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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


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/