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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


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. Truxton] 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 Truxton's vessel was captured, Franklin was just crossing the Channel from Le Havre to Southampton, and Truxton had yet to bring his ship to Southampton from London. Franklin boarded this ship at Southampton on 27 July, and Truxton 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 264 17s. 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

N:II
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. Blodgett was probably one of the five sons of Judge Samuel Blodgett of Haverhill; and was perhaps the Nathan Blodgett 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
Yours
[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.
Yours,
[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 19 Nov. (without address): Tristram Dalton to JA, 18 Oct., James Sullivan to JA, 23, and 24 Oct., and Jonathan Jackson, 24 Oct. (all Adams Papers).
2. With Richard Cranch to JA, 13 Oct. (Adams Papers).
3. Richard Cranch to JA, 10 Nov. (Adams Papers), states that Cranch is sending along “a little Bundle containing something that Mrs. Cranch sent to her Sister,” probably the chocolate mentioned in Mary Cranch to AA, 8 Nov., above, and recent newspapers and “A Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” in A Pocket Almanack . . . 1786, T. & J. Fleet, Boston.
4. Cranch had nominated Peter Boylston Adams to Gov. Bowdoin on 5 Sept. (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers). It was Mary Cranch who actually presented the commission to P. B. Adams, presumably in December (Mary Cranch to AA, 18 Dec., below).
5. Elizabeth Storer Atkinson.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0148

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-11-19

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams 2d

Tuesday the first of November, I received from you, my ever dear Neice, a Letter dated the 3d. of August.1 Were I to describe to you the Ideas I have, of the merit of its Author, it might perhaps, flatter your Vanity. For some I suppose you are possessed of, in common with the rest of your Sex, however you may modify and direct it. Roseau says, it is inherent, and constitutes a part of our very Nature. For he asserts that all Women are naturally Coqqettes2—which if allowed I conclude therefore that all Women must have a considerable share of Vanity and Presumtion. But quiting Roseau and all his odd Chimerical Ideas and Schemes, I will tell you plainly that your Letter throwed me into a very pensive and musing state of mind. It gave me both pleasure, and pain—pleased with the Manner, but pained at the thought of having given real uneasiness, to a Heart, which if it had need, I would have chose rather to have soothed—to have poured balm, and softened with my latest Breath.
I cannot recur to the Letter you mention,3 because I have no copy. But as near as I remember, the Observations arose from the Idea, that we were all, but in Youth more especially, too apt to form wrong Judgment of persons and of things, for want of time, and critical Examination, for instance—put a strait stick into a Tub of water and when the Sun Shines upon it, you believe it broke or bent, and cannot suppose it otherways, only by repeated trials—just so we may be mistaken as to the merit, or real Character of Persons. Objects ought to be viewed in different points of light. We Judge by the exterior, and it is Time, the most accurat Observation, and experience alone, that can convince us, it is possible for our Judgement to err.
{ 460 }

“O lovly Source

“Of generous Foibles, Youth! When opening a Mind

“Are honest as the light, lucid as air,

“As softening breezes kind, as Linnets Gay

“Tender as Buds, and lavish as the Spring!”

How often in the earlier part of my Life, have I thought it unkind, unjust, and the height of cruelty to suspect there was the least Ill, “where no Ill seemed.” How dear thought I, must we pay for our knowledge of the World if the more we know, the less we must Love—and in proportion as that is extended, our Charity, and Benevolence must decrease.—But why do I run on thus. I meant to ask, why, so general Observations should give pain, and so much alarm my dear Niece. Believe me my Friend when I say, they were not made, because I thought you materially deficient in any part of your Conduct. No. Though I knew you, as human, liable to Errors, yet I have ever viewed you in a variety of Instances, as rising above your Sex, superior to the weakness, and the Foibles that more generally attend Us, as acting in a strict conformity to the highest notions, of virtuous affection; honour, and filial Duty. Few I beleive, of your age have more assiduously sought the right way, and undeviatingly [ . . . ] the Path—and such a Person cannot form an Opinion to Day, vary it tomorrow, and change it a week hence. Errors we find may result from a wrong Judgement, But when that is convinced, we may alter our Opinion, while the same principles are operating in our Breasts, without being charged I think with fickleness and inconstancy.
You ask, what more can be done, than endeavour to do right? I answer, that nothing more ought to be done. This is the only source from whence we can derive comfort. This is the Path which if pursued, will lead you on to Happiness—will lead you to a chearful Resignation to the various vissisetudes of Fortune. It will smooth your Pillow, and make your repose sweet and peaceful.4
I find by your Mamma's, and your Letters that an atachment to the French was daily increasing.5 Moore in his Travels6 says they are the most civil and polite to strangers of any people in the World, the most obliging in endeavouring to make them understand their Language, and the least apt to laugh, when errors are made in speaking it—and that Gentleman of Fortune from every part of Europe, resorted thither to spend them,7 where they could enjoy the agreeable Society of the Parisians.
The account you gave of your presentation to their Majesties, and { 461 } of your Dress and Reception,8 was a matter we felt ourselves interested in. Painful preheminence! I envied neither Royalty nor you. Alas! that my Neices Taste should be so depraved as not to be delighted with the Salutations, Ceremonies, and Honours of a Court. You talk of the Mortification of your Pride, and of your being taught to pay respect and defference to nothing but superior Virtue and Merit. Why Child, one would think you lived in Queen Besses Days.
Your Remarks pleased me, upon the equality of the human Species. If Titles, Rank, and Fortune could shield us from any one Misfortune, and Evil to which Humanity is incident, they might be worth such mighty contests as have disturbed the World. But on the contrary we find, that exalted Stations, are often the very Cause which involves them in Misery and though by their Office they are “stiled Gods, yet they must die like Men.”
In our late Journey to Braintree, Mr. Shaw had some Buisiness which led him to visit, one of your Skadenmite Families.9 Pray who did you marry, said the good Woman? Upon being informed, Why you was a desperate lucky Man and then went on to enquires about your Family. We hear they have seen the King and Queen of England, and that they kept them standing four Hours. I should have thought they would have had more manners. I don't call myself desperate mannerly and yet I am sure I would have given them Chairs to sit in. I assure you I have been diverted to hear the different speeches, and opinions of people upon this ocasion.
I have had a sweet Visit from Cousin Billy and Lucy Cranch, and your Brother Charles in the October Vacancy. I felt gratified, and I loved him the better for his looking so happy at being here again. Here he recieved your affectionate Letter,10 and token of Love. You can hardly conceive how rich I felt, when I looked round our Table, and could count eight own Cousins.11 Such likely ones too, and those that loved me so well. Some of my best spirits played round my Heart, at that Moment.
It was in vain to wish you here—it could not be.
And now my dear Neice let me beg you to write to me as often as you can freely, every thing that can affect your Happiness is of importance to me. Mr. Allen is not yet married, but I suppose means to be, if ever this Winter.
Mr. Thaxter according to his diffinition of Courtship is now on the third stage. He is now quite seriously engaged,12 and is considered as a relative in the Family. Walked last week as a near mourner to poor Mrs. Duncan's Grave—For she is gone. The Family disorder { 462 } seized her Brain. She was missing in the Evening, and found next Morning floating, a little way off one of the Wharffs. What consternation such an Event must occasin the Family, and her connections you can better conceive than I describe. She was a person of an excellent Temper, a kind Friend of a meek disposition, and I believe a very good Woman, and was grieved almost to Death when her Brother acted the like Part. Your Brother JQA in his Journal, I suppose will give you a particular account of the affair.13
Adieu my Dear Neice, may [you] enjoy all that satisfaction, & happiness which is insured to Right Intentions, is at all times the fervent Wish of your most Affectionate Aunt
[signed] E Shaw
Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “To Miss A Adams Grosvenor Square London.”
1. Not found.
2. From Rousseau, Emile, Sophie ou La Femme, Book V.
3. Evidently a letter from Elizabeth Shaw to AA2 that has not been found.
4. The preceding paragraphs may be a discreet discussion of AA2's relationship with Royall Tyler. Elizabeth Shaw had learned of AA2's dismissal of Tyler by 6 Nov. (Shaw to AA, 6 Nov., and note 7, above). There is no direct evidence, however, that AA2 ever informed Shaw of her decision to dismiss Tyler, and it is far from certain that her letter to Shaw of 3 Aug. (not found), ever referred to Tyler.
5. This probably refers to AA's favorable comparison of the French to the English in her letter to Elizabeth Shaw of [ca. 15 Aug.], above, and to some remarks in AA2's letter to Shaw of 3 Aug. (not found).
6. Dr. John Moore, A View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany, London, 1779, letter IV.
7. Shaw deleted “who have Fortunes, and wish to spend them,” after “Europe,” added “of Fortune” after “Gentleman,” and left her now vague “them” reference unchanged.
8. The description of the Adamses' presentation at court on 23 June was probably contained in AA2's letter to Elizabeth Shaw of 3 Aug. (not found); see AA to Mary Cranch, 24 June, above.
9. That is, a family that lived in Scadding, the South Precinct of Braintree, later incorporated as Randolph (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:118, and note 22). For another account of this story, see Mary Cranch to AA, 23 Dec., below.
10. No letters exchanged between AA2 and CA have been found.
11. The eight cousins, all grandchildren of the late Rev. William Smith and Elizabeth Quincy Smith, who were at the Shaws' on 25–27 Oct., during Harvard College's fall vacation, were JQA, CA, TBA, Elizabeth Cranch, Lucy Cranch, William Cranch, William Smith Shaw, and Elizabeth Quincy Shaw (JQA, Diary, 1:347–348).
12. To Elizabeth Duncan, whom he married in 1787.
13. No extant letter from JQA to AA2 descibes the Duncan tragedy.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0149

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-11-20

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I have been honoured with your two letters of Octob. 19. and 25. by Mr. Fox and Doctor Rodgers since the date of my last.1 I am to thank you for your state of Stanhope's case. It has enabled me to speak of that transaction with a confidence of which I should other• { 463 } wise have been deprived by the different state of it in the public papers and the want of information from America. I have even endeavored to get it printed in a public paper to counteract the impressions of the London papers and Mercure de France. I do not yet know however whether it will be admitted.2—Your letter to Mr. Williamos3 I immediately sent to him. The illness which had long confined him, proved in the end to be mortal. He died about ten days ago.
Mr. Adams's letter of the 4th. instant4 informs me that Mr. Preston had at length found my letter to him. I hope he has also found, or that he will in time find that which I took the liberty of writing to you. It was to pray you to order me a dozen shirts, of exactly the quality of the one sent, to be made in London. I gave for that 10tt 10s. the aune, and wished to be able to judge of the comparative prices in the two countries. The several commissions you have been so good as to execute for me, with what Mr. Adams has paid for insuring Houdon's life leave me considerably in your debt. As I shall not get so good an opportunity of making a remittance, as by Colo. Smith, I trouble him with thirty two Louis for you. This I expect may place us in the neighborhood of a balance. What it is exactly I do not know. I will trouble you to give me notice when you receive your plateaux de dessert, because I told the marchand I would not pay him till you had received them; he having undertaken to send them. I give you so much trouble that unless you find some means of employing me for yourself in return I shall retain an unpleasant load on my mind. Indeed I am sensible this balance will always be against me, as I want more from London than you will do from Paris. True generosity therefore will induce you to give me opportunities of returning your obligations.
Business being now got through I congratulate you on the return of Colo. Smith.5 I congratulate you still more however on the extreme worth of his character, which was so interesting an object in a person connected in office so nearly with your family. I had never before had an opportunity of being acquainted with him. Your knowlege of him will enable you to judge of the advantageous impressions which his head, his heart, and his manners will have made on me.
I begin to feel very sensibly the effect of the derangement of the French packets. My intelligence from America lately has become more defective than it formerly was. The proceedings of Congress and of the assemblies there this winter will be very interesting.
The death of the Duc d'Orleans has darkened much the court and { 464 } city. All is sable. No doubt this is a perfect representation of their feelings, and particularly of those of the D. de Chartres to whom an additional revenue of four millions will be a paultry solace for his loss.6 News from Madrid give much to fear for the life of the only son of the Prince of Asturias.7
Colo. Humphries comes to take a view of London. I should be gratified also with such a trip, of which the pleasure of seeing your family would make a great part. But I foresee no circumstances which could justify, much less call for, such an excursion. Be so good as to present my respects to Miss Adams and to be assured yourself of the sincerity of the esteem with which I have the honour to be Dear Madam.
Your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson Nov 20. 1785.”
1. Of 11 Oct., above.
2. See AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct., note 16, and AA to Jefferson, 19 Oct., and note 5, above.
3. Not found; AA mentions it in her letter to Jefferson of 25 Oct., above.
4. Jefferson, Papers, 9:10–11.
5. The date of Smith's arrival in Paris is not known; he had departed from Vienna on his return journey on 26 Oct. (AA to William Stephens Smith, 13 Aug., note 1, above).
6. Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, died on 18 Nov., and was succeeded to the title by his son Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres. The successor was guillotined in 1793, but his son survived to become King Louis Philippe in 1830. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.
7. The source of Jefferson's information was William Carmichael's letter of 6 Nov., which he received on the 20th (Jefferson, Papers, 9:23–24). Ferdinand, son of Charles, Prince of Asturias, an infant just past his first birthday, survived. His father became King Charles IV of Spain in 1788, and young Ferdinand succeeded to the title Prince of Asturias the next year. Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0150

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-11-21

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

My word I mean always to keep, Amelia, so I write you from this place, though my letter may be barren of subjects to entertain or interest you. One thing, however, there is, which I hope, and am willing to be sure, is not indifferent to you, and that is the information of our safe arrival here. It is a matter of no little joy and satisfaction to me, be assured; your participation, as it will prove your friendship, will be no small addition to it.
Seven long weeks were we upon the ocean, during all which time the winds seemed to have conspired against us, yet one week ashore quite effaced the past trouble; so soon are our griefs forgot when their object ceases to be present; not so with our friends, Amelia. The sweetest ingredient of happiness is the esteem we bear them. This is { 465 } a sentiment we can reflect ever upon with pleasure: nor can absence, or distance, pain, or sorrow, deprive us of it. The first part of my voyage, I felt forcibly the attraction of Europe, and many a thought centered there. In the mid-ocean, view me, on a balance, duty and affection in equipoise; still a little further and home preponderated. That moment gave birth to feelings exquisitely pleasing, and every thought came crowded with satisfaction. The nearer I approach, my impatience (as gravity increases the rapidity of a body the nearer it comes to the earth, in falling) increases. Yet, Amelia, great as my pleasure is on this occasion, I am not unmindful of those friends in Europe, who in their turns now are absent. I feel my heart dilated; my feelings expand, so as to embrace you all. Peace and happiness be with you. Remember Eugenio, and be assured in so doing you add much to his happiness in return.
Perhaps you little think, that you are much the subject of conversation here. There are many ladies who envy you your present situation. “Is not Miss A. very handsome?” says one. Yes, madame, she is called the American beauty. “She must be very accomplished; she has every opportunity she could wish to improve herself; the best of masters; the best of every thing.” Ah! Amelia, I could not say much on the score of masters; but such qualifications of the mind and heart, as I knew you possessed, and which, seriously considered, are the best accomplishments; these I assured the many inquirers Miss A. was eminent for. You will not be angry with me for this; for what I said was only what I could say with justice. Going abroad, I find, gives one some consequence. When you return you must, therefore, prepare to be looked up to as a pattern for every thing. I advise you now, then, to learn a little assurance; that reliance on yourself that can only make you independant of others. But I beg pardon for dictating to you thus.
A Preliminary, Amelia, though here at the close of my letter. There is a certain gentleman1 in your family, who I imagine, may be inquisitive in regard to our correspondence; my request is—but without telling him so—that he be not permitted to know what I write.
Adieu! Yours,
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:38–40.)
1. This would appear to be a reference to William Stephens Smith.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0151

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-11-24

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Sir

I hope if the Marquiss de la Fayette is returned to Paris he may be able to give us some account of Colln. Smith for whom we are not a little anxious, having no intelligence from him since the begining of September when he wrote1 that he should tarry at Berlin till the reviews were over which would be by the 20th. of that month and then should make the utmost expedition to Paris where his stay would be six days or six Hours according to the intelligence he should meet with there from Mr. Adams. Ten weeks have since elapsed and not a Line or Syllable respecting him has come to hand, in all that time we have been daily and hourly expecting his return. We should have been still more anxious, if the Spanish Minister2 had not informed us that by a Letter which he received from Colln. Miranda3 early in Septemr. he wrote him that he had some thoughts of going to Vienna. Colln. Miranda's friends are allarmed about him and have been here to inquire if we could give any account of him. We are now daily more and more anxious because we cannot account for Coll. Smiths long absence but by sickness or some disaster, and even then we ought to have heard from him or of him. You will be so good Sir as to give us every information in your Power as soon as may be.
We suppose you have made an excursion to Fontainbleau4 by our not having heard from you for a long time. Mr. Preston found the Letters he supposed to have been taken out of his Trunk, amongst his Linnen ten days after his arrival. Your orders shall be executed to the best of my abilities.
Inclosed is a Letter which I found a few days ago respecting the Wine which you was so kind as to take.5 Mr. Adams is uncertain whether he requested you to Pay to Mr. Bonfeild on his order 319 Livres for a Cask of Wine which he procured for him and of which he never received any account untill his arrival here. If Mr. Barclay has not done it Mr. Adams would be obliged to you to pay it for him.
A Vessell arrived this week from New York and brings papers to the 16 [15?] of Octr.6 They contain nothing material. A Letter from Mr. Jay informs us that no Minister was yet appointed to the Hague, but that Mr. Izard and Mr. Madison were in Nomination, that the rage for New states was very prevalent, which he apprehended would have no good affect. He wished the Ministers abroad to bear testimony against it in their Letters to Congress.7
{ 467 }
In this Country there is a great want of many French comodities. Good sense, Good Nature, Political Wisdom and benevolence. His Christian Majesty would render essential service to His Britanick Majesty if he would permit Cargoes of this Kind to be exported into this Kingdom against the next meeting of Parliament.
The Treaty lately concluded between France and Holland and the Conduct of England with respect to America proves Her absolute deficiency in each Article.
Compliments to the Gentlemen of your Family from Sir your Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
RC in AA2's hand (DLC: Jefferson Papers); addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America residing at Paris”; stamped: “Angleterre,” and “[2]5 NO” endorsed: “Mrs Adams.” Dft (Adams Papers).
1. On 5 Sept., above.
2. Bernardo del Campo y Pérez de la Serna.
3. In the draft, here and below, AA spells this “Mirandy.”
4. The sixteenth-century royal palace forty miles southeast of Paris, where the French court resided each fall for the hunting season. Not wanting to pay for additional lodging, Jefferson made brief visits to Fontainebleau as duty required. He was there from 26 Oct. to 1 November. Jefferson, Papers, 8:362, 681; 9:51.
5. This letter has not been identified. In the draft after this sentence AA struck out: “It will inform you who the person is of whom we had it and the price.”
6. The draft reads “the 15 of october.” AA2's 5's and 6's are quite similar.
7. AA refers to John Jay's letter to JA of 14 Oct. (Adams Papers), printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:419–421. The proceedings of Congress do not record a nomination of James Madison to be minister to the United Netherlands in 1785, but Jacob Read of South Carolina did nominate Ralph Izard for this post on 24 Aug. (JCC, 29:655). The “New states” being espoused by many local leaders in 1785, with the support of some congressmen, were the trans-Appalachian districts of Kentucky, then a part of Virginia, and Franklin, the western portion of North Carolina, which had not fully relinquished its claim to the region. Congress, however, did not record receiving any petitions for statehood for either district during the year. The passage in Jay's letter concerning this movement reads: “The Rage for Separations and new States is mischevious—it will unless checked scatter our Resources and in every View enfeeble the Union. Your Testimony against such licentious anarchical Proceedings would I am persuaded have great Weight.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0152

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-27

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

N 9
Never was there a young Man who deserved more a severe punishment than yourself. I am so out of patience with you, that I am quite at a loss in what way to revenge myself. In short I know of no method that I think would be adequate to your deserts. Month after month has elapsd, ship after ship has arrived, from New York, and six months have passed since you left us, and I have as yet received
{ 468 } | view { 469 }
but one Letter from you in America.1 We are and have been looking for Vessells from Bostons till all our patience is exhausted. It is said here that so long a time has not passed since the peace without hearing from thence. My last went by Mr. James Jarvis, to New York,2 a few weeks have elapsd since, without my writing a word, to you, but you have not any shawdow of complaint to make, and I do not even think it proper to make any apology to you. So I shall pass over all that has passed, and you dont know what interesting matters you may have lost, and begin from yesterday when we dined at Mr. B. Vaughn where I met a Lady who inquired after you. Now if I were to serve you right I should leave the matter here and you to indulge your curiossity, but according to my natureal character and indulgence, I will tell you a little more. It was a Lady who knew you in Stockholm. Now what think you young Man. Does not your heart go pitepat, now bounce, as if it would break your rib. Nor do you know how many of yours adventures She confided to me. No matter what they were, I well remembered with how much pleasure you used to speak of Sweeden, and how many encomioums you passed upon some Ladies there. How Languishingly you used to look, about the one &c &c. I have a good memory of these things. The Lady has visitted us, and we shall return the visit. An acquaintance may ensue, of what degree, I will not yet venture to say. No Wonder you was a little caught, so young, so beautifull, so affable so easy, so accomplished, in short so—incomparable—a—. But I think you was not quite in your Politicks when the Gentleman offerd to get you presented at Court, to refuse.3
There was yesterday a Mr. de Wint and his Daughter. The young Lady is very pretty and very agreeable, they have Lived in Amsterdam many years. The young Lady speaks English a little. They are to pass the Winter here and the next year in Paris. There was another West India Gentleman and Lady and I think it was observed that there was but one Person at table who was not either Americans septentionial4 or Islanders, and that was a French Lady.
Last week Governor Pownall called upon us, just returnd from the south of France,5 where he says he has found a fine Country, and with a better religion and Government, he acknowledged he should think it one of the finest Countries in the World. We stay at home here sayd he, and vainly imagine there is no Country but this. I am convinced to the Contrary. Well said he addressing himself to me, I hope you like this Country better than France. I told him I liked this Country very well. You ought to like it answered he, for I have been { 470 } inquiring and I find they like you very well. Mrs. Pownal, called but we were really not at home. They are gone to Bath for a few weeks where you know every body repairs at this season, not knowing in what other way to spend their time, and nothing can more surprise them than to find persons, who are not reduced to such means to exist. This People cannot live like the rest of the World. From my own knowledge I cannot Judge, but I am told by all Foreigners, and some who are of rank and importance and who have lived in this Country as many years as fourteen and fifteen, that there is no such thing here as society, even among People of equal Rank, and importance, in their own opinions. They say that all the intercource there is, is by formal cerimonious visits, and that you will never find an English Lady at home, if you visit ever so often unless it is by particular invitation, and when they do meet them the heighth of sociability is, yes and No. I do not give this as my opinion for I have not acquaintance enough to form any adequate judgment. Those English Ladies who I am acquainted with are, neither superior or Inferior to those of our own Country. The English Women affect a Masculine air and manner which to me is horrid beyond description, and they generally acquire it. The handsomest Woman I have seen in England was my Lady Stormont. She is really beautifull, for she has in her Countenance and manners a Modesty and a dignity, which must forever please.
We went to visit Mrs. Paradise who I have heretofore described to you. She sees company every sunday Eve, and there is generally a Number of sensible Folks there. Mr. P. seems to be sollicitous to cultivate an acquaintance with all the Foreign ministers and many of them visit at his House. There were no Ladies this Eve. But several Gentlemen.6 As we had not a particular invitation the company was not chosen, tho not the less agreeable. We have never yet been able to persuade Pappa to go, altho Mr. P. visits us as often as 2 or 3 evenings in the week.
Capt. Cushing arived and brought Letters so late as the 25 of October but to my total astonishment neither Pappa nor Mamma have a line from you, and the 2 letters which I have received are { 471 } neither of them later than from New Haven.7 We are yet hopeing that the Capt. may have Letters for us.
Pappa received a Letter from Mr. Nathaniel Barret from some port in France. The ship he was in had like to have been lost, and in indeavouring to save the money Letters and &c, the boat sank, and every thing which was in it was lost. Fortunately there was but one person drownd. We hope your Letters were not on board this ship.8 I am particularly anxious to receive Letters from you from Boston, and I think you unpardonable if you have not written. But this I think all most impossible. Our Letters speak in the highest terms of you. We fear they will spoil you by the [ . . . ]9 young Men, till they make them perfectly ridiculous. I know of no such characters in Boston and I hope they may never exist there, but at the same time there may be some danger in too much attention and praise. It will require much firmness and fortitude not to be injured by it. I learn from Letters received10 that you are at Haverhill with Mr. Shaw, and proposed, entering Colledge in April. I hope it is true. Our accounts from my other two Dear Brothers are as favourable as we could wish, that Charles, is steady and studious and enjoys the good will of his Class and the Affection of his Tutor, but we are not told who he was. I hope you will be more particular—if you are not I will scold you.
Oh, how often do I wish myself with you, but when that will be Heaven only knows. My Brother [ . . . ]11
Your Letters from New York, and so far on your journey as I have received have given me much pleasure, and sattisfaction. I wish they had been later dates, or that I could yet acknowledge the receipt of Later Dates. I have written you often and largely but I fear my Letters will be to you tedious. Yet it is against my principles almost to make appologies for I allways think them the dullest part of a Dull Letter.
Lately I have had a good deal of writing to do for your father, for, Mr. Smith, has been absent near 4 months and tis near three since Pappa has heard a Word from him. In short we are tottally at a loss to account for his <absence> Conduct. It is quite a matter of speculation amongst his Brethren in Commission.12 One of them told me yesterday he had not been in his own Country for ten years, that he wished ardently to go only for six weeks. If he could do as Coll. S—— [ . . . ]13 He14 has lately finished a peice which has done him great Honour, and Mr. West said of him here the other day, that he knew { 472 } of no young Man, who promised so much as he. He has just begun the battle of Bunkers Hill, and it is thought will have a very good picture. If he succeeds in this I am told he proposes to go on, with many of the important events in our own Country.
Count Sarsfeild came in to tell us that he could not pass our House without calling. He has made us many friendly visits lately, but goes to Paris next week. Before we had finished drinking tea Mr. Barthelemy Chargé des affaires du France, and Mr. d'Aragon, private secretary to Compt D'Adamah [Adhémar], came in. The former I have mentiond to you before I believe. He is an agreeable Man, and has less, of the Frivolity of a French man, than they generally possess. Mr. Daragon is a very opposite character, he has vivacity enough. We all agree that he resembles you very much. Mr. B. told him one day at table when we were remarking the resemblance, that he had a compliment to make him. “Vous avez I'Honneur a resembler le frere de Mademoiselle Adams.” It is rather in his person, and his eyes than for I dont think him so well looking a young Man as mon frere. He has served in America as private secretary to Count Rochambeau, and speaks english very well. He is solliciting of His Court to be sent Consul to Boston, it not however very probable he will succeed.
Pray did you ever hear of the famouss Mademoiselle d'eon, who served as Chargé des affaires du France and afterwards as ambassador from that Court to this—who obtained le croix de St. Louis, and was in several engagements who fought two Duels on the part of some Ladies, and many more extrordinary matters—whose works, make thirteen vollumes &c. She has lately arrived in this City, and these Gentleman had dined with her and were speaking of her. She has resumed la habit des dames, but Mr. D. told me he was sure, She might go dressd in l'habit d'Homme and not be noticed, but she could not as a Lady. She wears her croix de St. Louis and as one may well suppose a singular figure, as well as an extrordinary Character.15
Mr. Paradise and Mr. Freime16 secretary to the Portuguese Minister, calld and spent an hour or two. The Chavelier de Pinto has lately made proposals, or rather taken up, those which Pappa made to the Ambassador from Portugal in France, and he has written to his Court for full powers to form a commercial Treaty with America.17 They seem sollicitous for it, and are desirios to send and receive ministers and Consuls to and from America. Pappa has written to Mr. Jay in favour of your friend W——18 for Consul. This Mr. F. seems to be a { 473 } steady sober young Man. He has been many years in this Country and speaks english well for a foreigner. They had finished their visit, and Mamma was gone up stairs to go to bed, it was about ten oclock when a foot mans rap, roused us, and who should it be but Madame de Pinto, to make a visit more gracious than is customary She came in and sat half an hour. Her visit was particularly to tell us, that She saw company every sunday Evening and should be happy to see us. She seems to be a friendly agreeable Woman, speaks english a little. Her manners are more French than English, par consequence plus agreable.
This Evening Mr. Joy sent my father Word that his Brother would go for NY in the Packet which would sail on Wedensday and he would take Letters for us. I intend giveing this and one other to his Care,19 for there is not ship to sail from hence for a long time. I hope you will mind what I have said about writing by the <French> English packet from NY. We think it very extrordinary that there was no Letters from you after your arrival in Boston, and not a line to Pappa or Mamma.
The Ceres we fear is lost, the Passengers and People were all saved but the mony and Letters all lost. I hope yours were not on board, of her tho I fear it.20
Dft (Adams Papers). The text is written on 11 small, unnumbered pages. The bottom of page 6 and the top of page 7 have been cut out of the letter, resulting in the loss of text at three places (see notes 9, 11, and 13). The editors give their reasons for thinking this is a draft in notes 11 and 20.
1. That of 17 July, above, carried by John Barker Church, who sailed from New York on 4 Aug., on the British packet (JQA, Diary, 1:297). AA2 received this letter, with JQA to AA2, 25 May, above, also carried by Church, on 5 Sept. (AA2 to JQA, 26 Aug., above).
2. AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct., above.
3. Neither JQA's letters written during his return journey from Russia in the winter of 1783, above, nor his Diary entries for that period, identify any of the Swedish ladies whom he met, or mention the offer of any gentlemen to introduce him at the Swedish court.
4. That is, North American. AA2 met the persons mentioned in this paragraph at Benjamin Vaughan's on 26 Nov. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:199–200).
5. Thomas Pownall made this visit on 18 Nov. (AA2, (Jour. and Corr.), [3]:199. Pownall was governor of Massachusetts, 1757–1760, a member of the House of Commons, 1767–1780, and the author of several important treatises on Anglo-American relations, as well as on antiquarian, economic, and scientific subjects. Pownall and his second wife had been touring through southern France since the fall of 1784 (DNB). JA and JQA had visited Pownall at his home at Richmond Hill on 29 Nov. 1783 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:151; JQA, Diary, 1:206).
6. In her long journal entry for this day, AA2 particularly mentioned a “Mr. Hrne Tooke,” with whose manners and benevolent sentiments she was much impressed (Jour. and Corr., [3]:200–201). See John Horne Tooke's entry in DNB.
7. The two letters are JQA to AA2, 9 Aug., above, begun in New York and completed on 19 Aug., in New Haven; and probably JQA to AA2, 1 Aug., above. AA2's journal places the receipt of these letters on 28 Nov. (Jour. and Corr., [3]:201–202).
8. Nathaniel Barrett wrote to JA on 29 Nov. { 474 } (letter not found), and enclosed an earlier, undated letter, written “At sea Nov. 1785” (Adams Papers). Barrett's letter of 29 Nov. gave details of the shipwreck of the Ceres (JA to Barrett, 2 Dec., LbC, Adams Papers), which sailed from Boston in late October (see James Bowdoin to Thomas Jefferson, 23 Oct., and Thomas Cushing to Jefferson, 25 Oct., Jefferson, Papers, 8:662–663, 670–671), and which AA2 mentions at the end of this letter. JQA's letter to AA2 of 20 Aug., above, was on the Ceres.
9. About eight full lines of text have been cut away here. See note 11.
10. See Mary Cranch to AA, 14 Aug.; Cotton Tufts to JA, 6 Oct.; Cotton Tufts to AA, 14 Oct.; and Mary Cranch to AA, [ca. 23] Oct., all above.
11. A comparison of the content of the text surrounding the three deleted passages (see notes 9 and 13), and the layout of this passage on two MS pages, point to this passage, of about fourteen lines, as the object of a deliberate deletion, uncommon in an Adams MS, with the shorter ones, above and below, being merely the reverse sides of this text.
If this letter is a draft, as seems virtually certain (see immediately below, and note 20), AA2 may have removed this passage herself. Because there is no other extant version of this letter, or any summary of one by JQA or others, the missing text cannot be reconstructed, but a possible topic of the passage is AA2's dismissal of Royall Tyler or some comment upon him. No such remarks appear elsewhere in AA2's letters to JQA. AA2 evidently did send a copy of this letter to JQA that has not been found (see AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., below, the beginning of which refers to a longer version of the letter).
12. That is, the diplomatic corps in London.
13. Here again, about seven MS lines of text have been removed (see note 11).
14. The artist John Trumbull. The piece that he had “lately finished” has not been identified. AA2 would describe Trumbull's The Battle of Bunker Hill, completed in March 1786, after seeing the work in progress in January (AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan. 1786, Adams Papers, filmed with AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec. 1785). See Theodore Sizer, The Works of John Trumbull, Artist of the American Revolution, New Haven, 1967, figs. 145–151, and accompanying text.
15. Chevalier Charles de Beaumont d'Eon (1728–1810) served as a French diplomat in Russia, and briefly in Austria, in the 1750s, and as secretary to the Duc de Nivernais, the French ambassador to Great Britain, in 1762–1763. For his efforts in concluding the Peace of Paris of 1763, and his earlier work in St. Petersburg, he received the Cross of St. Louis. He wrote extensively on the history, commerce, and government, and the fiscal and social problems, of Russia, France, and Great Britain. D'Eon often dressed in women's clothes, and genuine confusion as to his sex was widespread in his lifetime, but his death certificate, and the report of an autopsy performed before three witnesses in London by a surgeon to the exiled Louis XVIII, reported that he was male (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
16. Ciprião Ribeiro de Freire later served as Portugal's chargé d'affaires in London, 1790–1792, as Portugal's first minister to the United States, 1794–1799, and as minister to Spain in 1801 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:317, 321, 320).
17. See JA to John Jay, 5 Nov. (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 717–728; printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:527–533); and JA to Thomas Jefferson, 5 Nov. (Jefferson, Papers, 9:18–22). Both letters report on JA's conference with Pinto on 4 November.
18. JA wrote to John Jay on 3 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers), to recommend Winslow Warren for U.S. consul to Portugal. Warren, however, returned to Boston unexpectedly in mid-December (Mary Cranch to AA, 18 Dec., below), and was not appointed consul.
19. AA2's other letter sent to New York has not been identified; see AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., below, under “Wedensday 7th.”
20. On this last page, written crosswise, and apparently partly under the end of AA2's text, is a sentence in AA's hand: “Mrs. Adams compliments to Mr. Brown request him to get the extract of the Letter from Boston inserted.” Nothing is known about this sentence, but it does not appear to relate to AA2's letter. Its appearance, however, is yet another indication that AA2's letter is a draft, written here on a sheet of paper that AA had already used.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0153

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-11-29

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

How provoking it is to be told that a vessel is to sail next week with our Letters and then have it stay in the Harbour six Weeks. I thought till yesterday that Capn. Young was half way to London at least, and behold he will not leave Boston this week. The Letters will be so old, that they will lose much of their value, but tis no fault of mine.1
I have been waiting some time without writing for those Letters you promiss'd me by Mr. Storer. He is not yet come from New York. I have very unexpectadly receiv'd two by Capn. Callahan for which I thank you most sincerly.2 I am so gratified that mine give you any pleasure, that I feel determin'd to keep you well supplyd. If you have reciev'd all I have sent, you will think I have done my part as to quantity pretty well, especially if you knew how little time I can get from my Family affairs to write, and how unable I was last summer to write at all. I did not then Love to tell you how sick I was, nor how much it hurt me to write. I had a Rhumatick complaint across my stomack such as I used to have in my neck and shoulders. It is much better but I have enough of it yet to be troublesome.
I am glad to find you so well prepair'd to receive the account of our dear aunt Tufts' death. In my September Letter I wrote you that she was better, but alass! it was only a revival. We flatter'd ourselves for a little while that she would get through the winter, but the last attack was too voilent for her feeble Frame. The last month of her Life was a very distressd one, but she bore all her sufferings without a murmer or complaint and was only affraid that she should be too desirous to depart.
When I stood at her grave and saw her deposited by the sides of my dear Parents, surrounded by the multitude of weeping Friends and acquaintance which her benevolenc had gain'd her, O my sister! whither did my thoughts carry me. Far far beyond this vale of Tears to those blest abodes where I trust the souls of our dear departed Friends are receiving the rewards of their well spent Lives, and exedling to their utmost wishes those benevolent dispositions, for which they were so remarkable while here. May they not be ministering spirits to those who are most deserving the care of Heaven?
When I think of the closing Scene of our dear Fathers Life, Labouring with such ardour as he did for the salvation of a soul very dear to him:3 that he seem'd almost insensible to the pains and { 476 } agonies of Death although they were as severe as Flesh could bear, I feel an anguish which is only exceeded, when I reflect how little the unhappy Prodigal has profited by it. I have not mention'd him in any of my Letters because I could not tell you any good of him, and I do not love to give you pain.
This winter is likely to be as lonely to me as the last and more so upon many accounts. Weymouth is become more melancholy to me than ever. Betsy is yet at Haverhill and will not return till Spring if the wishes of her Friends there can prevent it. The unhappy end of Mrs. Duncan the circumstances of which Betsy will I suppose tell you, has (sister Shaw says) made her company almost necessary to the happiness of Mrs. White and Peggy.4 Their greif occation'd by this melancholy event has been excessive, especially Mrs. Whites. She had been very sick some time before and was less able to bear such a shock than she would have been at some other time. Betsy writes me5 that she has been full of fears that their reasons would have been again affected but they had not been a moment depriv'd of it. I have been anxious least such distressing Scenes should hurt her health, but she says she was never better, in her life. Her uncle and aunt would have had her with them, but Peggy would not let her stir from her side. Although greatly shocked she was not so nearly connected but she could reason and Sooth and you know her gentle spirit is just fitted for such an imployment. I know not how to spare her and yet I cannot take her away while Mrs. White so earnesly petitions me “not to take from her one of the greatest comforts she has untill time shall have a little softend their affliction.”
It is not the dissapated gay Companion which we wish for my dear sister in such an Hour as theirs. It is the chearful Freind who by gentle Soothings can calm the ruffled Passions and point us to those comforts and consolations which Religion only can afford.
Sister Shaw and your sons will write for themselves6 so that I need not say any thing more about them than that Sister is as well as usual and your [sons] are very good and behave well. Betsy says in one of her Letters to me7 “It forms a very great part of my happiness that I have my Cousin John Adams with me here. He spends much of his time when absent from his Studies at Mrs. Whites, and we are all fond of having him do it. I take more pleasure in conversing one hour with him, than in whole days spent with any other youth of his age. May nothing deprive us of him nor him of his shining Talents.” Tommy is a good child and Cousin Charles behaves well, and is very prudent as to expences. I take the same care to provide for him, as { 477 } I do of my own son. His washing and mending is done as regularly as Billys. His cloths will last longer than if they were put out at Cambrige. They might be as well wash'd, but they would suffer for want of a stich in time. I have taken the Sugar you left in your Seller to make cake for Charles. It had contracted such a dampness, by being so long there, that it is as dark as the brownest of sugar.
I rejoice to find you have so many good Friends around you. As to the abuse of the refugees it cannot hurt you, but I think with Mr. Jefferson that it is very silly in our printers to publish it,8 and your Freinds will do what they can to prevent it.
We do every thing in our Power to keep the moths from eating your things and I believe nothing will be much hurt. Mr. Adams has a number of old Black coats wastcoats &c that I am sure he will never wear again nor any of your children will they fit. They may make cousin Tommy some wastcoats, may we take them for this up. I often long to take your advice, but hope I shall meet with your approbation.
Adieu for the present. I shall write more. Yours affectionately
[signed] M. Cranch
1. The letters sent by Captain Young could have included all of those written to the Adamses in London by their Massachusetts relatives since the departure of the Ceres about 25 October. Long delayed in Boston, these letters were again delayed in England, where Young had to put in to Plymouth for repairs to his vessel. Arriving in the Channel in Jan. 1786, he did not come up to London with the last of the letters in his care until mid-March (AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Jan., Adams Papers; to Mary Cranch, 26 Jan., MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.; to JQA, 16 Feb., Adams Papers; to Mary Cranch, 26 Feb., and 21 March 1786, both MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
2. Charles Storer carried the letter by AA to Mary Cranch, 11 Sept.; AA's “two by Capn. Callahan” were of 30 Sept., and 1 Oct. (all above).
3. That of his son, William Smith Jr.
4. Elizabeth Cranch next wrote to AA on 20 May 1786 (Adams Papers); she said nothing about the suicide of Sarah Leonard LeBaron White's sister, Elizabeth Leonard Duncan.
5. Letter not found; it probably dates from about 10 November. Mary Cranch promptly replied to it (letter not found), and Elizabeth Cranch in turn replied on 28 Nov. (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers).
6. Elizabeth Shaw's next extant letter to AA is that of 2 Jan. 1786 (Adams Papers). No letters from CA to AA, and none from TBA to AA before 1796, have been found; but AA acknowledged the receipt of letters from JQA, CA, and TBA in her reply to JQA of 16 Feb. 1786 (Adams Papers). JQA's letter was that of 28 Dec., below; those by CA and TBA were probably from the same period.
7. Not identified; perhaps the letter of ca. 10 Nov., not found, mentioned above (see note 5).
8. See AA to Mary Cranch, 1 Oct.; and Jefferson to AA, 25 Sept., both above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0154

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

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

N 10
This Morning I wrote you1 that we were going to the play with Mrs. Church. At six oclock we called upon her, and went to the Theatre of Drury Lane, where was performed the Confedrecy,2 a Comedy, which I took to be as great a satire upon the manners, of high Life, as could have been written. It was not however any thing new. The entertainment was the Jubilee of Shakespear,3 which is well worth seeing onc, the scenery is magnificent, and there is a procession of the Principles characters and a representation of the Principle scenes of every one of his Plays, which is very well-done, and at the close, they all appear upon the stage at one time. The Whole is very cleaver. But the Length of the amusements here render them allmost tiresome, to be kept five hours to any one particular thing is too much. Was it ever so good one would get tired of it. Miss Farren playd a principle part in the first peice, and She is my favourite Comic actress. They speak much of Mrs. Abington Mrs. Crouch, and Mrs. Jordon, but of the 3 first I prefer Miss F. Mrs. Jordon I have not yet seen.4 We got home just at Eleven, and had scarce set down before Colln. Smith puts his Head into the room, and exclaimd—dare I see you Sir—to Pappa—and well he might have some fears of his reception for his Long absence, but who should present himself with him but Colln. H[umphreys]. We wellcomed them to London, and we sat down. Colln. S. told Pappa he had brought His friend as a peace offering. He was too well grown to stille him a Lamb. They informed us all our friends in Paris were well. Poor Williamos, died about three weeks ago. His dissorder was the Gout in his stomach. Many have lost a friend, for he was certainly of a benevolent disposition and as far as his ability enabled him he rendered every one assistance. Mr. Jefferson I think I have allready told you in a former Letter had moved. They say he has a very fine situation—but exclaim mos teribly about his salery, declared he is 2 thousand in debt, and that He shall be ruind.5 This you know is entre Nous. Lamb and Randall have been sett off some time for Algiers. Mr. Barclay and Franks are not yet gone. Pettit has got the Place of Maitre D'Hotell, to one of the first Bankers in Paris Mr. C. The Baron de Stearl [St4ël] is soon to be married or is allready, to Mademoise Neckar, Daughter to the Famous { 479 } Mr. Necker,6 and it is said to His [Milrenary?] Daughter it seems the Baron is not rich, nor was he Nobly Born, but by beeing a favourite of the Ladies was, given the Tittle of Baron, and the embassy of Ambassador, out of the usual forms of Etiquette. It is said he is a favrite of the Queen of France, and I am sure he must be of every body. This I have given you some account of our Parisian Friends. I have not perhaps assended in just degrees. It might be dificult to determine them, but one thing more of them. Mademoiselle Lucille is to be married to Monsieur Deville first secretary to the Comt de Vergennes. The King has given him le place of Farmer General. Monsieur Challut lent his House at St. Cloud, to the King this summer for the accomodation of the Dauphin when he had the small Pox. The Court has been lately to Fointainbleau, but have returnd.
We had a large Company to dine both Gentlemen and Ladies. Mr. and Mrs. Chaning, from Carolina, they have been in England many years, but have allways been of the right side as it is called. Mrs. Channing is a Worthy sensible Woman, but Poor Lady, is Griveing to Death for the Loss of an only Daughter, who I have heard was as fine a Girl as any in the World. Mrs. C. had taken great Care in her education, and She was according to the English frase perfectly accomplished. Your Pappa was much pleased with Mr. C. Mr. Blake another Carolinian, his Lady was indisposed, and prevented comeing. He was in Boston he tells me the september after we left it, and is vastly pleased with it. He prefers N Y and Boston to any other part of the Contiment.7 Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan you know as well as Mr. W. Vaugan8 who has without exception a head the most like a fish, and an Haddock too, of any human being I ever beheld. I dont mean in the shape or outward appearance except his eyes. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who if I recollect aright I have mentiond before to you. Mr. S—— is a Member of Parliament, and Mrs. S—— is a Cleaver agreeable Little Woman. Her Brother Mr. Copes [Coape], was in Boston last fall, and has now gone out to settle in Carolina. They have I may with justice say, payd us more attention than any other Family, that we have become acquainted with since our residence here. They Live at Clapham. We have had several invitations to dine there, but it has so happend that we have never had it in our Power to accept of but one. Mrs. Smith was very polite and gave me an invitation to go with her to the Assembly which they have monthly, during the Winter. Tho I was obliged by her attention I could not accept it, for I have ever { 480 } avoided and ever shall during my residence here, such parties. Indeed I was never attached to them in America and in our own circle where every one is known to each other, and you cannot wonder that I do not wish to go into them here. If I had been blest with a sister who would have joind me in such amusements I beleive I should have been more pleased with them. But whenever I go into company I feel a kind of sollitude and lonesomeness, which has ever been painfull, and I am convinced my happiness lies not in that path. I had rather spend 3 hours in writing to you than in any Ball assembly Pat [Party?] or what ever name is or may be given to Twenty [Forty?] People meeting together for their own amusement. I used to like the Assemblys at Boston very well, because I had many friends and acquaintances amongst the circle. But I had like to have forgot the rest of our Company. Mr. Mrs. and Miss Paradise. Mr. Copes Brother to Mrs. Smith. Colln. H[umphreys] and Coln. Smith compleated our Party. The formers, is amaizingly alterd, there seems to be a Gloom upon his Countenance, and a sedateness of manners that I dont remember in Paris. Perhaps tis the loss of his knight Hood, his friend has prevailed upon him to leave off the badge,9 while he resides here, and Ill venture to say he is lessened in his own estimation by quitting it. The Marquis10 indeaverd to persuade C[olonel] S[mith] to wear his at Berlin but without affect. The King of Prussia rallyd the Marquis about his order, and asked him if his eagle had two Heads. All the French officers appeard with it. Duke of York11 was there and many other English officers. The Duke, disliked the American Uniform and expressd his disapprobation to some of his Friends <who>. His Character does not appear more worthy than His Brothers the Prince of Whales, it is said. Our company to day, were seventeen, seven Ladies and ten gentlemen and every one were dressd in Black. Indeed all London, I may say all England are in Mourning for the Queens youngest Brother, who died lately and there has not been known so General a Mourning for a Long time. It is a compliment every one seems to feel due to her Majesty, and must to her be very pleasing proff of the affection of her subjects.12
Mr. Joy and Mr. Bulfinch called upon us in the Morning, the former to inform your Father that he should not go in the Packet but in the Ship Morton which will sail next week. I have seald my, Letter N 9,13 I shall give it to him, and convey this to Boston.
This Morning or this day about 3 o clock we received our Letters { 481 } from Mr. Barret which we feard were lost. They were to be sure as Wet as they could be, but very fortunately not so damaged as to injure the writing. I have now the happiness to acknowledge the receipt of a Letter from you from Boston14 but I am not sattisfied. No sooner had I finishd my two sheets, but I wanted to follow you farther, and to hear your observation upon folks and things. In short I dont feel content when an <hour> day has pasd after the date of your Last to the Departure of the Ship. I might complain of the Shotness of your letters when compared to the Prolixity of mine but I [seem?] to be enough sensible that your <4?> 2 Sheats contain as much as my 12 or more. Therefore I must only regret that my stile and manner is not so Laconic. I shall submit it to your correction, nevertheless craving your Mercy. Continue your Letters my Dear Brother. Do not led one opportunity of conveyance escape you. If you could know how pleasing and sattisfactory they are to me, you would not deny me this scource of happiness. I shall wish for April, and hope then you will come to Cambridge, for I shall then seem nearer. You will receive my Letters as soon as they arrive, and I fear you will not where you are.
Your Pappa went to Court, where there was a full drawing room, but there was I suppose nothing extrordinary. Colln. S[mith] dined with us, and read to your Mother some Letters from his family. In one of them you are mentiond as visitting them, which you told me of long ago.15 I shall show your encomiuns upon Miss Sally to Her Brother. Belinda seems to be the favorite with him I think. Count Sarsfeild called and took one cup of tea if I wuld make it very weak. You know him, he is allways pleasant. Mamma told him that when she came from the [Play?] on Monday Pappa told her that he had been Quarrelling with Count Sarsfeild. Oh yes, we had a quarell, saide he. I dont Love to expose this Man to his Family, but he is sometimes a little week—dans la tette. I love his pleassantry very much. He was going to an Assembly, and on Monday setts off for France. Next May twelve months says he, the second dinner I eat in this Town shall be in this House. Pappa told him he did not know who he would find Living here.
Mamma and myself went out this Morning a shopping, that business you used to Love so well in Paris, but we are so indipendant here having the free use of our Tongues, that we are not under { 482 } obligation to any body for talking for us. A happiness indeed. We stopped at the N England Coffe House to Leave a Card inviting Capt. Cushing to dine with us on sunday, and then we heard that a Ship is to sail for Boston on sunday. I shall indeavor to get this Letter on Board, some how or some how. Tomorrow we are to have a large company to dine, all Americans, and an Americain Dinner salt Fish. I tell you who they are. Mr. and Mrs. Hay, Mr. and Mrs. Rucker Miss R. Mr. and Mrs. Roggers. Mr. Trumble Mr. Parker Mr. Ward Boylstone Mr. Molsby an Englisman, Dr. Bancroft Colln. H and Mr. Smith.16 It is now half after twelve the Watchman have just called. I am going to drink some Lemonade, as we used to do at Auteul. I wish you could sip with me now. I shall give my Letter to some body tomorrow to put into the Bag for me, so I shall not have time to add any thing more. Present my Love to Aunt Shaw, and my Brothers.
Yours affectionately
[signed] A Adams
I was going to complain to you of the weakness of my Character but my time has all been taken up in narative.
Dft (Adams Papers); written on nine small pages. The Dft of AA2's No. 11 (22 Jan. 1786) continues on the back of the last page of No. 10.
1. This evidently refers to the last entry in the recipient's copy of AA2 to JQA, 27 Nov. (not found), the draft of which, printed above, ends on 3 December.
2. An advertisement for the Drury Lane Theater in The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser for 5 Dec., publicized the appearance of Elizabeth Farren portraying Clarissa in Vanbrugh's The Confederacy. She acted in London from 1777 to 1797.
3. The Jubilee of Shakespeare was “a Dramatic Entertainment of Dancing, Singing, and Dialogue, in Honour of Shakespeare” (The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 6 Dec. 1785).
4. AA2 had seen Frances Abington as Lady Rusport on 5 Oct. (AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct. and note 10, above). Anna Maria Phillips, a young singer and actress generally at Drury Lane, married a Lt. Crouch of the Royal Navy in 1785. Mrs. Jordan (born Dorothea or Dorothy Bland) began her career in Dublin in 1777; 1785 was her first London season. DNB.
5. Jefferson's move in October is mentioned in AA2's letter to JQA of 24 Sept., above; see Jefferson to AA, 4 Sept., note 5, above. Jefferson gaves vivid expression to his financial worries in 1785 in letters to David Franks, 17 June, and to Samuel Osgood, 5 Oct. (Jefferson, Papers, 8:225, 588–591).
6. Anne Louise Germaine Necker married the Baron de Staël Holstein in 1786, near the beginning of her literary career, and would be known thereafter as Madame de Staël (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
7. John Channing and his wife moved from South Carolina to England in 1769 (South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 21:14 [Jan. 1920], 27:111 [July 1926]; JA, Papers, 7:125). William Blake and his wife, Ann Izard Blake, had also lived in England for several years (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:182, note 1).
8. That is, Benjamin Vaughan, Sarah Manning Vaughan, and Benjamin's brother William Vaughan (same, 3:53, and note 2).
9. Of the Society of the Cincinnati. Col. Humphreys' friend was, of course, William Stephens Smith, who had learned of the Adams' strong feelings about the order during the summer (see AA to JQA, 26 June, note 8, above).
10. Lafayette, head of the French chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati.
11. Frederick Augustus, second son of George III, who had been studying French, German, and the military arts in Germany since 1781 (DNB). Among the other English { 483 } officers attending the review was Lord Cornwallis, who was on a diplomatic mission to Prussia (Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:345–347, 349 note).
12. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser for 7 Dec. announced that “their Majesties will not go to the Theatre till after the publick mourning for her Majesty's brother the late prince of Mecklinburgh Strelitz.” This was George Augustus, prince of Mecklinburgh-Strelitz, a major general in the service of Austria. He died on 9 Nov. at Trynau, Hungary; his funeral was held on 12 Nov. at Pösing, Hungary (Gazette de Leyde, 2 and 6 Dec.).
13. Of 27 Nov., above; but the recipient's copy of that letter, not found, was longer than the extant draft (see note 1).
14. This was JQA's No. 7, dated 20 Aug., above. Begun in Middletown, Conn., it was completed in Boston on 28 August. The MS shows clear signs of water damage.
15. JQA to AA2, 17 July, above, under “31st” July, and note 20; and JQA to AA2, 1 Aug., above.
16. Of the guests in this party who have not previously been identified, “Miss R.” was probably either a Miss Rucker, or Miss Ramsay, whom JQA met in Paris in March, at a gathering that included the Ruckers. The Adamses definitely saw Miss Ramsay in Jan. 1786; she may have been related to a Mr. Ramsay of New York, whom JQA met in July (AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan. 1786, filed with AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., Adams Papers; JQA, Diary, 1:235, 290, 295). The Adamses had met a Mr. Parker of South Carolina in Paris in Jan. 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:216, and note 1). Mr. Molsby, who was evidently the only Englishman present, has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0155

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-06

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

The three Letters which Mrs. Adams honoured me with were received at Paris,2 and should have been answered, had an oppertunity offered. Permit me to pass an encomium on that prudence which dictates silence on painful Subjects, and to assure her while honour guides my actions and is my ruling star thro' Life—I shall alway's endeavour to appear as if I had taken the deepest draught from the stream recommended.3 Indeed I am now a little surprized at myself for seeking it at such a distance—when reflection would soon have pointed it out as flowing from the mount of honour, any deviation from which can never give me satisfaction or lay a proper foundation for me to risk my happiness upon—for I should alway's doubt the purity of that mind, which could sacrifice the smallest particle of it on any shrine whatever. With these sentiments my friends must feel themselves shelt'red from a troublesome assiduity which is sometimes connected with similar Circumstances.
Give me your friendship and believe—W. S. Smith—capable of gratitude.

[salute] Dr. Madam

I intended to ask for my small trunk when I begun this note, but found it full sooner than I expected. I shall be obliged if Mr. Spiller { 484 } will send it by the bearer. I shall soon pay my respects to Mr. A——s and put my shoulder to the wheel.
[signed] W. S. S.
RC (Adams Papers); written on a small sheet of paper from which a part was torn off neatly; addressed, running onto the lost end of the sheet: “Mrs. Ada[ms] G——[S?].” Originally filed and filmed at [1785?]ca. 15 Dec.(Adams Papers Microfilms, Reel No. 366).
1. The date is based on William Stephens Smith's surprise return from the Continent on “Monday Eve,” in AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., above.
2. Two are known to the editors: 13 Aug., and 18 Sept., both above.
3. The Lethe; see AA to William Stephens Smith, 18 Sept., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0156

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Author: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-08

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Aunt

I last week recieved your invaluable favour of August 27. by Mr. Storer. I wish it was in my power to return you any thing that would be any way equivelent to it, if there are any of your Letters Madam, (which I am very sure there is not) that will bear to be ranked with Whiped Sulububs Flumery &c. in what rank must mine be placed. Far very far below them. Believe me Madam your Letter to me was a dish of very solid food dressed in a manner the most elegant that was possible. And it must be high cultivation added to a naturally rich soil to produce fruites rich as your Letters are.
I felt flattered by your encomiums upon Richardsons works as it is what I have often thought. He was always a favourite author of mine. I think I never read any Romances, that taken alltogether were equal to his. Too many of them, if they do not directly lead to Vice, tend to eneveate the mind and robs it of the strenght which is nessesary to make it stem with resolution the torrent of folly, which too often prevails.
Yes my Dear Aunt I think it reasonable to suppose that those who shall make the highest attainments in virtue while here, and who most improve the talents alloted them by the supreme Being, will have the most elevated seats in the blissful mansions above, and even there shall we not be making constant progression toward greater perfection, and though always rising we shall yet be at an infinite distance from the infinitely perfect God.
Our dear good Aunt Tufts is now no more. She has bid an eternal adieu to this vale of tears, and has gone to take her seat with the blessed. The universal benovelence of her heart and her undesembled piety had long fited her for their company. As her Life had ever been { 485 } that of virtue, and as far as in her power of ussfulness, she was able to look forward to another state with satisfaction. She bore her sickness with the resagnation of a Christion yet longing to be released from that frail tenement which had always been a sourse of pain to her. The Doctor feels his misfortune as a man and bears it as a Christion. I have not seen Mr. Storer yet, his friends in Boston cannot spare him long enough to come as far as Braintree.
My sister is now at Haverhill and has been there for two months past. She will write. Cousin JQA is there following his studies with the utmost ardour. Cousin Charles is very well, and very good. Tommy improves fast in body and mind. They all feel like Brothers to me. Charles Billy and his Chambermate L. White will keep Thanksgiving with us next week.1
I often my dear Aunt indulge myself in thinking of your speedy return: the idea gives me pleasure. I fear I must satisfy myself with that at present. I often think of the many happy hours we shall pass when you shall once more be fixed down in your peaceful habitation, on your native land, when Aunt Adams shall again spend the long winter evening with us and entertain her Neices with the relation of her adventures. How many pleasing anecdotes will she have to make the time pass cheererly away: how pleasing is this (at present) vissionary scene. Many years I hope will not pass before it is realised.
I think I ought to ask pardon for encroaching so long upon your time by my scribling. I will not increase my fault by making apoligies but will hasten to conclude with assureing you my ever dear Aunt of the resspectful gratitude and affection of your Niece.
[signed] L Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by AA2: “Miss Lucy Cranch Dec 8 1785.”
1. In 1785, Massachusetts observed Thanksgiving Day on 15 December, but according to JQA's Diary, Leonard White spent the day with his family in Haverhill (JQA, Diary, 1:371).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0157

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-10

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Mr. Storer is arriv'd and I have got my Letter1 and am very sorry to hear you have been so sick. If I had receiv'd this Letter before those by Callahan2 I should have been very uneasey till I could have heard again. I Will hope you are by this time perfectly recover'd.
You will see by mine of November 29th that our thoughts in September and October were imploy'd about the same melancholy subjects. I felt for you as I read your account of Mr. <Erving> Erwin { 486 } mistaking Colln. Smith for another of the same name.3 I pity'd you both. We have been trying to learn what is become of this unhappy connection but we have not been able to learn any thing certain. When we can, you shall be inform'd what it is. It is said he has fled upon being suspected of making or being concern'd with those who did make counterfit money. I dread to hear least he should be brought to publick disgrace.4
Your Neighbours are well and desire to be kindly remember'd. I do not believe you feel more affection for them than they do for you if I may Judge from their expressions. Mrs. Field says she would give all the money in London if she had it, only to see you. It is a strong way of expressing herself, but I do not doubt her sincerity. Mr. Thaxter came here last friday from Haverhill and is gone to keep Thanksgiving with his Freinds. Next thursday is the day your son Charles and mine and his chum5 are to keep it with us. Mr. Thaxter says that all our Freinds are well at Haverhill, but he poor man goes home with a melancholy Heart. His Friend and companion Doctor Levitt Brother to Mrs. Rice drown'd himself in the mill Pond at Hingham about ten days past. He has been wild and delirious for some time. It is a dreadful shock to the Family. Mr. Thaxter is greatly affected. By what I hear there was a connection forming between his sister Betsy and this Gentleman.6 What misarable creatures are we when depriv'd of our Reason.
I am greatly surprisd at hearing that no more Letters have past the vast ocean as you term it from a certain gentleman.7 I knew he did not write for the first four months. He took care to tell of that himself sufficiently for every body to know it. But since that I thought he had written by every ship and that largly. He wanted to get all her correspondents to give him their Letters that he might have the pleasure of inclosing them in his. I heard him say that he always put the last Letter aboard intimating that he writ to the last minnet, and I did not know but he did. I knew he did not write above three of [or] four times at home.8 We could not help knowing it when he does, he makes such a bustle about it always. But as he has stay'd the greatest part of his time in Boston, I thought he was writing there. I am not very apt to be deceiv'd by him you know, but I certainly have been in this instance. The Doctor wished to keep the matters he had to transact a secret till they were finish'd9 but he could not do it. The matter has been delayed as I expected it would be. Mr. Storer is come and “the cat has jump'd out of the Bag,” the Docr. says, but tis known yet to but few. I beleive he thinks I know nothing of it. At least that { 487 } I did not till Mr. Storer came I am told. He says he is going immediately to London and shall settle every misunderstanding. He says also there has been foul play some where. Will he be a welcome visiter? I cannot concieve he can be in earnest when he talks of coming. What can he propose by it? Will my dear Niece again subject herself to those “suspicions doubts and fears”10 which have so long robb'd her of her peace of mind. Indeed my sister I have been long convinc'd that whoever should be connected with him would have them to incounter through Life. True Love my dear sister always seeks the Happiness of its object and nothing can be a greater proof of its absence than a disposition to give pain.
A Satirical Lady of our acquaintance told me that when Lyde came in the Gentleman was in company where she was and was very uneasey that the Letters did not come ashoar so soon as he wish'd them too. He was in a perfect [Tear?]11 about it. Some gentlemen present told him That as The Captain could not get any other Freight he was detaining them till he could find out what he ought to charge for them. “He was sure his Letters were not upon Business. He imported nothing but Love and that ought not to be detaind for a price.” She now knows there purport and if it would not be to cruil she should ask him If the goods came to his mind or whither his Bills came Back protested. I think I need not tell you who this is like.12
News News my sister. Cousin Betsy Kent is to be married this night and to go home tomorrow morning. I most sincerly wish her happy. She is very deserving of it.
The Germantown Family will write for themselves and tell you how they do.13 Mr. Wibird is well, uncle Quincy also. They are to dine with us on the thanksgiving day. But my pen. o! my pen I will not write another page till I can get a better. I have not time to copy what I write. I trust no Eyes but yours behold them and should wish you would only read such parts of my Letter to cousin as will please her. I trust every thing however to your prudence.
My Love to Mr. Adams and my Neice tell her, that her cousin say she shall not want any intelligence they can give her for the future. They suppos'd it had been done by an abler hand.14 Adieu.
1. AA to Mary Cranch, 11 Sept., above.
2. AA to Mary Cranch, 30 Sept., and 1 Oct., both above.
3. See AA to Mary Cranch, 11 Sept. and note 6, above.
4. In her letter to AA of 22 March 1786 (Adams Papers), Mary Cranch wrote that their brother “was not found guilty upon trial, of forging those notes he pass'd. He took them in the State they Were found upon him, of another man.”
5. By “his chum,” Mary Cranch apparently { 488 } meant CA's college friend and roommate Samuel Walker (Mary Cranch to AA, 23 Dec., below). Leonard White, William Cranch's “chum” (see JQA to William Cranch, 6 Nov., above), spent Thanksgiving with his family in Haverhill (JQA, Diary, 1:371).
6. Martin Leavitt of Hingham, Harvard 1773 (one year ahead of John Thaxter), drowned himself on 27 November. His sister was Meriel Leavitt, who married Martin Leavitt's classmate, Col. Nathan Rice, in 1781. John Thaxter's older sister Elizabeth Thaxter never married. History of the Town of Hingham, 2:433; 3:129, 232–233.
7. Royall Tyler.
8. That is, while at the Cranch's house in Braintree, where he was boarding.
9. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., and notes 12 and 13, above; and Tufts to AA, 5 Jan., and 13 April 1786 (both Adams Papers).
10. The reference is to AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., above.
11. Written over an illegible word.
12. The editors cannot identify this person.
13. See Mary Palmer to AA, 11 Dec., below.
14. Presumably Royall Tyler.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0158

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-11

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Expecting Baron Polnitz to call every moment, I have only time to acknolege the receipt of your favor of Nov. 24. and to answer you on the subject of the bill for 319 livres drawn by Mr. Adams in favor of Mr. Bonfeild. I had never heard of it before, and Mr. Barclay calling on me this morning I asked of him if he knew any thing of it. He says that such a bill was presented to him, and he desired them not to send it back but to let it lie till he could write to Mr. Adams. He wrote. Not having Mr. Adams's answer in his pocket he can only say that from that he was discouraged from paying it by Mr. Adams's expressing a doubt whether he had not desired me to pay it. The bill therefore went back without my having ever heard a tittle of it. I told Mr. Barclay I would write immediately to Mr. Bonfeild to send it to me on an assurance that I would pay it on sight. But he desired I would not; that he would immediately see to the paiment of it, and that it would be a convenience to him to be permitted to do it, as he had a balance of Mr. Adams's in his hands. I could have urged the same reason, but he had the regular authority.1 Between us therefore you may count on the settlement of this matter, and always on me for that of any other with which you will please to entrust me, and which may give me an opportunity of proving to you the sincere esteem with which I have the honor to be Dear Madam your most obedient humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson decem 11. 1786.”
1. Presumably as Congress' commissioner of accounts in Europe; Barclay was also America's consul general in France.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0159

Author: Palmer, Mary
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-11

Mary Palmer to Abigail Adams

This is the fourth attempt my Dear Madam that I have made to reply to your unmerited favour of the 30th. of April last,1 long since reciev'd, but ill health and dejection of Spirit have hinder'd me from writing, for what cou'd I write that cou'd give you half the entertainment, that excellent Letter gave us? Nothing certainly; I will not therefore attempt it. Your recollection of the Scenes of our Youth does me honour as it then gave me pleasure. We are apt perhaps to look back on those Scenes which Youth and Novelty made pleasing, as if there was nothing left equally agreable. Yet I believe there are pleasures fitted for every state of life if we had but the patience to seek for them and the humility to enjoy them; that we are not what we were, gives us unnecessary pain and aggravates our real distresses to a monstrous bulk. Perhaps this has been too much the case with your poor friend, but to be essteem'd by Mrs. Adams will lighten the burden and give me better Spirits.
Your descriptions of the Churches of France and their admirable Architecture, Statues, Paintings, Lights &c, are beyond my simple imagination grand;2 I could wish to see them and to hear the heavenly harmony with which on certain Occasions they are fill'd. The Masses and other Ceremonials of the Romish religion must tend to solemnize the heart, while they are new, but when used to them who so indifferent As the votarys of that Church; if we may believe what History tells us, that there are more unbelievers in the dominions of those who profess that religion than in all the other Christian Countrys. Yet I dare say there are many good pious People among them, who will do honour to the Christian religion by their practise. Thank God the religious Inquisition is not establish'd in France, tho' the political one is, what a tyranny! Your Account of the unhappy Lady who suffer'd by it affected us much, poor lady! Did you ever hear any more of her?3 Those dreadful engines the Letters de Cachet, make me tremble at the Idea of Arbitrary Power. It is for the honour of the present Monarch that he has mitigated their rigour, their absolute disuse might be still more for his honour; how glorious is it for a King to trust solely to the Affection of his people for the Safety of his person and Authority? But I suppose the Change must be by degrees, for a people born to Slavery and crouching under their burdens, if set too soon at liberty wou'd run into absurd licenciousness and really { 490 } need those fetters to restrain them from Anarchy. Perhaps by education of the Youth and by gently relaxing the reins of Government, they may in time be as free as the rights of human Nature require and if America can Set the example of freedom to all Mankind and will do it by ceasing from enslaving the Africans, She will have a glorious boast. The whole world may then thank and applaud the virtuous people, who young as they are, cou'd thus give freedom to the Bondslaves of every Nation. At the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain such were, or seem'd to be the wish of us all. At this time the fashion seems to be, each one to oppress his Neighbour, the People Suffer, and the Lawyers thrive by fomenting divisions. Compassion and forbearance are out of taste. Yet in the year 74 and 5 we had no need of law, and every body paid their debts as soon as they cou'd, and seem'd more honest than they are now.
Our taxes come very heavy upon us, Our Money is very Scarce and every one is pressing, so that with reputed freedom we are really Slaves to each other. But I correct myself, I ought by no means to write politicks to a lady so greatly my superiour.
Your Discription of Notre Dame, made me wish to see it, but for all the curiosities of the Old countries, I wou'd not Suffer the fatigue of crossing the Sea, not even to see the King of France in the Ceremonials of giving thanks for the Birth of Prince Charles-Louis.4
My health and spirits wou'd not allow me to take that pleasure in those grand parades,5 that I shou'd if well and easy, for I am far from pretending to despise those scenes of pageantry. You Say well my dear Madam that “Majesty derives a Grace from State.” It must be so for what insignificant individuals wou'd most Monarchs be in the eyes of the Multitude if they were not thus royally attended.
It is time for me to come pretty soon to a conclusion as the letters must go I suppose tomorrow. Mr. Storer favor'd us with a visit yesterday, he bro't his sister6 with him, they dined with us. Mr. Thaxter and Cousn. Lucy came in another Chaise but were engaged to dine at their Uncle Quincys so we saw but little of Mr. Thaxter, this was his second vis[it] to us since he return'd from Europe. He seems entirely engaged at Haverhill, perhaps some fair Nymph has him fast in her chains. He was told so and did not deny it. He appear'd just as easy and agreable as he used to be and far enough from finical.
Mr. Storer I say nothing of, as you are fully acquainted with his amiable character. His Sister is a fine young lady, very tall and extremely industrious at her needle—too much so I shou'd think for { 491 } her health, as she abridges herself of exercise and sleep to accomplish what she supposes to be her duty. Mr. Storer spoke highly of Miss Adams. My or rather Our Opinion of her left us no room to doubt of his praises being her due.
Master Adams I have not seen since he first went to France and I dare say shou'd not know him again, but by all accounts he bids fair to make a shining figure in the World.
Master Charles has often favour'd us with his visits in company with his Cousin Billy, in the vacations, and seems quite delighted with fishing, tho' I think both of them are liable to bad luck. They came one Morning and were to catch fish enough for our Dinner and enough to carry home besides for Supper. The wind and tide were both unfavourable, so we tho't fit to get something else <for dinner>, and sent for them at half past one. They had caught nothing fit to [eat and?] had excellent Appetites for our homespun Dinn[er.]
[Master?] Tommy I have not seen for a long time, [ . . . ] he is very promising, and exceedingly playful [ . . . ].7
Our Own particular family is much as it was.
Becky Leppington has been with us near 5 Months as [ . . . ]ly visitor and has been of Signal Service to us, for soon After she came our Tommy Field was as it was then tho't Mortally wounded with a Scythe. The Doctor was bro't to him in less than an hour after the Accident but gave us little hopes of his life. Miss Becky constantly attended him and dress'd his Wounds for many weeks. He was unable to do any labour for 10 Weeks, but as he had no fever and was careful in his Diet he is happily recover'd, and gone to a ship Carpenters trade. He had been gone about 6 Weeks.
I am glad that John8 makes so good a Servant, he was always faithful while with us, I hope his health may be re-establish'd. I am really oblig'd to conclude abruptly as my paper is out. My love to Miss Adams, when I can I will write to her. Every one here esteems & loves all your family. I am Madam, your obliged
[signed] Polly Palmer
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams—Grosvenor Square London”; endorsed by AA2: “Miss Polly Palmer Dec 11th. 1785.” Some damage to the text where the seal was torn away.
1. Not found.
2. This may refer to a description by AA of Notre Dame, as it appeared on the occasion of the Te Deum of 1 April, celebrated in thanks for the birth, on 27 March, of Louis Charles, second son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The Adamses and Thomas Jefferson attended this service on the invitation of Mme. Lafayette. See JQA, Diary, 1:240–244; Jefferson, Papers, 8:68; and AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:65–68. AA's surviving remarks on French churches are generally brief, and not very favorable (see, for example, AA to John Shaw, 18 Jan., above).
{ 492 }
3. This unfortunate woman, and this incident, have not been identified.
4. That is, Louis Charles; see note 2.
5. This may be a reference to the grand pre-Lenten parade from Paris to Longchamp in which the Adamses took part on 25 March; see AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 8 May, above.
6. Presumably Charles Storer's sister Mary (see Storer to AA, 21 Dec., note 1; and Storer to AA2, 29 Dec., note 6, both below).
7. Probably two or three words are lost after “long time,” and “playful.”
8. John Brisler.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tyler, Royall
Date: 1785-12-12

John Adams to Royall Tyler

[salute] Sir

I have received, your instructive and entertaining Letter of the 15. of October, and although a Change of Circumstances has rendered it improper for me, to say any Thing in answer to the first part of it, I am not the less obliged to you, for the rest.
The Pamphlets you inclosed are great Curiosities, and merit the Consideration of the Publick in Europe as well as in America. The Coin, I have presented, together with an Extract of your Letter, to the Society of Antiquaries. It has occasioned a Sensation among the learned, and all heads are employed to discover whether the Figures are Phoenician, Carthaginian or what.1 If they are found to be ancient, they will bring into fresh Reputation, the Accounts of Diodorus Siculus and Plato, of an Atlantic Island,2 and will confirm the Suspicions of many curious Persons, that the Mariners Compas, was not an Invention of the fourteenth Century, but borrowed from the Arabs in the twelfth, and that the Arabs had it from the Pheenicians. I wish We could have had more of the 300 Coins here; but I make no doubt that the Society of Arts and Sciences at Boston, will publish in their Transactions, a particular Account of the whole.3 The Antiquaries complain of the Injury done to the Coin by rubbing off the rust, which they wish to have entire, as they are able by its thickness and Colour, Sometimes to compute the Age of it. Every Particular, which you can communicate to me, relative to this Discovery, will be gratefully acknowledged, and will redound to your Reputation. It is of Importance to Mankind to ascertain the Fact, whether Arts, Sciences and Civilization have existed among ancient Nations, inhabiting Countries, where few Traces of them remain: because the Progress of the same moral and political Causes, which have desolated Tire [Tyre] and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, may again restore Europe to a forest, the residence of Savages. And indeed if Luxury and Vice should increase for a Century to come, as they have for two Centuries past, there is nothing incredible in the supposition, that Europe { 493 } might become again in time, a howling Wilderness. America I hope however will contribute to stay the Torrent both at home and abroad. When Nations are corrupted to a certain Point, Arts and Civility decline and Barbarity succeeds.
The Abby De Mablys Letters, and the Answer to Gibbons,4 I will endeavour to send you with this. I am very happy to learn that my Sons Behaviour has been pleasing to his Countrymen, and I hope that in time he will be a valuable Man. &c.
P.S. my Bookseller informs me, that the Answer to Gibbons is out of Print. He will look out and procure me one if it is to be had.
1. JA gave the coin to “Mr. [Edward?] Bridgen,” with a note and an extract from Tyler's letter, for presentation to London's Society of Antiquaries; the extract is a nearly verbatim transcription of the fourteenth paragraph of Tyler to JA, 15 Oct., above (see note 9 there).
Bridgen presented the coin with the extract to the Society of Antiquaries on 8 December. On 15 Dec., a Dr. Combe told the Society that the inscription on the coin did not resemble Punic (Carthaginian) writing, as some Americans had supposed, but was closer to Arabic or Turkish writing. As for the inscription on Dighton (Taunton) Rock, however, a Dr. Morton assured the Society that it did indeed appear to resemble Phoenician or Carthaginian writing (Minutes of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 8 and 15 Dec. 1785, 21:39, 41–43).
2. See Plato, Timaeus, and Critias; Diodorus Siculus 2.55–60.
3. No account of the coins found at Mystic has been found in the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
4. See Royall Tyler to JA, 15 Oct., and note 10, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0161

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-18

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear sister

I did not design to write another line till I could get my pen mendid but not a creature can I get to do it, and I am so affraid that Captain Lyde will sail without my Pacquit that I dare not venture to wait till the children come from college tomorrow. I hope to see the dear Boys, and if the ship should not go so soon as I expect I will write again. I shall certainly write by the way of New York this winter.
Your Mother Hall din'd with me this day. I sent the chaise for her and Suky1 to make it seem as much like coming to Daughter Adams's as I could. She desirs me to give her best Love to all of you and tell you that she thanks you for the coat but that, there is nothing in this world that she wishes for so much as to see you. She is very well and really looks charmingly. Mr. A is more attentive to her than I ever expected to see him to any woman in the world. He came and drank Tea with us and waited upon her home. She complains that she { 494 } cannot get her son to write to his Brother. I wonder if Mr. Cranch does not seem quite as much like a Brother to your Friend. I had the Honour to present him with the Commission Mr. Cranch has procur'd for him—but if I should tell you he receiv'd it very graciously I fear you would not believe me.2 People have different ways you know of expressing their approbation. Your Brother has a sincerity about him that I love notwithstanding he has not sacrificed much to the Graces. Suky sends her Duty to uncle and aunt and Love to cousin. They were all much gratified by your and cousins presents. Mr. Cranch had spoken for some Nuts to be brought from Bridgwater for you before you mention'd that they would be acceptable to you, but I fear they will not come soon enough for this vessel. We shall send some chocalate by Lyde, which we beg your acceptance off. I wish I could send you any thing that would bear any proportion to your present to me and our children. If there is any thing that I can send that you cannot get in Europe pray let me know it. Mrs. Quincy says she has written to cousin3 to procure her a Black Padua Silk. The moment she knows she has done it she will pay the money to your order.
Winslow Warren surpriz'd His Friends last week by his unexpected return from Lisbon. We do not know the occation of his return. It will be a very great dissapointment to poor Charles if he should live to arrive there.4 Did you ever find or recieve the Letters you thought you had lost of Mrs. Warrens to Mr. Adams and her son, those she deliver'd to you when you went away.5 I have a great curiosity to know there fate. The General and Lady take it in dudgion that neither you nor Mr. Adams have written by the late vessels. “I hear he has written to Mr. Hancock.” Mrs. Warren says she has written tuw very long Letters and cannot find that you have mention'd receiving them in any bodys Letters.6 We are very jealous of any preference any where else.
You kindly desire me to tell you if I want any thing.7 It is not for me to create wants. My task is to think what I can do without. I find the gratification of one only makes way for another. For instance your kindness has furnish'd me with a beautiful Petticoat. “Tis a Beauty mama, but you have not a thin Silk nor an apron that will do to wear With it.” “I know it my dear and I know also that your Papas income will but just pay your Brothers quarter Bills and provide plain food and Raiment for us, and I will wear my old cloath's forever rather than run in debt for fine ones.”8 And so my dear sister if you will be so good as to procure me Lutstring enough for a gown suitable for { 495 } my station and age and muzlain for an apron, and send me the price, it shall be placed to your account, which I shall settle as you desir'd with the Doctor. It grieves me to think of charging any thing for my Nephews Board9 and we never shall do so if Mr. Cranch should be able to get into a little better business. As to any labour that we or the children perform for them pray my sister accept it as a small acknowledgment of the many obligations we are under to you.
I shall leave the colour of the silk to your fancy only let it be modest and not very dark.
I design'd this for a cover to my other Letters but I never know when to writ the last word. Adieu
1. Susanna Adams, daughter of Peter Boylston Adams.
2. The editors do not know of any letters exchanged between JA and Peter Boylston Adams between 1776 and 1803. On Richard Cranch's securing a justice of the peace commission for P. B. Adams, see Cranch to JA, 19 Nov., and note 4, above.
3. No letter written by Ann Marsh Quincy to either AA2 or AA has been found.
4. Charles Warren did not reach Lisbon, but died near Cadiz, Spain, on 30 Nov., after Winslow had left Lisbon for Boston (Emily Warren Roebling, Richard Warren of the Mayflower and Some of His Descendants, Boston, 1901, p. 28).
5. See AA to Mary Cranch, 6 July 1784, under “July 7th,” above.
6. On 14 April, JA wrote John Hancock a brief letter to introduce young Le Ray de Chaumont; on 2 Sept. he wrote Hancock a somewhat longer letter, carried to America by Charles Storer, in which he discussed Massachusetts' prospects in the whale fishery (both LbCs, Adams Papers).
JA had written to James Warren on 26 April, to Mercy Warren on 6 May, and to both James and Mercy on 12 December. James Warren had written to JA on 28 Jan., 4 Sept., and 6 Oct.; while Mercy had written on 27 April, and (n.d.) Sept. Except for the letter to James Warren of 12 Dec. (MB), all of these letters are printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 2:248–269 passim. AA had written to Mercy Warren on 10 May, above; while Mercy Warren had written to AA on 30 April, above, and 18 Sept. (Adams Papers).
7. AA to Mary Cranch, 1 Oct., above.
8. The editors have added the quotation marks around the second sentence. Mary Cranch's conversation was probably with her daughter Lucy, who had lived most of the time in recent months in Braintree, while Betsy was in Boston and then Haverhill visiting friends and relatives and studying music.
9. That is, for boarding JQA, CA, and TBA when they were in Braintree on visits from Haverhill or from college. Mary Cranch was also washing and mending clothes for CA while he was at college (Mary Cranch to AA, 29 Nov., above).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0162

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1785-12-20

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favours by Colln. Smith and by the Baron Polintz1 came safe to hand. As you have justly estimated the Worth and merit of the former, you will easily suppose we were very glad to see him, and equally so to wellcome Colln. Humphryes upon English Ground. I { 496 } hope his reception here will be as agreeable to him as he expected. He will inform you I dare say that he has seen both the Lions, and His Majesty.2
You will find by the publick Papers what favourites we are at Court. The Prince of Wales supping with us, Mr. Adams holding frequent conferences with His Majesty, and yesterday going to Windsor for the same purpose.3 It is said by some that these are Ministerial manvoeures to keep up the stocks. A Paragraph of this kind has certainly been attended with that effect. Others say it is to feel out the minds of the People with respect to a Treaty with America, of which if I dared to give my opinion; I should say that some simptoms have lately appeard tending to that point. But this is said in confidence Sir, as I must not betray secrets.
The affair of Capt. Stanhope has been officially taken up and his Conduct much disapproved of by the Lords of the Admirality, as Congress are informed by an official reply to them. Mr. A has also received an answer to his Demand of the Citizens of the United States sent to the East Indies, “that orders were immediately issued for their discharge.” It is not probable that any thing very material will take place till the meeting of Parliament.4
The Pacquet arrived last week from New York, in which came Passenger Monsieur Houdon. He returns to Paris the latter End of this week. There were no official Dispatches, and only a private Letter or two to the second of November. But as Mr. A writes you I will leave Politicks with which I really have no business, and talk of that which more properly belongs to me.
The Commission you honourd me with will be compleated to send by the return of Colln. Humphryes. I received my Plateau safe about ten days since. It is a very Good one and I am much obliged by your kind attention to it. The Deities however showed that they were subject to Humane frailty and got a few Limbs dislocated in their Tour.5
If Mr. Barclay will be so good as to settle with Mr. Bonfeild, Mr. Adams will be obliged to him. Coll. Smith delivered me the Louis's you sent by him, and when Colln. Humphryes returns I will forward you the account of my stewardship.
Compliments to Mr. Short. We are sorry to hear of his indisposition. I once found Great benefit in the Dissorder which he complains of by taking an oz. of Castile soap and a pint of Bristol Beer, dividing it into three portions; and takeing it three Mornings, fasting.6
I wish you could make it convenient to let Miss Jefferson come { 497 } and pass a few Months with us here.7 I do not yet dispair of seeing you in England and in that Case you will certainly bring her with you.
I am Sir your most obedient servt.
[signed] A Adams
RC (in AA2's hand DLC: Jefferson Papers); addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the Court of France Paris.” Dft (Adams Papers). Major variations between the recipient's copy and the draft are noted below.
1. William Stephens Smith brought Jefferson's letter of 20 Nov.; Baron Pöllnitz brought that of 11 Dec. (both above).
2. Col. David Humphreys and William Stephens Smith arrived at Grosvenor Square from Paris on the evening of 5 Dec. (AA2 to JQA, 5 Dec., above). After “English Ground,” in the draft, AA wrote and then struck out: “and to assure him as descendents from a people once celebrated for Hospitality we possesst a sufficient Share of it to rejoice at the sight of our Friends.” And in the draft AA began a new paragraph at “I hope . . .” rather than at “You will find . . .” JA presented Col. Humphreys at Court on 14 Dec. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:83).
3. In a letter of 23 Dec., to Rufus King (NHi: King Papers), JA makes clear AA's irony. The reports published in the London Chronicle of 6–8 Dec. were false; neither the Prince of Wales' “supping” with the Adamses on 6 Dec. nor JA's visit to George III at Windsor on 19 Dec. actually occurred.
4. The first two sentences of this paragraph explicitly summarize the first paragraph of a letter by JA to John Jay, 9 Dec. (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 13–16, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:543–544), in which JA reports on his 8 Dec. meeting with Lord Carmarthen. In that meeting, Carmarthen informed JA of the Admiralty's decision to reprimand Capt. Stanhope for his behavior in Boston in August, and to order the release of American seamen seized by the British in the East Indies; both actions were in response to formal protests and supporting materials that JA had presented to Carmarthen. The last sentence refers to the lack of any progress in the larger disputes between the two nations—Britain's retention of forts on the American shores of the Great Lakes; America's resistance to paying debts owed to British merchants; and America's desire for a commercial treaty—to which JA made brief reference in the second and third paragraphs of his letter to Jay. See also Carmarthen to JA, 9 Dec.; and JA to John Jay, 12 Dec. (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 27 and 17–18; printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:545, 544–545). For the importance which Jefferson attached to AA's brief summaries of diplomatic news in London, see Jefferson to AA, 27 Dec., and note 1, below.
5. The commission that AA intended to send with Col. Humphreys was probably the set of shirts that Jefferson had requested AA to have made for him (Jefferson to AA, 11 Oct., above). The “Deities” were the four ceramic figurines that AA requested Jefferson to buy for her (AA to Jefferson, 12 Aug., Jefferson to AA, 25 Sept., both above).
6. William Short was “indisposed with the jaundice” (Jefferson to Francis Eppes, 11 Dec., Jefferson, Papers, 9:91–92).
7. At this point in her draft, AA canceled the sentence: “If you will trust her in my care I should be happy in having her with us.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0163

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-21

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am persuaded you will be pleased with this letter, if you were not ever before with one from me, because in the first place, it will inform you of my safe arrival among my friends, and at the same time may give you some information respecting yours. I write you therefore with pleasure on my part. Our arrival here be assured was attended { 498 } with much satisfaction on all sides. I need not paint to you a Parent's tears on such an occasion. Suffice it to say he pressed us to his heart. Nor were a Sister's or Brother's feelings unmoved on the occasion. In a mutual embrace we joined in one thanksgiving.1 Since my return my time has not been mispent. From our nearest Connections we first received the flattering welcome, and since from very many others. You will readily suppose this was not unpleasing, as beleive me it was not. How shall I write you of every particular one of our friends? 'Twould be a little history. Yet I know, (for I have felt the same curiosity more than once myself,) you wish some account. But I must adopt the expression my friends have hitherto made use of to me and say “your friends are all well,” or else, as I do to those who want me to tell them off ahand, at once, every thing I have heard, or seen since I left home, say ask me what questions you please and I will answer them if I can. But I must not omit telling you of one person whom I have not yet heard or seen, yet to whom I am indebted for kindness since my return, and as it comes to me thro' you, 'tis highly proper you should be made acquainted with it. I mean your Sister, Mrs. Shaw. She has been kind eno: to give me an invitation, from Haverhill, to make her a visit, assuring me that, having been so long one of your family, she cannot look upon me with indifference. This is a friend unexpected, and as I am indebted to you therefor I have to thank you accordingly. Betsey Cranch is and has been with her at Haverhill sometime and what is quite new to me is learning to play on the Harpsichord. They say she makes great proficiency, as Mrs. Shaw mentions that John and Thomas do also in their studies. John attends so closely he has not yet found time to write me since my arrival, tho' I wrote him from N York soon after I landed.2 Both Mr. and Mrs. Cranch I have seen once and again: they made many enquiries about you and the family; as did Dr: Tufts. Billy Cranch and your Son Charles I have not yet seen. From Braintree I went to Germantown. The family there are distressed. Mr. P[almer] thinks he may be obliged even in his old age to retire to the settlements on the Ohio. He thinks he may set up the Salt works in that Country to much advantage. Mr. Perkins writes him encouragingly on this head. Mrs. Quincy and Nancy live quite retired at the Farms, having let their farm to their [ . . . ] Overseer. Mr. and Mrs. Allen remain the same they were whe[n][ . . . ] America. Dr. and Mrs. Welsh made many enquiries about you. They have a house full of Children, who are like young Giants. I see no change either in Aunt, Uncle, or Cousins Isaac { 499 } and Willm: Smith. Cousin Betsey is grown, as are all the younger of the folks in town. Many are grown quite out of my knowledge. The younger part of our family is grown also very much. As to the appearance of the town, I find it changed for the better. I mean the houses; which have been repaired and painted. But trade is extremely dull and folks are complaining. There is not therefore by any means that extravagance and dissipation I expected to find, and which there was about a twelvemonth after the peace.
But my paper bids me say no more than desire you to write me as often as you can, and confidentially when you can, as I love to know what's doing, and to assure you that I am with much esteem, Yrs. &c. &c.
[signed] C. S.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. A. Adams. Grosvenor-Square London”; endorsed by AA2: “Charles Storer December 21st 1785.” Some damage to the text where the seal was torn away.
1. Storer evidently returned to Boston with his sister Elizabeth Atkinson. His sister Mary and brother George lived in Boston's North End with their father Ebenezer Storer and his second wife, Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer, and their young children (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:208–214).
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0164

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-23

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

I wonder whether Mr. Shaw ever wrote you an account of the good woman who was so much offendid that you were not treated with more civillity when you went to see the King and Queen. “Why I hear they did not so much as ask them to set down, but keept them standing four hours without offering them any thing to eat or drink. I thought such great Folks knew what good manners was, better than to treat such good People as Mr. and Mrs. Adams in such a manner.” “I think sir you married a Daughter of Mr. Smith too?” “Yes madem.” “And dont you think you was dreadful lucky? I have heard She was a fine woman.” This conversation was in Mr. Tafts Parish.1 The good Lady felt a respeect for you for having cloathed her Parson. The worthy man inquires very affectionatly after you whenever he sees any of us.
I have just reciev'd a Letter from Betsy. She Says Her uncle Shaws Family were all well, your Sons in particular. Cousin Charles and his chum2 came the day before Thanksgiving and stay'd till the monday after. It would have gratified you to have Seen how charmingly they { 500 } injoy'd themselves feasting away upon Plumb Pudding and Pyes. I furnish'd our sons with Plumb-cake and cheese enough to last them till their winter vacancy begins.
Tis a high day with you in England this day. Poor Braintree cannot get a Parson to officiate at the Church. You must send me word how and where you spent the Day? I last night reciev'd a Letter from Sister Shaw.3 She says She has been unwell, but is better, excepting her Eyes. She has an inflamation in one of them which is very troublesome. Your sons were well. She tells me she has been making Mr. and Mrs. Allen a visit, and that she never saw more happiness discover'd in any Persons Countinance than in hers, and she manifested a great degree of Contentment. Her House and every thing about it had an air of neatness and eleganc which was very pleasing. I have not a doubt but he will learn to esteem as he ought a Person who sincerly Loves him and studies to make him happy. If her mind is not so improv'd as he could wish, She has those Quallifications without which, if she had all the Learning that ever a woman possessed, she could not make a good wife for him. She is not too old for improvment. I should think it would be a pretty amusement for him in a winter evening to imploy himself in teaching her the different meaning that is affix'd to certain words. That exceed, does not mean succeed, nor Rebillious, Billious, nor distinguish extinguish notwithstanding the sound is some what alike. These are things easily taught and tho they are little matters, they will mortify a man of sensibility. We ought ever to distinguish between Faults and misfortunes. It has been hers not to have had in earley life any care taken to give her a tast for any kind of Learning, but She may make as good a wife, tho not so entertaining a Companion for a man of Letters, as if she had.
Betsy is invited to stay a week or two with them and will before she returns. “Of all things in the World she says she loves to stay with young married People. They do look so happy.”4 It makes her quite in Love with the State. She desires I would not send for her till march. I know not how to spare her so long. The change of air Seems to have mended her Health much, but we lead a solitary kind of a Life, but not a dissagreable one. I only wish for my dear Sisters Family.
I have repeatedly told you that I know but little of the affairs or Business of ——.5 Ever since you went away he has carefully secreted { 501 } every thing he could from this Family. I sometimes hear of them abroad. The sleigh is I am told put into elegant repair and that he is going to carry Doctor Moyes five hundred mile in it as soon as the roads will admit of it. The Doctor boarded at Mrs. P[almer] at Boston where he also did all the Fall. He has been a constant attendend and assistant to Doctor through a course of Lectures upon natural Philosophy which he has deliver'd in Publick. By his manoeuvres since he reciev'd his Letters by Lyde I have thought he was going to change his Lodgings in B—— and yesterday I heard that he designs too. He has not told us so yet, but I have no doubt he designs it. It is true either he or his man V-s-y6 ought to have a Boy to take care of his stock which he keeps in their Barn. Three Horses a yoke of oxen and a Cow, will require a Boy or a man to look after them well. He has therefore provided a Boy, who he keeps at Mrs. V-s-y for the purpose. He has also placed a Negro woman there, and is to go himself soon. All this I hear from our Neighbours, who you know are intimate there. Every body wonders for his dismission is yet unknown here, exceept in one or two Familys, and We say nothing. You will wonder how he came by so much Stock. He took some of them for debts, where he could not get any thing else. The Horses are poor things all, but his old one, and the oxen are old. If he must keep them till spring, it would have been almost as well to have left them where they were. Not one of the Horses will do to go in a carriage with his, that which tore his sleigh last winter was never return'd, Major Miller told me, till about six weeks ago. All this may be right but it has an odd appearence. The Philedelphia chaise has made its appearence Since Lydes arrival, but all possible care has been taken that it should not come up our yard, I know not why. What a pity it is that it cannot be made to become invisible at pleasure. His dismission does not seem to trouble him much. I never saw him gayer in my Life. I write this in confidence that you will not let any mortal see it but your self, and if you should ever find it necessary to mention haveing reciev'd such intiligence, let it not be known to come from me. I thought you would be glad to know some little matter about him expecially as he is so soon to visit you, but tis a wonder if the dread of sea sickness which he so often deprecates and the horrible Idea of the Algerines catching him does not make him pospone his voyage for a few years. Pray my sister do not wound my dear Neice with a word of this. She may depend upon his being treated with all imaginable delicacy by all of us.
I have taken a Black cloth wastcoat of Mr. Adams and made cousin { 502 } Charles one. I thought I had better do it than by a new. I have taken the cinnamin for your childrens use, the other Spice we have put into cannesters, which will I hope secure them from harm. Mr. Adams Gown cousin Charles Says he must have next winter. The wine you left in the Seller cousin John says he shall make very free with when he goes into college as it will soon spoil.—If there is any thing you would wish to have done with or about your things you must let me know it. I sometimes fear I shall not do right.
Do you not take Some of the magazines. I wish when you have done with them you would send them here to amuse us in a lonely hour. We will take care of them for you against you return.—We have given Cap. Lyde a dozen of chocalate and mark'd it JA. The Nuts my dear sister we have not been able to get.7 I hope we shall meet with some before Callahan sails, which will be soon. I shall write by him. I suppose Sister will write you particularly about your Sons and cousin John writes largly himself, I dare say. Pray my sister write often and largly. I am Sure I have not been deficient. Remember me tenderly to Mr. Adams and my Niece, tell her I have written so much to you that I cannot find any thing to say to her but that the more I reflect upon her conduct the more I am charm'd with her prudenc and discretion, and that I wish not my own Daughters more happiness than I do her.
Adieu my dear sister and believe my yours affectionatly
[signed] M Cranch
No copying for me. I hate it. I had rather write another and yet I sometimes wish to know what I have written.
1. The editors have supplied quotation marks before “I think,” and after “Mr. Smith too?” and “fine woman.” Rev. Moses Taft was the minister of Braintree's third church, in the South Precinct, now Randolph (see Elizabeth Shaw to AA2, 19 Nov., and note 9, above).
2. Samuel Walker.
3. Not found.
4. Closing quotation mark supplied from Elizabeth Cranch to Mary Cranch, 20 Dec. (privately owned).
5. Royall Tyler.
6. Some member of the numerous Veasey family of Braintree.
7. Perhaps the hickory nuts that AA requested in her letter of 5 Oct. to Cotton Tufts, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0165

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-27

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am this day honoured with your favor of the 20th. and an opportunity offering to acknolege it immediately, I do not fail to embrace { 503 } it. I thank you for the intelligence it contains. You refered me to Mr. Adams for news; but he gives me none;1 so that I hope you will be so good as to keep that office in your own hands. I get little from any other quarter since the derangement of the French packets.
I condole with you sincerely on the dismemberment of the gods and goddesses, and take some blame to myself for not having detained them for Colo. Smith who would have carried them safely. Can I be instrumental in repairing the loss? I will promise not to trust to a workman another time.
Mr. Short is on the recovery. I will take care to communicate to him your prescription, as soon as he returns from St. Germain's. All your friends here are well. The Abbés always desire me to remind you of them.—What shall I do for news to tell you?—I scratch my head in vain.—Oh! true.—The new opera of Penelope by Marmontel and Piccini succeeds. Mademoiselle Renaud, of 16. years of age sings, as no body ever sung before. She is far beyond Madme. Mara in her own line of difficult execution. Her sister of 12 years of age will sing as well as she does. Having now emptied my budget I have the honour of presenting my respects to Miss Adams and of assuring you of the sincere esteem with which I have the honour to be Dear Madam your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson Decbr 27. 1788.” The editors know of no reason for AA's endorsement error.
1. JA had been faithfully writing to Jefferson since May, and his letters slightly outnumbered Jefferson's replies. But in his two most recent letters to Jefferson (13 and 20 Dec., Jefferson, Papers, 9:97–98, 116–117), JA had said nothing about his recent visits to Court, his consultations with the British ministry, the latest developments in the Stanhope affair, or the arrival of the New York packet (without dispatches), all subjects touched on by AA in her letter to Jefferson of 20 Dec., above, immediately before she said, “as Mr. A[dams] writes you I will leave Politicks with which I really have no business.”

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0166

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-28

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

It is mortifying to me, to be again obliged to offer an excuse, for not having written more frequently to you, and to my father however conscious I may be, of its having been out of my Power, yet the Idea, of your suspecting me of neglecting you, worries me very much. But it has been and still is absolutely necessary for me, to apply myself with unremitting attention to my studies. About ten hours every day, are devoted to them: you will easily suppose from this, that I do not go much into Company. Many of the families in Town, have been { 504 } very polite, and have given me repeated Invitations to see them often: But excepting Mr. White's, where I often pass two or three hours in the Evening, I have scarce been any where. Indeed I do not go out quite as much as I could wish too, but that would prevent me from writing at all.
The dissolution, of a certain Connection,1 which you have been kind enough to hint in your Letters to me, and which I have also collected from other Quarters, has afforded me, as well as almost all our Friends, real consolation. My anxiety was not small before I left you, but it was greatly augmented after my return home. In Obedience to your Injunctions, I will give you with the utmost sincerity and impartiality, an account of what I have heard since my arrival concerning the Gentleman. I have no personal pique against him. I saw but little of him while I was in Braintree or in Boston, but he behaved to me in the most friendly manner; and as a transient acquaintance, I should have considered him, as a very agreeable Person. But many things I heard of him, from respectable authorities, and all agreeing perfectly, excited in my mind such fears, as I never wish to feel again, for any person, much less dear to me, than a Sister. And I cannot express how much I was relieved, when the news came, so unexpectedly, of her having so happily freed herself from an Inclination, which I considered as very dangerous. When my father's Letter came, (you know the one I mean)2 he not only shew it about, but in some places triumphed, at his succeeding with so many of her relations and friends against him: he rather prided than otherwise, in writing so seldom as he did. He kept many of the Letters to her friends, which were inclosed to him, several months, and when he was ask'd the Reason why? he begg'd to be excused from giving any Reasons.3 Since the last Letters,4 he has said that it was wholly owing to foul Play, that every one of her friends here, had agreed to write against him; she had been thus deceived, but that he intends in a short Time to sail for Europe, and has no doubt, but that he shall bring all to rights again. For these nine months, he has spent three quarters of his Time at Boston, and from the 1st: of October to the middle of November, was not at Braintree at all.—Some of these facts are undoubtedly true: for the rest I trust to the Veracity of persons, whose honour I have not the least Reason to doubt. He Complains that all her friends are combined in a league against him. But should it be enquired, how it happened, they are so universally averse to his being connected with her, and rejoyced at her late determination, I know not what answer he would give.
{ 505 }
I have received several Letters from you.5 One, as late as October 5th: which came in Callahan. Accept my warmest, and sincerest thanks, my dear Mamma, for those kind attentions. It shall be the study of my Life, to follow the Instructions and the Example of my Parents, and the nearer I come to them, the greater share of happiness I shall enjoy. Three or four months more; and then I shall have time enough, to write often;6 but never sufficient to express my love and gratitude to them.
As to Politics, this is not the place to know any thing of them; and of the public affairs even of this State, I know not so much as I did, when I was in Europe; and I should not regret it, if it did not deprive me of the Pleasure of communicating them to you. The Merchants groan sadly of the decay of trade, and failure after failure seems to justify their Complaints. Within these last Three weeks however, I hear it whispered about that Times are growing better, and I hope their misfortunes will in the End, prove of great Service to themselves, and to the Public.—But I can tell you a piece of private News, which will not I hope, be too sudden, and unexpected to you. On Sunday the 11th: Instant Mr. Allen, and Miss Kent, were married at Boston, and on Monday they arrived at Bradford, at the seat of Empire. She is in high Spirits, and Mr. T[haxter] says, as much pleased as a child can be with a rattle: though by the bye, he is verging towards the same State himself; and is now got so far, that he has done boasting the superlative happiness of a single Life, and begins to hint, that it is not fit for man to be alone. He has made choice of a most amiable young Lady,7 whose least praise is, to be the prettiest girl in Haverhill.
I am as contented with my Situation, as I can be, when absent from three of the dearest Persons on Earth. If the place of Parents possibly could be supplied to me, it would be, here. And my Cousin Eliza, who has been in town ever since I came, is a Sister to me: she does not live here, but at Mr. White's, whose family have been as kind, and attentive, to me, as they always have been to my brothers: I pass many very agreeable hours, at that house. Miss Hazen, is still a boarder in this family. She has many amiable Qualities, but you have no reason to fear that she will ever prove an Omphale to your Hercules.8
The Winter Vacation at College, begins this day week.9 Charles will probably spend the greater part of it here; I heard from him a few days since, when he was at Braintree to keep Thanksgiving.10 Tommy desires I would send his Duty. He would write, but does not know { 506 } what to say. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw desire to be affectionately remembered; Aunt, has had an inflammation in her Eyes, which prevents her from writing. Mr. Thaxter is so entirely absorb'd with the present, that he almost forgets the absent, and I have no great Expectations that he will write again to you before the Spring. He desires however to be remember'd.
It is now quarter of an hour after mid-night, which, as well as my Paper, bids me to subscribe myself, your dutiful and affectionate Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J Q Adams Decem 28 1785.”
1. Between AA2 and Royall Tyler.
2. The reference is probably to JA to Royall Tyler, 3 April 1784, above, the only extant letter from JA to Tyler before that of 12 Dec., above.
3. See Mary Cranch to AA, 8 Nov., above.
4. AA2 to Royall Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug.], AA to Mary Cranch, 15 Aug., AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug., and see AA to Mary Cranch, 1 October. All appear above.
5. Since JQA's last letter to AA, of 6 Oct., he had probably received AA's letters of 11 and 23 Aug., and 6 and 12 Sept., in addition to her letter of 5 Oct., which he mentions. All these letters appear above.
6. That is, after securing admission to Harvard College; see JQA to AA2, 1 Oct., above.
7. Elizabeth Duncan.
8. AA, thinking of Nancy Hazen and JQA, referred to the same lovers in Greek mythology in her letter to Elizabeth Shaw of 11 Jan., above.
9. That is, on 4 Jan. 1786; the vacation lasted five weeks (JQA, Diary, 1:382).
10. CA arrived in Haverhill with William Cranch on 17 January; they left Haverhill for Braintree on 26 January (same, 1:389, 394). CA's letter to JQA from Braintree of ca. 15 Dec. has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0167

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-12-29

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror.

When the Senate was last sitting I desired the Honble. Mr. Goodhue≠ of Salem, to answer your Request to me about the Cod-Fishery, and give you a Statement of it—and I learn by Capt. Geo: Williams that a Letter he deliver'd me a few Days ago (which I herewith send you)1 contains his Observations on that Subject. The Hon: Peleg Coffin Esqr. of Nantucket, the Senator for that County, also promised me to give you a particular account of the present State of the Whale-Fishery, which I suppose you will receive from him.2 I have been trying to get an account of the Distilleries Sugar-baking Business within this State, and hope e'er long to send you an Estimate of them. There is at present a new Valuation in hand; and, as “Truth is not to be spoken at all times,” I find some Difficulty arising from that Quarter. I have sent you the Continuation of the Newspapers, and some Letters inclosed.3 The Letter to Mr. Elworthy I wish might be carefully deliver'd as soon as possible.
{ 507 }
Your Hond. Mother, and your Brother and Family are well. I had the Pleasure of sending your Brother a Commission for the Peace, about a fortnight ago.4 He knew nothing of it untill it was deliver'd to him. Your Sons at Haverhill were well a few Days since, and behave so as to give you Pleasure, and do honour to their Parents and Instructors. Your dear Charles and his Chum (Mr. Walker from Bradford) kept Thanksgiving with us the Week before last, and staid untill Monday following. I keep a constant Look-out on them, and have Cousn. Charles and Billy to see me almost every Week at my Lodgings in Boston. I cannot hear that they have ever departed from the Line of Conduct that we should wish them to follow. I hope Mrs. Cranch and I have a good Share in their Confidence and Friendship; and we shall endeavour to cultivate it more and more, as, without that, Advice looses a great part of its Effect. Mrs. Cranch will write to her Sister more particularly by this Conveyance (Capt. Lyde).5 I thank her for her most valuable Letters to our Family, they do Honour to her Sex and to Human Nature. Please to give my most affectionate Regards to her and to my amiable Niece, and believe me to be, with the highest Esteem and most cordial Friendship, your obliged Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
P.S. I have desir'd Capt. Lyde to take a Dozn. Pound of Chocolate among his Ship-Stores. If he can be permitted to present it to Sister Adams, I beg the favour of her to accept it. The maker says it is good.
I wish to hear from you what is like to be done (if any thing) in the way of Commerce &c. Your Letters will always be esteemed by me as invaluable.
≠Mr. Goodhue is a Merchant largely concerned in the West India Trade. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, and is an active Member of the Senate. He was the Father of our Navigation-Act, and wishes to be more acquainted with you. I wish you would write to him. He was graduated in the Year 1766.6
1. Benjamin Goodhue to JA, 20 Dec. (Adams Papers).
2. No letter from Peleg Coffin to JA has been found.
3. These letters have not been identified.
4. See Richard Cranch to JA, 19 Nov., and note 4, above.
5. Mary Cranch had last written on 23 Dec., above; she would next write on 10 Jan. 1786 (Adams Papers), probably still in time for Capt. Lyde, who was delayed in sailing.
6. This paragraph was written perpendicularly on the last page, and keyed to its proper location by the symbol. By “the University of Cambridge” Cranch means Harvard College (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:359–367). JA wrote to Benjamin Goodhue on 10 March 1786 (NNS).

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0168

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-12-29

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

An anxiety to preserve a consistancy of Character in the opinion of Mrs. Adams (in whose favourable sentiments I feel myself more and more interested) induces me to say, that I have some reason to believe, that the late Connection,1 which appeared an insurmountable Obstacle to the accomplishment of the Wish nearest my heart—exists no longer. And from the opinion I have of the Lady, I am persuaded, that nothing dishonourable on her part could have occasioned it.
Strongly impressed with sentiments which induce a sacred attention to the Laws of hospitality, and a lively sense of Moral Obligation, I cannot postpone informing her, that her Amiable Daughter, is the only Lady of my acquaintance, either in Europe or America, that I would connect myself with for Life. With a Mind deeply impressed with her Virtues, apparently established by the principles of her education, Mrs. Adams will not be surprised at my anxiety to gain her confidence, and to lay a proper foundation for a future Connection, which must insure me all the happiness I can wish, provided it should meet with her wishes, and the approbation of her friends.
I have no inclination, My dearest Madam, to be precipitate on this Subject, but I should feel Guilty, whenever I entered your Doors, If I did not give you the earliest information of my wishes and intention. It now rests with you Madam, and her honoured Father to Object in the early stages of it, if at all, and be assured, your decission will greatly influence my Conduct. You once charged me with precipitancy, but believe me Madam, I did not merit it, as I can fully convince you, should you think proper to Converse on the Subject.
This Communication, (perhaps,) you may think, ought to be made to Mr. Adams, but I feel more easy in the communication with you. And as I do not Know that he is acquainted with my sentiments respecting the Lady, (as well as you are Madam), it would render a long and formal Letter necessary, while perhaps this mode may answer every end, as I suppose you will be in a great measure governed by his sentiments on the Subject, it is probable, you will submit this to his perusal.
I feel myself under every disadvantage. I am almost a stranger—and it might appear strange were I to say nothing of myself, but strange as it may appear, delicacy checks my pen. I can only say, my family { 509 } are neither Obscure, nor unknown, and in whatever relates to them, or myself I submit freely to your investigation and you may take what time you please to satisfy yourself on the Subject. However, I shall neither appear the Child of fortune nor the offspring of Illustrious Ancestors, but such as I am, I seek your friendship, and aspire to your Daughters Love.
What has been my Conduct, and what the Lines which have marked my Character, since I entered into Life, will be better explained to you and perhaps more to your satisfaction, by the papers which accompany this,2 than if I were to become my own Panegyrist. After the perusal of these papers, I wish it to be recollected, that altho' “it is better to marry a Gentleman alway's involved in business, than one who has no Profession at all,” that I have some claim to indulgence on that point; having sacrificed that important Period of my Life in my Country's Service, which others have (perhaps more wisely) spent in their private concerns and arrangements. If Mrs. Adams knew the situation of my family before the war, she would be satisfied, that a fixed profession, was not at that time considered absolutely necessary for my support, or to enable me to move in that Circle which my Education, Conduct and Connections have hitherto entitled me to.—The Papers will convince you, that I may without presumption boast of the honourable Profession of Arms, which I have followed with success and have received my Country's acknowledgement with such assurances as the Nature of our Goverments will admit of, of Mention thro' Life.
Seperate from this, I feel myself competent to an honourable Profession, suited to the peaceful walk of Life, which with my very small fortune and moderate Abilities, will enable me to live in content and retirement, whenever I chuse to make the experiment with a friend, detached from the follies and vices of society.
It now rests with you Madam and Mr. Adams to determine whether I shall confine myself to the duties of my station, or whether I may be permitted to cultivate the further friendship of your family.
I am, Madam, in relation to you and Yours all that honour and inclination can make,
[signed] W. S. Smith3
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's late hand: “Smith 1785.”
1. Between AA2 and Royall Tyler.
2. The papers have not been found.
3. No reply to this letter by either AA or JA has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0169

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-12-29

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

I join fully with you, Amelia, that whatever is, is right. Yet I cannot but regret that the winds hurried me so soon from England. But weigh the matter, says prudence. The office was important, the task arduous, and very much expected from it.1 Had I failed, what an everlasting blot. This is a thought, Amelia, that would have staggered me in my wish to go; nor would self-examination have aided me in the least. As it is, then, I may truly say it is right; for now, to use a common expression, I save my credit and bacon too; and have only to acknowledge myself obliged by your interest in my behalf, and your good opinion. I have written your papa about Lambe, who from all accounts is an unworthy character. I wish he may not do more hurt than good.
Believe me, Amelia, I think myself indebted to you, for your attention and remembrance of me, and return you many thanks, for your letter of the 15th October, via New-York,2 which is just come to hand.
Surely Monsieur le Baron would regret your absence, and so I suppose would all the foreigners of the diplomatic circle, who dined with your papa, on the day of Feasts;3 for I believe, in France, Madame la femme du ministre presides at the table. England, you know, was never remarked for politeness. But you do not say where you dined; whether in the house-keeper's room, or in your own chamber. I have heard, however, that you spent the day with Mrs. Hay, to whom I beg my compliments, as we go along. That you miss me, Amelia, I can well suppose, particularly as Colonel Smith was not returned. But how you can think this a mortifying circumstance, I am at a loss to find out. Did I not use to execute your commissions, and especially when you were with me, with much pleasure? You saw the West Indian4 performed; a good piece 'tis called. I wish I had been with you. I hope you had not Gretna-Green5 again for the Farce. And you saw their majesties, and the two eldest princesses. Were you near enough to be recollected by them? Apropos, methinks I see you making your reverence to them. The fashionable courtesy, you know, is very low, and slow. Have you learnt to make it gracefully? I ask because I want you to teach it here, when you return; they make such little bobs and dodges as would make you laugh most heartily. Miss Grant, sister to Betsey G., who was here some years ago, is here from England. I introduced my Maria6 to her; of course there were { 511 } courtesies on both sides. Miss G. prepared her feet; Maria made a little bob; Miss G. began to sink; Maria bobbed again; Miss G. continued to sink; Maria made another bob; Miss G. was stationary; Maria bobbed again; so in the same proportion in rising again; making in the whole, about six bobs or dodges. Paint it now to yourself, Amelia, and add thereto how prettily the dodger must feel. I have been ever since trying to bend her limbs, and are [am?] soon going to put her into shapes, according to the frame you gave me: so I hope we shall ere long be in due form and order. * * * * * * * * * * * Why do you neglect your old friends, Amelia? Mrs. Russell, whom I love, and you too, I believe, says you promised to remember her, and to write; but that she has not received one line from you since you left this country; nor can she learn that you have once mentioned her to any one: she is a worthy woman; don't forget her—nor especially
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:40–43.)
1. Storer evidently refers to the diplomatic mission to Algiers. AA2 was confident that JA would have asked Storer to join Capt. John Lamb on this mission if Storer had stayed in England only one more week (AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct., above).
2. Not found; it presumably contained AA2's news about the mission to Algiers.
3. Probably 30 Sept., when JA entertained the diplomatic corps of London at his home in Grosvenor Square. Because women traditionally were excluded from such events, AA and AA2 went to the home of their good friend Mrs. Rogers for the evening (AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept.; AA to Mary Cranch, 1 Oct., both above). “Monsieur le Baron” who regretted AA2's absence was probably Baron de Lynden, the Dutch minister to Great Britain. Another guest who missed the Adams women, however, was the British foreign minister, the Marquis of Carmarthen (AA2 to JQA, 24 Sept., above).
4. See AA2 to JQA, 18 Oct., note 8, above.
5. The play Gretna Green by Charles Stuart was first performed in 1783. Notices appeared in London newspapers announcing many performances of the farce during the summer of 1785. Gretna Green, a village in southern Scotland, was widely known as a convenient location for quick and clandestine marriages that could not be performed in England.
6. Probably Storer's sister Mary.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-03-0003

Chronology

The Adams Family, 1782–1785

1782   Oct. 8   After lengthy negotiations, JA signs the first Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and the United States, at The Hague.  
1782   Oct. 17   JA leaves The Hague for Amsterdam and then Paris, where he arrives on 26 October.  
1782   Oct. 30–Nov. 30   JA participates in negotiating and, with his fellow commissioners, signs at Paris, on 30 Nov., the Preliminary Treaty of Peace between the United States and Great Britain.  
1782   Oct. 30   JQA leaves St. Petersburg for The Hague by way of the northern route, through Finland and across the Åland Islands to Sweden.  
1782   Nov. 8   JA tells AA to put CA and TBA in a school and come to Europe with AA2 if she can get assurances that Congress will keep him in Europe another year.  
1782   Nov. 22   JQA arrives in Stockholm.  
1782   Dec.   JA writes to Congress, asking to resign his position. He informs AA of his decision, telling her to stay in America. Royall Tyler is a serious suitor of AA2; AA informs JA.  
1782   Dec. 31   JQA leaves Stockholm to travel across Sweden to Göteborg.  
1783   Jan.   AA2 visits the family of James and Mercy Otis Warren at Milton, and later in the month, the family of Samuel Allyne Otis in Boston.  
1783   Jan. 25   JQA arrives at Göteborg.  
1783   Feb. 11   JQA leaves Göteborg for Copenhagen, where he arrives on the 15th.  
1783   Feb. 23   The Shelburne ministry falls in Great Britain; shortly to be replaced by the Fox-North ministry.  
1783   March 5   JQA leaves Copenhagen for Hamburg, where he arrives on the 10th.  
{ 526 }
1783   April   AA sends CA and TBA to live in Haverhill with their aunt, Elizabeth Smith Shaw, where they prepare for college with their uncle, Rev. John Shaw. CA remains in Haverhill until he enters Harvard in 1785. TBA lives there until he matriculates in 1786.  
1783   April 5   JQA leaves Hamburg and travels through Bremen to Holland.  
1783   April 21   JQA arrives at The Hague, where he continues his study of Latin and Greek with C. W. F. Dumas until JA's arrival in July.  
1783   April 27   JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay begin conferring with David Hartley on the definitive treaty with Great Britain.  
1783   May   AA buys land in Braintree for JA from the heirs of Micajah Adams.  
1783   June   CA ill with measles. AA and AA2 go to Haverhill to visit, and to bring CA home to Braintree to recover. He returns to Haverhill in August.  
1783   July 17   AA and AA2 attend Harvard commencement.  
1783   July 19   JA leaves Paris for The Hague, where he arrives on 22 July and is reunited with JQA after two years' separation. They travel to Amsterdam on 26 July, returning to The Hague on 30 July. JQA begins serving as his father's secretary and continues in this role until his departure for America in May 1785.  
1783   July—Aug.   John Thaxter and Charles Storer travel to London. Thaxter returns to Paris on 25 Aug., but Storer remains in England, and then moves to northeastern France.  
1783   Aug. 6   JA and JQA leave The Hague for Paris, arriving on 9 August.  
1783   Sept. 3   JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay sign the Definitive Treaty of Peace with Great Britain in Paris. On 7 Sept. they learn that Congress has resolved to appoint them to a joint commission to negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain. JA immediately asks AA, with AA2, to join him in Europe.  
1783   Sept. 14   John Thaxter, JA's private secretary since Nov. 1779, leaves Paris for America. Carrying the definitive treaty to Congress, he sails from France on 26 September. Landing at New York, he reaches Philadelphia with the treaty on 22 Nov., and Braintree on 14 December.  
1783   Sept. 17   Death of AA's father, Rev. William Smith of Weymouth, Mass.  
1783   Sept. 22   JA and JQA move to Thomas Barclay's house in Auteuil, near Paris, where JA recovers from a serious illness; they remain { 527 } there until 20 October. This is the house that the Adamses will occupy in Aug. 1784.  
1783   Oct. 20   JA and JQA travel to England, where they visit London, Oxford and Bath, remaining until 2 January.  
1783   Oct.–Nov.   AA visits Haverhill to nurse TBA, who suffers from “a severe fit of the Rheumatism”; she returns on 10 November.  
1783   Dec.   AA buys land in Braintree for JA from William Adams. AA meets Francis Dana in Boston upon his arrival from St. Petersburg, over four years after his departure from Boston for Europe with JA.  
1783   Dec. 19   William Pitt the younger forms his ministry in Great Britain.  
1783   Dec.–Jan.   AA2 visits relatives and friends in Boston for over a month.  
1784   Jan. 2   JA and JQA leave England and travel across the North Sea to the Netherlands, where JA seeks and secures a second Dutch loan to save America's credit. JA and JQA remain at The Hague, with brief visits to Amsterdam bankers for JA, and JQA's long trip to London, until July-August.  
1784   March   AA2 visits the Warrens in Milton.  
1784   April   AA delays arranging her departure for Europe, hoping to hear again from JA, and from Elbridge Gerry, who keeps her informed about Congress' decisions concerning America's diplomatic missions.  
1784   April—June   CA and TBA visit AA and AA2 in Braintree, before the latter depart for England.  
1784   May 7   John Jay elected secretary for foreign affairs by Congress. Thomas Jefferson elected by Congress to join JA and Benjamin Franklin to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with over twenty European and African powers.  
1784   May 14   JQA leaves The Hague for England, reaching London on 18 May. There his purpose of meeting AA and AA2 is frustrated by their decision to delay leaving Boston. He stays in London until about 26 June and makes several visits to Parliament and to the Court of Chancery.  
1784   June 1   John Jay sails from England for America.  
1784   June 18   Thomas Jefferson arrives in Boston, too late to arrange a passage on the ship taking AA to England. He sails on 5 July, reaching England on 26 July, and Paris on 6 August.  
{ 528 }
1784   June 20   AA and AA2 sail from Boston for England on the Active, landing at Deal, England on 20 July. They proceed to London, arriving on 21 July, and remain until 8 August.  
1784   July 26   JA, upon hearing from AA, and learning that Jefferson has been named a commissioner and is headed for Paris, decides to join Jefferson and Franklin there. He still plans, however, to have AA and AA2 come to The Hague first, and sends JQA to London. JQA arrives on 30 July and joins AA and AA2 after a separation of nearly five years.  
1784   Aug.   JA, having heard that Jefferson has already arrived in France, changes his plan and on 7 Aug. arrives unexpectedly in London, where he is reunited with AA after nearly five years apart. The Adamses travel from London to Paris, arriving on 13 Aug.; on the 17th they move to Auteuil, where they live until May 1785. JA, with his colleagues Franklin and Jefferson, immediately begins corresponding with several European powers to arrange commercial treaties with America.  
1784   Dec. 21   John Jay accepts Congress' appointment as secretary for foreign affairs; he is the first secretary to be in sympathy with JA's views on foreign policy.  
1785   Feb. 24   Congress names JA to be the first U.S. minister to Great Britain.  
1785   March 10   Congress names Thomas Jefferson U.S. minister to France, in place of the retiring Benjamin Franklin.  
1785   May 12   JQA leaves Paris for America to attend Harvard College. On 21 May he sails from Lorient on the Courier de l'Amérique.  
1785   May 20   JA, AA, and AA2 leave Auteuil for England, arriving in London on 26 May. They reside in London until 1788.  
1785   June 1   JA has his first audience with King George III; he is presented to Queen Charlotte at Court on 9 June.  
1785   June 23   AA and AA2 are presented to King George and Queen Charlotte at a Court Day at St. James's Palace.  
1785   July 2   JA, AA, and AA2 move into the first American legation in London, a rented house on Grosvenor Square.  
1785   July 12   Benjamin Franklin leaves Passy, where he had lived for over eight years, to return to America. He sails from England on 28 July.  
1785   July 17   JQA arrives in New York City, where he stays with Richard { 529 } Henry Lee, president of Congress, and visits extensively with congressmen and with leaders of New York society.  
1785   mid-July   CA is admitted to Harvard College; he begins his studies in mid-August.  
1785   Aug. 4   Col. William Stephens Smith, the secretary of the American legation in London, asks JA for leave to attend Frederick the Great's review of the Prussian army at Potsdam. He departs for Prussia on 9 Aug., and extends his stay in Europe into December, visiting Vienna and Paris.  
1785   Aug. 5   JA signs the first Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Prussia and the United States. (Franklin and Jefferson sign in France in July; the Prussian envoy Baron von Thulemeyer signs at The Hague in September.)  
1785   Aug. 13   JQA leaves New York for Boston, taking the overland route through central Connecticut and Massachusetts.  
1785   mid-Aug.   AA2 breaks off her engagement with Royall Tyler; AA writes to Mary Cranch to explain this decision.  
1785   Aug. 25   JQA arrives in Boston, after an absence of nearly six years. He visits Cambridge on 26 Aug., where he is reunited with his brother, CA, and his cousin, William Cranch, both students at Harvard. On 27 Aug. he visits his Adams and Cranch relatives in Braintree.  
1785   Aug. 31   Harvard's President Joseph Willard advises JQA to seek further preparation to enter the college as a “junior sophister” in the spring.  
1785   Sept. 7   JQA, with his aunt, Mary Cranch, visits Haverhill for a week to arrange for his intensive study of Latin and Greek under the guidance of his uncle, Rev. John Shaw. There he is reunited with his brother TBA. On their return from Haverhill, JQA and Mary Cranch visit his aunt Catharine Salmon Smith.  
1785   Sept. 19   Charles Storer sails for America.  
1785   Sept. 30   After further visits to Boston and Braintree, JQA returns to Haverhill.  
1785   Oct.   JQA pays a short visit to the Daltons in Newbury with his cousin, Elizabeth Cranch, who lives with the John Whites of Haverhill for the entire fall. On 25 Oct., CA and William and Lucy Cranch arrive for a one-week visit.  
1785   Dec. 5   William Stephens Smith returns to London with Col. David Humphreys.  
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/