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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 7

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 partial and undue influence, and who possessed common sense, but was capable of ridiculing the pretended justice, as well as the pretended idea in { 390 } general, of subjugating America in the political circumstances in which that wild-goose chace was attempted.
But I should not thus, madam impertinently trespass on your attention; and I beg your pardon.
We had entertained hopes in the summer, that this country would be honored with at least a transitory presence of His Excellency and yourself (agreeably to the plan you mention to have been frustrated by your journey to Holland:) The season is slipped away, but our disappointed cottages will again be trimmed for your reception, at a more genial and auspicious season.
You charge me with total silence: When I sent some of the birds last winter, I meant to trouble our illustrious friend with a line of advice about them; and such a note was certainly carried to the post, though I must now conclude, by your imputation, that it miscarried: I am gratefully sensible of the honor His Excellency does me by his obliging remembranc: It is not unlikely that I shall be in London sometime this winter: If so, madam, be assured I shall accept the civilities you condescend to offer me, with great pleasure; and with the respect and gratitude which becomes Your Excellency's Most obliged Faithfull Humble servant
[signed] J. Cranch
P.S. Accept my congratulations on the union of miss Adams and Colonel smith: [ . . . ] peculiarly pleasing to the [ . . . ] Liberty to observe their favorite [ . . . ]—[pardon a jocular allusion]6[ . . . ] to administer the Ecclesiastical gluepot on that happy occasion.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Her Excellency Mrs Adams.”; endorsed: “J Cranch Letter.” Some loss of text in the postscript, and possibly in AA's endorsement, where the seal was removed.
1. Nisbet Balfour (1743–1823), a Scottish officer under Cornwallis, served as commandant of Charleston and was responsible for raising a militia of over 4,000 Carolina loyalists (DNB). William Cunningham was a member of the British militia from South Carolina; David Ramsay accused him of committing various atrocities against settlers who supported the American cause (Ramsay, The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, from a British Province to an Independent State, 2 vols., Trenton, N.J., 1785, 2:272–273).
2. Thus in MS.
3. This material was written at the end of the letter, following the postscript, with brackets around it, and marked for insertion here.
4. Frederick Lord North.
5. That is, a land of rich natural resources and abundant harvests like Goshen, where the Israelites lived from the time of Joseph until the Exodus (Genesis, 45–47; Numbers, 11:5).
6. The brackets around “pardon a jocular allusion” are in the MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0149

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-11-21

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear sister

Mr Sparhawk calld upon us a Day or two ago, and deliverd me your kind Letter of: july the 20th. It was of a latter date than any I had received from you tho near four months old. It was a little unfortunate for the Gentleman that mr Adams enterd immediately into an inquiry of him, respecting the State and commerce of the Massachusetts, of which be sure the Gentleman drew a most gloomy picture, and finishd the whole by saying; that the people in the united States were as much oppressed by taxes as they were in Europe. This being so wholy groundless it roused the quick feelings of mr A. who replied a little warmly—give me leave to tell you Sir, that people who hold this language, betray a total ignorance of the Subject. Name the article in this Country, even to the light of Heaven, the air you Breath and the water you drink, which is not taxed? Loaded down with accumulated burdens is this Free people. Yet the whole is not Sufficient to pay even the interest of the National Debt, and the Charges of government. Mr Pitts Surpluss is a vision, and new methods of taxation must be devised. Pray are our Farmers perishing in the midst of plenty, as in Ireland, are our Fishermen Starving? cannot the labourer find a subsistance? or has the price of labour fallen to 6 pence and subsistance risen to a shilling? or is it only trade that languishes? Thank God that necessity then will oblige those who have lived Luxuriously at the expence of others, and upon property which was not their own, to do so no longer. There is not a Merchant in England France or Holland, with capitals which could buy fifty of our most oppulent Merchants, that lives at half the expence which I have been informd many of ours run into during the War and Since.
By this time I had got into that part of your Letter which informd me that mr Sparhawk had been unfortunate in buisness. I knew mr Adams was a perfect Stranger to this and could design nothing against the Gentleman but Still I felt pained for him, as I presumed he had never had such a lesson before. He drew in his horns and was more upon his gaurd the remainder of the time. We ask'd him to dine with us the Next day but he was engaged. Mr Adams will return his visit, and then we Shall send him a card of invitation. In his Manners and address he appears much of a Gentleman, but his { 392 } domestick conduct will allways make me regard him as an unhappy Man. His Brother lives here in affluence and splendour.1
We have had an other of your Parishoners to visit us, mr Blodget, a queer Soul you know, but a very great admirer of you. He has a project in his Head for rasing the Royal George, and has sent proposals to the Lords of the admirality and Lord How was inquiring his character of mr Adams the other day at the Levee, from which circumstance I fancy he is attended to.2 But if he does not accomplish this, he is determined to travel through the different counties in England, and collect as much knowledge of agriculture as he possibly can, and by that he may render service to his own Country. He has a real good understanding, tho little cultivated.
The accounts you gave me of the Singing of your Birds and the prattle of your children entertaind me much. Do you know that European Birds have not half the melody of ours, nor is their fruit half so sweet, or their flowers half so Fragrant, or their Manners half so pure, or their people half So virtuous. But keep this to yourself, or I shall be thought more than half deficient in understanding and taste. I will not dispute what every person must assent to, that the fine Arts Manufactories and agriculture have arrived to a great degree of maturity and perfection. But what is their age? what their individual Riches when compared with us? Far removed from my mind may the National prejudice be, of conceiving all that is good and excellent comprized within the narrow compass of the united States. The Unerversal Parent has dispenced his Blessings through out all creation, and tho to some he hath given a more goodly Heritage than others, we have reason to believe that a general order and harmony is mantained by apportioning each their proper station. Tho Seas Mountains and Rivers are geographical boundaries, they contract not the benevolence and good will of the Liberal mind which can extend itself beyond the limits of Country and kindred and claim fellowship with Christian jew or Turk. What a lesson did the great Author of our Religion give to mankind by the Parable of the Jew and Samaritan, but how little has it been regarded. To the Glory of the present age, they are shaking off that narrow contracted Spirit of preistcraft and usurpation; which has for so many ages tyranized over the minds of Mankind; and deluged the World in Blood. They consider Religion not as a State Stalking Horse, to raise Men to temporal power and dignity, but as a wise and benevolent System calculated to Still the Boisterous passions, to restrain the Malevolent ones to curb the ambitions, and to harmonize man• { 393 } kind to the temper of its great Author who came to make peace, and not to destroy. The late act of toleration pass'd by Virgina is Esteemed here as an example to the World.3
Captain Folger by whom I wrote you is I hope arrived safe captain Cushing will make a winters voyage of it I fear. We are now really in the Gloomy Month of November Such as I have heard it described, but did not last year experience. Now we have it, all smoke fog and darkness, and the general mourning for the Princess Amelia adds to the Gloom of the Scene. I was yesterday at the drawing room for the first time Since her Death, and tho I cannot Say all faces gatherd Blackness, all bodies appeard so. As she had given her fortune to her German Nephews it would have been absurd to have shewn any appearence of Grief.4 Poor John Bull is vastly angry and mortified. Had it been given to the Prince of Wales, his liberal hand would soon have pourd forth the golden Shower, and as his Aunt acquired it all in this Nation, here it ought to have remained, Says john. But he cannot alter it, so he vents himself as usual in abuse and bellowing. Yours most tenderly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers.) HA2, a trustee of the Adams Manuscript Trust, bought this letter from Goodspeed's Book Shop in March 1949 and placed it in the collection of family papers.
1. Nathaniel Sparhawk Jr. was separated from his third wife, Deborah Adams, who was left to support Sparhawk's children from his previous marriages. In 1788 the Commission on Loyalist Claims granted Sparhawk a pension of £80 per year. He did not return permanently to America until 1809. His brother was probably Sir William Pepperrell, Harvard 1766, a Massachusetts loyalist who had inherited substantial wealth from his grandfather, Gen. Sir William Pepperrell (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:235–237, 397–403).
2. Samuel Blodget (1724–1807), a merchant and manufacturer in Haverhill, had invented a machine for raising sunken ships. He used it to raise cargo from a ship sunk near Plymouth in 1783 and proposed to do the same in Britain for the Royal George—a ship of the line that had capsized off Spit-head with heavy loss of life in 1782—but was unsuccessful (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.).
3. The Virginia General Assembly passed the “Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom” that disestablished the Episcopal Church in early 1786.
4. Princess Amelia Sophia Leonora, aunt of George III, died on 31 Oct. On 3 Nov., the London Daily Universal Register reported that Amelia had directed in her will that the proceeds from the sale of her lands and personal property should go to her nephews, the prince of Hesse Cassel and his brother, in Germany. In the following days, some newspaper reports criticized this decision, noting that “In the disposal of her fortune she most certainly has disappointed numerous expectants, and much is it to be regretted that a foreign partiality should have so entirely obliterated every trace of domestic concern” (London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 6 Nov.; London Daily Universal Register, 4 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0150

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-11-22

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

It is a long time since I received a line from you, or any other of my Friends, nor have we learnt with certainty whether your Brother Tommy was admitted Colledge. By captain Folger I wrote to you, and hope it went Safe to your hand, as the Letter containd Something more than words. As I know you will not wish to Spend any time Idle it may not be too early to consult you respecting the preceptor you wish to be placed with. Law I take for granted is the Study you mean to persue. Mr Lowel of Boston and mr Parsons of Newbury port, are both of them Gentleman Eminent in their profession, and I have made inquiry of mr Cutting who you know was with mr Lowel respecting the Situation of his office and the method persued in it. Mr Cutting has the highest opinion of mr Lowels abilities, and a great esteem for his private character, as every person acquainted with him must have. But he adds that mr Lowel has a natural Indolence about him, which prevents a pupils deriving all that information and advantage from him, which a more active Character would afford,1 and in addition to this, a city is not the best calculated for study. Mr Parsons character is equally high as a Lawyer, and he has, as I have been informd an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and is never better pleasd than when he can meet with a Youth of Similar taste and inclinations. I own from the Character of both Gentlemen, and other circumstances, I am led to incline to mr Parsons. But you who are upon the spot, with the information and advice of your Friends, may be best able to judge upon the Subject. I know your Father means to leave it to your choice. You will inform yourself upon the Subject, and the Terms &c and communicate to us. Your Father will then write to the Gentleman.2
We are Still left in the Dark respecting our continuance here. Few decisive measures appear to be taken by Congress upon any Subject, indeed I fear they are so much embarressd as not to know what to do. I hope according to Parson Moodys doctrine, they will not do, they know not what, which has some times been the case.3 The Treaty between France and England is ratified between the high contracting parties, it must come before Parliament and receive a Sanction there; whether it will meet with much opposition there; time only will determine. What is termd opposition here, is a very feeble party, who have not purses and concequently not power to { 395 } carry any points of importance. It is rather Novel for this Nation to Court and cringe to a Country which they have ever affected to Hate and despise, but the Edicts of the King of France totally prohibiting British Manufactories, Effected what mr Crawford could not, by three years residence, and I dare Say the united States might have accomplishd the Same, if they would all have adopted the Massachusetts Navigation act, and abided by it.
It is a subject of much regreet to every Friend of America, and no small mortification to those in publick Character, to see the proceedings of some Counties and Towns, uneasy and wrestless under a Government in which they enjoy perfect freedom, they are taking effectual methods to create themselves a Tyrant e'er long. By wishing to abolish the Senate they are destroying that balance of power by which alone their Liberties are secured to them. The Printers in this Country Eagerly Seaize every paragraph of this kind and publish it, which they would not do, if they did not conceive they could injure America by it. They have given us in this days papers the proceedings of the County convention of Hampshire, which are a disgrace to our annals.4 I have been thinking whether it might not be of use to our Country to have some Such Societys formed as there are in this Country, call'd debating Societies, in which a precident presides. The Question is publishd two Days or more before hand, admission is easy, only 6 pence a person, and any person who pleases may enter and speak to the Subject. And these Societies are the resort of all the Young Gentleman who wish to form themselves for publick Speaking; whether for the Law, divinity, or the House of commons. And sometimes Questions are discussed here in a masterly manner. A perfect Stranger has an equal freedom of Speach, with the best known, order and decency must be observed, but no questions are askd, who you are, or from whence you came. I will give you from this Days paper the Question for tomorrow Evening.
“Which of the three publick Characters in the present Situation of this Country, is most qualified by his abilities and integrity to fill the office of Prime Minister, Lord North, mr Fox or mr Pitt.”5
This is a question of no small importance and delicacy. I think with judicious management Societies of this kind might be establishd at least in the different universities, and many benifical concequences result from them.
Your Father is much engaged in a work that may prove of no Small utility to our Country. It is an investigation into the different Forms of Government, both ancient and modern, Monarchical Aris• { 396 } tocratical Democratical and Republican, pointing out their happiness or misery in proportion to their different balances. It appears to be a subject in which America is greatly interested, and upon which her future happiness depends. When compleated, he means only to publish a few for the present and those only for himself and Friends, but he is So much Swallowed up in the persuit of his Subject that you must not wonder if you do not receive a line from him. I think he enjoys better Health this fall than I have known him to have for Several years.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs: Adams Novr: 22. 1786.”; docketed “My Mother. 22. Novr: 1786.”
1. John Lowell trained numerous students over the years, but as Harrison Gray Otis noted, “He then rarely came to the office,—only for a few minutes at a time, then hurrying up to the court in session, to rush into the argument of some important cause. . . . His consultations with clients were principally at his own house in Roxbury, and in short interviews. He generally amused himself in his garden until it was time to hurry in to court,—where he never arrived too early” (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:654).
2. No such letter from JA to Theophilus Parsons regarding JQA's study of the law has been found.
3. Samuel Moody (1675/6–1747), Harvard 1697, served as the chaplain to the garrison and minister of the First Church at York, Mass. (now Maine), for nearly fifty years. Something of a folklore character in Massachusetts, Moody was known for his ability to quote apt scripture. In one instance, where members of his church were having difficulty making decisions, he advised them to adjourn and pray for guidance. The following Sunday, he preached on the text “Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (2 Chronicles, 20:12). After introducing the text, he claimed for his own doctrine, “When a person or people are in such a situation that they know not what to do, they should not do they know not what; but their eyes should be unto the Lord for direction” (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 4:356–364; Charles C. P. Moody, Biographical Sketches of the Moody Family, Boston, 1847, p. 70). See also JA's description of Moody at vol. 1:115–116.
4. The Hampshire County Convention met 22 Aug. at Hatfield with fifty towns represented. Seventeen of the twenty-one articles the convention adopted were grievances, some of which could only be resolved by a new state constitution (Leonard L. Richards, Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle, Phila., 2002, p. 8).
5. Debating societies were both common and popular in late eighteenth-century London, covering an array of topics but most especially politics, religion, and philosophy. The one AA describes here took place on 23 Nov. at Coachmakers Hall (London Morning Herald, 23 Nov.; Donna T. Andrew, comp., London Debating Societies, 1776–1799, London, 1994, p. 191.)

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0151

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-11-26

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear sister

Come home my Sister, that Braintree may have some of its old inhabitants residing in it. Could you look in upon it, you would sigh over some of its desirted mansions. General Palmers Family mov'd last week to charlestown. They came here in a violent Snow-Storm; they had sent away all their Provision and had nothing to eat. The { 397 } next day they Set off in much better Spirits than I expected. The salt Works is his Hobby Horse yet. I hope something will be found at for him to do that may support the Family.1 Cousins Polly and Betsy are greatly oblig'd for their Gowns. You desir'd me to give them skirts but as they had skirts, and no Gowns I knew you would had you been here added two yards more to have made them what would have been so much more necessary for them. I hope I have not done wrong.
Mr Alleyn has been gone ever since the spring to the West Indies. Able is not yet married. Mrs Quincy and Miss Nancy are gone out of Town the greatest part of their time and uncle Quincy has not been off his Farm since December. Betsy was at Haverhill all last Fall and winter and Lucy all the summer. She return'd in october vacancy. It is in the vacancys only that we have any gallants in Braintree, except for married Ladies and not for all those your sister is an exception.2The Double Sleigh begins to run.3 Its owner has not shewn his Face in our House nor meeting House since May. Matters remain just as they did in Boston. He continues to Board in the Family and all the Town to fix the —— upon him, and, laugh att the tame Husband. Not one of the Generals Family but himself and he only when business obliges him to; will go to the House.
A mr woodard has mov'd into the House which mr T. bought for him of mr Glover. I hear they are a pritty Family I design to visit them. I Shall stand a chance to meet mr T. there. I find he has domesticated himself already.
I Sent you a Short Letter by capt Barnard I had not time to do more. I find he has Sail'd.4 I wrote you that I had been making a visit to Sister Smith a wedding visit at Medford, and spent a night or two at cambridge. I went into cousin Toms chamber for the first time, it is a very good one and look'd very nice. He loves to have every thing in its place, and takes very good care of his cloaths and conducts well in every respect, So far as I can learn. Cousin JQA is chosen one of the Theses collectors which does him honour. The Governeurs of the College speak well of them all. There is like to be a great disturbance in cambridge at, the seting of the court of common Pleas this week. There is an express come to the Governour to inform him that one Shays one of the Heads of the Incindiarys, (It is a many headed Beast) is determin'd to come with eighteen hundred men to stop the court. There will be force Sent to oppose them I suppose, and I wish there may not be Blood shed. Are we not hastning fast to monarchy? to Anarchy I am sure we are, unless the { 398 } People discover a better Spirit soon. We are concern'd for our children I assure you. The college company are wishing to be allow'd to march out in defence of Government but they will not be permited.5 Mr cranch will go tomorrow and take care of them of our children I mean.
And a colder day I never knew in January. I hope it will cool the courage of the Insurgants. I am anxious to hear Mr Cranch went to cambridge yesterday he is too aprehensive to be happy.
Tis extreem cold yet and no news from cambridge. I have just heard that our Braintree captains have been round to order all the Militia to be ready to march at a minutes warning. How hostile the appearence! I hope'd to have seen peace in my day for the future, but from the present cloud which hangs over our affairs nothing can be expected but Storms and Tempests.
Six o'clock. About a quarter after four this afternoon We had a very sensible Shock of an earthquake.6 I was in my chamber standing at a trunk, when my Chest of draws began to shake and the Brasses to rattle violently. It lasted but a few seconds and was not attended with any noise that I can learn. I was not a little alarm'd being almost alone made me feel more So.
I have just receiv'd a Letter from mr cranch informing me that the Insurgents came no further than concord from thence, they Sent a Man to Bristol county to collect all the discontented there and to ingage them to meet those at concord. Chaise [Shays] was to come with his Gang from another Quarter, but the man from concord meeting with no success in Bristol county and upon his return not finding chaise arriv'd advis'd the Party to return. “That the Govr had call'd a counsel of war,” at which he was invited. There were present Genls Lincoln and Prescott, Coll Hitchbourn 4 Counsilors and several other Gentlemen. That measurs were propounded and discuss'd with great prudence and wisdom, but that he was not at Liberty to mention the result. T[he] Insurgents at concord were about Sixty. They expected chaise would have brought three Thousand.
{ 399 }
The Secreet is out, at least part of it. A Party of Light Horse all vollentiers went from Boston on wednesday morning in pursuit of the Insurgents. They had warrants to take up a number of their leaders and a sad company they were. The Light Horse consisted of Lawyers Physicians and merchants and were Joind by a number of Gentleman from the country as they pass'd thro it. They were commanded by Colln. Hitchbourn and were in number about three Hundred. They went as far as Groton and return'd a Friday morning with three of the Leaders of the mob, Shaddock Parker and Page. Shaddock defended himself with his sword till he had like to have kill'd a mr Reed who Seiz'd him first and who was himself Tar'd and Feather'd in former times but is now for Submiting to the Powers that Be. As Shaddocks arm was lifted to give a wound that might have been fatal to Reed, Doctor Rand Struck him upon the knee with his Broad Sword, and brought him to the ground.7 The others were taken without Sheding Blood. Cousin Willm. Smith was of the Party who went out. Another Party went out after another Set of them, but return without doing any thing. They did not think themselves strong enough to oppose such numbers as were collecting.
I was very sorry I could not get a Letter aboard Davis, but I could not get one into Town Soon enough. Mr Cranch and the Doctor will write I hope. They can give you a better account of Publick matters than I. You may remember that in one of my Letters I mentiond our receiving Letters from mr Perkins who was at Kentucky. We receiv'd another Pacquit Last June in which he inform'd us that he was in very good Business but must stay a few years Longer, before he could think of returning, he must make a fortune. He went for that purpose and altho the hope of Settling among his Friends was almost the only thing that made Life desirable to him yet without sufficient to Set him above want he never would return. We had just sent answers away when mr cranch receiv'd a Letter from a Friend of his with an account of his Death. You my Sister who knew his worth: the goodness of his Heart, and how dear he had render'd himself to us, by his kindness and attention to this Family will easily judge how much we must be shock'd. The tender heart of my Eliza receiv'd a deeper wound than you would have supposed from what I told you before you went away. Tis no easey matter to withhold our { 400 } affections from those who tenderly Love us. Mr Perkin's dy'd the 22d of August of a dessorder upon his Lungs. His Illness was thought to be but slight till the evening before he dy'd. He was then taken with violent nervous complaints which depriv'd him of his senses till he expir'd.
I think I told you in a former Letter of the Death of Prentis Cushing. His Parents are full of grief, they were very fond of him. He sustain'd an exellent character. We have this to comfort us, under our affliction in the loss of both. Mr Perkinss' Friend writes that he was universally belov'd and esteem'd while living and that his Death was greatly lamented. In almost every Letter I send I have to acquaint you with the Death of some of our Friends or acquaintance. I know you must rejoice with trembling whenever you receive a Letter from any of us till you have read it. It is thus that I am affected whenever I hear a vessel is arriv'd from England.
Your mother Hall Still lives as injoys a comfortable Share of health. She desires to be remember'd to all her children. Your Brothers Family are well he spent sunday evening with us. Your Neighbours are well but most Sincerely wish for your return they often come to inquire about you. Abdy and Phebe do very well and live very comfortably. She has her health better than She use'd to do. She washes for some of the Neighbours. She does So for me. She complains that she cannot get work enough to do. “He is always Puddering about but does not bring much to pass.” Mrs H. Hunt sends her love and says if it was not for your kindness she could not afford herself a piece of meat all winter. She has taken Becca Field to live with her for company and the poor Girl has had a very bad sore on her neck which has been open'd. She has been confin'd with it above a month. The neighbours have been kind to her or she must have suffer'd greatly. She could not lay in her Bed. I went to see her and carry them a few comforts, but was surpriz'd to see how the poor creature was fallen away: She has not been able to swallow a bit of Bread for three Weeks.
This is the Seventh Snow Storm we have had and a dreadful one it is. The Banks are already even with the Fences, neither man nor Beast can turn out. The cold is also Severe—how many poor creatures may be in distress upon our coast. The Season has been so dry that I expect we Shall be loaded with Snow this winter. You never { 401 } knew such distress for water as there is in this town, almost all the wells are dry, and the Brooks very low.8
I have just heard of a Ships being cast upon point Shirley and that all the crew but one Perish'd. I fear I shall hear of more.9 Much damage has been done in Boston by the high Tide.
Mrs Russel has a fine Boy I hear, and is very well. The affairs of our milton Freinds are I fear greatly imbarrass'd. Winslow is confin'd in Hartford.—He was oblig'd to find Bondsman when mr Codman took him, as he could not discharge the debt, he deliverd himself up. I am griev'd for the General and his Lady. I have not taken up your debt from them. I could never find any thing, that it would do to take it in.

[salute] If the vessel does not sail soon you Shall hear again from your affectionate Sister

[signed] Mary Cranch
Cushing is not yet arriv'd by him I hope to hear from you.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr. 26 1786 Mrs Cranch” and “Mrs. Cranch december 3. 1786.”
1. The Adamses had begun to express fears concerning Gen. Joseph Palmer's economic well-being as early as three years before (vol. 5:139, 140). For more on his salt works, see vol. 6:13.
2. Possibly a reference to Richard Cranch's now living full-time in Braintree; in the past he had frequently traveled on business.
3. For Royall Tyler's earlier difficulties with a sleigh, see vol. 6:94.
4. Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 28 Sept., above. Barnard sailed for London around 17 Nov. (Boston Gazette, 20 Nov.).
5. The first military company of Harvard students, the Marti-Mercurian Band, had been formed in 1769 or 1770, overturning a seventeenth-century ban on students' participation in military companies. While the company drilled occasionally (usually followed by liberal consumption of rum), it never saw service and was disbanded around 1787 (Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard 1636–1936, Cambridge, 1936, p. 28, 141). For JQA's description of and reactions to the possible attack, see his Diary, 2:133–136 ||(entry for 27 Nov. and subsequent)||.
6. On 2 Dec., the Massachusetts Centinel reported, “Wednesday afternoon [29 Nov]., about four o'clock, a small shock of an Earthquake was sensibly felt in this town.” A later report indicated that the quake was strongest in the area of Oliver's dock, and west from there to Newton (Massachusetts Centinel, 6 Dec.).
7. Sampson Reed of Boston led a company of twelve men in arresting Capt. Job Shattuck. Shattuck was wounded by a sword in the process, but Reed was apparently unharmed (Jacob Whittemore Reed, History of the Reed Family in Europe and America, Boston, 1861, p. 182; Lemuel Shattuck, Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck, Boston, 1855, p. 126).
8. The Boston newspapers reported that the snowstorm of 4–5 Dec. was
“as severe a snow-storm as has been experienced here for several years past.—The wind, at east, and north-east, blew exceeding heavy, and drove in the tide with such violence on Tuesday, as over-flowed the pier several inches, which entering the stores on the lower part thereof, did much damage to the Sugars, salt, &c. therein. . . . The shipping in the harbour, we are happy to find, received but little injury: yet our apprehensions for the vessels which were daily expected to arrive, and which { 402 } were supposed to have been on the coast when the storm began, are great.”
On 9 Dec., another snowstorm hit the Boston area, adding to the accumulated totals, “so that with what fell the preceeding part of the Week, makes it nearly 4 Feet deep upon a Level; consequently travelling is very precarious” (Boston Independent Chronicle, 7 Dec.; Boston Gazette, 11 Dec.). See also JQA, Diary, 2:136–139|| (entry for 4 Dec. and subsequent)||, and JQA to AA2, 14 Jan. 1787, below.
9. Due to the storm, the brig Lucretia, Capt. Powell, ran up on Point Shirley on the morning of 5 Dec. while trying to reach Boston Harbor. Of the eleven people on the boat, five made it to shore but could not reach shelter from the storm and thus died. Powell and five others stayed on board and subsequently reached safety (Boston Gazette, 11 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0152

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-11-27

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams Smith

I must frankly acknowledge to my Dear Niece that I could not but wonder at her long Silence. I feared that my Letters had not reached her, or that I had inadvertenly written something that had wounded her feelings, and so had, in her estimation, forfeited that Love, and generous confidence which she had so kindly placed in me.1 But when I recieved a Letter from your Mother last April, which announced to me her Daughters being upon the point of Marriage with a Gentleman whose Name she did not mention, and the next week to hear you were really married, you cannot wonder if my Mind felt inquisitive—hurried—and struck with amazement. By this I found that my Niece had been employed in adjusting matters of the utmost importance; and as she knew not how much she was beloved, nor how deeply I was interested in her happiness, I could not so much blame her for not sparing one Moment to acquaint, a most affectionate Aunt of her pleasing Prospects.
As you my Neice have given me a new Nephew, permit me to congratulate you both upon the Celebration of your Nuptials. May he who has so worthyly defended the Liberties of his Country, now dwell in Peace, and Harmony, and enjoy the delights of Friendship, and all the Sweets of domestic Life, and never have occasion again to reassume any Weapons of War. You my Niece who have so happily escaped the dangers, the whirlpools, and the quicksands of the single Life, and have safely arrived at the Haven of Matrimony, will find a new Scene open to your view. And that there are two very principal Characters in which you must become the Actress[th]at [o]f Wife and Mistress—and before a much more interested Audience than you have yet ever beheld in a publick Theatre. I need not tell you, I mean your Husband, and your Family,—and perhaps e'er long, you may be called to act in a third, not less important, arduous { 403 } and tender. That each have their several incumbent Duties, and that there are certain Traits requisite, without which a Lady of your Judgment, well knows a female Character must be exceedingly imperfect. A proper reverence of yourself—a dignity of Manners—joined with Meekness, and Condescention—gentleness, and sweetness of Temper—have most attractive Charms, and are the richest, and most valuable Ornaments, you can adorn yourself with. They with [will] render you lovely in Youth, and (I may venture to say,) forever ensure you the attention, the Love, and the best Affections of that Man, who is truly worthy of you.
The Woman who is really possessed of superior Qualities, or affects a Superiority over her Husband, betrays a pride which degrades herself, and places her in the most disadvantatious point of view.
She who values domestick Happiness will carefully gaurd against, and avoid any little Contentions—the Beginnings of Evil—as she would a pestilential Dissease, that would poison her sweetest comforts, and infect her every Joy. There is but one kind of Strife in the nuptial State that I can behold without horror, and that is who shall excell and who shall oblige the most. Since marriage is one of the most important Transactions of our Lives, you will excuse my suggesting to you several Things which I deem so Essential towards the preserving an happy Union, and imputing what I have said, to my Love, and solicitude for your Happiness and not to a fear, that you should be found wanting in any requisite. For she who has been a dutiful Child, seldom fails of becoming a most discreet, and obliging Wife. Sure I am Anything of the preceptive kind would be unnecessary to you who have a living, and a bright Example of the conjugal Virtues in your excellent Mother. There they shine with distinguished Lustre. She who in some measure overcame the ties of Nature, and crossed the wide Atlantic to sooth, and to relieve him whose labouring Mind was vexed, and oppressed with the mighty Cares of a rising Empire, must be possessed of Qualities, and Graces that would endear her, not only to her Husband, but to all who can properly estimate real Worth.
The sensations you experienced upon quitting your Fathers Family were such, as I can easily conceive. What I suffered myself upon the like occasion, Time can never efface. Even blessed with the kindest, and most assiduous Partner, and with the most flattering Prospects, it is at best, as you have well expressed it,

“But a solemn Scene of Joy.”

{ 404 }
To bid adieu to our former Habitation, and to give up the kind Gaurdians of our youth, and place ourselves under quite a new kind of Protection, cannot but strike a reflecting Mind with awe, and the most fearful Apprehensions—as it is the important Crisis, upon which our Fate depends.

“Happy the Youth that finds his Bride

Whose birth is to his own ally'd

The sweetest Joy of Life.”2

Our News Paper has announced to us the Nuptials of Revd Mr Osgood, and Miss Breed. Dr Archelaus Putnam and Miss Bishop. Cupid I fancy got fast asleep in his Mothers Lap, and old Plutus, has yoked the Dove.3 Not so with the amiable Peggy White. She is now happily connected with a Gentleman, who, I believe was her first, and her last attachment. Last Week I visited her. She was dressed elegantly, and in all the splendor of Bridal Innocence. She, and her worthy Partner Mr Bayley Bartlet4 looked so happy, and complacent, as must have given pleasure to every beholder. There was always a sweetness, and a dignity in her Manners that I admired; but upon this occasion every Feature appeared more animated, and every Grace had received an additional Charm.
Mr Duncan has married, and brought home his third Wife. She appears to be a very discreet worthy Woman, and agreeable to all the Children. Miss Duncan has greatly recovered her health. When Mr T—— and Miss B will enter the List, Or when Hymen will twist Blessings with their Bands, I cannot say. But I hope the Time is not far distant.
I have thought of you often, since I heard your Father and Mother were gone to the Haugue. I have longed to look in upon you. But all we can do at present, is to write to each other, which I hope you will never omit doing by every Opportunity, as it will exceedingly gratify her who wishes you every possibly degree of felicity, and though I am distant from you, am at all times, your truly affectionate Aunt
[signed] E Shaw
Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “To Mrs Abigail Smith London Wimpole Street.”
1. No letters from AA2 to Shaw have been found.
2. Isaac Watts, “The Indian Philosopher,” lines 43–45.
3. Rev. David Osgood (1748–1822), Harvard 1771, pastor of the First Church of Medford, married Hannah Breed on 1 November. Osgood also himself performed the marriage of Dr. Archelaus Putnam and Abigail Bishop on 12 Nov. (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:570–571, 579; Massachusetts Gazette, 14 Nov.).
4. Bailey Bartlett (1750–1830), a member of { 405 } the Massachusetts state legislature and later a member of Congress, married Peggy White (1766–1831) on 21 November. They ultimately had thirteen children, nine daughters and four sons (Levi Bartlett, Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of the Bartlett Family in England and America, Lawrence, Mass., 1876, p. 22–24).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0153

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-11-28

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Since I wrote you, the packet from N york has arrived after a passage of 43 days, and by that your Letter of August 30th came safe to hand, and upon reading it I was glad to find that your sentiments so nearly agreed with mine. You will inquire into mr Parsons' Terms and with the advise of Dr Tufts look out for Board. But I will get your Father to write you I had rather you should have his opinion directly than at Second hand.
I hope you will not apply so constantly to your Studies as to injure your Health: exersise is very necessary for you, but from the accounts from my Friends I fear you do not pay attention enough to it.
By captain Callihan you received your Books and Letters I presume. I am quite impatient to get Letters from my Friends, tho I know they will be such as to give me pain. The Newspapers and Letters from Newyork are filld with accounts of the most allarming Nature, and I could not refrain shedding tears over them, to behold my Countrymen who had so nobly fought and bled for freedom, tarnishing their glory, loosing the bands of society, introducing anarchy confusion and despotisim, forging domestick Chains for Posterity. For the experience of ages, and the Historick page teach us, that a popular Tyrranny never fails to be followed by the arbitrary government of a Single person. Who can refrain from anxiety, who can feel at Peace or set Idle, and see whole Bodies of Men giving into those very practices which are sure to work their destruction, breaking a constitution by the very same errors that so many have been broken before?
Common sense and plain reason will ever have some general influence upon a free people, and I will Still hope and believe that a Majority of our CountryMen will bear their testimony against such lawless proceedings, and that by wisdom and firmness they will be able to restore order and harmony without the dreadfull necessity of Shedding Blood. Rome had her Caesars and her Pompeys, nor will America be less productive; civil dissensions never fail to spirit up the ambition of private Men; the Same Spirit which prompted Hon• { 406 } estus to attack the order of the Lawyers, as he terms them, has diffused itself throughout Massachusets, His publications were calculated to sow the seeds of discontent, and dissention amongst the populace and to pull down the pillars of the State. Would to Heaven that none but such as himself, might be crushed by the fall.
I had flatterd myself with the hope that my Children would reap the benifits of an equitable and peaceable Government, after the many Perils and difficulties which their Father had pass'd through to obtain one. But if this is not like to be the case, I would enjoin it upon each of them to turn their attention and their Studies to the Great Subject of Government, and the Rights of Mankind, that they may be qualified to defend them, in the senate, and in the Feild if necessary. You have an Elder Brother whose Heroic Soul and independant Spirit, Breaths the ardour of a Hero and a Freeman, and I have reason to bless the hand of Providence which saved a beloved child from impending ruin, and gave her a Protector, in a Man of Honour and integrity. We are as happy, as the distance from our Friends, and the dissagreeable state of our Country will permit us to be.
I am glad to find by your Le[tter] your Brother Tommy is admitted colledge. I hope you [will] watch over him with the care of a parent, and the affection of a Brother. I fear their will be no passenger by this packet to whom we can commit our Letters, and if so I am wholy at a loss for a conveyance as Cushing is not like to get out till Spring.
I have a Letter or two for some other of my Friends but they must wait. I heard yesterday that Captain Sayer was arrived. I received one Letter only and that from Mrs Rogers dated 16 of october, which came up by the post.1 I trust the captain is orderd to deliver his Letters himself. As the Wind is against his comeing up, it may yet be Several days before we get our Letters which you know is very mortifying to Your affectionate Mother
[signed] A. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “Mr. John Quincy Adams Student at Cambridge near Boston in Massachusetts north America Pr. Packett”; stamped: “[ . . . ]/DE” and “POST A [ . . . ] ”; mail notations: “2/3”; “6.16”; “post pad [2p—?]”; and “[J Q A?]”; endorsed: “Mrs: Adams. Novr: 28. 1786.”; docketed: “My Mother. 28. Novr: 1786.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0154

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-11

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am never happier than when I am performing good offices for good people; and the most friendly office one can perform is to make worthy characters acquainted with one another. The good things of this life are scattered so sparingly in our way that we must glean them up as we go. Yourself and Madame de Corny then must avail yourselves of the short time she will remain in London to make each other happy.2 A good heart and a good head will ensure her a place in your esteem. I have promised it to her: and she has yet a better title, a high respect for your character. I asked her to carry me in her pocket, that I might have the pleasure of bringing you together in person: but on examining the treaty of commerce, she found I should be contraband; that there might be search—and seisur—and that the case would admit very specially of embarras. So instead of my having the honour of presenting her to you, she will have that of putting this into your hands, and of giving you assurances of her esteem and respect, with which permit me to mingle those of, dear Madam, your most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] Th: Jefferson
FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).
1. The date is established by Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 19 Nov., in which he mentions Madame de Corny's upcoming visit to London (Jefferson, Papers, 10:542–543, 557).
2. Anne Mangeot, Madame Ethis de Corny, was the wife of Louis Dominique Ethis de Corny (1738–1790), a French writer and administrator, and a friend of Jefferson's. Although Madame de Corny remained in London for over a year, it is unlikely that she ever met AA or that AA ever received this letter (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Jefferson, Papers, 11:569–570, 12:551).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0155

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1786-12-02

Abigail Adams Smith to Thomas Jefferson

Mrs Smith presents her Compliments to Mr Jefferson and is very sorry to trouble him again upon the Subject of the Corsetts, but not having received them, She fears Mademoisell Sanson has not been so punctual as she promised, if Mr Jefferson will permit Petit to inquire after, and forward them by an early opportunity, Mrs S—— will be much obliged.1
RC (MHi: Jefferson Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Smith.”
{ 408 }
1. This letter was enclosed in WSS to Jefferson, 5 Dec. (Jefferson, Papers, 10:578–579). AA2's earlier request for corsets has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0156

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Author: Greenleaf, Lucy Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-07

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

Your obligeing Letter of July th' 20, was duly recieved—those repeated attentions to me deserve my earliest acknowledgments. Grateful indeed to my heart are those sentiments of affection which you so kindly express for me.
Tho in some things I may appear indifferent, yet in this I feel, that I am not. Smith says “that the cheif part of human happiness, consists in the consciousness of being beloved.”1 I believe he says true, the greatest pleasure I ever feel is derived from a consciousness that there are those, who feel a friendship for me and who I have reason to think are interested in my happiness. I am proud that among that number I am allowed to place my Loved my respected Aunt Adams. It shall ever be my study to deserve the continued honour of your Love.
You my dear Madam, are constantly laying me under obligations to yourself. I want words to express my thanks. I will endeavour by my actions to shew that I am not ungrateful.
The fashionable Magazine, is it possible that the Empire of Fashion is so great, that monthly publications issuing its decrees can find sufficient encouragement. When I first read the Preface, I thought it was ment for satire, but when I reflected on the great height to which folly has arrived, I supposed it was sober earnest. You could not have sent a Book that would have been in greater demand. I received it at Haverhill—the news was soon spread—that Miss Cranch had the fashionable magizine. Gentlemen and Ladies, all borrowed it. The dress of the Hair, the make of the Cap, the shape of the Waist, and the cut of the Coat, were examined with as much attention among the Ton of Haverhill, as a new theory of the Earth would be among the Academicions, of Cambridge.
The Treatise upon gardening, we have not had time to read, I think it must be entertaining. When I have read it I suppose I shall wish to have an ornamented Farm, at present our best way is to have a useful one.
Luxery and extravagance are taking hasty strides through our Land, if not soon checked they will prove our ruin. The Court have been adopting some, economical plans, in their last Sessions. The { 409 } Govr. and a number, of the members of both houses have entered into an agreement to discourage Luxery, and the excessive use of foreign articles, and to encourage our own manafactures, as much as is in their power within the circle of their influence.2
At present every thing is in disorder. I hope that the delusion which has spread among the people will be dispersed, before the consequences grow more serious, a war within ourselves is what I most dread. We trust for sucoor in that omnipotent being, who bringeth light out of darkness and good out of evill.
I rejoice with you Madam and with my Uncle, in the addition it must be to your happiness, to see your amiable Daughter so happily united to the Man of her choise, a Man worthy of her tenderest Love. May they long be blessed in each other, and Live to be an example to the world, that the path of rectitude will always lead to happiness.
We shall expect in the next Ship, an account of your tour to Holland, from which we expect great entertainment.

[salute] Adieu my dear Aunt, may all happiness, attend you and yours, is the wish of her who is with every sentiment of respect and esteem, your grateful and affectionate, Neice,

[signed] Lucy C——h
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams. Grosvenor-Square Westminster”; endorsed: “Lucy Cranch Decem 1 1787.”
1. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, London, 1759, p. 87.
2. On 17 Nov. 1786, the Massachusetts legislature approved a “Report of the Committee for Encouragement of Manufactures, &c. in this Commonwealth,” which recommended “That the General Court should make a serious and determined Exertion, by Example and Advice, to inspire a due Regard to our own Manufactures; to the Fruits of our own Industry, and the Efforts of our own Genius, and at the same Time to discourage the Importation and use of foreign Superfluities.” On the same day, the General Court passed “An Act to Raise a Public Revenue by Impost,” which taxed various imports and completely banned others, “to give all due encouragement to the agriculture and manufactures” of Massachusetts (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 132; Acts of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 48).

[salute] My dear Aunt

Your obligeing Letter of July th' 20, was duly recieved—those repeated attentions to me deserve my earliest acknowledgments. Grateful indeed to my heart are those sentiments of affection which you so kindly express for me.
Tho in some things I may appear indifferent, yet in this I feel, that I am not. Smith says “that the cheif part of human happiness, consists in the consciousness of being beloved.”1 I believe he says true, the greatest pleasure I ever feel is derived from a consciousness that there are those, who feel a friendship for me and who I have reason to think are interested in my happiness. I am proud that among that number I am allowed to place my Loved my respected Aunt Adams. It shall ever be my study to deserve the continued honour of your Love.
You my dear Madam, are constantly laying me under obligations to yourself. I want words to express my thanks. I will endeavour by my actions to shew that I am not ungrateful.
The fashionable Magazine, is it possible that the Empire of Fashion is so great, that monthly publications issuing its decrees can find sufficient encouragement. When I first read the Preface, I thought it was ment for satire, but when I reflected on the great height to which folly has arrived, I supposed it was sober earnest. You could not have sent a Book that would have been in greater demand. I received it at Haverhill—the news was soon spread—that Miss Cranch had the fashionable magizine. Gentlemen and Ladies, all borrowed it. The dress of the Hair, the make of the Cap, the shape of the Waist, and the cut of the Coat, were examined with as much attention among the Ton of Haverhill, as a new theory of the Earth would be among the Academicions, of Cambridge.
The Treatise upon gardening, we have not had time to read, I think it must be entertaining. When I have read it I suppose I shall wish to have an ornamented Farm, at present our best way is to have a useful one.
Luxery and extravagance are taking hasty strides through our Land, if not soon checked they will prove our ruin. The Court have been adopting some, economical plans, in their last Sessions. The { 409 } Govr. and a number, of the members of both houses have entered into an agreement to discourage Luxery, and the excessive use of foreign articles, and to encourage our own manafactures, as much as is in their power within the circle of their influence.2
At present every thing is in disorder. I hope that the delusion which has spread among the people will be dispersed, before the consequences grow more serious, a war within ourselves is what I most dread. We trust for sucoor in that omnipotent being, who bringeth light out of darkness and good out of evill.
I rejoice with you Madam and with my Uncle, in the addition it must be to your happiness, to see your amiable Daughter so happily united to the Man of her choise, a Man worthy of her tenderest Love. May they long be blessed in each other, and Live to be an example to the world, that the path of rectitude will always lead to happiness.
We shall expect in the next Ship, an account of your tour to Holland, from which we expect great entertainment.

[salute] Adieu my dear Aunt, may all happiness, attend you and yours, is the wish of her who is with every sentiment of respect and esteem, your grateful and affectionate, Neice,

[signed] Lucy C——h

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0157

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-21

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

An unfortunate dislocation of my right wrist has for three months deprived me of the honor of writing to you. I begin now to use my pen a little, but it is in great pain, and I have no other use of my hand. The swelling has remained obstinately the same for two months past, and the joint, tho I beleive well set, does not become more flexible. I am strongly advised to go to some mineral waters at { 410 } Aix in Provence, and I have it in contemplation.1 I was not alarmed at the humor shewn by your countrymen. On the contrary I like to see the people awake and alert. But I received a letter which represented it as more serious than I had thought. Mr Adams however restores my spirits; I believe him and I thank him for it. The good sense of the people will soon lead them back, if they have erred in a moment of surprize.2 My friends write me that they will send my little daughter to me by a Vessel which sails in May for England. I have taken the liberty to tell them that you will be so good as to take her under your wing till I can have notice to send for her, which I shall do express in the moment of my knowing she is arrived. She is about 8. years old, and will be in the care of her nurse, a black woman, to whom she is confided with safety. I knew your goodness too well to scruple the giving this direction before I had asked your permission.3 I beg you to accept assurances of the constant esteem with which I have the honor to be Dear Madam your most obedient & most humble servt.
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jeffersons Letter december 21 1787.”
1. Jefferson hurt his wrist on 18 Sept., and his ability to write was hindered by the injury for several months thereafter. He visited Aixen-Provence during an extended tour of southern France in spring 1787 but did not find the mineral waters helpful (Jefferson, Papers, 10:394; 11:31, 338, 426–427).
2. John Jay wrote to Jefferson about the uprising in Massachusetts on 27 Oct., describing it as “more formidable than some at first apprehended. . . . If Faction should long bear down Law and Government, Tyranny may raise its Head, or the more sober part of the People may even think of a King. In short, my Dr. Sir; we are in a very unpleasant Situation.” By contrast, JA's letter of 30 Nov. instructed Jefferson, “Dont be allarmed. . . . [A]ll will be well” (same, 10:488–489, 557).
3. Mary (Polly) Jefferson arrived in London on 26 June 1787. The nurse Jefferson had intended to accompany her was unable to make the trip, so she came in the care of Sally Hemings. They remained with the Adamses in London for just over two weeks, after which they departed for Paris (same, 11:501–502, 592).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0158

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-12-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

We arrived here about four oclock a fryday afternoon,1 after a very pleasent journey. The weather was somewhat cold, but a clear Sky and a fine Sun Shine was ample compensation. We found convenient apartments, Good Beaf Mutton and excellent fish for dinner; it was fortunate that we engaged Lodgings before we came, as every House is full. To day being rainy and fogy we have not made any excursion, or looked about us. We wanted a little remit after rising 3 mornings by candle light and riding through the cold. I hope an ad• { 411 } ditional quantity of bed Cloaths will make you comfortable; we had the city Musick this morning to wait upon us, and welcome us to Bath. I Suppose we Shall have some more compliments of the Same kind. I think the Bath road has more of an American appearence than any I have traveld in this Country. The Stone Walls and the Hills and the Towns bearing the Same Names, Reading Malborough newburry all reminded me of New England. I think you would have been better pleasd if you had come with us, than you was when you traveld this road formerly,2 in summer it must be delightfull. I think very often of your being alone, but whilst the Book lasts you will not want employment, tho you may amusement. Be so good as to let me hear from you, tell me how you do, and direct under cover to col Smith at mr []3 abbe Green. But why it is calld so I know not, as it is a small paved square and nothing Green to be seen about it.—A Good Nights repose to you tho more than a hundred miles distant my thoughts are very often in Grosveneur Square, and we drink your Health every Day. Mr and Mrs Smith present their Duty. Yours ever
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “To His Excellency John Adams Minister Plenipo: &c &c &c. Grosvenor Square”; stamped: “23/DE”; docketed by WSS: “Mrs. Adams”; and by CFA: “Bath. Decr 23d 1786.”; notation by WSS: “at Mr. Marjrams abbe Green.” Mathematical notation by JA, dividing 336 by 16.
1. 22 December. This was AA's first letter to JA since 30 July 1784 (vol. 5:408–409).
2. JA visited Bath with JQA in Dec. 1783 during their first stay in England (JA, D&A, 3:151–152).
3. Blank in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0159

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I hope you have had a Pleasant Journey and are happy in your tour. I am, in a state of Phylosophic Solitude, that has hitherto been very tolerable, because I know my Treasures are not far off. But, as soon as the Novelty of it, wears off, and my occupation shall cease it will grow tedious enough. Dont hurry yourself however nor your Friends, but improve the opportunity to see, whatever you have an Inclination to see. I shall receive the Benefit of your observations when We meet and with more Pleasure than I could have made them perhaps in Person. Love to the Coll and my Nabby Smith, and Compliments to all the Party.
A Letter from Squire Storer is in closed. Barnet is arrived some• { 412 } where but I have no letter yet, but one from Storer in which this was in closed.1 Yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “december 25 Mr A. 1786.”
1. Probably Charles Storer to AA, 12 Sept., above, enclosed in Storer to JA, 16 Sept. (Adams Papers). The London Daily Universal Register, 25 Dec., announced the arrival of Captain Barnard at Plymouth on 21 December.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This moment returning from Mr Bridgen where I had been to deliver him a Letter to you, written this Morning I found your very agreable favour of the 23. Am very glad you are so well Situated, So much pleased with your Journey, and present Accommodation. Dont be solicitous about me. I shall do very well—if I am cold in the night, and an additional quantity of Bed Cloaths will not answer the purpose of warming me, I will take a Virgin to bed with me.—Ay a Virgin.—What? oh Awful! what do <[ . . . ]>1 read?
Dont be Surprized. Do you know what a Virgin is? Mr Bridget brought me acquainted with it this Morning. It is a Stone Bottle, Such as you buy with spruce Beer and Spa Water, filled with Boiling Water, covered over and wrapped up in flannel and laid at a Mans Feet in Bed. An Old Man you see may comfort him self with Such a Virgin, as much as David did with Abishay,2 and not give the least Jealousy even to his Wife, the smallest grief to his Children, or any Scandal to the World. Tell Mr Bridgen when you see him that I am indebted to him for this important Piece of Knowledge, which I would not sell for a great deal of Money.
Tell Coll Smith I am half disposed to be almost miffed with him—for going off without giving me his Letter about the Indians.3 And what compleats the Mischief is, that he has all the Books locked up in his Room—pray him to write me, if it is possible to get at the Letter or the Books—both are what I want. My Love to Nabby Smith and her Knight, and to all the Party. Mr Shippen is with you eer now—he was so good as to pick a bone with me once—and Mr Cutting is very good. We now talk Politicks all alone and are much cooler and more rational than when We dispute in Company.

[salute] Yours forever

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr Marjrams abbe Green Bath”; endorsed: “Mr A. 25 decem 86.”
{ 413 }
1. JA canceled “I” and two illegible letters here.
2. Abishag, the young virgin who ministered to the aged King David in 1 Kings, 1:1–4.
3. Not identified. This may have been a memorandum WSS was drafting in response to Lord Carmarthen's letter to JA of 11 Dec. concerning debts owed to British merchants by Creek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia and a related land claim (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 371–372).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0161

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest

Mr Murray, whom I am glad to see out again will carry to Bath this Memorandum that We are all very well. He will arrive for what I know before Mr Bridgen. The Weath's is very cold, but by a good fire and a good Walk I have not yet been obliged to recur to my Expedient of an immaculate Virgin Bottle of hot Water. I sent Yesterday—Packetts to Coll Smith from Paris.1
The News from Boston is very well. The Court has set at Cambridge in great Pomp guarded by three thousand Men and a train of Artillery. The General Court have passed an Amnesty, with some Exceptions, to all who will take the oath of allegiance, in a certain Time. The Governor reviewed the Troops and made them a Speech. In short government appears now in its Majesty supported by those in whom all Majesty originally resides, the People. I have not seen the Papers but Coll Trumbul gives me this Account,2 Coll Smiths Toast “common sense to the Common People” is already verified.
Make your observations, keep your Journal, and make Nabby Smith do so too, and let me see all when you return.

[salute] Yours evermore

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams at Mr Marjrams abbe Square Bath favd by Mr Murray”; endorsed: “Mr A December 27.”
1. Presumably Thomas Jefferson to WSS, 20 Dec., including a twelve-sheet map of South America and possibly a lost letter to AA2 (Jefferson, Papers, 10:620).
2. Not found. For the opening of the Middlesex County court in Cambridge on 1 Nov., see JQA, Diary, 2:120–121. The General Court's amnesty, “An Act Granting Indemnity to Sundry Offenders, on Certain Conditions, and Providing for the Trial of Such, Who Shall Neglect or Refuse to Comply with Said Conditions, and of Those Who Shall Be Guilty of Like Offences in Future,” was approved on 15 Nov. (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 44).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0162

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1786-12-30

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I yesterday received your kind favour by mr Murry and the day before; yours by mr Bridgen. Mr and Mrs Rucker left us this morn• { 414 } ing, but I did not write by them knowing that the post would be much Spedier. You tell me to keep a journal, but you do not think what a task you impose or how every Hour is occupied at this place by those who stay only ten or twleve Days, and run the circle of amusement, or rather dissapation. The Young are delighted here, because they feel less restraint in their amusements and pleasures than in the city. The excercise they take, together with the clear sun shine and fine air of Bath tends to exhilirate the spirits. The aged and the infirm receive Health and Spirits from the Bethsadian pools and not a little satisfaction is derived to all parties from visiting a place of fashionable resort. As it may be more amusement to you in my absence to read a little detail of my excursion than if I brought home a journal to you, I will endeavour to recollect the events of the past week. You know I had but one acquaintance who resided here, and him I determined to find out and leave a card at his Lodgings. But on Sunday last, before I had made any inquiry for him, he heard of my arrival and came immediately to see me. He was wonderfully polite and civil to us, offerd us every attention in his power. We invited him to dine with us the next day, and the old Gentleman came. He told us that he had not for 3 years past been a Subscriber to any of the publick amusements the concert excepted, and to that he would have the honour of conducting us.1 This he did the next Evening and procured us Seats to much advantage. The next Day he invited us to a Breakfast with him and entertaind us with great Elegance and Hospitality. He has taken such a prodigious fancy to col Smith that he has made him a confident in his private affairs. Col Smith brought a letter of introduction to mr Fairfax who is mr Boylstones most intimate Friend.2 Mr Fairfax was Sick confined to his Chamber and his Lady quite an invalide but they have been very obliging to us, Sent us cards for the benifit Ball and yesterday we dinned with them. Tho mr Fairfax was not able to set at table, he deputed mr Boylstone to do the Honours of it, and the old gentleman appeard as happy as if he had, had so many of his children about him and mrs Fairfax said she had never Seen him in such Spirits in her Life. In the Evening we went to a party at Miss Hartlys, a musical Route I believe I must call it, as we had both vocal and instrumental, we had Stars and Garters Lords and Ladies present. Miss Hartly is quite a criple having lost one of her feet by a mortification, very infirm, and delicate but quite well bred polite and soft in her manners. Her mind seems much more cultivated { 415 } than most of the Ladies we meet with. She is very fond of Musick and a performer.3 She is moved about in a chair set upon wheels, quite helpless her hands excepted. She reads or hears a young companion whom she keeps with her, is very pleasent and cheerfull and was once a very handsome woman. I drank tea with her once before without company and it was then I made my observations. We have been to three Balls one concert one play, two private parties, to the publick walks &c and all this in one week is enough to surfeit one. The Ball to morrow Evening will conclude our amusements at Bath. We then propose a visit to the Hot well of Bristol.4 That accomplished we set out for Grosvenour Square which we mean to reach on saturday next, perhaps on fryday, but as it is not convenient for all of us to travel fast; I rather think we shall make 3 or four Days of our return. I have lost my bed fellow to Day, but as the weather is so much moderated I think I shall do without an Abbe the remainder of my stay. You recollect in France that they are so polite to the Ladies as to accomodate them with an Abbe, when they give the Gentleman a Nun—even the Chaste and immaculate Dr, used to take a Nun to his Bed.
I am happy at the intelligence received from Boston, and hope all will be well.
Mr and Mrs Smith present their duty; Mr Cutting writes that he had dinned with you 3 times out of 8 Days. I wish I Could Send you some of the fine fish of Bath in which they greatly excell any part of England that I have visited. Small Bear Bread Mutton and fish are excellent here, but I begin to wish myself at Home notwithstanding. Having visited Bath once I am satisfied, as you have no fancy for that which makes it so delightfull to most people. I do not wonder that you preferd building up Republicks, and establishing Governments. Be so good as to let john and Esther know, that we Shall be at Home on Saturday next.

[salute] Ever yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. Decr. 30. 1786.”
1. Among the entertainments at Bath were a regular concert series, held in the Assembly Rooms on Wednesdays during the winter and outside at the Spring Garden in the summer, and twice-weekly subscription balls. These formal balls were regulated by strict rules, separating participants by social rank for part of the evening, and ended promptly at 11:00 p.m. (The New Bath Guide; or, Useful Pocket Companion for All Persons Residing at or Resorting to This Ancient City, Bath, 1791, p. 23–24; Trevor Fawcett and Stephen Bird, Bath: History and Guide, Dover, N.H., 1994, p. 62; Graham Davis and Penny Bonsall, Bath: A New History, Staffordshire, Eng., 1996, p. 41–42).
2. George William Fairfax (1724–1787) and his wife Sarah Cary, both originally from { 416 } Virginia, had moved to England in the early 1770s and eventually settled in Bath (Edward D. Neill, The Fairfaxes of England and America, Albany, N.Y., 1868, p. 135, 153–154, ante 209).
3. Mary Hartley (1736–1803) was the half-sister of the British MP David Hartley, who had long corresponded with JA. Despite her continuing ill health, she managed his household and was also a noted linguist and artist (George Herbert Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P.: An Advocate of Conciliation 1774–1783, Berkeley, Calif., 1926, p. 234–235, 323–325).
4. The Hot Wells was a resort spa in the village of Clifton, about a mile from Bristol, on the banks of the Avon River (Leigh's New Pocket Road-Book of England and Wales, 2d edn., London, 1826, p. 82).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0163

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Jr.
Date: 1786-12-30

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Jr.

[salute] My Dear sir

Your Letter to me informing me of the Death of your dear Parent, and my much Loved Aunt, awakened in my Bosom all those tender and Sympathetick emotions, which my own and your loss united.
Twice in my Life it hath pleased Heaven that I should taste of a Similar affliction in the loss of a Father and a Mother. Time which has meliorated the poignant anguish; which attends a recent seperation, presents to my recollection, their numerous virtues, and their endearing characters; which are a constant Solace to me, and excite in my Heart the warmest gratitude to Heaven for having blest me with Such parents, and continued their Lives to me for so many years. And Such my Dear sir must be your consolation when your thoughts employ themselves upon a Parent, who fullfilld every Duty and every Relation in Life with a conscientious punctuality with a tenderness and benevolence that constantly testified the strict unison which Subsisted between her Duty, and her inclination. Next to my own Parents, was your Dear Mother in my affection and regard. The Law of kindness was always upon her Lips,2 and it was from the abundance of her Heart, that her Mouth Spake.
Tho it hath pleased Heaven to take from me the flattering Idea of being welcomed by her, upon a return to my native Land and I now view with pain, that hospitable Mansion, once the Seat of pleasure, shorn of half its glory, and that Seat deserted; which was once filld with Smiles and with courtesy. I wipe the selfish tear from my Eye, “and look through nature up to Natures God”3 and in that Mansion not made with Hands I view the Departed Spirit, disencumberd from the Clogs of Mortality, earnestly desirious of receiving and welcoming her Friends into those happy Regions of Security and Bliss where She is safely landed, and there perfecting all those virtuous Friendships which were but commenced on Earth.
{ 417 }

“Angles from Friendship, gather half their joy”4

These are consolations which Christianity offers to the afflicted mind. You sir who have for a course of years made those sacred doctrines your study and delight cannot fail to find them a Support under your present affliction. Those doctrines do not call for a Stoical insensibily or forbid us to feel as Humane Creatures, but so to regulate and watch over our passion, as not to permit them to lead us into any excesses that would discover an impotence of mind, and a diffidence of providence.
Excuse me Sir that I have not written you before, my mind was too much agitated to write with that calmness which I wished for.
Present me in affectionate terms to your Worthy Father, and to your Brother and Sisters.
My dear Betsy, alass she knows not how much I have felt for her, but she is a child trained up in the way in which she should go.5

[salute] Mr Adams joins me in affectionate Regards to your family. Believe me dear Sir most Sincerely your Friend

[signed] A. Adams
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); addressed: “To The Rev'd Isaac Smith Chaplain at Castle William Boston.”
1. This letter may have been written at Bath but was probably mailed from London following AA's return on 6 Jan. 1787.
2. Proverbs, 31:26.
3. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 332.
4. Young, Night Thoughts, Night II, line 574.
5. Elizabeth Smith (1770–1849), the youngest child of Isaac Sr. and Elizabeth Storer Smith. The characterization of her upbringing is from Proverbs, 22:6.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0164

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-30

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

Three months have now elapsed, since, I have received, one line from Europe; and the only information I have had in all that time, were a couple of paragraphs in the newspapers, the one mentioning your departure from London, and the other your return there;1 I feel very impatient and anxious for letters, a vessel arrived a few days since; but, I do not hear, that she brought any: if I have been negligent in writing, I have surely had an excuse, and I hope my friends will not punish me, for an involuntary fault. For two complete months, I have not been two miles distant from the spot, where I now write; confined within the walls of a college; having day after day the same scene before my eyes, surrounded by the same objects, and pursuing the same course of studies, what matter { 418 } could I find to fill up, a sheet of paper? As for public affairs, I have a great aversion, even to thinking of them, and near as we are to Boston, I should know nothing concerning them, if riots, insurrections, and anarchy, were not at this time the only topics of conversation. The people in four or five Counties of this State are distracted, and several hundreds of men, have repeatedly taken arms, and prevented the setting of the court of common pleas. In Worcester, Berkshire, and Hampshire, the people in general are said to be discontented, and to complain of taxation, of the court of common pleas, of the Senate, of the salaries of public officers, and of debts, public and private; all these are, they think, intolerable grievances, and they wish to abolish them. In the other Counties however the people, are quiet, and in general firmly attached to their constitution. Among the rioters that have appeared several times in opposition to the Courts of justice, there has not been one man, of any reputation in the State; and there have been consequently, a number of leaders; three of them, have lately been taken, and, it is probable the others, will soon share the same fate; the insurrections are not immediately dangerous, but our government, has not sufficient vigour and energy, to suppress them at once. There has appeared in the counsel, a degree of timidity and irresolution, which, does no honour to the executive power of a commonwealth. It is said to have arisen chiefly, from the second citizen in the State, who is now distinguished by the ludicrous nick name of the old Lady.2 I am however in hopes that in two or three months the public tranquillity, will be perfectly restored: I suspect that the present form of government will not continue long; for while the idle, and extravagant, and consequently the poor, complain of its being oppressive, the men of property, and consideration, think the constitution, gives too much liberty to the unprincipled citizen, to the prejudice of the honest, and industrious; the opinion that a pure democracy, appears to much greater advantage, in speculation, than when reduced to practice, gains ground, and bids fair for popularity; I feared that by having received so large a share of my education in Europe, my attachment, to a republican government, would not be sufficient, for pleasing my Countrymen; but I find on the contrary, that I am the best republican here, and with my classmates if I ever have any disputes on the subject, I am always obliged to defend that side of the question.—But, you will have so much political news from other quarters, that I will say no more on that head.
I received about two months since, a box of books, for which I { 419 } return, my most grateful acknowledgments: I have not as yet perused them all, but many of them, have been quite serviceable: among the rest were two volumes of a history of the late revolution, in French. I received much pleasure from them, as the author, appears to aim at impartiality, notwithstanding the dedication was to lord Percy: probably there will be a continuation of it, in which case I shall request to have the continuation; the manuscript marginal notes are peculiarly precious to me, and I hope they will not be discontinued in the future Volumes.3 I have already wrote to beg a set of Blair's lectures upon rhetoric, and belles lettres; and have nothing further at present to ask, for myself. The government of the university intend to introduce, as a classical book, Enfield's institutes of natural philosophy;4 they are contained in a small quarto volume, and they will be necessary for my brother Charles, about nine months hence, and afterwards for Thomas. I suppose Charles will write for them, himself.
My Brothers, and all the other students, except two or three of my classmates, are absent from college, as we are now in vacation time: the reasons which determined me to remain, here, and several other particulars concerning myself, you will find, in a letter which I am going to write to my Sister; for I address almost all my egotism, to her; and indeed seldom make mention to her of any thing or anybody besides myself. Charles, and Tom, behave, with prudence, and in such a manner as has acquired them the friendship of their classmates, and the approbation of our college government. They are economical in their expences, and attentive to their studies. I was in some fears lest Tom's youth and inexperience, should lead him into an idle, dissipated way, which is the case, with many of the younger students; but his conduct, ever since his admission, has been so uniformly steady, that I am convinced he will do honour to himself, and merit the applause of his friends, in his academical course.
I am informed that Callahan proposes to sail in a few days, and will therefore close this letter; I have nothing of any consequence to add, except acknowledging the receipt of your favour of Septr: 27th and Octr. 14. but I am still more anxious to hear again, than I was before these letters arrived, as both your letter and my Sister's, mention that you had been ill since your return from Holland. Another vessel is daily expected from London, and I am extremely impatient { 420 } to hear that your health is perfectly restored: absence from my friends, I am so much inured to, that I can bear it; but when, a state of suspense with respect to their health is added, it becomes almost intolerable.
The account of your tour to Mr Hollis's seat, afforded me much entertainment: and I am very desirous to see that of your journey to Holland; but I know not when, I shall see Mrs Cranch: most probably not within two or three months. Mr: and Mrs: Dumas, I supposed, even before I received your letter, to entertain a more favourable opinion of me, than I am conscious of deserving:—and Miss, you say, look'd kind. Kindness and benevolence, are indeed her characteristics. I never concealed from you the esteem and friendship, which I had, and which I still retain for her; but, (notwithstanding, some shrewd hints, contained in several of my Sisters letters, in which she appears to suspect my independence,) a more tender sentiment than friendship, has not yet gained admision into my breast, and I trust my Reason will for at least seven years to come, preserve my heart as free, as it ever has been.
Will you present my duty to my Father, to whom I will write soon.5 To Coll: Smith I wish to be remembered; I have attempted to write to him, but a certain awkwardness, in addressing a person whom I never saw, (though I condemn myself for it) has prevented. My Sister I intend, shall hear directly from me by this opportunity.

[salute] Your dutiful, and affectionate Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J Q Adams Janry 11 1787.”
1. The Boston newspapers regularly reprinted items from London detailing the activities of the Adamses in England. For the reports on their trip to the Netherlands and their return to London, see the Massachusetts Centinel, 28 Oct., and Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 November.
2. Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing.
3. For François Soulés, Histoire des troubles de l'Amérique anglaise, see AA to JQA, 22 May, note 2, above. He dedicated the volume to Hugh Percy, 2d duke of Northumberland (1742–1817), who had commanded British troops at Boston from 1774 to 1776 despite his personal opposition to the war (DNB). When Soulés published a second edition of the work in Paris in 1787, he expanded it to four volumes; a copy of this later edition, with JQA's bookplate, is at MQA.
4. William Enfield, Institutes of Natural Philosophy, Theoretical and Experimental, London, 1785.
5. JQA may not have written to JA until 30 June 1787, which is the next extant letter from him to his father. In it, he apologizes for not writing for so long (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0165

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-12-31

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I reciev'd a few days since your Letter of Sepr. 12th and yesterday that of october the 12th and thank you most sincerly for them both. { 421 } Your account of Holland entertaind me much. You must have improv'd your time well to have visited so many places and notic'd so much. The fatigue was too great for you. It was this that made you sick. I was rejoic'd to find your dissorder whatever it was for you did not tell me what had left before I heard of it. I feel a sad pertubation of spirit whenever a vessel arrives till I can see your hand writing and read that all are living and well. Your Family have been preserv'd thro many dangers, and for valuable purposes I dare say, but I most sincerly wish you all Safe at home. I shall comply with your wishes relaiting to a particular subject. The Person would not have been So often mention'd if some circumstances had not taken place which had no reference to your Family.
Our dear uncle Smith has recover'd his Spirits much better than I expected he would, but a heavey Sigh often escapes him yet. He is So much alter'd in his Family and in his attention to his Friends that you would scarcly suppose him the same man he once was. He left those little matters to our Aunt which now he attend too himself. Cousin Betsy behaves with the utmost prudence and discretion. She has a most exellent disposition. I am Sure you would Love her more than ever was you here.
We have had another Snow Storm Since I wrote last. Such an one has not been Seen for seventy years. Many People were oblig'd to get out of their chamber window, upon the Banks. The roads have been impassable in many places for a fortnight, and yet the Fields and some of the Streets in this town are bare. The college was oblig'd to be deserted Several weeks before the vacancy usually begins, wood could not be got.1 Your eldest Son chose to Stay and ran his chance for wood as he thought he could Study there better than at home, and he will take this time to collect his part of the theses for commencment. The class have petition'd for a private one and have Set forth their reasons in a long preamble to their Petition. The Scarcity of money and the difficulty many of them find to pay even thier quarter Bills, are among the number.2
Letters have been falling in to one and another ever since Folger ariv'd but not one for mr Cranch is come to hand yet: “he wonders at it as he has written so largly both to Brother and Sister.” Did you receive one from him? you have not mention'd it. He hopes it was not lost.3 The Trunk you Sent is Salve in uncle Smiths Store it was got out without any difficulty or paying any Duty that I can hear off. { 422 } The Shirts for JQA came Safe last Fall as did the Linnin for your other Sons. The Shirts went immediately to Cambridge. I Supposed Cousin would have mention'd them or I Should. It was a long time before I could find Who had the Peice of Linning, which was the reason I did not say any thing about it at that time. When we Shall be able to get the Trunk which is just arriv'd I know not. There has been a great thaw within a few days which has render'd it almost impossible for a carriage to pass. A thousand thanks my dear Sister is all I can offer you for these renewed Instances of your kindness to me and my dear Girls, but I cannot bear you should let them be So expencive to you. Half worn Gowns Such as might not be proper for you to wear in your Situation, would have been receiv'd with the utmost gratitude by them and Would have been priz'd more for having been wore by an Aunt they So dearly Love. The Silk you have Sent I heard them say they should lay up till they were married, but you must come home and find them Husbands! there are but few with whom they could be happy. They have had an education which calls for Tast Learning and virtue and they could not be happy in partners destitute of these qualifications. They go but little into the World, and into the Gay part of it not at all. There are Some Ladies of whom one may know every thing that is to be known in one afternoon. The diffidence of others renders it not so easey to discover their characters.
Our cousin William Smith has at last found a Lady Sensible enough of his merit to accept him for a Partner for Life. Miss Hannah Carter is the Lucky girl. The matter is Settled I hear. They will soon be married.4 I think you know her she is very Sensible, and has a much more improv'd mind than is commonly to be found among the gay world. Doctor Simon Tufts dy'd last Sunday. The calmness with which he left the world does honour to the Religion he profess'd and practic'd. He call'd all his Family round him and pray'd with them and in that Prayer expir'd. His Daughters Grief is excessive, you know the Strength of her Passions.5
I heard from Sister Shaw last week She and the Family were well. Whether she will be able to get a Letter to town Soon enough to Send is uncertain as the roads are so bad.
Your two younger Sons have been writing to you and will do so to their Sister if the vessell does not Sail So Soon as we hear it is too.6 Betsy and Lucy will write also if they can. It is a busy season with us. Our young Gentlemen always come home tatter'd and torn. We { 423 } have met with a great Loss in mrs Betsy Nash. She is married and is to leave the Town soon.7
RC (Adams Papers); the text appears to be incomplete.
1. Officials at Harvard decided on 12 Dec. that they would close the school if more than half of the students lacked sufficient firewood. On 13 Dec., following morning prayer, they formally adjourned the school for an eight-week vacation (JQA, Diary, 2:139).
2. See JQA to AA2, 14 Jan., note 12, below.
3. Richard Cranch had written to JA on 20 May and 3 Oct. (both Adams Papers). JA replied to Cranch's May letter on 4 July (MWA; LbC, Adams Papers), which Cranch acknowledged receiving at the end of his 3 Oct. letter. Cranch had also written to AA on 13 April and 5 July, both above, but no letters from AA to Richard Cranch have been found for 1786.
4. AA's cousin William Smith, son of Isaac Smith Sr. and Elizabeth Storer Smith, would marry his cousin Hannah Carter of Newburyport on 13 June 1787 (Vital Records of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 2 vols., Salem, 1911, 2:78).
5. Either Lucy Tufts (1752–1811), who married Benjamin Hall in 1777, or Catharine Tufts (b. 1754), who married Nathan Wyman of Woburn in 1772 (Vital Records of Medford, Massachusetts, Boston, 1907, p. 147, 150, 308, 310, 385).
6. No letter from either CA or TBA to JA, AA, or AA2 has been found for 1786 or 1787.
7. Elizabeth Nash of Braintree married Ralph Pope of Dorchester on 25 Dec. (Braintree Town Records, p. 869).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0166

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-01-02

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Cousn

By Capt. Folger who arrived here last Saturday, I recd. Your obliging Letter of the 10th. of Octobr. last, a Bill of the Books sent for Revd. mr Cutler, and your kind Present for which I return You my Thanks. The Bill for Papers procured by Mr. Adams at the Request Lt Govr. Cushing, which you refer to, has not been paid to me; not a Syllable has been said by him upon the Subject, nor have I mentioned it to him, supposing that an order on the Treasury, would be all the Pay (except in Discharge of that, an Order on some Collector of back Taxes). However it may be best (at least) to Hint the Matter to him, especially if there should be any opening for getting the Money—and you will also on your part furnish me with the Date of the Time when the Money was advanced &C. En passant—Ill give you a Hint which may not be unprofitable. Moneys advanced in Europe are not suddenly repaid here.
In a late Settlement with Mrs. Cranch, for purchases for your Children, Allowance was made for their Board during the Vacations and for washing. This I conceived would be agreable to you and am happy to find that I was not mistaken. The embarrassed state of Our Affairs, Mr Cranch has severely felt. The greater part of his Time for several Years past has been spent in Attendance in the Genl { 424 } Court and Committees, for which he has not been able to obtain but a very small part of his Pay, I suppose not much more than sufficient to defray his Expences at Boston (this has been the Case with the Members of Court in general for 15 or 18 Months past and for several Sessions they have not recd. any Money), that I feel not a little anxious for him. £300 or £400 is now due to him and he cannot realize above one third of it in money if necessitated to raise it.
My Acctt. to the 14th. of Augt. last was forwarded by Capt []1 but conclude you had not recd. it as You make no mention of it in your Letter. At that Time the Ballance in your Favour was £28.11.7. My Expenditures since have exceeded that Ballance between £80 and 90£. Belchers Place is bargained for @ £70. Verchilds also will probably in a few Days be agreed for. I have drawn on mr. Adams in favr. of mr Elworthy for £130.7.1 and must shortly draw for a further Sum, if these Bargains should be compleated. Although Belchers Place is not in my Opinion worth that Sum, yet I think mr Adams had better give Ten or even Twenty Pounds extraordinary, than to have the Place continue in its present State. Verchilds Place has a very considerable Quantity of Wood on it and in that respect must be valuable although the Pasture is of an indifferent Quality. It has been a Doubt with me whether your Interest would be promoted by making purchases of Land. It is very certain it would be much more so by vesting the same money in public securities, could we be assured of any Stability in our public Funds. They are so fluctuating and the public Faith so much sported with, that I have been tempted several Times to vest those of Mr. Adams in Eastern Lands.2 For the Interest on his Loan Office Certificates, Indents have been paid, Part of these I have negociated for Pierces final Settlements,3 and with these I propose to buy a Ticket in the Land Lottery which youll see an Acctt. of in Adams & Nourses Paper. The Committee for selling Eastern Lands dispose of the Land also at private Sale in Town Ships or smaller Lots from 3/ to 9/ payable in public Securities.4 If the Securities should depreciate much more, perhaps it may be best, to vest them in these Lands. At present consolidated notes are sold from 4/ to 5/ pr. £ in Specie. Loan office (Appletons) notes5 from 3 to 4/ Pierces final Settlements from 2/4 to 2/6.
Newhall has quitted your House, given his Note for almost 1 Quarters Rent; no money is the Cry. It is now let to Adams & Nourse, Printer, at the yearly Rent of £44. being the most that could be obtained.6
{ 425 }
Mr. T——r has not yet closed his Acctt. such assurances were given as supported my Patience and made me hope soon to see a Period to repeated and fruitless Journies. I have been disappointed, but will suppress my Feelings and having already had as much Success as any that have had Business to do with Him, will persevere till the whole is accomplished.
The unguarded Conversation of S. T. which gave Ld. Gordon an opportunity to display his meddling Genius, gave much Uneasiness to the Friends of S. T more especially to his Father who was then in a languishing State, brought on by an Hemorrhage from his Lungs. As all the Letters which passed between Ld. Gn. and the Minister, between Ld Gn. and S. T. as well as the Denial of the Matter alledged, were published in several of our Papers, perhaps it will be unnecessary to insert any Thing further in the Papers on the Subject.
Billy Cranch this moment came in and handed me a Letter from Medford which informs me that my Dear Friend and Brother Simon Tufts Esq. departed this Life on last Lords Day. Oh how many of my dear Connections, within a few Years past have entered the gloomy Mansions of the Dead, whose Society and Friendship smoothed the rugged Paths of Life and afforded a constant Source of Comfort and Delight! And where is the Loss of tried Friends to be repaired? and is not the forming of new Connections, like forming a new Existence? But I forbear. All is well. Tis mine to fill up the remaining Span of Life with Propriety, the Scene will soon close. Eer long we shall mix with our kindred Spirits and partake of their Felicity. Oh happy Day, for this may We watch, pray look and long, till we recieve their Welcome.

[salute] Be pleased to remember me to Mr and Mrs Smith and accept of my sincerest Wishes for your present and future Felicity. And Am Your Affectionate Friend & Kinsman

[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Abigail Adams London”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts Janry 2 1787.”
1. Blank in MS. The account has not been found.
2. That is, Passamaquoddy, the easternmost section of the district of Maine.
3. Certificates issued to Continental Army troops by Paymaster General John Pierce in 1783 (see vol. 6:424).
4. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Nov. 1786, advertised a lottery for Maine, selling tickets at $200 or £60 each. The committee overseeing both the lottery and the sale of additional lands included Samuel Phillips Jr., Nathaniel Wells, John Brooks, Rufus Putnam, and Leonard Jarvis.
5. Nathaniel Appleton (1731–1798), Harvard 1749, was a Boston merchant and chandler. He had been appointed Massachusetts' commissioner for the Continental loan office in 1777, a position he held until his death (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:355, 358–359).
6. Thomas Adams (1757?–1799) and John Nourse (1762?–1790), publishers of the Bos• { 426 } ton Independent Chronicle, replaced Andrew Newell as tenants in the Adamses' Court (formerly Queen) Street house in Boston. The house was located close to the Chronicle's offices (vol. 2:187–188, 6:259, 260; JA, D&A, 2:63–64; James C. Y. Shen, Early Boston Newspapers, Boston, [1978], p. 133).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0167

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Author: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-01-07

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

I have not wrote you my dear Aunt for a long time, much too long I confess; and even now those motives which have prevented, continue in force: A barreness of Subject is of all preventives the most dissagreable and I find it is like to prevail and increase in me daily; motives however more powerful have overcome this; and I am induced to write—tho—I triffle.
Love, gratitude and esteem, I feel; You cannot doubt it; elaborate expressions of each of these affections of my mind, might prove a copious subject, and the goodness amiableness and many excellent virtues, which excite them, might if represented in their full perfection, adorn the purest Page, and give a fair example of female excellence. But there is a certain delicate sensibility which recoils at the direct commendations of its virtues, tho conscious of meriting them. And perhaps an endeavour, to immitate, and implant them; is a more flattering, and at the same time more delicate, and a worthier acknowledgement of them.
I have now to thank you for your last Letter of July 18th. and for the Book accompanying of it. I had not by any means, an adequate idea of the perfection to which they had brought the art of ornamenting their farms and grounds in England; I think they must be enchantingly beautiful; I felt when I had finished it, as if I almost regretted having read it: for having never before had Ideas of such perfection, in my mind, wherewith to compare what I saw, I could think these beautiful and they satisfied me; but now my standard is altered, and all appear uncouth and imperfect; I am wishing to alter this, pull down that, build up another, cut down this tree, and have an immediate spontaneous growth on that hill, turn the course of a rivulet, widen a brook, and a thousand other whims and impossibilities are coming into my mind, every time I look abroad; but alas all in vain! However perhaps possessing them, I might not be happier than now. I cannot help wishing to see those delightful places; even this must be denyed me. This however teaches me, what many, many, of the events of Life are constantly instructing me in, that my happiness depends more upon bounding my desires and wishes { 427 } than in seeking earnestly to gratify them. Dissapointment is written upon many a Page of my Life; and strange as it may seem, experience had not made me wise èno', to prevent its appearing a conspicuous character in some of the latest.
Perhaps in this state of existance, our human faculties cannot attain to strength sufficient to enable us to repel the force of dissapointment; but in aid of their weakness, Religion offers powerful assistance, and Resignation her lenient balm. These can calm the tumult of the mind when dissapointment has broken in upon its fondest hopes and destroy'd its long concerted schemes of happiness; these can make us look beyond the present and give a firm assurance to the wounded heart, that almighty Goodness, “Scourges in mercy, and corrects in Love.” Firmly perswaded of this, we may yet rejoice; contentment may preside at the heart and Gratitude for many present blessings, overcome all too anxious regret for past misfortunes.1
It is with real pleasure that I hear of my Cousins present happiness; long may she injoy it uninterruptedly; long may she live unhurt by numerous sarrounding evils; may each revolving year add to her blessings and her virtues; She does not, cannot know how much I love her, distance and absence prevent, and will I fear prevent my giving her any personal assurances of it; I hope she feels most perfectly assured of my regard, esteem and friendship; I could not be happy should there rest upon her mind any bias that had induced her ever to distrust either.
Your Sons are at present most [ . . . ] amiable Youths; each display their growing virt[ues by] a pleasing variety of effects. They all enjoy fin[e health?] and appear happy. Cousin John deprives us of the p[leasure] of his company this Vacancy, and devotes himself intirely to the Muses; he courts their patronage most assiduously, and I presume will be their favourite, and their Glory. Charles is also pursuing the same path with all the Loves and Graces in his train. Thomas is very good; his temper and disposition excellent; his faculties and capacitys are just expanding, before the invigorating rays of Science, and I doubt not the future fruit will amply repay the present culture.
I must beg you to present my most respectful regards to my Uncle—to Mr and Mrs Smith my Love, I intend writing her by the next Vessel. I am sure you will do me the justice to believe me with every sentiment of affection & the warmest gratitude your Neice
[signed] E Cranch
{ 428 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams. Grosvenor-Square Westminster.”; endorsed: “E Cranch's Letter Janry 7th.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Cranch had recently learned of the death of Thomas Perkins, whom she had hoped to marry. See Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 1 Nov. 1786, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0168

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1787-01-10

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My Dr. Charles

I have recieved with pleasure your letter of the 22d. of octr.1 and agree with you that the times are such as to make it difficult for a young Gentleman, to determine upon a Profession, yet there is no reason to be discouraged, The Prospect will brighten. I have so well grounded a Veneration for the Law, that I shall never discourage any of my sons from pursuing the study of it, if their Genius and disposition incline them in favour of it. You should well consider that it is an arduous, studious and labourious course of Life, and will require the exertion of all your faculties. Think of it well enquire maturely and decide for yourself, if your final resolution should be in favour of it, I will do my utmost to assist you in your Preparations and Progress, if my Life should be spared. I hope you will apply yourself to your Studies and Business, and have less interruption from public avocations than your father has had. A Lawyer, who confines himself to his practice and is careful to preserve his honor Intigrity, Humanity, Decency, and Delicacy, may be as happy and useful a Citizen as any in society. But ambition will be his ruin. Launching into public Life even from Patriotism, will destroy his happiness, and not probably increase his real usefulness.

[salute] My Love to your worthy Brothers, and believe me anxious for the good Behaivour as well as success of all of you. Yours affect.

[signed] J. A.
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0169

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-01-10

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I am much obliged to you for the Copy of your Dialogue, which does you honour. I am the more pleased to learn that you are to col• { 429 } lect the Mathematical Theses, as the Same part fell to my Share in the Year 1755.1
Your Reasons for preferring Newbury Port to Boston for the Study of the Law are judicious, and discover an Attention and a Consideration, which give sure Presages of your future Success. You must take Some opportunity to pay your Respects to Mr Parsons, and know his Terms; or pray Dr Tufts to write to him. It will be of great Importance, to your happiness to get into his Family, to board, if that be possible. But if it is not, you must pay a particular Attention to this point, in the Choice of a Situation and a Family to board in. I am very happy to hear that your Brother Thomas, behaves as well as his elder Brothers, and that all three are irreproachable. May you all continue, in a virtuous Course, and be happy. You must all attend to your health. All depends upon that. I found it difficult to persuade you, while in Europe, to take your fresh Air, and active Exercise regularly.
When you come into a Lawyers office, you will find it more necessary Still. At present, Attendance on Prayers, Recitations and public Exhibitions, and the Amusements of Conversation with your fellow Students, are instead of Exercise. But when you come to pore alone over Law, which is not very entertaining, you will find a difference.
But at all times and in all Places, above all Things, preserve the Sentiments and the delicate sensibilities of youth, throughout your whole Life. Honour and Integrity, Humanity and Modesty are natural to Man. Let not the Commerce of the World, ever wear them out or blunt the Edge of your sensibility of them.
Libertatem, Amicitiam, Fidem, praecipua humani animi bona, retinebis. According to your Friend Tacitus.2 Riches and Grandeur are empty Baubles: but the moral Sentiments must be your Companions every hour of your Life: and infallibly your constant Comforters, or Tormentors. Consult your own heart, consult Experience, and History and they will all concur, with this Advice of your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
1. For JQA's mathematical theses, part of the Harvard commencement exercises for 1787, see his Diary, 2:xii, 82–83, 256257 (illustration). While JA left no record of his own mathematical theses for the 1755 Harvard commencement, he did record several mathematical exercises in his Diary; in his Autobiography, he further recalled his strong interest and ability in mathematics while at Harvard and his delight in teaching JQA mathematics in France in 1784 (D&A, 1:32, 107–108, 126–127|| (entries for 28 and 29 May 1760)||, 177–178; 3:260, 262).
{ 430 }
2. A paraphrase of Tacitus, Histories, Book 1.15, lines 22–24: You will hold liberty, friendship, and fidelity as the highest goods of the human soul.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0170

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-01-10

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have sent one Letter on Board callahan,1 but hope he has not yet sail'd, as I have much to say that I was oblig'd to omit then for want of time. Betsy has written to you also. By her Letter you will see the State of her mind better than by any thing I can Say, but I am Sure you will wonder how such a change in her affections took place. You may remember what I mention'd to you before you went from us. She then thought that Friendship and gratitude was all she could possible return him, but His absence soon became painful. She wanted the company of the Friend who had Study'd her Temper and disposition, and who never appear'd happier than when he could amuse or entertain her. She look'd around her, and say many who's manners were more polish'd than her Freinds, but none whos principles were better, morals purer, or heart more sincere. He was incountering dangers and difficulties to acqure a fortune without which he could not with propriety ask a return of her affections. In this part of the country he saw no prospect of gaining one suddenly, he therefore left it and was seeking it in a wilderness surrounded by Savages. It was a long time before She heard from him. So long that we thought he must have fallen a sacrifice to Savage brutality as many other Travellers had done about that time. This awakend all her tender Passions and distress'd her greatly. She felt altho innocent as if she was the cause of his Death. I did not know till this time that She had any attachment to him. She was soon reliev'd by receiving a very long Letter from him. We receiv'd others the past summer by which he appear'd to be in very good business and it is probable in a few years would have made a pretty fortune.2 As soon as he had acquir'd Sufficient to set him above want he design'd to return and spend it with his Friends, “The thought of this (he says in a Letter to her) was almost the only thing that made life desirable to him.” But heaven has seen it to be best that he should be cut off in the midst of his fondest hopes, and most pleasing prospect. His will be done is all we ought to say. “It is right, surpport me heaven” was all She did say, but her countinance distress'd me greatly, it was calm but solemn. She has recover'd her spirits much but the wound will not be soon heal'd. He was sick but a few days { 431 } was not thought dangirous till the evening before he expir'd he then lost his reason and did not recover it again. The gentleman who Sent us an account of his death says, “He was greatly belov'd and esteem while Living and almost unversally lamented now dead.”
I yesterday reciev'd your Trunk and shall deliver the things as directed. Betsy and Lucy are greatly oblig'd for their silks. They are very good and very pretty. The Stockings are such as I wish'd, the price is I suppose Sterling. I shall give you credit accordingly. The pieces of cousin JQAs coats are well pattern'd. The remnant of course Linnin is come also. The suit of Cloathes of mr Adams will not do for your eldest son the Shirts and the coat are so short for the present Fashon that he will not have it I am sure. He would have had a Blue velvet of his Papas this winter if it had not been for this difficulty. They must be lay'd by till long wasts and short shirts are the mode. He is in no want of any new ones at present, he wears a coat very little. I think he will not want any stockings this summer. As to their Linnin, the children will make it. The two youngest grow so fast that before a measure could reach you it would not fit them. Thomas will soon out run Charles in height, and is no spindle shanks I assure you. He is the best shape'd of the Family. Such Cambrick as you have sent cannot be purchas'd here under 16/ Lawful. I shall this afternoon carry your mother Hall her Gown and the calico for the children, they will be highly gratified. Mrs Hall injoys fine health for one of her years. She is grown quite Fleshy. She din'd and spent the day with me and her grandchildren here about a week since. I sent our Sleigh for her. It look'd so much like what you use'd to do, that it afforded me and her I believe more pleasure than if she had made me a visit of her own motion. I told her What you said about her caps and offer'd to make some for her. I will send you a pattern, but will make some in the meantime out of some of the pieces which may be left of Cousin Charles Linnen, she will not want many.
I do not think of any thing your sons want which we cannot get here. I wish to know the price of those silk Hankercheifs, and what you can buy good mode for,3 mode which will do to make cardinals of and what colour is most commonly worn by young Ladies. I do not mean little misses. I should be glad of a Pattern to cut them by, our children must have new ones soon and I wish to know if I can get them cheaper with you than here. Cushing is not arriv'd. I wrote { 432 } you some time since that mr William White, a merchant in Boston sent you the chocalate. He partly own'd the vessel. Mr Cranch went to put Some on boar'd but the capn. would not take it. Said he had enough already. After this mr White told me what he had done. Winslow W. is at home again. I know not how he was releas'd. I have not Seen the Family this winter.
Your youngest son designs to be a Farmer he told me the other day he may change his mind, but at present he seems determin'd.
1. Probably that of 31 Dec. 1786, above.
2. For publication information on and a summary of the only known extant letter from Thomas Perkins to Elizabeth Cranch, see vol. 6:271–272, 275.
3. A thin glossy silk, used for hoods and scarves (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0171

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-01-10

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

There is another vessel up which will sail soon. What I may have omited by this I shall write by that. Our uncle Quincy was well a few hours since is glad to see his Friends but cannot be perswaided out. Cousin Cotton remains the same he was, Flying from spray to spray without determining Where to chuse his Partner. If his Father should marry as he will certainly do as soon as he can get time to look round him,2 He will find such a change in the Family as will interfere with his managment of Boiling the Pot and making the Pyes. If such an event should take place, I shall talk soberly to him. If he would wish to live happy he must have a Family of his own.
Your Nieghbours are well. Old Mrs Hayden desires me to thank you for your kindness to her.3 Our Freinds at General Palmers are all Well I hear. I have not seen them since they remov'd to Charlestown. Miss Eunice has been at Newtown ever since the begining of the summer.4 I believe she is well for her. If you have any old white silk Stockings and will send them to her I know they will be acceptable as she finds her Feet easer in them than in any others. If some of her Friends were not kind to her she would not have cloaths to cover her. I gave her two pair of cousin JQA old silk Stocking which he could not wear. She cut of the tops and made feet to them and told me I had made her happy for the summer.
My own health is much better but I am wrappd up in Flannel and stiff half my time notwithstanding but while my stomack and head is limber I mind it not. I thank you for your kind prescriptions.5 I { 433 } am sensible that Ironing hurts me and do not do it, but it is sometimes a great trouble to me that I cannot. I have made a charge of your sons Board in their vacancys and as to the washing and Ironing If you will only pay the washing and Ironing woman for a day's work once a week it is all I desire and much more than I am satisfied with. It look so like ingratitude, when you are continually loading us with favours that I do not know how to bear it. It is what I never design'd to do and what I never would if we could get any thing but orders from the Publick. We have been oblig'd to lose 15 dollars out of one of 50 dollars which we were oblig'd to sell in order to purchase necessarys for the Family. This feels hard when mr cranchs pay is so small, but if you do not think me ungratful I shall not be quite unhappy. I design'd this only for a cover but it seems I have fill'd it and have scarcly left a corner to tell you that I am your affet Sister
[signed] M C
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Elizabeth Cranch: “Mrs Abigail Adams. Grosvenor Square London”; stamped: “COWES SHIP LRE.s”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch Jary 10. 178<6>7”; notation in another hand: “1786”; filmed at [10 January 1786], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 367.
1. The docketing and content indicate that the letter was written in 1787; presumably, Cranch used it as the cover for her letter of 10 Jan., above.
2. Cotton Tufts Jr.'s mother, Lucy Quincy Tufts, had died in Oct. 1785; his father, Dr. Cotton Tufts Sr., did not remarry until 1789, to Susanna Warner.
3. Mrs. John Hayden of Braintree, to whom AA made regular gifts of support (vol. 5:346; 6:107).
4. For Eunice Paine, see vol. 5:386–388.
5. AA had previously recommended to Cranch William Buchan's Domestic Medicine; or, the Family Physician, Edinburgh, 1769. Both Cranch and AA suffered from rheumatism (vol. 5:267, 363, 383–384; 6:60).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0172

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1787-01-14

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

I determined about a fortnight agone, to sit down, and write you a letter, expressing my anxiety and surprize, that for three months I had not received one line from my friends in Europe; I did in fact in a letter to Mamma, make my complaint, but a day or two afterwards I was made happy, with two excellent letters, the one from her, and the other from you. But instead of making apologies for not writing more frequently of late, you call me to an account for my own neglect: in answer to which I can only repeat, what I have so frequently said; that the noiseless tenor of a college life, and the unvaried uniformity of circumstances, cannot furnish a subject, either for interesting relation, or brilliancy of sentiment. I have not { 434 } however missed any opportunities for writing, of which I have been apprized; and you may be assured that I shall never fail in my duty, when I can see a possibility of fulfilling it. Now for journal. On the 17th: of October the fall Vacation began, and I went to Braintree. On the 1st: of November the Vacation being ended I returned to Cambridge. Remarkable events! are they not. “But” say you, “how did you spend your time at Braintree during that fortnight”? Why Madam, I read three or four Volumes of History, and Burlamaqui, upon Law:1 I wrote a few Letters,2 (but as they had not a voyage of 3000 miles to undertake, I was not at much trouble in equipping them;) I went a fowling once or twice, and had my labour for my pains. I prick'd off a few tunes, and blew them on the flute. And further the deponent saith not. But by the bye, since I have made mention of my flute, I must relieve you from your anxiety, concerning the effect it might have upon my health. It is now nine months since I first began to blow, and I have never experienced the least bad effect from it. I have consulted several persons, used to that instrument, and they have all told me; that unless a person be of a very slender constitution, the moderate use of a flute, cannot be hurtful. I have neither time, nor inclination to blow so much as to injure my health. But it has been since, my residence here, my greatest amusement, and the chief relaxation after study; and indeed it affords me so much pleasure, that I cannot think of giving it up, while I am sensible of no injury from it: thus far however I will promise you: that if I ever perceive myself hurt by it, I will immediately quit; before it can do any essential injury.
I now return to my history. For six weeks after my returning here, I went once to Mr Gerry's (he has bought a house and farm in this town, and came to live here about five month's since.)3 Excepting this visit and two or three at Mr: Dana's,4 I went no where.—Upon recollection, I must also except one dancing party, that we had with a number of the young Ladies in the town: I would describe it to you, and might possibly raise a smile, by characterizing the Ladies; but I must avoid it, for fear, of having another lecture for severity.—In December two violent Snow storms which happened in one week; stopp'd up the roads in the Country so effectually, that no wood came in town for three weeks. Many families in town, and two thirds of the Students, were entirely destitute. I was without any, four of the coldest days, we have had this Season. On Wednesday the 13th. of December, the students were dismissed, for eight weeks. The vacation commenced three weeks sooner than common, on ac• { 435 } count of the impossibility of procuring wood. I determined to remain here through the vacation, for several reasons. I thought that four of us going at once to Mr: Cranch's, would make it troublesome, and inconvenient to them: and although I have always been treated there with as much attention and kindness as I could possibly wish, yet it was not like home; the absence of my Parents and Sister, deprived Braintree of its chief attractions, and the place by reviving so frequently the idea of their absence, caused too many melancholy sensations, to be an agreeable residence. I knew that if I left Cambridge, I should be obliged to spend more than half my time in visiting here and there, and every where, which could be of no service to me, nor to any other person:—and besides this, I had engaged some time since, at the desire of my Class, in an undertaking, somewhat laborious; my avocations in Term time are such, that I cannot pay much attention then to this piece of work, and I cannot attend to it conveniently, except I be in Cambridge. The present leisure time afforded me an excellent opportunity; and I thought I should fail in my duty to the Class, if I did not improve it. I have employ'd a great part of my Time, to that purpose, and have got about half through the business.
It would have been disagreeable to remain in college, entirely alone; in this respect, I was very fortunate: a young gentleman, by the name of Bridge, whose character as a scholar and a gentleman is inferior to none, at this university, remained here likewise, and we agreed to chum together during the vacation. We keep a chamber in College, and board, at professor Wigglesworth's. This gentleman is equally free from the supercilious frown of the President, and the distant reserve of a Tutor. He treats us with an unaffected complaisance, which is not the most remarkable characteristic of all the governors of the university; he commands respect, but not by insisting on it, as an highwayman, who demands your purse. There are in his house two young Ladies; his niece, and daughter. I am happy that I can give you a few traits of their characters, without incurring your censure, for severity. Miss Catharine Jones, is just turn'd of eighteen. Her face is one of those, which without containing perhaps one beautiful feature, view'd seperately, yet taken all together, possesses a certain charm, which entitles her to the appellation of a beauty. Her person is large, though not inelegant; I would say she was stout built, if the expression, were not more applicable to a man of war, than to a young Lady. Her mind appears to partake of several of these qualities; if considered in a comprehensive manner, it may { 436 } be called amiable, though an enumeration of every particular quality might be to her disadvantage. She has a share of wit, and a share of good nature, which is however sometimes soured, by a small tincture of caprice. She is not wholly exempt from Vanity; but as her understanding, rather than her person is the object of this Vanity, she endeavours to appear sarcastic, because she supposes, a satirical talent, must imply, an uncommon share of wit. To sum up my opinion of her; I could esteem her as a friend, I could love her as a Sister, but I should never think of her as the companion of my life.5
Miss Peggy Wigglesworth is two years older than her Cousin. Her complexion is of the browner order; but this defect, if a defect it be, is compensated, by a rosy variety of colour; her face is not beautiful, but is remarkable for expressing, all the candor, benevolence, and sincerity of her heart, her shape, would be genteel in France or England, though her size, would seem to give her the title of a pretty woman as Fielding expresses it. As to her mind, should I attempt to give you a just description, of its virtues, I fear you would suspect me of writing a panegyric, rather than a character. She does not make such a display of wit, as her cousin, but she has an open frankness, and a generous candor, infinitely more amiable in my opinion, than an incessant endeavour to appear smart, and as she is equally acquainted with the enjoyments, and the solicitudes, which attend great sensibility, she is intirely free from that Vanity, whose gratification, consists, in the mortification of others. The greatest imperfection, which the severest scrutiny of her conduct and sentiments could discover, would be a degree of sincerity and unreservedness, which is considered as a fault only because the taste of mankind is vitiated by dissimulation. Notwithstanding all this, she is almost universally the object of, friendship, and esteem, rather than of love.6 I am sensible of this fact myself, and when I search my own mind to find the causes of it, I am reduced to condemn, either the Passion; of Love, or the sentiments by which it is produced.—The characters of these two ladies, you will perceive, are very different yet they are both very agreeable, and their conversation, affords us pleasing relaxation, after the toils, of study. There are a number of other families where we have visited in the course of the vacation, but excepting Mrs: Dana, and Mrs: Pearson, I believe you have no acquaintance here. I have frequently in the course of the vacation, been at Mr: Dana's: his Lady you know; she is very agreeable, and always in excellent spirits. Miss Almy Ellery, is with her: I think you have seen this young Lady. She is unfortunately somewhat deaf, { 437 } but is uncommonly sensible, and, (what I am griev'd to say is still more uncommon in this country) her mind is much improved by reading: so that she can entertain a company with a large variety of conversation, without having recourse to the stale, and trivial topics of common-place, or to the ungenerous, and disgraceful topic of scandal. She is not handsome, and is I suppose 27 years old: yet if she was in company with twenty of the most beautiful young ladies in the State, and in this company, I had to choose my seat, it should certainly be by her side.7 I have been endeavouring, my Sister, ever since I returned from Europe, to find a female character like this, united to great beauty of person. As yet my researches have been unsuccessful, and I begin to have the same prejudice against a beauty, as you have expressed in one of your letters against handsome men.
Callahan sailed a fortnight sooner than I had been led to expect, and I had not an opportunity, to send this Letter, before he went. Since I wrote the preceding pages, few circumstances have occurred, the relation of which could afford you any entertainment. One little party only, has given variety to the scene; there was nothing interesting in it, but such as it was, you shall hear. You must know in the first place, that in the town of Mystic,8 about 5 miles from this, there are about thirty five young Ladies, of what is called the ton; and excepting two of my Classmates, who spend the vacations in that place, there are only two young gentlemen. You may judge, that in such a dearth of men, if any thing is going forward which requires their presence, volunteers must be hunted for in the neighbouring towns. About a fortnight agone, a dancing party being proposed there, one of the classmates aforesaid, came and invited Williams, (the professor's son, and likewise a Classmate) my Chum and me, to join them:9 accordingly we went over one evening, and were introduced into a large company of Ladies, with whom we were entirely unacquainted. Many of them were handsome, but female beauty, is so universal in this country, that I pay little attention to it. We soon went to dancing, and this circumstance assisted me greatly to become acquainted with the Ladies. Where human beings are unacquainted with the ridiculous solemnity of formal ceremony, the social spirit which is natural to them, will always produce its effect. Before the evening was ended, I felt as free from restraint, as I could be in the most familiar company. It fell to my lot, at first, to { 438 } dance with the handsomest lady in Company. I endeavoured to enter into conversation with her, but to every thing I could say, the only answers were, “yes,” “no,” “I think so,” “indeed!” I was soon tired of her, and concluded she was too much occupied in thinking of herself, to give any of her attention to other people: we drew again for partners, and I found in a short time that I had made an advantageous exchange. One of these Ladies could only be seen, the other was likewise heard with pleasure.10
In your last Letter, (which I must observe by the bye, is dated September 1st:) you caution me against satirizing the heads of our university, and moreover threaten me with a syllogism, at Commencement. I have made it a rule ever since I entered college, to treat the government, with all the deference, and respect due to them, and I have reason to suppose, that no one of them, has any particular pique against me. If they had I should have perceived it, for their partialities are generally very conspicuous; and as to the syllogisms, it is by no means terrible to me, for I conceive I have as good a right to doubt of their judgment as they have to doubt of my capacity. . . . But I have some hopes that I shall not be subjected even to the temporary mortification of reading syllogisms, as there is some probability, that we shall not have a public Commencement. The expences of that day, to the Class which graduates, are said to amount upon an average to 1000£. In the present situation of the Country, this is a large sum, and the advantages derived from appearing in public are not adequate to it. The Class have unanimously signed a petition to the corporation, requesting a private Commencement, and we are in great hopes it will be granted.11
The vacation closed the day before yesterday: our brothers and Cousin return'd from Braintree: but the weather has been so bad, that only a small number of the students have arrived. I went to Boston yesterday, for the first time since last October. Uncle Smith's family, Doctor Welch's, Mr: Storer's are well. Polly Storer has been ill several months, but is recovering. Mr. W: Smith is in a fair way of getting married, to a lady in Newbury. Strange things, will happen some times.12 Dr: Tufts and Mr: Cranch are both in Boston attending the general Court; who assembled last week, and finally did, what might with propriety have been done four months past. That is, they have declared that a rebellion exists in the Counties of Worcester, Hampshire and Berkshire.13 It is to be hoped that the { 439 } government will now act with some spirit, but I suppose you see our newspapers regularly, and they will give you full accounts of all the late political occurrences.
Honestus has been attacked since his arrival from England, and accused of being an instrument in producing the rebellion:14 his writings, which were preserved from the neglect, and contempt which they deserved, only by the temporary frenzy of popular prejudice, are now deprived even of that support, and will probably receive very little attention, henceforward from the public. They have not terrified me from the study of the Law, but with whom I am to study is not yet decided.
Captain Folgier proposes sailing the first fair wind. I am in hopes I shall be able to send this before he goes. I begin to be impatient for letters again. Cushing is expected every day; I shall depend upon hearing from you by him.
Remember me to Mr: Smith, and to our Parents. I should have written to my father, had I heard sooner of this opportunity, and if possible, I will yet write.

[salute] Your ever affectionate brother.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr J Q Adams Jan 14 87 answered july 11th 87.”
1. In his Diary, JQA indicates that he had finished reading the first volume of Jean Jacques Burlamaqui's The Principals of Natural and Political Law (transl. Thomas Nugent, 2 vols., London, 1763) on 15 Oct. and the second on the 24th. On the 26th, he noted that he was in the process of reading Claude François Xavier Millot's Elemens d'histoire générale (9 vols., Switzerland, 1778). JQA's own copy of Millot is at MQA (Diary, 2:116, 118–119).
2. The only letter located is to JQA's Harvard classmate James Bridge, 22 Oct. (NjP: de Coppet Collection). In that, he indicates that he will next write to an unnamed “Lady.”
3. JQA visited Elbridge Gerry on 4 Dec. (Diary, 2:136).
4. JQA visited Francis Dana on 26 Nov. and 7, 14, and 18 Dec. (same, 2:129, 137, 141–142)
5. Catherine (Katherine) Jones of Newburyport (b. 1768) married Capt. William Brown in 1793 (Vital Records of Ipswich Massachusetts, 3 vols., Salem, 1910, 1:211; Vital Records of Newburyport Massachusetts, 2 vols., Salem, 1911, 2:256). For more of JQA's thoughts on her, see his Diary, 2:142–143.
6. Margaret (Peggy) Wigglesworth (b. 1766) was the daughter of Hollis Professor of Divinity Edward Wigglesworth and a cousin of Catherine Jones. She married John Andrews of Newburyport in 1789 (Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts 1630–1877 with a Genealogical Register, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1930, 2:813; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 5:410).
7. Almy Ellery (1759–1839), daughter of William Ellery and Ann Remington, married William Stedman, later a member of Congress (NEHGR, 8:318, 320 [Oct. 1854]).
8. Malden, Mass., which was originally known as Mystic Side before it separated from Charlestown in 1649 (Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts, Boston, 1966, p. 41, 77, 83).
9. For Samuel Williams Jr., see JQA, Diary, 2:242–243. JQA, Williams, and James Bridge were invited to the party by their classmate Ebenezer Learned (same, 2:150, 217).
10. JQA describes this party and “Miss Dixey,” whom he found beautiful but self-centered, in his Diary at both 19 and 21 Feb. (same, 2:150).
11. The first of several petitions by the class of 1787 seeking a private commencement was approved by the seniors in Dec. 1786. School officials ultimately rejected the request but { 440 } did agree to have a simpler, more frugal public celebration (same, 2:136–137).
12. The paragraph, to this point, was later covered by a strip of paper pasted over the text, probably by Caroline Amelia Smith de Windt, who omitted this text from her edited collection (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:141).
13. The “General Court's Declaration, That a Horrid and Unnatural Rebellion Exists within This Commonwealth” passed on 4 Feb. (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, Jan. sess., ch. 5).
14. See, for instance, Boston Independent Chronicle, 11, 18 January.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1787-01-15

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dr. Thomas

I am glad to find by your Letter1 that you are so well situated, at Mr. Sewalls, make my Compliments to that Gent. and thank him for the Kind present of his translation of Young—it appears to me to be well done. You will write to me from time to time, if you want Books, or any assistance in your studies, from this side the Water. I hear a good account of your Conduct, your studies you must pursue, literally for your Life. It is, generally benificial to begin early to think of a Profession, tho it is not proper to take unalterable Resolutions, before the time arrives when they become necessary. It is never amiss to reflect early on the subject. You may write me your thoughts. I have ever thought it the duty of Parents to consult the Genius and Inclination of Children in their future destination in Life, when their Characters are not vicious and their dispositions are not inconsiderate. It is a serious thing to determine for Life, and it is your happiness that is sought.
I shall find it difficult enough to provide for the Education of my sons, but as they behaive well and mind their studies, I will do all in my power to assist them and I would advise you to chuse that faculty, which you think will be most agreable to you, and in which you may be most useful to others.
We are not born for ourselves alone, Benevolence is really a part of our Nature, as self-Love, and man is never so happy as when he is conscious that he is useful to others.

[salute] I am my dr. son your Fr

[signed] J. A.
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0174

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1787-01-15

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams Smith

Mr. Jefferson has the honour to present his compliments to [Mrs.] Smith and to send her the two pair of Corsets she desired. He wishes they may be suitable, as Mrs. Smith omitted to send her measure. Times are altered since Mademoiselle de Sanson had the honour of knowing her.1 Should they be too small however, she will be so good as to lay them by a while. There are ebbs as well as flows in this world. When the mountain refused to come to Mahomet, he went to the mountain. Mr Jefferson wishes mrs Smith a happy new year, and abundance of happier ones still to follow it. He begs leave to assure her of his esteem and respect, and that he shall always be happy to be rendered useful to her by being charged with her commands.
FC (MHi: Jefferson Papers); notation: “Smith mrs.”
1. A reference to AA2's pregnancy, which WSS had confirmed in his correspondence with Jefferson in Nov. (Jefferson, Papers, 10:479, 518).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0175

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-01-16

Abigail Adams Smith to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Sir

By a Letter to my Mother from you, I Learnt that you had in your Possession the Letters and Picture which I requested you to take the Charge of.1 I now must once more trouble you upon the Subject, and request the favour of you, to address the Picture to Miss Margaret Smith at Jamaica on Long-Island New York,2 and forward it by some safe Conveyance, under Cover to Mr. Daniel Mc.Cormick3 No 39 Wall Street New York.
All the Letters I will request you Sir to Burn with your own Hands, after which I hope you will receive no further trouble on the Subject.

[salute] With much respect I am Sir your Humbl servt

[signed] A Smith
RC (ViU: Special Collections, Adams Family Letters #7231-A); addressed: “The Honble Cotton Tufts Esqr. Weymouth Massachusetts”; endorsed: “Mrs. A. Smiths Lettr. recd April 19. 1787.”
1. Of 15 Aug. 1786, above. See also Tufts to AA, 6 July, above.
2. Margaret Smith, named after her mother, was WSS's eldest sister. She later married Felix de St. Hilaire, the French vice consul for the port of Alexandria, Va. (JCC, 14:759; AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch Norton, 7 Feb. 1791, MHi: C. P. Cranch Papers).
{ 442 }
3. Daniel McCormick (d. 1834), born in Ireland, was a New York merchant and one of the first directors of the Bank of New York (Walter Barrett, The Old Merchants of New York City, 2d series, N.Y., 1863, p. 249, 252–253, 264–265).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0176

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-01-17

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I wrote you so largly by the Newyork December packet, that a few lines must now suffice. I cannot let a vessel sail without some token from me, and tho I do not insist upon Letter for Letter, you should recollect how dissapointed you used to be when your Friends omitted writing.
Your Aunt Cranch wrote me in the fall, that you had been unwell with a swiming in your Head. I know by experience how dissagreeable that complaint is for I was Seaizd with it on my return from Holland, to an allarming degree untill I was Bled which relieved me. As you and I both are inclined to corpulence we should be attentive to excercise. Without this a Sedantary Life will infallibly destroy your Health, and then it will be of little avail that you have trim'd the midnight Lamp. In the cultivation of the mind care should be taken, not to neglect or injure the body upon which the vigor of the mind greatly depends. Youth are seldom wise, but by experience, and unhappily few are so attentive in the first portion of Life as to remark with accuracy the causes of indisposition occasiond by excesses, either of food animal or Mental. A great Student ought to be particularly carefull in the regulation of his diet, and avoid that bane of Health late suppers.
I would advise you upon the approach of Spring to lose some Blood, the Headacks and flushing in your face with which you used to be troubled was occasiond by too great a Quantity of Blood in your Head. I know you will smile at these precautions, but if you do not heed them; repentance may come too late. Your Brothers Charles and Tommy will I hope be equally attentive, particularly the latter of Night damps and dews. Your sister I have had with me for these ten days suffering under a severe cold taken at Bath. I have not known her so sick since we left America. She is however getting better. With the Beau mond, we have made a Tour to Bath for a fortnight. We made up a party of ten or a Dozen Americans, Mr and Mrs Rucker and Miss Ramsey whom you know, were a part of the company. Your Pappa insisted upon my going, tho he could not, as the printers would have waited for him, not then having compleated { 443 } his Book. I returnd to London quite surfeited with Balls concerts &c.
The seditions in Massachusetts induced your Pappa to give to the World a Book which at first he designed only for a few Friends. He thought it was a critical moment and that it might prove usefull to his Countryman and tend to convince them that salutary restraint is the vital principal of Liberty, and that those who from a turbulent restless disposition endeavour to throw of every species of coercion, are the real Enemies of freedom, and forge chains for themselves and posterity.
I send you by Captain Cushing half a dozen shirts. I shall have another half dozen ready for you by Barnard. Let me know if they fit.
To day we have a Clerical party to dine with us, amongst whom are the two American Bishops1 dr Price dr Kippis dr disney2 Dr Rees and several other Clergymen. Adieu my dear son, and accept my best wishes this and every succeeding year of your Life, for Health of body and peace of mind, “for peace o virtue!, peace is all thy own.”3 Affectionatly yours,
[signed] A A
Inclosed is a little poetick peice written at the Hyde4 and the particular description I gave You of the owner and the place, will explain the peice to you.
Accept the little coin inclosed if this and an other which I sent some time ago comes safe to your Hand, make a mark in your next letter thus[].
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs: Adams. Jany: 17. 1787.”; docketed at a later time: “My Mother. 17. Jany: 1787.”
1. Rev. William White of Philadelphia and Rev. Samuel Provoost of New York, both of whom were in London to be consecrated as bishops of the American Episcopal church on 4 Feb. (Clara O. Loveland, The Critical Years: The Reconstitution of the Anglican Church in the United States of America: 1780–1789, Greenwich, Conn., 1956, p. 213–217).
2. Rev. John Disney (1746–1816) was a Unitarian minister, secretary of the Society for Promoting the Knowledge of the Scriptures, and eventual heir to Thomas Brand Hollis (DNB).
3. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 82.
4. Neither the poem nor the coin mentioned in the next paragraph has been found. AA and JA visited Thomas Brand Hollis' home, The Hyde, in July 1786, and the coin may have been one that Hollis sent to AA on 4 Nov., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0177

Author: Welsh, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-01-17

Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Being without any of your Favors unanswered I take the Liberty to write this in Advance.
The State of some Counties having been tumultuous to this Time notwithstanding the lenient Measures of Government has induced the supreme Executive to order a Military Force into the County of Worcester under Genl Lincoln;1 I should blush for my Country was I not sensible that it is not uncommon under more established Governments than ours to have Ebullitions; but it is more natural to expect in proportion to the Degrees of Liberty in the Governments. I have not the least Doubt but the Force intended and which is indespensable will prove sufficient for the purpose. I have this Morning seen a Gentleman from Rutland who says that their prime Leader Shays was to hold a Counsell of his Leader at Barre yesterday to determine whether they should still persist in their Oposition to Government? This Deliberation is produced by the Dread of Lincoln's march to Worcester which will commence on Friday the 19th. The Court will sit on the 23d. I wish success to the Enterprize.
Another Match in the Family, Mr William Smith is paying his Addresses to Miss Hannah Carter of Newbuyry Port, a Young Lady of about 21 Years of age, tall light Complextioned, of amiable temper very sensible, of good Education eloquent and sociable to a most engaging Degree a Compleat Oeconomist not Wastefull; but appears so upon Acquaintance; I believe she is known to Mrs Smith as She has tarried repeatedly in our Family, where Mr Smith had the good Fortune to see her often. Mr Carter will furnish her with one thousand Pounds to procure Furniture &c. This Match is highly pleasing to both Familys in short She is the most suitable Person for Mr Smith and he appears to be already transformed to a Lover and will be still improve mouldered by the hand of his intended Companion. The Marriage will probably take Place in June every Preparation being now making for that Purpose.

[salute] To Mr Adams Mr and Mrs Smith and to yourself may our Compts and Respects be acceptable and permit me to subscribe your obedt St

[signed] Thomas Welsh
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 17. dr welch.”
1. On 4 Jan., Gov. James Bowdoin proposed the creation of a special army of 4,400 troops to be led by Benjamin Lincoln to put down the rebellion. Since Bowdoin acted { 445 } without legislative approval, funds for the troops had to be raised privately, largely from Boston merchants. On 19 Jan., the soldiers left Boston for Worcester (David P. Szatmary, Shays' Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection, Amherst, Mass., 1980, p. 84–90).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0178

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-01-20

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Mr dear sister

Since the Sailing of captain Folger by whom I wrote you, I have received Letters from you of the following dates, Sepbr 24 and 28th 8th 9 and 22 of october and November 18th.1 I cannot sufficiently thank you for the entertainment afforded me in them. Some accounts you give me respecting a certain family Shocked me. I should suppose that the peace and happiness of the family was totally destroy'd in a Country like ours, where conjugal infidelity is held in the utmost abhorrence, and brands with eternal infamy the wretch who destroys it. Had the Parties lived in France or Viena where the perplexing word reputation has quite an other meaning than what we have been accustomed to, the Husband might have lookd upon the Gallant as Men do upon their deputies, who take the troublesome part of the buisness off their Hands. But in a Country where the absolution of the Priest is not considerd a compensation for crimes, and Marriage is esteemed holy and honorable, the seducer should be considerd as the worst of assassins. But in this case it may be difficult to determine which was the Seducer, and I feel more inclined to fix it upon the female than the paramour. At any rate she is more Guilty, in proportion as her obligations to her Husband her children her family and the Religion of which she is a professer are all scandilized by her and she has sacrificed her Honour her tranquility and her virtue. Well might Mrs Guile say that she had not ink black enough to describe the vile story, and my Gentle Friend Mrs Rogers writes me, “I think my young Friend will ever have reason to bless the period when prior prospects terminated as they did.”2 The Letter you mention is proof that the confident was the Author of the distresses complaind of. But I quit a subject so painfull to reflect upon to give you some account of my late Tour to Bath, that Seat of fashionable Resort, where like the rest of the World I spent a fortnight in Amusement and dissipation, but returnd I assure you, with double pleasure to my own fire side, where only thank heaven, my substantial happiness subsists. Here I find these satisfaction which neither Satiate by enjoyment nor pall upon reflection, for tho I like Some times to mix in the Gay { 446 } World, and view the manners as they rise, I have much reason to be gratefull to my Parents that my early Education gave me not an habitual taste for what is termd fashionable Life. The Eastern Monarch after having partaken of every gratification and Sensual pleasure which power Wealth and dignity could bestow, pronounced it all Vanity and vexation of spirit,3 and I have too great a respect for his wisdom to doubt his Authority. I however past through the Routine, and attended 3 Balls 2 concerts, one Play and two private parties besides dinning and Breakfasting abroad. We made up a Party of Americans, Mr and Mrs Smith mr and Mrs Rucker and Miss Ramsey, mr Shippen mr Harrison mr Murry mr Paridice mr Bridgen and a Count Zenobia a venition Nobleman.4 These with our domesticks made a considerable train, and when we went to the Rooms we at least had a party to speak to. As I had but one acquaintance at Bath, and did not seek for Letters of introduction. I had no reason to expect half the civility I experienced. I was however very politely treated by mr Fairfax and Lady who had been in America and own an estate in Virginia, and by a sister of mr Hartleys, who tho herself a criple, was every way attentive and polite to us. Mr John Boylstone whom I dare say you recollect, was the acquaintance I mentiond. He visited us immediatly upon our arrival, and during our stay made it his whole study to shew us every civility in his power. We Breakfasted with him, and he dinned with us. He has very handsome apartments tho he lives at Lodgings. We drank tea and spent an Evening with him in a stile of great elegance, for he is one of the nicest Batchelors in the World, and bears his age wonderfully retaining the vivacity and sprightliness of Youth. He has a peculiarity in his Manners which is natural to him but is a Man of great reading and knowledge. He is a firm friend and well wisher to America, as he amply testified during the War by his kindness to the American Prisoners. And now you will naturally expect that I Should give you some account of Bath, the antiquity of it, and the fame of its waters having been So greatly celebrated. The story which is related of its first discovery is not the least curious part of it. A Certain King Bladud said to be a descendent from Hercules, was banishd his Fathers court on account of his having the Leporissa. Thus disgraced he wanderd in disguise into this part of the Country, and let himself to a swineherd, to whom he communicated the Disease as well as to the Hogs. In driving his Hogs one day at some distance from his home, they wanderd away to these Streams, of which they were so fond that he could not get them out: untill he inticed them with { 447 } Acorns. After their wallowing in them for several Successive days he observed that their Scales fell of, and that his herd were perfectly cured, upon which he determined to try the experiment upon himself, and after a few Bathings he was made whole. And Bladuds figure in stone is placed in the Baths known by the Name of the kings Bath with an incription relating his discovery of these Baths 863 years before Christ.5
Bath lies in a great vally surrounded with Hills. It is handsomely built, chiefly with free Stone, which is its own growth and is dug from the Sides of its Hills. The streets are as narrow and inconvenient for Carriages as those of Paris, so that Chairs are chiefly used particularly in the old Town. Bath was formerly walld in and was a very small place, but of late years it is much extended, and the New buildings are erected upon Hills. Since it has become a place of such fashionable resort it has been embellished with a circus and a Cressent. The parades are magnificient piles of buildings. The square is a noble one and the Circus is said to be a beautifull peice of architecture, but what I think the beauty of Bath; is the Cressent.6 The front consists of a range of Ionic Colums on a rustick basement. The Ground falls gradually before it, down to the River Avon about half a miles distance, and the rising Country on the other side of the River holds up to it a most delightfull prospect. The Cressent takes its name from the form in which the houses Stand; all of which join. There is a parade and street before them a hundred foot wide and nothing in front to obstruct this Beautifull prospect. In this situation are the New assembly Rooms which are said to exceed any thing of the kind in the Kingdom both as to size, and decoration, but large as they were they were compleatly crouded the Evenings that I attended. There is a constant emulation subsisting between the New and old Rooms,7 similar to the North and South end of Boston. It was said whilst I was there that there were fourteen thousand persons more than the inhabitants of Bath. By this you may judge what a place of resort it is, not only for the infirm, but for the Gay the indolent the curious the Gambler the fortune hunter and even for those who go as the thoughtless Girl from the Country told Beau Nash (as he was stiled,)8 that She came out of wanteness. It is one constant scene of dissipation and Gambling from Monday morning till saturday Night, and the Ladies set down to cards in the publick rooms at they would at a private party. And not to spend a fortnight or Month at Bath at this season, of the year, is as unfashionable as it would be to reside in London { 448 } during the summer Season. Yet Bath is a place I should never visit a second time for pleasure. To derive a proper improvement from company it ought to be select, and to consist of persons respectable both for their Morals, and their understandings. But such is the prevailing taste, that provided you can be in a crowd, with here and there a Glittering Star, it is considerd of little importance what the Character of the person is, who wears it. Few consider that the foundation stone and the pillar on which they Nest the fabrick of their felicity must be in their own Hearts, otherways the winds of dissipation will shake it and the floods of pleasure overwhelm it in ruins. What is the Chief end of Man? is a Subject well Worth the investigation of every rational Being. What indeed is Life or its enjoyments without settled principal, laudable purposes, Mental exertions and internal comfort, that sun shine of the soul, and how are these to be acquired in the hurry and tumult of the World; my visit to Bath and the scenes which I mixed in, instead of exciting a gayety of disposition, led me to a train of moral reflections which I could not refrain detailing to you in my account of it.
Upon my return I had a new scene of folly to go through which was prepairing for the Birth day, but as the fashionable Magizine will detail this matter I shall omit any account of Birth day dresses and decorations only that I most sincerely wish myself rid of it. It is a prodigious expence from which I derive neither pleasure or satisfaction. Mrs Smith did not go this year, for reasons you can Guess I suppose. We have advised col Smith to give up his House and return here again, as it will be vastly inconvenient to me to have her out of the family, no sister no cousin no Aunt who could be at all with her. So that in March they will remove here again, and in April tis probable your Sister may be a Grandmama.9 New Relatives create new anxieties.
And now for a few domestick Matters. You will find that before I received your Letters I was uneasy and had written to you and Dr Tufts both upon the subject of Board; there can be no reason that you should be at any expence on their account and it would give me pain to know you were. It will be cruel indeed if our Country will not allow us enough to educate our children in the frugal manner we wish for, when for 12 years mr Adams has devoted himself and all his talants to their service, and if they have not reaped all the benifit they might from him, it is there own fault. He has not been laying up a fortune nor has he been squandering one away—nor is there an other Minister either in France England or Holland whose { 449 } { 450 } allowence is not splendid to his. But I will not reflect upon our Situation. I will only say that my children Shall not whilst we remain here, live upon my friends or be chargeable to them. Whilst he resided in Holland and his allowence was better he was able to save a little but the publick have no right to expect that she [he] should expend that, any more then that he should run out the little estate he has in America.
I hope captain Folger arrived safe as well as my Trunk. I have sent you by captain Cushing a Hamper of 4 doz porter a double gloucester cheese for commencment, and a cask of Split peas. Be so kind as to Send Sister Shaw half a dozen quarts. I got mr Elworthy to procure them for me, and I dare say he has done his best. If the porter is agreeable it May save you some wine and make a variety. It mortifies me that I cannot do all I wish but take the will for the deed.
The Roits and dissentions in our state have been matter of very serious concern to me. No one will suppose that our situation here is renderd more Eligible in concequence of it, but I hope it will lead the wise and sensible part of the community in our state as well as the whole union to reflect seriously upon their Situation, and having wise Laws execute them with vigor justice and punctuality. I have been gratified with perusing many late publications in our Boston papers, particularly the Speach of the Chief justice which does him great honour.10 Mr Adams you will see by the Books which captain cushing has carried out, has been employed in strengthning and supporting our Governments, and has spaired no pains to collect examples for them and shew them in one short comprehensive statement the dangerous concequences of unbalanced power.11 We have the means of being the freest and the happiest people upon the Globe.
Captain Scot I hear is just arrived, but it may be a week, perhaps ten days before he will get up himself, so that whatever Letters he may have I shall not be able to get them before captain Cushing Sails. This is rather unfortunate as there may be something I might wish to replie to. As to India handkerchief I give 2 Guineys a peice here for them so that they are lower with you as well as all other India goods. I give more for an oz of spice than I used to for a quarter of a pound in America. Only think too of 5 shillings Sterling for every pound of coffe we use. O pray by the next oppertunity Send me a peck of Tuscorora Rice. Let it be sifted, I want it only to Scour my hands with. Tuscorora rice say you, why I suppose She means Indian meal. Very true my dear sister, but I will tell you a good story { 451 } about this said rice. An Ancestor of a family who now hold their Heads very high is said to have made a fortune by it. The old granddame went out to America when its productions were not much known here and returnd rather in Indigent circumstances.12 After some time knowing the taste in all ages for cosmeticks, made out a pompus advertizement of a costly secreet which she possesst for purifying and beautifying the complexion, nothing less than Tuscorora Rice at a Guiney an oz. The project took like the olympian dew at this Day, and Barrel after Barrel was disposd of at the moderate price before mentiond, till one fatal day, a sailor whose wife had procured one Quarter of an oz was caught in the very act of useing it. The sailor very roughly threw away this darling powder upon which his wife exclamed that he had ruined her, as She could procure no more there being an unusual Scarcity at that time. The fellow examined the paper and swore it was nothing but Indian meal and that he would bring her two Barrels for a Guiney the next voyage he went. Upon this the imposture was discoverd and the good woman obliged to decamp. Now tho I do not esteem it so highly as the sailors wife I pronounce it the best antidote to sea coal cracks that can be found. One Friend and an other has supplied me ever since I have been here, but now I am quite destitute. It is an article in so small quantity that will not be an object for the custom house, so that it may come safely. Remember me most affectionately to all my Friends. I cannot write to half of them. My Neices shall hear from me by Bairnard—in the mean time be assured my dear Sister of the warmest affection of your Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. Probably a mistake for Cranch's letter on 26 Nov. 1786, above; lettres of 24, 28 Sept. and 8, 9, and 22 Oct.all of the other letters are also above.
2. Neither the letter from Abigail Bromfield Rogers to AA nor the source of Elizabeth Quincy Guild's comment has been found.
3. The preacher in Ecclesiastes, traditionally identified as Solomon. See especially 1:14, 2:11.
4. Alvise Zenobio was a Venetian nobleman living in England. In 1792 he published two English-language tracts, The French Constitution Impartially Considered in Its Principles and Effects and An Address to the People of England, on the Part Their Government Ought to Act, in the Present War, addressing constitutional issues raised by the French Revolution, and in 1794 he was deported from England for his radical associations (John Eglin, Venice Transfigured: The Myth of Venice in British Culture, 1660–1797, N.Y., 2001, p. 186–187, 233).
5. AA's recounting of the history of the founding of Bath is similar to versions found in various editions of TheNew Bath Guide; or, Useful Pocket Companion for All Persons Residing at or Resorting to This Ancient City, a popular guidebook to the city that first appeared ca. 1762.
6. The building of Queen Square, designed by John Wood Sr. and named for George II's Queen Caroline, began in 1729 and continued for seven years. Wood sought to create a palace front on the north side of the square, facing a garden, with symmetrical wings to the east and west. Builders had discretion to { 452 } design the interiors however they chose but had to conform to Wood's specifications for the outside, creating a unified appearance. The Circus façade was also designed by Wood Sr. but built by his son John Wood Jr. in 1754. While modeled after the Roman Coliseum, the Circus actually reverses the amphitheater design by facing inward although it retains a Roman decorative style (David Gadd, Georgian Summer: Bath in the Eighteenth Century, Bath, 1971, p. 39–42, 46–50). For the Royal Crescent, designed by Wood Jr., see the The Royal Crescent, Bath, by Thomas Malton Jr., 1777 449Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 10, above.
7. The Old Assembly House—also known as Harrison's Rooms, for their builder Thomas Harrison, and then later as Simpson's Rooms or the Lower Rooms—were the original social center of Bath, hosting balls and concerts, as well as offering a card room and tearoom. The New (or Upper) Rooms, built between 1769 and 1771, were designed by John Wood Jr. to accommodate the growing Bath population. The New Rooms first competed with, then slowly supplanted, the Lower Rooms, until the latter finally closed following a fire in 1820 (same, p. 28–29, 105–106).
8. Richard “Beau” Nash (1674–1761) arrived in Bath in 1705, attracted by the gambling, but soon became active in developing the city into a true resort town. He served as master of ceremonies at Bath for 55 years. He brought order to the social life of the rapidly growing spa, instituting codes of conduct for dancing, bathing, gambling, and other social activities, and oversaw the building of some of Bath's most famous attractions, including the Pump Room (DNB; Gadd, Georgian Summer, p. 24–29).
9. This is AA's first reference to AA2's pregnancy. After the birth of their son William Steuben Smith on 2 April, AA2 and WSS moved from Wimpole Street, where they had lived since July 1786, to Grosvenor Square, where they remained until their departure for America in 1788.
10. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 16 Nov., reprinted in full the charge of the chief justice, William Cushing, to the grand jury of Middlesex County at the opening of the Supreme Judicial Court at Cambridge on 31 October. In the speech, Cushing strongly denounced the rebels and argued for the importance of the rule of law.
11. The entirety of JA's Defence of the Const. deals with this topic, but AA may be referring to JA's summary in the final letter of the first volume, which concludes with the statement,
“All nations, under all governments, must have parties; the great secret is to controul them: there are but two ways, either by a monarchy and standing army, or by a balance in the constitution. Where the people have a voice, and there is no balance, there will be everlasting fluctuations, revolutions, and horrors, until a standing army, with a general at its head, commands the peace, or the necessity of an equilibrium is made appear to all, and is adopted by all”
Letter LV, p. 382).
12. Possibly Sybilla Masters, wife of Thomas Masters, a Pennsylvania merchant and former mayor of Philadelphia, who went to England in 1712 to obtain a patent for a process for milling “Tuscarora rice,” a type of cornmeal, claiming it as a cure for consumption. She received the patent in 1715, the first issued to any American, although it was made in the name of her husband. The couple subsequently set up a water mill near Philadelphia to produce the ground corn in quantity, although it is not clear whether they ever successfully sold the product. Upon Thomas' death in 1740, his estate went largely to his brother William Masters, whose daughters Mary Masters Penn and Sarah Masters spent time with the Adamses in London (Samuel H. Needles, “The Governor's Mill, and the Globe Mills, Philadelphia,” PMHB, 8:285–293 [1884]; AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan. 1786, notes 3 and 4, above).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0179

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1787-01-20

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear sister

You will see by the inclosed that I wrote you a long Letter, and that it has lain some time without meeting any opportunity of conveyance.1 In the mean time, two kind Letters have reachd me from { 453 } you. In the last you complain that I did not write you, but sure captain Callihan had a Letter for you.
I had heard for some time that Cushing would not sail till March, and I have been absent at Bath near 3 weeks, but upon my return I found he was to go by the 20th of Janry. I have many Letters to write and the Birth day of her Majesty to prepare for, alass I shall be behind hand. Mrs Smith very unwell too, a voilent cold taken at Bath attended with a good deal of fever. She is however better, and I will hasten to scrible you off a few lines. I send the Books which my Nephew requested, and beg his acceptance of them as a New Years gift from his Aunt. There has been as you will see a valuable addition of two more volms to them, and I think them well calculated to pour the fresh instruction over the mind, and to instill the best of principals. Mr Adams has directed one of his Books, the defence of the American constitutions, to be deliverd to mr Shaw, and I hope it will prove equally Serviceable to Children of a larger growth, who seem so much disposed to quarrel with their best Friends, the Laws and Government. I should like to know how the sentiments and doctrines are received. I have been much mortified and grieved I assure you to find mr Sparhawks accounts so well founded, tho at the time he gave them, I was disposed to think much better of my Countrymen. May the triumph of the wicked be short, and the fair fabrick of Liberty still be protected by Minerva, whilst Discord and faction those vile deamons are banishd to their Native Regions of Darkness.
I have Sent to my Neice some Silk which I have had died and scowerd. You may pick a shirt perhaps from it. As to any kind of milinary which your sister has worn, the Sea coal smoke and the hair Powder so totally distroys it, that even my maid cannot wear it till it is washd. With regard to any other articles of dress, you would not find your sister better drest here, than she used to be by her Braintree fireside. A calico or a chintz a muslin or a double Gauze handkerchief and Apron is her usual dress. Tis True her Hair suffers more torture than in America and the powder covers the venerable Gray. Tis time to think of being venerable when tis probable a few Months will make her a Grandmamma and she has now got to look out a Nurse and make Baby linnen &c &c. A thousand New cares and anxieties as well as pleasures attend new Relatives.
I was really shocked at the Death of mr Anger as I had never heard of his Sickness. Alass our Worthy Friend mr Perkins, he is gone too, to the Land from whence their is no return. But he was a { 454 } virtuous well principald Man, and possessd that great ornament of society, Honesty, without which all the Graces and Embelishments of Life are but varnish and unsubstantial qualities which the artfull assume for purposes of deceit.
Adieu my dear sister. I dine abroad and must therefore quit my pen to dress. I shall write You again by captain Barnard who will sail in a few weeks. I have no time to coppy. You must therefore excuse every inaccuricy. My Regards to mr shaw to mr and Mrs Allen to my Nephew and Neice, and to every one who inquires after Your affectionate Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. Apparently AA enclosed her last letter to Shaw on 21 Nov. 1786, above, in this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0180

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-01-24

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I designd to have written you a much Longer Letter than I shall now be able to. The State of politicks in our Country is such as to give pain to every Friend and well wisher of it. I hope the pamphlet mr Adams has lately written and which captain Cushing carries out, will have a benificial influence if it comes not too Late. I inclose to you a ministerial publication which has past through four Editions in about ten days.1 What he says with respect to the Kings popularity in the English Nation is at this present time stricktly true. His Characters are drawn with freedom, his intention is however to wash Some Etheops White.
This day col Franks arrived here with the Emperor of Morocos Treaty and will sail in the next packet for New York with it.2
Mr Adams has directed me to request you upon the receit of this Letter to purchase two hundred Guineys worth of congress Paper. We are told that it is sold at 2 and 6 pence pr pound. Do not be affraid, as the little he has is in publick Securities, it is as safe in one kind as an other, and if one sinks all must Sink, which God forbid. We are told here that the Name of the person must be enterd upon the Treasury Books, or the Name of a Friend, but you doubtless know the method. Our credit is not yet so low, but what Foreigners are eagerly tho Secretly buying up this paper. You will draw upon mr Adams for the Money—it will never be at a lower ebb than at present unless actual war takes place. You will find an account forwarded in mr Adams letter.3 Scot is arrived but none of our Letters { 455 } are yet come up. Inclosed is a letter from mrs Smith. It was only two small red coverd Manuscrip Books which the Gentleman had and not pocket Books. Will that House be to be sold do you imagine which he owns?4

[salute] Regards to all inquiring Friends from Dear Sir your ever affectionate Neice

[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “The Honorable Cotton Tufts Esquire Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs. Ab. Adams rcd April 19. 1787.”
1. Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, A Short Review of the Political State of Great-Britain, at the Commencement of the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-seven, London, 1787. Wraxall (1751–1831), a member of Parliament, published the pamphlet anonymously. In the first few weeks of publication, it went through six editions and sold roughly 17,000 copies in England (DNB).
2. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship negotiated by Thomas Barclay for the United States and signed by the emperor of Morocco in June and July 1786. The English translations were signed and sealed by Jefferson in Paris on 1 Jan. 1787 and by JA in London on 25 Jan. (Miller, Treaties, 2:185–227).
3. Probably JA to Cotton Tufts, 15 Jan. (Adams Papers), but the account has not been found.
4. For an extended discussion of the Vassall-Borland House (Adams Old House) and Royall Tyler's aborted purchase of it, see vol. 3:264–266.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0181

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-01-29

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] My dear sir

I received by Col Franks Your obliging favour1 and am very sorry to find your wrist Still continues lame. I have known very Salutary effects produced by the use of British oil upon a spraind joint. I have Sent a Servant to See if I can procure some. You may rest assured that if it does no good: it will not do any injury.
With regard to the Tumults in my Native state which you inquire about, I wish I could say that report had exagerated them. It is too true Sir that they have been carried to so allarming a Height as to stop the Courts of Justice in several Counties. Ignorant, wrestless desperadoes, without conscience or principals, have led a deluded multitude to follow their standard, under pretence of grievences which have no existance but in their immaginations. Some of them were crying out for a paper currency, some for an equal distribution of property, some were for annihilating all debts, others complaning that the Senate was a useless Branch of Government, that the Court of common Pleas was unnecessary, and that the Sitting of the General Court in Boston was a grieveince. By this list you will see, the materials which compose this Rebellion, and the necessity there is of the wisest and most vigorous measures to quell and suppress it. { 456 } Instead of that laudible Spirit which you approve, which makes a people watchfull over their Liberties and alert in the defence of them, these Mobish insurgents are for sapping the foundation, and distroying the whole fabrick at once. But as these people make only a small part of the State, when compared to the more Sensible and judicious, and altho they create a just allarm, and give much trouble and uneasiness, I cannot help flattering myself that they will prove Sallutary to the state at large, by leading to an investigation of the causes which have produced these commotions. Luxery and extravagance both in furniture and dress had pervaded all orders of our Countrymen and women, and was hastning fast to Sap their independance by involving every class of citizens in distress, and accumulating debts upon them which they were unable to discharge. Vanity was becoming a more powerfull principal than Patriotism. The lower order of the community were prest for taxes, and tho possest of landed property they were unable to answer the Demand. Whilst those who possesst Money were fearfull of lending, least the mad cry of the Mob2 should force the Legislature upon a measure very different from the touch of Midas.
By the papers I send you, you will see the benificial effects already produced, an act of the Legislature laying duties of 15 pr cent upon many articles of British manufacture and totally prohibiting others.3 A Number of Vollunteers Lawyers Physicians and Merchants from Boston made up a party of Light horse commanded by col Hitchbourn Leit col Jackson and Higgonson, and went out in persuit of the insurgents and were fortunate enough to take 3 of their Principal Leaders, Shattucks Parker and Page. Shattucks defended himself and was wounded in his knee with a broadsword. He is in Jail in Boston and will no doubt be made an example of.4
Your request my dear sir with respect to your daughter shall be punctually attended to, and you may be assured of every attention in my power towards her.
You will be so kind as to present my Love to Miss Jefferson, compliments to the Marquiss and his Lady. I am really conscience Smitten that I have never written to that amiable Lady, whose politeness and attention to me deserved my acknowledgment.
The little balance which you Stated in a former Letter in my favour,5 when an opportunity offers I should like to have in Black Lace at about 8 or 9 Livres pr Ell. Tho late in the Month, I hope it will not be thought out of season to offer my best wishes for the Health Long Life and prosperity of yourself and family, or { 457 } to assure you of the Sincere Esteem and Friendship with which I am Yours &c &c
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers); addressed by Col. David S. FrankFranks: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Paris”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams.” Dft (Adams Papers).
1. Probably Jefferson to AA, 21 Dec. 1786, above. Jefferson also wrote to AA on 7 Jan., but that letter has not been found (Jefferson, Papers, 11:24).
2. The Dft has “the cry of the people” in place of “the mad cry of the Mob.”
3. In the Dft, the paragraph begins, “The disturbances which have taken place have roused from their Leathargy the Supine and the Indolent animated the Brave and taught wisdom to our Rulers.” On 17 Nov. 1786, the Massachusetts legislature passed “An Act to Raise a Public Revenue by Impost,” which placed impost taxes ranging from 1 to 15 percent on various goods and prohibited outright the importation of others (Mass., Acts and Laws, Acts of 1786, Sept. sess., ch. 48). The paper was probably the Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Nov., which reported this information.
4. The Dft arranges the first three sentences found in the RC paragraph somewhat differently and identifies Lt. Col. (Jonathan) Jackson as a man Jefferson had met in France and Lt. Col. (Stephen) Higginson as a former member of Congress before closing with the sentence: “It is not unlikly that some examples must be made before the riots will be totally quelled and peace and good orderd restored.”
5. Probably Jefferson to AA, 9 Aug. 1786, above, showing a balance of £6.11.11 1/2 due to AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0182

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-02-06

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

Col. Jacob Davis not long since called upon me for the Payment of one of the Lots of Land in Vermont State which you recd. a Deed of and was not paid for, by his Brother Ebenr Davis whom he empowered for that Purpose. I accordingly paid it, he requested Interest from the Time the Deed was given, I did not conceive myself authorized to allow it as You did not give me any directions relative to it. He said it was customary and supposed You would allow it if present. As he desired me to mention it to You I wish You to write to me in your Next on the Subject. I also paid him £6. 8. 0 for Taxes on the Four Rights. The Tenure on which you hold these Rights, does not appear to me sufficiently secure. Mr. Davis could not give me any particular Information relative to them. I believe I must take Mastr. Charles or Thos in some Vacation and make a Tour there and see to the Safe recording &c of them. A very good Plan, but when shall I get Leisure.1
The Legislature have at length found it necessary to declare Rebellion existing in the Commonwealth. An Army under Genl Lincoln is employed to crush it.2 A few Days will in great Measure determine whether We shall have the Constitution remain or not. { 458 } Whether we shall have Law and Justice administerd or not. A strange Infatuation has seized a great part of the People, Should I say two Thirds of the whole Body. It would not be far from the Truth. I flatter myself notwithstanding that their Eyes will be opened very soon and their Minds Yield to Conviction. <this Evil I have As> Sufficient Addresses have made to their Interests these have been in Vain. An Address to their Fears, is now tried, and I trust will be the only succesful Advocate.
The Insurgents under Shays and the other <officers> Heads of the Army have not been much short of 3000. They have however crumbled away from Day to Day, since Genl Lincolns appearance in the Western Counties. After their Dispersion at Petersham (of which you have an Account in the News Papers new sent3 and which News came to hand (this Moment)) their Number appeared to be about 940, and they were shaping their Course to the County of Berkshire. The March of Genl Lincoln last Saturday Evening from Hadley and reaching Petersham the next Morning by 9 oc was perhaps as great an Enterprize as as ever been undertaken. A Snow Storm when they set out, followed about One or Two Clock the same Night with a Shift of Wind and excessive cold the Wind blowing like a Hurricane, till they reachd Petersham, suffering more with the blowing of the Snow and the severe cold, than can possibly be conceived off but by those who have been in similar Circumstances; no proper Place to halt for Refreshment. Yet they persevered with out murmuring, till they reached Petersham, a March of 30 Miles. Many were frost bitten.
Shays with about 100 Men is said to be at Chesterfield in Newhampshire State—the riot dispersed. Gen. Lincoln is gone into the County of Berkshire, with his Army. The Insurgents there will probably submit, without much Difficulty. We have ordered two or three Regiments to be kept up for 3 or 4 months. And I hope we shall by and by get into a more orderly State. Should this Insurrection or rather Rebellion have prevailed here, it would undoubtedly have run through all the States. As the Papers will give You a particular Acctt. of the doings of the Genl Court and of Genl Lincolns' Movements, I refer you to them for further Information.
{ 459 }
Mr. John dind with me yesterday,4 he is solicitous of knowing with whom he is to purrsue his Studies in the Law after Commencement. If Mr. Adams has any particular Instructor in view, that he would prefer before any other and will give timely Notice, We shall pursue his orders, otherwise we shall act according to our best Discretion. At present We think that at least Part of the Three Years Study, may be under some Gentleman in the Country (or rather out of Boston): the Expence Less, and Advantages equal. I have consulted with several Gentleman and shall make every Enquiry that I think necessary to form a Result beneficial to your Son and to your Interest.
The aforegoing has been wrote by Piece Meals, as I could catch an opportunity, and you must excuse the Errors of Your affectionate Friend and H sert
[signed] C Tufts
Pray remember me to Mr Adams Mr and Mrs Smith.
Your Children here and all Friends well.
RC (Adams Papers). Tufts also produced “Minutes of a Letter wrote to Mrs. Adams” in which he summarized the details of this letter and added the note, “Sent this Lettr. by Capt Folger”; filmed at 8 Feb. 1787, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 369.
1. In early 1782, AA arranged to purchase five 330-acre lots in Salem Township (now Derby and Newport, Orleans County), Vt., from Col. Jacob Davis of Worcester, who headed a group settling the area. She paid for four of the lots then, and obligated herself to pay for the fifth “in a few months,” holding off on making full payment until the title to the land could be made more secure (vol. 4:315, 316–317, 345; AA to Tufts, 29 April, Adams Papers).
2. On 4 Feb., the same day that it formally acknowledged the existence of a rebellion in western Massachusetts, the General Court belatedly recommended to Gov. James Bowdoin that he authorize Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to either enlist new members or extend the enlistments of current members of the Massachusetts militia, so that it could continue its work of suppressing the rebellion (Mass., Acts and Laws, Resolves of 1786, Jan. sess., ch. 5, 6).
3. Probably the Massachusetts Centinel, 7 Feb., which printed a 4 Feb. letter from General Lincoln at Petersham that had arrived in Boston on 6 February. The letter describes Lincoln's progress in dispersing the insurgents, who had begun to retreat after Lincoln took nearly 150 of them as prisoners.
4. JQA dined with Tufts and Richard Cranch at James Foster's (Diary, 2:157, where he is misidentified as Joseph Foster).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0183

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-02-08

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Ever Dear Sister

My Uncle Smith has been so kind as to send me word this Morning, that a Nephew of Mr Gill's was to sail for London, in a Vessel { 460 } from Boston next Saturday. Though I fear I shall not get a Letter into Town soon enough, yet I will write, a few Lines (though I have nothing very particular to communicate,) hoping I may meet with some favourable Conveyance.
The State of our publick Affairs engrosses attention of all Ranks, and Classes of Men. In every private Circle of Gentlemen, and Ladies I hear their several Opinions, dictated by Fear, Ignorance, Malice, Envy, and self-Interest the most powerful of all.
We all feel a Weight, which we could not but reasonably expect, and which the wise and Judicious say, may soon be lightened by Prudence, Industry, and good Oeconemy in our Families. But such is the Pride—the Idleness—the vanity, and extravagance which pervades every Order, that I am perswaded nothing but distress, and necessity will induce them to comply with this method, though I presume it is the only one, by which there is the least probability of obtaining Releif.
No One is willing to believe themselves the Cause of any Evil they feel, but attribute it, to the weakness, or the perfidy of Government—to the great Sallaries given to those in Office, or to the injustice of those vile Wretches the Lawyers.
Our excellent Govenor need not be envied, I am sure. He has enough upon his head, and his Heart to distract him. He will now try the Strength of Government, and I hope it will be found to have such a Basis, as the Collected Force of Capt Shays cannot overthrow.
Though I am situated far distant (at present) from the Seat of War, Yet I tenderly feel for those who are enduring the hardships of a winters Campaign, in this very cold Season. The ground has bean cheifly covered with three, or four foot of Snow ever since the beginning of November—So that it has rendered General Lincoln's March extremely difficult—and we hear that 5 hundred of his Men were touched with the frost.
Yesterday Orders came here for more men to be draughted—to day there are counter Orders.1 The news is, Shays is fled, and that a general Pardon is all they sue for. He is gone to the State of new Hampshire.
But I will quit Politicks, and leave them to the Gentlemen, who I presume, give you a much more particular account.
I fancy sometimes to myself how these matters, will operate upon the Mind of your Friend. We think sometimes, he may do us more { 461 } service here, than he can in his present Situation. We want his Wise Counsels, to direct our puclick Weal.
But He who has the Hearts of all in his hands, will I hope inspire our Counsellors with that Wisdom which is from above, may Vigor, Courage, Unanimity, and Discision mark their Steps.
I received Your Letter of the 15th of October. Mr Shaw, and my little Ones thank you, for all your Tokens of Affection both Ideal, and material. Mr Shaw wishes, to draw upon your Friend for the like expression of Regard. He presumes, his Bill will not be protested.
Your two Children Charles, and Thomas spent a part of the long Vacation here. Mr Shaw would have bean quite displeased if they had not have come, we were very sorry Mr JQA did not accompany them.
Cousin Thomas could not help thinking it was home here yet, and no wonder—for it was almost three years, and half that he lived with us. He says he has a good Chamber at Cambridge, and the People of the House are very kind, and he can go to their Closet, with as much freedom as he used to here. I told him my Pyes were almost dried up, a waiting for him, for I expected they would have been here a fortnight sooner. Mr Shaw, and I have the pleasure of assuring you they behave well. We have taken particular Care to enquire of their Preceptors—for your Children do indeed, possess a very great share of our tenderest Love. Mr and Mrs Allen, and Cousin Sally Austin spent monday Evening here. I assure you we live in the most perfect amity, and good Neighbourhood. She has lately spent a fortnight in Boston, thinking she could not so conveniently again leave home. Mr Allen has now, I believe a prospect of additional Happiness in the domestic way,2 and I can see, that he is not a little gratified. Our good Cousin William Smith will be married to Miss Hannah Carter the 1st of June. It is imposible for any thing to be more agreeable to all Parties. And it appears very strange, that what now gives so much satisfaction, could not have been thought of before. But this is the Year for happy Matches. I verrily believe some unusual lucky Star presides over the Hymeneal Torch. For I never knew half so many agreeable Connections formed as has been, within these twelve Months. I have written to my two Neices, telling them, I wish its benign Influences may be protracted, and the ensuing Months sweetly roll on, and smile as propitious upon them, as it has upon my other Friends.
Miss Carter is a Lady of real merit, and well deserving of the good { 462 } Husband (I presume) our Cousin will make. She is a Daughter in whom my Aunt Smith would have greatly delighted, had she still been living. This Lady is distinguished from the gay Trifflers of the age, not by Beauty, but by the more lasting Qualities of the Mind, for Virtue good Sense, Prudence Oeconimy, and an affable, modest Deportment mark her Character.
It gives me the greatest pleasure, that you appear to be so satisfied with your own Daughters Connection. It must be the Solace, and the Joy of your Mind. Long may they live, and be a Blessing to you.
Mr Thaxter may be married in the Course of the year,3 but at present all Courts are stoped, and little or no buisiness can be done.
Mrs Marsh is still alive, and enjoys the Fruits of a good old age. The Fruit of good Government in her own Family, for her Children rise, and bless her.

[salute] Adieu! thou ever dear, & Much loved Sister—Accept this written in haste, from your

[signed] E Shaw
1. On 29 Jan., Gov. James Bowdoin issued orders that members of the militia should prepare themselves to serve if the need arose. On 5–6 Feb., the General Court reiterated its support for a call-up of 2,600 men to reinforce the troops under General Lincoln working to put down Shays' Rebellion. Despite that, Bowdoin announced on 7 Feb., after positive reports from Lincoln of the success of his troops in dispersing the rebels, that he was countermanding the draft order (Boston Independent Chronicle, 1, 8 Feb.).
2. Rev. Jonathan Allen and Elizabeth Kent Allen had a daughter, Betsey, who was baptized on 12 Aug. in Bradford (Vital Records of Bradford Massachusetts, Topsfield, 1907, p. 10).
3. John Thaxter Jr. would marry Elizabeth Duncan on 13 November.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0184

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-02-09

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

If you have reciev'd our Letters by Capn Callahan you will be in Some measure prepair'd for the accounts which Capn Folger will bring you of the Rebellion which exists in this state. It had arisen to such a height that it was necessary to oppose it by force of arms. We are always in this country to do things in an extraordinary many [manner?]. The militia were call'd for, but there was not a copper in the Treasury to pay them or to support them upon their march. Town meetings were call'd in many places and promisses were made them that if the would inlist they would pay them and wait till the money could be collected from the Publick, for thier pay. And for their present Support People contributed as they were able and in { 463 } this manner in less than a week was collected an army of five thousand men Who march'd under the command of General Lincoln to worcester to protect the court. The result you will see in the papers. The season has been stormy and severe our army have suffer'd greatly in some of their marches especially last Saturday night. Many of them were badly froze, they march'd thirty mile without stoping to refresh themselves in order to take Shays and his army by surprize. They took about 150 of them. Shays and a number with him scamper'd of and are got to new hampshire.
Shays and his party are a poor deluded People. They have given much trouble and put us and themselves to much expence and have greatly added to the difficulties they complain off. I think you must have been very uneasy about us. Shays has not a small party in Braintree but not many in this parish. They want paper money to cheat with. They call'd a Town meeting about a week since to forbid colln. Thayers attending the general court but they could not get a vote.1
It is now almost four months since I have heard from you. What is become of capn. Cushing, he has been long expected. This has been the longest winter I ever knew nothing but snow storms. The slaighing is fine and while our Lads were at home we did something at it, but now they are return'd to their studys and we are very lonely. No sister Adams to run too, no Germantown Freinds to visit:2 mrs Quincy and nancy gone to spend the winter in Boston and if I turn my eyes to weymouth, there is not even the Docr. at this time to smile upon me. The Docr. is going to raise the roof of his House immediatly. What a pity that Josiah Quincy should have left his wife in such a manner, that She must quit it all if she marrys again. She is young and very agreable. Abel Willard has left a widow, not quite so young nor so comely but she is sensible amiable and benevolent to a great degree. She is also use'd to a country Life has no child and has a small fortune left her by her Father. Her Husbands went to the publick.3 What think you, will either of these do. He says I must get him a wife he has not time to look about him, and one he must have soon. I want your assistance so please to nominate, and give your reasons but I will not promise that you will not be too late. What think you of our mrs Quincy for uncle Smith. If this should take place we should again feel as if we had an Aunt. I cannot but hope it. It is talk'd of, and that is one way to make it so. I have receiv'd a Letter to day from Sister Shaw. She is well, Billy has a troublesome cough. I was at cambridge sometimes in the vacancy to see { 464 } Cousin JQA. He Was well and quite a gallant among the Ladies. He promis'd to make us a visit but has been so ingag'd that he could not: Cousin Tom is a great favorite at mr Sewalls. He is neat loves order is very careful not to give any unnessary trouble, has scarcly any company and goes but little out. We cannot be thankful enough my dear Sister that our children are such as they are. Cousin charles is a lovely creature. He is so amiable and so attentive that he will be belov'd wherever he sets his Foot. Our children are so happy together that I can scarcly forbear a sigh When I think how soon they must be scatterd and yet it must and ought to be so.
Mrs Hall is well she spent the day with me this week and desir'd me to give her Love to her Son and you and her grandchildren. She charg'd me to thank you for what you had sent her and your Nieces. They look'd much pleas'd and beg'd me to thank their Aunt.
Mrs Allen has made a vissit to her Friends in Boston, but return'd without my seeing her. She is like to increase her Family which has sister Shaws says causd a complacenc in the countenance of her “own good man.”
The newspapers will inform you that Doctor Clark dy'd very suddenly, but they will not tell you that he dy'd without a Will by which means miss Betsy Mayhew and her Brothers will have a fortune of four thousand pounds a piece. This is a great fortune for an american Lady enough certainly to bye her a Husband.4
Mr Evans is preaching where Doctor Gorden was settled, tis suppos'd they will give him a call.5 Mr Norton is still at weymouth.
I went the other day to see our milton Friends. Mrs Warren is anxious for Henry. He went General Lincolns aid.
The musical society at Braintree return their thanks for those Scotch Peices of Musick whih you so kindly Sent them. They talk'd of chusing a committee to draw up a Letter of thanks but as they were not all present they deputed me to do it for them. They luckily came in the vacancy. They have had time to learn to sing and play several of them. You need not be concern'd about their playing upon a Flute they have not time to play enough to hurt them.
Uncle Quincy is as Well as usual. The roads have been so bad that I have not been to see him but onc this winter. Our Hingham Friends are well. Nancy looks quite Stately. Quincy is gone with General Lincoln. Good Doctor Gay lives yet and preaches every Sunday. Doctor Chancy is suppos'd very near his end but he has render'd himself immortal by his writings. Have you read his late publications. If you have not do get them of Doctor Price. They { 465 } were printed under his direction. I scarcly ever read any thing with more pleasure.6
How does my new Nephew and my dear Niece. Well I hope. Does she begin to look Stately too. I wish I could look in upon them. When my Sister oh when will you return. I have had a Letter begun Six months ago for mrs Elworthy but I have not had time to finish it. Do you ever see her. If you do give my Love to her. Tell her sister Bond and Family were well a few days since. Mr Bond was in Boston. We had Letters from cousin Ebbit. Mrs Bond and her Sister are fine Women. I regret their living so far from us. I hope to visit them next Summer.7
Mrs Hay lives at Newbury. I have never seen her but once since she return'd. Why did she return without her Husband?8 It looks strange.
Parson wibird visits us every other day almost. He still lives in that vile house. I told him the other day that nobody but he could live in and retain a moral character, that I was tir'd of vindicating his Character, where he was not known. That the House had become so Scandelous that if it was in Boston the Select men would pull it down and it is true. It is a vile house my sister but all I can say he will live there.
I hope you have not had a return of the dissorder which made you so sick.
Betsy and Lucy send their Duty to you and Love to their Cousins, will write by the next vessel. We did not hear of this till a day or two ago, and they are so busy that they cannot attend to their Pen at present.
Will you present my Love to mr Adams. To mr and Mrs Smith, and accept of the warmest Love & gratitude of your ever affectionate Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch Febry 9th 1787.”
1. At a 29 Jan. town meeting, some Braintree residents attempted to recall Ebenezer Thayer as their representative to the General Court or to alter his instructions, but the motion was dismissed (Braintree Town Records, p. 569–570).
2. Gen. Joseph Palmer's family, who had moved to Charlestown in the fall (Cranch to AA, 26 Nov. 1786, above).
3. Abel Willard (1731/2–1781) of Lancaster, Mass., had emigrated with his wife, Elizabeth Rogers, to England as a loyalist refugee in 1776. He was subsequently proscribed under the Act of 1778 and his Massachusetts estate was confiscated. Following his death in 1781, his widow returned to Boston (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:301–303).
4. Dr. John Clarke, AA's fellow passenger and good friend on the Active in 1784 (see vol. 5:360–383passim), was the uncle of Elizabeth Mayhew, daughter of the late Rev. Jonathan Mayhew and Elizabeth Clarke. Betsy's “brothers” were her half-brothers, John Clarke Howard and Algernon Sidney { 466 } Howard, sons of Elizabeth Clarke and the Rev. Simeon Howard, who had succeeded Mayhew as minister at Boston's West Church. Betsy Mayhew later married Peter Wainwright (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:444, 469; 14:288).
5. Rev. William Gordon, the patriot historian, had long been the minister of the Third Congregational Church in Jamaica Plain (Roxbury), Mass., prior to his return to England in March 1786. The church did not call another minister until 1793, when it chose Rev. Thomas Gray to be its pastor. “Mr Evans” was probably Israel Evans, for whom see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 9 Feb. 1786, note 8, above (MHS, Procs., 63 [1929–1930]: 303; Ellen Lunt Frothingham Ernst, The First Congregational Society of Jamaica Plain 1769–1909, n.p., 1909, p. 33–34).
6. Rev. Charles Chauncy, the venerable Arminian pastor of Boston's First Church since 1727, died on 10 Feb. at age 82. His last important works, published in England, were The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations, London, 1784, and Five Dissertations on the Scripture Account of the Fall and Its Consequences, London, 1785 (DAB).
7. William and Hannah Cranch Bond lived in Falmouth (now Portland, Maine), as did Hannah's sisterbrotherEbbett (1750–1789) (“Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, drawn up in the year 1852,” MHi: Cranch-Bond Papers). Elizabeth Cranch Elworthy of London, wife of James Elworthy, was Hannah's sister and Richard Cranch's niece.
8. Katherine Hay decided to return to the United States alone, rather than go with her husband, a ship captain, on a lengthy voyage or remain in England without him (AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 28 April, MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0185

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1787-02-21

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I believe there is not another Man in the World whose Life has been such a series of Remorses as mine. It seems as if there was a Destiny that I should never be paid. The time is drawing near, for eleven or twelve months will soon be round, when we embark for Home. This is an irksome undertaking—to break up a settled habitation and remove a family across the Seas, at any time of life is no small matter, but when people grow into years and are weary of changes it is more disagreeable. It is in vain to murmur, and we must submit.
In every Point of view, it would be impertinent for me to think of remaining longer in Europe. It would be some expence to the public, without any benefit, and a great torment to me, without any profit. I shall leave to future Conversations at your Fireside, all further revelations upon these subjects. It is idle to complain. If there is not some other Plan persued at home, no good can be done abroad.
I am extremely anxious about the wild Projects of Government both for the Confederations and for particular States that I am informed are in circulation.1 Yet I can not but hope and trust that the Massachusetts will get better very soon of her own difficulties. The people I think cannot be so weak and misled as to continue their outrages against all Government.
{ 467 }
I shall hardly find my homely house a Scene of tranquility or of Pleasure: but it can't be worse for myself or others, than to stay here. My tender affections to my Sister and all our Friends. Tho I have not had a Youth of Pleasures, I must reckon on an old age of Cares. These however will be softened by the Neighborhood and Society of my old Friends—in the cheering hopes of which permit me to subscribe myself, your affectionate and obliged Brother,
[signed] John Adams
RC not found. Printed from (Paul C. Richards Cat., #47 [1970]), Brookline, Mass.
1. JA first received a report of a potential constitutional convention in Philadelphia from Rufus King, 2 Oct. 1786, who wrote, “The convention proposed to have been held at Annapolis in the last month on the subject of commerce has terminated without credit, or prospect of having done much good. . . . Whether the states will acceed to the proposition of a convention at Philadelphia, in May is yet uncertain” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-02-21

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

Having determined to return to Pens hill, I begin to think in what a pitiful Condition I shall find my Meadow and Hill &c &c. Poor as a heath I Suppose, as I found them, but am determined they shall not remain long in such a contemptible plight. This is therefore to beg the favour of you to purchase for me Josh. Bracketts Heap at his stable1 for a year, and desire my Brother or my Tenant to hire Boats and Teams to transport it to Braintree, and to bring a proportional Quantity of Marsh Mud and street Dust to be laid in heaps for manure. Belcher remembers the whole Proscess. Draw upon me, as soon as possible for the Cash to defray all Expences. I am determined not to remain an Hour in Europe after the Expiration of my Commission to this Court. So I shall embark in January or February 1788 for Boston, if possible, if not, for New York in the Packett.

[salute] I am, my dear sir, with much Affection your Friend

[signed] John Adams
RC (CtY: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Esq. Feby. 21. 1787—respecting his Return.”
1. For Joshua Brackett's stable, see vol. 4:259–261; JA, D&A, 3:194.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0187

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-02-22

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I am to acknolege the honor of your letter of Jan. 29. and of the papers you were so good as to send me they were the latest I had seen or have yet seen. They left off too in a critical moment; just at the point where the Malcontents make their submission on condition of pardon, and before the answer of government was known. I hope they pardoned them. The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the Atmosphere. It is wonderful that no letter or paper tells us who is president of Congress,1 tho' there are letters in Paris to the beginning of January. I suppose I shall hear when I come back from my journey,2 which will be eight months after he will have been chosen. And yet they complain of us for not giving them intelligence. Our Notables assembled to-day, and I hope before the departure of mr Cairnes3 I shall have heard something of their proceedings worth communicating to mr Adams. The most remarkable effect of this convention as yet is the number of puns and bon mots it has generated.4 I think were they all collected it would make a more voluminous work than the Encyclopedie. This occasion, more than any thing I have seen, convinces me that this nation is incapable of any serious effort but under the word of command. The people at large view every object only as it may furnish puns and bons mots; and I pronounce that a good punster would disarm the whole nation were they ever so seriously disposed to revolt. Indeed, Madam, they are gone. When a measure so capable of doing good as the calling the Notables is treated with so much ridicule, we may conclude the nation desperete, and in charity pray that heaven may send them good kings.
The bridge at the place Louis XV. is begun. The hotel dieu is to be abandoned and new ones to be built. The old houses on the old bridges are in a course of demolition.5 This is all I know of Paris. We are about to lose the Count d'Aranda, who has desired and obtained his recall. Fernand Nunnez, before destined for London is to come here.6 The Abbe's Arnoux and Chalut are well. The Dutchess Danville somewhat recovered from the loss of her daughter.7 Mrs Barrett very homesick, and fancying herself otherwise sick. They will { 469 } probably remove to Honfleur.8 This is all our news. I have only to add then that mr Cairnes has taken charge of 15. aunes of black lace for you at 9 livres the aune, purchased by Petit and therefore I hope better purchased than some things have been for you; and that I am with sincere esteem Dear Madam your affectionete humble sert
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jefferson Febry 22 1787.”
1. The new Congress, scheduled to convene in Nov. 1786, did not obtain a quorum until 17 January. It elected Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania as its president on 2 Feb., and John Jay informed Jefferson of this on 9 Feb. (JCC, 32:1, 11; Jefferson, Papers, 11:129).
2. Jefferson left Paris on 28 Feb. for a tour of southern France and northern Italy, returning on 10 June, for which see his “Notes of a Tour into the Southern Parts of France, &c” (same, 11:415–464).
3. Burrill Carnes, an American merchant at Lorient, carried letters to London for Jefferson in Feb. (same, 11:143, 188; vol. 6:200).
4. The Assembly of Notables, proposed by Louis XVI's controller-general, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, opened on 22 Feb. after two postponements. Called to consult on France's financial crisis, and widely lampooned at its opening, it proved far more independent than expected and suggested various reforms. The assembly met until 25 May when Louis XVI dismissed them in the wake of their demand for a meeting of the full Estates-General to approve new taxes. Jefferson described the assembly to JA in a letter of 23 Feb. (Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, N.Y., 1989, p. 227, 238–241, 259–260; Jefferson, Papers, 11:176–177). For an example of the satirical prints mocking the assembly that were prevalent in Paris in February, see Schama, Citizens, p. 241.
5. Construction of the Pont de la Concorde, the bridge crossing the Seine from the Place Louis XV (later Place de la Concorde) and built in part with stones from the Bastille, began in 1787 and was completed in 1791. The plan to close the Hôtel Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris, and build a new one on the outskirts of the city, never came to fruition under Louis XVI and was abandoned at the start of the Revolution. It was finally remodeled in the 1860s (Karl Baedeker, Paris and Its Environs, 19th edn., N.Y., 1924, p. 59, 62, 264; Howard C. Rice Jr., Thomas Jefferson's Paris, Princeton, N.J., 1976, p. 5–6, 25–26; Edward Planta, A New Picture of Paris; or, the Stranger's Guide to the French Metropolis, 10th edn., London, 1818, p. 264–265).
6. Pedro Pablo de Abarca y Bolea, Conde de Aranda, was Spain's ambassador to France from 1773 to Sept. 1787. Carlos José Gutiérrez de los Rios y Rohan-Chabot, Conde de Fernán-Núñez, Spain's former ambassador to Portugal, replaced him in Dec. 1787 (Repertorium, p. 430–431, 438).
7. Elisabeth Louise (1740–1786), daughter of Marie Louise Nicole de La Rochefoucauld, widow of Jean Baptiste Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld de Roye, Duc d'Anville (JA, D&A, 4:42, 66–67; Dict. de la noblesse, 17:366).
8. The former Boston resident Nathaniel Barrett and his wife Margaret Hunt Barrett did not move to the port city of Honfleur, France, nor was she merely “fancying” her illness. She died on 6 June in Paris, probably of consumption (Jefferson, Papers, 11:276, 476; Boston Independent Chronicle, 13 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0188

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-02-25

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

Captain Davis called yesterday to let me know that he should sail in the course of the week. Captain Barnard will not be long after him, and I almost wish I was going to embark with him. I think I { 470 } should not feel more anxious if I was in the midst of all the disturbances, than I do at this Distance, where Imagination is left at full Liberty. When Law and justice is laid prostrait who or what is Secure? I received your Letters which came by captain Scot just as I was going to step into the carriage to go into the City upon some Buisness. As I was alone I took them with me to read, and when I came to that part of your Letter, where in you say, that you had hoped to have seen only Peace in future, after surmounting the Horrors of one war the Idea was too powerfull for me, and the Tears involluntary flowed. I was obliged to quit the Letter till I had finishd my Buisness. The thoughts which naturally occured to me, were for what have we been contending against the tyrranny of Britain, to become the Sacrifice of a lawless Banditti? Must our glory be thus shorn and our Laurels thus blasted? Is it a trifling matter to destroy a Government, will my countrymen justify the Maxim of tyrants, that Mankind are not made for freedom. I will however still hope that the Majority of our fellow citizens are too wise virtuous and enlightned to permit these outrages to gain ground and triumph. Solon the wise lawgiver of Athens, published a Manifesto for rendering infamous all persons, who in civil Seditions should remain Spectators of their Countrys danger by a criminal Neutrality.1 The Spirit shewn by the Gentleman vollunteers and the capture of Shattucks does honour to our State. More energy in Government would have prevented the evil from spreading so far as it has done.

“Mercy but gives Sedition time to rally

every soft pliant talking busie Rogue

Gathering a flock of hot braind Fools together

can preach up new Rebellion

Spread false reports of the Senate working up

their Madness to a Fury quick and desp'rate

till they run headlong in to civil discords

And do our buisness with their own destruction.”2

This is a picture of the civil dissentions in Rome, and to our mortification we find that humane nature is the same in all ages. Neither the dread of Tyrants the fall of Empires, the Havock and dessolation of the Humane Species, nor the more gloomy picture of civil Discord, are sufficient to deter Mankind from persueing the Same Steps which have led others to ruin. Selfishness and spight avarice and ambition, pride and a levelling principal are qualities very unfavourable to the existance of civil Liberty. But whatever is to { 471 } be the fate of our Country, we have determined to come home and share it with you. Congress have never given mr Adams a recall from Holland and he is vested (with mr Jefferson) with powers to form treaties with Several other Countrys. His commission to this Court will terminate this time twelve Months, and he has written to Congress his fixd and full determination to resign his commissions and return at that period, if not before.3 So that my dear sister I most joyfully accept your invitation and will come home God willing e'er an other Year expires. Dissagreeable as the Situation of my Native State appears, I shall quit Europe with more pleasure than I came to it, uncontaminated I hope with its Manners and vices. I have learnt to know the World, and its value. I have seen high Life, I have Witnessd the Luxery and pomp of State, the Power of riches and the influence of titles, and have beheld all Ranks bow before them, as the only shrine worthy of worship. Notwithstanding this, I feel that I can return to my little cottage and be happier than here, and if we have not wealth, we have what is better, Integrity.
I had written you thus far with an intention of sending by Davis, but received a card to day from captain Barnard that he will sail at the same time which is a fortnight sooner than I expected. I have concluded to send by him. Captain Callihan arrived at Cows in a very short passage of less than 30 days, and your Letter of Janry 10 and 12 came up by the post, one from uncle Smith and one from my eldest son.4 The rest are still on Board, nor do I know when we shall get them, as captain Callihan Stays I suppose to repair, having lost his Mast in a gale of wind. I was very happy to find that Folger had arrived safe as we were anxious for him, on account of the severe weather. I wrote you by captain Cushing, on Board of whom I got mr Elworthy to put a small present for you, but was much mortified a day or two after to find by a Boston paper that they were prohibited articles. I hope you will not meet with trouble on account of them. I cannot but approve the Spirit which dictated the measure.5 The causes which gave rise to it, must be deplored, for it is evidently a work of necessity rather than choice. The Luxery which had made Such rapid Strides amongst our countrymen was more criminal than that which is founded upon real wealth, for they have Roited upon the property which belonged to others. It is a very just observation, that those who have raised an Empire, have always been grave and Severe; they who have ruined it, have been uni• { 472 } formly distinguished for their dissapation. We shall wait with impatience for the result of General Lincolns expedition. Much depends upon his Success. Government seem affraid to use the power they have, and recommend and intreat where they ought to Command, which makes one apprehend that the evil lies deeper than the Heads or Hands of Shaise or Shattucks. From letter received here both from Boston and Newyork it is to be feared that Visionary Schemes, and ambitious projects are taking possession of Men of Property and Science. But before so important an Edifice as an Established Government is alterd or changed, its foundation should be examined by skilfull artists, and the Materials of which it is composed duly investigated.6
The defence of the American constitutions is a work which may perhaps contribute to this end and I most Sincerly wish it may do the good intended.
I lament with you the loss of a Worthy Man, for such indeed was the Friend of my dear Eliza. Our own duration is but a Span, then shall we meet those dear Friends and relatives who have gone before us and be engaged together in more elevated views, and purer pleasures and enjoyments than Mortality is capable of. Let this Idea Sooth the aflicted mind, and administer Balm to the wounded Heart; all things are under the Government of a supreeme all wise director, to him commit, the hour the day the year. I will write my dear Neice as soon as I get her Letter.
I fear if Barnard sails so soon I shall find myself tardy. I have been much engaged in assisting Mrs Smith. I wish for a sister as the time draws near. I shall find myself of little use. She seems to have good Spirits and knowing nothing fears nothing. Dr Jeffries is our family Physician, and is really an amiable benevolent Man tho formerly he took a different side in politicks.7
You inquire the price of Mode. It is of various prices the widest and best five shillings sterling. As to the fashion sattin cloaks of all coulours except Black are worn in winter in Spring black mode, in Summer Muslin and Gauzes linned with blew pink or white Sasnit [sarcenet] like one which was made by my Millinar and sent to Mrs Russel by Cushing, but I will endeavour to get a Pattern for you. What new fashions may be introduced by the admission of French Millinary during the summer, is past even the art of devination, but as that is a matter which my Country women will concern themselves very little with I hope, a Monthly magizine may serve their purpose instead of a daily volm which we may soon expect to See. { 473 } Pray what has become of Mrs Hay I have never received a line from her since she left this Country? You did perfectly right in adding the two yds more for Gowns for the Miss Palmers. The moths I hope will not plunder what little Wollens I have particularly my Scarlet cloth and my carpet. As to what other things I have, I consider them as a usefull deposit for family service should I live to return. Amongst them I think I have a large parcel of threads which my Neices will repair to when they have occasion to make linen for their cousins. As to any thing else, I had rather have it purchased for the children than taken from thence. I wish you would be so good as to look into my draws and you will find a green Lutestring Gown and a brown ducape a pattern of each I wish you to send me, as they will never be of Service to me unless I can match them. I have sent by captain Barnard a peice of Linen for the children, it is addrest to mr Cranch. I did not know whether they wanted yet but thought it would do no harm as Moths will not eat that. Within the Linnen you will find the trimming for it, Smuglled a little but that you will be mush about. Dont even tell that wise and good Senator your Husband. Take enough of it for cousin William half a dozen pr of. I have also sent the other half dozen shirts for JQA, so that he will not want for these twelve Months. Mrs Payne shall not be forgotten.
My dear sister say not one word about being ungratefull in charging the Board of your Nephews. I am sure it is your Duty to do it and it would pain both mr Adams and me exceedingly if you did not. Dr Tufts will pay you quarterly and for their washing and Ironing. I know that there are a thousand cares for which you cannot be paid only by the gratefull acknowledment of your sister.
You have hinted to me Several times as tho our good uncle Tufts was looking him a wife. Pray is there any particular person you think of. Our Friend Mrs Quincy has been in my mind for one or the other of our uncles. So cousin William has at last found one sensible Girl. Tis a Shame that a solid young fellow, should be so little to the taste of the young Ladies. I am always glad to hear every thing pleasing of my Friends, and I begin now to feel as if I should See them again.
Mrs Smith sits by the table working as fast as her needle can fly and is so buisy that I do not think She will write a line by this opportunity.
Let mrs Feild know that Esther is well as usual, a weakly creature at best, requires as much care as a Young Turkey. John is not much better, never well, but an excellent Servint, honest and trust worthy.
{ 474 }
Thus have I told you a domestick tale and my scond sheet warns me to close, but not untill I present my Love to Brother Cranch to my Nephew and Neices, to all my kin however wide, to my Neighbours and Friends, from their and your affectionate
[signed] A A
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. Solon (ca. 7th–6th century b.c.), the “Lawgiver,” was a statesman, poet, and archon of Greece ca. 594–590 b.c. Plutarch's Lives cites a law of Solon that a person refusing to take sides during times of division would be disenfranchised (Ivan M. Linforth, Solon the Athenian, Berkeley, Calif., 1919, p. 3–4, 27; Plutarch, Life of Solon, XX, para. 1).
2. Thomas Otway, The History and Fall of Caius Marius, London, 1680, Act III, lines 7–10, 70–73.
3. JA made his intentions known to Congress in a letter to John Jay of 24 Jan. (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 392–395).
4. The letter from Isaac Smith Sr. to AA has not been found; the letter from JQA is that of 30 Dec. 1786, above.
5. AA was sending porter and cheese, both of which had been prohibited under the new Massachusetts impost (AA to Thomas Jefferson, 29 Jan., above; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 April, Adams Papers).
6. By this time, the Adamses had received a number of letters from Boston and New York not only discussing the troubles in Massachusetts but also outlining the activities of the Annapolis Convention and consideration of a new federal convention in Philadelphia. See, for example, letters to JA from Rufus King, 2 Oct.; Benjamin Hichborn, 24 Oct.; and Samuel Osgood, 14 Nov. (2d letter) (all Adams Papers).
7. Dr. John Jeffries (1744/5–1819), Harvard 1763, had studied medicine at Aberdeen but then returned to Boston to practice. He sided with the loyalists, however, and became a doctor in the British Army, first in Nova Scotia and later in Savannah and then New York. In 1780, he migrated to London, where he continued to practice medicine and also became interested in aeronautics, particularly balloons. He served as the Adamses' family physician throughout their time in England (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:419–427).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0189

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-02-28

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

Your Letter to me by captain Callihan came safe to hand, that to your Sister and others from my Friends are yet with him at Cowes where he put in having lost his Mast. I think single Letters are better put into the Bag, Newspapers given to the captains.
Blairs lectures were purchased for you last fall and left at the New England coffe house for captain Barnard to take with him, and we thought that you had received them. If they have mist, an other set will be procured for you. Enfields institutes will also be Sent, but captain Barnard going a fortnight sooner than we expected, am not ready for him. I have requested him to take the remaining half dozen of your shirts which are done up in a bundle like those I sent by cushing and addrest to you; the volms you mention receiving of French History, were written by a very needy Man, a mere Chevalier d'Industry, who has since been in Newgate and as they were much { 475 } too impartial to Sell in this country I Suppose he could not pay the printing.1 He Swindled us out of ten Guineys and has dissapeard. There is nothing that is American, is or can be in vogue here. They cautiously avoid bringing our country into view. Indeed she does not at present exhibit the most pleasing picture, but to make us believe that she is of no kind of concequence to them they do not even retail our disturbances, or comment upon them. If they had Money I should suppose they were willing to keep up our quarrels and would lend a hand to sow dissentions, but they are as much distresst for ways and means as we are, and those who form conjectures of this kind know little of the finnances of this Country. The day is fast approaching when we have determined to quit it. God willing I once Set my foot on American ground not all the embassies to Europe consolidated into one shall tempt me again to quit it. I do not wonder at your longing to return, and I have many induceme[nts] which you had not, not one single one to remain here. My dear lads you know that we shall return poor, but at the same time you know what have been the Services of your Father. You know his honour and his integrity that shall be your inheritance. If we can get you all through colledge, the World is all before you, and providence your guide.2 You will do better I doubt not than if you had been led to expect wealth.
You will apply my son to mr Parsons and get fixed with him I hope. If we live to return to you we shall be able to look after your Brothers.
I am rejoiced to find there conduct so good. This is a balm amidst all the publick calamities. Pray attend to your own Health, I have written you before upon this Subject. Mine is better than in the fall, tho as the Spring approaches I find a return of my Rhumatick complaints. I am obliged to write you in great haste as Barnard is to Sail tomorrow, and my Letters must go to him this Evening. Col Smith says he has the same feeling which you express, that he wrote you long ago but has never Sent it. Your sister is well and will write you as soon as she gets her Letter.

[salute] Adieu and believe me most tenderly you[rs]

[signed] A A
Love to your Brothers.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “To Mr. John Quincy Adams Student at Cambridge near Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs: Adams Feby: 28 1787.”; docketed: “My Mother. 28. Feby: 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. François Soulés.
2. Milton, Paradise Lost, 12:646–647.



{ 482 } { 483 }


The Adams Family, 1786–1787

1786   4 Jan. – 8 Feb.   CA, a Harvard freshman, spends his winter vacation in Braintree and Haverhill, where JQA and TBA are being tutored by their uncle, Rev. John Shaw.  
1786   10 Jan.   JQA visits New Hampshire for the first time on an evening sleigh ride to Hampstead.  
1786   9 Feb.   AA and AA2 attend the queen's birthday celebration, accompanied by Col. David Humphreys, and the birthday ball, with WSS, at St. James' Palace.  
1786   16–20 Feb.   JA meets with Ambassador Sidi Haggi 'Abd-ur-rahman Aga of Tripoli to negotiate a commercial treaty.  
1786   21 Feb.   WSS departs London for Paris, dispatched by JA to confer with Thomas Jefferson on the treaty negotiations with Tripoli.  
1786   28 Feb.   Lord Carmarthen responds to JA's Nov. 1785 demand that British troops be withdrawn from U.S. territory, stating that Britain will fulfill its treaty obligations when America does the same.  
1786   11 March   WSS and Thomas Jefferson arrive in London, the latter coming to help negotiate commercial treaties with Tripoli, Portugal, and Great Britain.  
1786   14 March   JQA leaves Haverhill for Cambridge. On the 15th he is examined and admitted to Harvard as a junior sophister.  
1786   15 March   JA presents Jefferson to King George III.  
1786   18–22 March   JQA visits the Cranches in Braintree.  
1786   22 March   JQA takes up residence at Harvard College.  
1786   4–10 April   JA and Jefferson tour English gardens, countryseats, and historic sites, including Stratford-on-Avon where they carve a souvenir sliver from what is said to be Shakespeare's chair.  
{ 484 }
1786   11–26 April   JQA and CA spend the Harvard spring vacation at Braintree.  
1786   17 April   JA acquires eleven acres in Braintree's New South Precinct, now Randolph, in settlement of a loan to David Sloan.  
1786   19 April   JA meets Joseph Priestley.  
1786   20 April   The Adamses and Jefferson visit the countryseats of Sion House and Osterley Park in Brentford.  
1786   24 April   The Adamses, WSS, and Jefferson visit the British Museum.  
1786   25 April   JA and Jefferson conclude negotiations for a commercial treaty with Portugal, a treaty that neither country ever ratified.  
1786   29 April   In a diplomatic slight, JA is excluded from the annual Royal Academy dinner for foreign ministers.  
1786   9 May   JA publishes an anonymous letter in a London newspaper denying a report that his salary is paid by the French government.  
1786   12 May   Commissions held by JA and Jefferson to negotiate commercial treaties expire.  
1786   11 June   AA2 and WSS are married at the U.S. legation in Grosvenor Square.  
1786   17 June   CA and his cousins William, Elizabeth, and Lucy Cranch attend the dedication of the bridge connecting Boston and Charlestown. JQA remains at Harvard.  
1786   20–24 June   The Adamses visit Portsmouth, stopping at the countryseat of Painshill in Surrey and Windsor Castle.  
1786   30 June   AA2 and WSS depart Grosvenor Square for a residence on Wimpole Street.  
1786   13 July   Harvard's summer vacation begins, and JQA and CA go to Braintree.  
1786   20–26 July   TBA visits Braintree.  
1786   24–28 July   JA, AA, AA2, and WSS visit the Essex estate of Thomas Brand-Hollis.  
1786   26 July – 5 Aug.   JQA and CA visit Haverhill, participating in a sea-turtle banquet on a Merrimack River island on 28 July.  
1786   27 July   JA and AA visit Braintree, England, for “the Gratification of Curiosity.”  
1786   2 Aug.   JA attends a levee with the king to announce his departure for The Hague. On the same day, the king escapes an assassination attempt by a knife-wielding Margaret Nicholson.  
{ 485 }
1786   3 Aug. – 6 Sept.   JA and AA travel to The Hague to exchange ratified copies of the Prussian-American treaty with Baron von Thulemeier. While in Holland, the Adamses visit Rotterdam, Leyden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Delft, and Utrecht.  
1786   16 Aug.   JQA returns to Harvard for the fall quarter, following CA, who arrived in Cambridge five days earlier to prepare their rooms.  
1786   17 Aug.   Frederick the Great of Prussia dies and is succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II.  
1786   22 Aug.   TBA is examined and admitted to Harvard's freshman class; he boards with Prof. Stephen Sewall in Cambridge.  
1786   25–28 Aug.   AA2 and WSS visit Salt Hill in Buckinghamshire and Staines in Middlesex.  
1786   29 Aug.   Shays' Rebellion begins when 1,500 farmers protest rising taxes and foreclosures by occupying the Northampton courthouse.  
1786   Sept.   JA begins writing what would become his three-volume A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.  
1786   11 Sept.   The Annapolis Convention convenes in Maryland to consider federal regulation of commerce but fails to reach a quorum.  
1786   26 Sept.   JQA and William Cranch debate “Whether inequality among the citizens be necessary to the preservation of the liberty of the whole” at a Harvard College exhibition.  
1786   Oct.   JA publishes a series of letters he wrote in 1780 to Hendrik Calkoen, an Amsterdam lawyer, as Letters. The book is later retitled Twenty-Six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects, Respecting the Revolution of America.  
1786   17 Oct.   The Adams sons spend the Harvard vacation in Braintree. CA returns to Cambridge on the 30th; JQA and TBA on 1 November.  
1786   17 Nov.   The Massachusetts legislature approves bills encouraging domestic manufacture and taxing imported goods.  
1786   13 Dec. – 7 Feb.   Harvard vacation begins early due to a massive snowstorm and shortages of wood. JQA elects to stay at the college.  
1786   22 Dec. – 6 Jan.   AA, AA2, and WSS visit Bath while JA remains in London.  
{ 486 }
1787   20 Jan.   AA announces to family in the United States that AA2 and WSS are expecting their first child, William Steuben Smith, born 2 April.  
1787   24 Jan.   JA informs Congress that within a year he will resign his commissions and return to the United States.  
1787   25 Jan.   JA signs a Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Morocco.  
1787   21 Feb.   Congress approves a proposal to hold a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in May.  
1787   27 Feb.   Shays' Rebellion ends with a final skirmish in Sheffield, Mass.  
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.