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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


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.
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/