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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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, repair them Handsomely, and maintain a Family genteelly. You conclude your last Letter by saying that “you hope——is very busy and to great purpose.”13 I hope soo too, but I know very little about him for he is very seldom in Braintree and when he is, very little at home. He has attended the courts in Boston the last winter and this summer, and does not come home till the Sessions are over.
Mrs. Hunt is here and desirs I would give her most affectionate Love to you, and beg you to come home for she longs to see you and that she cannot bear to pass by your House. She visits us often and is better than for years back. She works forever, has spun and knit above eighty pair of stockings since you went away.
You mention Mr. Adams's having receiv'd a Letter from the Amsterdam merchants, complaining that they had receiv'd no accounts of the sales of their goods.14 I forgot to write about it in my Spring Letters. Mr. Cranch wrote them last winter a state of their merchandize such as what goods remain'd unsold, and the custom of giving six months credit. The Difficulty of selling for ready money, and the danger of trusting The Bill of Sale he could not then send because Mr. Austen who you know had the care of dispossing of them had remov'd to Casco-Bay in the beginning of the winter, and by accident carried all the Papers with him, and the season was so severe that we never could get them till this spring, when he came up and brought them himself. Mr. Cranch has put what remain'd unsold into the Hands of Mr. Greenlief & Foster Vendae Master, to be dispos'd { 237 } of at private Sale in the best manner they can. Mr. Cranch has had a great deal of trouble with them. Most of them were very unsalable articles, and too high charg'd for the inundation of Goods that were soon roled in after the peace upon the country.
Cousin John not come yet. I hear there is a vessel to Sale in ten days for London. If I keep writing I shall swell my Letter too a volume, for I am continually thinking of something which I want to communicate. I cannot bear to seal my Letter till I have seen my cousin, and yet I fear if I do not send it to town the vessel will slip away without it.
It is just as I fear'd. I hear a vessel sal'd for England this morning, and I was told she would not go this week. Cousin John not yet come. Several People are come from [New] York who have seen him, and say he will be here in a few days. You may easily judge how impatient I am, but I am determin'd to wait no longer, but send this to be put into the Bag and write again if he should come before the next chance.
Aunt Tufts sinks fast. She has had a Dissentery, which tho it has abated has wasted her much. Her Feet and ancles are very bad, all manner of colours, much swelld and very painful. I have seen the last Week. You would scarcly know her. She appears calm and resign'd, has no expectation of Living. She will be a great gainer by the exchange for she is indeed a very good woman. The poor will loose a great benefactor. Her Family also will feel her loose for tho she could not do much she look'd well to her household. Lucy will a second time loose a mama,15 and she seems very sensible of it. O my sister one more removal and Weymouth will loose all its charms. Every Freind departed makes me wish more for your return. Three years is a great while to look forward too. Many very many may be the changes that may take place before that period arrives. I dare not trust myself with the thought. Resignation to the will of Heaven is what I am constantly seeking after. I have been very unwell myself for above a month but I hope I am geting the better of my dissorder. I am weak yet the Feverishness has not left me, but salt of wormwood which I take every two or three days will I hope kill it.
Cousin Charles is in fine Health and spirits, and rejoices over and { 238 } feasts as heartily upon a large Whorttle Berry Pudding as you can at any of your great entertainments. Would not a Dish of Green Corn relish &c. be acceptable to you? We are all Busy fixing your Son for college. The piece of Linnin which I got for them made seven shirts for Charls and four for Tom.
Miss Paine desires I would not forget her Love to you all.
I depend upon it that you will not expose my writing to any one not even to my dear Brother, to whom present my Love and best wishes and tell him tis a sad world we live in and that the more merit he has, the better mark he will be for Envy to shoot at—but she cannot sting him.
Charles Warren yet Lives, but look like death. He is planing a voyage to Lisbon, he thinks he cannot stand our cold winters. I do not beleive he will live to reach it. Mrs. Warren is much destress'd to know what to consent too.–Did you ever find her Letters which you thought you had lost. She thinks you have. Do not forget to tell me.
The distresses of our Germantown Friends will never have an end. Last week Tom Feild cut his Back and Shouldar in a dreadful manner with a scythe. The wound is two feet long and very deep in some places. The Doctor put fourteen stiches in it. He has lost a great deal of Blood, but is in a good way, and unless a Fever should set in, will tis thought do well.
Adieu my dear Sister and believe me your ever affectionate

[salute] Love to cousin Nabby.

[signed] M. Cranch
1. Mary Cranch to AA, 4 June, sent with Richard Cranch to JA, 3 June, both above.
2. Cranch may refer to her growing concern about Royall Tyler. See below in this letter, her letter to AA of 4 June, above, and several of her letters of October-December, below; and AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., below.
3. By 1785, Royall Tyler had become a close friend of Gen. Joseph Palmer's son, Joseph Pearse Palmer, and his family, and lodged with them in Boston. By the late 1780s he was helping to support the financially ruined family, and in 1794 he married Palmer's daughter Mary. G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler, Cambridge, 1967, p. 19, 24–29.
4. Mehitable Adams, eldest daughter of JA's double first cousin, Ebenezer Adams, married Joseph Neale Arnold on 16 June (A. N. Adams, Geneal. Hist. of Henry Adams of Braintree, p. 410).
5. If by “Our Parson,” Mary Cranch means Rev. Anthony Wibird, her image must be ironic, for Wibird never married (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:226–230).
6. The artist John Hazlitt was the eldest son of William Hazlitt. Lucy Jones, just shy of seventeen, was the daughter of Cotton Tufts' sister, Anna Tufts Jones. In 1787 John Hazlitt, unmarried, returned to England with his family. The Journal of Margaret Hazlitt, ed. Ernest J. Moyne, Lawrence, Kansas, 1967, p. 15–20; Mary Cranch to AA, 6 Nov. 1784, note 3, above.
{ 239 }
7. AA to Mary Cranch, 15 April, above.
8. Phoebe and William Abdee.
9. CA's printed admission form to Harvard College, dated 17 Aug., is in the Adams Papers.
10. Samuel Walker.
11. AA to Mary Cranch, 15 April, above; see the account in Cotton Tufts to JA, 10 Aug., below.
12. Mary and Elizabeth Cranches' letters to AA of 25 April, both above, and presumably other letters of about the same date, did not reach the Adamses until late June (see AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above). No letters from America to JQA, written in the spring of 1785, have been found.
13. AA to Mary Cranch, 15 April, above, referring to Royall Tyler.
14. See Richard Cranch to JA, 3 June, and AA to Mary Cranch, 7 Jan., and note 4, both above.
15. Probably Lucy Quincy Tufts' niece, Lucy Tufts Hall, daughter of Dr. Cotton Tufts' brother, Dr. Simon Tufts of Medford. Niece Lucy's mother, Lucy Dudley Tufts, had died in 1768. Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:478–481.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0077

Author: Williamos, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-07-21

Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams

It is with much pleasure my dear Madam that I hear of your safe arrival in London and that you are once more fixed in a house of your own, the situation of which altho' not quite so pleasant as Auteuill is not without much merit.
Whatever base rancour and malice may invent, I am very sure that you will on all occasions meet with every Mark of respect which are every ways your due.1 Yet I do not suppose, that the Court Notwithstanding its politeness will be very often graced with your and Miss Adams's Company.
Paris is not the livelier I can assure you Madam since you left it. Passy is deserted also—and we have accounts of the doctor's very safe arrival at Rouen from whence he was to proceed immediately to Havre—the King sent him his Picture most elegantely set in diamonds of great value, with two very polite letters from Count de Vergennes.
The peculiar honor and satisfaction I had in opportunities of paying my very Sincere respects to Mr. Adams yourself and family will ever be recollected as one of the most agreable events of my life and I shall never think myself happier than in opportunities to renew it. I am very sorry to have failed hitherto in every attempt to send your things. I went to Mr. Hailes's who desired his best respects and assured me it was out of his power to forward any thing larger than a packet of letters as the messenger goes no further than Calais where the master of the British packet takes charge of the letters.
This I communicated to Mrs. Barclay who agreed in thinking it best to wait for Doctor Bancroft who is to go in 8 or ten days but if an opportunity offers sooner we [will?] not fail to improve it. Mr. { 240 } Harison t[akes?][c]harge of the lace by which means there are only gowns. Mr. Storer has some books with a Mr. Graff but Mr. Barclay thinks that as he is going to America they had better be sent there to him than trouble any one with them.
Mr. Jefferson and the other Gentlemen are very well. Col. Humphreys has wrote to Col. Smith. The June Packet is arrived but not all the letters. I am still waiting for a better opportunity than by L'orient, but fear much that I shall be obliged to take that rout.2 Whenever I go and where ever I am I shall allways retain sentiments of highest respect and ever be Madam your most obedient devoted servant
[signed] C. Williamos
Be Kind enough to present my best respects to Mr. and Miss Adams.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Grosvenor Square London”; docketed: “Mr Williamos Paris June 27 1785”; stamped: “[J]Y/25,” “2 o'clock,” and, in red ink, “A PAYE PAR.” AA's erroneous docketing may have been an inadvertent repetition of her docketing of the 27 June letter from Williamos, above. This letter was filmed at 27 July, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 365. Some loss of text where the seal was torn off.
1. Williamos refers to AA's remark about “torry Malevolence” in the London press, in her letter of 1 July, above. He may have been particularly sympathetic to the Adams' plight at this time because of “the atrocious falshoods which have too Successfully been attempted by the lowest and most infernal Malice,” which, he claimed, had suddenly turned Thomas Jefferson against him just two weeks before the date of this letter (Williamos to Jefferson, 8 July, in Jefferson, Papers, 8:275, and see P. 269–273, 276–277).
2. Williamos had been planning to sail to America since February, but various complications, including his sudden falling out with Jefferson on 7 July, and eventually his ill health, delayed him, and he died in Paris in November (Jefferson to AA, 20 Nov., below; Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, The Private Franklin, N.Y., 1975, p. 280).
3. This sentence was written along the left margin of the last page of text.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0078

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch?

[salute] My dear sister

I wrote you by Captain Dashood just when I was about removeing from the Bath Hotel to Grovsnor Square,1 since which I have had a buisy time getting my House in order and procuring a thousand little necessaries for different countries have different fashions and what suits in one will not answer in an other. For instanc my kitchen furniture was made for a hearth fire none of which could be used with grates and then the coars ware belonging to a family is never worth a remove so that I found I had many things to purchase.
{ 241 }
Then the great and important article of servants was to be arranged. Of Ester I made what is here calld Ladies Maid, her Buisness is more imediately about my person. She always dresses my Hair and your neices and is a great proficient in that most important Buisness. She take care of all the Linnen, delivers it out and receives it in. The remainder of her time is employded at her needle. The person who works with her is the Buttler. His Buisness is to take care of the wine, to market for the family, to keep the weekly accounts, to see the table and side Board in order to attend as overseer of the table, to take care of the Plate and to have a general care of the lower servants. He is allways calld Mr. I hope we have been fortunate in the choise of ours. He appears a very civil well bred Man. The House maid is next. She makes beds cleans the house taking it from the top of the kitchen stairs and going up. The two footmen2 go behind the carriage wait at table rub the table and chairs of the dining room and attend the door, for there is no entrance into a house in this Country but by wrapping or ringing a Bell which is with out side the door. No door is permitted one moment to be left open, you could have no security for any thing within, if it was. The cook is next in order who prepares the victuals and the kitchen maid takes the House from the kitchen stairs and goes down to the kitchen pantrys, housekeepers room, Buttlers room and servants Hall as it is calld. She washes dishes, cleans knives and candle sticks &c. &c. The coachmans buisness is to take care of his carriage and horses.
You will think I suppose that I have got a comfortable number, but with less I could not get the necessary buisness of the family done, not because there are not more than sufficient, but because none of them will do any thing but in their particular department. A House keeper a Laundry Maid and a Porter are 3 more which they would be very glad that I would add, but I am determined against it, as I cannot but think 3 Americans would do the whole work of the Eight and think they had no hard task. The work of the family here is by no means so much as Mrs. Newcomb has herself done in my family at Braintree for my washing is all put out, and we have no company to sup. But in a country crowded with inhabitant they get as many of their poor supported in this way as possible and every news paper is filld “with wants a place.” Yet are the wages of those who are good for any thing very high. So far from feeling myself in a more desirable situation than when I moved in the small sphere of my <lowly> Braintree Cottage, I assure you I look to it as an envyable situation. { 242 } Fewer cares and less anxiety attended my rising up and sitting down, my Friends all smiled upon me and met a hearty welcome under the lowly roof.
My Habitation here is in one of the pleasentest squares of London. We are in the same Row if not in the same Box of most of the great people in this Country, opposite however to Lord North. A near Neighbour to Lord Thurlow and the Marquis of Carmarthan. Yet the street as well as city is quite deserted, for nobody lives here in the summer who can go into the country. In the middle of the square which is very spacious is a circuleer inclosure in which clumps of trees are planted which look like shubbery as the trees are small and close together. Round them is the hedge which when cut has a very rural appearence. In the middle is the King on horse back. The whole is laid out into walks and those who live in the square have a key to one of the gates which you may make use of for to walk.
Dft (Adams Papers). The text fills two pages of a folded leaf; it has little punctuation and no paragraph breaks. It is likely that Mary Cranch, not Elizabeth Shaw, was the intended recipient (see note 1). The editors have added paragraph breaks and some punctuation.
1. AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above, is the only extant letter that fits this description.
2. John Briesler was one of the footmen.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0079

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
DateRange: 1785-08-01 - 1785-08-08

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

In my last1 I just mentioned having been over upon Long Island, and paid a visit to Mrs. Smith, the Colls.s Mother: she was very polite to me, and appeared to miss her Son, much. All the family are in mourning for the old gentleman who died about 9 months ago. There is one Son here now, and if I mistake not, 6 daughters. Sally strikes most at first sight: she is tall; has a very fine shape, and a vast deal of vivacity in her eyes, which are of a light blue; she has the ease and elegance of a French Lady, without their loquacity. Her conversation I am told is as pleasing as her figure: but of that I only speak, from hearsay.—There is also on this island a celebrated beauty by the name of Miss Ogden: she looks I think, something like Mrs. Bingham: she is not so tall, nor so red, although I believe she has more colour.
{ 243 }
I have been writing a letter to your Pappa;2 but it is full of politics. I don't know whether he will not think I meddle too much with them: but there are some things he may wish to be inform'd of, and at many places where I go into company I hear nothing else: so that I am obliged bongré, malgré, as the french say, still to dip a little in that subject: but I don't care how soon, I leave it off entirely. Mr. Church goes on Thursday.
I dined to day with Doctor Crosby, who came the other day, as soon as he knew I was in town, to see me. I imagine he thinks me a very cerimonious being: for, the day that he first saw me, he ask'd me to drink tea with him that afternoon. I promised I would: but I happened to dine in a Company where I was kept till it was too late, to wait upon the Doctor. The next day I went to his house to make an apology, but he was not at home: and yesterday I received a card containing a most formal invitation to dine to day. I find it a very nice matter here, to take a just medium between Ceremony and ease. If a person is formal he is laugh'd at, and if otherwise he often offends. It is exactly the fable of the miller and his Son.
I have been spending the evening with Mr. Gerry and Mr. King. Mr. Gerry writes to your Pappa, by Mr. Church who is to sail to morrow morning, and to whom I have given 2 letters for you; and one for your Pappa.3 I have not been able to find time for writing to Mamma. You will present my duty to her, and make an apology for me.
I was shown this evening a poem in manuscript, called a receipt for a wife: it is a catalogue of the celebrated beauties in this town, abusing some, and commending others. I would send you a Copy of it, but it is really such a pitiful performance, that it would not probably furnish you any entertainment. I am told of another piece in the same way; if I find it better I will give you some extracts from it, in case I can get a copy of it.
Mr. Church sail'd in the Packet this morning with my letters: they will show you that I have not been forgetful of my promises. I dined4 with a large Company at Mr. Osgood's. I was introduced this morning to a Miss Riché5 lately arrived from Philadelphia; and was this evening in Company with her at Mr. Sears's. She is a great beauty, but { 244 } if I mistake not has a good deal of Affectation. She sings, plays upon the harpsichord, and writes songs herself: consequently she must be witty; but she is affected.—The Miss Sears's, you know I believe. Polly was married last spring to Mr. Bordieu. Sally, some say, is soon to be married to a Mr. Gamble; but fame has not yet disposed of Becca, the prettiest of them all.
I have got a Copy of the poem I yesterday talk'd of. It speaks of Miss Becca as follows.

If Becca would but learn to walk

And not be so afraid to talk

With greater lustre she would shine

In other eyes as well as mine.

Praise her for elegance of form

Which would the coldest marble warm

Praise her for sprightliness of wit,

Her Character you'll justly hit.

She's tender, virtuous and mild

But walks, as if she was a child.

You know, that part of our agreement is to give each other our opinion upon Characters; but I trust you will allow me to quote from other People, especially, when it is in verse. I am told the author of this piece is partial, in favour of Miss Sears when he says she is witty: as she is not much celebrated as a wit. Of this I cannot decide, for although I have been several times in Company with her, I don't know that four words have ever pass'd between us.
The President6 has a large Company of 20, or 25 persons to dine with him, three times a week: but as he has no Lady himself, he entertains none but gentlemen. Once a week, he has a musical Entertainment, as it is here called, that is, he invites a number of persons among his Company, that sing songs after dinner, and, there was one to day. Among the singers the most curious was Genl. Howe, of whom you have often heard. He is you know not less famous for cracking the bottle, than for singing a song. Being requested to day to sing, he endeavoured once or twice to begin but found something wanting. At last he cried out, “give me that Madeira to revive me, for I have been flattening my voice by drinking Burgundy.” And after drinking his glass he sung, “Once the gods of the greeks,” very well.
I went this Evening, with the President to a Mr. Eccles's. Miss { 245 } Eccles, is the most perfect at the harpsichord, of any Lady in the City, or perhaps on the Continent. I must again quote from the same poem, which speaks of this Lady thus.

Miss Eccles now my lay commands,

Her mind harmonious as her hands.

Six hours in every twenty four

For nine revolving years or more

(Some rigid moralist may say)

Is too much time to spend at play.

I own the observation true,

But still admire the music too

For he that hears her must forget

The time she lost in learning it.

I am sure my Sister would never agree to purchase perfection in the art of music upon such conditions, and I should be very sorry if she would.
Young Chaumont, who has been at Philadelphia, almost all the time since he arrived, return'd here a few days since, and is going shortly to Boston. Perhaps we shall go both at the same time. When he first arrived here he presented a memorial to Congress, requesting that, they would order all the paper money, which french merchants had received in the course of the war, or which now lies in their hands, to be paid in hard money, dollar for dollar.7 This will surprise you probably as much as it did every body on this side the water. Yet Chaumont really presented his memorial with hopes of succeeding. Congress have not given any answer, and he begins to think that the plan will not take. He tells me he will show me his memorial, and says, I shall then own that his pretensions, are absolutely just, and equitable.
I attended Church this morning at St. Paul's, for we have a St. Paul's here, as well as you in London, but it is something like Alexander the great, and Alexander the Copper smith.8 This is however the largest and most frequented Church in [New] York, and is more consistent with the smallness of the City than it would be if it vied in grandeur and magnificence with its namesake in London. After Church I left a card at Miss van Berkel's; she arrived here two { 246 } days ago, from Philadelphia. She had a passage of 13 weeks (in a Dutch vessel) and yet her brother, who had been informed of the time of her sailing, by the arrival of other vessels; told me, that she arrived before he expected her.—I paid a visit too this forenoon to Miss Alsop. Her father is acquainted with our's.9 She is called a Coquet.

Why is not Alsop often told

That coquetry is grown quite old?

That nothing is more out of date

Than affectation, and conceit?

The eye half shut, the dimpled cheek

And languid look, are arts too weak,

To win the heart of any youth,

Who loves simplicity and truth.

These lines have not however cured her of her fault: for the 5th. and 6th. are an exact description of her appearance, as it was to day, and I am told she is always so. She is fair, and pretty, but injures her appearance much by those simpering airs.
I was at a party at tea this afternoon, and Miss van Berkel was present. There were only two or three persons in Company that could speak to her, so, I was obliged to converse with her, near two hours together. And here I must tell you, that I believe more and more firmly, that what a certain Friend of mine said of her, is a most infamous falsehood. She behaves as well, as any young lady I know of, and I believe if her brother knew what that coxcomb said of her, he would make him repent it heartily. She complains of not understanding the language, as bitterly, as you did when you first arrived in France. She says she had no idea, how awkward one appears in a large company, where one can neither hear what is said nor speak one's self. You have had sufficient proofs of the truth of this observation: tho' you was not often subjected to the inconvenience.
I went out this morning with some Company to Content, a seat, about 3 miles out of town, where Lady Wheate lives. She is one of the most celebrated belles in the City. As for Sense, her conduct has shewn her not overstock'd with that. About two years ago she married Sir Jacob Wheate, a british officer between 60 and 70 years old; she herself was not 16. Sir Jacob before he had been married a week, went to the West Indies and there died. He left her an handsome { 247 } fortune; and it is said she is now soon to marry a Captain Cochran, son to Lord Dundonald, a scotch Nobleman. The author of the aforesaid Satirical poem appears quite enraged in speaking of her.

If Wheate should live till she be old

She will not marry then for gold

When Nature took such special care

To form her so divinely fair

She gave her not those matchless charms

To bless a dotard's gouty arms.

“A title, and a vast Estate

May purchase love, and conquer hate.”

The person may be bought I own

But barter'd love was never known.

The girl that weds for money's sake

A titled fool a batter'd rake

Deserves as much a bad renown

As any woman of the town.

This is carrying the matter too far: though I cant say I admire any person who makes fortune the only object in marriage. Miss S. Smith was with Lady Wheate, and has spent about a week at Content. I am vastly pleased with this Lady. The contrast between her manners and those of Lady Wheate is highly in her favour, and very striking.
I dined to day in Company with Genl. Greene, at the president's. He arrived in town only a few days since, and he will make but a short stay, here. He is going to settle I am told, in Georgia, where he has a very large landed Estate.
My Paper bids me close, but I take my leave of you only till tomorrow. Mean time I am as ever, your's.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on eight small pages, numbered from “33” to “40”; see the descriptive note to JQA to AA2, [12] May, above.
1. Of 17 July, above.
2. Of 3 Aug., below.
3. Gerry's letter of 3 Aug. is in the Adams Papers. JQA's two letters to AA2 were of 25 May, and 17 July, both above; his letter to JA is identified in note 2.
4. The word is written over and illegible; JQA wrote “Dined” in his Diary (Diary, 1:297).
5. On Miss Riché, and on Miss Eccles (under 5 Aug., below), see same, 1:297–298, 299, 300.
6. Of Congress, Richard Henry Lee.
7. On 30 June, Congress appointed a committee to consider “the letter of June 30 from the Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the letter of June 14 from [the French chargé] Barbé Marbois and a memorial from James Le Ray de Chaumont acting for French creditors” (JCC, 28:489). This committee was discharged on 7 July, and the matter was referred to the Treasury Board. On 30 July, the Board completed a report on the general issue of financial obligations to French cred• { 248 } itors, in response to the memorials of Barbé Marbois. Concerning Chaumont's memorial, the Board simply referred it to Congress' general decision on the issue of obligations. John Jay presented the Board's report to Congress on 2 August; Congress took no action on Chaumont's memorial. JCC, 29:517, 598–606.
8. St. Paul's Church, on the west side of Broadway between Partition and Vesey streets, a few blocks south of the present City Hall, was built in 1764–1765 (I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498–1909, 6 vols., N.Y., 1915–1928, repr. 1967, 1:331, 415–416, and plate 54b). Alexander the Coppersmith was an opponent of the Apostle Paul at Ephesis. He is mentioned in only two verses of Scripture, and nowhere else (2 Timothy 4:14–15, although 1 Timothy 1:19–20, and Acts 19:33, may refer to him).
9. Mary Alsop was the daughter of the N.Y. merchant John Alsop, a member of the First Continental Congress whom JA had met in New York in Aug. 1774. Mary Alsop married Rufus King in 1786. JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:98, 106; JQA, Diary, 1:297, note 2.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0080

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-08-03

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr. Church proposes to embark on board the british Packet, which is to sail to-morrow. He has offered to take my Letters, and I suppose, he will be the bearer of dispatches from Congress.—Our Passage, though it was not a stormy one, was very tedious. Of eight weeks, that we were at Sea, we had at least four of such calm weather as not to proceed more than 8 or 10 leagues a day. As we were coming up the River, we met the other Packet, which was sailing for France. I had only time to write a Line, and inform you of my arrival:1 I hope she has by this time performed a large part of her voyage, and that three weeks hence, you will receive my Letter. I shall remain here some days longer than I expected, when I left you; as it was too late when I arrived here, for me to be at Boston before Commencement, I thought there was less necessity of my being in haste to go. The President has been polite to me, even beyond what I could have expected; he has given me an apartment in his House, where I have been these ten days. Mr. Jay was so kind before I came here to make me the same offer.
The Politicians here, wait with great impatience to hear from you. Matters seem to be at a Crisis. The British instead of delivering up the Posts, have lately sent there a reinforcement of troops. I have heard from merchants here, that the fur trade from which we are thus precluded, by an open breach of the Treaty of Peace, is worth annually 50,000 pounds Sterling.2 This may be overrated; but the reluctance the British <shew> to leave the Posts, is sufficient proof that it is an important object. It is supposed that your next Letters, will give information on the Subject, and let us know what is to be depended upon.
{ 249 }
The Duties laid on imported goods, by many of the States, and the prohibition of all English vessels in Massachusetts, are another subject of much Conversation. Merchants, who often adopt the proverb, that Charity begins at home, endeavour to demonstrate that the Country will suffer very much, by these regulations. They say that all foreign nations, will be discouraged from bringing us any goods while, they are encumbered with such heavy imposts; and if we go for them ourselves, they will sell them only for money, which we have not. Many of them are still very much afraid of Great Britain: they dread a war; and in case she be not able to carry one on, they tremble lest she should shut her ports upon us and stop our trade with her West India Islands. They <say> own that those Islands cannot subsist without us, but they think we could not hold out, if we had no market to carry our productions to, so long as they could without them. You will easily see that this is the reasoning of a merchant who fears present Losses, and does not consider future advantages. Fortunately the Spirit of the People is different, and I doubt not, in Case Great Britain should persist in her present Conduct, sufficient firmness will be shown, on this side the water. The State of Massachusetts have already prohibited all british vessels to come in their Ports. A frigate appeared since the act was pass'd, but was not suffered to enter.3—The States have not yet given to Congress the power of regulating their trade: but it is almost universally considered here, a necessary measure. The President of Congress is however much against it. He has written you by this opportunity, and perhaps he has given you his opinion upon the subject.4
You doubtless know before this, that Mr. Bowdoin, was elected governor of Massachusetts, at the last election, in the place of Mr. Hancock, who was chosen Member of Congress for the next Session. The parties shew some rancour and acrimony at the Time, but since the Election, every thing has subsided, and the present governor is very popular. It is generally supposed here; that Mr. Hancock, will next year be seated in the chair of Congress. I don't know however, whether he has accepted the appointment.5
Mr. Osgood, Mr. Walter Livingston, and Mr. Arthur Lee, are the Commissioners of the Treasury. Mr. Lee was chosen a few days since: and has accepted. The board could not be composed of persons more universally respected.
Mr. de Marbois it is said will in a short time leave America; and Mr. Otto, formerly, a secretary to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, is to succeed him: I believe he will not regret this Country: nor do I think { 250 } he will be much regretted himself. The Chevalier is supposed to be much more friendly to the Country, and is much more respected here. Many persons wonder why a Minister is not sent from the Court of France.6
After reading this Letter, you will perhaps think I had better be at my Studies, and give you an account of their progress, than say so much upon politics. But while I am in this place I hear of nothing but politics. When I get home I shall trouble my head very little about them. I propose leaving this next monday the 8th. instant and shall certainly be in Boston by the 20th.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
P.S. Please to present my duty to my dear Mamma: I will write if I can find time.7
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by AA2: “JQA August 3d 1785.”
1. JQA to AA, 17 July, above.
2. The British were obligated to surrender several military posts in the northwest, on and near the Great Lakes, under arts. 2 and 7 of the Definitive Treaty of 3 Sept. 1783, but they continued to occupy them while controversies over the claims of British subjects in American courts (arts. 4 and 5) remained unresolved.
3. “An Act for the Regulation of Navigation and Commerce,” passed on 23 June, provided that as of 1 Aug., all exportation from Massachusetts in British vessels would be prohibited, and all importation in British vessels would be restricted to three ports—Boston, Falmouth (later Portland, Maine), and Dartmouth (including the port of New Bedford)—where such imports would pay higher duties than those on American ships. The ban on exporting on British ships could be lifted by the governor and council if they learned that the British government had rescinded its recent prohibition of American ships from several ports in the British Empire. Mass., Acts and Laws, 1784–1785, p. 439–443.
JQA may refer to the British frigate Mercury, Capt. Henry Stanhope, which conducted several transport ships from Nova Scotia to Boston to bring live stock back to the large Loyalist refugee populations at Shelburne and Halifax. Both the Mercury and the transports did enter the port of Boston in mid-July, but local newspapers sternly warned their readers to reject the British appeal for cargoes as long as they were to be carried away in British vessels. These warnings apparently prevented the loading of the transports. They may also have contributed to a bitter exchange of letters between Capt. Stanhope and Gov. James Bowdoin between 1 and 4 August. See the Boston Gazette, 11 and 18 July; the Independent Ledger, 11 July; and AA to Thomas Jefferson, 19 Oct., below.
4. Richard Henry Lee to JA, 1 Aug. (Adams Papers); printed in The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, ed. James Curtis Ballagh, N.Y., 1911, 1914, 2:378–381.
5. Hancock, elected to Congress in June, did accept his election, and he was chosen president of that body in Nov. 1785, but ill health kept him in Boston. In May 1786 he resigned the presidency and his seat in Congress. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:lxxxviii; Biog. Dir. Cong.
6. JQA had met François Barbé-Marbois, then the official secretary to Chevalier Anne César de La Luzerne; Louis Guillaume Otto, La Luzerne's private secretary; and La Luzerne himself in June 1779, when he and JA accompanied the Frenchmen to America on La Sensible. La Luzerne served as French minister to the United States until 1783, when he returned to France. Barbé-Marbois continued, as charge d'affaires, until 1785, when he was appointed intendant of Saint Domingue. JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:380–400; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
7. JQA next wrote to AA on 6 Oct., below, wherein he explains his tardiness as a correspondent.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0081

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
DateRange: 1785-08-09 - 1785-08-19

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

Mr. Söderström, the Sweedish Consul, has been here about a fortnight. I went this morning about a mile out of town with him, and was introduced to a Mr. Bayard. He has two Daughters that are among the toasts; one of them I think very pretty. Mr. Bayard I hear was in the late war violent on the wrong side of the Question. It is the case with a great number, of the most reputable families in the place. But those differences are in a way to be forgot, and families of both parties are sociable together.1
Dr. Johnson, a delegate from <Rhode Island> Connecticut, went out of town a few days ago. Mr. Ellery from Rhode Island lately sprain'd his ancle, and cannot attend Congress, so that there are now only 8 States on the floor:2 very little or no business can be done, when there are no more present: and therefore this day Congress adjourned till next Monday. It is expected, that before that time, Doctor Johnson will return, and Mr. Ellery will recover. And there is a delegate expected daily from North Carolina; this will make up eleven States. There has not been a fuller representation since the Confederation was form'd.
I dined to day in company with Mr. Paine, the author of common Sense; with Dr. Witherspoon, and Dr. Gordon,3 who arrived here a few days since.—Wherever I go I hear a repetition of the same questions, how you all do? How you like Europe? What Country you prefer? When you will return? and a hundred other such. I am almost wearied to Death with them, and I sometimes think of writing a list of the Questions with the answers, and whenever a person begins to make any Questions, I would give him the Paper, and so content him at once. I expect the evil will rather increase than diminish, when I get to Boston. But there will be an end to it.
Since my arrival here, Every moment of my time has been taken up, and yet I have had little or nothing to do. I had a great number of Letters, as you know, and have been wholly employ'd in paying visits and going into Company. I have been introduced at different times to almost all the Members of Congress, and to a great number of the Inhabitants of the City. I have every where been treated with { 252 } a great deal of politeness and complaisance and it has been peculiarly pleasing, because upon many occasions I knew attentions were paid me, for my father's sake. I have spent more time than I expected to when I arrived; several circumstances have detained me, from day to day, but is now high time for me to think seriously of being gone: and of this you may be sure, that if I am in good health, I will not be in New York, after next Monday the 15th. instant.
I have at length been over to Long-Island, and paid my visit to Madam de Marbois. I ought to have done it long before now: for I don't know any place where People are more attach'd to a certain etiquette, (that of visiting) than here. Madam, is a spruce, pretty, little woman; and speaks french very well. There was a very sumptuous entertainment to day at Genl. Knox's. Near thirty persons present.4 I there saw the Baron de Steuben for the first time: he lives at a Country seat near the City, which he calls his Louvre. What a name, for a Republican! Such a trifling incident sometimes discovers the real sentiments of a man, more than important actions. However we must never form an opinion rashly upon any subject.
I am much at a loss how to go from here. If I go by water, I shall lose an opportunity of seeing the Country; and probably another will not present itself for many years; if ever. If I go by the stage, it is so close, a carriage, and goes I am told so fast, that I shall have little opportunity of seeing any part of the Country I shall go through: and it is an expensive way of travelling.5 I have been advised to buy an horse, and go in that manner: I am told that I may sell him when I get to Boston, near as much if not quite, what one will cost me here: and go in that way at least as cheap as I go in the Stage. But then I am exposed to twenty chances, and am not sure of selling him, if I should get safe home. I am quite in a dilemma: and much in want of advice: I have been looking at several horses: and have found only one, that would be proper: he belongs to the Dutch Minister: but he asks 50 £ this currency for him. This sum frightens me, and I believe I must after all go in the Stage, next Monday.
Mr. Chaumont left Town this afternoon, and will wait for me to morrow, at a place 10 miles distant from the City, for I have at length { 253 } determined, for the sake of going with him, to buy the horse as Mr. van Berkel has agreed to take 45 £ for him. Mr. Chaumont goes in a Chaise, with two horses. I shall ride, alternately in the Chaise with him and on my own horse, and I hope in ten days time to be at Boston.
The president is in a very ill state of health; and his present Situation, is certainly not the thing for recovering it. He intended to sail down to day to Sandy Hook, and try if the Sea air, would not be serviceable to him. But he found himself so unwell this morning that he could not go. Why is it the lot of great men to call with justice their lives a long disease? And why cannot one person be blest, with health of body, and strength of mind?
This afternoon I came here, and found Mr. Chaumont waiting for me; to-morrow we shall proceed on our journey. I am afraid our Parents will think this is an imprudent, headless scheme of mine, and I now almost wish I had either gone by water or by the Stage to Boston. But I chuse they should know every thing I have done. I may commit faults, but I will not add to them, by concealing them.
This is one of the most elegant tavern's I know of. I have never seen any in England superior to it. It is a very large house situated upon a small hill, and commands a most beautiful prospect. Parties of Company often come from the City, to spend a day here: and the master of the house owns the stage that goes to Boston. To morrow we are told we shall have bad roads: those from N. York here are very good.
We have been able to come only 22 miles to day. The roads have been very bad, and this is the hottest day, we have had since I arrived. We are here but 5 miles distant from the rivulet which seperates the States of N. York and Connecticut. So that I shall be to morrow, in the midst of the yankee Country.—This State you know, formerly was settled by the Dutch. It seems as if that people, had a mortal aversion, to every piece of ground that was not a bog. Their settlements on the coast of Africa, are all low lands like their own Country. Their islands in the West Indies, lie almost all of them level with the water or very near it. And in this State, which belonged to them, the lands are very low. They are however in general very good, and their produce is for the most part, the same, with that in the New England States. The { 254 } crops this year are uncommonly fine; all, except those of indian corn, which has not had rain, enough. This may be of great advantage to us, if the drowth in Europe continued after I sail'd.
We are now only 54 miles from New York. The Sun, has been still more powerful to day than it was yesterday, and we have rode only 21 miles. We are absolutely necessitated to lay by 5 or 6 hours, in the middle of the day, and can only ride mornings and evenings.—I can perceive a great alteration in the manners of the People already. There is a bluntness, and an assurance here, which does not exist in the State of New York. The manners of the People there are much more similar, to those of the Europeans. Their ancient form of government, was not so free as those of New England. Their extensive manors, which descended by law entirely to eldest sons, promoted an aristocratic spirit, which was very contrary to Liberty. The Legislature of the State are so fully sensible of this that they have pass'd laws, permitting the Proprietors of the manors, to dispose of them as they please, and divide them in as many parts as they please. This will probably have an excellent effect, but the People have not yet acquired that Republican Confidence, which wise Laws, and a longer enjoyment of their Liberty, may inspire them with, and which the inhabitants of N. England possess in an high degree.
I could not write a word yesterday, because, in order to get here, we rode till almost midnight; for this is 38. miles from Norwalk, and that, with this weather, and these roads, and the same horses, is a very long days journey. This is one of the Capitals of Connecticut, and was about 18 months ago made a City: five towns, Hartford, New-Haven, New London, Norwich, and Middleton, were form'd into Corporations, so that this State has five Cities, while poor Massachusetts has not one, for there they could not form a corporation even at Boston.—I had a number of Letters for this place, and among the rest, those of Mr. Jarvis for his Lady, and for Mr. Broome.7 I have deliver'd them, and Mr. Broome, has been polite beyond my expectation. But unfortunately I shall not be able to see Mrs. Jarvis, who is now at Huntington on Long Island, and will not be here in less than a month's time. Mr. Broome lives in a charming situation. His house is on an hill, directly opposite the harbour, and the tide comes up within 20 rods of it. Mr. Platt lives a few doors from him { 255 } on the same hill, and with the same prospect. I have met with my friend Brush8 here too. He sail'd from Marseilles a few days before I did from l'Orient, and had a much longer passage. He has been here about a fortnight. It is said he is an admirer of Miss Betsey Broome; I wonder at it much, if it is true, for their characters appear to me to be very dissimilar. He is full of vivacity, and life, and she seems to be as phlegmatic, and cool, as a Dutchman. He is quite sociable, and from her, it is with the utmost difficulty you can draw from her the assenting particles yes and no. But when she goes so far as to say “that is true,” and “it is so,” it is quite a miracle. Do not think this a precipitate judgment. I own I cannot be myself a competent judge, as I never saw her before to day: but this is her reputation every where: and Brush himself has given me nearly this Character of her. You know Mr. Broome has two twin sons. Yesterday, they were both of them taken ill together, and were so, all night: to day they are both much better: this is a very singular circumstance, and it has already happened once before. We dined at Mr. Broome's to day, and were going in the afternoon, about 2 miles out of town to view a Cave famous for having served as a shelter for two of Charles the 1sts. Judges.9 But a thunder shower prevented our going. It was a most tremendous one, while it lasted, which was not more than half an hour. We had some as heavy claps as any I remember ever to have heard and the lightning fell once in the water about 30 rods from Mr. Broome's door.
I this morning paid a visit to Mr. Stiles the President of the College here.10 He was very civil, and shew me all the curiosities belonging to the University. The library is neither as large nor as elegant, as your Pappa's, and the natural curiosities, as well as artificial are but few. There are however a number of stones found in the Country, which would not disgrace an European Cabinet. They were more interesting to me, on account of their belonging, to the natural history of my own Country.
To morrow morning we shall again set out to proceed on our journey, and Mr. Broome and Mr. Brush will go with us as far as Hartford. I am very impatient to get home to Boston: both because I wish to see my friends there; and because I expect to find letters there from you. I shall continue my relation as I have done till now; although I very much fear it will look dull and insipid to you. Your Candour is all on which I depend. Your Brother.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
{ 256 }
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on eight small pages, numbered from “41” to “48”; see JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. Although JQA had not previously met William Bayard, he knew Bayard's brother-in-law and business partner, Herman Le Roy, from his stay in Holland in 1781 (vol. 4:148, note 1; JQA, Diary, 1:57, and note 5). In his Diary at this point JQA laments the fact that “the connections of almost all the finest girls in and about N. York, were of the british party during the late war” (Diary, 1:300).
2. The states lacking two or more delegates in attendance in most of Aug. 1785 were Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Rhode Island (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:lxxxiii–xcviii, and table on p. xcix). Just under thirty congressmen attended sessions sometime in late July-early August, and JQA met most of them; see his Diary and references in this and previous letters to AA2.
3. Both Thomas Paine and Rev. John Witherspoon, president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) from 1768 to his death in 1794, and a congressman, 1776–1782, were new acquaintances for JQA. He had probably met Rev. William Gordon of Jamaica Plain, Mass., in Braintree in 1775 (JQA, Diary, 1:301; vol. 1:229, descriptive note; DAB; DNB).
4. In his Diary, JQA records the presence of “a number of delegates, and the president of Congress, the Dutch, Spanish, and French Ministers &c.” (Diary, 1:303).
5. On 13 Aug., Rev. William Gordon wrote to JA (Adams Papers) that he had persuaded JQA to travel to Boston with him, by water to Newport and then Providence, R.I., but JQA's text immediately below suggests that he rejected the water route on 12 August.
6. Probably either in northern Manhattan or in the Bronx, just across the Harlem River from Manhattan (see Stephen Jenkins, Old Boston Post Road, N.Y., 1913, chap. 5).
7. Samuel Broome, father of Amelia Broome Jarvis (Mrs. James Jarvis), had been a business partner of Jeremiah Platt, and of Eliphalet Brush, both mentioned below (JQA, Diary, 1:307, notes 1 and 2).
8. JQA had met the N.Y. merchant Eliphalet Brush on 10 June 1781, in Amsterdam (same, 1:76, and note 1).
9. William Goffe and Edward Whalley, two signers of Charles I's death warrant, had fled to Boston at Charles II's restoration, and lived in a cave near New Haven in the summer of 1661, before settling in Hadley, Mass. (same, 1:307, note 3).
10. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, 1778–1795. In his Diary for this day, JQA notes that Thomas Jefferson once told him that he thought Stiles “an uncommon instance of the deepest learning without a spark of genius” (same, 1:307–308).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0082-0001

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-08-10

[salute] Dear Sir

The Want of a sufficient Power in Congress to regulate the national Concerns of the United States is now pretty generally seen and has been severely felt. In the opening of the last Session of the Gen Court, the Governor in his Address to both Houses among other Things laments that Congress had not been authorized to regulate their foreign Trade, and suggests the Necessity of further Powers being given to that Body. The Legislature took the Matter into Consideration and prepared Letters to the several States, to the President of Congress and to their own Delegates proposing a Convention for the purpose of revising the Confederation and of curing the Evils felt { 257 } | view and apprehended. But untill that could be effected, Measures were adopted and Laws enacted to prevent the Excess of Importations and to counteract the operation of those Laws of Great Britain which more immediately affect our Commerce—as You will find by the enclosed Papers.1
I have enclosed an Account of the Transaction of your Affairs to the 21st. Ultimo which Mr. Cranch has examined.
Master Charles has entered College. Mr. John has arriv'd at New York. I expect him dayly. In a few Days I shall probably draw upon You for £50 or 100£ as I apprehend the encreasing Expence of the Education of Your Children will make it necessary. I wish You equal Success at London, as heretofore at the Hague, And Am with sincere Regard Yours
[signed] Cotton Tufts
P.S. I shall write more fully to Mrs. Adams upon Your domestic Concerns.2
RC (Adams Papers), with enclosed account. Letter endorsed: “Dr Tufts August”; account endorsed: “Dr Tufts's Account 1785.”
1. Gov. James Bowdoin's address, delivered on 31 May, was published in the Independent Chronicle, 2 June, in the Boston Gazette, 6 June, and in the Continental Journal, 9 June. A list of all laws passed in the May-July session appeared in the Independent Chronicle, 7 July. See also JQA to JA, 3 Aug., note 3, above.
2. Cotton Tufts' next extant letters to AA are dated 12 and 14 Oct., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0082-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-08-10

Enclosure: Account

The Honble. John Adams Esq. to Cotton Tufts as His Attorney
1784.   June.   24.   To Cash pd. Nath. Austin 19/6          
  July.   1.   To Nath. Willis 30/9   2.   10.   3    
  July.   21.   To 1/2 m. Nails 4/          
  Aug.   11.   To Cash pd. Jno. Gill 24/ 1/2 qe Paper 9d   1.   8.   9    
  Sept.   29.   To Thos. Russell Esq for 16 years Rent of Verchilds Land   38.   8.   0    
      To Elkh. Thayer for ditching 30/ pd for Glass & Putty 9/   1.   19.   0    
  Octob.   6.   To Saml. Eliot for Cloathing for yr. children   2.   6.   1    
      To half a Day at Braintree in adjusting Accounts &c   0.   6.   0    
    28.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw 40/ To Sundry Persons by ordr. of Mrs. Adams 72/   5.   12.   0    
  Nov.   18.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw 60/ To Jona Marsh for a pr. Boots to Charles 27/   4.   7.   0    
      To 1/2 Day at Boston 7/6          
{ 258 } | view
    28.   To 1/2 Day at Braintree 6/   0.   13.   6    
  Dec.   10.   To Cash pd. for recordg. Will. Adams Deed 2/6 for Searchg Records of 2 1/2   0.   3.   8   1/2  
    14.   To Do. paid David Bass for Salt Marsh bought of him   32.   16.   3    
      To 1 Day at Braintree settling the Survey Purchase &c   0.   12.   0    
    16.   To Cash pd. for recordg Deed 3/   0.   3.   0    
1785   Jany.   8.   To 1 Day myself & Horse 12/ To Cash pd. James Thayer for Land £60   60.   12.   0    
    17.   To Cash pd. for Cloathing for Mast. Charles & Thos   4.   11.   2    
    27.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw £6. To recordg James Thayers Deed 2/6   6.   2.   6    
  March   3.   To pd for a Singing Book 6/ Wards Grammar 3/ for Thos   0.   9.   0    
    17.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw £10.16.0          
    23.   To 1/2 Day at Braintree 6/   11.   2.   0    
      To pd for 2 Crevats 8/2          
    24.   To 1/2 Dy. at Boston 7/6   0.   15.   8    
    29.   To Gayus Thayer for Your own and Farm Rates   10.   12.   4   1/2  
  April   9.   To Andw. Newell 8.3.0. To part of a Day at Boston 7/6   8.   10.   6    
      To Cash pd. Elias Burdett in Advance for Building   62.   0.   0    
    11.   To a Journey to Medford to give Lease for Medford Farm &c   0.   12.   0    
    21.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw 90/          
  May   13.   To part Journey to Boston 6/   4.   16.   0    
    26.   To Cash for 1 pc. Linnen for Children 84/          
    30.   To Davd. Marsh's Bill for Shoes 57/4   7.   1.   4    
    30.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw 71/10          
  June   1 & 2d.   To Mrs. Shaw to purchase Cloathg. 8.4.0   11.   15.   10    
    16.   To Revd. Jno. Shaw Quarty Bill 14.8.0 To Register 1/ 2 1/2 To Phoebe 8/   14.   17.   2   1/2  
  July.   2.   To. Ebenz. Burdett in full for Building as Pr. Agreement   62.   0.   0    
{ 259 } | view
    5.   To Thos. Russell Esq 1 Yrs. Rent for Verchilds Land 48/   2.   8.   0    
    6.   To Willm. Homer for Repairs of House at Boston   4.   10.   6.    
    19 & 20.   To Cash for Charles a Hat and Cravats   3.   1.   4   1/2  
        £367.   3.   0    
1785.   July   21.   To Cash now on hand to Ballance   4.   16.   11   1/2  
        £371.   19.   11   1/2  
  June   16.   By a Ballance of Cash left in my Hands by Mrs. Adams   7.   13.   4    
    28.   By Cash recd. of Mrs. Smith left in her Hands by Do   1.   6.   8    
      By Do. recd. of the Executors of Revd. Willm. Smiths Will   15.   0.   0    
  Sept.   16.   By Do. recd. of Andw. Newall 1 qr. Rent   15.   0.   0    
  Octob.   8.   By Do. recd. of Matthew Pratt for Yoke of Oxen   9.   0.   0    
    22.   By Do. recd. of Phoebe 36/2          
  Nov.   18.   Andw. Newall 1 qr. Rent 15£   16.   16.   2    
    23.   By Do. recd. of Matthew Pratt for Farm Produce   11.   0.   0    
  Dec.   15.   By Do. recd. of Alexr. Hill on Ballance of Acctts   3.   0.   7    
1785.   Jany.   6.   By Do. recd. of Benj. Guilds in full of his Note   103.   5.   0    
    10.   By do. recd. in part for Certificates for Intt. on Continl Notes   8.   2.   0    
    14.   By Do. recd. of Phoebe 12/10          
  March   24.   By Thos. Pratt on Acct. 16/6   1.   9.   4    
  Jany.   1.   By my Bill of Exchange in favour of James Elworthy for £50 stg. 5 P. Ct. above par is 52.10.0—Lawful Money   70.   0.   0    
  March   24.   By Cash recd. of Matthew Pratt. Ballance of Farm Acctts   22.   2.   9    
      By Do. recd. of Royall Tyler Esq for Debts collected   29.   3.   9   1/2  
{ 260 } | view
  April   9.   By Do. recd. of Andw. Newall 1 qr. Rent   15.   0.   0    
  May     Do. recd. of Mrs. Otis for Dorset Alley 1 Yr   1.   16.   0    
  June   4.   By my Order in favour of James Elworthy for £11. 12. 0 sterg Exchange 6 P. Ct.—in Law My   16.   8.   0    
    16.   By Andw. Newall 1 qr Rent to the 30 Apr. last   15.   0.   0    
  July   1.   By Cash recd. for Interest   1.   5.   0    
    4.   By Do. recd. of Matthew Pratt on Farm Acct.   9.   11.   4    
        371.   19.   11   1/2  
[signed] Errors Excepted Per Cotton Tufts
Weym[outh]: July 21st. 1785. At the Request of the Honble. Cotton Tufts Esq. I have particularly gone over and examined the foregoing Account, and find it right cast and properly Vouched in all its Parts.
[signed] Richard Cranch
The content of notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers), with enclosed account. Letter endorsed: “Dr Tufts August”; account endorsed: “Dr Tufts's Account 1785.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0083

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-11

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I went from my own little writing room below stairs just now into your Pappas; where Mr. Storer was writing for him. Col. Smith having set of upon a Tour in order to see the Prussian Review which takes place upon the 20 of this Month,1 Mr. Storer whilst he remains here; has offerd to supply his Place. Upon my going into the room he told me that a vessel would sail for Boston tomorrow, which is the first I knew of the Matter. Lyde is expected to sail in a few days and by him I design to forward Letters to my Friends, but tho as usual I have several partly written none are compleat. I however told Mr. Storer { 261 } that I would take my pen and write you a few lines, just to tell you that we are all well and are now quite settled, that we wait with impatience to hear from you. Mr. Short came here last week from Paris upon Buisness, he sets of tomorrow for the Hague. Mr. Jefferson Col. Humphries Mr. Williamos &c. are all well. Mr. W is waiting as usual for the moveing of the waters.2 If you get the English news papers you will think that the Father of Liars is turnd Printer. Not a paper which has not some venom. I hope the Scripture Benidiction will be fullfilld upon those who are falsly accused and persecuted.3 They however do not often attack us personally, only as the Representitive of America &c. I was not displeased with one paragraph provided it would have a proper effect upon our Country. It was this “the American minister has not yet paid his Way, that is given a diaplomatick dinner to the Ministers, because Congress Paper will not pass here.” If it was expensive living in France, it is much more so in London, but I trust our Country will either consider us, or permit us to return.
The King of France has publishd an Arret prohibiting British Manufactories under severe penalties, in concequence of which 8 thousand Gauze and Muslin looms have stoped working here.4 I will inclose to you two or 3 News papers.
Captain Lyde will take Letters. The contents of some of them, you will be surprizd at, but, at the same time you will approve the wise conduct of the writer who has shewn a firmness of mind and prudence which do her honour. Be Silent! We are all rejoiced because it came of her own accord free and unsolicited from her, and was the result I believe of many Months anxiety as you were witness.5
Remember me to all my Friends your Brothers in particular. I have not time to add an other line. I do not know whether your sister writ[es] by this vessel to you.6 Let me hear from you by every opport[unity.] I have given Mr. Storer a Letter from Mr. Murray for you.7 M[r.] and Mrs. Temple sail next week for New York. Tis near four and I must dress for dinner. Once more adieu. Your sister and I miss you much. We want you to walk and ride with us, but we know and hope you are much more usefully employd. I am going with your sister this afternoon to Hamstead to drink tea with Mrs. Hay, who resides out there. I shall call and take Mrs. Rogers to accompany us. We all went last week to accompany Mr. Short to the Hay Market,8 but who can realish the English after having been accustomed to the French Stage? A Siddons may reconcile me to it, but I believe nothing else will.
{ 262 }
I never know when to leave of, once more adieu and beliee me most tenderly Yours.
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “Mr. John Quincy Adams”; endorsed: “Mamma Augt. 11th. 1785”; docketed: “My Mother 11. Augt. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Augt. 11. 1785.” Some loss of text where the seal was torn away.
1. See AA to William Stephens Smith, 13 Aug., below.
2. See Charles Williamos to AA, 21 July, note 2, above.
3. Matthew 5:10–12.
4. Louis XVI issued this edict in council on 10 July to pressure the British ministry to conclude a treaty of commerce, as provided for in the art. 18 of the Anglo-French Treaty of Versailles of 1783. The two countries did conclude a new commercial treaty in 1786. JA to John Jay, 10 Aug., PCC, No. 84, V, f. 601–604, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:428–430; Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:284–286.
5. See AA2 to Royall Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.]; AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug.; and AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., all below.
6. AA2 sent JQA her journal letter of 4 July, above, by this ship; see her last dated entry, of 11 Aug., in that letter.
7. William Vans Murray to JQA, 2 Aug. (Adams Papers).
8. The Haymarket Theatre, sometimes called “The Little Theatre in the Haymarket,” was built on the east side of Haymarket Street, between Pall Mall and Coventry Street, in 1721 (Wheatley, London Past and Present).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0084

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1785-08-11

Abigail Adams 2d to Royall Tyler

[salute] Sir

Herewith you receive your letters and miniature with my desire that you would return mine to my Uncle Cranch, and my hopes that you are well satisfied with the affair as is
[signed] A. A.
MS not found. Printed from (Grandmother Tyler's Book), p. 76. No other versions of the letter survive, nor is there any evidence to show whether the text is complete.
1. The date is suggested by AA to JQA, 11 Aug., above. See also AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., and notes 3–7, and AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0085

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-08-12

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

I would not omit so good an opportunity as presents by Mr. Short,1 of continuing the correspondence which you have done me the honour to Say you consider as settled.
Your obliging favours of june 21 and july 7th were punctually deliverd, and afforded me much pleasure.
Were you to come to this Country, as I sincerely hope you will, for the sake of your American Friends2 who would rejoice to see you; as a Husbandman you would be delighted with the rich verdure of the field, and the high cultivation of the Lands. In the Manufactory of { 263 } many articles, the Country can boast a superiority over their Galician Neighbours. But when you come to consider the Man, and the social affections; ease, civility, and politeness of Manners, this people suffer by the comparison. They are more contracted and narrow in their sentiments notwithstanding their boasted liberality and will not allow their Neighbours half the Merrit, they really deserve. They affect to despise the French, and to hate the Americans, of the latter they are very liberal in their proofs. So great is their pride that they cannot endure to view us as independant, and they fear our growing greatness.
The late Arrets of his most Christian Majesty3 have given the allarm here. They term them Calamitous, and say they will essentially affect their trade. If Ireland refuses the propositions4 with steadiness, and firmness, England may be led to think more justly of America. If a person was to indulge the feelings of a moment, the infamous falshoods, which are daily retailed here against America, would prompt one to curse and quit them, but a statesman would be ill qualified for his station, if he feared the sarcasm of the sarcastic, the envy of the envious, the insults of the insolent or the malice of the dissapointed, or sufferd private resentment to influence his publick Conduct. You will not I dare say envy a situation thus circumstanced, where success is very dubious, and surrounded with so many difficulties. It is rather mortifying too, that Congress appear so inattentive to the situation of their Ministers. Mr. A has not received any letters of any concequence since the arrival of Col. Smith, nor any answers to the lengthy Letters he has written. Mr. Short informs us that you are in the same situation. What can have become of the said Mr. Lamb mentiond by Mr. Jay? Is he gone with all his papers directly to the Barbary Powers? I suspect it, but Mr. A will not think so.5
I fear Mr. Short will not have a very favourable opinion of England. Unfortunately Col. Smith set off, upon a tour a few days after his arrival, and Mr. Short having but few acquaintance will not find himself highly gratified; we have accompanied him once to the Theater, but after having been accustomed to those of France, one can have little realish for the cold, heavy action, and uncouth appearence of the English stage.6 This would be considerd as treason of a very black dye, but I speak as an American. I know not how a Siddons may reconcile me to English action, but as yet I have seen nothing that equals Parissian ease, and grace. I should like to visit France once a year during my residence in Europe.
The English papers asscribe the late disturbances in the provinces { 264 } of France, to the example set by the Rebellious Americans, as well as every failure of their own Merchants and Manufact[urer]s7 to the Ruinous American trade, tho prehaps two thirds of them never had any intercourse with America. O! for the energy of an absolute government, aya and for the power too. How many Letters de cachet have these abusive Beings deserved?8
The cask of wine you mentiond in your Letter, Mr. Adams request you to take if agreeable to you. He has written to Mr. Garvey with respect to that which is under his care.9 As to the House rent which you mentiond, neither you or Mr. Adams can do yourselves justice unless you charge it, and Mr. A is fully determined to do it. There is an other heavy expence which I think he ought to Charge this Year.10 These are the Court taxes. Being considerd as minister in Holland, the servants applied for their perquisites which was allowd them by Mr. Lotter, tho realy without Mr. Adams's knowledge or direction. At Versailles he went through the same ceremony, and when he came to this Court all the servants and attendants from St. James came very methodically with their Books, upon which both the Names of the Ministers and the sums given were Specified. Upon the New Years day this is again to be repeated: and the sum this year will amount to not less than a hundred pounds, which will be thought very extravagant I suppose; but how could it be avoided? Our Countrymen have no Idea of the expences of their Ministers, nor of the private applications which they are subject to, many of which cannot be dispenced with. All the prudence and oeconomy I have been able to exercise in the year past, has not enabled me to bring the year about; without falling behind hand. I have no objection to returning to America, but I have many, against living here at a greater expence than what our allowence is: because we have 3 children in America to Educate, whose expences must be, and have been borne by our private income which for 12 years past has been diminishing by Mr. Adams's continued application to publick buisness: these are considerations Sir which some times distress me. As I know you are a fellow sufferer you will excuse my mentioning them to you.
You were so kind sir as to tell me you would execute any little commission for me, and I now take the Liberty11 of requesting you to let Petit12 go to my Paris shoemaker and direct him to make me four pair of silk shoes, 2 pr sattin and two pr fall silk; I send by Mr. Short the money for them. I am not curious about the colour, only that they be fashonable.13 I cannot get any made here to suit me, at least I have faild in several attempts. Col. Smith proposes visiting { 265 } Paris before he returns, and will be so good as to take Charge of them for me. An other article or two I have to add, a Glass for the middle of the table. I forget the French name for it. I think they are usually in 3 peices. If you will be so good as to procure it for me and have it put into a small Box well pack'd and addrest to Mr. Adams; Col. Smith will also have the goodness to take care of it for me; and to pay you for it: I do not know the cost, as we had one at Auteuil, which belongd to the House. I have to add four Godships,14 these are so saleable in Paris that I think they are to be had for Six livres a peice, but should they be double that price it cannot be thought much of for deitys. Apollo I hold in the first rank as the Patron of Musick Poetry and the Sciencies. Hercules is the next in my favour on account of the numerous exploits and enterprizing Spirit. If he is not to be had, I will take Mercury as he is said to be the inventer of Letters, and God of eloquence. I have no aversion to Cupid, but as I mean to import them through the Hands of a Young Gentleman, one should be cautious of arming persons with powers: for the use of which they cannot be answerable; there cannot however be any objection to his accompanying Madam Minerva and Diana, Ladies whose company and example are much wanted in this city. If you have any command to execute here you will do <me> a favour by honouring with them Your obliged Humble Servant
[signed] A. Adams
RC (DLC: C. W. F. Dumas Papers). Dft (Adams Papers); the Dft is incomplete
1. Because William Short traveled to The Hague before returning to Paris, Jefferson did not receive this letter until 23 Sept. (Jefferson to AA, 25 Sept., below).
2. The draft has “Friend.”
3. See AA to JQA, 11 Aug., note 4, above.
4. See AA2 to JQA, 4 July, and note 31, above.
5. On 11 March, John Jay had entrusted four commissions, directing JA, Franklin, and Jefferson to negotiate treaties with Algiers, Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis, to Capt. John Lamb, a mariner and merchant from Norwich, Conn. Jay referred to these documents in his letter to the three commissioners of the same date, and suggested that they appoint Lamb, who had offered his services for this task in February, to negotiate with the Barbary powers, under their direction (Jefferson, Papers, 8:19–22). Jay also briefly mentioned Lamb in his letter of 13 April to JA (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:480–483). All these documents are in the Adams Papers. On John Lamb and negotiations with the Barbary states, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., below; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:182, note 2; and Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:72–73, 250–251.
6. The draft adds: “Indeed most of the Ammusments of this Metropolis are closed, for the Season.”
7. This word, barely legible, appears to have been corrected from “Manufactories.” The draft has “Manufactory.”
8. Jefferson had given ironic praise to the energy of absolute government in his letters of 21 June and 7 July, above.
9. See Jefferson to AA, 21 June, and note 7, above; and JA to Anthony Garvey, 16 July (LbC, Adams Papers).
10. In her draft, AA adds here: “I wish you would give me your opinion of it.” Also in the draft, AA calls these “Court taxes,” “Etraines,” as she had earlier in writing of them; see AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 Jan., and enclosure, above.
11. The draft has “liberty to send by Mr. Short a Louis requesting . . .”
12. Adrian Petit had served the Adamses at { 266 } Auteuil, and after their departure for London in May, he helped Jefferson handle the disposal of the wine JA had bought. At some point between May and September he entered Jefferson's service. See Jefferson, Papers.
13. The draft adds: “they are all for me, and the whole four pair will not cost me more than one pair here.” In the draft, AA does not say anything about her failure to find shoes that suited her in London.
14. The draft ends here, at the bottom of a page; the remainder is missing. Jefferson discusses the “four Godships” in his reply of 25 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0086

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1785-08-13

Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear Sir

Your letter from Harwich, dated August 10,1 reached us upon the 11th. We were very glad to hear of your arrival there, and continue to follow you with our good wishes.
When you tendered me your services, and asked my commands, I did not know you had any thoughts of returning by the way of Paris; otherwise I should have charged you with a few. I now write by Mr. Short, requesting your care of an article or two which Mr. Jefferson will be so good as to procure for me.2
Nothing new in the political world has taken place since you left us, but a fresh report by way of Minorca, that the Algerines had, upon the 13th3 of July, declared war against America. This I suppose is circulated now, in order to raise the insurance upon the few American vessels ready to sail. The report says that twelve of their ships are ordered to cruise in the Mediteranean for ours;4 but it will probably be so long before this letter will reach you, that what is news now, will not be so then.
I have taken the liberty, sir, of requesting Mr. Jefferson to introduce you to two gentlemen and ladies; the first of the gentlemen is much esteemed in the world, for his patronage of the sciences, and for his knowledge and skill in music and poetry; and the other for his notable exploits and heroism. One of the ladies is of a very ancient and noble family; she is eminent for her wisdom, and exceedingly fond of all those in whom she discovers a genius, and a taste for knowledge; the other is a single lady, remarkable for her delicacy and modesty.5 As there is some talk of their coming to London, they may possibly accompany you here. There will be no difficulty on account of the language, as they speak one as perfectly as they do the other.
I had some idea of mentioning a young gentleman6 of my acquaintance, whose manners are very insinuating, but as he does not always conduct himself with the prudence I could wish, and is very fond of { 267 } becoming intimate, his company sometimes proves dangerous; but Mr. Jefferson, who knows them all, I presume, will use his judgment, and upon that you may safely rely.
I hope you will not travel so rapidly as to omit your journal, for I promise myself much entertainment from it upon your return. I presume that the family would join me in their regards to you, if they knew that I was writing; you will, from the knowledge you have of them, believe them your well wishers and friends, as well as your humble servant,7
[signed] A. Adams
RC not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour, and Corr., 1:119–121.) Dft (Adams Papers); notation on last page by AA2: “To Co Smith”; and by CFA on the first page: “To Col Smith.” The editors have favored the printed text over the Dft here on the supposition that it is based on the RC, which passed from William Stephens Smith to his and AA2's daughter, Caroline de Windt, who published it along with various other letters by and to AA2. A few variants in the Dft are noted below.
1. Not found. Col. Smith wrote to JA from his lodgings at Leicester Fields on 4 Aug. (Adams Papers), asking permission “to take a small tour on the Continent—a general Review of the Prussian Army takes place the latter end of this or the beginning of the next Month, I should like to see it.” On 5 Aug., JA, imagining that Smith would make a fairly brief tour beginning in a month that was “so dull and so disgusting and unwholesome in London” with the city “so deserted by Men of Business as well as others,” granted his request (PCC, No. 92, I, f. 19).
The colonel departed London on 9 Aug. for the North Sea port of Harwich to catch the boat for Holland, in company with Francisco Miranda, the South American soldier whom he had met in New York during the war (and whose 1806 abortive military expedition to free South America from Spanish rule Col. Smith would be charged with aiding). Smith carried letters of introduction from JA to C. W. F. Dumas at The Hague, and to Messrs. Willinck and Staphorst at Amsterdam (LbCs, Adams Papers).
Smith and Miranda reached the Netherlands on 11 Aug., and traveled through Rotterdam, The Hague, and Amsterdam into northern Germany, stopping at Minden, Hanover, Brunswick, and Potsdam before reaching Berlin on 31 August. They reviewed Prussian troops and visited garrisons and cultural sites in the Berlin-Potsdam area from 5 to 23 Sept., and then continued their tour through Leipzig, Dresden, and Prague to Vienna, staying in the Austrian capital from 14 to 26 Oct., when Col. Smith finally departed for Paris.
The expansion of his “small tour” delayed Smith's return to London to early December, long after JA expected him, and considerably annoyed the minister, who found himself coping with an extensive correspondence in the fall without a secretary. Col. Smith recorded the better part of his journey, from 11 Aug. to 26 Oct., in great detail; this diary is published, in English, in Archivo Del General Miranda, Viajes Diaros 1750–1785, Caracas, 1929, 1:354–434. See Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale (Miranda); DAB (Smith).
2. See AA to Jefferson, 12 Aug., above.
3. The draft has: “The Eleventh of july.“
4. From this point, the draft reads: “Mr. Short will set out on twesday, <but as> it is not probable that this Letter will reach you untill you arrive in Paris it will then be so old a date that I should not have written but to have askd your care of my things.”
5. AA refers to the four “Godships”—Apollo, Hercules, Minerva (Athena), and Diana (Artemis)—mentioned in her letter to Jefferson of 12 Aug., above.
6. Cupid; see AA to Jefferson, 12 Aug., above.
7. This paragraph is not in the draft, which has in its place: “Callihan is arrived from Boston this day, if any thing worth communicating should come to hand when I get my Letters which I am just going to seek it shall be communicated by Sir Your Friend and humble servant.“

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0087

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-08-14

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have just Sent away one Letter1 and shall now begin another to be ready for the next ship. Cousin John is not yet arriv'd. I hear of him upon the road. He has not quite done his duty. He should have written to one of his uncles2 at least as soon as he came on Shore, but I will not chide him without hearing his reasons, I feel inclin'd to be very partial to him.
I have just heard that cousin Charles is not like to have the chamber he petition'd for, nor any other. Half his class will be oblig'd to Board out in the Town. Mr. Cranch and I are going tomorrow to see how it is, and to procure him a place if necessary. The Doctor desires I would take the whole care of providing for him off his Hands, as he is so hurried with business of a publick nature.3 I will most chearfully do it. You cannot think how sorrowful your son looks about the loss of his chamber, but I hope to make him happy yet. I have got all the Furniture ready, (this is the part he is to find). The Bed and Linnin is found by his chum a very worthy pretty youth, who study'd with him at Mr. Shaws. Walker is his name, he is from Bradford.
Charles is happy he has got his chamber. I return'd last night. I found he had his petition'd granted. He is in the same college with Billy has a Room upon the lower Floor.4 I have got him a pine Table made to stand under his looking glass. It doubles over like a card Table and is painted Marble colour and looks very well. He has the Square Tea Table to stand in his study. I got a few things for him in Boston as I came from Cambridge, and now I think he is equip'd and will go tomorrow with the best advice I can give him. You may assure your self my dear sister that I shall watch over him with the Parential Eye of tenderness. In sickness and in health He shall be my peculiar care.5
Cousin John is come, dear youth, and brought with him in his own Face such a resemblance of His Papa and Mama as I never before saw blended in one. And I am happy to perceive that it is not only in his Person that he bears such a likeness to his Parents. I have already { 269 } discover'd a strength of mind, a memory, a soundness of judgment which I have seldom seen united in one so young. His modesty is not the least of his virtues. In the Eyes of his cousins, tis of great price. If his applycation is equal to his abilities he cannot fail of makeing a great Man. He will be destitute of his Fathers ambition if <he> it is not. His mothers animated countinance assures me I need not fear a dissapointment.
Cousin came last week, spent some time in Boston and Cambridge consulting with his uncles and the President about his future studies. He does not understand Greek <enough> nor make Latten well enough to be admitted into Billys Class. They all advise him to go to Haverhill and study With his uncle Shaw till April, by which time if he applys himself very closly he may enter. Billy is to spend part of the winter vacancy with him by his uncles desire.
Here we are my dear sister. Cousin and I arriv'd last night. I came with him that I might have the pleasure of introducing a Nephew I am proud enough off to all the good Folks on the road. I find he is quite a Stranger in his own country. We came thro Cambridge and call'd upon my Sons8 there. They were well and I trust very studious and good. We all drank Tea at Mr. Gannetts.9 My Fellow traveller and I Lodg'd there. They Would not suffer us to go further. He has given our children an invitation to visit him frequently. Billy is too diffident. He does not accept of the repeated invitations of the Gentleman of the Town to visit them. Tis true he does not need to accept them for the sake of seeing company so much as some others, but it will give him importanc to be notic'd by them. Cousin John has promis'd me he will dispel some of his diffidence when he is fixd there.
Mr. Shaw will take your son and give him all the instruction in his power. We shall return in a few days to prepair for cousins residence here, as soon as possible.
I find Sister Shaw in better health than I have seen her for several years. Little Betsy has had a bad Boil10 which has reduc'd her to skin and Bone. She is very pale and I think in a poor way. Thomas is <very> well and is a very good child his aunt says. He is made <very> happy by the return of his Brother, Whos living here will be a <very> great advantage to him. They are very fond of each-other.
I thank you my dear sister for your Letter by Cousin and for the { 270 } present to Betsy and Lucy.11 They wanted nothing to increase their Love to the best of aunts. Their gratitude must be express'd by all the assistance and every attention they can give their Cousins.
I came thro Boston in my way here and had the pleasure to find a large Pacquit from my dear sister, brought by Capn. Dashwood,12 and very intertaining I find it. I cannot enough thank you for your kindness in writing so often and so largly to me, and have only to regret that <I fear> I cannot send you any thing that will afford you half the amusement. I have no new scenes to introduce you too nor new dress to inform you off but what your sisterly kindness has help'd me too, unless the disposition of your gauze cap and white Bonnet which we found at the bottom of a Trunk crowded down by half a dozen Blankits Would afford you any. The children brought them home pull'd them to peices and out of them Betsy made a cap for Lucy a Bonnet for me and a Hankercheif for herself. We thought we had better do so and repay you in something or other to the children, than let them lay, and turn yellow till they were useless.
Your account of your Presentation was curious. Mere men and women indeed. I observe but one wise Speech among all that were made you. One would suppose His Majestys Eyes were really open'd to the best interest of his own Nation if he was sincere when he told your Friend that “He was glad the choice of his country had fallen upon him,” for sure I am that he has reason to be so. I Wish Mr. Adams may not have the least influence in his own country.13 I veryly think he has more to fear from the envious Spirit of some of us than from any other quarter. It is a mean vice. It will be very hard indeed if He who could so suddenly change the sentiments of a whole People, remarkably slow in their determinations and gain their interest in our Favour, while under the influence of two powerful Nations exerting themselves to the utmost to prevent it,14 should not have the confidence and warmest gratitude of those who employ him. To me this has always appear'd one of the most wonderful and most important events in our History.
So long as human nature remains as it is you cannot be surpriz'd at the spight of the Torys, but they will not hurt you. I do not wonder you felt dissagreably when presented to a Person who had done all in his Power to humble in the dust the country and people you represent. Your benevolent hearts must have felt more for him than for your selves. There is not another court in Europe Where you could have had such a Triumph. The Countess of Effingham I am { 271 } greatly pleass'd with, I want to know more of her character. Her Friendly politness to my sister has made me partial to her. Introduce to me all your acquaintance and acquaint me with their characters.
Mr. Thaxter is doing very well here. He is greatly respected by all denominations. He is very attentive to his Business and very puntual. Tis a good sign when a young Gentleman of his profession is almost always excepting while the courts are siting to be found in his office or near it.15Forgive this Blot.
The Merchants in our seaports are breaking all to peices, three in Salem last week.16 Jo[seph] Otis last spring and his Brother about three weeks since to the supprize of almost every body. Miss Hannah I hear has secur'd her fortune. He has broke for a very large Sume, and what is dreadful is that he has ruin'd a Mr. Johnson who was bound for him for a large debt due to a Gentleman in England.17 He has a large Family and is now absent upon a voyage and could secure nothing. Every thing he has in the world is attach'd. The Family are greatly distress'd. I pity Mr. Otis exceedingly. The attack upon him was so sudden that he had not time to Secure any body at any distance. Some people think he can pay every body some that he owes much more than he is worth. I have not seen any of the Family yet. He has much owing to him, but tis suppos'd he will never be able to collect it half, and as to the Estate he has in his hands we well know that when tis known that a man is oblig'd to Sell, the thing offer'd will not bring him half as much as if this circumstance was not known. Harry18 is more mortified than I think he ought to be. He is in poor Health Spits Blood.
Cousin Johns Trunks are come from Holland. Many of the cloath will do for his Brothers. There are about eight or Ten Shirts some of them will do for himself, others for Charles. They all want a great deal of mending. Cousin Charles sends his Linnin to me to be done up. I chuse he should. I can now see that tis mended when it should be. I hire a Girl to help wash and Iron. I have not been able to do any thing about it this summer. Betsy has been in Boston, and I wish not to put too much upon Lucy. She has been my strength this summer. Betsy Cleaverly left us last spring and John the fall before. I have only Becca and a Boy of nine years old a Brother of Seths and Peters who us'd to live with us.19
We have had several Letters from Mr. Perkins since he arriv'd at Kentucka.20 He had a most dangerous fatigueing Journey. He travelled alone part of the way in constant fear of the Indians who had { 272 } cut of several Parties but a little before he sat out, and whos mangled Limbs he beheld as he pass'd along. He was one night alone in the woods, without any Shelter but a Blanket. He tied his Horse he says in a green Spot to feed, then wrap'd himself in his Blanket and with two Pistols in his hands sat him <self> down to guard himself and Horse from the wild Beast who were howling around and from the more Savage Indians who were thursting for his Blood. The roads were so deep by reason of great rains which had lately fallen that every Step he took for weeks was up to his Horses knees. He could go but one mile in an hour. For three weeks it thundred lighten'd and rain'd incessantly. In a few days after he set out, he overtook five hundred People in one company, who were going to Kentucka. A great number of them caught the Measles upon the road and tho the Weather was so bad they all did well. His Letter is a curiosity. I will get Betsy to copy it and send you. He is well and in good business.
Aunt Tufts is better but very low. She cannot bear her weight upon her Feet yet if you could see her you would not think She had much to bear neither.21 I never saw any body much thiner. I wish you would write to her. She think hard of it that you do not.22 Mr. Cranch is well and still in the Treasurys office, but he has almost got thro with the business, and what he will then do for imployment I know not. He begins to look anxious about it. He thinks of returning to watch work, but he has so long been imploy'd in Publick business that he feels dissagreably, when he thinks of it. Money is very scarce, it [at] present but I do not design to distress my self. Something unforeseen may turn up. We have more than half got thro with Billys college education. He has been a very prudent child has made us as little expence as he could possibly help.
We came here last night fatigued almost to death by coming a cross road from Haverhill. We find this Family all well and much grattifyed with their Letters and your kindness to your Neice.23 She as well as the other children are surprizingly grown. She is a fine girl. Sister is comfortable Supported, and enjoys fine Health. I ask'd cousin John yesterday, whether his Friends answer'd his expectations. He says they have greatly exceeded them. I could not bear to have him dissapointed. If attention will please him he must be pleass'd. He receives it as he ought, it does not puff him up with vanity. He is admir'd every where he goes for his modest behaviour. I want to know { 273 } what he thinks of us all. He enters into characters with a penetration that astonishes me. If I had anything in my disposition that I wish'd to hide I would not be acquainted with him. He is form'd for a Statesman. I shut him out of the room when I want to work. I can do none when he is in it. I can do nothing but look at him. Tis an expressable pleasure that I feel in tracing the countenance, the air, and manners of my dear Brother and Sister most agreable united in him. I do not wonder you were loth to part with him. I was very sorry he had not receiv'd our Letters24 before he came. Do send them to him that he may see that we did not promise more than we mean to perform and that we were not unmindful of him when abroad.
We returnd last evening by the way of Boston. I stay'd but one night at Lincoln. I heard more of Fashons and new dresses while I was there than any where upon my Journey. I was make heartily sick of Folly and flurtation airs. I could learn nothing certain about a relation of ours.26 She told me some dismal Storys about him. I believe he is strip'd of his Store and every thing he had in it, and for an infamous debt. Poor child I do not love to think of him.
I read part of your Letter to Mrs. Sam. Adams. She was much pleas'd with your descriptions, desir'd me to give her most affectionate regards to you. I thank you my Sister for the importance, you have given me. I find the knowledg of my having a Letter decriptive of your dress and reception at court will introduce me any where. I have been careful who I read it too. I Went to see Mr. and Mrs. Otis. I felt very dissagreably as I approach'd the House, the outside window Shutter of which were all shut up. They live up stairs. The knocker is taken of the Door for what I know not. Mrs. Otis and Betsy were gone out. He look'd out of the chamber window to see whether he might let me in or not. As I had no demands upon him but those of Friendship I was admitted. He looks very pale and dejected. He tells me General Warren, wants to sell his Farm at Milton, that he has offer'd it for Sale, but that he has refus'd two thousand pound which has been offer'd him by a Mr. Furgarson from the southward, and to be paid in Bills of Exchange. Mr. Otis thinks Such a price will never be offer'd him again. I am affraid they are embarress'd. He was sued at the spring court for an English debt of five hundred sterling. I have been talking with the Doctor about geting your debt. He says he knows nothing about it from you. She spoke to me about it the other { 274 } day, Said she wish'd to pay it in Something or other. The money she could not pay. Doctor Tufts Says as he had no orders nor any papers about it, He does not chuse to take it in any thing but money: but that I may do as I please. I cannot help having fears. She offer'd Linnins but I found I could buy them cheaper else where. If I had not I believe I should have venturd to have taken them and turn'd them into money for you. I wish you would give the Doctor directions what to do about it. She told me they had enough to pay all their debts if they could but Sell any of their places to their minds. This speech alarm'd me.
I design to send this Letter to Boston tomorrow to be put on board the first Ship that Sails. There are several almost ready. Thank you my Sister for my Share of the Sweetmeats.27 There is one Pot of citron. I shall keep some of that to put into cake for our children at college. I shall take some of your cinnamen to put into cakes for Cousin Charles. They have been so use'd to eat Something between their stated meals that they want a little bit yet. Charles says, you will make me Some, wont you aunt? Yes my dear Boy you shall have your quarter cake as well as your cousin. I have taken Some of the Sugar you left for the purpose. He took Some of it with him for his coffee. They like coffee better than Tea. I gave him a pound ready ground. [John was?]28 last thursday with his cousin at Mr. Fosters. We have got Mr. Foster to let your children dine there, whenever they are not invited else where. Tis the only time our children can see their Papa and uncles.
I hope my last Letter29 has reach'd you. Remember me most affectionatly to Mr. Adams and be assur'd of the Sincere Love of your Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
You wont complain of short Letters from me I hope.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch August 14th. 1785.” Dft (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); notation in an unknown hand: “Mrs. Cranch to Mrs. Adams Aug. 14. 1785.” The Dft is incomplete. Major differences are noted below.
1. Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above.
2. The draft has “to His uncle Tufts or Mr. Cranch as he was consign'd to them.”
3. Cotton Tufts served as both a state senator and a justice of the peace throughout the 1780s, and he was active in the Massachusetts Medical Society and several other organizations (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:497–498).
4. CA roomed in Hollis Hall, where his cousin William Cranch also had a room. CA's room was in the northeast corner on the ground floor (JQA, Diary, 1:316, note 3; Richard Cranch to JA, 13 Oct., Adams Papers).
5. The draft adds here: “He is much of a gallant I assure you. Not too much so neither—only pleasingly attentive to every Body.”
6. JQA arrived at the Cranches on the evening of 27 Aug. (JQA to AA2, 20 Aug., below; JQA, Diary, 1:313–314). The following paragraph could have been written between his arrival and his return to Boston, on 29 Aug., { 275 } or as late as the next paragraph (see note 7).
7. In the draft the following paragraph begins with the more specific “Cousin came last Saturday week,” which roughly dates the passage. JQA conferred with Harvard's president, Joseph Willard, on 31 Aug., and returned to Braintree on 3 Sept. (Saturday). He and Mary Cranch departed for Haverhill on 6 Sept. (JQA to AA2, 29 Aug., below; JQA, Diary, 1:317–319).
8. Mary Cranch evidently refers to CA as well as to her own son, William. In the draft she writes “our Sons.”
9. Caleb Gannet, steward of Harvard College from 1779 to 1818 (see JQA, Diary, 2:xi, and index).
10. The draft has “bad Sore upon her thigh.” Elizabeth Quincy Shaw was five.
11. AA to Mary Cranch, 8 May; to Lucy Cranch, 7 May; and to Elizabeth Cranch, 8 May, and 12 May, all above. The postscript to AA to Lucy Cranch mentions AA's present for the sisters, a large piece of silk.
12. AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
13. AA's account of the Adams' presentation at St. James's Palace is in her 24 June letter to Mary Cranch, above. The closing quotation mark in the previous sentence is supplied from the draft of this letter. Cranch's ambiguous remark about JA's “influence in his own country,” is probably a reference to AA's quotation of Scripture (Mark 6:4) in her letter to Elizabeth Cranch, 12 May, above.
14. Mary Cranch evidently refers here to JA's triumph in persuading the Dutch to recognize the United States in 1782. The “two powerful Nations” pressuring the Dutch were presumably Great Britain and either France, or possibly Prussia.
15. At this point Mary Cranch heavily crossed out an entire line, making it illegible.
16. The draft does not have “three in Salem last week,” but adds: “Ned Green I suppose you know broke last spring. He is execrated by every Body. Mrs. Leveret put all her Business of settling her Husbands Estate in His Hands. He has collected above one thousand pound of it and [has] been living away as if he own'd it all, and tho repeatedly call'd upon would not be accountable to Mrs. Leverett for any thing. He is now shut up in an uper Chamber in his Brother Greens House. He has had a small shock of the Palsy since. I pity his poor wife from my Heart. Uncle Smith and aunt meet with trouble in their connections, as well as others. Tis the lot of mortals.”
17. The draft arranges essentially the same material on the Otises somewhat differently, adding that Joseph Otis was “of Barnstable,” and that the large debt due to a creditor in England was for “sixteen thousand pound.” Joseph Otis, Samuel Allyne Otis, and Hannah Otis were younger siblings of the late James Otis Jr., and of Mercy Otis Warren. Samuel's marriage to AA's and Mary Cranch's cousin, Mary Smith, made his bankruptcy a family tragedy.
18. Harrison Gray Otis, son of Samuel Allyne Otis. In the draft, Mary Cranch also mentions Harry after his father's misfortune, and then adds: “I cannot think what is the matter with all the young Fellows. One quarter of them at least are spiting Blood.”
19. The draft continues: “We have let our Farm to the Halves, to Shalhouse. His wife makes a good dairy woman.”
20. Thomas Perkins' letter to Elizabeth Cranch, dated “Danville, Kentucky, March 1st 1785,” which Mary Cranch summarizes in this paragraph, was published anonymously in The Boston Magazine, Sept. 1785, p. 342–345.
21. The draft ends at this point.
22. See AA to Lucy Tufts, AA to Lucy Tufts, 3 Sept., and note 1, below.
23. Louisa Catharine Smith.
24. No letters from the Cranches to JQA in 1785 have been found. Those to which Cranch refers may have been written around 25 April, when both Mary and Elizabeth wrote to AA, both above.
25. Mary Cranch arrived in Braintree on 15 Sept., after an overnight stay in Boston; JQA stayed two nights in Boston, reaching Braintree on the 16th (JQA, Diary, 1:324–325).
26. Their brother, William Smith Jr.; see Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, above, and Catharine Smith to AA, 27 April, above, and 26 Oct., below.
27. See AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
28. The text is lost in a tear; see JQA, Diary, 1:325 (15 September). JQA's cousin in this sentence could have been either Billy Cranch, visiting from Cambridge with CA, or Betsy Cranch, who apparently was living in the home of Boston merchant William Foster, as was her father, Richard (same, 1:318).
29. Of 19 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0088

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-08-15

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

When I wrote you by Captain Dashood,1 I was obliged for want of time to break of before I had noticed certain parts of your Letter,2 some of which gave me anxiety, particularly that which related to a certain Gentleman, of whose present affairs, or future intentions we know nothing of. I had written to you upon this Subject but not having time to transcribe more than half my Letter, that part was omitted. I am not now sorry that it was, as neither he or his affairs in future will be of any material importance to us, for when this reaches you it will accompany a final dismission of him.3 I have for sometime observed a more than common anxiety in the appearence of your Neice, which I sometimes attributed to the absence of her Brother, but several times she had dropt hints as if returning to America soon, was not an object near her Heart and I knew that nothing had taken place here to attach her.4 A few days since, something arose which led her in conversation to ask me, if I did not think a Gentleman of her acquaintance a Man of Honour? I replied yes a Man of strict honour, and I wisht I could say that of all her acquaintance. As she could not mistake my meaning, instead of being affected as I apprehended she said, a breach of honour in one party would not justify a want of it in the other. I thought this the very time to speak. I said if she was conscious of any want of honour on the part of the Gentleman, I and every Friend she had in the world, would rejoice if she could liberate herself.
Here ended the conversation, she retired to her Chamber and I to mine. About two hours after she sent me a Billet, with the copy of two Letters,5 which she desired me to communicate if I thought proper. In the Billet she asks if her Father was included in the Friends I mentioned. If he was, she should be deliverd from a state of anxiety she had long known. She adds that she dreads his displeasure, and will not in future take a step unapproved by him. Thanks Heaven that her mind is not in so weak a state as to feel a partiality which is not returnd. That no state of mind is so painfull as that which admits, of fear, suspicion, doubt, dread and apprehension. “I have too long” says she “known them all—and I am determined to know them no longer.” You may be sure I did not fail of communicating { 277 } the whole to her Father, the result of which was a conversation with her. He told her that it was a serious matter, and that he hoped it was upon mature deliberation she acted, that he was a perfect stranger to the Gentleman, that his Character had been such as to induce him to give his consent not so freely as he could wish: but because he conceived her affections engaged. But if she had reason to question the strictest honour of the Gentleman, or supposed him capable of telling her that he had written Letters when he had not, he had rather follow her to her Grave, than see her united with him. She has not received but one Letter since last December, and that a short one, and by what I can learn only four since she left America.6 In that by Lyde7 he says that he had written to her and to her parents by way of Amsterdam. I doubted it when she told me, tho I kept silence, but I find now she is of the same opinion. She request that neither the Name or subject may ever be mentiond to her, and I hope none of her Friends will be so unwise as to solicit for him. The Palmers will be the most likely, but the die is cast.
It is not worth his while to make a Bustle. I dont think it will kill him. He would have been more solicitious to have kept his prize, if he had known the value of it. It is a maxim in a favorite Author of his, that a woman may forgive the man she loves an indiscretion, but never a neglect. But it is not merely a want of proper attention you well know my Dear sister which has been the source of anxiety to me, or to her either. I have always told him, that he was his own greatest enemy. Such he has proved. She appears much more cheerfull since she has unburthend her mind. There is however a degree of delicacy necessary to be preserved, between persons who have thought favourably of each other, even in their seperation. I do not wish that a syllable more may be said upon the subject, than just to vindicate her, and I believe very little will do that, in the Eye of the world.
We are agreeably enough situated here in a fine open square, in the middle of which is a circle inclosed with a neat grated fence; around which are lighted every night about sixty Lamps. The border next the fence is grass, the circle is divided into five grass plots. One in the midle is a square upon which is a statue of Gorge 2d. on horse back. Between each of the plots are gravel walks and the plots are filld with clumps of low trees thick together which is calld Shrubbery, and these are surrounded with a low Hedge, all together a pretty effect. I have got a set of servants which I hope are good, but time { 278 } must prove them. I shall lose a very agreeable companion in Mrs. Temple. She goes out this week. I have had more intimacy with her than with any other American, as she has been situated near to me, and has been very sociable. Mrs. Rogers is benevolence itself, it is impossible to know her without feeling a sisterly regard for her. I regret that she is 3 miles distant from me. Mrs. Atkinson too is agoing out in a few days, as well as Mr. Storer whom we shall greatly miss. Mrs. Hay resides at Hamstead about 4 miles out. Mrs. Copely is an agreeable woman whom I visit. Mrs. West also; wife to Mr. West the celebrated painter, is a friendly sensible Lady in whose company I expect a good deal of pleasure. Mr. Vassels family who reside at Clapham I have both visited, and received visits from. There is a Mrs. Johnson Lady to a Gentleman from Philadelphia who is setled here in Buisness that I have some acquaintance with. There are several others who have visited me, but almost everybody is out of Town. I am not however so solitary as at Auteuil. They tell me I shall get attached to England by and by, but I do not believe it—the people must Love my country and its inhabitants better first. They must discover a more amicable temper towards us. Yet there are worthy good individuals here whom I Esteem.
What you wrote with respect to my Mother gave me uneasiness.8 I am sorry she had not spoken her mind before I went away. I know Mr. Adams has written to her9 desireing her to call upon the dr for what she may want. As to Mr. Adams's having every thing which belong'd to her in his Hands, I know not the meaning of it. The estate which was left him by his Father which did not amount to more than 30 acres of land; I know she had her thirds in, and it was never divided; but the income of it could not amount to much deducting taxes. I will send by Mr. Storer 2 Guineys to be given to you for her, which you will take a receit for, and I will take some opportunity to mention it to Mr. Adams and take his orders about it. I should have done it before now, but he has been so engaged with publick buisness and private applications that I hated to worry him as I knew this would. And then there were at the time, other things in the Letter, that I did not wish to trouble him with.
I hope my son has arrived before now, tho the French Consul who calld yesterday upon us with Letters from some of Mr. Adams friends in Boston brought no news of the May pacquet tho he left Boston the fourth of july. I have not yet got a line by Capt. Callihan. I cannot but think I must have some letters from some of you.
{ 279 }
I have been to Mr. Elworthys in hopes to find Letters but not one can I hear of. From thence to the post office. Mr. Storer got his on Saturday, this is tuesday and I hear nothing of any. The servant came yesterday to me for two Guineys and half to pay the postage of a packet of Letters from America. Well now thought I we have got a fine Bugget. I ran and got the money, and down I went in full expectation, and when I came, behold it was a pacquet from New York for Col. Smith, who being gone a journey had orderd all his letters to be left here. One of the Bundles contains the New York papers up to 6 of july, but alass no mention of the arrival of the May pacquet, which makes me not a little anxious: for supposing all well it must have been at sea for more than six weeks.
I have sent by Captain Lyde a few Books amongst the children which you will see distributed as directed. What letters I cannot get ready to send by him Mr. Storer will take. Continue my dear sister to write me particularly tell me all, and every thing about my Friends my Neighbours, &c.
If an opportunity should offer I wish you to send me a doz. of Chocolate, it must be put in some captains chest.
Esther is well now tho she has been very sick since she came to England. I keep her intirely about my person so that she has no hard work of any kind to do. She sews and dresses my hair and Nabbys. She has not even to sweep a chamber, as that falls into the department of the House maid, and is considerd as beneath a Ladies Maid. I do not say this because she is not willing to do it, or any thing else, but as there was one person whom I must have in that capacity; I chose it should be she. They are more particular here I think than in France.10
Remember me to every body who inquires after me. Mrs. Temple is to visit me to day for the last time before she goes out.
I shall endeavour to write by every opportunity. Love to Mr. Cranch and my dear Neices to whom I shall write if I have time. Let me know how Charles succeeded! Adieu. We have company to dine to day, and I must quit my pen to dress.
Believe me most tenderly & affectionately Yours
[signed] A Adams
Mr. Bulfinch was well a few days since when he calld here. He has been here several time[s]. I met Master George Apthorp in Kensington Gardens the other day, he was so grown that I did not know him at first. My compliment to his Mamma and sisters.11
{ 280 }
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.)
1. On 24 June, above.
2. Of 25 April, above.
3. Neither any rough draft of AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, containing AA's remarks about Royall Tyler, nor any MS version of AA2's “final dismission” of Tyler has been found. The only text of AA2's letter to Tyler appears, undated, in Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 76, and is printed above, at [ca. 11 August.]
4. This remark ignores William Stephens Smith's recent interest in AA2, which may not yet have been reciprocated by her. AA's purpose here is to declare to her American friends that AA2 broke off her engagement with Tyler only because he did not correspond regularly with her, and because she believed that he was not being truthful with her. Whatever AA2 thought of Smith in August, however, AA was most aware that he was attracted to AA2. AA later wrote to JQA that when she saw Smith's interest in AA2, she told him that AA2 was still “under engagements” with Royall Tyler. Smith then thought it prudent to take his trip to Prussia. See notes 6 and 7; William Stephens Smith to AA, 5 Sept., below; and AA to JQA, 16 Feb. 1786 (Adams Papers).
5. Neither the billet nor “the copy of two Letters,” probably AA2 to Tyler, and perhaps AA2 to Cotton Tufts (see AA to Tufts, 18 Aug., below), or possibly to Richard Cranch, have been found.
6. AA2 returned these letters to Tyler about this time (see AA2 to Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.], above); none have been found.
7. This letter, not found, was probably written in late April, the date of several other letters sent from Braintree and Boston to the Adamses by Capt. Lyde that are printed above. Tyler's reference to his writing the Adamses by way of Amsterdam may be to Col. Beriah Norton, who carried Cotton Tufts' 11 April letter to AA, above. See Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, above.
8. See Mary Cranch to AA, 25 April, and notes 7–9.
9. No letters from JA to his mother have been found.
10. That is, AA's English servants were even more particular than her French servants in performing only those duties traditionally associated with their positions. See AA to Mary Cranch, 5 Sept. 1784, above.
11. Probably George Henry Apthorp, son of James Apthorp, one of nine Braintree loyalists who were declared “Inimical to the United States” on 9 June 1777 (John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy, 1870, 1:300–301, 305; Braintree Town Records, p. 481–482). On the Apthorps of Braintree, see JQA to AA2, 19 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0089

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1785-08-15

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

I have been situated here for near six weeks. It is one of the finest squares in London. The air is as pure as it can be so near a Great city. It is but a small distance from Hide Park, round which I sometimes walk, but oftner ride. It resembles Boston Common, much larger and more beautified with Trees. On one side of it is a fine river. St. James Park and Kensington Gardens are two other fashonable walks which I am very sensible I ought to improve oftner than I do. One wants society in these places. Mrs. Temple is the only person near me with whom I can use the freedom of calling upon to ride or walk with me, and she to my no small regret I am going to lose. Mrs. Rogers is an American and one of the most Benevolent women in the world: but is 3 miles distant from me. A sister of hers is like to be setled near you I hear. Visit her my sister, she is the counterpart of { 281 } the amiable Mrs. Rogers. I have some acquaintance with her, she is the Friend and correspondent of your Neice. Mrs. Rogers and she too, have too much of “the tremblingly alive all over”2 to be calculated for the rough Scenes of Life. Mrs. Hay resides out at Hamstead about 4 miles from London. We visit, but they have such a paltry custom of dinning here at night, that it ruins that true American Sociability which only I delight in. Polite circles are much alike throughout Europe. Swift's journal of a modern fine Lady3 tho written 60 years ago is perfectly applicable to the present day, and tho noted as the changeable sex; in this Scene of dissapation they have been steady.
I shall never have much society with these kind of people, for they would not like me, any more than I do them. They think much more of their titles here than in France. It is not unusual [to find people of the highest rank there, the] best bred and the politest people. [If they have an equal share of pride, they kn]ow better how to hide it. [Until I came here, I had no idea what a] National and illiberal inveteracy the English have against their better behaved Neighbours, and I feel a much greater partiality for them than I did whilst I resided amongst them. I would recommend to this Nation a little more liberality and discernment. Their contracted sentiments leads them to despise all other Nations: perhaps I should be chargable with the same narrow sentiments if I give America the preference over these old European Nations. In the cultivation of the arts and improvement in manufactories they greatly excell us, but we have native Genious capacity and ingenuity equal to all their improvements, and much more general knowledge diffused amongst us. You can scarcly form an Idea how much superiour our common people as they are termd, are to those of the same rank in this country. Neither have we that servility of Manners which the distinction between nobility and citizens gives to the people of this Country. We tremble not, neither at the sight or Name of Majesty. I own that I never felt myself in a more contemptable situation than when I stood four hours together for a gracious smile from Majesty. Witness to the anxious solicitude of those around me for the same mighty Boon. I however had a more dignified honour as his Majesty deigned to salute me.4
I have not been since to the drawing room, but propose going to the next. As the company are chiefly out of Town the ceremony will not be so tedious.
As to politicks, the English continue to publish the most abusive bare faced falshoods against America that you can conceive of. Yet glaring as they are, they gain credit here, and shut their Eyes against { 282 } a friendly and liberal intercourse. Yet their very existance depends upon a friendly union with us. How the pulse of the Ministry beat, time will unfold, but I do not [promise or] wish to myself a long continuance here. [Such is the temper of] the two Nations towards each other, that [if we have not peace] we must have war. We cannot resign the intercourse and quit each other. I hope however that it will not come to that alternative.5
Captain Callihan arrived last week from Boston which place he left 4 of july. I was not a little mortified in not receiving a single Letter by him. I sought for them in every place where I thought it probable they might be. I am not without hope that the Captain himself may yet have some in his private care as the letters in the bag generally are landed at Dover and sent by land several days before the ship gets up, but as Captain Lyde sails directly I must finish my Letters and send them this afternoon.
I am not a little anxious for my son, as we have the News papers from New York up to july 6th and he was not then arrived. He sailed the 21 of May, and must have a very tedious passage. I shall wait very impatiently for the next packet. I had hoped that he was in Boston by that time.
How did Charles succeed, I want very much to know? And how Tommy comes on. I have sent him a Book and one to each of my neices and Nephews. I wish it was in my power to do more for my Friends, but thus it is. We did not bring the last year about upon our anual allowence, and very far were we from being extravagent.
Remember me kindly to Mr. Shaw, Mr. Thaxter and all our Friends and believe me most affectionately
[signed] Your sister
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); notation on the first sheet: “London 15 August 1785.” Printed: AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 304–306. Some of the MS has been obscured by opaque tape, and is supplied from the printed edition, in brackets.
1. The “near six weeks” in AA's opening sentence, counting from the date of the Adamses moving to Grosvenor Square on 4 July, supplies the dateline.
2. The editors have supplied the closing quotation mark. Abigail Bromfield Rogers and Daniel Denison Rogers left Boston for Europe in 1782, and returned in 1786. Abigail Rogers' sister Sarah married Eliphalet Pearson, who spent part of his career in Andover, near Haverhill. JQA came to know this couple well at Harvard in 1786. See vol. 4:343, and note 1; JQA, Diary, 2:96, and note 1. This paragraph, from “Mrs. Rogers is an American” to “rough Scenes of Life,” is omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
3. Jonathan Swift's “Journal of a Modern Lady” was published in 1729.
4. See AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
5. All the text from this point to the signature in omitted from AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0090

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-08-18

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear sir

Captain Lyde is to Sail this week. I will not let him go without a few lines to you, tho Captain Callihan has arrived without a Single Letter from my Friends. Mr. Adams received 3 by Monssieur Le Tomb, from his Boston Friend's.1 If my son had been lucky enough to have had such a passage as I hoped he would, I should have heard of his arrival by Captain Callihan or the New York packet which saild the 7 of july. He left Lorient the 21 of May, and must have a very tedious passage. I am not yet without hopes that the French packet which does not leave New York untill the 20th may, will2 bring intelligence from him.
I find that our reception here had not reachd Boston when Captain Callihan left it. Tho treated by the Court with as much civility as could have been expected, it has not Screened us, or our Country from the base falshoods, and bilingsgate of hireling Scriblers or the envenomd pen of Refugees. Their evident design has been to get Mr. A. to notice them, and to replie to their peices. They have tried every string. Sometimes they will not even allow him the Rank of Minister, then they will represent the title in a ridiculous light, calling him commercial Agent, proscribed Rebel, snearing at him for having taken Dr. Price as Father confessor, because we have usually attended the Drs. meeting. Sometimes they have asserted that the king treated him with the utmost disdain, at others that Lord Carmathan and the American plenipo, were at the utmost varience, that the foreign ministers would not associate with him, that he could not give a publick dinner because Congress paper would not pass, and tradesmen would not credit, that the Secratary to the Legation could neither read or write, but that his principal had sent him to an evening school to qualfy him, that Hearing the Honble. Mrs. Adams's Carriage call'd was a little better than going in an old chaise to market with a little fresh butter; in short the publication which they have daily publishd have been a disgrace to the Nation.3 Now and then a peice would appear lashing them for their Scurility, but they are callous, and refuse to publish in favour of America, as I have been told or rather demand such a price for publishing as to amount to a prohibition. Mr. A has never noticed them.
The Massachusetts Navigation act has struck them dumb, for tho { 284 } 3 days publishd not a syllable of abuse has appeard; by a vessel which arrived yesterday from Virgina it is said, that assembly has passt similar acts and prohibited any tobaco being exported in British vessels,4 which will essentially affect the revenu, by the British navigation act. No vessels but British and American have been permitted to bring tobaco. The duty paid here last year upon tobaco, amounted to four hundred and Eighty two thousand pounds. It is supposed that 3 hundred thousand pounds worth was smuggled. The severity of the Laws against Smuggling has led them to suppose they should collect seven hundred thousand pounds this year. Three Virgina vessels which went not long since to the West India Islands being sent away without permission of unloading have raised the old Spirit amongst them. Thus is this Nation driving us into greatness, obliging us to become frugal, to retrench our Luxeries, to build a Navy to have a great Number of Seamen, and by and by to become a terrour to evil doers.5 The very measures they are taking to prevent it, will hasten it. Mr. A. soon after his arrival communicated to the Marquiss of Carmarthan the various subjects of his mission agreeable to his instructions. He had some conferences with him, in all of which the Marquis discoverd a liberality of sentiment and a mind open to conviction. Through him these matters pass to the minister of State.6 Yet not a syllable of replie to any one thing proposed has been returnd. It is thought they mean to wait, and see what effects the propositions7 are like to have in Ireland. If they can oblige the Irish to swallow them without much struggle, they will then be ready for America. But by the present appearence Ireland determines not to be triffled with, and it is thought best not to push these matters at present. If the States empower Congress to regulate their commerce it will have happy concequences for at present, there are those who have the ear of the ministry and persuade them that there is not union sufficient in the States to accomplish any thing jointly. Every little petty disturbance is represented as a dissolution of all government.
It is hoped here by the Friends of America, and there are many such yet, that the measures which are taken there, will be well weighed and matured, that the legislators will not suffer any narrow contracted sentiments and principals to operate, but that they will view objects upon a large Scale looking forward to concequences, rearing the Edifice upon a rock that will not be shaken.8
You will consider some parts of my politicks as confidential Sir and { 285 } excuse my being so buisy in them, but I am so connected with them, that I cannot avoid being much interested.
With regard to our private affairs sir I wrote you by my son9 and nothing new occurs at present to my mind. Mr. Elworthy presented your Bill which was paid upon Sight, and Mr. Storer who is soon to sail for America will receive 12 Guineys at New York from Dr. Crosby, being money paid upon the dr account here, which money he will deliver to you.10 We do not find living here, less expensive than in Paris I assure you sir, but there is one comfort that we cannot go to Kings bench11 untill our commission is vacated. But we should soon be in a condition for that place if we were disposed to take the credit which is offerd us. Notwithstanding all the abuse in the papers we receive none from any other quarter, tradesmen are as civil and as obliging as in any country, and there are constant solicitations from them to Supply us. But I chuse no credit, so long as we have money we shall pay it, and when we cannot live here we will come home. Go to Market again with fresh Butter.
I suppose sir you will receive by this vessel, two Letters which may supprize you.12 Mrs. Cranch will communicate to you what I have written to her. It is a matter I believe concluded upon after long deliberation and mature reflection. The former assent of her Father seems to have sometime hindred her from taking this step, and tho perfectly agreable to our wishes, we had never expresst them, nor scarcly ever mentiond the name of the person. Being once free, I believe she will in future proceed with a caution purchased by experience. You will not be very well pleasd with the commission,13 yet as it was her own act and the choise she has made is so wise, I hope you will comply. I have scarcly room upon my paper to present my duty to my dear Aunt or to Assure you how affectionately I am Yours
[signed] AA
Since I finishd my Letter Mr. A has received Letters from France from Mr. Jefferson,14 inclosing the two Arrets of the King of France, prohibiting english Manufactories, which make them grumble here very much, but it will all work for good to us. It has been publishd here in the papers that our “good and Great Ally” had shut us out of the French West Indias, whereas Mr. Jefferson writes no such thing had taken place, but that more of our vessels were now at the French West Indias than ever was known before, and that he is not without hopes of obtaining particular priviledges for us. What an impolitick { 286 } Nations this, it has been hinted that this Court are striving to set the Algerines to war with us. Congress sent important papers by a Mr. Lambe to the minister more than 3 months ago. No such man has arrived and their Hands are tied for want of this intelligence. Nobody can tell what is become of him or his papers. He had been tendering his Services to congress to go there as consul.15 They sent him to the ministers to do as they thought best—but no Papers or Man has come. Thus you see sir how the most salutary measures may be obstructed and parties blamed when they have done what was their duty and exerted themselves to the utmost for the publick benefit. Col. Smith has taken a tour to Berlin to see the Grand Review which commences the 21 of the month, he appears a Gentleman solid sedate tho warm and active when occasion requires. He is sensible and judicious, dignified sentiments of his own Country and a high sense of honour appear to govern his actions. Mr. A is very happy in him.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams London Aug 1785 recd Sept.” The postscript is written on a separate fragment of a full sheet of paper.
1. On 14 Aug., Philippe André Joseph de Letombé, the French consul in Boston, called on JA at Grosvenor Square with letters from Samuel Adams, 2 July, and Thomas Cushing, 3 July (both in Adams Papers; see AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., below).
2. Thus in MS; “will” is written above the line. AA perhaps intended to write “untill the 20th [July] may bring,” and then, in reading over the letter, mistook “may” for “May” and added “will.”
3. JA was identified as “the same person who was proscribed as a REBEL,” in the Daily Universal Register of 9 June. On 10 June the same newspaper stated that his reception at Court had been “cool,” and on 14 June it reported: “It is whispered the celebrated Dr. Price is political father confessor to the new Plenipo, and has already given him absolution.” Similar attacks and attempts to discredit JA appear in the Daily Universal Register of 6, 21 and 22 July.
4. Virginia levied a 5 shilling per ton duty on all goods imported in English ships; this act went into effect in October (William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, Richmond and Philadelphia, 1809–1823, 13 vols., 12:32; Jensen, The New Nation, p. 299).
5. AA appears to paraphrase Scripture here, perhaps Romans 13:3, or 1 Peter 2:14. Several verses in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Psalms also speak of “evil-doers.”
6. AA probably intends the prime minister, William Pitt. On 6 Aug., JA wrote Pitt to request a conference. Pitt replied on the 16th, agreeing to meet the following day, but that meeting was evidently postponed to 24 Aug., when JA had his first meeting with the prime minister (JA to Pitt, 6 Aug. [LbC], Pitt to JA, 16 Aug., both Adams Papers; JA to John Jay, 25 Aug., PCC, No. 84, V, f. 605–619, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:455–462).
7. See AA2 to JQA, 4 July note 31, above.
8. Luke 6:48; Matthew 7:24–25.
9. On 2 May, above.
10. On 5 March, JA accepted Tufts' bill of £50, and directed Richard & Charles Puller, bankers in London, to pay that amount to James Elworthy, and charge the sum to his Amsterdam bankers, on his account with the United States (JA to Elworthy, 5 March, to Richard & Charles Puller, 5 March, both LbCs, Adams Papers). On 1 Jan., Tufts had received £70 lawful Massachusetts currency for his £50 bill of exchange, drawn “in favour of James Elworthy” (account entry in Tufts to John Adams, 10 Aug., above). Dr. Ebenezer Crosby owed the twelve guineas to JA for a medical instrument that JA had recently purchased for him (Crosby to JA, 14 April, Adams Papers).
11. King's Bench Prison in Southwark, where debtors as well as criminals were held (Wheatley, London Past and Present).
12. The identity of these letters, concerning { 287 } Royall Tyler, is not certain, but see AA2 to Royall Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.], and AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., both above.
13. Probably to recover a miniature of AA2, her letters, and certain other items, from Royall Tyler. See Tufts to AA, 13 April 1786, and AA to Tufts, 22 July 1786 (both Adams Papers).
14. Jefferson to JA, 10 Aug., and perhaps also 6 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 8:361–362, 347–353).
15. The JCC says nothing about Lamb's seeking the position of consul to the Barbary States; see AA to Jefferson, 12 Aug., and note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0091

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-08-20

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

This morning we left <Hartford> New Haven, accompanied by Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, who wishing to take a ride to Hartford, took this opportunity, which is a very agreeable Circumstance to us. We at first intended to have gone directly to Hartford this day. But as I had a Letter for Genl. Parsons,2 one of the aldermen of this City, and as we were told it was worth ou[r while to us]e this road, which is only 2 miles longer than the other, we [determined t]o go no further than this, to-day: it is only 28 miles from New Haven. This is a much smaller place than that, but I think full as agreeably situated. It stands upon the side, of an hill on the banks of the Connecticut River, which deserves the poet's lays as much as ever the Rhine, the Danube, or the Tiber did. Many parts of the Country through which we have past, and especially the banks of this River, are highly cultivated, and I was never so much delighted with the appearance of any Country, probably because, I never felt so much interested, in any of those I have travell'd through. Genl. Parsons spent the Evening with us. I feel a peculiar veneration for him, because he told me, he was three years at Harvard College, with my father, and was at that time intimate with him. We proceed to-morrow, for Hartford.
It is only 14 miles from hence to Middleton, so that we got here, before 9 o'clock this morning. Part of the road, is along by the side of the River, but some times you leave it, to ascend an hill from whence there are some of the most beautiful Prospects I ever beheld. There are several such on this Road. Three miles before this we came through, the town of Weathersfield, which is greatly celebrated for the Singers, it produces. Indeed all over Connecticut, they pay great attention to their singing at meeting. Mr. Chaumont went with us { 288 } this afternoon; and as soon as the Service was over, he told me he had been struck with the singing. I own I was very agreeably, although I had already been told, of the fact. Here I have seen Coll. Wadsworth, with whom I suppose you are not acquainted, and Mr. Trumbull,3 with whom I had a great deal of Conversation this afternoon. I wish I could have an opportunity of forming a nearer acquaintance; but cannot be gratified, as we propose leaving Hartford to-morrow.
We have rode 16 miles this afternoon: for we did not leave Hartford till 4 o'clock. Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, left us in the morning, and return'd to New Haven. We went in the forenoon out with Coll. Wadsworth, to his farm, 2 or 3 miles out of the City. He there shew us a number of the largest oxen we ever saw: they really appeared monstrous to us, yet, Cattle of this size, are not uncommon, we are told in this State. What such an amazing difference, in the same kind of animals, is owing to I cannot conceive. We dined with Coll. Wadsworth, and were not able to ride further this afternoon, on account of the weather which is very warm.
Thirty six miles nearer home, than yesterday, and at length arrived into the State itself. At about 9 this morning, we cross'd Connecticut River, near Springfield, where it serves as a barrier between the two States.4 Two days more will carry us I hope to the town [Boston]. The roads in this State, are much rougher, and more disagreeable than the greatest part of those in Connecticut. I have been known at two or three taverns, by my resemblance to my father, who has travelled these roads more than once.5
We have proceeded, only 31 miles to-day owing to several circumstances; we shall have 42 to-morrow, an hard days work, but I hope we shall perform it, if the weather is good. The roads as we are told, and as we may naturally suppose, grow better as we come nearer to the Capital. We came through Worcester this afternoon, and a[re] now but 6 miles from it.6 This I think is where your Pappa studied Law, and the appearance of the town pleased me very much; I wished to stop there this Night, but it would have made our Journey of to-morrow, too long.
{ 289 }
The heart of the most loyal frenchmen, has not felt this day, so great, and so real a pleasure as mine has. Our motives are certainly very different. Their's because it is the jour de fête, de Son bon Roi; (all kings of France you know are bons Rois)7 mine, the idea, of being after a seven years absence, return'd to my own dear home, and amidst the friends of my Infancy, and those who are dear to me by the ties of blood. My Satisfaction cannot be now complete. The absence, of two of the best Parents in the World, and of a Sister on whose happiness my own depends, can certainly be compensated by nothing; but I will think as Little of this as possible, and turn all my ideas to pleasing Subjects. I have not yet told you how I got here. This morning, before 4 o'clock, we got under way, and by riding till about 9 this evening, we got to Bracket's tavern. There was no lodging to be had there: the house, was full, as there are now a great number of foreigners in town. We then came down, to a Mrs. Kilby's in State Street, where we have obtained one Room between us both. It is now eleven o'clock, and I am much fatigued: so I must lay down my pen for the present.
The first thing I did this morning, was to go to Uncle Smith's. Betsey8 came to the door, and as you may well suppose I knew her immediately: but she did not know me. Your uncle was at his Store; and Mr. William set out this morning, on a journey to the Eastward.9 Your Aunt ask'd abundance of Questions about you. I went down to Uncle Smith's store. He knew me as soon as he saw me, and immediately enquired when I arrived. Upon my telling him, last night, I suppose, said he, you could not find the way to our house. I found here all my trunks, both those that were sent from Holland, and those I embark'd at New-York. But I enquired in vain for Letters from you: none were to be found, so I am now obliged to set out on fresh hopes; and though I have received but four short pages from you, since I left Auteuil,10 yet I have no doubt but you have been as punctual as myself; and I am sure, if all I have written, affords you half the pleasure, one of your Letters does to me, I shall never regret my time. I Dined with Uncle Cranch, Lucy and Betsey were both in town. We sat, and look'd at one another; I could not speak, and they could only ask now and then a Question concerning you. How much more expressive this Silence, than any thing we could have said. I am glad { 290 } to see you, will do for a Stranger, and a person quite indifferent to us; but may I always find a silent reception from my real friends. Don't think I am grown too sentimental; I felt so impatient to see my brother that I would not wait till to-morrow, and went in the afternoon with Mr. Smith and your Cousins, to Cambridge. Charles and your Cousin, are both well; but I spoilt Charles for Conversation by giving him your Letters;11 he was so eager to read them, that he was employ'd a great part of the time we were there. He comes on well in his Studies, and, what is of great advantage, to a Student, has for his Chambermate, a youth, whose thirst for knowledge is insatiable. His name is Walker. He <studied> was about six months in Mr. Shaw's family, and it will be sufficient to say that all our friends, are much pleased with their being together at College. And I am perswaded it will afford peculiar Satisfaction to our Parents, who well know how much benifit is derived from the Spur of Emulation. I hope I shall be as fortunate as my Cousin, and brother have been, when I enter College, myself. To-morrow we go to Braintree.
At length all the ideas, which have been for so long a time been playing upon my imagination, are realized, and now I may truly say,

A tous les coeurs bien nés que la patrie est chere!

Qu'avec ravissement, je revois ce séjour!12

I left Boston early in the afternoon, but stopp'd on the road at several places; so that it was eight before I got here. Mr. Toscan, (the Vice, as you used to call him)13 and Mr. Chaumont came 4 or 5 miles out of town with me. You remember your Pappa gave Mr. Chaumont a Letter for the former governor,14 Who has occupied, Mr. Swan's house in Roxbury, all this Summer. He deliver'd it this afternoon. And I thought this might be a proper time to pay him my visit too. He is at this time troubled with the gout, but not enough to prevent his seeing Company. From thence we went and drank tea at Mr. Hichborne's, Summer Seat, (for Summer Seats are high in vogue now). He was not at home himself, so that I saw only his Lady. There was considerable Company.15 There I left the gentlemen, and proceeded to Genl. Warren's. There I was cordially received. Poor Charles, is going again to try if he can recover any portion of Health. He went last Winter to the West Indies, and found himself much better, but has pined away again since he return'd, and intends now to sail in the Course of the Week for Europe: he proposes spending the Winter { 291 } at Lisbon. My wishes for him are much greater than my hopes. My last Stage, was at Uncle Adams's, there I saw our aged honour'd Grandmamma, and I am perswaded, I have been more heartily welcomed by no person. The Question, which is so often repeated to me, When will they return? was one, of the first she ask'd me. I could only answer with a sigh, which she understood as well, as if I had spoken. May she live to see the joyful day! It will be an happy one to her, and then may she never wish for your return again! When I arrived here,16 I perceived that I had left your Packet for Mr. Tyler, and the letters for your aunt, at Boston in my trunk. I was sorry it happened so; but the Circumstance was to my own Advantage, for it made them all more sociable, than they would have been; for as one of our Cousins told me, they have now time enough to talk with me, but your Letters will not last so long, and therefore when they have them, they must make as much of them as they can. Miss Eunice Paine, has spent some weeks here, and Cousin Betsey has spent a great part of the Summer in Boston; where she is learning to play upon the harpsichord.
I have attended the meeting twice to-day. I could not have supposed that the parson's17 voice, and looks and manner, would seem so familiar to me. I thought while he was preaching, that I had heard him every week ever since I left Braintree. As I look'd round the meeting house every face, above 30, I knew; scarcely one, under 20. This did not at all surprize me, as I had already made the same observations with Respect to persons of our own family. As for Billy Cranch: I might have been an hundred times in Company with him, without having the most distant suspicion who he was, though I should at first sight, have known his father and mother, wherever I might have seen them. This afternoon I went down, and view'd the well known habitation. My Sensations on this occasion cannot be described, but they were such that I did not stay two minutes in the House, nor would it give me the least pain, was I forbidden to enter it again, before your return. I went to the Library, and look'd over the books, which are in good Condition; only somewhat musty and dusty, which shows that their owner is not with them.
My Paper bids me close, but it shall not be for long. Compliments, are useless to those we love. Your's.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on eight small pages numbered “49” to “56”; see the descriptive note to JQA to AA2, [12] May, above. Small fragments of { 292 } the text have been lost at folds and edges, and through the tearing away of the seal. The MS was water damaged in the wreck of the ship Ceres, which brought its courier, Nathaniel Barrett of Boston, to France. See AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., below.
1. Middletown, Conn.
2. The letter was from Connecticut congressman William Samuel Johnson, whom JQA had met in Fairfield on 17 Aug. (JQA, Diary, 1:306, 308–309). Samuel Holden Parsons, Harvard 1756, had served in the Continental army throughout the war, reaching the rank of major general. JA wrote to Parsons at least once a few years after college; in 1776 they became regular correspondents. See Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:50–73; JQA, Diary, 1:309, note 2; and JA, Papers, 1:46–47; 4:index.
3. John Trumbull, the Connecticut poet and lawyer, had studied law with JA in 1773–1774, had written the epic poem McFingal in 1775, and was regarded, in 1785, as the leader of the Connecticut Wits (JQA, Diary, 1:310, note 1; DAB).
4. JQA also makes this curious statement in his Diary (Diary, 1:311), perhaps because the river nearly coincided with the point where his particular route crossed the state border.
5. JQA's Diary suggests Scott's Tavern in Palmer, Mass., fifteen miles east of Springfield, as one location where he was recognized as JA's son. JQA and Chaumont probably reached either Western (now Warren) or Brookfield, Mass., this evening (same, 1:311, note 3).
6. The travelers probably lodged in Shrewsbury, Mass., this evening (same, 1:312, note 1).
7. In his Diary, JQA notes this as the festival day of St. Louis, France's “good king” Louis IX, the pious crusader monarch of the thirteenth century (same, 1:312).
8. Elizabeth Smith, youngest daughter of AA's aunt and uncle, Elizabeth Storer Smith and Isaac Smith Sr., was fifteen; she would not have seen JQA since he was twelve or younger, and she only nine.
9. In his Diary, JQA records that he did see Isaac Smith's son William before William's departure (same, 1:312).
10. Not found. This was probably AA2's “No. 1,” which JQA received on 20 May, in Lorient; it was probably written about five or six days earlier, at Auteuil (JQA to AA2, 17 May, above, under “Friday eve: May 20th”).
11. Not found.
12. Voltaire, Tancrède, III, i (JQA, Diary, 1:313, note 1).
13. Jean Joseph Marie Toscan was currently the French vice-consul in Boston (Abraham P. Nasatir and Gary Elwyn Monell, French Consuls in the United States, Washington, 1967, p. 567–568).
14. JA's letter to John Hancock, dated 14 April, merely recommended Chaumont to Hancock (LbC, Adams Papers).
15. Included in the party at the home of Boston lawyer Benjamin Hichborn was Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing (JQA, Diary, 1:313, and note 4).
16. The Cranch's home in Braintree.
17. Rev. Anthony Wibird.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0092

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-08-21

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

The Gentleman who is so kind as to convey this to you is from Carolina, his Name is Smith.1 He is a distant relation of mine, tho I have not the pleasure of much acquaintance with him. He has resided in England some time, and bears a Good Character here. Give me leave sir to introduce him to your notice.
Mr. Short left us last twesday for the Hague, I did myself the honour of writing to you by him.2
{ 293 }
I find by the last papers from New York that Mr. Rutledge is appointed Minister at the Hague; in the room of Mr. Levingstone who declined the embassy.3 There is no mention made of a Secretary.
You will probably see our Massachusetts Navigation act before this reaches you; it has struck the hireling scriblers dumb. There has been less abuse against the Americans in the papers since the publication of it; than for a long time before.
Ireland has exerted herself,4 and Pharoah and his host are overthrown. The Courier of Europe will doubtless give you the debates. The july packet arrived last week. Tho she left New York the seventh of july, she brought not a line of publick dispatch. A private Letter or two for Col. Smith, the contents of which we cannot know; as he is absent upon a Tour to Berlin.
I was much dissapointed to find that my son had not arrived when the packet saild. As the French packet sails sometime after the English, I am not without hopes that I may hear by that, and I will thank you sir to give me the earliest intelligence if she brings any account of the May packet.
Be so good as to present my Regards to Col. Humphries. Mr. Short gives us some encouragement to expect him here this winter. My Love to Miss Jefferson, to whom also my daughter desires to be rememberd. Our5 good old Friends the Abbes, I would tender my Regards. If I could write French; I would have Scribled a line to the Abbe Arnou.
I think Madam Helvitius must be very melancholy now Franklin as she used to call him is gone. It is said here by a Gentleman lately from Philadelphia, that they determine to elect the doctor president upon his arrival, as Mr. Dickinsons office expires in october.6
In my Letter by Mr. Short I had taken the Liberty to request you to procure for me two or 3 articles, and to convey them by Col. Smith who talks of returning by way of Paris. But if he should not visit you, Mr. Smith when he returns will be so good as to take charge of them for me. But this I shall know in the course of a few weeks, and will take measures accordingly.7
I am sir with Sentiments of Esteem Your Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Dft (DSI: Hull Coll.).
1. James Smith of South Carolina (JA to Thomas Jefferson, 18 Aug., in Jefferson, Papers, 8:400).
2. On 12 Aug., above.
3. The draft has “the 7 of july” after “New York.” On 23 June, Congress elected Gov. Wil• { 294 } liam Livingston of New Jersey to replace JA as minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands, but Livingston promptly declined. Congress next turned to John Rutledge of South Carolina on 5 July, but on 1 Aug., he too declined the service. Congress never did replace JA, who continued as minister to the Netherlands until his resignation, and return to America, in 1788. JCC, 28:474, 481; 29:497, 654–655.
4. See AA2 to JQA, 4 July, and note 31, above.
5. The draft has “My”; the “Abbes” were Arnoux and Chalut.
6. The office was president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, that commonwealth's equivalent of governor. Franklin was elected to this post in October, and held it until Nov. 1788 (Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, Minutes of the Supreme Executive Council, Harrisburg, 1852–1853, 16 vols., 14:557, 565; 15:584).
7. This paragraph is not in the draft.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1785-08-22

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have received your kind Letter of June 3. and rejoice to hear of the Health and Welfare of our Friends.
The County did themselves Justice, when they put you into the Senate, and the State did itself Honour when it placed Mr. Bowdoin in the Chair. I think you must be happy and prosper under his Administration.
The Massachusetts, wise as it often has been, never Struck a more masterly Stroke, than by their Navigation Act. I hope they will persevere in it, with inflexible Firmness. This is playing a sure Game.1 It will compell all the other States to imitate it. If they do not, the Massachusetts will soon get so much of their carrying Trade as will richly compensate her, for any present Inconvenience. But I hope You will not Stop. Go on. Lay on heavy Duties upon all foreign Luxuries especially British and give ample Bounties to your own Manufactures. You will of course, continue to do all these Things upon the condition to continue in force only untill they Shall be altered by a Treaty of Commerce, or by an Ordinance of Congress.
My oldest son is with you, I hope, the Second is at Colledge and the third in good Health at Haverhill. Mrs. A. and Miss are with me, in Grosvenor Square in the Neighbourhood of Lord North.
We have a very good House, in as good an Air as this fat greasy Metropolis, can afford: But neither the House nor its furniture nor the manner of living in it, are Sufficiently Showy for the Honour and Interest of that Country, which is represented by it. If I ever do any Thing or carry any Point it will not be by imposing upon any Body by the Splendor of my Appearance. An American Minister should be able to keep a Table, to entertain his Countrymen, to return the { 295 } Civilities of his Friends, to entertain People whose Aid is necessary to his political Purposes, and to entertain the foreign Ambassadors: But as the People of America, choose to place their Pride in having their Ambassadors abroad despized, or rather as they choose to be despized themselves, let them have their Choice. It is their Affair. I wish I was out of it.

[salute] Your affectionate Brother

[signed] John Adams
RC (NhHi: Hibbard Coll.).
1. An “x” appears at the beginning of this paragraph, and at the end of this sentence. Cranch may have excerpted this passage to show members of the Massachusetts legislature and other political leaders (see Cranch to JA, 10 Nov., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0094

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-23

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I hope this will find you upon terra firma, tho in vain I searcht the New York papers of july 7th. to find you, since which I have been very anxious. Your passage I hope has been safe tho long and tedious.
I have written to you twice before since you left me1 and I believe you have a steady and faithfull correspondent in your sister, who having substituded you as her correspondent in lieu of her L[ove]r2 hopes to find more punctuality in the return, than it seems she has met with else where. But this between ourselves.
I know you will be anxious to hear how the treaty is like to Succeed. You know the progress of courts, and that during a whole twelvemonth only one has concluded a treaty.3 The propositions are before the m[inistr]y. I have reason to think a conference will be held upon them this week.4 What will be the result time must unfold, the temper and disposition of the people does not look very favourable.
You will hear the fate of the Irish propositions, labourd with so much Zeal here as to keep the Parliament setting untill this month. The Irish however have made short work of them. You will also see the Arrets of his most Christian Majesty5 prohibiting the use of British Manufactories, which has turnd out of employ the english Newspapers say twenty thousand hands already. They are vastly angry with that seditious state of Massachusetts for their late navigation act. Mischief always begins there, they say, but they deceive themselves with the hopes that the states will be divided. Talk of prohibiting any American vessel from comeing here, that is the mercantile threaten, but they look very serious and I dare say the act will operate greatly for our Benifit.
{ 296 }
Pray what do you think is become of that Said Captain Lambe who was sent out 3 months ago, with papers &c. You know upon what buisness. He has not arrived neither here nor in France. Mr. Jefferson and your Father are very anxious. Neither of them have yet had any acknowledgement of a single Letter writen for a whole twelvemonth past, nor has any packet brought them any publick dispatches except the commission to this court.
I do not know what C[ongre]ss mean by such proceedings, or rather by no proceedings. Did you hear any talk of supporting us here. I should be glad they would recall us, or put us in such a situation that we need not, nor our Country be squib'd at for not being able to give a dinner now and then to the Ministers. And it is most certain if we do that we must live very meager all the rest of the Year, and my poor Lads at home suffer for it. I suppose such a system of occonomy will now get into their Heads, that they will rather think of curtailing more. Let them use at Home occonomy where it is a virtue, but do not let them disgrace themselves abroad by narrowness. Mr. Temples Sallery as consul I am informd is equal to what our country allow their ministers. Besides fitting him out, he has taken out 5 different Sorts of carriages with him. Yet of a consul it is not expected that they live in splendour—but enough of this.
Write me very particularly, if you want any thing in my power, let me know, you know how limited they are, so your wants will be in proportion. Remember me to your Brothers and be assured that I am at all times Your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] A A
Your Friend Murry dined here last week. West I believe is in the Country. I have not seen him a long time. Appleton6 was here a few days since. Why does not he go home? Captain Lyde says he shall be here in the winter again. Be sure you write largely by him.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JA: “To Mr John Quincy Adams Boston”; notation by AA: “pr favour Capt Lyde”; endorsed: “Mamma. August 23d. 1785”; docketed: “My Mother. 23. Augt. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Augt. 23. 1785.”
1. 26 June and 11 Aug., both above.
2. Royall Tyler.
3. The completed treaty was that with Prussia; see AA2 to JQA, 4 July, note 33, above.
4. JA had his first conference with William Pitt the following day, when he presented his proposals for settling the issues that remained outstanding between the United States and Great Britain: the British army's occupation of the forts in the Northwest, British trade restrictions, compensation for slaves carried off by the British army during the war, and American debts due to British creditors. But he made no more progress with the prime minister in August than he had in June and July with the foreign secretary, Lord Carmarthen, and these issues remained unresolved until the Jay Treaty of 1794 (see JA to John Jay, 25 Aug., PCC, No. 84, V, f. 605–619, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:455–462; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:181–182, note 1).
{ 297 }
5. Louis XVI of France; see AA to JQA, 11 Aug., and note 4, above.
6. Perhaps John Appleton, son of Nathaniel Appleton of Boston, whom JA and JQA had met in Europe in 1780, and whom JQA last recorded seeing in Paris in Jan. 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:35, and note 2, 52–54, 216).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0095

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Welsh, Thomas
Date: 1785-08-25

Abigail Adams to Thomas Welsh

[salute] My dear sir

Your obliging favour of April 252 came to hand by Captain Lyde just after my arrival here. The important affairs of Court Etiquette and prepareations for shewing myself at St. James occupied my time so fully that I could not write you as I wished by Captain Dashood who saild soon after. When this great epocha of my Life was past, I had to seek a habitation and to see it put in order for <my> the reception of the family. After much inspection and serching not for the Grandure of the Building but for an airy situation, I very fortunately lit of one in the most reputable and prettyest Squares in London. If I could feel myself elated by my vicinity to Nobility I might boast the greatest share of it, of my square in London, but I am too much of a republican to be charmd with titles alone. <We are however still opposite to Lord North.> We have not taken a side with Lord North but are still opposite to him.3
The sedition of Massachusetts is much the topick of conversation at present, and your late Navigation act is termed a ruining of yourselves. So tender are these good people of their Dear American Friends that they tremble at your rash passion, for say they the4 other states will never come into it, and Massachusetts will be intirely shut from our ports. But those who see beyond the present moment view the Massachusetts in concequence of it, rising into power and greatness should this nation be mad enough to continue on its present System. It will soon make the American states a formidable Naval power. It will force upon them frugality, oconomy, industery and give a spring to manufactorys which would otherways lag on for years without any considerable improvements. <A few temporary inconveniencies will be felt at first which will creat some discontents.> Excellence is never granted to man but as the Reward of Labour, but those who persevere in habits of industry however slow their advances will meet a sure <reward in> recompence in the end. A few temporary inconveniencies will be felt at first, which will create disgust in some, but they are the only measures which can be persued to bring this country to reasonable terms with ours. And should those fail we shall certainly reap the benifit, for we shall be improveing and advancing { 298 } our National prosperity whilst Britain is diminishing hers. Mr. A. had yesterday a conference with Mr. P.5 and he appears to see much further than the avoued dispisers of America, but he is under the weight of Irish resentment and British Bilingsgate. His Friends tremble for him, least the opposition should tumble him from his seat, but his private Character is so good, and his application and assiduity so constant that however unpopular the Irish propositions have made him, I rather think they will not be able to Shake him. But whether he will have courage to encounter British prejudices against America time only can determine.
It was a saying of king Richards “that God helps those who help themselves.”6 I should think our Countrymen have too often experienced this doctrine not to see their path plain before them.
Having set before you my dish of politicks I will inquire a little respecting domestick fare. Pray how does Mrs. Welch and the Young Brood? Tell her I desire to have so much respect for my Name if she will not for her own as to Name the next daughter for me.7 Is cousin William like to be married yet?8 Tell him to wait a little longer and who knows but that I may have the Honour of calling him son yet?!
When you write tell me all about your good Towns folks, whose married whose born and whose dead? There is not a cat if it is American, but what I have a value for.
This is a delightfull country and with cash enough one may enjoy every comfort and conveniency of Life aya and misery too. I wish it was in my power <to see more of it. The load of taxes is so enormous that it destroys much of the Beauty and Harmony of the Whole.> to make the tour of it. All the vilages round London are like so many gardens, but the people groan and justly under the loads of taxes which are enormous. <Two><3> 5 additional taxes have taken place since my comeing here, one upon shops one upon pedlars and one upon gloves—in short you can scarcly name an article but what is taxed. They may talk of the lawless Americans and the disturbances which they magnify here into annihilation of Government, but there is <more> twice the real discontent in this Nation which subsists in any part of America.
But I am running on in great length yet have many others to write to. My best regards to Mrs. Welch and the children, Love to cousin Betsy.9 Tell her I often reflect upon the many pleasant hours we have spent together with much delight. Mr. Adams joins me in affectionate remembrance to all our worthy Friends. We hope our son is with you before now. Let me recommend him to you as a Youth not altogether { 299 } Ignorant of Men or Books who I hope will deserve the good will and esteem of Gentleman of Learning and abilities and the Friendship of those particularly allied to Sir your Friend and Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); notation by CFA: “1785.” Filmed under date of July? 1785 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 365.
1. On the date, see note 5.
2. Not found.
3. That is, Lord North lived on the opposite side of Grosvenor Square (see AA2 to JQA, 4 July, above, under “Tuesday July 26th”; AA to Mary Cranch, [ca. July-Aug.], above).
4. Above the line AA inserts “ye,” an extremely rare case of her using the thorn.
5. For the substance of JA's 24 Aug. meeting with William Pitt, see AA to JQA, 23 Aug., note 4, above.
6. For an earlier usage of this same quotation, see AA to Royall Tyler?, [post 414 June 1783], above.
7. Abigail Kent Welsh was Rev. William Smith's niece; she married Dr. Thomas Welsh of Boston in 1777. In 1785 she was raising Dr. Welsh's two daughters by his first marriage, Charlotte and Harriet, as well as her son, Thomas Jr., and the Records of the Church in Brattle Square, Boston, p. 191, show the baptism of “William, son of Thomas and Welch” in Oct. 1784. Abigail Welsh evidently had no daughters, but the Welshes would name their last son John Adams Welsh in 1792. AA had known Dr. Welsh since at least 1775 (vol. 1:219, and note 8, but his lost letter to her of 25 April, and this reply, begin a correspondence that lasted to 1798. Dr. Welsh, his wife, and his daughter Harriet were among the closest friends of the Adams family from the late 1780s through the 1820s.
8. Isaac Smith's son William.
9. Probably Isaac Smith's daughter Elizabeth.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0096

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-26

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

N 6
Lyde sailed the 24th. with a long Letter for you from me,1 and I have now commenced N 6, which I propose giving to the Care of Mr. Storer he talks of going next week. If so, this will be but short. But alas my Brother 14 weeks have elapsd since you left us, and we not yet any account of your arrival. Hopes and fears alternately possess my mind, and I can not banish anxiety upon your account. May you be safe, and happyly settled with your friends ere this. I think of you continually—our days are dull, and our Evenings very lonesome. Tis then I miss you most. You know not what a Winter I have in anticipation, the weather horrible, little society, no associates, no Brother, to enliven the scenes. Ah, I wish you were here. But I must indeavour to recollect the few event which have taken place since I closed my last. For this I must turn to my journal.2 It tells me that a fryday the 11th.3 your Mamma and myself and Mr. Storer called upon Mrs. Roggers and took her with us, to make a visit to Mrs. Hay at Hamsted, but there was not any thing took place worthy a relation.
{ 300 }
Early in the Morning I heard a strange Noise about the House like the ringing on a warming Pan. Upon inquiry when I went down to Breakfast found from the servants that it was a set of People who Stile themselves Marro bone and cleavers,4 belonging to the Prince of Wales, who had assaulted the House because it was his Highnesses Birth day,5 and demanded mony as due to them from all the Foreign Ambassadors. However as Pappa had been deceived by the same People when he first arrived who called themselvs His Majestys Marro bone and cleavers—to whom he gave a gunia, and afterward found that they were not in the list of those who had a right to demand any thing—he did not give them any thing. When we first arrived we were applied to dayly, allmost Hourly by the People of the Kings Household, with their Books, with the Names of all the Foreign Ministers with sums given by each. These were Porters footmen Bell ringers under Porters, and the duce knows wholl all. Some demanded one Gunia and others 2, the whole sum which Pappa was obliged to give was not less than 25 or 30 Gunieas. This is a Custom of Courts, and you know one might as easily attempt to alter the course of the flowing of the sea, as to refuse them. Pappa has had a thrille fortior6 this year. He gave Etrennes to you know what amount in France. Mr. <Lotter> Dumas was applyd to at the Hague, and Paid the usual sum, on your father account, and here he has Paid it upon being Presented, and at Cristmass, it will be demanded again. The whole will not amount to less I suppose than an hundred Guineas. Congress think not of these kind of demands. Perhaps some of them would rather think they ought to be refused—let them try.
Mr. Storer came to town from Hampstead and told us of the arrival of Calliham. He had received Letters we have none yet.
In the Morning Monsieur le Tombe called upon us just arrived from Boston, in Calliham. He brought Letters for Pappa but Mamma nor myself have received a single line.
We dined to day by invitation with Dr. Jebb and Lady. The company was not large. No Ladies except ourselvs. Dr. Jebb is an Irishman for which reason he is so greatly interested in the Present Commercial arangements with that Country. There were 4 Gentleman of the Party. Dr. Brocelsby, is an Englishman, the redness of whose face and the { 301 } blackness of his habit did not form that pleasing contrast which sometimes pleases us. He is Said however to be a very sensible Man and Great in his Profession. He was moderate. There was one flaming son of St. Partrick. He had got his dinner some where else, and when we went to table had nothing to do but talk, and so improved his faculty of speach that he stund the rest of the company. Such Prejudices against the French Nation, I never heard. The Country its Government Laws, manners, customs &c. were atacked by him without reason Prudence or good sense. He was very voilent upon the American War also. He approved the independance of Ame[rica] because it could not be avoided by this Country but attributed to the fault of their Generals that we were not conquered. He would have granted the independance at first, and then have attacked the French. He could bear to see America independant but he could not support it, that France should be at peace. Every Englishman and Irish Man too I suppose thinks he has a right to Condemn or oppose the measures adopted by the rulers, as they seem fit in his Eyes. My Lord North Mr. Fox, &c. were condemd without Jury. In fine there was nothing that did not receive his disapprobation in the line of Politicks. When your father was speaking or appeard as if going to speak, he was all attention. I feard he would sometimes make Poppa warm, by his ignorance of our Country, and at the same time giving his Wise opinions respecting the War. There was another Irish Gentleman Present who seemd more reasonable. He did not say much.
The 4th. Gentleman was an Englishman, a Mr. Remain. He was young, and appeard to be possessd of a degree of Modesty bordering upon diffidence. He said but little. What he did discovered good sense but not unprejudicd [opinions?]. He was Silent while diner but at the desert found his tongue. I was seated next him at table, and he began by inquiring how long I was in France. He had been there, but viewed every thing I found with an Eye of prejudice. Paris was not so fine a City as London, the French Ladies he was sure could not be agreeable in the Eyes of the English, and in all he found a preference to this Country. I had like to have been in the sittuation of the Chevelier, who thought Mrs. Bingham belonged to Boston when he gave the preference to that part of the Continent to any other,7 for before I sat down to table I had conceived an opinion that this gentleman was a Native of France but had been long in this Country. From his Name, complexion, and manners I was led to Judge thus, and I thought myself perfectly safe in the preference I shold give to that Country. But I soon found that I had a rong idea, { 302 } for he was veryly English. Both the Dr. and Mrs. Jebb, spoke highly <in his> Praise of his abilities good sense Judgment &c., and I was willing to beleive them. Thus you have some account of the company. Were I to attempt a description of Mrs. Jebb, I should find myself unequal to the business. Perhaps you never saw just such a looking Woman. If you have seen Miss Polly Palmer8 you have seen good Nature, softness, and sweetness of Countenance when compared to this Lady, but dont show Miss P—— P—— this. The Dr. is said to be a very Wise sensible Man, that he is an agreeable one, I can assure you. He says he wants to go to America and does not think it impossible that he may make the tour of America. Poor Man looks as if he was not intended long as an ornament to Learning, or Science: his Health is very Poor.9
My journal says, thus. Alas how frequently have we cause to observe upon what slender foundations we have raised our hopes of happiness and yet no sooner than the Ilusion of one prospect vanishes than we are building upon their ruin our future hopes, and this from a full confiction that it is necessary to cheat ourselvs thus. For three Months past I have been looking forward to the arrival of the July packet in hopes that it would bring the pleasing account of the arrival of my Brother. For three weeks past the anticipation of this and the hopes of receiving Letters from him have employd most of my thoughts wishes and expectations—but the packet has arrived without any account of my Brother. Thus at one moment all my pleasing prospect vanishes, and I have now to build other hopes and anticipate from other scources this pleasure.
Mortifying reflection that we are not permitted to look forward with any degree of certainty even to the next hour. Blind unthinking ignorant beings we are, yet Proud Vain selfsufficient arrogant and presuming. What is happiness? what is misery? How Poor a title have we to the former, and yet how little do we think of the latter.
We had a company of Gentlemen only to dine with us. Mr. David Hartly, dressed as usual.10 Pappa asked him what he thought of the Massachusetts Navigation act. He said if the two Countries wished to be at variance he thought it very well. He would venture to Prophesy, that it would be the means of destroying <every> all Navigations acts whatever. He would not venture to say it would be done { 303 } either one two or three years, but he firmly beleived that it would eventually be the effect of it. Pappa proposed to him in a banter that they shold undertake to repeal them, as his Commision for making a treaty of Commerce still existed. But he said that depended upon the higher Powers. He was willing however.
Mr. B[arthelemy] the Charge des affaires, from France,11 was one of the company. Tho he has been in this Country a year and an half he does not pretend to speak English. His appearance has nothing very striking in it. His dress and Manners are Englasied. There is nothing very pleasing in them. Dr. Jeb, and Dr. Brocelsby dined with us, and your friend Mr. Murry. He seems to be in Poor Health and his spirits appear affected I think by it. He does not talk so much, nor discover so great a portion of vivacity as when I saw him last year. We talked about you, hoped you had arrived, yet wished you were here. Mrs. Temple and her Daughter drank tea with us. Mrs. T—is not gratified with the prospect of going out to America at all. They sail, the next week. I do not wonder at her reluctance <at all>.
There is a new Play lately given at the Hay Market called (Ill tell you what).12 Much has been said in its Praise. It was written by a Lady two which you may be sure, in the Eyes of all Persons of discernment, is in its favour. Mr. Short said he should have returnd to France with a Poo opinion of the English Stage if he had not seen this Peice. Mis Farren Play as Principle character in it and Mr. S—observed she was the only Woman he had seen in England who knew she had Eyes. He was much pleased with her. I think she is the best actress I have seen upon the <Theatre> stage. They are in General, terrible. I often think of Mrs. Binghams comparing the Actors and Actresses upon the English stage to the stormitans—and must acknowledge that when compared with the French they appear nearer to resemble the former. Pappa went this Evening to see the New Commedy. It is rather what the French call a drame, some scens are said very affecting and others very comic. A Gentleman who had seen it told me that if one went to see it with an intention of becomeing critick they mingt find many faults, for [he] said, only think it was written by a Poor Woman, but if one went to see it and be pleased, he had found no peace which had given him so much pleasure.
A Letter from Mr. Jefferson, came by the Post to day.13 He writes in sypher, and when there is nobody elce to desyper I have the agreable task. I am paid perhaps for my trouble by knowing what is { 304 } written. “He say the Cardinal Prince of Roan is confined to his Chamber under Guard for reflection on the Queen, who was present in Council herself on his examination the first time She was ever there—and the first instance of so high an eclesiastical character under acted force.14
They are propagating reports here that American Ships are capturd by the Algerines, but whether true <or false is not known> or whether to raise the insureance is not known. Your father thinks the latter is the Plan. He has no accounts of any.15 Mr. Lamb, who was sent by Congress to go to Algiers has never been herd of, this side the Water. Your father and Mr. Jefferson think it so necessary that something should be done that they think of sending some other Person. Mr. Barcley offers to go, but whether he is accepted I dont know.
To day we had a large company to dine of Gentlemen and Ladies. The Baron de Linden, an old Womanish kind of a Man this, <and a Dutchman.> I have often heard that every thing was clean in a Dutchmans house but his Wife. Were I to form a judgment from this Man, I should think that the Husband ought also to be accepted for I never saw him decent in my Life. He goes to Court with a beard that looks as if it had not felt a razor for a week—and his ruffles look as if he did not often pay for their washing. I think one may easily discover strong traits of the character attributed to his Country Men in General perhaps universally for one may easily discover by little things the ruling Principles of the Mind and those which influence the Conduct <of People>. Mr. Mrs. and Miss Paradise, were a part of our company. Mrs. P——discovered as many traits of singularity as ever. I beleive the Womans head is a little turnd. She has a Wondrous knowledge of Great Folks. Charles [Storer] was quite diverted with her. She had a great deel of conversation with him, and her manners were so particular that he says, he dreampt of her all Night. She inquired of him who was comeing as Ambassador from France in the place of Count D'adamar whose health will not permit his return. He told her the papers mentiond Monsieur la Baron de Bretuil.16 Bretuil, Bretuil—Breteuil, remember Bretuil said She to her Daughter who sat next her, and turning to him again and said, I am going to ask you a very impertinent question and hope you will not be affronted. Pray what was the Name of that Gentleman who is said to be comeing Ambassader from France? The Baron de Bretuil, answerd he again, { 305 } and She repeated it as many times. But her manners and actions are so singular that you must see her to have any idea of them.
Mr. and Mrs. Copely, Mrs. Church, and a Mr. James Smith, from Carolina, a distant relation of Mammas who is going to France to pass a twelvemonth, Mr. Trumble17 and Dr. Bancroft made the company. The Dr. has just arrived from Paris, where he has been ever since we arrived here. Tis not the Custom in this Country for the Company to Leave you as soon as diner is over as it is in France. For sociability I prefer the Custom here, for ceremony I shuld choose the French Custom. But you know one must give in to all these kind of fashions, in every Country, for you can neither invite them to stay longer in France nor desire them to go sooner here. They parted about ten oclock. There are a kind of assemblys here called routs, were the name changed I should not dislike them. A Lady sets apart a particular day in a week when She is to be found at home and her acquaintance who wish to see her, call upon her that Evening, or She sends invitations to whatever Gentlemen or Ladies She pleases. Cards are usualy introduced after tea and those Play who choose. Others who do not, let it alone. And at ten or Eleven the company Leaves her. The Lady of the House never Plays herself, and it is a kind of rule that if you Play at one House, you must at every one, at which you visit in this Way. This Mrs. Paradise has a Musical [Part?] every sunday Eve. Miss P—— Plays, and she has a Number of Gentlemen and Ladies of her acquaintance who sing and Play, who visit her that Evening. She has no Cards. She has often told Mamma and myself that she is allways at home of a sunday Eve, but we have not yet ever visitted her, nor I dont suppos ever Shall.
A Monday last Count Sarsfeild called upon Pappa. He has lately returnd from the Country, where he has been with some of his friends. Pappa asked him to dine with him a tuesday, but he was engaged but proposed dining with us this day, upon which Pappa invited the Baron de Linden and Mr. B[arthelemy] to dine with him. We received afterwards a Card to dine with a Mr. and Mrs. Smith who Live at Clapham. He is a Member of Parliament, and Married a Miss Capes.18 A Brother and two sisters of this Lady Live also at Clapham. They have all visitted us, and seem to wish for an acquaintance. This is the second invitation to dine which we have had and been obliged to refuse. I was sorry, that it so happened to day, because { 306 } I shuld like to visit every Person who invited me, but it was unavoidable. The Baron de Linden did not come. Count Sarsfeild and Mr. B dined with us, quite in a sociable way. A Mr. Crew from Virgina19 and Mr. Charles Bullfinch were all the company. The Count is allways in good spirits and very entertaining you know. He was more so to day than I ever saw him, for he was not under any restraint from Company. Mr. B—— felt quite at home too, and was very clever. The other and the enclosed Letter is from a friend of yours we suppose.20 It was sent us by Mr. Roggers. Pappa has inquird of Mr. Bartlemey and Count Sarsfeild, if they know the French Minister at Naples, but they did not seem to feel themselvs authorised to give any Letters. If you wish to write him I will put your Letters, into the Care of Mrs. Roggers.
This Morning Mrs. Wright came and breakfasted with us. I never heard her converse so rationally in my Life. She asked if we had heard of your arrival and sayd to Mamma do you know that I predict great things of your son—and spoke much in your praise. I shall like her better for the future, I need not tell you what, but save your vanity. The Mrs. Smith, from whom we had an invitation to dine, called upon your Mamma, but she being dressing I went down. There was with her a Mis Brailsford—and they provoked me by their ignorance of us. Which Country, said Miss B—— do you like best France or this. I told her I preferd some things in each—but surely said She you prefer this Country to America. Indeed Miss answerd I, I do not. You must think this the finest Country, the Cultivation is greater and every thing superior. That may be, but I have friends and Connections in America that will ever make it dear to me. Tis not merely the place which I regard, tis what friends and acquaintancees I find.21
Last Night I wrote you thus far, but had not spirit to proceed. This Morning just as I went down to breakfast one of the servants came up with a huge packet, with Mr. Churchs Compliments. I was so rejoiced as I cannot tell you how. Your hand writing was first sought for, and as soon as found the seal broke, where I found your two Letters N 3, and 4,22 and such a feast as it was, no one thought of tea toast or bread and butter, for an hour, quite sattisfied with the food for the mind. And now I have perused, them and <gained a little> and got a little over the agreeable flutterations and heart beetings I { 307 } am prepared to acknowledge their receipt to thank you for your punctuallity to chide you for not having been more particular to excuse you for this time, and to give you a little sisterly advice, and many more things which Shall follow. 1st. Monday Morning sep. 5th. 1785. Nine oclock, received from Mr. Church your Letters, after a passage of only 1 Month, which heightend their vallue, much. 2d. Your punctuallity in writing on Ship Board, leads me to hope you will never forget your promises, and that I shall know something of you every day, and thus encourage me to pursue my diary, which sometimes I fear is too minute, but you shall determine its continuance. 3dly. to Chide you for not having told me more about the folks you became acquainted, than their Names. I wanted to hear your comparisons, and your remarks, upon every one, in Short I wished you only to have thought aloud, to me. I was a little surprised to hear Miss Sears termed a Wit. She was not called so in Boston I beleive. My idea of her was that she possessed a simplicity, more amiable than smartness. I wished to have heard your remarks upon Mr. R——.23 I have seen him but have not the slightes personal acquaintance with. I have heard his character, perhaps not justly described, but I can excuse you because I know when one first arrives, in a strange place, we feel, puzled, hurried. The attentions we receive demand much of our time and attention. Now for my advice. As I feel myself so much interested in your following it I hope you will excuse it. You are a young Man, with a warmpth of temper which you leads you to judge rather prematurely and to condemn without sufficiently considering the for and against. Think this not a harsh accusation. You supposed I had neglected you when you found Mr. Cursen had no letter for you24—the Gentleman had seen me, and it was quite unpardonable that I did not write. Now, you must have given place in your mind to an Idea disadvantageous to me, and as it was not just I must feel myself injured by it. Appearances were in your favour I'll allow, but as I wish you to avoid the painfull idea of my inattention to you, I must beg in future that you would weigh possibilities in future, and Ill tell you <what>[how?] it happend that Mr. C. Carred you no Letter. The unsettled situation we were in the Continued visits made us, and the Whole suit of adventures enough to puzzle the Brain of a Philosopher, did not prevent me from writing. I had finished my Letter and seald it for Mr. Cursen, but Colln. Smith who had promised to deliver it to him happend to forget it, and he [Curson] left town, without it. Now, <please to retract> as I know it is not plasing to retract, I will excuse you provided you will consider the next time before you { 308 } condemn. The letter I forwarded immediately to Mr. Williamos to go in the June packet and he informs me that he inclosed it to a friend, who would deliver it if you were at N. York when the packet should arrive and if you were gone on, would forward it to you.25 In a few days I wrote you again and Colln. Smith inclosed my Letter to Mr. King, since which I have written too long letters besides this—which is N 6.26
I fear your Passage was long and disagreeable, your passengers not the most agreeable, neither. I know well how painfull a Life on Ship board is, even where every one indeavours to make it tolerable. The insipid sameness, which must forever reign, must be tiresome, and an impatient disposition must suffer more than I can have an idea of. But you are safe landed, Heaven be praised, and in health. Take care to preserve it. Great attention will be necessary, for you. I am happy that you found so many friends, and were shewn so much attention, for nothing is so pleasing, whether it arrises from our own merit or our connection with People of merit. I have sometimes thought that we are better pleased with those attention which we receive upon account of our friends than those paid merely to ourselvs. In some cases, I have been assertaind of the preference, and beleive it will allmost pass for a general rule. Why is it that our American Ladies, are so fond of connections with foreignors?27 I confess it does not strike me in an agreeable point of view. There are no People, easier deceived than we are, I beleive nor, none more easily [daizled?] by Glitter and Show. But they should remember that

Not all that tempts your wandring Eyes

And heedless hearts, is lawfull prise,

Not all that Glissters Gold.28

The National Characters are very strongly impressed upon most People, yet I would not venture to pass upon any without exception, for there a[re] Men from every Nation untinctured by the Characteristick vices, or foibles of it. Tho ninety Nine in an hundred, Dutchmen May be Misers, avaricious, and, mean spiritted, and the same proportion of Englishmen, surly Ill Natured, prejudiced <and self> Drunkards, the Spain[ish] Jealous and revengefull, the French, flighty inconstant and insincere, yet I would not venture to affirm that either of these Characters were universal in their Different Countries, for the one in an hundred may posess the virtues of each, and be exempt from any real vices.
Your Father wishes that some person would except the embassey { 309 } to Holland, for something or other is continually presenting to teise him, which an Minister there would releive him from. Tis hard that he should be tormented with so many perplexities which the attention of Congress might releive him from.
You will hear accounts of the season from the Papers. The drought has been excessive, especially in France. They endeavourd to furnish themselvs with fodder from this Country, but, it was obliged to be prohibitted here. Count Sarsfeild said the other day, that he knew not what to do, the ensueing Winter. If he stayd in Paris, he should [be] put to it to keep his horses, and if he went into the Country it would be worse, and added that a great Number of Cattle must be killed, for want of provender. Every thing here is dearer than usual, on account of the drought. Tho the late, plentifull rains have been of vast service, fruit here is Scarce and dear as well as far from being Good. We have given, sometimes half a Guniea for a Mellon, and sixpence a peice for every peach. This must sound very surprising with you [Now?].
Miss Van Berkel, must have had a disagreeable time I think. The Ladies, make remarks, and perhaps triumpth, if there is opportunity. They had better appear conspicuoes for their Candour, for their is not a more amiable <principle> trait in the Character of a Lady, and, prove themselvs superior, by their behavour towards her, than a greater degree of beauty could render them.
Charles [Storer] procastinate from day to day his departure. He now says he shall go tomorrow certainly but it may be the latter part of the week. I am very glad that I set my last by Lyde. I am sure he may make half his passage before, this young Man sails. The last week nothing took place to tell you of, except what Mamma has writen you,29 that Mr. Barcley and Mr. Franks, are going to Algiers, and that the latter is here at present, waiting for his instructions from your father. Very unfortunately the day after his arrival, your father was seized with a [violent?] inflamation in his Eyes,30 that rendered writing all most impracticable. And Mr. Smith has not yet returnd from his tour. But perhaps I have never yet told you where he has gone, and I now inform you, to Berlin to be present at the King of Prussias reveiw. We expect him soon.
We fear that you will not have so frequent opportunities to write us from Boston as we shall wish to hear from you, therefore request that you will write by the Packet send your Letters to some Member { 310 } of Congress, and desire them to be forwarded by the English packet. Dont fail. You know how very sollicitous we shall be to hear frequently from you, and, you also know how apt People who get to America are to be inattentive. Let us not suppose it universall.
I have sent you by Mr. Storer a box containing a pd of sealing Wax. I think it is good. You will see from whence it came, and think it a Modest way of begging. When we first arrived we had continual applications of this kind. They are at present less frequent. Your Books and watch Chain I have also put into the Care of Mr. Storer. If there is any thing which you want and it is in my Power to send it you, write for it. In return I request, a lock of your hair, which I forgot to have before you left us. I dont mean, Sampsons locks, nor, a lock from your Eye brows, and hope you will not demand mine in return.
I do not recollect at present any news, or any thing interesting to communicae. And as my Letter I fear is already so long as will tire your patience I shall haste to subscribe myself your affectionate sister
[signed] A Adams
[I?]31 thank fortune we are not dependant upon the favours nor Smiles of Majesty, nor think ourselvs servilely dependant upon their customs, so we will act as we like, and bid them defiance not fearing Mob or any thing else. Your father says he observes a fear in every one of the Foreign Ministers of being known to have any intimacy with him least they should be mob'd. One would not like to be in danger to be sure. I should as willingly put myself at the Mercy of so many savages as to the Mobility in this Country. But all this is high treason so keep it to yourself.
Dft (Adams Papers); the text is written on twenty-one small pages, several of them numbered. The MS is in good condition; it is AA2's occasionally poor hand and her incomplete expressions that call for the bracketed material.
1. Of 4 July, above.
2. The MS of AA2's journal has not been found; all that survives in journal form appears in AA2, Jour. and Corr., vols. 1 and [3]. The printed journal from 7 Aug. 1784 though 4 June 1785 (Jour. and Corr., 1:viii, and 7–79) gives some idea of how regular and full AA2's complete diary probably was. Fragments of her journal from 26 Aug. through 18 Dec. 1785 are in Jour. and Corr., 1:viii–xi, 79–84, and [3]:185–205. Large sections of all six extant AA2 letters to JQA in 1785, however, were probably copied with little alteration from AA2's journal, including much of the present letter. AA2's journal entries for 28 Sept. through 18 Dec. 1785, printed in Jour. and Corr., [3]:185–205, were also incorporated in a letter to JQA, which has not been found.
3. The 11th fell on Thursday.
4. “Marrowbones and cleavers” was an eighteenth-century term for ancient British instruments of “rough music” (OED).
5. The Prince of Wales, later George IV, was twenty-three.
6. This Anglo-French compound phrase, written as though entirely French, appears to be AA2's coinage, apparently meaning a “strong shock.”
7. The exchange between Maurice Riquet de Caraman, who had traveled to America { 311 } with the Marquis de Lafayette, and Anne Willing Bingham, a native of Philadelphia, occurred at Lafayette's home on 7 March (JQA, Diary, 1:230).
8. Mary Palmer, a daughter of Gen. Joseph Palmer, had been an invalid since her youth, when a gun discharged near her head caused a permanent nervous condition (Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 23–25).
9. Jebb died “of decline” the following March at age fifty (DNB).
10. Perhaps dressed quite plainly, as he appears in Romney's portrait of him (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:592).
11. François Barthélemy had served as charge d'affaires, with one brief break, from July 1784 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:118).
12. Elizabeth Inchbald's well-received comedy, I'll Tell You What, was first performed on 4 August. Elizabeth Farren's role was the “Lady” (Some Account of the English Stage from the Restoration in 1660 to 1830, 10 vols., Bath, England, 1832, 6:368–369).
13. To JA, 17 Aug., with a decoding of the encoded passages, in AA2's hand, on the blank third sheet of the letter (Adams Papers).
14. The underscored passage, beginning at “the Cardinal Prince,” quotes AA2's decoding of Jefferson's letter, but introduces a few errors: the decoding has “Rohan” for “Roan,” and “reflections,” it places “herself” before “in Council”, and it has “actual force” rather than “acted force.” AA2's decoding agrees almost exactly with Jefferson's uncoded draft text; see Jefferson, Papers, 8:394–395. On Cardinal Rohan and the Diamond Necklace Affair, see Jefferson to AA, 4 Sept., note 3, below.
15. Presumably meaning “of any captures.” See AA to William Stephens Smith, 13 Aug., and note 4, above.
16. Jean Balthazar, Comte d'Adhémar, the French ambassador to Great Britain since May 1783, had been minister plenipotentiary to the Austrian Netherlands, 1774–1781. He was not replaced in London at this time, although he took several leaves from his post, and he served until Jan. 1787. Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier, Baron de Breteuil, a French envoy to several countries over two decades, held no posts after 1783. Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:118, 128 (Adhémar); 113, 122, 125, 136, 139 (Le Tonnelier).
17. John Trumbull, the painter, had been in London for over a year, studying with Benjamin West (DAB).
18. William Smith, the son of a merchant of Clapham Common, entered the House of Commons for Sudbury in 1784, and sat almost continuously, for various districts, until 1830. He was a supporter of Pitt's parliamentary reform effort of April 1785, and was later a dissenter and an opponent of all religious tests for office, as well as of the slave trade. Smith married Frances Coape in 1781. Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:452–453.
19. Robert Crew was a London tobacco merchant from Virginia (Jefferson, Papers, 7:434; 18:309).
20. AA2 does not set this and the following sentences off from the preceding text despite the sudden and obscure change in subject matter. The editors have not identified “the other” or “the enclosed Letter.” In Aug. 1785, Dominique Vivant Dénon, the French chargé d'affaires in Naples, had just departed for France; his replacement, Louis Marie Anne, Baron de Talleyrand-Périgord, a relative of the famous diplomat of the Napoleonic era, had just arrived (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:139).
21. AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:79–80, gives a longer account of the exchange with Miss Brailsford, in which AA2 expressed her views with less reservation, and compared both the United States and France favorably to England in several respects. Her opinions there are quite similar to those of AA in her letter to Elizabeth Storer Smith, 29 Aug., below.
22. Of 25 May, and 17 July, both above.
23. The editors have not identified “Mr. R——.” In his letter of 17 July, JQA mentions meeting Dr. David Ramsay and John Rutledge, both of South Carolina, and Francisco Rendon, the secretary to the Spanish envoy, Diego de Gardoqui. It is not known whether AA2 ever met any of these three men.
24. See JQA to AA2, 17 July, and note 10, above.
25. This letter, probably marked N. 2 and written about 1 June, has not been found.
26. AA2's letter to JQA, marked N. 3, dated 13 June, and sent with a William Stephens Smith letter to Mr. King [Rufus King?], presumably by a vessel sailing for New York, was received by JQA at Boston on 31 Aug. (JQA to AA2, 29 Aug., below), but has not been found; nor has another letter, probably marked N. 4, and perhaps written toward the end of June. The second of AA2's “too long letters besides this” is N. 5, of 4 July, above.
{ 312 }
27. AA2 is probably responding to JQA's critical remarks, in his letter of 17 July, above, on the impending marriage between Miss Marshall of New York and Francisco Rendon.
28. Thomas Gray, Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat. The last line reads: “Nor all, that glisters, gold.”
29. AA wrote JQA on 6 and 12 Sept., both below.
30. Lt. Col. David Salisbury Franks arrived from Paris on 10 Sept. (AA to JQA, 12 Sept., below), placing the onset of JA's malady on the 11th. Col. Franks served in the war from 1775 to 1780, then as a diplomatic courier, and briefly as vice-consul at Marseilles. On 4 Sept., Jefferson proposed to JA that Franks be named secretary to Thomas Barclay, whom they were sending to Morocco to negotiate a commercial treaty (Jefferson, Papers, 8:473). Franks carried Jefferson's letter to JA, and another from Jefferson to AA, of the same date, below, to London, where JA approved the mission on 15 Sept. (same, 8:521–522). Franks served in the Morocco mission until Dec. 1786. Hersch L. Zitt, “David Salisbury Franks, Revolutionary Patriot (c. 1740–1793),” Pennsylvania History, 16 (1949):77–95; Morris, Papers, 1:255–256.
31. This character appears to be written on the edge of the page.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0097

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1785-08-27

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

[salute] My dear Lucy

I have not yet noticed your obliging favor of April 26th,1 which reached me by Captain Lyde, whilst I was at the Bath Hotel. I had then so much upon my hands, that I did not get time to write but to your mamma and cousin, who I hope is with you before now. By him I wrote many letters, and amongst the number of my friends, my dear Lucy was not omitted.2
If I did not believe my friends were partial to all I write, I should sometimes feel discouraged when I take my pen; for, amongst so large a number of correspondents, I feel at a loss how to supply them all.
It is usual at a large entertainment, to bring the solid food in the first course. The second consists of lighter diet, kickshaws, trifles, whip syllabub, &c.; the third is the dessert, consisting of the fruits of the season, and sometimes foreign sweetmeats. If it would not be paying my letters too great a compliment to compare any of them to solid food, I should feel no reluctance at keeping up the metaphor with respect to the rest. Yet it is not the studied sentence, nor the elaborate period, which pleases, but the genuine sentiments of the heart expressed with simplicity. All the specimens, which have been handed down to us as models for letter-writing, teach us that natural ease is the greatest beauty of it. It is that native simplicity too, which gives to the Scotch songs a merit superior to all others. My favorite3 Scotch song, “There's na luck about the house,” will naturally occur to your mind.
I believe Richardson has done more towards embellishing the present age, and teaching them the talent of letter-writing, than any { 313 } other modern I can name. You know I am passionately fond of all his works, even to his “Pamela.” In the simplicity of our manners, we judge that many of his descriptions and some of his characters are beyond real life; but those, who have been conversant in these old corrupted countries, will be soon convinced that Richardson painted only the truth in his abandoned characters; and nothing beyond what human nature is capable of attaining, and frequently has risen to, in his amiable portraits. Richardson was master of the human heart; he studied and copied nature; he has shown the odiousness of vice, and the fatal consequences which result from the practice of it; he has painted virtue in all her amiable attitudes; he never loses sight of religion, but points his characters to a future state of restitution as the sure ground of safety to the virtuous, and excludes not hope from the wretched penitent. The oftener I have read his books, and the more I reflect upon his great variety of characters, perfectly well supported, the more I am led to love and admire the author. He must have an abandoned, wicked, and depraved heart, who can be tempted to vice by the perusal of Richardson's works. Indeed, I know not how a person can read them without being made better by them, as they dispose the mind to receive and relish every good and benevolent principle. He may have faults, but they are so few, that they ought not to be named in the brilliant clusters of beauties which ornament his works. The human mind is an active principle, always in search of some gratification; and those writings which tend to elevate it to the contemplation of truth and virtue, and to teach it that it is capable of rising to higher degrees of excellence than the mere gratification of sensual appetites and passions, contribute to promote its mental pleasures, and to advance the dignity of our natures. Sir Joshua Reynolds's observations4 with respect to painting may be applied to all those works which tend to refine the taste, “which, if it does not lead directly to purity of manners, obviates, at least, their greatest depravation, by disentangling the mind from appetite, and conducting the thoughts through successive stages of excellence, till that contemplation of universal rectitude and harmony, which began by taste, may, as it is exalted and refined, conclude in virtue.”
Why may we not suppose, that, the higher our attainments in knowledge and virtue are here on earth, the more nearly we assimilate ourselves to that order of beings who now rank above us in the world of spirits? We are told in scripture,5 that there are different kinds of glory, and that one star differeth from another. Why should not those who have distinguished themselves by superior excellence over their { 314 } fellow-mortals continue to preserve their rank when admitted to the kingdom of the just? Though the estimation of worth may be very different in the view of the righteous Judge of the world from that which vain man esteems such on earth, yet we may rest assured that justice will be strictly administered to us.
But whither has my imagination wandered? Very distant from my thoughts when I first took my pen.
We have a large company to dine with us to-day, and I have some few arrangements to make before dinner, which obliges me to hasten to a conclusion; among the persons invited, is a gentleman who married the only daughter of Richardson.6 She died about six months ago. This gentleman has in his possession the only portrait of her father which was ever taken. He has several times invited me to go to his house and see it. I design it, though I have not yet accepted his invitation.
Write to me, my dear Lucy, and be assured I speak the words of truth and soberness when I tell you that your letters give real pleasure to Your affectionate aunt,
[signed] A.A.
MS not found. Printed from (AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 261–263; 1841, 2:109–112; 1840, p. 306–310.)
1. Not found.
2. To Lucy Cranch, 6 May, above.
3. The 1840 edition lacks “favorite.”
4. The 1840 edition has “observation.”
5. “Scripture” is capitalized in the 1840 edition. The scriptural verse is 1 Corinthians 15:41.
6. Edward Bridgen had married Martha Richardson (see AA2 to JQA, 4 July, above).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0098

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Elizabeth
Recipient: Smith, Elizabeth Storer
Date: 1785-08-29

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Storer Smith

[salute] My dear Madam

Mr. Storer your worthy Nephew will be the Bearer of this Letter. I congratulate his Friends upon his return to them, after several Years absence, tho we shall essentially feel his loss, being as much attached to him as if he was our own. The appointment of a secretary of Legation prevents Mr. Adams from taking any other, which he realy stands in need of. If he had been allowed one, Mr. Storer would have had the preference, and we should have had much pleasure in keeping him in our family. I hope by returning to America he will be able to do better. A Young Gentleman at his time of Life, ought to be establishing himself in some profession, whereby he may serve himself and his generation. It was a thorugh conviction of this truth, that induced us to part with our Son, who I hope is safe arrived before { 315 } this time in his Native Country, where by application and industry he may be sure of obtaining his Bread.
The more my dear Madam that I see of Europe the more I am attached to the method of Education persued in the state of Massachusets. If our Youth have not all those opportunities for improvement in some branches of Literature, and the fine Arts, which these old countries can boast, they have sufficient to qualify them for any departments they may be called to fill. An acquaintance with foreign Countries, is no doubt a benifit when properly improved, as it tends to <improve> remove prejudices, and enlarge the mind. But I question much whether out of the many Youth who come Anually from all parts of America, more of them do not return with corrupted morals, and a distaste to the purer manners of our own Country, than with improved understandings or wiser Heads. As to civility of behaviour, politeness of Manners, true Hospitality and Benevolence, this Country have much more need of going to America to learn them, than our Country has of any embelishment this can bestow. I have seen and heard more narrow prejudice, more Illiberality of Sentiment, not merely with regard to America, but every other Country and its inhabitants; since my residence here, than I ever Saw or heard in America in my whole Life. And all the contracted Sentiments which we ever possesst with respect to other Countries, we imbibed from this, when we Reverenced her and her sentiments as our parent. But as soon as we came to think and act for ourselves, we broke the shackles.
I have never been in company since my return from France without being immediately ask'd which Country I prefer? This I should esteem as mere words of Course if I did not see how quick it touches them to have the least preference in any respect given to France; tho on many accounts I like this Country best, and have in my heart a greater fondness for it, I have been often tempted to shew the Contrary, on purpose to mortify the pride of this people, who realy in point of civility to strangers, and good Breeding, are not to be compared with their Neighbours whom they so contemptably despise. You will think I fear that I am desplaying those very prejudicies which I condemn; but I will appeal to the judgment of all my Countrymen who have visited the two Countries.
Dr. Price has the most liberal sentiments of any Gentleman I have heard converse since my residence here, he is indeed one of the best of Men, but the dessenting Clergy in this Country appear a very different set of Men from those which inhabit ours. They are { 316 } cramped contemned and degraded, they have not that independant appearence, and that consciousness of their own worth which gives an Air of dignity to the whole deportment. Dr. Price notwithstanding his literary fame, and his great abilities, appears like a Man who has been brow beaten. In America he would be revered and caresed, as his merit deserves.
We had a visit the other day from Mr. Tom. Boylstone. He appears to have an affection for Boston and his old Friends, tho he will not allow that there are any honest folks there, my good uncle excepted. He appears to wish for an amicable settlement between the two Countries, tho he says he shall not live to enjoy it.1 He has had a severe fever which he says has left him weak as a Child in Body and Mind. His Nerves are much affected. You will easily believe he is allarmed when I tell you that he keeps a Pheaton and pair,2 and rides every day. He talks of going to the South of France for the winter.
I have been once to see Mrs. Hollowell since I returnd,3 she seems much broke since last I saw her. If I was not here in a publick Character, I should visit her more, and cultivate our old family Friendship, but there are persons who will belie one, and say things which were never meant or thought of, so that there is no safety but in keeping quite clear. Many of the Refugees appear to have lost all Idea of truth, and even those who are well disposed too readily credit their assertions.
I visit Mr. Vassels family, and have seen there, a Mrs. Hobart, who always kindly inquires after you.
I shall miss Mrs. Atkinson and am very sorry to part with her. Mrs. Hay and She are to dine with me to day. You will be so good as to remember me kindly to Mr. Otis and Lady to all my cousins and be assured Dear Madam that I am most affectionately Yours
[signed] AA
Nabby desires her duty and Love to all her Friends.
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Boston”; notation in pencil: “Mrs. Adam[s] London—1785.” A mend at a fold obscures the notation. Dft (Adams Papers).
1. The draft concludes the sentence: “but looks to me as if he would not live long to enjoy it.”
2. AA likely refers to Boylston's notorious stinginess; see vol. 2:295, and note 2; 4:342, note 2.
3. The draft continues: “she is much broken I think since I saw her last year. I should be fond of keeping up an acquaintance and Friendship with the family for her sake, but it is so difficult to visit any of these people without being belied by those with whom one cannot have any connection and who are full of resentment, that I know not any safety in their company.” Despite her caution, AA did become a close friend of Mary Boylston Hallowell, who was JA's mother's first cousin.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0099

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-08-29

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

I came into Boston this morning, and shall probably spend the week here, in order to pay all my visits, and see all those persons, that it will be necessary to show myself to. Stopping at Milton, I was very much surprized, when Mrs. Warren inform'd me, that Mr. Otis1 shut up last Saturday Evening: had the news come from any other Person, I should not at that time have believ'd it, for I was introduced to him, Saturday on the exchange, and dined at Uncle Smith's, in Company with him and his family. But it was as I have been told to day in town, a Circumstance, which happened in the afternoon, that obliged him finally to Close. Uncle, and Aunt Smith, and their family, are as you may well suppose, very much affected by this Event, which I imagine, was unexpected, even to them. There is a visible dejection in their Countenances, and I heartily sympathize with them. I saw Harry pass in the Street to day. Nobody I believe feels the misfortune, more than he does. I Dined to day at Mr. Breck's, in Company with Mr. Toscan, Mr. Tom Appleton, the brother of the gentleman now in England, Mr. Chaumont, Mr. L. Austin, and his brother, and two other french gentleman; and a Mrs. Shepherd, an English Lady; (I must beg her pardon, and your's for not introducing her first.)2 She is about twenty five I imagine, very fair, well shaped, and the only objection I have to her, is that she has what I call Italian eyes. I don't know whether you will understand me, without an explanation. I mean no defect, but something very piercing, and rather harsh, that I have most commonly observed in the eyes of the Italians I have been acquainted with, there is something disagreeable to me, in it, and if I am whimsical, I must claim indulgence. Mr. Appleton I suppose you know at least as much of as I do: so I say nothing of him. It Rain'd in the afternoon, so that most of the Company stayd. The sight of cards drove me off early in the evening, for of late I have a great aversion for them, and should be perfectly contented never to touch another: pack. I spent the Evening at Dr. Welch's. Uncle Smith and his family were there; all in very low spirits, which you will easily account for.
The Supreme Judicial Court, met to day: I went and heard the { 318 } Chief Justice, deliver the Charge to the grand Jury. I never heard either Lord Mansfield, Lord Thurlow, or Lord Loughborough (and I have heard them all,) speak with more dignity: they never spoke upon a more important subject; for it was almost entirely upon the Education of youth. I was very sorry to hear him Complain, that many towns in the State have neglected to maintain the public Schools: and I sincerely hope, what he said may be productive of good effects. Mr. Thatcher afterwards was called upon for a prayer, and made, one, extempore, very well adapted to the occasion. Mr. Dana for the first time fill'd one of the judge's Seats.3
I came here this afternoon, and shall return to morrow. You have heard doubtless of the Bridge, they are building over Charlestown ferry: it was a great undertaking; and is carried on with a vast deal of Spirit. It was not begun till the latter end of May, and will be about half finished before the Winter comes on. If the Ice does not destroy it, (and I am told every possible Caution has been used to protect it) by the middle of next Summer it will be compleated; and if it stands, it will be a great saving in the End to the public, and will turn out, vastly to the advantage of the undertakers.4 Charles is very much pleased with his situation here: and comes on well with his Studies. His Class is one of the most numerous of any that have entered.5
Mr. Chaumont went to Cambridge this morning, and saw the Library and the museum, belonging to the University. I waited upon President Willard and deliver'd your Father's Letter.6 Upon the account I gave him of myself, <he s> and upon my telling him I intended to wait till the next Commencement, he advised me rather to enter in the spring, so that I might have the benifit of two lectures upon natural Philosophy. So it is now decided that I am to go and spend some months at Mr. Shaws, though I do not expect to get there finally before the beginning of October. I return'd here with Mr. Chaumont, and as I was standing in the Street before the door of the Post Office with Mr. Tyler, a letter was handed to me from it; my hopes were immediately raised, I broke the seal, and found a very polite Letter from Mr. King, enclosing your N:3. June 13th. from the Bath Hôtel.7 I never received but one Letter that gave me more Pleasure, and that was about 14 months ago from my friend Murray.8 You begin with a { 319 } Caution which I am sorry to have given Cause for, but for which I sincerely thank you. It is a great Consolation, when we are Sensible of having failed, to have friends, who can kindly reprove us. Let me request you my Sister, that you will continue to be my monitor when I may fall into other errors, and I am sure that will correct me if any thing can. Your N:2 I wait impatiently for.9 I hear not a word of Mr. Williamos, though you was <mistaken?> misinform'd as to there being no packet to sail in June from France, for she is arrived at New York after a passage of 52 days from l'Orient. What this second change, in the place of departure, is owing to I cannot imagine. Not to the influence of Mr. W. I believe.—I am very sorry to find you are not more pleased with your present Situation, than you was when at Auteuil: but I hope, you will, be more pleased after a Residence of some time: the first months are most commonly disagreeable, in a new place; because a person has not had time to form a society sufficient to pass pleasantly the leisure hours: but a number of Circumstances combine, to make your acquaintance more extensive than it was in France, and I dare say, by this time you relish your Situation much better, than you did the former. I am sufficiently sensible of your partiality for me, readily to believe, that you in some measure miss me. Had I consulted my present feelings, I certainly could not have been induced to leave you; but there is no necessity for me to inform you, of my motives; you know them and approved of the measure, as being the most advantageous for myself, that I could take. Was I now placed in the Situation I was in six months ago; although I might be still more sensible than I was, then, how much I should suffer, by a seperation from the best of Parents, and of Sisters, yet should I again follow the same course that I have pursued. My preferring to return home, has surprized a number of my young acquaintance here; much more than it would probably, if they had seen as much of Europe as I have. As for the diversions, and the splendor of those Countries, I have not bestow'd so much as one regret upon them: and if I ever do it will be because I shall be at a loss, what to do, and I am not afraid of that ever being the Case.—Do not think my Sister, that any thing coming from you, can ever be by me considered as ridiculous or trifling; I have been in my former Letters often so minute, that I was afraid it would be tiresome; but I now hope otherwise, and am certain it cannot be so, if I judge of your feelings from my own.—I have seen in the London Papers some Specimens of british (or rather refugee) politeness; but all { 320 } those paragraphs are like certain fowling pieces, which instead of wounding the game they are pointed as [at], as Mc:Fingal says,

Bear wide, and kick their owners over.

I am not afraid of seeing any thing of the kind, directed against any of you, that will give me a minutes pain. The most ineffable contempt is the only Sentiment, they will ever raise in my breast. I want very much to hear how you went through the Ceremony of the presentation; with proper dignity and assurance, I dare say: but what I want are the minutiae. What will the King say, what the Queen &c., &c., &c. I suppose some trite, common place, things, which will be ennobled by coming from those who are the fountains of honour and dignity. The mighty of the Earth, seem to be conscious of their inferiority to the rest of the world; and therefore they chuse to envelope themselves in all the majesty of obscurity. Perhaps had I gone with you, I might also have enjoy'd the felicity of a presentation to his Majesty; but it cannot be and I must endeavour to bear my misfortune as firmly as possible.—I am glad to find you have engaged an house in so fine a Situation as Grosvenor Square, and I hope, that before now you are finally settled in it. And I am very glad to hear, that you will have the Dutch furniture. By the bye; perhaps Madam Dumas, will send my watch by that opportunity to you; if she does you can send it by Charles Storer to me, for the one I have does not go so well as I wish. If it should not be sent to you before this reaches, I wish you would send for it by the first good opportunity, and you will, I suppose find some body, that will take charge of it, for me; I little thought of such a seperation from it, when I left it at the Hague.—I have read in several of the London Papers that the Earl of Effingham, was to come here as Minister from that Court: you do not mention any thing upon that Subject in your Letter; but by the visit you had from the Countess I suppose the Intentions of the Court are really in that Case, as the Papers represent them.10 Mr. Temple has been expected as Consul, at New York, these four months. I expected to have found him there on my arrival; Many Persons have enquired of me, whether he had sailed, and many here seem to doubt of his appointment: I have not been able to give any information on the Subject; and your Letter does not say a word concerning him. His Daughter, the great Toast of this town, is generally supposed to be about preparing a Treaty of alliance with Mr. Tom Winthrop:11 and it is said the Preliminaries are agreed on by all the parties interested. { 321 } I have waited on the Governor, but have not yet had the good fortune of seeing Miss Temple.—There is a passage in your Letter which puzzles me very much: I cannot imagine what Character it is you allude to, and whose baseness has drawn a few misanthropic reflections from your pen. I read the passage of your Letter to Mr. Tyler, and ask'd him if he could explain it in any manner; he thinks you must mean the husband of a Lady who is said to resemble you so much; he that was at Auteuil the day I left you:12 he tells me there is a story, very much to his disadvantage, and supposes you was inform'd of it after I came away: I was exceedingly surprised at this, and I cannot believe there is any truth in it. In one of my former Letters you will see an account of my reception in Consequence of a Letter from that person; but I did not tell you that he was enquired after by all the family, with as much apparent affection, as if he had been an own son, and Brother. And is it reasonable to suppose, that the parents and the Sister of an injured Lady, would show such a degree of fondness for the person who is supposed to have done her the harm: from the time I left you to this day I have never had Reason, to form one Suspicion against his Character, and I have often consider'd myself under obligations to him, as the Letters he gave me, have made me acquainted with a number of agreeable persons; and if he is the person you mean to speak of, I sincerely hope, you are mistaken as to his Character. I ask'd Mr. Tyler if he had written you this anecdote he told me of, and he says no: perhaps after all you was speaking of some other Character. I wish you would in your first Letter to me, after the reception of this, write me, how the matter is.—— I think with you, it was paying you but a poor Compliment, to find so great a Resemblance between you and me. But there are certain features, which I suppose every family have peculiar to themselves, and consequently a person of Mr. West's profession, who is obliged to study physiognomy, may perceive a likeness, which a man in any other, would not think of.—I perceive, that I have run on these six pages13 in replying to your Letter, and I am very glad you have at length furnished me with subjects to write on; for I was quite ashamed to have nothing to say but what related to myself. But now I will again proceed in my narrative. I dined to day at Mr. Storer's in Company with Uncle Smith's family and Mr. Green's.14 There was nobody present, that you are not acquainted with, so that there is no necessity of my giving you my Opinion, concerning any person there. This afternoon I paid a visit to Mr. Cushing the lieutenant Governor, { 322 } but he was not, chéz lui. Drank tea at Mr. Appleton's, though I did not see him. Charlotte, has been for a long time in ill health, and is supposed to be in a Consumption. She is pretty, but I think not equal at present to her Sister Betsey;15 I am thought here, some what peculiar in my taste: Ideas of Beauty are often local; and it is probable I have in Europe, corrupted mine. This Lady is not considered as extraordinary here; and I have been much less struck by several, whose Reputations, for personal Charms, are much higher. Her shape has been form'd by Nature such as the Ladies in Europe, [take?] so much pains to acquire; like a Wasp, as your Mamma used to say. Her manners are very easy, and she is properly sociable. I have seen very few young Ladies since my arrival, whose first sight has been so pleasing to me: and now my dear Sister, I must bid you good night, for I have written so much to day, that I have fairly tired myself out, and I am afraid you too. But I will make no apology lest it should induce you to shorten your Letters.
We went to the forenoon ball at Concert hall.16 There were very few Gentlemen there, but I should have supposed, every young Lady, in the town. At any rate there was more than an hundred, high and low, short and tall, plain and pretty, all in a jumble. Dined at Mr. Cushing's. The Company was not large. There were two young Ladies present, but I had no Conversation with them, and I do not know their names, though I believe they are nieces to Mr. Cushing. I have been paying as many visits as I possibly could all this week, for visits, I am obliged to pay; and not a few, I hope however by Saturday, to have nearly finished with Boston.
Mr. Chaumont, was obliged to leave town to day, having made but a very short stay here.17 He went in the afternoon, and I went as far as Roxbury with him. He is pleased with his Reception in Boston, as every foreigner must be, and proposes returning and spending some weeks here in the Course of the Winter or of the next Spring. The forenoon was very rainy so that I have not been into any Company to day. I spent the Evening with Dr. Tufts and Uncle Cranch. Aunt Tufts has been very ill, of late, and her life was despaired of; but she is now in a fair way of Recovering: her Son, I have not yet seen, { 323 } though he has been in Boston all this week: this will not surprise you.18
I left Town this morning at about 11 o'clock, and dined at Genl. Warren's. Mrs. Warren, went to Boston This forenoon, with Charles, who sails in the beginning of the Week, for Cadiz, from whence he proposes to go and join his brother at Lisbon. But I fear greatly he will never get there: I have but little hopes of ever seeing him again: though I sincerely wish I may be mistaken. The Genl. with the three other Sons, dined at home. He talks of selling that place, and returning to Plymouth. I have been told he has lately been offered 2000£ for the house, and farm, at Milton, but he will not take less than 2500. But the Price of Lands has fallen of late, and will it is supposed fall still more, so that it is doubted whether any body, will come to his price. I drank tea at Uncle Adams's, and found them all well. I did not get here till near 7 o'clock. It took me the whole day to Come from Boston here.
Sunday, and yesterday I spent at Braintree. This morning, aunt Cranch and I set out together for Haverhill. We dined in Boston, and as the Wind was pretty high, aunt was not fond of crossing the ferry, so we took the round about way, and made it so late before we got here, that we thought best not to proceed any further, this Evening, and we are now at Mr. Gannett's, whom I suppose you know. I found in Boston to day, Letters from you, and our dear Parents.19 I miss very much your N.2. without which I cannot but lose entirely the thread of your Relation; I wonder Mr. W[illiamos] to whom you say you sent it, did not forward it by the last French Packet, if as I shrewdly suspect, he did not come himself. But I will wait with patience, and in the mean time reply to your N.4.—I am not at all surprised at your preferring the French Stage to the English; Every person of taste and delicacy, cannot I think avoid it, unless blinded by national prejudice, and I have met with English men, and there are Writers, who are sufficiently candid to acknowledge the Superiority of their neighbours in that respect. Tancred is a very tragical Story. I admired the original tale, when I read it, in Gil Blas, from whence Thomson took it.20 But I know not for what Reason, I never admired this authors Dramatic pieces; the Representation may give them more interest, than we should suppose they have, when we only { 324 } read them. As they inculcate Virtue and Morality they have great merit, and it must be remembered they are the productions of an Author who never wrote

One line which dying he might wish to blot.21

Wednesday the 22d [June] say you, Pappa went to dine with Mr.—. Perhaps you intended I should fill up the name; but it is not a matter of very great importance. Your account of the presentation, was exactly such as I wish'd for; it is sufficiently minute to make me attend you in my imagination, through every step, from the morning till the joyful instant when you went into your Coach, to return home; for if I am not mistaken that was the most pleasing Circumstance that you met with in the Course of the day. That the whole Ceremony, as all those of Courts are, was beyond measure Ridiculous, is as true, as that it was absolutely <Ridiculous> Necessary for you to go through it. Was Heraclitus himself present at such assemblies, he could not, I believe, refrain from laughing. I think that since they are obliged to go through this Drudgery so often, they might make the matter still more Systematical, and never say but one thing which they might repeat upon every occasion, and to every body. But mankind can be brought by constant use, to relish almost every thing, and perhaps these very levees to which we should consider it as a misfortune to be subjected, are an enjoyment to those, who have been bred to them. The different speeches of the R[oya]l personages, were such as I expected. Why her M[ajest]y should be confused I cannot imagine, but there seems to be some meaning, in what she said, though by the Way, you seem in your answer to have hit exactly the Court Style; a Compliment, though at the expence of your real opinion. And I own you could not with propriety have given the preference to your own Country upon that Occasion.22 You will I suppose often attend the drawing Room, and although I suppose it will never be agreeable, to you, yet I imagine, it will never give you so much uneasiness again, as it did the first Time.
It was certainly very impolite in the Gentleman, whoever he was, that suffered a Servant to say he was at home: and I think the apology very proper. <I think> That custom of being absent when you please, is the best invention possible, both to avoid importunate visits, and to dispatch those that are necessary; and I think it a pity the King, cannot have the priviledge, of being out too.
They have been very civil with Respect to your furniture; but you have not said any thing about the Wine, which you mentioned in { 325 } your last: I want to know, how that matter ended. Your next I suppose will be from Grosvenor Square, and I hope you will be then finally settled. I shall expect quite a minute detail of matters, and conceive great hopes for the future from your former punctuality. Charles Storer is shortly expected, and I shall doubtless have a fine packet by him. Aunt Cranch had from Mamma a particular account of your presentation; so that we do not want for information on that Subject.
We intended when we left Braintree, to lodge at Lincoln, last Night, and come here to day. But as We did not come further than Cambridge, yesterday, we determined, to wait till we return'd before we went to Lincoln. We came by the shortest Road; dined at Andover at Mr. French's. He was not at home.23 We got here some time before Sunset; and found all our Friends well. Tommy was at his Studies, when we got here. So my Uncle took me, to the Chamber, where he was, and said, Here's somebody wants to see you; we stood two or three minutes without saying a word, either of us. At last Mr. Shaw ask'd Tommy, don't you know this person. I believe I do says Tom, I guess tis brother John: so you see I could not remain long incog. Mr. Thaxter of Course knew me; You know it is said he is courting. Fame seems now pretty obstinate, and rather increases than otherwise. He is there every day, and was proceeding that way, when we met him in the Street. A propos, since I am talking of courting; you know Cousin B.K. is or is not going to be married near here; the problem is as great as ever.24—Miss Hazen is still here. Her person answers all the expectations, which had been raised by the descriptions of yourself, and my friend at Lisbon.25 I will wait till I be more acquainted with her, before I give you my opinion of her Character. Yours as ever
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on small pages numbered “57” to “72,” and also “1” to “16”; see JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. Samuel Allyne Otis; “Harry,” mentioned below, is his son Harrison Gray Otis (see Mary Cranch to AA, 14 Aug., and notes 17 and 18, above; and JQA, Diary, 1:315).
2. Samuel Breck Sr. was a Boston merchant and maritime agent for Louis XVI; JQA had delivered a letter to Breck from Lafayette on the 26th (JQA, Diary, 1:312–313, and note 5). The Austins at dinner were probably Jonathan Loring, whom JQA had met in Europe, and Benjamin; the two were merchants, and usually business partners (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:299, and note 2; 4:49; JQA, Diary, 1:36, note 1; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:306). The two Frenchmen were probably a Mr. Issotier and a Mr. Serano (or Serane) (JQA, Diary, 1:316, 318).
3. William Cushing had served as chief justice of the Superior Court of Judicature from 1777, and in the same post when the court was renamed the Supreme Judicial Court under the Constitution of 1780 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:30). JQA had heard Lord Thurlow, and presumably Mansfield and { 326 } Loughborough, in June 1784 (JQA to JA, 15 June 1784, above). William Murray, first earl of Mansfield, was lord chief justice of England from 1756 to 1788; Alexander Wedderburn, first baron Loughborough, was chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, 1780–1793 (DNB). Francis Dana was appointed a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in Feb. 1785 by Gov. Hancock, and began serving, riding the western circuit, in April (Dana to JA, 30 Jan., p.s. 19 Feb.; and 10 April, both Adams Papers).
4. The Charles River Bridge, the first bridge to connect Boston and Charlestown, opened with great festivities on 17 June 1786, the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill (see JQA, Diary, 2:50–51).
5. CA's class was by far the largest of the decade, with 53 students, at its formation in 1785. By commencement in 1789, however, it was little larger than the classes that graduated in 1784 and 1786, and somewhat smaller than the class of 1787, of which JQA would become a member. Harvard University Faculty Records, vols. 5 and 6 (microfilm); Harvard Quinquenial Cat., p. 195–204.
6. JA to Joseph Willard, 22 April (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 13:115–116 [Feb. 1910]).
7. See AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., note 26, above.
8. This, the earliest known letter from William Vans Murray to JQA, dated 23 July 1784 (Adams Papers), announced to JQA that “Your dear mother and lovely sister are arrived” in London.
9. See AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., note 25, above.
10. The London Daily Universal Register reported on 9 June, “It is said, the Earl of Effingham is to go to America, in capacity of Ambassador.” The countess of Effingham visited the Adamses sometime before 22 June (AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, and note 4, above).
11. Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple would marry Thomas Lindall Winthrop in July 1786 (Temple Prime, Some Account of the Temple Family, N.Y., 1896, p. 52).
12. The character whom AA2 intended in her lost N. 3 cannot be identified, but in this paragraph JQA appears to be defending the character of James Jarvis, a New York merchant whom the Adamses had met in Auteuil in April. JQA notes Jarvis' presence at Auteuil on 12 May, the day JQA departed for America, and records the hospitable reception he received from Jarvis' father-in-law, Samuel Broome, and Jarvis' siblings and in-laws, to whom he had carried letters from Jarvis. See JQA, Diary, 1:254, 266, 294, 296, 306–307.
13. That is, since beginning the entry for this day, at “Boston August 31. Wednesday,” above.
14. Probably Joshua Green Sr., his wife Hannah Storer Green, a close friend of AA, and perhaps their son, Joshua Greene Jr. (same, 1:22).
15. Charlotte, daughter of Nathaniel Appleton and Rachael Henderson Appleton, and sister of JQA's European acquaintance, John Appleton, was just turning nineteen; despite her apparent illness, she lived until 1798. Elizabeth was seventeen. W. S. Appleton, A Genealogy of the Appleton Family, Boston, 1874, p. 14.
16. This was the fortnightly ball of William Turner's dancing class (see JQA, Diary, 1:317, and note 1).
17. Chaumont was departing for Albany (same, 1:318).
18. JQA may be implying that Cotton Tufts Jr. had little family feeling, and that AA2 knew of this feature of young Tufts' personality. JQA would sharply criticize Tufts on the occasion of his mother's death in October (same, 1:352).
19. AA2's letter N. 4, to which JQA begins to reply in the next paragraph, has not been found, but it must have been dated near those to JQA from AA, and from JA, both 26 June, both above (see same, 1:319–320).
20. AA2 had seen both Sheridan's School for Scandal, and James Thomson's Tancred and Sigismunda in London in June (AA2 to Lucy Tufts, 23 June, above), and had evidently discussed the second play in her lost letter N. 4 to JQA. Thomson's Tancred was based on a tale in Alain René Le Sage's Histoire de Gil Blas.JA gave JQA a four-volume edition of the later work in 1780; it is now in MQA.
21. From Lord Lyttleton's prologue to Thomson's posthumously produced Coriolanus.
22. The only known accounts of the 23 June interchange between Queen Charlotte and her daughters Charlotte and Augusta, on the one side, and AA and AA2 on the other, appear in AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, and in abbreviated form in AA to JQA, 26 June, both above. AA's remarks there do not make clear what AA2 said.
23. Rev. Jonathan French of the South Church in Andover was a native of Braintree whom JA had known since the 1770s or earlier; his wife, Abigail Richards, was a native of { 327 } Weymouth (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:514–520; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:45).
24. JQA probably intends Elizabeth (Betsy) Kent, daughter of AA's aunt, Anna Smith Kent, who would marry Rev. Jonathan Allen of Bradford, Mass, in December (see Mary Cranch to AA, 10 Dec., and JQA to AA, 28 Dec., both below).
25. Winslow Warren; see AA2 to JQA, 4 July, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0100

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-31

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I hope Mr. Storer, when he delivers this Letter, will find you a Student in the University, or upon the Point of becoming So.
We have as yet no News of your Arrival in America, but We hope to learn it by the first ship.
We are comfortably Situated here, and have all enjoyed very good Health hitherto in England. But Home is Home. You are Surrounded by People who neither hate you nor fear you.
I have no other Idea of an happy Life: Than Health and Competence, with a clear Conscience and among People who esteem and love you. All these you may and will have, I hope. The Conscience Health and Competence I may have here. I may even be esteemed: but never can be beloved, as you may easily suppose.
Write me as often as you can: let me know how you like your Situation: and if you want any Books from hence. Charles I take it for granted is at Colledge, and Thomas is I hope well.
I wish he was with me, but this cannot be. I dont know how to do, without one of my sons at least with me. But am obliged to deny myself this Pleasure.
My Respects wherever they are due. Your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0101

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1785-09-02

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

No 8

[salute] My dear Betsy

At the Bath hotel I received my dear Neices Letter of April.1 I have told your Sister and other Friends why I did not write then, but I { 328 } should have no excuse to give if I omitted so good an opportunity as now offers by Mr. Storer.
This day two months ago we removed here, where I should be much delighted if I could have my Sisters my Cousins and connections round me, but for want of them every Country I reside in, lacks a principal ingredient in the composition of my happiness.
London in the Summer season is a mere desert, no body of concequence resides in it, unless necessitated too, by their Buisness. I think the Gentry qui[te right?]2 in every view to retire to their Country seats, residing upon them is generally a great benefit to the propriater. Many noble Men expend vast sums anually in improveing and Beautifying their estates. I am told that one must visit some of these Manors and Lordships to form a just estimate of British Grandeur and Magnificence.
All the Villages which I have seen round London are mere Gardens, and shew what may be effected by Culture, but we must not expect for many Years to see America thus improved. Our numbers are few in comparison with our acres, and property is more equally distributed which is one great reason of our happiness; Industery there, is sure to meet with its recompence and to preserve the Labourer from famine from Nakedness and from want. The Liberal reward which Labour meets with in America is an other Source of our National prosperity, population and increasing wealth result from it. The condition of our Labouring poor is preferable to that of any other Country, comparatively speaking. We have no poor except those who are publickly supported. America is in her early vigor, in that progressive state, which in reality is the Cheerful and flourishing state to all the different orders of Society. It is so to the humane constitution, for when once it has reachd the meridian it declines towards the Setting Sun. But America has much to do e'er she arrives at her Zenith. She possesses every requisite to render her the happiest Country upon the Globe. She has the knowledge and experience of past ages before her. She was not planted like most other Countries with a Lawless Banditti, or an Ignorant savage Race who cannot even trace their origon, but by an enlightned a Religious and polished people. The Numerous improvement which they have made during a Century and half, in what was then but a howling Wilderness, proves their state of civilisation. Let me recommend to you my dear Girl to make yourself perfect mistress of the History of your own Country if you are not so allready; no one can be sufficiently thankfull for the Blessings they enjoy, unless they know the value of them.
{ 329 }
Were you to be a witness to the Spectacles of wretchedness and misiry which these old Countries exhibit, crouded with inhabitants; loaded with taxes, you would shuder at the sight. I never set my foot out, without encountering many objects whose tatterd party coulourd garments, hide not half their Nakedness, and speak as Otway expresses it “Variety of Wretchedness,”3 coverd with disease and starving with hunger; they beg with horrour in their countanances; besides these, what can be said of the wretched victims who are weekly Sacrificed upon the Gallows, in numbers Sufficient to astonish a civilized people? I have been credibly informd that hundreds of Children from 4 years and upwards, sleep under the trees fences and Bushes of Hide Park nightly, having no where else to lay their heads, and subsist by day; upon the Charity of the passenger. Yet has this Country as many publick institutions for charitable support of the infirm, as any country can Boast. But there must be some essential defect in the Government and Morals of a people when punishments lose their efficacy and crimes abound.
But I shall make you sick with my picture of wretchedness. Let it excite us to thankfulness my Dear Girl that our lives have fallen to us in a happier Land, a Land of Liberty and virtue, comparatively speaking. And let every one so far as there Sphere of action extends, and none so contracted as to be without Some influence, Let every one consider it as a duty which they owe to themselves to their Country and to posterity to practise virtue, to cultivate knowledge and to Revere the deity as the only means, by which not only individuals, but a people or a Nation can be prosperous and happy. You will think I have turnd preacher. I know I am not writing to a thoughtless, but to a reflecting Solid young Lady, and that shall be my excuse.
How have you advanced in your musick. The practise of Musick to those who have a taste and ear for it, must be one of the most agreeable of Amusements. It tends to soften and harmonize the passions, to elevate the mind, to raise it from earth to Heaven. The most powerfull effects of Musick which I ever experienced, was at Westminister Abbey. The place itself is well calculated to excite solemnity, not only from its ancient and venerable appearence, but from the dignified Dust, Marble and Monuments it contains. Last year it was fitted up with seats and an organ loft sufficienly large to contain six hundred Musicians, which were collected from this and other Countries. This Year the Musick was repeated. It is call'd the celebration of Handles Musick. The sums collected are deposited, { 330 } and the income is appropriated to the support of decayed Musicians. There were 5 days set apart for the different performances. I was at the peice call'd the Messiah,4 and tho a Guinea a ticket, I am sure I never spent one with more satisfaction. It is impossible to describe to you the Solemnity and dignity of the Scene. When it came to that part, the Hallelujah, the whole assembly rose and all the Musicians, every person uncoverd. Only conceive six hundred voices and instruments perfectly chording in one word and one sound! I could scarcly believe myself an inhabitant of Earth. I was one continued shudder from the begining to the end of the performance. Nine thousand pounds was collected, by which you may judge of the rage which prevaild for the entertainment.
How do all my good Friends and old Neighbours. Let me hear as often as possible from you. Never conceive that your Letters are trifling, nothing which relates to those I Love appears so to me. This Letter is to go by Mr. Storer, as I told you in the begining; a smart youth for some of you; and what is better a virtuous and good Young Man. We are sorry to part with him, for he is quite Domesticated with us, but we hope he will be benifited by the exchange. It is time for him to be some way fixed in a profession for Life. He thinks of Divinity, and now I am talking of Divinity I will inquire after my Friend Mr. Wibird and chide you all for never mentioning him—for I have seen him twenty times Since my absence come up your yard, and enter the house, and inquire (after having thrown aside his cloak) “Well, have you heard from your Aunt? What does She say, and how do they all?”
I hope you have seen your cousin before this time and in your next you must tell me how you like him. You must cure him of some foibles which he has. He will take it kindly of you, for he is a good youth only a little too possitive. My paper only allows me to say that I am Yours
[signed] AA
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); docketed: “Letter from Mrs A Adams to Miss Eliz. Cranch London Septr. 2d. 1785. (No. 8).”
1. Of 25 April, above. AA probably received this letter about 21–22 June, when she and AA2 received several letters from Boston (AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June; AA2 to Mary Cranch, 22 June, both above).
2. Text partly lost in a worn fold.
3. Closing quotation mark supplied. The phrase has not been located in the works of Thomas Otway, a Restoration poet and dramatist (DNB).
4. AA attended this performance on 8 June; see AA to Thomas Jefferson, 6 June, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0102

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Lucy Quincy
Date: 1785-09-03

Abigail Adams to Lucy Quincy Tufts

[salute] My Dear Aunt1

And why my dear Madam have you not written a few lines, and tuckt into a corner of my good uncles Letters when he has favourd me with one? Perhaps you think I ought first to have adrest you. I knew I was writing to both, whenever I scribled to my honourd Friend, and that my sisters and Neices would communicate to you their Letters whenever there was any thing worthy your notice.
I know Madam that you Live a Life so retired and are now so frequently seperated from your worthy companion that I flatter myself a few lines from me will not be unacceptable to you: tho I were to amuse you with what is the Ton of London, The learned pig, dancing dogs, and the little Hare that Beats the Drum.2 It is incredible what sums of Money are nightly lavishd upon these kinds of Amusements, many of them fit only to please children. The Tumbling and rope Dancing is worth seeing once or twice, because it gives you an Idea of what skill agility and dexterity the Humane frame is capable of, and of which no person can form an Idea without having seen it. The House where these wonderfull feats are exhibited is calld Sadlers Wells and is accomodated with Boxes and a Stage in the manner of a play House. Upon the Stage two machines are fixed upon which a rope is extended about 15 foot from the floor. Upon this the Dancers mount drest very neat with a Jocky and feathers and a silk Jacket and Breaches, the Jacket very tight to the waist and a sash tied round the Jacket. He bows to the company; upon which a person who stands near him gives him a long pole made thick at each end. With this pole which serves to Balance him, he commences his dance to the Musick which he keeps time with. He will run backwards and forwards poise himself upon one foot, kneel jump across the rope, spring upon it again, and finally throws down the pole and jumps 6 foot into the air repeatedly, every time returning upon the rope with the same steadiness as if it was the floor, and with so much ease, that the spectator is ready to believe he can perform, the same himself. There is one man who is stilled the little devil, who dances with wooden shoes, and I have seen him stand upon his head with his feet perpendicular in the air. All this is wonderfull for a Man, but what will you say, when I assure you I have seen a most Beautifull Girl perform the same feats! Both in Paris and England. Why say you { 332 } what could she do with her peticoats? It is true that she had a short silk skirt, but she was well clad under that, with draws, and so are all the female Dancers upon the stage, and there is even a law in France that no woman Shall dance upon the stage without them; But I can never look upon a woman in such situations, without conceiving all that adorns and Beautifies the female Character, delicacy modesty and diffidence, as wholy laid asside, and nothing of the woman but the Sex left.
In Europe all the lower class of women perform the most servile Labour, and work as hard with out door as the Men. In France you see them making hay, reaping sowing plowing and driveing their carts alone. It would astonish you to see how Labourious they are, and that all their gain is coars Bread and a little ordinary wine, not half so good as our cider. The Land is all owned by Marquisses Counts and Dukes, for whom these poor wretches toil and sweat. Their houses through all the villages of France consist of thatched roof Huts, without one single pane of glass. When they have any buisness which requires light, they set out of Door, and this they usually do through the whole season, for Heaven has blesst them with an admirable Climate, and a soil productive of every necessary and delicacy that Luxery can pant for. But there Religion and Government Mar all heavens Bounty. In Spain I have been told that it is much worse.3 I believe in England the common people live more comfortably, but there is wretchedness and oppression enough here, to make a wise Man mad.
If I was not attached to America by a Naturel regard, as my native Country, when I compare the condition of its inhabitants, with that of the Europeans, I am bound to it by every feeling of phylanthropy, and pray that the Blessings of civil and Religious Liberty, knowledge and virtue may increase and shine upon us, in proportion as they are clouded and obstructed in the rest of the Globe, and that we may possess wisdom enough to estimate aright our peculiar felicity.
I will not close untill I have inquired after your Health and that of your Son and Neice4 to whom present my Love. Mr. Adams and your Neice also tender you their regards. As I esteem a good domestick I would not forget them in the number of your family, or any of my Towns f[ol]ks who may think it worth while to inqure after Your affectionate Friend and Neice
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “Mrs. Lucy Tufts Weymouth”; docketed in an unknown hand: “1785 AA.” Slight damage to the text at the seal.
{ 333 }
1. This is the only extant letter from AA to Lucy Quincy Tufts; it probably went to America with Charles Storer (see AA to Cotton Tufts, 16 Sept., descriptive note, below), and therefore did not reach her before her death on 30 October.
2. See AA2 to JQA, 4 July, and note 39, above.
3. Sources for this view of Spain may have been JA and JQA. Their journey through northern Spain, Dec. 1779 – Jan. 1780, is fully recounted in vol. 3:243–272; and in JA, Diary and Autobiography, vols. 2 and 4; JQA, Diary, vol. 1; and JA, Papers, vol. 8.
4. Probably Lucy Tufts Hall; see Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, and note 15, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0103

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-04

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I was honoured with your letter of Aug. 21. by Mr. Smith who arrived here on the 29th. I am sorry you did not repeat the commission you had favoured me with by Mr. Short as the present would have been an excellent opportunity of sending the articles you wished for. As Mr. Short's return may yet be delayed, will you be so good as to write me by post what articles you desired, lest I should not otherwise know in time to send them by either of the Mr. Smiths.1 The French packet brought me letters from Mr. Jay and Dr. Ramsay only. They were dated July 13.2 They do not mention the arrival of your son. Dr. Ramsay's letter was on a particular subject, and Mr. Jay's letter was official. He may have arrived therefore tho these letters do not mention it. However as he did not sail till June, and Westernly winds prevail in the summer I think the 13th. of July was too early to expect him to have arrived. I will certainly transmit you information of his arrival the moment I know it.
We have little new and interesting here. The Queen has determined to wear none but French gauzes hereafter. How many English looms will this put down? You will have seen the affair of the Cardinal de Rohan so well detailed in the Leyden gazette that I need add nothing on that head.3 The Cardinal is still in the Bastille. It is certain that the Queen has been compromitted without the smallest authority from her: and the probability is that the Cardinal has been duped into it by his mistress Madme. de la Motte. There results from this two consequences not to his honour, that he is a debauchee, and a booby. The Abbés4 are well. They have been kept in town this summer by the affairs of the Abbé Mably. I have at length procured a house in a situation much more pleasing to me than my present. It is at the grille des Champs Elysees, but within the city. It suits me in every circumstance but the price, being dearer than the one I am now in.5 It has a clever garden to it.
{ 334 }
I will pray you to present my best respects to Miss Adams and to be assured of the respect and esteem with which I have the honour to be Dear Madam Your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by AA2: “Mr Jefferson Sep 4th.”
1. That is, James Smith, who carried AA's 21 Aug. letter to Jefferson (above), and Col. William Stephens Smith.
2. These letters appear in Jefferson, Papers, 8:292–294.
3. For a highly-detailed account of the scandalous Diamond Necklace Affair involving Louis René Edouard, Prince and Cardinal de Rohan, his mistress, Madame de La Motte-Valois, and Queen Marie Antoinette, see Simon Schama, Citizens, A Chronicle of the French Revolution, N.Y., 1989, p. 203–210.
4. The abbés Arnoux and Chalut.
5. On 17 Oct., Jefferson would move from his house on the Cul-de-sac Taitbout (now the Rue du Helder), just off the present Boulevard Haussmann, which he had leased in Oct. 1784, to the second floor of the Hôtel de Langeac, at the corner of the Rue Neuve de Berry (now the Rue de Berri) and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, abutting the elaborate city gate, called the Grille de Chaillot, that stretched across the avenue. This passage is evidently the first surviving record of Jefferson's intention to move. The lease was drawn on 5 Sept., and signed on the 8th; his yearly rent increased from 6,000 livres, at his former address, to 7,500. See Jefferson, Papers, 7:xxviii, 442–443, illustration facing 452; 8:xxviii–xxix, illustration facing 247, 485–492.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0104

Author: Barclay, Mary
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-05

Mary Barclay to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

I did not know till this moment that Coln. Franks would set out this evening, who has just Call'd on me for my Commands. I dare not detain him long, and cannot let him depart without a few lines to assure you of my attachment and best wishes.
I am glad to find you are agreeably fixed1 and that you enjoy a good society which is certainly much superior to all the fashionable amusments of, this, or any other place, tho' you are so happy in your own family that you must feel the want of it much less than any one I know.
When Dr. Bancroft left this I thought of settling at L'Orient during Mr. Barclay's absence2 but on maturer reflection it is not a place proper for the Education of our Children, therefore have determined to remain some where in or near Paris where those advantages may be procured that I would wish to have for them. Catharine stay'd with me till the 10 of August, and as I then expected to leave Paris in a few days she engaged with the Family which came into the house at Mont Parnasse which we were obliged to quit at that time, and removed to Hotel D'Aligre rue d'Orleans St. Honoré.
Pauline I believe to have too good Principles as well as too great a love for this life, to put an end to it in the maner you mention.3 She { 335 } was happily placed about three weeks after you left this with a Lady who gives her three hundred livres a year besides Profites which are considerable, yet she seems to regret much your service.
I pray you remember me respectfully to Mr. and Miss Adams & believe me with the greatest sincerity your Friend & humble Servant
[signed] Mary Barclay
1. Mary Barclay refers, here and below, to a missing letter from AA, presumably written in July or August.
2. On or just before 4 Sept., with JA's prior agreement, Jefferson instructed Thomas Barclay to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Barbary States. Barclay intended to depart soon thereafter for Morocco but was delayed until Jan. 1786 by the need to settle Caron de Beaumarchais' accounts. See Jefferson, Papers, 8:394, 424, 473; 9:91, 214.
3. Pauline had served the Adamses at Auteuil.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0105

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-05

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

My Papa came in this evening and brought a great Letter directed to Mama, superscrib'd by my Uncle Adams.1 Mama is at Braintree, we had no Letters to satisfy us. The Pacquet was laid upon the table. I took it up, examined the seal, and wanted much to get at the contents, then took the stocking, (which I was lining the Heel of for your Charles), and work'd upon it a little, all the time immagination busy in anticipating what might be in the Letter before me. My impatience shewd itself and was a kind of apology for Papa's curiosoty, who after a serious Pipe, sedately laid it down, took out his spectacles, wip'd them, and I very dextrously cut round the Seal, and gave it to Him to read. Imediatly, from the humble scenes around me; my immagination was borne away to the circles of Kings, Queens Earls and Countesses, to brilliant rooms, to birth nights, and to Balls. My head is even now full of them, and I certainly shall dream, and feel as great as any lady to night. I have to thank you for a great degree of entertainment which your account has afforded me. I was in Love with your dresses. I would have given (I dont know what) to have peepd in upon you, but tis almost as good to heare your discriptions.
The week before last we had the pleasure of recieving and welcoming our dear Cousin John to his native Land. I do not wonder that you regret the loss of him. I am sure I shall Love him tenderly. I am pleased when I look at him, to trace the features of both his parents so plainly in his face and more of yours my dear Aunt than either of your other Children can show. I have not yet seen him half eno'; he { 336 } has been engagd, visiting, the Boston gentry, for a whole week, tho he has calld upon me a little while every day. The day he arrivd (or rather the day after)2 which was the first of my seeing him, he dined with my Papa and me at our present Lodgings. Lucy had come to town with a design of going up to Cambridge to see our Brothers there, and drink tea with them. So we took our Cousin John, and Isaac Smith with us and went. The meeting was joyful indeed between the Brothers and Cousins. We intended to have surprizd Charles with an unexpected interview. We arrivd first, and kept him up in Billys Chamber, but [he] would go below, and was looking out, when he saw Cousin John alight at a distance he call'd John! John!, and made the Colledges echo. Cousin J heard, but did not know from whom or from whence, for he did not expect to hear the voice of a man when his Brother spoke. But he repeated his calls, till he drew his attention, and before we thought of it Mr. Charles, came and introduced his Brother to us, and we did have a sweet, charming time of it. I am sure my good Aunt could you have lookd in upon us, sitting around our tea table, looking so much chearful happiness, you would have felt a glow of pleasure, unequalled perhaps, by any the drawing-room ever afforded you! It was pleasure, even to a degree of pain, for tears, and smils, alternately had there dominion. We wanted our Tommy to compleat our happiness. We left, the Colledge Lads, and returnd to Boston and spent the eve at Uncle Smith. After I got to my own Lodgings, I retired and to compleet the pleasure of the day, read yours and Cousin Nabby's Letters.3 Never will it be in my power my dear dear Aunt to make you any returns for your unequalld attention and kindness to me, so many excellent Letters as you have favourd me with. How shall I express my thanks. I know not how you will be repay'd, but by the reflection of that happiness which you bestow. Tis past midnight. I must not write more at present tho I feel much inclind to.
This morning my Mama came to town with Cousin John. They dined here, and have this afternoon sat out to make a journey to Haverhill. Tis most delightful weather, and I could with pleasure have accompanid them, had it been in my power; Mama has been much out of health this Summer. I am hoping that this ride may be of service to her; especially as she has so agreable a companion. My dear Aunt, we all look with pleasing wonder, upon your Son. When we hear him converse; we think tis the Language of experiencd { 337 } age—so wise, so firm, so solid; tis almost impossible to concieve these to be the qualities of eighteen. Did we not behold sprightliness, ardor, softness, benevolence, and all the youthful Virtues, as conspicuous in his countenance, we should be apt to doubt that there was some mistake in reckoning years. What is there peculiar in the Climate of Europe, that can thus surprizinly mature the mind? I hope he will not find that of America less favourable, to its cultivation.
You say you are to live in Grosvenor Square. Do you not sometimes think, that Lady Grandison Lady G—— and L—— and all the good Folks in the book4 are around you, and your neigbours? The name always brings them to my mind; I should sit my immagination to work to form resemblances of them, and in Idea enjoy the pleasure of seeing them.
One thing I have to request, although I dare say your own curiosity will prompt you to it. It is, that you will visit all those beautiful enchanting, Seats and places that we read about, and are so much charmed with in discription—Lord Coltanes Gardens, Windsor, Bleinham, and Hagley and the Leasomes, above all. O that I could go with you! Methink I should be perfectly happy. My desire to see England is as ardent as ever. I think encreasing. I am a good mind to run aboard a ship, and say nothing about it to any body. Would you recieve such a vargrant? Why Ma'am, it would not be worse, than some better folks than I have done, but it wont do to reason upon the matter. Ships Sail frequently, and here am I at Boston. Tis a good Season. I can stay the winter and spring with you, and return in Summer. The winter I can pass, in the West, with my good Cousins and Uncles, and [in]5 the spring, visit all these fine Seats, and Paridises with you. I dont want to go to Court—and then just take a sail back again. Was there ever a better Scheme? I am sure tis good! But heigh ho!
In The last Letter I wrote you my dear Aunt,6 I believe I mentioned my hopes, that when I got to Boston I should find something, to amuse and entertain you with; but alas I am dissapointed. I see nor hear any thing entertaining. I think my greatest pleasures, amusements and gratifications are all derivd from you and my Cousin. Your Letters, make all, the variety of my Life. A little news I have to tell, but probably it will not be so to you ere this reaches you. Mr. Otis, has shut up!—and this is an event at which we are all grievd and surprizd. Mrs. O possesses a remarkable uniformity of Temper, and is not so much depressd by it as one might expect. Hary looks—very sad. Tomorrow my Aunt the amiable and good Charles Warren, embarks { 338 } for Lisbon! But I am much afraid his passage is for another Port, from which no traveller returns. His health is much worse than when you left us. He looks like death. I saw him pass to day, with his Mama in Mrs. Kiessels Carriage. I believe twas the last look I er'e shall have. Mrs. W[arren]s countenance wore the most expresive anxiety. Poor Lady, my heart aked for her. I think her task must be hard indeed.
This sheet of Paper has lain by so long that I know not what I was going to write on the remainder of it. I have changed my habitations and plans, since I wrote the above. You have heard by former Letters7 that I was going to spend the Summer in Boston, to have a little instruction in musick. Mr. Selbys price was so exceedingly high, that I could not have the advantage, of a great number of Lessons, a dollar a Leson, he chargd. Miss Peggy White has got a new Forte Piano, carried it to Haverhill, and has a Master there who teaches for one Shilling per Lesson. He has instructd a great many Ladies in Portsmouth, and other places. Mama and Cousin John, have been to make a visit to Aunt Shaw. They returnd last week, and Mrs. White and Miss Peggy, have given me a most pressing invitation to spend a month or two with them, and Learn upon her instrument and of her Master. Tis much for my advantage, and Miss White has been so good as to say, it will be a great pleasure to her to have me a fellow Pupil. I believe we shall both learn much better for having, a companion. So instead of tarying 2 months longer in Boston, as I had designd, I quit it, for H, and shall next week go up with Cousin John in the Stage.
I had hoped to have returnd to Braintree, but my interest leads me from it. I shall have the pleasure of more of Cousin Johns company, than at home. This is one strong additional inducement. I have not yet said half a thousandth part of what I thought I had to say to him, tis not yet my turn. I rode up from Boston the day before yesterday with him,8 and I believe tired the poor young Man with my interogataries, but he was patient. He is in fine Spirits. I thought sometimes People would immagine I had a crazy creature with me. He sang some curious songs, in which he thought action necessary, and a Chaise was not a very conveniet Stage, to display His theatrical abilities upon, especially when he was driving. I do not know when I have laugh'd so immoderately.
I believe we felt a little like strangers to him at first, by this time [I] hope he feels and reallizes, that we are most affectionate Friends. { 339 } Since your [abse]nce I have felt an unusual tenderness for <you> my Cousins, who you [lef]t behind, a tenderness, bordering upon (if not really, a weakness) fills my heart, whenever I look upon them, and I feel as if they were more than ever dear to me. One Clause in my Uncles Letter to Papa,9 affected me more than I have been in reading a deep tragedy. I know not why, but I instantly burst into tears, as I read it, nor can I reccollect it without feeling the same emotions. <twas not> “Take care of my Boys in their Orphan state, advise counsel and direct them!” I cannot tell you why, it had this effect, but it touched the tenderest string in my heart. Whenever I can be useful to them either by contributing to their good, pleasure, or happiness, I shall [exert?]10 the extent of my power to do it. My heart cannot know a greater satisfaction! I am much, obligd for the present, recievd by Cousin John. I have no claim, to such kindness, my dear Aunt, but I know that every oppertunity of exerting your benevolence is an encrease of your happiness. Continue Madam, if you can find the time, still to write me as particularly as you have done. By the last Vessel Capt. Solmes11I had not one Letter from you or my Cousin Nabby. Tis the first time, and I must not complain.
Numbers of your Friends and accquaintance in Boston desird me to present their compliments. I cannot name them all. Mr. and Mrs. Foster where I have kept this Summer, present their most respectful compliments, not from personal knowledge, do they presume to offer them, but from a respect they feel for the Characters of my Uncle and Aunt and from an interest they have naturally taken, in your concerns, from hearing and knowing so much of you from us. I must write to Cousin Nabby, and fear I shall have nothing to say, unless I conclude, soon, this long Letter to you.
I am my dear Aunt, with the liveliest sentiments of Love, respect, & gratitude your ever affectionate Neice,
[signed] Eliza: Cranch
If my respected Uncle, thinks, the sincere and hearty good wishes, of, one so little important, worthy his acceptance, please to offer them always to him.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Abigail Adams London”; endorsed: “E Cranch Septr 5 1785”; docketed by AA2: “Elisa Cranch sep 5.” Some loss of text where the seal was cut away.
1. AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
3. The latest letters from AA and AA2 that Elizabeth could have read on the evening of 26 Aug. date from 6, 8, and 12 May, at Auteuil, all above; the Adams' first letters from London did not reach Boston until 5 September.
4. All these are characters in Samuel Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison.
5. Here a caret appears above the line, but no word.
6. Of 25 April, above.
{ 340 }
7. See Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 25 April, above.
8. On 16 September.
9. JA to Richard Cranch, 27 April, above.
10. Written over an illegible deletion.
11. The arrival of the ship Olive Branch, Capt. Somes, from London was reported in the Boston Gazette of 12 September.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0106

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-05

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Your benevolence I know will excuse the particularity of this address, when you confide in the assurance of its proceeding from a sincere heart nourishing the most exalted sentiments of the virtue and sensibility of yours. Accept of my thanks for the reply to my note,1 I feel myself complimented by your confidence and beleive I am not capable of abusing it. I hope for an advocate in you, should Mr. Adams think my absence long. Tell him, that—what will you tell him? Can you say with Stern2 that it is a quiet Journey of the heart in pursuit of those affections, which make us love each other, and the world better than we do <?>, or will you say he is flying from—? Hush, madam, not a lisp—but I will not dictate, say what you please. Whatever you say and whatever you do (confiding in the spring of your actions) I will subscribe to it.
Mr. A, I hope, received my Letters from Harwich and Amsterdam.3 I dare not permit my pen to enter upon my journal, least I should tire you. I'll reserve the tales for winter Evenings, when I dare say I shall at least receive your thanks for sharpening your appetite for your pillow, that you may form an Idea of the channel thro' which they'll run. I shall only hint, that I have visited the Cabinets of the Curious both natural and artificial, Palaces, Libraries, Arsenals, fields of Battle, Monuments on those fields, Cathedrals, and have descended with a taper into the sepulchre's, of monarchs—“I took a turn amongst their tombs—to see where to all Glory comes”—and find Royalty cuts but a poor figure here.4 And from the humble Cottage of the impovrished Peasant where he shared with me his peas and his beans, I have crept silently up to the throne of Majesty. Crept Did I say? No Madam. I walked firmly up to it, marking the stages to the last Step of the ascent, from whence with an Eye of compassion, I reviewd the vale thro' which I had passed and with the aforementioned favourite author I asked heaven only for health and the fair Goddess of Liberty as my Companion and all beyond let wild ambition grapel for, and gain. I shall not envy it. Pretty tolerable rant this, you'll say. Well I'll check a Little.
We have been favoured with seven day's steady rain, but this did { 341 } not stop us. But now I'll tell you what did. In the Centre of a Plain in the dominions of His Prussian Majesty, exactly two Sabbath day's Journey from a house either way, the perch of our carriage broke, exactly one inch and a half from the centre.5 You would have laughed at the solemnity with which we got out of it, and gaped at each other, but the worst is yet to be told. The Postilion could speak nothing but German. Miranda, my Servant and your most humble Servant, colectively, could boast of English, French, Italian, Spanish and of cracking Joak's with monks in Latin, but all this Madam would not do, for the Postilion knew nothing but German, and perhaps this was the case for a Circuit of 10 Miles. Now I know you pity me. I cannot expect you will form any right conjectures how we extricated ourselves from this difficulty, and if I were to Attempt to tell you now, I might spoil a good story by endeavouring to bring it within the compass of this sheet. For the present you must therefore only know we were relieved by two Ladies, who by a Kind Stroke of smiling chance were Journeying the same way. Their conduct on this occasion has heightned (if possible) the favourable opinion I have alway's nourish'd relative to the sex, and convinces me we should cut but a silly figure on this stage without them. Notwithstanding great exertion, it was two in the morning before we got in motion again. It is well that those actions which proceed from generosity and benevolence, carry their reward with them. As soon as I was seated, the carriage moved and the Ladies bid us adieu. I could not help exclaiming—Peace, happiness and pleasantry attend your steps ye tender productions of your makers works. May no rough Line, ever cross your path—nor interrupting Obsticle check your passage down the stream of Life. May benevolence alway's greet you with a welcome, and hospitality extend her Arms to receive you. After this, the obligation Sat easier. It was the only return I could make.
The badness of the roads and the delay occasioned by the fracture—(for the assistance we had recieved only enabled us to move with sobriety to a neighbouring Village) put it out of our power to reach Bresleau within the destined Period.6 And Philosophers may as well hope that the transit of Venus will be postponed untill they are prepared to make their observations, as that Frederic will on account of wind or weather delay an hour in the execution of a Military Order. By the Letter to Mr. Adams which this accompanies you will see he is not a man of words, whatever he may be of deeds.7
I this morning entered the field—as [at?] a Military school. I shall be a constant attendant from 6 to 12 every day untill the business is { 342 } over when I shall haste to pay my respects to you. I hope both as a young Politician and as a Soldier (casting a veil upon every thing else as much as possible) to be richly repaid for this excurtion. May I hope, that a Letter will be deposited, with my Versifying Friend David8 at Paris, acknowledging the receipt of this, and informing me how you all do in Grosvenor Square, by the time I arrive there? Yes I will expect it—and as I find I am drawing insensibly to the last page of the sheet, I shall make this period comprehend my best wishes for the uninterrupted happiness of every branch of your family and expressive of the sincerity with which I shall alway's acknowledge myself—Your most obliged Friend and Humble servt.
[signed] W. S. Smith
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's late, trembling hand: “Col Smith 5. Sep. 1785 Berlin.”
1. AA replied on 13 Aug., above, to Smith's note from Harwich, of the 10th, not found.
2. Laurence Sterne, author of A Sentimental Journey.AA's reply to Smith of 18 Sept., below, makes it clear that Smith is referring to his strong interest in AA2, and his feeling that it was best for him to leave London for a time because AA2 was still involved with Royall Tyler.
3. Smith's letters to JA from Harwich, 10 Aug., and from Amsterdam, ca. 15 Aug., have not been found (for the dates at these locations, see Francisco Miranda's and Col. Smith's diaries, in Archivo del General Miranda, Viajes Diaros 1750–1785, vol. 1, Caracas, 1929, p. 353, 358–361).
4. Smith records his tour of the Potsdam-Berlin area, from 30 Aug. to 5 Sept., in considerable detail in his Diary (same, p. 374–378).
5. This mishap occurred on 26 Aug., near a village which Smith calls “Barnstadt,” between Helmstedt and Magdeburg. Smith describes the day in detail in his Diary, using much the same language to express his gratitude to the women who, with their servants, came to his assistance (same, p. 370–371).
6. Smith never did travel to Breslau, which he had planned to visit from the outset of his journey (see JA to Wilhelm & Jan Willink, and to Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 9 Aug., LbCs, Adams Papers; Smith, Diary, p. 360).
7. In his letter of 5 Sept. to JA (Adams Papers), Smith copied his brief letter of 3 Sept. to Frederick II, requesting permission to view Prussia's military exercises, and Frederick's very brief but polite consent, in French, dated 4 September.
8. David Humphreys, secretary of the American legation in Paris, to whom AA's reply of 18 Sept. to Smith, below, was carried by Col. Franks.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-06

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

No 4.

[salute] My Dear Son

Yesterday being Sunday I went with your papa to the Foundling Church,1 Dr. Price whom we usually attend being absent a few weeks in the Country. When I returnd from Church I went into my closet and took up my pen with an intention of writing to you; but I really felt so trist at not having heard of your arrival that I could not { 343 } compose myself sufficently to write to you, so I scribled to your Brothers.2 By the time I had finishd my Letters, I was call'd to tea. Mr. Brown the painter came in and spent part of the Evening. I read a sermon in Barrow3 upon the Government of the Tongue, and went to Bed with one of my old impressions that Letters were near at Hand. This Morning went below to Breakfast, the Urn was brought up Boiling, the Chocolate ready upon the table, Enter Mr. Spiller the Butler, who by the way is a very spruce Body, and after very respectfully bowing with his Hands full “Mr. Churchs compliments to you Sir, and has brought you this pacquet, but could not wait upon you to day as he was obliged to go out of Town.” Up we all jumpt, your Sister seized hold of a Letter,4 and cry'd my Brother, my Brother. We were not long opening and perusing, and I am so glad, and I am so glad, was repeated from one to an other. Mamma did not fail remarking her old impression. The Chocolate grew cold, the top of the tea pot was forgotton, and the Bread and Butter went down uneaten, yet nobody felt the loss of Breakfast, so near akin is joy and grief that the effect is often similar.
Your Pappa had a prodigious quantity of writing to do before, and his packets from Congress just received has increased it much. I know not what he would have done if Mr. Storer had not lent him a hand, and copied his Letters for him. Yet it is a little hard upon him, as he is very buisy in preparing for his voyage. The Prussian Review which was to commence upon the 20th of last Month, was drawing together all the great Military Characters in Europe. It was like to prove an object of vast importance as it was to consist not only of the best troops, but of the greatest number, and to be reviewd by the most celebrated military Sovereign now living. Col. Smith considerd it as an object which merited his attention, and requested leave of absence for a few weeks. Your Pappa readily granted his request, as at that time there was little prospect of Buisness, but it has so happend that from Holland from France, America and here, there has been much to do, and much yet remains undone. Dispatches must be got ready for Mr. Storer who is to sail in a few days. The Col. has been gone a month, we have received two Letters from him5 and may I think look for his return daily. He does not live with us, he has appartments in Leiscester Fields, he always dines with us. I like him much, but I do not rely wholy upon my own opinion. I will quote your pappas words writing of him to the President of Congress. “Col. Smith has been very active and attentive to Buisness, and is much respected. He has as much honour and spirit as any Man I { 344 } ever knew. His principals are those of his Country, and his abilities are worthy of them. He has not the poetical Genius of Humphries, but he has much superiour talants, and a more independant temper as a politician. In short you could not have given me a Man more to my taste.”6 I may further add that he is sedate, not too much given to amusement, and a mind above every little mean thought or action. He appears formed for a Military Life, and will figure at the Head of an Army should we have occasion for him. I assure you I am not without apprehensions that such an event is not so far distant as I once hoped: the temper and disposition of this People is as hostile towards us, as it was in the midst of the War. Pride envy and Revenge rankles in their Hearts and they study every method in their power to injure us, in the Eyes of all Europe by representing us as Lawless, divided amongst ourselves, as Bankrupts. Every hireling Scribler is set to work to vilify us in the most reproachfull terms, and they refuse to publish any thing of a contrary tenor unless you will bribe them to. Much of this bilingsgate is circulated in order to prevent Emigrations from Ireland. If your Pappa had attended to the Letters he has received, and would have given any encouragement, he might have settled whole States, but he has always refused to do any thing upon the Subject. There is scarcly a day passes without applications.7
Our Countrymen have most essentially injured themselves by running here in Shoals after the Peace, and obtaining a credit which they cannot Support. They have so shackld and hamperd themselves that they cannot now extricate themselves; merchants who have given credit, are now Suffering, and that naturally creates ill will, and hard words. His Majesty and the Ministry shew every personal respect and civility which we have any right to expect. “The Marquiss de la Fayette, writes that he had always heard his Majesty was a great dissembler but he never was so throughly convinced of it, as by the reception given to the American Minister.”8 I wish there conduct with regard to our Country was of a Peice with that which they have shewn to its representitive. The Marquis of Carmathan and Mr. Pitt, appear to possess the most liberal Ideas with respect to us, of any part of the Ministry. With regard to the Negroes they are full and clear that they ought to be payd for,9 but as to the posts; they say, the relinquishment of them, must depend upon certain other matters, which you know they were not at liberty to explain in private conversation. But it is no doubt they mean to keep them, as a security for the payment of the Debts, and as a rod over our Heads. They think we are as little able to go to war, as they are. The Bugget has not yet { 345 } been offically opend. A Generous Treaty has been tenderd them, upon which they are now pondering and brewing. The fate of the Irish propositions has thrown weight into the American Scale, but there are so many Bones of contention between us, that snarling spirits will foment into rage, and cool ones kindle by repeated Irritation. It is astonishing that this Nation Catch at every straw which swims, and delude themselves with the Buble that we are weary of our independance, and wish to return under their Government again.10 They are more actuated by these Ideas in their whole System towards us, than any generous plans which would become them as able statesmen and a Great Nation. They think to Effect their plans by prohibitary acts and heavy duties. A late act has past prohibiting the exportation of any tools of any kind.11 They say they can injure us; much more than we can them, and they seem determined to try the experiment. Those who look beyond the present moment foresee the concequences, that this Nation will never leave us untill they drive us into Power, and Greatness that will finally shake this kingdom. We must struggle hard first, and find many difficulties to encounter, but we may be a Great and a powerfull Nation if we will; industery and frugality, wisdom, and virtue must make us so. I think America is taking Steps towards a reform, and I know her Capable of whatever she undertakes. I hope you will never lose sight of her interests, but make her welfare your study, and spend those hours which others devote to Cards and folly in investigating the Great principals by which nations have risen to Glory and eminence, for your Country will one day call for your services, either in the Cabinet or Feild. Qualify yourself to do honour to her.
You will probably hear before this reaches you of the extrodanary affair respecting the Cardinal Rohan. It is said that his confinement is in concequence of his making use of the Queens name to get a diamond Neclace of immence value into his Hands. Others say it is in concequence of some reflections cast upon the Character of the Queen. Others suppose that the real fact is not known. I send you one Newspaper account of the matter,12 and have not room to add more than that I am your affectionate
[signed] A A
Please to remember I have not a single Line from you.13
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed on the last page: “Mamma London Septr. 6: 1785,” “My Mother. 6. Septr. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Septr. 6: 1785.”
1. Sunday fell on 4 Sept.; AA probably began this letter on 5 September. London's Foundling Hospital was on Guildford Street; its chapel, erected in 1747, was the site of several performances of Handel's Messiah, initially led by the composer, and it remained { 346 } famous for its choir, drawn from the hospital's children. After 1760 the hospital did not house foundlings, but illegitimate children whose mothers were known. See Wheatley, London Past and Present.
2. No letters from AA to CA or TBA for this period have been found.
3. The eminent seventeenth-century mathematician and divine, Isaac Barrow, was master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a teacher of Isaac Newton; his sermons were widely popular in the eighteenth century. JA's library contains several volumes of his mathematical and theological works (DNB; Catalogue of JA's Library).
4. JQA to AA2, 17 July, above.
5. See William Stephens Smith to AA, 5 Sept., note 3, above.
6. To Richard Henry Lee, 26 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers). AA quotes JA accurately, but omits JA's third sentence, following “. . . any man I ever knew.” That sentence reads: “I suspect, however, that a dull diplomatic life, especially in a department so subordinate, will not long fulfill all the wishes of his generous heart.” In explaining his granting of Col. Smith's request for leave to review the Prussian army's maneuvers, JA adds to the information supplied by AA that Smith “had been attacked with a slight fever, which I know by horrid experience to be a dangerous thing in these great Cities in Summer.”
7. See John Woddrop (of Glasgow) to JA, 22 July and 15 Aug., both Adams Papers; and William Wenman Seward (an Irishman living in London) to JA, 1 Sept., Adams Papers, JA to Seward, 2 Sept., LbC, Adams Papers, and Seward to JA, 4 Sept., with enclosure, Adams Papers. This long paragraph is omitted in AA, Letters, ed. CFA.
8. AA is paraphrasing from Lafayette to JA, 13 July (Adams Papers; printed in Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:333–335). JA's account of his audience with George III in his letter of 3 June to Lafayette (LbC, Adams Papers) is too spare to have elicited this reply, but Lafayette may have heard a fuller account from Jefferson, with whom he dined in Paris on 4 July.
9. AA refers to slaves taken by the British army from American plantations during the war; art. 7 of the Peace Treaty provided that “his Britannic Majesty shall . . . without causing any Destruction, or carrying away any Negroes or other Property of the American Inhabitants, withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons & Fleets from the said United States.” Below, AA refers to Great Britain's refusal to surrender several forts on the Great Lakes to the United States, as provided in art. 2 of the Treaty, until Congress and the several states effectively pressured American debtors to pay their English creditors, as provided in arts. 4 and 5 of the Treaty (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:155, 154).
10. An example of this delusion appeared in the London Packet or New Lloyd's Evening Post of 26–29 Aug.: “Loaded with taxes, oppressed by poverty, and groaning under the yoke of a junto of arbitrary despots . . . [Americans] now look back with regret to those happy times, when, under the wings of Great Britain, they enjoyed peace, plenty, and real freedom.”
11. 25 Geo. 3. c. 67. See JA to John Jay, 28 Aug. 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers; PCC, No. 84, V, f. 621–624, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:462-463), which summarizes the act in considerable detail.
12. Not found.
13. This sentence appears in the left margin of the first page, but was probably written as a postcript. There is no mark in the text of the first page to indicate its insertion. JQA's brief letter to AA of 17 July, above, went from New York by the French packet, and arrived much later than JQA's letter of 17 July to AA2, and of 3 Aug. to JA, both above. This sentence is omitted in AA, Letters, ed. CFA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0108

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-09-06

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

I cannot omit by this opportunity acquainting you that on sunday the August packet arrived in which came Mr. Church and brought us Letters from our Son1 to our no Small joy. He arrived the 17 of july after a very tedious passage. He was however in good Health and { 347 } spirits. Mr. Adams has at Length received Some Letters from the President from Mr. Jay and a private Letter from Mr. Gerry, together with some Newspapers and journals of Congress.2 The papers contain nothing very material. Mr. Osgood Mr. Walter Levingston and Mr. Arthur Lee are the commissioners of the Treasury.3 Mr. Lee was chosen a few days before the Sailing of the packet and was just gone from New York. It is said that the commissioners will have a difficult task to bring order out of the confusion in which the late financierer4 left the office. Mr. Rutledge had not accepted his appointment when the gentlemen wrote. Mr. Jay writes that about the 29 of May Lambe sent for the papers from Congress that they were sent, and that he saild soon after.
They are very anxious in America with respect to the Posts especially since a reinforcement of troops have been sent out. The Merchants say that the trade is worth Annually 50,000 pounds sterling.5
From the present movements here, there is no great prospect of obtaining them by fair means. The prospect here, is not the pleasentest in the World. But I must recollect this is to go by the post. Mr. A. is very buisy writing to New York as Mr. Storer is going out in a few days. He desires me to inform you that he would take any dispatches you may have, provided you could trust them here. Mr. Storer was formerly private Secretary to Mr. Adams. I will tuck this in one corner of Mr. A.s Letter.6 Yours, &c.
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).
1. JQA to AA2, 17 July; JQA to JA, 3 Aug., both above.
2. Richard Henry Lee to JA, 1 Aug., printed in The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, ed. James C. Ballagh, N.Y., 1914, 2 vols., 2:378-381; John Jay to JA, 3 Aug., printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:418; and Elbridge Gerry to JA, 3 August. All are in Adams Papers.
3. The Board of Treasury (Samuel Osgood and Walter Livingston) wrote to JA on 1 Aug.; Arthur Lee had written on 27 July (both Adams Papers).
4. Robert Morris.
5. That is, American merchants placed this value on the fur trade that centered on the Northwest forts at Detroit, Michilimackinac, Niagara, and Oswego, which the British army still occupied, contrary to the Peace Treaty, to pressure Americans to pay their debts to British creditors. See AA to JQA, 6 Sept., and note 9, above.
6. Presumably JA to Jefferson, 4 Sept., Jefferson, Papers, 8:476-477.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0109

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-07

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

The long looked for, the modest, the manly, the well accomplished Youth, is come at last. And had he needed any thing to have made { 348 } him doubly welcome to our House, but his own agreeable Behaviour, the evident Credentials he bears in his Eyes, about his Mouth, and in the Shape of his Face of being the Son of my excellent, and much loved Brother and Sister, would alone have gained him a most hearty Reception.
I must beg your pardon Mr. Adams, for looking at you so much.
Indeed my Aunt said he, I must ask the same Favour for myself.
Never was a youth that bore a greater resemblance to both Parents.
“The Father's lustre and the Mothers bloom.” His looks, and some particular Actions, strongly recall to my mind the happy Days I spent with you, when you first kept House.1 Before my Brother had assumed the Austerity, and dignity of the Statesman, and the Republican.
I hope my Cousin Charles has informed you himself of his favourable, and gracious acceptance at the University. He promised me he would write to you the first Opportunity. As he was now conscious he should obtain his parents favour, he thought he should write with a better grace, and with greater ease, than he could while a matter of so much importance to his Happiness was depending. When Mr. Shaw and my Cousin Charles, returned from Cambridge, they put on long Faces, and attempted to look very trist when they rode into the yard, but I could easily discern by the<ir?> Countenance<s>, (which seldom fails of being the medium of Truth) that Joy, and satisfaction, played sweetly at their Heart. Samuel Walker thinks Mr. Shaw his best Friend, for paying so much attention to him, as to gain him honorable admitance, and he is now the Classmate and the Chum of your Son. They have obtained the Chamber they pettioned for, and I hear are very happy together. They are both at present pleasant and lovely in their Lives, and I hope, will be kept pure, and unspotted from the guilty World. I miss them both exceedingly. Tommy dear Boy, I know must be lonly. But he is of such a pleasant Temper, and happy turn of Mind, that he is loth to own it. He is really an exceeding good Child, and we all love him and [his] obliging Temper, will forever gain the esteem, and good wishes of every-body.
Mr. JQA has been soliciting Mr. Shaw to undertake the direction of his Studies. However pleasing it may be to have so amiable a Youth as he appears to be in his Family, yet he feels fearful, how he may acquit himself of the Charge. To qualify a young Gentleman to enter the University as Junior Sophister, is not what is commonly practiced in the Schools, and must needs peculiar application, and attention, both in the Pupil, and in the Preceptor. By my Cousin Billy's2 dili• { 349 } gence he was advanced half a year, and so escaped Six months freshmanship. The Books <he was?> Mr. Shaw was then obliged to look into, will make it much less dificult for him now to teach my Cousin John. And should he engage in it, I believe I may venture to say, that no one would with greater fidelity, and pleasure discharge their Office.
As to me, I feel no Qualms of Conscience, that I have not done for your Children, what in an exchange of Circumstances, I could have wished for mine. Indeed I take a particular pleasure in serving them, as I consider it, as a medium, through which I am happy to convey my Love, and Gratitude.
I have now my Dear Sister to acknowledge the Receipt of yours dated May the 8th. and 10th. handed me by your Son Yesterday. My Sister and he, are both here, and intend spending a Week with us, and I have stolen from their Loved company to write a few Lines to you, by a Vessel which was built in our River, and is to sail very soon. I will wish it good speed, as it will convey to you an account of your Children, and will bear a testimonial of my Love. What though I cannot give you a Discription of Kings, Queens, Counts, and Countesses, which afford me so much entertainment, yet I can inform you, of that, which is of ten-fold more importance to your Happiness—the Health, and good Behaviour of your Children.
I think Mr. Adams has conffered great Honour upon the University at Cambridge, by chusing his Son should complete his Education there. I wish that all his Sons by their application to their Studies, their amiable, and virtuous Deportment, may follow the Example of their Father, and do likewise.
My Cousin says he will go back with his Aunt, and visit a few of his Friends, and return here as soon as possible. We have a very easy, and fine Conveyance in our Haverhill Post Coach, for him, or for any baggage he may chuse to bring. He need not fear any black Dust, nor the woeful Consumption of an elegant band Box—which to a mind a little less improved than yours, might have produced a fatal Catastrophe.3
My paper is so bad, and the Time is so short that I have to write, that I hope you will excuse its ill Look. I shall send this Letter by James Wilson, who was brought up in Master Whites Store, whom if you see, you will treat as an American, I dare say. If I can possibly get time before Mr. Whites's Vessel sails I shall write to my Cousin. Mr. Shaws and my kindest wishes ever attend you all.
[signed] Eliza Shaw
{ 350 }
The Lace you was so kind as to procure, is a very nice one, and much cheaper than I could get in Boston—8 Dollars is given credit for.4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Shaw Septer 7 1786.”
1. AA records that Elizabeth Smith (Shaw) spent considerable time with the Adamses in the summer and fall of 1766, and paid them a brief visit in Jan. 1767, all before JQA's birth. She also helped them move to Boston in April 1768 (vol. 1:54, 55, 57, 61, 65).
2. Elizabeth Shaw's nephew, William Cranch, had studied with Rev. John Shaw from April 1783 to February or March 1784, when he entered Harvard (AA to JA, 7 April 1783; CA to William Cranch, 14 March 1784, both above).
3. In her letter to Elizabeth Shaw of 8 May, above, AA had described the destruction of a her bonnet, caps, and handkerchiefs and their box by a bag of coins that she had placed in her baggage near them, on her journey from London to Paris in August 1784.
4. This sentence was written in the margin of the first page, but clearly as a postscript; AA mentions the lace at the end of her letter of 8 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0110

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-09-08

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

N: 9:
All this day has been employ'd in answering Questions respecting you, and all is not over yet. I must mention one Circumstance, although it may appear too trifling. You may Remember, that in your Letters by me, you gave an Account of the Ceremony at Nôtre Dame.1 All the family, were very much entertained, by your Relation, but there was a Question arose to day, what, the Ring was. One supposed the Ring, was a technical term, meaning the Court; another, that it was a band of music, and another, that it was some great personage, present at the time. While the debate lasted I could not conceive what the Subject of Conversation was. At length I was applied to, to inform what the Ring you mentioned was. When I came to see the letter I found it was only a mistake of the R. instead of the K. but had I not been used to your hand writing, I should certainly have read it Ring too. It needed no further explanation to perceive what was meant, by the Ring's being dressed so and so, walking, somewhat, carelessly &c. Mr. Thaxter has been with us a great part of the day. Business and so forth, has dried up all his epistolary ink.
I went in the forenoon with Mr. Thaxter, and was by him introduced to Mr. White, and his family. We can seldom, at first sight form an opinion of any thing more, than the outward appearance of a Person: You have seen more of this family, than I have as yet; so that { 351 } I can only say what my thoughts are, after such a transitory glance. Mr. White appears a very hospitable man; and has much more of the reality, than the show. Benevolence, and Politeness are written too plainly in the Countenance of Mrs. White, to leave any doubt, of their being a Characteristic of her. Peggy did not answer my expectations, as a Beauty. She is uncommonly fair, and has a good set of features, but there is something harsh, if I mistake not in her Countenance. She has grown very fat of late, and is perfectly recovered, of the melancholy disorder she was affli