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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0015

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-02-14

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams 2d

Yours My Dear Niece, of October 2d came safe to hand,1 and as I read, I could not but admire the justness of Thought, and the propriety and Elegance of Expression. My Heart assented to the truth of every Sentiment, but if you make the frequent writing to you, the Scale by which you judge of the love and affection of your Friends, I fear I shall be found wanting, through a multiplicity of Cares and the opinion I entertain of my own Letters being incapable of affording any entertainment, or pleasure, only what arises from the Idea, that they were dictated by a sincere, faithful, and affectionate Heart. This is not a fit of Humility, which has this moment siezed me, but is what very sensibly affects me whenever I peruse the Letters of my Friends, more espicially those of my sister and my Nieces. Often while I have been impressing the Seal, the thought of its little worth, the triffling and insignificant Matter it contained, has forced out an humble Sigh, and called up a conscious blush. And if it were not for some encouraeging candid, kind expression of regard from my Correspondents as if they some how were gratified, I veirily believe I should not venture to do any thing more than copy after, an Original, that sometime since fell into my Hands. Dear Friend These few Lines come hoping, you are well, and all in good Health, as I am at this present writing. Send me word of all the good news, such as Deaths and marriages, &cc. So I remain your loving Friend till Death. AB.2
Now this short Letter gave the person it was written to as much real satisfaction, as if it had been in the sweet and elegant stile of King.3 So I conclude the pleasure is derived4 from the good, and kind Intentions, of the Writer, more than from any other Cause. <and From their being kindly interested in every thing that befalls us, from their often talking and thinking of us, and in Idea fondly accompanying us in our Amusements, Entertainments, in>[ . . . ]5<the domestick and more retired walk of Life> And will therefore without further hesitation proceed to tell you in my own way that Mr and Mrs Allen made us a visit yesterday, that he said he was forced to come with her, for she would not rest without seeing us. He told us, he was loth to recount the Tears that she had shed last Friday and Saturday because he could not accompany her over. This was all said in perfect good humour, nor did I love her the less, you may be { 58 } sure, for this tender Evidence of her affection for us. Indeed I was more pleased with his Behaviour to her yesterday than I have ever been before. Though there was nothing really censurerable, in his Conduct, yet there was a great deal wanting. There was not that polite attention, that complacency which so much delights me and is ever the result of Hearts meeting heart recreprocally kind. The formal phelegmatic Lover, and the cold, indiferent Husband, are equally the Objects of my aversion. Not that I wish to see one, like the “rapt Seraph, that adores and burns,”6 For Such a Flame must soon decay, such an enthusiastic Fire must of consequence soon be extinguished and meet with an early check, for a Life of rapture, is not the Life of Man. If Virtue, good sense, Benevolence, and the kindest affections will ensure me but peaceful, tranquil Days, kind Heaven, I ask, no more.
Eliza Cranch left Mr Whites' hospitable and amiable Family the 5th of February, and came to tarry with us, but upon finding Mrs Allen very desirous of her going home with her, the gentle creature has taken her flight last evening from us, and perchd upon the other side of the River, where she stands this moment, I suppose, in a kind of triumph, looking at our Candle, for she, like your Brother, is a Bird of Night, as well as Wisdom. Your Uncle, Brother, nor I, did not like to have her leave us, and we could not help frowning upon her, for it, but at last concluding it was wrong to be so selfish, we gave our Consent, provided she would come back again next monday.
It is with greif that I find the time so nearly approached, that your Brother JQA, must leave our Family. The 21st of March Mr Williams begins his phylosophical Lectures. Mr Shaw has written to Dr Williams upon the Subject, and he thinks it is of importance that he should be there upon the first opening of them. We have really been happy in his company this winter, but his close application to his studies, has not given us an Opportunity of enjoying it so much as we otherways should. His Candle goeth not out by Night, I really fear he will ruin his Eyes. Upon my word, I never was half so afraid of any young Man7 in my Life. These Journal of [h]is are a continual Spy, upon our Action and your Brother is exceedingly severe upon the Foibles of Mankind. He has no patience to see people, degrading, and debasing themselves beneath the Rank, which the God of Nature assigned them, in the Scale of Being. And as to our Sex, but little Mercy is shown them. “Thanks to our Faults, for such a fruitful Theme,”8 that have furnished him with so many wise and { 59 } witty observations. The other Day I very candidly mentioned to him those Lines of Prior, “Be to their Virtues very kind, be to their Faults a little blind,” and do you believe it, he had the politeness to place them in his Journal,9 in a most satyrical point of view. And if any one says to him, Mr Adams you are too satyrical—Not more severe than Just, I have never disapproved or censured Things lovly and amiable—My Aunt thinks as I do, and assents to what I say. So he finds a fine shelter for himself, under my Wing.
Indeed my Dear Neice, it mortifies me to look around and see how few Ladies there are, who are capable of making agreeable, or fit Companions to Gentlemen of Education, and Literature. Some I have seen who could neither join in Conversation, and who were not possessed with sufficient discernment, to know when to be silent, but would interrupt by the most triffling question, Affairs of the greatest Concern. Ladies who have Leisure, and Opportunities should endeavour to furnish themselves, with something more than what is merely Ornamenttal. They should study to render themselves agreeable Companions, ever keeping this one thing in view, that it is of little importance to engage unless they have qualities to preserve affection.
I hear a Vessel has been Shipwrecked near France, I fear there were Letters in her for you.10 But that is nothing, when we think of the poor Souls, lost in her. Cousin Billy, and Charles spent a week with us this winter Vacation. I think Charles grows more, and more agreeable. He sustains a good Character in Colledge, and is greatly beloved. Thomas is A fine Lad, and does not run so often to look of his Doves in studying Hours, since Mr Adams has been here. Mr Shaw, and my Children are well. Your Brother relates every thing in so much better manner than I can, that it not worth while for me to say any thing more than that I am, your ever affectionate Aunt
[signed] E Shaw
Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers; at DLC, separated into two parts); addressed: “To Miss A: Adams London.”
1. Not found.
2. Possibly Abigail Tufts Bishop, sister of Cotton Tufts.
3. Possibly poet William King (1663–1712) (DNB).
4. Shaw wrote “is derived” above “arises.”
5. Four words unreadable.
6. Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, Epistle I, line 278.
7. Shaw wrote “young Man” above “person.”
8. Edward Young, The Universal Passion. Satire V. On Women, Dublin, 1728, line 10.
9. Matthew Prior, “An English Padlock,” lines 78–79. See JQA, Diary, 1:387.
10. Probably the Ceres; see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 26 Jan., note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0016

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1786-02-16

Abigail Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

Your Letters of october 23 and your last by capt Lyde2 gave me great pleasure, and the account your uncle Aunt and other Friends give me of your conduct and behaviour makes me very happy. A perceverence in the same steady course will continue to you the regard and Esteem of every worthy character and what is of infinate more importance your own peace of mind and the Approbation of your Maker. I am very glad you have engaged in the reading of History. You recollect I dare Say how often I have recommended to you an acquaintance with the most important events both of ancient and modern times. You have begun properly by attending to that of your own Country first. It would not be amiss if you was to read Hubbards history of the Indian Wars and Neals history of <America> Massa. Those with Hutchinsons3 will give you a just Idea of the first Settlement of America and the dangers perils and hardships which our Ancestors encounterd in order to establish civil and Religious Liberty. As there was no settlement on any part of the continent Northward of Maryland except in Massachusets for more than fifty years after the landing of our ancesters at Plimouth. That state may be considerd as the parent of all the other new England states, altho the first setlers fled to obtain liberty of conscience. They appear to have carried with them much superstition and bigotary, which may be attributed in some measure to the Spirit of the times in which they lived and the percecution they had sufferd, which always tends to narrow the mind and to make it more tenacious of its principals. At the same time they possessd that zeal for religion and that Strickt Piety together with the principals of civil Liberty which enabled them to brave every hardship and to build them up as a people, and laid the foundation for that Noble Structure which the present generation have founded, and which Ranks us as an Nation and which if we depart not from the first principals of our ancestors will in a course of years render us the admiration of future ages. Tho as individuals each may think himself too unimportant to effect so desirable an event, yet every one is accountable for his conduct and none so insignificient as not to have some influence. Ever keep in mind my Dear Son that virtue is the dignity of Humane nature. As you peruse history, remark the characters their views persuits, and the concequence of thir actions. See what an influence justice honour { 61 } integrity and Reverence for the deity had upon the Nations and kingdoms when ever they predominated either in the Rulars or the people. Behold the Havock and devastation of Rapine cruelty Luxery avarice and ambition; there is an other course of reading which I would recommend to your attention. I mean moral Philosophy. There are a number of valuable Books upon this subject, Grove Butler Smith. Dr Watts upon the improvement of the Mind4 is particularly calculated to assist a Young Studient. This Book I advise you to an immediate attention to. I think you must find them all in the library.
By the time this reaches you your Brother will also become a student at Colledge. He will advise you with judgment. I hope you will preserve the Strickest Friendship for each other. If you can get time to pay Some attention to your handwriting it will be an advantage to you. This part of Your Education has been too much neglected <in your Perigrinations> oweing to Your commencing traveller too Young.
I am very happy to find that you have a studious youth for your companion. The enlargment of knowledge should be the constant view and design of every studient, reflection and observation must form the judgment. We must compare past event with the present in order to form a just estimate of Truth never taking any thing merely from the opinion of others, but weigh and judge for ourselves.
Your sister will write to you I suppose. She is well and so is your Pappa. Your uncles and Aunts are so kind to you that they releive me from any apprehension of Your being any ways neglected. I have sent a peice of Linnen which your Aunt will apply to those of you who stand most in need of it, and I have seald you a Small present in the corner of the Letter. Remember me to Mrs Dana and family and to your cousin Cranch and believe me your most affectionate Mother
[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); filmed at [1786?], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 367.
1. The date is assigned from AA to JQA, 16 Feb., below, which was probably written about the same time as this letter.
2. Not found.
3. William Hubbard, A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England: from the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607. to This Present Year 1677, Boston, 1677; Daniel Neal, The History of New-England, Containing an Impartial Account of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Country, to . . . 1700, London, 1720; Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Colony of Massachusets-Bay, Boston, 1764–1767.
4. Henry Grove, A System of Moral Philosophy, London, 1749; Joseph Butler, The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature, London, 1785; Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments; and Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind; or, A Supplement to the Art of Logick. The first two are listed in the Catalogue of JA's Library.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0017

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-02-16

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

Captain Lyde is arrived to our no small joy and brought us a charming parcel of Letters, amongst which I found one from each of my Dear Sons.1 You know how happy a circumstance of this kind always makes me. Two days before we had heard of his arrival in the River, and waited every hour with impatience for the Letters, for those by Young have not yet come to hand, he is still at Plimouth repairing his Ship.
Yesterday we went to dine with a mr and mrs Blake, who came formerly from Carolina, but who have many years been setled in this Country. Mr Blake is said to be the richest citizen belonging to the Southern State of carolina. I am loth to mention that he owns 15 hundred Negroes upon one plantation; as I cannot avoid considering it disgracefull to Humanity. His anual income is said to amount to 15 hundred sterling, which is very handsome for any Country.2 He lives in a stile of great elegance. Soon after my arrival in this Country his Lady visited me at the Bath hotel, he was then in carolina. Upon his return, he immediately paid his respects, after which we invited him and his Lady to dine; he came but the Lady decline'd, knowing that the compliment ought first to pass from them to us. A short time after: we received the invitation of yesterday. They appear a very amiable family. It is not the fashion in this Country to dine large parties, few rooms are calculated for it. There were no Ladies present except myself, your sister, mrs Blake, and daughter mr Bridgen whom you know; two young Carolinians, who have lately arrived and dinned with us some time before;3 your Pappa and col. Smith made the company. We past our time very agreably but still the Letters kept running in my Head. About nine oclock we returnd home, and John Brisler4 who you know is never so happy as when he has any good News for me, opend the Carriage Door with a smiling countanance, and an 'O Mam'! There are a thousand Letters come. This quickned my pace you may be sure. Well says your Pappa as he was getting out, now I shall see your Eyes Glisten, nobody ever enjoy'd a Letter more than you. During this discourse Miss was fled, and had mounted the stairs before I could get into the House, nor could the col. keep pace with the nimble footed Daphne. From that moment untill half past twelve we were all employd in reading our Letters. Even the Watchmans Cry, { 63 } of “half past ten oclock” which upon other nights puts your pappa in motion for bed, past unheeded by.
Mr S. amused himself, or tried too, with reading the News papers, yet I saw he watchd my countanance at every Letter. A little before 12 the servant informed him that his carriage was at the Door, he rose and comeing to me placed himself in a pensive attitude, then askd me if I would write by a vessel going this week to Newyork? I replied yes I will to my son. Will you said he, with an expression which I easily read from his Heart, will you remember me . . . to him—I promised him I would. Know then my dear Son that this Gentleman is like to become your Brother. I dare say you frequently heard honorable mention of him whilst you was in Newyork. His Character is not only fair and unblemishd, but in high reputation wherever he is known. At the early age of 21 he commanded a regiment and through the whole war conducted with prudence Bravery and intrepidity, when armd against the foe, but when Conquerer, he never forgot the Man in the Soldier. True Courage is always humane and from many accounts, which his Friend col Humphries has given me, with justice may be applied to him those lines of Douglas in the Tragidy—

“His Eyes were like the Eagle's yet sometimes

Liker the Dove's, and as he pleasd he won

All hearts with Softness, or with Spirit aw'd.”5

Delicacy of sentiment and honour are the striking traits of his Character. Perhaps col Humphries might be a little poetic, when speaking of him, he said “it would take more proofs and arguments to convince him that col S. could be guilty of a dishonorable action, than any other Man he ever knew in his Life.” What a contrast some will say? but comparisons are odious—let the memory of former attachments, since the recollection of them can only be attended with pain, sleep in oblivion. As they proved not to be founded upon a durable superstructure, they have properly vanishd like the baseless fabrick of a vision, nor do I think even a wreck is left behind6—you will say, is not this Sudden?
Rouchfoucault says, and shakspear makes the same observation that a Heart agitated with the remains of a former passion is most susceptable of a new one.7 But sitting this aside, you know the pensive sedateness which had long hung upon the brow of your Sister. This was not mitigated amidst all the hurry and bustle of the scenes which surrounded us when we first came to this Country. Loth very { 64 } loth was she to believe and still more so to confess it, but at last fully convincd from the neglect with which she was treated, (and the account of some Friend I know not whom) of the unsteadiness and dissipation of a certain Gentleman, that he was unworthy her regard. She wrote him a letter very soon after we arrived here, expressive of her mind, tho she did not at that time make it known to her Friends. But she afterward produced a copy of the Letter as a full proof that her conduct was the result of proper conviction and mature deliberation. The final dismission and the last Letter she ever wrote him was in concequence of my expressing a doubt of his strickt honour.8 It was then as I think I before related to you, that she disclosed her mind fully upon the subject, and askt advise of your pappa, upon which he told her if she had sufficient reason to doubt both his honour and veracity, he had rather follow her to the Grave than see her united with him.
I will not disguise to you that we had not been long removed to this House, before I saw that the Gentleman who made a part of the family was happier in sitting down and reading to the Ladies, in walking riding or attending us to the Theaters, than of any other company or amusement. I began to feel very anxious because I knew he was a stranger to your sisters Situation. Yet nothing could be said, as I really believe he was not him self conscious of his Situation, till I thought it my duty to hint to him carelessly her being under engagements in America. This led him to know himself, and to request an explanation from her; Which She gave him with the utmost frankness. Upon which he immediately ask'd leave of absence, and went to the Prussian Review determined never more to think upon the Subject, for upon his return, he took an early opportunity to assure me that nothing should ever pass from him, inconsistant with the strickest Honour, and the laws of hospitality, that his attentions in future should only be general, and askt my excuse if upon some occasions he should even appear neglegent. I commended his resolutions, and approved his plan, without the most distant hint to him, of the connections being dissolved. Accordingly he did not make one at any of our Parties, he dined with us and then immediately retired. Thus we went on for several weeks at a perfect distance, and you will easily judge of my reasons for wishing to keep from him a real state of facts. But the Little Deity tho represented blind, has a wonderfull nack at making discoveries. Perhaps it was assureances similar to those made to me, which might draw from her an explanation. This is a matter that I shall not { 65 } be very likely to learn, but I perceived all at once upon a Day, a Dejection dispell'd, a Brightness of countanance, and a lightness of Heart and in the Evening the Gentleman ask'd permission to attend us to the Theatre where we were going with col Humphries; when we returned it was late, and Pappa was gone to bed: as the Gentleman was going: he ask'd a moments audience of me' upon which he put into my Hand with much emotion a Bundle of papers and a letter,9 which he requested me to read, and communicate to your Pappa; the Papers were votes of congress and commissions, with the amplest testimonies from the Generals under whom he had served of his Brave and good conduct. The letter informd me, “that as the connection which appear'd an insurmountable obstacle to the accomplishment of the wishes nearest his Heart, existed no longer—and from the opinion he had of the Lady, he was persuaded that nothing dishonourable on her part could have occasiond its dissolution. He hoped that Mrs Adams would not be surprised at his early anxiety to gain the confidence of her Daughter, and to lay a proper foundation for a future Connection, provided it should meet with the approbation of her Parents and Friends.” There were many other matters in the Letter which were: mention of his family situation &c. I according to request communicated to your Pappa the Papers and Letters. As it appeard to him that this Gentleman possesst all those qualifications necessary to make a faithfull and agreeable companion, he left it wholy to your Sister to determine for herself. I begd her to satisfy herself that She had no prepossession left in her mind and Heart, and she assured me She never could be more determind. I think she must feel a calmness and serenity in her present connextion; which she never before experienced. I am sure it has releived my mind from a Weight which has hung heavy upon it, for more than two years; I rejoice that her conduct meets the approbation of her Friends. I doubt not but her present choise will do so equally. I think she will herself communicate the matter to you.
Coll Humphries has made us a visit of two Months. He has publishd an other Poem much longer than the former, its poetick merit is fully equal to the first. By the first vessel which sails for your port, I will send you one. A more intimate acquaintance; discovers him to be a Man possesst of much more learning, judgment and genuine wit, than I had any Idea of. His visit has raisd him greatly in all our estimations, and we parted with him last monday with much regret.
Your sister I suppose has acquainted you with the Death of poor { 66 } Williamos. He tarried in paris untill he could not leave it, for debt; and he had borrowd of every American there; untill he could get no further credit. His Death was perhaps fortunate both for him self and others. During his Sickness he must have sufferd, but for the kindness of mr Jefferson, who tho he had found it necessary to check mr W. and had urged him so much to go out to America that he had quitted mr J—n, he supplied him with necessaries during all his sickness. Thus ended the Days of this curious adventurer, who possesst Benevolence, without conduct, and learning without Sense.10
Mr and Mrs Bingham arrived here about 3 weeks ago with a full determination to go out to America in March, but having as usual Spaired no pains to get introduced to the families of my Lord Landsdown and my Lady Lucans, they are so supreemly blest, that poor America looks like a bugbear to them. “O! now I know mr Bingham you wont go out this Spring. Give me but ten Years, and take all the rest of my Life.” Who can withstand flattery and admiration? What female mind young beautifull rich—must she not be more than woman if vanity was not the predominate passion? I accompanied her last thursday to Court and presented her both to the King and Queen, and I own I felt not a little proud of her. St James's did not, and could not produce an other so fine woman. Yet it was the most crouded drawing Room I ever attended, except the late Birth Day. You know this Ladies taste in dress is truly elegant. She had prepaird herself in France for this occasion, and being more fleshy than I have seen her before, she is concequently handsomer than ever.

“She Shone a Goddess, and She moved a Queen.”11

The various whispers which I heard round me, and the pressing of the Ladies to get a sight of her, was really curious, and must have added an attom to the old score, for she could not but see how attractive She was. Is she an American, is she an American, I heard frequently repeated? And even the Ladies were obliged to confess that she was truly an elegant woman. You have, said an English Lord to me, but whose name I knew not, one of the finest Ladies to present, that I ever saw. The Emperers Ambassador12 Whisperd your Pappa, sir your Country produces exceeding fine women. Aya replied your Pappa bowing and Men too, presenting to him at the same time a mr Chew of Philadelphia, a very likely Youth who with several others have been lately presented by your Pappa to their { 67 } Majesties. There is a Young Lady here a Miss Hamilton one of the lovelyest Girls in the World, whom I expect next to present. She has a finer face than Mrs Bingham, her person well proportiond. She does not equal Mrs Bingham in stature, but person and mind!! I have thought it was fortunate for you that you went to America, for she is a good deal intimate with your Sister, and it is impossible not to be charmd with her sweet modest affible deportment, animated with the Sparkling Eye of sensibility. Her uncle is doatingly fond of her, never said he, to me one day did Girl possess more discretion. I could always leave her to direct herself, and I never had occasion to say, Ann why do you so? He is wisely going to carry her to America this summer. She is not yet 18. She is the adopted heir of this rich uncle.
The Royal family appeard much out of spirits yesterday, the prince of Wales like Benidict the married Man.13 The Nation are all in a ferment, tho they hardly dare speak loud. It seems this amourus Prince has been for two years voilently in Love, with a widow Lady near 40 years of age. As she is said to be a Lady of a virtuous Character she avoided him, but he percecuted her so that she was obliged to flee to Paris. After having resided there for a year and half, she returnd in hopes that absence and other objects had banishd her from his remembrance. He however renew'd his attacks, and finding that he could not bring her to his terms, he swore that as he never expected to be king of England for his Father would out live him, he would please himself. And it is said and universally believed that he has married the Lady, Setled 6 thousand pr An upon her, for which the Duke of Queensburry is responsible, and she now appears with him at the opera, rides in his carriage with her servants behind it. He is 3 times a day at her House. The Clergyman who married them is absconded, as it is Death to him. In the Eye of Heaven the marriage may be valid, but the law of the land annuls it. She can never be Queen, or the children ligitimate. Such a step in the British heir Apparant you may well suppose, gives an allarm. They say his toast is, fat fair and forty, what a taste. This is the Ladies 3 marriage.14
Having given you so many Domestick occurrences, I shall not write you a word of politicks. Your Friend Murry has been very sick, looks almost like a Ghost.
I shall write you again by captain Lyde. If there is any thing in particular which you want let me know. Would that my ability was equal to my inclination, but here we stand at the old Standerd, tho { 68 } our expences are a Quarter part more. You go beyond the mark methinks I hear you say. We do, but let C——ss Blush that they continue to degrade themselves in the Eyes of Europe as well as England.15 This time twelve months, and unless different measures are persued, from what there is now any prospect of, I quit this kingdom for my native Land. I quit it without one regreet, but with a firm belief that it is Devoted to destruction. Like the Swine, they know not the value of the Jewel, once placed in the Bourben scale, poor old England will kick the Beam.16
Begone politicks I hate you, did not I say I would not speak of you.
I do not know how to consent that you should give up your diary, it is the kind of Letters which I love best of any.17 Your sister has been very closely writing ever since she received your Letters. I am rejoiced to find that you are no ways dissapointed in the reception I promisd you from your Friends. Your sister Eliza as you justly term her is very dear to me, as you well know, and that my own children only, are dearer to me than those of my sisters. Never was there a stronger affection than that which binds in a threefold cord your Mamma and her dear sisters. Heaven preserve us to each other for many Years to come.
Your Pappa has a vast deal of writing to do, and he sometimes groans and says but little comes of it. Yet do I know much essential service results from it, and much more might, were our Country wise as they ought to be.
I presume it will not be long before I hear from you at Cambridge. Watch over your Brother, gain his confidence be his Friend as well as Brother. Reverence yourself, and you will not go asstray. Your Friends give me most flattering accounts of you and I give a ready credit to their word, may your honour your integrity and virtue always prove your safe gaurd.
I fear mr King will think I intrude upon him by requesting him to frank this bulky Letter.18 By captain Lyde I shall write to all my Friends. Let your Aunt know I have received her kind Letters. O but I must mention to you a Gentleman who designs to visit Cambridge in the course of the summer, whom you will notice tho he has no Letter to you, a mr Anstey who is appointed to go to America by this Government to assertain the claims of the Loyallists. Lord Carmarthan introduced him to your Pappa, and askd Letters from him to the different Governours which your Pappa gave him. He dinned with us and appears a sensible modest Gentleman, he saild in the last packet.
{ 69 } { 70 }
Remember me to all my Haverhill Friends and cross the River present my congratulations.19 Love to my Thommy and be assured you are all equally dear to your ever affectionate Mother
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mamma. Feby: 16th: 1786.”; docketed: “Mrs: Adams. Feby: 16. 1786.”; “My Mother. 16. Feby: 1786.”; and “Mrs: A. Adams Feby: 16th. 1786.”
1. Probably JQA to AA, 28 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:503–506). Letters from CA and TBA have not been found.
2. AA is almost certainly mistaken, possibly meaning to write that William Blake owned 150 slaves on one of his plantations. According to the 1790 federal census, Blake held 695 slaves (Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790. South Carolina, Washington, D.C., 1908, p. 35). Also, AA2 puts the Blakes' annual income at £15,000 per year (to JQA, 9 Feb. 1786, above).
3. For Heyward and Gibbes, see AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan., note 36, above.
4. For John Briesler, the Adams family's servant, see AA to JA, 11 Feb. 1784, and note 4 (vol. 5:302–305).
5. John Home, Douglas, A Tragedy, Act IV, lines 208–210.
6. “These our actors, / As I foretold you, were all spirits and / Are melted into air, into thin air; / And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, / The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, / The solemn temples, the great globe itself, / Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve; / And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind” (The Tempest, Act IV, scene i, lines 148–156).
7. A paraphrase of Maxim No. 10 from François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Moral Reflections and Maxims, London, 1746, p. 28, which reads, “There is in the Heart of Man a perpetual Succession of Passions, insomuch, that the Ruin of one is almost always the Rise of another.” In Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II, scene iv, lines 192–195, Proteus says, “Even as one heat another heat expels, / Or as one nail by strength drives out another, / So the remembrance of my former love / Is by a newer object quite forgotten.”
8. AA2 may have written to Royall Tyler about the future of their engagement in June or July 1785, but the letter has not been found. For her dismissal of Tyler as a suitor, see AA2 to Tyler, [ca. 11 Aug. 1785]; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 Aug. 1785; and AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:262, 276–280, 283–287).
9. WSS to AA, 29 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:508–509), which AA paraphrases in the next sentence. For the testimonials from Gens. John Sullivan and George Washington that accompanied the letter, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Jan., note 6, above.
10. Charles Williamos, an intimate friend of Jefferson and the Adamses in Paris in 1784–1785, died in early Nov. 1785 (vol. 6:463, 478). Jefferson assisted Williamos financially during his illness, even though he had broken off all contact with the latter in July 1785 upon learning that Williamos was suspected of being a British spy (Jefferson, Papers, 8:269–273).
11. “She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen” (Alexander Pope, The Iliad of Homer, Book III, line 208).
12. Friedrich Graf von Kageneck, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from the German Empire to Great Britain, 1782–1786 (Repertorium, 3:76).
13. Benedick of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.
15. Congress reduced the annual salaries of its ministers by 19 percent in May 1784. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, [5 Sept. 1784], and notes 4 and 6 (vol. 5:439–445).
16. An allusion to Proverbs, 11:22, “As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
17. JQA had apologized for the infrequency of his letters, explaining that he devoted ten hours a day to studying, which left him little time for writing or other activities (JQA to AA, 28 Dec. 1785, vol. 6:503–504).
18. Rufus King was a Massachusetts delegate to Congress, then meeting in New York City.
19. Rev. Jonathan and Elizabeth Kent Allen lived in Bradford, Mass., across the Merrimac River from AA's sister Elizabeth Shaw and her family.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0018

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-02-21

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear sir

Captain Lyde arrived a week ago, and yesterday, he and mr Jenks dinned with us. By the latter we received your kind favour of December and Janry.1 I had just closed a Letter to you, which I have sent by way of Newyork, and requested mr King to Frank for you; the comunication directly to Boston is like to become much less frequent, than formerly, and the more it lessens, the better it will be for our Country. For the mines of Spanish America exist not in our northern climate, yet every vessel brings such quantities of specie, as is sufficient to allarm all those who wish well to our Nation, as there is not the least present appearence of a more liberal System being adopted towards us. It is time to shake of the strong propensity we have, of loveing our enemies better than our Friends, which is going a step further than Christianity itself enjoyns. It appears to be the object of this Country; or rather the ministry to keep us, as much as possible out of Sight; and whenever they are obliged to look at us, to view us as surrounded with clouds and Darkness, enveloped with fogs, which the Glorious sun of our independance can neither dispell, or shine through. But they will find e'er long that the Cloud by day, may prove a pillar of fire by night, and lead us from a worse than Egyptian Bondage, that of becomeing devoted to their Luxeries, their venality and profligacy. Our intercourse with any other Country cannot for a long time have so great a tendency to injure our morals and manners, as this, for speaking the same language, descended from the same ancesstors, professing the same Religion, with all our habits and prejudices in favour of it, its very vices, like those of our near kindred, we wish to cover and extenuate.
By the paper inclosed you will see what the sentiments of Mr Jenkingson are, “that we cannot unite in our measures, and that at any rate they are sure of our commerce.”2 The Americans are so much secreetly feard, but openly hated, that no man dares risk his popularity, which is the Deity all in Power worship, by avowing any liberality of sentiment towards them. A little longer time will more fully devellope their system. The Posts have been demanded.3 Some replie must be the result.
Mr Barrets success in France will give a spring I hope to our Whale fishery, and there is a good prospect of a speedy conclusion of the treaty with Portugal as the minister here has lately received full { 72 } powers to setle it with Mr A.4 I wish I could say as much with respect to the Barbery powers but Congress have done in regard to them, as they have with most of there other foreign affairs, delay'd and neglected them, till common danger has forced them into action.
The sending out such a —— as Lamb is represented to be, not only from America, but from those who saw him in France, is truly astonishing. Mr Jefferson was distresst and so was Mr Adams, but neither of them thought themselves at Liberty to prevent his going, as he was sent by Congress expressly for that purpose. A whole year has elapsed since his appointment and he has got no further than Madrid yet. All that could be done here was to find some American of learning and prudence to appoint as Secretary to him. Mr A, accordingly prevaild upon a mr Randle5 who was here from New York to undertake the office, which he did without seeing his associate. But when he arrived in France, and saw his principal, he was throughly sick of his engagement. Yet the less capacity one possesst, the more necessity there was for the other. What Idea must these Barbarians entertain of the American Character, when a greater one than themselves is sent to treat with them. Besides the Algerines are said to be the most difficult power to treat with, and all the money which Congress have assigned to treat with the different states, will be found insufficient for one. What then can be done? If we war with them: the expence and horrours are inconceiveable, and after all we must make a peace at a Greater expence than it is probable it will cost us now. The more captives they take and the more property they acquire, the greater will the difficulty be. Yet will our Country be astonishd at the sums which must be given. There is at this Court a minister lately arrived from Tripoli. I have seen him twice at Court. He is of a copper coulour and was drest in the stile of his own Country, with a Turban upon his Head sandles upon his feet and a Mantle with a Beard of no small length. He was attended by two secretaries, who were permitted to wear only whiskers. They do not keep a minister stationd at any Court, but he travells from Court to Court, leveying his contributions upon the powers he visits. By his interpretor he appears a sensible candid well disposed Man. I am not at liberty to say more respecting him at present. Tripoli is one of the largest of the Barbery states, and has great influence with the rest, but the Money, the Money, where can it be had.
Whilst too many of our Countrymen are dancing, and playing, they think not of the perplexityes in which there publick ministers { 73 } are involved, nor how many sleepless nights it costs them to plan for them, nor of the reproaches to which they expose them; by neglecting to take measures for the fullfillment of their engagements, but they can cavill at a minister even in C—ss, if through hurry or inattention, he happens to be inelegant in his stile.6 It lies wholy with our Country to determine whether they will be a respected or a despiced Nation—thus having given you a political dish, not a very palatable one I fear, I must turn my thoughts to domestick affairs. The Books and papers you speak of, you will call for whenever you may think it proper. I found the same Dilatory disposition which you complain of and a disposition to keep the knowledge of my affairs wholy from me. So that I was sometimes obliged to demand explanations, and on that account I had all my notes &c registerd in the Book which I gave you. I would have taken them all away, if I had not been particularly situated when I left America.
The Letters which were so long detained, I have not a doubt, were all copied before they were deliverd to you; but as no improper Ideas I dare say were ever communicated, and such Sentiments of Regard only exprest as a modest young Lady need not blush to avow where the object is really worthy. He must retain them to his own shame and confusion, and as She is now like to become the wife of an other Gentleman, I should think he would not wish to recollect what he has lost.
I have had an Idea that he will sell his place at Braintree, nothing likelier from the instability of the Man. If he should, Mr A would wish to purchase it. I question whether it has all been paid for. This you will not hint to any one. If he should not design it, it might look indelicate to mention the Idea, and if he should, it would be better for some other person to negotiate the buisness. Mr Adams says you may draw upon him for a hundred pounds whenever you think proper. Bills upon him ought to sell better than those which are doubtfull, as there is no danger of a protest and there is always prompt payment. Mr Rogers told me that his Brother Mr Bromfeild7 gave 7 pr cent by the last vessels. If you should find that an other hundred would be advantageous laid out in certificates you will draw again; but never for more than a hundred at a time. I hope our state will not be so distracted as ever to make paper money again. The note you will take up immediately. Inclosed is Doans account, not a copper of which was ever paid to my certain knowledgd. I never would have it tenderd to mr Doan during the paper currency as I knew it to be a good Debt. The Portsmouth buisness was setlled { 74 } one Day at our door in Braintree without mr Doans getting of his Horse. So no charge was made of that.
With regard to mr Pratt; mr Adams request you would make him such an allowance as in like circumstances you would do for yourself; at the same time be so good as to let him know that he must let Pheby have some manure for her Garden, but you will limit her to a certain quantity, and what She wants more abdee must collect from the Street.8 There are some Records for the state which Mr Adams has procured here, for which he has paid 15 Guineys. He has forwarded them to mr King, Leiut. Govenour cushing wrote for them. Mr A has desird that the money may be paid to you.9
I shall send some linnen by captain Lyde, but if linnen is to be had at Milton Hill I wish it may be taken there, as it is an article always usefull. I thought I left that account with you, but if I did not, Mrs Warren has one which I gave her a few Days before I Saild.10 The Gentleman you inquire after, visits us frequently, and is a very great hypocrite if he Loves the English any better than his Neighbours. He has danced a very faithfull attendance upon the great, without yet being able to get any answer from them. Be sure he is a little elated when a Lord sends him a card, or a great man notices him, but in this he only resembles some other of our Countrymen who are here. He says but little when in mixd company upon politicks, because he does not wish to offend those with whom his buisness lies. But I never saw any thing which gave me any reason to doubt his attachment to His Country, or its interests, and I do not think he would interest himself to serve this, in the Whale buisness.
Your Nephew I have made inquiries about and do not find that he is in England. I own I was sorry to see the Senate more strenuous than the House with Regard to the return of the Refugees.11 It is impossible to describe how happy many of them were; with the prospect, and it was considerd here as a master stroke of policy, many of them would be our fast Friends, and gratefull to us forever. They have seen and felt the difference between the two Countries. They would be glad to take the property given them here, and lay it out with us. Those at Shelburne are wretched, what greater injury can they do with us than from us? The worst Spirits will never return, but hundreds who fled through fear and folly are repentant sinners, and would become good citizens. I hope the Senate will be both magnanimous and generous with respect to them.
Mr Adams's best Regards attend you, he says I write so much that { 75 } I leave him nothing to say. My daughter joins me in Love to Mr Tufts12 and a remembrance to all our Friends. I shall write to mrs Cranch if not by this vessel, by the next packet. I am dear sir with the sincerest Regard Your affectionate Neice.
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Feby 21. 1786 Via New York Fav of R. King recd May. 19.”
1. Probably Tufts to JA, 21 Dec. 1785 (Adams Papers) and to AA, 12 Jan., above.
2. Charles Jenkinson (1727–1808), former British secretary at war and later Lord Liverpool, became in 1786 president of the reconstituted Council for Trade and Plantations. He had recently published A Collection of All the Treaties of Peace, Alliance and Commerce between Great-Britain and Other Powers . . . To Which Is Prefixed a Discourse on the Conduct of the Government of Great-Britain in Respect to Neutral Nations (London, 1785) and played a principal role in framing the proposed commercial treaty between Great Britain and the United States (DNB). On 15 Feb., he had introduced a bill in the House of Commons that would continue Britain's regulations on trade with the United States for an additional year; it passed unanimously on 17 Feb. His speech in favor of the bill on 17 Feb. was widely reported in the London newspapers (London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 16, 18 Feb.; London Chronicle, 16–18 Feb.; London General Evening Post, 16–18 Feb.).
3. In a memorial dated 30 Nov. 1785 that he presented to Lord Carmarthen on 8 Dec., JA demanded that the British ministry immediately withdraw all troops from U.S. territory, especially the western posts, as agreed upon in the Preliminary and Definitive Treaties of Peace. JA admitted to John Jay that he did not expect an answer until “next Summer” (Memorial to the British Ministry, 30 Nov. 1785, PRO: F.O. 4, vol. 3; JA to John Jay, 9 Dec. 1785, PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 13–16).
4. Luiz Pinto de Balsamão, Portuguese minister and envoy extraordinary to Great Britain 1774–1789 (Repertorium, 3:317).
5. Paul R. Randall, a New York lawyer, visited often with the Adamses in Paris in May 1785. He was in London in October to visit his fiancée when JA and Col. David S. Franks prevailed upon him to accompany Lamb to Algiers (John Jay to JA, 8 March 1785, Benjamin Franklin to JA, 2 May 1785, both Adams Papers; vol. 6:406, 433, 436).
6. Perhaps a reference to debate in Congress surrounding the appointment of JA as minister to Great Britain. One of the objections raised by JA's detractors was that his vanity would inhibit his attention to duty. They cited a passage from JA's “Peace Journal” in which he relayed to Congress a compliment comparing him to George Washington. Elbridge Gerry cautioned JA in Feb. and Nov. 1785 to be less detailed in his reports to Congress to deflect any additional criticism (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 22:215–216, 23:8–11; JA to Gerry, 26 Aug. 1785, MHi: Gerry-Knight Coll.). For more on JA's controversial “Peace Journal,” see JA, D&A, 3:41–43, 50–51.
7. Henry Bromfield (1751–1837), Daniel Rogers' brother-in-law, was a Boston merchant. In 1787 Bromfield settled in London (NEHGR, 26:42, 141 [Jan., April 1872]).
8. Phoebe and William Abdee were living in and caring for the Adams home in Braintree. Phoebe, a slave of AA's father, was given her freedom at his death in 1783 (vol. 5:247, 303).
9. On behalf of the agents appointed by the General Court to prosecute Massachusetts claims to lands in western New York, Thomas Cushing had requested that JA obtain authenticated copies of the 1620 Charter of New England issued by James I and the Massachusetts Charter of 1629 (Cushing to JA, 9 May 1785, Adams Papers). JA employed a Mr. Maltby to search for the documents; Maltby succeeded in finding the first item requested (Maltby to JA, 3 Jan., Copy, MH-H: bMS Am 1582 [2]. JA enclosed a copy of the 1620 Charter and a bill for expenses in his letter to Rufus King, 4 Jan. (NHi: King Papers, 1785–1787, #67). For more on Massachusetts' boundary disputes, see vol. 5:485, note 4.
At around the same time, James Duane, as agent for New York, asked WSS to procure the same documents to support New York's claims to the land (Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Julius Goebel, N.Y., 1964, 1:571).
{ 76 }
10. Mary Cranch had informed AA of an offer by Mercy Otis Warren to settle a debt in linen instead of money. AA was instructed to notify Cotton Tufts if this was acceptable (vol. 6:273–274).
11. In Nov. 1785 the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill repealing all legislation restricting loyalists from returning to or settling in the state. The Senate, however, failed to pass the bill (Rufus King to JA, 10 Dec. 1785, Smith, Letters of Delegates, 23:56; Van Beck Hall, Politics without Parties: Massachusetts, 1780–1791, Pittsburgh, 1972, p. 142; Massachusetts Centinel, 19, 26 Nov. 1785).
12. Probably Cotton Tufts Jr.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0019

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1786-02-25

Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear sir

Last evening col Forrest sent a servant with a Letter addrest to me, but upon opening it, I found I was honourd only with the cover. The inclosed I deliverd the Lady who sat next me but as I could not prevail with her to communicate a word more than “that the cake was good” I threatned her with opening the next unless I should find something in the cover to appease me. But I did not keep my word, for I deliverd two others which came this day.1 I foretold at Breakfast, every morning since your departure, that you could not cross.2 I therefore commissirated your situation, and wished you back again; mr Peters arrived the day you set of. He has spent two evenings with us, and I enterd into the mans character from one single circumstance. There were several letters here for him, which when I gave them to him he rose and went to the lights unseald them, then threw them upon the table, and with an honest bluntness broke out—not one line from my wife. I have lost two letters from her. The d——l, I had rather have found two lines from her, than ten folios from any one else, you know the man.
I forgot to desire you to present my compliments to mr Jefferson and desire him to bring Patty with him and let her tarry with me whilst he is London.3 I designd to have askd you to have got me a certain article in France. I had the memorandum, and money in my hand, but first tried you with respect to yourself, and you lookd so solemn, and hesitated so much to serve yourself, that I put my money again into my pocket, and threw the memo into the fire. Adieu, yours &c &c
[signed] A A
<compliments to all good folks>
Dft (MB: Rare Books Dept., Ms.CH.A.4.46).
1. None of the letters from WSS to AA2 have been found.
2. JA dispatched WSS to Paris to personally apprise Thomas Jefferson of his recent conversations with the Tripolitan ambassador. WSS was to persuade Jefferson to return with him to London, where the two ministers could open negotiations with Sidi Haggi { 77 } 'Abd-ur-rahman Aga and also finalize the details of the commercial treaty with Portugal (JA to Jefferson, 21 Feb., Jefferson, Papers, 9:295). WSS left London on 21 Feb. and reached Paris by the 27th, suggesting he was only delayed in crossing the English Channel for a day or two at most, despite AA's concerns. He and Jefferson left Paris together on 6 or 7 March and reached London by the 12th (AA2 to JQA, 9 Feb., above; Jefferson, Papers, 9:307, 318, 325).
3. Martha (Patsy) Jefferson accompanied her father to Europe in 1784; see vol. 6:76, note 4. She did not travel to London in 1786 (Jefferson, Papers, 9:318).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0020

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-02-26

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

To you I am largely indebted for domestick intelligence and many valuable Letters. I have not found a single opportunity of writing to you since captain Callihan saild, except by way of Newyork which I have improved but once least I should put you to expence. Col Smith wrote a few lines in my Name to Mr Cranch with a bundle of Newspapers which he said should go by a private hand. I did not know of the opportunity till he was making up dispatches, and then I lamented that I had not time to write, he said he would counterfeit a letter for me, and afterwards told me that he had written.1 Your Letters by Young will indeed be old, for I have not yet received them, his ship was much injured and he put into Plimouth to refit and has not yet got up to London. But your Letters by mr Jenks I received in one month from their date which seemd to shorten the distance between us.2
From the account you give as well as others of my Friends of the conduct of a certain Gentleman, I am rejoiced that it can no longer give me the uneasiness it has done in time past. I am not very apprehensive of his taking a voyage.3 I am sure he will not, when he learns that the Lady is already engaged to a Gentleman much Worthyer of her than himself, a Gentleman whom you will be proud to take by the Hand, and own as a Nephew. I cannot pass a higher encomium upon him, than to Say that there is something in his manners; which often reminds me of my dear Brother Cranch. With regard to his person, he is tall Slender and a good figure, a complextion naturally dark, but made still more so, by seven or 8 years service in the Field, where he reaped laurels more durable than the tincture of a skin.
He appears a Gentleman in every thought, word and action, domestick in his attachments, fond in his affections, quick as lightning in his feelings, but softned in an instant. His Character is that of a dutifull son and a most affectionate Brother. If you wish to { 78 } know more of him Major Rice and mr Tudor are both acquainted with him as well as mr Gerry, and a parson Evans who I hear is courting miss Kent. With him he trod the uncultivated wilds through the Indian Country and commanded a Regiment under General Sullivan.4 As an officer his Character is highly meritorious, as a citizen he appears all that a Man ought to be, who loves his Country, and is willing to devote his talants to the Service of it.

“Her voice in Counsel, in the fight her sword.”5

Let not the world say, that Pecuniary motives have prompted to this connection. I do not know that the prospects of the one are superiour to the others, only that Col S. has repeatedly been honourd with the confidence of his Country and stands fair for future promotion, and that he is an honourable Man. I have been more explicit upon this Subject, because I do not know but a speedier connection may be thought proper, than I could wish for, on account of the political situation of affairs. Things appear in such a state upon this Side the Water and we receive such accounts from your Side, that I cannot say what will be the result. Col S. is now gone to Paris upon buisness of great concequence, Mr J—n is to return here with him. The mutual conference may produce measures which may perhaps bring you and I together sooner than we are at present aware of. This is communicated in confidence. Let it not pass any further than to Mr C— and Dr T. Should that be the case Col S. will be left here, and I know he will not consent to be left alone. The concequence is easily foreseen. The Book of futurity is wisely closed from our Eyes. If our prospects are built upon a virtuous foundation, it is all we can do towards ensureing their success. My own lot in Life has been attended with so many circumstances, that at my first Sitting out, I could have formd no Idea of, that I did not think it worth my while to object to the present connection of your Neice, because it was probable that She would be seperated from me, and that I could not see what her future destination in life might be. It will feel very hard however to me to part with her, but then, I have not an anxiety with respect to the Man.
Braintree is much alterd from what it was a few years ago. The circumstances of our Friends and acquaintance are so much changed for the worse that I feel a degree of melancholy when I reflect upon them. Weymouth is lost to me, and I can only think of it as the Tomb of my Ancestors. Whilst there dust sleeps there, I shall feel a respect and veneration for the spot, but the pleasureable { 79 } Ideas that used once to dilate my Heart when I thought of the Parental smile, and joy which always welcomed me to the Hospitable mansion—are fled—whither are they fled? With my Friends to that Mansion where I humbly hope to join them in some future period without the painfull alloy of a Seperation.
I cannot thank you enough my dear sister for all your kind care and attention to my Children. Having Friends; who I know tenderly Love me and who take pleasure in manifesting their regard to my Children, I have no anxiety in my absence, but the fear of being troublesome to them. As to your care of my things I know and am fully satisfied with it, do what ever you think best. I did not know I had left an oz of sugar in the House, the Spice I remember. There is an old great coat I wish you would give it to abdee and as to my other Cloaths do with them as you think best. I shall send a trunk by Lyde with some Cloaths which are useless here, but which may serve the children. I shall execute your order, but I felt sorry it did not reach you before I read it in the letter,6 as I had determined upon it before I heard from you. I wish you would be so good as to give each of my Neices B and L Gauze the best I have, enough for Aprons, and to Miss Polly and B Palmer7 Tammy enough for skirts, if you think it will be acceptable.
If you can get linen at Milton take it. I am very sorry you did not before, you know it is an article which will not injure, and is always wanted. Mrs Quincy has written to me for a black Padusoy.8 I cannot find such a silk as we used to call such, I believe they have quite done making them. I find what we used to call ducapes very good 3 quarters wide at 10 shilling sterling and half a Guiney, but I am totally at a loss to know what to do. You know there is a drawback upon the exportation of Silk by whole sale, which enables the Merchant to sell them as low in America as they can be purchased here. If mrs Quincy could send me word in a baloon I would execute her orders with pleasure. As it is I believe I Shall venture upon sending out the Silk. Yet I should be greatly mortified if it did not Suit. All I can say is that I will do my best, my best respects to her. I shall write you again by Lyde and to the rest of my Friends, to whom you will present my Love and affection. Mr Adams sends his regards—he is much perplexed and much to do—to no purpose—he says, which is not very pleasent you know to one who always wishes to be doing good. But if he cannot make a treaty with this country, I hope he will be able to Effect what our country may find of more importance to them.
{ 80 }

[salute] Adieu my Dear sister and believe me as ever your affectionate Sister

[signed] A A
You will keep this letter much to yourself.9
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.).
1. AA to Richard Cranch, 23 Dec. 1785, not found. Cranch acknowledges its receipt in his letter to AA of 13 April, below.
2. Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 18 and 23 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:493–495, 499–502).
3. Mary Smith Cranch mentioned Tyler's intention to visit England in her letter of 23 Dec. 1785 (vol. 6:501). He never made the trip.
4. For Nathan Rice (1754–1834) and William Tudor (1750–1819), both of whom studied law with JA, see vol. 1:142, 146. Rice and WSS were both encamped at Valley Forge in early 1778 (William Walton, ed., The Army and the Navy of the United States, 2 vols., Boston, 1889, 2, suppl.:15–17). Elbridge Gerry had originally put WSS's name forward in the Continental Congress for the position of secretary to the London legation and recommended him highly to JA (Gerry to JA, 5 March 1785, Smith, Letters of Delegates, 22:246–247). WSS served with Rev. Israel Evans in Maj. Gen. John Sullivan's Indian campaign of May–Nov. 1779 (Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779, ed. Frederick Cook, Auburn, N.Y., 1887, p. 318, 321). For Evans' marriage to Huldah Kent, see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 7 May, below.
5. Prodicus of Ceos, The Judgment of Hercules, a Poem, transl. Robert Lowth, Glasgow, 1743, line 128. See also AA2 to JQA, 22 Jan., note 5, above.
6. Mary Cranch had requested that AA purchase lustring (a plain, strong, lustrous silk) and muslin for her (vol. 6:494–495).
7. Mary (Polly) and Elizabeth Palmer, daughters of Gen. Joseph and Mary Palmer, were nieces of the Cranches.
8. No letter from Ann Marsh Quincy, the third wife of Col. Josiah Quincy, has been found. Mary Cranch previously mentioned the request for paduasoy, a rich, heavy silk with a corded effect (vol. 6:494, 495).
9. Written in right-hand margin of the last page of the letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0021

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Date: 1786-03-04

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear Sister

I seldom feel a sufficient stimulous for writing untill I hear that a vessel is just about to sail, and then I find my self so deep in debt, that I know not where to begin to discharge the account. But it is time for me to be a little more provident for upon looking into my list I find I have no less than 18 correspondents who have demands upon me. One need to have a more fruitfull fund than I am possessed of, to pay half these in Sterling Bullion. I fear many will find too great a Quantity of alloy to be pleased with the traffic.
I think in one of my letters to you last fall I promised to give you some account of the celebrated actress Mrs Siddons, who I was then going to see;1 you may well suppose my expectations were very high, but her circumstances were such then as prevented her from exerting that force of passion, and that energy of action, which have renderd her so justly celebrated. <She was [ . . . ] in the [ . . . ] of her { 81 } pregnancy. You [will?] suppose that she ought not to have appeard [at?][ . . . ] upon appeard at all upon the stage; I [should?] have thought so too if I had not [seen?] her. [ . . . ] contrived her dress in such a manner as wholy to [disguise?] her situation and [have?] only those tragedies where little exertion was necessary.>2 The first peice I saw her in was Shakspears Othelo. She was interesting beyond any actress I had ever seen: but I lost much of the pleasure of the play, from the Sooty appearence of the Moor. Perhaps it may be early prejudice, but I could not Seperate the affrican coulour from the man, nor prevent that disgust and horrour which filld my mind every time I saw him touch the Gentle Desdemona, nor did I wonder that Brabantio thought some Love portion or some witchcraft had been practised, to make his Daughter “fall in Love with what she scarcly dared to look upon.”3 I have been more pleasd with her since in several other characters particularly in Matilda in the Carmilite, a play which I send you for your amusement.4 Much of Shakspears language is so uncooth that it sounds very harsh. He has beauties which are not equald, but I should suppose they might be renderd much more agreeable for the Stage by alterations. I saw Mrs Siddons a few Evenings ago, in Macbeth a play you recollect, full of horrour. She supported her part with great propriety, but She is too great to be put in so detestable a Character. I have not yet seen her in her most pathetick Characters, which are Jane Shore, Belvedera in venice preservd and Isabela in the fatal marriage,5 for you must make as much interest here, to get a Box when she plays, as to get a place at Court, and they are usually obtaind in the same Way. It would be very difficult to find the thing in this Country which money will not purchase, provided you can bribe high enough.
What adds much to the merit of Mrs Siddons, is her virtuous Character, Slander itself never having slurd it. She is married to a Man who bears a good character, but his Name and importance is wholy swallowd up in her Fame. She is the Mother of five children, but from her looks you would not imagine her more than 25 years old. She is happy in having a Brother who is one of the best tragick actors upon the Stage, and always plays the capital parts with her, so that both her Husband, and the virtuous part of the audience can see them in the tenderest scenes without once fearing for their reputation.6 I scrible to you upon these subjects, yet fear they do not give you the pleasure I wish to communicate for it is with the Stage, as with Yoricks Sentimental journey, no person can have an { 82 } equal realish for it, with those who have been in the very place described. I can however inform you of something which will be more interesting to you because it is the work of one of our own Countrymen, and of one of the most important events of the late War. Mr Trumble has made a painting of the battle at Charstown and the Death of Generall Warren. To speak of its merit, I can only say; that in looking at it, my whole frame contracted, my Blood Shiverd and I felt a faintness at my Heart. He is the first painter who has undertaking to immortalize by his Pencil those great actions; that gave Birth to our Nation. By this means he will not only secure his own fame, but transmit to Posterity Characters and actions which will command the admiration of future ages and prevent the period which gave birth to them from ever passing away into the dark abiss of time whilst he teaches, mankind, that it is not rank, or titles, but Character alone which interest Posterity. Yet notwithstanding the Pencil of a Trumble, and the Historick Pen of a Gorden and others, many of the componant parts of the great whole, will finally be lost. Instances of Patience perseverence fortitude magninimity courage humanity and tenderness, which would have graced the Roman Character, are known only to those who were themselves the actors, and whose modesty will not suffer them to blazon abroad their own fame. These however will be engraven by Yoricks recording Angle7 upon unfadeing tablets; in that repositary where a just estimate will be made both of principals and actions.
Your Letters of Sepbr 7 and Jan'ry,8 I have received with much pleasure and am happy to find that the partiality of a Parent, with regard to a very dear son, had not lessned him in the Eyes of his Friends, for praises are often so many inquisitors and always a tax where they are lavishd. I think I may with justice say, that a due sense of moral obligation integrity and Honour are the predominant traits of his Character, and these are good foundations upon which one may reasonably build hopes of future usefullness. The longer I live in the world, and the more I see of mankind, the more deeply I am impressd with the importance and necessity of good principals and virtuous examples being placed before youth; in the most amiable and engageing manner whilst the mind is uncontaminated and open to impressions. Yet precept without example is of little avail, for habits of the mind are produced by the exertion of inward practical principals. “The Souls calm Sunshine”9 can result only from the practise of virtue, which is conjenial to our natures. If happiness is not the immediate concequence of virtue, as some devotees to { 83 } pleasure affirm, Yet they will find that virtue is the indispensible condition of happiness, and as the Poet expresses it,

“Peace o virtue! Peace is all thy own.”10

But I will quit this Subject least my good Brother should think I have invaded his province.
I was much gratified by the account you gave me of the marriage of my Loved Friend and companion of many of my solatary hours.11 What ever can increase her happiness will augment mine, for I loved her as my Friend as well as Relation. I always found her Sincere in her professions, constant in her attachments, benevolent in her disposition, and disposed to do all the Good in her power. Such Characters deserve well of mankind tho they may be deficient in less essential qualifications. I hope she will meet with every attention and tenderness in her connection which I know her to be deserving of. I think She is calculated for the station and relation in which she is placed, and I dare say it will not be her fault if she does not fill it, with reputation to herself and Friends. My Love to her and my best wishes attend her. I know she will rejoice with me in the dissolution of a Connextion the circumstances of which She has been more acquainted with, than any other of my Friends. Her sentiments and opinions were well founded, and she never kept from me a truth however dissagreeable that she thought it of importance to communicate, tho she knew and experienced the displeasure of one, whom time and her own experience; has taught, who were her disinterested Friends. Your Neice has always been more communicative to you, than to any other of her Friends. Your gentle soul taught her confidence. She will perhaps inform you that she has partialities better founded than those she has escaped from: may she have occasion to bless the day, that a sense of duty and fillial affection, overpowerd every other consideration; Sanctiond now by the voice of reason judgment and her Parents. She can look forward with happier prospects.
I must hasten to a close, as the watch which ticks upon the table points to two oclock, and I am not yet drest. I will however first inquire whether you ever received a peice of calico which I sent my little neice by mr Gardner for a slip, or whether he kept it as mr Remington did the shoes two months after he got home.12 People are sometimes very ready to offer their service, but think no more of the matter afterwards.
{ 84 }
I have purchased of the best Italian lutestring I could find, sufficient for a Gown for my sister which I request her acceptance of. The coulour is quite new and perfectly the mode but it does not follow from thence that it is very handsome; I think however it will look well when made up.
We have had for this fortnight past, the severest weather we have known for the whole winter, and the most snow. It frezes hard in the House, the wind constant at east, many vessels for Newyork that were to have gone out 15 days ago, are yet detaind. I frown on account of it because I wrote by them to Dr Tufts my son John and mrs Cranch. Cushing will be ready to sail as soon as any of them. The Young Man by the Name of Wilson13 I sent to inquire for and should have askd him to have dined with us, when captain Cushing did but he staid only one day in London.
You will be so good as to remember me to good old Madam Marsh and family, to judge Sergants and to mr Whites. Tell mrs White I have a gratefull sense of her kindness to all my sons, they express to me her maternal regard to them. I am rejoiced to hear of miss Pegys recovery.14
Mr Adams desires his Love to mr Shaw to you and yours. Adieu my dear sister and believe me at all times Your affectionate Sister,
[signed] A A
I hope my youngest son has out grown the Rheumatisim. This cold weather has stird up mine, but I am better now than I have been.
RC (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 15 Sept. 1785 (vol. 6:361–363).
2. AA crossed out over five lines of text.
3. Act I, scene iii, line 98: “ . . . to fall in love with what she fear'd to look on!”
4. The Carmelite, a tragedy by Richard Cumberland, 1784 (Biographia Dramatica, 2:85).
5. The three tragedies are Jane Shore by Nicholas Rowe, 1713; Venice Preserved; or, A Plot Discovered by Thomas Otway, 1682; and Isabella; or, The Fatal Marriage by David Garrick, 1758, reworked from Thomas Southerne's The Fatal Marriage; or, The Innocent Adultery, 1694 (same, 2:229–230, 340; 3:377).
6. Sarah and William Siddons, also an actor, married in 1773. Her brother, John Philip Kemble, joined the Drury Lane company in 1783 (DNB).
7. “The accusing spirit, which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blush'd as he gave it in;—and the recording angel as he wrote it down dropp'd a tear upon the word and blotted it out for ever” (Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, Book 6, ch. 8).
8. 7 Sept. 1785 (vol. 6:347–350) and 2 Jan., above.
9. “The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy,” Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 168.
10. Same, Epistle IV, line 82.
11. Elizabeth Kent Allen. See Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 2 Jan., above.
12. Shaw acknowledged receipt of the cloth on 6 Nov. 1785 (vol. 6:453), but see also Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 18 June 1786, below. Mr. Gardner was probably either { 85 } Samuel or William Gardiner, both of whom arrived in Boston on the Boston Packet, Capt. Lyde, in Oct. 1785 (Massachusetts Centinel, 22 Oct.). John Remington was a retail trader who had served several terms as a town selectman for Watertown (Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Familes and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, 2 vols. in 1, Boston, 1855, p. 410, 912; vol. 6:207).
13. James Wilson carried letters to AA for Elizabeth Smith Shaw (vol. 6: 349, 421, 422).
14. Peggy White, daughter of John and Sarah White, had suffered from “melancholy” during the winter of 1784–1785 (vol. 5:469; JQA, Diary, 1:377). For Haverhill residents Mary Marsh and Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant, see vol. 3:319, 5:408.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0022

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1786-03-11

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I am very much obliged to you, for your Friend Ship to my Brother Adams, and hope that his Conduct in his new office, will do no dishonour to his Appointment but he will stand in need sometimes of your Advice.1
Inclosed with this is a Book of my Friend Jefferson, which, you will entrust to none but faith full Friends. It is not yet to be published.2
We are at War with Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. By the Laws of those Nations all Nations are at War, who have no Treaties with them. It is of vast importance to us to make Peace with them. But Congress uninformed of the sums necessary to be given, have limited us to 80,000 Dollars, which is not one quarter Part of what will be found indispensible.
The English are so happy, in our Indolence and Simplicity which yeilds up to them with so much patient good Nature the entire Markett of Italy, Portugal and Spain, which tamely throws into their Hands the Fisheries of Cod and Whales, and all our own carrying Trade and Navigation, that they have nothing to do but laugh at us. To treat with us, would be an affront to their understandings, as they think. What! give us our own carrying trade, when We are willing to give it to them? It would be an Affront to us too, not to accept of our Generosity.
But my Countrymen will not always be so lazy and so Silly. If they are they will deserve!. . . . We are so good as to fill their Coffers, give them surpluses of Revenue, Ballances of Exchange, let them build Men of War, multiply sailors—all to be poured in Vengeance upon us, ten or twelve years hence! But Mass., N.H. and R. Island have more sense. Let them persevere and convert the rest.
We must and will rival the English in the Cod and Whale Fisheries; in the carrying Trade of Italy, in the East India Trade—in the Aff• { 86 } rican Trade, and in all other Trades. Since they will consider and treat us as Rivals, Rivals we will be; and in naval Power too. Navigation Acts will make Us Rivals to some Purpose.—Twenty Years will show this Nation if it pursues its present Course, its own Nothingness, and the mighty Power of America.
But We must not be afraid of two hundred Thousand Pounds to procure Treaties with the Barbary Powers which will be worth two Millions. We must not be afraid of laying Twenty Pounds Bounty upon oil, if necessary, nor of laying round Duties upon British Articles. We must encourage Merit. The publick Mind must be generous, not mean and niggardly. Such a Disposition Stints the Growth and Damps the ardour of Genius and Enterprize. If there is meanness of soul enough, to wear fine Cloaths, keep Country seats, and ride in Carriages, upon Money borrowed of English Merchants and Manufacturers, We must be content to be poor and vain and despised. I will not say proud, one grain of Pride would scorn the Base situation.
What is become of the 300 Pieces of brass Coin, which were found in Medford? Will the Accademy, publish an Account of them? They are pronounced here not to be Phoenician but Moorish.3
What is become of the Art of making salt Water fresh? Will the Discoveror, communicate his secret to the state or to Congress? I hope he will not dishonour his Country so much as to come here, to sell his Art.4
My Love to sister and the Children, to my ever honoured Mother, to my Brother and his Family, to Uncle Quincy, Mr Wibirt and all Frids. Your affectionate Brother
[signed] John Adams
RC (privately owned, 1962); endorsed: “Lettr: from His Exy. J. Adams Esqr Mar 11th 1786.”
1. Peter Boylston Adams was appointed justice of the peace in 1785 (vol. 6:458–459).
2. In May 1785, Thomas Jefferson had 200 copies of Notes on the State of Virginia printed in Paris for private distribution. He gave a copy to JA just prior to the Adamses' departure for England (Jefferson, Papers, 8:147–148, 160).
3. In Oct. 1785, Royall Tyler sent JA one of the coins found in Mystic, Conn. Through JA the coin was presented to the Society of Antiquaries in London, who concluded that the writing was not Punic but closer to Arabic or Turkish. No account by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences regarding the coins has been found (vol. 6:430, 492, 493).
4. Cotton Tufts apprised JA in Dec. 1785 of the claims of a Mr. Allen of Martha's Vineyard to extract fresh from salt water by filtering it through sand. Allen apparently attempted to persuade the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to pay him for the secret of his system. By February the scheme—which had been hailed as “The Most Useful Discovery of this Age of Discoveries” by the Massachusetts Centinel—was revealed as a hoax. Unknown to observers, Allen wet the sand with fresh water before beginning the demonstration; the fresh water { 87 } would filter out, and Allen would close the spout before the salt water was released (Cotton Tufts to JA, 21 Dec. 1785, Adams Papers; Massachusetts Centinel, 17 Dec. 1785; The Belknap Papers. Part III, MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 4 [1891]:308–309).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0023

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1786-03-11

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

Your kind Favours of Nov 12.1 and 24. and Decr 21 are before me. I Sympathize with you, under the Loss of your amiable Mrs Tufts, who was Innocence and Charity itself and Innocence and Charity can never put off the Flesh but for an happier state.
It gives me great Satisfaction to be informed that my Sons Behaviour is approved, by you. As they must labour for their Lives, I hope they will acquire early habits of Application to study, which is an excellent Preservative against the Dissipation which is so fatal to Youth, as well as a foundation for Usefulness in more advanced Years.
I hope to Send the Books you desire by this Vessell. I have employed a Book seller to look for them, upon the best Terms, and hope he will find them in Season.2
I received from Dr Holyoke, the President of the Medical Society, a polite and obliging Letter, inclosing a Vote of Thanks from the society, very honourable to me: but as the subject did not seem to require any further Attention on my Part, I never answered it. I know nothing of the Answer to the Royal society at Paris. The original Vote of the society, copy of which I transmitted is somewhere among my Papers: but I have so often removed that my Papers are packed up in Trunks, and I know not how to come at it, at present.3
The Sentiments in yours of Decr 21.4 have great Weight, and from all that appears, in this Country, your Maxims will have full opportunity to come into Fashion: for there is no Disposition to a Treaty, and certainly never will be as long as our states will Suffer this Kingdom to monopolize the Navigation of both Countries. They now think us simple enough to let them be carriers for us as well as themselves, and they love us so well as to take Pleasure in obliging us in this Way.
My Correspondent Mathew Robinson Esqr, Author of a Pamphlet in 1774 intituled Considerations on the Measures carrying on &c has published lately the inclosed Address which contains the first honest View of the State of this Nation that has appeared since the Peace. This is an honest and Sensible Old Man of Fortune, and { 88 } formerly Member of Parliament.5 The Minister upon reading the Pamphlet said “if John Adams had given the author five hundred Pounds for writing it, he could not have laid out his Money to more Advantage.” But that “if the state were true, it was a d——d wicked thing to publish it.”
Alass poor John Adams has no Money to lay out, in hiring Englishmen to save themselves from Destruction, and if he had any it would be his Duty to give it to the Algerines, first. My Love to Mr Quincy, Your son and all Friends
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Adams Letter of March. 11. 1786 Recd May. 22. 1786.”
1. Not found.
2. Tufts' request has not been found.
3. Edward Augustus Holyoke wrote to JA on 6 Nov. 1783 (Adams Papers) to thank him for arranging a correspondence between the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Société Royale de Médecine at Paris (see JA to AA, [9 June 1783], vol. 5:168–170). In his letter of 24 Nov. 1785 (Adams Papers), Tufts desired to know whether Holyoke's letters to JA and to the Société Royale had arrived.
JA acknowledged Holyoke's letter in April and enclosed the original letters from the officers of the Société Royale and its vote acknowledging its Massachusetts counterpart (JA to Holyoke, 3 April 1786, MSaE: Holyoke Family Coll.).
4. Tufts argues in his letter that Great Britain's continuing refusal to establish a commercial treaty with the United States might actually benefit American trade and commerce. Earlier widespread availability of British credit “has ever discouraged every Attempt to Independance in Trade and the Establishment of our Manufacturies. The Restrictions of Great Britain and the Refusal of further Credit are however happily calculated to remove these Difficulties: And can We but continue a few years in a State of Exclusion from her Commerce, Our Debts will be paid and our Independance of Mind established” (Cotton Tufts to JA, 21 Dec. 1785, Adams Papers).
5. JA opened a correspondence with Matthew Robinson-Morris, later 2d baron Rokeby, in February, through the offices of Dr. Price. Robinson-Morris authored several pamphlets sympathetic to America in the 1770s, including Considerations on the Measures Carrying on with Respect to the British Colonies in North America, London, 1774, for which see 1:xvi, 202–203. His recent publication was An Address to the Landed, Trading and Funded Interest of England on the Present State of Public Affairs, London, 1786 (published as The Dangerous Situation of England in the 2d edn.). See JA to Robinson-Morris, 21 Feb. (LbC, Adams Papers).
Robinson-Morris represented Canterbury in the House of Commons from 1747 to 1761 (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 3:367).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0024

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1786-03-15

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear Sister

Mrs Hay1 call'd upon me a sunday whilst I was gone to meeting to let me know that She expected to Sail in a few days for Newyork. When I saw her before she determined to go out in captain Lyde who will not go till the middle of April, but Captain Cooper is a British Bottom, and on board of him they will not have algerines to fear.2 I cannot but think She is right. I freely own I should be loth to risk myself, as American vessels are unsecured. I shall call upon her { 89 } in a day or two, and get her to take in her trunk a peice of silk which I have procured for you, and Mrs Shaw, and which I had determined to send by Cushing. You requested that it might be dark, the coulour is new and fashionable, I think dark enough. I never had any great affection for dark coulours but the observation of Pope Gangenella, that the Lady who talkd Scandle was in an ill humour, or Pevish against mankind, was commonly drest in a brown habit,3 has put me quite out of conceit of Dark Cloaths. Besides I am of opinion that they do not suit Dark complexions. I have sent my Mother silk for a Gown which you will present her with my duty, and some waistcoat patterns for our sons upon commencment day whom I have directed to drink my Health upon the occasion. These things my dear Friends will do me the favour to accept of, as a small token of my regard for them. I have made a peice of linen up for my older Son having his measure here, and I have bought an other peice both of which I shall send by cushing or Lyde and Mrs Quincys silk too, but I dare not encumber mrs Hay with any thing more. Since I began writing have received a card from mrs Hay informing me that she expects to sail on saturday.
I have written to you by way of Newyork and requested mr King to forward the Letters to you. I shall write again by Lyde, what Letters I have by me I shall commit to Mrs Hay. I will write to my neices and other Friends soon. I have received the chocolate by Lyde and give you a thousand thanks for it.4
I have nothing of importance to inform you of at present, I have written largely to you so lately. My best regards Love &c attend you all from your affectionate Sister
[signed] A A
There is a peice of calico for Louissa sent to your care. I have not written to her but shall soon.
RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed by AA2: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree Massachusetts.”
1. Katherine Farnham of Newburyport, Mass., married Capt. John Hay in 1774. The Adamses frequently saw her in London and Paris (John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764–1909, 2 vols., Newburyport, 1909, 2:258).
2. On 26 May, the Edward, Capt. Cooper (or Coupar), arrived in New York after a 35-day voyage from London (New York Packet, 29 May).
3. AA is closely paraphrasing a letter from Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, Pope Clement XIV (1705–1774, served 1769–1774), who writes, “True devotion, Madam, neither consistes in a careless air, nor in a brown habit. . . . Observe, moreover, that the lady who talks scandal in an assembly, or appears peevish, or in an ill humour against mankind, is most frequently dressed in brown” (“To Madam ***,” Interesting Letters of Pope Clement XIV. (Ganganelli.), London, 1777, Letter X).
4. At AA's request, the Cranches sent her a dozen pounds of chocolate (vol. 6:279, 502, 507).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1786-03-15

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

What shall I say to justify the date of this letter, after so many fair promises to be punctual, and so many obligations to be so, from your being so exact? To skip nearly four months without writing a line. Indeed, my only plea is, that which I have already offered—a want of time. I have been, indeed, very much hurried since I came to Haverhill, and of late more than ever. At the beginning of the year I was informed, that of the short time I expected to be at Haverhill, six weeks were to be curtailed, and that instead of entering at the last of April, I must come by the middle of March, in order to attend two courses of experimental philosophy. I might have waited till next commencement, and then entered as senior; and in that case I should have had time enough to write to my friends, but I should have missed one course of lectures. Besides, I had undertaken last fall, to be ready to enter before the class began upon natural philosophy. When I found my time shortened, I determined to lay aside every thing else, and attend only to my present business; supposing you would prefer to have me qualified in every respect for the place I was to enter in this University, to hearing from me often. And to enter here, it is not necessary to know any thing but what is found in a certain set of books, and I have heard it asserted, that some of the best scholars, after having taken their degrees, would not be received if they offered as freshmen, because they commonly forget those parts of learning which are required in a freshman. Since the first of January, I have not, upon an average, been four hours in a week (Sundays excepted) out of Mr. Shaw's house. And now, I thank heaven, I have got through this business, and shall have time to write you more often.
Yesterday I came here from Haverhill, and this day passed examination before the president, professors and tutors.1 After they had done with me, and laid their wise heads together to consult whether I was worthy of entering this University, the president came marching as the heroes on the French stage do, and with sufficient pomposity said: “Adams, you are admitted.” I have already come to the resolution of showing all the respect and deference to every member of the government of the College that they can possibly claim, but to you, I can venture to give my real sentiments, such as arise spontaneously in my mind, and that I cannot restrain.
{ 91 }
It is necessary, after having gone through the ceremony of examination, to pass a number of others before you can be considered as a member of the University.2 When I went the last time to the President, said he, “Adams, both Mr. Shaw and Dr. Tufts have informed me that you wish to live within the walls of the college, and when you return here you may come to me.” He did not tell me where I was to live; but I found out it is to be with a Mr. Ware, who took his degree last commencement, and is now keeping the town-school here.3 He is very much esteemed and respected in college, and has an excellent chamber; this was a very fortunate circumstance, as it will be both more agreeable and less expensive to live in college, than it would have been to board in town. I strolled about with Charles Storer, heard the debates in the House of Representatives, and some pleadings at the Supreme Court, which is now sitting.4
I dined at Boston, and came here on foot. I went to the President, as he had commanded me. Said he, “Adams, you may live with Sir Ware, a Bachelor of Arts,” with an emphasis upon every syllable. The reputation of the President is that of a man of great learning, without partiality in favor of any scholars in particular, and turning all his views towards promoting the honor and interest of the University, but he has very little knowledge of mankind, and is consequently exceedingly stiff and pedantic, and has made himself ridiculous at times, by reproving gentlemen who did not belong to college for calling a student Mr. in his presence; so sure as any one says Mr. to a scholar, so sure the President will inform him that there are no Misters among under-graduates; for three years after they take their degree he calls them Sir. Whenever George Storer goes to see him, he is addressed “Sir Storer,” and he would lose his place before he would call any person in this University Mr., before he had taken his second degree. There are many other instances of his carrying this pomposity to an extreme, and although he has two students that board in his house, yet he thinks it beneath his dignity even to speak to them. Notwithstanding all this, he is much better liked as a president than he was as a tutor; and although he is often laughed at for affecting so much importance, yet he is esteemed and respected for his learning, and the good qualities that I have already mentioned.
{ 92 }
We have had one of the most extraordinary northern lights that I ever saw. It is now ten o'clock, no moon, yet I can read a common print in the street.
I have already begun with the studies with the class. They recited this week to Mr. James, the Latin tutor.5 This afternoon I declaimed. Every afternoon two scholars, either senior or junior sophisters, speak pieces from some English author. They speak in their turn alphabetically, and to-day it came to me. I took my piece from Shakspeare's “As you like it.” All the world is a stage. At the description of the justice in fair round belly, with good capon lined,6 every person present, the president excepted, burst into a loud laugh. I was sensible it was at my expense, but I expected it, and was not disconcerted.
We recite this week to Mr. Read, tutor in mathematics and natural philosophy.7 We are now in the fourth book of Euclid, which we are to finish this week, and then we are to go upon Gravesande's Experimental Philosophy.8
Mr. Williams gave us this forenoon the first lecture upon experimental philosophy. The course consists of twenty-four. We are to have three in a week till he gets through. This will employ a large portion of my time, as I intend to write down as much as I can recollect of the lectures after I come out. I find great advantage in having the French work upon that subject which I brought with me from Anteuil.

[salute] My duty to my dear and honored parents. Compliments where you please. Yours,

[signed] J. Q. Adams
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:93–99).
1. JQA was examined in Latin, Greek, logic, geography, and mathematics by president Joseph Willard and other members of the faculty (Diary, 2:1–2).
2. JQA refers to the various steps in obtaining and filing a bond (to be forfeited if quarterly bills were not paid) and certificate of admission with the proper college authorities (same, 2:1–3).
3. Henry Ware of Sherburne, Mass., would become minister of the First Church in Hingham in 1787. He returned to Harvard in 1805 to serve as Hollis Professor of Divinity, a position he held until 1840 (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 8:199–202; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
4. JQA heard the debates and pleadings in Boston on 18 March. In the evening he rode to Braintree, where he stayed until 22 March(Diary, 2:3–5 ).
5. Eleazar James, Harvard 1778, served as tutor 1781–1789 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
6. As You Like It, Act II, scene vii, lines 139, 154.
7. Nathan Read, Harvard 1781, was a tutor { 93 } at the college 1783–1787. He became an inventor, designed many innovations to improve and utilize the steam engine, and received several patents. In 1795 Read settled in Danvers and was agent for the Salem Iron Factory from 1796 until he moved to Belfast, Maine, in 1807. He served as a Massachusetts Representative in Congress 1800– 1803 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; NEHGR, 50:436 [Oct. 1896]).
8. Euclid, Elements of Geometry; Willem Jacob van Gravesande, Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy, Confirmed by Experiments; or, An Introduction to Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy, transl. John Theophilus Desaguliers, 2 vols., London, 1720–1721.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0026

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1786-03-18

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

Should I my Dear Sister, too much alarm the Heart of an affectionate Mother, solicitous for the welfare of her Children if I were to say plainly, that I wish Mr JQA had never left Europe. That he had never come into our Family. Then we should not have known him. Then we should not have been so grieved. Then we should not have this ocasion of Sorrow.
His leaving it.—Indeed my Sister, our House looks gloomy now he has left it. Mr Shaw and I feel the loss of him more than of any Pupil that has ever lived with us. He used to read to me in the Evening in his leisure Moments, which always gave me pleasure, for his manner of reading was a good comment upon the Subject, and did honour to his Author. He had imbibed some curious Notions, and was rather peculiar in some of his Opinions, and a little to decisive, and tenacious of them. Mr Thomas said to him one Day, “I think Brother you seem to differ most always from every one else in company.” And I used to tell him that I had seen People, while they thought they were possessed of, and adopting the most liberal Sentiments grow contracted and illiberal. And that though I was willing to allow him every advantage, which I knew he was possessed of above his cotemporaries, yet there was more than a probability that he would think differently, at different periods of Life. Most young People of his Age, are apt to think they are certainly right. It is a Fault which at the early period of eighteen, (if I may be allowed the expression) that generally arives at its greatest perfection. But it is what good-sense, Time, and Experience will naturally expell.
In company Mr JQA was always agreeable, pleasing, modest, and polite, and it was only in private Conversation, that those imperfections of Youth, were perceivable,1 and I should not have mentioned them now, if I had not have supposed you would wish to know every thing about him.
{ 94 }
His Father is his<Delphic> Oracle. There never was a Son who had a greater veneration for a Father, and none (perhaps) who have more reason than yours.
I think my sisters very happy in their Children for they all appear to be blessed with Talentes, superior to what we commonly meet with in those of their Age. It is our wish that they may improve them to their honour, their own real good, and to their Countries Service.
In Mr JQA, I see an high sense of honor, great Abilities well cultivated, and improved by critical Observation, and close attention to the Tempers, and dispositions of People, the Laws, the Customs, and the Manners of those Countries where he has travelled.
In him I see the wise Politician, the good statesman, and the Patriot in Embrio.
In Charles I behold those Qualities that form the engaging, the well accomplished Gentleman, the Friend of Science, the favorite of the Muses, and the Graces, as well as of the Ladies.
In Thomas B A, I discern a more martial, and intrepid Spirit. A fine natural Capacity, a love of Buisiness, and an excellent faculty in dispatching it. Indefatiguable in everything that shall render him a useful member of Society, and independant of the World.
And as to my Dear, dear lovely Niece, I consider her, as a mere Phoenix, as exhibiting to the world greatness, and strength of Mind, and coolness of Judgment which has few examples. Possessed with those Sentiments, with which she left America, her Conflict must have been great.
Mr Atkinson, Mr Storer, and Mr Smith kept Sabbath here, this winter,2 and brought with them your Letter dated October 2d. which you sent by Callihan,3 accompanied with a kind present of a pair of Shoes, which are full large, and fit me very well. I receive every Token of Love, from my Sister, to me, or mine, with more than a grateful Heart.
I wrote Mr Storer a Billet upon his arrival, begging the favour of a Visit from him. I wanted to ask questions, to hear him talk about you and yours. He was so good as to gratify me, and I think him a fine agreeable, sociable, modest Man.
Your Son Charles, and Cousin William Cranch made us a Visit in the Winter Vacation. They both are studious, behave well, and have the approbation of their Tutors, and the love of their Classmates.
I assure you it made us happy to see your Children. They chose to lodge together in our great Bed, though there was another in the { 95 } Chamber. I went up after they were abed to see if they were warm, and comfortable as I told them, but really to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the three Brothers embracing each other in Love, Innocence, Health, and Peace. All my Sister rose within me—Joy—Love—Gratitude, and maternal Tenderness sparkled in my Eye.
“What said I, would your Mother give to look upon you all, and see you happy as I do.”
Would she were here.
I know that you can have no greater pleasure, than to hear that your “Children walk in the Truth.”4
Mr JQA was accepted by the Proffessors without the lest dificulty, and Mr Shaw procured him a Chamber in the University with a Graduate, with whom he is to live till after Commencment. Mr Thomas B A, the Dr says, must enter the University next July. He has been with us so long that it hurts me to think of parting with him. But his advantage must be consulted more than my pleasure.5
Both my Children always ask me, whether I am writing to their Aunt Adams, and beg I would give their Love to you, for they have no Idea of any-thing better.
Mr Shaw best, kindest wishes attend you. He feels not a little proud of his Pupils I assure you.
Thomas presents his Duty, has nothing new to tell you, and so omits writing.
Betsy Smith wishes she may have a few Lines from her cousin Nabby, and begs her Duty and Love may be accepted.
My Dear Sister, believe me most affectionately yours.
[signed] Eliza Shaw
This Letter I intended to have sent by the first Opportunity this Spring, but was not apprized of Callihans sailing soon enough for the purpose.
I will send it to Mr Smith however, to go by the first Vessel, hoping it will be accepted, because I know it was dictated by the greatest Love, and Affection of Your Sister
[signed] Eliza Shaw
I am impatient to hear from you.
RC (Adams Papers). Dft (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).
1. In the Dft Shaw concludes this paragraph: “ . . . and I know not whether I have done right in mentioning it now—only as I thought you would wish to know our opinion of him.” For JQA's perspective on this subject see his Diary, 1:398.
2. John Atkinson, Charles Storer, and William Smith visited Haverhill in January. Atkinson married Elizabeth Storer, the half-sister of Charles, in 1773 (JQA, Diary, 1:387–388; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:213).
3. Not found.
{ 96 }
4. A reference to 3 John, 1:4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
5. TBA began his studies with Rev. John Shaw in April 1783 (vol. 5:105–107, 118).

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0027

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-19

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

This Letter, I presume, will find you at the University, where I hope you will pass your time both pleasantly and profitably. Let Us know how you find Things, and take care of your health. You have in your Travels had so much Exercise, that it is not Safe to discontinue it, and indulge your self too much in a Sedentary Life. Never fail to walk an hour or two every day.
I have read the Conquest of Canaan and Vision of Columbus, two Poems which would do honour to any Country and any Age. Read them, and you will be of my mind.1 Excepting Paradise lost, I know of nothing Superiour in any modern Language. What Success they will have in England is uncertain, at least for some years.
I will Say thus much in favour of our Country that in Poets and Painters, She is not at present outdone by any nation in Europe.
Your Letters to your sister are a great Refreshment to Us. Continue the Correspondence as often as you can without interfereing with your Studies.

[salute] I am my dear son, with the tenderest Affection your Father

[signed] John Adams
1. Timothy Dwight, The Conquest of Canäan, Hartford, 1785; Joel Barlow, The Vision of Columbus, Hartford, 1787. For further commentary on how JA had access to these works and on his involvement with attempts to publish them in London, see JA, D&A, 3:189.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0028

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-20

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

Altho I have written you a very long Letter by way of Newyork,1 yet should one vessel go to Boston without a few lines from me, I flatter myself you would be dissapointed.
Captain Cushing and Lyde both dined here yesterday. Each of them expect to sail in all this month, but Cushing in the course of the present week. By him I send you a set of shirts, as we had your measure I supposed it was as well to send them made up, as to { 97 } trouble our Friends to do it for you. I have also sent a peice of linen which mr Jenks has engaged to pack up with some things which he is sending to mr Tufts, and which is to be deliverd to your Aunt Cranch for the use of your Brothers. By mrs Hay I have sent several little bundles to my Friends (She is gone in a British bottom by way of Newyork,) amongst which is silk for a waistcoat for you and your Brother Charles, which you are to have made for commencment day. The Books you requested are also sent by Captain Cushing. If there is any thing more you wish, write me word and I will procure it for you, because I know you will circumcribe your wish to my ability. If that was more ample, many should I rejoice to benefit by it. But if we are not the favorites of fortune, let us be; what is of much more importance to us, the Votaries of Virtue, and consider that being denied the former we are secured from many temptations that always attend upon that fickle Dame. The Prayer of Augur, was that of a wise Man, who was aware that Poverty might expose him to acts of injustice towards his fellow creatures, and riches, to ingratitude towards his Maker. He therefore desird that middle state which would secure him from the temptation of the first, and Gaurd him from the impiety of the latter.2 And in that middle State, I believe the largest portion of Humane happiness is to be found. Riches always create Luxery, and Luxery always leads to Idleness Indolence and effeminacy which stiffels every noble purpose, and withers the blossom of genious which fall useless to the ground, unproductive of fruit.
Your Sister has written you so many pages that I suppose she has not left me any thing material to write to you but as I am very rarely honourd with a sight of any of them I shall venture, tho I repeat what has already been written, to inform you that mr Jefferson is here from Paris, and that the treaty with portugal will be compleated in a few days.3 Conferences have been held with the Tripoline minister who is here. The subject terms of Treaty &c been all transmitted to Congress,4 and it is for them to decide whether they will purchase a Peace, or whether they will submit to a War which will cost them 3 times as much as a peace, provided they had Ships for the purpose, and after all, will be obliged to make a peace, redeem their prisoners, and pay a still larger tribute than is at present demanded, tho that is very great, or will they take an other whole year to decide upon the subject. This month compleats one, since the appointment of Lamb, who is not yet got to Algiers and when he { 98 } does, get there, by all accounts, he will not find a greater Barbarian than himself. Is this for the Honour of our Country to send such characters as a specimin of our Nation!
Do the united States wish to become the Scorn of Europe and the laughing Stock of Nations, by withholding from Congress those powers which would enable them to act in concert, and give vigor and strength to their proceedings. The states dishearten many able Men from joining in their counsels, whose years and experience teach wisdom, and send their beardless Boys to cavil at words, with all the pedantick and shallow Pierian draughts which intoxicate the Brain, who know perhaps how to place their comas and points, but to the weighty matters of the State are quite incompetent, who know no more of the nature of Goverment, or possess any clearer Ideas of the politicks of nations than the Member of Parliament understood of the Geography of America when he talkd of the Island of Virginia.5
Heaven forgive me if I form too unfavourable an opinion of them, but many of the states do not certainly attend sufficiently to the experience and abilities of those to whom they commit, not only their own most important Interests, but those of generations yet to come. Nor are the states fully represented, seven are not competant to Money Matters. Nor do they chuse to transact any buisness of importance. By this means their affairs lag on from Month to Month, even when their is the greatest call for desicion. To those who love their Country and wish to serve her, this conduct becomes burdensome and puts them out of all Patience. But why should I preach, it will do no good. As to this Country—

“Full soon, full soon their envious minds shall know

our Growth their ruin, and our Peace their woe”6

and thus I take my leave of them.
With respect to the conference with the Tripoline, you will mention that circumstance cautiously. Write me as often as possible & believe me ever Your affectionate Mother
[signed] A A
PS. inclosed is a triffle.7
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “Mr John Quincy Adams Cambridge”; endorsed: “Mamma. March 20th: 1786.”; docketed: “My Mother. 20. March 1786.”; and “Mrs: A. Adams. March 20th: 1786.”
1. Probably that of 16 Feb., above.
2. A paraphrase of Proverbs, 30:8–9: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my { 99 } God in vain.”
3. The treaty was not signed until 25 April. See AA2 to JQA, 25 April, below.
4. American commissioners to John Jay, 28 March (Jefferson, Papers, 9:357–359).
5. AA may have been referring to a comment by John Fothergill in his “An English Freeholder's Address to His Countrymen” in which he writes, “The Island of Virginia has been spoken of in a Court of Judicature, by a learned pleader; and similar instances of a general ignorance, a criminal one, of this vast region, pervaded the Country, the Universities, the Courts of Law, the Legislature in too general a manner, and even Administration itself” (John Coakley Lettsom, The Works of John Fothergill, M.D. . . . with Some Account of His Life, London, 1784, p. 478).
6. Timothy Dwight, The Conquest of Canäan, Book 1, lines 621–622.
7. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0029

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

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0030

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0031

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0032

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

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] Dear Charles

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0033

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

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0034

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

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0035

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

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] Dear Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0036

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0037

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My dear Neice

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

“Nor can the Muse her aid impart

unskild in all the terms of art

Nor in harmonious Numbers put

the deal the shuffle and the cut

Go Tom and light the Ladies up

It must be one before we Sup.”2

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

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

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0038

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

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

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

“Believe her dress; shes not a Grenidier”8

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0039

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

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0040

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

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0041

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0042

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0043

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

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0044

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

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0045

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

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0046

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

Richard Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0047

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

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0048

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

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Cous.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0049

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

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0050

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

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0051

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0052

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0053

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

Abigail Adams 2d to John Quincy Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0054

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

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

When the soul is press'd with cares

Awakes it with enlivening airs.3

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0055

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0056

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma

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

“Listen to no female, but the Muse.”

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0057

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

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

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

[salute] Yours,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0058

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

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0059

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

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Bror

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0060

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0061

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

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

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

[salute] Your dutiful Son,

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0062

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0063

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

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0064

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch

[salute] Dear Girls

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0065

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

Abigail Adams to Charles Storer

[salute] Dear Charles

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0066

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0067

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

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] My dear Madam

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

“Long at his Couch Death took his patient stand

And menanc'd oft and oft withheld the blow

To give Reflection time with lenient art

Each fond delusion from his soul to steal

Teach him from folly peaceably to part

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

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

What ever farce the Boastfull Hero plays

Virtue alone has Majesty in death.3

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0068

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

Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0069

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0070

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0071

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

Abigail Adams 2d to Lucy Cranch

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0072

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0073

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

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Friend

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

[salute] I am my dear Friend ever yours

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0074

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

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0075

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

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0076

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

John Adams to John Thaxter Jr.

[salute] Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0077

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

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0078

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

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0079

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

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams 2d

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0080

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

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0081

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0082

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

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

Poor is the friendless Master of the World.”8

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

[salute] Adieu—ever yours

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0083

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

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0084

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

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0085

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

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt

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

“The sweet remembrance of the just

Shall flourish when they Sleep in dust.”1

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0086

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

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0087

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

[salute] Yours affectionatly

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0088

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

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear sister

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

“I am sorry I must never trust thee more

But Count the World a stranger for thy sake

The private wound is deepest; oh time most curst

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0089

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

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0090

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

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0091

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

Richard Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0092

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

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Cousin

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0093

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

Isaac Smith Jr. to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Mrs Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0094

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0095

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

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0096

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

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

“Tis use alone that sanctifies Expence,

And Splendor borrows all her rays from Sense.”1

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

“Here Wealth enthron'd in Natures pride

With taste and Beauty by her side

And holding plenty's Horn

Sends Labour to persue the toil

Art to improve the happy soil

And beauty to adorn.”

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

“Something there is more needfull than Expence

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

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0097

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

Abigail Adams Smith to Elizabeth Cranch

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0098

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

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0099

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear sister

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

“Tis not enough your counsel should be true

Blunt Truths more Mischief than nice falshoods do

{ 264 }

Men must be taught as if you taught them not

And things unknown, propos'd as things forgot

Without good Breeding truth is disapprov'd

That only makes superiour sense beloved.”3

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0100

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

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

[salute] My Dear Neice

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

“When Hopkins dies a thousand Lights attend.”4

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

The George and Garter dangling from the bed

Where Gaudy Yellow strove with flameing red6

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0101

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

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

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

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

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0102

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

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

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

Tis not enough taste judgement Learning join;

In all you speak, let Truth and candour shine

That not alone, what to your sense is due.

All may allow, but seek your Friendship too

{ 275 }

Be silent always when you doubt your Sense

And speak; tho sure with Seeming diffidence

Some possitive persisting Fops we know

Who if once wrong will needs be always so.

But you with pleasure own your Errors past

And make each day a critic on the last.2

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

“Like those bright sparks which comets leave behind

Appear the effusions of great Johnsons mind

Had its vast orb unclouded pour'd its rays.

The glorious flood had blinded by its blaize

But clouds of weakness thickly round it fly

And save the envy of the weakest eye.”

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0103

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

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0104

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

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My Dear sir

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

Docno: ADMS-04-07-02-0105

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

Abigail Adams to Thomas Welsh

[salute] Dear sir

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