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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 7


Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0029

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1786-03-20

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] Sir

In a Letter to R. R. Livingston, Secretary of state for foreign Affairs, dated The Hague July 23. 1783, I gave him an account of Conversations with Mr. Van Berckel and others, in which I learn'd that there were in holland a great Number of Refineries of Sugar; “that all their own Sugars were not half enough to employ their Sugar Houses, and that at least one half of the sugars refined in Holland were the Production of the French West India Islands. That these Sugars were purchased chiefly in the Ports of France. That France, not having sugar-Houses, for the refinement of her own sugars, but permitting them to be carried to Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, for Manufacture She might be willing that they should be carried to Boston New York and Philadelphia, from her own Ports in Europe in American Bottoms.”1
That the Sugars which America might purchase, would be paid for in Articles more advantageous to France, than the Pay which is made by the Dutch. That if any Sugars refined in Holland are afterwards sold in France, it would be less against her Interest to have them refined in America, because the Price, would be laid out in french Produce and Manufactures. That there is a difference between us and the Dutch and all other nations, as We Spend in Europe all the Profits We make and more. The others do not. That if French Sugars refined in Holland, are afterwards Sold in other Parts of Europe (as they are in Petersbourg and all round the Baltic in Germany and Italy) We have Sugar Houses as well as the Dutch and it would be as Well that We should sell them, because our sugarhouses ought not to be more obnoxious to french Policy or Commerce, than theirs. That as there is in America a great Consumption of sugar, it is not the Interest of any Nation who have { 100 } sugars to sell, to lessen the Consumption, but on the contrary they should favour it, in order to multiply Purchasers and quicken the Competition by which the Price is raised. None.
That if the worst Should happen, and all the nations who have Sugar Islands, should forbid Sugars to be carried to America, in any other, than their own Bottoms, We might depend upon having enough of this Article at the Freeports, to be brought away in our own ships, if We should lay a Prohibition or a Duty on it, in foreign ships. To do either, the States must be united, which the English think cannot be. Perhaps the French think so too, and in time they may perswade the Dutch to be of the same Opinion. It is to be hoped We shall disappoint them, all in a Point so just and reasonable, When We are contending only for an equal Chance for the Carriage of our own Productions, and the Articles of our own Consumption: When We are willing to allow to all other Nations, even a free Competition with Us, in this Carriage, if We cannot Unite; it will discover an Imperfection and Weakness in our Constitution, which will deserve a serious Consideration.
I had begun to write you upon this Subject, but concluding to write particularly to Govr Bowdoin, I beg leave to refer you to him.2
I have given him an History of Mr Boylstons Voyage to France, Sale of a Cargo of Oil and Purchase of sugars.3 It is the first Attempt, or Experiment of the Plan which I mentioned frequently in my Letters to Mr Livingstone 3 years ago4 But every Thing written to Congress is lost. Our Merchants have not discovered so much Industry and Ingenuity as was expected. The Idea of sending to Europe from America for Sugars is odd, but We must come to it and shall find our Account in it.
[signed] J. A.
RC (MWA); endorsed: “Lettr from His Exy. John Adams Esqr Mar: 20th. 1786.”
1. JA to Livingston, 23–25 July 1783, PCC, No. 84, V, f. 17–25.
2. JA to James Bowdoin, 24 March 1786 (MHi: Winthrop Papers).
3. With the proceeds from the sale of whale oil in France, Thomas Boylston purchased raw sugar to ship to Boston for refining and exportation to Europe or Russia (JA to James Bowdoin, 24 March, MHi: Winthrop Papers). Boylston's effort was part of a larger plan on his part to establish a regular trade in American whale oil, French goods, and West Indian sugar. For the specifics of his plan see Jefferson, Papers, 9:29–31. His negotiations resulted in the lowering of duties on all whale oil imported by Americans into France on either French or U.S. vessels (same, 9:88).
4. JA to Livingston, 23–25 July, 28 July, and 30 July 1783 (all PCC, No. 84, V, f. 17–25, 45–48, 57–62).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0030

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-03-21

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I have just returnd from a visit to Moor Place Moor feilds, Where I have been to take leave of my much esteemed Friends, mr and Mrs Rogers, who set out on wedensday for France, and from thence are to sail in the April Packet for Newyork. Mr Rogers thinks it most for his benifit, and those connected with him, to quit England, and endeavour to adjust his affairs himself in America. She communicated their design to me some time ago in confidence, only our own family and Mr Copleys are acquainted with their intention. I hope he will be able to settle his buisness to his own advantage, for he is a worthy Man, and she one of the best and most amiable of women. There is not an other family who could have left London that I should have so much mist, go and See her my sister when she arrives. You will find her one of those gentle Spirits in whom very little alteration is necessary to fit for the world of Spirits, and her Husband seems to be made on purpose for her.
Only two days ago did your Letter by captain Young reach me.1 The contents of it more and more convince me of the propriety of your Neices conduct, and give me reason to rejoice that I crost the atlantick with her. But what Shall I do with my Young soldier, who is much too zealous to be married, and will hardly give me time to tell my Friends that such an event is like to take place. I have no Idea of such a hurry, and so I tell him. He presses the matter to me, but cannot get me to communicate it, because I know very well, that mr A. would have so much compassion for the Young folks, that he would consent directly. He remembers what a dance he led. Now tho I have no objection to the Gentleman, yet I think marriage ought not to be his immediate object. The Services he has renderd his Country, joined to the abilities he possessess will always ensure to him a distinguished Rank in her service. His Character is universally amiable, and I have the prospect of seeing my daughter united to a Man of Strict honour and probity. But I wish he would not be quite so much in a Hurry. I believe not one of our American acquaintance Suspect the Matter. Mrs Rogers excepted to whom I told it.
Mr T. I Suppose has received my Letter by way of Newyork,2 after which I presume he will not be very solicitious for a voyage. Your { 102 } Neice has never noticed a line from him, since She closed the correspondence by way of Dr Tufts. She received two very long Letters from him, both of which I have seen, they were perfectly Characteristic of the Man.3
In one of them he reflected very severely upon you, and threw out insinuations respecting many other of her correspondents, who I know had never mentiond his Name. But I know he must be mortified, so I can pardon him, wish him well and forgive him, nay thank him for no longer wearing a disguise. <He> The Creature has many good qualities, but that first of virtues Sincerity. How small a portion has fallen to his share! I have written to you by mrs Hay and sent the Lutestring &c by her. Captain Lyde deliverd me the Chocolate safe, but Young, half seas over, let the customhouse Seize his, which could not have happend if he had put it into his Trunk. It would do you good if you was to see how Mr Adams rejoices over his Breakfast, for the stuff we get here is half bullocks Blood. Mr Rogers will be a good hand to Send any little matter, he knows how to manage. I will write to My Dear Neices by Lyde. It mortifies me that the length of my purse is so curtaild that I cannot notice them as I wish. What letters are not ready for Cushing expect in Lyde. Do not fail of writing by way of Newyork, only do not send any News papers or very large packets that way, because every vessel stops at some outport and sends her Letters up by Land.
Remember me affectionately to all my dear Friends, particularly to my honourd Mother to whom I have sent by mrs Hay Lutestring for a Gown. Mrs Quincys silk will send by Lyde.
It is 3 oclock, and I am not drest for dinner tho Esther warnd me that it was past dressing hour some time ago, but I would finish my Letter. A double rap at the door signifies a visit. Adieu I must run, affectionately Yours,
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed by AA2: “Mrs: Mary Cranch Braintree near Boston.”
1. Of 8 Nov. 1785 (vol. 6:454–457).
2. AA wrote to Royall Tyler in Dec. 1785 (not found); see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 13 June, below.
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0031

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-03-22

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Your Son JQA is become a son of Harvard. He was admited last wednesday, and we are now prepairing him for House-keeping. He has a chamber with one of the Masters till commencment, then He and his Brother charles will live together if they can. The young Gentleman finds the Bed and Linnen. I have taken the Furniture for the Chamber from your House a few things were to be purchased at Boston. Lucy went yesterday to procure them. A Tea Kettle and a Tea apparatus were wanting. I did not chuse to take your best Blue and White for him, cousin charles had the others. It is no matter what they are if but decent ones for it will not be six months before they will not have two alike. They lend them, and if they have there number return'd they think themselves well off. Cousin Thomas will I believe enter next July. I will be quite perfect in the business of fixing off my sons: If you was to see them all together it would give you great pleasure. Four more promising youth are Seldom Seen, may nothing happen to blast our hopes! I shall wish most heartily for you in their vacancy and Should we have life and health my pleasures will exceed yours, although sourounded by all the pomp of a drawing Room at St James's. I live over my youth again in these our children. Betsy is not yet return'd from Haverhill. Billy will go for her in the Spring vacancy.
Lucy and I have had another lonely winter, not so much as one Letter from you to vary the Scene. You told me you should write by the way of newyork but I have receiv'd none. I have had so many oppertunitys to write from Boston that I have had no occation to send that way. There is a vessel or two up for London. I mean to write at my leasure till they are ready to Sail.
I think I told you that Weymouth had given Mr Evans a call. He is to give his answer Soon, I believe He will accept. I hear he is prepairing to bee married, and I know a Parish is all he has been waiting for some time. He appears the most likely to fill my dear Parents place with Dignity and honour of any one candidate they have had. It is astonishing that the greatest part of the People who are so fond of him, Should Six months ago have been raving mad for a—Fool compair'd to this Gentleman.1 He is a gentleman in every Sense of the word. He is Humain and benevolent, kind and affectionate to every one: He is a great admirer of uncle Toby, consciquently of { 104 } Sterns writings.2 You can easily discover this by his publick discoursses. He is 15 year older than miss Huldah, “old enough for her Father” said somebody the other day. “There are very few younger worth having” reply'd our arch Lucy. He is very plain. Sister Shaw writing to me about him says “His Face you know. The more you See it the more it Shines.” He was upon a Journey and preach'd for mr Shaw. His Subject the Prodigal Son, a fine one for his Luxuriant Fancy.
Charles Warren my dear Sister is no more, he dy'd in about a month after he arriv'd in Spain.3 The Family did not hear of it till last week. I have not seen any of them yet. It must be a shock to them tho it is what they expected. They have an affliction which swallows up this. Mr John Codman receiv'd directions from a Gentleman in Holland to get security or arrest the Person of Winslow Warren for a debt due from him. Mr Codman shew him the Letter and Power. Mr Warren told him he could not pay him immediately but would give him His note and his Father's. Mr Codman desir'd it might be done that day as he was writing to the Gentleman. He wish'd to let him know that the matter was settled. “He should not go to milton till Satturday and then he gave his word and honour it should be done.” Mr codman relying upon it wrote that it was settled to his Satissfaction. Mr C waited above a week without hearing a word from mr. W–r–n, he then found that mr W–r–n Went out of Town the next day and set out for york. He went immideatly to his Father, told him the Story, and said that unless he would give him Security for the sum he should Send after his son and arrest him where ever he could find him. The General told him his Son would be back in a few days, that he had receiv'd a Letter from him desiring that he would not be answerable to any body for any debt of his contracting. Mr C. immediatly sent an officer after him and brought him back. He had return'd part of the way home. Mr W Warren was very angry, and the first time he Saw mr C upon change, he can'd him very severely. Mr C. has Sued him for an assault, laid the Damage at two thousand pound. This is mr Cs' Side of the story. This happend about three weeks ago. I design to see mrs Warren next week. I pity her. She must be greatly afflicted.4
Mr Evans came here this morning. He tells me he has accepted the Call at Weymouth. I am heartely glad. Doctor Tufts has got his choice at last.
{ 105 }
It has been so remarkably warm for two or three days that we cannot keep any fire in our Room. The Bushes are leaving and the Trees budding, our Grass plot is as green as in the month of may. Lucy is return'd from cambridge our Sons are well, were all got together in Billys chamber after the exercises of the Week.
The windmill is raising to day. Mr T has just Sent his compliments to Judge C and desir'd his company to see it rais'd. Tis the first time he has ever mention'd one word about it to any of us. A choculate mill and a Bolting mill are to be made to go with the wind. I wonder if the Law business is to go by wind also. With Such a variety of business it will be hard if he does not get a good Living. Mr Thayer is to move off his place immediatly. Mr T says he has got possession of it and is going to repair it directly. He has bought the House and Farm which was Doctor chaucys, whether for himself or any body else I know not. The Deed was given to him.5 The canidia and vermont Tour was prevented by the Snows leaving us here before he was ready to set out. He caught a little Snow we had and went as far as conecticut, he and mr Vesey in his Sley, and was lucky enough to get back the very last day which a Sley could go.
The raising is over it took two days to compleat it. On the first mr T made an ellegant entertainment at mrs Veseys of meats and drinks a Dinner and Supper, not for the workmen, mr Prat found them, but for the large company invited to see the raising. You love you say to have me write to the moment as it makes you seem to be among us, or I should not mention Such matters.
Mr G. Thayer has [ . . . ] Germantown or will do it, he is about it.6 Mr Palmers Family are greatly distress'd. The general, holds on yet “and will not quit” it. I am affraid, without he is absolutely drove off. He supposes that if he could Stay, he should yet be able from the Salt business to pay his debts and make an Estate. His Family wish him to give up the Idea, and leave the place. You know his Temper, they are affraid of opposeing him violently. He has apply'd for madam Apthorps House upon the Hill, and may have it, if he is oblig'd to move.7 I wish he would give up all he has and thro himself upon the generosity of his crediters, I am Sure they would be happier than they now are. We have had Robert Cranch here all Winter. He came so bad with the Rhumatism occation'd by colds or intem• { 106 } perance I know not which that he cold not rise from his chair or turn in his Bed. He is now much better. Mr cranch has got a place for him to work at and as soon as we can get him a little decently cloath'd, we shall send him along. It is very hard that he should come so often to be cloath'd, we had to do the same for him about a year ago.8
We have lately heard from our unhappy connection.9 He has been in poor health, but is better. We once heard that he was dead. It shock'd me more than I can express. While I know he is alive I shall hope for a reformation, and that the prayeres and efforts of his dying Parents will sooner or later have some effect. He 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. He has lately written to mr Haartly a neighbour of Sisters to inquire about his Family, his children and sisters, but not a word about his wife. Since that he has written to her, desiring to know if his children are Supply'd with the necessarys of Life and what kind of education she is giving them. As soon as he is able he is going, he says to land a Store of english Goods, and again wishes to hear from his Sisters. Sister Smith Sent me a Letter upon hearing an account of his Sickness which I will send you.10 I sent it to Sister Shaw for her to comment upon. I have made mine, and I wish to see if we do not all think alike about it. Mr cranch upon reading it Said, “Act the first, Scene the first.” If we have all the necessarys and so many of the comforts and convenicys of Life as she has, it is not right to complain of feeling the “Iron hand of Poverty pressing hard upon us.” Is it possible that she can look upon her Farm Stock, and well dress'd children and utter such a complant? Our dear Parent did not leave her in poverty, my Sister, and we have done much for her in addition to what he left her. We never complain'd that he did more for her than us, but it is true that he did.11<[ . . . ]>12 Louissa has been at Judge Russels at charlestown and uncle Smiths the greatest part of the winter. Billy lives at Lancaster with a mr Wales from Braintree. He keeps a Store and has taken him till he is twenty one if it should be agreable to both upon trial. They board with the widdow of Levi Willard a kind good woman as lives I have heard.13
Such a Snow Storm as we have had to day has not been seen in April since that about thirteen or 15 years ago when mr John Joy came as far as your house from fathers the night after, and could get { 107 } no further for the Banks. Such a wind I never did know. It has lasted thirty six hours and does not yet look as if it was over. I have trembled for the poor creatures upon our coasts. It is Sunday but too bad to open the meeting house. Mr Cranch went as far as the Barn this morning and return'd declaring that he thought it impossible for any person to face the Storm and breath many minutes. The cold is as remarkable as the Storm a perfect contrast between this with last Sunday. It was then so warm that we sat with our windows open. Mr T went as soon as breakfast was over to mrs veseys I suppose. We have not seen him since. He went out without Saying any thing. I hope he has not perish'd in a snow Bank. I would not have turn'd a Dog out in it.
If you should ask me where mr T boards, I should find it hard to tell you. He Lodgs and has his Linnin wash'd and mended here. He some times breakfast with us, but we seldom see any more of him till eleven at night and not always then for when we are tier'd with waiting, leave a candle for him and go to Bed. He still retains our office in his Hands although he makes very little use of it. It is very seldom open'd at all. He has I believe transacted all his business this winter in mrs veseys Parlour. One would scarcly have thought a Room in which a Family liv'd, and through which another Family of children and servants seven in number must pass to get into their Kitchen the most convenient place to make an office off—but there are People Who love to make, and live in a Bustle. I would not have you think that we have done any thing to offend him, or drive him from the House. I know of nothing. We are as civil as possible to each other. I suppose he will go to housekeeping soon. Mrs Church says he told her that he is going to europe this Spring. He will not own that he has had a dismission. He is exceeding apt to loose a Picture which he wears about his neck—to leave it in the Bed when he is upon a journey and lodges in a gentleman or Ladys Family. This when found and with the rapturs he express's and the kisses he bestows upon it, are certain evidences that he has not been dismiss'd. We have never said a word to each other about it. We never talk about any Letters we recieve. I cannot. I know he is mortified and I have not a wish, to hurt him.
This morning as I was dressing my self, I saw a son of coll. Thayer ride up the yard and take a large Pacquit from his saddle Bags. From my sister thought I in a moment I found by the cover { 108 } that they came from new york. They were Frank'd by mr King, but alass when it was open'd there was found only one for mr cranch. Two for General Warrens Family one for mr Gordon and one for Coffin Jones.14 Not one for me or the Girls. Mr King writes that he had receiv'd a large bundle of news papers. That it was too big for the mail to bring, but that he would Send them by the first safe conveyence. I hope the Letters are amonge the Papers. Oh how impatient I feel! A little mortification is perhaps good for me. It is our anual Fast this day. A Letter from my dear Sister would have converted it into a Thanksgiving day if it had convey'd me the good tydings of the Life Health and happiness of herself and Family. As it is we have receiv'd great pleasure, for as mr Adams has not mention'd you we suppose you are well. My pen must be mended. Adieu.
Last monday was the day for the choice of a Governer, &c can you believe it? Yes I know you can believe it, If I tell you, That mr Hancock after being chosen a member of congress, and by them President of Congress, has been making interest by himself, or his Friends to be chosen Governer. Is it not an insult to keep the united States waiting five or six months for an answer, only that he might have an oppertunity of elbowing a very worthy man out of his seat? Mr Bowdoin had almost every vote here, mr H-n k a few in Boston. Mr Bowdoin 765 mr H n k 13.15
Mr cranch and mr Tyler use'd all their interest to get mr S Adams chosen L Governer and he had 64 votes mr Cushing a few. The member for Braintree was very angry and said publickly, that the county in a Caucus had determin'd that mr Cushing, should be L Governer: and he was Sure that mr Bowdoin would not have a vote in Hampshire.16 You will have the Papers, they will Show you Some truths and Some Lyes. They have represented the senators of this county as meeting and determining who shall be chosen Senators for the comeing year. There is not the least foundation for the report. I never Saw Doctor Tufts more angry. He is determin'd to make the printers tell their author.17
M T has acted as moderator at the Town meetings for the year past and makes a very good one mr Cranch says.18 He keeps the people in good order. He has popolar Talents you know, and has great influence in our meetings. “Steady Friend, Steady” and your influence will increase.
{ 109 }
General Warren made interest for L Govr but it raisd a Hornets nest about his ears, they have abused him shamefully. I believe I never wrote so much Politicks in my life before. I have really felt interested in the choise of mr Bowdoin. He has fill'd his station with so much dignity and wisdom and given such proofs of his attention to the publick welfair that I could not bear to see him remov'd before he had time to execute his salutary Plans. No court Sycophant has fill'd the Papers with flattering Panegyrics upon his useful administration. His superior qualifications for the seat of goverment have been made publick only by the wisdom of his speeches and the usefulness of the Plans which he has lay'd before the court.
Lucy is writing to cousin Nabby,19 Betsy would if she knew of this oppertunity. I hope my dear Niece has spent an agreable winter and that the conscieucness of having done what she thought was right, has yealded her more delight than the indulgence of any Passion which her reason would not approve could have done. I want to know how you have spent your time my dear sister, and how your health has been. Is cousin Nabby learning musick. If she has any tast for it I wish she would. Nancy Quincy has been learning this winter to play upon a Harpsicord. I am told She has a good ear.
Your mother Hall and Brother Adams's Family are well. Boylstone continues his studys but whether he will go to college this year or not I do not know.20 Your Neighbours are well. Mrs Field has had her health very well this winter, mr John Feilds Family have mov'd beyond Luneeybourge.21
If there is any doubt in the British nation whether we populate fast or not, let them be inform'd that in the north Parish of Braintree only, there have been born within the last Week Seven children, and many more daily expected.
When I was writing a page or two back I told you that I thought g Palmers Family must move. They inform'd me yesterday that they had by means of another person taken Germantown another year. Another year they will have it to perplex them again. Doctor Simon Tufts is thought to be in a consumtion. Mrs Brooks is much better, and like to have her thirteenth child.22
Mr Wild has been upon the point of leaving his People for want of a support. They have had a counsel, and he stays upon a promise of a hundred a year paid quarterly. She lays in in June with her third child—a parsons blessing.23
{ 110 }
I have just heard that callahan will sail next Tousday. Mr Cranch will not have time to write by this vessel and I am affraid Doctor Tufts will not have his Letters ready and I know he wants to write largly. I am much dissapointed that I cannot get a Letter from you before I send away this. I think I must have some in the great Bundle mr King mentions.
There were several vessals cast away last sunday in the snow Storm. Several Dead Bodys have been taken up on the plymouth Shoar. It is not known where they came from, or who they were. I heard last week from sister Shaw and Family. They were all well. Cousin Thomas depends upon going to college next commencment. He will be fit I understand. I hope you will send me some Linnin for Your Sons. They want not a few Shirts among them all. We wash once a fortnight and tis sometimes a month before I can get, and have their Linnin return'd them. If cousin JQA and Charles should live together as they propose, there will be nothing wanting but a Bed &c which I shall send them. Cousin Thomas, will take his Brothers Furniture and his chum whoever he may be must find a Bed. I have a fine Barrel of cider to send our children as soon as the roads will let me. They are to Bottle it. It will Save abundance of wine. I have taken mr Adams Russet Gown for Cousin JQA, but the plad is laid up for Papa, and a crimson callamanco must supply its place. Young Folks do not love to be singular, and aunt is willing to indulge them in every thing that is reasonable. I wish to keep you inform'd of every thing I do with regard to them. I keep an account of every thing we take from your House for them. Next wednesday they are to come home for the Spring vacancy and to be fitted up for the summer, I have ingag'd miss Nabby Marsh to come to help me.
I write many things which appear to me not worthy your attention, but yet if you were not inform'd of them, you would loose all knowledge of your neighbourhood and acquaintance. Were I to copy what I write I should leave one half out. Tell me my Sister if I am too particular I will not trouble you again if you think so. I have receiv'd Letters from Betsy almost every week since She went to haverhill. She has had a gay winter of it excepting the former part of it. Mrs Duncans death24 suspended for a little while their amusements.
There are some parts of this letter I must leave intirely to your prudence whether to cummunicate to any creature or not—I sometimes am sorry that I have written Some things which I have. There { 111 } is a great difference between saying and writing a thing. I have often been at a <great> loss to know what I ought to do. Life is uncertain. I can never tell whose hands my Letters directed to you might fall into. I would not injure. I would not wound any body.
I have written by cushing Young Lyde and Davis since I have receiv'd any Letters to inform me of their arrival. I hope they are all safe. The ceres was cast away I hear. Somebody told that a Gentleman had Letters abourd for your Family. When a man writes so seldom he should send Duplicates.25 Mr Cranch desires me to give his very particular Love to you, and tell you that he longs to talk Politicks with you again by our, and your Fire side. Oh my Sister when will these happy times return. Many has been the time this winter when We had after dinner brush'd our room and rekindled our fire that Lucy and I have said: “now let us look for aunt adams and Cousin” but alass alass, we look'd in vain. Yrs affectionately
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch March 22. 1786.”
1. The First Church of Weymouth had gone without a pastor since the death of William Smith in 1783. Over the years, various men had preached there temporarily, and the parish had called first Samuel Shuttlesworth of Dedham, then Asa Packard of Bridgewater, then Israel Evans to the position. All eventually declined the post. Finally, in April 1787, Jacob Norton accepted the call (Gilbert Nash, comp., Historical Sketch of the Town of Weymouth, Weymouth, 1885, p. 103–104). The “Fool” may have been Adoniram Judson, who was probably the Mr. Judson invited to preach at Weymouth in the summer of 1785 (MHi: First Church [Weymouth] Records; Spague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 2:22–23).
2. A character in Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, known for his benevolence, courage, gallantry, grace, and modesty (E. Cobham Brewer, The Reader's Handbook, rev. edn., London, 1902).
3. Charles Warren, who suffered from tuberculois, died near Cadiz, Spain, on 30 Nov. 1785 (Rosemarie Zagarri, A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution, Wheeling, Ill., 1995, p. 114; Massachusetts Centinel, 25 March).
4. John Codman Jr. (1755–1803) initially had a mercantile partnership with AA's cousin William Smith and later went into business with his brother Richard (Cora C. Wolcott, The Codmans of Charlestown and Boston, Brookline, Mass., 1930, p. 13–14, 20). Codman successfully pursued his suit against Winslow Warren and was awarded £100 damages by the court in 1787 (M-Ar: Supreme Judicial Court, Minute Books, Suffolk, Feb. term, 1787).
5. Rev. Charles Chauncy, pastor of the First Church, Boston, owned a home west of the Vassall-Borland property on present-day Adams Street in Quincy (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 237, 579).
6. Gaius Thayer was a Braintree constable (Braintree Town Records, p. 560).
7. Gen. Joseph Palmer became heavily indebted to John Hancock in 1778 when he invested in real estate in Pomfret, Conn., that had been mortgaged to Hancock. See Palmer to Robert Treat Paine, 14 Dec. 1781 and enclosures (MHi: Robert Treat Paine Papers).
Possibly Grizzell Apthorp (1709–1796), the widow of Boston merchant Charles Apthorp (1698–1758) and mother of James Apthorp of Braintree (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 253, 623; John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American, 3 vols., Boston, 1878, 1:519–520).
8. Robert Garland Cranch, the nephew of Richard Cranch, emigrated from England in 1768 and opened a sadlery shop adjoining Richard Cranch's home and watchmaking shop on Hanover Street in Boston. R. G. Cranch left Boston when the British Army occupied the town, leaving behind and sub• { 112 } sequently losing the majority of his property. This loss combined with the death of his wife, Mary Clemmens, in Jan. 1779, evidently left Cranch mentally unstable. He was committed to the poor house in Nov. 1779, from which he ran away four months later, and his brother Joseph was temporarily made his guardian. Thereafter Cranch's employment and drinking habits were erratic. In March 1786, Richard Cranch arranged for Robert to work in Rehoboth, Mass., for the son of Ephraim Starkweather who was engaged in the chaise-making business. Starkweather ultimately was unable to employ Cranch, but in May the latter found a temporary position with John Sebring, a Providence, R.I., sadler. (Christopher Cranch to Richard Cranch, 23 May 1768, Richard Cranch to Mary Smith Cranch, 28 Jan. 1779, Joseph Cranch to Thomas Cushing, 9 June 1780, all MHi: Cranch Family Papers; Boston Evening Post, 27 March 1769; Boston, 30th Report, p. 72; MHi: Boston Overseers of the Poor Records, 1733–1925; Starkweather to Richard Cranch, 13 March and 9 May, Richard Cranch to Ephraim Starkweather, 20 March, Robert Garland Cranch to Richard Cranch, 20 May, all MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers).
9. William Smith Jr.
10. Not found.
11. For the last will and testament of Rev. William Smith and the value of his estate as divided among his heirs, see vol. 5:245–249, and note 3.
12. A little more than three lines of text are heavily crossed out here.
13. Louisa Catharine and William Smith were the children of AA's brother. Louisa had visited James Russell, a superior court justice prior to the Revolution and friend of Rev. William Smith. Russell lived for a time at his son's home in Lincoln, Mass., and had recently rebuilt his Charlestown, Mass., home which was destroyed during the Battle of Bunker Hill (vol. 5:227, 229; 6:446–447). Louisa's younger brother Billy, age eleven, lodged with Catherine Willard in Lancaster and probably worked for Joseph Wales, who served as town clerk of Lancaster (1791–1794) and married Elizabeth Willard in Jan. 1794 (Henry S. Nourse, ed., The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster Massachusetts. 1643–1850, Lancaster, 1890, p. 6, 195, 333, 361, 373, 406, 443).
14. These included JA's letters of 12 Dec. 1785 to Richard Cranch (LbC, Adams Papers), James Warren (MB), and Mercy Otis Warren (MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.). Letters from the Adamses to William Gordon and John Coffin Jones have not been identified.
15. James Bowdoin received 6,001 of the 8,231 votes cast in the gubernatorial election. Braintree cast 41 votes for Bowdoin and none for any opponent. Mary Cranch reports the election results in Boston (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, May sess., ante ch. 1; Braintree Town Records, p. 564; Massachusetts Centinel, 5 April 1786).
16. Thomas Cushing was reelected lieutenant governor with 5,651 of 7,429 votes cast. In Braintree, Samuel Adams received 62 votes for lieutenant governor, Thomas Cushing 20, and James Warren 6 (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, May sess., ante ch. 1; Braintree Town Records, p. 564). Bowdoin actually received 65 percent of the votes in Hampshire County (Van Beck Hall, Politics without Parties: Massachusetts, 1780–1791, Pittsburgh, 1972, p. 197).
17. The Massachusetts Centinel reported “that certain members of the late Senate and house” had composed a list of the “most proper persons” to be senators of Suffolk County in the coming year. The group recommended John Lowell, William Phillips, Cotton Tufts, and Stephen Metcalf as certain, and William Heath, Jabez Fisher, and Richard Cranch as doubtful. The Centinel labeled the act an infringement on the freedom of elections (29 March 1786).
18. Royall Tyler was first chosen to be moderator of the Braintree town meeting at its 19 Sept. 1785 session (Braintree Town Records, p. 558).
19. Not found.
20. Boylston Adams (1771–1829), the son of JA's brother Peter Boylston Adams, did not attend Harvard.
21. Probably Lunenburg, Mass.
22. Mercy Tufts Brooks of Medford, Cotton Tufts' sister and AA's cousin. Her son Edward was born 18 June (Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, 2 vols. in 1, Boston, 1855, p. 725–726).
23. Rev. Ezra Weld, Yale 1759, minister of Braintree's Second Parish since 1762 (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 286). Weld married Abigail Greenleaf of Boston in 1779; it was the minister's third marriage (Braintree Town Records, p. 862, 879, 882).
{ 113 }
24. Elizabeth Leonard Duncan had shown evidence of mental instability for several months. On the evening of 9 Nov. 1785 she took her own life by drowning in the Merrimack River. Duncan was the aunt of Peggy White, Betsy Cranch's friend and host in Haverhill (JQA, Diary, 1:354).
25. There is no evidence that Royall Tyler sent letters by the Ceres (see AA to Mary Smith Cranch 26 Jan., note 1, above).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0032

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Charles
Date: 1786-03-23

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] Dear Charles

Your kind Letter of []1 came to hand by captain Lyde. I had chid you for not writing by way of Newyork, as you could not but suppose we were anxious for your safety. I constantly inquired what vessels were arrived, and Had the pleasure of hearing that Captain Stout was safe a month before your Letter came. I suppose you thought you would be very particular, yet mark, you never told me how the children behaved at sea, nor who was the best Nurse, nor how Mrs Atkinson stood the voyage,2 nor whether your cold was troublesome, and all that. You were so rejoiced that you had got once more to dear Boston that what was past, was all vision. Well, well I excuse you, only next time do better, and tell me what you have been doing since your return. Are you studying divinity as you talkd? Or are you planning schemes for merchandize. The Youth of our Country must turn their minds to Agriculture, to Manufactories, and endeavour to benifit their Country in that way. There is vast scope for them. I am glad to learn from you that Luxery is in some measure retrenchd, necessity itself may carry virtue in its train, I want to come home and live amongst you, for with all your faults I love you better than any other people. Good Dr Price gave us a discourse last sunday upon the Jew and Samaratin, and with his usual Phylanthropy told us, that, all mankind were our Neighbours, and every Being who was in distress, of whatever Country, or Religion, was our Brother, and demanded from us our aid, and assistance. It is impossible to hear this good Man without having our Hearts and minds enlarged. It was virtue more than consanguinity that clamed our preferable regard. Now upon this principal I believe I ought to love my Countrymen best, as I really think them possest of a larger portion of virtue than any other Nation, I am acquainted with, and my wish is that they had still more, and wisdom enough added to it, to convince them of a necessity of a union of counsels and conduct with regard to their publick measures. In vain will they call for commercial Treaties, in vain will they look for respect in Europe, in vain will they hope for Peace with the { 114 } Barbery states, whilst their own citizens discover a jealousy of Congress and a reluctance at enlargeing their powers, a fear even to trust them with commercial arrangments.
Age and experience should teach wisdom and if the Beardless youths whom some of the states send to judge of elegant diction and well turnd periods, are only competant to com'as and points, why let them not be rob'd of their mite, but sent as preceptors to instruct the rising generation but let not the science of politicks, and the interest of Nations be quibled out of countanance by these Butterflies of yesterday. What but a pidling genious would think of quarrelling with words? Tell them I despise them—I have however given the hint to the person for whom it was designd, and in future he will endeavour to leave out the monosyllable I as much as possible. A parcel of Blockheads said he, let them send me a private Secretary then. You know the drugery too well, and have unrewarded done your share.3 The writing which this negotiation takes up is incredible, altho nothing Scarcly appears to come of it. Amelia too, has her portion of private Letter-copying,4 at which she scolds sometimes. Politicks you know she pretends to hate, but I do not find however that she dislikes the Gentleman in the politician.
As to the other confidential matter you communicated, I can only say that if the Gentleman is ungenerous enough, either to copy the letters, or to detain any of them, it can only be to his own mortification, when he reflects that through his own imprudence and missconduct, he has forfeited the Esteem of a family who were disposed to have owned him as a member of it, and the affection of a Lady who would have studied to have made him happy, but each of the Parties have much more agreeable prospects before them now. Let it not surprize you when I tell you that your Young Friend is under engagements, and to a Gentleman of unblemishd reputation, an amiable Character irreproachable honour and approved integrity. You will be at no loss to determine that col S. is the person described, and as the matter is agreed upon by all parties, I have no desire to keep it a secreet, more especially as I Suspect matrimony is very soon the object of the Gentleman. I think he is in full haste enough, and I tell him so, but he says in replie, what is there to hinder? Nay consider sir—it is but a few months since you made a declaration of this kind–“yes Madam thats true, but you were no stranger to the sentiments of my mind or the situation of my Heart, when I found it necessary for my own Peace—to ask leave of absence. The Situation of the Lady is different now, and what was { 115 } formerly an impediment exists no longer, pray my good Madam, persuade yourself of the propriety of a speedy union.” I believe a soldier is always more expeditious in his courtships than other Men, they know better how to Capture the citidal.
As to the Gentlemans asking no questions respecting the family, I do not wonder at that. He could not but feel dissagreeably, and could not have said any thing to you, who he had reason to think, knew all the circumstances. He will have too much pride to shew his dissapointment. I am rejoiced that his conduct can no longer give me the pain which it has done, for a long time. I will bid him adieu I wish him no evil.
The treaty with Portugal is just concluding, mr Jefferson is here and will sign it before he quits London. I wish I could say as much with respect to this Country. As to the Posts, they will be held till the states repeal those laws which prevent the course of Justice. And perhaps the states will say, that they will not repeal the Laws untill the posts are given up.5 The Question then is, who shall first do right? Congress are made acquainted with all that has been done or said upon the Matter, tho I know not whether it has yet reachd them. There is an other matter before them, which demands wise Heads. I mean the terms upon which the Barbary powers will make peace. This knowledge has been obtaind through the Tripoline Minister who is now at this Court. He has full powers to make treaties, and is perpetual Ambassador, a good kind of Man. Mr A visited him, smoakd in his long pipe and took coffe with him. He had two Secretaries who were not permitted to set in his presence, and he is very cautious to keep from this Court any knowledge of conferences with the united States.
These two last matters you will be Mum upon; as it is best to be silent yet. My best regards to your Pappa Mamma sisters and Brothers, &c. &c. Be assured that the shortness of my paper curtails my pen and obliges me to subscribe my self your Friend
[signed] AA
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “23d. March. 1786.”
1. Blank in MS; the letter is that of 21 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:497–498).
2. Charles Storer, his sister Elizabeth Storer Atkinson, and her family sailed from London in September and arrived in New York on 8 Nov. 1785 aboard the Triumph, Capt. Stout (vol. 6:208 , 365, 369, 458; New York Packet, 10 Nov. 1785). English merchant John Atkinson, who married Elizabeth Storer in 1773, had sailed from Boston with his family of four in March 1776 (Boston, 30th Report, p. 331; James H. Stark, The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution, Boston, 1910, p. 133).
3. Storer acted as JA's secretary in Aug. and Sept. 1785, following WSS's departure for Prussia to see the military review of Frederick the Great's troops (vol. 6:260, 343, 365).
4. AA2 also aided JA with secretarial tasks during WSS's absence from Aug. to Dec. { 116 } 1785 (vol. 6:407, 471 ).
5. In response to JA's memorial of 30 Nov., Lord Carmarthen stated that Great Britain would not relinquish the frontier posts until U.S. states removed restrictions inhibiting British creditors from collecting American debts (Carmarthen to JA, 28 Feb., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0033

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1786-03-23

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

I came yesterday as far as Boston with Sister Lucy, who is employ'd in fixing me off: I came here in the afternoon finally to settle.1 Your Brother goe to Boston this morning, and I have but a few minutes to write. All at Braintree are well, [Mr. Tyler's?] Windmill is to be raised this day. There's another thing, that you would never let me know. I have got a number of articles of impeachment, which you are to answer next Court. How do all the good folks at Haverhill? Present my best respects to Uncle and Aunt Shaw; I would write to Madam, but have not Time at present. Remember me to all friends, but especially to Mr: White's family, for whose many kindnesses to me, while I was at Haverhill, I shall ever retain the most grateful remembrance. Your's
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch. Haverhill.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Lucy Cranch helped her cousin purchase furniture to outfit his room at Harvard (JQA, Diary, 2:5).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0034

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1786-03-24

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

In yours of the 10th. of Novr.1 you desire me to give you the Connection between the Premises and conclusion, when I said that the Navigation act would compell all the other states to imitate it.2 If they do not the Massachusetts will soon get so much of their carrying Trade as will richly compensate her for any present Inconvenience.
I take it for granted that the United States will make peace with the States of Barbary altho' it may cost them two or three hundred thousand Pounds that the fears of our Sailors and Premiums of Insurance may not make a difference between our Navigation and European Navigations.
I take it for granted too, that the New England States, and such other as come into the same measure and even that New Hamp• { 117 } shire and Massachusetts if they should be alone, will take care that their Laws shall not be eluded by carrying their Produce to other states to be exported in European Bottoms.
These postulates being premised, I am of opinion the Massachusetts can build Ships and carry the produce of the southern States to markett, cheaper than the English can do it, or french, or any other Nation.
I know it is the opinion of some, that the Britons especially from the Northern and Western Parts of their Island, can sail their ships as cheap as we can, but this opinion I think is ill founded, and will appear so more clearly now, than it did before the late War for two reasons, one is the increase of taxes in Britain the other, that they do not now purchase our ready built ships, but must build them at home at a much dearer rate. I may now add, it is impossible for the English to furnish ships for the exportation of the Southern States, who will be obliged to make navigation acts to encourage their own shipping, or to hire ours which will increase the Ballance against them too much in our favour.
Let it be considered further, that if we can purchase raw sugars in France with our Oil, refine them in Boston and then send them to Petersburgh to purchase Hemp and Duck, Navigation will support our oil trade and that our Navigation.
If any thing can prevent this conclusion it must be the want of Industry, and the Excess of luxury in our Merchants and others. But if Luxury and Idleness are more prevalent in the Massachusetts, than in England at present, they will not be so long, for the unbounded Credit which gave rise to it, is at an End. Yours
[signed] J. A.
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers.)
2. In an effort to stimulate the state and national economy, Massachusetts, on 23 June 1785, passed a navigation act prohibiting British vessels from carrying Massachusetts exports, levying higher duties on imports transported by foreign vessels than those on American ships, and restricting entry of foreign bottoms carrying imports to three Massachusetts ports—Boston, Falmouth (later Portland, Maine), and Dartmouth (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1785, May sess., ch. 8).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0035

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-03-29

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] Dear Madam

I should, certainly have written before this, at least to show how gratefull a Sense, I retain, of the numerous obligations, I was under { 118 } both to my Uncle, and Aunt, while I was at Haverhill. But what with going to Braintree, and what with having been since I [ca]me here, much more closely engaged, than I shall be for the future, my [in]tention till now has failed. About 10 this morning, the man got here with my Trunks,1 very à propos, as I began, to be quite scanty for clean Linen. Every thing is as safe, and free from damage, as I could wish. I thank you, my dear Aunt, for your Congratulations.2 It was a very fortunate Circumstance, that I obtained so good a Chamber, so near my friends, and with a Gentleman, whose Character is much esteemed and respected universally through College.
My articles of impeachment, will never I believe have any fatal Consequences. Indeed when I found what was going forward at Braintree, I was so highly diverted, that I almost wished I had known it before: but I never doubted but my Cousin, had very good Reasons, for not letting me know it. I do not know by what association of Ideas, I never can think of a Wind-mill, but what Don Quixote, comes into my mind. He used to fight Wind-mills, and if his Head, had not run so much upon fighting, perhaps he might have built them. There is no great difference, between the two projects.
The man, returns so soon, that I have not Time, to say, any more: by the next Post I intend to write to my Cousin, and shall be able to be more particular.

[salute] Your obliged Nephew, & very humble Servant.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (ICN: Herbert R. Strauss Collection); addressed: “Mrs: E. Shaw. Haverhill”; docketed: “March 29 1786.” Some loss of text at a tear.
1. In JQA's Diary this arrival occurs on 30 March (Diary, 2:11).
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0036

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-04-01

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

What shall I say to my sister? Indeed, I am quite at a loss. I spend much more time in thinking what I shall say to you than I do in writing. I find here continually the sameness which I complained of at Haverhill. To give an account of one day, would give one of a month. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, every minute of our time is taken up. The rest of the week, any person that chooses may loiter away doing nothing. But a person fond of studying will never want for employment. Now, for the want of some thing better to say, { 119 } you shall have a long detail of the distribution of our time at present. One week we recite to Mr. James, the Latin tutor. The next to Mr. Read, in Euclid. The third to Mr. Jennison, in Greek; and the fourth to Mr. Hale, in Locke.1 Then begin again. Monday morning at six, bell for prayers; from thence reciting; half after seven, breakfast; at nine, go to Mr. Williams', upon practical geometry; at eleven, a lecture upon natural philosophy; half after twelve, dinner, and reciting again; five, prayers. Tuesday, instead of practical geometry, at nine, it is a lecture from the Hebrew professor; at two in the afternoon, a lecture from the professor of divinity.2 Wednesday, at nine, another lecture upon divinity; at eleven, lecture on philosophy; two, afternoon, lecture on astronomy. Thursday, reciting in the morning. Friday, nothing but a lecture on philosophy. Saturday, reciting in the morning to Mr. Read, in Doddridge's Lectures on Divinity, a pretty silly book, which I wonder to find among the books studied here.3 So we go on from day to day, and if there is once a week an episode, such as going to Boston, or dining out, this is the greatest show of variety that I can make. Now where, from this story, can I possibly find materials for letters? If I had the art of writing half-a-dozen pages upon nothing, at least I should be enabled to fulfil my engagements with you. But I scarcely know what to say when a continued variety of scenes was rising before me; much less can I now that, like a horse in a mill, I am going continually the same round.
We had a very uncommon month of March, fine weather almost all the month; but the first day of this, at about noon, it began to snow, and for twenty-six hours it stormed with great violence. In some places there was more than five feet of snow.
The senior class have had, this forenoon, a forensic disputation upon the question whether a democratical form of government was the best. It went through the class—one supporting that democracy was the best of all governments, and the next that it was the worst. This is one of the excellent institutions of this University, and is attended with many great advantages.
Yesterday was fast day. We had two sermons from the president, who bewailed a great many things. He labors a great deal in preaching, shows much good sense, but no eloquence.4
{ 120 }
This forenoon, just as I was going to the lecture upon experimental philosophy, Mr. Storer gave me a letter, upon which I saw your superscription—it contained your account till the ninth of December.5 But only think how I was tantalized. I was obliged, before I could read a line in your letter, to go in and listen for almost an hour and a half, to projectile motion and the central forces. At any other time Mr. Williams would have entertained me very much; but now I lost half the lecture, and was so impatient that every minute seemed ten. As soon as I came out I did not wait to get to my chamber, but walked there reading as I went. It was almost four months since I had received a line from you, and if ever expectation made the blessing dear, I had that to perfection. I have received all your letters except No. 2, which was the first you wrote me from England. Of that I never heard a word but what you wrote me.6
I dined this day at Mr. Tracy's. He has been here ever since he returned from Europe, but intends to go to Newbury in May.7 Our company was Mr. Molyneux, Mr. Price, Mr. Moses [Mores], an Englishman, H. Otis, C. Storer, and Dr. Cutting.8 Were you ever in company with two professed wits? I don't know that I was ever more diverted with such a circumstance, than this day. Dr. Cutting and Mr. Hughes were very smart upon each other, and let fly their bonmots as fast as they could pass; and they appeared both to be as sensible of their wit as any body present. Mr. Price you remember. He proposes coming and settling in Boston. He, you know, is quite solid. Mr. Molyneux appears to be quite a gentleman. You know, from the first appearance of a gentleman, that nothing is perceived that can be taken notice of. I believe that every person has something in his character peculiar to himself. But as these peculiarities are, most commonly, disagreeable, the gentleman endeavors, as much as possible, to be free from them, and so far succeeds that an intimate acquaintance with him is necessary to perceive them.
The spring vacancy begins tomorrow. We had horses sent for us this day; and this afternoon we came. We had an exhibition this morning; there are three every year. You have doubtless heard of them, probably been present at one. We had an English, a Latin, a Greek and an Hebrew oration; a syllogistic and a forensic disputation; an English dialogue; and last of all, some vocal and instrumen• { 121 } tal music. There are none of the exhibitors that you know, except your cousin Cranch, who spoke the Greek oration.9 We came home in company with Beale, one of my classmates, who belongs to Braintree. About thirty years since, your father taught navigation to his father.10
In the course of the next quarter, I shall attempt to give you my opinion of the different members of our government. I shall write as freely as I think, and if you should find me too saucy in speaking of my superiors, at least you will have my real sentiments, unterrified by authority, and unabridged by prejudice.
Yesterday we went down to Germantown and spent the day. The —family11 are pretty well, but their spirits are broken by adversity—their misfortunes seem to come upon them in a rapid succession. The first, the greatest of the general's misfortunes was a vast ambition, which deprived him of the substance by inducing him to grasp at the shadow. Mr. Cranch came home from Boston, and brought a large parcel of English newspapers, and a short note from mamma.12 All are complaining here that you write no oftener, except myself. I have had such proofs of your punctuality, that although I was near four months without having a line from you, yet I did not suffer myself to doubt a minute of your exactness. Captain Cushing is expected hourly, and I hope to have another continuation of your journal. You ask me to find “fault with the length of your letters,” indeed, my dear sister, there is not a line, in any of your letters, that I could spare, and if I complain at all it is that they are not as long again. I have been quite out of humor with your colonel on that account, as I supposed it took so much of your time to serve as secretary, that my letters were considerably shortened; but now he has returned, you will have much more leisure, and I hope I shall profit by it, (as the Dutchman says.)
This afternoon, in the midst of the rain, who should come in but Eliza,13 who, in the beginning of October last, went to spend six weeks at Haverhill, which have been spun out to seven months. There was talking all together, the eyes of one glistened and the face of another looked bright, and all were happy—such scenes as these might cure the spleen of a misanthropist—the word is not English, but that is nothing to the purpose.
{ 122 }
Mr. I. was married in the winter at New-York to Miss T. This is another victory of the ladies over the old bachelors.14 Mr. R. was married three weeks ago to Miss A.15 I have mentioned her in a former letter. I was surprised very much when I first heard this, but £20,000 sterling will cover almost as great a number of faults as charity.
I shall write to both our parents by this opportunity, and have therefore only to subscribe myself yours.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:99–105.)
1. Timothy Lindall Jennison, Harvard 1782, Greek tutor 1785–1788, and John Hale, Harvard 1779, tutor of metaphysics 1781–1786 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; JQA, Diary, 2:1, 28).
2. Eliphalet Pearson, Harvard's Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages, 1786–1806, and Edward Wigglesworth, Hollis Professor of Divinity, 1765–1791 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
3. Philip Doddridge, A Course of Lectures on the Principal Subjects in Pneumatology, Ethics and Divinity, London, 1763.
4. JQA comments at greater length on Joseph Willard's sermons and his delivery in his Diary (Diary, 2:14–15).
5. That of 5[–9] Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:478–483).
6. In addition, letters numbered 1, 3, and 4, written in May and June 1785, have not been found.
7. Nathaniel Tracy, a Newburyport merchant and ship owner, owned the Vassall-Longfellow house in Cambridge. He lost that home in 1786 when he declared bankruptcy but retained residences in Newbury and Newburyport. (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:249–250).
8. Dr. John Brown Cutting (1755–1831) of New York was formerly the apothecary of the eastern and middle hospital departments of the Continental Army, 1777–1780. He first studied law with John Lowell in Boston in 1783, then continued his studies in London in 1786–1787. He became an important correspondent of both JA and Jefferson in the 1790s (Heitman, Register Continental Army; Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 14:460).
9. JQA describes the “exhibition” in greater detail in this day's Diary entry (Diary, 2:16).
10. Benjamin Beale, Harvard 1787, was the son of Capt. Benjamin Beale, a Braintree merchant who married and resided for several years in England. Capt. Beale and his family moved from the Squantum district of Braintree in 1792 to a new home he constructed adjacent to the Adams Old House. The Beale estate was purchased by the National Park Service in the 1970s and forms part of the Adams National Historical Park (vol. 5:421–422, note 4; JQA, Diary, 2:166–167; Boston Globe, 26 April 2001, p. H1).
11. Gen. Joseph and Mary Cranch Palmer.
12. AA to Richard Cranch, 23 Dec. 1785, not found; see Cranch to AA, 13 April, below.
13. Elizabeth Cranch.
14. Undoubtedly a reference to Elbridge Gerry's marriage to Ann Thompson of New York on 12 January. Gerry was 41 years old and Thompson only 20 (DAB; Billias, Elbridge Gerry, p. 147).
15. JQA may have intended to write “Mr. R. K.” See Charles Storer to AA, 13 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0037

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1786-04-02

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Neice

I think my dear Betsy that some Letter of yours must have faild, as I have none of a later date, than that which you sent me from Haverhill by mr Wilson, by which I find that you are studying Musick with Miss White.1 This is an accomplishment much in vogue in { 123 } this Country, and I know of no other civilized Country which stands in so much need of harmonizing as this. That ancient Hospitality for which it was once so celebrated, seems to have degenerated into mere ceremony. They have exchanged their Humanity for ferocity and their civility, for, for; fill up the blank, you can not give it too rough a name.
I believe I once promised to give you an account of that Kind of visiting call'd “Ladies Route.” There are two kinds, one where a Lady sets apart a particular day in the week to see Company, these are held only 5 months in the Year it being quite out of fashion to be seen in London during the summer. When a Lady returns from the Country she goes round and leaves a Card with all her acquaintance, and then sends them an invitation to attend her Routes during the season. The other kind are where a Lady sends to you for certain Evenings and their Cards are always addrest in their own names both to Gentlemen and Ladies. Their Rooms are all set open and card tables set in each Room. The Lady of the House receives her company at the door of the drawing Room, where a set number of Curtizes are given; and received, with as much order, as is necessary for a soldier who goes through the different Evolutions of his excercise. The visotor then proceeds into the Room without appearing to notice any other person and takes her Seat at the Card table.

“Nor can the Muse her aid impart

unskild in all the terms of art

Nor in harmonious Numbers put

the deal the shuffle and the cut

Go Tom and light the Ladies up

It must be one before we Sup.”2

At these Parties it is usual for each Lady to play a rubber as it is termd, where you must lose or win a few Guineas; to give each a fair Chance, the Lady then rises and gives her seat to an other set. It is no unusual thing to have your Rooms so crouded that not more than half the company can sit at once, Yet this is calld Society and Polite Life. They treat their company with Coffe tea Lemonade orgee3 and cake. I know of but one agreeable circumstance attending these parties which is that you may go away when you please without disturbing any body. I was early in the winter invited to Madam de Pintos the Portegeeze Ministers. I went accordingly, there were about 200 persons present. I knew not a single Lady but by sight, having met them at Court, and it is an establishd rule tho you was { 124 } to meet as often as 3 Nights in the Week, never to speak together or know each other unless particularly introduced. I was however at no loss for conversation, Madam de Pinto being very polite, and the foreign ministers being the most of them present, who had dinned with us and to whom I had been early introduced. It being Sunday evening I declined playing at Cards. Indeed I always get excused when I can.

“Heaven forbid, I should catch the manners living as they rise”4

Yet I must Submit to a Party or two of this kind. Having attended Several, I must return the compliment in the same way.
Yesterday we dinned at mr Paridices. I refer you to mr Storer for an account of this family. Mr Jefferson, col. Smith, the Prussian and Venitian Ministers were of the company, and several other persons who were strangers.5 At 8 oclock we returnd home in order to dress ourselves for the Ball, at the French Ambassadors to which we had received an invitation a fortnight before.6 He has been absent ever since our arrival here till 3 weeks ago. He has a levee every Sunday evening at which there are usually several hundred persons. The Hotel de France, is Beautifully situated, fronting St James park, one end of the House standing upon Hyde park. It is a most superb Building. About half past nine we went, and found some Company collected. Many very Brilliant Ladies of the first distinction were present. The Dancing commenced about 10, and the rooms soon filld. The Room which he had built for this purpose, is large enough for 5 or 6 hundred persons. It is most elegantly decorated, hung with a Gold tissue ornamented with 12 Brilliant cut Lustures, each containing 24 candles. At one end there are two large Arches, these were adornd with wreaths and bunches of Artificial flowers upon the walls; in the Alcoves were Cornicup loaded with oranges sweet meats &c coffe tea Lemonade orgee &c were taken here by every person who chose to go for it. There were coverd seats all round the room for those who did not chuse to dance. In the other Rooms card tables and a large Pharo table were Set. This is a New kind of game which is much practised here. Many of the company who did not dance retired here to amuse themselves. The whole Stile of the House and furniture is such as becomes the Ambassador from one of the first Monarchs in Europe. He had 20 thousand Guineas allowd him, in the first instance to furnish his House and an anual sallery of 10 thousand more. He has agreeably blended the { 125 } magnificence and splendour of France with the neatness and elegance of England. Your cousin had unfortunately taken a cold a few days before and was very unfit to go out. She appeard so unwell that about one we retird without staying Supper, the sight of which only I regreeted, as it was in a stile no doubt superiour to any thing I have seen. The Prince of Wales came about eleven oclock. Mrs Fitzherbet was also present, but I could not distinguish her. But who is this Lady methinks I hear you say? She is a Lady to whom against the Laws of the Realm the Prince of Wales is privately married, as is universally believed. She appears with him in all publick parties, and he avows his marriage where ever he dares. They have been the topick of conversation in all companies for a long time, and it is now said that a young Gorge may be expected in the Course of the Summer. She was a widow of about 32 years of age whom he a long time percecuted in order to get her upon his own terms, but finding he could not succeed, he quieted her conscience by Matrimony, which however valid in the Eye of Heaven, is set asside by the Law of the Land which forbids a Prince of the Blood to marry a subject.
As to dresses I believe I must leave them to describe to your sister.7 I am sorry I have nothing better to send you than a sash and a vandike ribbon, the narrow is to put round the Edge of a hat, or you may trim what ever you please with it. I have inclosed for you a Poem of col Humphriess. Some parts you will find perhaps, too high seasond. If I had observed it before publication, I know he would have alterd it.
When you write again tell me whether my fruit trees in the Garden bear fruit, and whether you raisd any flowers from the seed I sent you. O I long to be with you again, but my dear Girl, Your cousin, must I leave her behind me? Yes, it must be so, but then I leave her in Honorable Hands.

[salute] Adieu I have only room to Say Your affectionate

[signed] Aunt A A
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); endorsed: “Letter from Mrs A Adams to Miss Eliz Cranch, London Apl. 2 1786 (No. 9.).”
1. Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 9 Oct. 1785 (vol. 6:421–422).
2. Jonathan Swift, The Journal of a Modern Lady. In a Letter to a Person of Quality, London, 1729, lines 211–212, 219–222. AA reverses the order of lines from the original.
3. Probably orgeat, a cold syrup or beverage made from barley, almonds, or orange-flower water (OED).
4. Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, Epistle I, lines 13–16: “Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, / And catch the manners living as { 126 } they rise; / Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, / But vindicate the ways of God to man.”
5. Graf Spiridion von Lusi, Prussian minister plenipotentiary since 1781, and Gasparo Soderini, who presented his credentials as Venetian resident in February (Repertorium, 3:329, 464).
6. The invitation from Comte d'Adhémar to attend a supper dance on 30 March is at MQA.
7. To Lucy Cranch, 2 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0038

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-04-02

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

Your kind Letter2 my dear Neice was received with much pleasure, these tokens of Love and regard which I know flow from the Heart, always find their way to mine, and give me a satisfaction and pleasure, beyond any thing, which the ceremony and pomp of Courts and kingdoms can afford. The social affections are, and may be made the truest channels for our pleasures and comforts to flow through. Heaven form'd us, not for ourselves, but others; []and bade self Love and social be the Same.”3
Prehaps there is no Country where there is a fuller excercise of those virtues than ours at present exhibits, which is in a great measure oweing to the equal distribution of Property, the Small Number of inhabitants in proportion to its teritory, the equal distribution of justice to the Poor as well as the rich, to a Government founded in justice, and excercised with impartiality, and to a Religion which teaches peace and good will to man, to knowledge and learning being so easily acquired and so universally distributed, and to that sense of Moral obligation which generally inclines our countrymen; to do to others as they would that others should do to them. Prehaps you will think that I allow to them more than they deserve, but you will consider that I am only speaking comparitively. Humane nature is much the same in all Countries, but it is the Government the Laws and Religion, which forms the Character of a Nation. Where ever Luxery abounds, there you will find corruption and degeneracy of manners. Wretches that we are thus to misuse the Bounties of Providence, to forget the hand that blesses us and even deny the source from whence we derived our being.
But I grow too serious, to amuse you then, my dear Neice I will give an account of the dress of the Ladies at the Ball of the Comte D'adhémar. As your cousin tells me that she sometime ago gave you a history of the Birth day and Ball at court,4 this may serve as a counter part, tho should I attempt to Compare the Appartments; Saint James's would fall as much short of the French Ambassadors; { 127 } as the Court of his Britanick Majesty does; of the splendour and magnificence of his most Christian Majesty. I am Sure I never saw an assembly Room in America which did not exceed that at St James, in point of Elegance and decoration, and as to its fair visitors, not all their blaze of diamonds, Set of with Parissian Rouge, Can match the blooming Health, the Sparkling Eye and modest deportment of the dear Girls of my native land. As to the dancing the space they had to move in, gave them no opportunity to display the Grace of a minuet, and the full dress of long court trains and enormous hoops, you well know were not favourable for Country dances, so that I saw them at every disadvantage. Not so the other evening they were much more properly clad. Silk waists Gauze or White or painted tiffiny coats decorated with ribbon Beads or flowers as fancy directed, were Chiefly worn by the Young Ladies. Hats turnd up at the side with diamond loops and buttons, or steel, large bows of ribbons and wreaths of flowers display'd themselves to much advantage upon the Heads of some of the prettyest Girls England can boast. The light from the Lustures is more favourable to Beauty than day light and the coulour acquir'd by dancing more becomeing than Rouge. As fancy dresses are more favourable to Youth, than the formality of an uniform, there was as great a variety of pretty dresses borrowd wholy from France as I have ever seen, and amongst the rest some with Saphire blew Sattin waists spangled with Silver and laced down the back and Seams with silver stripes, white sattin peticoats trimd with black and blew velvet ribbon, an odd kind of Headdress which they term the Helmet of minirva. I did not observe the Bird of wisdom5 however, nor do I know whether those who wore the dress, had suiteable pretensions to it. And pray say you how was my Aunt and cousin drest. If it will gratify you to know, you shall hear. Your Aunt then wore her full drest court cap, without the Lappets, in which was a wreath of white flowers and blew sheafs, 2 black and blew flat feathers (which cost her half a Guiney a peice but that you need not tell of) 3 pearl pins bought for Court and a pr of pearl Earings, the cost of them—no matter what—less than diamonds however.
A saphire blew demisaison with a Sattin stripe, Sack and peticoat, trimd with a broad black lace; Crape flounce &c leaves made of blew ribbon and trimd with white flose wreaths of black velvet ribbon Spotted with steel beads, which are much in fashion and brought to such perfection as to resemble diamonds, white ribbon also in the vandike stile made up the trimming which lookd very { 128 } Elegant, a full dress handkerchief and a Boquet of roses. Full Gay I think for my Aunt—thats true Lucy, but nobody is old in Europe. I was seated next to the Dutchess of Bedford6 who had a Scarlet Sattin sack and coat, with a cushing full of Diamonds, for hair she has none and is but 76 neither. Well now for your cousin, a small white Leghorn Hat bound with pink Sattin ribbon a steel buckle and band which turnd up at the side and confined a large pink bow, large bow of the same kind of ribbon behind, a wreath of full blown roses round the Crown, and an other of buds and roses withinside the Hat which being placed at the back of the Hair brought the roses to the Edge. You see it clearly 1 red and black feather with 2 white ones compleated the Head dress. A Gown and coat of chamberry Gauze with a red sattin stripe, over a pink waist and coat, flounced with crape trimmed with broad point and pink ribbon, wreaths of roses across the coat Gauze Sleaves and ruffels. But the poor Girl was so Sick of a cold that she could not enjoy herself, and we retir'd about one oclock without Waiting supper by which you have lost half a sheet of paper I dare say. But I cannot close without describing to you Lady North and her daughter.7 She is as large as Captain Clarks wife and much such a made woman, with a much fuller face, of the coulour and complexion of mrs cook who formerly lived with your uncle Palmer, and looks as if Porter and Beaf stood no chance before her. Add to this, that it is coverd with large red pimples over which to help the natural redness, a coat of Rouge is spread, and to assist her shape, she was drest in white sattin trimd with Scarlet ribbon. Miss North is not so large nor quite So red, but a very small Eye with the most impudent face you can possibly form an Idea of, joined to manners so Masculine that I was obliged frequently to recollect that line of Dr Youngs—

“Believe her dress; shes not a Grenidier”8

to persuade myself that I was not mistaken.
Thus my dear Girl you have an account which prehaps may amuse you a little. You must excuse my not copying I fear now I shall not get near all my Letters ready—my pen very bad as you see—and I am engaged 3 days this week, to a Route at the Baroness de Nolkings the sweedish ministers;9 to a Ball on thursday evening and to a dinner on saturday. Do not fear that your Aunt will become dissapated or in Love with European manners, but as opportunity offers, I wish to See this European World in all its forms, that I can with decency. I still moralize with Yorick or with one more experi• { 129 } encied, and say Vanity of vanities—all is vanity.10 Adieu & believe me sincerely Yours
[signed] AA
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. The second “London” appears to have been written at a different time from the rest of the dateline, perhaps when AA finished the letter.
2. Of 8 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:484–485).
3. Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, Epistle III, line 318.
4. AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 20 Feb. (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
5. The owl is commonly associated with Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom.
6. Gertrude Russell, dowager duchess of Bedford, whose late husband John Russell, 4th duke of Bedford, was lord president of the privy council from 1764 to 1765 (DNB).
7. Lady Anne Speke North, wife of Frederick, Lord North, the former first lord of the treasury and prime minister. The Norths had three daughters: Catherine Anne (b. 1760), Anne (b. 1764), and Charlotte (b. 1770) (DNB).
8. Edward Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. Satire V. On Women, London, 1727, line 464.
9. Gustaf Adam, Baron von Nolcken, the Swedish envoy (Repertorium, 3:409).
10. Ecclesiastes, 1:2.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0039

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-02

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

After having suffered so long an interval of Time to pass, since I wrote you last,2 it is absolutely necessary, for my own justification, to give you, an account of my Studies, since my return home, and if it is not sufficient, to exculpate me intirely, I hope, at least it will induce you to forgive me. When I arrived here, I found, that I had far more to go through, than I had an Idea of before I left France. For such is the Institution of this College, that if a Person, has studied certain books, he may be admitted; but those, I had not studied, and although my Vanity might have lead me, to suppose, I was as well prepared as many of the Class into which I was to enter, yet as I had not acquired knowledge from the Same Sources, the Government of the College, could not admit me, untill I had in some degree become acquainted, with those particular Authors, which had been studied by the junior Sophister Class. I went to Haverhill the 30th: of last September. The Class had then gone through 4 books of Homers Iliad, 2 of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, the Greek Testament. In Latin they had gone thro' the Odes, and Satires of Horace, and were in the Epistles. In English, they had finished the Study of Geography, and that of Logic, and had entered, upon Locke on the understanding.3 It so happened, that when I was examined, the only book, which, I was tried in, that I had studied, before, I came to America was Horace.4
{ 130 }
Immediately upon going to Mr: Shaw's I began, upon the Greek Grammer, which I learnt through, by heart. I then undertook the Greek Testament, in which I went before, I came here, as far, as the Epistle to Titus. In this I was not so far as the Class. I went through 6 Books of the Iliad, and four of the Cyropaedia; 1 book in each further than the Class. I also finished Horace, and the Andria, of Terence. In Logic, I was equal with the Class and in Locke, about 70 Pages behind them. Guthrie's Geography I had also finished. On the 15th: of last Month, I was examined before, the President, 3 Professors, and four Tutors.5 3 Stanza's, in the Carmen, Saeculare, of Horace, 6 Lines in the 4th: Book of the Iliad, a number of Questions in Logic, and in Locke, and several in Geography, were given to me. After which, I had, the following Piece of English to turn into Latin. “There cannot certainly be an higher ridicule, than to give an air of Importance, to Amusements, if they are in themselves contemptible, and void, of taste. But if they are the object, and care of the judicious and polite, and really deserve that distinction, the conduct of them is, certainly of Consequence.”6—I rendered it thus. “Nihil profectó, risu dignior potest esse, quam magni aestimare delectamenta; si per se, despicienda sunt atque sine sapore. At si res oblatae atque cura sunt sagacibus, et artibus excultis, et reverà hanc distinctionem merent, administratio eorum, haud dubié, utilitatis est.” The President soon after informed me, that I was admitted; and, what I had not expected, that I might Live in the College, as there was one Vacant Place; the Chamber is one of the best in College, and is one of those that are reserved for the resident Batchelors. Johonnot, had left College, a few weeks before,7 and I now Live with his Chum; Mr: Ware, who graduated last year, and was one of the best moral, and Literary Characters in his Class. He spoke the English Oration, when he took his Degree, and that is considered as the most honourable Part, that is given. I shall remain with him till Commencement, and next year, I believe; I shall Live, with my brother.—I went to Braintree, to get some furniture, and returned here the 22d: of last Month. On Tuesday last, the 28th: Mr: Williams, gave the 1st: Lecture of his Course of Experimental Philosophy. He did not begin Last Year till 6 weeks after this: and that has hurried me, at Haverhill more than any thing; for till within these 2 months I did not expect to enter till the Latter part of this Month.
Our Studies are, at present, one week in Latin to Mr James, Caesar, and Terence, the next to Mr: Read in Euclid; but we finish that this week, and go into Gravesande's Philosophy, the next Quarter. If { 131 } you could make it Convenient to send me, the 8vo: Edition, of Desagulier's translation of Gravesande I should be happy; as I believe it is not in your Library at present, and there are none to be bought in Boston, there are two Volumes of it.8 I should wish to have it by next August if Possible. The third week, we recite to Mr Jennison, in Homer, and the Greek Testament; and, the fourth to Mr: Hale, in Locke on the understanding. This is as particular an Account of our Studies, as I can give, and perhaps it will be, so much so, as to become tedious. There are many great advantages derived, from being a member of this Society; but I have already seen many, things which, I think might be altered for the better. One is, that there is not sufficient Communication between the Classes: they appear to form four distinct orders of beings, and seldom associate together. I have already become acquainted, with every one of my own Class; and I do not, know four Persons in any one of the other Classes. Another is, that the Tutors, are so very young, they are often chosen among batchelors, that have not been out of College, more than two years, so that their acquirements are not such, as an Instructor at this University ought to be possess'd of: another disadvantage of their being chosen so young; is that they were the fellow scholars of those they are placed over, and consequently do not command so much Respect, as they seem to demand. However take it all in all, I am strongly confirmed, in your Opinion, that this University is upon a much better plan, than any I have seen in Europe.9
I believe you have with you, four or five New Testaments in Greek and Latin.10 Could you spare a couple of them? I wish to have one for the use of my brothers and myself, and to present another to Mr: Shaw who has none.

[salute] With my Duty to Mamma, and Love to Sister, I remain, your affectionate Son.

[signed] J.Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J.Q. Adams. Ap. 2. Ansd. June. 3. 1786.”
1. This letter was probably completed on 9 April (JQA, Diary, 2:15–16).
2. On 3 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:248–250).
3. These included William Guthrie, A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar; and Present State of the Several Kingdoms of the World, London, 1770; Isaac Watts, Logick; or, The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth, London, 1725; and John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London, 1690.
4. JQA first studied Horace in 1783 under the direction of C. W. F. Dumas at The Hague (Diary, 1:175).
5. JQA describes the examination in more detail in his Diary (same, 2:1).
6. Adam Fitz-Adam, The World, No. 171.
7. Samuel Cooper Johonnot, sent as a boy to study in Europe, was a fellow passenger with JA, JQA, and CA on their 1779 voyage to France aboard La Sensible. Johonnot was educated in Passy with the Adams boys and { 132 } later in Geneva. He returned to the United States in 1784 and earned an A.M. from Harvard in 1786, having been granted an A.B. in absentia in 1783. Johonnot studied law in Boston under James Sullivan and practiced in Portland, Maine, from 1789 to 1791 (JQA, Diary, 1:2–3; Charles W. Akers, The Divine Politician: Samuel Cooper and the American Revolution in Boston, Boston, 1982, p. 356, 426 note 34).
8. JA's library at MB has the quarto sixth edition of Gravesande's Mathematical Elements, trans. J. T. Desaguliers, London, 1747.
9. JA praised Harvard's attention to the “Morals and Studies of the Youth” compared to its European counterparts in a letter to Harvard president Joseph Willard dated 8 Sept. 1784 (MH-H: Corporation Papers).
10. Among the Adamses' books are many copies of the Bible in either Latin or Greek published before 1786. JA's books at MB include Selectae è Veteri Testamento historiae, ad usum eorum qui linguae Latinae rudimentis imbuuntur, new edn., Paris, 2 vols. in 1, 1777, and Novi Jesu Christi Testamenti Graeco Latino Germanicae, 2 vols. in 1, Rostock, Germany, 1614 (Catalogue of JA's Library). The collections at MQA include Vetus Testamentum Graecum ex versione Septuaginta interpretum, Amsterdam, 1683; Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis Sixti Quinti Pont, Antwerp, 1628, with JQA's bookplate and the draft of a prayer, in JQA's hand, for the restoration of George III and for the regent, the Prince of Wales; La Biblia, cum concordantus veteris et Novi Testamenti et sacrorum corronum, [Nuremberg], [1521]; Novum testamentum, cum versione Latina Aliae Montani (Greek), Amsterdam, 1741, inscribed “Charles Amsterdam Adams. 1780” and “Charles Francis Adams from his father. August 5, 1832.”; Biblia polyglotta, London, n.d., with the signature of CFA; and New Testament (Greek), 2 vols., n.p., n.d., with CFA's bookplate.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0040

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-04-03

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

Inclosed with this is a Letter to Dr Holyoke and all the original Papers from the Royal Society of Medicine.1
You will be so good as to inclose and direct them to him.
I hope Mr. John is, or will soon be at Colledge. You may draw upon me for two hundred Pounds st. and invest it as before, to help you pay the Expences of my Boys. Yours
[signed] John Adams
Inclosed is a Note from my Friend Count Sarsefield.2 Will you be so good as to enquire and write me any Intelligence you can obtain of these Mac Auliffes, at Boston.
RC (MWA: N. Paine Coll.); endorsed: “Hond John Adams April 3. 1786 London Recd May 10. 1786.”
1. See JA to Cotton Tufts, 11 March, and note 3, above.
2. The unidentified note was probably enclosed in Comte de Sarsfield to JA, 6 March (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0041

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-04-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

We have Seen Magnificence, Elegance and Taste enough to excite an Inclination to see more. We conclude to go to Birmingham, per• { 133 } haps to the Leasowes, and in that Case shall not have the Pleasure to see you, till Sunday or Monday.1
Love to my dear Nabby, and to Coll Smith. He will be so good as to give this account of Us, if any Questions are asked. Yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (NhD.)
1. JA and Thomas Jefferson left London on 4 April on a tour of English gardens, country houses, and historic sites. Their stops included Alexander Pope's gardens at Twickenham and the landscaped estates of Woburn Farm, Caversham, Wotton, Stowe, The Leasowes, Hagley Hall, and Blenheim Palace. They also visited Stratford-upon-Avon to view the home and tomb of Shakespeare; Edgehill, site of the first great battle of the English civil war; a Birmingham paper factory; and Oxford before returning to London on 10 April. See also JA, D&A, 3:184–187, and Jefferson, Papers, 9:369–375.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-04-06

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

Altho I was at a stupid Route at the sweedish ministers last Evening, I got home about 12 and rose early this morning to get a few thinks ready to send out by Lyde. When a Body has attended one of these parties; you know the whole of the entertainment. There were about 2 hundred persons present last evening, three large rooms full of card tables. The moment the ceremony of curtsying is past, the Lady of the House asks you pray what is your Game? Whist Cribbage or commerce, and then the next thing is to hunt round the Room for a set to make a party. And as the company are comeing and going from 8 till 2 in the morning, you may suppose that she has enough to employ her from room to room. And the Lady and her daughter, last night, were most fatigued to death, for they had been out the Night before till morning, and were toiling at pleasure for Seven hours, in which time they scarcly Set down. I went with a determination not to play, but could not get of, so I was Set down to a table with three perfect Strangers, and the Lady who was against me stated the Game at half a Guiney a peice. I told her I thought it full high, but I knew she designd to win, so I said no more, but expected to lose. It however happend otherways. I won four Games of her, I then paid for the cards which is the custom here, and left her, to attack others, which she did at 3 other tables where she amply made up her loss; in short she was and old experienced hand, and it was the luck of the cards rather than skill, tho I have usually been fortunate as it is termd. But I never play when I can possibly avoid it, for I have not conquerd the dissagreeable feeling of receiving { 134 } money for play. But such a set of Gamblers as the Ladies here are!! and Such a Life as they lead, good Heavens were reasonable Beings made for this? I will come and shelter myself in America from this Scene of dissipation, and upbraid me whenever I introduce the like amongst you. Yet here you cannot live with any Character or concequence unless you give in some measure into the Ton.
I have sent by captain Lyde a trunk the key inclosed containing some Cloaths of mr Adams's which may serve for the children, and if you can find any thing usefull for cousin Cranch pray take it. I thought of the lappeld coat. By Jobe1 I have sent my neices chintz for a Gown, tell them to be Silent, for reasons which I once before gave you.2 Some Books you will find too.3 Will you see that they are Sent as directed.
Mr Adams is gone to accompany mr Jefferson into the Country to some of the most celebrated Gardens. This is the first Tour he has made since I first came abroad, during which time we have lived longer unseperated, than we have ever done before since we were married. Cushing I hope will be arrived, and mrs Hay also before this reaches you. By both I sent some things and Letters.4 Adieu a terible pen as you see obliges me to write no further than to add your affectionate Sister
[signed] AA
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree.”
1. Job Field, a Braintree neighbor and crew member of the Active when AA and AA2 crossed to England (vol. 5:359 , 383). For JA's financial aid to Field and other Braintree prisoners of war, see vol. 4:257, 259–261, and JA, Papers, vol. 11 and 12.
2. AA requested that the family not make known publicly the items they received as gifts from the Adamses (vol. 6:359).
3. Not identified.
4. Katherine Hay carried AA's letter of 15 March, above. AA's letter of 21 March, above, was sent by Cushing.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0043

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1786-04-07

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

My things, are yet pretty much in Confusion, and I do not expect to get well settled till the next Quarter. I find much more, to do here than I expected; it is true that every persons who chooses, may be idle 3 days in the 6; but every one may also, find full sufficient employment if he chooses. Mr: Williams's Philosophical Lectures, began, Tuesday the 28th: of last month; we have already, had four, and shall have another this day. This alone takes up, between 3 and 4 hours of my time, each day, that he gives us a Lecture. I am contented with my Situation, as indeed I almost always am, and if I was { 135 } not obliged to lose so much of my time, in attending to the mere ceremonies here, I should be still more happy. I have computed that between 5 and 6 hours are taken up, every day, at Prayers and recitations; but we can't have all things to our will. So much for myself; now let me assume a better subject. We do not know yet whether your brother will go immediately to Haverhill, at the beginning of the Vacation, or wait till the week after;1 to speak as an egoist, I say, the sooner the better; though others would doubtless have as good a right to say the contrary. I want very much to see Haverhill, but suppose I shall not till the Summer Vacation.2
In your Last3 you promised, to raise a smile, and I have been expecting it ever since: but there was one part of your Letter which I could not understand: you talk about raising a frown, which you cannot do; and as I know you have too much Sense, to pretend to perform impossibilities, I suppose, that from some mistake, or absence of mind, you put that word instead of some other.
RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); addressed: “Miss E Cranch. Haverhill.”
1. William Cranch went home to Braintree at the beginning of the college vacation (Richard Cranch to AA, 13 April, below).
2. JQA went to Haverhill on 26 July and stayed until 5 Aug. (Diary, 2:71–75).
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0044

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1786-04-08

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear sir

The Barrel of Cramberries you was so kind as to send me in the fall never reachd me till this week, oweing to Captain Youngs long passage and being obliged to put into port to repair the ship, he did not get up to London till about a Week ago. The Cramberries I believe were very fine by the Appearance of the few which remain; and would have proved a most acceptable present if they had arrived in season. We are not however less obliged to you for them, but I would just mention to those who wish to send presents of this kind to their Friends, that Casks about as large as raison casks, made water tight, with just water sufficient to cover the cramberry, preserves them best. This I found by a cask of that kind which col Smiths Friends sent him, and which were as fine as if they had just been gatherd. Captain Lyde has a cask of Split peas on Board addrest to you. If you will be so good as to send Mrs Cranch a peck of them, and accept the remainder, you will do me a favour.
{ 136 }
I wish Sir I could give you a pleasing account of affairs here, as they respect America but the reluctance which the States Shew to give Congress powers to regulate commerce, is to this nation a most agreeable event. They hold it up as a proof that a union of counsels is not to be expected, and treat with contempt the Authority and measures of the different States. There have been however some motions lately, within a few days past, and mr Pitt has requested that an other project of a Treaty might be offerd. It was agreed to, and is now before the Cabinet, but whether any thing is meant to be done, time only can unfold.1 You will see by the publick papers that mr Pitt's Surpluss, is much doubted, and it is Said that the Mountain is in Labour, whilst the people are trembling through fear of new burdens.2
Letters have been received from Mr Randle at Madrid. He and his principal expected to arrive in Algiers some time in March.3 From mr Barclay, no intelligence has yet come. The embassy of these Gentleman may serve this good purpose, the terms of each Barbery State may be learnt. Congress may then compare them, With those transmitted to them from hence. But the Sum required is so much beyond the Idea of our Countrymen that I fear they hazard a War rather than agree to pay it. They will I hope count the cost of a war first, and consider that afterwards they must pay them a larger Subsidy. Portugal is treating with them and they will soon be at Peace with all other powers and at Liberty to prey upon us. The Tropoline minister who is here, and with whom mr Adams has had several conferences, appears a Benevolent sedate Man. He declares his own abhorrence of the cruel custom of making Slaves of their prisoners. But he says, it is the law of their great Prophet that all christian Nations shall acknowledge their power, and as he cannot alter their Law, he wishes by a perpetual Peace with the Americans to prevent the opperation of it. He swore by his Beard that nothing was nearer his Heart, than a speedy settlement with America, which he considerd as a great Nation, and a people who had been much oppresst and that the terms which he had mentiond were by one half the lowest which had ever been tenderd to any nation. He could answer for Tunis also, and he believed for the other powers with whom the Tripolines had great interests. He said that Spain could not get a Peace with Algiers, untill, tripoli interposed, and he was willing and ready to do every thing in his power to promote a Peace. Every circumstance has been transmitted to Congress, and they must determine.
{ 137 }
You will however Sir mention this only to particular Friends, as the Tropoline has been cautious to keep all his transactions from this People, would never have the english interpretor which is allowd by this Court, present.
Be so good as to present my Duty to my Aunt from whom I received a kind letter,4 and to whom I design soon to write. Regards to the two mr Smiths. Love to cousin Betsy mrs Otis Mrs Welch, and all other Friends. I am dear Sir affectionately Yours
[signed] A Adams
My daughter thanks you for your kind mention of her in your Letter and presents her duty to you and her Aunt.
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers).
1. On 4 April, JA and Thomas Jefferson submitted a new draft of a treaty of commerce with Great Britain to Lord Carmarthen (PRO: F.O. 4, vol. 4). Carmarthen and William Pitt had requested the revised project after suggesting that earlier proposals had contained political items not appropriate to a commercial treaty. JA and Jefferson were attempting to expedite negotiations in advance of 12 May, when their commissions to negotiate the treaty would expire. For additional information on the submission of the commercial articles, see American Commissioners to John Jay, 25 April (Jefferson, Papers, 9:406–407).
2. The London newspapers contained extensive coverage of Pitt's report on the budget, which purported a surplus for the year. Some in Parliament disbelieved Pitt's figures and speculated that “both the Minister and the Public would find themselves much mistaken in the calculation made, and that something different from a surplus will turn out to be the case at length” (London Chronicle, 25–28 March). Several also suggested that the proposed budget was irresponsible in its expenditures and that “the public were in a state of actual oppression” due to the government's profligate spending (London General Evening Post, 6–8 April).
3. Paul Randall wrote JA on 17 and 25 Feb. (both Adams Papers) from Barcelona, where he and John Lamb would embark for Algiers. The pair arrived at Algiers on 25 March (John Lamb to William Carmichael, [26 March], FC, Adams Papers).
4. From Elizabeth Storer Smith, 3 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0045

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-04-08

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

Captain Lyde talks of leaving London tomorrow. I just write a line by him to inform you that we are all well. Mr Adams and mr Jefferson are gone a little, journey into the Country, and it is the only excursion mr Adams has ever made since he first came to Europe without having publick buisness to transact.
I have nothing particular to communicate, but what I have mentiond in a letter to uncle Smith which he will shew you.
The Last letters from Congress inform us, that not more than seven states were, or had been for some time represented;1 concequently no buisness of any great importance could be transacted; { 138 } thus every wheel in the machine, is retarded both at Home and abroad.
Mrs Quincy will pay you Eight pounds, two shillings sterling on my account. This you will be so good as to add to the Sum I Sent by my son,2 and dispose of it in the same way. Regards to all Friends from your affectionate Neice
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “The Honourable Cotton Tufts Boston pr. Capt Lyde”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Lettr April 8th. recd May. 16 1786 Pr Capt Lyde”; notation by Tufts: “Mrs. Quincy to pay me £8.2.0. sterlg.”
1. Rufus King, currently in Congress, and Elbridge Gerry, who wrote from New York but had ended his service under the Articles of Confederation in Nov. 1785, both reported that no more than seven members had been present since the previous fall (Rufus King to JA, 1 Feb., and Elbridge Gerry to JA, 2 Feb., both Adams Papers; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 23:11).
2. AA sent £50 of Massachusetts currency, which she had not used in Europe, back home with JQA (to Tufts, [26 April] 1785 , vol. 6:108).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0046

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-04-13

Richard Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Last Evening I received a few Lines from you dated the 23d of Decr.,1 with Newspapers to the 4th. of January 1786. The shortest Note from a Friend, when it contains an Information with which our Happiness is intimately connected, must be highly esteemed. Yours informs me that you and your most amiable Daughter are well.
I have also, pr favour of Mr. King, received Bror. Adams's Letter of the 12th. of December,2 for which I most sincerely thank him. I shall endeavour, as far as my small Sphere extends, to forward every Measure that tends to free us from that mercantile Dependance on G: Britain into which we have foolishly fallen. I think I can plainly see that the People at large in this State are convinced of their Error in suffering themselves to be led away by the finery and accidental Cheapness of English Goods, to the neglecting of their own more substantial Manufactures; which, under all the Disadvantage and Calamity of War, had been carried on with a Spirit and to a Degree scarcely to be credited by those who were not Eye-Witnesses of the Fact. With a View to the Enlargement of our home-Manufactures, Government in the last Session took up the Subject of encreasing by publick Encouragement the raising and keeping larger Flocks of Sheep.3 A number of other Bills also, under the Auspices of our worthy Governor, are under Consideration for encouraging the rais• { 139 } ing of Hemp and Flax.4 A Committee of the Academy has also been appointed for the special Purpose of promoting Improvements in Husbandry and Agriculture.5 A Bill is also in contemplation for encouraging the Manufacture of Salt-Petre, by making it receivable instead of Money in a certain Proportion of the publick Taxes.6 This will soon set our Powder Mills a going once more, which since the Peace have been stupidly neglected. We are also putting our Militia on a better footing by dividing the State into nine military Districts, each of which is to be under the immediate Care and Inspection of a Major-General. The Persons chosen to this high Office are Gentlemen who have born an important and active Part in the late War, and have proved themselves worthy of such important Trusts; such as Genl Lincoln for Suffolk, Genl Brooks for Middlesex, Genl. Cobb for Bristol &c.7
I must now pass to a little domestick Information. Our young Family at Colledge behave so as to make a most agreeable Part of our present Connexions. I visited them last Tuesday in a publick Capacity, as one of the Committee of the Board of Overseers, appointed to examine into the State of the University. We met in the Philosophy Room, and after Enquiery had been made of the President, Professors and Tutors, respecting the Behaviour of the Youth under their Care, and the Proficiency they had made in the several Branches of Science; the Committee, of which the Lt. Governor was Chairman,8 proceeded to the Chapple of Harvard-Hall. On our Entrance we were entertained with a Concert of instrumental Musick, performed by the under-Graduates. The President, in his collegiate Uniform, being seated in the Pulpit, an ellegant latin Oration on the Advantages of Education enjoy'd by the Students of that University under the fostering Care of the Governors of it, was deliver'd by one of the junior Class; next an english Dialogue; then a Dialogue of the Dead between Julius Cesar and Scipio. Mr. Waldo's Son, of Bristol, who came from England to receive his Education at this University,9 performed the Character of Julius Cesar in a manner that did him Honor as a Speaker and an Actor. After this a greek Oration was spoken by my Billy, and was said to be well performed.10 Then followed an Oration in the hebrew Tongue; which preceded an English Oration. And last of all a well-sung Anthem finished the publick Exercises. After Dinner your truly worthy and amiable Sons John and Charles went to Braintree, your Sister Cranch having sent them Horses for that purpose; and Billy went there next Day. The Friendship that subsists between our Children will make the Vacancy run { 140 } off pleasantly—they are to be at home a Fortnight. Your Sister Cranch writes you by this Ship (Capt. Callahan).
We are all as well as usual in the several Families of our Connexions, except Doctr. Simon Tufts, who is in a very declining State, and is not expected to continue long. Please to give my kindest Regards to Mr. Adams and my dear Niece; and believe me to be, with the warmest Sentiments of Esteem and Friendship, your affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “to Mrs: Adams, Lady of His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Grosvenor Square Westminster”; endorsed: “Mr Cranch 13 April 1786”; notation by WSS: “Mrs. Wheeler Upper Brook street Thomas Johnstone Left her 5 months past.”
1. Not found.
3. Possibly a reference to the “Report of the Committee for Encouragement of Manufactures, &c. in this Commonwealth,” which was submitted on 17 Nov. (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 132).
4. “Resolve Granting a Bounty on Hemp Raised in This Commonwealth, and Laying an Impost Duty on All Imported Hemp” passed on 8 Nov. (same, Resolves of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 83). On 20 Oct. the General Court altered a clause in “An Act, Regulating the Exportation of Flax Seed, Pot Ash, Pearl Ash, Beef, Pork, Barreled Fish, and Dried Fish” that supported the shipping and exportation of flax seed (same, Acts of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 35).
5. The Committee for Promoting Agriculture formed on 6 Nov. 1785 by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences was composed of 31 members from across the state including several of the Adamses' intimate friends: Richard Cranch, Francis Dana, Cotton Tufts, and James Warren. Benjamin Lincoln served as chairman. In April 1786 the committee advertised a subscription fund to support improvements in agriculture and proposed offering premiums to those persons whose crops produced the greatest yield (Fleet's Pocket Almanack 1787, p. 67–68; Massachusetts Centinel, 18 Feb., 5 April).
6. On 21 Feb., Gov. James Bowdoin addressed the legislature on the importance of Massachusetts' having a steady supply of gunpowder and suggested instituting a tax on the state payable in the form of saltpeter to encourage the building of factories to produce it. On 8 July, the committee assigned to review the proposal recommended in favor of it, and on 17 Nov., the legislature resolved to allow residents to use saltpeter as a form of payment for taxes (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1785, Feb. sess., ch. 27; Resolves of 1786, May sess., ch. 103; Resolves of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 113).
7. The commonwealth completely revamped the regulation and governance of its militia in March 1785. One provision of an amendment to the aforementioned act passed in Nov. 1785 was to form the militia into nine divisions based on the fourteen counties within the commonwealth: 1. Suffolk Co. (Benjamin Lincoln); 2. Essex Co. (Jonathan Titcomb); 3. Middlesex Co. (John Brooks); 4. Hampshire Co. (William Shepard); 5. Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, and Nantucket Cos. (David Cobb); 6. York and Cumberland Cos. (Ichabod Goodwin); 7. Worcester Co. (Jonathan Warner); 8. Lincoln Co. (William Lithgow); 9. Berkshire Co. (John Paterson). The General Court specifically addressed the commissioning of major generals in a further amendment made on 20 March 1786 (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1784, Jan. sess., ch. 55; Acts of 1785, Oct. sess., ch. 36, and Feb. sess., ch. 73; Fleet's Pocket Almanack 1787, p. 81).
8. Thomas Cushing.
9. Boston merchant Joseph Waldo, Harvard 1741, removed to Bristol, England, about 1770. His son, John Jones Waldo, was admitted to the class of 1787 in 1784 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:91–94).
10. Opposite this sentence, on the largely blank third page of the letter, appears “my Nephew,” written by WSS.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0047

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-04-13

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

What in the name of wonder can you be doing on your side the Atlantic? We hear no more of you than if you were in the regions above the Moon. It is not to be long so I hope, for we are become very impatient now for news. Here, we seem to be almost at a stand, as it were; waiting for good tidings from afar. I fancy the case is much the same with you.
With this I send you some newspapers,1 which will give you some little insight into matters and things here: But Dr: Gordon is going in the same vessell, and should you see him, he will be able to tell you more than I can write. Is it probable you will see him? I mentioned sending a pacquet for you. He told me if I would give it to him, he would take care that it should be forwarded to you by the Penny-Post. This looks as if he did not mean to see you. He has been writing the history of the Revolution and has had many squibs against him in our papers, which have vexed him not a little. 'Tis supposed he will state his grievances in England, publicly, in order to promote his subscriptions and the sale of his history.
Have you yet heard of Mr: Gerry's being married? I spent yesterday with him, his wife and her Sister at Mr: Tracey's at Cambridge. Mrs: G. was a Miss Thompson of New York, originally from Ireland, a delicate, pretty woman.2 She has been at Mr: T. Russells since they arrived here, (about 3. weeks,) where she has been very ill. They are now at Mr: Tracey's, where I fancy her ill-health will detain her another week: from thence they are going to Marblehead. They talk of purchasing a seat at Cambridge.3
Mr: G. is neither the first nor the last Delegate in Congress that has been married in N York. Mr: King is lately married to a large fortune4 and sev[eral] others have done the same. Congress have not much business on hand at present, as they are waiting to know if the States will all comply with their requisitions: this interim of business they improve in getting married. From this circumstance perhaps they will sooner settle the federal town, which is an object to be wished. However, this will not altogether compensate for the expence of their support.
I saw John and Charles a day or two ago at Cambridge, where there was an exhibition before a Committee of the Overseers of the College, after which they went off to Braintree for the vacation, { 142 } which will be for a fortnight. John is very well settled, has a good room and every apparent convenience he can wish. He needs no stimulus or encouragement to attend to his studies, he pursues the method which will be effectually beneficial to him, he is exact in his attendance on the lectures, and particular in taking minutes of them afterwards. The only thing he complains of is that so much time should be wasted in prayers and recitations as there is. Were he to go on by himself he would proceed much faster. But you will hear from him by this opportunity and he will tell you more of himself and our friends at Braintree than I can, as I have not been there this long while.
We have been alarmed almost every day for the month past by fire; which has several times done mischief, but to the activity of our Firemen we are much indebted that it has done so little. A Barn full of hay, in our street has been lately burnt down, and tho' it was surrounded by old wooden houses, nay, joined to one or two, no further damage was done. Great part of board-Alley, near Trinity Church, was burnt down this last week.5
When you write me I hope you will mention a certain subject, which I wrote so largely of in my last. The story seems to have died away here. The Gentleman says all is now well.

[salute] I am, with much esteem, Madam, Yrs.

[signed] C. S.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams, Grosvenor-Square, London”; endorsed: “Charles Storer April 13 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not identified.
2. Ann Thompson (1763–1849), daughter of James Thompson, a New York merchant, was considered “as distinguished by her beauty and personal worth as by her family and social connections” (Rufus Wilmot Griswold, The Republican Court; or, American Society in the Days of Washington, 2d edn., New York, 1856, p. 100; Billias, Elbridge Gerry, p. 377, note 29). The sister with her was either Catherine or Helen (JQA, Diary, 2:105).
3. Gerry purchased Elmwood, the elegant mansion once owned by royal lieutenant governor Thomas Oliver, and moved permanently to Cambridge later in 1786 (Billias, Elbridge Gerry, p. 147–148).
4. Rufus King married Mary, daughter of New York merchant John Alsop, on 30 March (DAB).
5. A fire in a stable on Cambridge Street on 31 March was contained without damaging adjoining buildings. Eleven days later, a fire in a stable on Board Alley destroyed one home, a wheelwright's shop, a carpenter's shop, and two stables, and severely damaged another residence (Massachusetts Centinel, 1, 12 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0048

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-04-13

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Cous.

In some of my former Letters I mentioned the Probability, that Belchers Place would shortly be on Sale. Mr. Morton Atty. to C. W. { 143 } Apthorp Esq has offered it to me but has not as yet set his Price.1 As I conceive it to be Your Wish to purchase it—If it can be obtained at a reasonable Price, I shall secure it. I have frequent offers of Salt Marsh and other Lands, in Braintree, some of them adjoining to yours, that of the late Widow Veazies adjoyning to Belchers, will shortly be sold.2 But as Lands bring in but very little Profit, It can not be adviseable to engage very far in the Purchase of them. The Scarcity of Specie and the Danger of being forced into a Paper Medium to supply the Want, together with the Weight of Taxes, Conduce greatly to lessen the Profits of real Estate. Payment of Rents dayly become more difficult and I find them to be slow. This will oblige me to depend on Draughts on Mr. Adams for defraying the Expences of Your Childrens Education. We propose to offer your Son Thomas for Admission in to our University at the next Commencment, unless you should direct otherwise. Mr John was admitted in March last into the Junior Class and is well seated in a Chamber with a Graduate. The Expences of your Three Sons cannot be estimated I apprehend at less than £50 sterlg each Pr. Ann.–supposing them to conduct with Oeconomy. And I have the Satisfaction to inform You, that there does not appear in them any Disposition to Extravagance. The parental Attention of Mr and Mrs Cranch to them, would do much to prevent it, were they inclined to excess; and their Attachment to their Cousin Wm. Cranch, who is an amiable Youth, of great Steadiness and Prudence makes their Station agreable to them and I flatter my self that they will form a little Circle distinguished for their good order and attention to their Studies.
Mr. T—— I fear will give me much Trouble; for Twelve months past or more I have found it difficult to see him. His frequent Absence from his office, for a long Time, I imputed to necessary Calls and Business. And though I have of late made repeated Journeys to Braintree as well as wrote to him, in order to get an Account of Your Affairs and what Money he may have collected, yet nothing ensues but Messages that he will at such a Time or such a Time wait on me. Whether his Conduct has proceeded from a natural Versatility of Mind, his Fondness for Intrigue or more latterly from Resentment or a Wish to avoid a strict Compliance with the Demands of a former Correspondent or to a moveable Spirit caught from his Windmill lately erected—I do not pretend to determine—but I shall not long be content to feed on Uncertainties.
In my former Letter I requested you to let me know to what { 144 } Amount in the Course of the Year I might draw for, You will express your Mind on this and also let me know what may be said on Doane's Account. I mean with respect to its having been paid or not.
It is e[xpected], that Cap. Callihan will sail this Day or to morrow. I shall write further by him if Time will permit, but I must refer You to Bro Cranch for Politicks and Domestic Intelligence,3 and I hope You will not refrain from giving me the Politics of the Country where You reside although I should in my Letters confine myself merely to Matters that relate to Your private Interest. The various Trusts with which I am charged, engross almost the whole of my Time during the Recesses of the General Court, that but very little is left for my own particular Concerns and does almost entirely prevent me from expatiating on Subjects other than those that have immediate Reference to Matters of Trust. My Compliments and Love &c to my Cous. Nabby. I shall shortly write her a Line—at present I can only tell her, that I have made no further Progress in my Embassy, than what she has already had information of. When will My Friend Mr. Adams his Lady and Daughter return to Braintree! Should the Answer be, Shortly it would give Pleasure to Your Affectionate Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts
P.S. Since I wrote the above, I have drawn a Bill on Mr Adams for £50. sterlg in favour of Ebenr Storer Esq @ 7 Pr Ct. above par, which I found necessary, the produce of the last Bill having laid out (the greater part of it) in public Securities and expended a considerable Sum beyond what your Rents and other Means have produced, and no present Prospect of an adequate Supply for future Demands other by a Draught.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Abigail Adams Grovesner Square London”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts April 13th 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. On JA's behalf, Tufts purchased the approximately 5 1/2 acre lot on Penn's Hill formerly owned by Moses Belcher Jr., and more recently occupied by his son Elijah Belcher, from James and Sarah Apthorp for £70 on 4 April 1787. The property included half a dwelling house, barn, and well; JA previously had purchased the other half of said structures and adjoining land from Joseph and Mary Palmer (James Apthorp et ux., Deed to JA, 4 April 1787; Joseph and Mary Palmer to JA, 6 May 1771, both Adams Papers, Adams Office Files, folder 13). See also Cotton Tufts to AA, 14 Oct. 1785, vol. 6:425–426.
2. Martha Vesey's land lay to the northeast of the lot in question; JA acquired it from William and Sarah Vesey in Feb. 1788 (James Apthorp et ux., Deed to JA, 4 April 1787; William Vesey and Sarah Vesey, Deed to JA, 12 Feb. 1788; both Adams Papers, Adams Office Files, folder 13).
3. To AA, 13 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0049

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1786-04-15

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

Can you give me any Information concerning the Persons named in the inclosed Paper?1
Mr Jenkinson, I presume, has, by his late Motions in Parliament, all of which are carried without opposition, convinced the People of America, that they have nothing but a ruinous Commerce to expect with England.
Our Crisis is at hand, and if the states do not hang together, they might as well have been “hanged Seperate,” according to Dick Penns bon Mot in 1784.2 Your Brother
[signed] John Adams
RC (NN: John Adams Papers); endorsed: “Letter from his Excelly. John Adams Esqr Apl 15th. 1786 Wth. Memo. about Enquirey for Messrs. MacAuliffs”; notation: “Mem: To Enquire of Mr. Bowers at Little Cambridge.”
1. Not found.
2. JA's 1784 date for Richard Penn's response to this saying, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, is either a mistake or its meaning to JA and Cranch is not evident.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0050

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-04-24

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Your Father and Col Smith are gone to Night to Covent Garden theatre to See the School for Scandle represented, it being a Benifit Night, no places for Ladies who would not lavish Guineys.1 Now as I can See it at any other time at a common price I did not think it worth my while to gratify my curiosity at the expence of my purse, tho it is one of the best modern plays which has appeard upon the Stage. Scandle is the fort of this nation and a school in which they have arrived at great experience. That and lyeing make the greater part of their daily publications, as their numerous gazets fully testify.
I thank you for the entertainment afforded me in the perusal of your journal to your sister,2 which is always pleasent till I get to the last page. There indeed I experience some regreet, from its finishing.
I presume from your Aunt Shaws Letter,3 that this will find you at Cambridge. I hope you will not be obliged to such late and close { 146 } application, as you have follow'd through the last six Months. Your Health may suffer by it.
You will receive some letters from me which give you a state of the Situation and prospects of your sister that will I hope occasion you less anxiety, than what you have heitherto experienced upon her account. I think however that they would be better off, if they were to postpone their union to an other Year, for as the Play Says, “marriage is chargable,”4 and we cannot do for them what we should be glad too. Such is the continued Parsimony of . . .5 I Sometimes think we should do better at Home, yet fear for my poor Lads whose education is very near my Heart, and who knowing the circumstances of their Parents will study economy in all their movements. I hope you will gaurd your Brother against that pernicious vice of gameing, too much practised at the university.
I would not let mr Jenks return without a few lines from me tho I have written You largly very lately. Your Friend Murry dined with us last week and always mentions you with regard. I think he is consumptive, he looks misirably. You must correct as you read, or be so intent upon the matter, as to neglect the manner. Col Humphries is returnd to America in the April Packet which was to sail on the 15th. Mr and Mrs Rogers are also on board the Same vessel. If you want any thing I can supply you with, let me know. I have Sent you some shirts by captain Cushing.
Your sister who is writing at the same table with me, is filling up page after page and I suppose tells you all the News of the day.6 Mr Jefferson has made us a fine visit, but leaves us on wednesday. After the Birth day7 we are to Set out upon some excursions into the Country; which will probably find us some entertainment. My Love to your Brother. I shall not have time to write him now, as tomorrow I am engaged with company, and it is now Eleven oclock. Your Letter to your Sister8 came to day noon. We found it upon the table when we returnd from a ride which we had been taking. Not a line for Mamma! Yours
[signed] AA
1. Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School for Scandal was actually performed at Drury Lane, for the benefit of Anna Maria Crouch, the noted actress and singer (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 24 April; DNB).
2. The most recent JQA letter received by AA2 was that of 1 Oct. 1785 (vol. 6:398–406).
3. Probably Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA2, 14 Feb., above.
4. Thomas Otway, Venice Preserved, Act II, scene ii.
5. Thus in MS. AA certainly must mean Congress.
6. AA2's letter No. 13 has not been found. See AA2 to JQA, 25 April, below.
{ 147 }
7. The celebration of George III's birthday took place on 5 June (London Gazette, 3–6 June).
8. JQA to AA2, [26] Oct. 1785 (vol. 6:442–445).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0051

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-04-24

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

Captain Cushing is arrived. Mr Adams this day received Some letters by the post, and Nabby got one from her Aunt shaw and an other from her Brother.1 This was a little mortifying I own, not that others were happy, but that I was dissapointed, but I do not give over, some passenger has them I Say or else the vessel saild, and has left my Letters behind. Why I am Sure my Sister Cranch has written to me if nobody else has, she has never faild me yet; so I comfort myself that they will be here in a day or two, but not soon enough I fear to replie to them by mr Jenks who leaves London tomorrow. He is hurried away by the sudden elopement of several american Merchants as they call'd themselves, some call them Swindlers. They are persons unknown to me, of whom I never heard till there failure. The odium brought upon the American Character by such conduct cannot be defended. It is really painfull living in this Country at this time, because there is but too much foundation for many of their reproaches against our Country. There does not appear any symptom of a political change in the sentiments of this people, or their Rulers, they say Congress has no power and that the States can not unite. They depend upon our continuing their dupes, and we appear [I] think quite enough disposed to be so.
I have written to you by way of New York, by mrs Hay and by captain Cushing and Lyde, all of which I hope will go safe and the little articles I sent you and my other Friends. I wish I could communicate to you and Mrs Shaw a little of that which Shylock was so determined to take from poor <Bassiano> Antonio; you should have it too from next my Heart, and having bestowed some pounds I should move nimbler and feel lighter. Tis true I enjoy good Health, but am larger than both my sisters compounded. Mr Adams too keeps pace with me, and if one Horse had to carry us, I should pitty the poor Beast, but your Neice is moulded into a shape as Slender as a Grey hound, and is not be sure more than half as large as she was when she first left America. The Spring is advancing and I begin to walk so that I hope excercise will be of service to me. I wish I could transport my dear cousins in a Baloon. Betsy should go to Stow with { 148 } me and to Hagly and the Leasows, which I hope to see in the course of the summer, and Lucy should go to Devonshire with me.2 I may feel lonely, tho in this great city; should col S. insist upon being married this Summer, and go to Housekeeping as he talks, but I advise him not to be hasty. They will find marriage very chargeable. I should not feel anxious for them in America with half his sallery, but it will require Economy here to live upon it. The servants that one is obliged to keep in Europe who live in publick Characters, are the greatest moths one can conceive of, and in spight of all your caution will run you in debt.
I want to hear how you all do, and what you are about. You would Smile if you was to See me questioning the Captains of vessels who come from America and particularly those who come from Boston. They are generally very intelligent Men. I learn how the bridge goes on,3 what new houses are building, what the trade is to this place, and that, how the Trees flourish in the common, and whether you are growing more frugal or more Luxurious. I make it a rule when a vessel arrives from Boston to send a card to the Captain to come and dine with us, whether I know him or not. Some who are not acquainted feel a diffidence at comeing without an introduction or an invitation. Captain Young dined with us yesterday. Tis a feast to me when I can set them talking about the Country, and learn as I frequently do, pleasing things with respect to its husbandry and fishery; its trade is at present in a cloud, but I hope it will be dispelld in time to their advantage. When a people once become Luxurious nothing but dire necessity will ever bring them to their senses. I do not believe that ever any people made a greater Show, with less capitals than my dear mistaken countrymen have done. I thought them rich, I thought it was all their own, but how many now, not only upon your side the Water, but upon this, are eating the Bread of Sorrow, or what is worse, having none to eat, of any kind. Not a House here which has been connected with the American trade, but what are in the utmost distress. Our Countrymen owe Millions here. Can you believe it? Alass it is a miserable truth, and much of this debt has been contracted for mere gew-Gaws and triffels. I am sometimes apt to think that the more strictly this Country addheres to her present system, the better it will prove for ours in the end. You will easily discern that I cannot copy so excuse all inaccurices, and do not read any part of my letter to any one who may feel pained by the observations. Love to all friends from your ever affectionate
[signed] AA
{ 149 }
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed by WSS: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree Boston Hon'd by. Mr. Jenks.”
1. Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA2, 14 Feb., above, and JQA to AA2, [26] Oct. 1785, vol. 6:442–445.
2. JA and Jefferson visited Stowe, Hagley Hall, and The Leasowes on their garden tour in early April, see JA to AA, 5 April, and note 1, above. Devonshire was the home of Richard Cranch's family.
3. The Charlestown, or Charles River, Bridge, the first bridge connecting Boston and Charlestown, opened on 17 June. See the “View of the Bridge over Charles River,” 1789 226Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0052

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-04-24

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear sister

Mr jenks is suddenly obliged to return to America and I have only time to write you a few lines, to inform you of my Health. I yesterday heard that Captain Davis is arrived at Plimouth. By him I hope to hear again from all my Dear Friends. I have written you lately by mrs Hay who went to Newyork and by Captains Cushing and Lyde, all of whom I hope will arrive Safe.
In the political World Matters remain much as they were. I expect to spend this summer chiefly in making excursions into the Country, which will afford me an ample fund to entertain my Friends with. We went out last week to visit a Seat of the Duke of Northumberlands calld Sion House. It was formerly a Monastry, and was the first which was surpressed by Henry 8th.1 As we had not tickets we could not see the House, but were admitted to the Gardens and pleasure grounds which are very extensive and beautifull. The pleasure Grounds in this Country contain from 2 hundred to a thousand acres and are ornamented and kept up at a vast expence. We askd the Gardner how many hands were employ'd in this Seat at Sion which is about 2 hundred acres. He told us 15. We have since received tickets and shall visit it again. Woods grottos meandering waters templs Statues are the ornaments of these places—one would almost think themselves in Fairy land. Mr Adams and mr Jefferson made an excursion of 3 hundred miles and visited Several of the most celebrated Seats. They returnd charmd with the beauties of them, and as soon as the spring is a little further advanced, I shall begin upon them. Amongst the places they visited was the house and Spot upon which Shakspear was born. They Sat in the chair in which he used to Study, and cut a relict from it.2
Is my son admitted colledge, I am anxious to know? My Tommy will be left quite alone. Mr Adams some times wishes him here, but I never can join him in that wish. I am more satisfied with his pre• { 150 } sent situation, tho it would give me pleasure to have him here if I thought it for his benifit. The Young Gentleman here is so very Zealous to be married that I Suppose it will take place in the course of a few months, and they chuse to keep House. I Shall be much engaged very soon in preparations for this matter.
Mr Adams bought a few days ago at second Hand; dr Clarks Sermons,3 which he desires me to present to mr shaw in his Name: and I have requested mr Jenks to take Charge of them for him. Remember me to all Friends & believe me Dear Sister most affectionatly Yours
[signed] AA
RC (DLC: Shaw Papers); addressed by WSS: “Mrs. Eliza. Shaw Haverhill Boston Hon'd by Mr. Jenks”; endorsed: “April 24th. 1786 Received July 16th.”
1. The Adamses and Thomas Jefferson visited Sion (Syon) House in Brentford, about seven miles west of London, on 20 April. This monastery had been established by Henry V in 1415 as a convent for Bridgettines. It was one of the first to be suppressed, in 1539, by Henry VIII, who used it in 1541 as a prison for his fifth wife Catherine Howard just prior to her execution (JA, D&A, 3:190; George James Aungier, The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery, London, 1840, p. 21, 83–85, 90–91).
2. For JA and Jefferson's visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, see D&A, 3:185.
3. Probably a volume by Samuel Clarke (1675–1729), rector of St. James', Westminster (DNB). There are several compilations of Clarke's sermons. JA's library at MB contains A Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion . . . Being Eight Sermons Preached in the Year 1705 (in Richard Watson, ed., A Collection of Theological Tracts, 5 vols., London, 1785, 4:109–295).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0053

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-04-25

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

N 14
Last night I Closed my Letter to you1 and shall send it to Mr Jenks's care this Morning. I determine not to delay writing from day to day, till it becomes urkessome, but to finish my story and then go on regularly—theres a good resolution—I shall now begin by telling you a peice of News—Call all your fortitude to your aid before you proceed–here pause a moment . . .2 do you think yourself sufficiently guarded—be sure of that—and then attend—Mr Bowdoin, the Gentleman you left in Paris,3 proceeded from thence to Holland, where he has been till within a few weeks: when he returnd to this place, proposing to go from hence to America. He called to pay us his respects one Morning. We inquired after your friends at the Hague, and he told us that he had heard Miss Dumas was soon to be very well Married.4I do not here ask any Confession of your Faith. You will { 151 } I dare say be happy to hear so pleasing an account of a Lady for whom you have so much respect and Esteem.
I just mentiond the letter I received yesterday,5 in my Letter last Eve, and shall now notice it particularly. Your Letters my Dear Brother afford me more pleasure than you can beleive. I expect them with impatience, and am allways, made happy at their arrival. Do not discontinue them. I am sure you will not. I do not wonder that your meeting with our Dear Brothers after so long a seperation, put you in such Spirits. Could our family meet in some such moment, I should consider it as a happy period. But I have, said enough upon this subject to convince you that it is one of the first wishes of my heart. But I dare not think how long it may be, before it arrives.
I think my Brother that you do not discover Candor enough for the foibles, of others especially the Ladies. The best dispositions are not Convinced by Severity, and austerity. Only reflect upon your own disposition, and I am sure you will be convinced of this. And remember that if a young Lady is Capable of inconsistencys if she is deficient in judgment prudence &c, that the fault is not half so much her own as, those who have had the Care of her education. We are like Clay in the Hands, of the Artist, and may be moulded to whatever form, they please. The more knowledge and judment they possess, the fewer faults will be found in their productions. I believe that the earliest impressions of the Mind are too generally neglected, and it is those which often have the greatest affect. You may if you attend to it, observe in many of your acquaintance, habits and fauts, which have from not being early enough attended to, Grown up, and proved so forcible as to resist all future attempts to Correct them. You may observe it in the most trifling circumstances and you may generally decide, by hearing a Person converse an hour, what has been their early education. You may judge from their Language, the very frases they use to express their ideas. And tho they may be sensible in some degree of those faults, I am inclined to beleive it is not in their power to correct them. A Gentleman who is severe against the Ladies, is also, upon every principle very impolitick. His Character is soon established, for a Morose severe ill Natured Fellow. And upon my word, I think it the most Convincing proof that he can give, that He feels their Power importance, and <equallity> Superiority. It is I assure you a want of Generosity, and I will challenge you to produce one instance of a Person of this disposition { 152 } who did not at some period of his Life, acknowledge his dependance upon them. Persons who are conscious, of their superiority in any subject, are generally diffident in proclaiming their own merrit. They will prefer to prove it by their actions and Conduct, rather than discover their own knowledge of it. <I would never dispute with you, were you to assert that we were your inferiors incapable even of those improvements which you would the superiors>
Miss Hamilton of whom I wrote you quits England in a few days, and not with out regret. She has got a little attached to the amusements and pleasures of this place, tho she behaves perfectly well upon the Subject. She is a sweet amiable Girl. I shall regret her more than any other Lady of my acquaintance.
Your account of Mrs Duncans Death is very melancholy. It must have been a great shock to her family. I have I think noticed most of your letter. I presented your respects to Mr S—— and he desird me in return to say every thing to you for him which you could wish—he says he will write you and tell you that I dont keep, a strict journal.
I want much to hear from you from Cambridge, and to know how you like your new Situation. I hope now to receive later letters from you for do you know that five months have passd since the date of your last N 12,6 which leads me to hope that I shall receive another by Davis.
Your friend Winslow Warren has returd, to Milton we hear. Pappa wrote him and forwarded to him letters from his father in December,7 but they did not reach him, before his departure from thence, and have been since returnd, and forwarded to him at Boston. Pappa had promised him his interest as Consull to Lisbon. It was then supposed that Congress would have impowerd their Ministers to appoint Consulls, but they have not received any commission for it. Mr Gerry wrote Pappa that Congress had resolvd to appoint him Consull General to this County and Mr Jefferson in France, but they have heard nothing further of it.8 I suppose they meant it to save any sallery with the Commission, but Pappa determines that it is not possible for him to Act in it. It would be a scene of trouble and vexation withot any reward. This how ever seems to be expected by Congress, that every Body in their service shold submit to. The March Packet has not yet arrived, and the 2 or thre last Months Packets have brought nothing New. There were but Seven states represented by the last accounts and Mr—— the Presidents Health did not permit him to attend.9 The Commercial Commissions you know Expire in a few days. So that nothing more can be done with { 153 } any Power, till it is either renewd or something done by Congress. Soon after Pappa arrived here he proposed the plan of a treaty to Mr Pitt.10 It was taken no notice of. When Mr Jefferson arrived, they informd Lord Carmarthen of it and likewise that their Commissions would expire soon. His Lordship then desird another Plan, might be proposed, merely Commercil. The Gentlemen drew up, a Treaty in 5 articles, giveing equal Libertys rights &c, to the two Nations, since which not a word of answer has been receivd, and Mr J— Leavs London tomorrow, so that tis plain they will do nothing. They pretend to doubt the Powers of Congress, in short their Conduct appears Consistently ridiculous. What time will produce we know not. Pappa Complains and sometimes talks of going home, but I doubt it I Confess, till Congress recall him, which perhaps they will if there is no Minister appointed to them from hence. Before Bingham went away he told a friend, that the Cabbinet had now determined upon sending a Minister to America and he beleived it was in Consequence of a Conversation he had had a few days before with Mr Eden, and went off perhaps in the beleif. Hower his Mourtion [Motion?] has as yet prodouced nothing. If you see the English papers you will see that Mr Eden is sent to Paris to <form> a finish, Crawford Commercial arangements which perhaps were never began11but enough of Politicks.
We had a Company to dine to day. Mrs Smith from Carolina Mr Ridley who goes to America in a few weeks, Dr Bancroft Colln Forrest Mr Brown the Painter, Mr Drake from Connecticut who brought a Letter of introduction from your friend Mr Brush, to Pappa, he does not appear to be any thing extra. Mr Barthelemy the Charge d'Affairs de France le Comt de Baigelin and le Compt de Gramond, 2 young French officers who brought Letters-of introduction from the Marquis de la Fayette.12 Mr Jefferson and Pappa went after dinner to the Chevalier de Pintos to put their Names to the Treaty with Portugal.13
Mr Jefferson left London, to our regret. He has dined with us whenever he has not been otherwise engaged, and made this House a kind of Home which you will know must have been very agreeable to us all.14 He has given Mr Trumble an invitation to go to Paris and keep at His House, where he intends to have his pictures engraved. { 154 } He is acquiring great reputation by the subjects he has taken up.15 In the Evening we went to one of the little Theatres here to see Tumbling Rope dancing and wondrous feats of various kinds performed some of Which were really astonishing—but cannot be described.16
We went for the first time this season to the Opera, and I imagine it will be the last. The English Boast of this House as superior to any the French have. It may be larger, but for Elegance of artichetere there is no Comparison. It was the benefit of Md Mason, one of the principle dancers who fearing I suppose that the House would not be full went round and left Tickets, asking your attendance at her benefit. We accordingly went, the House was not full, the Company were highly dressd. The performance is all in Italian you know, and People never go to the Opera to understand what they hear. The Instrumental Musick was very good but there was no singing extraordinary. The Dancing was fine. Vestris is here this Winter, and Bacthell, who was last winter at the Duke of Dorsetts Hotell.17 She is a good figure and Dances, as well as Vestris I think. After the Opera, the greatest Curiossity is to go into the Coffee Room, where the Whole Company resort to wait for their Carriages and take some refreshment if they Choose, for you know, the English have no amusement where eating and drinking, is not introduced. The Prince of Wales, the Duke d'Orleans and the Duke de Fitz James,18 just made their appearance, for ten minutes I suppose, to sett the Whole House a staring and then went off. The Princes followers might all be distinguished by their dress, a blue frock with Gold frogs. There were several of them in his suit this Eve. They appeard all about the same size, and so delicate, eff[em]inate and Languid, just fit for Companions for19 a Prince who professs to make pleasure is only pursuit.
We have dined to day with an oald Bacheller, Mr Wm Vaughan. He had invited us to make a little excursion out of Town about Seven miles, to see a celebrated House and Garden belonging to Lord Tylney,20 and we intended to have gone, but the weather for several days has been disagreeable and we deferd it to some other time. The Company were our family Mr B Vaughan and Lady, Dr Priestly who has been in Town a few weeks, upon a visit, Dr Price, { 155 } Dr Keppis, Dr Reives, and one or two other Gentlemen who I did not know.21 5 of the Company were dissenting Ministers and opsd Libereal Men, all of them are writers of Eminence. The two first you know by Character Dr Priestly is a little stiff trig Man, his Countenance as Calm and unruffled as a summers sea. He was the most silent Person in Company. <Mr B V—— who has no objection to talking> Dr Price took a seat between Mrs Vaughan and myself, and Dr Keppis, upon the other side of Mrs Vau, and Mamma. Some person observed that those two Gentlemen were very happily situated. Dr P—— said he had the best seat, Mr Wm V—— told him that ought to have been his place, but the Dr refused to Change, and said Mr V. had told him before we came that he was to have a young Lady to dine with him to day. The Dr answered he did not know what young Lady would trust herself with him, but he said she had come with her Mother. Mr V. said the Dr after gave him some kind admonitions about Marrying, yet said Dr Price, I never think a young Man safe till he is Married. The Conversation was very sprightly among the oald Gentlemen who all Commended Dr P—— galantry. Balloons, Messmarism Witchcraft &c &c, were the subjects of general Conversation, and I had like to have obserd that I thought that Foolish Folks could talk quite as well as Wise ones.
We came home about eight oclock, and Called upon Mrs Shipley the Wife of the Bishop of St Asaph, who's family has visitted us, but were not at home this Eve.22
1. Letter No. 13, not found.
2. To emphasize the pause, AA2 inserted an entire line of short dashes at this point.
3. JQA met John Bowdoin, a Virginian, at Jefferson's home in Paris the week before his departure for the United States (Diary, 1:262).
4. Anna Jacoba (Nancy) Dumas (b. 1766), the daughter of JQA's former tutor, married a Mr. Veerman (Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, Chapel Hill, N.C., and London, 1979, p. 48; D/JQA/24, 11, 18 Aug. 1796, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 27).
5. JQA to AA2, [26] Oct. 1785 (vol. 6:442–445).
6. JQA's letter No. 12 to AA2 was presumably that of [26] Oct. 1785 (vol. 6:442–445).
7. 3 Dec. 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers).
8. Elbridge Gerry to JA, 8 Nov. 1785 (Adams Papers). Congress resolved on 28 Nov. that their ministers plenipotentiary in Europe assume the duties of consul general for the countries in which they resided (JCC, 29:855).
9. John Hancock was elected president of Congress on 23 Nov. 1785, but a severe attack of gout prevented him from traveling to New York to attend its sessions. He resigned the post on 6 June 1786 (Harlow Giles Unger, John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot, N.Y., 2000, p. 307–308).
10. For JA's meeting with William Pitt on 24 Aug. 1785, see vol. 6:296, note 4, and references there.
11. William Eden presented his credentials as special envoy to France on 4 April. The commercial treaty was signed on 26 Sept. (Repertorium, 3:162). For the terms of the treaty see Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:284–285.
12. Neither the letter of introduction from { 156 } Eliphalet Brush nor those from Lafayette have been found.
13. The treaty with Portugal, although signed by Jefferson and possibly later by JA, was never ratified by either Portugal or the United States. For a complete discussion of the negotiations of the treaty, see Jefferson, Papers, 9:xxviii—xxix, 410–433.
14. While in London Jefferson lodged at No. 14 Golden Square (Jefferson's Memorandum Books, 1:623).
15. Trumbull accepted Jefferson's invitation, spending the month of August with him at the Hôtel de Langeac. In Paris, Trumbull met his publisher, Anthony Poggi, who would arrange for The Battle of Bunker's Hill to be engraved in Stuttgart. The artist departed Paris on 9 Sept., traveled the next two months in Germany, and returned to London in November (Jefferson's Memorandum Books, 1:635; Jefferson, Papers, 10:251; The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull: Patriot-Artist, 1756–1843, ed. Theodore Sizer, repr., N.Y., 1970, p. 91, 121–122, 146).
16. The Adamses probably attended the performance at Sadler's Wells, which was known for its shows featuring tumbling, acrobatics, and rope dancing, as well as musical numbers and short plays (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 26 April).
17. This was a performance of Pasquale Anfossi's I Viaggiatori Felici, followed by the ballet Le Premier Navigateur; or, La Force de l'Amour, choreographed by Maximilien Gardel, at King's Theatre. The ballet featured Marie Auguste Vestris, one of the most celebrated dancers of his day; Giovanna Zanerini, whose stage name was Bacelli; and Mademoiselle Mozon. Zanerini was the mistress of the Duke of Dorset (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 25 April; Ivor Guest, The Ballet of the Enlightenment: The Establishment of the Ballet d'Action in France, 1770–1793, London, 1996, p. 205, 272).
18. Louis Philippe Joseph (1747–1793) succeeded his father as Duc d'Orléans in 1785. He became a leader of the opposition in the Assembly of Notables in 1787, joined the Third Estate in 1789, and changed his name to Citizen Egalité in 1792. Egalité was guillotined during the Reign of Terror. His son became King Louis Philippe of France in 1830 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
Jacques Charles, Duc de Fitz-James (1743–1805), was the grandson of Jacques Fitz-James, Duc de Berwick (1670–1734), the illegitimate son of James II (London Chronicle, 27–29 April; Christophe Levantal, Ducs et pairs et duchés-pairies laïques à l'époque moderne (1519–1790), Paris, 1996, p. 446–448, 592–597).
19. AA2 wrote “Companions for” above the words “attendants upon.”
20. William Vaughan to JA and AA, 21 April (Adams Papers). Wanstead House, Essex, was built for Richard Child, 1st earl Tylney, see AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 18 July, and note 4, below.
21. Benjamin and Sarah Manning Vaughan were the elder brother and sister-in-law of William Vaughan. Benjamin (1751–1835), a London merchant, was a good friend of Benjamin Franklin and an American sympathizer. For his unofficial role as Lord Shelburne's confidant in the Paris peace negotiations, see JA, D&A, 3:53–54, 57–58, 72, 77–78, 100–101, 103–106. Vaughan's parliamentary career (1792–1794) was cut short when some of his papers containing critical remarks about Pitt's ministry were found in the possession of a French agent. He was examined before the Privy Council on 8 May 1794 and fled Britain later in the month. Vaughan spent the next three years in France and Switzerland before settling in Hallowell, Maine, with his family (DNB; Mary Vaughan Marvin, Benjamin Vaughan, 1751–1835, Hallowell, Maine, 1979, p. 30–55).
Joseph Priestley (1733–1804), dissenting clergyman and scientist, resided in Birmingham (DNB). For JA's relationship with Priestley see JA, D&A, 3:189.
Andrew Kippis (1725–1795), dissenting minister in Westminster. Among his many literary works, Kippis undertook the second edition of Biographia Britannica, publishing five volumes with a colleague before his death (DNB).
Abraham Rees (1743–1825), dissenting minister, pastor of the Old Jewry congregation in London, and encyclopedist. Rees issued the 45-volume New Cyclopaedia; or, Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, 1802–1820 (same).
22. Jonathan Shipley (1714–1788), bishop of St. Asaph, was married to Anna Maria Mordaunt (d. 1803); they had five daughters (same). In June, the bishop officiated at the wedding of AA2 and WSS.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0054

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-04-25

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

This is the eighth day it has rained and stormed without intermission, the weather is worse than that of England commonly is.
The parson2 has been here to-day. Smoked some pipes, was sometimes witty, and always ready to laugh at his own flashes. The vacancy expires tomorrow. The weather has been such that we could not stir out of doors. I have employed my time in reading, writing and taking lessons on the flute, for you must know we are all turning musicians. I never had before an opportunity of paying any steady attention to any musical instrument, now I am settled, in one place for fifteen months, vacancies excepted, and shall be glad for a relaxation from study, to amuse myself with a little music, which you know

When the soul is press'd with cares

Awakes it with enlivening airs.3

Charles and I came up on Wednesday. I spent the eve on Wednesday at Mr. D.'s,4 and was again there this afternoon. I saw there a gentleman and heard his name, but do not recollect it, who had a vast deal of small talk with Miss E.5 upon matrimony and so forth. I think the conversation of this kind is still more ridiculous in this country than it is in Europe; there, the theatres furnish subjects, and there is an opportunity, now and then, of hearing some good critical remarks; but here, complete nonsense is a word not expressive enough of the insipidity and absurdity that reigns in our polite conversation.
The class to which I belong recite this week to the Greek tutor. His name is Jennison; a youth who was chosen tutor before he had been three years out of college; he is not more than twenty-four now: and is very far from being possessed of those qualities which I should suppose necessary for a tutor here. He is so ignorant in Greek, that he displays it sometimes in correcting a scholar that is right, and other times suffering the most absurd constructions to pass unnoticed. We had a capital instance of this no longer ago than this morning, but notwithstanding these circumstances, he is not so unpopular in college as some other characters are, because he is not fond of punishing; he has, upon many occasions, shown his lenity in this way.
{ 158 }
My room is directly over his, and am obliged to take the greatest caution to make no noise, for fear of a message from him. The other day a person came into my chamber, and seeing my flute on the table, took it up, and played about a dozen notes. I had immediately a freshman, who came to me with orders to go to Mr. Jennison; he said he would inform me once for all, that he desired I would confine myself for my amusements, to the hours allotted for that purpose. To tell him I did not play would have been of no service, for here you are responsible, not only for what you do yourself, but for whatever is done in your chamber. I have not been used to such subjection, but I find I can submit to it with as good a grace as any body. If there was not such an awful distance between a tutor and a scholar, I should submit to them with equal pleasure and be much better satisfied, but a Turkish bashaw could not be more imperious than they are; nor will they, in any manner, mix with the students so as to give them information upon any subject.
We attend this week Mr. James, the Latin tutor. He is not very popular, and indeed it would be difficult to point out more than one person belonging to our government that is, that one is Professor Williams; but to return to Mr. Jones [James]; no one doubts of his literary qualifications, but he is accused of great partiality towards his own class in general,6 and towards particular persons; and what makes this more disagreeable to the students is, that his partialities are not in favor of good characters, but are owing rather to interested views. But in this I am only the herald of public fame. Since I have been here, he has shown me no favor, nor any partiality against me. The tutors here, have a right to lay pecuniary punishment on the students for misbehaviour of any kind, and this is the greatest cause of their unpopularity. The tutors often show a fault in their judgment or their justice. If they have a pique against any particular scholar, they will gratify it by punishing him as often as they can possibly find opportunity, and sometimes without any valid reasons at all; but any one who is favored by a tutor, may do almost anything and it will pass by unnoticed; and when the students see one punished for a trifle, and another running into every excess with impunity, it is very natural they should dislike the tutor's conduct. But people out of college say Mr. James is much of a gentlemen, which we have no opportunity of discovering here; for it is entirely inconsistent for a tutor to treat a scholar like a gentleman. How do you { 159 } think this sets upon your brother's stomach? My chum, who has already graduated, often has the tutors in the chamber. He always informs me of it a short time before, and I never fail of being absent at the time; for if I was to stay, I might be three hours in the room with them, without having a word said to me, or a look at me, unless one of a proud superiority. Such are these giants, who, like the Colossus, bestride the whole length of Harvard College. But you will think it does me good, as it will mortify my vanity and teach me a little humility. I wish it may have this good effect.
Nothing extraordinary has happened in the course of the week—the same scene continually repeated. My time is taken up much more than I expected it would be. I have adopted a system, which you will immediately see leaves no time: six hours of the day are employed in the public exercises of the college; six for study, six for sleep, and six for exercise and amusements; the principal of which now is my flute. I very seldom go into company out of college, and have been but once to Boston since I came here.
It is usual for every class, in the beginning of the senior year, to choose one of the class, to deliver a Latin valedictory or farewell oration, before the government of the college and the other classes, on the 21st of June next ensuing, the day when the seniors leave college, but this has been neglected by the present senior class till two days ago, when they appointed a youth by the name of Fowle to speak, not a Latin oration, but an English poem, he is quite young but a very pretty poet, I have heard some lines of his read which would do honor to any young man.7
We recite this week to Mr. Hale, the metaphysical tutor; it would be difficult for me to name one student that loves this man; he is cordially hated even by his own class, which is not the case with the other tutors. Nobody accuses him of partialities in favor of any one; he is equally morose, surly and peevish to all; he has got the nickname of the cur. We this day experienced his ill nature, we had this morning to dispute upon a certain question that he gave out some time since; this is called a forensic. We began at 9 1/2, at 11 Mr. Williams had a philosophical lecture, when the bell rung two or three of those who had read their parts applied for leave to go out and attend Mr. Williams' lecture, and he refused them, so that we must { 160 } infallibly, have lost a lecture, had not Mr. Williams been so kind as to wait near half an hour for us.

[salute] Remember me to all friends, and believe me yours.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:106–112.)
1. This is probably a copying error for “April 25,” the correct date of the events of the opening paragraphs (JQA, Diary, 2:21).
2. For Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister of the First Church in Braintree, see vol. 1:146.
3. A paraphrase of Alexander Pope, Ode for Music on St. Cecilia's Day, lines 24–27: “If in the breast tumultuous joys arise, / Music her soft, assuasive voice applies; / Or when the soul is press'd with cares, / Exalts her in enlivening airs.”
4. Francis Dana, an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court since 1785, had served as JA's official secretary from 1779 to mid-1781. JQA accompanied Dana to St. Petersburg in 1781, when the latter took up his appointment as minister to Russia, and acted as his private secretary and translator for over a year (JQA, Diary, 1:ix—x; DAB).
5. Almy Ellery of Newport, R.I., Dana's sister-in-law (NEHGR, 8:318 [Oct. 1854]).
6. Perhaps a vestige of an archaic Harvard mode in which each tutor was responsible for administering all subjects in the curriculum as well as overseeing the general well-being of an entire class of undergraduates throughout their college career. In 1767 the system was revised and each tutor instructed all classes at the college in specific subject matter (Samuel Eliot Morison, Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century, Cambridge, 1936, p. 51–53; Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636–1936, Cambridge, 1936, p. 90).
7. Robert Fowle (1766–1847), Harvard 1786, served as the Episcopal minister of Holderness, N.H., from his ordination in 1791 until his death (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Samuel Seabury, A Discourse Delivered in St. John's Church . . . Conferring the Order of Priesthood on The Rev. Robert Fowle, A.M. of Holderness, Boston, 1791, Evans, No. 23755).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0055

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-07

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Yes my dear Sister I have thought it very long since I have receiv'd a Letter from you and thought it very Strange that you should not write me one line by the January Pacquit when mr cranch receiv'd one from mr Adams.1 You say you wrote but one Letter by it, but do not tell me who it was too none of your Friends here have receiv'd any, and mr King directed a number of other pioples to mr cranchs care. I have a suspician it was to mr T——l——r, but I have not heard a word about it.2 Pray tell me who it was too? You Surely did not call the three Lines you inclos'd in the Bundle of news papers a Letter.3 Your Letter by the Febry. Pacquit came last evening by the Post.4 Mr King could not find a Private hand to send it by, and truly my Sister, it contains wonderful things. A few more dashes and marks under names would have render'd it more intiligible. I cannot help thinking that mr —— has receiv'd its counterpart, for last evening he came home before nine, and went immidiately to Bed. He seldom { 161 } comes home till after we are abed. I was Saying yesterday morning to Betsy, that nothing would afford me more pleasure than to hear that a cousin of hers was married to a worthy american who would come and settle among us. You have mention'd three in your Letter. If I am to guess among those, I Should Say that Colln H——m——s is the favor'd Man. Eliza says “no. He has been with you but a month!–what then.” This is not their first acquaintance. She recolects a mr murray of whom you have given a fine character and whose Letters to Cousin JQA5 She has seen and admir'd. I hope you do not design to keep us in this Suspence long. It is now very generally known that my Niece has dismiss'd mr T and what it is for, and such universal rejoicing I beleive there never was before upon such an occation. I have thought it my duty to let it be known that she was not influenc'd to do it by any of her Friends, but that his neglect of her had open'd her eyes and made her think with the rest of the World that he was not calculated to make her so happy as she once thought he was. I want to know what Letters were pick'd up from Fletchers wreck.6 I thought I had not sent one by him. Young and he or cushing Sail'd So near together that I do not know whether some of my Letters might not be put aboard the ceres. Mr T writ by one of them. If you know what, I wish you would tell me. I know he was jealous of us at that time, but without a cause. He in general denys his being dismiss'd. Says there has been some little misunderstanding between them, that some Fiend or other on this side the water has occation'd it. That as soon as he gets his mills going and his Business into good order, he Shall visit you, and shall Settle the matter in half an hour. But what does He mean by keeping the things and Letters She desir'd him to deliver to Doctor Tufts?7 Will he wish to keep and wear the Picture when the origanal is in the possession of another?
I have written you largly by capn. Calhahan and hope they will reach you Safe but we have many fears about him. His vessel was So crank when She went out that many have thought she would overset if She Should meet with a heavey storm. The importance of Doctor Gordons History may save it. He and his History are on board. His Lady8 is with him also, and several other Ladies. Your Sons were well a few days ago. The two colegians spent an agreable vacancy here, for us it was so and I hope for themselves. They look'd very happy. I had miss N Marsh here all the time to help us. It is no small job to keep three Such Lads in repair. Eliza says she is sure she came home in the right time to make Gowns and wastcoats { 162 } for them. Cousin charles must be equipt for the expiration of his Freshmanship. I have got him a Gown too. I was determin'd to please my Fancy if it could be done in Boston and I have done it. I hope he will think it as handsome as I do.
Mr Evans was married last thursday. He set out on monday for Philadelphia upon a visit to his Friends. His Lady goes with him. He will return to his charge in about two months.9
I hope you will not forget to send some linnen both course and fine for your sons. Charles Storer is going to Settle at the eastward there is nothing to be done at Boston to any purpose. We have not had a line from mr Perkins Since the Letter I mention'd to you last Fall.10 Mr Storer had some thoughts of going to Kentucky some time past, but he has alter'd his plan. He is indeed a fine youth. I could have wisht to have keept him among us. I do not recollect the Poem address'd to our army which you mention but I will inquir for it.11 Pray send me any thing that you approve of. We Want Something new. We go out but Seldom and want Something to vary our scene. Mr —— is nothing to us, he Sleeps here and that is all. My dear Niece need not fear that the world will charge her with fickleness or infidelity. Mrs P——l——r may and will I know.12 She means well but is not always judicious. I wish cousin to be very cautious in writing to her.
I long to have cushing come in. We begin to be anxious about him. We are all well, your Mother Hall and Brothers Family also. Our children will write as soon as they recieve Letters. What is the reason that cousin Nabby has not written to any of us for so long a time. Tell Ester13 her Freinds are in general Well. Ned Baxters wife has been sick but is better. Yours affectionatly
[signed] M Cranch
1. Probably JA to Richard Cranch, 12 Dec. 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. AA wrote to Royall Tyler in December (not found). See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 13 June 1786, below.
3. AA to Richard Cranch, 23 Dec. 1785 (not found). Cranch acknowledges its receipt in his letter to AA of 13 April 1786, above.
4. Of 26 Jan., above.
5. William Vans Murray to JQA, 2 Aug. 1785 (Adams Papers).
6. JQA's letter to AA2 of 20–28 Aug. 1785 was rescued from the water (vol. 6:287–292).
7. Cotton Tufts had been asked to collect a miniature of AA2 and the letters she sent to Royall Tyler (vol. 6:285, 287).
8. Elizabeth Field Gordon, sister of London apothecary John Field (DAB, William Gordon).
9. Rev. Israel Evans and Huldah Kent were married 2 May in Charlestown by Rev. Joseph Eckley of Boston's Old South Church (Boston, 30th Report, p. 78; Massachusetts Centinel, 6 May; Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 2:137–140).
10. Thomas Perkins of Bridgewater, Harvard 1779, tutored the Adams and Cranch children in the early 1780s. Perkins settled in western Virginia, now Kentucky, and prac• { 163 } ticed law (vol. 4:309). Perkins wrote to Elizabeth Cranch on 1 March 1785, a letter which was subsequently published anonymously in The Boston Magazine, Sept. 1785, p. 342–345 (Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 Aug. 1785, vol. 6:268–275).
11. David Humphreys, A Poem, Addressed to the Armies of the United States of America. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 26 Jan., above.
12. Elizabeth Hunt Palmer.
13. Esther Field, AA's servant.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0056

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-15

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma

Several months have again elapsed, since, I wrote you,1 but I shall henceforth, be able to spare more Time, than I could since I went to Haverhill before this. There is now neither the Necessity, nor indeed the possibility, for me to keep as close, as I was in the Winter. I was obliged in the Course of 6 months, to go through the studies, which are perform'd here, in 2 years and 9 months. So different had my Studies been, from those, at this Place, that I had not before last October look'd into a book, that I was examined in except Horace. Had I arrived here 3 months earlier, it would have been easier to enter into the Class, which graduates next Commencement, than it has been to enter the one I am in. This would have advanced me, one year, but there are a number of public exercices here, that I should not have performed and which I think may be advantageous. Such is speaking in the Chapel, before all the Classes; which I shall have to do in my turn 4 or 5 times, before we leave College. Such also, are the forensic disputations, one of which we are to have tomorrow. A Question is given out by the Tutor in metaphysics, for the whole Class to dispute upon; they alternately affirm or deny the Question; and, write each, two or three pages, for or against it, which is read in the Chapel before the Tutor, who finally gives his opinion concerning the Question. We have two or three of these Questions every Quarter; that for tomorrow is, Whether the immortality of the human Soul is probable from natural Reason. It comes in Course, for me, to affirm; and in this Case, it makes the task much easier. But It so happens, that whatever the Question may be, I must support it; I shall send a Copy of my Piece, to my Father, although I doubt it will scarcely be worth reading.2
You will be perhaps desirous to know, how I am pleased with my Situation, how I like my fellow Students, and what acquaintances I have formed. I am very well pleased, as to the first matter. There are a few inconveniences, and some necessary loss of Time, that I must be subjected to; but I never was able any where to Study, more { 164 } agreeably, and with so little interruption, (excepting the exercices of the College) as I am here. I cannot now attend so much to any particular branch, as I have done formerly. The languages, natural Philosophy, mathematics, and metaphysics; all together, will employ any one sufficiently, without making a rapid progress in either of them. We are now attending a Course of Lectures upon experimental Philosophy, by Mr. Williams. They will be finished by the 21st: of June, when the Senior Sophister Class, leave College; they will consist of 24 Lectures, 9 of which we have already had. As to the Students, I find, a confused medley of good, bad, and indifferent. There is but little intercourse, between the Classes. I am acquainted with very few of the other Classes. I know all, that belong to my own. I have endeavoured to find out those, that have the best Reputation, both, as Students, and moral Characters. Those will be my Companions; and fortunately I am left to my choice, for we are not obliged to associate with those, who are dissolute or negligent. These two Qualities I perceive most commonly go together: the instances, are very rare, where a person of a loose Character, makes any figure as a Scholar.
I received your favour of March 20th: the day before yesterday, and I receiv'd a hint of a certain Circumstance, by a Letter from Aunt Cranch, to my Cousin, at the same Time. I do not know, that ever in my Life, I felt so much anxiety, and impatience, as I have, from that Time, till this Afternoon, when your's of Feby. 16th: was delivered into my hands, with my Sister's Diary to Feby. 15th: nor did I ever feel such strange Sensations, as at reading the first Page of my Sister's Letter, where in the most delicate, manner possible, she inform'd me of the Connection. I laid it down immediately, and for 5 minutes, I was in such a Confusion of thoughts, as berieved me of almost every feeling. It would be as impossible for me now to account for my Situation, as it was then to form an Idea. I could not read a word further there, and I took up your's, in which I found an ample account of the affair, and indeed, as you observed the Contrast was striking. Surely, if there is a providence, that directs the affairs of mankind, it prompted your Voyage to Europe. I intended in this Letter to have given you an account of the late Conduct of a certain person, but we may now throw a veil over the errors of a Man, whose folly, has deprived him, of the Advantages which Nature, with a liberal hand, had bestow'd upon him. The Gentleman, { 165 } you mention, enjoys a Reputation, which has always commanded my Respect; I wish henceforth to esteem him as a friend, and cherish him as a brother: as Circumstances have prevented me, from enjoying a personal acquaintance with him, his connection, with a Sister, as dear to me as my Life, and the Opinion of my Parents, will stand in lieu of it. Will you be so kind, as to remember me affectionately to him? The Books I have not received, nor any Letter from my Sister, by Lyde, or Cushing, who both arrived, last Tuesday.
I believe you have Reason, to think it fortunate for me, that I did, not go to London. Your description of Miss Hamilton, and that of my Sister, who mentions her in almost every Letter I have received, since their first acquaintance, are almost enough, to raise a Romantic, Knight Errant flame; what then would have been the Consequence, had I seen her often; but what with a little Resolution, and some good luck, your young Hercules, has till now escaped, the darts of the blind Deity: and will be for 15 months very secure: there is now no Lady, with whom I am acquainted around here, that I consider, as dangerous; Study is my mistress, and my endeavours will be to

“Listen to no female, but the Muse.”

By the bye, you know I am now and then addicted to the rage of rhyming. I shall enclose to my Sister a short speciman, of my loss of Time in that way. If your candour and indulgence, is such, as to think it worth crossing the Atlantic I shall be fully satisfied.4
But it is now midnight, and I must be up by 6. and this as well as my Paper bids me, come to the Conclusion of my Letter; my Duty to my Father. I fear I shall not get a Letter for him by this opportunity. Your dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J Q Adams May 15 1786.”
1. JQA to AA, 28 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:503–506).
2. JQA copied his essay into his Diary on the date of its presentation (Diary, 2:32–34). No other copy has been found, but this may have been the “Dialogue” for which JA thanked JQA in his letter on 10 Jan. 1787, below.
3. JQA probably started the continuation of the letter on the 18th, because he received AA's letter of 20 March (above) on 16 May and both AA's letter of 16 Feb. (above) and AA2's letter No. 11 ending on 15 Feb. (not found) on the 18th (same, 2:35).
4. Possibly “An Epistle to Delia,” a poem by JQA, which he completed on 12 Dec. 1785 (M/JQA/28, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 223). Delia was the name JQA gave to Anna (Nancy) Hazen, a young woman who lived with the Shaws for over a year, and for whom JQA briefly had formed an attachment (vol. 5:473, 476; JQA, Diary, 1:321, 400–401; 2:96). AA2 acknowledges seeing the verses to Delia in her letter of 22 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0057

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-05-18

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

I received this afternoon your No. 11 and I never received a letter which caused such a variety of sensations. I will only say, that I received the profile with pleasure, and the person for whom it was taken will for the future be very dear to me.
It is very disagreeable to be continually making apologies for having nothing to write; but it is really so, I am more than ever out of a situation to write anything that you can think worth reading. I have heretofore sometimes had recourse to giving you sketches of character, and sometimes to moralizing, but I am now deprived even of those sources. Pedants like most of the characters among the government of our college, and of boys, as a great part of the students are, could afford you but a pitiful entertainment, and you have given me such a rap on the knuckles with respect to proverbs and wise sayings, that I must take care how I show my gravity. I believe, upon the whole, that the philosophy of Democritus, who laughed at all the world, was preferable to that of Heraclitus, who was always weeping. The follies of the world made one very unhappy, while they rather increased the enjoyments of the other;2 for my part, when I reflect upon all the plans and schemes, the ceremonious nothings, the pompous trifles which men are always employed about, it sometimes raises a smile, and sometimes a sigh, when I behold vices and follies which lessen the natural dignity of human nature and which injure society, then I cannot restrain my indignation; but when they are only such as the little greatness of a self-conceited coxcomb, or such as have their source in vanity, I can then indulge all the ludicrous ideas which naturally arise in my mind; these have sometimes assisted me to fill up a letter to you; but as to proverbs and wise sayings, I am not ambitious of producing any. I will endeavor henceforth to change my style, and follow your example, in employing satirical irony, and leave you to your own reflections.
I have, in former letters, given you a short sketch of the characters of two or three members of this government. The next that comes in course is Mr. R., the tutor of my own class.3 This man, too, like all the rest, is very much disliked by the scholars. He has a great deal of modesty, and this is a disadvantage to him here. He is pas• { 167 } sionate and vindictive; and those are qualities which do not fequently inspire love or esteem. In short, our four tutors present as ridiculous a group as I ever saw. They appear all to be in a greater necessity of going to school themselves than of giving instruction; and one of them, at least, is below par as to genius. He is, however, the best of the tutors. He possesses a sweet simplicity, which creates a great deal of mirth among the students; and as he has observed that the other tutors command respect by maintaining an awful distance between themselves and the students, he likewise assumes an air of dignity, which is quite becoming. You would suppose that this immense distance between tutors and scholars was impolitic; but in fact it is quite the contrary. Were these gentlemen to be frequently in company with some of the good scholars among the students, the comparison would be too much to their disadvantage not to be mortifying and humiliating.
We have been in somewhat of a bustle this day. The parts for next commencement were given out this morning. It is curious to observe how the passions of men are adapted to the situations in which they are placed. You must know that about two-thirds of every class have to read syllogisms when they take their degrees. Now, these syllogisms are held in abomination by the students, because the other parts are commonly given to the most distinguished scholars. A syllogism is considered as a diploma, conferring the degree of dunce to all to whom it is given.4 All the senior sophisters have been waiting the giving out of the parts for three weeks, with as much impatience and anxiety as if their lives and fortunes depended upon it; and there are not, I suppose, now more than half-a-dozen in the class that are satisfied. This time twelve-months the case will be the same with the class to which I belong. But I must inform you, that the president, who distributes the parts, is by no means infallible; that he gives good parts sometimes to bad scholars, and syllogisms to good ones. So, you must not hastily conclude that I am a fool, or an ignoramus, in case I should have to read a syllogism; which, for two or three reasons, I think is probable enough. But it is not necessary to look so far before us.
I have been thinking, I believe a full hour what to say to you, and am now as much at a loss as when I first began.
I have been out of town but once this quarter,5 and I see no company out of college. I have nothing to draw me from my studies, { 168 } (but the college exercises,) and I keep as close to them as I can conveniently; but it is the same thing continually repeated, and can therefore furnish very little matter for a journal.
The next character, which follows in course among the governors of the college, is the librarian, Mr. W.6 He is a man of genius and learning, but without one particle of softness, or of anything that can make a man amiable, in him. He is, I am told, severe in his remarks upon the ladies; and they are not commonly disposed to be more favorable with respect to him. It is observed that men are always apt to despise, what they are wholly ignorant of. And this is the reason, I take it, why so many men of genius and learning, that have lived retired and recluse lives, have been partial against the ladies. They have opportunity to observe only their follies and foibles, and therefore conclude that they have no virtues. Old bachelors too are very apt to talk of sour grapes; but if Mr. W. ever gets married, he will be more charitable towards the ladies, and I have no doubt but he will be more esteemed and beloved than he is now, he cannot be less.
This, you know, is the only day in the year, which resembles what in France is called a jour de fête. Almost all the college went to Boston. I have no great curiosity to see such things and therefore remained at home. The elections have been in general the same with those of the last year, excepting that in Boston they have turned out Mr. Hitchborne from the House of Representatives, and Mr. Lowell from the Senate.7 This is supposed to be in consequence of some writings which have appeared in the newspapers under the signature of Honestus, against the lawyers. They were written by Mr. Benjamin Austin, a merchant, and it is supposed will considerably injure the practice of the law. They are intended to rouse and inflame the passions of the people. His proposals are in general as extravagant and absurd as they can be, yet to a certain degree they have been successful, and they may be still more so.8
This day Mr. Williams closes his course of lectures on Natural Philosophy. He has given us of late two or three lectures upon fire, containing a system of his own with respect to Northern Lights. This is a phenomenon which has never yet been well accounted for. This new system is specious and may lead to further discoveries on { 169 } this subject. Mr. Williams is more generally esteemed by the students, I think, than any other member of this government. He is more affable and familiar with the students, and does not affect that ridiculous pomp which is so generally prevalent here. The only complaint that I have heard made against him was of his being too fond of his ease, and unwilling to make any great efforts for acquiring a perfect knowledge of the branch which he professes. I believe he is a very good man, but I must see more proofs of genius than I have yet observed before I shall think him a great man.
I am very glad his lectures are over. The weather is now so warm that to be shut up in a room with a hundred people, is enough to stifle one. At one of the lectures, two or three days since, Thompson, the most distinguished character in the senior class, fainted away, and has been ill ever since.9
As to news, I can only inform you of two marriages and one courtship. I have heard Mr. G. is humbly paying his addresses to your friend Miss Q. So, you see, I shall probably be supplanted, notwithstanding my prior claim, and he has great advantages over me, as it is against the law for me to look at a young lady till the 20th of July, 1787,10 and then I suppose it will be too late. Indeed, I am almost determined to write one of your lamentable love songs, talk of flames, darts, perjured vows, death, and so on, according to custom. Death, you know, in romances and love-songs, is one of the most busy actors. When lovers are happy, they say death only can part them; when they are unsuccessful, death is always ready immediately to relieve them from pain. In short, death appears to be a jack-of-all-trades, but I have never been able to discover who or what he is. However, I don't see why I should not invoke him, upon occasion, as well as any body; for in poetry he is the most innocent being on earth.
This day the bridge between Boston and Charlestown was completed. An entertainment was given upon the occasion by the proprietors, to six hundred people, on Bunker's Hill. It is the anniversary of the famous battle fought there. It is better, to be sure, that oxen, sheep, calves, and fowls be butchered than men; and it is better that wine should be spilled than blood; but I do not think this was a proper place for revelling and feasting. The idea of being seated upon the bones of a friend, I should think would have disgusted many. Such feelings may be called prejudices, but they are { 170 } implanted by nature, and cannot, I think, be blamed.11 You will see in the papers how the poets have been exerting their talents upon the occasion. I have seen five different sets of verses, not one of which has escaped the simile of the Phoenix rising from its own ashes, applied to Charlestown.
I have written to papa and mamma lately. You will present my duty to them.

[salute] Yours,

[signed] J. Q. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:112–120.)
1. JQA probably began the letter on Thursday the 18th, the day he received AA2's letter No. 11, not found (Diary, 2:35).
2. Greek philosophers Democritus and Heraclitus, known respectively as the laughing and weeping philosophers (Simon Hornblower and Anthony Spawforth, eds., The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3d edn., 1996).
3. Nathan Read.
4. For JQA's additional comments on the disdain with which class members viewed the syllogistics, see Diary, 2:37–38.
5. JQA and Leonard White went to Boston for the day on 4 May (same, 2:27).
6. James Winthrop, Harvard 1769, was college librarian 1772–1787. Winthrop held numerous judicial appointments, ending his public career as chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He never married (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:317–329).
7. Benjamin Hichborn, Harvard 1768, a Boston lawyer and John Lowell, Harvard 1760, formerly of Newburyport, a justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals (same, 14:650–661, 17:36–44).
8. Benjamin Austin Jr., a Boston merchant, published a series of articles in the Independent Chronicle between March and June under the name of Honestus that assailed the Commonwealth's legal system and demanded the abolition of the professional bar (DAB).
9. Thomas W. Thompson of Boston was assigned the premier part, the English oration, at the upcoming commencement but because of illness was unable to attend the ceremony. Thompson studied law with JQA in Theophilus Parsons' Newburyport office, settled in New Hampshire, and served in that state's legislature as well as in the U.S. Senate (JQA, Diary, 2:37–38, 275; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1927, Washington, 1928).
10. The approximate date of JQA's graduation from Harvard.
11. JQA viewed the Battle of Bunker Hill with AA from a vantage point atop Penn's Hill in Braintree in 1775. The brutality of the conflict and the death of family friend Dr. Joseph Warren deeply affected him. He repeated his distaste for the revels on the site of the battlefield in his Diary entry on this day and disapprovingly noted that “to crown the whole, The head of the table, was I hear placed on the very spot where the immortal Warren fell” (Diary, 2:50–51). For JQA's reminiscences of 17 June 1775 and his lifelong displeasure with celebrations connected to the day, see vol. 1:223–224.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0058

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-20

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

We have sat off our English Friends1 for Boston. Mama has accompanied them; Sister Lucy has gone to your deserted habitation, and taken our Boy with her to clean the closets, rub the furniture &c. The dampness for want of Fires being kept in the Rooms moulds the things very much, and makes the Paper peal off, and it { 171 } requires considerable care, to keep them in tolerably good order. And here is your Eliza left entirely alone. I would recollect my thoughts and arrange them in some degree of order if possible, but they have been so confused for some time past that I fear tis impracticable; The arrival of my Cousins this week, the reception of Letters from you by Lyde and Cushing,2 who came in this week also, together with the intelligence relative to my Cousin contain'd in yours, has quite turned my head, and I feel now as if I had just awoke from a dream.
You think some of my Letters must have miscaried as you have recd. none since that by Mr Wilson; Tis no wonder my Aunt should be loth to suppose her Neice capable of so great neglect, as she must prove herself to be, when she makes the mortifying confession, that She has not once written since that time! I will not attempt an apology: my future attention, must prove, my penitence and reformation.
I did not return from Haverhill, till the 17th of April, only a Visit of 7 months,! two of which I spent with my dear and amiable Aunt. I have pass'd the Winter very happily: Society and Amusements pleasing; Friends, attentive and sincere; Health my companion doubly pleasing, as long unenjoy'd; A heart (usually) at ease, and a mind perfectly disposed to relish and enjoy, all the good or pleasure which the bountiful hand of Heaven is pleased to spread before me; with all these blessings, why Should not I be happy? My Cousin JQA—s company afforded me much pleasure, he was very good to visit us often at Mr Whites. He is a great favourite with that family, I believe Mr W—— (natturally indifferent) never paid so much attention to any Person before; or felt a greater esteem. And as for my Friend Peggy, if she had not have lost her heart before,3 She would have stood no chance of securing it this winter. O! tis a comfortable thing to have ones heart secure, either in our own possession, or in the hands of one, who will treat and value it as their own.
You have puzzled us my dear Aunt most amazingly with respect to my Cousin; I want to write to her, but for my heart I dont know how to address her; whether as Mrs S——h Mrs H——p——s, or Miss A. I hope however, notwithstanding all changes, I may still call her my Friend, and be acknowledg'd as hers. Yesterday Mama recd. a small parcel from you containing a Crape Apron, and a peice of Ribbon wound upon a visiting Card. Curiosity induced some of us to read it. It was read and thrown by, I took it, and said instantly, it is my Cousins writing—what should she fill up a Card for Mr and Mrs Smith for? { 172 } and who are they? Upon the whole we concluded it must be, even herself and Husband, and that this ingenious scheme for informing us of her marriage was of my good Aunts inventing. To finish the matter, we put the Card up in our post Office (by the side of my picture you know) and placed it before a Letter directed to Mr <T.>—— which was deposited their till his return, supposing He could very easily discern if it was her writing—was it cruel? Compassion! tenderness! Generosity! all, all forgive us if it was! The temptation was irisistable: perhaps, he knew it all before, and perhaps we are mistaken, another person may write exactly like my Cousin.4
You enquire, how your fruit Trees flourish. Phoebe says the Peach trees are decaying, the others are in good condition. The Laylocks are just opening, and have grown very much.
The grass Plot before the house looks most delightfully green. I went and stood at the door the day before Yesterday, and could not help thinking, how often you had ocupied the same place and with how much satisfaction you used to observe the dayly increasing Verdure; Could you my dear Aunt look upon it now do you think, with the same pleasure you formally did? Your Cottage then had charms and its appearance was equal or superior, to any in the Village; Could you return to it now, and after comparing it with the splendor and elegance of your present habitation, still pronounce it pleasing, still find it the abode of contemtment, of rational enjoyment and domestick peace? O! if you could how happy should We be! I took some encouragment to hope from one expression in your last Letter to me, that you did think of returning. You say “how shall I leave your Cousin?” Unpleasing as the Idea is to me of her settling so far from us, your connecting it, with the truly pleasing one of your return, divested it of some of its dissagreableness and rendered it more surportable; but I must hope it will not be always. I cannot, cannot, consent to it! I am sure she cannot be so happy in Europe. Tho the possessing the sincere and affectionate attachment of one worthy Heart, may be to her the first of blessings, yet, how much more might enjoy that here, in the midst of friends interested for her and who would greatly encrease her happiness, by being the pleasd witnesses of it. She must indeed return.
You inquire about the flower seeds, you was so good as to send me. They came too late for planting last year; I sent for them to Haverhill this winter, to take out some for Mr Dalton, who has a beautiful Garden at Newbury.5 The remainder I put up in my Trunk to bring home, but to my great dissapointment I cannot yet get it { 173 } brought from H——. I am very much affraid they will be too old, I shall however try them in Pots, and distribute, some to my Friends who are curious in that way. Mr Apthorp6 makes great dependance upon rearing some of them. He has had a very pretty Fence before his House since you went away, and made the enclosure look very neat and elegant.
I hope you will congratulate us upon the probability of a new Fence to Our Garden. Mr A—— has long been ashamed of ours, for us, and indeed we have stood in need of one. It is to be like Genll. Warrens, the materials for it are gatherd togather in the Yard, as also for a new Barn, which is as far advanced as framing.
I am exceedingly obligd to you my dear Aunt, for your kind attention to me and my Sister, we shall ever retain a grateful remembrance of your goodness. Mama informs you of all the News. She writes so largely, that she leaves very little for me to say. I have read the Poem you was so good as to send me and am much pleasd with—but accidentally, I suppose, in the sewing, 4 Pages are wanting, just at the conclusion. I was very sorry as it leaves it quite unconnected.
I hope you will be so good as to continue to write to me. Your Letters in some measure compensate for, and fill up that dreadful Chasm which your absence makes, in our enjoyments and which would otherwise be quite insuportable. Please to offer my respectful and affectionate regards to my Uncle. I shall write my Cousin by the next Vessel, which will sail a few days, after this. I have not had but one Letter from her since her Brothers arrival—tis Strange!

[salute] I am my dear Aunt with the Sincerest Love & gratitude your obligd & Affectionate Neice

[signed] Eliza Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Betsy Cranch May 20th 1786.”
1. See Richard Cranch to JA, 20 May, below.
2. AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 14 Feb.; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 21 March and 6 April; AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 2 April; and AA to Lucy Cranch, 2 April, all above.
3. Peggy White lost her heart to Bailey Bartlett; the two married on 21 Nov. (Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 2:329).
4. The visiting card was not an announcement of AA2's marriage. The William Smiths of Clapham left the card at Grosvenor Square. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 4 July, below.
5. Elizabeth Cranch sent the flower seeds to Ruth Dalton, daughter of Tristram Dalton, a Newburyport merchant and one of JA's classmates at Harvard. Dalton served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1782–1785, and Senate, 1786–1788, as well as the U.S. Senate, 1789–1791. At one time the wealthiest citizen of Newburyport, Dalton lost his fortune and ended his days as surveyor of the port of Boston.
Dalton's countryseat, Spring Hill, located on the Merrimack River, was admired by many for its terraced garden, fruit trees, hot house, dairy, and picturesque view of { 174 } the surrounding countryside (Ruth Dalton to Elizabeth Cranch, 8 April, MHi: Jacob Norton Papers; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578; Eben F. Stone, “A Sketch of Tristram Dalton,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 25:1–29 [Jan.–March 1888]; Recollections of Samuel Breck with Passages from His Note-Books (1771–1862), ed. H. E. Scudder, Phila., 1877, p. 97–99).
6. James Apthorp (1731–1799), the Cranch family's neighbor (John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American, 3 vols., Boston, 1878, 1:519–520). For JQA's thoughts on Apthorp, see Diary, 1:329–331; 2:247, 267.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0059

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-05-20

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror

We have received the Favour of your Letters and those from Sister Adams, by the Captains Cushing and Lyde. Cushing arrived on Sunday last and Lyde on Monday.
I thank you for the further explanation of your Sentiments respecting the probable Operation of our Navigation Act, and think they are well founded. I think what you mention about the Sugar Trade with France in return for our Oil, is a matter of vast Importance to the N England States, and may be prosecuted to great Advantage by our Merchants. The Vessell said to belong to Tom: B—— is this week arrived at Boston with a Cargo of Sugars from France; and, it is reported, will make a fine Voyage. I have not time at present to write on publick Matters—a great Cry in some Parts of the State for Paper Money—great aversion to it in others—probably it will be warmly agitated in the lower House, perhaps carried there: But I think it will not pass the Senate. R: Island has just passed an Act for making an Emission of Paper Money, to be on landed Security, but it is greatly opposed and remonstrated against by their principal Towns.1
The Votes for Govr. and Lt. Govr. in this State are returned, and are said to be full in favour of Govr Bowdoin and Lt Govr Cushing. Senators are much the same thro' the State as last Year. In this County all but Mr. Lowell came in by the People. Mr Lowell and Mr. Ben: Austin (the Father of J: L: Austin) are the Candidates. In Worcester is one Vacancy, Mr Sprague the Lawyer did not come in by the People. He and Genl. Ward are the Candidates.2 Our Friend Doctr. Tufts is unanimously chosen for Member for Weymouth, as well as Senator by the highest number of Votes in the County. Your Sons at the University, and Master Tom: at Haverhill are well. Cous: Charles was here this Week. They behave unblameably as far as I can learn, and follow their Studies with the greatest Attention. I { 175 } have not heard a Complaint or Suggestion against either of them. They and Billy make an agreeable young Triumvirate, and are very happy together. My Kinsman Mr. Wm: Bond, who married Mrs. Elworthy's Sister, arrived here safe from Bristol with his Wife and two Children and her Sister Ebut, after a very agreeable Passage, on Saturday last.3 The Ladies and Children went up to Braintree last Wednesday, where they are at present at our House. They expect to sail for Falmouth in Casco Bay the first fair Wind. You will please to let Cousn Elworthy know this. Your Hond. Mother and your Bror. and Family are all well, as are all the Circle of our near Connections.
Since writing the above we have received your favours by Mrs. Hay who is safe arrived at Boston. I thank you for the learned and very valuable account of Virginia by Govr. Jefferson, which you sent me, and shall follow your injunctions respecting it. I have diped into it in various places, and find his Natural History of that Country to be very curious, and his Observations on the Varieties among the Human Species, particularly with respect to the Indians and Blacks, to be ingenious and worthy of a Philosopher. His Argument drawn from Fact in favour of american Genious, would be greatly strengthened, if, to a Washington, a Franklin and a Rittenhouse,4 we should add a Jefferson.5
Your favour of the 11th. of March contains Matters of vast moment to all the United States, but more especially to those concerned in the Cod-Fishery. I mean the american Commerce with Britain, and the War with the Moors. But as I am in hourly expectation that Capt. Barnard will sail for London, and fearing lest I should loose this Oportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your and Sister Adams's obliging Favours, I must postpone the Consideration of those important and interesting Matters for the present.
You ask what is become of the Art of making Saltwater fresh? I think it is come to nothing, and that our old Friend Pater West has been imposed on by a worthless Fellow, who is now said to be run off and left him in the lurch. Mr West like many other recluse Men, tho' very learned, is credulous and open to Imposition.6 I hear he is greatly mortified.
The Coins, if they be so called, found at Mistick, have been a Subject of Speculation. They are extremely inelegant in their Form, and the [impre]ssions very few and clumsy. I rather think they are { 176 } [nei]ther of Phoenician nor Moorish Original; but that they were a kind of Substitute for the Indian Wampum, and used by our first Settlers in their Trade with the Natives while in their rude and most simple State. I will endeavour to send you some of them.
I herewith send you a Packett of Letters from our Family to yours, and shall only add my most affectionate Regards to your deservedly dear Partner, and most amiable Daughter; assuring you that I am with the highest Esteem your obliged Friend and Brother.
[signed] Richard Cranch
RC (Adams Papers; addressed:) “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr: L. L. D. Minister from the United States of America at the Court of Great Britain. Grosvenor Square, Westminster”; stamped: “COWES SHIP LRES”; notation: “3/3½” and “5/11”; endorsed: “Mr Cranch. May. 20. Ansd. July. 4. 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. In an effort to control the state's internal debt, the Rhode Island legislature passed an act to print 100,000 pounds in paper currency to issue as loans in return for mortgages on real estate. Additional legislation required creditors to accept the paper money or forfeit the amount of the loan and be subject to a fine. Every delegate from the towns of Providence, Newport, Bristol, Portsmouth, and Westerly opposed the initiative, which was enacted at the behest of Rhode Island farmers (Boston Independent Ledger, 15 May; Daniel P. Jones, The Economic and Social Transformation of Rural Rhode Island, 1780–1850, Boston, 1992, p. 30–31).
2. John Sprague (1740–1800) had represented Lancaster, Worcester County, in the state House of Representatives from 1782 to 1785, and in the state Senate from 1785 to 1786; he was not reelected in 1786 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 6:1187).
Gen. Artemas Ward (1727–1800), having served numerous positions in state government as well as representing Massachusetts in Congress, was reelected as the representative from Shrewsbury, Worcester County, and also chosen to serve as speaker of the house by a near unanimous vote (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, ante May sess.; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:326–348).
3. William Bond of Kingsbridge, England, and his wife Hannah Cranch, the niece of Richard Cranch and sister of Elizabeth Cranch Elworthy, emigrated to Falmouth (now Portland, Maine). Hannah's younger sister Ebbett died in Falmouth in 1789. By 1796, Bond was established as a watchmaker in Boston (Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852, MHi: Cranch-Bond Papers; Boston Directory, 1796; “Richard Cranch and His Family,” NEHGR, 27:41 [Jan. 1873]).
4. Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia included his response to the Abbé Raynal's observation that America had not yet produced “a man of genius” in any of the arts or sciences (Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, ed. William Peden, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1955, p. 64–65).
5. Cranch emphasized the name “Jefferson” by writing it in oversized letters.
6. Rev. Samuel West, Harvard 1754, minister of the First Congregational Society in Dartmouth, now New Bedford, was taken in by Mr. Allen's claims that he could desalinate seawater. West brought Allen's “discovery” to the attention of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and had also “written a pompous account of this affair to the Ambassador of the Court of London” (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:501–510; Massachusetts Centinel, 4 Feb.; John Eliot to Jeremy Belknap, 8 Feb., The Belknap Papers. Part III, MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 4 [1891]:308–309). For Allen's scheme, see JA to Richard Cranch, 11 March, note 5note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0060

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-05-21

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear sister

Your kind Letter of Feb'ry came safe to hand, and proved my assertion, that I was sure you had written to me tho it did not reach me by the post. As Letters are always Subject to inspection when put into the bag, it is not best to trust any thing improper for a News paper by that conveyance unless addrest to some merchant, which address prevents curiosity. In writing to you, I am not under that apprehension, my Letters going immediately to the place of their destination. I had as leaves trust them in the Bag as by a private hand.
I presume before this reaches you you will be fully satisfied with regard to the Subject you wrote me upon, and can have no apprehensions of Change of mind. It is not unlikly that when I write again to you, you may add another Nephew to the list of your Relatives.1 A House is taken and I have been for the last week employd in buying linnen china Glass &c. In other respects the House is ready furnishd. I wish I had one of my Neices with me, whilst I remain in this Country, but it will not be long before I shall quit it. Not ten days ago I expected to have taken my passage in the july packet, in concequence of some intelligence which afterwards wore a different appearence; things are so fluctuating upon both Sides the water that it is really difficult to draw up conclusions. Prussia has treated; Portugal has treated; and the Emperours minister has just received Powers to treat also; but very unfortunatly the joint commissions of the American ministers expired this month So that nothing can be concluded till new powers arrive.2 Whoever has any thing to do with Courts, must have Patience, for their first Second; and third requisites. I wish I was well out of the Way of all of them. My object is to return to America early next Spring, if nothing arises to oblige us to take this step Sooner. I cannot think of a fall passage, of this I shall be better informd in a few weeks. But there is no office more undesirable than Minister of the united States, under the present embarrasments, there is no reputation to be acquired, and there is much to lose.
Negotiations with other powers may be, and have been effected, but with England there is not the least probability of a treaty untill the States are united in their measures, and invest Congress with full powers for the regulation of commerce, and a minister here can { 178 } be of very little service untill that event takes place. It is true he may be invested with other powers, and one more important than treating with this Country, is making peace with the Barbery States. But as mr A foretold so it has turnd out, Lamb is returning without being able to effect any thing, the dey would not even see him and the demand for the poor fellows who are in captivity is a thousand Dollars pr Man and there are 21 of them.3 The sum allotted by Congress is so inadaquate to the thing, that we must look only for war upon us. Unless Congress endeavour to borrow the sum demanded, and treat immediately, their demands will increase in proportion to the Captures they make, but of all this they are regularly and fully informd. You will not however make these matters known till you hear them from some other quarter. These are droll subjects for one Lady to write to an other upon, but our Country is so much interested in these affairs that you must excuse me for troubleing you with them, and you can communicate with discretion.
I thank you most Sincerely for all your kindness to my dear sons and hope they will ever bear a gratefull remembrance of it. The account you give of their behaviour and conduct is such as I hope they merit.4 The Idea that their success in Life depends upon their diligence and application to their studies, to a modest and virtuous deportment, cannot be too Strongly impresst upon their minds. The foolish Idea in which some of our Youth, are educated: of being born Gentleman is the most ridiculous in the world for a Country like our. It is the mind and manners which make the Gentleman and not the Estate. There is no Man with us, so rich as to breed up a family in Idleness with Ideas of Paternal inheritance, and far distant may that day be from our Land: he who is not in some way or other usefull to Society, is a drone in the Hive, and ought to be Hunted down accordingly. I have very different Ideas of the wealth of my Countrymen, to what I had when I left it. Much of that wealth has proved falacious and their debts exceed their property. Economy and industery may retrive their affairs. I know that the Country is capable of great exertions but in order to this, they must curtail their Ideas of Luxery and refinement, according to their ability. I do not believe any Country exceeds them in the article of dress.5 In Houses in furniture in Gardens and pleasure Grounds and in equipage, the wealth of France and England is display'd to a high pitch of Grandeur and magnificence. But when I reflect upon the thousands who are Starving, and the millions who are loaded with taxes to support this pomp and shew, I look to my happier { 179 } Country with an enthusiastick warmth, and pray for the continuance of that equality of Rank and fortune which forms so large a portion of our happiness.6
I yesterday dinned at the Bishop of Saint Asaphs, in company with dr Preistly and Dr Price and some Strangers. The Bishops Character is well known and respected as a Friend to America, and justly does he deserve the Character of a liberal Man.7 He is polite affable and concequently agreeable. He has a Lady and an unmarried daughter, both of whom are well bred according to my Ideas.8 According to British Ideas good Breeding consist in an undaunted air, and a fearless, not to say, bold address and appearence. The old Lady is both sensible and learned, quite easy and social. The Young one is modest and attentive. This is a family, the friendship and acquaintance of which I should like to cultivate.9
Dr Priestly is a Gentleman of a pale complexion spair habit, placid thoughtfull Countanance, and very few words. I heard him preach for dr Price, his delivery is not equal to the matter of his discourses. I dinned twice in company with the Dr. and was mortified that I could not have more of his company at our own House, but he was engaged every moment of his time whilst in London.–I believe I have frequently mentiond Dr Price. He is a good and amiable Man, a little inclined to lowness of spirits, which partly arises from the melancholy state of Mrs Price who two years ago had a paralytick stroke, and has been helpless ever Since.
Captain Bigolew has promised to take this Letter From your ever affectionate Sister
[signed] AA
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.). Dft (Adams Papers); undated, filmed at [1786], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 369.
1. In the undated Dft, after this sentence, AA wrote the following in place of the remainder of this paragraph and the next:
“Some affairs have turnd up which give us reason to think that Mr A must go to Holland. If so I shall accompany him and leave to the young folks the care of the House and family and they will be married previous to our going. In a week or ten days it will be known whether we must go, and the result of the business there will determine whether we em bark for America in the july packet, which I assure you I do not think improbable. This will be an unexpected Step, and will not be taken without sufficient reasons to justify it. Those reasons must be kept Secret at present nor would I have our apprehensions mentiond as it would lay open a wide feild for conjecture. As we are too short sighted beings to see far into futurity our only study should be to do our duty for those with whom we are connected, as far as we are capable of judging of it, and leave the event for time to devolope.”
JA's thought of returning to America arose from the shortage of U.S. funds in Europe. To avoid defaulting on interest payments to the Dutch loan, JA was asked to limit his own spending and the amounts drawn for negotiating with the Barbary powers. If these monies were indefinitely appropriated to pay the interest, JA predicted that Barclay and Lamb's missions would be “undone” and that he must either “starve or go home” (Board of Treasury to { 180 } JA, 7 March; Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst to JA, 5 May, both Adams Papers; and JA to Willinks and van Staphorsts, 11 May, 19 May, and 21 May, all LbCs, Adams Papers).
2. Florimund Claude, Comte Mercy d'Argenteau, ambassador from the Austrian emperor to France, informed Jefferson of his powers to negotiate upon the latter's return to Paris (Jefferson, Papers, 9:507). The commissions sent to JA, Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin to negotiate commercial treaties expired on 12 May, two years from their date of issue (JCC, 27:372–374).
3. The most recent reports received by JA predicted that Lamb's mission to free American prisoners and conclude a treaty of amity and peace with Algiers would end in failure (Lamb to Thomas Jefferson, 29 March; Thomas Barclay to the American Commissioners, 10 April, Jefferson, Papers, 9:364–365, 383–384). Lamb ultimately was granted three audiences with the dey of Algiers, but the sums demanded for the prisoners or for peace were so extraordinary that the commissioners suspended the mission and referred the matter back to Congress (John Lamb to the American Commissioners, 20 May; Jefferson to Lamb, 20 June, same, 9:549–554, 667).
4. In the Dft, AA adds at this point: “I look upon a colledge Life as a sort of ordeal. If they pass unscorchd it is in some measure a security to them against future temptations.”
5. In the Dft, the previous three sentences read: “Economy and industery will retrieve their affairs and the Country is capable of great things. But their Ideas of Luxery and refinement have leapd a century to be sure. In the article of dress amongst the Ladies of our Country, diamonds excepted, I believe there is no nation exceeds them in extravagance.”
6. In the Dft, AA continued the paragraph with: “Where industery is sure of a reward, and each individual may become a landholder without being Subject to taxes amounting to 15 Shillings in the pound which is the case here. Inclosed is a print which may give you Some Idea of the taxes of this Nation. Yet notwithstanding all this the kings civil list is 200 thousand in debt and the prince of Wales 4 hundred thousand. What a picture added to their National debt?” The print, if enclosed with the RC, has not been found.
7. In the Dft, this sentence reads: “He has the manners and appearence which I have always annexed to the Idea of a good Bishop. I need not say that he is liberal in his sentiments with respect to Religion and politicks.”
8. Two of Jonathan and Anna Shipley's daughters remained unmarried throughout their lives: Betsy (1754–1796) and Catherine (1759–1840) (DNB; Franklin, Papers, 18:199–202).
9. The Dft concludes here with the following passage: “I have written you so frequently of late that I have nothing further to add than my affectionate Regards to every branch of your family. The ship you mention as arriving without letters put up for Nantucket I believe no other has arrived without.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0061

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-05-21

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I am now much more at my disposal, with respect to my Time, than I was at Haverhill, and can devote more of it to writing, though, it is said, this Quarter, that is, the last of the Junior Sophister year, is most important, and busy, than any other in the four years. Mr: Williams's Lectures on natural Philosophy, render it so; his Course consists of 24 Lectures, 13 of which we have already had. I have hitherto, taken, minutes, while he was speaking, and written off, after I came out, as much as I could recollect of them. Some of my Class have told me, they were not worth the Time, and Pains I { 181 } have spent upon, them; but I think they are, as they may serve to fix firmer in my Mind; the principles of an important branch of Science, which I never before have studied. In my last letter, to you, I requested Desagulier's Translation of S. Gravesande's, in 2 Volumes octavo, there is a 4to: Edition, but the other is that which is studied here. They are very scarce in this Country, as they can neither be bought, nor borrowed out of College. We begin to recite in them tomorrow, but I shall endeavour to borrow them of some Classmate, for the 2 weeks, we shall recite in them this Quarter; and I hope to receive one, before I shall have occasion for it again. This is the last Quarter, in which we recite in the Languages, the next year, we shall be confined to Mathematics, natural Philosophy, and Metaphysics; we shall finish Locke on the understanding, before the end of this year, and begin, in Reid on the Mind;1 our progress here is very slow, but we have so many things to attend to at once, that it cannot well be other wise.
I received a few days since, your favour of March 19th: and at the same time, from my Sister Coll: Humphreys's Poem, which I think superior to the former, among its beauties is, a very happy imitation of a famous passage in Virgil, AEn: 6: 847. &c. It is in the 30th: page
Let other Climes of other produce boast &c.2
I think it is, as Boileau, says of himself, même, en imitant, toujours original.3
America, appears to hasten towards, perfection, in the fine arts; and any Country, would, boast of a Belknap, as an historian, a Dwight, as a Poet,4 and a West as a Painter. There, are in this University, one or two Students, (now Senior Sophister's) who promise fair to become very good Poets. One of them by the name of Fowle, was appointed a few days since, to deliver a valedictory Poem, on the 21st: of June, and it is said, has another assign'd him as a Part at Commencement. There is among the governors of the College, one, who for genius and learning, would make a figure in any part of Europe. I mean the Librarian, Mr: Winthrop. He has lately discovered, a method of trisecting an Angle, which, has so long been attempted, in Vain.5 Mr: Sewall too the former Hebrew Professor, is now producing his talents. He was obliged to resign, because, it was said he was addicted to drinking. He most sacredly declared, at the Time, that the accusation was false; it has been said as an argument, to prove, he was subject to the Vice, that his mental faculties were impair'd: to show that this was not the fact, he has under• { 182 } taken, to translate Young's Night Thoughts into Latin Verse. The first Night is to be published soon; the work may be considered as a curiosity, and I shall send one, as soon as they are printed.6
I have been so busy, since the date of the Former Part, of this Letter, that I have not been able to finish it. I have taken in writing extracts of all I remembered of the Lectures upon natural Philosophy. The Course finished last Saturday, and I have now the disposal of my Time, much more than I had before. The Performances at Commencement, are distributed, and are more numerous, than they ever have been before; it is a doubt, at present whether this is only a mark of favour, to the Class that is about to graduate, because it is said to be one of the best Classes taken collectively, for genius, and Learning, that has ever gone through College; or whether, it is the Intention of the Government for the future to increase the number of good Parts as they are called. Hitherto about two thirds of each Class, have had syllogistic disputes, to perform at Commencement, and as they are never attended to, they are held in detestation by the Scholars. And every one thinks it a reflection upon his Character as a genius and a student to have a Syllogistic; this opinion is the firmer, because the best Scholars almost always have other Parts; there are many disadvantages derived, from these Syllogisms, and I know only of one benifit, which is this. Many Scholars, would go through College without studying at all, but would idle away all their Time; who merely from the horrors of Syllogisms, begin to Study, acquire a fondness for it, and make a very pretty figure in College. And it is not uncommon to see young fellows the most idle, in a Class the two first years, have the Reputation of great Students, and good scholars the two Latter.
The next Commencement, there will be delivered, 2 English Poems, two English Orations, two Latin Orations, a greek Dialogue, 3 Forensic Disputes, and an English Dialogue between four. Thompson, a young gentleman from Newbury, has one of the English Orations. He is generally supposed to be the most distinguished Character in College. It is said by his Classmates, that he will outshine Harry Otis, who will deliver at the Same Time an Oration upon taking his second Degree, but it is now a doubt whether Thompson, will appear, as he is very unwell. He has injured his Health by hard study, and it is feared he has a slow Fever.
The Bridge, at Charlestown is very nearly compleated. Next Sat• { 183 } urday, being the 17th: of June, there is to be a long Procession, over the bridge, and an Entertainment for 600 persons provided on Bunkers Hill. I know of no News, as I am here quite retired. It is now eight-weeks since this Quarter began. Near as we are to Boston, I have been there only once in that Time. A Person, who wishes to make any figure as a Scholar at this University, must not spend much Time, either in visiting or in being visited.
I Have one more request to add to those I have already made; it is for Blair's Lectures,7 in Octavo, so that they may be in the same form with the Sermons, and because an Octavo is much more convenient than a Quarto.

[salute] Your dutiful Son,

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by WSS: “21st. May 1786. J. Q. Adams.”
1. JQA's copy of Thomas Reid, An Inquiry into the Human Mind, On the Principles of Common Sense, 4th edn., corrected, London, 1785, is at MQA.
2. The line JQA quotes from Humphreys, A Poem, on the Happiness of America, appears on p. 29 of the Hartford, Conn., 1786, reprint edition (Evans, No. 19723). Humphreys suggests that other nations will produce many fine items, “But men, Columbia, be thy fairer growth, / Men of firm nerves who spurn at fear and sloth, / Men of high courage like their sires of old, / In labour patient as in danger bold!” (lines 586–589). JQA is comparing this sentiment to Book Six of the Aeneid, in which Virgil extols the acts of various Romans but praises the development of Roman law and government above all else (lines 847–853).
3. Even in imitation, always original (Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Oeuvres Poëtiques, London, 1730, Epigram 52).
4. Rev. Jeremy Belknap of Dover, N.H., published the first volume of his History of New Hampshire in 1784; The Conquest of Canäan, an epic poem by Rev. Timothy Dwight of Greenfield Hill, Conn., and later the president of Yale College, appeared in 1785 (DAB).
5. James Winthrop's findings were printed as “A Rule for Trisecting Angles Geometrically,” Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. 2: pt. 1, p. 14–17 (Evans, No. 25092).
6. Stephen Sewall, Harvard 1761, first began teaching Hebrew at the college in 1761. He served as Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Languages from 1764 until his dismissal in 1785. Sewall's translation of Young's Night Thoughts, Night I, Nocte cogitata, auctore, anglice scripta, Young, D.D. quae lingua Latii donavit America, was printed in Charlestown in 1786 (Evans, No. 20170; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:107–114).
7. Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. Two copies of these lectures, both later editions but with JQA's bookplates, are located at MQA.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0062

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-21

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Is it possible that my dear Niece should really be married and the little visiting Card upon which a peice of Ribbon was wound be the only way in which my sister has thought proper to convey the pleasseing intellegence to her Friends?2 It is an event which almost every one hop'd, and every one I know will approve. For my Self, I { 184 } most heartily congratulate you all, not only upon your acquisition but upon your escape:–can he after this delude another Family, must another unsuspecting fair one fall a victim to his vanity. I have no pity to bestow upon him unless for his folly. He means to brave it I see. He puts on such an air of indifference and gaeity as plainly show's how much he is mortified. He is dressd out to day in his best attire even his head is comb'd. It is Sunday. I hope said he, there will be many strangers at meeting to day—for his comfort there has been mr and Mrs Story and Family.3 We have not chang'd one Word with him upon the subject from the first of the affair to this day. I am rejoice'd that his Letters were not lost.4 I knew he had abus'd me and charg'd me with things which were false. He wanted to impose upon me too and was angry that he could not and reveng'd himself by endeavouring to rob me of the affection of my dear Niece, for this I know not how to forgive him. It was quite accidental that I knew any thing about it—and now I only know in general. I hope she does not believe what he has alleg'd against me. I believe you think I have no curiosity. I have a reasonable share I assure you and wish to know much more than you have told me of the rise and progress of the sudden match in your Family. Do you know that you never mention'd the name of the Gentleman in one of your Letters to any of us nor any thing which could lead us to guess Who it was. The manner in which you spoke of coll. Humphries made us think that it was him rather than coll. Smith,–nor did we know other ways till we Saw Doctor Tufts Letter.5–But oh my Sister must you leave her in Europe when you return. I cannot bear the Idea. Shall I not be a witness to the Happiness I have so often wish'd her. I must hope I shall. How much more pleasure do you feel by introducing a man of such a universally good character into your Family than one exactly opposite to it. May you always have reason to rejoce. By an expression in your Letter to Betsy I cannot help hopeing that you may soon return. Esters Letter too to her mother speaks the same thing. She says you are to return by the way of Holland, is it so? The hope of its being really so has brought a tear of joy into my eye.
You say in one of your Letters that you have written largly to me. I have receiv'd one Letter by the January Pacquit at least it was dated January 26th Mr King sent it. One by mrs Hay one by cushing and one by Lyde as I suppose but they came in so near together that I cannot very well tell which the Letters came in. I have receiv'd the Key of the Trunk the latter is not come ashoar yet.6 Mr and mrs Rogers are not arriv'd in Boston. I went yesterday to see. I hope she { 185 } has Letters for me, for I am not half satisfied with what I have got. They will not all make one long Letter.
I am provok'd with young for his ill conduct about the chocalate. He promiss'd to put it into his chest. We dare not send much at one time. I am now very glad it was no more. I will send more when we can find a captain we can trust. I have no notion of giving a feast to the custom house Officers. I design to speak in Season for some nuts for you. Accep a Thousand thanks my dear Sister for your kind presents to me and my children but why my Sister have you not sent me a Bill of the Silk and apron. I feel my Self under obligations which I cannot repay. I am thankful that your sons stand in need of some of my care and attention, as it is the only way in which we can show our gratitude. They are good children and give us no unnecessary cares. I am sure I long for their vacancys to commence as much, and I believe more than they do. We have a bustling time tis true and have work enough to do to repair the damages of their late session and prepare them for the next, but the chearfulness they infuse is a full compensation for all that is done for them. Our young Folks improve fast in their musick. Two German Flutes, a violin and a harpsicord and two voices form a considerable concert.7 Come my Sister come and hear it. It will give you more pleasure than those scenes of Dissapation which you decribe, you must I think be heartily tir'd of them. You do perfectly right to be a witness to as many of them as you can with propriety so long as you can detest them, but I cannot bear you should leave my Niece in the midst of them: She is young and habit may render them less odious to her. Why has She not written to any of us? Her amiable Partner must not ingross all her time. He must spare her a little to her Freinds, at least long enough to tell them how happy She is. I design to write to her as soon as I am properly inform'd how to address her.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch May 7th 1786.” The endorsement suggests that AA received this undated letter with Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 7 May, above.
1. Mary Cranch comments in the course of the letter that she is writing on Sunday and that she visited Boston “yesterday,” an event that Elizabeth Cranch places on the 20th (Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 20 May, above).
2. For the visiting card from the William Smiths of Clapham that the Cranch family mistakenly believed was intended to annouce AA2's marriage, see Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 20 May, and note 4, above.
3. Perhaps Ebenezer and Hannah Storer and his children George and Mary, whom Elizabeth Cranch saw at the home of Hannah's stepmother, Ann Marsh Quincy, on Monday the 22d (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers, Elizabeth Cranch Diary, 22 May 1786).
4. The letters have not been found.
5. AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Jan., above, which Tufts received on 19 May.
6. The trunk was sent with Capt. Lyde and AA's letter of 6 April.
7. JQA's Diary entry for 17 July describes { 186 } the musical scene at the Cranches: “we play'd on the flute, on the harpsichord, and sung. There is always some fine music of one kind or another, going forward in this House. Betsey, and Miss Hiller finger the harpsichord Billy scrapes the Violin, Charles and myself blow the flute” (Diary, 2:66).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0063

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-05-22

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I have time only to write you a line or two, not expecting captain Bigolow to Sail so Soon. I was yesterday informd that he would not go till the middle of the week, but this morning he has sent for the Letters. I thought your sister had letters, but she says they are not ready. She wrote you by mr Jenks 3 weeks ago.1 I must refer you to your Friend Storer for further information as I have written to him more particularly. I send you a Book2 which was presented us by the Author. Your Friend Murry dinned with us yesterday and wonders he does not hear from you. Tis probable you will meet with some curious annecdotes in the English papers respecting Lord Gorge Gorden, mr Simon Tufts and mr Lewis Gray, Who took it upon them to assert that your Pappa received his Sallery Quarterly from Count d A[dhé]mar the french Ambassador. I designd to have transmitted the whole correspondence to dr Tufts, but have not time to write him. The Publick advertizer is the paper which contains the matter, and in which they are challenged to produce their evidence. Not a Syllable has since appeard.3 Adieu yours
[signed] AA
1. AA2's No. 13 to JQA, not found, was carried by John Jenks (AA2 to JQA, 25 April, above).
2. Possibly François Soulés, Histoire des troubles de l'Amérique anglaise, 2 vols., London, 1785, a set of which, with JQA's bookplate and JA's notes throughout volume two is now at MQA. Soulés was known to the Adamses and had borrowed money from JA (Soulés to JA, 9 June 1785, 3 Feb. 1786, both Adams Papers). JQA acknowledged the receipt of Soulés' volumes in his letter to AA, 30 Dec., below, but they were sent via Callahan, not Bigelow (Diary, 2:115–116).
3. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 22 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0064

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-05-22

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch

[salute] Dear Girls

Excuse me I have time only to tell you that I designd to have written, but the captain sails sooner than I expected. I send you some magizines to amuse you, and will continue them to you. Give my Duty to my Honourd Mother and Love to my cousins, to the Germantown family1 remember me. I have a letter too for milton Hill { 187 } partly finishd.2 See what procrastination does, but I wanted to have my letters late, and so I am dissapointed of sending any. I am much hurried just at present. Dont you pitty your cousin, not a female companion of her age. Miss Hamilton, the only one she has had in England, is saild for Philadelphia. I wish for you I am sure every day of my Life. Adieu dear Girls. Love me always as I do you, & believe me ever your affectionate Aunt
[signed] AA
RC (MSaE: Abigail Adams Letters; addressed by WSS: “Miss Betsey Cranch Braintree”)
1. The Palmers.
2. To Mercy Warren, 24 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0065

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Storer, Charles
Date: 1786-05-22

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] Dear Charles

It is a very pleasent morning Sir, and I have risen a little after five, that I might have the pleasure of writing you before Captain Bigolew Sails, so Sir I have seated myself at a desk near the window of the Chamber in which you used to lodge, from whence you know the square has a beautifull appearence, delightfully green it is, but the weather continues so cold that we still keep fires. As I have informd you of my present position, I will go on to relate that in which your letter found me, (know then, tis a fortnight since) that I was Sitting in the drawing room upon the Settee earnestly engaged in conversation with Miss Macauley, daughter to the celebrated Lady of that Name,1 and a very fine young Lady She is, present Miss Hamilton of Philadelphia. O Charles it is fortunate that you did not know that young Lady. Since you left us she has been very intimate in the family. So modest so Sweet and amiable, affable and engageing, so Beautifull, and yet so unconscious of it, in short she is “all that Youthfull poets fancy when they Love.”2 She has an uncle whose adopted child she is, and he almost worships her. He was obliged to come abroad about 2 years ago, and brought her with him then only sixteen years old. He has carrid her into company publick and private, shewn her the world under his own Eye, and preserved her from growing giddy at the view. After having introduced her here, he requested my protection for her and accordingly I have frequently taken her with me to publick places. For this purpose she had come to drink tea with me and go to Ranaleigh. Col Smith Col Norten mr Trumble Dr Bancroft mr Ridley were all present, when { 188 } mr Adams came into the room and presented me your Letter. I wishd to open it, but so much company present I could not, so I put in my pocket. The company staid till ten. The Carriages were then ready at the door and it was time to go to Rana []3 and will you believe it, mr A went with us for the first time. About eleven we got there, and expected to meet a party from Clapham.4 They did not however come till 12. The room not being very full, and we old fashiond people, we retired at one, but your fashonable Friend mrs Paridice, staid a few Evenings since till four oclock. Altho I practised so much self denial, I did not go to bed till I had read your Letter, for which accept my thanks, tho you were very neglegent in it, not a word of Mrs Atkinson nor the children not a syllable of Mamma or Sister Polly.5 It is true you were very good in giving me a minute account of my own Children, and your visit to Haverhill which gratified me much. You are a Young Gentleman of taste, so could not be otherways than pleasd with mrs Shaw. The three Sisters are all clever, I am really at a loss to know which is most so, something different in their manners be sure, but the same principals of Benevolence actuates them all.
You see I write you with the same freedom and confidence as if you was one of us. Let me then assure you that there cannot be any change of mind in the Lady for whom you have exprest an anxiety. She will soon be the wife of a Worthy Man, by her own free and unbiassed Choice; a House is engaged, and I am buisy in prepairing matters for an event not far distant. I understood by dr Tufts that he was in possession of the papers some months ago. I cannot Suppose the Gentleman would be so dishonorable as to wish to retain them, when all hopes of the Lady are annhialated. She has never written him a line since that Letter which past through the hands of Dr Tufts6 and I presume never will again. I wish the Gentleman well. He has good qualities, indeed he has, but he ever was his own Enemy.
As to politicks my dear Charles, when a people have not ability to go to War, why they must be at Peace if they can. But there is not a less Hostile Spirit here against America than there was during the administration of Lord North. They Hate us and the French equally, and every effort to crush us, to breed ill will amongst us, to ruin our commerce, to destroy our navagation will be, and is studiously practised. The Laws of Nations require civility towards Publick Ministers. This we receive, but our Country is vilifye'd by every hireling scribler, and will be so untill the States invest Congress with Powers which shall convince them that we are still united. I can give you a { 189 } very recent instance of the illiberal prejudice of those who call themselves Men of Science and abilities, and no doubt are such. It is customary for the Royal Society of accademicians to have an Annual dinner and to invite all the Foreign Ministers and Strangers of distinction. But this Year to shew their servility to crowned Heads and their hatred of Republicks, they voted to invite only the foreign ministers from crowned Heads, and by that means you see they could exclude the Minister from America, with three others to keep him company, so that the distinction should not amount to an open affront.7 Yet these are the Men of Letters, Men of Science!!! O Britain Blush, that these are the degenerate Sons of thy Sydney, Hamden, Pym, and Russel.8
As to the Algerines, why mr A——s Prophesy is but too true, and Lamb is returning having effected—nothing. Mr Barclay I suppose will be in the same situation, and now what is to be done? You was long enough in the political line to see and feel perplexities of various kinds. You know how much they affect mr A. They surround him from all quarters, and sometimes it is palpable darkness, then a Gleam of light breaks out. There are many things you know, which cannot and must not be told. The honour of America requires silence. I wish all her Sons were as carefull of it. But I wish, what? that I was safe in my little rustick cottage at the foot of pens Hill. Do you hear, when you write again dont tell us one dismall Story. Let us have sun shine from some quarter, if it is only imaginary.
I cannot tell you any more about Lamb untill mr Randle arrives, who we daily expect. I do not know that any other person would have met with a more favourable reception, but he had not half money enough to procure him an audience. This is to ourselves do you mind. Let us keep it from the English as long as we can, tis enough that congress are informed of every thing—politicks adieu.

[salute] Remember me to all inquiring Friends, uncles Aunts & cousins, believe me ever your Friend

[signed] xxxxxxx
PS If you will only put this letter into Your own hand writing, what an improvement it will be.
RC (Adams Papers; endorsed: “22d. May. 1786.”)
1. Catherine Sophia Macaulay, the daughter of historian Catharine Macaulay Graham and Dr. George Macaulay (Bridget Hill, The Republican Virago: The Life and Times of Catharine Macaulay, Historian, Oxford, 1992, p. 16).
2. Altamont speaks this in Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent, Act III, scene i, line 246.
3. Blank in MS.
4. Probably William and Frances Coape Smith.
5. AA inquires after Charles' elder sister, { 190 } Elizabeth Storer Atkinson, and her children, younger sister Mary (Polly), and his stepmother Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer, AA's cousin.
6. AA2's letter breaking off her engagement with Royall Tyler may have been sent in care of Cotton Tufts (AA2 to Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug. 1785]; AA to Tufts, 18 Aug. 1785, vol. 6:262, 283–287).
7. The Royal Academy hosted their annual celebration on 29 April. Among the attendees were the ministers from Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Spain, Sicily, Portugal, and Sardinia. Missing from the festivities were the diplomatic representatives from Genoa, Venice, the Netherlands, and, of course, the United States (London Daily Universal Register, 2 May).
8. Algernon Sidney, John Hampden, John Pym, and Lord William Russell, all seventeenth-century anti-Stuart figures who became heroes to both Britain's and America's eighteenth-century Commonwealthmen and republicans (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0066

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-22

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have been almost frighted out of my senses this afternoon. Your Mother Hall and Polly Adams came to spend the day with me, but had like to have been kill'd before they return'd. As they were geting into the chaise to go home, the Horse took a fright and although he was fastind to the hook in the Tree, he broke the Bridle and a way he went. Mr Wibird had just help'd in miss Polly and had turn'd round to help mrs Hall as he started. I saw the Horse run but as the gate was shut I suppos'd that would stop him, but I was mistaken he jump'd over it, but the chaise not being so nimble as he was it tore the gate all to peices. Polly had no command of him as she had not the reins. She jump'd out against the office without doing her self any harm except spraining her back a little. Nobody could Stop the Horse till he had got almost home. When they did and to the astonishment of every body the chaise was found not the least hurt. I was very thankful that mrs Hall was not in it. She was much frighted. The Horse is not fit for a woman to drive. This is the third time he has ran away. Sister Shaw her good man and Daughter are just arrived. Adieu I must run and welcome them.
I went down and found my Friends well. They say your son1 is so also. O! my Sister now we wish for you. Pleasures and pains will be mix'd in this world. What a painful visit shall we make to weymouth. I have not been there since I follow'd my dear Aunt to the Silent Grave. We are happier for receiving our Letters about this time. It adds greatly to our happiness when we can communicate it.
{ 191 }
Mr Shaw and Sister are gone to weymouth to keep Sabbath and uncle and aunt Smith are come to spend it with me but my Sister, I fear we shall soon be call'd to mourn the loss of this good Aunt. She appears to me not to have many months to Stay with us. Her countenance is bad and she is so weak and feeble that She can scarcly walk about the House. She is Sensible of her own decay and think she has not long to stay with us. A Lethergy is what I am aprehensive of. She falls asleep in her chair as she sets in company one arm is half of it turnd purple. She is going to princtown to an ordination. She is not able I am sure. She is not to go into so much company, but her heart is set upon it. I would have her come and stay with me instead of going into so much confution. She will she says after she returns.
I have had so much to do and have been so unwell ever since I wrote the above that I have not had time nor health to continue my Journal of events as I intended. I have had a very bad cold and cough which has made me quite sick. I hope I am better but I am far from well. The Soreness upon my Lungs and a little cough still remains. If I could have had an oppertunity of sending you what I have already written you would have been in some measure prepair'd to have heard the sad news I have now to tell you. Doctor Tufts has just inform'd us that Aunt Smith was last night taken with convultion Fits and is now if living in that Lethargick State I have long expected she would sooner or later be in. This was the day that she was to have set out for her Journey to Princtown. She had got all her cloaths put up and went to beg [bed] as well as She had been for several days, by no means fit to go as the Doctors thought. About two a clock uncle was wak'd by the shaking of the Bed. He found her in a voilent convultion. The Docr. was soon there and bled her before she came out of it. She has had four and when the Doctor came away he thought her dying. The poor Family my Heart achs for them. She has no senses, but She was ready I have no doubt we that know her piety must think so. Such a loss my dear Sister, but the will of Heaven be done.
Our dear Aunt is no more an inhabitant of this earth. She dy'd about three a clock this morning. Her Reason never return'd. They { 192 } are a most affeected Family,2 but they are not the only one I am call'd to mourn with. Uncle Thaxter has lost his youngest Daughter mrs Cushing. She has not been well for several years, but has been better sinc she was married. She was brought to Bed about Ten days since and liv'd but six and thirthy Hours. She left an infant Daughter to supply her place.3 I have not heard any particulars. I did not hear of it till after she was bury'd and I have not had time to go thire since. It is a dreadful Shock to the Family I am sure. How one Friend drops after another. May we be ready our turn cannot be very far off.
I return'd last night from the House, the melancholy House of my dear uncle Smith. I found the Family in deep afflection, uncles sorrow of that kind which will not soon wear off. It is tender yet manly. I Staid with him two days after aunt was bury'd. He wish'd it and I could not deny hime. Betsy is very sorrowful but does not know her loss. Cousin Billy is Steady but afflictted, but the Gentle the amiable Preachers Heart is almost broken. He talks of his dear Parent till sobs interupt his speech. He is appointed chaplain at the castle with as good a Salary at least as any country minister and much more independant, but it is mortifying too see those who have not half his abilities prefer'd before him.4
Mrs Otis is no stranger to afflection but she is oppress'd with Grief. Her circumstances in life makes the stroke doubly severe.5 You can scarcly concieve how tender how attentive and how affectionate uncle appears to his children and Friends. Betsy wants a companion Lucy is going to spend a few days with her. I must not forget Nabby who is as much affected as if it had been her own mother. There never was a Family where the loss of the mistress of it would make so little alteration as in this, Nabbys faithfulness and faculty the cause of it all.
We have not heard from mr Perkins Sinc I wrote you last summer till about a fortnight since. He has written but his letters did not reach us. He is well and in good business as a Lawyer. He is determind not to see N England again without a Fortune sufficient to set him above want and tis not he says so easey a matter as some may think to gain a Fortune suddenly without sacrificing principles in which he has always liv'd and is determind to dye, whether he is poor or rich.
I was at cambridge mr cranch and Eliza with me last friday6 our { 193 } sons were well. Cousin JQA has not been in Boston but once untill he attended his Aunts Funireal since this term began. I think he does not use exercise enough. I told him he wanted his Papa to take him out. You will see by the Papers that the under graduates are all to have a uniform. Your Blue coats &c come in good time.7 Lucy is gone with Betsy Apthorp this day to make a visit to her Brothers as She calls them.8 Our children live sweetly, the most perfect harmony and Brotherly Love Subsists between them.
Not one word of Politicks have I written nor shall I have time to do it now. If I had I would tell you what wonderfull things the House are doing with the Lawyers the court of common Pleas &c but the news papers will do it for me.9 I am thankful there is a senate as well as a House. [Wh]at has congress done? any thing to detain you [in] Europe. I love my country too well to wish you to return yet, much as I wisht to see you. I did design to write to my dear Niece by this vessel but fear I shall not have time. My sincere Love and good wishes attend her and hers. Tis very late good night my ever dear Sister and believe me, yours Affectionatly
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers.) Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. TBA had lived with the Shaw family since April 1783 in order to prepare for college under the direction of Rev. John Shaw (vol. 5:118).
2. Elizabeth Storer Smith (1726–1786) left her husband, Isaac Smith Sr., two sons, Rev. Isaac Jr. and William, and two daughters, Mary Smith Gray Otis and Elizabeth (Betsy).
3. Lucy Thaxter (1760–1786), AA's cousin, married John Cushing in March 1785. She died on 22 June after giving birth to a daughter, Lucy (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 2:165).
4. Castle William, the fortified post on Castle Island in Boston Harbor. The commonwealth established the office of chaplain on 21 March, to be appointed by the governor with the advice of the council. Smith began performing services there on 9 July (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1785, Feb. sess., ch. 154; Boston Independent Ledger, 10 July).
5. For the Aug. 1785 bankruptcy of Boston merchant Samuel Alleyne Otis, triggered by a lack of capital and an overextension of credit to export merchants, see John J. Waters Jr., The Otis Family in Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1968, p. 199–201. See also vol. 6:271 , 273 , 275 , 317, 337 , 417–418.
6. In addition, William Smith joined the Cranches in the visit to JQA (JQA, Diary, 2:58).
7. At a 13 June meeting, the Harvard College Corporation decided to require a uniform, which included blue coats, waistcoats, and breeches (Massachusetts Gazette, 19 June).
8. Elizabeth (1763–1845), daughter of Sarah Wentworth and James Apthorp (John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American, 3 vols., Boston, 1878, 1:519, 524). See also JQA, Diary, 2:267, for his thoughts on Betsy Apthorp.
9. For the recent attacks against the legal profession by Honestus, see JQA to AA2, 18 May, and note 8, above. In the wake of these attacks, the General Court established a committee to examine the practice of law in the Commonwealth, and eventually passed “An Act for Rendering the Decision of Civil Causes, as Speedy, and as Little Expensive as Possible” and “An Act for Rendering Processes in Law Less Expensive” (Massachusetts Centinel, 14 June; Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1786, May sess., ch. 21, and Sept. sess., ch. 43).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0067

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1786-05-24

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] My dear Madam

The affliction under which you are now labouring has been protracted to a much longer period, than I feard when I first left America.1 It was then I Buried the Dear and amiable Youth, for whose loss your Maternal Bosom heaves the sad Sigh, and over whose urn, all who knew him must drop a tear of affectionate remembrance.

“Long at his Couch Death took his patient stand

And menanc'd oft and oft withheld the blow

To give Reflection time with lenient art

Each fond delusion from his soul to steal

Teach him from folly peaceably to part

And wean him from a World, he lov'd so well.”2

Nor were the admonitions given in vain. The last visit which I made him, I saw in his languid countanance, the Smile of complacent resignation to the will of Heaven.

What ever farce the Boastfull Hero plays

Virtue alone has Majesty in death.3

Be this your consolation that tho young in Years, he was Mature in virtue, that he lived beloved and died lamented, and who that lives to riper Years can ensure more to themselves.
Let not the populor torrent which at present Sets against your Worthy Partner distress you, time will convince the World who are their approved and unshaken Friends, whatever mistaken judgments they at present form.4 I foresaw this when I so earnestly pressd the general to accept his last appointment and attend Congress, if only for a few Months.5
All that is well intended is not well received, the consciousness of doing our duty is however a support, but the designing Jack daw will somtimes borrow the plumes of the Jay, and pass himself off to those who judge only by appearences.
You appear to think your Friend at the height of prosperity, and swallowd up by the Gayetyes of Europe, but the estimate is far from the truth. I am much less addicted to them than most of my Fair countrywomen whom I have left behind me. I do not feel myself at all captivated, either with the Manners or politicks of Europe. I think our own Country much the happiest spot upon the Globe, as { 195 } much as it needs reforming and amending. I should think it still happier, if the inclination was more wanting than the ability, to vie with the Luxeries and extravagance of Europe.
Be so good my dear Madam as to present my best respects to your worthy Partner; and affectionate remembrance to Your Sons, and be assured I am at all times Your Friend
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MHi: Warren-Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Adams May 24th 1786 No 16.”
1. AA was replying to Warren's letter of 8 April to JA (Adams Papers) announcing the death of Charles Warren. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 March, note 3, above, and JA to Mercy Otis Warren, 24 May (InU: Signers Coll.)
2. William Mason, “Elegy V. On the Death of a Lady,” lines 47–52.
3. Young, Night Thoughts, Night II, lines 648–649.
4. On 1 April the Massachusetts Centinel published a letter signed Veritas criticizing James Warren's public spirit and accusing him of accepting or refusing public office based on rank, personal safety, and salary. Warren replied with a public statement defending himself (not found), which Mercy Warren sent to JA in a letter of 8 April (Adams Papers). See also Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 March, above.
5. For AA's forthright views on James Warren's avoidance of public office, see AA to JA, 13 Nov. 1782, vol. 5:36–37, and AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 25 May (1st letter), below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0068

Author: Welsh, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-05-24

Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I have wrote your Daughter1 on the Head of common Intelligence. As to political I hardly know how to give a summary of that; as relates to this Commonwealth however I think that altho the Legislature of the last Year deliberated long they at last concluded like the Representatives of a wise People and have taxed smartly.2 This will operate in a few Years to reduce their public Debt greatly.
The People have shewn their good sense in their Elections for the next Year. They have given 4 Votes in 5 for Mr Bowdoin through the Commonwealth. Many Towns have determined to send no Representatives upon the Plan of Oconomy. Others have set aside some of the most troublesome Members three or four have come to my knowledge. Deacon Chamberlin, Mitchellof Bridgewater and Fessenden of Rutland are all omitted3 a saving this of 800 or 1000£ for the next year.
Britain too has done as much for us as we have for ourselves. She has drained us of our Cash the accursed Mean of Extravagance and Luxury henceforward from Necessity our Farms must be cultivated our Herds must be increased our Flocks which had been suffered astonishingly to diminish will be multiplied. These things will make Provisions and Labour low. Our Fishery supplied low will prove { 196 } proffitable and the Merchant enabled to navigate his Ships at a more moderate Rate will be encouraged to enterprize which will call for large Supplies from the Farmer and both find themselves richer in the End by an Increase of their Assiduities.
It was not from a Want of Zeal in our Merchants that their Trade has not been more productive; it is true that they have been enterprizing in the Path which they and their Fathers had persued in the Routine of British Remittances, they have been to the West Indies for Freight for Europe and have almost ruined themselves.
Some of them however have made large Fortunes by other Persuits. Mr Thomas Russell particularly by the Russian Trade.
I understand by Mr Cranch that Mr Adams proposes that the americans should import raw Sugars from France and manufacture them. The owners of Sugar Houses in this Town have been very attentive this two or three Years past to repair their Works so that there is scarcely one in the Town but what is in better order than has been known these twenty Years. This is partly the Effect of great Duties on British Loaf Sugr. These Sugar Houses are owned by able and spirited young Men capable of making the most of any Project in the Line of their Business.
The Rope Walks are in great improvement and by the Supply of Materials would be able to furnish the whole Navy with Cordage.
The President of Congress has never gone on altho he has been wrote to in a public and private Way and has not deigned to make any reply, he was appointed if I remember right last Novr. Many Acts of Congress long unfinished waiting his Arrival.4
The Time of Mr Ramsay's Election having expired about the 15th. Mr Gorham was appointed Chairman in his Place.5
If you will be kind enough to procure for Mrs: Welsh 9 Yds: 1/4 of Black lace of a width of the inclosed and send the Cost thereof to Dr: Tufts I will pay him for it, and Mrs W. will feel herself once more obliged by you. She desires to be remembered to you and your's to whom please to present my Compts and accept the same from your's &–
[signed] Thomas Welsh
PS: I forgot to inform you that Mr I Smith is appointed Chaplin to the Castle.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Welch May 24th 1786.”
1. Not found.
2. On 23 March the General Court apportioned and assessed a tax of £300,439.1.3 on the individual towns throughout the commonwealth in order to comply with Congress' requisition of 27 Sept. 1785; to support { 197 } the state's civil government; to pay the interest on state-issued consolidated notes; to redeem army notes; and to replenish the state treasury for funds paid members of the House of Representatives for their attendance at the previous five sessions of the General Court. The sums appropriated to comply with Congress' requisition were to be paid on or before 1 Jan. 1787; those due the state were to be paid on or before 1 April 1787 (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1785, Feb. sess., ch. 74).
3. The town of Chelmsford elected Ebenezer Bridge in place of Aaron Chamberlain; Nathan Mitchel and Capt. Elisha Mitchel, representatives of Bridgewater, were replaced by Daniel Howard; Rutland chose not to elect anyone in the place of John Fessenden (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1785, May sess., ante ch. 1; Resolves of 1786, May sess., ante ch. 1).
4. John Hancock's letter of resignation was read in Congress on 5 June (JCC, 30:328).
5. David Ramsay of South Carolina was named chairman of Congress 23 Nov. 1785 until such time as Hancock arrived in New York to assume the presidency. Ramsay served until the expiration of his term in Congress, 12 May 1786. Nathaniel Gorham succeeded him as chairman and upon Hancock's resignation was elected president of Congress on 6 June (JCC, 29:883; 30:264, 330).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0069

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-05-25

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

Captain Callihan arrived yesterday at Portsmouth and to day your letter came safe to hand. A thousand thanks my dear sister for all your intelligence. No you have not been too particular, every thing however trivial on that Side the water interests me. Here—nothing. I go into the midst of thousands who I know not, and behold all the Boasted Beauty of London with a cold indifference. I sometimes attend the theaters or other places of publick amusement, and have by particular invitation attended several Routes, which of all Senseless things are the most Supreemly Stupid to me; to visit in a croud because it is the mode, to make play a science and follow it as a daily occupation is spending the most precious Gift of the Deity, to very bad purpose. How can a Nation of Gamblers be a respected Nation? I mean by the Nation, the Nobility and Gentry who are the leading Members of it, and direct its counsels. The Morals of Europe are depraved beyond conception, Love of Country and publick virtue, mere visions.
Can there be any pleasure in mixing in company where you care for no one, and nobody cares for you? This is a feeling I never experienced untill I came to Europe. I have derived more real pleasure from one afternoon with my Friend Mrs Rogers, than in all the ceremonious visits I have made in the Country. That was the only family I could visit in without reserve. Before this time, I hope they are, safe in America, as they saild early in April. Many hard things have been said of mr Rogers, since he left London, on account of { 198 } his going away privattly, but he knew what he was doing, and meant it for the best as I wish it may prove, for nobody questions his integrity. I hope you will be intimatly acquainted with her. She is one of the most amiable of women. Mrs Hay is I hope safe, the account you give of the April storm, makes me apprehensive for her, By her I Sent several articles for my Friends, Cushing and Lyde each had a few also. My inclination would lead me to Send much more than I find my ability competant to, the expences of living in this Country are enourmous.
I am happy to hear by you, that your Nephew was admitted college in March. As yet no letter is come to hand from him. His sister complains, but I know his main object has been, the persuit of his Studies that he might enter colledge with reputation, which I hope he has accomplishd. I think Tommy full young but it will be a benefit to him, to have his Brothers care and advice. You will have your Hands full my sister to take charge of them all. May they all do credit to themselves and their connections. What a tasteless insipid life do I lead here in comparison with what I used to in Braintree, looking after my children and family—seeing my Friends in a Social way, loveing and being beloved by them. Beleive me I am not in the least alterd, except that I wear my Hair drest and powderd, and am two years older, and somewhat fatter which you may be sure is no addition to my looks. But the Heart and the mind are the Same.
Be still sir. Nabby dont talk. I am writing at the table and Col S. is sitting upon the Settee, and prating so fast that he disturbs me. I told him I would write about him. He is talking of his old Friend Evans, who he says is a good Soul. He is inquiring about the Lady mr Evans is going to Marry. Nabby is informing him. Pray Madam he says, write my respects to him.
The dissagreeable Situation of our Milton Friends, I have long feard, and much more since I came abroad than before, as I have learnt that several debts were contracted abroad. In short I am led to question the circumstances of almost every person in the Mercantile line. No judgment can be formed of their property by the appearence they have made and the difficulties which they labour under with respect to their commerce with this Country. Daily adds to their difficulties, and I See not the least prospect of releaf, for this Country had rather lose thousands, than we should gain hundreds.
The death of the amiable Charles was not unexpected to me. I think him happy in being releasd from Scenes which would have greatly distresst him.
{ 199 }
Mrs Warren in her letter to mr Adams2 complains that they have no political Friends in Braintree or Weymouth, and is quite at a loss to divine the reason of it. How different do some people estimate their motives and actions from what the world forms of them. Judge of the Supreem Court, Liut Govenour, and 3 times chosen Member of Congress, these are offices that ought not to be subject to repeated Refusal. And why should a people continue to chuse a Gentleman, and Subject themselves to constant refusals, untill it suited his conveniency to serve them. As to sacrifices, what honest Man who has been engaged in publick Services, in the perilious times through which we have past, is there, but what has made them, both of time and property? Had Genll W——n been appointed commissoner at the Court of France, instead of mr A——s would she, think you, have consented that he should have hazarded the Dangers of the sea in the midst of winter, and all the horrors of British Men of war to have served his Country, leaving her with a Young family, without even the means of giving them an Education, had any misfortune befallen him, at the same time relinquishing a profittable profession. If I may judge by what has taken place, I think she would not. Why then should the publick be deemed ungratefull? I believe no body has ever doubted his attachment to his Country, or his integrity in office and I wish the people would again chuse him, but not without an assureance from him that he would Serve.3 I have ever considerd him as a Gentleman of a good Heart, estimateing himself however higher than the World are willing to allow, and his good Lady has as much family pride as the first dutchess in England. This is between ourselves. Poor Mrs Brown, who was Betsy Otis, had all her Grandfather left her, in the Hands of Mr Allen otis and Genll Warren. She has written several Letters to mr Adams upon the subject requesting his advice what to do. Her Father left her nothing. It is very hard she Should lose what her Grandfather left her.4
As to our Germantown Friends I am Grieved for them. There distresses are great. The age of some and the ill Health of others, puts it out of their power to extricate themselves.5 Those who undertake great Scheems should have great abilities, and great funds. Blessed is a little and content therewith. I hope every one of my family will gaurd them selves against that ambition which leads people to relinquish their independance and subject themselves to the will of others, by living beyond their circumstances, as I know our own to be very moderate, for we are not able to lay up any thing here. I ex• { 200 } pect whenever we return, to have a hard struggle to get our Lads through their Education.
We expect to return in the Spring, for there is not the least prospect of doing for our Country what is expected. Mr Adams has represented every thing to congress, and his opinion with regard to every thing. Yet his Country look for a redress of Grivences from his exertions, which the conduct of the States have renderd it impossible to effect. He cannot lay these things open to the world, concequently many will censure him and clamour against him. I am prepaird to expect it.
Unstable as Water, said the old Patriarch to his son, thou shalt not excell.6 Such an assemblage in one Character, as the Windmill builder exhibits, is seldom to be met with. The abilities of that Man applied to one point might have made him respected in it. He will triffel upon a thousand scheems, till like Icarus, his waxen wings melt, and he falls headlong to the ground. The Man who fears not debt, is not to be trusted. How is it, that he Still retains the picture? It was Demanded with the papers, and his own sent in lieu of it. I wrote him a letter by the packet which had the Newspapers you mention. I dare say he kept the contents of it a Secreet, but I did not write any other letter at that time. By the next packet I wrote to Dr Tufts and to you.7 I hope you have got, and will soon have; many letters from me. What will be his conduct when he finds he has lost for ever the Girl he once pretended to doat on?
Alass my sister, I feel strong ties of affection for our unhappy connection, and hearing of his Sickness affected me much. Poor Man. I wonder what his circumstances are, whether he gets a comfortable support or whether he addicts himself to intemperance.
As to his wife we all know her, she has read too many Romances. Ambitions to excess—She did not think of the force of her expressions, and a well turnd period, had charms for her whether founded in fact or not. Her whole method of writing, is always in that Stile. There is always a necessity of saying, Stop, Stop, to her. She makes enchanted Castles, and would send all her children to live in them if she had but the ability. I am glad Louissa has been in the families you mention. I love the dear Girl who had a sweet temper. I hope she will not be spoilt. When ever I return she must be mine again. The Cloaths I sent her and what I left her, have made her decent I presume. If she wants a skirt and a winter gown, be so good as to get some red tammy from my trunks. I have sent her calico for one dress by mrs Hay and I shall send her an other and some linnen the { 201 } first opportunity. Captain Biggolow sent me word on monday morning that my Letters must go that very morning, and I thought he was gone till last evening. When I returnd from a ride to Hamstead, I found a Gentleman by the name of Drake, who was introduced here not long ago and dinned with us, had calld in my absence, and left word that he should not go till tomorrow and that he would take any letters we had.
I was glad of this opportunity of replying so soon to your Letter of March and April. I think this Gentleman belongs to connecticut, he is to drink tea with us this afternoon.
Tell charles Storer, I have never been to Hamstead since he left it till yesterday, and then the coachman without any orders, stopt at the House Mrs Atkinson used to live in. We gave him orders to drive on, got out and walkd over the old Spot where we once rambled, talkd of him and wishd him with us; and mrs Atkinson in the old habitation that we might Breakfast with her again.
How have you been able to spair Cousin Betsy all winter So. Does the Parson8 visit you often? My Regards to him, to uncle Quincy to mrs Quincy, Mrs Alleyn, and all my Neighbours. Tell Mrs Hunt I have not forgotton her, my Love to her. I shall not be able to write to Sister Shaw I fear, you will however communicate to her always if I do not write.
I will send more linnen by the first opportunity. Cambrick is as dear here as with you. I would not have you use my best peice of Cambrick, it is too good. Adieu my dear sister, always remember me kindly to mr Cranch & believe me ever your truly affectionate Sister
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. AA probably wrote most of the letter on the 24th. See her 2d letter to Cranch of the 25th, below.
2. Of 8 April (Adams Papers).
3. James Warren declined an appointment to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1776, election to Congress in 1779, and the office of lieutenant governor in 1780. In 1782 he was elected to Congress but resigned in June 1783 without serving (vol. 1:403–4051:403–404, 405; 3:208; 4:20; 5:14). For additional public offices Warren either refused or resigned, see vol. 5:37.
4. Elizabeth Otis Brown of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, daughter of James Otis Jr. and niece of Mercy Otis Warren, sought JA's advice in recovering money bequeathed to her by her grandfather Otis. The 1785 business failure of her uncles Joseph and Samuel Alleyne Otis, who were her grandfather's executors, necessitated that Brown, her husband, or a lawyer present themselves in Boston to secure her principal and interest. Elizabeth Otis married Lt. Leonard Brown of the British Army on 25 Feb. 1776 (Boston, 30th Report, p. 70; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:284). See Brown to JA, 8 Dec. 1785 (Adams Papers) and JA's response, 10 Dec. 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers).
5. The Joseph Palmer family. The general, age 70, had been “confined by lameness” for several weeks in 1784; his wife Mary, age 66, lost her sight in one eye in 1782; the health of their eldest daughter, Mary, had suffered { 202 } since 1765 when she was severely frightened by the unexpected and close discharge of a gun (vol. 5:53, 464; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 488, note 1).
6. Jacob's words to Reuben, his eldest son (Genesis, 49:4).
7. To Cotton Tufts, 10 Jan.; to Mary Smith Cranch, 26 Jan., both above.
8. Rev. Anthony Wibird.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0070

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-05-25

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

After I had closed my letter to you of yesterday I went into the city four mils distant I am from St Pauls, beyond which the New England coffe House is; where I usually Send to inquire for our Boston Captains. I found the vessel was not yet gone. I went to a shop where I buy almost every thing in the Linnen Draper way and purchased a peice of linnen for Tommy, and some calico, which is done up with it, and directed to mr Cranch. The calico of ten yd and half is to be divided between you and sister Shaw, the 5 yd is for Polly Adams and the 4 /2 for Louissa, which you will be so good as to dispose of accordingly. I also send some corded Dimity to make each of our sons a waistcoat, I consider cousin Billy in the Number. I know white increases washing, but nothing so cool and pretty for summer. You write for some cloth to make draws for them, this I will endeavour to procure for the next vessel.
I hope my dear Neices like'd the Gowns I Sent them by Jobe Field. Let me know if any thing in particular is wanted either for yourself or children and I will do my utmost to procure it for you.
How is mr otis's family, is he yet confined? She has been a doubly unfortunate Woman.
How is Mrs Welch and family, is She Still increasing it?1 I am indebted to our Good Aunt Smith for a Letter,2 but tis a sad thing to write to a person when you know not what to say to them; and are forced to bite your pen for a subject. What does cousin Isaac? A Parish I fear he must despair of obtaining, so much for . . . fear.
Is not Sister Shaw just making her anual visit to you? O how I envy you, believe me my dear sister, there is nothing can compensate for the vacancy of those Social feelings, or supply their pleasures, and every person who knows their value must feel alone tho in the midst of the world, a world where cold ceremony is in lieu of friendly Salutations and greetings.
Man was not made to be alone. There is more force in that expression than I once conceived there was, for I did not then suppose a person might be alone tho in a croud. Breakfast waits once { 203 } more adieu with Love to cousins Lucy and Betsy, remember me also to mrs Hay and Mrs Rogers. I Saw mr and mrs copley yesterday who were both well. I am buisy I believe I told you before making linnen &c for House keeping. Nabby has written to her cousins by this opportunity3 and presents her Duty both to her uncle and you. Pray how are my sable tennants.4 You have not said a word about them for some time.
To one & all of my Neighbours remember me kindly & believe me as ever your affectionate Sister
[signed] A A
I wrote you by mr Jenks who saild from France.
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree.”
1. Dr. Thomas and Abigail Kent Welsh had two sons, Thomas Jr., born in 1779, and William, born in 1784. Their family also included Harriet and Charlotte Welsh, the doctor's daughters by his first marriage (vol. 6:299; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 July , below).
2. Elizabeth Smith to AA, 3 Jan., above.
3. Only AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 25 May, below, has been found.
4. Phoebe and William Abdee.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0071

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-05-25

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch

Yesterday my Dear Lucy I received your kind favour of the 9th of April,1 and it was the only Letter for me, in Pappas packett. However I hope there are others on Board. My Brother I am sure must have written. Indeed my Dear Cousin I feel under great obligations to you for your repeated attentions to me, and only lament that it is not in my Power to make you more frequent returns. I have really so many Correspondents that I find it impossible to be so particular to any of them as I wish. You my Cousin are in the first Class of my Esteem and Love and it gives me pleasure whenever you favour me with your Letters. If I should not answer them so punctually as I ought you will not attribute it to any want of affection, but necessity. I wrote you a long Letter by Mrs Hay2 which I hope you have received er'e this. She sailed from hence in March, and we hope has had a good passage.
Mrs Warren, must, have been greatly afflicted by her sons Death, and tho not unexpected, yet his being absent must have added, to her Grief. We cannot but lament that the most amiable and Worthyest Characters are thus early removed from this Theatre. But so little do we know, that even to lament may be wrong.
Can you tell me my Dear Lucy what has become of my friend { 204 } Polly Otis Mrs Lincoln that now is.3 I have not heard a word from her since I left America. I wrote to her soon after my arrival here, from America, and I heard through Mrs Dana,4 that she had received my Letter but not a line from herself have I ever been favourd with. I will not however Condemn her, for she may have written, and even now may think I neglect her. But If she has, I have not received her Letter.
Next Saturday compleats a year since our arrival in this City5 time has flown strangely, I can scarce realize it I assure you. We have been very much confined to this place, and have not made but one or two excursions of a day at a time. I wish much to go into the Country and enjoy its beauties after having been shut up, in this Noisy smoky Town for so long a time. We propose Leaving Town for a few weeks soon after the Birth day, which will be celebrated next Monday week. We talk of going to Devonshire, or to Lincolnshire, if to the former I shall it is probable be able to give you some account of your friends there, which will give me great pleasure.
We went a few days ago, about Nine Miles out, to Aysterly to see the seat of Mrs Child,6 which, exceeded any ideas I had formd of Beauty Elegance neatness, and taste. If I had time I would attempt a particular decription of it, for your amusement. To day it is not in my power, as I have several Letters to get ready for a Gentleman who is to Call this Evening for them, and who perhaps my Cousin may see when he arrives in Boston. All I know of him is that his name is Drake, that he is an American, and has dined with us twice, and has now offered to take our Letters to Boston as he is going in Biglow.
We were very happy to hear that my Brother J Q A, had entered the University. The account you give of our Brothers is very pleasing. That they may Continue to merit the approbation of their friends, is my ardent and Constant wish.
Be so good my Cousin, as to remember me to all our friends, your Uncle Palmers family, Miss Paine, from whom I received a Letter7 that I have not yet answerd, but intend to soon, to Uncle Thaxters family, to all our Cousins particularly, they are most of them Married I suppose. I find if I were to attempt to particularize every one, I should fail, therefore must request you to remember me to all. Adieu my Dear Cousin, write me as often as you can and continue to Love yours very sincerely
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “Miss Lucy Cranch Braintree.”
{ 205 }
1. Not found.
2. Possibly that of 20 Feb. (MWA).
3. Mary (Polly) Otis, daughter of James Otis Jr. and Ruth Cunningham, married Benjamin Lincoln, Harvard 1777, son of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln of Hingham, on 1 Feb. 1785 (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 3:9, 10; Horatio N. Otis, “Genealogical and Historical Memoir of the Otis Family,” NEHGR, 2:289, 295, 296 [July 1848]).
4. No letters to Mary Otis or from Elizabeth Ellery Dana have been found.
5. 27 May. For the Adamses arrival in London on 26 May, see vol. 6:169–170, 173, note 3.
6. Osterley Park, Heston, Middlesex, the home of Lady Sarah Jodrell and Robert Child (d. 1782), heir of the London banking family. The Adamses and Jefferson visited Osterley on 20 April. See JA's description of the estate in his Diary (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:212; JA, D&A, 3:189–190).
7. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0072

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-05-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Give me leave to congratulate you on your Admission into the Seat of the Muses, our dear Alma Mater, where I hope you will find a Pleasure and Improvements equal to your Expectations. You are now among Magistrates and Ministers, Legislators and Heroes, Ambassadors and Generals, I mean among Persons who will live to Act in all these Characters. If you pursue your Studies and preserve your Health you will have as good a Chance as most of them, and I hope you will take Care to do nothing now which you will in any future Period have reason to recollect with shame or Pain.
I dont expect you to Spend much of your time in Writing to me: Yet a short Letter, now and then will be indispensable, to let me know how you do, what you want and how you like. If your Brother Thomas is fitted, I hope he will enter, this Summer: because, he will have an Advantage in being one Year with you. My love to Charles. I hope he loves his Book. I have great dependence on you to advise your younger Brothers, and assist them in their Studies. You talk french I hope, with Charles, and give him a taste for french Poetry: not however to the neglect of Greek and Roman, nor yet of English. Your Letters to your Sister have been very entertaining to Us, and I hope you will continue them, as much as you can without neglecting Things of more Consequence. My Respects to the President, Professors and Tutors, if any of them should enquire after me. You are breathing now in the Atmosphere of Science and Litterature, the floating Particles of which will mix with your whole Mass of Blood and Juices. Every Visit you make to the Chamber or study of a schollar, you learn something.
Inform yourself of the Books possessed by private Schollars and { 206 } of the Studies they pursue. This you will find a valuable source of Knowledge. But I must Subscribe myself, your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr John Quincy Adams Student at the University of Cambridge near Boston”; endorsed: “Mr: Adams. May 26. 1786.” and “My Father 26. May 1786.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-05-26

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Friend

There is a Subject So closely connected, with the Business of my Mission to this Court, that I can no longer be Silent upon it, with Honour. The most insuperable Bar, to all their Negotiations here, has been laid by those States which have made Laws against the Treaty. The Massachusetts is one of them. The Law for Suspending Execution for British Debts, however coloured or disguised, I make no Scruple to say to You is a direct Breach of the Treaty.1 Did my ever dear honoured and beloved Massachusetts, mean to break her public faith? I cannot believe it of her. Let her then repeal the Law without delay.
I cannot conceive the Reason, why the senate did not concur with the House, in repealing the Laws excluding the Tories. Why should a Silly Warfare be kept up at so great an Expence against those Wretches?
It is our Persecution alone, that makes their Enmity powerful and important. Are We afraid they will be popular and persuade our People to come under the British Yoke again? We have one infallible Security against that, I assure you. This Government and this Nation would Spurn Us, if We were to offer them, the Sovereignty of Us. The Reason is plain, they know it would be the certain and final Ruin of the Nation to accept it, because We could throw them again into a War, not only against Us, but France Spain and Holland, and emancipate ourselves again whenever We should please.
Are the Merchants afraid, the Tories will get their Commerce? What is this to the Country? Their Capitals will assist Us in Paying our Debts and in opening a Trade every Way. Are our Politicians afraid of their Places? In Freedoms Name let our Countrymen have their own Choice, and if they please to choose Jonathan Sewal2 for their Ambassador at st James's, I will return to Pens Hill with Pleasure.
{ 207 }
I long to see my Countrymen Acting as if they felt their own great Souls, with Dignity Generosity and Spirit, not as if they were guided by little Prejudices and Passions, and partial private Interests.
On the one hand I would repeal every Law that has the least Appearance of clashing with the Treaty of Peace, on the other I would prohibit or burthen with Duties, every Importation from Britain, and would demand in a Tone that would not be resisted, the punctual fullfillment of every Iota of the Treaty on the Part of Britain. Nay I would carry it so far, that if the Posts were not immediately evacuated I would not go and Attack them but declare War directly and march one Army to Quebec and another to Nova Scotia.
This is decisive Language you will say. True. But no great Thing was every done in this World but by decisive Understandings and Tempers, unless by Accident.
Our Countrymen have too long trifled with public and private Faith, public and private Credit, and I will venture to say that nothing but Remorse and Disgrace, Poverty and Misery will be their Portion untill these are held sacred.

[salute] I am my dear Friend ever yours

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “recd. July 10th Capt. Bigelow.”
1. The “Resolve Directing the Common Law Courts to Suspend Rendering Judgment for Interest on Actions brought by Real British Subjects, or Absentees, to Third Wednesday of the Next Session,” which violated Art. 4 of the Anglo-Amer. peace treaty, passed on 10 Nov. 1784. It was renewed on 7 Feb. 1785 (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1784, Oct. sess., ch. 77; Jan. sess., ch. 38; Miller, Treaties, 2:98).
2. Jonathan Sewall, Harvard, 1748, former attorney general of Massachusetts, and one of JA's closest friends until the Revolution drove them apart. During the 1760s the two men debated the merits of James Otis Jr. and Govs. Bernard and Hutchinson in the Boston newspapers. (For JA's contributions, see Papers, 1:58–94 , 174–211.) Sewall and his family left Boston in 1775 and were living in Bristol (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:306–325). For JA's parting with Sewall in 1774 and reunion in 1787, see vol. 1:135–137, note 5.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0074

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1786-05-27

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear sir

Dr Gordon call'd upon us this morning and deliverd me a letter from mr Storer. The dr is very mild, looks as if he had not recoverd quite from the Mortification under which he labourd in Boston. I know not what Success his History will meet with here, but this I can tell him, neither Americans or their writings are much in fashion here, and the Dr cannot boast the Honour of being born an American. I fancy there will be found as forcible objections against him.1
{ 208 }
Mr Ramseys History which is written in a cool dispassionate Stile and is chiefly a detail of facts, cannot find a Bookseller here who dares openly to vend the ready printed coppies which are sent him.2
A Gentleman by the Name of Drake will hand you this, he is from conneticut. Any civilities you may shew him will oblige him, as he is a Stranger in Boston. My best Regards to all Friends. I am calld of to wait upon Dr Price who is come to make a morning visit. Yours
[signed] A A
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); endorsed: “London 27 May 86 Mrs. Adams.”
1. Rev. William and Elizabeth Gordon had sailed for London on 16 April, intending to spend the remainder of their days in England. Their return to their native land and the reverend's decision to have his history printed in Great Britain rather than the United States provoked criticism and suspicion that his work would have a British bias (Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 Feb., 20 April; Samuel Williams to JA, 9 April, Samuel Adams to JA, 13 April, both Adams Papers).
2. David Ramsay, The History of the Revolution of South Carolina from a British Province to an Independent State, 2 vols., was published in Trenton, N.J., in 1785 and in London in 1787 (Arthur H. Shaffer, To Be an American: David Ramsay and the Making of the American Consciousness, Columbia, S.C., 1991, p. 303).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0075

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1786-06-02

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

I thank you for your Kind Letter of the 9th. of April,1 and congratulate you on the admission of your Brother, which must add much to your happiness. Thomas I suppose will join you in the fall, my Heart will be often with my treasure, at the University. My friends in their Letters give me favourable accounts of all my sons and of my Nephew Mr. Cranch, Your Characters are fair take care to keep them so. I may be near you, sooner then you imagine—the sooner the better, but this is all uncertain.
What Profession, Charles do you thing of? You need not decide irrevocably, but it is not amiss to turn the subject in your thoughts. The Youth who looks forward and plans his future Life with judicious foresight, commonly succeeds best and is most happy—trust the Classics for History—they contain all that is worth reading. Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy you should attend to with earnestness.
Tell your Brother John, that I think it is worth while for him and you, to take your Lessons in Hebrew—it will require an hour of a few mornings—and the Letters &c are worth knowing so far, that you may be able in future Life by the help of a dictionary and { 209 } Grammar to Know the true meaning of a word or a sentence, I leave it however to your Inclinations.
You have in your nature a sociability, Charles, which is amiable, but may mislead you, a schollar is always made alone. Studies can only be pursued to good purpose, by yourself—dont let your Companions then, nor your Amusements take up too much of your time.
Read all the Books that are commonly read by the Schollars with patience and attention, but I must not enlarge. Your tender father
[signed] J. A.
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0076

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1786-06-02

John Adams to John Thaxter Jr.

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of 22. Jan.1 reached me, but yesterday. You would have entertained and obliged me, by an account of Grumblections and Prognostications, one wants them sometimes. They are of use, They sometimes enlighten and often fortify.
Give yourself no anxious moments about me nor my Mission, confine your anxiety wholly at home. My Mission will never be worth a groat to my Country unless it should be by persuading her to do her Duty, by fullfilling the treaty of Peace and preserving her faith. Much is well said, lately in favour of keeping faith with public Creditors abroad and at home, but nothing or very Little has appeared to excite a regard to the sacred faith of treaties solemnly sworn before the holy trinity. Britain it is true is as culpable, but this is no excuse for us.
As to me personally you know that success does me no more good than no success, I get nothing by it but abuse and I could get no more than abuse by ill success or no success. This will not abate however my Industry or Zeal to do all in my power.
I will stake all my Credit on this, that Britain will never fulfill the treaty, on her part unless we fulfill it on ours, nor open her Colonies in the W. Indies or the Continent to our Commerce, untill we shew that we have sense and spirit enough and are a Nation. The Burthen of Proof all now lies upon my Countrymen, the Labouring oar is in their Hands, and there is nothing that I can do but wait patiently and obey orders.
The Measures taking in America to promote and improve agricul• { 210 } ture and Manufactures, do honor to the Understandings of the People and will have lasting good effect.
Let us for mercy sake be independent of the world for ships and Arms.
Let us discover too the important Mathematical Demonstration, that it is a saving to pay two hundred thousand pounds sterling, for a perpetual Peace with the five Nations of Turks, rather than to pay two hundred thousand pounds a Year, to more cruel Turks at Loyds Coffee House for insurance. Let us learn too that our trade with spain and Portugul and up the straights is worth something to add to the tribute at Loyds. When are you to be married? Do you get money fast enough. Yours
[signed] J. A.
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-06-02

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I am proud to learn by your Letter of 13. April1 that I am so rich at the University. If Thomas gets in, I shall be still happier. The Expence will be considerable, and your Draughts shall be honoured for the necessary.
A Year will soon be about, and what are We to do then with John? What Lawyer shall We desire to take him, in Town or Country? and what Sum must be given with him? and what will his Board and Cloathing cost? and where shall We get Money to pay all these Expences. Shall I come home and take all my Boys into my own office? I was once thought to have a tolerable Knack at making Lawyers, and now could Save a large sum by it. I am afraid I shall not get it done so cheap as I used to do it.
I dont see, why I should stay here, unless there should be a Change in the sentiments and Conduct of my fellow Citizens. There are however some Appearances of an approaching Change.2
Dr Gordons Language is decent and friendly as far as I have heard. I believe the Suspicion of him that appears to have taken Place in America is needless. What Profit he will make of his History I know not. It is a story that nobody here loves to read. Indeed, neither History nor Poetry, or any Thing but Painting and Musick, Balls and Spectacles, are in vogue. Reading is out of Fashion, and Philosophy itself has become a Fop gambolling in a Balloon, “idling { 211 } in the wanton summers Air,” like the Gossamour, so light is Vanity.3 Herschell indeed with his new Glass, has discovered the most magnificent Spectacle that ever was seen or imagined, and I suppose it is chiefly as a Spectacle that his Discovery is admired. If all those Single double, tripple quadruple Worlds are peopled as fully as every leaf and drop is in this, what a merry Company there is of Us, in the Universe?4 All fellow Creatures Insects Animalcules and all. Why are We keept so unacquainted with each other? I fancy We shall know each other better, and shall see that even Cards and Routs, dancing Dogs, learned Piggs,5 scientific Birds &c are not so despicable Things as We in our wonderful Wisdom sometimes think them.
The Bishop of Landaff, has made the Trees, not walk, but feel and think, and why should We not at once settle it that every Attom, thinks and feels?6 An universe tremblingly alive all over.
The more We pursue these Speculations the higher Sense We shall have of the Father, and Master of all, and the firmer Expectation that all which now Appears irregular will be found to be Design. But where have I rambled? Your Fnd
[signed] John Adams
RC (PHi: Society Collection).
1. To AA, above.
2. JA had received reports that New York, the only remaining state to approve the Continental impost, was considering its adoption, and that an interstate commercial convention was planned for Annapolis in September (from Charles Storer, 7 April; from Elbridge Gerry, 12 April; both Adams Papers).
3. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, scene vi, lines 18–19: “A lover may bestride the gossamer / That idles in the wanton summer air.”
4. Astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738–1822), who developed and built increasingly larger telescopes (up to forty feet in length), discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 and recently had completed Catalogue of Double Stars, Catalogue of One Thousand New Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, and On the Construction of the Heavens, which contained the first approximately accurate model of the Milky Way (DNB).
5. For AA2's reference to performing dogs, “the Learned Pig,” and other animal acts presented in London, see vol. 6:220 .
6. Richard Watson (1737–1816), bishop of Llandaff since 1782, was formerly professor of chemistry at Cambridge. JA's library includes Watson's Chemical Essays, 3d edn., 4 vols. of 5, London, 1784–1786, and A Collection of Theological Tracts, Cambridge, 1785 (DNB; Catalogue of JA's Library). Watson's Chemical Essays was one of the first “popular” chemistry texts, selling over 2,000 copies in five years. His work discussed at length how flora and fauna respond to their environment, thus inspiring JA's comments that trees might “feel and think” (4:preface).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-03

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Dr Gordon brought me your Letter of the 2d. of April, which gave me, great Pleasure. In order to get acquainted with the other { 212 } Classes enquire who are the most remarkable Scholars in each, and drop in upon them frankly, make them a visit in a Leisure hour at their Chambers, and fall into Conversation. Ask them about their Tutors manner of teaching. Observe what Books lie upon their Tables, ask Questions about the Towns they were born in, the Schools they were fitted in. Ask them about the late War, what good officers belonged to their Town. Who is the Minister and who the Representative and who the Justices or Judges that live there. What Brigade or Regiment of Militia it is in? &c Or fall into Questions of Literature, Science, or what you will.2
Dr Williams writes me, handsomely of You.3 Minute down Questions to ask him, modestly. He has Sent a Volume of the Transactions of the society of Arts and sciences to sir Joseph Banks,4 but not one of my Friends has thought of sending me one. I long for one.
One should always be a Year or two beforehand with ones affairs, if possible. Pray, do you think of any Place, or office in which to study Law? A Year will soon be round. Or shall I come home and take you into my office? Or are you so disgusted with our Greek Breakfasts at the Hague, and our Euclid suppers at Auteuil as to prefer another Praeceptor?
Take care of your Health. The smell of a Midnight lamp is very unwholesome. Never defraud yourself of your sleep, nor of your Walk. You need not now be in a hurry.
Your Books shall be sent you as soon as possible, but the Trade is so little with Boston and the less the better, that it will be I fear Several Months before I can send them. Love to Charles and Thomas. Your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr: Adams. April 2. 1786” and “My Father: About June 1786.”
1. An obvious inadvertence. JA's endorsement on the letter from JQA of 2 April, above, says that he replied on 3 June.
2. During his senior year at Harvard, JQA intermittently entered in his Diary brief biographical accounts and assessments of his classmates. See Diary, 2:index, JQA—Writings and Personal Papers, for the location of each sketch.
3.
“It gives us much pleasure to have two of your Sons in this University. Both of them [JQA and CA] are young Gentlemen from whom their friends have the most encouraging hopes and prospects. . . . The eldest has been with us but a short time; and appears to engage with ardor in mathematical and philosophical studies. He cannot do me a greater pleasure than to put it into my power to be of any service to him in this way”
(Samuel Williams to JA, 9 April, Adams Papers).
4. Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1st series, vol. 1, Boston, 1785. Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820), a botanist, was president of the Royal Society, 1778–1820 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0079

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-06-04

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams 2d

Pray Madam, are you married? Nay then the wonder ceases. No matter now how loose your affections are towards every other Object. No matter now if every former friend, lies neglected, and forgot. But is Love really a narrower of the Heart?2 Does it as, Mr JQA asserts, “diminish general benevolence, and particular Friendships”? Does it like a Vortex draw all into one point, and absorb every stream of social Affection? If so—Why then I have been a long while mistaken—For I have ever considered it as an Emmanation from the almighty Mind. Though like a variety of other Passions, it may operate differently, upon different Characters. Yet when this divine Spark, is lighted up in a virtuous Bosom, and directed to a worthy Object, how is it productive of every generous, and noble Deed. How does it enlarge the Heart, give elegance to Thought, and refine the Taste, and from believing one Object deserving of our best affections, find ourselves drawn out in universal benevolence, and Complaceny towards the whole human Race.
Here is the opinion of your Aunt, and your Brother upon the same Subject, you see how opposite they are. I assure you, we did not always differ so much in our judgment. But in this matter we were always opposed. I would never allow, it was so base, and sordid, a Passion as he thought it. I told him however wise he was in other things, yet he was but a novice in this—that he was no judge and that in a few years, I should hear quite another Language from him.
I have a recent instance of the change of Persons with Time, and Circumstance in Mr Thaxter. Who ever spurned more at the Idea of being in Love than he—yes, I will say, in Love.3 And where can we now find a greater Votary. Where can we see a more tender, attentive, fond Lover than in him. Who ever looked his Soul away more than he.
So that I have great hopes of your Brother. His time is not yet come. Minerva will I hope for a while shield him from the fascinating Charms of Calipso a Eucharis, or any of the wood Nymphs.4 His Business now is quite of another nature. To woo fair Science, in her secret Walks, he must now hardly indulge the Idea of anything else, or view it only, as a beautiful Landscape, whose original he may one day, probably reach.
{ 214 }
Miss Hazen after whom you enquire, left our Family last February. The frequent Assemblys occasioned her being out at so late hours as made it very inconvenient. You may possibly recollect that in America, late Hours were considered as greatly prejudicial to Health, and as incompatible with the Peace, and good Order of Families. And any deviation from those good and wholsome Rules, would be viewed as more criminal in our Family than in Others. This with some other things made me feel very desirious, that she should remove her lodgings.
Nature has indeed been very bountiful to this young Lady, and lavished her Favours (I had almost said) with too liberal a Hand. She appears at the first Acquaintance “Made to engage all Hearts, and charm all Eyes.” I wish I could proceed with my Lord Littleton.5 It is with grief that I find myself necessitated to forbear. At the first interviews my Neice would have thought her a precious Vine, that would have yielded the choicest Fruit, under the kind, fostering hand of Education. Unhappy girl! She lost a Parent in Infancy, feign would I, have endeavoured to supply the place—but alas! Her opinions were formed and her Mind had received a Bias, intirely inconsistent with my Ideas of a wife, amicable Woman, before she came into Haverhill. Gay company Scenes of dissapation, and the adulation payed by the other Sex, had called of her attention from things of real importance, and every worthy pursuit; and two years at A boarding School had induced her to think that to dress, to dance, to Sing, to roll the Eye, and to troll the Tongue were the only essential, and the highest Qualifications of a Lady. She has quik Wit, a fine flow of Spirits, and good humour, a lively imagination and an excellent natural Capacity. Too lovely and too charming to be given up, and lost. Yet with all these Endowments I found it utterly impossible to establish those Sentiments of Sincerity, Delicacy, and Dignity of manners, which I consider as so essential to the female Character. As she was a Lady of leisure I wished her to appropriate certain portions of time, to paticular Employments. To read with attention and methodically—but you might as easily have turned the Course of Merimac from East to West, as perswaded her to have wrote, read, or worked only as her volatile Spirit, and inclination prompted her. Words which would turn a double Construction, a double entendre, that subtle and base corruptor of the human Heart she was no ways averse to. She did not fully consider that an ungaurded look, or gesture would excite familiarities from the Libertine, and in the Eyes of a sensible, delicate Youth, forever tarnish her Reputation. Accus• { 215 } tomed to the voic of adulation, the Language of sober Truth, was too bitter an ingredient for her to relish, and was never received without many Tears, which always grieved me, for it is much more agreeable to my feelings to commend, than to reprove.6
And now, my dear niece, I will plainly tell you that I feel hurt that so many vessels have arrived without one line to your aunt Shaw, who loves you so tenderly, and feels as interested in every thing that befalls, or can happen to my dear friend, as any one in America. I am sorry if you want assurances of this. I wrote to you twice in the course of the winter. One was a particular answer to yours of October the 2d, and August 3d.7 As they have not been noticed I fear they are lost. I cannot believe my niece so wholly devoted to scenes of dissipation as to forget her friend; nor will I believe that her new connection has engrossed all her time and attention. If I thought this to really be the case, I would petition Colonel Smith to permit you to appropriate a certain portion of your time to write and to think of me. I assure you your descriptions, your sentiments, your reflections, constituted a great part of my pleasure and happiness. And as I would wish you, for your own comfort, to be a most obliging wife, I would tell him that it was really an act of benevolence to write to your aunt; that the mind gained strength by exercise; that every benevolent act sweetened the temper, gave smiles and complacency to the countenance, and rendered you more fit and disposed for the kind and tender offices of that new relation which, I presume, ere this you have entered into.
But in whatever relation, situation, or circumstances of life this may find you, Mr. Shaw joins me in wishing you “health, long life, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend,”8 to heighten joy and soften the sorrows of this uncertain state.

[salute] Adieu! my ever dear niece, and believe me most sincerely and affectionately Your Aunt,

[signed] Eliza Shaw
Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); Printed in (AA2, Jour. & Corr., 2:45–49). The editors chose in this case to print the draft copy of the letter because it is probably closer to the text of the recipient's copy than the version published and edited by AA2's daughter, Caroline Amelia Smith de Windt.
1. In the published volume, the letter is dated 12 June.
2. At this point in the Dft, there is an “X.” There are two sentences added here in the printed copy: “Is it to this cause that I must ascribe the long silence of my niece? That not one friend has been favoured with one line since October, that I can hear of, except her brother. 'Reserve will wound.'” The quotation is from Young, Night Thoughts, Night II, line 560.
3. John Thaxter's love and future wife was Elizabeth Duncan of Haverhill (see vol. 6:351, 354, 422).
4. A reference to François de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon's Les aventures de Télé• { 216 } maque, 1699, which, modelled on Homer's Odyssey, recounts the adventures of Odysseus' son Telemachus, including his shipwreck on the island of the sea nymphs Calypso and Eucharis. His journey is guided by the goddess Minerva, in the guise of Mentor (J. Lewis May, Fénelon: A Study, London, 1938, p. 71–73, 79).
5. George, Lord Lyttelton (1709–1773), served as an influential member of the British government for over forty years in a variety of capacities, as well as being a noted author. The quote comes from an epitaph and inscription Lyttleton prepared for a monument to his first wife, Lucy Fortescue, who died in 1747 at the age of 29. Lyttelton continues in his description, “Tho' meek, magnanimous; tho' witty, wise; / Polite, as all her life in courts had been; / Yet good, as she the world had never seen; / The noble fire of an exalted mind, / With gentle female tenderness combin'd” (DNB; George, Lord Lyttelton, The Works of George Lord Lyttelton, London, 1774, p. 639).
6. The text of the Dft copy ends here.
7. Shaw wrote to AA2 on 19 Nov. 1785 (vol. 6:459–462) and 14 Feb., above. AA2's letters have not been found.
8. Alexander Pope, “To a Lady, on her Birthday, 1723,” Letters of the Late Alexander Pope, Esq. to a Lady, London, 1769, p. 31.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0080

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-13

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

And so my Dear son your sister is really and Bona fida married, as fast as the Bishop and a Clerk could tie them, in the ceremony too of the Church of England with all its absurdities about it, and that through necessity, for you know that Such is the liberality of this enlightned Country that the disenting Clergy are not permitted to Marry. To your Aunt Cranchs Letter1 I must refer you for particulars.
When I used to visit your Chamber at Autieul, and converse with you, and mutually express our anxiety with respect to future events, neither of us Dreemt of what has now taken place. You was then frequently witness to a regard and attachment, which repeated proofs of neglect, happily I presume for her, finally dissolved. Instability of conduct first produced doubt and apprehension which in silence she Sufferd. Time and reflection dispelld the mist and illusion and has united her to a Gentleman of a very different character, possessing both honour and probity, without duplicity either of mind or manners, esteemed and beloved both in his publick and private Character, and sufficiently domestick to make a worthy woman happy.
Your sister was much dissapointed that she did not receive a line from you by dr Gorden and the more so as mr Storer wrote her, that you had received hers by way of Newyork. The Letter to your Pappa gave us great pleasure.2 We are constantly Solicitious to hear from you, and your Brothers to whom present my Love.
We are anxious to hear whether Newyork can have been so unjust { 217 } and stupid as to rise without passing the impost. Such is the rumour here.3 If she has, adieu to publick faith. How is the forfeit to be avoided. I should think Congress would do well to recall all their publick ministers and dissolve themselves immediately. It is too much to be so conspicuously ridiculous. As to this Nation, it regards neither its own interest or that of any other people.
This Letter will go by way of Newyork, or first to Baltimore. Lamb and Randle are upon their return! Alass! Affectionately yours.
[signed] A A
1. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 13 June, below.
2. Storer's letter to AA2 has not been found; AA2's letter to JQA may be that of 5 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:478–483), which JQA records receiving on 7 April (Diary, 2:15); JQA's letter to JA is that of 2 April, above.
3. On 4 May, the New York legislature approved the 5 percent Continental impost but attached so many provisions to it that Congress found the New York act unacceptable. In August Congress urged Gov. George Clinton of New York to convene a special session of the legislature to reconsider approving the impost in accordance with the federal guidelines. Clinton refused their requests and the attempt to implement a general impost failed (E. Wilder Spaulding, New York in the Critical Period 1783–1789, New York, 1932, p. 176–178).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0081

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-06-13

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

Any agitation of mind, either painfull or pleasureable always drives slumber from my Eyes. Such was my Situation last Night; when I gave my only daughter, and your Neice to the man of her choice, a Gentleman esteemed by all who know him, and equally beloved by his1 Friends and acquaintance. A Man of strict honour, unblemish'd reputation and Morals, Brave modest and delicate, and whose study through life will be I doubt not, to make her whom he has chosen for his companion happy. Yet Satisfied as I am with the person, the event is too Solemn and important not to feel an agitation upon the occasion, equal to what I experienced for myself, when my own lot was cast. God bless them, and make them as happy through Life as their Parents have heitherto been.
When I wrote you last I informd you that the marriage would be in the course of a Month or two,2 but it was hastned on account of the Bishop of St Asaph going into the Country, and the ceremony can be performd but in two ways in this Country, either by regular publication, or a licence Speicial from the arch Bishop of Canteburry. A Licence from him dispences with going to Church, but they { 218 } are only granted to Members of Parliament, and the Nobility. When col Smith applied, the arch Bishop said it was a new case, (for you know we are considerd as foreigners) and he wisht to ask advice upon it. The next Day he wrote a very polite Letter and said that considering mr Adams's Station, he had thought proper to grant the Licence,3 and mentiond in a friendly stile the forms which it was necessary for col Smith to go through previous to it. And as the Lady was not 21 a Notary publick must wait upon mr Adams for an attestation of his consent. All forms being compleated, the Bishop of Saint Asaph, and the Clerk of St Gorges Parish in which we live; yesterday afternoon being sunday, performd the ceremony in presence of mr, mrs and Miss Copley, mr Parker of Watertown whom you know, and Col Forest, two intimate Friends of col Smiths.4 It was the wish and desire of both mr Smith and your Neice, to have as few persons present as with any decency could be. I really felt for her because upon this occasion, however affectionate a Parent may feel a companion of their own Sex and age must be preferable. Miss Hamilton the only Young Lady with Whom she was intimate, was gone to America, and next to her the amiable Mrs Rogers, but both were gone. Mr and Mrs Copley were the next persons with whom we were intimate, each of them of delicate manners, and worthy good people. The ceremony has some things which would be better left out; and the Bishop was so liberal as to omit the grosest, for which we thankd him in our Hearts.
In what a World do we live, and how Strange are the visisitudes? Who that had told your Neice two years ago, that an English Bishop should marry her, and that to a Gentleman whom she had then never seen; who of us would have credited it? Had Such an Idea been Started, she would never have consented to have come abroad, but the Book of futurity is wisely closed from our Eyes. When the ceremony was over, the good Bishop came to me and told me that he had never married a couple with more pleasure in his life, for he was pleas'd to add, that from the knowledge he had of the Parties, he never saw a better prospect of happiness. Heaven grant that his words may be prophetick. Think of Dr Bartlets Character, and you will know the Bishops. He is a fine portly looking Man, mild in his manners and Speach, with a Grace and dignity becomeing his Character. The arch Bishop is a still finer looking Man.
I feel a pleasure in thinking that the person who has now become one of our family, is one whom all my Friends will receive a Satisfaction in owning and being acquainted with. Tell my cousins Betsy
{ 219 } { 220 }
and Lucy, that they would Love him for that manly tenderness, that real and unaffected delicacy both of Mind and Manners which his every sentiment and action discovers.
On Saturday night Some evil Spright sent mr T. to visit me in a dreem. I have felt for him I own, and if he really had any regard for the person whom he profest so much,5 he must be chagrined. Sure I am that his conduct in neglecting to write to her as he did for months and Months together, was no evidence of regard or attachment. Yet I have repeatedly heard her tell him, that she would erase from her Heart and mind every sentiment of affection how Strong so ever, if she was conscious that it was not returnd and that She was incapable of loveing the Man, who did not Love her. And Such has been the conduct of mr T. Since her absence, that I hope every step she has taken with respect to him, will justify her conduct both in the Sight of God and Man.6
Much and many Months did she suffer before She brought herself to renounce him for ever, but having finally done it, she has never put pen to paper since. When she received a Letter from him this last fall,7 it was before she had given any incouragement to col S. and during his absence, she laid the Letter before her Father and beggd him to advise her, if upon perusing it he considerd it as a satisfactory justification, she would receive it as such. May he never know or feel, half the Misiry She sufferd for many days. Upon perusing the Letter mr A. was much affected. I read it—but I knew the Hyena too well, I knew his cant and grimace, I had been too often the dupe of it myself. I then thought it my duty to lay before mr A. Some letters from you, which he had never seen and he returnd the Letter of mr T's to your Neice and told her the Man was unworthy of her, and advised her not to write him a line. At the same time he thought it proper that I should write to him. I did so by the same conveyance which carried some letters and News papers in December.8 Since which not a line has come from him, and I hope never will again.
I wish I Could send a Balloon for one of my Neices. I shall want a female companion Sadly. My desires will daily increase to return to Braintree. We shall take a journey soon and then the young folks go to Housekeeping in wimpole Street.9 I have made them agree to Dine every day with us, so that only occasionally will they be obliged to keep a table by themselves.10 Adieu my dear Sister there are parts of this Letter which you will keep to yourself. There is one ceremony which they have got to go through at Court, which is a { 221 } presentation to their Majesties upon their marriage. This is always practised.
Mr and Mrs Smith present their regards to all their Friends and mine. We hope for an arrival from Boston daily, this Letter col Smith Sends for me by way of Newyork. I hope all the vessels which have saild from hence have arrived safe, if So you will find that I have not been unmindfull of you. Ever yours
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.). Dft (Adams Papers).
1. In the DftAA wrote “her.”
2. AA's last letter to Cranch was on 25 May (2d letter), above. She last mentioned AA2's marriage in her letter of 21 May, above.
3. In the DftAA further explained that “considering the Station of a foreign minister who takes Rank of all the Bishops in the Kingdom, he very politely granted the licence.” John Moore (1730–1805) was archbishop of Canterbury from 1783 to 1805 (DNB).
4. AA2 and WSS were married on Sunday, 11 June, Jonathan Shipley, the bishop of St. Asaph, officiating. The entry in the marriage register reads: “William Stephens Smith, Esqr., B[atchelor], and Abigail Adams, S[pinster], a minor. By Sp[ecial] Lic[ense] Abp. Canty. in the dwelling-house of her father his Excellency John Adams in Grosvenor Sq. by 'J. St. Asaph.'” The witnesses were John Adams, Uriah Forrest, Daniel Parker, and John Singleton Copley (John H. Chapman, ed., The Register Book of Marriages belonging to the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex, 4 vols., London, 1886–1897, 1:389).
Daniel Parker of Watertown, Mass., was a merchant and former army contractor, currently living in Europe (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 7:1591).
5. In the DftAA wrote “professt to Love.”
6. In the DftAA included the observation that AA2 had “the free consent of her parents and an approving world upon her conduct, than their reluctant apprehensive disapproving assent.”
7. Not found.
8. Not found.
9. Between 20 and 24 June the Adamses traveled to Portsmouth, viewing Painshill, the estate of Charles Hamilton, deceased, near Cobham in Surrey on the 21st, and Windsor as they returned (JA, D&A, 3:191). See AA's comments on these sites in her letters to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch, 18 and 20 July, respectively, both below. AA2 and WSS left Grosvenor Square for Wimpole Street on 30 June (same, 3:191).
10. In the DftAA noted that Wimpole Street was “not far from Grosvenor Square,” and conceded that “I know it is most for the happiness of families to live by themselves. I have not therefore opposed their remove.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0082

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-06-18

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Your Letter March 24th.1 by Capt Cushing, with the Apron, came safe to Hand 2 Days after his Arrival at Boston. Lyde, and Cushing got in the same Day. Mrs Hays Baggage could not be broke till she came from Newyork, so that I did not get that Token, and Expression of your Love, and kindness, till a fortnight after.2
I cannot think what is become of a Letter I sent you last November,3 giving you an account of my Fall Visitation.—Of my Dear Aunts Tufts's Sickness, and of her christian Resignation, and Death.—I { 222 } sent it to Boston, and cannot tell you what Capt. it went by, accompanied with one for my Neice.4 If you had received it, you would not have enquired whether the things you sent me were safe. For in that I acknowledged the Receipt, and presented my Childrens thanks to their good Aunt; for they think you are very good indeed to remember them.
My dear Sister your kindness oppresses me, I know that not any thing new is purchased for your Sons, and I cannot bear to think you should do it for me, perhaps there may sometimes be things that with you are out of Date, which if they are not in too high a Stile, may be of great service to me, and will not be valued the less by your Sister, for there dear Owner's sake. Mr Isaac Smith supplies the Pulpit at Weymouth, for Mr Evans, who married our Cousin Hulda Kent upon a Thursday and the next monday, they set of upon a Tour to new York, Philadelphia, &cc. Mr Smith purposed an exchange with Mr Shaw the last Sabbath in May, which was very agreeable, as we wished to visit our Friends. Accordingly we took Betsy Quincy,5 and journed on till we came to Cambridge. At the University we stoped, and spent an agreeable hour with our foster Sons. There was a Paragraph in your Letter by Capt Cushing that I received a week before, that surprised me, or rather excited my Curiosity. I thought of a Mr Murry, Col. Smith, and Col. Humphries. Did you think we should not want to know the Name of this favoured youth? or did you think we were high priests this year, and could divine? I did not know but you sent me that Phamplet of Col. Humphries, to anounce, and deleniate the Man. But of Mr JQA, I demanded immediate Satisfaction which was readily complied with by puting your Letter into my Hands, which informed him of the Rise and progress of this late Attachment. Love founded in virtue, and approved by Reason, must rise, or fall in proportion as the Object is deserving.6 However she may be represented to the World, in my view she stands free from the charge of Fickleness, and Inconstancy. For what affection can withstand the force of continued, studied neglect.
I consider the human Mind something like a musical Instrument, where if any of the Notes are silent, or out of tune, it produces a vacuum, a discord, which interrupts the harmony of the whole Machine. So the Mind when once touched by the tender Passion of Love, and set to a certain number of Ideas, will never after be in Unison, unless it find some Object capable of vibrating those delicate Keys. And experience informs us, that it does not require so great an Artist to put an Instrument in Tune, as it did at first to form one.
{ 223 }
We pursued our Course from Cambridge, to Milton where we stoped, and drank Tea, with General Warren and, Lady. It was here, that I was first informed of my Neices Marriage.7 And as I had but just heard of the Choice, it rather hurried my Spirits, and I could not but consider the News as premature, and without sufficient foundation, to announce a matter of so much Importance, as it must really be to Mr T——. I found the Story was spread far, and wide, and I could see no person, but what would accost me—“Your Neice is married then, what will Mr. T—— do, and say.” You, who know Mankind, and particular Persons so well, can easily imagine what each one will say. I heard but one person say they were sorry, and they gave this reason, “that now he would direct his distructive Course, and disturb some other peaceful Family.” I could not but recollect that Line in Young,

Poor is the friendless Master of the World.”8

Yet the Man has a Capacity that would ensure him buisiness, and Talents, which if Virtue was their Basis, would endear him to the whole World.
I felt—I cannot tell you how for him. He came home late, and rose by day light—and avoided us, as he would a Pestilence.9 Mr Shaw sought for him at Mrs Vesseys, at Mr Thayers, at the windmill, but all in vain. I cannot bear to see a person unhappy, even though I know it is the inevitable Consequence of evil, and wrong Conduct. I never could triumph over a dissappointed Person, but whether he is really so, I cannot tell. But some tenderness is always due, to those who have ever expressed regard, and have been esteemed by us. The least said, I verrily believe is best. I know my Neice must feel happy in her Choice, as she has now the sanction of both Parents. I have enquired, and his Character is good here. William Smith is a Name, which from my earliest Infancy, I have been taught to revere, and love. It is the Name of my only Son. Your Daughter now ties my affections, with more than a threefold Cord. May they for Days, and years to come dwell together as “the pleasant Roe and as the loving Hind.”10 But when—O when shall I see you all again. Your Son Thomas is in good health, grows tall and thin. I hardly think he will enter the University this year. I have taken for him the light silk Camblet Coat, and have provided a Taylor in the house, I can have greater prudence used, and the things done to suit me better, than if I put them out.

[salute] Adieu—ever yours

[signed] E S
{ 224 }
Write often, and scrible you always please your Sister. You will excuse my not coppying. I hope you will be able to read.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand: “Mrs Shaw June 18. 1786.”
1. Possibly an error for AA's letter of 4 March, above.
2. Katherine Hay carried a piece of silk from AA for Elizabeth Shaw (AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 March, above).
3. Of 6 Nov. 1785 (vol. 6:451–454).
4. To AA2, 19 Nov. (vol. 6:459–462).
5. Elizabeth Shaw's daughter.
6. AA to JQA, 16 Feb., above.
7. The news probably came from the Cranch family, who misunderstood a visiting card from the William Smiths of Clapham, which was enclosed in a package from AA. See Elizabeth Cranch to AA, 20 May, and note 4, above.
8. Young, Night Thoughts, Night II, line 571.
9. The Shaws were visiting the Cranches, where Royall Tyler had been boarding.
10. An allusion to Proverbs, 5:19.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0083

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1786-06-20

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I received yours of Ap. 18.1 Via Leverpool. Money may be sent to the East, to purchase Tea and other Commodities for which We now send it to London, and pay double Price. Besides Tobacco Peltries and Ginzeng, may be procured.
Our Oil might easily find a Market in almost any great Town in Europe. Nothing is wanting but to make known the superiour Qualities of our Sperma Caeti Oil, by Samples and Experiments. This Method Boylston took and Succeeded. But Indolence always sees a Lion in the Way.
If there is a third less of real Property now, in Boston than there was in 1775, what is become of it?
Some of it is banished, I suppose with the Tories, and would return if that Banishment were taken off. Some of it has been spent in a more elegant and convenient mode of living perhaps, and some say that much of it has been consumed in sloth and Idleness. If this is true Industry and Frugality may restore it.
In all Events, I am convinced, that We shall find no kind of Relief from this Country, untill We repeal all the Laws that bear hard upon the Treaty of Peace, nor Shall We then find an effectual Relief, but in Measures calculated to encourage, our own navigation Agriculture and Manufactures, the Commerce of the states with one another, and transferring our foreign Commerce from Great Britain to other Countries.
On Sunday the 11th. of this Month, Miss Adams was married to Mr William S. Smith, a Name forever to be respected in this { 225 } Family. My Regards to all our Friends. With great Respect your most obedient
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed by WSS: “Isaac Smith Esquire Boston”; note in an unknown hand: “America Atkin's”; note in another hand “Recd & forwarded by Your Mt Obdt Carneau & Marlin”; endorsed: “London June 86 J Adams.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0084

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Author: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-06-24

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

How good you are my dear Aunt, to favour me so often with your charming Letters, you cannot think how proud I am of them. I read them very often. I hope I shall even be the better for the instructions contained in them, and catch some of that warm regard for honour and virtue which shows itself in every sentence.
What an idea do you give us of high life in Europe. Is it possible that beings who call themseves reasonable, can so far relinquish every mental pleasure, and wast their lives in a continual round of dissapation, and dignify it with the name of happines, of enjoyment: what a perversion of terms! Well may our Country dread every step to luxury, every step we advance towards it, we are farther from the path of happiness. Yet their are many who sigh for the dissapations of foreign courts, for routs, and draws. A number of families in Boston are indeavouring to bring them into fashion. We must be obliged to fortunes fickle wheel, for preventing them.
You my Aunt have given me an account of a Ball: I will endeavour to give you a discription of the parade at the opening of Charlestown Bridge.1 If I had your discriptive pen: I might give pleasure. I am sure you would have felt as much interested in it as you do at a Birth night Ball.
It was: on the 17th. of June, the aniversary of the day which beheld Charlestown in flames. Sister and I went to town to see. The proprietors, of the Bridge, invited each branch of the legislature, the Governors of the College, the Clergy the Lawyers, and a large number of Gentlemen besides, to an entertainment on Bunker hill on the very spot where the memorable battle was, fought and where the military glory of our country began.
{ 226 } | view { 227 }
We went to Charlestown in the morning that we might have a full view of the procession. It went frome the state house in Boston. The appearence the most pleasing to me was that of the artificers who had been employed on the Bridge. They walked derectly after the artillery, each of them carring one of the instruments they had ussed, in forming that stupendious work.
What a striking contrast to that day eleven years when every mecanick threw down the harmless instruments of industry, and caught hold of the sword, and rushed impetuous to the fight. After the artificers followed the proprietors then the Govenor Leunt Govenor, Councel, Senate, representitives, &c. &c. &c: to near a thousand Gentlemen who dined upon the Hill. When the procession came to the draw, which was then first passed, the Cannon were fired and the Bells rang. After, diner 13 toasts were drank a ussial, and a number of patriotick songs were sang accompanied by a band of music: the one composed on the occation I, will, enclose you.2 I never saw such a vast crowd of people in my life, they poured in from every part of the country. The Bridge looks beautifully in the evening, there are 40 lamps on it.
Cousin Charles and my Brother were with us. Mr. J.Q.A is too much of the philosopher, and student to be at such a frolick, it could not draw his steadiness aside.3 We sometimes fear that he will injure his health by his very great attention to his studies. He is determined to be great in every particular.
Our good Aunt Smith has been declining fast all this summer. She is now very ill her life is dispaired of even for a day. Her truely pious life gives us assurence the change for her must be for the better. She will leave an afflicted family. Mrs Cushing she that was Lucy Thaxter, is numbered with the silent dead. She has been married but littel more than a year. She lived but a day and a half after the birth of her child. She died last week. We did not know of it till to day. It must have been a great shock to the family. It is by these afflictive strokes, that heaven weans from a world we Love too well, and by taking from us our friends, bids us be also ready.
Where is my dear Cousin Nabby, what can be the reason that her pen has been so long silent. It is almost a year since her last Letter to me was wrote.4 I have wrote to her four of five times since.5 I will not write again 'till I am certain by what name to address her. I hope to find the same friend in Mrs S——th that I ever have in my Cousin Nabby. Remember me most affectionatly to her. She has my sincer wishes for her happiness. Since I wrote last we have had the pleas• { 228 } ure of seeing some of our English friends, and relations.6 We are much pleased with them, I wishe they could have settled in Braintree. They would in some measure have supplied the place of your dear family.
Mr Evans is married to Huldah Kent, they are to live in our house at Weymouth. We shall yet have one inducement to visit it.
Be pleased my dear Madam to make my respects acceptable to my Honoured Uncle; and receive yourself, the sincerest Love and respect of your ever obliged—
[signed] Neice Lucy, Cranch
We have lost the paper that had the song in, which I intended to have enclosed you, Papa will send the Papers you will see it in them. I have just made these ugly blots. I am asshamed to send such a slovenly Letter. I have not time to coppy it as papa must take it to town tomorrow. I must beg your condour. I am made obbliged for my Gown and ribbon. It will never be in my power to return your goodness to me.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Lucy Cranch july 24th 1786.”
2. Not found.
3. See JQA to AA2, 18 May , and note 11 for JQA's reasons for not attending the celebration.
4. Of 23 June 1785 (vol. 6:183–186). AA2's letter of 20 Feb. (MWA) had not yet reached Braintree.
5. None of these letters has been found.
6. See Richard Cranch to JA, 20 May, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0085

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-01

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

I have this moment heard that Cushing will sail for London in 3 days, It mortifies me to let one oppertunty pass unimprovd that might convey to my Aunt the assurances of my grateful affection, and earnest wishes for her happiness; Time nor absence have abated that (may I not call it) filial regard which your tender kindness, early inspired my heart; the recollection of inumerable instances of it call forth, many a time the trickling tear; when I am fondly indulging myself in contemplating the pleasing past! and cherishing the chearful hope that those days of happiness, repose and friendship may soon return; In the future plan of happiness which fancy has portray'd, your return makes so essential a part, that it would be quite incomplete without it. But, the melancholy { 229 } occasion that has brought me to town, warns me to beware of placing too strong an attachment on any future Scheme, nothing can be more uncertain; The sudden death of our Aunt Smith is an afflictive stroke to us all. You will have accounts probably before this reaches you. The day before Yesterday, I followd her to the silent Tomb!

“The sweet remembrance of the just

Shall flourish when they Sleep in dust.”1

Sure then this good Woman will live forever in the hearts of her Friends; her unaffected piety, threw a continual serenity and chearfulness over her whole Life, and disrobed Death of all its Terrors! Another, a more striking proof of deaths power to “cull his Victims from the fairest Fold,”2 we have in the sudden exit of Mrs Cushing (Lucy Thaxter). This day week she was buried, and left a little infant, one day old! What changes have been made in the Circle of your friends since your absence by this all powerful conqueror! And ah! I tremble at what may be!
Yesterday, PM, being very pleasant, induced Papa, Mama, Cousin Wm: Smith, and myself, to take a ride over the Bridge to Charleston and Cambridge, to drink Tea, with my Brother, Your two Sons, and Leonard White; they always appear so happy to see us, that I know not any Visits that I recive so much pleasure from.
We could not help regretting, that you and my dear Cousin, should lose so much satisfaction. Before Thomas, leaves, Colledge, tho, we thougth, we hoped, we might all assemble yet, at his Chamber.—I could not help laughing at Cousin john, for the learned dirt, (not to say rust) he had about and around him. I almost scolded, however we seized his gown and Jackett and had a clean one put on. I took my Scissars and put his Nails into a decent form, and recommended strongly a Comb and hair-string to him. He invited me to come once a Quarter, and perform the like good services [for] him again.—Charles was a contrast, but [not?]too strikingly so, he is naturally and habitually neat. But they are all good—as yet. I feel proud of my Brothers, they are beloved and respected.
Tis dinner time and I am engaged to dine at my Uncles.3 My dear Cousin, I long to write to, but feel so awkward, at addressing, I know not whom, that I shall only ask her acceptance and belief of my sincerest Love, of my real joy, at the prospect of her happy Connexion, and my constant wishes, that each day may encrease her enjoyment, that she may ever feel the self-approbation, of a steady uniform perseverence in the path of consious rectitude.4
{ 230 }

[salute] Please to present my Uncle with my most respetful and affectionate regards, and accept the Dutiful and grateful affection of your

[signed] E C
Sister Lucy is at home and has been writing you.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams. Grosvenor Square”; endorsed: “Betsy Cranch july 1 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. A common paraphrase of Psalms, 112:6.
2. Young, Night Thoughts, Night V, line 918.
3. Probably Isaac Smith Sr.
4. The remainder of the text is written lengthwise in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0086

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1786-07-02

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

I have not written to you before, since I left you,1 because my Studies and European Letters have engrossed all my Time. But as you will probably soon enter this University, I wish to give you a few hints which you may improve as you please. You will consider them, not as the commands or instructions of a Preceptor, but as the advice of a friend, and a Brother.
Your intimate acquaintances will probably be in your own Class, at least alm[ost all] of them; and let me strongly recommend to you great caution, and Prudence in [the?] choice of them for on this in a great measure depends your reputation in College and even all through Life. If the Class which you will belong to is numerous, you will undoubtedly, find in it a great variety of Characters. Some will be virtuous and studious. These two Qualities are most commonly united, as are also their opposites, vileness and vice. It is not necessary to tell you that those of the first sort [ . . . ] will be proper Companions for you, and such as you may always call your friends without a blush. It is probable you will perceive that those, who are the most officious, the most complaisant, and perhaps the most agreeable, on a short acquaintance, will after some time prove unworthy of your friendship. Like paintings in crayons, which look very well at a distance, but if brought close to the eye, are harsh and unpleasing, the most amiable characters are often the most reserved, as wisdom, and prudence require, that we should establish an intimacy, with those only whose characters we have had opportunities to study, and who have given us proofs, of their attachment to honour, morality and religion. I could wish you to be upon good terms with all your Classmates, but intimate with few, endeavour to have { 231 } no Enemies, and you can have but few real friends. Never be induced by ridicule or by flattery to depart from the Rule of right which your own Conscience will prescribe to you. There are [some] persons, who make it a practice to laugh at others whose principle is to [ . . . ] of Virtue, but you may be persuaded, that whatever such fellows may pretend they will always esteem you, for behaving well. Vice will sometimes condescend to beg for respect, but Virtue commands it, and is always sure to obtain it.
Next to the Ambition of supporting, an unblemished moral Reputation, that of excelling as a Scholar, should be nearest your heart. These two Qualities are not frequently united: four or five is as great a number as a Class [can] generally boast of. But you will find, that they, are always the favourites of the Class, and never fail meeting with [esteem?], not only from their fellow Students, but likewise from the Government of the University. I have heard one of the most respectable Characters in the Class, which is now about to graduate, say, that he has made it a Rule, ever since he entered College, to study upon an average six hours in a day. If you feel yourself capable of this I would recommend it to you as an example. There is no difficulty in it, and I am persuaded that after a short Time it would be more agreeable to you than to be idle, and it would be a determination which you would remember, all the remainder of your Life with Pleasure; and you would soon, very soon perceive the advantages deriving from it. But if you would put such a resolution into execution, you should determine, not to content yourself merely with studying for recitations, and you will never be at a loss what to Study. In short that both your moral and your Literary character, be set as an example for your own Classmates and the succeeding classes to imitate, is the sincere, and [express] wish of your ever affectionate friend & brother
[signed] J.Q. Adams
P.S. Present my best respects to [our] Uncle and Aunt and to Mr: Thaxter, my Compliments wherever you please.
N.B. I have requested of Dr: Jennison, that he would take you for his freshman, he did not give a positive answer, but you will not enter into any engagement contrary to it.2
RC (Private owner); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams. at the Revd: Mr: Shaw's Haverhill Honoured by Leonardus White Esqr.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and the manuscript was stained.
1. On 14 March, when JQA left the Shaw family in Haverhill to enter Harvard (JQA, Diary, 1:415).
2. This paragraph is written on the address page of the letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0087

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-02

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I did not receive your last Letter by the way of new york1 till after the vessail had Sail'd with my Letters. I was much diverted to think the few Lines coll: smith wrote in your name should have produce'd you So long a Letter from Mr Cranch. The coll really counterfitted your hand writing very well. Betsy said as soon as she saw it, that it did not look just like aunts hand. If it was hers She had mended it greatly.
I rejoice, I greatly rejoice with you in your agreable connection. I hear a very good character of him from every Person who has any knowledge of him, a perfect contrast to the other, but why my sister did you not tell us when and where they were married. Some of her Friends wish it had not been so sudden, but it is best, I believe as it is. Mr T would have given her not a little uneasiness while she remain'd single, but whether from Love or vanity I shall not pretend to say. I hear he says he is sure it is not her own doings, her Friends have been the wicked instruments. He was so sure of her that he thought he might treat her as he pleass'd. I want much to know what you have written him. I hope you have clear'd me and her other corrospondents from being the cause of his dissapointment. I have not said one word to him my self upon the Subject. He does not now live with us. He had not for above two months eat with us, excepting that he Breakfasted and din'd with us, a Sundays. He would come in after we were abed, and go out before we were up. I did not like such kind of Boarding, and last May I told him one morning, “that as he did not eat here, I thought it would be more convinient for him to sleep where he eat, and that I should want the chamber for my Nephews.” He made me no answer but never has been in the House Since till yesterday morning before we were up. He came and took some of his Cloaths. He has not only forsook our House, but the publick worship also he has not been in the meeting house since he left us although he boards almost next to it. I believe he has not been out of Braintree Since. His mill and his Farm keep him fully imploy'd. He is finishing his office and repairing his House. He is dismally mortified, but I am sure he ought not to blame any body but himself. I cannot help pitying him a little although he has told so many Fibs about me.2
{ 233 }
I have just heard he is gone to see his mother, went yesterday morning. Will you believe it sister, His Sister is dead and bury'd and I am told he neither visited her in her sickness nor attended her Funeral, altho he was Sent for to do both. The poor woman dy'd of a broken heart. Her Husband has spent her fortune at the Tavern and Gameing Table, and is become quite a Sot I hear. Her poor Mother will now have two more little ones to take care off. She has Johns three and himself into the bargain.3 How unhappy that poor woman is, not to have one child in whome she can take much comfort. How much of the comforts of our Lives may be distroy'd by the ill conduct of our near connections.
I have not yet been to Hingham. I design it, in a day or two, they must be very melancholy. I have not yet heard the perticulars of my Cousins Illness.4 Uncle Quincy5 has not been off his Farm since December. He fancys he cannot ride, and we cannot perswaid him to try. He walks about his Farm and is well excepting that he has the Rhumatism in one Leg sometimes, but not so bad but I found him one morning walking at five o clock after his sheep which had got into the Town land. I would have had him get into the chaise and rid home or took a littel ride, but I could not prvail with him to do it. I am affraid he will be as whimsical as our dear Aunts have been. Aunt Thaxter6 has not been in the meeting house for above four years. So many Breaths she thinks would Stiffle her. What a pity she does not live in Braintree. She never would have that difficulty here.
Our good Parson thinks that variety is as hurtful to the heads as the Stomacks of his Audience and therefore continues to feed us with the same simple <Fish> Food you have so often partook off. He never fails making inquierys about you when he comes here, and his visits are not less frequent for your Family being absent I assure you.
Madam Quincy and Daughter as well. Mrs Q is well pleass'd with her Silk and desires me to present your Love and many thanks for your [care?] about it. As for me my dear Sister I want words to express my gratitude to you for your kindness to me and my children. Indeed my sister I fear you will do too much for us we cannot return the obligation. Billy is greatly oblig'd for his coat and wastcoat. They are made and look very handsome. The coat is rather Short for him he is I believe as tall as his Papa. The wastcoat is not to be put on till commencment when your Healths and that of the colln. and his Ladys will be drank.
{ 234 }
I wonder if any body has told you that Bill Bracket dy'd last Summer and that his wife has left her Husband Vesey, and he has been in Jail three or four times for some of his mischeif.7 Your mother Hall was well yesterday. She has her Silk you sent made, and it looks beautifully. Your Brother Adams and Family are well. Our Haverhill Friends are well. Cousin Thomas, will not go to college this commencment, he will be fitted, but his Brothers think he had better stay till one year is added to his age, and that his Studys with his uncle will be of greatter Service to him than going So young would be. I shall write again by the next vessel.

[salute] Yours affectionatly

[signed] M C
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch july 2d 1786.”
1. Of 26 Feb., above.
2. Cranch added “although he has told so many Fibs about me” when she continued writing the letter on the 3d.
3. Royall Tyler's elder sister, Jane, married David Cook of Dunstable in 1780 and had two children, Horace and Mary. She died 22 June after a short illness and her funeral took place on the 26th from the Cooks' home in Boston, which Jane Tyler evidently inherited from her father. Royall Tyler Sr.'s estate had been divided equally among his three surviving children (Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 331; Boston Gazette, 26 June; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
John Steele Tyler, Royall's brother, married Sarah Whitwell, his stepsister, in 1775. Following Sarah's death on 19 Dec. 1785 in Billerica, Tyler and his three young children (John, Royall, and Sally Whitwell) moved to Jamaica Plain to live with his mother, Mary Steele Tyler Whitwell, a widow since 1775 (G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler, Cambridge, 1967, p. 6, 19; Boston Independent Ledger, 26 Dec. 1785; NEHGR, 96:191 [April 1942]; Vital Records of Billerica Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Boston, 1908, p. 194).
4. Lucy Thaxter Cushing.
5. Norton Quincy.
6. Anna Quincy Thaxter, AA's aunt, wife of John Thaxter Sr. and mother of Lucy Thaxter Cushing.
7. William Brackett (b. 1747) of Braintree served in several different companies and regiments during the Revolutionary War and died while stationed at the fort at West Point in either 1784 or 1785. He was married to Mercy Brackett on 6 Nov. 1773; they had three children (Herbert I. Brackett, Brackett Genealogy, Washington, D.C., 1907, p. 538; Braintree Town Records, p. 878).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0088

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-07-04

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear sister

Your two Letters of May 7th and 15th1 reachd me yesterday, and I was puzzeld a long time to find out what you could mean by the card, till your Neice, now really Mrs Smith, said that She recollected winding the ribbon upon a card of invitation which happend to lie by her, from Mrs Smith of Clapham, a Lady I have mentiond formerly to you, whose Husband is a Member of Parliament. You was however only a few Months too soon in Your conjecture, for on Sunday the 12 of june, was Married (by the Bishop of St Asaph), at his [our] house in Grosvenour square, Miss Adams the only Daugh• { 235 } ter of his Excellency John Adams esqr minister Plenipotentiary from the united States of America, to Col William S. Smith Secretary of Legation, as the News papers will inform you; if they do not publish this from them, on the 13th of june I wrote both to you, and my Son J Q A, by a Gentleman, col Forrest who was present upon the occasion and who saild for New York a few days after. The Young folks were terrible affraid of a Bustle upon the occasion, they were as timid as partrideges, and would gladly have had only the Bishop present, but two more witnessess were necessary to render it valid. Col Forest and mr Parker whom you know, were the Gentleman mr Smith chose, and I thought proper to ask Mr Mrs and Miss Copely to drink tea with me, tho they did not know the occasion untill the Bishop came. These with the Clerk of the Parish who was a necessary in the Buisness composed the whole company, and tho the ceremony was quite Novel to us all, Your Neice past through it with a good deal of presence of Mind, even repeating after the Bishop, I “Abigail take the William” &c which is rather more embarrassing than the curtzy of assent in the dissenting form.2 The feelings of a Parent upon an event of this kind can only be known by experience, even where the most favourable prospect of happiness appears, to give a way a Child is a Solem peice of Buisness.
Upon the first of this Month they commenced House keepers in Wimpole Street, but tho they dine with us every day, it feels very Lonesome I assure you. On fryday evening they agreed to go to Renalegh with a Party and from thence go to their own House, but I was unwell and could not accompany them, and would have had them deferd going to house keeping till Monday, but as all their things had gone that afternoon they resolved upon going. The company who were of the party, were to drink tea with us but I found before the hour came that your Neice wisht to stay at home. She endeavourd to Suppress and conceal the Idea that had taken possession of her mind too strongly for her to enjoy any of the amusements of the Evening, that of quitting a Fathers House, feelings which I dare say you recollect to have experienced yourself. I known not how to express it better than an Idea of putting ourselves out of the protection of our parents to Set up for ourselves. This together with the apprehension that her Parents would be very Lonesome affected her more than I was aware of alltogether made her a very unhappy Night. The Soothing tenderness of a kind Partner who felt almost as much affected as She was, and the Chearfulness which her parents assumed dispelld the next day in some measure the { 236 } cloud. I Say assumed for I really felt as great an inclination to cry as she did. Do not laugh at us my dear sister, may you never know what it is to be in the midst of the World, and yet feel alone. Here are we four, and no more. Do you know that company is widely different from Society? No I cannot leave her in this Country. New York is too far distant. The family with which she is connected is numerous and amiable, from their Characters will receive her I doubt not with Friendship and regard. Col Smith has received from his Mother3 a very affectionate Letter in replie to one he wrote her requesting her consent to the Match. If we live to meet upon the other side the atlantick I promise my self with happy days yet.
The morning after they went to housekeeping Mr Adams went into his Libriary after Breakfast, and I into my chamber where I usually spend my forenoons. Mr A commonly takes his daily walk about one oclock, but by eleven he came into my room with his Hat and cane, “and a Well I have been to See them: what said I could not you stay till your usual Hour, no I could not he replied, I wanted to go before Breakfast.”
You observe in your Letter that I had never mentiond the Name of the Gentleman, who is now your Nephew, in any of my letters to my Friends. You may easily conceive the reason why I did not. When we first came here the mind of your Neice was much agitated with mr T. conduct towards her. She was led to think that her Friends had reason for their opposition. She considerd herself as bound, and was fearfull of committing an act of injustice. She was greatly perplext, but silent, her little pocket Book would sometimes discover her Sentiments. She had coppied from Shakespear which she was then reading: the four following lines

“I am sorry I must never trust thee more

But Count the World a stranger for thy sake

The private wound is deepest; oh time most curst

Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst.”4

It was natural for a Gentleman who was much in the family, to notice this uncommon Sedateness and to perceive that Something was amiss, tho he knew not what the cause was. He set himself to amuse and to divert. I believe it is Richardson who says, that the Grieved mind loves the Soother.5 I soon perceived that the inclination for being alone lessned, and that the attentions of this Gentleman were not unpleasing besides she heard all mouths speaking in his praise. But in him I saw a growing attachment which distresst { 237 } me. What to do I knew not. To him I could not say any thing, for I did not presume he had made any declaration. But it brought on a conversation which I related to you in a former Letter,6 tho I avoided telling you then who the Gentleman was that her Question related to. When she upon my hinting to her that I had observed a partiality in col S towards her, askd, do you not think him a Man of honour? to which I replied yes, of strickt honour, and I wish I could say as much for all your acquaintance. I added further, but I do not think col S knows your Situation. Her replie was that he did. Then said I you must have very lately informd him. I went on to say, if you was disengaged not only I but every Friend you have would rejoice, for it is my opinion that mr T. has acted a dishonorable part by you. If he had really felt the regard for you which he professd, he could not so grossly have neglected you. If he meant to try your affections for him by such ungenerous methods they were unbecomeing a Man of Honour, and it my duty to say to you without any view to any future connextion that the accounts I have had of him, give me no reason to be satisfied with his conduct since I left America. But if you was really disengaged I do not think you ought to give any encouragement to col S. upon an acquaintance of so short duration. Tis true that he has a universally good Character, and is much respected and I have reason to think would Scorn to Supplant any person. Here ended our conversation and she retired in Silence, but an hour after sent me a note with the coppy of a letter which she wrote mr T. from the Bath hotel,7 in which She had very plainly told him her mind, tho it did not contain an absolute dismission. A coppy of a card also to col S written the day before, and upon the first opening she had to inform him that she could consider him in no other light than as a friend.8 The Letter to mr T. was written in May, and this note in August. I mention this to shew that her conduct was not the result of fickelness. With these papers, she requested me to lay before her Pappa, all the letters I had received from America with regard to mr T. and to beg his advice what to do, that his opinion should be the guide of hers. This produced a conversation between her and her Father which I related to you formerly. She said what I really believe she thought at that time, that she had no partiality for any other person. In this State of things col S. desired leave of absence, that he might go to the Prussian Review for a Month or two. He went and did not return till the begining of december: he was a stranger to what had taken place in his absence. A little before his return, she received a letter from mr T.9 which { 238 } distresst her beyond measure. He had touchd every string which was possible could affect her. In short it was the most artfull letter I ever read, pathetick and tender in the extreem. I could not read it without tears, yet I saw the consumate art of it. She gave it to her pappa and requested to know of him, if he thought it an exculpation of his conduct, and whether she ought to answer it. Mr Adams was not much less affected with it than I was, and not personally knowing the Man did not see all his art. But it was his judgment that it was not a justification and that I, instead of Your Neice Should answer it. This I did in December, and it was to him the Letter I mentiond by the newyork packet was written, a coppy of it I enclose to you.10 I am sorry to find him disgracing himself, tho it so amply justifies her. Mr Trumble in congratulateing me upon a late event, and a happy escape added, nobody ever Yet knew T. without both Loveing and despicing him, and this I believe is a good picture of him.
Upon the return of col S. he was treated with more reserve than formerly. This piqued him, and he said to me a few weeks after his return: that he felt him self unhappy, that he was incapable of acting a dishonorable part. He wisht to treat the Lady as a sister, her conduct towards him had been generous, and she should find that his should be equally so. As I did not chuse to undeceive him, I told him I thought he had not been sufficiently gaurded and that supposing as he did that she was disengaged, he could not justi[f]y sudden attachments, and he must be sensible her greater reserve was in concequence of it. It was in some of these Brotherly and Sisterly conversations I suppose that the veil dropt—the little deity who had been watching for this moment, blind as he is said to be, felt his way to the Heart, and finding all obstacles removed, inclosed them both in one net, draw'd it close, and then marchd of in triumph. The Gentleman immediately made his Sentiments known to her Friends,11 obtaind their sanction, and has given me but little rest till I consented to their Marriage, which would not however have been quite so soon, if the Bishop had not been leaving London for the Summer. Thus you have a History of this matter. You will not expose it, it would be ridiculous to relate it, to any but a particular Friend, and then only to justify her conduct.
I have nothing to regreet in this Matter but the Idea that she will be seperated too far from me. But to think her happy however distant; is less painfull than I fear it would have been to have had her near me.
{ 239 }
You complain of the shortness of my Letters, but do you recollect, how many Friends I have to write to, who are pleasd to value my correspondence so highly, as to appear dissapointed when I do not write them. I own this is very flattering to me, but I feel myself exhausted in concequence of it.
I am glad to find the things I sent pleasd you, hope Biggolow has also arrived safe.
You will have a Buisy time this Month with all the Lads about you. I seem as if I was living here to no purpose, I ought to be at home looking after my Boys.
Mr and Mrs Graham lately returnd from France dinned with us this week and her daughter Miss Macauley and mr Copelys family, a Mrs Ann Quincy who lives in Northamtonshire, a maiden Lady, and a Relation to the Quincy family. I am pleasd with mrs Graham, whose manners are much more feminine than I expected to find them. Why why did she tarnish her lawrels by so Youthfull a connection. The Gentleman looks rather young to have been the Husband of her daughter, who is an amiable agreeable young Lady, but discovers very sensible mortification I presume at her Mothers Marriage. Mrs Graham expresses herself much satisfied with her reception in Boston, and indeed throughout America. She would have found more respect I conceive if she had visited it as Mrs Macauley.12 But there must be frailty in all humane characters, and it should teach us in judging of the actions of others, to remember the weakness of Humane Nature and to examine the tenor of our own minds as well as the Strength of our own virtue, before we pass a rigid sentance upon their conduct.
Tis probable I Shall write you again before the vessel sails. I will not ask excuse for the contents of this letter, it is designd only for the perusal of an affectionate Sister who kindly interest herself in the welfare and happiness and in all the concerns of her affectionate Sister
[signed] Abigail Adams
I have been so constanly employd in writing for Several days that I cannot add any more to you than to tell you I am going on monday out of Town for a week,13 and that those Friends to whom I Quit writing now will receive Letters by Bairnard. Callihan Sails on monday.
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
{ 240 }
1. Cranch's second May letter to AA was actually undated, and is printed above under [21] May.
2. Puritans and other dissenters did not use holy vows in their marriage ceremonies but rather required a simple one-word agreement to the marriage (David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, N.Y., 1989, p. 81).
3. Margaret Stephens Smith of Jamaica, N.Y., widow of New York merchant John Smith (JQA, Diary, 1:296).
4. Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, scene iv, lines 69–72.
5. Samuel Richardson, Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, 7 vols., London, 1748, 3:letter LIX, “Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq., Tuesday, April 25”: “The grieved mind looks round it, silently implores consolations, and loves the soother.”
6. To Mary Smith Cranch, 15 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:276).
7. Letter not found. The Adamses stayed at the Bath Hotel in London from 26 May to 2 July 1785 (vol. 6:172).
8. Note not found. AA2 probably wrote it before WSS's request to JA of 4 Aug. 1785 to take leave to visit Prussia (Adams Papers).
9. Not found.
10. Neither AA's letter to Tyler nor the copy sent to Mary Cranch has been found.
11. That is, AA and JA. See WSS to AA, 29 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:508–509).
12. In Nov. 1778, at the age of 47, Catharine Macaulay married 21-year-old William Graham, a surgeon's mate on an East India ship. She had previously been married to George Macaulay from 1760 until his death in 1766. Their daughter, Catherine Sophia, was in her mid-twenties in 1786. The Grahams toured the United States from July 1784 to July 1785, spending the first ten months almost exclusively in Boston and visiting Piscataqua in the District of Maine, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, and Mount Vernon (Bridget Hill, The Republican Virago: The Life and Times of Catharine Macaulay, Historian, Oxford, 1992, p. 16, 105, 108, 126; DNB). JA opened a correspondence with Macaulay on 9 Aug. 1770 after learning that she had been favorably impressed by his “Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law” (see JA, D&A, 1:360–361, 2:75–76; JA, Papers, 1:250, 352–353; 2:164–165). Additional letters from JA to Macaulay are in the Gilder Lehrman Coll. on deposit at NHi.
13. For the Adamses visit with Thomas Brand Hollis, see AA2 to JQA, 27 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0089

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1786-07-04

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have recd your Favour of 20 May. The Southern States will be forced to co operate with the Middle and northern ones, in measures for encouraging Navigation, because otherwise they will not be able to obtain ships for the Exportation of their Produce. The English have not and cannot obtain Ships, at a rate cheap enough for the purpose. The Ships taken from the Dutch, French Spaniards and Americans, during the War, which are now employed will Soon be worn out, and English oaks will not be found inexhaustible, and in all Cases the Freight in European ships will be too dear.
I have been Scribbling four years to Congress on the subject of Raw Sugars, but never was attended to. All the Sugar Houses you have and as many more might be employed, and the sugars sent to the Cape of good Hope as well as Rum for what I know, sold to Italians when they come for Fish or sent to the Baltic.
The Cry for Paper Money is downright Wickedness and Dishonesty. Every Man must see that it is the worst Engine of Knavery that { 241 } ever was invented. There never will be commerce nor Confidence, while Such Systems of Villany are countenanced.
I see by the Cases of Lowell and Sprague, there is a Pique against Lawyers. A delusion, which will hurt our Country. Other Orders of Man, who are introducing Luxury, and Corruption, disgracing Us in the Eyes of foreign nations and destroying all Confidence at home, leading Us to innumerable Breaches of public Faith, and destroying in the Minds of the People the Sacred Regard to honour, are popular. This will not wear well.
Jefferson might have added to his Catalogue of American Genius's, Copley West, stuart, Trumbull, and Brown as Painters, Trumbull Dwight and Barlow as Poets, and many others. A Pack of Cox-comical Philosophers in Europe have made themselves ridiculous by doubting and disputing a Point that is as clear as day light. Jefferson has treated them with too much Ceremony. He should have treated their Insolence with scorn.
I have given my Daughter to New York. The Ceremony was performed by My Friend the Bishop of St Asaph, by a Special Licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dissenting Ministers have not authority to marry. All Denominations of Dissenters are married here by the Clergy of the Chh of England, and without the Licence the Rite must have been performed in a Church, by Virtue of the Licence the Ceremony was performed in my House.
Colonel Smith is a Man of Sense and Spirit, Taste and Honour. I am very well satisfied with his Character Conduct, Circumstances and Connections: but my only Daughter must probably be soon seperated from me, for Life, as she will return to N. York and I to Braintree. This is an unpleasant Thought but it is the only one, and I ought to rejoice that there is no other. My Love to all our Friends. Your affectionate Brother
[signed] John Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); endorsed: “Letter from His Excy. J: Adams Esqr July 4th. 1786.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0090

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-07-04

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I have accepted your Bill in favour of Storer, of 50£. and paid that in favour of Mr Elworthy of 40£.
I wish you to buy that Bit of an House and Land, which you mention, but am afraid they will make you give more for it than it is { 242 } worth, it lies so to me that I must have it. The Pieces of Marsh adjoining to mine, I wish you to buy likewise. Draw upon me for the Money to pay for them. Let Thomas enter Colledge if you think him fit.1
As to Politicks, all that can be said is Summarily comprehended in a few Words. Our Country is grown, or at least has been dishonest. She has broke her Faith with Nations, and with her own Citizens. And Parties are all about for continuing this dishonourable Course. She must become Strictly honest and punctual to all the World before she can recover the Confidence of any body at home or abroad.
The Duty of all good Men is to join, in making this Doctrine popular, and in discountenancing every Attempt against it. This Censure is too harsh I suppose, for common Ears, but the Essence of these Sentiments must be adopted throughout America, before We can prosper. Have our People forgotten every Principle of Public and Private Credit? Do We trust a Man in private Life, who is not punctual to his Word? Who easily makes Promisses, and is negligent to perform them? especially if he makes Promisses knowing that he cannot perform them; or deliberately designing not to perform them? Yours
[signed] John Adams
1. JA is responding to questions Tufts raised in his 13 April letter to AA, above, regarding the purchase of the Belcher property and Martha Vesey's marshland, as well as TBA's education.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0091

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-05

Richard Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Capt. Cushing having informed me that he shall sail tomorrow, I have requested him to take the Charge of a small Packquett containing a few Letters and News-Papers, which he has promised to deliver with his own Hands. You will see in the Papers an Account of the surprizing progress of Art, and effect of Industry, exhibited in the Completion of the Bridge across Charlestown Ferry, which was opened on the 17th. of June. I have enclosed a particular account of the Dimentions of this cellebrated Structure.1 This Bridge renders our communication with Cambridge much easier than formerly, and gives us the Happiness of more frequent Visits to our dear Boys at the University. Your Sister Cranch and I went over the Bridge to see them a few Days ago, and my Lucy visited them yesterday. Your Son { 243 } John and my Billy live in Hollis-Hall, and have very pleasant Chambers, up two pair of Stairs, in the Entry next to Harvard-Hall. Master John's Chamber is on the south side of the Entry next to Harvard, and commands a fine Prospect of Charlestown and Boston and the extensive Fields between. Master Billy's Chamber is on the other side of the Entry fronting the Common and has a fine View of the Country towards Watertown. Master Charles has the corner Room next to Holden-Chapple on the lower Floor of the same Colledge.2 This little Fraternity with their Chums (who are also very clever) live in the greatest Harmony, and behave so as to do honour to the Families from whome they sprung. I have never heard of a single Blemish on either of their Characters since they entered the University. I wish you could look in upon them: I assure you they live with great “decency and regularity”; not Sharp and his Master more so.3
I saw your Hond: Mother Hall and your Bror. Adams and Children last Sunday, who are all well. Uncle Quincy is often affected with rhumatick Pains so that he seldom goes abroad. Uncle Smith is left a sincere Mourner for the Loss of our worthy Aunt, who died a few Days ago as you will see by the Papers. Cousin Isaac is appointed Chaplain to the Castle, which will give him a decent Living while he continues a Batchelor. Colonel Thaxter's Family have lately met with a great Affliction in the Death of his Daughter Cushing who died in Child-bed about 48 Hours after the birth of her first Child. The Child is living.
I am uncertain in what manner to present my Regards to your most amiable Daughter, whether to congratulate her as a Bride or not. If that happy Relation has taken place, I send her my warmest Congratulations, and best Wishes that every Blessing may be attendant on her and the worthy Partner of her Life. Please to give my kindest Respects to Brother Adams, and excuse this merely domestick Letter from your ever obliged and affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch
Cousin Tommy, and our Friends at Haverhill, were well a Day [or] two ago, when I heard from them.
M[y] dear Partner you will hear from by the inclos[ed] Letters. We are all as well as usual.
Capt. Cushing not gone yet. I have enclosed a very good Election Sermon.4
{ 244 }
RC (Adams Papers); some loss of text due to wear at the fold.
1. Enclosure not found. Both the Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 June, and the Boston Gazette, 26 June, contained detailed descriptions of the Charlestown Bridge, for which see the “View of the Bridge over Charles River,” 1789 226Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.
2. Hollis Hall, named for Thomas Hollis, was built and possibly designed by Thomas Dawes in 1763 to relieve overcrowding at Harvard. It contains 32 room-suites and has been used continuously as a dormitory (Hamilton Vaughan Bail, Views of Harvard: A Pictorial Record to 1860, Cambridge, 1949, p. 52–55; www.harvard.edu).
3. Probably a reference to David Garrick, The Lying Valet, in which valet Timothy Sharp endeavors to make his impoverished master pass for a man of affluence (E. Cobham Brewer, The Reader's Handbook, rev. edn., London, 1902).
4. Samuel West, A Sermon, Preached . . . May 31, 1786: Being the Day of General Election, Boston, [1786]. A copy with Richard Cranch's autograph is among JA's books at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0092

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-06

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Cousin

I recd. yours of Jan. 10. Feby 21 and April the 8th And am obliged to you for your affectionate Letter of Condolance and also for the Intelligence conveyed in the several Letters.
The State of our Country is uncomfortable, if not hazardous. The Scarcity (real I rather think [than] artificial) of Gold and Silver prompts People to seek a Remedy in Paper Money, already has Rhode Island issued Paper, New York also and Newhampshire has made specific Articles a Tender. The Fear of a paper Currency in this State, prevents those who have Specie from parting with it. And the Distresses of People are undoubtedly great for want of a sufficient Quantity of circulating Cash. Attempts have been made in the Genl Court the present Session1 to introduce a paper Medium, Many of the Representatives came instructed for that Purpose and for three Weeks it was agitated at Times and it was difficult to guess how the Question would turn in the House. An Act making Property both real and personal a tender for the Satisfaction of Executions was also for a long while in Debate, but at Length on a Decision there appeared 100. and upwards against it, immediately the Question on the former was put this faild also—the Number for it not exceeding 20. At present our Fears are in some Degree removed, but in the next Sitting of the Court I expect the Attempt will be renewed and unless before that Period (which will not be untill January next)2 something favourable should turn up, I suspect that Paper Money or an Act for making Property a tender, will be carried. New York is now the only State that has not made some Provision for a general Impost. What will be the Issue of our Delays and Inatten• { 245 } tion to our National Faith and Honor God only knows. Where the Money is to be obtained for satisfying the lawless Demands of Algerines, is not in my Power to guess. It will not come from the Treasury of the United States, for there is not sufficient there (I suspect) to answer dayly Exigencies.
In former Letters I hinted to you the Probability of my meeting with Difficulties from Mr. Tylers Delay in accounting with me for Business done &c. I have not been deceived. I have frequently made Journeys to Braintree, repeatedly wrote to Him and although He has for a long while had Moneys in his Hand, I cannot get him to settle. What shall I do—must I break with Him and have recourse to Law. If Mr. Adams should think Proper, I wish He would specially order the Delivery of all Books Papers &c into my Hands, such an order to be used as Prudence may direct.
As I have not Time to write to Cousin A—— I would just mention that I have received no Direction from Her, relative to the Trunk of Letters which Mr. T——r delivered to me as those Letters referred to in Hers to me which accompanied her Packet conditionally to be delivered to him—the Miniature Picture and morrocco Pocket Book I have not as yet received.
Is your Daughter married? a little Circumstance led your Friends at Braintree to suppose that the Connection was closed before your last Letter of April. Among the Letters sent was found a Card from a Mr. and Mrs. Smith to Mr and Mrs. Adams requesting their Company at Dinner, whether our Young Ladies have construed it right or not, Youll give us Information in your next.
Mrs. Quincy has discharged the order on her, but I have not heard a Word from the Lt. Governor relative to the Monies advanced by Mr. Adams for certain Copies mentioned in yours.3 Would it not be best to send me a particular Account of the Disbursement. I find it exceeding difficult to get any Money from your Debtors and am obliged to depend principally on my Draughts on Mr. Adams for supplying your Children and defraying their Expences. Newhall has not paid any Thing for 3/4 of a Year—in case he neglects much longer, I must remove him.4 I have not settled with Doane as Tyler keeps the Papers in his Hands and tho repeated application has been made for the Account, I cannot get it.
On the 13th. of April last I drew a Bill on Mr Adams in favour of Mr Storer for £50 on which I recd. 7 Ct. discount and have since drawn an order in favour of Mr Elworthy on my own Acctt. for £40—May the 17th.—of which I have given You an Acctt. Mr. Morton has { 246 } several Times urged me to buy Belchers Place but I find his Expectations of Price do not conform to my Ideas. He has offered to leave to Three Men such as we may chuse the Determination of the Price, but I have not as yet complied with the Proposal. That Side of the House in which Belcher lives is out of Repair, the Roof near one half of it gone and lays open to the Heavens—the Land is much worn. However it would be a convenient Addition to your Estate could it be purchased at a reasonable Price. I wish You to write to me on this Matter. In last Thursdays Paper a Billet from Ld. Gordon to the Marquiss of Carmathaen was published, informing the Latter from what Quarter Mr. Adams received his Quarterly pay, and as receiving his Intelligence from a Mr. Tufts. What Was the Design of Lord Gordon in giving the Intelligence and what Mr. Tufts was it that he refers to?5
Our Friends like Leaves in Autumn drop off one after another. Our good Aunt Smith not long since compleated the Journey of Life and has reached as I trust, the Regions of Bliss and Immortality. With our kindred Spirits who have reached the Goal before us, May We one Day join, receive their Welcome and be secured in their Friendship and in the Joys of that better World. Adieu My Dear Friend and believe me to be with sincere Affection Your H Sert
[signed] C. Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams London Grovesnor Square”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts Letter july 6 1786.”
1. The General Court met from 31 May to 8 July.
2. Although not scheduled to meet again until Jan. 1787, the General Court was summoned by Gov. Bowdoin to convene on 27 Sept. to respond to the civil unrest of Shays' Rebellion (Boston Independent Chronicle, 13 July; James Bowdoin, Proclamation [to convene the General Court on 27 Sept.], Boston, 13 Sept., Evans, No. 19788).
3. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 21 Feb., and note 9, above.
4. Andrew Newell rented the Adamses' house on South Queen Street, now Court Street, in Boston (Cotton Tufts to AA, 2 Jan. 1787, below; JA, D&A, 2:63–64; vol. 6:258–260).
5. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 22 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0093

Author: Smith, Isaac Jr.
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-08

Isaac Smith Jr. to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Mrs Adams

Tho' it is probable you will hear of it from some other of your friends, yet as I know the interest my dear Mother had in your affections, and that you will not fail of sympathizing with us, I Could not avoid the opportunity by Mr Gardner of acquainting you with the loss of her, and am sorry that the first occasion I should have of { 247 } writing you since your residence in England should be of such a nature. She had been for some time apparently on the decline, but was not thought to be so near the period of her earthly Cares and sufferings, and had prepared for a journey as far as Princeton in hopes of its Contributing to her health, but such is the uncertainty of life, on the morning of the 24., the day she meant to have set out, she was seized with a fit of the apoplectic kind, which was followed by others, and threw her into a lethargy, in which she remained insensible of her situation, 'till the night of the 27., when she expired. I need not tell you how much the feelings of her family were excited by her Removal from us in such a way, or what an affliction it must be to my father; he is supported under it however, as well as my sisters, to a degree beyond what I expected. I have lost Connections, whom I loved, esteemed and valued, but this stroke comes nearer to my heart, than any I had felt before, and I feel thankful that I was not Called to bear it in a different situation, tho' we o't I own always to cultivate the temper of Resignation, since we know not where or when we may have need of the exercise of it.
You will hear from Braintree it is probable of a distressing event in your Uncle Thaxter's family at Hingham, and Dr Tufts I suppose will inform you of the critical situation of his brother at Medford.
It gives me pleasure to hear of the new and agreable Connection lately formed in your family, and hope it will long afford you the same degree of comfort and satisfaction, as at present.
I presume it will be some time before we may expect the pleasure of seeing you here again with Mr Adams. But as you have more frequent opportunities of hearing from your family and your friends on this side, than I Could have during the Course of the war, it renders I imagine your absence from home less unpleasant than mine was.
I beg My Respects to Mr Adams, Mrs Smith, (the name I suppose Miss A. wears by this time) [ . . . ] accept my best wishes. With the great[est estee]m, I am, my dear Mrs A., Your's sincerely
[signed] I Smith jr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams Grosvenor Square London favr'd by Mr Gardner”; endorsed: “I Smiths Letter july 8th 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0094

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-10

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have within this Hour receiv'd your Letters by captain Bigelow and have also heard that cushing is not sail'd. He has one Letter on board for you already1 but tis not so long a one as I have generally sent you. The Subject was So melancholy that I could not mix any thing with it. I expected every hour that Cushing would sail and had not time to write more.
I began to write you last night but my eyes were so poor that I could not continue it. I am now risen with the sun to thank you for the charming Budget you have Sent me. Such frequent communications shortens the Idea of distants by many miles. I believe there have been Letters constantly upon the water for each other ever since you lefts us. The Idea of your returning soon to your dear Freinds here would be a much more joyfull one if this country would suffer you first to do all the good your inclinations lead you too, and what they really wish you to do tho they put it out of your Power to do it. I hope they will come to their Sensces before winter. The court is adjournd to next January. The House have been disputing half this Session whether we should have Paper money, any Lawyers or any Court of Common Pleas. They voted finally, against Paper money, Sent up to the senate a curious Bill with regards to Lawyers and the Infiriour Court. A committee of five of from the Senate have it to consider of till next term. Mr cranch is one of them.2 Thus do they spend their time in curtailing Tea Tables while they are suffering thousand to be wrested from them for want of giving ampler Powers to Congress. It is dreadful to those who See the necessity of different measures to stand by and see such pursue'd as they fear will ruin their Country. Ask no excuse my dear Sister for writing Politicks. It would be such a want of publick Spirit not to feel interested in the welfair of our country as the wives of ministers and Senaters ought to be asham'd off. Let no one say that the Ladies are of no importance in the affairs of the nation. Perswaide them to renounce all their Luxirys and it would be found that they are, and beleive me there is not a more affectual way to do it, than to make them acquainted with the causes of the distresses of thier country. We do not want spirit. We only want to have it properly directed.
{ 249 }
I have been long convinc'd of the Jealous disposion of [our] Milton Freinds. What would they have us do? Mr Cranch [has] tried every method in his Power to get the G–n–l into office. As to the chief Seat he will always use his influence for those Whome he thinks the best quallefied for it. The g–n–l has so often refuse'd what has been repeatedly offer'd him that think as he pleases it is impossible now to get him into anything. There was a counseler wanted lately. Mr cranch use'd his utmost influence to procure the Seat. He call'd out members from every county and talk'd with them seperatly. Mr C' had the G–n–l put up two more were put up. At the first voting he had votes within six or seven of enough, as many however, as the others, and all of mr C—hs procuring, upon the secound voting he lost it and so there was no thanks due to mr C—h nor any influence ascrib'd to him.3 There is nothing harder to remove from the mind than Jealousy, and the most ambitious are the most apt to be tormented with it.
By my last letters you will See your were right in your conjecture that Sister Shaws was with me and we were also right in ours, for we thought that you would suppose it and we took a peculiar pleasure in supposing that we were at one time all thinking of the same thing. I had a Letter last week from Sister they were all well. She is prepairing Thomas to make his appearince at commencment, and is very anxious least she should not make him appear as smart as his Brothers. It is concluded I think that he should Stay another year with his uncle. Cousin JQA as well as his other Freinds think it will be best, and Thomas himself I hear thinks so too. The summer vacancy begins the day after to morrow. Miss Nabby Marsh is bespoke. A uniform must be prepair'd. The Blue cloths you sent will answer the purpose if the young Gentleman will think So. Your Sons are all well, their behavior unexceptionable. Oh! how happy we are thus far in our children. What has become of my dear Nieces Pen. Why Still So long? Her Happiness is near my Heart and I rejoice in the prospect of it. Introduce me my dear Sister to Colln. Smith. His character is such as intitles him to my utmost esteem.
I shall write again soon I have not half done and mr cranch calls and Says he cannot wait one moment for my Letter. So adieue yours most affectionately
[signed] Mary Cranch
Love to mr Adams.
Thanks a Thousand thanks for my callaco—oh my sister what { 250 } shall I do with you—or for you—I cannot lay under the weight of so many obligations.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Richard Cranch: “To Mrs: Adams, Lady of his Excellency John Adams Esqr. Grosvenor Square Westminster”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch july 11 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Probably Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 2 July, above.
2. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 May, note 9, above.
3. The legislature chose Samuel Holten, John Bliss, and Benjamin Austin to fill vacancies on the Council (Boston Independent Chronicle, 8, 15 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0095

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-14

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Capt Folger is slipt a way without one line from me. I did not design it should have been so, but it is vacancy, and I have been very unwell. Miss Nabby Marsh has been so sick that I could not have her but one day just to cut out work for us. I have been oblig'd to put out cousin charles's Red coat to turn and the Blue coat you sent to make for him. He will look quite Parsonish with his Black Frogs and Buttons. The wastcoats Gowns &c, we have made ourselves.1 Betsy and Lucy are become quite expert at the business. They were reckning up this day foreteen wastcoats which they had made this season for the three colleagians, and a proportionable number of small cloaths. They cannot wear wash-cloath with out having five or six a peice of a sort. It makes our washes very large in summer, although we wash once a week. I cannot bear they should go dirty. We have made their silk, and white wascoats, and they look very handsome. Billy sends his Duty and is greatly oblig'd for his. Thomas is here upon a visit and they may now have a chance of drinking your Health altogether. Mr cranch could not help observing last evening as they were all siting in a row before our chimney board in the little Parlour drinking Tea, “What a fine String of young Fellows they were, and how much pleasure you would have taken in beholding them,[]and us their substituted Parents with our own dear Girls and Betsy Shaw who has been with us ever since her mama made her spring visit. Here was a circle every one of Whome love you tenderly, and are I know belov'd by you. Here you would have felt a pleasure which you never experienc'd in a drawing Room at St James. It is a high feast to mr cranch to have cousin John here. French Dutch and english in their turn is talk'd. To vary our Scene musick is often call'd for—Betsy my dear a Tune upon your Harpsicord, “young Gentleman Join your Flutes.” My Son take yours or { 251 } your violene and sing the Bass and then my sister how do I Wish for you. No one ever injoyd the pleasures of young People more than you use'd too. The Indian Philosopher by Doctor Watts is set to musick, tis a beautiful Tune.2 The children play it. Mr cranch says he feels twenty years younger whenever he hears it.
Cousin Tommy will not enter college I believe till next year. Mr Shaw thinks another years study with him will be of more advantage to him, and he will have in cousin Charles a very sober, well behav'd Brother to guide and guard him if he conduct as well as he has done.
A year seems in this changable world a long time to look forward, but if our children should live till the next commencment, we must think of some little intertainment for them. Bacon and allamode Beef Seems to be the custom of providing for dinner, excepting those who chuse to lay out a thousand dollars for an intertainment which nobody is the better for. Some add a few cold roast chickings Punch wine and cider with it. Tea and cake in the afternoon. If you should not come home before I should wish to know your mind about it. Legs for Bacan must be procur'd in the fall. I have been thinking that as their Friends and acquaintance will be the same, that the same chamber will do for both of them, and we can divide the expence between us. I think if what I have mention'd will be Sufficient for cousin Such a Plan will be less trouble and a less expence.
I have receiv'd the callaco for my self and your Freinds. Most sincerly do I thank you for mine, tis a beautiful figure and colour. Polly Adams returns many thanks for hers. Your Mother Hall is well, and is to dine here this week with her Grand Sons.
Mrs Hall dind with us yesterday. She looks well for such an aged woman. She talk'd much about you, and longs she says for your return, offers you many thanks for your kindness to her, and the children sends her Love to her son and Daughter, and her best wishes for the happiness of her Grandaughter. Your sons are set out this morning upon a visit to thier uncle and Aunt Shaw. Upon cousin Toms coming there has been a counsel of all the Freinds calld, upon the expediency of his entering college this year, and upon the whole it is concluded that he should return immediatly to his uncles and prepair himself to be offer'd at the end of the vacancy. Cousin John says he would have ventur'd to have done it at commencment, but as mr Shaw had givin up the Idea of it this year, he had some fears { 252 } about him. I fear we shall not be able to get him a chamber in college this year. Mr John and charles will live together this. They will want nothing more but a Bed which I shall take for them, there will then be furniture enough for Tom. Whoever liv's with him must find a Bed.
The light colour'd cloth coat which cousin Charles had when you went away, Tom has now, and the old Silkish coat you sent last. The next he has must be mix'd Blue and white, or dark Blue with Black Frogs.
We had bought a peice of Linnen for Tom before that which you sent him ariv'd, as it is not so fine as yours we Shall make it up for winter shirts for him and Charles. You know our hard frosts cuts out fine linnen quick. You must not send any more silk cloathing for your children at college. They will not be allow'd to wear them. Some Strong cotton Stocking would be very useful and what they want more than any thing. Mending Stockings is my steady imployment. They are all fine hands for wearing holes in them. If when you are purchasing stocking for your sons you would be so kind as to add six pair more for a Freind of mine3 who is very tall and not very slight, you will oblige both him and me. Send the price the suppos'd one will be immediatly accounted for with Doctor Tufts. Cousin Johns purple coat has no cape and he does not chuse to wear it without one. I think I have hunted every store and shop almost in Boston to get a piece any way near the colour, but have not been able to get it. He will put a Black one on for the present. I will send a scrap for a pattern and peice of the lead colour'd coat also, that coat wants a cape.
Mr Standfast Smith is come from the west Indias with a Power to Sell the Estate we live upon so that we must either buy this House or leave it.4 He has not yet set the price I hope it will not be higher than we shall be able to give. I am very loth to leave it. Mr Evans will hire our House at weymouth, he does not chuse to buy at present. I had rather it should be sold. It sinks in Value every day Such an old House is forever out of repair.5 Mr Evans has been gone a Journey ever since he was married and is not yet return'd. I shall deliver Colln. Smiths Respects whenever I see him.
Mr James Brackit has lost his Wife. She dy'd of a consumction about a fortnight since.6
I must now bid you adieue and begin another sheet.
It has been my luck to receive almost all your latest Letters first. Sometimes you refer to things in your former Letter, which Letter { 253 } not having receiv'd I cannot possibly understand what you mean. This was the case with yours of the 24 of May. You there refer'd to a Letter by mr Jenks, and I did not recieve that till three weeks after I had reciev'd the others. I did not recieve your second Letter by the Way of newyork, till After I had reciev'd your Letters by Lyde and Cushing, and had sent away answers to them.
What a mistake your card from Mr and Mrs William Smith led us into. The writing was so exactly like my Nieces that we thought it must be hers. We got several of her Letters and compair'd it with them, and could almost have Sworn it was hers, and yet, we wonder'd that you should not have mention'd her being married to any of us, but we had such proof by that cards being her hand, that we could not doubt it. All her acquaintance suppos'd she was really so. Cousin Nabbys Letters to Betsy and Lucy by mrs Hay did not reach them, till last week.7 They were inclos'd to charles Storer and he being gone to settle at Parsemiquodde, I believe. I am sure I donot know how to spell it, his Pacquit was Sent to him unopen'd. He is now return'd upon a visit and has brought them with him. He will himself write you an account of his adventures and prospects. There is no chance for a young Fellow in Boston. They must all turn adventerers, better do so than make a great show for a time upon other peoples property and then break all to peices. Billy Foster fail'd last week and tis a wonder if many other falurs are not involved in his.8 Mr otis is still keept shut up. It is very foolish in his creditors. He is now living upon them as he cannot do any business in his present situation. He has offer'd to deliver up every thing. He looks very much worried. She bears her troubles with patience and fortitude. Mrs Welsh is well, nurses Billy yet. Mrs Allen is well, I hear of no prospect of increase.
Our Hingham Freinds are very melancholy, I have been to see them. The child is living and a very fine Girl she is. Quincy is to be married this Fall he is building an end to his Fathers House. Nancy will be married also this fall.9 Mrs Quincy and Nancy are well and send a great deal of Love. Uncle Quincy has turn'd Hermit, he cannot be got out. I go as often as I can to see him. Your Nieghbours are all well. Esters Sister Fenno is at her mothers.10 She has got into a poor nervous way but the Doctor Says will get better he thinks soon.
Abdy and Pheby do very well Live very comfortably. They were a little distress'd for wood last winter but it was because People who ow'd them would not pay them as the ought to have done. You { 254 } would Smile to see her rig'd out in her French night cap. It is Gauze I assure you. She has bought that larg'd figure'd callaco Gown of mrs Hannah Hunt, and was most gaily dressd in it last sunday.
You mention cousin Isaac Smith. I think I told you he was fix'd at present at the castle as Chaplain. He will stand a very good Chance for Hingham as soon as mr Gay is remov'd. They admire him there uncle Thaxter thinks he will be the first person, they will invite.11
As to mr Tufts he is not yet married, but I am told Stays with Girls sometimes. Billy says he introduce'd Cousin JQA to him on Commencment day for the first time since he arriv'd. Oh how unlike his Father, or his dear Mother. I wish he was married. I know he would be more agreable.12
The windmill goes, but not so well as the Builder expected. He would take nobodys advise and must reap the conseiquencs. He does not come here. We have sent him an invitation twice to dine, and drink Tea but he takes not the least notice of any. I shall not court him, if he does not chuse to come. It is very foolish of him, he might have been upon visiting terms with us, if he was not connected in the Family. Not a single paper, or account-Book, or a coppar of money has The Doctor get [yet] been able to get from him. He speaks him fair but gives him nothing but words. What he has done with the Pictures I cannot think. The wearing the mineture can no longer decieve any body. The Letters are I suppose here, the Cabinett and Trunk are, but have not been deliver'd up, and I shall have notright to detain them if he should send for them. He certainly has no right to the Letters of her correspondenc whatever he may have to those Cousin has sent him. While he liv'd here, he would often bring the Trunk into the Parlour, and spread the Letters upon the Table and divert himself with reading them. I have seen Betsy so angry that if she could have got at her own Bundle she would have put them all in the fire. Had they been left in the hands of a man of strict honour he would not have turnd the Key upon them. How the Doctor will ever get them from him I cannot think. He has dancd attendence upon him and written to him above twenty times.
I fear my dear sister you will think the Cloathing and other expences for your sons have been greater than you expected. The Doctor thinks I need not indulge them in so many wash cloaths, but how can they be clean without as light as they are? They spend not a copper extravagantly that I can find out, and Sometimes I really think they do not have what they ought to.
{ 255 }
Charles says Sometimes, “Aunt what shall I do uncle Tufts has not given me any money, and I do not love to ask him again.[] “Here my dear take what I have, I Will see that you have more. Your uncle is not unwilling you should have it, he may have forgot it, or finds a difficulty in collecting it. But he does not think how Small a young Fellow feels without any money in his Pocket.” The Doctor never had such a parcel of young Fellows to provide for before, one only Son and no Daughters. The difference is very great, and aunt us'd to Say that his Father never knew all she did for him more than he allow'd him.13 If I could have possible now had all the work for them done in the House I should, but miss Nabbys indisposition has oblig'd me to put out some of it. I think they will want but little more done for them in the Tailoring way till next spring.
Lucy is at haverhill upon a visit till the Fall. Both Betsy and she will write soon to their cousin.
You say I must not read your observations upon the debts due from this country to england to any one who may feel hurt by it, but really my sister you know better than we who those may be. No one ceases to role in Luxery, because he is in debt, and we seldom suspect it till they shut up. It has taught me not to feel small although I cannot make such a shew of riches as many others. I hope by our manner of Life not to injure any one. I have taken a few yards of Linnin for linings &c of mrs Warren and that is all. We never could get at any Irish Linnin and what was fine was too high for the goodness of it.
Has mr Tufts been to make any excuse for himself for abuseing mr Adams character. I know he was in a sad nettle when it was made publick. His poor Father is just gone in a consumtion. His grandmother will never dye of any thing but old age.14 Yours affectionatly
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch july 14th 1786.”
1. These were some of the requirements of Harvard's new dress code. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 May, note 7, above.
2. A 1705 poem by Isaac Watts. It appears in various American songbooks, the earliest dated ca. 1785 (The American Musical Miscellany, Northampton, Mass., 1798, p. 241–244, Evans, No. 33294; Sally Pickman, musical copybook, MSaE: Early Music Collection, Box 1, item A-1).
3. Undoubtedly her son, William Cranch.
4. Prior to the revolution James George Verchild of St. Kitts owned the house in which the Cranches lived. In 1784, Richard Cranch had attempted to locate Verchild's heirs in England to negotiate a purchase price. The Cranches apparently never purchased the land, however, but continued to rent until their deaths in 1811 (William Cranch to Richard Cranch, 26 April 1806, MHi: Cranch Family Papers; vol. 5:356–357; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 491). Standfast Smith was a Boston merchant operating out of Green's Wharf (Massachusetts Centinel, 9 July 1785).
5. For the history of the Weymouth par• { 256 } sonage, which Mary Cranch inherited from her father in 1783, see vol. 1:ix–x.
6. Mary Brackett, wife of Braintree tavern operator James Brackett, died 10 July (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 123, 168–169).
7. Probably AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 14 Feb., above, and AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 20 Feb. (MWA).
8. Possibly Boston merchant William Foster, brother and partner of Joseph Foster, a fellow passenger with AA and AA2 on their voyage to Europe in 1784 (JA, D&A, 3:156, note 2; JQA, Diary, 1:318). Contrary to what is stated in vol. 6:275, note 28, and JQA, Diary, 1:318, note 2, Richard Cranch lodged with James, not William, Foster on Cornhill Street when he was in Boston, and this is where the Cranches arranged for the Adams boys to dine whenever necessary when they were in town (Richard Cranch to Jacob Davis, 12 May, MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers).
9. For the marriages of AA's cousins, Anna (Nancy) and Quincy Thaxter, children of John Sr. and Anna Quincy Thaxter of Hingham, see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 28 Sept., and note 5, below.
10. Esther Field was the daughter of Abigail Newcomb and Joseph Field. Esther's sister is probably Elizabeth, who posted an intention to marry William Fenno on 29 Oct. 1778 (Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, comp., Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Massachusetts, 1640–1850, Boston, 1983, p. 829, 1661; Boston, 30th Report, p. 442).
11. Ebenezer Gay, Harvard 1714, was pastor of the First Parish Church in Hingham from 1718 until his death in 1787. He was succeeded by Henry Ware (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 6:59–66; JQA, Diary, 2:viii).
12. Cotton Tufts Jr. married Mercy Brooks in 1788.
13. That is, Lucy Quincy Tufts discussing her husband and son, Cotton Tufts Sr. and Jr.
14. On the problem with Simon Tufts Jr., see AA to Cotton Tufts, 22 July, below. His grandmother, Abigail Smith Tufts, was AA's aunt.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0096

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1786-07-18

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

I thank you my dear Neice for your last kind Letter. There are no days in the whole year so agreable to me nor any amusements this Country can boast so gratifying to my Heart and mind as those days which bring me Letters from my Dear Friends. In them I always find the law of kindness written, and they solace my mind in the seperation.
Could I, you ask, return to my (Rustick) cottage, and view it with the same pleasure and Satisfaction I once enjoy'd in it? I answer I think I could, provided I have the same kind Friends and dear Relatives to enhance its value to me. It is not the superb and magnificient House nor the rich and Costly furniture that can ensure either pleasure or happiness to the possessor. [A] convenient abode Suteable to the station of the possessor, is no doubt desirable, and to those who can afford them, Parks, Gardens, or what in this Country is call'd an ornamented Farm, appears to me an Innocent and desirable object. They are Beautifull to the Eye, pleasing to the fancy, and improveing to the Imagination, but then as Pope observes,

“Tis use alone that sanctifies Expence,

And Splendor borrows all her rays from Sense.”1

{ 257 }
I have lately visited several of the celebrated Seats within 20 Miles of this City, Sion place, Tilney House, and park, osterley, and Pains Hill.2 The last place is about 12 Miles distant from London. I must describe it to you in the words of the Poet.

“Here Wealth enthron'd in Natures pride

With taste and Beauty by her side

And holding plenty's Horn

Sends Labour to persue the toil

Art to improve the happy soil

And beauty to adorn.”

My dear Neice will feel loth to believe that the owner of this Beautifull spot, (a particular account of which she will find in the Book I send her,) neither lives here or scarcly looks upon it; once a Year. The former proprieter enjoyd it as the work of his own hands: 38 years ago he planted out all the Trees which are now one of its chief, and principal ornaments. But dyeing about 3 years ago left it, to a tasteless Heir. The Book I send you is written by a mr Whately, he has treated the Subject of Gardning scientifically.3 I should have overlookd many of the ornaments and Beauties of the places I have seen if I had not first perused this writer. Mr Apthorp I imagine would be pleased in reading this Book, and I wish you may derive as much entertainment from the perusal of it as it afforded me.
I dare say your imagination will present you with many places in Braintree capable of makeing with much less expence than is expended here, ornamented Farms. The late Col Quincys, Uncle Quincys, Germantown,4 all of them, Nature has been more liberal to, than most of the places here: which have cost the labour of successive Generations, and many of them half a Million of Money. Improvement in agriculture is the very science for our Country, and many times ornament and Beauty may be happily made subservient to utility, but then to Quote Pope again,

“Something there is more needfull than Expence

And Something previous ev'n to Taste—'tis Sense.”5

When you have read Whateley, read Popes fourth essay addresst to the Earl of Burlington, and I think you will see Beauties in it unobserved before.
You might suspect me of partiality if I was to say that nature shews herself in a stile of greater magnificence and sublimity in America than in any part of Europe which I have yet seen. Every { 258 } thing is upon a Grandeur scale, our Summers heats and Winters colds, form a contrast of great Beauty. Nature arising from a temporary death, and bursting into Life with a sudden vegatation yealding a delicious fragrance and verdure which exhilirates the spirits and exalts the imagination, much more than the gradual and slow advance of Spring in the more temperate climates, and where the whole summer has not heat sufficient to sweeten the fruit, as is the case of this, climate. Even our Storms and tempests our thunder and lightning, are horibly Grand. Here nothing appears to leap the Bounds of Mediocrity. Nothing ferocious but Man.
But to return to your Letter, you have found that you was too early in your conjectures respecting your cousins marriage. She will write you herself, and inform you that she has commenced housekeeper, very soon after her Marriage. It would add greatly to her happiness, judging her by myself, if she could welcome her American friends often within her Mansion. Persons in the early stages of Life may form Friendships; but age grows more Wary, more circumspect and a commerce with the World does not increase ones estimation of its inhabitants. There is no durable basis, for friendship, but Virtue, disinterestedness, Benevolence and Frankness.
This is the Season of the Year in which London is a desert, even fashion languishes. I however inclose you a Print of the Bosom Friends.6 When an object is to be ridiculed, tis generally exagerated. The print however does not greatly exceed some of the most fashionable Dames.
Pray does the fashion of Merry thoughts, Bustles and protuberances prevail with you. I really think the English more ridiculous than the French in this respect. They import their fashions from them; but in order to give them the mode Anglois, they divest them both of taste and Elegance. Our fair Country women would do well to establish fashions of their own; let Modesty be the first, ingredient, neatness the second and Economy the third. Then they cannot fail of being Lovely without the aid of olympian dew, or Parissian Rouge.
We have sent your cousins Some Books, amongst which is Rosseau upon Botanny,7 if you Borrow it of them, it will entertain you, and the World of flowers of which you are now so fond, will appear to you a world of pleasing knowledge. There is also Dr Preistly upon air and Bishop Watson upon Chimistery8 all of which are well worth the perusal of minds eager for knowledge and scientif[ik] like my Elizas and Lucy's. If they are not the amusements which females in general are fond of: it is because triffels are held up to them in a { 259 } more important light, and no pains taken to initiate them in more rational amusements. Your Pappa who is blesst with a most happy talant of communicating knowledge will find a pleasure in assisting you to comprehend whatever you may wish explaind. A course of experiments would do more, but from thise our sex are almost wholy excluded.
Remember me affectionately to Your Brother and to all my Neighbours. Inclosed is a Book upon Church Musick which be so good as to present to Mr Wibird with my compliments. It was publishd here in concequence of an application of Dr Chancys Church for an organ, of mr Brand Hollis.9

[salute] Adieu my Dear Neice and Believe me affectionately Yours

[signed] A Adams
RC (MSaE: Abigail Adams Letters); notation in the upper left corner of the first page: “Letter from Mrs. A Adams to Miss Eliz Cranch July 18th. 1786 (No: 10.).” Some loss of text due to wear at the fold.
1. Moral Essays, Epistle IV, lines 179–180.
2. “Tilney House” was Wanstead House, Essex, a Palladian mansion designed by architect Colen Campbell and built ca. 1715–1720 for Richard Child, 1st earl Tylney (1680–1750). The Tylney estates were inherited by Sir James Long (afterwards Tylney Long) (1737?–1794), 7th baronet, in 1784 (Howard E. Stutchbury, The Architecture of Colen Campbell, Cambridge, 1967, p. 27–30; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:52–53, 570–571).
3. Thomas Whately (ca. 1728–1772), best known to Americans in the late 1760s and early 1770s as an architect of George Grenville's American policy, had by the 1780s become celebrated for his Observations on Modern Gardening, Illustrated by Descriptions (London, 1770, with many subsequent editions). Jefferson highly praised this work and carried it with him when he made his tour of English gardens with JA in early April (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:627–628; DNB; Jefferson, Papers, 9:369–375; JA to AA, 5 April, above). JA's copy (4th edn., 1777) is at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library). The quotation AA cites above, which is otherwise unidentified, appears on the title page of Whately's book; his discussion of Painshill appears on p. 184–194.
4. The home of the late Col. Josiah Quincy in the northern part of Braintree (whose 1770 house still stands); that of Norton Quincy on Mt. Wollaston; and probably that of Gen. Joseph Palmer in Germantown.
5. Moral Essays, Epistle IV, lines 41–42.
6. For the Bosom Friends, a satirical print, see the “The Bosom Friends,” 1786 260Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 7, above.
7. Jean Jacques Rousseau, Letters on the Elements of Botany, Addressed to a Lady. Translated into English, with Notes, and Twenty-four Additional Letters, Fully Explaining the System of Linnaeus, by Thomas Martyn, London, 1785.
8. JA's books at MB include Joseph Priestley, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, 3 vols., London, 1775–1779, and Richard Watson's Chemical Essays (Catalogue of JA's Library). A 1781 edition of Priestley, in six volumes, with JQA's bookplate, is at MQA.
9. James Peirce, A Tractate on Church Music; Being an Extract from the Reverend and Learned Mr. Peirce's Vindication of the Dissenters, London, 1786. Thomas Brand Hollis refused requests by the First Church in Boston to provide funds for the purchase of an organ and instead arranged for the publication of this tract, dedicated to the ministers and members of the “First Congregational Dissenting Church in Boston in America,” that argued against including instrumental music in church services (Arthur B. Ellis, History of the First Church in Boston, 1630–1880, Boston, 1881, p. 216–217).
{ 260 }

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0097

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1786-07-18

Abigail Adams Smith to Elizabeth Cranch

In your Letter to Mamma my Dear Eliza of —— May1 you are strangely puzled to know in what manner to address your Cousin. Your suppositions at that time were rather premature, and the Card on which they were founded was from a family by the Name of Smith who have been vastly civil to us since our residence in this Country. But at this period, a Letter addressd to your friend under the title of M[rs] Smith would not be improper, for in truth Eliza, Poor Abby Adams is no more—her friends took Leave of her on the 11th of June—about eight oclock in the Evening, and “twas such a solemn scene of Joy”—&c. She is at this moment settled in Wimpole Street, whare could you look in upon her, you would find her perfectly Contented, and would add to her happiness, which the additional society of a friend will ever do.
If your friend has any cause for anxiety, it arrises, from being obliged to Leave her Parents to whom she finds herself every day more attached, and more and more sollicitious to promote their Happiness. The seperation has but enlarged the scene to them, for we meet every day either with them, or with us, and Harmony and affection preside over our Circle; yet I wish Mamma could call in some one of her young American friends as a Constant Companion; but it is so uncertain how long we may all stay in this Country or how soon we may return to our own, that it is not possible to make any arangements for the future—all we can do is to wait patiently till the decissions of others mark out our future destination. In the mean time let us my Dear Eliza eleviate the disagreeables arrising from this seperation, by a Continueance of this friendly epistolary intercourse. Mrs Hay Carried proofs of my not having forgotten my friends, and you my Eliza was amongst the first in my remembrance. I am fearfull as my Letters were all under Cover to Mr Charles Storer that his absence may occassion thier delay for which I shall be very sorry.
My Letters from my Brother inform me that he is Learning to Play upon the flute which has given me much anxiety, do my Dear Eliza dissuade him from the practice. It is certainly very prejudicial to Health, and tho it may amuse him for the Present, I fear the Consequences. I hope Charles willnot attempt it. It would be more dangerous for him than for my Brother John. We have seen its af• { 262 } fects upon the Warrens and I thought your Mamma was so well Convinced of the danger arrising from it as to prevent your Brother from the use of it, and I hope She will have an equal degree of influence upon mine.
Remember me to all who inquire after me. Do write me as often as you can find it Convenient and beleive me as sincerely your friend
[signed] A. Smith
RC (MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Braintree near Boston. Massachusetts”; endorsed: “Mrs Abigl Smith” and “Letter from Mrs. A: Smith: London July 18th. 1786 Here is mentioned her Marriage.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Of 20 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0098

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-18

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

Mrs. Cranch last Evening informed me, That a Mr. Standfast Smith of this Town is empowered to sell Verchilds Lands. Would it not be agreable to You to purchase those belonging to His Heirs which you have improved for some Years past?
Sometime past I sued Sloane and recovered judgment against Him. He has given a Release to the Lands mortgaged and I think it would be best to sell them as they can be no Profit to You. Should You be of that Opinion, Youll be pleased to write to me on the Subject. Will the Authority I now have be sufficient or must I have a particular Power for the Purpose.1
Rhode Island is suffering great Distress from their Paper Emission—and the State is in great Confusion—Trade stagnated Markets shut up—and the People begin to break open Stores seize Grain and sell it for Paper Money.
We have been in some doubt of the Utility of entering Mast. Thomas this present Year and as we had not heard from You, We had concluded to defer it. Last Week Mast. John showd me your Letter,2 in which I discoverd Your Expectations of his entering this Commencement. I expect to see Mr Shaw on this our Anniversary3 who I understand will bring Thomas with him to Cambridge; We shall consult upon the Matter and conduct agreable to what we suppose would be Your Mind were You present. If he enters the present Year I apprehend it will be best to have his Examination postpon[ed] to the End of the Vacation, as he does not expect to pass the Try[al] { 263 } the present Week. Be pleased to present my Affectiona[te] Regards to Mrs. Adams & yr. Daughter. I am Your Affectionate Friend & H Ser
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr Minister from the United States of America at the Court of Great Brittain. Grosvenorsquare London”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts July 18. 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JA's power of attorney to Cotton Tufts, [6 Sept]. 1784 (vol. 5:455–456).
2. JA to JQA, 26 May, above.
3. The 150th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College. The Boston Independent Ledger, 24 July, described the exercises at Harvard's 19 July commencement. The paper noted the “anniversary of Commencement” but made no mention of the number of years or any special celebration.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0099

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-07-19

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

Accept my thanks for your kind Letter of March 18th and for the pleasing favourable account you have given of your Nephews. May they ever continue to deserve the approbation of their Friends.
From an Eye so disserning as my sisters, I did not suppose that the fault which too easily besets a Young Gentleman, would long lie conceald. He might have informd You that his Pappa was often correcting him for it, and his Mamma gently reminding that young Men should never be possitive.
There are few persons upon a candid inquiry, who will not recollect and find that upon many occasions they have been faulty in this respect, yet must condemn it; in most instances, as a Breach of good Manners and politeness. Nor is a person let; his Learning be ever so extensive and his abilities ever so splendid; capable of rendering himself so usefull to Mankind: if at the same time, he discovers an overbearing and dogmatical disposition.1 The late Dr Johnson, Author of the Ramblers and compiler of the dictionary was a very striking proof of this assertion, and he plainly discovers his sentiments in an observation which he makes in his Lives of the Poets, “Whoever is apt to hope good from others is diligent to please them, but he who believes his powers strong enough to force their own Way, commonly tries only to please himself.”2 Pope has juster Ideas upon this Subject and discovers a Greater knowledge of Mankind, which will be best convey'd to you in his own words.

“Tis not enough your counsel should be true

Blunt Truths more Mischief than nice falshoods do

{ 264 }

Men must be taught as if you taught them not

And things unknown, propos'd as things forgot

Without good Breeding truth is disapprov'd

That only makes superiour sense beloved.”3

Three of as Learned Men, as ever I had the honour of knowing, are three of the modestest Dr Priestly, Dr Price, and mr Jefferson, in neither of whom a self importance appears or a wish to force their sentiments and opinions upon Mankind. Whoever thinks too highly of himself will discover it, and just in proportion as he overvalues his abilities, will mankind endeavour to mortify and lessen them nor will they suffer him to take that as a right, which they claim the privelege of bestowing as a reward.
I hope however that your Nephew will strive to correct this disposition, and that he will never want a kind Friend like his Aunt, to reason with him from regard and affection, which have the surest effect upon generous minds and I feel no small satisfaction when I say to you, that I do not know an other fault which he has. Perhaps I discover the blind Partiality of a Parent.
Your Neice will write to you I presume under the signature of a Name once very familiar to you, and with it she has acquired a Man of Honour, Virtue and integrity for her Partner and companion. Sensible delicate and affectionate just the Character you would have chosen for your Neice, whose prospect (in this New connection), for happiness appear to be rationally founded. May Heaven Smile upon and bless their union is a petition in which I know you will join me. The only unpleasing Idea which attends it, is, that we must in all probability live in different states, perhaps in different Countries. But how small is this consideration, when compared with others? I gave her to him with all my Heart, he was worthy of her.
I want to return Home, and bring them with me, we should all be happier in America. There we should find sentiments and opinions more agreeable to us, society and Friends which the European World knows not of. It is all lost in ceremony and Parade, in venality and corruption, in Gameing and debauchery, amongst those who stile themselves polite People, the fashonable World. I would not check the Benevolence of my Country Men, but I would have them grow more cautious where; and upon whom they bestow it. This Nation surely has no claim to be considerd as the most favourd.4 I wish a general Spirit of Liberality may prevail towards all Mankind. Let them be considerd as one Nation equally intitled to our regard { 265 } as Breathren of the same universal Parent. Let Learning personal Merit and virtue create the only distinctions,5 and as we have taken the Lead of all other Nations with respect to Religious toleration, let us shew ourselves equally Liberal in all other respects. Than will our Nation be a Phenomenon indeed, and I am Sure the more we cultivate peace and good will to Man, the happier we shall be.
Pray how does my Friend Mrs Allen? is the family like to increase?6 I do not wonder as I formerly used to, that persons who have no children substitute cats dogs and Birds in their stead.
I design to write to mr Thaxter if I have time. I suppose I may congratulate him upon his Nuptials, or shall I say to him in the Words of Shakspear, “here is Benidict the Married Man.”7 I believe I ought to rally him a little, but all my Authorities are in America filed in the Letters he used to write me. I never believed his vows of celibacy of insensibility &c.8 Young people are fond of Boasting sometimes not considering how great they make the merrit of the conquerer: Good Dr Price told us last sunday that Marriage was a Natural state, an honorable State, and that no man could be so happy out of it, as he might be in it, that those who by lose connections unfitted themselves for that state, perverted the order of Nature and would suffer a punishment concequent upon it. He also pointed out those virtues and qualifications necessary to a happy union, and the Duties resulting from that union. The Dr has been giving us a number of discourses upon Relative duties. You may judge of our value for his Sermons when we go six miles every Sunday to hear him.9 He preaches only once a day.
Captain Callihan will sail next week. My Letters must all be ready this, and I have more than a dozen to write yet; provided I fullfill all my engagements. Next Monday I go into the Country to spend a week with mr Hollis at his Country Seat. Mr and Mrs Smith accompany us. Remember me to mr Shaw I hope the Books reachd him.10 Be so good as to send one of the Phamplets to mr Allen with my compliments. Love to Billy and Betsys from your Ever affectionate Sister
[signed] A A
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers.) Dft (Adams Papers), dated 14 July.
1. In the Dft, AA wrote this sentence without any internal punctuation. If the punctuation in the RC is changed, a possible, clearer reading is: “Nor is a person, let his Learning be ever so extensive and his abilities ever so splendid, capable of rendering himself so usefull to Mankind, if at the same time, he discovers an overbearing and dogmatical disposition.”
2. Samuel Johnson published The Rambler twice a week from 20 March 1750 to 14 March 1752 and A Dictionary, with a Grammar and History, of the English Language in 1755. Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to { 266 } the Works of the Most Eminent English Poets first appeared in 1781 and later was published under the title of Lives of the English Poets (“A Chronological Catalogue of the Prose Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.” in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 4 vols., Oxford, 1826, 1:xvii, xx–xxi). AA quotes from Johnson's essay on poet John Gay (Lives of the English Poets, 2 vols., 2:64–65, in The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 9 vols., Oxford, 1825).
3. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Part III, lines 13–18. In line 13, Pope wrote, “. . . your counsel still be true.”
4. In the Dft, AA wrote the following instead of the previous sentence:
“Let not the English be the most favourd Nation amongst us, unless personal merit intitles a man to respect, the country at large do not deserve that respect which was once shewn it.”
5. In the Dft, AA concluded this paragraph,
“but perhaps this is wishing for more than mankind are capable of attaining till the mellinium, or the thousand years in which we are told the just only shall reign upon earth but I must still think that the more we cultivate this temper and disposition the happier we shall be.”
6. At this point in the Dft, AA added the following:
“I wish I had my little Neice here I should find an amusement which I really want, I have a miss with me for a week or ten day during part of the School Hollydays a daughter of Dr Jeffries's of about 7 years old, a sprightly sensible child.”
7. Similar phrases appear in Much Ado about Nothing, Act I, scene i, lines 269–270; Act V, scene i, lines 185–186; and Act V, scene iv, line 99.
8. Thaxter often wrote to AA during 1782–1785 about his intention to remain single. See, for example, his letter of 10 Nov. 1782 (vol. 5:34).
9. Price preached regularly at a church in Hackney, in the northeast portion of London, several miles from the Adamses' home in Grosvenor Square (vol. 6:197).
10. See AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 24 April, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0100

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-07-20

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

[salute] My Dear Neice

My fourth Letter I begin to you.1 I dare not reckon the Number I have to write; least I should feel discouraged in the attempt. I must circumscribe myself to half a sheet of Paper. Raree Shows are so much the taste of this Country that they make one even of the corpse of great people, and the other Day a Gentleman presented me with a Card to go and see the corpse of the Duke of Northumberland, who died at his House in the Country but was brought here to be laid in state. It is said he, a senseless peice of Pagentry, but as such, I would advise you to see it. It is practised only with crownd Heads and some of the most ancient families of Dukes. The Late Duke was Father to Lord Peircy, whom the Americans well remember. His Lordship (who lives a few doors from us), being the elder son inherits the title and estate, and is now duke of Northumberland.2
Northumberland House is in the city, a great immence pile of Building to which one enters through massy Iron Gates.3 At this Gate stood four porters clad in Black, the court up to the house was hung in Black and divided by a temporary railing that the spectators { 267 } might pass in, upon one side and out upon the other. From the Court we enterd a long Suit of rooms, 5 in Number through rows of servants on each side of us; all Sabled as well as the rooms. I never before understood that line of Pope's

“When Hopkins dies a thousand Lights attend.”4

I believe there were two thousand here, for Day light was totally excluded. Upon the walls were as many Eschutcheon as candles, these are formd so as to place a light in each. These plates are all washd with Silver, being put up upon the black Cloth and lighted in this manner gave the rooms a Tomb like appearence, for in this manner are the Tombs of the Dead enlightned in Catholick Countries, and it is not uncommon for the great to leave a large Sum of Money for lights to be kept constantly burning. Through these rooms we moved with a slow pace and a Solom Silence into that which containd the corps. Here upon a superb Bed of State, surrounded with 24 wax Lights upon enormous silver candle Sticks, lay the remains of his Grace, as I presume, but so buried amidst Stars and Garters, and the various insignias of the different offices he sustaind, that he might as well have been at Sion House;5 for all that one could see of him, for these ornaments are display'd like flags

The George and Garter dangling from the bed

Where Gaudy Yellow strove with flameing red6

Upon the Bolster lay the Ducal coronet, and round the bed stood a dozen Men in black whom they call Mutes. It was said that the Corps was cloathd in a white satin tunick and cap richly trimd with Blond lace, but for this I cannot vouch, tho I do not think it more ridiculous than the other parts of the parade which I saw: and this farce was kept up [ten?] Days. The Body was then deposited in westminster abbe, with as much Parade and shew as possible; but being out of Town, I did not see it.7 We made an excursion as far as Portsmouth, which lies about 75 miles from London. I was much dissapointed in the appearence of the Country, great part of it being only barren Heath. Within 18 mils of the Town it appears fruitfull and highly cultivated. We spent only one Day at Portsmouth, but returnd an other road which brought us back through windsor. Here we stoped a day and half, and I was Charmd and delighted with it, the most Luxurient fancy cannot exceed the Beauties of this place. I do not wonder that Pope Stiled it, the Seat of the Muses. Read his { 268 } Windsor Forrest,8 and give full credit to his most poetic flights. The road by which we enterd the Town was from the Top of a very steep Hill. From this hill a lawn presents itself on each side, before you a broad straight road 3 miles in length, upon each side a double plantation of lofty Elms lift their Majestick Heads, which is exceeded only by a view of the still Grandeur Forest at a distance which is 30 miles in circumference. From this Hill you have a view of the castle and the Town. This place as in former Days, is the retreat of the monarck. The Royal family reside here nine Months of the Year, not in the Castle, as that would require the attendance of Ministers &c. The present Queen has a neat Lodge here close to the Castle and there is an other a few rods distant for the princessess. His Majesty is a visitor to the Queen and the family reside here with as little parade as that of a private Gentlemans. It is the Etiquette that none of his Majesties Ministers approach him upon buisness here, dispatches are sent by Messengers, and answers returnd in the same way. He holds his Levies twice a week in Town. The Castle is one of the strongest places in Europe as it is said, and a safe retreat for the family in case any more Revolutions should shake this kingdom. It was first built by Edward the 3d, Charles the 2d kept his Court here during the Summer Months, and spaird no expence to render it Worthy the Royal residence. He furnishd it richly and decorated it with paintings by the first Masters.9 It is situated upon a high Hill which rises by a gentle assent and enjoys a most delightfull prospect round it. In the front [is a wide and extensive]10 vale, adornd with feilds and Medows, with Groves on either side, and the calm smooth water of the Thames running through them. Behind it are Hills coverd with fine Forests, as if designd by nature for Hunting. The Terrace round the Castle is a noble walk; coverd with fine Gravel it is raised on a steap declivity of a hill, and over looks the whole Town. Here the King and Royal family walk on sunday afternoons in order to shew themselves to those of their Subjects, who chuse to repair to windsor for that purpose. In fine weather the terrace is generally throngd. From the Top of this tower on the castle they shewd us 3 different Counties.11 To describe to you the appartments the Paintings and Decorations within this castle would require a volm instead of a Letter. I shall mention only two rooms and the first is that calld the Queens bed chamber, where upon the Top of the cealing is painted the Story of Diana and Endymion.12 The Bed of state was put up by her Majesty, the inside and counterpain are of white sattin the curtains of pea Green richly embrodered { 269 } by a Mrs Wright embroderer to her Majesty. There is a full length Picture of the Queen with her 14 children in minature in the same peice, taken by mr West. It is a very handsome likeness of her.13 The next room is calld the room of Beauties, so named for the Portraits of the most celebrated Beauties in the Reign of Charles the 2d, they are 14 in Number. There is also Charles Queen a very handsome woman. The dress of many of them, is in the Stile of the present Day.14 Here is also Queen Carolinies China closet, filled with a great variety of curious china elegantly disposed.15
I have come now to the bottom of the last page. If I have amused my dear Neice it will give great pleasure to her affectionate
[signed] [A. Adams]16
PS I send you the fashionable Magizine.17
RC (MHi: Misc. Bound Coll.). Printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 338–343.
1. AA's previous letters to Lucy Cranch written from London are dated 27 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:312–314), 2 April, and 22 May (addressed to both Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch), both above.
2. Hugh Percy, né Smithson, Duke of Northumberland, died 6 June. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Hugh, Earl Percy, who, as an officer in the 5th Regiment of Fusiliers, commanded the British camp at Boston and covered the British retreat from Lexington and Concord. The elder duke is again linked to the Adams family history, when in the 1830s and 1840s, JQA spearheaded the congressional effort to accept a $500,000 bequest from the duke's illegitimate son, James Smithson, and establish the Smithsonian Institution (DNB; The Great Design: Two Lectures on the Smithson Bequest by John Quincy Adams, ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn, Washington, D.C., 1965, p. 13–14).
3. Northumberland House, Charing Cross, was built in the early seventeenth century in the shape of a “U,” the opening of which led out to the gardens and river and was later enclosed. Additions in the mid-eighteenth century included an art gallery and a statue of the Percy lion above the arched entrance along the Strand. The house was demolished in 1874 (London Past and Present, 2:603–605; London Encyclopaedia).
4. Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle III, line 291.
5. For AA's visit to the Duke of Northumberland's country seat, Sion House, see AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 24 April, above.
6. A paraphrase of Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle III, lines 303–304.
7. The remains of the Duke of Northumberland were brought to London on 8 June for embalming. His funeral took place on the 21st (London Daily Universal Register, 9, 22 June).
8. Line 2 of Pope's poem describes Windsor as “At once the Monarch's and the Muse's seats” (Pope, The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, N.Y., 1903, p. 28–34). He praises the rural delights of the town near which he grew up for nearly 300 lines.
9. William the Conqueror was the first to build on the site of Windsor Castle, which occupies a naturally defensive position along the Thames, and his successors made many improvements and additions. Between 1359 and 1368, Edward III reconstructed and added to the castle to house both the private apartments of the king and queen and the state apartments used for official and ceremonial business. The palace was looted during the English Civil War and allowed to fall into disrepair. Upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II commissioned architect Hugh May to rebuild and restore the grandeur of Windsor Castle (Robin Mackworth-Young, The History and Treasures of Windsor Castle, N.Y., 1982, p. 6–7, 16–19, 33–45).
10. The text in brackets is supplied from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 341. For its subsequent loss, see note 16.
11. While three counties may have been { 270 } pointed out to AA, twelve were visible from Windsor Castle's Round Tower: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Wiltshire (W. H. Pyne, The History of the Royal Residences of Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace, Carlton House, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court, Buckingham House, and Frogmore, 3 vols., London, 1819, 1:187–188).
12. Italian-born artist Antonio Verrio was commissioned by Charles II to decorate the ceilings and walls of the royal apartments at Windsor Castle with scenes illustrating classical mythology and glorifying the monarchy. Verrio's materials proved fragile, and paintings in the queen's bedchamber and other rooms deteriorated and were removed in later renovations. Three rooms by Verrio survive (Mackworth-Young, The History and Treasures of Windsor Castle, p. 40–42).
13. The Benjamin West painting of Queen Charlotte was completed in 1779. It required several revisions to incorporate additional children as they were born. In the end, it showed the queen full-length with thirteen children around her and was considered to be the king's favorite royal portrait (Robert C. Alberts, Benjamin West: A Biography, Boston, 1978, p. 131).
14. Sir Peter Lely painted ten of the portraits of the ladies of the court of Charles II, William Wissing three, and Jacob Huysman one. Another of Lely's portraits was of Catherine of Braganza, consort of Charles II (Pyne, History of the Royal Residences of Windsor Castle, 1:116–117, 154).
15. Queen Caroline, wife of George II and a noted supporter of the arts, owned a substantial quantity of Japanese ware that had originally been a gift from the East India Company (John Van der Kiste, King George II and Queen Caroline, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1997, p. 123).
16. Supplied from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 343. The signature, which was probably “A. Adams,” has been neatly cut out of the RC resulting in the loss of five words on the reverse. In 1839, when CFA began gathering together his grandmother's letters for publication, Lucy Cranch, who married John Greenleaf in 1795, let him copy AA's letters to both her and her mother, Mary Cranch (CFA, Diary, 8:278, 297).
17. The Fashionable Magazine; or, Lady's and Gentleman's Monthly Recorder of New Fashions, etc., vol. 1, London, 1786.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0101

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-20

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Here I am, all alone for a great rarity. There is nothing more agreeable to me for a little while, than what the world calls Solatude. I have but one Servant maid in the House, and one Scholar in the Study. So that we are quite still. I hear nothing but the busy hum of Flies, and the warbling of a Wren, and spring-Bird in the Orchard, that set and swell their little throats as if the kind things knew how much I am delighted with their melody.
Cousin Sally Tufts (who has been here this fortnight) Polly Harrod,1 Betsy Smith, are gone early this PM. to see Mrs Allen, and William S Shaw to wait upon them, as their happy Gallant. William reads, and speaks very plain, and begins to write cleverly. Seperating my Children the Summer you left us, was of very eminent Service to them both.2 In three Months time you would have been surprized to have heard them. I thought William gained in plainess of speech, { 271 } rather more than his Sister. But I have not the least fear of either of them now. Betsy Quincy had an Abcess formed just below her Bowells, upon the right side last September, and I think, though she is not in the lest lame, that she has never been so well in health nor so fat since. She has more Spirits now than strength, grows very tall, and is full of talk, and good humour. She is so livly, that I think sometimes she will fly off in air. I carried her the last week in May to Braintree, for the benefit of the change of Air, and Sister would not let me bring her back. I expect Mr Shaw and Thomas will bring her this Week or next home. They both went in a Chaise a Tuesday for Commencement. Mr Shaw thinks upon the whole, not to offer Thomas this year. He is full young, and not so well fitted in Greek as yet, as either of his Brothers. Mr Thaxter says, it would rather be a damage to him. Mr Shaw would not have thought of his going till the next year, only on account of his Brother JQA being there with him, but the freshman and the Seignor Class have but little connection with each other, and perhaps when he has himself, received the honours of the University, he will be better qualified to recommend, and advise his Brother how to acquire and preserve them, than he would now.
Last week he sent his Brother a kind, affectionate parental Letter.3 It was worthy his Father, I am sure you would have been charmed with it.
I expect cousin Lucy Cranch to tarry with me, and all my Children, next week.
Mr Nathaniel Sparhawk of whom you have formerly heard me speak, called here, to take his leave of me, he is to embark for Europe in about a week. He has kindly offered to take a Letter for you. He wishes to be introduced to Mr and Mrs Adams. What his views in the mercantile way may be, I cannot tell. He has met with the same misfortune which few of our Merchants have escaped. Madam Hayly comeing to America, has sunk the Spirits of Many, as well as their Purses.4
Mr Sparhawk resided in Haverhill when I first came into the Town, and during his first wives Life, I was treated by them with the greatest politeness, and affection, and there was no place in the town where I was happier. Our Souls were in Unison. She was a Woman of reading, and sentiment, and those seldom fail of pleasing.5 Such are the Salt of the World. How soon must Society grow insipid, and conversation wearisome unless it is enlivened by a Taste for Literature.
{ 272 }
You will not fail my Sister of noticing this Gentleman—as an American.
I must go—adieu for the present my charming Sister—you must have more by and by. Last Week I received two Letters from you, dated 24th of April, and 25th of May.6 Mr Shaw has received Dr Clarks Sermons, and begs his kindest Regards may be presented to Dr Adams, and his warmest Thanks. I think the Dimity you sent B Quincy is the nicest I ever saw. I hope the little creature will live to see you, and thank you herself. She is really a comical child. I said to her one Day, “B Q be very careful of your Cloaths, you must not hurt them, I shall not make any more for you if you do.”—“No matter Mamma if you don't, Aunt Adams will send me enough.”
The Callico you mention, I have not seen, I suppose it is with sister. My Lutestring has been much admired. I had it made, and honoured Mr and Mrs Porter with it upon the Celebration of thier Marriage. They are now gone upon a visit to Bridgewater, and next Week they are to go to Rye, and She to take her Residence for Life.7 Rye is a Town 5 miles from Portsmouth, pleasantly situated they say. People here give me the credit of making the Match, but be that as it may, I heartily wish them happiness. They are both worthy. I have not heard that Mr and Mrs Evans have as yet returned from their Southern Journey. I know not how these 2 social sensible Creatures, will be able to content themselves in the—town of Weymouth.
It is to Me, like a Tree, stripped of its Fruit, and herbage.
Alas! (my Sister) we have many links in our Chain of Relationship, broken off, since you left us. I have met with another very great Loss, even as to my temporal Interest in our dear Aunt Smith. As I hear Cushing did not sail, till a week after my Aunts Burial, I suppose you will by him have had particular accounts, of the melancholly Scene. Her Death you may well think, is universally lamented. Such a Wife, Mother, Mistress and Friend, grow not every Tree. And such a Loss is not easily repaired. This my good Uncle and Cousins; especially Isaac, deeply feel.
You knew a part of her Virtues, and I need not expaciate. May they live in our Memory, and in our Lives.
When I was at Boston she had scurvy spots upon her Arms, as you and I have seen upon our selves, and her blood seemed in a lethargick, poor state, and had lost a great deal of her Flesh. But my uncle and she came to Braintree, upon a Saturday, and over to Weymouth a Monday, with our Brother Cranch, and Sister. It was { 273 } the first Time that any of us had been there since my Aunts Tufts Burial. It was painful you may sure. There was her easy Chair—But no kind Aunt to sweetly smile, and bid me welcome. A Tear would steal across my Cheek, in spite of all my Resolution, and care to suppress, and twinkle it away. The good Dr behaved excellently, he acts from the best of Principles, and by his kindness and attention endeavoured to make us feel as little as possible the want of our amiable Aunt. My Uncle and Aunt returned with us to Boston, and she seemed much better, which encouraged her, and she told me that riding did her so much good that she should keep on visiting her Friends and would come and spend some time with me, after she had attended an Ordination at Prince-Town, where my Uncle was going as Delagate. But the Night before she was to set out, she was taken in Convulsions and never seemed to have her senses more than a moment or two after-wards. And instead of joining any longer here below in the Society of Mortals, she has taken a sweeter Journey to the heavenly Canan.
I have many things more to say, but Mr Sparhawk is now waiting.

[salute] Believe me my Dear Sister, with the deepest sense of Gratitude for your kindness, your truly affectionate Sister

[signed] Eliza Shaw
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Shaw july 20 1786.”
1. Sally Tufts, age fourteen, was the daughter of AA's cousin Samuel Tufts, a Newburyport merchant, and Sarah Moody (NEHGR, 51:303 [July 1897]; Vital Records of Newburyport Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1911, 1:399). Mary (Polly) Harrod of Haverhill, age fifteen, was the elder sister of Ann Harrod, whom TBA married in 1805 (Boston, 24th Report, p. 322; CFA, Diary, 5:82–83).
2. Elizabeth Quincy Shaw spent the summer of 1784 with the Cranch family (vol. 5:337, 352–353, 424, 475).
3. Probably JQA to TBA, 2 July, above.
4. Mary Wilkes Storke Hayley, the sister of English politician and American sympathizer John Wilkes, came to Boston in 1784 to collect the debts owed her late husband, George Hayley, a London merchant and alderman, a sum totaling nearly £80,000 (Thwing Catalogue, MHi; Boston Gazette, 31 May 1784; Katharine A. Kellock, “London Merchants and the pre-1776 American Debts,” Guildhall Studies in London History, 1:129 [Oct. 1974]).
5. Nathaniel Sparhawk Jr., Harvard 1765, a Salem merchant, married Catherine Sparhawk, his cousin, in Kittery, Mass. (now Maine), in 1766; she died in 1778. Sparhawk's second wife was Elizabeth Bartlett of Haverhill, whom he married in 1780. Following Elizabeth's death in 1782, Sparhawk married a third time, in 1783, to Deborah Adams of Portsmouth, N.H., but the couple soon separated (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:235–237).
6. AA's letter of 25 May has not been found.
7. Rev. Huntington Porter, minister of the Congregational church in Rye, N.H., and Susannah Sargeant of Haverhill married on 28 June (Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 2:261; Langdon B. Parsons, History of the Town of Rye, New Hampshire, from Its Discovery and Settlement to December 31, 1903, Concord, N.H., 1905, p. 149–150, 156–157).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0102

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-07-21

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

Altho afflicted to day with one of my bad headaches; I must write you, least the vessel should Sail in my absence with out a Letter from me. A few weeks ago we Breakfasted with mr Bridgen whom you know. He collected several gentlemen of literature, and amongst them mr Hollis, who has often dinned with us. He is a Worthy good Man, and so well known at the university that I need give no further account of him. He was going in a day or two to his Country seat for the Summer and he made us promise that we would come out to Hyde and Spend a week with him. His invitation savourd so much of that Hospitality which this country was once celebrated for, that we did not hesitate to comply, and next week is the time appointed.
He told us that there was but one place in his House, but what was common to all his Friends, and that was his Liberary. They must be great favorites to be admitted there; for he could not bear to have his Books misplaced. This will give you an Idea of his neatness and regularity. Mr Bridgen col S and your sister are of the party.
By Captain Callihan we send the Books you wrote for, and a valuable little parcel your Pappa has added to them, for the benefit of you and your Brothers.1 They cost 8 Guineys so be carefull of them.
I thank you for your Letter, it gave me great pleasure, and I am happy to find you so well situated. The attention you have always given to your studies, and the fondness You have for Literature, precludes any other injunctions to you than that of taking care of your Health. I believe I ought to except one other—which is a watchfulness over yourself; that the knowledge you have acquired does not make you assumeing, and too tenacious of your own opinions. Pope says, “those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.” It is upon this principal that I would gaurd you against the only error that I am conscious you possess. I cannot advise you better upon this subject than in the words of Pope, and as you love poetry fix the following lines in your memory

Tis not enough taste judgement Learning join;

In all you speak, let Truth and candour shine

That not alone, what to your sense is due.

All may allow, but seek your Friendship too

{ 275 }

Be silent always when you doubt your Sense

And speak; tho sure with Seeming diffidence

Some possitive persisting Fops we know

Who if once wrong will needs be always so.

But you with pleasure own your Errors past

And make each day a critic on the last.2

I inclose to you an Epitaph upon Dr Johnson written by as great a curiosity as himself. It was given me by Miss Shipley daughter to the Bishop of Saint Asaph. I have met with many persons here, who were personally acquainted with the dr. They have a great respect for his memory, but they all agree that he was an unpleasent companion who would never bear the least contradiction. Your sister Sent you Mrs Pioggi anecdotes of him. Boswells are too contemptable to be worth reading.3 Your Friend Murry first lent me Mrs Pioggis and from it I coppy the following lines written by him in the blank page

“Like those bright sparks which comets leave behind

Appear the effusions of great Johnsons mind

Had its vast orb unclouded pour'd its rays.

The glorious flood had blinded by its blaize

But clouds of weakness thickly round it fly

And save the envy of the weakest eye.”

Pray inform us from whence arises the illeberal Spirit which appears in the Boston Gazzets against the Law? or rather the professors of it. I am sorry any of our Countrymen should disgrace themselves by holding up such sentiments as Honestus, who ever he is, has publishd to the world. I suspect one may apply to him, the observation which Pope Gangenella made upon Voltair, that he attackd Religion because it was troublesome to him.4 He had better adopt Johnsons opinion, “that the Law is the last result of Humane wisdom, acting upon humane experience for the benifit of the publick.”5
If some of the professors are a disgrace to it, they would have been equally so as merchants Physicians or divines. Where is the profession composed only of Honest Men? annihilate the profession of the Law, and the Liberties of the Country would soon share the same fate. If they wish to suppress the influence of the Bar, Let them practise justice, and consider the Maxim, “that can never be politically right, which is morally wrong.”
{ 276 }
As to politicks Parliament is up6 and a dead Calm ensues. With respect to America, things remain much in the same state as when I wrote you last, all the movements here, will depend upon the Measures of Congress. Untill some regular System is adopted, the less communication our Country has with this, the better. Lamb has orders to repair to Congress, and lay before them the result of his negotiations.
Col Smith has promised to write to you, and your sister will tell you all about herself.7 I wrote you by Col Forrest on the 13th of june, who saild for newyork. I suppose you are very happy by this time to have enterd upon your last year, and your Brother Charles to have finishd his Freshmanship. If your Brother Tommy enters, be very attentive to him, and always give him the advise of judgment and reflection, rather than what may result from the feelings of the moment. And whatever your own sentiments may be with regard to the abilities and qualifications of your Preceptors, you should always endeavour to treat them with the respect due to their Station, and enjoin the same conduct upon your Brothers. It is not in your power to remedy the evils you complain of. Whilst the Salleries are so small it cannot be expected that Gentlemen of the first abilities will devote their lives to the preceptorship. The concequence will be, that young Men will fill those places, and the changes will be frequent. Get all the good you can, and beware that you do no ill to others. You must be conscious of how great importance it is to youth, that they should respect their teachers. Therefore whatever tends to lessen them, is an injury to the whole Society, besides there is nothing which a person will not sooner forgive, than contempt. If you are conscious to yourself that you possess more knowledge upon some subjects than others of your standing, reflect that you have had greater opportunites of seeing the world, and obtaining a knowledge of Mankind than any of your cotemporarys, that you have never wanted a Book, but it has been supplied you, that your whole time has been spent in the company of Men of Literature and Science. How unpardonable would it have been in you, to have been a Blockhead. My paper will allow me room only to add, my blessing to you & Your Brothers from your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Mother 21. July 1786”; docketed: “Mrs: Adams. July 21st: 1786.”
1. JQA had requested Gravesande's Mathematical Elements and a Greek and Latin New Testament (see JQA to AA2, 15 March, note 8, and JQA to JA, 2 April, and notes { 277 } 8, 10, both above). The package contained many books “mostly upon philosophical subjects” and a French history of the American Revolution (JQA, Diary, 2:116; JQA to AA, 30 Dec., and note 3, below). JA's special gift has not been identified.
2. Both quotations are from Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Part III, lines 3–12, 24. Here, and in the letter's last paragraph, AA seeks to correct the intellectual arrogance that Elizabeth Shaw saw in JQA (Shaw to AA, 18 March, above).
3. Hester Lynch Salusbury Thrale Piozzi, Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D., during the Last Twenty Years of His Life, London, 1786. JQA received this work from AA2 on 14 July (Diary, 2:65). James Boswell's first work on Johnson, his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D., appeared in the spring of 1786 (DNB). The “Epitaph” has not been identified.
4. On AA's reading the letters of Giovanni Ganganelli, Pope Clement XIV, in 1783, see vol. 5:268, 269. The quote regarding Voltaire appears in Interesting Letters of Pope Clement XIV. (Ganganelli.), 2 vols., London, 1777, 1:xxxiii.
5. Piozzi, Anecdotes, p. 58
6. Parliament adjourned on 11 July and would reconvene on 23 Jan. 1787 (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 1:536).
7. AA2 to JQA, 22 July, below; no letter from WSS to JQA has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0103

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-21

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

And a good story you shall have, Madam, as you desire. Know then that your friends both at Haverhill and Braintree are well. But I had forgot. One sad stroke has caused us much trouble, Aunt Smith is dead. She died about a month since. She was first seized with a lethargic fit, was lost to every thing, but apparently had recovered from her disorder and was preparing to take a journey as far as Princetown, when she was suddenly seized, the evening preceeding her setting out, with convulsion fits, which in a day or two put a period to her existence. This account you have had from others perhaps already.
I have to thank you for yours of the 22d. of May. It found me in a place you little dream of. I was in Passamaquoddy Bay at the Eastward, where I was on speculation, and which is to be the place of my residence a few years to come, perhaps for life. You recommend Agriculture. It is an idea to me more pleasing than that of any other kind of life. 'Tis most natural and therefore, to a mind uncorrupted in the world, must be most happy. You must know that Genl: Lincoln, Mr: Thos: Russell and Mr: Lowell have lately bought two Townships in Passamaquoddy Bay which they mean to settle assoon as possible.1 I went down with the General about two months ago, and am but just returned. The General's son2 is one of the two and twenty settlers that went down with us, and your humble servant is another. There is a little trade carried on there, but believe me this is by no means my object, at least no further than to ennable me to { 278 } clear and improve a good landed estate. This has ever been a wish of mine. More now than ever, and I feel happy in the idea that I am acting from the very principle on which you recommend Agriculture to me in a late letter: an additional motive is that here it is impossible for me establish. So that you see in part I am obliged to do right this time. I therefore fully depend on my resolution. But the ultimate of my plan, as mentioned above, you will not mention to any of our friends on this side of the Atlantick. They are a good many of them averse to my going at all, most of them against my establishing myself there. So I do not let anyone in the secret. See, Madam, how you can keep it. I know I shall have your approbation, because I am sensible I act from every principle of duty.
I have heard of Gentlemen's falling in love with pictures, but I am caught with your description of the amiable Miss Hamilton. Fortunate it may be, or unfortunate, that I staid not a little longer with you. Every thing is right. I frequently, in a reflective moment, have painted to myself a connection with beauty and virtue. This is but Romance however, yet I must say your description and my ideas in this instance perfectly correspond. I think you will laugh at me by this time for my Quixotism in thus admiring an unknown del Tobosa,3 but I am not going to commence Knight Errant, so please to remember this is entre nous.
Be kind eno: to thank Amelia for her two favors No: 3. and 4,4 both of May. I will duly answer them, but by this opportunity she will excuse me. My best wishes ever attend her. May she be happy in this new and every other Connection. To Mr: Adams my best respects. I wish to write to him on business, and will if time will allow.5 My Compts: to Colo: Smith if you please.
Our family desire to be duly remembered to you and yours. They wish you every good and pleasant thing. We are preparing tosee folks, today, and you know the poor help we have in this Country and will therefore excuse not hearing more from us.
When you return I shall happy to have the honor of your Company at Passamaquoddy to pass the Summer, & am Madam, with all respect & esteem Yr: much obliged friend & humble servt:
[signed] C. S.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. Grosvenor Square London”; endorsed: “Charles Storer july 21 1786.”
1. In March, Benjamin Lincoln, Thomas Russell, and probably John Lowell purchased Townships Nos. 1 and 2, over 50,000 acres of land, at Passamaquoddy, with the condition that sixty families would settle there within six years. The adjacent townships, in what is { 279 } now Washington Co., Maine, were bordered by the Cobscook River to the west and Passamaquoddy Bay to the east. In 1818, they were incorporated as the towns of Perry and Dennysville (Report of the Committee for the Sale of Eastern Lands: Containing their Accounts from the 28th of October, 1783, to the 16th of June, 1795, Boston, 1795, accounts 1 and 3; Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, 12 March, MHi: Henry Knox Papers Microfilms; William D. Williamson, The History of the State of Maine, 2 vols., Hallowell, Maine, 1832, repr. ed. Freeport, Maine, [1966], 2:668; Osgood Carleton, “A Map of the District of Maine,” engraved by Amos Doolittle, in James Sullivan, History of the District of Maine, Boston, 1795).
2. Theodore Lincoln (1763–1852), the general's second son and a 1785 graduate of Harvard, settled in what was later Dennysville (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 3:10; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
3. Dulcinea del Toboso, the heroine of Don Quixote.
4. Neither letter has been found.
5. Storer wrote to JA on 21 July (Adams Papers) to inquire about discussions during the 1783 peace negotiations with Britain, which established the boundary line between the United States and Canada and informed him of current disputes between the two parties. See also AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Oct., and note 7, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0104

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-07-22

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear sir

I inclose to you the papers which contain the correspondence between Lord George Gordon and mr Tufts.1 As I suppose it will be matter of some specculation, and may tend to injure your Nephew. I will relate to you some circumstances attending it. Upon the Letter you wrote me some time ago,2 I had made inquiries after mr Tufts, but could hear nothing of him, till mr Jenks just before he saild, wrote me a card3 one Day that he had found him; and that from his conversation he beleived he sincerely wishd to return to his Friends in America. I immediatly wrote mr Tufts a friendly card and invited him to dine with me on the Sunday following. I received his answer of thanks and an acceptance of the invitation.4 Accordingly he came, and was received with the cordiality of an old acquaintance. We talkd of our Friends and were very Sociable, and I assured him that I believed he might return and live unmollessted provided he would be prudent. He tarried till near eleven oclock, and we parted in perfect good Humour. You may judge of our surprize when the twesday following there appeard in the papers Lord Georges Letter quoteing mr Tufts as his Authority.
On wednesday morning mr Tufts came up to see us, not a little mortified you may be sure and said that mr Lewis Gray was his Authority, that he had no Idea of the conversations ever being publishd, and that it took place a fortnight before without his having any Idea of the use intended to be made of it. Mr Adams told mr Tufts that the assertion was totally without foundation, that neither { 280 } directly or indirectly had he ever received a single sou through any such channel, but even Supposing it had been true, of what importance was it who were his Bankers, the united States only were answerable for his Sallery. But being false it behoved him to contradict it. He did not wish to injure him or mr Gray or mr Grant, but they must be sensible they had all exposed themselves, and that if he was disposed he could give them trouble enough. This frightned mr Tufts, and I believe he Heartily wishd, that he had never got into the Scrape. Some of the Foreign ministers thought Lord George ought to be procecuted, and all condemnd the answer given by Lord Car—then. Mr Adams refused doing any thing more than after a few Days waiting to hear what would be said, he publishd a Paragraph of May 9. After which Lord George publishd a few lines which paper I have lost, the purport of it was, to get himself out as well as he could, that hearing the report, and not crediting it himself, he publishd it to give the American Minister or his Friends an opportunity to contradict it. Thus ended this foolish affair.5 Lord Georges views may easily be Seen through, and he made others the dupes of them. If the Letters should get into our papers, as I suspect they will, you will See that the Paragraph of May 9th is publishd also.6 Do not let it give mr Tufts Friends any uneasiness. It was an imprudence in him but I do not imagine he meant any injury. I should have acquainted him with his Fathers illness, but I was affraid he would think that I wanted benevolence in the communication and I presumed he would receive an account of it from some of his Friends. I have not seen him since this affair.
Dr Welch will pay you 3£. 9s. 6d. on my account which together with 25 Guineys that you may draw on mr Elworthy for, and which I will pay to him upon Your inclosing the Bill to me. I wish you to add to the little sum you have purchased already for me, disposing of it in the same way by the purchase of notes. I think they must rise, and I have advised mr Adams to request you to lay out a hunderd pound in them if you are of the same mind, but you can judge best being upon the Spot.
With regard to Books and papers you will feel less embarressed now than formerly. Your Neice is I believe very happily married. I hope that time will confirm my present opinion.
As to politicks, they must come from your side the water to do any good here. Lamb will return to congress to give an account of his negotiation of which he thinks very differently from what he did when he left it. He has written an intelligent Letter7 and did all that { 281 } would have been in any bodyes power to do with the resources which he had. My affectionate Regards to all Friends—From your affectionate
[signed] A Adams
1. Not found. See note 5, below.
2. Cotton Tufts to AA, 12 Jan., above.
3. Not found.
4. Neither the invitation nor the acceptance has been found.
5. On 3 May the London Public Advertiser printed a letter from Lord George Gordon informing the Marquis of Carmarthen that JA's salary was paid quarterly by the Comte d'Adhémar and citing “undeniable intelligence” possessed by Simon Tufts as his authority. Over the next week Tufts and Gordon submitted a series of letters, including a sworn affidavit by Gordon, to the Public Advertiser and London Chronicle seeking to clarify their positions. Tufts insisted that he told Gordon only that he had heard from a third party, Lewis Gray, how Adams received his salary and repeatedly insisted that Gordon had no authorization to publish the account. According to Gordon, he first heard that JA was paid by the French court from a Mr. Grant of the Southern Indian Department. Grant introduced Gordon to Tufts, who allowed Grant to write down the facts as known to him and then authenticated the transcript in Gordon's presence (London Public Advertiser, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 May 1786; London Chronicle, 2–4, 6–9, 9–11 May 1786). For AA's earlier opinions on Gordon, see vol. 6:172, 173–174, 442.
6. JA published an anonymous rebuttal in the London Public Advertiser on 9 May; it was summarized in the Boston Gazette on 17 July and reprinted in full in the Boston American Herald, 4 September.
7. JA received copies of Lamb's letters of 20 May and 5 June via Thomas Jefferson on 5 July. See Jefferson, Papers, 9:549–554, 610.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0105

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Welsh, Thomas
Date: 1786-07-22

Abigail Adams to Thomas Welsh

[salute] Dear sir

I have to thank you for your very inteligent Letter of May 4,1 and am glad to find one writer who is not in the dismalls. Shades answer very well as a contrast to the light parts of a picture, but when it is all darkness one is apt to suppose that the painture is no artist, that he must be deficient in blending his coulours or too neglegent to procure proper material for them.
That our Country is prest with a heavey debt I am very sensible, and that she must excercise wisdom prudence and occonomy and industery to liberate herself from it, is equally true. But who that sees her future happiness can lament her restoration from extravagance and folly to the practise of those virtues which can and will save her? When a people become Luxurious, is there any thing that will reclaim them but dire necessity? Amidst the general cry of distress, are there any amongst us naked, or perishing with hunger? Are not our flocks fruitfull, do not our lands yeald an increase. Yes truly we have more than we can expend, but cannot find a Market sufficiently profitable for the overpluss. Nor that unbounded credit { 282 } which we want, aya theirs the rub, but there are those who think the less credit we can obtain the better it will in the end prove for our Countrymen. This Country will do nothing towards a treaty of commerce or relinquishing the Posts untill the States repeal the Laws respecting British credittors. They do not deny our right to them by treaty, but say it is equally binding upon both parties. The reluctance in the different States to grant the impost has done us great injury not only here but in France and Holland. I have hopes that the present year will produce some Regular and wise System which will raise the credit of the united States and place <it> them upon a more reputable foundation than they have yet stood upon. The more harmony and peace is cultivated amongst ourselves the Stronger we link ourselves together and discountanance every little internal bickering and jealousy. The more formidable we shall become to our enemies and better able to defend ourselves against them. I am sorry to see our publick Papers so nearly allied to those of Britain. Liberty ought not to become licentiousness. Here are hireling who earn their daily Bread by vilifying Characters and countries. Heaven forbid our country should harbour Such virmin, who but Such could be the Authors of some publications which have appeard amongst you.2
Dft (Adams Papers). The text is written on a sheet of paper on which AA had begun a letter to JQA, probably in Dec. 1785 (see vol. 6:471, 473 ).
1. 24 May, above.
2. AA may be referring in part to the Boston newspaper essays by Benjamin Austin (Honestus) attacking lawyers (see JQA to AA2, 18 May, above).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0106

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-07-22

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

I have also to sollicit your Pardon my Dear Brother for haveing so long delayd writing you. I know that you will overlook it and forgive me. You are not at this time uninformd of the change which has taken place in our family, tho <I have till now been silent> my pen has lain unemploy'd from the 29th of April to this day.1 At present your Sister is settled in Wimpole Street about half a mile from Grosvenor Square. I suppose Mamma will inform you of every particular that you may wish to be informd of, and I will indeavour for the future to take up, the thread of my discourse from the 22d of july, and continue to forward to you the subject of my reflections.
{ 283 }
My friend will write you by this Conveyance,2 and you must continue to favour me with your daily journal with as much freedom as ever, for your sister is not alterd, only in Name. She feels if possible an additionl attachment to her family, and more sollicitous to promote the pleasure and happiness of each individual of it, and more interested in what may concern them. I have to acknowledge the receipt of your N 13 14 153 by <Clallihan>, and to assure you that they gave me great pleasure.
We were very glad to hear that you had entered Colledge, and I can easily excuse you for not writing when you had so important a work to accomplish. Persevereance with judgment with affect what ever you wish, that lies within your own ability. Yours will I hope be directed to important and usefull objects to those which will render persevereence Loudable. Many of the Customs at the University must undoubtedly appear to you ridiculous, and the manners of the Governors, unnecessary. It is a misfortune that People so often mistake the means, of promoting their importance and dignity but it is the case in almost every class of Men. They attend to triffles, more than to greater objects and often by such mistaken means destroy every particle of that, which they are so anxiously sollicitous to Support. I have ever thought that dignity exists in the mind and where it is not implanted by nature I am inclined to beleive all the forms and rigid formalities that can be invented by Pride and folly can never be mistaken by the least discerning for that, divine principle, possessd by a few. I have seen, an affectation of dignity very often, but I have never seen but very few, who possessd the real principle. You will I hope persevere in your resolution to pay all proper respect to every Govenor of the University, and tho to me you write with all possible Liberty you should be upon your guard, to others, especially in Colledge where your example would <have weight>, be injurious to others were You to fail. I do not at all wonder at your observations.
The Death of Charles Warren must have been very distressing to Mrs W—— particularly. I think he was the flower of the family. I am sorry for their misfortunes in every way. W[inslow's] Conduct must be the greatest affliction to them. Charles Storer has I think addopted the most eligable plan he could and his friend must approve him, but I doubt whether he is active and determined enough to overcome the Hardships and inconveniences to which he must be subjected.4 But I hope he will, for he is a very worthy Youth.
Before I proceed further I must notice that part of your letter { 284 } when you tell me you are learning the flute. This my Brothers gave me great uneasiness, and permit me to intreat of you not to continue the use of it. You may be assurd that it is extremely injurius to healhts. The first Complaints of Chareles W arrose from playing upon the flute. I must beg of you to lay it aside and to persuade your Brothers should they be so unwise as to use it to do so likewise. Charles would be more certain to receive injury than you or Thomas, but I hope you will all be persuaded to desist. It will be too Late when you feel the ill affects of it as you most certainly will, ere long.
I thank you for the vrces inclosed pray who is Delia a real or, feignd, Character.5 The verse is smooth and the sentiments just. I shall be pleased whenever you favour me with your productions. I think it is a pleasing amusement and I dont see any disadvantages arrising from it, provided you do not spend to much time or steal a little from more important studies which I dare say you will not.
Mr Randall arrived last Saturday nigt. He left Mr Lamb at Madrid. They went to Algiers but the Dey would not see them. After spending 6 days there they Left it and returnd. Congress have not appropriated money enough for the purpose of Buying a peace. Mr R— is for Building ships and makeing War on them. Mr Barclay, the last account were from Macadore, about an hundred miles from Fez the seat of the Emperior of Morroco, from whom Mr B had received Mules and a Guard to Conduct him to Fez. The E— is represented as a very benevolent Good Man. Mr B, is much pleased with his excurssion. Tis a pitty his motions were not a little quicker.
Mr R, will I suppose be married and go soon to N Y.6
I have mentiond to you the <Turkish> Tripoline Ambassador.7 He made me a vissit the other day, he is very oald, and seems to be honnest and good, in his Way. By Dr Gordon I was surprized not to hear from you. He has been to see us twice and looks as meek, as Moses. I think he is really to be pittyd, for really I dont see but his prospect is nothing less than wretchedness. In leaving America he has shewn great want of judgment, for he finds that he cannot print his History here without beeng Liable to procecution, and I suppose he placed all his dependance upon that prospect of Publishing it. He has already I heard from Dr Price been abused and insulted by one of his own Brotherhood, in a Coffe House where the dissenting Ministers meet every Tuesday.
{ 285 }
Indeed I think his situation must be distressing. Mr Ramseys History of the Revolution in south Carolina, which is thought to be an impartial and well written Book, does not sell, here, and the Bookseller dare not offer it for sale. In short nothing respecting america nor any body or any thing from America, is esteemd or respected in this Country excepting by a few very few individuals. I think the sooner we get out of the Country the Better and I am very sure the sooner we return to America the happier for our family, but Congress are so slow in their motions and somany months and years, employd without affecting any thing, that tis enough to tire our patience. Ship after Ship arrives, and no letters nor no news. Pappa has written I am sure quires of Paper to Congress since his residence here, and, all he has yet got in answer is an acknowledgement from Mr J— of the receipt of letters of Such and such dates. We are expecting the June packet every day but whether it will bring any thing worth knowing is very uncertain. This has you know been the Case ever since Pappa has been in Europe, and so I suppose it will continue, this is entree nous. You have doubtless heard of Mr Humphriess arrival, and of Mr and Mrs Roggerss.
Pappa has bought the Books you desird for and sends them by this Conveyance. Mr Appleton is going home. I beleive I shall give him my Letters. He is to dine to day with us in Grosvenor Square, with several other persons, amongst the No, is one singular Character, a Major Langbornn from Virginia, who has, spent these two years in walking over Europe, and in making his observations upon, every Class of Men, their Manners Customs &c—from le Roy sur le throne, to the lowest of his subjects.8 He appears to be a sensible Man, and from his appearance and Conversation you would not suspect him of such an eccentricity of Character. He has been here about a week, and has dined with us, several times at Grosvenor Square, where we are almost every day.
Tomorrow we are going 25. miles out of Townn to visit Mr Brant Hollis, Nephew to the Gentleman so well known in your Universsity. He is an agreeable pleasant oald Bachelor, and we promise ourselves much pleasure from the excursion. The partty Consists of Pappa and Mamma Mr Bridgen Mr S, and your sister. While I am there or upon my return I will give an account of it.
I requested you some time since in one of my letters to send me a lock of your Hair.9 I now repeat it and desire you to add to it a lock { 286 } of each of my Brothers, dont neglet it, but by the 1st opportunity after the receipt of this, inclose them to me done up like yourself in three seperate papers—and remember it is the first request made You by your sister
[signed] A S
1. The last internal dateline of AA2 to JQA, 25 April, above.
2. No letter from WSS to JQA has been found.
3. JQA's letters of 15 March, 1 April, and 25 April, all above.
4. To settle in northern Maine.
5. For “An Epistle to Delia,” see JQA to AA, 15 May, note 4, above.
6. Randall previously had been engaged to a Miss White in Philadelphia prior to undertaking the Algerian assignment but in the end apparently married a French woman, Marie Anne Pertois (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:187–189, 191; NEHGR, 110:128 [April 1956]).
7. Sidi Haggi 'Abd-ur-rahman Aga.
8. William Langborn (1756–1814), a cousin of Martha Washington and former aide-de-camp to Lafayette. Langborn spent twelve years walking the British Isles and Europe (Washington, Papers, Confederation Series, 3:547; Curtis Carroll Davis, “The Curious Colonel Langborn: Wanderer and Enigma from the Revolutionary Period,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 64:402–432 [Oct. 1956]).
While traveling, Langborn kept a written record of some of his adventures. Many years later, in 1818, this material came into the hands of Richard Rush, son of Dr. Benjamin Rush. In a letter of Rush's to JA, 2 May 1818, he quoted Langborn's comments on this dinner and another Langborn attended with the Adamses a few days later. Langborn wrote,
“Saturday—Did myself the pleasure, agreeably to yesterdays invitation, of dining with Mr Adams and his family. We had but one stranger, he remarkable for his American attachments. Our dinner was plain, neat, and good. Mrs Adams's accomplishments and agreeableness would have apologized for any thing otherwise. . . . Thursday the 23. Dined again with Mr Adams. Mr Trumball, a student of Mr Wests was there. The English custom although bad still exists; we set to our bottle; I not for wine, but for the conversation of the Minister, which was very interesting, honest and instructive. . . . I must not forget Mr Adams's requisites to make citizens, like those republicans of New England; they were, that we should form ourselves into townships, encourage instruction by establishing in each public schools, and thirdly to elevate as much the common people by example and advice to a principle of virtue and religion”
9. See AA2's letter of 26 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:310).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-07-23

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch

[salute] My Dear Girls

I bought me a blue sarcenet1 coat not long since; after making it up I found it was hardly wide enough to wear over a straw coat, but I thought it was no matter; I could send it to one of my nieces. When I went to put it up, I thought, I wished I had another. “It is easily got, said I. Ned, bring the carriage to the door and drive me to Thornton's, the petticoat shop.”2 “Here, Madam, is a very nice pink coat, made too of the widest sarcenet.” “Well, put it up.” So back I drove, and now, my dear girls, there is a coat for each of you. Settle between yourselves which shall have the blue and which the red, { 287 } pay no regard to the direction, only when you put them on, remember your aunt wishes they were better for your sakes.
Mr. Appleton and a Dr. Spooner3 go with the Callaghan; they both dine here to-day, and I shall request one of them to put them in his trunk, and some black lace which I have bought for Mrs. Welsh.
Remember me to my dear and aged mother. You will make her caps for her, I know, but if you will cut and send me a pattern, I will make some here and send her. She will be better pleased with them, I know. If there is any thing in particular which you want, tell me. I have not written above half the letters I want to, yet I have done little else for a whole week. By Captain Barnard I design writing to Miss B. Palmer4 and others, which I shall not have time to do now, because tomorrow morning I set out on my journey. If you and cousin Lucy will send me a shoe for a pattern I will get you a pair of new-fashioned morocco. I have not written a line yet, either to son Charles or Johnny.5 I have been to Hackney to hear Dr. Price to-day, upon the duties of children to parents; it was an excellent discourse; but you, my dear girls, so perfectly practise what he preached, that there is no occasion of repeating it to you.
Adieu, and believe, your own parents excepted, nobody loves you better than your ever Affectionate aunt,
[signed] A.A.
MS not found. Printed from (AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 299–300.)
1. Also “sarsenet,” a fine soft silk cloth (OED).
2. Possibly Peter Thornton, linen-draper, 98 Cheapside (Kent's Directory. For the Year 1781, London, 1781).
3. Dr. William Spooner (1760–1836) of Boston, Harvard 1778, received his M.D. from Edinburgh in 1785 (Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, 2 vols. in 1, Boston, 1855, p. 905).
4. No letter has been found.
5. AA probably intended to write “Charles or Tommy.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0108

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1786-07-23

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr Trumble will have the honour of [d]elivering this to you,1 the knowledge you have of him, and his own merit will ensure him a favourable reception. He has requested a Letter from me, and I would not refuse him, as it gives me an opportunity of paying my respects to a Gentleman for whom I entertain the highest esteem, and whose Portrait2 dignifies a part of [this] room, tho it is but a poor substitue for those pleasures which we enjoy'd some months past.
{ 288 }
We console ourselves however b[y] the reflection which tends to mollify our Grief for our [depart]ed Friends; that they are gone to a better Country, an[d to a] Society more congenial to the benevolence of their minds.3
I supposed sir that Col Smith was your constant correspondent, and that his attention, left me nothing to inform you of.4 This Country produced nothing agreeable and our own appears to be taking a Nap, as severals vessels have lately arrived without a Scrip, from any creature. By one of the papers we learn that col Humphries was safely arrived.
Perhaps neither of the Gentleman may think to acquaint you, that the Lords of the admiralty have orderd home Captain Stanhopes ship, and calld upon him for a justification of his conduct to Govenour Bowdoin. That having received what he offerd as such, they voted it not only unsatisfactory, but his conduct highly reprehensible. As such they have represented it to his Majesty, and Captain Stanhope will not be permitted to return to that station again. Thus far we must give them credit.5
I suppose you must have heard the report respecting col Smith—that he has taken my daughter from me, a contrivance between him and the Bishop of St Asaph. It is true he tenderd me a Son as an equivilent and it was no bad offer, but I had three Sons before, and but one Daughter.6 Now I have been thinking of an exchange with you sir, suppose you give me Miss Jefferson, and in some [fu]ture day take a Son in lieu of her. I am for Strengt[hen]ing [the?] federal Union.
Will you be so good as to let Petite apply to my shoe maker for 4 pr of silk Shoes for me. I would have them made with Straps, 3 pr of summer-Silk and one pr blew Sattin. Col Trumble will deliver you a Guiney for them. Whenever I can be of service to you here, pray do not hessitate to commission me, be assured you confer a favour upon your Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers.) Dft (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Col. John Trumbull delivered this letter on 1 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 10:162).
2. During his spring visit to London, Jefferson sat for American artist Mather Brown, paying the latter £10 on 25 April for his work. On 12 May, JA paid Brown six guineas for a portrait of Jefferson. Only the portrait received by JA, which remained in the possession of the Adams family until 1999, when it was bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, has survived. Brown did not ship his portrait of Jefferson to the sitter until the fall of 1788. Although Jefferson acknowledged its safe arrival in Paris, no record of its whereabouts is known since that time.
{ 289 }
Scholars have long debated whether JA received Brown's first portrait of Jefferson or a replica. Because he paid a lesser amount, it has been argued that JA was given a copy. Conversely, Col. John Trumbull's correspondence with Jefferson implies that Brown was still working on a portrait of Jefferson in the spring of 1788, two years after JA had possession of one. Also, Trumbull reported from London on 23 May 1788, at which point JA and AA had already sailed for the United States with their portrait in hand, “I believe what He [Brown] means to send you of yourself to be the copy, and that Mr. Adams thus the original.” Adams family tradition is that their portrait is the original.
Brown also painted two portraits of JA. The first in 1785, when AA and AA2 also sat for the artist; the second in 1788, commissioned by Jefferson, who as early as 22 Oct. 1786 desired WSS to persuade JA to sit again for Brown so that he might have a portrait of his colleague done from life and not a copy. The 1785 portrait of JA is believed to have been lost. Jefferson's 1788 portrait of JA was sold after his death and ultimately bequeathed to the Boston Athenaeum in 1908 (Dorinda Evans, Mather Brown, Early American Artist in England, Middletown, Conn., 1982, p. 53–54, 62–65; Andrew Oliver, Portraits of John and Abigail Adams, Cambridge, 1967, p. 46–53; Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery). For Brown's portraits of AA and AA2, see vol. 6:xiii–xiv.
3. These first two paragraphs do not appear in the Dft; rather, the Dft opens with the following:
“As it appears to be doubly as long since I had the honour of a line from you, as the time you have stated to have received one from me, I am at a loss to know whether we shall understand the language of each other, nothing but the space being wholly lost to me, could justify my omitting to inform mr Jefferson how much we regreeted the loss of his company. But we reflect upon it with that consideration which tends to molify our grief for the loss of departed Friends, that they are gone to a better Country, and to a society more congenial to the benevolence of their minds.”
4. For WSS's correspondence with Jefferson, since the latter's departure from London in April, see Jefferson, Papers, vols. 9 and 10.
5. For the Aug. 1785 confrontation in Boston between Capt. Henry Stanhope of the H.M.S. Mercury and two American seamen formerly impressed into service under his command and Stanhope's subsequent complaints to Gov. James Bowdoin, see vol. 6:435–440 , 496, 497.
6. The Dft concludes at this point with the following:
“Now suppose Sir you should give me Miss Jefferson, at least till I return to America. Some future day, perhaps I might tender you a son in exchange for her. I am lonely in concequence of this, Theft I had almost said. I should think myself very happy to have miss Jefferson come and Spend the Summer and winter with me. Next Spring I hope to return to America.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0109

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-07-23

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

Mr Sparhawk called for my Letter Just as I was giving you an account of my Aunt Smith's Death. I was going to tell you that Mr Thaxter had lost his youngest Sister, Mrs Cushing, who had been married about 15 months died in Child-bed. Upon finding herself ill, they sent for Dr Barker, but before he got there, she was seized with Convulsion Fits, from which she never reccovered. She has a fine Daughter, though she did not notice it, nor live to clasp the dear Babe to her fond Bosom. I hear they have got an exceeding good Nurse for it.
There is hardly any Circumstance in which a Person can be taken from their Family, that excites my Pity, and Compassion more than { 290 } this. At one fatal stroke the fair Prospects of a Family are cut down, and the weeping Husband stands but half blest—beholding the little help less Infant, extending its feeble Arms, and crying for that, (which alas!) Providence had thought fit to deny. For deaf were those Ears that with delight would have listened to thy Call—closed were those Eyes, that with pleasure would have dwelt upon thy growing Charms, and cold were those Arms that with delight would have folded thee, to her maternal Breast. But “thus runs Death's dread Commission—Strike—but so as most to alarm the living, by the Dead.”1 The Young, the Gay, the healthy, the beautiful, the rich, the wise, the good, the beloved—all, all alike must submit to the inevitable Stroke. “Dust we are, and unto Dust we must return,” but he who has brought Life, and immortality to light, has assured us, by the Apostle, “that this Mortal, shall put on Immortality.” And, that unless a “Corn of Wheat fall into the ground, and die, it cannot bring forth much Fruit.”2
Mr Smith got here last Night, and makes an exchange with Mr Shaw. Mr Smith has lately fixed down at the Castle, and will have an handsome maintenance there. But poor Man, is deprived of what he supposed would afford him, the greatest pleasure, the frequent Visits of his Mother. He has a fine Temper, and I believe a very good Heart. You know our early Intimacy, and cannot wonder that I most tenderly sympathize with him, under his late Bereavment.3
Mr Shaw got home to day about Noon, and brought Cousin Lucy, and my Betsy Quincy. The little Creature came claping her hands, and rejoicing up the Hill, “there's Mamma—there's Brother—there's Cousin Betsy, <and Thommy>.[] “Are you not glad I have got home Mamma? have you not been ansious about me since I have been gone.” And her Tongue run as if her Stomack had gain'd considerable strength by the Braintree Air. I assure you she is no ways deficient in the female Talent.
My worthy Nephews got here last Night, we do love them. Mr Shaw, and I, would have been quite disconsolate if they had not come. Mr Professor Williams told me, that my eldest Nephew had exactly hit it, (that was his expression) with the Scholars. By his studious, and affable Behaviour, he had gained the love of all his Classmates. We were affraid of him (said he) because S——C——J. had { 291 } made the Tour,4 and gave us so much trouble. By affecting a superiority, he gained the dislike of the Governors, and the contempt of the whole Colledge. It is at last concluded upon by Dr Tufts, Mr Cranch &cc, that Mr Shaw should offer Thomas at the end of this Vacation. I wish it may be for the best. But if he was my own Child I should rather he should be a year older. At this age, one year, makes a very material alteration in the Judgment. He has a good genius, and an excellent Temper, but not one of those forward Youths, whose genious very early comes to maturity. The fairest, and soundest Fruit seldom ripens the soonest, but requires Time to bring it to Perfection. Youth seldom know the advantages they are under, or (if they really wish to make a Figure in Life,) the great importance of the most diligent application, and the closest attention to their studies. What Milton says of a delicate, virtuous Woman, may be appliyed to Leterature. She “must be wooed, and not unsought, be won.”5
If Mr Thomas's Abilities should entittle him to speak an Oration four years hence, I know his voice cannot be so pleasing, neither will he be able to command the attention of the audience so well, as if he was older. He is now innocently playful. I hope he will not learn to do Evil, but still be preserved in the Path of Virtue. You would be surprized to see how Thomas has grown, since you left us he is almost as tall as Charles, but I must speak intelligibly, wants about a head of being as tall as your eldest Son. I tell him I will let him go by measure, and not by weight. For he is rather thin, and I feel sometimes affronted because he does not credit his keeping. Poor “Child, I say, you are too much like Aunt Shaw.” He retains his fine shape yet, and if he lives, will be a very tall Man, and I hope a very good One. I feel a greater tenderness for him I suppose, because he was the youngest, and seemed to come more under my Care. He has enjoyed exceeding good Health, and been very little troubled with the Rheumatism. He has been poisoned several times, but has met with no accident excepting, as he was runing upon the Snow last winter, he turned his Foot, and displaced three Bones. He told me he was lame, I bathed his foot, did it up in Bane, and put him to Bed. In the Morning I found it was more swelled, and we thought it best to send for the Doctor. He soon came, and set three Bones. After this he found but little Inconvinience, excepting that his Uncle thought it prudent and necessary, that he should be debarred the pleasure of skaiting for three Weeks, a week for a Bone.
{ 292 }
I have spent this Week in the Society of my dear Friends, and Relations. To me who came so far from the midst of my Kindred, (though you will think it nothing) a Nephew, and a Cousin have an endearing, and an enchanting Sound. I have had a large Circle this Week, in one Day my Family increased from Six to twenty-seven, and this you will say is nothing too, I suppose, to what you have every Day. It is true I cannot say, Count, such an one, and my Lord, and Lady A. B. and C. but I feel that glow of generous Love, and Friend-ship, which those who always move in the higher Walks of Life, are too often a stranger to.
Mr, Mrs Austin, Mrs Allen, and Mrs Welsh, and Charlotte—Mr Smith, Mr Thaxter, Cousin Sally Tufts together with my own Household, formed such a Circle as would have made you smile with more than your usual Complacency, could you have presided at the frugal, but sufficient Board.
Yesterday my Sister, we formed one of the most agreeable Parties, that I ever saw. Mr White, and Capt Willis, gave a Turtle,6 which was dressed elegantly, and carried to a litle beautiful Island in Merimac, which formerly belonged to Judge Saltonstall.7
There was a fine Booth erected, formed into Arches in the stile of Festoons, which afforded the most refreshing Shade. The Stakes which supported it were so artfully covered with grape Vines, and large Clusters of Grapes interwove with Wreaths of Flowers, which looked so fresh, that One would have supposed them placed there, rather by the hand of Nature, than of Art.
Return, to America for one moment, my Sister, and fancy yourself most conveniently seated in this Bower, your Sons, Neices, and particular Freinds noticed, by the most polite attention—sweet Merimac gently gliding beneath your feet—Health—Peace, and Plenty smiling around you—Good-humour—without ribaldry—Ease—Complacency—every Necessary, and Convenience, all conspiring to make you happy. Here a lofty Oak—and there a branching Elm—and little Thickets of Wood, which looked as if they were, “for whispering Lovers made.”8 Each One taking the Lass he preferred, and leading her to the Lawn, or the Wood, as fancy bent their way.
A little before Sunset we all embarked in our new Boat, with a sail spread over the Top, the School Benches answered for seats, and we were about three quarters of an Hour going down, and an hour and half returning. The Doors, Windows, and Banks of the { 293 } River, all thronged with People, who were drawn thither by the Musick. The Mr Adams's the Mr Osgoods, and Leonard White &cc &cc singing all the way, most beautifully. The few happy Matches, the Indian Warrior, &cc, &cc.
Upon the whole, I think it is allowed by the Visitors in Town, that it was one of the happiest, and most agreeable Parties, that they ever knew. I was delighted at the Time, and I cannot think of it since, without Rapture.
Here, I have given you a little account of the simple Efforts of Nature, while you are (I suppose) making Excursions this Summer, into the Country and surveying the Work of Time, and the labours of Art—the elegant Gardens the superb Palace, and the stately Dome. Those will fill your Mind with grand, and noble Ideas, which really must be vastly pleasing, and even in the decline of Life, be a Source of Entertainment to yourself, and Friends. But whether in all your Travels, you will find a happier Circle, than I have described, I something doubt.
The Laws, the Customs, the Education of this Nation all serve to render them pleased with each other, and happy in the Enjoyment of the sweets of Society. No haughty Lord here, to demand the hard earnings of the honest, and industrious Husband Man. But all share, almost equally in the rich Treasures and Bounties of Nature.
I really long sometimes to look in upon you, to see whether you are all mightily altered—“Much for the better, to be sure.” Polite company gives an ease to the Manners—a Grace—a Charm yet good, (I hope) as you the “World had never seen.” I should admire to visit with you, the Seats, and the remains of those whose Works have immortalised their Name. I believe I should be particularly charmed with Shenstones Garden,9 from the descriptions, I have seen.
I wonder how Mr Adams felt when he was cuting a Relict from Shakespears Chair. In walking over those hallowed Grounds, I fancy Ones feelings, and thoughts must be very peculiar. I wish they had presented Mr Adams with a Box, (as they did Mr Garrick,) made out of a mulberry Tree, which Shakespear planted with his own hands.10
Now let me answer your enquiries about Mr and Mrs A——l——n. They have got a fine enclosure for a Garden, the soil looks strong, and fertile, and every thing appears well, and in good order, though it was rather late before he planted.
The House too, is as neat as wax, and she has five Cows, and is become a fine Dairy Woman. She thinks me but a Novice, when { 294 } compared to her. I am content. I never will contend with her, about superiority. She has been over four or five times and spent the Day with me, but he is such an Oeconimist, and is so busy about his Hay, that he hardly ever could come for her, even at Night. But you say, all this does not answer my question. Why let me tell you, Complexion will not do alone. There must be some corresponding Qualities, alas, alas! I fear your Belcher will prove a true Prophet, for I cannot discern the least prolific Sign.
I beg You and Cousin Nabby would write to Mrs Warren. Friendship cannot bear a supposed slight. Her feelings are keen, she is a Woman of great sensibility. Her good Mind is corroded by Dissappointments of various kinds. By Mr Thaxters Influence, the General was chosen here Leiu. Govenor, this year. I think he had 2 Votes in Boston. This was mortifying I am sure, but when he might, he would not. He affronted the People, by refusing their Suffrages. I will be Ceasar, or nothing will not do for the Massachusetts.
I am perswaded no publick measure, will ever be properly adjusted, till he is in Office. If she does not have a Letter before Fall, I shall absolutely be afraid to see her. Dearly as I love your Letters, I will dispense with one the less, if you have not time, to write to us both. For my part, I think you must be a very extraordinary Oeconimist of your Time, to attend (as Mrs Hay says you do) to ceremony, and every Punctilio, and yet not neglect the weightier Matters, and get so much time to write, and gratify your Friends.
Mr Duncan, is a going to be married very soon to a Newbury Lady, Miss Greanleaf. Lovelace would say, she was in the Tabby Order.11 Mr Duncan has seen her, but three times and was published last week. After the first marriage, Love, (I believe), has but little to do in the nuptial Bonds. Convinience is all.
Mr T. (I believe) is very silent as to a certain Affair, which does him credit, at least, in my Eyes. Mrs Quincy, and her Son, and Deacon Storer, and Lady12 have both made me a visit. And if any-thing material had been said by him, it is likely they would have been informed of it. Mr T. has left Sister Cranch's House, but keeps the Office yet, and has not removed all his Things.
Mr Thaxter was exceedingly overcome at the News of his Sisters Death. It was the first near Relation he ever buried. You know his Nerves are very tender. He heard of it suddenly. Mr Duncan had just come from Boston, and mentioned to him supposing he had received a Letter from his Father. I was in possession of that Letter. { 295 } But knowing he was at Judge Seargeants by Invitation, and that we were all just going out to the Wedding of Mr Porter, and Miss Sukey, I thought it best to deffer giving it to him, and so desired he would come and see me early the next Morning, thinking that no one else would tell him of it. But calling in to present a piece of Plumb Cake to Miss Betsy,13 he was shocked at the Account. It was too sudden a Transition, from Joy, to Grief. The poor Creature with his Heart most broke, came trembling up to me. I endeavoured all in my power to sooth his Mind. But it is Time alone, which only mollifies our Sorrow. He went home, but kept his Chamber, and his Bed chiefly for two or three Days.
I do not think he will be married these Twelve months. It is very difficult getting a House here, and more difficult to get money. But it is the universal Voice. No money, no Cash—I am sure I am tired of it.
Much as I want to see you, I think I ought not to wish Mr Adam's return till he has accomplished the important Buisness he went upon. I wish he had More power, and we were a wiser, and better People.
I have known of no Vessel by which I could send this Letter. It has laid by me, and I fear you will think it is got already to an intolerable Length. I will venture however, to add a little more, about family Matters. When I was in Boston I took of Deacon Storer a Peice of Linnen to make for Thomas, because I had found they wore very strong. I left a part to be made for Charles, but as he is to go to Colledge your peice for him came in season, he will want many more than he would here. Cousin Lucy, and my two Betsy's have made him up five, and I have sent for some of the Cloth which you designed for him. What I got for him was yd wide, and a good penny-worth at four shillings pr yd, but he was so good as to let me have it at 3s. 6d. pr yd.
Next year he must wear blue Coat, and be in a Uniform, but this year, I am thankful it is not necessary, for it would make you a great deal of expence. I have gained a point with him, and have perswaded him to have drawers instead of linings to his small Cloaths, and have made him 2 of linnen, 2 of Cotton, and linnen, and one of Lamb Skins for winter. I have done everything I possibly could, even his winter Cloaths. I cannot think he can want any-thing new, till { 296 } towards Spring. I wish to lighten Sister Cranch as much as possible, for she is not very well. She has the Reumatism, or something that worries her Stomack very much.
We have had a remarkable cool Summer. It is not half the time that I can bear the windows open. Yet the Corn, and things never looked more flourishing. Your Sons went from here the 5th of August, which was almost, the only hot Day we have had.
Tomorrow Mr Shaw carries, and presents your Son to the University—Dear Lad—a Blessing be upon him.14
I think you discover the elegance of your Taste, by the choice of the Things you send Your Friends. Adieu My Dear, kind, Sister. My Love to Mr Adams, present in the most respectful manner, I hope to hear from my Neice that her affectionate Aunt, and your Sister may know how to direct a Letter. Ever yours
[signed] E Shaw
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Shaw 22 july 1786.”
1. Young, Night Thoughts, Night V, lines 807–808.
2. The scripture is from Genesis, 3:19 (“Dust we are . . .”); 1 Corinthians, 15:53 (“that this Mortal . . .”); and John, 12:24 (“Corn of Wheat . . .”).
3. Isaac Smith Jr. courted Elizabeth Smith Shaw in the 1770s (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:529; vol. 1:65).
4. Samuel Cooper Johonnot.
5. Paradise Lost, Book VIII, line 503.
6. John White Sr. and Capt. Benjamin Willis Sr. were the party's hosts. See JQA's account of the day, Diary, 2:71–72.
7. Richard Saltonstall (1703–1756), Harvard 1722, was associate justice of the Superior Court of Judicature from 1736 until his death. His estate in Haverhill, Buttonwoods, bordered the Merrimack River (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 7:117–121; William T. Davis, History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts, Boston, 1900, p. 96).
8. “The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made” (Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village, line 13).
9. JA described the gardens at poet William Shenstone's (1714–1763) estate, The Leasowes, in Shropshire, as “the simplest and plainest, but the most rural of all. I saw no Spot so small, that exhibited such a Variety of Beauties” (D&A, 3:186).
10. David Garrick, the noted actor, received a number of gifts crafted from the mulberry tree supposedly planted by Shakespeare. This is probably a reference to a box showing scenes from Shakespeare, carved by a T. Davis of Birmingham, which the Stratford Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon presented to Garrick on the occasion of a Shakespeare jubilee attended by Garrick in Sept. 1769 (George Winchester Stone Jr. and George M. Kahrl, David Garrick: A Critical Biography, Carbondale, Ill., 1979, p. 453–454).
11. James Duncan, twice a widower, and Hannah Greenleaf of Newburyport married on 5 September. Greenleaf was 57 years old, hence the reference to her being an old maid, or tabby, a phrase used by the character Lovelace in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa (Vital Records of Newburyport, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1911, 2:199; Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1911, 1:196).
12. Abigail Phillips Quincy, widow of Josiah Quincy Jr., “The Patriot,” and their son Josiah Quincy III, the future mayor of Boston (1823–1828) and president of Harvard (1829–1845). Abigail Quincy and Hannah Quincy Storer were sisters-in-law.
13. Elizabeth Duncan, daughter of James Duncan and his first wife, Elizabeth Bell. She and Thaxter would marry in Nov. 1787 (JQA, Diary, 1:321, entry for 8 Sept. 1785, note 1).
14. TBA was admitted to Harvard on 22 Aug. (same, 2:81).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0110

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-07-27

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

N15
When I closed my last to you on Sundey last I promised to give you an account of the excursion we proposed setting off upon the next day, either upon my return or during my visit. A Leasur hour presents itself, this morning and I embrace it to fullfill my engagements. On Monday Morning at Seven oclock, we were in the Carriage, Mr S and my self, at our door in Wimpole Street, from whence we proceeded to Rumford 12 miles from London where we allighted at ten oclock precisely, and orderd breakfast for 5 persons, as Pappa Mamma and Mr Bridgen were to meet us there. We waited till Eleven and then feeling a propensity to sattisfy our appetites we sat down, but before we had proceeded far, they came in. At twelve we were in the Carriage again. Pappa went to Thornton about 2 mills from Rumfd. to see the House of Lord Petres,1 which is said to be worthy the observation of Strangers. Viewing the Houses and Gardens of Noblemen, constitutes one of the principle Summer amusements of this Country, Natives as well as strangers, and the Gardens of all the Nobility are open to the Latter. When Mr J——n was here, at some one of the Gardens which he visitted the Gardener told him he had orders from his Master not to admit Englishmen—but I am not an English man answerd Mr J.—Oh Sir then they are open to you—but What is the reason of your Masters prohibiting Englishmen, from his Gardens?—because Sir he cannot trust them, they will take something with them. The Houses are generally seen only by Tickets from the Owner, which is a mere matter of Form for any person may procure them who will take the Trouble to send for them. I thought as the day was very warm and it was exceedingly dusty that we had better proceed to Mr H——s, which we did, and at 2 oclock, arrived at Mr Thomas Brand Hollis's House at the Hyde in the Town of Torrington in the County of Essex. Mr H received us with politeness civillity and attention, and soon introduced to us Miss Brand his Sister a Single Lady about forty, who keeps his House, which stands, half a mile from the Road, upon a plain. At some distance it seems to be sarrounded with hills, Coverd with wood. The plain before the House consists of feilds, surrouded with hedges, trees in Groves Calfs, &c, scattered over it Cattle and sheep, feeding, and all together forms a pleasing view. At the back of { 298 } the House is the Garden, filled with a variety of Trees shrubs, plants flowers, and, amongst which are many american productions such as furs, of various kinds. It is in a rude wild, but agreeable manner. At the end of the Garden is a Temple on which is this motto, ill repose. A little further amongst the Trees, is a Hermitage, which is rather ancient than elegant. It is dedicated to St []2 of whom I told Mr H I had never before heard. Just before it is a pond, with Gold fishes in it, and at a little distance, the kitchen Garden with in a large high Wall, for Fruit it contains every thing usefull and proper, for a Garden of this kind. Before the House are three other ponds, which have fish of various kinds in them, the ponds are not large, but have an agreeable affect.
The House is very oald but has been repaird. This Gentleman, has, a taste for antiquity, and I suppose he is attached to this House for the reason, of its being, some ages advanced. We must not talk of years in this House, every part of it is a perfect<ly nice and> Cabinet every room, is filld with Some antiquitities, pictures Statues busts Vases, and a variety of other things. You enter at a large Hall, in which are the Busts of several persons, and many other antuiquities on the left to the dining room, which is also ornamented on the Chimney with figures in Bronze, which Mr H shews us, and add, this is two three or more hundred years old. On the right is the drawing Room which Contains several Curiossities. The furnitere is also ancient of yellow damask. There is a Cabinet of Ebony inclos'd with brass, which is Called elegant. This Contains Mr Bridgen tells us, Mr Hollis's hearts Treasure, which I shall tell you of by and by. There is a picture of one of reubens wives, and several other Curious ones, several oramets upon the Chimney of Bronze, Vases &c. Mr H says there is nothing made so beautifull in the present day, but I Confess I have not his taste. In a litle room adjoining called the Boudoier are many more curiossities but I cannot pretend to describe them. Amongs the Number, are pictures of all the Orders of Monks and Nuns in France, each singly in a small [Frem?]. At the bottom is an account of their manner of Life. This was a Collection made by Mr Bridgen, who, gave them to Mr Hollis. In the next room, is Mr H——s Librey, but here nobody ever enters. He told us that he never addmitted any body to his Librey, before we came, and he is particular and Carefull in all his Curiossities.
Pappa and []3 came a little before 4. We dined and after tea took a Walk in the Garden. <I think I Love the Country better every day>.
{ 299 }
We took a ride about 8 mills to Chemsford to see an House which belongs to Lady —— a descendent of Lord Moilerds.4 Mr H admires the artichecture of this House. I Convess it did not strike my fancy so much as many I have seen, the fernitere was ancient and not in so good order as is generally the Case in such large Houses. We returd to dine. The Weather is very warm, at present and almost reminds us of an American season. After dinner we walkd-out as Mr S. amused himself with attempting to take Fish.
In the Morning we took a Walk abut a mile, to see the Gardens and Gronds and House of a Mr Atlen who was a Wine Merchant, in London, by which I suppose he made a great Fortune and has Built him a House and Garden, in a sweet spot.5 Mr Hollis being acquainted with the family sent in to desire to see the Grounds Gardens &c. The Gentleman came out to us and invited us to the House. We went in. Every thing is new, and the House furnitere &c are in a very ellegant Stile. The Lady came to us and was very civil. We walkd to the Garden which is filld with Trees plants Shrubs, flowers, and Fruit. There were two Green Houses, full of Fruit also, peaches Apricots Grapes, and a variety of others. And after rambling Some time in the Gardens we returnd home, through a gravel Walk, of half a mile in extent, on each Side of Which are trees whose Branches meet at the Top, and make an fine shade. At the end of the Walk is a pond with fish, from which is an ascent on either side. In front upon a litle rising there is a temple, which is very pretty. The Whole is indeed a sweet spot. This walk led us into Mr Holliss Ground, and we soon returnd to his House pleased with our excursion, dressd and at 4 dined. After dinner, we went to visit Mr H——s Gardner, whose House is a few yards from Mr H——s. He is very curious in Bees, shew us several Hives, and gave us a Lecture upon their form of Government Laws, &c. He has allways been a great friend to the Americans, and was vastly Happy to see us in his Cottage. In short every person belonging to this family Seem to have imbibed a degree of the Masters Taste. An oald Faithfull domestick6 who reminded me of the Character of le [Banq?] invited us to see his Garden. It was in the same stile. He had also, a Collection of antiquities and Curiossities in his Way, which were Curious and amuseing.
{ 300 }
Pappa having a great curiossity to see Braintree which lies only 18 Mills from this, set of this Morning with Mamma to visit it. We amused ourselvs in the Morning with fishing, and walking, but could ceatch no fish large enough to eat, so they were only removed from one pond to another still enjoying their Lives Liberty. At 2 Pappa and Mamma returnd not much pleased with the appearance of the Town they had been to visit. Mr H told us it was a Poer dirty miserable village and such they found it.
After dinner Mr Hollis gave Pappa a Lecture upon antuiquitys, and Curiossities to which we were silent spectators and Listeners. The Ebony Cabinet was Opened, of Which I promised you an account. On the middle shelfe, in the Center was containd in a brass Case the Bust of Milton, which was surrounded on each side by 4 or five of the first additions of his own works. <he was an acquaintance friend of Mr Hollis's for whom he has great respect>. When he had finishd his Lecture upon the Contents of this Cabinet he opend another and shew us several curiossities Medalls, and figeures, of varias kinds several Boks, as oald as the Pales to Use a Common expression.7 Amongst the rest was a Cook Book, &c, Henry Sixth.
At Nine in the Morning we left Mr H. House, much pleased with our visit, and proceeded on our way to Grosvenor Square, where we arrived at 3 oclock, and found a Packet or two from Mr J—— Containing news Papers, and promises of writing by the next Ship.8
I like such excursions as these into the County. But to go, mere, because it is the fashion, to ride all day, and to dine and Lodge at some dirty village, where you can neither eat drink or sleep with any degree of sattisfaction, is not my Taste yet this is practiced by many, others who, dare not be so unfashionable as to stay in London, go to Brighthamstone9 and only quit one scene of dissipation for another but it is the fashion, and, all must follow.
By the Packet which Pappa found upon his return, Containd the ratification of the Prusian Treaty, and as it was a good oppertunity for Mamma to visit Holland they set off, the Thursday following, 3d of August for the Hague.
Wedensday Pappa went to the Levee to take Leave of the King previous to his going to H. which is a point of Etiqueette not to be dispenced with.
{ 301 } { 302 }
A strange affair happened to day at St Jamess as the King was getting out of his Carriage at the Doer of the Pallace a Woman, apperd with a Paper in her hand which she said was a Petition to the King, which she requested of the Gauards she might be permitted to deliver. And when the Carrige came up, as the King was steping out She presented the Petition which the King took, and discover'd a knife which she was, advanceing towards him but being perceived by the Guards She was immediately taken. His Majesty tis said desired she might not be Hurt as he was not injurd. This request prevented her being torn in peices by the Guards and she was taken into Custody and is said to be Insane. Her name is Margaret Nicolson. She has since been examined, and is to be tried in a few days. It is Supposd She will be Confind in a priests Mad House for Life.10
We have heard from Pappa and Mamma twice since they left London, once since their arrival at the Hague. Mamma complains of the Passage. She was also disappointed on her arrival at finding Madam and Mademoiselle Dumas absent, at their Country House in Guilderland. Mamma paid a visit to the Lady of Sir James Haris who is the Minister from this Court to that Country and the only one who has a Lady.11 In a few Hours, she returd Mammas visit and they were invited to dine with them the next day. I have observed that Gentlemen in publick Characters from this Country, are more civil and polite in a Foreign Country than in their owns. The Duke of D—— was You know, very civil to Pappa in France,12 but the last Summer when he was here and also this, he does not even return a visit made him.
In short America and Americans are so out of Fashion at present, at the fountain Head, that no one dare be so excentrick as to cultivate or even make any kind of advances towards civility. Foreigners ask—do these people, ask their King, whom they shall be acquainted with. I see so little Liberallity of Sentiment So little Good manners, or even common civillity that I am quite sick of the Country. Or rather of the People, and it is not confined to the Natives of this Land alone, but appears to me that every Creature who comes to reside in the County, <gets in thre weeks> imbibes with the Air they breathe the illiberallity which exists, in the atmosphere.
The Conversation of the Day, and indeed since I wrote you, has been upon His Majestys Wonderfull marevolous and happy excape, yet It does not seem to have been made so serious an affair of as { 303 } might have been expected. It has been observed in the Papers, that Mr Adams left the Kingdom the very day after the attempt was made upon his Majestys Life. These people are below contempt. If you see the English Papers you will find much said upon the Princes late change, upon the Kings refusing any augmentation to his income. He took the resolution to appropriate 30 thosand a year to the payment of his Debts, and to Live upon 20. Some suggest that Mrs F—— has had this influence over him. The King and Prince are very generally applauded the former for his refusal, and the Latter for his firmness, in not only submitting to the Will of the sovereign, but in useing these means to pay his debts. His household has been dismissd and his Horses all sold. He is now at Brighthamstone. It is said that his going to Windsor to Congratulate the King upon his excape, that the king would not see him. Some suggest that serias consequences may ensue from the Kings displeasure towards him. Misteries which must explain themselves are not worth the time that it would take to unravell them.
Dr Cutting and Mr Shipping from Philadelphia arrived here about a forghtnight since. They propose passing some time in Studying in the Temple.13 The Dr has improved much I think he does not Laugh above once in a visit. Mr S, I had seen in Boston some years agone. He is a modest young Man, a Son of Dr Shippens of Philadelphia. I inquird about Madame B——m. Poor Lady, she is showing away, and without a single Competitor. How extremely mortifying for in this Situation you know there will be no inducement to go a Step higher. She says that in the Circle of her own family she shall be happy, but out of that she expects no pleasure in America.

[salute] Finisd August 22d 86.

1. For JA's description of Thorndon Hall, the seat of Robert Edward Petre, 9th baron Petre, see D&A, 3:196.
2. Blank in MS.
3. Blank in MS.
4. Lady Anne Hervey Mildmay, widow of Sir William Mildmay, of Moulsham Hall (JA, D&A, 3:197; Enid Robbie, The Forgotten Commissioner: Sir William Mildmay and the Anglo-French Commission of 1750–1755, East Lansing, Mich., 2003, p. 221, 242, note 18).
5. In his Diary, JA identifies the property as “Mill Green, or Mill Hill,” the home of Mr. Allen, a London banker (3:199).
6. John, the coachman (AA to JQA, 27 Sept., below).
7. Possibly “old as Pauls,” a reference to the steeple of Old St. Paul's Cathedral in London. This phrase was commonly used in response to someone who pretended that something common or out-of-date was unique (Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, comp. William George Smith, 2d edn., Oxford, 1948).
8. John Jay to JA, 6 June (Adams Papers).
9. Brighthelmstone, or Brighton (The Edinburgh Gazetteer, 6 vols., Edinburgh, 1822).
{ 304 }
11. Sir James Harris (1746–1820), Earl of Malmesbury, served Great Britain in a succession of diplomatic posts, as ambassador to Spain, Prussia, Russia, and the Netherlands, and as a member of Parliament. He married Harriet Mary Amyand in 1777; she was the daughter of the late London merchant and banker Sir George Amyand and Anna Maria Corteen (DNB; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:20–21, 589–590).
12. For the Adamses' acquaintance with John Sackville, Duke of Dorset, while in France, see vol. 6:41, 84, 106 , 108 , 151–152.
13. Thomas Lee Shippen was the only son of Dr. William Jr. and Alice Lee Shippen of Philadelphia (William Shippen Jr. to JA, 26 July, Adams Papers; DAB). Cutting was charged with delivering a letter from Alice Shippen to AA in Aug. 1781 (vol. 4:204, 205).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0111

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Rogers, Abigail Bromfield
Date: 1786-07-30

Abigail Adams to Abigail Bromfield Rogers

[salute] My dear Madam

When I returnd yesterday from a litle excursion which we had made for a week into the Country of Essex to the seat of mr Brand Hollis, an excelent Englishman I had the pleasure of finding your obliging favour of june 4th.1 Mrs Copley had informd me a fortnight before of your safe arrival. I must congratulate you upon setting your foot again upon American ground. To Say that I love it above all other countries is only imitating the passion common to all Nations, each of which has something to endear it to its Natives, something which he prizes beyond what he can find elsewhere. Such are the friendships We form and the habits we contract in early youth. We do not easily part with what we look to as our solace and comfort, even tho we suffer a partial Seperation.
I am Sorry to find that you met with any thing to give pain when you ought to have received commendation and satisfaction. The first impressions here upon mr Rogers's departure were not favourable to him or to the character of Americans. Many censured him who had nothing to do in the matter. Mr Adams uniformly justified him, and your Friend always advocated for his conduct. A very little time however silenced those who were the first to complain and the remittances which arrived soon after mr Rogers's departure turnd the tables, and each one was wondering why he went away, and wishing he had staid. Such was the conversation I frequently heard repeated, so that I do not think but mr Rogers's credit here is in as high estimation as it was in the most Prosperous time of commerce.
I miss you much I assure you and shall always esteem those hours Spent with you as some of the pleasentest I have known in England. I hope your Health will not be injured by your voyage, and that you will find mrs L []2 for whom I have been much concernd, re• { 305 } coverd from her illness. My Regards to her whenever you meet. I do not Say compliments my esteem for her deserves a name more expressive.
Your Young Friend writes you by a New Name.3 Mrs Copley can tell you that she was witness to the change. May it prove, as it at present appears productive of happiness.
I Shall always rejoice to hear from you. My Regards to mr Rogers, who I believe was formd on purpose for you and was more fortunate than the Souls which dr Watts tells us who lost their fellows on the road and never join their hands.4 Mr Adams joins in wishes for your Health and happiness with Your Friend
[signed] AA
1. Not found.
2. Blank in MS.
3. No letter from AA2 to Abigail Bromfield Rogers has been found.
4. Isaac Watts, “The Indian Philosopher,” lines 35–39: “Then down he sent the souls he made, / To seek them bodies here: / But parting from their warm abode / They lost their fellows on the road, / And never join'd their hands.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0112

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1786-07-31

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] My dear Sir

This moment my cousin W. S. Letter of june 28th1 is come to hand containing the melancholy tidings of the death of my dear Aunt, which has greatly afflicted me, and renderd me unfit to offer to you that consolation which I need at this moment myself. That I am a most Sincere Sympathizer with you, and all your family in this afflictive dispensation no one can doubt who knew her as I knew her, and who loved her as I loved her. She was to me a second Parent, and the Law of kindness and Hospitality was written upon her Heart. Nor was her benevolence confined to her kindred and Relatives, but she Streched out her bountifull hand to the poor and the needy. When the Eye saw her it blessed her and the ear gave witness to her.2 By a Life of piety towards God and good will to her fellow Creatures she laid up for herself a sure reward which she is now gone to receive. I know not a better Character than hers. As Such I shall ever revere her memory.
To you my dear and honourd uncle I wish every consolation which Religion can afford, for that is the only fountain to which we can repair when bowed down with distress. My Love to all my afflicted cousins for whom I feel more than I can express. I will write them when my mind feels more composed.

[salute] I am Dear Sir most Affectionately Yours

[signed] A Adams
{ 306 }
RC ((MHi: Smith-Carter Papers)); addressed by WSS: “Isaac Smith Esquire Boston Pr Capt. Callihan”; endorsed: “London. July. 1786 A Adams.”
1. No letter from William Smith of this date has been found.
2. An adaptation of Job, 29:11: “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0113

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-08-01

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Sir

Mr Adams receivd yesterday your obliging favour of june 28th1 by way of Liverpool. His Eyes which I sometimes fear will fail him, have a weakness oweing to too intense application, which is very troublesome to him, and this being now the case, he will not be able to write his Friends as he wishes. I have to thank you for him, the intelligence which your Letter contains ought to make our Countrymen wise. I think they were so in refusing the offers made them and they may serve to convince them of the importance which the Whale fishery is considerd in Europe.
The French as a Nation do not wish our Prosperity more than the English, only as they have sense enough to See that every indulgence stipulated to us, is a thorn in the Side of the English.
The Parliament is up, and every body is fled from the city into the Country to reemit their Strength and Spirits, exhausted by pleasure and buisness. We shall hear very little of politicks till next winter, and by that time I hope congress will have establishd a system which will render them more respected abroad. And I would add an other wish; which is that they would adjourn, and when they do meet take care to be fully represented. They would go to buisness with more spirit. Through the neglect of the States a Treaty with Prussia which was received by them last october was never ratified till june and arrived here only within a few Days of the times expiring for the exchange. Prussia having no minister either here or in France, obliges mr Adams to go imediately to the Hague to prevent the whole treaty's falling through.2 As this presents a good opportunity for Seeing the Country, I Shall accompany him there. We expect to be absent a Month. Col Smith we leave charge des affairs in our absence.
I am afflicted at the loss of an other dear relative and affectionate Aunt. When we reach the Meridian of Life, if not before one Dear Friend or other is droping of, till we lose all that makes life desir• { 307 } able. She was a most valuable woman, I loved her like a Parent. I have frequently recollected what my uncle Said to me the morning I left his House. You will never I fear said he see your Aunt again. And I had the same apprehensions as I have lookd upon her Health in a very precarious Situation for several Years. That we may not neglect the main object of Life, a preparation for death is the constant wish of your ever affectionate Neice
[signed] AA
1. Not found.
2. JA and Jefferson enclosed the Prussian-American treaty of amity and commerce to John Jay, the secretary for foreign affairs, in a letter dated 2 and 11 Oct. 1785. Jay submitted it to Congress on 9 Feb., and it was ratified on 17 May. By Art. 27 of the treaty, the Prussian and American ratifications had to be exchanged within one year of the treaty's signing, which had been completed on 10 Sept. 1785. JA traveled to the Netherlands to exchange the ratifications with Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Thulemeyer, Prussian minister to The Hague, with whom he had also negotiated the original treaty in 1784–1785 (Jefferson, Papers, 8:606; JCC, 30:61, note 1; Miller, Treaties, 2:162, 182–184).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0114

Author: Adams, John
Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1786-08-05

John and Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear Sir

After a very pleasant Journey, here We are. We came very leisurely, dined the first day at Ingatestone and Slept at Witham, dined Yesterday at Mistley (Mr Rigbys Seat very near) and Slept where We now are, in full View of the Land Guard Fortification, with a fair Sun and fine Breeze. Our Carriage is on Board. As Fortune will have it, Hearn is the Captain. It is my third Passage with him. The two first were tedious,1 this I hope will be otherwise. The Agent for the Packetts called upon Us last night, in Consequence of Mr Frasers Letter.2 Ld Walthams Seat,3 and Mr Rigbys, We wished to ramble in. Rigbys looks at a fine Cove of Salt Water. As this Farm has been watered and manured with the Effluvia of an hundred Millions of Money, being the Nerves of the American War, it might have been more magnificent. It is a fine Seat.4 My Love to my dear Mrs Smith. Mamma sends her Love to you both.
We passed a pretty Seat, of the Family of Hoar, perhaps the Same with that of President Hoar, once of Harvard Colledge.5
At the Sign of the 3 cups, a tolerable House where a better is not to be had, with a fine view of the water from 3 windows, and a memento mori from the fourth, viz a burying Ground and church with { 308 } in half a rod of us. We are now Setting at the Breakfast table. Pappa having told you where we stopd dined Slept &c has left nothing for me to say excepting that he twic mounted Johns Horse and rode 7 miles twice, which you See by computation makes 14 ms. In concequence of a Letter from the Secretary of states office the captain is obliged to give us the great cabin to ourselves for which we must make him a compliment of 10 Guineys and 7 for the Carriage. We concluded as there were 10 other passengers one being a Lady, that if any of them were very sick we could not (doing as we would be done by), refuse them admittance. So it was as well not to retain it, as the captain promisd me a small room by myself. The Country from London to Harwich is very delightfull, we were not much incomoded with dust. We found a card at woods, from mr Hollis requesting us to call on him and take a dinner or Bed &c. We reachd woods about 2 oclock orderd our dinner and walkd to the Hide. Mr Hollis received us with great Hospitality, and miss Brands countanance shone. She treated us with some cake, we Sat an hour took our leave and dined at Woods. Esther sighd this morning as she was dressing me and said, how strange it seems not to have Mrs Smith with us. I had felt it strange through the whole journey—one must be weaned by degrees. I hope you are very happy, you cannot be otherways whilst you continue to have the disposition to be so. Look in if you please once a week at our House, and let me know that it continues to Stand in Grosvenour Square adieu. Your affectionately
[signed] AA
RC (MHi: De Windt Collection); addressed by JA: “To William S Smith Esqr Charge des Affaires of the United States of America Wimpole Street No. 16. London”; endorsed: “Harwich August 5th. 1786 Jno. Adams Ansd. 8th.”; stamped: “7 AU” and “[H]arwich.”
1. JA and JQA sailed from Harwich to Hellevoetsluis in Jan. 1784. In August of the same year JA made the opposite voyage, alone, to join AA, AA2, and JQA, who had preceded him, in London (JA, D&A, 3:152, 170).
2. William Fraser (Frazier) was undersecretary of state for foreign affairs in Lord Carmarthen's office (Jefferson, Papers, 8:302). The letter has not been identified.
3. New Hall, the seat of Drigue Billers Olmius (1746–1787), 2d baron Waltham in the Irish peerage, was located in Boreham, Essex (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:225).
4. Mistley Hall, on the River Stour, was owned by Richard Rigby (1722–1788). As paymaster general of the forces, 1768–1782, Rigby controlled vast sums of public funds. The office was reformed in 1782 and Rigby accused of personally profiting from the monies under his control. Although he agreed to repay the outstanding balances, the public was still owed £156,000 three years after his death (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:354–360).
5. To this point, the letter is written by JA. The remainder is written by AA. Rev. Leonard Hoar (ca. 1630–1675), third president of Harvard College (1672–1675), was born in Gloucestershire, England. He came to Massachusetts as a child with his family, gradu• { 309 } ated at Harvard in 1650, returned to England in 1653, and preached at Wanstead, Essex, until 1662. In 1672, he accepted an invitation to preach at the Old South Church and returned to Boston. Soon thereafter he was named president of Harvard (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 1:228–252; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0115

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-08

William Stephens Smith to John and Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

We were pleased by the receipt of yours of the 5th. inst. from Harwich, to find that your jaunt to that period and place had proved so agreable, you have our earnest wishes for its continuance. But we have been apprehensive since, that the fine Sun and fair Brieze which invited you on board in the morning, forsook you before, you had crossed the Channel. At this place, the after part of the day lowered, and it closed with light gusts and some rain, which continued thro, the night and part of Sunday, from this we were prevented from going to Church as usual, but our Prayers for your safety were equally fervent and as for Sermons, we had enough agreable to former allowance to last us a month, for we seated ourselves like sober people in the drawing room and read 4. Inclosed I send you a Letter from Mr. Rutledge of Charlestown South Carolina, introducing Doctor Moyes.1 He dined with us yesterday in Company with Dr. Price, Mr. Hartley and Major Langborne. The Day passed very agreable the two Philosophers were much pleased with each other and their conversation entertaining and instructive. They left us between 9 and ten. Very shortly after I was beat at a game of Chess—by the dear Lady you desire your Love to, she returns it with all the warmth of an honest heart. There has nothing new transpired since your departure. Margaret Nicholson is still in confinement and furnishes Paragraphs and Prints. His Majesty is highly applauded for his presence of mind and humanity on the occasion, and the Prince of whales is said to have discovered great filial affection, in the expedition with which he flew to congratulate his Royal Father, on his escape. This shews his goodness of heart, and must encrease (if possible) that public admiration which has been exccited by his other virtues. A Card in the general advertiser of this Morning after Stating the general joy which pervades all ranks of People and the numberless addresses which are preparing to be presented, say's, let us add our mite to the general Joy. We rejoice that his Majesty's Life has been preserved amidst a host of enemies, both open and secret. May his future reign enable him to forget the national calamities of { 310 } late years in the full enjoyment of peace and happiness and every Comfort, that a good Citizen can wish a good King.
So my good madam you were seated in a tolerable good House—with 3 Cups—at the breakfast table, with water in abundance—&c &c—but why did you bring in the memento mori—the burying ground and Church. I recollect when I was at that same house, I walk'd in that burying Ground and visited that Church, but thought more of you and your Dear Daughter than of either. But it has come to a happy period and I am contented and pleased. I sometimes wish for her sake, more Company and amusement. For myself, I wish for no other while I can please and amuse her. She is every thing I can wish in a Companion. If she was a little fonder of talking She would exceed the rest of her sex too much perhaps. We miss you and Papa very much and count the hours untill you return. You astonish us, thwice 7 Miles you say he appeard on the Back of Johns Horse, and did he Live? Well there is no Knowing what a body can do, before they try. On your return if the experiment should extend to twice 14, we'll both get hobby horses and Canter to Pain's Hill while you two Lady's are diverting yourselves in the Chariot with our bouncing &c. &c. Poor Esther sigh'd, and repeated the first verse in the Chapter of Lamentation.2 It was in unison with your feelings, and No. 16 Wimpole Street about the same moment echoed something we could not tell what. But we must not indulge it, for this greif according to Sr. John Falstaff . . .3 and is a terrible thing—adieu heaven bless you. My dear Abbey joins me in Love to you and Pappa. I am yours jointly and seperately I have made such a jumble of this that I can scarcely with any grace bring in the name of
[signed] W. S. Smith
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by AA: “Col Smith August 8th 1786.”
1. Dr. Henry Moyes, a blind Scotsman, traveled the eastern seaboard of the United States, 1784–1786, delivering a series of lectures on the philosophy of chemistry and natural history. He lectured in Charleston in April and May before sailing for Britain (Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1956, p. 284–286; Jefferson, Papers, 8:51; Massachusetts Centinel, 20 May; Boston Independent Ledger, 5 June). The letter of introduction, from either Edward or John Rutledge, has not been found.
2. Lamentations, 1:1: “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!”
3. Thus in MS. According to Sir John Falstaff, “A plague of sighing and grief! It blows a man up like a bladder” (Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, scene iv, lines 365–366).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0116

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-08-08

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams Smith

You know, Amelia, I am never backward in writing my friends: therefore, when I tell you that I have four of your favours by me unanswered,1 I trust you will not lay the blame on my good will. Some of them were received where I could neither acknowledge them myself, nor had I one to do it for me, and the others came at an inconvenient time. Be persuaded, however, that the will is good, (as, indeed, it ever is in respect to you,) and no evil thought will rise up against your friend. * * * * *2
I am perfectly of your mind, Amelia, in regard to Europe. There certainly is something like fascination attending our acquaintance with it, and for my own part I must confess that a ten year's ramble through it would hardly satisfy me. There is that constant variety which must amuse, for we poor mortals have a deal of curiosity, one and all of us, however we may pretend to deny it. Some are diverted one way, some another; yet, though the means be directly opposed, the one to the other, the principle remains the same. I have no doubt but you would be highly gratified in a tour upon the continent, and I wish you may; it would be a source of very pleasing reflection ever after. But hush upon this subject, or I shall raise desires I may not be able to comply with.
My hints respecting what was said of you at New-York3 were not mal apropôs it seems, though I must confess I had no idea of their being applicable to you at the time. I understand you, when you say “you may perhaps make us a visit here sometime within two or three years,” though it is not speaking so plainly as you might have done. You have my best wishes, however, for every happiness.
The slippers you sent to Maria please her exactly. You will therefore accept her thanks, with mine, for them. You need not be concerned about the paying for them, I shall take due care of that.
You speak of Mr. Jefferson's being with you in March. Entre nous—did he ever mention receiving the books I sent him just before I left London, by your papa's advice? I ask because I am much disappointed in not having any acknowledgement of them from him, which I pleased myself with having.4 The velvet dress you speak of I received but a few weeks ago, via L'Orient. Though plain and simple, 'tis, I think, beautiful, as are most of the French dresses; our opinions correspond in this I believe.
{ 312 }
I wish, Amelia, it had been in my power to have met you at Stamford the day you mentioned to have rode out. How surprised you would have been to have seen me on the terrace. But, alas! those days are all over, past and gone! and I am going to enter on another line of life, altogether new and strange.
I saw your brother Charles yesterday in town. I asked him to dine. He was going to Cambridge. I spent the evening out, and when I returned home I was told that he was there and was gone to bed. This was acting on the friendly principle which pleases me much, I assure you. You have written to him on this subject, I fancy, else I shall be better pleased, it being his own choice. He staid with us most of the forenoon, and I hope he was not dissatisfied with his visit.
Your aunt Shaw I have not seen since last winter, though I have your uncle, who was at commencement. All our friends at Braintree are in usual health, as are those in town. Every thing here wears but a gloomy appearance at present, though there are many who try their utmost to be gay. There are many who are flirting about in silk and satin, but who have a sorrowful, aching heart, I am very sure. As for me, I am going to retire from this society while I can do it with a good grace. If success attends me, it will fully compensate for the sacrifice; if not, there will ever be a satisfaction in having acted as I thought right.
Write to me, and be assured it will afford particular pleasure, in his retirement, to
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:50–53.)
1. Letters not found. They probably included AA2's letters “No: 3 and 4, both of May” acknowledged by Storer in his letter to AA of 21 July, above.
2. Thus in MS.
3. For Storer's comments on how the ladies of New York envied AA2's social opportunities in England, see vol. 6:465.
4. No record of Jefferson's receipt of books from Storer appears in Jefferson, Papers.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0117-0001

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-09

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

It is an age since I have had the honor of a letter from you, and an age and a half since I presumed to address one to you. I think my last was dated in the reign of king Amri, but under which of his successors you wrote, I cannot recollect. Ochosias, Joachaz, Manahem or some such hard name.1 At length it is resumed: I am honoured with your favor of July 23. and I am at this moment writing an answer to it, and first we will dispatch business. The shoes you or• { 313 } dered, will be ready this day and will accompany the present letter. But why send money for them? you know the balance of trade was always against me. You will observe by the inclosed account that it is I who am to export cash always, tho' the sum has been lessened by the bad bargains I have made for you and the good ones you have made for me. This is a gaining trade, and therefore I shall continue it, begging you will send no more money here. Be so good as to correct the inclosed that the errors of that may not add to your losses in this commerce. You were right in conjecturing that both the gentlemen might forget to communicate to me the intelligence about captn. Stanhope. Mr Adams's head was full of whale oil, and Colo. Smith's of German politics,2 (—but don't tell them this—) so they left it to you to give me the news. De tout mon coeur, I had rather receive it from you than them. This proposition about the exchange of a son for my daughter puzzles me. I should be very glad to have your son, but I cannot part with my daughter. Thus you see I have such a habit of gaining in trade with you that I always expect it. We have a blind story here of somebody attempting to assassinate your king. No man upon earth has my prayers for his continuance in life more sincerely than him. He is truly the American Messias, the most precious life that ever god gave, and may god continue it. Twenty long years has he been labouring to drive us to our good, and he labours and will labour still for it if he can be spared. We shall have need of him for twenty more. The Prince of Wales on the throne, Lansdowne and Fox in the ministry, and we are undone! We become chained by our habits to the tails of those who hate and despise us. I repeat it then that my anxieties are all alive for the health and long life of the king. He has not a friend on earth who would lament his loss so much and so long as I should. Here we have singing, dauncing, laugh, and merriment. No assassinations, no treasons, rebellions nor other dark deeds. When our king goes out, they fall down and kiss the earth where he has trodden: and then they go to kissing one another, and this is the truest wisdom. They have as much happiness in one year as an Englishman in ten. The presence of the queen's sister enlivens the court. Still more the birth of the princess.3 There are some little bickerings between the king and his parliament, but they end with a sic volo, sic jubeo.4 The bottom of my page tells me it is time for me to end with assurances of the affectionate esteem with which I have the honor to be, dear Madam, your most obedient & most humble servant
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson August 9th 1786.” Enclosure (Adams Papers); notation by Jefferson: “Mrs. Adams.”
1. Omri, Ochosias, Joachaz, and Menahem, kings of Israel in the 10th–8th centuries b.c.
2. See JA to Jefferson, 16 July, and WSS to Jefferson, 18 July (Jefferson, Papers, 10:140–141, 152–155).
3. Sophie Hélène Béatrix, the fourth and last child of Marie Antoinette, was born in July; she died in 1787 (Dorothy Moulton Mayer, Marie Antoinette, The Tragic Queen, N.Y., 1969, p. 158, 161).
4. So I wish it, so I command.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0117-0002

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-09

Enclosure: Account between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams

Mrs. Adams to Th: J.

Dr.
          s      
1785.   June 2.   To paid Petit     173.   8      
  Aug. 17.   To pd mr Garvey's bill     96.   16.   6    
  Nov.   To cash by Colo. Smith.     768.   0.   0    
1786.   Jan. 5.   To pd Barin for Suortout de dessert & figures &c     264.   17.   6    
  Feb.27.   To pd for shoes for miss Adams     24.        
  Mar. 5.   To pd for sundries viz.            
               
               
      12. aunes de dentelle   96          
      une paire de barbes   36.          
      4. aunes of cambric   92.          
      4. do.   60   284.   0.   0      
        1611.   2.   0    
               
        £   s   d    
(reckoning 24. livres at 20/sterl.)     being 67.   2.   7   sterl.  
               
Mar. [April] 9.   To balance of expences of journey between mr Adams & myself   8.   9.   4   1/2  
        75   11.   11   1/2  
Cr.
                £   s   d  
1785.   Oct. 12.   By pd insurance on Houdon's life           32.   11.   0  
1786.   Jan. 10.   By damask table cloth & napkins           7.   0.   0  
      2. pr nut crackers               4.   0  
      £   s              
      2. peices Irish linen @ 4/.   8.   14              
      making 12. shirts   1.   16              
      buttons, thread, silk     3              
      washing     3.   6            
      a trunk   1.   1         11.   17.   6  
{ 315 } | view
  Apr. 9.   By pd for 9. yards of muslin @ 11/           4.   19.   0  
    12.   By do. for 21. yds Chintz @ 5/6             5.   15.   6  
    By pd for 25. yds linen @ 4/   £5.       }   for mr Short  
    for making 7. shirts   1.   6.   6  
                6.   6.   6  
    By pd for altering 12. shirts               6.   6  
    Balance           6.   11.   11   1/2  
              75.   11.   11   1/2  
The content of notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson August 9th 1786.” Enclosure (Adams Papers); notation by Jefferson: “Mrs. Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0118

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-08-11

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear

Your papa and I wrote you from Harwich the morning we embarked for Helvoet, the wind was very fair, and we went on board at 3 o clock, a vessel very commodious for passengers, clean, and the least offensive of any that I was ever in. But the passage is a most disagreeable one, and after being on board 18 or 20, hours one might as well proceed on a voyage to America, for I do not think I suffered more from Sea sickness, then than now, yet I layed myself down the moment I went on board, and never rose till eight o clock the next morning. It is a hundred and twenty miles across, the vessel went before the wind, and the sea was very heavy and rough, there were 17 passengers, most of whom were sick. In short I dread the return, and we are not without some thoughts of going round to Calais. The House on this side is very bad, as I slept none and had suffered much I could have wished to have gone to bed, but I saw no temptation to it. I thought the pleasure ought to be great in viewing the Country to compensate for the pain and fatigue. We determined to proceed to Rotterdam, and sent to procure horses and postillions for the purpose, after some delay came the horses with ropes2 tied to their tails, and two great heavy clumsy whiffing Dutch men, who took their own way in spite of us. They have no saddles to their horses, so that we were obliged to take John into the carriage; my band-box the coach-man insisted he would set upon, as { 316 } a drivers seat, nor could all our entreaties, prevent him, the other mounted the leading horse without any saddle, thus equipped we set of. After proceeding a slow jog of about three miles an hour the fellow, who was on the fore horse overtook a companion, who was going to visit a friend about six miles distant, he jumped down and ordered the band-box coach man to drive on, and he and his companion took a seat behind the carriage jabbering and smoking all the way, stopping at every village to take a glass of gin. I felt very wroth, but your Papa assured me there was no remedy but patience, we had only 24 miles to go in order to reach Rotterdam, this took up the whole day, the roads being bad. The whole Country is a meadow and has a very singular appearance, what are called the dykes are roads raised above the canals, upon each side of which are planted rows of Willow Trees. I inquired frequently, for the great road supposing we were travelling some bye path, but found the whole Country the same till we reached Rotterdam. The Villages are scattered through the Country, and the meanest Cottage has a neatness which indicates good husbandry, the people appear well clothed, well fed, and well smoked; I do not mean that their complexions are unusually dark, I think them rather fair, but whether riding, or walking, rowing or otherwise employed, a long or a short pipe occupies them all. We reached Rotterdam about eight o clock, and put up for the night, at a tolerable Inn near the market, in which is a Statue, in Bronze of Erasmus who was a native of that place. The Country every where appears fertile. On Tuesday morning we set out for this place, which we reached about twelve o clock. We stopped at an Inn to get Lodgings, but were told that the whole house was taken up for Prince Ferdinand, brother to the Emperor,3 who was expected hourly; We then proceeded to the next best Inn, called the Marshal Turenne, where we now are. After adjusting our affairs, your Papa went in search of Mr Dumas, whom he soon found, but Alas, how unfortunate, Madam and Mademoiselle were gone to their Country house in Guilderland. I depended much on Miss Dumas, but fear I shall not see her. On Wednesday your Papa made his visits, and I made mine, to Lady Harris. The only minister who has a Lady here is the English, she returned my visit in a few hours, and we were invited to dine with them the next day, which was yesterday, accordingly we went. Sir James appears a friendly, social man, his Lady, who is about twenty five, is handsome, sociable, gay, she has fine eyes, and a delicate complexion. She asked me { 317 } about Mrs B——g,4 said Sir James had told her that she was very handsome. She has three fine children here, and one in England, she was married at seventeen. On Saturday we are to sup with the French Ambassador,5 and dine with him on Sunday. Your Papa dines with the Prussian minister on Saturday, and on Monday we propose going to Leyden where we shall spend a day or two, and proceed to Amsterdam, to pass the remainder of the week, the beginning of the week after we shall set our faces homeward. The Hague is quite desolate, the Court being all absent with the Prince. I forgot to mention to you the honour we received at Helvoet, viz, the ringing of the bells, and a military guard to wait upon us. We went one day to Delft to see the church, in which is a monument, and marble Statue of William the 1st. Prince of Orange, which is executed in a masterly style. On one hand is justice, on the other liberty, religion, and prudence, behind him stands Fame with her trumpet reaching forward, and balancing herself upon one toe. The figure is very expressive and cost as I was informed twelve thousand Ducat's. At the foot of William lies the marble statue of the dog who died for grief at the tomb of his master. Here is also a fine monument and Statue of Grotius, but I shall leave nothing to tell you when I return if I spin out my letter much longer, you see by its rough dress that I have neither pens or patience to Copy. We are going to the play and the necessary article of tea, obliges me to close. I hope to hear from you soon, direct under cover to Mr Dumas, as I know not where we shall be, it will be sufficient if you read this to the Col. I feel too proud to let him see it. I want to get back, yet have some curiosity to see all that this Country offers first. Your Papa says he ought to write to Billy as well as I to Nabby. Adieu Papa calls to tea again, and you know, that I must hasten. Love to you all and a Kiss for Billy. Yours
[signed] A. A.
Tr in ABA's hand (Adams Papers); notation in CFA's hand: “A. A to her daughter. Mrs W. S. Smith.” CFA made some minor corrections in ABA's transcription. Printed in (AA2, Jour. & Corr., 2:60–64). The Tr is preferred because it includes several brief passages omitted in the printed text. The sole case where the printed text contains words not in the Tr is noted.
1. The Adamses arrived at The Hague from Rotterdam on Tuesday the 8th. AA makes it clear later in the letter that she wrote it on the 11th, the day after she and JA dined with Sir James and Lady Harris.
2. The printed text has “reins and ropes.”
3. Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Modena (1754–1806).
4. Anne Willing Bingham.
5. Charles Olivier de Saint Georges, Marquis de Vérac, French ambassador to the Netherlands from 1785 to 1787 (Repertorium, 3:126). See also AA to JQA, 27 Sept. , below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0119

Author: Brown, Elizabeth Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-11

Elizabeth Otis Brown to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

As I have been in Daily expectations of seeing London, I have defered answering your Letter,1 meaning to pay my respects in person. But seeing by the Papers Mr: Adams is just on the eve of his departure for Spain2 I have taken up my pen to request the favour of you to inform me whether you have heard from Mr: or Mrs: Warren since you wrote last, I still remain in the same situation I was then in, not having heard since last August. Mr: Brown proposes being in London in the course of a Month when I mean to accompany him and if you are then in Town I will do myself the pleasure to call on you. My Compt: and best wishes attend you Mr: A. and Your Daughter and I am Madam Yr: Humbl: Servt
[signed] Eliz Brown
1. Not found.
2. On 4 Aug., the London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser mistakenly reported that the Adamses had left for Spain, purportedly to pursue a commercial treaty with Algiers. The London General Evening Post, 8–10 Aug., corrected the error and offered the real reason for the Adamses' trip, but the rumor of a trip connected to an alliance with Algiers persisted (see, for instance, London Daily Universal Register, 19 Aug.).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0120

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-08-15

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

Yours of August the 7th.1 and Col. Smith's of the 8th. reached us on the 14th. at this place. We left the Hague on Monday, I wrote you an account of our excursion, till Thursday Evening, when I was going to the play. The house is small and ordinary, the Actors as good as one commonly finds them in England. It was the birth day of the Princess of Orange, it was not distinguished that I know of in any other manner, than that both the French and English ministers Box was drest upon the occasion. The peices which were acted were in French, one of them was Fanfan and Colas.2 The house though small was not half full, the Court being all absent. I have visited the Princes house in the Woods, where he resides, and holds his court during the summer, also his cabinet of Paintings which is small but well chosen, his cabinet of Natural History &c. I have also been to see the collection here, and the Botanical garden, in each I find something new, but in general they are the same species, of Birds, { 319 } Beast, minerals, and plant, fishes, and reptiles which we find in greater order and perfection in the Museum of Sir Ashton Lever.3
We went to see the Gardens &c, of Secretary Fagel,4 and here I was led a jaunt of three miles, through a sand like Weymouth Hill. I puffed and blowed, sat down whenever I could find a seat, and thought the view, not worth the fatigue, it being very warm, and faint weather, especially after having seen Pains Hill, and other places much superior.
A Saturday Evening we went to the French Ambassadors, here were all the Foreign Ministers, some Officers, and Gentlemen of the Town, Lady Harris, and three other English ladies whom I dined with at Sir James's, two Danish, and two Dutch ladies made the company, in all about sixty persons. Cards, were the object till about eleven oclock, when the supper bell rang, and his Excellency escorted me into an elegant room, and a superb supper, about one we returned to our Lodgings. Sunday I regretted that I could not go to church, to hear Dr Mac Lean,5 who was gone into the Country. Your papa dined abroad; it was very rainy, I tarried at home and read Plutarch's Lives, but I am determined if it should ever fall to my lot to travel into a foreign Country again I will make Don Quixote my companion. What with reading the Lives of these Roman Emperors, most of which exhibit tyranny, cruelty, devastation and horrour, and visiting the churches, here whose walls exhibit the gloomy Escutcheons of the silent inhabitants, dark and dreary cells, I have been haunted every night with some of their troubled Ghosts, and though seldom low spirited, I have here felt the influence of climate, and the objects I have beheld, there is a silence and a dead calm which attends travelling through this Country, the objects which present themselves are meadows, Trees, and Canals, Canals Trees, and meadows, such a want of my dear variety, that I really believe an English Robber would have animated me. The roads from the Hague to Harlem are one continued sand, so that one has not even the pleasure of hearing the wheels of the carriage. Leyden is the cleanest City I ever saw, the streets are wide, the Houses brick, all neat even to the meanest building. The River Rhine runs through the City. We tarried at Leyden till Thursday morning, and then set off for Harlem, at which place we dined. A curious circumstance took place after dinner. We sent John on before in the Boat, and he had very carefully locked the carriage, and taken the key with him, what was to be done? We sent for a Smith to force the lock, but that { 320 } could not be effected, after much deliberation upon what was to be done I proposed getting in at the window, oh that was impossible! however a ladder was brought, and the difficulty was surmounted! true I assure you. When we got about half way, here, who should we meet, but poor John upon the full trot, with the key in his hand, looking so mortified that one had not the heart to blame him.
And here let me advise you never to travel the road when a great man is in motion, for when we got here, we were obliged to go to five different houses, before we could get any apartments even to sleep in for one night. Prince Ferdinand had taken the whole house called the Arms of Amsterdam, and company returning from Spa, had filled every other, we were obliged for last night to shift as they say, and take such as we could get. To day we are much better off. As to Amsterdam I can say nothing about it yet. I was disappointed in finding Mr Parker gone to London when we arrived. We have had some visits to day, and are engaged to dine at Harlem tomorrow with Mr Willink, at his Country House,6 on Monday we are also engaged, and Wednesday. I fancy we shall make out our month, without going to Madrid. Let me hear from you and yours, if an opportunity offers to send Blair to America before our return, Col Smith will be so good as to purchase it.7 Adieu my dear, I should be loth to tell you how often I have wished myself in London since I left it, till this day I cannot say I have felt well since I crost the water. Dinner comes, so I lay by my pen. The post goes at ten. You see that this letter was written part at Leyden, and part at Amsterdam, begun the 15th. and finished the 18th. I wrote you at the Hague.8
Tr in ABA's hand (Adams Papers); notation in CFA's hand: “A. A to her daughter Mrs W.S.S in London”; with two minor corrections, probably by CFA. Printed in (AA2, Jour. & Corr., 2:53–57). See the descriptive note to AA to AA2, [11] Aug., above.
1. Not found.
2. Fanfan et Colas, a comedy by Beaunoir (Alexandre Louis Bertrand Robineau).
3. For Sir Ashton Lever's museum in London, see vol. 5:323, 324.
4. For Hendrik Fagel (1706–1790), griffier (secretary) of the States General, see JA, Papers, 7:168–169. Fagel's home was within walking distance of The Hague. JQA wrote in his Diary, 27 May 1797, “Went out on the Ryswick [Rijswijk] road through the Oost Indisch weg; came out near the House in the wood [Huis ten Bosch, or Royal Palace]: from thence went round the grounds of Mr. Fagel, and returned by the road from Scheveling [Scheveningen]. Long and pleasant tour.”
5. Archibald Maclaine (1722–1804), pastor of the English church at The Hague (DNB).
6. Both Wilhem and Jan Willink, two of the Amsterdam bankers with whom JA negotiated loans for America in 1782 and 1784, owned country houses in Haarlem (JQA, Diary, 2 May 1795; JA, Papers, 12:460–461, 472).
7. JQA requested Hugh Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in his letter to JA of 21 May 1786, above.
8. AA2, Jour. & Corr., closes with “Yours, A. A.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0121

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-15

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

Pray, Madam, be carefull how you send Cards to your friends on this side the water another time. It seems that since you have mentioned Amelia's intended Connection, you have sent a Card, with something wound round it, on which was written an invitation to you and Mr: A—— to dinner from Mr: and Mrs. Wm. Smith. This was taken for a certain Information of Amelia's having entered the marriage state, particularly, as on comparing it with her hand writing it was determined universally to be hers. Mrs: C. to whom this Card came enclosed shew it to every and all her friends, but it was generally wondered why you should send the intelligence in that way. I was not here when it arrived, but on my return it was talked of every where that Miss Adams was married, and this story of the Card was always alluded to as the proof. This same Card occasioned a good anecdote, which perhaps you may not have heard. Mrs: C. on receiving this Card put it upon the Clock, as you know is customary here. Mr: T: observing it, took it down and read it. He put it again in its place and turning to Miss Lucy, who was alone in the room, and meaning to apply to the weather which was then very unsettled, said “'tis a very changeable time Miss L——” “ Yes Mr: T. she replied, these are changeable times indeed.” Without an other word he walked away. And apropos of this said Gentleman, your quondam favorite, You mention that Dr: T—— has recovered every thing from him, belon[ging] to Amelia, but I am assured from the best authority that it is [missing?] a thing. I have mentioned it to the Dr: once or twice, but he always evades my enquiries. This entre nous, if you please.
You bid me tell you good news, Madam; but I am sorry it is not in my power so to do. We have just heard of the death of Prentiss Cushing in the W: Indies.