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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 7

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.
“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, SionSyon 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

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 Thulemeier, 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.

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  
                £   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.1 He was taken ill one day and died the next. This acco't came but yesterday, so I suppose he is but lately dead.
From the political world neither can I give you any agreable intelligence. The devil I am afraid has got in among us, and I dread his soon throwing us into a state of anarchy and confusion. County Conventions and associations have been frequent of late, to point out modes of redress for grievances that the Constitution does not provide against. Handbills and Covenants are passing in several Counties, which are signed by many to league and defend each { 322 } other against the operation of law and justice, and to shut up the Courts of Common Pleas. Some cry out for Paper money; tho' since the emission of a medium of this kind in Rhode-Island state we have [had] repeated accounts of robberies, quarrells and even of pitched battles with [ . . . ]. If we are to come to this, the sooner the better, that we may know how it is to terminate. Our Sea Ports and the Country are at variance. The first shall be taxed and the latter go free. Be it so and may our docks be turned into fields. I believe too that, as a Country, we should do better. Then when we are all Country we shall all fare alike and each contribute in just proportion to the common support. Come what will, it must be right in the end.

[salute] I am, Madam, with much esteem Yrs: as ever,

[signed] C. S.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams, Grosvenor-Square. London.”; endorsed: “Charles Storer August 15 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Prentice Cushing (1758–1786), the son of Rev. Jacob and Anna Williams Cushing of Waltham, died at Demarara on 5 or 6 July. In a diary entry for 25 Aug., Elizabeth Cranch wrote that he “once lived with us—a most amiable Youth; he made a Voyage to Demarara and there died; I mourn the early exit of such Virtue, but he is I trust happy—for he was truly good” (Massachusetts Centinel, 26 Aug.; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:252; Lemuel Cushing, The Genealogy of the Cushing Family, Montreal, 1877, p. 45; Elizabeth Cranch Norton Diaries, MHi: Jacob Norton Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0122

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-08-15

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

In my Acctt. sent Mr. Adams1 you will not find any large sums Credited for Your Farm. The Farm Acct. with Pratt I settled in April last, the whole Produce of Your half amounted (for the Year preceding) to £37. 5.11. This is accounted for in part in my last Acctt. part in this and the Remainder is discharged by Pratts Acct for Work, Rates and Sunds. debited Tho Pratt and J. Marsh. The Losses sustained in the Stock and the low Price of Produce greatly lessened your Income. As there is a large Tax the present Year and produce low I cannot expect it will be greater. You will find in my Acct Charges of Cash to Mrs Cranch, wherever You find them they are for Cloathing payment of Taylors and necessaries for the Children.
I have at Length by Patience and Perseverance brot Matters almost to a Close with Mr Tyler, he has voluntarily given me (and without a Request) the Acct Books Notes of Hand and some other Papers, his Acct for Business done I expect to have in a few Days. { 323 } On examining the Accounts and Notes I find that a greater Part of them will be lost, some are dead—their Estates, others gone out of the Government and many of them unknown to me or any Body that I can meet with.2
Newhall on whom I depended for Quartetly Payments is now £51. in Arrears. He must shortly quit the House and some one take it that will pay the Cash. Your Children are well. Thomas is to be examined Next Monday, his Examination was delayed at Commencement, waiting for Your Directions which were not recd timely for that purpose and we had concluded to postpone it to another. I had forgot that I had wrote in such a Manner, as that you would take it for granted that, he would be offered unless we heard to the Contrary. A few Days past I turnd my Eye upon a rough Copy of my Letter, and discoverd my Error. Tell Cousin Nabby I have fully executed her Commission and am in Possession of a dear little Creature which I look upon with Pleasure.3 I should except the Two Morroco Pockt Books, which I believe he has disposed of. Accept of Love & Regards to all Yrs.
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam. Abigail Adams London Grovesnor Square”; endorsed: “August 15 1786 Dr Tufts.”
1. Not found.
2. JA's former clients who had “gone out of the Government” were probably loyalist emigrees living in Britain, Canada, or the West Indies.
3. The miniature of AA2.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0123

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1786-08-20

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Sir

You are, though living in a garret

No more a Poet, than a Parrot

At first you take a doggrel verse,

And, alexandrine then rehearse.

You hobble on, or wrong or right

With sometimes ten and sometimes eight.

By your own syllogistic rule

You must confess yourself a fool.

and if Bob Longer lacks of wit

He that is shorter must have it.

Besides I see you've chang'd your name

Because the first brought you to shame

{ 324 }

And must certainly be wrong

Who now is short, and now is long.

[signed] R. S.1
RC (Privately owned); addressed: “Mr: Bob Longer. In the paradise of fools.”
1. Probably an abbreviation for “Robert Shorter” (that is, Bob Shorter), a comment on JQA's and Cranch's relative heights.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0124

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-08-23

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear

Mr S. and Mr Blount set off tomorrow for London and have engaged to call this Evening for Letters. We have not received a line from you except what these gentlemen brought us, this is the fourth time I have written to you.
If politeness and attention could render a place agreeable, I have had more reason to be pleased with this Country, than any other, that I have visited, and when I get across the water again, I shall not regret the visit I have made here.
These people appear to think of the past, the present, and the future, whilst they do honour to their former Heroes, and patriots, by paintings, sculpture, and monuments, they are establishing wise institutions, and forming the minds and manners of their youth, that they may transmit to posterity, those rights, and liberties, which they are sensible have suffered infringments, but which they appear determined to regain, and are uniting in spirited and vigorous measures, for that purpose. The death of his Prussian Majesty of which there appears at present no doubt, will diminish the influence of the Court party in this country, already in the wane, as the politicians say.1 But of this enough. I was at the play the night before last, the Grand Duke and Dutchess,2 with their Retinue were present, the Dutchess is a fine looking woman. The house is small, but neat well lighted, and I think handsomer than any of the Theatres in England, the actors pretty good. The ladies of this country have finer complexions than the English, and have not spoilt them by cosmeticks. Rouge is confined to the stage here. There is the greatest distinction in point of dress, between the peasantry of the Country and people of distinction, that I have seen in any Country, yet they dress rich and fine in their own way. I went yesterday with a party, to Sardam, by Water about two hours sail. It is a very neat village { 325 } and famous, for being the place where Czar, Peter the great worked as a Ship Carpenter. It was their annual Fair, at which there was a great collection of people, so that I had an opportunity of seeing the various dresses of different provinces. Mr Willink, told us, that there were several peasants who belonged to Sardam, who owned, a hundred thousand pounds property.
To day we dine with the elder Mr Willink, whose lady speaks English very well, and is a very agreeable woman. And this evening we go with them to a different Theatre. They have three play houses in this place. We are undetermined as yet whether to go to Utrecht on Saturday, or set off for the Hague. We should have gone there to day, but the Grand-duke, had taken the boat, and all the publick houses, there fit to go into, so that we did not wish to fall into his corteg3 again, if he continues there longer than Saturday we shall return without visiting that province. We shall make no longer stay at the Hague, than to take leave, as I suppose all will be sable there, we are not prepared to go into company. We have determined to return by Helvot, I suppose in Saturday weeks packet, so that I hope to see you by Monday night, or Tuesday at furthest. I have done what you desired, but to very little more advantage than in London.
Adieu you cannot want more to see us, than we do to return again to you. Love to both of you. I hope my family in Grosvenor Square, has not increased in my absence. I was not aware of a young cook till the morning I left home. I was then thrown into an astonishment in which I should be glad to be mistaken, but am very sure I am not.4 Yours affectionately
[signed] A. A.
Tr in ABA's hand (Adams Papers); notation by CFA: “AA to her daughter in London. Mrs W S. S.” Printed in (AA2, Jour. & Corr., 2:57–59.)
1. Frederick the Great died on 17 August. Provoked by the arrest of his sister, Wilhelmina, Princess of Orange, Frederick's successor and nephew, Frederick William II, invaded the Netherlands in Sept. 1787, crushed the Patriot forces, and restored the full powers of his brother-in-law Stadholder William V (Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780–1813, N.Y., 1977, p. 106–107, 123–132).
2. Ferdinand and Maria Beatrice d'Este, Archduke and Archduchess of Austria.
3. “Vortex” in the printed version.
4. Presumably a reference to one of the Adamses' servants who was pregnant.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0125

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-08-30

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I received a few days agone, your favour of June 2d:1 you mention an Affair, concerning which I had determined to write in the begin• { 326 } ning of this Quarter. I have thought much of an Office in which to Study the Law. Should you return home next Spring, and be yourself at Leisure to instruct me, I should certainly prefer that to studying any where else. But if you are still detained in Europe, I should wish to Live in some place, where there might be Society sufficient for relaxation at Times, but not enough to encourage dissipation. Boston I should for several Reasons, wish to avoid. The Principal ones are, that it is unfavorable to Study, and that it would be almost doubly expensive. Mr: Parsons of Newbury, has been mentioned, and I should be very glad to study with him. However it is not perhaps a matter of much consequen[ce] whose office I am in, if my Time is well spent in it. I look forward with ming[led] Pain and Pleasure, to the Time when, I shall finish the Collegiate Term. I have made it my endeavour to be intimate, only with the best Characters in my Class, and there are several, with whom I enjoy many social half hours: as our pursuits are confined here, meerly to Literature, it is necessary to be a very Close Student, in order to acquire a respectable Character. Out of an hundred and sixty Students, that are here, there is undoubtedly every gradation, from the most amiable disposition to the worst; from the smallest genius to the greatest, and from the compleat ignoramus to the youth of learning. There are some who do not study twelve hours in the course of a twelve month, and some who study as much almost everyday, and it always happens that their Reputation, is in an exact Ratio to the attention they pay to studying. The good scholar is esteemed, even by the idle; but the bad one, is despised as much by those who are like him, as he is by the judicious. This is the common Course; but in these peaceful mansions there is the same Spirit of intrigue, and party, and as much inclination to Cabal, as may be discovered at Courts. It has not the same Opportunities to show itself, and remains for the most part concealed. But there are certain Circumstances and Situations in which it breaks forth [with] great vehemence. This has lately been the Case with my Class. It is customary early in the first Quarter of the Senior Year, for Each Class, to meet, and choose by ballot, one of its members to deliver a Valedictory Oration on the ensuing 21st: of June; and four others, [to] collect the Theses which are published by the Class when they take their degr[ees. We] have lately gone through this business. There were different parties for three Persons, as Orator, and there was a great deal of intriguing carried on. One only could { 327 } be successful, and Little of Newbury Port, was finally chosen. A Person who to an excellent genius, unites an amiable disposition, and an unblemished moral character.2 The Class did me the honour to choose me among the Theses collectors; and for the mathematical Part. Little did I think, when you gave me those Lessons at Auteuil, which you call our suppers, that they would have been productive of this effect. It is a laborious task, and will confine my studies for the ensuing year, much more to the mathematics, than, I should have done if I had been left at my own disposal.
My Brother Tommy was admitted about ten days ago, and as there were no vacant Chambers in College, he boards at Mr: Sewall's. He may next year live with Charles, and by that means obtain a very good chamber. He is very young to be left so much to himself as all scholars are here. But his disposition is so good and his inclination for studying such, that I dare say he will behave very well. Charles is attentive to his Studies, and much esteemed both by h[is] Classmates, and by the other Students.
I write this without knowing of any opportunity to send it by. I hope soon to write to my Mamma, and Sister; but I am very much hurried yet for want of Time. And if I fail writing, I hope [they wi]ll not attribute it to neglect, or any diminution in my filial and fraternal [Senti]ments; but to the little Time that I can possibly spare. I should wish for Ferguson's Astronomy, 1 Vol 8 vo.3 We shall begin to study it I believe in December, and shall be happy, to receive it by that Time. My Brothers and Cousin desire to be remember'd.

[salute] Your dutiful Son

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr: Minister Plenipotentiary, from the United States of America, to the Court of Great Britain London.”; stamped: “24 no.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and at tears in the paper.
1. Of [3 June], above.
2. JQA's class chose Moses Little as their valedictory orator on 28 August. His chief rivals were Nathaniel Freeman and John Jones Waldo (JQA, Diary, 2:82–842:82–83, 83–84). For JQA's sketch of Little see Diary, 2:218.
3. JQA's copy of James Ferguson, Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles, and Made Easy to Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics, 7th edn., London, 1785, is at MQA.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0126

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-01

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

No 17.1
At length after long expectation your No 162 has arrived. Capt Cushing Called yesterday upon us, and delivered the Letters for Pappa, and amongst them I found one from yourself which was the only Letter I received except 2 from Dr Welsh.3 I have been rather unfortunate respecting Letters, mine being so long delayd by being under Cover to Mr Storer that my friends one and all have taken up a resolution to write me no more. However, “tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” I have not the trouble to answer their Letters. I am determined to find some Consolation. Mr Austin4 Called upon us, a few days since he says that he Saw you at Commencement, and that you told him you had not time to write, by him. I will not Complain, because I know you will never omit an opportunity of writing with out some sufficient reason. Your Letters afford us all so much pleasure that it is a real disappointment when a ship arrives without any from you. Where is your Brothers Letters? is the question from Pappa, Mamma, my friend, and your Brother, I had rather read his than any of the rest follows—and to me my Dear Brother they are inestimable—every Letter strengthens that friendship which has subsisted ever since we have known each other and which I hope can never cease.
It gives me great pleasure to find that you Continue your attention to your Studies and that your Conduct is not marked with any of those youthfull follies, which would subject you to the observation of even the rigidly Wise. It might be Politick in you not to prejudice, the Heads of the University against you, by being satricical upon their foibles, and I could even wish for your own sake, that you could by an attention gain their esteem. But I know how Dificult it is to pay a proper attention to People, whom we can neither respect nor esteem the Mind revolts at the idea. I have often been impolitick myself upon this Subject, but I could never bring my Countenance or my actions, to oppose, the Sentiments which I possessd. I have allmost envyd some persons, that innocent and necessessary art which could conceal under the veil of politeness, the oppinions they possessd. I am inclined to beleive that it is in some implanted by the hand of Nature and that it is not to be acquired. { 329 } At least your disposition nor mine, are not of that accomodating kind, to spend much time in the Study.
But I really think that from your own account you stand a great chance to read a Syllogism at your exit from Colledge, and I dont know a Person in the World who would be more mortified at it than yourself. Therefore my advice is for you to take care, and if possible to get the blind side of the—so the saying is.
Pappa and Mamma have not yet returnd from Holland but we expect them to morrow or a Tuesday.5 Mamma writes me word that she is not pleased with the Country, there is such a want of her Dear Variety. She however says that if politeness and attention could render any place agreeable She should certainly be more pleased with Holland than any Country She has yet visitted. And after She has Crossed the Channell again she shall be very glad that She has made the Excursion. She will have a fine feast of Letters on her return which will I hope give her pleasure.
I have nothing important or interesting to tell you of at Present and yet I would not appear to be less attentive to my friends, and to you in particular than formerly. I believe you never travelled, much in this Country, except upon the roads from Dover and Hardwich, to London. There are certainly some of the finest scenes, and situations which appear to be formed for the Cultivation of the Muses. We lately made a little excursion of about 20 miles, to Salt Hill and Stainss, a few miles from Windsor.6 The Houses at which we put up, were finely situated upon the Borders of the Thames. They were beautifull by Nature, and there was very little appearance of Art. We sailed upon the river about 2 or 3 miles, and had the Prospect of some of the most rural romantick Scenes, that I ever beheld. The Gentlemen amused themselvs with fishing, and sometimes caught before ten oclock in the Morning 16 Dozen, of small Fish. Mr and Mrs Rucker Miss Ramsey Mr S. and myself were the party.
We went out on Fryday and returnd on Monday last, much pleased with our excursion at Stains. The river runs so near the House that we fishd from the Windows, the prospects arround them are perfectly romantick. Had you been with us, you might have indulged your passion for ryming. I am sure you would have been delighted with the visit—and we wishd much for a Gallant for Miss R—.
You have now, but a little time before you quit the University, at Least the time will soon fly. You are I Suppose fixed in your own { 330 } mind what path to pursue, when you make your exit from thence. Mr Honestus will not frighten you from the Study you have allways appeard attachd to, I suppose. But have you formd any decissions with whom to Study. Is it not allmost time to propose the matter to your Father and to Communicate to your Sister the result of your determinations. I am greatly interested in every step which you may take, and I look forward, to that Period, when you shall have gone through the Couse of Study which is Customary to pursue and have in some degre established a Character as a Man of Business and knowledge. I have no fears respecting your Prudence, yet perhaps the most critical period has not yet arrived. But I hope from Natureall Disposition and long Habits you will be in no danger from the Dissipation of those who will allways indeavour to influence a young Mans Conduct and bring every one to their own Levell.
I fear that you do not pay attention enough to your Health. Remember if you once Loose this inestimable Good you may spend your future days in an indeavour to retreive it withing [without] affecting it. Exercise and some relaxation is absolutely, necessary. And tho you have no taste to see Strange sights, Yet as they may unbend the mind for a proper time from Study and, promote your Health I think it would be best to enter into some of those scence, which some embrace with avidity. However I must Commend your Taste in avoiding such unmeaning Crouded scenes as the one you mention. Where Pearsons can enjoy them they had better enter into them. I never had a taste for them myself and can easily account for your want Disposition to enjoy them.
With respect to myself it is not yet in my Power to decide my future destination whether I am to return to my own home or live in N Y—is not determined. As I have never seen that Country I dont know that I shall not like it Better than my own and my friend not haveing veiwed the Massachusetts with any prospect of Settling there can not determine, till we return to America and visit them together. I beleive it would be in my Power to determine him in favour of the Latter but I have my doubts whether it would be right. I think a Man who quits his own State for another, Should be only a Man of Leasure and pleasure, that any Business or employment shold not be thought of, for if a Gentlemans Character is ever so well esteemd by those who know him there will allways exist certain prejudices and objections in the minds of those to whom he is a Stranger, which it must take time to remove and perhaps they can never be intirely oblitered. There will exist littl jealoussies, that he { 331 } may be sill more attached to the part of the Country or place which he has left than the one he now inhabits. Rather than Subject a friend to any Such inconveniences, I prefer giving up, what ever pleasure I migh derive from renewing the acquaintanc and friendships of those, with whom my earliest attachments were formd. I know that I can be happy in any part of america, and I am Sure I shall find a family of friends, in his relations. At Present I am for Living at N Y,—and then you see it would be so cleaver to return and Settle there and have you one of these Days come as a Member from the Massachusetts to Congress. We should be quite at home again. But alas this is looking too far forward, yet why shd we not indulge in, such a fancy if it can afford us Pleasure. There is a Gentleman here, Mr B, who is pleasing himself with the hope, of our going to my home.7
Since I wrote you on the first our Parents have returnd from Holland. After a terible Passage of 4 days they Landed. Such a storm has not been known a long time 2 Vessells, that were nearer the Shore than the Packet were lost and but 2 persons saved from them. Mamma, is quite Sattisfied with this excursion and never wishes to see Holland again. She has been much sattisfied at the attention and politeness she has received from those Persons who were acquainted with Pappa. Madame and Mademoisell Dumas arrived only the evening before they left the Hague, which was a great Loss, you know. Madame D. was also in great affliction for the Loss of her Daughter in Law,8 who died a few weeks ago.
Since the return of our Friends we have been with them every day and much amused with Mammas account of Holland. I suppose she will give you an accout of her excursion.
Fletcher has arrived, but we have not yet received any Letters by him. I hope to find one.
I hear of an opportunity for Boston on Saturday, and have taken my pen to Conclude my Letter, which has laid by so long. Altho I have not heard from you since the Month of june, I will not hesitate in writing. The day before yesterday being Tuesday the 10th, we dined at G S, in Company with, Mrs and Miss Smith from S—— C——a9 and Mr G S, who has but lately returnd from France. Mr Harrison who has been in some public Character from America to { 332 } Spain,10 and who has arrived here with in a few days he brought Mamma a Letter from C Warren, written about a forghtnight before he died,11 in which he express his hopes of recovering his Health, and that mentiones the attention and kindness this Mr Harrison has Shewn to him, with gratitude. I have heard that he has left an excellent Character in Spain, he appears to be near forty years old, and a sedate Man. I was prejudiced in his favour from Mr W—— Letter.
He was accompanied by a Coll. Eustace12 of whom I can only say, that he is a very handsome Man, a few marks of dissipation excepted. Mesrs Shippin Cutting and your friend Murry compleated the Company. I am sorry to say that Mr M—— appears to me to have irretreavibly injured his Health by, dissipation you would Scarcely know him. He is thin, and instd of that degree of vivacity which used to animate him. There is a kind of Langour taken its place. He talks of going to America soon and I beleive nothing else will save him nor even that unless temperance and regularity are persued by him. Mr Cutting and himself made themselvs very agreeable. The former you know, is called Witty, and your friend is not deficient in Smartness, so that we were quite entertained with thier repartees. Mr Cutting is too sensible of his own tallents and takes too often opportunitys to discover them to be perfectly pleasing. He talks too much and to Loud. The observation General Lee made upon him was I think perfectly just—that he was the Happiest Man in the World—for he was perfecty in Love with himself and had not a rival in the World. Mr Shippin you do not know, he is Modest Sensible and agreeable, and I think appears to more advantage from being in some degree a Contrast to his Companion. They dine at G S, every Sunday.
We are going this Eve, to Covent Garden Thatre to see an old Man of Ninty years-old play the part of the Jew in the Merchant of Venice.13 Mrs Siddons plays also this Eveng Isobela but we have engaged a Box, at Covent Garden, and so are obliged to go.
My paper scarce leaves me room to desire you to send me a lock of your Hair, by the first opportunity. Yours affectionately
[signed] A Smith
Dft (Adams Papers,) written on sixteen small folded and numbered sheets.
1. AA2 first wrote “16,” perhaps because she was responding to JQA's No. 16, and then altered it to read “17.” AA2's No. 16, presumably written in late August, has not been found.
2. Of 18 May, above.
3. Not found.
4. Boston merchant Benjamin Austin Jr. (Samuel Adams to JA, 21 July, Adams Papers).
{ 333 }
5. The travelers arrived in London on Wednesday, 6 Sept. (Jefferson, Papers, 10:348).
6. Salt Hill, Buckinghamshire, one mile west of Slough, was known for its views of Eton College and Windsor Castle. Staines, Middlesex, is about seven miles southeast, on the Thames (Samuel Leigh, Leigh's New Pocket Road-Book of England, Wales, and Part of Scotland, 2d edn., London, 1826, p. 37, 73, 74).
7. Perhaps Charles Bulfinch of Boston, recently returned to London after a tour of the Continent, who brought with him a letter and goods from Thomas Jefferson for WSS and AA2 (vol. 6:163; Jefferson, Papers, 10:211, 393).
8. Probably the wife of one of Maria Dumas' two sons by her first marriage to a Mr. Loder (Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, Chapel Hill, N.C., and London, 1979, p. 48).
9. Mary Rutledge Smith and, probably, her eldest daughter Sarah Rutledge Smith (vol. 6:385, 389; N. Louise Bailey, Mary L. Morgan, and Carolyn R. Taylor, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate, 1776–1985, 3 vols., 1986).
10. Richard Harrison (1750–1841) of Maryland, a merchant at Cadiz, acted as U.S. consul at that port, 1780–1786, but was never formally appointed by Congress. He later served as first auditor of the U.S. Treasury, 1791–1836 (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 4:130).
11. Not found.
12. John Skey Eustace (1760–1805) of New York, William and Mary 1776, served as aide to Gens. Charles Lee, John Sullivan, and George Washington during the Revolution. After the war, he spent time in Venezuela, Spain, England, and France, where he served in the French Revolutionary Army. He was possibly in Spain in 1786 to register a complaint regarding his treatment by colonial officials while previously in Venezuela (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.; John Skey Eustace, Official and Private Correspondence of Major-General J.S. Eustace, Paris, 1796; The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, ed. W. W. Abbott et al., 9 vols., Charlottesville, Va., 1983–1985, 3:67).
13. Charles Macklin (1697?–1797), an Irish actor, was particularly known for his portrayal of Shylock (London Stage, 1776–1800, 2:926; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0127

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-09-12

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I am again safe arrived in this city after an absence of five weeks. By the last vessels I wrote Some of my Friends that I was going to visit Holland. That I had a desire to see that Country you will not wonder at, as one of those Theatres upon which my Partner and fellow traveller had exhibited some of his most important actions, and renderd to his country lasting Blessing. It has been the policy of some of our Allies, to keep as much as possible those events out of Sight and of some of our Countrymen to lessen their value in the Eyes of mankind. I have seen two Histories of the American War written in French, and one lately publishd in English by a mr Andrews.1 In one of them no notice is taken, or mention made of our Alliance with Holland, and the two others mention it, as slightly as possible, and our own Countrymen set them the example. France be sure was the first to acknowledge our independance, and to aid us with Men and money, and ought always to be first-rank'd amongst our Friends. But Holland surely ought not to be totally neglected. { 334 } From whence have we drawn our supplies for this five years past, even to pay to France the interest upon her loan, and where else could we now look in case of a pressing emergincy? Yet have I observed in Sermons upon publick occasions in orations &c France is always mentiond with great esteem. Holland totally neglected. This is neither policy or justice. I have been led to a more particular reflection upon this subject from my late visit to that Country. The respect, attention civility and politeness which we received from that people, where ever we went, was a striking proof not only of their personal esteem, but of the Ideas they entertain with respect to the Revolution which gave birth to their connection with us, and laid as they say, the foundation for their Restoration to priviledges which had been wrested from them and which they are now exerting themselves to recover. The Spirit of Liberty appears, to be all alive in them, but whether they will be able to accomplish their views, without a scene of Blood and carnage, is very doubtfull.
As to the Country, I do not wonder that Swift gave it the name of Nick Frog,2 tho I do not carry the Idea so far as some, who insist that the people resemble the frog in the shape of their faces and form of their Bodies. They appear to be a well fed, well Cloathed contented happy people, very few objects of wretchedness present themselves to your view, even amidst the immence Concourse of people in the city of Amsterdam. They have many publick institutions which do honour to Humanity and to the particular directors of them. The Money allotted to benevolent purposes, is applied Solely to the benifit of the Charities, instead of being wasted and expended in publick dinners to the Gaurdians of them which is said to be the case too much in this Country. The civil government or police of that Country must be well Regulated, since rapine Murder nor Robery are but very seldom found amongst them.
The exchange of Amsterdam is a great curiosity, as such they carried me to see it. I was with mr van Staphorst, and tho the croud of people was immence, I met with no difficulty in passing through, every person opening a passage for me. The exchange is a large Square surrounded with piazza. Here from 12 till two oclock, all and every person who has buisness of any kind to transact meet here, sure of finding the person he wants, and it is not unusal to see ten thousand persons collected at once. I was in a Chamber above the exchange, the Buz from below was like the Swarming of Bees.3
The most important places which I visited were Roterdam, Delpt the Hague Leyden Harlem Amsterdam and utrech. I was through { 335 } many other villages and Towns, the Names I do not recollect. I was 8 days at the Hague and visited every village round it, amongst which is Scaven, a place famous for the Embarkation of king Charles. From Utrech I visited Zest, a small Town belonging wholy to the Moravians, who mantain the same doctrines with the Moravians at Bethelem in Pensilvana, but which are not the best calculated for fulling the great command of replenishing the earth.4 I visited Gouda and saw the most celebrated paintings upon Glass which are to be found. These were immence window reaching from the Top to the bottom of a very high Church and containd Scripture History. Neither the faces or attitudes, had any thing striking, but the coulours which had stood for near two hundred years were beautiful beyond imagination.5 From Amsterdam we made a party one day to Sardam a few hours Sail only, it was their anual Fair, and I had an opportunity of seeing the people in their Holly day Suits. This place is famous for being the abode of the Czar Peter whose ship Carpenter shop they Still Shew. At every place of Note, I visited the Cabinets of paintings Natural History and all the publick buildings of distinction, as well as the Seats of several private gentlemen, and the Princ of oranges House at the Hague where he holds his Court during the Summer Months, but the difference which subsists between him and the States, occasiond his retreat to Loo,6 concequently I had no opportunity of being presented to that Court. We were invited to dine one Day at Sir James Harris's the British Minister at that Court, who appears a very sensible agreeable Man. Lady Harris who is about 24 years old may be ranked with the first of English Beauties. She was married at seventeen and has four fine Children, but tho very pretty, her Ladyship has no dignity in her manners or solidity in her deportment. She rather Seems of the good humourd gigling class, a mere trifler, at least I saw nothing to the contrary. I supped at the Marquiss de Verac the French Ambassadors with about 50 gentlemen and Ladies. His own Lady is dead, he has a Daughter in Law who usually lives with him, but was now absent in France. Upon the whole I was much gratified with my excursion to a Country which cannot Shew its like again. The whole appearence of it is that of a Medow, what are calld the dykes, are the roads which being raised, Seperate the canals, upon these you ride, through Rows of Willow Trees upon each side, not a Hill to bee seen. It is all a continued plain, so that Trees medows and canals, Canals trees and medows are the unvaried Scene. The Houses are all Brick and their streets are paved with Brick. It is very un• { 336 } usual to see a Single Square of glass broken; or a brick out of place even in the meanest House. They paint every peice of wood within, and without their houses, and what I thought not so wholsome, their milk pails are painted within and without, and So are their Horse carts, but it is upon a principal of economy. The Country is exceeding fruitfull and every house has a Garden Spot, plentifully stored with vegetables. The dress of all the Country people is precisely the same that it was two Hundred years ago, and has been handed down from generation to Generation unimpaird. You recollect the Short peticoats and long short Gowns, round [ear'd?] caps7 with Strait borders and large Straw Hats which the german woman wore when they first Setled at Germantown. Such is now the dress of all the lower class of people who do not even attempt to imitate the Gentry. I was pleas'd with the trig neatness of the women, many of them wear black tammy Aprons, thick quilted coats or russel8 Skirts, and Small hoops, but only figure to yourself a child of 3 or four drest in the Same way. They cut a figure I assure you. Gold earrings are universally worn by them and Bracelets upon Holly days. The dress of the Men is full as old fashiond, but the Court and Geenteel people dress part English and part French. They generally Speak both the languages, but French most. Since their intercourse with America, the English Language is considerd as an essential part of education. I would not omit to mention that I visited the Church at Leyden in which our forefathers worshipd when they fled from hierarchical tyranny and percecution.9 I felt a respect and veneration upon entering the Doors, like what the ancients paid to their Druids.
Upon my return home I found that Captain Cushing had arrived in my absence, and a noble packet was handed me by your Neice soon after I arrived, but as we had not seen each other for 5 weeks, we had much to say. And in addition to that I had not closed my Eyes for two days and nights, having had a Stormy Boisterous passage of 3 days attended with no small danger, and as I had rode seventy five miles that day, they all voted against my opening my Letters that Night. Mortifying as it was I submitted, being almost light headed with want of rest, and fatigue. But I rose early the Next morning, and read them all before Breakfast. And here let me thank my dear sister for the entertainment hers afforded me, but like most of the Scenes of Life, the pleasure was mixed with pain. The account of the Death of our Dear and Worthy Aunt, reach'd me in a Letter from Cousin W. Smith10 the week before I went my journey.
{ 337 } { 338 }
Altho I took a final leave of her when I quitted America, yet I have been willing to flatter myself with the hope that I might be mistaken, and that her Life would be prolonged beyond my expectations. How often has her Image appeard to me in the Same Form that she addrest me when I left her House. You know how susceptable her Heart was to every tender impression. She saw how much I was distresst, and strove herself for a magninimity that gave to her whole appearence a placid Solemnity which spoke more forcibly than words. There was a Something undecribable, but which to me seemd Angelick in her whole manner and appearence that most powerfully impressd my mind; and I could not refrain when I arrived here mentioning it, to mr Smith who I dare say will recollect it. Like the Angle she then appeard, she now really is, fitted by a Life of piety and benevolence to join her kindred Spirits, she has left us her example and the Memory of her Many virtues to Comfort our afflicted Hearts—Beloved, Regreated and Lamented! She was like a Parent to me, and my full Heart has paid the tributary Tears to her Memory.
Cut of in early Life, and under circumstances peculiarly distressing is the young Branch of a family who never before experienced an affliction of this kind. The Tree fell whilst the Branch survived to keep alive the source from whence their Sorrows Spring.11 When you see the family, remember me affectionately to them. My Heart feels for all their sorrows. Nor am I without a Share of Sympathy for the family distresses of a Gentleman who not withstanding his follies I cannot but feel for. I know there is in his disposition a strange mixture, there is benevolence and kindness without judgment, good Sense without prudence and learning without conduct. Early in Life that man might have been moulded into a valuable vessel, in the hands of a steady and Skilfull Master. Let all remembrance of his connection with this family cease, by a total Silence upon the Subject. I would not, add to his mortification, or be the means of giving him a moments further pain. My Friends will do me a kindness by stricktly adhering to this request. I wish him well and happy.
Adieu my dear Sister I Shall write you soon, more fully upon the subjects of your Letters. Remember me affectionately to my dear and aged Parent for whom I have purchased a tabinet. It is more costly than a silk, but I thought more suteable for her years. I shall send it by the first opportunity. Should any offer sooner than Cushing I shall forward this Letter.
I know not to whom we are indebted for the Chocolate, by cap• { 339 } tain cushings prudence in taking it out and getting it on shore a few pounds at a time we Saved it, tho he poor Man has had his vessel seaizd and been put to much difficulty and trouble. The Chocolate came very opportunely. Mr Adams was just mourning over his last pound. You see I have only room to add Yours
[signed] AA
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.). Printed in (AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, p. 343–350.)
1. John Andrews, History of the War with America, France, Spain, and Holland, Commencing in 1775 and Ending in 1783, 4 vols., London, 1785–1786.
2. John Arbuthnot personified the country of Holland as Nicholas Frog in his pamphlet Law Is a Bottomless Pit; or, the History of John Bull, London, 1712. The work also has been attributed to Jonathan Swift.
3. The Amsterdam Exchange, or Bourse, had become increasingly overcrowded by the late eighteenth century, to the point that scuffles occasionally occurred as traders fought for space, and many transactions had to take place at nearby cafes (Joost Jonker, Merchants, Bankers, Middlemen: The Amsterdam Money Market during the First Half of the 19th Century, Amsterdam, 1996, p. 37, 145–147). See also the The Amsterdam Exchange, by Hermanus Petrus Schouten, 1783 337Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 9, above.
4. For JA's comments on the Moravian community at Bethlehem, Penna., including the arranged marriages of its members, see vol. 2:154–156.
5. The sixteenth-century stained-glass windows of the Sint Janskerk (Church of St. John) were created by Wouter and Dirk Crabeth and their pupils (Nagel's Holland Travel Guide, Paris, 1951, p. 224).
6. Although the stadholder was required to be in residence wherever the States General and the Council of State met, William V had withdrawn to the palace of Het Loo in Apeldoorn during his power struggle with the governing bodies of the United Provinces (Herbert H. Rowen, The Princes of Orange: The Stadholders in the Dutch Republic, Cambridge, 1988, p. 221–223).
7. AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, reads “long short-gowns, round-eared caps.”
8. “Russet” in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840.
9. AA undoubtedly visited the Pieterskerk (Church of St. Peter's). For the long-standing confusion over where the English Separatists, or Pilgrim Fathers, worshiped while in Leyden, see vol. 4:40–41, note 3.
10. Of 28 June, not found.
11. A reference to the death of Lucy Thaxter Cushing in childbirth.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0128

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-09-12

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

So I see by the papers that Amelia has become Mrs: Smith, and this the 12th. of June. The news came by the way of Philadelphia, and the first intelligence I had was from our News-Papers.1 By Callahan, who is expected here every day from London, I hope it will be announced to us officially. Joy to her and to you all! May it be attended with every blessing and pleasure the sanguine wish can paint. When you write, please to give me the particulars, and where she lives; that I may go and see her. I can find her out in almost any part of London or Westminster, the Burrough or St: George's fields.
In my last I find I was a little too hasty in a peice of intelligence I forwarded to you, in regard to a certain discarded Gentleman. From { 340 } the same authority that I received the former information, I have since received the contrary; agreable to the Communication you made to me in your last. I congratulate both you and Amelia on the occasion.
In a day or two I shall leave this place for my new settlement, where from many Circumstances I am anxious to get myself established. Though few join me in my expectations, yet I promise myself much satisfaction and happiness. If viewed in any point of light I think I shall change my situation for the better. On the score of tranquillity, peace2 and independance, I gain infinitely more at Passamaquoddy than here. On the idea of Agriculture, I am persuaded that he who tills an Acre of ground at this time does more real service to the Commonwealth, than he who imports a thousand Pounds worth of Gewgaws. And as to the quitting Society, in truth what do I lose? The sight of many a fine and showy outside, where I am sure is contained the cruellest heartacke and distraction. Therefore I only part with folly and extravagance, and tell me shall I be a loser, go where I will? Many times has the Question been put to me, what will you do down in that wilderness without society, you, that have passed thro' so many gayer scenes? In good truth Madam, and this is the answer I constantly make, when a person has a good object in view, and is persuaded that he is pursuing the line of his duty, I think he may be happy anywhere—be it in the City or in the wilderness. Do you approve the Sentiment, Madam? I feel as if you did.
I am happy to inform you that your family enjoy their usual health, and also all our other friends. To Mr: Adams I refer you for public news, to whom I shall write on the subject.3 I could wish to talk with him; for such news have we at present as is most alarming. Heaven defend us from Anarchy and Confusion!!
Mr: Martin, who will deliver you this is a Kinsman of our family. He is fm Portsmo. We esteem him a worthy man, and as such I beg your notice of him, which will equally gratify him and oblige Yr: assured friend & humle: servt:
[signed] Chas: Storer
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams Grosvenor-Square. London. Pr. favr: of Thos: Martin Esqr.”; endorsed: “Charles Storer Sepbr 12 1786.”
1. AA2's marriage to WSS was announced in the Boston Gazette, 4 Sept., but had previously been reported in the Pennsylvania Packet, 23 Aug., and several other Philadelphia newspapers.
2. In the margin, keyed to an “x” at this point in the MS, is the sentence: “You little suspect the Govr: has given me a Commissn: for the Peace—but so it is.”
3. Storer wrote to JA on 16 and 26 Sept. (both Adams Papers). His letter of 16 Sept. contains an urgent appeal to JA to return to Massachusetts to help quell the “anarchy and confusion” spread by “Mobs, Riots and armed associations” disrupting the Commonwealth.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0129

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-09-24

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear sister

In my last I told you I suppos'd your Son Thomas would enter college at the end of the vacancy. He did so, and enter'd with honour. He could not have a chamber in college this year, but he has a very good one at mr Sewalls, and boards with the Family. It is not so well as boarding in college, but it was the best thing we could do. We have furnish'd his chamber with Cousin Charles Furniture. It was no easy thing to get him—(Cousin Tom) into a place we lik'd. One ask'd too much and another had Boarders we did not like he should be connected with—and others were full already. The Doctor and I spent two days in Cambridge before we could get a place to our minds. I went with Betsy last week to see mrs Fuller, and Coll Hull and Lady, and I return'd through Cambridge, our sons were well. Cousin JQA had been unwell, a bad Swiming in his head attended With a sick stomack occation'd I believe by want of exercise and too close application to his studies. His cousin and Brothers complain that they cannot get him out. I talk'd to him of the necessaty of walking and some relaxation. I Shall see him again this week and shall give him a puke if he has a return of it. Judge Fuller and Lady were well. Mrs Fuller desir'd me to tell you that she sent her most affectionate regards to you and hop'd to see you again in your own country. She was with her Daughter who is in a poor State of health her lungs are dissorder'd. She has three children two Daughters and a son, but the poor little Fellow was very sick. He is a Beautiful Boy about six months old. The colln. has a fine countinance and is a fine Figure. They appear to be very happy. She has an excellent temper and inherites her mamas benevolence. They live near Watertown Bridge, have a very hansome house, and tis very well furnish'd. She is much improv'd by her camp life. Coll. Hull is acquainted with Coll Smith and told me more about him than any body I have seen. He was brought up with Coll Humphries and expects him in a few days upon a visit and has promis'd to bring him to see us.1
As I was siting in my chamber the other day mr wibird came into the House, in a few minutes I heard him tell Betsy that Her Cousin Nabby was married, that oaks Angier was dead, and that mrs P——l——r was brought to Bed. I Was rejoic'd at the first, felt solemn at the Second, and was astonish'd at the last peice of news. Accept my { 342 } congratulations my dear sister. I hope the dear girl will be happy, but I cannot bear the Idea of your leaving her in Europe. I have not yet been call'd to part with any of my children, but I think it must be very hard to do it. I am impatient to recieve Letters from you. If the disunited State of america will forward your return, you will be here soon. We are all in confusion and what will be the conseiquence I know not. Anarchy I fear. The excess of Liberty which the constituton gave the People has ruin'd them. There is not the least energy in goverment. You will see by the Publick Prints in what manner the Mob have stop'd the courts, and open'd Jails and what their list of grievences are. There must be more Power Some where or we are ruin'd, but how to acquire it is the question.
The People will not pay their Tax, nor their debts of any kind, and who shall make them? These things affect us most severly. Mr Cranch has been labouring for the Publick for three or four years without receiving Scarcly any pay. The Treasury has been So empty that he could not get it, and now my Sister there is not a penay in it. The Publick owe us three Hundred pound and we cannot get a Shilling of it, and if the People will not pay their Tax how Shall we ever get it. An attendenc upon the court of common pleas was the only thing that has produc'd any cash for above two year:2 part of this always went to pay Billys quarter Bills. If we had not liv'd with great caution we must have been in debt, a thing I dread more than the most extream Poverty. Mr Cranch is very dull, says he must come home and go to watch mending and Farming and leave the publick business to be transacted by those who can afford to do it without pay. What will be the end of these things I am not Politition enough to say, they have a most gloomy appearence.
I believe I told you in a former Letter that mr Angier was in a consumtion. He did not Suppose himself dangirious till three days before he dy'd.3 He then Sent for mr Reed his minister and wish'd to have his children Baptis'd, but did not live to have it done. This is all I have heard about him.
We live in an age of discovery. One of our acquaintance has discover'd that a full grown, fine child may be produc'd in less than five months as well as in nine, provided the mother should meet with a small fright a few hours before its Birth. You may laugh: but it is true. The Ladys Husband is so well satisfied of it that he does not seem to have the least suspicion of its being otherways, but how can it be? for he left this part of the country the beginning of september last, and did not return till the Sixth of April, and his wife brought { 343 } him this fine Girl the first day of the present Month.4 Now the only difficulty Seems to be, whether it is the product of a year, or twenty weeks. She affirms it is the Latter, but the learned in the obstretick Art Say that it is not possible. The child is perfect large and Strong. I have seen it my sister: it was better than a week old tis true, but a finer Baby I never Saw. It was the largest she ever had her Mother says. I thought So myself, but I could not say it. It was a matter of So much Speculatin that I was determin'd to see it. I went with trembling Steps, and could not tell whether I should have courage enough to see it till I had Knock'd at the Door. I was ask'd to walk up, by, and was follow'd by her Husband. The Lady was seting by the side of the Bed suckling her Infant and not far from her —— with one sliper off, and one foot just step'd into the other. I had not seen him since last May. He look'd, I cannot tell you how. He did not rise from his seat, prehaps he could not. I spoke to him and he answer'd me, but hobble'd off as quick as he could without saying any thing more to me. There appear'd the most perfect harmony between all three. She was making a cap and observ'd that She had nothing ready to put her child in as she did not expect to want them so Soon. I made no reply—I could not. I make no remarks. Your own mind will furnish you with sufficient matter for Sorrow and joy, and many other sensations, or I am mistaken.

[salute] Adieu yours affectionately

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch Sepbr 24 1786.”
1. The Cranches visited the home of Col. William and Sarah Fuller Hull in Newton on 20–21 September. Col. Hull, a native of Derby, Conn., graduated from Yale in 1772 and served with distinction in the 8th and 3d Massachusetts and Jackson's Continental Regiments, among others, during the Revolution. After the war he practiced law in Newton. Hull later served as governor of the Michigan Territory (1805–1812) until he was appointed brigadier-general in command of the Northwestern Army. Hull surrendered his army and the post of Detroit to the British in Aug. 1812, resulting in his court martial for treason, cowardice, and neglect of duty. President Madison remanded the execution of the death sentence and Hull retired to Newton.
The Hulls' three children were all under the age of four: Sarah (b. 1783), Elizabeth (b. 1784), and Abraham Fuller (b. March 1786). Mrs. Hull was the daughter of Hon. Abraham and Sarah Dyer Fuller of Newton. Her father represented Newton in the General Court; her mother was a native of Weymouth (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers, Elizabeth Cranch Norton Diary, 20–21 Sept.; Heitman, Register Continental Army; DAB; Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, 1701–1898, New Haven, 1898; Vital Records of Newton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1905, p. 313, 104, 74, 284; Priscilla R. Ritter, Newton, Massachusetts, 1679–1779: A Biographical Directory, Boston, 1982).
2. By serving as a judge on Suffolk County's Court of Common Pleas, Richard Cranch earned small fees for each case heard.
3. For Oakes Angier of West Bridgewater, JA's former law clerk (ca. 1766–1768), see vol. 1:84. Angier died on 1 Sept. (JA, Legal Papers, 1:xcvi; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:7).
{ 344 }
4. Elizabeth Hunt Palmer, who was married to Joseph Pearse Palmer, gave birth to a daughter, Sophia, on 2 Sept., allegedly fathered by Royall Tyler. In 1794 Tyler married Sophia's half-sister Mary, the Palmer's eldest daughter, and about 1798, Sophia went to live with the Tylers in Vermont. Sophia's paternity was never openly acknowledged by either the Palmers or Tylers, but it was known to later generations of the Cranch and Palmer families (Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 47, 268–269, 283–284, 287–288, 291, 296–297; MHi: Caroline Wells Healey Dall Papers, Diary, 7 Oct. 1842; Bruce Ronda, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody: A Reformer on Her Own Terms, Cambridge, 1999, p. 17–29).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0130

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-27

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear son

Since I wrote you last I have made two excursions one to Holland, and one of a Week to the Hyde the seat of mr Brand Hollis. Here I was both entertaind and delighted. In the first place I must describe mr Hollis to you. He is a Neat, nice Batchelor of about 50 years old a learned Sensible Antiquarian. The late mr Hollis whose Name he bears could not have chosen a better Representitive to have bestowed his Mantle upon, for with it, has descended that Same Love of Liberty, Benevolence and phylanthropy which distinguishd his Worthy Benefactor.1 At the entrance of the Hall you discover the prevaling taste. There are a Number of Ancient Busts, amongst which is one of Marcus Aurelias who is a great favorite of mr Hollis's. He told us that all the great Painters who had drawn Jesus Christ, had taken the Busts of Marcus Aurelias as a modle. There is a fine white Marble Bust of the late mr Hollis in this collection. This Hall is large and Spacious and has been added to the House by mr Brand Hollis since the Death of his Father,2 who left it to him. The Chamber where we lodged was hung round with portraits of his family. It is at one end of the House, and from two windows in front and one at the end, we had a Beautifull view of Lawns and glades, clumps of Trees and stately Groves, and a peice of Water full of fish. The borders of the walks in the pleasure grounds, are full of rare Shrubs and trees, to which America has contributed her full proportion. To give you Some Idea of the Singularity in which this good man discovers his taste, near the walk from his door to the road, he has a large and beautifull Furr, which he calls Dr Jebb. Having pailed this Tree in with a neat ornament, he has consecrated it to the memory of that excellent Man, with whom I had only the pleasure of a short acquaintance before he was call'd to the Regions of immortality. He possess'd an excellnt understanding an unshaken integrity, and a universal benevolence and was one of the few firm and steady Friends to America. Cut of in middle age, he left a com• { 345 } panion endowed with an understanding Superiour to most of her Sex, always in delicate Health but now a prey to the most peircing Grief which will shortly close the Scene with her.3 They had no children and being wholy a domestick woman, the pleasures of the world have no realish for her. Her Friends have at length prevaild with her to go into the Country for a few weeks.
But to return to mr Hollis's curiosities in his Garden he has a tall Cypress which he calls General Washington, and an other by its side which he has named for col Smith, as his aid du Camp. This Gentleman possesses a taste for all the fine Arts. In architecture Palladio is his oracle, amongst his paintings, are several of the first masters, over his Chimny in his cabinet are four small Portraits which he told me were his Hero his General his Phylosopher and his writer. Marcus Aurelias was his General, His Hero—pardon me I have forgotton him, Plato was his writer, and Hutchinson his Phylosopher, who was also his preceptor.4 Mr Hollis speaks of him with great veneration and affection. In the dinning room is a Luxurient picture for a Batchelor, a venus and adonis by Rembrant, and two views of a Modern date; of the estate in dorsetshire which the late mr Hollis gave him. As there is only a Farm House upon it he never resides there. There are three pastures belonging to it, which are call'd Hollis, Mede, and Brand. In Hollis Pasture are the remains of its late owner, who left it as an order which was faithfully execcuted, to be buried there and ten feet deep, the ground to be ploughd up over his Grave that not a Monument, or stone should tell where he lay. This was whimsical and Singular be sure; but Singularity was his Characteristick, as many of his Works shew.
Between mr Hollis's drawing room and his Library is a small cabinet, which he calls the Boudoir which is full of curiosities, amongst them a dagger made of the Sword which kill'd Sir Edmundburry Godfrey and an inscription—Memento Godfrey, proto Martyr, pro Religione protestantium.5 In every part of the House you see mr Holliss owl Cap of Liberty and dagger. In this cabinet is a Silver cup with a cover in the Shape of an owl with two rubies for Eyes. This peice of Antiquity was dug up at Canterbury from ten feet depth; and is considerd as a Monkish conceit. Amongst the curiosities in this room is a collection of Duodcimo prints to the Number of 45 of all the orders of Nuns, which mr Bridgen purchased Some Years ago in the Austerion Netherlands and presented to mr Hollis. Mr Bridgen has lately Composed some verses which are placed by the Side of them. The Idea is that banish'd from Ger• { 346 } many by the Emperor, they have taken an assylum at the Hyde, in Sight of the Druids, the Portico of Athens, and the venerable remains of Egyptian Greek and Roman Antiquities.6 I would not omit the mention of a curious Medallion on which is wrought a Feast of all the Heathen Gods and Goddesses Sitting round a table. Jupiter throws down upon the middle of it, one of his thunder bolts flaming at each end with Lightning. He lights his own pipe at it, and all the rest follow his example venus Minerva and diana are whiffing away. This is the first time I ever conceived tobaco an ingredient in the Feast of the Celestials. It must have been the invention of Some dutch Man. As select and highly honourd Friends we were admitted into the Library, and to a view of the Miltonian Cabinet. In this he has the original edition of Miltons works; and every other to the present day. His Library his pictures Busts Medals coins, Greek Roman Carthaginian and Egyptian, are really a selection, as well as a collection, of most rare and valuable curiosities. In the early part of his Life, he visited Rome Itally, and many other Countries. His fortune is easy, and as he has lived a Batchelor his time is occupied wholy by the Sciences. He has a Maiden sister of 45 I should judge; who lives with him when he is in the Country. They each of them own a House in Town and live seperatt during the Winter. Miss Brand is curious in China, and in Birds. She has a peice of all the different manufacters of porcelane made in this kingdom, either a cup or bowl a Mug or a Jar. She has also a variety of Singing Birds. But what I esteem her much more for, is that she has taken from the Streets half a dozen poor children cloathed them and put them to school. This is doing good not only to the present but, future generations. Tis really curious to See how the taste of the Master, has pervaded all the family. John the Coachman, has a small garden spot which he invited me to see. Here were a collection of curious flowers and a little grotto filld with fosils and shells. The Gardner whose House stands within a few rods of the Mansion House, is Bee Mad. He has a Great number of Glass Hives in which you may see the Bees at work, and he shew me the Queens cell. He handles the bees as one would flies, they never sting him. He insists that they know him, and will, with great fluency read you a lecture of an Hour upon their Laws and Government. He has an invention of excluding the drones who are larger Bees than the rest, and when once out of the Hive they cannot return.7
{ 347 }
It would require a whole volm to enumerate to you all that was Worthy attention, and had you been one of the visitors I dare say you would collected a larger stock of improvement, and been much more minute than I have been in my account of curiosities, but I could not remember amidst Such a variety. I inclose you a drawing of the House8 which mr Hollis gave me.
My visit to Holland was agreeable but to your Aunt Cranch I must refer you for particulars. Madam Dumar and Miss were absent upon her estate untill the evening before I came away. I call'd to pay them a visit, and had a very cordial reception; Mr dumas speaks of you with great affection, as well as Madam, and Miss Dumas look'd kind. The Marquis de Verac, inquired after you with great politeness; said you was interpretor for him and mr Dana, when you was at Petersburgh, and that if I was drest in your Cloaths, he should have taken me for you. Years excepted, he should have added, but that was a Mental reservation. He is Ambassador at the Hague.
Captain Fletcher is arrived since I began this letter, and by the last Letters from my Friends I find that they had concluded upon your Brother Tommy's examination. If he is fit, I am not sorry that he has enterd. We might find it more difficult to carry you all through colledge if your Pappa was totally out of employ. How soon that may be I know not. Whatever additional expence we have been at here, has never been considerd, nor will be whilst so many demands are pressing from all quarters upon Congress. Neither Your Father or I wish to have you or your Brothers pinched in any reasonable expenditure. Your Friends Speak of you both as prudent and circumspect. Such I hope you will continue. I will send you from hence any article you want within my power, when ever you let me know what it is. Books have been heitherto your only object, and all have been Sent that you requested. Your sister will write you by Captain Cushing who will Sail this Month. I heard of the present opportunity but a day or two ago, and I have no other letters ready. I have been Sick ever since I returnd from Holland with the fall Disorder, hope I have got the better of it now as the Fever has left me.
Remember me affectionately to Your Brothers, and to all other Friends and believe me most tenderly your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] AA
{ 348 }
Inclosed you will find a medal of his present Majesty,9 as you have no great affection for him you may exchange it for any property you like better.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs: Adams. Septr: 27. 1786”; docketed: “My Mother. 27. Septr: 1786.”
1. Thomas Hollis (1720–1774), antiquary, editor of seventeenth-century republican and Commonwealth political works, and benefactor of Harvard College, was a year younger than his friend and heir, Thomas Brand (1719–1804), who took the name Hollis upon Hollis' death (DNB).
2. Timothy Brand (d. 1735), a London mercer, bought the Hyde in 1718 (Caroline Robbins, “Thomas Brand Hollis (1719–1804), English Admirer of Franklin and Intimate of John Adams,” Amer. Phil. Soc., Procs., 97 [1953]:239–247; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:113).
3. For Ann Torkington Jebb (1735–1812), see vol. 6:222.
4. Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow University, where Brand Hollis studied in the late 1730s (DNB; Robbins, “Thomas Brand Hollis,” Amer. Phil. Soc., Procs., 97 [1953]: 240; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 2:113).
5. Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey (1621–1678), justice of the peace for Westminster, is remembered as a Protestant martyr. Godfrey took the depositions alleging the Popish Plot of 1678 and presented them to the privy council. Soon thereafter he was murdered. Roman Catholics were immediately suspected, and two were convicted and executed, based on testimony that later proved to be false (DNB).
6. A broadside of Edward Bridgen's verses, “On sending some Pictures of Nuns and Fryers to Thomas Brand Hollis, Esq. at the Hyde in Essex, supposed to be Real Personages turned out of the Convents and Monasteries in Flanders by the Emperor,” without author's name, imprint, or date, is in the Adams Papers, filmed under the assigned date of ante 27 Sept. 1786.
7. JA, D&A, 3:197–198, explains the gardener's invention in some detail.
8. Not found. Several views of the house and grounds appear in John Disney, Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, Esq., London, 1808.
9. Not found. This was possibly a medal struck in 1785 by L. Pingo in recogntion of American independence, which showed a silhouette of George III on one side and a representation of Liberty on the other. Historians have speculated that this medal may have been issued to mark the first meeting between JA and George III on 1 June 1785 (Laurence Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals, 1760–1960, 3 vols., London, 1980, 1:63).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0131

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-09-28

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

In the begining of this month I made a visit to Haverhill found them all well. Mr Duncan married to a maiden Lady about sixty years old a sister of Judge Greenliefs of Newburry port. We made the Weding Visit. It is the easiest thing in the world for Some people to Bury wives and get new ones. If you hear of any of your acquaintance losing a wife you may expect in the next letter, at least to hear that they are looking out for another. Our good uncle Tufts—but hush—he is not yet fix'd—a sure sign that they think the mariage State the happiest. In my next I expect to tell you something of un• { 349 } cle Smith. He and Cousin Betsy went with us to haverhill. We return'd through Newbury and Salem. Dolly Tufts is soon to be married to a mr oddion of Marvelhead,1 but the most extraordinary of all is that miss Nabby Bishop is certainly soon to be married to Doctor Putman of Danvers. He liv'd with his uncle at Salem when we liv'd there.2 He is a Bachelor of about forty has a fine estate, and is a Man of Sense—in some things. “Keeps a matter of twenty head of cattle milk tweilve Cows, chirns thirtty pound of Butter a week, but you see I shall have nothing to do with the Dairy as it were. The Doctor has an old woman to take the care of that. I shall be married directly, and if I do not like to live in the country, the Doctor says as how he has interest money enough to maintain us in the most genteelist manner in town.”—These are the things which I am to suppose have captivated her. She brought him to see us last week, not a word did I hear of his Person or his abilities. She talk'd of those things only, of which she could judge. He is a comely man, and has a good understanding I assure you, is very affable and very Polite, but why, oh! why? when a man has so hansome an Estate will he be so solicitus to add acre to acre, rather than seek for a wife who opens her mouth with Wisdom and in whose heart is the law of kindness?3 For her mothers sake I rejoice.
There was last Teusday a Publick Exibition at Cambridge.4JQA and W—— C figur'd a way in a Forensick disputation. The Question was “whither inequality among the citizens is necessary for the preservation of the Liberty of the whole.” JQA afirm'd that it was and gave his reasons. W—— C deny'd it and gave his. Your son reply'd and ours clos'd it. They did not either of them, speak loud enough, otherways they perform'd well. There composition was good. There was also a Latin oration and an English one a Dialogue, a Syllogistick-disputation and a piece of Greek and Hebrew Spoken by two young Gentlemen. It was almost, equal to the performances of a commencment day. There were near four hundred persons Gentlemen and Ladies, present. Betsy and I were there, but We felt too much for our young Friends to be there again when any of them are to bear a part. Your Sons were well Cousin JQA has quite got well of his dissorder. Lucy is still at Haverhill. I made mrs Allen a visit when I was there. She looks very well and very happy, has a fine number of good looking Cheeses upon her Shelves and lives well and is much lik'd in the Parish.
Uncle Quincy has not yet been off his Farm. I do not now expect he will this winter. It is a Strange whim, he can walk about upon it { 350 } as well as ever he could, his hip has never been intirely well, but it would be better if he would ride. Quincy Thaxter and Nancy are married.5
Your Brother Adams and mother Hall spent this afternoon with me in company, with mrs Thayer Deacon Adams wife and Daughter and mr Adams eldest Daughter of Luningbourge.6 She is a very pretty Girl, comily and polish'd, and has a very sprightly Sensible countenance.
We desir'd captain Cushing to take a Dozen of chocolatt for you, but he Said he could not. I have heard from mr William White in Whose imploy he goes that he order'd the capt: to present mr Adams with part of a Box in his name. So that I hope you have not wanted it.
My Health is much better than it was, but I am very thin riding is of great Service to me.
Doctor Simon Tufts is just gone in a consumtion. Aunt Tufts cannot hold out much longer. She is very aged and very infirm. Mrs Tufts has a Severe trial her Father and one of her Brothers are sick and cannot continue long. Her youngest Son is with mr Shaw, but is dangerously sick with a Lung Fever, has not been out of his Bed for twelve days.7 Poor Lucy has had a Sad time for her visit. Billy and the two Betsys have been sick also, but they are much better.
All the papers Pictures &c, are at last deliver'd up, all but the Pockit Books. I told the Doctor that I thought he had better not mention these, as I knew he had made cousin charles a present of one of them. I think he was very lucky to get the other things. You would be surpriz'd to hear how much he owes to labourers in this Town above two hundred pound I am told. Besides this, your Brother8 said this day, that his Farm is mortgaged for six hundred more. If this is true he cannot hold out long at the rate he lives. When I was at a certain house in Boston9 the other day I was attack'd upon the Subject of my Niece's conduct. Many Slighty things were said of the coll; her Brother and Sister pretend to know him. I felt angry and spoke my mind very plainly. I have not a doubt but it was communicated. I wish'd it might be: I hope you can read this I do not wish any Body else too.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch 28 Sepbr 86.”
1. Dolly Tufts, daughter of AA's cousin Samuel Tufts of Newburyport, married George Odiorne of Exeter, N.H., on 4 Oct. 1787 (Vital Records of Newburyport, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1911, 1:399; 2:348, 488).
2. Abigail Bishop, daughter of John and Abigail Tufts Bishop of Medford, married Dr. { 351 } Archelaus Putnam, Harvard 1763, on 12 November. The bride's mother was AA's cousin (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:476). Richard and Mary Cranch lived in Salem 1766–1767 (vol. 1:53).
3. A reference to Proverbs, 31:26.
4. Harvard's fall exhibition occurred on 26 September. See JQA's account of the preparations and the proceedings in Diary, 2:93, 99–104.
5. Quincy Thaxter married Elizabeth Cushing of Hingham on 27 August. His sister Anna married their cousin Thomas Thaxter, also of Hingham, the same day (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 3:235, 236).
6. This group of Adams relatives was composed of Deacon Ebenezer Adams (1737–1791) of Braintree, a double first cousin of JA, his wife Mehitable Spear (1737–1814), and probably their daughter Alice (b. 1770); the Deacon's sister, Ann Adams Savil Thayer (1731–1794) of Braintree; and the Deacon's niece, Elizabeth Adams (1766–1852), eldest daughter of Rev. Zabdiel Adams (1739–1801) and Elizabeth Stearns (1742–1800) of Lunenburg (Adams, Geneal. History of Henry Adams, p. 401, 410, 411).
7. Mary Cranch reports on the health of the family of AA's cousin Dr. Simon Tufts and his second wife, Elizabeth Hall, including the doctor's mother and AA's aunt, Abigail Smith Tufts (1701–1790); his father-in-law, Stephen Hall, who died on 1 Dec.; and their son Hall (1755–1801). Elizabeth Hall Tufts had four brothers alive in 1786. The first to expire, Aaron Hall (b. 1737), died 19 March 1787 from dropsy (Vital Records of Medford, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1907, p. 382, 387; Charles Brooks and James M. Usher, History of the Town of Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, rev. edn., Boston, 1886, p. 540–541, 544, 562, 563).
8. That is, JA's brother, Peter Boylston Adams.
9. The home of Joseph Pearse and Elizabeth Hunt Palmer.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0132

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-01

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

This Day is the Aniversary of Eleven Years since our dear Mother left us poor Pilgrims, to sojourn here a little longer upon Earth, while she (as we trust)1 went to spend an eternal Sabbath in the blissful regions of immortality. The anual return of those Days, upon which some beloved Friend has been taken from me, I devote more particularly to the recollection of their amiable Qualities, and their many Virtues. I bedew their Ashes with a grateful, reverential, tender, silent Tear.—And while my Memory lasts,

“she shall a while repair,

To dwell a weeping Hermit there.”2

I closed my last-Letter telling you, that your and our Thomas B. A. would leave us the next morning. I now have the pleasure of informing you that he acquited himself honorably, and was received without any dificulty. Mr Shaw carried him to Braintree, and left him there. It was not possible for love, nor money to get a Chamber in Colledge, and Doctor Tufts has put him to board with Mr Sewall. I hope the dear Lad will continue to deserve the Love of every one. { 352 } Mr Shaw was exceeding fond of him, and I tell him, really pines after his Nephew.
My Uncle Smith, and Cousin Betsy, Brother and Sister Cranch have made me a visit. It really grieved me to see my Uncle so dejected. His Voice had that mournful Cadence, and was upon that key, which bespeaks our solicitude, and pity. He appeared to have a bad cold, and I observed to him, that I feared he had not eat a sufficient quantity of food to support him. “Yes Child I have, (said he) but my food, nor my Sleep does not seem to do the good it used to—Nothing appears to me as it did once.” Indeed, my Cousin Betsy, and he, both are deeply affected by their late Bereavment. My Uncle is not one of those passionate Mourners who easily throw of their Weeds, and dry up their Tears in the Bosom of another Love. But he is a good man, and behaves with dignity, and discovers proper magnimity, and Resignation of Mind, to the sovereign Disposer of Events.
Mr Allens Family all dined here, on a Saturday and we returned the compliment the next Monday. As her Freinds, and Relations are nearly the same with mine, I think they can make an agreeable division of their Time between us. Uncle, and his Daughter, Brother and Sister went home through Newbury, and I hear Sisters health is much better for her Journey.
I wish my Brother, and Sister Adams could as easily make me a Visit. Thy Sister would indeed, with pleasure “greet thy entering voice.”—But ah me! mountains rise, and Oceans roll between us. You are doing good:—that is my Consolation—and that, is what I heard Betsy Quincy tell her Brother, God sent him into the world for, and all the rest of the Folks. I often tell my little Daughter, I wish she would do half so well herself, as she teaches, or pretends to teach Others.
When I closed my last letter to you, I had many more things to say, and I then intended to have begun another immediately, but since that time we have had somebody sick in the Family, though none with a settled Fever till about three weeks ago a Scholar of Mr Shaws, the Son of Dr Simon Tufts was seized with a Cold, which threw him into a fever upon his Lungs. He never set up, and had his Cloaths on for fiveteen Days, and what rendered it peculiarly distressing to me, was that his Father was in the last stages of a Consumption and it was not posible for his Parents to see him. His Mother was so overcome with the news of her Sons illness, that she almost fainted away. Poor Woman her Situation was indeed distress• { 353 } ing. Every little while the Dr bleeds extreamly, and every turn they fear will be the Last. So that she could not leave him, unless we had been very desirous of her coming. But Hall Tufts was very good to take medicine, and was very easy with my Care, which was some releif to my Mind. I have endeavoured that he should not suffer for the want of maternal tenderness, and he is now recovering as fast as any one could expect. How pleasureable it is, to tend upon a person, when we can smile, and say, “they are much better.” I hear that Quincy Thaxter, and his sister Nancy were married at Mr Gays house. QT to a Miss Cushing, and N.T. to her Cousin.
The young widower Cushing, they say is courting his Sister Betsy Thaxter, but I can hardly believe it.3
Miss Nabby Bishop is published, do you see, and is going to be married to Dr Archelaus Putman, a Nephew of Dr Putmans of Salem a Gentleman of independant Fortune.
Mr Shaw talks of going to Bridgwater in about a week or fortnight, and we shall hear more as we pass through the Town. Perhaps I may pick up some anecdotes that may amuse you. At present my thoughts are not very bright, they have of late been so contracted, and absorbed in a dark, Chamber, arround a sick bed, that I believe I need some relaxation, and diversion to call up my Spirits.
Mr Thaxter and Miss Betsy are going to Boston next week. We have chosen him one of the Commitee, to answer an address of the Select men of Boston. I think he has drawn one that will do him honour.4
At present our States are in a dissagreeable Situation. The time is now come, for all to know, what manner of Spirits we are of, and whether we will support Government or not. The Court meet at Newbury the5
1. Closing parenthesis editorially supplied.
2. William Collins, “Ode Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746,” lines 11–12.
3. John Cushing and Elizabeth Thaxter, the elder sister of the first Mrs. Cushing, did not marry. In Dec. 1787, Cushing wed Christiana Thaxter, the cousin of his first wife (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 2:165, 3:233).
4. On 11 Sept., the town of Boston adopted a circular letter censuring those fomenting Shays' Rebellion and endorsing the governor's efforts to preserve state government. On 3 Oct., the town of Haverhill voted to approve Boston's address and appoint a committee to draft a reply. Haverhill's response, dated 10 Oct., concludes: “This town has borne its full share of all the burdens, losses and expences of the late war, and its subsequent proportion of public expences since the peace.—The present form of government we deliberately adopted and wish not to see it sacrificed—We are ready therefore, to join you in a firm and vigorous support of our Constitution, in the redress of grievances, and in promoting industry, oeconomy, and every other virtue which can exalt and render a nation respectable.” For the full printed { 354 } text of Boston's circular letter see Massachusetts Centinel, 13 Sept.; for Haverhill's response, see Boston Independent Ledger, 16 October.
5. At this point, the text ends at the bottom of the fourth MS page of the letter; any continuation is missing.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0133

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-08

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

I last evening receiv'd your kind Letter by the Way of new york and most heartily congratulate you upon the marriage of your only Daughter. It is a very desirable thing to see our children happily Settled in the world. Your anxietys for my dear Niece for several years have been very many and great. They are I hope now all at an end, at least of such a kind. No state is exempt from troubles, and those which our children suffer are keenly felt by a tender Parent. The character you have given of coll. Smith Seems to insure her from any but what are unavoidable in the happiest marriages. They have my warmest wishes for their Happiness and prosperity. I do not wonder you felt agitated at giving your Daughter away. I think I Should tremble at such an event as much as I did when I gave myself away. My dear neice must have discover'd the difference between a real and feign'd attachment, though her good nature and delicacy may have prevented her making the comparison, but if I am to believe a Lady where —— Boarded last Fall his was real also. His mortification and rage were real I believe. I never doubted it. <>She veryly thought he would have gone distracted.” “He put no Such airs on here, he too well knew we were not to be deceiv'd.<>1 We were us'd to call things by their right names. The violent Passion which he put himself into, the day you left us, excited no emotion in the beholders, but contempt. It procur'd him no pity, no gentle soothings from the girls. They knew not how to adminster comfort to a Person Who could thro himself upon the Floor—upon the couch—and upon the chairs, and bawl like a great Boy who had misbehav'd and was oblig'd to go to school without his dinner. Never did I see JQA laugh in such a manner as when he was told of this scene. Meeting with Such unfeeling companions then, he had no incouragment to seek consolations from them again. Both your and our Family are represented as treating him very ill. “If he was to blame for neglecting her so long he wrote her a long letter in vindication of himself,” and at my expence as well as that of others of her correspondence who never mention'd his name said I.” “Why he thought somebody must have been enjuring him so She never { 355 } would have treated him in such a manner only for not writing to her.” That was not all, and he knows it.” “Well he has Suffer'd for it I am sure, poor creature. He had nobody but me to open his mind too,” and happy had it been for you and yours if he had not open'd so much of it to you unhappy woman I could have said. “She has not better'd herself by what I can hear: my Brother and Sister know him, and say he is a man of no abilities and is of no profession and in any thing will not bear a comparison with.” “I hope not in good truth, was what I thought.” I said I knew him not, but I had receiv'd a good character of him from every one I had inquir'd of, who did, that he had been long enough in your Family for mr Adams to form an opinion of him and I believ'd he Was as capable of forming a Judgment of his character and his abilities as any one She had receiv'd her inteligence from: and that you were Satisfied as to both. How could She talk thus to me about Persons one of Whom I have reason to think, She had better never Seen.2 I hope the coll will come and give them the lie. When you lay all three of my Letters together you will think of the Pupil of Pleasure, of Philip Sedley3 and be thankful. Is it not astonishing that he should be continu'd in the Family and no notice taken? Some think it is not because, tis not severly felt, but that he is so unhappily circumstanced that he cannot resent it, and some say they have made a bargain.4 I could give you some curious annecdotes of last Winters gallantry in this Town: I did hint it then I was affraid to do more. A Friend interposed and in some measure Sav'd her character.
I long my dear sister to have you return, but where we shall be I know not. This House is upon Sale and whether we shall purchase it or not is uncertain. We cannot unless we can get what is due to us from the publick, or Sell our estate at weymouth. Mr Evans has alter'd his mind and will not settle at Weymouth. After accepting their call he told them he must go to Phylidelphia to get a certificate of his ordination and a dismission from the Presbitiary. When he return'd he said he could not be sittled so Soon as he expected, as the body would not sit till october. They look'd upon him notwithstanding as their minister, and expected he would Stay with them at least part of his time. Instead of which he never has above three or four days excepting Sundays and above half his time has sent other persons in his room. He would not even stay to visit the sick when they had notis nor attend a funereal. They complain'd he resented it, and has ask'd leave to withdraw his consent which they will grant. I have thought ever since he return'd that he wish'd to be { 356 } disingag'd and was trying to find some pretence to ask for a dismission. I know not what he has in view, but this I am Sure of, that he will hurt his character by it. He desir'd to have our House ready for him by July. Mr Hagglet5 who was a very good Tenant left it and now we cannot find any body to take it. I wish it was in Braintree—Poor Weymouth has again to seek a Pastor, but it is not their fault.
Captain Barnard is arriv'd and brought us Some magazines for which I thank you, but no letters. Callahan is not yet arriv'd. I hope for some by him. You have sent an April magazine twice and no July one except one of the Fashens, which we did not need: for would you believe it if I were to tell you the Fashions had arriv'd before it? To what a Pitch of Folly have we arriv'd, they are study'd as a Science. Your Mother Hall and Brothers Family are well. Madam Quincy and daughter and all your Nieghbours also. Uncle Quincy cannot be perswaid'd out. Mr wibird is well and Still lives in the Worst House in Braintree. Betsy is at Bridgwater Plymouth &c upon a visit. Lucy is at newbury Port. I wish you had one of them with you, or rather I wish you would come home and let us be all together here. Our dear Sons are an honour to us, they are well, but what shall we do with them when they come out of college? We have each of us one which we must think of Something for. The Law was what they both thought of, but unless we have more peace among us they had better take their axe and clear new Land. They are good Lads and I hope will never want Bread.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch 8 ocbr 1786.”
1. While trying to clarify her meaning here, Cranch may have neglected to cross out two of the quotation marks. Her use of quotation marks throughout the remainder of the paragraph is irregular.
2. This extended passage of quoted dialogue conveys the heated exchange between Cranch and Elizabeth Hunt Palmer that took place at Mrs. Palmer's Boston home about 9 September. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 24 and 28 Sept., both above.
3. Philip Sedley, the title character of Samuel Jackson Pratt's The Pupil of Pleasure, 1778, employs dissimulation, hypocrisy, and a pleasing façade to increase his personal profit and pleasure, the consequences of which introduce greater sorrow and vice into the community.
4. A reference to Joseph Pearse Palmer's poor financial situation and Royall Tyler's status as a boarder in his home.
5. For Rev. William Hazlitt, see vol. 5:480–481.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0134

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-09

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

As I was seting quite alone this evening somebody came in from Boston with a Hankerchief full of Letters from you my dear, dear { 357 } Sister. The Girls are neither of them at home, but I have ventur'd to open their Pacquits also, and a hearty laugh I have had at the extravagant Figures you have sent. Yes my sister our Ladies are foolish enough to deserve some of the ridicule. Those unnatural protuberences are daily encreasing and it was but last evening that mr Cranch was Saying to me that they had the appearence of deformity and always gave him pain.
I have no language that will express half what I feel for your generous kindness to me and my dear Girls. We have it not in our power to return it in kind, but I have a heartfelt satisfaction in thinking that we have one way left to express our gratitude more substantially than by mear words. I feel a pleasure in thinking that if you could look in upon your sons you would not think that a mamas or sisters care was wanting in any one instance. I cannot always command cash to do for them just as I would, this is all my difficulty. I always long to have you with us when we are all together in their vacancy's you have no Idea how pleasent it, is. There commons are good but the variety is small, you would laugh to see them attacking a large whartleberry Pudding and a good Family Apple Pye. I have prepar'd half a Bussel of dry'd whartleberrys against their winter vacancy. In a former Letter I mention'd the Exibition in which our sons bore a part, but I forgot to tell you that your son charles exhibite'd the Handsomest Face in the chapple without appearing in the least conscious of it. He is really too handsome. He will Soon steal the heart of every Girl Who sees him. He is as Soft and amiable in his manners as he is beautiful in his Person.
The children will want some Bandino Hankerchefs soon. I have taken all yours except the three best. I wish you would let me know at what price you can have them, they are so high here 8 shillings a peice that I cannot get them.
I thank you my dear sister for giving me so circumstantial an account, of the change of my Nieces affairs. I took perticular notice at the time of your writing it, of the Question she ask you “whither you thought a certain Gentleman of her acquaintanc was a man of honour.” We talk'd about it, and suppos'd that something of the kind had taken place, which really had. I never supposs'd but what she had acted properly, but the world knowing so little of the matter as they have, had it been any other person but mr T would have censur'd her greatly, but he is daily making her conduct appear diferent and there is now no way left for revenge but to represent the coll. as a man greatly his inferior.
{ 358 }
No no my sister, I have no inclination to laugh at you for being greatly affected at parting or being parted from: had I been with you, I should have only mingled a few Tears with yours. I have not forgot the many I shed in private before I got a thorough weaning, and yet you well know, no one could have a more tender or affectionate companion than your Sisters.
Your Letter to this disturber of the peace of Familys is just what I could have wish'd. Oh my sister you do not half know him yet, he will not long have any thing to do with Braintree I believe. I should not wonder if he should pack up and go to new york. I hope he will pay us first.
What should you think if you should pick up a Letter from a married Lady, whose Husband is absent, directed to a gentleman, with such sentences as these in it, “I am distress'd, distress'd by many causes, what can we do. I know you would help me if you could. Come to me immediately.”—“Oh think of me, and think of your Self.”1—It alarm'd me. It was misterious, but is no longer so—what will or can be done I know not. I was yesterday at Germantown. They seem all of them to be very Sensible of the Injury that has been done, the Family. It is a serious affair to break up such a large one, besides the disgrace which will forever attend even the Innocent ones of it. A man looks very Silly with a pair of horns stuck in his Front—and yet to suffer the enemy of ones peace to be under the same roof and to See—dividing her leering (I will not say tender) looks between himself and her Paramour is too much for Human nature to bear.
Both Barnard and Callahan have had very long Passages, 60 days each. You must have receiuv'd Several Letters from me since they sail'd. I wrote in July and in think in August but as I take no copys I cannot tell exactly. Whenever there is a vessal going I always feel as if I must keep writing till the last moment.
Why my dear sister will you make the tokens of your Love to us so expencive to you. There must be some things which in your station will be useless to you, which would appear very handsome upon us, and would never be the less acceptable for haveing been worn by a sister or Aunt. I wish you could See my Satten Quilt. Betsy drew it, and we quilted it our selves and a Beautiful piece of work it is. It is often affront'd by being pronounc'd as handsome as any English one. I wish your Petticoat merchant had offer'd you a Blue mode in stead of a pink because your Nieces quilted each of them a Pink mode the Fall you left us, but this you did not know. { 359 } They will try to Change it for a Blue. We are going this morning to your House to see that all is safe. We have had some difficulty to keep Pheby from admiting Stragling Negros lodging and staying in the House sometimes three or four days together. I have forbid her doing it, and the Doctor did so also, but there have been poor objects who have work'd upon her compassion sometimes. Mr Ts negro who I told you was like to have a child, was put there (and wood and provision promiss'd if She would keep her), by mr v——s——y. Mr T did not chuse to appear in it himself. She was not a good Girl, and I did not think, your things safe. Pheby told them that we had forbid her sleeping again in the House, “keep her conceal'd was the answer.” This rais'd me, and I talk to mr T about sending such creatures thire, for this was not the first he had sent. He deny'd it, but look'd guilty enough. She went of att last, and poor Pheby got nothing for all her trouble.
I wish I could step into your carriag this affernoon and make mr and mrs Smith a visit. Pray give my love to them, and tell them that nothing but the distance has prevented me. May this distance soon be shortend prays your ever affectionate Sister,
[signed] M C
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch ocbr 9 1786.”
1. Cranch evidently quotes from a letter that Elizabeth Hunt Palmer sent to Royall Tyler.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0135

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-10-10

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Letters of july 6th and August 15th were duly received. The accounts containd in Yours of july 6th respecting publick affairs is not be sure so agreeable as the Lovers of peace and good order would wish. Our Countrymen have of late been so much accustomed to turbulent times, and stormy weather, that I cannot but hope that we have skillfull pilots enough to stear the Ship safe. Mutinous passengers will no doubt add to the Danger. More particularly so when encouraged and abetted by the crews of seditious and artfull Neighbours.
Your publick papers are full of Speculations, some of them be sure quite wild and ridiculous, others repleat with wisdom judgment and prudence. Such was the address to the General court, publishd in Adams & Nourses paper june 29th. which I conceive to be the production of mr Gerry,1 and as he has there pointed out those Virtues which are essential to the union and good Government of the { 360 } State, by which it may render itself happy at home, and respected abroad. I will still hope that there is wisdom and integrity sufficient in the Mass of the people to bring them into practise. It is most earnestly to be wished, that the abilities of our literary Countrymen, would turn into some different channals from what seems lately to have occupied them and instead of abuseing and crying down one of the liberal professions, endeavour by decent measures to rectify the abuses which may have crept into it. It is not by enflaming the passion of Mankind that any benifit can result to a community at large. “The raging of the Sea, and the Madness of the people are put together in holy writ, and it is God alone who can say to either, hitherto shalt thou pass and no further, says a political writer.”2 The meetings of the people in different Towns of our state, can never terminate in any good, and every sensible Man will discourage them, and employ their pens in convincing their Citizens that, Whilst they have a free uncorrupted House of Assembly they cannot possibly be justified in the pursuit of Measures subversive of good order. Dean Swift observes that a usurping populace is always its own dupe, a mere under worker, and a purchaser in trust for some Single Tyrant whose state and power they advance to their own Ruin with as blind an instinct, as those worms who die with weaving Magnificent Habits for Beings of a Superiour Nature to their own.3
But when I consider what an influence the counsel of one wise Man possessd of integrity and publick spirit has had in all free countries over the passions of Men, I can never despair whilst I have reason to think, every little Town and Village possesses more than one; perhaps 5 of that description. Let not Him whom I address, and others like him, in whose Hands our publick affairs rest, be Disheartned or Dismayed, for publick virtue, sooner or later will meet with Glory and Success: the encouragement of Agriculture and manufactories will tend to lessen that rage for Luxery which has produced many of the evils under which our people are now groaning. Idleness is the parent of contention and disobedience.4 The industerous Hollander wears his Coat in the same fashion which it descended to him from his Ancestors, and possessing a capital which in a Country I could name, would rear a splendid building, spread a Sumptuous table and harness an elegant equipage, the Hollander neat in his Cloathing, decent in his House frugal at his table employs his capital in the advancement of commerce, in the acquirement of future credit, in the Regular discharge of his obligations, and in the support of the Government, tho at { 361 } present disturbed by internal commotions, and the usurpations of the Statdholder. If the meddlesome Genius of Neighbouring Princes does not intefere, they will Recover their ancient privileges. This disposition seems to prevail as strongly there, as the determination to shake of Tyranny ever did in the united States, from whence they acknowledge to have caught their present Spirit.5
You have seen no doubt Lord Carmarthens answer to mr Adams's Memorial. It was first communicated to the World in an American Paper Publishd at Baltimore. Upon its arrival here the Ministry publishd it from their own records, together with an extract from the Memorial; Can our Country expect any thing from this, untill the Treaty is complied with upon our part by the Removal of every legal impediment to the recovery of British Debts.6 If the decisions of an American jury should be against allowing interest during the War, they will determine it so, and the British creditor ought to Set down satisfied. It is the opinion of those whom I have heard converse upon the Subject, that there would be more lenity on the part of the Creditor and less distress attending the debtor, if the Laws were repealed and justice had its fair course.
The papers received lately from Governour Bowdoin, respecting the encroachments made at Passamaquode have been laid before Lord Carmarthan on a private capacity. As mr Adams has not yet received them offically from congress, he could not deliver them in his publick Character. His Lordship said he was sorry to see disputes of that kind arising, but he hoped that Lord Dorchester, (Sir Guy Carlton) would Settle them all as he had Authority to do.7
Mr Barclay has made a Treaty with the Emperor of Moroco, but as it has not yet come to Hand can say nothing respecting it.8 You will see by the papers how elated this people appear at their Treaty with France, which some persons say however will only end, in accelerating a War between the Nations. But War I imagine is far from the wish of the present Ministry even with America, tho they may press her as far as she will bear without turning, depending upon her inability. It is the opinion of some persons that France has deeper views in this late Maneuvre than at present appear to the world. Our own Country would do well to imitate the watchfull Argus instead of the Sleeping dragon, least the Gardens of Hesperides be rob'd of all their Golden Apples. Neither Country wishes our growth or prosperity. No dependance is to be placed upon them. Our Navy they fear the Growth of, and every measure will be concerted to keep it under.9
{ 362 }
I Sent you sir by one of the last vessels the papers respecting the ridiculous publications of Lord George Gordon, with mr Tufts lame replies. Tho the Character of Lord Gorge Gordon is at present well known here, it is not so in America; where only these publications can do mischief, and as the Letters have only been partially publishd in America, I am well satisfied that they will infuse into the minds of the people there, that mr Adams is a pensioner of France, tho Lord Gorges assertion was that he received his Sallery from thence.10 I am the more convinced of the injury this may do, by an extract of a Letter which I have cut from Your centinal and inclose to you.11 Some such circumstances as these and with as little coulour of Truth, frequently descend to posterity, are related in history for facts and fix a lasting Stigma upon innocent Characters. Algernon Sydney and Lord Russel in Dalrimple papers are publishd to the World as receiving Bribes from France. Men who I dare say would have spurnd the Idea.12 Mr Tufts I believe was ungaurdedly taken in, by a Man who would stick at no measures to do mischief, and whose medlesome disposition leads him to torment in some way or other every foreign Minister here. What I have to request of you Sir, is that the Letters may all be publishd together in one paper, and the denial of the assertion as you find it in the Daily, or Publick Advertizer I forget which, with a request to the printers who have made partial publication, to print the whole. If some little Stricture was added, that as no person every appeard; tho thus publickly challengd to produce any evidence upon the Subject, the whole ought to be considerd as the vagary of a distracted Brain, like Margrate Nicolsons attack upon the Life of the King.
I was much pleasd with my late visit to Holland, where we received every politeness and attention from the people which I could wish. I believe I have sufferd in my Health in concequence of the Climate, but Still I do not regret having once Seen a Country every way singular. I was witness too, to a Grand scene, the Triumph of Liberty, which having deposed a Number of their old Majestrates Elected 15 New ones, and in the most Solemn Manner in a large Square upon an elevated platform, amidst a Multitude of ten thousand persons assembled on the occasion, the chief Seecratary Administerd the oaths to them and all the people said Amen! in other words gave three huzzas. The free Choirs as they are calld or rather Militia; to the amount of 3 thousand were all under arms during the ceremony. The Magistrates were then conducted two and two to their Carriages, and the troops together with the Multitude retired { 363 } in perfect good order. We were at the Window of a House in a room provided for us, from whence we had a perfect view of the ceremony. And in the Evening the Secretary who administerd the oath, came in the Name of the Citizens to make their compliments to mr Adams with their thanks for the honour he had done them, and wishes for the prosperity of himself family and Country.13
Thus sir I have given you a detail upon several subjects, which I should have omitted if I could have drawn mr A. from his present subject to Letter writing. But between ourselves, he is as much engaged upon the Subject of Government as Plato was when he wrote his Laws and Republick.14
From Congress no official Dispatches have arrived for three Months.15 We hope they are deliberating to some purpose.
As to Domestick affairs you will draw for what you find necessary for the support of the Children and your Bills will be immediatly honourd. We feel Sir under obligations to you for your kind care and attention to all our domestick affairs. Mr Adams desires me to tell you that he would buy the two peices of Land, Belchers and verchilds, tho he thinks them of no great value. I am glad you are not like to have any further trouble with mr T. The least said upon a former subject the best. Wound not the Striken dear.
Both mr Adams and I request that mr Cranch should be paid the Board of our children during the vacancies and that mrs Cranch should charge washing mending &c. We cannot consent that our Children should be burdensome to our Friends. It is unreasonable.
I inclose the account of the Books purchased for [].16 The Bill of the papers procured here by mr Cushings request was inclosed to mr King with the papers and amounted to 15 pounds Sterling which mr Adams desired mr Cushing to pay to you. If it is not done, we will get a New Bill made out and Signd by the Gentleman and will inclose it to you.
Will you be so good sir as to accept a trifle, a new kind of Manufactory for Summer wear, which is used here for waist coats and Breeches. It is in a small trunk with some things I have sent to my children and the bundle addrest to you. My paper curtails me to two17
[signed] A A
RC (NNMus: J. Clarence Davies Collection, 34.100.596); endorsed: “Mrs. Ab Adams. octob. 10. 1786.” Dft (Adams Papers), filmed at [1786], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 369.
1. AA refers to a speech delivered in the Massachusetts House during debate over whether state loan certificates should be called in at their current (depreciated) { 364 } value. Elbridge Gerry represented Marblehead (Boston Independent Chronicle, 29 June).
2. Jonathan Swift, A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome, London, 1701, p. 52–53.
3. Same, p. 47. JA included this passage in his Defence of the Const., 1:104.
4. The first two paragraphs of the Dft correspond to the RC up to this point but vary so considerably that the editors print them here in their entirety:
“Your Letters of july 6th and August 15 were duly received. The accounts containd in yours of july 6 as well as those to mr Adams of our publick affairs is not be sure so agreeable as the Lovers of peace and good order would wish, but we have been so used to turbelant times and stormy weather that I cannot but hope we have skillfull poilots enough to Stear the Ship Safe. Mutinous <hands> passengers will no doubt add to the danger, more particularly so when they are encouraged and abetted by the crews of Dangerous and powerfull Neighbours. There is a constant succession of Prosperity and adversity in all Humane affairs. Man is a wrestless Being and must be employd <either> for the benifit <or mischief> of his fellow creatures or he will sink into Idleness which produces contention disobedience to the Laws Ruin and confusion, and from this Source I imagine great part of the evils under which our Country is now groaning will be found to proceed. During the war money tho of small value was easily procured and the small estimation in which it was held, introduced Luxery and extravagance of every Specie. The lower cass of people who can least bear wealth grew indolent and overbearing. They could live easier upon less labour and in reality they felt little of the publick burden. Now they are obliged to labour more Gain less and pay more. They are exclaming on all hands and foolishly think that the fault lies with their rulers. But a Still greater evil results from the distress into which the mercantile part of the States have brought themselves by the Debts contracted to this Country. The difficulty of remittances and the calls of their Iritated creditors obliges them to shut their Doors and exposes them to the sudden attacks of all their credittors at once. British factors will swarm amongst us and pick up our remaining pence. The Guineys are already I presume nearly exported. But after some time these evils will be remided. We Shall emerge from our present State of depression made wiser by experience, and the little jealousys which Subsist between different States will be swallowd up in the one Idea of uniting for common Defence. Perhaps you will Say the remedy is worse than the disease. What ever it may be, a little time will oblige us to the experiment I fear.
“When I consider what an influence the counsels of one wise man possest of integrity and publick Spirit, has upon the mass of the people, I can never despair whilst I have reason to think <some> every little Town and village possesses more than one or even 5 of that description. Let not those in whose hands our publick affairs rest be disheartned or dismayed for publick virtue is always attended with Glory and Success. Your publick papers are full of Speculations, some of them be sure quite wild and riduculous others repleat with wisdom judgment and prudence. Such was the address to the General Court publishd in Adams & Nourse paper june 29th which I conceive to be the production of mr Gerry, as he has there pointed out those virtues which are essential to the union and good government of the State, by which it may render itself happy at home and esteemed abroad. I will still hope that there is wisdom and integrity Sufficient in the Mass of the people to bring them into practise. These meetings of the people in the different Towns of the State ought to be Discouraged and Discountananced by informing them that there can be no possible occasion for such measures whilst they have a free uncorrupted representation in the General assembly. The Craft of <some> a desiging knave is Sufficient only for a time to Dupe the Multitude. I have always observed in my countrymen a disposition to hear truth, as soon as their passions have subsided. Swift observes in some of his political observations that a usurping populace is its own Dupe, a mere underworker and a purchaser in trust for some Single tyrant, whose State and power they advance to their own ruin with as blind an instinct as those worms that die with weaving magnificent Habits for beings of a superiour Nature to their own.”
5. This very month JA published a series of letters he wrote to Hendrik Calkoen, an Amsterdam lawyer, in Oct. 1780 analyzing { 365 } Dutch and American society and comparing the Low Countries' revolt against Spain to the American Revolution. For JA's Twenty-six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects, Respecting the Revolution of America and the circumstances leading to their composition, see Papers, 10:196–252.
6. For JA's memorial of 30 Nov. 1785, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 21 Feb., note 3, above. Carmarthen replied on 28 Feb., citing obstacles in violation of Art. 4 of the peace treaty that British creditors had encountered attempting to collect American debts; he concluded by stating that Britain would fulfill every article of the treaty when the United States had demonstrated its readiness to do the same. JA sent the response to John Jay on 4 March and it was presented to Congress in early May (JCC, 31:781–797; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 23:287).
The Baltimore Maryland Journal published Carmarthen's response on 4 July. AA probably saw the piece reprinted under that dateline in the London Daily Universal Register, 5 September.
7. James Bowdoin's letter of 11 July (PRO: F.O. 4, vol. 4, f. 487–489) concerned a boundary dispute between Massachusetts and New Brunswick. On 26 June, New Brunswick officials seized two Massachusetts vessels anchored on the western side of Passamaquoddy Bay, claiming that their jurisdiction extended to its western shore. If true, New Brunswick could prohibit U.S. navigation into the bay, making several Massachusetts townships virtually inaccessible. Also at stake was the status of several islands in the bay (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, May sess., ch. 92; Charles Storer to JA, 21 July, Adams Papers).
Included among the eight enclosures Bowdoin sent JA (not found) were Bowdoin's message to the General Court notifying them of the seizure, 7 July; the Court's resolve concerning the matter, 8 July (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, May sess., ch. 92 and 127); the Council's advice; and various letters and depositions from residents at Passamaquoddy, including Massachusetts excise officers James Avery and Samuel Tuttle.
Guy Carleton, 1st Lord Dorchester, was reappointed governor of Canada in April and arrived in Quebec in Oct. (DNB).
8. Thomas Barclay concluded negotiations with Morocco for a Treaty of Peace and Friendship and an additional article on 28 June and 15 July. Col. David Franks carried the treaty from Cadiz to Paris, where it was signed by Jefferson on 1 Jan. 1787, and then to London, where JA added his signature on 25 Jan. (Miller, Treaties, 2:185; Jefferson, Papers, 10:418, 618).
9. In her Dft, AA does not mention Barclay and the Moroccan treaty but adds the following paragraph concerning the Anglo-French commercial treaty negotiated by William Eden and Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours in September: “Treatys of commerce you will See by the publick Papers are comeing so much into vogue that a very extrodanary one has lately been Signd by the Count de Vergenes and mr Eden. The papers are by degrees feeling the pulse of the Nation and giving out the articles by peace meal. The papers begin already to clamour and by the time Parliament meets <I> it is imagined there will be a warm contest. It is thought France has deeper views in it than is at present discoverd. <It is an event which> Our Country are interested in watching and attending to this Manuver with Argus Eyes.”
10. This controversy regarding JA's salary, for which see AA to Tufts, 22 July, above, was first reported in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 6 July. JA's rebuttal, originally published anonymously in the London Public Advertiser, 9 May, was summarized in the Boston Gazette, 17 July, and reprinted in full in the Boston American Herald, 4 September.
11. Not found.
12. Sir John Dalrymple (1726–1810) made the allegations against Algernon Sidney and Lord William Russell in his Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland. From the Dissolution of the Last Parliament of Charles II, until the Sea-Battle off La Hogue, 1771, Part 1, book 1 (DNB).
13. AA and JA attended the swearing-in ceremony for several Patriot magistrates who had been elected at Utrecht in early August. This event represented the triumph of the Patriot Party in its attempt to introduce at least limited democracy into the Council of Utrecht (JA to Thomas Jefferson, 11 Sept. 1786, Jefferson, Papers, 10:348–349; Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780–1813, N.Y., 1977, p. 88–91, 97–100).
14. This is the first reference to the beginning of JA's work on what would become his { 366 } three-volume A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. JA began writing what was ostensibly a series of letters to his son-in-law WSS in Sept. 1786 and would conclude the first book by the end of the year. It was published in Jan. 1787 in London. Subsequent volumes appeared in London in Aug. 1787 and Jan. 1788, respectively. During that time, JA's other letter writing—especially personal letters—was substantially reduced and only picked up again in late December when the bulk of the first volume had been completed.
JA began the Defence as a response to a letter written by Baron Anne-Robert Turgot in 1778 and published by Richard Price in 1784, which attacked American state constitutions for their bicameralism. JA feared that too many Americans had come to agree with Turgot and sought to refute his ideas, arguing for the importance of a balanced government and separation of powers among the democratic, aristocratic, and monarchic elements of the state. Using material from a wide array of sources including historians, philosophers, and political theorists (some attributed, some silently quoted), JA examined various earlier republics and attempted to demonstrate that lack of balance in government led to civil war. The reports of growing unrest in Massachusetts, culminating in Shays' Rebellion, reinforced JA's concerns and provided a backdrop to the work.
The Defence received widespread distribution throughout the United States. The books first reached Boston in mid-April 1787, and Cotton Tufts arranged for their dissemination to various individuals as well as a Boston bookseller. By the summer, American editions of the first volume had been printed in New York and Philadelphia, and portions had been reprinted in various newspapers throughout the states. Despite this, it is not clear that the Defence had any significant influence on the Constitutional Convention then meeting in Philadelphia. While some praised the work for its commitment to a balanced government, others expressed concern about JA's admiration of the British constitution and feared that he was advocating a return to a monarchy.
For more extensive discussions of the work's ideas and influence on American political thought, see C. Bradley Thompson, “John Adams and the Science of Politics,” John Adams and the Founding of the Republic, ed. Richard Alan Ryerson, Boston, 2001, p. 237–265; and “John Adams: A Defence of the Constitutions,” Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 13:81–90.
JA's literary notes for the volume, which include copies of lengthy excerpts from various sources quoted in the books and drafts of the preface and some letters, are filmed at M/JA/9, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 188. The volumes themselves were reprinted by Da Capo Press in 1971.
15. In the Dft this sentence concludes: “the Treaty with Prussia excepted which he hastned and exchanged a few Days before the Death of the King.” The final paragraph in the Dft begins: “As we cannot know the determinations of Congress I cannot state what they may determine to do with their Minister here.” The remainder of the paragraph thanks Tufts for his care of the Adams boys and directs him to pay the Cranches for boarding them during college vacations. The other topics appearing at the end of the RC are not in the Dft.
16. Blank in MS; probably Rev. Manasseh Cutler (1742–1823), Yale 1765, an Ipswich, Mass., minister and later a director of the Ohio Company (Cotton Tufts to AA, 2 Jan. 1787, below; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:138–154).
17. AA probably refers to the fact that she only has space to sign her initials.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0136

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-10-12

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

I wrote you some days ago, and mr Gardner comeing in just as I had closed my Letter I inquired of him, if he knew of any opportunity of sending to Boston, he replied, that a vessel belonging to Newyork had taken freight for Boston and would Sail that day. I gave him the Letter to you, the only one I had written which he { 367 } promised to put into the bag; and which I hope has reachd you. I expected Captain Cushing would Sail this Month, and by him designd a large pacquet to my Friends, but his vessel has been seazd; and as it is not yet determined whether she will be condemnd, he knows not when he shall get out.1 Captain Folger is the only vessel like to sail from here, and it was but yesterday that I learnt he was to sail this week, so that Several of my Friends I shall not have time to write to. The week I returnd from Holland I was taken sick and continued near 3 weeks very ill, and unable to Set up, but my disorder has now happily left me. You complain of ill Health my dear sister, I fear the addition to your family cares is too fatiguing for you. I know your sisterly kindness leads you to exert yourself for the service of your Nephews, but the washing and Ironing for 3 Lads is too heavy a load for your family, and if you would only get done under your inspection, it is all that I wish for. But if still done in your family I insist that you Charge it to me, together with their Board during the vacancy, neither mr Adams or I are easy on account of it. Your complaint is Rheumatic I am persuaded and you will find releif from Burgundy pitch2 in your neck. I was long loth to apply this remedy to myself, but I never used it but with success. Ironing is very bad for you. You will Smile and Say you cannot bear them, but make you some fine flannel Bodices and wear them next your skin. You will find them an excellent Gaurd against the colds you are so subject to in winter. So much for Quackery.
With regard to commencment and the necessaries for it, both mr Adams and myself approve your plan as the best method, and one which will be attended with the least trouble to you. We submit wholy to your opinion and judgment whatever is proper and request you to draw upon Dr Tufts for the money necessary. We neither wish on the one hand to be lavish nor on the other Parsimonious, and with Regard to pocket money for them, whilst they shew no disposition to extravagance if you think a little larger allowance necessary, Supply them and I will repay you. I know it is critical and too much is apt to do more harm than too little.
I have put up in a small Trunk which I shall commit to the care of captain Folger a suit of half worn Cloaths, which I thought might be turnd for my Eldest Son if he has occasion for them. Here we cannot do such a thing, and they are of no service to lay by. I have got the ratteen patternd very near, the Cloth not so well, but if he has a waistcoat a peice can be taken from the back of that, and the Cloth I send may supply its place.
{ 368 }
You desired me to send some strong cotton Stockings. I have purchased some, and you will find that I have attended more to Strength than fineness. The half dozen at 4s. 3 pences pr pair I bought for cousin Cranch. I did not buy any for my son John, as I did not know whether he wanted, but if he does, you will let me know and I must get a larger Size. You will find 5 yds of superfine blew Broad Cloth, for which I gave twenty Shillings Sterling pr yd. This I Send for my two younger Sons and Some Buff thick set for waistcoats and winter Breeches. Nankeen will be best for summer wear, that can be better bought with you than here. The Buff will wash very well provided too hot water is not used. The Silk handkerchiefs and waist coat pattern round them you will distribute to that son which stands most in need of them or divide between them. The Brown Tabinet you will be so good as to present to my Mother, with my duty and that of her son, Grandson3 and Grand daughter. The calico is for my Neices Nancy and Suky Adams, the Linnen for Louissa. A small bundle addresst to Dr Tufts to be deliverd to him and some silk for my dear Betsy and Lucy a commencment Gown. I wish there was as much again but, the Spirit is willing, they will therefore accept the will for the Deed. A pound of best Hyson tea I think for my dear Sister Cranch closes the list. To mr Cranch the Trunk will be addrest. I presume they will not oblige the duty to be paid upon these things, as they are not merchandize to make a profit upon, and articles for the use of my children. I have always heitherto got the captains to put the things into their own Trunks, but now they are rather too numerous, and I am very little acquainted with captain Folger.
I wish you would send me the Measure of my two Eldest sons necks and wrists. We could then make their linnen here, as I am sometimes really put to it, for want of employ both for myself and Esther.
You never mentiond receiving the Shirts we made for JQA, nor a peice of linnen sent to Charles at the same time. I rely upon you from time to time to make known their wants to me.
I know not whether we are to continue here longer than the Spring. Till then I am determined not to move, it is now so far advanced in the year. Probably by the next opportunity, I shall be better able to say whether we may hope to meet Next year or not. Tis three Months Since mr Adams received any dispatches from Congress. I was very glad to hear from mr Perkins, and wish him success and prosperity but not my Neice. She must never go into a { 369 } wildeness amongst Savages, tho she might make a paridice of one and Humanize the other. The Still Sequesterd walks of Life are more consonant to her disposition. I Scarcly know the Man who is sufficiently civilizd to make her happy yet I need not wish her a more affectionately tender partner than appears to have fallen to the lot of her happy cousin. I hope some day to have the pleasure of introducing him to my dear Friends in America.
You drew so lovely a picture of our children dwelling together in unity, around your Hospitable Board; that I am Sure no amusement here ever gave me such heartfelt satisfaction as I received from your description only. God Bless them all and make them wise and virtuous. Our Good uncle Quincy become a recluise; he wants Children and Grandchildren arround him to enliven his declining years. O how my Heart Bounds towards you all, when I cast a retrospective look on times past, believe me I have never known the pleasures of society Since I left my native shoar.

“What is the World to me, its pomp its pleasures and
its Nonsence all?”4

Compared to the cordial Friendship and endearing ties of Country kindred and Friends?

“Source of every Social tie

united wish; and Mutual joy.”5

But whether am I wandering. We have here an agreeable addition to our American Party by the arrival of mr Shiping, the Young Gentleman who accompanied General Lincoln to Boston a few years ago. Dr cutting too is his companion, him you know; he laughs less I think than formerly, which is an amendment, he is very Sensible and really appears a promising young Man. I am much more pleasd with him than I expected to be. Mr Shipping from his family and connexions would be intitled to our civilities, but from his personal merit, he is deserving of Friendship. They are students in the temple.
Mr Bulfinch is about returning to Boston. From all that I have seen of him, I think him a modest deserving young Gentleman, without one Macaroni air. He has made a pretty large Tour and I dare say is one of those who will be benifitted by his travels.6 As to what is call'd polishd, I am so prejudiced in favour of my countrymen; that those who have had a good Education at home and been accustomed to company, stand in no need of any outward accomplishments which Europe has to bestow.
{ 370 }
You will find in some bundle a remnant of cambrick which I sent to know if it is better bought here than in Boston. I gave ten shillings sterling pr yd for it. I have a few yards of coars cloth which I could not get into the Trunk, and must stay till captain cushing goes who I hear this day has got his vessel clear. By him then I must write to those Friends, who will say, is there no letter for me? dont complain my dear Girls,7 I will write you soon, and to Miss Betsy Palmer too, whom I have a long time owed. 3 months ago I began a letter to her,8 whilst I was writing, the Melancholy News of the death of our Dear Aunt reachd me, I lay'd it by too melancholy to proceed. My Regards to all my Neighbours, my Respects await our good Parson. Good dr Price is in great affliction having lost mrs Price about 3 weeks ago. He has not preachd since; but wrote us word last week9 that he hoped to on sunday next. What has become of mrs Hay, that I have never received a line from her since she left me. Remember me to Miss Payne when you see her. I would write her but really my correspondents are so numerous that I fear I write stupidly to one half of them.

[salute] Adieu my dear sister Heaven Bless you and yours is the Sincere wish of your affectionate Sister

[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. The reasons for the seizure of Cushing's ship are unknown; he was substantially delayed by it, however, not arriving back in Boston until mid-April 1787 (Massachusetts Centinel, 18 April).
2. The resinous sap of the spruce fir, from the Neufchâtel region, applied as a plaster (OED).
3. WSS, Susanna Boylston Adams Hall's grandson by marriage.
4. James Thomson, The Seasons: Spring, lines 1137–1138.
5. Alexander Pope, “Chorus of Youths and Virgins,” from Two Choruses to the Tragedy of Brutus, lines 25–26.
6. Charles Bulfinch, the architect, had met the Adamses when he arrived in England in July 1785 and saw them several times that year before beginning his tour of France and Italy in the winter and spring of 1786 (see vol. 6:162, 163).
7. Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch.
8. No letter from AA to Elizabeth Palmer has been found.
9. Richard Price to JA, 5 Oct. (Adams Papers). Sarah Blundell Price, who had long been in ill health, died on 20 Sept. (Richard Price to JA, 21 Sept., Adams Papers; Caroline E. Williams, A Welsh Family from the Beginning of the 18th Century, London, 1893, p. 30–31, 59, 84–85).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0137

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-14

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Cousn.

Your Favour of July 22d and Aug: 1st. and also Mr. Adams of July 4th. I recd by Barnard and Callihan, the former arrived the 5. Inst. and the Latter [].1
{ 371 }
In former Letters, I have expressed my Fears with Respect to the Stability of our Federal Government. Should this tumble, into Ruin, what is to be the Scituation of my Friend in Europe. But is not a Suspicion of this Nature, unwarrantable, Ought it ever to enter into the Heart of a Citizen, or even a Doubt be admitted of its Stability. The Security and Happiness however of my Friend is at all Times near my Heart, and that of my dear Country. I confess Our Scituation is far from being considered desperate and on the other Hand, there are strong Symptoms of Dissolution and unless some Strong Exertions are soon made, the Event will inevitably take Place.
Bror. Cranch has given you a particular Account of the Rebellion existing in some of the Western Counties.2 Should the Constitution of this State be thrown down, all the Rest in the Union will probably follow. An Event which Heaven avert. A few Months, however will determine in my Opinion, whether it will stand or fall. Between the several Opinions in the Genl Court, whither coercive Measures in the first Instance, or coercive Measures joined with Lenient, or Lenient Measures in the first Instance shall be adopted a wretched Indecision remains. Newhamshire Government has I imagine crushed the Rebellion there in its Embrio.3 Fortunate would it have been had we taken Measures here to have suppressed the rising Flame in its first Appearance. Time does not permit me to assign the Causes of this rebellious Spirit, this may be the Subject of a future Letter.
You may easily suppose from our present Scituation the difficulty of my collecting Monies from your Estate here for the Support of your Children, at present I am advancing in my own Stock and shall continue so to do at present, as it will suit me eer long to draw on Mr. Adams in favour of Mr Elworthy, from whom I shortly expect a Quantity of Goods. Mr. Morton who has repeatedly offered me Belchers Place, not long since urged me to make him an offer, I accordingly offered him £60, (You may recollect that the Number of Acres are 5 1/2, that part of the House is decayed much the Roof mostly gone and open to the Heavens). He refused it and said he had been offered £120. This might have been some Years a gone, But I am pretty certain, No one will give it at this Day, And I think no Inducement will carry the Price above £70 or 75. Nor should I have ventured even to such a Price, had I not recd Mr. Adams sentiments expressive of his Desire to have it although dear. Nothing further has turned up with respect to Verchilds Lands since I wrote you last. They will be sold as soon as the Agent here has recd a Copy of Verchilds Will.
{ 372 }
Your Three Sons are at our University, all in the Enjoyment of Health and of the good Opinion of their Instructors. In the Beginning of this Month, the Overseers by their Committee visited the University. I had the Pleasure of seeing Mr John display his Talents in a forensic Dispute On the Inequality of Power in a popular Government, in which he did himself Honor as also our Cousin Cranch who was his Opponent. Master Thomas boards at Mr Sewalls is well accommodated. No Chamber in College could be obtained.
At Weymouth we are still without a settled Minister. Mr. Evans recd a Call from us, accepted the same, soon after married our Cousin Hulda Kent, went with her to Philadelphia, returned, preached with us 6 or 8 Sabbaths and a few Days since went to Portsmouth and left behind a Letter requesting the Parish to revoke their Call.—Time must unravel the Mystery.

[salute] My best Regards to Mr. and Miss Smith, May every Blessing attend them. Yours affectionately.

1. Blank in MS. Barnard arrived in Boston on 6 Oct.; Callahan reached Cape Ann on 8 Oct. and Boston on the 10th (Massachusetts Centinel, 7, 11 Oct.).
2. Cranch to JA, 3–11 Oct., Adams Papers.
3. On 20 Sept., 200 yeoman surrounded the statehouse in Exeter to demand that the legislature take up the issue of paper money. In response Gov. John Sullivan called up 2,000 members of the militia to quell the uprising. Some shots were exchanged but most of the yeoman, recognizing the disparity in numbers, fled into the woods. Of the few who were captured, five were tried for treason in military courts martial (David P. Szatmary, Shays' Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection, Amherst, Mass., 1980, p. 78–79).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0138

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-10-15

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

And so my dear Sister all your Nephews have quitted your Hospitable Mansion for the university of cambridge but tho they have quitted your House; I know they Still possess a share of your Maternal care and tenderness, in a degree they have been “Plants of your Hand, and children of your care.”
As they rise in Life, may they increase in knowledge and virtue, and never be unmindfull of the good examples and Friendly admonitions of those who have their best interests at Heart. I hope their places will be supplied to you by a like Number of virtuous Youths; the Success your Worthy Partner has met with in prepareing Youth for their admission at the university, shews him to be peculiarly { 373 } adapted to “rear the tender Thought, and teach the Young Idea how to shoot”1 whilst the benevolent Heart, and amiable Manners of his help Mate, by her precepts, and example confirms and Seconds the good advice and Maxims of her Friend. What are common Schools compared to a family where Manners and Morals are equally an object of attention, where Love, and not Morossness is the Preceptor. Mr Adams frequently wishes that he had Tommy here,2 but this is rather the wish of a parent desiring to see a Son long Seperated from him; than his real judgment; for we are daily more and more confirmed in the opinion, that the early period of every Americans Education, during which the mind receives the most lasting impressions; ought to be in his own Country, where he may acquire an inherent Love of Liberty and a thorough acquaintance with the Manners and taste of the Society and country of which he is a Member. He will find a purity in the Government and manners, to which Europe has been long a stranger. He will find that diligence integrity Genius and Spirit, are the true Sources of Superiority, and the Sure and certain means of rising in the estimation of his fellow citizens; instead of titles Stars and Garters. Far removed be those pests of Society; those Scourges of a free Government, from our happier land. His object should be the Hearts of his Countrymen, which is of more importance to a youth, than the good opinion of all the rest of Mankind, without the first the Second is very rarely obtained. When the judgment is ripened and taste and habits formed, when the heyday of the Blood, as shakspear terms it,3 is abated, then may a Gentleman visit foreign countries with advantages. But so forcible is custom So tyrannical fashion, so Syren like vice, “when Lewdness courts them in the shape of Heaven” which is too, too often the case, that a Youth must be something more or less than Man; to escape contamination. Chastity Modesty decency, and conjugal Faith are the pillars of society; Sap these, and the whole fabrick falls sooner or later; sixty Thousand prostitues in one city, Some of them; the most Beautifull of their Sex!!!4 “take of the Rose From the fair forehead of an innocent love, and Set a Blister there; make Marriage vows as falce as dicers' oaths.”
Such with shame be it spoken, is the picture of Europe. Alass how many victims have I seen, sent here without Guide or Gaurdian, to improve their Manners, but disgracing their country, ruining their Health, waisting their fortunes,5 till from Kings bench, or Newgate, a supplication comes to help them to their own Country; { 374 } the picture which Richardson drew of Mrs Sinclair he drew from Life, horid as it was.6 What I once read as Romance I no longer conceive as a fiction.
The only News which I can write you from this quarter of the World, will be a phenominon indeed should it take place. I mean that France and England should from Natural Enemies become very good Friends, as the court runners give out, the late treaty of commerce Signed between the two powers is to have a wonderfull effect by cementing the two Nation in bonds of lasting peace and union. With regard to America, she has got her answer from this court, that when the Treaty shall be fully complied with on our part, then the post shall be evacuated the Negroes payd for &c. The conduct of our Country makes their service abroad very unpleasent, dignified conduct, and united measures, is the only basis of National Respectibility: and honesty is the best policy for a Nation, as well as an individual.7
Your Neice is very well and very happy, as she has every reason to be, from manly tenderness and unfeigned affection, from kind and assidious attention, from all those virtues of the heart which constitue a good Husband, from all those qualifications of the mind which form the Gentleman, the Man of letters the Patriot and the Citizen.
Present my Love to my dear Friend mr Thaxter with whom I most sincerely Sympathize,8 remember me to Mrs Allen and to every inquiring Friend. Accept a triffel9 for my little Neice to whom and her Brother give a kiss which tell them I sent in my letter. To mr Shaw, you may give an other if you please, from your ever affectionate Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); endorsed: “October 15. 1786.” Dft (Adams Papers), filmed at [1787?], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 370.
1. James Thomson, The Seasons: Spring, lines 1152–1153.
2. In her Dft, AA writes, “but in this wish I cannot join him for I am more and more persuaded that the early period of every Americans Education. . . .”
3. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 3, scene iv, line 69. AA's subsequent two quotations in this paragraph are likewise from Hamlet: Act 1, scene v, line 54, and Act 3, scene iv, lines 42–45, respectively.
4. AA probably refers to Paris, where she had been offended by the large number of prostitutes (to Mary Smith Cranch and to Mercy Otis Warren, both 5 Sept., vol. 5:443, 447).
5. AA's Dft finishes the paragraph: “and their Morals. These are chiefly southern Youth whose minds are Naturally more elevated than those of our cold Northern climate. They have been usd to cringing slaves. This gives them a Hateur not alltogether adapted to Republican Governments.”
6. Mrs. Sinclair was the madam of a brothel in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.
7. AA's Dft extends this paragraph considerably, adding: “and no Country or Person will Succeed long where this essential prop• { 375 } erty is lost in selfishness and tricking. It is the talant of Humane Nature to run from one extreem to an other. Those who read our publick papers, more particularly some of the instructions to the Representitives and the county conventions will be led to think that our Liberty is become licentiousness. Publick principal and publick ends cannot be promoted by these illegal assemblies. There must be some crafty leader, some sly insinuating Serpent difusing his venom upon a deceived multitude for common Sense and plain Reason could not pervert and mislead my countrymeen thus.” This is AA's first extended comment on the unrest in Massachusetts that gave rise to Shays' Rebellion.
8. In her DftAA wrote, “Mr Thaxter, I sympathize with him. It is the first near affliction Stroke he ever experienced. The circumstances of it render it still more so. Such is Humane life we ought to know the tenure by which we hold it, and let nothing surprize or amaize us, happy for those who can attain this christian Resignation.” The “Stroke” was the death, following childbirth, of John Thaxter Jr.'s sister Lucy Thaxter Cushing in June.
9. The Dft identifies this as “a peice of calico for a Slip.”

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0139

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Date: 1786-10-15

Abigail Adams Smith to Lucy Cranch

Your Letter my Dear Cousin from Haverhill1 I received a few weeks since, and hearing of an opportunity to Boston I embrace it to acknowledge the receipt of and answer your Letter.
I think myself very unfortunate respecting my Letters which went by Mrs Hay, that by their very long delay I was prevented hearing from my friends, and Still more that those friends should imagine themselvs forgotten. It Convinces me that Candor is wanting amongst them, that they should all make observations so much to my disadvantage for One supposed omission towards them. If they had each lookd Back to the Numbers of my Letters and Compared them with their own, they might rather have Condemned themselvs, for I beleive I have written two to one to most of my Correspondents Since I left America. From such and other instances of want of Candor I have some times half a mind to place dependance upon, a very few.
I am quite of your opinion my Cousin that you nor I should derive no happiness with our present Sentiments from Birth or Titles. But we are so very incompetent to form any judgment of others that I would not venture to decide from what scource anyone could ensure it to themselvs. It is a general foult that we too often take upon us to judge for other People, where we can have no Laudable motive for so doing.
The Idea of Mammas returning so early as the spring is I imagine rather premature. My Pappa has talkd of the next Spring for his return every season since I have been in Europe. I now Consider it only as his wish which may for many Successive seasons prove in { 376 } Compatible with his actions. Therefore my Dear I would advise you and all other Friends who feel interested in their return, not to place such a dependance upon it as to be disappointed should it not take place for several years. It may so happen that you may see your Cousin before your Aunt, for whenever I return to America, I hope it will be in my power to pay you an early visit. But I know of nothing at present to Ground a Supposition of my speedy return, nor is it probable that it will be within a year or two perhaps more.
I regret my seperation from my Brothers more than any other Circumstance, and there are times when it makes me unhappy, but I indeavour again to reconcile myself to it as the result of inevitable necessity.
You my Dear Lucy are happy in never having been Seperated from any of your family for any length of time. It is an happiness which you cannot Sufficiently prize without having been deprived of it, and may you enjoy it for many Successive years. We may Congratulate ourselvs my Cousin that the Behavour of our Brothers has been thus far unexceptionable, that their Conduct is not marked with any of those youthfull follies which would tarnish the Brightest tallents. This is a Sattisfaction which I find superior to every other Consideration.
I thank you my Cousin for your wishes for my Happiness, and I doubt not but it will give you pleasure to hear from me that I am so. You justly observe that happiness depends upon the peace of our minds. I beleive mine to arrise in some degree from this scource for I know of no present couse to interrupt its tranquility. Connected by ties of Honour delicacy and affection to a Gentleman fully deserving my Confidence, who is esteemd and respected by all to whom he is known, the first wish of Whose Heart is to render your Cousin Happy. She cannot be otherwise, every principle and Sentiment Conspires to establish it upon a basis that Cannot be overthrown.
Mr Smith desires to be remembered to you as my friend and relation. Write me whenever you can find an oppertunity. Remember me to your Sister and family and beleive me at all times your friend and Cousin
[signed] A Smith
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “Miss Lucy Cranch Braintree near Boston.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0140

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1786-10-16

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] My dear sir

Your favour of july 20th1 repeated to me the melancholy tidings of my dear Aunts Death. The first information which we received of it, was by a Letter from Mr W. Smith by way of Liverpool in a very short passage, upon the receipt of which I immediately wrote you. No person my dear sir can more sincerely sympathize with you than your afflicted Neice, the kindness with which my dear Aunt always treated me, was truly Maternal. As a Parent I loved her, as a Friend and companion I esteemed her. Ever pleasent and cheerfull, she filld every Relation in life with a constant—punctuality, and a strickt regard to that future State of existance to which it has pleased Heaven to remove her, and where we have the best grounded hopes of her happiness. However painfull the loss of such a Friend is to the Survivours, the reflextion upon the excellent character and many virtues which adornd their Lives, is a consolation in the midst of sorrow, it is a healing balm to the wounded Heart,

“The sweet remembrance of the just

Shall flourish when they Sleep in dust.”2

Your Children Sir Survive to comfort your declining Years, and you have every Satisfaction in them a Parent can desire. My most affectionate Regards to them. I am indebted to mr Smith for a letter and will write him by captain cushing.3 I have addrest a small trunk to you sir by captain Folger who has promised to take particular of it, it contains some articles for my children and a suit of part worn cloths. I suppose their be no occasion of an entry of it at the custom house as there is no Bill of laiding of it, having bought and put up the things myself only for family use. I however inclose you the key if it should be call'd for. The Trunk you will be so good as to deliver to Mrs Cranch who has the care of the things. Dr Tufts will pay you any expence arising upon them. I inclose you a Prussian Treaty, and am dear sir with every Sentiment of Regard Your affectionate Neice
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed: “To Isaac Smith Esqr Boston”; endorsed: “London Oct. 86 A. Adams.”
1. Not found.
2. A common paraphrase of Psalms, 112:6. Elizabeth Cranch used the same quotation in her letter to AA of 1 July, above.
3. Probably Isaac Smith Jr. to AA, 8 July, above. AA replied to him on 30 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0141

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, John
Date: 1786-10-21

Abigail Adams to John Cranch

[salute] Dear sir

A fine Salmon by the Exeter Stage; a week ago informd me that the Gentleman from whom I had before received a similar favour; was still mindfull of his Friends by his deeds, tho he seldom favourd them with his personal presence.
Accept sir my thanks, not only for the Salmon, but for the Partridges and woodcocks, which I presume came from the same quarter Last Spring,1 tho you have not sufferd [yo]ur right hand, to disclose what your Left hand has perform'd.
It pains me to receive these repeated [in]stances of your politeness, and attention, having nothing to offer you by way of acknowledgment; unless a Literary American production, may prove agreeable to you.2
As I know you to possess a Liberality of sentiment, beyond many of your countrymen, I have taken the Liberty to offer to your acceptance, what a dread of Truth, and a just representation of facts, prevents the printer to whom they were sent for Sale, to offer to the publick.3
The conduct of Britain towards America in the late Revolution, though recorded by the pen of Truth, and the Spirit of candour, is considerd as a Libel upon the actors; who are too wealthy and powerfull, to suffer a just Representation of those very deeds, which they blushed not to perpetrate.
Adulation, and the Wealth of the East Indies may silence a venal age; but a Cornwallis and a Rawdon, will Still be recorded in the Historic page of America with all the dark Shades of their Characters.4
Mr Ramsey the writer of the Revolution of Carolina, is a Gentleman of fortune and respectable Character and was lately President of congress.
By my last Letters from America dated in August, I had the pleasure of hearing that our [friends] were well; I had promised myself the pleasure of visiting Devonshire during the Summer, but an unexpected [call] obliged mr Adams to go to Holland, whither I accompanied him, and returnd too late; to think of an other excursion this Season.
Whenever you come to London, be assured, Sir, that I Should be very happy to see you, mr Adams presents his compliments to you.
{ 379 }

[salute] I am sir, with Sentiments of Esteem, your Friend & Humble Servant

[signed] A Adams
RC (NhHi: Presidential Autographs Collection [Dorothy Whitney]); addressed by WSS: “Mr. John Cranch attorney at Law at Axmister”; endorsed: “21. Oct. 1786. Her Excellency the Amer. embassadress.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. Dft (Adams Papers), filmed at [1787], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 370.
1. John Cranch of Axminster, Richard Cranch's nephew, had also sent gifts of game to the Adamses by the Exeter stage in Sept. 1785 (vol. 5:325, 326; 6:382–383).
2. AA concludes this sentence in her Dft with “of the Poetick kind.”
3. AA was sending Cranch a copy of David Ramsay's The History of the Revolution of South Carolina. Ramsay had considerable difficulties getting the book published in London, where his agent, Charles Dilly, was reluctant to sell the book for fear that its anti-British content would provoke the public or the Crown. It was finally published there in 1787, but even then, it was not sold openly (Arthur H. Shaffer, To Be an American: David Ramsay and the Making of the American Consciousness, Columbia, S.C., 1991, p. 102, 303).
4. Lord Cornwallis, commander of British forces in South Carolina in 1780–1781 as well as at Yorktown, had been named governor-general of India in early 1786. Francis Lord Rawdon (1754–1826) had served in various capacities in the British Army during the Anglo-American war. He was notorious for his harsh treatment toward American forces in the Carolinas and was particularly reviled for his decision to execute Col. Isaac Haynes in Aug. 1781 (DNB; Greene, Papers, 9:251–252).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0142-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Date: 1786-10-21

Abigail Adams to Thomas Brand Hollis

[salute] Sir

In my late visit to Holland I was present at the Grand ceremony of Swearing their New Elected Majestrates at Utrecht. I observed at the Breast of every soldier of the free choir, as they are term'd, a Medal. Curiosity led me to inquire the design of it, and upon viewing it I was so much gratified with it, that I got a Friend to procure me one, and I know not Sir to whom so properly to dedicate the triumph of Liberty, as to the Sincere votary of her. And mr Hollis will give me real pleasure by his acceptance of the Medal, and granting it a place in the Temple of Liberty, amidst the Selection already sacred to that Goddess.
Inclosed is the explanation of the Medal, from sir your Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
RC (CSmH: HM26330.) The enclosure, in AA's hand, presumably a FC, is in the Adams Papers, filed at 20 March, and filmed at that date in Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 367.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0142-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Date: 1786-03-20

Enclosure: Description of Dutch Medal

An explanation of the medal struck at utrecht March 20 1786

The Nymph of the city of utrecht is known by her crown and her { 380 } Arms upon her Breast. By her side is the Alter of Liberty known by the Hat, and the date of the year from whence their Liberty commences. Upon the Alter are laid the roman Rods and Hachet. A Letter with three Seals designates the rights of the city and the three Members of the State. The Nymph holds it with the fingers of her Left Hand to Shew the part which the city of utrecht hath taken and to testify how much every one is interested in keeping it. In her right Hand she holds a written paper unroled upon which are written the new Rules of Government for the city. She presents it to an officer. He receives it and administers the oath both to the officers and citizens, which is performd by raising the two fingers of the right hands, whilst the citizens behind conform to it by presenting their Arms. The Houses and the Towr of the church of [ . . . ] at a distance on the right, point out the Square of Neude where the Solemnity was performd. The Revers is a civic crown with these words Allegience of the Citizens of utrecht to the rules of the Government of the city 20 March 1786.
RC (CSmH: HM26330.) The enclosure, in AA's hand, presumably a FC, is in the Adams Papers, filed at 20 March, and filmed at that date in Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 367.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0143

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-22

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Cousin Charles and I have stay'd at home from meeting to day, he to write to his Papa1 and I because I was fatigue'd with runing about Boston Street for two days to pick up a number of things for our Sons. Mr JQA wanted a winter wastcoat and mr charles a Gown and a Pair of Breeches and little Tom a surtout. He had his Brother charless last winter and uses it, this to Answer the purpose of a Gown, the Freshman are not allow'd any. I have taken a coat of his Papas which you sent in the trunk to make him one of, but it is Scarcly so long as we wear surtouts here but I tell him it will do. The vacancy is half out already2 and I have not been able to get my Tailor to work till yesterday. We must all set to work and help her. I beleive they play as hard as they Study by the appearence of their cloaths and I do not know but it is necessary. They make such a noise in the morning as would make you laugh. They all sleep in one chamber and poor Cousin JQA wants a mor[n]ing nap, but they will not let him take it. If he will it must be without Bed cloaths. I { 381 } tell them Sometimes to be quiet, you will hear them. I can call them to order at any time when I think they have done enough. I often think how you would rejoice to see them all. It is a goodly sight—Four likelier Lads are seldom seen.
I wish you would send a piece of Cambrick proper to ruffle their Linnen which you sent them. We shall make it this winter, they will not want to wear them till the spring. I cannot get any cambrick proper for that Linnen here under three dollars a yard and I dare not ask the Doctor for money to purchase it at this price. It will not comport with his Ideas of Frugality. I can buy a little to ruffle their old shirts, and I think it is no matter if some of them are wore without especially in the Freshman year.
My dear Sister I have been oblig'd to do what gives me great pain. The troublesome times into which we are fallen has depriv'd mr cranch of the possibility of geting one shilling from the publick of what is due to him for his services in past years or the present, by which means I find it impossible to provide Food for our Family during the vacancys without taking Something for the Board of my dear Nephews. It has given me more dissagreable feelings than I can express. I hop'd it would have been in my Power to have in this way return'd some of the obligations I feel my self under to you. The dissapointment Sinks my spirits—and has caus'd me not a few tears.
I have charg'd Ten shillings a week for each of them, as provision is I believe it will take that to feed them. I believe I have told you that I have a washing and an Ironing woman to whom I give one and four pence a day. We generaly wash once in a fortnight Sometimes once a week, just as the Quanty of Linnen chanceth to be, this I thought the cheapest way to get their washing done. If I have your approbation I shall be happier.
I wish you to keep the affair of a certain Gentleman a secret, as it is yet uncertain Whether Law or Philosophy is to be charg'd with it.3 The Split Peas are excellent, and I thank you for them. I did not know you had sent any till a few weeks since.4
Betsy will write this week. It has not been in her Power to write since she reciev'd yours and mrs Smiths kind Letters. Lucys being absent, her needle has been fully imploy'd. She sends her Duty and Love. Leanard White and her Freind Peggy are here. She is soon to be married to mr Bailey Bartlet. She says give my respect to mrs Adams and Mrs Smith—yours affectionaly
[signed] M. Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch ocbr 22 1786.”
{ 382 }
1. Not found.
2. Harvard's fall vacation extended from 17–31 Oct.; the three Adams boys and William Cranch spent most of it at the Cranches' in Braintree (JQA, Diary, 2:116–120; ||see entry for 17 Oct. and following||).
3. That is, Royall Tyler's fathering Elizabeth Hunt Palmer's daughter Sophia (see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 24 Sept., note 4, above).
4. AA never mentioned the split peas in her correspondence with Cranch, but they were probably sent around the time of AA's 4 July letter, above, which Cranch received on 9 October.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0144

Author: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-22

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I was most sensibly pleased, with the Sight of the Dutch Liberty medal which you was so obliging as to send me. I know not how to deprive you of it but in compliance with your commands and from the manner in which you express yourself.
Assuredly it shall have an interesting, place in my cabinet sacred to Freedom amidst the american medals.
If you and Mr Adams will come down to the Hide, you will increase my obligations, and see the Series of Heroes and of Patriots which as America promises to equal it may be of use to observe the manner of preserving their fame and portraits.
The Dutch can no longer be reproached—“with whom Dominion lurks from hand to hand undignified by publick choice,”1 and I hope this is the begining of better times. They are indebted to the Americans who are become the preceptors of mankind as once the English were!
My intention was to have waited on you and Mr Adams before this but have been much engaged and detained at home. Shall be in town again soon and, renew my application. I am madam with the greatest regard your obliged, Friend
[signed] T Brand Hollis
1. Mark Akenside, Ode VIII: “On Leaving Holland,” Odes on Several Subjects, London, 1745, lines 24–25.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0145

Author: Welsh, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-10-27

Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Your esteemed Favor of July 22d did not come to hand untill Capt Callahan had arrived 12 Days, for which and its Contents accept our { 383 } Thanks. I shall see Dr Tufts and attend to the Directions of the Note.1
I am sorry to reflect that the Conclusions drawn in my last to you were so erroneous they were founded upon an opinion of Virtue which I am now convinced is [in?]suficiently possessed by the main Body of the People to govern their political Conduct. The Causes however of the Tumult have been laid in former Administrations.
For several Years the Militia of this Commonw[ealth] had been intirely neglected and with out Officers. The Peop[le] of the back Counties Suffered to neglect the payment of the[ir] Taxes these consequently had accumulated, and the Aversion to discharge increased in Proportion. The County Traders had obtained large Credits of the sea port Mercha[nts] and they in their Turns had obtaind Credits in Europe; prior Debts accumulated during and previous to the Warr; and add to this the Bounties promised to the Soldiers2 being all demanded at the s[ame?] Time was too much for the Virtue of these People to [ . . . ] and afforded a Compleat Oppertunity for a Number of bold and designing Men to inflame and mislead others less informed than themselves. The Requisitions of Congress I ought to have mentioned as it is one of the principle Bones of Contention. In short every thing that has the Appearance of Government is matter of Complaint with them.
The present Governor has been exerting himself since his Appointment to get the Militia organized but the former Appointments were such as discouraged the Attempt in part and for the want of this it is generally thought the Insurgents were able to make any Way.
The Continent feels its Infirmity for the Want of committing that Degree of Power to Congress which she wants to regulate the Concerns of the whole and I am fully convinced we shall be a Contemptable People untill it is granted but whether it will ever be I know not.
The Genl Court are sitting and examining into the Causes of the Complaints of the People but I think They will have their Hands full and after they have done they will not be satisfied I am sure.3 They ought not to be gratified but I suppose as they cry for nothing like froward Children they will be visited with a Rod. Blessed with a Constitution faulty only as it is too good they must expect no other th[a]n a m[or]e rig[orous?] Government in exchange for that [whi]ch they now dont know the Value of. I hope you will not in fu• { 384 } ture be mislead by my Accounts from this Quarter. I am Sensible the Politics of the Country have got beyond my Reach. It is more easy for me to inform you of the little Events which occur in the domistic Circle. Mr Sullivan of Boston you have undoubtdly heard lost his Wife last Winter. He is now about to be married to Mrs Simpson of Portsmouth who made herself famous when the Wife of Mr Barrell of that Place in sueing for a Divorce which she obtained appearing h[erse]lf in open Court for that Purpose. She has 4 Children [and Mr] Sullivan seven a patriarchal number. Courage on both Sides, but She has a Fortune and it is said is accomplished.4 Mrs Hayleys marriage is an old affair and Mr Jeffries keeps the Keys now of Course being head of the Family.5 Mr Thos Russell is like soon to have his Family increased,6 but as I think I must have exhausted your Patience I will now tire it no longer but do myself the Honor to subscribe with Sentiments of great Respect to Mr Adams and yourself your most Humle Ser
[signed] Thomas Welsh
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr: Grovesnor Square London”; notation: “Ship letter”; stamped: “12 New Rumney”; endorsed: “dr Welch ocbr 27. 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and at a torn margin.
1. The 22 July letter is printed above from an incomplete Dft. It does not contain the directives to which Welsh refers.
2. At this point Welsh struck out an entire line so thoroughly that it is illegible.
3. The General Court sat from 27 Sept. to 18 Nov. (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, Sept. sess., p. 347, 422).
4. James Sullivan's first wife, Mehitable Odiorne, died 26 January. On 31 Dec., Sullivan married Martha Langdon of Portsmouth, N.H., a sister of New Hampshire's recent governor, John Langdon. Her first marriage, to William Barrell in 1765, had ended after just three months when she petitioned the New Hampshire legislature for divorce on the grounds that Barrell was “utterly incapable to satisfy the most virtuous and modest Feminine Inclination and is Impotent to render that due Benevolence which every married woman is warranted.” She later married Thomas Simpson, who died at sea in 1784 (DAB [Sullivan and Langdon]; Lawrence Shaw Mayo, John Langdon of New Hampshire, Concord, N.H., 1937, p. 23–24; Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New-Hampshire, from 1765 to 1776, ed. Nathaniel Bouton, 7 vols., Nashua, N.H., 1875, 7:93, 97–98; Joseph Foster, The Soldiers' Memorial. Portsmouth, N.H. 1893–1923, Portsmouth, N.H., 1923, p. 46).
5. Mary Hayley married Patrick Jeffery Esq. in Boston on 13 Feb. (Boston, 30th Report, p. 413).
6. Sarah Sever and Thomas Russell had a daughter, Sarah, on 1 Dec. (“An Account of the Russell Family of Charlestown,” 1905, p. 26–27, MHi: Sullivan-Russell Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0146

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-11-01

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Ever Dear Sister

Two Vessels arrived from London while I was upon my little southern Tour. It was in vain that I enquired after Letters directed { 385 } to me. “You have received one from Mrs Smith.”1 Yes, It was a sweet Morsel, it informed me of her Marriage, but not half enough to reperuse by our chearful fireside, no particulars of the proceedings, to satisfy the Curiosity of an hundred inquiring Friends. I cannot say but what I feel Chagrined and should be much more grieved if I could entertain an Idea that my dear Sister thought me less interested than Others, in any Event, or in any Circumstance that could affect her Happiness.
She has a thousand avocations. She is treasuring up Knowledge, a Fund for the improvment, and entertainment of her Friends, Neices, and Grand-children. She will adorn, and make old-age honourable. She will smooth, and sweeten the decline of Life by her instructive Conversation. Her setting Sun, will diffuse chearfulness, light, and knowledge upon all around her.
She has many Correspondents. She needs an Amanuensis. She has been very good to me, and seldom has omited writing. Thus in the Multitude of my Thoughts I comforted myself.
Cousin William Cranch came last Week and carried Home my Neice Lucy, so that my Family is reduced now to quite a small one. I endeavour in every Situation of Life to be Content. But I think I never felt happier than when my Nephews were around me, and I fancied I was supplying their dear Mothers Place in some small Degree. And Cares, if not too great are always pleasing to the active Soul.
Cousin Lucy has been happier, in this Visit to Haverhill, than she has ever been before, for it has so happened that some one, or other of the Family has always been sick, but now she has escaped with my Children only having the Chin Cough,2 and Hall Tufts a Lung Fever. She has fine Health herself, and is possessed of an excellent Temper. Her constitution will never be impaired by any voilent agitation of Spirits, for she is sensible, modest, gentle, tranquil, not greatly elated, or depressed. Perhaps not quite so sociable, and engaging to Strangers as her Sister; she rather withdraws, than obtrudes upon your Notice. But the more she is known, the more she is beloved, and esteemed. I have been particular because I think her Manners were not formed when you left America, and she is much likelier, and more improved now than when you saw her.
We had the pleasure of finding all our Friends comfortable, and well upon our Journey. My Father Shaw is still living, and makes old-age honourable by his chearful, and pleasant Conversation. It is { 386 } indeed a Crown to such, who have fought, a good Fight. And I never saw a Man glide down the slope of Life with more ease, and fewer Complaints than he.3
The cheif Conversation in that part of the Country, (setting aside political matters) was relating to Mr Oaks Angier's Life, and Death. He died of a Consumption last September, after a few Months lingering Illness. What has he left is the question? Ten thousand pounds L M,4 which he had amassed in the course of about fourteen Years Application to Buisness. Clear of every incumbrance. He made his Will, and divided it between his Wife and five Children. He spoke for his Coffin, and ordered every Affair, relating to their mourning. He advised his wife to marry again if she could with advantage charging her at the same time to get some able Lawyer to draw the marriage Articles, that she might not be tricked out of what he had given her.5 He directed that his eldest Son should have a liberal Education,6 after that, study Law with Mr Davis, and give him the same sum of Money, which Mr Davis had given his Father for the like purpose. The other Children were to live with their Mother, allowing her a Dollar pr week for their Board.
His two Daughters when they were of a proper age, were to be sent to Boston, and put to School there, three Summers, and directed them to have every advantage that could be obtained for them.7 His own Brother, and his wives Brother are the Executors of his very particular last Will, and Testament.8 I am very sorry, I cannot find the News Paper that I might give you his Character, as it was given to the Publick. But whatever Censure, or Eulogy the world may pass upon his Character—You know the Man.—In the course of a few years he had often said, that no Man had any right, or buisness to live after they were forty years old. And (perhaps) least he might view himself as a cumberer of the Ground, his Maker gave him leave to Depart just as he had entered his fortieth year.
People seem much divided in their Opinion, some suppose he was a real Convert, Others, that he was only frighted at the Idea of dying—and that, had he been restored to Health, he would have been the same scoffer, and despiser of Religion he was before.
It was not till the last week of his Sickness that he sent for Mr Reed, and beged him to propound him to the Church for full Communion, and his Wife for Baptism for herself and all their children. His Request was made known to the Church, while he lay a poor lifeless Corpse in his own House, and Providence did not suffer him to live, to be admited as a member here below. I hope he is received { 387 } into the Church triumphant, and that he is made white in the Blood of the Lamb. But Oh my Sister! how terrible it is, for any one to leave the important Concerns of Eternity, to a Moment of Time.
He sent for every person who thought themselves abused, and ill treated by him, and desired their forgivness. He thanked God that he had been true to his Client, and wronged no man designedly. Thus ended the Life of a Man indefatigable in his Proffession, possessed of great Qualities, and great Faults.
We have had a remarkable pleasant Fall, almost as warm as July and August, without any long Storms as usual. Last Thursday we kept our Doors, and windows open, and a monday it snowed the whole afternoon.9 So changeable is the Weather, but not more various than human Events. For last Night I received a Letter from my Sister Cranch, informing of Cousin Lucys return in fine health and Spirite, and making them all happy. But alas! there Joy was soon turned into mourning, for Mr Cranch came from Boston the same Evening, with a Letter in his Pocket which brought the melancholly Tydings of Mr Perkins Death. He was seized with a Fever upon his Lungs, and dyed last August, after a few Days Iillness. You know what a sincere affection my Sister Cranch had for this amiable, virtuous young Man—And cannot wonder if she is deeply wounded. But the gentle Eliza, I tremble for her. His virtues had of late taken full possession of the Heart of Eliza—Dear unhappy Girl—I hope thy better Days are to come.10
This Letter must go by Capt Marsh to Boston, for I hear a Vessel will certainly sail in a Day or two. I shall write to Mrs Smith and forward it to go in the same Vessel if possible. My Son made me promise I would ask Aunt Adams to send him the Childrens Friend.11 I told him it was too large a Request for a little Boy to make. And Quincy she has set by and done half a dozen Letters up, full of Love she says to her Aunt, but you must accept the Will for the Deed. It is late—and I must bid you good Night—wishing you Health, and every Blessing. I hope to hear from you soon, and that you are not injured by your late Excursion to the Hague. Once more adieu yours affectionately
[signed] Eliza Shaw
Mr Shaw sends his Love, and best Respects and thanks for the Book.
{ 388 }
1. AA2's letter to Shaw has not been found.
2. Whooping cough.
3. Rev. John Shaw of Bridgewater was 78 years old and would live until 1791 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:627–629).
4. Lawful money, that is, Massachusetts currency.
5. Susanna Howard (or Haward) Angier (1751–1793) eventually remarried, to Jesse Fobes, in 1792 (same, 16:7; Vital Records of Bridgewater Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1916, 1:141; 2:134, 472).
6. Charles Angier (1774–1806), Harvard 1793 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
7. The Angiers had three daughters: Mary (b. 1776), Sarah (b. 1780), and Susanna (b. 1783). All three were still living in 1786 (same, 16:7).
8. Oakes Angier's brother was Samuel Angier (1743–1805), Harvard 1763, who served as the second minister of the First Congregational Parish of East Bridgewater, following in the footsteps of his father, Rev. John Angier (same, 6:370; 15:350). Oakes had three brothers-in-law: Edward, Daniel, and Martin Howard (or Haward) (Vital Records of Bridgewater, 1:137, 139, 141).
9. JQA noted that it “Snow'd all the morning” of Monday, 30 Oct., in Braintree (Diary, 2:120).
10. Elizabeth Cranch was indeed deeply affected by the death of Thomas Perkins in Kentucky. She confided to her diary that “the dreaded event has taken place—and Heaven deprives me of the friend on whom my Heart lean'd” (MHi: Elizabeth Cranch Norton Diary, 21 Nov.).
11. Arnaud Berquin, The Children's Friend; Consisting of Apt Tales, Short Dialogues, and Moral Dramas, 24 vols. in 12, London, 1783.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0147

Author: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-11-04

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams

Mr Brand Hollis presents his compliments to Mrs Adams and desires her acceptance of two medals one on the execution of the counts Egmont and Horne two Dutch Patriots contrary to faith-given!
The other on the Murder of the first Prince of Orange
Base acts of a Tyrant!2
Three common wealth coins3 to record, what England once was.
Mrs Adams had the only copy of the right hand of Fellowship which was printed at that time4 otherwise more would have been sent.
1. Guy Fawkes Day, 5 November.
2. The “tyrant” was Philip II of Spain. Lamoral, Count of Egmont, and Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, prominent Catholic critics of Philip's rule in the Netherlands, were executed at Brussels in 1568 on the orders of Philip's lieutenant, the Duke of Alva. William I (the Silent), Prince of Orange, leader of the Protestant revolt in the Netherlands' northern provinces, was assassinated, with Philip's encouragement, at his home in Delft in 1584 (see JA, Papers, 10:108–110, 116, 117).
3. Not identified.
4. Not identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0148

Author: Cranch, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-11-07

John Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Being much ignorant of the republican distinctions of preeminency in title, as well as of American etiquette in general, I must anticipate your pardon for any errors in that kind, while I acknowledge the honor of your Excellency's obliging letter and present of books: Both have afforded me great satisfaction; only the latter moving now and then, to some untempered gusts of resentment against those Excorables—Balfour, Cunningham, &c:1 But the sentiments and actions of such beings as Rutledge, Greene, La Fayette, Gadsden, and others, soon allayed those little indignations; and The mind, lit up by such splendid examples of courage, generosity and divine patriotism, no longer perceived itself shaded by the feeble rancours of an expiring petty tyranny.
My notion about the war always was, that the ministry, I don't at all consider the * * * *2 in this hypothesis; because, at least, from the end of Lord Chatham's administration to the beginning of his son's, it is impossible to conceive his Majesty in any larger idea than that of a respectable private gentleman in disagreeable circumstances.3 without much inclination of it's own, was urged to it, by a scotch-infested junto, consisting of the Navy, the Army, the Contractors, and a larger banditti than usual of plunder-inspired, profligate adventurers. The bountifull Head of the Treasury,4 doubtlessly, intended to place and pension all mankind; but resources failing, the clamorous Disappointed found no difficulty in fixing his Lordship's views upon the goodly Goshen of America:5 In all the subsequent proceedings, administration and this “quadruple alliance” mutually—(and it must be owned, with the utmost propriety)—supported and illustrated each other. Whether the actors of the British hostilities, who (according to my creed) were also the chief authors of them, were ever serious in their sentiments and designs; or whether the whole was but a pretence, and the supposed war only a stalking-horse for messrs. Avarice, Rapine and Plunder, the generals to whom the conduct of it seems to have been principally committed, I will not presume even to surmise; but certainly I never knew any Englishman, without the sphere of