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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0020

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-05-20

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

Yours of July 19th which either did, or was to have come in Callihan last Fall, I did not receive 'till the 6th of March1—where it had lain, or where Peabody got it from I cannot tell—but this I know, I am glad I have it, for it is a valuable acquisition to me, as rich, & precious Treasure, as all my dear Sisters Letters are—
Your eldest Son made us a Visit of a few Days in March— He says he enjoys fine Health— He is much thiner than he was in Europe— But what he loses in Flesh, he gains in Beauty— He looks more, & more like his Mother— Upon my word, I know not a likelier Youth—He behaved in so modest, agreeable, & pleasing a manner, as if he wished to convince us that the only Error which we ever suggested to him, was intirly removed; as I presumed it would be, after a few more years had ripened his Judgment, & Experience had shewn that { 50 } the wisest, & best of Men differed greatly in their Opinions, & Ideas of Things, & that it was no easy matter to fix the exact point, where

“Error ended, or the Truth begun—”2

I had much rather see a youth tenacious of his own Sentiments, & Opinion, than appear as though he had none— The latter implies a stupid, dissolute, dissapated state of Mind, while the former indicates Thought, & Reflection— In the one, the Soil appears either weak, or polluted—while the other wants nothing but Time, & the gentle hand of Affection to prune the excresent Branches, to make it yield Fruit in abundance fair to the Eye, & rich to the Taste—
Your Son is possessed of one quality, which must forever endear him to his Friends—& that is a communicative, facetious Disposition— He appears to have nothing which he need wish to secrete, & therefore feels happy in communicating his Pleasures, & Amusements— How calm, how serene, must his retired Moments be— How very different when compared with the dark, artful, intriguing Youth, whose versatility, & duplicity, whose Artifice, & Flattery, simulation & disimulation render him the most fearful, suspicious, as well as the most uneasy Thing in Nature—
There was a Time, when I was very anxious for your young Hercules, lest his Heart might be subdued by One whom I knew his riper Judgment, could never approve—3 I knew she had the most brilliant Talents, & could assume the most enchanting manners, whenever she pleased for the purpose of Conquest— She often made me think of those Lines of Young—

“O how she rolls her charming Eyes in spite!

And looks delightfully with all her might

but too vain, & too volatile to fix with Choice,

“She conquers for the Triumph, not the Prize.”4

We were conversing together one Day, when he was boasting rather too much I thought of his own Security, against every female Charm, when I took occasion to tell him, I feared, that was a Rock which would endanger him— For when Persons thought the outworks safe it had not been an unusual thing for the Citidal to be conquered— This brought on a very confidential & interesting Conversation— He told me that while he was in Europe, he became acquainted with a young Lady of great delicacy, & merit—a Person { 51 } whose Character, & Manners nearly resembled his Cousin E——C——s, & that his heart almost became a Vassal to her many Virtues—that this early attachment had secured him against the Snares, & inroads of a less worthy Object— And though it was left to his Choice to return, or to pursue his Studies with her Father, yet he prefered the former, as the most compatible with his Plans, & future Prospects—5 I could not help looking upon the amiable Youth before me, with additional love, & respect— Sure (thought I) “Wisdom hath entered into thine Heart— Knowledge is pleasant unto thy Soul— Discretion hath preserved thee— & may Understanding still keep thee—”6
“Indeed my Aunt (said he) I know you have been concerned for me, but you need not have the least fearful Apprehension with regard to this Lady, for though I was exceedingly pleased at first, yet I have lived long enough with her to know her Principles, & see into the motives of her Conduct, & the Lord knows, she is not the Person who would engage my Affections—” So true it is, that

“Arts on the Mind, like paint upon the Face

Fright him that's worth your Love, from your embrace.”7

I assure you this tete a tete gave me great releif, for I had seen a Peice inscribed to Delia,8 & had critically observed each movement— But there appeared so much openness in his Countenance, & manner, as left me no room to doubt his Sincerity—
When he was here last he seemed to be very anxious & thoughtful what he should do with himself, & who he should Study with after Commencement— He seemed inclined to go to Worchester—But I told him that was because his Father had acquired his knowledge of the Law there— Times were altered— The Gentleman his Father had lived with, was not now there—& if he was, perhaps he would not prefer his living with him9 There were several Gentlemen he mentioned that we did not know— Judge Lincoln,10 & Mr Parsons of Newbury, Mr Shaw is personally acquainted with—& upon many accounts gave the preference to the latter—though they are both great Practitioners, & eminent in their Proffession—
The time will soon arrive when he will commence— He will not like many of his fellow students have his Proffession to chuse, for in that he has been determined for these many Years— And if application can make a Man distinguished, I presume, he will shine with { 52 } no inferior Lustre— The President has not grieved, nor vexed him with a Syllogism—but has conffered upon the honour of an English Oration—
Mr Shaw has three Pupils, who will take there Degrees this year— If my Health, & the health of my Family will permit, I am determined to go—And then the Sky-born Silk, which you kindly fancy I have some pretensions to, will be made up, & worn—
It is thought most for the honour of the Colledge to have a publick Commencement, though a very Economical One
I believe the Idea of performing before so crowded an Auditory, must have a very great Influence upon the Mind of an ambitious Youth—And it must be a mean spirited Fellow who does not feel its force, & double his Diligence—
If I had written half so much about any-other Person, but your own Son, I should feel ashamed to send it— But what Subject can be more pleasing to a Parent, than the Concerns of her dear Children—
I was greatly affected (as I presume you will be) at hearing of the Death of that Man God, the Revd Dr Gay—11
The very particular, & great Friendship which subsisted between him, & my Father, made him doubly dear to me— I was taught to love, & respect him from my earliest Infancy— I can remmember when I have stood by him, & sought to be noticed, as if I had believed a stroke over my Head, a Pat upon my Shoulder, & a Squeze of his hand would infuse some heavenly Virtue—
Never shall I forget his Visiting my Father in his last Sickness—when with Eyes full of Compassion, & tender Sympathy—with faultering Steps, & trembling accents, he approached the Bed, & said, “my Brother I did not expect you would get to heaven before me.”
Pity for the extreme Distress of our dear Parent, called up every tender emotion of his benevolent Soul, & stopped the Utterance—
He was not himself called to pass through such dire Conflicts—He had his wish, that he might wear, & not rust out—For he was preparing for the duties of the Day, & looking over his Notes, when he was called to go a Sabbath Days Journey—& I presume sweet was the Journey to the Sky, which this wondering Prophet took—for—

“Sweetly he lay his fainting head,

Upon his Maker's Breast,

His Maker kissed his Soul away

And laid his Flesh to rest—”12

{ 53 }
I have received yours of Jan. 20th, & March 10th13
O my Sister! what shall I say to you for your repeated acts of kindness— what return can I make— It is written that it is more blessed to give, than to receive— I believe you think it is or you would not be so continually pouring your Favours upon us—
Betesy Quincy sends her Duty, & thinks the Silk you sent her will make her a nice sam,14 & afterwards do for a Skirt— As to poor WSS he almost fainted away, he was so elated with the Sight of his Books— He did not sleep till late, & was awake at break of Day—They are excellent Books & well calculated to pour the fresh Instruction over the Mind—
Mr Shaw is very much dissappointed at not receiving his from Mr Adams—Since by what you wrote, there was one intended for him—& the Subject upon which it treats, never could have been published at a Time, when there appeared a greater necessity for something of the kind—15
I never knew greater Electioneering than has been this year—A new Governor—a new Senate—new Representatives— Mr Osgood is chosen to represent H——ll—in the room of Capt Marsh—16
The way to creep into Office at this day is to declaim loudly against a Republican Government—against Salaries—Inferior Courts—Lawyers—& to extoll a paper Currency— This will gain them whole Sheets of Votes—Yes! & in Letters of Gold too—
When I consider of the Motives which have procured many the Suffrages of their Constitutents, & see them taken from among the lowest of the People—I blush, & am ashamed for my Countrymen—The reins of Government must e'er long be drawn closer, & they are preparing for themselves Whips, & Scorpions—
Mr Sparhawk (I believe) must be disconcerted at the Interview you mentioned— Truth may do good, though it is unpleasing to the Ear— It was most certainly a Bow, shot at a Venture—17
I find you entertain the same opinion which we do of Mr Blodget, that is, that he is a queer Creature—I miss him—for he used to be very good to us—
He is a sensible Man, of an Inquisitive turn, & has benevolence enough to wish to apply, & improve his knowledge, for the benefit of Mankind— You may tell him his family are all well if you please, & that his Wife is as well as she was when she lived at Andover but very gloomy—18
So then my dear Neice is like to make me a great Aunt— I have written to her twice since I have had a line from her—19 she is { 54 } cumbered about many things, I suppose— But what a young, blooming Grandmamma you will be— I shall want to look in upon you now more than ever—
My Prayer is, that all may be well—that Peace—Health—& Plenty may ever smile arround, & lighten your Habitation—
I shall not make my usual Visit this Spring— There has been a Disorder among us for these two months past which has struck a dread upon me little less than the Plague—I mean the Throat Distemper— At first it proved very mortal among us, baffling all the Skill of the Phisician—but for this fortnight, there has not any died in the Parish—
It is a most distressing Disorder— Betsy Quincy has been sick with it— But Providence has dealt very favourably with her— She looks finely within a Week—& I cannot but hope that mercy's healing balm is sent down, & that “his rough wind is staid—”20
We have all had something of it, but are better now— Mr Shaw has had a great Task lately—enough upon his head—heart—& hands—for you must think, it must be very grievous to him, to see the Lambs of his Flock cut down—
This Sickness has prevented my writing, & I fear I shall not have an Oppertunity to send this Letter 'till Mr Shaw goes to Election— I shall not dare to leave home, while this Distemper is among us—
And 'till you My dear Sister return more than half the pleasure of my Visit there, will be wanting, to / Your truly Affectionate Sister
[signed] Eliza Shaw—
PS Mr Allen, & Mrs Allen are well—for pities sake, hasten the Christening Cap as soon as possible—
W S Shaw desires I would tell you, that he is very sorry he cannot send you a Cocks Tail— He had a very beautiful white One—but having a dispute with a Neigbours They concluded to decide the matter with the point of the Bill, & Spur— The Contest was long, & furious—& returned crowing with Pride—but vexed to see another Competior in his own yard—fell with redoubled fury upon him— His strength was almost exhausted in the former Combat, having lost an Eye, & his Tail, he fell now a Victim to his insolence, & Pride—
Mr Shaw begs your acceptance of his respectful Love, & a Sermon of Mr Shutes upon the Death of Dr Gay—21
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by AA2: “Mrs. Eliza Shaw May 20th / 1787.”
{ 55 }
1. Vol. 7:263–266.
2. Perhaps a paraphrase of The Intriguing Coxcomb; or, The Secret History of Sir Edmund Godfrey, 2 vols., London, 1759, 1:26: “Where experience begins there error ends.”
3. Shaw here refers to Anna (Nancy) Hazen who had boarded with the Shaw family for one year. For JQA's relationship with her, see vol. 7:165, note 4, and JQA, Diary, vols. 1 and 2, passim.
4. “O how she rolls her charming eyes in spite! / And looks delightfully with all her might! / But, like our heroes, much more brave than wise, / She conquers for the triumph, not the prize” (Edward Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. Satire V. On Women, lines 39–42).
5. For Anna (Nancy) Dumas, daughter of C. W. F. Dumas, see vol. 4:356, note 2; 7:155, note 4.
6. Proverbs, 2:10–11.
7. Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. Satire V. On Women, lines 559–560.
8. In Haverhill on 12 Dec. 1785, JQA wrote the 52-line “An Epistle to Delia” as he struggled to accept that he would not have a romantic relationship with Nancy Hazen: “Let Poets boast in smooth and labor'd strains / Of unfelt Passions and pretended pains / To my rude numbers, Delia now attend, / Nor view me, as a Lover, but a Friend” (M/JQA/28, APM Reel 223, p. 3–5, lines 1–4; JQA, Diary, 2:96).
9. JA read law with James Putnam of Worcester, Mass., from Aug. 1756 to Oct. 1758. Putnam, a loyalist, left for England in 1779 and in 1784 moved to New Brunswick where he was appointed senior judge and member of the Council. He died at St. John in 1789. JA wrote in his Autobiography that Putnam “treated me with Civility and Kindness,” though in his Diary he wrote that his teacher “thought me incapable of Gallantry and Intrigue.” Putnam neglected to present JA to the bar before JA departed Worcester, an apparent oversight that embarrassed the young lawyer when he attempted to begin work in Boston without proper credentials (JA, Earliest Diary, p. 10, 92, note 5; JA, D&A, 1:56, 58–59, 88, 3:270; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:57–64).
10. Levi Lincoln (1749–1820) of Worcester was an attorney and probate judge from 1777 to 1781. In 1781, along with other members of the Massachusetts bar, he argued three landmark cases that abolished slavery in the state (DAB).
11. Rev. Ebenezer Gay died at Hingham on 18 March (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 6:64).
12. Isaac Watts, “The Presence of God Worth Dying for; or, The Death of Moses,” lines 25–28.
13. Vol. 7:452–454 and 10 March, above.
14. Possibly a sham, a false outer garment of fine quality to be worn over a plain one (OED).
15. AA's letter to Shaw of 20 Jan. notes that JA had sent John Shaw a copy of the Defence of the Const. (vol. 7:453).
16. Isaac Osgood (1724–1791), a Haverhill merchant and distiller with investments in Penobscot lands, was chosen as representative from Haverhill in the 1787 May elections. He replaced Capt. Nathaniel Marsh (1739–1815), a veteran of the Revolution whose company had escorted Gen. John Burgoyne and the Convention Army from Saratoga to Cambridge (Boston American Herald, 4 June; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 267; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:472–473; Genealogy of the Family of George Marsh, Leominster, Mass., 1887, p. 27).
17. See AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 21 Nov. 1786, vol. 7:391–392, 393, note 1, for Nathaniel Sparhawk's meeting with JA and his business dealings. The quote here paraphrases 1 Kings, 22:34, and 2 Chronicles, 18:33: “And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness.”
18. Hannah White (b. 1726) of Haverhill married the merchant Samuel Blodget in 1748 (Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1911, 1:34, 2:310). See also vol. 7:392–393.
19. 4 June and 27 Nov. 1786 (vol. 7:213–216, 402–405).
20. Isaiah, 27:8.
21. Rev. Daniel Shute (1722–1802) of Malden, Harvard 1743, was minister to the Second Congregational Church of Hingham. His sermon, entitled A Sermon, Delivered at the Meeting-House in the First Parish in Hingham, March 23, 1787 at the Interment of the Rev. Ebenezer Gay, Salem, 1787, was published at the request of the First Congregational Church of Hingham, Gay's former parish (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 11:304–309).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0021

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-05-21

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Con.

I recd. your several Letters of Jany. 24. Feby. 8t & March the 10th. by Cushing, Barnard & Scott who all arrived in the latter End of April.1 Before the Receipt of Mr. Adams Letter I had purchased the Half of the House & Land occupied by Belcher at £70— although it appeared to me to be dear— yet as it stood connected with your Land and the other half of yr. Building would go to Ruin unless something was speedily done to prevent it by Repairs to the other and further if you should hereafter be disposed to divide the Farm and lease it out to Two Tenants, as well the having a Place under your Command so near you, which if People disagreable to you should live therein, would be very troublesome, were preponderateg. motives to purchase it even at a high Price—2 Belcher remains in one half for which he gives with a small Garden Spot 11 Dollrs./Year Turner in the other half of the House with the like Pervilege gives 11 Dolrs. also—3 5 acres remain to be imporoved in Common with the Farm so that after the Expence of some Repairs which I am now making, & are indispensably necessary, it will yield a Profit little short of £6 per Ct if not exceed it— Mr. Willm. Vesey the other Day offered me his House & Land adjoyning yr. Farm—said that Mr. Adams engaged him to give him the Refusal of it, that as he was determined to sell he accordingly had applied to me on yr Behalf— he said he could have had formerly £300— but his present Price I could not obtain, but seemed to be desirous that I should write to you on the Subject and I assured him I would— You will therefore return me an Answer— As you have as much Land as can be managed with Advantage unless of a better Quality—I was doubtful whether you would wish to purchase it—more especially if you should have in Contemplation Borlands House & Farm— I believe it is now at your Service if you incline to purchase, as the late occupants Time & Attention is so fully taken up at New York in writing Comedies for which he is become famous, that whether Creditors or Collectors attach his Windmill, make distreint on the Stock of the Farm or the materials provided for Repairs of the Fences & Buildings or who purchases the Farm out of his Hands, cannot be an object of equal Importance as that of acquiring the Fame of a Writer of Comedies and the receiving the Claps of Applause & Acclamations of a crowded Stage—
{ 57 }
The Buildings on this Place are much out of Repair— it will not probably fetch so much by several Hundreds, partly for that Reason and partly on Acctt. of the Scarcity of Specie as it would have done several years past—
I have purchased between 3 & 4000 Dollr. of Appletons Loan Office Notes and shall as Opportunity presents, proceed further—these stand in about 2s/5d per £ Consolidated Notes of this State are sold @ 4s/ per £ the Interest upon their nominal Sum has generally realized about 10s/ in the Pound that is to say a Note of £100— which you buy for £20— produces an Interest of £6— this paid in orders, those sold will at present average 10s/ per £ wch. makes £3— for the £6—4
I am not surprized at yr. Loss of 50 or 60 Guineas by a certain Cape Gentleman, whose Character ever appeared to me problematical you may recollect, in some former Letter— my Queries respecting him I wish you may not suffer similar Losses by your Advancements for particular Persons and for public Uses—That for public Papers which you refer to will not probably be paid by the Lt. G——r till you return— I shall however drive the Matter— Believe me I cannot write on these matters without feeling an Indignation at my Countrymen— But to proceed— Mr. Adams order is sent forward to The Honl Mr. Mc. Kean and will I trust be duly honoured— this I committed to Stephen Gorham Esq. who is gone to Philadelphia; to him also I committed an Acctt. against Willm. Barrells Estate together with Stephen Collins Admr. on Barrells Estate Acctt. against Mr Adams which was transmitted by Collins to Un. Smith—who will adjust the same and pay a small Ballance due to Barrells Estate—5 The Goods you sent by Cushing—were prohibited Articles I.E. the Porter & Cheese, the former might be drank here, as we do not make Beer sufficient, but the latter we must consider as not eatable here without some little Degree of remorse— we had much trouble to prevent these being sent back to England— However we finally got them landed, paying former Duties— The Cheese will make but an awkward appearance at Commencement— probably your Friends will do your Farm the Honour of gracing the Board—with some of its last years Production, which I hope will vie with any made in Europe— Since the last Impost Act, All Articles brought in the Captains Chests or otherwise must be entered and they are inspected—6 if you have any Articles to send, other than some small Book, Pamphlet or Packet—they had better be put up in a Box & consigned as it makes great Difficulty in entring at the Impost office— The { 58 } Officers permitted the Volumes sent by Mr Adams to be received Duty free— these have a very considerable Run—& are spoke off with great Praise & will I hope be a Word in Season to our Countrymen—in them they may read their own Fate— I wish you to send yr Bror. Shaw one of those Publications— as I percieve it was yr. Intention, altho omitted in Mr. Adams List, of Distribution—and I have so disposed of the whole of them—as not to leave One for him— in my Letter to Mr. Adams I have given him an Acctt. of my Procceedings with respect to them— the 80— Vols. disposed of will neat 10s/ Lawfmoney per Vol—
Our public affairs remain yet critical, although the Rebels in Arms, have in great Numbers been taken, their Forces broke to Pieces and their Leaders driven out of the State, yet they have found an Asylum in the out Skirts of New York, Vermont & Connecticut— Shays, Days & other their principal officers fled to Canada, they are said to have returned— 700 or 800 are mustering from their lurking Places & will probably make some onset— their Object We are informed is to rescue those who are condemned— Great Numbers have been tried 12 or 15 in Worcester Hampshire & Berkshire have been convicted of capital Crimes 4 or 5 only are under Sentence of Death, the Rest are pardoned. We have had for some Time past 1000 Men in Service stationed in those Counties, their Enlistments will expire in Six Weeks or two Months7 Much depends on the next General Court I might have said—every Thing— The People have in great Number of Towns given unequivocal Proof of their Disapprobation of the late Measures of Government— They have elected More late County Conventioners—fomentors of the late Rebellion—others Advocates for Tender Acts & Paper Money & for paying off public Securities at the going Price (, which is a very popular Matter) others declaimers against Lawyers, against Government and every thing that is good & great— There are however a Number of very respectable Characters chosen from diverse Towns— If Time permits I will write further a few Days hence [In] the mean Time Am with Affection Yrs.
[signed] C Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Abigail Adams / Grovesnor Square / London—”; internal address: “Mrs. Abig. Ad[ams]”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts 21 May / 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. For AA's letter to Cotton Tufts of 24 Jan., see vol. 7:454–455. The 10 March letter is above, but the 8 Feb. letter has not been found.
2. JA, in a 15 Jan. letter, instructed Tufts not to pay more than fifty pounds sterling for the Belcher property (Adams Papers).
3. John Turner served JA as a servant in 1777 and later advertised as a stocking weaver. Turner had resided in the Belcher { 59 } house since 1785 (vol. 2:304, 341, 6:87). See also vol. 7:144, note 1.
4. From 1777 to 1787, AA and JA purchased steeply discounted state bonds in several lots with a total face value of $8,000. JA opposed bond speculation on principle because he believed that it deflected capital from agriculture, manufacturing, and trade, but he acquiesced to AA's desire to enter the market. The investment paid off handsomely, yielding a profit of more than 400 percent when Congress funded state and federal debts in 1790 (Woody Holton, “Did Democracy Cause the Recession That Led to the Constitution?” JAH, 92:457–460 [Sept. 2005]).
5. William Barrell was a New England merchant who operated a store in Philadelphia from 1774 until his death in 1776. JA's debt probably dated to 1774 and 1775 when he charged goods in Barrell's store during his service in the Continental Congress. The administration of the Barrell estate by Stephen Collins, a Quaker merchant of Philadelphia, was much complicated by the war and took more than a decade to complete (JA, D&A, 2:121, 170, 171; Winthrop Sargent, “Letters of John Andrews, Esq., of Boston,” MHS, MHS, Procs., 8:318–319 [1864–1865]; vol. 1:238).
6. “An Act to Raise a Public Revenue by Impost” required that captains and commanders report the contents of their vessels immediately upon arriving at their ports of destination. The act, which went into effect on 1 Jan. 1787, also provided for the search of vessels thought to contain contraband or smuggled goods (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 117–130).
7. The previous sentence was written in the margin and marked for insertion here.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0022

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-05-24

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] My dear Bror.

I herewith send you the News-Papers by which you will see the state of our publick proceedings.1 Our most excellent Governor Mr. Bowdoin is to be left out this Year—Mr Hancock will doubtless succeed him. Strenuous efforts have been made at the present Election to get a Genl. Court that will suit the minds of the Insurgents and their Friends—Many good Men, however, will be chosen into both Branches, who will, I hope, stem the Current in some degree and support in some measure the Dignity of Government. Our excellent Friend Doctr. Tufts is one of them. I am left out—the ostensible reason is my belonging to the Court of Com: Pleas, which Court the Populace want to have abolished, and many People now pretend that it is inconsistant with the spirit of the Constitution that any Justice of that Court should have a Seat in the Legislative Body or Council, and they are generally left out this year. The following Gentlemen who are Justices of that Court and were of the Senate and Council last year are not chosen this year. Vizt: Spooner & Durfee from Bristol County; Gill, Ward & Baker from Worcester; Prescot and Fuller from Middlesex; Holton and S: Philips junr. (the late President of Senate) from Essex; Freeman from Barnstable; Wells from York; Cranch &c.2
Your most excellent Book (for one of which I thank you) is eagarly read by Gentlemen of all the learned Professions here. It { 60 } came to America at a very critical Moment just before the Meeting of the grand Convention at Philadelphia for revising and amending the Confederation, when the Subject matter of your Book will naturally be much talked of, and attended to by many of the greatest States-men from all parts of the United States. I have my self conversed with many Gentlemen here of the first Rank for Learning and Abilities, who, after reading your Book with great attention, gave it as their Opinion that you have supported your System of the Ballance in a most masterly manner. I find that the Litterati themselves are amazed at the vastness of your Reading on the Subject of Legislation and Government, from which you have been enabled so fully to bring your Theory to the Test of historical Facts, and to shew that the Continuance and Steadiness of every free Government, of any large extent, has been and must be in a just Proportion to the Perfection or Imperfection of that Ballance between the Powers of Government which you have so clearly and fully pointed out.
The Young Gentlemen of the Class who are to take their Degree next Commencement have petitioned for a private Commencement on account of the present Difficulty of raising money enough to defray the necessary charges of their Education, but their Petition was rejected so far as respected a private Commencement. The Corporation and Overseers Ordered, however, that the greatest œconomy should be observed, so as to save all needless Expences on that Occasion. It was Ordered that no [families] should give any Entertainment out of Colledge un[less the] Parents lived in Cambridge—that a cold Collation in a frugal Stile at their Chambers should be all that should be provided on that Occasion—That no new Suits of Clothes should be procured for that Day, but that the Schollars should all appear in their Black Gowns—That three Dollars of the Sum formerly paid towards the publick Dinner by each Schollar who took his Degree, should be remitted this Year &c. I suppose the Class will be satisfied with those Regulations. I hear that your very worthy and amiable Son is to deliver an English Oration on that Day; And my Son is to bear a part in a publick Conference on the necessity of having three independant Powers in Government, each having a negative on the others.— Please to present my best Regards to your most amiable Friend, and to Col: Smith and his Lady. I am with Sentiments of the highest Esteem your obliged and affectionate Brother—
[signed] Richard Cranch
{ 61 }
We are all well in the several connected Families, and earnestly wish to see you safely returned to Braintree again, of which your late Letters give us the pleasing Prospect.
Mrs. Cranch wrote to Sister Adams by Capt. Barnard who sailed on Monday [last].3
P:S. Since writing the [above] I find Mrs. Cranch's Letter, (which was given to the Pilot by Uncle Smith after the Ship was gone down) came back again rumpled and dirty as you will see, and I have now enclosed it in the Pacquet.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. / Grosvenor Square / Westminster.”; endorsed: “Mr Cranch. 24 / may. 1787—” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The results of the statewide election were not official until 30 May and not published in complete form until they appeared in the Massachusetts Gazette, 1 June. The Boston American Herald, 9 and 16 April, and Worcester Magazine, 24 May, however, reported scattered results that showed John Hancock far ahead of James Bowdoin in the race for governor.
2. Walter Spooner (1720–1803) of Dartmouth, Thomas Durfee (1721–1796) of Freetown, Moses Gill (1734–1800) of Princeton, Artemas Ward (1727–1800) of Shrewsbury, Samuel Baker (1722–1795) of Bolton, James Prescott (1721–1800) of Groton, Abraham Fuller (1720–1794) of Newton, Samuel Holton (1738–1816) of Danvers, Samuel Phillips Jr. (1752–1802) of Andover, Solomon Freeman (1733–1808) of Harwich, Nathaniel Wells (1740–1816) of Wells (now Maine), and Cranch served their respective counties as senators in the 1786–1787 session but were not put forward in the 30 May elections (Massachusetts Spy, 1 June 1786; Charlestown, Mass., American Recorder, 2 June; Massachusetts Gazette, 1 June 1787; John A. Schutz, Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691–1780: A Biographical Dictionary, Boston, 1997).
3. Mary Smith Cranch to AA, April 22, above, which Cranch did not complete until 20 May, but see also Cranch to AA, 27 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0023

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-05-27

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I went to Boston yesterday & had the mortification to find my Letters did not go by Barnard or Davis although they had been on Board each of them. they got to town just as the vessels were sailing. Knox the Pilot took them as he was going on Board, & promiss'd to deliver them to the captain, but forgot it So after wearing them in His Pockit four or five days he return'd them as dirty as I suppose you will recieve them.1 captain Scot Who now has them, is to sail this day & although a week after the others he may arrive first— I had been uncommonly busy about the time I wrote my Letters or I Should not have been so late with them: I wanted to write { 62 } much more & keept them back hopeing to have done it. I will not be so foolish again
I have receiv'd the shirts for your eldest son, & the Linnen & cambrick for the others. the latter came as snug as could be nobody was the wiser for it. I Thank you my dear sister for your Present to my son. He sends his Duty & his thanks also— I saw cousin Charles yesterday in Boston he was well, & said his Brothers were too. There was a Publick exhibition at the end of the last term, the day before the spring vacation. your son JQA had a conference with two others upon this Question: which was the most benificial to mankind Law, Physic or Divinity? JQA mantaind the usefulness of Law. they all did well. your son was greatly applauded, both for the manner & matter, as also for the composition2 There were a number who presented Pieces to the gentlemen who were met that Day to inquire into the state of the college— Billy present'd a calculation of a Transit of Venus which is to take place some years hence & was so happy as to find that it agree'd within a few seconds with the calculations of some celebrated Astronomers.3 It was a labourious work for the Head—but he got himself honour by it.
June 10th.
We have had a great bustle in Braintree about our Representitive The two upper Parishs are Plague'd with a number of People unfriendly to goverment. Steven Penneman & captain Vintin set up in oppositition to Coll. Thayer who appear'd firm last year in supporting it for which reason he had the vote of every Friend of it, & got his Election by a majoraty of 12 this so nettle'd & dissapointe'd that party that they got the select men who by the way are every one of their side, to call a Town meeting, which they did in so private a way warning the People of a Sunday for the next day, & warning only such as they knew would answer their purpose that the meeting was over several days before the greatest part of the Town knew there had been one. In this meeting they agree'd to Petition the court to exclude coll Thayer from a seat in the House for the reasons set forth in the Petition some of which were, That many voted who were not qualified, some put in more votes than one & some whole handfulls. The great schoolar Faxen drew this wonderfull Instrument which for spelling grammer & composision was just what we could have expected from such a profound genious It was sign'd by a hundred & Two persons old capt Beals & his wise son Natt, were { 63 } all who sign'd in this Parish— They got mr Morton to support their cause before a committee of the court which was chosen to consider of it— As soon as this was known our Party sent in a Petition also sign'd by a much greather number, of People all of them Men of property & respectability uncle Quincy & mr Cranch at their Head, declaring that they knew of no such transactions that most of them were present at the choise & did not hear of, or see any such things done. They beg that the matter may be examin'd into & if it should be found that they had no foundation for their charges they pray that their Petition may be dismiss'd as “The Brat of a Party who are endeavouring to raise sedition & tumults in the commonwealth.” Last Friday they had a hearing, all Braintree were there almost they were not able to support one charge & look'd very silly. They beg'd for another hearing which they are to have, but they will make nothing of it.4 Colln. Thayer had no reason to expect the support mr cranch has given him when he consider'd how ill he had formerly treated him: Coll Bass's son told him he would not have him too proud upon the occation That it was not him but the cause we were supporting. This son of coll. Bass is a very worthy sensible man—one of the last acts of mr cranchs Political Life was to get mr Thaxter & him made a Justice of the Peace
The governor has got such a counsel as I should think would mortify him at least some of them. The Friends of goverment chose such of the Senate as they knew would refuse in order to get a chance to chuse out of the People at large some good men but they missd their aim by seting up men which the others hated. General Warren is Speaker of the House, & nobody now is so proper for the chair as mr Hancock— He is more Learn'd more wise, more every thing, than mr Bowdoin

“get Place & Wealth, if possible with grace.

If not, by any means get wealth & Place”

well apply now to some characters as well in those days when Pope writ these lines5
June 13th
Cushing is to sail in a few days I hear I hope I shall not be too late for him. I wish I had any thing to send you that would be acceptable—but why should I be proud? no— I will rejoice that Providence has set you above the want of any thing I can do for you— I { 64 } was in Boston yesterday & found all uncle Smiths Family with Docr. Welsh & Lady seting off for Newbury to the wedding of our cousin William— he is to be married this day. May they be as happy as virtue & good dispositions can make them— mrs otis & her Brother went yesterday morning earley. I should have lik'd to have seen him— I wonder when he will leave Blushing. we could not speak to him about miss Hannah without fetching up his colour— Mrs Otis & Welch are increasing in size fast—6
Your Son JQA & mine were in Boston yesterday7 They were well your other sons were so also. I told you in my last Letters that cousin would remain in Cambridge. he tells me he has alter'd his mind & thinks he shall live with mr Parsons— We are making some little preparation for commencment. I have sent my most respecfull complements to mr Tufts & Family at Newbury with an invitation to commencment—
There are to be three english orations Bridge who was to have held a conference with Billy has obtain'd leave not to be present at commencment, so that instead of a conference, he is to have an oration upon Goverment He has been studying his uncle Adams late publication with care. I hope he will perform well He will not excell as a speaker till he has several more years over his head—but he will have no conceit'd airs—
I drank Tea at mrs Quncys as I return'd from Boston yesterday. mrs Hall & miss Polly were there, they were dress'd in their new gowns & look'd very well. The thought of seeing her dear children return seems to give her new spirits she desires that I would give her kind & affectional Love to you all. Mrs Quincy & Nancy express their Joy at the prospect of your return as extatically as usual— our good uncle Quincy is as well as usual but cannot yet be perswaid'd out—
Before this time you are I hope dandling your little Grandchild upon your knee—does it not make you feel old? or do you fancy it is your own & so feel your youth renew'd? as these relations increase you will find your unwillingness to have them settled at any great distance will not diminish—
Betsy & Lucy are making up the linnen you sent your sons. We make cousin Tom no more than just sufficcent for present use he grows so fast it is imposible to keep any thing to fit him three months. JQA has two dozen which he has never yet had on. I often tell the girls they mend more than you would. your eldest son will want some more cotton stockings soon those he brought with him { 65 } are so fine that I have been oblig'd to put new feet to them several times. those you sent will do much more service, & are cheaper than I can get them made here—
We have been much affraid that mrs Russel was in a consumtion & are not yet without our fears although she appears to be much better She is with her Parents. She has a fine Baby but has been oblig'd to wean it, or rather to get a nurse for it. she carrys them about with her wherever she goes. I hope she will recover. She was always lovely, but appears more amiable now than ever— Her gentle spirit seems fitted for a better World, but we cannot help wishing to detain her a little longer with us—
Remember me affectionatly to mr Adams to mr & Mrs Smith, to mrs Elworthy & Family also whenever you see them. tell her I mean to write when I can get time & believe me my dear sister yours affectionatly
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / May 27 1787”; docketed by AA2: “Mrs Cranch.”
1. Cranch to AA, 22 April, above. Thomas Knox served as the first appointed Boston Harbor pilot from 1783 to 1790 (Ralph M. Eastman, Pilots and Pilot Boats of Boston Harbor, Boston, 1956, p. 3, 24–25).
2. For the text of JQA's composition, see his Diary, 2:199–204. JQA also noted that he did not particularly like the subject and had difficulty writing on it (Diary, 2:175, 176, 177).
3. The next transit of Venus would not occur until 1874. The transit prior to this, in 1769, was promoted, calculated, and recorded by the American Philosophical Society and, especially, Harvard's John Winthrop, America's first astronomer. Europeans noticed the accuracy of their predictions, resulting in prestige and future funding for the American scientific community (Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1956, p. 146–165; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:240–264).
4. On 17 May 1787 the Braintree town meeting elected Ebenezer Thayer Jr. as representative by a margin of twelve votes over Stephen Penniman (1743–1827) and John Vinton (1735–1803). The election was protested on 4 June when a second town meeting appointed Azariah Faxon (1731–1802), Eliphalet Sawin (1722–1801), and Vinton to “take cair of and surport Petition of a number of the Inhabitants of this town to the General Court objecting to the choice of our Representative, being legal.” Benjamin Beale (1702–1793) and his son Nathaniel (1753–1832) are the men Cranch reports as favoring the petition. The action went no further than the hearing before the legislative committee sponsored by Perez Morton. Thayer, who had been the subject of an unsuccessful recall effort in January as well, was re-elected in 1788 (Braintree Town Records, p. 574–581; Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 493–494, 3767R; John Adams Vinton, The Vinton Memorial, Boston, 1858, p. 57–61; George L. Faxon, The History of the Faxon Family, Springfield, Mass., 1880, p. 71–72; Thomas E. Sawin, Sawin: Summary Notes Concerning John Sawin, and His Posterity, Athol, Mass., 1867, p. 9; vol. 7:463, 465).
5. Pope, Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace, Epistle I, Book I, lines 103–104.
6. Mary Smith Gray Otis, wife of Samuel A. Otis, gave birth to a daughter, Harriet, in Dec. 1787. At about the same time, Abigail Kent Welsh, wife of Dr. Thomas Welsh, gave birth to a son, Henry. See Cotton Tufts to AA, 18 Dec., and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 Dec., both below.
7. JQA and William Cranch went to Boston to hear the debates in the legislature (JQA, Diary, 2:239).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0024

Author: Cutting, John Brown
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-05-28

John Brown Cutting to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

Agreably to the intimation in the note I had the pleasure to address you from the Inn1—we reached Harwich the next morning by eight, where Capt Flynn soon recognized his Excellency and congratulated himself on the prospect of once more conveying him to Holland. Yet he did not forget politely to regret that Mrs Adams was now absent and cou'd not therefore join in “his triumph nor partake the gale”:2—a finer western one never fill'd a mainsail. For which reason I suppose as we shou'd not want any earthly eatable, the kind Landlord at Harwich put up provisions and refreshments sufficient for a transatlantic voyage It was in vain to remonstrate—he propounded and Mr Adams concluded—Thus amply victual'd, water'd, brandied, pepper'd and chocolated, we were boated on board the Packet, and hoisted anchor at ½ past three—The breeze fair and full as it cou'd untempestuously blow.
Our female fellow passengers permit me first to introduce to you. Imprimis two dutch matrons with one goodly child and two fine bundles of fresh asparagus. Item a dutch virgin—reputed tutress to the infants of the house of orange. A trig decent person laced in a tight boddice in a cloth riding dress—a cap with a cambrick border—filleted close to her temples with a yellow ribband—cotton hose and white slippers. A german woman of uncommon corpulency and scarlet features—mincing like a new made Countess, breathing like a porpoise and prating like a magpie—An inoffensive and well-behaving maid servant. An impertinent and saucy english woman, of age and occupation dubious—but acting on board, as the guide and guardian of a pretty affable, entertaining demi-(perhaps emaculately) virtuous maiden, with pearly teeth, dark eyes, auburn ringlets, clear complexion tho' a little redden'd by art, who is full of american french, and english anecdote, and delineates characters both public and private with equal justness and facility.
Beside Mr Adams and myself, there were only a german merchant and a well-temper'd Hollander of the masculine gender. They seemed, civil, decent painstaking sort of animals—distinguished by no striking excellence or obvious absurdity.
Precisely at five o clock I began to diminish in fluency of dialogue and to feel as if I cou'd not help it. I was much obliged to Mr Adams and took it very kindly that he condescended to sympathise with me { 67 } from the very bottom of his heart. It is a happy thing to have a friend in our distresses who can feel for us. Our efforts were truly social and reciprocal for many hours. They were not at the time joyous but very grievous—and continued so until sunday morning—with a few intervals of slumber. About eight we were landed pale and puny as the flitting ghosts of departed plumpness.
Having quietly permitted six impositions ere we had proceeded as many paces—we hasten'd to a seventh—in hiring horses and a carriage. To the commissary we hasten'd and intreated for the same. The Commissary knew our wants better than we did. Two carriages were he thought few enough in all conscience. Thro' our wan visages he beheld a dignity that no sea sickness nor rueful length of beard cou'd conceal. Two carriages and six cattle (the postilions included) were slowly paraded, accepted, occupied and paid for on the spot. Rotterdam was the City toward which our stomachs and wishes equally yearned. Our twin vehicles attracted the croud. They gazed with admiration at two entire carriages. Had the Commissary proposed four additional ones I do think Mr Adams might possibly have objected. In an open car painted with all the colours of the rainbow—built in the age and moulded after the manner of the Goths—the three coffers of baggage William our loyal domestic, a low dutch domini in the habit of his order and as doughty a driver as any in Batavia led the Van of the cavalcade. But the antiquity and barbaric grandeur of that nameless structure in which the philosophic minister and his renowned secretary were wafted over the muddy marle, beggars all description. Conceive of a vehicle neither resembling chaise, waggon cart chariot or wheelbarrow yet partaking the ugliness and all the ill qualities of each—distressing to the eye of taste, incommodious to the traveller, wearisome even to Elephants on a turnpike—with cushions and lining of crimson damask—broken windows, warped sides, cracked leather, hideous images, wooden springs, rope tackling, and no harness—conceive in short all the misshapen forms into which a cargo of timber can be hewn, be carved, be gilded, be twisted and bedevil'd—and when you have mingled these ideas, the result will only be a type of that machine in which after uncounted jolts and bruizes, horse baitings & bear baitings, perils by ferriage, and dangers by dykes, twinges of hunger extortion for poached eggs, beside an unenumerated catalogue of minor distresses, we arrived at seven in the famous City of Roterdam.
Having sip'd a corroborating cup of tea at the Marschall Turenne Hotel, we encompass'd the City round about—saw the Mynheers { 68 } and the maidens—their short bodies and long feet—clear complexions and clean hose—Beheld in a church a decent display of batavian pulpit oratory and out of it gazed at the grandeur of gigantic windmills. Paid homage at the statue of Erasmus—and after surveying, prim hedges, neat parterres, lofty tulips, trim trees and capital canals, return'd facetious, and retir'd fatigued.3
This morning renovated and refreshed, having breakfasted and discharged every extravagant item in the bill we embarked at eight on the canal for the Hague. Disappointed in not engaging the state room—Mr Adams and myself are crouded by six fat redoubtable dutchmen who after fumigating us with tobacco for two hours without pity, at length expel us from [th]e hive half-suffocated. To escape the smoak we flee into an unmerciful shower, with which we are genially moisten'd during the residue of the voyage. I fret, Mr Adams laughs—the Hollanders smoke—until we arrive at a comfortable Inn, where Monsr. Dumas having paid his respects to Mr Adams and made many, many enquiries after the Ladies in Grosvenor Square, Mr A. and this narrator, dine sumptuously drink strong coffee redundantly, and beg leave to superscribe this scrawl for you before the post goes off for England.
Therefore / Dear Madam / Your Most Obedt & very Humbl Servt
[signed] John Brown Cutting
Particular compliments to Mrs Smith and Steuben, the precious Steuben.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / At the house of the / American Minister / Grosvenor Square / London”; internal address: “Mrs Adams.”; endorsed: “M[r Cutting] / May 2[8 1787].” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Cutting wrote to AA on 25 May (Adams Papers) letting her know that he and JA had arrived at the “Inn near Mr Rigby's Farm,” where they stayed the night before crossing the Channel to Holland.
2. “Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, / Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?” (Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, lines 385–386).
3. The Erasmus statue, by Hendrik de Keyser, was the fifth and last sculpture of Erasmus, erected in Rotterdam in 1622 (JA, D&A, 2:445; vol. 7:316; Nicolaas Van Der Blom, “The Erasmus Statues in Rotterdam,” Erasmus in English, 6:5–9 [June 1973]).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0025

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-05-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received mr Cuttings Letter on Monday morning, and was glad to find you had stoped Short of Hardwick. I prognosticated from the { 69 } wind on saturday that you made your passage by nine or ten on sunday morning. I commisirated your sickness, and that I might feelingly sympathize with you, used mr Hollis's prescription yesterday morning, finding a return of some of my former complaints. the effect proved the necessity of the application. I hope you will be benifited by your journey, but the weather here is not favourable, cold & sour. I fancy it is not mended [by] passing over Stagnant waters & meddows— your companion [ho]wever, will I hope exhilarate your spirits by the brilliancy of his fancy. Neptune & the Naides cannot be invoked in vain in their own particular element.
inclosed you will find a Letter which came last evening. I do not Suppose you can do any thing yet it may be proper you should know the unfortunate Situation of the gentleman.1 Nothing new has transpired since you left us except the Bill which has past making four free ports in the west Indies, Kingstone in Jamaica, St Georges in Grenada, Rosea in Dominica, Nassau in New providence, but till we see the Bill it will be uncertain what benefit America can derive from it.2
The prince of Wales is seazid with a voilent fever occasiond by over heating himself in dancing at the Dutchess of Gordons Ball on fryday evening last.3
Mrs Smith & I are quite solitary and should be more so, if it was not for the young one. to day we shall have company.
Mrs Smith Sends Duty to you & compliments to mr Cutting. the little fellow smiles assent.
Let me hear from you by the next post. I shall be anxious to know how you got over, as well as the state of your Health, in which no one can be equally interested with your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
compliments to mr Cutting & thanks for his Letter—
Since writing the above the inclosed Letter has come in4
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “His Excellency / John Adams Esquire / Minister Plenipotentiary &ca / To the care of Messrs: Willinks / Amsterdam”; endorsed: “mrs A May 29th / 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Probably Richard Swanwick to JA, 17 May (Adams Papers), who wrote regarding the imprisonment of Thomas Barclay at Bordeaux for the personal debt he had incurred while acting as U.S. consul to France. Swanwick was a native of Great Britain who came to Pennsylvania with his family in the early 1770s. His son John became a Pennsylvania congressman and successful merchant as a partner in the firm of Willing, Morris & Swanwick of Philadelphia, while his father held a minor office for the British. Richard later returned to Great Britain seeking compensation for his property losses (ANB; John Swanwick to JA, 18 July 1786, Adams Papers). See also JA, D&A, 3:120; AA to JA, 7 June, below.
2. “An Act for Allowing the Importation { 70 } and Exportation of Certain Goods, Wares and Merchandize . . . under Certain Regulations and Restrictions” was passed by the House of Lords on 28 May. The act expanded the original free port act of 1766 that had opened a limited number of British West Indies ports to foreign vessels for the purpose of importing raw materials not produced in Britain and providing markets for British manufactures. The 1787 act addressed the United States' transformation from British colony to foreign power by excluding American vessels from trading in free ports (London Gazette, 26–29 May; Frances Armytage, The Free Port System in the British West Indies: A Study in Commercial Policy, 1766–1822, N.Y., 1953, p. 53–60).
3. The prince's illness, the result of vigorous dancing at a ball hosted by Jane Gordon, Dutchess of Gordon (1749?–1812), was widely reported in the London press (DNB;Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 28 May).
4. WSS to JA, 19 May (Adams Papers), which also deals with the Barclay situation.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0026

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1787-05-30

Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] My Dear Sir

I have written you only a few lines since your absence; and those conveyed to you rather an unpleasing account, but you will find my letter attended with so many others of a different complexion, that I hope it will not give you a moment's uneasiness. Mrs. Smith is now very well, and sitting here at the table, making herself a mourning bonnet, for the Princess Carolina Wilhelmina, whom neither she or I care a farthing for.2 What a farce this court-mourning is; and indeed most other European mournings out of the numerous tribe who wear the garb, how few sorrowful hearts does it cover.
Mrs. Smith has given you the history of the bills, drawn by a certain house, which have been noted for non-payment, and the consequent flight of a gentleman and family to America. The amount of bills noted, Mr. Parker tells me, is a hundred thousand pounds; seventy-five thousand guilders for the payment of the June interest is a part. When this took place Mr. A. wrote to his friends, requesting their advice what step could be taken. In reply, they informed him that, in consequence of delaying only two days, the advertising the payment of the June interest, the obligations had fallen two per cent., and would continue to depreciate, unless a new loan was opened. That money there was scarce, and could not be obtained at less than eight per cent.; that they had called the brokers together, stated the matter to them, and that his presence was necessary immediately to save the honour and credit of the United States, as they must advance on their own account, until he could attend to sign the obligations. No time was to be lost, and at two day's notice the journey commenced. Mr. Cutting has gone as companion and secretary. On the 25th they sat out; and I have not yet heard of their { 71 } arrival.3 This is a sad stroke, but there is less commotion here in consequence of it than could have been expected. The general idea is that the house will stand it, but I fear the contrary; and what Congress will say to the step taken I know not; yet what else could be done? Mr. B. has drawn a bill for three hundred and fifty pounds since you left us, or rather I believe it has been accepted since you left us.4 Mr. A. must protest any farther drafts, should they come. Nothing certainly can be done for him with regard to his private affairs, how muchsoever we may feel for his situation. I shall forward your letter last night received, by this day's post, as well as one received from Mr. Swanwich upon the same subject.5 So here we go up, and there we go down, as I sing to your boy every day, who grows so fat we can scarcely toss him.
As to news here, I know of nothing worth communicating, except a bill which has passed, making four free ports in the West Indies; Kingston in Jamaica, St. George in Grenada, Mosea6 in Dominica, and Nassau in New Providence. I have not seen the bill, so cannot say whether America is the most unfavoured nation in it. I dare say they will find a way of being benefited by it.
All is love and harmony here. The Royal Father and Son, are perfectly reconciled—the one to give, the other to receive. The household is again established, the jeweller in a hopeful way of receiving his thirty thousand debt, the confectioner his seven, and even the spur maker his hundreds.7 Mr. Hartley has just made me a morning visit. He has had a return of his disorder, though not so bad as before.8 He is going to write to you, therefore it is needless to say more about him, for if his pen is half as prolific as his tongue, he will not need an assistant.
We are to have a large party to dine with us to-day, invited previous to Mr. A.'s excursion; I have engaged Mr. Shippen as an assistant. Of the number is Sir George Stanton and Mr. Hollis.9 I cannot tell how much we miss you; in short if it was not for the boy, it would be dummy all.
We begin to dine abroad again, and I hope to prevail with Mrs. Smith to go into the country for a little excursion, when Sir returns; but she is rather averse to the idea, and says without she had some one to go and see, she cannot find a pleasure in it.
Remember me to Mr. Harrison when you meet. I have a most sincere esteem for him, and frequently drink his health in the good wine which he procured for us. If any vessel should be bound for Boston, request the favour of him to ship two such casks of wine for { 72 } that port, as he imported here for us, addressed to Isaac Smith, merchant, Boston, and draw his bill here for the payment of it. The sooner he does it the more agreeable to us.
It is scarcely worth while to say a word about return, till at least you reach the place for which you sat out. So I waive that subject, only observing that the sooner it is, the more agreeable it will be to your affectionate friend,
[signed] A. A.
RC not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:121–125. Dft (Adams Papers), filmed at [May 1787?].
1. The dating of this letter is based on AA's statement that she had received WSS's letter to JA of 19 May “last night.” In her letter to JA of 29 May, above, she indicated that WSS's letter had come in on the 29th.
2. Princess Carolina Wilhelmina (b. 1743), the sister of Dutch stadholder William V, died on 6 May. AA2's preparation of a bonnet was part of the court's prescribed mourning dress. Its requirements were widely reported in the press. See, for example, London Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 28 May.
3. As a result of the nonacceptance of Robert Morris' bills of exchange, JA was obliged to go to Amsterdam to secure a new loan to pay the interest on an earlier Dutch loan (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:751–753; AA2 to JQA, 10 June, below).
4. That is, Thomas Barclay.
5. In the Dft the second paragraph to this point reads as follows: “but to the Subject I meant to write you upon the intelligence I mean to communicate is no secreet therefore no cypher is needed. Soon after your absence the N. Y——k packet arrived & brought a letter from the Board of Treasury containing Bills to the amount of 75 thousand Guilders for the payment of the june Interest the morning after their arrival Sir—I will add, J. That it may look more respectfull, Sir J. went to mr R——r to offer them for acceptance, but found the family gone into the Country, & no Clerk. the next day he repeated his visit. When the clerk unfolded the mistery, the Bill were then noted for non payment, & mr R & family had embarked for A—— What was then to be done? Sir J——wrote to H——d the circumstances & requested to know whether a loan could be obtaind sufficient for the purpose, in replie they wrote it was indispensable, for in concequence of the advertizing the payment of the june interest being delayed only two days, the obligations had fallen 2 pr cent, but that the Brokers had refused to proceed in the Buisness untill Sir J. came upon the spot to sign the obligations. two days only were given to prepair for the journey and on fryday last Sir J Sat out accompanied by Secretary C——g What will be the concequence of a hundred thousand pounds worth of Bills going back for nonpayment to the House by which they were drawn. time will determine. Money is said to be very scarce in H——d & not to be had but at the monstrus premium of 8 pr cent. What C——ss will say I know not. yet nothing else could be done to save their affairs from total destruction. the Letter this Evening received from you shall forward by tomorrows post, but know not what can be done.”
6. “Rosea” in the Dft copy. AA's capital “R” can easily be misread for an “M.” Roseau is now the capital of Dominica.
7. The Dft adds the following at this point: “Mrs F——t has been the Sacrifice. mr Fox declaring in the House of commons by authority as he said, that not the least foundation was ever given for the reports which had gone forth to the world, who well knew that it was impossible any such thing could legally take place, but not only so, but that it had never taken place in any way whatever—he should have gone still further & have said that the prince was as chast as Scipio—& that mrs F. was a vestal, that there was no distinction between virtue & vice but in our Ideas & that no moral obligation was binding upon a prince.”
The Prince of Wales had spent £54,000 on Maria Anne Fitzherbert and owed creditors £270,000 when in May he convinced friends to ask Parliament to pay his debts. An angry George III ordered a full accounting and a repayment schedule before increasing the prince's £50,000 annual allowance { 73 } by £10,000. Parliament voted an outlay of £160,000 to pay the creditors, and the prince agreed to close his London residence, sell his horses and carriages, and move to a more modest abode in Brighton (James Munson, Maria Fitzherbert: The Secret Wife of George IV, London, 2001, p. 172–173; Valerie Irvine, The King's Wife: George IV and Mrs. Fitzherbert, N.Y., 2004, p. 51, 54).
8. Former British envoy David Hartley (1731–1813) may have suffered a relapse of an unidentified illness that struck him in France in the spring and summer of 1784 just after he and the American commissioners exchanged the ratified Treaty of Paris (George Herbert Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P., An Advocate of Conciliation, 1774–1783, Berkeley, Calif., 1926, p. 319).
9. Sir George Staunton (1737–1801), born in Galway, Ireland, was a physician, medical writer, and diplomat who served the British in a public capacity in a number of positions, especially in India and the West Indies. He married Jane Collins in July 1771 (DNB; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 16 July, below).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0027

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We are lodged in our old Chamber at Amsterdam, and Sleep as soundly as if there were not a dozen houses plundered every night. The two nights before the last were very Seditious. last night was quiet, and the Precautions which Secured the Peace then, will be continued, so t[hat] all will be still.— dont be anxious for Us, nor believe half the Reports that will be circulated. Such Events are often exaggerated at first. Mr Cutting and myself are very Safe. The Party for the Prince, appears to be so feeble in Amsterdam, that every thing will be quieted, very soon.1
I cannot Say when We shall return, but I believe We Shall recross from Helvoet to Harwick, by next Wednesdays Packet, so that you may expect Us by Friday or Saturday. Yet We may be detained a Week longer.
I have accomplished the Business I came upon, and have this Day signed the Contract for a Million of Guilders at five Per Cent. so that Congress will be at ease for another year.2 My Love to Mrs Smith, and a Kiss for my Grand Boy.
My Libel is much applauded here. They call it “The Breviary of Liberty, Safety and good order” a Compliment more flattering to me, than all the Ingenuity of my own Self Love & Vanity, could have invented. I am forever yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “England / Madame / Madame Adams / chez Le Ministre des / Etats Unis De L'Amerique / Grosvenor Square / London”; internal address: “Portia.”; endorsed: “Mr Adams june / 1 1787—”; docketed by WSS: “JA— to Mrs. A / June 1st 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. On 21 April throngs of Patriots occupied Amsterdam's Dam Square and ousted regents who supported Stadholder William V. After supporters of the expelled officials { 74 } challenged the validity of these actions, Patriots rampaged on the night of 29 May. The deliberate destruction of bridges to the center of the city made it difficult for troops loyal to the stadholder to reach the affected area, leaving Patriots free to ransack the homes and businesses of their opponents over several days. When a semblance of order was restored through military force, many of Amsterdam's wealthy families fled the city (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 115–117).
2. JA signed a contract with the Amsterdam banking firms of Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst and Wilhem & Jan Willink for a loan to the United States of one million guilders, to be paid back over fifteen years at 5 percent interest. This was the third loan JA negotiated on behalf of the United States, the first two of which included the firm of De la Lande & Fynje along with the Staphorsts and Willinks. An initial borrowing of five million guilders was made in 1782, and a second loan of two million guilders was taken out in 1784. JA would negotiate a fourth loan in March 1788, on the eve of the Adamses' departure from Europe, of one million guilders, also with the Staphorsts and Willinks (Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment, 2:1086–1089; JA to AA, 14 March 1788, below). For more on JA's first loan from the Dutch, see JA, Papers, 13:passim.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0028

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I wrote you Yesterday, that I had executed the Contract and should return to England by the Packet of Wednesday the Sixth of June. But as the Money Lenders, whether to make a mere Compliment to me, whether to shew their Patriotism, or whether from simple Caprice, made it an original Condition that my Name should be Subscribed to all the obligations, as it was in the first loan, instead of being Signed only once before the Notary Public, as it was in the last, I shall be detained till tuesday in amsterdam. Two thousand Signatures will take me two Days, for altho I once wrote my name 2500 times in one day, I would not do it again, for more Money than I ever got by all my Loans, that is to say for nothing.—1 I shall not now be able to embark at Helvoet, before Saturday or the following Wednesday.
I am grieved for Mr Barclay and his amiable Family but can give them no relief.
The two last nights have been quiet: but I am told that near thirty houses have been rifled.— Some Persons of note have decamped, and discoveries are Said to have been made, but I give little Credit to what I hear, because Reports at such times are given out, with design: and I am not in any Secret, because I will not be. I am but a Passenger.— it is given out that there will be Seven Executions this Morning. a Scene that my Nerves are not in tune to see.2
one Truth is now manifest to all, namely that the Patriotick Party, is all powerful at Amsterdam, and consequently the Prince must comply, or do worse.
{ 75 }
My Love to Mrs Smith and her dear Boy.— I am very glad You again complyed with Mr Brand Hollis's advice for your health is ever dear to your ever affectionate
[signed] John Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “England / Mrs Adams / at the American Ministers / Grosvenor Square / London”; internal address: “Portia.”; endorsed: “Mr Adams june / 2d 1787.”
1. JA probably refers to the bonds he was obligated to sign for his 1782 loan; see JA, Papers, 13:172, 517, 528, 529.
2. Newspapers reported hangings occurring during and after the riots, both as atrocities in the heat of battle and punishments in its aftermath. The London Gazetteer reported “fourteen of the Stadtholder's adherents were seized in the streets on the second day of the rioting, and hanged by the mob of the opposite party.” Punishments were meted out to rioters beginning on 2 June 1787 as JA anticipated, but the early reports were exaggerated. Rather than seven hangings, “one of the rioters, who was caught pillaging, was hung up with very little ceremony” (London Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 8, 11 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0029

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-04

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Madam—

I have recived your agreable Letter of the 5th. of may1 and am much obliged for it, at the same time I had the happiness of getting one from my dear Abby2 I ask your pardon Nabby you like best and when I am acquainted with what will give my friends pleasure— I shall alway's attend even to the minutest particle—therefore to you Nabby is the word—Amelia to herself—my daughter for Sir—& for myself I know no single term in the English Language which can properly convey the tender & interesting Idea which my mind is filled with relative to her— your immagination therefore is left free—permit it to expand and embrace every thing that my soul holds dear, connect it with Nabby and as I am concerned most intimately in every thing which relates to & may possibly contribute to the happiness of her friends & herself, I shall heartily subscribe to it— I wrote her from Madrid, on the 31st. ulto. 1. & 2d. inst. which as it goes by the same post with this, you may if you can agree on the subject exchange Letters, but I immagine you will have done reading first— my Letters to her from Paris, Bourdeaux Bayonne & old Castile will fully inform you of my Movements—3 I flatter myself Mr. A. will think the time spent at Paris Versailles and the disagreable check which I met with at Bourdeaux in consequence of Mr. Barclay's imprisonment—were necessary—and that my progress thus far to carry into execution the orders of Congress—has been effected with as much rapidity as possible— I am one of those animals who { 76 } are ever anxious & pressing forward to the Compleation of some point or other and when entrusted with the Business of my Country never at rest untill I have fully done my part to put it in the most eligable train of operation in my power— I shall be necessarily detained here a few day's—to pay the attentions expected at Court— I waited yesterday on His Excellency The Comte De. Florida Blanca, and delivered the Letter which the Chevalier De Campo gave me, & was recieved with great civility—4 I dined in company with Mr. Carmichael at the Swedish Ministers & passed the day very agreably—5 I find Mr. Carmichael perfectly well received & much respected here—but he is so cramped in his salery as really to be obliged as to content himself without making those returns to the Civilities of his friends & the Hospitality of the Corps-diplomatic, which he would be happy in doing if the salery from his Country would admit of it—but I tell him he must keep himself cool it is the same in England & in France— I have no doubt but every care will be taken of my Little friends while I am away— I flatter myself that the one has recovered from her cold and that the other encreases in pleasantry & good humour— I am rather anxious to be with them—& I am apprehensive when I return you may all be in the Country—is it possible for you my dr. Mama—to give me some information relative to your movements that I may know when I land in that Isle of Beef & Pudding where to find you all— Thus far I had got in the morning it is now 8 o:Clock in the evening & the post is on the point of departure— I have been to Court & made my bow to His Most Catholic Majesty—& dined agreably with the English Minister—6 every one here appears disposed to be polite, & hitherto my jaunt has been as agreable as the rapidity of my motion and the roughness of the roads in spain could in any degree admit of— Inclosed I send you the writ of the Parliament of Bourdeaux for the liberation of Mr. Barclay— I have bit a week on the lines—“Mais une Nation nouvelle, qui doit son existence à la protection de sa Majesty & au puissance secours des Armes francaises.”7
I will not say what others ought to do—but for myself I think I would consent to remain in a dungeon for Life rather than be liberated by an order which containd such a Line— I deny it in toto as a Soldier & as a Citizen—we were of ourselves competent to the task I acknowledge they contributed to hasten its period—
I am glad D.H. & your have been so successful in your negotiations—8 present me to your lesser half shake Nabby by the hand for { 77 } me, Kiss the Boy & be assured of the regard & affection with Which I am / Dr. Madam— / Your obliged & dutifull / Son—
[signed] W.— S.— S.—
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. Adams—”
1. Not found.
2. This letter has not been found, but WSS received it on the evening of 1 June and replied to it the next day (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:162–164).
3. WSS wrote letters to AA2 datelined Paris, 28 April and 5 May; Blois, 10 May; Bordeaux, 14 and 19 May; Bayonne, 20–21 May; Old Castile, Spain, 25 May; and Madrid, 31 May – 2 June (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:131–164).
4. José de Moñino y Redondo, Conde de Floridablanca (1728–1808), was Spanish foreign minister under Charles III; Bernardo del Campo had been his secretary and was now Spanish minister plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James (JA, Papers, 9:134, 12:143; vol. 7:36, 45).
5. William Carmichael served as the acting American chargé d'affaires at the court of Spain from 1782 until 1790 and then as the officially commissioned chargé d'affaires from 1790 to 1794. Carl August, Baron von Ehrensvärd, was the Swedish minister to Spain, 1784–1799 (DAB;Repertorium, 3:416).
6. Sir Robert Liston (1742–1836) was the British minister to Spain from 1783 to 1788. He served as the minister to the United States during JA's presidency (Repertorium, 3:177; DNB).
7. But a young nation, which owes its existence to his Majesty's protection and the potent help of the French army.
8. Probably David Hartley.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0030

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1787-06-06

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Friend:

I was much pleased this morning by the receipt of yours of May 19th.1 Look at the dates—May 5th, Paris, and Blois, May 11th—the places are very distant, and it is impossible to write in a chariot going post. I have answered your mamma's letter from this place; I have not gone through the necessary visits to the royal family, but they are nearly finished. I find everything here much more agreeable than I expected; the corps diplomatic, are very different gentlemen at this court, from those at the court of London; here friendship, hospitality, and good humour, sweeten society, and sweeten the political career. I have been here four days, and have dined very agreeably three of them, with the English, Swedish, and the Dutch Ministers;2 I am engaged to dine with the Comte de Florida Blanca on Saturday, and shall begin to think of proceeding to Lisbon; but I am rather uneasy about Curio; the fatigues of the journey have proved too great for him, and he is now sick and a-bed; he is well attended, and I hope will recover in a few days; if he does not, I shall with very great reluctance be obliged to proceed without him; he has conducted himself so well, that I shall miss him much—and at Bayone took him in the carriage with me, so that all through { 78 } Spain he has fared in every respect equal with myself. But notwithstanding that, he is sick and I am as usual, in greater health for the active life I have passed.3 It is my element; sloth and inactivity will sicken me; but the other will ensure me health and spirits.
June 7th.
The grand procession of the court this day, has engaged the attention of every one in and about this place; the palace was thronged with “reverend r——s in robes,” adorned with all the insignia of their respective stations, and cutting no despicable figure; on the contrary, the whole was solemnly magnificent, and worthy the attention of a stranger. After the solemn march was over, all parties perambulated the gardens, where taste and elegance, accompanied with all the graces of the Spanish court, were laid open to view. I was entertained and shall spend this afternoon at a bull feat; but I am told it will not be equal to what I shall see in the course of a day or two; but you shall have more of this in detail, my friend, when I shall again seat myself contented by your side. I thank you for the information you give me in cypher; there is great pleasure in having my companion a little of a politician. The news came agreeable and apropos. Yours,
[signed] W. S. S.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:164–166.
1. Not found.
2. The Dutch minister to Spain was Jacob Godefroy, Graf van Rechteren, who served from 1773 to 1793 (Repertorium, 3:269).
3. Curioni's ill health continued until at least 18 June. It contributed to the delays that kept WSS at Madrid until 3 July (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:172–173, 183).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0031

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-06-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I expected to have heard from you by the last post, but was dissapointed, only a few lines from Mr Cutting have come to hand since you left me. I wrote you on the 29th of May, and inclosed two Letters respecting mr Barclay. Since that time a Letter from the Frenchs, has arrived, in which they inform you that Mr Barclay was liberated by applying to the Parliament of Bordeaux in virtue of his commission to moroco, but they make most heavy complaints stating their case to you, and conceiving it in your power to relieve them.1 I do not think it prudent to commit the Letter to the post. mrs Smith has a Letter from mr Smith dated at Bayonne the 26 of may. he had received a Letter from his Friend mr Harrison { 79 } informing him that mr Charmical had procured him Letters & a passport from the King of Spain, which might facilitate his progress and serve him on his journey.2
The News here is that stocks have fallen 5 prcent in concequence of a paragraph in his Majestys Speach respecting Holland.3 the News papers tell us of terible Roits committed by the patriotick party and make one almost anxious for their Friends there.4
The prince of Wales has been most dangerously sick, has been Bled Six times, his disorder a voilent fever which fixd upon his Lungs. the papers tell us that his Royall highness bore his disorder with Christian fortitude; he is better to day—5
The monthly Reviewers have made open war upon the Defence of the American constitutions, and torn it all to peices, “ostentatious display of learning, an embarrassed affectation of Elocution— The balances the balances are perpetually rung in our ears like Lord Chesterfields graces, but in all the constitutions here passed in Review before the reader, those of America and England not excepted, there is not given a distinct account of the real balancing powers of any State, or the particulars in which the balance consisted had the Book been written by a youth with a view to obtain some academical prize we should have said, that it afforded indications of an active mind that gave hope of future acquirements, but that the young man too eager to discover the extent of his reading, had carelessly adopted some confused notions of government and hastily skimmed the surface of the subject without having taken time to investigate particulars and sift the matter to the bottom, but we cannot bring ourselves to think that a man of dr Adams's known abilities could possibly be in the same prediciment, for which reason we conclude that he must have some point to carry, some object in view beyond the atlantick with which we are not acquainted. the Book may indeed amuse the ignorant it may mislead the unwary, but neither can inform nor entertain the phylosopher nor the man of Letters.”6 In various parts I thought I discoverd Satans cloven foot, but did not know that any individual was permitted to send in his comments upon a work untill I heard this peice ascribed to that poor envy ridden, contemptable, Ignorant self conceited wretch Silas dean.7 This at once disarmed me of my resentment, (for I own it fretted me for one Night so that I did not sleep quietly) and I felt in perfect good humour. I have only given you a small portion of the compliments of which he has been very profuse, & having got his lesson by Heart has retaild it in all companies, mr Shippen is my Author.
{ 80 }
I am very anxious to hear from you, and to know when I may expect your return. The Weather remains very cold here. I hope you find it warmer in Holland compliments to mr Cutting, from your affectionate
[signed] A A
thursday P M.
just after writing this Letter, yours & mr. Cuttings was brought me by the post. I was very glad to hear you were well and safe. mr cuttings Letter carried me to Holland made me Sick on board the packet jostled me in the Waggon, in short so pictureish were his descriptions that I realized them all. The little Boy is well and perks up his Head like a Robbin. his Mamma has had a little of the Holland disorder8 bordering upon an ague. my Ladyship is better. I send this to Harwick with order to forward it if you do not come in Wednesdays packet, adieu—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency john Adams / Minister plenipotentiary from the / united States of America to His / Britanic Majesty / Harwick”; endorsed: “Mrs A june 7 / 1787.”
1. V. & P. French & Nephew wrote to JA on 26 May to recount Thomas Barclay's “disgrace brot. on himself by his unwarrantable Conduct” four years earlier when he diverted a shipment of goods contracted to them to another port and “Sold the Cargo applying it to Some other purpose.” Barclay had been released from prison by order of the Parliament of Bordeaux, the Frenches reported, leaving them no choice but to write to JA “hoping for Justice thro' your Excellency, the protector of the oppressed” (Adams Papers).
2. Not found. On 31 May WSS reported to AA2 that he had received a letter from Richard Harrison assuring him that a passport would be waiting for him in Bordeaux. In fact no travel document was left for him, and he was forced to pay 27 Spanish dollars to border officials to cross into Spain (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:157).
3. In his closing speech to Parliament on 30 May, George III noted that dissension within the Netherlands posed a “real concern.” At least one London newspaper later reported that the king's speech had negatively affected the price of stocks in England (Parliamentary Hist., 26:1123; London Daily Universal Register, 9 June).
4. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser reported on 6 June of the “sad doings in Amsterdam,” saying that Patriots had plundered homes and businesses and that supporters of the stadholder had carried out attacks on Patriot homes in reprisal. “Commerce is at a stand in that once opulent city. The principal houses have shut their counting-houses, and are removing their effects to their country seats.”
5. The prince's illness was reportedly severe; a rumor of his death on 4 June occasioned St. George's Church to fly its flag at half-mast. By 7 June his condition had greatly improved (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 7 June; London Daily Universal Register, 8 June).
6. AA is quoting from the review of JA's Defence of the Const. in the Monthly Review, May 1787, 76:394–399.
7. JA blamed Silas Deane for the negative review the Defence of the Const. received in the Monthly Review. In reality, James Anderson (1739–1808), an economist, was the author; Deane was never a contributor to that periodical. The enmity between the Adamses and Silas Deane began when Deane was accused of financial impropriety while serving as commissioner to France and recalled in Nov. 1777. Congress chose Adams as his replacement leading to rumors that Adams had conspired in his downfall. Deane attempted to defend his actions by publishing an address “To the Free and Virtuous Citizens of America,” which JA believed caused divisions in Congress. JA continued to question { 81 } Deane's moral character—which was further damaged by the publication in 1781 of some of Deane's private letters advocating reconciliation with Britain—and considered him a traitor to the American cause (Benjamin Nangle, The Monthly Review, First Series 1749–1789: Indexes of Contributors and Articles, Oxford, 1934, p. x, 1, 14, 49; John Ferling, John Adams: A Life, Knoxville, Tenn., 1992, p. 187–188, 207–208; JA, D&A, 2:345–346; DAB).
8. A colloquial term for a strain of malaria that was usually not fatal but that resulted in persistent fevers and shaking. The amount of water in and around the Netherlands made the country susceptible to malaria, which is carried by mosquitoes (Alan Macfarlane, The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap, Cambridge, 1997, p. 195).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0032

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-06-10

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

my Conscience really reprimands me for having so long omitted writing my Dear Brother, for several months past I must plead in excuse the want of Health, in December last we made an excursion to Bath and by going to Balls or Concerts every night for One week I cought such a Cold—as Confined me for a long time, and indeed I did not wholy recover till April. Mamma has already informed you1 of the new relationship which commenced on the Second of April—and I have now the pleasure to assure you that your Nephew is a fine Boy and grows Surprisingly— But I allmost fear too fast for his Mamma to retain her strength— I have been troubled for this Month past with tooth ack ague—and fever—and a long ectaera of ills too tedious to particularize I only mention them as an appology for my too long Silence— I am at present I hope recovering—from them all—and shall not fail of writing as often as opportunities may present—
I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of yours of Jany and Febuary.2 I cannot but regret that you so very decidedly judge that whatever you write must be uninteresting—from that want of variety which you Suppose essentialy necessary to render a detail interesting however as I have been so very deficient myself I cannot in reason—Complain of you— I do not doubt of your dispasition to perform all the Duties which you consider yourself called upon to act in and I have had too many and pleasing proofs of your attention—to doubt of your dispasition to Confer favours upon your friends, when they may not be incompatiable with your Studies or more important avocations
the reasons you have given for passing the vacation at Cambridge are Sufficient in my mind— I had no doubt but your motives were good—before I knew them so particularly, I am very much in favour { 82 } of peoples parsueing those plans which appear to themselvs the most advantageous or as the most probable means of promoting their own pleasure, but you will very rarely find those, who consider themselvs entitled to judge of our actions—disposed to be pleased with our Conduct unless—it exactly coincides with their wishes— and they will stigmatize with the Character of eccentricity—those who from the best motives dissent from them in jugement opinion or Conduct—
from the Characters you have drawn of the Two Ladies I can easily discern which is the most amiable, and which is the greatest favourite—with you—however we may be amused and entertained with that satirical tallent which you represent the former to possess. we are all of us I beleive too Conscious of some imperfections—in ourselvs—not to fear the Lash of satire— I have often admired this tallent—but have allways feard it and you know—Love casteth out fear—3 I am rather inclined to beleive that most People are inspired with fear for such a character more than Love—
Mamma and myself have been quite alone for this forght night past Pappa was obliged to make a journey to Holland upon Business—and Mr Smith has been absent six weeks on his journey to Lisbon. I heard from him on the 22d of May att Bayonne rapidly advanceing on his Tour.4 I suppose he will be absent two or three Months Longer— Congress acted with their Usual Wisdom in Commanding Mr S. to undertake this journey—attended with such an expence as it necessarily must be—only to deliver a Letter—of acknowledgements to the Queen of Portugall—for her having ordered her fleet to protect American Ships—and to inquire after the Treaty—it appears to me that this respectable Body are deficient in Common Sence—in judgment they most assureedly are— when there are two ways of doing things—they seem invariably to take the wrong— I think they want some Wise Heads to direct their Counsells—
there has lately taken place an Event here which has made some Noise. Mr Rucker was you know an agent from Mr Morris's house appointed to reside here to answer Mr Morris's Bills. Mr M—— sent His tobacco to France where it was sold, and le Couton was his Banker there,5 by the last Ships and the April packett there came Bills drawn by Mr Morris to the Amount of 98 thousand pounds which have been noted for non payment. Mr Rucker received to the amount of £15 thousand which he had not the means to answer and early in the Month of May took himself off— where he is gone is yet uncertain—some suppose to America—others to Germany—there to { 83 } Continue till the affairs blows over— the Board of Treasury had bought Mr Morris's Bills to pay the june Interest in Holland and when they arrived here they could not be paid— the time was too short to send to America and had the Interest failed of Being paid in Holland the Credit of the U States must have fallen. from matters standing thus your father was obliged to Open a new loan in Holland and the money Lenders insisted upon his going over to sign the Bonds—which obliged him to sett of at two days Notice he took Mr Cutting with him as a Companion—and last Evening they returnd the disturbences which exist at present in that Country, render it not a very pleasant residence, at this time
You have doubtless heard much of the Coldness that has subsisted for the last year between the King and the Prince of Wales—you are also I suppose acquainted with the Measures taken by the Prince this time last year—such I mean as giving up his Household appropriating a Certain sum to the payment of his Debts—and Living upon 10 thousand a year quite in the Stile of a private Gentleman, the last Sessions Alderman Newnham was going to bring forward a Motion to Sollicit an addition to the Prince's income—but this was much objected to and by some means or other it brought on a reconciliation between the Sovereign and the Heir appearant, the former Calls upon his faithfull Commons to pay his debts and Grants him ten thousand in addition to his former Income.6 all this has made much Subject for Conversation of Late, and great rejoiceings were anticipated upon the Birth day— But the week before last the Prince was seized with a violent fever—for which on the Last Sunday he was let Blood for the Seventh time—and has been extreemely ill— on Thursday last his Phisicien pronounced him out of danger—but he Continues very Low—
Horn Took has Published a Letter to a friend—in which he asserts that the Prince is Married to Mrs Fitzherbert—that although it is Contrary to some acts of Parliament yet it is not Contrary to Law—that he had a right to Marry a Subject and that it must be Considered a happy Marriage and a fortunate one for the Country—that Mrs F. can be considered in no other light than as her Royall Highness the Princess of Wales—7
Madam de Poligniac you know I suppose—has been dismissed from the Government of the Royall offspring—the Cause Why; is Said to be from a difference in opinion to the Queen who ordered to the Duke of Normandy a portion of physic which had not been { 84 } prescribed by his Physicien, and Madame de P—— refused to administer it upon which a dispute arrose—the King Comeing into the room when the Subject was in debate decided upon it against the Queen—but Madam de P—— was dismissed— She has lately arrived in this Country and is now att Bath accompanied by her favourite the Count d'—— who still Continues at this Court— thus you see, that from trivial causes great Events arrise8
Mamma has sent you by Callihan—your friend Murrys Publication—addressed to your father, he called upon us yesterday and looks in Better Health than I have seen him for a long time I think he neglects his own advantage by staying from America— in Short there appears to me some facinating power which holds some of our Young Men here—they had rather Live in Europe unknowing and unknown than to return to their own Country where they might be Loved and respected, to me it appears astenishingly Strange— they are not of the ambitious Mind of him who prefered being the first Man in the Village to the Second at Rome—9
I suppose Mamma has informed you of Pappas having written to Congress requesting his recall— he is Now I beleive in earnest—and wishes to return, although I beleive he will do more good in America than he can possibly do here—yet I Confess the Idea of his returning gives me pain— you my Brother know, from what Cause it arrises—and will feel it with me—it springs from a scource which we know aught not to exist—
july 16th 1787—
Barnard Davis and Scot have arrived and not a Singe line from either of my Brothers we have been a little anxious upon the Subject Aunt Cranch in her Letter to Mamma mentions my Brother Thomas as being Well and of yourself that your Health was suffering from your neglect of exercise10 Why my Brother will you trifle with this inestimable blessing—your Health! when once you are deprived of it—it is not easily regained and without it you Can enjoy no other,—but no body mentioned our Brother Charles—which has made us fear that he was sick—or that this silence respecting him was to Conceal some misfortune or other, the imagination ever fertile in invention has furnished us with this supposition—but I will Still hope that it was otherwise
Your Father and Mother propose setting out this week upon an excursion into the County of Devonshire—and propose being absent three weeks or a Month—and they have persuaded me to { 85 } Accompany them during the Absence of Mr Smith I hope we shall have an agreeable Tour but I shall not be disappointed if we do not—11
Barnard and Scot are to Sail before our proposed return—so that my time is now wholy employed in writting my friends who have been too long unattended to—
I Suppose that at this time you are very busy in prepareing for Commencement—which if I am not mistaken takes place within a few days— Mr Cranch informd Your father that you were to Speak the English Oration, I hope you will Send it to me by the first opportunity—do not forget how interested we feel in every thing that respects your rising fame. before Mamma received her own Letters by the late Ship—she received a Letter from Mr John Cranch Containing a very agreeable Account of MrJQA's—quarterly performance which had been sent to him by Miss Betsy Palmer of which, no mention was made in any Letters to this family from Boston—12 indeed I must tax you with being very negligent— Our Father however says you are perfectly right, but he is I think too favourable to you in this decission—
Mr Morris's Bill which I mentioned in the former part of this Letter are like to be paid regularly as they become due— those for May and june are already paid—and Mr R—— is sensured by some persons for going away— he was either deceived by the then appearances—or he formed his resolutions too hastily I hope that the issue will not prove injurious to him as I beleive him to be a Worthy Man and I esteem Mrs Rucker very much—
We have another American family arrived here since their departure a Genral Stewart who is a Native of Ireland—and served in the American Army—the last War—Married a Lady in Philadelphia—and intends to settle in that Country they have been two Years in Ireland upon a visit to his relations— they spend a few Months more in England and then return to America—13 Mrs S—— is an intimate friend of Mrs Bingham—and in some respects a Simular Character— there are not at present many Americans here—and I do not recollect any from Boston—except J—— Appleton— it is a matter of surprise to know what has brought him here again— he knows his own affairs best I presume— he told me that he called upon you at Cambridge a few days before his departure from Boston— Mr Barret has lost his Wife in France, She has been extremely discontented ever since her arrival there—as I am informed— Mr Jeffersons other Daughter arrived here from Virginia about three weeks ago—and on Wedensday last set out (with Petit whom Mr Jefferson sent for her) for Paris. { 86 } Poor little Girl almost broke her Heart at Leaving us—and a more amiable Child I never saw—intelligence and sensibility sparkle in her eyes, She is only eight years old. She is quite as amiable as her Sister and much handsomer14
We have since our residence here made Several very agreeable acquaintances—in families where we are treated with friendship without Ceremony;— we are to spend this Evening at Sir George Stountons, he has uniformly been in favour of Our Country—An Irish Man by Birth and Created a knight after his return from India with Lord Mackartney15—for his Services Whilst their, there are a few of such Liberal Minded People—but it is supprising that there are not more this Man seeks an Acquaintance with every American of whom he Can get any knowledge—goes to the American Coffe Houses—after an Arrival and reads the News Papers—and makes inquiries respecting that Country of every one he can find—and when he meets such a Simple One as a Mr Moses Gill who has come here to Study in the Temple—he does not receive a very favourable account of us—
Mr Barclay has been imprisoned at Bordeaux upon account of goods—sent to America by the House of Barclay Moilon &c—but the parliament of Bordeaux released him upon account of his being in Commission as a Minister Plenipo—to Morroco— he is certainly a most dilatory Man he left Madrid last December and arrived at Bordeaux in April—the same distance Mr Smith went lately in Eleven days Poor Mrs B—— is at St Germains as unhappy as a Person Can be— I Grieve for her Situation it is the most deplorable that I can have an idea of— adieu my Dear Brother write often to your affect. Sister
[signed] A— Smith
Pappa & Mamma desire to be remembered to you— I dont know whethey they will write by this opportunity— My Son desires his respects to his Uncle—16
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Sister—10. June 1787.” and “My Sister. June 10. 1787.”
1. See AA to JQA, 6 May, above.
2. JQA to AA2, 14 Jan. – 9 Feb., vol. 7:433–440.
3. 1 John, 4:18.
4. WSS to AA2, 20–21 May, which is WSS's only letter from Bayonne (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:150–152).
5. Morris' banker in Paris was Le Couteulx & Co.
6. Nathaniel Newnham (ca. 1741–1809) had proposed a motion requesting that the king allow an examination of the Prince of Wales' debt. At least one London paper reported that the Prince's “distressed” financial state would bring “disgrace” to England. On 4 May, however, Newnham announced to the House that his motion was no longer necessary as the king had already appointed a { 87 } commission to study the issue (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons; London Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 30 April; Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 21 April; Ann. Register, 1787, 29:129).
7. John Horne Tooke (1736–1812), a British politician, published a pamphlet in London in 1787 entitled Letter on the Reported Marriage of . . . the Prince of Wales, which questioned the legitimacy of the Marriage Act (DNB). The pamphlet excited much discussion in the press. See, for example, London Daily Universal Register, 2, 11, and 12 June; and Monthly Review, June. For more on the purported marriage of the Prince of Wales and Maria Anne Fitzherbert, see AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 14 May, and note 7, and AA to WSS, [30] May, and note 7, both above; and vol. 7:xi–xii.
8. In February the London press reported that Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac (1749–1793), had been dismissed by Marie Antoinette from her position as governess to the queen's children. The dutchess' sister-in-law, Diane de Polignac, Comtesse de Polastron, was having an affair with a political foe of the queen, the Comte D'Artois, who would later become Charles X of France (1757–1836). The cause of the Duchesse de Polignac's dismissal, however, was apparently neither her sister-in-law's affair nor a dispute over the administering of medicine to the future Louis XVII (then known as the Duke of Normandy). Rather it was an illness that caused the dutchess to abandon her duties and retire to Bath, England, for a period of two months (London Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 7 Feb.; W. R. H. Trowbridge, Seven Splendid Sinners, London, 1924, p. 249, 254, 263, 267, 271–272; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
9. “I had rather be first in a village than second at Rome,” attributed to Julius Caesar.
10. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 April, above.
11. For AA2's journal of her trip to Devonshire with her parents, see AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:85–94.
12. [Ca. 23 June], below.
13. Gen. Walter Stewart (1756–1796) was a native of Londonderry, Ireland, and a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Stewart & Nesbitt. During the war he had served as aide-de-camp to Horatio Gates and was a close associate of George Washington. On 6 July Stewart's wife, Deborah McClenachan Stewart (b. 1763), delivered the couple's fourth child, Walter Jr., in London (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 3:470; PMHB, 22:381–382 [1898]).
14. See AA to Thomas Jefferson, 26 June, below.
15. Lord George Macartney (1737–1806), Irish diplomat and politician, was appointed colonial governor of Madras in June 1781. He returned to England in Jan. 1786 (DNB).
16. This final paragraph was written sideways in the margin on the final page of the letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0033

Author: Cranch, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-13

John Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam;

I should have addressed your excellency sooner, but that my mind, which is the weakest—(or, as I had rather settle your excellency's idea of it, the most delicate)—thing in the world, has been for sometime suspended between the contrary fears—of trespassing upon your more important attentions, on the one hand, or against the obligations of gratitude & decorum, on the other: The last has, finally, prevailed; and I will now submit to be thought as “impertinent” as your excellency pleases, provided I may be acquitted of the “ingratitude”:
But, in presenting me with the “Defence of the political constitutions of America,” what did you, my dear madam, but make me your debtor for one of the greatest pleasures of my life? Should I { 88 } (then) withhold acknowledgements which it is even duty to make; or should I dare apprehend, from a noble American Matron, such coquetry of benevolence, as first to excite the sensibilities of a gratefull heart, and then either to refuse, or contemn, it's humble returns?
This delightfull season being so far advanced, I begin to fear that I may not enjoy the promised pleasure of attending your excursions into this part of England: May I presume to intimate, that the accomodations of my cottage, though humble, and (what is worse) not yet hallowed by the arrangements of a prudent “Goody Baucis,”1 are not despicable; and that it's deficiencies can be supplied by very excellent inns: The expectation of entertaining (though but for an hour) the father of American Liberty, will stimulate my endeavours to make that entertainment agreeable;— The remembrance of such an honor will amply reward them: I would by way of inducement, add, but that his excellency already knows it (perhaps better than myself) that, to say nothing of the amusing varieties of Devonshire in general, we have in this town in which I live, some capital peculiar manufactories; and that those of wool, and thin cloths, about Exeter, are also of great consideration:2 But one hint more will I dare give— “You shall be as public, or as private as you please.”
I shall be highly obliged to you, madam, or to mrs. Smith, for any information relative to our friends at home—I mean America. Be persuaded, nothing can be trivial, to me, that comes from those friends, & that country.
Pray accept my respectfull compliments of thanks & good wishes, for yourself & for doctor Adams and mr. and mrs. Smith; and permit me, madam, to have the honor of confessing, and on every occasion demonstrating, myself to be / Your Excellency's / obliged, faithfull / humble servant
[signed] J. Cranch.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “for Mrs Adams.”; endorsed: “J Cranch june 13 / 1787.”
1. In classical mythology Baucis and Philemon were an elderly couple who offered hospitality to the gods Jupiter and Mercury when others refused to do so. They were rewarded by having their cottage transformed into a temple (Brewer, Reader's Handbook). Jonathan Swift celebrated “Goody Baucis” in his poem, “Baucis and Philemon.”
2. Textile making was the dominant industry of southwestern England. Axminster and Exeter were known especially for their cloth finishing. By the end of the eighteenth century, Axminster had achieved a worldwide reputation for its carpets though the cloth-finishing industry itself was in decline (W. G. Hoskins, Industry, Trade and People in Exeter, 1688–1800, Manchester, 1935, p. 37; Geoffrey Chapman, A History of Axminster to 1910, Wilmington, 1998, p. 108–109).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0034

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-06-13

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Sr.

In my Letter to Mrs. Adams Pr. Capt. Scott, I mentioned to her, That Mr. S. Q. was negociating for Borlands Place— it was then my Opinion that He would purchase it— Yesterday Mr. Cranch informed me that he had learnt from Mr. Borland that Mr. S. Q. had given up the Matter—and that Mr. B. is determined to make Sale of it as soon as he has settled with Mr. T——r. I conclude therefore that it will be very soon open for any Purchaser—1
We have a new General Court, the House of Represves. made up of new Members chiefly, not more than 50 or 60 Old Members, a majority of the new in favour of the late opposition to Government—A general Indemnity, the withdrawing of the Troops, Removal of the Court from Boston—a liberal Tender Act—Abolition of the Court of common Pleas—payment of public Securities at the going Price &C &c are with them favorite objects
I suspect there is a Majority in the House sufficient to carry some of these if not all—Notwithstanding the late succesful Efforts of Government—I think there is the highest Probability,—that a Revolution is not far distant. some of our Politicians—friends to a stable Goverment, say it is no matter, how soon— By Capt. Cushing who will sail in a Fortnight or Three Weeks shall write further In the mean Time Am Yours—
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by AA: “Dr Tufts / june 13. 1787.”
1. On 26 May, Cotton Tufts wrote to AA informing her that Leonard Borland had offered Samuel Quincy the Vassall-Borland estate, which Royall Tyler had previously attempted to buy, for £600 (Adams Papers). Quincy declined, and the Adamses finally purchased the property on 26 Sept. (Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 2, folder 16). For a full discussion of the history of this estate, which became the Old House and then the Adams National Historical Park, see vol. 3:264–266, and Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0035

Author: Cranch, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-23

John Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] For Mrs. Adams:

Substance of miss Palmer's account of the University exhibition at Cambridge, the 10th. of April: To J.C.
“—— preceded by a band of Music, consisting of such of the pupils as had a taste for Music—among whom were John and Charles Adams and William Cranch: When the president and governors arrived, the exercises began in the following order:
{ 90 } | view { 91 }
1st. Forensic dispute in english:—subject—'whether Man has a natural right to destroy the inferior animals'—Peter Eaton & T. Harris:1
2d—Syllogistic dispute in latin by John Treadwell —— Underwood and William Hill:2
3d. Hebrew oration by James Prescott:3
4th. Greek oration by John Phillips:4
5th—Dialogue from the tragedy of Tamerlane: Oliver Baron and Benjamin Abbott:5
6th. Conference upon divinity—physic & law—Nathaniel Freeman—Moses Little—& J. Q. Adams:6
7th. English oration by Bossenger Foster:7
A grand Musical Symphony & chorus, concluded:
The gentlemen all performed to acceptation: Those who held the 'conference' were loudly applauded: Mr. Adams, in the excellent composition, sound sense & unusual candour, of his argument, happily united the scholar, the man of sense and the gentleman: He spoke well, and his action was easy:— In every sentiment he beathed the spirit of his father: Mr. Freeman's beautifull face, elegant person and gracefull manner were captivating: He spoke well—and what he said was good—Yet Mr. Adams had greatly the advantage, as a gentleman, by the delicacy with which he avoided drawing a paralel between the three professions—allowing them to be equally necessary in a well-ordered community, while the others contended for a partial superiority:
Afterward the lads assembled in military form &c— &c.”
Midsummer eve, 1787—
Among other agreeable informations from America I have just received the above: It reads so interesting, that I really cannot in conscience keep it to myself; and I flatter myself with your pardon for the liberty I take, by supposing, that though you should already be in possession of the circumstances of fact, it may be only from those whom Modesty and decorum will not permit to do themselves justice in their descriptions of this important and pleasing entertainment.
I intreat my respectfull compliments to mr. Adams, and to Mr & Mrs Smith; and have the honor to be, / Madam, / Your Excellency's / very faithfull / Humble servant
[signed] J. Cranch.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For / His Excellency John Adams Esq / Grosvenor square, / London.”; endorsed: “J Cranch june— / 1787.”
{ 92 }
1. For Peter Eaton and Thaddeus Mason Harris, see JQA, Diary, 2:184–185, 198–199.
2. John Dexter Treadwell (1768–1833) became a physician in Marblehead and Salem, Mass. Nathan Underwood (1753–1841) became a Lincoln clergyman. William Hill died in 1790. All three graduated from Harvard in 1788 (NEHGR, 60:194 [April 1906]; 38:402 [Oct. 1884]; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
3. James Prescott (1766–1829), Harvard 1788, of Groton, Mass., became a lawyer and chief justice of the Middlesex County Court of Common Pleas (William Prescott, The Prescott Memorial, Boston, 1870, p. 75).
4. John Phillips (1770–1823), Harvard 1788, became the first mayor of Boston and the father of abolitionist Wendell Phillips (NEHGR, 20:297–299 [Oct. 1866]).
5. Oliver Barron Jr. (1766–1809), Harvard 1788, was the son of Chelmsford legislator Oliver Barron Sr. Benjamin Abbot (1762–1849), Harvard 1788, would serve as headmaster of Phillips Academy in Andover for fifty years. Their recitation was from Nicholas Rowe, Tamerlane: A Tragedy, 1702 (Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, Salem, 1914, p. 21; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; John A. Schutz, Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691–1780: A Biographical Dictionary, Boston, 1997; NEHGR, 4:99 [Jan. 1850]).
6. For Nathaniel Freeman and Moses Little, see JQA, Diary, 2:190, 218. See also JQA to JA, 30 June, below.
7. For Bossenger Foster, see JQA, Diary, 2:188.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0036

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-06-26

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] dear sir

I have to congratulate you upon the safe arrival of your Little daughter, whom I have only a few moments ago received.1 She is in fine Health and a Lovely little girl I am sure from her countanance, but at present every thing is strange to her, & She was very loth to try New Friends for old. She was so much attachd to the Captain & he to her, that it was with no Small regreet that I Seperated her from him, but I dare say I shall reconcile her in a day or two.2 I tell her that I did not see her sister cry once.3 she replies that her sister was older & ought to do better, besides she had her pappa with her. I Shew her your picture.4 She says she cannot know it, how should she when she should not know you. a few hours acquaintance and we shall be quite Friends I dare say. I hope we may expect the pleasure of an other visit from you now I have so strong an inducement to tempt you. if you could bring miss Jefferson with you, it would reconcile her little Sister to the thoughts of taking a journey. it would be proper that some person should be accustomed to her. the old Nurse whom you expected to have attended her, was sick & unable to come5 She has a Girl of about 15 or 16 with her, the sister of the servant you have with you—6 as I presume you have but just returnd from your late excursion, you will not put yourself to any inconvenience or Hurry in comeing or Sending for her:7 you may rely upon every attention towards her & every care in my power. I have just endeavourd to amuse her by telling her that I would carry { 93 } her to sadlers wells, after describing the amusement to her with an honest simplicity. I had rather Says She See captain Ramsey one moment, than all the fun in the world.
I have only time before the post goes, to present my compliments to mr Short. mr Adams & Mrs Smith desire to be rememberd to you. Captain Ramsey has brought a Number of Letters. as they may be of importance to you to receive them we have forwarded them by the post— miss Polly sends her duty to you & Love to her Sister & says she will try to be good & not cry. so she has wiped her Eyes & layd down to sleep—
believe me dear sir / affectionately yours &C &c
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); endorsed: “Adams mrs̃.”
1. Thomas Jefferson's youngest surviving daughter Mary (Maria) “Polly” Jefferson (1778–1804) had remained in Virginia when her father sailed for Europe. After receiving a convent education in France, she returned to Virginia in late 1789 with her father. Mary's death at the age of 25 prompted AA to write a letter of condolence to Jefferson, a gesture that temporarily ended the rift between the families caused by growing political differences in the early republic. While only a brief exchange of letters followed, it presaged the eventual resumption of correspondence between JA and Jefferson beginning in 1812 (Gordon Langley Hall, Mr. Jefferson's Ladies, Boston, 1966, p. 61; DAB; Edith B. Gelles, Portia: The World of Abigail Adams, Bloomington, Ind., 1992, p. 86).
2. Mary Jefferson sailed to London aboard the ship Arundel under the care of the vessel's captain, Andrew Ramsay (Hall, Jefferson's Ladies, p. 82; Jefferson, Papers, 11:351, 524, 556).
3. AA and AA2 had spent time with Mary's sister Martha in 1784 and 1785 during the Adamses' stay in Auteuil, France (vol. 6:75; Hall, Jefferson's Ladies, p. 65–66, 73–77).
4. A Mather Brown portrait of Jefferson, for which see vol. 7:287, 288–289.
5. Jefferson had asked that “A careful negro woman” slave named Isabel be sent to accompany Mary to Europe, but Isabel had given birth in April and thus could not make the trip (Jefferson, Papers, 8:451; Byron W. Woodson Sr., A President in the Family: Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and Thomas Woodson, Westport, Conn., 2001, p. 9).
6. Sally Hemings, Jefferson's fourteen-year-old slave, accompanied his daughter on this voyage. In 1784 Sally's brother James had come with Jefferson to Paris, where he was trained as his cook (Jefferson, Papers, 7:364, 10:296, 11:502).
7. Thomas Jefferson had just returned to Paris on 10 June after a fifteen-week tour of southern France and northern Italy. The purpose of Jefferson's trip was to seek out the curative properties of the mineral water at Aix-en-Provence as a remedy for his crippled wrist, but he also used it as an opportunity to tour the ports of France where the United States traded and, more importantly, to document the canal system at Languedoc (Noble E. Cunningham Jr., In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson, Baton Rouge, La., 1987, p. 107–108; Jefferson, Papers, 11:96).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0037

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-06-27

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] dear sir

I had the Honour of addressing you yesterday and informing you of the safe arrival of your daughter. She was but just come when I sent of my Letter by the post, & the poor little Girl was very { 94 } unhappy being wholy left to strangers this however lasted only a few Hours, & miss is as contented to day as she was misirable yesterday. She is indeed a fine child. I have taken her out to day and purchased her a few articles which she could not well do without & I hope they will meet your approbation. The Girl who is with her is quite a child, and captain Ramsey is of opinion will be of so little service that he had better carry her back with him, but of this you will be a judge. she seems fond of the child and appears good Naturd.
I sent by yesterdays post a Number of Letters which captain Ramsey brought with him not knowing of any private hand, but mr Trumble has just calld to let me know that a Gentleman sets off for Paris tomorrow morning. I have deliverd him two Letters this afternoon received, and requested him to wait that I might inform you how successfull a Rival I have been to captain Ramsey, & you will find it I imagine as difficult to Seperate miss Polly from me as I did to get her from the Captain. She stands by me while I write & asks if I write every day to her pappa? but as I have never had so interesting a subject to him to write upon [. . . .] hope he will excuse the hasty scrips for the [. . .] intelligence they contain, and be assured dear Sir / that I am with Sentiments / of sincere esteem your / Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); endorsed: “Adams mrs̃.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0038

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-29

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I have sent one Letter on Board capt Cushing1 but it is so long since that unless I Write again you will not feel as if you had heard from me for a long time— Cousin JQA & Billy have been at home above a week. Cousin charles was here yesterday. he came to wait upon mrs Hilliard & Daughter—2 your Sons are all well
We are busy prepairing for commencment for although we do so little by way of entertainment yet their is many things wanted & much to be done. Betsy is very unwell this Summer. a dissagreable complaint in the back of her head gives her not a little trouble. she is going to try a cold bath for it—& ride a singlle Horse. She is grown very thin—
Miss Nancy Quincy has been here a week upon a visit. She is as chearful as ever & as fond of musick. She plays upon the Harpsicord too, so that we have musick of some kind or other in some of { 95 } the rooms from morning to night. She is a good girl. What a Pity that she should be older than any of our young Gentlemen—Madam Quincy is well & desires to be remember'd in the kindest manner to you—
We have taken the dimentions of your little room & the other, but I cannot think you will cut a cloth to them Mr Adams Will be imploy'd in publick business when he returns. that house will not be large enough for you—
Cousin JQA will want some more cotton stockings soon those he brought with him were thin & fine & will not hold on much longer. I have put three or four pair of new feet to many of them already
Callahan is not yet arriv'd. I am all impatience to hear from you. Mr & Mrs Smith are rejoicing I hope over their little one, but my dear Sister does it not make you feel old or does it give you new Spirits?
The news papers will give you Politicks enough but I know you want to step behind the scene & see some of the springs which gives such strange motions to the Political Machine— I have been lately viewing some of its parts— I have been visiting where I have heard every transaction of administration for two years past represented as the result of Passion. The insurgents declar'd to be a people oppress'd to death by goverment Who ought to have a pardon offer'd unask'd, without any conditions Whatever, that the late offers of pardon shakel'd as they were—were an insult to them— “Have you read mr A——s defence of the American Constitutions” “yes—mr —— had one sent him—& I like it, & so does mr —— upon the whole— he thinks in many things as mr A. does—[”] pretty cool however thought I—3
Does mr A. [talk?] of returning soon “yes madam you shall hear what he & mrs —— says about it & their opinion of the measures of goverment if you please—” I never read any thing will a better will in my Life
“I am sorry mr —— thinks of returning, because I think he will be happier where he is—”
This is but a part a very small part of the conversation, but I have not now time to give you more of it— M[rs. Q?] was with me & we had a warm afternoon of it
I wish you would be so good as to send two yards of silk like the patterns I send if you can pattern them two yds of each, & send the price— I have sent the Pattern of your Gowns— your Friends are all well—sister Shaw has been poorly but was better when she wrote me— { 96 } you will always remember me affectionately to mr Adams I hope & accept of the warmest affection / of your Sister
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Grosvenor Square / Westminster.”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch june— / 29. 1787”; docketed by AA2: “Mrs Cranch june—1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 April, above.
2. Mary Hilliard (1772–1847), the eldest daughter of Rev. Timothy and Mary Foster Hilliard, would marry Francis Sales of Cambridge in 1796 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:62; Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1915, 2:726).
3. James Warren wrote to JA on 18 May 1787 to say that he had read the Defence of the Const. “with great pleasure. . . . I do not recollect a single Sentiment different from my own, except we might differ a little with respect to the first Magistrate, and perhaps not very essentially” (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:291). For previous discussions between Mary Smith Cranch and AA regarding the Warrens, see vol. 7:199, 249.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0039

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-06-30

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I am at length released from the multiplicity of business which has employ'd so much of my time, for the last eighteen months: during that period I had scarcely a leisure moment, and was forced to a degree of application, which has been injurious to my health. but as I am left at present free from every employment, I shall have time to recruit; and I shall also be able to give more frequent testimonies of the attachment to my friends in Europe, who perhaps have just grounds to complain of my neglecting to write, notwithstanding all that I have offer'd for my justification.— On the 20th: of the present month, I concluded my collegiate course, and return'd here; as the senior Class are always dismissed four weeks before Commencement.— At an exhibition which took place in the beginning of April, I delivered the enclosed piece upon the profession of the Law.1 Two of my classmates, perform'd at the same time; one of which spoke upon physic and the other upon Divinity: the comparative utility of these professions was the topic, and the performance was honour'd with the approbation of the audience: it may favour perhaps of vanity in me to mention this Circumstance; & I should have said nothing of it, was it not from the hope, that it would afford satisfaction to the best of parents.— I have allotted to me, for Commencement an English Oration, upon the importance, and necessity of public faith to the well-being of a Community:2 the subject is noble, and of the greatest consequence; it deserves a more { 97 } able defender and indeed requires it; for our public faith at present is in a sad condition.— I am led unawares into political ground, and now I am there I must indulge myself— Mr: Hancock, was again elected governour, this year, and out of 18000 votes he had more than 13000; this plainly shows, that the people in general, are displeased with some part of Mr: Bowdoin's conduct: but it is the caprice of an ungrateful populace, for which it must ever be impossible to account. Mr: Hancock is very much involved in debt, if common report be true: it is even confidently asserted that his present estate would not by any means do justice to his creditors.3 it is therefore concluded that he would favour tender acts, paper currencies, and all those measures, which would give the sanction of the law to private fraud and villainy. it was supposed that a Senate and an house of representatives would be chosen, perfectly willing to abolish all contracts public and private, ready in short to redress the people's grievances, that is, to gratify their passions and justify their crimes. but these fears were not entirely well grounded; there are indeed several Senators and many representatives, who would stick at nothing: A Willard, a Drury, A Whitney, and many others, who have openly espoused the cause of treason and rebellion, are now among the legislators of the country;4 intestinam aliquam quotidie perniciem reipublicae molientes.5 there is however in both branches of the legislature a majority of well meaning men; who will support the dignity of the government, and who will not prostitute the honour of their Country. A motion was made a few days since, that a committee should be appointed to examine the merits of a paper currency, and to report upon the expediency of an emission at present; but there was a majority of more than 60, even against the committing it. It has been resolved that the Court should move out of the town of Boston, and the committee have finally recommended Concord, as the most proper place to which it may be removed.6 The people in the country are very earnest in this point; and as usual, without knowing why.— The salaries of all civil Officers, which are now too small will infallibly be reduced still lower. Mr: Hancock, who has a peculiar talent of pleasing the multitude, has compounded this matter by offering to make a present to the public of 300£. but I consider this as a pernicious precedent; a palliative, worse, than it would have been, had the legislature curtailed the Salary. for if one man gives up 300£, another, fishing equally for popularity, may give more, and the chair of government, { 98 } may finally be offered to the lowest bidder.— It is impossible for a free nation to subsist without parties, and unfortunately our parties are not yet form'd. The democratical branch of our government is at present quite unrival'd; and we severely feel the want of sufficient strength in the other branches: the Senate indeed has several times within these 18 months saved the commonwealth from complete anarchy, and perhaps from destruction: but its hands are tied; and the people are too generally disposed to abolish the senate, as an useless body. I have indeed great hopes that the defence of the constitutions, will produce an alteration, in their sentiments; it will certainly have great weight: one printer in Boston is employ'd in printing a new edition of this book, and another is retailing it twice a week, in a newspaper; so that I hope, it will be sufficiently spread throughout the Commonwealth.7 As to the monarchical power, it appears to be entirely out of the question, and unless by a revolution it be established upon the ruin of the two others, it will never possess influence sufficient to hold the balance, between them.
There was this year no choice of a lieutenant governor by the people. Mr: Cushing and general Lincoln, were the primary candidates, Mr: Gorham and genl: Heath had likewise some hundreds of votes.8 the house sent up Mr: Cushing & Mr: Gorham to the Senate, because genl: Lincoln was a military character. The Senate were unanimous in favour of Mr: Cushing, who will probably drop, at the next election.— Mr: Adams, has been much opposed to genl: Lincoln, and had sufficient influence to prevent his being chosen even as a councillor, because he is a member of the Society of Cincinnati: it is strange, that no one dares attack this institution openly: it is daily acquiring strength, and will infallibly become, a body dangerous, if not fatal to the Constitution.9 Immediately after the death of genl: Greene, it was voted by one of the state Societies that his eldest son, at the age of 18, should take his seat as a member. I was perfectly astonished to see no notice taken of this measure, by the public. by dropping the hereditary part of the institution, they will after some time reduce themselves to a small number; and by admitting the sons of the most distinguished characters, they obtain their end, as completely as if it were professedly hereditary. but as they are not immediately dangerous, and there are so many other difficulties that engage the attention of the public; nothing is said, or done upon the subject, and they are suffered to take their own course: a free people always were & always will be ready to strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
{ 99 }
But I find, I have run out my paper, and must therefore omit several circumstances at present, & shall mention them to Mamma, to whom I will write by the present opportunity if I can have time to prepare a letter.
Your dutiful Son,
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. Adams.”; enclosure endorsed: “John Quincy Adams / june 30 1787.” For the text of the enclosure, see note 1, below.
1. For the text of JQA's oration, entitled “A Conference Upon the comparative utility of Law, Physic, and Divinity,” and his comments on the exhibition, see Diary, 2:199–204.
2. For the text of JQA's commencement oration, entitled “An Oration. Upon the importance and necessity of public faith, to the well-being of a Community,” his comments on it, and its publication history, see same, 2:255–266.
3. In 1781 John Hancock and his business partners had lost 20,000 acres of northern New England land due to a failure to pay property taxes. At the time, Hancock was in arrears for other taxes but also was owed substantial sums by associates on both sides of the Atlantic. To alleviate his situation, Hancock employed debt collector William Hoskins, whose heavy-handed methods in 1782 and 1783 alienated many and prompted gossip about Hancock's financial woes. Hancock's hope of renewing his import business after the war did not come to fruition. Despite his difficulties, Hancock continued to indulge his expensive tastes in goods and household furnishings (Fowler, Baron of Beacon Hill, p. 251–253).
4. Shaysites Samuel Willard of Uxbridge, Luke Drury of Grafton, and Josiah Whitney of Harvard all had been elected to the General Court in May 1787 (David P. Szatmary, Shays' Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection, Amherst, 1980, p. 114). See also Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 April, and note 14, above.
5. Plotting daily from within the city the destruction of the state (“Intestinam aliquam cotidie perniciem rei publicae molientem”) (Cicero, “Oratio in Catilinam Prima,” in Louis E. Lord, The Loeb Classical Library: Cicero, The Speeches with an English Translation, Cambridge, 1953, p. 18, 19).
6. On 2 May, the General Court passed a resolution allowing the Supreme Judicial Court to sit at Concord. From 9 to 23 May the court tried the cases of men from Middlesex County who had allegedly participated in Shays' Rebellion (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 539–540; Robert A. Feer, Shay's Rebellion, N.Y., 1988, p. 410).
7. The Massachusetts Gazette published portions of the Defence of the Const. twice weekly beginning on 22 June and continuing through 7 September. As early as 20 April, the paper also advertised copies for sale at the Boston Bookstore. Meanwhile, the printer Edmund Freeman was preparing a Boston printing of the volume, which appeared in 1788.
8. Gen. William Heath (1737–1814) had retired from military service in 1783 but with little experience in politics, he garnered only 1,200 votes for lieutenant governor in May 1787 (ANB; American Herald, 28 May).
9. The Society of the Cincinnati, a national organization of former Revolutionary officers, had come under scrutiny as a hereditary aristocracy and was perceived as a threat to republican government. The opposition to the society in Massachusetts was formidable; in 1784 the legislature ordered a formal investigation, which led to its condemnation. JA was among the Cincinnati's many critics, a view shared by JQA (Minor Myers Jr., Liberty without Anarchy: A History of the Society of the Cincinnati, Charlottesville, Va., 1983, p. 26, 51; Massachusetts Spy, 1 April 1784; Lafayette to JA, 8 March 1784, Adams Papers; JQA, Diary, 2:249).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0040

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-06-30

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Mrs. Adams—

I beg you to inform Mrs. Smith, that I have forwarded to Mr Mc.Connell enclosed in a Letter to Miss Margaret Smith the Picture she requested me to send and have reced Information fm. Dr. Crosby of Mr. Mc.Connell's having recd. my Letter—1 By Mr. Gorham who lately went to Philadelphia I sent Mr. Adams's order on Hoñ Thos. Mc.Kean Esq, Mr Mc.Kean was gone on the Circuits—and Mr Gorham failing of seeing him brought it back— it lays on Hand for another Opportunity Mr. Ty——r is somewhere I dont know where—whether at Braintree Boston, or Virginia where it has been said some days since that He intended to settle—But I cant obtain any Settlement from Him— Mr. Doane has repeatedly promised to pay the Debt from his Fathers Estate—but neglects— Lamberts Debt is not yet paid I have ordered the High Sheriff of the County of Lincoln to be sued in Case that Debt is not immediately paid— Our Tender Act operates disagreably with respect to the recovery of Debts—But we must have Patience—it is continued to Jany. next— Great Complaints are made of the Want of Circulation of money & of Inability to pay Taxes, yet our Stile of Living is not reduced to a State that will justify the Complaint. New Houses, new & Large Bridges among which is Penney Ferry are dayly encreasing, one also over Beverly Ferry is petitioned for—2 New Manufactures, revivals of old and New Improvements in Agriculture & the Spirit of Husbandry encreasing these last are the only remaining Symptoms (I had almost said) of Recovery that are to be seen amonst us— I wrote to Mr. Adams by a Vessell that saild a few Days agone for Bristol—acquainting him that Mr Cranch had been informed by Mr. Borland that Mr Quincy had given up the Thoughts of purchasing his Place and having agreed with Tyler to relinquish his Claims he should wish to sell it— I took the earliest opportunity to give this Information as I suspected from some Enquiries in your former Letters, that you had in Contemplation the purchasing it should an Opportunity present— It is greatly out of Repair—and been much abused by bad Tenants— it may however be purchased at a tolerable good buy—by any Person that stands in Need of it—
I have executed Your order in Part respecting the purchase of public Securities, have expended £100 sterling & upwards in several purchases of them—and shall proceed as favorable Opportunities { 101 } present but apprehend that Delay in this Business can be no Detriment as the Prospect here is against their rising and greatly in favour of sinking still lower— There is a Tract of Land adjoyning to yours, owned lately by one Haden decd. laying upon the Hill in the Commons not far distant from John Fields the Tanners—about 56 Acres which may be purchased @ 25s/ per Acre. Mr Cranch has mentioned it to me several Times and wishes to take a part of it—but whether Your Interest will be advanced by further Purchases of Land You are best able to judge, knowing your own future views & Designs &c3
It being Saturday & just proceeding for Weymouth, least Cushing should Sail before my Return, have wrote in Haste omitting sundry Matters which should have mentioned had Time permitted and Am / Your Affectionate Friend & H Ser
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Abigail Adams.”
1. “The Picture” was a miniature of AA2 that Tufts had retrieved from Royall Tyler. In January AA2 had asked Tufts to send it to her sister-in-law, Margaret Smith, by way of New York merchant Daniel McCormick (not McConnell). Columbia College professor Ebenezer Crosby was an Adams family friend from Braintree (vol. 7:441–442; vol. 6:231, note 18).
2. On 1 March the legislature approved plans for a bridge over the Mystic River to connect Malden and Charlestown. The 2,420-foot Malden Bridge opened later in the year and replaced a “penny ferry.” Likewise, on 17 Nov. a bridge was approved to connect Beverly and Salem. That 1,484-foot span opened to travelers in Sept. 1788 (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 216–219, 582–586; John Hayward, A Gazetteer of Massachusetts, Boston, 1849, p. 192–193; James R. Newhall, The Essex Memorial for 1836: Embracing a Register of the County, Salem, 1836, p. 257).
3. Neither JA nor Richard Cranch purchased the 56 acres offered by the estate of Braintree housewright Henry Hayden (1750–1786). The estate sold the entire lot for £70 on 2 July to Braintree cordwainer John Cleverly. John Field (1752–1826) had removed from Braintree to New Hampshire in 1786 (Suffolk County Deeds, 164:26–27; Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 1669R, 2242, 2242R; John Resch, Suffering Soldiers: Revolutionary War Veterans, Moral Sentiment, and Political Culture in the Early Republic, Amherst, Mass., 1999, p. 54–55).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0041

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1787-06-30

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

On conversing with Mr. Parsons relative to Your Sons entring into the Study of the Law, I found him disposed to take him under his Instruction, and it being the Wish of your Son to live with him, I accordingly agreed with Mr. Parsons on the Subject— After Commencement Vacation Mr John will repair to Newbury Port— Mr. Parsons's Terms are £100— for Thrree Years exclusive of Board, the money to be paid at the End of the Term As he does not incline to { 102 } board his Pupils, I shall procure a Place at my Brothers or some other good Family—
Mr Johns continued & persevering Application to his Studies must in Time injure his Health unless he carefully attends to Exercise, a Doctrine I have frequently inculcated upon Him and shall urge, previous to his going to Newbury Port, a few Weeks of Relaxation—
What shall I say to you My Friend with Respect to the State of my Country, with Respect to the Complexion of our new Court and the Measures pursuing & pursued by it. The Spirit of the Day has brought into public Life Characters that in sober Times would have been hissed off the Stage and been expelled as Members unfit to grace the Seats of Legislaters. Fomentors of the late Rebellion are found in Council, Senate and in the House of Representatives. In the House are some who from the Beginning were Enemies to the late Revolution, secret in Opposition when it could best serve their Purposes and open when Prospects of Success presented, avowed Friends to Monarchy and to Despotism—that have taken every Advantage of Discontents and encouraged every Kind of Faction—Disappointed Whigs, Convention Men & Debtors not a few— The object of the first is to throw all into Confusion and introduce a new Form of Government— the Disappointed Whigs & Convention Men are most of them Mushrooms that have sprung up on a sudden are tools of the Former but in Principle Levellers— The Debtors join their Force hoping for an Annihilation of public & private Debts, among these are some whose Characters once shone with Lustre— But are now meanly courting the Populace and practising the Arts of Corruption— These Characters came to Court with a Determination, and from many Towns with Instructions, if possible to undo the Measures of the late Administration to remove the Troops stationed for the Suppression of the Rebellion and the Protection of the Western Counties—to remove all Disqualifications, to obtain a general Goal Delivery of all State Prisoners and a general Indemnity & Pardon as well to those condemned to Death as those that have not come in and accepted former Terms of Mercy & Pardon—although the latter have been and are dayly making Depredations—The Removal of the Court from the Town of Boston—as more liberal Tender Act—or a Continuation of the Former—with some an Emission of Paper of Money—with others a Discharge of public Securities at the going Price—are favourite Objects— It is doubtful whether, the Court will be removed from Boston— The Tender Act { 103 } so called will be continued till January next— Paper Money is reprobated—and the further Reduction of public Securities <is unnecessary> will not be attempted this Session—
Among the high handed Offenders that have been capitally convicted and sentenced to Death, not one as yet has been executed—Pardon was granted for all in Berkshire & Hampshire County except Four— These were reprieved for a Month, now again for Six Weeks—one in the County of Worcester was also marked out for the Halter—but is pardoned— the most criminal of the whole a Shattuck by name—of the County of Middlesex convicted several Times during the War of raising Mobs to oppose the Payment of Taxes & the Execution of Laws, was sentencd to have been executed on Thursday last—but is reprieved for a Month— It seems to be the Opinion of most that all these Gallows deserving Fellows will be set at Liberty—1 Resolves have passed this Session, for a new Pardon to all except Nine—and a Removal of all Disqualefications— it was with great Difficulty that a Vote could be obtained to replace the Troops stationed in the Western Counties, whose Time of Enlistment is just expiring—2 Very little Business of Importance to the Public has been transacted although the we are got in to the 5th. Week of the Session—Nearly Three fourths of the House and a considerable Number of the Senate being new Members— I fear that the Benefits arising from this Session will hardly compensate for the expences— This Court is I believe larger in Numbers than any former by One fourth—3 But I must break off Politics & conclude by informing You; that You have the Thanks of the best Judges & Patriots among us for yr. Judicious & timely Publication, it has already passed through one Impression at New York and is now reprintg at Boston—
I wrote [some time?] since by the Way of Bristol, informed You, that Bor[lan]ds Place may be purchased, if you like—4
By Capt Cushing who will sail in a Day or two, I shall draw in Favour of Mr Elworthy for £100— Folger & Callihan have been expected for some Days but have not as yet arrived—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esq— / Minister Plenipy. from the / United States of America / to the Court of London / Grovesnor Square / London”; endorsed: “Dr Tufts, June. 30, / ansd. Oct. 15. 1787”; notation on the first page: “not answerd.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. By 30 April, six men were condemned to death for treason, two each from Berkshire and Hampshire Counties, one from Worcester County, and Job Shattuck from Middlesex County. Several reprieves were granted over the next several months until all were { 104 } pardoned by Gov. John Hancock on 13 Sept. (Robert A. Feer, Shay's Rebellion, N.Y., 1988, p. 416; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 994; Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 Sept., below).
2. On 15 June the General Court passed a resolve that allowed for the re-enlistment of 500 to 800 troops in western Massachusetts. The same resolution also pardoned all citizens who had participated in Shays' Rebellion, with the exception of nine, and restored all rights and privileges to citizens, thus repealing the Disqualification Act of 16 Feb. (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 176–180, 677–679).
3. The May election increased the number of House members from 190 to 266. The number of Senate members increased from 31 to 36. Nineteen of the Senate members were new (Leonard L. Richards, Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle, Phila., 2002, p. 144; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 265–266, 663–667).
4. See Cotton Tufts to AA, 21 May, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-07-01

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] my dear sir

your two Letters of May 21 & 26 were yesterday deliverd.1 captain Scot has not yet got up. I hope by him to receive Letters from my other Friends. I have been not a little anxious that Barnard and Davis should arrive without a Letter either from Braintree or weymouth as this is to go by the packet, I will confine myself wholy to buisness and as mr Adams has written you respecting mr Borlands place, I have only to second his request that you would purchase it without Delay.2 perhaps he may be induced to take less for the money in hand, but what can be done respecting the wood Land sold by mr Tyler to mr Webb & an other piece of Land to Deacon Bass, for which I presume he received the Money tho I do not imagine their deeds can be valid.3 Yet one would not like to get into a squable with ones Neighbours if mr Borland gives a deed he must warrentee us. Mr Tyler always told me that his agreement with mr Borland was, in case he could not give him a Title to the Estate. The money he had paid, was to be considerd as borrowed & he was to be allowed interest for it, if so I should presume the matter might be setled with him. I should be glad to be informd whether the frame he put up was ever coverd & whether he made any repairs upon the House, his creditors I presume cannot take off the frame. Who is now the Tennant & what repairs are necessary? if you purchase it as I hope you will, I should like to know the heights of the rooms & the paper they will take to paper them as well as the bigness of them, painting will be a necessary buisness both without and within. I fancy mr Tyler owes money to mr Cranch would it not be best for him to secure himself if he can by attaching the material for repairs? mr Adams will not hesitate even at the 600. What shall I { 105 } say to you respecting veseys place? counteract my dears Frinds plan, by no means—it has always been his wish to Buy that place, and he would have done it long ago if I had not persuaded him to the contrary. 300 is certainly 50 pounds too much as money is so scarce & the place so poor. it will not neat 4 prcent do you think it worth more? Suppose you make him that offer but you see mr Adams is disposed to have it, even at the very high price, but I think more of the other place. an other House we must have if it was only to hold our Books. I should speak within Bounds if I was to say that the Books which mr Adams has purchased in order to qualify himself for a through investigation of the subjects he is persueing, cost him within these six months a hundred & fifty Guineys. Many of the Italian Works were very high priced & very scarce, he reads Italian as easily as French, and applies so constantly both to writing & reading that I fear he will injure his Health. Yet it is vastly mended since his residence in England, when I first came abroad he could not write even a single Letter without suffering. now he writes six or eight hours in a day—
With regard to my own Health I cannot say much in favour of it, a little fever still Lurks in my veins & I cannot get rid of it. perhaps a sea voyage may serve it, but I dread the ocean and yet more the turbulent spirit of my Countrymen. it is a damp to all the pleasureable Ideas of a return to it— God save the people is a prayer in which I can most sincerely join—but I said I would write only on Buisness—yet out of the abundanc of the Heart &C I will send by the first opportunity the Reviews you desire my trangression with respect to porter & cheese were those of Ignoranc I Submit to the chastisement & pray the cheese may be only used as a foil. I will remember in future & put all I send in a trunk with the articles enumerated & the price.—
Mrs Smith desires to be rememberd to you & all her Friend. Col Smith is not yet returnd from portugal I presume I must have Letters by Scot. as you have not mentiond my Friends I hope they are all well— a Letter came to hand by the penny post soon after Barnards arrival in which you mention Bills drawn in favour of mr Hill,4 but no such Bill has been yet presented— adieu my dear sir. I will not despair of the commonwealth whilst their is good sense enough to Elect my good Friend into the Senate. The Single virtue of Cato did much towards the preservation of Rome. may your Success be equal to your virtuous Efforts is the ardent wish / of your sincere Friend
[signed] A A
{ 106 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams July 1 1787 / recd. Sept. 7t:— relative to / Purchase of / Borlands Place.”
1. For Cotton Tufts' letter to AA of 26 May, see Tufts to JA, 13 June, note 1, above.
2. Letter not found.
3. Mr. Webb is probably Jonathan Webb, nephew of Deacon Jonathan Webb and later called deacon himself after his uncle's death. The younger Webb held a number of posts in Braintree, including surveyor and town assessor (Braintree Town Records, p. 585, 760). Deacon Benjamin Bass (b. 1719) had served the town of Braintree in various capacities, including constable, surveyor of highways, and warden (same, p. 355, 371, 394, 706).
4. Probably Alexander Hill, a Boston merchant whose son Edward had studied law with JA (vol. 6:427).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0043

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-01

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

A thousand thanks to you, my dear Madam, for your kind attention to my little daughter. her distresses I am sure must have been troublesome to you: but I know your goodness will forgive her, & forgive me too for having brought them on you. Petit now comes for her. by this time she will have learned again to love the hand that feeds & comforts her, and have formed an attachment to you. she will think I am made only to tear her from all her affections. I wish I could have come myself. the pleasure of a visit to yourself & mr̃ Adams would have been a great additional inducement. but, just returned from my journey, I have the arrearages of 3. or 4. months all crouded on me at once. I do not presume to write you news from America, because you have it so much fresher & frequenter than I have. I hope all the disturbances of your country are quieted & with little bloodshed. what think you of present appearances in Europe? the Emperor & his subjects? the Dutch & their half king, who would be a whole one? in fine the French & the English? these new friends & allies have hardly had time to sign that treaty which was to cement their love & union like man & wife, before they are shewing their teeth at each other. we are told a fleet of 6. or 12 ships is arming on your side the channel; here they talk of 12 or 20, and a camp of 15,000 men. but I do not think either party in earnest. both are more laudably intent on arranging their affairs.—1 should you have incurred any little expences on account of my daughter or her maid, Petit will be in a condition to repay them. if considerable, he will probably be obliged to refer you to me, and I shall make it my duty to send you a bill immediately for the money.— Count Sarsfeild sets out for London four days hence. at dinner the other day at M. de Malesherbe's he was sadly abusing an English dish called { 107 } Gooseberry tart.2 I asked him if he had ever tasted the cranberry. he said, no. so I invited him to go & eat cranberries with you. he said that on his arrival in London he would send to you & demander á diner. I hope mrs̃ Smith and the little grandson are well. be so good as to present me respectfully to her. I have desired Colo. Smith to take a bed here on his return. I will take good care of him for her, & keep him out of all harm. I have the honour to be with sentiments of sincere esteem & respect Dear Madam / Your most obedient & / most humble servt
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. Adams”; endorsed: “Mr Jefferson july 1 / 1787.”
1. The French criticized the Anglo-French Commercial Treaty of 1786 as unfair to their manufacturing interests, leading them to believe that the trade agreement had worsened their fiscal crisis. As a result, reports that the French and British were preparing for war were widespread by mid-July 1787 (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 23 May, 4 June, 16, 18 July; London Daily Universal Register, 11 July).
2. For Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, see JA, Papers, 9:229; JA, D&A, 2:387.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0044

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-07-06

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] my dear sir

If I had thought you would so soon have Sent for your dear little Girl, I should have been tempted to have kept her arrival here, from you a secret. I am really loth to part with her, and she last evening upon petit's arrival, was thrown into all her former distresses, and bursting into Tears, told me it would be as hard to leave me, as it was her Aunt Epps.1 She has been so often deceived that she will not quit me a moment least She should be carried away, nor can I scarcly prevail upon her to see petit. Tho she says she does not remember you, yet she has been taught to consider you with affection and fondness, and depended upon your comeing for her. she told me this morning, that as she had left all her Friends in virgina to come over the ocean to see you, she did think you would have taken the pains to have come here for her, & not have sent a man whom she cannot understand. I express her own words. I expostulated with her2 upon the long journey you had been; & the difficulty you had to come and upon the care kindness & attention of petit, whom I so well knew, but she cannot yet hear me. she is a child of the quickest Sensibility, and the maturest understanding, that I have ever met with for her Years. she had been 5 weeks at sea, and with men only, so that on the first day of her arrival, She was as rough as { 108 } a little Sailor, and then she been decoyed from the Ship, which made her very angry, and no one having any Authority over her; I was apprehensive I should meet with some trouble, but where there are such materials to work upon as I have found in her, there is no danger. she listened to my admonitions, and attended to me advice, and in two days, was restored to the amiable lovely Child which her Aunt had formed her. in short she is the favorite of every Creature in the House, and I cannot but feel Sir, how many pleasures you must lose; by committing her to a convent, yet situated as you are, you cannot keep her with you. The Girl she has with her, wants more care than the child, and is wholy incapable of looking properly after her, without Some Superiour to direct her.
As both miss Jefferson & the maid had cloaths only proper for the Sea, I have purchased & m up for them; Such things as I should have done had they been my own; to the amount of about Eleven or 12 Guineys. the particulars I will send by petit.3
Captain Ramsey has Said that he would accompany your daughter to paris provided she would not go without him, but this would be putting you to an expence that may perhaps be avoided by petits staying a few days longer. the greatest difficulty in familiarizing her to him, is on account of the language. I have not the Heart to force her into a Carriage against her Will and send her from me, almost in a Frenzy; as I know will be the case,4 unless I can reconcile her to the thoughts of going and I have given her my word that petit shall stay untill I can hear again from you.5 Books are her delight, and I have furnishd her out a little library, and She reads to me by the hour with great distinctness, & comments on what she reads with much propriety.
mrs Smith desires to be rememberd to you, and the little Boy his Grandmamma thinks is as fine a Boy as any in the Kingdom—6 I am my dear sir with Sentiments of Esteem Your Friend and Humble / Servant
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); addressed by JA: “his Excellency / Thomas Jefferson / Ambassadour from the United / States of America, at the Court / of Versailles / Paris”; endorsed: “Adams mrs”; notation: “France.” Dft (Adams Papers).
1. Jefferson's younger daughter Mary had lived with her aunt, Elizabeth Wayles Eppes (b. 1752), for four years in Virginia prior to joining her father in France. Elizabeth was Martha Wayles Jefferson's half-sister and was married to Francis Eppes. Their son, John Wayles Eppes, would eventually marry his cousin Mary Jefferson in 1797 (Noble E. Cunningham Jr., In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson, Baton Rouge, La., 1987, p. 82; Malone, Jefferson, 1:432; DAB).
2. In the DftAA also wrote, “my little girl for so She chuses I Should call her.”
3. At this point in the DftAA wrote: “I { 109 } should have done something more for the maid with regard to the article of Linnen which She wants, to have Saved you trouble, but we hear that English goods are cheeper in Paris than here, so that for her I have only purchased cloth for 2 Aprons & calico for 2 Jackets & coats which my maid made up for her and amounted to one pound forteen & four pence I have still to add Some stockings & a few articles more.”
4. In the DftAA also included, “indeed I have not the Heart to do it, & her Girl has no more influence over her than a straw.”
5. AA wrote here in the Dft, “unless she is willing to go with him before. I Shall write again by miss Jefferson and answer some queries which you put in your Letter.”
6. In the DftAA included the following: “duty to my pappa miss adds, & kindest Love to sister Patsey but do pray write him how I want to stay here.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0045

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

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson with a Memorandum of Purchases

[salute] Dear sir

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

What she thinks in her Heart

You may read in her Eyes

For knowing no art

She needs no disguise

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

Memorandum of articles by mrs Adams for miss Jefferson & Maid

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

Memorandum of articles by mrs Adams for miss Jefferson & Maid

  £   s   d  
paid for bringing the Trunks from Tower Hill     5.   6.  
four fine Irish Holland frocks4   3.   10.    
5 yd white Dimity for Skirts     15    
4 yd checkd Muslin for a frock   1.   10    
3 yd lace Edging to trim it     6.   6  
To making the frock     5.    
3 yd flannel for under Coats     7.   6  
A Brown Bever Hat & feathers     13.    
2 pr leather Gloves     2.   4  
{ 111 }
5 yd diaper for arm Cloths     5.   10  
6 pr cotton Stockings     13.   6  
3 yd blew sash Ribbon     3.    
To diaper for pockets linning tape cloth for night caps &c     5   6  
To a comb & case, comb Brush, tooth Brush     1.   6  
For the Maid Servant  
12 yds calico for 2 short Gowns & coats   1.   5.   6  
4 yd half Irish linen for Aprons     7   4  
3 pr Stockings     6.    
2 yd linning     2.    
1 Shawl handkerchief     4   6  
paid for washing     6   8  
Sterling   10   15.   8  
11. 16. 2 should be5  
Received Six Louis d'ors, of petit.
[signed] A Adams

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0046

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

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

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

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0047

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Mary Rutledge
Date: 1787-07-14

Abigail Adams to Mary Rutledge Smith

[salute] My Dear Madam

I received your agreeable Letter with much pleasure: having only before heard of the arrival of the vessel in which you embarked. I can my dear Madam most Sincerely rejoice with you on the happiness of meeting kind Friends, and endearing Relatives, after the Seperation you experienced. I fancy my Lovely Carolina Eyes Sparking with a joy which adds fluency to her Tongue, whilst her more reserved, but not less amiable sister, feels more than she can express. These Social ties, these family endearments give a zest to all the other enjoyments of Life. “poor is the Friendless master of a World” as the poet expressess it,1 ours is the Country for a union of Hearts, and conubial felicity. Europe, “for the rich mountains of Peru, who drawn by kindred charms of Gold,[”] look not for any other pleasures than what their wealth can bestow, hence arises that infidelity so common in Europe.2
I hope you find your Health much benifitted by your late voyage. should you relapse, will you permit me to recommend my Native state as a much more salubrious climate than that which you inhabit, and there I should rejoice to find you on my return, which I hope will be the next Spring You gave me some reason to hope that you would visit the Northern States. I think you would be pleasd with the Tour. the dissagreeable Situation of the Massachusetts for some months past is changed I presume for the better, and I would hope the Rebellion quite Surpressd. The discontents of the people cannot be grounded in reason, for there is no Country in the world where the liberties and properties of the subject are more sacredly preserved, nor are there any subjects who pay less for the ease and security which they enjoy, but the Idea of these insurgents is that { 114 } they ought to pay nothing nor be at any trouble for preserving to themselves the Blessings of Peace & security. to please Such persons is impossible, and the dissagreeable alternative of reduceing them to obedience by force was the only resource this has Stained our annals with a civil war, and gratified the benevolence of our Good Friends on this Side of the water. I hope with you that the united Efforts of our wisest & ablest Countrymen who are now convened, may prove Succesfull in extricating us from our present embarresments, but they cannot work miracles, & unless a Spirit of Eoconomy industery & frugality, can be diffused through the people they will find their labours a mere Penelopean web.3
you Guesd very right with regard to my venerable title. on the 2d of April I was vested with it, & have now a fine Grandson 3 months old Mrs smith is very well & Nurses her little Boy. Col Smith is absent in Spain upon bublick buisness which must apoligize to mrs caroline, for not hearing from him by this opportunity mr Adams joins me in compliments to mr Smith & to your Brother who was your fellow passenger, and to his old associates in congress, whom I have not the pleasure of knowing—
our Friend mrs Channing continues in poor Health but good spirits.4 many American have left London Since the spring and we are now going to lose mr Gibbs & mr Heyward. The latter is kind enough to be the bearer of this Letter to you. I propose Setting out on a journey to plimouth next week for the benifit of my Health, having been a great part of the Spring confined by sickness. I hope you will continue to write me during my residence here be assured dear madam that I shall always take great pleasure in hearing of the Health & happiness of yourself & family by a Gentleman lately from France who lodged in the Same House with your Son I had the pleasure of learning that his Health was perfectly restored.5 be so good as to present me affectionately to the young Ladies & believe / me most sincerely your / Friend & Humble Servant
[signed] A A
Dft (Adams Papers); notation by AA: “To Mrs / Smith of / Carolina july 14 / 1787.”
1. Young, Night Thoughts, Night II, line 571.
2. “Not sordid souls of earthly mould / Who drawn by kindred charms of gold / To dull embraces move: / So two rich mountains of Peru / May rush to wealthy marriage too, / And make a world of love” (Isaac Watts, “Few Happy Matches,” lines 13–18).
3. AA alludes to Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, who put off various unwanted suitors by promising to select one as soon as she finished weaving a shroud. She would weave all day and then undo her work each night, leading to the adage of Penelope's web—labor that is unproductive and unending (Oxford Classical Dicy.).
{ 115 }
4. Joanna Gibbes Izard Channing, formerly of South Carolina, had moved to London in 1769 with her husband John Channing. She stayed in Britain when he returned to the United States in 1782 (Laurens, Papers, 16:26–27, note 1).
5. Thomas Rhett Smith (1768–1829), the Smiths' eldest child, had been ill in Paris in 1786. He recovered and eventually returned to South Carolina where he served in the state's general assembly from 1792 to 1801 (N. Louise Bailey, Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, vol. 4, 1791–1815, Columbia, S.C., 1984; Jefferson, Papers, 10:524).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0048

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Date: 1787-07-14

Abigail Adams Smith to Lucy Cranch

most readily my Dear Lucy do I acknowledge the tittle of friend with which you address me—and am very happy to have preserved your esteem thus far in Life— I wish it had been my fate to have enjoyed the Society of my friends more than it has,— three years have now elapsed since I parted with every female friend that I had acquired from my earliest infancy to the age of Nineteen; and I have not been so fortunate as to have acquired any in Europe to Supply their Loss— in America I have gained a Whole family of friends and Sisters My Best friend—has Six sisters—whose friendship I Consider a great acquisition—and promise myself great sattisfaction from a Personall knowledge of them—1 we already Correspond—and by their Letters and from the affection expressed for their Brother I know them to be very amiable and agreeable— from the manner of their Sollicitude to possess the friendship of their Brother you would imagine them rival favourites Contending by every assiduity and attention, to gain an assendance over each other in his affection—
You ask me my Dear a very queer question (whether my Husband possesses my whole Heart) but I can answer without hesitation that he does—nor would I have given my hand to any One who did not possess it— but my Dear it does not exclude any other friend who had a prior claim upon it, but has strengthened every other friendly attachment.
You are I suppose informed that my Parents intend returning to America the ensueing Spring and I dare say will rejoice at an event which must Contribute so much to your happiness, I hope the Period is not far distant when your Cousin will also have the pleasure of paying you a visit and of Presenting to you her friend—and a young Stranger who made his appearance a few Weeks since— he is a fine Boy—and the play thing throughout the House
my father and Mother intend makeing an excursion the next week into Devonshire and they have persuaded me to accompany them { 116 } during the absence of Mr Smith who is gone to Portugoll upon some Publick business—and Cannot return before the beginning of September. they intend going as far as Plymouth and I think it is there that some of Your friends reside if we should see them I will give you some account of our visit upon my return, and write you a longer Letter than it is in my Power att Present. Barnard is to sail in a few days and I have many other Letters to write before we set out
Let me hear from you frequently and beleive me your friend
[signed] A Smith
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “Miss Lucy Cranch / Braintree / Massachusetts”; internal address: “Miss Lucy Cranch—”
1. WSS's six sisters were Margaret (Peggy), Belinda, Charity, Sarah (Sally), Elizabeth (Betsy), and Ann (Nancy) Smith. For more on WSS's siblings, including AA's observations about them, see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 Dec. 1788, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0049

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-07-16

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

If as the poet says, expectation makes the blessing sweet,1 your last Letter was peculiarly so, as you conjectured I was not a little anxious that neither Captain Barnard or Davis brought me a line. I was apprehensive that Something was the matter some imminent danger threatning some Friend, of which my Friends chose not to inform me untill thir fate was decided. I sent on board the Ship, the Solitary Box of meal was searchd throughout. What not one line, from my dear sister Cranch, she who has never before faild me, can it be possible, uncle Smith did not as usual say in his Letter that all Friends were well. Dr Tufts for the first time omitted mentioning my children, that might be because they thought that they had written, thus was my mind agitated untill Captain Scotts arrival who brought me your kind Letter of May the 20th,2 but none from either of my Neices or Children those dear Lads do not write so often as I wish them to, because they have nothing more to say than that they are well, not considering how important that intelligence is to an affectionate parent. mr J Cranch wrote me soon after Barnards arrival and sent me an extract of a Letter from miss B Palmer with a particular account of the performances in April at Cambridge, in which your son & mine bore a part. These Young Gentlemen are much indebted to her for her partiality, and the very flattering manner in which she describes them. I hope they will continue to { 117 } deserve the esteem of all good judges and do honour to themselves and their Country. the account you give me of the Health of JQA, is no more than I expected to hear. I warnd him frequently before he left me, and have been writing him ever since. I hope he will take warning before it is too late. it gives me great satisfaction to learn that he has past through the university with so much reputation, and that his fellow Students are attached to him. I have never once regreeted the resolution he took of quitting Europe, and placing himself upon the Theatre of his own Country, where if his Life is spaired, I presume he will neither be an Idle or a useless Spectator. Heaven grant that he may not have more distressing scenes before him, and a Gloomier stage to tread than those on which his Father has acted for 12 years past, but the curtain rises before him, and instead of peace waving her olive branch, or Liberty seated in a triumphal car or commerce Agriculture and plenty pouring forth their Stores, Sedition hisses Treason roars, Rebellion Nashes his Teeth. Mercy Suspends the justly merited blow, but justice Striks the Guilty victim. here may the Scene close and brighter prospects open before us in future. I hope the political machine will move with more safety and security this year than the last, and that the New Head may be endowed with wisdom sufficient to direct it. there are Some good Spokes in the Wheels, tho the Master workmen have been unskilfull in discarding some of the best, and chusing others not sufficiently Seasond, but the crooked & cross graind will soon break to peices, tho this may do much mischief in the midst of a jouney, and shatter the vehicle, yet an other year may repair the Damages, but to quit Allegory, or you will think I have been reading Johnny Bunyan. The conduct of a certain Gentleman is rather curious.3 I really think him an honest Man, but ambition is a very wild passion, and there are some Characters that never can be pleasd unless they have the intire direction of all publick affairs, and when they are unemployd, they are continually blaming those in office, and accusing them of Ignorance or incapacity, and Spreading allarms that the Country is ruined and undone, but put them into office, and it is more than probable they will persue the same conduct, which they had before condemned, but no Man is fit to be trusted who is not diffident of himself Such is the frailty of humane Nature, & so great a flatterer is Self Love, that it presents false appearences, & deceives it votaries.
The comedy writer has been drawing his own Character and an other Gentlemans I fancy. strange Man, would he act as well as he { 118 } can write, he might have been an ornament to Society, but what signifies a Head, without a Heart, what is knowledge but an extensive power to do evil, without principal to direct and govern it? “unstable as water, thou shalt not excell” I have often quoted to him.4 I look upon him as a lost Man. I pity his folly, and am sorry he is making himself so conspicuous. I think Sir John Temple was the writer of the Letter from Newyork giving an account of the Play, Birds of a Feather—5 The House at Braintree which you mention I would not fail of having, & am sorry the dr did not bargan for it without waiting to hear from us. We have written him twice upon the subject, as to building we shall never be able to do that, if the dr should purchase it. I wish you would look it over and let us know what repairs are necessary. I shall not be able to write much by Captain Barnard, as we are prepairing for a long jouney. I have been so very unwell through the Spring and winter that the dr Says a journey and change of air is absolutly necessary for me our intention is to visit Devenshire & to go as far as plimouth which is about 200 & 30 miles. as we take the Baby and a Nursery maid, Esther a footman & coachman we shall make a large calvacade and be absent a month or 5 weeks. Col Smith we do not expect back till September. we hear from him by every post. I am distrest for Sister Shaw & her children the disorder is of the most infectious Nature, and a House, linen, & every thing & person requires as much cleansing as with the Small pox, of which I fear people are not sufficently aware. When Mr Copley about a year & half ago lost two fine children with it, the doctors advised to these precautions, & gave large doses of the bark to the attendance. I think Sister Shaw would have done well to have sent both her children out of Haverhill. I pray Heaven preserve them— I did not get a line from her by either of the vessels. I have had with me for a fortnight a little daughter of mr Jeffersons, who arrived here with a young Negro Girl her Servant from Virginia. mr Jefferson wrote me some months ago that he expected them & desired me to receive them. I did so and was amply repaid for my trouble a finer child of her age I never saw, so mature an understanding, so womanly a behaviour and so much sensibility united is rarely to be met with. I grew so fond of her, & she was so attached to me, that when mr Jefferson sent for her, they were obliged to force the little creature away. She is but 8 years old. She would Set some times and discribe to me the parting with her Aunt who brought her up, the obligations she was under to her & the Love she had for her little cousins, till the Tears would stream down her { 119 } cheeks, and now I had been her Friend and she loved me, her pappa would break her Heart by making her go again. she clung round me so that I could not help sheding a tear at parting with her. she was the favorite of every one in the House. I regreet that Such fine spirits must be spent in the walls of a convent. She is a beautifull Girl too, my little Boy grows finely and is as playfull as a Lamb, is the Healthest child I ever saw, and pretty enough. his Mamma I think looks the better for being a Nurse. he is very content with being twice a day supplied by her, feeds the rest, and never misses being twice a day carried out to walk in the air when it is fair weather You see what a mere Grandmama I am that can fill up half a page in writing of the child. this I presume is commencment week. I dare say the young folks feel anxious. I dont know whether I should venture to be a hearer if I was in America I should have as many pertubations as the Speakers. I hope they will acquit themselves with honour. mr Adams desires me to tell cousin Cranch that any of his Books are at his service I believe we must send some of these Young Men to settle at Vermont. can they get their Bread in Massachussets? but the World is all before them, may providence be their Guide.
I send my dear sisters each a tea urn, which must prove comfortable in a hot summers day I have orderd them put up in a Box together and addrest to uncle Smith. the Heater, & the Iron which you put it in with, is to be packed in the Box by the Side of them. whilst your water is boiling, you heat the Iron & put it in to the little tin inclosure always minding that the water is first put in. this keeps it hot as long as you want to use it.— how are English Goods now? cheeper I suppose than I can buy them here, and India much lower, in the article of Spice could you credit it if I was to tell you that I give 2 pound Eleaven Shillings sterling pr pound for Nutmegs—and other Spice in proportion yet tis really so— I cannot write my Neices now, but hope my journey will furnish materials—my Love to them. who owns Germantown now, is mr Palmers family in any way of Buisness? how is miss payne, & where is she?— Mrs Parkers arrival will be an acquisitions to our American acquaintance. she appears an agreeable woman we have a General Stuart & Lady here Philadelphians, lately from Ireland. I knew him when I first came here. he went to Ireland and has been there with her two years, they spend the winter here. Mrs Gardner has never visited me untill yesterday, tho she has been here a Year concequently I have never Seen her, for it is an invariable rule with me to receive the first visit. I { 120 } have formed a very agreeable acquaintance with a Sir George Stanton & Lady. I know not a warmer American. he cultivats their acquaintance, and is a very sensible learned Man. Lady Staunton is an amiable woman and we visit upon very social and Friendly terms. I must however add that Sir George is an Irishman by birth & I have invariably found in every Irish Gentleman, a Friend to America. it is an old observation that mutual Sufferings begets Friendships. Lady Effingham is just returnd to Town after an absence of a 12 Month.6 her Ladyship drank tea with me on Sunday, & I Supd & spent the Evening with her the week after. She has traveld much in Russia Sweeden Denmark Holland France Ireland, and has a most Sprightly lively fancy: joind to a volubility of Tongue which united with good sense & a knowledge of the World renders her a pleasing companion, but She like all the rest of the English Ladies, with whom I have any acquaintance is destitute of that Softness & those feminine graces which appear so lovely in the females of America. I attribute this in a great measure to their constant intercourse at publick places. I will see how they are in the Country. I have been gratified however in finding that all Foreigners who have any acquaintance with American Ladies give the preference to them, but john Bull thinks nothing equal to himself and his Country; you would be Surprizd to see & hear the uncivil things Said against France, and all its productions I have never found so much illiberality in any Nation as this, but there are many Worthy & amiable Characters here whom I shall ever respect, and for whose Sakes this Country is preserved from total Ruin & destruction. but I am running on at a Strange rate. adieu my dear sister, remember me to my Worthy Mother Brothers & all my Nephews Neices & Neighbours, and believe me at all times your affectionate / Sister
[signed] Abigail Adams.
PS having sent you a Lamp I now Send you something to Light it with the directions are with it. I have given these into the care of a mrs Wentworth who came here last Spring in persuit of an estate which I have no doubt belongs to her, but for want of Money She cannot come at it.7 She is a virtuous well behaved deserving woman. she has been I believe as much as a month at different times in my family, and can tell you more about us than perhaps 20 Letters. Dr Bulfinch recommended her to us, when she came.8 I tried to get her some employ but could not succeed, and she is now obliged to return much poorer than when she came, and without any prospect of { 121 } Success. when you go to Town, if you send for her to uncle Smiths, She will come and see you as I have desired her.— Inclosed you find a Louis d'or9
RC (private owner, 1957).
1. “'Tis expectation makes a blessing dear” (Sir John Suckling, “Against Fruition,” line 23).
3. James Warren.
4. Genesis, 49:4.
5. Royall Tyler's The Contrast was reviewed in the New York Independent Journal, 5 May. The author, “Philo. Dramaticus,” described the play as “an extraordinary effort of genius. . . . America may one day rank a Tyler in the Dramatic Line as she already does a Franklin and a West in those of Philosophy and the Fine Arts.” Temple was in New York at the time serving as British consul general to the United States (vol. 5:272).
6. For Catherine Howard, Countess of Effingham, see vol. 6:188, 193.
7. Mary Wentworth wrote to AA on 13 Aug., just prior to sailing for the United States, to thank her “for all your Favours. Words Cannot Express the Sense I have of your Goodness to me: What an unhapy Destitute Creature I Should have bene, in my Disapointd, Preplexing Situation Without your Kind assistance: it is to you: By Gods premision I Shall owe, the Blessing of Seeing my Beloved Husband and Family again” (Adams Papers).
8. For Dr. Thomas Bulfinch of Boston, see vol. 2:16.
9. AA may have intended to scratch out this final sentence. See also the postscript to AA to JQA, 18 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0050

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-16

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

My dear sister will I am sure excuse me if I send her now but a short Letter—when she is inform'd that there is but one day between this & commencment & that I have but just hear'd that capt. Folger will sail this week
It is true we are doing but little but it makes us more work than Ten such entertainments at home. every thing is dress'd here, & to be cut cold at cambridge except Green Peas. we are allamoding Two rounds of Beef, Boiling four Hams of Bacon & six Tongues. They smell finely I assure you. this will be all our meat—cider Punch wine & Porter our drink: we have had our Tables & seats made here, nothing but Boards plain'd, making them hear will save us five or six-dollars we have Milk Bisket & plumb Cake to be eat with our Tea. Betsy Smith from Haverhill has been here some time. She & Lucy are gone to day mr JQ.A. & Billy also. tomorrow mr Cranch & I go. Betsy is not well enough to be in such a Bustle so she will stay at home & take care of the House— her nerves are so weak that she cannot bear to be in the company of strangers without being distress'd she has lost her Flesh surprizingly within two months I feel very anxious about her. was it Lucy I should certainly in a { 122 } consumtion, but this poor Girl is so subject to dissorders & so apt to recover them that I cannot but hope she will be again restor'd Cousin JQA has lost as much Flesh as she has but he looks much better than he did in the spring he is going a journey to Haverhill after commencment
I heard the other day by a Letter Mr Gill writ his uncle that mrs Smith was safe a Bed with a son nam'd after the Baron Stubend.1 I most sincerly congratilate you all upon this event but the same Letter inform'd us you was confin'd to your chamber by sickness— Joy & sorrow follow each other in swift succession in this imperfect state— I fear you do not use exercise enough any more than your eldest son— He will take a journey after the Bustle of commencment is over to Falmouth & then sit down to the study of the Law will mr Parsons. There will be a hard parting on Billys side at least. He wishes to study with his cousin but we cannot pay his Board & the demands of a Teacher also at least for a year or two the expence of the last year has been very great & yet Billy has been as prudent as a child could be, but I hope we shall get through it without injuring any one & that it will not be lost upon him. He has behav'd well & pass'd thro college without a censure Tomorrow he will compleat his eighteenth year— There is no time of Life exemted from temtations, but I have thought that there was none more critical for a Gentleman than from eithteen to twenty two. Passion is then the strongest & is too apt to prove an over match for Reason. we have some melancholy instances of it in our young Freinds upon Milton Hill you will drop a tear when you know what characters they have acquir'd in the world.2 The Parents have taken it amiss that our sons do not visit them more & that there is not a greater intimacy with their Children—but my dear sister—I have beg'd them if they value their reputations not to have the least appearenc of any with them—I expect to have a complaint enter'd against me before your Ladyship upon the account of it, but sure I am that was you here you would do the same I am greev'd for their Parents— Let us teach our children humility—& not to think more highly of themselves than they ought. Let us teach them that no rank of their ancestors be if ever so high will secure them the approbation esteem & respect of the world without the strictest attention to the rules of honour morality, & Religion
our sons look a little anxous as the Day approaches—I wish it was over. Billy is too busy assisting us too think much but my Nephew walks about with his hands hung down crying “oh Lord! oh Lord—I { 123 } hope it will rain hard that all their white wigs may be wet who would not let us have a private commencment—” be compos'd said I, perform your Parts well & you will find that the Honour you will gain & the pleasure you will give your Freinds will over ballance all the anxietys you have experienc'd—
adieu for the present I must go & pack to send another cart tomorrow one is gone to day. I am almost sick with a cold & cough— I have been pouring down medicene for two days hoping to remove it—but it sticks fast & is obstinate— If callahan should get in & I should hear good tydings from my dear Friends it may do much to help me—
1. William Steuben Smith's father had served with Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von Steuben (1730–1794), a veteran of the Prussian Army who joined the Continental Army in 1778 (DAB; Roof, Smith and Lady, p. 141).
2. For Winslow Warren's financial and legal troubles, see vol. 7:104, 111. Many years later, on 2 Feb. 1820, JQA would write a scathing analysis of the entire Warren family in his Diary. He recalled that James and Mercy Otis Warren “during my earliest infancy were the dearest and most intimate friends of my father and Mother. They had then five sons—James, Charles, Winslow, Henry and George, of whom the two youngest were very nearly of my age— They were five as handsome, well-bred and promising boys as ever kindled the hopes of a parent; and among the earliest and profoundest of my recollections are the constant and urgent admonitions of my dear mother to look to those children as my model and to imitate their deportment and manners— Yet eve'ry one of them has turned out unfortunately—” JQA went on to elaborate on their misfortunes, including James' injury during the Revolution, which left him a “helpless cripple”; Charles' early death from consumption; George's “intemperance”; and Winslow's “licentious and adventurous life . . . the plaything of practised harlots.” Only Henry received some praise for achieving “a more respectable standing in Society” though he too had to be “removed from a public office for malversation” (D/JQA/31, APM Reel 34).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0051

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-16

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the happiness of receiving yesterday my daughter in perfect health. among the first things she informed me of was her promise to you, that after she should have been here a little while she would go back to pay you a visit of four or five days. she had taken nothing into her calculation but the feelings of her own heart which beat warmly with gratitude to you. she had fared very well on the road, having got into favor with gentlemen & ladies so as to be sometimes on the knee of one sometimes of another. she had totally forgotten her sister, but thought, on seeing me, that she recollected something of me. I am glad to hear that mr̃ & mrs̃ Paradise are gone or going to America. I should have written to them, but supposed them { 124 } actually gone. I imagined mr̃ Hayward gone long ago. he will be a very excellent opportunity for sending the packet to mr̃ Drayton.1 Petit will execute your commissions this morning, and I will get mr̃ Appleton to take charge of them. he sets out for London the day after tomorrow. the king & parliament are at extremities about the stamp act, the latter refusing to register it without seeing accounts &c.2 M. de Calonne has fled to the Hague. I had a letter from Colo. Smith dated Madrid June 30. he had been detaind by the illness of his servant. but he was about setting out for Lisbon. my respects attend his lady & mr̃ Adams, and eternal thanks yourself with every sentiment of esteem & regard from Dear Madam / Your most obedient / & most humble servt
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Madame / Madame Adams / Grosvenor square / á Londres.”; internal address: “Mrs. Adams”; docketed by AA2: “Mr Jefferson july 16 1787—”
1. William Drayton (1732–1790), a lawyer and former chief justice of East Florida, was the chairman of the South Carolina Society for Promoting and Improving Agriculture to whom Jefferson was sending a sample of Italian rice (DAB; Jefferson, Papers, 11:520–521; AA to Thomas Jefferson, 10 July, above).
2. The Parliament of Paris was steadfast in its refusal to register the new stamp and land taxes proposed at the Assembly of Notables the preceeding February. Finally, on 20 Sept., Louis XVI relented and agreed to drop them (J. F. Bosher, The French Revolution, N.Y., 1988, p. 111).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0052

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-18

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my Dear Son

I give you joy of the day, as I presume it is commencment with you at Cambridge, and as it is about 4 oclock in the afternoon, I imagine you have past through your performance, I hope with approbation of the hearers, and reputation to yourself, pray favour me with a sight of it by the next opportunity and now I Suppose you will be deliberating with yourself what is next to be done? but why have you never told me whether you got my Letter from Newyork,1 and you proposed, should we return next Spring, perhaps you might chuse to persue your Studies with your Father, that we shall return then if our Lives are Spaired I have no doubt, but till that time you would not chuse to be Idle your Aunt mentiond that you had thoughts of going to mr Dana your pappa would leave you intirly to your own choice, & to mr Dana he can have no objection, and I do not wonder that you should give him the preference on many accounts. it is a very agreeable family if you could get to Board in it. I have a sincere Friendship for Mrs Dana. be sure you give my Love { 125 } to her; & tell her I hope to Spend many more Sociable Evenings with her, when I return to America. I have been sorry to think that her reason for not writing me was oweing to my being in a different station of Life from what I formerly was. I should despice myself if I thought it made any alteration in my sentiments towards my Friends. I had much rather attribute it to her indolence, & love of ease, that she did not chuse the trouble of it. now this I can forgive, and knowing her so well that I am determined, to believe the other a mere flight, tell her I shall have it to settle with her when I return—
your Aunt Cranch wrote me that you had been unwell, and I heard from others that you had lost your Flesh.2 the latter I should not regreet, if ill Health and too close application did not occasion it. I have so frequently admonished you that I would not tire you by a repetition. light food is necessary for a student. if as usual your Stomack abounds with acid, Lime water mixd with milk, which takes away the dissagreeable taste you would find the best antidote, one pound of stone Lime, upon which pour a Gallon of Boiling water Let it stand till clear then pour it of & bottle it, take it twice a day, a large tea cup full mixd with milk— now you need not laugh, for if your food sours, it is impossible it should digest, & from thence arise your complaints—
I have been in such poor Health through the winter and spring, that the Dr advises to my going a long jouney— tomorrow we set of for Plimouth & expect to be absent a Month,— I have sent you by Captain Barnard Cloth for a coat, it is a fashionable coulour, & the buttons very tasty. you will find a waistcoat pattern with it, and I have given to mrs Wentworth a Boston woman who is a passenger Sattin for a pr of Breeches, which she will leave at uncle Smiths for you; she has been a good deal in the family with me, and I have every reason to believe her a trust worthy woman you have not acknowledg the receipt of your shirts, or told me if they fitted you.3 Mr Hollis was in Town to day from the Hide, and dined with us. he has left in my care the works of Dr Jebb, to be sent to Harvard college.4 I will Send you a Set as soon as I can get them bound. he was one of the choise ones of the Earth.— I shall direct them to be left at uncle Smiths— our Good Friends the Dutch are in a dissagreeable situation, as you will see by the publick papers. England and France are arming at all points, what will be the result, time only can devellope— your sister writes so much by this opportunity that I hope I may be excused, [as I] am prepairing for so long a journey, & { 126 } am obliged to go [in] such a calvacade. your sister & Nephew accompanies us Remember me to your Brothers. I will write them by the next opportunity— adieu most affectionately yours—
[signed] Abigail Adams
inclosed you find a Louis d'or
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “Mr John Quincy Adams / Boston / Massachusetts”; endorsed: “My Mother. 18. July 1787.” and “Mrs: Adams. July 18. 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. AA to JQA, 28 Nov. 1786, vol. 7:405–406.
2. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 22 April 1787, and Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 20 May, both above.
3. AA to JQA, 17 Jan., vol. 7:442–443.
4. John Disney, The Works, Theological, Medical, Political, and Miscellaneous, of John Jebb: With Memoirs of the Life of the Author, London, 1787.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0053

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Date: 1787-07-19

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] my dear sister

I will not plead in excuse that I have not by any of the late vessels received a Line from my Sister, and on that account omit writing to her. I know she would have written to me if she had known early enough of the opportunity I hope she has before this time received all the Letters I have written to her, & the little matters I have sent her— Mrs Cranch wrote me that the Thoat distemper had broken out, with great voilence in Haverhill it is a terrible disease & frequently Baffles the Skill of the Physician. it is so infectious as to expose every person who attends the sick to it, and therefore taking large doses of the Bark in powder is considerd as a good antidote & preservative, but smoking airing washing & cleansing ever article as after the Small Pox in the natural way, is considerd here as absolutely necessary. it has been known to break out in families after the disease had quitted it, only from some infectious garment. I should have advised my sister to have Sent her children immediately out of Town. as she would from the Small Pox in the natural way burning pitch & Tar, Hot viniger, are all good purifiers of the air; I pray Heaven preserve you & yours— I want, yet feel affraid to hear, from you. I hope the warm weather will be the means of abating and removeing the disease. I am something relieved by a Letter from Dr Tufts of the 15 of june2 if any of my Friends had been sick, he would have mentiond it.
I am going tomorrow to set out in a journey of between 2 & 3 hundred miles in hopes that it will essentially serve my Health. I { 127 } have been very frequently ill through the Spring & Summer, and am advised to this journey as a restoritive. we shall be absent about a month. we mean to visit Devonshire & to see the place of our dear Brother Cranchs nativity. it is said to be one of the finest counties in England Mrs Smith & the little Boy accompanies us, Col Smith we do not expect back till Sepbr. I have by Captain Barnard Sent you a Tea urn, it is packd in a Box with one for Sister Cranch. you will find an Iron calld a heater. This when the water is boild, you heat red hot & put in the tin middle peice which keeps the water hot during the whole process of tea making. I have also sent you a little contrivence for lighting a candle when your fire is out, the directions for useing are round the case— The Box is addrest to uncle smiths care. I think you will find the urn of great service in Hot weather.
I have only to add my regards to Brother Shaw & a Book which was forgotten by the last opportunity Mr Adams joins me in affectionate Regards to you and yours Mr Sparhawk was so good as to call & offer to take a Letter I am Sensible of his civility, but as I Shall be absent when he Sails. I think it best to commit all my Letters to captain Barnard. I am my dear Sister with Sincere wishes for / your Health & happiness / your ever affectionate / Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed by AA2: “Mrs: Elizabeth Shaw / Haverhill / Massachusetts”; endorsed: “July 20th 1787”; notations: “Sh: 2.” and “Pr. Poste.”
1. The corrected date is based on the fact that the Adamses set off on their trip to Devonshire on 20 July; see JA to Richard Cranch, 20 July, below.
2. Possibly Cotton Tufts to JA, 13 June, above. A letter by Tufts of 15 June has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0054

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Date: 1787-07-19

Abigail Adams Smith to Elizabeth Cranch

to what Cause my Dear Eliza am I to attribute that Air of Mistery which reigns throughout your last Letter to me,—1 you ever Possessed my friendship Esteem and affection, nor do I know that you have ever intentionally forfeited either, why then my Dear Girl do you imagine them estranged from you,— there is one Epoch of our Lives which I Consider as the Ordeal of friendship, if we are so fortunate as to Pass this Period and retain the friends of our Youth I think we may flatter ourselves that the attachment will withstand { 128 } the future vicissitudes of time, Happily my friend has your Cousin passed and She hopes in Possession of your affections, and those of her other Partial friends, and She can form no wish that can more promote your happiness than that She may soon have the pleasure of returning your Congratulations so Kindly expressed in yours of November the 18th which Letter should have been long ere this acknowledged had not indisposition the Last Winter prevented me from returning those attentions to my friends which their Letters really demanded from me—
Should you not be amused my Dear Eliza to see your Cousin performing her part in the Character She has lately become an Actress in I wish it was in my Power to Present my Son to you—for he is a cleaver Boy—and I think resembles my Brother Charles—but a quiet Soul just like his Mamma—he is not however wanting in sprightliness—
It would greatly Contribute to my happiness were it in my Power to partake of some of those Cares and attentions which you are so kind during our absence to undertake for my Dear Brothers their judicious and manly Conduct would I am sure be a full recompence for any little trouble they might occasion, the Worthy and amiable Characters which they Sustain is a scource of great Sattisfaction to us—
I dare say the parting of the Happy friends which will I suppose take place within a few days from this time will be with mutual regret— if the day for Commencement was yesterday and we may form any idea of your season by this you were very fortunate—for it was very Cool and pleasant here—we thought of it much—and wished to be transported to the scene—
tomorrow we set out upon an excurssion into the West of England— we propose setting our faces towards Plymouth—to traverse the County of Devonshire and to take up our quarters for some time at Exeter, Plymouth, and wherever elce we may find it inviting the season is fine—and the weather not so Cold as Usual—which reminds me more of my own Country than any season I have ever passed here—& this is no small inducement to render it agreeable—
Whilst on our Tour or after our return I will indeavour to give you some idea of it— I should anticipate more Plasure if my friend was to accompany us—but he is absent upon Public Business in Portugal—and cannot return these six weeks— there are always upon Such excursions little if not great difficulties to encounter and he { 129 } Possesses the Happy faculty of removeing them and rendering every thing easy to those who accompany him—
Barnard is expected to Sail before our return which makes me sollicitous to write to as many of my friends before we set out as I can and will I hope be a sufficient appology to my Cousin for the Haste of this—
be so good as to Present my Duty and respects to my Grand Mamma—and add those of her Great Grandson my Compliments and regards as they are due—to Nancy Quincy I ought to write and did intend it but have not time left by this opportunity—remember me to her and beleive me / yours sincerely
[signed] A Smith
RC (MHi:Christopher P. Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch / Braintree / near Boston / Massachusetts—”; internal address: “Eliza Cranch—”; endorsed: “Mrs A Smith / 1787.”
1. No letters from Elizabeth Cranch to AA2 have been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0055

Author: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1787-07-20 - 1787-07-28

This is a summary of a document and does not contain a transcription. If it is available elsewhere in this digital edition, a page number link will be provided below in the paragraph beginning "Printed."

Abigail Adams' Diary of a Tour from London to Plymouth, 20–28 July 1787

MS (M/AA/1, APM Reel 197). PRINTED: JA, D&A, 3:203–208. AA's Diary of the family's trip through west England describes only the first nine days of their month-long excursion. For the period it covers, the Diary provides considerable detail on the family's activities. AA notes all of their stops, where they lodged (and the quality of those lodgings), and who they met, as well as historical facts about some of the sites. Not surprisingly, she also takes the opportunity to comment on the impoverished state of English society: “Through a Country as fertile as Eden and cultivated like a Garden you see nothing but misirable low thatchd Huts moulderd by time with a small old fashiond glass window perhaps two in the whole House. . . . On some lone Heath a Shepeards Cottage strikes your Eye, who with his trusty dog is the keeper of a vast flock owned by some Lord, or Duke. If poverty, hunger and want should tempt him to slay the poorest Lamb of the flock, the penal Laws of this Land of freedom would take his Life.” The journal breaks off abruptly, mid-sentence, in the midst of AA's description of their visit to Exeter, where they met with members of Richard Cranch's family.
JA and AA2 also kept journals of their travels. JA's notes (printed at D&A, 3:208–212) contain only one lengthy entry and are otherwise fragmentary. AA2's comments (printed in AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:84–94) are more extensive, but no manuscript copy is extant, and the printed version is somewhat unreliable, therefore it has not been reprinted here. Still, both supplement AA's Diary, as well as the correspondence printed below, in recording the family's tour.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0056

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-20

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son,

We Suppose, that you had your Degree last Wednesday, and upon that Supposition, I congratulate you upon it. it is hinted that you think of studying Law with Judge Dana till next Spring. if you can have the Honour and the Priviledge of studying under, two such great Masters as Judge Trowbridge and Judge Dana, I approve very much of the design.1 You cannot be in so good hands. but will the Gentlemen of the Bar, be willing that you should enter, under the Judge and compute your three Years from the time you begin?— You should be frugal of that Article of time.— if you like it, I will take you into my own office, next June, by which Time I expect to be at Braintree, and to undertake the Pleasing Office of Preceptor to my own Sons, and perhaps you will find upon the whole as many Advantages in this as in any other Plan.— I do not however mean, to divert you from your own Choice.— At all Events I think you ought to be entered on the Books of the Bar, as a student as early as possible.—2 My love to your Brothers.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr J. Q. Adams.”
1. Edmund Trowbridge (1709–1793) of Cambridge, Harvard 1728, held a number of prominent positions including that of Massachusetts attorney general and judge of the Superior Court (DAB;Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:507–520).
2. Lawyers were required to petition the bar for permission allowing a student to study with them. Law students were required to have a college education, or education that the bar deemed equivalent, and the petitioning attorney was required to ask for consent at a general meeting of the bar. The student then had to complete a three-year apprenticeship with a barrister before he could practice law independently. JQA had been admitted as a student in the Essex County bar association by 27 Sept. (Hollis R. Bailey, Attorneys and Their Admission to the Bar in Massachusetts, Boston, 1907, p. 21–22; JQA, Diary, 2:296).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0057

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1787-07-20

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have only the time to inform you, that this morning I am to Sett out, with My Wife and Daughter, with her little Son, to See your Country of Devonshire.— The air of London like that of Paris and Amsterdam, is in Summer, tainted to Such a degree, that all who can possibly get out of it; fly it, like a Pestilence. Mrs Adams, has for the last nine months been affected by this Climate, with Complaints that are common in it, and is advised by her Physician and { 131 } by all her Friends, to make a Tour. it is not less necessary for Mrs Smith. Nor should I dare venture to Stay in London thro the Summer. We propose to see Plymouth, Exeter Axminster &c— This will probably be the last Excursion, We Shall make, till We bend our Course, to Braintree. I hope Dr Tufts will buy me, Mr Tylers House: if not We shall return to the old Place.— The Voyages that have been commenced in February have been so long and distressing, that I shall not dare to expose my Family in their tender health, to embark before the Spring Equinox.— We shall take our Passage in the first ship that Sails in the latter End of March or beginning of April.
The Accounts We have of the Uneasy State of the Minds of our Countrymen: their innumerable Projects, and fluctuating Politicks are perhaps more distressing to Us, than they are to you who are on the Spot.— Are We all to become Champions and soldiers for a Bowdoin or a Hancock, a Livingston or a Clinton, a Morris or a Franklin &C &c &c. Is every State to have two or three families Scrambling for the first Place, and the disposal of the Loaves and Fishes, and is every Body to be obliged to take his side, and Scramble for one or the other.? Let Solon who compelled every citizen to take a Side say what he will, I cant see the moral Obligation on any one to take a side in Such Squabbles. if our Constitutions are Such as produce necessarily Such Contests, Let Us correct and amend them. and if the People will not consent to such Amendments: but are so in love with Blood and Carnage that they will have it, What shall We Say? It is no new fault in the World. Most Nations have been infected with it, and have suffered accordingly.— I Shall soon Send you a Volume of Romances, for Such you will think them, tho they are true History, which Will show our People what they are about and what they may expect.—1 if they are determined to go down the Precipice, it is fit they should see it, before they take the Leap and prepare for Death.— For my own Part I am too old and feeble, to fight.— They must put me to death for my Neutrality: for I will not be a Party Man. The Laws and their Defence, must have my Wishes and all the little Efforts I can make in my own Way. But I will neither be a Game Cock for Bowdoin nor Hancock, Lincoln nor Cushing. My Duties and Affections where they are due
[signed] John Adams.
RC (MeHi:Presidents File); addressed: “The Honourable / Richard Cranch / Boston”; internal address: “The Hon. Richard Cranch.”; notation: “Pr. Captain / Barnard.”
1. That is, the second volume of JA's Defence of the Const.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0058

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-21

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

The Day—the mighty Day is over, & our Sons have perform'd their Parts—& receiv'd the Honour of the college in a manner which will do them credit while they Live— never did you see two Happier Faces than theirs when they return'd from meeting— I do not believe they will ever feel so happy again— If to excell where all did well—can give pleasure your Son must feel a peculiar one. He has a faculty of throughing expresson into his countinance beyond any person I ever met with— I was not in the meeting house, but I am told that he excell'd in his manner every one who ever Spoke in it—The performences of the Day are said by every one to have been the best composition, & the best spoken of any since the universitys were created—
Every thing was conducted in our Chambers with the greatest order & regularity— Mr Beals who lives on our place at Weymouth had the whole care of delivering out drink & we had uncle Smiths Primus—& a Black Servant of cousin Willm. Smiths & our Pheby to attend the Tables—1 she was exceeding useful to me after dinner in washing up the Dishes & clearing the Tables we had two chambers one for the Tables & the other for our company to Sit in. We made no Tea but had cake & wine carried about in stead of it which sav'd us a great deal of trouble
We din'd above a hundred People & treated with cake & wine above four hundred I am very certain we were honour'd after Dinner with the company of His excellency the Governer & L—— Govr. & a number of the Senate—The Resident Professor & Tutors, who all came to congratulate us— In short I had enough to do to set & receive the congratulations of our Friends & acquaintance I most sincerly wish'd you with me to have taken your share— We were not only congratulated that we had a son & Nephew who had done themselves such Honour, that day but that they had sustain'd such amiable good characters during their residence at college— I had as much small Talk to do as their Majestys upon a presentation day—but they never felt half as much pleasure your sons all felt like my own & I presented them as my adopted ones till your return & proud enough I am of them—
Although we had so much company we had enough & to spair of every thing we made 28lb of Flower into cake & fine Plumb cake it { 133 } was. I sent mrs Hall a nice one & several of our common Frinds a slice who could not attend. I hope I have given general satisfaction to all our Freinds we ask'd general Palmers Family two days before commencment they took it into their Heads to be mift because they were not invited sooner & would not come, but if they knew how little I car'd & how little notice I should take of such unreasonable affronts they would keep them to themselves. Cousin Polly poor girl is not long for this world I believe. she fails very fast—2 The rest of the Family are well. The general is very busy erecting large salt Works upon the neck— I hope they will answer his expectations.—
To add to my happiness callahan arriv'd two days before Commencment & brought me an account of your being better than my imagination represented you. I long more than ever for your return—You must take more care of your health these complaints of yours are hard to be cur'd— I have suffer'd much in the same way for the two last years but have injoyd. my health finely sinc last summer till this ugly cold I have now got I was sick enough to have been upon the Bed on Wednesday but I got thro better than I expected too, & am going home this afternoon to be nurs'd up & to rest a little.—
I rejoice to hear of the Safety of my Niece & her little one. I hope her health is perfectly restor'd by this time. pray give my Love to her & to little master & tell him to grow firm enough to receive a hearty Squeeze from his great Aunt when she sees him— If Colln Smith is returnd tell him I had the pleasure of Colln. Humphrys company at our chamber on Wednesday last. That he talk'd of his Friend & that we both wish'd him & indeed all of you with us. The Coll. has promis'd to make us a visit at Braintree with Coll. Hull, Who is a great favourite of mine & Elizas. mrs Hull has just got to Bed with her fourth child3 I have lately been to see them
I have again to thank you for your kind presents to our children They have not time to write by this conveyence, but will soon but my sister why did you procure such costly Scandles. I fear it will not be in character for them to wear them. The maker has mortified them in the length of them for they cannot possible wear them. I wonder what kind of Feet he thought we had in america. I have not seen the chintz but dare say it is pretty. I believe we should have made up our silks if it had not have been for the peculiarty of the times but we did not think it prudent to do it— To say I thank you for all your goodness to us will not express half what I feel— I have receev'd the wastcoats & the linnen for cousin Tom we have not yet made up the fine Piece you sent him before, but are making some { 134 } for him of the coarser Piece you sent by Scot. he will want them for winter & we thought if best to make it of this because the frost would not cut it as if it was finer, & we can only make him just enough for present wear he grows so fast— I shall fix cousin JQ.A well with every thing to last him till the spring. he will lay by his shirts & other matters that will require much mending till he makes us a visit— I wish to have it all done here but some little matters must be done there
Sister Shaw & Sister Smith have both been with us but are return'd without going to Braintree. Sister Shaw looks very well for her—her children are well—but the Sickness prevails yet but it is not so mortal as it has been—
I was call'd off just now to your Friend mrs Rogers for the first time since she return'd. her health is poor. she rejoices to hear from you & mrs Smith hop'd for a Letter sends her Love—
I must leave a thoussand things to say for the next vessel as mr cranch is waiting to put a Packet a Board Folger mr cranch is much gratified with his Letter, thanks you will write as soon as he has time
tell Colln Smith he must not live in new york. we cannot spare my Niece & her little Family—& Grandmamma will not be able to do it I am sure
My Love to mr. Adams—as to you my sister I know not how to bid you adieu— may God preserve you & bring you once more safe to my arms— This is the constant Petition of you / affectionate Sister
[signed] M Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Cranch july / 21 1787”; docketed by AA2: “Mrs Cranch july 21st 1787.”
1. “Primus” was likely Primas Cooley of Weymouth, who had married Rachel, “a Negro Woman,” in 1775 (Vital Records of Weymouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1910, 2:225).
2. Despite her ill health, Mary (Polly) Palmer survived until Nov. 1791 (MHi:Peabody Family Papers, Mary Palmer Letters, 1790–1791). See vol. 7:201–202, note 5, for an account of the accident that caused her illness.
3. William and Sarah Hull's fourth child, Nancey, was born on 19 June 1787 (Vital Records of Newton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1905, p. 104).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0059

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-22

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

The last Week has indeed been a Week of Joy to me— We have “eat our Bread with gladness, & drank our Wine with merry Hearts—”1
{ 135 }
My dear Nephews have done themselves, & their Friends honour by their publick Performances— And Mr Shaw, & myself shared in a very particular manner, the general satisfaction, & Festivity of the Day—
William Cranch had a Dissertation shewing the Utillity, & necessity of three Branches in the Legislature.—
Your Son spoke an English Oration upon the importance of preserving publick Faith, &ce—
Leonard White had a Conference with Loyd, & Amory upon the Question, which had the greatest Influence upon Mankind, Wealth—Power—or Fame—2
Freeman from Sanwich spoke a most excellent Oration, both as to matter, & manner, & I should be too partial, if I had not preserved a Wreath, to bind around his Head—
I think both the Orators (for I cannot now recollect, & separate each part) represented to us the honourable, happy state we were in, at the close of the last War—marked out in very striking coulours, each footstep by which we had fallen into our present state, & shewed that Idleness, & Luxery ever did, & ever would bring on loss of Credit—Scorn, & Derission—Civil Wars—Anarchy, & all its dreadful Consequences—
J,Q,A, & Freeman were the Competiors of the Day, & seemed to vie with each other who should excell the most— The young Ladies charmed with the gracefullness of Freeman, would no doubt have presented him with the Palm—But more accurate Judges, & the admirers of dignity of Sentiment, & Composition would at least have debated upon the Preference—
I am sure no one could be a Judge of Mr Adam's Eloquence unless they kept their Eye fixed upon his Face, & saw each Passion, & each Feeling called up, & most strikingly, & happily delineated there—
It is 17 years since I have attended a Commencement before this— They speak now, there Performances cheifly in English, & of late years have greatly improved in the Art of Speaking—3 I have thought Oratory was too little attended too by this University—& many of our most sensible Youths have suffered sadly by the neglect— I wish they may not now run into the oposite extreme— For whoever expects now to be noticed, & wishes to make a Figure, reads Sheridan, & Blair with the greatest avidity, to the too great neglect (I fear) of Classickcal Authors, & more substantial knowledge— For after all, it must be considered only, as an exterior { 136 } accomplishment as an elegant Dress to a fine Woman, rendering her more conspicuous, & strikingly lovely—
The Centinel I see, has conveyed to the World with its usual good-humour some strictures upon Commencement Performances—But malevolence shall not cast a shade nor Scurility pluck the Laurel from their Brow—4
The Young Gentlemen may well content themselves, with the ample applause of the Day—
The Monday before Commencement we had a very fine rain, & the weather was uncommonly pleasant the whole of the week, I believe there never was so cool a Commencment known— Mr Shaw, & I, lodged at Professor William's— He rose early in the morning to take a walk anew over the classick ground, & found People who were making Booths upon the Common, thressing their Arms acros's their Breasts, to keep themselves warm—A curious sight this upon our Commencment Day—
Dr Tufts, & Mr Cranch had provided a very elegant, & genteel Entertainment— There was quite a large Company at the Chambers; but there was enough of every-thing, & to spare— There was not anything wanting but you, & part of you, to grace, & crown the whole—
It was exceeding pleasant for me, to see, & to recognize so many of my former Friends, & Acquaintance— I stood above an hour answering, & passing the usual Compliments of the Day— I thought of you at the Levee—Though there was this difference I suppose—Complacency & all the social affections of the Heart shone in their Countenances, which is never, or very seldom seen, in a Company of Strangers, wholly uninterested in each others welfare—
The Family Tenants were all there—Belcher—Beale & Pratt—who were very necessary, & useful— But as I returned from Meeting, passing the Colledge Entry, there sate in state our sable Domestic, accompanied by her solemn faced Partner, with his sabbath Day Coat, & tie Wig full powdered, looking like a piece of mock majesty— I could not but be diverted after Dinner to see him devouring the delicious Fragments—now mouthing a sweet crumb of Bread—now a fat slice of Bacon, & Tongue—now a rich piece of alamode Beef—& now a fine spoonful of green Peas—Lettice—Pickles &cc—clearing Plate by Plate & handing them, to his charming dewy, oderiferous Phebe, who was so kind as to wash them—
But what (my Dear Sister) gave a relish to every other enjoyment was the arrival of Callihan the Monday before, which brought us Letters announcing the welfare of your Family, & the Birth of your { 137 } Grandson— May you ever have Cause to rejoice in the Day— Kiss the sweet Fellow once—twice—three & tell the little Cherub his Aunt sent all she could—as a Token of her Love, & ardent Wishes, that his Life, & Health may be preserved— And in this Wish is included a sincere Petition, that its Parents may be surrounded with every Circumstance that can render Life delightful—smooth the Brow of Age—or sweeten the Bed of Death—
Your Letters gave me peculiar pleasure, for though they informed me of your poor Health, yet you was so much better than I feared, that I really felt releived—For my whimsical Brain had suggested to me that something was the matter— Last Fall, my Sisterly Spirit crossed the wide Ocean, & carefully attended you in your Illness—& early this Spring it went forth, & was siting by your side, nursing you night, after night, & kindly endeavouring to alleviate every Pain—
You may say, many wise Things upon this Subject—That I ought not to “believe in lying Vanities, & forsake real mercies—”5 I feel its force—But had much rather hear all were well, than read whole Volumes, upon the Folly of Enthusiasm—6
Judge Blodget deliverd to me your Packet, filld with every Expression of kindness To say I thank you, does not convey half the gratitude I feel— Mrs Allen too sends her Love, looked quite pleased & gratified when I presented her with the Box— She has been a little unwell with Billious disorders—but expected every Day those little matters would come in use—
August 21st.
When I began this Letter I hoped to have sent it imediately, but could not get it into Town soon enough— Mr & Mrs Evans have spent a fortnight with us— He is a worthy, good, sensible man, though the People of Weymouth can hardly say as He passes, “the Lord bless & prosper you”— He was reading in the Book you sent me, (which is an excellent one) the Authors opinion of early marriage He dissaproved of it greatly— I did not think his reasons sufficient— I told him very few had, or could have those Opportunities for improving which Mrs Evans had been favoured with— I was pleased to see they were not lost upon her— She is really a fine woman— An equality of Age, I see is as nothing in the Eye of Affection, for I know of no persons who seem more delighted, & happy in each other company— He is now gone with her to Exeter, & is preaching there—
{ 138 }
Your Sons have each of them favoured us with a visit— Thomas has grown so much; you would scarce believe it was the little Lad you left with us— He is as good as ever— The Misses think Charles a mere Adonis—a perfect Beauty— I said to him one Day “Charles the Girls fancy you are handsome”— [“]Do not forget it is a Gift of Nature, & as it is not your own acquisition, you can have no title to be vain— We would wish you to be esteemed (& I think we have Cause) & admired for the more lasting, & valuable Qualities of the Mind—” I hope I shall not make my sister anxious, she has no reason to be—but at a critical age— <May Minerva with her broad Sheild, preserve the dear Youth, from every Guile—> They are happy in having one who knows the dangers, & Temptations
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Shaw july 22 / 1787.” Dft (DLC:Shaw Family Papers).
1. Ecclesiastes, 9:7.
2. For James Lloyd Jr. and Jonathan Amory, see JQA, Diary, 2:97, 218–219, 223, 224.
3. Early Harvard commencement exercises were conducted nearly entirely in Latin. By the late eighteenth century, they had shifted to include more English, a trend that continued into the early nineteenth century by which time they were performed almost entirely in English (Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 33–34, 247).
4. The review of the exercises of the graduating class in the Massachusetts Centinel, 21 July, was largely complimentary, though in part in a rather backhanded fashion. The piece commented, “We shall premise, that the whole tenor of the performances reflected the highest honour upon the Patrons of the University, as well as upon the gentlemen who exhibited. The tediousness of fulsome syllogism was considerably abridged of the length to which it is usually extended, and we are induced to hope, that this species of scholastic jargon, so unprofitable to the hearer, and so mortifying to the disputant, will soon become unfashionable upon this day— All sound argument is indeed grounded upon syllogism, but it would surely be more entertaining and instructive, to discover this mode of reasoning in conferences and orations, than to view it in the ungraceful garb in which the schools have clothed it.”
5. “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” (Jonah, 2:8).
6. The RC ends here, presumably missing its final page. The last three paragraphs are reproduced from the Dft.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0060

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-08-01

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam.

At length the scene of my collegiate life is closed, and about a fortnight ago I made a public exit from the university: by the public papers you will have some account of the performances of the day. In one of them (the centinel) you will see it very positively asserted that Freeman, who spoke the other oration is my indisputable superior in style, elegance and oratory. in another paper that account is said to be ridiculously partial;1 those of the audience, who were friendly to Freeman, perhaps all thought like the writer in the { 139 } centinel: my friends who were present, perhaps thought me worthy of the preference; but an observer perfectly impartial, might not be willing to give an opinion on the subject, but might say, like Sir Roger de Coverley that “much might be said on both sides.”2 The critic in the centinel, you will easily perceive is not entirely guided by the hand of candor; especially when speaking of me: he mentions my being the son of an Ambassador, & the favorite of the officers of college, as if those circumstances were any thing to the purpose at that time. You perhaps may think it much to my honor that I should be so much in favor with the College government; but it was in fact the most invidious circumstance that could have been mentioned: but the compliment or the accusation, whatever it be, is not true: I have it is true been distinguished twice by allotments for Exhibitions, and by that of an Oration at Commencement. but Freeman perform'd at the same exhibitions, and had likewise an Oration at Commencement. these are the only marks I ever had of their favor. In all other respects they have always treated me, as they do every student who behaves with propriety towards them; I have often laugh'd at the awful superiority, which most of them assume when in company with a student: and at other times I have expressed my opinion freely upon certain transactions, in which they were not wholly justifiable; and further, that opinion has been reported to them: so that abstracted from the characters of preceptor and student I know I am far from being the favorite of some of those officers.— I have a warm and sincere friendship for Freeman; his natural abilities are very good and his disposition is amiable. his oratorical talents are great; and I should never wish to be considered as his rival or competitor: if however we must be view'd in that light, I have not the most distant pretensions to superiority, nor am I conscious of a decided inferiority. our manner both of writing and speaking is very different, and— but I have already said too much on this subject, and hope you will forgive these effusions of vanity, and attribute them to the desire of convincing you that I have not entirely neglected to improve those advantages, which, by the kindness of my parents I have enjoy'd.
I consider as one of the most fortunate circumstances of my life, that I came from Europe, as I did. it has been of great and real service to me in many particulars. It has reduced my opinion of myself and of my future prospects to a nearer level with truth: so that making allowances for the general exaggerations of youth, I do not overrate myself more than people in general are apt to do. it has enabled { 140 } me to form an intimate friendship, with a number of worthy characters of the same standing in life, with myself: and it has been the means of turning my attention to several important branches of study, which otherwise I must have neglected.— There are at the university two private Societies form'd upon a similar plan to that which you mention in one of your late letters. of these Societies, friendship is the soul, and literary improvement the object; and consequently neither of them is numerous. I was received as a member of both these Societies, very soon after my admission at the university; and I am certain that the institutions, are of great service to those who belong to them.3 In short I am now so firmly persuaded of the superior advantages of a public education, that I only regret I did not enter the University a year and an half sooner than I did.
And now having closed with the University, you will naturally Enquire, what I am at present about;?— I have engaged to study with Mr Parsons at Newbury-port, and expect to fix myself down there in five or six weeks from this. I should wish to get upon the business sooner, but Doctor Tufts advises me, to ride about, and remain idle, for a month or two, in order to recover and establish firmly my health, which has suffered by my living so much retired, during the last eighteen months.
And now, my dear Madam, after having talked so long entirely about myself, I will acknowledge the receipt of several letters from you. I have received both sets of Blair's lectures, and according to your desire shall present one of them to my cousin. the vessel by which the first set was sent was driven from the coast in a storm, and was sometime, in one of the West India islands: so that I received it but a short time before the other set came—4 I read with pleasure the pamphlets which came by Callahan, with your letter of May 6th: the name of the author of one of them is kept secret, but from the peculiarity of the stile, I strongly suspect they are both the productions of the same pen. Affairs seem to assume quite an extraordinary appearance in France. And I see by the papers that the Marquis de la Fayette, has got his finger in the pye; (to use a vulgar expression.)5 it was well for de Vergennes that he died as he did; though probably had he lived, he would have prevented any assembly, which might take his conduct into consideration. The marquis appears to me, to be venturing “like little wanton boys who swim on bladders,” and I shall be surprized, if he does not in the end, find himself “far beyond his depth.”6 It is dangerous to tread upon a { 141 } snake, and if the marquis is influenced merely by disinterested patriotism, that circumstance, in a court, will only be the means of making his enemies the more numerous.
I wrote to my dear father about 3 weeks since; and will write soon to my Sister.7 in the mean time, will you please to present to her my congratulations upon her new character, and tell her I hope she will fulfill the duties of it as well as she has those of all the characters in which he has appeared before. I would complain of her if I dared: I would remind her that seven months have elapsed since I received one line from her;8 but as I fear she might in some measure retort the charge, I will e'en be silent and wait with patience.
But my paper stops me, and I can only add, that I am, your dutiful and / affectionate Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J Q A— / august 1. 1787.”
1. For a discussion of the conflicting newspaper reports of JQA's oration, see JQA, Diary, 2:265–266.
2. The Spectator, No. 122 (20 July 1711). Sir Roger de Coverley was a character Joseph Addison created and used in various issues of The Spectator (DNB).
3. JQA was admitted to three societies shortly after he matriculated at Harvard in spring 1786: the Tea Club on 30 March, the A. B. Club on 29 May, and Phi Beta Kappa on 21 June. The Tea Club was formed for social pursuits, the others were primarily literary. Later in the year he also joined the Handel Society (Diary, 2:12, 14, 42–43, 52–53, 91, 103).
4. See AA to JQA, 28 Feb. 1787, vol. 7:474, and 20 March, above.
5. The Marquis de Lafayette led the criminal impeachment charges against Charles Alexandre de Calonne (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 21 April; Massachusetts Centinel, 11 July).
6. “Oh! I have ventured like little wanton boys who swim on bladders, these many summers on a sea of glory—but far beyond my depth” (New-Haven Gazette, 22 March). This quotation comes from The Anarchiad, a faux-epic poem by the so-called Connecticut Wits, David Humphreys, Joel Barlow, John Trumbull, and Lemuel Hopkins. The piece originally appeared over twelve issues in the New-Haven Gazette between Oct. 1786 and Sept. 1787 (David Humphreys et al., The Anarchiad: A New England Poem (1786–1787), repr. edn., Gainesville, Fla., 1967, p. vi, 39).
7. AA2 acknowledged a 3 Aug. 1787 letter from JQA in hers of 10 Feb. 1788, below, but it has not been found.
8. AA2 to JQA, 1 Sept.–12 Oct. 1786, vol. 7:328–333.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0061

Author: Cranch, Lucy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-08-18

Lucy Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Aunt—

I wrote you a few hasty lines, from Boston the Monday before Commencement, inclosing two news-papers which Mr Jinks was to carry,1 I went to Cambridge that afternoon: I heard in the evening that Calahan had arrived. I never hear of a ships arrival from London, but what I feel a mixture of pain with the pleasure, 'till we have got the Letters— I always tremble when they are opened. I { 142 } never felt the sensation stronger than at that time, I had so many things to make me happy, that I trembled least I should hear something that would make me otherwise, the last we had heard from you was, that you was unwell.
Cousin Charles went to Boston Tuesday Morning. I watched his face when he returned before he was half over the Common. it wore the same pleasing smile it ever does. I never felt happier than when he gave me a letter from his Mama—2
I hope your health is perfectly restored, before this. your anxiety for Mrs Smith was too powerful for your Nerves, and made you worse. we all rejoice with you, that she is so well over her illness—and that you have so fine a grandson.
You will have so many accounts of Commencement that I shall have little left to say—but what others have said before me. it was impossible to have a finer day. it was so cold in the morning that the Men on the common were glad to clap there hands against their sides to warm them. the meeting House was not crowded so much as usial, it is said the assembly was the most respectable, that has been known for many years, every thing that belonged to our part went on with great regularity. we had a large company to dine yet we have had much more hurry with a small party. every thing was done at home, that could be— Tables and benches were made here, that there was nothing to be done at Cambridge but set the Tables which was done on Tuesday— what we had and all those matters Mama will inform you—
I went to meeting all day. I think that the performances in general were better than ever I knew them—
Your Son gained deservedly great applause—he spoke with great fire and energy, with a spirit that did honour to the Son of a Patriot and Statesman, had his Father heard him he would have felt young again.
Tho' Mr J.Q.A. resembles you more than either of your Children, yet I never saw the likeness so stricking as when he pronounced his oration. it was your mouth that smiled when he addressed the Ladies. it was your eyes that glistened when he bad his Classmates adieu—
My Brother spoke better than I expected—as he is not naturally fluent. you will know the subject of his dissertation by the Newspapers,—they say too, that it should be remembered as an excuse for his encomiums, of the Defence of the American Constitutions that the Auther of that was his Uncle—
{ 143 }
No person presumes to say that Mr Freeman who also spoke an English Oration had an equal. perhaps it was because I felt more interested, and partial, that though Mr Freemans voice was more musical, and his action might, be more gracefull, yet his Oration did not give me so much pleasure, as Mr J.Q—A's—
Billy Smith is quite settled down in the family way Mrs Smith cannot boast of beauty— she has those more valuable qualifications of the heart which will be more lasting, and which enables her to make her husband happy and give pleasure to her friends—
They live in Mr Gores House, which makes it very agreable to both families especially to Betsey Smith, who is now quite alone3 she is a fine Girl, and behaves with as much steadiness as possible she pays the greatest attention to her Father, and conforms in every thing to his wishes the family goes on with the same pleasing regularity it used to. Uncle has not recovered his spirits since my Aunts death. he is himself very unwell. he has a bad Leg—from scraping a peice of the skin off—
You my dear Aunt are so continually loading me with favours, that I fear it will never be in my power to return them half. the will shall not be wanting— the Chints I think extremly beautiful, the Sandals are much too large. if the ribband had not come from England, and the dispotic title of fashion—anexed to it, I should think it was very ugly, one would think we had been rumageing the trunks of Mr Wibirds Grand-mother, we had thoughts of making him a present of it to tye up his gown—
can you believe it Madam that this same good Gentleman, did not go to Commencement. you will not easily guess the reason, the very important reason—his Chaise was broke and he did not like to wear boots in warm weather:
You have given us hopes my dear Madam that you will return next Spring, do not disappoint us. your return will add happiness to many, many hearts, among which will be hers who is with every sentiments of respect and / esteem, your obliged and grateful / Neice.
[signed] Lucy, Cranch.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Lucy Cranch / August 19 1787.”
1. Not found.
2. AA to Lucy Cranch, 26 April, above.
3. Samuel Gore's house and business were located at 61 Court Street very near the Court Street home of Isaac Smith Sr. Gore ran the Painter's Arms, importing and selling paints and oils (Boston Directory, 1789; MHi:Samuel Clough Papers, [Atlas of Boston]; Boston Continental Journal, 11 July 1782).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0062

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1787-08-19 - 1787-09-01

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister

The vacancys of our Sons always produces a hurry in our business & although we endeavour to keep every thing in good order for them from week to week—yet when they come home they have many wants which we could not foresee— we have sent your two youngest Sons in good health & good repair to college & are now fixing your eldest for Newbury & our own for Boston Cousin Tom has made a visit to Haverhill sir Charles touch'd there— A pair of beautiful Eyes & heavenly eye-Brows were too attracting to permit him to fix till he had reach'd newburry port— Why charles who is this divine creature who has made you look so languid—“oh aunt[”]—“oh Cousin[”]—“It is a Neice of mrs Williams mama She is a pretty Girl She was there when I was this spring—”1 “well cousin Betsy did you ever see such heavenly Eye-brows—& she is as amiable as she is pretty” “but my dear have you left her any hair upon her head if all the rings you have are made of her hair you must have thin'd it a little at least” “but I observe a great variety of shades & colours in your Rings— I fancy you are a general admirer of the sex if so—your heart is in no danger at present” I am always a little affraid my dear Nephew when I find a schoolars Pockits so full of hair Rings that his head will not be as well Stor'd with Greek & Latten— “He will get it over soon said JQA— I was so two years but I would study out of spight—” I am mistaken my cousin if you are not a little poorly now although you will not own it— Lovely Nancy is oftener play'd upon the Flute than any other tune—2 as to honest Tom he does not think that the Ladys need so much attention—”is sure that they have Legs as well as he & may walk without leaning upon his arm” If my own soon has had any twitches he takes care not to discover it— His attentions appear to be the result of Benevolence & politness only & such I hope they will continue untill he has acquir'd something to support a Family—
Mr Wainwright a native of Liverpool who came here with capt Beals Family & who about a week since sail'd for England—desir'd to take a Letter for you he will spend the winter in London—3 I design'd to have given him one but I had not time to write. he will see you I suppose. if he should—I wish you would tell him why I did not. he was so kind as to offer to take Letters or any thing I had to send could I send you some corn & Beans I know I should give a Feast if { 145 } you retain the same relish for them that you use'd to have— I wish I could send you any thing that would refresh you as much as the Porter you sent us has mr cranch this summer— He has apply'd himself to the cultivation of his little Farm & has work'd so hard himself that if he had not drank Porter & water freely I know not whither he would have had an ounce of flesh left— He can have work enough at the Treasurers office—but can get nothing but paultry orders for pay—which will not sell for more than eleven shillings upon the pound what is allow'd a day will not pay—at this rate— the man we hire to work upon the Farm I believe I told you that mr Belcher works for us this Summer—& an excellent hand he is I have Molly Burrel for a Dairy Maid sister Smith brought her up— she makes fine cheese & is a very neat good Girl— I have had very good health this season & have many very many blessings to be thankful for—
Betsy Smith is gone home Polly is now with me. She is a fine sensible sprightly child has quite done freting & is by much the smartest of sisters Daughters— Louisia is to make me a visit next—4 Sister Smith is in poor health a pain in her side & a difficulty of breathing are her complaints I feel concern'd about her—she is too anxious about her children.
I know not what will become of uncle Quincy or his Estait. That vixen which he keeps for a house keeper does what she pleases—& to help his repose & to amuse him in his retirement from the world. Miss Sally Tailer is come to spend the Summer with him—& really if he had not the other she would be no bad companion if she would not talk quite so much.5 It is not in our power to get uncle from home & miss Tailor says he is very dull—sometimes— How much happier would he be if he had such a sprightly wife as our good Grandmother was a man wants a wife for a companion more I think when he is far advanc'd in Life than when he is young nobody feels clever to look about them & not see a creature who cares whether they live or dye—
General Palmers salt works upon Boston neck are almost ready to work. I hear they are to live in one of the Houses upon the neck cousin Polly yet lives but is very low I really thought about a month since that she could not have surviv'd till this time— Cousin Betsy is to be married to cousin Jo Cranch as soon as he gets establish'd in business— Their education has been very different the superiority is on the wrong side— Her Papa has been bitterly against it his Pride is sadly hurt. you know his temper & can guess what she may have { 146 } suffer'd— If he submits it will be because he knows she is determined— He is a good temper'd young Fellow I wish he had a better faculty to push himself into business— General Knox has a good opinion of his honesty & his abbilities as a good Gun Smith & will do every thing in his power to assist him—6 I wish them both well
August 27th
I am just come from visiting our good uncle Smith. He is dangerously sick. He has had a swelling in one of his Legs for above two months, which has increas'd to such a degree that it has reach'd his body, His Leg & thigh are as hard as a stick & inflam'd to a purple colour, you know he never could bear confinment without being dull, His spirits are sunk to nothing. He has had a bad cough all summer. & Doctor Tufts has said that unless he would lay by & attend to his health—he would not live long. but he would not be perswaided while he could stand upon his Leg, he has lost his Flesh & his appetite & has some disorders besides which waste him fast. He lays upon the bed & groans & looks so much like our dear Father that I could not take my eyes from him; I sat by—& fan'd him the whole of last satturday afternoon. but it was a scene almost too much for me. His voice was so much like Fathers that it would sometimes make me Start— you know what a Family of Love they are & will not wonder that they are greatly distress'd Cousin Isaac & Betsy look as if their hearts would break, The Loss should it be the will of Heaven to take him from us, will be very great indeed to us all—not only to his Friends but to the community.—
I carried my son to Boston & left him with mr Dawes,7 I have left him an innocent youth with a strong sense of Religion & Honour upon his mind— I hope he will never be drawn aside from the path of virtue. His cousin JQA & he will find it hard to part. they Love as Brothers & as Friends as well as classmates
September 1d
I went again yesterday to see uncle Smith & found him much better—tho far from being out of danger— your son JQA went with me & is on his way to newburry— He was more affected at leaving us than I could have imagin'd he would have been— Although he has been toss'd about the world in such a manner—he had dissagreable feelings at the thought of going to a place where he knew no one. & where he care'd for nobody, & nobody care'd for him. as he express'd himself to me as we were riding, dear youth he found it { 147 } necessary to draw the back of his Hand across his Eyes when he said it—& from sympathy or a tenderer Cause your sister did the same I told him he forgot that he would be within 14. miles of his aunt Shaw, who love'd him like a Parent—& to whom—he must go, if he was unwell at any time. He promiss'd to write to us & to visit us in the winter. We have fix'd him of so well that I think he cannot want much done for him till then—
your Neices have made the chintz you sent them & of all pritty things it is the [mos]t beautiful for Gowns I cannot sufficiently thank you [my] dear sister for your kindness to them
your present came in season [for] mrs Allen. She has a fine Daughter— Hannah Austin is [yet] living but is in the last stage of a consumption.8 mrs Cutts has another son— mr cranch desires his Love to you all—will write as soon as he can but my sister when am I to see you. I hope I am not to be disappointed another year— I want to see my new relations & my dear Neice, & to see what a good Mamma she makes
I shall have this Letter put into the bag tomorrow least callahan should slip away without a Line, I shall write again before the vessel sails. if she does not go sooner than is talk'd off
I made your mother Hall a visit last week & found her very well— yours affectionatly
[signed] M Cranch
The Girls beg you to send them some good Needles they cannot find any here
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Richard Cranch: “To / Madam Abigail Adams / Grosvenor Square / Westminster”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / August 19. 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Possibly Anna Frazer (b. 1772) of Newbury, whose father, John Frazer, was the nephew by marriage of Jane Prime Frazer. Her daughter by a later marriage in turn married Samuel Williams, the Harvard professor (Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, 1911, 1:174, 2:183; Vital Records of Rowley Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, Salem, 1928, p. 79, 297; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:134).
2. “Lovely Nancy,” written by Scottish composer and publisher James Oswald, first appeared ca. 1745 in his collection, The Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 2. Originally composed for the fife, the melody was popular and used at the time of the Revolution as a retreat signal (“The Birth of Liberty: Music of the American Revolution,” liner notes, p. 15, New World Records Album No. 80276, www.newworldrecords.org, 3 April 2006).
3. Peter Wainwright was an English merchant who moved to Boston shortly after the American Revolution (DAB, entry on Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright).
4. For Elizabeth (Betsy), Mary (Polly), and Louisa Smith, all daughters of William and Catharine Louisa Smith, see vol. 5:230, 231; 7:3, 112.
5. Norton Quincy's housekeeper was probably Sarah Whiting Pope (1734–1800), the widow of Micajah Pope of Braintree. After Sarah Pope's death in 1800, AA commented to her sister Mary Smith Cranch in a letter of 15 Jan. 1801, “I feel most sensibly for our dear Respected and venerable uncle— I { 148 } know not, nor do I think it possible to supply to him the loss he has sustaind; tho mrs Popes temper was not pleasent, She was attentive towards him, knew all his wants and wishes— She was prudent and saveing of his interest—and had many excellent qualities” (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 3853, 3855; MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
Sarah (Sally) Tailer (Taylor) (b. 1720) was the daughter of former Lt. Gov. William Tailer. JQA described her in his Diary as “a genuine old maid” and “an incessant talker” (Boston, 21st Report, p. 68; Diary, 2:269, 270).
6. Joseph Cranch (1746–1806), a nephew of Richard Cranch, married his cousin Elizabeth Palmer on 2 May 1790. He was trained as a gunsmith and served for a time as the superintendant of the U.S. armory at West Point, N.Y. (Braintree Town Records, p. 870; Grandmother Tyler's Book, p. 56, 109–110).
7. William Cranch studied with Thomas Dawes (1757–1825), Harvard 1777, a Boston lawyer who later became associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Dawes and Cranch married, respectively, sisters Margaret and Anna Greenleaf (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 19:forthcoming).
8. Hannah Austin of Charlestown, daughter of Nathaniel and Anna Kent Austin, died on 3 Sept. 1787 at age 24 (Massachusetts Gazette, 9 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0063

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1787-08-22

William Stephens Smith to Abigail Adams Smith

I wrote you, my love, the first thing I did after my landing here on the 20th;1 I then proposed setting off from this, yesterday or this morning; but I am in check. I was yesterday at 4 o'clock, visited by an ague and fever, which shook and warmed me alternately pretty tolerably; this day I am free from it, and with the advice of a very good doctor who attends me, I hope soon to be allowed to put myself in motion towards one who possesses all my affections and merits all my love. The acquaintance which I formed in this place when I arrived from America,2 and the letters of introduction which I brought from Lisbon, insure me every civility and respect I can wish. I am visited and attended in a very particular manner, and want for nothing but to be enabled to bid them farewell, and hasten to you. It is a painful detention to be so near, and upon the same island, and not be able to advance. You must not write, my friend, for I am in hopes before this reaches you to be on my way to you. I shall pass through Exeter, Taunton, Bath, Marlborough, &c., as being the best road—having the best horses and accommodations—for a few days longer, and this painful separation I hope will be at an end.
[signed] W. S. S.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:200–201.
1. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:199–200.
2. WSS had traveled through Falmouth on his way to London to take up his appointment as secretary to the U.S. legation in May 1785 (Roof, Smith and Lady, p. 90).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0064

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-08-27

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

You mention to Mrs Adams a Piece of Land adjoining to me, of 56 Acres at 25s an Acre: but are at a Loss, whether it will be for my Interest to purchase it, as you are not informed of my Views, &c.— My View is to lay fast hold of the Town of Braintree and embrace it, with both my Arms and all my might. there to live—there to die—there to lay my Bones—and there to plant one of my Sons, in the Profession of the Law & the Practice of Agriculture, like his Father.— To this End I wish to purchase as much Land there, as my Utmost forces will allow, that I may have Farm enough to amuse me and employ me, as long as I live. that I may not rust, alive.— You will therefore oblige me very much if you will purchase that Piece of Land and every other, that adjoins upon me, which is offered to Sale, at what you shall judge an Advantagious Price, especially Salt Marsh & Wood land.1 I know very well, that I could employ my little Modicum of Means more profitably—But in no Way so much to my Taste and humour—or so much for my Health and Happiness. To the Publik I have been long enough a Slave, and to little enough Profit. in other Words I have made more than my share of Sacrifices. Had I followed my own Business with as much Attention and Industry as I have those of the Publick, I could have owned, the whole Town of Braintree at this hour, or the Value of it, for what I know, without running one risque. Now I must be content to be poor, and my Children too, unless they Should have more Wisdom than I have had. If I Serve the Publick, in future, it must be in Retirement and in my own Way, with the feeble share of Forces that remain to me, and the short Period of time: for you will remember I am not a Child nor a Youth, nor a middle Aged Man, nor has my Carcass or my Spirit, been Spared, for old Age.
My dear Love to all our good Friends, and believe me ever yours.
[signed] John Adams.
RC (MHi:Misc. Bound Collection); addressed by WSS: “Honble. Cotton Tufts Esquire / Boston—”; internal address: “The Hon. Cotton Tufts Esq”; endorsed: “J. Adams Esq / Aug. 27. 1787.”
1. See Cotton Tufts to AA, 30 June, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0065

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-08-30

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I have omitted writing sooner to you in expectation that Colõ Smith would have taken this in his route: but receiving now information from him that he embarks from Lisbon, I avail myself of the opportunity by mr̃ Payne of thanking you for the disbursements you were so kind as to make for my daughter in London, and of stating to you our accounts as follows.
  £ s d  
Disbursements of mrs Adams as summed up in her state of them1   10–15–8  
Error in addition to her prejudice     1–0–6  
Cash paid by Petit to mrs Adams, viz. 6. Louis d'ors @ 19/6   5–17–   
paid by do. for black lace 75₶. which at the same exchange is   3–1–   
do.for 2. doz. pr̃ gloves 37₶–12s. . . .   1–10–6  
balance due to mrs Adams . . . .     1–7–8  
which balance I will beg the favor of Colo. Smith to pay you and to debit me with.
I am afraid, by the American papers, that the disturbances in Massachusets are not yet at an end. mr̃ Rucker who is arrived here, gives me a terrible account of the luxury of our ladies in the article of dress. he sais that they begin to be sensible of the excess of it themselves, and to think a reformation necessary. that proposed is the adoption of a national dress. I fear however they have not resolution enough for this. I rejoice in the character of the lady who accompanies the Count de Moustier to America, and who is calculated to reform these excesses as far as her example can have weight. simple beyond example in her dress, tho neat, hating parade & etiquette, affable, engaging, placid, & withal beautiful, I cannot help hoping a good effect from her example. she is the Marquise de Brehan, sister in law to the Count de Moustier, who goes partly on account of a feeble health, but principally for the education of her son (of 17. years of age) which she hopes to find more masculine { 151 } there & less exposed to seduction.2 the Count de Moustier is of a character well assorted to this. nothing niggardly, yet orderly in his affairs, genteel but plain, loving society upon an easy not a splendid tone, unreserved, honest, & speaking our language like a native. he goes with excellent notions & dispositions, and is as likely to give satisfaction as any man that could have been chosen in France. he is much a whig in the politics of his own country. I understand there is a possibility that Congress will remove to Philadelphia.— my daughter talks of you often & much, still fancies she is to pay you the visit she promised. in the mean time she is very contented in the Convent with her sister.3 both join me in compliments to mrs̃ Smith and in assurances to yourself of the attachment & respect which I have the honour to proffer for them as well as for, dear Madam, your most obedient & most humble servant
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams / London”; internal address: “Mrs. Adams.”; endorsed by AA2: “Mr Jefferson August 30th 1787.”
1. See AA to Thomas Jefferson, 10 July, above.
2. Elénore François Elie, Comte de Moustier, France's minister to the United States, arrived in New York in Jan. 1788. Their official relationship notwithstanding, the Marquise de Bréhan, an artist, was widely believed to be the Comte de Moustier's mistress. Her son Armand Louis Fidèle de Bréhan (1770–1828) later served in the Royal Lorraine cavalry and became the Marquis de Bréhan (Jefferson, Papers, 12:66, 219; 14:291, 340–341; Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 9:877–878; Washington, Diaries, 5:417). See also AA2 to AA, 18 May, below.
3. Martha and Mary Jefferson were educated at the convent school of the Abbey of Pentemont in Paris. Both girls apparently enjoyed their school, and Martha even gave some consideration to becoming a nun, a vocation her father opposed (Jefferson, Papers, 14:xl–xli, 356–357).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0066

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-09-10

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

your obliging favours of july and August came safe to Hand. the first was brought during my absence on an excursion into the Country. I was very happy to find by it, that you had received your daughter safe, and that the dear Girl was contented. I never felt so attached to a child in my Life on so short an acquaintance, tis rare to find one possessd of so strong & lively a sensibility. I hope she will not lose her fine spirits within the walls of a convent, to which I own I have many, perhaps false prejudices.
Mr Appleton delivererd my Lace & gloves Safe. be so good as to let Petit know that I am perfectly satisfied with them. Col smith has paid me the balan[ce whic]h you say was due to me, and I take your { 152 } word for it, but [I do] not know how. the Bill which was accepted, by mr Ada[ms i]n the absence of col Smith, I knew would become due, in our absence, and before we could receive your orders. the money was left with Brisler our Servant, who paid it when it was presented. on our return we found the Bill which you had drawn on mr Tessier, but upon presenting it he refused to pay it, as he had not received any letter of advise tho it was then more than a month from its date, but he wrote immediatly to mr Grand, and by return of the next post, paid it.1
with regard to your Harpsicord, Col Smith who is now returnd, will take measures to have it Sent to you. I went once to mr Kirkmans to inquire if it was ready. his replie was, that it should be ready in a few days, but [. . . .]2 no orders further than to report when it was [. . . .]3 to write you, but he seemd to think that he had done all [that was] required of him.4 The Canister addrest to mr Drayton deliverd to mr Hayward with Special directions, and he assured me he would not fail to deliver it.
The ferment and commotions in Massachusetts has brought upon the Surface abundance of Rubbish; but Still there is Some sterling metal in the political crusible. the vote which was carried against an emission of paper money by a large majority in the House, shews that they have a sense of justice: which I hope will prevail in every department of the State. I send a few of our News papers, some of which contain Sensible speculations.5
To what do all the political motions tend w[hic]h are agitating France Holland and Germany? will Liberty finally gain the assendency, or arbritary power Strike her dead.
Is the report true that is circulated here, that mr Littlepage has a commission from the King of Poland to his most Christian Majesty?!6
we have not any thing from mr Jay later than 4th of july. there was not any congress then, or expected to be any; untill the convention rises at Philadelphia7
Col Smith I presume will write you all the politiks of the Courts he has visited—and I will not detain you longer than to assure you that I am at all times / your Friend and Humble Servant
[signed] A A
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); endorsed: “Adams mrs̃.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and due to a torn manuscript.
1. Louis Tessier had served as the Adamses' London banker since 1780. Ferdinand Grand had performed the same function in Paris since 1778 (JA, Papers, 9:140, 245, 393, 398, note 3; JA, D&A, 2:303; Jefferson, Papers, 12:194).
{ 153 }
2. Approximately three words missing.
3. Approximately three words missing.
4. The firm of Jacob Kirckman (1710–1792) and his nephew Abraham Kirckman (1737–1794) was one of London's leading harpsichord makers in the late eighteenth century. Jacob came to London from Alsace in the 1720s and began producing instruments in 1744. The firm shifted from harpsichord to piano construction after its founder's death and operated until the end of the nineteenth century. Thomas Jefferson purchased a Kirckman harpsichord in 1786 (Raymond Russell, The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An Introductory Study, N.Y., 1973, p. 79, 82, 90–91).
5. The Massachusetts Gazette, 26 June 1787, reported that on 23 June, the House of Representatives had rejected a motion to issue paper money by a majority of 56.
6. Lewis Littlepage (1762–1802), a native of Virginia, was appointed chamberlain by King Stanislaus II of Poland on 2 March 1786. He negotiated treaties for Poland with Russia and Spain and served as a secret commissioner to France and other European courts (DAB).
7. John Jay reported to JA on 4 July 1787 that the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention had brought the activities of Congress to a standstill; consequently, he had found no opportunity to present formally JA's resignation. If the secret proceedings of the convention were to fail, Jay wrote, “the Duration of the Union will become problematical. For my own Part I am convinced that a national Government as strong as may be compatible with Liberty is necessary to give us national Security and Respectability” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0067

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-09-15

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

When I wrote you last, I was just going to Set out on a journey to the West of England. I promised you to visit mr Cranchs Friends and Relatives, this we did as I shall relate to you we were absent a month, and made a Tour of about six hundred Miles. the first place we made any stay at, was Winchester. There was formerly an Earl of Winchester, by the Name of Saar de Quincy. he was created Earl of Winchester by King john in 12.24. and Signed Magna Charta, which I have seen, the original being now in the British Museum with his Hand writing to it.1
it is said that the year 1321 the Title became extinct, through failure of male Heirs, but I rather think through the poverty of some branch unable to contend for it. the family originally came from Normandy in the Time of William the Conquerer. they bear the same Arms with those of our Ancesters except that ours Substituded an animal for the crest in lieu, of an Earls coronet. I have a perfect remembrance of a parchment in our Grandmothers possession, which when quite a child I used to amuse myself with. this was a Geneological Table which gave the descent of the family from the Time of William the conquerer this parchment mr Edmund Quincy borrowed on some occasion, & I have often heard our Grandmother Say with some anger, that she could never recover it. as the old Gentleman is still living, I wish mr Cranch would question him { 154 } | view { 155 } about it, & know what Hands it went into, & whether there is a probability of its ever being recoverd, and be so good as to ask uncle Quincy how our Grandfather came by it, & from whence our Great Granfather came? where he first Settled? & take down in writing all you can learn from him, & mr Edmund Quincy respecting the family.2 you will Smile at my Zeal, perhaps on this occasion, but can it be wonderd at, that I should wish to Trace an Ancesstor amongst the Signers of Magna Carta, amongst those who voted against receiving an explanatory Charter in the Massachusetts, Stands the Name of our venerable Grandfather, accompanied only with one other. this the journals of the House will shew to his immortal honour.3 I do not expect either titles or estate from the Recovery of the Geneoligical Table, were there any probability of obtaining it, yet if I was in possession of it, money should not purchase it from me. But to return to winchester, it is a very ancient place, and was formerly the residence of the Saxon and Norman Kings. there still remains a very famous Cathedral church, in the true Gothic Architecture, being partly built in the year 1079.4 I attended divine service there, but was much more entertaind with the Venerable and Majestic appearence of the Ancient pile, than with the Modern flimsy discourse of the preacher, a meaner performance I do not recollect to have heard, but in a Church which would hold several thousands it might truly be said, two or three, were met together,5 and those appeard to be the lower order of the people. from Winchester we proceeded to Southhampton, which is a very pretty sea port Town and much frequented during the summer months as a Bathing place, and here for the first time in my Life I tried the experiment. it would be delightfull in our warm weather as well as very salubrious if such conveniencys were Erected in Boston, Braintree, Weymouth, which they might be with little expence. the places are under cover, you have a woman for a Guide, a small dressing room to yourself an oil cloth cap, a flannel Gown and socks for the feet;6 we tarried only two days at Southhampton, and went ten miles out of our way in order to visit Weymouth merely for its Name. this like my Native Town is a Hilly country a small sea port, with very little buisness, & wholy supported by the resort of company during the Summer Months, for those persons who have not Country Houses of their own, resort to the Watering places as they are call'd, during the summer months, it being too vulgar and unfashionable to remain in London, but where the object of one is Health, that of 50 is pleasure, however far they fall short of the object. this whole Town is the { 156 } property of a widow Lady. Houses are built by the Tenants & taken at Life Rents, which upon the discease of the Leasors revert back again to the owner of the Soil; thus is the landed property of this Country vested in Lordships, and in the Hands of the Rich altogether. the pesantry are but slaves to the Lord, notwithstanding the mighty boast they make of Liberty, 6 pence & 7 pence pr day is the usual wages given to Labourers, who are to feed themselves out of the pittance. in travelling through a Country fertile as the Garden of Eden, loaded with a Golden harvest, plenty Smiling on every side, one would imagine the voice of poverty was rarely heard, and that she was seldom seen, but in the abodes of indolence and vice, but it is far otheways. the Money earned by the sweat of the Brow must go to feed the pamperd Lord & fatten the Greedy Bishop, whilst the misierble shatterd thatched roof cottage crumbles to the dust for the want of repair. to hundreds & hundreds of these abodes have I been a witness in my late journey. the cheering Rays of the Sun are totally excluded, unless they find admittance through the decayed roof equally exposed to cold & the inclemnant season, a few Rags for a Bed, a joint Stool, comprise the chief of their furniture, whilst their own appearence is more wretched, than one can well conceive. during the season of Hay and Harvest, Men women & children are to be seen labouring in the Fields, but as this is a very small part of the year, the little they acquire then is soon expended, and how they keep soul and Body together the remainder of the year; is very hard to tell. it must be oweing to this very unequal distribution of property that the poor rate, is become such an intollerable burden. the inhabitants are very thinly scatterd through the Country, though large Towns are well peopled. to reside in & near London, and to judge of the Country from what one sees here, would be forming a very eronious opinion. How little cause of complaint have the inhabitants of the united States, when they compare their Situation, not with despotic monarchies, but with this Land of Freedom? the ease with which honest industry may acquire property in America the equal distribution of justice, to the poor as well as the rich, and the personal Liberty they enjoy, all all call upon them to support their Governments and Laws, to respect their Rulers, and gratefully acknowledge their Superiour Blessings, least Heaven in wrath Should Send them a. . . .
From Weymouth our next excursion was to Axmister the first Town in the County of Devonshire. it is a small place, but has two manufactures of Note, one of Carpets & one of Tapes—both of { 157 } { 158 } which we visited; the manufactory of the carpets is wholy performed by women and children. you would have been suprized to see, in how ordinary a Building this rich manufactory was carried on, a few glass windows in some of our Barns would be equal to it. they have but two prices for their carpets wove here, the one is Eighteen shilling, and the other 24, a square yard. they are wove of any dimensions you please, and without a seam, the coulours are most beautifull, and the carpets very durable here we found mr J Cranch, he dined with us, and we drank Tea with him; this is a curious Genious, he is a middle sizd man of a delicate countanance, but quite awkerd in his manners. he seldom looks one in the Face, and seems as if he had been crampd and cow'd in his youth; in company one is pained for him, yet is he a man of Reading and an accurate taste in the fine Arts, poetry, painting, musick, sculpture, Architecture; all of them have engaged his attention. his profession does not seem to be the object of his affections, and he has given up the practise, with an intention of persueing some other employment; he appears to me to be a man whose soul wants a wider expansion than his situation & circumstances allow. dejected spirits he is very liable to, I do not think him a happy man, his sentiments are by no means narrow or contracted; yet he is one by himself— he accompanied us in our journey to Exeter Plimouth and Kings-Bridge. at Exeter we tarried from Saturday till monday afternoon mr Bowering came to visit us. you know him by character, he appears a Friendly honest worthy man, active in buisness a warm and Zealous Friend to America, ready to serve his Friends, and never happier than when they will give him an opportunity of doing it his wife and daughter were on a visit to their Friends at Kings Bridge, so that we did not see them. he requested however that we would drink tea with him after meeting, and as our intention was to see mr Cranchs Brother Andrew, he engaged to get him to his House. the old Gentleman came, with some difficulty, for he is very lame and infirm; he seemd glad to see us, and asked many questions, respecting his Brother & sister in America. I think he must have had a paralityc stroke as his Speach is thick. he has not been able to do any buisness for a Number of years, and I believe is chiefly supported by his son, who is in the Clothiers buisness with mr Bowering. Mrs Cranch, tho near as old as her Husband, is a little smart, sprightly active woman, and is wilted just enough to last to perpetuity. She told me that her Husband took it very hard that his Brother had not written to him for a long time. I promised her that he should hear from him before long; { 159 } and I know he will not let me be surety for him; without fulfilling my engagement. mr Cranchs daughter married mr Bowerings Brother, they have three sons. she is a sprightly woman like her Mother, and mr Bowerings daughter married a son of mr Natll Cranchs, so that the family is doubly linked together, and what is more; they all seem united, by the strongest ties of family harmony and Love.7 from Exeter we went to plimouth there we tarried Several days, and visited the fortifications, plimouth dock, & crossd over the water to mount Edgcume; a seat belonging to Lord Edgcume.8
the Natural advantages of this place are superiour to any I have before seen, commanding a wide and extensive view of the ocean, the whole Town of plimouth, and the adjacent Country with the Mountain of cornwall— I have not much to Say with respect to the improvements of art, there is a large park well stockd with Deer, and some shady walks, but there are no Grottos Statuary Sculpture or Temples.—
at Plimouth we were visited by a mr & mrs Sawry; with whom we drank Tea one afternoon; mr Sawry is well known to many Americans, who were prisoners in plimouth jail during the late war. the money which was raised for their relief, past through his Hands and he was very kind to them, assisting many in their escape.—9 from plimouth we made an enterprize one day to Horsham and as we attempted it in a coach & four, we made a curious peice of work, taking by mistake a wrong road, but this part of my story I must reserve for my dear eliza.
our next Movement was a Kings Bridge, but before I relate this, I ought to inform you, that we made a stop at a place call Ivey Bridge where we dined, and mr Adams accompanied mr Cranch to Brook about 3 miles distant, to visit his uncle mr William Cranch, who has been for several years quite lost to himself and Friends. there is some little property in the hands of the family who take charge of him, sufficient to Support a person who has no more wants than he has. he appeard clean & comfortable, but took no notice either of the conversation, or persons. the only thing which in the least roused him, was the mention of his wife, he appeard to be wrestless when that Subject was touchd. The Character of this Man, as given by all his Friends and acquaintance, leads one to regreet in a particular manner the loss of his intellects, possesst of a Genious superiour to his station, a thirst for knowledge which his circumstances in Life permitted him not to persue, most amiable and engageing in { 160 } his manners, formed to have adornd a superiour Rank in Life, fondly attachd to an amiable wife, whom he very soon lost, he fell a sacrifice to a too great Sensibility, unable to support the shock, he grew melancholy and was totally lost.—10 But to return to Kings Bridge, the Chief resort of the Cranch family. we arrived at the Inn, about Six oclock a saturday Evening, about 8 we were saluted with a ringing of Bells—a circumstance we little expected. very soon we were visited by the various Branches of the Cranch family both male & female amounting to 15 persons, but as they made a strange jumble in my Head, I persuaded my fellow Traveller to make me out a Genealogical Table, which I send you.11 mr & mrs Burnell mr & mrs Trathan, both offerd us beds and accommodations at their houses, but we were too numerous to accept their Kind invitation, tho we engaged ourselves to dine with mr Burnell, & to drink Tea with mr Trathan the next day. Mrs Burnell has a strong resemblance to mrs palmer she is a Geenteel woman, and easy & polite. we dinned at a very pretty dinner, and after meeting drank Tea at the other House mr Trathans. their Houses are very small, but every thing neat and comfortable, mr Burnel is a shoe maker worth 5000 pounds and mr Trathan a Grocier in good circumstances.12 the rest of the families joind us at the two houses. they are all serious industerius good people amongst whom the greatest family harmony appears to Subsist. the people of this County appear more like our Newengland people than any I have met with in this Country before, but the distinction between Tradesmen & Gentry as they are termd is widely different from those distinctions in our Country. with us in point of Education and manners the Learned professions and many merchants Farmers & Tradesmen, are upon an equality with the Gentry of this Country. it would be degrading to compare them with many of the Nobility here. as to the Ladies of this Country their manners appear to be totally depraved, it is in the middle ranks of society, that virtue & morality are yet to be found. nothing does more injury to the Female Character, than frequenting publick places, and the rage which prevails now for the Watering places and the increased Number of them, is become a National evil as it promotes and encourages dissapation, mixes all characters promiscuously, is the resort of the most unprincipald female characters who are not ashamed to shew their faces wherever men dare to go modesty and diffidence, are calld ill Breeding, and Ignorance of the world. an impudent stare, is substituted in lieu of that modest deportment and that retireing Grace which aws, whilst it enchants. I { 161 } have never seen a female Modle here, of such unaffected modest, & sweetly amiable manners, as mrs Guile mrs Russel, & many other American females exhibit.—
Having filld 8 pages I think it is near time to hasten to a close. Cushing and Folger are both arrived, by each I have received Letters from you. a new sheet of paper must contain a replie to them, this little Space Shall assure you of what is not confined to Time or place / the ardent affection of your / sister
[signed] A Adams.
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. Saer de Quincy (d. 1219) was created the 1st Earl of Winchester in 1207. He was one of the 25 barons who demanded that King John accept the provisions of the Magna Carta in 1215. Contrary to AA's comments, none of the barons signed the actual charter. AA may have seen instead a list of the barons, two of which were held by the British Museum (DNB; J. C. Holt, Magna Carta, 2d edn., Cambridge, Eng., 1992, p. 56–57, 478; Claire Breay, Magna Carta: Manuscripts and Myths, London, 2002, p. 38).
2. AA's hope that she was descended from Saer de Quincy was apparently misplaced. AA's American ancestors, however, did use the coat of arms of one of his sons, for which see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 3, above. A twentieth-century study rejected the claim of descent from Saer de Quincy, instead documenting the American line to William Quincy of Aldwynkle, Northampton (ca. 1485–1550), and tentatively extending it to Geoffrey Quincy of Suffolk (b. ca. 1290). The fate of the parchment genealogy to which AA refers is unknown (DNB; MHi:Quincy Family Papers; George Bellew, “English Ancestry of the Quincy Family,” NEHGR, 92:30–31 [Jan. 1938]).
3. The original 1629 charter of Massachusetts was dissolved in 1684 and replaced by a second charter of 1691. While the original had assigned all governing powers to local officials, the second gave the king the power to appoint the governor and provincial council and to veto laws. The Explanatory Charter of 1725/26 amended that of 1691 and further reduced local control. Fearing that a refusal to accept the Explanatory Charter would result in additional curtailments, 48 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to accept it. AA's grandfather, John Quincy (1689–1767), was among the 32 members who voted against it (Richard L. Bushman, King and People in Provincial Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, 1985, p. 11–12, 31, 114; Mass., House Jour., 1724–1726, 6:457–460).
4. The building of Winchester Cathedral commenced around 1079. It was dedicated in 1093 although its construction is believed to have continued until ca. 1120. At the time of its building, it was the longest church in Britain and the second longest in Europe, measuring roughly 540 feet from end to end (Christopher Brooke, “Bishop Walkelin and His Inheritance,” in John Crook, ed., Winchester Cathedral: Nine Hundred Years, 1093–1993, West Sussex, 1993, p. 3).
5. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew, 18:20). The phrase appears in the Prayer of St. Chrysostom in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, commonly used for Morning Prayer services.
6. Sea bathing and English seaside resorts became popular in the mid-eighteenth century among the aristocracy and gentry who sought out new venues for holidays, entertainment, and the medical benefits of the sea. Resorts became places of social mingling as the habit of the seaside holiday quickly spread among the merchant, professional, and working classes, and rising income levels provided leisure time, opportunities for pleasure, and conspicuous displays of wealth. Bathing was segregated by gender and required a bathing machine, for which see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 4, above (John K. Walton, The English Seaside Resort: A Social History 1750–1914, New York, 1983, p. 5–13, 182).
7. John Bowring was in the clothiers business with Christopher Cranch, whose mother, Sally Bowring, was married to Andrew Cranch (d. 1787), Richard Cranch's brother. Andrew and Sally also had three daughters: { 162 } Julia, Sally, and Mary Ann. Another of Richard's brothers, Nathaniel Cranch, had four sons: Nathaniel Jr., Jeremiah, Andrew, and Richard (JA, D&A, 3:207–210; MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers, Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852). See also AA to John Bowring, [ante 30 March 1788], below.
8. Mount Edgcumbe House was built in 1553 by Sir Richard Edgcumbe, sheriff of Devonshire (1499–1562). The current occupant of the estate was his descendant, George Edgcumbe, Viscount Mount-Edgcumbe and Valletort (1721–1795), a retired admiral of the Royal Navy (DNB).
9. Miles Saurey, a linen draper of Plymouth, England, assisted American prisoners at Mill Prison during the Revolution by providing them with food, clothing, newspapers, and cash (JA, Papers, 12:89, note 2; Laurens, Papers, 15:469).
10. William Cranch married Elizabeth Fairweather of Horsecombe, England. She died six weeks after the marriage; he died on 21 Feb. 1788 (Richard Cranch to William Bond, 19 May 1788, Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852, both MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers).
11. Not found.
12. On 10 March 1788 William Cranch of Kingsbridge reported that “Our old Neighbour Mr. Trathan died about a fortnight agone in a violent Fit of the Asthma” (Richard Cranch to William Bond, 19 May 1788, MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0068

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1787-09-20 - 1787-09-24

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

Yours & Mr. Adams of the 1t. & Yours of the 4th. of July I recd. the 6th. Inst. the former by a British Vessell the latter by the Way of New York—1 being then in Boston, I immediately applied to our Friend Dr. Wilch to prepare the Way for the Purchase of Borlands Farm thinking it best to conceal your Name, till we were sure of accomplishing the Business— The Dr. applied and found that Mr B. was then repairing the House, that his Mother was to remove into it shortly and that Mr. B. had given up the Thoughts of selling it, but upon the whole Mr B. said that he would sell it for £800 the Dr. offered him £550 & left him Mr. B. having so far receeded as to say that 700 was his Ultimatum— After some Days the Dr. saw him again, found him disposed to converse on the Subject & finally offered him £600 including the Repairs, which after a few Days Consideration he agreed to and as soon as I have raised the Money by Bills shall close the whole and make such Repairs as are of Necessity for securing the Buildig, I shall send you the Dimensions of the Floors—all paper Hangings are prohibited from Importation If I remember right—and the best & neatest are made here at a very reasonable Price— I wish for your particular Direction with respect to Paintings and the Color if you have any particular Choice The Repairs must be very considerable— Mr. B——d compleated all matters with Mr. T——r. and is in full Possession of all the Lands, except those sold to Deac W[eb]b & Bass which Mr B. has given them a Deed of— Mr. T. is said to have expended £100 lawful money on the { 163 } Buildg. &c and in the Purchase of Materials, such as were not used on the Buildings were swept off by his Creditors—the Wind Mill gone also to them— I have repaired Belchers House at as little Expense as I could possibly and have made it, tenantable—have also made a New Fence between that Place & the Widw Veseys adjoining— There is wanting a great Quantity of manure for your Lands, I have made repeated Enquiries but cannot as yet obtain any—it is every where engaged— The Spirit of Husbandry rises fast— People are dayly improving the Mode of managing their Farms—the great Price which English Hay bore for many Years—has produced such an Increase as to reduce the Price as low or lower than it was before the Revolution— Salt Hay is less in Use & consequently Salt marsh less valuable— Grain is more cultivated than formerly— My Friend on revisiting his Farm will not find it in such a State as to meet his Wishes— Our Scituation has neither encouraged nor permitted any further Exertions than what present Necessity required—and I am pretty sure that the Picture of Barreness & Poverty exhibited I wish it may not be known to any Body, that I ever had Instructions for buying that Place—unless hereafter it should be purchased—2 in Veseys Place will extinguish any Inclination for the Possession of it— And as Mr. A—— has not seen it for many Years—I know He will forgive me if I postpone the Purchase, till He can personally judge of the Quality of it &c
You have before this Time recd. Letters by Capt Cushing & others—from your Friends. My Letters have informed You of the Terms agreed upon with Mr. Parsons for the Instruction of Yr Son—also of the Part assignd Him at Commencment—the applause he obtained and of his Design to enter on his Studies in Septr. — Last Week He went to Newbury for that purpose— By a Calculation we made His annual Expence including his Instruction will amount to £90 Pr. Annm. He boards @ 15/ per Week which was the lowest Price we could obtain— The Expence for the Children for the last Year youll be able to form some Judgment of by my Account enclosed,3 tho not so fully as if it had been more particular but much writing I am both for want of Time & weakness of Eye Sight obliged to avoid— Mr John did not call upon me for Pocket Money while at College— He is prudent and knows how to use Money— In my Account you will form some Judgment of what has been delivered to Charles & Thos. If it exceeds your Expectations I wish for your Remarks— their Quarter Bills are delivered in to me and are in general personally discharged by me— Necessaries (if they are to be called such) Tea, { 164 } Sugar & Liquors have been generally procured for them, that Buttery Scores might be prevented—and as all Articles from the Buttery I find to be charged at a large Advance, I have advised them in future to have no Account at the Buttery— a very considerable Part of the money paid your Sister was for purchasing Cloathes for the Children, discharging Taylors Bills &c—
The Produce of your half of the Farm amounted to about £30 the last year, a considerable Part of this is absorbed in Taxes & Services done by Pratt and is accounted for in the Settlement of his Account and no more of it enters into my Account than you find Credited to you— I have vested about £200 sterlg in public Securities part of which is included in this Acctt. & the Remainder in the next. I think it must be for your Advantage to lay out as little as may be in Lands at present and to keep as much as you can in personal Property that will not be visible and at the same Time productive. whether this may be best effected by the purchase of public Notes is problematical the Interest from them is distant, the Continental are at 2/6 per £ State Notes @ 3/6— Bills of Exchange are fallen much— They have been purchased within a fortnight past from £5 pr. Ct. to Par at 30 Days. I have sold one Bill this Day dated the 15th. Inst. to Mr. John Osborn of £150 sterlg at 30 Days Sight 5 pr Ct above par of which I have given Mr. Adams Notice in a Letter by Capt Kettlewell bound to Liverpool but am doubtful, whether I shall get so much again4
We are, in the Massachusetts, at present in a State of Peace and Quietness, waiting for the Result of the federal Convention— Pardon has been granted to all those Traitors that were under Sentence of Death— The sudden Departure of a small French Fleet which came here about 5 or 6 Weeks past and which were expected to have lain here for some Time longer, has occasioned much Speculation—and leads many to fear that Storms are rising in Europe and will shortly overspread many Nations.5
Mr. Adams's Defence has gone through several Editions in America—it has met with great Applause there are a few however, that seem to be disgusted with his Encomiums on the British Constitution and the Spirit which the Defence discovers against pure Democracy There are some whom we may suppose to be fomentors of Faction under british Influence and perhaps employed to poison the Minds of People & sew Discord, who have endeavoured to insinuate into the Minds of some People, That Mr. A. was for Monarchy and his Plan to introduce one of the young Princes of England to take the Throne in America the Remarks of the London Monthly { 165 } Reviews have been published here a few Days past and those of the critical Reviewers follow them as a contrast—6 The Ill nature of Great Britain towards America—American Ministers & American Productions will continue untill we have a national efficient Government—
I forgot to mention, that Mr. Thos. Allen late of Braintree died in So Carolina the 25 of Augt. last; previous to closing with Mr Borland, I sounded Mr. Abel respecting the of his Farm. He wished to sell it—but his Price I found to be from 28 to 3000 £ a Price so high that he will not be able to sell it— His Fathers Death will probably occasion the Sale of it at what it will fetch be it more or less—7
At Weymouth We are far advanced towards the Settlement of a Minister (Who is not a married Man) by name Mr Jacob Norton, Son of our Cous. Sam Norton Esq. of Abington, He will probably be ordained in a fortnight or Three Weeks— He is young, possesses good Abilities, & a good Character—as yet but little acquainted with the World—8
Our good and worthy Uncle Smith has for some Months manifested a declining State of Health; for years past he has been affected with a scorbutic Humour in one of his Legs— Sometime in July upon the going of a severe Cough, it became very troublesome accompanied with a swelling & Inflammation of the Limb which rose to such a Degree as to threaten a Mortification and for some Days every Symptom indicated the Loss of Life—the Danger however from his Limb subsided— But the general State of his Health gives us no very flattering Expectations of his recovering his former State and for Ten Days past, I cannot find any material Amendment other than in the diseased Limb—
To morrow a Committee of the Overseers will visit our University we shall then have Specimens of the Students Improvements and I hope to have the Pleasure of seeing Masr Charles acquit himself with Honor—a Part in the Exhibition (I am informed) is assigned Him—
Our Cousin Willm. Cranch is studying Law with Mr Dawes—
I have taken a View of the Buildings & Fences, at Borlands, and find much to do— The West Room which is finished with Mohogany—Would you have it painted?—if so inform me— It would perhaps be an Amendment, if one or two Windows were cut out at the West End of it and the Closets removed. The Front Rooms below & { 166 } Chambers above as well as the outside of the House require Painting— The Walls of the East Room & Chamber over it must be papered or painted—the Hangings are all removed—
The Floor of the East Room below is 17 by 15 ½ Feet If you provide a Floor Cloth, the Hearth I suppose must be taken out, which is 5 Feet long—18 Inches wide (I. E. projecting out to the Floor)— the West Room 16 by 16 ½ Hearth 5 ½ Ftt. long 2 Ftt. 2 Inches Wide— I am repairing the Windows (which will require a 15l. of Glass) and what else that may be of immediate necessity & shall make preparations against the Spring for completing the whole before which Time I shall receive your Instructions9 You will embrace the first oppy. to give such Directions relative to the Buildings &C that you may think necessary
Adieu Your Affecte. Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Tufts Sepbr / 20th 1788” and “Dr. Tufts Sepbr / 20 1787.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. JA's letter to Tufts of 1 July has not been found. In AA's 4 July letter, she repeats her 1 July request, above, that Tufts purchase the Borland property and states that she would send the letter by a second ship to ensure the message reaches him as soon as possible (Adams Papers).
2. The previous 25 words were written at the bottom of the page and marked for insertion here.
3. Not found.
4. Possibly John Osborn, a merchant who sold paints and gold leaf in Boston in the 1780s (NEHGR, 27:422 [Oct. 1873], 140:231 [July 1986]).
Capt. Ottiwell Kettlewell of the brig Favourite sailed for Liverpool from Boston in early September (Massachusetts Gazette, 28 Aug.).
5. The Massachusetts Centinel reported on 12 Sept. that a French cutter had arrived in Boston Harbor the day before bearing orders from Paris that the French fleet quartered in Boston should sail immediately. Growing fears in Paris that the tumultuous developments of the Patriot Revolution in Holland would embroil France and the other powers of Europe in a wider war likely prompted the orders (Washington, Papers, Confederation Series, 5:348–349, 361–362).
6. The review of JA's Defence of the Const. from the May issue of the London Monthly Review was reprinted in the Massachusetts Centinel on 12 September. See also AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 2 May, and note 3; AA to Richard Cranch, 10 May, and note 1; and AA to JA, 7 June, and note 6, all above.
7. Thomas Alleyne (d. 1787) owned the Braintree estate of immigrant Edmund Quincy (1602–1637), AA's great-great-great-grandfather. A Quincy descendant had sold the property in 1763, and AA had long hoped to reacquire it. Widow Mary Alleyne (d. 1781) purchased the property in 1769 and willed it to her son Thomas and his wife, Dorothy Harbin Alleyne. Their son Abel (d. 1807) sold the 258-acre property at auction in Jan. 1788 to Benjamin Beale of Dorchester for £981 (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 176R, 178, 179, 3975R, 3983R; vol. 4:295–296; Suffolk County Deeds, 162:73–74).
8. Jacob Norton (1764–1858), Harvard 1786, was ordained minister of the First Church in Weymouth on 10 Oct.; he would eventually marry Elizabeth Cranch on 11 Feb. 1789. The parish had been searching for a permanent replacement since the 1783 death of AA's father, Rev. William Smith, and Norton would remain in the Weymouth pulpit for 37 years. His father, Samuel (1721–1810), was a first cousin of both Cotton Tufts and AA's mother (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 201; NEHGR, 12:184 [April 1858]; vol. 7:111; History of Weymouth, 4:444–445; History of Hingham, 3:92–94).
9. From this point on, the remainder of the letter was written sideways in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0069

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-09-22

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

I thank my dear Mrs Adams for Mrs Montagues observation, on the writings of shakespear which I received by Calihan.
though every part of your letters always Give me pleasure I found a Certain Satisfaction peculiar in that paragraph in your last which Gives an intimation that you mean to return to America in The Spring. uncertain as all human events are I cannot but look forward & in a degree anticipate the pleasure of haveing Friends I so highly esteem again in my Neighbourhood. & even if we should leave milton the distance to plimouth will appear very inconsiderable to so Great a traviller. But here reflection Gives a check to expectation—and when I survey the changes of time & the large portion I have already trodden over I Cannot have a right to Calculate for much: on this side the Grave. That silent asylum has my dear madam enwraped many you loved on this side the atlantic since you left us. You are doubtless prepared to see new tenants in the hospitable manssion of your uncle & aunt Smith.—
I Go this afternoon to Visit the Good Mrs allen who has lately recevied the sad tidings of the Death of her husband, who made his exit in the Carolinas where he was about to remove his Family.
Politics I shall leave till the next conveyance at least. as a dead Calm reigns among us that I fear will be suceeded by contrary appearances when the doings of The Convention are divulged or at least before we have a strong permanent a Wise tranquil & Free Goverment: many are dispossed to adapt the result of Their deliberations be they what they may: others are perversly bent on opposition though ever so well digested a Federal plan may appear: a third Class will as obstinatly oppose what appears to them wrong as they will decidedly support whatever they think right: or that tends to the General welfare.— well—half a page on a subject I just promissed not to touch. thus the Itch of scribling often betrays us into inconsistancy & somtimes exposses to other inconveniencies—but silence is impossed on my pen with regard to one of my most Respecteed & most punctual Correspondents had Mr Adams Condesended even to answer it would not have been so severe as a total neglect. and was it not for one circumstance I should suppose by the uniform reserve of the whole Family that a packet sent by Calihan to the american minister never reached his hand.1 if it did he will Gratify my { 168 } curiosity by the monosyllable Yes & I will not wound his delacacy by urging him to say more—
I am very sorry to hear you do not enjoy perfect health. but hope if your excussions over the pleasant Island of Great Britain dos not restore. a Voyage to america will reestablish a Blessing so necessary for the enjoyment of all Others.
Mr Warrens most Friedly regards to You & Yours accompany the best wishes of one who is happy in subscribing / Mr Adams & Your ever / affectionate Friend
[signed] M Warren
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Warren / Sepbr 22 1787.”
1. Mercy Otis Warren's last extant letter to JA was dated 7 Jan. (Adams Papers). He replied on 25 Dec. (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:300–301).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0070

Author: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-09-23

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams

A Letter from my dear Aunt Adams recievd last July remains unanswered;1 I am almost ashamed to reccollect it; but for a long time indisposition tottally prevented my using my pen at all: it was under absolute prohibition— within these few weeks my health seems mending—& possibly I may injoy a comfortable degree of it this winter: the pleasing hope of your return in the Spring, which I now permit myself to cherish will I am sure have a great influence upon my body & mind— it will sofiten the dreary storms of december & shorten the duration of the rigorous Season; I have not one object in view which appears to me of half the importance—or that promises half the pleasure which your safe return will afford; my heart bounds at the idea, & my fancy portrays innumerable scenes of happiness in which I may be a participater, they are not illuminated by one ray of Splendour, but appear only enlightened by the mild radience of pure affection & Friendship—shall we not in reallity enjoy them? I am sincerely afflicted at your indisposition: with what ready assiduity of affection would I have attended you could I have been with you: & only have felt as if discharging a part of a debt which I had long ago contracted; in kind:— You can never know my dear Aunt how severely we have felt your absence; not all our other friends could possibly supply your place: tho absent, you make us feel your goodness continually, & your kindness to myself in particular demands much more than bare acknowledgements; at present they are all I can return—some future time may perhaps give me oppertunity of making some more suitable—
{ 169 }
Congratulations may seem almost unseasonable by the time you recieve this upon the birth of your grandson: but I do really rejoice with you all—at the event; My Cousins happiness has I dare say recievd a large augmentation, & the exercise of maternal affection under all its different modifications will prove to her a constant source of delight: now will she find her own improvements of most essential service, when she finds it necessary “to rear the tender thought & teach the young Idea how to shoot—”2 her own plans of education used to be perfectly rational—& if she can practise as well as she used to theorise—she will make an excellent Mother— I find she follows the examples of most Matrons—in laying aside the pen as not a utensil pertaining to domestick Life: but from her good Mamas example she may surely learn that the use of it is not by any means incompatible with the full performance of every domestick duty— I shall certainly give her a hint of it soon— You do not even mention her return with you; I suppose we may surely expect her—& must she live at N—York? cannot Colln. Smith make it as advantageous to take up his abode in N—England?— You cannot surely part with her—so far!
My Cousin John, Mama has I suppose informed you—has fixd down in Newbury—& my Brother at Boston. they have both conducted so well thus far as to recieve universal praise & esteem— To tell you the satisfaction we all feel in consequence of it—would be unnecessary— My younger Cousins I hope will merit equal applause: Charles is a very lovely youth—& if Minerva will spread her shield as a defence from Cupids arrow—he will be safe—but Charles says “O Cousin Betsey! such heavenly Eyes; such lovely Hair—such a beautiful mouth—& above all such goodness—so amiable— Miss F—— is a most charming Girl—[”] Alas poor Charles! Cousin Betsey very gravely advises him to ward off the shafts of beauty at present— & only sollicit the smiles of the Muses—but this is the cold precept of 24— One thing however secures my lovely Cousin, the impresssions are not so deep—but that Novelty can efface them—& another observation—I have lately met with—& believe it generally true—of Beauty—”that its Caprice is a natural antidote to its poison—”3 & more especially—it may happen so of the Beauty of 14— My Cousin Thomas said to me the other day with his usual plainess of expression—speaking of the disadvantage of having too much society with young Ladies in the years devoted to study— “for my part I dont care a sixpence about them all—& dont think I shall ever be in Love—” I belive he spoke the truth entirely—& mereley as a matter of { 170 } amusement, the Gun & Ball have infinitely greater charms for him than— the most finshd face & form—& after qualifying & mollifying, his protestation, a little, I told him it had my entire approbation—
I am particularly obliged to you for [the] Books upon gardning— but my poor Garden makes but a s[. . .] I am however pleas'd with each individual flower—& watch with unremmiting care its rinnging—budding, blowing & decline—taken all together—they boast not of any beauty in appearance or disposition— Our Garden is & ought to be for use—a few little beds & borders are all which I call mine— when you leave England—if you should bring some flowers seeds from your Garden there—they may perhaps produce you some flowers here— those you sent me from France—many of them would not grow here—some I have now—& they have encreasd abundantly—Tommorrow My Sister & myself intend to go to Cambridge—to attend an exhibition the next Day—in which my Cousin Charles has a part— he has had one public performance before in which tis said he display'd many real graces of Oratory— Adieu my dear Madam—& present my best regards to my Uncle—& Mr & Mrs Smith—& believe most affectionately / Your Neice
[signed] E. Cranch—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams— / Grosvenor—square.”; endorsed: “E Cranch— / Septr. 25. 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. AA to Elizabeth Cranch, 18 July 1786, vol. 7:256–259.
2. James Thomson, The Seasons: Spring, lines 1152–1153.
3. “An antidote in female caprice lies / (Kind Heaven!) against the poison of their eyes” (Edward Young, Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. Satire V. On Women, lines 448–449).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0071

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-09-23

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I wrote to you about three weeks since thinking clallahan would sail immediatly but he is not yet gone & I find Folger will go before him—but my Letters will be old unless I add a short one now— I was not a little dissapointed by not receiving a Line by the Last vessel which arriv'd Doctor Tufts receiv'd one from you & he got it before those you sent by the way of new york1 He will tell you about the Purchase he has made of Mr Borlands Estate for you—we think you have an excellent bargain. I am rejoic'd that you will have a house big enough to hold your self & Friends when they visit you—you must make a square house of it— It will take one large room to hold Mr Adams Books If you make it with Alcoves like the college Library { 171 } it will make a beautiful appearence— We are amuseing ourselves with the alterations which it is probable you will make. I have seen your Mother Hall this Day—she is well & looks I tell her several years younger for the prospect she has of having you so near her. She wishes you here now nine months are nine years to one at her time of Life— you will have very agreable neighbours in Mr Woodwards Family, Doctor chancys Daughter Mrs Adams is a pritty sociable woman.2 she Boards with them—but you have met with a real Loss in the Death of Mr Alleyne—He possess'd a most benevolent heart, never meant to injure any one & always rejoice'd to do good & make his fellow creatures happy— He dy'd going from Wilmington to charlestown—was out but four days— we have not yet heard his dissorder you know what a Family of Love they were & will not wonder that they are greatly afflected Mr Abel tells me the House & Farm must be sold immediately. I wish you had it—& we that which you have bought. We should be just near enough together then— as to the Estate we live upon I know not whether it will ever be sold—it is going to ruin fast It is not yet determin'd yet who it belongs to
We have not heard one word from your son JQA since he went to Newbury— your other sons were well yesterday Lucy & Billy went to see them & carry them some clean Linnin There is to be a publick Exebition next Teusday cousin charles is to speak a Dialogue with a Mr Emmerson of concord—who looks much like him & is his bosom Friend—3 My nephew was much affected yesterday by the rustication of one of his class Lucy said he look'd as if he had shed tears— & I suppose he had— He was his chum the Freshman year—& study'd with him at Mr Shaws— He is a youth of great spirits—& one would have suppos'd they would have preserv'd him from so mean an action as stealing from any one especially his classmates— What could tempt him to this vice I cannot conceive. His Father is the richest man in Bradford & he an only child—but the old man lives very mean & is very close The young man spoke very handsomely before the governer—of the college denys the fact although the goods were found lock'd up in his chest— I am griev'd for him. He is a fine genious & has naturally a good disposition4
uncle Smith remains much in the same state he was when I wrote before his Leg grows better—but his other complaints are not remov'd—
you have sent for the height of your Rooms but paper for rooms the Doctor says are so well made here that he thinks you will not attempt to bring any—
{ 172 }
The report of Mr Adams returning soon has set the tools of the present administration spiting like so many Cats but I know he will not care for them
our Friend Mrs Russel remains very low & Nancy Sever is worse than her sister—5
I wish you would make a very particular inqueery how the gloscesshire [Che]ese is made—in what manner they prepair the Roun[ds—]how they give the yellow colour to the cheese you kn[ow ou]r procss in making cheese, discover if you can every var[iat]ion from our method— My cheeses look finely this summer & some of them want nothing but the colour inside to make them every way as good as English ones— I have not had more than four cows this summer & I think I have seven hundred weight of cheese—& I have made all the butter we have eat. We have had a large Family all summer—some of sister Smiths children have been with me ever since May Cousin Ebbit cranch & Eliza Bond have been with us six weeks— mr cranch has been at home all summer & is turnd quite a Farmer— by this account of our Family you will not suppos—we have been very Idle this season—
Doctor Tufts will transmit you our commencment accounts—I believe you will not think we were very extravagant—& yet I assure you we had enough of every thing & it was all very good—& every body seem'd pleas'd—
I have had no occation to advance any money for your sons Pockit expences. Doctor Tufts has given them quite as much as has been necessary for them— too much would be a great injury to their studys— The prudence of your eldest son might have been trusted with thousands—
When I think of your return I rejoice with trembling may god protect you & return you safe to your native country & to your affectionate sister
old Mrs Thayer is upon her annual visit to this Parish she is eighty nine years old she hopes “she shall live to see dear Madam Adams return[”]6
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Elizabeth Cranch: “Mrs Adams— / Grosvenersquare—”; endorsed: “Mrs Cranch / Septr. 23. 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. AA to Cotton Tufts, 1 July, above.
2. Likely the family of Joseph Woodward, for whom see vol. 7:397. Sarah Chauncy Adams (1733–1799), wife of Amos, was the daughter of Rev. Charles Chauncy of Boston (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 6:441; 13:183, 185).
3. William Emerson (1769–1811), Harvard { 173 } 1789, father of transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, later served as pastor of the First Church of Boston (Lemuel Shattuck, History of the Town of Concord: Earliest Settlement to 1832 and of Other Towns, Boston, 1835, p. 250).
4. Samuel Walker, Harvard 1790, eventually confessed to the theft and was allowed to return the following year (JQA, Diary, 2:294, note 3).
5. Sarah Sever Russell (1757–1787) died in Boston on 24 November. Her sister Ann (Nancy) Warren Sever (1763–1788) died of consumption in Kingston in Jan. 1788 (NEHGR, 26:309, 311 [July 1872]; Vital Records of Kingston, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1911, p. 379).
6. Sarah Thayer lived to the age of 103, dying in Nov. 1800 (Boston Columbian Centinel, 22 Nov. 1800). See also Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 1 Nov. 1789, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0072

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-09-30

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I went to Boston last Monday & there found that Barnard had arriv'd & brought me Letters both from you & Mrs Smith—1 I carre'd all mine for you & put them on board Folger—who said he should sail immediatly, but I hear he will not till next Teusday. I thought I had said every thing & told you all you would wish to know in my large Pacquet—but your Letter has given me new subjects—& first let me thank you for my urn & my Lamp lighter— I have not seen them yet but I know they will be very useful. I have found my Lamp very much so, one of those little wicks will burn six weeks if you do not pull them up & there is not the least necessaty of doing it— Betsy thinks she cannot sleep in the house without its being lighted. I wish my dear sister it was in my Power to return you some of those endearing proofs of your Love & esteem—you must accept a willing heart—
I had not time to see mrs wentworth when I was in Town— I design to go on purpose this week
I am very anxious for your Health. I hope it is mended—for by this time I suppose you are return'd from your excurtion into the West I wait with impatience for your account of it— The time till you return will seem longer to me than all that has past since you went away— I have not seen your new House yet but design to go over it & see what it will want. I should think it would not be best to make many alterations in it till you return. We will then consult together what will be best— I am sincerly glad you have it. Mr Fairweather & not mr Alleyne is the owner of the House & Farm which Mr Alleyne liv'd in— He has had a deed of it for a long time—2 you may remember the Barn stands in a bad place— you will I think move it back, & will remove or pull down the Building erected by mr Tyler. It intirely takes off all & indeed the only extencive prospect you have— Mr Cranch { 174 } will take a Plan of the House The measure of the rooms & every thing else which he thinks will gratify Mr Adams— your old House & ours will hold your Family till you can get your new one done mr Cranch cannot bear the thought of Mr Adams buying that place of Mr Veseys there will be so much better land to be sold joining upon that which you have lately purchas'd mr veseys is miserable poor.
Uncle Smith told me he had receiv'd a Letter from you—but said he should never write to you again—& indeed I believe he never will3 He sinks fast— I think you will never see him more— He dyes of a broken Heart if ever Man did— with Tears & even with sobs he told me that he had been declining for more than a year “I have said but little but I have thought the more. I have had sleepless nights— without communicating the cause—” these were his words He will have but a few more I am perswaid'd before he meets his kindred soul. The saint he has been pining after—but what a loss shall we meet with—
Billy had a Letter from cousin Adams last week4 he is will but studys too hard to retain his Health I fear— His Friend Ware is to be ordain'd in the october vacancy at Hingham—5 I hope your son will come to it—
your sons at college were well this week I was not at the exebition but I hear that cousin charles perform'd well
I shall write to mrs Smith by Callahan he will sail in a few days thank her for her Letter if you please & tell her—that her cousins will write also—
Mrs Field has been here this day inquiring about Ester—she sends her Love & is well Betsy is very pale & thin—her heart has been wounded & you know how long it takes to heal it— It never more than skins over—a slight matter will again wound it. was you hear I would whisper something—but it will not do6—come home my dear sister & make us all happy sister shaw was well a few days since I had a Letter by mr Moris & Nancy Hayzen7
[signed] M—C
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Sepbr [] [. . . .].” Some loss of text due to wear at the fold.
1. See AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 16 July, and AA2 to Lucy Cranch, 14 July, both above.
2. Thomas Fayerweather (1724–1805) of Cambridge had purchased a 400-acre Braintree estate from Thomas and Dorothy Harbin Alleyne for £1,600 on 18 April 1786 (NEHGR, 145:57–66 [Jan. 1991]; Suffolk County Deeds, 159:90–91). Cranch appears to be confusing the Fayerweather property with the Edmund Quincy estate, which would be auctioned by Abel Alleyne in Jan. 1788; see Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 Sept. 1787, and note 7, and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 23 Sept., both above.
{ 175 }
3. 12 March, above.
4. Not found.
5. Henry Ware, Harvard 1785, was ordained as minister of the First Church of Hingham on 24 October. For JQA's comments on Ware and his ordination, see Diary, 2:viii, 308–309.
6. This appears to be the first hint of the kindling of a romantic relationship between Mary Smith Cranch's daughter Elizabeth and newly ordained Weymouth pastor Jacob Norton.
7. Not found. Cranch was probably referring to Nancy Hazen's uncle, Haverhill tanner Benjamin Mooers (1725–1799), or one of his four living sons: Moses (1756–1813), Benjamin (1758–1838), John (1762–1803), or Jonathan (1764–1805) (Tracy Elliot Hazen, The Hazen Family in America, Thomaston, Conn., 1947, p. 88–90).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0073

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

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] my dear Eliza

I am very sorry to find by your Mammas Letters that you are unwell. I wish you could have made an excursion with me to have visited your Relations in this country We often talkd of you, and I always told them how good you all were, at which they appeard to be much gratified. Your cousin J Cranch who travelld a great part of the way with us thinks he has a very accurate knowledge of you. I am not sure that if he was in America, he might put a pr of Buckles into his shoes & hold up his Head. he often brought young Hill who formerly studied with your uncle to my mind.1 he is certainly a Man of talants, but he wants the manner of displaying them to advantage. whilst we were at plimouth we proposed a visit to Horsham about 8 miles distant, but a part of the road only was Turnpike. we inquired if we could go in a carriage, and we were told that we might, but the persons who gave us this advise did not attend to the difference between a coach & a post chaise. We set out in our own carriage & four, but not being a turnpike we took a wrong course and squezd through the narrowest way that a carriage ever past before the hedges on both sides meeting, I expected every moment when the coach man & postilion would have shared the fate of Absolom.2 about 2 miles before we came to the House we were compleatly stoped a Good man seeing our difficulty advised to pass through two wheet feilds, but there we were obliged to dismount and leave the carriage for the Servants to get on as well as they could. the lane which led to the House was so wet and Springy that we could not walk it without being over our Shoes, & this as I had Silk on was not quite so convenient, & through the Fields the hedges which we had to climb over were so high that it was totally impracticable to attempt. mr J Cranch who had never been at the place before, Scrachd his head & Scolded his cousin for permitting the road to be so obstructed, but finding a Gate Sampson like he { 176 } lifted it from the hinges & made it serve for a Ladder to pass over the hedges, but still we could not avoid near a mile of wet & mud. we were determined however not to give out, tho the weather was very Hot. Miss Palmer who by our long detention & struggl, had got intelligence of our comeing came out with Pattens for us & met us half way. She accosted us with affibilyty and welcomd us with politeness. her manners were easy and unaffected, her countanance full of sensibility, and Sprightliness her form Geenteel her face more pleasing than Beautifull. I could trace many Lines of her Brother, to whose memory she still paid a tributary Tear— the Brother with whom she lives I did not see, but all Relations & acquaintance alike represent him as the merest clown in nature.3 I was sorry he was absent, as I could scarcly credit that such a Brother as you knew & such a sister as I saw, could be from the same stock with this cimon. the house is a <tidy> decent farm House retird from all the world beside & there is a good Farm, but it is a Life Rent. by the Time we had rested ourselves the carriage got up by taking out the horses & drawing the coach by hand. we could only stay an hour and we parted with mutual regreet I believe returning an other road we took a guide and were obliged to dismount only once, but steep precipices rocks Bogs & hedges put us every moment in Bodily fear, and we were the first coach & four that ever attempted Horsham House. we should all have mounted on Horse back & then we should have Succeeded to our wishes—
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); notation: “To Elizabeth Cranch / ocbr 1st 1787.”
1. Edward Hill (1755–1775), Harvard 1772, of Boston studied law with JA from 1772 until JA's departure for Philadelphia in 1774, though Hill continued to work in JA's law office. Hill died in 1775 of camp fever in occupied Boston (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 18:100–102).
2. Absalom, the son of David, was killed when his head was caught in the boughs of an oak tree as he rode under it (2 Samuel, 18:9–10).
3. For John Palmer of Horsham, see vol. 6:61.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0074

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

William Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam,

Not to acknowledge the many favours I have recieved from you, and the obligations they have laid me under, would be ingratitude in the greatest Degree. The only method now in my power of Cancelling those obligations is to acknowledge them & perhaps prevent your being dissappointed, should Callahan arrive before Folgier. For { 177 } upon the supposition that Folgier would sail first, all the Letters for You were put on board him, but I have since heard that they will both sail tomorrow. I hear'd this morning that my Cousins at Cambridge were both well. I reciev'd a Letter from John Q. Last week, he likes his situation at Newbury-port very well. I hear'd from Braintree this morning, our friends were all well there.
With the greatest Respect believe me / Madam Your Afft. Nephew
[signed] WCranch.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs A. Adams / Grosvenor square / Westminster”; notation: <“Capt. Callahan.> / Hond. by Mr. Bromfield.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0075

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Lucy
Date: 1787-10-03

Abigail Adams to Lucy Cranch

I thank you my dear Lucy, for writing by mr Jenks tho only a few Lines, but that was very excusible considering how much she was engaged, both your mamma and you must have had your hand full. I hope the fatigue was not too much for her, the applause which all agree, your Brothers obtaind, must be to so benevolent a mind as my dear Neices, be some compensation for the fatigue an anxiety which she experienced. I thank you most sincerely for all your Labours of Love, and still solicit the continuance of them to those who yet call for your friendly assistance— you learnt by Captain Barnard that I was going a journey. I have given your mamma and sister some account of my late excursion to Devonshire. we returnd Home through Bristol and took oxford in our way, from Whence we went to Woodstock and visited Blenheim, the Seat of the Duke of Marlborough, which was built at the publick expence, and Granted by the crown to the Duke for the services he had renderd his Country.1 this Castle is upon the Grandest scale of any thing I have ever yet seen. We enter the park through a spacious and elegant portal of the Corinthian order, from whence a Noble prospect is opend to the palace, the Bridge the Lake, with its valley, and other beautifull Scenes.2 the Front of this Noble Ediface which is of Stone, is 348 feet from wing to wing. on the pediment of the South Front, towards the Garden is a Noble Busto of Louis the 14th, taken by the Duke from the Gates of Tournay.3 this the Gardner told us, he never faild pointing out to all the French Gentlemen who visited the place and that, they shrugd their shoulders, & mon dieu'd.— but before I describe to you the Gardens, I will attempt to give you a short, tho { 178 } imperfect account of the palace, it would require a week to view it, & a volm to describe it particularly; I will therefore only collect from my little journal, the most remarkable objects.— we enterd the palace through a magnificent Hall supported by Corinthian pillars, over the door going into the Salon, is a Bust of John Duke of Marlborough and two statues in Bronz, viz the venus of medicis & a Faun. the Ceiling is painted Allegorically, Representing victory crowning John Duke of Marlborough, and pointing to a plan of the Battle of Blenhiem. from the Salon we pass through a Suit of Rooms, all of them containing a most costly & Beautifull collection of paintings, many of them originals of the first masters. in the dining Room is a family peice, the present Duke & duchess and six of their Children by sir Joshua Reynolds.4 the furniture of the rooms is different couloured damasks. the family being at the House, we saw only the lower appartments. the winter drawing Room is of Tapestry upon which is represented the Cardinal virtues, Chairs & curtains white damask. from a series of smaller tho Magnificent appartments, we were suddenly struck at entering the Library, which is 183 feet long, and the most costly as well as Beautifull place I ever saw. the Doric pilasters are of Marble, with compleat columns of the same, which support a rich entablature, window Frames the surrounding basement of black marble, and the Stuccoed compartments of the vaulted ceiling, are in the highest Taste both of design, and finishing: there is a person who always attends at these seats, who has by Heart the whole History of all that is to be seen, and they make very handsome sums of money by it. This Library was originally intended as a Gallery for paintings but the Late Duke of Marlborough, chose to have it furnishd with the Noble collection of Books made by Lord Sunderland, his Graces Father which amounts to 24.000 volums; and is said to be the best private collection in England: they are kept under Gilt wire lattices: and make a superb appearence.5 at one end of the Room is a highly finishd Marble statue of Queen Ann, with this inscription, “To the memory of Queen Anne under whose Auspices John duke of Marlborough conquerd, And to whose Munificence, He, and his posterity, with Gratitude owe the possession of Blenheim in A D. 1746.[”] There are Two marble Busts over the Chimny, one of Charles Earl of Sunderland, who collected the Books, and an other of Charles Spencer Duke of Marlborough and at the further End of the room, is a fine Greek Bust of Alexander the Great, and 14teen full length family portraits. { 179 } from two Bow windows in this Noble Gallery, the Eye is delighted with a view of the declivity descending to the water, and the gradual assent of the venerable Grove which covers the opposite hill. in short whether we look within, or without, all is on the Scale of the sublime and the Beautifull. I must not overlook the Chaple which makes one of the wings of the House, and in which there is a proud monument of white marble to the memory, of the renouned Duke & dutchess of Marlborough. the Group of marble figures Large as Life upon this Monument, are the duke and dutchess with two of their Sons who died young, they Supported by two figures, Fame, and History.6 the Alter peice is the best painting I ever saw, our Saviour taken down from the cross.—7
From the House we visited the Gardens and here I am lost, not in confusion, but amidst scenes of Grandeur magnificence, and Beauty. they are spacious and include a great variety of Ground. the plain, or as the artists term it, the Lawn before the palace is kept in the most perfect order, not a single spire of grass, rises above an other, it is mowed & swept every other day, and is as smooth as the surface of a looking Glass. The Gardner who has lived 25 years upon the place, told us that he employd about Sixty 3 Hands during the Summer in mowing Sweeping pruning loping, and in ornamenting the Grounds— from this Lawn is a gradual descent to the Water, and you pass through Spacious gravell walks not in strait lines, as Pope expresses it,

“Where each Alley has a Brother

and half the platform just reflects the other”8

but pleasing intracacies intervene, through the winding paths and every step opens new objects, of Beauty which diversified Nature affords, of Hill, Vallay, Water, and Woods, the Gardens finally are lost in the park amidst a profusions of venrable oaks some of which, are said, to have stood, nine hundred years. the Gardens are four miles round which I walkd, the park is Eleven. there is a magnificent Bridge consisting of 3 Arches the Water which it covers, is formd into a spacious Lake, which flows the whole extent of a capacious vallay. this was built at the expence of Sarah dutchess of Marlborough, as well as a column which I shall mention in Turn. The Gardner who was very Loquacious, and swelld with importance, told us that Since his residence there; the present duke had greatly enlarged and improved the Grounds; that he had Beautified { 180 } them by the addition of some well placed ornaments; particularly the Temple of Diana; and a noble cascade, round which are the four River Gods, represented as the Gaurdian Genii of the water
This celebrated park was first inclosed in the reign of Henry the first, his successor Henry ye second resided at this Seat, and erected in this park a palace, and encompassed it with a Labyrinh which was Fair Rosamonds bower, celebrated by Addisson. there are now no remains of it except a spring at the foot of the hill, which still bears the Name of Rosamonds Well—9 this palace, is celebrated as the Birth place of Edmund 2 son of Edmund the first, and of Edmund the black prince Elizabeth was kept a prisoner there, under the persecutions of Queen Mary, and it continued to be the Residence of Kings till the Reign of Charles the first, but it was demolished in succeeding times of confusion.10 there are now two Sycamores planted as a memorial upon the Spot where the old palace stood. the column will close my narative. this is in Front of the palace of Blenheim at about half a miles distance & is 130 feet high, on the Top of which is John Duke of Marlborough on which is the following inscription, Supposed to be written by the Late Lord Bolingbroke
The Castle of Blenheim was founded by Queen Anne
In the fourth year of her Reign
In the year of the Christian æra 1705
A Monument designed to perpetuate the Memory of the Signal Victory
obtained over the French and Bavarians
on the Banks of the danube
By John Duke of Marlborough
The Hero not only of this Nation but of this Age
whose Glory was equal, in the Council and in the Field
who, by wisdom, Justice, candour, and address
Reconciled various, and even opposite, Interest
Acquired an Influence
which no Rank no Authority can Give
Nor any Force, but that of superiour virtue
Became the fixed important centre
which united in one common cause
The principal States of Europe
Who by military knowledge, and Irresistible Valour
In a long series of uninterrupted Triumphs
{ 181 } { 182 }
Broke the power of France
when raised the highest, and when exerted the most
Rescued the Empire from desolation
Asserted and confirmed the Liberties of Europe
Thus is the Gratitude of the Nation expresd, & thus do the Heirs of Marlborough Triumph.11 the present Duke is a man of literary persuits domestick, and a great Astronomer he has a fine observatory & Apparatus, from this observatory he makes Signals to Herschal at Windsor; and they Study the Stars together.
I have made a very long Letter of it I hope it may prove an amusement to you;
Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friends and believe me my dear Neice / your ever affetionate
[signed] Aunt A. Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by WSS: “Miss Lucy Cranch / Braintree”; notation by WSS: “To the care of / Isaac Smith / Esqr. Boston.”
1. The land on which Blenheim Palace sits and its original manor house, called Woodstock, were given by the English government to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722), in 1705 in recognition of his services at the Battle of Blenheim in Bavaria. Marlborough hired the architect John Vanbrugh to build the castle, which was started in 1705 but not completed until 1724 (Karl Baedeker, Great Britain, 8th edn., Leipzig, 1927, p. 222; DNB).
2. The entrance to the home, called the Triumphal Arch, was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and built at the direction of Sarah Jennings Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660–1744), John's wife, in tribute to her husband the year after his death. On the arch, she had inscribed, in part, “The services of this great man to his country the Pillar will tell which the Duchess has erected for a lasting monument of his glory and her affection for him” (Christopher Hibbert, The Marlboroughs: John and Sarah Churchill 1650–1744, N.Y., 2001, p. 341).
3. This giant bust of Louis XIV, which weighs 30 tons, had originally stood on top of the fortress at Tournai, Belgium. Marlborough apparently admired it during the siege of Tournai in June 1709 and arranged to have it brought across the English Channel to Blenheim (Hibbert, The Marlboroughs, p. 239–240).
4. In the fall of 1777, Sir Joshua Reynolds came to Blenheim to paint George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739–1817), his wife Lady Caroline Russell, and six of their children. Reynolds completed the portrait in 1778. The palace also contained paintings by numerous other important artists including da Vinci, Titian, Holbein, Rubens, and van Dyck (DNB; William Eccles, A New Guide to Blenheim Palace, 5th edn., Woodstock, Eng., 1852, p. 21–30).
5. Charles Spencer, 3d Earl of Sunderland (1674–1722), a noted bibliophile, married Anne Churchill, Marlborough's daughter, in 1700. Blenheim Palace received in 1749 a portion of Sunderland's library, to which his son, Charles Spencer, 3d Duke of Marlborough and 5th Earl of Sunderland (1706–1758), subsequently made additions. The library was sold at auction by the 6th Duke of Marlborough for £30,000 (DNB; Hibbert, The Marlboroughs, p. 339). For a listing of titles in the library at the time of its sale, see Bibliotheca Sunderlandiana: Sale Catalogue of the . . . Library of Printed Books Known as the Sunderland or Blenheim Library, London, 1881–1883.
6. The Marlboroughs had two sons, both of whom died young: John Churchill, Marquess of Blandford (1686–1703), and Charles Churchill (1690–1692). They also had four daughters—Anne, Elizabeth, Henrietta, and Mary (Hibbert, The Marlboroughs, p. 340; Virginia Cowles, The Great Marlborough and His Duchess, N.Y., 1983, p. 122, 133, 136).
7. This piece, Our Saviour Taken Down { 183 } from the Cross, was by Jacob Jordaens (1594–1678), a Dutch painter from Antwerp (A Description of Blenheim, 12th edn., Oxford, n.d., p. 44; John Corner, Portraits of Celebrated Painters, London, 1825, n.p.).
8. Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle IV, lines 117–118.
9. A palace known as Woodstock existed in some form on this site as early as 866. Henry I was responsible for enclosing the park and establishing the town. Henry II was allegedly responsible for erecting the labyrinth to allow his mistress, “Fair Rosamond” (Rosamond Clifford, d. 1176?), to reach the palace secretly. Their relationship was celebrated in Joseph Addison's Rosamond, an Opera, Humbly Inscrib'd to Her Grace the Dutchess of Marlborough, London, 1707 (Description of Blenheim, p. 104–107; DNB).
10. Edmund of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward I, was born here in 1301, as was Edward III's eldest son, Edward (1330–1376), known as the Black Prince. Others who spent time at Woodstock include Chaucer and the future queen Elizabeth, imprisoned there by her half-sister Queen Mary (Description of Blenheim, p. 111–117; DNB).
11. For the “Column of Victory,” see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 5, above. Henry St. John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, wrote the inscription but only after Alexander Pope refused the work. AA's transcription is missing a single line; she left out the words “Near the Village of BLENHEIM” after the phrase “obtained over the French and Bavarians” (Hibbert, The Marlboroughs, p. 341; Eccles, Guide to Blenheim Palace, p. 58–59).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0076

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-10-04

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

By mr̃ Cutting I have an opportunity of acknoleging the receipt of your favor of Sep. 10th. inclosing one for my daughter Polly.1 when she received it she flushed, she whitened, she flushed again, & in short was in such a flutter of joy that she could scarcely open it. this faithful history of her sensibility towards you must stand in lieu of her thanks which she has promised me she will write you herself: but at this moment she is in the convent where she is perfectly happy. by mr̃ Cutting you will also receive the 5. aunes of cambric which Colo. Smith desired me to have purchased for you at 12. livres the aune. I am sorry you were put to the trouble of advancing the money for mr̃ Sullivan's bill:2 I thought myself sure that mr̃ Grand's bill would reach you in time, and did not know he had omitted to advise mr̃ Teissier of it. he is always afraid to give to any body a complete power to call on him for money. mr̃ Littlepage is here under a secret commission from the King of Poland. possibly it may become a permanent one. I thank you for the American newspapers, and am glad to find that good sense is still uppermost in our country. great events are I think preparing here: and a combination of force likely to take place which will change the face of Europe. mr̃ Grenville has been very illy received. the annunciation by mr̃ Eden that England was arming, was considered as an insult: after this & the King of Prussia's entrance on the territories of Holland, mr̃ Grenville's arrival with conciliatory propositions is qualified with the { 184 } title of “une insulte tres gratuite.” I am not certain that the final decision of this country is yet taken. perhaps the winter may be employed in previous arrangements unless any thing takes place at sea to bring on the rupture sooner. the Count de Gortz told me yesterday that the Prussian troops would retire from Holland the moment the states of Holland should make the expected reparation of the insult to the Princess. may not the scene which is preparing render it necessary for mr̃ Adams to defer the return to his own country?3
I have the honor to be with very sincere sentiments of esteem & respect Dear Madam—your most obedient & most humble servant
[signed] Th: Jefferson
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “mrs̃ Adams.”; endorsed: “Mr Jefferson / ocbr 4th 1787.”
1. Not found.
2. On 29 May, Gen. John Sullivan, president (governor) of New Hampshire, had written to Jefferson asking him to reimburse WSS for money Sullivan had drawn in the United States against WSS's account (Jefferson, Papers, 11:384).
3. Prussia under its new king, Frederick William, had hesitated to become involved in the revolt in the Netherlands. But when the king's sister, Princess Wilhelmina, was arrested, confined, and apparently insulted while attempting to enter The Hague in late June, he finally resolved to invade in support of the Orangists, although it was more than two months before troops actually crossed the border. Some believed that France too would invade in support of the Patriots— which would have drawn Britain into the war as well—but a visit by William Grenville to the Netherlands convinced Frederick William, rightly, that France had no intention of becoming involved, and Britain accordingly also pulled back. By 10 Oct., the Prussians had conquered the last of the Patriot resistance and temporarily restored William V to power (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 126–132).
Johann Eustach, Baron von Görtz, was the Prussian envoy extraordinary to the Netherlands (Repertorium, 3:333).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0077

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-10-05

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

Your obliging favour by captain Folger came safe to Hand, and brought me the agreeable intelligence of my Eldest sons having received His degree, and performed his part to the satisfaction of his Friends, and his own credit. you know Sir from experience, that there is no musick sweeter in the Ears of parents, than the well earned praises of their children.
I hope he will continue through Life to mantain the Character of an honest man; and a usefull citizen I am anxious for his Health, and hope you will advise him to pay more attention to it, than he is inclined too
I presume before this time mr Adams's & my letters must have reachd you, respecting the purchase of Borlands place. I hope to { 185 } hear from you upon this subject by Callihan: Mr Adams has written to you concerning our Farm and thinks it best to take it into his own Hands, as it will want manure, and many other things done; which we cannot expect from a Tenant, but as some arrangements will be necessary before we shall be able to reach America, I have thought whether Pheby would not undertake the dairy, with an assistant, and whether the other buisness might not be performd by hireing a man & Boy & agreeing to pay him a certain Sum he finding himself—
I know it is much easier to propose these things than to do them, and that it is putting a great deal of trouble upon you. Belcher used to be a good Hand & knows the place perfectly well, if you should buy mr Borlands place, that also will require attention. I hope we may be able to get home in june at furthest.—
Every thing here looks Hostile, and England is arming with all expedition and seem fully bent upon war, without a single object of Benifit, or conquest. The Nation appear very well pleasd at the prospect. The Conduct of France towards Holland, betrays either weakness or Fear. She has by her late conduct faded the laurels which she won in America. She has left her Ally, in their greatest distress, a prey to the orange mob, & the prussian Army To the machinations of British politicks, & the Tyrranny of the Stadholder. The Country will in a manner, be depopulated, the wealth of it transferd to other Nations, and the Prince of orange the Monarck of Frogs, perhaps the insolence of this Nation may provoke France to strike some unexpected stroke, but it will be too late to save Holland. The Patriots have already experienced the most outrageous conduct, and wanton cruelty, in the destruction of their Houses, and the ravage of their property, every personal indignity, and a constant threatning of their lives.
Such is the Mobility of all countries when once let lose, another lesson for America. I hope She will be wise enough to keep clear of the Blaize which threatnes Europe. She may rise into power and concequence, even by the Calamities of other Nations if she improves their folly arright
Mr Adams has finishd his other volm and requests when they arrive you would distribute a 2d volm to all those Gentleman to whom he sent the first, as well as those you added to the List, not forgetting Brother Shaw—1 The Reviewers to this month are sent you.
Remember me to your Son and believe me dear sir / most affectionately yours,
[signed] A Adams
{ 186 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “The Honble. / Cotton Tufts Esqr. / Boston”; endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Octob. 5— / 1787—” Dft (Adams Papers), dated and filmed at 4 October.
1. The Dft also notes that “his 3d vol is just going to the press.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0078

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-10-08

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Dear sister

I inclose a pamphlet upon darying1 which when you have read, be so good as to give to Pheby provided she becomes my dairy woman, and be so good as to procure me the following List of Herbs & send me in small Bags Catnip mint penny Royal & Hysop. You will laugh I suppose, but I want them for my Voyage, & what I get here are good for very little. Catnip is an herb I never could find here. I have sent to my Neices a small band Box with some Gauze for Bonets, and little modle. there ingenuity will put them together I doubt not, they are the newest fashion, & as the Bonets are not made, there is no prohibition upon them
I am obliged to make up what package I have least the vessel should sail, and must trust to getting what I shall write to sister shaw & my children on Board afterwards
Esther has been sick this fortnight, but is Some thing better. She is such a poor weakly creature that I fear sometims I shall never get her back alive, if she had not lived where the utmost care and attention has been paid to her, she would long ago have been dead.
pray remember me to Mrs Quincy & miss Nancy to mr Alleyne family, and to all inquiring Friends—and believe me always your affectionate / sister
[signed] A A
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree.”
1. Probably Josiah Twamley, Dairying Exemplified; or, The Business of Cheese-Making, London, 1784.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0079

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-10-08

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I have just sent some Letters to go by Captain Folger, but find he does not sail so soon as captain Cushing. Should he arrive before Folger without a Line I know by experience how fruitfull your imaginition would be of conjectures, and tho I have said all that appeard to me of importance, & perhaps more than others will think of any, { 187 } in my Letters on Board Folger, I forgot to inclose a paper which I promised, and which will require my other Letters to explain.
Pray is our Native Town yet destitute of a setled Pastor? What is become of mr & mrs Evans? and where is my old Friend Charles Storer, indeed I feel conscious that I have not used him well. I am indebted to him for Several Letters, but I really have so many to whom I am by duty as well as inclination obliged to write that, when a vessel is going to sail, my whole time is occupied—
I think of all my Friends with an unabated affection, & hope the period is not far distant when I shall meet them again. Some alass, I shall miss—but this is the portion of mortality.
Remember me affectionately to mr Cranch. I cannot get mr Adams to write half the Letters I want him to. he is so buisily employd about his Books, I tell him he will ruin himself in Publishing his Books, he says they are for the Benefit of his Country, and he allways expected to be ruind in her service, but I am really affraid he will kill himself in her service too, for his unwearied application has brought a nervious pain in his Head which allarms me at times.— he is not now a young man, and has Served the publick Years enough to have been at his ease the remainder of his Life, if half the assiduity had been employd in his own private affairs.
adieu my dear Sister Remember me to all Friends, for this is the only Letter which I shall write by Cushing— I have sent the Critical Reviews to dr Tufts by Cushing, the Letter to him Folger has—
ever yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0080

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-10-12

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I cannot begin my Letter by thanking you for yours. You write so seldom, that you, do not give me the opportunity, yet I think you would feel dissapointed if you did not get a few Lines from me. I congratulate you upon your Success at Commencment, and as you have acquired a reputation upon entering the stage of the World, you will be no less solicitious to preserve and increase it, through the whole drama. it is said of Hannibal that he wanted nothing to the compleation of His martial virtues, but that when he had gained a victory, he should know how to use it.1 it is natural to the humane Heart to swell with presumption when conscious of superiour { 188 } power, yet all humane excellence is comparative, and he who thinks he knows much to day, will find much more still unatained, provided he is still eager in persuit of knowledge. Your Friends are not anxious that you will be in any danger through want of significant application, but that a too ardent persuit of your studies will impair your Health, & injure those bodily powers and faculties upon which the vigor of the mind depends. Moderation in all things is condusive to human happiness, tho this is a maxim little heeded by Youth, whether their persuits are of a sensual, or a more refined and elevated kind
It is an old Adage, that a man at 30, must be either a fool or a Physician. tho you have not arrived to that age, you would do well to trust to the advise, and experience of those who have. our Bodies are framed of such materials as to require constant exercise to keep them in repair, to Brace the Nerves and give vigor to the Animal functions. thus do I give you Line upon Line, & precept upon precept.
By the Time this reaches you, you will have heard of the Humiliating condition of Holland. History does not furnish a more striking instance of abject Submission, and depression totally and almost unresistingly conquerd by a few prussian troops, a Nation, that formerly withstood the whole power & force of spain, and gave such proofs of Bravery and prowess as astonishd surrounding Nation, now Humbled to the dust, by an imperious & haughty woman, backed by the Troops of Prussia, for a mere trifling affront or rather this has been the speicious pretence for all the Horrors which are brought upon the patriots & Friends of Liberty in Holland. May her Name descend with eternall obloquy to future ages. Poor Dumas & family have lived in a state worse than death, since to exist in constant dread of being drag'd a victim to an enraged mob, who were constantly threatning him, & his family with destruction: is worse than death. his Friends all forsook him or dared not appear in his behalf. he wrote a most afflicting account to your pappa, & beg'd him to claim protection for him as acting for the united States, but as he never had any publick character, or rather never was commissond by Congress, it could not be done.2 mr duma you know has been engaged in the Service of France, and has received a Sallery from that Government, besides his being opposed to the measures of the Stadtholder, all of which renders him particularly obnoxious to the princess, and her party
This Nation, piqued at the Treaty of alliance, which was last Winter, made between France & Holland have been ever since seeking { 189 } Revenge, by fomenting the troubles in Holland; and Seizd the first opportunity She had in her power to Bully France.3 The Death of de Vergennes and the deranged State of the Finnances in France, the dispute between the King and his parliament, all, all have contributed to hasten the downfall of Liberty in Holland. England has held a very high Tone, & given it out, that if France marchd a single man to the assistance of Holland, it should be considerd as a commencment of Hostilities, and from the conduct of France, she appears to have been intimidated, and held in Awe by it. This is an other lesson to us, not to put our trust in princes. England not content with the Tame, & pacific conduct of France, is arming with a zeal, and Eagerness really astonishing, to every person of reflection, who can See no object which she can have in view, adequate to or as a compensation for the horrur and distress, she must bring upon her Subjects by the increase of expences and the accumulation of the National debt.
If I was not present to hear, and see it I could scarcly credit, that a whole people Should not only tamely Submit to the evils of war, but appear frantick with joy at the prospect, led away by false Glory, by their passions & their vices they do not reflect, upon past calamities, nor approaching destruction and few of them have better reasons to offer for their conduct than the Lady with whom I was in company the other day, who hoped their would be a war. pray said I how can you wish so much misiry to mankind? o said she, if there is a war, my Brother, & Several of my Friends will be promoted. In the general Flame which threatnes Europe, I hope & pray, our own Country may have wisdom sufficient, to keep herself out of the Fire. I am sure she has been a sufficiently burnt child.
Remember me to your Brothers, if I do not write to them. I have sent you some cotton stockings, and am / Your affectionate mother
[signed] A. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Mother. 12. Octr: 1787.” and “Mrs. Adams. Octr: 12 1787.”
1. AA is quoting directly from Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 127.
2. C. W. F. Dumas wrote to JA on 25 Sept. (Adams Papers) requesting his assistance. JA replied on 1 Oct. (LbC, APM Reel 113), offering to allow Dumas and his family to reside at the Hôtel des États-Unis in The Hague and arranging for money for its repair. JA had also previously made arrangements to ensure that Dumas continued to receive his salary as U.S. chargé d'affaires at The Hague until Congress formally determined Dumas' status (JA to Dumas, 5 Sept., LbC, APM Reel 113).
3. The Dutch and French had signed a treaty of alliance and friendship in Oct. 1785. This represented a victory for the Patriot Party over the stadholder, whom the British supported (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 106).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0081

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Date: 1787-10-12

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] Dear Sister

Your obliging Letter was handed me, on my return from a journey into Devonshire. it was one of the most agreeable excursions I ever made. The Season was delightfull, and we performd our journey by easy Stages, always sure to find good accommodations at the Inn's. The whole country through which we travelled was like a Garden, and the cultivation Scarcly admits of an other improvement; I wish I could say as much in favour of the inhabitants, but whilst one part of the people, the Noble and the wealthy, fare sumptuously every day, poverty hunger and Nakedness is the Lot, and portion of the needy pesantry, who are the inhabitants of the County Towns and villages, by whom the Earth is manured, and the Harvest gatherd in, yet are the most industerous of them; stinted, to Six pence or seven pence a day from which pittance, they must not only feed themselves, but perhaps a wife and family. Youth and age experience the extreems of misiry their mud cottages, and misirable Huts astonishd me, Starving in the midst of plenty, Tantulas like. The Sheepherd who with his faithfull Dog, is the Watchman of a thousand Sheep, must answer with his Life to his Lord, if the pressing hunger of his family should tempt him to purloin the meanest Lamb of the Flock, Nor is he permitted to Touch the winged passengers of the air, tho they no more belong to the owner of the Mansion, than the Sun Beam, which equally Shines, upon the Cottage and the palace, but he is a Lord, and claims as exclusive right to the commoners of Nature himself
Poor is the opulence, and little the Grandeur which would engross the very light of Heaven if it were possible, and the air in which we Breath. what I formerly read as Romance I have been an Eye witness too, in this Land of Feedom this boasted Island of Liberty. there is such an inequality of property, that the lower order of the people, are abject and servile, the higher insolent, and Tyrannical, yet are they, less wetched than the common people of most other Countries.
Can it be, that one part of the Humane Species, and those a small propoportion, were deignd to subjugate the rest of their fellow mortals, yet such is the use they make of their freedom, that one is led to the inquiry, Homer was however of a different opinion, when he said,
{ 191 }

“Jove fix'd it certain, that whatever day

makes man a slave, takes half his Worth away”1

When I reflect upon the advantages which the people of America possess, over the most polished of other Nations, the ease with which property is obtaind, the plenty which is so equally distributed, their personal Liberty, and Security of Life and property, I feel gratefull to Heaven, who marked out my Lot in that happy land, at the same time I deprecate that restless Spirit, and that banefull pride Ambitition, and thirst for power which will finally make us as wretched as our Neighbors

“Aspiring to be Gods Angles fell,

Aspiring to be Angle man rebell'd”2

The account my dear Sister gave me of her Nephew, was peculiarly pleasing to me, it is no small proof of his merit, that he has obtaind the Eulogyum of so amiable a Character,3 and so benevolent a Friend, let me Solicit a continuence of Your Friendly advice. I am sure it will always have weight with him.
Let my little Nephew know, that I was highly gratified by his very pretty Letter, and as a reward for his attention to his Books I Send him two little volms for his Sundays amusement4
My Grandson grows a fine Boy, and will get too much of my Heart I fear.5 he stood his journey very well, and was a great amusement to us. Mrs Smith is very [. . .] makes a very good Nurse. how is my old Friend mr Thaxter, tell him tho I have not wrote him a long time, it is not oweing to any abatement of Esteem or Regard.6
Remember me to all our Haverhill Friends.
The time is near approaching when I expect to quit this Country.7 the ocean appears the only great obstical to me, but sufficent to the day, &c8
affectionate Regards to mr Shaw mr Adams has directed a 2d volm of the defence to be presented to him
I hope the disorder which distrest your Friends and parishoners has left the place. it is in [. . . .]9 this Country. with regard to my own Health, I have b[een?] [. . . .] a month past, than for six months before. my Love [. . . .]10 Neice. She is grown I dare say a fine girl by this Time
adieu my d[ear Sister] and believe me with the tenderest Sentiments / your affectionate
[signed] [A Adams]
{ 192 }
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed by WSS: “To / M[rs. Eli]zabeth Shaw / at / Haverhill / near / Boston”; endorsed: “October 12 1787.” Some loss of text where the signature was removed. Dft (Adams Papers), dated and filmed at 10 October.
1. Homer, The Odyssey, transl. Alexander Pope, Book XVII, lines 392–393.
2. Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, lines 127–128.
3. At this point the Dft also says, “may he long deserve it, and may that attention be continued to him as he is like to be a resident near you.”
4. Letter not found.
5. Here the Dft continues, “I hope to hear mrs Alleyne is happily a Bed, I feel anxious for her, tis hardly fit to begin a Buisness, at a time of Life when one should be leaving off.” Elizabeth Kent Allen was forty years old when her daughter Betsey was born in Aug. (Vital Records of Charlestown Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols. in 3, Boston, 1984, 1:381).
6. At this point in the RC, AA heavily crossed out three lines of text.
7. At this point the Dft concludes: “I could wish I had not the ocean to encounter, but necessity has no law & I cannot See my country and Friends without Submitting to it, I Shall have few regreets, considering the political Situation of this country.”
8. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew, 6:34).
9. Approximately three words missing.
10. Approximately three words missing.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0082

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
DateRange: 1787-10-01 - 1787-10-18

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I have already written you a long letter giving you an account, of my journey, this must relate Chiefly to private affairs. your Letters by captain cushing and Folger came safe to hand.2 I thank you for your pleasing account of commencment, as well as for your care and attention to my sons, which it is unnecessary to solicit a continuance off because I am perfectly sure of it. I am sorry a certain family took it into their heads to be affronted, but it is not the first instance in which they have held them too high. America is very apt to make Englishmen forget what they once were, or that they owe all their importance to her. I often think of an observation of our Grandmothers, who used to say, that it was a mercy to the World, some people were kept poor, since were they rich their haughtiness and insolence would be intollerable.
I feard the Sandles would prove too long. I sent them back once to the Shoemaker, thinking he must have made a mistake in the measure. I have endeavourd to pattern the Silk you sent, but the Shop where I purchased the other, upon the late rise in silks, sold of the whole stock. I pray these four yds may be considerd as a part of the other, and not as they say split an Acorn. a dozen pr of cotton stockings Captain Folger will take charge of for my son J Q A, and some blew broad cloth for my others, as they will want one coat a { 193 } year I presume. I hope your Urn went safe by Barnard, as well as some articles I sent to JQA
I begin to think seriously of arranging matters, for our return in April Next, and I wish for your advise relative to our affairs in America. mr Adams thinks it best that mr Pratt should go of in April as he means to take the management of the place into his own Hands and to endeavour to recover it from the poverty into which it has fallen through want of manure, &c there must be somebody to look after the dairy, and I think it may with safety be trusted to Pheby provided she will undertake it, but then she must have an assisstant The Question is, can she get one? or keep one after she has got her? There must also be some hands to look after the place, and to do the out door Labour. mr Adams will not have any corn raised upon it, so that the Labour will be much lessned, as things are so circumstanced. I think it would be best to Hire a man by the month & let him find himself. I hope we shall arrive in May or june, the Gardens we would wish cultivated, and such roots &c put in as we may stand in need of. If the doctor has purchased mr Borlands place for us, there will necessaryly be many things to do there I wish to have the Garden cultivated that we may at least have some vegetables to live upon when we return, but upon this subject I shall be better able to judge when I hear again from the Doctor. I hope you will get an opportunity to write to me what you think best to be done and consult with the Dr to whom I shall write, and agree with Pheby upon some terms, if the Dr and you should approve—I do not know a more trust worthy Hand.
every thing in this Country wears a Hostile appearence. France is said to be arming in concequence of it, and the Prussians have subjugated Holland—alass! poor Holland, like a sheep has it been deliverd to slaughter, panic struck she has submitted, discouraged and disheartned, unassisted by France her ally, who could not, or would not interfere, in season bullied by England. she seems now determined to resent it. Amsterdam still holds out, but tis Generally believed she will negotiate & make the best terms she can. The Patriots at the Hague & in delft, have been abused insulted & treated by the orange mob, with every species of indignity, unheard of wanton cruelties have been perpetrated, their Houses destroyed, their property laid waste, and every moment in jeopardy of their lives—in short the scene is too dismall to relate. read mr Adams's second volm his History of the Italian Republick, and you will find a History of what is now acting in Holland.3 This Court have had the greatest Hand in { 194 } bringing these calamities upon the Dutch, and are now going to War with all speed to continue them in it, & to support the statholder the whole Nation appeard engaged in it, and perfectly satisfied that it should be so. I hope & pray that our Country may be wise enough to keep out of it, and if they do they may milk the cow as it is termd, and it may prove benificial to their Trade, and commerce—
Col smith has returnd about a month since, but not without encountering a fit of sickness, in the Hot climates of Spain, & portugal, which like to to have cost him his Life. he got home looking like a shaddow, but has recruited finely since
My Grandson I cannot call him little for he is as fat as his Mamma was when she was a Baby. he is very well & sprightly. we talk of innoculating him for the small pox. I feel rather loth, but he is exposed to take it every time he goes out. he has cut two Teeth, there never was a healther child. we often tell him how Aunt Cranch would squeze him. I think my Journey was of service to my Health, I have been much better Since
Believe me my dear sister most affectionately / yours
[signed] A. Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. The dating is based on AA's discussion of the plan to inoculate William Steuben Smith, which occurred on 18 Oct.; see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 Oct., below.
2. Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 27 May, 29 June, 16 July, and 21 July, all above.
3. JA's 2d volume of the Defence of the Const. focuses on the Italian city-states, which JA used as examples of the necessity of balanced government: “If it appears, from the history of all the ancient republics of Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor, as well as from those that still remain in Switzerland, Italy, and elsewhere, that caprice, instability, turbulence, revolutions, and the alternative prevalence of those two plagues and scourges of mankind, tyranny and anarchy, were the effects of governments without three orders and a balance, the same important truth will appear, in a still clearer light, in the republics of Italy” (p. 1).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0083

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1787-10-20

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Dear sister

As captain Folger is not yet gone I write a few more lines by him, tho I have nothing new to acquaint you with, only that two days ago my little darling was inoculated for the Small pox. <if> whenever you come to have Grandchildren, you will scarcly know any difference between them & your own children, particularly if you should be under the same roof with them;
I have got mr Jenks to take the little Box & the Bonet wires for { 195 } my Neices. they will observe in making them, to put the Gauze round the crown higher than the small pattern sent, which is only a minature I have sent by him addrest to you 3 yd of mock marcells which is a pattern for 4 waistcoats, 2 of which are designd for my Nephew, & the other two for my Eldest son. They are much in fashion just now, tho they may not be worn in winter with you, they will look well for summer, and I think we can manufacture winter Cloaths in America much better than summer. it may have been an Eoconomical plan to Some person, putting the Scholars into a uniform, but it is not so to me, because I could have made use of Cloaths that must now be useless to me, and when my sons are all grown up, a 2d hand coat will not be so acceptable to them.
Sister Smith has a large family of Boys1—would not some of the childrens Cloaths which they have out Grown be usefull to them. if so you will give them to her. where is our Brother? is he in any buisness I hope he does not suffer for want of the necessaries of Life, tho he has been so underserving.
pray who lives upon Germantown, I have never heard, and how does mr P ——r family exist? where is Mrs Payne? What is become of mr T——r
I was much pleased with mr Daws's oration, and I sent it out to mr Hollis at the Hyde, together with the News paper which mentiond the Honorary degree of Dr of Laws conferd upon him.2 inclosed is his answer3 the portrait he mentions, was one of his present Majesty, a most ridiculous thing be sure, but a most striking likeness and I sent it to him to put with his curiosities. I mention this circumstance to explain a part of his Letter.
We have all been to the Hyde and spent a very pleasent week there. it is just 24 miles from Town. mr Hollis's American Friends as he calls them flourish finely, these are a number of American plants & Trees—which he has fancifully named after his Friends
adieu my dear sister excuse these hasty lines from your ever / affectionate
[signed] A A
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by AA2: “Mrs: Mary Cranch / Braintree / near / Boston / Massachusetts.”
1. For William Smith Jr. and Catharine Louisa Smith's three boys and three girls, see vol. 5:230, 231.
2. Thomas Dawes Jr. (1757–1825) had been appointed by the Boston Board of Selectmen to deliver a Fourth of July oration at the Stone Chapel following a military parade. Harvard College conveyed an honorary doctorate of law upon Thomas Brand Hollis in July, which was reported in the 23 July issue of the Boston Gazette (Massachusetts Centinel, 9 May, 4 July; Boston American Herald, 9 July).
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0084

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-10-21

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

To hear that our dear good uncle Smith is added to the number of the Friends who have departed this Life since you left america will not greatly surprize you if you have receiv'd my Letters by the last ships which sail'd: yes my sister That good Man last monday morning about Two a clock clos'd his Eyes upon this vain world never more to open them till the last joyful Trump shall Wake to life all the nations of the earth— His disorder was something like coll. Quincys excepting that there was not a mortification— He did not suffer much Pain after the swelling abait'd in his Leg but he continu'd to sink a way & his life went out like the last snuff of a candle—without a sigh or groan. Five or six hours before he dy'd as he was laying upon the couch—he call'd Nabby & told her to send for all his Friends—His children & Brothers & sisters he meant Doctor & mrs Welch were of the number—“That he wish'd to see them once more”—“He was almost sure he should not live till the morning” They came—he gave them his blessing charg'd them to live in Love & harmony with each other & to take care of nabby & never to let her want any of the comforts of Life— He then desir'd that mr Clark might be sent for—1 he had often visited him in his sickness— He Lov'd him he said & was comforted by his conversation— when he came—he told he that he had sent for him to pray with him once more— He sat up & said all this with as strong a voice as when he was well— The Docr did not think but he might have liv'd a week & told him so— no said he I shall dye this night— at ten the Doc found his Pulse alter'd— he went to sleep, but was restless & uneasey—nabby got up at one to give him some thing to take. he told her, that he could not help himself at all— she went to the Bed to assist him but found she had to close his Eyes— I went to town the next day to see him not knowing that he was dead— I had seen him almost every week since he was taken sick— He was most tenderly affected towards his Friends— the Letter he receiv'd from you by Barnard affected him so much that he shed Tears—2 I went in just as he had done reading of it— “Thank her for me” said he to me “& tell her that I shall never write to her again— tell her also that I have notic'd one thing which I do not like— she often mentions going to meeting in the morning & having company to dine & spend the afternoon— I know she can not avoid it now—but I do not like it— I hope they will { 197 } not do it when they return—tell her I say so—” I promis'd him I would— you know the strict manner in which they use'd to keep the sabbath would ill agree with the loose manners of Europe—
He has left a most excellent character behind him many besides his children will rise up & call him blessed we my dear sister have lost in him another Parent— cousin Betsy bears the loss of Father much better than she did of her Mother. she has had time to prepair her mind for this. the other was sudden & it was the first real sorrow she ever knew— she looks calm & placed— cousin William sustains his loss with the most firmness— as to the amiable Preacher His Soul is bow'd down with sorrow He has no command of his tender Passions He is naturally low spirit'd—& he feels his loss more for not having a Family of his own & being in such an unsettled State—
uncle has left his Estate to be equally divided between his children only he has given cousin Betsy 150lb more than the others to make her equal to mrs Otis to whom he has given firniture. Betsy will live with her Brother Willm. It is very happy for her that he has such a charming woman for his wife—you will admire her
uncle Smith is the seventh Person who has dy'd in our Familys since you left us—but my dear sister I have an eighth to add who tho he has long since been lost to us—yet while life remain'd I did hope would sooner or later return & be a comfort to us—
Sister last week receiv'd a Letter from a mr Barnard who says he was his Physician informing her that her Husband dy'd the 10th of september of the black jandice that the Family he was in took good care of him in his illness. That he was so well three days before his death as to be able to do considerable writing—but of what kind I do not know— He liv'd four miles from him & was not with him when he dy'd so cannot he says tell what the state of his mind was in that decicive moment— sister is going to answer his Letter— we shall know more I hope by his reply— your own mind will furnish you with the best Idea of what I feel upon this occation a meriful God will do right—3
When I was in town I heard of an English vesil just ready to sail—but I could not get a moment to write there— I had a great deal of business to do your sons from college are with me & I expect cousin JQA from Newburry with Mr Shaw & sister tomorrow—I must set my Tailors to work to fix them for winter—Miss Nancy Quincy Betsy Cranch & her Brother came from Haverhill last Friday & left all well Mr Thaxter is publish'd this day & is to be married next month—
{ 198 }
I long & fear to have cushing arrive your account of your Health makes me very uneasey— I wish you was with me & under Docr. Tufts care— I hope your journey has been of service to you— your sons Mother Hall & all your Braintree Friends are well— I have not time to say anything about your house now I shall write again soon— I have much to say— mr cranch & the children send Love to you & yours
accept it also from your sister
1. Presumably Rev. John Clarke of Boston's First Church, for whom see vol. 5:281.
2. Probably AA to Isaac Smith Sr., 12 March, above. AA's letter was actually carried by Capt. James Scott, who arrived in Boston around the same time as Capt. Barnard (Massachusetts Centinel, 28 April 1787).
3. William Smith Jr. (1746–1787), AA's brother, had long been estranged from his three sisters. Although he served as a militia captain at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, he soon became better known within his family for his intemperance, his debts, and his repeated desertions of his wife, Catharine Louisa Smith, and their six children. In 1785, Catharine wrote AA that Smith “has not been in this part of the Country for almost two years. I seldom hear from him and when I do the intelegence is not what I could wish. Poor unhappy man!” He was also at one point tried for counterfeiting notes in New York State, though ultimately acquitted. AA and her sisters frequently commented on their “poor unhappy connexion, whose Life has been one continued Error,” and he was still estranged from his family at the time of his death (vol. 2:408; 5:230, 231; 6:357, 358–359, 447, 486, 487).
For AA's reaction to his death, see AA to Cotton Tufts, 1 Jan. 1788, and to Mary Smith Cranch, 10 Feb., both below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0085

Author: Smith, Isaac Jr.
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-10-30

Isaac Smith Jr. to Abigail Adams

[salute] my dear Mrs Adams

The last year I acquainted you with the death of my mother, & I am sorry that I have now to inform you of that of my father, an event which has renewed my griefs, & will again excite your sympathetic feelings.
If any person bid fair for length of years, I thought this was the Case with my late valuable parent, but heaven it seems, to whose decisions it becomes us always humbly to submit, as wise & fit, had determined that he should not long survive my dear mother, sorrow for the loss of whom, accompained with much inward anxiety for the welfare of his family, which he knew he should not leave in such easy & happy circumstances, as he wished to do, & as he once supposed it was in his power to have done, preyed upon his vitals & proved the means of bringing his days to a period, I ought not to say too soon, but sooner than I had flatter'd myself they would have ended, & sooner than the good wishes of his friends in general { 199 } would have extended them. He had lived long enough to answer the great purposes of life; with the partner of his cares, with your own excellent & kind parents, whom I consider'd too in some sort as mine, & with other of our dear relatives & friends, who have been taken from us, in your absence, he is gone to rest, & may it be my concern to follow him.
I feel thankful, that I am not an infidel. When we once part with the Consolations of the Gospel, what support have we left, worthy to be mentioned, in such circumstances as those in which I am now placed? The idea of annihilation I Can never adopt. How pleasing the prospect of a revival, & how fond should we be of cherishing the thought of a reunion with our friends, with those among them more especially whom we have most highly esteemed, & of our being permitted to enjoy infinitely greater pleasure & satisfaction in the company of each other hereafter, than is possible here, where our happiness is so often liable to interruption, & is never free from some mixture of alloy. It was with the highest relish I read Dr Price's dissertation on this subject some years ago, & as you frequently see this goodman, if you think it worth while to do so, I beg you will give my respects to him.1 With very different views of the probable Consequences of a revolution in America, from what he, & many others, whom I have known & respected, on both sides of the water, possest, I have yet at the same entertained the sincerest veneration for him. A vol. of his sermons has lately been received & read here with much approbation.2 I have not myself as yet been gratified with the perusal of them.—
Of our political situation at present, you will hear eno' from other quarters, & will therefore not expect any thing from me[.] We are on the eve I hope of a change for the better, b[ut I] would not undertake to say what events, the jealousy [. . .] ignorance, ambition, or restless disposition of individual [. . .] may produce in the course of a few months, the evils arising from which it may not be in the power of the wisest counsels to prevent.—
If my father's affairs are settled in such a manner, as to prevent the loss of it to his family, my brother, who is connected in marriage with a partner that makes us all happy, will take the house, & my sister Betsey will live with him. As to me, the College to which I have returned the third time, will be my home.—3 Mr Otis goes the next week to Congress, & leaves Mrs O. in a situation, in which she stands in need of comfort—4 Mr & mrs Atkinson with their little family have gone to New York— Chas. Storer is a resident at { 200 } Passamaquoddy, & his sister Polly is with him either there, or in Nova Scotia.— You will please to remember me to Mr Adams, & Mrs Smith. I am, my dear Mrs A., with the greatest affection, Yours,
[signed] I Smith
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs A. Adams / Grosvenor Square / London”; endorsed: “Mr I Smith / 30 october 1787”; docketed by JQA: “Dated Octr: 30th: 1787.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Richard Price, Four Dissertations: III. On the Reasons for Expecting That Virtuous Men Shall Meet after Death in a State of Happiness, London, 1767.
2. Price, Sermons on the Christian Doctrine as Received by the Different Denominations of Christians, London, 1787.
3. Prior to his appointment as Harvard's librarian in 1787, Smith had attended as a student, graduating in 1767, and served as a tutor from 1774 to 1775 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 16:523–525, 527).
4. Samuel A. Otis served in Congress from 1787 to 1788 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0086

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-10-31

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousn.

In my last Letter to Mr. Adams I inform'd Him of the Death of our beloved Uncle Smith—1 had we enjoyed his Life much longer, it would have been greatly desireable—but Heaven was kind in continuing that rich Blessing for so long a Time we have the utmost Assurance that He is happy tho' We have lost one Source of our temporal Felicity— His Virtues may we imitate and with him share in a better World the Rewards of good & faithful Servants—
I am told Capt. Barnard is to sail to Day, which obliges me to omit many Things, not expecting his Departure for some Days—
as I take it for granted, that you will return in the Spring, it will be necessary to conduct your affairs upon that Expectation— I wish you therefore to give me as early and particular Information relative to the Repairs of Borlands Place & any other Matters as your Distance will permit and that you think necessary to be done—
Mr. Teal who is on your Farm at Medford is an excellent Tenant—2 He informs me that the Farm House is scarcely tenantable, that it is the opinion of those who have viewed it, that it will be best to rebuild it.— I propose to examine it—but would wish for your Directions whether to rebuild in case it should be found necessary—the Cost will be from, £120 to 130—
I expect to see & consult Mr Shaw this Week—he will exchange next Sabbath with Mr Norton our late ordaind Minister— Mr Shaw & his Wife attended the ordination of Mr. Ware at Hingham the Week past & are now on a Visit to his Father—
{ 201 }
In one of your Letters, you enquire, whether it would not be best to dispose of your House in Bostn I think not—as but very few Repairs will be required for a long Time to come—at present it yields a clearer Income than all your Lands & Estate in Braintree—
The Genl Court is now sitting— a Resolve has passed for calling a Convention in this Commonwealth to take into consideration the form of a Constitution of Government for the United States &c3 I cannot make any Conjecture what will be the Issue It has warm Advocates for and warm Enemies against it— Mr. John spent the last Evening at my lodgings and is well— He will be at Cambridge to day & attend the Supreme Court some part of their Sitting— Charles & Thomas are well—return to Cambridge to Day from the fall Vacation— present my affectionate Regards to Mr Adams and accept of my best Wishes for your Health & Happiness.
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Madm. Abigl Adams—”
2. Benjamin Teal (b. 1763) of Medford had taken over the farm from his uncle, also Benjamin Teal, upon the latter's death in 1784 (vol. 5:472, 6:87; Vital Records of Medford, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1907, p. 138).
3. On 19 Oct. 1787, a joint committee of representatives from the House and the Senate of the Mass. General Court, including Cotton Tufts himself, met to discuss how to respond to the proposed Constitution. Their report recommended calling a state ratifying convention. After some debate, the General Court agreed on 25 Oct. and arranged for the convention to start on 9 Jan. 1788 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:124–125). For the text of the resolution, see same, 4:143–146.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0087

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-11-06

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

Last week Captains Folger & Callihan arrived by whom we received all your Letters & Bills.1 the Bills were imediatly accepted, & will be paid when due. I feel under great obligations to you my dear sir, for all your kind care, & attention to our affairs. I am glad to find the buisness closed with mr Borland, and at a price which I think must be reasonable judging by what was formerly given for it, for I do not recollect how many acres of Land there are belonging to it. I know there is a wood lot containing 25 acres, & an other Lot of four, besides the Six which were sold to deacon Webb.— with regard to the repairs painting both without & within I should be glad to have compleated as soon as possible in the Spring, as the Smell is always pernicious to me. the east lower room to be painted what is calld a French Grey and as the furniture is red, a paper { 202 } conformable, will look best. the Chamber over it will have Green furniture, and may be in the same manner, made uniform by a paper Green & white. the mahogany room, I know not what to say about it,2 making the two windows into the Garden will dispell much of the Gloom, & if it is not much abused & injured, had it not better remain as it is? can there be a Closset contrived in the Room when the windows are made, I could wish to have one, to make a uniform appearence, must there not be windows in the Chamber above, in the east Room. I think there are two clossets by the side of the Chimney. what would be the expence of taking them away & making arches in the Room of them? Iron Backs to the Chimneys & Brass Locks upon the Doors of the two best rooms & Chambers are all the particular directions I think of at present with regard to the other part of the House I shall leave it wholy to your judgment to make such repairs as you deem necessary and consistant with economy. as to any aditional building we cannot at present afford any. in some future day perhaps we may think of making the House Square by adding a Library, which mr A will really want, but at present, some chamber must be a substitute. The Frame set up by mr T. you do not mention. it is best to let it remain in its present state untill we return. in the painting you will be so good as to employ a person who properly understands the Buisness. I mention this, because I once Sufferd & was obliged to have a room 3 times painted when one would have answerd—3
Mr Adams has written to you respecting our Farm, & mr Pratt. it has become so poor & misirable, that we must take some measures for making it better that we may be able to get our Bread from it. indeed I think I should enjoy better Health, to come Home & make butter & Cheese, raise poultry & look after my Garden, than by the inactive Life I am compelld to lead here.4 it will require my strickest attention to oconomy to be able to live & compleat the Education of our children, but this does not terify me. I can conform to Whatever is necessary, with regard to the pocket expences of Charles & Tommy—you know sir, that on the one hand, we would not wish to have them too Spairingly Supplied, nor on the other permit them so much, as to lead them into Idleness & dissapation. if any thing of the kind appears you will check your Hand. Mrs Cranch knows what her son expended, and I do not see why mine Should require more. I shall write to them both, & exort them to prudence in their expences. I would venture Sir one hundred pounds more in the { 203 } purchase of paper. I am fully of your mind with respect to Land and whatever purchases we may make in future, I could wish it might be better than what we already own—
it is mr A's intention to retire to Braintree as a private man, nor need any one fear that he will become a competitor with them for offices. he has always dealt too openly & candedly with his Countrymen to be popular, & whatever they5 may assert with regard to his principals,6 he says they may be assured that he will never conceal a Sentiment of his Heart, however unpopular it may be, which he considers for the interest of His Countrymen to know & consider, altho he should forfeit by it the highest offices in the united states. he was never yet the partizan of any Country,7 nor will he ever become a Tool to any party, if fourteen years unremitted attention to the Service of his Country has not convinced them that he is their unshaken Friend, it would be in vain to attempt a conviction at this day. The English Review which you mention & which I see several of the states have carefully reprinted, was written by that Honour to his Country Silas Dean, who lives here as his appearence indicates, in real want & Horrour, and is Said to be a half crown Gazzet writer. I have only room to add that the Form of Government by the late Convention is esteemed here as a sublime work. they add that it is so good that they are perswaided the Americans will not accept it, it may admitt of some amendments but it is certainly a great Federal Structure. I shall write to all my Friends by Folger. my little Boy has got well through the small pox. adieu yours / &c &c
[signed] A A—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Lettr of Nov. 6. / 1787 / recd. Feby 21. 1788.” Dft (Adams Papers), dated and filmed at 5 November.
1. Besides Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 Sept., above, Tufts also wrote to JA on 18 Sept. with additional information regarding the purchase of the Borland property (Adams Papers).
2. In the DftAA added, “<I should like it half way up. I do not not know in what state it is> if it is thought best to paint it I would have it done.”
3. The Dft concludes the paragraph, “as we shall take out a part of our furniture I could wish the House might be ready to put it in to save the expence & trouble of a second removal.”
4. In the DftAA did not include the remainder of this paragraph but wrote instead, “and as to any examples of Luxery or extravagance, I promise my dear country women they shall have none from me, & it would be well for all of them, if they would make a virtue of necessity.”
5. The Dft identifies “they” as “democrats or Arostocrats.”
6. The Dft further describes them as “monarchacal principals.”
7. In the DftAA specifies “France England or Holland.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0088

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-11-17

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister.—

Friend, after Friend is severed from my Heart—I have lost many near, & dear Relatives, as well as kind Benefactors, since you left America.
I know you will be much affected by hearing of the Death of our worthy & much lamented Uncle Smith.— You my Sister knew how bright the humane & christian Virtues shone in his Life, & cannot wonder if the Land mourns when the godly Man ceaseth, & so faithful a one fails1—for such are the Pillars of Society.—
I think he has been upon the decline, ever since the Death of our dear Aunt—the beloved Wife of his Youth.—
He was to see us in June, after his Sons Wedding— He said if he had consulted his own feelings he should have tarried at Home—that Life had lost its relish—& that everything in which he formerly took pleasure, seemed rather to renew, & to aggravate his Sorrow.
But he was not suffered to grieve long—for in sixteen Months he was permitted to join her gentle Spirit, with those of the “just made perfect—”2 & (I presume) is triumphing in those happy Regions, where they are as the Angels—where love, & Bliss immortal reign—
We heard of his Death two Days before we sat out upon our Journey to Bridgwater—
You cannot think how my heart recoiled at the Idea of going into Boston, & seeing my second Fathers House desolate, & sit solotary, where so late its dear owners with sweet, & endearing hospitality smiled upon each Guest, & Peace, & Plenty, cheared the social Board—
Cousin Betsy behaves with great propriety. Her Mothers Death was the severest stroke she can ever feel. Her Spirit till then was unbroken— She had no cause before, ever to shed a Tear— She is now happy in having her Brother William married to so fine a Woman— The House is prized at twelve hundred—he will take it, & she will live with them—
My Uncle lost a vast deal in the War—at its commencement, he was worth 40000 sterling, but now there will be but little left for the Children—So precarious are Estates—For almost every Family shews me the necessity of Childrens being taught Oeconemy, & bred early to Buisiness— My Cousins have this to comfort them, that it was { 205 } not extravagance which reduced the Estate—but a train of unforeseen Events—
Mrs Otis is to be pitied— Mr Otis is gone to Congress, & must leave her for the Winter.— You my Sister can feel for her—
But there is not one of the Family, who feel their loss so sensibly, as our worthy Cousin Isaac He is almost overwhelmed with Grief—he mourns indeed with great bitterness of Soul— He says he has no Home now—no kind Parents House—
Just before his Fathers Death he accepted of the Office of Librarian— I rejoiced when he left the Castle, that Den of Theives, & Miscreants, & was placed among the Literati, in a Circle much more agreeable to his Worth, Taste, & Feelings—
They have at last got an exceeding agreeable Young Gentleman settled at Weymouth— I dare say you will be pleased with him— He supplied Mr Shaws Pulpit one Sabbath, & our young People all fell in Love with him—
Hingham too have been wise in the choice of Mr Ware, a young Gentleman whom your Son JQA lived with the first Six months of his residence in the University—& of whom he speaks with great affection, & respect—
They are all enthusiastically fond of him at Hingham— One Man said, Father Gay had gone to the third heaven, & had sent an Angel to take the charge of his Flock—3
Mr Shaw, & your Sister, Mr Thaxter, & Mr James, & Miss Betsy Duncan, your Sons, & Neices were with a multitude of Others, at this Ordination—where every thing was conducted with the greatest Decency &cc—
Mr Thaxter upon the 13th of November between the Hours of six & seven, resigned his seat in batchelors Hall, & commenced the married Man—
Mrs Russel was alive when I was in Boston, but was growing weaker every Day— She had thought of going to Carolina for the sake of the warm Climate But I presume she will soon be in a Climate, much more agreeable to her exalted Mind— Mrs Hay has been with her, for these two months— You know how tender she was of her Sister Weld—4 The Doctors are at a loss which will go first— Nancy Sever, or Mrs Russel— The Scene is distressing—
Cousin Hannah Austin died the beginning of September— Mrs Austins tender Heart was much affected by her Daughters Death— Mrs Allen makes a fine Nurse, & little miss grows fast—
{ 206 }
Our poor Brother—He is gone too—died with the black Jandice the 3d of September after a very short Illness—
Our feelings I suppose are similar upon this ocasion—
The same air, we breathed—the same cradle rocked us to rest—& the same Parental Arms folded us to their fond Bosoms—& who can refrain full many a Tear at such a Death!— It is some consolation to hear, he was well taken care of in his Sickness—but poor Creature he had not lived out half his Days—he was not I think quite forty years old—
By yours of the 20th of July you inform me of your poor health, though I cannot but flatter myself you are better, & that your Journey has removed every disorder— I want to have you come Home more than ever— I cannot bear to think of your being sick at such a Distance—
The throat Distemper has left the Town, & our Family has been so blessed as to escape this dreadful Disease—
I must thank my Sister for a thousand expressions of kindness— I believe you sit contriving what good you can do—& how much you can oblige your Friends— The Tea Urn has come safe, it is very useful, as well as ornamental but it would never have been in my power to purchased it— The little candle Case too is very curious— Mr Shaw desires his best respects may be accepted—& thinks himself highly favoured, & obligated by Dr Adam's kindness, & attention—
The Constitution you have before this, I suppose— Every body asks, what do you think Dr Adams will say & will he approve of it, or not— It is a matter of solemn importance— Mr Bayley Bartlett, & Capt Marsh are chosen by this Town to convene at Boston, upon this ocasion—5
Your Son J Q A kept Sabbath with us, & has promised to keep Thansgiving with your affectionate Sister
Love in abundance awaits every Soul of my kindred—6
[signed] E Shaw—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Shaw / Novbr 17. 1787.”
1. “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” (Psalms, 12:1).
2. Hebrews, 12:23.
3. “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven” (2 Corinthians, 12:2).
4. Katherine Farnham Hay's sister, Hannah Farnham, was the second wife of Rev. Ezra Weld of Braintree before her death in 1778 at age 27 (Colonial Collegians; Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Salem, 1911, 1:164).
5. The town of Haverhill formally voted on 19 Nov. to send Bailey Bartlett and Nathaniel Marsh as representatives to the Massachusetts state ratifying convention (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 5:893, 6:1154).
6. The final paragraph, signature, and postscript were written sideways in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0089

Author: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-12-04

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams

[salute] my Dear madam

you put too much value on trifles which are only small marks of real regard & affection to you & yours.1
I have always conceived it to be more difficult to give than receive. as the sense of obligation sets heavy on minds inflated with riches or pride & not capable of enlarged ideas or of the pleasing sensations which arise from mutual gifts & good offices abstracted from their intrinsick value. as riches are only fortuitous, hard and deplorable indeed would be the fate of the possessors of them if they were only permitted to indulge their own personal gratification. but I am secure you will receive with the same sentiment with which things are presented and at the same time partake of & contribute to the pleasing sensations.
The pamphlets you will please to keep till I have the pleasure of seeing you in town.
The prospects are dismal but just & truly delineated I fear will now do us little good.— all parties were inclined for war for the reasons there assigned private interest.
not one patriot in the house or without, to justify the —— —— inteference in the Dutch government by proposing to give them a free & equal Commonwealth in which the people should have part. at present having no share & of course no Country. from such a government justly balanced no state in Europe would have had any apprenhension of them, nor would have dared the attempt to have subjugated them.
This would have returned the benefit they conferred upon us & have been worthy of England in her better days. but these are scenes too grand—

and tho they shine in youth's ingenuous view,

the sober gainful arts of modern days

to such romantick thoughts have bid a long Adieu.2

I was with you in spirit on friday but could not personally attend.— my compliments of health & spirits to Mr Adam & Mr Smith & shall be exceeding glad to see them here & happy they think of it. I hope the Col's health will not prevent but I must beg two nights—that we may have one walk the next day— monday is the only day I am engaged from home. the beds well aired by Mrs Jebb & Dr Disney & { 208 } shall be repeated when known when they come. I wished to have been in town to attend upon our college this day to hear some orations but it was impossible. my compliment to Mrs Smith I am Dear Madam with great truth / your obliged & affect Friend
[signed] T. Brand Hollis.
1. On 4 Nov., Thomas Brand Hollis had written to AA sending her “a set of prints which are valuable for their rarity and the emminent persons they represent” (DSI:Hull Coll., on loan). AA's letter to Brand Hollis, presumably to thank him for this gift, has not been found.
2. Mark Akenside, “Ode II: To Sleep,” lines 38–40.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0090

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1787-12-09

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

Mrs Adams presents her respectfull compliments to Mr Jefferson and asks the favour of him to permit petit to purchase for her ten Ells of double Florence of any fashionable coulour, orange excepted which is in high vogue here. Mrs A excepts green also of which she has enough. Mr Rucker if in Paris will be so kind as to take Charge of it, & mrs Adams will send the money by mr Trumble who will be in Paris some time next week—
By Letters this day received from Boston, it appears that a convention was agreed too, by both Houses, & that it is to meet, the second wednesday in Janary
Mr King writes that mr Jeffersons commission, is renewed at the court of France, & mr Adams's resignation accepted, so that we shall quit this country as soon in the Spring as we can go with Safety.1
Love to the Young Ladies & thank my dear Polly for her pretty Letter—2
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers).
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0091

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1787-12-09

John Quincy Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir.

If it should be convenient to you, I would be obliged to you for a supply of money. I endeavour to avoid all expences, but such as are really necessary; yet I am not only exhausted, but somewhat in { 209 } debt.— I can scarcely tell how the money goes, but I have an account of all my expences, which assures me that none has been lost.
Your brother informs me that it will be more convenient for him to take an order for what I am indebted to him, and therefore I have not paid him. He has also some money for you, which he has offered me, and if I should take it the amount of the order will, I imagine be about £.7.
I am not in immediate want of a supply from you, especially if I should take the additional sum from your brother. but for the sake of having money at hand, I should be glad to receive it as soon as you can make it perfectly convenient to send.
Respectfully your's
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble: Cotton Tufts Esqr: / Weymouth.”; endorsed: “John Adams Jun / Decr 9. 1787”; notation: “To be left with the / other letter.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0092

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-12-18

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Cousin

The System of Government reported by the late Continental Convention has afforded much Matter for Pens and Tongues— The Friends & opposers of it are distinguished by the Party names of Federalists & Antifederalists— These Names I suspect will continue as long as Whig & Tory— which of the Parties will carry their Point, is difficult to say— Many of the Advocates for the Constitution are enthusiastic open & severe in their Attacks upon all that oppose it, those on the other Side act more secretly, but with great Success— A prevailing Sense of present Weakness & Danger for want of an efficient Government together with the Fear of having one that shall be the Result of Force, will probably reconcile many to this, who would otherwise be decidedly against it— The Choice of Delegates (for our State Convention) in the County of Suffolk & Essex so far as they have proceeded, has in general fallen on the most respectable Characters The Town of Braintree, has done itself Honour in the Choice of Bror Cranch & the Revd. Mr Wibirt— also there are some of the first Characters from other Parts of the Country— Newyork is said to be opposed to this Plan—and have not as yet called a Convention— Pensylvania is said to have met & adopted it—1 The Determination of all the States will not probably be had in a less Term than a Year till which Time We must wait with Patience—
{ 210 }
In a former Letter I informed You of the Death of our worthy Uncle— I am exceedingly grieved to find that his Estate is in Danger of being represented Insolvent, in Consequence of the Deprciation of our public Securities— To the House of Champion & Dickenson he was indebted & made Remittances during the War to the amount of £10 or 11000, (Scarce any other Merchant made Remittances during that Time) he sent to Europe Two Vessells, which had they not been taken, would have discharged his whole Debt now amounting to £6, or, 7000 Sterlg— discouraged in his attempts he vested this Money in public Securities for the purpose of answering that Debt whenever Peace should arrive— Was that Debt to be paid in the public Notes left on Hand—at nominal Value—there would still remain on hand some Estate to be divided among the Children but if the Demand be made in Specie only—the whole real Estate must be sold— other Debts against the Estate are but small— Forty years Business he carried on with that House—and to such an Amount—as they must have made an Estate from it—and I hope they will have goodness enough to make a reasonable Composition, since like an honest Man He did the best that lay in his Power to secure their Interest—
The Town of Boston entertained an high Esteem of the deceased and as a Mark of their Respect, have chosen his Son William as his Successor in the office of Overseer of the Poor. for a Time before his Fathers Death, He married to a Daughter of Mr Nathl Carter. of Newbury Port, to the great Delight of his Connections— Our Cousin Isaac not long since was appointed Librarian to our University— Mr. Otis is gone (a Member of Congress) to New York— His Wife last week brought him a Daughter—
At Weymouth We have ordained a Mr Norton and are I think happy in our Choice— Hingham has settled a Mr. Ware. Scituate a Mr. Dawes in the Parish formerly Revd. Mr. Grovernors, Pembroke Mr. Whitman as a Colleague with Revd. Mr. Smith. Titicut (part of Bridgewater) Mr. Gurney, in the Room of Revd. Mr Reid decd.2 all in the Space of Two Months— what Think you? Are't We growing Good Folks in this part of the Country?—
Your Children were all well, last Week & your other Connections Wishing you all Happiness & a safe return to America
I am yours respectfully
[signed] C. Tufts
P.S. Would it not be best to send a Collection of Seeds for your Garden by some of the Spring Vessells, such as Peas—Beans—Cabbage &c— I wish to hear from you by the first Conveyance.3
{ 211 }
Dec. 27
Delaware & Jersey States as well as Philadelphia have acceeded to the proposed Plan of Government—4 I should have been highly gratified to have received Mr. Adams Sentiments upon it previous to our Deccision, but as our State Convention will meet on the Second Wednesday of January next, I must be deprived of that Happiness—till at a more distant Period— I confess I feel more than commonly anxious, for although I have seen my Country trampling down Law & Government & sporting with Right & Justice & have wished for a Government adequate to our Necessities. Yet I should be exceeding sorry to see any other than a Government of Laws— Is the present Plan well calculated to produce a Government of Laws? Does it not favour too much of Aristocracy for future Freedom Quiet & Duration? Does it provide for an adequate Representation? Is the Executive sufficiently independent? Are the Powers properly defined & sufficiently explicit? Are the Three Powers duly balanced? Where is the Bill of Rights or is it unnecessary? These are Questions which I hope My Friend will one Day do me the Pleasure to resolve, versed in the Knowledge & Study of Government— His Advice reasonings & Council would weigh to much— I Wish him to write me what the Situation of Europe is with Respect to War, for although we abound with News, yet We have but very little that can be relied on— Youll be pleased to inform Mr. Adams, that I drew an order on him in favour of Mr. Elworthy for £100 Sterlg dated the 26th. Inst—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams / Grovesnor Square / London”; internal address: “Mrs. Abigail Adams”; endorsed: “C. Tufts / December 18 1787.”
1. The Pennsylvania ratifying convention met from 20 Nov. to 15 December. On 12 Dec., it voted by a margin of 46 to 23 to ratify the Constitution (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:xxi).
2. Rev. Ebenezer Grosvenor (1738/39–1788), Yale 1759, had been Scituate's minister from 1763 to 1780. After a period apparently without a settled minister, Scituate called Rev. Ebenezer Dawes (1756–1791), Harvard 1785, who was ordained there in Nov. 1787; he served until his death (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.; Church Manual . . . of the First (Trinitarian Congregational) Church of Christ in Scituate, Mass., Boston, 1844, p. 6; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
Rev. Thomas Smith (1706/7–1788), Harvard 1725, served as Pembroke's minister from 1754 until his death in July 1788. Rev. Kilborn Whitman (1765–1835) was ordained at Pembroke in Dec. 1787 and became Smith's successor (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.; H. W. Litchfield, The First Church in Pembroke 1708–1908, Pembroke, Mass., 1908, n.p.).
Rev. Solomon Reed (1719–1785), Harvard 1739, served as the minister of the Titicut Separatist Parish, which lay part in Bridgewater and part in Middleborough, Mass., from 1756 until his death. Rev. David Gurney (1759–1815), Harvard 1785, succeeded him in Sept. 1787 (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 10:400; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; S. Hopkins Emery, The { 212 } History of the Church of North Middleborough, Middleborough, Mass., 1876, p. 35–36).
3. This paragraph was written sideways in the margin.
4. On 7 Dec., the Delaware ratifying convention approved the Constitution by a vote of 30 to 0 after meeting for only five days. The New Jersey convention convened on 11 Dec. and met until 20 Dec., ratifying the Constitution on 18 Dec. by a vote of 38 to 0 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:xxi).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0093

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-12-22

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I last week heard from all your sons they were well. After this you may read on calmly— We are all well excepting great colds & coughs. I think in this Letter I shall not have to mention the death of any new Friend many very many of my Letters have convey'd the sorrowful tydings of some dear Friend departed, & if you should live to return to us you will find vacancys which will draw Tears from your Eyes—
I have been waiting with anxious expectation for these many months to hear from you not one line since your excursion into the west. By mrs Wilcox I heard of you there she does not mention your being out of health so hope your ride was of service to you cap Cushing has been a long time expected, by him I hope I shall hear of your welfair—
Mr Smith has remov'd into his Fathers House I have been there but every thing is so alter'd that I did not know how to bear the place cousin Betsy is with them & Nabby also nothing else looks as it us'd to—all the Pictures are remov'd & the Parlour is new painted
Mrs Welsh has a son whom they call Henry, & Mrs Otis a Daughter—both Mothers & children were well a few days since
The publick Prints will inform you of the Persons chosen for this State to meet in convention—1 our Parson will not go, Lucy says because he never went before.2 he cannot bear to be put out of the course he has been in for so many years. He will not change his Lodgings because he has not done it before nor marry for the same reason & I know no other why we do not have a new sermon. I am not sure that I have heard one from him since you went away
This Federal constitution makes a great part of the conversation of our Politicians—but as I am not one of them I can say nothing about it— It appears to me necessary to be a great Politician to judge of so large a Plan. Heaven direct them to such determinations as shall tend to make us a happy People— Mr cranch had sat himself down very quietly to watch-work in his little shop—but this Town { 213 } have call'd him off once more to act for them in this convention. When it is over he will return to his favourite employment again
Such a time for ordinations in our Neighbourhood you never Saw—ten or a dozen at least within these three months & a number of sensible gentlemen they are I hear—but we live the wrong Sind of the Hill for preaching at present— There is a Mr Dawes settled at Situate who is a sensible man & a very good Preacher Doctor Tufts says—
I have not heard from sister Shaw since she returnd in october at least I have not had a Letter— Polly Smith is still with us miss Paine has been with me upon a visit for about three weeks—is in better health than in years past but will never be other than a cripple. She sends her Love & many thanks for her stockings— Mr Palmers Family are to remove to Boston next week they have been greatly distress'd for Bread to eat o my Sister! What a reverse of fortune it falls hard upon us for we cannot see them suffer while our seller can supply them—after all what we can do is but small
Dec. 26th
I have written thus far & disign'd to have added more but I have a chance to send this to Town, & I am so affraid that the vessel will sail without a line from me that I shall send it along short as it is—& will write more if I should have time— I hope I shall not have to write much more to you in so distant a country.— yours affectionately
Mrs Hall was well yesterday
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (NAlI:Cranch-Greenleaf Papers); docketed by William Cranch: “Mother to Aunt Adams.”
1. Various Massachusetts newspapers gave considerable coverage to the elections, printing both commentary on potential candidates and the results themselves. See, for instance, Boston Independent Chronicle, 6, 13, and 20 December.
2. Lucy Cranch was unduly pessimistic. Anthony Wibird did attend the ratifying convention and ultimately voted in favor of the Constitution though there is no record of his speaking at the convention (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 6:1463, 1479).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0094

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-12-23

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam.

It is a long time since I wrote you last, but I am perfectly weary of making apologies. I have no doubt but my friends will forgive me, when they recollect the causes which have prevented me from informing them frequently of those trivial events, which the partiality { 214 } of friendship alone can render interesting. When I was last in Boston, which was about two months ago, I wrote a few hasty lines to my father, intending to write more largely soon after my return to this place.1 I have delay'd fulfilling my intentions from time to time, either from the want of an opportunity, or from the multiplicity of my employments, and even now, I know not whether this letter will go within these three months.— In the beginning of September I came to this Town, and began the study of the law with Mr: Parsons. I could not possibly have an instructor, more agreeable than this gentleman. His talents are great: his application has been indefatigable, and his professional knowlege is surpassed by no gentleman in the Commonwealth. The study itself, is far from being so destitute of entertainment, as I had been led to expect. I have read three or four authors with pleasure as well as improvement; and the imaginary terrors of tediousness and disgust, have disappeared, upon the first approach. But in their stead other fears have arisen, which create more anxiety in my mind, and which will increase rather than subside. The popular odium which has been excited against the practitioners in this Commonwealth prevails to so great a degree, that the most innocent and irreproachable life cannot guard a lawyer against the hatred of his fellow citizens:— The very despicable writings of Honestus, were just calculated to kindle a flame, which will subsist long after they are forgotten. The author after being hoisted by this weak instrument into the Senate has already return'd to his native insignificancy, and under the new adopted signature of Candidus, defends a good cause without ability and without success.2 But the poison has been so extensively communicated, that its infection will not easily be stopped: a thousand lies in addition to those published in the papers have been spread all over the Country; to prejudice the people against the “order” as it has invidiously been called; and as a free people will not descend to disguise their sentiments, the gentlemen of the profession, have been treated with contemptuous neglect, and with insulting abuse.— Yet notwithstanding all this the profession is increasing rapidly in numbers, and the little business to be done is divided into so many shares, that they are in danger of starving one another.— When I consider these disadvantages, which are in a degree peculiar to the present time, and those which at all times subsist; when I reflect that with good abilities, great application, and a favourable Fortune are requisite to acquire that eminence in the profession which can ensure a decent subsistence, I confess I am sometimes almost { 215 } discouraged, and ready to wish I had engaged in some other line of life. But I am determined not to despond. With industry and frugality, with Patience and perseverance it will be very hard if I cannot go through the world with honour.— I am most resolutely determined, not to spend my days in a dull tenor of insipidity. I never shall be enough of a stoic, to raise myself beyond the reach of Fortune. But I hope I shall have so much resolution, as shall enable me to receive Prosperity without growing giddy & extravagant, or Adversity without falling into Despair.
I board at a Mrs: Leathers's—a good old woman;3 who even an hundred years ago, would have stood in no danger of being hang'd for witchcraft: she is however civil and obliging, and what is very much in her favour, uncommonly silent so that if I am deprived of the charms, I am also free from the impertinence of Conversation. There is one boarder beside myself. A Dr: Kilham, (I hope the name will not scare you) one of the representatives from this town, a very worthy man; and a man of sense and learning.4 was it not for him, I should be at my lodgings as solitary as an hermit: there is a very agreeable society in the town; though I seldom go into Company.
I pass'd two or three days at Haverhill, about a month ago, and had the pleasure of finding Mr: Thaxter; From the severest censurer of every trifling attentions between lovers, he became as fond a shepherd as ever was celebrated in the annals of Arcadia. he expects some peculiar animadversions from you, for his desertion of principles, which he formerly boasted were so deeply rooted in his mind. But it is the old story of Benedick. The absurity, is not in abandoning a vain, ineffectual resolution; but it is in pretending to adopt a resolution, which every day may be rendered futile.
I have frequently been prevented from expatiating in my letters, upon political topics, by the sterility of the subject, an uncommon fertility now produces the same effect. I can only say in general terms that parties run very high, and that we are most probably at the eve of a revolution: Whether it will be effected, in silence, and without a struggle, or whether it will be carried at the point of the sword is yet a question.— The Newspapers, will show you how much the public is engaged in the discussion of the new continental form of government, which I fear will be adopted.
From the remainder of the family, you will probably hear, by the same opportunity, that is to convey this. when I last heard from my brothers they were well.
your ever affectionate Son.
[signed] J.QAdams.
{ 216 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dec 23 '87 / J Q A.”
1. Not found.
2. By this date, two of three articles by Candidus had appeared in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 6 and 20 December. A third would appear on 3 Jan. 1788. The belief that Candidus was a pseudonym for Benjamin Austin Jr., who also wrote as Honestus, was widely held (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:392–399; 5:493–500, 609–610).
3. JQA lived in Newburyport with Martha Leathers, the widow of a shipwright, until September (JQA, Diary, 2:276).
4. Dr. Daniel Kilham, Harvard 1777, an apothecary, represented Newburyport in the General Court from 1787 to 1788 (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:141, note 2). See also JQA, Diary, 2:288 and passim.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0095

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1788-01-01

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear sir

I wrote you by the November packet which Letter I hope you have received before now, in that I mentiond what I wished to have done to the House, particularly the painting & papering. Since that date we have received your favour by Captain Barnard desiring to know how mr Adams would have the land improved, but neither he or I are well enough acquainted with the Land to give any other directions, than, if any requires to be laid down, that it may be done with Grass Seed. he does not propose to have any corn planted, but to improve it wholy to Grass. the Garden we would wish to have put in order, & such seeds sown as may be necessary before we arrive but we hope to be with you the latter end of April, or begining of May. we have concluded to come with Captain Callihan who has the best accommodations for passenger of any merchantman in the Trade. he wishes to sail in March, but I hope it will not be untill April. mr & mrs Smith go in the April packet for New York. We propose leaving London the first of March, & talk of going to Falmouth to embark, but shall be governd by circumstances— as we shall take out some of our furniture, I should be glad the House might be ready for it as soon as we arrive I have one other request to add, which is that you would order a chaise for us, neat & well made. I inclose the Arms which are to be painted upon it.1 the Time draws very near, and we are begining to make preparation for our departure—
Alass, my dear Sir, How many valuable Friends have I lost since I left you? Should it please Heaven to return me safe to my Native Land—what a Chasm shall I find—the dear hospitable mansion of my uncle bereft of its chief supporters. with what Sensations Shall I enter those doors again. Nor are my thoughts less intent upon an { 217 } other Vacancy, too painfull to describe—cannot you fill the place to your Satisfaction?2
An other Relative too, has left the world, who tho long lost to the World & his Friends, yet whilst living hope remained. unhappy Man. reflections upon this event are too painfull to me. the ties of Nature are powerfull bonds, I feel even the bitteness of them—
our Family, thanks to Heaven are in general, in Good Health; mr Smith has been ill repeatedly Since his return from Portugal, the remains of a Billious fever which he took in the Hot climate of spain, & which nearly cost him his Life. my little Boy too has been very sick cutting Teeth. my own Health is much mended by my last falls excursion—but I fear I shall have a very melancholy event upon my voyage; if it does not take place sooner. Esther seems going fast after her sisters, not in a consumption but for five months labouring under other complaints which if not soon removed must prove fatal, as yet no application has had the desired Effect, dropsy & parilitick complaints are comeing fast upon her, the latter has been kept of for some time by Elictrisity. I mention her Situation by this opportunity, that her Friends may be apprizd of my apprehensions I have the satisfaction to say that she has been a Good Girl untainted by the vile manners of the servants of this Country I have been able always to treat her with the tenderness of a parent, without her ever forgetting her own place & situation. I shall feel her loss most severely.—
I shall write to my Friends by Captain Barnard who is to sail in Febry. in the mean time permit me to offer to yourself and the rest of my Friends, more than the mere compliments of the Season, my sincerest wishes for your mutual happiness, Health of Body & peace of mind not only this, but every succeeding year of your Lives, and Heaven grant that a few months more may make us happy together in our own Native Land—
Believe me dear sir most / affectionately Yours.
[signed] A Adams
P S as I do not know of any method of making a chaise go without a Horse Should be glad if you would be looking out one for us—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Adams Lettr Janry 1. 88 / recd. Febry 28—”
1. AA's drawing has not been found but was probably a copy of the Boylston family's coat of arms, which JA used on passports he issued from The Hague following Dutch recognition of the United States in 1782. For more on these arms, see vol. 4:xv–xvi.
2. AA and her sisters had discussed among themselves encouraging Tufts to remarry since the death of his wife, Lucy Quincy Tufts, in Oct. 1785 (vol. 7:6–7, 432, 433, 463, 473).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0096

Author: Barziza, Lucy Paradise
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-01-12

Lucy Paradise Barziza to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam.

If I have failed in my duty untill now, I will differe no longer from emploring my pardon for my neglegence, and to shew you at the same time the sentiments of my perfect remembrance of the many politeness you and your good family have always shown me; and of the perfect esteem, with which I profess myself. I cannot however differe any longer having heard that your husband and family quits England for America very soon. I recieved also the news that my father, and mother thank God are safely arrived in Virginia which has greatly comforted me and sofetened the sorrow which there departure caused me being under continual fears and happrehentions for them. I am sure you will continue us your friendship recommending to you my parents to whom your, and your husbands influence may be of infinite use to and which I shall ever remember with gratidude. I flatter myself that it would not be disagreable If I should give you a short detail of my present situation. I was surprised on arriving at my husbands house, the manner in which I was recieved by all his relations and friends the number of which are very great so that my house was a whole month in a continual bustle from the visits which I did nothing else but recieve morning and evening.1 His palace is magnaficent and furnished expensively, servants in proportion and horses to the number of 6 for common use. besides that an oppen table so that with that respect I cannot be more contented I have only to reproach myself of my not deserving such a fortune. But what is still better is my husband is of the very first Nobility, he bares also great for the qualities of his understanding and the goodness of his heart. His attachment to me is always the same, and you cannot imagin but that my affection for him is very great. I am just on point of lying in and by the time you recieve this to be safely broght-abed.2 I thank God have passed my pregency perfectly well. I took the libirty to give you an account of my situation being sure that your goodness would interess yourself in my wellfare. and haveing perhaps an occation of seeing my parents you may comfort them by giving them an account of my happy situation. My Husband joins with me in best compliments to Mr: Adams, and Mr: and Mrs: Smith, preserving me your friendship and disposing of me in all occations—
I am. / dear Madam. / Your obliged and / humble servant
[signed] Lucy Barziza
{ 219 }
1. Lucy Paradise (1771–1800) married Count Antonio Barziza of Venice in March 1787 in London. John Paradise had strongly opposed the match—Lucy Paradise was only sixteen and Barziza was of dubious character and a fortune-hunter—but Lucy Ludwell Paradise supported it and aided the couple in eloping against her husband's wishes (Archibald Bolling Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, Richmond, Va., 1942, p. 251–270, 456).
2. The Barzizas' first child, Giovanni, was born in 1788 at Venice (same, p. 311, 456).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-01-23

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

I am much pleased with your Oration and much obliged to you for it. it seems to me, making allowance for a fathers Partiality, to be full of manly Sense and Spirit. By the Sentiments and Principles in that oration, I hope you will live and die, and if you do I dont care a farthing how many are preferred to you, for Style Elegance and Mellifluence.
To Vattel and Burlamaqui, whom you Say you have read you must Add, Grotius and Puffendorf and Heineccius, and besides this you should have some Volume of Ethicks constantly on your Table.1 Morals, my Boy, Morals should be as they are eternal in their nature, the everlasting object of your Pursuit. Socrates and Plato, Cicero and Seneca, Butler and Hutchinson, as well as the Prophets Evangelists and Apostles should be your continual Teachers.2
But let me advise you, in another Art, I mean oratory, not to content yourself with Blair and Sherridan, but to read Cicero and Quintilian.—and to read them with a Dictionary Grammar and Pen and Ink, for Juvenal is very right

Studium Sine Calamo Somnium.3

Preserve your Latin and Greek like the Apple of your Eye.
When you Attend the Superiour Court, carry always your Pen and Ink & Paper and take Notes of every Dictum, every Point and every Authority. But remember to show the same respect to the Judges and Lawyers who are established in Practice before you, as you resolved to show the President Tutors Professors, and Masters and Batchelors at Colledge.
Mr Parsons your Master is a great Lawyer and should be your oracle.
But you have now an intercourse with his Clients, whom it is your Duty to treat with Kindness, Modesty and Civility, and to { 220 } whose Rights and Interests you ought to have an inviolable Attachment. Mr Parsons's honour, reputation and Interest Should be as dear to you, as your own.
I hope to see you in May; Meantime I am / with the tenderest affection your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr John Quincy Adams.”; endorsed: “My Father 23. Jany: 1788.” and “Mr: Adams. Janry: 23. 1788.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JQA indicated in his Diary that he read Jean Jacques Burlamaqui's The Principles of Natural and Political Law in Oct. 1786 and Emmerich de Vattel's Le droit des gens in Sept. 1787 (2:109, 118, 287, 292). The other works JA recommended were Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, London, 1738; Samuel Pufendorf, Of the Law of Nature and Nations, 4th edn., London, 1729; and Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, A Methodical System of Universal Law, 2 vols., London, 1741, all three of which are in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. JA had previously made similar reading recommendations to JQA; see JA to JQA, 19 May 1783, vol. 5:162–163.
3. To study without a pen is to dream.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0098

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1788-01-23

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir

So many Things appear to be done, when one is making Preparations for a Voyage, especially with a Family, that you must put up with a short Letter in answer to yours.1
We shall embark in March on board of the ship Lucretia Captn Calahan, and arrive in Boston as soon as We can: till which time I must suspend all Requests respecting, my little affairs. Your Bills shall be honoured as they appear.
You are pleased to ask my poor opinion of the new Constitution, and I have no hesitation to give it. I am much Mortified at the Mixture of Legislative and Executive Powers in the Senate, and wish for Some other Amendments.— But I am clear for accepting the present Plan as it is and trying the Experiment. at a future Time Amendments may be made, but a new Convention at present, would not be likely to amend it.
You will receive, perhaps with this, a third Volume of my Defence, in which I have Spoken of the new Constitution, in a few Words.2 This closes the Work, and I believe you will think I have been very busy. I have rescued from everlasting Oblivion, a number of Constitutions and Histories, which, if I had not Submitted to the Drudgery, would never have appeared in the English Language. They are the best Models for Americans to study, in order to Show them the horrid Precipice that lies before them in order to enable and Stimulate them to avoid it.
{ 221 }
I am afraid, from what I See in the Papers that Mr Adams is against the new Plan. if he is, he will draw many good Men after him, and I Suppose place himself at the head of an Opposition. This may do no harm in the End: but I should be Sorry to see him, worried in his old Age.
Of Mr Gerrys Abilities, Integrity and Firmness I have ever entertained A very good opinion and on very solid Grounds.— I have seen him and Served with him, in dangerous times and intricate Conjunctures. But on this Occasion, tho his Integrity must be respected by all Men, I think him out in his Judgment.— Be so kind as to send him in my name a Set of my three Volumes.
My Duty, Love and Compliments / where due. Yours most respectfully / and affectionately
[signed] John Adams
RC (NN:Manuscripts and Archives Division, John Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “Honble: Cotton Tufts Esqr. / Member of the Senate / Boston / Massachusetts.”; internal address: “The Hon. Cotton Tufts.”; endorsed: “J. Adams Esq / Jany 22. 1788.”
1. Cotton Tufts to JA, 28 Nov. 1787, in which Tufts provided JA with a lengthy report on the activities of the Mass. General Court. Tufts also wrote, “It would give me great Pleasure to have your Sentiments (for my own private Use if not otherways permitted) upon this proposed Constitution—and I flatter myself that you will not withhold from Your Friend that Light, wch. your extensive Knowledge of Governments & long Experience enables You to afford me” (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:326–327).
2. See JA, Defence of the Const., 3:505–506.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0099

Author: Callahan, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-01-31

John Callahan to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I had the honor to Receive a few lines from you yesterday, relitive to your passage to America, agreeable to your request, I here Send you the times in writing which will vary little or Nothing From your owne; I apprehend you, missunderstood me the other day, I do Assure you Madam, I had No Such intentions as to increace my Demands. I Only wished to have Convinced you how much pleasure it Would give me, to make my time of Sailing agreeable to your wishes, & Acquainted you of my Resolution of braking my engagements with Mr. Potten, & Others of my friends, who ware disposed to Serve me— Mr. Potten, in particular—who had given me the Refusal of all his freight—Which would have at least loaded half my Ship, upon Conditions—That I would engage to Sail as Early as Others (indeed he gave Me all the Month of Feby.) but finding you was not willing to Depart from Falmouth till the latter end of { 222 } march, I was feerfull That My detention in the Channel might proove a great ingery To My freinds, not haveing his or their goods to market as Soon as others I mentioned this Circumstance, the last time. I had the pleasure Conversing with you, for No Other Reasion then to Convince you; how Desireous I was to make everything Conformable to your wishes, and not With Any intentions to encreese my Demands— I am perfectly Contented With the terms. proposed in your letter of yesterday1—you Say you will Agree to give me two hundred pounds, my takeing the furniture from The house, & providing every Necessary provisions for the voyage Stoping For you at Falmouth; Not Exceeding the first of April. provided the weather Will permit. I Could wish you to be there by the 20 or 23d of March as Freequently the Easterly winds Sets in about that time, but if It Should Not be Convenient; to be at falmouth then, I will waite till The last of March, or begining of April, &, you may Rest assured Madam—that I will not engage to take any passanger—in the Cabin till I have your approbation & Shall make you acquainted Who the are, before I engage with them; as it is my determination to Render the voyage to you & Mr. Adams, as agreeable as possib[le] & in Case there Should be only two Servents I do agree to dedu[ct] his or her. passage from the £200— I dont Recolect that anyt[hing] Was mentioned in my being at any Charge: in geting furnitur fr[om] the house, but if you think it Reasionable, I will pay the Carting & further more if you Mr. Adams. or any other persons Judges in those Cases, think me unreasionable—I am perfectly willing to make any allowances. that you or they may See fit—& if I can be of any Servis to you, or his Excellency—in buying or Collecting any matter for your voyage or in any other way I beg you or his Excellency will Command me: as it would give me infinite pleasure to Render you Or him Every Servis in my power: Mrs. Callahan Joinis in Respect. to you & family—2
I am— / Madam / your most Obliged humbe Servt
[signed] John Callahan
PS. I heard yesterday that Madam Belcher: is Dead. if you wish me to write to prudey Spears Sister who lived with Mrs. Belcher—please to Send me word:3 I will write her—agreeable to your Directions—
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To Mrs. Adams—” and “Mrs: Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 223 }
1. Not found.
2. Lucretia Greene (b. 1748) married Capt. John Callahan in 1774. He named his ship Lucretia for her (JA, D&A, 3:215; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).
3. Madam Belcher was probably Lydia Brackett Belcher (1734–1787), widow of Nathaniel Belcher (1732–1786). Prudence Spear (b. 1763) was Lydia's much younger second cousin, and Prudence's sisters were her twin Mehitable, Thankful (b. 1765), and Abigail (b. 1772) (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 560R, 785R, 4356R, 4365R).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0100

Author: Jefferson, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-02-02

Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

The silk you desired was delivered to mr̃ Parker a month ago, on the eve of his departure for England, as he supposed. he went however to Holland. mr̃ Valnay is so kind as to take charge of that now, as also of the silk stockings. I doubt whether you may like the stockings on first appearance: but I will answer for their goodness, being woven expressly for me by the Hermits of Mont Calvaire with whom I go & stay sometimes, and am favoured by them.1 they have the reputation of doing the best work which comes to the Paris market. I inclose you their little note of the weight & price, for they sell by weight.2 I inclose also a state of our accounts subsequent to the paiment of the small sum by Colo. Smith which balanced our former transactions. you will make such additions & amendments to it as you shall find right. I have not yet been able to find M. de la Blancherie at home so as to settle mr̃ Adams's affair with him: but I will do it in time, & render you an account.3 there being no news here to communicate to you, be pleased to accept my thanks for the many kind services you have been so good as to render me & your friendly attentions on every occasion. I have considered you while in London as my neighbor, and look forward to the moment of your departure from thence as to an epoch of much regret & concern for me. insulated & friendless on this side the globe, with such an ocean between me and every thing to which I am attached the days will seem long which are to be counted over before I too am to rejoin my native country. young poets complain often that life is fleeting & transient. we find in it seasons & situations however which move heavily enough. it will lighten them to me if you will continue to honour me with your correspondence. you will have much to communicate to me, I little which can interest you. perhaps you can make me useful in the execution of your European commissions. be assured they will afford me sincere pleasure in the execution. my daughters join me in affectionate Adieus to you: Polly does not cease to speak of you with warmth & gratitude. heaven send you, { 224 } madam, a pleasant & safe passage, and a happy meeting with all your friends. but do not let them so entirely engross you as to forget that you have one here who is with the most sincere esteem & attachment Dear Madam / your most obedient / & most humble servant
[signed] Th: Jefferson

Mrs. Adams in acct with Th: J.

      Dr.   Cr.  
1787.   Oct. 3.   To paid for 5. aunes cambrick sent by Dr. Cutting     £    
  60.₶   2–10    
          £ s  
    By cash to Colo. Smith        2–10  
  Dec.. 19.   By cash by mr̃ Trumbull 120₶        5–  
1788.   Jan.. 9.   To pd̃ hermits of M. Calvaire 12. pr̃ silk stockings    168₶      
    To pd̃ for 10. aunes double Florence @ 4₶– 15    47–10      
  23.   To pd̃ Ct. Sarsfeld for books for mr̃ Adams    79         
      294–10   12–5–5    
    Balance in favor of Th: J        7–5–5  
        14–15–5.   14–15–5  
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. Adams”; endorsed: “Mr Jefferson / Febry 2.d 1788”; notation on enclosure: “sent this Balance due to / mr Jefferson by Mrs parker / Febry 22. 1788 / Abigail Adams.”
1. The hermits of Mont Calvaire (also known as Mont Valérian), located near the village of Suresnes, France, were a community of lay brothers. Besides making wine and silk stockings, they also offered accommodations to paying guests. Jefferson visited them often while living in Paris (Jefferson, Papers, 12:xxxv–xxxvi).
2. Not found.
3. On 6 Sept. 1787, JA wrote to Pahin Champlain de La Blancherie (1752–1811), the publisher of the Nouvelles de la république des lettres et des arts, to cancel his subscription. He enclosed that letter with one of the same date to Jefferson, whom he asked to settle his account with La Blancherie. Jefferson indicated that he had taken care of the matter in a letter to JA of 20 Feb. 1788 (JA, Papers, 7:360–361; Jefferson, Papers, 12:98–99, 317–318, 611).

Mrs. Adams in acct with Th: J.

      Dr.   Cr.  
1787.   Oct. 3.   To paid for 5. aunes cambrick sent by Dr. Cutting     £    
  60.₶   2–10    
          £ s  
    By cash to Colo. Smith        2–10  
  Dec.. 19.   By cash by mr̃ Trumbull 120₶        5–  
1788.   Jan.. 9.   To pd̃ hermits of M. Calvaire 12. pr̃ silk stockings    168₶      
    To pd̃ for 10. aunes double Florence @ 4₶– 15    47–10      
  23.   To pd̃ Ct. Sarsfeld for books for mr̃ Adams    79         
      294–10   12–5–5    
    Balance in favor of Th: J        7–5–5  
        14–15–5.   14–15–5  

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0101

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1788-02-10

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

Since I have had any opportunity of conveyence to my dear Sister, I have received from her Letters of the following dates August 19 { 225 } Sepbr 23. & 30th october 21 & Novbr 14th. the contents of which have variously affected me—1 The Scripture tells us that it is better to go to the House of mourning than the House of Feasting.2 to that I think I have oftener been calld through the progress of your several Letters, and I may say with dr young

“my dyeing Friend's come o'er me like a cloud”3

our Second parents House is become desolate, disconsolate & mourns, but the dear inhabitants have exchanged it for a more permanant inheritance, yet we have reason to bewail their loss, for they were ornaments to Society, and their exemplary Lives adornd the Religion they profess'd. very few persons have closed the last Scenes of Life with So pure and unblemishd Characters as the worthy pair whose memory's deserve these tributary Tears. long may their virtues Survive in our memories and be transplanted into the lives of all their connections. They do Survive them we see in their amiable Children the Fruits of seeds sown by their parents, Nursd with uncommon care, and matured by long & undeviating Labour. I rejoice most sincerely that mr Smith so happily connected himself during the Life of his worthy Father, as it must have afforded him consolation in the close of Life to leave a Friend and companion to his orphan Daughter— my dear Friend mrs otis, I have often thought of her with the tenderest Sympathy. how many Severe trials has She been calld to encounter in the Space of a few years? [“]God suits the wind to the shorne Lamb, Says yorick”4 and she is blessd with a happy equinimity of temper Supported by those Sentiments of Religion which teach a patient Submission to the dispensations of providence

“Why should we grieve, when griveing we must bear?

And take with Guilt, what Guiltless we might share”

When I reflect upon the Death of an other Relative, I can only say, the judge of all will do right. I cannot however upon a Retrospect of His Education refrain from thinking that some very capital mistakes were very undesignedly made. the experience which you and I have since had with regard to the different dispositions & tempers of children would lead us to a very different conduct. I say this to you who will not consider it, as any reflection upon the memory of our dear parents, but only as a proof how much the best & worthyest may err, & as some mitigation for the conduct of our deceast Relative.
{ 226 }
And now my dear sister the period is very near when I am to quit this country. I wrote Dr Tufts that we had taken our passage in Captain Callihans Ship, and that he would sail the latter end of march, or begining of April, so that I hope God willing, to see you & the rest of my dear Friends in May. I have much to do as you will naturally suppose by way of arrangment, and my Health, not what I wish it was. There is a natural tendency in our family to one particular Disorder, Father Aunts & uncle have more or less shared it, and I am not without Similar complants, which like the centinal at the door of King philip, warn me of what frail materials I am compose'd.5 that was a part of my complant last year and has afflicted me still more greviously this. at present I am relieved & hope that I shall have no return of it through the fatigue which I have to pass through in packing & getting ready for my voyage. I almost wish I had nothing to remove but myself & Baggage, but to part with our furniture would be such a loss, & to take it is such a trouble that I am almost like the Animal between the two Bundles of Hay
I want to write to you all, yet feel as if I had not a moments time. mr & mrs Smith take private Lodgings next week. in the course of which we have to go to Court & take Leave, to visit all the Foreign ministers & their Ladies & to take leave of all our acquaintance, pack all our Furniture Give up our House discharge all our Bills make and all other arrangments for our departure.
added to all this, I have the greatest anxiety upon Esthers account, if I bring her Home alive I bring her Home a marri'd woman & perhaps a Mother which I fear will take place at sea.6 this as yet is known only to myself & mrs Smith. Brisler as good a servant as ever Bore the Name, and for whom I have the greatest regard is married to her, but Sitting asside her Situation, which I did not know untill a few days ago, her general state of Health is very bad. I have not made it worse, I hope by what has been done for her, but her Life has been put in Jeopardy, as many others have before her, ignorantly done, for however foolish it may appear to us, I must believe that she had no Idea of being with child, untill the day before she came in the utmost distress to beg me to forgive her, and tho I knew that it was their intention to marry when they should return to America Yet so totally blinded was I, & my physician too, that we never once suspected her any more than she did herself, but this was oweing to her former ill state of Health.
I have related this to you in confidence that you may send for her Mother & let her know her situation. as in a former Letter to dr { 227 } Tufts, I expressd my apprehensions with regard to her, & tho the chief difficulty is now accounted for I look upon her situation as a very dangerous one. I have engaged an Elderly woman to go out with me, who formerly belonged to Boston,7 and I hear there is an other woman going as a stearige passenger, and I shall hurry Callihan to get away as soon as possible, for I think I dread a norester on Board ship, more than an Equinox we have but about ten days longer before we shall leave London—and in addition to every thing else, I have to prepare for her what is necessary for her situation, but tis in vain to complain, & then poor Brisler looks so humble and is so attentive, so faithfull & so trust worthy, that I am willing to do all I can for them. do not let any thing of what I have written be known to any body but her mother. I hope captain Folger arrived Safe with my Letters. adieu my dear sister, do not let my Friends think unkindly of me if I do not write to them. I would had I time my Love / to them all from your ever affectionate / sister
[signed] A A
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters).
1. The letter of 14 Nov. 1787 has not been found.
2. Ecclesiastes, 7:2.
3. Young, Night Thoughts, Night III, line 278.
4. Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, ch. 65, “Maria.”
5. A number of family members, including AA, TBA, Norton Quincy, and Mary Smith Cranch, suffered from rheumatism (vol. 3:42; 5:267; 6:2, 231).
6. Esther Field and John Briesler married on 15 Feb. 1788 at St. Mary le Bone church in London. Their daughter Elizabeth was born at sea in May (W. Bruce Bannerman and R. R. Bruce Bannerman, The Registers of Marriages of St. Mary le Bone, Middlesex, 9 vols., London, 1917–1927, 4:80; Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 829; AA to AA2, 29 May, below). Interestingly, in later years, the family apparently “revised” the Brieslers' marriage date back to Sept. 1787; see JQA's Diary entry for 14 Aug. 1838, D/JQA/33, APM Reel 36.
7. AA later refers to this woman, who is not further identified, as “old nurse Comis” (to AA2, 29 May 1788, below).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0102

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-02-10

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

I have now before me your Letter of the 3d of August1—which I intend to answer fully—and then 2dly to proceed to some points of information—and 3dly to some observations and reflection of my own—
in the 1st place I must acknowledge that your complaints against me for not writing are justly founded— I must Confess myself in fault—& this you know is the surest and most effectual way to disarm you of resentment—but who is the American Pope!—
{ 228 }
your hopes respecting our Parents returning to America are I think in a fair way to be accomplished— preparations are daily making—for this Event, they have engaged to have their furniture all on Board Callihams Ship—in the Month of Febuary— they Intend Leaving London—after the 24th. and to go to Falmouth there they are to be on the 20th of March— Callihan is to take them on Board at Falmouth after the Equinoxial Storm has blown over and from thence they proceed in a line direct, to the Harbour of Boston
Congress not resolving to keep any Person in a Public Character at this Court—and as usual have not taken any resolutions respecting the destination of my friend—it is Concluded that they mean he should return also—at the expiration of his Commission—for which Event we are likewise prepareing and with a very Sincere desire that no impediment may intervene to frustrate our present intention of embarking for America in the April Packett which sails from Falmouth to New York—from which Place I hope my next Letter to you will be dated—and where I Shall Hope to see you—at some Leisure period—perhaps during the next Winter vacation—when our Brothers will accompany you but this is looking a great way forward— we will defer further particulars till the period approaches—
respecting your desire that your father Should determine to Spend the remainder of his days in retirement— I cannot agree with you in this wish— it is in his Power to do His Country Essential Service—by assisting in Her Councills—by His opinions, advice, & recommendations,—he has it I beleive in his Power to do as much perhaps the most towards establishing her Character as a respectable Nation—of any Man in America—and Shall he retire from the World and bury himself amongst his Books—and Live only for himself!— No—I wish it not— I have no desire that he should be chosen Governor of the State—let those Possess that station who are ambitiously grasping—at a Shadow—which I Consider the Honour attendant upon that office to be— but I do hope—upon the establishment of a New Constitution—to see Him in some respectable and usefull Office under it— the Americans in Europe—say he will be Elected Vice President— besides my Brother independant of other important Considerations—he would not I am well Convinced be Happy in Private Life— you will before he arrives in America—have seen two other Vollumes of His Book—and perhaps you will hear from him a system of Government which you may not expect— he is of opinion that some new form of Government for our Country is neccasary— he does not wholy approve of the one which has been offered—but { 229 } he thinks that the People had better adopt it as it is—and then appoint a new Convention to make such alterations as may prove necessary— He wishes they Had Entitled the Chief Magistrate to a greater degree of independance, that they had given him the Sole appointment of all Offices—that they had made provision for a Privy Councill—either of His own appointment or chosen by the Senate—and some others which you will hear from himself— if the system at present under Consideration is not addopted I am of opinion that he will assist at a future Convention and have a principle Hand in the framing One which may be adopted— most of the Americans now in Europe are in favour of it—being well Convinced that a Change is absolutely necessary to the respectable Establishment of our Country in the Eyes of Europe—and her importance as a Nation—
I am Sorry to find by your Letter that your spirits are so low—the return of our Parrents will I hope restore them— I do not think you have any reason to be discouraged—by the time you shall have finished your studies of the Law—that Profession will have risen again into reputation amongst the People—I hope— Learning Abilities and industry will ever meet a good reward—and I dare say you will not repent the Profession you have Chosen nor think the time you have spent in the acquirement misplaced— be not discouraged—your Path through Life will not I hope be planted with thorns— you must not however expect to find the assent perfectly easy—but you will often find a Sattisfaction in haveing encountered difficulties— when the dangers are passed away—bear this beleif in Mind—that you were designed for some high and important Station upon the stage,—qualify yourself to fill your part with reputation—and then aspire to that Station which you esteem desireable—and that you may succeed in the Possession is my earnest wish—and if in my Power to offer you assistance—my pittance shall be at your Command—
I think I have now answered your Letter—and Shall in the next place proceed to give you some information upon General Subjects which brings me to the 2d Head of my discource—
we have had rumours of War—which have passed away—but I cannot add—it is as tho they had not been—for it is yet suspected that this Country is two well Sattisfied in their own strength and importance to keep Peace in Europe—for many succeeding years to at present there appears no oustensible reason for War— they have Lately proved triumphant in the Subjugation of Liberty in Holland—the Patriotick Party in that Country are quite unplaced—if not unpensioned— many have fled to France and others talk of going to { 230 } America— the Baron de Lynden is recalled from this Court— there has been a motion made in the States General—for recalling Mr Van Berckel from America. it has not yet been carried but it is expected to take Place as soon as My father takes his Leave—2 no Person can travell through the Country (to so great an heighth has the Spirit of Party been extended). without wearing some Badge of Orange, it has also become a favourite colour in this Country,—thus small means are sometimes made Subservient to important purposes—
the French Cabinet seem to be in a State of Petrifaction, whilst the People are looking around them and claiming their rights as Men,—the Royal Authority is disregarded and treated with Contempt. Parliaments return from Exile whom the King has Banished,—some Persons. talk of the Nations being better represented than this Nation is at Present,— it is said that the King has given himself up to intoxication and the Queen is Branded with every approbious epithet which Can dishonour Woman,— but I suppose this information and more you have received through the Channel of the News Papers
Monsieur de Callonge who fled from France has been presented Publickly at this Court by the Duke of Queensborougher an Event that has caused much Surprize to Foreigners—3 the Marquis de la Luzern—has arrived here as Ambassador from France, he has lain down the Order of Malta—taken a Wife,—and his own title of Marquis—4
I hear of a Ship to Sail this week—and as I would not omit the opportunity of forwarding this Letter—I must omit many things that I designed to have written— we are now very Busy in Packing up and prepareing for our departure if I can find time I will write again by My Mother to you—
Several Ships have arrived without a line from you— I hope you have received my letter of july Last—5
remember me to all Friends and beleive me / your affectionate Sister and friend—
[signed] A Smith—
1. Not found, but see JQA, Diary, 2:269, where JQA states that he wrote to AA2 on 31 July 1787.
2. Pieter Johan van Berckel, who had been the Dutch minister to the United States since 1783, was recalled by the States General on 8 May 1788 for “Various Reasons conducive to our Interest” (Repertorium, 3:271; The Emerging Nation: A Documentary History of the Foreign Relations of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, 1780–1789, ed. Mary A. Giunta, 3 vols., Washington, D.C., 1996, 3:773–774).
3. William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberry (1724–1810), was best known for his love of horses and betting. He served as a { 231 } lord of the bedchamber to George III from 1760 to 1789 (DNB).
4. Anne César, Chevalier de La Luzerne, had previously served as the French minister to the United States and had known JA and JQA since they sailed from Lorient on the Sensible together in 1779. La Luzerne was named minister to Great Britain in fall 1787 and arrived in London in Jan. 1788. At around the same time, he made public his secret marriage to Angran d'Alleray and gave up his rank of chevalier in the Order of Malta. Shortly thereafter, Louis XVI granted him the title of Marquis. La Luzerne would continue as minister to Great Britain until his death in 1791 (vol. 6:129; JA, Papers, 8:18–19; William Emmett O'Donnell, The Chevalier de La Luzerne: French Minister to the United States 1779–1784, Bruges, 1938, p. 249–250).
5. AA2 to JQA, 10 June 1787, above, which has a final dateline of 16 July.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0103

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1788-02-16

John Quincy Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear Sir.

I desired my brother Charles when he went from Haverhill, to mention, that I was again in need of a supply of money, and since that time I have been obliged to stop my payments: I am apprehensive he forgot to deliver my message, and take this opportunity to request some money, as soon as may be convenient.
The riotous ungovernable spirit, which appeared among the students at the university in the course of the last quarter gave me great anxiety; particularly as I understood, that one of my brothers, was suspected of having been active in exciting disturbances; but from his own declarations and from the opinion I have of his disposition, I hope those suspicions, were without foundation—1 I conversed with him largely upon the subject, and hope, his conduct in future, will be such as to remove, every unfavourable impression.
I intended to have paid a visit to my friends beyond Boston, before this, but I find I creep along so slow in my professional studies, that I could not think of being absent from them for a week together: perhaps however in a month or six weeks I may take some opportunity to indulge, for a few days.
I am, dear Sir, respectfully yours
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble: Cotton Tufts Esqr: / Weymouth.”; internal address: “Hon. C. Tufts Esqr.
1. For the Thanksgiving disturbance at Harvard and CA's role therein, see JQA, Diary, 2:355–356, and note 1.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0104

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1788-02-17

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I hear Judge Seargant is to go to Boston tomorrow, & I will not defer writing a few Lines to my Sister, & most heartily thanking her, { 232 } for her two kind remembrances of me— When I read that my young Friends designed me a Visit, I felt execeding sorry that they were prevented by the weather— They need not have been frighted, for there is seldom a Time from November, to March but what persons may travel from here to Boston with ease—
The publishment of our Cousin Tufts, & Brooks gives us the greatest pleasure—1 'Tis a Consumation devoutly to be wished for—At least, I view it at present, as attended with every circumstance of Felicity, that can give pleasure to near Relatives How would my dear Aunt have rejoiced, had she lived to see them happily connected. I think our Cousin is much improved of late, & will make him an exceellent Wife— Mr Tufts will visit his Friends, be more companionable, & feel tenfold more important than ever he did before—
Yes! as you observe, Weymouth may shine yet—& I may again love to visit the place of my Nativity. But the Sight of it now, excites such a Crowd of Ideas as language cannot describe, & quite overwhelms my Soul with Grief—

“Sweet little Cottage of my Sire,

Where when a Child I played—

Each Object lives within my Mind,

That there the Eye runs o'er;

The Hamlet, & the Hill behind,

The apple Tree before—”2

At such a Window, I have viewed with perfect tranquility the softened azure, & the variegated Cloud— With such a Friend, seated upon that verdant Bank we talked down the Summers Sun— In this cool retreat I tasted the sweets of virtuous Friendship, enjoyed the Feast of reason, & the flow of Soul— Under that lofty Oak, I viewed the vast Expanse of Nature—held converse with the Stars—beheld the Moon walking in brightness, & almost paid my homage to the Queen of heaven—
Here lived, & here smiled the fond Parents, heightening every Joy—here they poured the fresh Instruction over our Minds—here they gave the wise precept—& there they marked the cautious Line—Let not then, my dear Eliza ever wonder if she should again see her Aunt wholly unnerved, & choaked with a train of Ideas, which a sight of this place ever calls up to her view— For Now she must behold the dear Objects of her affections, put far away—& her nearest kindred mouldering in the Grave—
Well might the apostle say, that we [. . . .]3 City—
{ 233 }
My Children stood by me when I received your last Letters, anxious to know their Contents— As it happened, there was what would please them both— I told Billy that his Opinion was founded on principles of nature— I asked little Miss, what she would do now—her hopes were all blasted— She had a powerful Rival in her Cousin— She indeed at first looked quite mortified— But she soon collected herself, & with a pride natural to her Sex, said “she did not love, she should not break her heart about it— There were enough other, Gentlemen—though she must say, she thought him very pretty—but she could love him full as well if he were her Cousin—”4
I long to hear from Charles & Thomas I charged them to write to me— I do not know that Mr Shaw & I could have given them better advice if they had been our own Sons— I hope they will conduct agreeable to it—& be wiser than they have been, & more cautious of abusing Government, for what they from choice suffer—the Ten shillings penalty, I mean—5 It was very late when I took my pen in hand, I shall not say half I wish to— my Love to the young Folks—may you all sleep sweetly to night encircled by the watchman of Israel,6 so may your
[signed] E. Shaw
RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; docketed: “from Mrs Shaw” and “Mrs <Peabody> Shaw / (15) / feb. 17. 1788.”
1. Cotton Tufts Jr. married Mercy Brooks of Medford on 6 March (Vital Records of Medford, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston, 1907, p. 194).
2. “Sweet little cottage of my sire, / Where when a child I play'd; / In foreign realms, my whole desire / Pants to enjoy thy shade. / Each object lives within my mind, / That there the eye runs o'er; / The hamlet and the hill behind, / The linden tree before” (Arnaud Berquin, “The Mountain Pipe,” The Children's Friend, 4 vols., London, 1787, 4:91).
3. Four or five illegible words.
4. Betsy Quincy Shaw evidently had a crush on Rev. Jacob Norton of Weymouth, who was engaged to marry her cousin, Elizabeth Cranch.
5. Both CA and TBA, as penalty for their role in the Thanksgiving disturbances at Harvard, were required to pay for the repairs to the dining hall (MH-Ar:Faculty Records, 5:249–250, 278–279).
6. Ezekiel, 3:17.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0105

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1788-02-20

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I have written twice to you by way of New York, but do not find by yours that either of them had reachd you, nor have I learnt that Captain Folger was arrived who had all my Letters, except one to mrs Cranch by Captain Cushing.1 in those Letters you will find what I wisht to have done to the House, as well as other matters respecting our Farm
{ 234 }
I believe this will be the last Letter I shall write you previous to my embarking, which I hope will be in March, but is now uncertain on account of the difficulty mr Adams meets with in taking leave in Holland it is high time that we had a Goverment who know how to conduct our affairs with steadiness judgment, &, equity that they may not make themselves contemptable in the Eyes of all Europe. Congress accreditted mr Adams to their High mightynesses and to the Prince of orange, and in a Letter written to Congress more than a year ago, requesting permission to return at the expiration of his commission, he desires that Letters of Recall may accompany his permission, agreeable to the custom & useages of Nations. this he has several times since repeated instead of which they pass only a vote of approbation of his conduct with leave to return, but no Letter, either for this court or Holland. Mr Adams Sent a Letter to the Prince & a memorial to their High mightynessess, through mr Secretary Fagall, but all tho they express their Satisfaction personally as it respects mr Adams, they return the Letters saying they cannot receive his Resignation, but by a Letter from his Sovereign of recall, but shall continue to consider him as minister to them.2 if this Court do not make any difficulty, it will be from circumstances too humiliating to our Country to be prided in. mr Adams is very apprehensive that he shall be obliged to go over himself to Holland, which at this time will put us to great difficulty as we had begun to pack up & get ready for our departure.
With this Letter I send you the third volm of the defence. you will not permit it to go out of your hands untill the others arrive. as mr Adams had been at the whole expence of publishing this work, he could wish that they might not be reprinted untill what are gone out, are disposed of, for tho he never had an Idea of making money of them, he cannot afford to lose so much by them as he must, if they are reprinted. in the last Letter you will find his Sentiments respecting our New plan of Government. Some of his sentiments I presume will be very unpopular in our Country, but time and experience will bring them into fashion. every day must convince our Country men more & more, of the necessity of a well balanced Government and that a Head to it, is quite as necessary as a body & Limbs the Name by which that Head is called is of very little concequence but they will find many Heads a Monster.— I most sincerely wish you my dear Sir every direction & success which honest intentions & upright endeavours after the publick Honour, & welfare deserve. I know you have no sinister motives, no narrow selfish { 235 } purposes to serve eitheir by the acceptation or rejection of the New system. I wish every one who opposes it, or commends it, acted from motives as pure, and then whatever its fate might be, we should not be involved in anarchy but tares will spring up amongst the wheat, and thistles & Thorns.3 we must take care that we are not goaded & pricked to death by either— There is at present sitting here one of the most august Assemblies that this country can convene. The House of commons the House of Lord's the Bishops the judges &C all convened in westmister Hall for the Trial of Warren Hastings.4 about Two thousand persons half of whom are Ladies, attend this trial every day. it is opened with the utmost order & continued with the greatest regularity, & no person admitted to it, but with Tickets which are not very easily procured. as a Foreign ministers Lady I have had a Seat in the Box appropriated for them, and have had the pleasure of hearing mr Burk speak 3 hours. I have been so much engaged in prepairing for my voyage that I have not been able to attend daily, but I propose going again tomorrow to hear mr Fox. The dukes & Lords & Bishops are all Robed, are preceeded by the Herald at Arms, are calld over according to their rank and take their Seats accordingly. The Prince of Wales duke of York Gloster & Cumberland are obliged to a constant attendance mr Hastings appears at present; as Burk call'd him, the Captain Generall of Iniquity,5 whatever he may have to say in justification of himself, it seems impossible to wash the Ethiope white.6 my paper warns me to close but not untill I have assured you of the Sincere & affectionate / Regard of Yours
[signed] A Adams
PS your last Bill is paid in favour mr Elworthy
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs. Abigl. Adams / Feby 20. 1788—”
1. AA to Tufts, 6 Nov. 1787, and 1 Jan. 1788, and AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 Oct. 1787 (2d letter), all above.
2. On 25 Jan. 1788, JA wrote to Hendrik Fagel, secretary of the States General of the Netherlands (JA, Works, 8:470), requesting that he forward memorials to William V and to the High Mightinesses of the States General indicating JA's intent to take leave of his post as U.S. minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands (both dated 25 Jan., Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:829–831). Fagel replied on 12 Feb. that while the memorials were acceptable, they could not substitute for a formal letter of recall from Congress to the Dutch government (Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:828–829).
3. AA conflates two biblical references here: Job, 31:40 (“Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley”) and Matthew, 13:25 (“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way”).
4. For the Warren Hastings trial, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.
5. In Edmund Burke's opening statement at the impeachment trial on 15 Feb., he described Hastings as “a captain-general of iniquity, under whom all the fraud, all the peculation, all the tyranny in India are embodied, disciplined, arrayed, and paid. This is the person, my Lords, that we bring before { 236 } you. We have brought before you such a person, that, if you strike at him with the firm and decided arm of justice, you will not have need of a great many more examples. You strike at the whole corps, if you strike at the head” (The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke, rev. edn., 12 vols., Boston, 1866–1867, 9:339).
6. A common expression, a variation on Jeremiah, 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0106

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1788-02-21

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] My dear sir

in the midst of the Bustle and fatigue of packing, The parade & ceremony of taking leave at Court, and else where, I am informd that mr Appleton and mrs Parker, are to set out for Paris tomorrow morning. I Cannot permit them to go without a few lines to my much Esteemed Friend, to thank him for all his kindness and Friendship towards myself and Family, from the commencment of our acquaintance, and to assure him that the offer he has made of his correspondence, is much too flattering, not to be gratefully accepted.
The florence and stockings were prefectly to my mind, and I am greatly obliged to you sir, for your care and attention about them. I have sent by Mrs Parker the balance due to you, agreeable to your statement, which I believe quite right
Be so good as to present my Regards to the marquiss de la Fayett, and his Lady, and to the Abbés—assure them that I entertain a gratefull rememberance of all their civilities and politeness during my residence in Paris. To mr Short and the young Ladies your Daughters Say every thing that is affectionate for me, and be assured my dear Sir, that I am / with the Greatest Respect Esteem & Regard / Your Friend and Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1788-02-26

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[salute] Dear sir

Mr Adams being absent I replie to your Letter this day received, that mr Adams has written to you upon the Subject you refer to.1 our time here is short and pressing, yet short as it is mr Adams is obliged to Set out on fryday for the Hague in order to take leave there, owing wholy to the neglect of Congress in omitting to send
{ 237 } { 238 }
him a Letter of Recall, tho he particuliarly requested it of them, when he desired permission to return, & has several times since repeated the Same request. a memorial would then have answerd, but now it cannot be received, and he finds at this late hour that he must cross that most horrid passage twice, & make a rapid journey there & back again as it would be greatly injurious to our credit & affairs to give any reasonable cause of offence. he would be delighted to meet you there, but time is so pressing that he cannot flatter himself with that hope, nor be able to stay a day after he has compleated his buisness yet as this Letter may reach you about the day he will leave London, you will consider whether there is a possibility of seeing each other at the Hague
I had sent my arrears to you before mr Trumble thought of informing me that it was to be paid to him. the Eight Louis you have since been so kind as to pay for mr Adams, shall be paid mr Trumble—2
I thank you my dear Sir for all your kind wishes & prayers, heaven only knows how we are to be disposed of. you have resided long enough abroad to feel & experience how inadaquate our allowence is, to our decent expences, and that it is wholy impossible for any thing to be saved from it this our Countryman in general will neither know or feel. I have lived long enough, & seen enough of the world, to check expectations, & to bring my mind to my circumstances, and retiring to our own little Farm feeding my poultry & improveing my Garden has more charms for my fancy, than residing at the court of Saint Jame's where I seldom meet with Characters So innofensive as my Hens & chickings, or minds so well improved as my Garden.— Heaven forgive me if I think too hardly of them— I wish they had deserved better at my Hands—
adieu my dear Sir and believe me at all times / and in all Situations Your / Friend & Humble Servant
[signed] A A
RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers).
1. Jefferson wrote to JA on 6 Feb. regarding difficulties filling the latest Dutch loan—which had resulted from the suspension of interest payments on the previous loan until the establishment of a new American government under the Constitution—and a possible scheme to deal with the situation. JA replied on 12 Feb. strongly disapproving of the suggested plan (Jefferson, Papers, 12:566–567, 581–582).
2. On 28 March, John Trumbull gave AA a receipt for eight pounds (equal to eight Louis d'Or), which he took for Jefferson in Paris (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0108

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-02-28

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I recd. Mrs. Adams's Lettr. of Nov. 6. and had wrote a long Epistle of the 21t. Inst. and put it into the Post Office to go by a Cap. Brown who is to sail from Portsmouth, had also drawn a Bill on you for £150 Sterlg which I found necessary— But on receiving this Day Mrs. Adams's Favour of Jany 1. and finding that they were not forwarded & that the Vessell would not sail for some Days I thought it probable they would not reach you before you would embark for Boston, therefore withdrew the Letter and got the Bill returned to me—Should this reach you, I would suggest, If you should have more Money than you should judge necessary for immediate Use here, whether it would not be best to lodge it in England to be drawn for after your Return—
In a former Letter, I manifested a Disinclination to purchase Vesey's Place, being satisfied that I could not then strike a Bargain with Him to your Advantage1 His Ideas of its Value, being far beyond what I conceived you would have judged it worth were you on the Spot or what He could have obtaind for it even on the longest Credit. I did not therefore chuse even to make Him an offer Time has given Him that Conviction, which I was pretty sure it would and has furnished me with an Opportunity of complying with your Wishes and on Terms, that I presume will be agreable to you— a few Days since I purchased it for £200 and have received a Deed—2 Two Thirds I paid him in Hand and for the other Third he has my Note on your Behalf— I shall be obliged to transact some Part of your Business on Credit, till you Return, having faild of the Benefit of a Draught on you as designed— The several Matters mentioned in Mrs. Adams's Letter shall attend to with as much Dispatch as the State of my Affairs will permit but I must beg you to prepare for some Degree of Mortification on seeing your Farms— The War & Taxes crushed all Improvements— We are but just rising— With your Care & Inspection they will I trust wear a better Appearance— Although a larger Share of my Time & Attention has been devoted to the Affairs of my Friend than to my own private concerns yet all has not been done that I could have wished for—or would have been done, had not a Variety of Embarrassments public & private, prevented—
{ 240 }
Allens Farm has been sold, Saml. Quincys also, the Latter I had determined to have secured for you, but was foreclosed—
Our State Convention after a Months sitting closed the 6th. Inst. and ratified the proposed Plan of National Government—3 I have no doubt but that it will generally obtain and I flatter myself under the Smiles of Heaven that the Establishment of it will sweep away a Number of the Plagues with which this Country is cursed— Accept My Dear Sir of my ardent Prayers & Wishes for a prosperous Voyage you & your Familys safe Return to your Friends and believe to be— / your Affectionate Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts
P. S. Lt. Governor Cushing died this Morning4
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esq.”
1. See Tufts to AA, 21 May 1787, above.
2. On 12 Feb. 1788, Cotton Tufts, on behalf of JA, purchased 46 acres “partly upland and partly fresh meadow” and the house thereon, from William and Sarah Veasey for £200 (Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 2, folder 13).
3. The Massachusetts ratifying convention sat from 9 Jan. to 7 Feb., approving the Constitution on 6 Feb. by a vote of 187 to 168 with proposed amendments (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:xxi).
4. Thomas Cushing, who had served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts since 1780, died on 28 Feb. (DAB)

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-03-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

After a Passage of two days, against contrary Winds, and a terrible Jolt through the Mud, from Helvoet, I arrived here this day, in good health and not bad Spirits. The Princes Birth day is on Saturday: so that I shall not be able to take Leave before Monday, and if I go to Amsterdam afterwards, I shall not be able to leave that City before Wednesday or Thursday: so that I fear you cannot expect me, till the Week after next.— Mr Dumas prays me to Send you his respects.
My Cockade is Splendid enough for a Lt. General.— Mr Dumas is large enough for a Colonel, or for what I know for a Major General. I have not seen one Person without an orange Ribbon. great Preparations are making for celebrating the Birth day: and all is quiet. Tomorrow I make my first Visits.— Give my Love to Mr and Mrs Smith and to my dear Boy.— and my Respects and Compliments to all Freinds.
yours forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “England / For / Mrs Adams / at the American Ambassdors / Grosvenor Square / corner of Duke Street / Westminster / London”; internal address: “Mrs Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0110

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-03-05

Cotton Tufts to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear Sr

I recd. Your Favour, previous to which I sent you by Post in a Letter to my Brother a Bank Bill of 20 Dollrs., it would have been sent soon after your Brother mentioned to me your Want of a Supply, had I not heard that you proposed to be at Boston in a few Days— I am exceedingly gratified that your fraternal Advice was given to Mr Charles and I flatter myself that it will with that of his other Friends have a very salutary Effect— The Disorders at our University gave me much Pain and more especially on finding that my young Friend was suspected to me deeply concerned in them, indeed I had never felt so much Anxiety with Respect to Him, as some Imprudencies (at least) had given Countenance to Suspicion, that if well grounded would have deprived Him of that Reputation which He enjoyed before and which had given me a Pleasure, that I had often announced to his Dear Parents and from which they had derived no small Satisfaction—
I recd. by New York a Letter from your Mother of Nov. 6. and one other of Jany. 1. In the last She informs me of their Design to embark for Boston in Capt. Callihan the latter End of this Month or the Beginning of April, this will make their Return a Month sooner than proposed in the former Letter— I shall find myself much hurried to get Borland's House in order to receive them, as there are still considerable Repairs necessary— Col Smith & Wife go to New York in the April Packet.
A few Days since I purchased Veseys Farm adjoyning that on which Pratt Lives, your Father had discovered a peculiar Fondness for it and had instructed me to give £300 for it, If not to be obtained at less Price, I had declined purchasing it but an opportunity presenting of meeting his Wishes & on Terms that I thought would be highly agreable to him, I struck the Bargain at £200—
A Bank Bill of Ten Dollarss is enclosed And / I am Dear Sr. / Your Affectionate Friend
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr J. Q. Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0111

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-03-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dear Friend

Not a word have I heard of, or from you Since you left me this day week. I am anxious to know how you got over & how you do. I am so unfortunate as to be confined for several days past with an inflamation in my Throat attended with canker, & some fever. it is rather abated to day, and I hope is going of. we go on packing, but it is a much more labourious peice of buisness than I imagind and takes much more time, I hope we shall finish in a few day's The New dutch minister was presented at court this week & makes a splendid appearence with his footmen in scarelet & silver, & a gay page or Running footman was vastly well Received at Court &c &c1
Nothing from America since you left us.
Master Billy is sitting upon the table whilst I write and send his duty to Grandpappa. the Weather is such that I cannot but rejoice we are not at sea. Scott has been beating in the Channel these ten days, but every day brings us a prospect of better weather. adieu I shall be very uneasy if I do not hear from you by this Days post. I know not where to direct to you so shall cover to Willinks. ever yours
[signed] A Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by WSS: “To— / His Excellency / John Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary / &c. &c. &c / Hague.”
1. Anne Willem Carel, Baron van Nagell van Ampsen (1756–1851), was named the new Dutch ambassador to Great Britain in February and served until 1795 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 2:977–978; Repertorium, 3:264).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0112

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-03-11

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Mail is this day arrived, but not a Line have I got from you, nor have I heard a word from you since you left me. I hope you are well. I am anxious to learn when you expect to get back. I find by Letters received yesterday from France1 that mr Jefferson is gone to meet, you, which will render your visit in Holland much pleasenter to you. Callihan does not appear in any great Hurry, and I am full in the Mind that he had rather make it the middle of April before he sails than go sooner. he will not however have to wait for our things, as I hope they will all be on Board this week. I shall stay in the { 243 } House as long as I possibly can, but if you do not get back before the 20th imagine I shall be in some Hotell.
We have had more Winter since you left London than the whole season before, and Terible Soar throats have been the concequence of the harsh March winds I have had my share of it I hope, which proved very obstinate for several days, & yesterday was the first of my getting out. Mr & Mrs Smith will leave London the 20th
I wrote you by last frydays Mail under cover to messiurs Willinks. my most Respectfull compliments to mr Jefferson. I rejoice in the Idea of your having met again before you leave Europe. the papers give us a magnificent account of preperations in Holland for celebrating the Birth day of the Stadtholder2
Nothing from America Since you left me; I find it very lonesome here & Should be more so if I was not so buisily employd in preperations for our departure—
adieu most affectionately / yours
[signed] A Adams
after closing my Letter, yours of March the fourth is just brought me. I rejoice to hear you are well. compliments to mr d. & family if you had named the Hotell you were at, I Should not be obliged to Send my Letters to Amsterdam
[signed] A Adams3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by AA2: “To / His Excellency John Adam's / &Cc&c &c / att the Hague / Bath Hotel / Piccadilly”; endorsed: “My dearest Friend / March 11 1788.”
1. Thomas Jefferson to JA, 2 March (Jefferson, Papers, 12:637–638).
2. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 11 March, reprinted a letter from The Hague, dated 6 March, that stated, “The preparations making here for celebrating the anniversary of the birth of the Stadtholder surpasses every thing seen in this Republick on a like occasion; not only the greatest part of the houses, but all the principal streets, will be illuminated in a new taste, and the latter with pyramids and other ornaments.” The city also planned to build 100 arches, all “magnificently illuminated,” and a 100-foot obelisk facing the stadholder's palace. The celebration itself, with “eleven pieces of superb fireworks,” would take place on 8 March.
3. AA wrote the postscript on a separate sheet of paper.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0113

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-03-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have past through the Ceremonies of taking Leave of the States General, the Prince and Princess &c to the Satisfaction of all Parties—and have been feasted at Court, and all that.— made my Compliments to the Prince on the 8. of March his Birth Day, and to the Princess at her Drawing Room &c &c &c. and should have been in { 244 } London at this hour if you had not have laid a Plott, which has brought me to this Town.— Mr Jefferson at the Receipt of your Letter, came post to meet me, and he cutts out So Much Business for me, to put the Money Matters of the United States upon a Sure footing, that I certainly Shall not be able to get into the Packet at Helvoet before Saturday; and I much fear not before Wednesday the Nineteenth. This delay is very painful to me, and you must blame your self for it, altogether.
I thought myself dead, and that it most well with me, as a Public Man: but I think I shall be forced, after my decease, to open an additional Loan. at least this is Mr Jeffersons opinion and that of Mr Vanstaphorst.
I hope you will have every Thing ready that by the twenty first or second of March We may sett off together for falmouth from London.
My Love to Mr & Mrs Smith, and kiss my dear Boy.— Compliments to all Friends.— I am very impatient under this unforeseen delay, but our Bankers as well as Mr Jefferson think it absolutely necessary for the Public. I must therefore submit, but, if in Consequence of it you should meet South Westers on the Coast of America, and have your Voyage prolonged three Weeks by it, remember it is all your own Intrigue, which has forced me to open this Loan. I suppose you will boast of it, as a great Public Service.
Yours forever
[signed] John Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams.”; docketed by JA: “J A to A A / March 11 1788.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0114

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-03-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

I have recd yours of the 7.th— I have written you on every Post day.
Mr Jefferson is so anxious to obtain Money here to enable him to discharge some of the Most urgent demands upon the United States and preserve their Credit from Bankruptcy for two Years longer after which he thinks the new Gov't will have Money in their Treasury from Taxes; that he has prevailed upon me to open a new Loan, by Virtue of my old Power.— I was very much averse to this but he would take no denial. I shall therefore be detained here till Monday. But if my Health continues I shall cross over in the Packett of next { 245 } Wednesday.— I hope every Thing will be ready for Us to take Post for Falmouth.
The Rich complain, at present in Holland that the Poor are set over them in the Regencies and the old Families that they are set aside by new ones.— Discontent rankles deep in Some Places, and among some Sorts of Men: but the Common People appear to be much pleased.
The Patriots in this Country, were little read in History less in Government: know little of the human heart and still less of the World. They have therefore been the Dupes of foreign Politicks, and their own indigested systems.
Changes may happen and disorders may break out, tho at present there is no apparent Probability, of either.— But as there is no sense of the Necessity of uniting and combining the great divisions of society in one system, no Changes can happen for the better.
My Love to the Children, and believe me very anxious to see you.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “J. A to J Q. A.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0115

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Ward, Lewis D.
DateRange: 1788-03-01 - 1788-03-16

Abigail Adams to Lewis D. Ward

[salute] Sir

Mr Adams being absent upon publick Buisness in Holland when your Letter came to Hand I take the Liberty of replying to it, as I know he will be so much hurried for time when he returns as to be unable to attend to private matters, but I can answer for him, and am sure that he harbours no resentment against mrs Ward but wishes both of you success in Life & will rejoice to find that you are in Buisness. as to any intelligence respecting Mrs Wards Mother or family we are totally Ignorant about them not having heard a word respecting them Since we came to Europe, but as we expect Soon to return, if Mrs Ward wishes to write to them & will forward a Letter in the course of 8 Days it shall be carefully conveyd to them
I am sorry to hear that mrs Ward has been so ill & sincerly wish her a restoration to Health1
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “A. A. / 1788.” Drafted on the same sheet of paper as AA to John Bowring, [ante 30 March], below, and filmed at [March 1788].
1. Lewis Ward first wrote to JA on 11 July 1785 requesting assistance in setting himself up in business as bookbinder. His wife was probably Ann Veasey Ward (b. 1752), the { 246 } daughter of Jerusha Boylston Veasey (1719– 1797), JA's maternal aunt (Sprague, Braintree Families, p. 5207R). Ward wrote again on 29 Feb. 1788, at that point a printer in Birmingham, seeking information about his mother-in-law and reporting news of his wife's illness. On 18 March, the Wards replied to AA's letter, which they had received on the 17th, thanking her for her favor and wishing the family a safe voyage (all Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0116

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Margaret
Date: 1788-03-22

Abigail Adams to Margaret Smith

[salute] Madam

Altho I have heithertoo felt a diffidence in addressing a Lady with whom I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance, I cannot upon this occasion permit my only Daughter to present herself to you in her new Relation, without requesting your kind and parental Reception of her.2 I have the greatest reason to hope, that she will prove to you, what she has ever been to me, a dutifull and affectionate Daughter.
I have frequently been call'd in the course of my Life to very painfull seperations from some of my nearest and dear connections, but this is the first time that I have Sufferd a seperation from her, and it is the more painfull, as she has always been my companion and associate and I have no other Daughter to supply her place— but I have the Satisfaction and pleasure of knowing that she has one of the kindest and tenderest of Husbands, and every reason to believe that she will find in you Madam an affectionate Friend, and parent, and in the Ladies your Daughters, kind and indulgent Sisters. She has my dear Madam a natural reserve in her manners which I hope will not make an unfavorable impression upon her Friends. the Relationship of sister, is a character She has no remembrance of, and must in some measure plead for her Native reserve, for she is a very Silent Character, and in that respect very unlike her mamma.
For my Lovely Grandson I need ask no favour he has the claim of nature upon you, and will make his own way into your Heart, by his innocent Smiles and winning attractions.
I cannot however close this Letter without requesting you to enjoin upon your Son a particular care and attention to his Health. I am apprehensive that the Heat of our American Summers will, will renew and increase those complaints under which he has so severely Sufferd. I am the more urgent upon this subject, because I do not think he is himself sensible, in how critical a situation an attack { 247 } of this disorder in a Hot Season, may prove to him. The utmost caution both in diet and exercise are absolutly necessary for him
I beg leave Madam to present my Regards to every branch of your Family. with some of them I feel a degree of acquaintance from a perusal of their Letters, particularly with the lively Sprightly Bell3 and I anticipate with pleasure the day—Heaven Grant it may not be far distant, when we shall arrive in our Native Country, and I shall one day have the happiness of personally assureing you, with how much Esteem / I am Madam your / Humble Servant
[signed] Abigail Adams
FC (Adams Papers); internal address: “wining Mrs Margaret Smith N York”; notation: “Mrs Adams / Coppy of a Letter to / Mrs Margeret Smith / New York.”
1. AA relocated from Grosvenor Square to the Bath Hotel on 17 March. She most likely sent the letter with AA2 upon the Smiths' departure from London sometime around 20 March. The dateline may have been added to the letter at a later time.
2. This is the only extant letter exchanged between AA and Margaret Smith, WSS's mother. For Margaret Smith, see vol. 7:240.
3. Perhaps a reference to WSS's sister Belinda, for whom see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 Dec., and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0117

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1788-03-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received yours of the 14th and ever Since thursday have been in Hourly expectation of seeing you I hope it is oweing to all the packets being detaind upon this Side, as is reported, and not to any indisposition that your return is delayed, that unpleasing detention is sufficiently mortifying particularly as we wish to proceed to Falmouth as soon as possible, tho I shall fear to go from hence untill the ship is gone, for from the best information I can get callihan has as yet scarcly any thing but our Bagage &c on Board, and even that has been several days delay'd by him. I came last monday Evening to this Hotell, that the Beds & remaining furniture might be sent on Board and the House given up. this will be wholy accomplish'd on the morrow if the weather permits, & has been oweing to that, for several days that all has not been accomplished
The packet arrived this week from Newyork and brings an account that seven states had accepted the Constitution. the Massachusetts convention consisted of 300 & 40 members. it was carried by a Majority of Nineteen Georgia & South Carolina are the two other states of which we had not before any certain accounts. New Hamshire was sitting. Newyork are becomeing more National and { 248 } mr Duer writes mr Smith, that he may consider the constitution as accepted, & begining to operate at the Commencment of an other Year.1 Newyork had agreed to call a convention—thus my dear Friend I think we shall return to our Country at a very important period and with more pleasing prospects opening before her than the turbulent Scenes which massachusetts not long since presented. May wisdom Govern her counsels and justice direct her opperations.
mr & Mrs Smith set off this week for Falmouth. she is now confined with a Soar throat, similar to the complaint which afficted me ten days ago. I write in hopes the Baron de Lynden will meet you on your return.
I shall be exceedingly anxious if I do not see, or hear from you soon
adieu & believe me ever yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “A A to J. A / 23 March 1788.”
1. William Duer (1747–1799) migrated from England to New York in the late 1760s. He represented New York in the Continental Congress alongside JA and later served briefly as assistant secretary of the treasury department (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0118

Author: Copley, Susanna Clarke
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-03-28

Susanna Clarke Copley to Abigail Adams

Mrs: Copley presents Compliments to Mrs: Adams: would have called uppon her this Morning, but that she thinks it must at this time be inconvenient to Mrs: Adams: will be very happy if it is consistant with Mrs: Adams's engagements to have the pleasure of her company at Tea in George street before she leaves London: (but least she should not have that pleasure) takes leave to say that her best wishes ever attend Mrs: Adams: that her Voyage may be prosperous, and that it may be succeeded by the very great pleasure of Meeting her Family, and Friends in health, that all happiness may long attend Mrs: Adams and her Family, and that it will be a great gatifycation to Mrs: C: to hear of the welfare of those for whom she shall retain the highest esteem; and to whom she feels herself much obliged for their Friendship and politeness—
Mr: & Miss C: desire to untite in respectful compliments to Mr: & Mrs: Adams— Miss C: wishes that the Artificial Roses where more worthy Mrs: Adams's acceptance: she delayed doing them hopeing to have had some natural ones to have copyed which would have Made them more perfect—
{ 249 }
Mrs: Copley has taken the liberty to send with this a Letter for her Friend Mrs: Rogers, and a parcel from Mr: Bromfield—

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0119

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

Abigail Adams to John Bowring

[salute] Sir

your obliging favour of Febry 27 was brought me in the absence of mr Adams, who is gone to Holland upon publick buisness, and who upon his return will be so much hurried & occupied that I fear he will not be able to attend at all to the demands of private Frindship accept from me sir as his Representitive our mutual acknowledgments for the obliging civilities we received at Exeter & every other place where your family connextions extended, and I assure you sir with great Sincerity that we look back upon the Six weeks we spent in visiting Devonshire & its environs as the most agreeable journey we have made in this Country—1
The death of my Brother in Laws two Brothers will be an afflictive intelligence to him & his family, yet one of them has been long lost to his Family and Friends and the other had arrived at a period of Life beyond which few can expect to pass.2 their amiable and virtuous Characters will always afford a pleasing satisfaction to their surviving Relatives to whom I wish every consolation under their present Bereavement, to yourself and Family, every success in Life, which your Integrity of Character, your industry merit & virtue so justly intitle you to
I am sir with / Sincere Esteem / your Humble Servant
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “A. A. / 1788.” Drafted on the same sheet of paper as AA to Lewis D. Ward, [ante 17 March], above, and filmed at [March 1788].
1. On 27 Feb. John Bowring wrote to JA to thank the Adamses for their visit to Exeter the previous year and to wish them a good voyage home to America (Adams Papers). Bowring's letter arrived in London after JA had left for the Netherlands on 29 February. AA likely replied before JA returned, probably on 24 or 25 March, and certainly before the couple left London for Portsmouth on 30 March.
2. Richard Cranch was born in Devonshire, England, and continued to correspond with his many relatives there long after he emigrated to America in 1746. His two brothers, Andrew and William Cranch, died, respectively, in Dec. 1787 and Feb. 1788. JA and AA had met both men in July 1787 (JA, D&A, 3:207–210; MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers, Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0120

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-04

This is a summary of a document and does not contain a transcription. If it is available elsewhere in this digital edition, a page number link will be provided below in the paragraph beginning "Printed."

Abigail Adams' Diary of Her Return Voyage to America, 30 March – 1 May 1788

MS (M/AA/1, APM Reel 197). PRINTED: JA, D&A, 3:212–217. AA began her Diary in London on 30 March on the eve of the Adamses' departure first for Portsmouth and then for Cowes, where they were to meet their ship, the Lucretia. AA related the sightseeing they did while waiting two weeks to board the ship—including visits to Carisbrooke Castle and the town of Yarmouth—and also the boredom: “Haveing staid at Portsmouth untill I had read all our Books and done all the Work I had left out, I never before experienced to such a degree what the French term enui.” Finally at sea, AA found her health better than expected, suffering only from “Want of Sleep,” though her maid, Esther Field Briesler, “is very near her Time, in poor Health and distressingly Sea sick.” AA deemed noteworthy a religious service conducted by Rev. John Murray, but otherwise skipped over most of the voyage. Instead, she chose to focus on a summation of her years in Europe: “I do not think the four years I have past abroad the pleasentest part of my Life. Tis Domestick happiness and Rural felicity in the Bosom of my Native Land, that has charms for me. Yet I do not regreet that I made this excursion since it has only more attached me to America.”

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0121

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1788-04-02

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] Dear Child

April the 2d: and the anniversary of the birth of my dear Grandson whom I am half distracted to see again, with all his pretty, winning pranks. God bless and preserve the dear boy and grant us all, a happy meeting on the other side the great water.
We left London on Sunday about two o clock, and arrived here on Monday evening, having made a very good exchange of the Bath Hotel for the Fountain. The Bath Hotel is totally changed from what it was when we were there three years ago, even in price, for I think with worse things, it is still more extravagant, but Adieu to that. Just before we set out Col Trumbull brought Mr Smith's letter written at Bath and the two letters of recall. The day after the fair, be sure, they who past and sent them must think so at the time, but this is the way they always have done business. Your papa wrote a letter to Lord C. and enclosed it, and another to the Baron de Nagal.1 I do not think it wholly improbable that by the time Mr Smith gets half way home, he may be appointed to Lisbon. Yet I own this is a circumstance I should not rejoice in, it would distress me to have you so far from me, and then the terrors of the climate would still { 251 } add to my anxiety. But these are mere conjectural evils, of which you Know, I am not very fond, my maxim is rather to enjoy the present, prudently guarding for the future, and thinking with Pope

“What blessings thy free, bounty gives

Let me not cast away.”2

We propose going to the Isle of Wight as soon as the wind changes, while it holds as it is at present, the Ship cannot get down, if Callihan was otherwise ready, which I do not believe he is. Sunday next is the day on which the packet is to sail, I think. I wish to hear from you before I leave this place. There are but two days in the week, that the Post goes, from this place to Falmouth, Tuesdays, and Friday's. I shall leave orders, here that the letters may be sent to us, should any come after we have past over. I fear we shall not get away this week, if we do in the next, on my own account I should not care, but every day makes it worse for others.
I hope your throat is quite well, as Mr Smith does not mention it, and my little boys teeth quite through. I dont like the idea that he will quite forget me. We want him here very much to enliven the scene, for it is, you may well suppose solitary enough. Your papa reads Mr Necker's last publication upon the importance of Religious opinions, which he likes very much, and I amuse myself in perusing a book Mr Dilly sent me as a present, called Mentoria, written by a Mrs Murry who is preceptress, to the Princess Amelia.3 The Newspapers tell us, that her majesty is like to add another branch to the Royal line.4
Remember me affectionately to Mr Smith and to my dear Billy. Your papa sends you his blessing.
I am my dear child most affectionately / Yours
[signed] A. Adams
Tr in ABA's hand (Adams Papers); notation by CFA: “AA to her daughter Mrs W. S. Smith.”
1. On 28 March, WSS wrote to JA from Bath, sending him a letter from Henry Remsen Jr. dated 20 Feb., which in turn enclosed a letter from John Jay to JA, 14 Feb., that contained JA's letters of recall from Congress (all Adams Papers). JA in turn sent them to Francis Godolphin Osborne, Lord Carmarthen, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, and Baron van Nagell, the Dutch ambassador. See JA, D&A, 3:210–212, note 2.
2. Pope, Universal Prayer, lines 17–18.
3. Jacques Necker, De l'importance des opinions religieuses, London, 1788, is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library). AA was reading Ann Murry, Mentoria; or, The Young Ladies Instructor, in Familiar Conversations on Moral and Entertaining Subjects, London, 1787.
4. This rumor was mistaken. Queen Charlotte gave birth to her last child, Amelia, in 1783.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0122

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Date: 1788-04-05

Abigail Adams to Thomas Brand Hollis

[salute] Dear Sir,

There is something so disagreeable to one's feelings in taking a final leave of our friends, and thinking that it is the last time we shall ever meet, that I avoided placing myself in that situation as much as possible. On this account I neither bid my worthy friends Dr. Price or Mr. Hollis adieu; for those two gentlemen I have the greatest esteem and regard, and regret the necessity which deprives me of their personal acquaintence. I will, however, flatter myself that their friendship will extend beyond the spot where it was first contracted, and its kind effusions follow me to a distant land.
May I hope, sir, to hear of your welfare and happiness, in which I shall always rejoice, whenever an opportunity offers, after my arrival in America. The Hyde will ever be remembered by me; and the friendship and hospitality of its owner, as the most agreeable scene in my recollection. I designed to have requested a few of the flower seeds from the garden, that I might have planted them with my own hand, and nurtured them with my own care, whenever I arrive in America.
As you have been pleased to give a station to some of my family round your habitation, there can be no harm in my wishing to transplant some of yours to a soil and climate equally salubrious, and perhaps more productive than their own native clime. We have been waiting here nearly a week for a change of wind, and as we have no acquaintance here, the time is rather heavy. Most of our books we sent on board the ship; and those we have with us, we have read. Good Dr. Wren! I always mourned his death, but never so sensibly felt his loss as now.1
Pray remember me affectionately to our friend Mrs. Jebb. Mr. Adams is taking his daily walk. Was he here, I am sure he would bid me present his affectionate regards to you, and join me in every sentiment of esteem, with which I am, / dear sir, / your obliged friend / and humble servant,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from John Disney, ed., Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, London, 1808, p. 39; addressed: “Thomas Brand-Hollis, esq. / Chesterfield-street, London.”
1. A reference to Rev. Dr. Thomas Wren of Portsmouth, who had died the fall of the previous year. AA had possibly met Wren on the Adamses' trip to Portsmouth in the summer of 1786, and JA had met with Wren when he visited Portsmouth in April 1787 (John Brown Cutting to AA, 25 April, above; vol. 4:201, note 2; 7:221).

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0123

Author: Hollis, Thomas Brand
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-04-07

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

It is an ill wind blows no body any good owing to that I received your favor with the greatest sense of gratitude & love for the distinguishd regard you have always showed me which is returned & cherished with increasing interest I was sensible how much you avoided an explanation as to your departure & I was equally unwilling to enquire. I shall always rejoice to hear from you & esteem it among my choicest entertainments & if in any way I can be of service to you in this country command & you will give me pleasure
I wish the seeds had been thought of in time the Poppies much succeed admirably with you & indeed all others only that they are no trouble. you shall be supplied with them & others
I have sent the conquest of Canaan & Cyrus, which I had by me having no time to lose; to take their chance if they meet you they will amuse.1
prosperous gales attend you home and may you be happy in the bosom of your family and live to see them follow the distinguished example you have marked out for them is the affectionate wish of / Dear Madam / him who with the greatest regard & esteem / your obliged & sincere friend
[signed] T. Brand Hollis
RC (DSI:Hull Coll., on loan); addressed: “Mrs Adams”; docketed: “Brand Hollis / 1st April / 1788.”
1. Timothy Dwight, The Conquest of Canäan, and probably Andrew Michael, Chevalier Ramsay, The Travels of Cyrus: To Which Is Annexed, a Discourse upon the Theology and Mythology of the Pagans, London, 1727.

Docno: ADMS-04-08-02-0124

Author: Callahan, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1788-04-08

John Callahan to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam—

I had the Honor of Receiving a letter from you yesterday— we have had such—Boysterous weather Since your Departur from here that for 6 days. I had the Pilot on board, & he Would not ventur to moove the Ship: but She is Now in the Downes & will be at Portsmouth the first fair wind: I Shall proceed from here so as to get to Portsmouth before the Ship so that my Departure from here will in some Measure depend upon the winds— I will wate on Mr. Vassel this Evening with your Commands: Mrs. Callahan returns you her most respectfull thanks For your, kind attention, in remembering { 254 } here— please To present our Respects to, his Excellency—& am very Respectfully— / Madam / your most humbl servt.
[signed] John Callahan
Mr. Ward Boylstons: with whom I had the honor dineing with today Desires his most Respectful Compliments to you & his Excellency
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: Adams” and “To Mrs. Adams—”

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 he