid to send another order about the Bourdeaux lest it should produce confusion. In stating my accounts with the United states, I am at a loss whether to charge house rent or not. It has always been allowed to Dr. Franklin. Does Mr. Adams mean to charge this for Auteuil and London? Because if he does, I certainly will, being convinced by experience that my expences here will otherwise exceed my allowance. I ask this information of you, Madam, because I think you know better than Mr. Adams what may be necessary and right for him to do in occasions of this class. I will beg the favor of you to present my respects to Miss Adams. I have no secrets to communicate to her in cypher at this moment,8 what I write to Mr. Adams being mere commonplace stuff, not meriting a communication to the Secretary. I have the honour to be with the most perfect esteem Dear Madam

[salute] Your most obedient & most humble sert

[signed] Th: Jefferson
1. This letter was sent with Jefferson to AA, 7 July, below.
2. Of 6 June, above.
3. Blank in MS. The editors of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson identify the envoy as the Chevalier de Boufflers, and the princess as Maria Christina of Saxony, sister of Joseph II of Austria, and of Marie Antoinette, and they argue persuasively that Jefferson's “inability to recollect the name of the ambassador and other circumstances was obviously feigned” (Jefferson, Papers, 8:242; Cambridge Modern Hist., 13:genealogical table 33).
4. Journal de Paris, 31 May 1785.
{ 181 }
5. On 15 June, Jean François Pilatre de Rozier and a companion, Pierre Ange Romain, plummeted over one thousand feet to their deaths near Boulogne when the double balloon in which they were attempting to cross the English Channel caught fire and partially collapsed. Pilâtre de Rozier and another companion had been the first men to achieve free flight in a balloon, in Nov. 1783. See Jefferson to Joseph Jones, 19 June, and to Charles Thomson, 21 June, Papers, 8:237, 245; London Magazine Enlarged and Improved, June 1785, p. 462–465; Gentleman's Magazine, July 1785, p. 565–566; and Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
6. Elisabeth Françoise Sophie, the Comtesse de Houdetot, a poet, held a literary and philosophical salon at Sannois, about ten miles northwest of Paris (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
7. On 27 May, JA had asked Jefferson to direct his wine merchant, Anthony Garvey, to stop the shipment of all of his wine “except one Case of Madeira and Frontenac together” because of the high duties he would have to pay to bring the wine into England. He repeated this request with even greater urgency on 7 June. Jefferson had reported his initial difficulty in executing this order in his letter of 2 June. Jefferson, Papers, 8:166, 172–173, 175, 183–184.
8. AA2 had decoded two paragraphs of Jefferson to JA, 2 June (Adams Papers), and in that letter Jefferson remarked that JA had “transferred to [AA2] the commission of Secretary” upon JQA's departure for America (Jefferson, Papers, 8:173).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0063

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-06-22

Abigail Adams 2d to Mary Smith Cranch

N 1.
The flattering mark of attention which I yesterday received from my Dear Aunt1 demands my earliest acknowledgments. Be assured Madam it has not arrisen from want of respect to you, or doubting your interest in my happiness that I have not long ere this addressed you, but from the fear of increasing the Number of my correspondents so far as to render my Letters uninteresting to those who flatter me with their attentions, and from being very sensible that a Person who writes a great deel must either be possessd of a great fund of knowledge to communicate or unavoidably expose themselvs the [to] the just observations of the judicious and sensible. I have never closed a packet of Letters but I have wished after they were gone that it was in my Power to recall and Burn them,2 but my friends are partial enough to me to acknowledge some pleasure derived from my scribling and from it I am induced to continue. There are very few who can sufficiently Guard their minds upon every side against the influence of flattery especially when presented under the pleasing veil of commendations from those whose judgment we respect and whose good opinions we are happy to attain, upon this score I am influenced by my Dear Aunt to continue an account of myself and whatever I shall meet with worthy a relation.
My Brother who I hope will arrive before this Letter possibly can, will give you an account of us, till the Period of his Leaving us which { 182 } was a Painfull event to me particularly having lost in him a good Brother an agreeable companion and friend. Since my arrival here I regret it more than ever and cannot sometimes avoid wishing that he had been induced to stay—but upon reflection every selfish principle is overballanced by the idea and assureance that it was an important event as it respects himself, being fully convinced that if he is to spend his Life in America it was time for him to go there, for by so long an absence and at so early a period of his life, he had never acquired or greatly lost just ideas of the Country, People, manners, and Customs. He will acquire a taste and disposition for them all I doubt not. Yet the difference in the manner of Life in Europe and America is so very great that one should not be too long accustomed to the one if they propose happiness to themselves from the other. For myself I have no fears. My early Education and the example of many Good friends had formed in my Mind such Principles sentiments dispositions and taste, as I think will never be shaken by dissipation Gaiety or the Glitter Pomp and Show of this or any other Country—in all of which this Place equals every other Perhaps in the World.
To say that I am greived and sorry for the unhappy State of our friends at Germantown3 is only repeating what I have often said and long felt, as it can afford them no relief it seems as if it were not enough to say. I hope your kind attention to our friend Eliza will be the means of recovering her health. She and the Whole family have my sincere wishes for their Prosperity and happiness.
I have just heard of an opportunity to forward Letters to America and could not omit to make my earliest acknowledgments to you my Aunt for your kind favours. Mamma will write largely I suppose, if I have time I shall certainly write to my Cousins But I am told tho the Ship will sail a thursday.4 If I should not you will be so good as to excuse me to them. I shall write frequently as opportunities Present often to Boston and shall hope for the continueance of your Letters. Be so good Madam as to Present my respects to my Uncle and regards to my Cousin Billy.
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree Massachusetts”; docketed: “Letter from Miss A Adams, London June 22d. 1785.”
1. Not found.
2. See AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, [9 Nov. 1782], above, and n.d. [1782], “Hingham,” MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers.
3. Gen. Joseph Palmer's family; “Eliza” in the following sentence is certainly Elizabeth Palmer.
4. That is, the next day.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0064

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1785-06-23

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch

N 3
Disappointment upon Disappointment, Mortification upon Mortification My Dear Lucy shall no longer be subjected to, if it is in my Power to sheild her from them. You will before this Letter reaches you I hope receive from my Brother a long Letter from me1 which will dissipate every unfriendly idea of forgetfullness, neglect, &c &c. I have indeed so many correspondents that I must acquire a considerable Share of Vanity to suppose it is in my Power to gratify them all tho I were to address a Letter to each. I have it is true the best disposition in the World to please them—but I may fail of success. My Cousin may be assured I have none that I think more worthyly of than herself or who are entitled to my earlier attentions.
Your gentle spirit must have been wounded by so many scenes of unhappiness and distress as you have been witness to in the Good family at G[ermantown]. I Pitty them from my heart, but alas how unavailing is Pitty, it seems to mock Misfortunes like theirs. They are indeed an example from which one may derive many Lessons for future Life, and Learn to act with that resignation and Patience which distinguishes them. I am happy to hear that Eliza is better, they all have my sincerest wishes for Health and happiness.
Your list of adventures was as you intended agreeable2 and your efforts to please will never fail of success with your Cousin.
You talk of comeing to see us in a Balloon. Why my Dear as Americans sometimes are capable of as imprudent and unadvised things as any other People perhaps, I think it but Prudent to advise you against it. There has lately3 a most terible accident taken place by a Balloons taking fire in the Air in which were two Men. Both of them were killed by their fall, and there limbs exceedingly Broken. Indeed the account is dreadfull. I confess I have no partiallity for them in any way.
My Brother will not disappoint you. He is gone—alas to my sorrow—for I lost in him all the Companion that I had—and it is not possible his place should be supplyd. I doubt not but he will answer the expectation of his friends, and contribute to their happyness.
You wish to Visit the Theatres. I should be very happy if you could accompany me to them for I am sure you would be pleased. I think a good Tragedy well acted is a rational amusement. I never derived
{ 184 } { 185 }
so much sattisfaction from any other. I have been twice to the Play since I have been in London. There is such a difference between French and English Theatres that one would scarce be led to suppose that they merited the same title. The first peice I saw here was the School for Scandal,4 and I fear there never was a more just picture of real life. I think I have within my own knowledge some Persons of simular characters tho Perhaps they may not have arrived at so great a height of folly. The second time I went they gave a Tragedy of Thomsons Tancred and Siggismundi,5 which you well remember I dare say. The characters were very well supported in general and Tancreds in particular. They gave a very Laughable peice after it, which is all ways the Case, but I was too much interested in the Tragedy to be pleased, with so oposite an entertainment. You know I was never fond of very Laughing characters. I dont know why it is for I am sure I prefer seeing People happy rather than otherwise.
I think the People, generally; do not discover so much judgment at the Theatres here as in Paris. In seeing a good Tragedy acted at the Comedy Francaise you will hear ever good sentiment applauded highly, even by the Partarre, but here it is the action rather than the sentiments which they applaud.
I considered myself a little unfortunate in not arriving soon enough to see the universally Celebrated Mrs. Siddens whose fame has extended to so many parts of the World, and of whom every Person without exception, I beleive, are equally delighted. She has lately appeard in Comedy and tho She is allowed Great Merit from the manner in which she acquitted herself, I think she was too eager after reputation not to be contented with the share She had acquired in Tragedy, but I have not yet seen her in either Character.6 When I have my Cousin shall know my opinion, but she may be assured beforehand that I shall not dare to disent from all the World. My father whose Judgment we may depend upon says, She appears to have understood human Nature better than the Author whose peices She acts. A proof of this May be drawn, from the manner of her Leaving Bath [where] she had been first received as an actress, and the Managers objected to her going when she had acquired some reputation. She told the Company one Evening that She had three very powerfull reasons for Leaving them, to go to London. They were sufficient in her own Mind and she hoped they would sattisfy them all. If the Company would permit She would offer them the Night following. The Next Eve the House was much crouded when the Curtain was drawn up. Mrs. Siddens came upon the stage Leading { 186 } in her three Children, made a Curtsey to the Audience and retired amid the general Applause of the Company who were so much pleased with this Compliment Paid to their sensibility and generossity that they made no objections to her Leaving them so much for her own advantage.
Adeiu my Dear Lucy. Remember me to all my friends, and write often to your affectionate Cousin
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “Miss Lucy Cranch Braintree Massachusetts.” Slight damage to the text where the seal was cut away.
1. Of 6 May, above.
2. AA2 refers here and below to a letter not found.
3. Space in MS; on this disaster, see Thomas Jefferson to AA, 21 June, note 5, above.
4. Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy, first produced in 1777.
5. James Thomson published Tancred and Sigismunda in 1745.
6. See AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0065

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-06-24

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

Captain Lyde is arrived and I have 3 Letters by him, one from Doctor Tufts one from Dr. Welch and one from Mrs. Storer.2 I will not accuse my dear sister because I know she must have written to me tho I have not yet received it. I know so well how many accidents may prevent for a long time the reception of Letters, that whilst I ask candour for myself, I am willing to extend it to others.
I have been here a month without writing a single line to my American Friends. About the 28th. of May we reachd London and expected to have gone into our old quiet Lodgings at the Adelphia, but we found every hotel full, the Sitting of parliament, the Birth day of the King, and the famous Celebration of the Musick of Handle at Westminster Abbey, had drawn together such a concourse of people, that we were glad to get into Lodgings at the moderate price of a Guiney per day, for two Rooms and two Chambers, at the Bath hotel Westminster Picadily, where we yet are. This being the Court end of the city, it is the resort of a vast concourse of carriages, it is too publick and noisy for pleasure, but necessity is without Law. The Ceremony of presentation, upon one week, to the King and the Next to the Queen was to take place, after which I was to prepare for mine. It is customary upon presentation to receive visits from all the Foreign ministers, so that we could not exchange our Lodgings for more private ones, as we might and should; had we been only in a private { 187 } character. The Foreign ministers and several english Lords and Earls have paid their compliments here and all heitherto is civil and polite. I was a fortnight all the time I could get looking of different Houses, but could not find any one fit to inhabit under 200. besides the taxes which mount up to 50 & 60 pounds. At last my good Genious carried me to one in Grovenor Square, which was not let because the person who had the care of it, could let it only for the remaining lease which was one Year and 3 quarters. The price which is not quite 200, the Situation and all together induced us to close the Bargain and I have prevaild upon the person who lets it; to paint two rooms which will put it into decent order so that as soon as our furniture comes I shall again commence house keeping. Living at a hotel is I think more expensive than house keeping in proportion to what one has for their money. We have never had more than two dishes at a time upon our table, and have not pretended to ask any company and yet we live at a greater expence than 25 Guineys per week. The Wages of servants horse hire house meat and provision are much dearer here than in France. Servants of various sorts and for different departments are to be procured, their Characters to be inquird into, and this I take upon me even to the Coachman; you can hardly form an Idea how much I miss my son on this as well as many other accounts. But I cannot bear to trouble Mr. Adams with any thing of a domestick kind, who from morning untill Evening has sufficient to occupy all his time. You can have no Idea of the petitions Letters and private applications for a pittance which crowd our doors. Every person represents his case as dismal, some may really be objects of compassion, and some we assist, but one must have an inexhaustable purse to supply them all. Besides there are so many gross impositions practised as we have found in more instances than one, that it would take the whole of a persons time to trace all their stories. Many pretend to have been American soldiers, some to have served as officers. A most glaring instance of falshood however Col. Smith detected in a man of these pretentions, who sent to Mr. Adams from the Kings bench prison and modestly desired 5 Guineys, a qualified cheet but evidently a man of Letters and abilities.3 But if it is to continue in this way a Galley Slave would have an easier task.
The Tory venom has begun to spit itself forth in the publick papers as I expected, bursting with envy that an American Minister should be received here with the same marks of attention politeness and civility which is shewn to the Ministers of any other power. When a minister delivers his credentials to the king, it is always in his private { 188 } closet attended only by the minister for Foreign affairs, which is called a private audience, and the Minister presented makes some little address to his Majesty, and the same ceremony to the Queen, whose replie was in these Words, “Sir I thank you for your civility to me and my family, and I am glad to see you in this Country,” then very politely inquired whether he had got a house yet? The answer of his Majesty was much longer, but I am not at liberty to say more respecting it; than that it was civil and polite, and that his Majesty said he was glad the Choice of his Country had fallen upon him. The News Liars know nothing of the Matter, they represent it just to answer their purpose.4 Last thursday Col. Smith was presented at Court, and tomorrow at the Queens circle my Ladyship and your Neice make our compliments. There is no other presentation in Europe in which I should feel so much as in this. Your own reflections will easily [suggest?] the reasons. I have received a very friendly and polite visit from the Countess of Effingham. She calld and not finding me at Home left a Card. I returnd her visit, but was obliged to do it by leaving my Card too: as she was gone out of Town. But when her Ladyship returnd she sent her compliments, and word that if agreeable she would take a Dish of tea with me; and named her Day. She accordingly came, and appeard a very polite sensible woman. She is about 40, a good person, tho a little masculine, elegant in her appearence, very easy and social. The Earl of Effingham is too well rememberd by America to need any particular recital of his Character.5 His Mother is first Lady to the Queen. When Her Ladyship took leave, she desired I would let her know the day that I would favour her with a visit, as she should be loth to be absent. She resides in summer a little distance from town. The Earl is a Member of Parliament which obliges him now to be in town and she usually comes with him and resides at a hotel a little distance from this. I find a good many Ladies belonging to the Southern states here, many of whom have visited me. I have exchanged visits with several, yet neither of us have met.6 The Custom is however here, much more agreeable than in France, for it is as with us, the Stranger is first visited. The ceremony of presentation here is considerd as indispensable. Their are four minister plenipotentiarys Ladies here, but one Ambassador and he has no Lady. In France the Ladys of Ambassadors only are presented there. One is obliged here to attend the circles of the Queen which are held in Summer one a fortnight, but once a week the rest of the year, and what renders it exceedingly expensive is, that you cannot go twice the same Season in the same dress, and { 189 } a Court dress you cannot make use any where else. I directed my Mantua Maker to let my dress be elegant but plain as I could possibly appear with Decency, accordingly it is white Lutestring coverd and full trimd with white Crape festoond with lilick ribbon and mock point lace, over a hoop of enormus extent. There is only a narrow train of about 3 yard length to the gown waist, which is put into a ribbon upon the left side, the Queen only having her train borne, ruffel cuffs for married Ladies thrible lace ruffels a very dress cap with long lace lappets two white plumes and a blond lace handkerchief, this is my rigging. I should have mentiond two pearl pins in my hair earings and necklace of the same kind.
My Head is drest for St. James and in my opinion looks very tasty. Whilst Emelias is undergoing the same operation, I set myself down composedly to write you a few lines. Well methinks I hear Betsy and Lucy say, what is cousins dress, white my Dear Girls like your Aunts, only differently trimd, and ornamented, her train being wholy of white crape and trimd with white ribbon, the peticoat which is the most showy part of the dress coverd and drawn up in what is calld festoons, with light wreaths of Beautifull flowers. The Sleaves white crape drawn over the silk with a row of lace round the Sleave near the shoulder an other half way down the arm and a 3d. upon the top of the ruffel little flower[s] stuck between. A kind of hat Cap with 3 large feathers and a bunch of flowers a wreath of flowers upon the hair. Thus equipd we go in our own Carriage and Mr. A and Col. Smith in his. But I must quit my pen to put myself in order for the ceremony which begins at 2 oclock. When I return I will relate to you my reception, but do not let it circulate as there may be persons eager to Catch at every thing, and as much given to misrepresentation as here. I would gladly be excused the Ceremony.
Congratulate me my dear sister it is over. I was too much fatigued to write a line last evening. At two a clock we went to the circle which is in the drawing room of the Queen. We past through several appartments lined as usual with Spectatirs upon these occasions. Upon entering the anti Chamber, the Baron de Linden the Dutch Minister who has been often here came and spoke with me. A Count Sarsfield a French nobleman with whom I was acquainted paid his compliments. As I passt into the drawing room Lord Carmathan and { 190 } Sir Clement Cotterel Dormer were presented to me.7 Tho they had been several times here I had never seen them before. The sweedish the polish ministers8 made their compliments and several other Gentleman, but not a single Lady did I know, untill the Countess of Effingham came who was very civil. There were 3 young Ladies daughters of the Marquiss of Lothan9 who were to be presented at the same time and two Brides. We were placed in a circle round the drawing room which was very full, I believe 200 person present. Only think of the task the Royal family have, to go round to every person, and find small talk enough to speak to all of them. Tho they very prudently speak in a whisper, so that only the person who stands next you can hear what is said. The King enters the room and goes round to the right, the Queen and princesses to the left. The Lord in waiting presents you to the King and the Lady in waiting does the same to her Majesty. The King is a personable Man, but my dear sister he has a certain Countenance which you and I have often remarked, a red face and white eye brows, the Queen has a similar countanance and the numerous Royal family confirm the observation. Persons are not placed according to their rank in the drawing room, but tranciently, and when the King comes in he takes persons as they stand. When he came to me, Lord Onslow10 said, Mrs. Adams, upon which I drew of my right hand Glove, and his Majesty saluted my left cheek, then asked me if I had taken a walk to day. I could have told his Majesty that I had been all the morning prepareing to wait upon him, but I replied, no Sire. Why dont you love walking says he? I answerd that I was rather indolent in that respect. He then Bow'd and past on. It was more than two hours after this before it came to my turn to be presented to the Queen. The circle was so large that the company were four hours standing. The Queen was evidently embarrased when I was presented to her. I had dissagreeable feelings too. She however said Mrs. Adams have you got into your house, pray how do you like the Situation of it? Whilst the princess Royal11 looked compasionate, and asked me if I was not much fatigued, and observed that it was a very full drawing room. Her sister who came next princess Augusta, after having asked your neice if she was ever in England before, and her answering yes, inquird of me how long ago, and supposed it was when she was very young. And all this is said with much affability, and the ease and freedom of old acquaintance. The manner in which they make their tour round the room, is first the Queen, the Lady in waiting behind her holding up her train, next to her the princess royal after her princess Augusta and their Lady in waiting behind them.
{ 191 } { 192 }
They are pretty rather than Beautifull, well shaped with fair complexions and a tincture of the kings countanance. The two sisters look much alike. They were both drest in lilack and silver silk with a silver netting upon the coat, and their heads full of diamond pins. The Queen was in purple and silver. She is not well shaped or handsome. As [to] the Ladies of the Court, Rank and title may compensate for want of personal Charms, but they are in general very plain ill shaped and ugly, but dont you tell any body that I say so. If one wants to see Beauty they must go to Ranaleigh,12 there it is collected in one bright constelation. There were two Ladies very elegant at court Lady Salsbury and Lady Talbot,13 but the observation did not in general hold good that fine feathers make fine Birds. I saw many who were vastly richer drest than your Friends, but I will venture to say that I saw none neater or more elegant, which praise I ascribe to the taste of Mrs. Temple and my Mantua Maker, for after having declared that I would not have any foil or tincel about me, they fixd upon the dress I have described. Mrs. Temple is my near Neighbour and has been very friendly to me. Mr. Temple you know is deaf so that I cannot hold much conversation with him.
The Tories are very free with their compliments. Scarcly a paper excapes without some scurrility. We bear it with silent Contempt, having met a polite reception from the Court. It bites them Like a serpent and stings them like an adder.14 As to the success the negotiations may meet with time alone can disclose the result, but if this nation does not suffer itself to be again duped by the artifice of some and the malice of others, it will unite itself with America upon the most liberal principals and sentiments.
Captain Dashood came why I have not half done. I have not told your Aunt yet that whilst I was writing I received her thrice welcome Letters, and from my dear cousins too, Aunt Shaw and all,15 nor how some times I laught and sometimes I cry'd, yet there was nothing sorrowfull in the Letters, only they were too tender for me. What not time to say I will write to all of them as soon as possible. Why I know they will all think I ought to write, but how is it possible? Let them think what I have to do, and what I have yet to accomplish as my furniture is come and will be landed tomorrow.16 Eat the sweet meats17 divide them amongst you, and the choisest sweet meat of all I shall have in thinking that you enjoy them.18
I hope you have got all my Letters by my son from whom I shall be anxious to hear.
Adieu adieu.
{ 193 }
Esther is well, John poorly. Do not any of you think hard of me for not writing more, my pen is good for nothing. I went last Evening to Raneleigh, but I must reserve that story for the young folks. You see I am in haste, believe me most tenderly yours
[signed] A Adams
Make the corrections, I have not time; Mr. Storer was well this morning when he left us, he was of the party last evening.
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. AA completed most of the body of this letter on the 24th, but the last paragraphs date from the 28th (see notes 12 and 18), and she wrote the first sections on Wednesday and Thursday, 22 and 23 June.
2. Cotton Tufts to AA, [11], and 19 April; and Hannah Storer to AA, 3 May, are all above. The letter from Dr. Thomas Welsh has not been found; AA replied to him on [25 Aug.], below. This opening paragraph is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
3. This may have been the prisoner who wrote to JA on 2 June (Adams Papers), introducing himself as W. R. Coleman, a Revolutionary War veteran from Virginia.
4. The Daily Universal Register of 10 June includes a squib describing the “cool reception of the American Ambassador.” One paragraph speculates: “The closet-scene on a late introduction at St. James's, must have been curious. It is thought on one side the blush was as deep as die, as the flesh on Eve's cheek when she first saw Adam.” The Morning Post and Daily Advertiser of 13 June asserted that JA was so embarrassed at his first audience with George III that he could not “pronounce the compliment prescribed by etiquette.” For JA's account of his reception by George III, see AA to Thomas Jefferson, 6 June, note 8, above.
5. Thomas Howard, ninth baron Howard of Effingham and third earl of Effingham, married Catherine, daughter of Metcalfe Procter, in 1765. Effingham was a prominent opponent of Lord North's government and an outspoken supporter of American rights in the House of Lords from 1770 to 1782. He supported Pitt in 1783, became master of the mint in 1784, and was named a lord of trade and plantations in 1785 (James E. Doyle, Official Baronage of England, London, 1886, vol. 1; Vicary Gibbs and H. A. Doubleday, The Complete Peerage, London, 1921; Alan Valentine, The British Establishment, 1760–1784, Norman, Okla., 1970).
6. AA evidently means that she was out when her Southern visitors called, and they were out when she called on them.
7. Francis Godolphin Osborne, son of the fourth duke of Leeds, sat briefly in the House of Commons as the Marquis of Carmarthen (1774–1775). He entered the House of Lords as Lord Osborne in 1776, but was commonly known as Carmarthen until he became the fifth duke of Leeds in 1789. A privy councilor from 1777, he served as secretary of state for foreign affairs from 1783 to 1791. He was a strong supporter of the North ministry until 1780, when he lost his post as lord lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire for refusing to oppose the county association movement. Although he then joined the opposition, he always defended the justice of Britain's effort to keep her colonies. See Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:236–237; JA, Papers, 8:370, and note 6.
Sir Clement Cottrell Dormer was knighted in 1779, and appointed Master of the Ceremonies at St. James's Palace, a position held by members of his family from 1641 to 1808 (William A. Shaw, The Knights of England, London, 1906, 2:296; DNB, under Cotterell). Dormer wrote to JA on 22 June (Adams Papers) to describe the proper manner of AA's presentation to the Queen.
8. Gustaf Adam, Baron von Nolcken, was the Swedish envoy; Franciszek Bukaty was the Polish minister (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:409, 310).
9. William John Kerr became the fifth marquis of Lothian in 1775. JA and JQA had met his son, William Kerr, earl of Ancram, in Paris in 1783. John Bernard Burke, Peerage and Baronetage, London, 1853; JQA, Diary, 1:185, and note 1.
10. George Onslow, son of Arthur Onslow, speaker of the House of Commons under { 194 } George II, also sat in Commons, 1754–1776. In the latter year he became the fourth baron Onslow, and in 1780 he was appointed a lord of the royal bedchamber. DNB.
11. Charlotte Augusta Matilda, George III and Queen Charlotte's eldest daughter, born in 1766; she married the prince of Würtemberg in 1797 (DNB). Her sister Augusta Sophia, mentioned below, was born in 1768 (DNB).
12. The public entertainment rooms erected at Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea in 1742 were the site of regular promenades of the British upper classes. Ranelagh closed in 1803, and was torn down soon thereafter (Wheatley, London Past and Present). AA's reference to Ranelagh here may indicate that the text from this point was written on 28 June, for she evidently attended Ranelagh on the 27th; see note 19.
13. Mary Amelia, who married James Cecil, seventh earl of Salisbury, in 1773, and Charlotte, who married Earl Talbot in 1776, were sisters, the daughters of Wills Hill, the earl of Hillsborough, who so angered Massachusetts' patriot leaders when he served as secretary of state for the colonies, 1768–1772. Cecil became the first marquis of Salisbury, and Hill the first marquis of Downshire, in 1789. Burke, Peerage and Baronetage.
14. Proverbs 23:32.
15. “Your Aunt” has not been positively identified. Mary Cranch's (and AA's) aunt Elizabeth Storer Smith seems the most likely candidate; Lucy Quincy Tufts is another possibility. By “dear cousins” AA probably means her nieces Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch. Of the several letters that AA evidently refers to here, only Elizabeth Cranch to AA, and Elizabeth Shaw to AA, both 25 April, both above, have been found.
16. This was JA's furniture from the American legation at The Hague. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 Jan., and note 4, above; and AA to JQA, 26 June and note 2, below.
17. See Cotton Tufts to AA, [11] and 19 April, both above.
18. The text from this point through “my pen is good for nothing” is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
19. This date certainly applies to all the text from “Captain Dashood came,” and perhaps to the text at AA's first mention of “Ranaleigh.” This dated postscript is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0066

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-26

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I have not written you a single line since you left me. Your sisters punctuality I saw would render my pen unnecessary and I have resignd to her all the minutia, as her leisure is much greater and her cares fewer. Capt. Dashood is to sail in a few days for America, and tho as you may well imagine I have much upon my hands, and miss your assistance not a little, I have determined to write you a short Letter, and I know not but that it will turn out a very long one, for my pen will always run greater lengths than I am aware of when I address those who are particularly dear to me and to whom I can write with unreserve.
I hope you had an agreeable passage and that this will find you safe in your native Land, that you are now fix'd in persueing those studies which we have so often talkd over together in your Chamber { 195 } at Auteuil. I doubt not that you met with as friendly a reception from our Friends as I ensured you: I shall be anxious to hear from you and every circumstance which respects you, tho you forgot even to mention me in your Letters to your sister.1 I suppose she has written you every thing respecting our quitting Auteuil, our journey and our arrival here. We could not continue at Lodgings here as no such thing is practised <here>, even by those Ministers who have no families. We have procured a house in Grovenor Square and we hourly expect our furniture. Lotter2 comes with it, to see it safe here. The General Idea here is that the United States find a house and furnish it like other powers, but we know the contrary to our cost. The wages of servants house rent and every other article is much higher than in France. The constant Letters petitions and applications from every quarter is incredible, and the fees to the Court Servants the same as in France, only they come to your house here and demand them as the perquisites of their office. After presentation, and a new Years day you have the same to go over again. We have got through with the payment of 23 Guineys. Your sister I suppose has acquainted you with our being obliged to attend court here. We were presented last thursday at a very full drawing room, and stood more than four hours. You will easily conceive that we were sufficently fatigued. I own I3 had some dissagreeable feelings upon the occasion. His Majesty had got over his worst, in the presentation of your Father whom however he received with much civility. He therefore look'd very jovial and good humourd when I was presented to him. Her Majesty was evidently embarassed and confused. She however spoke to me with politeness, and askd me if I had got into my House, and how I liked the situation. The two princesses, had something to say both to me and your sister, in an obliging familiar Stile. But their task is not to be Coveted, to attend these circles once a week, except in the summer, when they hold them only once a fortnight, and to have to go round to every person and find something to say to all, is paying dearly for their Rank. They do it however with great affability, and give general satisfaction, but I could not help reflecting with myself during the ceremony, what a fool do I look like to be thus accutored and stand here for 4 hours together, only for to be spoken too, by “royalty.” The Ministers from all the Courts had visited your Father immediately after his presentation, and since mine they have several of them repeated the visit to me. The Baron de Linden whom you know I believe, is often here and is very civil. Count Sasfeild too often visits { 196 } here. They were both at court, so was Lord Mount Mon's4 whom we saw in Paris. They all paid their compliments to me there; which took of some of the dissagreeable feeling of being known by no one. Lord Carmathan was introduced to me there and Sir Coteral Dormer, who tho he had attended your Pappa, I had not seen before. A Sir John Hoart5 and two or 3 others got themselves introduced and the Countess of Effingham I have found vastly obliging, so that I had my share of conversation and notice, and was not stuck up quite such an object to be gazed at as I feard. I found the Court like the rest of Mankind, mere Men and Women, and not of the most personable kind neither. I had vanity enough to come a way quite self satisfied, for tho I could not boast of making an appearence in point of person or richness of attire with many of them—the latter I carefully avoided the appearence of, yet I know I will not strike my coulours to many of them. We have no reason to complain of any want of politeness or attention at Court. The Newspapers Scriblers complement us with their notice, but we despise their ribaldary. No Tory so bitter that I hear of, as old treasurer Gray,6 who I hear declares now, that he would hang your Father if it was in his power. As to success in negotiation time will disclose it, but more time may be necessary than perhaps our Country will immagine. There are many prejudices to remove, and every wheel is in motion to spin the threads stronger, but they must take care they do not make it into a Gordeon knot least it should like that, require the sword to cut it. Col. Smith from the acquaintance I have had with him fully answers the kind things the Marquis7 said of him. He appears to be a man of an independant spirit, high and strict sentiments of honour, Much the Gentleman in his manners and address, no cincinatus advocate the badge of which he has never worn and I have ever reason to think from conversation with him that he wishes the order totally annihilated.8
This is Sunday, the forenoon of which we went to Hackney all of us to hear Dr. Price. This is the 3d Sunday we have attended his meeting, and I would willingly go much further to hear a Man so liberal so sensible so good as he is. He has a Charity which embrases all mankind and a benevolence which would do good to all of them. His subjects are instructive and edifying.9
Give my Love to your Brothers and tell them and the rest of my Friends that I will write to them as soon as I get a little setled. Write me my dear Son and write me with freedom your sentiments respecting a Friend of your sisters.10 Cover those Letters which you wish me only to see to Col. Smith but do not address them, in your handwrit• { 197 } ing. I will some time or other take occasion to mention to him that if he should receive any letter addrest to me, to give it me alone.
Mr. Lotter is arrived with our things. I shall not have an other moments leisure. Poor Pelitir Rozier I dont know whether I spell the name right, is dead blown up by the ballon catching fire. You will read the account in the Papers. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mamma. June 26. 1785”; docketed twice by JQA: “Mrs. Adams. June 26. 1785,” and “My Mother. 26. June 1785.”
1. Of [12] and 17 May, above.
2. Christian Lotter served as a steward to JA at The Hague from 1784 or earlier; his correspondence with JA extends from Aug. 1784 to Oct. 1787. Lotter made the inventory of JQA's clothes and books of 6 Nov. 1784 (Adams Papers); and an F. Lotter checked the long inventory of the furnishings of the Hôtel des Etats-Unis at The Hague, prepared in two sections, by John Thaxter in May and October 1782, and by Marie Dumas in June 1784 (Adams Papers; second item filmed under 14 May 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 357). Christian Lotter brought the items listed on the inventory of furnishings to London in June 1785. The Adamses brought many of these furnishings home to Braintree, where they remain today in the Adams National Historic Site.
3. AA wrote “own I” above the line.
4. AA may intend Irish patriot Hervey Redmond Morres, viscount Mountmorres, whom JA met in France in 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:96; DNB).
5. Sir John Hort was appointed consul general at Lisbon in 1767, and made a baronet the same year; he served as chargé d'affaires at Lisbon, 1770–1772 (John Bernard Burke, Peerage and Baronetage, London, 1853; Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:169).
6. Harrison Gray served as treasurer of Massachusetts until the Revolution, when he went into exile in England. He was the father-in-law of Samuel Allyne Otis, and grandfather of Harrison Gray Otis. See Samuel Eliot Morison, The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis, Federalist, 1765–1848, Boston and N.Y., 1913, vol. 1, chap. 1; and JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:270–271, for JA's early opinion of Gray.
7. Lafayette; see AA to Mercy Warren, 10 May, above.
8. This passage seems rather misleading, and William Stephens Smith may have been less than candid with the Adamses about his role in the Society of the Cincinnati. They knew before meeting him that he was a member of the order (JA to Elbridge Gerry, 28 April, LbC, Adams Papers; AA to Mercy Warren, 10 May, above), but AA evidently did not know how prominent a member he was, nor did she imagine how prominent he would become. Smith was a leader of the New York state branch of the Society as early as May 1784, when he played a key role in the national meeting that amended the first plan of the organization. In the 1790s he was elected vice-president, and then president, of the Society's New York branch, and served several terms. In the same decade he was painted by Gilbert Stuart wearing the badge of the order. See William Sturgis Thomas, Members of the Society of the Cincinnati, N.Y., 1929, p. 138; Minor Myers Jr., Liberty without Anarchy: A History of the Society of the Cincinnati, Charlottesville, 1983, p. 59, 61, 130, 192, 195; and Katharine Metcalf Roof, Colonel William Smith and Lady, Boston, 1929, p. 336, and illustration facing p. 332.
9. JA was familiar with Dr. Richard Price's economic and political writings at least from 1778 (JA, Papers, 7:361–362; JA to Price, 8 April 1785, LbC, Adams Papers), and AA quoted from his moral writings with approval in 1783 (to JA, 19 Oct., above), but they apparently first met him upon moving to England in 1785. They became good friends of the liberal dissenting preacher, and worshiped regularly at Hackney, much to AA's satisfaction, until their return to America in 1788 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:188, 203, 215).
10. Royall Tyler.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0067

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I hope, that before this day you are Safely arrived at New York, and that in another Month, I shall receive a Letter from you dated from that City. Before this reaches you I Suppose you will be at Boston or Cambridge, or Braintree or Haverill or Weymouth. Let me hear from you as often as you can.
We have taken a House in Grosvenor Square, at the Corner of Duke Street, and hope to get into it in a Week. We have gone through all the Ceremonies of Presentations and Visits, which are more tedious I think at St. James's than at the Hague or at Versailles. You will see by the Papers that the despicable Spight, of the old Boston Tories, Still bears an honourable Testimony to your Fathers Integrity and faithfull Perseverance in the Cause of his Country.1 I have met, however with a very different Reception at Court.
Your Brother Charles I hope will enter Colledge this Year, and that you and he will be very happy together.
Let me know how Mr. Thaxter succeeds in Business, and whether he is a Speaker at the Bar,—the same of Mr. Tyler.
My Love & Duty where due. Your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
1. A squib in the Daily Universal Register of 14 June, which describes JA as “a quondam declared rebel,” employs an ironic use of Proverbs 22:29, to attack him. “See'st thou a man diligent in business (said Solomon) and he shall stand before princes and great men, &c.—A-la-mode John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0068

Author: Williamos, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-06-27

Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the pleasure of writing to Mr. Adams four or five days after your departure1 to acquaint you of your son's safe arrival at l'Orient, and as I did not know your proper adress, I enclosed my letter to Mr. Clarke at Counsellor Brown's, Chancery Lane, with very particular charge to wait on you immediately on your arrival. Mr. Clarke has not wrote to me since, and by Miss Adams's note2 I am led to think my former letter has miscarried, be kind enough therefore to excuse { 199 } my apparent neglect, a thing, far, very far indeed from my thoughts; I then mentioned that my letter from the Captain and officers of the Packet gave me every hope that your son would meet with every attention and find thereby his passage less Irksome.
I was very happy in seeing Mrs. Hay but should have been much more so if I could have rendered her stay here as agreable as possible. Mr. Carnes3 Joined with me in every endeavour. But large towns are such a bore to the true pleasures of Society that I fear she did not relish Paris much; I was much surprised after parting with her the evening before, that when I called the next morning I was told of her departure; Your mantua maker behaved so very Ill that altho' I went to her, and to Mrs. Barclay's on purpose, and sent my man several times to her, she would not finish your things till many days after Mrs. Hay went away. I am looking every where for a safe opportunity to send them.
The June Packet sails from L'orient. I have sent Miss Adams's letter to a friend at New York4 with particular directions to deliver, or forward it, the next packet, and some merchant vessels are certainly to go in the Course of next month from Havre. I shall sail in the very first, doctor Franklin proposes doing the same if possible;5 we are all very well here but feeling every day more and more the loss of our most valuable Auteuill friends. How does, the Change of places, manners and things agree with them? but with such minds as they possess can they but be happy every where?
Mr. Jefferson has some letters ready many days since, which only wait for a Safe Conveyance. They are not often met with.6
The May packet is not arrived yet, all our american news which appear important are by the way of England.
Can I flatter myself Madam that if my feeble services can be of any use on this or the other side of the Atlantick you will Command them freely.
Nothing could render me more truly happy than opportunities of rendering agreable the unfeigned [respect?] and most sincere regard [ . . . ] which I have the honor to be [perfe]ctly
Madam your most obedient devoted servant
[signed] C: Williamos
My best respect ever truly attend Mr. and Miss Adams; I am very happy to hear Col. Smith is arrived Safe and well.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Bath Hotel Westminster London”; stamped: “IU/30,” and, in a red ink, an illegible word or words; endorsed: “Mr Williamos Letter 27 June.” Some text has been lost where the seal was cut away.
{ 200 }
1. Not found; see AA to Williamos, 1 July, note 1, below.
2. Not found.
3. Burrill Carnes was an American merchant who was living in Lorient in Sept. 1785, and was appointed an American agent at Nantes by consul general Thomas Barclay in Feb. 1786 (Jefferson, Papers, 8:544; 9:303).
4. Probably one of AA2's letters to JQA, written in May or early June, which have not been found. See AA2 to JQA, 4 July, note 1, below.
5. Franklin's plan to sail directly home from Le Havre was frustrated by a lack of vessels leaving that port for America, and he sailed from England in late July. Williamos did not sail at all. See AA to Williamos, 1 July, note 2; Williamos to AA, 21 July, note 2, both below.
6. Jefferson still retained his letter of 21 June to AA, above (see note 1 to that letter; Jefferson to AA, 7 July, below; and Jefferson to JA, 22 June and 7 July, both Adams Papers, printed in Jefferson, Papers, 8:246, 265).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0069

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1785-06-30

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear Sir

You obligeing favour1 I received by Captain Lyde and thank you for its contents, which assured me of your kind remembrance of me, and your politeness at the same time: in being the first of our American Friends who crost the water to visit us in Stile. Many English Lords and Noblemen have visited us in the same way, but as it is not in our power to return the visit untill we happily reach the American Shore, you will in the mean time accept my thanks in this way. Be assured Dear Sir that I wrote you by my Son2 and that I should have written to you oftner if I had thought I could have entertaind you, and that my omission has been neither oweing to want of Respect or affection.
The magnifying glass is still made use, of by Englishmen in looking at America, and every little commotion there, is represented as a high handed Roit, and it is roundly asserted that their is neither Authority or Government, there. I was in company the other day and heard these observations, but as they were not addrest to me, I did not think myself Authorised to enter into a political dispute.
When the shop tax past here the other day,3 the shops throughout the city were shut up, some hung in black, and the statue of Gorge the 2d put into deep mourning. Upon the shops was written shops to be let, inquire of Mr. Pitt. Upon others no Pitt, no shop tax, damn Pitt. In Several places he was hung in Effigy. In the Evening every body was apprehensive of a Mob, as they threatned very much to assail the House of Commons, the Militia and city Gaurds were all under Arms, and had enough to do to keep the Mobility in order. If such an opposition to Authority had taken place in America, it would { 201 } have been circulated in the highest coulouring as far as British Newspapers could carry it.
The disposition amongst the mercantile part of this Nation is not very favourable to America, and the Refugees are very desperate bitter and venomous, and none more so that I hear of than the former Treasurer of Boston.4 Some of them I believe are wretched enough, but it does not work conviction in them, that they have erred and strayed like lost—not Sheep, but Wolves—for they would devour us yet if they could. Some Merchants say they can have our trade without any treaty, others what is a trade good for with a people who have nothing to give in return? Others that we are not united enough to take any resolutitions which will be generally binding and that Congress has no Authority over the different states.
Time will discover whether this system is to opperate in the Cabinet. The civil and polite reception given to the American Minister and his family, from the Court, does not ensure to America justice in other respects, but so far as forms go; America has been treated in her Representitive with the same attention that is shewn to Ministers from other powers.
If you should have an opportunity to send us a Quintel of good salt fish we should be much obliged to you. It may be addrest to Mr. Rogers. Dr. Tufts will pay for it.
Be so good sir as to present my duty to my Aunt to whom I will write as soon as I get setled in my house to which we shall remove this week in Grovenor-Square. My Love to all my cousins. I visited Mr. Vassels family this week at Clapham,5 they inquired after you, and Miss Hobart particularly desired her regards to you and my Aunt.
My daughter desires her duty and Love may be presented to all her Friends and relatives. Mr. Adams will write as soon as he can get time. Believe me Dear Sir most affectionately Your Neice
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed: “Isaac Smith Esquire Merchant at Boston”; notations on address sheet, in other hands?: “sh.2.16”; and “Hond by Cap J Ingram”; docketed: “Mrs Adams London 1785.”
1. Not found.
2. Of 8 May, above.
3. 25 Geo. 3. c. 30.
4. Harrison Gray.
5. William Vassall, distressed by the disorders of the coming Revolution, but considering himself neutral in the conflict, fled Massachusetts for England in 1775, and died there in 1800. He had apparently been a client of JA's at some point (JA to Thomas Jefferson, 3 May 1816, in JA, Works, 10:214–215), but the nature of the case(s) is not known. Vassall had employed several lawyers in the 1750s, when he maintained interminable law suits against several fellow Bostonians. Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:349–359.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0070

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Williamos, Charles
Date: 1785-07-01

Abigail Adams to Charles Williamos

[salute] Dear sir

I received your favour last evening which is the first line we have had from you; I shall send to this Mr. Clark and see if the other Letter is to be found.1 We are at present in much confusion our furniture having just arrived at our house which we are aranging as fast as possible, so that I am between the Bath hotel and Grovesnor Square much occupied. I assure you it would be a great addition to our happiness if the intercourse between the Friends we had in Paris could be as easily mantaind here as at Auteuil. You know that I did not live long enough in Paris to become so great an Idolatar of it, as some of my fair countrywomen, and it is not to be wonderd at that the same Religion Language customs and some likeness of Manners should give me a Bias in favour of this Country. Heitherto I have had nothing to complain of, not even the compliments in the Gazzets which are beneath notice, and spring from the corrupted source of torry Malevolence, but nothing better can be expected from those who have been paricides to their Native Land. From the Court we have received every mark of politeness and attention which we had any reason to expect. Upon the last drawing room of the Queens I had the honour with my daughter of being presented to their Majesties the ceremony of which is very different from a presentation at Verssailes. When the Lord in waiting presents a Lady to the King, she draws of the Glove of her right hand and his Majesty salutes her right cheek. He then speaks to her and the Queen does the same. The princess Royal and her elder sister who are the only two that attend the drawing room go round in their turn and speak to all who have been presented. It is very tiresome however and one pays dear for the smiles of Royalty. I was four hours standing, for it was a crouded drawing room and the Royal family have a task of it to find small talk sufficient to speak in turn to the whole.
I thank you sir for all your Friendly attentions to me and mine whilst at Paris and since my arrival here. My Matua Makers word I never found much reliance upon, but her work is so much to be prefered to any thing I can get done here, that if it was not attended with so much difficulty I should send her all my Cloaths to make. If Mrs. Barclay had a commission to Execute for me as soon as it is accomplishd I would have the things all put together and I inclose you a letter unseald to Mr. Hales the <Duke of Dorsets> British { 203 } Secratary of Legation by which you see I have requested his care of them. I have been informd that the duke of Dorset has a trusty person who passes weekly in a carriage from Paris here. If you will be so kind as to take charge of this Letter and see Mr. Hale I dare say I shall be at no further trouble in looking out for a conveyance and Mr. Jefferson I fancy may trust his Letters safely in the same bundle with out even mentioning them as they will not be subject to Search. Mrs. Barclay had some lace to send me which if not already forwarded may be sent by the same way. Mrs. Hay speaks very highly of your particular attention to her as well as the rest of my Friends at Paris. Her situation required her embrasing the first opportunity of returning to England and she had only a few hours notice of the opportunity. She begg me to present her respects to Mr. Jefferson and the rest of the Gentleman who were so kind as to notice her. My Regards to Mr. Jefferson, Col. Humphries, Mr. Short and my good Friends the Abbes. Respectfull compliments to Dr. Franklin and Son.2 The Marquis and Lady are I suppose gone into the Country. Whenever you embark for America I wish you a pleasent voyage. I shall always be happy to hear from you. Mr. Adams will write soon to Mr. Jefferson. Col. Smith and Col. Humphries seem to be standing upon points of punctilio who shall make the first advances towards renewing an old acquaintance. We are much pleased with Col. Smith I assure you.
<My daughter joins me in sentiments of Regard accept>
Believe me Sir with sentiments of Esteem your Friend and humble servant
[signed] AA
Dft (Adams Papers); notations on the first page by CFA: in blue ink: “To Mr Barclay. London July 1. 1785”; and in pencil: “To Mr Barclay?” See note 1.
1. Although a transmission of three days from Paris was quite rapid, the references in this sentence, and those in the following paragraph to AA's Paris mantua maker and to Mrs. Hay, are all to Charles Williamos' letter of 27 June, above. Williamos' other letter, sent to JA, ca. 25 May, in care of “Mr. Clarke at Counsellor Brown's, Chancery Lane” in London (Williamos to AA, 27 June), has not been found. The conjecture by CFA that the intended recipient of this letter was Thomas Barclay (see descriptive note) probably owed to AA's references to Mrs. Barclay, below. But no other letter by AA to Barclay, or from him to her, has been found, and only one letter is known from Mary Barclay to AA (5 Sept., below).
2. AA certainly means Benjamin Franklin's elder grandson, William Temple Franklin; Franklin's younger grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, was also returning with him to America. The three departed from Passy on 12 July, and reached Southampton, England, on the 24th. There Franklin had one last, painful meeting with his son, the loyalist exile William Franklin, whom AA had probably never met. See Jefferson, Papers, 8:281, 308; Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family, N.Y., 1975, p. 279–281.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0071

Author: McCann, Mary
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-07-02

Mary McCann to John Adams and Abigail Adams

[salute] May it please your Excellency

[salute] Madam

Having humbly presumed to wait on you to solicit the honor of serving your Excellency's Family with Cream and Milk, and had the honor to give you at the Hotel last Fryday, a Recommendation from his Excellency the Spanish Ambassador's Steward, you was pleased to order me to wait at your House in Grosvenor Square Yesterday Morning with Cream and Milk, which I accordingly did; but may it please your Excellency, I am humbly to inform you, that a Woman in the Care of the House refused taking either from me, tho' I told her I came by your Excellency's Order: thus refused by her, I beg leave with all Humility to address your Excellency with these few lines, humbly to solicit the honor of serving your Family.
As I have Madam the honor of serving now His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador, and likewise had the same honor to serve Prince Caramanico, and Count Pignatelli1 when here, I presume to hope my Conduct is always approved off; and if your Excellency will permit me to hope for the honor of receiving your Commands, it shall be my pride and Study to merit the honor of your Excellency's Countenance and protection, and in Duty I shall be bound to pray!
[signed] Mary McCann
No. 1 Great Quebec St.
Portman Square
1. The Spanish ambassador was Bernardo del Campo y Pérez de la Serna (made the marqués del Campo in Aug. 1786), who served in London from 1783 to 1795. Francesco d'Aquino, Principe di Caramanico, served as the Sicilian envoy to Britain from 1781 to June 1784, and then to France, Oct. 1784 to Jan. 1785. Michele, Conte Pignatelli, preceded d'Aquino as Sicilian envoy to Britain, 1771–1781, and to France, Aug. 1783 – June 1784. Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:432–433, 424, 423.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0072

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1785-07-04 - 1785-08-11

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

Every day, hour, and minute, your absence mon chere frere, pains me more and more. We left last saturday2 the Hotell and have got settled in peace and quiettness in our own House in this Place. The { 205 } situation is pleasant. I would walk, my Brother is gone. I would ride, my Brother is gone. I would retire to my chaimber. Alas, I meet him not there. I would meet him in his appartment—but—where is it? I would set to my work, and he would read to me—but alas, this is Passed—and I am to draw the comparison between Auteuil and Grosvenor Square and sigh, and—and, wish to recall, the former. No. I do not wish to recall the former. I only wish for you and I should esteem myself happy. We shall live more as if we were a part of the World; than when in France. And we already find ourselvs, better pleased. But I have much to regret in thee. More than you can Judge—with all your knowledge of yourself. The C[olonel]3 has taken Lodgings. He is civil and your father is pleased with his Principles and sentiments as they respect His appointment with Him. You know what they must be.
Least you should tax me for want of particularity, I will give you a description of my appartment. A Bed, on one side, three chairs of Green velvet—you know them I dare say, a bureau, and dressing Glass, one of the secretaries of which the Covers Shut in, at which I am now writing. On the top of it there is placed, my secret Box. The Book cases which Contain Bells Edition of the British Poets4 which my father has made me a Present of, with a few other Books. Over it I have hung a picture intended for yourself, of which you have heretofore spoken to me.5 I would not mortify you by saying I think it a likeness nor Pay so Poor a compliment to my own judgment. However as it was intended for you I shall look upon it for you, and derive some satisfaction from it, and at the same time wish it were better.
From this day my narative shall commence. We hope you by this time arrived at New York, if not in Boston, but many weeks must pass before we hear from you. Our family is not yet quite arranged. I dont know what will become of us. We are obliged to have more servants here than in Paris—and their wages, is much more. Instead of 11 Guineas to Petito we are obliged to give a Person in the capasity of a butler 30. Guineas, but out of Livery, to a foot man with a Livery 18, to a Cook 15. For Horses and Coachman we have engaged to give 110. Guineas a year, or 11 Guineas by the Month—which is less than we gave in Paris, a little. We have had our Coach fitted up, and it answers. The C——keeps a Carriage. There is not one expence Lessend here, but every one augmented.
Pappa and the C—— dined to day with Mr. Bridgen, perhaps you may recollect him. He Married the Daughter of the celebrated Richardson but she is Dead lately.6 He has been to see your father several times. { 206 } General Oglethorp who called upon Pappa when he was in London before, appointed a day to call upon him a week or two ago, and came accompanied by Mr. Paradise.7 Your Pappa returnd His visit, and the Last week he died. A surprising Man he was an hundred and two years oald, and the oaldest General in the Kings service and also the oaldest in the Emperiors. Since I have heard of His Death I have regreted that I did not see him when he visitted my father. I have heard he was sprightly and chearfull, to a very surprising degree for His age, and was perfectly possessed of His reason and senses. He was the first Governor of Georgia and a friend to America.8
To day being the anniversary of the independence of America there was a Large Party dined together out of Town. Your father was invited but was engaged before. Mr. Storer came and dined with us, and after dinner went with your Mamma and myself to some Shops. By way of anecdote let me tell you that when we first arrived in London, it was necessary to take immediately a Carriage and Horses. For the former we sent to Mr. Foster of whom you purchased our Coach.9 He furnished us with a handsome Chariot till he could repair our own Carriage, and your Pappa took Horses and Coach Man from another Person, who was recommended Perhaps not sufficiently—to discriminate is a dificult matter in these Countries where every one offers their services, and never lack sufficient recommendations from themselvs. However we soon found that we had a drunken Coachman, but as he had been several days in our service, and your father many visits to return upon his first arrival, he thought it best not to Change till we should go to our own House and take a Coach Man into the family as is the Custom in this Country. One afternoon Pappa went out to return some visits, and while he was drinking tea with a Gentleman, the Coach Man being drunk got asleep upon His Box, fell down, broke the two front Glasses, and split the fore part of the Carriage. But as nought is never in danger he received no Hurt himself, by His fall. This is a matter of about six pounds—but we nevertheless, continued Him in service till we got to this House, where we have taken a fellow, who, except talking amaizingly fast, has every appearance of being what we shall want Him to.
Pappa dined with Mr. S. Hartly, Cousin of Mr. David H[artley], the latter has been to see us. Mr. Hammond has not.10
{ 207 }
Pappa went to the drawing room, and we had four American Gentlemen to dine with us. Coln. Norton who is again here, a Mr.[]12 from New York, a Mr. Noise from Boston, and a Mr. Remington from Watertown. Tis true we were not in the best order imaginable to receive company, but Pappa thought not of that you know when he invited them. However we did very well, with the assistance of a servant of the Coln. for our own butler has not yet come. We have a foot Man besides John Brisler who is in very Poor Health, but he is a German and does not understand English perfectly and seems to be an honnest, quiet, stupid, kind, of a Creature. After we had dined Mamma and myself went to take a ride, intending to Call upon Mrs. Temple and take her with us. Just as we were in the Carriage Coln. Smith came up in his Carriage with a General Stewart from America, who is a very handsome Man. Mamma told the C— that She intended to have asked Him to accompany her, but he had company. He ordered the Door opened and in jumpt telling his Companion that he would find Pappa at Home. He went on and we rode off. Perhaps you will say the Coln sacrifised politeness to Gallantry. We proceeded on our way to Mrs. Temples, but soon overtook her with Mr. Trumble and a Mr. and Mrs. Wheelright going to walk in Kensington Gardens. We concluded to accompany them and joined them at the entrance of the Gardens where we walkd for some time and returned Home.
The Baron de Linden called upon us at about eight oclock in the Evening and told us he had just come from Breakfasting with the Dutchess of Bedford, to which he was invited for four oclock. Ridiculous, beings these are. I was told the other day of an invitation which a Gentleman had to dine with the Duke and Dutchess of Devonshire at Eleven oclock at Night. In time it is to be hoped they will come to be reasonable in this matter of aranging their time. By such continued changes, they must inevitably sometimes come right, however they may indeavour to avoid it.
Pappa is not much pleased with the Foreign Ministers here. They have all visitted him and are very sivil, but he thinks them much less respectable as individuals, than those in Holland or France. There is but one Court which is represented by an Ambassador here, which is France. He has arrived within a few days from Bath, and is said is going soon Home to His own Country upon account of His Health.
{ 208 }
We have received a third visit to day from Mrs. and Miss Paradise and an invitation to dine with them next thursday. They tell us that they had the pleasure to know you. Therefore any description or account of either of the Ladies is needless, and I am sure I should be at a Loss to know how to give you an idea of them. The only observation that I could make upon Mrs. P[aradise] when I first saw her was, that I had never seen any thing like her before. She appears to me to be a singular Character. But I will Leave her, to describe to you a young Lady who called upon us to day, with Her Uncle, a Mr. Hamlington13 from Philadelphia. He has brought this his Neice over to this Country to give her an education, suitable to a fortune which he intends to give her. She is now at a boarding school, her Name is Miss Hamlinton. She is I should Judge 15 or 16 years oald, not very tall an agreeable size, good complexion not remarkably fair, brown Hair, good Eyes, and tolerable teeth, a good share of animation in her countenance, her Manners easy delicate and pleasing. I think you would have thought her pretty. Pray what think ye of Miss Hazen. Is she all your friend, W[inslow] W[arren] told you of Her.
Mr. Storer has called upon us, this afternoon and says that He shall Leave this Country and embark for America certainly this Month with His sister and Her family. I shall continue my narative till it is necessary for to seal my packet for Him. When you receive it you must not be unmindfull of your Prohibitions to me. Sentiment you could get from Books therefore I was to avoid them. You wanted only a Plain relation of facts as they should take place in the family, which I shall indeavour to fullfill to the best of my knowledge and ability. I could sincerely complain an Hour of your being absent, but this you do not want to be told again to beleive, I trust. The next packet I shall expect Letters from you and I am well assured that I shall not expect to be disappointed, if you arrive safe by that time and Heaven Grant you may is the sincere wish of your affectionate sister.
Pappa Mamma and myself, went agreeable to the Letter of our invitation at four oclock to dine with Mr. and Mrs. Paradise but unfortunately were two hours too early. The company did not collect till near six, consequently we did not dine till that Hour. I will give you the circle at table. Mrs. Paradise your Mamma, Coln. Smith, your sister, Dr. Price, a French Gentleman Mr. Paradise another French { 209 } Gentleman Miss Paradise, Mr. de Freire, Charge des affairs from Portugal, my Lady Hawk and your Father, in this way we were seated. I had the pleasure and honour of being seated next to Dr. Price . . but Wise Men you know are allways silent in mixed companies. The Dr. I have heard seldom enters upon any important subject in company, he however paid attention enough to me in this way as to sattisfy me. But in truth I dont recollect one thing said at table worth relating. Our dinner was a la Francaise la tout, and every civility was paid to us, that we could wish or expect. When we returnd to the drawing room we found several Gentlemen, who had not been of our diner party, the company increased, and we were expected to spend the Eve. Several Gentlemen and Ladies were invited we were told, upon our account, but your Pappa and Mamma came away before tea, and did not see all the company, I feard at the risk of haveing offended the People we visitted, however you know that seven years hence, it will be all one.
We drank tea with Mrs. Temple where we met Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Vassall. We are upon very civil terms—that is, sufficiently distant. Mrs. T is a Lovely Woman, but we are to loose her soon, for they assert that their passages are taken to go out to America this Month.
Dined with Mr. and Mrs. Roggers, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Temple Mr. Granvile Temple, and Coln. Smith. I dont know a Man who can please more than this said Mr. T when he indeavours to be agreeable, and how ever one may be prejudiced against Him, his manner of behavour, dispells it all.
We went to Hackney to Hear Dr. Price. He has been giveing his People his sistem of religion, in a Course of sermons. We have been to Hear them all. This day forghtnight he proposes to conclude. I think you would have been pleased to have been of our party. We have been treated with respect to seats with the utmost civility and politeness.
Mamma and myself rose before six o clock, and went out to take an early Breakfast with Mrs. Atkinson. The rain we had yesterday had made the air sweet and has given or rather renewed in some measure { 210 } the verdure, and our ride was cleaver, enough. Mr. Atkinson talks of going out in August. Charles will go with them and I expect this Letter will be handed you by this Mr. Charles Storer, if he should not conclude and preconclude the ensueing season in the same way as he did the last with respect to visitting France. He postpones his journey thence, for some time, but however I beleive, hopes it may arrive some time or other. Pappa and Coln. Smith dined with Mr. Vaugn,14 for the 2d. time, to day, and the Spanish Minister came and drank tea with us. His Name is le Chevalier del Campo, he speaks English well, for a Foreigner. I see nothing in his favour, but that he is a very ugly Man. His eyes are squint very black, and sharp enough to be agreeable.
Mrs. Hay came to town from Hampstead and spent the day with us. Pappa went to the Levee. His Majesty is very sociable, in general, and your father says, sometimes utters very good things. He disapproves the arangment of the day, and recommends, order and regularity, says he allways, rises at six oclock, and in winter is the first Person up in the Palace and generally makes his own fire, for he says a Man who is not capable of helping himself is a Slave. He shaves himself also, as he asserts, and sometimes wears his scratch Wig to the Levee, so much for His Majesty. All the World are gone into the Country. The Levees and drawing rooms are very thin at present and one may easily dispence with going to Court at this season. We have not yet been since we were presented. Perhaps her Majesty will think we were offended at her reception—it was better suited to the Present season than to the Winter, is very true, but it is not in the Power of the Smiles or Frowns of Her Majesty to affect me, either by confering pleasure or giveing Pain. I was wholy incapable of takeing the place She seemed to assign me when I was presented to Her. I suppose she assented to the assertion made by some Persons in this Country that there were no People who had so much impudence as the Americans, for there was not any People bred even at Courts who had so much confidence as the Americans. This was because they did not tremble, Cringe, and fear, in the Presence of Majesty.
Coln. Smith has not been to Court since he was presented. He says he does not Love them and he will see as little as possible of any belonging to them. His aversion is I beleive quite equal to Coln. H[umphrey]s. He does not express, so great a degree, however. He desired me to day to present his compliments to you when I should { 211 } write you and, to tell you that he had wished to become acquainted with you before he left America, from the account he had heard of you, and he now regrets your absence—in which I can sincerely join him, for I mourn at it—and yet think you acted right in going home. By this time we hope you are arrived in Boston.
To day Mr. Charles Bullfinch has called upon us. He arrived a day or two since in Scot, and has brought us, some Letters.15 We dined by invitation this day with Mr. and Mrs. Copely, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Roggers, Mr. West Mr. Clark, and Mr. Whiteford.16 The latter was seated next me at table, and after haveing lookd at me through his spectacles, which you know he all ways wears and haveing diverted the company with a few puns, for which you also know he is famous, if not in[],17 he began by telling me how very disappointed he was by your not haveing come here with your father, and by enquiring whether you should return here soon. I told him that you had gone with the intention of setling in America. “What said he, then I suppose he is going to be married.” I told him of your design of entering Colledge, and could sincerely join with him in whatever regret he might express on account of your absence. He talked about France, and said many things respecting the French which I could only reconcile, from his being an Englishman. I am not surprised when I hear People who have never been out of this Island, perhaps not out of the Town of London, expressing such iliberal sentiments upon other Nations, which one from charity would attribute to the score of ignorance. But when I hear a Man who has travelled, who has seen Mankind and had an opportunity of judging and whom one might suppose was not unreasonably prejudiced, express, a contempt for any particular Class of People, I only Pitty those principles which prevent him from discovering and doing justice to real merit wherever it is to be found in whatever Country or Climate. “One would scarce beleive it possible that a distance of seven Leagues, for its is absolutely no farther says Yorick,”18 the character of the two People should be so strongly marked, and that so constant a communication, should not have worn off some of those illiberal prejudies, which discover themselfs in every mind on this side the Water. I have absolutely discoverd, disapprobation in the countenances of almost every person who has asked me, how I was pleased, with France, after I answered them that I found it agreeable, and that the General Manners of the People pleasd me much. They { 212 } will be satisfied with nothing less than a studied preference in favour of their Country, which I cannot nor will not ever give them at the expence of my cincerity. Mrs. B[ingham] says she made many enemies by giving the preference to the French. If I have been truly informed she did it not in the most delicate manner or the most polite. She has been in London lately and they set of this day for Spar,19 from thence propose going to Brusells, and spend the first Part of the Winter in Paris, come over here, in February perhaps “before the Birth day,”20 and go to America in the Spring. I have been so fortunate as never to have seen Mr. B. but once.21 Mrs. B. has made us three very agreeable visits.
The weather is very warm, at present. It is said that a season like the present has not been known in Europe for many years, if ever. In France they have scarce had any rain since you left it and you know, well how much it was wanted when you was on the road. There has been but two or three rains since we arrived here, and none thought sufficient for the fruits of the Earth, by People of reason and Common sense. Yet such is the dispossition of the People that the papers often assert that rain is not wanted and that the season is very promising, on this Island.
I had like to have set down this Eve and to have complained of not having any thing to communicate to you, but recalling to mind your injunction “be punctual and let no circumstance however trivial escape your Pen”22 I have tax'd myself with not having fullfilled it, in many respects and now determine to make up all Past deficiencies at least in this respect. Indoubtedly you well remember Grosvenor Square, as it is said to be the finest in23 this Capitall. We have some respectable Neighbours, at least they inherit every title to which the World afix the Ideas of respectability, and <many of them> some are perhaps <so>) entitled to the epithet from their own merit. Lord Carmarthen, lives about five houses from us, but not upon the same side of the Square. He is said to be a worthy Man. You know I suppose what [h]is title is. When we first came into this House, the Man of whom we hired and who furnished Mamma with some few articles of furniture, is a singular kind of a Body, very sivl, not intirely ignorant, and his business, leads him to some knowledge of these great Folks, it being what is here called upholster and undertaker. We made some { 213 } | view few inquiries of him by whom we were surrounded and I must give it you as he told it us. Upon the right hand said he is Lady Tacher and on the left Lady Lucy Lincoln sister to the Famous Conway24 and there is my Lord Norths and there a House formerly belongs to the Duke of Dorset, but he has sold it. Such a House belongs to the Dutchess of Bedford who ran over to France the last Winter—and in such a one, lives, Lady, what do you call her whose husband ran a Pen through her Nose the other day, &c. &c. &c.
You are sattisfied I suppose by this with an account of our Neighbours. Lady Lincolns Parlores Window makes one side of the square and, our drawing room windows the other thus, so you see we have a chance of looking at each other, an opportunity we each have already taken advantage of. She peeps at us, and we illustration can not do less you know than return the compliment. The English may call the French starers but I never saw so little civility and politeness in a Stare in France as I have here. In short I beleive the French are the politeest People in the World and take them for all in all, I neer expect to Meet their like again.25 Our house stand at the Corner of Duke Street. The situation is much in its favour. It is a descent House, a little out of repairs, but such a one as you would not blush to see, any of the Foreign Menisters in. The front doer is a little in the corner. At the entrance there is a large Hall, with a large Stair Case, all of Stone. On the left Hand, is the dining room, which will hold 15 Persons with ease, and, next to it is a littel room, more retired in which we usually dine, when we have no company, and from this you go into a long room of which Pappa has, made an office, for doing Publick business. The Kitching is blow Stairs. Above, over the dining room is the drawing room, as large as the room below and from it a little room of which Mamma has mad a Common setting Parlour, to breakfast and drink tea if we choose and out of it is another long room in which Pappa has put his Library, and in which he writes usually himself. This is a very descent suit of rooms, and we have another very small one which servs to breakfast and set in at this season. Our Chaimbers are upon the 3d. floor, of which there are four besides a dressing room. Mamma took one of the front Chaimbers to herself, the other she has appropriated for to Stand empty for a spare bed, to which you will be perfectly well come if you will come and spend the Night with us. I have a chaimber over the small setting room. It looks only into a little peice of a yard with { 214 } which we are favourd. It's so situated that the sun does not approach it any part of the year, and I have a most extensive prospect from it, of the tops of all the Houses which surround us, and I can count an hundred Chimneys from it—and see Norths et[c] et[c]. Dont you envy me the Prospect. The Chaimber is very tidy and cleaver. Over the Library is Esters room, out of mine, and above are chaimber for the servants. Now you know every room in the House, and were you set down blind fold at the Corner of Duke Street Grosvenor Square, you would be at no loss, where to find my chaimber I suppose.
To day, is the first time that we have pretended to see company to dine. We had a company of fifteen. Mr. and Mrs. Temple and their son Mr. Granvile Temple, Mr. and Mrs. Roggers, Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. Storer, Dr. Price, Mr. Charles Bullfinch, Coln. Smith, and ourselvs. You know not how much <we> I missd you and how much I wished for you. The Customs of different Countries are different, and even when one knows how to Conduct in the one, you may be ignorant of the next you visit. You often meet here with an imitation of the French, customs, especially, at diner, and Courses are as Common allmost here as in France, but they do not arange matters so well. Were I to follow my will, I would Introduce the Whole Custom of dining in the French Stile here. In the first place, in this Country when your dinner is said to be on table, instead of the gentleman of the House Gallantly handing, the first Lady in company in to diner and every other Gentleman following his example, the Lady of the House rises and desires the Lady in company who happens to be the Greatest stranger or higest rank to walk to dinner, and every one follows accordingly, then the Gentlemen, like a flock of Sheep one by one, not <yoked> in Pairs. When you get to the table the Ladies must all sit in a cluster, and the Gentlemen by themselvs. And, now every one is thus seated why they must all set quietly with their hands before them till, the Gentleman or Lady of the House and [yore?] served a Whole [circle?] of 20 and said Pray Mam or Pray Sir will you be helpd so and so—and to be sure every Person in Company, will make choise of one dish, that one Person may have the extreme felicty of setting quite Starved till every one at table is helpd, then all must begin together, and when every one has their Plate changed and the cerimony is to perform over again, through every dish at table, nor will they eat if you leave it to themselvs to make a choise. Ridiculous formality. Then there must be, every two minutes, Mam will you do me the favour to drink a Glass of Wine with me, which obliges some to say, with pleasure, { 215 } when in reallity they never drink any thing but Water and had rather be excused. And then the additional formality of drinking Health and toasts which above all things I detest, and will not now nor henceforward for ever more do it. In short one cannot consult their ease and pleasure but must be enslaved with fashion and customs. And another thing I dislike, that I mean of the Ladies rising from table and the Gentlemen, continueing seetting, but it is quite the fashion here to go from the dining table to the Card table. I am told, I have not dined any where yet where I have seen it done. By this time you will laught at me, I doubt not and tell me what you used to foretell has come to pass—of the preferance, I should have for France when I got here. True it is I give the preferance, to many customs amongst that People to what I find here, but it is such a priveledge, to be able to talk that it allmost over ballances every other consideration. But I am sure, you would find yourself much happier here than you were in France. Yet I hope you will be still more so where you are—and I will not doubt it.
Our company was large enough to be agreeable, and had every one consulted his own ease and that of his Neighbour, we should have been much pleased at least I shold. It is the department of the Butler to change the Course and put every thing upon table. We have a cleaver fellow in this capacity. He has more solemnity and not so much alertness as Petit,26 and he is thought to be perfectly honnest. Our Cook, gave us a good [dinner?]. Pappa is not so pleased with the English Cookery as the French. He says Now we shall all soon be sick with eating raw meat and I confess, I am partial to the Country I have left—at least to its rationallities. And I veryly beleive there is less of what one may Call folly there than here, howe[ve]r the People here may affect to despise their Neighbers.
Oh one peice of News—Mamma had a Letter from Mr. Williamos,27 who is Still in Paris and who still waits for an opportunity more eligable than by way of Lorient, that informed her that Dr. Frankling had arrived at Rouen, in Health on his way to the Isle of Whight from which he is to embark in a Ship commanded by Capt. Truxton for Philadelphia. The King of France sent the Dr. his picture set in diamonds of Greet vallue, and two letters from the Comte de Vergenes !!!!!!! Mrs. Williams has gone out with the Dr.28
By the way, I must not omit to tell you, what a rage for Painting has taken Possession of the Whole family. One of our rooms has been occupied by a Gentleman of this profession, for near a forghtnight, and we have the extreme felicity of looking at ourselvs upon Canvass. { 216 } The Paper yesterday had this paragraph “Sir J. Reynolds is employd in takeing a portrait of Lady Dungannon. Copely and Brown are exerting their skill upon their illustrious Country Man Mr. Adams the American Ambassador.” I expect it will be next that Mr. Brown is painter to the American Ambassadors family. He was very sollicitous to have a likeness of Pappa, thinking it would be an advantage to him, and Pappa Consented. He has taken the best likeness I have yet seen of him, and you may suppose is very Proud, when so many have failed before him. Mamma has set for hers, and I, followed, the example. It is said he has taken an admirable likeness of my Ladyship, the Honble. Miss Adams you know. It is a very tasty picture I can assure you, whether a likeness or not. Pappa is much pleased with it, and says he has got my character, a Mixture of Drolery and Modesty. I wish we could have the other three, yourself and Charles and Thomas. I think we should make a respectable Group. He has a good likeness of Mamma, too.29
This Morning Mamma and myself went out to hear Dr. Price, it being the last sermon, he is to Preach for some time, as he tells me he allways makes a practice of going into the Country in the Month of August. Dr. Jebb, who has visitted your father several times since we arrived, and who is of his opinions I beleive in Politicks, brought his Lady to see Mamma this Morning. She is also a great Politicianess, which consequently pleased Mamma.30 The American War, Present dispute with Ireland, and the Propositions which have just passed, and which are now sent over to Ireland to be accepted or refused, furnished this Lady with subject of conversation. She was of opinion that the propositions would pass, the House of Commons, in Ireland, but that the People will not accept them. Your father thinks if they are accepted, that he shall have no chance of succeeding in his treaty of Commerce, with this Country, as the fourth proposition, is intended to bring the Irish to join this Country in all their Commercial arangments, so that we feel ourselvs much interested in the matter.31
Now do not Laugh at me, for, writing Politicks to you, and tell me I am a dunce, for I assure you that all I mean is to indeavour at giving you some little information respecting us. If I fail, you will not refuse me what is due for right intentions.—The Parliament were sitting till Tuesday the 2d. of August and then adjourned till October.32 Mr. and Mrs. Temple invited us to go to the House, of Commons, if the King
{ 217 } { 218 }
came to make his speach, upon the adjournment of the House, but, he did not meet them, so we consequently did not go to see him in his robes of State and Crowned.
This Morning as I was setting at work in my room, Mamma came and told me there was a Gentleman below, who wished to see me. I not a little surprised at being inquired for, went down, and who should it be but Mr. Short just arrived from Paris. His comeing was not unexpected, neither, his business I dont know. I beleive however it was to bring some Papers of consequence safe.33 We were very much pleased to see him, and he brings us accounts of the Health of all our friends there, which will give you pleasure to hear I know. Do you recollect Mr. Adams that this day, twelvemonths we went to Richmond, together, and walkd in Popes Gardens, &c.34 We were then Strangers almost and we are nearly so again I fear. But we know, a little more of each other and by constant and unreserved communications I hope we shall not loose the Knowledge we mutually gained in the last twelvmonths of each others sentiments and dispositions. It is a very unpleasing Idea to me, that a Whole family, should grow up, Strangers to each other, as ours have done, yet it has been unavoidable, and will tis probable Still continue so.
This Morning Mr. Short came and Breakfasted with us, and before we had finished Mrs. Wright, came in, as Crazy as usual, “with such a Budget,” was her term. You know her figure. Pappa introduced Mr. Short to her as an American and friend of Mr. Jeffersons. I expected she would have saluted him as usual, but she dispenced with this ceremony, and said, her Countryman did her great honour to be sure—by way of compliment. She visits Colln. Smith very often, and there is no such thing as getting rid of her. She came with a particular account to day, of the affront which has been offered to the English flag, by the French. The account in the papers, is as follows—Why now the Paper is lost, and I cant recollect the paragraff, so you must excuse me, for Leaving this space blank.35
You will not surely complain of me for not having written enough, this time. I only fear that you will say you can find nothing in it all. Tell me if this is the Case and I'll abridge.
{ 219 }
Colln. Smith received a letter from his friend Colln. H[umphreys] who informs him that he is writing another Poem, which is to be much longer than the address to the Army,37 and he assures him will have equal merit. He wishes to get some Person to Print it here and suggests that he thinks he may expect it will furnish [him] with the means of visitting this Country. An hundred and fifty Gunieas he proposs himself from it. We dont know what the subject is, and Mr. Short declares he cannot inform us. The King of France has accepted the dedication of the Vision of Columbus, and subscribed for a Number of Coppys, upon this Condition that the Count de Vergennes should be permitted to examing it to be assured there is nothing too severe against this Nation nor the Spainairds, in it. What think you of this Condition?
Before you receive this Letter, I suppose you will have arrived, in Boston, been received by all our Friends, visitted them as much as your time will permit, taken the opinion of some respecting the preparation necessary for your entering the university, and perhaps set yourself down for a few Months, in Mr. Shaws family, with application and diligence to accomplish your design. And now permit a sister who feels herself, greatly interested in every event in which you may be engaged, to inquire how you are pleased and gratified, whether contented and happy, from the idea of intending right, or from, the sattisfaction which you find resulting from your decisions. Tell me all that I am entitled to know, of what passes within your own Mind, from what scources you derive pleasure, and from what you receive Pain. No one can more sincerely rejoice in the one, regret the other and participate in Both than a sister, and a sister who is often influenced by them, herself. Tell me also, all that you wish to, respecting myself or others. Remind me of all my errors, mistakes, and foibles, and convince my judgment, Guide my opinions, and may you also approve of all past present and future decisions. If I ever take any important Step, contrary to your judgment, it will be because you are not present to give it.
Tell me also, if I am too particular in writing you, or whether I am not enough so—whether you find yourself informed by my scribling, of things which y[ou] wish to know. When I know what will gratify you, I shall indeavour as far as my ability will enable me to contribute to this Gratification. You will not say I am mistaken when I suppose it in my Power. If you should, you must suppose this error founded, upon a wrong judgment, which originated from anticipating the pleasure I shall receive from your Communications.
{ 220 }
I want much to know, whether your disposition for rambling has left you. If it has, I beleive you bequeathed it to me, not as a blessing I fear. I have as much the wish, to wander, as a certain American Lady.38 But necessity prevents its appearance. For my part I should like above all things to make one of a Party to go round the World. When this proposal, is put in execution we will, take you with us, provided you should be as, unreasonably inclined as, those who will undertake it. But to be serious, I cant see why People who have the inclination (and ability) which to be sure is the most essential of the two, should not gratify themselvs, by indulging it and seeing as many and curious parts of the World as it should Lead them to visit. If they are possessed of proper Principles, it will not injure them, but make them Wiser and better and happier. Pray dont you feel a great deel Wiser, than if you had never been outside the limits of the State of Massachusetts Bay, which tho a very respectable place, one may gain a little knowledge in other Parts. And then you know with a little Policy, one may be thought nearly more Respectable, for the People of our Country have a Wonderfull liking to those who can say, “I have been in St. Pauls Church. I have seen the Lions, Tigers, &c. in the Tower. I have seen the King, and what is more have had the extreme honour of being saluted by him. What the King? Yes by George the Third King of Great Britain France and Ireland, defender of the Faith &c. And I have seen the Dancing Dogs, Singing Duck, and little Hare which beats the Drum, and the Irish Infant,[]39 feet high, but not yet the Learned Pig.” The Tumblers of Sadlers Wells, have made great objections that the Learned Pig, should be introduced upon the Stage and have I beleive left it.
Mr. Storer has just now informed me that there is an opportunity to convey Letters tomorow, to Boston. Altho I had intended to send this Letter by him, I will take advantage of this conveyance as it is a forghtnight sooner than, he will sail, and as I would not fail of punctuallity to you, or give you reason to suppose me capable of it. I have not the pleasure to hear yet of your arrival at New York, but the packet is expected dayly and I hope soon to have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of long Letters from you. Mamma has written you this Morning, and we are going this afternoon to Hampstead with Mrs. Roggers, to visit Mrs. Hay, and are to Leave the Letters at the New England Coffee House to go tomorrow. I must { 221 } wish you Health happiness and peace and hasten to subscribe myself your affectionate sister
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); notation at the top of the first page: “My Brother JQA—sent by Capt Lyde.” The letter is written on thirty-two numbered pages of small, irregular size.
1. AA2's letters to JQA numbered 1 through 4 have not been found, but for No. 1, see JQA's letter of 17 May, above.
2. 2 July.
3. William Stephens Smith.
4. Bell's Edition: The Poets of Great Britain complete from Chaucer to Churchill, appeared in 109 pocket-size, illustrated volumes between 1777 and 1782 (DNB).
5. This is probably the Isaak Schmidt portrait of JQA, done in Holland in 1783, and given by JQA to AA2 (see Andrew Oliver, Portraits of John Quincy Adams and His Wife, Cambridge, 1970, p. 17–19). Long held by AA2's descendants, it was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery; see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, vol. 5.
6. Edward Bridgen, a close friend of the Adamses, had married Martha, daughter of the novelist Samuel Richardson, in 1762 (DNB [Richardson]).
7. John Paradise was an Englishman who had married Lucy Ludwell of Virginia, in London in 1769 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:184).
8. James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, died on 1 July. Although he was only eighty-nine, he was described in two contemporary accounts as being over one hundred. Oglethorpe had begun his military service in England in 1710, and in Europe a few years thereafter (DNB).
9. See JQA to JA, 30 July, and 6 Aug. 1784, both above.
10. JA had met both David Hartley and William Hammond in 1778 at Passy, and had dealt with both in the peace negotiations in 1783 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:303, and note 2; 4:65–66; John Thaxter to AA, 18 April 1783, above).
11. AA2 appears to have confused her daily entries, probably beginning either here or at the next entry, “a Wedensday.” To read her headings literally, in order, would give dates of Tuesday, 5 July; Thursday, 7 July; “a Wedensday,” 13 July; “Fryday,” 15 July; and then “July 14th. thursday.” Thereafter her dating is clear and correct.
12. Left blank in MS.
13. AA2 probably intends Ann Hamilton and her uncle, William; Ann soon became a close friend of the Adamses (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:184, and note 1).
14. Probably Benjamin Vaughan, who had served Lord Shelburne as a confidential observer at the peace negotiations in 1782–1783 (JA to AA, 12 Oct. 1782, note 3, above; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:54, note 2).
15. See Richard Cranch to JA, 3 June, above. Mary Cranch to AA, and probably John Thaxter to AA, both 4 June, above, were included in this set of letters.
16. The dinner guests included the artist Benjamin West; Caleb Whitefoord; and Richard Clarke, John Singleton Copley's elderly father-in-law.
17. Blank in MS.
18. AA2 quotes roughly the opening passage of Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, by Mr. Yorick. Seven leagues (twenty miles in Sterne) is the distance from Dover to Calais.
19. Spa, in eastern Belgium about twenty miles southeast of Liège, was one of the earliest resorts to become famous for the medicinal effects of its waters.
20. Opening quotation mark supplied. Anne Bingham was presented at court in Feb. 1786. The occasion marked the celebration of the Queen's birthday (see AA to JQA, 16 Feb. 1786, and AA2 to JQA, 9–27 Feb. 1786, both Adams Papers).
21. AA2's apparent negative opinion of William Bingham agrees with that of JQA, recorded earlier in the year (Diary, 1:222, 250–252).
22. See JQA to AA2, 25 May, above.
23. From this point to note 28, the text is written less carefully, on much coarser, irregularly-sized paper, and many passages are difficult to decipher.
24. Gen. Henry Seymour Conway a prominent commander on the Continent in the Seven Years' War, was a steady and outspoken opponent of Britain's treatment of America, from the 1760s to the 1780s (DNB).
{ 222 }
25. AA2 adapts Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, ii, 187–188. In her journal for 27 Aug., AA2 wrote that she “read Shakspeare after dinner. Papa purchased his works this morning, upon my saying I had never read them” (Jour, and Corr., 1:ix).
26. The Adams' servant at Auteuil.
27. Of 21 July, below.
28. The coarse paper and poorly written text end here. Mariamne Alexander Williams was the wife of Benjamin Franklin's nephew, Jonathan Williams Jr. Mr. Williams was about to sail for America with his uncle, while his wife and her sisters were to go to London to live (Jefferson, Papers, 8:423).
29. Mather Brown, born in Boston in 1761, had come to London in 1781 to study painting with Benjamin West. Of the three Adams portraits that he executed in 1785, that of JA and AA are lost. On 2 Sept., AA2 recorded JA's reaction to a portrait done of him, presumably that by Brown, in her journal: “. . . we had some conversation upon the pictures below. Papa said they were spoiled; he was not at all content with his own, yet thought it the best that had ever been taken of him. No one had yet caught his character. The ruling principles in his moral character were candour, probity, and decision. I think he discovered more knowledge of himself than usually falls to the lot of man” (Jour, and Corr., 1:80). Brown painted JA again in 1788 for Thomas Jefferson, who owned this portrait until his death; it is now in the Boston Athenaeum. Brown's portrait of AA2 is at the Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, Mass. A “Portrait of a Lady,” in the N. Y. State Historical Association, previously identified as that of AA by Mather Brown, is no longer considered to be by Brown. The identity of the sitter, as well, is now questioned. The painting is signed by Ralph Earl but no evidence exists that he painted AA at this or any other time. The eyes of the “Lady” are blue; those of AA in her other likenesses are brown. These reasons are enough for the editors to doubt, until further supporting evidence is found, that the “Lady” is AA (Dorinda Evans, Mather Brown, Early American Artist in England, Middletown, Conn., 1982, p. 195). See the Abigail Adams 2D, July 1785, by Mather Brown 217Descriptive List of Illustrations in this volume.
30. JA and JQA had met Dr. John Jebb in Nov. 1783. Jebb was a former cleric of radical theological views, and a physician, scholar, and strong supporter of the American cause whom JA warmly admired. His wife, Ann Torkington Jebb, also wrote ably on radical issues. JQA, Diary, 1:202, note 1; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:197; DNB.
31. For the background to the twenty propositions approved by the British Parliament on 25 July for presentation to the Irish Parliament, see AA to Cotton Tufts, [26 April], note 10, above. The fourth proposition provided: “That it is highly important to the general interests of the British empire, that the laws for regulating trade and navigation should be the same in Great Britain and Ireland; and therefore that it is essential, towards carrying into effect the present settlement, that all laws which have been made, or shall be made, in Great Britain, for securing exclusive privileges to the ships and mariners of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British colonies and plantations, and for regulating and restraining the trade of the British colonies and plantations (such laws imposing the same restraints, and conferring the same benefits, on the subjects of both kingdoms), should be in force in Ireland, by laws to be passed in the parliament of that kingdom, for the same time, and in the same manner, as in Great Britain” (Parliamentary Hist., 25:935). The full text of the proposals is in the same, cols. 934–942. In mid-August, the twenty propositions met such an angry reception in the Irish House of Commons that the British administration in Dublin tabled the matter, and it quietly died. Vincent T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire, London, 1952, vol. 1, ch. 11.
32. The only hints in the MS of the point where AA2 may have finished writing on 31 July, and began writing on 2 Aug., are a long dash before “Now do not Laugh at me . . .,” here rendered as a paragraph break, and the shorter dash before “The Parliament were sitting . . .”
33. These papers were one or more copies of the treaty of amity and commerce between Prussia and the United States, signed by Franklin at Passy on 9 July, by Jefferson in Paris on 28 July, by JA in London on 5 Aug., and by Baron von Thulemeier, the Prussian envoy, at The Hague on 10 September. JA to Richard Cranch, 3 April 1784, note 4; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:182, note 1.
34. See AA to Mary Cranch, 2 Aug. 1784, and note 3, above.
35. The Morning Post and Daily Advertiser for 1 Aug. stated that the British warship Wasp, Capt. Hills, met a French lugger in the English Channel, The French vessel refused { 223 } to salute the British flag and its captain informed the officers of the British ship that he had specific orders from the French government not to do so.
36. Following this farewell the text starts on a new page, although some space remained on the previous page. It is not clear if AA2 wrote the next four paragraphs, up to the dateline “Thursday August the 11th. 1785,” below, on the 11th, or wrote it earlier, perhaps on the 4th, and then added the three sentences immediately before “Adieu” on 11 August.
37. David Humphreys had published A Poem Addressed to the Armies of the United States of America in 1780. His A Poem on the Happiness of America Addressed to the Citizens of the United States was first published in London in 1786. Joel Barlow's The Vision of Columbus, written over a period of eight years, was published in 1787, with a dedication to Louis XVI. DAB.
38. Perhaps Anne Willing Bingham; see notes 19–20.
39. Left blank in MS. The quotation mark after “Learned Pig” has been supplied. Most of the amazing animals in this passage—lions at the Tower of London, performing dogs and hares, and particularly “the Learned Pig,” which made its London debut early in 1785, are discussed in Richard D. Altick, The Shows of London, Cambridge, 1978, see esp. chs. 3 and 7, and illustration 6 on p. 41. By 1812 both Sadler's Wells and Drury Lane had dropped their opposition to animal acts (same, p. 310–311; see also Wheatley, London Past and Present, [Sadler's Wells]).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0073

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-07-07

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the honour of writing you on the 21st. of June, but the letter being full of treason, has waited a private conveiance. Since that date there has been received for you at Auteuil a cask of about 60. gallons of wine. I would have examined it's quality and have ventured to decide on it's disposal, but it is in a cask within a cask, and therefore cannot be got at but by operations which would muddy it and disguise it's quality. As you probably know what it is, what it cost, &c. be so good as to give me your orders on the subject and they shall be complied with.
Since my last I can add another chapter to the history of the redacteur of the Journal de Paris.1 After the paper had been discontinued about three weeks, it appeared again, but announcing in the first sentence a changement de domicile of the redacteur, the English of which is that the redaction of the paper had been taken from the imprisoned culprit, and given to another. Whether the imprisonment of the former has been made to cease, or what will be the last chapter of his history I cannot tell.—I love energy in government dearly.—It is evident it was become necessary on this occasion, and that a very daring spirit has lately appeared in this country, for notwithstanding the several examples lately made of suppressing the London papers, suppressing the Leyden gazette, imprisoning Beaumarchais,2 and imprisoning the redacteur of the journal, the author of the Mercure of the last week has had the presumption, speaking of the German newspapers, to say “car les journaux de ce pays-la ne sont pas forcés { 224 } de s'en tenir à juger des hemistiches, ou à annoncer des programes academiques.” Probably he is now suffering in a jail the just punishments of his insolent sneer on this mild government, tho' as yet we do not know the fact.
The settlement of the affairs of the Abbé Mably is likely to detain his friends Arnoud and Chalut in Paris the greatest part of the summer. It is a fortunate circumstance for me, as I have much society with them.—What mischeif is this which is brewing anew between Faneuil hall and the nation of God-dem-mees?3 Will that focus of sedition be never extinguished? I apprehend the fire will take thro' all the states and involve us again in the displeasure of our mother country.
I have the honour to be with the most perfect esteem Madam your most obedt. & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unknown hand: “Mr Jefferson 1795.” The “9” is faint and may be an incomplete “8” rather than an error.
1. See Jefferson to AA, 21 June, and notes 3 and 4, above, and Jefferson, Papers, 8:265. The Journal did not actually cease publication between 4 and 27 June, but it did announce a new editorial office, under the heading “Changement de Domicile,” in its 27 June issue.
2. Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais had been imprisoned at St. Lazare for a few days in March 1785, at the insistance of a member of the royal family who became offended at Beaumarchais' vigorous defense of his controversial and extraordinarily popular comedy, Le mariage de Figaro (JQA, Diary, 1:233–234, and note 3, 236).
3. Between 10 April and 5 May, competing groups of merchants, mechanics, and manufacturers held several meetings in Boston's Faneuil Hall and filled the local press with polemic essays in an attempt to formulate an effective policy to counter the flood of imported British manufactures that was disrupting the city's economy. The protests led to the passage of a navigation act and a protective tariff by the Massachusetts legislature in June and July. Jensen, The New Nation, p. 290–293; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1784–1785, p. 439–443, 453–457; JQA to JA, 3 Aug., note 3, below. “God-dem-mees” (Goddems; Goddams) was a synonym for Englishmen in common use by the nineteenth century (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0074

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-07-17

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

We are now sailing up North River; and have met the french packet about 6 leagues from New York: she will sail to morrow morning; and has sent her boat on board, while we are at sail. I profit of the only <minute> instant I have to inform you, that after a tedious passage of 8 weeks, we expect [by] noon to be at New York. I have not even time to seal the Letter I have prepared for my Sister,1 and must request { 225 } she, and my Father, will excuse me if the peculiarity of the circumstance prevents me from writing to them.

[salute] Your ever affectionate Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams. <to the care of Mr. J. Elworthy, Merchant N. 1 Broad Street.> London”; in another hand after the canceled material: “Corner of Brooke St. Grovesnor Sqr.”; docketed by AA2JQA. July 17th 1785”; marked: “B” and “PP R T”; and stamped: “SE[ . . . ]” and “[ . . . ][o]'clock.” Slight damage to the text near the torn seal.
1. That of 25 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0075

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
DateRange: 1785-07-17 - 1785-07-31

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

N: 4.
I went on shore upon Long Island with our Captain, and visited Monsr. de Marbois, who has taken a house there for the summer. He received me with politeness, invited me to dine with him, and enquired concerning my father in as friendly a manner, as he could have done had he wish'd him well. Madame de Marbois, may be called a pretty, little woman. She was a quaker, but appears not to have retained any of the rigid tenets of that sect.1 As this is Sunday, I have not as yet delivered any of my Letters; and have done nothing but walk about the town.
I have delivered a number of my Letters, and have acquired some information, but which you will doubtless know before this reaches, you. Messrs. Jackson and Tracey, arrived in Boston, the 18th. of last may, after a passage of only 20 days. Poor Temple took the small pox in Ireland, and died on the passage. Mr. Bowdoin is present governor of Massachusetts and increases, in popularity every day. Mr. Hancock, being too infirm, to act as Governor of Massachusetts, is chosen as Member of Congress for the next year, and will probably take his rest, in the President's seat, next November. This is escaping Scylla to fall into Charybdis; or is rather like a man I have read of; who being offered a glass of wine: answered, that he could not take a glass, but that he would take a bottle. The other delegates in Congress from Massachusetts for next year, are Mr. Sedgwick, Mr. King, Mr. Holten, and Mr. Dane.2 (not Mr. Dana).
I waited upon the Massachusetts' delegates before I went any { 226 } where else, except to Mr. Jay's. Mr. Gerry was glad to see me, on account of his friend,3 and Mr. King was very polite. They went with me and introduced me to the president,4 who enquired very particularly concerning my father. I also waited upon the Governor, and upon Don Diego de Gardoqui, who had about a fortnight since, his public audience of Congress,5 and who shows away here to an high degree. He made a speech when he had his audience; and I believe, I may affirm confidently, that he tired none of his auditors. You will see the speech in the Papers.
The President of Congress this morning, at breakfast at Mr. Gerry, invited me to take an apartment in his house. I endeavoured to excuse myself as well as I could: but at dinner at his house, he repeated his invitation. I again offered my excuses, but he press'd it on me, with so much politeness, that I did not know how to refuse. Such attentions, embarass me, yet they give me more, pleasure, than they would, if I was myself the object of them.
I met Mr. Church this morning: he sails the 4th. of next month in the british Packet, and has offered to take any Letters for me. You will receive my N:3.6 and probably this by him.
At tea, this afternoon, at Mr. Ramsay's, for whom Mrs. Rucker, was kind enough to give me Letters,7 I met Mr. Gardoqui, and his secretary Mr. Randon, who, if common report says true, is soon to marry Miss Marshall (Mrs. Rucker's Sister.) Much good may do her, with the swarthy Don: his complexion and his looks: show sufficiently, from what country he is. How happens it, that revenge stares through the eyes of every Spaniard? Mr. Gardoqui was very polite, and enquired much after my father, as did also Mr. van Berkel the Dutch minister.8 Governor Livingston was appointed some time ago minister for Holland, but did not accept. Mr. Rutledge, governor of S. Carolina, is now appointed: but will it is presumed also decline.
Doctor Mather, you will see by the Boston Papers, is dead. I have a Letter from your Pappa to him, and a small packet from his Son. I don't know who I shall give them to.9
Mr. Dana has been appointed a judge of the supreme Court in our State, and is now riding the Circuit.
{ 227 }
I moved this morning to the President's house. I determined upon this with some reluctance, not knowing whether it would meet with your Pappa's approbation. But the President repeated his invitation with so much politeness, and Mr. Gerry and Mr. King whom I consulted on the subject, being of opinion I could accept of it without impropriety, I thought I could not do otherwise.
Hearing in the morning, that the british June Packet had arrived, last night, I immediately went to Mr. Jay, and enquired after you. He had received Letters from my father; and had sent them to Congress. I was certain, there were some for me: I then went and found out Mr. Curson, who inform'd me he had seen you, the last day of May: but he had not a line for me.10 I was much surprised. I had supposed that your Pappa was so much engaged in business, that he had no time to write, but I could not conceive, why I had not one word from Mamma, nor from you. Perhaps you supposed I should have left New York before, the packet would arrive. I cannot account otherwise for your silence.
Mr. van Berkel, with whom I dined to day, begins to expect his Daughter: he has certain information that she sail'd, from Amsterdam, the 2d. of May, in a Dutch vessel. She has now been nearly 12 weeks out, and consequently it is almost time for her to arrive. It is observed that there is here now a Dutch vessel, that sailed from Amsterdam 3 days before the ship that returned lately from China, sailed from Canton, and arrived here three days after her.11 I Drank tea this afternoon with Mr. Secretary Thomson.
We were a dozen or 14 to day, who dined at General Knox's. He lives about 4 miles out of the City.12 The Virginia and Massachusetts delegations Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Lady Duer, a Daughter of Lord Stirling, Miss Sears, Mr. Church, Coll. Wadsworth and Mr. Osgood, form'd our Company. You know almost all these persons.13 Lady Duer is not young, nor handsome. I saw but little of her: not enough to say any thing concerning her. Miss Sears has been ill, and looks pale, but is very pretty. She has the reputation of being witty, and sharp. I am sure she does not look méchante.
{ 228 }
I am very impatient to hear from you. The french packet for June will soon he expected. I hope you will not neglect that, as you did the English one: especially, if Mr. Williamos comes out, in her. The Day before yesterday, Mr. Gerry moved in Congress, that, Mr. Dana's expences for a private Secretary, while he was in Russia, be allow'd him, and Congress resolved that those Expences should be paid.14
I have been strolling about the town, almost all day. The weather here, has been exceeding fine, all this Season: no extreme, heat; plenty of rain, and not too much. The Crops will be excellent, and if those in Europe, turn out as bad, as it was supposed they would when I came away, we may profit, very considerably, by ours. Fruit has not been so successful, as there has not been sufficient hot weather.
I dined with the Delegates of the State of Virginia; Mr. Arthur Lee, left this Town in the afternoon. He was this day chosen, by Congress, to be one of the commissioners of the Treasury. Mr. Osgood is now in Town; and does not find it an easy matter to get clear, from the Confusion in which the late financier left the office.15
I breakfasted with Mr. Söderstrom the Sweedish Consul,16 at Mr. Gerry's house. He arrived in town only a day or two ago, from Boston: all your friends there were well, when he left it. Dined at Mr. Ramsay's with a large Company. General Howe,17 Mr. Gardoqui, Mr. Randon, Miss Susan Livingston &c. Miss Livingston passes for very smart, sensible young Lady; she is very talkative, and a little superficial I think. I cannot say I admire her. Miss Marshall is very agreeable: I cannot help pitying her, when I am told she is about to marry, that swarthy Don.
At length after a passage of a little more than 12 weeks, Miss van Berkel, arrived two days ago at Philadelphia. Her father is gone to meet her. The young Ladies here are all very impatient to see her, and I dare say, that when she comes, remarks, and reflections, will not be spared on either side. The Beauties of this place, will triumph, but I hope with moderation.
{ 229 }
I have had a visit this morning from Dr. Crosby:18 he tells me he has received lately a letter from uncle Quincy, who was ill, almost all last winter, and is now only recovering. All the rest of our friends are well. The weather is much warmer than I have for many years been accustomed to: yet I hear every body say that there has been no hot weather this year. There is almost every day a morning, and an evening breeze, that are very refreshing, and temper agreeably the heat of the day.
I expect to stay here about a week longer: but I am not yet determined whether to go in a packet to Rhode Island, and from thence by Land; or to go all the way by land through Connecticut. In the heat of the Season, a Journey by land would be more disagreeable than a voyage by water, and it would certainly be longer: but I am very desirous to see the fine Country between this and Boston. And there are many persons that I wish to see too. Upon the whole I rather think I shall go, by Land. We are in a great dearth of news: nothing of any Consequence is going forward. The merchants complain very much that trade is continually dying away, and that no business is to be done.
The President had a large Company to dine with him: all gentlemen; he entertains three times a week, but never has any Ladies because he has none himself. His health is not in a very good <state> way, and I believe the Duties of his place, weary him much. He is obliged in this weather to sit at Congress from eleven in the morning, till near 4 afternoon, which is just the hottest, and most disagreeable part of the day. It was expected that Congress would adjourn during the dog days at least: but there is at present little appearance of it: they have so much business before them, that a recess, however short would leave them behind hand.
I went with Mr. Jarvis, a brother of the gentleman you know, to Jamaica, upon Long Island;19 12 miles from the town. We there had the pleasure of seeing Coll. Smith's mother and Sister's.20 I spent the day very agreeably. Mrs. Smith, has had Letters from her Son, since { 230 } he arrived in London, in which he mentions having already seen you all. I am really very impatient to hear from you. Your Brother
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is on eight pages, numbered, beginning with the second, “26” to “32.” See JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. JQA had met François Barbé-Marbois in 1779; see JQA to JA, 3 Aug., note 6, below. In 1784 Barbé-Marbois married Elizabeth Moore, daughter of William Moore, a Philadelphia merchant and member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania from 1779 to 1782 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; DAB).
2. Nathan Dane of Beverly, Mass., first elected to Congress in June 1785, served until 1788 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. That is, JA.
4. Richard Henry Lee served as president of Congress from Nov. 1784 to Nov. 1785 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
5. Gardoqui was the son of Joseph Gardoqui, the Bilbao merchant whom JA and JQA had met on their journey through Spain in Jan. 1780. He was received by Congress on 2 July, and served as the Spanish chargé d'affaires until 1789 (JCC, 29:494–496; JQA, Diary, 1:30–31, 289, and note 5).
6. That of 25 May, above. “Mr. Church” was the Englishman John Barker Church (see JQA, Diary, 1:310, and note 2).
7. JQA had met Mr. and Mrs. John Rucker in Paris in March (Diary, 1:233, and note 2). Ramsay was probably South Carolina congressman David Ramsay, one of the earliest historians of the American Revolution (DAB).
8. JQA first records meeting Pieter Johan van Berckel of Rotterdam in that city in May 1783, just before van Berckel sailed for America as the first Dutch minister to the United States. JQA next met van Berckel in New York on 18 July 1785 (Diary, 1:174, 289; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:135, note 1).
9. Rev. Samuel Mather, youngest son of Cotton Mather, his father's successor at the Second Church in Boston, and brother-in-law of Gov. Thomas Hutchinson, died on 27 June 1785, still estranged from his loyalist son Samuel, then a refugee in England (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:216–238).
10. The letters sent after JQA left Auteuil were JA to John Jay, 13 May, 29 May, 30 May, and 1 June (all PCC, No. 84, V, f. 413–420, 437–439, 461–464, 465–466); see Jay to JA, 3 Aug. 1785 (Adams Papers). All appear in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:495–498; 2:345–346, 365–367, 373–376. The N.Y. merchant Samuel Curson, whom JA had met in Amsterdam in 1780, brought the letter of 29 May, and probably that of 30 May (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:450).
11. The Empress of China, returning from the first voyage by an American merchant ship to China, sailed from Canton on 28 Dec. 1784 and arrived in New York on 11 May 1785 (Philip Chadwick Foster Smith, The Empress of China, Phila., 1984, p. 201, 206).
12. In his Diary, JQA locates Knox's home “2 miles out of town” (Diary, 1:293).
13. The Virginia congressmen were William Grayson, Samuel Hardy, Richard Henry Lee, and James Monroe; the Massachusetts congressmen were Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Holten, and Rufus King. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” were probably the N.Y. congressman Melancthon Smith (Biog. Dir. Cong.), and his wife. Catherine Alexander Duer, called “Lady Kitty,” was the daughter of Maj. Gen. William Alexander, who claimed the ancestral title of Lord Sterling; she had married the N.Y. merchant, financier, and congressman William Duer in 1779. Rebecca Sears was the daughter of the N.Y. merchant and popular leader Isaac Sears. Jeremiah Wadsworth of Connecticut had served as commissary general of the Continental Army, and of Rochambeau's forces. The former Mass. congressman Samuel Osgood was a commissioner of the U.S. Treasury (Burnett, ed., Letter of Members, 8:lxxxvii–lxxxviii; xcviii; DAB). AA2 had probably met several of the Massachusetts delegates, and perhaps Rebecca Sears, whose family lived in Boston, 1777–1783; the others she knew only by reputation, if at all.
14. JCC, 29:569–570.
15. Samuel Osgood had been highly critical of Robert Morris, the superintendent of finance, 1781–1784. In January 1785 Osgood was { 231 } appointed to the three-man treasury commission that replaced Morris (DAB).
16. Richard Söderström was the Swedish consul in Boston; JQA had met his brother Carl Soderstrom in Jan. 1783 in Göteborg, Sweden, on his return trip from Russia to Holland (Diary, 1:167, and note 1).
17. Robert Howe, commander of the Southern Department of the Continental Army, 1777–1778 (JQA, Diary, 1:290, and note 2).
18. Ebenezer Crosby, named professor of midwifery at Columbia College in 1785, was from Braintree (same, 1:295, and note 2).
19. Both Benjamin and Charles Jarvis accompanied JQA to Jamaica, L.I.; AA2 had met their brother James Jarvis in France in April (same, 1:254, 296; AA to Lucy Cranch, 7 May, above).
20. JQA met the recently widowed Margaret Stephens Smith and her many daughters, of whom he noted Sarah Smith as “handsome” in his Diary, and in his letter of 1 Aug., below. Sarah would marry CA in 1795. Diary, 1:296, and notes 1 and 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0076

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1785-07-19 - 1785-08-07

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

I have been waiting till I am out of all patience to hear that you are returnd to England. One or two vessels have sail'd for London without taking Letters for you. I did not know they were going till it was too late to write. I sent you a hasty line by Mr. Charles Bulfinch1 which I hope you receiv'd and to tell you the truth I have written you two letters Since, which I thought proper to commit to the Flames when I had done. There are many things which would do to be said, that it would not be prudent to commit to writing.2 We have been expecting Cousin John every day above a week past: There is a vessel in from France the capt. of whom says he Saild four days before him. I hope soon to welcome him to his native country. Tomorrow is commencment: our children are all gone to Boston to day, to be ready for an earley ride in the morning. Cousin Charles's Heart beats thick I dare say. His trial comes on next Friday. Billy says, he is exceedingly well fitted and has no need of any fears. Billy will look him a good room, and will give him all the Brotherly advice that he may need. He will have enough to spring upon him if he does not stand firm in the begining. He or you will repent it, if he does not. He shall not need any Friendly counsel that I will not give him. I will gain his Love and confidence if Possible. I shall then be sure of influence.
I have been very ill ever since I wrote the above, with a pain across my Breast. The Rhumtism the Doctor says. I am better but very weak. The children are returnd and a fine day they had. Mr. Shaw and Cousin Charles were there. He will return with his uncle and come next week if he is accepted, and there is no doubt but he will be. { 232 } Cousin John will be here I hope by that time. I am prepair'd to doat upon him. May nothing happen to interrupt the Harmony and happiness of our dear Boys. I am indeed happy at present in my children. From every thing that I can see and hear Billy behaves just as I could wish him too. Betsy is in Boston very attentive to her Harpsicord and is in better health than I have known her for many years. Lucy is at home affording her mama all the assistance she is able too, and if her Soul is not tuned to Harmony it is to Science. Had she been a Boy she would have been a Mathamatition. Billy plays prettily both upon the violin and Flute, and when he joins them to his Sisters instrument they form a Sound very agreable to the Ears of us who have not heard the finer musick of your opereas. Betsy wishes Cousin Nabby to learn the musick of France, that she may bring her home some new tunes.
Aunt Tufts is in a very poor way. Her Feet and ancles are much swell'd and turn purple and black and every dissagreable colour. You know she never could bear the Bark, and it seem now to be more than ever necessary for her. I am very much affraid of a mortification if She cannot take it.
Uncle Quincy was confin'd to his House from the 25th of November to the beginning of July With the Rhumatisim in his Hip. He is much better but not well. Our Germantown Friends are all of them in a poor weak State. The general himself very feeble. Cousin Betsy is better but her cough is still troublesome. Miss Paine is very spry, can dress and undress very well, has spent a week or two with me lately, is now at Germantown but next week goes to her Brothers for a home as she supposes.
As to Mr. Palmers Family Mr. Tyler must give you an account of them. He knows more about them than any one else.3 Madam Quincy and Miss Nancy are well. Miss Nancys fortune has not yet procur'd her a Husband. Mrs. Quincy desires to [be] most affectionately remember'd to you. Mrs. Guild has spent a week with her little Boy at Braintree. She is not well by any means, but looks chearful and behaves exceeding well under her dissapointment. She has sold all the Furniture of her best room and chamber and remov'd into that end of a House which Miss H. Otis liv'd in. What a reverse of Fortune in one year! Mr. Guild looks as if he was going into the Grave soon. His pale Face is paler than ever. His countenance excites pity from every eye. No alteration has taken place in your Neighbourhood that I know of. Mr. Adams Family are well, your mother Hall is upon a visit at Abington. She was here a few days since and was well. Turtius { 233 } Bass and wife are parted. He has sold the House and land which his Sons liv'd in and divided his Estate into four parts, given his wife one fourth part, one half to his two Sons. The remainder he has taken to support himself and Nell Underwood in their Perigrinations to the Eastward whither he is going he says to settle. And as he is going into a new country, tis proper he should take a young person to help People it, and her abbillity to do it She has given ample proof off by presenting somebody (she swore them upon Leonard Clevverly) with a pair of Twins last winter. She liv'd in Mr. Bass's Family—but as they both dy'd she was at Liberty to pursue her Business as Housekeeper in some distant part of the State as well as at Braintree, and who would be Maid when they might be mistress? Mr. Bass was so generious to the Girl, that he keept her in his house to lay in, and gave Mr. Tyler a handsome Fee as Counsel for her in case Mr. Cleaverly should deny the charge which he did most solemnly. In this case the woman has the advantage in law. He was oblig'd to enter into Bonds, but the children dying, and Mr. Tyler not appearing, he took up his bonds and Mr. Bass was oblig'd to bear all the charges. Mrs. Bass is in great trouble. Seth is mov'd into the House with her, and the other Son with his wife and child are mov'd seventy mile into the country out of all the noise of it—so much for Scandle.
Capn. Baxter is married to Mrs. Arnold and is gone to live in her House. Mrs. Arnolds eldest Son is married to Deacon Adams eldest Daughter4 and lives in the House that Mr. Bass sold. Our Parson visits us as usual, but forgot this year that it was Election day till it was half gone. He ought to have had his grandchildren about him beging for coppers to bye them an election cake.5
I once mention'd to you a clergemans Family who were in our House at Weymouth. He has a Son almost eighteen, who tho he is a portrait Painter has not sacrificed much to the Graces.6 He made several attempts to take the Face of our cousin Lucy Jones, but could never acquire stediness enough in his hands to do it. In short her fine Form had made such an impression upon his mind and Lucy all-together had taken such possestion of his Soul, that when he endeavourd to decribe a single feature he found it impossible. The tremor was communicated to his Tongue and his speech also fail'd him. Poor youth what would he have done if it had not been for the blessed invention of Letters, by which <medium> he could pour out all his soul and save his Blushes—but alass this was only to insure his dispair, for she treated them with such neglect and contempt that it almost depriv'd him of his reason. In the silent watches of the night, { 234 } when the Moon in full orb'd Majisty had reach'd her nocturnal height, He left his Bed and upon the cold ground told her his tale of woe, in accents loud and wild as wind.—Forgive the Stile my dear sister. No common one would do to relate this extraordinary affair in. It has caused us much amusement. They are both so young they did not know how to manage the matter. He all Passion. She full of Coquettry and at present without any kind of attachment to him is playing round the Flame without any aprehension of danger. There are some symptoms however of either Vanity or Love that make their appearence. She dresses more than usual and parades before the windows opposite to those he sets at. The other day she dress'd herself in white and walk'd into Capn. Whitmans Coppes set herself upon a rock under a fine spreading oak and was excited by the melody of a variety of Birds that were perch'd upon almost every bough, to add her note to theirs. The sighing swain was raking Hay at a little distance. The pleasing sound soon reach'd his ears. He left his Rake and pursu'd it, and (she says) was close by her before she perciev'd him but she like a nimble-footed Dauphne was out of his sight in a moment and was as pale aunt says when she enter'd the House as if she had been pursu'd by a snake.
I give you joy my dear sister. Cousin John I hear is arriv'd at New York after a Passage of 56 days. He will be with us soon I hope. Mr. Cranch sent me word of it last monday. The same day he found a Letter from you to me in the Post-office.7 I find by it that a Mr. Chaumont brought it, but I cannot hear that he is in Boston. I am mortified that you are still in France. What is become of Mr. Adams commission for the court of London. I wish you were at home every soul of you. I fear your expences must have been greatly increas'd by the dryness of the season. Our news Papers say you have had almost a Famine in Europe occationd by it. Here we never saw a finer season. The best of English Hay has been sold in Boston for two shilling a hundred and some as low as one and four pence. Meat is high, but vegetables very plenty. We have fine crops of english grain, and the Indian looks finely. Your Gardens yeald plentifully. Your sable Tenants8 almost maintain themselves by selling the produce of them. Betsy is return'd to spend the Dog-days with us. Will go again in the Fall to take a few more Lessons. Billy has tun'd the old Spinnet at home, by which means she will not loose any time.
{ 235 }
Betsy and Lucy spent a forenoon this week over-looking the things at your House and picking out furniture for master Charles chamber, who is become a student at Harvard college.9 He is hear and very well. Mr. Shaw offer'd another schooler, who is a very cleaver Fellow and is to be his chambermate.10 I could have wish'd the two Brothers might have liv'd together. Upon some accounts it would be less expencive. Cousin John comes I dare say impress'd with a sense of the importance of eocomimy. I have been telling Cousin Charles He must begin right, and that his Papas Station in Life will subject him to many inconvenincs if he is not upon his Guard. I have consulted with Doctor Tufts in every thing that I have done with regard to the children and shall continue to do so. I have pursued that plan you mention with regard to money matters11 already as I thought it would be the simplest, and be assur'd my dear Sister so far as I am capable I will do every thing in my Power to supply, the place of a mama to them. I hope to gain their confidence and esteem. They feel like my own children and if I can but gain as much of their Love as you have of my childrens I shall feel very happy.
As soon as Cousin John comes I will write more with regard to him. I hope to have many Letters by him. I do not suppose that our April Pacquet reach'd you before he imbark'd. I wish it might have done so for many reasons. The letters for him will not be half so acceptable to him here as if he had reciev'd them in France.12
Aunt Tufts remains very Ill. The Doctor seems quite discourag'd about her. Her Legs and Feet grow worse. She is in great pain and wasts fast. I fear she will not continue thro the Dog-days. Tis true she bears the Bark but she has such a constitution as I think cannot hold out long unless she is suddenly reliev'd.
Old Mrs. Tullur dy'd about six weeks ago very suddenly. Was well in the morning and dead before night, and this afternoon Fanny Nash is bury'd. She has been in a consumtion all winter.
I have just heard of Mr. Adams presentment at the court of London. Mr. Cranch writes me that he has seen an account of your arrival in England. He saw it in a [New] York paper. Cousin John is not yet got to town. What is he doing with himself? He does not know that every moment seems an hour till he arrives. Charles and Billy are here waiting with impatience. I feel as if you were half way home at least. I shall now be able to write oftner and with greater Freedom. { 236 } England must I think be more agreable to you than France for many reasons. Your being able to converse will be a great addition to your Happiness and seeing so many of your old acquaintance and Friends will make you feel as if you was half an american at least, but are you not almost sick of Parade? To have been made happy by show and equipage your mind should have been less cultivated, and yet tis only to such, that these things can do no harm. A Scientific mind, will be pleas'd only with their novelty and the useful observations it helps them to make upon Men and Manners.——But this Embassa of three years—what shall I say to it? Will it be necessary that you should stay so long. Cannot the Business be compleated before that time. How does cousin Nabby like the Idea. She would not wish to come without you I dare say, unless every thing here was fit to receive her. Money is very hard to be got where it is due, and where there is the greatest attention and puntiallity in business what is procur'd by it, must be very prudently us'd or it Will not buy Farms and Houses