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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

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


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, 2018.