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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

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 afflicted with last Summer, and now enjoys it is said, a fine flow of Spirits. A number of young Ladies, were here at tea, and part of the Evening. Among the rest Miss Duncan, Mr. Thaxter's reputed belle.2 She is celebrated for her personal and mental accomplishments. But I shall wait before I give you my opinion of any of the Ladies here, till I have a better acquaintance with them.
We dined at Mr. White's, in Company with Mr. Smith the Minister, of the Baptist Congregation here, and Mr. Bartlett.3 We propose leaving this place in the beginning of the Week, and I hope to be here again by the first of next Month.
This forenoon I was invited and went to an Entertainment, which was quite a Novelty to me, and I know not by what name to call it. Dr. Woodbury of this town, was yesterday publish'd, to Miss Hannah Appleton, (I suppose you know neither of the persons,) and in Consequence of this, was given this breakfast, or dinner, or whatever it is. There were a great number of People, there, all men, but I knew only two or three persons present: I was out a great part of the <Evening> Afternoon, when I return'd, I found Mr. Thaxter, the two Miss Duncan's, and Mr. Allen, here.4 They were engaged in curious Conversation. Mr. Collins the Minister of a neighbouring Town, with his wife, have been here all the Afternoon; it seems one of the young Ladies, thought he had not paid sufficient attention to his wife;5 he had been the whole afternoon with her, and had not said a single word to her, nor so much as look'd at her. Mr. Thaxter thought he had with great propriety taken no Notice of her; there were many things said on both sides, concerning the proper attentions due to a wife; but it was observed that Mr. Allen, suddenly rose, in the midst of the Conversation and took his leave. Mr. Collins soon after { 352 } return'd, and will lodge here to Night. He appears to me, to be at least of a very phlegmatic, cold, dutchman like disposition, incapable of feeling the pleasures that are derived by persons of sensibility from those minute attentions, which it seems he makes but little use of.
Your aunt and I, left Haverhill, this morning between 8 and 9. About 7 miles this side the River we stopp'd a few minutes at Mr. Symmes's, one of the ministers of Andover.6 You have perhaps been at the house. His wife is one of the sprucest, nicest tidiest persons I have seen this long while. I almost thought myself in Holland, when I went into the house. A little further forward we stopp'd at Mr. French's, and there was a contrast. Mr. French as soon as I was introduced to him asked me, how the Doctor did; I knew not what he meant, and was going to ask him, what Doctor; but he repeated his question immediately how does Doctor Adams. He is very solicitous that the title should be given him, for the honour of our University, and never calls him otherwise himself, than Doctor Adams.
After riding, till near 6 this evening, through, very tedious disagreeable roads, we at length arrived at Aunt Smiths where we now are. They are all well; but what think you were my feelings, when I saw those five charming Children, and reflected upon the Prospects before them. I must not dwell upon this subject; it would only raise useless sighs, upon Circumstances, which have too often already pained you.
We dined to day at Lincoln and soon after, continued our Journey, drank tea at Cambridge with our brother and Cousin, and got in Town just at Dusk. You know on this Road, you pass through Lexington and Concord. These places will be looked upon with great veneration by Posterity; and if ever the Spirit of Pilgrimage seizes our Country men, I hope, these <will> may be the places, they will resort to. Si l'apothéose est dû à l'homme, (says the Abbé Raynal, who has often noble thoughts) c'est à celui qui <combat pour> defend sa patrie.
Charles and our Cousin are both well, and happy in their Situation. I intended to visit Mr. Dana, but he is not at home now. Your Cousin Betsey has been very unwell since, we went from here but is now recovering. Uncle and aunt Smith went yesterday, with the Governor, Lieutt. Governor, and their Ladies, to Mr. Gill's seat at Princeton, { 353 } about 50 miles from town. I have been with Mr. Isaac Smith this Evening to a Club; there were present, Dr. Welch, Dr. Dexter, Dr. Appleton, and Mr. Brewster. It was at Mr. Clarke's; the Colleague of Dr. Chauncy.7 This gentleman, has a reputation as a speaker in the Pulpit, and is called a man of genius and learning: you know him perhaps; he holds his head I think about 3 inches too high. Dr. Appleton, is not so handsome a man, as either of his brothers, but has something in his Countenance, and in his Conversation very pleasing; Dr. Dexter you are acquainted with, and used to like him hugeously I am told. The old gentleman does not appear to have such designs as you supposed, or at least if he has does not pursue them with great ardour. I shall not have that rival to fear, I believe. You will perhaps be surprized to see I have found out who the old Gentleman is: but such things will happen now and then. So you see my Prospect of success is much better than you would have thought; strange things may happen yet, and you must be prepared for such.8 The other gentlemen that were present, you know.
I intended to have return'd this day to Braintree; but it threatened to rain, and I was advised to stay. Charles and William, have been in town all day, but we did not dine together. We spent the afternoon at Dr. Welch's. Mrs. W. has not said a word to me, about french fashions, or indeed any other fashions, so I have not yet had an opportunity to display my learning on that subject. The fondness for show, and dress, here, is carried to a greater pitch, than I had an Idea of, but I imagine it will decrease, for although the will is by no means wanting, the power is, and that is a Capital point: Not a few persons have been like the silk worm, first a mean insect, then a tawdry butterfly, and at length again, a worm of the dust. I hope a reform will take place, but absolute Necessity alone can bring it about.
Cousin Betsey came up from Boston with me to day. The air of a City does not agree with her, and she has been very unwell for several days. She is much better now, and I doubt not but the clear unpolluted element, that is breathed here will soon entirely recover her health. She has spent most of the Summer in Boston, to take Lessons at the harpsichord. We found Cousin Lucy all alone; she had been so the whole week.
{ 354 }
I have been all day reading, and writing, without stirring out of the house; Uncle and Aunt return'd from Boston this Evening, as did also Mr. Tyler. I have been looking over all the books that were sent from the Hague. They were very carefully put up, and none of them are damaged at all. I perceive there is one wanting, or perhaps I forgot to send for it. It is a Plautus.9 If I mistake not there is only one, in your Pappa's Library in Europe, and there is none, in the one here.
After attending Mr. Wibird twice to day, I went down with Mr. Tyler to pay my devoirs to Madam Quincy, and afterwards, at Mr. Alleyne's, we found Mr. and Mrs. Guild, with the former: they both look very much out of health. They have been very unfortunate; but I know of no persons in the same situation, that are so universally well spoken of. Mrs. Guild, has behaved upon the occasion, admirably, and what commonly greatly injures persons, in the opinion of the world seems to have been attended with effects directly contrary, with regard to her. Mrs. Quincy inquired particularly concerning Mamma and you: and Miss Nancy often smiled with all imaginable sweetness. At Mr. Alleyne's we found Mr. Boyce, the admirer of Miss Hannah Clarke, and an old gentleman, by the name of Hutchinson; but that is all I know of him.10 I was ask'd, as I often am what part of Europe, I prefer'd to the rest. I think this Question is not fair, in a mixed Company. It has several times embarassed me; for fear I might offend some person present; you remember, how the Chevr. de Caraman, looked, when after he had declared his partiality for Boston, Mrs. B. told him she had never been there.11 I am often exposed to the same danger, but I generally either give an evasory answer, or own my fondness for France, observing, that as it is the part of Europe, which I have seen the most of, my partiality may be owing to that. As yet I hope I have offended no body, and I wish I may always have the same success. Adieu my Sister, Adieu,
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); written on small pages numbered 73 through 80, and 1 through 8; see JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. AA2's letter describing this event, presumably written either to one of the Cranches or to Elizabeth Shaw, has not been found. It probably dated from about 6 May, when AA2 wrote to both Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch (both above). The event was probably the Te Deum of 1 April, which AA2 describes in Jour. and Corr., 1:65–68; and JQA in Diary, 1:242–244.
2. Elizabeth Duncan, daughter of James Duncan Sr. and his first wife, Elizabeth Bell Duncan, would marry John Thaxter in 1787 (JQA, Diary, 1:321, note 1).
3. For Rev. Hezekiah Smith, and Bailey { 355 } Bartlett, who would marry Peggy White in 1786, see same, 1:322.
4. Elizabeth and Margaret Duncan; and probably Rev. Jonathan Allen of neighboring Bradford, Mass. Allen was a native of Braintree. See JQA, Diary, 1:336, 350; William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, N.Y., 1857, 2:483, note; Braintree Town Records, p. 795.
5. JQA's Diary suggests Nancy Hazen as Collins' critic; the Rev. Samuel Collins of nearby Sandown, N.H., is probably meant here (Diary, 1:322).
6. This was William Symmes, Harvard 1750; he married his second wife, Susannah Powell of Boston, in 1774 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:582–587).
7. This was apparently the Wednesday Evening Club, founded in 1777, a small gathering of clergymen, lawyers, physicians, and merchants. JQA was a member of the club from 1791 to 1809. Here he names three of the four physicians who are listed in club records as members at this date. Neither “Mr. Brewster,” nor Isaac Smith Jr. is recorded as a member, but a “William Smith,” probably Isaac's brother, is listed. With the exception of Brewster, each of these men is identified in JQA, Diary. See same, 1:324, and notes 2–5; and The Centennial Celebration of the Wednesday Evening Club: Instituted June 21, 1777, Boston, 1878, p. 48–49, 51–52, 142–145.
8. Neither the “old gentleman” nor the woman whom AA2 evidently thought was the object of his and JQA's interest has been identified.
9. MQA eventually contained nine editions of the comedies of the 3d-2d century B.C. dramatist Plautus, in Latin, French, and English, and one Latin edition of Plautus' “Lectiones,” all published before 1785, in France, Holland, Germany, or England. Six of these editions show some mark of JQA's ownership.
10. Mr. Hutchinson has not been identified. “Mr. Boyce” was Jeremiah Smith Boies of Milton, who in September announced his intention to marry Sarah [Hannah?] Clark. See Braintree Town Records, p. 887; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 59.
11. See AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., note 7, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0111

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have received your Letter by Mr. Church,1 and am very happy to hear of your Safe Arrival, and kind Reception at New York. You have a good Opportunity, to See the Place and principal Characters, and from the hints you give your Sister2 I Suppose and indeed I hope, you went home by Land, and Saw the Country and Persons you wanted to See.
I want to hear from you at Boston, and to learn what is become of your Samples of Oil and your Proposals for a trafick in that Commodity. Send me the Name of the Gentleman who has the Contract for enlightening thirty Cities in France and his Address if you have it.3
We are comfortably Settled, in this Place, but See no present Prospect of doing much material Service for the Publick. There are Prejudices in the Way, too Strong to be easily overcome. I hope our Countrymen will learn Wisdom, be frugal, encourage their own Navigation and Manufactures and Search the whole Globe for a Substitute for British Commerce.
{ 356 }
But why am I entertaining you, with publick Affairs? At your Age, and with your Prospects, Justinians Institutes or Theophilus's Commentary, would be more proper.4 I would not advise you, to be wholly inattentive or insensible to the Prosperity or Adversity of your Country, but on the other hand I hope you will not Sour your temper or diminish the natural Chearfulness of your Disposition by dwelling too much upon the gloomy Complaints of the times. Letters and Science demand all your Time, and you must prepare yourself to get your Bread. Instead of being able to provide for you, I think it very probable that in a very little time, I shall find it very difficult to provide for myself. I have no longer youth and strength on my Side, and cannot labour as you can and as I could five and twenty Years ago. You must sett an Example of Frugality, Modesty and Sobriety among your young Friends.
I would warn you against the danger of keeping much Company. It consumes ones time insensibly, and young as you are, you will have none to Spare. Choose your Friends with caution and Reflection. There is nothing in which a young Man shews his Judgment more than in this. Have an Eye to the moral Character, and the Virtues and fine Feelings of the Heart in this Choice, as well as to Talents, Genius and Studies.
I See with Pleasure, that your Style is improving and begins to run very easy. It is well worth your while to be attentive to this. You have Time and means to make your Self a Master of your native Language.
My affectionate Regards to your Brothers, and to all our Friends.

[salute] Your affectionate Father

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Father. 9. Septr. 1785,” and “Mr. Adams. Septr. 9. 1785.”
1. Of 3 Aug., above.
2. In his letter of 17 July, above, under 29 July.
3. See JQA to AA2, 29 Aug., and note 2, above; and JQA, Diary, 1:319–320, for JQA's delivery of a proposal to establish a commerce in whale oil with France to Samuel Breck Sr. The name JA sought was Tourtille de Sangrain (Jefferson, Papers, 8:144–145).
4. Theophilus was a member of the commission of jurists appointed by the Emperor Justinian to compile his code of Roman law (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). JA recounts his own discovery of Justinian in the Earliest Diary and Diary and Autobiography; his interest in Roman law, unusual among his common law-trained contemporaries, is the subject of Daniel R. Coquillette's “Justinian in Braintree: John Adams, Civilian Learning, and Legal Elitism, 1758–1775,” in Law in Colonial Massachusetts 1630–1800, ed. Daniel R. Coquillette and others, Boston, 1984, p. 359–418. JQA would first refer to studying Justinian's Institutes in his Diary in 1788 (Diary, 2:461), during his own preparation to practice law. He would eventually acquire editions of Justinian in Latin, Italian, and French (MQA).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0112

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-09-11

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I have enjoyed very good Health ever since I came to London, untill ten days past. I had about a week since a small attack of the Fall disorder which I hoped I had got the better of. The next seizure was such a swiming in my Head when I laid down in the Bed, as to throw me almost into convulsions. It finally produced a violent puking which relieved me of that, tho I cannot say I feel well. You know I am accustomed to ill turns in the Fall,1 and I fear this damp climate will not be any service to me. The great distance of time which we pass in this country between meals, is unfavourable to Health. I have got wholy out of the Habit of more than two meals a day. We generally Breakfast at Nine, or before, and dine at four when we have no company, otherways not till Six. You must expect to receive visits and pay them from one till four or 5. I have however set a part one day, which is every tuesday to be at Home for company, by which means I know who and who wishes to find me at Home, by their visiting upon that day.
I wrote you by Captain Lyde2 who saild a fortnight ago. Since that we have been made very happy by hearing of the safe arrival of our son! He is with you I dare say before now, and very happy to find himself in his Native Country. I hope he will be cautious with respect to His Health as he has not experienced so hot a climate for many years.
Charles I presume has commenced studient at Harvered College, where I hope he will never give pain to his Friends by any misconduct. How little do Children know the solicitude and anxiety of a Parents Heart, or how tenderly their conduct affects them. Our poor unhappy connexion,3 whose Life has been one continued Error, gives me pain. How difficult to recover the right path when the feet have once wandered from it. How much resolution is necessary to overcome evil propencities? More particularly a habit of intemperence. I never can think of the closing scene of our dear venerable Fathers Life but with an anguish I cannot express; breathing out his last breath and Labouring in the agonies of Death for the reformation and salvation of the prodigal.

“The sweet remembrance of the just”

“Shall flourish when they sleep in dust”4

{ 358 }
How dear to me is the remembrance of my Parents how sweet the recollection of their virtues, how forcible their example? There is a pleasure arising from a connexion with virtuous Friends and relatives, which neither power wealth or titles can bestow without it. This month my mind is always particularly impressd with the recollection of my dear parents.5
How carefull ought young people to be, when they are about entering into connections for Life, to look to the Heart of those to whom they bind themselves. If that is false and deceifull towards the Deity, they can have little hopes of fidelity towards themselves. In short their is nothing binding upon the Humane mind, but Religion.
I hope our sister S-h [Smith] conducts with prudence and discretion becomeing her critical situation and that the Children will prove comforts to her and their Friends. I felt most dissagreeaby the other Day at a circumstance which took place. Col. Smith came in and told me that he had received a very extrodanary Letter from a person whom he never saw or heard of before. He took it from his pocket and began to read it. The purport of it was, that he, the writer had heard of his late arrival in this Country, and of his appointment. Conceiving him to be in an Eligible Situation, he had taken the liberty to request the payment of a debt which he must remember he owed him in such a year, at the time he faild in buisness and fell into misfortunes. As he had never given him any trouble about it, he would consider him so much of a Gentleman as to suppose he would make no difficulty of answering the inclosed order to the House of Champion & Dickenson. He concluded by signing his Name Gorge Erving. The Col. had not gone half through his Letter before I was sensible who was meant, and he would have seen my agitation if he had look up; I did not know what to say, whether to let him know his mistake, or suffer him to marvel at the matter. He had pend his answer and went on reading to me his replie which exprest his surprize at receiving a Letter of that kind from a person wholy unknown to him. That he was quite insensible to the misfortunes he alluded to, as well as to the Debt, for that he was conscious he never owed any person a quarter the Sum mentiond in his Life. That so far from being in Buisness the year mentiond, he was a studient at College. But that if Mr. Erving wish'd any further explanation, he was to be spoken with at his Lodgings in Leister feilds any hour after ten in the morning.6 When I had a little recoverd myself, I told him I could explain the matter to him; upon which he was not less surprized than before, never hearing a Brother mentiond <before>. He was a good { 359 } deal embaressed at having read the Letters, and giving me pain as he saw he had, but there was no fault on either side. I only wish there had never been occasion for such a demand.
Captain Lyde expects to return here in the winter. You will not fail writing me very particularly by him. You know there are certain Matters which I shall be very anxious to know the event of.7 I mentiond to you sending two Guineys by Mr. Storer for my Mother [Susanna Boylston Adams Hall], but upon second thought, I will write to Dr. Tufts to pay her Anually 20 dollars which will be more independent. There is also a black russel peticoat which I never wore but once or twice. I would have you take it and give it to her. If the Dr. has advanced any thing let that go as a part of the 20 dollars. I wish however that she might be benifitted by it. Sister Shaw wrote me that she had carried some things of Tommys to Boylstone. I would not have any thing given there, but what is pretty good. There is (between you and I) more pride than she may be aware of. But if any thing can be of service without the Idea of there being old Cloaths, I wish he may have them.8 I know between all S9 they must have many things which will serve somebody. Let them be disposed of where they cannot give offence. And an other thing I wish which is that any little matter I may send to my Sisters or Neices may be silently received, that I do not want them to say Aunt or sister sent it to me. I wish it was in my power to send them any thing worth notice, but they know the will is good. I should be loth the Moths should devour what I left behind, yet I feel unwilling to have the things disposed of. I hope to come home and use them ere long.
My Love to Mr. Cranch and duty to uncle Quincy, with remembrance to all my old Neighbours who I flatter myself remember me with the same affection which I do them.
How does Pheby. Does her income make her comfortable. If it does not, I would willingly contribute towards her support. Advise my dear sister and believe me most tenderly yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
I must quit my pen to dress. Captain Callihan dines here to day and Col. Franks. Mr. Storer will tarry with us till he sails which he expect in a few days.
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. AA first connects some of her illnesses with the fall season in a letter to JA, 8 Oct. 1780 (vol. 4:3). On AA's health, see the indexes in vols. 2 and 4, above.
2. Of 15 Aug., above.
3. Their brother, William Smith Jr.; see note 6.
4. AA quotes from Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, A New Version of the Psalms of David, Fitted to Tunes used in Churches, Lon• { 360 } don, 1696. These lines render Psalm 112:6; AA substitutes “they” for “he” in the second line.
5. AA inserted this sentence in the space that she left for a paragraph break. Her mother, Elizabeth Quincy Smith, died on 1 Oct. 1775; her father, Rev. William Smith, on 17 Sept. 1783.
6. Col. Smith's correspondent was probably the Boston merchant George Erving, brother-in-law of James Bowdoin, and a reluctant loyalist émigré with strong sympathies for the American cause who lived in England from 1776 until his death in 1806. The account in Erving's letter to Col. Smith given here places the contracting of William Smith Jr.'s debt to Erving as occurring in the early 1770s, when Col. Smith was still a student at Princeton. See Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:151–157.
7. Most likely Royall Tyler's reaction to AA2's decision to end her connection with him.
8. In addition to the matter of pride, AA and JA's nephew Boylston Adams was nearly eighteen months older than TBA, whose clothes he was receiving.
9. AA probably intends the whole Shaw household, including her sons.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0113

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-12

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Mr. Storers departure is delayed from day to day so that I fear he will have a dissagreeable time upon our Coast. It gives me an opportunity of adding a few more lines to you. Col. Franks arrived here on Saturday with dispatches from Mr. Jefferson. The Ministers not hearing a Syllable of Lamb, and reports growing every day more serious, tho many of them are really false, yet they have the effect of raising ensurence and greatly obstructing trade. In concequence of which it is determined to send Mr. Barclay without further delay and Col. Franks goes Secretary upon the Buisness which Lambe was Charged with. It is of importance that this matter be kept from this Court, and that occasiond Col. Franks comeing with the dispatches.
Your old acquaintance Stockdale is bought up by the M[inistr]y and receives a pension of 4 hundred per Year.1 It is said he is quite a different Man from what he was when you knew him. Not a single paragraph can be publishd in favour of America, suppose it only six lines under 3 or 4 Guineys. They have offerd a Bounty here of 500 to the British whale man who shall take the largest Quantity this Season, 400 to the next, 300 to the 3d, 2 to the fourth and one to the 5th. In concequence of this a Number of vessels have saild from hence. They take the Mates of the American vessels here and give them the command of a good Ship for this purpose. They have pickd up all the Negroes who were stragling about and starving, and engaged them in this buisness. The M[inistr]y secretly allow any American vessel which comes here to go out in the whale fishery and bring their oil in here free of duty. This is done in order to intice our Whale Men here. At the same time they are prohibiting under the severest { 361 } penaltys any artificer from going to America and prohibiting all hardware tools. The Court Scriblers publishd last week that <your> the American minister had been closeted with the king in a long conference. The concequence was an Immediate rise of stocks. This Manuver was on purpose to try what Effect it was probable might be produced by a treaty.
Mr. Jefferson writes me2 that the Queen of France has agreed in future to wear only French Gauze, that Cardinal Rohan is Still in the Bastile, and that it appears he was the dupe of his Mistress Madam la Mote.
I have nothing further to add but that I found two or 3 stocks Night caps &c which I have sent by Mr. Storer and a pair of Buckles which I have had mended for you. Adieu. Yours &c.
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Momma. Septr. 12th. 1785”; docketed: “My Mother 12. Septr. 1785,” and “Mrs. Adams. Septr. 12. 1785.”
1. If the Pitt ministry did try to buy Stockdale's support in 1785, the arrangement did not endure. In 1789 the government tried Stockdale for publishing John Logan's Review of the Charges against Warren Hastings (1788), which the ministry considered a libel against the House of Commons. The court, in a major decision affecting British libel law, acquitted him. See JQA to JA, 20 May 1784, and note 2, above; DNB.
2. On 4 Sept., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0114

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1785-09-15

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear Sister

Mr. Storer says the ship in which he is to embark will go down to day and that he shall go on Board tomorrow. I cannot let him depart without a few lines to you tho I wrote you so lately by Captain Lyde1 that I have nothing New to add. I have not been lately either to Court or the Play. I have made some visits into the Country to a couple of families who have been very polite to us. When we first came they got introduced to us, and have twice invited us to dine. Both times we were unfortunatly preengaged. The Gentleman Name is Smith he is a Member of Parliament, and he married into the other family whose Name is Copes. They are very agreeable people and live about 4 mils from Town at a very pretty village call'd Clapham. Next week I propose going to Court as it is the aniverssary of his Majestys Coronation.2 I may probably find some entertainment for you from that quarter.
This week the Theatre at Covent Garden opens and Mrs. Siddons appears in the Tradigy of Othello in the Character of Desdamony. We { 362 } have sent a Week before to engage places. I promise myself high entertainment from this admired and celebrated actress, but heitherto I have seen nothing that I can realish since my comeing from Paris. Of the Theatrical kind I should say.
If I had come to this Country with high expectation I should have been dissapointed, but as I have no taste and passion for Routes, and gameing, tables, &c. I cannot string over to you such a Night at my Lady H's Ball and such a night at the Countess C——s Route or the Dutchess ofs, Card party. I am so little Qualified for my station and so old fashiond as to prefer the Society of Dr. Price, Dr. Jebb, and a few others like them to the midnight Gamblers, and the titled Gamesters, and I am so impudent, impudent the English call it, as to take a pride in acknowledging my Country despightfully as this people treat it. I am neither ashamed of it, or the great actions which dismemberd it from this empire. Some of our Countrymen who mix much with this people, have confessd to me; that they secreat their Country, and pass themselves for Natives to avoid being insulted—but I am loth to part with the Scripture Benidiction, “blessed are Ye when Men persecute and revile you falsly.”3
I know they abuse America because they fear her, and every effort to render her unpopular is a proof of it. They go on deceiving themselves, thinking they can keep us low and poor, but all the time they are making us industerous, frugal wise and Great I hope.
I have sent to Mr. Shaw a little Treatise upon Education which was presented to Mr. Adams by the Author, tho unknown to him.4 Mr. Adams thought it might be more usefull to Mr. Shaw than it could be to him, as it lay more in his particular department and accordingly directed me to send it to him.
I hope all your little family are well, and that you have only exchanged one Nephew for an other.
My best regards attend all my good Friends at Haverhill, to Madam Marsh in particular if the Good Saint is not yet gone to Heaven. Dr. Johnson used to make a practise of praying for his departed Friends. This is rather singular for a Protestant, who universally believe that Death excluds their friends both from the good or evil of those who survive.
But I must bid you adieu as I am going to take a little ride. I have been very unwell for several Days. I am very sensible I want excercise. O that I could go and see my sisters, my Aunts, my cousins.
Once more adieu. Most tenderly yours
{ 363 }
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “Mrs. Elizabeth Shaw, Haverhill”; endorsed: “Sep. 15 1785.”
1. Of [ca. 15 Aug.], above.
2. George III and his queen, Charlotte Sophia, were crowned on 22 Sept. 1761, nearly a year after he ascended the throne.
3. Matthew 5:11, altered and condensed; opening quotation mark supplied.
4. The author and treatise have not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0115

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-09-16

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I believe that Mr. Storer is going to leave Us in good earnest. He has so long and so many months been delay'd that I knew not when to give him my latest Letters tho I have so little to communicate that it is not of much importance whether my Letter was written a month ago or now. The talk of Captures by the Algerine is renewed again and I fear with two much foundation. Mr. Adams received a Letter yesterday from Spain from Mr. Carmichael1 who informs him that he has vague reports concerning the Capture of two American vessels, and that it was said, the vessels Cargoes and prisoners were imediately advertized for sale. Mr. Storer can acquaint you fully of the measures taking by Mr. Adams and Jefferson, and the persons who are immediately going upon the buisness of a treaty with them, as well as the reasons which have so long delay'd it, the person2 who was sent in May last from Congress respecting this buisness; never having been heard of since. If a measure fails, it is not going right to Court and receiving new orders, but you must cross and recross the ocean before any thing can be accomplishd, which never can take Less time than half a Year.
As to Buisness here, we presume it is hatching. The papers have become more civil and matters more serious. I can only tell you that no answers have yet been received from the Court and Ministry to all the bugget before them. I believe it will take them some time to ponder and digest. Those Houses connected with America are very anxious and I wonder not at it, as our Country my dear sir are most deeply indebted here. They complain most; of want of remittances from Virgina and New York. As to their permitting no more goods to go out, I believe it is a very fortunate circumstance for our Country. Time will shew. But sir can nothing be accomplishd with respect to our foreign Debt; that being still unfunded you may be sure does not increase our Credit, and the forgeries which are circulated throughout Europe respecting the unsettled State of our Government, and { 364 } the confusions and discontent which prevails amongst our people &c; all these falshoods gain some credit with those who are not better informd; and do us injury, especially whilst no method is persued to establish our credit and Sink our National Debt. Mr. A has written to Congress repeatedly and presst this matter with all the energy and reasoning he is master of;3 but heitherto it has accomplishd nothing. The reluctance to the impost in some of the states has I suppose retarded the measures of Congress. But what will be the concequence? The money we have in Holland must most of it be applied to the treatys with these Barbarians.4 The interest of the Debt in Holland has heitherto been pay'd, but how? Why by retaining sufficient of the Capital. This can succeed no longer, nor shall we possibly have credit for a New Loan tho to save us from Perdition at this rate. France is continually dunning for her Interest. In short Sir the embassys abroad, are one continued Scene of perplexity and anxiety. I think I have been told that the Massachusetts have establishd a committe to correspond with the members of Congress. I hope they will think of the importance of these objects. The Board of Commisoners consists of able Men and I hope they will bring order out of confusion, tho I fear they will find the publick money making voyages to China.5 I have been informd that the late Financerer6 lived at an expence of 5000 sterling a year.
But how I run on, excuse my politicks. I feel that I ought to be a help Mate, for really my Friend has sometimes so much upon his Hands from various quarters that I fear it will be too much for him. The Quantity of writing is incredible, for you must reason in writing and every thing must be laid before certain persons7 in writing. Copies of that must go to congress and you must reserve originals for yourself. Communications must be made often to the American Minister in France, all of which must be put into cypher, unless a special Messenger is Sent. The preperations for the present treaty are obliged to pass from France here and then from hence back again. Writing for a long time together affects Mr. Adams's Eyes very much.
But to quit politicks, I hope Lyde by whom I wrote8 is safe arrived. My son too has visited you before this day. My other I hope is in colledge. Mr. Storer will pay you 17 Guineys which you will credit us for. I believe I mentiond that we payd the Bill of Mr. Elworthy upon sight. Mrs. Cranch wrote me respectting my Mother. I wish sir you would pay her 20 dollors per An. Quarterly, taking her receipt for the same. Excuse this hasty Scrawl and believe me at all times most affectionately Yours
[signed] A A
{ 365 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “The Honourable Cotton Tufts Esquire Member of Senate Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams London Sepr. 16 1785 Pr Mr Storer recd Nov.”
1. Of 2 Sept., Adams Papers.
2. Col. John Lamb.
3. See, for example, JA to the president of Congress, 10 Jan. (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 367–370; LbC, Adams Papers), printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:472–473.
4. The Barbary States.
5. The “Board of Commissioners” was presumably Congress' three-man Treasury Board. AA apparently refers to news found in several letters, and probably in some newspapers, recently received by JA. On 28 May, the president of Congress, Richard Henry Lee, reported from New York (The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, ed. James C. Ballagh, N.Y., 1911–1914, 2 vols., 2:362–364) that America's first merchant vessel sent to China had returned from Canton with a valuable cargo (see JQA to AA2, 17 July, note 11, above). And on 7 June, James Sullivan wrote from New York (Adams Papers) concerning the trade crisis and the need for a stronger national government to deal with it. In addition, the 10 Aug. letter from Cotton Tufts, above, which JA had probably not received by 16 Sept. (see AA to Cotton Tufts, 5 Oct., below), briefly refers to the state legislature's recent issue of letters to state governors, to the president of Congress, and to its own congressional delegation, all urging revision of the Articles of Confederation to meet the nation's fiscal and commercial crisis.
6. Robert Morris.
7. Presumably members of the British ministry.
8. On 18 Aug., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0116

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1785-09-18

Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear sir

Col. Franks being detained to day by an accident gives me the opportunity of replieing to your kind Letter2 last evening received; Col. Forrest had inclosed them to Mr. Adams and we were not a little rejoiced to hear from you after an interval of 4 weeks in which we had spent many conjectures where you was at one time, and where you <was> were at an other. Mr. Adams received your Letter from Amsterdam3 but knew not where to address to you, and we began now to look every day for your return.
Mr. Adams has not been impatient tho he has sometimes wished for you, for as luck would have it, he has been obliged to write twice as much since you left him, as for any Space of time since he came here before. But Mr. Storer has been very good and helpfull to him, or I know not what he would have done, as writing only one evening about a week ago brought on an inflamation in his Eyes for several which obliged him almost to lay asside his pen. But his dispatches are now all finish for New York, and for the Barbarians. Do not mistake me Sir, I mean the Algerines and not the English. He will be more at leisure than for some weeks past. Mr. Storer left us on thursday morning4 to our no small regreet. He lamented that he had not Letters and dispatches from you as he Saild directly for New York, but I have the pleasure of assureing you that your Mamma and { 366 } Friends were well in july. My son after a tedious passage of 55 days was arrived. He mentions visiting your family upon Long Island, and that your Mamma had received Letters from you since your arrival in England.5 I have here a Number of Letters and bundles of Newspapers for you and if I was sure Col. Franks would find you in Paris I would send them on to you. But if he should not it would accumulate a weight of postage all ready too heavy. You must write to your News paper correspondents never to seal them up for then they are sent and paid for as Letters. What do you think of having to pay for 60 or 70 News Papers as Letters?
You have found a Letter from me if you have reachd Paris. I wrote by Mr. Short.6 Prudence dictates silence to me, take a draught of Lethe7 and all will be as it ought. There are entanglingment as Lady G. terms them from which Time the great solacer of Humane woe only can relieve us. And Time I dare say will extricate those I Love from any unapproved Step, into which inexperience and youth may have involved them. But untill that period may arrive Honour, Honour, is at Stake——a word to the wise is sufficient.
I depend much upon the cherefull Social converse during the long winter evening which are now fast approaching, many of which we have already spent quite alone wishing for a Friend to enliven the Scene. You know we are not those kind of people who delight in Gambling and Routes and go seldom to the Theater. I was last Evening however at Drury Lane and Saw for the first time Mrs. Siddons.

Grace was in all her steps heaven in her Eye

And every Gesture dignity and Love.8

She appeard in the tradegy of Othello, and acted the part of Desdemona. Othello was represented blacker than any affrican. Whether it arises from the prejudices of Education or from a real natural antipathy I cannot determine, but my whole soul shuderd when ever I saw the sooty <heretik?> More touch the fair Desdemona. I wonder not that Brabantio thought Othello must have used Spells and magick to have won her affections. <The Character of Othello> Through the whole play <is that of a Noble Generous open Manly> the Character of Othello is Manly open generous and noble, betrayed by a most artfull villan and a combination of circumstances into an action that his Soul abhored. <but I So powerfull was prejudice that I could not seperate the coulour from the Man and by which means>
{ 367 } { 368 }
That most incomparable Speach of Othellos lost half its force and Beauty, because I could not Seperate the coulour from the Man.9 Yet it was admirably well spoken.

O now, for ever

Fare well the tranquil Mind! fare well content

Fare well the plumed troop, and the big warss

That make ambition virtue! O fare well

Fare well the Neighing steed, and the shrill trump,

The spirit stiring Drum, the ear piercing fife

The Royal banner; and all quality,

Pride pomp and circumstance of glorious War!

And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats

The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit,

Fare well! Othello's occupation gone.10

You will no doubt visit all the theatres in Paris during your Stay. I think you will be pleased with them. I have been told that your companion is quite an antigallican.11 I however do not regard these Speaches. A Gentleman of understanding such as I esteem him to be, who has travelld merly to remark Men and Manners, will never be indiscriminate either in Praising or Blameing Countries or people collectively. There is something I dare say esteemable in all, and the liberal mind regards not what Nation or climate it spring up in, nor what coulour or complexion the Man is of.
It is Sunday and I have just returnd from Hackney. The good Dr. [Price] inquired kindly after you. When I hear from you in Paris, I shall suppose you be soon returning. Daniel is vastly impatient, and a few days ago sent by my maid to inquire if I had heard from you. I believe he behaves very well during your absence. He is very often here. I have had occasion to send for him sometimes and Daniel is always to be found at home. Col. Franks will tell you that he has been very serviceabl to him since he has been in London. I shall have an <aditional> article or two which Mrs. Barclay will deliver you or send to Mr. Jeffersons for me, in addition to those I have already named, and of which I request your care. As to politicks Col. Franks can tell you all and I am not enough in Love with them to mix them here. Mr. Adams I suppose will write you.12 I have only room to add my compliments and regards to all my Paris Friends and to assure you you have the good wishes of the family for your prosperity and happiness.
{ 369 }
Dft (Adams Papers, filmed at [Sept. 1785], Microfilms, Reel No. 365); notation in CFA's hand: “To Col Smith. London September 1785.”
1. The date is established by AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., below, which states that the Adamses visited the Drury Lane Theater on 17 Sept. to see Othello; in the present letter AA mentions this event as occurring “last Evening.”
2. Of 5 Sept., above.
3. Dated ca. 15 Aug., but not found; see Smith to AA, 5 Sept., note 3.
4. 15 September. But on 16 Sept., AA wrote to Cotton Tufts, above, that Storer was “going to leave”; on 24 Sept., AA2 wrote JQA, below, that Storer had left on Monday, 19 September.
5. JQA to AA2, 17 July, above, under 31 July.
6. On 13 Aug., above.
7. Lethe was one of the rivers of Hades in Greek cosmology, its name meaning “oblivion.” A drink of its waters caused the spirits of the dead to forget their past lives. In the following passage, AA refers to AA2's relationship with Royall Tyler.
8. Milton, Paradise Lost, viii, 488–489; Milton wrote “In every Gesture . . .”
9. For a similar expression by an Adams of the difficulty in admiring Othello, and particularly the character of Desdemona, see JQA's remarks upon the play and its heroine, expressed in conversation with the actress Fanny Kemble in 1833, recorded in 1835, and published in 1835 and 1836 (CFA, Diary, 5:84–86).
10. III, iii, 347–357.
11. The source of AA's information that Don Francisco Miranda harbored anti-French feelings is not known.
12. No letter or other reference to a letter from JA to Col. Smith has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0117

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

N: 10
I have been in a manner cheated out of this day by the library; for in looking over the books, and sometimes dipping into one, the fleeting hours (as the poets say) have disappeared; and night in her sable chariot, has performed a considerable part of her course. Your Uncle, went this morning to Boston, as he regularly does, and Mr. Tyler, has been very closely engaged all day.
In the afternoon I went over, with both our Cousins, to pay a visit to aunt Tufts, who has been dangerously ill, but is now in a fair way of recovering. She ask'd abundance of Questions about you, and I felt no small pleasure in answering them. By the way, do you know that Lucy Jones, has an admirer, whose passion seems to outstrip every thing, that Romance can produce; absolutely an Orlando furiosos.1 The son of Mr. Haslet, was suddenly (and to be sure violently) smitten with her charms: he did not, sit like patience, on a marble monument: smiling at grief. But called the Earth; the Sun, moon, Stars, and every other planet, to witness, that she was the fairest, noblest, sweetest, most beauteous damsel, that was ever { 370 } beheld by mortal eyes. In short he was nearly raving. And it has been thought necessary, to keep him, out of her sight, that he might not have a relapse, which would be very disagreeable. While we were gone, Mr. Nash, and Miss Lucy Apthorp, were at your Aunts. And who is Mr. Nash, perhaps you will say. He is the 2d. lieutenant on board his Majesty's ship, Mercury, and was bearer, of some infamous letters to the governor, which you will see in the Papers, (this however is nothing to his disadvantage). While the ship was in Boston harbour, he formed an Acquaintance with Mr. Apthorp's family, and is now returned here on Purpose, to take the Lady. Her father is highly gratified with the honour of such a Son in Law, and I am told, Miss Lucy said it <was> should be just as Pappa pleased. So you see, she has at least been taught the obedience, with regard to marriage; which her illustrious birth requires. In all this transaction, there appears only one favourable Circumstance for her in the Eyes of the world; the gentleman, bears a respectable, and an amiable Character. I am sure she will need such an one, for I fear many trying scenes await her. They are to be married next Saturday.2
I was all day yesterday, packing up my trunk, and preparing every thing to send to Haverhill. This morning I forwarded them here, and wish'd to come myself, to see them put into the stage, that goes to-morrow. But we had an Invitation from Madam Quincy, to dine with her to day, and after a long deliberation upon the matter, I concluded to wait on her. Your Cousins went in a Chaise. Mr. Tyler and I march'd it. We were too late, and as is usual, excuses were made on both sides, though there was no necessity for them on either. Parson Wibird was there: this was the first time, I had seen him, out of the meeting house. Well! you have been in Russia; how do you like the Ladies there? As soon as I had answered he enquired about the French, Spanish, and Dutch and in short of the Ladies in every part of Europe I had seen. At length I said to him, You seem, Sir, to enquire of nothing, any where but the Ladies. Why; to be sure says he, I always make it a Rule, to enquire for the best things, first: and then laugh'd heartily. He was very merry, and now and then paid a Compliment, but as often let fall a Sarcasm, on the fair sex, which is always the way with an old batchelor. Soon after dinner we left them, (I mean Mr. Tyler and myself) and, proceeded this way. We stopped in at Genl. Warren's. Mrs. Otis3 was there: looked solemn; but you know she has a vast deal of aequinimity. Mrs. Warren has { 371 } not enjoy'd for a considerable time past, good health, and looks quite unwell now. When I got here between 6 and 7 this Evening (for it commonly takes me, an whole day, to get from Braintree, to Boston) I was told the post would not go to-morrow, as Mr. Peabody, has broke his Carriage. So I have concluded to send them by a Vessel, which is to sail in the beginning of next week; and I shall go with him next week.
I have been playing Cards, this Evening for the first Time since I arrived: it is not the most agreeable way of spending time, to me: you may remember I was not so fond of it before I left you, as in the beginning of the Winter; and my aversion has rather increased than otherwise. I shall not lose much time, very soon I imagine with them.
I was introduced this forenoon, to three gentlemen in the Profession of the Law. Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Gardiner, and Mr. Hughes.4 The second of these gentlemen pronounced the Oration, upon Independence day. You may have seen the performance. It is one of the most curious thing of the Kind, that I have seen, for a long Time. He has a particular attachment to blank verse, for the whole work if divided into ten syllable lines, would form quite a swelling Poem. Mr. H you are perhaps acquainted with. He is said to be a little Sarcastic, and in a miserable farce, called Sans-souci,5 from a Club, who made last winter a great deal of noise, and that went by that name, he is represented under the Character, of Jemmy Satirist.
I dined with Mr. Toscan, and after dinner went with him to pay my Respects to the Governor, but he was engaged in business; I then paid a visit to Mr. Russel, and saw there, Mr. Seaver, who arrived yesterday, from Russia. Quite a smart young man; and I fancy a traveller. Mrs. Russel desired I would present you her Compliments; and said she had been disappointed, in not receiving, any Letters from you, since you left America. I told her I had always thought, you had written her twice at least, but she said she had not received a line.6 Mrs. Vaughan, and her daughters were there,7 but I did not know who they were, untill after we came away Mr. Toscan told me. From thence we went and drank tea with Mr. Tudor. There was a large Company, but of persons I was not acquainted with. Mr. and Mrs. T, were very Polite, as usual you know. He desired I would make his house, as much my home, as he had formerly my father's. How much that was I do not recollect;8 we had a sort of a Concert, a young french Gentleman was present, who is exceeding fond of music; and { 372 } quite a virtuose.9 He sung and play'd on several instruments. From thence I went and pass'd the evening and supp'd, at Mr. B. Austin's: who was married in the Summer; his Lady's name I don't know. Mr. Ben: Cutler Mr. James Lovel, Mr. Hughes, Mr. L. Austin, and Mr. Tyler, form'd the Company.10 Mr. Cutler, is a very handsome man, and is fully Sensible of it. Somewhat affected; which is not uncommon, in a person celebrated for personal advantages, especially a Man. Mr. Lovel, is perhaps somewhat in the same predicament, though with less Reason. Mr. Hughes told us a few stories, and discovered a little of the disposition, I have already mentioned. He is short sighted: and when he looks steadily at anything, there is always a contraction about the eyes, that is quite laughable. Mrs. Austin, is not handsome, rather otherwise, genteel, talks but Little. The evening was agreeably spent except, that we play'd Cards: we must endeavour in matters of little Consequence, to conform, to the customs of the world, enough to preserve us from the reproach of singularity.
Mr. Nash, and Miss Apthorp were married in the morning, at the Chapel.11 There was a large Crowd present; for you know marriages in a Church, are a great Rarity here. I never saw upon any stage, more strikingly express'd, the different passions that are excited in different breasts by the same Event. Here indeed it was real, and the expression was consequently not so deep, but more affecting. The old man, held up his head; look'd as happy, and as exalted, as he could if he was created peer of G. Britain: very differently from what he did upon a former occasion of the same kind; and in the general opinion he was equally wrong, both times. The mother was exceedingly dejected; I feared she would faint.12 She leaned against a pew, and hung down her head. I pity'd her, very much. The bridegroom was dress'd plainly in his uniform, and his Countenance display'd a proper mixture of joy, and solemnity. The bride was in a dark colour'd lutestring, her hair very elegantly dress'd: she looked like a victim led to the altar, and trembled, like one in an ague fit. And now the matter is over, and there is no going back: but indeed I have great doubts as to the happiness of this match. Can an acquaintance of less than three months, give any two persons sufficient insight, into each others Characters, to assure them, that they may trust to each other their happiness for life? Can a lieutenant of a Man of War, with little, or no private fortune, (as the case is here I am told) maintain a family as handsomely, as this Lady expects? Can a young Lady, who leaves { 373 } every friend and every Connection she has in the world, never to see them more, and goes into a Country, where every body will be a stranger to her, be happy? If these three Questions can be affirmitively answered, Mrs. Nash bids as fair for happiness, as any body I know. Excuse me my Sister, if I thus run on in the Sentimental way, which was in some measure excluded from our agreement, but it comes upon me sometimes unawares, and I often write on a long time before I remember the engagements.
I intended to have gone this evening as far as Milton, and spent the day there to-morrow, but it began to storm about noon, and rained so hard in the Evening, that I was obliged to stay in Town; I went with Mr. Tyler, and spent the Evening at Mr. Gore's. Mrs. Gore is a very sociable little woman, comely; not handsome.13 Mr. Gore told us some anecdotes concerning a Mr. le Washington, who arrived in one of the last Vessels from England. This man, is either a very great knave, or is wanting in Common Sense. With a settled serious Countenance, he tells the most extravagant Stories I ever heard of; People here stare at him, and wonder at his Proficiency in the art of fiction. But if he supposes he excites their Admiration, he is exceedingly mistaken. For I know of no People, disposed more to doubt a traveller's Veracity, than my Countrymen, and I am sometimes afraid to tell real facts, lest I should, gain the Reputation of dealing in fiction too.
As the storm continued as violent as ever, in the morning, I staid in Boston; and went to Church at the Chapel. Parson Freeman, preach'd a very short Sermon, as he always does. He has adopted the anti trinitarian System, and makes use of a new form of Prayer. Many People have followed this new innovation, and I don't see, but there are as many Contests upon religious Points, as in any other-part of the world, although it is not carried to so great lengths. Mankind, will forever dispute whether the egg shall be broke, at the great or at the small end.
After Church, as the Storm had in a great measure abated, I left town and came here. It was about meeting time; when I got to the meeting house so I stopp'd in, and heard our Parson, whose manner of speaking is as familiar to me, as if I had heard him every Sunday since I went from America.
Genl. Palmer and his Lady where here, about an hour, after meeting was over.
{ 374 }
Your Aunt and I, are quite alone, as Uncle went this morning to Boston. Mr. Tyler is there too, and our two Cousins who went last week to see Lucy Apthorp married, and will remain in Boston till Betsey goes to Haverhill, which is to be next Friday, with me. She is going to spend two or three months there, with Peggy White, and to learn to play on the harpsichord.
This afternoon I went down to our house, and stay'd there two or three hours. There is something to me, awful in the look of it now. All within is gloomy, and sad, and when it will look more pleasant—oh! I must not think of that. I very much fear, it will be yet a long, long time before, I shall see you again. I dare not tell our friends here, my real thoughts on the Subject.14
Mr. Apthorp, came this morning from Boston: but return'd in the afternoon; all the family are there, and will spend all this week there. He had invited me, and I had promised to go and see him, so I took this forenoon. He was very glad to see me; ask'd me what passage, I had &c, and soon came, to the Question, of which I complained in my last Letter to you; what part of Europe, did I like best? I told him, I had been most in France, and that might be the Reason, that I was most pleased with it.—Why yes; he believed that France, and the French, were really better than they had been represented. They were certainly a great Nation; and had many good Qualities: but they were not sincere: they would make great Professions; without any meaning. Don't you think now said he, that the genuine English plain heartedness, and real Benevolence, though not accompanied with so many exteriors of Complaisance, are much more noble and manly. I could not answer in a negative way decently, and I could not, with propriety in the affirmative so I turn'd it off as I could.15 But what is your Opinion of England. Do you not admire that Country very much? I thought the best would be, to let him have his own Way, and I agreed with him, as far as I could. Upon other subjects I thought he spoke sensibly, but whenever he came upon the Topic of England; his gratitude, and fondness absorbed every other sentiment.
In the afternoon, I took a walk down with Mr. Tyler, and drank tea at uncle Quincy's: I have every day Reason to say more and more, it is not good, that the man, should be alone. A single life in this Country, cannot I think be an happy life. But do not you be afraid my Sister, that I shall be so fond of a connected life, as to have too { 375 } soon any desire, to enter, in it myself. I well know that Study for years and years to come, is to be my only mistress, and my only Courtship that of the Muses. These sentiments, which my Parents, and dearest friends, have always, inculcated in me, and which my own Reason, and Inclination confirm, will, I have no doubt be lasting. To-morrow I leave Braintree finally for this Winter: and indeed probably I shall not come here again, before next Commencement; for I suppose I shall go directly from Haverhill to Cambridge, in the Spring.
I left Braintree between 9 and 10 o'clock this morning, and got to Boston a little before one. I met on the exchange, Dr. Waterhouse, who has been at Providence these 6 weeks, delivering lectures upon natural Philosophy. He did not know me at first, and I was obliged to introduce myself to him. As soon as he found me out, he was as sociable as ever. I spent part of the afternoon with him. This Evening, I came here, and shall stay here till to-morrow afternoon, with our brother, Who is well contented, with his Situation here, and behaves in such a manner as has gained him the friendship of his Classmates, and given Satisfaction to his Tutor.
In the morning I went and paid a Visit to Mr. Tracey, but he was not at home. Mr. Dana, (or to speak more properly, Judge Dana) is riding the Circuit, so that I could not visit him. At about noon I had a billet from Miss Eliza. Cranch, to inform me, that I must certainly be in town before dinner in order to go with Mr. Peabody to Haverhill. I was to go in a Chaise, and she could not go, because, another Lady, had engaged the remaining place. Off I posted immediately, and when I got here, I found the plan alter'd again. We are to go to-morrow morning at 7. o'clock. I have had nothing to do this afternoon but stroll about the Streets. Spent the Evening at Dr. Welch's. Mr. W. Smith return'd from a Journey, last Evening. He has been gone ever since, I first arrived: I don't hear much said about his being married. Perhaps his time is not yet come.
Here I am at length and am now at my Journey's end. At about <6?> 8 this morning, I was placed by the side of a Mrs. <Brewster?> Webster, in a Chaise; I am not over froward in beginning Conversation, with a person, I am not acquainted with. We rode two or three miles { 376 } without saying a word. At length I made some common place Observation, upon the weather: Yes Sir, No Sir, I think so, was every thing I could draw from her, so upon the whole, I thought I had as good be silent too, and we jogged on from 8 in the morning till 5 afternoon, without saying six words, on either side. I often regretted the Company of our Cousin, with whom I should have been all sociability.
I found all our friends here well; send abundance of Compliments: and Aunt will write I suppose from Boston; where she is going, next Week. And now having brought you to Haverhill, and to the end of the month; I must for the present bid you adieu. Your affectionate brother
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on small pages, numbered 81 to 92, and 1 to 12; see JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. Lodovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1532) tells the story of Charlemagne's perfect knight, Orlando (Roland), who forgets his military duty in his passionate pursuit of the princess Angelica. When Orlando discovers that she has married a Moor, he goes on a destructive rampage. MQA has a 1771 Italian edition and a 1780 French translation, both with JQA's bookplate, and a 1785 English translation by John Hoole.
2. On Lt. Richard Nash bearing “infamous letters” to Gov. Bowdoin, see AA to Thomas Jefferson, 19 Oct. and note 5, below.
3. Probably JQA's cousin, Elizabeth Smith Otis.
4. Mr. Lincoln was presumably Levi Lincoln Sr. (not Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, as given in JQA, Diary, 2:index); his colleagues were John Gardiner, author of An Oration, Delivered July 4, 1785, Boston [1785], Evans, No. 19017, and James Hughes (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 195, 1151, 198).
5. Sans Souci, Alias Free and Easy:—Or, an Evening's Peep into a Polite Circle. An Entire New Entertainment in Three Acts, Boston, 1785 (Evans, Nos. 19234, 19235). See Charles Warren, “Samuel Adams and the Sans Souci Club in 1785,” MHS, Procs., 60 (1926–1927):318–344, esp. 335, note, which cites marginalia to a copy of the play at MBAt, identifying another character, “Mr. Bon Ton,” as “Cutler,” possibly the Benjamin Cutler mentioned at note 10. Other marginalia, in the MBAt and the MWA copies, connect certain roles with Perez Morton and his wife, Sarah Apthorp Morton (see note 12, Harrison Gray Otis, Mercy Otis Warren, and other figures who were well known to JQA and his family.
6. Mrs. Russell was Sarah Sever, daughter of William Sever of Kingston, Mass., and Sarah Warren Sever, James Warren's sister; she had married Thomas Russell of Boston in 1784. Her younger brother James was the traveler returned from Russia. See vol. 4:153, notes 1 and 3.
7. Perhaps Sarah Hallowell Vaughan, wife of Samuel Vaughan, a merchant of Jamaica and London, and mother of Benjamin Vaughan, and of William Vaughan, whom JQA had met in London in 1783. Her daughters were Ann, Sarah, Barbara, and Rebecca. See JQA, Diary, 1:198–200, 204; 2:456; MHS, Procs., 2d Ser., 17 (1903):406–409; NEHGR, 19:343, 355 (Oct. l865).
8. William Tudor had clerked and read law at JA's Boston home and law office from 1769 to 1772.
9. This was Mr. Serane (or Serano), whom JQA had met in late August.
10. Benjamin Austin Jr., a merchant and political figure, had married Jane Ivers (DAB). Of his guests, “Ben: Cutler” may have been the merchant, Benjamin Clarke Cutler (Thwing Catalogue, MHi). James Lovell was presumably the eldest son of the Adams' old friend, James Lovell. James Hughes is already mentioned (note 4). L. Austin was probably the host's elder brother and business partner, Jonathan Loring Austin. Royall Tyler was a Harvard classmate (1776) of young Lovell's (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 191, 196, 197; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:303–308).
11. King's Chapel.
12. Lucy Apthorp's parents were James Apthorp and Sarah Wentworth Apthorp. The { 377 } “former occasion of the same kind” was probably the marriage of their daughter Sarah to the Boston lawyer Perez Morton in 1781. James Apthorp was an outspoken loyalist, while Morton was a prominent patriot (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:555–557).
13. Christopher Gore, Tyler's classmate, and later governor of Massachusetts, had married Rebecca, daughter of Edward Payne of Boston, in 1783 (MHS, Colls., 3d ser., 3:206).
14. In his Diary, JQA elaborates: “In the afternoon I went down to our house, and looked over many of the things. I can never feel gay in this house, while its owners are absent, and this evening my aunt accused me of being melancholy; a reproach I am very seldom loaded with. I had a disagreeable headache, and really felt very dull” (Diary, 1:331).
15. JQA recounts this discussion differently in his Diary, principally by writing there that “as I had heard of [Apthorp's] Character before I saw him, I purposely spoke in the highest terms, of the french Nation and their Country” (same, Diary, 1:331).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0118

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Author: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-19

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

Indeed my ever honoured Aunt I should have been much disapointed if my Cousin had not brought me a letter from you.1 Your pen Madam is never so far exhausted that every sentence that falls from it does not yeild pleasure or instruction. In your letters indeed those qualities are so happily blended that we cannot take from the one without distroying the other.
I hope before this you have heard the pleasing news of the safe arival of your son at Newyork. Many must have been the anxieties of the parents and the sister for the safety of a son and a Brother so deservedly loved. We heard of my Cousin at Newyork six weeks before he arived here. We waited with impatience for him during the vacation which my Brother and Cousin Charles spent here. We heard of him every week. Charles grew so impatient at last that he said if he did not come within a week he would not be glade to see him: I told him he would have a hard task to help it.
I wonder not my dear Aunt that you was unwilling to part with your son. The attachments of nature must be hieghtened on both sides where the Virtues which draw each to the other are so great. He is indeed worthy of his parents, and an honour to them.
Your Orphan Children as my Uncle calls them2 will recieve every attention that is in the power of their friends to render them and as far as is in their power they will supply the place of their parents.
What ever little services it is in my power to do them will ever add to my happiness. It is by those alone that I shall ever be able to show my gratitude to you.
Mama will write and give you all the information you wish for with regard to Charles, who is now commenced Collegian.
{ 378 }
Your last letters3 gave us great entertainment. Your descriptions of Ranelaugh and several other places you reserve for the young folks. Then Madam I hope your neice may come in for a share. The pleasure which I always recieved in reading your Letters, makes me ever feel sorry when a pacquet comes without one for me. Though I see all, yet it does not feel so good, as to have one paticularly for myself. But hush presuming <me thinks> girl you will say, do you expect to be favoured, so much more highly than those that are in every respect so much your superiors. I own the rebuke is just, and will be silent.
Except my muched Loved Aunt my sincerest thanks for the silk. My obligations to you are more than I shall ever be able to cancel. A greatful heart is all the return I can make for your many favours: from your own heart you will recieve your reward.
Be assured Madam of my warmest wishes for your happiness and of my Uncles. And believe me to be with every sentiment of Love and Gratitude your Niece.
[signed] L Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “Madam Adams—London”; endorsed by AA2: “Lucy Cranch sep 19 1785.”
1. Of [5] May, above.
2. JA to Richard Cranch, 27 April, above.
3. The text is uncertain; Lucy Cranch may have corrected “letters” to “letter” here. Only AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above, with its mention of Ranelagh, and AA's intention to “reserve that story for the young folks,” fits this reference.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0119

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-24

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

[No.] 7
Last fryday I closed my Last to you1 and Mr. Storer sailed on Monday from Graves End so that it is now on its way to Greet you with health peace and Contentment I hope. A saturday the 17th. we went to see Mrs. Siddons, in the Character of Desdemona. Altho I saw her under many disadvantages, the part not being such as I shold have chosen, and her present situation2 renders it impossible for her to Play so well, as formerly, yet I think She answered my expectations. I did not go into fits, nor swoon, but I never was so much pleased with any person I ever saw upon any theatre. Her Countenance is certainly expressive of every thing it ought to be and She has the most perfect command of it. Her voice is inexpressibly Swet and harmonious. In Short she approaches nearer to perfection than any Woman I ever saw. Colln. Franks had stayed allmost on purpose to see her { 379 } and was, much Gratified. This is a Curious Genious, I assure you. We saw him in Paris you know, and I recollect you did not approve him.3 He has a great portion of vivacity and appearant good nature, which amused us very much. At breakfast and dinner he kept us all upon the Laugh. Even Pappas Gravity was often amused.
In the Morning we went out to hear Dr. Price, at Hackney, the first time since his return from the Country, where he has been for a few weeks. We had four Gentlemen to dine with us, all Americans. A Mr. Beverly from Virgina resembles a little Mr. Short. Mr. Chew, you know his sons in Paris. He is a very great Man in his own opinion and very affectd. I dont like him much. Mr. Waring you know. He took his Leave of us, and sails soon for Carolina. And Mr. Randal who you also know.4 He is quite a favourite with me. I assure you there is something in his manners and behavour that pleases me. I dont mean that he is sans pareil. He proposes going out to New York early in the Spring. He says he thought he shold be the cleaverest fellow in the World, by comeing to Europe but he is monstrously disappointed for he finds no alteration in him self at all, and all he wishes for is to get home.
Colln. Franks set off for Paris. I had forgot to tell you that a Saturday Eve Pappa received a Letter from Colln. Smith dated at Berlin. He sends your father a Coppy of his Letter to the King of Prussia, and His Majestys answer.5 His Letter was to ask permission to be present at the reveiw, every officer being obliged to have Leave from the King. The King, tells him he shall be very happy to see Monsieur la Colln. Smith at his reveiw, and that the permission he has requested is Granted, that he will <Pray the Boon Deiu> Prier le Bon Dieu for the health of Monsieur la Colln. Smith, and, that is his answer. The reveiw was to be finished the 20th. We do not expect Monsieur la Colln. Smith home, till the begining of next Month as he is going by way of Paris to Pay his respects to his friend Monsieur le Colln. Humph[reys].
Your father dined with the Baron de Lynden, after the Levee, and Mr. Trumble and Copely Spent the Evening with us. Mr. West has lately Gained a Great Prise at a sail of old Pictures, which had lain { 380 } a long time in a picture cleaners Garret. He purchased a picture which to every appearance was a ruind painting, being totally disguised by dirt paint &c. The picture had been ordered to be sold for thirty Gunieas, and if it could not fetch that for fifteen. Mr. West observed some parts of it were well painted and, Gave twenty Guneas, for it but upon having it cleaned it proves to be a Painting of the famous Titian. The subject is the Death [of] Actaeon, and he has been offered a thosan Gunias for it already. It was formerly in the Collection of King Charles, and it appears very evident that it was purposely disguisd for it is now said to be as perfect as, ever.6
Being the Anniversary of his Majestys Coronation we all went to Court. There was a full drawing room at least I thought it so, for I was excessively fatigued. The King and Quen Prince of Wales, Princess Royal Augusta and Elisabeth were Present. This is such a ridiculous ceremony that I allways feel provoked when I am Present, to see so many, People, waiting in expectation to be spokent to by the Royal Family, and eagerly sollicitous for their Smiles. Ill tell you what—I like the King better than the Queen. At Least he dissembls better. She is a haughty Proud imperious Dame—and I beleive feel excessivly Mortified to see our family at her drawing room, for which reason, I shold choose to go [often and once atten?] for pleasure no one can ever attend, unless it is such a spighfull pleasure as I shold enjoy. Her Countenance is as hard and unfeeling as if Carved out of an oak knot. It nevertheless expresses her sentiments with respect to us, and we may easily see, that She does not forgive us. Peace be with her. I thank Heaven, that I am not dependant upon her frowns or smiles. The Princess Royal is the handsomest of any of the family that I have yet seen. When she smils She is really pretty, but there seems a great vacancy, in her Countenance, and in all the rest of them. The Prince was very well dressed. He is called in general handsome, but it is a tribute that is payd to fashion I am inclined to beleive rather than spoken from sincerity. He is very fat and looks flushd, report says, it is not (with all honourable virtues).
Pappa dined with Lord Carmarthen and in the Eve Mrs. and Miss Paradise made us a visit.
<To-day> We have been waiting in expectation of receiving Letters from our friends in Boston by Capt. Folgier, who has just arrived. He { 381 } called upon us this afternoon <but> and brought me one Letter. I received another from Betsy Palmer from Mr. Elworthy and these are all that have yet come to hand.7<Tis as> We find our very [family?] had heard of your arrival at New York, and were anxiously expecting to see you hourly. They thought I suppose that the instant you arrived you wold post of to Boston, and they seem as sollicitous for your arrival as if the fate of the Continent depended upon it. Their expectations forerun all reason. I beleive they were tyred a looking for we supposed you not to arrive in Boston before the begining of September, after we heard from you.8
Your reception at New York was such as, I am sure must have been extremely pleasing to you, in particular, “for you know that we all form opinions of Persons according to their Conduct with respect to ourselvs,” is a maxim of yours my Brother and has been a favourite one of mine, also, but I must confess to you that I begin to suspect the Justice of this sentiment. Was the World Honnest, and every one sincere in their proffers of civility Politeness and Friendship, we might have no cause to fear or to arm oursells with such sheilds as suspicion and distrust. But alas it is far other wise.
But I beleive there are many really Honest People remaining. I will not yet turn misanthrop.
This Morning I had set down and given you a detail of matters thus far, intending to send my Letter by Capt. Davis, but your Mamma came in and told me that some body from the City had just told her that Davis had sailed. The Morning was really fine and she proposed going to ride. We dressed and rode to Clapham. The sun shone very pleasant and the Country was beautiful. That rich verdure which I so much admire appeard in full perfection. We first made a visit to Mrs. Smith and Miss Copes, and then to Mrs. Vassall, where we spent an hour. Mrs. V is a little Lofty, but she put on more affability than usual. She is one of those kind of Folks that I should not wish to be mine enemy. The young Ladies, are agreeable enough. There is but one that has any title to beauty and <she> Miss Margret is really Pretty, but a little possitive. They were all very pleasing this Morning.9
Before we went out Count Sarsfield called on your Pappa and they went together to visit Dr. Price. The Count is generally in the Country but comes occasionally to town. Whenever he is here for a few days, he asks Papa which day it is that he is to be his Guest. You know the { 382 } friendship he professes banishes all kind of ceremony, as it certainly ought. I dont know any Person whose Life is more agreeable than this mans. A fortune sufficient to follow the dictates of his inclination which Leads him to travell, to spend one summer in England a second in Holland a third in Spain if he pleases, and known to all Persons of Rank and Character wherever he goes, and universally respected and beloved.
We returnd home about three oclock. Mr. Tom Boilstone dined with us: would you beleive that he intends going soon to France and proposes spending the Winter there. He says he is very much out of health and he looks so, I think. He only wants to Live ten or fifteen years longer and then he thinks he shall die Content but you may be sure that interest is at the Bottom of this excursion. And he seems as sollicitous to affect his plans of trade as if he was not worth a hundred pounds.10
Pappa received a Packet from Mr. Jay to day, from N York, so late as the 26th of august.11 Now how well may I retalliate complaints that you did not write one line. But I learn from the Papers that the French June Packet12 had a fifty two days passage, and a Vessel1 from this place eight weeks, both of which I suppose had Letters for you. I fear you did not receive them before you set off for Boston. <We> Mamma received one day this week your Letter by the French July packet,13 which informs us of your arrival. It would have given us great pleasure if we had not have known it three weeks agone.
To day as we were setting at Dinner. We received a Card from Capt. Hay, who has just arrived from the West Indies, and a Present of a Turtle weighing about an hundred weight.14 This came very opportunely as, your father had invited all the Foreign Ministers and my Lord Carmarthen to dine with him next fryday, and such a Dish as this will not be improper, upon such an occasion. I shall not be able to give you any account of the Folks, as your Mamma nor myself shall not be at home upon the occasion. We have a most admirable friend in Exeter. The week before last we received a Basket containing two fine large salmon, directed to Pappa, and the Porter who brought it told us that it came in the stage from Exeter which was all we could find about it, there being no Letter nor any thing but a simple direction to Pappa.
And the Last week a Porter brought a Box, from the same Place under the same direction which upon opening we found to Contain a Dozen Partriges, but no Letter. We have been upon the round of Conjecture and have concluded they must come from Mr. Jack { 383 } Cranch. He does not intend to be known, to be sure. These kind of attentions are very flattering, but the obligation one feels under for them is not very light, especially when one knows of no good way to return them.
The day we had the salmon Colln. Franks dined with us. He drunk the Health of the Doner in a Bumper, and entitled him Fish Monger to the United States of America. It was the finest I ever tasted, and the Partriges were very fine. They are called Game here you know, and the laws are very strict against those persons that buy it. Indeed a Person who purchases Game is subject to a penalty. It often happens that People of whom it is purchased will give information of the purchasers, and the penalty is severe, so that those People who have not Parks, are obliged to receive it throught the Courtesy of their friends, if they have it at all. Pappa says he intends to rally Mr. Jefferson upon the civilities he receives here, but says I must not let Congress know it for they will asseredly Leessen my salary, and to be sure they have no reason to do that.
By the Way I have forgot to tell you that Mr. Jefferson has, changed his Hotell for one, just out of the Barrier at Challiot, near the Champs Elysées, not far from the Spanish Ambassadors. He found his first Hotell too small, and too far from the <Pub> Walks, of which he is very fond. Petit lives with him and he likes him very much, but Petit would willingly come to London to us, if we would but give Leave. Paulina, soon got into service, and advantageously for herself. The Lady she is with gives her[]15 a year. She says however that she should prefer Living with us.
Lamb has at last arrived, but as Mr. Barclay was engaged to go to Moroco, he agrees to go to Algiers, as <two> a person to each is necessary. Mr. Barclay will I suppose set off soon. Poor Mrs. Barclay, will have another tedious Winter. They have given up their House at Mount Parnassus, and are at Present in an Hotel. Mrs. B. talks of a Convent while Mr. B. is absent. Mrs. Montgomery and her son Bob, have arrived in Paris. Mrs. M. I hear from those who have long known her is as Sprightly as ever but it is thought that she will only be talking of the Education of her son, till he is too oald for to receive an Education. At Present he is under the Care of Mr. Noris who you have not forgot I dare say.16
Colln. Franks says he was at Renelagh17 in the Bois de Bologne, where you may recollect you were with me last summer, the week before he left Paris, and the Queen with Madam Elisabeth and Madame de [Paliniach?], honourd it with their Presence. Her Maj• { 384 } esty has determined to wear none but French Gauze. If you see the English Papers you will see a great deal respecting the Cardinl de Roan, and Madame de la Motte, and some Diamond. That he has been taken up, and Confined is true. It has made much Noise in Paris, but what has been the reall cause, does not appear certain. I wrote you about this in a late Letter.18
Paul Jones, is undertaking a voyage to Kamskatta. The English News Papers say that he is fitting out two Vessels at his own Expence, and that he is enabled to do this by the Prise Money he has lately received. That he has such a project Dr. Bancroft says, who is his friend you know, and he is Enterprising and resolute.19
We went out to meeting at Hackney, and had a violent storm to come home in, which continued all day and night.
Mr. Paradise came and spent the Evening. You would be pleased with this Man as a visitor. He is a Member of the royal society, and proposes, to present your father, provided he is first sure of his reception, and he says he has no doubt of it.20 The form of receiving a Member is this. At a meeting of the society, two members offer, <any> A person they wish to become one, and his Name is hung up, for twelve weeks. At the thirghteenth week they choose [ . . . ] by Ballot. All Persons except Crownd heads, Princes and Ambassadors are received in the above manner. The latter may be chosen without hanging twelve weeks. Mr. Paradise, seems to have been acquainted with all the Litterati of his age. He told us this Evening some curious anecdotes of Dr. Johnson. But in the midst of his Conversation Mrs. Wright came in with such a Budget, and wanted so much private confab, which nobody was to hear except your father, not Wives to be admitted She said, that she kept Pappa an hour hearing her Story.
Now what a Chance for making your fortune have you lost young Man. How say you? Is it not to be retreived? No never. Why I'll tell you. Mr. Boilstone is going to France about his Cargo of oil, that he has just received, and by which he hopes to get an admittance into France in future. Now if you was here, from the Natural benevolence of his Character it is easy to suppose that he wold not object to making you a present of half of it, to go with him and assist him by your { 385 } knowledge of the Language, to persuade the Ministers there to receive it in future. But do not distress yourself at having lost this opportunity—because you might not have found him even so genrous as to propose it.
Your Mamma and myself went this Morning to make some visits. 1st. we called upon Madame de Pinto Lady to the Minister from Portugal but according to the fashion she was not at home. We left our Cards and called upon Mrs. Smith a Carolin Lady lately arrived here. She came for her health, is sister to Mr. Rutledge, and her husband Brother to Mr. James Smith, lately gone to France.21 She is not handsome but there is something agreeable in her manners. She is to dine with us next Tuesday. We called upon Mrs. Church and upon Miss Hamilton of whom I spoke to you in a late Letter. She is to dine with us also a tuesday and I will tell you more about her. Mr. Short fell in Love with a picture taken of her, in Philadelphia tho he had never seen the original, and says this was the Love affair that used to trouble him so much last Winter and made him so Melancholy.
You know not how much I wish you were here. We are so inanimate and stupid without you, that I expect you will hear of me from Bedlam next, as a Melancholy Mad one. I declare I wish you had not gone home. Here you have been gone allm[o]st five months and I have not heard from you but once.22 As soon as I find you negligent I promise you I will write no more, and perhaps you may rejoice at my determination. You taxed yourself with my Correspondence upon such terms as I cannot avoid fullfilling. If I tire your patience tell me so, and I shall not continue to. I am really in earnest, for I really fear that you will be sick of my Letters. I have not been more entertained a long time. Count Sarsfeild came an dined with us sans ceremony and he was perfectly unreserved in the afternoon very sociable and entertaining.
To day is the important day. I can only give you the names of the Gentlemen expected.23 Mamma and myself are going to spend the day with Mrs. Roggers.
We went and found Mrs. Roggers in trouble having lately heard of the account of her Mammas death. She is an excellent little Woman. { 386 } Her kindness and sollicitude to send in all the assistance to her friends that is in her Power must ensure to her the esteem of all who are acquainted with her.
We returned about Nine oclock. The Gentlemen were not all gone. However we did not see them. My Lord Carmarthen told your father he should have been very happy to have dined with the Ladies. Every thing was conducted with propriety and order. Our butler on whom every thing you know depends on such an occasion, is very well acquainted with his business, and gives general sattisfaction. Indeed we at present seem to be well suited with servants. They are all Steady prudent People, which is very essential, you well know, and there is as much harmony as one can expect amongst them. There never will be a perfect agreement unless they are all in one Box.
You have not I dont beleive a finer sun Shine clearer air or more delightfully clear Sky than we have had this day. It has been quite an American day. I have been sitting at my Desk Writing all day, and getting my letters ready for Calliham who dines with us tomorrow, and is to sail the begining of the week. I shall give this and two or three other Letters to his Care.24
About 3 o clock Colln. Franks arrived from Paris again. It was found necessary to make some alteration in the Commissions instructions &c. after Lamb arrived. From Colln. Franks, and other People accounts, he does not appear very well adapted to the business he is going upon they say. He can Speak no Language, for he does not speak even his own English with any degree of propriety, that he seems to have neither knowledge Judgment or Prudence, all of which are very essential for if it should be made Public, it is supposed that the influence of this Country will be made use of to obstruct the making a treaty on any accomodations with those Barbarians. Mr. Jefferson thinks it very necessary that some person should go with Lamb, who can be perfectly confided in and, who possesses what he lacks of qualities for the business. Charles Storer, if he was here would be a likely person, it is thought, as he was willing to go, but this is now impossible. Several persons have been mentiond but no Person applied to as yet. I dont know how it will be determined. Congress seem [not] to have made a Wise choise in sending him. Your father receivd a Letter under the signature of a Capt. of an American Vessell from Philadelphia from Algiers who had been taken sometimes in July. He at first thought it a forgery but Mr. Jefferson { 387 } has another which he knows comes directly from Algiers, and he thinks that it is without doubt that some Ships have been taken by them.25 The week before last there was a Letter in the News Paper signed by Capt. Truxton, which said that he was taken on the 22d. of July and Carried into Algiers, and that the next day after the date of his Letter they were to be sent to slavery, that Dr. Frankling bore it surprisingly. This Letters in a day or two was proved to be a fogery,26 and indeed there are so many and various means made use of here to deceive and mislead People that we know not what to beleive or when to credid what they had asserted.
Madam de Pinto called upon us just now. She was going to the Play, and could not make us a very long visit. She had never seen Mrs. Siddons. This Eve She appears in the Character a Lady Mackbeth. It is said she appears well in this Character. I wish very much to see her in a Character where she will appear to most advantage.
I requested in my last Letter that you would write us by way of New York, and I must again sollicit you to, for I am sure we shall hear very seldom from Boston, from prese[n]t appearances at Least. I suppose the Trade will become less and less, while the present measures are held. Your father has laid every thing necessary before Mr. Pit and has had a conference with him. But he has not received a single answer of any kind or notice of them. The King is advised by People of his Party from America to retain his Navigation act, in its full rigeur tho he has been so effectually deceived by following the opinions of this kind of People heretofore. Yet he does not seem to be any more inclined to disbeleive them than ever. What it will all end in we know not. Your Pappa does not expect they will give him any answer till the Parliament set again which is not to be till February, so that nothing can be done till Spring, Should they be disposed to. The American Merchants will be impatient, before that time, but it is not to be avoided they must know if they know any thing. Many will Judge and condemn without proper reflection it is to be expected.
Not knowing when I might meet with so safe a conveyance for your Watch as by Mr. Short, I wrote to him after he went to Holland, and desired him to take it and send it to me from France. I wrote to Miss Dumas, requesting her Mamma to deliver it which She did, but Insisted of having a receipt of Mr. Short.27 Colln. Franks, has brought it to me and I shall wait your orders respecting it. I thought it had as well be in my possession as in Madame Dumas.
{ 388 }
Poor Lotter who I beleive is as honnest a fellow as ever Lived, has by the intrigues of this Woman your Dear friend been turned out of the House. By Willinks he had requested to have His Livery in [some part?] of it for taking care of it, and keeping it clean, and your father had given his Consent but this Woman used her influence to get [him?] turnd out, after the Poor fellow had <given up his> sold some of his things, and had no place to go to.28
Dft (Adams Papers). The text is written on seventeen small pages; the second through the ninth, and the twelfth, are numbered.
1. Of 26 Aug., above.
2. AA2 refers to Siddons' pregnancy; see AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan. 1786 (Adams Papers), under “Wedensday” [8 Feb. 1786]. Sarah Kemble Siddons, who married William Siddons in 1773 at age eighteen, had five children (DNB).
3. Nothing further is known about JQA's disapproval of Col. David Franks.
4. Of these four men, nothing further is known of Mr. Beverly. JQA records seeing Mr. Chew, perhaps Benjamin Chew Jr., and Paul R. Randall, on 11 May, the day before his departure from Auteuil for America. The Benjamin Chew to whom AA2 refers may have been the pre-Revolutionary chief justice of Pennsylvania and loyalist sympathizer, who was sixty-two in 1785. His son Benjamin Chew Jr., age twenty-seven, had been studying law in London for several years, and returned to Philadelphia in 1786. JQA had met Mr. Waring, perhaps Dr. Thomas Waring of South Carolina, in Paris in January (JQA, Diary, 1:265, 216; Thompson Westcott, The Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia, Phila., 1877, p. 232–235, 248).
5. See William Stephens Smith to AA, 5 Sept., above.
6. See Robert C. Alberts, Benjamin West, A Biography, Boston, 1978, p. 185, and notes, p. 444.
7. The letter delivered by Capt. Folgier has not been identified; the letter from Elizabeth Palmer has not been found. In a letter to AA dated 23 Sept. (Adams Papers), Elizabeth Palmer mentions having been given a letter from AA2 (also not found, but presumably written in late April or early May) by JQA when he visited Braintree.
8. JQA to AA2, By 25 May, and 17 July, both above.
9. Margaret Hubbard Vassall was the second wife of Boston's well-known loyalist emigré, William Vassall; her daughters were Margaret, age 24, and twins Ann and Charlotte, age 23 (Edward Doubleday Harris, “The Vassalls of New England,” NEHGR, 17:115–116 [April 1863]; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:349–359).
10. Boylston was going to France to negotiate a contract to supply American whale oil. On Boylston's sale of oil to the French, see JA to James Bowdoin, 24 March 1786 (MHi: Bowdoin-Temple Papers, now in Winthrop Papers; printed in MHS, Colls., 7th ser., 6 [1907]:92–93).
11. John Jay's brief letter of 26 Aug. (Adams Papers; also printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:383), acknowledged the receipt of JA's letters of 2, 6, and 17 June, which recounted his reception at the British Court.
12. AA2 inserted “June” above the line; she apparently sent her second, third, and fourth numbered letters to JQA, not found, by the French and English June packet boats to New York.
13. JQA to AA, 17 July, above.
14. This small card, in the Adams Papers, reads: “Mr. and Mrs. Hay, present their Compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Adams, and Beg their acceptance of a Turtle. London Street No. 19 Sept. 24.” Someone wrote “Dove” immediately after “Turtle,” in a different shade of ink.
15. Left blank in MS. Mary Barclay to AA, 5 Sept., above, gives Paulina's wages as 300 livres a year.
16. Dorcas Armitage Montgomery was a widow from Philadelphia and a friend of the Bache family; her son Robert was about fifteen (Jefferson, Papers, 10:282–283; 13:164–166). JQA met Isaac Norris, an American Quaker who converted to Roman Catholicism, on 17 March, in Paris (Diary, 1:236).
17. Ranelagh was a hall for public balls, founded in 1774 on the model of its London namesake. It was located on the west edge of Passy, near the Port de la Muette, a chief { 389 } entrance to the Bois de Boulogne (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel). Madam Elisabeth was the sister of Louis XVI.
18. AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., under “Monday 22d [Aug.],” above.
19. John Paul Jones had joined with the Connecticut-born adventurer John Ledyard to mount an expedition in two French ships, with French crews, to open up the fur trade on the northwest coast of North America. Dr. Edward Bancroft was a financial backer of the venture. Determined opposition from Spain, which regarded the area as its domain, and respect for that claim by France, frustrated the effort, which came to nothing (Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones, A Sailor's Biography, Boston, 1959, p. 341–343).
Jones' proposed expedition did not involve the Kamchatka Peninsula on Russia's Pacific coast, but both Jones and Ledyard would be involved in Russia, quite independently, in the next four years, and Kamchatka was a possible supply point for a European expedition heading into the northern Pacific by way of the Indian Ocean. See Morison; Jefferson, Papers, vols. 8 (Jones), 11 and 13 (Ledyard); and DAB.
20. JQA, and presumably JA, had first visited the Royal Society of London for the Advancement of Natural Science, then quartered in the new Somerset House in the Strand, on 13 Nov. 1783 (JQA, Diary, 1:203, 205). JA was not elected to membership in the Royal Society.
21. Mary Rutledge Smith's brothers were John and Edward, both of whom JA had met when he first served in Congress in 1774 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:114, 116, 119). Her husband was Roger Moore Smith, older brother of James Smith (South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 4:41 [Jan. 1903]). In her journal entry for his date, after recording the social calls on Madam de Pinto and Mary Rutledge Smith, AA2 criticized, at some length, the European custom of persons not being at home to unexpected callers (Jour. and Corr., [3]:185–186).
22. AA2 had received JQA's letters of 25 May, and 17 July from John Barker Church on 5 Sept. (AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., above, under “september 5th. Monday Morning”).
23. In her journal AA2 gives several names, saying: “The gentlemen who came were the Baron de Nalken, from Sweden; Baron de Lynden, Holland; Baron de H., a German nobleman; the Count de K., Germany; Count de L., Prussia; Conde de L., Venice; Count de W., engaged; Baron de K., engaged; Chavelier del Campo, Spain; Chevalier de Pinto, Portugal; Chavalier de Pollen, disappointed, by hearing of the death of his mistress, the Queen of Sardinia; [and] several other gentlemen” (Jour. and Corr., 3:186).
24. No other AA2 letters from this period have survived. All of AA's letters to Boston correspondents, from 15 Sept. to 1 Oct., and possibly to 5 Oct., probably went in Capt. Callahan's vessel.
25. Capt. Richard O'Bryen gave JA and Jefferson the details of two captures by the Algerines, his Daupin of Philadelphia, seized off Portugal on 30 July, and the schooner Maria of Boston, also seized off Portugal, on 24 July. See Richard O'Bryen and others (at “Algir”) to JA, 27 Aug. (Adams Papers); Richard O'Bryen to Thomas Jefferson, 24 Aug., in Jefferson, Papers, 8:440–441; Jefferson to JA, 24 Sept. (first letter), same, 8:542–544; and Jefferson to Richard O'Bryen, 29 Sept., same, 8:567–568.
26. The Daily Universal Register of 13 Sept. briefly mentioned “the death of ... Doctor Benjamin Franklin, on his way to America.” On 19 Sept. this same paper stated that “the ship London Packet, Capt. Truxon ... on board of which Dr. Franklin embarked as a passenger, had been boarded and taken by an Algerine pirate on the 22d of July.” On 21 Sept. the story was retracted: “The fabricated letter [from Capt. Truxtun] respecting the capture of Dr. Franklin was a forgery pregnant with the most cruel consequences . . . .” See also the Daily Universal Register, 13 and 14 October.
The Adamses would not likely have been taken in by this report because its fraudulent character was evident in the text itself. On 22 July, the day on which it stated that Capt. Thomas Truxtun's vessel was captured, Franklin was just crossing the Channel from Le Havre to Southampton, and Truxtun had yet to bring his ship to Southampton from London. Franklin boarded this ship at Southampton on 27 July, and Truxtun set sail on the 28th, arriving in Philadelphia on 14 September. The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. John Bigelow, N.Y., 1888, 10 vols., 9:261–262; The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert Henry Smyth, N.Y., 1907, 9:365–366, 372, 410–412, 463; Jefferson, Papers, 8:585–586.
27. No letter from AA2 to William Short or to Nancy Dumas has been found.
28. The dispute between Christian Lotter { 390 } on one side, and Marie Dumas and the banking firm of Wilhem & Jan Willink & Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst on the other, may have begun in the spring of 1785 in an argument over which services were being provided by Lotter, and which by Dumas, in caring for the Hôtel des Etats-Unis at The Hague, of which Lotter was steward and in which he lived with his family. JA remained personally satisfied with Lotter, who in June-July brought to London all JA's belongings remaining at the Hôtel, and through July JA favored allowing Lotter stay at the Hôtel rent free indefinitely, and intended to recommend him to whomever should succeed JA as minister to the Netherlands. But Dumas somehow won this argument, and in September JA, who no longer had need of Letter's services, and who felt he could not justify continuing to pay Lotter a salary when there was no minister resident at the Hôtel, allowed Willink & van Staphorst to settle all wages due to his steward, and to evict him. Lotter was evicted on 26 October. AA2 must have met Lotter when he came to London in early July. See the correspondence between Lotter and JA, and between Willink & van Staphorst and JA, extending from April to Dec. 1785, in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0120

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-09-25

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Mr. Short's return the night before last availed me of your favour of Aug. 12. I immediately ordered the shoes you desired which will be ready tomorrow. I am not certain whether this will be in time for the departure of Mr. Barclay or of Colo. Franks, for it is not yet decided which of them goes to London. I have also procured for you three plateaux de dessert with a silvered ballustrade round them, and four figures of Biscuit. The former cost 192, the latter 12 each, making together 240, livres or 10. Louis. The merchant undertakes to send them by the way of Rouen through the hands of Mr. Garvey and to have them delivered in London.1 There will be some additional expences of packing, transportation and duties here. Those in England I imagine you can save. When I know the amount I will inform you of it, but there will be no occasion to remit it here. With respect to the figures I could only find three of those you named, matched in size. These were Minerva, Diana, and Apollo. I was obliged to add a fourth, unguided by your choice. They offered me a fine Venus; but I thought it out of taste to have two at table at the same time. Paris and Helen were presented. I conceived it would be cruel to remove them from their peculiar shrine. When they shall pass the Atlantic, it will be to sing a requiem over our freedom and happiness. At length a fine Mars was offered, calm, bold, his faulchion not drawn, but ready to be drawn. This will do, thinks I, for the table of the American Minister in London, where those whom it may concern may look and learn that though Wisdom is our guide, and the Song and Chase our supreme delight, yet we offer adoration to that tutelar god also who rocked the cradle of our birth, who has accepted our infant offerings, { 391 } and has shewn himself the patron of our rights and avenger of our wrongs. The groupe then was closed, and your party formed. Envy and malice will never be quiet. I hear it already whispered to you that in admitting Minerva to your table I have departed from the principle which made me reject Venus: in plain English that I have paid a just respect to the daughter but failed to the mother. No Madam, my respect to both is sincere. Wisdom, I know, is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.
But, Allons; let us turn over another leaf, and begin the next chapter. I receive by Mr. Short a budget of London papers. They teem with every horror of which <nature> human nature is capable. Assassinations, suicides, thefts, robberies, and, what is worse than assassination, theft, suicide, or robbery, the blackest slanders! Indeed the man must be of rock, who can stand all this; to Mr. Adams it will be but one victory the more. It would have illy suited me. I do not love difficulties. I am fond of quiet, willing to do my duty, but irritable by slander and apt to be forced by it to abandon my post. These are weaknesses from which reason and your counsels will preserve Mr. Adams. I fancy it must be the quantity of animal food eaten by the English which renders their character insusceptible of civilisation. I suspect it is in their kitchens and not in their churches that their reformation must be worked, and that Missionaries of that description from hence would avail more than those who should endeavor to tame them by precepts of religion or philosophy. But what do the foolish printers of America mean by retailing all this stuff in our papers?2 As if it was not enough to be slandered by one's enemies without circulating the slanders among his friends also.
To shew you how willingly I shall ever receive and execute your commissions, I venture to impose one on you. From what I recollect of the diaper and damask we used to import from England I think they were better and cheaper than here. You are well acquainted with those of both countries. If you are of the same opinion I would trouble you to send me two sets of table cloths and napkins for 20 covers each, by Colo. Franks or Mr. Barclay who will bring them to me. But if you think they can be better got here I would rather avoid the trouble this commission will give. I inclose you a specimen of what is offered me at 100. livres for the table cloth and 12 napkins. I suppose that, of the same quality, a table cloth 2. aunes3 wide and 4. aunes long, and 20 napkins of 1. aune each, would cost 7. guineas.
I shall certainly charge the publick my houserent and court taxes. I shall do more. I shall charge my outfit. Without this I can never get { 392 } out of debt. I think it will be allowed. Congress is too reasonable to expect, where no imprudent expences are incurred, none but those which are required by a decent respect to the mantle with which they cover the public servants, that such expences should be left as a burthen on our private fortunes.
But when writing to you, I fancy myself at Auteuil, and chatter on till the last page of my paper awakes me from my reverie, and tells me it is time to assure you of the sincere respect and esteem with which I have the honour to be Dear Madam Your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
P.S. The cask of wine at Auteuil, I take chearfully. I suppose the seller will apply to me for the price. Otherwise, as I do not know who he is, I shall not be able to find him out.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson Sep 25 1785.”
1. The Jefferson Papers (DLC) contains a receipted invoice from: “Bazin Md. Rue des fossés St. Germain L'auxerois à Paris,” dated 27 September. The invoice includes “1. Service de 3 plateaux a Balustrade et perles de Cuivre argenté garnis de glaces,” at 192 livres, and “4. figures divinites de porcelaine en Biscuit,” at 48 livres. The invoice totaled 26417s. 6d; the receipt was dated 5 Jan. 1786 (Jefferson, Papers, 8:549, where the location of the receipt is mistakenly given as MHi).
2. Squibs against JA and the United States from London papers were reprinted in Boston's Continental Journal of 4 August.
3. The French equivalent of an ell; actual measurement varied from place to place.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0121

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-09-30

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

Your kind Letters of July and August are before me.1 I thank you most sincerely for the particular manner in which you write; I go along with you, and take an interest in every transaction which concerns those I love. And I enjoy more pleasure from those imaginary Scenes, than I do from the drawing room at St. James's. In one I feel my self your Friend and equal, in the other I know I am looked down upon with a sovereign pride, and the Smile of Royalty is bestowed as a mighty Boon. As such however I cannot receive it. I know it is due to my Country, and I consider myself as complimenting the Power before which I appear, as much as I am complimented by being noticed by it. With these Ideas you may be sure my countanance will never wear that suppliant appearence which begs for notice. Consequently I never expect to be a Court favourite, nor would I ever again set my foot there, if the Etiquette of my Country did not require it. But whilst I am in a publick Character I must submit to the penalty, for such I shall ever esteem it.2 You will naturally suppose { 393 } that I have lately been much fatigued. This is very true. I attended the Drawing room last week upon the Aniversary of the Coronation of their Majesties. The Company were very Brilliant, and her Majesty was stiff with Diamonds. The three eldest Princesses and the Prince of Wales were present.3 His Highness lookt much better than when I saw him before. He is a stout well made Man, and would look very well; if he had not sacrificed so much to Bacchus. The Princess Elizabeth I never saw before, she is about 15, a short clumsy Miss, and would not be thought Handsome if she was not a Princess. The whole family have one complexion; and all inclined to corpulent, I should know them in any part of the world.
Not with standing the English boast so much of their Beauties, I do not think they have really so much of it, as you will find amongst the same proportion of people in America. It is true that their complexions are undoubtedly fairer than the French, and in general their figure is good. Of this they make the best. But I have not seen a Lady in England who can bear a comparison with Mrs. Bingham Mrs. Platt4 and a Miss Hamilton who is a Philadelphia young Lady. Amongst the most celebrated of their Beauties stands the Dutchess of Devonshire,5 who is Masculine in her appearence. Lady Salsbury is small and geenteel, but her complexion is bad, and Lady Talbot is not a Mrs. Bingham, who taken all together is the finest woman I ever saw. The intelligence of her countanance, or rather I ought to say animation, the Elegance of her form, and the affability of her Manners, converts you into admiration, and one has only to lament too much dissapation and frivolity of amusement, which has weand her from her Native Country; and given her a passion and thirst after all the Luxeries of Europe.
The finest English woman I have seen is the eldest daughter of Mr. Dana, Brother to our Mr. Dana. He resides in the Country, but was in London with two of his daughters when I first came here.6 I saw her first at Raneleigh. I was struck with her appearence and endeavourd to find who she was, for she appeard like Calipso amongst her Nymphs, delicate and modest. She was easily known from the crowd as a stranger. I had not long admired her; before she was brought by her Father and introduced to me, after which she made me a visit, with her sister, who was much out of Health, at the same time that she has the best title of any English woman I have seen to the rank of Divinity. I would not have it forgotten that her Father is an American, and as he was remarkably handsome no doubt she owes a large share of her Beauty to him.
{ 394 }
Since I took my pen I have received from Mrs. Rogers acquainting me with the death of her Mamma. I feard as much from what Mrs. Copely told me the week before.7
I dread to hear from my dear Aunt least the same melancholy tidings should reach me with respect to her. She is at the same critical period of life which proved fatal to Mrs. Broomfeild.8 I will however hope that she may yet be spaired to her Friends. Tho her Health would never permit her to engage in the active buisness of her family, she was attentive to the interest and welfare of every individual of it. Like Sarah she was always to be found in her tent.9 A more benevolent Heart never inhabited a Humane Breast. It was well matched and seconded in a partner equally Benevolent and humane, who has shared with us our former Griefs and will find us equally sympathetick towards himself should so great a misfortune attend him as I fear. Indeed I know not how to take my pen to write to him. I do not wonder that your Heart was affected or your spirits low under the apprehension of losing one so deservedly dear to us all. Should this ornament be broken from the original building it will be an other memento to us of the frailty of the whole, and that duration depends not upon age. Yet who would desire to stand the last naked Pillar of the whole? I believe our social affections strengthen by age. As those objects and amusement which gratified our Youthfull Years lose their relish, the social converse and society of Friends becomes more necessary.

Needfull auxiliars are our Friends to give

To social Man true realish of himself.

But I must close, as I am going to day to dine with my Friend Mrs. Rogers, where I have given myself an invitation, the occasion of which I will reserve for the Subject of an other Letter and subscribe affectionately Yours
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed in an unknown hand: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree Massachusetts.”
1. The only extant letter that fits this description is Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above, which she finished on 7 August.
2. A caret appears in the MS immediately following this sentence, but no text that might be inserted appears in the letter.
3. Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Augusta Sophia, and Elizabeth, and George, Prince of Wales, later George IV.
4. Probably Abigail Pyncheon Platt of NewYork City and New Haven, Conn., who had spent some time in Europe with her husband (NEHGR, 38:47 [Jan. 1884]; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:302; JQA, Diary, 1:306, and note 1).
5. Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, daughter of John Spencer, first earl Spencer, and wife of the fifth duke of Devonshire, was twentyeight in 1785. She made a great impression on English society more by the force of her per• { 395 } sonality and her broad cultural and political interests than by her beauty, which several observers praised rather modestly. See DNB.
6. Francis Dana's elder brother Edmund had sailed to England shortly after his graduation from Harvard in 1759, married Helen, daughter of Charles Kinnaird, sixth baron Kinnaird, in 1765, and taken holy orders in 1769. After 1774 he was vicar at Wroxeter, near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth Caroline, was eighteen, and his second daughter, Frances Johnstone, nearly seventeen when AA met them. Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:414–418; Elizabeth Ellery Dana, The Dana Family in America, Cambridge, 1956, p. 484–485.
7. This paragraph is omitted in AA, Letters, ed. CFA. Hannah Clarke Bromfield of Boston and Harvard, Mass., step-mother of AA's dear friend Abigail Bromfield Rogers, died on 17 August (Daniel Denison Slade, “Bromfield Family,” NEHGR, 26:38–42 [Jan. 1872]).
8. Lucy Quincy Tufts would die at fifty-five in October; Hannah Clarke Bromfield was sixty-one at her death. See AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., under ““Fryday Eve,” above; vol. 4:348, note 1.
9. See Genesis 18:9.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0122

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-10-01

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I told you in my last, that I was going to dine with my Friend Mrs. Rogers. You must know that yesterday the whole Diplomatick Choir dinned here, that is his Lordship the Marquiss of Carmarthan and all the Foreign Ministers 15 in all,1 and to day the Newspapers proclaim it. I believe they have as many Spies here as the Police of France. Upon these occasions no Ladies are admitted, so I wrote a card and beg'd a dinner for myself and Daughter of Mrs. Rogers where I know I am always welcome.
It is customary to send out cards of invitation ten days before hand. Our cards were gone out, and as good luck would have it, Captain Hay returnd from the West Indies and presented us with a noble Turtle weighing a hundred and 14 pounds which was drest upon this occasion. Tho it gave us a good deal of pain to receive so valuable a present from them; yet we could not refuse it without affronting them, and it certainly happend at a most fortunate time. On tuesday they and a Number of our American Friends and some of our English Friends, for I assure you we have a chosen few of that number, are to dine with us.
This afternoon I have had a visit from Madam Pinto, the Lady of the Portugal Minister. They have all visited now, and I have returnd their visits, but this is the only Lady that I have seen. She speaks english tolerabely and appears an agreeable woman. She has lately returnd to this Country from whence she has been 5 years absent. The Chevelier de Pinto has been Minister here for many years.2 Some years hence it may be a pleasure to reside here in the Character of American Minister, but with the present sallery and the present { 396 } temper of the English no one need to envy the embassy. There would soon be fine work if any notice was taken of their Bilingsgate and abuse, but all their arrows rebound and fall Harmless to the ground. Amidst all their falshoods, they have never insinuated a Lisp against the private Character of the American Minister, nor in his publick Line charged him with either want of abilities honour or integrity. The whole venom has been leveld against poor America, and every effort to make her appear ridiculous in the Eyes of the Nation. How would they exult if they could lay hold of any circumstance in Either of our Characters to make us appear ridiculous.
I received a Letter to day from Mr. Jefferson who writes me; that he had just received a parcel of English Newspapers. They “teem says he with every horrour of which nature is capable; assassination Suicide thefts robberies, and what is worse than thefts Murder and robbery, the blackest Slanders! Indeed the Man must be of rock who can stand all this. To Mr. Adams it will be but one victory the more. It would [have] illy suited me. I do not love difficulties, I am fond of quiet, willing to do my duty, but irritable by slander and apt to be forced by it to abandon my post. I fancy says he it must be the quantity of Animal food eaten by the English which renders their Character unsusceptible of civilisation. I suspect that it is in their kitchens and not in their Churches, that their reformation must be worked, and that missionaries from hence would avail more than those who should Endevour to tame them by precepts of Religion or Philosophy.”3
But he adds, what do the foolish Printers of America mean by retailing all this Stuff in our Papers, as if it was not enough to be slandered by ones Enemies without circulating the Slanders amongst ones Friends too?
I could tell Mr. Jefferson that I doubt not that there are persons in America equally gratified with them as the english, and that from a spirit of envy. But these open attacks are nothing to the secret and subtle Enemies Mr. A. has had heretofore to encounter. In Mr. Jefferson he has a firm and faithfull Friend, with whom he can consult and advise, and as each of them have no object but the good of their Country in view, they have an unlimited confidence in each other, and they have only to lament that the Channel divides their more frequent intercourse.
You ask me whether I must tarry out three years?4 Heaven only knows what may be the result of one if any probabity appears of accomplishing any thing. Tis likely we may tarry. I am sure that it { 397 } will be a Labour if not of Love yet of much perplexity, and difficulty. The immense debt due from the Mercantile part of America to this Country, sours this people beyond measure and greatly distresses thousands who never were or ever will be Polititians. The Manufactures who supplied the Merchants, and depend upon them for remittances, indeed I pitty their situation. At the same time I think our Countrymen greatly to blame for getting a credit, that many of them have taken no Pains to preserve, but who have thoughtlessly rioted upon the Property of others.
And this amongst other things makes our Situation dissagreeable and the Path very difficult for negotiation.5
You make an other inquiry too, how your Neice will like to tarry. I can assure you, and all those whom it ever concernd that I have not seen her half so happy and contented since she left America, as she has been for six weeks past,6 and I am persuaded she has no particular attachment there more than we all have in common. The last vessels brought her no Letters but from a female Friend or two. A few lines only have found their way across the vast ocean since last December, and them through the utmost hazard of Barbarians Algerines &c. Who would dare to trust a Letter? But enough I will say nothing, as she wishes every delicacy may be used with respect to a Person whom once we thought better of. But you cannot wonder that she rather wishes to remain some time in Europe than for a speedy return.
Your Nephew you have had with you before now. As he did not arrive soon enough for commencment, he wished to see many Person in New York to whom he had Letters, and as he received much civility there, he did not leave it so suddenly as his Nothern Friends expected. He had permission to remain there a fortnight or more as he found it proper and convenient. I believe he is fully sensible of the necessity of oconomy. I never saw any inclination in him to unnecessary expence. He was my Book keeper all the time I resided at Auteuil and perfectly knows what our expences were; he will be very sensible they are not lessned by our residence in London, where we are more exposed to Company, and obliged to an attendance at Court. It mortifies me that I have it not in my Power to send amongst my Friends many things which I should rejoice to, as there are now so many articles restricted. If any particular thing is wanted by you or yours which I can put into the private trunk of a Captain, let me know it, and you shall have it.
I would have you write me by way of New York during the winter. Cover your Letters either to Mr. King or Gerry; which address will { 398 } Frank them to New York and they will forward them to me. I shall take the same method; as it is not likely any other opportunitys but by the Pacquet will offer. My Paper calls upon me to subscribe your affectionate Sister
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. See the list of guests in AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., note 23, above.
2. Luiz Pinto de Balsamão had represented Portugal since 1774 (Repertorium der diplamatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:317).
3. In this and the following paragraph AA quotes from Jefferson's letter of 25 Sept., above.
4. See Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above, under “August 1d.”
5. All the text from this point to the signature is omitted from AA, Letters ed. CFA.
6. That is, since she had written a note to Royall Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.], above, terminating their relationship.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0123

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-10-01

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

I am now settled down for the Winter, and shall be obliged to pay an unremitting attention to my Studies. I am told I have much more to do, than I had any Idea of; in order to gain an admittance with honour, next Spring in the junior Class at the University. In the Greek I have to go from the beginning to learn the Grammar, which is by no means an agreeable task; to study the new Testament nearly or quite through; between 3 and 4 books in Xenophon's Cyropaedia, and 5 or 6 books in Homer's Iliad. In Latin I have little else to go thro' but Horace, part of which I have already done. In English, I have to Study Watts's Logic, Locke, on the human understanding, and something in Astronomy.1 But what good is it to me, to know all this? perhaps you will say. Not much I grant; but it is only the preface, to a request, which I am obliged to make, much against my Inclination; it is, that you would relax from the Strictness of our Engagement untill I get to Cambridge. I shall go into very little Company here, there will probably be a Continual sameness, in every Event that will happen, so that I shall have little to write you that may be very interesting.2 However, two days Every week I will set apart half an hour, to write something to you. If you claim the same indulgence I own I cannot in justice refuse it; and if you have the same Reason, I would not desire to. It would be a mortification to me, to hear from you less frequently, than I do, and I sincerely hope, you will continue to write as fully as you have done; but from the Impossibility I am in of fulfilling entirely my Engagement with you, I must now leave it { 399 } entirely at your own option how often you will write. When I get to Cambridge, I shall not be obliged to study so much as I shall while here, and then I shall probably be able to renew the rule of writing something every day.
Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, the day before yesterday set out, on a journey to visit their friends at Braintree, Bridgwater &c. They are to be absent near three weeks. I suppose you will be curious to know my opinion of the young Lady, that boards here.3 She is in stature Rather short, but exceedingly well proportioned; a fine shape; a most expressive Eye, and very fair complexion: she is not a beauty but has in her Countenance, something, uncommonly interesting. As to her Character, I have not seen enough of it to give it you, exactly: you shall have what I have collected from other Persons, and the little I have observed; and when I become more acquainted with it, I will write you my Sentiments again. She lost her father when she was very young, which has been her great misfortune. She boarded for a considerable time at Mrs. Sheaffe's in Boston, and was drawn very young into the stream of dissipation. I have been griev'd since I return'd home, to see the Education, given to numbers of the young Ladies in Boston. We talk of the follies and fopperies of Europe; but I think we go much further, than they do; we have no Theatres, nor Masquerades I own; but there are assemblies, and Concerts, and Balls, and visits which appear to me, the most ridiculous method of killing time, that was ever Invented. In Europe, you commonly see that Even young Ladies of fortune, have an excellent Education given them, before they are introduced into the world; and they may afterwards make what use of it they please: But here, young Ladies, without fortunes to support show, without titles the dignity of which they are bound to maintain, think it beneath them, to know any thing but to dance, and talk scandal. In this last particular they have attained great perfection. They are carried into Company, while they are by far too young, and are taught, that if they can talk nonsense very fluently, and sit very straight and upright, five hours together in one Chair, they will be most accomplished women; you will think I am too severe; but it is certainly too often the case with our young women educated in the Capital. It has been an essential injury to Miss H[azen]: she has a fine natural genius; but it has been so long employ'd upon trifles, that they have almost become natural to it. Had she always been taught that prudence, and oeconomy, were { 400 } qualities absolutely necessary for young People in this Country; that some knowledge in Literature, and especially in history, was a much greater ornament than a pretty face, and a fine shape; I doubt not but she would be much more universally admired than she is: she has been too much celebrated, by a parcel of fops, and if I am not much mistaken, Vanity is her ruling passion. This however must be said that Nature has been liberal to her in mind, and person, but that her foibles are probably owing to Education. She has worn off many, I have been told since, she came here, and I hope the rest will gradually disappear. Do not mention my opinions concerning Characters, any where out of the family. When I write to you; I endeavour to give you the Sentiments of my heart as they rise. To any body else, I should give a much more advantageous Character of this Lady, and yet speak nothing, but what I believe. But to you, I mean to speak not the truth only, but all the Truth.
I have not as yet paid any visits. My trunks, which were sent by water, did not arrive till this Evening. Our Cousin Eliza, arrived the day before yesterday, and stays at Mrs. White's, where she will have an opportunity of continuing to learn, music, with Miss Peggy. She will spend some months here, which will be a great addition to my happiness.
I have seen here since my arrival a number of young People; you shall have my Sentiments concerning them, one by one; it was if you remember, part of our agreement. Miss Debloy Perkins, is about 17. an Orphan, and niece to a Mr. Blodget, you may have seen in London, whose father lives in this Town.4 She is of a middling Stature, a charming shape, a beautiful complexion, and if not the first beauty in Haverhill, at least the second. Had her eye, more expression in it, she would undoubtedly bear the bell; but amazingly wild. When she, and Nancy get together, it would make Heraclitus laugh, to see them. Yet it is enough to make any one weep to see natures gifts so abused: they both require the severe eye of a Parent to make them completely amiable.
On Monday I went and paid a visit to Judge Sargeant, and spent the last Evening there. Our Company was composed of the Miss Sargeant's, Miss Perkins, Miss Hazen, Mr. W. Osgood, W. and Ben. { 401 } Blodget, and your brother. Miss Sukey Sargeant I take to be about 21, tall, not handsome, but looks as if her Countenance was lasting: that is that 15 years hence she will look very much as she does now, behaves with propriety; and has none of the wildness, conspicuous, in the two last Characters I have drawn. Mr. H. Porter, the minister of a neighbouring town in N. Hampshire, is paying his addresses to her, and it is said that all the parties are agreed, upon the match. Her sister Tabitha, (a patriarchical name) is about 18, tall, and large, but an agreeable countenance; there is a propriety, in her behaviour which all young Ladies do not possess;5 I have lately conceived a great aversion to romping, and it is very pleasing to me, to see young Ladies, that do not pride in it.
I have spent part of this Evening, at Mr. White's, very agreeably. This family has paid more attentions to my brothers, and since my arrival, to me, than any other in town, and if our old maxim be true that it is according to the Treatment we receive from persons, that we form our opinions of them, I ought to have a very high opinion of them; and so indeed it is. Mrs. White is, I believe, an excellent woman. Peggy is very agreeable, and has more reading, than many of our divinities in this Town.
Thursday, we dined with Mr. Dodge. There was only Mr. Thaxter, Miss Nancy, and brother Tommy. Mr. Dodge, has not had what is called a Classical Education, but has always been very fond of reading, and is a man of extensive knowledge, in his own Language. He is very fond of enquiring, which flatters the Vanity of a traveller, more, than perhaps you know. It is as agreeable to give Information, as to receive it, and is more pleasing to our amour propre.
Yesterday, I dined at judge Sargeant's. There was besides his family, only Mr. Thaxter, Mr. Payson, and your brothers. Mr. Payson married last Spring, a daughter of Mrs. Sargeants. She, is in some measure the arbiter of Taste here, and is said to be very severe in her remarks, upon Persons whose dress does not meet with her approbation, or who has the misfortune of making a faux-pas in a Dance. She coquetted it for a long time, before she married this gentleman, and now it is certainly her own fault if she is not happy with him.
I pass'd the Evening, in a large Company at Major Bartlett's. This is a family, which I suppose you never visited. They have always been upon very indifferent terms with Mr. Shaw, whose settling here, they { 402 } opposed violently. I have notwithstanding had an Invitation to visit them. Among the Company was a Mr. Stoughton, an Englishman, who has lately settled in this Town, and expects, his Lady here soon, from England. A Man of easy and agreeable manners, though an Englishman, but it must be observed that he has been a great traveller.
We had this day a Phenomenon, something, like that of the dark day, which you doubtless remember.6 It was not to so great a degree; but at 3 o'clock this afternoon, I could not read a common print without a Candle; the clouds were thin, and of a yellowish colour, and they were driven along very fast. At four o'clock it was quite light, again.7
Drank tea, and pass'd the Evening, on Monday at Mr. White's. Mrs. and Miss Williams, the Lady and Daughter of the Professor, of natural Philosophy, and Mathematics, at Cambridge, were there, on a Visit; the latter is a very intimate friend of Miss Hazen's; tall, rather large, but genteel and very pretty. But since I came home, I am grown more indifferent still to beauty, than I ever was. It is so common a thing, here, that, it loses half its value. Oh! that our young Ladies, were as distinguish'd, for the beauty of their minds, as they are for the charms, of their Persons! But alas! too many of them, are like, a beautiful apple, that is insipid, or disgusting to the taste. Stop, stop, young man, methinks I hear you say. It ill becomes you, at your age, to set up, as censor of the conduct of the Ladies: rather attend to your own. True my Sister, I will own I am wrong, and had I not made a resolution, to give you, my most secret thoughts, I would restrain the Indignation, which I cannot prevent from rising in my breast, when I see, the best gifts of Nature neglected or abused. But all this is a digression, and has nothing to do with Miss Williams, whose accomplishments may be very great, and whose foibles, if she has any, are entirely unknown to me. There were two Mr. Osgood's there. Perhaps you have seen them: though their family, and this, are very cool with one another. The youngest, Bil: bears a very good Character, and is said to be a great admirer of Miss H[azen]. This was the third or fourth time, I have seen them in Company together, and I think I have at least perceivd that she loves to teize him. They called to my mind Mr. Hickman, and Miss Howe;8 but I dont know that Miss Howe, is any where represented as a Coquet. The gentleman has a { 403 } great deal of softness, and Modesty in his behaviour; but some unreasonable ill natured creatures have said, that these are not the Qualities requisite for gaining a Lady's heart. (but no general rule without Exceptions.)
Yesterday I dined at Mr. White's; and immediately after dinner, Mr. James Duncan, Leonard White, Peggy, our Eliza, and myself, set out for Newbury.9 We arrived there just at Dusk, and all went immediately to Mr. Dalton's. He was not at home, but came in soon after the rest of the family were there, and your friend Ruth (who is fatter than ever)10 inquired after you. We spent the evening agreeably as Cards, will permit, and all lodg'd there. This day there was a regimental muster for training, about 900 men, were under arms, from about 9 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon, I was following their motions: They did not it is true perform their Evolutions, as the King of Prussia's troops do, but would not in Time of war, I believe, be less formidable.
We dined at Mr. Dalton's, in Company with Mr. Symmes, a young Gentleman, who is studying law, very agreeable, and pleasing in his manners. This afternoon we all return'd again, and I spent a very sociable evening at Mr. White's. I believe you never was at Newbury, though Pappa's carriage, was often so politely offer'd.11 I assure you, I have not met with a more agreeable family, any where. Mr. Dalton, is much of a gentleman. He has a great deal, of that easy Politeness, which serves so much To make men happy, and to keep them so.12 A talent, which most men cannot acquire, whatever pains they may take, but which some possess, naturally, and will show it, in whatever station of Life they may be placed. It has been observed that Mrs. Dalton resembled your Mamma. This is a sufficient elogium of her, and nothing, more is necessary to be said in her favour. Ruth, is a picture of Satisfaction and Content: her uncommon bulk, does not appear to give her, any anxiety, and her mind seems to be in a continual Calm: the Children, have all been brought up to do something in the Course of their Lives, and not to consider, that Idleness is the dignity of human Nature.
Thursday Evening, our Uncle, and Aunt returned from their Journey, and brought me, two Letters from Mamma, and one from, my friend Murray,13 but not a line from you. I will not complain, even, if I finally receive none; because you have taught me, patience: but { 404 } I still hope, there is a letter from you somewhere in Boston. I will write to Murray, if I can possibly find time,14 for I am so press'd for want of it, that, I have been obliged to neglect answering many Letters.
I was in great hopes, of receiving a letter from you, by the Post, which came from Boston yesterday, but none appeared. Patience! Patience! as an old french Officer, on board the Boston,15 used to say. The weather yesterday, and today, has been exceeding stormy; it was a very lucky Circumstance, for Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, that they got home, on Thursday, for they could not have travelled, in this terrible weather.
Mamma's Letters mention that you had not when they were written, (their dates are Augt. 11th. and 23d.) heard of my arrival. I imagine, she must have received soon after that a line which I wrote before I landed, by the french Packet,16 which sailed, the day I arrived at New-York. And you have I hope, long ere this my Letters by Mr. Church.17
Eliza, has been here, yesterday and this day. What an amiable disposition! She in some measure supplies your place, as a Sister, and if any body could make me forget your being absent, it were she. But that is impossible. I believe that absence, always has a tendency of rivetting the ties of friendship, more closely, as we cannot properly conceive the value, of any good thing untill we are deprived of it. When I shall see you, and my ever dear and honoured Parents again; alas! I know not. The Ocean is again between us! The Interests of a Nation keep, you on that side, and the Duty of an Individual keeps me, on this. But the hope, that some day will come, when we shall all meet again together, still cheers and encourages me, though it is like trees in the dusk, which seem lengthening as you go.
It is most probable, that none of us, will ever again see our Aunt Tufts. She has, as I believe I have mentioned in a former Letter, been ill, during the greatest part of the Summer. When I arrived in Boston, she was supposed to be recovering; and was at one time, well enough to see Company; but she soon relapsed, and has since that been continually growing weaker. It is the Opinion, of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, who saw her but a few days agone, and of the Doctor himself, that she will continue in this World, but a short Time. She is one of the few, who can, look back with pleasure, on a life well Spent, and can submit cheerfully to the will of Providence, whatever it may be.
Good Night; my dear Sister! Or rather good morning for the Clock has struck one. Present my dutiful regards to our Parents. I wrote, { 405 } about a fortnight since to Mamma.18 The vessel sailed a few days since, and has also two or three Letters for you.19

[salute] Your ever affectionate Brother.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers). The text is written on twelve small pages numbered 93 through 104, and from the third page, 3 through 12; see JQA to AA2, [12] May, descriptive note, above.
1. With the exception of “something in Astronomy,” JQA details his reading in each of these authors and works in his Diary entries for Oct. 1785 – Feb. 1786 (Diary, 1:343–413). In addition to studying the works mentioned here, JQA began to translate Virgil's Eclogues in October (same, 1:335).
2. In his Diary entry for this day JQA also worried that the period of study he was beginning would allow for so little social life that he would lack the necessary raw material to justify continuing his daily entries. Upon reflection, he concluded that he could make interesting observations upon local subjects and characters. And indeed, JQA's Diary for the five months that he spent in Haverhill does not show him avoiding company, as he anticipates here. He socialized frequently in a relatively small but lively circle of friends at Haverhill, and occasionally in neighboring towns, and gave himself ample opportunity for “sketching Characters,” for his Diary. JQA held to his plan to reduce his correspondence with AA2 while at Haverhill. With the exception of his letter of [26] Oct., below, he did not write again until 15 March 1786 (Adams Papers), from Cambridge.
3. Nancy Hazen.
4. Mr. BlodgettBlodget was probably one of the five sons of Judge Samuel BlodgettBlodget of Haverhill; and was perhaps the Nathan BlodgettBlodget whom the Adamses had met or had some dealings with in 1778 and 1779 (JQA, Diary, 1:335, 338; vol. 3:140, and note 1; and JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:370, 372, and note 2).
5. Although JQA describes Tabitha Sargeant in roughly the same terms in his Diary, on 6 Oct., he there says that she “pleases me mightily (Diary, 1:336).
6. This was 19 May 1780. AA briefly described this day to James Lovell in May 1780; Cotton Tufts gave JA a quite full description in July of that year (vol. 3:355–356, 386–388).
7. JQA wrote “again” with a pen point and ink that differ from the preceding text, and match the text of the next entry.
8. Hickman and Howe are characters in Samuel Richardson's novel, Clarissa Harlowe.
9. JQA may intend Newburyport, where JA's college classmate and old friend, Tristram Dalton, had his winter residence on State Street. In his Diary for 19 Oct., JQA remarks that Dalton had caught a cold “at New town, a seat which he owns, about half way between this and Haverhill” (Diary, 1:343). This description fits the Daltons' summer residence, Spring Hill, in Newbury, later West Newbury, about five miles west of Newburyport. See Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578.
10. In his Diary, JQA is even more graphic about Ruth Dalton's figure (Diary, 1:342).
11. In 1783 the Daltons had invited AA2 to visit them at Spring Hill in Newbury, but it appears that AA2 did not go (AA to JA, 21 July, and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 20 Aug. 1783, both above).
12. The line is from Horace, Epistles, Bk. I, Epis. vi, line 2: “quae possit facere et servare beatum.” In his Diary for this date, however, JQA applies Horace's maxim not to Dalton, but to a Mr. Herriman, the adjutant of the local militia exercises that he had just witnessed. “Some men,” he observes, “whatever their Station in Life may be, have a natural grace and elegance, which never leave them; others though possess'd of the highest advantages, and train'd from their Infancy to the Science of politeness, can never acquire that easy agreeable manner which has so great a tendency: To make men happy and to keep them so.” JQA's compliment to the adjutant sets the sentence in the letter immediately following the quotation from Horace in a fuller context, because while Dalton was the son of a wealthy Newburyport merchant, Mr. Herriman, JQA was informed, was “a joiner by trade” evidently without fortune (Diary, 1:343).
13. AA to JQA, 11 and 23 Aug., both above; William Vans Murray to JQA, 2 Aug. (Adams Papers).
14. No further correspondence between JQA and Murray is known until 1797.
15. The frigate Boston, on which JA and JQA sailed for France in 1778.
{ 406 }
16. JQA to AA, 17 July, above.
17. JQA to AA2, 25 May, and 17 July, both above.
18. JQA to AA, 6 Oct., below.
19. JQA to AA2, 8 and 19 Sept., both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0124

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-05

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I began a Letter to you yesterday which I designd to have finishd last evening, but as we had a great deal of company, many of them Ladies who staid the evening, I could not command my time, and Captain Callihan wrote us a card last evening that he should go by nine this morning, so that I have only time to write you a few lines, to tell you about a fortnight after the arrival of Mr. Church, your first Letter by the French pacquet came to hand. Col. Franks is here again as express from France. That strange Creature Lambe is arrived at last in France. He is going to Algiers and Mr. Barclay and Col. Franks to Moroco. No time is now to be lost as we are now certain that there are two or 3 vessels taken. Had Lamb come in season probably this would not have happend. If Mr. Storer had not saild just as he did, he would have been sent as he wisht, for upon Lamb arrival, they were much put to it to find a proper person to accompany him. He wants somebody of abilities and Education to supply. Franks gives a curious account of him. As they chuse to keep this matter silent as possible, some trust worthy person was necessary. After much consultation with respect to the Americans here, Mr. Randle is fixd upon, the Gentleman from Newyork who visited us often at Paris. He has finally consented, tho it seem he is under a matrimonial engagement, and was soon to have been married to a Miss White from Philadelphia. He has negotiated the matter with her, by this time, tho he was under much embaressment what to do, whether to go without or entrust the Secreet to her. He applied for my advise. I was by all means for his telling her; and your Pappa, gave the same.1 Col. Franks and he will set of for France on fryday. How they will succeed time must determine. The insurence here is very high.
At Length the Peace is signd between the Emperor and the Dutch.2 The particulars you will see in the papers. Mr. Dumas inquires after you in his last Letters.3
Mr. Williamos has been very sick of a fever and is just recovering. I wrote a few lines in your Aunt Shaws Letter to you. I will repeat one injunction, which is for you to write to Mr. Jefferson, as he has no correspondent in the Massachusets.4 I know your information { 407 } from time to time would be agreeable to him, and you know his great Literary merit, and that you may avail yourself of much knowledge from him.
Your Pappa is overwhelmd with writing. I know not what he would do if it was not for Your sister who copies for him. So much writing and to so little purpose, is very mortifying. Col. Smith has not yet returnd.
Write me by way of New York this winter. Cover your Letters either to Mr. Gerry or King who will forward them. Remember me to your Brothers & believe me most tenderly yours
[signed] A A
You see my haste I cannot copy. I hope the Algerines will not take this. Storer saild a fortnight ago.
1. A fuller account of Randall's decision is in AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:187–189.
2. The Treaty of Fontainebleau, between Joseph II, emperor of Austria, and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, was not concluded until 8 November (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:643–646).
3. See C. W. F. Dumas to JA, 27 Sept. (Adams Papers).
4. This was probably an enclosure, not found, in either AA to Elizabeth Shaw, [ca. 15 Aug.], or 15 Sept., both above. No correspondence between JQA and Thomas Jefferson has been found, between 12 May 1785 (Jefferson to JQA, Adams Papers), and 1794.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0125

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-10-05

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

Captain Callihan sails sooner than we expected so that we have not time to write to several of our Friends, and indeed we have all written so lately by Mr. Storer, that nothing worth communicating has since occurd. Mr. Adams has written to Mr. Higinson1 which letter I dare say he will communicate to you and that will give you a detail of politicks here, as well as inform you of the troubles which delays have brought us in; with respect to the Algerines.
Ever since last March Lamb has been intrusted with Papers which ought to have been here in May at furthest. But suppose our funds in Holland exhausted as they soon will be, can our Country expect to continue to Borrow money with their debt still unfunded? With their credit sinking, where will they get presents to Bribe these Barbarians? Or forces to encounter them. How difficult does our country render their foreign embassies by difficulties which uninimnity and virtue publick Spirit and some proper confidence might releive them from?
But I must quit politicks as I have only a moment. Mr. Adams { 408 } received a few lines from you by Captain Folger inclosing an account,2 which meet our approbation at the same time we heartily thank you for your kind care and attention.
My dear Aunt how does she? I am grived at the account I have received respecting her,3 and almost dread to receive a Letter from my Friends. I pray heaven still to spair her Life and to restore her to health and to her Friends.
Believe me Dear sir most affectionately yours
[signed] A A
A Barrel of shag Barks4 would be very pleasing to us if they could be procured.
I forgot to mention that by Mr. Storer we sent you Mr. Neckers works5 of which we request your acceptance.
1. JA to Stephen Higginson, 4 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. Cotton Tufts to JA, 10 Aug., above.
3. See Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above, under “August 7th.”
4. Shagbark hickory nuts (Dict. of Americanisms).
5. In his letter of 21 Dec. to JA, Tufts acknowledged the receipt of this item and connected it with the receipt of JA to Tufts, 9 Sept. (both Adams Papers); but Tufts does not identify the work and JA does not mention it. Necker published half a dozen works in France between 1769 and 1785 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). His Oeuvres de M. Necker, contenant Compte rendu au roi. Mémoire sur l'établissement des administrations provinciales. De l'administration des finances de la France, was published in London in 1785.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0126

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-06

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am afraid my dear Mamma, will accuse me again of neglect for not having written to her, since I left her, before now; several Circumstances have concurred to prevent me; and among the rest, the want of an opportunity to convey any Letters; the stagnation of commerce, has of late been so great; that no vessel since my arrival, at Boston has sailed from thence to any port in Great Britain, and that by which I hope you will receive this, was advertised to sail by the 10th, of last month. It has been waiting ever since that time, without freight; nor do I think it probable she will sail less than ten days or a fort'night.
I now have the Satisfaction of informing you that I am at length settled here, for some months, and shall be able to pursue my studies with more steadiness, than I ever could before. I hope to be able by the next spring to enter College, in the class where my Cousin Cranch is. I have been advised to enter then, rather than wait till { 409 } Commencement, in order to have the benefit of two Courses of lectures on natural Philosophy, which are delivered by Professor Williams.1 If I do not mistake, it is the same Course repeated annually, but upon so important a subject, it is certainly advantageous to hear the same things twice. I feel very happy, that I have now nothing to draw my attention from my studies: and I could not have found a more agreeable place to follow them in. I shall at present particularly attend to the greek Language, the point in which I am the most deficient: though I hope, by the time I enter the University to be able to stand the test also, on that score: of the rest I am not so anxious.
I arrived here this day week, and last Monday, My uncle, and aunt, left us for about a fortnight, to pay a visit to their friends in Boston, Braintree and so on. Your house too they would wish to visit; but it is now deprived of all its attractions. While I was at Braintree, I went there two or three times, and at the first time, I felt the strangest sensations, of pleasure and pain mingled together, that I ever knew of. The first sight of it, brought to my mind the years I had past in it, and many little circumstances which I had entirely forgot but which then were peculiarly pleasing. When I entered in it, my feelings were very different. Bereft of its former inhabitants, it appeared to me, in a gloomy, unpleasant light. Every time I go into it, the involuntary sigh, rises in my breast, and ever must untill the return of those, who will renew its attractions. I believe I have heard you say, you don't want Sentiment in your Letters from America, but surely on this occasion it is excusable in me. And I know not that I am apt to be over-Sentimental.
We receiv'd about 3 weeks ago, your favours by Captn. Dashwood;2 and the account of your presentation,3 you will find acknowledged in My aunt Cranch's Letters. My Sister will receive my thanks for hers by this or the next vessel. I have not as yet had reason to complain of her punctuality; nor she I hope of mine.
Braintree has lately lost another of its Belles. Last Saturday Se'ennight, Miss Lucy Apthorp, was married in the Chapel at Boston, to Mr. Nash, the 1st. or 2d. Lieutenant on board the Mercury, whose Captain4 wrote some very impudent Letters to the governor of this State. The vessel arrived if I mistake not, sometime in last July. While the frigate was in Boston Harbour; Mr. Nash became acquainted with Mr. Apthorp's family. And was so expiditious that he proposed himself before, he sailed: he had a conditional promise of the parents Consent: and return'd to Hallifax, proposing to be at Boston, next Winter; but having obtained from Charles Apthorp,5 who had served several { 410 } years in the same ship with him, a proper Letter of recommendation, he immediately came back, and is in a few days going with his bride again to Hallifax. It was observed that the father was much better pleased with the present match, than with a former one:6 I am sure in that case his opinion is different from that of all the rest of the world; for this young Gentleman, has neither a fortune nor a prospect for one; as I am inform'd. His father is purser on board one of the king of G.B.'s ships. So that not even the favourite idea of family, could be much gratified. This family pride is surely much more ridiculous here than in any part of Europe. I heard an anecdote the other day, which made me laugh; Miss B. de Blois, has refused several very handsome offers, because the gentlemen were not of families sufficiently respectable; to mix with hers. But when her brother sometime since, paid his addresses to another Miss Apthorp, grand Daughter to Sheriff Greenleaf, and his consent was requested, for the marriage, he said, “he knew nothing against the gentleman personally; but he could not think of a connection, between that family and his own:” so that we have our ladder from the mud, to the skies, as well as all the European Nations.7
I do not know of any news to tell you. The Papers, which you probably see frequently in London; will give you every thing of a public Nature. Of the private kind, your Letters from your other friends, and mine to my Sister, will I hope give you sufficient accounts. I have not yet form'd many acquaintances in this place. I do not feel inclined to go much into Company, and my studies will take up so much of my time that I shall have but little to spare. Judge Serjeant, is riding the Circuits, so that I have not seen him yet. I have been several times to Mr. White's House: Mrs. White enquired much about you: Miss Peggy is perfectly recovered from her illness, and is as gay, as any young Lady I have seen here (and this is saying a great deal.)
Tommy, is very well. I have been endeavouring to perswade him to write you, but cannot prevail on him. He says he knows not what to write, except that he is well, and that I can as well do for him. Cousin Betsey Smith,8 and the Children, are also pretty well.
Your Dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
P.S.9 Will you please to present my Duty to my dear father. I will write to him if I can by this opportunity. I have already put into the bag two Letters to my Sister.10
{ 411 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J Q Adams oc 12 1786.” The reason for AA's docketing error is not known.
1. JQA describes Prof. Samuel Williams and his lectures in frequent detail in his Diary after his admission to Harvard in March 1786 (Diary, 2:1–232 passim).
2. AA2 to Mary Cranch, 22 June, and to Lucy Cranch, 23 June; AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June; AA to JQA, 26 June; JA to JQA, 26 June; and probably AA to Isaac Smith Sr., 30 June, all above.
3. At Court, on 24 June; see AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
4. Capt. Henry Edwin Stanhope. On his troubles with a Boston mob and his subsequent angry exchange of letters with Gov. James Bowdoin, see AA to Thomas Jefferson, 19 Oct., and note 5, below.
5. Charles Ward Apthorp, Lucy Apthorp Nash's brother, was a captain in the British Navy (John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy, 2 vols., Boston, 1870, 1:300, 305, 306).
6. See JQA to AA2, 19 Sept., and note 12, above.
7. Miss De Blois was probably Elizabeth (Betsey) De Blois, daughter of the loyalist merchant Gilbert De Blois and Ann Coffin De Blois. She was briefly courted by Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1777, and her mother prevented her from marrying Martin Brimmer in the same year. She never married. Elizabeth had several brothers, both older and younger, who could have courted a Miss Apthorp, who was almost certainly Hannah, age seventeen, the eldest daughter of John Apthorp and Hannah Greenleaf Apthorp. Orphaned at an early age, Hannah lived with her aged grandfather, Stephen Greenleaf of Boston, the last sheriff of Suffolk County under the British Crown. Greenleaf, like both the Apthorps and most of the De Bloises, was a loyalist. Hannah Apthorp married her cousin, the architect Charles Bulfinch, in 1788. Her sister Frances, too young to fit this anecdote, married Charles Vaughan a few years later. See NEHGR, 67:11 (Jan. 1913); Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:182–190; James E. Greenleaf, Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family, Boston, 1896, p. 209; Ellen S. Bulfinch, The Life and Letters of Charles Bulfinch, Boston, 1896, p. 69–72, 80.
8. This was Elizabeth Smith, eldest daughter of AA's brother, William; JQA's other cousin Betsy Smith, the youngest daughter of AA's uncle, Isaac Smith Sr., lived in Boston (Elizabeth Shaw to AA, 25 April, note 2, above). Elizabeth Shaw's young children were William Smith Shaw and Elizabeth Quincy Shaw.
9. Here JQA struck out an entire sentence so thoroughly that it cannot be read.
10. The next extant letter from JQA to JA is that of 2 April 1786 (Adams Papers). His two letters to AA2 were those of 8 and 19 Sept., both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0127

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-10-06

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

No. 1

[salute] My Dear Sr

On the 6th. Ultimo I drew on You for £100 sterling in Favour of Mr. Samuel Eliot, payable at 30 Days Sight of whom I received 5 Per Cent above Par. The Exchange has been somewhat higher, up to 7 Per Cent, but has fallen, and it is thought will be still lower. Part of the Money received I have let out for a few Months on private Security that I may if Occasion should call, have wherewith to answer any particular Demands that may arise. The Remainder I have vested in Government Securities to the amount of £300 Nominal Value.
{ 412 }
Yours of March the 5th. and April 17.1 I have received, the latter by your Son, who is now with Mr. Shaw. The President2 advised Him to pursue his Studies especially in Latin and Greek untill April next and then to offer himself. We thought it would be best for your Son to be well skilled in the Languages, previous to his Admission (in other Respects he is fully qualified) and We have taken our Measures accordingly. I am exceedingly pleased with his Modest Behaviour, not less with his Judgment and Learning which I think are such as to afford You a most pleasing Prospect. The Trust You have committed to me I feel the Weight and Importance of, it shall however be my Endeavour to execute it with Fidelity.
Master Charles is now at the University, and conducts with Propriety. On his Entrance, I informed him of the Necessity of Diligence, a wise Choice of Company and of Oeconomy—that with respect to his running Expences, He must from Time to Time advise with his Uncle Cranch as to the Sum wanted, that I should in general make it a Rule not to advance Money without his first approving of the Quantum &c. As Mr. Cranch has a Son now at College and is more immediately acquainted with the necessary Charges, I conceived that he must be a better Judge than myself, that such a Rule might be useful, and hope it will meet with your Approbation.
I wrote to You June 4th.3 and Aug. 10, in the Latter I enclosed my Accountt to July the 21. last and some News Papers. Since then We are assured of Your appearing at the Court of Gt. Britain. I know not the present Temper of that Court but I cannot conceive that the British Ministry can long persue any System, apprehending that the Nation is become a Prey to Parties and Party Men and that this in some Degree unavoidable while a System of Venality and Corruption prevails and a continued Load of Debt subsists, giving Occasion to all to complain and being such as to leave no Ray of Hope for the Discharge of it. Such a Scituation will afford ample Matter for Fermentation and there will not be wanting active Spirits to set it in motion. Their Passion for Commerce is great. They may feel the Effects of their injudicious Restrictions on American Produce and Commerce. As soon as these are felt, the Tide will turn, and I flatter myself that You will succeed. But a want of Vigor, Union, and a fained Adherence to National Faith on our Side will perhaps embarrass You. I much disrelish our meddling with <sundry> some matters and our Negligence in taking up some others. But I have not Time to dwell on this Subject now; and shall only add that the Sentiments disclosed in your last with respect to the 4th. Article of Treaty4 will remain with { 413 } me as all others that You may communicate that You would not be willing should be known. The same Caution I wish some others had observed. A Letter You wrote to Dr. G——n5 a Year or two past, was communicated to one and another at a Time, when a popular Rage against the Tories prevailed and Your Authority quoted in favour of Indulgence to them, about the same Time yours and Dr. Franklins to Congress on the same Subject were published. Congress refuted this and I presume have taken Care to prevent the like for the future. The Bona fide Debts I think ought to be punctually paid. I have no Idea of severing the Interest from the Principal, and if the Treaty made the Debt valid and demandable, it must make the Interest also unless specially excepted. I forgot whether I informed You that by an Act or Resolve of the General Court Judgment may be recovered for the Principal, and Execution go out accordingly, but not for the Interest untill Congress shall have signified their <Explan> Sense of the 4th. Article (for which Application has been made to them). Our General Court will meet again the[]6 of this Month and will be chiefly taken up in settling the Valuation. I expect not to attend but a small part of the Sessions. The low state in which Mrs. Tufts has lain for some Months past has detained me much at home and will at least for some Time to come. Brother Cranch will inform You of what goes on at Court. Adieu My Dear Friend my best Wishes attend You & Mrs. Adams & Daughter to whom I beg to be remembered and Am Yours
[signed] Cotton Tufts
1. Evidently an error for JA to Tufts, 24 April, above, which JQA delivered to Tufts in August.
2. Of Harvard, Joseph Willard.
3. Not found.
4. See JA to Tufts, 24 April, above.
5. This is the letter containing quite candid criticisms of Benjamin Franklin that JA wrote to Dr. William Gordon, 10 Sept. 1783. No Letterbook copy exists and the recipient's copy has not been found, but the text survives, evidently quoted in full, in Gordon to Elbridge Gerry, 24 Dec. 1783 (MHS, Procs., 63 [1929–1930]:501–502). “Yours and Dr. Franklins [letter] to Congress,” below, is JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay to the president of Congress, 10 Sept. 1783 (in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:687–691). In an 8 April 1785 letter to JA (Adams Papers; printed in MHS, Procs., 63:512–514), Dr. Gordon, commenting on the long period in which he had not heard from JA, wrote: “You best know, whether there is any truth in my suspicion, that the free use I made of your liberal sentiments respecting the Tories to counteract the narrow and pernicious politics of some individuals, has induced them to caution you against corresponding with me, especially in that free and open manner.”
6. Left blank in MS. The Massachusetts legislature reconvened on 19 October (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1784–1785, p. 725).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0128

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-10-07

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

Your very polite favour1 was handed me by Col. Franks. I am much obliged to you for the execution of the several commissions I troubled you with. Be assured sir that I felt myself Honourd by your commands, tho I have only in part executed them, for I could not find at any store table Cloths of the dimensions you directed. The width is as you wisht, but they assure me that four yds and three quarters are the largest size ever used here, which will cover a table for 18 persons. To these Cloths there are only 18 Napkins, and to the smaller size only twelve. I was the more ready to credit what they said, knowing that I had been obliged to have a set of tables made on purpose for me, in order to dine 16 or 18 persons. These rooms in general are not calculated to hold more and it is only upon extraordinary occasions that you meet with that number at the tables here. The Marquis of Carmarthan who occasionally dines the Foreign Ministers, and has a House found him by his Majesty, cannot entertain more than 15 at once, and upon their Majesties Birth days, he is obliged to dine his company at his Fathers the Duke of Leeds. The person where I bought the Cloth offerd to have any size made, that I wisht for, and agreed to take eight pounds ten shillings for 20 Napkins and a cloth 5 yds long. I gave seven for this which I send, and shall wait your further directions. I took the precaution of having them made and marked to secure them against the custom House, and hope they will meet your approbation. I think them finer than the pattern, but it is difficult judging by so small a scrap.2 I have also bought you two pair of Nut crackers for which I gave four shillings, we [find them so?] convenient that I thought they would be equally so to [you. The]re is the article of Irish linen3 which is much superiour here to any that is to be had in France, and cheeper I think. If you have occasion for any you will be so good as to let me know. It cannot easily pass without being made, but that could be easily done, only by sending a measure. At the rate of 3 shilling & six pence pr yd by the peice, the best is to be had. As we are still in your debt, the remainder of the money shall be remitted you or expended here as you direct. Mr. Adams supposed there might be something of a balance due to him in the settlement of a private account with Mr. Barclay, which he has orderd paid to you. He will also pay the money here for the insurence { 415 } of Mr. Hudons Life,4 by which means what ever remains due to you can be easily settled.
Haveing finishd the article of Buisness, I am totally foild at that of Compliment. Sure the air of France, conspired with the Native politeness and Complasan[ce] of the writer to usher into the World such an assemblage of fine things. I shall value the warrior Deity the more for having been your choise, and he cannot fail being in taste in a Nation which has given us such proofs of their Hostility; forgiveness of injuries is no part of their Character, and scarcly a day passes without a Boxing match; even in this square which is calld the polite and Court end of the city. My feeling have been repeatedly shock'd to see Lads not more than ten years old striped and fighting untill the Blood flow'd from every part, enclosed by a circle who were claping and applauding the conquerer, stimulating them to continue the fight, and forceing every person from the circle who attempted to prevent it. Bred up with such tempers and principals, who can wonder at the licentiousness of their Manners, and the abuse of their pens. Their arrows do not wound, they rebound and fall harmless [to the ground?]. But amidst their boasted freedom of the press, one must bribe [Newspapers?] to get a paragraph inserted in favour of America, or her Friends. Our Country has no money to spair for such purposes; and must rest upon her own virtue and magninimity. [So we?] may too late convince this Nation that the treasure which they knew not how to value, has irrecoverably past into the possession of those who were possesst of more policy and wisdom.
I wish I might flatter myself with the hope of seeing you here this winter. You would find a most cordial welcome from your American Friends, as well as from some very distinguished literary Characters of this Nation.
My best regards to Miss Jefferson to Col. Humphries to Mr. Short, or any other Friends or acquaintance who may inquire after Your Friend and humble servant
[signed] A Adams
My daughter presents her respectfull regards to you and compliments to the rest of the Gentleman.
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers); addressed in an unknown hand: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esquire Paris.” The upper right corners of both leaves are torn off, resulting in the loss of several words, and a worn fold and worn edge have destroyed a few characters.
1. Of 25 Sept., above.
2. The sample that Jefferson enclosed in his letter of 25 Sept., above. AA2 records AA's purchase for Jefferson on 4 Oct., as “a table• { 416 } cloth five yards long, two and a half wide, with eighteen napkins, seven pounds sterling” (Jour. and Corr., [3]:189).
3. That is, shirt linen; see Jefferson to AA, 11 Oct., below.
4. In July, Jefferson had asked JA to arrange for a life insurance policy on Jean Antoine Houdon, who was about to depart for Virginia to execute a statue of George Washington. After several inquiries in England and frequent correspondence with Jefferson on the subject, JA finally arranged this policy for £670, paying a premium of £32 11s. on 12 Oct., a few days after Houdon actually arrived at Mt. Vernon. See AA to Jefferson, 19 Oct., below, and Jefferson, Papers, 8:illustration facing 87, 283, 302, 340, 577, 663–664.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0129

Author: Tyler, Royall
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-07

Royall Tyler to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I am equally pleased with your Letter of the Ninth of May2 and the very Delicate Friendly Motives which Induced you to Write it. Whilst I Continue to regard your Amiable Daughter, the Esteem of her Parents, independent of their Merit, will be ever dear to me: and whilst the human Mind is ever most Anxious for what it holds most Dear, I shall have my “Apprehensions” and feel gratefull toward those who are kind enou to quiet them.
You Prophecied truly respecting the British Newspaper Scurrilities: I do not know how they may affect you, whether you either [Despair?] or Disregard them. But for myself I think I should be but little moved by the Aspersions of a People, whose Characteristick, is, [ . . . ] the most Billinsgate Latitude with the most Respectable Ch[aracters]: whose National Representatives, in the same Publications, are Peculators, whose Ministers are Boys or Knaves, and whose King is an obstinate Numskull—Oh! Faugh—it is a very Vile Bird.
You mention some where in your Letters, that you prefer News to Sentiment, and that when you recieve Packets from America you always hury over the Sentimental and hasten to the Narrative.3 Now this is very Unfortunate For me, who am very apt to obtrude my Sentiments upon my Friends, who write unpremeditately and with the same unreserve as I Talk to those who share my highest Confidence. I will Confine myself to mere News in this Letter, and I Assure you that it is the only Restraint I ever Subjected myself to when writing to a Lady I so highly Respect and Esteem.
The Praises of your Son you Undoubtedly hear bruited from all your Correspondents. I have not been long enough Acquainted with him to Delineate his Character, and can only say, that the First impressions he made upon me were much in his Favour. He was present with me at the opening of the Supreme Judicial Court at Boston. As he was the only person, who set within the Bar, beside { 417 } the Gentlemen of the Profession; he was naturally conspicuous. I dined in Company the same day with the Bench and Bar and was Inquired of by most of the Older Gentleman, whether the Young Person who was with me at Court was not a Son of Mr. Adams? as those Gentleman who had practiced with his Father declard they immediately concluded from his Countenance.
Mr. Pearsen, Precepter of Philipses Academy, is married to Miss Sally Bromfield; and was a few days since chosen by the Corporation of Harvard College, “Hollisian Professor of the Oriental Languages &c.”4 He will accordingly be presented to the Overseers, who will doubtless Confirm the Election. This appointment is Acceptable to the People at large, very pleasing to the Bromfield Family, and peculiarly so to Mrs. Pearson, as she very much Disliked Andover.
The Salary will be two hundred pounds pr: An: with some Perquisites.
I am but very Superficially acquainted with Commerce or Financiering, But from the little Insight I can obtain, I scarce think it prudent to Communicate the particular State of either in this Country, to you in Europe.
The Land Tax &c. is Collected with great Difficulty, whilst the Impost has driven many Vessels, with the most valuable Cargoes; from the Entrance of our Ports, to the other States. The Failure of the Merchants Traders &c. is so common at B[oston] that it has Ceased in great Measure to be Disreputable. Scarce a Week passes without one or more persons shutting their Doors against their Creditors; and no man will venture to Scandalize that Situation, which may be his own or his most Intimate Friends on the morrow. I could add to these assertions and observations, and prove them just by the most Incontestable Examples. But I may have err'd in Writing even thus generally upon Subjects of this Nature.
I shall however particularize Two persons of your Acquaintance who have lately faild.
The one is Mr. S: B[arre]t commonly called Bishop B——. This happen'd upon the Seventh of this month. I have not obtained the particulars, only that his principal Creditors are English Merchants.
The other is Mr. S: A: O[tis] Father to Harry O: who studies the Law under Mr. L[owell]. He failed about Six Weeks past to the great suprize of his Friends and the Publick. His Debts are owed chiefly in England, and it is said amount to Forty Thousand pounds Sterling. I have seen a List which may be depended upon that carries them, to Thirty Thousand pounds Lawfull money. This List only included { 418 } the Large Demands. It is said, however, that he has charged upon his Books to the amount of Ten Thousand pounds Lawfull money more than sufficient to Discharge his Debts. He will, I dare say, think that he does well if he can Ballance his Accompts even with the World and begin anew. The United States are Indebted to him Eight Thousand Pounds being the Ballance of his C——s Accompts. Your Uncle has not sufferd by him as I can learn. His Brother at B[arnsta]ble, has Failed in Consequence of his Failure. But his Sister has secured herself, by attaching His Property in her possession. Her Patrimony was in his hands and it was by great good Fortune that she was not Involved in his Ruin. She shut her Shop for a few Weeks, But by a legal transfer of the Property attached, she is enabled to prosecute her Bussiness as Usual.5
Mr. Nash, who the Newspaper will Announce to you, is married to Miss Lucy Apthorp, is the same Gentleman who was the Bearer of Capt. Stanhopes Letters to his Excellency, our Govenour. The Young Couple sailed on the third of this month for Shelburn where they Intend spending the Winter.
Miss Betsey Apthorp it is said, is to be married with Mr. Pearse, son to a Mr. Pearse of Cape Ann, a person who has Accumulated a large Estate during the War.
The original of the Letter from Kentucky, in the Boston Magazine for September, is by Mr. Perkins and was wrote to your Cousin Betsey C[ranch].
You will perceive in the Newspapers, I send Mr. Adams, an Extract of a Letter from London, giving an Account of Mr. Adams's Private Audience and Introduction to the King of G: Britain. This Extract was communicated by Governour Bowdoin at his Table and declared to be written by Mrs. Temple to himself, or her Mother, I could not determine which as I set at some Distance.
The match it is said is settled between Miss Temple and Mr. Winthrope, the Gentleman who Formerly courted Miss Derby.6
Mr. Adams's private Audience is a matter of much speculation. Congress have not Published an official Account, and the Members are not very Communicative as to this Event. I do not mean that they are peculiarly reserved in this Instance. But it is held Indelicate to Inquire of a member of Congress concerning any official Communications which they do not Chuse to Insert in the Publick Papers.
The People are some what Anxious to have Mr. Adams's Relation as they do not seem to Relish the British Insinuations, That he was { 419 } put into a Deadly Freight by the Awfull Presence of the Royal Personage.
I wrote the above a few days since and endeavourd to Imagine myself in your Parlour at the Foot of Pens Hill, and all those questions which in a Cursory Chit Chat I supposed you might ask me I have answerd. I can not say it looks altogether pleasing on paper. I never subject my Correspondents to restrictions, but you will readily concieve what I mean. I Receved a letter from your Son Yesterday.7 He is well-pleased with his Situation and Expects to make Great Progress in his Studies. Your Sister Shaw is now at Bridgwater and will be at Braintree on Sunday next. Mr. Barret's Confinement was only Temporary and his affairs are Retrevable. Congress have made a Requisition for a large Sum of money from the States. The People are daily more Convinced of the Necessity of Extending the Powers of Congress and every day more averse to the measure. The Family at Ger[mantow]n, are as healthy as Usual, as to pecuniary affairs, Involved and Deploraple. Easters8 Family is well. Fanny Nash, daughter to the Boatman, Dead. Young Mr. Palmer, is upon a Tour of Bussiness at the Eastward. I reside with them when in Boston. Our Family Consist at Present of Mrs. Clark and Son, Mr. Frazier and the Celebrated Dr. Moyes,9 who is now delivering a Course of Lectures upon Natural History. You are Sensible I Trust Madam that notwithstanding haste and Inaccuracy I am with Respect your Friend
[signed] R Tyler
RC (Adams Papers); docketed on the first page: “1795 Tyler.” Originally dated and filmed [ante 13 Oct.] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 366). Some damage on the right-hand margin of the first page, with slight loss of text.
1. The supplied date is derived from Tyler's mention of the business failure of “S: B[arre]t. . . . upon the Seventh of this month.”
2. Not found.
3. AA may have written this in her letter to Tyler of 9 May (not found); she apparently said much the same thing to JQA (see his letter to AA of 6 Oct., above).
4. Eliphalet Pearson, Harvard 1773, was the master of Phillips Academy in Andover from its founding in 1778. He married his second wife, Sarah Bromfield, on 29 Sept., and succeeded Stephen Sewall to the Hancock (not Hollis) Professorship of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages in 1786. See Claude M. Fuess, Andover: Symbol of New England, The Evolution of a Town, Andover, Mass., 1959, p. 211–219; Vital Records of Andover, Massachusetts, Topsfield, Mass., 1912, vol. 2, p. 265; Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 23, 195.
5. Harrison Gray Otis read law with John Lowell from 1783 to 1786 (Samuel Eliot Morison, Harrison Gray Otis, 1765–1848, The Urbane Federalist, Boston, 1969, p. 39–42). Samuel Allyne Otis had been appointed a collector of clothing for the Continental Army in 1777 (same, p. 31). “Your uncle [who] has not sufferd” was AA's uncle Isaac Smith Sr., S. A. Otis' father-in-law. Joseph Otis was { 420 } S. A. Otis' “Brother at B[arnsta]ble”; Hannah Otis was his sister (Mary Cranch to AA, 14 Aug., and notes 17 and 18, above; NEHGR, 2:291–292 [July 1848]).
6. Thomas Lindall Winthrop had probably courted Miss Derby in Salem, where he spent time in 1782–1783. See Lawrence Shaw Mayo, The Winthrop Family in America, Boston, 1948, p. 209, 212.
7. Not found.
8. Esther Field.
9. Dr. Henry Moyes, a blind “philosopher of Natural History” on a lecture tour from Great Britain, announced a course of lectures in Boston, to begin in mid-October. At this same time, Moyes and Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse organized the Massachusetts Humane Society, devoted to saving victims of shipwrecks and other drowning accidents. Mass. Centinel, 3 Sept., 12 Oct.; Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789, Chapel Hill, 1956, p. 284–286.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0130

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1785-10-08

John Quincy Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Aunt

Mr. Thaxter will want a horse in a short time, to go a journey, and I should be glad, if mine is not wanted, that Charles should come with him; as he desires to. He will then be of some service and of no expense; if Uncle Tufts thinks proper, Charles can ride the horse here, when he comes. But if he does not think it for the best, will you favour me with a Line that I may inform Mr. Thaxter.
Cousin Betsy arrived here on Thursday evening, but Miss White will not let her come to keep house for us; but when Aunt returns she will spend some time here. Her being here affords me great pleasure. For I feel every day my aversion for forming new acquaintances, increase, and my affection for my old ones, take deeper root. I have seen no body since my arrival, and have been no where out of this house, excepting once at Mr. Thaxter's Office. Whenever I get settled in to my Studies, I feel as if I could live Hermit like: and I hope I may always preserve such Disposition to a degree.
All here, are well: Miss Hazen has as much gaiety, sociability and good nature as ever, Cousin B. Smith, as much solidity, prudence, and complaisance. Do you not think that these two Characters, which are both of them very amiable, form a striking contrast? It has often amused me to observe it.
Tommy does not study quite so hard as probably he would, was his uncle at home, and perhaps he may retort the charge, upon me. He attends however the writing school, very punctually.
Will you be so kind as to present my Respects and Compliments wherever they may be due, and especially to remember me to my uncle.
I am, my dear Madam, with every Sentiment of Respect, your Nephew
[signed] J. Q. Adams
{ 421 }
RC (Private owner, New York, 1985); addressed: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree”; docketed by Lucy Cranch: “J. Q. Adams. Haverhill 8. Octr. 1785. to my mother.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0131

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-09

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

You will percieve by the date of this that I am at H——: last thursday I arrived here. My Visit is to Miss White. She has spent the Summer in Boston, and has been attempting to learn Musick, like myself. She has brought her instrument to H—— and sent me an invitation to come and pass a few months with her, and learn of her Master, who is a Man acquaintd with Musick, but not with much beside. He is poor, and thinks our employing him a favour. He is not so perfect a Master as Mr. Selby, but is so much more reasonable in his demands, that, we rather chose to make trial, for a little time.
Uncle and Aunt Shaw, are gone upon their Annual Visit, to Braintree &c &c. A young Man, belonging to Mr. Whites family, who was brought up in it, and is a very worthy member of it, will hand you this. His name is James Wilson. He came from England, a child. His father upon his return thither was unfortunately drowned. He has some relations there. In consequence of the death of one of them, who has left him a Legacy, he now makes this voyage, in a Ship belonging to Mr. William White of Boston. He sails in the course of this week. He is publishd to a worthy young Woman of this town, and will return in the Spring. Mr. White desired me to write by him. You will find a number of Letters from me in the same Ship, wrote a month since,1 so that I can not say much at this time. We form a sweet agreable society here. Mr. Thaxter and My Cousin John, make to me a pleasing part of it, tho, I rather say this by anticipation, than from real enjoyment. Cousin J A, has been in town a fortnight, and has not yet made one Visit in it. I have been to see him. His Trunks did not arrive till yesterday, from Boston, and he was rather in a Dishabille for want of them. He will be very studious I doubt not. I wonder if his heart is invulnerable to the charms of the fair and beautiful, my dear Aunt? Not that I think it has yet recieved any impressions, but living in the house with a charming Girl,2sprightly witty and handsome, might have some effect upon one less firm, than my Cousin. Will you insure him? I think you would. But tis rather a dangerous situation I believe. He tells me his heart is wonderfully Suceptible, that he falls in Love one moment and is over the next. If so, I'll venture him—but I do not know him yet.
{ 422 }
The matter is actually settled between Mr. Thaxter and Miss Duncan, at present, untill his bussiness is better, he will not be married. She is a fine Girl, and I believe he will never repent of his choice.
Our good Aunt Tufts has relapsed again into her late disagreable complaints, and we fear that she will not, cannot, struggle thro' them. I am sure that you will feel, with us, the breach such a loss would make in our connexions. But a change for her I doubt not would be happy.
Charles, Billy and Lucy, are coming to see us in the course of the vacation which begins next week. If Cousin Nabby was here she would compleat the company. All your Children and Mama's excepting her, will be here together. O how happy should we feel with that addition! I long to have more Letters from you, my dear Aunt. I am never satisfied, as soon as one Pacquett is read I am impatient for another. Continue to gratify me Madam by your kindness and attention in sending me those charming discriptions which from your Pen, have power to please almost equally, with the sight of them. You have another House, Gardens &c. to make me acquainted with, and I have an unbounded curiosity, to gratify.
Cousin Tommy is well and does well. I sent to know of them if they would not write by this opportunity, but they have already written. I thought, the later the Letters were the better, upon some accounts.
Please to remember most respectfully, & affectiona[te]ly to my Uncle & Cousin, & accept this triffling scrawl, only as a proof of the most dutiful affection of your ever obligd & grateful
[signed] E Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Adams—Grosvenor Square. London”; with the notation: “favd by Mr James Wilson.”
1. Only that of 5 Sept. to AA, above, is known to the editors.
2. Nancy Hazen.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0132

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-11

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Your favor of the 7th. was put into my hands the last night and as I received at the same time dispatches from Mr. Adams1 which occasion a great deal to be done for Congress to be sent by the Mr. Fitzhughs who set out tomorrow morning for Philadelphia as Mr. Preston the bearer of this does for London,2 I have only time to thank you for your kind attention to my commission and your offer of new service. Your information as to the shirt linen draws a new scene of trouble on you. You had better have held your tongue about it: but { 423 } as it is, you must submit to what cannot now be prevented and take better care hereafter. You will think it some apology for my asking you to order me a dozen shirts of the quality of the one sent, when I assure you they made me pay for it here 10 livres & a half the aune, which is at the rate of 6/6 sterl. the yard. I will pray you to chuse me linen as nearly as possible of the same quality because it will enable me to judge of the comparative prices of the two countries. There will probably be Americans coming over from London here in the course of the winter who will be so kind as to bring the shirts to me, which being ready made will escape the custom houses. I will not add to your trouble that of a long apology. You shall find it in the readiness and zeal with which I shall always serve you. But I find that with your friends you are a very bad accountant, for after purchasing the table linen, and mentioning the insurance money on Houdon's life, you talk of what will still remain due to me. The truth is that without this new commission I should have been enormously in your debt. My present hurry does not permit me to state the particulars, but I will prove it to you by the first opportunity. And as to the balance which will be due from me to Mr. Adams should he have no occasion of laying it out here immediately I will transmit it by some safe hand. I have not yet seen the table linen you were so kind as to buy for me, but I am sure it is good. The merchant here promises to shew me some of a new supply he has, which will enable me to judge somewhat of the two manufactures and prices. The difference must be considerable tho' to induce me to trouble you. Be so good as to present my respects to Miss Adams & to accept assurances of the esteem & respect with which I have the honour to be Dear Madam your most obedient & most humble sert.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson octr 11 1786.”
1. These were JA to Jefferson, 2 and 3 Oct., and the several items introduced and printed in Jefferson, Papers, 8:610–624, under the title “Documents Pertaining to the Mission of Barclay and Lamb to the Barbary States.” JA signed these documents in London between 1 and 6 Oct.; Jefferson signed them in Paris on 11 October.
2. Robert Preston reached London on 22 Oct., but told JA that he had unaccountably lost the letters that he was bringing to London from Jefferson. Preston did not accurately remember to whom these letters were addressed, but soon thereafter he found them. They included this letter, and Jefferson to JA, also 11 Oct. (Adams Papers). See JA to Jefferson, 24 Oct., and 4 Nov. (DLC: Jefferson Papers; printed in Jefferson, Papers, 8:663–664, 9:10–11), and AA to Jefferson, 25 Oct., and 24 Nov., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0133

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-12

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam

The anxious Sentiments of a Parent which You have manifested in the close of Your last Letter,1 I have read with a sympathetic Feeling. It would give me singular Pleasure to have it in my Power to give you such Information as would entirely set your Mind at Ease.
I had hopes that Time would have produced such Evidence, as would have removed Doubt. I scarcely know what to say. If the Character in Question was a clearly desided one, I should not be at a Loss. If the Marks in favour of it are not such as to establish a full Confidence those against it are not such as to exclude all Hope. The Subject is delicate and I wish You to burn this as soon as You have read it, that it may not be open to the View of any other Person and should You wish for further Explanation, let me [be] assured of the Security of Your receiving it and its being confined to your own Breast. Whatever Friendship demands, I will tho' painful, at least attempt—and shall agreable to Your Desire, when I can find an Opportunity (which indeed but seldom occurs) and a Prospect of doing good, give the Advice requested.2
The Gold sent by Y[our] Son amounted to £51.7.103 lawf[ul] m[one]y. The greater part of it I have vested in State Notes. The remainder I propose to lay out in Pierce's. The former I bought @ 6/ 8 Per £ for the principal, the Interest on them are reckon'd at par. Pierces Notes are sold @ 3/ Per £.4
[signed] C. Tufts
1. Of [26 April], above; see Tufts to AA, 14 Oct., and note 1, below. AA briefly and rather obliquely discusses her concern about Royall Tyler in her May letter.
2. See AA to Tufts, [26 April], above.
3. An illegible symbol follows the number.
4. Pierce's notes were the final settlement certificates issued to troops of the Continental Army after Congress assumed their claims in 1783. They bear the signature of Paymaster General John Pierce, and earned 6% interest. Soldiers frequently sold them at a discount for cash. See E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 179–180; William G. Anderson, The Price of Liberty, Charlottesville, 1983, p. 96–97.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0134

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-14

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

No. 1

[salute] My Dear Cousin

Your agreable Letter of May. 10.1 from Auteuil I received by your Son. His Absence You will feel and I do not wonder that you parted with him with Regret as his Ability to relieve his Parents from many Cares and Burdens must have been great. He is now pursuing his Studies with his Uncle Shaw, more especially in the Latin and Greek Languages. In other Respects he was qualified to have entered in the Third Year. With submission to Providence We propose agreable to the Advice of the President to offer him next April. He will then have a Year and a Quarter before taking a Degree. Master Charles is now at the University. He has a Chamber there, and I flatter myself from his good Dispositions, that I shall be able to give you much Pleasure in my future Communications.
As You are now in London I please myself with the Hopes, that my Letters will reach you with more Certainty and Security, than heretofore.
We have had a luxuriant Crop of Hay this Summer, but a [dr]ought succeeded and our Corn and latter Feed are very short. This, your Farm will feel. Pratt2 has been unfortunate in the Loss of Two Horn Cattle and one Hog, the first by the horn Distemper, the second a young Hefer of some Disease unknown, the Hog died of a Distemper which has prevailed in Braintree among Swine. Phoebe tells me some of her Poultry have had the same Disorder. Some Horses have also died with it. It is said to be begin with a Swelling on the external Part of the Throat, increases till it prevents swallowing, even reaches to the Head and the Beast dies strangled. Diseases formerly unknown amongst our Cattle and Swine have latterly become frequent in one Part of the Country and another. If there is any Modern Treatise (that Mr. Adams can recommend and is not too bulky) wrote in England, I wish him to purchase for me and forward it. The Preservation of our Beasts is a Matter of great Consequence to us, there is scarcely a Farmer but what annually loses one or more.3
The Work on your House at Boston is compleated. Rents have fallen greatly and will be still lower, owing to the Scarcity of Money and frequent Bankrupcies. I am doubtful whether I shall be able to raise the Rent, notwithstanding the valuable Addition to the House.
I think it will be best to purchase the half of the House and Land { 426 } which Elijah Belcher improves now claimed by the Heirs of[]4 Apthorp. Mr. Morton their Attorney tells me as soon as he has got Possession, he shall dispose of it. This Purchase I should prefer to any others that have been proposed, as that half which Mr. Belcher lives in is tumbling to Pieces and greatly injures your half, and the land which belongs to it would make a valuable Addition to yours. Veazies is too poor to be purchased whilst Taxes are so high. Indeed our Farms are but of little Profit. Taxes and Labour consume it. Allen wishes to sell his Farm, and has solicited me to confer with him upon the Subject of Sale, but I have not had an Opportunity to visit him.
Sometime since Application was made to Mr. Isaiah Doane for the Payment of a Ballance of Accountt with which his late Father stood chargd on Mr. Adams's Books. Mr. Doane told Mr. Tyler, that he was confident that the Ballance was paid Mr. Adams on his Return from Portsmouth (or about that Time,)5 but he is not able to produce any Receipt. He however says if Mr. Adams will say that it has not been paid, He will instantly pay it, and desired that Mr. Adams might be wrote to on the Subject. I desired Mr. Tyler to draw out the Account which he has done and it is now enclosed6 and should be [issued?] as soon as may be to receive an Answer. I find that we are not to expect much from old Debts. I have received some Money collected from them as you will see by my Account transmitted to Mr. Adams.7
A wooden Bridge is now building from Charlestown to Boston. In the Spring Sessions of the General Court License was granted, a Company incorporated to enjoy the Toll for 40 Years—after which it is to enure to the Commonwealth—the Company to pay the University £200 per an. in lieu of the Ferrage. The Business is pursued with great Vigour and will be compleated in the Course of next Summer.
Mrs. Tufts has been confined to her Room for near Three M[onths] past and much of the Time to her Bed. Her Health has been failin[g for a?] Year or two past. Last Spring after her usual Cough, her Di[sease . . .?] on her Limbs and at length on her Ancles with excruciat[ing pain, with?] parts discoloured with a purple Hue terminating in a green and yellow Hue resembling the Dispersion of a Bruise. In the latter End of July she was seized with a Dysentery and for a considerable Time I viewed her Case as desperate. Of this she so far recovered as with help to walk across the Room. A Ten Days agone a Laxness came on and held with violence for some Days, has reduced her to extreme Weakness and I am apprehensive that I must ere long have to lament the Loss of my Bosom Friend.
Be pleased to remember me to Mr. Adams & Miss Nabby. I wish { 427 } for the Return of You all. May God preserve You in Health, crown my Friend's Labours with Success and believe me to be Your Affectionate Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers). The MS is torn at one edge with some loss of text.
1. AA to Cotton Tufts, [26 April], above, which she finished on 10 May. JQA probably delivered this letter to Tufts in Boston on 2 Sept. (Diary, 1:318).
2. The Adams' tenant Matthew Pratt; see his payments in Tufts to JA, 10 Aug., enclosed accounts, above.
3. See Cotton Tufts, “An Account of the Horn-Distemper in Cattle, with Observations on that Disease,” in Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1 (1785):529–536.
4. Left blank in MS. Tufts letter to AA of 13 April 1786 (Adams Papers) says that Morton, as attorney “to C. W. Apthorp, Esq.,” offered Belcher's place for sale.
5. Isaiah Doane was the son and heir of Elisha Doane, JA's client in the admiralty case of Penhallow v. The Lusanna, first tried in Portsmouth, N.H., in Dec. 1777. See JA, Legal Papers, 2:352–395.
6. Not found.
7. See Tufts to JA, 10 Aug., above. Tufts' accounts show that £29 3s. 9 1/2d. in debts owed JA for his legal services were collected by Royall Tyler and paid to Tufts on 24 March. The sum of £3 7d. paid on 15 Dec. 1784 to Tufts by Alexander Hill, perhaps the Boston merchant and father of JA's 1774 law clerk Edward Hill, may also have been for JA's legal services (JA, Papers, 2:111; JA, Legal Papers, 1:ci). Together these sums amount to less than a tenth of the Adams' Massachusetts revenues for the fourteen months covered by Tufts' accounts.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0135

Author: Tyler, Royall
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-10-15

Royall Tyler to John Adams

[salute] Sir

It has not been without Anxiety, that I have refrained from addressing a Letter to you for some months past. But not having the Advantage of a Femiliar, or even the Honour of a Personal Acquaintance: There was but one Subject upon which I could write to you liberally: and I intended to have Desisted from that, Until the Completion of my Arrangements should enable me to Discuss it to our mutual Satisfaction. But as I am Apprehensive, that you may impute to some less pleasing motive, what really Originated in Respect: I Reassume my Pen.
I will observe generally, that although from the Unprecedented Scarcity of Current Coin in this Country; I have been impeded in the Collecting of my Dues, and Consequently retarded in the execution of my plans; I have at length brought them to such an Issue; That by the next Conveyence from this Port, I shall Candidly, and I think with great Propriety, Exhibit to you, the outlines of my Pecuniary Circumstances; and if you shall judge my Situation such, as to Countenance a Speedy Connection with your Daughter; I will hope your Consent and advice in the effecting of it. I shall with Pleasure resign this Task to your Judgment. As you are deeply Interested in it, { 428 } and I Fear that if it was left to me to determine; I should never suppose myself sufficiently prosperous or affluent, to render her Life Comfortable and Happy.
I need not Desire you, at that Time, to Recollect, that the Happiness of an only Daughter, depends not entirely upon the Character and Disposition, but in great measure upon the Prospects of the man, with whom she may be Connected: But I can Solicit you to Suffer no impulse of Delicacy to prevent your Delivering your opinion upon that Subject, with the Greatest Freedom.
The Preference you have given to your own Country by sending your Son home to compleat his Education, is spoken of here by Men of the First Character, as highly Gratefull to your Fellow Citizens. “This Conduct, say the People, if we could doubt Mr. Adamses Patriotism, affords an Unequivocal and Conclusive Evidence, that a Long and Extensive Intercourse with Foreigners, has not weakened his Attachment to his Native Land.”
I am happy, that I can inform you, that your Son meets with general, Universal Respect and approbation: That he is remarked as having brought home no Tincture of what we Style, “European Frivolity of Manners,” of which the Traveled Youth of our Country, Usually import so large a Quantity. He is Pleasing to The Old, as he is Respectfull in his Deportment; to The Young: as he affects no Superiority over the Youth of his Country, and Discovers none, except that which in his Conversation, is manifestly the Result of an Industrious improvement of Superior Advantages.
I Desire your Acceptance of a Bundle of American Pampletts &tc.1 In Collecting them I have not Confined myself merely to what is Valuable, Excellent, or worthy your Acceptance; but have sent you indiscriminately whatsoever I can find that is New.
Amongst them you will percieve a Pamphlet, entitled “an Appeal to the Impartial Public &tc.” This Production, I am Authorized to say, is by Mr. Sullivan, late Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court. It is Considerd here, as a pretty Exposition upon the Third Article of our Decleration of Rights. Mr. Parsons of Newbury Port, from some hints he lately gave, it is supposed, is preparing a Reply to it.2 In that Case Mr. Sullivan assures me he shall rejoin. As I Esteem the Question of importance I wish to see it fairly Discuss'd.
The Liturgy published by the Society worshiping at the Stone Chapel in Boston,3 is the present Topick of Conversation. They Declare themselves, as to Articles of Creed, to be Unitarian Christians: Mr. Freeman their Clergyman and the Bulk of the Society are { 429 } of the Arrian Division of Anti-trinitarians. They Profess, however, to have calculated this Compilation, so as to offend no Class of Christians who can surmount the Objection of Using any set Form of Prayers.
They retain a remnant of the Episcopalian Leaven, as they are Desirous, that, Mr. Freeman should recieve ordination from the hands of some Bishop, and have made some kind of Private Application to Mr. Seabury, the Titular Bishop of Connecticut, for that Purpose; who it is said, will not Consent, Unless Mr. F. will previously Subscribe the Thirty Nine Articles of The English Church. If he should decline, they will apply to some European Bishop, and as their last Resort, they will Submit, if it can be effected, to the laying on of the hands of the Dissenting Pastors.4
I Rather hope they will not succeed in the Two former, as I Concieve, Independent Religious Societies are Conformable to the Genius of a Republican Government; and 'tho' I am for preserving the Rights of Consience in their most extensive Latitude, and am duly sensible, of the wide Difference there is between Civil and Ecclesiastical Powers, as they relate to our Government; Yet I humbly Concieve, that it is at least Desirable, that we should have no Authority confered upon our Citizens, whether Civil or Ecclesiastical, that shall be mediately or immediately Derived from any Foreign Power.
The Old Episcopalians affect to hold this Society in Contempt, for their innovating Spirit: but notwithstanding this, and although, they Refused to attend the General Convocation of the Episcopal Clergy, held at Philedelphia,5 upon pretence of its being too expensive to send a Deligate, In a late meeting of the Episcopal Clergy of this State, held in Boston; they have materially alterd the Liturgy of the Church of England. This, I suppose they were obliged to do, in order to satisfy their Parishoners, who in this Enlightened Age and Country, would no longer be affronted with its monstrous Tenets and Glaring Absurdities. They yet, however, suffer themselves to be Styled, the Church of England, Forgeting that they have Assumed a Power, which by the Fundamental Canons of that Church, is vested in the Two houses of Convocation, and virtually in the British Parlement: and, that, in doing this, whether singly or Conjunctively; they are become, as to Church Constitution, as Real Independents, as any of our Forefathers, who Fled from Hierarchical Persecution.
The People of Connecticutt, notwithstanding their Hereditary Prejudices against the very name of Bishop, appear to Treat Mr. { 430 } | view Seabury with Respect and those of his persuasion with Liberality. The Congregational Clergy of that State, 'Tho' they must know his power to be extremely Circumscribed, and in its nature and pretensions merely Ecclesiastical, appear to be envious or jelous of this New Church Dignitary, and as they cannot deprive the Right Reverand Father of his Title, They attempt to merge its Dignity, in its general Use, Styling each other Indiscriminately, “Bishops of the Church of Christ.” The Greek Terms, Εωίσκοπος and Πρεσβύτερος,6 being applied Synonymously in Scripture, as they say, to the same Officer of the Church. President Stiles lately wrote a Letter to a Friend of mine, and addressed it “To the Revd. John Clark Bishop of the First Church of Christ in Boston,”7 and the Graduates in the Dedication of their Thesis at the late Publick Commencement at Yale College, in the address to The Clergy, have Alterd The Usual Form of, “Ecclesiarum Pastoribus &tc,” for, “Omnibus Ecclesiarum Nostrarum Episcopis Venerandis.”8
At the late Commencment, Application was made to the President, that some Convenient Place might be Asigned for the Bishop and his Clergy in the Meeting-house. The President's Reply to the Gentleman who applied to him on behalf of the Bishop, I am Informed was, “Sir. There are one hundred and Seventy Six Bishops in this State; it is Customary for them to seat themselves promiscuously, as they enter the Building upon the Commencment day; and as President of this College, I do not Esteem myself Authorized to break through Established Customs and make any Invidious Distinctions among them.”
Some workmen, removing a large Stone at the Corner of an Old Wall in Mystick, discoverd about Three months ago, near Three hundred small Brass Coins. I inclose you one of them. If you Think it of sufficient Consequence, you will oblige me by shewing of it to some Antiquarian of your Acquaintance. Our Literati Conjecture, that the impression bears some Considerable Resemblence to the Characters upon the Taunton Rock, a Transcript of which you may probably recollect to have seen in the Museum of Harvard College.9
There are Two Pampletts which I wish to peruse. As they are not known here, except by Report, I shall, venture to take the Liberty of Desiring you to present them to your Daughter, who will inclose them to me. The one is, the Translation, with the Translators Preface, of the Abbe Mably's “Observations sur le Gouvernement et les loix des etats unis d'Amerique.” The other is, Wattsons, I Believe Bishop Wattsons, “Observations upon Gibbons's Roman Empire.”10
{ 431 }
Your Son went from Boston to Haverhill, The Twenty ninth day of September. He proposes to tarry the ensuing Winter at his Uncle's, and offer himself as a Candidate for the Senior Class immediately after the next Commencement.
Your Mother enjoys as much health, as is usual for person's of her Age. She has Desired me to give her Love to you, Mrs. A. and your Daughter, and hopes to live to see you once more at Braintree.
Capt. Young it is supposed will sail for England the Begining of the next month, but this is Uncertain from the almost Insuperable Difficulties the Merchants find in procuring Remittances.
The French Propositions, respecting the purchase of our Whale Oil,11 are generally Acceptable. Our Politicians applaud the French Conduct, in this Instance; as the most Politick Commercial Manoeuvre they have ever Displayed, and the most Adequate to the purpose of Detaching us from our British Commercial Connections.
There will be no Mercantile Company formed in this State, in consequence of their proffers, but our Merchants propose sending Mr. Nathanil Barret,12 son to Deacon Barret, to France, to Negotiate Privileges for the People at large, similar, to what they have offerd to a Commercial Association.
Sir I am with the Greatest Respect Your Most Obliged
[signed] R: Tyler
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Royal Tyler Esqrs Letter. 15. Oct. 1785 ansd 12. Decr.”; and notation: “Dr Hunter.”
1. This bundle of pamphlets has not been found, but see the items that Tyler names, below.
2. An Appeal to the Impartial Public by the Society of Christian Independents, Boston, 1785 (Evans, No. 19028), was James Sullivan's defense of the Universalists of Gloucester in their refusal to pay taxes for the support of the town minister; see also Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:307. Article 3 of “A Decleration of Rights,” governing the establishment of religion in Massachusetts, was one of the few sections of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 that JA did not write (JA, Papers, 8:238, and note 12). No record of a reply to Sullivan by Theophilus Parsons has been found.
3. On 19 June, the congregation of King's Chapel (the Stone Chapel) approved A Liturgy, Collected Principally from the Book of Common Prayer, for the Use of the First Episcopal Church in Boston, Boston, 1785 (Evans, No. 18938), which their Unitarian pastor, James Freeman, prepared by removing Trinitarian passages from the Book of Common Prayer, following the reformed liturgy made by Dr. Samuel Clarke of London (DNB).
4. After both Bishop Samuel Seabury, in 1785, and Bishop Samuel Provoost of New York, in 1787, declined to ordain Freeman, he was ordained in Nov. 1787 by the senior warden of King's Chapel, Dr. Thomas Bulfinch (same; F. W. P. Greenwood, A History of King's Chapel, Boston, 1833, p. 135–142, 185–198).
5. See the Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church . . . Held . . . in the City of Philadelphia, from September 27th to October 7th, Phila., 1785.
6. Tyler erroneously wrote ω for π in επίσκοπος In the King James Bible these New Testament words are translated, respectively, as “overseer” (Acts 20:28); and “elder” (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 11:2; and elsewhere).
7. John Clarke was ordained in 1778 as a pastor of the First Church (Congregational) of Boston, assisting the aged Rev. Charles Chauncy, and became chief pastor at { 432 } Chauncy's death in 1787 (The Commemoration by the First Church in Boston of the Completion of Two Hundred and Fifty Years, Boston, 1881, p. 202).
8. The second phrase is a part of the long title of Yale College's commencement proceedings, Illustrissimo Matthaeo Griswold, . . . Hasce Theses, Quas in Comitiis Publicis Collegii-Yalensis, New Haven, 1785 (Evans, No. 19393).
9. Taunton Rock, an exposed ledge on the bank of the Taunton River, was and is better known as Dighton Rock. The prominent inscription on its face attracted the attention of New Englanders from the seventeenth century and several transcriptions of the curious characters were made, beginning in 1680. Speculation on the identity of the engravers ranged from Phoenicians to Norse. See Edward Everett, “The Discovery of America by the Northmen,” North American Review, 98:188–189 (Jan. 1838); James Phinney Baxter, “Early Voyages to America,” Collections of the Old Colony Historical Society, 4 (1889):15–17, 48–49. For JA's reception of the coins found at Mystic, see JA to Tyler, 12 Dec., below.
10. On Gabriel Bonnet, Abbé de Mably's Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, see AA to Mary Cranch, 5 Sept. 1784, note 1, above. In 1776, Richard Watson, who was consecrated bishop of Llandaff in 1782, had published his Apology for Christianity . . . Letters ... to Edward Gibbon, a popular critique of the view of Christianity expressed in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (DNB).
11. See JQA to AA2, 29 Aug., and note 2, above; Jefferson, Papers, 10:293–294, and note.
12. Nathaniel Barrett did soon travel to France for this purpose. See the letters introducing him to Thomas Jefferson by Gov. James Bowdoin, 23 Oct., by Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing, 25 Oct., and by JA, 2 Dec., in Jefferson, Papers, 8:662–663, 670–671; 9:73–75.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0136

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-18

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

N 8.
Mr. James Jarvis called upon us yesterday but we were not at home. To day he wrote to Pappa2 to let him know that he should sail next week for New York, and would take any Letters from this family. Altho I wrote Last week by Capt. Calliham3 I will not permit this opportunity to escape me. Mamma tells me She is sure I cannot find anything to say, as I have written so largly so lately, but Calliham who has lain at Deal since Wedensday, waiting for a Wind, may continue there these three weeks and my Letter may be very old before it reaches you. I have not yet the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of Letters from you since your arrival in Boston but we are eagerly expecting this happiness soon, two Vessells are expected one dayly. And if you do not write wo be to you.—I shall in future write by the English packet to New York. They have in general very fine passages, the September packet arrived last week in 28 days, and the august had less than thirty. Opportunities do not often present to Boston and besides, I have no inclination to have my Letters taken by those Barbarians,4 as we fear there is danger. I wrote you in my Last by { 433 } Calliham, No. 7, that it was thought absolutely necessary that some Person should be procured to go with Lamb, to Algiers and a Person in whom the most perfect Confidence could be placed, some body who would have an eye over him and if he should go astray inform your Father. Mr. Lamb being an utter stranger to Both your father and Mr. Jefferson <and> his appearance not being much in his favour, and the delay he had made was so much against his judgment or penetration. If Charles5 had not have sailed by a week so soon as he did, he would have been the proper Person for he was desirious of going with Mr. Barclay, and whether fortunately or unfortunately I know not, but he had sailed two days before your father heard of Lambs arrival. All the young Americans in Paris an London were thought of, and the choice fixd upon Mr. Randall our friend. He was applied to, and upon consideration agreed to go. He had first one matter to adjust—what think you was it—it seems his visit to this Country was to renew an attachment early formed with a young Lady Miss M. White whose family Left America during the War. He was soon to have been Married to her, and to have gone out to America, but the cause of humanity the Interest of his Country and the happiness of very many indivi[duals?] being engaged and under these particular circumstances depending in some measure upon him he hessitated not to go, and on fryday the 7th. of October sett of with Colln. Franks for Paris. The Whole matter is kept secret here, for the pres[ent], because it is thought that their success will in some measure depend upon its not being made known here, as the interst or influence of this Country may be employed to frustrate their designs. They have such a strong affection for America here, that their good offices would be employed I suppose to do us as much ill as possible.6
We had a large company to dine. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Ridley Mr. and Mrs. Hay Mr. and Mrs. Jebb, Dr. Bancroft Mr. Joy. Mrs. Joy was invited but was prevented comeing by indisposition. Mrs. Smith from Carrolina and Mr. Hamilton and his pretty neice, who is really a sweet Girl. I intend to be better acquainted with her, her manners are delicate sprightly affable and agreeable. She is yet very young only fifteen. Her Uncle appears to have for her the affection of a Parent and treats her in every respect as his own Daughter. Most of the Company you know, and you may know that there is very little to say about them.7
{ 434 }
We went to the Play, through the Courtesy of Mr. Hamilton who had taken a Box, and gave us an opportunity to have seats. The Play was the West Indian8 by their Majestys Command, and who were present with the Princess Royal9 and Augusta. The Celebrated Mrs. Abington played the part of Mis Rusport and it was to be sure most wretchedly performed. Stiff aukord insensible and unfeeling, void of that engaging delicacy which the character merrited, was this Paragon of Perfection. She is fifty years oold and no one would have thought her more than twenty from her appearance.10
Mr. Randall set off with Colln. F—— for Paris. Mr. Jennings dined with us—you know him.
Anecdote. A Member of Parliament meeting at Stockdales and conversing about American affairs which Led him to speak of your father said I hear Mr. Adams gives good dinners. I dare say he does answerd Stockdale and would willingly give you a dinner if you will visit him. Ah said the Gentleman I am glad to hear it for I thought they were starving like the rest of his Country men.
Query. Would it not be for the reputation of America were Congress to give their Ministers a salary sufficient to support himself and family, with[out] putting it in the Power of these People [to] make such assertions, as these11—“Mr. Adams lives away now but he is distressed to know what he shall do next year.” Dont you think they are very kind to interest themselvs to much in our behalf.
Mr. Duker secretary of Legation to the Baron de Lynden dined with us en famile. He has been in America as secretary to Mr. Van Berkell and speaks English very well. I asked him about Miss Van Berkel who is in America. He has [hears?] She speaks French and is a very worthy agreeable young Lady—this to confute the assertion of a certain Gentleman.12
Your father received Letters this Morning from New York.13 I was disappointed in not hearing from you. I think you should have left Letters to have been forwarded. Pappa decides as usual that our continuance in Europe will be no longer than the Spring. Je suis Content. If I had not heard him say so ever since we have been here { 435 } I should think more of it, tho perhaps he had never before the same reasons to found his opinion upon. We know that it depends upon the measures adopted by this Country. Politicians say that it is their interest to act such a part towards America as should make us mutual friends. Should their conduct be such as to induce Pappa to return in the Spring I confess I should fear the consequences as distructive to our Present tranquility, tho I do not pretend to understand Politicks.
Your Fathers friends the Abbées Arnoux and Challut introduced to us a Mr. Pointsa,14 a French sculptor who has resided five and twenty years in Italy. He dined with us to day, and appeard un homme a d'Esprit, and possessed of a great share of knowledge which rendered his conversation very interesting and agreeable. There is so strong a Principle in the Mind of addapting itself to whatever situation in which it may be placed by <Chance> necessity or choice as to produce a strong partiallity to whatever spot <it may> we may have chanced to reside for a long time. This Gentleman was one instance more to confirm me in this sentiment. From having lived 25 years in Italy he thought it superior to every other Country in the World. Perhaps it may be.
I inquired after Mademoisell Lucilla, and this Gentleman tells me she is going to be Married, to the Young Gentleman who lived with the Farmer General, and who dined with us there.15 I dont recollect his Name. He has neither family nor Fortune, but merit. And the Farmer General will it is probable Leave all his fortune or the greatest part of it to this young Lady who proves to be instead of an Enfant trouva his own Natural Daughter. This Gentleman told us he knew her Mother. He added that she might have married <a Man of Fortune> un [grand?] seigneur but preferd this gentleman. I hope if affection is the Motive of choice She will not follow the example of many of her Countrymen, nor he of his.
The affair of Capt. Stanhope has been received here the Last week, and has been related in the papers <with as much falshood as> in a very false point of veiw. It is represented that Capt. Stanhope was insulted from appearing in the Streets with his uniform.16 Pappa has a <full> true account of the matter from Boston and orders from Congress, to represent it to the Ministry here. It is rather unfortunate { 436 } as it will unavoidably create parties. He is son to a Gentle[man] who is Usher to the Queen, but his Character is <that of a> not very fair. He applied for some promotion not long since and was refused. General How said he did not know why a young mans indiscretion should plead in his favour. The Papers said to Day that He treated American Prisners in a cruel manner during the War. Every one who hears Jesse Dunbars story seem to regret that he did not have an opportunity to give Capt. S—— one blow.
Dft (Adams Papers). The text is written on nine small pages; the first eight are numbered.
1. AA2 probably first intended to close this letter after completing the text under “Tuesday 11th,” below, and wrote “october 14” in the dateline; then, after deciding to add the material under “Saturday october 15,” below, she altered the dateline to its present form.
2. Not found.
3. AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., above, completed on 1 Oct., a Saturday.
4. The Barbary pirates.
5. Charles Storer.
6. A fuller account of Paul Randall's decision to accept JA's request that he accompany Capt. John Lamb on the mission to Algiers is in AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:187–189, 191, which says that Col. Franks suggested Randall. See also AA to JQA, 5 Oct., above; and Jefferson, Papers, vols. 8–10.
7. AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:190, adds Col. Franks to this dinner party.
8. The West Indian, a comedy by Richard Cumberland, was first performed in 1771.
9. Princess Charlotte.
10. Frances Abington was a prominent actress at Covent Garden in the early 1780s. The role in The West Indian was “Lady,” not “Mis,” Rusport (DNB; The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Sir Paul Harvey, Oxford, 1932). In her journal, AA2 adds: “The entertainment was the Rehearsal, a very stupid piece. Their majesties showed their taste, as it was the result of their command” (Jour. and Corr., [3]:191).
11. The bracketed material is added from the nearly identical sentence, ending “as these,” in AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:192–193.
12. AA2 probably wrote this brief endorsement of Miss van Berckel, daughter of the Dutch minister to the United States, in response to JQA's reference to an attack upon her character by an unidentified critic in his letter of 1 August, above. Mr. Duker may have been P. G. Duker who served as the Netherlands' chargé d'affaires at Stockholm, 1781–1782 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:269).
13. These probably included letters from Samuel Tucker (at Trenton), 29 Aug., Walter Livingston, 5 Sept., and John Jay, 6 Sept. (all Adams Papers). JA acknowledged receiving the last in his 15 Oct. letter to Jay (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 661). Jay's letter is in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:387–389; JA's is in same, 2:478–479. See also AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., note 11 />, above.
14. The reading of AA2's difficult hand, particularly the first two characters, is uncertain here, and the editors have not identified the artist. AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:194, has “Mr. Pointea.”
15. On 28 Oct. 1784, the Adamses dined at the home of Chalut de Vérin, one of the Farmers General of France, and a brother of the Abbé Chalut. On that occasion they met a young lady who called Chalut “mon père,” and whom he called “mon fille.” JA then told AA2 that the young lady had been chosen out of a foundling hospital by Mme. Chalut, and raised as her own daughter. Mme. Chalut had died a few years before AA2 met Chalut. On 31 Dec., AA2 met the young lady again, at the abbés Arnoux and Chalut, and there named her, “Mademoiselle Lucelle.” AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:29–30, 37. By Jan. 1786 she was married to Monsieur Deville (Jefferson, Papers, 9:152; and see 16:306).
16. The London Daily Universal Register of 14 Oct. reported that Capt. Stanhope of the Mercury and his officers, “were insulted and stoned by the populace, who desired them to leave off their uniforms, d—d the K——g their master, and nearly killed Captain Stanhope { 437 } and two of his crew with stones.” The article also summarized the correspondence between Stanhope and Gov. Bowdoin, related the publishing of “low and scurrilous abuse” in Boston newspapers (for examples of which see the Massachusetts Centinel, 3 and 6 Aug.), and concluded with Stanhope's threat, “that if any further insult was offered to the King's flag or his officers, he would lay part of [Boston] about his ears.” A brief paragraph in the same newspaper of 17 Oct. mentioned that, “to the great satisfaction of every friend of peace and good order,” the Mercury had sailed from Boston.
Under a covering letter of 7 Dec., Lord Carmarthen sent to JA the Admiralty's report on the incident. In their report, also dated 7 Dec., the Lords of the Admiralty declared that, despite some extenuating circumstances, Capt. Stanhope's conduct had been unduly provocative and contrary to his orders (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:545–548).
AA relates another version of these events in her letter to Thomas Jefferson of 19 Oct., immediately below.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0137

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-10-19

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

Mr. Fox a young Gentleman from Philadelphia who came recommended by Dr. Rush to Mr. Adams,1 will have the Honour of delivering you this Letter. We requested him to call upon Mr. Stockdale for your papers &c. Mr. Adams is unwell,2 and will not be able to write you by this opportunity. I am to acquaint you Sir that Dr. Price has transacted the buisness respecting Mr. Hudon. The Money is paid, but the policy is not quite ready but the Dr. has promised that it shall be sent in a few days, when it will be forwarded to you.
In your English papers you will find an extract of a Letter from Nova Scotia, representing the abuse said to be received by a Captain Stanhope at Boston, the Commander of the Mercury. The account is as false—if it was not too rough a term for a Lady to use, I would say false as Hell, but I will substitute, one not less expressive and say, false as the English.
The real fact is this. One Jesse Dumbar a native of Massachusetts, and an inhabitant of a Town near Boston and one Isaac Lorthrope were during the War taken Prisoners, and from one ship to an other were finally turnd over to this Captain Stanhope Commander of the Mercury, who abused him and the rest of the Prisoners, frequently whiping them, and calling them Rebels. The ship going to Antigua to refit, he put all the prisoners into Jail and orderd poor Jesse 2 dozen lashes for refusing duty on Board his ship. This Mr. Dumbar felt as an indignity and contrary to the Law of Nations. Peace soon taking place Jesse returnd Home, but when Stanhope came to Boston, it quickened Jesses remembrance and he with his fellow sufferer went to Boston, and according to his deposition, hearing that Captain { 438 } Stanhope was walking in the Mall, he went theither at noon day and going up to the Captain asked him if he knew him, and rememberd whiping him on Board his Ship.3 Having no weapon in his hand, he struck at him with his fist, upon which Captain Stanhope, stept back and drew his sword. The people immediately interposed and gaurded Stanhope to Mr. Morten Door. Dumbar and his comrade following him, and at Mr. Mortens door he again attempted to seize him. But then the high sheriff interposed and prevented further mischief, after which they all went to their several homes. This Mr. Stanhope calls assassination and complains that the News papers abuse him. He wrote a Letter to the Govenour demanding protection. The Govenour replied by telling him that if he had been injured the Law was open to him and would redress him, upon which he wrote a very impudent abusive Letter to Mr. Bowdoin, so much so that Mr. Bowdoin thought proper to lay the whole correspondence before Congress. And Congress past some resolves in concequence and have transmitted them with Copies of the Letters to be laid before Mr. Stanhopes Master.4
Dumbars Deposition was comunicated in a private Letter by Mr. Bowdoin himself to Mr. Adams, so that no publick use can be made of it, but the Govenour was sensible that without it the truth would not be known.5
Is Col. Smith in Paris? Or have we lost him? Or is he so mortified at the King of Prussias refusing him admittance to his Reviews, that he cannot shew himself here again? This is an other English Truth, which they are industriously Circulating. I have had however, the pleasure of contradicting the Story in the most positive terms, as Col. Smith had enclosed us the Copy of his own Letter and the answer of his Majesty, which was written with his own hand.6 How mean and contemptable does this Nation render itself?
Col. Franks I hope had the good fortune to carry your things safely to you, and that they will prove so agreeable as to induce you to honour again with your Commands your Friend & Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
Compliments to the Gentlemen of your family and Love to Miss Jefferson. Mr. Rutledge has refused going to Holland. I fancy foreign embassies upon the present terms are no very tempting objects.
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers); addressed by AA2: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr Minister Plenipotentiary from the United states of America Paris favourd by Mr Fox”; endorsed: “Mrs Adams.” Dft (Adams Papers); notation by CFA: “1786.” The { 439 } RC is longer with more detail, but the Dft contains some important variants and additional passages that are noted below.
1. Samuel Fox, of a well-known Quaker family in Philadelphia, was introduced in Benjamin Rush to JA, 16 June (Adams Papers). Rush introduced Fox to Jefferson in a letter of the same date (Jefferson, Papers, 8:220).
2. The draft finishes this sentence: “and I know not whether he will be able to write You as Mr. Fox set[s] of early tomorrow morning.”
3. The draft has “the Mercury”, but Dunbar's deposition names the ship on which he was whipped as the Russell. AA may have re-read the deposition before preparing the recipient's copy; see note 5, below.
4. The draft has “his Majesty” in place of “Mr. Stanhopes Master.”
5. In the draft this passage reads: “Dumbars deposition was sent by Mr. Bowdoin himself to Mr. Adams and is not amongst the papers forwarded by Congress. The abuse of Stanhope to Mr. Bowdoin is however evident enough without knowing the real cause. He has powerfull connections here and is of a respectable family, but his own Character is said to be that of a profligate. The Marquis of Carmarthan has been absent which has prevented his yet receiving the communications. Tomorrow they will be presented.”
Gov. James Bowdoin wrote JA on 10 Aug. (Adams Papers), to state his side of the affair so that Adams could defend the honor of Massachusetts and the United States in this controversy. With his letter Bowdoin enclosed both a copy of the deposition of Jesse Dunbar (not Dumbar) of Hingham, Mass., dated 10 Aug. (Adams Papers), and copies of the five letters that he exchanged with Stanhope between 1 and 4 Aug. (all Adams Papers), which Bowdoin had sent to Congress. Dunbar's deposition, which AA's account here follows almost verbatim, gives the rough dates of his captivity, from 1780 until the peace, but not the date of his whipping aboard the 74-gun ship Russell at Antigua. It also names his companion, both on the Russell and in the Mall in Boston on 31 July, as William (not Isaac) Lathrop of Sandwich, Mass. (although “William” is inserted above the line).
In his letter of 10 Aug., Gov. Bowdoin told JA that until Congress decided what action to take the enclosed letters were only for his information. On 18 Aug., Congress voted to accept Secretary for Foreign Affairs John Jay's report, based on the five letters, which strongly protested Stanhope's behavior to the British government. Jay wrote JA on 6 Sept., forwarding this protest and directing him to present it, with the letters, to the British secretary of state (Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:387–296). The Bowdoin-Stanhope correspondence appeared in the London Daily Universal Register on 21 October.
Dunbar's deposition, however, was neither sent to Congress nor presented to Lord Carmarthen, and therefore was not part of the official account of this incident. Capt. Stanhope, in his letters to Bowdoin, had not mentioned Dunbar by name, but said only that he had “been pursued and my Life as well as that of one of my Officers [had] been endanger'd by the violent Rage of a Mob Yesterday Evening without Provocation of any sort.” He then urged Bowdoin “to adopt such Measures as may discover the Ringleaders of the Party that Assassinated me, and bring them to Public Justice” (Stanhope to Bowdoin, 1 Aug., copy in Adams Papers). While Bowdoin disapproved of Dunbar's assault, he felt that Stanhope had overreacted, particularly considering the orderly behavior of the crowd and the prompt action of the sheriff to protect Stanhope. And because Stanhope had not named Dunbar, Bowdoin saw no need to refer to him, but answered: “If you have been insulted, and your Life has been endangered, in manner as you have represented to me, I must inform you, that our Laws afford you ample satisfaction” (Bowdoin to Stanhope, 1 Aug., copy in Adams Papers). This reply incited Stanhope to stronger protests, prompting Bowdoin to send the correspondence to Massachusetts' delegates for presentation to Congress.
Jefferson became deeply interested in this incident, and sometime in November he wrote a brief account of the affair, to which he added a legal defense of Gov. Bowdoin's position, probably with an eye to publishing it in the Continental press to counter versions of the story that had just appeared in English newspapers which AA had forwarded to him (AA to Jefferson, 25 Oct., below; see AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct., note 16, above). Jefferson's principal source, in addition to the Bowdoin-Stanhope letters that had already appeared in { 440 } print, was Dunbar's deposition, in the form in which AA summarized it in this letter. See Jefferson to AA, 20 Nov., below, and “Jefferson's Account of the Stanhope Affair,” undated, in Jefferson, Papers, 9:4–7. Congress' handling of the affair is in JCC, 29:637–647 [18 Aug. 1785].
6. In the draft AA ends this paragraph: “How feeble must that cause be which <only> has baseness meanness and falshood for its support. How contemptable does this Nation render itself?” See William Stephens Smith to AA, 5 Sept., and note 7, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0138

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-23

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I hope my dear Sister you have receiv'd the Letter You was looking for in Callahan.2 I think I did not send it till the next Ship Saild. I have put a very long letter aboard this Ship a month since,3 supposing she would sail in a few days. Last night I receiv'd your Letter of the i6th of august4 and am not a little surpriz'd at the contents.
My dear Niece has acted with a Spirit worthy of her Parents. We have been for a long time very anxious for her Happiness. I have been so affraid of making mischief that I know not if I have done my duty towards her. As it has turn'd out I am thankful I have said no more, but dear girl what a time she has had of it ever since she has been in Europe. I hope she will now enjoy herself, and that you my Sister will have more tranquil moments than I am sure you have had for these three years. She may assure herself of the approbation of every Friend she has. You need not fear any thing from general Palmer's Family: she will have nothing else there. I will give you the reason some other time, at present the least that is said will be best. I have not seen him, for a month. He boards at Mrs. Palmers at Boston.
Aunt Tufts my dear Sister has almost exchang'd this world for a better. She discovers great fortitude patience and resignation. She cannot continue many days I think. She has been like a Parent to us. Tis hard parting with such dear Freinds.
Mr. Shaw and Sister went from here last week. She looks better than I have seen her some time. Your Sons were well. I had a charming Letter from Cousin John.5 Betsy he says has made him very happy by making her visit at Haverhil while he is there. He is very studious. Cousin Charles is here, 'tis their Fall vacancy.6 He behaves well at college, loves his Tutor exceedingly. This is a very good Sign; He Loves his Aunt too, I believe, and that is another good sign. You know not my dear Sister how attach'd I feel myself to these children.
Your mother Hall is well and I believe contented. I have heard nothing since. I shall deliver her the money when it arrives.
Esters Friends are all well, all your Neighbours are so except Eben. { 441 } Belchers wife who I believe has almost kill'd herself with Rum. She is very sick and poor not a shift to her Back nor a Blanket to cover her.
Mr. Cranch deliver'd your compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Apthorp, soon after they sent in, the inclos'd Billit.7 I send it as I could not express their Sentiments so well.
Cousin Betsy Kent is here and desires me to give her Love to you all. I have the same request from so many (uncle Quincy and Mr. Wibird in particular) that my paper will not hold their names. Miss Hannah Clark is publish'd. That Family are among the number who remember you with affection. Huldy Kent, Hannah and Sally Austin are thinking about matrimony.8
Lucy has already written you9 but desires her Duty. Billy is at home and sends his. Mr. Cranch will send you some chocolate if he can find any that is good, and can get the capn. to take it in his chest. He desires his Love to you. He has sent a Long Letter to Mr. Adams10 and all the news papers since the first seting of the Court to this day.
My most affectionate regards to him if you please & believe me your affectionate Sister
RC (Adams Papers); filmed under the date Oct. 1785 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 366).
1. Two visits mentioned in the letter suggest that Mary Cranch wrote on either 23 or 24 October. Sunday was the 23d, the first day of the new week since the departure of Rev. John and Elizabeth Shaw from Braintree “last week”; they arrived in Haverhill on 20 Oct. (JQA, Diary, 1:344). CA's visit to Braintree during Harvard's fall vacation, ended with his departure for Haverhill on 24 or 25 Oct. (same, 1:347).
2. Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above; see AA's letter to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., above, for her disappointment upon not receiving any letters from America by Capt. Callahan.
3. That of 14 Aug., above, finished on 16 September.
4. Dated 15 Aug., above, but finished on the 16th.
5. Of 8 Oct., above.
6. The fall vacation break at Harvard extended for two weeks, ending on 2 Nov. (JQA, Diary, 1:347, 350).
7. Not found.
8. Huldah Kent, apparently a granddaughter of AA's paternal aunt, Anna Smith Kent, married Rev. Israel Evans in 1786 (Cotton Tufts to AA, 14 Oct. 1786, Adams Papers). Hannah and Sally Austin were probably granddaughters of AA's paternal aunt, Mary Smith Austin (Thomas B. Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, Boston, 1879, 1:29; 2:874).
9. On 19 Sept., above.
10. Richard Cranch to JA, 13 Oct. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0139

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-10-25

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Sir

I should not so soon have ventured to interrupt your more important avocations by an other Scrible, having writen you a few Days { 442 } since, if it was not to inform you of the loss of your Letters by Mr. Preston.1 He says that when he landed at Dover, he was very sick, and that he could not accompany his trunk to the Custom House, into which for security he had put his Letters, but upon his arrival here he found he had lost them; so that unless your Letter should contain any thing for the English News papers I fear I shall never know its contents. The Gentleman deliverd me a little bundle, by the contents of which I conjecture What you design,2 but must request you to repeat your orders by the first opportunity, that I may have the pleasure of punctually fulfilling them.
A Dr. Rogers from America will convey this to you with the News papers, in which you will see the Letters I mentiond in my last, between Govenour Bowdoin and Captain Stanhope. Lord Gorge Gordon appears to interest himself in behalf of his American Friends, as he stiles them, but neither his Lordships Friendship or enmity are to be coveted.
Mr. Adams writes you by this opportunity.3 I have directed a Letter to Mr. Williamos4 to be left in your care, am very sorry to hear of his ill state of Health.
We hear nothing yet of Col. Smith, know not where he is, as we find by the Gentlemen last arrived5 that he is not at Paris. I am sir with sentiments of Respect & Esteem Your &c.
[signed] AA
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).
1. See Jefferson to AA, 11 Oct., and note 2, above.
2. AA refers to Jefferson's request that she order some shirts to be made up for him; see AA to Jefferson, 7 Oct., and Jefferson to AA, 11 Oct., both above.
3. On 24 Oct.; in Jefferson, Papers, 8:663–664.
4. Not found.
5. Presumably Preston, if “Gentlemen” here is meant to be singular, as it often is with AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0140

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-10-26

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

We have had the most considerable freshet in the river that has ever been known. I mentioned in my last that it had rained for two days without intermission.2 The storm lasted longer up in the country, and the river being the final receptacle of all, has been continually swelling till last night. The main street has been full of water, so that at some places boats have been necessary to go from house to house. A blacksmith's shop on the banks seems to have taken a fancy for a { 443 } sailing party, and on its way knocked a vessel off the stocks. The damage done has been considerable.
Last eve, William and Lucy Cranch and Charles arrived here. The fall vacation began last week, but was only for a fortnight. I expected a letter from you by them, but was disappointed. I fear I shall have none, which shall not, however, prevent my writing, but if my letters are, henceforth, still more insipid than those I have already written, you must excuse me, for I have very little subject, and very little time. Now do not think that I am fishing for a compliment. I request you would not reply to this passage. If your affection and candor are such that you can receive any entertainment from such scrawls as I can afford, I have abundantly fulfilled my purpose.
Our three cousins, two brothers, with Mr. Thaxter and Leonard White, (a youth of an exceedingly agreeable disposition and manners,) dined here to-day. The three brothers had not been together before for seven years.3 I felt in such spirits, as you have sometimes seen me in, when you thought I was half mad; and yet, every now and then, the rising sigh would betray, that something yet was wanting; and I assure you I was not the only person present who recollected you, with painful pleasing sensations. Our cousins4 leave us to-morrow to return to Braintree. Charles remains here till the end of the vacation. Lucy and Nancy are very intimate together, not, however, from any similarity of character—you know how serious, how prudent, how thinking your cousin is. Nancy is as gay, as flighty, and as happy, as you could wish to see a person; both their natural dispositions are very good, and that, I suppose, is enough to establish real friendship, though in many points there may be an essential difference.
At length I have got your fine packet,5 which was more agreeable, if possible, as I had given over all hopes of receiving any by this opportunity. Indeed, you do not know how much I was gratified; such parts as I thought might be communicated I read here, and afforded much entertainment to persons that you love and esteem. As I shall have probably nothing of great consequence to say of myself, I will draw my future subjects from your letters.
I am very glad to perceive you are so well pleased with your situation. Speaking the language, and being in the city, are circum• { 444 } stances that must contribute greatly to your satisfaction, and so large a library of books that you can read,6 will serve to pass over the leisure hours more agreeably than when you were in France.
I remember the Mr. Bridgen you mention; he told me once, that all eldest sons ought to be hanged, it was not levelled at me, but against the accumulation of estates, for he is a very high republican. The breakfasts at 6 in the eve and dinners at midnight, are ridiculous enough, but of no great consequence. Nature demands food at some time of the day, but how much that may be varied, as well as the name given to the meal, is, I fancy, quite indifferent.
I am not a little pleased to find your judgment of persons conformable with what I thought of them, when I saw them. Mrs. P. has a Grecian for her husband;7 he has studied his countryman, Plato, and perhaps has now and then to practise some of the precepts of Socrates. Miss H[azen] I have mentioned before; her form is very pretty, her wit agreeable, her ruling passion vanity.
By the papers of yesterday, I was informed of the death of Mr. Hardy, a friend of Mr. Jefferson, to whom I had letters. Also the death of our aunt Tufts; these two events coming to me together, have made me quite sober; reflections upon mortality have been so often made, and are so often introduced into the mind of every one, that it could be no entertainment to you to give you my thoughts at present.
The fact is, a man of great knowledge cannot talk upon interesting subjects in mixed companies, without being styled a pedant; many people, and those perhaps the most fond of hearing themselves talk, would be excluded from conversation, and would call nonsense what they themselves could not understand. His majesty, to be sure, says very good things, and this I can say, he is not the only king I have heard of that could talk well and act ill; the sentiments he professes, I think, confirm what has been said of him, that as a private man, he would have acted his part much better than as sovereign of an empire.
I was very much gratified with the kind notice of Col. Smith. Attentions from persons whose character we respect, although not personally acquainted with them, are very pleasing; be kind enough to present my respects to him. My duty to our parents, and compliments where they will be acceptable.
[signed] J. Q. A.
{ 445 }
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:89–93.)
1. The date is probably a transcription error; the arrival of the young Cranches and CA, which JQA's Diary records on 25 Oct. (Diary, 1:347), establishes the correct date.
2. JQA to AA2, 1 Oct., above, under “Saturday 22d.” The collision of the sailing blacksmith shop with the vessel under construction occurred on 24 Oct. (JQA, Diary, 1:347).
3. In his Diary, JQA correctly says “six years,” that is, since his and CA's departure for Europe in Nov. 1779 (same).
4. Lucy and William Cranch; Elizabeth remained at the Whites to continue her musical studies (same, p. 348).
5. AA2's long letter of 4 July, above.
6. Probably a reference to JA's library, which was brought, along with his furniture, from The Hague to London in early July (see AA to JQA, 26 June, above).
7. Lucy Ludwell Paradise and John Paradise, an Englishman partly of Greek descent.
8. In his Diary, JQA records learning of the deaths of Samuel Hardy and Lucy Quincy Tufts on 4 Nov., the first through reading a Salem newspaper of the previous day, the second from John Thaxter, who had just returned from Salem (Diary, 1:351; see also JQA to William Cranch, 6 Nov., below). Hardy, a member of Congress since 1783, was only in his late twenties at his death.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0141

Author: Smith, Catharine Louisa Salmon
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-10-26

Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

My heart has dictated many Letters to you since the recept of yours,1 but my time has been so wholy taken up in my famely, (haveing no Schoole to send my little tribe to) that not a moment could be spared even for so necessary and incumbant a Duty.
Your kind letter was handed me by your Son, who I had long been most ardently wishing to see. He is indeed ten times welcome to this Section of the Globe again. I should feel myself happy if it were in the power of me or mine to render him any service and suply in any way the place of a Mama and Sister to him. But alas! my power is circumscribed within a narrow compass, and I fear I must set myself down contented with only wishing that I could be useful to my Friends. If you will point out any way wherein I can be serviceable to you, or yours, be assured that my utmost abilities shall be exerted for that purpose. My little Girls are tolerably notable with their Needles, and if you will oblige them with any commands of that sort they will execute them with pleasure, and you will confer an additional obligation on them and on their Mamma.
Young Mr. Adams is both in person and mind just what the fond heart of a Parent could wish, and were I not writeing to his Mamma I would say, he is the most ameable, and accompleshed young Gentleman I have ever seen. Your other sons I have not seen since I came from Weymouth, but I had the pleasure of hearing from them last Evening,2 and they were well.
It is now almost two years since I have seen you. Had I been told { 446 } when I parted with you at your Gate in Braintree that we should not meet again for such a length of time I should have been truely unhappy. Heaven for very wise purposes keeps the Book of fate fast locked that we may not unfold its leaves and see what is in the Bosom of futurity. What a scene of Misery would this World be to many of its inhabitants were it permited that we should know but the one half of the ills we must suffer as we pass down the Stream of Life! In every Calamity the hopes of something better which we have in prospect keeps the Spirit from sinking, I speak experimentally for I have lived upon hope for many years past. I set and please myself with illusions, with dreams—and if it were not for treading so much on this enchanted ground I should dispair—but I will not suffer this enemy to happiness to approach me. I cultivate all in my power a Chearful dispossition. Tis a duty I owe my Children for how could I otherwise inspire them with a chearful gratitude to him whose sentence governs eternity and whose goodness is over all his Creatures, were they to see anxiety painted on my brows.
Judge Russel's famely are removed to Charlestown. The Judge has built a very elegant House on the same Spot where his other stood. There are a number of handsome buildings erected in Charlestown, and a Bridge is almost compleated across the ferry, which will be of great advantage to that formerly poor place. It begins already to make quite a smartish appearance. I'll assure you it gives me pleasure to see so great a number of the inhabitants again settled in their own peaceful habitations. May no enemy molest them and may they have nothing to make them affraid.
I feel the loss of Mr. Russel's famely very sensibly, it is like looseing a kind parents House. I have ever received the same friendly treatment from all the famely as if I had been a member of the same. Mr. Chambers R——I has purchased the Estate in Lincoln and lives upon it.3 He wishes me to come to the House with the same freedom as when his father and Sisters were there, but he has no Lady nor is there a probability that he will have one soon. So I have never been to visit him. Their might be an impropriety in it in the Worlds Eye, and I have ever made it a fixed rule never to do a thing if I have the least shadow of a doubt concerning the propriety of it, and flatter myself that I find my account in being thus circumspect, in preferring my Reputation unsullied by the wicked breath of Malice, or the censor of an ill Judgeing world, who cannot always know our motives for doing a thing however laudable they may be, but must Judge by the appearance untill the Event justifies or condemns the Action.
{ 447 }
Louisa is all Joy, and gratitude for your kind letter4 and other testimonies of your kindness, and you will permit me to join my thanks with hers, for I feel myself as highly obliged. She is grown quite a great girl as tall as her mamma, and begins to look a little plumper not so gauky and holds up her head like a Miss in her teen's.
Mr. S[mit]h has not been in this part of the Country for almost two years. I seldom hear from him and when I do the intelegence is not what I could wish. Poor unhappy man! He has my prayers for his reformation and restoration to virtue and to his famely, and I hope they will reach him. With what a heart felt Satisfaction would I take the unhappy wanderer by the hand and lead him back into the path of rectitude and to a reconcileation with his God. It is yet in his power to add much to the happiness of his famely, and ensure to himself a comfortable evening of Life.
I hope before this time you have received a letter from me and one from Louisa which were wrote last Spring5 I forget the date. If you have not you surely think me very negligent.
My little folks all send their duty. My most affectionate regards attend Mr. Adams and Miss Nabby. I will write to her as soon as I can get time.6
Adieu my dear Sister. I ought to apologize for the length of this. I am with the liveliest sentiments of Gratitude your affectionate Sister
[signed] Catharine L Smith
1. Not found, but probably dated in early May, when AA wrote letters to other relations and friends in America for JQA to deliver; JQA delivered the letter on 13–14 Sept. (see JQA to AA2, 8 Sept., above).
2. No letters from CA or TBA to Catharine Smith have been found.
3. The estate, now known as the Codman House, west of the center of Lincoln, had been inherited by Chambers Russell about 1743, who in turn left it to his nephew, Charles Russell. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts confiscated the property after Charles fled to Antigua as a loyalist refugee in 1775, but it was occupied during and briefly after the war by Charles' father, Judge James Russell, who had been burned out of his Charlestown, Mass., home by the fire accompanying the Battle of Bunker Hill. Charles' younger brother Chambers bought the estate in 1784 by paying a pre-Revolutionary lien on it, and lived in it until his early death in 1790, when it passed to his brother-in-law, John Codman Jr. Codman considerably remodeled and enlarged the house before his death in 1803. Catharine Smith first mentions Judge James Russell's friendship for her in her letter to AA of 27 April, above. See Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:81–87; 14:202–204; An Account of the Celebration of the Town of Lincoln, Mass., 1754–1904, Lincoln, Mass., 1905, p. 136, 142–146, and illustration at p. 66.
4. Not found.
5. Catharine Smith's letter of 27 April is above; young Louisa Catharine Smith's letter has not been found.
6. No letter from Catharine Smith to AA2 has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0142

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1785-11-01

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

My two Brothers, Leonard and Charles,1 will leave us tomorrow for Cambridge, and you would perhaps strike me from your books, was I to let them go without writing something: and as my inclination and my interest, are in this case, both on one side of the Question, I will say some thing, though it may not be worth your reading.
You know not how often I have thought of you, and wish'd for you, since you left us;2 and now I am about to be entirely forsaken; Leonard and Charles, who have been since they arrived two sources of great pleasure, and amusement to me, will be gone to morrow and I shall have for my Consolation little else, but my studies; one or two families I can visit in the only manner which can give me any pleasure; I mean without form or Ceremony: and with their kindness and that of the family I am in, I shall spend the Winter as agreeably, as the impatient State of my mind, will permit.
How do you come on with the hymn of Cleanthes?3 I shall insist upon it, that you send me your translation, as soon as it is finish'd, and you shall have mine at the same time; you will remember, to give <it> the book to Johonnot4 with my Love when you have done with it. I wish to see his skill try'd too, on the same Subject.
I have had a most noble feast since you left us: a Letter from my Sister of 32 pages; I am sorry it did not come before you went, that you might have read it. The latest of the dates is August 15th.5
You will not forget my request concerning a Chum6—a sober, studious youth, of a good moral and literary Character, is what I wish for, and I hope, you may find such a one.
Your affectionate Cousin.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
A Very different Letter this, from that, I wrote you last;7 I endeavoured before I began, to write; <but my?> be merry, but I cannot; put content in my face, or on my Paper, when I have it not at heart. My next perhaps, will be like the last. Adieu.
RC (MH); addressed: “Mr. William Cranch. Cambridge”; endorsed: “J. Q. A. Haverhill Novr. 1st. 1785.”
1. JQA's use of “My two Brothers” for Leonard White and CA suggests how quickly he had become a close friend of White. His younger brother TBA stayed in Haverhill.
2. On 28 Oct., accompanying his sister Lucy Cranch to Braintree before returning to Cambridge (JQA, Diary, 1:348).
3. The hymn to Zeus by the 3d-century B.C. { 449 } Stoic philosopher Cleanthes.
4. Samuel Cooper Johonnot accompanied JA and JQA to Europe in 1779, and studied in Paris with JQA in 1780. JQA's last reference to Johonnot was in Aug. 1783, shortly before Johonnot's return to America (same, 1:181; JQA to Johonnot, 31 Aug. 1783, CtY).
5. AA2 to JQA, 4 July, above. The letter's last entry is dated 11 Aug., but it may be a draft for a recipient's copy that ended on the 15th.
6. That is, college roommate.
7. No letter to Cranch has been found since that of 14 Dec. 1784, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0143

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1785-11-06

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

I received on Saturday evening your kind favour of the day preceding,1 and although I was then far, very far from being in a pleasant State of mind: yet I could not help smiling at your geometrical proof that if you shared my sorrows with me, they would not be so great. I had been much affected the day before, when Mr. Thaxter returning from Salem inform'd us of our aunt's2 Death. I had read the same day in the Salem Paper, an account from New York of the funeral of Mr. Hardy, a gentleman I was well acquainted with and for whom I had the Sincerest esteem and Respect. Your own Sensibility will make you readily believe, that either of these Events was sufficient, to make any person very pensive, but coming both together, the Effect must be greater. But excepting these Circumstances I have regain'd entirely my peace of mind, which was for a few days a little ruffled; Few Persons I believe enjoy a greater share of happiness, than I do; and indeed I know few persons who have more Reason to be happy. Health, and the mens conscia recte,3 two inestimable blessings, I as yet enjoy; and a person cannot be very unhappy I believe, with them.
I admire with you the conduct of our Uncle, upon so trying an Occasion. It called to my mind a beautiful passage in Hamlet who speaking of mourning cloaths says.

These indeed seem,

For they are what a man may put upon.

But I have that within, which passeth show.

These but the trappings and the suits of woe.4

Was I now to tell you my heart is at ease, you would with justice think me criminal. Oh! my friend! I have been witness to a scene of distress, which would call sympathy from a colder heart than your's or mine. Not all the comparisons that wits or Poets have ever made, { 450 } can give a sufficient idea of the frailty of human life, and happiness. Experience alone, can shew it us. Wednesday evening, I was down at Mr. White's, the only house in Town, which I visit often and one, in which it is impossible to pass time disagreeably. At about 7 o'clock Mr. J. Duncan, came in and enquired for his mother. She had disappeared, about a quarter of an hour before. You will probably, before this reaches you, have seen a particular Account of the Event, with all the Circumstances, attending it.5 It will therefore be enough for me to say, that after a fruitless search all night, she was found early yesterday morning, never to be lost again. This afternoon we followed her to the grave. The affliction of the different branches of that amiable family, is easily conceived; not expressed. But they bear it with that fortitude, and resignation, so becoming to Christians. They have only to grieve for themselves: the God who pleased in that manner to take her from the world, imputes not the evil to her, and we have no Reason to doubt but she is completely happy.
Adieu, my friend, let me hear from you as soon as possible: remember me, affectionately to Leonard. I fear this Event will affect him deeply, but I am perswaded his good Sense, will inspire him with proper firmness. My Love to Charles, and compliments to his Chum.6 I wonder Charles has not written a word since he left us. I would write to him, but have not a minute of time to spare.

[salute] Your's

[signed] J. Q. Adams
P.S. Novr. 15th. This will go by Peabody, I have not found any body going to Boston, since I wrote it. I intend to go to see Mr. White's family and your Sister this Evening. They are all well and their affliction begins to lose its sharpest edge. We have had a dull time here, for a week, and countenances have not yet wholly lost the melancholy that was cast over them. Reason is troublesome, when the Passions are violently moved, but must inevitably resume after a short interval, its sway, over the human Breast.
Let me know your Progress in the noble Hymn of Cleanthes: don't wait till you have finish'd it, but communicate the Verses as you write them: be persuaded that I have friendship enough for you, to criticise freely, whatever I shall think, lends to criticism, and I only request you would serve me with the same candour.
Remember me again to your Chum.7 I look forward with great Pleasure, to the five weeks, he will be here in the Winter, and wish, I could form the same hopes with Respect to you.
I dont know how long I should run on in this manner, had I time; { 451 } but I think I have already sufficiently exercised your Patience, and <can> will only <say> add I am your's
[signed] J. Q. A.
RC (Private owner, New York, 1957); endorsed: “JQA Nov 15th. 1785 Haverhill Death of Mrs. Duncan (felo de se.)” The Latin means “a felon against herself,” that is, a suicide; see note 5.
1. Cranch's letter of 4 Nov. has not been found.
2. Lucy Quincy Tufts.
3. A mind conscious of rectitude.
4. Hamlet, I, ii, 83–86. JQA misquotes line 84, which reads: “For they are actions that a man might play.” In his Diary, 1:353, JQA quotes line 86 as an approving comment on Dr. Tufts' decision not to wear mourning clothes.
5. In his Diary, JQA gives a full and quite moving description of the suicide of Elizabeth Leonard Duncan, second wife of James Duncan, Sr., sister of Sarah Leonard LeBaron White, and aunt of Leonard and Peggy White. Mrs. Duncan, “deprived of her Reason” for several months, had twice tried to commit suicide before drowning herself in the Merrimack River on the night of 9 November. JQA had seen her at the Whites' less than an hour before she disappeared (Diary, 1:354–355).
6. Samuel Walker.
7. Leonard White.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0144

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-11-06

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

Your Son, My Dear Sister has been a Member of our Family for these five Weeks, almost three of those I suppose he will tell You, Mr. Shaw and I were absent upon our southern Journey. He came a Friday1 in Peabody's Coach, and we began our Rout the next Monday. His Uncle spent Saturday in giving him Directions about his Studies, and what he could wish him to pursue till his Return. Greek seemed to be the grand Object which ought to claim his greatest Attention, he was therefore desired to learn the Grammer. Upon our Return We found he had not been idle, but like a truly ambitious Youth, endeavoured to do more than was required. He was as steady to his Studies as a Philosopher. He was out but three or four times while we were gone, and then only by an Invitation to dine, at Judge Seargants, Master Whites, and Mr. Dodges. Indeed he searches out Knowledge as if it was his Meat, and Drink, and considered it as more precious than choice Gold. When I was at Braintree, I drank Tea with Mr. Wibird. You know he was always very inquisitive. In the course of Conversation Your Son became the Subject. I asked him if he did not think Mr. Adams exceedingly like his Father.—Yes——2 walking across the Room, but at my Question, took his stand before me, his Head inclined on his left Shoulder, one Eye half shut, and his right Hand in his Breeches Pocket. I could not said he, when I saw him, for my life, help thinking of what Addison puts in the Mouth of Syphax. “Curse on the Stripling how he Apes his Sire.”3
{ 452 }
There is not a Day passes but what I think of it, but not without wishing the imprecation transformed into a thousand—thousand Blessings.
We had a very pleasant and agreeable visit to Bridgwater, Plimouth, Marshfield, and Hingham, for we found all our Friends well there. But alas! when I came to Weymouth, what bitter ingredients were thrown into my Cup of Pleasure. Our dear amiable Aunt Tufts was laid upon the Bed of Sickness, unable hardly to lift her languid Head—fixed, and piercing were those Eyes which used to beam Benevolence on all. Almost closed were those Lips, upon which forever dwelt the Law of Kindness. Cold, and deathful were those liberal Hands that scattered Blessings, and delighted in seeking out, and relieving the Wants of the Poor, and necessitous. Indeed my Sister the Scene was too—too distressing. I could not speak a word, my Heart felt as if it would have burst it[s] bounds, and would no longer submit to its inclosure. But She is now no longer lingering, trembling, hoping, dying. This painful Scene has closed, and I trust Heaven has opened to her view. When I left her, I thought she could continue but a few Days. And Yesterdays Post has brought us intelligence of her Death. Her emancipation rather. Yes we may—we ought to drop a Tear over our Aunt—for she loved us next to her own Child, and we repayed it with equal tenderness and affection, for she was to us, but one remove from our excellent and much revered Mother. Sweet is the Memory of the just. May their Virtues live in us. May we catch the Mantle, and imbibe a double Portion of their Graces.4
The good Dr behaves like a true Christian. He neither despises the chastening, nor faint[s] under the afflictive Dispensations of Providence. His most sincere and devoted Friend, and Lover is indeed put far away. But Love cemented by Religion ends not here.

“Nor with the narrow bounds of Time,

The beauteous Prospect ends,

But lengthened thro' the Vale of Death,

To Paradise extends.”

The Day I came out of Boston,5 Capt. Lyde arrived. Mr. Shaw went eagerly to the Post Office for Letters, but could find none, only for JQA.6 Mr. Gardner said he had a number in his Trunk, but could not get it on Shore. So we were obliged to Trudg home to Haverhill, without any particular Information of your Welfare. Your Sons both looked so happy to see us return, that I shall always love them the { 453 } better for it. I knew I had insured a hearty welcome by the Letters I had brought.
Curiosity if directed in a right Line, and fixed upon proper Objects may lead to great Acquisitions. But such a curiosity as some People are possessed of—Pray did you never discover that your Sons was almost unbounded.
I never saw Mr. T[yler] in the whole course of my Journey, which to me was a matter of Speculation. For I supposed we were upon good Terms. I know not of anything that should have made it otherway[s] unless it was because I gave him in the gentlest manner the greatest Proof of my Friendship. Such neglects to such affection and to such a Person, was what I could not silently nor patiently see. It was too much for Sensibility to bear. —And now I have nothing to do but admire, at the Wisdom, the Fortitude and the Magnimity of that Lady, who would not suffer the voilence of Passion to blind her Judgment, and misguide her Reason,7 and I must place, certain Decissions among the misterious Revolutions of an all wise Providence.
Your kind Letter8 accompanied with presents to the Children, came safe to hand the 29th. of October. Accept my dear Sister of mine, and their Thanks. Betsy Q. [says] she has told all the Misses in the School that Aunt Adams lives in London, and sent her a beauty Book and Gown. Billy and Betsy Quincy speak very plain, and read very well. Billy was up in the Morning before it was light, got a candle, and set down to read his Book which he had received the night before from his Aunt Adams.
I brought home from Braintree a Suit of Cinnamon couloured Cloathe for Cousin Thomas which came from Holland,9 and last Week we devoted to turning the Coat, and fixing the little Gentleman up, and I assure you he looked quite smart to Day.
Cousin Betsy Cranch is in Town, keeps at Mr. Whites, and learns Musick upon Miss Peggys Forte Piano. I wish we owned one, and then we should not lose the pleasure of her company. Story informs us of the Force, and power of Musick. Orpheous with his Lyre put inanmate nature in Motion, and brought Euridice even from the Realms below. But the power of Melody is now so lessoned, that should this lovely Maid strike the softest, sweetest Notes in nature, I fear they would not <charm?> bring you back to your native Land. Duty with you has a more powerful Charm.
Adieu my ever dear Sister, and believe me to be with the tenderest Love, Your affectionate Sister
[signed] Eliza. Shaw
{ 454 }
RC (Adams Papers). Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. 30 September.
2. In the draft, “<said he>” appears after the dash.
3. Joseph Addison, Cato, I, ii. The speaker was not Syphax, the Numidian ally and then traitor to Cato the Younger, but Sempronius, a Roman senator. Sempronius speaks of Porcius, one of Cato's sons, whom he sees as “ambitiously sententious,” like his father.
4. See Proverbs 10:7; 2 Kings 2:1–15, esp. verses 8, 9, and 13.
5. 20 Oct. (JQA, Diary, 1:344).
6. AA to JQA, 11, 23 Aug., both above; William Vans Murray to JQA, 2 Aug., Adams Papers (see JQA to AA2, 1 Oct., above, under “Saturday 22d”).
7. Both Mary Cranch and Cotton Tufts were informed of AA2's dismissal of Royall Tyler in letters from AA (15 Aug., and 18 Aug., both above) carried by Capt. Lyde, who arrived in Boston on 20 October. The news evidently reached Shaw after her return from Boston, on the same day, although AA's letter to her of [ca. 15 Aug.], above, also carried by Lyde, does not mention the subject.
8. Of [ca. 15 Aug.], above; there AA mentions sending books to each of Elizabeth Shaw's children, and to TBA.
9. Perhaps the suit of “Chocolate coloured Cloaths” mentioned at the end of the 6 Nov. 1784 inventory (Adams Papers) of JQA's possessions that were sent from Holland to Boston; the last section lists clothes sent from The Hague to JQA at Auteuil.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0145

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-11-08

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Although I have written so largly to you by the last vessels that Saild1 I cannot bear to let another go without a few Lines. I have not yet receiv'd your Letters by Charles Storer. He is not come to Boston. I am anxious to receive them. I want to know what it is, whether any thing in particular has happen'd to make my Neice take such a determin'd part with regard to a certain Gentleman.2 He is very jealous that I have acquainted you with some of his conduct which he knows I cannot approve. He is mistaken. I have been too much affraid of making mischief to do it, and I plainly perceiv'd that he would do his own Business for himself, without the assistance of any body else. You have not told me whether you receiv'd a Letter from me by Mr. Bulfinsh,3 that is the only one in which I ever mention'd his ditaining cousins Letters for a long time from her Friends. I know not whether Mrs. Guild would have ever got hers4 if I had not accidintly Seen them and told her that he had Some for her. She Sent for them often but he would neither Send them, nor go to see her although he was in Boston three weeks of the time out of the month he detain'd them. At last She talk'd to Mr. Wibird about it, and got him to ask him what he meant. Betsey was present when he did. He first ask'd him whether he had a Letter for Mrs. Guild. He colour'd up to his ears, but after Some time, in a mumbling manner he Said yes. “And why do you not give it to her?” “I have a particular reason for not doing it.” “It must be a very particular one indeed or { 455 } it will not excuse you from a charge of breach of trust.”5 The next day He sent two to her by Cousin Tommy. The first which I saw had the Seal broke, that She never receiv'd, so She told me the other day. He would have serv'd Cousin Betsy Palmer in the same manner If Betsy Cranch had not insisted upon his telling her whether he had one or not.6 He open'd his Pacquit in the room with us. This was the first he receiv'd in the Spring. Cousin Betsy was present. We Saw five or Six Letters. He said there was but one of them for him. He gave Betsy Cranch one.7 We ask'd him if there was not one for Cousin Betsy. He would not answer, but carried them all into his chamber. I thought there was one for her and told my Betsy to make him Say whether there was or not. “He did not know but there was.” He look'd a little vex'd but went up and got it.8 You cannot wonder if after this we could not place any confidences in him. He has conduct'd Strangly towards the Germantown Family ever Since last winter, has not been there above there [three?] times since, and he may have Spoken to Cousin Betsy Six times but not more, and all this for nobody know[s] what that I can find out. I could tell you more but as you are not like to be any further connected with him, I will let him alone: I have not Seen him Since his chagrine. His officce has been shut up and he in Boston for five weeks. The court has sat two of them. I know no more about his business than you do. If cousin knew how he had show'd her Letters about she would be very angry. He has I hear been reprov'd for it by some of the young Fellows he show'd them too. His answer was “He was so proud of Miss A's Letters that he could not help it.” Did he mean (when he told cousin that he had written by the way of Amsterdam)9 that he had written to her before the first october Letters? He told me and others that he never had written her one before, and that he had reciev'd Six from her before she could have had one from him. I ask'd him what excuse he had made for himself. He Said none, and that he would not let her know that he had reciev'd one of hers if he did not think other people would tell her. How he does delight to plague Those he thinks he can?
The Doctor has written you upon the subject10 but he poor man has had his Hands and Heart full ever Since he reciev'd your Letters. Our good Aunt Tufts after a most distressing Sickness which She bore with a patience and fortitude which would have Surpriz'd you has exchang'd this troublesome World for one where all Tears will be wip'd from her Eyes. She so earnestly long'd for her release that her dearest connections could not wish for her staying longer here. She { 456 } dy'd last Lords day evening about half after six o clock. I follow'd her to the Grave and saw her deposited by the side of our dear Parents. It Was a solemn scene to me. The Doctor behaves like a saint. His son is so softend11 that he made us a visit the day after, and has promiss'd to repeat them. The poor have lost a Friend indeed but no one has met with so great a Loss as Lucy Jones. She is much affected.
Your Mother Hall is well. We have had several Sudden Deaths within a week in this Parish. Hannah Whits Husband, The widdow Crane and Sally Brackit a Daughter of James Brackit. She was sick but three days of a Putred Fever, you may remember her Blooming countinance.12 Your Neighbours are well. Esters mother spent an afternoon with me a few days sinc. Cousin Charles Billy and Lucy have been to Haverhill to see their Friends: Betsy is there yet. They are all well. Cousin John very Studious, and is a mere recluse. He however went with Miss Peggy and Betsy to Newburry and Spent two days at Mr. Daultons, and pleass'd enough they were. Betsy will write you all about it.
Do not read any more of this Letter to any body than you find necessary. I do not wish to prejudice any body, but you know not how uneasey all of us have been, for the Happiness of your Family, and yet every Body was affraid to Speak. Before he receiv'd her last Letter he had written her a very long one. I wonder if he has Sent it. I wish you could see it if he has.13 He is so suspicious of me that I believe I am not very favourably mention'd in it. I must repeat He has no reason for it. I have been his Friend as far as he would let me be so, but Surely I owe more to you than to him.—Mr. Cranch will send you Some chocalate by Capt. Young if he can get him to take it.
Cousin Charles behaves well at college. I have got a surtout of cousin Johns14 alter'd for him and Tommy has taken his. I am going to get Some worsted stocking for them. Do you know that Cousin John has Sixty five pair of Stockings Thread cotton and Silk and not one pair of them have the Heels lin'd or run? We have been fixing a reasonable number for him and have put by the others till they are worn out. I am asham'd to send you this without copying it but my pen is so bad and my time So short that I cannot do it.
I do not know of another vessel to Sail for England this fall. If there Should be one I shall write again. I believe you have reciev'd more from me than from any one else. I feel as if I wanted to be always Scribling to you. Give my Love to Mr. Adams and my dear Niece and believe me at all times your affectionate Sister
[signed] M. Cranch
{ 457 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “1785 Mrs Cranch 8 November.”
1. Mary Cranch to AA, 14 Aug., and [ca. 23] Oct., both above.
2. Royall Tyler, whom AA2 dismissed on [ca. 11 Aug.], above; see AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., to which Cranch responded on [ca. 23] Oct., both above.
3. Of 4 June, above; see Richard Cranch to JA, 3 June, above.
4. No letter from AA2 to Elizabeth Quincy Guild has been found.
5. All closing quotation marks inserted by the editors.
6. No letter from AA2 to Elizabeth Palmer has been found.
7. This letter has not been identified.
8. No letter from AA2 to Elizabeth Palmer has been found.
9. See AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., and note 7, above. Closing quotation mark supplied in the previous sentence.
10. Perhaps Cotton Tufts to AA, 12 Oct., above, although that letter was a response to AA's concern about Tyler in May; no letter from Tufts to AA in late October or early November is known to the editors.
11. See JQA to AA2, 29 Aug., note 18, above.
12. Sarah, daughter of James and Mary Brackett, died on 31 Oct., at age 18 (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 123).
13. No letters from Royall Tyler to AA2 have been found.
14. Perhaps the “blue great Coat,” listed in the inventory of 6 Nov. 1784 (Adams Papers), as being sent to Boston from Holland; or the “green Surtout” listed in the same inventory as sent from Holland to JQA in France.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0146

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-11-16

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousn

When I wrote to You by Capt. Cushing1 informed You of my Fears with respect to Mrs. Tufts's Illness. The Event which I then feared, has since taken Place. Heaven has executed its Will. The Partner of my Life is gone to Rest, She expired a[bout?] 7 oClock on the 30th. of Octob. in the Evening, after a long and painful Sickness.
Amidst the various Tryalls of Life, it is sometimes a Consolation that they will one Day terminate. It may be such when the Prospect is near, but when distant and the Suffering great, it is but a feeble Support, especially if the Idea of a future Existence be excluded, but when We Can look through present Sufferings to a future State of Ease and Tranquillity accompanied with [real?]2 Joy that will not only exceed our Wishes in Degree, but our Conceptions in Duration, it affords some solid Support, alleviates our Distresses and spreads over the Wound an healing Balm. Though of all Tryalls of Life that of the Loss of so near a Connection is perhaps one of the greatest, yet I am not without Consolation when I reflect upon that Patience Christian Fortitude and happy Temper of Mind which She discovered through the whole of her sickness and that Readiness which she manifested to obey the Call of Heaven and close the Scene. She has Weathered the Storm and is I trust arrived safe in the Haven of Felicity where May We my Dear Friend one Day meet and associate with those of { 458 } our departed Friends and Relations. With Love to Mr. Adams and Cousin Nabby.
I am Yr. affectionate Friend & Uncle
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madm. Abigail Adams Grovesner Square Westminster”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts November 26. 1785.” Some damage to the text at a tear.
1. On 14 Oct., above.
2. Written over another word.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0147

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-11-19

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

I have just received the within Letters, and as I hear Capt. Young is to sail tomorrow I take the liberty of inclosing them to you.1 By Capt. Cushing who sailed a few Weeks ago I sent you the News-Papers from last May,2 and by Capt. Young I have sent the Papers since and a Register for 1786. I have also sent a little Bundle for Sister Adams.3
I wrote you largely by Capt. Cushing, and have wrote you again a few days ago by Capt. Young, who will wait upon you. He is related to (your) Mr. Tudor's Wife. I hope this will meet you under agreeable Circumstances, and that your Dear Lady and Daughter are well. Master Charles was with me to day and dined with Mrs. Cranch at Uncle Smith's; he is very well and behaves well at Colledge: your Sons at Haverhill were well this Week, as were also Brother Shaw and Family, and Mr. Thaxter. Your Honoured Mother, and your Brother were well last Sunday. I have recommended your Brother to the Governor for a Justice of the Peace, and the Governor has promised me that he shall be appointed. The movement of mine is yet wholly unknown to your Brother, and I intend it shall be so untill I carry him his Commission.4 I am with the highest Esteem, your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
Please to give my kindest Regards to your dear Wife and amiable Daughter.
Many Friends will write to you and Sister by this Conveyance. We have just heard of the arrival of Mr. Chs. Storer and his Sister5 &c. at N: York on the 8th. Instant all well. The Letters by him are not yet arrived.
1. The enclosed letters cannot be identified, but any of the following, written in Massachusetts between 18 and 24 Oct., directed to JA in London, and lacking an ad• { 459 } dress, could have been included with Richard Cranch's letters of 10 Nov. (Adams Papers, with elaborate address), and