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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0031

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1785-04-24

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

It was yesterday only that I received your Favour of Nov. 26, which contains many Things which you mentioned in a posteriour Letter which I have answered.1
I am glad you purchased the Pasture and Marsh.2 I accepted your Bill at sight and it was paid to Mr. Elworthy at sight fifty Pounds. I wish you to repair the House in Boston, and to go on purchasing Bits of Marsh and Wood, if you can find them at moderate Prices, but I am not zealous about this. You may draw upon me, to the amount of Three hundred Pounds when you please, and also to pay for Veseys Place if he will sell it reasonably, and provided you can obtain a good { 89 } Profit upon Exchange. With this purchase I Stop my Land Projects, but poor as it is, it lies so situated that I wish it added to my little territory.
My Son John Quincy will embark in the Packet at L'Orient, for New York, and will be with you before Commencement I hope, perhaps he will deliver this.3
Charles as well as John I hope will enter Colledge this summer and I hereby place them both under your Superintendence. I pray you to pay all their Bills and draw upon me for the Moneys necessary. It is my Intention that both of them shall be accountable to you for their Expences of every kind, and receive nothing but by your Order. They must be as frugal as possible, otherwise I shall find the Utmost difficulty to get along with them.
Dr. Franklin has been soliciting for Years, to get his Grandson appointed a Minister abroad,4 Supposing no doubt that his own Services, would prevail: I know too well the Character of my Countrymen, to believe that they will thus impute the Merit of the Parent to the Offspring, and therefore instead of proposing my son for publick Employments, I am Sending him to qualify himself for private ones. I might retain him as my private Secretary, But I will not educate him in such a state of Dependence upon Congress nor my self. He shall Stand on his own Legs, place himself on a Level with the Youth his Contemporary Countrymen, and become a Town Meeting Man first, if he ever wishes for public Employment.
You ask my Opinion concerning the 4[th] Article of the Treaty of Peace. I wish to avoid being quoted upon these Points. I cannot See the Propriety of the Legislatures interfering. If a Jury determine the Interest to be a bona fide debt, there is no Remedy. An Explanation will never be obtained unless a Minister should be sent to London, if then. We have written and demanded long since, but have no Answer from the British Ministry. In short they are determined not to treat in France. These Interferences of the Legislatures will be construed Violations of the Treaty and the great Posts upon the Frontier will be pretended to be held against Treaty for this Reason. But the little Interests of Individuals in such Governments as ours, will if We are not cautious, disturb publick Interests of infinitely greater Magnitude, and involve our Reputation and even our public Faith.
Whether England and France can import Timber and Lumber from Denmark cheaper than from America I know not. I dont believe they can. But if they could they should consider how they are to pay. There { 90 } is a great difference between paying Cash and paying in Produce and Manufactures.
Shewing what I had written to Madam she has made me sick of purchasing Veseys Place. Instead of that therefore you may draw upon me, for two hundred Pounds at as good an Exchange as you can obtain and lay it out in such Notes as you judge most for my Interest, so that the Interest may be a little Fund for assisting you in paying the Expences of the Education of my Children. Indeed if you See a Prospect of making any considerable Advantage in this Way, for me, you may draw upon me for more.
My regards to you Lady & son, and believe me with great Affection your Friend
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Esq Letter April 24th 1785. recd. Aug. 29”; docketed, also by Tufts: “recd. Aug. 29, 1785.”
1. On 5 March, above, JA answered Tufts' “posteriour” letter of 1 Jan. (not found).
2. See Tufts to JA, 26 Nov. 1784, and note 2, above.
3. JQA did deliver this letter (see JQA, Diary, 1:312–315, 318; the docketing in the descriptive note; and Tufts to JA, 6 Oct., below).
4. JA had first objected to Franklin's efforts to promote William Temple Franklin when the Doctor arranged, in Oct. 1782, to have his grandson named secretary to the peace commission without JA's prior approval (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:38–39, and note 3, 102–103). On 22 July 1783, Franklin wrote R. R. Livingston, secretary for foreign affairs, that young William was qualified to head a mission, and informed Livingston that both Swedish and Danish officials had asked him whether his grandson might not be named an envoy to their courts (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:586). And on 27 June 1784, JA wrote to Elbridge Gerry that he suspected Franklin of trying to secure his grandson's succession to his mission at Versailles when he returned to America. Franklin's suggestion of Sweden as an appropriate post for William, JA wrote, “is only a stalking Horse” (LbC, Adams Papers). William Temple Franklin never did receive another diplomatic appointment.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0032

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1785-04-25

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

How shall I express to you the grateful Sense I feel, for your kind remembrance and attention in favouring me with such charming Letters? I find indeed that I cannot do it as I wish; if you know my heart, tis unnecesary to say more. I have written so much to Cousin Nabby, that I find it difficult to find a Subject for another Letter.1—I have informed her of all my past adventures; but have not told her of any of my intended employments or amusements; You know my dear Aunt how fond my good Papa is, of gratifying all the wishes of his Children; I have long felt a very great inclination, to learn musick; it has ever been Papa's desire that I should; the expence of it, only, has { 91 } prevented; He has lately purchas'd me a good second hand Harpsichord, and has determin'd to let me have a few months instruction from Mr. Selby;2 I know not how well I shall succeed; but I hope after a little instruction, (and it can be but a little) by practise, and attention, to make some progress in this Art.—I am so (I believe, passionately) fond of Musick, that I shall improve the time, to the best advantage, that I am able to. It would amuse many a solitary hour, and soothe perhaps, many a sad one. Do you recollect my dear Aunt the use Lady G.3 made of her Harpsichord? May-hap in process of time, mine may answer a like serviceable purpose.—I shall board where my Papa does; at a Mr. Forsters [Foster's]—a very agreable good Family. How do you think Ma'am I shall, live two months in Boston? I shall be quite a rustick Lass among the polishd Belles of Boston, I intend however to be happy; and I hope from that seat of bussiness, and amusements, to find some things that may afford you more entertainment, than tis possible for me to offer you from this unvaried scene; I propose to go abroad among my Friends, to mix in all the agreable Circles, which my station will, with propriety, admit me to, and it will be my endeavour to improve every event, and every occurence, to some advantage, either to myself or friends.
I believe it will be good for me to change this scene, which has been so long continually before me; not that the present is unpleasing, for I do not expect to find an equal proportion of pleasure any where else; but because the mind is apt to contract; to be biggoted to certain forms and opinions by being always confined to a certain spot, to a particular Set of accquaintance.—In the course of a few weeks I expect to leave Braintree; it will be with regret just at the approach of the finest Season; but the hope of improvement, will overcome this reluctance. I intend to rise very early, and take a walk every pleasant morning in the Mall; it is near my Lodgings, and has been much improved within this past year; they have made a fine Gravel Walk, that will prevent my damping my feet. There I expect to ruminate, and reflect: and while I enjoy the freshness of the morning breeze, with health and calm contentment for my companions, I hope to feel my heart rise, in grateful adorations to that good Being, from whose benificent hand I recieve all my happiness.
I thank you my dear Aunt for your directions with regard to my learning French;4 I shall implicitly follow them. I am determined to read nothing but French while I am in Boston. My work will be to make Shirts for my Cousin's Charles and Tommy, which I am going about directly, as they are in much want of them. There last Linnen { 92 } wore very badly. Every attention which it is mine or my Sisters power to afford them, we shall be happy to offer. I have written to each of them,5 but cannot recieve any reply to my Letters. These young Men dont love writing. My Brother is quite defficient in this respect, and troubls me by his neglecting it. Time will remedy this error. With inexpressible Satisfaction, I think, I yet, see him innocent and good; his conduct has not yet cost me one Sigh. I pray heaven, it never may. He knows he is tenderly belov'd by Parents and Sisters, and he knows how deep would be the wound in their Hearts, should he become a Votary to Vice. Independant of these reasons, ('tho to a good mind they would be very powerful incentives to Virtue) I hope and trust, he has a higher principle, firmly fix'd, and conscienciously adhered to.
I have indeed made out a long Letter without thinking of it; You will know, my Aunt if this Letter reaches you soon, what is like to be my employment for some months to come, if no unforeseen event should oblige me to alter my Plan.
If you accept this prattle as a testimony of undissembled affection and grateful remembrance; It will have answerd the intent with which it was written. Will you make my most respectful and affectionate regards acceptable to my honoured Uncle, and believe me to be your truly affectionate and oblig'd Neice
[signed] E Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “E Cranch April 25 1785.”
1. No letter from Elizabeth Cranch to AA2 has been found.
2. William Selby was a British-born composer and choral director, and an organist at King's Chapel. JQA would hear Selby's music on 4 July 1787 (Diary2:249, and note 2; DAB).
3. Almost certainly a reference to Charlotte Grandison, a character in Samuel Richardson's The History of Sir Charles Grandison. She was the sister of Sir Charles and was usually referred to as “Lady G.” See also, Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 5 Sept., below.
4. AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 3 Dec. 1784, above.
5. Letters not found.
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.