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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0125

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-04-09

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child:

It is now ten days since we left London, and have been waiting at Portsmouth and here for the ship, but cannot yet learn that she has passed Gravesend. The weather is fine, but this waiting is very tedious, in a place where we have no acquaintance, and very little to interest or amuse us.
We took a ride, yesterday, to Newport, the principal town in the island, and visited Carisbrook Castle. This place is famous not only for its antiquity, but for having been used as a prison for Charles the First, who retired to it from Hampton Court as a place of safety, but was afterwards confined there as a prisoner.1 This castle is now in ruins, and no person can give any account of its origin. The first mention of it which history gives, is about the year 530. It was then said to be a place of some strength; its situation is upon a very high eminence, and the mount which supports the citadel must have been an immense labour, as it appears to have been the work of art. The ascent to it is by a flight of four score steps; but then one is amply repaid for the fatigue, as it gives you an extensive view of the town and river of Newport, the harbour of Cowes, Portsmouth, Southampton, and many other adjacent parts.
One of the most curious things in this castle is a well, three hundred feet deep, and so well stoned that the lapse of ages does not seem in the least to have injured it. It is within the castle, under cover, and the woman who conducted us carried a lantern, by which she lighted a large paper and threw into the well, that we might see its depth. She also threw a pin in, the sound of which resounded like a large stone. The water is drawn up by an ass, which walks in a wheel like a turn-spit dog. The whole place is delightful, though in ruins. This island is a beautiful spot, taken all together, very fertile, { 255 } and highly cultivated; but water, and not land, is the object we have now in view, and knowing that we must pass it, renders every delay painful.
I wrote you from London and from Portsmouth, but have not received a single line from you since you left me.2 From Mr. Smith we received letters, whilst he was at Bath, which is the last I heard from you.3 As the wind is so contrary, I shall venture to send this, in expectation that you have not yet sailed, and requesting you to write and direct your letter to the Fountain Inn, Cowes, at Mrs. Symes'.4 Send it by the crossroad post to Southampton, by which means it will reach us. How is my dear sweet boy? I think of him by day, and dream of him by night. O, what a relief would his sportive little pranks have been to me, in the tedious hours of waiting,—waiting for winds, for captain, for vessel. I fear all my patience will be exhausted.
I took only a few books, and a little sewing, all of which were exhausted in one week. We got some little recruit, yesterday, at Newport; but that will soon be out. Let me hear from you, my dear child—how you are like to be accommodated, and the name of the packet and captain. We have written to Callihan, but I know he will take his own time, and at the same time assure you it shall be yours. I think he might get to the Downs, if he would exert himself.
My love to Mr. Smith, and my little charmer. Your father sends his love to you all.
I am, my dear child, most affectionately, / Yours,
[signed] Abigail Adams
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:67–69.
1. Carisbrooke Castle, a medieval structure built on the remains of a Roman site, was the seat of government on the Isle of Wight when Charles I fled there in 1647. Probably hoping he could escape from there to France if it became necessary, Charles I was instead held as a prisoner at the castle for nearly a year prior to his execution at Whitehall in Jan. 1649 (Karl Baedeker, Great Britain: Handbook for Travellers, 8th edn., Leipzig, 1927, p. 67; DNB).
2. The London letter has not been found. For the Portsmouth letter, see AA to AA2, 2 April, above.
3. WSS to JA, 28 March (Adams Papers), for which see AA to AA2, 2 April, note 1, above.
4. AA and JA stayed at the Fountain Inn in Cowes from 6 to 20 April, taking trips from there to see other sites on the Isle of Wight. AA described the building in greater detail in the Diary of her return voyage to America, 30 March – 1 May (JA, D&A, 3:212–213).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0126

Author: Cranch, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-04-11

John Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Understanding by my sister Elworthy, that your Excellency complains of having read yourself out of books, I am tempted to send you down the latest publication that I can find promises amusement enough to justify me; and accordingly I have to intreat your excellency's acceptance of “Costigan's view of society and manners in Portugal.”1 I was just now in hopes to have gratified your excellency another way—with some letters addressed to you by a Ship arrived at the isle of Wight from Portsmouth in America, which we were informed lay at the General post office; but finding, upon enquiry, that these letters have been forwarded to Grosvenor square, I confide that they will be sent to you by some other hand.
My brother here would run away with all the honor of serving your Excellencies, but that I contrive, now and then, to push myself into some employment subordinate to him, in order to engross as much of that honor as I reasonably can, and with the utmost avidity catch every occasion of shewing that I am; most truly, your excellency's gratefull humble servant
[signed] J. Cranch.
1. Arthur William Costigan, Sketches of Society and Manners in Portugal, 2 vols., London, 1787, which is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0127

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1788-05-03

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

We have mutually been deficient in those attentions, which absent connections ought always to preserve towards one another: the fault has been the greatest on my side, as I was under the additional obligation of setting a good example; but I feel myself at this time peculiarly bound to write to you, to apologize for the rough expressions which upon several occasions I used while I was with you, and which perhaps you may reasonably think, were incompatible with that fraternal tenderness which ought always to accompany fraternal affection— Such expressions were dictated by the imprudence of a momentary impulse; but believe me, my brother, when upon the calmest reflection, and uninfluenced, by any temporary feelings, I assure you, that the warmest wishes of my heart, are for your, honour, your interest, and welfare. These were the motives by which I { 257 } was influenced, even when my observation bore the appearance of unkindness, and I am still actuated by them while I venture to give you such advice, as I think will tend to promote your best interests.
The Situation in which you are now placed, while it affords you such advantages as may be highly beneficial to you if properly improved, is not without its dangers, which it is your duty to perceive and to avoid. You are young, and if you examine the springs of your own conduct you will find yourself prone to imitate examples which your own reason will condemn. You have therefore need of great judgment, and of great resolution, in order to persevere in that line of conduct which will insure you the applause of the world, and, what is of infinitely more importance the approbation of your own conscience. This indeed is the greatest end to which we can wish to attain.

“Above all, to thine own self be true,

And it must follow as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”1

If your own heart, can testify that your conduct has always been reconcileable with the immutable rules of justice and truth, you will always enjoy one inexhaustible source of happiness, of which neither the frowns of adverse fortune, nor the utmost efforts of human malice can ever deprive you:— If you will only reflect upon this subject I am perswaded it will be wholly unnecessary for me to say more— You yourself will perceive that nothing can be more pernicious than to adapt your conduct to the wishes of a classmate, in opposition to your own principles. This practice which I have often heard advocated at College, is not only vicious and immoral, but argues great weakness of mind and want of spirit, in not daring to exert that freedom and independence in resisting an equal, which they all think so requisite in withstanding the proper authority of a superior.
But, my friend, in order to secure this same self-approbation; it will not be sufficient to possess the mere negative virtue of doing no harm. You must consider that as a social being it is your duty to increase as much as in you lies, the enjoyments of your fellow creatures.— And as your own inclination has destined you to one of the learned professions, it will appear Evident, that you will answer the end of your existence, only in proportion to the learning and knowlege which you may acquire. And therefore do not think I exaggerate if I say that every hour which you spend in idleness, is an injury which you do to your fellow-men. . . . But this is not all: The same { 258 } means which tend to increase your usefulness in the world, are also the means by which you will rise to reputation and respectability. I know you are not destitute of that ambition which excites a noble generosity, and you are fully sensible how disgraceful it is to be excelled by a person of inferior talents, and advantages for improvement The world will, and they have a right to say in the language of scripture, “To whom much is given, from him shall much be required.”2 We ought all to recollect that the time which is given to us for the sole acquisition of Science, our Parent was obliged to lose by keeping a school for a subsistence.3 In short we have every possible reason, to be indefatigably industrious in the pursuit of learning; and to resist them all would argue, the extreme of weakness or of folly.— These cautions are not, I hope necessary for you: I am perswaded you will be attentive to all the college duties, and if you perform them fully, your time will be sufficiently employ'd.
There is one particular which I would recommend to your attention. You will soon arrive at that period of College Life, when a degree of manliness and of dignity will be expected in your behaviour: you must remember, that as you advance, you will be look'd up to, for examples by your fellow students of a more recent standing; and you have had opportunities to observe that the influence of a Senior Class may almost give a tone to the manners of the whole College. Avoid too great familiarities with anyone. There is a certain decorum, and respect which is due, even to our nearest intimates; and be particularly cautious to preserve yourself from a merited charge of trifling or puerility.
And suffer me again to urge you, upon a point which I have repeatedly recommended, a particular attention to composition: I wish you to overcome entirely the aversion you have to writing: an elegant epistolary style, is one of the most useful accomplishments which a gentleman can possess; and it must be acquired if ever, at an early period of life. In your exercices of this kind, you will have the double advantage of affording amusement and satisfaction to your friends, at the same time that you are improving your own faculties and understanding.
If upon reading what I have here written, you should be disposed to think my speculative opinions of little weight, because my practical conduct may not be conformable to them, I only wish you, to ask yourself whether they are not such as must tend to increase your own happiness and usefulness: and if they are, any deficiency { 259 } in the person who proposes them ought not to diminish their influence in your breast.— recollect the lines of Horace

—fungar vice cotis, acutum

Reddere quae ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi:4

and be perswaded that I should never recommend any acquisition, of which I myself am destitute, unless I regret the want of it.
Give my love to Charles; I hope he is well: he almost told me when I left Braintree that he would not write to me; perhaps he thinks me impertinent in assuming Mentorial airs, and dislikes the correspondence; he does not love to be censured; but he has a great deal of generosity at heart, and his disposition is really amiable. He always treated me with the kindness and affection of a brother; &c I am perswaded he will ever conduct in the same manner towards you.
Your affectionate friend & brother
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “May 3d1788—”
1. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene iii, lines 78–80.
2. Luke, 12:48.
3. JA, in order to pay for his education beyond Harvard, kept a grammar school at Worcester for two years after graduation while he studied law at night. As he wrote in his Autobiography in 1804: “A Lawyer must have a Fee, for taking me into his Office. I must be boarded and cloathed for several Years: I had no Money; and my Father having three Sons, had done as much for me, in the Expences of my Education as his Estate and Circumstances could justify and as my Reason or my honor would allow me to ask. I therefore gave out that I would take a School. . . . In this Situation I remained, for about two Years Reading Law in the night and keeping School in the day” (D&A, 3:263–264).
4. I play the whetstone; useless, and unfit / To cut myself, I sharpen others' wit (Horace, Ars Poetica, lines 304–305).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0128

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1788-05-08

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister—

You cannot think how anxious I have been to hear from my Sister Adams, & you. Two Vessels I saw by the Papers had arrived from London, & I could not but think we had Letters—1 The intelligence you give me of her Health, makes me feel solemn indeed— It is 18 Months since she has been in a very poor way— I know she is mortal, & must die— But the very Idea of her being separated from us, I cannot think of without a gushing Tear— It is not possible for a Sister to be kinder, than she has been to us— Yes! I must indulge the feelings of human-nature, & pray, that the period may be far distant, { 260 } when she shall be clothed with immortality, & receive the rewards of her Virtue, & extensive Benevolence—
You have not said one word to me about her Daughter— Is Col. Smith & Family to come with them, or to go to New-york?
I am very sorry Ester has mortified, & grieved Sister by her foolish Conduct— Why did not the silly Girl read her Bible, & be married before?— I think if there is a family Sin, every Branch thereoff ought to be upon the watch, & place a double gaurd on that Vice—2 I pity Sister—for instead of Esters of being any help, she will require herself the kindest assistance. If she should be sick aboard Ship, it must be dreary— I have heard nothing from you till last Tuesday, Leonard White came from newbury & brought me your kind Letter favored by Mr Adams, since I received one by Mr Osgood— I wanted to hear from you exceedingly on the account of Cousin Billy, Leonard told me he was at the Office, but he was gone home sick—3 I live at such a distance from many dear Friends that I am obliged to exercise patience, & call forth all the magnimity I can find in my heart, that I may enjoy any kind of Ease—
I cannot think why my dear Betsy Smith is not come yet, By what Mr Bliss said, I concluded she would have been here before now—4
I am sorry for Miss Nancy Quincy, it was a sad mistake of her Mothers— Why is the Connection broke of with Mr G——t?— She is a very fine amiable young Lady— She will do good in any Station I dare say— How does Mr N. & my Eliza— I have been looking for them till my Eyes ake— You must all come & see me now in Sammon time, & before Sister Adams arrives, for I shall not then get one of you to look this way for a twelve month, I fear—
Are you not too hard upon father Wibird—perhaps you do not hear aright— Mr Shaw was very happy a Fast Day I assure you, in pleasing every-side— They were both new Sermons—& had that at least to recommend them— Many of his people wished to have them printed— Mr Thaxter says nothing but the scarcity of Cash has prevented application being made for them— It is very pleasing when our Services are acceptable—
adieu my dear Sister, ever yours in / the warmth of Love & affection
[signed] E Shaw—
P S my Sister Adams before she went away gave me Louisas gown which was made out of hers, for my Betsy Quincy— I thought I would not make it for her till she was larger— I attempted to make it this week, but was obliged to lay it aside for I had not one peice of it { 261 } to help it out— I suppose my sister has some which she would give me if I could ask her— If you think it not be dissagreeable to her, I would thank you to send me some as soon as you can—
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; docketed: “Mrs.Shaw. / May 8. 1788.”; notation: “To be left at / Mr Dawes office / or house—”
1. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 24 April, reported on the arrival into Boston harbor of the ships Mary, Capt. Barnard, and Neptune, Capt. Scott, as well as the brig Nancy, Capt. York, all from London.
2. Esther's parents, Abigail Newcomb and Joseph Field, were married in April 1744; their first child, Susanna, was born in June of the same year (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 829, 1661R).
3. JQA reported on 16 April that William Cranch “has been very unwell, but is recovering” (Diary, 2:392).
4. Possibly Capt. Joseph Bliss (1757–1819) of Concord, who resided near the Lincoln, Mass., home of AA's niece Elizabeth (Betsy) Smith. Bliss served under Gen. Henry Knox during the Revolution and likely had ties to Haverhill, Mass., as he moved in 1790 to its sister town of Haverhill, N.H. (U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 139; William F. Whitcher, History of the Town of Haverhill, New Hampshire, Concord, N.H., 1919, p. 3, 482).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0129

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-05-18

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma:

I rose this morning with a fair prospect of landing before night, but alas, we are immersed in fogs and darkness. We have been within a few hours sail of New-York, for several days; but fogs, calms, and contrary winds, have deprived us of the happiness of seeing our native land; it is a most mortifying situation.1 I hope you have not known from experience to what a degree it is teasing; but that you are now safely landed and happily enjoying the sweet society of children, relations, and friends.
We arrived in Halifax, the fourth week after our sailing from Falmouth, on the 5th of April. We were at Halifax three days. Colonel Smith received a card from, and dined with the Governor, who was very civil.2 The town is larger than I expected to find it; it is situated like Haverhill, upon the side of a hill, and is I believe, about as large; the buildings are all of wood, and painted white, which gives them the appearance of stone, and looks very neat. The inhabitants are supplied with provisions, plenty and cheap, from Boston and New-York; and they have fish from the ocean.
Here are two or three regiments, and several frigates. Admiral Sawyer has the command upon this station.3 The people are trembling, lest the port should be shut against the American supplies; and they are in fear of starving, if they should be strictly prohibited. { 262 } The country around is a perfect heath; there was not the least verdure to be seen; they speak much in favour of the climate.
* * * * * * *
We were in all six cabin passengers. I wrote you from Falmouth of a Mr. and Mrs. T——; he is a native of Maryland, sent early to England for his education; but it is not easy to discover that this was the motive of his visit, unless to be thoroughly knowing in the career of New-Market, Brooks, and every species of gambling, extravagance, and dissipation, was the education intended for him; he is a Lieutenant of the British Navy, was on board the Somerset, and a prisoner in Boston during the war. Three years since he ran off with, and married the daughter of the Admiral, a step which I believe every person but herself, thinks she has much cause to repent of. It is said he has run through his own fortune, and a fortune of five thousand pounds, which his brother, who died in the East Indies, left him; and is now much in advance. They are now upon a visit to his father, who is a man of property in Maryland; and strange as it may appear, although Mrs. T—— is of a most amiable disposition, pleasing in her person and manners, she appears greatly attached to him, and to be happy. I never saw two persons, who excited in my mind so much surprise.4
Lord Mountmorris was another singular character;5 his going to America was the decision of half an hour; he wished us a pleasant passage when we went on board the packet, at three o'clock, and before four o'clock, came himself with his luggage, for America. It was his intention to have gone to New-York; but an invitation from the Governor, to spend a few months with him at Halifax, detained him there. Mr. Lyle, an Irishman, and a civil decent young man, was the sixth. The master of the ship was very young, unacquainted with the coast of America, obstinate and positive in his opinions, without judgment, and having but little experience. The surgeon, as ignorant a young man, as perhaps, ever practised in his profession; coarse and rough in his manners. From this description you may easily imagine, that we could not be much pleased with our situation. All that was left for us, was to make the best of it; we neither complained, fretted, scolded, or used any ungentle terms of discontent, but were silent upon most occasions, as we could not join in the conversation, which was engrossed by some of the gentlemen, upon such topics as we were happy not to have been acquainted with; we should have been happy, could we have retired, but that was { 263 } impossible. It is, I hope, almost at an end. I shall rejoice when we are landed safely in New-York.
New-York, May 20th [28], 1788.
This day, my dear mamma, completes a week since we arrived in this city. Colonel Smith's friend, Mr. McCormick, came on board and conducted us to his house, where I have been treated with great kindness and attention. My mamma and Miss M. Smith came to town on Friday,6 and on Sunday I went over to Long Island, to visit the other part of the family; it is a family where affection and harmony prevail; you would be charmed to see us all together; our meeting was joyful and happy.

“Twas such a sober scene of joy, as angels well might keep,

A joy prepared to weep.”7

My time, since my arrival, has been wholly occupied in receiving visits and accepting invitations. I have dined at General Knox's; Mrs. K. has improved much in her appearance. The General is not half so fat as he was.8 Yesterday we dined at Mr. —— in company with the whole corps diplomatique; Mr. —— is a most pleasing man, plain in his dress and manners, but kind, affectionate, and attentive; benevolence is portrayed in every feature. Mrs. —— dresses gay and showy, but very pleasing upon a slight acquaintance.9 The dinner was à la mode Française, and exhibited more of European taste that I expected to have found. Mr. Guardoque was as chatty and sociable as his countryman Del Campo;10 Lady Temple, civil; Sir J——, more of the gentleman than I ever saw him.11 The French minister is a handsome and apparently polite man; the Marchioness his sister, the oddest figure eyes ever beheld; in short, there is so much said of and about her, and so little of truth can be known, that I cannot pretend to form any kind of judgment in what manner or form, my attention would be properly directed to her; she speaks English a little, is very much out of health, and was taken ill at Mr. ———, before we went to dinner, and obliged to go home.
Congress are sitting; but one hears little more of them, than if they were inhabitants of the new discovered planet.12 The President is said to be a worthy man; his lady is a Scotch woman, with the title of Lady Christina Griffin; she is out of health, but appears to be a friendly disposed woman; we are engaged to dine there next Tuesday; Mr. Franks is first aid-de-camp.13
{ 264 } | view { 265 }
Every one is kind and civil in their inquiries, respecting my father. Some persons expected he would have taken New-York in his way home; others expect he will make them a visit in the course of the summer; every body inquires if he is not coming; and it seems to be a very general idea that he will come; he will judge for himself of the propriety of a visit to this place. I need not say, that to see both my parents here, would contribute greatly to my happiness. Be pleased to present me, affectionately, to my dear papa.
Mr. and Mrs. P——, embarked in the last French packet, for France, both of them as much insane as ever; they had heard of the death of their daughter, and pretended that this was the cause of their return to Europe. I am told that they found their estate much more productive than they had ever expected, and are going to bring an action against Mr. L——, for the produce, which has been regularly deposited in his hands.14
We have taken a house upon Long Island, twelve miles from the city; it is pleasantly situated, and has a good garden, with about fifty acres of land.15
* * * * * * *
I thought I had no local attachments, but I find a strong penchant towards your city; but I do not give a preference, lest I might be disappointed, were I to visit Boston at this time: our minds are strangely but happily flexible, and very soon are we assimilated to the situation in which we are placed, either by design or accident.
I was much grieved to hear of the death of Mr. Lincoln; sincerely do I sympathize with my friend in her affliction.16 Be so good as to remember me kindly to her, and present my kindest remembrance to all my friends who inquire after me.
We are impatiently expecting to hear of your safe arrival. I have written at my leisure, intending to forward my letter, by the first opportunity, that you may, upon your arrival, hear of our safety. Colonel Smith joins me in his affectionate congratulations to my father and you, upon your return to your native land. We hope to hear from you both very soon.
Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:70–76.
1. The Smiths left England from Falmouth on the British packet Thyne, Capt. Wolf. They arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 7 May and finally reached New York on 21 May (JA, D&A, 3:216, note 6; Massachusetts Gazette, 27, 30 May 1788).
2. John Parr (1725–1791) was born in Dublin and joined the British Army at age 19, resigning as a lieutenant colonel in 1776. He was appointed governor of Nova Scotia in { 266 } 1782 but became lieutenant governor in 1786 when Guy Carleton was named governor general of British North America. Parr continued in that position until his death in 1791 (Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 14 vols. to date, Toronto, 1966–, 4:603–605).
3. Adm. Herbert Sawyer Sr. served as commander of the Royal Navy's Halifax squadron from 1785 to Aug. 1788, when he left Nova Scotia for England (Julian Gwyn, Frigates and Foremasts: The North American Squadron in Nova Scotia Waters 1745–1815, Vancouver, 2003, p. 83–88).
4. Philemon Tilghman, the son of wealthy Maryland landowner James Tilghman (1716–1793), was a lieutenant in the British Navy when he eloped with Harriet Milbanke, the daughter of Adm. Mark Milbanke, in 1785. One of Philemon's elder brothers, Richard Tilghman, had worked with the East India Company but died en route from Bengal to London in 1786; prior to that time, he had occasionally assisted Philemon financially (Jennifer Anne Bryan, The Tilghmans of Maryland's Eastern Shore, 1660–1793, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Ph.D. diss., 1999, p. 8–12, 374–377, 379; New York Impartial Gazetteer, 24 May 1788). AA2's letter to AA from Falmouth has not been found.
5. Hervey Redmond Morres, 2d Viscount Mountmorres (1746?–1797), an Irishman and author of various books and essays defending the rights of the Irish House of Lords (DNB).
6. That is, AA2's mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both Margaret Smith.
7. “'Twas such a sober sense of joy / As Angels well might keep; / A joy chastis'd by piety, / A joy prepar'd to weep” (Hannah More, Sir Eldred of the Bower, Dublin, 1776, Part II, lines 213–216).
8. For Lucy Flucker Knox, wife of Gen. Henry Knox, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 7, above. Both were notoriously heavy, sometimes described in New York as “the largest couple in the city” (DAB).
9. The hosts of the party were John and Sarah Jay (Rufus Wilmot Griswold, The Republican Court, rev. edn., N.Y., 1856, p. 91–92).
10. Don Diego de Gardoqui (1735–1798) served as Spanish minister to the United States from 1785 to 1789 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 13:223).
11. For Lady Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple and Sir John Temple, see vol. 5:272, 6:81.
12. That is, Uranus, discovered by William Herschel in 1781.
13. Cyrus Griffin (1748–1810), a lawyer from Virginia trained at the University of Edinburgh and the Middle Temple, served as the last president of the Continental Congress. He had married Lady Christina Stuart, the daughter of a Scottish lord, in 1770 in Edinburgh (DAB).
For David S. Franks, who had known the Adamses in Europe, see vol. 6:312.
14. Philippa Paradise (b. 1774), the younger daughter of Lucy Ludwell and John Paradise, died on 4 Nov. 1787 in London, where she had remained at school when her parents returned to Virginia. William Lee, the husband of Lucy Paradise's older sister, Hannah Philippa Ludwell, had long managed the estates inherited by the Ludwell sisters (Archibald Bolling Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, Richmond, Va., 1942, p. 36–38, 293–297, 456).
15. Their new home, named Beaver Hall, was located in the town of Jamaica in the southwestern portion of Queens County, twelve miles from New York City (Benjamin Thompson, The History of Long Island, from Its Discovery to the Present Time, 2d edn., 2 vols., N.Y., 1843, 2:96).
16. Benjamin Lincoln Jr., husband of Mary (Polly) Otis Lincoln, died on 18 Jan. (vol. 7:205; Benjamin Lincoln Sr. to George Washington, 20 Jan., Washington, Papers, Confederation Series, 6:50–51).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0130

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-05-29

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I hope you are safe landed at Jamaica, before this time, with Mr. Smith and my sweet boy; how often have I thought of him, amidst the turbulent waves, which have so frequently encompassed us { 267 } upon our passage, and prayed that you might have met with more prosperous gales, and a shorter passage than has fallen to our share. On the 20th of April we embarked from Cowes, from whence I wrote you; we had the wind fair only until we past the Needles,1 when it came directly ahead, but the tide assisted us, and we strove to work out of the channel until Monday night, when it blew so hard as to oblige us to put into Portland; here we remained a whole week, the same wind prevailing. This place is just by Weymouth, so that our gentlemen went twice on shore during the week; I did not venture, as the wind blew very high. After a week lying here, the wind changed, and we sailed with a northeaster; this lasted us just long enough to carry us out of the channel, when the west wind set in, and alternately we have had a violent blow, squalls, and then calms, from that day to the present; sometimes we have been obliged to lie to, and once to put in our dead-lights; fortunately our ship is much easier than Hyde's, or as the weather has been much worse, I know not what I should have done.2 'Tis agreed by all the hands, that they never knew so blustering a May. We have met with several ships, with which we have spoken; and one morning after a very heavy wind we espied a ship in distress, having lost her masts; we steered immediately for her, and found her to be an American ship, captain M——, called the Thomas and Sally, bound to Baltimore.3 We lay to, and sent hands on board of her, to assist in getting up another mast. We sent our old doctor on board to bleed two men, much hurt by the fall of their masts; and Mr. Boyd, one of our passengers, said he would go on board and see if there were any passengers; as the sea ran high I thought it was rather dangerous, but he was young and enterprising;4 our mate, carpenter, doctor, and four sailors, accompanied him. It was late in the afternoon before they could get back, and really at the hazard of their lives, for the wind had increased to a storm and the sea ran mountain high; we were all very anxious for them, but happily they all returned safe; Mr. Boyd bringing us an account, that there were four passengers on board, amongst whom was poor Hindman, almost terrified to death;5 but as the ship was a very good one, and they had got up a new mast, we left them, we hope, safe. We spoke the same day with a brig from London to Virginia, and an American ship from Bordeaux to Boston. For these four days past we have had finer weather, but alas no good winds, and no prospect of reaching Boston until the middle of June, if then.
{ 268 } { 269 }
You will be anxious to know how we have done: really better than my fears. With respect to myself, I have been less seasick than when I crossed before: want of sleep I have suffered more from. Your papa has been very well. But Esther you say, what have you done with her? Yesterday at five, she had a daughter, a poor little starvling, but with special lungs, old nurse Comis is just the thing, never sick, can eat and sleep, at all times, as well as any sailor on board. We got through this business much better than I feared we should. I had for the first time in my life, to dress the little animal, who was buried in its clothes. At present, we seem to want only a good wind. I am almost exhausted, and my patience wearied out; if we had been favoured with a fair wind, we should have got home before this matter took place. Brisler has been much the sickest person on board ship. I expected him to have been half nurse, instead of which, he has wanted constant nursing. I hope and pray, I may never again be left to go to sea: of all places, it is the most disagreeable, such a sameness, and such a tossing to and fro. Our passengers are agreeable; our captain is very clever; our ship very clean. We have many things to be thankful for. Adieu!
[signed] A. A.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:76–79.
1. For the Needles, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 8, above.
2. Presumably a reference to Capt. Nathaniel Byfield Lyde's ship, Active, on which AA and AA2 sailed to Europe in 1784. For AA's description of that ship, which she found uncomfortable and unclean, see JA, D&A, 3:157–158; vol. 5:359, 361.
3. The Thomas and Sally, Capt. F. Dorset (Dorsett), left London on 15 April and arrived safely in Baltimore by 24 June. She lost her foremast and topmast in a gale on 18 May (Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, 24, 27 June; Pennsylvania Mercury, 26 June).
4. The Massachusetts Centinel, 18 June, identified him as “William Boyd of Portsmouth.” In her Diary account of the voyage, AA indicated that Boyd was “a young Gentleman who received His Education in this Country” (JA, D&A, 3:214).
5. Possibly William Hindman (1743–1822), a lawyer who had studied at the Inns of Court in London. He represented Maryland in the Continental Congress from 1784 to 1786 and later served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate (Edward C. Papenfuse and others, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635–1789, 2 vols., Baltimore, 1979).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0131

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-06-08

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

to your Candour my Dear Brother—I must appeal for Pardon that I have thus long delayed to inform you of our safe arrival in this City— I have presumed that we were People of such importance that the news of such an event must have reached you through the { 270 } Chanell of the news Papers as soon as it would have done, had I have written you immediately upon Landing—1 and realy my time has been so wholy occupied in receiving and returning visits—that I have not been able to find one half Hour unoccupied—
I heard this morning by MrWm.Knox—who left Boston on Wedensday last,2 that a Ship was comeing up the Harbour on Tuesday Evening which was supposed to have been Callihan— with all my heart I wish it may so prove for I begin to be anxous for our Parrents—and Shall now be very impatient untill I hear of their arrival, and health if they Sailed when they expected the begining of April they must have had a long and I fear a tedious Passage—
I will hope that ere this you have seen them and that you are all mutually happy— I shall expect to hear from you very soon and very often— the tedious distance we have so long been at—is now lessened—and in four days if you please you may gratify yourself and make me very happy by making me a visit. I do not ask it at present—but when we get settled upon Long Island, where we have taken a House—I shall think you very deficient if you do not make us a visit— it will be advantageous to your health—& I see no injury that so Steady and experienced a youth can receive from a relaxation of a week, or two from hard, and unintermiting studies, we are in daily expectation of the arrival of the Ship which has on Board our Baggage— as soon as it arrives—and we can collect together a little furniture—we shall take up our residence upon Long Island—and in a few weeks I shall inform you that I am ready to receive you—and expect you to set off Post Haste upon receipt of my Summons. if my other Brothers could accompany you at this season I should be very happy—but if they cannot at present I shall request the pleasure and favour of a visit from them the first moment they can find a release from their studies— you must give my Love to them and desire them to write to me soon and often I shall write them very soon—but MrGore I am informed Leaves this City tomorrow—and I have only time to finish this Letter—3
I have been reading over the letters which you wrote me from this Place4 many Persons mentioned in them I have become acquainted with—and in general find your observations just— Lady Wheat has lately married Capt Cochrane and goes soon with him to Scotland,5 Miss Becca sears preserves her Beauty and is very handsome— MrsJarvis and Miss Broom arrived in town on Wedensday—and were very well last Evening at Eleven—6 I supped in Company with { 271 } them— General Knox has fallen away—and Mrs—— is not more than one yard and an half round her waist— they have been very friendly and polite to us since our arrival— MrRucker is very ill there is no hopes of his recovery,—7Miss R—— fatter than Miss Adams,—8 I have received visits from Sixty Ladies so that you, knowing how punctilious we Ladies of N York are must easily imagine that I have my hands full (as the saying is)9 in returning the visits—and accepting invitations to dinner, Tea, and Supper, parties— I am quite impatient to get out of Town—for the weather for two days past has been almost insupportably Warm—
Franks is here and first Aid de Camp to the President of Congress— MrB—— is here and passingly civil—. MrsB——m would be wretched if she had not some distant hopes of seeing Europe again—. but has no curiossity nor desire to travell through her own Country— New York does not afford an House—that She could possibly accommodate her family in—10
you must write me all the news, and anecdotes that you can hear of— tell me if the report is true that Elisa Cranch is going to enter the Holy Bands of Matrimony and if so—with whom—and offer her my Congratulation upon the Event,— I have seen the American Magazines for this year—and have picked up some news from them— such as an account of Marriages and Deaths— Cousin Cotton—is I find Married at last—and Poor MrLincoln is Dead— I was greived for my friend Mrs:Lincoln— many many are the ups and downs of Life— were I to visit Boston—I should find a Great chasm in the Circle of my acquaintance—and mourn the Loss of many Kind and good friends—
Federalist, or Ante federalist, is the question—and pray upon which side of the important question do you Stand I could almost answer for you three months forward—for you will find your Father a great Advocate for Federalism— there has been great rejoiceing amongst the Former—at the late accession of Carolina—to the Union—but the friends of the new Constitution are very doubtfull of its Success in this State— the Convention are to meet upon the Seventeenth of this month— MrJay is a Member and many other very strenuous advocates in its favour11 —but the Governor of the State— is said to be opposed to it—and Some say he has taken all means to prejudice the Country People—against its adoption—12 the party against it are silent—and seem to be ashaimed of being known— how it will prove eventually is uncertain— it ever has been and ever will { 272 } be the Case that upon every Subject there is a diversity of opinion— and it is a very rare instance that People who disagree in Sentiment should be friendly and benevolently disposed towards each other— thus we must ever expect to see—One Party rejoice at the ill success of its opponent—and Useing all the means in its Power to render the opposite disregarded disrespected and—all their measures frustrated—and untill the milenium in Politicks arrives we can not expect any alteration of System— so much for Politicks— I must close my Letter—and request you to remember me to all friends—and beleive me / your affectionate Sister
[signed] A Smith—
CollnSmith desires his Love to you—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Sister—8. June 1788.” and “My Sister. June 8. 1788.”
1. Several Boston newspapers reported AA2 and WSS's arrival in Halifax, beginning with the Massachusetts Centinel, 24 May; their arrival in New York was listed in the Massachusetts Gazette, 30 May. In Newburyport, where JQA was living, the Essex Journal printed the Halifax information on 28 May.
2. William Knox, the brother of Henry Knox, was a clerk in the war department and later U.S. consul in Dublin (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:196, 5:474).
3. For Christopher Gore, see vol. 6:377; JQA, Diary, 1:330.
4. JQA wrote three long letters to AA2 when he passed through New York City on his way back to Braintree from Europe; see JQA to AA2, 17 July, and 1, 9 Aug. 1785 (vol. 6:225–231, 242–248, 251–256).
5. Lady Maria Waite, the widow of Sir Jacob Waite, married Alexander Forrester Inglis Cochrane in April 1788 (DNB; John Marshall, Royal Naval Biography, 4 vols. in 8, London, 1823–1835, 1:266).
6. Amelia Broome Jarvis (1765–1788), wife of James Jarvis of New York, and Elizabeth Broome were sisters. Amelia would die on 1 December. Elizabeth later married Col. Joseph Fay of Bennington, Vt. (Donald Lines Jacobus, comp., Families of Ancient New Haven, 9 vols. in 3, Baltimore, 1974, 2:344–345).
7. John Rucker died on 15 June (New York Independent Journal, 21 June).
8. Probably Betsey Ramsay.
9. Closing parenthesis editorially supplied.
10. Probably Anne and William Bingham, whom the Adamses had known in Europe. William Bingham represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1789 (DAB).
11. South Carolina ratified the Constitution by a vote of 149 to 73 on 23 May 1788; the news was widely reported in the New York newspapers in the first week of June. The New York state convention began meeting on 17 June. Although several noted Federalists—including John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and Robert R. Livingston—were elected delegates, the convention opened with a decidedly Antifederalist majority (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 20:xxiv, 1132–1133; John P. Kaminski, “New York: The Reluctant Pillar,” in Stephen L. Schechter, ed., The Reluctant Pillar: New York and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Troy, N.Y., 1985, p. 79).
12. George Clinton (1739–1812), a lawyer and former major general in the Continental Army, served as governor of New York from 1777 to 1795 and again from 1801 to 1804. He subsequently served as vice president of the United States from 1805 until his death. An outspoken critic of the U.S. Constitution, he led the Antifederalists in the New York state ratifying convention, where he also served as president (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 19:495; DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0132

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-06-15
Date: 1788-06-22

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

We are anxiously expecting, by the arrival of every post, to hear of your safety and health. I begin to be very impatient to hear of an event in which I am so much interested. I fear that you have been detained in England longer than you expected, perhaps, by the receipt of the letters Col. Smith forwarded from Bath to my father. Mr. Jay was very much surprised that the gentlemen to whom he entrusted them, should have been so very deficient in punctuality as to keep them so long after his arrival. * * *
We are treated, here, with great politeness, civility, and friendship. We were invited to dine with the Governor, which was a very particular favour. He nor his family either visit, or are visited by, any families, either in public or private life, of this place. He sees no company, and is not much beloved or respected. His conduct in many respects is censured, perhaps unjustly; he is particular, perhaps, in others. That he is a man of no decided character, no one who sees him will say. To me he appears one whose conduct and motives of action are not to be seen through upon a slight examination. The part he has taken upon the subject of the new Constitution is much condemned. What are his motives, I do not pretend to judge; but I do not believe that he acts or thinks without some important motives. Mrs. Clinton is not a showy, but a kind, friendly woman. She has five daughters, and one son; the second daughter is about fourteen years old, and as smart and sensible a girl as I ever knew—a zealous politician, and a high anti-Federalist.1 The Governor does not conceal his sentiments, but I have not heard that he has given any reasons for them. His family are all politicians. He set off, yesterday, for the Convention.
General and Mrs. Knox have been very polite and attentive to us. Mrs. Knox is much altered from the character she used to have. She is neat in her dress, attentive to her family, and very fond of her children. But her size is enormous; I am frightened when I look at her; I verily believe that her waist is as large as three of yours, at least.
Sir John Temple has taken upon himself very singular airs respecting us. It has been his constant custom to visit every stranger who came to town, upon his arrival. Lady Temple called upon me, at a very late day after we arrived; but Sir J. has not visited Col. { 274 } Smith, and says to others, that he does not know in what manner to behave to Col. Smith, because he does not know how he took leave—whether it was a gracious reception that he met with.2
I returned Lady Temple's visit by a card, without asking for her, which she complains of. I respect Lady Temple, and as it is probable we shall often meet at a third place, I wished to be upon civil terms with her—particularly as she has often expressed a regard for me since she has been here. * * * * Nor will I exchange visits with any lady, where my husband is not received with equal attention.
I hear that my father is chosen a delegate for Congress the next year.3 I hope he will accept, for, independent of my wish that he should not retire from public business, I think his presence in Congress would do a great deal towards reforming the wrong sentiments and opinions that many are biased by. Both precept and example are wanting here; and his sentiments in politics are more respected than many other persons. It is said he must come and be President the next year. It is, in some degree, his duty to attend the calls of his State, when he will be so serviceable to the cause of the whole.
Every body is looking forward to the establishment of the new Constitution, with great expectations of receiving advantage from it. To me, I confess, the consequences are problematical; and should any one or more States continue to oppose it, and refuse to adopt it, melancholy will be the scenes which ensue, I fear.
The more one sees of the world, and of the business of life, of the less importance do we think them. There are very few who have not personal aggrandizement in view; and there are so many little causes intermingled with the really important, that I begin to think that disinterestedness is a word not to be found in the modern vocabulary.
June 22.
This morning I was made very happy by the receipt of a letter from Mr. Smith, informing us of your safe arrival.4 I hope, by the next post, to hear particularly, from either my father or yourself. Mr. Smith mentions that you have a lame hand; I hope it is not a serious matter. I am impatient to know more particularly respecting your and my father's health, and minutely respecting your passage. I fear your patience was almost exhausted by Capt. Callihan's delays.
We flatter ourselves with the hope of seeing my father and yourself here in the autumn; be so good as to inform me whether you propose coming.
{ 275 }
Bunyan arrived last week, and we expect to get settled in our house at Jamaica next week.5 I was upon a visit to Col. Smith's family the last week, and returned to town last night. I left your grandson in the care of his grandmamma. He has grown surprisingly, but does not yet go alone; he has not courage enough, and is too wild to venture himself. I endeavour to make him recollect his grandpapa and mamma, and he seems to remember your goodness to him.
Col. Smith desires me to present his duty, and affectionate congratulation upon your safe arrival. He will write soon himself.
I am, with sincere affection, / Your dutiful daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:80–84.
1. Cornelia Tappen (1744–1800) married George Clinton in early 1770. Their six children included Catharine (b. 1770), Cornelia (b. 1774), George Washington (b. 1778), Elizabeth (b. 1780), Martha Washington (b. 1783), and Maria (b. 1785). The younger Cornelia eventually married the deposed French minister “Citizen” Edmond Genêt in 1794 (E. Wilder Spaulding, His Excellency George Clinton: Critic of the Constitution, N.Y., 1938, p. 30–32, 100–101; John P. Kaminski, George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic, Madison, Wis., 1993, p. 240, 251).
2. When JA submitted his resignation as minister plenipotentiary to Britain in a letter to John Jay on 24 Jan. 1787, he recommended WSS for the position of chargé d'affaires in London. Jay's response of 16 Oct. (Adams Papers), however, indicated that Congress had not yet made a decision regarding a replacement minister or chargé. JA replied on 16 Dec. that “Mr. Smith and his family will embark for New York. As Congress have not transmitted him any orders relative to another Minister, or to a Chargé d'Affaires at this Court, the presumption is, that it is either the intention of Congress to have no diplomatic character here, or that other persons are destined to fill it; in either case, Mr. Smith's road is as clear as mine—to return home” (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:691–693, 796–798, 824–826). No formal letter of resignation from WSS to Congress has been found. See also AA2 to JQA, 10 Feb. 1788, above.
3. The Mass. General Court elected JA as a delegate to the final session of the Continental Congress on 6 June, but he never attended. The news of his election was reported in the New York Journal, 14 June.
4. Not found, but see AA2 to William Smith, 22 June, below.
5. Captain Bunyan of the ship Montgomery, presumably carrying the Smiths' household goods, arrived in New York from London on 19 June (Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 24 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0133

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-06-22

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

Thanks be to an ever watchful & kind Providence that has conducted my dear Brother, & Sister safely to their native Shore— With all the tender affections that ever warmed a Sisters Heart, I bid you welcome—welcome once more to America—welcome my dear Brother to a Land for which you have for many years toil'd & laboured—
{ 276 }
I have my dear Sister been exceedingly axious for these three weeks about you— The joyful tidings of your arrival reached me last Friday, & eased my heart of a burden, with which it has been long oppressed—
The dangers Mr Adams has encounterd, & the eminent Services he has rendered his country, cannot be fully known [bu]t to his nearest Connections—& though a grateful people may yield him a tribute of praise yet all the applause, & glory he justly merits may not be given him till some future age—when certain distinctions are lost—when Envy & malice cannot operate—& All the Causes of them are removed—
I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you this week—but unfortunately, am taken to day with an inflamation in my Eyes— My ill humours are always operating some where or other— I think you once told me it was a favour to my friends it was in my blood & not in my temper—
I have been anticipating & participating of the pleasure with which your Children have been presented to their Parents— How precious is a good name, & how pleasing to behold them walking in the paths of Secence, & of Virtue—
My Children present their Duty & partake largely of the pleasure which has overspread the Countenance of Your ever / affectionate Sister
[signed] Eliza Shaw
Excuse the writing
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Braintree”; endorsed: “Mrs Shaw / June 22nd1788.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0134

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Smith, William
Date: 1788-06-22

Abigail Adams Smith to William Smith

[salute] Dear Sir—

we were made very happy this morning by the receipt of your Letter, informing us of the arrival of my Parents—1 be pleased to accept our sincere thanks for this early Proof of your attention— I am anxious to hear particularly respecting their Healths— I hope the Lameness of my Mammas Hand which you mention, is not to be of long continueance—
I hope you will excuse the Liberty I have taken of directing Packages to your Care—and will permit me to Continue the same freedom—as it is the most certain method of Conveyance—
{ 277 }
permit me to request you, to present my Compliments to your amiable Lady—altho I was not particularly acquainted with her— I am happy to Congratulate you tho at a late Period—upon your Connection and to wish you every possible felicity— Should you visit this Place, Colln Smith and myself shall esteem ourselves very happy to welcome you to our habbitation upon Long Island,—
be so good as to present my Compliments to DrWelsh and MrsWelsh—MrsOtis and family / and beleive me Sir with respect and / Esteem your Humbleservt
[signed] A Smith
RC (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); internal address: “MrWm.Smith”; endorsed: “A. Smith / NYK 1788.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0135

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-07-07

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child:

It has been no small mortification to me since my arrival here, that I have not been able to hold a pen, or use my hand in writing, until this day. I came on shore with three whitloes upon the thumb and two fingers of my right, and two upon the left hand, so that I could not do the least thing for myself. I begged my friends to write, and let you know of our arrival, after a very tedious passage of eight weeks and two days. My first inquiry was of Mr. Knox, who came on board as soon as we made the light-house, after my dear son and daughter; and by him I had the happiness to learn of your safe arrival. When I came up to town, I received your kind letter with the greatest pleasure; it afforded me much entertainment. I wrote you one letter at sea, which contained a statement of occurrences until a fortnight before our arrival, when my fingers began to torment me.
The newspapers have no doubt informed you of our gracious reception, and of our residence at the Governor's; from whom, and his lady, we received the most pointed civility and attention, as well as from the ladies and gentlemen of Boston.1 The Governor was for escorting us to Braintree in his coach and four, attended by his light horse; and even Braintree was for coming out to Milton bridge to meet us, but this we could by no means assent to. Accordingly we quitted town privately; your papa one day, and I the next. We went to our worthy brother's, where we remained until the next week, when our furniture came up. But we have come into a house not { 278 } half repaired, and I own myself most sadly disappointed. In height and breadth, it feels like a wren's house. Ever since I came, we have had such a swarm of carpenters, masons, farmers, as have almost distracted me—every thing all at once, with miserable assistance. In short, I have been ready to wish I had left all my furniture behind. The length of the voyage and heat of the ship greatly injured it; some we cannot get up, and the shocking state of the house has obliged me to open it in the garret. But I will not tire you with a recital of all my troubles.
I hope soon to embrace you, my dear children, in Braintree; but be sure you wear no feathers, and let Col. Smith come without heels to his shoes, or he will not be able to walk upright. But we shall be more arranged by that time, and, I hope, the chief of our business done. We have for my comfort, six cows, without a single convenience for a dairy. But you know there is no saying nay.
Sweetly do the birds sing. I will not tell you your brother is here, because he has not written to you. But I must leave off, or you will think me as bad as Esther; indeed, I feel almost bewildered.
Affectionately yours,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:84–86.
1. When the Adamses arrived in Boston on 17 June, Gov. John Hancock “having previously ordered, that every mark of respect be paid his Excellency on his arrival, the approach of the ship in which he arrived, was announced by a signal from the Light and a discharge of cannon from the Castle—when off the Castle he was saluted with a federal discharge of cannon from that fortress, and when the ship had arrived at her moorings, the Secretary of the State, by order of his Excellency the Governour repaired in his Excellency's carriage to the end of the pier, from whence, in the State barge, the Secretary waited on the Ambassadour on board, and in his Excellency the Governour's name, congratulated him on his arrival, and invited him and family to his Excellency's seat. . . . the Pier was crowded—and his Excellency welcomed on shore by three huzzas from several thousand persons.” On the following day, the General Court issued a formal statement of congratulations on JA's “many successful labours in the service of your country” (Massachusetts Centinel, 18, 21 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0136

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-07-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child:

Your mamma's hand has been wholly unable to hold a pen, without exquisite pain, from the time of our arrival; and I am afraid your brothers have not done their duty in writing to you. Indeed, I scarcely know what apology to make for myself. Would you believe this is the first day that I have taken a pen into my hand since I came ashore?
{ 279 }
I am happy to hear from all quarters a good character of all your brothers. The oldest has given decided proofs of great talents, and there is not a youth of his age whose reputation is higher for abilities, or whose character is fairer in point of morals or conduct. The youngest is as fine a youth as either of the three, if a spice of fun in his composition should not lead him astray. Charles wins the heart, as usual, and is the most of a gentleman of them all.
You, my dear daughter, are in new scenes, which require new duties. Mr. Smith's mother has a right to all the dutiful filial respect, affection, and attention, that you can show her; and his brothers and sisters you ought to consider as your own. When I say this, I say no more than what I know must long ago have occurred to a lady of your reflection, discretion, and sensibility.
I wish to be informed, as fully as may be with propriety, of Mr. Smith's views. My desire would be to hear of him at the bar, which, in my opinion, is the most independent place on earth. A seeker of public employments is, in my idea, one of the most unhappy of all men. This may be pride; but if it is, I cannot condemn it. I had rather dig my subsistence out of the earth with my own hands, than be dependent on any favour, public or private; and this has been the invariable maxim of my whole life. Mr. Smith's merit and services entitle him to expect employment under the public; and I know him to be a man of too much spirit as well as honour, to solicit with the smallest degree of meanness for any thing. But I would not be dependent; I would have a resource. There can be none better than the bar. I hope my anxiety for his and your welfare, has not betrayed me into any improper expressions, or unbecoming curiosity.
You may be anxious, too, to know what is to become of me. At my age, this ought not to be a question; but it is. I will tell you, my dear child, in strict confidence, that it appears to me that your father does not stand very high in the esteem, admiration, or respect of his country, or any part of it. In the course of a long absence his character has been lost, and he has got quite out of circulation. The public judgment, the public heart, and the public voice, seem to have decreed to others every public office that he can accept of with consistency, or honour, or reputation; and no other alternative is left for him, but private life at home, or to go again abroad. The latter is the worst of the two; but you may depend upon it, you will hear of him on a trading voyage to the East Indies, or to Surrinam, or Essequibo, before you will hear of his descending as a public man beneath himself.
{ 280 }
Write me as often as you can, and believe me / Your ever affectionate father,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:87–89.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0137

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-07-26

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I got home the Friday-noon after I left you, & had the great satisfaction of finding all well—my little Daughters humour much abated, & was going of without a sore forming under her chin, as the Dr feared— But I soon had a bitter ingredient thrown into my lap, by hearing the complaints of my faithful Servant Lidia, who had every Symtom of a voilent fever coming upon her—1 The Dr thinks her fever is come to the height, but she cannot set up more than ten minutes at a time now—
We ought to prize a good Girl, for we miss & feel the want of them, when taken from business most terribly— Your Family has been sick, as well as mine, & we know how to pity each other, for one we are used to, is worth ten new Servants—
I was fearful Ester would give you trouble when I left you— Her Step, & motions were much too quick for Stability,— I think it was very lucky for Cornish that she was taken sick just as she was— though I presume you do not think it so for yourself— I am sorry you have so much trouble, for Sickness throws everything into confusion—& brings ten thousand wants & cares with it—
I rejoice to hear of your increasing health—may it still keep on, in a happy progression— Cares if not too great, I have often thought were pleasures— Exercise of Body is absolutely necessary to our health— But few (my Sister) like you, can figure in the higher walks of Life, & with so much ease descend to the every concern, & business of your Family— It is happy when Americans can so do—
Peter was taken sick yesterday, but I hope it is nothing more than eating too much green fruit— Betsy Smith came home to me, with her Uncle from Commencement— Dear good Girl she is I am sure I do not know what I should do now without her—
Mr J Q A— went to Newbury a Thursday My Nephews have been rather unfortunate in this visit, on account of our Sickness—2 But I tell them they never found us so before, & they must take us for better, & for worse—
{ 281 }
They do not know half the pleasure, & satisfaction they give their uncle, & Aunt when they make us those visits— They would never fail of coming if they did— I am glad to hear of the health & welfare of Mr & Mrs Smith— I hope to have a Letter from her myself soon—
I hope our Family will soon be well, & yours too—that we may have the pleasure of seeing, & welcoming to our habitation my Dear Brother & Sister—
adieu most affectionately Your / Sister
[signed] E Shaw—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs A Adams. / Braintree”; endorsed: “Mrs Shaw / july 26th 1788.”
1. Lydia Springer (b. 1762) of Haverhill was Elizabeth Smith Shaw's long-time servant, first in Haverhill and later in Atkinson, N.H. (Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 1:283; Paul C. Nagel, The Adams Women: Abigail and Louisa Adams, Their Sisters and Daughters, N.Y., 1987, p. 65, 69–70).
2. JQA and TBA rode together from Braintree to Haverhill on Monday, 21 July, and stayed with the Shaws until 23 July, when JQA returned to Newburyport (JQA, Diary, 2:433–434).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0138

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-07-27

Abigail Adams Smith to John Adams

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of receiving my dear papa's kind letter of July 16th. I was very impatient to hear of your welfare. My mamma's letter, received a few days before, was the first particular account I had heard of the situation of the health of my dear parents since your arrival. My brothers have been very inattentive to me; I fear they have forgot the duties they owe to an elder and only sister.
It gives me great pleasure, my dear sir, to hear from you that they sustain good and amiable characters. Young men who pass through college without any imputation of misconduct, have laid a very good foundation, and are less liable to fall into errors afterwards. The habit of well doing is not easily overcome, and when it is the result of principle and judgment, the impression is so strong upon the mind as to influence their conduct through life. May you, my dear sir, never have occasion to regret the conduct of any of your children; but that you may have cause to rejoice in the character which they may support through life, is my most ardent wish.
I thank you, sir, for your solicitude respecting my friend and his future pursuits. As yet, I believe, he has formed no determination respecting his future career. At the bar there are so many persons already established by a course of practice, who are known in the { 282 } State by common report, that there is but little encouragement for one who by long absence has been lost in public view. There is a strong propensity (perhaps it is a natural consequence,) in the people of this country, to misplace the absent by those who are present. A few combining accidental circumstances may bring a man into notice; he will, without any extraordinary exertions on his own part, rise in the opinion of the people; the enthusiasm catches like wildfire, and he is in the popular voice more than mortal.
I think I can, in our own State, recollect a few instances of this kind, and I believe it is the case throughout the continent, both in public life and in particular professions.
For myself, I confess my attachment to the profession of the law. I think the study of it the most conducive to the expansion of the mind of any of the learned professions; and I think we see throughout the continent, the men of the most eminence educated to it.
* * * *
With respect to yourself, my dear sir, I do not quite agree with you in opinion. It is true that a very long absence may have erased from the minds of many your services; but it will not take a long time to renew the remembrances of them, and you will, my dear sir, soon find them not obliterated.
You have, in a late pretended friend, a real rival.1 The attention lately shown you was the highest proof of policy, grounded upon fear, that could have been given; it was intended to blind the popular eye, (perhaps it may for a time,) but every person of any discernment saw through the veil.
It is my opinion that you will either be elected to the second place upon the continent, or first in your own State. The general voice has assigned the presidentship to General Washington, and it has been the opinion of many persons whom I have heard mention the subject, that the vice-presidentship would be at your option. I confess I wish it, and that you may accept it. But of the propriety of this, you must judge best.
This State has adopted the Constitution by a majority of three only.2 It has given great joy to many, that at any events they are admitted to the Union. There have been great exertions made by the opposers of it, to prejudice the minds of the populace against its adoption, by such arguments as would have most weight with them—the addition of taxes, the rise of provisions, and some of the most improbable, though affecting to the lower class of people, that { 283 } could be invented. The motives of some persons in power in the State, in opposing it, have been attributed to selfish views; whether just or unjust, I know not.
It is now a great question in debate, whether Congress shall remove from New-York, and great exertions are making by some of the southern members, to get them to return to Philadelphia. Upon this question, I presume that selfish views actuate all who are violent upon either side, for I do not see that any material advantage can arise to the country from the local situation of Congress, except such as contribute to the convenience of their residence.   *
Believe me your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:89–93.
1. John Hancock.
2. The New York Convention ratified the Constitution by a vote of 30 to 27 on 26 July (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 19:lxxxvi).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0139

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-07-30

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

one line by my son inquires after the health of my Friend, at Braintree. do you begin to feel at home. & will you not after becoming a little Domesticateed in your native town think of an excursion to plimouth where you will find the same Friend, the same hospitality & undissembleed affection which in my opinion Gives the truest Zest to human life.
you have seen all the Varietiy. & perhaps have tasted as much real felicity in the little social parties as in the pallace of the prince. but you must again go to Court.— but flatter myself you will improve the interem & let us see you again at the unadorned board which satisfies the wishes of circumscribed ambition when blessed with the intercourse of those they Esteem & love.
Hope MrAdams received a line of Congratulation from MrWarren sometime since:1he means to do himself the Honour & Pleasure of making a Visit to his Friend as soon as he is able which I hope is a circumstance not far distant. as he has withing the week past been able to put on his shew which he has not done before for several months.
You will make my most respectful Compliments acceptable to a Gentleman who I hear is employing the short respite from the field { 284 } of politics & the intrigues of statmen: to the momentary delights of rural peace and the Cultivation of his own Grounds.—
I am my dear Madam as ever / Your affectionate Friend
[signed] M Warren
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “MrsAdams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0140

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-08-06

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear Child

It grieves me to think how little I have been able to write to you since my arrival here. I have set apart many hours which I have determined to devote to you, but family cares company sickness have prevented
I have received all your kind Letters and thank you for the intelligence containd in them I rejoice at your agreeable situation & wish that I could visit you more than in Idea, but at present I do not see any prospect of the kind. Should your Father go on to congress in November of which he is yet doubtfull I do not See that I can by any means leave home. we have come upon a place—wanting but every thing pertaining to Farming & find ourselves destitute of every utensal which we once possess'd so that like Regulas of old we want the most necessary articles for Husbandry.2 added to that the Garden was a wilderness & the House a mere Barrack this naturally encumbed us with work people of all kinds &, your Pappa is as he used to say he would, employd in Building Stone wall and Diging ditches. and as he always loves to do things expeditiously, tis not unusual to have ten laboring men in a day. I have get more reconciled to the spot than I was at first, but we must build in the Spring an other kitchen a dairy room & a Libriary of the two last we are quite destitute, and distresst for want of. untill this week I have never been over the Hill since I first came & only once to weymouth, nor have I made a single visit but to my old Friend mrs Quincy Your Brothers have been at Home ever Since I came & I have had much to do for them. Esther is Better tho feeble as usual. but I have had the misfortune of having Cornice the old woman who came out with me taken Sick the very week she was to have left me, with the inflamitory Rhumatisim totally deprived of the use of every Limb as helpless as a baby attended with a voilent fever & for { 285 } a month back we have had her to attend She is now better & recoverd the use of them again tho terribly emaciated & weak. She want very much to go & live with mrs knox but whether mrs knox would take her is a question. She would be very good to attend Children is Honest & a hand in Sickness and scarcly ever had a days Sickness before if you should see mrs Knox I wish you would mention the old womans desire. I never saw a better creature at sea than she was. and now my dear Girl you must tell me whether you cannot come this fall & make us a visit, I long to see you & my dear Billy. You are the Subject of our daily conversation & I visit the picture as the only substitute, & look at Charles with double pleasure because he so nearly resembles his Sister. your Friends here all wish most ardently to see you. I do not find their regard or affection in any way diminishd towards you. You must come to your cousins Betsys wedding which I presume will be in November— I am not enough acquainted with the Young Gentleman to judge of him, he bears a good Character and I hope will make her happy She is a very deserving Girl, and so is our tranquill Lucy who has been a good deal with me and assisted me much. but I see no person who seems so much alterd in the course of four years as your worthy uncle Cranch he is very thin & look more than ten years older. Nancy Quincy is the same warm Sprightly animated Girl she was when we left her and mrs Guile as amiable as ever. she came & with mr Guile & drank Tea with me one afternoon her Eldest son is now at mr Cranchs and is a sweet little Boy,3 mrs Storer is with mrs Quiny with her three daughters who are all ill with the hooping Cough.4 mr Isaac Smith Spent the last week with us & preachd here on Sunday. mr wibird like most old Batchelors is become nearly useless, and fears his own Shadow mr Weld has again met with a most severe stroke & lost his wife a few days after my arrival here, she got to bed & was seaz'd with the child Bed fever and died the third day after.5 miss B Palmer was with her & continues there with Polly Greenleaf6 mr Able Allen is married to Nancy Chace & live upon mrs Apthorps place.7 Hannah clark married mr Boice of Milton & lives very well.8 mrs Allen saild for England a few days before I arrived here & the place is Sold to a mr Black who appears a civil obliging Neighbour & has a very agreeable woman for his wife.9 thus I have given you a Breif account of Some of our old acquaintance. as to our Boston Friends I know not much of them as I only tarried two days in Town & have never been there since; Mrs Smith { 286 } is very pleasing woman & has got an amaizing great Boy for his age & a very fine child he is, cousin William is an attentive Husband & fond Father;10
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed: “1788.” Filmed at [ca. Aug. 1788].
1. The dating is based on AA2's response to this letter of 13 Aug., below.
2. Marcus Atilius Regulus, twice Roman consul, served in the Punic Wars and was captured by Carthage in 255 B.C.; he died in captivity. In an explanatory note to Cicero's Cato Major, Regulus asks the Roman senate to relieve him of command of the army and navy so that he can return to his farm. He fears that his farm will be ruined if he does not go home, as one manager had died and another had run off with all of the farm implements (Oxford Classical Dicy.; Cicero, Cato Major; or, A Treatise on Old Age, ch. 20, note 97).
3. Benjamin Guild Jr. (1785–1858). At this time, Elizabeth and Benjamin Guild Sr. also had a younger son, Josiah Quincy Guild (1787–1861).
4. Hannah and Ebenezer Storer had three daughters: Hannah (b. 1779), Anna (b. 1780), and Susan (b. 1783).
5. Abigail Greenleaf Weld, wife of Rev. Ezra Weld, died on 3 July; the child did not survive (Braintree Town Records, p. 865; Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 196).
6. Probably Mary Greenleaf (1757–1804), who married Nathaniel Thwing in 1791. She was the younger sister of Abigail Greenleaf Weld (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 196).
7. Abel Alleyne of Braintree married Anna Chase of Bolton on 22 Nov. 1787 (Vital Records of Bolton, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, Worcester, 1910, p. 118). For Grizzell Apthorp, see vol. 7:111.
8. Jeremiah Smith Boies of Milton announced his intention to marry Sarah Hanson [Hannah?] Clark of Braintree in Sept. 1785 (Braintree Town Records, p. 887).
9. Moses and Esther Black purchased the former Edmund Quincy house (also known as the “Dorothy Q.” house, named for Dorothy Quincy Hancock who grew up there) in Braintree sometime before 1790. Black, an Irishman, later served as Quincy's town moderator and represented it in the Mass. General Court (JA, D&A, 3:246; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 92, 95, 235, 279–280; U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 196).
“Mrs Allen” was probably Dorothy Harbin Alleyne, the widow of Thomas Alleyne of Braintree. She returned to Braintree the following year. See Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 Sept. 1787, note 7, above, and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 2 Aug. 1789, below.
10. William Smith Jr., the first child of William and Hannah Carter Smith, was born on 20 April (MHi:Smith-Townsend Family Papers, Elizabeth H. Smith Scrapbook).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0141

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-08-10

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

I have been honoured by the receipt of your friendly Letter of July the 16th.1 I supposed, that on your arrival, various matters would necessarily engage your attention; we sensibly feel for the indisposition of our good Mama, and wish she was near us, that we might each take care of a finger,— previous to our being informed of these reasons of silence, we concluded, that there was some sufficient cause for it, & flattered ourselves daily, that it would be removed— we now, with great satisfaction congratulate you, on the perfect arrangement of domestick affairs, & hope soon to hear of the whole family being restored to their usual health & tranquility— I find my { 287 } native City as you do yours—much improved, with respect to Buildings and streets, but I have not yet observed, or been informed of, any establishments being made, to promote the industry of our Countrymen, nor any system in our rulers, to check that amaizing thirst for foreign productions & foreign follies; too many of them, appear to me rather disposed to loose sight of the American Character, & to be pleased with nothing, but what borders on British or French, either of which, in my humble opinion will rather injure than benefit, but I hope (for my Country) that new times & new seasons are fast approaching, new York has adopted the Constitution, tho with a bad grace, and Congress are now endeavouring, to put it in train for operation I doubt not but our representatives under it, will, early attend to the formation of dignified political systems, and pursue them (as they may begin—ab ovo)—usque ad mala2 at present, we have none, & what may appear very extraordinary to you, it was not their intention to be totally unrepresented at the Court of London— you were permitted to return home in Complyance with your request, & I was expected, in consequence of the expiration of my Commission, but the question was never put, whether the vacancy's should be filled up, or whether, any new appointments of a less important nature should be made, thus it rests for the deliberation & decussion of (I may say) the rising Generation3 the present, feel themselves on the decline & are disposed to leave important points to be settled by those who are to come after them— we have been received here, with all the attention & respect we could wish for, and after residing a sufficient time in new York, to return the civilities offered, we have retired to this place, where we live in peace & happiness, mutually pleased with each other & delighted with our Boy, we are all in high health & envy not the govt—
I have received a very polite & friendly Letter from General Washington, congratulating me on my arrival & marrige in a manner too flattering—for me to send you a Copy of it—4 I have it in contemplation to visit him—nothing prevents my deciding on it, but a doubt whether Mrs.Smith (considering Circumstances) could stand the Journey,5 now sir, If a jaunt here would be agreable to you & Mrs:Adams & you would wish to visit our Country & friends, as far as the Potowmack, I have good horses & a Carriage to convey you, Mrs:A can stay with Mrs:S. while we make the excursion, many of your friends wish to see you, & I think you may do a great deal of good— two or three day's will convey you from Boston to new York { 288 } by the way of Rhode Island, & one hour & an half after your landing you may Kiss your Daughter & Grandson at Beaver Hall— tell me what you think of the project & whether the whole or any part of it, will be agreable to you— Mrs:Smith joins me with our best affections & wishes to you & Mama & I remain Dr.Sir— / Your most Obedt./ Humble servt.
[signed] W: S: Smith
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / The Honourable / John Adams / &c. &c. &c / Braintree / near Boston”; internal address: “To / The Honble./ Jno.Ad[ams]”; notation: “2 14.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. To AA2, above.
2. From beginning to end (literally, from the egg to the apples).
3. The United States did not send a new minister to Great Britain until the appointment of Thomas Pinckney in Jan. 1792.
5. This is the first reference to AA2's second pregnancy. She gave birth to another son, John Adams Smith, on 9 Nov.; see WSS to AA, 10 Nov., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0142

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-08-13

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma:

We came to town last evening to dine (by invitation) this day, with the President of Congress, and this morning I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 6th. * * * *
I am very sorry to hear that you have had so much sickness and so many other perplexities to encounter, since your return; it increases my desire to be with you, to assist you all in my power. I hope you will escape sickness yourself, and I wish you would not permit your mind to be anxious. I can see, through your letters, that your spirits are hurried, and your mind in a continual agitation. You must overcome this, or you will certainly be sick.
Your request, my dear mamma, for me to make you a visit in November, I am sorry I cannot comply with it. If I undertake the journey at all this season, it must be much sooner. I most ardently wish to see you, and sometimes think I cannot permit this season to pass, without gratifying myself; but the inconveniences of travelling are so great in this country, that I am not quite determined about the matter. Col. Smith wishes to visit General Washington; but if I were to express a strong desire to go eastward, he would not hesitate to undertake the journey as soon as I wished. But we must sometimes sacrifice our wishes to convenience and prudence. If my father should come on in November, I hope you will accompany him, for I shall be very solicitous to have a visit from you at that time.
{ 289 }
What to say, or what to expect, respecting the future governors of this our country, I know not. When eleven States have adopted the Constitution, and in reality the Congress ought to have no existence, they are delaying to pass the ordinance for the organization of the new Government, by party cabals and intrigues, by disputing where the new Government shall meet. It has now become a matter of party, totally. Every man consults his own views, and endeavours to bring as many others to his side of the question as he can have any influence over. A. B. has built a fine house, and wants to remove to Philadelphia, that he may outshine brilliancy itself.1 Others have different views; few, I believe, consider the advantage that is to arise to the whole country, or consult convenience at all. The question has now been many weeks in debate, and is not yet decided.
We have dined to-day at the President's—a company of twenty-two persons, many members of Congress, Mr. . . ., &c. Had you been present, you would have trembled for your country, to have seen, and heard, and observed, the men who compose its rulers. Very different, I believe, they were in times past. All were high upon the question now before them; some were for it, and others against it. Mr. . . . was the only silent man at table, and there were very few whose behaviour bore many marks of wisdom. To what a state this country is approaching, I don't know; time only can determine.
It is reported that North Carolina has rejected the Constitution by a majority of a hundred.2 But—to have done with politics.
Col. Smith has received a vote of thanks from Congress, for the manner in which he has conducted the business in Portugal.3 I do not hear that any new appointments are likely to be made to any foreign power. A General Armstrong, a delegate from Pennsylvania, is the man looking forward to the appointment to England.4
Mrs. Knox has gone out of town for some weeks; but when I see her I will mention Cornish to her. I told her that such a person was coming out with you, and she said she remembered her, and should be glad to see her again. General Knox is in Boston; perhaps she had better see him.
Mr. G. . . . called upon me this morning;5 he tells me that he saw my father and yourself in Boston. He is just the same precise, formal being as he used to be, and speaks so prettily that I could not understand him. * * *
Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:93–96.
{ 290 }
1. Abraham Baldwin (1754–1807), a delegate from Georgia, was originally from Connecticut. He had served in the Continental Congress since 1785, and would serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1799 and in the Senate from 1799 to 1807. While Baldwin never owned a home in Philadelphia, he did vote in favor of that city over New York as the site for the new government, though he ultimately preferred a more southern location (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 3:308; E. Merton Coulter, Abraham Baldwin: Patriot, Educator, and Founding Father, Arlington, Va., 1987, p. viii, 113–114).
2. The first North Carolina Convention met from 21 July to 4 Aug. 1788 but by a vote of 183 to 83 refused to ratify the Constitution without amendments and a second constitutional convention. The state did not hold a second ratifying convention until Nov. 1789, when North Carolina finally approved the Constitution by a vote of 194 to 77 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 13:xlii; The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters during the Struggle over Ratification, 2 vols., N.Y., 1993, 2:1068–1069). The New York Daily Advertiser reported this news on 14 Aug. 1788.
3. On 28 July, Congress acknowledged WSS's work in Portugal and ordered John Jay as secretary for foreign affairs to write to WSS that Congress was “pleased with the manner in which you appear to have treated the affairs” (JCC, 34:361–362).
4. Maj. Gen. John Armstrong (1717–1795), born in Ireland, represented Pennsylvania in Congress in 1779–1780 and 1787–1788. He was best known for his military service during the Seven Years' War (DAB).
5. Probably Elbridge Gerry.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0143

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-20

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

It was with real pleasure my Dear Brother that I received a few days since your letter of july 20th1 It was a scource of double Sattisfaction as it releived me from an anxieity I had felt least you were less disposed to be attentive to your Sister than formerly, and as it informd me of your wellfare, I had sometimes been grieved at others half offended at not hearing from you, but the date of yours and hearing from Mamma that it had been delayed some weeks, by mistake; has releived my mind from every anxiety respecting the decrease of affection or attention—on your part—
it gives me uneasiness my Dear Brother to observe from the tenor of your letter that you permit the Cross accidents of Life to affect your spirits too much, true Philosophy does not Consist in being insensible to them, but in supporting ourselvs above them with becomeing dignity, and in acquiessing with chearfullness to those events which are irremidable, and by striving to attain such a Station in Life as we may not be subjected to their influence
I am going to give you a little advice and to tell you in what respects I think you amiss in your judgement, if you should disagree with me in opinion—I shall expect you to offer your reasons in vindication of yourself—
“you say that a young Man at your time of Life aught to support himself” and regret that it is not in your power to do it— it is not { 291 } often the Case that young Men of your age let them have been ever so fortunate in acquiring their professions at an early period do it independant of their Parents it is most fortunate for themselvs and their friends if they possess the disposition, which will in time ensure them the ability
your absence in Europe at that period when you would have been pursueing a Profession had you been at home, was not a fault, you was necessitated to it and it will not eventually prove a disadvantage—but I hope may be advantageous to you in future, I think you were right in returning at the time you did and that you discovered a judgement above your years in the path you have pursued since your return— I dont mean to flatter you—
you are now pursueing a profession which is undoubtedly the first of all the Learned Professions—and by which a Man may acquire eminence and independance if he pleases, but you must not be impatient, nor discouraged— for a few years you must acquiesse in the Humble Station of a Student,—as you term it,—and be Content to rise by degrees,—but I see no reason why you should exclude yourself from society,— it is not Policy for you to do it, you should when an opportunity offers visit, and pay any little attention that civility may dictate, to those persons with whom you may have been formerly acquainted and keep yourself up in the minds of People, who are not obliged to remember you unless you are sometimes to be seen
your station even at this period is as respectable for your own Country as the more exalted one in which you have been known in Europe by many of your fellow Citizens excuse the freedom with which I write, and beleive me that it arrises from the interest I feel in every thing which respects your proggress and Situation in Life—
it would contribute greatly to my happiness to receive you here and it will not I flatter myself be a long time before you will find it Convenient to make us a visit— CollnSmith will I am sure be very happy to become personally acquainted with you—
I hope my Father will determine to Come on to Congress in November, if a new Election for President should take place I have no doubt but he will be chosen and if there should not—I think it will be of service to himself and to the Country if he accepts of the choise made—
I will indeavour to forward to you the debates in Congress—respecting the place at which the new Government should meet—2 you will there see—party interest interfereing and even rejecting { 292 } arangements which in duty to their Country ought to have been early decided— tis time indeed that there was a change—
Colln Lee from Virginia a nephew of the Mr Lee's3 —and a Member of Congress told me the other day that it was his opinion, and the opinion of others, and, he spoke as a Southern Man;—that the offices of Vice President and Chief justice, would lay between my Father and MrJay,—that he wished my Father might be appointed to the latter and accept of it—for he esteemed it next to the Presidentship—the most respectable under the new Government and that it was esteemed of more importance than the Vice Presidents. I wish our Dear Father to Consider well—as he no doubt will, before he decided against accepting it,
I hope he will not be inclined to going abroad again, his Chrildren are comeing forward into Life and it will be much in his Power to assist them forward by his Precept advice and judgment— a Situation abroad however respectable it may be made—is an exclusion from his friends, and by a Long absence every one is last in the remembrance of his Countrymen—and his family neglected—(at least under our Governments) our Country is not able if they were disposed to make such provision for those Persons who have been long in their service as to render them independant at the decline of Life— nor are they disposed to make any provission for their decendants— every one must move independantly—by the force of his own respectability—in this Country—to be sure Interest and intrigue are not excluded—but this is the Principle— of such service as you can be in promoting my views and designs—so far I will give you my support—provided there is no fear of your clashing with my pursuits— I see its operation on many—and I dispise it—but I fear I shall tire your patience with my Politicks both public and private—
I Shall not dispute the subject of Federal or antefederal with you, I think that the Constitution is now too generally adopted by the States to be receded from by any one with good intentions, but of the affect I Confess myself doubtfull— there is a great deal to be done to Sattisfy the Sanguine—and perhaps there may be found more perplexity in doing than is yet suspected by any one— it is a most important and critical era in the fate of our Country— may She be so Conducted as to insure peace tranquility and happiness to her Subjects is my wish, and in this I dare say you will not dissent from your affectionate Sister
[signed] A Smith—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Sister— 20. Augt:1788.” and “My Sister Augt:20. 1788.”
{ 293 }
1. Not found, but see JQA, Diary, 2:433.
2. For the debates over the location of the new government, see JCC, 34:358–360, 367–368, 383–388, 392–402. They also appeared in the New York Daily Advertiser, 21 August.
3. Col. Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee (1756–1818), of the extended Lee family of Virginia, represented that state in Congress from 1785 to 1788. The “Mr Lee's” included Arthur, Richard Henry, and William Lee, all of whom were cousins of Henry's father, Henry Lee Sr. (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0144

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1788-08-23

Abigail Adams to William Cranch

Will you be so kind as to wait upon the Govenour early on monday morning with the inclosed cards and take an answer from him; which Brisler will call for on Monday at mr Fosters. if he has any objection to thursday, let it be fryday only I would wish for a decisive answer. if he agrees to the day proposed, then I would request the favour of you to go with the card to mr Brecks,1 but if the Govenours engagements are such as to prevent him & his Ladys comeing out on either day, omit carrying the card to mr Brecks— if any thing should prevent Brisler from comeing to town on monday he will be in on tuesday morḡ. I hope your goodness will excuse my troubling you with this buisness, and believe me your truly & / affectionate / Aunt
[signed] A Adams
Sunday morg mrs Sewall is at the Govenours2
RC (private owner, 1957); addressed: “To / Mr William Cranch / Boston”; and by William Cranch: “His Excellency / John Hancok Esqr/ Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs Adams Braintree / August 23d 1788”; docketed: “Mrs A Adams. / Augt 23. 1788.”
1. For Samuel Breck Sr., see vol. 6:325; JQA, Diary, 1:312–313.
2. Possibly Esther Quincy Sewall, John Hancock's sister-in-law and the wife of Jonathan Sewall (vol. 1:30, 136; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:310).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0145

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-09-07

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma:

I received, on Wednesday last, from the hands of Mr. T——, your letter, No. 4, of August 25th.1 He was so obliging as to call with it himself, in company with Mr. King. * * *
Mr. George Storer came out last evening to pass Sunday with us, and by him I propose to forward my letter. He is very civil in forwarding letters for me, and is disposed to be sociable; I am glad that he is pleased with his visits to us. There is a satisfaction in renewing our acquaintance with persons to whom we have been formerly known; and particularly so to one who is not disposed to acquire { 294 } new friendships, or contract new acquaintances. Unless there are some very apparently attractive traits of character to induce me to cherish the friendship of persons with whom I become acquainted, I do not find much satisfaction from them.
When we arrived in this country, I found myself in a land of strangers. There were but two or three persons that I had any knowledge of, and not one that I had any friendship for. I was visited in New-York by fifty or sixty ladies; I returned their visits, and here the acquaintance ceases. There are a few families that I have been invited to; some I have visited frequently, but with no one have I, or shall I, ever become intimate. By retiring to the country we have avoided the society of those with whom I might have (by habit) become familiarly acquainted, without finding any thing in them of much value or importance.
I have been several times to New-York, and have been treated, upon every visit, with as much civility as I had any reason to expect, or wished; but there is no family where I can make a home, and go when inclination would induce, or business necessitate me, with freedom and unreserve; so that I believe I shall pass most of my time at home, to which I find myself daily more and more attached. I have as much society as I wish in our own family, and to me it is more agreeable than any other I could find.
I cannot but wish that you could make us a visit with my father, but I think your reasons against it are very forcible. I do not at all wonder that my brothers dissuade you from it. Your presence must fill up a great vacancy in their minds.
Although I wish you to come with my father, to be here in November, yet I see the force of your objections against it. You would not be pleasantly situated in New-York, unless my father were President of Congress; but if you will come and spend a few months with us in the country, and papa go to New-York at such times as he must attend Congress, it would make us very happy. But for you to live at lodgings in New-York would not do at all. You would not be much pleased with the society. They are quite enough dissipated. Public dinners, public days, and private parties, may take up a person's whole attention, if they attend to them all. The President of Congress gives a dinner one or two or more days every week, to twenty persons, gentlemen and ladies. Mr. Jay, I believe, gives a dinner almost every week: besides the corps diplomatique on Tuesday evenings, Miss Van Berkell and Lady Temple see company;2 on { 295 } Thursdays, Mrs. Jay and Mrs. Laforey, the wife of the French Consul, on Fridays;3 Lady Christiana, the Presidentess; and on Saturdays, Mrs. Secretary ——. Papa knows her, and to be sure, she is a curiosity.4
I begin to doubt whether the States will generally appoint new members to Congress, as their time of continuance will be so short; and I suppose the members who now hold their seats, will be too fond of retaining them as long as they can, to leave their States long unrepresented. A short time will determine the event. I think the present appearances are, that this Congress will continue together until March; or that there will be a dissolution of all government for several months. For these two months past, these wise counsellors have been disputing and debating about the place where the new Government shall meet. The question has been brought on every day for the last month, and is not yet decided. New-York and Philadelphia are the points in contest, and neither party can get strong enough to make a majority in favour of either.
I am pleased to find that my politics meet with my father's approbation. I hear from many persons, the place of Vice President, or Chief Justice, assigned to him. Many persons consider the latter as the most respectable situation, and wish my father in it, as better calculated for it than any other man. Mr. Jay has also been mentioned for both, and I suppose every State have assigned every office that is to be created, to persons belonging to themselves; as the people of Philadelphia have already found men within the city, to whom they have assigned every place that is to be at the disposal of the people. There was such a list given out not long since; and so I presume it will be in most of the States.
Mr. —— is injuring his interests, I am informed, by his conduct towards the Lieutenant G. I wonder how he comes to be so mistaken in his politics, for in general he has discovered some knowledge of the human mind, by the manner in which he enforces himself upon the opinions of the people. I see by the papers that he is now putting himself into the observation of the people, in all parts of the State. To me his motives are obvious; but to appear opposed to him would, in my opinion, be the surest means of establishing his wishes.5 But to have done with politics.
There are eccentric characters in all stations. You were not personally acquainted with Mrs. ——, but you knew her by reputation. She returned to New-York in a late ship, with her son, who is { 296 } married to a daughter of Mr. ——. He is seventeen years of age, and the lady fifteen; but possessed of an income of £500 per year, and a fortune in reversion. He will be entitled to a fortune of £30,000 when he comes of age.
Mr. B—— came out the other day, and dined with us. What an old fop! I was sorry to hear by him that Volnay had failed in business, since we left England, and that Mrs. O—— was in great distress there.
Col. Smith had a letter from Mr. Short by the last packet, which mentioned the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Paradise in Paris.
Cutting writes volumes of speculation to Col. Smith, upon the politics of Europe, and I fear will speculate with himself until he is ruined for any station in his own country.
Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:96–101.
1. Not found.
2. The daughter of Pieter Johan van Berckel, the first Dutch minister to the United States, Miss Van Berckel later married Col. John Christian Senf from South Carolina in New York in 1792 (Charleston City Gazette, 4 July 1792; Rev. William Hall, “Pieter Johan Van Berckel, First Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States from Holland,” NYGBR, 14:112 [July 1883]).
3. Antoine René Charles Mathurin, Comte de La Forest (1756–1846), served as the French vice consul to the United States from 1785 to 1793. He married Catherine Marie Le Cuillier de Beaumanoir on 27 June 1787 in New York (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; JCC, 30:13–15; Jacques Henri-Robert, Dictionnaire des diplomates de Napoléon, Paris, 1990, p. 223).
4. Hannah Harrison Thomson (d. 1807) was the second wife of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, and the daughter of Richard Harrison of Maryland. JA had met her while serving in Congress (DAB; JA, D&A, 2:133, 136, 264).
5. Gov. John Hancock had recently insulted his political opponent Lt. Gov. Benjamin Lincoln by denying Lincoln a sinecure post as Captain of the Castle, a position traditionally given to the lieutenant governor to augment an otherwise small salary. Around the same time, in Aug. 1788, Hancock traveled to New Hampshire and back, stopping in towns along the Massachusetts coast; his positive reception throughout the state led to some speculation that he might become the first U.S. vice president (Fowler, Baron of Beacon Hill, p. 273–274; New York Packet, 29 Aug.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0146

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1788-09-21 - 1788-09-23

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

Mr Lincoln has been here for several Days past—1 Tomorrow he intends to return to Hingham, & has offered to carry a Letter to either of my Sisters— I would not let so good an Opportunity pass, since I have often experienced how good, & how pleasant it was to receive a few Lines from a dear Friend, informing me of particular { 297 } Circumstances which are interesting to them, whether it be of Joy, or Grief. I can enter into their different feelings, & find that this sympathy in nature is a source of much pleasure—
Mr Lincoln perhaps may tell you that Mr Adams came here a Saturday, to experience a little of my maternal Care— That he is unwell &cc—
But least you should hear of it, & be too anxious I will tell you that I hope he will be better in a few Days— Mamma will say, “why did he not come home to Braintree—” Because it was too far—& if he can get what he wants, (a little kind attention) nearer, it would not be worth his while
He has not been well since he left Braintree— What did you do to him? did you give him too strong Coffee, & Green Tea— Or did you re[ad] to him some woeful Story?—
He cannot sleep a night, & his nervous system seems much affected— Dr sweet has given him the Bark to take, & I went & made him a mug of valerian Tea as soon as he came—2 He slept quietly last night, & seemed much refreshed, If I can coax him to sleep to night I shall feel quite grateful— For he has not rested two nights together for some time— He is the best man to take his medicine that I ever saw— He hardly makes a wry mouth— As his reward, I shall take him for a Gallant to his Aunt, & Cousin this week, & amuse his Mind by riding, & visiting—&cc &cc I am affraid he has applied himself too closely to his Studies— He is so avaritious in coveting the best Gifts that I fear such intense application will injure his Health, more than he is aware of.
Do not worry yourself by think[ing] that he will make trouble for us— I feel cleverly myself, & Lydia is as well as could be expected—& Cousin Betsy Smith is with me, & is one of the best good Girls in the world— He will have good care taken of him & I feel happy to think I can do no more for your Son, than you would do for mine—
I have had my wish— Mr Adams slept comfortably last night— Mr Lincoln, & he dined at Mr Thaxters to day— He thinks he is half Curred because he has got somebody to care for him—
I wish you could come to see us soon, because Mr Shaw wishes to go to Bridgwater the first week in October— My best regards to Dr Adams, & love to my Sister Cranch—& believe me to be your / affectionate Sister
[signed] E Shaw—
{ 298 }
Mr Adams has slept these 3 nights very well— I tell Him there is more of an anidoine in my bed—than in all the Dr Drugs.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Braintree”; notation: “Honoured by / Mr Lincoln.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Rev. Henry Lincoln (1765–1857), Harvard 1786, who would become minister at Falmouth, Mass. (JQA, Diary, 2:443, 454–455; History of Hingham, 2:467).
2. Dr. John Barnard Swett (1752–1796), Harvard 1771, studied medicine in Edinburgh before returning to the United States to practice in Newburyport (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:635–638). See also JQA, Diary, 2:327–328, 454.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0147

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-09-22

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam.

Mr:Lincoln, the bearer, is a young preacher, who belongs to Hingham; he is going home, and I cannot suffer the opportunity to pass unimproved; though I have little to say: except that I have been unwell: my nerves have been disordered, and the words of Henry have [. . .] obtruded themselves upon my mind, at the midnight hour.

Oh gentle sleep

Nature's soft Nurse, how have I frighted thee

That thou no more wilt weigh mine eye-lids down

And steep my senses in forgetfulness.1

I came here last Saturday, and have such excellent care taken of me, that I hope to be perfectly recovered in two or three days.
Mr Thaxter wishes very much to see the pamphlet containing the correspondence between Mr Jay & Littlepage.2 I promised him two months ago to procure one of them; and am ashamed of my negligence in forgetting it. Will you be so kind as to send it here by the first conveyance you can find?
I hope to write more fully in a few days; meantime, I remain your dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Braintree.”; docketed by JA: “J. Q. Adams 1788 / 22. Septr. Haverhill”; notation: “Mr: Lincoln.” Some loss of text due to placement of the seal.
1. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act III, scene i, lines 5–8.
2. This is probably a request for Answer to a Pamphlet, Containing the Correspondence between the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and Lewis Littlepage, Esquire, of Virginia, N.Y., 1787, which itself was a response to an earlier pamphlet of Jay's entitled Letters, Being the Whole of the Correspondence between the Hon. John Jay, { 299 } Esquire, and Mr. Lewis Littlepage, N.Y., 1786. These two pamphlets outline a disagreement between Jay and Littlepage over a debt Littlepage owed to Jay (“Littlepage versus Jay,” Virginia Historical Society, An Occasional Bulletin, 40:1–4 [June 1980]).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0148

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-28

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

[salute] N3

this morning my Dear Brother—Mr Storer Came out from New York—to spend the day with us and was the Bearer from thence of your kind letter dated Septr 11th from Braintree,1 I am very much surprized that you had not at that time received a letter from me, I wrote you in August and Mr Dane took my letter to Frank—and I had expected that you had received it long ere this,— Several of my friends—to whom I was very punctual in writing, I hear complain of my inattention— I fear my letters have miscarried—through the inattention of some Person,— I dont know to whom to attribute it— I shall in future be particularly attentive to whom I entrust them
I am however my Dear Brother the more obliged for your Letter as you had not heard from me—and from the appearance of things had reason I acknowledge; to tax me with negligence—towards you—so well do I know, and experience the Sattisfaction arrising from the receipt of letters from my Best Friends, that I can easily judge of the Chagrine and disappointment that must result from any circumstance which can interfere with their attention towards us—
this seperation of families which prevents us from paying to each other those attentions which our affection would dictate is to me the most painfull circumstance in Life— at times it affects my spirits—but I indeavour to dissipate the present anxiety by anticipating a future situation—when we shall meet together—and enjoy with double pleasure—the mutual interchange of affection and attention which—a Personal interview will render Possible—
the Happiness of our family seems ever to have been so interwoven with the Politicks of our Country as to be in a great degree dependant upon them— I almost hope that my Father may again be called to act upon the Public Theatre— such Men are much wanted altho I do Confess that self interest does not lie dormant in this wish— at Present you and my other Brothers are so much from necessity from home—that I cannot but hope that Mamma will accompany my Father this way at least for a few weeks—. I have made this proposal to her that She should come with my Father the last of next month and { 300 } spend a few weeks with me—and if She wished to return it would be a fine opportunity for you to Come for her—and would give you an opportunity which I very much wish for—to make me a visit— indeed I begin to be quite impatient to see all my Dear Brothers—. and half wish that we had set out soon after our arrival for the purpose of visitting my friends Eastward—but there were reasons which prevented at the time—and it is not, now in my Power this season—
I Shall be very happy to receive from you an account of your Situation—. and of your acquaintances—for I am greatly interested in your wellfare and Sollicitous for your prosperity and Happiness
do you hear from your friend Murry! you doubtless know that he returnd to Mary Land—more than twelve months since—and has since been making some figure there, as I have heard—.2 he like most others could not withstand that Vortex of dissipation which Europe presents and which like a Whirlpool draws in almost Every youth who—inadvertently steps into the stream
Poor Cutting will I fear fall a Sacrifise,—Possessed of tallents that might make a figure—had He Steadiness enough to pursue any fixd plan—with decission. he is now wasteing his time to the utter astonishment of all his friends and I beleeive dependant upon the Fortune of the night for the Subsistance of the day—
the Tragical Story you relate has made much talk here as well as with you— that family seem to be devoted to misfortunes of every kind,— if there are any innocent—one cannot but regret that they should be doomed to suffer with those whose atrocity of Guilt is almost unparalleled—
I hope our Countrymen will be Wise enough to take warning from those instances they have recently had of the pernicious affects of Such extravegance, dissipation, and folly;—as have been exhibited to view of late years;— the fatal Consequences which thousands of Innocent Persons experience from the downfall of thease airry fabricks—and visonary Castles of splendor—aught alone to deter others from pursueing So fallacious a Plan of Life—
your friend Munroe—inquired after you the other day—and wished that you would make me a visit which might give him an opportunity of seeing you in New York—3
I have sent MrStorer to meeting with Bellinda that I might write to you— it is I beleive near time for them to return— CollnSmith desires to be kindly remembered to you—
write me often and beleive me your affectionate Sister
[signed] A.— Smith
{ 301 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Sister. 28. Septr: 1788.” and “My Sister. September 28. 1788.”
1. Not found, but see JQA, Diary, 2:453.
2. William Vans Murray returned to Cambridge, Md., from London in late 1787 and began his law career; shortly thereafter, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates (Peter P. Hill, William Vans Murray Federalist Diplomat: The Shaping of Peace with France, 1797–1801, Syracuse, 1971, p. 7–8). See also vol. 5:344–345; JA, D&A, 3:188, note 1.
3. Peter Jay Munro (1767–1833) had accompanied his uncle John Jay to Europe in 1779. While there, Munro corresponded with JQA in 1783 and 1784. He returned in 1784 to New York, where he studied law with Aaron Burr (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0149

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-10-03

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I am almost affraid you do not love me so well as I hoped you did— If you had have known how much you dissappointed me, & my Friends here, in not making us a visit, your benevolence would have induced my Brother, & you, to have surmountd every Obstacle—
If I had not felt too great a tenderness for the Parent, I would have told you that your Son was here very Sick, & had alarming Complaints— And indeed I could have told you so with truth— But I did not want to decoy you here in this way, & make you travel the road with an akeing heart, I know too well the distress of it—
I suppose Mr Adams is with you before this time— He would go to Newbury a Tuesday contrary to my advice—& I have been very uneasy about him ever since— I think it is highly necessary for him to be exceeding careful as to Diet, Exercise, &cc— As to Study that must certainly be laid aside for the present— We wished him to have tarried longer here, He knows that I felt a pleasure in attending upon One, who I thought so worthy of our Love, & esteem— I hope he is with you now & much better— My Love to him I will not say to him that I hope Morpheus nightly sheds his Poppies o'er his head, but in a more Christian stile, pray that the good Shepherd of Isreal, who himself never slumbers nor sleeps, would encircle him in the arms of his Love, & remove every disorder,—that his Blood may flow on in a regular & healthful Course, & he perfectly restored—that the rose may again return to his Cheek, & the glow of health smile & brighten in his Face—
I hope to see you next week, if our chaise wheels are done, & nothing happens we expect to come— Mr Allen has been sick with weak Eyes ever since he returned— They were here a Lecture day this week, & gave some account of the dreadful trial she had with her child—1 I believe she does not want to go another Journey with one—
{ 302 }
Please to give my love to my Sister Cranch & Cousins— cousin Betsy Smith begs to be remembered by her Aunts, as well my Son & Daughter.
Ever, & unalterably your affectionate sister
[signed] E Shaw2
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “1788 E Shaw.”
1. The Allens' only child, Betsey, who had been born in Aug. 1787, survived to adulthood, marrying Rev. Thomas A. Merrill of Middlebury, Vt., in 1812 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 18:364, note 17).
2. The final line and signature were written sideways in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0150

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-10-05

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma:

I wrote you a hasty letter from New-York, just to acknowledge the receipt of yours, No. 5, the week before last;1 since which I have not heard from you, nor have I had an opportunity to write.
* * * * * * *
Pennsylvania has already appointed her Senators, who are Mr. Morris and a Mr. McLain.2 Poor —— is, then, disappointed; for he went home to make interest for himself, as it was said.
There are two gentlemen,—the one I mentioned in a former letter from the southward, and the other from your State, who is now in Congress,—who are looking for foreign appointments.3 We are all content that they should receive what they desire, for no one who has been abroad could, I think, wish to go again, knowing how matters must be situated.
Professions are much easier made than fulfilled, especially in these days when barter is the fashion. The maxim of the present time is, “if you can be of service to me in promoting my views, I will give you my assistance in yours.” Fear oftener actuates to friendly offices, than love. But I am not surprised at these things, for I am vain enough to think I can see as far into persons' characters, sentiments, and the motives which direct their conduct, as most ladies of my age and experience.
I may, sometimes from delicacy, at others from pride, suppress my opinions; but I flatter myself that in many cases I think right.
My father's idea of returning to the bar, (unless he is placed, as he ought to be, in a situation agreeable to himself,) is what I should expect from him, knowing his sentiments as I do; and unless the idea militates with his feelings, I can see no more respectable situation in private life, and no one so independent either in public or { 303 } private, as he would establish himself in; for I presume the smaller parts of the practice would be wholly excluded by him, and left to young practitioners. It is a profession which I do venerate, and hope one day to see all my brothers, if it is their choice, to pursue this profession, making respectable figures in it. And, if it is not looking too far forward, I would hope that my son might yet become a pupil of his grandfather's. Ever since I have thought at all upon the subject, it has been my opinion that the study of law tends more to mature the judgment, and establish the right character of the man, (provided there are proper principles for the foundation,) than any other profession. There are men without principles in every profession. I do not think that the ill conduct of individuals ought to lessen the respectability of the profession they have made their study, although it may in the minds of some persons have this tendency.
The recent instance of perfidy and unheard of atrocity, which you mention in your letter, and which has made much talk this way, ought to brand with infamy the name and character of the author. Yet it seems hard that innocent persons, if there are any such connected with him, should suffer in their characters and reputations, by their affinity to this fiend of wickedness. This family seems devoted to misfortune of every kind, but I think that this instance must be the criterion of them.
My friends must have thought me very inattentive to them, if they have not yet received my letters. I have answered very punctually almost every letter I have received. It is a great amusement to me, writing to my friends at this distance. I do not find that time lessens the painfulness of a separation from our friends; it is only alleviated by this intercourse by letters. You have been very good in writing me, and yet when I do not get a letter for several weeks, I begin to grow impatient. You must not omit any opportunity of affording me this source of satisfaction.
I am much obliged by your request to have my dear boy with you this winter; but this is a separation I cannot think of. He is a great amusement to me, and becomes daily more engaging.
Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:101–104.
1. Neither AA's letter to AA2 nor AA2's reply has been found.
2. William Maclay (1737–1804), a lawyer and judge of the court of common pleas in Pennsylvania, served in the U.S. Senate from 1789 to 1791. Robert Morris (1734–1806) served { 304 } until 1795 then declined renomination (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. The representative “from the southward” is possibly Abraham Baldwin, for whom see AA2 to AA, 13 Aug. 1788, and note 1, above. The Massachusetts representative is likely Samuel A. Otis, who wrote to JA on 18 Dec. seeking a position: “The Clerk of the Senate or of the House would give me subsistence for 'I want but little.' . . . If I fail in both these, I think I could discharge the office of Collector of excise Naval officer, or the active offices at home or abroad, for I am a 'Citizen of the world' litterally” (Adams Papers; see also Smith, Letters of Delegates, 25:445–446, 470, 474). Otis became secretary of the Senate and served from 1789 to 1814 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:478–480).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0151

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-11-10

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam—

It is with particular pleasure I communicate to you the joyfull news of Mrs: Smiths safe delivery of a Son, which took place between seven & eight the last Evening, she was not the least indisposed untill six o'Clock & by ½ past seven all was well & tranquil, both continue composed and easy, but Nabby desires me to tell you that she is much disappointed, she had made the things, to adorn a female & a male has taken possession of them; but she seems to take some comfort in contemplating the beauty of the infant, which (setting asside the partiallity which my mind may very naturally be supposed charged with) is in reallity very striking, I must amongst other favours which I feel gratefull for, particularise one, viz, the Boy has a fine promising Nose & an honest forehead, which I think will be some recommendation to a Lady of his Grandmama's taste & penetration, why will you not come and visit this happy family? but the fault is not in you but in your Stars, we have almost entirely given up the Idea of seeing any of the family, unless the sound advice contained in Mrs:S's last letter relative to her Brother John should put him in motion, which we both seriously wish may be the case—1Mrs: Smith joins me in affectionate regards to Sir2 & yourself—to Brothers, Aunts, Uncles & the whole interesting train of Relations & friends & Individually, I am with great affection Dear Madam / Yours sincerely—
[signed] W: S: Smith
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To / Mrs:Adams—”
1. Not found.
2. WSS originally wrote “her Pappa” but crossed out the word “Pappa” and altered “her” to read “Sir.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0152

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-11-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child:

Our anxiety for you, in your present circumstances and situation among strangers, (though we doubt not you have many friends,) has prevailed upon me to make a great sacrifice, in consenting to your mother's journey to Long Island.
* * * * * * *
I am kindly obliged to Col. Smith and to you, for your many invitations, and I have a great desire to see you, your friends, and even your situation. But, as long as this political squall shall last, I can scarcely lie asleep, or sit still, without censure, much less ride journeys on visits to my friends.
If my future employment in public depends on a journey to New-York, or on the feather of being for a week or a day President of Congress, I will never have any other than private employments while I live. I am willing to serve the public on manly conditions, but not on childish ones; on honourable principles, not mean ones.
It is the opinion of good judges, in which I fully concur with them, that there will be no Congress till February; nor then, but merely to declare the old Government dissolved, and the new one in exercise; so that there will be no occasion for me to go.1
I find men and manners, principles and opinions, much altered in this country, since I left it. Gen. Knox will tell you, when you see him, how completely I am initiated in the order of Cincinnatus, without any vote of the Society. He has obliged me by two short visits, and is the same sensible and agreeable man as when I formerly knew him.
I am, my dear daughter, with much affection, / Yours,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:105–106.
1. While various members of Congress did attend between Nov. 1788 and March 1789, no business was transacted (JCC, 34:604–605).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0153

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1788-11-11

John Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear Sir:

I was much obliged to you for a letter by Mr. Nesbit of Philadelphia, and am very sorry I could not have more of his company.1 He was much esteemed, I find, in Boston.
{ 306 }
I wished for you, when he was here, because you could never have a better opportunity of seeing your old military friends. We had a review of the militia, upon my farm; and a battle that threw down all my fences. I wish, however, that Governor Hancock and General Lincoln would not erect their military reputations upon the ruins of my stone walls. Methinks I hear you whisper, it won't be long ere they erect their civil and political characters upon some other of your ruins. If they do, I shall acquiesce, for the public good: Lincoln I esteem very much: the other, I respect as my governor.
* * * * * * *
You have many friends here, who constantly inquire after your health and happiness. They all would be glad to see you, but none of them so sincerely rejoiced, as your affectionate,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:106–107.
1. The letter has not been found. Mr. Nesbit is probably John Maxwell Nesbitt (ca. 1730– 1802), a prominent Philadelphia merchant and director of the Bank of North America (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0154

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-11-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

We Reachd this place last evening and put up at a mr Avery's private Lodgings, where we are very well accommodated.1 I am delighted with the veiw I have had of this state, the River is in full sight from the House & the fields yet retain their verdure, Lands I am told are valued here at a hundred pounds pr acre, and it is not unusuall to let the Farms upon this River at four pounds pr Annum pr acre. Manure is generally carried out in the fall. So much for Farming which is in your own way, besides I have learnt a New method of preserving pumpkins which is in my own way. I hope to make the journey usefull to me by further observations. I followd your injunctions stricktly kept open the windows, walkt some times &c but still no remedy against evening air. the day's being short & the evenings fine we wisht to improve the good weather & get on our journey as fast as possible, so rode late in the Evenings by which means I got a sad cold, or rather added to that which I had when I left Home. it is however going of to day. I hope you are relieved from yours, and that without the assistance of Bridgham prescription, I think of you very often and how I shall get back to you. I find the weather full cold enough now for travelling with comfort. { 307 } we have a very easy carriage good carefull driver and able Horses, yet find thirty miles as much as we can accomplish in one day. Some of the Road Rough enough as you well remember. our Landlord who is an intellegent man fell into politicks to day, inquired who were talkd of for Senators in our state, &c but finding no politicians in company few observation were made. he was high in praise of Dr Johnson & judge Elsworth, hope'd the rest of the states would send as good men & then he did not believe that the House of Lords in England could equal them, did not like pensilvana's chusing a Man who had never been heard of before, he might be a good man, but he wanted those men in office whose Fame had resounded throughout all the states. I ventured to ask him who were talkd of for Representitives. he said col wardsworth would be one, but that much had not been said upon the Subject yet. our Friend Trumble lives within a few doors of this House.2 I have sent my compliments to him to come and take a dish of Tea with us, the Messenger is not yet returnd. we propose persueing our journey early in the morning and hope to reach Newyork by thursday Night.
I hope to hear from you by Genll Knox or mr Jarvis, pray see that our son excercises daily. I shall want to know a little of politicks, but with them I suppose you will tell me I have no Buisness—I design to be vastly prudent I assure you hear all, & say little— I hope you will be in good spirits all the Time I am gone, remembring Solomans advise that a merry Heart does good like a medicine— Love to all my Friends—
Have had a charming visit from Trumble we were so happy & sociable—I wish't you had been here to have shared it, we talkd of Books a little politicks, &c &c and so long that, the post is just going, and I have only time to Say a good Night and that I am yours most tenderly
[signed] A Adams
dont leave my Letters upon the table
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “The Honble: John Adams Esqr:/ Braintree / Massachusetts.”; docketed: “[A A] to J A / 1788.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. John Avery opened a lodging house on Main Street in Hartford, not far from the State House, in Dec. 1787. He advertised “Genteel Boarding & Lodging” and promised that “Breakfasts, Dinners, and Suppers, are provided on the shortest notice, and neat Beds are furnished. He has also the best of Stabling for Horses” (Hartford American Mercury, 25 Aug. 1788). See also AA to JA, 22 April 1789, below.
2. For John Trumbull, JA's former law clerk and lifelong friend, see JA, Legal Papers, 1:cxii.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0155

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1788-11-24

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I know you will rejoice with me that all was happily over & mrs Smith safely abed before I reachd her She thought she should do as she did before, so told no one that she was unwell, untill mr Smiths mamma & sister could scarcly reach her, and a Negro Woman whom she has was obliged to officiate for her. happily she had on some former occasions assisted some of her own coulour, but all were teribly frightned, however no one sufferd, but mrs Smith & my young Grandson are as well as usual at this period. Master William is the very Image of his Mamma at the same age, except that he has a great share of vivacity & sprightlyness, the merest little Trunchion that you ever saw, very pleasent & good humourd
I find this place a very retired one Rural & delightfull in the summer. mr Smith has a large connection of sisters & Brothers, who as well as his mamma appear very fond of their Sister & her daughter & Grandsons Belinda who keeps chiefly here, is very pleasing & soft in her manners, much like my Friend Mrs Rogers. I was so short a Time at Newyork that I saw nothing of it, and I feel as if I ought to return to my Family again, as soon as mrs Smith gets about, but it is a long journey & the Stages I find are very inconvenient for a Lady & wholy improper on many accounts for me. they are not hung upon springs & they drive very Rapidly over very bad road. I hope you will write me and give me some account of my Family, about which I am anxious you will learn from Esther how she makes out I wish to know whether she is able to take the care which is upon her— I also want to know how mr J Q As health is, I know you will feel a care for all of them in my absence.— mr Adams will Frank your Letters which please to direct under cover to Col Smith
my Love to my dear Neices and tell Betsy I design to be at Home to wedding mrs Smith joins me in affectionate Regard to you & Family.
I am my dear sister affectionately / Yours
[signed] A Adams
I wish my dear sister if it will not dissapoint cousin Betsy that you would write a line to the chair maker at milton to Send the half dozen to mr Smiths store in Boston put up so as to send safely on Board the first vessel which shall sail for Newyork, & let him know that I will pay him on my return, pray mr Smith to address them to mr daniel macormick Newyork
{ 309 }
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; notation by AA2: “Mc. Cormick.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0156

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1788-11-26

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I do not know whether you have heard a word from me since I left you, if you have not, I presume it will afford you some pleasure to be assured that I got home well, though we had an uncommon cold time— We found our own Family in good Health— But Miss Lydia Marsh was very sick with the scarlet fever, & good Mrs Marsh was taken the day we got home with a very voilent fever, which threatened speedy dissolution— But to the great comfort of her Friends, & Relations she is again recovered, & her useful Life is a little longer lengthened out to us—1
I heard by Judge Seargant that Sister Adam's was going to New-york, but I doubted whether it were true— But I have since heard that she is gone— Seems to me it was very sudden indeed, for she did not intimate anything of it to me I fear she will always be moving from us— She is so connected in publick Life, & must have so large a Sphere to act in, that it is not likely we shall ever have that sweet enjoyment, in still domestic Life, which we used to experience in the private Circle of dear Friends—
I am glad to hear Mr Adams is better, I should not have thought his Mother would have left him— A journey mig[ht] perhaps, been of eminent service to him—
I am grieved to tell you that our dear Mr Thaxter has had another dreadful fit— It did not last but a few minutes—& he was not so sick afterwards— I really think Mrs. Thaxter suffers more from apprehension than he does in reality— How often does unforeseen Calamity cast a shade over the brightest prospects— The tender affection which subsists between this worthy pair, serves only to sharpen the edge of their affliction— I really fear the distress, & agitation of her Mind, will occasion Mr Thaxter a third dissappointment2
Next week Mr Adrews is to be ordained at Newbury—3 This I presume will afford me the pleasure of seeing many of my Friends this way— among them may I not hope to see Mr Norton, & my dear Cousin— I look earnestly in the news paper, but have not as yet seen his nutials announced to the publick— Whenever that may be, may my young Friends be blessed, & happy— I have got some fine Turkeys I wish you were here to eat them— Mr White, Mr Osgood, & { 310 } Mr Bartlet presented us with one—so we have seven for you my friends if you will make haste & come to your ever affectionate
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw
PS Love in abundance
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; docketed: “Mrs.Shaw / Nov. 26. 1788.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Mary Moody Marsh, the wife of Deacon David Marsh, lived until 1794. Lydia (1745–1828) was their daughter (JQA, Diary, 1:397; Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 1:213; 2:213, 441).
2. Elizabeth Thaxter gave birth to a son, John Adams Thaxter, on 7 July 1789, after two miscarriages (John Thaxter Jr. to Celia Thaxter, 14 Feb. 1789, MHi:Thaxter Family Papers; JQA, Diary, 2:388).
3. John Andrews of Hingham, Harvard 1786, was ordained associate pastor of the First Church of Newburyport (formerly the Third Parish of Newbury) on 10 December. Andrews was a friend of JQA's at Harvard (Minnie Atkinson, A History of the First Religious Society in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Newburyport, 1933, p. 7, 37; JQA, Diary, 1 and 2:passim).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0157

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1788-11-30 - 1788-12-02

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear sister

I have been waiting above a week hopeing to have a Letter from my dear sister informing me of her safe arrival at newyork Before I can write said I—I think I must have a Letter— you left us so unwell that I have been anxious about you ever since— I have a thousand times wish'd you back again your Letter to Mr Adams dated at Hartford has in some measure reliev'd me— I hope before this that you are rejoicing with your children in the safety of my dear Niece & that you are fondling over this new addition to your Family my sincere congratulations attend you all whenever it shall happen— As soon as mrs smith can be left I am sure you will return— mr Adams looks quite a solatary Being has not been from home excepting when he is upon his Farms since you left him. He calls upon us once or twice a day—but these are only flying visits— I have not yet been able to get him to dine with me altho I have ask'd him repeatedly— I thought surely to have had him & my Nephews at thanksgiving—but his reasons were so amiable that I could not but approve of his refusal— “He wish'd once more to meet his Mother & Brother at his own house upon such an anniversary. He felt assur'd it would be the last that his kind Parent would ever keep with him.” she has had a bad fall sin[ce] you left us— she caught her foot in a wheelband as she was crossing the Room & fell— It has givin her a sad shock. She { 311 } is so feeble that she can scarcly walk your son charles din'd with me to day & says that things go on very peacably at home. I have heard no complaints— As to cousin John—when we turn to Books he will visit us. He has not been in the house since you went away— He says he is well—
I ask'd Mr Adams the other day if he had written to you He said “no—” it was to tender a subject as Dr—— said “it always made him melancholy—” very well said I— then I know what I have to do or somebody else will be melancholy for want of inteligence— & so my sister you see my scribling Pen is once more set to work—
cousin Tom went last week to Haverhill— mr Andrews is to be ordain'd at Newbury Port the week after next—which will give your eldest son & mine a little Journey which will I hope be for the health of both of them The Brother & sisterly affection subsisting between our children gives me the highest pleasure— may nothing ever happen to lessen it—
you will see by the Papers what a contest there has been between the House & senate—The stuborn senate—but such ploting & cabaling in doors & out is a scandle to our state1I foresee that some of our late popular characters will sink into disgrace. The man who dares to pluck the mask from the Face of the dissembling vilain will be feard but must not expect to be belov'd but by the virtuous few—He who acts honestly will not be so much hurt by the ingratitude of those whos interests he has greatly serv'd as one whos motive was mearly the applause of the multitude—because he acted from a better principle He will like the Being he has imitated rejoice in the good he has accation'd to others altho they may not see the hand from which it came—
December 2'd
I am this day to be favour'd with Mr Adams & your sons company to dine— I should feel an additional happiness if you could all join us I long to clasp the little strangers to my Bosom. Mrs Hall is much better Mr Cranch & I spent the last sunday evening with our solatary Brother & had a choise dish of Politicks for our entertainment
william is at home— I had like to have said but I should have said is at your office. His cousin was so desirous of having him for his companion both in his office & in his excurtions on horse back that he has left his master for a little time— our weymouth Freinds are well Mr Tufts is gone to housekeeping—
{ 312 }
I inquir'd of mrs Brisler how she did with her kitchen Family— she told me pritty well— If there is any thing you wish me or the children to take the care of you know we are bound by every tye of gratitude & affection to afford you every assistance in our power—
we all wish ardently for your return but none with more / sinceritty than your affectionate sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
Accept the Duty & Love of your Nephew & Neices's
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Jamaica. / Long Island”; docketed by JA: “M C to A A”; notations: “Free / John Adams.”; “Not”; and “2.16 / ¼.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The Massachusetts Centinel, 22 and 26 Nov., printed the debates in the Mass. General Court over the election of senators to Congress from 21 to 24 November. The House initially favored the election of Caleb Strong and Charles Jarvis, but the Senate refused to concur. After several rounds of debate, the two houses ultimately agreed on Caleb Strong and Tristram Dalton (First Fed. Elections, 1:514–521).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0158

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-12-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Before this time I hope you have the Happiness to See your Daughter out of all Danger and your Son in Law and your two grand children in perfect health. I have no Letter from you, Since that you wrote at Hartford, and I cannot find fault because this is the first I have written to you. We are all very well, and go on very well. Charles came home and Thomas went to Haverhill, last Week.—
We are all in a Lurry with Politicks. MrDalton and Mr Strong are Senators1 and Mr Lowell will be Rep. for the District of Suffolk, as is generally Supposed.— Mr Varnum, Mr Partridge Coll Leonard, Mr Grout Mr Sedgwick or Mr Lyman Mr Jackson or Mr Dane or Mr Goodhue, Mr Thatcher or Col Sewell, are named for other Districts.2
My Love to our Children and Respects and Regards wherever you please.
Dont be uneasy, on Account of your Family here, nor in haste to come home before a good opportunity presents.
I dont enter into any political Details. My Mind has ballanced all Circumstances. and all are reducible to two Articles Vanity and comfort.— I have the <Whip Row> Alternative in my own Power. if they mortify my Vanity they give me Comfort.— They cannot deprive me of Comfort without gratifying my Vanity. I am my dearest / Friend your forever
[signed] John Adams
{ 313 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Jamaica. / Long Island.”; internal address: “Mrs Adams.”; notations: “Free / John Adams.”; “Not”; and “2.16 / ¼.”
1. Caleb Strong (1745–1819), Harvard 1764, a Northampton lawyer, served in the Senate until 1796 (First Fed. Elections, 1:759–760).
2. For a full discussion of the elections of U.S. representatives in Massachusetts, including the multiple balloting in some districts, see same, 1:543–742.
Suffolk County elected Fisher Ames over John Lowell (same, 1:743).
Gen. Joseph Bradley Varnum (1750/51–1821), from Dracut, was not elected at this time but would serve in Congress as a representative from 1795 to 1811 and as a senator from 1811 to 1817; Middlesex County elected Elbridge Gerry in his place (same, 1:749, 760–761).
Plymouth and Barnstable Counties elected George Partridge (1740–1828), a Duxbury native, who served from 1789 to 1790 (same, 1:756).
George Leonard (1729–1819), Harvard 1748, from Norton, represented Bristol, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties from 1789 to 1791 and again from 1795 to 1797 (same, 1:753–754).
Jonathan Grout (1737–1807) was elected from Worcester County and served until 1791 (same, 1:751).
Berkshire and Hampshire Counties elected Theodore Sedgwick over Samuel Lyman, among others. Sedgwick (1746–1813), Yale 1765, practiced law and served in the Mass. General Court nearly continuously from 1780 to 1788. He had been a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1785 to 1786 and in 1788, and would serve in the U.S. Congress from 1789 to 1801. Lyman (1749–1802), Yale 1770, was also a lawyer and a member of the General Court from 1786 to 1793. He was later elected to Congress and served as a representative from 1795 to 1801 (same, 1:603, 754, 757).
Benjamin Goodhue was elected to represent Essex County over Nathan Dane and Jonathan Jackson. Goodhue (1748–1814), Harvard 1766, served as a Massachusetts congressman from 1789 to 1796, and then as a senator from 1796 to 1800. Jackson (1743–1810), Harvard 1761, was a Newburyport merchant (same, 1:586, 750, 752).
The three Maine counties—York, Cumberland, and Lincoln—selected George Thatcher over Colonel Sewall, probably Dummer Sewall (1737–1832), a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts militia who represented Bath in the state ratifying convention. Thatcher (1754–1824), Harvard 1776, was a lawyer from Biddeford; he served in Congress from 1789 to 1801 (same, 1:611–613, 760; Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 7:1517).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0159

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-12-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

This day three weeks I left Home, since which I have not heard a word from thence. I wrote you from Hartford and once from this place since my arrival.1 I cannot give you any account eitheir of Newyork or Jamaica as I got into the first at seven in the Evening & left it at Nine the next morning, and in this place my only excursion has been in the garden. the weather has been bad cloudy & rainy ever since I came untill within these two days, and now it is very cold & Blustering. when I think of the distance I am from Home, the Idea of winter & Snow has double terrors for me. I think every Seperation more painfull as I increase in Years. I hope you have found in the Learned & venerable Company you proposed keeping, an ample compensation for my absence. I imagine however if these { 314 } cold Nights last a little vital Heat must be wanting. I would recommend to you the Green Baize Gown, and if that will not answer, you recollect the Bear skin. I hope you will gaurd with all possible precaution against the Riggors of winter. I wish to hear how mr John Q A stands this cold. I hope he rest well, and duly excercises. I learn nothing further in politicks for except when col Smith goes to Town which is but seldom, we hear no News & see nobody but the Family. Mrs Smith remains very well for the Time and young master grows, but he and William should change Names, as William bears not the least likness to His Father or Family & the Young one is very like. for myself I am tolerably a little Homeish, however, the more so perhaps through the fear of not being able to reach it, just when I wish. if our out of Door Family should increase in my absence, I hope proper attention will be paid to the preservation of the Young family. if it should be numerous it will be rather expensive, and I would offer to your consideration whether two of the young Females had not better be put in a condition for disposal, viz fatted. The Beaf I Suppose is by this time in the cellar. I wish you would mention to Brisler & to Esther, a constant attention to every thing about House to Gaurd against the incroachment of Rats & mice. the cider should be drawn off, and my pears and Apples picked over & repack'd. if I should not reach Home by christmass—would it not be best to purchase a pork for winter, & to secure a few legs of pork to Bacon? I wish amongst other things you would frequently caution them about the fires a Nights. I should be loth to trust any one in this Matter but Brisler.—
pray write me by the next post and tell me how you all do.
mr & mrs Smith present their duty pray do not forget to present mine to our venerable parent little William says Grandpa ha ha. I should certainly bring him home if it was not winter and such a distance
Love to mrs Cranch & my Neices:—
Yours most tenderly
[signed] A Adams
my Trunk has not yet arrived so that I could not go abroad if I would— Barnard was to sail the Sunday after I left Town
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “To / The Honble: John Adams / Member of Congress from / Massachusetts at / Braintree near / Boston.”; docketed by JQA: “A. A. / Decr 3d 1788.”; notation: “2.16” and “A. A.”
1. The Hartford letter is dated 16 Nov., above; the second letter has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0160

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-12-13

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dear Friend

I hope every post to hear from you, but every post has hithertoo dissapointed me. a month is a long time to be absent from Home without learning any thing from you. you have often left me and always was very punctual in writing to me. this is but the second time I have left you, and the first that I have been so long without hearing from you. I have written three times before, but have very little to entertain you with. Politicks are confined much to Newyork the papers of which give us but little information and winter leaves us very little scope for Farming or Husbandry. Col Smith has a fine poultry yard consisting of Turkys Geese fowls ducks in abundance, a pair of very good Horses & two cows, two pointers & two water dog's. the Island abounds with game Quails partridges ducks plovers &c
Having tarried till mrs Smith has got well and about House, I am anxious to return Home again I think I could be more usefull there than here. I should have like'd to have spent one week in Nyork, but shall not tarry a day for that purpose after an opportunity offers for my return. I beg you would write me by the post. mrs Smith desires me to present her duty to you & Love to all her friends. most affectionately / yours
[signed] A A—

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0161

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-13

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

I begin to think I am not of that concequence at Home which I supposed myself, or that you think me less solicitious about my Family than I really am, since a whole month has elapsed since I left you, in all which time I have neither received a single line or heard a word from one member of it. three times I have written to your Pappa once to your Aunt Cranch, and now I try you to see if I can be favourd with a few Lines at least. The subjects I wish you to write upon, is first How your Father does, yourself and Brothers come Next, your Grandmamma uncles & Aunt & cousins next to them our domesticks. The Family here are well, and Since Barnard { 316 } chuses to keep the Trunk which was committed to him, or rather we cannot learn anything of him, I am incapacitated from making any visits in Newyork, but shall embrace the first fall of snow to return to massachu. again
I have only seen one Newspaper from our state since I came here, and that mr George Storer sent me last week. it containd the choice of Senators.1 I was glad to see our Senate act with proper spirit and dignity. Virgina you will see by the papers, is lighting up a fire the G——r and assembly of N york tis said will blew the coals.2 Col duer dined here last week, it was his opinion that there would not be any congress this winter. a few members only were come.
This place is much more retired than Braintree. most of the Families who reside here were Tories during the war. Some of them are so still. Col Smith has not a single acquaintance upon the Island whom he visits, he belongs to a club in Newyork of which mr Jay Benson Hammilton duer King and a Number of other Gentlemen are members, they usually meet once a week and dine together.
I am very desirious of getting Home before the Jan'ry vacancy. Col Smith will bring me, and your Sister seems very much inclined to make us a winter visit as she thinks she could accomplish it with more ease to herself and little ones than any other way. She is extreemly desirious to see her Father Brothers & Friend's. I fear to encourage her as the accommodations upon the Road are very indifferent for a winters excursion with young children, but if the Sleying should be fine I think she will try it. if the Snow Should keep of, why I do not know how I shall return. I wish I could be assured of getting back with half the convenience I came, aya Say you, I told you so mamma. So you did, but I thought I was doing what duty and maternal tenderness demanded of me, and I shall not regreet it tho I should encounter many difficulties in concequence of it.
pray accommodate your Father with writing materials and tell him I am very Solicitious to have under his own Hand that he has not sufferd with the cold and from yours that you Rest well, and are better than when I left you.
Yours most affectionately
[signed] A Adams
1. Probably the Massachusetts Centinel whose 26 Nov. issue contained the conclusion of the debates in the Mass. General Court regarding the election of senators.
2. The Virginia legislature approved a resolution on 20 Nov. calling for a second convention to consider amendments to the new Constitution (rather than having the new Congress consider amendments). The resolution included a draft letter to Gov. George { 317 } Clinton of New York asking that he present the resolution to the New York legislature for concurrence (First Fed. Elections, 2:273–279; Massachusetts Centinel, 3 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0162

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-12-14

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear sister

I do indeed rejoice with you all upon the happy event which took place in mr smiths Family before your arrival I hope my Neices health is perfectly restor'd that the young gentlemen are both very well—& that you may soon return accompany'd by Colln. smith whom I wish much to see— you must not think of comeing in the stage. It would be highly improper upon every account— we receiv'd your letters last week & were impatient enough till we had—
I call'd upon mr Adams yesterday & found him looking with great pleasure upon 15 head of young Heifers which he had just purchas'd—1 He is determin'd to have stock enough I think you must build a dairy room next spring I am sure if they should all have calves. mr Adams will cover his Farms with living creatures if he does not have some other imployment soon—but by what I can hear it is probable he will—
The chairs you mention have been here these three weeks—but you shall have them— I sent yesterday to have some more made & suppose I can have them— Betsy says if she does not have them till the spring she does not care she has some which she can put into the chamber. she wishes you to be here when she is married—but I believe you must come soon if you are— It has become such a serious matter with her that I really wish it was over— she will have no health till it is she wants you to say a few cheafull incouraging things to her— her Cousin too must spair an hour from her Nursery to inliven her Ideas.
Mrs Brisler has retain'd her health bejond my expectaton— I hear no complaints of any kind from any one your son is not returnd from ordination mine did not go— mr cranhs was taken very <ill> the morning he was to have gone. & I feard he would have had a settled fever but it is gone off; I believe it was a cold & too great attention to watch work, your sons at college I hear are will,— I have told mrs Brisler to acquaint me if there is any thing to be done for them she has sent some of mr adams linnen to be repair'd & Lucy has done it
mr cranch & william are gone to spend this evening with your lonely Friend— He has his easy chair before the fire & the Tables cover'd with books & papers just as he told you he would
{ 318 }
mr Brisler will take the chairs to mr smiths store tomorrow & I hope they will reach you safe
I wish to look in upon you all— I cannot bear this separation—& must I hope it will be continu'd?— can I be so publick spirited? If I am I shall sacrifice a very great part of my private happiness— remember me most affectionately to mrs smith & till her that neither time nor distance has or ever will lesson my love for her— I long to squeese the little Boys & make them love me
I am my dear sister with the most ardent affection ever yours—
[signed] Mary Cranch
The whole Family Join me presenting congratulations & Love oh! for a good pair of eyes & a good pen!
1. A receipt in JA's hand shows that he purchased fifteen yearlings from his cousin Ebenezer Adams on 15 Dec. for a price of £16.9.1 (NN:Presidents' Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0163

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-12-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It was not untill yesterday that I received your Letter & mrs Cranchs. mr mccomick came up & brought them both to my no small satisfaction, and this was the first that I had heard from Home since I left it, except by the News papers which I have engaged George Storer to forward to me. I have written to you every week since I left you, and Subjected you to more postage than my Letters are worth, which I did not know untill Saturday when mr Jay offerd to Frank my Letters & requested me to have mine sent to him. Members of congress it seems have not that privilege but when they are upon duty. mr Jay came out on Saturday to visit me. he had been waiting some Time for mrs Jay, but the children were sick with the measles and prevented her. Col smith was gone to Town, so we had all the Talk to ourselves, and very social we were, just as if we had been acquainted Seven years. He expresst a great desire to see you, and thought you might have come on without subjecting yourself to any observations, tho he knew your Reasons were those of Delicacy. I replied to him that your wish to see him was mutual that a visit from him to you would have made you very happy, but that you was become quite a Farmer and had such a fondness for old Professions that you talk'd of returning to the Bar again. he replied with some warmth, that if your Countrymen permitted it, they { 319 } would deserve to be brought to the Bar—that you must not think of retireing from publick Life. you had received your portion of the bitter things in politicks it was time you should have some of the sweets. I askt him where he thought the sweets in the new Government were to grow. he smild and said that he hoped for good things under it. I askd him whether the oppositition in virginia was not likely to become troublesome, particularly when joind by this state. he said it was his opinion that they might be quieted, by the New Governments assureing them that a convention should be called to consider of amendments at a certain period. Col Smith dinned at club on Saturday. col Hammilton shew him a Letter from madison in which he “Says, we consider your Reasons conclusive. the Gentleman you have named will certainly have all our votes & interest for vice President,” but there is interest making amongst the antifeds for Clinton both in Newyork and virginia, and if the Electers should be of that class tis Said General washington will not have the vote of his own State for Pressident.1 Col Wadsworth says he is sure of connecticut with respect to a vice president— I am rather at a loss to know how to act. I find there is much inquiry made for me in Newyork. one Lady is sending to know when I am comeing to Town & an other where I shall keep and Tickets for the assembly have been sent up to me. mr Jay requested me to make his House my Home, but I have no maid with me and should experience many difficulties in concequence of it if I went where I should be exposed to so much company and I was previously engaged to mrs Atkinson, but my Trunk with all my Cloaths is not yet arrived, & I am Sadly of, even here having only one gown with me. and I must be obliged to return home without even Seeing Newyork should Barnard be driven off to the west Indies, if a good snow comes I shall not wait. the Ladies must stay their curiosity till my Leve day, and if that never comes, they will have no further curiosity about seeing A A—who it seems was of so much concequence or somebody connected with her, that at every Inn upon the Road it was made known that I was comeing. I find the peice called a Tribute justly paid &c is in the Nyork & conneticut papers—2 I see several political maneuvers in our Boston papers particularly the Letter which places <you> a certain Gentleman in the chair dividing the state into two parties one for the Late & the other for the present Governour, & supposing they mean both to unite in mr A.3 an other peice dated at Braintree, which I am persuaded was never written there I dare say I shall tell you News out of your own papers4
{ 320 }
Mrs Smith desires me to present her duty to you. she is very weak yet, but otherways well. mr Jay upon seeing william cry'd out well here is Grandpappa over again. he is a fine red cheekd chubby Boy, as good temperd as I ever saw a child. Mrs Cranch says you are very solitary and that she cannot get you to see her. they tell me here that the Great Folks in Newyork are never solitary, if the wife is absent why they supply her place, now rather than my Husband should do so, I would stick to him, cleave I believe is the proper word all the days of my Life. I hope the Lads are all well and that Esther takes good care of them & of their things. Mrs Smith says I am in better spirits since I got my Letters. I believe it is true I know I was near home sick before. I think of a thousand things which I ought to be doing, and here I am near 300 miles distant. my duty to your good mother, I hope she has recoverd from her Fall & is able to visit you sometimes. pray write me all about the Family and cover your Letters to mr Jay— adieu most affectionately yours—
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JQA: “A. A. / December 15t 1788.”
1. Probably James Madison to Alexander Hamilton, 20 Nov., not found, for which see Hamilton's letter to Madison of 23 Nov. (Hamilton, Papers, 5:234–237).
2. This article first appeared under a London dateline in the New York Packet, 21 Nov., and was subsequently reprinted in the Connecticut Journal, 10 December. When the Massachusetts Centinel printed it on 3 Dec., it used the headline “A Tribute —Justly Paid—to Mr. Adams.” It celebrated JA's public career to date, noting in particular his work negotiating treaties with the European powers and securing a loan from the Netherlands, as well as his publication of the Defence of the Const.
3. In the twentieth letter in a series, “Francois de la E——” commented on the politicking in Massachusetts, arguing that the state was divided into two parties, “Hancockonians” and “Bowdoinites.” He believed that the Bowdoinites planned “to exert the whole of their influence in favour of the Hon. John Adams, Esq; in order to place him in the chair of government the next year; and I am induced to believe they will effect it; for Mr. Adams is generally beloved by both parties, his great talents acknowledged by every one, and his persevering friendship to the American cause, has got him a name and character which will be lasting as the pages of time” (Boston Herald of Freedom, 8 Dec.).
4. Another piece in the same issue entitled “Unbiassed and Impartial” and signed at Braintree, 5 Dec., by “Suffolk” disparaged “the peculiar method lately taken with respect to Representatives for our Federal Government.” He critiqued the newspapers for writing as if the question had already been decided and was not up to the people of the state (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0164

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
DateRange: 1788-12-15 - 1788-12-18

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I thank you for your kind Letter of Novbr 30th Decbr 2d you judg'd rightly I was almost melancholy to be a month from Home, and not to hear once from Home in all that Time, but the post is long in { 321 } comeing I am Eleven miles from York with a great Ferry between, and you are ten from Boston so that we do not always get our Letters ready for post day. I wrote you the day after I arrived here & trust you have long ago got the Letter. your Neice is very well, except weak, & very free with her mamma as I can instance to you, for having written a Letter to her pappa & seald it, she comes in & says o, mamma what is the Letter seald, why I must see it, and very cordially opens it to read. the little Boy grows finely, but I dont feel so fond of him yet as I do of william. whether it is because he was Born in our own House, or the first or the best temperd child I cannot determine.
Dec'br 18th.
Mrs Smith has had several of her Neighbours to visit her since I have been here they appear to be geenteel people, but all the acquaintance she has upon the Island are of the ceremonious kind. In their own Family are four young Ladies all of them agreeable sensible well behaved woman Peggy the Eldest is tall, agreeable rather than handsome, and the most particularly attentive to her manners without discovering any affectation of any Lady I have met with.1 Belinda the second daughter has less of person to boast of than her Elder Sister, but she has that Interesting countanance & openness of manners that Interests you at first sight, nor are you dissapointed upon a further acquaintance. her temper and disposition appear perfectly amiable accommodating and kind. I have more acquaintance with her than with either of the others. I found here when I came taking charge of mrs Smiths Family during her confinement. this she performd with much ease and tender sisterly affection.2 at Home their mamma has used them to the care of her Family by Turns each takes it a week at a Time. Charity is the third daughter, and if it was not for the loss of one Eye which she was deprived of at two years old I think she would be the Bel of the Family. she has been absent till last sunday ever since I came. I have seen her but once. she is more social has, Read more and appears to have the greatest turn for literature of either, she has a taste for drawing for musick &c the fine arts seem to be the objects of her attention, and as she has a most inquisitive mind she would shine with brightness if she had Books to direct her and masters to instruct her. she dresses with neatness but great simplicity rather in the Quaker stile, avoids all publick company assemblies &c but is strongly attachd to her Friends. I take from mrs Smith part of her History for as I { 322 } observd before I have seen her but once3 Sally is the fourth daughter about 17. tall as mrs Guile a fine figure & a pretty Face unaffected and artless in her manners, modest & composed. she wants only a little more animation to render her truly Interesting she has dignity, & that you know is inconsistant with a gay, playfull, humour,4 this Belinda has. They are four fine women and well educated for wives as well as daughters. there are two young ones Betsy & Nancy one of ten and the other seven years old.5 Daughters so agreeable must have a worthy mother, and this is universally her character. Mrs Smith is a Large tall woman, not unlike mrs Gray She is about 50 years old and has been a very Handsome woman, tenderly attachd to all her children. she has I tell her been too indulgent to her sons of whom she has four, but of them an other Time.6 she is really a Charming woman as far as I have been able to form an acquaintance with her, and she has been here a good deal & I have visited her. we have had company several Times from Nyork and I have & many and repeated requests to go there, but my Trunk is, I know not where. I have only one morning gown & a Green Sattin which I very fortunatly had in my small Trunk or I should not have been able to have seen any body I have no shoes but the pr I wear no Bonnet, very little Linnen & only my calimanco skirt, and there are very few things of mrs smiths that I can wear, I am sadly of. we had yesterday a cold snow storm, hardly enough to cover the ground, but it has cleard up very cold, I think of my poor dear & pitty him. I long to get back to my Family, but must wait for snow as the roads are too bad to Travel without I regreet daily the distance, but mrs Smith comforts herself with thinking that I shall very soon be nearer to her, but I fear I shall not have much comfort if that should happen tis only on plain ground that one walks easily, up hill or down is painfull. I am affraid J Q will turn Hermit, if buisness does not soon call him into the world, but how much better is this, than having no given object no persuit— I had rather a son of mine should follow any mechanical trade whatever than be a Gentleman at large without any occupation
I am sorry to hear my good Mother has met with such an accident. it is one source of my anxiety to get home, that I have thought for some months that she would not Live through the winter. pray present my duty to her and tell her that her Grandchildren & great Grandchildren talk of comeing to see her. my Love to my two daughters, tell Betsy she must not steal a march upon me. if she { 323 } waits an other month mrs Smith will come & be Bride maid. Present me kindly to Brother cranch & go as often as you can & see my good Gentleman. tell Esther she must write to me & let me know how she makes out. my fingers are so cold I can Scarcly hold a pen. adieu my dear sister write as often as you can, mrs Smith desires me to present her duty & Love. she will write soon. Yours most tenderly
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); docketed: “Letter from Mrs/ A: Adams, (<Pha.>) / Jamaica, Decr 15th/ 1788.”
1. For Margaret Smith, WSS's eldest sister, see vol. 7:441. For further genealogical material on the Smith family, see Marcius D. Raymond, “Colonel William Stephens Smith,” NYGBR, 25:153–161 (Oct. 1894).
2. Belinda Smith (b. 1765) married Matthew M. Clarkson of New York (Sarah Johnson Lynch to ECA, 26 Aug. [1893?], Adams Papers, Genealogical Materials, folder 9).
3. Charity Smith married first Benjamin Shaw (1758–1807), then Capt. Abraham W. Long. She settled in Boston and ran a ladies' academy (same; JA, D&A, 3:237; NYGBR, 15:136 [July 1884]).
4. Sarah (Sally) Smith (1769–1828), designated as SSA in The Adams Papers, married CA on 29 Aug. 1795 in a double wedding with her elder sister, Margaret. SSA and CA had two daughters, Susanna Boylston Adams (1796–1884) and Abigail Louisa Smith Adams (1798–1836). After CA's death in 1800, SSA and her two children lived with AA and JA for a time in Quincy.
5. Elizabeth Smith (b. 1778) married John Smith Jr., a merchant from Baltimore. Ann (Nancy) Smith married Josiah Masters (Sarah Johnson Lynch to ECA, 26 Aug. [1893?] and 31 Aug. 1893, Adams Papers, Genealogical Materials, folder 9).
6. The Smith sons, besides WSS, included Col. John Smith; Justus Bosch Smith (1761–1816); and James Smith (b. 1773), who married Ann Ross (same).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-12-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have recd your favours of the 3 and 13thand have opened that to our Son, who has been absent from me these 3 Weeks at Newbury, where I Suppose he is very well.— I am as anxious as you are about your coming home. There are but two Ways. 1. if Coll Smith can bring you and his Family with you, will be the more obliging and agreable. 2. if he cannot, I must send your eldest son, with a Coach from Boston, to wait on you. as soon as I can receive a Letter from you, informing me, of the Necessity of it, I will Send him off.— I expect him every day from Newbury Port.— All has gone very well at home, and all your Friends are in health. Your sisters Family are in affliction by the Death of Gen. Palmer.1 You will not expect from me, much upon Public affairs. I shall only Say that the federal or more properly national Spirit runs high and bids fair to defeat every insidious as well as open Attempt of its Adversaries. This gives us a { 324 } comfortable Prospect of a good Government, which is all that will be necessary to our Happiness. Yet I fear that confused and ill digested Efforts at Amendments will perplex for sometime.
I am very Sensible of that Affection which has given the Name to my Grandson, but although I have twice sett the Example of it, I do not approve of the Practice of intermixing the Names of Families. I wish the Child every Blessing from other Motives, besides its name. My Love to Mr & Mrs Smith; the sight of them and their two Sons with you, will give me high Pleasure. I am with the tenderest Affection / your
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / MrsAdams / at Col. Smiths at / Jamaica, Long Island. / to the Care of Mr McCormic / New York”; internal address: “MrsAdams.”; notation: “2.16”; “<Not>”; and “Free: / John Adams.”
1. Gen. Joseph Palmer died on 25 Dec., probably due to exposure (DAB;Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 89–93).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0166

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-01-12

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last wednesday received yours of Decbr 28 and should have answerd by the post of thursday but that the mail for thursday closes on wednesday Evening and does not give time for any replie to Letters which come by that post. I wrote you from this place on sunday last.1 at that time I was in hopes I should have been on my journey home before this, as we have every thing in readiness to set out the day that we can get a sufficient quantity of snow. Col Smith will bring me home at all events, even tho I should finally be obliged to come in a carriage which we should be glad to avoid at this Season as the Roads are bad, and the Ferries worse for crossing the stages change at the Ferries, & do not cross at this season
Mrs Smith would even now venture to providance by water rather than be dissapointed of her visit but with a young Baby and at this dangerous Season of the year Her Friends all disswade her. tho I am sometimes more than half a mind to try it, the expence of taking a coach & sending for me at this uncertain period when it might be detain'd by Snow before it reach'd half way, would be really too great and I had rather suffer many inconveniencies than you should attempt it. half a foot of snow or less would answer very well, & we have daily reason to look for it. we have however concluded not to bring william with us, as we imagine he will be much more troublesome than the Baby. this is the Time that I hoped to have been at Home. I know you { 325 } must be Lonesome—and my Boys want looking after or rather their things.
I am glad to find that Massachusetts behave so well. in this state the Legislature & senate are at such varience that it is not expected that there will be any choice at all, and should that be the case, they have little hopes of keeping Congress here.2 you judged right with respect to the sitting of Congress. there is not the least probability of there meeting, nor is there any occasion for it, on account of ushering in the New one. for when the New Senate & House come together they chuse a pressident to receive and count the votes from the different States, & declare the choice this is said to be the mode pointed out by the constitution. the next post will bring us the choice of conneticut.3
Since my arrival in Town I have received every mark of politeness and attention from this people which I could have desired. Sir John & Lady Temple were among the first to visit me. I have been to Count montier to a Ball given by him;4 and to the Assembly. I have dinned at one place & supped at an. or nether Sat at table (for suppers I discard), untill I am fully satisfied with dissipating. we have however kept very good Hours, as mrs Jay is like to have an addition to her Family she is obliged to be circumspect.5 my own Heaeth is much better this winter than it has been for several years. I attribute it much to my Journey. I want to know how you bear the cold. last Evening we had a light fall of snow just sufficient to cover the Grund but it will all run to day. the clouds are however gathering for more. I hope I shall not have occasion to write again before I see you. my Love to the children & to Brother & Sister Cranch with whom I sympathize under their late affliction. I would write to sister—but hope soon to see her. be so good as to tell Brisler that he must keep some of the pears untill we come mr & mrs Jay desire their affectionate Regards to you. he is a plain as a Quaker, and as mild as New milk, but under all this, an abundance of Rogury in his Eye's. I need to say to you who so well know him, that he possesse' an excellent Heart. mrs Jay has all the vivacity of a French woman blended with the modesty & Softness of an American Lady.
adieu visiters call upon me. I have received & returnd more than forty visits already—
Yours affectionatly
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by John Jay: “The Hon'ble / John Adams Esqr / Boston”; docketed by JQA: “A. A. / Jany 12th 1789.”; notation: “John Jay.”
{ 326 }
1. Not found.
2. The New York legislature was sharply divided between an Antifederalist-controlled assembly and a Federalist-controlled Senate; consequently, the state failed to choose any presidential electors and had no vote in the first presidential election under the new Constitution. The legislature likewise did not select any representatives until April nor any senators until July (First Fed. Elections, 3:197).
3. On 7 Jan., the Connecticut legislature chose seven men to serve as presidential electors: Thaddeus Burr, Matthew Griswold, Jedidiah Huntington, Samuel Huntington, Richard Law, Erastus Wolcott, and Oliver Wolcott Sr. The day before, the legislature had elected five Federalists to represent the state in Congress (First Fed. Elections, 2:5, 7).
4. For the Comte de Moustier, see Thomas Jefferson to AA, 30 Aug. 1787, note 2, above.
5. Sarah Jay gave birth to a son, William Jay, on 16 June 1789 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0167

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-02-03

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

How dos my dear Mrs Adams like the City of New york: its manners & amusements as it may probably be her future residence I hope she found every thing prefectly agreable— shall I hope before you fix in that distant abode that you will make us an Visit at Plimouth: to such a traveler the journey can be nothing. and since that Mrs Adams, friendship is unimpaired: I should think (judging from my own feelings) that no stimulous would be necessary but the recollection of former mutual Confidence & affection. such a Visit would give particular pleasure to me not apt to change her attachments either from time place absence or other accidents—
I hope you left Mrs smith & her little ones well & happy I should be pleased to see the Attention of the young Mother at the head of her Family where I dare say she acquits herself to the approbation of her Friends. her maternal tenderness she has from instinct. her domestic avocations she has been taught by early Example, & her own Good sense will ever make her respectable. you know my partiallity towards her. I loved her from a Child nor has absence made any abatement. therefore you will mention me with affection when you Write again.—
Is my Friend Mrs Montgomery yet sailed for Ireland.—1 I will not ask any more questions least the number of your replys should preclude some sentiment of your own when I am again Gratifiied with a letter.
My pen has lain Comparitively still this winter, I have been sick: very sick and very long, nor have yet been out since the middle of october. but hope as the spring approaches to revive with the summer insect: & if able to take wing shall probably alight among those whose converse both improves & enlivens the social hour.
{ 327 }
If the Coll & Mrs smith should Visit the Massachusets in the spring: before you leave it: I hope they will extend their Journey to Plimouth. & I am sure they have no friends who will recieve them with more sincere Cordiallity than this & your affectionate Friend
[signed] M Warren
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “MrsAdams / Braintree.”
1. Janet Livingston Montgomery (1743–1828) was the widow of Gen. Richard Montgomery and the eldest child of Margaret Beekman and Robert Livingston. The general had been born in Ireland, and in the summer of 1789, Janet Montgomery went there to visit his family (Katherine M. Babbitt, Janet Montgomery: Hudson River Squire, Monroe, N.Y., 1975, p. 3, 14, 20–22; DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0168

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-02-14

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

You cannot think how mortified & grieved I was, by being so unexpectedly disappointed, of seeing my dear, long absent Friends last night— Mrs Smith had kindly given me information of the intended Visit—& as the Weather was uncommonly fine, though it had injured the smoothness of the road in some measure, yet here it was no impediment to any ones business—
In the full assurance of seeing you here, We had made all the preparation in our Power,— Perhaps you may say, “that chould not be much—” However true the remark, yet I hope my friends will never measure my Love & Affection, by the ability I have to express it— Respect, Love, & Esteem on this occasion, would in a particular manner have induced me to exert myself to accommodate my beloved Friends—& We made three Beds, & laid our Table for you— The Clock struck three, four, five, six,—the table still waiting, for we thought if you did not dine, you might sup here— Judge Seargant & Lady, Mr Thaxter & Lady were to drink Tea with us,— So you may fancy to yourself, what a curious figure we made to our Neigbours— Judge Seargant, Mr White, & Mr Thaxter had all sent written Invitations to his Excellency &ccc to dine with him upon such, & such a Day— Four Families of us, were I assure you, most unmercifully dissappointed—
Is it not actionable?— What if we should sue for damage?— I fear now you will not be able to make us the Compensation we wish,— that is a Visit— Judge Seargant is obliged to leave the Town next monday, upon his judicial department, & to him he said, “the dissappointment was irreparable”— It might be years before he could { 328 } have an Opportunity of seeing his old Friend— We all mett to Day at his House, looking very sorrowful, heartify sympathizing with each other— Mrs Seargant has been peculiarly unfortunate— Last Fall she shortened her visit to her Friends at Salem, & hastened home, fearing you would come to Town in her absence.
And now the People say, they believe, you do not care much for your Haverhill Friends, or you would have tried Wheels, if runners would not answer—for the Snow is so level, that you might have travelled with either—
I did indeed hope that my Brother Adams would have visited in the Town where his three Sons had lived so agreeably (as I suppose they did) in his absence, where they were kindly noticed not only for their own worth, but had respect shewed them, on account of their Fathers Character—
I could not help contrasting the dissapointment we had met with, with the punctuality which our dear Father always observed towards his friends, & say, that if you had one drop of his Blood stiring in your veins, you would have pushed forward, & not have failed coming— Mr Shaw went to Lincoln last week & carried Cousin Betsy, & returned by the way of Medford last Thursday, 38 mile with only one horse, & Mr & Mrs Allen got home from Boston before night last Friday—
Mr Adams must have been very lonely without you this winter,— I have often thought of him, & wondered how he could be willing to let you leave him— I am sure his Daughter is laid under great Obligations by the Sacrifice— Permit me to congratulate you both upon the birth of your second grand son— May he be as great a Patriot—as wise, & good as his grand sire— I have not room to say more than that I am your Sister
[signed] E Shaw

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0169

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jay, Sarah Livingston
Date: 1789-02-20

Abigail Adams to Sarah Livingston Jay

[salute] my dear madam

When I left your Hospitable mansion, I did not design so many days should have elapsed, before I had express'd to you the pleasing sense I entertaind of your kindness and Friendship. they have left a durable impression upon my mind, and an ardent desire to cultivate them in future.
{ 329 }
I reachd Home Ten days after I left Newyork. we had an agreeable journey, good Roads fine weather and tolerable accommodations. our Musk and Lemon Brandy were of great service to us, and we never faild to Toast the donor, Whilst our Hearts were warmed by the Recollection. I hope my dear madam that your Health is better than when I left you, and this not for your own sake only, but for that of your worthy partner, who I am sure sympathized so much with you, that he never really Breakfasted the whole time I was with you; my best Regards attend him. I hope both he and you will one day do me the Honour of visiting Braintree, where I would do all within my power to Render the fireside as social and as pleasing as I found Broad Way.
If Miss Levingston is still with you pray present my Regards to her.1 my Love to Master Peter, the Grave Maria & the sprightly little French Girl.2 Compliments to Mrs Knox to Lady Kitty, and to all the other Ladies from whom I received particular attentions whilst at Newyork,3 and do me the Favour to let me hear from you by the first opportunity— This Letter will be deliverd to you by mr Ames, the Suffolk Representitive, a Young Gentlemen of an amiable Character and very good abilities,4 he was so good as to offer to take Charge of any letters I might have for Newyork. I have embraced this opportunity to present my little Friend Maria with a Book which I hope may be pleasing & usefull to her
mr Adams joins me in affectionate Regards to mr Jay, & best wishes for your Health and happiness— be assured I am my dear Madam with sentiments / of Esteem and Regard Your / Friend & Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (NNC:John Jay Papers); addressed: “To / Mrs Sarah jay— / Newyork”; endorsed: “Mrs:Adams / 20 Feby: 1789.”
1. Probably Susan Livingston (1748–1840), Sarah Jay's sister, who married John Cleves Symmes in 1794 (Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay: Correspondence by or to the First Chief Justice of the United States and His Wife, ed. Landa M. Freeman and others, Jefferson, N.C., 2005, p. 8).
2. The three surviving Jay children: Peter Augustus (1776–1843), Maria (1782–1856), and Ann (Nancy, 1783–1856), who was born in Paris during the peace negotiations (same, p. 12, 22).
3. Probably Catherine Alexander Duer, for whom see vol. 6:230, note 13.
4. Fisher Ames (1758–1808), Harvard 1774, a lawyer from Dedham, Mass., served in Congress from 1789 to 1797 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0170

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-04-06

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir—

Mr: Bourne has this moment waited upon me and informs, that he has been honoured by the senate with the appointment of being the Bearer of their Dispatches to you, relative to your election as Vice President of the Western Empire, upon which please to accept of my affectionate congratulations and of my sincere prayers that Heaven may guide and protect you in this great Career—1 The Virtuous members of this Government are very anxious to see you here, they promise themselves great aid in their pursuits from your Council and influence, and I am sure you will not fail in being here as soon as possible, your Country expects that your motions will be rapid after you recieve the official information, and when you consider that during the interregnum, the United states loose one thousand pr. Diem, I am sure you will haste to shelter them all in your power from greater loss—
My Calculation is that if this Gentleman travels by Land this will be presented to you on saturday next but If with a fair Wind he attempts the Water Communication, it may possibly reach you before— but Calculating on the former, I take the liberty of supposing that you will finish the Governors Ceremony on monday and rest, tranquilly at Watertown the same Evening, so that agreable to Contract you will arrive here on the Monday following, in which case I will meet you 15 or 20 miles out of town and inform you of the opinions at present Circulating here—2 I think it will be of service that Mrs: Adams should accompany you, for various reasons, both public & private, which it may be as well not to commit to paper— should you not leave Braintree before Monday, will you be so good as to write me by sunday's post informing me of your arrangements, and intentions,3 this Letter will reach me the saturday night before you, and give me some hours to arrange my movements and to meet you prepared to relieve Mrs: Adams from the hurry and Ceremony which will accompany your reception
for further particulars I refer you to the Letter from Mrs:Smith to her Mama4 and am / Dr. Sir, Yours affectionately
[signed] W: S: Smith
1. While the new federal government was scheduled to begin meeting on 4 March, the Senate did not have a quorum until 6 April (the House achieved a quorum on 1 April). Accordingly, on that day, Congress counted the ballots from the first electoral college. { 331 } George Washington was elected president unanimously. JA was elected vice president with 34 electoral votes (out of a total possible 69 votes); the remaining votes were split among several other candidates (First Fed. Cong., 1:7–9; 3:7).
The Senate appointed Sylvanus Bourne to notify JA of the election results. Bourne (1761–1817), Harvard 1779, was from Boston originally; he would later serve as the American consul at Amsterdam from 1794 to 1817 and have an extensive correspondence with JQA (First Fed. Cong., 1:9; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Cornelis A. van Minnen, American Diplomats in the Netherlands, 1815–50, N.Y., 1993, p. 21).
2. Bourne arrived in Boston with the news of JA's election on Thursday, 9 April, and JA set off for New York on the following Monday, 13 April. Much fanfare marked the event: “On this happy occasion, his Excellency our worthy Governour and Commander in Chief exhibited every possible mark of attention and respect for the Vice-President of our great American Republick, by ordering a military escort of Horse to attend him through the counties of Suffolk, Middlesex and Worcester, by giving an elegant colation at his house to a numerous collection of gentlemen who assembled there to take leave of the Vice-President, and by various honourary notices, both civil and military, which the Governour most opportunely displayed, and which our patriotick countryman richly merited.” For a complete description of the festivities accompanying JA's departure, see Massachusetts Centinel, 15 April, and Boston Independent Chronicle, 16 April.
3. JA's reply has not been found but based on WSS to JA, 19 April (Adams Papers), it was dated 10 April.
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0171

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-04-12

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Mr. Duerr, as you pronounce it, and my Wife seem to think alike as to the Powers of an Ambassadress when placed as an Helpmate to the Ambassador. Mr D. had an Idea of an handsome Face Mrs. L thought only of the Good Sense of the Lady. If this is ambiguous, yr. best Friend can make it plain so far as relates to Duerr.1
As to Mrs. L I will show her to you in a Minute, just as She appeared the first Instant her Eyes were opened this Morning “Well Mr: Lovell I think as others do, you are too confident about your office;— you ought to go to New York;— One of your main Expectations has failed you already;— your Friend Portia is not going on to Congress.” Good Morning Ma'am, replied I, “I am sorry for that.”—a Pause—
Indeed, Portia, there was not so much Compliment in my Reply as a Stranger would guess there was. “I am sorry,” because I could say twenty Things to you which I would not dare to trouble your Husband with. I could talk to you about Insurgents, and the Tools of the Tools of Insurgents, down to the Successor of the Successor of your humble Servant late a Naval officer, for the Port of Boston. But really I should not have thought of this Subject if I had not heard it said Yesterday by one of the veriest of that Tribe “my Friends have spooken to Mr. Adams about me.” Curses on their { 332 } Impudence! it makes no Odds to them whether Virtue or Vice is in Rule; they hope with good Grounds under the latter and they dare to ask Patronage of the former. In this Commonwealth, I have seen them have every Advantage. Vice triumphant, they have turned out of Place whom they would; and upon a Change in Government they held their Offices because the virtuous would not take the vicious Mode of turning any Man out who did his Duty let him have gotten into office how he might. By being the accidental but Kidney,— Deputy of Nat. Barber for 3 Months only, the present Naval Officer was preferred before John Rice who had served 3 years, with me faithfully scientifically & amiably. But I would only be understood here as remarking who ought not to have the Naval office of this Port. leaving it totally with my Betters to say who shall have it.2 The present Incumbent may have one advocate at Head Quarters if Mr. O should be chosen Clerk of the Senate.
“Scratch now for me and I will always scratch for you,” has been the perpetual Rule of that republican Electioneering Set, to which the Two in Question belonged— A caucasing-Town-Meeting Bulldog like Barber or one of a more sly least like his Successor, must have had many Promises of future Friendship from would-be Representatives Senators & Governors in this Town, who thought that the Road of Promises was the broad one to Preferment.
I am Madam, yours respectfully
[signed] J L
1. James Lovell and AA briefly revived their correspondence for three letters after a five-year hiatus. He also wrote to JA on this same date seeking an office in the new government (Adams Papers). For more on Lovell's unusual letter-writing style, and his correspondence with AA, see vol. 3:xxxiv–xxxv.
2. Lovell had been appointed naval officer for the port of Boston in July 1784, succeeding Nathaniel Barber, with John Rice serving as his deputy. Lovell remained in that position until 1787 when he was replaced by Barber. The state again named Lovell to the post later in 1789 (vol. 5:355, 357–358; Fleet's Pocket Almanack, 1785, p. 26; 1786, p. 20; 1787, p. 39; 1788, p.55; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:45).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-04-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

I have been so diligent on the Road and so much interrupted by Company at the Taverns that this is the first time I have been able to get an opportunity to write to you. We arrived at this house last night (Saturday) Shall rest here to day and go into N. York tomorrow.—1 at Hartford, the Manufacturers presented me with a Piece of { 333 } Broadcloth, for a Suit of Cloaths. at N. Haven the Corporation presented me with the Freedom of their City.— at both these Towns the Gentlemen came out to meet us, and went out with us.—2 at Horseneck, we were met by Major Pintard, & Captain Mandeville with a Party of Horse from the State of New York, and there is to be much Parade on Monday.—3 Before this I presume, the Printers in Boston, have inserted in their Gazettes, the Debates of the House of Representatives, which are conducted with open Galleries.4
This Measure, by making the Debates public will establish the national Government, or break the Confederation. I can conceive of no medium between these Extremes.— By the Specimens that I have seen, they go on with great Spirit, in preparing the Impost, which is a favourable omen.— My Love to the Children and Duty to my Mother, &c.
[signed] John Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / at Mr John Adams's / Braintree.”
1. First run by Dr. Ebenezer Haviland and later by his widow, Tamar, Haviland's Tavern (also known as the Square House) had been a popular stopping point on the Post Road in Rye, N.Y., since about 1770. JA had previously visited the tavern at least twice, riding to and from the Continental Congress in 1774 (Charles W. Baird, Chronicle of a Border Town: History of Rye, Westchester County, New York, 1660–1870, N.Y., 1871, p. 145–147; D&A, 2:102, 158).
2. On 16 April, JA passed through Hartford where “an escort of the principle gentlemen in town, the ringing of Bells, and the attention of the Mayor and Aldermen of the Corporation, marked the Federalism of the Citizens, and their high respect for that distinguished patriot and statesman” (Hartford American Mercury, 20 April).
That same day, the city of New Haven voted to give JA “all the rights Privileges and immunities of a free Citizen of the said City of New Haven” (Adams Papers). Ezra Stiles noted in his literary diary that on 17 April JA “was escorted into To by 35 or 40 Horse & phps 60 Chaises. . . . He rested in the City an Hour, when the Diploma of the Freedom of it was presented to him” (The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., ed. Franklin Bowditch Dexter, 3 vols., N.Y., 1901, 3:351).
3. The Norwich Packet reported that “the light horse of West Chester county” escorted JA's entourage from the Connecticut line to Kingsbridge. Major Pintard was probably Lewis Pintard (1732–1818) of New Rochelle, a merchant who had assisted American prisoners in New York during the Revolution. John Mandeville was named captain of the Westchester Light Horse in 1786 and served until 1790 (Norwich Packet, 8 May; DAB; Hugh Hastings, comp. and ed., Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783–1821, 4 vols., Albany, 1901, 1:80, 178).
4. The Boston Herald of Freedom began printing the debates on 14 April; various other Boston newspapers soon followed suit.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0173

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-04-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received mr Bourn's Letter to day, dated this day week, and I was very happy to Learn by it that you had made so Rapid a progress.1 I hope you stoped at my old acquaintance Avery's, and that you met with as good entertainment as I had led you to expect. all { 334 } your Friends rejoiced in the fine weather which attended you, and conceive it, a propitious omen. I enjoyed, the Triumph tho I did not partake the 'Gale, and perhaps my mind might have been a little Elated upon the Late occasion if I had not have lived Long enough in the world to have seen the fickleness of it, yet to give it, its due, it blew from the right point on that day.
Mr Allen was so polite as to come out to Braintree to day to know if I had any Letters or package that I wish'd to send forward to you, & that he would take them. I pomis'd to forward a Letter & News papers. mr A. I presume has buisness of importance by his return so soon. I hope it is not an office that a Friend of yours now hold's, and who is in some little anxiety about his own Fate. I received a Letter from him this Evening. I will inclose it by an other opportunity, yet I promisd to mention to you what I conceived almost, or quite needless, because I knew your sentiments with respect to him so well, that I was sure you would interest yourself for his continuance in office whatever the System might be. if I have written a little ambiguously you may the more easily guess at the person meant.2
The Children are now at home. Charles tells me that the Class which take their degree leave colledge the 21 of June and that if you have occasion for him he can come on as soon after that day as you wish, that he can have his degree as well as if he was present. he seems to be fond of the thought of getting rid of the parade of commencment. if it would be no injury to him, I should be equally fond of getting rid of a trouble in which there is very little Satisfaction, a good deal of expence & generally many affronts given by omissions
I mentiond it to the dr & he approves it. I wrote thus early that I might know your mind upon the subject. you will give me the earliest information respecting prospects I hope you will be carefull of your Health, and be enabled to go through the arduous task in which you are engaged. I wish to hear from you as often as possible. my Love to mrs Smith & childr[en.] Let Brisler know that his wife & child are very cleverly, that she is able to Nurse it, & much better than she was before she was confin'd3 mr Bass moves tomorrow into our House.4 I have reserved a part of it for Esther if Brisler should continue at Newyork, and that will obviate the difficuly of being alone in a House. I had the misfortune of loosing one of the Young creatures a day or two after you left me by the Horn sickness it faild of eating in the morning & before I could get any body to it, it was dead— the Horns were hollow upon inspection but I suppose your Farm is quite out of your head by this Time & you will only think of { 335 } it as a departed Friend, & without the consolation of thinking its situation better'd, the 20 Trees are all set out, & came in good order.
I am my dearearst Friend / most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / vice President of the united states / Newyork”; endorsed: “Portia / 22d. Ap. 1789. / ansd. 1. May. by Brisler.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. See James Lovell to AA, 12 April, above, and AA to Lovell, 22 April, below.
3. The Brieslers had a second daughter, named Abigail, early in 1789 (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 829).
4. Possibly Joseph Bass (1723–1800) and his wife Hannah Banks Bass (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 376; AA to JA, 14 March 1794, Adams Papers). See also Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0174

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1789-04-22

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[salute] My Dear Sir

I this evening received your letter of April 12th. tho' you love a labyrinth you always give a clue. Mr & Mrs L may be assured that an old friend so well qualified for the office he holds will not be forgotten, and that it would be of little consequence whether P: is at Braintree or N York.1 Mr L is surely sufficiently acquainted with my friend to know that he may be sure of his interest. I presume the enquiry will be in the appointment of offices, Who now holds them? Are they qualified? Have they discharged the office with fidelity? Why displace a man worthy of his trust? I know Mr A is sufficiently sensible of the importance of having the naval office filled by a gentleman of firmness and integrity, and I can scarcely think there can be any occasion of calling to his mind the man who in former times has fought by his side and of whose indefatigable industry and perseverance in the cause of his country he is so perfectly acquainted, and whose sufferings he has felt! Yet that P——a may have the merit of a mite She has this evening in a letter to her best friend reminded him that there are persons upon the spot and going there who think to carry their point by solicitation and unwearied application the method by which the Clerkship to the Senate was carried
My best regards attend Mrs Lovell who has really flattered me by hinting that it was in my power to serve her or her family, of this I am sure I cannot fail if my power be half equal to my inclination
I am &c &c &c &c
[signed] A A
Tr in MCHA's hand (Adams Papers).
1. That is, Portia, AA herself.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-04-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This is the first Moment I have been able to Seize, in order to acquaint you of my Arrival and Situation. Governor Clinton The Mayor of New York,1 all the old officers of the Continental Government, and the Clergy, Magistrates and People, have Seemed to emulate the two houses of Congress, in shewing every respect to me and to my office.— For Particulars I must refer you to the public Papers.2 Yesterday for the first time I attended the Senate. Tomorrow or next day, The President is expected.— Mr Jay with his usual Friendship, has insisted on my taking Apartments in his noble house. No Provision No Arrangement, has been made for the President or Vice P.—and I See, clearly enough, that Minds are not conformed to the Constitution, enough, as yet, to do any Thing, which will Support the Government in the Eyes of the People or of Foreigners. our Country mens Idea of the “L'Air imposant” is yet confined to volunteer Escorts, verbal Compliments &c.
You and I however, are the two People in the World the best qualified for this Situation. We can conform to our Circumstances.— And if They determine that We must live on little, We will not Spend much.— every Body enquires respectfully / for Mrs A. of her affectionate
[signed] J. A.
1. James Duane.
2. The Massachusetts Centinel reported on 29 April that “the Cavalcade which escorted his Excellency into the city, was numerous, and truly respectable.” Among those meeting JA was a military escort, members of Congress, and “a large number of citizens, in carriages and on horseback. On passing the fort, a federal salute was fired. His Excellency alighted at the house of the Hon. John Jay, Esq.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0176

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-04-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

Major Gibbs Captain Beals & mr Woodard all are going to New-york, and all have desired Letters, but as they all go at the same Time one Letter must answer.1 I wrote you this week by mr Allen, since which nothing has transpired in our little village worth communicating. the Newspapers I inclose to you all that I get in the course of a week, but the printers or the persons to whom they are committed, think as you are absent, it is of little concequence whether I get { 337 } them or not. the Torrent has subsided & a calm has ensued. Laco I see has advertized his Works to be sold in a pamphlet2
I wish to know where & How you are accommodated, and what ever else you may think proper to communicate. I have heard only once from you at Hartford & fear I must wait a week longer, before any intelligence reaches me. pray is it prudent discreet or wise, that the debates of the House should be publish'd in the crude indigisted manner in which they appear to be given to the publick?—
Have you seen your little Grandsons yet? how is mrs Smith I hope she will write me I shall be very lonesome when our sons are gone to colledg Next week, only I am buissy about the Garden, tho I have had Time to get very little done. I have been obliged to have all the wall of the great pasture poled the sheep became so troublesome & wandered every where, & to day have been building the wall against Mr Bass—
The Family are well. Esther is tolerable the Baby has a bad soar mouth— pray burn all these Scribles for fear you should leave or drop any of them—any where
Let me know how you do— I cannot Say I am very well, tho better for this fortnight than I was before you went away. I hope your journey will be of service to you but I fear too much perplexity in Buisness for you.
adieu & believe me most affectionatly / Yours—
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “His Excellency John Adams / Vice President of the United States, / New York—”; endorsed: “Portia. Apr 6. / 1789”; notation: “Favored by / Mr Woodward.”
1. Major Caleb Gibbs (ca. 1750–1818) had commanded Washington's bodyguards from 1776 to 1779. He later served as the civilian superintendent of the Charlestown Navy Yard (James Archer O'Reilly III, Memorials of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, Boston, 2004, p. 142–143).
2. Stephen Higginson, writing under the pseudonym Laco, published a series of articles attacking John Hancock in the Massachusetts Centinel. These pieces were gathered together and printed as The Writings of Laco, as Published in the Massachusetts Centinel, in the Months of February and March, 1789, Boston, 1789 (Boston Independent Chronicle, 23 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0177

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-04-27

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

I expected to have received ere this some Letters either from Braintree or Boston; But excepting what I have collected from the Newspapers I have heard neither directly nor indirectly from either. Had any good opportunity for sending, presented itself I should { 338 } have written, although the only topic of information, would have been concerning myself.— The sum total of my news is that since I return'd to this place, my health has been better than at any time since last September; and that scarcely any thing of my complaints remains, except the spasms, which are not frequent, nor very troublesome.
I hope you have not given up the thoughts of making a tour to Haverhill, and shall be ready to meet you there, upon the shortest notice.— I should wish to know, when you expect to set out for New-York, and whether you depend upon my attendance.— It is possible that circumstances may be so situated, as to render it inconvenient for me to leave this place, in the course of the ensuing summer.— If you should not go, till the latter end of June, and my Father should be willing that Charles should be absent from Commencement, I imagine there would be no great difficulty in obtaining leave from the College government, and he might attend you.— However; if Circumstances should not be very untoward, I shall be able to go; and my own inclinations, induce me to wish much to go; as it will probably be the only opportunity I shall have to see my Sister, and perhaps my other friends, for several years to come.
Mrs: Hay is going away this morning, and I fear I shall lose the opportunity unless I come speedily close.
Your dutiful Son—
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
P. S. There are in a draw of one of the desks or tables in the chamber where I lodg'd a pair of old silver buckles. I wish to have them sent to me. If you will please to give them to W. Cranch, he will transmit them—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Braintree.”; docketed: “J Q Adams / April 27th 1789”; notation: “Hond: by / Mrs: Hay.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0178

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your kind favours of the 19 & 22 of April. the printers were very obliging in taking particular care to supply me daily with the paper's by which I learnt the arrival and Reception of the Pressident, & vice Pressident. if I thought I could compliment in so courtly and masterly a stile, I would say that the address to the Senate was exactly what it ought to be, neither giving too little, or too much, it has been much admired, yet every one do not see the force { 339 } of the first part of it;1 when I read the debates of the House, I could not but be surprized at their permitting them to be open, and thought it would have been a happy circustance if they could have found a dr Johnson for the Editor of them. I think there is much of the old leaven in the New Loaf “I dare not lay a duty upon salt, the people will not bear it, I dread the concequences to the people” is a language to teach the people to rise up in opposition to Government, the people would bear a 5 pr ct duty upon every article imported, & expect as much, but will grumble perhaps at the duty upon molasses. be sure it is a little hard for us Yankees who Love it so well & make such liberal use of it, it has already raised the price of it here. I hope the Senate will never consent to draw backs. it will be a constant source of knavery, will not small duties operate best, be most productive and least atroxious? Johnson, whom you know I have lately been reading with great attention, and have become his great admirer, more fully convinc'd than ever, that he was a very accurate observer of Human Life & manners. Johnson in one of his papers proves that there is no such thing as domestick Greatness—2 such is the constitution of the world that much of Life must be spent in the same manner by the wise & the Ignorant the exalted and the low. Men However distinguish'd by external accidents or intrinsick qualities, have all the same wants, the same pains, and as far as the senses are consulted the same pleasures. the petty cares and petty duties are the same in every station to every understanding, and every hour brings us some occasion on which we all sink to the Common level. we are all naked till we are dressed, and hungry till we are fed. the Generals Triumph and Sage's disputation, end like the Humble Labours of the smith or plowman in a dinner or a sleep— Let this plead my excuse when I frequently call of your attention from weighty National objects to the petty concerns of domestick Life. I have been trying to dispose of the stock on Hand, but no purchaser appears—immediate profit is what all seek, or credit, where little is to be given. the weather is cold the spring backward, and the stock expensive. you will not wonder that I am puzzeld what to do, because I am in a situation which I never was before. yours I presume cannot be much better the Bill is setled with 48£. 18s damages— vacancy is up and the children have returnd to Cambridge.
my best Respects attend mr Jay and his Lady whose health I hope is mended. you do not mention mrs Smith or the little Boys—nor have I heard from them since mr Bourn came. by the way I heard a { 340 } Report yesterday that Marble Head & Salem had voted you an anual present of ten Quintals of fish.—3 how well founded the Report is I can not presume to say, time must determine it. I want to hear how you do & how you can bear the application & confinement of your office. I say nothing about comeing. you will know when it will be proper & give me timely notice. the Children desired me to present their duty. I am my dearest Friend with the tenderest affection ever yours—
[signed] Abigail Adams
Esther is very impatient to hear from her Husband the child is better & she comfortable put your Frank upon your Letters if you please
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mrs Adams 1st May.”
1. JA was introduced to the Senate on 21 April, at which time he addressed the members, praising them as “celebrated defenders of the liberties of this country” and George Washington as “one, whose commanding talents and virtues, whose over-ruling good fortune have so completedly united all hearts and voices in his favor.” He went on—anticipating some of his later difficulties as president of the Senate—to offer an apology: “Not wholly without experience in public assemblies, I have been more accustomed to take a share in their debates, than to preside in their deliberations. It shall be my constant endeavor to behave towards every member of this MOST HONORABLE body with all that consideration, delicacy, and decorum which becomes the dignity of his station and charcter: But, if from inexperience, or inadvertency, any thing should ever escape me, inconsistent with propriety, I must entreat you, by imputing it to its true cause, and not to any want of respect, to pardon and excuse it.” For the full text of JA's address, see First Fed. Cong., 1:21–23. It was first published in full in Boston in the Massachusetts Centinel, 29 April. No MS copy of the speech is extant in the Adams Papers.
2. In The Idler, No. 51, Samuel Johnson wrote, “It has been commonly remarked, that eminent men are least eminent at home, that bright characters lose much of their splendor at a nearer view, and many who fill the world with their fame, excite very little reverence among those that surround them in their domestick privacies.” James Boswell entitled this essay “Domestick Greatness Unattainable” in his Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 2 vols., London, 1791.
3. On 16 March, the inhabitants of Marblehead voted to address to JA their thanks “for your faithful and unshaken patronage of the Fisheries. . . . We therefore being now legally assembled in Town Meeting pray your Excellency to accept this our Unanimous Address as expressing Our Sence of those essential benefits which now we enjoy in the preservation of the Fishery, for which we believe Ourselves more Especially indebted to your Excellency. while we are enjoying the fulness of those, benefits we pray your Excellency will indulge us to furnish your Table with a Small Share of the fruits of your good Services” (Adams Papers). See also AA to JA, 25 Oct., note 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0179

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It has been impossible to get time to write you.— Morning, Noon, and Night, has been taken up with Business, or Visits.— Yesterday the President was Sworn, amidst the Acclamations of the People.— { 341 } But I must refer you to Gazettes & Spectators.—1 I write this abed.— Mr Allen deld. me, Yesterday your Letter.— I like very much your Plan of coming on, with Charles and Thomas, before Commencement. But as yet I have no House, nor Furniture.— When you come you must bring, Table & Chamber Linnen and the Plate, and I expect, some beds.— But all is uncertain as yet.— You may send by a Stage, or a Cart to Providence and there embark, many necessary Things in the Packett.— The House of Representatives will I hope, soon determine some thing.— But my Expectations are not raised.— I fear We shall be Straightened, and put to difficulty to live decently.— We must however live in Proportion to our means.
The President has received me with great Cordiality, of affection and Confidence, and eve[ry] Thing has gone very agreably. His Lady is expected this Month.
My Duty to my Mother, Love to Brothers Adams Cranch &c & sisters and every friendly, grateful sentiment to our Honourable Dr. our Guardian Protector & Friend, and to Mr Quincy, whom I had not opportunity to see, before I came away, and to all other friends & Acquaintance &c.
I ought to thank Captn. Beal, Mr Allen Mr Black &c for their obliging Attention in accompanying me, on my Journey.
You will receive by Barnard, some more fruit Trees. The Ladies universally enquire very respectfully after Mrs Adams, when she will arrive &c.
The last Sunday, I Spent very agreably at Col Smiths.— Nabby and the Children very well. William, had no Knowledge of me, but John knew me at first glance.
I long to take a Glance at my [farm?] but this cannot be.— write me as often as you can.— Yours with the tenderest Affection.
[signed] John Adams.
I have Sent the Horse. You may sell him or give him to my worthy son John, for his Health, if you think it possible to pay for his Keeping.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. For the 30 April inauguration of George Washington and JA, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 9, above. The Massachusetts Centinel, 6 May, was the first Boston newspaper to report on the occasion.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0180

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-02

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

By the News Papers, I find you have met with a temporary Loss—The United suffrages of my countrymen have once more taken my Brother Adams from you—from rural retirement—& the sweets of domestic Life, & again placed him in the political Hemisphere, where his merit—his knowledge—his patriotism—his virtue, will (I presume) shine with conspicuous Lustre, though surrounded by a multitude of bright Luminaries—
It is indeed a new & untried Scene which he is now called to act in, & I do not wonder that your considerate, & reflecting mind feels a degree of solicitude, & anxiety— Great heights we know are always dangerous, but more espicially, (as1 you have most strikingly represented it) “When glazed with Ice—” & surrounded by those, who from base, & mercenary motives, may wish their ruin— The best Hearts, the wisest, & the coolest Heads we know are requisite— And those who are entrusted with the Care of national Government, need in a peculiar manner to make the prayer of the King of Israel, that they may know how to give Laws to this great People—2 Yet after all, the operation of the wisest, & most equitable Laws (says Dr Gibbons)3 is uncertain— It depends upon the temper, the genius, & even the Climate—4
But I quit this subject, & beg to know when I am to be favoured with the promised visit— I hope you will not come without letting me know of it beforehand, because this is a very busy Season, for those of us, who depend cheifly upon homespun for their cloathing—& I would wish to sweep the flax, & the Tow from the Hearth at lest— Industry is the Basis of Independance, & can the Daughters of America look more lovely, than when they “seek wool, & flax, & work digligently with their hands”?—5
Your eldest Son has made us one short visit the other Day— He could stay but one night, because he came on buisiness He was well the last week, but complains that he has not heard from any of you, since he went to Newbury— My other Nephews I suppose have been with you— I can find their visits to their Uncle, & Aunt have been much less frequent, since their Mamma's return,—& I cannot wonder at it— But they must not forget how much we love their Company—
{ 344 }
Judge Seargants Family being so near to us—is a most agreeable Circumstance. We are really very happy in a mutual desire, to render kind Offices to each other—
Mr & Mrs Thaxter are in better health than they were some-time past— Mr Thaxter is one of the most benevolent Men in the world—The People bless him—& wish him length of Days—which I think is something remarkable considering his Profession—6 I often think his Character answers in some measure to that of the Man of Ross—7
Do not let it be long, before I have the pleasure of seeing you here—
You have an Nephew, & two Neices who wish most ardently for the pleasure—
But I hope your visit will not be, when the Judge & his Lady are out of Town—
Adieu my Dear Sister, & / believe me most affectionately Yours
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
1. Opening parenthesis supplied.
2. In 1 Kings, 3:7–12, Solomon asks the Lord to grant him the understanding he needs to become a wise king of Israel and “to judge this thy so great a people.”
3. Closing parenthesis supplied.
4. Thomas Gibbons, Sympathy with Our Suffering Brethren, and an Improvement of Their Distresses Shewn to Be Our Duty, London, 1755.
5. Proverbs, 31:13.
6. John Thaxter practiced law in Haverhill.
7. The Man of Ross, described in Pope's Moral Essays, “Epistle III. Of the Use of Riches,” was John Kyrle of Ross, Herefordshire, who was known for his public spiritedness (Brewer, Reader's Handbook).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0181

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Portia

I must finally conclude to request of you to come on to New York as soon as possible and bring Charles and Thomas both with you if you can— if they cannot come at present let them follow as soon as they can be permitted.— I design they shall both Spend the Vacation here at least.— I want your Advice about furniture and House. bring Polly Taylor with you.— You had better land on Long Island and go directly to Jamaica to Mrs Smiths. The Journey to Providence is not much and the Passage from thence pleasant, at this season. My Love to all
[signed] John Adams.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0182

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr Dawes sent me word that he was going to Newyork this week. I would not omit any opportunity of writing to you, tho I know I must sometimes perplex you with domestick matters I would not do it, but that I wish your advise and direction.
I wrote you in my last that the wall was compleated between mr Bass & you, and Barley has been sown. the Hill before the window, your Brother has had cleard of stones, & gatherd up the overpluss manure and laid where directed. I requested him to dispose of the young stock if he could, but he has not been able to. I procured a load of Salt Hay for the stock since you went away pay'd Thayer 6£. 12s 11d for the Hay I had of him, & this day am obliged to purchase more English Hay. the wall upon the Hill was poled agreeable to your direction & the sheep put there & Hay given them, but the season is so backward & the flock so large that they are pinch'd. the dr has agreed to take off this week 3 Heffers & the 10 weathers1 & pay the childrens Quarter Bills which amounts to Sixteen pounds. thus two anxieties I am relieved from But your Brother upon clearing this Hill insists upon it, that it is trod down so hard by the cattle that it will produce no grass this year and the best thing which can be done with it, is to plow it up. to this I could give no consent, knowing how averse you were to any such thing, but yesterday hearing that a Tax Bill was comeing out this month, he got quite discouraged & came to tell me that he would not have any thing to do with the place for that he should never get sufficent of from it, to pay the Taxes— I offered him a part of the sheep, that he should take 20 & leave half the profits of them, Lambs & wool this year, or I would do any thing reasonable that he should desire. as I had not been abl to part with the oxen, French should help cart out the manure but he was sure that you would think he might make so much more than it was possible for him to, that you certainly set him down for Knave or fool—& he would hade no further concern with it, unless it was to render me any assistance— I hope however he will consider further about it, in the mean Time I wish you would write to him, or me; the manner in which Glover has Beals's place is I suppose a reason with him for thinking that he cannot make this answer. I have got Finil to work with French & must get the manure upon the Grass as soon as possible— I will exert myself to the best { 346 } of my ability, but it really worried me so much that I could not sleep last Night— the Cows have not calf'd yet, & really every thing seem's to have gone wrong, veal has got to two pence pr pound. Spear brought me a Parish Rate this week of three pounds 16 shilling & Eleven pence2 and yesterday col Thayer sent a deed of the woodland.3
As you were always Remarkable at a difficult case, I wish you would direct me what to do with those which at present surround me
pray burn all my Letters I suppose you are perplexd with National difficulties which will puzzel you as much as my domestick affairs do me. it is hard to have both I have not heard from you since the 22d of April— we are well as usual. yours affectionately
[signed] Abigail Adams
1. Wethers are male sheep, usually castrated (OED).
2. Probably Lt. Seth Spear who served as assessor for the North Precinct of Braintree until March 1789 (Braintree Town Records, p. 579, 585).
3. The Adamses purchased a six-acre lot of woodland from Ebenezer Thayer Jr. on 16 Feb. (Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds, Deacon John Adams and JA, 1736–1822).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0183

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1789-05-05 - 1789-05-06

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

Mrs Hay call'd, and left me your Letter. tho I have not written to you before I have had you constantly upon my mind, and have been anxious for your Health. I have heard of you several times. I think you would mind an advantage in drinking valerian & camomile Tea, for those spasm's you complain of. I am not able to say to you as yet, when I shall go to Newyork. I have received only one Letter from your Father since he arrived there, & that was written two days after he got there. he was then at mr Jays, who would not permit him to go to Lodgings, & no arrangment had then been made. The News papers give you all their movements, and more than in prudence ought to be made publick— I was much surprizd to find there debates open. I cannot think any National advantage will arrise from this measure
Pray how did you like the address to the Senate? it has been much admired this way. I think with you respecting Charles's going to Newyork, and I had written to your Father upon the Subject. I have many reasons for wishing to avoid comencment, some of them { 347 } you can Guess at. I am now in a greater puzzel than I have been yet. when your Father went away he thought he left the care of his place to his brother, but last Evening, he came & told me that he was discouraged and would not undertake it, that he should not be able to make enough off, of it to pay the Rates.
The Bills I mentiond to you were finally returnd protessted with 48. 18 shilling damage and interest upon them The first set went with the Letters in a vessel of mr Boylestones loaded with oil, but which vessel never arrived—so that the Bill was protested as it says, for want of advise—a most unfortunate affair this. I know you will feel anxious, as well as I, but I think some arrangment will and must take place at New york soon. I will write to you as soon as I know— I wish to meet you at Haverhill and was in hopes of doing it soon, but if all the Farming buissness is Thrown upon me just at the period when I was pleasing myself with being Free from it, I do not see how I can leave home. I shall however get Dr Tufts to talk with mr A. and see if nothing can be done to make him easy—he think your Father has so much higher notions about his Farm than he can possibly answer, that he shall come under Blame. I know I shall let me conduct how I will, but I will do, to the best of my judgment & abide the concequence
Your Father wrote me from Hartford that the Manufactores waited upon him & presented him a piece of cloth for a suit of Clothes. the story in the News paper sometime since was without foundation.1 the Morning your Father sat out, we had an increase in our Family. Luckily it was all over before the Light Horsemen got here to Breakfast. I was glad on Brislers account as he went away easier— W. C went to Boston on saturday. mr daws goes to N york on thursday—all the world are flocking there, how many must return dissapointed—
I shall write you next by the post & let you know what I can Learn from N york I have had two Letters from your sister,2 in both of which she expresses her anxiety for your Health & her wish to see you there. adieu write to me by mr smith who I hear is going to Newbury port— yours / affectionately
Abigail Adams—
May 6th 1789
Brisler returnd last Evening from Newyork by him I Received Letters from your Father & sister.3 no arrangments yet. your Father was at mr Jays. he writes me that he hoped there would be in a few days. he approves of Charles comeing to him provided we should get to { 348 } Housekeeping, <Nine> 18 dollars per month for keeping two Horses 20 shillings a week for servants Board is pretty handsome— Your Father writes me that the pressident Received him with great affection & cordiality, that he treated & conversed with him in great confidence— you will see by the papers the whole of the ceremony of the administration of the oath to the Pressident, but least you should not get it soon I send you my paper I will not go away untill I see you again at Haverhill or Braintree. your sister sends her Love [to] you
yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / Mr John Quincy Adams / Newburry Port”; endorsed: “My Mother— May 5 & 6. 1789.” and “Mrs: Adams, May 5. 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Newspaper reports in late March had quoted a letter from Braintree, dated 24 March, stating that “his Excellency JOHN ADAMS (the glory of our town, and I believe I may add, one of the ornaments of the age) has lately received an elegant suit of AMERICAN BROADCLOTH, manufactured at Hartford, in which he will make his appearance as VICE-PRESIDENT of the United States” (Massachusetts Centinel, 28 March).
2. Not found.
3. AA had received JA's letter of 1 May, above; the letter from AA2 has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0184

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-06

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Brisler arrived last Evening and brought yours of May the 1st I have not time to notice all I want to in it, I wish to know whether you would like that I should engage Daniel as coachman who drove you to Newyork when you get to House keeping, and what are the wages given. Tom we can never keep if we wish fer peace— would not the House out of Town be most agreeable to you and most for your Health?
you mistook me if you thought I meant to bring <Charles> Tommy. he will [stay?] at colledge till the middle of july, tis only the class who [take?] their degree that can leave college in june, & the President must be written to for the purpose. you did not write me as if you had thought maturely upon it, I would not wish to do any thing without your free consent and advise
my Letter is waited for.
[signed] A Adams
[signed] compliments to mr Jay who with your permission is a great favorite of mine to Mrs Levinstong1
{ 349 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / Vice President of the united / States / New York.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Probably Susannah French Livingston (1723–1789), wife of William Livingston and Jay's mother-in-law (Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay: Correspondence by or to the First Chief Justice of the United States and His Wife, ed. Landa M. Freeman and others, Jefferson, N.C., 2005, p. 8).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0185

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

our parson has been praying for you to day that you may be enabled to discharge the high and important Trust committed to you with equal integrity and abilitis as you have heretofore excercised in Negotiations at Foreign courts & embassies abroad, and with equal Benifit & satisfaction to your Country. I have been reading with attention the various addresses to the Pressident & his replies. they are all pathetick but none more so than that to the citizens of Alexandera.1 throughout all of them he appears to be most sensibly affected with the supreme and over Ruling providence which has calld him to Rule over this great people rather to feel Humble than Elated, & to be overpowerd with the weight & Magnitude of his Trust, who that reflected, who that weigh'd & considerd but must lay his Hand upon his Breast, & say what am I? that this great Trust is committed to me? your Legislature are promulgating a perfectly New doctrine. I had always supposed that in point of Rank the Senate were superiour to the Representitives. this perfect equality brought to my mind a story told of Johnson, that dining one day with mrs Macauley She was conversing upon her favorite topick of the Natural equality of Man— Johnson heard her very gravely, after some time he rose from table & bowing very respectfully to the servant who waited behind his chair, pray mr John, take my place & let me wait in my Turn. you hear what your mistress Says; that we are all equal—2 there debates as given to the publick do not prove them all solomans, forgive me if I am too sausy—tis only to you that I think thus freely.
I shall not forward the papers of this week they contain nothing more than what you have already had— I hope it will not be long before you will be able to take a House. living upon a Friend cannot be long agreeable to you I know and now John is away I fear you will suffer some inconvenience I cannot prepare my things for { 350 } Removal untill I hear further from you, but I should suppose it would be best to get mr Tufts vessel to take them either here or at weymouth. If there are any Number of Books that you would wish for I will have them pack'd & ready if you can point them out; with regard to the Horse I should be very glad that our son might have him, but upon maxims of prudence will it do at this time? I need not give my reasons for the Question. French must be paid before I leave home. there are six months wages due to Brisler on the first of May, which he will have occasion to leave with his wife, & to purchase some articles of furniture. I shall be obliged to pay for what work has been done by your Brothers hands upon the place—an expence I would not have incured if I had supposed he would not have kept the place— you wish to give a look at your Farm, the Hills begin to look Green, but the season is so backward that scarcly a Tree has leaved Lilack excepted. 3 hands with a Team were all yesterday employ'd in picking up the stones, thrown out of the ditches & carried upon Quincy medow in the manure. I could have wished more manure might have been put there, attempted it but found it would cut the ground to pieces— tomorrow will be employd in carrying on the manure behind the House, & clearing the Ground of stones— the sheep have gone very quiet since the wall was poled the Weathers excepted whom no fence would hold but they are parted with.— shall I do all the work necessary upon the place for the present, and at my leaving it request your Brother to take it, he paying one third of the taxes upon it, or shall I leave it to him to say upon what terms he will look after it. mr Baxter very kindly sent me word yesterday that he would hire it for four years but I asked no Questions, presuming you had rather it should lie unimproved. Your son Tom says if he was out of colledge he would come & live with Pheby & Abdee & improve it himself before it should go a beging thus—one of your Townsmen told me the other day that he was very sorry you was gone away, for there was nobody left in Town to buy Land. all your Friends desire to be affectionatly rememberd to you, but none more tenderly than your ever / affectionate
[signed] A Adams
compliment to miss Levingstone, and all the Ladies who so kindly inquire after your Friend
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / vice President of the united / States / Newyork.”
1. A number of Boston newspapers printed the addresses made to George Washington by a variety of groups, including the city of Philadelphia, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati, and the University of Pennsylvania, { 351 } among others. The Address of the Citizens of Alexandria begins, “Again your Country demands your care. Obedient to its wishes—unmindful of your own ease—we see you again relinquishing the bliss of retirement, and this too, at a period of life, when nature itself seems to authorise a preference of respose!” It goes on to describe Washington as a model for youth, an improver of agriculture, a friend of commerce, and a benefactor of the poor, concluding, “To that Being, who maketh and unmaketh at his will, we commend you—and, after the accomplishment of the arduous business to which you are called, may he restore to us again the best of men, and the most beloved fellow-citizen.”
Washington replied that “those who know me best, (and you, my fellow-citizens, are, from your situation, in that number) know better than any others, my love of retirement is so great, that no earthly consideration, short of a conviction of duty, could have prevailed upon me to depart from my resolution 'never more to take any share in transactions of a publick nature.' For, at my age, and in my circumstances, what possible advantage could I propose to myself, from embarking again in the tempestuous and uncertain ocean of publick life? . . . All that now remains for me, is, to commit myself and you to the protection of that beneficent Being, who, on a former occasion, hath happily brought us together, after a long and distressing separation.—Perhaps the same gracious PROVIDENCE will again indulge us with the same heart-felt felicity. But words, my fellow-citizens, fail me. Unutterable sensations must then be left to more expressive silence: While, from an aching heart, I bid you all, my affectionate friends and kind neighbours, farewel!” (Massachusetts Centinel, 2, 6 May).
2. This story first appeared in The Beauties of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. . . . to Which Are Now Added, Biographical Anecdotes of the Doctor, 7th edn., London, 1787. James Boswell also included it in his Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have taken an House, and now wish you to come on, as soon as possible.— It will be necessary to send by Water all the Carpets that are not in Use, and several Beds, Bedsteads, Bedding Bed and Table Linnen,—Plate, China &c if you can convey it to Providence would come better that Way. The House is on the North River about a mile out of the City, in a fine situation, a good Stable, Coach House, Garden, about 30 Acres of Land. it goes by the name of Mr Montiers House.—1 We may keep, two Cows, on the Pasture. The Rent is 50 or an 100£ less, than for a poorer House in the City.
Charles and Thomas had better come on with you, at least the former.— Brisler and Polly Taylor, at least must come.— I inclose a Letter to President Willard2 & am / yours most tenderly
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams.”
1. For Richmond Hill, the Adamses' home while JA served as vice president in New York City, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 10, above. The house originally belonged to Maj. Abraham Mortier, a British officer, who built it around 1767 (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan, 1:416–417).
2. Not found.
{ 352 }

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have recd yours of the 5th.— If you think it best, leave Thomas at Colledge: but I pray you to come on with Charles, as soon as possible.— as to the Place let my Brother plough and plant if he will, as much as he will. He may Send me, my half of the Butter Cheese &c here.— As to Money to bear your Expences you must if you can borrow of some Friend enough to bring you here. if you cannot borrow enough, you must Sell Horses Oxen Sheep Cowes, any Thing at any Rate rather than not come on.— if, no one will take the Place leave it to the Birds of the Air and Beasts of the Field: but at all Events break up that Establishment and that Household.— A great Part of the Furniture must be shipped for this Place. as to Daniel, he has a Wife and cannot leave her: besides he makes great wages where he is:1 but if you have a Mind to bring Daniel you may. We can do without him.
I have as many difficulties here, as you can have; public and private. but my Life from my Cradle has been a Series of difficulties and that Series will continue to the Grave,.— I hope Brisler will come; but if he cannot We can do without him.— I have taken Montiers House, on the North River, a mile out of Town. There is room enough and Accommodations of all sorts.—but no furniture.
I am &c, tenderly
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree / near Boston”; notation: “free / John Adams.”
1. The remainder of this paragraph was interlined.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0188

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-14

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

I have the happiness of informing you that Mrs: Smith and the Boys are in high health and that your presence here as soon as you can possibly make it convenient will be very agreable and is in a great degree necessary— Mr. A has taken a House about one mile from the City as he has informed you, and in his Letters has said something about the removal of furniture— on this subject permit me to say that you cannot bring too much—for if the future arrangement of Congress should extend to the furnishing of your { 354 } House the articles which you have, at a first estimate will me more advantageously employed than if you were to permit them to remain unused during the period which you will be absent from Braintee and if no provision of that kind should be made, you will save at least 2 or 300£ by bringing on what furniture you have for at present it is a very expensive article in this place— therefore I would advise that you should hire a good Sloop, let her be brought to the nearest landing place and well packed, and after she is loaded and ready to sail let Dr. Tufts insure her Cargo to this port valued sufficiently to cover the property & let her be ordered to proceed about one mile up the north river where we being informed of her arrival will pay the necessary attention to what she convey's— she can then proceed to within 100 yards of the House & the expence & risk of land Carriage be avoided— in this way if Briessler Comes he can with convenience bring his family &c— you will notice I am in haste & remain / Sincerely yours &c.
[signed] W: S. Smith

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0189

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I yesterday received yours of May the 3d by Captain Beal's in which you request that I would come on imediatly Yours of May the first mentions several articles which you suppose it will be necessary for me to send forward, but add all is as yet uncertain, so that I am in doubt what to do, particularly as I have laid before you Since, a state of my difficulties to which I could have wish't some replie, that I might have known how to proceed agreeable to your wishes; I cannot get your Brother to say upon what Terms he will take the place. he insists upon it that all that can be got from it this year will not more than pay the Taxes, and as a proof he brought me this afternoon a Tax for the high way of Two pounds Nine shillings this added to the parish Tax makes five pounds Eighteen shillings, this added to the Tax we have already paid makes Sixty dollors, but I know very well that if he improved it, they would not tax it so high & then a part of this is for woodland mr Black complains most bitterly, his Taxes are just double. I have not contracted any debts to the amount of a dollor since you left me, two articles only I have been able to part with (, excepting what the Dr took,) a Hog & a Calf, the proceeds of which I was obliged to lay out in Hay for the { 355 } stock & to send to a distant part of Weymouth for it. they ask 3 shillings pr Hundred Captain Beals is obliged to go to Boston to Buy Hay. there has not been such a Demand for these Several years. mr Black is obliged to Buy, the pastures are quite Bare, & the vegetation very slow & the weather very cold. I do not think I shall be able to get to you in less than three weeks from this Time, & how I shall then be able to leave our affairs is uncertain, no offer of any sort has been made for the oxen. your Brother thinks they had better be sent upon an Island to fat, the scow1 must lie where it is, for I cannot get any Sale for it. the Horse, I have put upon sale at 80 dollors, but your Brother says I may think myself very well of, to get 70. if I understood Brisler right, you said he should be given to J Q A rather then parted with at less— Barnard arrived this week, and I sent Brisler to Town immediatly for the Trees, they are much smaller than the Rhoad Island Greenings, all of which appear to have taken & are very fine Trees. I have got them all set & properly Guarded so that I hope we shall have an additional quantity of good Fruit I have yet got some Russets as fair as when they came from the Trees. Your Mother is as well as usual & yesterday with our Horse & chaise undertook a ride to Abington where she proposes to spend a fortnight. I have not been from Home but one half day since you left me. Esther was confined & I have had nobody but Polly with me, and I have had my Hands full of spring work for my children, untill Louissa came about a week ago to make me a visit I find her so helpfull to me that I shall keep her till, I come on. I do not like to sleep alone I am so subject to those Nervious affections, that I am some times allarmed with them. with respect to a House, I rather wish you to take one before I come on. Mrs Smith can judge as well as I can, but whether you do or no, I will endeavour to be with you in the course of three weeks from this Time. if you can possibly get time I wish you would say whether I must bring Linnen China Glass kitchen furniture Plate, looking glasses I would not remove and Beds if I leave any in the House I can take only three, or rather I should have said, if I left enough to accommodate us when we come home to see how our Trees grow &C the Hill begins to look finely and & Garden much better for New setting what Box I have had taken up, but it is like diging up so many Trees with large Roots, & I believe to speak within moderate Bounds, it would take a Gardner a Month to do it properly— Thayer is chosen Rep, again. the Shaiseites were very low. Vinton had only one vote,2 General Lincoln is chosen for Hingham.
{ 356 }
judge Sergant & Lady kept sabbeth with me on their way to Barnstable Court, and desired to be affectionally rememberd to you. judge Cushing has visited me twice. Your Book is his Travelling Companion he says, but he could not possibly part with it yet. I have requested him to deliver it to mr Cranch if I should be absent when he comes again. is mrs Washington arrived yet? I wish she would get there before me— I dont very well like all I see in the papers—. pray write to me by the next post after you receive this Letter. the Printers have sent the papers to you they say, so that I have lost sight of several of them this week all Friends desire to be rememberd to you— most affectionatly / yours
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / vice President of the united States / Newyork.”
1. A large, flat-bottomed boat (OED).
2. Gen. Ebenezer Thayer was elected representative from Braintree by a majority of 34 votes (Braintree Town Records, p. 589–590). For Capt. John Vinton's earlier opposition to Thayer, see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 27 May 1787, and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am in such a situation that I cannot see the way clear for you to come on, till some resolution is passed in the House.— You will be as ready as you can, and I will write you the Moment <to come on>. any Thing is done.— I will resign my office rather than bring you here to be miserable.
Yours eternally
[signed] John Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0191

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

inclosed is a Letter from Captn. Brown who commands the best Packet between Providence and this Place.—1 He called very politely and respectfully to offer his service in bringing you to New York.— if you can let him know the time when you can come, he will be ready.
I have taken an House: but have nothing to put in it, [no]r to live on.— nothing is yet determined, I never felt so [ir]resolute and undetermined what to do.— I approve of the Idea of Sending the Furniture by Tirrell, and some of the Books—not many.2 But I think it is { 357 } best to wait till Something is determined by the House.— I have written another Letter to President Willard, asking leave for Charles to come with you.—3 I must give up the pleasing Idea of Seeing Thomas, for the present.— Mr & Mrs Smith were in Town to day, and I dined with them at Mr Mc.Cormicks. They and their Children are well.— I have this moment recd a delightful Letter from Dr Price, in which he remembers you with the kindest affection.4 I will write you, the Moment any Thing is settled.
My Sincere Thanks to Mr Wibird for his Remembrance of me in his Prayers. It is to me, a most affecting Thing to hear myself prayed for in particular as I do every day in the Week, and disposes me to bear, with more Composure, Some disagreable Circumstances, that attend my Situation.— My Duty to my Mother and Love to all.— I hope my Brother will take the Place, and plant the Hill— You must take the best Advice you can, and do as well as you can. I have it not in my Power to assist you, but with [the] / best Wishes of yours most tenderly
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree / near Boston”; notation: “Free / John Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Capt. James N. Brown, who sailed the sloop Hancock between Providence and New York, wrote to JA on 18 May (Adams Papers): “Hearing that your Good Lady is to Come On from providince to york by Water & Concious of haveing the best accomedated packet in That Line Induces me to Solicit the honour of Bringing Mrs Addams on & be Assured good Sir that It Shall be my Whole Study to accomedate her Ladyship.” Brown also recommended Mr. Daggett's Inn, where AA eventually stayed in Providence (see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 19 June, and note 3, below).
2. Capt. Joseph Tirrell (1752–1825) of Weymouth carried freight between Boston and New York in the schooner Weymouth (New York Journal, 4 Dec. 1787; History of Weymouth, 3:361, 4:660).
3. Not found.
4. Richard Price wrote to JA on 5 March (Adams Papers). He commented that “my best complimts wait on Mrs Adams. My congregation can never forget that She and you once made a part of it. May Heaven grant you both whatever can make you most happy.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0192

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have received your Letter of the 16th.— I have taken a large and handsome house, in a beautiful Situation, about two miles out of the City, upon the North River. The Rent is less, than I must have given for a much meaner house in Town, without any such accommodations of Stable Garden, Pasture &c
I now desire you to come on, as soon as possible, and to Send by Tirrell, or some other Vessel, Beds, & Bedding—all the Linnen for { 358 } Beds & Table, Knives & Forks, China, Glass, Kitchen Furniture—in short all the [fur]niture of the House in a manner. Some of the smaller looking Glasses—but the large ones, not yet.— Yet I dont know but it would be best to bring even them.— Furniture here is monstrously dear. Ask the Dr. if it is adviseable to insure? My Books some of them may come too— The Books I wish for, are hume, Johnson Priestley, Ainsworths Dictionary,1 and Such other Books as may be most amusing and useful— The great Works and Collections I would not bring on. But Blackstone and De Lolme on the English Constitution and the Collection of American Constitutions I would have Sent on.—2 I am encouraged to expect that the House will do something that will enable Us to live, tho perhaps not very affluently.
The Place must be left, as you can.— I can form no Judgment about it.— Charles must come with you.— And Polly—and Elijah, if his Parents are willing.
Mrs Washington, will be here before you, without doubt—she is expected daily.— My Garden is preparing for your Reception, and I wish you were here.
my dearest friend Adieu
[signed] J. A.
Livy and Tacitus & Cicero I would have sent, and a Plutarch in french or English &c.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree near / Boston”; notation: “Free / John Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Robert Ainsworth, Dictionary, English and Latin: A New Edition, with Great Additions, ed. Thomas Morell, London, 1773 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. Jean Louis de Lolme, The Constitution of England; or, An Account of the English Government, London, 1775. For The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America, see JA, Papers, 11:477, note 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0193

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I hope Barnard has arrived with the things which I sent by him. if there is any person in the House they had better be sent immediatly to it there to lie untill I arrive on the Recept of your Letter May 3'd I sent directly to Town and finding Barnard almost ready to sail I got him to take as many things as I could get ready, they are carpets linnen &c. after I had done this I sat out to visit my sister at Haverhill, leaving word that I would have any letter which should come in { 359 } my absence sent to me. two days after I left Home I received yours of may 13 & 14th. if I had been at Home I should immediatly have gone about packing some part of my furniture, but to day mr Ward deliverd me your Letter of May 18th I am glad you have determined to proceed no further then taking a House, untill you know upon what terms we are to put our selves in motion. tho I was only absent one week from home I was so uneasy after I received your Letters in which you desired me to come on (directly, least you should think I made an unnecessary delay) that the pleasure of my visit was much diminished. yet I knew mr Tufts vessel was not returnd and that I must wait the return of Barnard before I a could possibly send any thing further. it is a very unpleasent Idea to me, to be obliged to pull down & pack furniture which has already sufferd so much by Removal just as I have got it well arranged. it is no trifling affair & will require no very short time to accomplish. if you please & it must be done; I will only take such things as will enable us to keep House for the present. if our Masters will please to furnish us two Rooms in a proper manner I can put up sufficient for the remainder of the House, but as I know not how to take any steps at present I shall let every thing remain in quiet. but for me to come to N York with Charles and one or two domesticks, before I can go to House keeping would only tend to embarrass us all, & tho I know your situation must be painfull & dissagreable to you, I fear I should only increase rather then lessen your difficulties. I would wish to know if I do not ask an improper thing, whether you would be willing I should bring Louissa with me. I find her so usefull with her needle, at any House work at the Ironing Board, that I think she would be to me a very great assistance, but at the same time if you are not intirely willing, or have the least objection, I shall not repeat my request— she has two qualities which you value—silence & modesty
Mr Allen brought your Letter of May 19th. I found it this Evening upon my return. Captain Brown is the Captain with whom Brisler came home, & with him he has desired me to go, as he has a great opinion of his civility. Daniel I found was married and in a pretty way of Buisness, so I have not said any thing to him. I shall be obliged to send the Horse to J Q: A. I cannot get any offer for him, tho I have sent to Ballard1 & to Bracket, several Gentleman have lookd at him, but he is known in Town to have broken a chaise for woodard all to peices, a circumstance I never knew untill I offerd him for sale.2 I could have disposed of him but for that { 360 } circumstance & his being too Headstrong for Ladies to manage our son says it will cost him this summer as much to hire Horses to attend court as the keeping that horse will amount to, but I tell him he must sell him if he can. The president has received both your Letters and will ask consent of the Corperation for charles.3 he has a French oration given him for his part at commencement. The president & Lady have sent me word that they design to visit me on Saturday next & dine with me. our good Friends judge Dana & Lady kept Sabbeth with me on their way to Plimouth court. it grieved me to see him in such ill Health I found him better on my return from Haverhill. I lodged at his House. I came through Town & dined at Dr Welchs, where I met with mr Pearson, who was very full with his remarks upon the answer of the House to the President.4 he was much disgusted with the manner & stile of it. “This is what we have Thought fit to address to you” was the Language of superiours to an inferiour. Stiling him fellow citizen, was in his opinion very improper, he was no more their fellow citizen whilst he was President of the united states, than the King of G. B was fellow Subject to his people— I read the debates of the House and I have watch'd a certain character much celebrated, & from the whole I have drawn up this conclusion, that he either does not possess so great talants as he has been said too, or he is aiming at Popularity, at the expence of his judgment & understanding Honestus, pronounces mr Madison the wisest & best man in the House, but time will unvail Characters. I do not like his Politicks, nor the Narrow jealousy he has discoverd.
I have an opportunity of sending this Letter written in great haste as you will perceive—
Yours most tenderly and / affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
inclosed is Barnards Receit5
1. John Ballard operated a livery stable at Bromfield's Lane in Boston (NEHGR, 140:36 [Jan. 1986]; Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 Apr. 1789, 17 June 1790).
2. Probably Joseph Woodward of Braintree, who had served as a surveyor of highways for the town in 1788 (Braintree Town Records, p. 579). He wrote to JA on 15 and 30 May 1789 (both Adams Papers) seeking positions in the new federal government and also mentioned on the 30th having seen AA recently.
3. Not found.
4. For the House's address to George Washington, see First Fed. Cong., 3:45–46.
5. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0194

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1789-05-27

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

I should have answered your last favour,1 ere this [but in?] [conse]quence of the information you gave me, I went to Haverhill [last?] Thursday and returned but the day before yesterday. Regularly the Sunday is my scribbling day, but as there are several opportunities for sending at present, I [can]not suffer the week to pass over without noticing you, and must there fore [steal?] an hour or two from—from whom?—why first negatively not from my Lord Coke: no nor from any other Lord or gentleman that has any connection with laws, except the eternal and immutable laws of nature. But from the divine Shakespear whom I read with more fervent admiration than any thing—but enough of this.
[With respect?] to Charles the tender solicitude, which you feel in regard to his conduct is only an additional evidence of a disposition, which I have long known to be peculiarly yours. it adds to the number of obligations for which I feel myself indebted to you, but it cannot add any thing to the settled opinion which I have of the excellency of your heart.— I wrote him a very serious Letter three weeks ago and conversed with him at Haverhill upon the subject in such a manner as must I think lead him to be more cautious.2 However I depend much more upon the alteration which is soon to take place in his situation, than upon any advice or counsel, that I can ever give him. I am well convinced that if any thing can keep him within the limits of regularity, it will be his knowlege of my fathers being [near him and the?] fear of being discovered by him.—
If you have an opportunity to send to Braintree I wish you would inform my Mother, that by sending the articles [which?] I [men]tioned to her, immediately to Boston, I shall probably soon get them here. But 17? Cave, Cave, Cave!3
You say nothing concerning the Letter which I [enclosed in my?] last for Thomas & Co: I should be glad to hear if it was transmitted to them.—4 I believe I shall not soon attempt to mount my Pegasus again Some of the characters contained in a certain Vision which [you] have seen have been handed about in this Town. All of them have been applied to as particular persons, and reports have been spread, that I avow'd myself to be the author, and named the said persons for whom they were written— Not a word of truth in all this, and yet it has made me enemies—5 And the circumstance has been { 362 } employ'd as an argument to prove me to be the author of a scurrilous enigmatical list which I have mentioned to you heretofore.6 “He abuses people in rhyme, and therefore, he doubtless abuses people also in prose.” Such is the reasoning; and so little capacity or inclination is there to distinguish between a Satire and a lampoon.—If you wish to thrive in the world and to pass for an amiable, clever, discreet good man, let your invariable maxim be NEVER TO DISAPPROVE.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (MHi:Adams Papers, All Generations); addressed: “Mr: W[m] Cranch. / Boston.”; endorsed: “J. Q. A. / May 27. 1789.”; notation: “Favd. by Mr: Smith.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and the paper damaged by water.
1. Not found.
2. Not found, but JQA mentioned in his Diary that he wrote to CA on 2 May. The brothers may also have had a conversation on 25 May, when JQA was at Haverhill (D/JQA/14, APM Reel 17).
3. This sentence was written sideways in the margin beside this and the following paragraph.
4. Neither JQA's letter to William Cranch nor one to Isaiah Thomas & Company has been found, but one of JQA's poems appeared in the next issue of Thomas' Massachusetts Magazine under the pseudonym Alcander (May 1789, p. 321).
5. For JQA's satirical poem, “A Vision,” about several young women in Newburyport, see Diary, 2:154, 381. On 10 June 1790, William Cranch wrote to JQA of an encounter Cranch had with a mutual acquaintance, Betsy Foster. Cranch reported that Foster said “she did not know any person she should be so afraid of, as you. I demanded the grounds upon which she had formed such an opinion. She said she was not much acquainted with you, but that she had in her pocketbook a little piece of satirical Poetry which she thought would justify her fears. She then produced a Copy of the Vision. She was charmed with it, but she could not help being afraid of the Author.” Foster went on to describe parts of the poem as “illiberal” and “very unjust.” Cranch assured Foster that “if there is anything illiberal in the Vision I was certain you could not be the Author” (Adams Papers).
6. This “enigmatical list” appeared in the 29 April 1789 issue of the Newburyport Essex Journal, which is apparently no longer extant. An article in the Essex Journal, 6 May, signed Eugenio claimed in regard to the list that “I must confess I never was witness to so much scurrillity and baseness— Who but a ruffian—a villain—an enemy to the loveliest work of God—a base traducer of merit, would lurk behind the Printing Press, and throw promiscuously arrows poisoned with obscenity and defamation, to wound the bosom of the defenceless fair.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0195

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1789-05-30

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

I have sent you the Cloth the coat & Boots. the Glass I have not yet been able to find. inclosed is an other article the amount of what I engaged to you. The Horse I had engaged to keep for a Gentleman till Monday next, so that I could not without forfeiting my word let him go till twesday provided I should not sell him to him. I am sorry, for if I should not part with him then: I should not make { 363 } any further trial and should be glad to get him to you as soon as possible— when I got home on twesday Evening, I received a Letter from your Father in which he says after many deliberations he has concluded that I shall not come on, untill the House pass some resolution respecting him. this I think the most prudent desicion, for to be there with a thousand wants & demands & no resources is much worse than being here at any rate. it has given me a little farther respit. I must request you in my absence to attend to your Brother Tom, to watch over his conduct & prevent by your advice & kind admonitions, his falling a prey to vicious Company. at present he seems desirious of persueing his studies preserving a character and avoiding dissipation, but no youth is secure whilst temptations surround him, and no age of Life but is influenced by habits & example, even when they think their Characters formed. I have many anxious hours for Charles, and not the fewer, for the new scene of life into which he is going, tho I think it will be of great service to have him with his Father, & more to take him intirely away from his acquaintance. I have written to him upon some late reports which have been circulated concerning him.1 I hope they are without foundation, but such is the company in which he is seen that he cannot fail to bear a part of the reproach even if he is innocent. if you should be able to send again, next week let me know one day before hand, & the Name of the person by whom you send, for if I had sent the Horse to Brackets I should not have known whom to have inquired for— I have not heard from your uncle since we left him, I hope he is better—
The Bundle I shall send this day to mr Smiths— pray write me and let me know how you do from time to Time. Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
PS I received a line from W C. that the Gentleman by whom you sent for the Horse was gone to Pownalborough2 it was well I did not send him to Town. I do not know how you will get him unless you come to Boston for him in the course of the week. Brislers Note is inclosed3
1. Not found.
2. Not found.
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-05-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your old Acquaintance Mr Harrison of Cadiz will deliver you this, if you should not, as I hope you will, be Sett off for this place before he can reach Braintree.—
I expect you, here indeed in a Week or ten days at farthest, from this date. Mrs Washington is arrived. My House and Garden want us very much. We Shall be obliged to bring all our Furniture and most of our Books, except the Law books and the great Collections, such as the Byzantine History, Muratory, the Encyclopædia &c1 But I hope you will come on, and send Beds and necessaries as soon as possible. Barnard has delivered here, some Trunks & Cases but no Keys nor Letter informing what is in them.— We must make this place our home, and think no more of Braintree, for four years, not forgetting however our Friends there. and what is the most disagreable of all: We must live, as I apprehend, in a Style much below our Rank and station.— I Said four Years, upon the supposition that the Government should support itself so long: but it must be supported by Providence if at all, against the usual Course of Things, if the human Means of supporting it, should not be soon better understood. You and I can live however as plainly as any of them,
yours most tenderly
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams.”
1. Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 6 vols., London, 1777–1788; Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d'Italia dal principio dell' era volgare, sino all' anno 1750, 12 vols. in 6, Naples, 1773; and Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert, eds., Encyclopédie, 3d edn., 38 vols., Geneva, 1778, are all in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0197

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-05-31

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received yesterday your Letter of May the 24th and shall begin tomorrow to get such things in readiness as will enable us to keep House. I feel a reluctance at striping this wholy at present, because I am well persuaded that we shall in some future period if our lives are prolonged return to it, and even supposing a summer recess, we might wish to come & spend a few months here. an other reason is, that I do not wish to bring all our own furniture, because congress { 365 } are not, or do not possess sufficient stability to be sure of continuing long in any one state,— I am fully satisfied with the House you have taken & glad that it is a little removed from the city. the advantages will overbalance the inconvenience I doubt not. I suppose Barnard has arrived before this. would it not be best to let him know that he will have a full freight ready, returns as soon as he will, and that I must look out for some other vessel if he delay's, tho I have not the least prospect of getting one, for mr Tufts's is yet at Newyork Barnard's is calculated for the Buisness, & I could get a small vessel to come here to mr Blacks & take in my things & carry them along side of Barnard, which will be less expence, & damage than carting them to Boston. in the mean time I will get the Dr to look out, & see if any other vessel can be hired for the purpose provided Barnard should delay at Newyork. this you can advise me of by the next post. with the greatest expedition I do not think I can get them ready under a week— I must leave Brisler to come by water with them, if you think it best for me to come before my furniture is ship'd, but I do not see what advantage I can be of, to you situated as you are. an additional incunberence to mr Jays family would be still more indelicet than imposing the vice Pressident upon him for several months, and rendering his situation so delicate that he could neither leave him with decency, or stay with decorum, and to be at Jamaica I could do no more than if I was at Braintree to assist in any thing the Trunks which I sent contain Bed & table Linnen some Cloths & the cases contain carpets. I will however be directed wholy by your wishes & come next week if you think it best, and you have any place to put me. you must be sensible from the tenor of Your Letters that I have not known hitherto what to do, any more than you have from your situation, What to direct. you will be as patient as possible & rest assured that I will do my utmost with the means I have, to expidite every thing. as to insurence there will be no occasion for it by Barnard who is so well acquainted with the coast, & at this season of the Year
The Pressident & Lady dinned with me yesterday.1 he has got permission for Charles's absence— Polly Tailor would cry a week if I did not bring her, for a House maid I know not where I could get her equal. Elijahs mother thinks it is too far for her son to go, but if they consent mr Brisler can take him on Board Barnard when he comes, but I shall not press it. Poor daniel has been sick with a soar which gatherd in his Throat & which nearly proved fatal to him. he { 366 } expected from you some gratuity for himself, oweing to the multiplicity of cares which on all sides surrounded you, at that time, it was omitted. as it was Customary & daniels expectations were dissapointed, he mentiond it to one or two persons, amongst whom woodard was one, who having just returnd from Newyork, clapt his hands into his pocket & taking out two crowns, gave them to him, telling him that you was so much engaged at the time, that it had slipt your mind but that he saw you at Newyork & that he had brought them for him. this came to my knowledge by the way of mr Wibird who insisted upon letting me know it. I immediatly repaid mr woodard & thank'd him for his kindness—
your Brother I believe will take care of the place when I leave it. the leave for Breaking up the Hill came too late for this season, the weather is remarkably cold & Backward, the pastures bare & vegetation very slow there is a fine blow upon the place, & if the frost last week which killd Beans, has not injured the Blossom, we shall have a large crop of fruit. I had yesterday a fine plate of fair Russets upon the table, sound as when they were taken from the Trees my Garden looks charmingly, but it wants warmth— I have got some Large asparagrass Beds made, & my little grass plots before the door, pay well for the manure which I had put on in short I regreet leaving it. your Mother is well as usual. her Eyes are very troublesome to her. you will let me hear from you by the next post. I hope to be able to relieve you soon from [all?] domestick, cares & anxieties. at least my best endeavours sh[all] not be wanting. I know you want your own Bed & pillows, your Hot coffe & your full portion of kian where habit has become Natural.2 how many of these little matters, make up a large portion of our happiness & content, and the more of publick cares & perplexities that you are surrounded with, the more necessary these alleviations our blessings are sometimes enhanced to us, by feeling the want of them. as one of that Number it is my highest ambition to be estimated, & shall be my constant endeavour to / prove in all situations & circumstances / affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / vice president of the united States / Newyork.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. That is, Joseph Willard, president of Harvard, and his wife, Mary.
2. Cayenne pepper, which was used medicinally as a stimulant (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0198

Author: Paradise, Lucy Ludwell
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-06-03

Lucy Ludwell Paradise to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Madam—

Since my return to England, I have been told of the great Civilities you were pleased to Shew to My Dear Deceased Child. I return you a thousand thanks for it and I wish it may ever be in my power to shew you what I feel upon the occasion. As it was not the fault of any Person, but the Will of God, I endeavour to receive it with all the resignation I am able— I hope that you, and all your amiable family, enjoy the Blessings of health, happiness, and prosperity, in as high a degree, as I know they Merit. I beg you will have the goodness to present my best Compliments to them.
I have the honour to Congratulate you and your Family upon the appointment of Mr. Adams to be our Vice President to our Newly Established Federal Constitution. God Grant that it may be productive of every good to our Country: and I make not be least doubt of it, since we are happy to have the Wisest and best of Gentlemen to Govern Us. We are a Great Nation and with good Laws to make People Industrious and oblige them to pay their debts; We shall be the First Country in the World. Our Friend Mr. Jefferson talks of returning to America soon, pray My Dear Madam send him back to Paris as soon as you can. He is a Most excellent Man. I am under the Greatest of obligations to him, and My Dear Friend Dr. Bancroft. Indeed, I do not know what I should have done in my afflictions since My return to Europe, had not Providence been graciously pleased to raise up these two excellent Gentlemen to assist Me.
Mr. Trumbulle has just finished a Picture that does him great Credit.1 I always rejoice when our Country Men excels the Europeans. Mr. Freine often talks to me about the Civilities he received from his Excellency Mr. Adams2 he desired Me to present his Compliments to you Mr. Adams and all your amiable family. He is a most excellent good Man, and I wish if his Court sent a Minister to America they would send him, you know him so well, I need to say No more about him. Be pleased to make my best Compliments to his Excellency General and Mrs. Washington to General and Mrs. Knox—and family, to Sr. John and Lady Temple, to Mr and Mrs. Jay, Mr and Mrs Kemble3 Cyrus Griffin, and the Foreign Ministers and their Families, and to My Dear and old Friend Dr Franklin and his { 368 } truly good Daughter and all her family.4 I hope to be honoured by the return of the packet with a Letter from you—
Dear Madam / I have the Honour to be / Your Most Obliged / Humble Servt.
[signed] Lucy Paradise
P. S It is reported the Dauphen of Frençe is Dead5
I am fixed in London until May Next In Margaret Street No. 45 Cavendish Square London
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / Her Excellency Mrs. John— / Adam New York / North America”; internal address: “Mrs. Adams”; docketed: “Lucy Paradise.”
1. John Trumbull completed the third and largest rendition of his Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar during the spring of 1789 in London, where it was exhibited in a public hall from April to July (Trumbull, Autobiography, p. 148–150).
2. Ciprião Ribeiro, Chevalier de Freire, the Portuguese chargé d'affaires in London, whom the Adamses had met at the home of the Paradises. He served as Portugal's minister in the United States from 1793 to 1801 (vol. 6:209; Repertorium, 3:321).
3. Peter Kemble (1739–1823), of the New York commercial house of Gouverneur & Kemble, was married to Gertrude Gouverneur, the sister of his partners (New-York Historical Society, Colls., 17:xv [1884]).
4. Franklin's only daughter, Sarah (Sally, 1743–1808), had married Richard Bache (1737–1811) in 1767. Together, they had seven children, including Benjamin Franklin Bache, who had been a schoolmate of JQA's in Passy, France (Notable Amer. Women; vol. 3:15, 5:459).
5. Louis Joseph Xavier François, the French dauphin, died on 4 June 1789 of tuberculosis (Schama, Citizens, p. 356–357).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0199

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-06-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I must now most Seriously request you to come on to me as soon as conveniently you can. never did I want your assistance more than at present, as my Physician and my Nurse. my disorder of Eight years standing has encreased to such a degree as to be very troublesome and not a little alarming.—1
I have agreed to take Col Smith and his Family and Furniture into the House with us and they will be removed into it by next Wednesday.— If Charles has a Mind to stay and deliver his French oration at Commencement, I am willing, and I think it will be greatly for his Reputation and Advantage. in that Case Charles and Tommy may both come to gether to New York after Commencement by the Way of Rhode Island, or by the Stage.
As to Louisa, our Family will be very great, and vastly expensive and House very full. if you think however you can find room and Beds &C I will not say any Thing against your bringing her.
{ 369 }
You must leave the Furniture to be packed by others and sent after you— We must have it all removed and Sent here, as well as all the Liquers in the Cellar, and many of the Books, for here We must live, and I am determined not to be running backward and forward, till the 4 years are out, unless my Health should oblige me to resign my office of which at present there is some danger.
It has been a great dammage that you did not come on with me yours affectionately
[signed] John Adams.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Braintree / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs Adams.”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. For JA's illness dating back to his time in Amsterdam, possibly malaria or typhus, see JA, Papers, 11:469–470, note 1.
2. On 7 June, JA wrote another brief letter to AA (Adams Papers) largely reiterating his comments here and again urging her to come as quickly as possible. He did add that if CA decided to stay for commencement, John Briesler should accompany her to New York.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0200

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-06-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I this day received the Federal Gazzet, tho I got no Letter from you, I was in hopes to have heard this week in replie to what I wrote on Sunday last. Since that time mr Smith has been in Treaty for me, with two conneticut sloops one of which demanded 50 pounds freight for 2 thirds of his vessel. the other 40, each of them were about 70 Tuns he then applied to Blagett, Barnards owner1 & has agreed with him for 33 pounds for the whole of the hole of the vessel, and if I do not fill her a deduction to be made it has already taken me a thousand of Boards besides the Boxes which were not broken up, to case what furniture I propose bringing. Brisler has done it all heitherto, I shall be ready for Barnard by the middle of the week, and his owner has engaged that he shall sail as soon as he is ready tho I shall not pretend to bring some of my best furniture What I have put up will be fully adequate to the provision voted, which I think is a thousand dollors less than has been given to Secretaries which have been sent abroad, but perhaps I see only in part.2 I enclose you a mem. of expences to which I am in part knowing.3 many others you must already have incurred, & can fill up the Blanks better than I presume they do not mean that house rent is to be included in this estimate. not one single step do that House take without discovering the greatest jealousy of the Senate who before ever heard of putting the two Houses upon a par?
{ 370 }
I think Sir I have never petitioned for any office, for any Relation of mine. mr Samll Tufts of Newburry port was formerly in an office which he discharged with fidelity to the publick. mr Dalton can inform you whether, it was Naval officer or collector of impost & excise; I am not certain which, but his character as an honest industrous capable man will not be disputed, and perhaps it may not be thought amiss to bring him forward again.4
our season is very dry & thee prospect of a good crop very doubtfull.
you have not once told me how your Health is, our Friends are all well as usual— I shall write you again as soon as I hear from you—Love to mrs Smith & her Boys
believe me / most affectionatly / Yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams / Vice President of the United states. / New York—”; docketed: “A A to J A / 1789.”
1. Possibly Samuel Blodget, owner of the Boston Packet (Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charlestown, Boston, 1942, p. 27; vol. 7:393).
2. At this time, Congress was just beginning to consider compensation for the president, vice president, senators, and representatives. Congress ultimately resolved to give $25,000 per annum for the president and $5,000 per annum for the vice president (U.S. Statutes at Large, 1:72; Massachusetts Centinel, 10 June 1789).
3. Not found.
4. Cotton Tufts apparently also approached JA regarding a job for Samuel Tufts, Cotton's brother, a Newburyport merchant who had previously served as collector of duties and excise for Essex County (Fleet's Pocket Almanack, 1786, p. 22; vol. 7:273). JA replied to Cotton on 28 June indicating that Samuel would need to contact George Washington directly about any positions (NN:Harkness Coll.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0201

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-06-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I last Evening received your Letter of june 7th I will set of on Wednesday for Providence and embark in the first packet for New-york. pray get an oz of glober salts and half oz manna & take immediately, an oz of antimonial wine & take 30 drops three time a day.1 I will be with you however as soon as possible. Barnard got in on fryday. we had two days of voilent and incessant Rain, which tho much wanted, prevented him from unloading his Grain. he has promised me that he will be ready to take my things on Board by wednesday. they are now nearly all ready, and I shall leave Brisler to finish and get them on Board. I and my Neice have gone through the package of every Brittle article, and I think have made them secure I presume there will be more than an hundred packages
{ 371 }
When I think of the expence we have formerly been at in casing & packing these same articles I find it now a very triffel in comparison, tho be sure I have not taken near all my things, and a small part only of the Books, but we have gone through it all with our own hands. we have orderd it thus. we have launchd the Scow, & mean to put all the things into it at different Time's & Barnard is to come up to the mouth of the creek by mr Blacks & take them on Board. I have done the best in my power with every thing here, but that best is not so much to my satisfaction as I could wish.
we will endeavour to do every thing that falls to our share with as much calmness & composure as possible, & where they do not go according to our minds, we will bring our minds to go according to them if possible. let sail over the Rocks & Shoals with as much safety as we can, happy if we split neither upon the one, or founder upon the other. Charles has been at home with me for a week and I think it best as he has taken leave, to bring him on. if he stays <a commencment> some entertainment will be expected, and I shall not be here to attend at all to it. I thank you for your permission to bring Louissa. she will save me very soon the hire of one person. she has been leaning to dress Hair of Mrs Brisler and she will take a great deal of care of, of me buy her needle work, and indeed every kind of attention that she can pay either to you or to me. her temper is perfectly mild, and I think her every Way a good child— adieu my dearest Friend pray take care of your Health. I shall consult dr Tufts & take his advice— my Head and Hands are so full of Buisness that I Scarcly know what I have written— Love to mrs smith & Regards to mr & Mrs Jay— from your ever / affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by CA: “His Excellency John Adams.— / Vice President of the united States / New York”; endorsed: “Mrs Adams. / June 14. 1789.”
1. Glauber's salt, sulphate of sodium, named for Johann Rudolf Glauber, who first produced it artificially, had purgative qualities. Similarly, manna, the dried gum of various plants, was used as a laxative, and antimonial wine—sherry mixed with antimony—was used as an emetic (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0202

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1789-06-17

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Sir

Not being able to dispose of my oxen as I expected, & to have taken half the money for them, I do not find myself able to pay French without taking less than 50 Dollors with me, 46 of which it will take for my conveyence to Providence & passage on Board the packet.
{ 372 }
I must therefore request the favour of you sir to pay him for seven months wages at 50 dollers pr year. you will see by the papers that I have settled an account with my Brother & pay'd Spear a Parish Rate I have an account with vezey, it cannot be large as he was pay'd last fall, a small accompt with mr Marsh & something to be setled with deacon Webb. I do not recollect any thing Else. I have left the Horse with my Brother for sale out of which he is to pay 20 dollors to col Thayer for the wood Land. my oxen I wish to have sold as soon as possible, by note if a responsible person can be found who wants them. Thomas spoke to me for a Hat a round one is all he wants. I fear sir that we shall fall in your debt, and wish you would let me have given you a Note for the thirty pounds I had of you I have paid Brisler half a years wages 10.£ 6.sd out of the Thirty & sent my son 20 dollers, Boards Nails and other expences attendant upon getting my furniture on Board, and some small articles of cloathing for Tom & Charles, has taken away all that I sold my stears & wool for. at present I fear we shall not be able to remitt any thing to you, but when I get to House keeping I shall be better able to judge— I cannot but repeat my sincere acknowledgments to you for all your kind and Friendly attentions, and believe me Dear Sir your / ever affectionate
[signed] Abigail Adams
P S I have given French an order which he will present to you with my papers you will find an account vs John Newcombs1 he has one against me which will nearly balance, not quite I believe because I cannot get him to settle I inclose you a Note for the money due to French—
RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); endorsed: “Mrs. A. Adams June 17. 1789.”
1. Probably John Newcomb (1761–1823), a member of a Braintree family of stoneworkers. The bill in question was likely for the construction of a wall just completed between the Adams and Bass properties (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 3431R, 3434, 3435, 3449, 3450, 3454; U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 196; AA to JA, 26 April and 5 May, both above).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0203

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-06-17

Abigail Adams' Directions Concerning Their Massachusetts Houses and Farms

Mr Bass is to pay 20 Dollors pr Year and the Taxes for one half the House and the whole, of the small garden this Rent is to be paid this Year in work to me or my order Pheby is to pay four dollors a year the year to commence from July 1.st 1789 Seven months she has { 373 } lived in the House to be given to her— Mrs Palmer is to pay 15 dollors pr year She is to have what is now upon the Garden, the fruit excepted which is Leased to Brother Adams. Mrs Palmer is to have the potatoes planted behind the House. she is to have what wood remains in the Yard after mrs Brisler moves: during her stay the wood to be in common, 2 small plumb Trees near the House to go with the house The Horse Cart sadle Bridle—Farming utensals sledge to be deliverd to the dr
Deacon Webb had two ox hides one cow one stear & two calf skins[.] of Him received one Side of Leather[.] mr marsh may have taken some uncertain1
MS (Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 1, folder 1); endorsed by Cotton Tufts: “Mrs. Adams / [Directions?].”
1. Cotton Tufts wrote beneath this line that “Mr Marsh has had one Side 25w.” costing £1.1.8. According to Tufts, Marsh also had taken “one ox hide & Cow hide” at the same price for a cost of £0.2.4.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0204

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-06-19

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my Dear sister

This day is the Aniversary of my Landing in Boston and Tomorrow that of my departure from it. many are the mercies I have to be thankfull for through all my Perigranations, all the painfull scenes I have past through, has been the temporary seperation from my Friends, fatigue either of Body or Mind I scarcly name amongst them for I have my pleasures and gratifications which I set down as a balance to them. cousin Lucy has told you that I left Home about 8 oclock we proceeded to Man's Inn in Wrentham before we stop'd 27 miles where we dinned upon Roast veal roast chickings sallad &c, west India sweet meats I ought not to forget in the desert, it is really a very good Inn.1 we sat off at three oclock and reachd Attlebouroug about five where we Bated & Met with mr & mrs Mason & miss Powel going to Newport.2 we past an agreeable Hour to gether at Six we renewed, our journey and reach'd Providence at half after Seven. we put up at daggets Inn just at the entrance of the Town Situated upon a Hill opposite the State House commanding a fine view of the River & the whole Town. we are tolerably well accommodated, but should have been much better if the Governour had not taken the best Chamber before I came, (the court being now in { 374 } Session) and he has not had the politeness either to offer to give it up or to make me a visit, tho he has had much conversation with Polly and now & then takes a Peap at me from entry.3 my first inquiry was after a packet. I found only Browns here, he came & I like him he has a very good packet & Bears a good character himself, but Says he cannot be ready to Sail till saturday morning, the wind to day is directly against us.
In about an hour after my arrival I received the visits of the following persons— mr & mrs Arnold,4 the Gentleman was one of the Committe who came to mr Adams—from the Towns of Newport & Providence mr & mrs Francis. this Lady is the daughter of mr John Brown of this Town, so celebrated for his Wealth5—miss Bowen the sister to the late Governour,6 Col Peck, mr Robins Tuter to the Colledge & mr Shrimpton Hutchinson and Mrs Nightingale,7 all of whom in the Name of many other gentlemen & Ladies regreeted that I had dissapointed them in not letting it be known when I should be here as they had agreed to meet me several miles out of Town. mr & mrs Francis invited me to take up my abode with them. I excused myself, but have promised to take Tea & spend the Evening if I do not go out of Town. this morning I am to take a ride with them to see the Town & to return my visits, if I am not prevented by company but my wish is not to be detained a moment. pray write me & let me know by the next post whether my furniture is all on Board Barnard & when he will Sail— I should be glad to hear how mrs Brisler is. I left her in great affliction.
I feel the want of mrs Brisler as a Hair dresser, on other accounts Polly does very well Matilda is well, & her finger much better. let mrs Storer know if you please— my best Regards to all my dear Friends. it grieved me to see you so dull, you used to keep up your Spirits better do not let them flagg. a merry Heart does good like a medicine we shall hear often from one an other, and the Seperation be renderd less painfull by that means—
This moment a Card is brought me from mr Brown & Lady with an invitation to dine with them to day & that they will visit me at ten—I accept it, as Brown cannot go till tomorrow. adieu my dear sister most / affectionatly Yours.
[signed] Abigail Adams—
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs A / Adams, Providence, / June 19th. 1789.”
1. This Wrentham, Mass., inn was originally run by Pelatiah Man (b. 1689) and then by his son David (b. 1724) (George S. Mann, Genealogy of the Descendants of { 375 } Richard Man of Scituate, Mass., Boston, 1884, p. 22; Boston Evening Post, 19 May 1755).
2. Jonathan Mason Jr. (1756–1831), Princeton 1774, was a former law clerk of JA's who married Susan Powell (1760–1841) in 1779. From 1786 to 1796, he represented Boston in the Mass. General Court, and he later served as a U.S. senator. Miss Powell was probably Susan's sister, Anna Dummer Powell (1770–1848), who married Thomas Perkins in 1800 (vol. 4:337; DAB; Boston, 24th Report, p. 299; NEHGR, 26:143 [April 1872]).
3. John Collins (1717–1795) served as the third governor of the state of Rhode Island from 1786 to 1790; he had previously represented Rhode Island in the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1781 (DAB).
Daggett's Inn, which had been recommended to AA by Capt. James Brown, was probably run by the same Daggett family who operated the ferry across the Seekonk River along the main route between Boston and New York (JA to AA, 19 May, note 1, above; Edward Field, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the End of the Century: A History, 3 vols., Boston, 1902, 2:535–537).
4. Probably Providence merchant Welcome Arnold (1745–1798) and his wife, Patience Greene Arnold (1754–1809). Arnold was a business associate of John Brown and Joseph Nightingale (Franklin Stuart Coyle, Welcome Arnold (1745–1798), Providence Merchant: The Founding of an Enterprise, Brown Univ., Ph.D. diss., 1972, p. 6–7, 12).
5. Abby Brown (1766–1821), the daughter of Sarah Smith (1738–1825) and John Brown (1736–1803), of the wealthy Providence merchant family, was married to John Francis (1763–1796) of Philadelphia. Together, John Brown and John Francis formed the company of Brown & Francis, which was the first Providence house to engage in the China trade (James B. Hedges, The Browns of Providence Plantations: The Colonial Years, Providence, 1968, p. xx, 19; DAB).
6. Jabez Bowen (1739–1815), Yale 1757, served as deputy governor of Rhode Island for most of William Greene's administration from 1778 to 1786, at which time he was appointed a delegate to the Annapolis Convention. He married Sarah Brown (1742–1800) in 1762. Bowen had several sisters, at least three of whom—Nancy (1762–1801), Betsey (b. 1765), and Frances (b. 1768)—were still unmarried (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 2:452–454; Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island, 3 vols., Chicago, 1908, 1:1009–1011; James N. Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, 21 vols., Providence, 1891–1912, 14:112, 527).
7. Probably Col. William Peck of Providence who had served as the adjutant-general of the Rhode Island militia during the Revolution (JCC, 8:561; Rhode Island, Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly, 1783, Providence, 1785, Evans, No. 18150, p. 11).
Asher Robbins (1757–1845) was appointed tutor at Rhode Island College (later Brown University) in 1782 and remained in the position until 1790. He subsequently studied law and became a U.S. district attorney, state assemblyman, and later U.S. senator serving from 1825 to 1839 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
Shrimpton Hutchinson (ca. 1718–1811) had previously been a Boston merchant, running a store called the Three Sugar Loaves and Cannister on King Street (Boston Evening Post, 18 Dec. 1749; Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 13:516).
Probably Abigail Belcher Nightingale (1720–1794), widow of Samuel Nightingale (1715–1786) and mother of Providence merchants Samuel (1741–1814) and Joseph Nightingale (1748–1797) (William Richard Cutter, New England Families Genealogical and Memorial, 3d ser., 4 vols., N.Y., 1915, 2:928–929; NEHGR, 109:4 [Jan. 1955]).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0205

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-06-21

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I last evening receiv'd your kind Letter from Providence but shall not be able to get one to you by tomorrows Post—but shall write by the next I have not seen mr Brisler since you went away but heard that your Goods were puting on Board the vessel yesterday
{ 376 }
This day Twelves months I accompany'd my dear Brother & Sister to the House of God to offer with grateful hearts I hope our acknowledgments ffor the favours we had receiv'd during our long Separation from each other Providence has again call'd you from me & tho it is what I ought to have wish'd as a Lover of my country, I must mourn as an affectionate Sister, I do not know why I have found it so much harder parting now than before, but it really is so. I have more difficultis to incounter now than then. & my prospects are gloomy. this is one reason I believe— I feel as if I should want the kind Soothings of my Sisters I wish & try to be chearful I know it is my duty to be so. but I cannot always succeed— Patience & resignation are the great dutys I have to exerccesse Hope & Trust must be their attendants or the Heart would faint my wishes are not large. there is therefore the greater probability that they may be gratified— Honour without profit we have had enough of— To pay our debts, to live decently & to see our Friends in the way we have been use'd to is not an unreasonable wish? is it my Sister?— but however providence may See fit to dispose of us I hope to be resign'd— I will rejoice in the prosperity of my Friends & endeavour to find my Happinss in doing what I can to make others so—
Before this reaches you I hope you will have arriv'd safe & made your Friends happy by your presence, I will rejoice in their joy. I will think of you as a happy circle, & place myself among you. I will repair to the nursery & play with the sweet little Boys, William do not break your little Horse & go tell mama who sent it to you—
Pray tell me what kind of a Being they have fore a Governor in Rhode Island— I hope Polly told him whose Grandaughter she was—I was once in company with the Browns at major Fullers. There were a number of the Family din'd there Louisia must be much gratified by the new Scene which has open'd upon her— Her modest mild manners will gain her many admires. She will be flutter'd round. your watchful eye will ever be upon her I know— my dear charles will I hope guard against every temptation to evil— tell him that I love him with an affection little short of what I feel for my own son— tell him also if you please that as he has his companions now to chuse anew that I conjure him by all that is sacred as he values his reputation among the virtuous & worthy of mankind— as he would not imbitter the declining years of his Parents & wound the hearts of his Friends to be careful who he admits to call him thier Friend & associate He will write to his cousins I hope I wanted to say a great deal to him before he went away but I could not—
{ 377 }
I thank you my dear Sister for every expression of your affection in whatever way discover'd— The suit of velvet will be very useful the contents of the Bottles will be keept to ristore the languid spirit—
I shall expect to hear as much Politick from you as you can with safety convey. I shall feel importan then among your Friends— I am so pleas'd with Judge Dana & Lady that if I should go to cambridge I shall make them another visit, & must have a little politicks to talk of you know if I should—
remember me affectionately to mr Adams to mr & mrs Smith & all my Friends & accept / the warmest affection of your / grateful Sister
Mary Cranch
you cannot think how I am worried with my Girl She is not worth a copper I am in chase of another [. . .] could not come

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0206

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-06-28

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I wrote you from Providence some account of my polite reception there & closed my Letter just as I had accepted an invitation to dine with mr Brown & Lady. the forenoon was pass't in receiving visits from all the principal gentlemen and Ladies of the Town, who seemed to vie with each other, to convince me that tho they were inhabitants of an Antifederal state. they were themselves totally against the measures persued by it, and that they entertaind the highest Regard and Respect for the Character with which I was so intimately connected, altho to their great mortification they had been prevented the Honour of having any share in placing him in his respected station1
Mr Brown sent his Carriage & Son to conduct me his House which is one of the Grandest I have seen in this Country. every thing in and about it, wore the marks of magnificence & taste.2 mrs Brown met me at the door & with the most obliging Smile accosted me with—[“]Friend I am glad to see the here” the simplicity of her manners & dress with the openness of her countanance & the friendlyness of her behaviour charmed me beyond all the studied politeness of European manners— they had colleted between 22 persons to dine with me tho the notice was so short, & gave an Elegant { 378 } entertainment upon a service of Plate. towards Evening I made a Tour round the Town, & drank Tea & spent the Evening with mr & Mrs Francis whom I mentiond to you before. here the company was much enlarged, & many persons introduced to me who had no opportunity before of visiting me, amongst those Ladies, with whom I was most pleased was the Lady & two sisters of Governour Bowen.3 about Eleven I returnd To my lodgings and the next morning went on Board the Handcock packet we had contrary wind all Day, by which means we did not reach Newport untill Seven oclock. I had been only a few moments arrived when mr Merchant came on Board and insisted that I with my whole Family should go on shore & Lodge at his House. he would take no refusal. he sent his daughter down to receive & accompany my Neice, & came himself in a few moments with a carriage to attend me. at his House I was kindly & Hospitably Treated by his Lady & daughters.4 we slept there & the next morning were early summond on Board the packet. Captain Brown had very civily taken his wife to attend upon me, & accomodate me during my passage5 I found her a very well Bred Geenteel woman, but neither civility attention or politeness could remedy the sea sickness or give me a fair wind or dispell the Thunder Gusts which attended us both night & day. in short I resolved upon what I have frequently before, that I would never again embark upon the water, but this resolution I presume will be kept as my former ones have been. we were five days upon the water. Heat want of rest, sea sickness & terror for I had my share of that, all contributed to fatigue me and I felt upon my arrival quite tame & spiritless Louissa was very sick, but behaved like a Heroine Matilda had her share but when she was a little recoverd she was the life of us all Polly was half dead all the Passage & sufferd more from sea sickness than any of us. Charls eat & slept without any inconvenience. when we came to the wharff, I desired the Captain to go to our Friend mr MacCormick and inform him of my arrival, if he was not to be found to go to the Senate Chamber & inform mr A. who from the hour of the day I knew must be there. mr otis the secretary came to me with a Carriage & I reach'd Richmond Hill on Thursday one oclock to my no small joy I found mr Adams in better Health than I feard mr & mrs Smith quite well & every thing so well arranged that Beds & a few other articles seem only necessary towards keeping House with comfort, and I begin to think, that my furniture will be troublesome to me, some part of it I mean whilst mrs Smith remains with me. master John was grown out of my knowledge, { 379 } william is still at Jamaica. our House has been a mere Levee ever since I arrived morning & Evening. I took the earliest opportunity (the morning after my arrival) to go & pay my respects to mrs Washington mrs Smith accompanied me. She received me with great ease & politeness, she is plain in her dress, but that plainness is the best of every article. she is in mourning, her Hair is white, her Teeth Beautifull, her person rather short than otherways, hardly so large as my Ladyship, and if I was to speak sincerly, I think she is a much better figure, her manners are modest and unassuming, dignified and femenine, not the Tincture of ha'ture about her.6his majesty was ill & confined to his Room.7 I had not the pleasure of a presentation to him, but the satisfaction of hearing that he regreeted it equally with myself. col Humphries who had paid his compliments to me in the morning & Breakfasted with me, attended mrs washington & mr Lear the Private Secretary, was the introducter—8 thus you have an account of my first appearence— the Principal Ladies who have visited me are the Lady & daughter of the Governour Lady Temple the Countess de Brehim, Mrs Knox & 25 other Ladies many of the Senators, all their Ladies all the Foreign ministers & some of the Reps.
We are most delightfully situated, the prospect all around is Beautifull in the highest degree, it is a mixture of the sublime & Beautifull— amidst it all I sigh for many of my dear Friends and connections. I can make no domestick arrangment till Brisler arrives— remember me affectionatly to all my Friends particularly my aged parent, to my children to whom I cannot write as yet to my dear Lucy & worthy dr Tufts in short to all whom I love yours most tenderly
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. The state of Rhode Island had declined to send delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, to hold a ratifying convention, or to select electors to choose a president and vice president. Under increasing commercial pressure and in order to participate in the debates over the Bill of Rights, Rhode Island finally called a convention and ratified the Constitution in May 1790 by a vote of 34 to 32 (Florence Parker Simister, The Fire's Center: Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era, 1763–1790, Providence, 1979, p. 233–240).
2. John Brown's house, located at the corner of Power and Benefit Streets in Providence, was considered at the time one of the finest homes in America. Today it houses the Rhode Island Historical Society. John and Sarah Brown's only surviving son, James (1761–1834), chose not to enter the family mercantile business (James B. Hedges, The Browns of Providence Plantations: The Colonial Years, Providence, 1968, p. xx, 19, 199).
3. For the Bowen family, see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 19 June, note 6, above.
4. Henry Marchant (1741–1796) had known JA in the Continental Congress, where Marchant served from 1777 to 1779. He represented Newport in the Rhode Island General { 380 } Assembly from 1784 to 1790 and was a staunch advocate of ratification. He and his wife, Rebecca Cooke, had two daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, as well as a son, William (DAB; James N. Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, 21 vols., Providence, 1891–1912, 4:104).
5. Capt. James Brown was married to Free-love Brown (ca. 1765–1819), the daughter of Col. William Brown of Providence (Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 13:221, 14:541).
6. For Martha Washington and her family, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 11, above.
7. George Washington's illness was more serious than most people realized, with a fever stemming from an infection connected to a tumor in his leg. He had the tumor removed on 17 June 1789. By early July, he was able to conduct government business though he remained weak for some time thereafter (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 3:76–77).
8. Tobias Lear (1762–1816), Harvard 1783, originally from New Hampshire, served as Washington's private secretary from 1786 to 1793 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:98).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0207

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-06-28

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

It has not been altogether from a neglect of my duties that I have hitherto omitted writing you; from situation as well as from inclination, I have been in a great measure secluded from such political information, as might afford you any entertainment, and from a proper modesty, I thought it best to forbear transmitting, any insignificant details concerning my own person.— Even now the same motives which have hitherto deterred me from writing, are not without their influence: but perhaps a moment's relaxation from the affairs of a Nation, to attend to those of a private and domestic nature, may not be disagreeable; and if my Letter should be impertinent, I shall at least solace myself with the reflection that it can probably only add one, more to an innumerable quantity of a similar nature.
Three months have elapsed, since my return to this Town. My Health has been restored beyond my expectations, and I have been able without injuring it, to devote a larger portion of my Time to study, than I hoped to when I left Braintree.— Lord Coke, Saunders, Hale and Blackstone have contributed to add to my small stock of professional knowledge; and I have made some researches into the doctrine of pleading.1 My greatest apprehensions at present, are with respect to the practical part of the profession. The skill to apply general knowledge to particular cases, is no less important than the knowledge itself; and a new piece of mechanism, will often perform its operations with great irregularity, however well it may be constructed. I remain still in a state of irresolution and suspense with respect to the place of my future residence. I have consulted Mr: Parsons upon the Subject: he said he could not advise me so { 381 } { 382 } well at present, as he might after the federal judiciary System shall be established; because he knew not what vacancies might be created by that circumstance. He however hinted that if either himself or Mr: Bradbury should be removed he should recommend this place to me.—2 I know not what his own expectations are; but I have some reason to suppose he has his eye upon two offices; those of the district Judge, and Attorney general; either of which I believe would suit him well.—3 And by his putting the supposition of his being taken off from the practice I have conjectured that there was in his own mind, an idea of the probability of his appointment.— As I believe his talents are much better calculated to administer laws than to make them, I wish he may succeed. Perhaps even an involuntary consideration of my own interest, has some effect to give a bias to my opinion. I am the more free to make this confession, because I suppose the appointments are all adjusted ere this, and I shall not therefore appear in the humiliating light of a solicitor; which I wish ever to avoid; and in which I am well perswaded I should be unsuccessful were I now to assume it.
As our Newspapers are probably transmitted to you with regularity, I can give you very little news in the public Line. The very great majority of votes by which Mr: H. was reelected, and the influence which was successfully exerted for Mr: A. appeared somewhat singular, after the event of all the contests relating to the federal elections; There have been a variety of subordinate political manoeuvres in the choice of representatives of the different towns. Those in Boston, you have undoubtedly been informed of. There was in this town a faint struggle for a change in the representation; but the old members came in with a respectable majority.
Our general Court, after sitting, about a month, and busying themselves upon the subject of Finance just sufficient to refer it over to the next Session, have adjourned to some time in January; when it will be too late in the political year, to adopt any decisive measures.4 There has been a scheme on foot for sinking our State debt by means of a Lottery. From Mr: Parsons's conversation I have supposed that the plan originated with him; and in his speculative principles he thinks it would reconcile the claims of public Justice, with the interests of an impotent debtor. The proposal was to redeem £40,000 of the debt, by refunding only £10,000 in Specie to the adventurers.— Besides the impropriety of encouraging a gambling disposition among the people, I confess the plan appears to me equally inconsistent with the dignity of a sovereignstate and with { 383 } the integrity of an honest debtor. For whatever expedients may be used to conceal or disguise the iniquity of the transaction, nothing can be more clear than that where a debt of £40,000, is paid with 10,000 the creditor must be defrauded. The bill pass'd in the House by a majority of 73 to 52, but was non-concurred by the Senate.
The High Sheriff of this County, M. Farley, died about a week since. The place has been offered to Mr: Jackson, who has declined accepting it: and Mr: B. Bartlet of Haverhill is named as the person who will probably be appointed.5 My Mother and Brother I suppose have arrived at New York before this. They left Boston ten days ago. If it should be convenient and agreeable, I shall ask permission to pay you a visit about the beginning of October. I mentioned September to my Mamma; but I did not then recollect that our Court of Common Pleas sits in this town in that Month; when my attendance at the office will probably be required.
Col1: Smith and My Sister, with their children I hope are well. I know not what apology I shall make to them for not having written to them; I intend however soon in some measure to repair my fault.— I shall hope at least to hear often from my brother Charles; he is still more averse than I am to epistolary exertions; but it is an aversion which I hope he will make a point of overcoming.
The proceedings of Congress have almost entirely superseded all other subjects of political speculation. The revenue bill has hitherto chiefly engaged the public attention. The original duty upon molasses, exceedingly alarmed many of our West India merchants, and whatever may be said of discarding all local & personal considerations, they have not I believe, been so much pleased with any Act of the President of the Senate, as his turning the vote for reducing the duty to 3 cents. This observation however only applies to a few; for I do not know that the circumstance is generally known.—6 The Judiciary bill has not yet been published here: I had a transient sight of a copy, which I believe Mr: Dalton sent. Mr: Parsons thinks 6 Judges will not be enough; and objects to the joining the district Judge to the other two in the circuits. Because it gives him a casting voice in affirming his own decisions.7
I am, Dear Sir, your dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. A. June 28. / ansd July 9. 1789.”
1. JQA was likely reading Sir Matthew Hale, The History and Analysis of the Common Law of England, London, 1731, and Sir Edmund Saunders, Les reports du tres erudite Edmund Saunders . . . des divers pleadings et cases en le Court del bank le Roy (The Reports of the Most Learned Sir Edmund Saunders . . . of Several Pleadings and Cases in the { 384 } Court of King's Bench), 2 vols., London, 1686. For JQA's comments on William Blackstone's Commentaries and Sir Edward Coke's Institutes, see Diary, 2:372–373.
2. Theophilus Bradbury (1739–1803), Harvard 1757, initially practiced law in Falmouth, Mass. (now Maine), where his law students included Theophilus Parsons. He moved to Newburyport in the late 1770s. He served in Congress from 1795 to 1797 and as a judge on the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court from 1797 until his death (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:143–146).
3. Parsons never held any federal positions, nor did he leave Newburyport until 1800, though he was named chief justice of the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court in 1806 (DAB).
4. The General Court met from 27 May to 26 June, after which it adjourned until 13 Jan. 1790 (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1788–1789, p. 604, 611).
5. Gen. Michael Farley of Ipswich, a former member of the Mass. General Court and Executive Council, died on 20 June. He was succeeded by Bailey Bartlett of Haverhill, whom Gov. John Hancock appointed to the position on 1 July. Bartlett continued in that position, with one brief interval, until his death in 1830 (D. Hamilton Hurd, comp., History of Essex County, Massachusetts, 2 vols., Phila., 1888, 1:619, 2:2009–2010).
6. For the records of the debates in the Senate over the duty on molasses, see First Fed. Cong., 9:55, 57–58, 66–68. “An Act for Laying a Duty on Goods, Wares, and Merchandises Imported into the United States” ultimately set the rate at 2 ½ cents per gallon (1st Congress, Sess. I, ch. 2, sect. 1). While the Senate debates were secret, the Massachusetts newspapers did report what they could learn on the subject, focusing particularly on the duties on molasses and rum; see, for example, Massachusetts Centinel, 6, 17 June 1789.
7. The judiciary bill, “An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States,” was signed into law on 24 September. It provided for six Supreme Court justices (one chief justice and five associates). It also established a structure in which the circuit courts, which reviewed district court decisions, would include a district court judge and two Supreme Court justices. In the final version of the law, however, a district court judge was specifically forbidden from voting on any appeal of his own decision (1st Congress, Sess. I, ch. 20, sects. 1, 4).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0208

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1789-07-05 - 1789-07-06

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I promiss'd to write you by the Post when your Furniture Sail'd but Doctor Tufts Said he had done it—1 I hope you have it safe & that it has been more fortunate than in its last voyage— I heard you did not leave Providence till the monday after you left us. I want to hear of your arrival reception &c—how you found mr Adams mrs Smith & her little ones—whether she will continue in the House with you & whether you have not all been made Sick with the continue'd heat of the last fortnight. we have not had such for several years. it has fallen hard upon me because I have had such poor help. Ester Baxter has been with me for the last week or I believe I should have been quite sick.2 I have now got a Girl from milton who appears as if she would do after I have taught her to cook & do twenty other things which she knows nothing of at present— It is very unreasonable that such an one should demand the same wages that a Girl, has who does not want such teaching but so it is—
{ 385 }
mrs Palmer has mov'd into your house3 I have been their but a few moments since They appear to be much gratified with their situation mrs Brisler has been very well for her has been threaten'd once or twice with one of her ill turns but they went of. her eldest child will soon run alone she leads about prittily
I heard last week from both your sons they were well— uncle Quincy was at meeting last Sabbath— what a life he leads without a creature about him in whos Society he can take any pleasure— I could not live so
I saw your mother Hall today she was as well as usual. every thing in Braintree remains as when you left it excepting that old Benjamin cleaverly dy'd last week & that Becca Field made young—Ben—pay her four dollars for attempting to get into her Lodging room window in the night4 she came with a complant to mr Cranch & he write him a Letter which frightned him heartlly
Mr Guild I hear is gone to New york by him I hope you will write me. you are in the midst of the busy world I almost out of it. I have very little variety in my circle & what I tell you in one Letter I must repeat in another. I should write oftener if my stock of inteligence was greater or more important.—
July 6th
I have just been gratified with a Letter from my dear sister, mr woodward took it out of the Post office this morning I am indeed rejoic'd to hear of your safe arrival after so painful & dangerous a voyage. Hear I was pleasing my self that you had fine weather & a good wind for such we had hear— I should have been distress'd indeed if I had known your situation— I have an oppertunity to send this immediately
adieu yours most affectionatly
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Richard Cranch: “To / Mrs. Adams / Lady of the Vice / President. / N: York”; docketed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / to Mrs A Adams / July 5th 1789.”
1. Not found.
2. Esther Baxter was probably the daughter of Daniel Baxter and Prudence Spear, born prior to 1774. She married Eben Newcomb Jr. in 1794 (Joseph Nickerson Baxter, Memorial of the Baxter Family, Boston, 1879, p. 22–23, 27).
3. Mary Cranch Palmer, the widow of Gen. Joseph Palmer, moved into the Old House with her two daughters, Mary (Polly) and Elizabeth Palmer. Mary Cranch Palmer remained there until her death in Feb. 1790; the two sisters stayed until Elizabeth's marriage to Joseph Cranch in the summer of 1790, when all three moved to West Point, N.Y. (Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 28 Feb. 1790, Adams Papers; Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 109–110).
4. Benjamin Cleverly (1710–1789) was a life-long Braintree resident and had served { 386 } as constable and surveyor of highways for the town. A loyalist, he was declared “Inimical to the United States” in 1777 but continued to live in Braintree until his death on 3 July 1789. His eldest son Benjamin (b. 1731/32) was a cordwainer (Braintree Town Records, p. 297, 312, 481–482, 690; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 144; Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 1085, 1085R).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0209

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1789-07-09

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

I thank you my dear Son, for your dutiful Letter of the 28th. of June, and rejoice, with exceeding Joy, in the recovery of your health
My Advice is, to give yourself very little Thought about the Place of your future Residence. a few Months will produce changes that will easily Settle that Question for you. Mr Parsons's great Law Abilities make me wish that the Public may be availed of them, in one of the most respectable Situations, and I doubt not that he will be promoted either on the State Bench or an higher.
I Shall be very happy, my Son, to See you here, whenever the Journey may be most convenient to you and to Mr Parsons: but I should wish you to be here when the House is Sitting, that you may hear the Debates, and know the Members. Charles has been very industrious and useful to me, Since his Arrival. He is gone with his Brother and Sister, on a visit to Jamaica. I will enjoin upon him a constant Correspondence with you.
I am of Mr Parsons's opinion that Six Judges are not enough. his objection to joining the district Judge to the other two in the Circuits, has been obviated, by excluding him from a Voice in any Cause, which he may have adjudged before.
Your Letter my Son is full of matter, and has given me great pleasure. I wish you to write me, once a Week.— I am at a loss to guess, how you came by the Anecdote, that I turned the Vote for 3 Cents on Molasses. one Penny a gallon, would go so far towards paying my Salary that I think the Molasses Eaters ought not to be so stingy as they are to me. but neither Molasses, nor fish nor millions upon millions of Acres of Land, will ever be of any Service to you, or even make me comfortable. I must be pinched and Streightened till I die, and you must have to toil and drudge as I have done. do it, my dear son with out murmuring. This is entre nous.— Independence, my Boy and freedom from humiliating obligations, are greater Sources of happiness, than Riches.
{ 387 }
My office requires, rather Severe duty, and it is a kind of Duty, which if I do not flatter myself too much, is not quite adapted to my Character.— I mean it is too inactive, and mechanical.— The Chancellor sometimes wishes to leave the Woolsack,1 and engage in debate. but as it cannot be done, I am content, tho it sometimes happens that I am much enclined to think I could throw a little light upon a subject.— if my health and Patience should hold out my four Years, I can retire and make Way for some of you younger folk, for one Vacancy makes many Promotions.
if you have turned Quaker, with our H. of Reps, as from the outside of your Letter one would suspect, I think you ought to have Thee'd and Thou'd your Correspondent in the Inside.—2 if not, you ought to have given him the Title of Goodman, or Something, according to the Doctrine in Shenestones School Mistress.

Albeit ne flatt'ry did corrupt her Truth

Ne pompous Title did debauch her Ear

Goody, Goodwoman, Gossip, N'aunt, forsooth,

or Dame, the Sole Additions, She did hear;

Yet these She challeng'd; these She held right dear;

Ne would esteem him Act, as mought behove

Who Should not honour'd eld, with these revere;

For never Title yet so mean could prove,

But there was eke a mind, which did that title love.3

I am my dear Child, with the tenderest / Affection your Father
[signed] John Adams.
P. S. There was a public Character among the Romans, who was called Prince of the Senate, Princeps Senatus, I believe.4 as you may have leisure I wish you would look in Livy, Tacitus Cicero and all the rest, and write me what you find concerning him.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr John Quincy Adams.”; endorsed: “My Father. 9. July 1789.” and “Mr: Adams. July 9. 1789.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. A reference to the seat of the Lord Chancellor in the British House of Lords, made of a square parcel of wool (OED).
2. The cover to this letter, with the address, has not been found.
3. William Shenstone, The School-Mistress, a Poem. In Imitation of Spenser, London, 1742, lines 73–81.
4. In the Roman senate, the princeps senatus was the first name on the senate list as compiled by the censors. Once granted this position, he retained it for the rest of his life. As princeps senatus, the senator had the right to speak first on any motion and consequently could be extremely influential in debates (Oxford Classical Dicy.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0210

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-07-12

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I received your kind Letter by mr Brisler who reachd here on the 4th of july, Since which you will easily suppose I have been very buisily engaged in arraneging my Family affairs. this added to the intence heat of the season Some company (tho for three days I was fashionably not at Home,) and some visiting which was indispensable, having more than fifty upon my list, my Time has been so wholy occupied that I have not taken a pen, yet my Thoughts have not been so occupied, but that they have frequently visited you, and my other Friends in the Neighbourhood, and tho I have here, as to situation one of the most delightfull spots I have seen in this Country, yet I find the want of some of my particular connection's but an all wise Providence has seen fit to curtail our wishes and to limit our enjoyments, that we may not be unmindfull of our dependance or forget the Hand from whence they flow. I have a favour to request of all my near and intimate Friend's it is to desire them to watch over my conduct and if at any time they perceive any alteration in me with respect to them, arising as they may suppose from my situation in Life, I beg they would with the utmost freedom acquaint me with it. I do not feel within myself the least disposition of the kind, but I know Mankind are prone to deceive themselves, and Some are disposed to misconstrue the conduct of those whom they conceive placed above them.
our August Pressident is a singular example of modesty and diffidence. he has a dignity which forbids Familiarity mixed with an easy affibility which creates Love and Reverence. the Fever which he had terminated in an absess, so that he cannot sit up. upon my second visit to mrs Washington he sent for me into his Chamber. he was laying upon a settee and half raising himself up, beggd me to excuse his receiving me in that posture, congratulated me upon my arrival in New york and askd me how I could realish the simple manners of America after having been accustomed to those of Europe. I replied to him that where I fund simple manners I esteemed them, but that I thought we approachd much nearer to the Luxery and manners of Europe according to our ability, than most persons were sensible of, and that we had our full share of taste and fondness for them. The Pressident has a Bed put into his Carriage and rides out in that way, allways with six Horses in his Carriage & four attendants mrs { 389 } Washington accompanies him. I requested him to make Richmond Hill his resting place, and the next day he did so, but he found walking up stairs so difficult, that he has done it but once. Mrs Washington is one of those unassuming Characters which Creat Love & Esteem, a most becomeing plasentness sits upon her countanance, & an unaffected deportment which renders her the object of veneration and Respect, with all these feelings and Sensations I found myself much more deeply impressd than I ever did before their Majesties of Britain.
You ask me concerning politicks, upon my word I hear less of them here, than I did in Massa'ts the two Houses are very buisy upon very important Bill's the judiciary, and the Collecting Bills.1 the Senate is composed of many men of great abilities, who appear to be liberal in their sentiments and candid towards each other. the House is composed of some men of equal talants, others—the debates will give you the best Idea of them, but there is not a member whose sentiment clash more with my Ideas of things than mr. G——y he certainly does not comprehend the Great National System which must render us Respectable abroad & energetick at Home and will assuredly find himself lost amidst Rocks & Sands—
My dear sister some parts of your Letter made me melancholy. are you in any difficulties unknown to me I know very well that a small Farm must afford you a scanty support and that you are a sufferer from being obliged to receive pay in paper but I know your Prudence & oeconomy has carried you along, tho not in affluence, yet with decency & comfort, and I hope you will still be able to live so. you have one daughter comfortably situated, your son will from his merit & abilities soon get into some buisness your other daughter, you have every reason to be satisfied with do not look upon the gloomy side only. how easily might your situation be changed for the worse. even if you were in possession of Riches yet there is a competancy which is so desirable that one cannot avoid an anxiety for it. I have a request to make you, desire mr Cranch to make out his account which he has against mr A. I gave cousin Lucy a memmorandum—let the balance be drawn and inclose to me, and I will send you a Receit in full This I consider myself at full liberty to do, because the little sum Lent you was my own pocket money. put the Letter under cover to mrs Smith, it will then fall into no hands but my own but cover the whole for a frank to mr A.— do not talk of oblagations. reverse the matter & then ask yourself, if you would not do as much for me?
{ 390 }
I wish it was in mr A's power to help mr Cranch to some office at Home which would assist him. mr A exprest the same wish to me, but at present he does not see any, tho a certain Lady in the full assurence of hope, wrote him that he now had it in his power to establish his own Family & Successfully help his Friends and that she is sure of his Patronage—for certain purposes—to which mr A. replied, [“]that he has no patronage but if he had, neither her children or his own could be sure of it beyond his own clear conviction of the publick good, that he should bely the whole course of his publick and private conduct, and all the maxims of his Life, if he should ever consider publick Authority entrusted to him, to be made subservient to his private views, or those of his Family and Friends.” you cannot mistake who the Lady was, I know no other equally ambitious, but I presume her pretentions & those of her Family will fail, as I think they ought to if one Quarter part is true which has been reported of them.2 I fancy a constant correspondence is kept up between mr W——n & mr G——y and like enough with several other jealous Partizans, but I hope they will never have sufficient interest to disturb the Government. I really believe mr G——y to be an honest man. the other has been grosely misled, and I do soberly think by the unbridled ambition of one She told me upon her last visit, that she did not perceive any alteration in mr A's conduct towards them. I am sure she must have told what was not true if she had said there was none in mine, for I feel it, and I cannot deceive. with regard to mr A he has dealt by them like a sincere Friend, and an honest Man and their own Hearts must approve his conduct, however grateing to their feelings. I am most sincerely sorry for the cause. they were my old and dear Friend's for whom I once entertaind the highest respect
Col mrs Smith Charles & little Jack are gone this week to Jamaica to get out of the Bustle at home and are not yet returnd. C. will not go into any company but such as his Father or col Smith introduces him to. he appears steady and sedate & I hope will continue so—Time and example will prevail over youthfull folly I trust. my Love to mrs Norten, how does she do? Louissa appears very happy, but I am obliged to keep her a mere prisoner on account of the small Pox of which there is always danger in N York as soon as the weather will permit shall have her innoculated. I find as many servants necessary here as in England, but not half as well calculated for their buisness. the distance from Town requires one or two extra as they are obliged to go & come always four, & frequently six times a day. { 391 } we have to send constantly to market in addition, but not withstanding all this I would not change this situation for any I know of in Town. Richmond Hill is situated upon the North River which communicates with Albany. Pauls hook as it is calld is in full sight, & the Jersy shore.3 vessels are constantly passing up & down. the House is situated upon a high Hill which commands a most extensive prospect, on one side we have a view of the city & of Long Island, the River in Front, Jersy and the adjasant Country on the other side, you Turn a litle from the Road and enter a Gate a winding Road with trees in clumps leads you to the House, and all round the House, it looks wild and Rural as uncultivated Nature. the House is convenient for one family, but much too small for more, you enter under a Piazza into a Hall & turning to the right Hand assend a stair case which lands you in an other of equal dimensions of which I make a drawing Room. it has a Glass door which opens into a gallery the whole Front of the house which is exceeding pleasant. the Chambers are on each side. the House is not in good repair, wants much done to it, and if we continue here I hope it will be done. there is upon the back of the House a Garden of much greater extent than our Braintree Garden, but it is wholy for a walk & flowers. it has a Hawthorn hedge & Rows of Trees with a Broad Gravel Walk.
how happy would it make me to see here my dears Brothers Sister Nephew Neices, and to delight them with the prospect. mr Guile & dr Craigy dinned with us yesterday.4 I find I have local attachments, and am more rejoiced to see a citizen of my own state than any other. Remember me affectionatly to my worthy Mother & Family to mrs Palmer & family who I hope are comfortably situated, to mrs Brisler too. I hope she will be able to come this way before long
my Letter is written in haste the weather very hot and I too laizy to Coppy
most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
Tell Lucy she must write to me
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. The collection bill, which became “An Act to Regulate the Collection of the Duties Imposed by Law on the Tonnage of Ships or Vessels, and on Goods, Wares and Merchandizes Imported into the United States,” was first considered by the House on 29 June and debated there until 14 July, when it was approved and sent to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate approved it with amendments, and it was signed into law on 31 July (First Fed. Cong., 1:83–102; 3:100–111, 125).
2. Mercy Otis Warren wrote to JA on 7 May that he had “reached the acme of applause: & are placed in a situation to do eminent service to your Country to Establish your family & to assist most Esentially your { 392 } Friends. . . . and though none of my Family are soliciting at Court I am perswaded you will not forget them at a time when you have it so much in your power to oblige—with-out injury to yourself, your Family or your Country.” JA replied on 29 May much as AA quotes him above (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:310, 313–314).
3. Paulus Hook later became Jersey City, N.J.
4. Andrew Craigie (1743–1819) of Boston had served as apothecary general of the Continental Army during the Revolution (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0211

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-07-20

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousn

I am much pleased to hear that you have a commodious Seat, its Scituation delightful & Prospect pleasant—
We have had a fine Commencement & the Performances of the Day were spoken of with much Applause— Most excellent Things were said of the President & Vice President of the United States— their Characters were displayed in the brightest & strongest Colours
It is a satisfaction to the great & good, that their virtuous Deeds meet with the approbation of the wise & sober, it helps to sweeten some of the bitter Potions that they must partake off in their noble Pursuits & Progress through Life—.
Since You left us We have had a Plenty of Rain the Earth has assumed a new Appearance and Vegetation has been as sudden & great as I have ever known— Prospects of Grain & Hay are very good
Your oxen I could not get pastured for fatñing— After some Time I sold them on short Credit for 48 Dollrs.— The Farming Tools I took to my House, have sold part of them & shall sell the Remainder as opportunity presents— The ox Cart & Mud Boat remain at Braintree— I believe I shall get them to Weymouth in a Day or two, that they may be under my Eye & at Hand for Sale— I think it was Your Intention to have both sold, I fear they will not fetch near the first Cost especially the Mud Boat— Badcock whose Note you left with me, died some time past, I am informed that his Estate will not pay 10s/ pr £1
Mrs. Bass wishes to have Your half of the Corn, planted in the Garden by Jos. Field. At present Field reaps the Benefit of the whole Garden—
Pheebe not long since applied for Permission to let a Black Family into her Chamber— this I utterly refused—
Mr. George Storer appeared solicitous to know whethr. the Place purchased of Borland, would be let another Year—& what would be the Rent in Case of its being let— With respect to the first. I told him that it was probable that it would be leased, but what the Rent { 393 } would be I could not tell— He wished me to give my Opinion upon the Matter to h[is] Father— I referred Him to you— it appeared [to me?] that it was some sudden Start and not well digested—as Farming he said was his Object— Be it let to whomsoever it may, I hope it will be to some one who will render You a Profit—
Your Two Sons were here on Sunday are both well, Thomas has a good Chum assigned him—2 He sat off for Haverhill Yesterday with his Brother— Be pleased to remember me to Mr Adams & your Children—
I am with Affection / Yours
Cotton Tufts
I wish you to let me know, which of our News Papers are forwarded to you by the Printers at Boston and whether you would have them all continued—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams”; internal address: “Mrs. Abigail Adams—”; docketed: “Dr: Tufts to / J Adams / 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. For the financial transaction between JA and Moses and Huldah Babcock, see vol. 5:154–155. Moses Babcock died on 16 May (Milton Records: Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1662–1843, Boston, 1900, p. 205).
2. Possibly Thomas Gray (1772–1847), Harvard 1790, one of seven Harvard students and recent graduates who may have lived together in Cambridge. Gray would go on to serve a long pastorate at the Third Parish of Jamaica Plain (U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 137; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Harriet Manning Whitcomb, Annals and Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, 1897, p. 33–34).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0212

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-07-30

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I can never Sufficiently express my thanks or my gratitude for your last kind & affectionate Letter & you must not laugh at me nor chide me when I tell you that I sat & weept over it as if it had brought me some evil tydings I felt the full force of that maxim of Solomons “It is more blessed to give than to receive” But my dear Sister you must forgive me if I tell you I cannot accept your generous proposal—for tho I have not been able to return the Loan so soon as I expected I shall be in a capasity to do it some time or other— I hope soon—but I have met with so many dissapointments that I am affrai'd to promise any thing. I depended upon my dairy to discharge some small debts I was oblig'd to make in order to furnish Betsy we have lost four of our best cows in about a year & we are now oblig'd to turn off the best in our yard for a strange swelling she has under her throat which will kill her if it cannot be remov'd { 394 } & so my prospect of a good dairy this summer is again blasted—but this is from the hand of a good providence & I must not complain I am sorry I have ever let any thing slip from my pen to give my Sister pain but my spirits are at times so low that I cannot always mantain that fortitude of mind which enables its posseser to behave with propriety under the various trials they may be call'd to sustain
I often feel myself surrounded with difficulties which I cannot remove— The necessary wants of a Family & of children are more known & more felt by the mistress than any one else & they are not a burthen where they can be easily supply'd— our Farm is too small to give us a living & pay the Labour & the Taxes notwithstanding mr Cranch Labours very hard upon it himself His Watch business which is very small here & the courts is all the ways he has to raise cash— The education of a Son & the Settleing of a Daughter are heavey matters where the income is so small. We have purchas'd nothing for cloathing but bare necessarys for several years I have exerted all my strength & all my abilities to manage with prudence & [economy?] whatever came under my department but what is this towards the support of a Family— I am mortified I am greiv'd that I cannot do more to assist my Friend. His not receiving his money for his publick Services oblig'd him to borrow While our son was at college & there has never yet been a time that he could get his debt but at such a loss as we could not think of but this we should not mind if he could get into any business I say any for there is nothing which is lawful that he would not do—which would inable him to work himself out of his difficulties— His abilities & his integrity may yet procure him a living not too labourous for his health & age this is the height of his wishes & of his ambition & I will hope that something may yet turn up to his advantage we do not look up to mr A as the Lady did you mention If he should ever be able to help him to any thing It will not be because he is his Brother or his Friend only we are greatly oblig'd to him for his good wishes
I have now my Sister laid before you some of the causes of my anxeitys—& if you can place yourself for one moment in my situation you will not say that I have no reason for my dejection—but I hope it does not arise to a sinful anxiety & discontent this is what I am constantly striving against I am naturally very chearful & having open'd my heart to you—I know I shall feel better— I have been oblig'd to wear a countinance which badly indicated the feelings of this heart least I should give pain to my Family—
{ 395 }
The weather has been so very hot that I have been almost wore out with that & having so much work to do I have only a little girl of sixteen years old with me She is sprightly but ignorant—
I shall finish this sheet that it may have no connection with another which I shall write, but not to night for tis Twelve a clock now. & I cannot see streight—
so good night my dear dear Sister
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / july 30th / 1790.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0213

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-08-02

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have been several times to your new house but I do feel such a want of my dear sisters smiling countinance that I do not know how to bear the house I go into the best Parlour & set my self down & view mrs Smith & the coll— this gives me some pleasure but I want to put little Jack in her arms I do wish to see & hug the little creature again that sweet archness in his countinance I shall never forget1
I have a pretty little Boy of my own a son of mr Hunts from the wist Indias mr Durant brought him for his health & to be educated he is five years old— he is a well behave'd amiable Cchild very sprightly & playful—but easely manag'd you know how dearly I love to have little Folks about me mr Durant wish'd me to take him & I have done it— He is as fond of us all as if we were his own Family—but I find I feel more anxious least any thing should befall him than if he was my own Son— He is not only the only Son of his Parents but all the child they have left having lost four they sent this away to save him. He told me last night that “God had been pleas'd to take from him all his Brothers & sisters but he had mark'd him for no dye”
Mrs Durant is just gone2 she has had a most painful consumtion— Sally Austen liv'd but a little while after you went away3 mrs Austen is intitled to all our pity. She behaves with great propreity—these my sister are trying Scenes indeed
Mrs Smith very unexpectedly got to bed with a Daughter about a fortnight since she wak'd with a cat of Mrs Greens upon her stomack—& it frighten'd the poor little girl six weeks too soon into the world4 it is a weak thing but we hope it will live mrs Smith was { 396 } so frightend that she sprung out of Bed & ran into Nabbys chamber & lay upon her bed & cry'd an hour she thought it was a rat not having a cat in the house
your mother Hall I believe is well but I have been so confin'd by having such poor help that I have not been to see her
Mrs Pallmer & Daughters are well they look very nice & comfortable sister is with mrs Norton. she is—so so—but heaves many a sigh for aunt adams— Lucy has been in Boston for these ten days visiting about a thing she has not done for these seven years—
Cousin John spent a week with us at commencment— Thomas returnd with him & went to haveral & is not yet come home they were both well
Lucy wants much to know if you found your china safe— you met with better luck I hope than when you came from England
Mrs Alleyn is return'd she could not be contented from her son—
Mrs Brisler has her health remarkably well— her last Baby is a Picture the other is much better & stronger than it was
Mr Cranch has been at court these ten days & had it not been for my little Boy I should have been very dull
I went the other day to make Mrs Bass a visit at your old house I have never before sat down in it, but such a variety of thoughts arose in my mind as gave me both pleasure & pain— I am determin'd not to indulge these lonely feelings—having injoy'd a good for so long a time— shall the loss of it make me overlook all my present injoyments? It shall not I will add the past to the present & anticipate good things to come: this is much more rational & more Philosophical is it not?
I did design to have added more but I have an oppertunety to send this now
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / August 1789.”
1. Possibly a reference to Mather Brown's portraits of AA2 and WSS, which later hung in the parlor of the Old House; see vol. 6:xiii–xiv, 217; 7:xii–xiii, 219. Cranch had had the opportunity to meet John Adams Smith when AA2 and WSS visited Braintree earlier that year between 25 Jan. and 20 March (D/JQA/14, APM Reel 17).
2. Cornelius Durant (1732–1812) was a merchant of Boston and St. Croix. His second wife, Maria Fenno Durant, died on 5 Aug. in Little Cambridge (now Brighton). Durant's first wife, Mary Tothill Durant (b. 1729), had previously married and divorced Richard Hunt (d. 1765) of Boston and Quincy. The five-year-old child was probably a son of one of Mary's three sons from her first marriage, Richard Tothill Hunt (b. 1751), John Salmon Hunt (b. 1752), or George Shoars Hunt (b. 1754) (Waldo Lincoln, Genealogy of the Waldo Family: A Record of the Descendants of Cornelius Waldo of Ipswich, Mass., from 1647 to 1900, Worcester, 1902, p. 79; Joseph Palmer, Necrology of Alumni of Harvard College, 1851–52 to 1862–63, Boston, 1864, p. 454; W. L. G. Hunt, Genealogy of the Name and Family of Hunt, Boston, 1862–1863, p. 348).
3. Sarah (Sally) Austin (b. 1765), daughter { 397 } of Nathaniel and Anna Austin, died on 7 July (Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 July; Roger D. Joslyn, comp. and ed., Vital Records of Charlestown Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 3 vols., Boston, 1984, 1:413).
4. Hannah Carter Smith gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Storer Smith, on 19 July. See also AA to William Smith, 10 Aug., below. Mrs. Green was the Smiths' neighbor Hannah Storer Green (1738–1811), wife of Joshua Green (1731–1806) and longtime friend of AA (U.S. Census, 1790, Mass., p. 183; vol. 5:306).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0214

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-08-09

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

If I should ask why I have not heard from my sister or Friends, for several weeks past, would she not answer me by retorting the question? in replie I could only say that I had designd writing every day for a long time, but we have had such a lassitude of weather, and such a long continuence of it, that I have really felt unfit for every thing which I was not necessitated to perform, & for many of those which I have been obligated to, from my situation, such as dressing receiving & paying visits, giving dinners &c I have never before been in a situation in which morning noon & afternoon I have been half as much exposed to company. I have laid down one rule which is, not to make any morning visits myself, and in an afternoon after six oclock I can return 15 or 20 & very seldom find any Lady to receive me, but at Richmond Hill, it is expected that I am at Home both to Gentlemen & Ladies when ever they come out, which is almost every day since I have been here, besides it is a sweet morning ride to Breakfast I propose to fix a Levey day soon. I have waited for mrs washington to begin and she has fix'd on every fryday 8 oclock. I attended upon the last, mrs smith & charles. I found it quite a crowded Room. the form of Reception is this, the servants announce—& col Humphries or mr Lear—receives every Lady at the door, & Hands her up to mrs washington to whom she makes a most Respectfull curtzey and then is seated without noticeing any of the rest of the company. the Pressident then comes up and speaks to the Lady, which he does with a grace dignity & ease, that leaves Royal George far behind him. the company are entertaind with Ice creems & Lemonade, and retire at their pleasure performing the same ceremony when they quit the Room.1 I cannot help smiling when I read the Boston puffs, that the Pressident is unmoved amidst all the dissipations of the city of New york.2 now I am wholy at a loss to determine the meaning of the writer. not a Single publick amusement is their in the whole city, no not even a publick walk, and as to Dinners, I believe their are six made in Boston to { 398 } { 399 } one here, unless it is for some particular person to whom a Number of families wish to pay attention. there are Six Senators who have their Ladies and families with them, but they are in Lodgings the chief of them, & not in a situation to give dinners— as to the mode of visiting, less time is expended in this way, than in sending word to each person & passing an afternoon with them, tho I own on the score of pleasure that would be to me the most agreeable. I have returnd more than Sixty visits all of them in 3 or 4 afternoons & excepting at the Pressidents, have drank tea only at two other places and dined but once out, since I arrived
Indeed I have been fully employd in entertaining company, in the first place all the Senators who had Ladies & families, then the remaining Senators, and this week we have begun with the House, and tho we have a room in which we dine 24 persons at a Time, I shall not get through them all, together with the publick Ministers for a month to come the help I find here is so very indifferent to what I had in England, the weather so warm that we can give only one dinner a week. I cannot find a cook in the whole city but what will get drunk, and as to the Negroes—I am most sincerely sick of them, and I can no more do without mr Brisler, than a coach could go without wheels or Horses to draw it. I can get Hands, but what are hands without a Head, and their chief object is to be as expensive as possible. this week I shall not be able to see any company unless it is to Tea—for my Family are all sick mrs smiths two Children with the Hooping cough Charles with the dysentary, Louissa & Polly with a complaint Similar. To Charles I gave a puke last night & his complaints have abated. Louissa & Polly are to take one to night. if we had not been so fortunate in our situation I do not know how we could have lived. it is very sickly in the City.
As to politicks, I presume many of the dissapointed Candidates will complain. some will quarrel with men & some with measures. I believe the Presideent Strove to get the best information he could, but there are some men who will get much said in their favour when they do not merit it.— the News papers will give you the Debates of the house to the President their system is as liberal as I could expect I leave the world to judge how it is with respect to their vice President from whom they expect more entertainment the House was New furnishd for the President & cost ten thousand Dollors as the Board of Treasury say.3 the use & improvement of this they have granted him, which is but just & right. He never rides out without six Horses to his Carriage, four Servants, & two Gentlemen { 400 } before him, this is no more state than is perfectly consistant with his station, but then I do not Love to see the News writers fib so. He is Perfectly averse to all marks of distinction say they, yet on the 4th of july when the cincinnati committee waited upon him he received them in a Regimental uniform with the Eagal most richly set with diamonds at his Button, yet the News writers will fib—to answer particular purposes—4 I think he ought to have still more state, & time will convince our Country of the necessity, of it. here I say not any thing upon the subject. it would be asscribed to a cause I dispise if I should speak my mind. I hear that the vote which mr A gave in the Senate, respecting the Removal of officers by the President independant of the senate, has been by some of his own state construed, as voting power into his own Hands—or having that in view, but his Rule through life has been to vote and act, independant of Party agreeable to the dictates of his conscience and tho on that occasion he could have wisht on account of the delicacy of his situation not to have been obliged to have determind the Question, yet falling to him, he shrunk not,5 not a word did any of our state say when his vote reduced the duty upon molasses, all was silence then they could not possibly asscribe it to any Sinister motive but uneasy wrestless Spirits are to be found in all quarters of the world.
And now my dear sister I wish to know how you do. mrs Norten Lucy not a line from either, nor a word from sister shaw.
Mr Bond will tell you that he saw us all, he was out two or three times. I wish you could come with our dear Brother Cranch & spend the Evening with us. We do not have company on Sundays. we go to meeting, but alass I do not find a dr Price. I hope I shall visit Braintree next summer. I wonder sister Smith has never written a word to Louissa. I am glad to find Tommy has got a good Chum. I hope he will continue steady. Charles studies with mr Hamilton goes to the office when his Father goes to senate & returns with him at 4 oclock.6 he has not discoverd the least inclination for getting into company and has no acquaintance but George Storer—pray make my best Regards to all my Friends, to my Mother present my duty. Remember me to mrs Palmer & family. the Beautifull prospect here from every quarter makes me regreet less than I otherways should do the spot I quitted. the rooms are lofty and was the House in good repair I should find it, very convenient for my own Family. at present we are crowded for want of Chamber Room. my family consists of 18— How does the place look. I must get my Butter all put up & sent me from Braintree. I have Breakfasted { 401 } constantly upon milk, I cannot eat the Butter here— I must write the dr upon several subjects by twesdays post. I shall not get ready by this.
pray let me hear from you. the season is plentifull. Let us rejoice & be glad Cheer up my good sister, a merry Heart does good like a medicine— we all send abundance of Love— I must go to look after my invalids
ever yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. For Martha Washington's levees, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 12, above.
2. The Boston Gazette, 27 July, printed a letter “From Correspondents” regarding the debate over the appropriate title for the president. The piece stated that “our beloved President stands unmoved in the vortex of folly and dissipation which the city of New-York presents—despising and rejecting titles and pecuniary emoluments with the truly republican spirit with which he has always been distinguished.”
3. A committee of the House of Representatives, which was convened to prepare a report on appropriate compensation for the president and vice president, recommended in mid-July “that it would be proper to allow the President 20,000 dollars per annum, exclusive of the expences of secretaries, clerks, furniture, carriages and horses. To the Vice President 5,000 dollars per annum.” This touched off a lengthy debate as to what the government should appropriately provide to a new president and whether or not to enumerate such additional expenses. One representative also noted that $10,000 had already been spent on preparing a house and furnishings for the Washingtons. The House ultimately moved to strike out the exclusion clause.
The debate regarding the vice president's salary focused on whether he should receive a salary or merely a per diem and in what amount. There was no discussion of paying him any additional sum for his expenses (First Fed. Cong., 11:1093, 1098–1099, 1111–1117, 1129–1130, 1131–1136).
4. On the 4th of July, members of the Society of the Cincinnati called on both Washington and JA in honor of the day, prior to proceeding first to St. Paul's Chapel and after to the City Tavern. Washington was unable to attend the events himself due to ill health. While some newspapers omitted any mention of Washington's dress in their coverage of the day's events, the New York Packet, 7 July, did note that following a military parade, the soldiers “passed the house of the President of the United States, who appeared at his door in a suit of regimentals, and was saluted by the troops as they passed.”
5. For JA's own record of the debates on the portion of the foreign affairs bill considering the president's right to remove officers unilaterally from the department of foreign affairs, see D&A, 3:217–221.
6. CA studied law with Alexander Hamilton from July to September, at which time Hamilton was appointed secretary of the treasury. CA then transferred to the law office of John Laurance, where he remained for two years (Hamilton, Papers, 5:363–364; JA to John Laurance, 19 Sept., LbC, APM Reel 115).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0215

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William
Date: 1789-08-10

Abigail Adams to William Smith

[salute] my Dear Sir

Give me leave to congratulate you & mrs Smith upon the Birth of a Daughter. I hope both the Mamma and Infant are in good Health, as well as master William my Grandchildren are much afflicted with the Hooping cough we have had a succession of extreem Hot weather, and tho we have one of the most airy situations near the { 402 } city, I have sufferd much from the Heat. It would make us very happy to see you here, and if mrs Smith should not Nurse her little one, a journey would serve her Health as soon as the weather grows cooler. mr Guild gave us the slip, quit unexpectedly. I expected to have seen him before he left New-York. tho I find many good things here, there are some, which either from local attachment, or real superiority I prefer from my own state, in concequence of which I must trouble you with a commission. it is to procure me a keg of Tongues & 2 doz Hams of mr Baldwin1 & forward them by Barnard or any other opportunity, together with the account which shall be paid to Barnard. the Hams here are misirable so is the Butter I propose getting mine all from Massachusets as soon as the weather will permitt. present me affectionatly to all my Friends and / be assured of the sincere Regard / of your affectionate Friend
[signed] A Adams
RC (MHi:Smith-Townsend Papers); addressed by WSS: “Mr: William Smith. / Merchant / Boston”; endorsed: “New York. Augt 89 / A Adams—”
1. Enoch Baldwin, a butcher, operated first out of Faneuil Hall and later from Salt Lane in Boston (Boston, 27th Report, p. 20, 23; Boston Directory, 1796, p. 15).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0216

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-09-01

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I Received your kind Letters and meant sooner to have replied to them, but many avocations have prevented me. I am fully apprizd of all you mention in your Letter respecting your situation and wanted no apoligies for your conduct, but I still insist upon what I first wrote you, & it will pain me to hear you say any thing more upon the subject I never could apply it more to my satisfaction, I shall never I trust feel the want of it, if I should and you are in a situation to render me service, I will then accept it— I regreet that it is not in my power to assist my Friends more than I do, but bringing our minds to our circumstances is a duty encumbent upon us we have lived through dangerous times, and have reason to be thankfull that we are still in possession of our Liberty & so much of our property; yet still there is no reason in our being cheated by our Friends as well as Robbed by our Enemies. I have reason to think that congress will take up the matter and Fund the Debt. I wish they would set about it before they adjournd or rather defered their adjournment, till they had compleated more buisness but they have had arduous work, and want a respit.1
{ 403 }
I fear they will Remove from this place I am too happy in the situation of it, I fear to have it lasting I am every day more & more pleased with it; should they go to Philadelphia I do not know how I could possibly live through the voilent Heats but sufficient to the day; I am sorry to hear mrs Norten is unwell, but from your Letter suppose her situation will be mended by time and you will e'er long know that a Grandchild is almost as near to your Heart as your own children;2 my little Boys delight me and I should feel quite melancholy without them William came from his Gandmamma Smiths an almost ruind child, but I have brought him to be a fine Boy now.
my dear Lucy I long to see her I am glad she is gone from home to amuse herself a little. I wish she could come to Richmond Hill and she would say it was the most delightfull spot she ever saw. my Love to her and cousin William. Louissa is worried that her Mother does not write to her—I really am surprizd that she has not written a single line either to me or to her, because I wrote to her before I left home3 and I cannot suppose that she could take any umbrage at my taking her away; I wish you would write to her and let her know that Louissa is uneasy upon the subject, and has written to her I believe more than once.
I wish you would be so good as see if you can procure me two dozen Bottles of Rose water and send by Barnard who has saild for Boston.
I propose to have Louissa inoculated for the small pox this month. I have now nearly got through all the company that we propose to dine this Session & I have not heard, that any of them were so near being [. . .] as to render it necessary to apply to the Humane Society. the Spirit of Rebellion is not yet quell'd in Massachusets, the coals are blowing again and with a malice truly infernal, what will not dissapointed ambition Stick at?

“oh what a world is this, when what is comely

 envenoms him that bears it,

Be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as snow

Thou shalt not escape calumny”4

pray present my duty to my worthy mother & a kind remembrance to all inquiring Friends and be assured that I am my dear sister most affectionately / Yours
A Adams
ps I find the Author of the Libel (for such it is,) calld the Dangerous vice, is Ned Church, a dissapointed Seeker but why his { 404 } malice should thus vent itself against mr A I know not, unless he thought himself neglected by him I remember he wrote a letter to mr A when we were abroad soliciting the place of consul to Lisbon which mr A never answerd. I have past him I recollect two or three times in comeing from Town & I rember now that mrs Smith observed to me that he look'd so surly she hated to see him. It appears now that he offerd this peice to the Printers here who all refused to be concernd with it, he sent it Boston & took himself off to Georgia.5 he never was the person that either visited or spoke a word to mr A. since he has been in N York mr A says, that one day at the Presidents Levee he was Speaking to the Pressident & Church bowed to him. he could not whilst addressing the President return his bow with Propriety. his intention was to have gone & spoken to him afterwards, but the Room being full he did not see him afterwards. this I suppose Church construed into Pride and contempt, & being dissapointed in obtaining a place from the Pressident, he vented all his malice upon the vice, & conceiving the Topick he took to be a popular one he has discoverd a temper as fit for Rebellion murder Treason as his unfortunate Brother.6 I could wish that the Author might be fully known to the publick with regard to the subject of a proper title for the Pressident mr A never has or will disguise his opinion, because he thinks that the stability of the Government will in a great measure rest upon it. Yet the subject here is scarcly mentiond, & the Boston News papers have rung more changes upon it, than all the News papers in the united states besides I think in holding up Church to view, it would not be amiss to state his conduct with regard to the spanish vessel7
It was a relief to my mind to find the Author Church. I was really apprehensive that a Female pen had been dipt in full in concequence of dissapointed views a Brute to attack me who never in thought word or deed offended him, or have ever been in this Country to Ball's plays or Routes, but malice was his motive & Revenge his object. the vice Pressident ten times to one goes to Senate in a one Horse chaise, and Levee's we have had none. the Pressident only, has his powderd Lackies waiting at the door, so that under a Hipocritical mask he attacks one & hold the other impiously up & stiles him a saviour & God how inconsistant, railing at Titles & giving those which belong to the deity. How must a wretch feel who can harbour Such a temper?—
{ 405 }
but adieu my dear sister, thus it is to be seated high. I pray Heaven to give me a conscience void of offence, and then the curse causeless shall not come8
Your affectionatly
[signed] A A
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by WSS: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. Congress did not take up the question of funding the debt until its second session in spring 1790 (First Fed. Cong., 3:381, 399).
2. Jacob and Elizabeth Cranch Norton had their first child, Richard Cranch Norton, on 12 March 1790 (History of Weymouth, 4:444).
3. Not found.
4. AA is combining her Shakespeare quotations. The first two lines are from As You Like It, Act II, scene iii, lines 14–15; the second two are from Hamlet, Act III, scene i, lines 140–141.
5. In Aug. 1789, Edward Church (1740–1816), initially of Boston and later of Georgia, published a satirical poem entitled “The Dangerous Vice ——” in Boston (Evans, No. 21736). It attacked JA as “Ye lucky Fav'rites! dandled—G——d knows why! / In the soft lap of pamper'd luxury; / Who reap the harvest of the lab'rer's toil, / And thankless batten on unlawful spoil; / Who drain your country of her stinted store, / And wasting thousands—yawn for thousands more” (lines 4–9).
Three years earlier, on 14 Jan. 1786, Church had written to JA (Adams Papers) requesting to be appointed U.S. consul at Lisbon, a letter JA apparently never answered. Prior to the publication of the poem in 1789, he had also approached George Washington and Henry Knox seeking an office. In June 1790, he was finally appointed consul at Bilbao, although he never served, and in 1792, consul at Lisbon, where he remained until 1796 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:389–393).
6. For Benjamin Church, Edward Church's brother, who was jailed for treason during the Revolution, see JA, D&A, 3:384–385.
7. In 1782 and 1783, the Continental Congress received complaints from the governors of Cuba and New Orleans regarding the seizure of the Spanish ship San Antonio in the Gulf of Mexico by the Massachusetts privateer Patty, owned by Edward Church. The Massachusetts courts eventually ruled the seizure illegal and a violation of neutral rights (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 20:144–146; JCC, 24:227–228).
8. “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs, 26:2).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0217

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1789-09-01

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

with regard to politicks the debates of the House will give you an Idea of them, as yet there has been but little Heat upon any Subject, but there is a questions comeing on with regard to the permanant Residence of congress which I fear will create parties, & much vexation. I should think that in the present state of their treasury, an expence so unnecessary ought to be avoided as even removeing to Philadelphia. every person here who have not sufficient funds of their own has been obliged to Borrow of the Bank for to supply their daily necessities and I do not Imagine that the publick could derive any essential Benifit from a Removal, for my own part I dread this continual Roling.
{ 406 }
With Regard to my own domestick affairs I scarcly know what to write. I think it would be adviseable to Let our whole place & House together provided any gentleman wanted it, as early in the spring as might be. the Boat & Cart had better remain, particularly the cart than be under sold Such is the uncertainty of all Humane affairs, that we may wish to return to the use of them sooner than is apprehended and not even be in possession of sufficient cash to purchase them. the Butter upon Pratts Farm I should like to have put up for me, & some cheese. we give for every pound of butter here 18 pence Hogs lard is an other article which I propose getting from home. Ham's are as much better with us as can well be conceived; Field was to render to you half the produce of the Garden. I am happy to learn that Thomas has a good Chamber Mate, much depends upon that. Charles is very attentive to the Buisness of the office, but I fear will lose his master, by his becomeing a minister of state. mr Hamilton is talked of for that department. mr Adams is well and will write to you soon. the Senate are so close to Buisness & he frequently has so much reading to do & such constant attention to the debates, that he comes home quite exhausted & unable to take his pen our situation is a very Beautifull one and I feel in that respect quite happy, but I find myself much more exposed to company than in any situation which I have ever before been in. the morning is a time when strangers who come to Nyork expect to find mr Adams at home. this brings us Breakfast company besides it is a sweet morning retreat for fresh air & a cool Breize. I should like to visit my friends during the adjournment but our Finnances will not admit of much travelling.
mr King makes a very Respectable figure as a Senator, and mr Ames does credit to our state. mr Madisson is a very amiable character a man of virtue & probity. mr G—— what can I say, you see him always in the minority, you see him very frequently wrong and the poor man looks gastly. I believe he is woried mortified and quite in the Horrors a constant correspondent of W——n—& his wife all of whom see nothing but Ruin & destruction before them, & who will again set our state by the ears if possible—watch them closely. I have only Room to add yours / Sincerely
[signed] A Adams
RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); endorsed: “Mrs. A. Adams 1790.”
1. The letter is a fragment and missing at least its first page and possibly more. The dateline appears at the bottom of the final page, near the signature.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1789-09-02

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have this morning received your manly letter of 25th Ult.—1 I had long intended to write you but as you observe avocations have always intervened. Public business my son, must always be done by somebody.— it will be done by somebody or other— If wise men decline it others will not: if honest men refuse it, others will not. A young man should well weigh his plans. Integrity should be preserved in all events, as essential to his happiness, thro every stage of his existence. His first maxim then, should be to place his honor out of the reach of all men: In order to this he must make it a rule never to become dependant on public employments for subsistence. Let him have a trade a profession a farm a shop, something where by he can honestly live, and then he may engage in public affairs, if invited, upon independant principles. My advice to my children, is to maintain an independant character, tho' in poverty and obscurity: neither riches nor illustration will console a man under the reflection that he has acted a mean a mercenary part, much less a dishonest one— Your handwriting and your style are in my eye and judgment, beautiful— go on my son pursue your mathematics and your morals. Come with your brother, and be here at the meeting of Congress on the first of December. Then we will converse upon these and other subjects, mean time write me, if it is but a line every week.
Your father
[signed] J Adams
LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Thomas B Adams / Student Harvard Colledge”; APM Reel 115. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0219

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-09-08

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I am quite discourag'd writing by the Post I know not if you have ever receiv'd one Letter Which I have sent by them I have sent two long ones the Last I put into the office a month ago last Saturday.1 I should have written oftener if I had not suspected that Letters directed to Mr Adams where taken out by somebody who had no right to them— I hope I am mistaken—but I cannot conceive why you have not got many Letters which have been sent you; Doctor Tufts { 408 } thinks his have met with the same fate as he has receiv'd no answers to many which he has sent you. Mr Cranch wrote to Mr Adams in July & inclos'd a Letter to Mr Bond giving him an account of his sister Ebbits sudden Death.2 mr Bond wrote a Letter to Mr Foster a fortnight after this & had not then heard of it. I inclos'd a letter in my last to you for Mrs Brisler to her Husband she has just receiv'd a Letter from him dated the 30th of August & she says it does not appear that he had receiv'd it which makes me think mine has not reach'd you. I shall be very sorry indeed if it has not as I had written things which I should be unwitting any body should see but you— I wish you would number your Letters for the future I will mine—& I shall write by private hands as much as I can. Mr Charles Ward Althorp will return to new york soon I sha[ll wr]ite by him—.3 we are all well I have heard fr[om] Haverhill Newbury & Cambridg our connexions there were also in health
old Deacon Webb has left us. he dy'd last week.4 Mrs Hall was at meeting a Sabbath day but complain'd much of her Eyes
The last Letter I receiv'd from you was dated the 9th of August & gave me an account of the sick state of your Family I have been waiting impatiently to hear further I hope Mrs Smiths children will not have the cough bad. poor little creatures I feel anxious for them— I do not wonder you were all sick— The weather was so very hot here that I some times thought we should be made sick too but a finer season for every kind of produce I never saw— the air has been remarkably clear tho so very hot—owing I suppose to the thunder so frequent at the south ward
I have seen the Fragment—

“Her end when, Emulation misses

She turns to envy—stings & hisses[”]5

Pray write as often as you can— It is one of the greatest comforts I have—to receive such proofs of the affection of my Sister—
remember me kindly to all my Freinds and accept the warmest affection of your Sister
[signed] M C
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Richard Cranch: “To / Mrs. Abigail Adams / Lady of the Vice President. / Richmond-Hill, near / New York”; docketed: “M Cranch to / A Adams / 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. 30 July and 2 Aug., both above.
2. Richard Cranch's letter to JA has not been found. William Bond's sister-in-law, Ebbett Cranch, a niece of Richard Cranch, died at Falmouth, Mass. (now Maine), in July (MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers, Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852).
3. For Charles Ward Apthorp, see vol. 6:411.
4. Deacon Jonathan Webb of Braintree { 409 } died on 1 Sept. at age 92 (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 5387R).
5. Jonathan Swift, “Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift,” lines 35–36.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0220

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-09-15

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam—

Your Favour of the 1st. Inst. I recd the 11st. and shall give orders to Pratt relative to the Butter &c Not having received an Answer to Mine respecting the Cart &c and finding no Opportunity to dispose of the Cart to Advantage I got Lt. Bates to apprize it which he sat at £7.10.0 and had concluded to take it to my own Use if you approved of it, but as you think it will not be best to sell—I wish to use it till the Spring & will account with you therefore— The Mud Boat I have got to Weymouth and found that it wanted the Eye of a Master— I do not expect that it will fetch more than £10 or £12. if sold as Gondalos that will serve the same Purpose have been sold at that Rate—I shall not However dispose of it without particular Directions tho I am of opinion it will be best to sell it if any Thing near the Worth can be obtained— Adams informs me that He must leave the House (at Boston) if the Rent is not reduced—1 I fear I shall not be able any longer to get £40 per annl from any Person, as Rents are exceeding low and but little Money in Circulation As soon as may be I wish to know your Mind on this Subject as well as with Respect to the Mode of adjusting Our Account whether it is agreable that Mrs. Cranch should audit it as heretofore— You will be so kind as let Cousin John, know that I answerd his Draught on me as soon as I became possessed of it being a Day or two after he left Boston—2
I wish to know what Papers are forwarded to you from the Printers at Boston and whether you would have all of them sent on—
The Author of the scurrilous Poem referred to in yours is well known here and it is generally reputed and considered as the Work of a malicious & disappointed Seeker—3 it appears to me to be a Stab upon the President through the Side of the Vice President and as paving the Way for an Attack upon Him, whenever a favorable Opportunity shall present— Too many there are to our Sorrow, that can never be contented but in Broils & Contests, Wishing to embroil Government, and to throw our publick Affairs into Confusion, they are seeking every Occasion to gratify their restless Spirits and to wriggle themselves into Places favorable to their Desig[ns] But as they are generally devoid of Principle, they sooner or later fall into the Pit which they have diggd for others—
{ 410 }
Be pleased to remember me to Mr Adams & your Children—and accept of the best Wishes / of Your Affectionate Friend & H Ser
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. Abigail Adams—” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. That is, Thomas Adams, editor of the Boston Independent Chronicle, who was renting the Adamses' Court Street house in Boston (vol. 7:424, 425–426, note 6).
2. JQA recorded in his Diary on 7 Sept.: “I found the stage to Providence will go tomorrow morning at 4 o'clock. being destitute of cash, I obtained of my friend J. Phillips the loan of a sum sufficient for my journey, for which I drew an order upon Dr. Tufts” (D/JQA/12, APM Reel 15).
3. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 1 Sept., note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0221

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Date: 1789-09-27

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

I write to you my dear sister, not from the disputed Banks of the Potowmac, the Susquehanna or the deleware, but from the peace-full Borders of the Hudson, a situation where the Hand of Nature has so lavishly display'd her Beauties, that she has left scarcly any thing, for her Handmaid Art, to perform.
The House in which we reside is situated upon a Hill, the Avenue to which is intersperced with Forest Trees under which a shubery rather too Luxurient and wild, has taken Shelter, owing to its having been deprived by death some years Since, of its original proprieter who kept it in perfect order. in Front of the House the Noble Hudson rools his Majestick waves bearing upon his Bosom innumerable small vessels which are constantly [. . .]ing the rich product of the Neighbouring soil to the buisy hand of a more extensive Commerce. Beyond the Hudson rises to our view the fertile country of the Jersies, coverd with a golden Harvest, & pouring forth plenty like the cornicapia of Ceres. on the right Hand an extensive plain presents us with a view of Fields coverd with verdure and pastures full of cattle, on the left, the city opens upon us, intercepted only by clumps of Trees, & some rising ground, which serves to heighten the Beauty of the scene, by appearing to conceal a part on the back Ground is a large flower garden inclosed with a Hedge and some very handsome Trees. on one side is a Grove of pines & oaks fit for contemplation—

“in this path

how long soe'er the wanderer Roves each step

shall wake fresh beauties; each short point present

A different picture, New and yet the Same”1

{ 411 }
if my days of Fancy and Romance were not past, I could find here an ample field for indulgence, yet amidst these delightfull scenes of Nature, my Heart pants for the society of my dear Relatives and Friends who are too far removed from me. I wish most Sincerely to return & pass the Recess of Congress at my Habitation at Braintree, but the season of the year to which they have adjourned renders the attempt impractacable, tho I am not the only person who question there making a congress again till April, but the punctuality of mr Adams to all publick Buisness would oblige him strickly to adhere to the day of adjournment, however inconvenient it might prove to him.2 he has never been absent from his Daily duty in Senate a single hour from their first meeting, and the last months Buisness has press'd so hard that his Health appears to require a recess.
Shall I ask my Sister why she has not writen me a line since I came to this place. with regard to myself I own I have been cautious of writing. I know that I stand in a delicate situation. I am fearfull of touching upon political subjects yet perhaps there is no person who feels more interested in them, and upon this occasion I may congratulate my country upon the late judicial appointments, in which an assemblage of the greatest talants and abilities are united, which any Country can Boast of, Gentlemen in whom the publick have great confidence & who will prove durable pillars in support of our Government3
Mr Jefferson is nominated for Secretary of state in the room of mr Jay who is made chief Justice thus have we the fairest prospect of setting down under our own vine's in peace, provided the wrestless spirit of certain characters who foam & frett, are permitted only their hour upon the Stage and then shall no more be heard, off, or permitted to sow the seeds of discord amongst the real defenders of the Faith
Mrs Smith has written to you.4 she is now at Jamiaca with her youngest son. Louissa is well, & soon to be inoculated for the small pox. present me kindly to mr & mrs Thaxter, and to the little Namesake5 God Bless him for his Parents sake & long preserve them to each other. your Nephew J Q Adams hurries me so least he should miss sending his Letters by this post, that I am obligd to break of more abruptly than I designd and subscribe my self most affectionately / yours
Love to mr Shaw & to master & miss Shaw— Remember me to my Neice E Smith and to all other Friends
[signed] A Adams
{ 412 }
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed by AA2: “Mrs: E. Shaw. / Haverhill.”; notation: “Octr. 2. Favord. by Mr. W Smith.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. William Mason, The English Garden: A Poem. In Four Books, Book 1, lines 212–215.
2. On 26 Sept., the Senate agreed to adjourn on 29 September. The body reconvened on 4 Jan. 1790 though it did not achieve a quorum until 6 Jan. (First Fed. Cong., 1:207, 213).
3. On 24 Sept. 1789, George Washington nominated John Jay to become the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, he nominated John Rutledge, James Wilson, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, and John Blair as associate justices. All but Harrison, who was unable to take his seat due to ill health, eventually served in some capacity (Doc. Hist. Supreme Court, 1:1–2, 9).
4. Not found.
5. For the birth of John Adams Thaxter, see Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch, 26 Nov. 1788, and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0222

Author: Cranch, William
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1789-10-01

William Cranch to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Good friend—

Altho I have written you before, I know you have no objection to recieving another letter before you answer my last—1 My greatest motive for writing now is to know the truth of a Report which has been industriously spread here within this week past, “that there is so great a Coolness between the P——t & V-P——t that they do not speak to each other.” I know that there are some people, (I hope but few) who wish to cherish a jealously in the minds of the good people of Massachusetts, towards the Vice President— I have some reason to think that Dr. Demigog is one—2 And I doubt a little whether your father's quondam pupil, (with a flat nose) may not be another.3 He seems to be crazy after the phantom popularity. The aforesaid Dr. and he are very intimate, of late— It is said too that the Vice President's influence is much diminished. And as a proof, it is said that judge Tudor has lost the Office of Attorney to this district in the federal Court—4 All these things are said by a certain set of people in this town, with a view to detract from the Character of a man who has done more for his Country than any other man, now in it— I have attended but very little to politics lately—but this has caught my Ear as I passed— I know not but that the distinction of Southern & Northern may have an Influence even upon the greatest Man, But I cannot believe it. The people of the new England States are crazy. They are divided among themselves. They can not see their own Interest—blind as Beetles—
I was at Exhibition Tuesday last— Your Brother was well— Dr Tufts was in town to day—[. . .] [. . .]erting—
{ 413 }
I wish you would give the [enclosed?] letter, to Charles— He will be so kind as to deliver it— [. . .] you have recd your Coat— Our friends at Braintree were well this Morning—
Your sincere friend
[signed] Wm. Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr John Quincy Adams / New York”; docketed: “Wm Cranch / October 1st 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Perhaps Dr. Charles Jarvis (1748–1807), Harvard 1766, who had a long history of service to the city of Boston and had recently been elected to the Mass. General Court. In his Autobiography, JA wrote of Jarvis' “virulence against me,” possibly connected to the animosity between JA and Edward Church, who was Jarvis' cousin (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:376–383; JA, D&A, 3:384–385; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 1 Sept., and note 5, above).
3. Probably Jonathan Mason Jr.
4. Judge William Tudor, JA's former law student, wrote to JA on 27 July (Adams Papers) about the maneuvering for judicial appointments going on in Massachusetts. Tudor noted to JA that “to no Person but to yourself . . . have I ever hinted a Wish to be noticed in the Places that must soon be disposed of. But you will now give me leave to say that I should be pleased with an appointment to some Office (the advocateship is now out of the Question) which my Education might enable me to discharge the Duties of.” JA replied on 18 Sept. (MHi: Tudor-Adams Papers) counseling patience: “how the President will decide, on the judiciary Appointments I know not.— There is no System nor Harmony among the Men from Massachusetts—one recommends one, and another another. Dont you be chagrin'd, mortified humiliated nor vexed let it go as it will.” Tudor did not receive any appointment but was eventually admitted to practice law before the district and circuit courts in 1796 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 17:261).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0223

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-10-04

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I wrote you a Letter last week, but as it did not get to the Post office, I have detaind it with an intention of sending you one of a later date. I believe I have received all your Letters. your last was dated Sepbr 8th I have not written to any of my Friends so often as I ought to. you know very well that when a person is fixed to any particular spot, that very few subjects worth communicating can occur. as I have not been to any publick amusement, I cannot say any thing upon that score, but I can tell you something which may well excite your surprize. it is that I have cause every Sunday to regreet the loss of Parson Wibird, and that I should realy think it an entertainment to hear a discourse from him. do not however tell him so, but except three sermons which three NewEngland Clergymen have preachd to us, I have been most misirably off. Dr Rogers where we usually attend, has been unable to preach ever since I have been here1 and the pulpit has been supplied as they could procure Labourers—by { 414 } Gentlemen who preach without Notes, all of whom are predestinarians and whose Noise & vehemence is to compensate for every other difficency to go to meeting & set an hours & half to hear a discourse the principals of which are so totally different from my own sentiments, that I cannot possibly believe them, is really doing penance. I have sometimes gone to St Pauls.2 there I find much more liberal discourses, but bred a desenter and approveing that mode of worship, I feel a reluctance at changing tho I would always go to church, if I resided where there was no other mode of worship. the Clergymen here I am told are so Rigid that their company is very little sought after. they never mix with their people as they do with us, and there is in there Air and countanances that solemn Phiz and gate which looks so like mummery that instead of Reverence they create disgust, and they address theirfoll Audience with so much self importance, and Priestly despotisim, that I am really surprizd at their having any men of sense and abilities for their hearers; I have seen but one exception to this character & that in a dr Lynd who is really the best & most liberal of the whole sett.3 we have in Massachusetts a sett of clergy that are an honour to Religion, to Learning, & to our country, and for whom I feel an increased esteem & veneration since my Residence in Newyork. I do not however mean by my remarks that they are not Religious moral men here. I never heard a Syllable to their injury, but they certainly are men of very mean capacities when compared to those of our state. there is no man of esteemed eminence amongst them even as a divine
The adjournment of Congress leaves me a leisure which I most sincrely wish I could improve in visiting Braintree. if they had honestly adjournd to April, I say honestly for many of the southern members will not get here till then, I should not have hesitated in comeing on immediatly & spending the winter with my dear Friends in B. but it has been my Lot to be fetterd one way or an other. the liberality of Congress obliged me to remove most of my furniture so as to make it quite inconvenient for us to pass a part of our Time at our own Home, without being at a Considerable expence, and the prospect of a return in december very much discourages me in my progect. mr Adams's close & unremitting attention to Buisness during Six months, has made a journey quite necessary for him, yet he will not go unless it is to his own Home. my son J Q A proposes returning this week to Boston & Brisler leaves me tomorrow.4 How the machine will get on without him I know not. I have offerd him what I esteem very liberal wages, & double what I can get others for, { 415 } { 416 } who would perform the mechanical part of Buisness as well perhaps as he but I know not where to find Honour Honesty integrity & attachment. he pleads the state of his family which I know it would be difficult to remove, but 200 dollars pr year are not so easily earned in massachusetts, and are really more than we can afford. he has it at his option to return if he cannot succeed at home. I do not wish my offer to be known, and I think he will find it difficult to support his Family when he once comes to stand upon his own legs for them; which he has never yet done. From six years trial of him I can give him the best of characters, and I never expect to find an other so particularly calculated for me and my Family his Errors are those of Judgment or rather the want of judgment and upon that Rock I am fearfull he will Split, when he comes to act for himself.—the Letter you mention for mr Bond was Sent directly to his Lodgings upon our receiving it.
I hope the appointments in the judicial Line will give Satisfaction, notwithstanding some dissapointments. if I may judge by the News papers, there is no state in the union where there are so many grumblers as in our own. it has been my Lot in Life to spend a large portion of it in publick Life, but I can truly say the pleasentest part of it was spent at the foot of pens Hill in that Humble cottage when my good Gentleman was a practitioner at the Bar, earnt his money, during the week, & at the end of it poured it all into my Lap to use or what could be Spaired to lay by. nobody then grudgd us our living, & 25 years such practise would have given us a very different Property from what we now possess. it might not have given us the 2d Rank in the united states, nor the satisfaction of reflecting by what means & whose exertions these states have arrived at that degree of Liberty Safety & independance which they now enjoy. if the united states had chosen to the vice P.s Chair a man wavering in his opinions, or one who sought the popular applause of the multitude, this very constitution would have had its death wound during this first six months of its existance. on several of the most trying occasions it has fallen to this dangerous vice, to give the casting vote for its Life—there are several members of the House & some of the S——e who are to say no worse wild as—Bedlammites but hush—I am speaking treason. do not you betray me
Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friends—and believe me my dear sister / Yours most / affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
{ 417 }
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. Rev. John Rodgers (1727–1811) was the pastor of the Presbyterian church of New York, which was divided between two churches, one at Wall Street near Broadway and the other at the corner of Beekman and Nassau streets. Rodgers, who had trained for the ministry under Gilbert Tennent, served the New York parish from 1765 until his death, though he was forced to vacate his post during the British occupation of the city (Jonathan Greenleaf, A History of the Churches, of All Denominations, in the City of New York, N.Y., 1846, p. 126–133; Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 3:154–165).
2. St. Paul's Chapel, an extension of Trinity Episcopal Church, opened in 1766 between Fulton and Vesey streets. George Washington attended services there, and it is today the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City (Greenleaf, History of the Churches, p. 61–62; www.saintpaulschapel.org, 26 Jan. 2006). See also Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 13, above.
3. Rev. William Linn (1752–1808), Princeton 1772, was a Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed minister and schoolteacher originally from Pennsylvania. In 1786 he was called to become associate pastor of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church in New York. During his tenure there, his reputation was such that he was also invited to become the first chaplain to the House of Representatives, beating out John Rodgers for the position (Princetonians, 2:231–235).
4. JQA recorded in his Diary that he left New York on 5 Oct. aboard the Rambler, arriving in Newport on 6 October. He continued by stage, arriving at Boston on 8 Oct. and Braintree on 9 Oct. (D/JQA/14, APM Reel 17).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0224

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1789-10-05

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

Your favour of 15 sepbr I have not yet replied to. with regard to the House, I wish it was as moveable an article as a Carriage I would then get you to send it by Barnard to Newyork where I should meet with no difficulty in getting four hundred Dollors rent. now I should be glad to get as much for the 5 Houses we own in Braintree together with the Farms belonging to them.1 the expence of living here is Double I believe in all most every article, in wood & Hay including the carting three times as much; for Instance, the carts here are very small drawn buy two Horses. they carry only 100 foot of wood at a time so that it costs four shillings to convey a Cord of wood about the distance from your House to mr Nortens. to this you must add four shillings more for sawing it, and your wood costs 5 dollors pr cord, and this is the lowest rate trust the Dutch to make their penny worths out of you.—
the House being in Boston we must take what we can get, say 36 or 34, but let them go out rather than let it for less than 30. the cart you may use when you please. the Scow mr Adams thinks had better lye by than be sold so low provided any shelter can be found. the tools that remain you will let them lye for the present. we have been very near determining to come home & spend the winter, & nothing prevents us but the foolish adjournment of congress to a period { 418 } when they know the Southern members will not come, so that a part of the Body only will be here a useless expence to the states. had they set one month more & then adjournd to April, it would have been much more convenient. by the way I see the Boston Newspapers report that congress agreed to Borrow 50 thousand dollors of the Banks of Newyork & Phyladelphia as the Bill past the Senate the united states were to be at no expence at all. Pensilvania was to erect the Buildings & make every accommodation at their own expence, but the whole is happily posponed.2 it was unwise to bring on a subject which must necessaryly involve them in dispute, before any means was devised for the payment of publick creditors, or any way markd out for discharging the publick debt—
my good sir when do you give me an Aunt? or am I now to congratulate you upon that event.3 be it when it will, I most sincerly rejoice in any circumstance which may tend to augment your happiness. my best Respects to the Lady of your choice. I doubt not that she has great personal merit, and is certainly entitled to my esteem & Regard on that account, but the Relation in which you are about to place her shall be followd by all that respect & Reverence which my Heart pays to worth like that to which she is to be united, and may God Bless you together is the very sincere wish of dear / Sir your affectionate / Neice
[signed] A Adams
PS Remember me kindly to mr & mrs Tufts to mr & mrs Norten & cousin Lucy Jones
mr Adams wishes you to send by dr Craigy or any private Hand a Box of such pills as I brought for him when I came
RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); addressed by AA2: “Honble: Cotton Tufts / Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs. Abigl. Adams's / Lett—Octo. 5. 1789.”
1. Besides the Old House, the Adamses owned four additional homes in Braintree, along with considerable additional acreage: JA's childhood home (the John Adams Birthplace), which JA purchased from his brother, Peter Boylston Adams; the home where JA and AA lived prior to their time in Europe (the John Quincy Adams Birthplace), which JA inherited from his father; a house purchased from Joseph Palmer in 1771; and another house purchased from William and Sarah Veasey in 1788 (vol. 1:23, 2:252; “An Account of the Real Estate of Honr. Jno. Adams Esq. lying in Braintree & Milton,” [post Sept. 1787], Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds; Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 2, folder 13).
2. The “Act to Establish the Seat of Government”—to determine a permanent home for the new federal government in Pennsylvania—was first introduced in the House of Representatives on 14 Sept., where it was eventually approved. But the Senate, after considerable debate, decided on 28 Sept. to postpone action on it until the next session. Prior to the formal introduction of the bill, early discussion of the residence issue included the suggestion of borrowing money for the purpose, with the figure of $100,000 the most frequently cited in the Boston newspapers (First Fed. Cong., 1:203; 3:206, 222; 11:1457–1459; Massachusetts Centinel, 12 Sept.).
{ 419 }
3. Cotton Tufts married his second wife, Susanna Warner (1754–1832) of Gloucester, on 22 Oct. (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:499).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0225

Author: Copley, Susanna Clarke
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-10-06

Susanna Clarke Copley to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Your Favor of July 14th: I duely received,1 and feel myself not a little flattered by your kind remembrance, and shall be ever highly gratified in retaining the friendship which flows from so good and benvolent an heart as you possess: as in this state we have very often occation to lament the seperation from those we esteem: so we have had much reason to regret the loss of yourself, and worthy Family from our society: but shall all ways take great delight in hearing of yours, and their prosperity
Indeed my dear Madam shining abilities: (as well as virtues) are so necessary for the Public Welfare; that they will be drawn forth from the private shade of domestic Felicity, and happy is it for the world when they are; as they cannot fail of stimulateing to Virtue, and all will admire, even where they may fail of invitation— The Friends of America here, are felicitateing them selves uppon the wisdom which their Country have shone in choice of their Senators, and which we sincerely hope, will be productive of its prosperity: as well as of that, of those individuals who are acting for them. Mr: Copley desires to join me in respectful Compliments to your self, Mr: Adams, Colonel, and Mrs. Smith; it gives me pleasure to hear of the increase of Mrs: Smiths happiness; (as I look uppon every addition to her Family in that light) and most sincerely hope that they will be renderd lasting comforts to her, and hers.—
By Captain Scoot I had the pleasure to send the Silk according to your direction, and hope I have not exceeded the price that might have been expected, I found it difficult to get a lutestring with any kind of Figure as that kind of Silk is too thin to admit of it, and the Stripes for Mourning are of so little variety and rather common; so that I have sent a gray Silk of a little better quality with a Spot, which is suitable, either for Spring, or Autumn, as well as for winter, and Shall be very happy if it Should prove to be what might be Wished for. the silk was 6s. 6d pr: Yrd: and as it was not quit so wide as a lutestring have sent 20 Yrd. instead of 18
I should have done myself the pleasure of writing sooner had not my absence from Town prevented my knowing when the Vessels have sailed for New York: My dear Betsys health has required my { 420 } spending the chief of the summer with her in the Country, and I am very sensiable that you my dear Madam; will rejoice with me in the present prospect which I have of her perfect resotration. I left her a short time since with my Father at Tunbridge Wells, as I wish her have all the benefit she can from the country before the winter takes place—2
Prehaps this may find the Docr., and Mrs Jefferies in New York as they where uncertain in what part of America they should fix when they left us, but I hope where ever it may be that Success may accompany them,3 we are now about parting with another Friend, this is indeed not plasant; I had much rather this pleaseing commodity Should be brought to us— by Mr Trumbull you will be informed of every particular with regard to this place as well as of your Friends in it, and therefore I will not intrude farther uppon you at this time, than to beg your acceptance of my best wishes for your / health and happiness / and beleive me to be / Madam, with great estee / Your Friend, / and, Humble Servant
[signed] S: Copley
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Copley october / 6th 1790.”
1. Not found.
2. Richard Clarke (1711–1795), Harvard 1729, lived in London with his daughter and son-in-law. The Copleys' daughter, Elizabeth Clarke (1770–1866), eventually married Gardiner Greene in 1800 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:550, 561; Martha Babcock Amory, The Domestic and Artistic Life of John Singleton Copley, repr. edn., N.Y., 1969, p. 108, 440).
3. Dr. John Jeffries and his second wife, Hannah Hunt Jeffries, arrived in Boston in November, welcomed by JA among others (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:425–426).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0226

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-10-11

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

Mr Adams Sets of tomorrow morning on a visit to Braintree. I would gladly have accompanied him, but so many difficulties arose in the way, that I gave up the Idea. if I had come we must have gone to housekeeping, & by that time I had got things any way convenient, I must have returnd, & that at a season of the year when it would have been cold & unpleasent travelling. I find myself attackd with my Rhumatick complaints upon the Setting in of cold weather, and am obliged to be very circumspect.
The constant application to buisness for six months has made it necessary to mr Adams to take a jouney and he promisses me that he will go to Haverhill and visit his Friends, but [you] are like to have an other visiter, the Pressident Sets out this week for a like { 421 } excursion. He proposes to go as far as Portsmouth he would have had mr Adams accept a seat in his in coach but he excused himself from motives of delicacy. we yesterday had a very pleasent Party together. the whole family of us dinned with the President on thursday, and he then proposed an excursion to long Island by water to visit Princes Gardens, but as mrs Washington does not Love the water we agreed that the Gentlemen should go by water and the Ladies should meet them at a half way House and dine together, and yesterday we had a most Beautifull day for the purpose the President V P. col S. major Jackson mr Izard &c went on Board the Barge at 8 oclock.1 at Eleven the Ladies namely Mrs. washington mrs Adams mrs smith miss custos Set out in mrs Washingtons coach & six & met the Gentlemen at Harlem where we all dinned together & returnd in the same manner. we live upon terms of much Friendship & visit each other often whilst the Gentlemen are absent we propose seeing one an other on terms of much sociability. mrs Washington is a most frindly good Lady, always pleasent and easy doatingly fond of her Grandchildren to whom she is quite the Grandmamma.2
Louissa & John A. S are both innoculated for the small pox on fryday last. I hope my son J Q A arrived safe (as well as Brisler). I suppose he led you to think that I should visit you as he was very urgent for me to come. I think it not unlikly that there will be a summer recess next year & then I hope to see you all. I wish you would be so good as to get some Brown thread for me of mrs Field three Skains of different Sizes. mr A will pay you for her, & for the Rose water, which you have procured. Ruthe Ludden who lives with mrs Field promised me that she would come and live with me when ever she was out of her Time.3 if she holds of the same mind I will Send for her in the spring either by Barnard or the stage. I wish you had polly Tailer. to live alone she is a very excellent Girl but she was never made for society and power was never worse used than in her Hands. I tell her sometimes that if I had taken mrs Brislers advice I never should have brought her. of all things I hate to hear people for ever complaining of servants but I never had so much occasion as since I came here one good servant attached to you is invaluable. the one who attends mr Adams is good for nothing that I know of but to look after his Horses. he has servd us as a coachman ever since I have been here. I hope Brisler will return, but I would not urge it too much, as the best people may take advantage of their own concequence and importance.
{ 422 }
How is mrs Norten does she begin to look stately? I shall want to see her. Lucy I hope is well I pleasd my self for a week with the Idea of spending three months with you, but it cannot be
I will thank you to look over mr Adams things for him & see that they agree with the list which I will send as soon as I know what he takes— Love to mr Cranch Remember me kindly to my Mother & all other Friends. yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams—
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by AA2: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. Major William Jackson, who had previously escorted CA home from Europe in 1781, was serving as one of Washington's secretaries (vol. 4:170–171; DAB).
2. For Martha Washington's grandchildren, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 11, above.
3. Ruth Ludden (b. 1772) was the daughter of Benjamin and Ruth Ludden of Braintree. She was not available to work for AA until she turned eighteen, still more than a year away (Braintree Town Records, p. 837).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-10-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr Dalton, Mr Jenkes and myself are at Penfields in good health and Spirits.— My Horses perform very well and my Servant tolerably.
We have met with nothing but Rocks in the Road to molest us. These have jolted us very rudely but Salubriously. I shall keep Mr Dalton company to Boston at least to Cambridge.
according to present Conjectures We shall Spend the Sabbath at Springfield. My Love to my Young Lawyer, and all the rest
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Richmond Hill / New York”; internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Mr A october / 14 1790”; notation: “free / John Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0228

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1789-10-15 - 1789-10-25

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have at last receiv'd your Letter but never was poor creature more dissapointed I thought to be sure that it contain'd orders for me to get your house in order for your reception cousin John had not a doubt but you would come. Lucy was going to spend a week at Lincoln but as aunt adams was so soon to be here she desir'd to be sent for home Sister Shaw was comeing in expectation of seeing our { 423 } dear Freinds & in short we were all on Tip-Toe with expectation & I can not yet give up the fond Idea my dear Sister come— every body knows that you have remov'd almost all your Furniture— we will assist you with any thing we have— Mrs Palmers Family are ready to relive to any part of the house. I wish you would accept of such an entertainment as I could give you I have a room & chamber at your service but this I know would not be so convineent or comfortable as your own— Mr Brisler says that the expence of coming will not be equal of your staying at home— I hope you will come—but whether you do or not—you will want a number of things sent round— Mr Brisler thinks he had better Send your small wines & that your Porter had better be sold here to keep it in that cellar this winter would be runing a great risk of having it Froze. I wish you would write immideatly & let us know what you would have done would you have the winter Fruit & the Butter from your Brother adams's—
Mr Brisler has I believe very wisely conclu'ded to return to you—Mrs Brisler is very desirous that he should. but what will you do with your house maid you will never have any harmony in you Family while you keep her, I certainly would send her home she would do tolarably well alone, but nobody could ever live with her at Mr Apthorps—
I had written thus far disigning to send it away immediately—but before I could finish my Letter I had news of the Vice Presidents leaving new york, & concluded you was with him & was not undeceiv'd till Mr Adams arriv'd without you. & now only think how we were dissapointed & yet I cannot say but your reasons for not comeing are good— I wish Mr Adams would accept of a room & chamber with us I do not know what he will do when Mr Brisler & his wife leave him— I think he would be more comfortable with us some body must take care of his things & him too you best know whether you can trust the new servant with the key of your cellar & other matters, here will be nobody to oversee him— Mr Brisler says he will not leave Mr Adams till you say what shall be done— he thinks it will not do to stay till the cold weather sets in before he removes his Family. he means they shall go by land— I have been in Boston till yesterday ever since I reciev'd your last Letter but will see after your Thread & Ruth Ludden this week— I am now fixing cousin Tom for winter & for a Journey eastward with his Papa— I expect Sister Shaw tomorrow— how she will be dissapointed not { 424 } finding you here!— Lucy wint yesterday with her uncle & cousin to see the triumphal entrance of the President into Boston—& is not yet return'd the arches were erecting when I left the Town but as we could not all be present I stay'd at home to take care of the House you will see a pompous account of it in the prints depend upon it.1 The poor governor was taken with a violent fit of the Gout which render'd him unfit to grace the Ceremony with his Presence & will it is suppos'd prevent him from making the first Visit—
Doctor Tufts was married I suppose last thursday he went for that purpose when I am more acquainted with our new aunt I will give you my opinion of her— I rejoice for cousin Lucys sake—but I think there will be no heart felt harmony between the son & new mother
Mrs Norton increases in size very fast & wishes you could be with her in march. she would be very well if she did not have so much of the Teeth ache but she is sadly afflicted with it. Do you think Polly Tailor would do for me if you should not be able to keep her I am affraid she has been so long use'd to high living that she would not know how to accomodate her self to such strick rules of eoconimy as she must submit too here. In many things I know her to be vastly superior to the girl I have with me. this girl can spin Polly cannot, tis true Nabby does not get much time to spin she does not know how to do house work half so well as polly does nor will she turn it of so fast—but then I give her but 1/6 a week you may if you please talk to her as supposing I might take her if she should be very desirous of it. if you should wish to part with her— she will never bear to be made of any importance
I wish if you should have any chance to make an inquiery of Doctor Rush about that magnificent Funeral in Philadelphia which our neighbors have heard of & nobody else knows any thing about. I should be glad— They continue to send & receive Letters from the Family I understand they did not all founder at sea as we expected they would—2
I am very glad that the vice President & President are upon such friendly terms I never suppos'd it otherways notwithstanding those who wish'd it might not be true have been so busy in spreading reports of the animosety subsisting between the Familys— I have taken care to read such parts of your Letters as would contradict such Idle storys— As to the Fragment it was not even a nine days wonder here— it was despis'd by every body of any sentiment or goodness. The Authors revengful temper is well known & he has really hurt nobody but himself.
{ 425 }
I think those who are admitted to spend a social hour with Mrs Washington must be much pleas'd with her, from your discription of her I think her Levee days are not the pleasantest she spends. I hope I shall see the President before he returns
By this time I suppose Louisia & the dear little Boy are begining to feel the effects of their dessorder I hope they will not be bad I shall feel anxious till I hear again
How happy I should feel to spend a few Days with you in this recess fall from the shackels of ceremony— The sweet Little Boy I have with me makes our house chearful— he is a fine Child full of chat & very sensible— If it was not for him I should sometimes be very melancholy.—
Mr Cranch desires me to present his Love to you & tell you he was as much dissapointed as any of us by your not comeing he is as thin as he was last fall the heat & hard work of the summer has carried away all the Flesh he had peck'd us in the winter
I am sorry for your attacks of the Rhumatism— I am sadly worry'd with it myself & am now scarcly able to sit in my chair I am in so much pain with it—
You will write me soon I hope as I wish to know what you would have sent to you by Barnard— give my Love to all my Cousins & accept the affectionate Love of your / grateful Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / octr 1– 1789.”
1. Washington's visit to Boston—and to the rest of New England—was a major event in the fall of 1789 and received extensive newspaper coverage throughout the country. Besides holding a procession featuring military units, merchants, tradesmen, and public officials, the city of Boston also built a colonnade and “triumphal arch” inscribed “To the Man who unites all hearts” to honor Washington and held various dinners in his honor. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 29 Oct., noted: “When an occasion presents itself, in which the People of the United States can testify to distinguished merit, their respect and esteem—they have never been known to let it pass unimproved.—What then were to be expected from them, when an opportunity offered of personally paying these tributes to a Man, in whose character, whatever is Great and Good—whatever dignifies and adorns human nature, are so happily united?” AA probably first read newspaper reports of the event in the New York Daily Advertiser, 31 Oct.; see AA to JA, 3 Nov., note 2, below.
For a full discussion of Washington's tour, see Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:163, note 3.
2. Mary Smith Cranch again questioned AA about this family in a letter of 20 Feb. 1791 (Adams Papers). At that time, she identified them as William Henry and Sarah Price Brown of Philadelphia, and indicated that Sarah Brown's death in Jan. or Feb. 1789 had precipitated a massive funeral led by Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0229

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-10-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I yesterday received your kind favour dated at Fairfield and am happy to find that you had advanced thus far with no greater inconvenience than Rocky Roads & a Blundering Servant I will take better care of his Horses than he appears to have done of his master, for the old Proverb was never more verified, what is every bodys buisness, is nobodys buisness, than in Roberts going of without your Bagage, but he was still more culpable, to leave a part of it at Kings Bridge when it was sent on to him. your shoes & Night cap were brought back by col Smith when he returnd Home. I presume the President will overtake you on the Road [as?] he sat of on Thursday. he went in his chariot alone, & his two [sec]retaries on horse back. you recollect what past the saturday Evening when you took leave of him. on Sunday he exprest himself anxious to mr Lear least he had not been sufficiently urgent with you to accompany him, & desired him to come out to you. mr Lear in replie observed that if he came out, it was probable that you would think yourself not at liberty to refuse, & that it might break in upon your own arrangments. he will I fancy send you an invitation to accompany him to portsmouth which I hope you will find it convenient to accept. I went in to Town on saturday & brought out miss custos, & in the afternoon mrs Washington & mr Nelson & Lewis came out and drank Tea with me.1 this morning mrs W sent out her Servant to request that the Family would come in and dine with her to day & this being the last concert, that we should go together to it this we comply with as you will readily suppose— col smith Major Butler mr King Webb, Platt, Lawrence &c are all gone to long Island on a grousing Party.2
our Family are better than for a week past. two days after you went away, George the footman was Seaized with a Plurisy Fever and that to so high a degree that I was obliged to have his bled Blisterd &C in the course of a few hours, but taking it immediatly, he is on the Recovery, but every person in the Family have had the Epidemick disorder which has so generally prevaild in a greater or lesser degree. as to small pox neither Louissa or John have had it, the dr says oweing to their being sick with this disorder, & that two disorders will not opperate at the Same time, but I fancy much more owing to the matters not being good.
{ 427 }
the last Post brought you a Letter from our Friend mr Hollis dated in june.3 he makes many complaints and is much Grieved at not having heard oftner from you, Sa[ys he], but on 2d thought I will inclose you the Letter that you may write to him. there is also a Letter from the dr in which he request to know what Quantity of cheese we shall want.4 perhaps you would like that made under your mothers care best. all the butter that can be procured from either place some of the Russet Apples the Pears—N york cannot shew the like—Hams &c
Charls is very steady to the office in the day and to his own Room in the Evening— my duty to mother Love to Brothers & sisters Nephews and Neices— Let me hear from you as often as you possibly can. I rejoice in the fine weather you have & hope Your journey will prove highly benificial to your Health. I wish that a visit from the President may tend to conciliate the minds of our Nothern countrymen & that they will lay asside all sedition & evil speaking. a peice signed a centinal in Edds paper of last week dated Philadelphia, but I believe written in Boston is worthy Notice,5 might be call'd Treason against the Government it is very seditious.
adieu yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
william says duty to Ganpa. want him to come home & go see the cows—
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mrs Adams to / John Adams / October 20th 1789.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Both Robert Lewis (1769–1829) and Thomas Nelson Jr., son of the late Gov. Thomas Nelson of Virginia, served as Washington's secretaries (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:397–398, 3:202).
2. Pierce Butler (1744–1822) was a U.S. senator from South Carolina. An Irishman, he had served as a major in the British Army before marrying the daughter of a South Carolina planter and settling there in 1771. He also represented the state in the Constitutional Convention (DAB).
Samuel B. Webb (1753–1807) served in the Continental Army as a secretary to George Washington among other posts, rising to the rank of brigadier general. After the war, he became a mercantile agent in New York City (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 5:876).
Richard Platt (1755–1830), Princeton 1773, worked as a broker in New York City and as treasurer of the Ohio Company (Colonial Collegians).
John Laurance (1750–1810) was a representative from New York. He had formerly served as judge advocate-general of the Continental Army from 1777 to 1782 and was a well-respected lawyer (DAB). See also AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 9 Aug., note 6, above.
3. Thomas Brand Hollis to JA, 6 June (Adams Papers).
4. Not found.
5. This article, “Centinel, Revived. No. XXX. To the People of the United States,” appeared in Benjamin Edes' Boston Gazette, 12 Oct.; it was originally published in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 10 September. The piece argued that “the establishment of a consolidated or national government, in a country of such immense extent as this . . . would necessarily be { 428 } destructive in so superlative a degree of that happy equality and diffusive ease with which the people of these United States have been hitherto so remarkably blessed.” It went on to suggest that the solution was not to dissolve the federal government but rather to amend “the new constitution in such manner as to make the general government of the United States a confederation of efficient republics—preserving to each every essential power of government, except what may be absolutely necessary to transfer to Congress, for the general regulation, and common defence of the whole union.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0230

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-10-23

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt—

Though we were all happy to see my honoured and revered Uncle again in his favorite Braintree, yet we were disapointed, greatly in not seeing you with him— we had indulged ourselves in the pleasing hope of meeting the sister the Aunt the Friend we all so greatly love and esteem. your presence would have enlivened our circle—and made many of the winter hours pass more cheerelly— we should have regreted the disapointment more if the season had not been too far advanced to make your return to New-York agreable. and we would not purchase pleasure at the price of your health and comfort—
There are great preparations makeing in Boston for the reception of the President— one plan was to erect a Colossal statue which should represent Genl. Washington—and all the people were to walk under it.
Was there ever any people who acted so inconsistently as some of ours do, to clamour and rave if there is a shaddow of power given their rulers and at the same time pay them homage in a manner that would disgrace the subjects of the Grand Turk—
Mr Brisler desired I would let you know, that he was determined to return to you—and would beg of you to secure him a room and bed room in French-Peters house which is in the road just below your house, the Coach man says they were not ingaged when he came away— he would be glad to have five or six cord of wood laid in for him—as he thinks it can be procured cheaper now than when he returns— he means to send his things round by Bearnad now, and go on with his wife as soon as possible— he wishes much to hear from you again before he goes—
Mama has been in Boston since Tuesday— Cousin Thomas has gone to town for her to day— Uncle, and Mr Wibird dined with my Father and me to day— they are now below feasting upon politics—The good Dr Tufts—I suppose was married yesterday—
{ 429 }
remember me kindly to all my Cousins—and be assured my dear Aunt that I am at all times your gratefully / affectionate and dutiful Neice
[signed] Lucy Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / New-York”; endorsed: “Lucy Cranch / october 23 1790”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0231

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-10-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I presume you have reachd Braintree before this day I hope the sight of your Friends and of your Farm has restored your Health and spirits. you did well to flee before the very sickly period Mr Maddison lies very ill at Philadelphia, & it is reported that the Speaker of the House died last week by the Bursting a Blood vessel in this Epidemick cold, which scarcly one escapes. I hope however the report may not be true, as I have not seen any mention of it in the papers.1 Count Moutier & family saild last week as silently as possible. no mention of them in the papers, or other notice taken every thing appears perfectly quiet & easy.2 Boston papers only are seditious I think from the complexion of some peices which I read in them the massachusetts is brewing mischief.
inclosed is a letter which I wish you to answer immediatly. I have received the fish in four Boxes & tried some of it, which proves very fine.3 one Box I have sent to mr Jay as a present from you. our Family is better than when I wrote you last, little John excepted who is very sick cutting his Eye teeth.
If Brisler is at Braintree would not you wish him to Bottle the sherry wine which we used part of, & pack it for this place. the other cask I would not remove.
I wish to hear from you and from the children. mrs Cranch wrote me that John was very unwell with his cold. it was taken here I believe, and he ought to be attentive to it. my affectionate Regards to all Friends from / Your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
1. This rumor was false. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the Speaker of the House, lived until 1801 (DAB).
2. The Comte de Moustier was unpopular as the French minister to the United States. James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson on 8 Dec. 1788 that “Moustier proves a most unlucky appointment. He is unsocial, proud and niggardly and betrays a sort of fastidiousness toward this country. He suffers also { 430 } from his illicit connection with Madame de Brehan which is universally known and offensive to American manners.” In France, Jefferson pressed for a change in ministers, which led to Moustier's departure in Oct. 1789 (Jefferson, Papers, 14:340–341, 520–522). Contrary to AA's comments, several of the New York newspapers included short pieces on his formal leave-taking; see, for example, Gazette of the United States, 14 Oct.; New York Journal, 15 Oct.; and New York Daily Gazette, 15 October.
3. On 30 Sept. Marston Watson of Marblehead wrote to JA on behalf of a “Fish Club of Gentlemen in this Town bearing Strong Sentiments of Esteem & respect for your private Character, and with all others of your Countrymen cannot but admire the lustre of your public Negociations while in Europe, & the more, as they feel Indebted for your good Service to their branch of business;—therefore hope that they may be Indulg'd to offer with Propriety, attendant on their Sincere Expressions of Gratitude, a few Quintals of their best Table fish” (Adams Papers). JA replied on 7 Nov., thanking Watson for the fish and reiterating his belief that “the Fisheries, are so essential to the Commerce and naval Power of this Nation, that it is astonishing that any one Citizen should ever have been found, indifferent about them” (Dft, Adams Papers). See also AA to JA, 1 May, note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0232

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-11-01

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

A strange phenomanan has happend in our Family. I believe I wrote you that Louissa and John were both innoculated for the small pox but neither of their arms shew'd any proofs after the 2d Day. Louissa was soon seizd with the cold & Fever which has so universally prevaild here. upon the 10 day John was very sick apparantly the symptoms of the small pox, but they lasted only one day on the 17 day the child had an inflamation in his Eyes a fever in his Head was sick and oppressd at his stomack, but not the least redness upon the arm. we had no apprehension that it was the small pox. on the 19 day he began to have a small Eruption upon his face, his symptoms went of & he has had the small pox finely about a hundred which have fill'd. Louissa has been innoculated from him, and from the appearance of the arm we think it has taken. I hope she will have it as favourable as the child. he could not have taken it in any other way as he was not out of the House, but why he should take it, & Louissa not, cannot be accounted for in any other way, than that two disorders would not operate at the same time.
I yesterday received a Letter from cousin Lucy of ocbr 25 one from Tommy & one from Sister Shaw—and Last week yours october 12 came to hand.1 I put into mr Adams's Trunk the cushion I promisd you. I should have sent it sooner, but hoped to have brought it. all the things on the Top belong to J Q A, as you will see. I wish you would send them to him, or let him know that you have them. when Brisler leaves the House I should be glad to have the things left inventoried, not that I fear loosing by the Family who are now there, { 431 } but for my own satisfaction. there was one thing which I forgot to mention. I have papers in the Escritore which I lent Mrs Bass. the key is on the Bunch with mrs Brisler I wish cousin Lucy to go & take them a way, put them in a draw or Trunk at the other House. I hope to come to Braintree in the course of an other year, and see all my dear Friends. I wish the dr much happiness with his Young wife, is she not young for him?— mrs Norten must have much satisfaction in the event, if she proves as I hope & doubt not she will a kind Aunt and an agreeable companion. I hope my dear sister has recoverd her spirits. none of us live without our anxieties, tho some are of a much more painfull kind than others.
How is our worthy uncle Quincy. mr Adams I dare say will visit him as often as he can I hope you will see our worthy President. he is much a favorite of mine I do assure you. tell mr Adams that mrs Washington Says she has a present for him when he returns. it is true she says it is of no great value, but she will not tell me what it is, nor let me see it till he returns. I told her I would be jealous but it did not provoke her to shew it me. we are at present all very well. Louissa innoculated the 2 time on thursday last I hope mr Adams will not put of his return so late as he talkd of when he sat out. the weather will be soon very cold and uncomfortable. remember me kindly to all my Friends. I am very bad about writing; not half as good as when I was in England. the reason is I have few subjects, few new objects, the men & women here are like the men & women else where, & if I was to meet a curious Character I should not venture to be free with it.
I wish to have our winter Apples pears Butter some cheese Bacon Tongus &c all from our own state & what I cannot get from the Farm I would get put up in Boston, such as Hams & Tongues I mentiond all these things to mr Adams but do not know that he will be attentive about them. any Letters which may be taken out of the post office addrest to the Vice Pressident of the united states, you may venture to open the covers of whether mr Adams, is with you or not for you may be sure that they come from Richmond Hill.
adieu my dear sister and believe me most affectionatly yours—
[signed] A Adams
mrs smith & master william magpye as I call him send duty—
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. Lucy Cranch to AA, 23 Oct., is above. The letters from TBA, Elizabeth Smith Shaw, and Mary Smith Cranch have not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-11-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I thank you for your kind Letter inclosing that from our Friend Hollis.1 The Influenza is here as general as it was at N. York.— Your youngest Son has been laid up with it at Mr Cranche's; but is better. Mr Wibird is confined with it, so that We had no Meeting. I have been to visit him: He is not very bad: but not fit to go out. My great Horse, had a Misfortune last night in the Stable, that he will not get over this fortnight. I am thankful that he is alive.
Mr Brisler is preparing his Goods to go by Bernard, who Sails on Wednesday, and will go with his Family next Week in the Stage.
I have Spent a Week in Boston which I have not done before these fifteen years. General Washington between Sam. Adams and John, The Fratrum dulce Par, mounted up to View in the Stone Chapell and in Concert Hall to be sure was a Spectacle for the Town of Boston. The Remarks were very Shrewd— Behold three Men, Said one, who can make a Revolution when they please. There, Said another are the three genuine Pivots of the Revolution. The first of these Observations is not I hope, so true as I fear the last is. of all the Pictures that ever were or ever will be taken this ought to be done with the greatest Care, and preserved in the best Place. But H.'s Creatures will cast a Damper upon that.
The Presidents Behaviour was in Character, and consequently charming to all. I write no Particulars, because the News papers will give you the details.— His Reception has been cordial and Splendid. His Journey will do much public good.
I Shall return, in the first Week in December, if not sooner, and bring Thomas with me.— You must be very prudent and cautious, of my Letters. Let them be seen by none, but the Family: for altho I shall write no harm there are Chemists who are very skilful in extracting evil out of Good.— I have Seen the new Mrs Tufts, and admire the Drs Taste. She is in appearance, a fine Woman.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr A Novbr / 1789 1”; docketed: “Copy Mr. J. Adams / 1789. 1.”
1. AA to JA, 20 Oct., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0234

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1789-11-01 - 1789-11-04

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Sister

The dull weather of Last week has prevented sister Shaw from making her visit or she would have been here mourning with me the absence of our dear sister. I hope she will be here on Teusday if she is not I fear she will not come this fall— She has already put it of too long—the fine weather is all over. Doctor Tufts has taken the advantage of it & brought home his wife as snug as can be— Mrs Quincy & Miss Nancy are going with us to make the wedding Visit this week. Mr Wibird is too unwell to preach to day has got I suppose the Washington cold— every body who was at the parade the Day the President enter'd Boston took a cold. People stood at the windows some of them Six hours, waiting for his arrival— Having got a good situation they were affraid to leave it least they should not be able to recover it again; The day was dreadful raw & uncomfortable Lucy & Miss Hazen are gone to weymouth to meeting & to see the Bride. Lucy has not yet seen her aunt but both of them have such colds they were not fit to go out— Here is your son Tom confin'd with it he has been threaten'd with the Rhumatism but I hope he will not be bad—
Mr Adams was here last evening & was well, I wish'd him to stay here but he was so busy picking out Books to send by Barnard that he could not. When Mr Brisler leaves him he will come— I am sorry too hear that cousin Louisia & the little Boy did not take the Small Pox it is a pity to have so much anxiety for nothing: but I hope the will do well yet
I have seen Ruth Ludden she says she shall not be eighteen till next fall— she will then come if you are not supply'd Mrs Feild is spining your thread
What is become of Betsy Crosby Miss Soper desir'd me to ask you to give me the true situation She is in if you had seen or known any thing of her1
The dull circle in which I move furnishes me with so little to intertain you with—that I find it difficult sometimes to muster up matter for a Letter—
Mr Brisler has felt a little diffident about returning without your further orders— he hopes he has not do[ne] wrong— I assur'd him you would be glad to recc[ommend] him if he was convinc'd that he could not do so [well?] in any other way
{ 434 }
I hope I shall receive a Letter from you before I close this. if I should I may add more than that.
I am with Love to all my Freinds your / affectionate Sister
Mary Cranch
Mr Cranch desires his Love may be presented
Novb. 4th
no Letters from you— We are all indisposed with colds but nobody quite sick— old mrs Thayer is here upon her mendicant visit She is in her ninety second year & can walk a mile or two yet. & has knit 5 pair of stockings with in five weeks three pair of which were for men!
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. For Elizabeth Anne Crosby, see vol. 5:187–188. Miss Soper was probably one of her maternal aunts (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 156).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0235

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-11-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I did not write to you by the last post. I was in hopes to have received a Letter from your and to have known from under your own Hand how your Health was. Tommy wrote me by your direction;1 and I heard by other Hands of your safe arrival and the News papers inform us that by desire of his Honour the Leiut Govenour you was in the procession to accompany the President to his Residence.2 there is a vile mischevious junto in Boston, but I shall lose the whole chain. the Printers have not sent on the papers Sinc you left here; pray order them continued. But now with regard to our own affairs Brisler sends me word that he proposes to return & bring on his Family, & I have engaged two Rooms for him in the House at the End of our Land, adjoing to the corn Feild which will be very near and convenient for him. I am not at all satisfied with the Hand I have with me and with Regard to the coachman, you will not confide in him further than you can see, him Brisler will tell you that with Liquors he cannot be trusted. I mention this least Brisler should be obliged to come away before you. the Porter which is in the cellar you will either have sent on, or dispose of as it will freeze, the red wine & any other you chuse you will direct Brisler to put on Board Barnard, 200 weight of cheese & all the Butter which can be procured. I hope you will conclude to return sooner than you talkd { 435 } of. the Trunk of cloaths which you had sent by Barnard you can leave without any inconvenience till Spring.
we have no News here except the expected return of the commissoners from Georgia who it seems have been very unsuccessfull, & concequently must expect many unfavourable reports with respect to them, some of which are already in circulation;3 the district court meet this day the Marshal is qualified and attends. the Rank & presidence was yesterday setled & the Marshal is to take Rank of the district Attorney.
our little John has had the small pox finely & is quite recoverd of it Louissa is innoculated from him— pray present my duty to your good mother Love affection where due. congratulation to our New married Friends, for me, and accept the affectionat Regard / of Your
[signed] A Adams
Suppose the horse cart Horse sled & one sadle which the dr has in his care & the Saw should be put on Board Barnard we shall find them very usefull
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / The vice President of the / united states / Braintree”; docketed: “Mrs Adams to / John Adams. / November 3rd 1789.”
1. Not found.
2. The New York Daily Advertiser, 31 Oct., reported, “a Correspondent observed with great pleasure the Vice-President in the Procession from the State House; who at the request of the Lieut. Governor proceeded with the Procession to the Residence of the President.”
3. In the fall of 1789, in an attempt to resolve land disputes between residents of the state of Georgia and the Creek Nation, George Washington sent commissioners to Rock Landing, Georgia, to open negotiations with the Creeks. The Creeks, however, pulled out of the discussions because of the commissioners' support for Georgian land claims, and the commissioners came back to New York without an agreement (Francis Paul Prucha, The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians, 2 vols., Lincoln, Neb., 1984, 1:54–55). A report of the commissioners' return appeared in the New York Daily Advertiser, 29 October.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0236

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1789-11-03

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I did not receive your Letter dated 25 untill sunday Evening which made it too late to write by the last post in replie to it.1 I do not know any thing that I wisht more for than to have past the winter at my own House for a summer situation this place is delightfull & the House convenient, and except its being Bleak and perhaps difficult of access in some parts of a severe winter, it is more to my mind than any place I ever lived in. in point of oeconomy it would be very advantageous to be able to live at Home part of the year and { 436 } the winter in particular. wood being the most expensive article here, Nut wood, What we call walnut is 7 dollors pr cord and oak cost me five brought to our door between 40 & 50 Cords of which we shall consume in a year, as we are obliged to keep six fires constantly, & occasionally more the hire of servants is an other very heavy article part of which we might spair at Braintree. our House we must keep & pay for—but I should wish if a recess of any length should take place again to spend it with my Friends at Braintree. my constant family is 18, ten of which make my own Family. both mrs Smith & I am disposed to accommodate as much as possible, but difficulties will arise with the best servants sometimes, & we can neither of us boast that all ours are of the best kind
I have a pretty good Housekeeper a tolerable footman a midling cook, an indifferent steward and a vixen of a House maid, but she has done much better laterly, since she finds that the housekeeper will be mistress below stairs. I wish Polly was in Braintree, and meant to have taken her with me if I had come, but I do not know what to say with regard to her suiting you. she is very far from being a Girl that will turn off work quick, her constitution has been ruined by former hardships, and she is very often laid up. she has not method or regularity with her buisness, all her buisness here is to make 4 or 5 beds, & clean round Rooms which are almost coverd with carpets, all the Brass is cleand by the footman she helps wash & Iron, but I have been obliged to hire when I have wanted more cleaning than that done in a day, and Every days work to pay 3 shilling a day for. I suppose I must keep her till spring, unless she should become more than usually quarelsome. with regard to drink I meet with no difficulty with her on that account, and she has an attention to my interest more than any servant I have besides, when mr Brisler is absent. she keeps no company, and is fond of the children, so that she has her good Qualities, for which I am ready to credit her.
I have written to mr Adams respecting the coachman who certainly is not to be trusted with keys of a cellar—2 he always slept in the stable and was never in the House but at meal times, or as a porter at the door when we had company to dine. he is a good coachman and that I believe is all— I hope mr Adams will return Sooner than he talks of, for I am sure when Brisler goes he cannot be well accommodated in his own House, and the Roads will every day be proving worse. 200wt cheese all the Butter from mothers my half from pratts is what I should like sent I should like a good Hog { 437 } or two, but pratts pork is not worth having, and I shall have some of my own here.
I think Brisler much in the right, both for me and himself. he will be better of than his master & may lay up more money, but what could he do at home to earn 200 Hard dollors. I think his Family may live very well upon one hundred. I have engaged 2 good Rooms for him for 32 dollors & a half his Wood I suppose will cost him 25 dollors, but suppose he only lays by 50 a year, tis more than he could do & mantain himself & family where he is.
I wrote to him by the last post,3 let him know if his Family can come on without him & mr Adams wishes him to stay with him, that they shall come here till he & his Things arrive— but he must be here by the Time that Barnard is to look after his things—
I wish mr Adams would return with the President, as I know he will be invited to, & let Tommy take his sulky & come on with that
my Love to mrs Norten, to cousin Lucy and all inquiring Friends. my most affectionate Regards to mr Cranch remember me to Mrs Palmers Family—
Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 1[5?] Oct., above, for which the final dateline is 25 October.
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0237

Author: Washington, Martha
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-11-04

Martha Washington to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam

I should have been very happy to have seen you yesterday.— and am truly sorry the bad day disapointd me of the plasure, your servant brought you kind favor yesterday while I was at dinner.1 he could not stay and the evening was so bad,— I have the plasure to ask you, how your self Mrs Smith Miss Smith and the little ones are to day, I intended yesterday after the sermon to bring the children out with me on a visit to you, but the weather prevented me—
I will my dear Madam—doe myself the pleasure to dine with you on satterday with my famly and shall be very happy with Geneal Knox—and the Laides,—mentioned or any others you plase
I am dear Madam with esteem your / affectionate Friend / and Hble Sr
[signed] M Washington
Our best wishes to Mrs Smith &ca
{ 438 }
RC (MHi:Waterston Autograph Coll.); addressed: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “Mrs Washington / Novbr 4 1789.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0238

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-11-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

Tis more than a month since you left Home, and except the few lines from Fairfield, I have not received a single Letter from you. I have written to you every week, and should have been very happy to have learnt from your own Hand that you was benefitted by your journey and that you was conveniently accommodated. I get only one Boston paper, so that I am in the dark with regard to the politicks of massa, save what is retaild here
mr Jay received Letters from mr Jefferson yesterday dated 5 August. he had not then received his Letters of recall.1 he writes very cautious with regard to the state of France, says that the disturbances had subsided in a great measure
The marshal is gone to serve a writt this morning upon a captain of a vessel who has defrawded the customs. it is the first which has been issued & it runs in the Name of the People— he thinks that there is a difficulty arising with respect to the prisons. a marshal is obliged to give Bonds and committ his prisoner to the Jails of the state & into the custody of officers over whom the Federal court has no controul who will bear him harmless if the Prisoner excapes?
The weather is remarkably fine I have got the chief of our winter wood, but at a most terible price the oak cost 32 6 pr cord, and walnut 50 it shall be the last time that I will be so taken in by dependance upon others. the Carman found he could not make money enough by getting it, and so would not stand to his agreement. if Barnard is not saild pray tell Brisler to Buy me 30 or 40 dozen of Eggs & put on Board. they have got them up to 1/6 pr dozen. Butter a shilling pr pound by the firkin. it really would have been worth while to have bought our vegetables in Boston, potatos particularly for they are at 3 shilling a Bushel by the Quantity Turnips at 1/6. malt is an other article, that I should have been glad to have had 6 Bushel of, but I fear I am too late for Barnard.
we are all well. mrs washington and Family dined with me last saturday together with General & mrs Knox and mrs Green.2
Duty and Love where due pray write by the Next post to your ever / affectionate
[signed] A Adams
{ 439 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “The Vice President / of the United States / <Braintree> / New York”; docketed: “Mrs Adams / to John Adams / Nov 10th 1789”; notation: “5: 8 / 5 8 / returned 10: 16.” This letter was originally mailed to Braintree then redirected back to New York.
1. For Thomas Jefferson's letter of 5 Aug. to John Jay, see Jefferson, Papers, 15:333–334. Jefferson first requested to be allowed to take a leave of absence from France to return to the United States in Nov. 1788. Jay sent him permission on 19 June 1789, which he received on 23 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 15:202–203).
2. Catharine Littlefield Greene (1753–1814), the widow of Gen. Nathanael Greene, had moved to New York City in the summer of 1789 to attempt to persuade Congress to settle her husband's war accounts (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 3:390–391).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0239

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1789-11-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received yours of Novbr 4. on thursday last.1 Brisler and his Family got here the same Day & are waiting the arrival of Barnard to go into their House. the President got home on fryday last, looks much fatigued with his jouney, and has beat out all his Horses. Brisler says the Roads are getting very bad, and that you will find it very tedious travelling in a few weeks pray take care that your little vehicle does not overset. I wrote you respecting Several articles which I supposed might come with Barnard, but my letters will be too late unless we venture them when he comes on again. Charls wants to have some cider sent, and I think half a dozen Barrels would not be amiss— I wish Brother would get me 20 or 30 dozen of Eggs put into Brand & send me when Barnard returns. we are all well cold excepted. I believe Louissa has the small pox. she has had Some symptoms, but no Eruption worth mentioning & not one that has fill'd. mrs Izard has lost her Baby with it.2 Richmond Hill has lost much of its Beauty Since you left us. the Trees are all stripd & look dreary but the prospect is Beautifull tho in Ruins.
Remember me affectionatly to all inquiring Friends and believe me most tenderly / and affectionatly / your
[signed] A Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “The Vice President / Of the United States / <Braintree> / New York”; docketed: “Mrs Adams / to John Adams / November 14th 1789”; notation: “<10> / 8 / returned 8 / 16.” This letter was originally mailed to Braintree then redirected back to New York.
1. JA to AA, [1] Nov., above.
2. William Izard, the son of Ralph and Alice DeLancey Izard, was born on 1 June and died in Nov. (SCHGM, 2:216 [July 1901]).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0240

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-11-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am impatient to return but partly on Account of my Son who wishes to Stay at Colledge as long as he can, and partly, on Account of my Books and other Things which I wish to get ready before I go, to be sent to N. Y. I fear I shall not see you these three Weeks. I should however break away if I were not necessitated to wait for my horse, whose Lameness is not wholly cured.
Excepting the Influenza which is universal our Relations and Friends are all very well.
The Accident to my horse, has been a vexatious Thing and has deprived me of half the Pleasure and half the Exercise I intended.—This Horse I am told here got cast in the Same stable last year.
My Farm I found as I expected—poor enough.
I live with my Mother and Brother. and We live like Princes, in great Luxury.— You knew my Mother. She has the Influenza, severely: but is very active.
The President is at Home eer now, no doubt.
Mr Brisler is arrived I hope without any Accident with his Family. This will be some Relief to Us, as it will take off, much care from your mind. I wish I could send Boys and Girls from hence, to supply all the Places in the House that you want filled.
There is a Calm a Silence and a Tranquility that is very remarkable in this Part of the Continent. May it be equal at the southward and long continue in both! i. e. may We be enabled to give Satisfaction to the Multitude of our Brethren1
1. This is the last letter exchanged between AA and JA until 24 Nov. 1792 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0241

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1789-11-15

Abigail Adams Smith to Elizabeth Cranch Norton

almost twelve months have elapsed since the date of your last letter,1 I am conscious that this chasm in our Correspondence my Dear Eliza has been my own fault and very often have I reprimanded myself for my inattention—in not having noticed your last kind Letter,—but many casualties have intervened to prevent me from writing, which I hope will gain me your favourable indulgence { 441 } for past ommisions when I promise future amendment,— perhas when your family has enlarged as much as mine you may be less surprized at my want of punctuallity, I have thought of you often since I had the pleasure of seeing you, and have frequently heard of your health with much pleasure
I am again blessed with the society of my own family and I consider it as amongst the happiest Events of my Life; early after my Father arrived here, he requested with earnestness that we would take up our abode with him,— the affection which has ever dictated all his actions towards me, was too deeply impressed upon my heart to permit me to hesitate to Comply with a request which would in any degree accommodate himself and family;— we therefore accepted his profered kindness, and have resided with his family ever since;— my youngest Son has just recovered from the small Pox, & Louisa has had it very favourably and is now recovering—
I Congratulate you upon the acquisition your family Circle has lately made—(in a small society the addition of one who is disposed to promote sociability; quallified to perform the Duties of friendship; and capable of contributing their part of those attentions which render Life valuable; and upon the agreeable performance of which, much of our happiness depends,) is almost inestimable, be pleased to present me respectfully to this new relation, and offer my Congratulations to the good Dr if you please upon his Marriage.
I wish I could bring you acquainted with my friends—in this part of the World—that you would be pleased with them I am very sure—for they possess more of the qualifications essential in the Characters of amiable Women and agreeable Companions—and as few of the defects as any Ladies—I have been acquainted with; they are very different and yet variously pleasing— the grave and the gay are very happily blended in their minds which they have Cultivated,—and well furnished, their dispositions are lively, but tempered with judgment,—and they are well quallified, to fill the various Stations of Life,—with dignity;— their early expectations were very flattering; but they were soon Initiated into the School of adversity,— they have not sunk under the presure of misfortunes,—but have risen superior—to its influence,—and have quallifed their minds to their present situation, which tho not so affluent as they once had a right to expect, is, yet very eligable— by the ravages of War, their Habitation was utterly destroyed, and their Lands laid desolate;—
I hope my Dear Cousin that you enjoy your health and preserve your spirits you must not permit them to be depressed, for I believe { 442 } that in almost every Situation which our imaginations have pictured as dangerous and distressing the reality falls short of our expectations, I cannot wish you more favour than I have received, that you may enjoy an equal degree is my earnest desire—
Colln Smith joins me in Compliments to Mr Norton, and all friends who may inquire after your / sincere well wisher, and friend—
[signed] A Smith—
RC (MHi:Christopher P. Cranch Papers); docketed: “Mrs. A Smith to <Miss E Cranch> / Mrs. Norton 1789.”
1. No letters from Elizabeth Cranch Norton to AA2 have been located.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0242

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1789-11-22

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

one would suppose that the waters between N york and Road Island had produced the same effect upon you, that the Poets feign of the River Lethe, not a Line, not a word from you since you quitted Richmond Hill. are you so wholy absorpd in the study of the Law of Nations as to forget those of Nature?
I have been very sorry since you left us that your visit was made just at the period it was. a few untoward circumstances combined to render it less agreeable to you than it would have proved since. I should not have consented to your leaving us, if I had thought I should not have follow'd in a few days but the season of the year in which I must have returnd, & the arrangments I must have made to have tarried only two months quite discouraged me. at the next adjournment I hope to come on and pass several Months at Braintree.
Since I saw you, you have had an illusterous visiter. I hope you was one of the Choir who so aptly Serenaded him, with “the Hero comes.” he was much gratified with the attention shewn him: I have it from his own Mouth. is it in Humane Nature to be otherways? he ought to be immortal, for who can ever fill his place— I ought to inform you that the day after you left us, you had an invitation to dine there.1 we live in a most friendly intercourse, & madam makes very few visits but those of ceremony when she does not request my Ladyship to accompany her and I have several appointments of that kind now on Hand Let not the Busy fiend envy propogate reports so basely false as that there is any coldness Subsisting between the Families— Massachusetts alone could be guilty of such baseness. I hope the presence of the Late visiter has banishd antifederialism
{ 443 }
I hope you have visited your Father since the misfortune of his Horse has prevented him from the excursion he intended.
Your Friends here desire to be rememberd to you and chide you for not writing. believe me most affectionatly / your &c
[signed] Abigail Adams
1. Two days later, on 24 Nov., George Washington invited AA to join him in his box at the theater. AA accepted the invitation and attended a production of The Toy; or, A Trip to Hampton Court, along with a number of other government officials and their wives (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:321–322).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0243

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1789-11-22

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear sir

I congratulate you and the Lady to whom you are united upon your Nuptials, and most sincerely wish you a renewall of all your former happiness, with corresponding dispositions, and inclinations. the domestick circle is alone capable of yealding satisfactions, which an intercourse with the word and all its amusements never can afford. in Buisness or in pleasure the participation of a dear Friend, makes more than half the enjoyment. there is a period of Life too, when neither buisness or pleasure can be persued with the ardour of Youth. then it is that we feel more sensibly the want of domestick tranquility and retirement. may your declining years my dear sir be as repleat with happiness as the visisitudes of Humane Life will permit, and when this transitory scene ends, may you meet the Reward of a good and Faithfull Servant
I wrote to you by my son sine which I have not heard from you.1 I have now to request you to procure for me 400 wt of Butter and to send it by Barnard. I have been dissapointed here, and it is so scarce and dear that I am sure I cannot now procure it. Barnard has orders to bring several hundred firkins, & I wish you to secure mine as soon as you receive this Letter, I also wish to have a Barrel of Beaf put up by Baldwin & a couple of dozen of Hams. mr W Smith will tell you who I mean if you are at any loss. there is also a sley to be sold for 8 dollors by packard who Lives with mr Black2 Mears has an other with harness for 11.3 I will thank you to see them both & to Buy one or the other & send by Barnard I must give ten pounds currency for one here, and we must have one, for to go to market in winter, living two miles from it, and never being able to Buy at our door the marketting all being carried into the city by water. if you { 444 } will be so good as to procure these things and send me the Bill by Barnard with an order for him to receive the money I will pay it to him the Horse cart & sled if not sold will amply repay us if we can get it here, as we cannot get a carman to come out of Town to bring any thing under four shillings.
Barnard is to sail this Day & will tarry not more than ten days after he arrives if he should be full the sley will be of more importance to us this winter than the cart. if one must be left I wish it may be that. the fruit which I have received this year was gatherd a month too soon, badly packd and is half ruind but, as I expected nothing better I am not so much dissapointed—
I hope I may be able to come home at the next adjournment of congress—
Present me affectionatly to my New Aunt to your son daughter and Neice to mr & mrs Norten and believe me my dear sir most affectionatly / your Neice
[signed] A Adams
RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); addressed by AA2: “Honble Cotton Tufts / Weymouth”; endorsed: “Mrs. Abigl. Adams / Lettr. Nov. 2d. 1789 / recd. the 29th.”; notation: “Hond by / Genl Lincoln.”
1. Possibly 5 Oct., above.
2. Probably Joshua Packard, who may have lived in the household of Moses Black (d. 1810) (Braintree Town Records, p. 621; Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 693).
3. Probably George Mears (Mearsh), a member of one of the original German families to move to Braintree in 1752 (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 59, 478).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0244

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-12-05

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

No, my dear Madam, I have not tasted of the waters of Lethe, nor have the Laws of Nature, been obliterated from my heart, by too close an attention to those of Nations. The reasons which have hitherto prevented me from writing since I left you, are various; but would not be very interesting in the detail, for which reason I shall, omit the unnecessary tediousness of a justification, and offer you a reparation instead of an apology.
I flattered myself long with the expectation of seeing my father in this Town; and until your Letter arrived, but two days ago; I never knew that his Horse had met with a misfortune; I am still ignorant of its nature; and did not abandon the hopes of seeing him, untill I was informed he had been gone a week on his return to New-York. My friends in this quarter are not even so liberal in their communications as I am to you; my brothers both seem to make it a point to { 445 } receive my letters with silent pleasure; and upon enquiring at thanksgiving time how Tom did, of one of his classmates; he answered that he then supposed him to be in New-York.
Two and twenty hours after I left you at Richmond-Hill, I landed at Newport, and the Thursday following arrived in Boston. I pass'd two or three days at Braintree; quite sick of what I then thought only a severe cold. I have since been induced to suppose it was the influenza. This disorder has since then been almost universal in this State; and I have been upbraided for singularity in enjoying good health, while all the world were more or less diseased. It has not however been fatal in any instance that has come to my knowledge in this neighbourhood.— When I say I have enjoyed good health, it must be understood as they say, with a grain of salt. The ancient quarrel between the powers of drowsiness and me has threatened to break out again; and a few nervous twitches have hinted to me the propriety of suffering no intermission in the article of exercise. I have scarcely been out of Newbury-Port, since my return from New-York; but I intend next week to spend a day or two at Haverhill. I was not one of the choir who welcomed the President to New-Englands shore, upon his arrival here by land. I was however in the procession, which was formed here to receive him, in humble imitation of the Capital. And when he left us, I was one of the respectable citizens (as our news-papers term them) who escorted him on horse-back to the lines of New-Hampshire.1
You, my dear madam, have abundant reason to know that your eldest son is not by any means destitute of that bubbling Passion called Vanity; and therefore you will excuse him, and allow a little parental indulgence, when he informs you of the petty honours which accrued to him in consequence of this same visit of the President; and you will make all the necessary allowances if he states facts, which are really true, in such a manner as shall exhibit him in the most advantageous light—and thus I begin.
I had the honour of paying my respects to the President, upon his arrival in this town, and he did me the honour to recollect that he had seen me a short time before, at New-York. I had the honour of spending part of the evening in his presence at Mr: Jackson's. I had the honour of breakfasting in the same room with him, the next morning at Mr: Dalton's. I had the honour of writing the billet which the major general of the County, sent him to inform him of the military arrangements he had made for his reception. And I had the honour of draughting an address, which with many alterations { 446 } and additions (commonly called amendments) was presented to him by the Town of Newbury-Port.2 So you see

“I bear my blushing honours thick upon me.”3

But as half the truth is often times a great falsehood I am constrained to account for these distinctions, in a manner, which I must honestly confess, defalcates considerably from the quantum of my importance. To the peculiar civility of Mr: Jackson and Mr: Dalton, I am indebted for having been thus admitted into the Company of the President. One of the major general's aid de camps, is my fellow student; he was then much hurried, with other business relating to the same occasion; and at his request I wrote the billet. Mr: Parsons was chosen by the Town to draught the address; and his indolence, was accommodated in shifting a part of the burthen upon his clerk: so that all my dignities have not been sufficient to elevate me above the insignificant station of a school-boy; in which character I still remain, your dutiful Son. But to turn from trifling, to a subject to me very serious, I must observe, that my own reflections upon the subject of the place of my future residence, are daily becoming more and more perplexing. You well know the objections which I have against Braintree, and I may safely appeal to your Judgment for their validity. my father's determined predilection, is the only circumstance that could give that place any claim to fixing me, under the present relative situation of my cousin Cranch and me.— Boston is strongly recommended to me by several of my friends, whose opinions in favour of the capital, are much more favourable than my own. Greater necessary expence, more necessary dissipation; and a more numerous competition for the favours of employment, are not circumstances, calculated to decide my preference. This town, while inhabited by the two most eminent barristers in the County, and an attorney, who though young is much respected, does not offer me a prospect in any manner alluring; though I should here enjoy the advantage of being more extensively known, than in any other part of the Commonwealth.— However I will postpone the full discussion of this matter till the appointment of our two Judges shall take place; after which I shall state my case fully to my father, and found my determination, upon his final opinion.4
I shall certainly write before long to my Sister; whose absence during so great a part of the Time, that I spent with you, is still a subject of much regret to me. My affection for her, and for all my friends at Richmond-Hill, I trust is not of that kind, which is { 447 } weakened by absence; and I hope they will all do me the justice to believe that my sins of omission, are not the result of insensibility. My Father and Coll: Smith, will please to accept of my dutiful and affectionate remembrance. Louisa will accept an apology, for what she has before this probably forgotten: that in the hurry with which I left Richmond-Hill, I forgot even to take my leave of her. Charles and Tom, I hope will devote a few leisure moments to fraternal correspondence; to which they may depend upon receiving punctual returns. William has doubtless forgotten his uncle Jack; who wishes very much to have a little more fun with him. John I suppose from your not mentioning him in your Letter has got well through the small-pox.— Your affectionate Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / New-York.”; docketed: “JQ Adams / Dec 5th 1789.”
1. Washington passed through Newburyport on 30 Oct., greeted by a parade and fireworks. He remained in town overnight and left for Portsmouth, N.H., the following morning “under the same escort which conducted him to this town, to which were added, a large number of military and other gentlemen of Newbury-port” (Newburyport Essex Journal, 4 Nov.).
2. JQA's draft “Address from Newbury-Port, To President Washington” welcomed Washington to Newburyport and expressed “sentiments of joy, resulting from principals perhaps less elevated but equally dear to their hearts; from the gratification of their affection in beholding personally among them, the friend, the benefactor, the father of his Country” (M/JQA/46, APM Reel 241). The final version, as printed in the Newburyport Essex Journal, 4 Nov., included several additional paragraphs. For Washington's reply, see Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:259–260.
3. Shakespeare, Henry the Eighth, Act III, scene ii, line 354.
4. JQA wrote to JA on 19 March 1790 outlining his various professional options and ultimately indicating his decision to move to Boston. He set up a law office there in August at the Adamses' Court Street house (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0245

Author: Washington, Martha
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-12-08

Martha Washington to Abigail Adams

Mrs. Washington presents her best compliments to Mrs. Adams, and will thank her to say at what hour it will be agreeable to visit Mrs. Graham's School tomorrow morning.—1 Mrs. Washington encloses Mrs. Graham's note,2 by which Mrs. Adams may see the time that will be most convenient for Mrs. Graham.— Mrs. Washington will be happy to hear that Mrs. Adams and her family are in good health.—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams— / Richmond Hill—”
1. In fall 1789, a Mrs. Graham began advertising “Boarding and Education for Young Ladies” at a school at 59 Maiden Lane, New York (New York Daily Advertiser, 26 Sept.). Martha Washington may have been seeking a school for her granddaughter, Eleanor Custis.
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0246

Author: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-12-12

Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams

Will My good and worthy friend Mrs. Adams, give Me leave to request her acceptance of a Small Tub of Butter? Such as we think very good, and I hope it will not come a miss, as we hear it is a Scarce Article in Newyork—
What think you dear Madam of the Match going on in Our family? do you think My Sister Nancy calculated for a Ministers Wife? a Mr.Packard of Marlborough is the selected PARSON.1
After offering My best regards to your fireside, I leave you My friend with the Same Sentiments of esteem I ever entertained for you when our intercourse was freer than it can be Now, Your at Such a remove from Me— I Now often wish you was Near enough for me to injoy in your Company what Gives Me delight, to think of— And what I again hope to injoy Tho' when our friends are Separated from us, it is Never Certain that they will Meet again—as the late Accounts from abroad of My only Brothers Death Convinces Me—2 the particulars of which have Not yet come to hand—
I fear I have tresspas'd upon your patiance & Shall only add that I am Sincerly your / Affectionate
[signed] H Storer
N— B— the Butter was put a board Barnard & directed to Gorge's care
1. Rev. Asa Packard (1758–1843), Harvard 1783, was called to the ministry at Marlborough and ordained there on 23 March 1785. He married Nancy Quincy in July 1790 (Charles Hudson, History of the Town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Boston, 1862, p. 200–202, 208).
2. Samuel Quincy, Hannah Storer's only surviving brother, died on 9 Aug. 1789 en route from the West Indies to Bristol, England (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:488).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0247

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1789-12-20

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

Yours of the 22d. I recd. on Sunday last, by Gen Lincoln— the several Articles You requested me to procure I shall collect as soon as possible— I have made Enquiry for Butter but have not met with any that is good a considerable Quantity has been sent to New York by a Vessel that saild a day or two past— It is somewhat doubtful whether I shall be able to buy the Hams already prepared, if not shall engage { 449 } them so as to send them in Season for Your use— Barnard is expected every moment
It was hinted to me by a Friend, that Governor. H——k considered himself as somewhat neglected by Mr. Adams; having invited Mr. A—— to dine with him (at a Time when He invited the President—) Mr. A. accepted the Invitation, but did not attend—& tho Mr. H. saw him afterwards, He made no Excuse nor did He send any Billet of Excuse—& it was further added that Mr. A. did not call on Him when He left the State— I have just mentiond this—not that I suppose it a Matter of the highest Consequence—but imagine that it must be a matter which if explaind, would remove all Suspicion, as well an Imputation of Neglect— I shall write further a few Days hence, have now only Time to say that I am with great Sincerity Yr. affect Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts
Beg the Favour of You to forward the Letter to Mrs. Rutgers—who is the Executr. of Dr. Crosbys Will—1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Tufts / December 20 / 1789.”
1. Dr. Ebenezer Crosby, Harvard 1777, was born in Braintree in 1753. A professor at and trustee of Columbia College, he died on 16 July 1788. Crosby had been married to Catharine Bedlow, daughter of Catharine Rutgers and William Bedlow; Mrs. Rutgers was probably a relative of Catharine Crosby's (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.; Ernest H. Crosby, The Rutgers Family of New York, N.Y., 1886, p. 11).
The postscript was written sideways in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0248

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1789-12-27

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

I have lived long in expectation of the pleasure of receiving a letter from my Dear Brother but at length I am reduced to despair; and am led to inquire what has prevented the fullfillment of a promise which you made at your departure upon my requesting you to write;— I hope you did not suppose that my absence during your visit arrose from any inattention towards yourself;— most certainly if I had had the least Idea of your leaving us so soon I should not have taken that time for my visit, it has been a scource of Chagrine to me eversince
Mamma received a letter from you last week which is the first line that any one of this family have received from you since you left us; we heard of your safe arrival through my Aunt Cranch, and we have since heard of you both from the President and Mr Dalton.
{ 450 }
upon the receipt of your Letter your Father said that he had Conversed with Mr Dana when he was at Cambridge upon the subject of your setting down in Boston, and that Mr D—— had advised to it, that he himself had Considered the subject and that he had no objection to your going to Boston, Mamma desired that he would write to you upon the subject and I suppose he will ere long,—but as it was a subject in which I knew you were much interested I thought I would mention it; as the earliest information is sometimes of some importance—, I am happy that your wishes upon this subject are answered, as I should think it a preferable situation, for Business to any Country Town, some might offer as an objection the Number who are pursueing the same objects, but a young Man of your abilities persevereance and industry need not fear of being placed in the Back Ground; most sincerely do I wish you success in your undertakeings; and pursuits, both Honourable, and profitable;— Charles is very attentive to his Office—and begins to like New York—, Thomas has been with us some time, but thinks he prefers Cambridge to New York,— as to News I donot hear of any except a Confirmation of the Account that North Carolina has adopted the Constitution,1 the Members of the Government are assembling daily and tomorrow night is the day they are to meet,
it is reported that Miss Thomson Mrs Gerrys Sister is soon to be Married to Mr Coles one of the Virginia representatives—a Widower with two Chrildren—2 Mr Jefferson has arrived in Virginia but not yet come to New York,— I suppose you have heard of the arrival of Mr Trumble, he has come to take a Number of portraits which may enable him to pursue his American peices but intends returning soon to England,—3 this is not the Country for him to paint for emolument, and we must acquire taste before his merits can be fully known
I hope I shall have the pleasure of receiving some testimony of your remembrance soon— if you have one favourite do not let that one Possess the whole of your Social Affection it will not diminish for one object by being extend to others— the President told Mamma that he was informed that her Son was more attentive to his Books than to the Ladies, perhaps you may think it the greatest Compliment that could have been paid you but I hope you will not rank inattention to your friends amongst the first of your good quallities
{ 451 }
Colln Smith desires to be remembered to you and William sends his Duty—
remember me to those who / inquire after your Sister
[signed] A Smith—
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr John Quincy Adams—”; endorsed: “My Sister. 27. Decr: 1789.” and “My Sister Decr: 27. 1789.”
1. On 21 Nov., the second North Carolina convention ratified the Constitution by a vote of 194 to 77 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 13:xlii).
2. Catherine Thompson (1769–1848), sister of Ann Thompson Gerry, married Isaac Coles (1747–1813) of Virginia on 2 Jan. 1790. Coles represented Virginia in Congress from 1789 to 1791 and again from 1793 to 1797. With his first wife, Eliza Lightfoot (d. 1781), he had two sons, as well as a daughter who died in infancy (vol. 7:141, 142; VMHB, 21:203 [April 1913]; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. John Trumbull remained in the United States until 1794; during that time, he painted numerous portraits and miniatures, including several for his historical series and three of JA (Theodore Sizer, The Works of Colonel John Trumbull: Artist of the American Revolution, rev. edn., New Haven, 1967, p. 7, 18).


The Adams Family, 1787–1789

2 April: William Steuben Smith, AA2 and WSS's first child, is born in London.
24 April: JA departs for Portsmouth with John Brown Cutting to attend a hearing for a man accused of counterfeiting American currency. JA returns to Grosvenor Square by 30 April.
24 April – 30 Aug.: Congress sends WSS on a diplomatic mission to Portugal. He travels by way of France and Spain and writes AA2 at least 23 letters over the course of the trip.
25 May: The Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia with a quorum of seven states.
25 May – 9 June: JA travels to the Netherlands with John Brown Cutting to salvage American credit there.
26 June – 11 July: Mary (Polly) Jefferson, accompanied by her family's slave Sally Hemings, arrives in London from Virginia. She remains under AA's care until she is escorted to Paris to join her father.
18 July: JQA and William Cranch graduate from Harvard College.
20 July – ca. 20 Aug.: AA, JA, and AA2, with her three-month-old son, William Steuben Smith, tour the county of Devonshire by way of Plymouth. Along the way, they visit Richard Cranch's family in Exeter.
21 July: CA and TBA arrive in Braintree to visit the Cranches.
25 July: CA leaves Braintree to visit the Shaws in Haverhill. TBA joins him on 1 August.
mid-Aug.: CA and TBA leave Haverhill to begin their junior and sophomore years, respectively, at Harvard.
27 Aug.: William Cranch begins his legal studies with Thomas Dawes in Boston.
3 or 10 Sept.: William Smith Jr., AA's brother, dies of “black jaundice.”
8 Sept.: JQA begins his legal studies with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport.
{ 462 }
17 Sept.: The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia adopts a new constitution and sends it to Congress for debate.
20–28 Sept.: Congress reads and debates the Constitution, then transmits it to the states for ratification.
26 Sept: Cotton Tufts purchases the Vassall-Borland estate on behalf of the Adamses. The farm, eventually known as the Old House, becomes JA and AA's permanent residence in Braintree (later Quincy).
Sept.: JA publishes the second volume of his A Defence of the Constitutions.
16 Oct.: Isaac Smith Sr., AA's uncle, dies.
ante 20 Oct.: JA, AA, and AA2 visit Thomas Brand Hollis at the Hyde for a week.
13 Nov.: John Thaxter Jr. marries Elizabeth Duncan of Haverhill.
29 Nov.: Following Thanksgiving dinner, a disturbance breaks out in the dining hall at Harvard, with students breaking windows and furniture. CA, a waiter in the hall, is punished for refusing to give evidence against his classmates and is dismissed from his job; TBA is also fined for participating.
18 Dec.: Jacob Norton is ordained at Weymouth, the first permanent minister there since the death of William Smith, AA's father.
9 Jan.: The Massachusetts state ratifying convention begins meeting in Boston; John Hancock is chosen president.
28 Jan. – 4 Feb.: CA and TBA visit JQA in Newburyport during part of their winter vacation.
6 Feb.: Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution by a vote of 187 to 168.
15 Feb.: Long-time Adams servants Esther Field and John Briesler marry in London.
20 Feb.: JA is granted a final audience with George III and formally takes his leave.
29 Feb. – 24/25 March: JA travels to the Netherlands to take leave of the stadholder and the States General. While there, at the request of Thomas Jefferson, he negotiates a fourth loan for the United States.
Feb.: JA publishes the third volume of his A Defence of the Constitutions.
ca. 20 March: AA2 and WSS leave London for Falmouth to sail to the United States on the ship Thyne. They embark for America on 5 April, sailing to New York via Halifax.
{ 463 }
30 March: AA and JA depart from London first to Portsmouth then to the Isle of Wight to board the Lucretia. The vessel finally sails for Boston on 20 April.
21 May: AA2 and WSS arrive in New York City and establish their residence at Beaver Hall, Jamaica, Long Island.
6 June: The General Court elects JA to represent Massachusetts at the last sitting of the Continental Congress, but he does not serve.
17 June: JA and AA arrive in Boston where they are greeted by Gov. John Hancock and other Massachusetts dignitaries.
20 June: JQA is reunited with his parents at Boston and Braintree. John and Elizabeth Smith Shaw join the family at Braintree on 25 June, and CA comes down from Cambridge the following day.
mid-Aug.: CA begins his senior year at Harvard. TBA begins his junior year.
20–30 Sept.: JQA goes to Haverhill to be nursed by his aunt Elizabeth Smith Shaw for an illness related to recurring insomnia.
9 Nov.: John Adams Smith, AA2 and WSS's second child, is born on Long Island.
12 Nov. – late Jan. 1789: AA visits New York to assist AA2 after the birth of John Adams Smith.
25 Jan. – 20 March: AA2 and WSS return with AA to Braintree for an extended visit with family and friends.
11 Feb.: Elizabeth Cranch marries Rev. Jacob Norton of Weymouth.
4 March: The First Federal Congress convenes in New York City.
6 April: The Senate attains a quorum. It proceeds to open and count the votes of the electoral college. George Washington is unanimously elected president; JA is elected vice president, receiving 34 out of 69 votes.
13 April: JA departs from Braintree to assume his new office in New York. He stops along the way for celebrations at Hartford and New Haven, among other towns, and reaches New York on 20 April.
30 April: George Washington takes the oath of office as the first president under the new Constitution; JA is sworn in as vice president.
ca. 13 May: JA rents Richmond Hill, an estate on the Hudson River about two miles outside of the city, to serve as the Adamses' home in New York.
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10 June: AA2, WSS, and their children move into Richmond Hill with JA.
17 June: AA leaves Braintree en route to New York, traveling via Rhode Island. She is accompanied by CA; her niece, Louisa Smith; and two servants. They arrive at New York on 25 June.
14 July: The storming of the Bastille marks the beginning of the French Revolution.
15 July: CA graduates from Harvard. He does not attend the commencement ceremony, however, as he has already moved to New York.
July–Sept.: CA studies law with Alexander Hamilton. After Hamilton is named secretary of the treasury, CA joins the law firm of John Laurance to complete his legal education; he remains there for two years.
7 Sept. – 14 Oct.: JQA leaves Newburyport and travels to New York to visit his family, arriving on 16 September. While in the city, he meets the president and attends sessions of Congress and the Supreme Court. JQA departs on 5 Oct., arriving back in Boston on the 8th and in Newburyport on the 14th.
26 Sept.: The Senate confirms Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state.
29 Sept.: The first session of Congress adjourns.
12 Oct. – late Nov.: JA visits Braintree.
15 Oct. – 13 Nov.: George Washington tours the New England states; on 24 Oct. he passes through Boston, where a procession is held in his honor. JA, TBA, and Lucy Cranch attend the festivities.
22 Oct.: Cotton Tufts Sr. marries Susanna Warner of Gloucester.
30 Oct.: JQA is part of the contingent welcoming Washington at Newburyport; the next day, he helps to escort Washington to the New Hampshire border.
12 Nov.: Esther and John Briesler and their children arrive in New York to work for the Adamses.
late Nov.: TBA visits his parents in New York; he stays until Jan. 1790.
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.