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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0045

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-07-10

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson with a Memorandum of Purchases

[salute] Dear sir

When I wrote you last I did not know that petit had taken places in the Stage & paid for them. this being the case I have represented it to your little daughter & endeavourd to prevail with her to consent to going at the time appointed; She says if I must go I will, but I cannot help crying, so pray dont ask me too. I should have taken great pleasure in presenting her to you here, as you would then have seen her with her most engageing countana[nce.] some lines of an old song frequently occur to me as different objects affect her.

What she thinks in her Heart

You may read in her Eyes

For knowing no art

She needs no disguise

I never saw so intelligent a countanance in a child before, and the pleasure she has given me is an ample compensation for any little services I have been able to render her. I can easily conceive the earnest desire you must have to embrace so lovely a child after so long a Seperation from her. that motive, & my own intention of setting out next week upon a journey into the County of Devonshire, has prevaild with me to consent to parting with her so soon, but most reluctantly I assure you. her temper, her dispositition, her Sensibility are all formed to delight, yet perhaps at your first interview you may find a little roughness but it all subsides in a very little time, and she is soon attached by kindness. I inclose a memorandum of the articles purchased [I have be]en a little particular, that you might know how I [. . .]d of the money. if at any time I can be of service in this [wa]y [i]t will give me pleasure. I have desired petit { 110 } to Buy me 12 Ells of black lace at 8 Livres pr Ell & 1 dozen of white & one of coulourd Gloves. you will be so good as to place them to my account & Col Smith will take them when he returns.
As to politicks, to avoid touching so dissagreeable a subject, I send you the Boston News papers received by the last vessels.
Mrs Paridise has just left me and desires to be rememberd to you. She is just upon the eve of departure for Virginia. Whether he can be prevaild upon to go on Board altho their passage is taken, & every thing in readiness, is very uncertain. She is determined at all Hazards, he most assuredly will get a seat in Kings Bench if he stays behind. his affairs are daily worse & worse.1 mr Adams will write you— he has not a portrait that he likes to send you. mr Trumble talks of taking one.2 if he Succeeds better than his Brethren, mr Adams will ask your acceptance of it. you will be so good as to let me hear from my dear little Girl by the first post after her arrival. my Love to her Sister whom I congratulate upon Such an acquisition.
I have not been able to find Mrs Kinlock yet, but hope two, if I Should not, mr Heyward is going to carolina in a few days and I will send the package by him. all your other Letters were deliverd as directed.3
With Sentiments of the highest Esteem I am dear Sir Your Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
I have received of Petit Six Louis d'ors [. . . .] What the exchange is, but the remainder you w[ill?] [. . .] as to let him purchase, me some lace & Gloves with the remainder.

Memorandum of articles by mrs Adams for miss Jefferson & Maid

  £   s   d  
paid for bringing the Trunks from Tower Hill     5.   6.  
four fine Irish Holland frocks4   3.   10.    
5 yd white Dimity for Skirts     15    
4 yd checkd Muslin for a frock   1.   10    
3 yd lace Edging to trim it     6.   6  
To making the frock     5.    
3 yd flannel for under Coats     7.   6  
A Brown Bever Hat & feathers     13.    
2 pr leather Gloves     2.   4  
{ 111 }
5 yd diaper for arm Cloths     5.   10  
6 pr cotton Stockings     13.   6  
3 yd blew sash Ribbon     3.    
To diaper for pockets linning tape cloth for night caps &c     5   6  
To a comb & case, comb Brush, tooth Brush     1.   6  
For the Maid Servant  
12 yds calico for 2 short Gowns & coats   1.   5.   6  
4 yd half Irish linen for Aprons     7   4  
3 pr Stockings     6.    
2 yd linning     2.    
1 Shawl handkerchief     4   6  
paid for washing     6   8  
Sterling   10   15.   8  
11. 16. 2 should be5  
Received Six Louis d'ors, of petit.
[signed] A Adams
RC and enclosure (DLC:Jefferson Papers); addressed by AA2: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson / Minister Plenipotentiary from the United / States of America / residing / att / Paris—”; endorsed: “Adams mr̃s”; notation by Jefferson on the enclosure:
“Mrs. Adams's expenditures for me as on the other side error of addition to her prejudice     £10–15–8  
Cash pd her by Petit 6 Louis @ 19/6 the Louis pd by do for black lace 75₶   5–17–0  
  3–1–[ ]  
2 doz. pr̃ gloves 27₶–12     1–10–6  
balance due to mrs̃ Adams   1–7–8  
Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. The Paradises' growing financial problems forced them to leave London for Lucy Ludwell Paradise's Virginia estate. They arrived in late September over £2,000 in debt, which Lucy blamed on her husband's mismanagement. In Feb. 1788, the Paradises learned that their younger daughter Philippa had died in England, forcing them to return to Britain without having put their finances in order. Thomas Jefferson came to their aid by appointing a supervisor to manage their Virginia estate and arranging a repayment schedule for their many creditors (Archibald Bolling Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, Richmond, Va., 1942, p. 207–211, 273–274, 293–295; Jefferson, Papers, 10:69, 255–256; 13:457, 472, 537, 543–545).
2. In London, in the summer of 1787, John Trumbull added JA to the canvas of his famous painting, Declaration of Independence. At that time the group portrait was incomplete; Trumbull continued to add to it as he met with the men who had signed the Declaration (Trumbull, Autobiography, p. 146–147).
3. Anne Cleland Kinloch (d. 1802) was the widow of Francis Kinloch (1720–1767) of South Carolina. Jefferson hoped that Kinloch could be located in London and that she would deliver a package of rice to William Drayton, also of South Carolina. { 112 } Jefferson's letter to Kinloch of 1 July remains in the Adams Papers, confirming AA's inability to find her (H. D. Bull, “Kinloch of South Carolina,” SCHGM, 46:64–65 [April 1945]; Jefferson, Papers, 11:520–521).
4. “Holland” refers to a fine white linen originally imported from Holland but later manufactured in Ireland. The fabric was often used for children's clothing (Mairead Dunlevy, Dress in Ireland, N.Y., 1989, p. 188).
5. This recalculated amount is in Jefferson's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0046

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-10

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

This being the day on which, according to my calculation, my daughter would be crossing the channel, I had calculated the course from Dover to Calais and was watching the wind when your favour of the 6th. was put into my hands. that of June 27. had been received four days ago. I perceived that that had happened which I had apprehended, that your goodness had so attached her to you that her separation would become difficult. I had been in hopes that Petit would find means to rival you, and I still hope he will have done it so as that they may be on their way here at present. if she were to stay till she should be willing to come, she would stay till you cease to be kind to her, and that, Madam, is a term for which I cannot wait. her distress will be in the moment of parting & I am in hopes Petit will soon be able to lessen it.— we are impatient to hear what our federal convention are doing. I have no news from America later than the 27th. of April. nor is there any thing here worth mentioning. the death of mr̃ Saint James & flight of M. de Calonnes are perhaps known to you.1 a letter of M. de Mirabeau to the K. of Prussia is handed about by the Colporteurs.2 I will endeavor to find an opportunity of sending it to mr̃ Adams.— your kind advances for my daughter shall be remitted you by Colo. Smith when he returns or some other good opportunity. I have the honor to be with sentiments of gratitude for your goodness and with those of perfect esteem Dr. Madam your most obedt. humble sert
[signed] Th Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams / London”; internal address: “Mrs. Adams.”; endorsed: “mr Jefferson july 10 / 1787.”
1. Claude Baudard, Baron de St. James (1738–1787), was the treasurer general of the French Navy and a wealthy businessman with vast interests in banking, shipping, mining, and manufacturing. By January, however, he was bankrupt, which, in turn, contributed to the country's growing fiscal crisis. He was investigated by a royal commission on suspicion of impropriety in his role as treasurer general, but the charges were later dropped. He died on 3 July, leading one London newspaper to speculate that his death was accelerated by his financial ruin (J. F. Bosher, French Finances 1770–1795: From Business to Bureaucracy, Cambridge, Eng., 1970, p. 96, 185–186; Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 16 July).
Charles Alexandre de Calonne's dismissal { 113 } as minister of finance on 8 April led to criminal charges, causing him to flee to The Hague and later to England (Schama, Citizens, p. 245–246; J. F. Bosher, The French Revolution, N.Y., 1988, p. 110; Jefferson to AA, 16 July, below).
2. Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749–1791), a French statesman and writer, went on a secret diplomatic mission to the Prussian court in 1786. There he met with various advisers to first Frederick the Great and later Frederick William II but ultimately failed to gain their assistance in effecting a Franco-Prussian alliance. Mirabeau's Lettre remise a Frédéric-Guillaume II, roi régnant de Prusse, le jour de son avénement au trône (Letter presented to Frederick William II, King of Prussia, on the day of his accession to the throne), a lengthy piece on the obligations of the new monarch to his subjects, was first published in Berlin in 1787 (Barbara Luttrell, Mirabeau, N.Y., 1990, p. 80–83; Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau, Secret Memoirs of the Court of Berlin, rpt. edn., Washington, D.C., 1901, p. ix–xiii, 349).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.