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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9


Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0104

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1791-02-21

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child,

I received yours of February 13th, and was happy to learn that you and your little ones were well.1 I wrote to you by the Chief Justice, and sent your silk by him.2 He promised me to visit you, and from him you will learn how we all are. We have had, ever since this month began, a succession of bad weather, and, for this week past, the coldest weather that I have experienced this winter. The ground is now covered with snow. This, if it would last, would let me out of my cage, and enable me to go to the assembly on the birth-day of the President, which will be on Tuesday next.3 On Thursday last I dined with the President, in company with the ministers and ladies of the court. He was more than usually social. I asked him after Humphreys, from whom I knew he had received despatches a few days before. He said that he was well, and at Lisbon. When I returned home, I told your father that I conjectured Mr. Humphreys would be nominated for Lisbon, and the next day the Senate received a message, with his nomination, as resident minister at the Court of Portugal; the President having received official information that a minister was appointed here, Mr. Friere, as I before informed you.4 He asked very affectionately after you and the children, and at table picked the sugar-plums from a cake, and requested me to take them for master John. Some suppose, that, if your husband was here, he would have the command of the troops which are to be raised and sent against the Indians.5 If such an idea as that is in his mind, I am happy that your friend is three thousand miles distant. I have no fancy that a man, who has already hazarded his life in defence of his country, should risk a tomahawk and scalping-knife, where, though a conqueror, no glory is to be obtained, though much may be lost. I most sincerely hope he may be successful in his private enterprise; for the way to command Fortune is to be as independent of her as possible.
The equanimity of your disposition will lead you to a patient submission to the allotments of Providence. The education of your children will occupy much of your time, and you will always keep in mind the great importance of first principles, and the necessity of instilling the precepts of morality very early into their minds. Youth is so imitative, that it catches at every thing. I have a great opinion of Dr. Watts's “Moral Songs for Children.”6 They are adapted to { 194 } their capacities, and they comprehend all the social and relative duties of life. They impress the young mind with the ideas of the Supreme Being, as their creator, benefactor, and preserver. They teach brotherly love, sisterly affection, and filial respect and reverence. I do not know any book so well calculated for the early period of life; and they may be made as pleasant to them, by the method of instructing, as a hundred little stories, which are taught them, containing neither a rule of life, nor sentiment worth retaining, such as little John will now run over, of “Jack and Jill,” and “Little Jack Horner.” As a trial of their memory, and a practice for their tongues, these may be useful, but no other way.
I am sometimes led to think that human nature is a very perverse thing, and much more given to evil than good. I never had any of my own children so much under my eye, and so little mixed with other children or with servants, as this little boy of yours. Whatever appears is self-taught, and, though a very good boy and very orderly, he frequently surprises me with a new air, a new word, or some action, that I should ascribe to others, if he mixed with them at all. He is never permitted to go into the kitchen. Every day, after dinner, he sets his grandpapa to draw him about in a chair, which is generally done for half an hour, to the derangement of my carpet and the amusement of his grandpapa.
Remember me affectionately to all inquiring friends. I hope to see you ere long.
Your ever affectionate mother,
[signed] A. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 355–357.
1. Not found.
2. Probably 25 Jan., above.
3. The Gazette of the United States, 23 Feb., reported that the city of Philadelphia celebrated George Washington's birthday on 22 Feb. with a military parade and federal salute. According to the account, “The congratulatory Compliments of the Members of the Legislature of the Union— the Heads of the Departments of State—Foreign Ministers—Officers, civil and military of the State—the Reverend Clergy—and of Strangers and Citizens of distinction, were presented to the President on this auspicious occasion.”
4. Washington nominated David Humphreys as minister resident to Portugal on 18 Feb., and the Senate confirmed his appointment three days later (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 7:384–386).
5. On 22 Jan. Secretary of War Henry Knox had announced to Congress that a force of 3,000 soldiers was needed to put down escalating attacks by Indians against settlers along the Ohio River. In March Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair was chosen by Washington to lead the expedition (Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1790–1795, Norman, Okla., 1985, p. 131–133, 145).
6. Isaac Watts’ Divine and Moral Songs for Children had been published in numerous editions since 1715, most recently in the United States in 1788.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0105

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-02-23

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madm.

Yours of the 6th. Inst. came safe to hand and just timely enough to counter order the Shipping of your Hams & Beef—
Some time past you requested me to purchase you a Ticket, I defered it till the Time of drawing was not far distant, & giving the Preference to our semiannual Lottery have purchased for you No. 15533—
Will there be an advantage in becoming a Sharer in the national Bank, if so How is a Share to be obtaind— I suppose the Bill for establishing the Bank is passed— Whether the Bill reported by the Secretary has passed without any Alteration I do not know, but must confess I was not pleased with it as reported— I suspect that in operation it would have become a refind System of paper money & would more or less have had the same Effects as that work of Evils a paper medium has had,—1
It is expected that the Excise Bill will pass: will this not require Officers different from the Import Acts to execute it. if so I could wish that my Bro Samuel might have an honourable Appointment—2 He has been a State Collector of Excise, which office he discharged with Reputation to himself & Benefit to the Commonwealth and has been a great Sufferer in Consequence of his Advances to the public during the War, Can you give Hints so as to obtain the Interest of such is by their Influence or otherways can obtain it— Mr. Goodhue is well acquainted with his Character—
I have taken measures to secure the Hams & shall attend to some other matters mentioned in Yours as soon as I can with Convenience and am with sincere Regards / Yours affectionately
[signed] Cotton Tufts
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. Abigail Adams.”
1. A 14 Dec. 1790 report of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton recommending the establishment of a national bank was referred to a Senate committee and resulted in the 3 Jan. 1791 Bank Act. That act was amended several times in the Senate, most significantly on 14 Jan. when its charter was given an expiration date of 1811. A supplementary bill originating in the House that delayed the sale of stock in the new bank until July was signed into law on 2 March (First Fed. Cong., 4:171–173, 204, 211).
2. Samuel Tufts was not among the three men appointed in March as supervisors and inspectors of revenue for the District of Massachusetts under the new Duty on Distilled Spirits Act. See AA to Cotton Tufts, 11 March, note 5, below. AA had earlier unsuccessfully lobbied JA to help Samuel Tufts secure a federal appointment; see vol. 8:370.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0106

Author: Magaw, Samuel
Author: Hutchinson, James
Author: Williams, Jonathan
Author: Vaughan, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-02-26

Samuel Magaw, James Hutchinson, Jonathan Williams, and John Vaughan to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

Having been honored with the Vice Presidents consent to attend the Eulogium in Memory of Dr Benjamin Franklin. We in the name of the Philosophical Society, presume to hope you will do them the honor of your presence on the Same important occasion1
We have the honor to be / with the greatest respect / Madam / Your obedient Servants
[signed] Sam. Magaw
[signed] James Hutchinson
[signed] Jona Williams
[signed] Jn Vaughan
[signed] Committee2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs Adams.—”
1. Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia on 17 April 1790. Nearly a year later, on 1 March 1791, JA and AA were in attendance when American Philosophical Society vice president William Smith delivered a eulogy before members of the society at Philadelphia's German Lutheran Church: “From west to east, by land and on the wide ocean, to the utmost extents of the civilized globe, the tale hath been told—That the venerable Sage of Pennsylvania, the Patriot and Patriarch of America, is no more” (DAB; William Smith, Eulogium on Benjamin Franklin, L.L.D., Phila., 1792, title page, p. 1; Philadelphia Freeman's Journal, 9 March).
2. This word is written alongside the list of names preceded by a large brace. Samuel Magaw (1739–1812) was rector of St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, and vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania. James Hutchinson (1752–1793) was a physician and University of Pennsylvania professor of medicine (Colonial Collegians). For Jonathan Williams, see vol. 3:72; for John Vaughan, see JA, D&A, 3:226.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1791-03-11

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] Dear sir

I received your kind Letter of the 23 Febry and was happy to learn that our Friends were all well. my son Set of on his return to Boston last week, in company with mr Gerry & Ames. he was desirious of going then that he might have the pleasure of good company. this tho a very agreeable circumstance on a long journey, will I believe scarcly compensate for the badness of the Roads at this season; provided they should be eaqually so, to the Eastward as they are here.1 March is not a favourable Month for Congress to break up. this Session sir has been marked with great dispatch of Buisness, much good humour & tho varying in sentiment upon some very important { 197 } | view { 198 } subjects those subjects have been ably discussd, and much light thrown upon them, and finally carried by large majorities. the Bank is one, which Bill as past I inclose to you and the supplement it is thought here by those who are esteemed the best judges that it will not have any of those concequences which some of its opponents have imagined. as it will be the interest of those individuals who are incorporated and subscribers, to watch carefully over its interest, and to gaurd it with Argus Eyes you will see by the Bill that you may purchase a share with four hundred dollers one fourth of which must be specie the Accession of the state of vermont during this Session to the union, and the uninimnity with which they were received is a most happy and important event in our Annals and will add weight to the Northen Scale. Kentucky is also agreed to be received but her Government is not yet organizd.2 thus sir one pillar rises after an other, and add strength I hope to the union. the people here in this state feel the Benificial effects of their own state Governments having three Branches in lieu of one assembly, and tho the old squabling spirit is not intirely extinct, it appears to be near its dissolution.3 they have placed their Governour upon a respectable sallery of 5 thousand dollors pr Annum, the Governour of the state upon the same footing with the V.P of the united states, whom they have obliged to remove twice at his own expence in the course of two years—and to a city where the expence of living is a third dearer than at N york. I hope to spend 5 Months of the present year at Braintree and to be there by the first of May. the Roads will not permit us to try them sooner. as my Family will consist of 8 persons I must request some little provision to be made previous to our comeing, such as wood, (Hay I presume we have in our Barn) 50 Bushels of oats. these articles I think mr Adams ought to write to his Brother to look to, and if he was not his Brother I would do it, but now I have said I will not, therefore I think it not unlikly that we may be Destitute of some of them. I have engaged to write to you for those things which may be imediatly necessary upon our arrival viz a Box of candles part mould & part dipt a Barrel of soap a Barrel of super fine flower a Loaf of sugar 14 Brown 1 pd suchong Tea half dozen pd coffe ditto chocolat. Grain Rye & Indian are easily procured suppose I need not be anxious about that. Beaf and Hams you have already secured cider is an other article of which we shall want half a dozen Barrels in Articles of furniture I want mr Pratt or any one Else to make me 2 kichin tables one a common seize one of 6 foot long 4 wide a Bread peal a roling pin, kitchin { 199 } Tongues & slice I have none a spit, I must request Miers to have them ready for me. some other articles may have escaped my memory but I have no design to get a superfluous article. a couple of wash Tubs I shall find necessary to have made. the Garden I should like to have manured and dug mrs Cranch wrote me respecting a Negro Man who lived with Pheby.4 if you think proper you will be so good as to employ him about it. I am sorry sir to be so troublesome to you, but your many kind offices, and long habit of doing good, has always made me consider you in the different characters, of Friend, Gaurdian & Parent, and as such the whole Family look to you for advice & assistance. if you have not any cash in your Hands belonging to us, I suppose I may get credited for a month or two.
Before your Letter arrived here sir the Supervisors were all appointed for the different states. I own I was surprized to see the Name of G——m instead of Jackson who I supposed would have had it.5 mr A after your Letter came went and talkd with the secretary of the Treasury knowing that there would be inspectors of districts, but he was told that the intention was to multiply officers as little as possible and to divide the state of Massachusetts only into two, and mr Jackson was determind upon for that part of the country the President has Appointed col smith supervisor for the state of Nyork; it will be an arduous office but one for which I believe he is very well calculated, and if he can perform the whole duty of supervisor & inspector that state will not be divided, and the compensation will be something handsome this will be much more agreeable to me & to his Family than sending him abroad.6 we have not yet heard from him, but the packet in which he saild the Prince William Henry is upon Loyds list of arrivals the 2 of Janry which gives him a passage of 28 days my best respects to your good Lady whom I hope e’er long to embrace and the rest of my Friends. be assured dear sir that I am with sincere Regard your affectionate Neice
[signed] A. Adams
RC (NHi:Misc. Mss. Adams, Abigail); endorsed: “Mrs. Ab. Adams March 11. 1791.”
1. JQA left Philadelphia on 3 March with Massachusetts congressmen Elbridge Gerry, Fisher Ames, George Thatcher, and Jonathan Grout as well as Rhode Island congressman Benjamin Bourne, arriving in New York on 5 March. As AA predicted, he reported on “Bad roads” and “Bad fare” along the way. JQA spent several days in New York City, where he visited AA2 and was delayed until 13 March because of poor wind conditions. Sailing to Newport aboard the packet Hancock, along with several members of Congress, JQA finally arrived in Boston the evening of 16 March (D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19).
2. The Kentucky Statehood Act of 4 Feb. stipulated that Virginia's District of Kentucky would become a state on 1 June 1792 upon the organization of a state government. The Vermont Act of 2 March 1791 granted Vermont the status of the fourteenth state two { 200 } days after passage (First Fed. Cong., 5:1215; 6:2003–2004).
3. On 3 Sept. 1790 a new Pennsylvania constitution replaced the constitution of 1776. The new system included a tricameral government of executive, senate, and house of representatives (instead of the unicameral Penn. Assembly), and the weak office of president of Pennsylvania was enhanced to become that of governor, with powers of appointment, veto, pardon, and command of the militia (Philip S. Klein and Ari Hoogenboom, A History of Pennsylvania, N.Y., 1973, p. 82–83, 100).
4. See Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 25 Jan. 1791, above.
5. On 4 March George Washington appointed Nathaniel Gorham supervisor of revenue for the District of Massachusetts to oversee the collection of duties under the new Duty on Distilled Spirits Act. Jonathan Jackson was appointed to the lesser post of inspector of revenue for the district on 15 March (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 7:511–512, 568).
6. Also on 4 March, Washington appointed WSS supervisor of revenue for the District of New York. The appointment entitled him to an annual salary of $800 and ½ of 1 percent of revenues collected. No inspectors were appointed to assist him (same, 7:511–512, 569; First Fed. Elections, 4:79).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0108

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1791-03-12

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I was just going to set down to write to you, when I received your Letter of []1 I am sensible I was much in Arrears to you, as well as to some other of my Friend's Since the Recovery of Thomas we have had Health in our dwelling, for which I have great reason to be thankfull. I have been happy with my three sons round me, but a sigh of anxiety always hung about my Heart, for mrs smith who ought to be with me during the absence of the Col. if I had remaind in N york, we should not have lived seperate this winter, but my removal here, and the expence of the removal of a Family for 5 or six months, was an obstical in the way, as the col is expected back in May. if he arrives as I hope he will, he will come immediatly into an office, which will afford to him and his Family a very handsome Support. it will be a very Arduous office in the state of N york, but he is of a very active disposition, and very well calculated for the discharge of it. a prospect of a Provision for himself and Family has releived my mind from a very heavy burden. I hope nothing will arrise to detain him abroad longer than we expect, and this provision for him at Home, is much more agreeable to us all than any employment abroad, which would have carried from me my only daughter. Charles is returnd to his office in Nyork and Boards with mrs Smith. I suppose J Q A will reach Boston by the time this Letter gets to you. he seems happy in the expectation of our passing the summer at Braintree, but he appears to have lost much of his sprightlyness and vivacity. he says that the want of Buisness in his profession and the dismal prospect for the practitioners of the Law { 201 } in Massachussets, is the weight which depresses him, & that He should still be obliged at his age, to be dependant upon his parents for a support. altho these feelings are proofs of a good mind, and a sensible Heart, I could wish that they did not oppress him so much. he wishes sometimes that he had been Bred a Farmer a merchant, or an, any thing by which he could earn his Bread but we all preach Patience to him. Thomas follows his studies in the city with as much assiduity as his Health will permit, but he does not look well, and I think I cannot consent to leave him in this Hot climate during the summer. a journey may establish his Health, and prevent a return of that soar disorder the next fall as his Blood retains yet much of the materials for making it. every damp day warns him of the future, & reminds him of the past
you wrote me in your Letter of Janry 25th of a Negro Man and woman whom you thought would answer for me this summer. if she is cleanly and only a tolerable cook I wish you would engage her for me. I had rather have black than white help, as they will be more like to agree with those I bring. I have a very clever black Boy of 15 who has lived with me a year and is bound to me till he is 21, my coachman will not allow that he is a negro, but he will pass for one with us.2 Prince I believe I shall leave with mr Brisler I shall bring Polly—and dismiss the rest of my servants. tis probable we may hire the Black man part of the time as a Gardner, but I design to make those I bring with me work if I can I will be obliged to you if you will go to the House, and look over the things and write me what you think I shall have absolutely need of towards keeping House. I have written to the dr to get mr Pratt to make me two kitchin tables and some other articles there were some old Bed Steads in the House but none perfect. will you ask mr Pratt if he can make me one that is movable like one which Polly says he made for mrs Apthorp with a sacking bottom and doubles up together. I do not know any Name for them to distinguish them by; I had one made in N York which I found exceedingly usefull when Thomas was sick. I have no coars ware neither milk-pan, or bowl or dish, Broom or Brush. I shall want Some tow cloth, ten or a dozen yds at my first arrival. I do not know if the dr has any Money in his Hands, to procure me these articls but if he has not, I will send you some for the purpose. as I cannot think of comeing there with a Family—and then haveing every thing to look out for afterwards, besides I shall not have Brisler to manage for me. I shall take some spoons & what little plate I may have occasion for with me. mrs Brisler left some { 202 } chairs which I shall take of her. I think I have as much table & bed linnen as I shall want I wish the Roads were such that we could set out immediatly, but that cannot be. I hope however to be with you by the first of May—and I look forward to it with great pleasure I assure you. I shall send by the first vessel a Trunk with some cloaths &c—as we wish to travell with as little Bagage as possible. I dinned yesterday at the Presidents it was a take leave dinner. the President sets of this week on a Tour to those parts of his dominions which he has not yet visited Georgia & North Carolina.3 our publick affairs never lookt more prosperious—the people feel the benificial effects of the New Government by an increasing credit both at Home and abroad and a confidence in their Rulers. some grumbling we must always expect, but we have as a people the greatest cause for Gratitude and thankfullness to the supreeme Ruler of the Universe for our present happy and prosperious circumstances as a Nation.
adieu my dear sister every blessing attend you and yours is the Sincere wish of your ever affectionate / Sister
[signed] A Adams
my kind regards to mr Cranch to mr & mrs Norten to cousin William & Lucy and a kiss for my young Richard
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A. Adams, Bush hill, / Mar. 12. 1791.”
1. Probably a letter of 20 Feb., in which Mary Smith Cranch observed that she had not heard from AA since her letter of 9 Jan., above, and discussed her recent correspondence with AA2. Cranch expressed concern about her niece's loneliness, remarking, “She does not know it but this feeling of hers is intirely owing to that uncommon reserve which marks her character. . . . my dear Neice wishes to retain her reserve & yet injoy all the Benfits of a more communicative disposition; this She will find She never can do I shall write to her again Soon—I feel most tenderly for her” (Adams Papers).
2. The fifteen-year-old was probably James, who would serve the Adamses as a servant for many years; see AA to JA, 4 Dec. 1792, below. The coachman was likely Robert, who would be discharged by AA in 1792; see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 April 1792, below.
3. On 21 March 1791 George Washington departed Philadelphia for a 3-month, 1,816-mile tour of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, fulfilling a pledge to visit all parts of the United States during his presidency. A typical stop was one made at Georgetown, S.C., on 30 April, which featured a public dinner, tea party, and ball after a grand entrance: “He was rowed over the river by seven Captains of vessels, dressed in round hats trimmed with gold lace, blue coats, white jackets, &c. in an elegant painted boat. On his arriving opposite the market he was saluted by the artillery, with fifteen guns” (Washington, Diaries, 6:96–98; Portsmouth New Hampshire Spy, 1 June).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1791-03-14

John Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] My Dear Sir:

I shall not entertain you with public affairs, because you will learn the state of them from the public papers more in detail. I shall { 203 } only say, that the National Government has succeeded beyond the expectations, even of the sanguine, and is more popular, and has given more general satisfaction than I expected ever to live to see. The addition of Vermont and Kentucky, the augmentation of our revenues, and the rapid rise of stocks and credit, have all raised the spirits of the people, and made them as happy as their nature and state will bear.
I took my pen, however, merely to mention your appointment to the office of Supervisor for the State of New-York, which will necessarily require your personal presence before the first of July. This place, I presume, is well worth your acceptance, as it will be a decent and comfortable provision for yourself and family, while it will be an honourable and useful employment. I am therefore anxious that you should have the earliest notice of it, and return without loss of time.
Your family and friends are all well in New-York, and your son with us is as healthy and happy, and as fine a child as you could wish him to be. We are agreeably situated here; and the Session of Congress has been the most assiduous, the most harmonious, and the most efficacious I ever knew.
Present my particular regards to Mr. B. Hollis and Dr. Price, and all others who think it worth their while to ask a question concerning him who is / Yours, affectionately,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:111–112.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0110

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1791-03-16

Abigail Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear Sir:

Although we have reason to expect, and hope for your speedy return, yet I would not let so good an opportunity as this, by the Portland packet, pass without writing you a few lines, partly to inform you, that your son is in perfect health, and has been so through the winter; that he is full of mirth and glee, and as fine a boy as you can wish him: and partly to congratulate you upon your appointment to the office of Supervisor for the State of New-York, under the new Revenue Bill, which I am so anxious to forward to you, that I have determined to put you to the expense of it by the packet. I have sent the bill to Mrs. Smith, that she may forward one to you by some private vessel. You will see by the bill the necessity there is of your returning with all possible despatch. The Secretary of the Treasury { 204 } told Mr. Adams that he would write to you, and it is probable that he will by this opportunity. He informed Mr. Adams, that it was the President's intention to unite the office of Supervisor and Inspector for the State of New-York, and not to divide the state, as he will be obliged to do, in some states where there are many ports of entry, consequently the salary will be something handsome, and well worth your acceptance, though the duties of the office will be proportionably arduous. I thought it would be of importance to you to get sight of the bill as soon as possible.
Congress closed their session on the fourth of March, and met again the fourth Monday in October. No session has been marked with so many important events, or has been conducted with so much harmony; great despatch of important business, a most surprising rise of public credit, an increasing confidence in the national government, are some of the fruits. The accession of Vermont and Kentucky are two additional pillars to the noble building; every circumstance has conspired to add dignity and glory to our rising empire; an expiring murmur from the old dominion has been lost amidst the general peace and harmony which pervades all the states: though its noxious breath reached North Carolina and contaminated a few members, the northern climate soon dispersed the southern vapour. Rhode Island is become one of the most federal states in the union, and the antis now declare, they would willingly make any submission for their past conduct. Poor France! what a state of confusion and anarchy is it rushing into? I have read Mr. Bush's letter, and though I think he paints high, yet strip it of all its ornament and colouring, it will remain an awful picture of liberty abused, authority despised, property plundered, government annihilated, religion banished, murder, rapine and desolation scourging the land. I am sorry that my worthy and venerable divine should expose himself, at this late period of his life, to so severe a censure.1 I love and venerate his character, but think his zeal a mistaken one, and that he is a much more shining character as a divine, than politician. To Mr. Hollis, and the rest of our friends, give my regards; I have a love for that same country, and an affection for many of its valuable inhabitants.
The President of the United States, is just setting out upon a tour to his southern dominions; he means to visit Georgia and Carolina; he will be absent three months.2 Mr. Lewis is gone home to Virginia to be married;3 Mr. Jackson is the only aid now remaining. We propose setting out for the eastward by the last of April, and passing { 205 } the summer at Braintree. I heard this day from Mrs. Smith; she was well, and your boys—she had just received your letter, dated Falmouth, informing her of your safe arrival.4
I am, dear sir, with sincere regard and affection, / Yours, &c.
[signed] A. Adams.
RC not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:108–111. Dft (Adams Papers), dated and filmed at 15 March.
1. A transcription error in the printed version, the Dft identifies this as “mr Burkes Letter.” Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, presented as a letter to a young Frenchman named Charles Depont, appeared in Nov. 1790. A condemnation of the recent political and social upheaval in France, Burke particularly attacked the theory of natural rights used to justify the political revolution there. He also blamed AA's “venerable divine,” Richard Price, linking Price's support of the Revolution to antimonarchical violence. Thomas Paine's Rights of Man was a direct response to Burke's essay (DNB).
2. The Dft adds the information that “mr Lear has a son.”
3. Robert Lewis, who left Philadelphia in January, married Judith Carter Browne of Virginia (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 7:217).
4. These letters have not been found. The Dft concludes the letter with the following paragraph: “Your little Boy runs into the Room and says by the direction of Polly— please Mamma to give my duty to dear Pappa and pray him to bring Johnny Some pretty things. my Eldst son is just returnd to Boston having made us a visit of near two Months Charles is returnd to Nyork & Thomas is with us but not in good Health, the severe sickness he had through the winter he has not yet recoverd—”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0111

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Date: 1791-03-17

Thomas Boylston Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My dear Aunt,

A few days since I received your kind letter of Febry: 18th: and its being handed by a Townsman of yours was a circumstance that afforded me additional pleasure.1 Indeed I always receive more satisfaction when I meet with any of your Neighbors, than from the inhabitants of any other place; and can account for it upon this principle chiefly, that I lived in that town at a period when objects usually make the strongest impressions on the mind, and when local attachments and prejudices, if ever, are imbibed. I hear with pleasure from Dr Woodbury that business which for some years past has been rather at a low ebb, among you, has again revived, and that its usual concomitants harmony and good humor are so remarkably prevalent. That place is by nature calculated for happiness, and nothing is requsite but the disposition of its inhabitants to render it completely delightful, and agreeable. I am often taxed by my Father with want of attachment to my native town; but I tell him, if I have any prejudices or preference, to any particular spot, that Haverhill is the center. As I have entred upon the studdy of the Law in this { 206 } place it is probable I shall make it my future residence, and it is in a measure incumbent on me to adopt the interests, and conform to the manners and customs of this State; but I think neither distance of time or place will ever obliterate from my memory the favorable opinion I now entertain of Haverhill and its inhabitants.
I am glad to hear that a certain young Lady has an husband, but you cannot censure me if I say, she might have had a better. It was allways my opinion of the Gentleman with whom she is connected, that he thought for himself at too early a period in life; and that it was Captn: W——s before he could connect the syllables which compose those two words. However he is a good natured honest simple sort of a man, and to sum up all his perfections at once, I believe he is calculated to make a good husband; that is, he is easily managed, a very requisite qualification with the Ladies.2
Your kind and friendly condolance for my illness demands my warmest thanks; it was indeed severe, and you who have experienced its sad effects can determine how much pain that word expresses. I have in a measure recovered my health, but the remains still lurk in my joints. Virgil when describing the mixture of grief and Sorrow which Dido expresses at the departure of Aeneas, has this expressive line, “Vulnus alit venis, cæque carpitur igni;”3 I will not pretend to speak with certainty, but I should immagine that the pangs and tortures of Love, are much inferior to those of the Rheumatism. I have already extended my letter beyond the usual bounds of epistolary correspondence; but when I am once engaged in writing to you, I scarcely think of closing untill I am admonished by the deficiency of my paper. You are good enough to indulge me in writing to you,— my heart follows my hand in every line, and bids it record sincerity. You will therefore believe me when I subscribe myself / Your ever affectionate nephew
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Elizabeth Shaw. / Haverhill / Massachusetts.”; notation: “Boston. 1 April. 1791. Recd & Ford. by Yrs. Affecly. / W Smith” and, by JA, “Free / John Adams.”
1. Not found.
2. Mary McKinstry (1770–1847) married Benjamin Willis Jr. (1768–1853) in Haverhill on 9 January. Benjamin was the son of Capt. Benjamin Willis Sr. and since the age of seventeen had called himself “the young Captain.” JQA explained in his Diary in 1786 that the younger Willis “goes by that title because, he has assumed the man somewhat young” (William Willis, “Genealogy of the McKinstry Family,” NEHGR, 12:325, 13:40 [Oct. 1858, Jan. 1859]; JQA, Diary, 1:368–369, 394).
3. She feeds the wound within her veins; she is eaten by a secret flame (Virgil, Aeneid, Book IV, line 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0112

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Date: 1791-03-20

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw

[salute] My Dear Sister,

I received, by Dr. W——, your kind letter of February 14th. He was very punctual to his commission. He has been three times to visit us. He came out this afternoon to let me know that he should leave Philadelphia on Tuesday. By him I have to thank my dear sister for three letters, and to confess myself much in arrears. ’Tis in vain to say that I have had a sick family; that I have had a large family; that I have been engaged in company. These are poor excuses for not writing; nor will I exculpate myself by alleging that I wanted a subject. My pride would not suffer such a plea. What, then, has been the cause? “Confess freely, and say that it was mere indolence,—real laziness,” as in truth I fear it has been. Yet conscience, that faithful monitor, has reprehended me very, very often. I was very sick; (so sick, that I have not yet recovered the shock I received from it,) for near two months before I left New York. When I got to this place, I found this house just calculated to make the whole family sick; cold, damp, and wet with new paint. A fine place for an invalid; but, through a kind Providence, I sustained it, though others suffered. Happily, after a very tedious two months, Thomas recovered so as to get abroad; but his health is now very infirm, and I fear an attendance upon two offices through the day, and studying through the evening at home, is not calculated to mend it. But it is a maxim here, that he who dies with studying dies in a good cause, and may go to another world much better calculated to improve his talents, than if he had died a blockhead. Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.
We have had a very severe winter in this State, as you may judge when I tell you that we have consumed forty cords of wood in four months. It has been as cold as any winter we have at the northward. The 17th and 18th of this month I dined with all my windows open, put out the fires, and ate ice to cool me; the glasses at 80. This is the 20th. Yesterday it snowed nearly the whole day, and to-day it is a keen northwester; and I presume it will freeze hard to-night. Yet the verdure is beautiful; full as much as I shall find by the middle of May in Massachusetts, where I hope then to be. Yet I shall have some regrets at leaving this place, just as the season begins to open { 208 } all its beauties upon me. I am told that this spot is very delightful as a summer residence. The house is spacious. The views from it are rather beautiful than sublime; the country round has too much of the level to be in my style. The appearance of uniformity wearies the eye, and confines the imagination. We have a fine view of the whole city from our windows; a beautiful grove behind the house, through which there is a spacious gravel walk, guarded by a number of marble statues, whose genealogy I have not yet studied, as the last week is the first time I have visited them. A variety of fine fields of wheat and grass are in front of the house, and, on the right hand, a pretty view of the Schuylkill presents itself. But now for the reverse of the picture. We are only two miles from town, yet have I been more of a prisoner this winter than I ever was in my life. The road from hence to the pavement is one mile and a half, the soil a brick clay, so that, when there has been heavy rain, or a thaw, you must wallow to the city through a bed of mortar without a bottom, the horses sinking to their knees. If it becomes cold, then the holes and the roughness are intolerable. From the inhabitants of this place I have received every mark of politeness and civility. The ladies here are well-educated, well-bred, and well-dressed. There is much more society than in New York, and I am much better pleased and satisfied than I expected to be when I was destined to remove here. Adieu.
Your sister,
[signed] A. A.
MS not found. Printed from AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 357–359.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0113

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1791-04-02

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

I have just received your favour of the 22d: instt:1 thanks you know are “the exchequer of the poor.” upon that exchequer of mine you are entitled to bills to a large amount. I assure you I feel the obligation of your attention to my trunk, which has not yet arrived, but which will be very acceptable when it comes. But your Letter has excited my curiosity, and I find myself very much perplexed to determine who that same “acquaintance” of yours can be, who understands the doctrine of punctuality so well, and is yet so deficient in point of practice; upon the whole I imagine it must be some of your new acquaintance, perhaps one of the clerks in Mr: Ingersoll's office. I dare say you will have too much good sense to follow his { 209 } evil example—yet such characters are not uncommon in the world. Video meliora, proboque,—Deteriora sequor is a complaint of no small antiquity;2 and the students of Horace and Cicero, will have frequent opportunities to remark, that the most prevalent foibles are not confined to their own period of Life.
The Magazines will I believe never present you with any more Rebuses, Acrostics Elegies, or other poetical effusions of my production. I must bid a long and lasting farewell to the juvenile Muses. It is to the severer toils of the Historic Matron, that I must henceforth direct all the attention that I can allow to that lovely company. Happy if they do not exclude me altogether from their train, and command me to offer all my devotions to the, eyeless dame, who holds the balance and the sword.— If I should have leisure to pursue my inclination, which I expressed to you, of venturing upon some speculations in our Newspapers, I shall willingly make a confident of you. At present I find no time to indulge myself in that kind of amusement. “He that hath little business shall become wise.” says Mr: Burke's quotation.3 It is at least, incumbent upon him who is in that predicament, to endeavour to obtain wisdom; and in that pursuit I find that I have but little time upon my hands
You do not mention a word in your Letter upon the subject of your coming to Braintree. I hope you will come by all means. The climate of Philadelphia must be ill calculated for your northern Constitution, during the Summer months. You have been totally unused to such a climate; and after your late severe illness, I think you may very safely conclude, that by a tour hitherward, you will probably save much time, and avoid many an hour of such pains, as your experienced feelings will much better conceive than I can subscribe. Upon the fairest possible presumption, that of your preserving your health at Philadelphia, I am per[sua]ded you would not advance more in your studies, than by four or five months of peaceable application at Braintree. I assure you, I feel some anxiety [up]on the subject.— At all events I hope you will determine for the best.
Your Classmate Welles, it is greatly apprehended is lost at Sea. He sailed in December for some Island in the West Indies. There are arrivals from the port to which he was bound, which sailed from thence 88 days after his departure from this place; and the vessel in which he went has never been heard of. The only remaining hope of his friends is that he may have been taken from the wreck by some { 210 } vessel bound to Europe. The chance is small, and the dependence frail.4
I was at Braintree on Thursday. All well.
Adieu.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams. / Bush Hill.”; endorsed: “JQ Adams April 2d / 1791.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong (Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book VII, lines 20–21).
3. Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), 38:24, quoted in Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, London, 1791, p. 39.
4. Samuel Welles (1771–1790), Harvard 1790, apparently was lost at sea (MH-Ar: Faculty Records, 5:235; Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 203).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0114

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1791-04-18

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

owing to an accident your Letter of April 1t did not reach us till the 14th I have got the power compleated and inclose it to the dr.1 I hope your trunk & the Porter which accompanied it came safe to Hand. I put in an article or two upon the top of the Trunk which if any opportunity offers you may send to Braintree. the Porter was directed to the care of mr Smith but I did not as I ought advise him of it. Thomas said he had written to you about it. this day fortnight we set out on our journey and expect to be with you by the middle of May. I spoke to your Father upon the Subject of an Annual allowence and he agrees that you shall draw upon dr Tufts for 25 pounds a Quarter, your first Quarter to commence on the first of july. with that I think you may make it do it is agreed that your Brother accompany us. our Coachee came home to day. we should set out next week but your Sister removes then, and desires we would stay a little longer to give her time to get fix'd.2 we are all in tolerable Health our Trees in full Bloom, the Roads pretty good
adieu yours &c
[signed] A Adams
1. On 1 April, JQA noted in his Diary that Massachusetts had made a first payment of interest on state bonds. That same day, he wrote to AA, evidently indicating that JA needed to complete a power of attorney so that someone could receive his interest for him. JA, in a power of attorney dated 18 April, authorized Cotton Tufts to do so (D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19; MBBS:Colburn Coll.). JQA's letter of 1 April has not been found.
2. AA2 and her family moved from 13 Nassau Street to Dye (now Dey) Street in New York City (New-York Directory, 1790, Evans, No. 22724; New-York Directory, 1791, Evans, No. 23337).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0115

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1791-04-18

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] Dear sister

This day fortnight the 2 of May we propose to set out on our journey to Braintree. it will be the middle of May I presume before we arrive there if we meet with no accident, So that I will thank you to attend a little to my Garden have Some sallid sewn and what ever else you think proper I wrote to you not long since requesting you to let me know what you thought I might want. you will not forget some Night Hawks.1 be so good as to get me a dozen yds of diaper for towels I have not one there, and whatever else you think I stand in immediate want of— I cannot bear to go to a place unprovided, when a little forethought and care would save me much trouble, and I shall not have Brisler with me to provide for me. I have requested the dr to furnish you with the needfull. vendues are so frequent in Boston that I may be provided with some things perhaps. I shall want a Tea kettle dish kittle Chaffing dish a set of Brushes Brooms pails flat Irons Tubs, skillits pots &c I scarcly know what myself— I have not heard from you since I wrote to you respecting the Negro woman. I should like to have the House opend cleand and aird and to have her there when I get there, but I will write to you again and will let you know on what day tis probable I shall arrive. Remember me affectionatly to all Friends. I anticipate much satisfaction & pleasure with you this summer. I am with Sincere regard & / affection yours Sincerely
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs: / A: Adams, Brush Hill, / Apl. 18. 1791.”
1. Chamber pots (Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall, eds., Dictionary of American Regional English, 4 vols. to date, Cambridge, 1985–2002).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0116

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1791-04-20

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

I received by the last Post your short favour, inclosing a much longer one to Quincy which I have punctually delivered:1 I know not whether this will reach you before your departure from Philadelphia; if it does not it can do no harm: and if it does, as you have concluded upon coming this way with the family it may be of some { 212 } service to me.— You recollect doubtless that while I was in Philadelphia, I took some pains to make a complete collection of books and papers relative to the national government. I left one or two little minutes with you to which I requested your attention. A gentleman of your punctuality has certainly not suffered the circumstance to escape your recollection: however a little stimulus to your remembrance perhaps will not be amiss, and if you find any spare room in your trunks when you come on, I must request you to bring with you a set of the laws & journals of both Houses of the last Session, which I presume are published before this.—2 Perhaps you may remember that my set of the U.S. Gazette was not complete. Mr: Fenno directed me to apply to Mr: Sigourney in this town for the numbers which I wanted, and told me, that I could probably get supplied from him. I have done so accordingly but Mr: Sigourney had sent all the papers in his possession to Mr: Fenno a few days before.3 I must therefore trouble you to send to him and request him to furnish you with as many of the following numbers as he can of the first Volume. N: 33. 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 73, 80, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104. and you will either bring them with you, or leave them to be sent by the first convenient opportunity. I shall want also of the second Volume the Numbers 88, 89, 90 which were published while I was on my passage from Philadelphia hither. I was supplied with a complete set of the second Volume to the 87th: number before I came away, and since I got home I have regularly received the numbers as they came; that little chasm, you will easily be able to assist me in filling up, and I hope you have too great a stock of patience to be wearied by my importunities.
I have little more to say. There have been great rebellions among the sons of Harvard, excited by the new regulations subjecting them to examinations. I have not at present time to give you a full account of the whole transactions; the result of the whole is that Jones, a junior is expelled, Trapier rusticated, Sullivan, Sophimore, suspended for nine months, and Ely, I know not of what class, to undergo a punishment not yet made public.4 I was at exhibition yesterday; Ellery delivered a very pretty English Oration.5 company pretty much as usual.
Adieu, in haste.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mr JQ Adams / April 20th: 1791.”
1. Letters not found.
2. Acts Passed at the Third Session of the Congress of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of Philadelphia { 213 } on Monday the Sixth of December, in the Year M,DCC,XC, Phila., [1791], Evans, No. 23845; Journal of the Third Session of the Senate of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of Philadelphia, December 6th, 1790, Phila., 1791, Evans, No. 23901; Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States. Anno M,DCC,XC, Phila., 1791, Evans, No. 23899.
3. John Fenno (1751–1798), an entrepreneur from Boston, established the Gazette of the United States in New York in April 1789 and continued it in Philadelphia after the federal capital was moved there in the autumn of 1790. Fenno envisioned the Gazette as a national newspaper, a publication that, circulating throughout the country, would foster American unity by promoting and defending the new government under the Constitution. Elisha Sigourney (1753–1811), a merchant in Boston, managed subscriptions to the Gazette there (DAB; Jeffrey L. Pasley, “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, Charlottesville, Va., 2001, p. 51–54; Henry H. W. Sigourney, Genealogy of the Sigourney Family, Boston, 1857, p. 11; Boston Columbian Centinel, 23 Nov. 1791).
4. The laws of Harvard College, revised in 1790, introduced an annual public examination of each class and required all students to attend. Upset by the change in the terms of their enrollment, the senior and junior classes petitioned for exemption from the new regulation, but the overseers denied their request. On 12 April 1791, the day on which the examinations were to begin, Benjamin Foissin Trapier (b. 1774), William Sullivan (1774–1839), and Justin Ely (1772–1850) tried to stop them by putting tartar emetic in the water used to make coffee, tea, and cocoa at breakfast in the commons. With almost every student, instructor, and college officer affected, the examinations had to be postponed, though only for a day or two. The three malefactors were soon caught and obliged to leave Harvard until they passed examinations for reinstatement. While Trapier apparently never returned, Sullivan and Ely did, both graduating in 1792. In a separate incident, Henry William Jones (b. 1773) hurled a stone through a window into the room where the freshman class was being examined, an offense for which he was expelled (B. H. Hall, A Collection of College Words and Customs, N.Y., 1859, p. 180–182; MH-Ar:Faculty Records, 5:324–325; 6:40–41, 50, 104–109, 125, 136, 152–154; Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 204).
5. Abraham Redwood Ellery (1773–1820), Harvard 1791, delivered the English oration at Harvard's public exhibition on 19 April (MH-Ar:Faculty Records, 5:308–309; 6:101–103; Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 203; D/JQA/16, 19 April, APM Reel 19).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0117

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1791-05-12

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

we have reachd this place this day, but whether I shall be able to travel tomorrow is uncertain, for I am so unfortunate as to be attackd with the intermitting fever last night was so very ill that I had not the least expectation of being able to proceed on my journey, but to day I am better. I was taken last fryday in N york with it, and prevented sitting out as we intended on monday I am now in use of the Bark and hope to prevent a return of it tomorrow, but should it attack me again I shall be obliged to lye by my sick day, and so infeebles me that I cannot travell far the day which is termd well. I left your sister and Family well. I wrote to you from N york, but as I thought your Brother had given you information of some trunks on Board Hopkins I mentiond only those by Cheeseman.1 I inclose you Hopkins rect2 if they have arrived send word to Braintree that they { 214 } may be got up before I get there. I wish myself at Braintree, for travelling sick is a very dissagreeable buisness. I think if I can hold out we shall be at Braintree on wednesday next. I am too feeble to write much, so must leave it to you to give this information to your Aunt. we met mr & mrs Breck & company at kings Bridge3
adieu your affectionate Mother
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “John Quincy Adams Esqr / Boston”; endorsed: “My Mother. 12. May 1791.”; notation by JA: “Free / John Adams.”
1. Letter not found. Writing to Mary Smith Cranch from New York on 6 May (MWA: Abigail Adams Letters), AA indicated that at her departure from Bush Hill “I left to be put on Board captain Cheeseman in the Brigg Ceares one Trunk of mine and one of Pollys one Band Box and a small portmantua Trunk.” The brig Ceres, Capt. Samuel Chesman, was scheduled to sail from Philadelphia on 5 May; she entered Boston eight days later. The brig Maria, Capt. Caleb Hopkins, had cleared Philadelphia on 27 April and arrived at Boston on 5 May (Pennsylvania Mercury, 5 May; Boston Columbian Centinel, 14 May; Survey of Federal Archives, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, comps., Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charlestown, 1789–1795, Boston, 1942, p. 30; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 27 April; Boston Herald of Freedom, 6 May).
2. Not found.
3. Boston merchant Samuel Breck Sr. (1747–1809) and his wife Hannah Andrews Breck (1747–1831) were headed to Philadelphia on a short pleasure trip. The Brecks would move there in 1792, soon after Boston introduced a system of taxation that they and other wealthy inhabitants deemed arbitrary and unjust (vol. 6:325; H. E. Scudder, ed., Recollections of Samuel Breck with Passages from His Note-Books (1771–1862), Phila., 1877, p. 176–177, 186–187; Samuel Breck, Genealogy of the Breck Family Descended from Edward of Dorchester and His Brothers in America, Omaha, 1889, p. 40).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0118

Author: Washington, Martha
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-05-30

Martha Washington to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam

I had the pleasure to hear of you several times while you was on your journey by persons who met you—particulary by Mr & Mrs Breck and Mr & Mrs Codman of Boston who are now in this city—1 I was truly sorry to learn from them that you were much indisposed— I sincerely hope you will obtain a re establishment of your health by breathing the air of your country which is esteemed so salubrious— you will I conceive at any rate escape the very warm weather which we are now beginning to feel hear— It is not in my power to amuse you with a detail of what is going forward in our fashonable world hear— you know I am not much in it at any time—and at this season there is less cause for moving about than in the winter— the heat has been very oppressive for several days past—more so than common at this time of the year— those familys which usually spend the summer in the country have retired there already— I do not expect to go to Virginia till the latter part of July— I can not think of going { 215 } without my dear little folks, and their vacation do not commence till that time
I had the pleasure to hear from the President the day before yesterday—from savanah and was happy to find that he has enjoyed good health— he is now on his return and will probably be at mount vernon by the middle of June and in this City by the last of the month—2 you see my dear madam that the promise which I made of writing to you is not one of those un meaning promises which are sometimes made without ever having an intention to perform them— you will be so good as present my complements to the Vice President, and the young Gentlemen—and accept of my best wishes for the health and happy ness of your self and family in which Mr & Mrs Lear begs leve to join
I am madam with very great / regard and esteem your / affectionat Friend & / Hble servant
[signed] M Washington
the Children join me in beging to be remember to miss smith—
1. Boston merchant John Codman Jr. married Catherine Amory (1769–1832) on 14 Feb., almost two years after the death of his first wife, Margaret Russell Codman (1757–1789) (vol. 7:111; Cora C. Wolcott, The Codmans of Charlestown and Boston, Brookline, Mass., 1930, p. 13, 14; Boston, 30th Report, p. 239, 303; “Memoir of the Family of Amory,” NEHGR, 10:65 [Jan. 1856]; Roger D. Joslyn, ed., Vital Records of Charlestown Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1984–1995, 1:394; Massachusetts Centinel, 14 March 1789).
2. George Washington left Savannah, the most distant stop on his southern tour, on 15 May 1791 and arrived at Mount Vernon on 12 June. He set off again fifteen days later, reaching Philadelphia on 6 July. Washington did not expect to be back in the capital much earlier because he was scheduled to meet with the commissioners for the federal district in Georgetown, Md., on 27 June, and he foresaw that his business with them might take several days (Washington, Diaries, 6:96–98, 139–140, 163–164, 169; Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:160, 264–265).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0119

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, William Stephens
Date: 1791-06-19

John Adams to William Stephens Smith

[salute] Dear Sir

Give me leave to congratulate you and my daughter, as well as your venerable Mother, and her and your amiable families on your arrival in America.1 The situation of that respectable office to which you have been promoted, and the unhappy sickness of the good Lady your Mother, made us all uncommonly anxious for your arrival, I hope you found your own family in health and your mother recovering. My dear Mrs Adams, and some others of the family, brought home the Ague, and have suffered severely, but are better. I have a great desire to see you, and converse of our friends in { 216 } England, and on the state of affairs there and in France; but I presume your office and public concerns will engross all your attention for some months. I depend much on the pleasure of seeing you in October, in my way to Philadelphia.
The death of our worthy Friend Dr Price has affected me very nearly; I hope the rough usage of Mr Burke did not injure his health.2 How is Mr Brand Hollis, and all our acquaintances? You see our American politicks go on the old way. All the winds & waves directed to the port of Elections as usual; ’tho’ the reputation, credit and prosperity of the country are certainly risen and rising. Never since I was born, was America so happy as at this time, and if the French delirium should not again turn our brains, we shall continue so. The people I think have suffered and smarted under the intoxication to such a degree, that they will not suddenly run into the same error; if they do, they will resemble my Coachman, and must take an Oath I think as he does, not to taste of the Cup for some time. We hope to see our Daughter, with Mr McCormick and Charles in July, and if your affairs will permit, we shall be extreemly happy to see you, with them. My love to my daughter and my dear boys, and regards to all your family.
I am my dear Sir / Yours affectionately
FC in TBA's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Coll: Smith.”; notation: “Copy / Coll. Smith” and “1791.”
1. WSS arrived at New York aboard the British packet on 5 June (New York Daily Advertiser, 7 June).
2. Dr. Richard Price, the dissenting minister and liberal philosopher whom the Adamses had come to know and admire during their years in England, died on 19 April (vol. 6:197; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0120

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-06-24

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

As I am exceedingly grieved when I hear of the Indisposition of any of my Friends, so am I greatly rejoiced, when I hear of their Recovery—& am much gratified at hearing of yours my Sister— When Mr Shaw went to Boston we did not know of your arrival at Braintree—& since that, the Circumstances of the Parish, & Family would not admit of our leaving Home— I hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing my Brother, & my Sisters at Haverhill, I hope our Brother & Sister Cranch will accompany you— I long to see you all—
The Bitter, with the sweet we often experience in the course of our lives,—at some periods we find the portion much greater than at { 217 } others— At present a gloom is spread over every other Enjoyment, by the severe illness of our worthy Friend Mr Thaxter— He was voilently seized with a pleurisy three weeks ago,— It never come to a proper Crisis, but we fear has thrown him into a Consumtive state, which must very speedily close the Scene—1
I suppose you have heard of Mr Shaws Fathers Death His Head was silvered o’er with age, & he was fully ripe for the Harvest—a Harvest of immortal Joys, confered on those Servants, who have been faithful in the Vineyard of their Lord—2
We have just heard that Sister Eunice is very sick with a Consumtion, if living— She was one of the best of Daughters, & of Sisters The whole care of the Family was devolved on her, which she managed with uncommon discretion, & Oeconomy— She was silently attentive to every want—& took the tenderest, & best Care of her aged Father— Her Brothers should arise, & praise her, for she has been a Mother to them. I am Glad her life was continued to smooth the Bed of Death, & close the Eyes of her venerable Parent— I trust she will soon join again his chearful Society, free from all the imperfections attendant upon humanity,—where Virtue has its full Reward—3
Sister Smith was here about three weeks ago, & carried away my Betsy Smith, my Child—my Friend—& Companion— But I feel willing to sacrifice my own wants—for the sake of her advantage,— Hers is a time of Life, when young Ladies, can with the greatest satisfaction, ease, & pleasure visit their Friends, & I would not deprive her of the Benefit which I hope she will reap from it—
Cousin Thomas I hear looks cleverly— I feel as if it would do me good to see him— This hot weather makes me feeble—as it always did—
I believe Sister Cranch has forgot that I am living, for I have not had a Line from her these three months, or she is wholly absorbed in your charming company—must I forgive her?—
I am my Sister every yours with affection
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Braintree”; docketed: “Mrs. E Shaw” and “1791”; notation: “To be left at / Mr William Smith's.”
1. John Thaxter Jr. died in Haverhill on 6 July, ten days after his wife, Elizabeth Duncan Thaxter, gave birth to their daughter Anna Quincy Thaxter. JQA visited Haverhill from 7 to 9 July to attend Thaxter's funeral on the 8th (Vital Records of Haverhill Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, 2 vols., Topsfield, Mass., 1910–1911, 1:293, 2:480; Boston Independent Chronicle, 28 July; D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19).
2. Rev. John Shaw of Bridgewater died on 29 April at the age of 83 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:627–629). Elizabeth Smith Shaw, in extolling her deceased father-in-law, { 218 } combines allusions to John Gay's fable “The Shepherd and the Philosopher,” line 3; Job, 5:26; Psalms, 22:26 (as rendered in the Book of Common Prayer); and Matthew, 20:1–16.
3. Eunice Shaw (1743–1791), daughter of Rev. John and Sarah Shaw of Bridgewater, died on 10 Aug. (Vital Records of Bridgewater Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1916, 1:288, 2:553).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0121

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Washington, Martha
Date: 1791-06-25

Abigail Adams to Martha Washington

[salute] my dear Madam

I was honourd with your much esteemed favour on the 15 of this month.2 the state of my Health, Body and mind suffering most Severely with repeated attacks of an intermitting fever will plead my apoligy for omitting to thank you at an earlyer date for your Friendly Letter. I have been so weakned & debilitated as to be unable to walk alone, and my Nerves so affected as to oblige me to seclude myself from all company except my most intimate connextions. I hastned Home with great ardour in hopes the Northern Air and the quiet country Breize might restore me, but my disorder was of too obstinate a Nature to quit me so easily. I hope I have now got the better of it, as it is more than a week since the Ague left me we have had more very Hot weather than is usual at this season. I fear you have sufferd by it in Philadelphia. I hope Heat there is not attended with a Sharp drought, as it is here. the Feilds which a few week ago wore a most pleasing aspect, are now Robd of their verdure and our vegatables droop & dye. I was most sincerly grieved at reading in a late Philadelphia paper an account of the death of Dr Jones. the more I had the pleasure of knowing him, the greater esteem I had for him, as an amiable Sensible and Benevolent Man. You Madam must more particularly feel his loss as he was your Family Physician.3
I am happy to learn by your Letter as well as by the publick accounts that the President has enjoyd his Health during his Arduous Southern Tour. I presume er’e this Time I may congratulate you upon his return to Philadelphia I must beg you Madam to present to him my most respectfull Regards and my congratulation upon his safe return. I hope you will have as agreable a journey to mount vernon as I should have had to massachussets but for that vile Ague which Tormented me. the whole Country through which we past was in full Bloom, and every spot wore the face of Peace & contentment. the people instead of murmers & complaints, expresst themselves happy and satisfied under the administration of their Government. there are however two inhabitants envy and Jealousy { 219 } who are not perfectly content, but as they are characters for whom I have an utter aversion I can only pitty their folly and avoid them. Mr Adams desires me to present his best Respects to the President & to you Madam, and an affectionat remembrance to master Washington & miss Custos Compliments to mr and mrs Lear I hope the little Boy is finely recoverd from the small pox. shall I be an intruder if I ask again to hear from my dear mrs washington whose Health and happiness Shall ever be the Ardent & Sincere wish of her who has the Honour to subscribe herself her affectionat Friend and Humble servant
[signed] A Adams
To a Heart less benevolent I should apologize for relating my Grief, but I know that you Madam can sympathize with those who mourn as well as rejoice in their felicity
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed: “AA to Mrs. Washington / 1791.”
1. Although AA dated the Dft of her letter 25 June, she dated the RC 29 June (see Martha Washington to AA, 4 Sept., below). Internal evidence suggests that AA wrote most if not all of the letter at the latter time.
2. Martha Washington to AA, 30 May, above.
3. John Jones (1729–1791), a physician and surgeon born in Jamaica, N.Y., died in Philadelphia on 23 June. His death was first reported the following day in the Philadelphia newspapers, the Federal Gazette and The Mail. Jones had attended Benjamin Franklin during his final illness in April 1790 and George Washington during his nearly fatal bout with influenza that May (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 5:395).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0122

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1791-08-04

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear William

Either write upon larger paper, or give an outside cover to your letters, for in the act of opening yours which I have just recd: I took away with the wafer much of the connection of several sentences; and being interested in every word I felt rather out of humor; However I collected sufficient from the whole cloth to make quite a decent garment.1 The only circumstance to be regretted is, that it was too long upon the road between here and the tailors, and thus disappointed the owner, by obliging him to appear in an old suit upon a publick occasion. Hieroglyphick's! I wish you much pleasure in decyphering them. Tomorrow morning our Family sett out for Haverhill. I have twice written a few lines to Uncle Shaw informing him of their intention, and the time appointed for going. The first time, they concluded to delay their journey for a few days, and yesterday I wrote again, but had no opportunity for sending the letter { 220 } to Boston; therefore neither of the letters were sent. Prepared or not, you have them tomo: night bag & —age.2 I take it you have allready ascended many steps toward attain’g the object of your wishes. Those of your hopes and expectation will probably be more difficult, as they are more important. Every thing as yet wears a cheerful countentance towards you. May those features never assume the gloom of despondency. Your account of Judge Sargeant, allows by this time very little hope of his life You I trust among his numerous mourners will not be the least. He has appeared to interest himself in your favor so far as he was capable, and from the benevolent disposition he has discovered, you have every reason to presume that you, with the rest of his friends will lose a kind benefactor;3 the sympathetic feelings of your heart upon occasions of this kind do not require a prompter. As you have allready commented upon the kind of security you will give for a few symptoms, I shall make no additions to it; I only wish I were able to be your Banker at the lay you mention. I think a few Pounds, expended in purchasing some of the most valuable of Mr Thaxters professional Books, would not be badly applied. We go on after the goodly sort in Braintree, all except poor me, who I fear will have at the next general assembly of birds, the matter of 40 Indictments presented for murder, and many actions of tresspass vi et armis.4 Poor Charles will be (luged in for snacks) as an accessory, for he was pretty generally as the great Sportsmen say. In at the death—of the birds which I killed. Your good family are all well, but you will be able to hear verbally by the folks. I should have been happy, had it been possible for me to have attended the rest in their tour; but I can be tollerable easy at Home. My love to some, only one or two out of your family, comps to all.
Yours &ca
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Haverhill”; endorsed: “T.B.A. / Aug. 4. 1791.”
1. Not found.
2. William Cranch had moved to Haverhill during the week of 17 July to take up the law practice and office of his recently deceased cousin John Thaxter Jr. Cranch boarded with the Shaws throughout his time in Haverhill (“Sketches of Alumni at the Different Colleges in New England,” NEHGR, 1:78 [Jan. 1847]; D/JQA/16, 17 July, APM Reel 19; Christopher Pearse Cranch, “William Cranch,” in NEHGS, Memorial Biographies, 2:451).
3. Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant died in Haverhill on 12 October. He demonstrated his confidence in William Cranch by making the young lawyer sole executor of his will (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:579; “Sketches of Alumni”).
4. With force and arms.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0123

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1791-08-05

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

I should have long before this answered your affectionate Letter of Congratulation on my return to my family and friends but since my arrival, I have really been so perfectly and fully engaged, that I could scarcly call an hour my own— I had hurried myself for this week past in expectation of attending Mrs: Smith to Braintree, but the situation of my public and private business tho’ agreable is such, that, I must deny myself that pleasure, my Brother and Sister however accompany her, and every other arrangement made in my power to render her voyage and Journey agreable— I will endeavour to be with you on the twenty first of September for the purpose of escorting her home— I wish'd much at this time to see you, not only to tell my long story about my European Visit, but to talk freely about domestick Politicks. The Letter I addressed to the President on my arrival, I got Charles to Copy, for you but I not only had not then time, to write you myself, but not even to read his Copy to see whether it was correct or not— Mr. Jay. Hamilton and King, were much pleased with the contents of it, But I beleive The President Mr. Jefferson & Mr. Maddison would have rather I had stayed at home— Inclosed I send you the Presidents answer to that Letter, and my reply to it, but being advised by Colo. Hamilton to take no notice of it, but leave it to its own operation on the minds of the Government, I reluctantly withheld it, and only replyed,— Thus “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Presidents Letter of the 13th. of July in answer to the Communications I thought it my duty to make on the 6th. of June after my return from Europe—[”]1 The[se letters] I have not time to Copy, and therefore must beg the favour of their being given to Mrs: Smith, who will safe keep them untill I see her— you will not I Know consider my forwarding a Copy of a letter sent to Mr. Robert Morris from one of those Gentlemen who waited on you soon after your arrival in London, as a member of a Committee of Merchants to converse on the Mercantile situation of affairs between England and America—as any mark of unjustifiable vanity—nor the Letter of the 10th. of May from London forwarded with a Copy of the Presidents Message as a superfluous accompanyment2 for Minutiae I must refer you to Mrs: Smith, you may get a great deal from her by Question & Answer, but you know { 222 } she is not so much exposed as her husband to fall into lengthy conversations except with Ladies in a half Whisper—
Or perhaps you will get more if you appoint under the small seal that able negotiator Mrs: A. she by gently speaking Sweetly smiling and calmly pursuing the subject, may find out what carried me to Europe—what I did while there—and what engages me here at present, more important than the office I hold—
With my most affectionate regards to Mrs: Adam, Mr. John—Charles, Thomas & Eliza. I am Dr. Sir. affectionately yours.
[signed] W. S. Smith
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To The Vice President / of The United States.” Some loss of text due to wear at the fold.
1. On 6 June, the day after his arrival at New York, WSS wrote a long letter to George Washington in which he reported on a private interview that he had had in London on 9 April with British home secretary Lord Grenville. Britain, Grenville had revealed, was ready to send a minister to the United States to negotiate a settlement of all differences between the two nations. Washington, in a 13 July answer, thanked WSS for the information and at the same time dismissed it, remarking “very soon after I came to the government I took measures for enquiring into the disposition of the british cabinet on the matters in question between us: and what you now communicate corresponds very exactly with the result of those enquiries.” Neither the reply that WSS first drafted nor the acknowledgment that he instead sent has been found (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:241–255, 338–339). See also WSS to JA, 21 Oct., below.
2. The letter to Robert Morris, which has not been found, was probably from Patrick Colquhoun (1745–1820), a Glasgow merchant and civic booster with whom Morris had both private business dealings and back-channel diplomatic communications. Sent to London in 1785 to confer with merchants there about a petition to Parliament for help in the recovery of American debts, Colquhoun and fellow Glasgow merchant Alexander Brown met with JA on 4 June, only nine days after JA had arrived to assume the post of U.S. minister to Britain (DNB; Hamilton, Papers, 20:141–142; Jefferson, Papers, 18:246, 275; JA to John Jay, 6 June 1785, PCC, No. 84, V, f. 491–496; JA, D&A, 3:180).
The 10 May 1791 letter from London, also not found, probably enclosed a copy of Washington's 14 Feb. message to the Senate and House of Representatives, which the president intended would spur Congress to enact legislation on trade and navigation that might goad Britain into negotiating a commercial treaty (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 7:346–347; Jefferson, Papers, 18:229–239).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0124

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1791-08-17

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch

I received almost a fortnight since your favour of July 23d:1 and should have answered it before now, if I was in the habit of doing as I ought I sued the note immediately, but have not heard from Johonnot since2 The two actions to which you requested me to attend were both continued; I had not seen Nightengale, and thought it would be expedient to continue that:3 the other was continued at a { 223 } moment when I happened to be out of Court, and Robbins made so many fair promises that his client would do every thing to get the money by the next term, and such doleful lamentations of his poverty at present that I did not press the matter upon the Court much, and they were not very favorable to me.4 I believe there will be no harm done in the end by it.
I hope you find such encouragement at Haverhill, as will give you full satisfaction upon the subject of your removal there, and I have no doubt you find it a more eligible situation for Business than Braintree: but you have a fund of happiness within yourself that is worth more, than all the law business in the Commonwealth.
Your Master Dawes went to Portsmouth last week; he intended to have paid you a visit on his return, but his brother Pierce who went with him, had an invalid's whim of returning through Newbury-Port, with which Mr: Dawes complied so that he did not see you.5
I saw him a few days before, and we had some conversation relative to you. His opinion does you justice, and I love him the better for his having appreciated your merit so truly. He too thinks that your removal was judicious, and has the same dependence upon your success with the rest of us: after making your panegyric, he added that if you should have Miss N. G. as he supposed you would, she would render you as happy, as you deserve to be; that she was calculated to cheer and enliven the most retired & humble station as well as to adorn the most dignified.6 That you were both deserving of each other, and would enjoy together as much happiness as could result from good minds & congenial dispositions To this part of his story I did not so fully assent as to the other; and I thought I could perceive an obstacle to the completion of his prophecy, of which he was not aware. “Tis as one wedge drives out another” says Vellum in the drummer;7 There will be somebody there who will cut the thread of your passion for Miss G.— that is my prophecy, and old Time will show before long which of us is right. It is your peculiar good fortune that in either case, your choice will justify the expectations of Mr: Dawes.
As for me, I could sit down and philippize upon my situation for an hour together, but I have got above it—res mihi subjicere conor.8 indeed if I did not I should make but a pitiful whining fellow, I intend as soon as I am able to make myself a deep proficient in the stoic philosophy; it is the only consolation to a man upon whom the world frowns; and then if ever the cheating syren Fortune, should { 224 } mistake herself so far as to smile upon me I will turn epicurean— that is my system. Epicure when a man is in luck, and Zeno, when the die is against him.9
I shall endeavour to be as little thoughtful or pensive, that is to think as little, as I possibly can; if I could but contrive not to think at all I should be the happier, but I cannot follow your advice of spending two or three months at Braintree. Think how my business would suffer by it: I defy you to calculate how many hundred pounds I should lose.— My health is indeed valuable; next to my conscience, and a very few friends, the most valuable object I have on Earth but it must take its chance. The temptations which you mention, I do not very well know; what should I be afraid of here— The only temptations that can be dangerous to me are such as would lead me away, but I am proof against every thing.
You will not fail to remember me to Mr. Shaw & the family, to our friend White, & generally to all the good folks whose remembrance is worth any thing, wherewith I remain as usual your friend
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (DLC:William Cranch Papers); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr / Attorney at Law. / Haverhill.”; endorsed: “J.Q.A. / Aug. 17. 1791.”
1. Not found. JQA remarked in his Diary that he received Cranch's letter on 4 Aug. (D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19).
2. JQA's legal accounts record a bill of costs for the case of “Wingate vs Johonnot” under the date of 21 Feb. 1792 (M/JQA/18, APM Reel 215).
3. On 19 Oct. 1791 JQA would argue and win the case of Whitemore (or Whittemore) v. Nightengale before the Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas (D/JQA/16, 19 Oct., APM Reel 19; D/JQA/18, 14 Feb. 1792, APM Reel 21).
4. Edward Hutchinson Robbins (1758–1829), Harvard 1775, established his law practice in Milton in 1779. Elected to the Mass. house of representatives two years later, he remained a member until 1802, serving as speaker from 1793 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 19:forthcoming).
5. Boston merchant Joseph Peirce (1745–1828) had been married to Ann Dawes, the sister of Thomas Dawes, since 1771 (Henry W. Holland, William Dawes and His Ride with Paul Revere, Boston, 1878, p. 67).
6. Cranch would marry Anna (Nancy) Greenleaf (1772–1843) in 1795 (vol. 8:148; Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 222).
7. Joseph Addison, The Drummer, 1715, Act V, scene i, line 188.
8. A paraphrase of Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle i, line 19: “et mihi res, non me rebus, subiungere conor,” that is, to make the world serve me, not me the world.
9. Epicurus was a classical Greek philosopher who defined happiness in terms of pleasure; Zeno, also a classical Greek philosopher, rooted happiness in virtue (Oxford Classical Dicy.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0125

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1791-08-23

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

I have somewhere heard an observation of this kind, “that a person should not be too anxious to return a kindness.”1 Had I strictly { 225 } adhered to this injunction, an Answer to your last favor would not so soon have followed;2 but as you expect shortly to be at Braintree in person, I must either remain in your Debt, or take this opportunity to discharge the obligation. I am happy to find that the novelty of your situation has not obliterated the remembrance of your now solitary companion, & when I tell you of the exertion which this poor scrap requires from me at present, you will think it of more consequence than otherwise it would deserve. Tomorrow will complete a fortnight since I was first seized with the Southern Plague, Viz. The Ague Fever;3 and regularly every other Day since, I have had a severe fit, which has reduced me at least four degrees in point of flesh; as to Spirits, hardly any thing this side an inflamitory Rheumatism, will greatly diminish them. My mother when she returnd we found had been very ill most of the time in her absence, but happily, has had no fever fit since she got home. But you have enough of this. Charles left us on Sunday for New York, but Mrs Smith still continues with us, otherwise I should lose a little of my jolity; and should be quite impatient for your company. Truly if I may judge by your letter, I shall think you something more than a sort of a Gallant. I fear the good Judge had designs upon you, when he gave you the office of Executor. The facetious young Lady whom you sett at defiance may ensnare, in a course of time. How many a charm is born to be adored, yet ne’er to be enjoyed by those who worship the possessor's. This is all I have to say concerning one whom you have mentioned. Is it not possible for our heads together to invent a name for a cetain lady? I am not pleased with that she has at present. Your expedition to Exeter has at least made you acquainted with some impudent people. Above every thing I think the Judges of a Court of Justice should be treated with common respect, even if their learning will not entitle them to it. Much of the credit of a Layyer depends upon his manner of treating the Bench. Where the opinions of Judges are treated with contempt, the justice of a cause may as well be determined by the throw of a Dye, as the verdict of a Jury. A Gentleman Lawyer has many clients in esse.4
Betsey Smith is now at your father's; she with the rest of your family are very well and will be as happy to see you next week as
[signed] Thomas B. Adams.
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Haverhill”; internal address: “William Cranch Esqr:”; endorsed: “T.B. Adams / Aug. 23d. 1791. / Answd. Aug. 27.—”
{ 226 }
1. “He then that hasteth to restore and requite a kindness, hath not the mind of a grateful man, but of a debtor. And to conclude in few words, he that is desirous to pay over soon, doth owe unwillingly; he that unwillingly oweth, is ungrateful” (Seneca, On Benefits, transl. Thomas Lodge, London, 1899, Book IV, ch. xl, p. 178).
2. Not found.
3. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, ague—malaria—was seen in America as a southern disease because it appeared in northern latitudes only episodically but in southern ones continuously (Margaret Humphreys, Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States, Baltimore, 2001, p. 23–29).
4. In being, that is, actually existing. William Cranch apparently attended the Court of Common Pleas for Rockingham County, N.H., which convened in Exeter on 9 Aug. (The Laws of the State of New-Hampshire, Portsmouth, 1792, p. 70, Evans, No. 24585).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0126

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1791-09-04

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

Influenced by the same principle as when I last wrote, viz. That of discharging a debt before it has accumulated much on the score of interest, I have determined to come to a settlement to the date hereof.1 You must not however expect the same degree of pure metal as that which produced the obligation; but make many grains of allowance for barrenness of Mint. Even should you be paid in Script subject to speculation, at least I shall not be subject to a Qui Tam prosecution. I am no less affected by the cause of your detainer, than the disappointment it occasioned; both cause and consequence however, I hope are temporary. The novelty of your scheme for getting yourself into business, is no less than its singularity. At any rate it discovers a fertility of invention, which in these dull times, is peculiarly serviceable to the possessor, more especially in our Profession. Money in puritanical times, was said to be “the root of all evil,”2 A modern Churl, who sometimes indulges himself somewhat extensively in substitution or rather, prostitution of terms, has altered, by no means amended, the maxim, by which it reads thus “Women the reservoirs of all Scandal.” Far be it from me to reveal the Author's name, for I have no inclination to immolate one of my fellow mortals on an Altar, the workmanship of his own temerity. I shall rather consider him as an object of commiseration, for having engaged in a most unequal contest. I am not the Jew for whose destruction the Gallows was erected.3 Having thus expressed my opinion of the deplorable situation of a person engaged in this female war; it will be superfluous to add any thing by way of caution to you. The Ancient Ballad, afforded much entertainment to all true lovers of Atticism. Every one lamented the extinguishment of the Coal, and if any sudden blast from my bellows could have revived { 227 } the spark, the gentle fannings from every passing breeze, had soon restored it to its former glow. The subject original, was majestic, but the consequent effects are sufficiently ludicrous, and as such described, by the Balladist. “Hence in old dusky time a deluge came,” &ca:4 The Ladies may make this passage of Thomson's applicable to their own case by erasing a single word. If you dare let them know that the history of their excursion has so soon passed the Merrimack, you may offer them my congratulations upon their arrival in safe moorings without being cast away.
When I mentioned my Sister to you in my last it was certainly an omission on my part not to mention her fine boys. If they could be under the government of your good mother for one week before you come, you would be pleased with their vivacity; but under present management I fear you will perceive very soon where the defect lies. I was yesterday threatned with a return of my Ague, but hope from the precautions I have taken, to escape its further attacks. It is almost a fortnight since I had a real fit. The Bark has been administered in copious effusions to your cousin
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Haverhill”; endorsed: “T. B. A. Sep. 4. 1791.”; notation: “post pd.”
1. Not found.
2. 1 Timothy, 6:10.
3. In Esther, 5:9–14, the viceregent Haman, incensed by the failure of Mordecai the Jew to show him due respect, has a gallows erected on which to hang the offender.
4. James Thomson, The Seasons: Spring, line 309.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0127

Author: Washington, Martha
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-09-04

Martha Washington to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear madam

Your frindly letter of the 29th of June1—I should not have suffered to remain so long unacknowledge from any other cause than that of the severe illness of my dear Little Washington—who was confined to his bed with a cruel fevor for three weeks in the Months of July & August—2 I beleive it is heardly necessary my dear madam for me to tell you that, during the time of his illness I was not in a situation to attend to any thing but him.— The fatague and anxiety which I underwent, were almost too much for me; but sine it has plased god to restore my dear child again to health, I find my self recovered, and begin to look round to see what I left undone—at that time, that I may attend to it now—
I had, with concern, heard of your illness before your Letter reched my hands; I assure you I was exceedingly rejoiced when that { 228 } informed me that the ague had left you, and that you were getting much better.
If you have had reason to complain of the heat in New England— what must have been our situation in this city? whare a veriaty of circumstances combine with the climate to render the heat here at times almost insupporable: the heat of last week was more extreem than any we had experienced before—
The President returned from the southward in fine health—which was soon after interrupted for a little time—but I am now happy in saying that it is again restored;3 and he unites with me in compliments and best wishes to your self—the Vice President—and your family—
I expect next week to set off with the President for Mount Vernon. I shall take my grand children with me in hopes that change of air will give them strength, as they are much relaxed with the heat of this city— I expect to be back by the latter end of october—when I hope I shall have the pleasure to see you perfectly well—
Nelly and Washington desire to be particularly remembered to your self and miss smith, to whome you will be so good as to give my kind regards.— Mr & Mrs Lear thank you for your remembrance of them and thair Little Boy, and request to be presented to you in very respectfull terms— a due and beleive me / Dear madam / your affectionate / friend & Hble / servant
[signed] M Washington
1. AA to Martha Washington, 25 June, and note 1 above.
2. For George Washington Parke Custis’ illness, see Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:283, note 10.
3. A tumor that George Washington had had removed from his leg in June 1789 returned sometime between 6 and 24 July 1791. Washington had it drained and was well again by 3 Aug. (same, 8:327, note 3).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0128

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1791-10-09

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

I had not time to write to you before I left Braintree I was in so much trouble for your Aunt and Family, that I left home with a Heavy Heart indeed, nor can I look to Philadelphia with a much lighter one, for there mrs Brisler lies at the point of death with a fever, if living. I promised Lucy if any Letters should come from Genll Knox or mr Brisler after I left home that you should open { 229 } them and give them every information they might contain respecting her.1 this I now request you to do.
I am extreemly anxious to hear from your uncle cranch. I wish you could forward a Letter to me to be left a Smiths or the stage House at N Haven, should this reach you soon enough. I did not say enough to you a[bout] your Eye's. I would have you take a portion or two of Sal[ts] and then an oz of Bark, in 6 or 7 portions.2 do not neglect it, if lost Health may be restored, lost Eyes cannot, and I am certain from my observation respecting your Health the summer past, that you stand in need of the Bark
your Father has stood his journey as well as could be expected. he is some what fatigued to day, but I hope his Heaviness arrises only from the exertions of the two last days, & from a South wind. if I had not past through the disorder myself and experienced the debility occasiond by it I should feel more anxious. convey the inclosed Letter as soon as you can to Braintree from your affectionate / Mother
[signed] A Adams
p s I received your Letter and approve of what you have done3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “John Quincy Adams Esqr: / Boston”; endorsed: “My Mother. 9. Octr: 1791.” and “My Mother. Octr: 9. 1791.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA, when he wrote to AA on 5 Oct., forwarded a letter from Henry Knox, presumably that to JA of 28 Sept., in which Knox reported that John Briesler “has recovered and also his children, but his wife is dangerously ill” (both Adams Papers).
2. JQA first noted “weak eyes” in his Diary on 3 August. He continued to complain of weak or sore eyes from time to time until 10 Oct. (D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19).
3. In his letter of 5 Oct., JQA informed AA that he had purchased “a pair of hand-irons” less costly and more handsome than she had directed (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0129

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-10-16

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I wrote you last Sunday by Doctor Welsh & your son who were here & sent it to new-york where you now are I suppose.1 I hope you found the Letter when you arriv'd as your Sympathytick heart would be in some measure reliev'd by the favourable account I gave you of mr Cranchs Leg— since that time it has continu'd to descharge well the mortified parts have been seperateing from the sound flesh & are now almost all come of but it has become such an offencive sore to dress as you scarcly can conceive of tis very painful too at times: I have dress'd it alone to day for the first time since it { 230 } began to discharge in such a manner— tis still Bath'd once a day— Tis a slow & I fear will be a long peice of work before tis well we feed him yet with Bark & wine but not in such quantitys as at first— some parts of the Leg are heal'd but there is now a sore from the knee to the ancle. there are but two places which appear deep every part where the Blisters were not cut is sound— The swelling has in a manner left the Limb— he cannot walk a step nor bear his weight upon it yet his appetite is good
What charming Weather you have had for your journey I hope you all feel the better for your ride & that you will find all your Freinds in health & mrs Brisler recover'd—
Polly Tailor is with us waiting for Madam Jeffery to send for her.2 She sent her wood She was ready to wait upon her & wonders that she is not sent for
cousin Betsy Smith is with mrs Norton who was well yesterday
Deacon Adams is dangerously sick with a slow Lung fever3
Mr Shaw is gone to Barnstable & to the ordination of mr Simkins4 Sister Shaw was well but poor Billy grows worse I design to perswaid Mr Shaw to let mr Hughs see him— that man certainly has a faculty of seting Bones beyond many who are better theorests than himself5
William return'd last monday to haverhill & you must think my dear sister that I feel very lonely—but I hope the danger from mr Cranchs Leg is not so great as it was— tis a terrible sore now but it has been so much worse that I cannot help being incourag'd about it—but I hope I shall be resign'd be the event what it may— The support & kindness of my dear sister while she was here was a cordial to my spirits. & tho absent that she bears us upon her mind is a constant feast to my Soul— good grant that your health may be restor'd & that your Life so precious to us as well as to your own Family may be prolong'd many years yet to come & that we may have another happy meeting when the spring opens upon us—
Mr Cranch send his Love to mr Adams & you & begs me to renew his thanks for all your kindnesses & attentions
Lucy send her Duty & Love mr Adams I hope has not had a return of his dissorder I hop'd to have heard of you from some of your stages but I have not
Polly found half a dozen Tea spoons in the closet after you went away which she thought she had put up they are here with your other plate. She has put a hook upon the Kitchen chamber door or rather upon the door at the foot of the Stairs which effectually { 231 } secures all the garrets— upon the wash house we shall put a Lock I have sent to mr Pratt for sea-weed to stop the cellar doors & bank the house. Polly has nail'd up all the Gates but the cow yard gate
I have your Pigs & hope to make fine ones of them— If there is any thing else I can do for you pray let me know it, nothing can give me more pleasure than to be able to discharge some of the obligations confer'd upon your / grateful & affectionate Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mrs M Cranch / to Mrs A Adams / October 1791.” and “1791.” Filmed at Oct. [1791].
1. Mary Smith Cranch's letter of 9 Oct. has not been found.
2. Mary Wilkes Storke Hayley Jeffery, for whom see vol. 7:273, note 4; 384, note 5. After a stay in Boston of over eight years, Mary Jeffery would return to Britain in Nov. 1792 alone; her husband, Patrick Jeffery, remained in Massachusetts (Boston Independent Chronicle, 10 Nov. 1792; Amanda Bowie Moniz, “A Radical Shrew in America: Mary Wilkes Hayley and Celebrity in the Early United States,” Common-Place, vol. 8 [April 2008], www.common-place.org).
3. JA's cousin Ebenezer Adams died on 22 Oct. 1791 (Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 23 Oct., Adams Papers). JQA traveled to Braintree for the funeral on the 25th (D/JQA/16, APM Reel 19).
4. John Simpkins (1768–1843), Harvard 1786, was ordained as minister of the Congregational Church in the north precinct of Harwich (now the town of Brewster) on 19 Oct. (Josiah Paine, A History of Harwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1620–1800, Rutland, Vt., 1937, p. 158–163).
5. Probably either Robert Hewes (1751–1830) or his cousin Shubael Hewes (1732–1813), both of whom worked as bonesetters in Boston (Eben Putnam, Lieutenant Joshua Hewes, A New England Pioneer, and Some of His Descendants, N.Y., 1913, p. 323–326, 330–332; Boston Directory, 1803, Shaw-Shoemaker, No. 3862).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0130

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1791-10-17

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I arrived here last Night. my first inquiry was for a Letter from you, which I was happy enough to find, and great relief did it afford to my anxious mind.2 I sent to the post office to see if I could get any further intelligence last evening but was dissapointed. I am ready however to attribute it more to your not getting an opportunity of conveyance than to any unfavourable circumstance, and I was much incouraged yesterday by seeing mrs judge cushing, who told me of a cure performed upon mrs Hyslops leg after a mortification had really taken place.3 she made great use of Bark and wine. I am sure my dear sister neither mr Adams or I can ever think our wine used to a better purpose than in aiding the recovery [of so] dear & valuable a Friend, and we request you to get more from our cellar when that is expended. can there be a greater pleasure in Life than rendering kindness to those we love and esteem and who we { 232 } know are every way worthy of our regard. how many of my anxious & painfull hours did you in the summer past alleviate by your sisterly kindness. how much too am I indebted to my dear Lucy for her goodness. I am anxious for her Health, and full of the mind that a free use of the Bark would relieve her Nervious Headacks Katy who is with me was relieved only in that way after a slow Nervious fever. I had a pleasant journey in point of weather. mr Adams found himself very weak and feeble when we came to travell. his Nerves were more affected than I was aware of before I left home. he has not had any return of his fever, but if I had not gone through all & more than he has sufferd I should be much more distrest. he gains strength by his journey, but what I fear is the buisness & company which he cannot avoid and which are very unfit for a person recovering from such a disorder. Thomas & Louissa are well— mrs smith & Family I found well—but I cannot learn a word from Philadelphia. Remember us all kindly to mr Cranch with our most sincere wishes for his perfect restoration to Health. I am my dear / Sister affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by TBA: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A Adams (N York) / Octr 17. 1790”; docketed: “1790.” Some loss of text due to placement of the seal.
1. Sunday was the 16th.
2. Not found.
3. Either Mehetabel Stoddard Hyslop (1719–1792), wife of Boston wholesale merchant William Hyslop (1714–1796), or Betsey Williams Hyslop, wife of their son William Hyslop (1753–1792) (E. W. Stoddard, appendix to Anthony Stoddard, of Boston, Mass., and His Descendants: 1639–1873, N.Y., 1873, p. 124, 126).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0131

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1791-10-21

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

The information I gave you relative to Mr. Hammonds official Character at the moment of your departure for Philadelphia, you will probably have confirmed previous to the receipt of this—1
The various important stations I have filled and the particular agency I had in producing this conciliatory advance of the British Court to the Government of The United States, Justifies to my mind the offer I propose making, of myself as a Candidate for the appointment at the Court of St. James's, in addition to this Mr. Hammonds Communications to me from Lord Grenville are so strongly marked with respect and Confidence, that I should not think, I did Justice to my Country, my family or myself should I omit presenting { 233 } myself to The President at this period— particularly as the British Cabinet have pointedly instructed Mr. Hammond to pursue steadily the line, I marked out in my communications with Lord Grenville the last winter, as details in the Letter I addressed to the President on the 6th. of June last, viz. to enter into a full discussion & fulfillment of the unsettled points of the last Treaty, as a primary essential—to establish such Commercial regulations as the Interests of the two Country's require, and to leave all other points to their own operation, aided by the friendship & good understanding which the preceeding arrangements may produce,—
In addition to this mark of the esteem and Confidence of the Cabinet of England, Mr. Hammond is charged by his Court to take some proper opportunity and communicate to The President, not as if they were disposed to take the lead of his Judgement, in a Case like this, but that they conceived it a Compliment due from them to me, to assure the President, that on the appointment of a Gentleman to reside at the Court of London, no one would be more acceptable than myself or more likely to be agreable to the King and Cabinet of England— This Communication Mr. Hammond informed me he thought it his duty to make as early as possible
As I cannot reconcile it, to my feelings and the respect I entertain for you Sir, to attempt so important an object thro’ any other medium, and relying on your friendship and disposition to promote my interest & the Honour of our connected families, I beg the favour of your presenting the enclosed letter to the President, and of supporting it by such observations as your better Judgement may dictate I am further induced to pursue the object thro’ this Channel as the pursuit coincides with the letter, You once did me the Honor to address to The President on similar subjects, to aid you in this business, I will mention, that previous to the removal of Congress from New York, The President required of Mr. Jefferson a list of those Gentlemen whom he would recommend to his Consideration for foriegn Diplomatic appointment Mr. Jefferson told me in that case he had put my name amongst the first on the list— some time after Mr. Hamilton was called on to submit a few names to the President as persons proper to be employed to negociate the late loan— on that paper which contained 3 names, I was the second, but Mr. Jeffersons influence introduced Mr. Short tho’ not mentioned by Mr. Hamilton & carried his point.2
However notwithstanding all this, should I not prove successful { 234 } the knowledge of the failure, will be confined to my friends and for myself I shall not be at a loss to decide on the principles of it or find any difficulty in digesting the disappointment—
I am with great respect & regard / Your most Obedt. / Humble Servt.
[signed] W: S: Smith
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “To / The Vice President / of The United States—”; docketed: “Wm S Smith / Oct 21st 1791”; notation on enclosure: “Copy of the Letter / addressed to The President.” For the enclosure, see note 2, below.
1. George Hammond (1763–1853) arrived in New York aboard the packet Grantham on 18 Oct. and apparently met with WSS before proceeding to Philadelphia, where he arrived two days later. Appointed British minister plenipotentiary to the United States, Hammond had been instructed not to assume that rank until the appointment of an American counterpart to Britain. In the meantime, he was authorized to act only as consul general. Hammond presented his credentials as minister on 11 Nov., just two days after George Washington finalized his choice for the London post, Thomas Pinckney. Hammond, whom JA had known as David Hartley's secretary during the 1783 peace negotiations, served as minister to the United States until 1795 (New York Daily Gazette, 18 Oct.; Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:483; Jefferson, Papers, 18:280, 22:262).
2. WSS enclosed not only the RC of his 21 Oct. 1791 letter to Washington, which JA forwarded along, but also a copy for JA, which is retained in the Adams Papers. Believing that his 9 April interview with British home secretary Lord Grenville had helped to secure the appointment of a British minister to the United States, WSS wrote to the president to claim credit and to offer himself as a candidate for U.S. minister to Britain. He did not receive the appointment. Chagrined at this second rebuff— Washington had dismissed his 6 June report on the interview—WSS on 7 Feb. 1792 resigned the office of supervisor of revenue for the district of New York in favor of “such private pursuits as may guard my own feelings from further unpleasant exercise” (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 9:104–105, 562–563).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0132

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1791-10-28

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I received your favour of the 17th: instt: from New-York, and am happy to hear you had got well so far on your journey.1 I hope you will be equally punctual on your arrival at Philadelphia.
I must request your attention to the memorandum, which I left with you last Spring; and that you would not forget to send my segars before the navigation closes for the Season. the numbers of the Gazette of the U.S. which I want are 99 and 101. of the 2d: Vol: and 6 & 18 of the 3d:
Nothing material has occurred since you left us. I was at Braintree a few days ago. Mr: Cranch is, we hope out of danger, but will have a very tedious time with his leg. I fear he will be confined through the whole winter.
Our Court of Common Pleas sat last week. I argued one cause to { 235 } a jury; that of Nightengale, and obtained a verdict for him.2 I found my confidence in myself growing much stronger, and acquitted myself more to my satisfaction than I had ever done before.— Since that time I have had another opportunity to take a practical lesson of public speaking. The Committee of the General Court, who are to report upon the petition of the North Parish in Braintree for incorporation, sat at Milton last Wednesday to hear the parties. I was employed with W. Cranch and B. Beale by the parish Committee to support the petition. We were all of a standing; but as I was the oldest in years, it fell to my lot to close the argument, and to answer, the objections from Dorchester and from the other parishes in Braintree. Mr: Hichborn was a Committee man from Dorchester, and Mr: Robbins was employed as Counsel for the other parishes.3 The debate lasted about four hours. I was nearly one in my argument, and like Dogberry in the play “found it in my heart to bestow all my tediousness upon their honours.”4 You may well imagine I was not equal to the task, especially as I had not had even twenty four hours time for preparation, or for obtaining the necessary information relative to the facts. I was not at all satisfied with my performance, but believe I did not lose any ground, with the audience. These opportunities have both afforded me some consolation, as they have tended to convince me that I may, with the help of experience acquire at least a decent capacity for forensic contention. This has for these fifteen months past, been one of the greatest sources of my anxiety and apprehension. The present stagnation of professional business, must be temporary, but an utter disqualification for public speaking would have been perpetual, and would have cut the cable from the sheet anchor of my hopes.— You have often been witness to my fears on this head, and it is for that reason that I am thus minute in detailing the circumstances, which suspend at least their operation, and tend to give me some encouragement.— I expect to argue one cause more at the next session of our Court of Common Pleas in January, and if so, I shall again inform you, whether my diffidence continues to decline, and my hopes to assume consistency.
In the mean time business is as dull as ever. If I have very little to do, I find myself in very respectable company. Yet I cannot easily suppress the sigh when the reflection recurs that I still subsist upon paternal bounty.— If I cannot acquire my own subsistence, I will at least endeavour to deserve it, and in the long winter before us I intend to pursue, with as much ardour as if my prospect of reward { 236 } was much greater than it is, the studies connected with my profession and with science in general.
Your friends in this town are well. Quincy told me he intended soon to write you.— Callender gallant as ever.— I saw Miss Breck last evening, at the assembly; she enquired particularly after Louisa.5
Write as often as you can. Love to all the family, and believe me to be ever affectionately, your brother.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
October 29th:
I have just received your's of the 23d. instt: and am happy to hear you arrived agreeably at Philadelphia.6 I shall take care of the enclosed Letters, and have nothing further to communicate.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “28th Oct: 1791.”
1. Not found.
2. See JQA to William Cranch, 17 Aug., and note 3, above.
3. In Jan. 1791, 129 men from Braintree's north precinct, or parish, along with 21 others from the middle precinct and adjoining parts of Dorchester and Milton, petitioned the Mass. General Court for incorporation as a new town. The senate took up the matter on the 28th, and an order was issued inviting the town of Braintree to comment at a hearing before the General Court scheduled for 16 February. Nine days before the hearing, the Braintree town meeting, dominated by men from the middle and south precincts who rejected any division of the town, voted to send six agents to oppose the petition and authorized them to hire an attorney at town expense to assist them. The town meeting at the same time directed Ebenezer Thayer Jr., Braintree's representative in the legislature, to use his influence there against the petition. What happened at the General Court hearing is not known, but the senate subsequently appointed a committee to consider the petition. In preparation for a hearing before that committee—the 26 Oct. hearing in Milton at which JQA spoke—the Braintree town meeting on 27 Sept. chose four agents to attend and oppose the petition. What occurred at the committee hearing is also not known, but the committee afterward returned a report in favor of the petition, which the senate accepted. On 21 Jan. 1792, the two houses of the legislature voted to allow the petitioners to bring in a bill to put their petition into effect. On 22 Feb., the bill passed, and a day later, Gov. John Hancock approved it, incorporating the town of Quincy (CFA, History of Braintree, Massachusetts (1639–1708), the North Precinct of Braintree (1708–1792), and the Town of Quincy (1792–1889), Cambridge, 1891, p. 269–270; Braintree Town Records, p. 601, 611; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 58–62; Boston Argus, 27 Jan. 1792; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1790–1791, p. 319–320).
4. A paraphrase of Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act III, scene v, lines 22–25, where Dogberry, having been accused by Leonato of being tedious, mistakes the gibe for a compliment and graciously replies, “but truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.”
5. Josiah Quincy III and John Callender (1772–1833) were Harvard classmates of TBA studying law in Boston with William Tudor and Christopher Gore, respectively. Both young men would be admitted to practice before the Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas in 1793. Callender would go on to serve as clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court from 1815 until his death (Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 203; William T. Davis, Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2 vols., Boston, 1895, 1:113, 265, 285; Catalogue of Records and Files in the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk, Boston, 1897, p. 145; Amherst, { 237 } N.H., Farmer's Cabinet, 29 Nov. 1833).
Hannah Breck (1772–1846), daughter of Samuel and Hannah Andrews Breck, would marry JQA's Harvard classmate James Lloyd Jr. in 1809 (Samuel Breck, Genealogy of the Breck Family Descended from Edward of Dorchester and His Brothers in America, Omaha, 1889, p. 40–41, 208–209; Harvard Quinquennial Cat., p. 201).
6. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0133

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1791-10-30

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear Sister

I wrote to you upon my journey whilst I was at Brookfield the sunday after I left you and was sorry to find by your Letter, that you had not received it.1 I wrote to you from N york but have been so engaged in moveing, & so embarressd with company in the midst of it, tho only a complimentary call, that I have had scarcly a moment that I could call my own. it was kind in you [to l]et mr Cranch to superscribe your Letter. I thank you for [the] precaution, because I open every Letter from you with trembling and fear. I rejoice most Sincerely with you in your prospect of a recovering Limb. if the Life of our dear Friend is Spaired, we cannot be sufficiently thankfull to a kind Providence, even tho the recovery should be long and Tedious. my Heart bled to leave you in such distress
we Have nearly got through the Bustle of Removal, but my House is no way to my mind. the Rooms so small and not able to lay two together, renders it very troublesome to see so much company as we must be obliged to.2 the weather is very pleasent and my Health better than for some months past Thomas is less threatned with Rhumaticks than he was on our journey. Louissa as well as usual. mr Adams is much recoverd to what he was, has been able to attend his duty in Senate, tho Sometimes a good deal exhausted.
you mention in your Letter getting the House blockd up. I forgot to inform you that there was cider and potatoes to be put into the cellar and that Brother had engaged to see the cellar Bank'd up, but if it should not be done I would wish to have it secured before the Frost. for the Reasons above mentiond I directed Polly to leave the keys of the House with them, the Keys of the cellar to bring to you. I wonder mrs Jeffry has not sent for Polly. she appeard so solicitious to get her. I hope no one has done her an injury. Polly had qualifications peculiarly fitted for my Family, and might still have been in it, but for a little unruly member. I like katy very well and beleive I could not have been better suited. mrs Brisler is with me, feeble & sick tho better than she was. I do not see but she must remain with me, unless Lucy returns to take care of her and her children.
{ 238 }
my things have not yet arrived from Boston, I fear I shall lose my Pears.
I am anxious for Billy Shaw least he should be a criple all his day's
Let me hear from you often for I am still anxious. Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friends.
Yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams.
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A Adams (Pha:) / Octr 30. 1791.” Some loss of text due to placement of the seal.
1. AA's 9 Oct. letter from Brookfield has not been found.
2. Upon their arrival in Philadelphia the Adamses moved into a house at the corner of Fourth and Arch streets. Tench Coxe had found it for them on short notice after JA wrote him for assistance on 20 Aug., declaring, “I have determined in all Events to remove my family into Philadelphia from Bush hill, on account of the many Inconveniences We experienced last Year in passing and repassing.” JA added, “As the time is short, I expect to be obliged to some disadvantage. But any house and any rent is better than what We Suffered last year” (JA to Tench Coxe, 20 Aug., PHi; Tench Coxe to JA, 3 Sept., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0134

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1791-12-03

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

I received last week your favour of the 17th: of last month, and found in it none of that tediousness which you seem to apprehend:1 indeed I suspect your fears were in some measure dictated by your indolence, and that you make them a pretext in your own mind, to relieve you from the tediousness of writing: but this pretence must not serve you: for I can assure you, that your Letters will always be tedious to me, only in proportion to their brevity, and that you are by far the most tedious when you do not write at all.
The arguments which you mention to have been held in the house of Representatives with respect to the ratio of Representation, were very amusing, and I have not seen those contained in your Letter, in any of the newspapers. The final decision of 1 to 30,000 has given as far as my conversation extends, very general satisfaction here, though I see most of our members voted against it.2 The distinction which you say was held up, relative to the characteristic qualities of the Representative and Senatorial branches of the Legislature, was as far as I remember first suggested by Montesquieu, and afterwards adopted by Rousseau. Great as these names are and prevailing as the opinion is, I consider it as one of the idlest and most groundless distinctions that ever entered into the brain of { 239 } a statesmen. It may be true that an individual or a body of men sometimes is deficient in wisdom, though very honest and well meaning; but wisdom, ought to be the characteristic mark of every branch of a legislature; and without integrity, there never can be any wisdom. To speak in the legal phraseology, wisdom is integrity, and more. For in every situation in life, whether in a public or in a private capacity, as an individual, or as a member of the legislative body, every man who departs from the line of honesty, departs just so far from the line of wisdom. If your house of representatives is only honest, without wisdom, they can be at best but useless to the community; and if your Senate is only cunning and are not thoroughly honest, they must be much worse than useless.—3 But I have not time to expatiate any further upon this subject.
Mr: Woodward goes to Philadelphia next week, and will be the bearer of this Letter; and also of Miss Adams's book. Your father subscribed for three setts; and I have the other two in my possession. If he wishes to have them forwarded, you will let me know. I have one besides, as I was myself a subscriber.4
The numbers of the 2d: Vol: of the U.S. Gazette which I want are 98 and 101. I believe I mistook one of them in my former Letter.— You may forward them by any convenient opportunity. I hope the segars will come soon, as I begin to be upon allowance, with the old stock.
Mr: Dana is appointed chief Justice of our Supreme Court, and Mr: Dawes is nominated to fill the vacant seat upon the bench.— If there was any business done this promotion might be serviceable to the younger Counsel at the bar, in this Town; but it is almost totally at a stand.— Never at a lower ebb: however, we live in patient expectation of better times.
Adieu; love and duty to all the family.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Decr 3d. 1791”; notation: “Hond: by Mr: Woodward.”
1. Not found.
2. Reapportionment in the wake of the 1790 census remained a matter of contention in Congress and later the executive branch for almost six months after the House of Representatives first took up the issue on 31 Oct. 1791. While debate revolved around certain technical details—the number of representatives, the ratio of representatives to constituents, and the division of representatives among the states—the substantive question at its core was the balance of power between large and small states, northern and southern interests, and Federalist and Republican sentiments.
On 15 Nov. the House of Representatives voted to set the ratio of representation at 1:30,000, and on the 23d it voted not to revise that figure to 1:34,000. Of the seven members from Massachusetts in attendance, six—Fisher Ames, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin Goodhue, Theodore Sedgwick, George { 240 } Thatcher, and Artemas Ward—opposed the former measure and supported the latter; only one—Elbridge Gerry—took the reverse stance. By contrast all nine members from Virginia backed the first proposal and resisted the second. On 24 Nov. the House passed an apportionment bill with a ratio of representation of 1:30,000 and a House of 112 members and sent the legislation to the Senate.
After two weeks of consideration, the Senate voted to amend the House bill by changing the ratio to 1:33,000 and the size of the House to 105 members, effectively reducing the influence of the larger states. Because the initial tally produced a tie, JA cast the deciding vote. A week later, when the Senate voted not to withdraw the amendment even though the House refused to agree to it, another deadlock ensued and JA again determined the result. Together the refusal of the House to accept the Senate amendment and the refusal of the Senate to withdraw it left the two chambers at loggerheads.
On 23 March 1792 the House and the Senate narrowly passed a compromise bill establishing a House of 120 members divided among the states without reference to a ratio of representation, an approach that southerners, particularly Virginians, believed was intended to diminish their influence. Ten days later George Washington, in the first exercise of the presidential veto power, rejected the compromise bill as unconstitutional because, first, no single ratio of representation yielded a House of the character prescribed and, second, the ratio of representation for several states exceeded 1:30,000. After failing on 9 April to override Washington's veto, Congress on the 10th passed yet another apportionment bill, which, like the original Senate version, set the ratio at 1:33,000 and the size of the House at 105 members. Washington signed the new bill into law on 14 April (Rosemarie Zagarri, The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776–1850, Ithaca, N.Y., 1987, p. 134–140; Michel L. Balinski and H. Peyton Young, Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote, New Haven, Conn., 1982, p. 10–22; U.S. House, Jour., 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 444, 454–455, 459–460; U.S. Senate, Jour., 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 351–354, 356, 422; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Both Montesquieu and Rousseau attributed to senates the quality of wisdom, despite having very different understandings of their composition and function (M. N. S. Sellers, Republican Legal Theory: The History, Constitution and Purposes of Law in a Free State, N.Y., 2003, p. 11–13).
4. Hannah Adams, A View of Religions, in Two Parts, 2d edn., Boston, 1791, Evans, No. 23102. Author Hannah Adams (1755–1831), a distant cousin of JA, wrote to him on 21 Feb. 1791 (Adams Papers) to ask whether she could dedicate her forthcoming book to him. JA replied in the affirmative on 10 March, “only requesting that all Titles literary or political may be omitted and that the Address may be only to John Adams Vice-President of the United States of America” (MB:Paine Trust). He subscribed for three copies of the book at that time (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0135

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-12-10

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] my Dear Mamma

I received last Evening your Letter of the 3d inst—1 I began to think you had almost forgotten me. now and then I hear from you by persons who have seen you— they tell me that you appear to enjoy your health the weather grows so severe that I am almost discourage from thinking of quiting my own fire side. Mr Smith does not find it convenient at present to Leave his official and private business— the latter however is much the most advantageous lands which he purchased of the State last summer for 3/3 pr acre he can now dispose of to people who wish to settle upon them for 10 { 241 } shillings— Collo Smith wishes me to come without him but I dont like this plan much altho I have no small share of Curiossity to see the Wonderfull City of Philadelphia—
with respect to the appointment I have no desire that Mr S—— should receive it and we have it from authority that he will not—and there is but one Person that I do not wish should have it— he has played such a double game that I hope he may be disappointed if he wishes it— I am sure that it will be much more for our interest to continue here as things are situated and I have no disposition to sacrifise substance to shadow but we hear that it has been decided at Court that no Person belonging to the senate or House of representative can be appointed for there is an express article in [the] Constitution against it—and I hope some body wi[ll] raise a dust if this is infringed upon
Browns Wife came to me day after day untill I was quite tired of hearing of her and at last I gave her twenty five shillings for which I inclose her receipt— I sent the Biscuit by Capt Bailie and I found the order and receipt of Browns Wife all which I enclose—2
Mr Rodgers takes the Charge of this Letter— he has called twice upon me— he looks very dejected—Poor Man,—3 Mrs Clarkson has a Son a week old and is very well—4 the rest of the family are well—
by Charles Storer I heard from our friends at Boston and Braintree— my Unkle Cranch was recovering—but Mrs Smith is very unwell I fear she is not long for this world pray write as frequently as you can find time— the Chrildren are very well present my Duty to my Father and Love to Louisa— is Thomas absorb[ed in] Business that we do not hear a word from him
adieu yours
[signed] A Smith—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Philadelphia—”; docketed: “E Smith to / A Adams / 1791.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Not found. The schooner Dolphin, Capt. Benjamin Bailey, sailed as a packet between New York and Philadelphia. The vessel cleared New York on 26 Nov. and arrived at Philadelphia on 2 Dec. (New York Daily Gazette, 21 Nov., 26 Nov.; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 2 Dec.).
3. Abigail Bromfield Rogers, wife of Daniel Denison Rogers, died in Boston on 7 Oct. (Boston Gazette, 10 Oct.).
4. William Smith Clarkson, the first child of Matthew and Belinda Smith Clarkson, was born on 2 Dec. (Trinity Church [New York, N.Y.] Registers, www.trinitywallstreet.org/history/?registers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0136

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-12-11

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

I again take my pen to write to my dear sister tis a long time I know you think since you have heard from me. I have the same complaints to make of you, but once since you arriv'd in Philadelphia have I receiv'd a line from you— I know your time must have been much taken up in arranging your House & receiving company. this I hope & not sickness has been the reason I have not hear'd from you oftener— as for me, how long an attendance upon a sick chamber is to be my portion I know not— When I wrote you last1 I believe I told you that mr Cranchs Leg was almost heal'd but that he had taken a great cold by going down stairs at an improper time it was a very naughty trick he did we were lathing & plastering the Parlour. & he was affraid they would not do it right unless he could direct them— He thought he could cut Laths for mr Prat—& then he did not like mr Belchers manner of laying some Bricks which had fallen out of the room where it had been fill'd in so took the pail of Morter & did it himself—but being Weak it made him sweat & then the gown was pull'd of & the fire must be put out—& where was you I hear you say—reasoning intreating & at last almost scolding before I could get him back into his chamber. this was the begining of November He took such a cold as to make him very sick it fell upon his lungs & distress him much for a fortnight— he then seem'd to be almost well, rode out, went to Weymouth got to work in his Shop & except that his cough was not gone he was geting well fast—but unluckily he took another sudden cold last week which has again attack'd his Lungs & confin'd him to his chamber & he is now very ill. His stomack loaded with Phelm he begins to thro’ it of & I hope will be better soon he is rather low than feverish his strength was much diminish by his confinement with his Leg but he was not sensible of it till he went to work. If he ever gets well again I hope he will be more attentive to himself. His Leg is perfectly well & seems to be as strong as the other— You know how he always groans when his lungs are distress this is the case now, all day & night asleep, or awake, I am almost sick for want of sleep myself— Lucy stands by me a good attentive child or I could hold out— She spent last week with her sister mrs Norton as is daily expectation of geting to Bed—2 mrs Nortons Mother is with her & will stay till she gets up again I am very glad she can be with her as I cannot—3 Richard grows a fine { 243 } Boy & can say any thing he is told to & speaks very plain— I have heard from Haverhill last week mr Cranch had a Letter from Willm he does not say but they are well at his uncles he gets some business but not enough to pay his expences
Miss Eunice is to be remov'd to Dorchester this week to board at a mr Mosleys4 she regrets leaving Braintree but to stay at the Doctors this winter she cannot mrs Phipps is very crazy & take no care scarcly of her Family—5 I feel sorry to have her go I shall miss her sadly her good sense I shall pine after. & I fear she will miss me more than I shall her upon some accounts— She is in good spirits & in pretty tolarable health for her She sends her Love to you— mrs Quincy spent a few days with us not long since desires to be remember'd to you
Polly Tailor has been here & spent four or five days likes her place very well & sends her Duty to you— mr Jeffery is gone to sea for his Health6 If I had not receiv'd your Letter the Day I did your cellar would have been stop'd I had spoken to mr Pratt & was to have had the sea-weed carried the next day & it would have been a sad thing to have look'd so meddlesome— your Hogs are all kill'd & salted one & an half from mr Pratts which were good The shoulders are so large that I shall Bacon them I thought it would not do to salt them your Pigs which I had are very fine they weigh'd eighteen score & seven pounds & I have more than two packs & an half of Hogs fat for you— shall you want much more Bacon than [life?] hogs will give you your Pork will be very fine I believe
[Floryr?] has retain'd Celias child She ask'd Phebe to let her keep thanksgiving with her & then refus'd to let her take her back again Said she had abus'd her but tis not true. She is there without any cloaths but what she had on Phebe would not let her have them
The widow Howard is or has been a widow bewitch'd Jo Bass the shoe maker is the person accus'd but he will not marry her—
pray let me hear from you soon I pine for a Letter Love as due from your Brother Neice & affectionate Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at 11 Dec. 1790. Some loss of text due to wear at the fold.
1. Not found.
2. William Smith Norton, second child of Jacob and Elizabeth Cranch Norton, was born in Weymouth on 29 Dec. (History of Weymouth, 4:444).
3. That is, Mary Porter Norton (1735–1810), mother-in-law of Elizabeth Cranch Norton (Vital Records of Abington, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1912, 1:173, 2:319; History of Hingham, 3:93).
4. Eunice Paine moved to Dorchester to board with Thomas Moseley (1728–1796) and { 244 } his family (Eunice Paine to Robert Treat Paine, 29 Dec., MHi:Robert Treat Paine Papers; Boston Polar-Star, 26 Dec. 1796).
5. Mary Brackett (1761–1831) of Braintree, daughter of James Brackett and his second wife, Mary Glidden Brackett, had married Dr. Thomas Phipps in 1780. The fourth of their seven children was born in April 1791 (Herbert I. Brackett, Brackett Genealogy: Descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth and Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree, Washington, D.C., 1907, p. 527, 537, 539; Amherst, N.H., Farmer's Cabinet, 22 Oct. 1831).
6. Patrick Jeffery (ca. 1748–1812), husband of Mary Wilkes Storke Hayley Jeffery and partner with Joseph Russell Jr. in a Boston mercantile firm, sailed round-trip from Boston to the Madeiras aboard the brig Mermaid, Capt. Moses Grinnell, departing during the first week of December and returning during the last week of May 1792 (George Lyman Kittredge, The Old Farmer and His Almanack, Boston, 1904, p. 12–13; Boston Columbian Centinel, 1 Jan. 1791, 7 Dec.; Boston Independent Chronicle, 31 May 1792; Survey of Federal Archives, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, comps., Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charlestown, 1789–1795, Boston, 1942, p. 130–131).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0137

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1791-12-18

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I wrote to you on the 27 of Novbr but company comeing in call'd me from my pen, and I have not since had leisure to reassume it. I have so little Time that I can call my own whilst here that I think when I return to Braintree I ought without suffering from any reflections to be able to live retired. on Monday Evenings our House is open to all who please to visit me. on twesdays my domestick affairs call for me to arrange them & to labour pretty well too, for the wednesdays dinners which we give every week to the amount of sixteen & 18 persons which are as many as we can accommodate at once in our Thousand dollors House on thursday the replacing & restoring to order occupies my attention the occasional intercourse of dinning abroad returning visits &c leaves me very few hours to myself. I feel that day a happy one, when I can say I have no engagement but to my Family I have a cleaver sober honest & Neat black woman as my daily cook. in this respect I am happier than formerly. I always hire for company. the greatest trouble I have, is that mrs Brisler is chiefly confind to her Bed wholy unable to do the least thing for herself or Family. she was better after I came here, but a return of the intermitting fever together with her old weakness & complaints not only deprives her of her usefulness, but is a great incumberance to me, and takes up much of the Time of my help. in short I know not how I get through, for I have no other help than those I brought with me except the cook. I have been very well myself till about a fortnight since. I have labourd under complaints [. . . .]1 I am still afflicted. mr Adams is recoverd from his { 245 } complaints but labours under a great cold. Thomas has escaped better than I feard from the Rhumatism. it threatned him for several weeks Louissa is very well. cealia requests me to inquire after her child & prays you would write to me & inform her if it is well. mrs otis & cousin Betsy are well. we live Socible & Friendly together. in many respects I am much better off than when I lived out of Town. expence is not to be taken into consideration that is almost beyond calculation. What a dreadfull blow this defeat of Sinclair & his Army?2 my Heart bleads for the Relatives of as worthy officers as ever fought or fell but, the justice the policy the wisdom of this cruel enterprize lies with higher powers to investigate than mine.
Your kind Letters of Novbr 6th & 11th came safe to Hand and made me truly happy3 So little hopes had I of the recovery of our dear and valuable Friend that I feard to hear from you; I could never have imagind that a Leg such as his was, & which appeard to be so far gone in a mortification, could possibly have been restored & that so soon— thanks to that all gracious Providene whose kindness has been so frequently displayd towards us— I heard last week from mrs smith and her little ones.4 they were all well. you begin I suppose to feel anxious for mrs Norten. I hope to hear in due time that she has a daughter. I feel anxious about our House at Braintree There was a place in the Roof that Leakd much. I sent for two Carpenters but they could not find out the place. I wish it might be lookd too. I spoke with Brother about it, but fear he has not thought about it. I see by the paper that mr Jeffrie is gone to the Madarics for his Health. I want to know how Polly does & how she is likd. I often think of your Neighbours saying she was as necessary to him as his daily Bread. I miss her very much in things which it will be hard for any other person ever to make up to me, in that ready offerd service which prevented my wishes, and which is always so pleasing. yet she balanced the account sometimes by the vexation which she occasiond me. I wish her well, and shall always value her good qualities, and freely credit her for them cealia is as good as I could expect, but would soon be led way if I did not strickly guard her. Katy has all the dispositions in the world [as] sterns says,5 but wants experience, in a Service which is quite New to her. She is faithfull in her duty, but poor Girl has h[er] sister & two children to look after. in short I think sometimes it cost me as dearly for honesty & fidelity as it would for knavery and I seem to have got an entailment that follows me through the world, particularly a certain degree of sickness that I must take charge of— however it is I hope a { 246 } part of the portion of good which I ought to do. if so I am in fault to complain— remember me kindly to all Friends mrs Payne I often think of. give my Love to her & tell her I hope to see her early in the spring with my other Friends pray if I did not mention the desk before give for it what you think it reasonably worth, and ask the dr for the money. let me hear from you as often as you can and be assured of the sincere affection / of your sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by TBA: “Mrs: Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs. / A Adams. Pha: / Decr 18. 1791.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and due to a torn manuscript.
1. One line at the top of the page has been cut off.
2. On 4 Nov. an American army sent into the Ohio country under the command of Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair to subdue the Miami and Shawnee Indians was itself overwhelmed in a surprise attack. More than 900 of the approximately 1,400 Americans present—regulars, levies, and militia as well as women and children—were killed, wounded, or went missing, including 69 of the 124 officers (Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1790–1795, Norman, Okla., 1985, p. 145–203).
3. Neither letter has been found.
4. AA2 to AA, 10 Dec., above.
5. Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, ch. 20, “Montreuil.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0138

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1791-12-18

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] my dear sir

Tis more than two months since I left you yet I have neither written a word to you or heard from you. Since I left Home, I have been much occupied removeing, and living in the city subjects us to company at all times, so much so that I must either be denying myself through the whole day, or appoint one evening in the week as a publick Evening. this I have found to be the most agreeable to those strangers who are daily brought to this place either by buisness or curiosity, and to those who are more imediatly connected as members of the same body with us, & who wish to keep up an intercourse, but are become too numerous to do it in any other way. we have also found it expedient to see company to dinner one day in every week, so that a good House wife as I profess myself to be must be fully occupied. I have had more Health since my return here than for many Months before, and I hope to run away from the Ague in the spring, if congress will rise soon enough, but weighty concerns occupy them, and the important one of Representation has occasiond great discussions of the subject, but no intemperate { 247 } heat. yet the great fish have a wonderfull appetite for the small fish, and the old dominion Strugles hard for an over balance in the scale. what is surprizing, is to see Some persons helping them, who mean well, but do not seem to apprehend the weight of the Negro Representitives as mr King calls them. the black cattle in the Northern states might as well claim to be represented. one of the southern rep's observed in debate that if virgina had been fully represented in senate the Question would not have gone as it has (mr Lee is absent).1 the debates of congress are most misirably given to the publick, as the Members themselves declare. the sad and dreadfull Havock of our Army at the west ward cast a Gloom over us all. some of the best officers who remaind to us after the Peace have fallen here. all our Boston youths who were officers are amongst the slain. a son of col Cobb I have heard much regreeted.2 in short tis such a stroke as we Scarcly experienced through the whole of the War. not even Bradocks defeat is said to have caused such Slaughter. a poor Gouty infirm General, always unsuckselsfull, a misirable Bandity of undisiplind Troops—an excellent Choir of officers—who I am told went out like Lambs to the Slaughter, having no prospect of conquering— I apprehend much uneasiness will ensue—what is to be done is not yet determind? for Foreign affairs, mr Madisson is to go to France, and a mr pinckny who was an officer from S carolina and lost a Limb in the service, will be Nominated for England he sustains an amiable good character—3 I presume congress will set Six months if not longer.4
with regard to our private affairs, sir mr Adams wishes you to engage mr Loud to make and have ready by spring two sashes for to make windows from my Chamber and two small ones for the chamber over that, and he thinks it would be best to paint the House again.5 at what season can that be best accomplishd?
I should be obliged to you sir if you could engage a person to procure me two beds at vendue Bolsters & pillows I was obliged to Borrow all last summer. I would chuse they should be of the best kind, and you will think of me for Beaf in the season of it and a cask of Tongues, two of them I should like to lay in as I found them more usefull than large hams—and I should think it best to secure six Barrels more cider than we have. if we live we do not mean to remain here a week after congress rises even tho it should be in Febry
in Janry you will receive some interest for me. I wish you would send mrs Cranch 5 cords of wood on my account, but do not let even her know from what quarter it comes. mr Cranchs long { 248 } sickness must have embarassed them. and there is a widow dawson very old and infirm, be so good as to direct mrs cranch to inquire into her necessities and to lay out two dollors for her in wood or other necessaries—6 ‡ a mark of that kind in your Letter will inform me that what I request will be Complied with—
I hope you enjoy better Health this winter than in the summer past, and that you will take good care of yourself when the spring approaches. my best regards attend your worthy Family and all other Friends—
yours most / affectionatly
[signed] A Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “Honble: Cotton Tufts Esqr: / Weymouth”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Adams / Dec. 18. 1791”; notation: “No. 1.”
1. Senator Richard Henry Lee of Virginia did not take his seat in the 2d Congress until 21 Dec. (U.S. Senate, Jour., 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 358).
2. William Gray Cobb (1773–1791), an ensign under St. Clair, was a son of Col. David and Eleanor Bradish Cobb of Taunton. At the time of his son's death, David Cobb (1748–1830), Harvard 1766, was chief justice of the Bristol County Court of Common Pleas, major general in the Massachusetts militia, and speaker of the state house of representatives (Bradford Adams Whittemore, Memorials of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, Boston, 1964, p. 106–108).
3. On 21 Dec. George Washington nominated three men as U.S. ministers plenipotentiary: Thomas Pinckney to Britain, Gouverneur Morris to France, and William Short to the Netherlands. Rumors that James Madison would receive the appointment to France had circulated for months. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson of 29 Sept., written from Paris, Short reported, “A letter from America informs me that the delay in the appointment of the minister here is supposed to proceed from your endeavouring to prevail on Madison to accept it and his hesitating and taking time to consider. As the person who writes me is a great friend of yours as well as mine I should have supposed what he said well founded if your letter did not prevent it” (Jefferson, Papers, 22:174, 262). See also WSS to JA, 21 Oct., above.
4. Congress sat from 24 Oct. to 8 May 1792 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
5. Possibly Jacob Loud (1747–1820) of Weymouth (History of Weymouth, 3:376).
6. Probably Mary Veasey Dawson, widow of George Dawson (Sprague, Braintree Families).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0139

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1792-01-23

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] dear William

The kind of silence which we have observed toward each other since I left Massachusetts, is not at all congenial with my feelings or disposition. You had just embarked in a cause in which I feel myself particularly interested; to know the success of the enterprize thus far would give me much satisfaction; the object of this letter is in some measure to draw from the source of information a detail of events, so far as they have contributed to success in the undertaking; The last time we heard of you, was in a letter from JQA, you { 249 } had been engaged with him in supporting the petition of Braintree.1 I have never heard the result of the affair, I have no doubt however, the parent received the ablest support from her Sons. The instance was somewhat singular, and I think the wisdom of Braintree was never better exercised than in employing her own Counsel upon the occasion. This Season of the year is generally remarkably gay in your part of the Country, and for the most part favorable to business of all kinds. I hear no complaints in this place of the scarcity of Clients or any thing else. People appear to be hastening to wealth rather too easily; all classes have been engaged in speculation, except those whose hands were tied; the inclination however has been wanting to very few; this has been attended with many bad consequences, it has opperated as a discouragement to industry, because the profits of the sober trader, were too slow for the fashion; the man who had been accustomed to calculate his wealth in proportion to his exertions, saw his neighbor who was lately his inferior both in fame and fortune, in a single day, without any apparent industry of his own, out strip him in both. Banks, Tontines, Canals, Lotteries, in short every thing which ingenuity can invent to gratify this spirit, are the rage of the present day. In New York, conversation is thought very uninteresting and insipid, if a man does not talk of Millions. They have within a week or two established another Bank which is called The Million Bank of N York.2 A number of Gentlemen are about offering to lend Government two Millions of dollars at 5 pr Cent, instead of the loan which is negociating in Holland. But I hope you won't think me infected with the Scripophobia. These things will find an end shortly. These unwieldy fortunes will change Masters; for the generality of the present owners, have not sense enough to keep them. Tis the opinion of sober Citizens that the monied interest as ’tis called, is the least informed of any set of people in the Country. That is, they think nothing of the great Bank—the Government, upon the sucess and preservation of which, all their wealth in the first instance depends.
We are happy to hear that your father has recovered from the alarming state in which we left him.
Cicero, has been greatly neglected by me this winter, I believe for want of an help mate. The sort of life, one is obliged to lead in this place, is not very favorable to literature of any kind. I have kept myself tolerably free from the vortex of disipation, but I am still subjected to more than is good.
You will please to present the love of our family to our friends. { 250 } Mine particularly to some, whom amidst all the gay circles I have not forgotten.
Affectionately yours
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Haverhill”; endorsed: “T.B. Adams. / Jany. 23d. 1792. / Answd. feb. 18th.
1. JQA to TBA, 28 Oct. 1791, above.
2. Federalist taxation policies and the creation of the Bank of the United States combined to create a significant increase in paper wealth, which in turn led to considerable speculative business activity and a real estate boom throughout the United States, especially in major cities like Philadelphia and New York.
The Million Bank—one of three new banks attempting to establish themselves in New York around this time—reputedly sold thousands of shares within just a few hours, oversubscribing its million-dollar goal by a factor of ten. A few days later, the subscribers determined to merge the three new banks into a single “State Bank” designed to compete with potential branch banks of the Bank of the United States (Curtis P. Nettels, The Emergence of a National Economy 1775–1815, N.Y., 1962, p. 121–122; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 220; New York Gazette of the United States, 18 Jan. 1792).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0140

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1792-01-28

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] Dear William

This day week I put a letter into the Post Office for you under cover to my Brother JQA. and this morning I have receiv'd your many dated letter, the last is the 16th:.1 I complained in my other letter of our long silence, and am happy our thoughts should so well unite in breaking the charm. I should not have undertaken so suddenly to answer your letter, but for this circumstance. The last clause in your letter contains a few observations upon the Indian War, and a request for information concerning the original causes and the present continuation of Hostilities. This has been the enquiry, in this part of the Country; our newspapers are filled with invectives against heads of departments, which tho they come in an oblique direction yet they strike very forcibly upon The ——. It is a fundamental principle you know in the Constitution of England, as well as in most other Governments, that the King can do no wrong. This principle opperates as powerfully in this Country as in any other, only perhaps with this difference, that there is more freedom of expression and thought here, than in England. But the Minister of the War department has been and still is violently censured for continuing this War; but it is well known that he is but a Servant of Government; he however is the only mark too shoot at—and if this sort of warfare will kill him, I think he has but little chance for his { 251 } life.2 The people are not satisfyed that this is either a just or beneficial war, and they have repeatedly demanded information upon this head. Until this day they were as ignorant of the business as the people in your part of the Country. The enclosed, is the only official information that has appeared, and I am very happy that your request, and the means of gratisfying it, were put into my hands almost at the same instant.3 Even this I fear will not entirely hush the clamors. The members of the house of Reps, are many of them dealing out to us, a kind of Newspaper Stuff as tis called, and they appear very unwilling to allow the demands upon the Treasury, to which this War gives rise. The first year, Congress were called upon for 100,000 dollars upon this score, the second year the sum was more than threble, and the last year the expense is calculated at a Million and a quarter.4 The People have a right to be informed of the probable advantages of these expenditures, it ought also to be known whether they are absolutely necessary. Governor St Clair is in this City; he is not looked upon with much complacency, however whether his conduct has been culpable or not is still a question.—5 He has certainly been unsucessfull, which in former ages was considered but one degree removed from a crime.
Sub— There is one part of your letter that has affected me in a very different manner from the rest. You will easily imagine what it was. I am almost afraid to write any thing upon the subject; but I will say this, that the destruction of our whole frontire army, did not affect me so nearly. In this I believe you will think me safe. How it happens that I should feel more interested in the health happiness and wellfare of that Y—— L.—— than in that of any other with whom I am equally acquainted, I am unable to conjecture; but such I acknowledge is the case. I shall not write enthousiastically upon this point, but will only say with My Uncle Toby and [. . .] She must not die, if she does, in my mind the brightest [star?] in H—— will be extinguished. —Rosa.
My last letter was an attempt at describing [. . . .]ing features of the Times. The Rage for Scrip—is perhaps the m[ost] prominent; The Indian War is second at least. These things are exactly opposite in themselves—for the expenses of the War have counteracted all the benefit derived to the Governt from Speculation. I am glad to hear that business in your line has but one alternative, I presume you're in no need of a memento from me to perseverance. The Lawyers here as well as in Massachusetts can not boast of their business at first setting out. But there is this difference, that the old Lawyers { 252 } here do have enough and to spare, so that age and experience are sure to be rewarded. But in the present state of business among you, there is no certainty upon this head. I see by the Newspapers they are making JQA a consequential committee man I hope he has something to excuse his negligence to his friends in this part of the world.6 My best regards are at your disposal to Mr White's and other families, and my best wishes for you and your's.
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Massachusetts / Haverhill”; endorsed: “T.B. Adams / Jany. 28th: 1792. / Answd. february 18th.”; docketed: “Decr. 1. 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. William Cranch's letter to TBA has not been found.
2. An article signed “A” in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 6 Jan., opined, “That the military arrangements, and other governmental operations with respect to Indian affairs, have not been well ordered, is a truth as incontestable as the consequences have been deplorable. . . . Measures injurious to the reputation, the revenue, or the peace of the community demand immediate explanation, and if not promptly done, the minister should attone for the contempt by a loss of confidence, a loss of office, nay a forfeiture, of more consequence to him perhaps than both.”
3. The enclosure has not been found but was probably Henry Knox's “The Causes of the Existing Hostilities between the United States, and Certain Tribes of Indians North-West of the Ohio,” Philadelphia, 1792, Evans, No. 24944. On 16 Jan., George Washington had written to Knox noting that “as the circumstances which have engaged the United States in the present Indian War may some of them be out of the public recollection, and others perhaps be unknown, it may appear advisable that you prepare and publish, from authentic documents, a statement of those circumstances, as well as of the measures which have been taken, from time to time, for the re-establishment of peace and friendship.” Knox's response was published first as a broadside on 26 Jan. and then reprinted in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette and The Mail on 28 January.
4. While Knox had originally suggested in 1789 that the cost to suppress the Northwest Indians would be around $200,000, by 1791, Congress had appropriated $313,000. After Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair's defeat in November at Fort Wayne, Knox requested that Congress authorize an additional $675,000 for a total to that point of slightly over $1 million (Francis Paul Prucha, The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier 1783–1846, N.Y., 1969, p. 19–20, 22; Amer. State Papers: Indian Affairs, 1:199).
5. St. Clair arrived in Philadelphia on 21 Jan. 1792, presumably to defend himself against charges stemming from the Fort Wayne defeat (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 23 Jan.).
6. See JQA to TBA, 1 Feb., note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0141

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1792-02-01

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother,—

I have been for more than three weeks indebted to you for two very agreeable Letters, which Mr. Otis brought from you.1 They would not have remained so long unanswered but for a variety of circumstances which have concurred to engross all my time during { 253 } that period. It is possible that you may have observed in the Centinel about a month since, that a Committee of 21 inhabitants at this Town was chosen in town-meeting, to report to the town what measures it might be proper to take in order to reform the present state of the police of the town; and you may have noticed that my name was among those of several of the most respectable characters in this Town upon that Committee; if you read the Centinels in course as they arrive, you must have seen that this Committee reported a certain plan, which after being debated in town meeting for three days was finally rejected by the votes of 700 men against more than 500 who were in favor of its adoption.2 If you have noticed all these circumstances, it is probable you may feel some degree of curiosity to know something further upon the subject: You will perhaps wish to be informed what it is, that has thus agitated the whole town of Boston these five or six weeks, how it happened that I was placed upon this same Committee, and why the report was rejected—I will tell you, at the risque of fatiguing you with a tedious narration, which you may throw aside if it should become intolerable.
The Government of this town, in its corporate capacity, like that of all the other Towns in this Commonwealth, is a pure democracy; all the affairs of the town are transacted by the inhabitants in town meeting assembled, or by committees appointed by them; excepting certain powers which are vested in the Select-men, and which are very immaterial. The by-laws of the corporation are supposed to be enacted by the whole body of the people, and to be put in force by trials before Justices of the Peace.— In consequence of this system, the fact is, that no by-laws are enforced at all, and the inhabitants are subjected to various inconveniences, for the want of some internal regulation. Several attempts have been heretofore made to introduce a reformation, and to induce the inhabitants to request for a City charter. Those attempts have always been ineffectual, and the inconveniences have continued. About 6 weeks since, a town meeting was called, where after a debate upon the subject, in which the objects to be reformed were fully laid open and explained, the Committee, which I have already mentioned, were chosen.— It was a subject upon which I felt altogether uninterested, having been so short a time an inhabitant of the Town, and suffering personally very little from the inconveniences which had occasioned the complaints from whence that town-meeting resulted. I happened however quite accidentally to be present at the meeting and was { 254 } nominated by Dr. Jarvis, to be a member of the Committee, and was accordingly chosen. He was indeed the last man in this town from whom I should have expected such a nomination, and I cannot very readily account for his motives.3 Dr. Welsh asked him what his object was; and he answered, “that this Country were under great obligations to my father, and he thought it very proper that some notice should be taken of his Son; that he observed I generally attended the town-meetings, and appeared to interest myself in the affairs of the town; that I was a sensible young man” (excuse the vanity of the relation) “and he wished to hear my sentiments upon this subject.”— I mention these circumstances because it will I believe, be somewhat surprising to your father, as it was to myself, that the first public notice ever shown me by the town of Boston should proceed from the nomination of Dr. Jarvis. I may now proceed to the transaction of the business itself.— The Committee met several times, and after discussing the subject amply and deliberating with great coolness and harmony agreed upon the plan which was proposed, and which you have perhaps read. The agreement was unanimous, with one exception, which was Mr. B. Austin, commonly called Honestus; he set his face against the reform from the beginning and did not agree to one article of the report. All the rest, though many of them differing widely as the poles, in most of their political sentiments, were fully agreed upon this point. When the report was debated in town-meeting Austin opposed it with the utmost degree of vehemence and absurdity. “It was to destroy the liberties of the people; it was a resignation of the sovereignty of the town; it was a link in the chain of Aristocratic influence; it was intended in its operation to throw the whole burden of taxation upon the poor.” In short his speeches were such a farrago of nonsense and folly that it was hardly possible to imagine they could have any effect at all. On the other hand, Sullivan and Jarvis and Otis with several other Gentlemen argued the whole subject over and over with more popular eloquence than I ever saw exhibited upon any other occasion; yet upon the final Question, the result was as I have stated, seven hundred men, who looked as if they had been collected from all the Jails on the continent, with Ben. Austin like another Jack Cade, at their head outvoted by their numbers all the combined weight and influence of Wealth of Abilities and of Integrity, of the whole Town.— From the whole Event I have derived some instruction, and above all a confirmation of my abhorrence and contempt of simple democracy as a Government; but I took no part in the debate.— It { 255 } was indeed a very good opportunity, that was offered me, of opening a political career, especially as I had been put upon the Committee; but for a variety of reasons I chose at least to postpone to some future period, my appearance as a speaker in town meeting; the principal of which was a want of confidence in myself, which operated most forcibly upon me. I hope, however, the time will come, when I shall not be so much oppressed by my diffidence.
But the sequel of the story is no less curious than the rest. The day after the question was decided, Russell the printer demanded of Austin, in the public street, satisfaction, for a personal insult he had received from him at the town-meeting; and upon Austin's refusing to give satisfaction, Russell treated him with every possible indignity, and gave him a severe corporeal bruising: upon which Austin spread abroad that Russell was the mere instrument of aristocratic revenge, and that he did not act from resentment for his own injury, but at the instigation of a few rich men, who were enraged at seeing the success with which he had advocated the cause of the people.— And such was the obsequious servility of his rabble, that in consequence of this suggestion, several hundreds of them assembled the same evening; threatened to pull down Russell's printing office, and the houses of the aristocrats who wished to enslave the people, and actually paraded the streets with clubs, and with violent menaces for two or three hours: however they did no real mischief, and the matter seems now to have blown over pretty generally; though the partizans on both sides are still warm and ready to quarrel.4 I have from the beginning taken the part of a spectator rather than that of an actor in the scene, and I think the whole affair has given me some additional knowledge of human nature.
The present is quite a busy time in our political world; there are several other subjects upon which I could write you other letters as long and as tedious as this; but I must reserve some of my information for your father, to whom I am ashamed not to have written this long time. I intend soon to give him some account of another occurrence, which has made not a little political agitation in our atmosphere.
I have not much more to say to you respecting myself. Our Court of Common Pleas have sat again since I wrote you; I argued one more cause, and was successful. I gain my causes, but I get no business; that is at as low an ebb as ever, but I am tolerably habituated to the lot, and say, with Ancient Pistol, “si fortuna me tormenta, il sperare me contenta.”5
{ 256 }
The Petition from the North Parish in Braintree is hitherto successful. The Committee of the General Court before whom I mentioned to you our having argued the point, reported in favour of the petitioners: the bill for incorporating the town of Quincy, has past the Senate and is now before the House of Representatives. Hichborn has been indefatigable in his opposition to the business in every stage of it, but has not yet been able to defeat us.— The Question will not be finally decided till next week.
Mr. Cranch has been in town about a fortnight upon this affair, and attending the Court of Common Pleas. He has recovered to all appearance from his sickness, though he does not look so healthy, or in such spirits, as he was wont. Our other friends are all well.
Your brother,
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from MHS, Procs., 2d ser., 4:62–65 (1887–1889).
1. Not found.
2. The Boston Columbian Centinel, 31 Dec. 1791, noted the formation of a committee “to take into consideration the present state of the town, and adopt such measures, as may conduce to lessen, if not remove, the present embarrassment, either by an application to the Legislature to add new officers, with an increase of power, to the Corporation, or take such orders on the present police, as to give energy and respectability to the executive authority of all the Town Officers.” The paper went on to reprint the committee's report and the debates around it on 14 and 21 Jan. 1792. On 28 Jan., it gave the final vote tally as 517 in favor of the committee's report and 701 against it at a meeting that JQA described in his Diary as “very disorderly. Hall overflowing” (D/JQA/18, 26 Jan., APM Reel 21). The plan would have divided Boston into wards and created a town council with increased authority to appoint officers and enforce the by-laws.
3. For Dr. Charles Jarvis and his quarrel with JA, see vol. 8:413, note 2.
4. Benjamin Russell (1761–1845) was the owner and editor of the Boston Columbian Centinel, a Federalist newspaper. At the town meeting, Russell was selected to count votes along with Benjamin Austin Jr. Austin initially accepted the task but then refused, saying he would not serve with “such a fellow as Ben Russell.” Russell took offense and the next day, 27 Jan., called Austin out, threatening and spitting on him. That and subsequent evenings, a mob of mechanics—who supported Austin—gathered to tear down Russell's offices. They were stopped by the authorities.
Austin sued Russell for assault and battery, asking for £1,000 in damages. The Supreme Judicial Court found in Austin's favor in March 1793 but fined Russell only £1 (DAB; Philadelphia Mail, 25 Feb. 1792; Boston Columbian Centinel, 27 March 1793).
5. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act V, scene v, line 102.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0142

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-02-01

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Hond. and dear Brother

I have lately received a Letter from my worthy Friend and Nephew Mr. William Bond of Portland, informing me that he wishes, thro’ my intervention, to offer his Service to Congress as an assistant in the Mint of the United States which he supposes will be soon established. I have reason to think that very few Persons can { 257 } be found at present in the United States who are so well acquainted with the Art of cutting and engraving the Dyes, or of working in Gold and Silver as he is. He was a chief Workman, while he resided in London, in making a most magnificent Service of Plate for the Empress of Russia, and has had all the advantages which that City affords for making himself a compleat Master in that Branch of Business. He particularly excells in the Art of Engraving. His moral Character is unimpeached, and his Circumstances in life are very respectable. I have enclosed a Copy of that part of his Letter to me which respects the subject of the Mint, together with some specimens of his Engraving of Dyes. If you should think him deserving the Notice of Congress in the Line in which he offers himself, you would oblige me much in using your Influence in making him known to that Department where the Business of establishing the Mint is to be conducted. A Line from you on the subject, after you have made such Enquiery as your Goodness will prompt you to make, will be very obliging to me.1 The affair of incorporating the North Precinct of Braintree together with the Farms and Squantum, into a seperate Town, is now before the Genl Court. I have been very closely engaged in the Matter for three Weeks past, as Agent for the Petitioners. We have had all the force of Mr. Hitchborn against us, but he has not yet succeeded. The Report of the joint Committee who came to view the Premisses, was in our favour, that we should be set off as a distinct Town together with the Farms and Squantum, but not to include Knights Neck. This Report was accepted in Senate, and leave given to bring in a Bill for that purpose, and was concurred by the House. A Bill was brought in accordingly (drawn by your Son) which passed the Senate, and was sent down to the House last Friday. I came home the next Day (being very unwell) and have not yet heard of its fate in the House, but I think it will pass. The Senate have named the Town Quincy.
Please to give my most affectionate Regards to Sister Adams, and let her know that my Gratitude to her is more than I can express, for her assistance to me in my late dangerous situation, when on the verge of Death; and for all the concern of a Sister and Friend that she has since had for my Recovery.— “Blessed are the Mercifull for they shall obtain Mercy”.
Your aged and dear Mother, and your Brother and Family are well. Uncle Quincy is as well as usual. Mrs. Norton is so well as to get down stairs again, and her little Boys are finely. The other Branches of our Friends are in usual Health as far as I have heard.
{ 258 }
I hope this will meet you and your Family under agreeable Circumstances; and that every Blessing may attend you is the Wish of your obliged and affectionate Brother
[signed] Richard Cranch.
My dear Mrs. Cranch and Lucy send their Love to you all.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / the Vice President / of the / United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “ansd. 28. March 1792”; docketed: “A Letter from / Richard Cranch / Feb 1792.”
1. For William Bond of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, Cranch's nephew by marriage, see vol. 7:176. He was probably one of the 400 craftsmen employed by silversmiths George Heming and William Chawner in 1775 to produce two complete dinner services and dessert sets for Catherine the Great— likely the largest single commission received in England from a foreign client in the eighteenth century (Hugh Honour, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths, N.Y., 1971, p. 206).
Bond's engravings are apparently no longer extant, but a copy of his letter of 3 Dec. 1791 to Richard Cranch in Cranch's hand is in the Adams Papers. In that letter, Bond notes that he has heard of the possible establishment of a U.S. mint and believes that his twenty years of metal-working experience, “some of the time in large Manufactorys in London,” would be of use in the new office. “I have thoughts,” he continues, “of offering my Services to the United States in the Line I have mentioned above, either to work at, or conduct the working part of the Gold and Silver; or to repair, or, if tho’t able to do it sufficiently well, to cut such Dies as may be wanted, or as many of them as I can, or in any Line of the Department in which I could be usefull.”
JA's reply to Cranch's request has not been found, but on 12 April 1792, Cranch again wrote to JA thanking him for a letter of 28 March and noting Bond's willingness to “accept of a subordinate Employment in the Mint Department, as his Business in Navigation is not so profitable now as it has been for some years past. . . . If when the Officers of the Mint are nominated you could introduce Mr. Bond as a Candidate, I think you would thereby promote the publick Good in that Department, and at the same time oblige a capeable, honest and worthy Man” (Adams Papers).
The establishment of a U.S. mint had been under discussion ever since the Constitution granted Congress exclusive authority to coin money. Congress formally established the mint in Philadelphia in April; David Rittenhouse was appointed its first director (Jesse P. Watson, The Bureau of the Mint: Its History, Activities and Organization, Baltimore, 1926, p. 3–7, 17).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0143

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-02-05

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear son

Tis a very long time since I wrote to you, or heard from you I have been more engaged in company than is my choice but living in Town has necessarily devolved more of it upon us than heretofore, and tho we have not seen more than in reality we ought to considering our publick Character, yet it is much of an Egyptian task, and fall some times much heavier upon me than my state of health will bear. we have regularly dined from 16 to 18 and sometimes 20 person every wednesday in the week Since I removed into Town, and on Mondays I see company. the rest of the week is or might be { 259 } altogether taken up in Par[ties] abroad, many of which I have been obliged to decline on account of my Health. Your sister has been with me these 5 weeks and william, the col & Charles part of the time. they will leave me in a week or 10 days, and when we are to meet again, is in the Bosom of futurity The col & Family embark for England in the March Packet, not in a Publick capacity, but under such advantageous private contracts that tho it is with the utmost regreet I can consent to the seperation yet I think I ought not to say any thing to discourage them.1 tis probable two years will be the least time they will be absent. the matter has been only a few days in agitation, and the determiniation of going in the March packet will hasten them from hence Sooner than I am willing to part with them. I am glad to see one of the Family in a prosperous situation, as from the col account I have reason to believe he is. I wish your Father would propose Thomass going with him. I think it would be advantageous to his Health and would give him a good opportunity of seeing Something more of the world he could be in the col's Family and of service to him in his transactions but I dare not venture upon the proposition, and as the cols going was communicated to him but yesterday I believe the thought has not yet occurd to him. Congress proceed so slowly in Buisness that I fear I shall be detaind here till May to my great regreet Post office Bill Representation & Indian War are great subjects of debate, the latter a melancholy one indeed— the secretary at War and of the Treasury are attackd and handled pretty Roughly in the News papers. your transactions for me in the Buisness way met my approbation. Cheeseman however did not act the Man of Honour and shall not be employd by me again. if I found Cealia, as I did, he was to have only 8 dollors which he was to call upon me for here. I never gave him any Authority to apply to you. When you receive the Rent of the House, Buy a Peice of Linnen and cambrick for them & get cousin Lucy Cranch to make your shirts and pay her for doing it out of the Rent. I know you must want a peice.
we are all in pretty good Health, the old intermitting still torments us at times tho it does not amount to the Ague yet—
inclosed is a Ticket:2 see if it is worth any thing and let me know the cider you bought should be drawd of this month or the begining of March.
Let me hear from you soon and be assured that I am / Your affectionate Mother
[signed] A Adams
{ 260 }
we send you Espinasse printed here judge Lowel is so good as to take it3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “John Quincy Adams Esqr: / Boston”; endorsed: “My Mother. / Feby: 5 1792. Philadelphia” and “My Mother. 5. Feby: 1792.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. The exact nature of WSS's contracts is unknown, but they were probably an extension of the speculative ventures that he commenced during his 1790–1791 trip to England, for which see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 12 Dec. 1790, note 2, above. WSS was apparently displeased with having to make this second voyage; he wrote bitterly to Henry Knox that the trip was “a money making pursuit, which was never suited to my genius nor my ambition, but you may tell the President that he & his minister of State have forced me to it.” WSS blamed George Washington and especially Thomas Jefferson for their failure to provide him with what he considered an adequate governmental appointment. WSS, AA2, and their two children sailed for England on 29 March 1792 aboard the Bristol, Capt. Pierre de Pyster, arriving in England in early May (WSS to Knox, 27 March, MHi:Knox Papers; New York Diary, 30 March).
2. Not found.
3. Isaac Espinasse, A Digest of the Law of Actions at Nisi Prius, 2 vols., London, 1789, was reprinted and sold in Philadelphia by Joseph Crukshank and William Young (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 Jan. 1792).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0144

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1792-02-05

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I received your kind Letter of decbr and sincerely congratulate you and my Neice upon the Birth of a son, tho I could have wishd it had been a daughter.1 I have had the pleasure of having mrs smith and William on a visit to me for 5 weeks. the col has been part of the time here & Charles spent a fortnight with me. they expect to leave me in a week or ten days. this would be but a small matter to me as I should hope to see them again when I past through N york, but of that I have no prospect. the col has made a very advantageus contract with Some Gentlemen which will carry him abroad and keep him [there?] two years and accordingly he takes his Family with him and [plans?] to sail in the March Packet. this you may be sure is a heavy stroke to me, but I cannot wish them to decline it, as he goes upon a certain sure footing, and a probable great advantage mrs smiths is in circumstances which will make me more anxious for her, but my Family are destined to be scatterd I think.2 I begin to long for the Time when I shall set out for Braintree. I fear it will not be earlier than the last year. my Health for six weeks has not been good. I still Labour under an Intermitting which I apprehend will increase with the warm weather. I am not confind, but am frequently obliged to decline going into company, of which this city is the General Resort during winter, and one continued Scene of { 261 } Parties upon Parties, Balls & entertainments equal to any European city. the Publick amusements tis True are few, no Theatre here this winter an assembly once a fortnight, to which I have not been this season but the more general method for those who have Houses calculated for it, is to give Balls at their own Houses. The Indian War has been a distressing subject. who & who have been in fault is not for me to say. where a commander is to be found fit for the Buisness I believe will puzzel more wise Heads than one. the war is an upopular one. if it is a necessary War as I presume it is, it is to be hoped that measures will be persued to render it more Successfull than it has yet been, but I believe those whose judgments are good, have little expectations that it will be so.
what is become of Betty & her Husband? Cealia is very anxious about her child & very unhappy at the part her Mother has taken. I was glad to lea[rn] that Polly was well & pleasd with her place. we have had [. . .] weather here. the judge & mrs Lowell have been a month here and by them I shall forward this to you.3 mrs Brisler is much better than she was, her disorder proved to be an intermitting fever
Let me hear from you and my Friends as often as you can it will give great pleasure to your / affectionate Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by TBA: “Mrs. Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs. / Adams (Pha:) / Feb 5th. 1792.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. Not found.
2. AA2 miscarried this pregnancy, apparently sometime en route to England; see AA2 to JA, 7 May; TBA to AA, 17 July; and Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 26 Aug., all below.
3. Rebecca Russell Tyng Lowell (1746–1816), who had become Judge John Lowell's third wife in 1778 (Vital Records of Charlestown Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 3 vols., Boston, 1984, 1:379, 430; Ferris Greenslet, The Lowells and Their Seven Worlds, Boston, 1946, geneal. table).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0145

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1792-02-13

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

Your Letter of the 9th, gave me great Pleasure as it discovers a curiosity that is laudable and contains a very handsome Relation of political Events and Movements in New York of great Importance to that State and very interesting to the United States.1
The Writings which have excited your inquisitive disposition, were of Some importance in their day as they had Some Influence on the public Opinion; but are now forgotten and will probably { 262 } never be again recollected except by you and your Brothers & sister. It is a great Consolation to me that no Party Virulence or personal Reflections ever escaped me, in all the sharp Contests in which I have been engaged.
My first Appearance as a Writer was in the Boston Gazette in 1763 or 1764 under the signature of U in opposition to a Writer in Fleets Paper whose Signature was, J.2 My next Essays were the Essay on the Cannon and Feudal Law in 1765—3 in the Same Year I wrote a few Pieces called Letters from the Earl of Clarendon to William Pym other Letters from Governor Winthrop to Governor Bradford.4 in 1772 I wrote eight Letters to General Brattle on the subject of the Independence of the Judges. This is a Work of some Importance and deserves your Reading.5 in 1774 and 1775 I wrote a long Series of Papers under the Signature of Novanglus, an extract of which was reprinted in England under the Title of History of the Rise and progress of the Dispute with the Colonies.6 in 1776 I wrote at Philadelphia Thoughts on Government in a Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend.7 in Holland in 1780 I wrote the Letters to Calkoen.8 in England in 1777 I wrote the Defence of the Constitutions.9 I had forgot, in Paris in 1780 I wrote a series of Letters which were printed in 1782 in England under the follish absurd Title given it by the Printer of Letters from a distinguished American.10 in Holland in 1782 I wrote a Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe on the Topick of American Independence11 in 1790 & 1791 I wrote Discourses on Davila.12 in Boston I always wrote in the Boston Gazette. that my Confession may be compleat I must tell you that I wrote a very foolish unmeaning thing in fleets Paper in 1762 or 1763 under the signature of Humphrey Ploughjogger. in this there was neither good nor Evil, yet it excited more merriment than all my other Writings together.13
Thus my son I have told you the whole Secret. You will find no offence against Religion Morals Decency or Delicacy and if your affection for your Father should ever induce you to look them up you will find in the most of them something to gratify your Curiosity tho there are not many of them of very great Importance. The Family are tolerably well. continue to write me the “Clashings of your Grandees.”14 I am with / much affection your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr Charles Adams.”
1. On 9 Feb., CA wrote to JA requesting “a list of the various publications of which you have been the author during your political life, The years in which they appeared, and { 263 } the papers in which they were printed. Such a present could you find leisure to make it would be greatly pleasing to me.” The rest of the letter outlined some of the rivalries and in-fighting among New York State politicians (Adams Papers).
2. JA's letters signed “U” were printed in the Boston Gazette on 18 July, 1, 29 Aug., and 5 Sept. 1763, in part as a response to Jonathan Sewall's letters signed “J” in the Boston Evening Post. For the text of the letters and analysis of JA's reasons for writing them, see JA, Papers, 1:59, 61, 66–81, 84–90.
3. For JA's “Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” first published in the Boston Gazette on 12, 19 Aug., 30 Sept., and 21 Oct. 1765, see same, 1:103–128.
4. The “Earl of Clarendon to William Pym” letters appeared on 13, 20, and 27 Jan. 1766 in the Boston Gazette; see same, 1:155–170. JA's “Governor Winthrop to Governor Bradford” pieces were printed in the Boston Gazette on 26 Jan. and 9, 16 Feb. 1767. For the purpose and history of the pieces—intended as a response to Jonathan Sewall's defense of Gov. Francis Bernard—as well as two unpublished works of the same title, see same, 1:174–176, 191–211.
5. In Jan. and Feb. 1773, JA published under his own name seven letters to the Boston Gazette opposing the payment of judicial salaries by the Crown rather than the Mass. provincial government. He was countering the arguments of Maj. Gen. William Brattle, who, as moderator of the Cambridge town meeting, had opposed debating judicial salaries on both technical and theoretical grounds. For a thorough discussion of the controversy and the text of JA's essays as well as Brattle's response, see same, 1:252–309.
6. For JA's Novanglus essays, which argued that the American colonies were not subject to parliamentary authority and appeared in the Boston Gazette between Jan. and April 1775, see same, 2:216–387. Portions of these essays were also published in England under the title “History of the Dispute with America; from Its Origins in 1754, to the Present Time” in John Almon's Remembrancer, or Impartial Repository of Public Events, 2d edn., London, 1775, p. 24–32, 45–54.
7. JA wrote the pamphlet Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies. In a Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend, Philadelphia, 1776, Evans, No. 14639, while in Philadelphia attending the Continental Congress. For the text of this work, including its earlier incarnation as private letters, and analysis of its influence on American political institutions, see JA, Papers, 4:65–93.
8. For JA's 26 letters to the Dutch lawyer Hendrik Calkoen, written in Amsterdam in Oct. 1780 in response to a series of questions from Calkoen, see same, 10:196–252.
9. An inadvertence on JA's part. He published his Defence of the Const. in London in 1787 and 1788; see vol. 7:365–366, note 14.
10. Responding to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts, JA drafted his “Letters from a Distinguished American” in July 1780. JA sent them to his friend Edmund Jenings for publication, but Jenings failed to have them printed until the fall of 1782 when they appeared in the London Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer. For a full discussion of the significance of the letters and for their texts in both draft and printed form, see JA, Papers, 9:531–588.
11. JA's “Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe,” originally drafted in letter format but then converted to an essay for publication on the subject of a general peace for Europe and the United States, appeared in a variety of European newspapers in Aug. 1782 as well as in the Boston Evening Post in November; see same, 13:160–164.
12. This is the first direct reference in the family correspondence to JA's Discourses on Davila: A Series of Papers on Political History. Beginning in fall 1789, JA began to study Enrico Caterino Davila's Historia delle guerre civili di Francia, Venice, 1630, using a French translation, Histoire des guerres civiles de France, Amsterdam [Paris], 1757. Davila (1576–1631), an Italian historian, spent over thirty years preparing the Historia, an account of the French civil war from 1560 to 1598. JA hoped that a close review of the earlier revolutions in France would shed light on the current one. His research once again affirmed for him—as had his previous studies of the Italian republics for the Defence of the Const.—the dangers of unicameral governments, especially as embodied in the French National Assembly. He was also offended by the French proposal to abolish all forms of rank and nobility, an attempt at leveling he found absurd. Typical for JA, the Discourses were a compilation of direct translations from the French of Davila's own work and summaries of the same { 264 } intermixed with JA's commentary. JA likewise borrowed heavily from the ideas of Adam Smith in Theory of Moral Sentiments, especially Smith's thoughts on distinction and rank.
Although published anonymously, JA was widely known as the author. These essays did little to ease growing tensions between Federalists and Republicans—who saw them as a defense of hereditary monarchy and in opposition to the popular French Revolution—or to improve JA's reputation outside of Federalist New England. Most notably, Thomas Jefferson took offense, indirectly attacking JA's “political heresies” in a letter of support contained in an American edition of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. JA later claimed that he cut off the series abruptly because “the rage and fury of the Jacobinical journals . . . intimidated the printer, John Fenno, and convinced me that to proceed would do more hurt than good.”
The Discourses were published as a series of unsigned essays in 32 numbers of the New York (later Philadelphia) Gazette of the United States between 28 April 1790 and 27 April 1791. All but the final number were subsequently reprinted, again anonymously, in a single volume in 1805 by Russell and Cutler of Boston. The 32d essay was not reprinted again until the twentieth century, when it appeared as an appendix in Alfred Iacuzzi, John Adams: Scholar, N.Y., 1952, p. 266–267. JA himself used the 1805 edition to revisit his work in 1813–1814, producing extensive marginalia in the copy in his library at MB. CFA reproduced some of that marginalia in his reprinting of the Discourses in Works, 6:221–403; even more extensive excerpts were published by Zoltán Haraszti in John Adams & The Prophets of Progress, Cambridge, 1952, p. 165–179. Finally, a manuscript draft of 17 of the numbers, as well as an unpublished 33d essay, exist in the Adams Papers, dated and filmed at [April 1790] (Catalogue of JA's Library; Haraszti, Prophets, p. 38–39, 165–179; Iacuzzi, John Adams: Scholar, p. 135–156).
13. JA first published as Humphrey Ploughjogger—his favorite pseudonym—in Thomas and John Fleet's Boston Evening Post, 3 March 1763. Subsequent pieces appeared on 20 June and 5 Sept., as well as in the Boston Gazette in 1765 and 1767. For all of these items, see JA, Papers, 1:58–62, 63–66, 90–94, 146–148, 178–182.
For an earlier summary and evaluation by JA of his own writings in which he gives somewhat more detail, see JA to the Abbé de Mably, 17 Jan. 1783, same, 14:181–184.
14. CA concluded his 9 Feb. 1792 letter to JA by noting that New York “has as many clashing Grandees as Florence or any of the Republics whose histories you have sketched” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0146

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-02-15

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

Your Letter of the 4th, has given me as much Pain by opening the Sceenes of Ambition in your neighbourhood as it has pleasure by the Elegance of its composition and the Intelligence with which it devellopes the Maneuvres of Parties and the Passions of Individuals.1
Another Drama at New York has been acted with equal Spirit and of more Importance.
At Philadelphia too We have had our Curiosities but I have not so much Courage as you, to undertake to explain them. When first Places are the Objects of pursuit to clashing Grandees, and the means of obtaining them are popular Arts, you know very well from History and even from your Short Experience, what is to be expected. For my own part I wish myself out of the Scuffle at almost any rate.
{ 265 }
Your Mother is confined by rhumatick complaints complicated with others, but I hope will soon be better. The rest of the Family are well. Col Smith and your sister with their Children are to embark in the March Packet for England where they are to remain two Years upon his private affairs.
I hope to See you at Braintree before the first of May and there I shall live in tranquil retirement, Silently observing the Intrigues which may preceed and attend a great Election: and with more Indifference than you may imagine concerning their Effect.
Pray will not an Effort be made for Mr Jarvis, to take a Place in our Senate?2 Write me as often as you can.
yours with great Affection
[signed] John Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr J. Q. Adams.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. On 4 Feb., JQA wrote JA a lengthy letter on “the state of our parties in this State.” He recounted the divisions caused by the appointment of Thomas Dawes to sit on the Supreme Judicial Court and the controversy surrounding the suggested reforms of Boston's town government, concluding that “the result of all the plots and counterplots will probably appear in the course of three or four weeks” (Adams Papers).
2. Charles Jarvis was frequently mentioned in Boston newspapers as a possible candidate for the Mass. senate but was ultimately elected only to the lower house of the General Court (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1792–1793, p. 139–140); see, for instance, The Argus, 30 March; Independent Chronicle, 30 March; and Columbian Centinel, 31 March.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1792-02-19

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

I wish you to take of Berry and Rogers as handsome a set of my Defence as you can find and packet them up handsomely and address them to The Reverend Joseph Priestley D. D. London, and send them by your Brother and Sister Smith. That Philosopher has made them so many Compliments in conversation as well as one in print; and as his sett was probably destroyed by the Rioters at Birmingham, I presume such a present will not be unacceptable to him.1
By a Letter from John,2 I find that Ambition and Adventure, are as active at Boston as you represent them to be at New York. The Gales I hope will be gentle and only waft the Vessell forward on her Voyage. The Storms I hope I shall either not live to see, or be on shore under my own Peartree, when they come on to blow.
Your Sisters Voyage will oblige you to look out for Lodgings. Let Us know what are your Prospects.
I am my dear Charles your / affectionate
[signed] John Adams
{ 266 }
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams.”
1. On 14 July 1791, a mob attacked the Birmingham home of Rev. Joseph Priestley, destroying all of his books and papers. The rioters mistakenly believed that Priestley had helped to organize a pro-French dinner marking the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille. The attack on Priestley was widely covered in the U.S. press; see, for instance, Boston Columbian Centinel, 21, 24 September. JA sent him a set of the three-volume Defence of the Const., which CA obtained from New York printers and booksellers Edward Berry and John Rogers. JA wrote to Priestley on 19 Feb. 1792, “I take an opportunity by part of my family bound to London, to remind you of a person who once had an opportunity of knowing you personally, and to express my sympathy with you under your sufferings in the cause of Liberty. Inquisitions and Despotisms are not alone in persecuting Philosophers. The people themselves we see, are capable of persecuting a Priestly, as an other people formerly persecuted a Socrates. . . . I am emboldened to hope that you will not be displeased to receive an other Coppy of my Defence, especially as that which was presented you formerly has probably had the honor to share the fate of your Library” (DNB; LbC, APM Reel 115).
2. JQA to JA, 4 Feb., for which see JA to JQA, 15 Feb., note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0148

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-03-08

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

it has been oweing to the multiplicity of business that I have had upon my hands for a forghtnight past that I have omitted giving my Brother earlier information of our intended departure for Europe— we expect to sail in the course of this month— at first we intended going in the March Packett—but found it impossible to get ready we have therefore postponed our departure a few days untill the equinoxial storms have blown over— the World assign different motives for this rather sudden movement some say that a Foreign appointment has been given to Mr Smith—but it is not of much consequence what the world say— you my Brother are entitled to know from me, and tis confided to you only—that it is not a public appointment which carries us a cross the Atlantick—but an engagement which Mr S has made to transact some private Business in Europe which he supposes will engage him a year or two it is his wish and my desire to accompany him as it is for so long a period and I know so well the disadvantages and ill affects of seperating families that I had rather suffer almost any inconvenience in the voyage than submit to it— we take our Chrildren with us for I cannot consent to Leave them
it would afford me much pleasure if I could see you before I go but the time is now so short that I fear it is impracticable unless your Business could permit you to sett out immeadiately upon the receipt of this I do not urge it but it would afford me great sattisfaction upon many accounts
{ 267 }
I have been upon a visit to our friends at Philadelphia this Winter which was lengthened out much beyond my intention by the severe indisposition of our excellent Mother a day or two before I had intended Leaving them she was seized with the inflamatory rhumatism which was followed by the intermitting fever and she has been very much reduced with it them I stayd with her as long as my time would possibly admit and untill I thought her better Thomas writes me that She began to take the Bark on Sunday and thought herself upon the recovery1 Heaven Grant She may for her Life is very precious to us her Chrildren and to all who know her—
I frequently wished that you could have joined us there Charles was there a forghtnigt my Father received one or two Letters from you which pleased him much2 he has recovered his health and appears very well except being subject at times to a depression of spirits Thomas is very thin but enjoys his health tolerably and is as steady in the pursuit of his studies as his friends can wish and I hope he will succeed
there were a few Dollars left in Dr Tuftss hands for the purchase of articles which we shall not want you may receive them if you please and if possible let them bring you to see us—or keep them untill I call for them3
remember me to all my friends tell them I shall think much of them all and beleive me yours affectionately
[signed] A Smith—
it is very Late—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Sister—8. March 1792.” and “Mrs: A. Smith. March 8. 1792.”
1. Not found.
2. JQA to JA, 4 Feb., for which see JA to JQA, 15 Feb., note 1, above.
3. On 17 March, JQA replied to AA2 that “It would give me great satisfaction to pay you a visit before your departure, but the present state of my affairs is such as renders it impracticable. . . . I think I need not assure you that my most ardent wishes and prayers for your prosperity will attend you, in whatever climate of the earth your fortune may place you; and above all that you may, in due time, return to your family and friends; and with a full and satisfactory reward for all the troubles which a voyage of this kind may occasion to you.” JQA also hoped that WSS would purchase law books for him in England and noted that Cotton Tufts would keep custody of the items he had purchased on AA2's behalf (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 3:148–149).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0149

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1792-03-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Child:

Your kind letter of the fourth of this month is before me.1 I have frequently desired your mother to consent that I should send for { 268 } other advice; but she has always forbid it, alleging that she was perfectly satisfied. The assiduity of her physician has, indeed, been very great; and his anxiety to do every thing in his power, most apparent. She is better to-day than she has ever been since her illness began, and I am much encouraged.
I rejoice that you are to wait till the equinox is over.
I do not read the New-York papers, having seldom an opportunity; but should be glad to have a hint of the various reasons which are conjectured for Mr. Jay's consenting to be a candidate.2
My love to Colonel Smith and my dear little boys.
I am, my dear daughter, with full intentions of corresponding with you frequently in your absence, and with sanguine expectations of pleasure in it, / Your affectionate father,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:118.
1. Not found.
2. John Jay, although still chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, agreed to stand as a Federalist candidate for governor against Gov. George Clinton in 1792. Alexander Hamilton, who led the Federalists in New York State, recruited Jay as the only person who might have a chance to defeat Clinton. The contest generated considerable comment in the newspapers, including speculation on Jay's reasons for accepting the nomination. Jay's friends and foes alike believed personal interests guided his decision to run but put different interpretations on those interests. One supporter wrote, “Mr. Jay no doubt consults his ease and comfort in withdrawing himself from the fatigues to which his present appointment expose him, or is perhaps of opinion that he can serve this state and the United States more essentially as our first magistrate than as Chief Justice. In the first case gratitude for his long and important services in the most trying times impell us to support him, and in the latter the spirit of federalism will call forth our most earnest exertions.” By contrast, an opponent sarcastically noted Jay's “noble instance of condescention and disinterested generosity;—he will give up £.1600 a year, and relinquish the pleasure of travelling nine months in the twelve—for the pitiful consideration of a continual residence in the most elegant mansion on the continent, and a salary, that by the next appropriation, will probably amount to £.2000.” Jay was defeated after a highly partisan and sometimes controversial election (Monaghan, John Jay, p. 325–327, 333–337; New York Daily Advertiser, 20 Feb.; New York Diary, 22 Feb.). See also CA to JA, 20 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0150

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1791-03-11

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

I received your Letter of March 7th my Dear Mamma and was very happy to find you so far recovered as to be able to use again your Pen1—altho I doubt not you find yourself very feeble and fear it may be long before you regain your strength; yet I hope by care and attention you will soon subdue this fever which afflicts you— I confess that I am but a novice in Phisick—yet I cannot reconcile it that so many weakening methods were necessary to subdue your { 269 } dissorder— I hope you will be able to go to the Eastward as soon as the roads will admit I think—a change of Air may benefit you—but of this you are the best judge—
of the situation of my mind at leaving you in such an ill state of health—it is best for me to be silent— I can only say that anxiety must be my attendant— I think it is my Duty to go—but the contest is I confess almost too much to Bear— I feel myself obliged to Mrs Dalton and Mrs Otis for their attention to you— they are friendly good Women— I hope that I may be so fortunate as to meet with one or two such friendly spirits upon my Pilgrimage— it is but very Seldom that I allow myself to reflect upon this subject but when I do— it depresses my spirits not a little— I am fortunate as it respects a Lady who is going a Passenger in the same Ship with us. she is a Mrs Thomson who has lived as a companion and friend to Mrs Gates for three or four years—her Husband is a Clergiman a Scotchman [who] came over to this Country in the begining of the war and he purchased a little Farm at Johns Town above albany and was settled there—for two years but did not find success equal to his expectations— he returnd four years since to Dundee from whence he came but his People had settled some other Person in his Place during his absence— they have however settled an hund Guineas a year upon him during his Life—and he has sent for Mrs Thomson to come home—2 Colln Duer has purchased her farm in this State—and she is going home in the Ship with us— She is a friendly cleaver Woman— her manners are mild and pleasing—and I think myself fortunate in her company—
with respect to the Chrildren—if you were settled in one place near a good school I should not object to Leaving Wm in your care—but you are travelling from Braintree to Philadelphia— at Braintree there is no school fit for him to go to; and if I Leave him here he will do just as he pleases with the whole family before one month is at an end: and Colln S. Mamma would think it hard that he should be from her all the time—so that I beleive it is best to avoid contests and evil consequences to take them both—with us— I suppose I shall be obliged to put Wm to a school from home—but I can see him every day—and I think he is too young not to require great attention from me—
I hope my Dear Mamma to hear that you are much better before I sail— I shall acquint you with the day before I go— in a Merchant Ship the period is never certain I wish it may be the last of the Month
{ 270 }
remember me to all the family with sincere affection / yours Daughter
[signed] A Smith—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Philadelphia—”; docketed: “Mrs Smith to / her Mother / March 11th 1791.” Filmed at 11 March 1791. Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Mary Vallance (ca. 1740–1810), a wealthy spinster, had become Horatio Gates’ second wife in 1786 (Paul David Nelson, General Horatio Gates: A Biography, Baton Rouge, La., 1976, p. 284, 290). Rev. James Thompson briefly ministered to the Presbyterian congregation at Johnstown, N.Y., but his pastorate “was far from exemplary, and when he left, in 1787, quite a number of charges affecting his character were brought against him” (E. H. Gillett, History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, rev. edn., 2 vols., Phila., 1873, 1:383–384).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0151

Author: Smith, Louisa Catharine
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1792-03-18

Louisa Catharine Smith to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Aunt

Excuse my intrudeing upon you a moment with a recital of a line from your Niece, Who is authorised from the feelings of her own heart And from a desire of her Aunts to gratify a request which she anxiously solicited me to comply with, I cannot object to the request altho it is a painful one, to informe you how extreemly sick my Aunt has been, I fear you have been anxiously distressed to hear particularly of her health If you should have heard of it transiently it will make you still more uneasy as I presume you have, news of this kind generaly drops from one person to another, Five weeks she has been confined to her Chamber with an inflammatory rheumatism and intermitting fever both combined together, one alone would have been quite enugh to contend with But where there is a complication of disorders, it makes them the more difficult to throw off, Wee are in great hopes that she is much better after haveing blisters applied and going through the various opperation's which a sick person has to undergoe, Wee think her greatly mended for the better, so much so that she begins to talk of giting in readiness to set out for Braintree the last of April,—
Wee have been whondering what is the reason their is not any letters from Braintree I heard my Aunt say it was a great while since she had heard from you, I hope Mrs Norton injoys her health very well, good health is an injoyment which we do not know how to prize untill we feel the want of it, give me leave to congratulate you upon the Birth of a nother grandson, little Richard I suppose begins to be very Talkative and amuseing to you, In a very short time wee { 271 } are to loose Mrs Smith she with the family saile for England in a few days, and all of us very loth to part with her,
Please to present my Respects to my Uncle, and To rejoice in the recovery of his health Please to offer my Love to my Cousins,—
And believe me to be with the / most profound Respect and esteem / your affectionate Niece
[signed] Louisa Smith
RC (MWA:Adams Family Letters); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Miss / Louisa Smith, Pha: / Mar: 18. 1792.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0152

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
DateRange: 1792-03-20 - 1792-03-21

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I have obliged Louissa, much against her judgment, to give me a pen Ink and paper, that I might mak an effort however feeble to write a few lines to my dear sister Tis now the sixth week since I have been out of the door of this Chamber, or moved in a larger circle than from my Bed to the chair I was taken six weeks ago very ill with an Inflamitory Rhumatism and tho it did not totally deprive me of the use of my Limbs, it swelld and inflamed them to a high degree, and the distress I sufferd in my Head was almost intolerable. 3 Times was I let Blood, the state of which was like a person in a high Plurisy. I am now lame in my wrists from the 8th pr of Blisters which I have had. a week after the Rhumatism attackd me the intermitting fever set in, and under that I am still Laboring. it was necessary to quell the inflamitory disease first, & Bark could not be administerd for that. I am now reduced low enough to drive away the Rhumatism, but the old Enemy yet keeps possession. the dr promisses me the Bark in a few days, but my dear sister you would scarcly know me reduced as I am. I have scarcly any flesh left in comparison of what I was, but blessed be God my Life is spaired and I am really mending, tho it must be slowly whilst this fever which daily visits me remains. in the midst of my Illness my dear mrs smith was obliged to leave me distress enough poor Girl, she then expected to have saild in 8 days but they have since determind to go in a merchant ship which is to sail this week. but tho absent from you my dear sister & deprived of the Tender care of my only daughter, I have not been without my comforts. Louissa has been a watchfull and attentive Nurse. Mrs Brisler has happily recoverd her Health and has been a comfort to me, but I have found in my old { 272 } Friend mrs dalton a Friend indeed, and in my good mrs otis & kind cousin Betsy all that I could wish or desire. one or other of them have been constantly with me, watching by Night & tending me by day as you my dear sister would have done. I have experiencd from all my acquaintance the kindest solisitude for me, & tho so long a sickness have always had more watchers to offer than I have had occasion to accept. I have had a most tedious cough through my disorder which has not yet left me. my weak state call upon me to quit the pen & lay me down. if well enough tomorrow I will take it up again
Wednesday 21.
I am much to day as yesterday, had a tolerable Night, find rather more agitation upon my Nerves. received a Letter from mrs smith who was to have saild this day, but is prevented by the cols being taken sick with his old Billious complaint so as to be obliged to be Bled and Blisterd; I am not a little anxious for him.1 how soon may our fairest prospects be leveld with the dust and shew us that Man in his best estate is but vanity and dust?2
I am almost too weak to think of any arrangments for a journey, but as soon as I am able to travel I shall Set out for Braintree. if congress are not up, mr Adams will ask leave of absence. as I have not yet been out of my chamber, the middle of April is as soon as I can expect if I mend ever so fast, but that will soon be here. there is a little painting I wish I could get done to the House before I come, I mean the stairs and the Entry below & the china closset & the kitchen floor. I wish you would consult the dr & have it done if you can. mrs Black has her small Room painted as I should like the Entry and closset. I hope my wood is ready which I engaged to have got in the winter. if I had been well I should have written to the dr respecting Several things, but I am little capable of Buisness & mr Adamss whole time is taken up with the publick Buisness. I wish you to ask the dr if he does not think I had better have a Barrel of Brown sugar bought provided it can be had good. Sugars will rise. oats I suppose it will be time enough to think of, yet if they are reasonable I wish the dr to secure us a hundred Bushel. I thank you my dear sister for all the kind care you have taken for me. I still continue to be troublesome to you. my Love to my Neices & all other Friends. I find myself too feeble to continue writing. Cealia is well much concernd for her Child. adieu God Grant us a happy meeting prays your ever / affectionate sister
[signed] A Adams
{ 273 }
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A: Adams (Pha:) / Mar 20. 1793.”
1. Not found.
2. “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Ecclesiastes, 3:19–20).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0153

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
DateRange: 1792-03-25 - 1792-03-29

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I received your kind Letter of march eleventh yesterday.1 I wrote to you last week which was the first time I had been permitted to use my pen, or indeed was able too, for six weeks. I have not yet been out of my chamber. the weather has been very unfavourable this Month. I was to have tried the carriage to day but the weather is against me. I am so feeble & faint, if I move that I do not think I could get down stairs without being carried. yet I grow impatient of confinement, and long to be well enough to set out on my journey. I fear I shall not have strength for it so soon as I wish, I would leave here the middle of April if I could.
you was so good as to make provision for me last year by procuring me those things which you thought necessary such as Loaf & Brown sugar Tea coffe meal &c as to Brown sugar I hope the dr will procure me a Barrel. I shall not have so many articles to provide as when I went last year in the furniture way, yet I did not arrive at a frying pan, or gridIron I think. I dont know whether I wrote the dr to procure me candles, if I did not you will speak to him
March 29th
Bad weather yet no riding out for which I am impatient. I yesterday received a Letter from mrs smith 24th she writes me that the col was better & that they expected to sail the first fair wind.2 I have not learnt that they are yet gone indeed my dear sister it is very hard to part with my only daughter. it has depressd my spirits very much through my sickness, but we must all have our trials, some of one kind & some of an other as to Politicks, they begin to grow pretty warm. there are Honestus in congress as well as in Boston, there are Grumblers and antifeadelist, but very few from the North. the old dominion is in a Rage, because they could not carry the point of getting more than there share of Representation in the Government all the attacks upon the Secretary of the Treasury and upon the { 274 } Goverment come from that Quarter, but I think whilst the people prosper, and feel themselves happy they cannot be blown up. I most sincerely wish a stop could be put to the Rage of speculation, yet I think it is an Evil that will cure itself in Time. tis very curious, just before the News arrived of Sinclairs defeat, mr Gerry made a motion for an Equesterian Statue to be Erected to the President, agreeable to a former vote of congress— now the coin is not permitted to wear the stamp of the President because it would savor too much of Royalty.3 so inconsistant are Men—and the same Men— but I feel that I must close. presenting my affectionate Regards to you & yours I am most Sincerely / Your affectionate / Sister
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A Adams (Pha:) / Mar 25th. 1792.”
1. Not found.
2. AA2 to AA, 27 March, below.
3. On 6 Dec. 1791, Elbridge Gerry was named to a committee to consider the creation of an equestrian statue of George Washington, pursuant to an act of Congress of 7 Aug. 1783, but no further action was taken on it and the statue was not built at this time. The House of Representatives, in discussing the establishment of the mint, debated on 24 March 1792 striking out language from the Senate version of the bill that would have designed coins featuring an image of the president of the United States. Instead, the House voted to recommend an impression “Emblematic of Liberty” (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 228, 483–485).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0154

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-03-27

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] my Dear Mamma

I this day received your Letter of the 23d inst and was rejoiced once more to see your own hand writing—1 I have for some time feared that you were more indisposed than you would permit me to be informed of, I have suffered much anxiety on your account— inded my hands head and heart have been fully employed since I left you the former in preparing for my voyage and the latter by the indisposition of my best Friend— I have already written you an account of his health. we flatter ourselvs that he is recovering—but my fears at times overcomes my resolution— I am more and more convinced of the propriety of accompanying him he is I beleive more convinced than ever he was before of the necessity of attention to his diett— he has never since I knew him had so severe an attack—Mr Bailie says that the voyage will be of service to his health—and I hope it will—yet an anxious sollicitude for his wellfare must occupy my mind—and agitate my spirits—2
{ 275 }
the Ship has been waiting for us a week and we have been detained by contrary winds since sunday which has been a most fortunate circumstance to us. the Blister which I mentioned to you has almost healed and my friend has recovered his strength— I have been on board this afternoon and have had our Beds arranged the accommodations are very tolerable much like those which you had in Callihams Ship—3 the season is favourable and I will not anticipate evill consequences
I am happy to inform you that my friend has not been injured by this derangement of Mr Duers affairs—and it is almost a miracle that he was not— altho he had more confidence in Mr Duer than some other Persons yet he has been extremely cautious of committing his property to any one without receiving sufficient security—which has not consisted in any Mans name but the public paper and so long as that holds good he is secure— this I am sure will be a sattisfaction to you to be informed of but almost this whole City are some way or other connected in this Business— many Persons having endorsed his Notes from their relyance upon his stability who have received no equivalent have become responsible for many Thousands beyond their own ability— there must be knavery somewhare Charles has written to his Father his sentiments in full, how they will be received I dont know—4 he is I must say very attentive to his office and Mr Troup has full employment for him—5 I have done my duty and have made up my mind to say no more upon the Subject let what will happen— I have indeavourd to persuade Sally to go with us—and She had consented, but her Mamma would not give her consent because she would not go free and unbiassed in her mind— there is a strange jumble; in a variety of oppinions there is much perplexity— they are both equally obstinate, but he is to bear the blame;— but the radical fault is in treating him, or any other Gentleman with too much attention—without intending it should make an impression—and whare there does exist reasons to the contrary—6
I hope as the spring opens that you my Dear Mamma will recover your health— do not attempt to stay longer in Philadelphia than the roads will admit of your going Eastward— I shall be very anxious to hear of your health by every Packett— Mr Hammond will I dare say with pleasure inclose your letters— you know how painfull it is to be seperated from friends anxious to hear from them and disappointed in Letters.—
I scarce know how to close my Letter so many and various { 276 } feelings operate upon my mind may you my Dear Mamma be restored to health is the sincere Prayer of / your Daughter
[signed] A Smith—
my respects to my Pappa and Love elsewhere—
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mrs Smith to / her Mother / March 27th 1792.”
1. Not found.
2. Possibly Dr. Richard Bayley (1745–1801), a prominent New York physician who was professor of anatomy and later surgery at Columbia College (DAB).
3. For AA's Diary account of her voyage on John Callahan's ship Lucretia, sailing home from England in 1788, see JA, D&A, 3:212–217.
4. CA's letter to JA has not been found. William Duer had been involved in land and bank stock speculation on a massive scale for several years, dating back to his time as secretary to the Board of Treasury in the mid-1780s. When the federal government finally brought suit against him for two unbalanced accounts, his financial empire collapsed and he was sent on 23 March 1792 to debtors’ prison, where he remained, excepting a brief release, until his death in 1799. Duer's failure triggered a major financial panic in New York City as the speculative bubble burst and other financiers were driven into insolvency and bankruptcy. The collapse ultimately affected all levels of New York society (DAB; Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 298–299). For WSS's involvement in speculation, see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 12 Dec. 1790, and note 2, above.
5. Robert Troup (1757–1832), King's College 1774, studied law with John Jay among others. He had previously served in the Continental Army and as secretary to the Board of War, and was a close political ally and friend of Alexander Hamilton (DAB).
6. This is apparently the first reference to a growing affection between CA and Sarah (Sally) Smith, AA2's sister-in-law (designated as SSA in The Adams Papers). The couple would eventually marry in 1795. For a 1785 description of her by JQA, see vol. 6:242.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0155

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-04-08

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

I last Week receiv'd your Letter of the 20th & 21d of March with cousin Louisias giving me an account of your sickness If I had receiv'd hers first I should have been distress'd indeed. but I had not a hint of your Illness till I receiv'd those Letters When you wrote before you told me you felt an attack of your intermiting Fever I have been anxious ever since. I dare not indulge my fears I must always hope the best & endeavour to be prepair'd for the worst—& thank Heaven I am not yet call'd to this severe trial— I rejoice you have had such kind Friends about you—& that you have not wanted any alleviation that the comforts of Life could afford you— The world are much mistaken if they think you do not have your trials as well as others. but those in the lower walks of like are apt think the affluent must be happy
I hope before this your Fever has left you & that the next letter will bring me tydings of your restor'd health & that you are upon your journey to your quiet Habitation at Quincy
{ 277 }
I went yesterday to Weymouth to consult the Doctor about what you wish to have done to your House & suppose it will be began next week to be painted— mr Prat will have the windows ready this week— mr Loud is remov'd to the eastward— I hope every thing will be done before you arrive— your wood is in the yard the Pine split up & put into the woodhouse— The Doctor Says he will look out for some sugar— If there is any thing you wish us to get into the House for you prey let us know it—
Lucy is return'd but mrs Norton is not well is troubled with a bad sore mouth & several other complaints—but her Baby grows finely & is as quiet as a Lamb—
I hear Coll: Smith has Sail'd so conclude his sickness was short but I pity Mrs Smith She must have an anxious Voyage
We have an amaizing forward spring—such an one was scarcly ever known here the verdure is delightful already—
Cousin Thomas is well I hope do not leave him to sicken in Philidelphia— William is well but poor Billy Shaw is not better—
I had a Letter from Sister Shaw the same eve I had yours—1 She is full of trouble about her Son I really felt as if I had a cluster of woes presented me at once but when I consider'd I found they were greatly overballanc'd by mercies— may I never lose sight of them.
We are going wrong in our Politicks Doctor Tufts is like to be left out of the Senate there is a party who can never have their wishes granted while such men as he are in2
I am greatly oblig'd to my dear Louisia for her Letter but I have not time to answer it pray give my Love to her & my belov'd Thomas
May your health be restor'd & nothing happen to dissapoint the fondest hopes of your / affectionate Sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Richard Cranch: “To / Mrs. Abigail Adams / at / Philadelphia.”
1. Not found.
2. Cotton Tufts was not returned to the Mass. senate in the 1792 elections; he had served since 1781 (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1792–1793, p. 139; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 12:497).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0156

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1792-04-20

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My dear sister

I have just received your kind Letter as I was about to write to you to inform you that we proposed Sitting out on our journey on monday or twesday next. the weather has been so rainy that I have not been able to ride So often as I wishd in order to prepare myself { 278 } for my journey, and how I shall stand it, I know not. this everlasting fever still hangs about me & prevents my intire recovery. a critical period of Life Augments my complaints I am far from Health, tho much better than when I wrote you last. I see not any company but those who visit me in my chamber nor have I once been out of my carriage, but to see my Friend mrs dalton who was sick before I got well, tho not till I was so much better as to do without her kind care. cousin Betsy smith has been with me for the greatest part of the Time the last Month, and a good child She is, tender and affectionate as her good Mother was. I thank you for your care about my things. we have sent last week to Boston by the Brigg Isabella a number of Boxes & Barrels. they are addrest to the care of J Q A. but I wish you to ask the dr to be so kind as to see that a carefull Team brings them to Braintree, & that Hay or straw is put into the cart, or the things will get Broken. the Bill of laiding was inclosed to mr Adams. I shall send by the Brig Maria my Trunk of cloaths &c she is now here.1 I am glad to hear that Spring is forward as I hope to find the Roads good in concequence of it, but I always fear for the fruit. if the things you mention could be accomplishd before we arrive, it would be a great relief to me— I am grieved for my dear sister shaw, tho I have not been able to write and tell her so, for I was seazd with an inflamation in one of my Eyes when I was first taken sick which has not yet left me. I could not bear a light in the Room, nor even the fire to Blaize. it is much better—but writing reading or sewing are all painfull to me mr Adams has not had any return of his Ague but lives in continual apprehension. Thomas is thin & pale but does not complain. we must leave him on account of his studies yet it will be with apprehensions that I shall hear of his being sick— I do not particuliarly recollect any thing I want, you know as well I & better for you provided for me before. if you go to Boston I should like to have a pr of Brass Andirons at about 8 dollors price, Tongues & shovel proper for my best Room but you need take no extra trouble for them. you will be So good as to have the Beds aird &c if Bety is in Braintree She may be engaged for to stay if you think best till Cealia gets Home I shall send her by the vessel now here. I am not so perfectly easy on account of travelling Home as I should have been with Robert when he was sober, but he really got to such a pass that I have been obliged to part with him & have taken one who has not driven me more than once or twice, but I hope we shall reach Home safe— Terrible is the distress in Nyork, from the failure of many of the richest people there, and from the { 279 } Spirit of Speculation which has prevaild & brought to Ruin many industerous Families who lent their Money in hopes of gain— I was mortified to See our worthy Friend stand so low on the list of senators who I had been accustomed to see stand foremost, but such is the Instability of the people. popular Leaders catch their ear and they are credulous to their own injury— in the House of Representives of the U. states matters are not going better. the Southern Members are determined if possible to Ruin the Secretary of the Treasury, distroy all his well built systems, if possible and give a Fatal stab to the funding system. in senate they have harmonized well, no unbecomeing heats or animosity. the Members are however weary & long for a recess one after an other are droping off, which gives weight to the opposite side. Many of the southern Members have written long speaches & had them printed, which has had more influence than our Nothern Friends are aware of who depending upon the goodness of their cause, have been inattentive to such methods to influence the populace.2 the V President, they have permitted to sleep in peace this winter, whilst the minister at war, & the Secretary of the Treasury have been their Game the Secretary of state & even the President has not escaped. I firmly believe if I live Ten years longer, I shall see a devision of the Southern & Northern states, unless more candour & less intrigue, of which I have no hopes, should prevail Should a War or any dire calamity assail us, then they would Hugg us, but politicks avaunt— my dear mrs smith has been a Month gone. it pains me to the Heart, but who of us can say, that we have not our troubles? our portion of happiness is no doubt equal to our deserts—
adieu my dear sister I hope to see you in a few weeks Remember me affectionatly to all our Friends / and believe me as ever yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “To / Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree / or Quincy”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs. / A Adams (Pha:) / Ap: 20th. 1792.”
1. The schooner Isabella, Capt. Abijah Luce, and the brig Maria, Capt. Isaac Pepper, had reached Boston and returned to Philadelphia by mid-May (Boston Columbian Centinel, 25 Feb., 17 March; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 21, 31 May).
2. During the House debate over the public debt and Alexander Hamilton's funding program on 30 March, several members gave lengthy speeches opposing the plan, including John Francis Mercer of Maryland, Abraham Baldwin of Georgia, Jeremiah Smith of New Hampshire, and William Findley of Pennsylvania. All were later reprinted in the newspapers (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 498–527; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 31 March, 2, 5, 10 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0157

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-04-22

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mamma

The pamphlet you have been so kind as to send me has met with much approbation here.1 The boldness of the diction receives accumulated vigor from the too serious truths which it conveys. I think however something better might have been written upon those subjects. There is most certainly too much local partiality in the administration of our Government. People in this part of the world begin to see these things. They lament that Hamilton is so surrounded by enemies, and so greatly checked in a career which they conceive to be glorious to this Country. They view the Indian war as a measure ruinous to our Credit, as a squander of blood and treasure, which might be saved by a comparatively small tribute; Nor will they easily give way to the argument that it is degrading to give tribute to Savages. Are not say they some of the greatest Sovereigns in Europe tributary to a nest of pirates? Would it not be infinitely more to our advantage, and a saving of treasure to purchase peace? Most certainly it would. And they look forward to another defeat as a vital stab to the credit of their Country The foreign appointments, they detest, and begin to suspect that the Minister of State has rather too much influence with the executive.2 These are things talked of with us. I hope I am not guilty of treason in mentioning them.
There is at this moment a seene of distress exhibited in this City which forms a horrid contrast to its former prosperity. This City which six weeks since was considered as the most florishing and the richest in America is now oppressed with misfortunes which create a general despondency The causes which have led to this you must have had detailed to you. The eagerness with which every individual who had property engaged in speculation The anxious desire of the widow and the Orphan to increa[se] their pittance by letting out their m[oney] at two three and four per Cent per m[onth?] The credit which Duer had acquired and the vast sums of money which he had drawn from the inhabitants His inability to fulfil his engagements and the consequent ruin of thousands begins this seene. An attempt to engross the 6 pr Cent debt of the United States by a company of Whom it is supposed McComb was the principal the great fall in the market the failure in their engagements their extensive connection with all the greatest speculators has created a { 281 } universal bankruptcy There is not now a rich man in this City They were all engaged and they have all fallen The confidence between man and man is destroyed and every thing puts on the look of languor. We have for this week past been in great danger of a mob The people are exceedingly exasperated they wish to draw Duer and McComb from the goal to which they have fled for safety and to proceed with them to the last extremities They are now growing more cool and by proper management I think they will be pacified.3 The Baron requested me to offer you his house when you came to town but I dare not do it4 He is the best man in the world I sincerely beleive. I shall see Mrs Loring tomorrow and will write to you where I have procured lodgings5 As I heard Congress would not adjourn till the middle of May I supposed I should [have] time. Be so kind as to present my resp[ects] to my father I fear this letter looks too m[uch] like treason to be shown to him. You may however use your discretion
Beleive me my dear Mamma your ever affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams. / Philadelphia”; docketed: “Charles Adams / to / his Mother / April 22nd 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. In late Dec. 1791, George Washington had arranged for the appointment of Thomas Pinckney as minister to the Court of St. James, Gouverneur Morris as minister to France, and William Short as minister to the Netherlands. Contrary to CA's comments, Thomas Jefferson actually preferred Pinckney or Short for France because of Morris’ opposition to the French Revolution, but he was overruled by Washington (Jefferson, Papers, 22:262). See also WSS to JA, 21 Oct., above.
3. Alexander Macomb (1748–1831), a wealthy New York financier, was heavily involved in land speculation. He fronted a syndicate that had purchased from the New York State government—at greatly discounted rates, largely on credit—some 3.6 million acres of public land. Macomb was also a close associate of William Duer, with whom he engaged in bank stock speculation. When Duer's financial empire collapsed, Macomb's failed as well, and he too ended up in debtors’ prison, at which time his land dealings became public knowledge. On 10 April 1792, a mob of 400 or 500 people threw stones at the jail where Duer was held, breaking windows and lamps before dispersing. A week later, “a number of people collected before the gaol and seemed to be in great earnest about taking Mr. D——r, and using him in the genteelest manner circumstances would admit of. It occasioned a vast deal of clamor and commotion among the multitude, which after some time became very numerous.” This group was dispersed without major incident (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 237, 239–242, 298–299; New York Diary, 20 April).
4. Baron von Steuben had a home at 32 Broadway in New York (New-York Directory, 1792, Evans, No. 24281).
5. Probably Mary Loring (ca. 1735–1816), who ran a boardinghouse at the foot of Broadway (New-York Directory, 1795, Evans, No. 28598; New York Commercial Advertiser, 1 Feb. 1816).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0158

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1792-04-29

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

I left Philadelphia on twesday Noon the 24 of April. my first stage was only twenty miles. I bore it better than I expected. the next day rode only 18. Rain came on & the Roads were Miry indeed. we did not get to this place till fryday Evening. here I find a vacancy which cannot be supplied, tho all my Friends are good & kind. the first being who welcomed me to the House, and met me at the door, was Billys little favorite dog who came skipping & hopping upon me. my feelings were awakned almost to Tears— Mrs smith I should have said moved into the Cols House when he went away N york is in great distress. many of my particulars acquaintanc whose affluence was great & well founded when I lived here, and even when I passt through last winter, are now in Ruinous circumstances, thousands worse than nothing. Such is the wheel of fortune—
we propose setting out tomorrow but shall not reach Braintree (Quincy I beg your pardon) till next week. I will endeavour to write you what day when we get into Massachuseets, not perhaps till wednesday week. my Health is better than when I set out, but the Weather is very Rainy, & I dare not travell in bad weather. my best Regards to you all
adieu yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by CA: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A: Adams (N:Y.) / Apl. 29. 1792.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0159

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-05-07

Abigail Adams Smith to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Pappa—

the Letter which I had the pleasure to receive from you before I left New York I had not time to answer,1 I have now the pleasure to inform you of our safety after a Short but boisterous passage of 29 days and only 12 days from the Banks of Newfoundland to soundings in the English Channell, we were all very sick during the voyage but are now pretty well recovered and I hope to be able to proceed to London in a few days, I shall be very anxious untill I receive Letters from you and my good Mother I hope to hear that you are both recovering your health and that the ensueing season with air and exercise will establish to you both that invalueable Blessing—
{ 283 }
you will I suppose ere this reaches you, have heard that the French have declared War against the Austrians that there has been an engagement at Tournay and that the French have been defeated with the loss of Six hundred Men—. the report is that the French army was at Breakfast in a Wood at Tournay and that the Austrians were concealed in this Wood fell upon the French and Cut them to peices. that General Dillon retreated with what Troops remained to Lyle where the People having an idea that he had intentionally sacrifised the Troops, hung him and quartered him— there are great Numbers of the French coming over daily, from Calais— many of them remain in this Country but more of them go from hence to Astend which being a free Port they perhaps feel themselvs secure—2
Mr Paine has been writing a second part of the rights of Man— and his Book has been stiled in the House of Commons an Infamous Libell upon the Constitution I will indeavour to send you the debates and the reviews of his Book the latter are rather civil to him—but perhaps the article was written by himself or his friends,3 you will see by the papers that there is a party in the House aiming at a parliamentary reform which in the sequel will I fear produce confusion if not civil War— Mr Grey has made known to the House that early in the next seshions he shall bring forward a motion for a reform he is supported by Mr Fox Mr Smith and others in the House and by Mr Hollis Dr Kippis and a Number of others out of it—who have signed an association and hold meetings for the purpose—4
Mr G—— Morris was here on his way to Paris the last week— he has been some time in London—and does not appear to be so much gratified with his appointment as his friends I beleive expected. I did not see him myself— he told Colln Smith that he was very glad they had not appointed him to this Court for he did not know a person they could have named who would have been so obnoxious as himself, he did not know how he should be received by the French Court for he had told them very candidly that they were going very fast to destruction—and now he should be obliged to hold his Tongue5
he says there is a party who are exerting themselvs to get rid of the Marquis La Fayette and he expects that they will succeed6
Colln Smiths business obliged him to go to London for a few days and as my situation would not permit me to take the journey so soon. he left me on Saturday I expect him in a few days when I hope to be able to proceed, { 284 } my Chrildren desire to be pemembered to you with affection I hope to hear frequently from you it will ever confer pleasure upon your affectionate Child
[signed] A Smith—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President / of the United States / Braintree / Massachusetts—”; endorsed: “Mrs. Smith. / Dover May. 7. 1792.”
1. JA to AA2, 10 March, above.
2. France declared war on the Austrian empire, ruled by newly installed emperor Francis II, nephew to Marie Antoinette, on 20 April. The first major engagement of the war took place near Tournai, Belgium, and was a disastrous defeat for the French. A force of 5,000 men led by Gen. Théobald Dillon came under artillery fire before even reaching the town, leading to a panicked retreat. Dillon, sheltering himself in a peasant's home, was mistaken for a spy and taken to Lille, where a mob of soldiers and townspeople bayoneted him to death. The mob then hanged his corpse and paraded a severed leg around the town before finally burning the body (Schama, Citizens, p. 589–597, 599–600).
3. Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, Part II, received reviews in the March issues of both the London Monthly Review, p. 317–324, and Critical Review, p. 297–305. On 30 April in the House of Commons, William Pitt referred obliquely to “opinions published . . . that were libels on the form of our government”; in reply, Charles James Fox disputed the characterization, mentioning Paine by name and arguing that Paine's works were not “any great danger” to the well-being of the British government (Parliamentary Hist., 29:1312, 1314–1315). See also Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.
4. Charles Grey, later 2d Earl Grey (1764–1845), member of Parliament for Northumberland, had announced on 30 April that he planned to introduce a petition to Parliament from the “Society of the Friends of the People” advocating constitutional reform. He did so in 1793 but failed to move it into committee. Grey was a close lieutenant of Charles James Fox. Other supporters of Grey's work included Rev. Andrew Kippis and William Smith, M.P. for Camelford, both of whom the Adamses had known in England (DNB; Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:476–477; vol. 7:27, 156).
5. George Washington named Gouverneur Morris as the American minister plenipotentiary to France in early 1792. Morris, who had lived as a private citizen in Paris since 1789, had previously spoken out in favor of a constitutional monarchy and in defense of Louis XVI, even helping to plot his escape attempt from Paris. In 1790–1791, he undertook an unsuccessful special mission to London to resolve lingering disputes over debts and commercial rights from the 1783 Treaty of Paris (DAB).
6. In Dec. 1791, Louis XVI, with the approval of the Legislative Assembly, had appointed the Marquis de Lafayette to command a portion of the French Army in the impending war against Austria. Lafayette, who continued to support a constitutional monarchy, became increasingly unpopular with more-radical groups in the Revolution, especially the Jacobins, who believed—without any evidence—that he was working with Louis XVI to subvert the Revolution by aiding the Austrians (Olivier Bernier, Lafayette: Hero of Two Worlds, N.Y., 1983, p. 235–237).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0160

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-05-13

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Those Letters which I was directed to Copy and deliver to Mr. Cary for insertion in his “Museum”, were prepared in season for last month; when I took them to Cary, he wished me to explain the occasion upon which they were written.1 I told him that the Gentleman to whom one of the letters is addressed, (Mr. M. Weems), had { 285 } { 286 } applied in England for Orders, as an Episcopalian Bishop, but that the law required every person before he could receive orders, to take the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown,— That as Mr. Weems was an American, the design of his application would be frustrated, by a complyance with this law, so far as regarded taking the Oath,— And that because he had little hope of obtaining his object without a Compliance—he applied to you, by letter, in Holland, desiring your intercession on his behalf, with the Ministers from different Courts, where he might possibly succeed with less difficulty, than in England. That in consequence of this, you applied to Comte Reventlaw, (The Gentleman by whom the other letter was written); and that it was an answer to your's, addressed to Comte Reventlaw upon the subject of Mr. Weems's application. I am not certain that this explanation was right, or if it was, that it is sufficient However if it should be both right & sufficient, it was not satisfactory to Cary. He said it would be necessary to “Head” them with a short explanation, of their intent; as well as the occasion upon which they were written. I could tell him no more than I had done; therefore I must request you Sir, to explain the subject to me, that I may satisfy Mr. Cary, (if such a thing is possible). Monsieur Le Comte Reventlaw mentions a resolution of Congress transmitted by you to him; whether it related to this subject, I am ignorant. I can find nothing of the kind in the Journals of Congress, of the 21 March 1785 to which he refers.2
I hope to afford you an half hou[r's] amusement, in perusing the enclosed Pamphlett. It appeared a day or two since, and by those who have seen it, is thought to be well adapted to the purpose intended; which was to ridicule the too prevalent & fashionable doctrines of “Liberality.” The 27 Article of the Confession of faith, is said to be the foundation of all the rest; these principles, if they may be called such, are openly avowed by those who profess to be deeply interested in the Politicks of France; and I believe it impossible to adopt the political, without avowing the religious opinions, of those Societies in France, which as Mr. Burke says, “are termed Philosophical.” I have heard it suggested, that the Secy. of S—— would subscribe cheerfully to all the Articles of the Creed; and that his name would not be an improper substitute, for “A liberal man.”3 It surely can't be treason in me, to relate what I have heard. The Letter is addressed to the young man, who advertized in the Newspapers a few weeks since, “that he proposed, preaching a number of discourses against, the divinity of Jesus Christ.” His name is Palmer.4
I am Sir / your dutiful Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
{ 287 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Braintree.”; endorsed: “Th. B. Adams / May. 13. 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Mathew Carey (1760–1839), an Irish printer, had emigrated to Philadelphia from Dublin in 1784. He began publishing the American Museum in 1786 (DAB).
2. Mason Weems (1759–1825) of Maryland traveled to England in the early 1780s to complete his divinity training. His ordination there was hindered, however, by the oath of allegiance to the British Crown required of all Anglican priests. In late Feb. 1784, Weems wrote to JA inquiring whether Weems might be ordained in another European country, specifically Sweden, Germany, or the Netherlands. JA consulted with the Danish minister to The Hague, Armand de Saint Saphorin (not the Comte de Reventlow, as TBA suggests), who supplied JA with a ruling that Americans could indeed be ordained in the Danish church, which JA in turn conveyed to Weems. In the end, Parliament lifted the requirement for the oath of allegiance in August, and Weems was ordained in the Anglican church the following month.
JA also submitted a copy of the Danish ruling to Congress. On 21 March 1785, Congress resolved to instruct JA to communicate to Saint Saphorin “the high sense the United States in Congress Assembled entertain of the liberal decision made by his Majesty on the question proposed to his Majesty's Minister at the Hague . . . respecting the Ordination of American Candidates for holy Orders in the episcopal Church.” (TBA would not have found record of this resolution in the then-published Journals of Congress as it was entered into the Secret Journal, Foreign Affairs.) JA did so in a letter of 30 July to Frederick, Comte de Reventlow, Danish minister to Great Britain, as Saint Saphorin had since left his position at The Hague. Comte de Reventlow's reply of 22 Aug. was presumably the second letter TBA sought to have published. Neither item appeared in the American Museum in 1792 (DAB; Weems to JA, [ca. 27 Feb. 1784], Adams Papers; JA to Weems, 22 April, LbC, APM Reel 107; JA, Works, 8:197–198; JCC, 28:187; JA to Reventlow, 30 July 1785, LbC, APM Reel 111; Reventlow to JA, 22 Aug., Adams Papers).
3. Eliphaz Liberalissimus, A Letter to the Preacher of Liberal Sentiments, Phila., 1792, Evans, No. 24365. The pamphlet was written, possibly by Rev. Ashbel Green, in response to comments made by Elihu Palmer, for whom see note 4. Its “A Liberal Man's Confession of Faith” includes such statements as “I believe there is only one thing in religion essential; and that is to believe that nothing is essential” and “I believe every man should do just as he pleases.”
4. Elihu Palmer (1764–1806), Dartmouth 1787, initially served as a Presbyterian minister before becoming a Universalist and later a deist. He advertised in mid-March 1792 a “Discourse . . . against the divinity of Jesus Christ” to be given at the Long Room in Church Alley but was shortly thereafter barred from doing so. According to Palmer, “the Gentleman from whom he engaged the house, has taken an alarm at the novelty of the sentiment, and fearing a temporal injury, has forbid his entrance into the house.” Palmer further observed that “the law of opinion, and the internal spirit of persecution, bear hard upon the rights of conscience.” Palmer was eventually forced to leave Philadelphia but continued to preach and publish on deism (DAB; Philadelphia National Gazette, 15 March; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 17 March).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0161

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-05-14

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Mama

I received your kind letter of the 6th: this Evening, and feel happy that you advanced so far on your Journey, without receiving any injury.1 I was somewhat anxious for your health, but the favorable account you give, has relieved me in a measure from the { 288 } apprehension. I hope you may enjoy it much more this Summer than the last. The directions left with me respecting Mr: Harrison, are rendered of no consequence, by his declining in a very polite manner the kind offer you made him & lady.2 He waited on me, and resquested that I would assure you how much he felt himself obliged; but that after reflecting upon the affair, he thought it most prudent to decline, as he expected very shortly to procure a “little Box” for him & Mrs. Harrison, and that the time he would be able to stay in the House, would hardly compensate for the trouble of removing. I confess to you, that I was not grieved at this answer—for tho I had rather have had them in the House than any body I know, yet I had found a Bachelors life so little irksome, that I had no inclination to change my situation. How long this will last I can't say; for my own sake, I hope during your whole absence. I find very little alteration with respect to the sociability of my meals; for you may recollect that we never were remarkably talkative An half dozen of insipid Newspapers, which the Printers still continue to send, generally fill up the intervals at Breakfast; and at dinner a Magazine, Museum, or Bolinbrook, make a substitute for companions.
I had thought of my duty to Madam Washington, and accordingly fulfill'd it on Friday Evening— She was very well, and enquired particularly if I had heared from you and how your health continued. Mrs. Dalton too, enquired—besides many others. You will pardon this small talk in me—I have nothing better at present. Miss B Smith had the civility to invite me to her wedding, through the medium of her Father; on thursday Evening; Her Bride maids were Miss A Hamilton, Miss Mead & Miss Keppele. The Bride Grooms attendants were Mr. Cutting, Mr. J Trumbull and Mr. Welsh; I don't know in what particular capacity I had the honor to Act, but as I was the only Gentleman, out of office, I thought myself highly honored.3 The Ceremony was conducted with great decency & much propriety;— the Church service performed by Bishop White, was new to me; and except that part of it, in which the Lady says “I take thee Samuel” or whatever the name is, Miss S—— performed extreemely well.4 She was dressed neat & simply—much frightened at first; but soon composed. Cutting made us very happy at a very handsome supper, and the Evening was spent in mirth and gayety. All formality and restraint seemed to be out of the question, especially as Mr. C. appeared perfectly in his element. On Saturday morning they sat out for NE—where you will probably see them in a { 289 } short time.— Mrs: Dalton & Mrs. Otis direct me to remember them particularly to you; in doing which I subscribe your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A Adams”; endorsed: “T. B. A. May 14. 1792 / Philadelphia.”
1. Not found.
2. Probably George Harrison (1762–1845), son of former Philadelphia mayor Henry Harrison and a business associate of Robert Morris, who had recently married Sophia Francis (1769–1851), daughter of Anne Willing and Tench Francis (JA, Papers, 11:388; Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1883, p. 106).
3. Rebecca (Becky) Smith (1772–1837), daughter of the Episcopal priest Rev. William Smith, married Samuel Blodget Jr. (1755–1814) of Boston on 10 May. Another account of the wedding noted that the bride “was dressed in a sprig'd muslin chemise, and wore a bonnet with a curtain. The young ladies, her bridesmaids, had also on chemises, but their hats ornamented. . . . There was a monstrous company—forty-seven people—at supper. That was perfectly elegant in every respect, and not even a whisper or joke that could have raised a blush in a vestal” (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 12 May; Horace Wemyss Smith, Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William Smith, D.D., 2 vols., Phila., 1879–1880, 2:350, 514–519, 542; DAB, entry on William Smith).
4. Bishop William White (1748–1836) of Philadelphia served as the first Episcopal bishop for the diocese of Pennsylvania. He had dined with the Adamses in London in 1787 while there to be consecrated (DAB; vol. 7:443).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0162

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-05-27

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear M——

By one of the Newspapers I had the satisfaction to hear of your arrival at Boston, & have been anxiously enquiring for Letters at the post Office every evening.1 I wish to hear how you stand the warm weather, and the effect of your Journey. The object of this letter is more immediately for the purpose of requesting a decisive answer to the proposal made by Mr. Bache of the House he has just left, for the accomodation of our family next winter. Mr. BF— Bache called on me this day in company with Mr: Randolph, and wished me, (if I had any authority or instruction upon this affair)2 to give him an answer.—3 as, if my father had not thought of accepting the terms proposed, Mr. Randolph had expressed a wish of taking a lease of the House, if they could agree upon terms. I told him I had no instructions concerning the business, nor did I know whether my Father had made up his mind upon it; I agreed to write immediately and request an answer, which I would communicate as soon as received. His Father directed him to give you the first offer, and until he gets an answer, will not feel himself at liberty to look farther.
The terms, as mentioned by Mr. Bache are these. Rent £300,— Taxes—computed at ten or twelve pounds pr Ann. Rent to { 290 } Commence with the month of October next; possession sooner if you like. Will build Stables and require only the interest of the money expended in erecting them; & lastly shall be under no necessity to engage the House for more than six months certain—and as much longer as you please;— These are the whole—if you will enable me to give him a positive answer as soon as convenient—it will oblige him, and save me the trouble of further application
Have you seen Rights of Man, Second part? I presume however Boston is quite full of them as the first Copy was landed there.— I have hardly heard a single opinion expressed about it, since the publication of it here. This I presume is not because, opinions are not given, but because I have not been in the way of hearing them. Scarcely a line of censure or panegyrick has appeared in the papers.—4 However I neither wish for printed or oral surmises concerning palpable absurdities, and if I must express my own reflections, they are shortly these: That Thomas Paine of 1792 is much fairer game for a Publicola than in 1791.5 However, since he has undertaken to become his own Biographer—the attempt to perform this office by any other person, would be madness in the extreme. If, as he asserts, his political writings have hitherto met with a success, unexampled in those of any other, since the invention of printing to complete the climax I will add, his vanity has at least kept pace with his celebrity. His Sarcasms are addressed to the immagination of the vulgar, for whom he professedly writes; and if they should produce their intended effect; he, like his brother Apostle & Saint, Wat— Tyler—will deserve a monument in some field or Road, and the same inscription should answer for both. What that inscription will be, is yet unknown; The monuments however would answer this good and, like Buoys or Beacons they would warn us of our danger—and would say or seem to say—”Stranger pass not this way—lest thou catch the infection which is here entombed.” I will close by subscribing,
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”
1. The Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 16 May, reprinted a 10 May piece from Worcester noting that AA and JA “passed through this town, on his way from Congress to his seat in Braintree” on 8 May.
2. The closing parenthesis has been editorially supplied.
3. Richard Bache (1737–1811), Benjamin Franklin's son-in-law and a former postmaster general, had inherited Franklin's properties at Franklin Court off of High Street in Philadelphia in 1790. Benjamin Franklin Bache, Richard's son, who had known the Adamses in France, was living in Franklin Court at the time while publishing his newspaper the General Advertiser (DAB; James Tagg, Benjamin Franklin Bache and the Philadelphia Aurora, Phila., 1991, p. 15, 60–61; { 291 } vol. 5:459). Mr. Randolph was probably Edmund Randolph (1753–1813), who was then serving as attorney general.
4. American editions of the second part of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man had been published in Boston by T. and J. Fleet and in Philadelphia by Rice & Co. by 24 May 1792 (Boston Gazette, 21 May; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 24 May). Except for a series of extracts in the American Daily Advertiser and the General Advertiser, no other pieces of commentary on the work had appeared in the Philadelphia newspapers by this time.
5. Publicola was the pseudonym JQA used in a series of eleven newspaper pieces in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 8 June – 27 July 1791, critiquing Paine's Rights of Man. Mistakenly attributed to JA at the time, the Publicola articles attacked Paine's uncritical support of the French Revolution and the argument “that which a whole nation chuses to do, it has a right to do.” Rather, Publicola contends, “The eternal and immutal laws of justice and of morality are paramount to all human legislation. The violation of those laws is certainly within the power, but it is not among the rights of nations” (JQA, Writings, 1:65–110).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0163

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-06-24

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mamma

I have put off writing to you from post to post in hopes of hearing from some of the family that my father and yourself were well arrived and settled at Braintree, till at last I am quite tired of going to the Post office in fruitless search of letters. I have several times written to Pappa and in part informed him of the important struggle at present existing in this State.1 I have intended to have been much more particular and to have requested his opinion of several questions which are now debating with much warmth amongst us. but I dare not give myself up too much to politicks. My examination will take place next month and I am anxious to appear to advantage at that period. I never felt so strongly the want of a conversation with him. Just about to set out in life and at a period when I find it will be impossible to remain neuter upon the various subjects which are agitating I wish him to fix principles or eradicate prejudices which I find I am imbibing My journey to Albany will lead me into some expence which cannot be avoided the fees of Court upon my admission, and a few books I could wish to purchase will call for a replenishment of my funds. I shall open an office in August as soon as I return from my examination I have not as yet fixed upon a Situation.2 My dear Brother John owes me a letter or two I could wish him if he has not imbibed too many tontine notions, to make me prompt payment. I heard from Thomas last week he was very well and writes in good spirits.3 We expect the May Packet daily, If we hear of Col Smiths arrival by her I shall immediately inform you. The Baron set out last week for Steuben quite dissappointed at the unexpected decision of the Canvassers4 He says he will go up { 292 } among his Yankees for there are no other honest people left in the world. Please to present my love and respects to all friends and beleive me my dear Mamma your dutiful son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams. / Braintree.”
1. On 7 June, CA wrote to JA about the continuing uncertainty as to the results of the gubernatorial election in New York. He also noted, “We enjoy a peace of Sentiment in general respecting national affairs excepting now and then a few chills from the Southern blasts which threaten to overturn our funding system. . . . Our hopes are in the firmness of the New England states We cannot but hope that they may see their danger before it is too late that they may rouse to repel this fatal stab to justice, but if our public faith is to be the Shuttle Cock for the Southern Nabobs to play with the sooner the matter is decided the better the sooner we are convinced who are to rule, the sooner we shall be settled in peace” (Adams Papers).
2. Admission to the bar in New York required a college degree and the completion of a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed attorney (a seven-year apprenticeship without a college degree), followed by “a formal and superficial examination” (David McAdam et al., eds., History of the Bench and Bar of New York, N.Y., 1897, p. 178, 181).
3. There are no known extant letters between CA and TBA.
4. That is, of the canvassers appointed by the legislature to decide the gubernatorial election in New York. During the counting of votes, they noted irregularities in three counties and discounted those votes, leading to George Clinton's victory over John Jay (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 301).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0164

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-07-03

Abigail Adams Smith to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Brother

I had the pleasure to receive your kind Letter of the 18th of May by Barnard and was much releived by being informed that our Mother was recovering her health as rapidly as could be expected—1 I feared from not having received a Single line from her; that she was not so well as my friends represented her to me we have had Letters from all my other friends except herself since our arrivall and I wonder not a little that she has been silent—and can impute it only to her indisposition—
the day after your Letter arrived Colln Smith went into the City to get the Books which you wrote for intending to send them by the first Ship which should sail for Boston but upon inquiring for the editions which you requested he found that they were the Dublin editions and that they were not permitted to sell them here the Bookseller told him if he searched all London he would not find an octavo edition of those works—and as they would be a third Cheaper he has concluded to write to Mr Wm Knox in Dublin and request him to send them out to you—which must delay some time before they can be sent—2
of Politicks I know so little that I cannot write you with any authentisity—of them— Tom pain as he is called continues to Busy { 293 } himself very much and to Court persecution in every shape— he has undoubtedly a party here but the Sensible and judicious People do not join him and I beleive he is falling off fast in the minds of that class of Persons—
the late accounts from India are much talkd of and most People congratulate themselvs upon them it is said that Tipo has made terms of peace and gives up a Part of his Possessions and pays large sums to the British—3
the French are in greater distress than ever the Marquiss Fayettes Letter to the National Assembly it is supposed will put him into a very dangerous situation— he expresses himself very freely of the Jacobins—4 the Kings palace has been surrounded and 4 thousand Peeople went through it—but no injury was done either to the King or Queen—so that it appears they had no system to do evill but were riotous they knew not why—5
Mr Short has been in London a few days on his way to the Hague— he is extreemly mortified & disappointed—at not having been appointed Minister in France he does not consider that he has been infinitly better treated than any person who has been employed in the Service of the U S. before he is to go to spain in the Course of the Summer that is if he has activity enough to get there—6 you never saw any person less calculated to make exertions in the circle of your acquaintance I am sure— it is almost a miracle how he got from Paris to London he thinks he shall never survive a voyage across the Atlantick— he is the most enervated helpless Beeing that perhaps you ever beheld who we[ars] the Habit of a Man but this is entree Nous—
remember me to all my friends— I am Sorry to hear that my Father has left off his Wig—and hope it is only a temporary affair during the heat of the Summer—7 I think he must look not so well—that his friend should not recognize him I do not wonder for I am sure it must make a great alteration in his appearance—and from that circumstance alone I should object to it pray write frequently to yours affectionate Sister
[signed] A Smith
you will oblige me if you could collect those peices written last summer under the title of Phi in answer to Payns first Book and Send them to me8
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr John Quincy Adams / Boston / Massachusetts”; endorsed: “My Sister—3. July 1792.” and “My Sister. July 3. 1792”; notation: “pr. Packett.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 294 }
1. Not found.
2. Most Irish editions at this time were simply unauthorized reprints of earlier London editions sold at a lower price. London printers and booksellers strongly disapproved of this practice—which they considered piracy although it was not technically illegal—and discouraged the selling of such editions (Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers 1740–1800, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 1986, p. x).
3. Reports of the surrender of Fath ‘Ali Tipu Sultan, Nawab of Mysore (1753–1799), to the British Army, led by the Earl of Cornwallis, at Seringapatam on 23 Feb. reached London in June (London Times, 25 June; Franklin and Mary Wickwire, Cornwallis: The Imperial Years, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1980, p. 163–170).
4. On 16 June, the Marquis de Lafayette sent a letter to the National Assembly accusing the Jacobins of undermining the French nation and arguing for the restoration of a true constitutional monarchy as mandated by the new French constitution. In response, leading Jacobins denounced Lafayette, and Maximilien Robespierre called for his death (Olivier Bernier, Lafayette: Hero of Two Worlds, N.Y., 1983, p. 237–238). The London Times printed an English translation of the letter in full on 29 June.
5. On 20 June, some 10,000 French citizens gathered to petition the National Assembly to reinstate three radical leaders. A portion of the group broke off and went into the royal apartments in the Tuileries Palace, where they shouted protests for several hours at the king and queen but did them no physical harm (Bosher, French Rev., p. 174; Schama, Citizens, p. 605–609).
6. William Short was appointed minister to The Hague in early 1792; he had long been the American chargé d’affaires in France and had hoped to be made minister there instead. In Feb. 1793, he traveled to Madrid to negotiate, with William Carmichael, a commercial treaty with the Spanish (DAB).
7. Wigs had begun to go out of fashion in the 1780s. Initially, men dressed their natural hair to match the look of a wig, but by the 1790s, short hair had become more fashionable (Richard Corson, Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years, N.Y., 1965, p. 296–298).
8. Most likely a request for JQA's Publicola articles, for which see TBA to AA, 27 May [1792], note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0165

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1792-07-17 - 1792-07-18

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother,

I have just taken your letter from the Office and, as Briesler has not according to expectation sailed to day, I will add a few lines to what I have already given him. To hear from Colo and Mrs: Smith was an agreeable circumstance, tho’ much unhappiness is occasioned by it, under their peculiar situation. I had heard about a week since of their arrival at Dover, and of their illness—but had no conception of the dangerous situation of Mrs. Smith, till I read your letter.1 I have written by most of the Vessels that have sailed from this Port, this Season, and am every day expecting letters myself.
As to Politics, I am very little acquainted with their present State— I have heard a suggestion of the same nature with that you mention— It will never succeed—but if I dared I would express a wish that it might. I wish this People to smart a little for their folly— I wish to have them taught by a little dear Bought Experience, to reward their best friends, and neglect those who despise them. They never will do this so long as they proceed upon the unwholesome { 295 } absurd and dangerous principle, of changing a good man, for the chance of getting a worse. It may be mortifying to be neglected after having for a long course of years fulfilled every duty of every station with fidelity; but in my mind it would be much more so, to serve a people who could be capable of leaving so much virtue to languish in obscurity, (or if better) in retirement; when such an instance occurs He, against whom the slight is levelled—may say with the old Roman; “I banish my Country.”2 There may be secret machinations which are yet concealed under the garb of dissimulation, and which are waiting till time shall favor their appearance, but how extensive, or how deep they really are, I shall certainly not be the first to learn. It will turn out right if I have any luck at guessing: I go into no company where such subjects are talked off—therefore I guess upon my own bottom altogether. Everything which appears in public wears the face of peace & order as yet.
I have followed the advice of Mr. Coxe with respect to the House, and if I have any applications, I shall endeavor to take advantage of them; Briesler will give a particular account of all our movements hitherto, and I will transmit those which may follow— Money matters must be aranged suddenly—or I shall be dunned for Rent. Mrs. Keppele will in my [. . .] command a thousand Dollars, if she is determined upon it in the Fall—a[nd] Rents should come down else where— It is now comparatively a cheap house—and yet I can get no body who will even enter the House for nothing—for the time we have in it.3
I am &c
[signed] Thomas B Adams
PS. I have smoothed matters where they appeared to Rub a little—and I believe healed the breach effectually.
Tell John if you please to send me Blake's Oration, If worth it.4
Poor France, We had an attempt at Celebrating the Anniversary of their Revolution, but it was quite as lame & confused as the commemorated event— Even Odes composed upon the occasion, appear to be at war with Grammer, Meter, and even good sense—and I account for it in this way— These old standards, which have often witnessed many a hard battle, and always proved victorious, are now suspected of treachery, and being over powered by numbers have fallen a sacrifice to appease the rage of dullness and ignorance. In short—Good sense & Nonsense—ignorance & wisdom—are all Generals alike—like the French Army.5
Yours &ca
{ 296 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near Boston.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. A paraphrase of Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act III, scene iii. After Brutus says of Coriolanus, “There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd, / As enemy to the people and his country,” Coriolanus replies, “You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate / As reek o’ th’ rotten fens, whose loves I prize / As the dead carcasses of unburied men / That do corrupt my air, I banish you!” (lines 117–118, 120–123).
3. Tench Coxe (1755–1824), a Philadelphia businessman, served as the commissioner of the revenue for the federal government. Coxe, who had previously helped the Adamses locate the home at the corner of Fourth and Arch streets in Philadelphia in the fall of 1791, recommended to JA that TBA attempt to find a new tenant for the house. The owner, Catharine Keppele (or Keppley), was unwilling to allow them to break their lease, and the rent amounted to $900 per year (DAB; Coxe to JA, 3 Sept. 1791, 20 Sept. 1791, and [ante 8 July 1792], all Adams Papers; Philadelphia Directory, 1793, Evans, No. 25585).
4. Joseph Blake Jr. (1766–1802), Harvard 1786, gave a “very pertinent and animated ORATION . . . elegantly pronounced” at Boston's Independence Day celebration. Benjamin Russell subsequently printed it as a pamphlet (Boston Independent Chronicle, 5 July; Joseph Blake, An Oration, Pronounced July 4th, 1792, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, Boston, 1792, Evans, No. 24123).
5. The Philadelphia newspapers reported “the Anniversary of the French Revolution, was noticed in this city, by demonstrations of joy.” The celebrations included a French ship's firing its cannon in the harbor, “splendid” meals, and various toasts, after which “the evening was closed by a brilliant display of Rockets and other fire-works, which met with the greatest applause from a vast concourse of spectators.” One ode published in the newspapers exhorted, “Sound, sound the minstrel, sound it high! / Till hardy Despots quake for fear, / And turn away their jaundic'd eye, / To let fair Liberty appear!” (Federal Gazette, 16 July; American Daily Advertiser, 17 July; National Gazette, 18 July; General Advertiser, 16 July).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0166

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-08-15

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mamma

After a very fatiguing and a very anxious jaunt, I have returned from Albany with my Certificate of admittance to pratice the law I suffered much anxiety from the hesitation which the Court made at the certificate given me by Mr Lawrance who had not exactly pursued the form which is required in such cases. The great stumbling block was that he had expressed That “I entered his office” at a particular period mentioned and “studied law with him for two years” The Court said that in a certificate of that kind The words “Served a regular clerkship” were material. However trivial this objection appeared it required some efforts to remove it. Mr Lawrance was in Philadelphia and there was not time before the rising of the Court to obtain another certificate from him I suggested these things to the judges and offered to take an oath of the facts upon this and the certificates of several gentlemen who certified that they had often seen me at Lawrance's office employed at the business of a Clerk { 297 } &ca They after mature deliberation which kept me in hot water for two days gave up the point. A gentleman of the bar with whom I conversed upon the subject told me that he had privately expressed his surprise to the Judges that upon so trivial a point they should put me to so much trouble, that they had answered that they could none of them doubt but I had served regularly but that in my case it was necessary to be somewhat more severe than with any one else how far this excuse may be sufficient with men who ought to be independent I am not able to say. I was examined with seven more and have been flattered by being told I was not behind any of them in the propriety of my answers. I am now looking out for an office but the rents in the most public parts of the City are so extremely high that I cannot think it justifiable to take one in the center of business. I went today to look at a room in Hanover square not near so large as my brothers office, and I could not hire it under forty pounds. I received you kind letter of the 21st ult upon my return and also one from my brother John which I shall soon answer1 He says We ought to submit to what has happened in this State he may be right but I doubt whether all his argumentative faculties could convince the people to acquiece. The flame instead of subsiding blazes more fiercely than ever, and the several Co[urts?] are preparing their remonstrances for the next session of our Legislature. Heaven grant a happy issue! There is too much warmth to expect a very quiet one. I am glad to hear of your resolution to remain at home this winter you will be much more at your ease than in Philadelphia Remember me with affection to my dear father to whom as soon as I can write in my own office I shall thank for his last letter.2 My love to all friends and if they have any disputes to settle in New York I offer my services.
I am my dear Mother you affectionate and dutiful son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Abigail Adams / Quincy.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0167

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-08-16

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

In my last Letter I promised to transmit the Result of the Town meetings which have been lately held in this City; the inclosed { 298 } abstract will supersede the necessity of any additional remarks from me; It will be sufficient to say that the Party, which on the last meeting in which any business was transacted, had the majority, having gained all their measures prevented any further business on the last meeting by their obstinate Perseverance in opposing every Chairman who was nominated—The whole Afternoon was taken up in taking questions merely relative to the different Candidates proposed—and after many fruitless attempts a division was called for in favor of Mr. R Morris & Alderman Barcklay— the Parties were so nearly equal that no person could decide on which side of the State House Yard the majority lay. No business was done and the People dispersed not much satisfyed with the complexion of things.1 It is said that we shall have an Antifederal Ticket—but I feel inclined to doubt the assertion. There is a Committee of Correspondence chosen to collect the sense of the People relative to this subject the Majority of whom are said to be of the old Republican Party in this State.2 I find that when any important Question is agitated here— the distinctions of party are quite as familiar as they were formerly— every man knows his side of a Question by the Countenances he discovers when divisions are called for—not by it's conformity to, or connection with any particular system to which he is partial. When men are in this situation with respect to each other, we can hardly look for unanimity.
You have seen I presume the Pieces in Fenno's Gazette, signed an “American.” I have not been able to learn upon whom the suspicion rests with respect to the Author. There has been for a long time a very free Animadversion upon the Speculations which have flowed through the National Gazette, as also upon the Editor. It has never arrived at the height to which an “American” has raised it, but I think the Sharpest key hast not been sounded yet.3
The Secretary of the Treasury has so arranged matters, that you will be at liberty to draw for a thou[san]d Dollars when you think fit— I presume the warrant may [. . .] by Attorney— The Secretary however will probably acquaint you with [th]e most practicable method.4
The House is yet upon my hands—we have as yet two months from this day—but I find no body disposed to take it even at fifty or forty dollars Pr month— Mrs. Keppele proposes going into it herself in October.
I find myself very happily situated in a very Respectable Private family, the Connections of which are somewhat numerous but all { 299 } Quakers— I consider myself peculiarly fortunate in being able to extend my acquaintance among this Society, with whom it is not an easy matter to be upon an intimate footing unless very strongly recommended,— Dr. Rush says I have made my fortune, but I can say that if I derive any benefit from the acquaintance it must in the first instance have proceeded from the Drs. friendly assistance. He tells me to say for him that he would write you according to his promise, but that there is nothing worth communicating.
With presenting my best love to the family, I remain your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams—
I have Received Mamma's letter of the 3d: am glad to hear of the arrival of Briesler & family—5
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “The Vice President of the United States”; endorsed: “T. B. A. Aug 16. 1792 / Philadelphia.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. On 29 July, TBA had written to JA that he had “delayed writing several days hoping to be able to transmit the result of two meetings of the Citizens of Philadelphia for the purpose of forming a Ticket for Representatives, & Electors for President & Vice President; but nothing of importance has as yet been decided; and if I have had a true specimen of the general complexion of Philada. town meetings from those examples already afforded, I seriously believe no business of real utility will ever be transacted by them” (Adams Papers). The abstract has not been found but was possibly a piece from the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 1 Aug. (or a reprint thereof), which summarized the events of a town meeting held on the afternoon of 31 July. According to the report, “At half after three, an attempt was made to proceed to business, and Mr. McKean and Mr. Powel both named for chairman. After a noisy contest of Yes and No, those two gentlemen declined serving on the present occasion. Other names were brought forward, and among them, Messrs. Morris and Barclay. Mr. Wilson endeavoured to decide which name commanded a majority, a division for this purpose was three times effected; but the meeting was so numerous that it was found impossible to determine which was the largest mass, or to decide the question by enumeration. A last endeavour was made by the friends to conferrees to place Mr. Morris in the chair, some confusion ensued, and the meeting was dissolved in a tumultous and unbecoming manner.” John Barclay was a Philadelphia merchant and alderman (Philadelphia Directory, 1793, p. 7, 180, Evans, No. 25585).
2. The Committee of Correspondence was appointed at the 30 July town meeting “to collect information of the sense of the People in different parts of the state, respecting the characters proper to be nominated as Members of Congress, and Electors of President and Vice-President.” The committee consisted of Thomas McKean, James Hutchinson, Alexander Dallas, James Wilson, John Barclay, Hilary Baker, and Jared Ingersoll (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 31 July).
3. In the 4 Aug. issue of the Gazette of the United States, John Fenno published an article signed “An American” that attacked Philip Freneau's National Gazette as a means to denounce Thomas Jefferson. Freneau (1752–1832), a poet and journalist of French descent, had launched the paper in Oct. 1791 to counter Fenno's Gazette. The “American” accurately accuses Freneau of holding a public position—clerk of foreign languages for the State Department—and Jefferson of being the political force behind the paper. The piece goes on to question Jefferson's loyalty to the federal government, asking, “If he disapproves of the leading measures which have been adopted in the course of its { 300 } administration—can he reconcile it with the principles of delicacy and propriety, to hold a place in that administration, and at the same time to be instrumental in vilifying measures which have been adopted by majorities of both branches of the legislature and sanctioned by the Chief Magistrate of the Union?” (JA, D&A, 3:225; DAB; Jeffrey L. Pasley, “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, Charlottesville, Va., 2001, p. 63–66).
4. On 16 Aug. 1792, Alexander Hamilton wrote to JA that “a warrant for 1000 dollars in your favour has issued. If any authorisation from you had been sent to your son or any one else, your signature on the warrant would have been unnecessary. But as it is, it will be indispensable. Perhaps however the Treasurer may pay in expectation of it” (Hamilton, Papers, 12:208–209). See also JQA to TBA, 2 Sept., and JQA to AA, 19 Sept., and notes 1 and 2, both below.
5. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0168

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-08-20

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear father

I have this day opened an office in Hanover square.1 The situation is as eligible as any in the City. There is but one objection, which is the high rents which are demanded for rooms in so public a situation. I have however been advised to take it, rather than go into a more retired seat. I wrote a few days since to my Mama, I then mentioned that forty pounds was the rent required for a small room; since when I have procured the one I now occupy, for twenty pounds until May. The difficulties I met with at Albany, were very fortunately removed, or I must have been obliged to have waited until October Term, as I did not receive the proper certificate from Mr Lawrance until after the Court had risen. Our politicians in this City, are more calm than those in the Country, All however seem to concur in the necessity of calling a Convention. “This Convention you say is a dangerous body.” I doubt very much whether that observation has occured with proper force to our warm partizans. They look upon this body as an assembly who will meet, without dispute alter our election law, order a new election for Governor, and dissolve. They may find their mistake. I have not a doubt but a Convention chosen at the present moment from the people, would aim at establishing a Constitutional rot[ation?] in the first officers of the State; from this [they?] may go on from one thing, to another, and hatch at last, a very bad and defective Constitution.2 I was astonished to find that one of the principal arguments used to the people, was the necessity of a change. I sometimes have conversed with Mr Troup upon that topic. I asked him if he could be serious when he advocated that doctrine; He answered It would take with the people! but are they to be deluded? are they to be persuaded to false tenets? Are the Community to be deprived of the first class of { 301 } abilities, merely because the possessors have been a certain number of years in office? Is it just, or equitable, that a man who has served the public with virtue and integrity for a certain period, should constitutionally be deprived of his office, to make room for another, perhaps vicious and degenerate? Are you doing justice to yourselves, or benefit to the people whose interests you profess to espouse by disseminating such principles? But the influence which a man in office may acquire may be destructive of liberty! Have we not then the power of impeachment, and a still greater power that of changing our magistrates when they acquire corrupt or undue influence? I could wish Sir that politicians would content themselves with enforcing truths, without resorting to falsehood to obtain their purposes. but this is not the case, and yet there is something amiable in the principle, something in a strict adherence to truth, which is dignified and noble; it is a rock, over which the surges may lash, and billows beat in vain. Why then resort to falicy and chicanery? Because it is politic?
With every sentiment of respect and tenderness / I am dear Sir your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Braintree / near / Boston.—”; endorsed: “New York. / Charles Adams / August 20. 1792 / ansd 12. Octr.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Hanover Square—still so named today, just off of Wall Street—was a center for business in New York City. It had been paved in 1789 (Thomas E. V. Smith, The City of New York in the Year of Washington's Inauguration 1789, N.Y., 1889, p. 34).
2. In the wake of the contested 1792 New York gubernatorial election, Federalists called for a convention to revisit the decision of the vote canvassers and to review overall election procedures. The N.Y. State Assembly—with a Clintonian majority—ultimately undertook an inquiry, which found the canvassers free of “any mal or corrupt practise.” No changes to the election laws were made (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 310–313, 318–321).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0169

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-08-26

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I hope you will not think me criminally negligent in not particularly addressing myself to you before now— You may be assured I always think of you with the tenderest affection, & wish that I could have time, in a more correct manner to evidence the ebulitions of a Heart, filled with every sentiment of Esteem Love, & Gratitude— When I write to my Sister Cranch, I generally write in great haste, & think that if you wish to hear from me, you can easily satisfy yourself by enquiring of my Sister—
{ 302 }
I thank you my dear Sister, for your kind attention to my Son— It was very pleasing to me that he was approved of by you— But you see in what a condition his poor Leg is— It has been a source of great Care, & anxiety to me ever since I saw you— Perhaps no one ever had a greater dread of seeing Persons useless than Myself. yet the whole of last winter, I feared that if my Sons life was spared, I should have the misfortune to see him a miserable Criple— And I know that our Circumstances were such as must add a double weight to the unhappy Lot— I had fondly hoped that he might one day, have been, not only a faithful Friend to his Sisters, but a kind Benefactor— But how often do find our best Prospects fail us, & Props raised up where we least expected them—
Joseph could not have given Bread to his Brethren & supported his aged Father if he had not have been cast into the Pit, & sold to the Ishmalites—nor perhaps would Mephibosheth been kindly allotted a Portion at the Kings Table, had he not been disordered in his feet—1
These Reflections (my Sister) are the bright gleams which sometimes serve to chase away those melancholly Ideas, which are too apt hover round me—
It is a dissagreeable Situation not to dare to trust ourselves with our own Thoughts— I know it is a vain thing for me to distress myself about future Contingences—& if in my Path of Life, I find many Thorns, & Briars dark & gloomy shades, yet I ought with a thankful heart to consider the many mercies that are strewed in the way, & with a meek, & humble temper view the soverign hand that guides the Whole, & with equal Justice, & tenderness sends his merciful, & afflictive Dispensations—
I was grieved to hear Mrs Smith was so sick, & suffered so much on her Passage to London— I think it was a dreadfull situation for a Lady to be in, on board Ship— She was so kind as to write to me just before her embarkation—2
I was dissapointed in not seeing Mr Adams & Louisa here— I expected them every day— Why should he not come— It is not Calypso's Island—there are no Syrens here—
I am sorry to hear your health is still so poor— Perhaps a Journey would do you good will not Mr Adams & you, favour us with a visit before his return to Congress— I long to see you— Cousin Betsy is not well yet, but a great deal better— I think she is recovering, though it seems to be a slow peice of work Sister Cranch wrote me word that Betsy Quincy was with you— She is full of life, & spirits— { 303 } there are many excrecences which must be discreety loped off, by the careful hand of Education— I think the Stock is good, & hope you will find it worth cultivating— You must let her work for you, & make her serviceable—she loves to serve—
When did you hear from Cousin Charles & Thomas— They must be very dull without there Sister, or you—
adieu my dear Sister— may your Health be restored & you continued a Blessing to all your Connections, as well as to / your affectionate
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw
1. Mephibosheth was the lame son of Jonathan, son of Saul, whom King David took into his home after Jonathan's death, saying, “Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually” (2 Samuel, 9:1–13).
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0170

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1792-09-02

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

I believe I am in arrears with you, for two or three Letters, which is owing in some measure to my indolence, but in a greater degree to the stagnation of events worthy of communication—1 The purpose of my present Letter is to enquire of you respecting a warrant from the Treasury for some money, which it seems must be sent here to be signed by your father before it can be sent back for payment. It has been expected here this week, but as post after post arrives without bringing it, I write to you, to see that it be expedited: and indeed I believe it concerns you that the money should be speedily paid as much as any of us. If it should not be sent this way, before this Letter reaches you, I beg you would see it forwarded as soon as possible.
The National Gazette, seems to grow more and more virulent and abusive from day to day; but this is not surprizing, as Freneau must necessarily foam & fret, after his dastardly retreat from a charge, which he at first encountered, with a solemn affidavit.— One would think that circumstances so glaring would injure the credit with the public, both of the Great man & his parasite; but “It is no wonder” says David Hume, “that faction should be productive of such calamities; since no degree of innocence can protect a man from the calumnies of the other party, & no degree of guilt can injure him with his own.”2
{ 304 }
We are full of the small-pox in this Town; a general inoculation has taken place; and I suppose there are near ten thousand people now under its operation.3
All well at Quincy the last Time I heard from them which was about three days ago.
Your's affectionately
[signed] J.Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr Thomas B. Adams. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “2d Sept; 1792.”; notation: “4 Above Market 20.”
1. Not found.
2. “It is no wonder, that faction is so productive of vices of all kinds: For, besides that it inflames all the passions, it tends much to remove those great restraints, honour and shame; when men find, that no iniquity can lose them the applause of their own party, and no innocence secure them against the calumnies of the opposite” (David Hume, The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Revolution in 1688, rev. edn., 6 vols., London, 1762, 7:363).
3. Because of the spread of small pox, on 29 Aug. the Boston town selectmen agreed to order a general inoculation in Boston. By 1 Sept., one newspaper had reported that more than 8,000 people were undergoing inoculation; another paper three days later put the number between 9,000 and 11,000 (Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Aug.; Boston Columbian Centinel, 1 Sept.; Salem Gazette, 4 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0171

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1792-09-13 - 1792-09-29

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Mamma:

It has been a subject of no small disappointment to me, not having received but one letter from you since you have been at Braintree, and only two since I left America.1   *   *   *   *   I have written you and my brother several times,2 and have forwarded the newspapers, by which you will see the distressing situations in which the French are at present. The accounts from Paris are shocking to every humane mind, and too dreadful to relate; I shall send you the papers that you may learn from them their situation. Ship loads of poor, distressed, penniless priests and others, are daily landing upon this island; whether they will find hospitality and charity, I know not, but I fear they will not; for the lowest class of people here can never love the French, and the middling sort of persons do not relish so many Catholics and priests resident amongst them. There are persons who endeavour to find excuses for the cruelties which have been committed; they say that the friends of liberty have been deceived and betrayed in numberless instances; that supplies have been sent to their enemies; that their towns are given up without defence; that persons who have been employed in this country to purchase them arms and supplies, have sent them to the enemy; and that the aristocratic party were preparing to act the { 305 } same scenes upon the jacobins, as have been practised upon themselves. They were not quite ripe for their operations when the others commenced. There are various opinions respecting the Duke of Brunswick's success; but at present he meets with very few obstacles to impede his course to Paris. Upon his nearer approach, I think the King and Queen will fall a sacrifice to the fury of the mobites, and is it not even better they should, than that the people should be annihilated by a general massacre?3 One would suppose, that the English newspapers exaggerate in their accounts; but I fear they do not, for I saw, on Sunday last, a lady who was in Paris on the 10th of August, and she heard and saw scenes as shocking as are related by any of them; they seem to have refined upon the cruelties of the savages. These are confirmations strong, of the justice of my father's sentiments upon governments; yet the friends of liberty here, tell you the French are doing finely—surpassing us Americans; and I fear they will not be easy until they create disturbances in this country. One would suppose if any thing could check their discontents, it would be the picture they have before them. I wonder what Mr. Jefferson says to all these things?
*   *   *   *   *   *
My friend has had an invitation from one of their Major-Generals and Marechals de Camp, to go over and fight for the French, but he declines—it is too uncertain a cause to volunteer in; but I have got so engaged in the cause of the French, that I have quite forgot myself.     *   *
It is supposed, if the democrats succeed in France, that the aristocrats will, many of them, go to America. The Vicomte de Noailles talks of it; the Marquis will, I dare say, when he gets released; Monsieur la Board thinks of it; they are only waiting to see how the event will terminate to make their decisions.4
Mr. St. John, brother to Mrs. Otto, dined with us last week. He left his father in Paris, and came over with a young Madame de Noailes, who was obliged to disguise herself in a sailor's habit, to get away from that land of iniquity.5
Sept. 29.
I expected to have sent my letter by a private hand, but I believe the gentleman does not go. I shall therefore request Capt. Bunyan's care of this packet.6 It seems as if I were secluded from all my friends by an insurmountable barrier; not one single line from your pen since last May. Five months! It almost makes me homesick.
{ 306 }
The latest accounts from France are that the National Assembly is dissolved, and a new Convention are convened who have chosen Petion their President, and have decreed that royalty is abolished in France.7 Liberty and equality is the general cry. But the powers of Europe seem to have combined against them to bring them to subjection again. It is said that England dare not take a part; the Court party are very well disposed, but the people will not submit to it. The French are somewhat disposed to complain that their good friends, the Americans, do not step forward in their cause. Not one American officer has joined them, nor do they hear one word of comfort from them; and their minister is most obnoxious to the Republicans; and he refuses to pay them the debt due them, which they don't much relish. They will not permit him to quit Paris.8 One of his friends said here, the other day, that he thought it not improbable that he would be taken off in some moment of confusion, but I do not believe this.
The Marquis is kept a close prisoner by the Austrians. It is said Madame La Fayette is in Holland. It has been said that Monsieur De Tournant is recalled from your Court.9
Write to me frequently, and believe me, / Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:119–122.
1. Not found.
2. See AA2 to JQA, 3 July, above. Other letters have not been found.
3. Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick (1735–1806), was leading the Austro-Prussian Army against the French and had successfully invaded France in mid-August. Shortly before this, on 10 Aug., a coalition of revolutionaries arrested King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette (Bosher, French Rev., p. 168). See also Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 7, above.
4. Louis Marie, Vicomte de Noailles (1756–1804), had served in the American Revolution between 1780 and 1782. He emigrated to the United States in spring 1793 (JA, D&A, 4:85; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 8 May 1793). “Monsieur la Board” was probably François Louis Joseph, Marquis de Laborde-Méréville (1761–1802), who had also served in the United States during the Revolution. Supportive of the French Revolution in its early days, he was forced to leave the country after the fall of the monarchy (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; François d’Ormesson and Jean-Pierre Thomas, Jean-Joseph de Laborde: Banquier de Louis XV, mécène des Lumières, [Paris], 2002, p. 250–251, 255–256).
5. Either Guillaume Alexandre (b. 1772) or Philippe Louis (b. 1774), both sons of Michel Guillaume (Hector) St. John de Crèvecoeur (1735–1813), the well-known author of Letters from an American Farmer. Crèvecoeur's daughter, America Francès (b. 1770), had married Louis Guillaume Otto, the private secretary to French minister to the United States Anne César, Marquis de La Luzerne, in April 1790 (Thomas Philbrick, St. John de Crèvecoeur, N.Y., 1970, p. 11–13; vol. 6:249–250).
Anne Paule Dominique de Noailles (1766–1839) was the sister of Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles, Marquise de Lafayette. Pauline, as she was called, and her husband, Joachim de Montagu-Beaune, Marquis de Bouzols, emigrated from France to England in late 1791 (Georges Martin, Histoire et Généalogie de la Maison de Noailles, La Ricamarie, France, 1993, p. 86, 88–89).
{ 307 } { 308 }
6. James Bunyan captained the ship Montgomery, which ended up taking 74 days to reach New York from London, not arriving until early Jan. 1793 (New York Daily Gazette, 5 July 1792; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 9 Jan. 1793).
7. Following the arrest of the king and queen, the revolutionaries created a National Convention, which met for the first time on 20 Sept. 1792. It quickly abolished the monarchy and established a republic. Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve (1756–1794), a lawyer, was the mayor of Paris until he resigned in October to sit in the Convention (Bosher, French Rev., p. xix, liii, 177–178).
8. In the wake of the fall of the monarchy, the first meeting of the National Convention, and the beginning of the Terror, many foreign diplomats fled Paris. Gouverneur Morris—whose support of the monarchy and nobility made him extremely unpopular in revolutionary France—chose to remain; while not technically under house arrest, he nonetheless faced mobs invading his home and would likely have had difficulties if he had tried to leave the city (William Howard Adams, Gouverneur Morris: An Independent Life, New Haven, Conn., 2003, p. 228–229, 239–242). See also WSS to JA, 5 Oct., below.
9. After the collapse of the constitutional monarchy, the Marquis de Lafayette fled from France to Belgium, ostensibly neutral territory, where he was promptly arrested by the Austrian Army for attempting to overthrow the king of France. He was eventually handed over to the Prussians, who imprisoned him in a fortress north of Berlin. At the same time, Adrienne Lafayette was briefly arrested at their estate at Chavaniac on 10 Sept. by the Committee of Public Safety. She was allowed to return to the chateau after Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville intervened on her behalf (Olivier Bernier, Lafayette: Hero of Two Worlds, N.Y., 1983, p. 242–248).
Jean, Chevalier de Ternant, had served as an officer with the French Army during the American Revolution. He was appointed France's minister to the United States in 1791 and remained in the position until 1793 (Jefferson, Papers, 6:161–162; Repertorium, 3:144).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0172

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-09-14

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear child

As we have some skitish persons in the Family who are apprehensive of the small pox, and of every Body from your infected city, we shall not have the pleasure of your company, nor the office a visit from you this week. your cousin Lucy informd me to day that you had a letter from your sister.1 pray send it me or such extracts from it as will inform me how she does and the col and Boys. I am very anxious for Thomas and fear he is Sick as I have not any Letters from him for a fortnight mr Black will be in Town & you may send any Letters by him to night. the Boston Newspapers we want to see, do not forget to send them. you will probably receive a Letter from salem or marblehead respecting a young woman who is comeing to live with me.2 Should she fix any day for comeing to Boston, I must get you to engage the Salem stage man to take her to Boston & let me know on what day, when I will send Brisler to Town for her. She has had the small pox— I wish you would ask mrs Welch to let her come to her House, and I will not trouble her for more than one Night, perhaps not that
{ 309 }
We have not yet got the necessary article from philadelphia nor can we devine why it comes not.
adieu your affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
1. Probably AA2 to JQA, 3 July, above.
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0173

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-09-19

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Madam.

I wrote to my brother Thomas more than a fortnight ago, respecting the warrant, & requesting him to see it forwarded— But whether from an apprehension on his part of an additional delay, or from what other cause I know not, he has not done it, and last Evening in answer to my Letter I received from him one urging very strongly the necessity of his having an order to receive the money.—1 Two lines from my father six weeks ago, might have prevented all the perplexity.— I enclose a Letter from Thomas to him, wherein I suppose he states his necessities himself—2 In that to me dated the 10th: he says “I cannot wait more than a fortnight longer.” Will you please to request my father to write an order of only two lines, addressed to the officer at the treasury who pays the money; if I knew who it was I would send you one ready written. it will be I presume sufficient to say. Sir— Please to pay Mr: T. B. A. the sum of —— dollars on my account & his receipt, shall be your discharge.— And pray send it to town to-morrow by all means, that it may go by the next post.
I enclose also, a Letter to you from my Sister; the seal of which I took the Liberty to break.— I find with pleasure they were all well; which did not clearly appear, by her letter to me, which I sent you yesterday.3
It will be best I believe to empower Thomas to receive all the money due at the treasury, and to direct him to send forward bills to you, after deducting the sum which he must have. Or perhaps it will be better to direct him to take an order upon General Lincoln from the treasury, for so much, as is to come to you, and to receive the rest himself.— It is a science to obtain money from thence, through all the offices and formalities that are made essential; and as I am wholly ignorant, of the usual proceeding I have not been able to do the business for you.— But pray, let not the order be delayed an hour longer.
{ 310 }
Thomas wishes also for directions, with respect to engaging lodgings for my father this winter: and he wishes they may be very precise and minute— You will be so kind as to give him all proper information upon that head.
I sent your Letter to Salem,4 last week; but have not yet received an answer.
Your's affectionately.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Quincy.”
1. TBA's letter to JQA, apparently dated 10 Sept., has not been found.
2. On 10 Sept., TBA wrote to JA reminding him that he would need to expressly authorize the Treasury Department to pay TBA the money the department owed to JA in order for TBA to collect it. TBA was anxious for this authorization as “I have been for some time past upon pretty short allowance—but hope I shall not lose my credit before I hear from you.” JQA followed up on this matter in a letter to TBA of 20 September. JQA noted that the Adamses had already sent TBA the necessary warrant two weeks earlier (both Adams Papers).
3. Probably AA2 to AA, 13 Sept., and AA2 to JQA, 3 July, both above.
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0174

Author: Smith, William Stephens
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-10-05

William Stephens Smith to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir—

Mr. Bond delivered your Letter of the 20th. of april1 I should have answered it sooner, but I really have been so much occupied in my private affairs, that I have scarcely had time to attend to any of my Correspondents out of the line of real business—but I now have a pretty clear prospect of getting well thro’ the great points I embraced— I shall however, I find, make more reputation than money, but upon the whole I have done vastly well, the wide spead ruin of speculation has not in the least effected any of my negotiations, nor the property of my friends committed to my direction, they are of course very much satisfied, and make very grateful returns, both in the line of civility & further unbounded confidence— in short sir, I feel agreably the effects of my prompt decissions on the score of public employment, the last winter, I feel myself in a great measure independent of the smiles or frowns of Courtiers, which I am grevied to find our Capital abounds, with— should any change take place in the administration of the affairs of our country, so as to introduce men who do not require too great a suppleness of Character to fill the offices of Government, but will be content, with the strict integrity & unblemished honour of Candidates, not absolutely deficient in abilities— perhaps my ambition may induce me to join them, but never while I possess abilities sufficient to bouy me above { 311 } the lash of poverty or independence of soul enough—to dispise the low intregues of designing ministers, will I join the career of those who in the infancy of Government lay it down as a principle that great suppleness of Character is a primary essential & that those who do not possess it, are not fit, for public employments—
I send you the papers to the present date—& should be glad to know what our able minister of foreign affairs thinks of his french alliance now, I think if he has any modesty left or my friends have any Justice, they will acknowledge the propriety of my opinions & the Justness of my conduct on that subject—& as the affairs are connected with the appointment of a Minister to the Court of france,— you will find that Mr. Morris is more detested in Paris, than he was hated here, a Gentleman from france lately here in public employment—asked me a few day's past a plump Question—thus—my God sir, how came your Country to send such a man as mr. Morris as its minister he surely cannot be the representative of America either in opinions or manners— The people of france are so much disgusted with him & enraged at him—that if he did not bear the name of an American & a Commission from Washington, his head would have been paraded upon a pike before this day— this I put by slightly, by saying I was in pursuit of my private affairs & did not know a sufficiency of the interior of the politicks of our great men to say from what scource he sprang into that political situation, excepting that it was by the apparent independant nomination of the President— he said, that Washington friends in france were much electrified, to find such a man with such Morals & Character, possessing his Confidence &c. &c. I suppose you will hear more of this from other quarters, & on this ground, I shall also be found to have been right, which will encrease the hatred of my enemies, & give me more cause to laugh at, if not despise them— We are all well here & are about making an excursion into Devonshire & to take bath in our return to London, for tho’ we are but private people we cannot help being a little fashionable— Mrs: Smith has written to Mrs: Adams & I suppose given a greater detail of politicks than I have time to enter into She loves it; you may guess where she got it from, & her Judgement on those points are astonishingly good, we chat a little now & then on these subjects, but keep ourselves out of the Circles of the Court, & shall continue to do so— she Joins me in affectionate Love to you, Madam Loisa & T. B. Adams Esqr.—& wish you would present our most particular respects to Mrs: Washington—
I am Dr. Sir. / Your most Obedt. / Humble servt.
[signed] W: S: Smith
{ 312 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of The United States / at / Philadelphia”; internal address: “The Vice President”; endorsed: “Col. Smith.”
1. Letter not found. Mr. Bond was probably Phineas Bond (1749–18161815), an American loyalist who served as the British consul in Philadelphia. He had sailed to England in June (Joanne Loewe Neel, Phineas Bond: A Study in Anglo-American Relations, 1786–1812, Phila., 1968, p. 5, 9, 14–15, 91–94, 174–176).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0175

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-10-08

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mamma

It is a long time since I have heard from you although I have not omitted writing. I hope it is not illness which hinders you from sometimes informing me how things are going in Massachusetts. The Baron returned from Steuben last week and I had intended to procure lodgings at some private boarding house, but when I mentioned to him my intention, he took me kindly by the hand “My dear Adams said he When your sister went from New York I invited you to come to my house, at least till you could find more convenient and pleasant Lodgings; I then had not the pleasure of a long acquaintance with you, but I was pleased that in our little society we could be of mutual advantage to each other, and that our improvements in the French language and in other branches of literature would render my table the seat of improvement and pleasure. I have since you have been here formed a very great and sincere friendship for you. You must now allow me the right of friendship; Indeed you must not leave me. What is it? Is there any thing you do not like? Is any thing inconvenient? I wish I could give you a better apartment, but the house will not aford it. I told him there was not a desire I could form but what was accomplished in his house; but that I did not think it proper that I should any longer take advantage of a kindness I had not a right to expect. And will you not then allow me to be any longer your friend and patron? You must not make such objections. It is not from any favor I can ever expect from your father. I am not rich, nor am I poor: and thank God I have enough to live well and comfortably upon; your being here does not make any difference in my expences. I love you, and will never consent that our little society should be broken, untill you give me more sufficient reasons for it.[”] To this affectionate and fatherly address, I could only reply that I would do any thing he wished and would not leave him if he was opposed to my doing so. My dear Mamma there { 313 } is something in this man that is more than mortal. We have late accounts from Europe, Our friends are well. I can not here enlarge upon french affairs but my father is a prophet and ought as the Baron says to be ranked next after Isaih. I have a necessity for about fifty guineas Will you tell me how I shall procure them. I do not know unless I borrow them and I do not like that very well. But should necessity prompt me I must do it. When does Pappa mean to pass through New York, I fear he will be most terribly perplexed the next session, There is a party formed to abolish this government. It consists of Officers of the late army. Antifederalists, and Southern men who from many reasons are endeavoring to subvert the funding system and of course every obligation which a nation can be under. Our Eastern delegates are complained of It is said their eyes are not open that they rest in security while America is in the greatest danger That they sleep while every body opposed to them is on the watch. God Grant that we may not be ruined, That we may not discard our name as a nation. You may depend upon it there is great danger of it. And my dear father what will be his sensations when all his toils are forgotten and his labors sunk in oblivion. what will be the path for his Children to persue when they see such an event will any encouragement remain to follow the road of public virtue Will any wish remain to be ranked among the list of patriots: Colonel Burr is appointed a judge of our Supreme Court and will without doubt accept the office. He aims at the Gubernatorial chair of this State and it is thought he will be able to obtain more influence as a Judge than he can by his present station.1 Mr Jay has been at death's door but is now somewhat recovered.2
I should be glad to hear oftener from Braintree where is my Brother John I hear no more of him than if he was in Asia.
Adieu my dear Mamma beleive me your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams.
PS I requested that some shoes might be sent to me, but I suppose you did not recollect it. I can not get them here they are very bad and at a very high price. If three or four pair can be sent it will much oblige me.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by JA: “C. A. Oct. 8. 1792. / New York.”
1. On 2 Oct., George Clinton and the N.Y. Council of Appointment nominated Aaron Burr, then a New York senator, to become associate justice of the N.Y. Supreme Court. He declined the position (Milton Lomask, Aaron Burr: The Years from Princeton to Vice President 1756–1805, N.Y., 1979, p. 176).
2. John Jay became dangerously ill with an eye inflammation and rheumatic fever in late September; he finally recovered in November { 314 } (Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay: Correspondence by or to the First Chief Justice of the United States and His Wife, ed. Landa M. Freeman and others, Jefferson, N.C., 2005, p. 213–214).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1792-10-12

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

I congratulate you on your Admission to the Bar and your taking Possession of an Office in So good a Part of the Town, and I would not advise you to exhange it for any other, without an absolute necessity. There is a great Advantage to a Lawyer in being always to be found in the Same place. I wish you as much Success as you can desire and all the Pleasure and Profit from your Practice in a Country like ours and in times like these. Honour and Integrity in all your concerns, a constant Attendance at your Office, and an ardent Application to your Studies will soon acquire you a reputation in the World and a Crowd of Clients about you
I am much pleased with your Observations on political subjects and approve entirely that Rectitude of heart which must have dictated your Attachment to Truth in all political Transactions. Falshood is never Politick. So far am I from admiring the old Monkish Maxim Populus vult decipi: decipiatur.1 for although I must confess from Experience, that the People sometimes choose to be deceived, yet I cannot agree to the other Part of the Proverb, so far as to take any part in the deception.
The Time has been when I had less unfavourable Notions of Rotations than I have at present. That Time however has been long Since past. Reading Reflection and Observation have wholly weaned me from that delusion and I believe that nothing has contributed more to my conversion than the Observation that in all History and Experience Rotations have been the favourites only of the Aristocracy. The People in contradistinction to the Aristocracy Seldom approve of Rotations and are never fond of them, except when at times they have been deceived by the Aristocrats.
It will be found at this instant that they are the Aristocrats in France and some of the worst of them too, who, by exciting Mobs and Tumults among People who may be hired to any Thing by a few Liards2 apiece, are playing Mischief with their Constitution and the Rights of Man.
You must write me as often as you can and not wait always for regular Answers from me, as my Engagements sometimes and my health at others will not allow me to write.
{ 315 }
My Regards to the Family We are connected with and particular Compliments to the worthy Baron.
I am my dear Charles your affectionate / Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); addressed: “Charles Adams Esqr / Councillor at Law / New York”; internal address: “Mr Charles Adams”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. The people wish to be deceived, let them have their wish (attributed to Cardinal Caraffa, legate of Pope Paul IV).
2. A small French coin of little value (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0177

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-10-17

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother,

I have not received any letters from you, for a considerable time, and I experience the same kind of apprehensions for the cause which you have often expressed concerning me. I fear least the cold weather which is fast approaching should affect your health, by bringing a return of your Rheumatism. I have repeatedly written concerning engaging lodgings for my Father before all the places are engaged, but I have yet recd: no instructions, and if they should even come now I fear no very eligible accomodations can be easily obtained. Mrs. House has the most commodious Rooms of any I know, but ’tis probable they may all be engaged by this time, as many of the former lodgers will return there;1 I know of no other place where there is even a tolerable prospect of obtaining suitable lodgings; however it cannot be my fault if they are not now attainable. Every body of your acquaintance seem to regret your determination to remain behind; but I differ from them in opinion, tho’ I may be presumed more interested in your return than any of them. I do not despair however of again seeing you in Philada: provided you think proper to return next Fall—2 The Reelection is I believe very safe—there can be no hindrance on that score then; but your health is the principal objection, but this I hope will be removed by that time. The Election for Representatives in Congress has been held in this State, and from the returns allready recd: it is said to be Federal; there was a very formidable interest however in opposition; they were indefatigable in their endeavors to carry their Ticket, but are obliged to knock under at last.3 The Electors for P & VP are to be chosen in a few days; we hear very little said of them; indeed there was scarcely ever know an Election however trifling, that was conducted with so much peace & order in this place.4 But the City { 316 } has disgraced itself by the countenance given to Rank Anti's while the Counties have deservedly gained a great share of applause by an opposite conduct. Messrs: Hutchinson, Dallas Fox & Co: feel themselves heartily mortifyed by their ill success, in those places where their presence could not overawe or influence the people.5 We never shall get a splendid Representation for this State while there are so many distinct interests or rather prejudices to encounter; but we may get an harmless one.
I got a Letter from Mrs: Smith dated 5 Augst: she was just going to the Review at Bagshott—6 What dismal accounts we have from France if true— A Letter has been received by a Mercht: in this City from a Correspondent in Charleston SC, informing him of the Slaughter of 5000 Parisians—and the Assassination of the Queen— The King & M. La Fayette were missing—& the Duke of Brunswick within 30 leagues of Paris. This intelligence is from Paris by the Georgia Packet wh[ich] sailed on the first of Septr:— Doubts are suggested of its authenticity but tis said to be direct[. For] my part, if the last circumstance concerning the [Duke] of Brunsw[ic]k be true I can easily credit all the rest. Otherwise it seems improbable.7
I sent the Carriage by Captn. Carver; but the price Binghurst charges for Casing, is extravagant especially in the manner it is done—8 If the Carriage gets injured I won't pay him a Farthing—he asks six Dolls. which I would have given if it had been well done; I'll thank you to let me hear how it arrives. I have payed Mrs. Keppele her third quarter, and resigned the Key of the House, she has allready removed her Family & taken possession. I have also paid my Board. The Store Rent, and my Taylor's Bill—for my Winter & Summer cloath's. I want some shoes from Hardwick if you will please to send them. My best love to all Friends
[signed] Thos: B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A Adams / Quincy / near Boston—”; internal address: “Mrs A Adams”; endorsed by JA: “T.B.A. Octr. 17 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed and due to a torn manuscript.
1. Mary House ran a boardinghouse at the corner of High (now Market) and Fifth streets (Washington, Diaries, 5:155–156).
2. In fact, AA would not return to Philadelphia until May 1797, after JA had become president.
3. TBA's assessment of the 9 Oct. 1792 election was premature. The returns as counted and reported in the newspapers by 17 Oct. indicated that eight Federalists and five Democratic-Republicans would be sent to Congress from Pennsylvania. The final results put the tally at five Federalists and eight Democratic-Republicans (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 17 Oct.; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 31 Oct.; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
4. The election of electors for president and vice president took place on 6 November.
5. Dr. James Hutchinson (1752–1793) studied medicine in Philadelphia and London prior to the Revolution, during which he served as the surgeon general of { 317 } Pennsylvania from 1778 to 1784. He was active in Philadelphia politics. Alexander James Dallas (1759–1817), of Scottish descent, was born in Jamaica. In 1783, he moved to Philadelphia. where he practiced law and became a naturalized citizen. From 1791 to 1801, he served as secretary of the Commonwealth. Both men played active roles in promoting Democratic-Republicans in the 1792 election. Fox may have been Edward Fox (1752–1822), an Irishman who held various positions in the Pennsylvania government and also served as secretary and treasurer of the University of Pennsylvania from 1791 until his death (DAB; Harry Marlin Tinkcom, The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania 1790–1801, Harrisburg, Penn., 1950, p. 51–54; Edward Fox, Penn Biographies, University of Penn. Archives, www.archives.upenn.edu).
6. Not found. On 7 Aug. 1792, King George III conducted a review of the British Army at their encampment at Bagshot roughly thirty miles southwest of London. According to newspaper reports, some 200,000 people attended the event, which featured a military parade, demonstrations of precision marching, and target firing (London Times, 9 Aug.).
7. The Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 15 Oct., printed the item that TBA paraphrases here under the headline “Melancholy Intelligence, If True.” This was just one of many reports appearing in newspapers throughout the United States on the situation in France, often offering contradictory information. The report was a mixture of fact and exaggeration; see AA2 to AA, 13 Sept., and notes, above.
8. John Bringhurst (1726–1795) was a noted Germantown carriage maker. Capt. Reuben Carver sailed the schooner Friendship between Boston and Philadelphia (Laurens, Papers, 7:574; Boston Columbian Centinel, 15 Aug.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0178

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1792-10-29

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I received with great pleasure your kind letter from Dover,1 and rejoiced in your safe arrival in England; but I have not been able to write you until now. When I was at the bar, I had commonly clerks who took off from me much of the manual labour of writing. While I was abroad I had commonly Secretaries to assist me. But now, when my hand shakes and my eyes fail, I have no one even to copy a letter, so that I am obliged to lay aside all pretensions of answering letters. My inclination has been strong to write to you and Col. Smith long ago, but ability has been wanting.
You are in Europe at a critical moment, more proper perhaps to make useful observations and reflections than any other which has occurred for centuries; but the scenes about you—at a distance, are terrible; and those which are near you, must be infested with a party spirit very anxious and very unsociable. You will soon wish yourself at home. We, indeed, have our parties and our sophistry, and our rivalries, but they proceed not to violence. The elections are going on in New-England with a spirit of sobriety and moderation, which will do us honour; and, I have not heard of any thing more intemperate than might be expected, in the southward or middle states.
For myself, I have made up my mind, and am more anxious to get out of public life than to continue in. I can say, with infinitely more { 318 } sincerity than Cæsar, that I have lived enough to glory, however feeble the glimmer may be. I am not disposed to say with him, that I have lived enough to life, for I should like to live to see the end of the revolutions in Europe, and that will not be these hundred years.2 My kind regards to Col. Smith and my dear boys, and to all friends.
Your mamma, I suppose, has told you all the news among our acquaintance, and it will be no pleasure to you to hear me repeat it. One thing she has forgotten: Capt. Beale of Squantam has set up, between me and my brother, a new house, the largest and handsomest ever built in their neighbourhood.3
What says my friend Brand Hollis to the French democrats now? Does his admiration of Mr. Paine continue or diminish? If my friend really loves king-killing, he is like to be satiated. I own I do not. My faith is immovable, that after ever so many trials, the nations of Europe will find, that equal laws, and natural rights and essential liberties can never be preserved among them without such an unity of the executive power.
I am, my dear child, / With much affection, / Yours,
[signed] John Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:123–125.
1. AA2 to JA, 7 May, above.
2. “I have lived long enough to satisfy either nature or glory” (attributed to Julius Caesar).
3. The Beale House is now part of the Adams National Historical Park.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0179

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-10-30

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear sir,

Your kind favor of the 11th: reached me some time since.1 The reasons you assign for delaying your journey to Philada: would be sufficient to satisfy me, but I have been particularly requested by several of your warmest Friends, to mention that your determination may be viewed in a different point of light by those who seek occasions & opportunities to injure you or your cause. It has become a matter of pretty general enquiry why the VP—is not to be here at the first of the Session, and it is feared that your final resolution concerning your journey hither, is only to be decided by the event of the Election. There has been such a spirit discovered in this, & the Southern States within a few months past, that the Friends & advocates of the present state of things, feel themselves { 319 } extreemly alarmed; and one of their principal reasons for wishing your presence as soon as possible at the head of the Senate, is the weight which your influence may have, to counteract the progress of dangerous measures. A single vote taken from any of the Eastern States, at this particular juncture, is thought to be of great consequence in the Political Ballance; especially as at this Session, a Reinforcement is expected from Kentucky.2
The dreadful scenes now acting in France, and the universal anarchy which appears to prevail, has excited terrors even in the breasts of the warmest enthousiasts for Revolution; and the justice of your principles with respect to Government begin to be openly acknowledged, tho’ they have long been silently seen.
’Tis said to be your happy fate to be the most obnoxious character in the United States, to a certain party, (whose hatred & opposition is the glory of every honest man) who for a long time have considered you as the first barrier to be removed in order to the success of their designs. If this be true, the necessity of your presence at this time will appear more striking than ever, as ’tis thought every exertion will be made on their part the coming Session to embarrass the most important measures, and even to subvert some that have allready received sanction. You will recollect that all the momentous questions which were agitated in Senate last session, were finally decided by the casting vote, and altho’ upon some accounts it may not be a very pleasing reflection, that the President of the Senate must necessarily encounter the Odium of half the Assembly in the honest discharge of his duty, yet there is some consolation to be derived from the involuntary veneration which that firmness of conduct must inspire, even in the breasts of those he may disappoint.3
The open opposition to the excise Law in the back parts of this State, has occasioned much anxiety to the President of the U, S,. His Proclamation has been treated with contempt, and some publications in the Pittsburgh Gazett have gone so far as to defy any attempts to enforce the law.4
Your goodness will I hope excuse [the] liberty I have taken in suggesting these inducements [in] hastening your Journey. If they appear to you of the same consequence as to those at whose request I have communicated them, I shall feel happy in having complyed with their desires; if not, I hope you will attribute it to the interest I feel in every thing that appears particularly to relate to you or your Office.
I have not yet been able to procure accomodations for your { 320 } Reception; but hope to do it in a few days. Mr. & Mrs: Otis have made a very obliging offer of a Room in their House, but no exertion on my part shall be wanting to procure the appartments mentioned in your letter.
Presenting my best love to the Family at Quincy and all other friends
I subscribe myself your dutiful / Son
[signed] Thos B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the U,S, / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “The Vice President of the U,S,”; endorsed: “T. B. Adams / Octr. 30. 1792 / ansd Nov. 14. / recd 13.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Kentucky, which became a state on 1 June, sent two senators for the second session of the 2d Congress: John Edwards and John Brown, both of whom attended the Senate for the first time on 5 November. Edwards (1748–1837) had served in the Va. House of Delegates and helped to frame Kentucky's state constitution. Brown (1757–1837), a lawyer, had represented Kentucky in the Va. senate and had also previously served as a congressional representative from Virginia from 1789 to 1792 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. While most of the Senate's deliberations were secret, the Annals of Congress indicate that JA cast deciding votes on several procedural motions related to the bills for apportioning representatives and for conveying land to the Ohio Company (2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 47, 49–50, 51, 123–124).
4. Although Congress had passed into law a tax bill that included an excise on distilled liquor in March 1791, no one attempted to enforce it in western Pennsylvania until Aug. 1792. People in that region, as well as in many other areas of the country, had been and remained strongly opposed to the law. They argued that the excise disproportionately affected those who lived in the western parts of the United States and laborers and the poor, primary consumers of domestic spirits. Opposition to the excise took a variety of forms, including petitions, assemblies, and occasionally violence, and would grow into what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion by 1794.
By fall of 1792, Alexander Hamilton's concern at the continuing opposition to the excise—especially resolutions by a Pittsburgh assembly calling for “every other legal measure that may obstruct the operation of the law, until we are able to obtain its total repeal”—led him to push for the use of the military to enforce it. While he could not convince the rest of George Washington's administration to support military action at that time, he did convince Washington to issue a proclamation, dated 15 Sept., decrying the “violent and unwarantable proceedings” and directing “all courts, magistrates and officers” to take appropriate action to enforce the law (Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution, N.Y., 1986, p. 105, 109–124; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 25 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0180

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-11-02

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother,

I have received your favor of the 21st:1 and as I want a little private conversation with you, must oblige you to pay the Postage of my answer. At the request of several of our Friends I addressed a Letter to my Father a day or two since—stating certain reasons for { 321 } hastening his Journey to Philada: and most of those were of a public nature; but I omitted to mention any inducements of a personal nature to him, because I chose rather to communicate them to you. It is feared lest his absence from the Seat of Govt: at this critical period, will give a handle to his Enemies, who will use every effort to divert the votes of the Electors in some of the States from him, and thereby prevent his having a Majority. I know there is not a man connected with the Govt: who is less disposed to trouble his friends upon an occasion of this kind, or who has less dread of the arts of his opponents, yet the question is whether his absence at this time may not be construed by them as an unfavorable symptom in public affairs. The spirit of opposition increases to the southward, and every opportunity which can be seized, will be eagerly employed to embarrass the public Counsels. The reasons assigned by my Father in his letter to me, for delaying his Journey, were perfectly satisfactory, because I considered the delacacy of his situation with respect to the coming Election, and am acquainted with his wish to have it pretty clearly decided before he undertakes the Journey. The anxiety which is expressed by his friends arises from the apprehension lest he should be absent the whole session, which they are now willing to acknowledge might have considerable influence upon public measures. It seldom happens that any business of great importance is transacted in the first weeks of a Session, so that he would not be so much missed as at a later period, but if the complexion of the Election should be unfavorable, he may determine not to come at all, which, every one knows would injure the Federal interest materially. I hope therefore both Public & private considerations will induce him to come on. I hear no doubts or surmises expressed with regard to the Election; nor do I hear of a single Candidate whose Rivalship may be dreaded. If any thing like a serious or formidable contest were meditated, I should certainly hear of it from my young Companions at least, who have never discovered a disposition to conceal any thing of this kind from me. Burr is mentioned—but so faintly that I doubt whether he secures three votes, notwithstanding he has the support of P—— Edwards2 or A J Dallas. Maryland is said to be favorable to the present State of affairs, altho’, Mercer has been reelected.3 But enough of this— Now with regard to Lodgings, I know not where to apply further than I have allready. It seems as if the whole City was full even to an overflow— I shall be constantly upon the look out, but all the Lodging Houses are full, as I find { 322 } most of the members of Congress bespoke their old places before they left this place last year; we must wait therefore till some favorable opening occurs.
There are no complete setts of the National Gazett to be procured from its Commencement, and my Patiotism is too strong to give so small an encouragement as the price of a single Paper, to such an engine of party opposition; I shall wait therefore till you tell me what effect this reason has with you, before I send orders to the Editor— Fenno will have nothing to do with him. The negociation therefore must be carried on in my name, to which I oppose the above objection.
I have taken a huge fancy to some of your Cheese, and as I still retain a share of affection for my native soil, a little of its produce would be particularly acceptable, at this time; My Quaker Friends, are the most hospitable people in the Circle of my acquaintance, and my good Lady, by her friendly offices, renders your absence infinitely less irksome than I could expect; I wish therefore to make her a small present of this kind, provided you can spare half a Dozen or so, from your stock; you may think it a singular request, but I hope not unreasonable. They may be put in a small Cask & sent by water, if convenient.
My health has mended much since the Cold weather set in; I prevent any kinks in my bones by regular exercise, and as to the Ague, the Bark proved too strong for it this season, tho I come within an ace of it several times; The Wine which was left me, was of great service, I say was because I finished the last of it yesterday—I can wait conveniently till my Father comes to have it replenished, if you think it a reasonable expence. My paper says, good by to you,—my best love to Unkles Aunts, Brothers Cousins &c
[signed] T B A.
1. Not found.
2. Pierpont Edwards (1750–1826), Princeton 1768, was an influential Connecticut lawyer who had previously been a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787–1788. Edwards was also Aaron Burr's uncle (DAB).
3. John Francis Mercer (1759–1821), William and Mary 1775, had served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia in 1783–1784 but now represented Maryland (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0181

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1792-11-03

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear Mrs Smith

Mrs Jeffry sails in Captain Scott and is so good as to say that she will take Letters to you. I have written to you by Captain Barnard who generally has quick passages—and by his return I hope to hear from you. I had Letters last week from Charles. he writes that our Friends in N york were all well, excepting chief Justice Jay who had been dangerously Sick, but was then on the recovery. The complextion of politicks in that state was rather against the National Goverment. the Governours Party having carried all their Projects, and Burr was rewarded for his opinion upon the Legality of the Election with a judgeship of the supreem Court. From Philadelphia Thomas writes me that the returns for Representatives were generally Federal1 in Conneticut the old Members are all rechosen with the addition of two new Members.2 Hampshire the old set, in senate Wingate is out, and judge Livermore in his Room.3 the Choise in this state will be on fryday next when from the complextion of affairs I presume we shall get a good set.4 Mr Gerry has declined serving again. I wish you to write me when you think it likely you shall return. I hope you will not go to sea again in the circumstances you went in before. you was certainly in the greatest Danger of losing your Life. I was much surprizd at the circumstance of mrs Copleys never having received her Money for the silk she purchased. I wrote to mrs Welch directly and as it hapned the dr had a Receit for the money deliverd to a mr Hubard 30 dollors which according to the Bill which accompanied the silk would have been sufficient, had it been left. mr Hubard was out of Town but has been written to about it and mrs Gray assures me that as soon as she can learn how the affair hap’ned she will inform me and that the money which she supposed she had advancd at the Time the silk was procured, shall be sent by captain Barnard.5 I certainly should never have askd such a favour for myself, much less should I have done it for an other person, and I am extreemly sorry that mrs Copleys delicacy has prevented her from informing me before I beg you to make every apology for me who was only a mere agent in the Buisness—but would sooner pay the money myself than mrs Copley should lay any longer out of it.
if you will with the china Send me a Bill of it, I will either remitt you the Money or pay it to whom ever you direct. I find that { 324 } Barnard will not sail so soon as scott. I put one Letter into the Bagg the other I shall give to mrs Jeffry. The Print you mention of the death of Chatham is come to Philadelphia, but we have not yet got it, or learnt where it is lodg'd, the Captain dye'd a few Days after his arrival.6 when your Father goes to Philadelphia Brisler will take measures to find it. my Love to the dear Boys.
present me kindly to Mr Vassel and Family to mr & mrs smith, and to all other Friends7 Let me hear often from you, and where you have been whom you have seen of our old acquaintance, my old servants I should be glad to hear of.
Your Aunt Cranch desires me to remember you to her I ought first to have mentiond your aged Grandmother who always kindly inquires after you. Send her a fan or any triffel by Barnard. the Idea that you remember her at such a distance gratifies her tenfold more than the value of the present. I mention a fan because a dog tore hers to peices which she had long had, and highly valued. The old Lady is as well this summer as the last, and is now in her 84th year. my Love to the Col Tell him to take care of his Health. I am my dear Daughter your ever affectionate / Mother
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / Mrs Smith / Argile Street No 38 / London.”
1. TBA to AA, 17 Oct., above.
2. AA was slightly mistaken. One Connecticut representative, Jonathan Sturges, was not reelected. The three new members of Congress—all Federalists—were Joshua Coit, Zephaniah Swift, and Uriah Tracy (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Samuel Livermore and Paine Wingate switched roles: Livermore moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate, while Wingate stepped down from the Senate to the House. Livermore (1732–1803), Princeton 1752, originally studied law in Waltham, Mass., but moved to New Hampshire in 1758. He served in the Continental Congress and as chief justice of New Hampshire's state supreme court, 1782–1789. Wingate (1739–1838), Harvard 1759, was a Congregational minister who later turned to farming and politics, serving in a variety of state and federal positions between 1781 and 1809 (same).
4. Massachusetts reelected Caleb Strong and George Cabot as its senators. For the House of Representatives, the state elected Fisher Ames, Shearjashub Bourne, David Cobb, Peleg Coffin Jr., Henry Dearborn, Samuel Dexter, Dwight Foster, Benjamin Goodhue, Samuel Holten, William Lyman, Theodore Sedgwick, George Thatcher, Peleg Wadsworth, and Artemas Ward. Ames, Bourne, Goodhue, Sedgwick, Thacher, and Ward had all previously served in the 2d Congress, and all were Federalists except Dearborn, Holten, and Lyman (same).
5. On 6 Oct. 1789, Susanna Clarke Copley wrote to AA that she had sent twenty yards of silk “according to your direction” (vol. 8:419). See also AA to Thomas Welsh, 15 Nov. 1792, and AA to Susanna Clarke Copley, [post 15 Nov.], both below.
6. On 20 April, John Singleton Copley wrote to JA (Adams Papers), indicating he was sending two copies of the recently completed engraving of Copley's 1781 painting The Death of the Earl of Chatham, one for the Adamses and one for George Washington. Because the Adamses were in Quincy at the time the engravings arrived in Philadelphia, they were unable to receive them directly. By 27 Jan. 1793, however, JA was able to write to Copley to thank him for the engraving and to assure him that JA had delivered one to Washington personally (MB). { 325 } The copy belonging to the Adamses remained in the family and hangs in the dining room at MQA.
7. William and Margaret Hubbard Vassall and William and Frances Coape Smith had been social acquaintances of the Adamses during their time in London (vol. 6:305, 311, 381, 388).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0182

Author: Otis, Mary Smith Gray
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-11-03

Mary Smith Gray Otis to Abigail Adams

[salute] Dear Mrs Adams

It was my intention to have written to you earlier after my return than this, but have found my time very much taken up, with puting my house in order.— You will not however think me less sincere for being late in my enquieres after your health, which I am sorry to hear is not yet confirmed. Your friends here regret very much, being deprived of your society this winter and are only reconciled to it, by the consideration of its being benificial to you.— The Vice President has been anxiously expected here, at this time by his friends, & his delay is considered as an unfortunate curcumstance, as it respects himself & his country, the former consideration I know, he is too much above, the latter I trust has still some influence upon his mind.— Haveing said thus much, give me leave to adde, that I think, there is no lodging house sutable for the Vice President to be at, to be with other boarders, will not assuredly do; & there is no place that he can come to, with so much propriety as to our house, we have rooms enough and will accomodate him the best in our power.— Mr Bryslar knows all his wants, and with his assistance, I think he will be as well of as at a Boarding House.— This is not ment as a complement, but as what would give Mr Otis & myself great pleasure.—
The ladies of Congress are all here there is no addition to the number, but only Mrs Ames,1 the city begins to be gay, but they have not yet enter'd into the spirit of Card Partys
Remember me to Mrs Cranch & family love to Louisa.— And whenever you can find time to write me, you will give pleasure to / Your Affect Cous[in]
[signed] M Otis
[ca. 7 November]
Mr Otis encloses a copy of the speech & informs that Mr Lees having declined public business &, the Vice President not arrived Mr Langdon is Pres: pro tem:— Mr O encloses the Speech2 & will send the minutes the next post.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Adams / Quincy.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 326 }
1. Fisher Ames had married Frances Worthington (b. 1764) of Springfield, Mass., in July after a lengthy courtship (Winfred E. A. Bernhard, Fisher Ames: Federalist and Statesman 1758–1808, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1965, p. 200–203).
2. Otis emphasized this word by circling it in curlicues.
3. Richard Henry Lee, the Senate's president pro tempore, had resigned on 8 Oct.; John Langdon was elected on 5 Nov. in his place (Biog. Dir. Cong.). The speech enclosed (not found) was likely George Washington's address to Congress of 6 Nov., which first appeared in print in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 7 November. On 12 Nov., Samuel Alleyne Otis wrote to JA enclosing the minutes of the proceedings of the Senate, including its response to Washington's address (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0183

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Welsh, Thomas
Date: 1792-11-15

Abigail Adams to Thomas Welsh

[salute] Dear sir

I inclose to you a memorandum which I received from Mrs Smith,1 the Receit given you for the Money I have received and will forward in a Letter to mrs Copley but at the same time I wish to know how she is to come at the money lodged in the Bank. perhaps mrs Gray has taken measures for that, but as I feel myself in some degree responsible to mrs Copley I wish when I write to her & state the facts, that she may at the same time receive her money.
My son takes Fennos paper in which is a peice dated Annopolis & signed a consistant Republican I think, for I have not now the paper by me. I would suggest to you sir whether it might not be proper for Russel to republish it.2 the people of this state appear to feel themselves safe and I believe are happy under the National Goverment, but if they mean to continue so they must be more vigilint, for never since the commencment of the Goverment has there been so formi[dable] a combination to overthrow it. there are no falsehoods too barefaced for the Antis to circulate. the zeal with which a certain Gentleman in Boston is brought forward for a Representitive shews plainly that like Moles, much work has been done in this state underground.3 mr Ames I find in one place has been Represented as having made an immence fortune by speculation, in an other place the people have been told that he was an Enemy to the Rights of the People and in an other, where such a report was known to be unpopular, that he was in favour of the Petition of the officers of the late Army, but they may be assured that Massachusetts has not a Member who has more uniformly supported the National Goverment since its commencment and with abilities which his Enemies dread.4 let our Country men look at France and ask themselves do the Rights of Men consist in the destruction & devastation of Private property do the Rights of Man consist in Murder & { 327 } { 328 } Massacre without distinction of Age or youth of sex or condition, Scenes which Humanity Sickens at, the very recital of which at this [distan]ce from the scene of carnage, the Youthfull Blood is frozen, and each particular Hair as shakspear expresses it, stands an End, like quills upon the fretted Porcupine.5
Mr Adams sets of on monday next could you ride up and dine with us on sunday we shall be very happy to see you. my kind Regards to mrs welch and family—
yours affectionatly
[signed] A A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Dr Thomas Welch / Boston”; docketed: “Mrs. A Adams ‘92.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. Not found.
2. “To the People of Maryland,” which was signed “A Consistent Federalist” and dated Annapolis, 19 Oct., appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 31 Oct., reprinted from the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, 23 October. Benjamin Russell reprinted the article in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 17 Nov., under the signature “A Constant Federalist.” The article, responding to a suggestion that Charles Carroll of Carrollton replace JA as vice president, argues that Antifederalists had long opposed JA “because his abilities and principles were formidable to their views and ambition; and because to prevent his re-election would be a point gained over the constitution itself.” It goes on to summarize much of JA's diplomatic career in glowing terms and to suggest that “the knowledge he acquired, in these several missions, of the interests and views of the courts of Europe, fit him in a peculiar manner to fill, to the greatest advantage, the station he now occupies.”
3. Benjamin Austin Jr., who was defeated by Fisher Ames for Suffolk County representative (Boston Columbian Centinel, 3 Nov.).
4. During the weeks before the election, various newspaper items appeared questioning Ames’ disinterestedness and suggesting his collusion with speculators; see, for example, Boston Independent Chronicle, 25 Oct., and Boston Gazette, 29 October. After the election, the Boston Gazette, 5 Nov., printed a satirical piece breaking down who voted for Ames into categories such as “Branch Bank Officers, Directors and Runners”; “Persons interested deeply in the Funds, alias Paper-Men”; and, finally, “A noted, idle stroller, who has been too fat to engage in any Business but Speculation!” Two years earlier, Ames had been accused of withholding from Congress a petition signed by thousands of soldiers in opposition to the funding bill (Stewart, Opposition Press, p. 42).
5. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene v, line 20.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0184

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Copley, Susanna Clarke
DateRange: 1792-11-15 - 1792-11-30

Abigail Adams to Susanna Clarke Copley

[salute] my dear Madam

I was not a little Surprizd at receiving intelligence through mrs smith soon after her arrival that you had never received the Money for the Silk you was so good as to purchase at my request three years ago— I am extreemly sorry that your delicacy prevented you from giving me this information at an earlier period. most assuredly Madam I would not have askd such a favour for myself nor could I have ventured it for any other person. upon my Receiving mrs smiths Letter I immediatly informd mrs Gray of it who was not less surprizd than I { 329 } was—for 30 dollors was sent with the Letter and Mrs Gray supposd that it was paid for at the Time the silk was sent tho she now recollects that the Bill which she received was not receited. a Mr Russel Hubbard was the person who received the money and not finding mrs Copley at Home when he left the Letter he lodgd the money in the Bank of England where it now is. he thought no more of it, and mrs Adams did not see mrs Gray till two years after when she thanked her me2 for having procured her silk through mrs Copley
I inclose you the Recit which will enable you to receive at the Bank the 30 dollar with one pr cent interest from the time it was lodg'd there, as I am informd. I am unacquainted with the mercantile method of doing Buisness but suppose it is Regular. if there should still be any diffiulty remaining I hope you will be kind enough to inform me
our late dear suffering Friend mrs Rogers I shall always remember with a sisterly affection She was happily for her releazd and I believe I may add made perfect as humane Nature was capable of, through Sufferings if ever there was a sincere mourner mr Rogers may be rankd in that Class—
My dear Mrs Smith expresses herself happy in the Renewal of her acquaintane with you—and in the continuence of your Friendship. I hope she will not be in a situation to call upon you for such assistance as you have formerly renderd her, but if she should, I shall more than ever solicit your kind attention to her. I hope she will never venture to sea in circumstances similar to those in which she made her last voyage which nearly cost her her Life.
My own Health has sufferd so much by my Residence at Philadelphia that I do not propose going there this winter.
I hope mr Copley & the Ladies your daughters enjoy their Health. miss Copleys Rose Tree I still preserve & tho it has out lived several seasons & many of the productions of Nature Time has Rob'd it in some measure of its Bloom.3
I am dear Madam with my best wishes for your Health & happiness / Your Friend & Humble servant
[signed] A. A
Dft (Adams Papers). Filmed at [1792].
1. The dating of this letter is based on AA's letters of 3 Nov. to AA2 and of 15 Nov. to Thomas Welsh, both above.
2. AA initially wrote “her” then added “me” directly above it.
3. AA brought two rose bushes back from England in 1788, a red Lancaster and a white York, which she planted at the Old House. The Lancaster survived into the nineteenth century; the York is still flourishing at the Adams National Historical Park.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0185

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-11-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Weather has been so disagreable and the Roads so bad, that I have not been able to advance farther on my Journey than to Bulls Tavern in this Town where I arrived last night after an unpleasant ride in the snow from Springfield.1 It Snowed all last night and has blocked up the roads so that I cannot move onwards till monday.
I have fallen into Several curious Conversations, on the road, which however would be too trifling to commit to Paper. a Gentleman of very respectable Appearance told me last Evening without knowing or Suspecting me, all the Politicks of New York and Philadelphia for and against the V. President. “The V. P. had been as all Acknowledged a great Friend to this Country, but had given offence to his Fellow Citizens in Massachusetts, by writing something in favour of hereditary descent. That he had been long in Europe and got tainted.” I told him laughing that it was hard if a Man could not go to Europe without being tainted. that if Mr Adams had been Sent to Europe upon their Business by the People, and had done it, and in doing it had necessarily got tainted I thought the People ought to pay him for the Damage the Taint had done him, or find some Means to wash it out and cleanse him.
Govr H. has been here and made a Dinner for the Gentleman of this Town.2 one asked after the V. P. “The Governor had not Spoken to the V. P. this year; He was not one of the Well born.” A Gentleman remarked upon it afterwards what would Mr H. have been if he had not been well born the Nephew of the rich Uncle Thomas.? in short his Silly Envy of the V. P. is perceived & ridiculed by all the World out of Massachusetts. He is considerd as a mere rich Man prodigal of his Wealth to obtain an empty Bubble of Popularity.
I am told that an unanimous Vote will be for me in Vermont New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. This is generally expected, but I know full well the Uncertainty of Such Things, and am prepared to meet an Unanimous Vote against me. Mr P. E. came off miserably. He gave such offence by mentioning his Nephew, that they would not appoint one Man who had any connection with him.3
I would not entertain you with this political Title tattle, if I had any thing of more importance to say. one Thing of more importance { 331 } to me, but no News to you is that I am / yours with unabated Esteem & / affection forever
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia.”; endorsed: “Novbr / 24 1792.”
1. Capt. Frederick Bull (d. 1797) ran a tavern in Hartford (Hartford Connecticut Courant, 21 Oct. 1793; Middletown, Conn., Middlesex Gazette, 24 Feb. 1797).
2. John Hancock traveled to Connecticut in October, primarily to visit family and friends in Fairfield (Herbert S. Allan, John Hancock: Patriot in Purple, N.Y., 1953, p. 352; New York Diary, 16 Oct.).
3. That is, Pierpont Edwards and his nephew Aaron Burr.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0186

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-11-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

Such has been the weather Since you left me, that I cannot form any accurate judgment where you now are. I sometimes conjecture that you are not farther than Brookfield. at any rate you must have had an unpleasent week, tho perhaps not so severe a snow storm as we have had here. Monday afternoon & all twesday it raind then cleard up very cold and blustering. on fryday came on a snow storm wind very voilent at North East. it continued so through fryday Night and saturday even untill sunday morning, when the snow was over the tops of the Stone walls and so Bank'd that no wheel carriage can stir. we had not any meeting to day, and some person had their sheep to digg out from under the snow Banks. ours very fortunately experienced the comfort of their new habitation. the Hay was housed on fryday, & bedding provided for the Horses, but the Boat is not carried to the Island. after the storm of twesday shaw1 and Tirril went to see if she could be got of, but the very high Tide had thrown her up so high that they pronounced it impossible untill the Tides rose again, and that it would be more adviseable to turn her over where she now is, & secure her there for the winter, this Snow storm confirms them in the opinion I never remember so severe a snow storm in November. I hope to hear from you this week. I have felt much anxiety for you, more perhaps than if I had been a fellow traveller with you with Books about me I have felt dismal & Lonely. you left the only ones you intended to take; and an Inn seldom furnishes any entertainment of a literary kind. I hope Brisler minds to have a fire in your Bed Room and that your sheets are well aird and your Bed well cloathd. remind him of this injunction yet I know not whether this will reach you soon enough to put it in practise. Porter who was to cut our wood and Timber is confind to his Bed with the { 332 } Rhumatism.2 most families I find are caught without wood, so that it is to be hoped they will turn out & make roads. I think you will find it necessary to take a sleigh and if so you will travel with more ease to yourself than with wheels
I cannot tell you any news not having seen to my great mortification any News paper since you went away nor have I been out of the House since I returnd after leaving you. I did not think I should have felt so lonely. it seems so still all day long as if half the Family were gone.
Let me hear from you as soon as you get to Philadelphia, and sooner if this should reach you at Nyork as I design it shall—
I am most affectionatly / yours
[signed] A Adams
I hope poor Cheeseman is not cast away with your Trunk of cloaths, but if he was within reach of the storm I know not how he could stand it. I presume we shall hear many a melancholy ship wreck3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia / Nov. 26. 1792.”
1. Ezra Shaw Jr. (b. 1771) of Abington (Vital Records of Abington, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1912, 1:204).
2. David Porter (1753–1827) of Abington (Joseph W. Porter, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Richard Porter, Bangor, Maine, 1878, p. 55–56).
3. Capt. Samuel Chesman's ship, the Trion, arrived safely in Philadelphia by early December (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 8 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

At Hartford, finding the Roads obstructed with Such Banks of Snow, as were impassable with Wheels I left my Chaise with Mr Frederick Bull of that town to be sent to Boston, and my Horses to be sent after me, and took to the Mail Stage. We happened to have agreable Passengers, and arrived here on Wednesday night. as I had little sleep for several nights, I found myself fatigued, a little fevourish with a bad Sore throat, and have been nursing here till sunday. tomorrow morning I go off for Philadelphia. Charles and our Friends are well— Some Persons have recd letters from our Children in London who expect to come home in the Spring.
Governor Clinton is to be V. P. of U. S. and Govr of N. Y. too, at least this is the Sanguine Stile both of his Friends and Enemies. { 333 } Some of both I mean. The C. J. has been very Sick but is recovered. He looks very thin and pale however.
Charles has had some Business, and has argued and gained his first Cause. It is no small Thing to make the Beginning at the Bar. He wants Books and I must help him to purchase a few of the most necessary.
I wrote you from Hartford and shall write again from Philadelphia. I hear many Stories of Marches and Countermarches Intrigues and Manœuvres of Burke1 Dallas, Edwards Clinton &c &c to form Combinations vs. the V. P. but I know not how much of it to Credit. at all Events I hope I shall not be obliged to lie alone next Winter, and with this Wish I close my Letter—
yours forever & forever
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Decbr 2. 1792”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. Aedanus Burke (1743–1802), an Irishman who settled in Charleston, S.C., had been an Antifederalist during the ratification debate. He served a single term in Congress before returning to South Carolina where he was appointed chancellor of the equity courts (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0188

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-04

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I was very happy to receive on thanksgiving day the 29 of Novbr. your Letter dated Hartford. I feard that you had not reachd so far the weather was so dissagreable, but if the Roads have mended as much with you as they have this way, you have reachd Philadelphia by this time. I shall with impatience wait to hear of your arrival there. the snow remaind with us but one week Since which we have had pleasent weather. there has not anything occurd material that I know of since you left us— if you get Russels paper you will see a little deserved Burlisque upon the Govenours speach respecting the expressions made us of by Congress which gave him such umbrage.1 Tomorrow is a very important day to the united states, much more important to them, than it can possibly be to you or to me for think of it as they please tomorrow will determine whether their Government shall stand four years longer or Not. mr Clinton Seems to be the only competitor held up. I fancy he will receive no aid from N England. I hope you will order Fenno to continue his paper to me. We have had a Gang of Thieves infesting this Town since you left it. { 334 } the thursday after you went away Shaw & James went into the woods & in the day time the best saddle was stolen out of the Barn closset. the same Night mr Cary had his best Horse stolen2 and mr smith who lives on mrs Rows place had his taken the same night3 and last Sunday morning James came Running in to inform me that his Stables had been attempted, & his Lock broken, but being doubly secured the villan could not effect his purpose. he tried the Coach house door & split of a peice of the door, but could not get the Bar out. he went on to mr Adams's at Milton & stole his Horse4 a Traveller lodged at Marshes Tavern on saturday night, who got up in the Night Rob'd the House of various articles of wearing Apparal and made of. we Suppose that he was the person who attempted our stables and that he belongs to a Gang. they are in persuit of him5
your Mother was well this day she spent it with me. She and your Brother & family all dinned with me on thanksgiving day as well as our Son. tis the first thanksgiving day that I have been at Home to commemerate for Nine years. Scatterd and dispersed as our Family is, God only knows whether we shall ever all meet together again much of the pleasure and happiness resulting from these N England Annual feltivals is the family circles & connections which are brought together at these times, but whether seperate or together I am sensible that every year has been productive of many Blessings, and that I have great cause of thankfulness for preserving mercies both to myself & Family.
I inclose a Letter for Brisler6 I wish him to inquire the price of Rye that I may know whether it would quit cost to send me a dozen Bushel tis five & six pence pr Bushel here. Superfine flower I want to know the price of, it has taken a rise here7
my Love to Thomas tell him to write me often I hope the House of Reps will be in a little better humour after all Elections are over. I hope trust they will not follow the French example & Lop of Heads, even of departments. they appear to have a great terror of them I see a Lucius & a Marcus, I should like to know who they are.8 [. . . .]hee many compliments & respects to all my good Friends in Philadelphia. I flatter myself I have some there, and be assured of the affectionate Regard / of your
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia. Decr 4. / ansd. 19. 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 335 }
1. On 12 Nov., John Hancock addressed the Mass. General Court. In his speech, he took exception to a directive from Congress that “the Supreme Executive of each State SHALL cause three lists of the names of the Electors of such State to be made and certified.” Hancock believed that the use of the word “shall” was inappropriate; he argued, “that Government applies itself to the People of the United States in their natural, individual capacity, and cannot exert any force upon, or by any means controul the officers of the State Governments as such: Therefore, when an Act of Congress uses compulsory words with regard to any Act to be done by the Supreme Executive of this Commonwealth, I shall not feel myself obliged to obey them” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 14 Nov.).
2. Alpheus Cary (1761–1816) of North Bridgewater later served as a selectman in Quincy (Sprague, Braintree Families).
3. Probably Hannah Rowe of Milton (Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 60).
4. Lemuel Adams (1748–1833) of Milton (Sprague, Braintree Families).
5. The tavern proprietor may have been Jonathan Marsh (1753–1822), who lived on Hancock Street and held various town offices (same; Pattee, Old Braintree, p. 171).
6. Not found.
7. In Dec. 1792, rye was priced at three to three and a half shillings per bushel in Philadelphia; superfine flour cost forty shillings per barrel (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 1 Dec.).
8. Lucius, probably Melancton Smith, argues in two articles in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 14 and 24 Nov. 1792, that JA's writings in Defence of the Const. and Discourses on Davila demonstrated his attachment “to a goverment of king, lords, and commons,” making him unsuitable to be reelected vice president. Comparing JA and George Clinton, Lucius writes, “The characteristic difference, then, in their political principles simply amounts to this, that those of Mr. Adams vary radically from the constitution, in the main features of the republican system; whereas those of his competitor harmonize with it in that essential point.” Marcus’ essay, which initially appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 21 Nov., replies to Lucius in defense of JA, arguing that the Defence of the Const. “is the best defence of a free republican government in the English language” (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 331).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0189

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

last night I arrived at Philadelphia in tolerable Health and found our Friends all well. I have concluded to accept of the kind offer of Mr and Mrs Otis and taken a bed in their House. Thomas is charmingly accommodated and is very well. This Day decides whether I shall be a Farmer or a Statesman after next March. They have been flickering in the Newspapers and caballing in Parties: but how the result will be I neither know nor care. I have met a very cordial and friendly reception from the Senate. All lament that Mrs Adams is not here: but none of them so much / as her Friend forever
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-12-05

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

at 9 last night I arriv'd and this Morning have taken my Seat from whence I write this. I have just recd yours of 22. Nov. with its Inclosure.1 I am told most confidently that all the Votes in N. Y. will be for Clinton and all the Votes in Pensilvania for me. I believe neither.
If the People of the Union are capable of being influenced by Such Characters as Dallas and Edwards, I should be ashamed of them and their Service. but I know better Things. The Writings are weaker than the Agents.
If any Thing disagreable happens it will be a dissipation of the Votes upon various Characters, merely to throw them away. and these follies will be occasioned by Causes much more ancient than the federal Govt or my Writings. I mean Jealousies of South vs North and dubitations about federal Towns and foreign Debts.
Charles is very earnest for you to write to him. He is turning Politician & Writer. He has made his Essays at the Bar and begins to have Business.
Thomas is studious and is happily lodged. Mrs smith is expected in the Spring.
I shall lodge at Mr Otis's where I shall feel myself at home. Write me as often as you can.
God bless you
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Adams.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0191

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1792-12-05 - 1792-12-31

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mama

Some years since you was so kind as to purchase for your children a certain tract of Land in Vermont. What number of acres the Lots contained I know not. I beleive that little or no pains has been taken to secure the title to them they were indeed thought but of Little value. The price of new Land has of late risen so much and the demand becoming greater every day It would I think be a prudent undertaking to make a few enquiries respecting the family property which lies in that State. There is a Mr Morris who lives in Vermont upon whom I can depend for information respecting this { 337 } business, but my total want of knowledge upon the subject renders it impossible for me to make the necessary enquiries.2 My Brother will I have no doubt assist you in making out a statement of the business. The questions I wish to propose are these Of whom the Land was bought? In what year? In what part of the State it lies? What title was given? What consideration paid? How many acres were contained in the lots. Which is my particular part? and if possible how bounded separately: if not; how the whole tract is bounded? I hope to be able to gain such information as will redound to the benefit of us all.3 We have no forcing news. Our Clintonians have made a great noise about their Hero's election to the office of Vice President and their dissappointment must be extremely keen as from the returns I have been able to see that the present Statement of the votes is that the present incumbent has 71 votes and Mr Clinton 15 which leaves a majority of 7 votes provided all the other States vote unanimously for Clinton South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Kentuckey and Georgia are not included in this calculation We have had no accounts from those States. I received by my father your kind present the Stockings were very acceptable I rejoice to hear of your mending health. if my finances will allow I intend to pass a few days with my dear Mother at Braintree during the winter but this is altoge[ther] an uncertainty. Thomas spent a few days with [me in] September he appears to be well and grows fat [his] lodgings at Philadelphia are very pleasant. He is a good Brother. Let me not be forgotten by any of my friends. I shall answer my brothers letter very soon he has been so good a correspondent of late that it is a pitty to loose him.4 Besides he is very good Counsel upon all occasions!
Beleive me your affectionate son forever
[signed] Charles Adams.
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at Dec. 1792. Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. This letter was written sometime after 5 Dec., the day on which the New York State presidential electors cast their votes for George Clinton for vice president.
2. Probably Lewis R. Morris (1760–1825) of Springfield, Vt., who had served as secretary to Robert R. Livingston in the early 1780s. Morris moved from New York to Vermont in 1785 and in 1791 acquired 2,650 acres of Vermont land from his father, Richard, who remained in New York (Hugh H. Henry, “General Lewis R. Morris/Barry/Mollica House,” Connecticut River Historic Sites Database, Connecticut River Joint Commissions, www.crjc.org/heritage/V07-14.htm).
3. For the Vermont land AA purchased in 1782, see vol. 4:315, 316–317, 345; 7:457, 459; 8:34.
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0192

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am lodged at Mr Otis's and am personally well accommodated: but I am So little pleased with living alone at any Lodgings, that this shall be the last time. You must come to me another Year or I will come to you. I am convinced if you were now here you would again be sick for the damp and chill is very penetrating. Next fall, I hope your health will be better.
How the Election is gone I know not. It cannot go amiss for me, because I am prepared for every Event. Indeed I am of the Cat kind and fall upon my feet, throw me as they will. I hear some very good stories to this purpose sometimes.
Benson propagates a beautiful Anecdote of this kind.1 A large Company mixed of Federalists and Antis, Whigs and Tories, Clintonians & Jaysites were together at New York in Conversation about French Affairs. All Parties it seems condemned and execrated the Plans and Conduct of the Jacobins. Unluckily at length a Jaysite and Federalist observed that We had Jacobins in this Country who were pursuing objects as pernicious by means as unwarrantable as those of France. This roused the Resentment of a Clintonian Anti whose name is Gilbert Livingston, who took the Reflection to himself and his Party and grew warm.2 “Nothing says he mortifies me so much in the Misconduct in France and America too, as to see that the Fools are all playing the Game into the hands of that Mr John Adams.”
Why Said Benson to Livingston who it seems is a serious Man. Mr Adams reads the Scriptures and there he finds that Man is as stupid as the Wild Asses Colt.3 He believes what he reads and infers his necessary Consequences from it, that is all. Mr Adams is not to blame. He did not write the Scriptures. He only reads and believes.
Benson got the laugh upon Livingston but I love Livingston the better for the story. It shews Integrity and Candor at Bottom, ‘tho Prejudice and Party Spirit were att top.
The President & Lady and all others Enquire anxiously and affectionately for You. I have given Charles my Coach Horses to buy him Law Books. For the future your Pair of Horses will be all I shall keep. My Love to all
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Decbr 7 1792.”
{ 339 }
1. Egbert Benson (1746–1833), King's College 1765, was a New York lawyer. He represented New York in the Continental Congress from 1781 to 1784 and in the U.S. Congress from 1789 to 1793 (DAB).
2. Gilbert Livingston (1742–1806), a distant cousin of the more prominent Livingstons, was an Antifederalist lawyer from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Staughton Lynd, Anti-Federalism in Dutchess County, New York, Chicago, 1962, p. 25–27).
3. “For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt” (Job, 11:12).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0193

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-08

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I had yesterday the honor of receiving your kind letter of the fifth.1 Our electors have returned from Poughkeepsie but are determined by the information I have procured to keep the State of their votes a secret. There is it is true a report that they were unanimous, but I beleive it arises from no good authority A certain nephew of our Governor has held out hopes of twelve votes from the eastern States but such ideas can intimidate none but very feeble minds2 New Jersey are unanimously federal if the information we receive by the papers be just. I this day received a Letter from my Brother John.3 He gives me very favorable accounts of my dear Mothers health He seems to be fixed in the system of Optimism and looks or affects to look with vast sang froid upon the various hurly burlies that are happening in the world. The horses are not yet arrived I have written to Mr Bull to send them on immediately I have received no answer I shall write again tomorrow. We have had no arrivals from Europe since you left us and have nothing new stirring The account of the Capture of Dumorier's army is not beleived4
Our Legislature are still upon the examination respecting the rejection of the votes at the last election for Governor how long it will last and whither it will tend I know not. It serves at least to keep animosity alive.
I am Dear Sir your Dutiful son
[signed] Charles Adams
1. Not found.
2. DeWitt Clinton (1769–1828), Columbia 1786, was the son of George Clinton's brother James. DeWitt had studied law and was admitted to the bar before becoming his uncle's private secretary (DAB).
3. Not found.
4. Charles François du Périer Dumouriez (1739–1823) briefly served as minister of foreign affairs and minister of war in the French revolutionary government. He led the French Army from 1792 to 1793. Rumors of his capture were in fact false and would shortly be contradicted in the New York newspapers. Dumouriez continued to lead the army successfully until March 1793 when, after a major defeat, he defected to the Austrians (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxxvi, 166, 183; New York Weekly Museum, 1, 8 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0194

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Dr Blair has resigned and Dr Green is our Chaplain, but Miss Blair is married to Mr Roberdeau the Bearer of this Letter, son of my old Friend the General.1
There is an universal and respectful Inquiry after you and your health, and as general a respect and Attention shewn to me. The Savages who shoot from the Swamps and thickets, from the Brakes and Briars from the Mud and Dirt, are all hidden Skulkers, and dare not shew their heads or make known their Names. You will know more of the Election before this reaches you than I do. It does not appear that I am born to so good Fortune as to be a mere Farmer in my Old Age, notwithstanding the kind Intentions and benevolent Endeavours of some People to excuse me from future Journeys.
Your son and your Friends are all well.
I dont know whether I have told you that I came from Hartford in the Stage, that I have given my Horses to Charles to buy Law Books.
With Affections and tenderness inexpressible at this distance I am
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia.”
1. Rev. Ashbel Green (1762–1848), Princeton 1783, was appointed chaplain to the U.S. Congress on 5 Nov., a position he held until 1800. Green replaced Rev. Samuel Blair (1741–1818), Princeton 1760, who declined to be renominated. Both were Presbyterians (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 3:268–269, 479–486; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 6 Nov.).
Isaac Roberdeau (1763–1829), a civil and military engineer helping to lay out the new city of Washington, D.C., had married Susan Shippen Blair, Rev. Blair's daughter, on 7 Nov. 1792 (DAB; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 12 Nov.). For Roberdeau's father, Gen. Daniel Roberdeau, see vol. 2:350.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0195

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-08

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir.

Our Electors met in this town on Wednesday last, and their Votes for President and Vice-President were unanimous this was generally expected here, and the event is supposed to have been nearly if not wholly the same in all the New-England States— New-York it is imagined was unanimous for Mr: Clinton as V.P. their Electors are chosen by their legislature, where their Governor has a bare majority, determined to support upon all occasions his party and his politics. From the other States you will probably hear before us.— And upon the whole, I presume the election will be favourable.1
{ 341 }
The Governor has at length prevailed in routing the players. On Wednesday, the Attorney General received orders from him and the Council, to prosecute the violators of the Law, immediately. He applied for a warrant, to a Justice of the Peace returnable before two Justices of the Quorum. The Sheriff arrested one of the actors behind the Scenes in the course of the play on Wednesday Evening, and informed the company that unless they dispersed immediately he should arrest all the other performers for the Evening. The Company immediately assumed the form of a deliberative assembly, and debated the Question, whether they should retire, or direct the players to proceed and bid defiance to the Sheriff. They concluded that obedience to the Law, was the safest party and withdrew, not without many imprecations against the Governor, and the Law, upon which they were interrupted.— The next morning the examination upon the warrant was to take place and the Justices met at Faneuil Hall, their own offices being too small, and the Court-House occupied, by the district Court.— The Hall was about halffull of Spectators, who took every opportunity, to express their disapprobation of the proceedings.— An objection was taken by Mr: Otis, counsel for the defendant, to the warrant, as not being founded upon oath but only upon an official complaint of the Attorney-General. Whether Sullivan committed the blunder from ignorance, or from inattention, or from design, is doubtful; but the by-standers enjoy'd a hearty laugh at his expence.— He has affected a kind of neutrality upon this occasion, and has avoided giving offence to either party by being active on either side. It was supposed by many persons, that he proceeded thus irregularly on purpose to give the players an opportunity to escape, and he himself wishes to have it understood that he acts only in consequence of express directions from the Governor and Council.— The objection however prevailed and the player who had been arrested was discharged amid the loud and very improper plaudits of the audience. Justice Barrett, with proper Spirit reproved their conduct in the Hall, upon which they were quiet; but as soon as they got out of the Hall, they closed the business with three huzza's. The players in the mean time, had taken the alarm, and most of them are gone; so that I hope we shall have no more altercations upon this Subject.2
We have no other news at present peculiarly worthy of communication, and I therefore close my Letter with the assurance that I am with all due respect and affection, your Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
{ 342 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice-President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “J.Q. Adams. Dec. 8 / ansd. 19. 1792.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. When the final votes were tallied on 13 Feb. 1793, George Washington received 132, JA received 77, George Clinton received 50, Thomas Jefferson received 4, and Aaron Burr received 1. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland all supported JA unanimously. New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia supported Clinton unanimously, while Kentucky gave its vice presidential votes to Jefferson. Pennsylvania and South Carolina each split its votes: Pennsylvania gave 14 to JA and 1 to Clinton, while South Carolina gave 7 to JA and 1 to Aaron Burr (U.S. Senate, Jour., 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 485).
2. Opposition to theater in Boston was a longstanding tradition dating to the seventeenth century, and by 1750 the General Court had passed “An Act to Prevent Stage-Plays, and Other Theatrical Entertainments,” which levied substantial fines against anyone running, acting in, or attending a theatrical production. In 1792, the Boston Tontine Association, after failing to secure the repeal of this law, decided to challenge it by building the Board Alley Theatre and hiring a company of players, led by Joseph Harper, to perform there. In order to circumvent the law, they described their space as an “exhibition room” and called the plays “moral lectures.” JQA attended a number of these performances during the fall but found the acting quite poor: “very ill performed: the best bad: the worst inexpressible.”
On 5 Dec., Boston sheriff Jeremiah Allen, at the direction of Attorney General James Sullivan, exercised a warrant against Harper provided by justices Benjamin Greenleaf and Samuel Barrett. The audience reacted unhappily to the interruption of the performance, tearing down the state coat of arms and trampling a portrait of John Hancock. At the hearing the next day, Harper, defended by Harrison Gray Otis and William Tudor, was released when the justices declared the warrant illegal (William W. Clapp Jr., A Record of the Boston Stage, Boston, 1853, p. 2–3, 5–13; Heather S. Nathans, Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson: Into the Hands of the People, N.Y., 2003, p. 65–67; D/JQA/18, 8 Oct., APM Reel 21).
Samuel Barrett (1739–1798), Harvard 1757, of Boston became a lawyer after failing as a merchant. He was made a justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1789 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:135–137, 140, 142).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-12-09

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

This Letter will be delivered you, by Mr Roberdeau a Son of General Roberdeau my ancient Friend, lately married to Miss Blair a Daughter of Doctor Blair, whom your Mamma knows. I pray you to Shew all the Civility to Mr Roberdeau in your Power. invite him to Quincy with you to keep sunday with your Mamma and shew him Boston and Cambridge, Colledge Library Apparatus &c and give him all the Advice and Aid you can in his pursuits. I have been under Obligations to his Father.
It is Said that the Electors in Jersey have been unanimous and those of Pensilvania had but one dissentient.1 I have recd Returns from both but have not opened either. It is Said too from good Authority that Maryland is unanimous.
There is a general Interest taken in my Reelection in such a number of States as affects me. The Utmost Efforts of my { 343 } Ennemies have undoubtedly been exerted, and what success they may have had in Virginia and the States to the southward of it, is uncertain. New York it is expected will show their vain Spite against New England. It is not Antifederalism against Federalism, nor Democracy against Aristocracy. This is all Pretext. It is N York vs N. England.
I am affectionately your Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “John Quincy Adams Esq.”
1. The dissenter was Robert Johnston (d. 1808), University of Pennsylvania 1763, a physician from Franklin County, Penn. (Colonial Collegians; Boston Columbian Centinel, 5 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Account of our little domestic affairs and the Arrangements of the Farm, was very entertaining to me, and I hope you will continue to inform me of every occurrence of any consequence.1 I should be glad to know who is engaged to take the Care of the Place this Winter: What prospect you have of hiring a Man in the Spring by the Year: and your opinion whether I had not better engage a complete farmer in the County of Worcester or Hampshire. none however are Superiour to some in Bridgwater. I am very comfortable at Mr Otis's. Thomas is very well and very good.
My Friends have been more anxious than I have been about a certain Reelection. There has been an Ardour upon this occasion among all the Friends of the Constitution, order and good Government, which I did not expect. The Votes of New Jersey have been unanimous both for President and V. P. Those of Pensilvania were unanimous for P. and 14 out of 15 for V. P.— it is reported, but not certain that Delaware and Maryland were unanimous. It is almost an universal opinion that N. Y. will be unanimous for Clinton, merely to give him an Ecclat and to shew their disapprobation of the V. P. without even a hope or a wish, to have C. elected. I am not however clear that they will be unanimous. The Virginians and N. Carolinians are Said to be zealous against the V. P. not, as some of them say, that they wish to get him out, but to shew a marked disapprobation of his Politicks. But enough of this Electioneering Stuff. My Duty to my Mother and Love to Louisa and all friends.
Tell my Brother that I hope he will Use his best Endeavours that { 344 } Mr Strong may be reelected.2 He is an excellent head and heart. They cannot do better.
yours
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Decbr 10 1792”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. AA to JA, 26 Nov., above.
2. Caleb Strong was reelected to the Senate in 1793 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0198

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1792-12-11 - 1792-12-12

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother,

It is just a week since I had the pleasure of receiving a visit from my Father at 8 oClock in the Evening of a very stormy day, after he had become almost exhausted by the fatigue of his ride from Elizabeth Town. He stoped at my lodgings, & as he was much fatigued he declined going any further that night. The next day I went to the place where I had after much trouble procured lodgings and while I was settling all affairs for his reception he saw Mr. & Mrs: Otis who persuaded him to stay with them, which proposal he immediately closed with & I was left the disagreeable business of undoing my engagements, & paying thirty Dollars for the three weeks the Rooms were reserved; besides being abused & berated by the tongue of the ostensible character who managed the affairs of the family being the Daughter of the Old Lady who keeps the house. In short I was obliged to take these or none, which is the only reason I have; & I consider it a real happiness after what I know & have hear'd that my Father is so happily rid of them, tho’ he had no reasons of this kind for changing his resolution, being totally unacquainted with Every thing relating to the family. To be sure it was not so pleasant for me to transact the last part of the business, but at all events I rejoice in the change— He knows nothing of the altercation which pass’ed between me & those people, & I wish he may not. It is our usual luck you know to sink money for nothing; some compensation was reasonable however as the people say they were prevented taking any one else. My Father is very happily situated now, where you will be much better pleased to hear of him. I think myself under many obligations to Mr. & Mrs: Otis for their kindness, & hope they will not have much trouble for their politeness. The season hitherto has been remarkably fine here; we have none of your mountain snow banks to wade thro’, tho’ it begins to be very cold. All the Gay { 345 } Circles have commenced, tho’ I am very happily less troubled with invitations to partake in them than when you were here. I attend the Assemblies pretty regularly & sometimes go to the Drawing Room, which makes the greatest part of my dissipation. There is one source of pleasure & amusement which I enjoy more than formerly; that of visiting without reserve the families connected with the one I live in. They are numerous, and all of them perfectly friendly; what is more, there are a considerable number of young people of both sexes, the females of whom especially, are the finest women I have met with in Philadelphia. Sensible, accomplished, well educated, amiable; in short their persons are adorned with beautiful simplicity, but their minds are richly improved & cultivated. You won't think by these encomiums which I think due to their merrit, that I am upon the point of “joining their meeting,” or of persuading any of them to a “runaway match.” I hope however when you return to this place, you will have an opportunity of acknowledging the justice of my remarks.
Politicks hitherto go tolerably smooth, & while this is the case nothing can be very interesting in the relation. I have seen the Return of votes for Pres[ident] & Vice Pret: from the four middle States. N-Jersey—Pennsylvania Delaware & Maryland; The number of Electors was 34. for these four States, of which 33 are Federal. One Elector in this State voted for Clinton, not it is said from party views, but from motives of personal acquaintance & friendship for him. This has not much the appearance of being afraid of Kings, Lords & Commons.
I am your dutiful Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams.
PS. I thank you much for the Cheese, which is praised considerably, I have also recd: my Shoes. I will with pleasure attend to the request of Cousin Lucy, to whom present my love, as well as the rest of our friends—
My Fathers Trunk had a pas[sage of] 19 days, but arrived safe at last.
Dec 12th.
Accounts from N York [say the?] Electors were unanimous for the two Georges—1
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near / Boston.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The last two sentences were written sideways in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0199

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
DateRange: 1792-12-15 - 1792-12-31

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

I have for some time past had it in contemplation to take my pen & devote its impressions to your service, but that noted thief, Procrastination must answer for my negligence, & supply an excuse where I have not the hardiness to offer one. It often happens that the best friendships have the fewest documents to prove their existence; as a well-kindled fire, such an one as now warms your addresser, needs least fuel to keep it alive. But after all, there may be at least some shew of reason, in a friendly enquiry now & then; this shall excuse me for withdrawing your attention from more important pursuits for the simple purpose of acquainting your friend T, B, A—with the minute History of your fire-side in those Nothern Regions upon the Banks of Merrimack. Ay, but you must tell me more too; and yet I think you need not, for I do’nt confine you to one, two, or three particular circles, but let your statement be coextensive with your acquaintance; particularise only, where particulars may be worth relating. Here sure is latitude enough; to make you still more free, write me what you please, and it will follow, as my heart unto my hand, you cant displease me.
Shall we together range the Trackless Wilderness where war & havock rage, to find some dire calamity, or among the cultured fields of civilized man seek for some object, whereon we may descant? Or shall the agonizing groans of fast expiring Despotism in convulsed Europe call forth our hearty congratulations? It seems as if the anxious struggles of our Tranatlantic bretheren must terminate in good— The means we must deplore—the ends, tho’ yet unknown, ca’nt fail of being glorious. We have various accounts indirectly from several ports in Europe of the flight of Brunswick with his whole Army, that is, so much of it as has escaped famine, disease & Captivity; the story has been repeatedly circulated, but as yet does not meet general credit, The wishes however of most people among us seem to favor its truth; should it prove a fact, we must then begin a new score of wishing, which perhaps will be more liable to defeat, at least for a long time, viz That the French Nation may speedily come to its senses, and by quelling the frantic enthousiasm which has hither to frustrated all attempts toward a settled order of things, reassume a character which has so long been sacrifised at the shrine of Anarchy. Years however may elapse before this desirable end shall { 347 } be attained, for when the blood of a whole nation is once thoroughly heated to a degree of fermentation, many powerfull purgatives must be administered to reduce it to its natural temperature. Liberty is to the mind, what Light is to the Eye— when too suddenly received, it destroys for a short time the very sense it was intended to restore. As the free exercise of Natural rights shall become more familiar to Frenchmen, they will be less bewildered by their novelty, & consequently more prepared for a Government of salutary laws.
Our National legislature has been more than a month convened—they have as yet entered upon no business of great moment— of course they are tolerably good humored as yet.2 A uniform system of Bankruptcy will probably be created this session, which seems to be the most important subject that will claim their attention; all the objects which hitherto excited anxiety have allready been embraced; it now remains to preserve pure & uncontaminated that system which has procured us National respectability.3 It appears from returns already received that the present VP—— has nearly two thirds of all the votes; NYork & Virginia are in much disgrace. I am happy to see so good a Representation from Massachusetts; you will undoubtedly stand very high [in po]int of Respectability & talents. Your County might better itself perhaps—tho Goodhue is a good Merchant—he does not shine as a statesman.
Present my love, &ca to all friends, and take a great share for yourself from
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Attorney at Law / Haverhill / near Boston.”; endorsed: “T.B. A. / Decr. 1792.” and “Recd. 19. ansd. 22d. Jan. 1793.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. The dating of this letter is based on reports of the Duke of Brunswick's “flight,” which first appeared in the Philadelphia newspapers on 14 and 15 December.
2. Congress began sitting again on 5 Nov.; it would adjourn on 2 March 1793 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Although a “bill to establish an uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States” was introduced into the House of Representatives on 10 Dec. 1792, Congress failed to pursue it further. Various versions of the bill would be considered in multiple sessions of Congress until one was finally enacted on 4 April 1800 (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 741; An Act to Establish an Uniform System of Bankruptcy, Phila., 1800, Evans, No. 38697; Peter J. Coleman, Debtors and Creditors in America: Insolvency, Imprisonment for Debt, and Bankruptcy, 1607–1900, Madison, Wis., 1974, p. 18).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0200

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-16

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir.

I received last evening your favour of the 5th: instant— The votes of the Electors in Connecticut and Rhode-Island, were unanimous it seems, as well as in this State; I have not heard any further, but we presume there was the same unanimity in New-Hampshire, which if it be the case, will I think do credit to New-England. We expect nothing but the voice of Faction from New-York; and we know not enough what the disposition of the Southern States was.—
I gave you in my last some account of the Governor's having at length succeeded in overthrowing the players, but some other circumstances have taken place, which at that time, I had not heard.— Two days after the arrest of the player which I mentioned in my last, those who still remained had announced another play, but upon being advised by their own friends to desist, they postponed the performance.1 At night however a mob of about two hundred people, collected together and went up to the Governor's house, to ask his leave to pull down the play-house. Upon their approach towards his house, the family were thrown into great consternation, upon the idea that they were of the other party, and were coming to insult him. He received however a deputation from them, and as it is said authorised them to proceed upon their riotous design. They accordingly went, and began to destroy the fences round the house, but were soon dispersed by a Justice of the Peace, of the other party, who went among them, with the riot act in his pocket, ready to read it to them if there had been occasion.2 There has been since then no further attempt to act more plays, and all the actors are now gone.
But the Governor and his instruments were not content with this victory: they must appeal to the public, for approbation of all his conduct on the occasion and for censure upon that of the opposers to the Law; and Sullivan, with the intrepidity of face peculiar to himself came forward in last Thursday's paper, under the signature of a friend to Peace, with the professed design to criminate the breakers of the Statute, and to justify the executive authority.3 You will probably see in the two next Centinels, a couple of pieces signed Menander, in answer to him.— I presume he will reply, but I think the discussion must terminate unfavourably to him. The subject cannot be very interesting to you, but perhaps an interest in the { 349 } success of the writer may induce you to peruse the discussion. I will send you the publication of the friend to Peace by the next Post, and as you will receive the Centinel regularly, you will there find the answers of Menander.4
The unanimity of the Electors in this State, was by all accounts a sore mortification to his State Majesty. It anger'd him to the heart, and he vented his peevishness upon the first objects that presented themselves to him. It was on the same day with the Election, that he made his attack upon the players. He made several difficulties about signing the warrant upon the treasury for the pay of the Electors, and delayed untill a third message, from them was accompanied with an intimation to him that unless he signed the warrant immediately, they should go to their homes without receiving their pay at all. This implied menace had its effect; and he signed the warrant.— But he has affected to be much alarmed for his own safety; and to be in terrors lest a mob should attack his person or his house. There have been in the public prints several foolish inflammatory squibs threatening him with tar & feathers, or with breaking his windows. but they have been treated with general contempt, and there has not been the slightest symptom of any popular excesses against him, though he has endeavoured to excite them in support of his whimsical passion against the theatre.5
A french and English news-paper has been commenced in this Town, which is to contain among other things a summary account of the french Revolution.6 This account is very handsomely written, by one of the Aristocratic party now here, having been driven from the Island of St: Domingo, by the triumphant faction there.7 He has aimed at impartiality as much as he could, but if you read the narrative you will find he is very bitter against the Duke of Orleans to whom he attributes all the Calamities of his Country. The first number only has been published, and the Editor has forwarded one of them to you which he will continue to do. The translation of that part of the paper will be done by me, and I imagine the paper itself will not be continued long after that publication is finished. The proposals are only for six months.
I hope you will not consider me as trifling with my time, for spending it in translating french politics and discussing theatrical questions— My pen has lain dormant for near a year and an half, and perhaps its revival may with some propriety be, by essays upon subjects not of the first magnitude. There has been upon my mind a strong sentiment of delicacy, which has kept me silent in the midst { 350 } of all the scurrility of which you have been the object. The charges which private malice and public faction have employed as instruments against you have been so despicable in themselves that common sense and Common Honesty, must have felt some degradation in descending to the refutation of them. I have thought that where they could have any possible effect, sober reason and plain truth could not counteract it, because the minds affected must be too blind or too wicked, to feel the operation of just Sentiments. The Event of the election as far as we know it has corroborated my opinion. As to the general measures of the federal government, when I have seen them attacked artfully and insidiously, as has frequently been the case, I have often thought of defending them; but as often have concluded that my assistance, could not be necessary, and could be but feeble. The Government I supposed needed it not, and as to my own advancement, I could really see nothing in public life, but what it was my object to avoid. I have been really apprehensive of becoming politically known, before I could establish a professional reputation. I knew that my independence and consequently my happiness in life depended upon this, and I have sincerely wished rather to remain in the shade than to appear as a politician without any character as a Lawyer.— These Sentiments have still great weight in my mind, and if therefore you should think me squandering my attention upon subjects of too trivial import, I hope you will do me the Justice to believe that it is not for want of judgment in my comparative estimation of things.
I have run into great prolixity already, and will therefore only add that I am as ever, your affectionate Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J. Q. Adams / Decr 16. ansd 26 / 1792.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. A final advertisement for a “Comic Lecture,” a performance of David Garrick's The Lying Valet, and a “Musical Lecture,” The Padlock by Isaac Bickerstaffe, appeared in the Boston American Apollo, 7 December. The following day, Joseph Harper placed an advertisement in the Boston Columbian Centinel expressing his gratitude to the people of Boston “for their many favours: And while he laments the necessity he is under, thus early to leave this hospitable capital, he shall ever bear in remembrance the obligations he is under for their liberality, benevolence, and candour.”
2. Apparently AA reported the same events in a letter to JA (not found); he responded on 29 Dec., “Who is that Justice Cooper who read the Riot Act? The Town Clerk or his son? If the Mob Swore they had the Governors orders to pull down the Theater, I shall beleive that the Mob swore to a lie: for it is impossible the Governor should have given Such orders or such Leave” (Adams Papers). Boston town clerk William Cooper (1721–1796), a longtime justice of the peace and register of probate for Suffolk County, read the Massachusetts Riot Act of 1786, which gave officials the power to order crowds dispersed and said that anyone who did not depart within one hour of the reading of the { 351 } act faced criminal penalties (NEHGR, 44:56 [Jan. 1890]; Mass., Acts and Laws, 1786–1787, p. 87–90).
3. James Sullivan's piece, signed “A Friend to Peace,” appeared in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 13 Dec. 1792. Sullivan argued that “if the law is unconstitutional, there is ample provision made for a remedy”; consequently, “if there is a constitutional remedy, the violent measures which have been resorted to, and the open defiance to a law established by the Legislature, and recognized several times, as proper and expedient, cannot be justifiable.”
4. JQA published his three Menander pieces in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 19, 22, and 26 Dec., responding to “A Friend to Peace.” He writes in support of those attending the theater, “In a free government the minority never can be under an obligation to sacrifice their rights to the will of the majority, however expressed. The constitution of this State is expressly paramount to the laws of the legislators, and every individual in the community has the same right with the legislature to put his own honest construction upon every clause contained in the constitution.”
5. A “correspondent” in the American Apollo, 7 Dec., decried the government's illegal warrant against the theater players as “so flagrant a violation of the constitution” and noted that “if such illegal measures are still pursued, and our sacred rights thus daringly violated, let the infringers remember, that ‘the tar and the feathers are with us, apples and eggs, yea, rotten ones in abundance.’”
6. The Courier Politique de l’Univers, edited by Rev. Louis de Rousselet, a Catholic priest, and printed by Joseph Bumstead, published its first number in Boston on 10 December. Originally designed to appear only in French and to offer an extended summary of the events of the French Revolution from 1788 on, the editor instead decided to publish in both French and English. He engaged JQA to provide at least some of the English translations, which JQA worked on throughout December. The newspaper published at most six numbers, closing sometime in mid-Jan. 1793, but no issues are extant (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 24:296–299 [April 1921]; D/JQA/18, 3, 17 Dec., APM Reel 21).
7. The writer of the account was likely a M. d’Hauteval, with whom JQA had dinner on 16 Dec. 1792. JQA described him to JA in a letter of 5 Jan. 1793 as “a french Gentleman from the Island of St: Domingo, where he had lately the misfortune to lose a plantation of great value, by the devastation of the insurgent negroes” (Adams Papers; D/JQA/18, APM Reel 21).
The revolution in St. Domingue (now Haiti), inspired by the French Revolution, began with demands for rights first by white colonial leaders, then in 1790 by the free black community—a movement that colonial forces quickly suppressed. In 1791, however, the situation escalated with a massive slave revolt that displaced many plantation owners, forcing them to migrate to the United States and elsewhere. The insurgent slaves, with the assistance of French republicans, succeeded in abolishing slavery by 1794, then began a move for national autonomy led by Toussaint Louverture. Although he was captured and killed in 1803, Haiti achieved its independence from France in 1804 (Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, Cambridge, 2004, p. 1–4, 8, 87–88).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0201

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your favour of the 4th. arrived by Yesterdays post. The Votes on the important day you mention, are now known to have been unanimous as far as Cheasapeak Bay, excepting one in Pensilvania and all in New York. The whole Flock in Virginia as well as in N.Y. run for Mr Clinton.
They tell me it is a compleat Tryumph of Fœderalism over Antifœderalism: but I own I can See no Tryumph in obtaining more { 352 } Votes than Mr Clinton: if the Services of J.A. can be compared to those of G. C. if the Sacrifices, if the Sufferings, if the Talents if the Experience, if the Knowledge of one can be brought down to a Comparison with the other, it is high time to quit Such a service. There is not the Smallest degree of Vanity in this. In one Point only will I allow that his Merit is superiour to mine: he has had more Sense than I have in feathering his nest, and making Provision for his Children.
Lucius and Marcus, after whom you enquire I have never read and know not their Writers. I give myself no trouble about Such Writings as are personal against one.
The Plan has been concerted, the Agents and Instruments mustered from Georgia to N. H. The Misrepresentations to the southward have been as gross as they have been numerous: in short they have plainly discoverd an opinion that all their hopes were suspended on the Removal of one Man from office. Mr Parker of Virginia,1 I am told boasts that the Plan was his own and Mr Burke of S. C. Mr Dallas of this Town, Mr P. Edwards of New Haven, are reported to have been his principal Coadjutors.
The Prices of Rye and Flour are as high in Proportion here as at Boston: but Brisler will enquire particularly and write the Result.
You have many Friends who enquire affectionately after your health and all regret, that you cannot be here. Thomas is very hearty: and well Spoken of.
It would not be prudent to enter very minutely into the Anecdotes which the late Electioneering has produced; but Some of them are very curious.— Judge Cushing and Judge Griffin2 were divided in opinion on the Cause of so much Expectation in Virginia, which will continue sometime longer the Effervescence in that State, and produce Admirers of Clinton from an hatred to or rather from a desire to hate if they could Jay, and me. I am / tendrement yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Decbr 19. 1792”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. Col. Josiah Parker (1751–1810) represented Virginia in Congress from 1789 to 1801, initially as an Antifederalist but later as a Federalist (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Cyrus Griffin was appointed federal judge for the District of Virginia in 1789 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0202

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1792-12-19

John Adams to Charles Adams

I have recd from you one Letter and no more Since I left N. York.1 Your Electors appear like a large black Spot in a bright Circle of Unanimity which extends from N. H. to Maryland inclusively. Then the Region of Darkness begins again and extends I know not how far.
A decided Reprehension from N. York and Virginia would very Sensibly affect me, if there were not most unequivocal Marks of a Party Spirit, unworthy of Freemen in both. The Cry of Monarchy and Aristocracy is so manifestly false, and is so clearly but a Pretext to cover mean Prejudices and little Passions that I feel no mortification for myself but much for my fellow Citizens, in this pitiful Manœuvre.
The Spirit of falshood which has appeared both in Newspapers and in private Letters upon this Occasion is allarming to every fair mind, and augurs very ill for the Tranquility of this People if not for the duration of their Govt.
You are very indolent, Charles,. You [should write] oftener to me than you do. Let me [know] [. . .] turns up.— The Gentlemen with whom I conversed in N. Y. were right in their Opinions of Mr Osgood.2 I own I found great difficulty in believing that Man capable of Sacrificing his sentiments to a Party So grossly. But America will See enough of that kind of Conduct.
The Ambition and Turbulence of Virginia is becoming intollerable: with a President, a Secretary of State an Attorney General, an Ambassador and what not, in the general Govt. she discovers a disposition to insult all the rest of the Union: but she may depend upon it her Pride will have a fall.
I am tenderly yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr Charles Adams.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. CA to JA, 8 Dec., above.
2. Samuel Osgood, who had previously represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress, moved to New York to take up the position of postmaster general in 1789. He chose to resign and remain in the city when the federal government relocated to Philadelphia. As a presidential elector in 1792, he voted for George Clinton, to whom he was distantly related by marriage. JA commented to JQA in another letter of 19 Dec. that “The Vote of Osgood is a Strong Instance that Friendship, Services, Gratitude are Chaff, before the Wind of Party Passions” (Adams Papers; DAB; New York Daily Advertiser, 21 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0203

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I congratulate my Country upon the uninimnity exhibited in the Nine states whose votes are made known, and I congratulate my Friend upon the same occasion as it is much more pleasing to serve a people whose willing and general suffrage accompanies their Choice, than when spairingly given. I think it a proof not only of the wisdom and integrity of the people but of their Satisfaction & content with the administration of the Government and their Resolution to support it. the Newspaper warfare seems only to have Strengthend the Friends of Government, and enlightned its opposers. I cannot however flatter myself that the 5 remaining states will be so well agreed in their vote, yet I think we may presume upon half their Number.
I was happy to learn by your last of your safe arrival at Philadelphia and upon several accounts that you was at mr otis's you will feel yourself more at Home, and find some domestick Society in mrs otis & the pratling Harriot. I have not yet had resolution sufficient to leave my Home. I wishd the Bustle of Election over before I went to Boston, and the weather has been so winter like that I have been fearfull of quitting my own fireside your Mother was well this day she has been out with me to meeting all day, and bears the cold well. no one appears more anxious or interested in the choice of V P than she does— she sends for the Newspapers and reads them very Regularly. I see by yesterdays paper that our Son is one of a committe to present an address to the Govenour for to request his aid in procuring a repeal of the AntiTheatrical Law which a large Majority of the inhabitants have voted at their late meeting to Petition the Legislature to repeal, and to co operate with the Representitives in such measures as may be judged expedient to give effect to the Petition.1 a writer in the Centinal handles his Excellency without fear. he tells him in plain words that it was both unnecessary and irregular in the chief Magistrate to complain to the Legislature that the Law was voilated. they had nothing to do with it, their functions consisting in enacting not in executing Laws. Charge him with acting from Passion & encourageing a Mob to commit outrages— the poor Man has certainly burnt his fingers and will have the Gout most bitterly as soon as the General Court convene, he has other subjects of mortification at this time I trust.
{ 355 }
I should be glad to hear from you once a week at least. do you sleep warm?
Thomas does not write to me. he contents himself with hearing from me by you— you will let Brisler know his Family are well. Faxon wants money to Buy stock, he wants three Cows and 4 young cattle he says—2
He and the two Nightingales have valued savils meddow, at 12 pounds pr Acre. I askd Faxon what rule he went by, mentiond this meddow of Bass's that you gave seven pounds for, but he is wild; that would fetch 20 he says, and this of savils, is as well worth 12 as Frenchss was six.3 I have askd your Brother he thinks it too high, but I suppose your son will write you about it. I have advised him to allow 9 pounds ten shillings as you Love Land better than money, or to take the meddow for the debt.
Grain rises daily so does every article of produce Mutton excepted. are things as much higher at Philadelphia as they are here? I mean have they risen in the same proportion? I hope they will stop or the Banks fail. one thing I am pretty certain of, that Farmers should have produce to sell instead of purchaseing every article Regards to all inquireing Friends from your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia. Decr. 23d / 1792.”
1. The Boston Columbian Centinel, 22 Dec., printed a series of resolutions thanking those who had previously worked to repeal the anti-theater legislation, encouraging them to continue their efforts, and naming a number of people, including JQA, to “a Committee to co-operate with them in such measures, as may be thought expedient, to give effect to the petition and remonstrance, which the town will present to the Legislature on this subject.”
2. James Faxon (1744–1829), a boot maker who was married to Mary Field, Esther Field Briesler's sister, was an Adams tenant farmer from 1792 to 1794 (Sprague, Braintree Families; Laurel A. Racine, Historic Furnishings Report: The Birthplaces of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Quincy, Mass., 2001, p. 39).
3. “Savils meddow” may have been land belonging to Benjamin Savil (1711–1794), which JA purchased from Savil's heirs on 5 Oct. 1795. JQA indicated that he had arranged for brothers John (1757–1804) and Ebenezer (1759–1823) Nightingale to appraise the land in his letter to JA of 22 Dec. 1792 (Adams Papers; JQA, Writings, 1:130–133 [in part]). JA had purchased on 17 Nov. four acres of salt marsh from Moses French (1731–1807), moderator of the Quincy town meeting, for the price of six pounds per acre (Sprague, Braintree Families; Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0204

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-12-25

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear

Prince will bring this to you; the inclosed Letters I wish you to direct, the thin Paper, to your Father The other to Thomas;1 Prince is to return on thursday morg̃ by him send the papers and any Letters which you may have; if the weather should prove pleasent, I shall send a Horse for you on saturday. I have seen the dr since I wrote to you, and talkd with him about the meddow. he thinks that if they will give a deed of the meddow for the debt, that as your Father Loves Land better than Money, and considering he once told them, that he would take it for the debt; (tho two years interest have since arrisen), that he will be better satisfied than to let the land be Sold to any one else, but if you have Enterd the action there will be time enough to take his orders upon it before Execution. I congratulate my Country upon the uninimmity exhibited in the votes of the Electors. tis much more there concern than mine, & next to my Country, myself and Family have a Right to be gratified as it is much pleasenter to spend & be spent for those who are sensible of ones merrits abilities and services, than to serve them against the will of half of them. whether N York are ashamed of their vote or not I think it strange that we should hear sooner from maryland than from them—
Yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
1. AA to JA, 23 Dec., above; the letter to TBA has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0205

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-26

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I am very sorry that Mr Bull has been so very dilatory that I received the horses but a day or two since He I find can make good promises. I am now looking out for a purchaser and hope to find one soon The horses do not look so well as I expected they would. We have accounts from Europe of the retreat of the combined armies from France. In this event I am only able to see a state of Anarchy continue for a longer space of time for They disposition of The French people is now much less inclined to a state of Tranquillity than ever. This unhappy Country will I fear be ruined de fond { 357 } encomble1 The Federal party in this State bite their chains while Clinton and his party Lord it over them with uncontroled sway. In his appointments he thrusts all kind of real merit asside and opens the door to none but his devotees. He has made Morgan Lewis a brother in law of Chancellor Livingston a judge of the Supreme Court, a man who is as unfit for a judge as any lawyer at our bar in preference to Mr Benson or Mr Jones2 He has made Nathaniel Lawrence attorney General a man who never opens his lips at the Bar but has this merit that he is his.3 And even poor me he has chosen to vent his spite upon by preferring one of his young adorers to hold a Notarial Seal.4 He makes thorough work I assure you. I will venture to ask you one question Whether it is not propable if he goes on in this way for three years longer he may not fix himself very firmly in the saddle? There are two more measures which we expect A vote of thanks to the majority of the Canvassers a William Livingston as member from this City to Congress.5 If These two things happen I suppose they will have finished this winters Campaign They are more mortified than they are willing to allow at the unsuccesful attempt of their head for the office of Vice President. The Baron desires his respects he intends to visit Philadelphia in a few days We have had a sorrowful house for sometime my poor friend Mulligan lost two of his sisters in one day by an epidemical fever which is raging with great violence in this City.6 Do not think me indolent I am not and will write constantly to you.
Adieu my dear father beleive / me your dutiful and affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
1. The French Army defeated the Austro-Prussian Army at Valmy on 20 Sept. and Jemappes on 6 November. This success allowed the French revolutionary government to begin a push for imperial expansion and formally annex territory, starting with Savoy in late November (Bosher, French Rev., p. 182).
2. Morgan Lewis (1754–1844), Princeton 1773, was a lawyer, member of the N.Y. State Assembly, and attorney general. He had married Gertrude Livingston, sister of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, in 1779. He would serve as a justice of the N.Y. Supreme Court until 1801. Samuel Jones (1734–1819) was a noted lawyer who had helped to compile the authoritative edition of New York legal statutes in the wake of the Revolution. He served in the N.Y. state senate from 1791 to 1797 (DAB).
3. Nathaniel Lawrence, who replaced Morgan Lewis as attorney general, represented Queens County in the N.Y. State Assembly. He had previously served in the N.Y. state ratifying convention (Hamilton, Papers, 9:247).
4. Probably Francis Bloodgood (1769–1840) of Albany, a lawyer, who on 15 Sept. 1792 married Eliza Cobham, a ward of Clinton (New-York Directory, 1793, p. 227, Evans, No. 25422; Dexter, Yale Graduates, 4:532; New York Diary, 24 Sept. 1792).
5. Col. William S. Livingston had been elected to the N.Y. State Assembly as a Federalist in 1791 but sided with Clinton in the gubernatorial election controversy the { 358 } following year. The Republicans nonetheless declined to endorse Livingston in the subsequent congressional race, and he lost to John Watts, a Federalist (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 334–335).
6. John W. Mulligan (1774–1862), Columbia 1791, studied law with Alexander Hamilton. Like CA, he was a close friend of Baron Steuben. Two of Mulligan's sisters, Frances (b. 1782) and Mary (b. 1787), died on 24 and 25 Dec. 1792, respectively (Michael J. O’Brien, Hercules Mulligan: Confidential Correspondent of General Washington, N.Y., 1937, p. 153–156).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0206

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1792-12-26

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I recd by the last post your favour of the 16. The Votes from New Hampshire to Maryland inclusively have been unanimous excepting the factious Voice of New York, and one Dr Johnson of Conecocheague formerly a New Yorker a Particular Friend of Mr Clinton and by his own confession under particular Obligations to him. Southward of Chesapeak all are for Clinton except S. C.
I thank you for your History of Tragedy Comedy and Farce: but I cannot believe that Mr H. gave any encouragement to the Men of hand, to meddle with the Play house or the Board fences.
I have read the “Friend to Peace” and have no Small Penchant to see Menander. The Translation of the French account of the Revolution is well done and deserves to be continued. I Scarcely know of a greater Service that could be now rendered to the People of this Country, than a faithful and impartial Account of French affairs would be. I wish the Leyden Gazette could be regularly translated as well as reprinted in the Courier. I mean that part of it which relates to French affairs.
Your Observations on the Scurrility disgorged at me, as well as on the insidious Attacks on the general Government, are just to a certain degree. but not wholly so. The Newspapers guide and lead and form the public opinion. Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed sæpe cadendo. a continual dropping will wear a stone. We shall never have a fair Chance for a good Government untill it is made a rule to let nothing pass unanswered. Reasoning must be answered by reasoning: Wit by Wit, Humour by Humour: Satyr by Satyr: Burlesque by Burlesque and even Buffoonery by Buffoonery. The stupidity of Multitudes of good Friends of their Country and its Government is astonishing. They are carried away with every Wind of Doctrine and every political Lye: but the Docility with which they receive an answer when it is put into their Mouths is the only resource We have left.— hundreds even of the Officers of Government, Stand aghast { 359 } like Children not knowing what to think nor what to Say, untill another Gazette furnishes them with Matter.
Franklin was pursued by an Opposition all his Lifetime. He was sometimes rejected at Elections by the Citizens of Philadelphia. He generally answered and sometimes very bitterly the Pieces against him. But He and his F[riends] made it a rule all his Life to let no Paragraph [go] unanswered.1
The Mortification of our well born State Monarch at the Unanimity of the five New England States, is in Character. He did me a Service by his late Journey to Connecticut. He put all the Stern farmers upon their Guard, and made them avoid all his Admirers even his Cousin, Thaddy Burr.2
I am grieved at the Weakness in the Conduct of this Gentn and his venerable Lieutenant towards me, but they can do me no harm: and I Say very little about them. Write me as often as you can.
We are all well— Love to your Mamma &c
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Quincy Adams / Councillor at Law / Boston”; internal address: “Mr J. Q. Adams”; endorsed: “My Father Decr: 26. 1792”; notation: “Free / John Adams.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed. Tr (Adams Papers).
1. This paragraph was written at the end of the letter but before the complimentary close and marked for insertion here.
2. For Thaddeus Burr of Fairfield, Conn., see JQA, Diary, 1:306.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0207

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Friends who are numerous enquire continually after your health and my answer is that you have not informed me that it is worse, from which my conclusion is that I hope it is better.
The Noise of Election is over, and I have the Consolation to find that all the States which are fœderal have been unanimous for me, and all those in which the Antifœderalists were the predominant Party, unanimous against me: from whence my Vanity concludes that both Parties think me decidedly fœderal and of Some consequence. Four years more will be as long as I shall have a Taste for public Life or Journeys to Philadelphia. I am determined in the mean time to be no longer the Dupe, and run into Debt to Support a vain Post which has answered no other End than to make me unpopular.
The Southern States I find as bitter against Mr Jay as they are { 360 } against me and I suppose for the same Reason. I am Surprized to find how little Popularity Mr Hancock has in any of the states out of Mass.
Mr Pierpoint Edwards has been here: although he did not vouch-Safe me the honour of a Visit or a Card, he was Seen in close Consultation at his Lodgings with Mr Jefferson and Mr Baldwin. I am really astonished at the blind Spirit of Party which has Seized on the whole soul of this Jefferson: There is not a Jacobin in France more devoted to Faction. He is however Selling off his Furniture and his Horses: He has been I believe agreater fool than I have, and run farther into Debt by his French Dinners and Splendid Living.1 Farewell for me all that Folly forever. Jefferson may for what I know pursuing my Example and finding the Blanket too short taking up his feet. I am sure, all the officers of Government must hall in their horns as I have done.
Mr Ingersoll has wrote me for his Fee with Thomas and I must pay it, if the House make any Appropriation.2 My Love to all— My Duty to my Mother. I am as impatient to see you as I used to be twenty year ago.
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Decbr. 28 1792.”
1. Thomas Jefferson faced lingering debts not just from his years of extravagant living in France and the cost of relocating back to the United States but also from the time of his inheritance of his father-in-law's estate in 1774. By 1794, he owed approximately £6,500, largely to two British firms (Malone, Jefferson, 3:167, 176–179).
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0208

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1792-12-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your two kind favours of 7th & 12 of this Month.1 I have written to you regularly every week since you left me. we have not had any deep snow since the first in which you was caught upon the road. the greater part of that soon left us, & has been succeeded by two slight snows of a few inches depth. the weather has however been steadily cold & generally with a clear Sun shine. I find the cold creates as great an irritation upon my Nerves producing a Tremor, as the heat does by relaxation. I suffer more on that account than any other. I have not past a whole winter here for Nine years before. I think I mentiond to you that I had setled with shaw for the 5 Months he had lived with us, and agreed with him at the price we talkd of, for four Months more. He is very Steady, carefull & { 361 } constant to buisness, tho not so string and active as some others. I have not yet any prospect of getting such an additional Hand as you want. I have desired mr Cary to inquire for me but they do not incline to let themselves till Spring. they do not know what price to ask. these Pernicious Banks will undoe us. yesterday mr Cranch gave a dollor pr Bushel for Rye. Bills which you know were three & four pr cent above Par when you went away are now as much below par. large Quantities have been sent here from the [sou]thard to be sold. tis said here that the demand for grain abroad, is the occasion of it, but I suspect some political manœuvre tho I know not what, and upon this occasion I am like some other person's perhaps jealous without a cause. I see the Banks multiplying in every state, and I consider them as so many Batteries raisd against the General Government. I think this one instance amongst many others in which the state sovereigntys will prove pernicious we daily feel the banefull Effects of such an overplus of paper
after what took place in Nyork with respect to the Election of mr Jay—I had no expectation but that the Same Party would oppose your Election to the v P. but I did not think that they would have led virgina by the Nose so compleatly the vote of those two states have declared to the world the Hostile Sentiments they possess towards the Government, for at that, much more than at you personally, is it aimed. as to disliking your politicks, I do not believe that they know what your politicks are. I am sure they do not if they rely upon the Representations which have been made to them by those whose sole intention was to deceive them— I own I cannot feel that cordiality towards those States which I do for those who have been unanimous towards you. I respect individuals of each, and I pitty those who are blinded by Party. if I know myself I do not think it is because I have such a fondness for the station, but because I think much of the tranquility & happiness of the Government depends upon having in that station, an establishd Character for firmness integrity and independence, and such must be the Character who can divest himself of all personal feelings, and do equal justice to those who are declareedly in opposition to his Principals, as to those who unite in sentiment with him. thus much for politicks. the best written peice I have read, and one which shews the Author to have had an acquaintance with all the transactions which have taken place for a number of years past, was that which was addrest to the Free and independent Electors of President & V. P. in Fennos paper of the 1 of decbr— I have a curiosity to know the writer.2
{ 362 }
Tomorrow I have a Number of hands going to cut the Timber for the Corn House that it may be ready for the first snow. your mother and Friends are all well. I received a Letter from Thomas, shall write to him soon affectionate Regards to mr & mrs otis and to all other Friends I have the advantage of you, I have Louissa for a bed fellow but she is a cold comfort for the one I have lost. pray continue to write weekly to your ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia. Decr. 29. / 1792.” Some loss of text due to the placement of the seal.
1. JA to AA, 7 Dec. and 10 Dec., both above.
2. An article by Philanthropos entitled “To the Free and Independent Electors of President and Vice-President of the United States” appeared in the 1 Dec. issue of the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States. An advocate for JA, Philanthropos argues that “In important national questions, misrepresentations often bias the public mind, and party interests create divisions, calculated only to subserve the designs of demagogues and temporizing politicians, who, strive to seduce the affections of the people from their real and substantial friends, and to erect their own fame upon the fall of those whom they have conspired to ruin. Superior merit is peculiarly the object of envy—Contracted minds delight in collecting the failings of others, that they may make a sacrifice to their own pride; and as the best of men are subject to imperfections, no one is secure from the attacks of malevolence.” Philanthropos suggests the need to counter such misrepresentations and proceeds to provide a lengthy outline of JA's merits to demonstrate his worthiness to continue as vice president, describing JA as “a man of genius and extensive erudition; an eminent lawyer, politician and civilian; a warm friend to civil and religious liberty; an early and decided patriot; a strenuous advocate for the rights of his country.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0209

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1792-12-31

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I wish I could be satisfied, & know what is my duty towards my William, & Abigail, I could then feel easy, & cheerful— To day is the last day for our inoculation for the small-Pox— There is an hospital about half a mile above our house The people are passing, & repassing every hour of the Day, & I cannot think William secure & yet I am fearful of his going in the winter— I thought we were determined to let them both go, but there is so many things in the way that I believe it will be omitted— I have been hoping the town would permit the hospital to be continued till in the spring—but they have had a meeting & will not allow it— they say it has been 500 Dollors mischeif to us alreaddy— Winter here, is our harvest in Trade—
You cannot conceive how much I have suffered, I am perplexed—& distressed I fear they will never have so good a chance again— The two Doctors take turns in tarrying with them the whole time— { 363 } 46 come out to Day & tomorrow & Mr Shaw think there was never a Class that did better, though he is very averse to his own Children going in—1 The Class has suffered terribly with the cold—but their symtoms have none of them been dangerous in the least—
enough of the small pox—I am almost crazed with it— But out of the abundance of the heart, I find the hand will write—
However my Mind has been absorbed it has not been so much so, as not to be anxious for you, & my Countries welfare
I looked with eargerness into every newspaper & am happy to find that my fellow ctitizens were wise—that they understood the things that belong to their peace, though many falsehoods, & misrepresentations have been invented to blind, & hide them from thier Eyes—
I know the unaimity which appeared in the votes, must give my Brother & you more pleasure on the account of the approbation, gratitude—& respect they discovered, than on any private Emolument arising from the Station—
Notwithstanding what you have said, I cannot but hope to see you here— We shall all think it a pleasure to make you warm, & comfortable— Our high ground & clear northwest winds will brace your nerves, & restore your health—
Whenever you may chance to see the sensible Menander, please to tell him that since he is so great an advocate for the Theatre, there are many friends in Haverhill, who would wish to see him act his part here— If in the Character of a conscious Lover, I will not be angry— any Character which he may think proper to assume will please—for some can please in all but in none can he please your Sister more than in that, of an affectionate Nephew
May the close of this, & every succeding year find you surrouned with every circumstance of Felicity, is the wish of your ever / grateful Sister
[signed] Elizabeth Shaw
PS I have not time to write to Sister Cranch now— please to give my Love to all—
1. Shaw reported to her sister Mary Smith Cranch on 11 Feb. 1793, “I shall have the pleasing intelligence conveyed to you, that my Children have had the small-pox—very favourably—indeed Just as I could have wished— William was in fine Spirits all the time— Had just soreness enough in his arm to know that the small pox had taken—was suddenly seized, & was unwell about ten hours, & had no more trouble, he had about an 100 pox, which filled, & were as good humourd as himself— Little Abigail suffered more with her arm, & had the symtoms a great while—had the rash very full— She was quite sick for 6 or 7 days—but after she broke out, the soreness of her flesh went of, & she felt relieved though she had three or four hundred—& considerable number filled { 364 } nicely— The language of my heart is, what shall I render to their great preserver, for this renewed instance of his kindness—” (DLC: Shaw Family Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-01-01

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My dear Charles

on the Commencement of the new Year I wish you health, honour, Profit and Pleasure through the Course of it, and as many repetitions of these anniversaries as shall be for your own happiness and the benefit of your Friends and Connections in the World. Application and that alone will Secure you, under the Smiles of divine Providence the Blessings of Life.
Make for me the Compliments of the Season to all our Freinds in New York. The disagreable Symptoms of Disaffection to the Union which have appeared in your State, have given me much Anxiety, but have not diminished my regard to their Welfare, nor my Wishes for their Prosperity. They must reflect, if they are not past reflection and they must feel if they are not past feeling on the Unanimity of all their Neighbours against them.
Governor Clinton and his Adherents have discovered an Ambition which will not soon be forgotten in America. and it is not probablle that the People of America will suffer their Union to be dissolved, or the Administraters of their Government to be embarrassed to gratify the Jealousy Envy Ambition or Revenge, or any other Passions litle or great of Mr Clinton or his Mirmidons: though another mortified faction at the southward may be found to magnify the miserable Baggatelle of his services to the Size the first Characters in the Community. The fraud is too gross to deceive the most undiscerning among impartial Men. Let him go on with his arbitrary Exclusions of the best Characters in his State merely because they will not be his Spaniels, and see the Consequence. I rely upon your discretion however. dont neglect to write to
[signed] J. A.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); addressed: “Charles Adams Esqr / Councillor at Law / Hanover Square / New York”; internal address: “Charles”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0211

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-01-02

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

our son brought me your favour of the 19 december on sunday last, by which I find that the same Ideas have past through both our { 365 } minds on a late Election amidst all that has been written upon the occasion, no one has ventured to state the comparative merrits, and services of the Candidates, but have contented themselves with saying that they would not bear a comparison, that clintons were lighter than a feather when weighd against yours. the Peice I mentiond to you in my last Letter, did you more justice than any which I have before read. the Characters who have been most active against you, are many of them such as a Man would rather chuse to be in opposition to than upon terms of civilitity with. the misfortune is that they have their weight and influence in society. possessing some talants and no principals they are fit agents for mischiefs of the blackest kind. by the candidate they have opposed to you, they have come forward and openly declared themselves opposed to the Government. mark their measures, watch their movements and we shall see them strugling whenever they dare shew themselves, for the assendency. the late success of the Arms of France against their Enemies, seems to give much satisfaction to the half thinking politicians, as tho the Retreat of the King of prussia was to give Peace to France and heal all her internal wounds, establish a quiet Government and build up a Republick in a Nation shaken to its center, and Rent to Peices by Faction. when I read citizen President, & citizens Equality, I cannot help feeling a mixture of Pitty and contempt for the Hypocrisy I know they are practising and for the Tyranny they are Executing. I was visiting at mr Apthorp the other day. he mentiond to me the surprize he was in when he read Pains Letter and the account he gave of the treatment he received from the custom house officers who Searchd his papers, to find that the P——t had any correspondence with a man whom he considerd as an incenderary and a Character unfit for to be trusted. he could not but consider it as degrading his Character and doubted the Authenticity of the Letter. tho it struck me in the same manner when I read the account, I was determind not to say so to him. I only observd to him that the passage publishd could not do any injury to any Character, tho no doubt mr Pain took pains to have it known Publickly that he had the honour of a Letter from the President in order to give himself weight & importance—1
Inclosed are a few lines which pleasd me from a symplicity of stile as well as for the truth they contain. the Author I know not they are taken from the Centinal.2
You inquired of me in a late Letter3 whether I had any prospect of hireing a Man by the year. a Young Man of a good countanance has { 366 } offerd himself this week. he lived the last year with a mr Williams at Roxburry. he is from the state of N Hampshire and has lived four years at Roxburry in different places a year at a time. he talkd of 30 pounds by the year. I told him that would not do, I did not hear that more than 24 was given by any body the last year, and that it must be a very extrodinary hand to earn such wages— I told him we did not want a hand till the first of march he said he wishd to let him self immediatly—but we fi[nally] came to these terms if upon inquiry his character would answer and you approved I would hire him from the 1 of Feb’ry & he came down to 26 pounds, which you will think too high perhaps—but I am not bound to take him if you do not chuse— I mentiond the first of Feb’ry that I might have time to write to you, and in the mean time I shall inquire his Character.
present my Love to mrs otis, and Regards to all inquiring Friends from your ever / affectionate
[signed] A Adams
P S the Timbers for the corn House is all cut & drawn to gether in the woods waiting for snow to get it home we have very cold weather but little snow about 2 inches depth
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia Jan. 2 / ansd 14. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. George Washington's letter of 6 May 1792 to Thomas Paine was one of a number of papers a customs official attempted to seize when Paine passed through Dover en route to Paris to take a seat in the French National Convention. In Paine's 15 Sept. report of this incident, he included a short excerpt from Washington's letter, which was written to thank Paine for sending Washington several copies of Paine's Rights of Man (Boston Columbian Centinel, 12 Dec.; Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 10:357).
2. The enclosure has not been found but was possibly a piece entitled “Dr. Parr's Opinion of Mr. Paine,” which dismissed Paine's understanding of government as “too partial for theory, and too novel for practice, and under a fair semblance of simplicity, conceal a mass of most dangerous errours” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 2 Jan. 1793).
3. JA to AA, 10 Dec. 1792, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0212

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Our Antifœderal Scribblers are so fond of Rotations that they Seem disposed to remove their Abuses from me to the President. Baches Paper which is nearly as bad as Freneaux's begins to join in concert with it, to maul the President for his Drawing Rooms, Levees, declining to accept of Invitations to Dinners and Tea Parties, his Birth day Odes, Visits, Compliments &c—1 I may be expected to be an Advocate for a Rotation of Objects of Abuse, and for Equality { 367 } in this particular. I have held the office, of Libellee General long enough: The Burthen of it ought to be participated and Equallized, according to modern republican Principles.
The News from France, so glorious for the French Army, is celebrated in loud Peals of Festivity and elevates the Spirits of the Ennemies of Government among Us more than it ought: for it will not answer their Ends. We shall now see the Form of the French Republick. Their Conventions will have many Tryals to make before they will come at any thing permanent. The Calamities of France are not over.
I shall claim the Merit of Some little Accuracy of foresight when I see General Lincoln, who you remember was inclined to think the Duke of Brunswicks march to Paris certain, while I was very apprehensive that the numerous fortified Towns in his Way would waste his army and consume the Campain.
We Shall Soon See the Operation in France of Elections to first Magistracies.2 My Attention is fixed to this Object. I have no doubt of its Effects: but it is a curious Question how long they can last. We have lately Seen how they have Suceeded in New York and what Effect that Election has had upon the Votes for President. Cabal, Intrigue, Manœuvre, as bad as any Species of Corruption We have already seen in our Elections. and when and where will they Stop?
tenderly.
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at 2 Jan. [1794].
1. Benjamin Franklin Bache's General Advertiser, 2 Jan. 1793, included a piece, “To the Noblesse and Courtiers of the United States,” ostensibly advertising for a poet laureate for the United States and explaining the duties of the position and the nature of the poetry to be written: “To give a more perfect accommodation to this almost new appointment, certain monarchical prettinesses must be highly extolled, such as Levies, Drawing Rooms, Stately Nods Instead of Shaking Hands, Titles of Office, Seclusion from the People, &c. &c. It may be needless to mention certain other trifling collateral duties, but that the poet may be acquainted with the whole circle of requisites, it may not be amiss to hint, that occasional strokes of ridicule at equality; the absurdity that the vulgar, namely the people, should presume to think and judge for themselves; the great benefit of rank and distinction; the abomination of supposing that the officers of government ought to level themselves with the people by visiting them, inviting them to their tables, &c. may be introduced by way of episode to the Poem.”
2. The National Convention required new elections to all local and municipal administrative bodies after the establishment of the republic. Most of these took place in late 1792 and early 1793 (Malcolm Crook, Elections in the French Revolution: An Apprenticeship in Democracy, 1789–1799, N.Y., 1996, p. 98–101).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-01-02

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear son

I am again entertained by your kind Letter of the 22. Ult.1 The Intrigues of Mr Clinton Mr Burke Mr Dallas Mr Pierpoint Edwards, &c with Several Members of Congress from Virginia N. C. Georgia and Kentucky aided by Governor Hancock, have given a very odd cast to the Election: but they have Seperated the sheep from the Goats— There must be however more Employment for the Press in favour of Govt. than there has been, or the Sour, angry, peevish, fretful, lying Paragraphs which assail it on every Side will make an Impression on many weak and ignorant People.
It is better that the People of Boston should be employed in disputing about a Theatre, than in reading the gloomy falshoods which have disgraced their public Prints for some time in disparagement of the general Government.
In Answer to General Lincoln's Inquiry, I can only Say at present that when an Appropriation Law shall have past, I will draw the Money and pay it where he points out.2 but if no Appropriation should be made I will borrow the Money of a Friend and repay him in Boston—but I shall know more in a few days.
I am astonished both at the Judgments and Consciences of those who appraised the Marsh at twelve Pounds an acre.— Go on with the Action and levy the Execution—at whatever Price, Appraisers under Oath shall affix, I must take the Land finally and shall acquiesce but I will not be so imposed on, as to take it voluntarily at such an exorbitant Valuation. Mr Savil may sell the Meadow and pay me if he will— if he getts 12£ or 20£ I shall be easy, for I am by no means attached to the Land. His whole Conduct shows that he means to injure me as much as he can. and I am now determined to be injured by him as little as I can. I bought 4 Acres of Marsh as good as that for 24£ a few days before I came away.
The French Arms have been Successful beyond their own Expectations and if their national Convention Should be as wise as their Army has been brave their affairs may be happily settled. A Republick must have Laws and those Laws must be executed. Mankind Seems to be bent upon trying over again, the Experiments with which all Governments began of elective first Magistrates. Elective Legislatures or at least an Elective Branch of a Legislature may do very well in France: but I have long thought and still think that { 369 } Elective Executives will do only in America. We shall Soon see how they operate in Europe. An hereditary Executive cannot be admitted in a free Government without an hereditary senate to contrast it. on the other hand an hereditary senate without an hereditary Executive would be equally dangerous & destructive. My Opinion has always been that in France a free Government can never be introduced and endure without both an hereditary Executive and Senate. But the Voice of all the World seems to be against me. A few Years will shew whether the French Republic will last longer than the English one did in the last Century.
I think however there will be a general Revolution in Religion and Government all over Europe. how many Centuries will be employed in civil distractions and what new form of Things will rise up I pretend not to foresee or conjecture. If the Influence of their Confusions does not produce Anarchy among Us, We may be happy
yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Father. Jany: 2. 1793.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. JQA wrote on 22 Dec. 1792 congratulating JA on his reelection and offering additional details of the ongoing debate regarding theater in Boston. JQA also indicated that Benjamin Lincoln was hoping to collect $600 owed by JA (Adams Papers; JQA, Writings, 1:130–133).
2. Congress confirmed the continuation of the vice president's salary at $5,000 per annum on 18 Feb. 1793 (U.S. Statutes at Large, 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 318).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0214

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-01-05

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I yesterday received your affectionate letter of the first instant. In return for your kind wishes, I present my respects, with an ardent hope, that you may yet many years be spared to your children, your friends and your Country; and that each returning season may still, as they ever have, find you happy, in that greatest of blessings to the just, an applauding conscience. Many are the mortifications which the Federal party experience in This State. The tyranny of a majority is exerted without controul. The Constitution of This State provides for the enumeration of the inhabitants but once in seven years: since the last census the Northern and western parts of This State have increased quadruply in numbers so that the representation from Those Counties is very inadequate.1 These Counties are mostly peopled by The New England States and are universally Federal— Mr Clinton it is true appoints his Sattelites to offices among { 370 } them but they are too discerning to be wheedled from their sentiments If our Electors had been chosen by the people as they ought to have been we should not have laboured under our present disgrace. There are two anecdotes circulating in this City for the truth of which I must rely upon you One is That a certain man in high office in the United States his name I did not hear wrote to Govr Hancock That as the Constitution of the United States was mandatory in that part which directs That The Electors “shall” return their votes sealed to the Seat of Government It was an insult upon the dignity of the People of the particular States who chose the Electors That Govr Hancock caught at this and communicated to The Legislature his ideas upon the Subject That they laughed and ordered the votes to be returned. There is something too ridiculous in this to be beleived.— The other that a committee of the officers of The Massachusetts Line had waited upon you and offered their Suport if you would use your influence in support of their petition That you answered “You had always served your Country, and always would”2 I receive many congratulations upon your reelection The various machinations which have been put in play against you have I think served to rivet the affections of the people more strongly. They begin to perceive that nothing has been spared to injure you. That every species of falshood has been used to alienate their veneration and respect. They see through the deceit, and turn with horror upon your accusers. The success of The French against the combined armies has excited a blind joy in this City. But anything will go down with the cry of liberty Our Tammany Society have given another specimen of their folly and rashness in the toasts which they drank upon the celebration You may have seen the list3 I think the name of Petion too destestable to receive the Euge4 of true Americans. But “They know not what They Do” The Contest of The French is not yet ended with foreign powers, but if it were They have a hydra to contend with at home which will not so easily be subdued. We are much surprised at the idea of reducing the military establishment of the United States at This moment Are we likely to succeed in our treaties with The Indian tribes?5 Or are our militia the only proper troops to contend with them? I cannot beleive it consistent with policy or oeconony. I should be very glad to get Fenno's paper Our Printers give us but partial accounts of the debates in the house of Representatives If you could send it to me without inconvenience to yourself it would be a feast. I am sorry { 371 } that I did anything wrong with Seymour Bull has behaved like a villain but it is now useless to complain. If I had had money enough to pay Seymour I should not have sent an order to Philadelphia but by his return I had picked up sufficient to discharge it which I did. Mr Bull must answer to you for his ill conduct. It is very difficult to sell horses at this time I have held them up at a hundred pounds but shall sell them at any rate next week The horses look very ill I beleive their keeper has not only used them but made them eat but little I will do the best I can with them.
In your letters you ask me respecting Mr Wilcox The piece you allude to under his signature was respecting the election of Vice President. He is one of the bar, but has never been celebrated; a modesty and diffidence which at his first appearance as a lawyer, was rendered unsurmountable by being too severely brow beaten, by an Elder brother in the profession. An honest, candid, firm man in his principles and politickes He made his first appearance upon the Contest in our election of Governor. His intentions were good; He meant to speak independently; He would examine principles; He had no partialities, except such as were founded in honesty and honor; He should say nothing he was ashamed to avow; He should asperse no man in the dark; There was no necessity for concealment; He should therefore use no fictitious signature. He has uniformly adhered to his system. He has written more upon that subject than any other writer; and more to the purpose than all put together The sneaking subterfuge of rotation he despised He called the Child by its right name whilst those who had more influence than he had were afraid to call it Federal. He does not write one of the most brilliant styles but he has gained much consideration by his manly and nervous sentiments. Such Sir is the man you have enquired after and such the sentiments he supports and I sincerely hope his writings may raise him from obscurity.6 I made application to Berry and Rogers to make out their account for you They told me they must procure from Mr Dilly the true statement as they had most of the first volumes from them.7 That Mr Berry was going to England by the next packet and would return in the Spring when every thing should be adjusted. I have not seen Menander but have this moment a promise from a gentleman for a constant perusal of The Centinel Please to give my love to my Brother and beleive me your dutiful and affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
{ 372 }
1. CA exaggerates somewhat but is correct in noting an increase in population in the northern and western portions of the state. Between 1790 and 1795, the population of eligible voters in those counties (usually described as the eastern and western districts) increased from 18,000 to 35,000, while the southern areas (the southern and middle districts) grew only from 20,000 to 29,000 voters (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 585, 588).
2. Since the Revolution Massachusetts officers had petitioned Congress for additional pay for their military service. Most recently, they had appealed for compensation for officers who had sold to speculators depreciated government bonds that Congress had since agreed to honor under the Funding Act. The latest petition was read and tabled by the House on 31 Dec. 1792 and resulted in no additional compensation (Sidney Kaplan, “Pay, Pension, and Power: Economic Grievances of the Massachusetts Officers of the Revolution,” Boston Public Library Quarterly, 3:17, 21 [Jan. 1951]; U.S. House, Jour., 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 657).
3. Reacting to reports that the French had defeated the Prussian Army, the Tammany Society of New York met on 27 Dec. to celebrate with songs and toasts. Besides drinking to the French Republic and various leaders, including Pétion and Dumouriez, the participants also toasted Thomas Paine, the Marquis de Lafayette, “Destruction to all Kingcraft and to all Priestcraft, the poisons of public happiness,” and “Contention and confusion in the councils of all despots” (New York Daily Advertiser, 29 Dec.).
4. “Approval, commendation” (OED).
5. On 20 Dec., John Steele of North Carolina proposed a resolution in the House of Representatives to “reduce the military establishment of the United States” in order to provide better frontier protection and to lower spending. Actual debate on the motion began on 28 Dec. and continued at length until the bill was ultimately defeated on 8 Jan. 1793 (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 750, 762–768, 773–790, 791–802).
6. William Willcocks (1750–1826), Princeton 1769, a New York lawyer and justice of the peace, had staunchly supported John Jay in the 1792 New York gubernatorial election, going so far as to challenge Marinus Willett to a duel over the matter (Colonial Collegians). Willcocks’ article, which appeared in the New York Daily Advertiser, 15 Dec., argued that Clinton's antifederalism made him ill suited to serve as vice president under the Constitution. Willcocks also defended JA against charges that his writings were an endorsement of the British government: “That part which he took in the political drama with Great Britain, at the earliest hour, and uniformly maintained throughout those times which tried men's souls, to the present day, is alone sufficient to acquit him of any unfavourable presumption.”
7. For the London bookseller Charles Dilly, see vol. 1:73–74.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0215

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-01-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your Letter by mr Roberdeau who with our son and young mr Quincy came out and dinned with me to day.1 I was pleased to see a son of your old Friend and acquaintance for whom you have so often expresd a Regard; as well as the agreeable Husband of miss Blair that was; we had much conversation about my acquaintances in Philadelphia, many of whom he could give me a particular account of. we past a very pleasent day. I once or twice last summer exprest an anxiety at not hearing from Thomas so often as I wishd: I recollect you askd me, if I was equally anxious about you when absent my days of anxiety have indeed been many & painfull in years past; when I had many terrors that encompassed me { 373 } around I have happily Surmounted them, but I do not find that I am less solicitious to hear constantly from you than in times of more danger, and I look for every saturday as a day on which I am to receive a Boon. I have received a Letter every week since you left me, and by this days post two—one of the 28 & one of the 29th decbr—for which receive my thanks, particularly that part in which you say you are not less anxious to see me than when seperated 20 years ago—2 Years subdue the ardour of passion but in lieu thereof a Friendship and affection deep Rooted subsists which defies the Ravages of Time, and will survive whilst the vital Flame exists. our attachment to Character Reputation & Fame increase I believe with our Years. I received the papers National Gazzet and all I see the dissapointed Electors wish to excuse their vote by Representations respecting you, that prove them to have been duped and deceived, while the Antis fly of assureing the publick that the Monarchy Men, & the Aristocracy have become quite harmless.3 if so it is to be hoped that their hue & cry will subside— present me kindly to all the good Ladies who favour me by their inquiries after my Health. it is better than the last winter tho very few days pass in which I can say that I feel really well.
I have not heard any thing of the Chaise since you wrote me that it was left at Harford I believe it will not reach Home till spring. the Narrow Ro[ad] to the water have been so blockd up with snow that shaw has not been able to get up any sea weed lately: he attempted it but could not succeed, & the ground has been bare in the Road The Timber for the corn House is all cut & part of it got home, one day more will compleat it. Faxon was going this last week to the Ceadar Swamp it being now a fine time but very unfortunatly a Man on the Road near it, broke out with the small Pox & refused to be moved so that he cannot go. we have not had any sleding in the Road this winter yet the Ground has been pretty much coverd with a thin snow & Ice, the weather in General very cold. Hay is fallen I am told to 4 & 6 pence pr hundred. Grain still holds its price, superfine flower 7 dollors pr Barrel oats 3 shillings pr Bushel. I have not had occasion yet to purchase. my Horses are so little used that they are high Spirited enough with 8 quarts a day. James takes very good care of them. I do not regreet your parting with the others. one pr are sufficient here, and a good able Farm Horse will do us more service & be much more prudent for us. I hope you live prudent enough now for the most Rebublican spirit of them all. from the debates there appears a jealous carping ill naturd spirit { 374 } subsisting and a great desire to crush the Secretary of the Treasury & the minister of War
you was right, the chief Majestrate denies his having given permission to the Mobility to pull down the Theater. His Prime minister under the signature of a Friend to Peace, has undertaken to defend his whole conduct, whilst a writer under the signature of Menander defends his fellow citizens, to say no more like an able counsel these Peices you will find in the Centinal of december 19 22 & 26th those of the 19 & 22th are written in a masterly stile.
Your Friends here are all well excepting Brother Cranch who has had a very ill Turn. I fear he will not tarry long with us.
I am my dear Husband with the tenderest Regard and attachment your affectionate
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President.”; endorsed: “Portia Jan 7 / 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JA to AA, 8 Dec. 1792, above. JQA, who dates this dinner to 9 Jan. 1793 in his Diary, identifies Mr. Quincy as “J. Quincy,” presumably Josiah Quincy III (D/JQA/19, APM Reel 22).
2. The letter of 28 Dec. 1792 is printed above. On 29 Dec., JA wrote to AA again, weighing in on the theater controversy in Boston and the presidential election (Adams Papers).
3. Various pieces linking JA with a pro-monarchy philosophy appeared in the Philadelphia National Gazette. On 2 Jan. 1793, one article suggested that the threat of “all efforts toward monarchy and aristocracy,” however, had been overcome: “The current of popular opinion is become so strong against every idea, intimation, and attempt of that nature, that the advocates and planners of such schemes no longer dare venture abroad with their propositions for giving the government a twist towards royalty, the eager though somewhat concealed object of a well known faction for at least four years bypast.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0216

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-08

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I am somewhat surprized by the information given in your letter of the 23d: Decr: viz. that you have not received a single line from me since my Father left you.1 Certainly there must have been some fault in the Post Office, or some person who has taken the letters therefrom has neglected to deliver them. I wrote the first week after my Fathers arrival, informing you of several circumstances relative to his determination of residing at Mr. Otis's— I wrote an other letter upon a different subject a few days after, and there has been ample time for their reaching you before the date of your letter. I hope you have before this received them—2 I rejoice with you at the unanimity that has appeared in the late Election— It seems something extraordinary that the two Candidates should be supported in different { 375 } States with so much apparent spirit. Nine States nearly unanimous for one and five for the other. You are misinformed as it respects Pennsylvania—there was but one vote for Clinton all the rest being unanimous; this vote was given him from motives of personal Friendship as well as private interest; the point of Federal, or Anti—seems not to have been considered, for the man who gave it is warmly Fedl:— South-Carrolina cast a reflection which will be sensibly felt by Burr in giving him one vote, which was known to be confered for no other reason than that it might be lost. The Election is great, we have now only to wish that the People may be generous or rather just. Our Finances are at present much deranged—however you feel it more than I do— The final decission of the Treasury cut off more than 700 Dollars—
Tomorrow is the day fixed by Mr: Blanchard for his 45th: Flight in the Balloon from the Jail yard— He intends if wind and weather permit to dine in N-York. It excites you may suppose the curiosity & astonishment of all us novices in such spectacles—mine however is reduced to a Philosophical indifference almost bordering on Stoicism; I shall never the less, gaze like other simple ones at the painted baubles, without deriving either amusement or instruction from the experiment.3 As to Congress—I give every one that ask the same answer, that I scarcely think them worth my notice, I certainly have not thought them worth my personal attention as yet—they have become much less consequential as a public body since they have made every body rich & happy, except the V—— P——, and unless they create business for themselves—their sessions will or ought to be very short in future. However they have not yet done all, and instead of a disposition to do more the spirit of undoing seems to be gaining ground— You will have from Massachusetts a good Representation for the next Congress—but ours has little to boast in point of splendor, or genius.
I shall attend to your request concerning the Museum as soon as I have cash enough to pay for the binding &ca: There is no Register published that I hear of— I have not been able to procure the Books for which Cousin L—— Cranch wrote me.4 I ought to address her in person, but I hope she will remember I never was vastly polite. My regard for her & all the family however shall not diminish by separation. As to visiting Massachusetts next Summer, nothing but necessity such as an Ague would impose, will suffer me to hope it. My time will be too precious I fear at that time to devote to amusement. Your absence this Winter from the gay circles is much comented in { 376 } words—doubtless by many in reality. I am very little troubled with those insipid invitations which used to waste more time & health than they ever aforded amusement, but still a sufficiency of those which I deem more flattering as I have the vanity to think my company is desired.
My best love to all friends, both in-doors and out, and belive me truly affectionate
[signed] Thomas B Adams—
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A Adams”; endorsed by JA: “T. B. Adams / 8. Jan. 1793.”
1. Not found.
2. The first letter is at 11 Dec. [1792], above; the second letter has not been found.
3. The Adamses as a family had long been interested in ballooning, and TBA's parents, JQA, and AA2 had attended balloon flights in Paris, though none by Jean Pierre Blanchard. Blanchard (1753–1809), a French balloonist, was attempting his 45th flight but his 1st in the United States. On the morning of 9 Jan. 1793, he successfully crossed from the prison court in Philadelphia to Deptford, N.J., in a fifteen-mile flight lasting slightly less than an hour (vol. 6:x–xi; Jean Pierre Blanchard, Journal of My Forty-Fifth Ascension, Phila., 1793, p. 10, 14, 26, Evans, No. 25207). See also JQA, Diary, 1:216–217, 222.
4. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

In your Letter of Decr 23d you Say “Faxon wants Money to buy, three Cows and four young Cattle.”— I know not the Price of Stock: but if you can purchase him what he wants at a reasonable rate and can finds means to pay for them I shall be content. but I would employ Some one to purchase them in Bridgwater or Abington. Faxon himself is not So judicious as he ought to be, in Some Things.
I have the same aversion to the multiplication of Banks and the Same Apprehension of their pernicious tendency as you express: but so many People live upon them, that they will have their Course. We shall soon be perplexed and distressed, in consequence of them. I consider myself already as taxed one half of my Salary and one half of all the Interest of my Money to support Bankers and Bankrupts. In Short Debtors and Men of no Property will find means, in our State of society, to compel others who have something not only to pay their debts for them but to support them. It falls hardest on Widows orphans, Salary Men, and those who have Money at Interest, we except such of those last as are at Liberty to Speculate. They are able to make what Money they please.
I received yesterday the Votes from Kentucky. They are said to be all for Mr Jefferson. Let Us, my Dear prepare our minds and as well as We can our Circumstances to get out of this miserable Scramble.
{ 377 }
It gives me pleasure to read that you are making Preparations of Timber for a Corn house, and I hope shaw will be as attentive as he can through the whole Winter to all my Manufactures of manure, that We may make a good Corn field in the Summer.
I had Yesterday a charming Letter from Charles; according to him, had the Electors of that State been chosen by the People, their Votes would have been very different. The Representation of the People in their present Legislature is very unequal and partial in favour of the Anti's, and Clinton; as he has explained very intelligibly and intelligently.
Mr Taylor the new Senator from Virginia,1 has made a Motion for opening our Doors and building a Gallery: but he will not be assisted in his Argument by the late Example of Virginia, where the Electors at Richmond opened their Doors, and held debates and made Phillippicks before “The Marseillois,” by which means Six Votes are said to have been converted, either by reasoning or by fear.2 This Example will not convince the Majority of the Senators of the Necessity, Expediency or propriety of opening their Doors.
I have a warm Chamber with a Southern Exposure and have a fire in it day and night. I am warm enough a nights but cannot Sleep as I ought. I have Scarcely had a compleat nights Sleep since I left you, which keeps me apprehensive of the Fever and Ague in the Spring. I hope however to escape it. I shall not be able to leave this Place till the fifth or sixth of March.3 The Roads will be bad and the Journey by the Stage fatiguing, but I who was born to be a slave must fullfill the End of my Creation.
Tenderly
[signed] J. A.
Blanchard to day is to sett all the World upon the broad Stare at his Balloon. I wish H. could make it an Interlude and send him back to Europe.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Janry 9th / 1793.”
1. John Taylor (1753–1824), William and Mary 1770, a lawyer and farmer from Caroline County, Va., replaced Sen. Richard Henry Lee in late 1792 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. “La Marseillaise,” composed in the spring of 1792 in Strasbourg by Rouget de Lisle, who gave the song the title “Chant de Guerre de l’Armée du Rhin” (Song of the Rhine Army), had been conceived as a military theme but quickly became popular as a revolutionary anthem (Schama, Citizens, p. 597–599).
3. The congressional session concluded on 2 March 1793 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This day I recd yours of the 2d.— I have recd all the Votes from all the States. it is known that Georgia voted with N.C. V. and N.Y. and Kentucky voted for Jefferson.
There is no other Newspaper circulated in the back Country of the Southern States than Freneau's National Gazette, which is employed with great Industry to poison the Minds of the People. The Fœderal Court has again had a Sitting in Virginia and by reason of Mr Jays Scikness the great Cause is again continued, which serves to keep up the Rage in that State, and N. C. which is its Eccho.1
If you hire the Man you mention, you should know beforehand what kind of skill and Experience he has in farming as well as his Integrity and good disposition. I shall leave it however to you.— Twenty Six Pounds are too high. 24 are enough: but if you cannot get one for less We must give 26.
I expect e’er long to hear that Pain is Split and pliced for an Aristocrat: perhaps roasted or broild or fryed. He is too lean to make a good Pye, but he is now in company with a Number, who are admirably qualified and disposed to feed upon each other.
The foolish Vote of the constituting Assembly in favour of a Rotation and excluding themselves from being re-elected has cost every Man of Weight and Talents among them his Life or his Country and his fortune. all are murdered banished and confiscated. Danton Robertspiere, Marat &c are Furies.2 Dragons Teeth have been sown in France and come up Monsters.
The Army has behaved better and the People seem to be zealous: but if they have not some system by which they can be united, what is to be expected?
We have our Robertspierres and Marats whose wills are good to do mischief but the Flesh is weak. They cannot yet persuade the People to follow them.
If the national Assembly can Subdue the mutinous Rabble at Paris as well as Dumourier has driven the Prussians, they may be free and do something, but what I know not.
tenderly yours
[signed] J A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia.”; endorsed: “Janry 14 1793.”
1. The Circuit Court for the District of Virginia sat between 23 Nov. and 6 Dec. 1792, but the only justice to attend was William Cushing. The court met again in Virginia { 379 } between 22 May and 8 June 1793, with John Jay and James Iredell in attendance, at which time they considered “the great Cause,” the case of Ware v. Hylton. One of more than 200 suits filed by British creditors seeking to recover debts from Virginia citizens, Ware v. Hylton raised questions about the strength of the contract clause of the Constitution (Art. 1, sec. 10) and the supremacy clause (Art. 6). It was ultimately decided in favor of the British creditors in 1796 (Doc. Hist. Supreme Court, 2:338–339, 380, 539).
2. When the French Constituent Assembly was replaced by the Legislative Assembly on 30 Sept. 1791, the dissolving assembly—at the suggestion of Robespierre—voted that its members would be prohibited from serving in the new congress. This made it impossible for prominent conservatives to continue to serve and cleared the way for radicals to dominate the government. After the National Convention in turn replaced the Legislative Assembly in Sept. 1792, Robespierre and fellow radicals Danton and Marat were active members (François Furet and Mona Ozouf, A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, transl. Arthur Goldhammer, Cambridge, 1989, p. 530; Stanley Loomis, Paris in the Terror, June 1793 – July 1794, Phila., 1964, p. 49, 73, 93).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-01-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your kind favours of Ja’nry 8 & 9th and on saturday a Letter from our daughter1 I have been in Town for a few days—for the first time I chose not to come till all the Bustle of Election was past Election for a Representitive has taken place since I came here. Honestus's Friends and emisaries have been indefatigable in procuring votes for him, and their success has been Such that he stands highest upon the list, and tho it is presumed that their will not be a Choice, he & dr Holten will be the Candidates.2 dr Jarvis is sitting up for Federal senator in the Room of mr strong.3 Speculation is the popular Topick when a man is to be crushd, and that is the crime of which mr strong is said to be guilty, and tho I presume it is quite groundless, yet it will answer a Party purpose an other Idle story is that mr Pitt has resignd,4 and that the President of the u s is going to resign in March, as tho there could be any connextion between the resignation of the first minister of state in England and the chief majestrate here, nor can I devine the policy of the Report unless it is meant for a stock jobbing purpose, yet there are persons here stupid enough to swallow such reports. you will see by the papers the whole Town of B—— laid under a tax of 3 dollors pr head which they dare not refuse, even those who in their hearts dislike the Festival and will join in it no further than to pay the money: the Civick Feast of the Cits, pushd down their Throats for fear of being stiled Aristocrats.5 Such is the infectious spirit, of the Times—
Mr B—— is here.6 I saw him at the assembly, where he was very social. there were some compliments paid to him, which tho in the Character of this Town, belongd not to a private citizen—such as { 380 } waiting the dances for him for more than an hour and finally being obliged to begin without him, as he did not make his appearence till near Nine oclock dinning at five oclock to conform to his hour, &c one compliment however he has received not so much to his taste, a W—— for Arerages of old martinec affairs—
do you suppose that Congress will meet after their dissolution on the 3d of March? I fear you will have as dissagreeable a time Home as you had when you went. Love to mrs otis her Friends here are all well— my Health is better than it has been. I have not had any return of a Fever for two Months. I cannot say as much for two years before
my Love to Thomas I will write to him next week when I return to Quincy
Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia / Jan. 22. 1793.”
1. On 8 Jan., JA wrote to AA with yet more commentary on the recent elections. In particular, he related various anecdotes being relayed in the South about his relationship with George Washington, commenting, “There is no End of the Fictions and Falshoods which were propagated and not contradicted in those remote States.” JA also told two stories of individuals’ criticizing his Defence of the Const. without actually having read it. He cynically noted that “These Anecdotes show the real Genius of this enlightened Age. Such is a great part of the Light, which We boast of So much” (Adams Papers).
The letter from AA2 may have been of 13 Sept. 1792, above.
2. Dr. Samuel Holten (or Holton) was elected to Congress; Benjamin Austin Jr. was not (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Charles Jarvis failed in his election attempt; Caleb Strong and George Cabot remained senators from Massachusetts for the 3d Congress (same).
4. The rumor was false; William Pitt remained prime minister until Feb. 1801.
5. For the civic feast, see AA to JA, 1 Feb. 1793, and note 1, below. Tickets to the event cost three dollars each and were advertised several times in Boston newspapers (William Parker Cutler and Julia Perkins Cutler, Life, Journals and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL.D., 2 vols., Cincinnati, 1888, 1:489; Columbian Centinel, 19 Jan.; Boston Gazette, 21 Jan.).
6. Possibly Samuel Breck Sr.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Our good Friend General Lincoln gave me this morning your favour of the 7th which compensated in Part of my Disappointment by Mondays Post. I sett my heart on one Letter a Week and as many more as you please.
I cannot say that my desire of Fame increases. It has been Strong in some Parts of my Life but never so strong as my Love of honesty. I never in my Life that I know of sacrificed my Principles or Duty to { 381 } Popularity, or Reputation. I hope I am now too old ever to do it. But one knows not how tryals may be borne, till they are made.
The Hellhounds are now in full cry in the Newspapers against the President, whom they treat as ill—as ever they did me.
The Same insolent and impudent Irishman who is said to have written so much against me, is now suspected to be writing against him.
Both Houses of Congress are making strict Inquisition into the Treasury: with upright and patriotic Views no doubt. Hamilton will find no more mercy than is due from a generous nation to a faithful servant. But I presume his Character will Shine the brighter. However it is still but an Experiment, whether the Ministers of state under an elective Executive will not be overborne, by an elective Legislature. I believe it to be certain that two elective houses of Legislature, or even one, have it in their Power whenever they shall have it in their Will to render any Minister of state or even any elective Executive unpopular, though he may be possessed of the best Talents and most perfect Integrity. I presume that neither of our Houses will be disposed to such Injustice. but the time may come.
I am so well satisfied with my present simplicity, that I am determined never to depart from it again so far as I have. My Expences in future forever shall at all Events be within my Income nay within my Salary. I will no longer be the miserable Dupe of Vanity. My Style of Life is quite popular. What say you to living with me in Lodgings next Winter? This shall be my Plan if I cannot hire a house for Six months only. Your Friends who are very numerous enquire tenderly after your health. Benson says he is for making Mrs Adams Autocratrix of the United States. This however must be Secret because it is a sort of Treason.
tenderly yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 24 1793.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I was not a little Surprized, a few days ago at receiving a Letter from Dr Hutchinson as Secretary to the Philosophical society in this City certifying my Election as a Member of that Body. This Gentleman you know has been celebrated for his opposition to my { 382 } Election as V.P. one of the Society since told me, that when I was nominated they all rose up and cryed out that I had been a Member these twenty Years.
The Truth it seems is that I was elected as long ago as 1779 but the Records for some years preceeding and following that time are not now to be found.1 The Secretary of that day has run Melancholly and Fanatic, and knows nothing of the Records if he kept any.
The Sickness of my worthy Brother Cranch, which you mention in your last has given me many a melancholly hour Since I recd it.— Although the immense Load of Care that has oppressed me for so many Years has rendered me incapable of enjoying his Conversation, as I used to in my Youth, I have ever loved him, and shall never cease to love him. I hope he will recover his health and be preserved to his Friends for many years. My Love to sister. Duty to my Mother, Love to my Brother and all Friends. Louisa I hope has conquered all her disposition to the Ague and all its crawls & Chills. My Love to her.
I am very well accommodated here for my self: but not for Company.
I Shall not get away from hence before the fifth of March, and then there will be a long unpleasant Journey before me.
But I will make up for all by Enjoyment on the Farm, during the summer. provided always that I dont get the Ague. That is not quite annihilated in its seeds. I am bilious and otherwise reminded to beware of the first hot day.
I am, with all the Ardour of / Youth yours
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Janry 27 1793.”
1. Dr. James Hutchinson served as secretary of the American Philosophical Society. His letter to JA has not been found, but on 24 Jan. JA wrote to Hutchinson and Jonathan Williams thanking them “for the honor” of election to the Society (PPAmP). For discussion of JA's possible earlier election, see vol. 3:297, 299–300.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-01-27

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear John

Although your modesty would not inform Us, of your commencement as a Faneuil Hall Orator, it is impossible to conceal from the Public so important an Event, when there are 500 talkative noisy Witnesses of it, and accordingly it has come to me from an Eye and Ear Witness, as I suppose, your young Friend Breck.1
{ 383 }
I rejoice that you have taken the Unpopular Side of the Questions concerning Incorporation of the Town, and Dramatic Entertainments; not because I love Unpopularity or wish you to be unpopular; but because I believe the unpopular Side in these Instances to be right; and because it will Serve to keep you back in the political Career for some time and give you Leisure for study and Practice, in your Profession.
Menander I think was free enough for a Statesman, but Eccho has been full free for a Witt and a Droll.

Ere o’er the World had flown my mob-rais'd Fame

And George and Britain trembled at my name;

This State, then Province, pass’t with wise intent

An Act Stage Plays and such Things to prevent:

You'll find it, Sirs, among the Laws Sky-blue

Made near that time, on brooms when Witches flew

That blessed Time, when Law kept wide awake

Proscrib'd the faithless, and made Quakers quake. &c

Yet in an Act, have Congress Said of late

That the Supreme Executive of State

Shall—What a Word to Governors to Use

By Men unworthy to unloose their shoes

Shall! I repeat the abusive term once more

That dreadful offspring of Usurping Power. &c2

When Where, Ah! Where my son will these Things end? If ever Mortal had provocation to become a Party Man, and revenge his Wrongs upon his Ennemies, in their own Way, it is I.— but for the World, I would not.— You will never see me involving Massachusetts in the Perplexities that New York is in.— The Persecution against me, set on foot in Boston by the little Passions of little Minds, is the most unprovoked, the most destitute not only of Grounds but of even Pretexts that ever happened in this World. Yet Jealousy Envy and Terror haunt their frivolous souls like Spectres. so be it— This is Punishment enough to gratify all my Resentments— I would not feel the smart of the Sting of Envy as they do for all their Popularity and for as absolute a despotism over those with whom they are popular as they possess.
Boston Seems however to be breaking out with a Distemper worse than the small Pox. Anarchical Dinners and Anarchical Elections, will be worse than the Plague.
{ 384 }
There are some alarming symptoms even in Congress: but I hope the French when they begin to build will assist us. hitherto they have only pulled down.
yous affectionately
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Q. A.”; endorsed: “My Father Jany: 27. 1793.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Samuel Breck Jr. (1771–1862), son of Samuel and Hannah Breck, had recently moved to Philadelphia from Boston to join his parents. The younger Breck had been educated in France and was pursuing a career as a merchant. JQA had attended the Boston town meeting on 21 Dec. 1792 at Faneuil Hall “to remonstrate against the anti-theatrical Statute” (J. Francis Fisher, Memoir of Samuel Breck, Phila., 1863, p. 8–10, 12–13, 17; D/JQA/18, APM Reel 21).
2. These lines are excerpts from Connecticut Wit Richard Alsop's satirical poem The Echo, No. IX. The piece, which first appeared in the Hartford American Mercury, 14 Jan. 1793, parodies John Hancock's opposition to theater in Massachusetts (Carl Holliday, The Wit and Humor of Colonial Days (1607–1800), Phila., 1912, p. 262, 264–265).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0223

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-01-31

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I received your favor of the 29th yesterday1 I had sold the horses the day before for £70:.
The Baron returned on teusday his visit has been of service to him He said to me upon sitting down to supper that evening “I thank God my dear Charles that I am not a Great man and that I am once more permitted to set down at my little round table with Mulligan and yourself enjoy more real satisfaction than the pomp of this world can afford.” He thinks that parties are too high to remain long in a quiet situation. That Antifederal [spiri]t which wishes to imitate the geniuses of France is boiling with much force among the members of Congress. I hear that They charge the Secretary of the Treasury with having embezzled two millions of the public money.2 Surely if accusations like this without foundation are suffered to pass by without censure we have arrived at a republican liberty of Speech. Is it ignorance or malice which forges these charges? The Baron told me You were well, prudent and respected, but that The other great officers of the Goverment were very uneasy How often when reflecting upon the trials you have undergone and the rewards you have generally met with have I repeated to myself those beautiful lines of Horace
{ 385 }

Justum et tenacem viri propositum

Non Civium ardor non prava jubentium

Non vultus Instantis Tyrranni

Mente quatit Solida.[”]3

The President too has at last become the subject of open invective? I beleive him very illy calculated to bear it. He is in a measure unaccustomed to being abused by libels and whether he will have fortitude enough to despise them I am very doubtful
We received letters from our friends in England on Sunday last4 They write pleasingly of their health and prosperity We hear also that Prusia has acknowledge the Republic of France and that an alliance between them is shortly to take place The French army under Dumourier have captured Mons Bruxells and Gent and made 15000 prisoners5 Where will all this end? We are quite peaceable in this City for the present The assembly are about to impeach Judge Cooper for malpractice during the last election for Gover[nor. He] will be taking up the hatchet upon the oth[er side?] probably they will still tyrannize as they have before Their majority is so decided in both houses that Cooper will stand but a poor chance however innocent he may be.6 That we may be speedily releived from oppression is the sincere prayer of your / affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JA wrote to CA on 29 Dec. 1792, commenting on the vice presidential election and encouraging CA not to become embroiled in any political battles. “My Advice to you,” JA instructed, “is to preserve the Independence of your own Mind and bow the Knee to no Man for the sake of a National Seal. Behave like a Gentleman towards Mr Clinton and his Friends but preserve your Veneration for Mr Jay who deserves it” (MHi:Seymour Coll.).
2. Democratic-Republican leaders in Congress, suspicious of Alexander Hamilton's handling of the proceeds of two loans authorized in 1790, approved on 23 Jan. 1793 a series of resolutions—known as the Giles Resolutions, for William Branch Giles of Virginia, who proposed them—demanding a full accounting. Hamilton complied, sending reports to both houses in February. Although the reports failed to satisfy the Republicans, they were unable to muster sufficient support for another round of resolutions condemning Hamilton's actions. For a full discussion of the situation, including the text of the resolutions and Hamilton's reports, see Hamilton, Papers, 13:532–579; 14:2–6, 17–67, 68–79, 93–133.
3. “The man tenacious of his purpose in a righteous cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens bidding what is wrong, not by the face of threatening tyrant” (Horace, Odes, Book III, ode iii, lines 1–4).
4. Not found.
5. Dumouriez's army captured Mons on 7 Nov. 1792, Brussels on 14 Nov., and Ghent shortly thereafter. By 28 Nov. what remained of the Austrian Army had evacuated from the Netherlands (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:416–417).
6. William Cooper (1754–1809), a major New York landowner, proprietor of Cooperstown, and staunch Federalist, served as { 386 } judge of Otsego County. Clinton supporters accused him in a petition to the state legislature of trying to influence the vote in Otsego during the 1792 gubernatorial election, but the charges were dismissed (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-01-31

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have, this minute recd your favour of the 22d. The Report of the Presidents Resignation is probably designed to prevent the Rise of the Stocks: but the Insolence which appears every day in Baches and Freneaus Papers, proceeding from the Same Persons who are tired of abusing me, may be carried to a point that he will not bear. He has not been used to such threshing and his skin is thinner than mine.
Cit. H. and Cit. A. I presume will grace the Civic Feast. Cit and Citess is to come instead of Gaffer and Gammer Goody and Gooden, Mr and Mrs, I suppose.
Congress I presume will not sitt after the Second of March. I shall not be able to sett off till the 5th. but I will not wait if I travel but ten miles a day.
We Shall See, in a few months, the new French Constitution, which may last Twelve months, but probably not more than Six. Robertspierre and Marat with their Jacobin Supporters I suspect will overthrow the Fabric which Condercet Paine and Brissot will erect. Then We shall see what they in their turn will produce.1
Mrs Washington requests me to present you her very particular regards. Many other Ladies do the same.
Citizen Brisler and Citizen V. P, are very happy together— Since they are equal and on a Level it is proper that sometimes one should be named first and sometimes the other.
Our Countrymen are about to abandon the good old grave solid manners of Englishmen their Ancestors and adopt all the Apery Levity and frivolity of the French.
Ca ira. / tenderly yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Janry 31 / 1793.”
1. Both Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794), and Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville (1754–1793) were members of the so-called Girondin faction in the French National Convention. They, along with Thomas Paine and others, helped to write a liberal constitution, which was completed by 15 Feb. but had little effect because of the ongoing Terror. After the arrest of the Girondins later in 1793, Condorcet died in prison and Brissot was guillotined (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxvii, xxxii, 178).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0225

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-02-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

your last date, as yet received, was the 14 of Jan’ry, I may have Letters in Town; but as the week has been stormy I have not got them: I wrote you last from Boston the day before the Civic Feast, as it was Stiled. the day past in much better order than was apprehended; for to men of reflection the Cry of Equality was not so pleasing, and to men of Property very alarming it was agreed amongst them to indulge a spirit they could not supress, & unite with the Mobility in their Feast, to keep a strickt watch and gaurd over them: and to appoint steady persons upon [who]m they could depend to conduct the sacrifice, for such indeed was [the] citizen ox— the whole was managed without any Riot except the distribution of the ox; a Table being placed at the upper End of State street, the ox was paraded there, together with a load of Bread & 2 Barrels of Punch but no sooner was the ox cut in peices than they were seazd by some sailors & citizen Mobility, and thrown in every direction amongst the spectators. the Tables split to peices the plates &c made one Crash, the Punch & Bread were instantly driven of, the one to the Mall, where the Mobility followd and enjoyd it, the Bread to the Alms House; the day closed with much quietness & all was still by 12 oclock at Night. you will have read the Toasts which shew the spirit that gave rise to the Feast, & the prodigious pains which they took to avoid drinking the Healths of anyone but washington whom they avoided stiling citizen—1 tis said Citizen samuel did not so well relish the Term, least the Ears of his followers should be too much accustomed to it, and join with those who wish to have the Town incorporated.2 the two Candidates of Representives are no doubt Holten, & Austin; mr B——n has descended to such Popular arts as have disgusted his Friends, it is said, but falshood is so current a coin on such occasions that I am slow of belief: I was very splendidly entertaind at his House whilst I was at Boston; having heard Some things, I was more attentive to what past.3 I found by his conversation that he was one of those, who thought that the President might unbend, and visit, & mix with Tom dick and Harry. he askd me if I had heard that the secretary of War was going to resign. I replied that I had not. he said he had been informd so from a Gentleman, who heard it from Knox's mouth [last ni]ght the President had been very unfortunate in that appointment. this { 388 } brought to my mind mr danes conjecture of the Author of the Strictures.4 I askd after ward if any known cause existed for a personal animosity? but could not learn any thing further than their owning eastern Lands together perhaps some altercation might have arrisen. I was at the Assembly, and received many polite attentions. mr S——n & his Lady were civil beyond my conception. Such kind inquiries after the health of the V. P. and such solicitude to accommodate me. the high sheriff too was vastly politee. mrs S——n & her daughter visited me a day or two after which was what I did not expect.5 I calld upon mrs Gill. she afterwards sent for me to take Tea with her, which I did mr Gill was at Prince Town. She proposed to me a Family match which was to send my Son J Q A to England for her Neice miss Hollowell and to give her in marriage to him.6 She wishes to have her Neice return to her, for mrs Adams says she I am all alone in this Country, I have no connextion to call my own— thus with an immence property She looks round her without a being for whom she feels any natural attachment to bestow it upon. there must be a some thing to Mar all our enjoyments in a state of Probation like this Life, “a Cruel something unpossessd”7
we have had a very open winter the day before yesterday we had a pretty fall of snow—which I hope will enable us to get Home the remaining Timber, and my Wood; shaw laments that he has not a stronger Team. Faxon makes up two and is in constant employ for some one or other. he has not however assisted me but one day which was in getting Timber. we have sent into the ceadar swamp and got out Some Rails. Faxon whose Eyes always see double, says that 2000 may be cut upon one acre and a Quarter. I am glad however from Belchers & shaws account to find that it is like to turn out well worth the money. I am anxious to get all the Buisness done which you left me in Charge but the season has not been so favourable as we wisht—
our Friends are all well Remember me kindly to mrs otis. her sister is with me. she was so good as to spend a few days with me on my return from Boston
yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United-States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia / Feb. 1. ansd. 12 / 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. A committee of Boston citizens organized a civic feast for Thursday, 24 Jan., to celebrate “the SUCCESSES of their French brethren, in their glorious enterprize for the establishment of EQUAL LIBERTY.” The food for the feast was carried through the { 389 } city on carts, after which, “From the immense number of citizens assembled in State-street, the refreshment provided, could not be so equally distributed, as was wished; but notwithstanding this circumstance, the highest degree of cheerfulness and good-will prevailed; and the sacrifice being speedily demolished, the citizens retired in good order.” Leftover bread was donated to the jail and almshouse. Following a second procession, the organizers gathered and several toasts were offered, including “The Rights of Man” and “The fraternity of Freemen.” The toast to George Washington, given by “Citizen” Charles Jarvis, was, “We propose but one individual, and your hearts will tell you that this is WASHINGTON” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 26 Jan.).
2. Various groups of people had tried to incorporate the town of Boston into a city, beginning as early as 1708. The most recent attempt had been in 1791, when the lack of an efficient police system led to calls for a town reorganization; see JQA to TBA, 1 Feb. 1792, and note 2, above. Later attempts gained greater popular support but were thwarted by the lack of a provision in the 1780 Massachusetts constitution allowing the state to create cities. The 1820 constitutional convention amended the state constitution to address this issue, and Boston was subsequently incorporated in 1822 (Winsor, Memorial History of Boston, 3:219–222).
3. For James Bowdoin Jr., son of the late governor, see vol. 1:327. At this time, he was being promoted—unsuccessfully—to represent Suffolk County in Congress; see, for example, Boston Columbian Centinel, 19, 29 Dec. 1792.
4. Probably a reference to an article signed “A Uniform Federalist,” which initially appeared in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 29 Nov., but was reprinted with the title “Strictures on Mr. Adam's Political Character” in the Philadelphia National Gazette, 1, 5 December. The piece challenged an earlier one by “A Consistent Federalist,” for which see AA to Thomas Welsh, 15 Nov., note 2, above. Attacking JA as a monarchist and suggesting that his time in Great Britain had corrupted him, “A Uniform Federalist” proclaimed, “if you wish to persevere in the happy and honorable experiment of governing yourselves; if you wish not a king; if you be not prepared to open your purses to pay his ordinary and extraordinary revenues, his church, his armies, his placemen, his pensioners &c. &c. and in short, to defray the expences of your own slavery; then, abandon Mr. Adams; annihilate his political existence;. . . stigmatize him as an apostate from his own political creed; and, what is worse as an apostate from your political creed and the political creed of your constitution.”
5. For Martha Langdon Sullivan, see vol. 7:384. Mehitable Sullivan, Martha's step-daughter, would marry James Cutler on 5 Feb. 1793 (Thomas Coffin Amory, Materials for a History of the Family of John Sullivan of Berwick, New England, Cambridge, 1893, p. 152).
6. Mary Hallowell, whom the Adamses had met in London, eventually married John Elmsley, who became the chief justice of Canada (vol. 7:17, 26; Robert Hallowell Gardiner, Early Recollections, Hallowell, Maine, 1936, p. 4).
7. “Against our peace we arm our will: / Amidst our plenty, something still / For horses, houses, pictures, planting, / To thee, to me, to him is wanting. / That cruel something unpossessed / Corrodes and leavens all the rest” (Matthew Prior, “The Ladle,” line 165).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-02-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

General Lincoln setts out Tomorrow, and I should not dare to let him go without a Love Letter to you.
After a November December and January the fairest softest and finest that ever were known in this Place, The Month of February has been ushered in by a considerable Snow: but the Weather is again so fine that the sun will soon restore Us the naked ground: I { 390 } should like it better in its White Robe of Innocence till the 20th of March.
I dined Yesterday at Mr Daltons. Mrs Dalton enquires affectionately and sends her regards &c
Fryday night I Spent with the Philosophical society. The Meeting was thin: but I was not able to perceive any great superiority to our Accademy, except in the President.1 There are able Men however, and I was agreably entertained. Mr Jefferson was polite enough to accompany me: so you see We are still upon Terms. I wish somebody would pay his Debt of seven Thousand Pounds to Britain and the Debts of all his Country men and then I believe his Passions would subside his Reason return, and the whole Man and his whole State become good Friends of the Union and its Govt. Silence however on this head, or at least great Caution.
I hope the Boston Rejoicings were at the success of the Arms of France, and not intended as Approbation of all the Jacobinical Councils. I am enough in the Spirit of the Times to be glad the Prussians and Austrians have not Succeeded, but not to exult in the Prison or Tryal of that King to whom though I am personally under no Obligation, my Country is under the greatest.2 It is Providentially ordered that I who am the only man American who was ever Accredited, to him and retired from his Court without his Picture, and under his displeasure Should be the only one to bewail his Misfortune. The accursed Politicks of his knavish Favourite have cost him his Crown if not his head. The Duke de la Rochefaucault too, is cutt to Pieces for his Idolatry.3 If I had not washed my own hands of all this Blood, by warning them against it, I should feel some of it upon my soul.
Macchiavels Advice to cutt off a numerous Nobility had more weight than mine to preserve them and Franklins Plagiary Project from Marchement Nedham had more Weight with Fools than all my Proofs strong as holy Writ.4 The Vengeance of Heaven for their Folly, has been revealed in more shivering Terms than in any of my numerous Examples
yours kindly
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry 3. 1793.”
1. JA is making fun of himself; he was elected president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston on 24 May 1791 after the death of the organization's first president, James Bowdoin. He would remain in that position—albeit largely in an honorary capacity—until his resignation on 4 June 1813. David Rittenhouse was president of the American Philosophical Society (Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel, James Bowdoin and the Patriot Philosophers, Phila., 2004, p. 250–253; Amer. Philos. Soc., Trans., { 391 } 3:xxviii [1793], Evans, No. 25103).
2. Louis XVI, who had been arrested in Aug. 1792, was tried by the National Convention and executed on 21 Jan. 1793. Marie Antoinette was guillotined on 16 Oct. (Bosher, French Rev., p. xiv, xx, 180). See also Descriptive List of Illustrations, Nos. 9 and 10, above.
3. Louis Alexandre, Duc de La Rochefoucauld d’Anville (1743–1792), a philosophe and friend of the United States who had corresponded with JA, was stoned to death by a French mob in Sept. 1792 (JA, D&A, 4:42; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
4. In The Prince, ch. 9, “Of the Civil Princedom,” Niccolò Machiavelli warns of the difficulty of a prince coming to power through the support of the nobility because he “finds many about him who think themselves as good as he, and whom, on that account, he cannot guide or govern as he would.” Machiavelli further notes that the prince “need not alwfays live with the same nobles, being able to make and unmake these from day to day, and give and take away their authority at his pleasure” (Machiavelli, The Prince, transl. N. H. Thomson, N.Y., 1910, p. 35).
Marchamont Needham (or Nedham) (1620–1678), a provocative British journalist, was best known for his satirical writings and frequently shifting allegiances during the English Civil War. Needham wrote several tracts in defense of Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth and the overthrow of the monarchy, including The Case of the Commonwealth of England Stated, London, 1649; The Excellencie of a Free-State; or, The Right Constitution of a Common-wealth, London, 1656; and Interest Will Not Lie; or, A View of England's True Interest, London, 1659 (DNB). JA believed that Franklin had been unduly influenced by Needham's antimonarchical writings and that the French, in turn, were unduly influenced by Franklin. See, for example, JA to TBA, 26 April 1795 (PWacD) and 7 April 1796 (DLC).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0227

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-02-09

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I received your kind favour of the 24th of Jan’ry together with the News papers. the writings of the American Mirabeau, if he is an American & those under the Signature of Cincinnatus are insolent indeed, and are in unison with a Number of papers Published in the Boston Chronical calld the crisis, Supposed to be written in Philadelphia and sent here for publication as I was told in Boston that there was a Club, who were in constant correspondence with the s——y of state those papers are leveld at the Government & particularly against Hamilton, who will however I hope stand his ground.1 a very viruelent peice has appeard in the same paper signd stephen Colona Threatning the Government with the vengence of a hundred thousand Men, if certain Characters formerly stiled Antifeaderal were not more notised & appointed to office this writer says that the constitution was addopted by means of Artifice cagoiling deception & he believes corruption I read the peice at the time it was publishd, but had no Idea that the Author could be our former P——h Friend.2 a very good answer followd it written; by mr davis, signd Publius with a Quotation as the introduction from the Play calld the Ladies of castile—3
{ 392 } { 393 } { 394 }
I received a Letter to day from our daughter dated Novbr the col children &c were all well.4 she writes that our minister complains loudly of expences that he had no Idea of them. mrs P—— complains of the impudence of trades people in that Country. they must be strangly alterd—for I never saw more civility in any country. Nay I have often been surprized at their confidence in strangers, but perhaps these people have been accustomed to slaves, and expect the same servility. mr M—— renders himself very obnoxtiuous in France by an active and officious Zeal in favour of the Aristocracy he has lately been obliged to keep close—for the Jacobines declare that if he was not an American with a commiss[ion] from Washington they would have had his Head upon a Pike long ago. they are astonishd that such a character should be sent them. short tis said is very voilent in Holland. Humphries is really going to marry a Lady of Ample fortune.5 his countrymen who have been in Lisbon speak highly of his polite attention to them, but complain that they are not noticed by others mrs smith had visited mrs Beach who was well and vastly pleasd with England—6 if there is any vessel going from Philadelphia pray write to mrs smith for she complains very much that she does not hear from her Friends. tis uncertain whether she returns in the Spring
I had a Letter to day from Charles he writes me that he had been sick with a fever which prevaild very much in NYork, but was quite recoverd.7 we have had a fortnight of Sad weather here one day very cold the next a warm rain and thaw. this has convinced me that I am still to suffer from my former complaint. I have been attackd with the old intermitting and am still strugling with it.
we have accomplishd drawing home the remainder of the Timber, & shaw has been employd with Faxon & two other hands whom I have hired in getting stuff from the ceadar swamp, in which they have found four or five pine Trees—old & fit for Boards these I have had cut & drawn to the saw mill we hope to get 2 thousand of Boards from them. we still have to cut and draw from the woods Trees for Jistes, but our snow comes & lies only a day or two, by which means we do not accomplish all we wish.
My affectionate Regards to all inquiring Friends tell Benson I do not know what he means by abusing me so, I was always for Equality as my Husband can witness. Love to Thomas, from your affectionate
[signed] Abigail Adams
{ 395 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Vice President of the / United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia / Febry 9th 1792.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. In the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 7 Jan., “Mirabeau” addresses a letter to “Fellow Citizen” Thomas Jefferson, begging him to forgo retirement to continue his work as “the colossus of opposition to monarchial deportment, monarchial arrogance, and monarchial splendor.”
Addressed to members of Congress, the president, and the “Victorious & Patriotic Officers of the French Army,” Cincinnatus’ letters were published in the Philadelphia General Advertiser, 8, 11, 14, 21 January. Cincinnatus takes both George Washington and Congress to task for their failure to compensate fairly former members of the Continental Army, arguing that “the present government has been liberal to the late army in nothing but neglect and contempt” (11 Jan.).
Beginning the previous September, the Boston Independent Chronicle had been publishing a lengthy series of articles entitled “The Crisis,” signed “A Republican,” which would eventually total fourteen installments, concluding in Aug. 1793. The wide-ranging pieces cover various topics, including trade and commerce, taxation, public credit, the Indian War, economic relations with Europe, and the establishment of a national bank. The author attacks Alexander Hamilton as a “superficial financier” (15 Nov. 1792) and disputes the efficacy of many of his policies, especially his support of national and branch banks over state banks (Independent Chronicle, 6, 27 Sept.; 11, 25 Oct.; 1, 15, 30 Nov.; 10, 24 Jan. 1793; 7 Feb.; 26 April; 18, 25 July; and 8 Aug.).
2. The article by Stephen Colonna appeared in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 20 Dec. 1792. It complains of the poor treatment of Antifederalists, “excluded from any places of honour or emolument,” concluding, “And be assured, the awakened wrongs, and the active resentment of a hundred thousand men are not easily done away, or alleviated.” The Adamses’ “former” friend from Plymouth was James Warren.
3. Publius’ article, which was printed in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 10 Jan. 1793, decried Stephen Colonna's piece as “indecent and intemperate invective . . . a libel on the government and people of the United States.” Mercy Otis Warren's play The Ladies of Castile, written in 1784, was published in Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous, Boston, 1790, Evans, No. 23035. Publius quotes from Act II, scene v, lines 42–45: “’Tis all a puff—a visionary dream— / That kindles up this patriotic flame; / ’Tis rank self love, conceal'd beneath a mask / Of public good.” Mr. Davis was probably Caleb Davis (1738–1797), a Boston merchant and Federalist who had been a delegate to the Massachusetts state ratifying convention (Doc. Hist. Ratif. Const., 4:xxxv; 5:909).
4. Not found.
5. David Humphreys eventually married Ann Frances Bulkeley, the daughter of a wealthy English merchant, in Lisbon in 1797 (Colonial Collegians).
6. Sarah Franklin Bache (1743–1808), Benjamin Franklin's daughter, had served as his hostess until his death in 1790. She and her husband, Richard Bache, visited England in 1792 (Notable Amer. Women).
7. Not found, but on 20 Jan. 1793, CA wrote to JA, “I have but just now recovered from an attack of the epidemical fever which has for some time past raged in this City. It confined me somewhat more than a week to my chamber” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0228

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-02-09

Abigail Adams Smith to Abigail Adams

It is with very great pleasure that I address you, my dear mamma, from this place again. You will be as agreeably surprised as our friends here were, the evening before the last, to see us, and find us { 396 } safe at New-York; for our arrival was wholly unexpected to them. We avoided informing our friends of our intentions, knowing that their anxious solicitude for our safety would render them unhappy. We left England the 23d of December, in the Portland packet, at a season when our friends there thought we were almost out of our senses.1 But we have been highly favoured, having had a very pleasant passage—not knowing what cold weather was until a day or two before we landed; we neither saw nor experienced the want of a fire during our passage; and for three weeks had such warm weather that we were obliged to sleep with our windows open in the cabin. Our course was to the southward as far as the latitude of 30 degrees, and we were greatly favoured in coming upon our own coast. I can scarcely realize that it was mid-winter. We have all been very well upon our passage; the children look finely, and Col. Smith is very well; for myself, I was never so well at sea before. We had an excellent ship and a good captain; our accommodations were convenient; we had four poor expatriated French priests, on their route to Canada, as fellow-passengers, but they did not incommode us, we having two cabins. We had a passage of 45 days, and feel ourselves quite at home again. You would have been amused to have seen the meeting in Dey-street; surprise and joy were the most prominent sensations.   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
They could scarce believe their eyes; it was between eight and nine o’clock when we landed. But it is time to tell you the cause of our leaving England, which was the prospect of a war on the ocean in the spring, and we did not like the idea of crossing it with bullets whizzing round our heads. Some business, also was an inducement.
England informs France that if they attempt to open the navigation of the Scheldt, that they shall join the Dutch; this is the ostensible cause for arming, which they are doing with great vigour.2 But they dread internal commotions, and are fortifying the Tower, directing the guns upon the city, preparing to build barracks in the Royal Exchange—placed a double guard at the Bank; breaking up all societies for reforms of Parliament, and forbidding, by proclamations, the meeting of all societies who call themselves republicans; burning Tom Paine in almost every capital town in England in effigy, with the rights of man in one hand, and a pair of old stays in the other. In short, doing just what he wishes, I presume, making him of more consequence than his own writings could possibly effect. He is falling off pretty much in France.
Col. Smith sets off on Tuesday for Philadelphia. I shall remain { 397 } here. I shall have a strong inclination to make you a visit, for I must be a visiter until May, as we have no house. We think to take one in the country for the summer. If you were in Philadelphia, I should soon be with you. I hear my father has quite renewed his youth, and that he is growing very popular; that the abuse is directed to another quarter.
Remember me to my brother, and all other friends, and believe me, / Your affectionate daughter,
[signed] A. Smith.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:115–117.
1. The packet Portland, Capt. James, arrived in New York on 8 Feb. after a 45-day voyage from Falmouth, England (New York Journal, 9 Feb.).
2. In the wake of victories by the French Army, France declared war on both Great Britain and the Netherlands on 1 February. The British had rejected France's request for neutrality the previous fall, feeling threatened by France's re-opening of the Scheldt River after the French seizure of Antwerp—in violation of an agreement among the Dutch, British, and Prussians giving the Dutch exclusive rights to it—and by the execution of Louis XVI. Before AA2 and WSS left England, George III “had thought it prudent to order an addition to his naval armament, and a speedy equipment, and a general inspection and embodiment of the army and militia, to enable him to support, on all emergencies, a respectable defensive, or in case of treaty obligation, to be able to fulfill them &c. &c.” (Bosher, French Rev., p. 182–183; Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:418; New York Journal, 9 Feb.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0229

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1793-02-10

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear Child

I received yesterday by way of Nyork your kind Letter of two dates october 28 & Novbr 8th a fortnight before I received a Letter sent by captain Bunyan I wrote you by mrs Jeffry & once since by way of Liverpool2 I designd to have written by the last vessel which saild in decbr but I waited to see how the Election would turn for v. P & the vessel saild without my getting a Letter on Board. no old Country has perhaps exhibited more intrigue & falshood than the Clintonian Party have done to influence this Election the Antifeaderal Party throughout N York Virginna North Carolina & Gorgia were indefatagable not to have any Scattering votes but to unite in one Man that he might be the more formidable competitor.3 in order to accomplish this they Represented the v. P. as a Man who by his conduct and his writings was endeavouring to introduce a Government of Kings Lords & commons, as a high Aristocrat, & Clinton as a man opposed to this system, the best Friend to the Libeties of the Country quite a democrat.4 the Party tried their Arts in N England but they were rejected with disdain and ten States tho not the most { 398 } Numerous gave an almost unanimous vote, only 2 dissenters. their were a Number of very well written Peices upon the subject publishd in Fennos Gazett but mr Freaneu was all the time publishing the grosest falshood & abuse & that paper alone was circulated through the southern states with as much assiduity as ever Pains Rights of Man were by the Revolution society. the Jacobines as they have been justly termd considerd one Man in their way—could he be removed and in his stead the Personal Enemy of Hamilton Elected, then could they overthrow him & with him all his systems & Plans together with the constitution Such is the spirit of a Party who are mad with the cry of Liberty and eaquality, yet have they no Clergy to level no Nobilitity to anihilate all are intitled to the same natural Liberty have equally the protection of the Laws & Property is in the hands of so numerous a Body of the people that they cannot strike at that without striking at a majority of the people. they have no real cause of complaint,5 yet are they continually abusing the Government the officers of Government & Since the new Election they attack the President in an open & insolent Manner—abuse him for his Leves6 his Birth days & because he does not mix in society, abuse him because he does not advocate a further compensation to the officcers of the Army & even tell him that a greater misfortune cannot befall a country than the unanimous suffrace of his Countrymen as it tends to render him self important & supercilious and creates a Belief that the safety of the Government rests upon one Man—alass poor humane nature.7 yet how angry are they with the only Man who has had the courage to point out to them the Nature and disposition of the humane Heart, to tell them the concequence resulting from a Government not properly balanced & proving this doctrine by a Labourous reserch into Government both ancient & Modern the most virulent party Man of them all has not however dared to impeach eitheir the Honour the Honesty or the integrity of the v. P nor have they once charged him with seeking popularity. they are not all so honest as a Robert Levingstone of N york who said nothing vexd him so much in all the French Revolution & in the advocates for it here, as to see the fools by their conduct playing the Game into the Hands of that there mr Adams and proving the truth of his Books.8 Why said Benson to whom the observation was made, mr Adams reads the scriptures and he reads there that Man is as stupid as the wild Asses colt, mr Adams does not write the scriptures he only reads and believes. but enough of this. your { 399 } Father Lodges at mr otis's where he is as happy as he can be Seperated from his Family. the time is drawing nigh when he will return home for the summer. Thomas got through the summer better than I expected. he is very agreably Lodgd with a Quaker Lady whose good will he has secured as well as a Numerous Family connextion of Friends, from whom he says he receives every mark of kindness and attention. dr Rush tells him he has made his fortune by attaching the Quakers to him. he says he has found a most agreeable acquaintance with the young people of Both sexes and that the most accomplishd Women he has met with are in that society. forbiden the Amusements of the Gay world they turn their attention to the cultivation of their mind, & he hopes to convince me of the truth & justness of his observations by introducing a Number of them to my acquaintance When ever I reside again in that city.
I spent a fortnight in Boston, in Jan’ry you will be surprizd when I tell you it was my first visit there since my return from Philadelphia, but my Health sufferd such a shock last winter and spring, that I dared not go at all into company. I even found whilst I was there that the small deviations from the Regularity which I had been for several months habituated to affected me more than I could have supposed, and within this week past I have had a more regular & severe attack of the intermitting than for Many Months past. our society at Quincy is small but we enjoy it, and I have our good cousin Betsy smith who Nursd me so kindly last winter with me Louissa is my companion Polly Tailor my chamber maid a hired man & woman who Love each other cordially & mean matrimony soon; James is my Postilion & Prince my footman I ought not to have forgotten Becky Tirril whom I have taken to bring up in the List of my domesticks, all of whom are Good in their Particular Provinces9 these constitute my domesticks and I have not lived so quiet a Life so perfectly to my mind Since you made one of a small Family at the foot of Pens Hill in former days— your Brother visits me some times and keeps sunday with me. your venerable Grandmamma who is now sitting by me desires me to present her kind Love to you and tell you she longs to see you & the dear Boys. she has her Health better than for several years past which I in some measure attribute to the attention I have been able to pay to her this winter. your Friend mrs Guile is disconsolate. she has retired with her daughter to malbourough taken a chamber in a House next to her sister Packard, where she refuses to be comforted, will not { 400 } see her acquaintance or mix at all in society.10 her two sons She has placed with mrs Cranch who has a young Clergyman as a preceptor to them and Cornelias. I wish my two Grandsons were with them. they are two very likly children Ben both reads & writes well he is very like his Father. Josiah is all the mothers mildness animated with her vivacity. Richard sometimes joins the Party and a droll peice of solidity he is. Mrs Norten spent a day or two with me the last week she desires me to remember her kindly to you, says her conscience accuses her for not writing to you. Lucy has been here there & every where—but at Quincy. I believe she has not been at home more than three weeks for many Months— William is getting fast into Buisness at Haverhill. mrs Guile has laid upon him the Guardianship of her sons. your Aunt Shaw was well when I last heard from her. When I was in Town all your acquaintance inquired kindly after you. Mrs storer always expresses a sincere attachment to you mrs smith is the kind amiable Benevolent woman her last son she named for our dear uncle. she has four children.11 I visited mrs Gill & she sent for me to take Tea we talkd much of her sister and Neice.12 she told me that she felt alone in the world and longd to have her Neice come to this Country. she wisht I would consent to send my son for her and then we would make a match, laughingly said she would propose it to him. she sent her maid up stairs for Marys minature that I might tell her if I thought it a likness I pronouncd it a very good one. she treated me with great Hospitality & politeness & urgd my going to Prince Town next summer— mr Gill was then there. she expresst great anxiety for her Sister and affection for her Neice.—
I hope you will return in the spring. we are a scatterd Family. Charles I had a Letter from last week13 he is still with the Baron whom he speaks of with the sincerest affection and esteem. Remember me affectionatly to the col. tell william I have not any token of remembrance to send him, but he must not forget me I loved his little dog for his sake and John that he shall have the best Lamb in my flock if he will come home & live with me. Josiah Guile says he knows why I love him, because William is near his age & bigness. tell him that Josiah can read in his Testament like a Man
Remember me to all our Friends both in London & Clapham I fear mr Hollis will Root me out of the Hyde if I do not write to him & substitute some French Plant in my Room, but tell him I claim a place there as one of the Rights which belong to me for I have not { 401 } ceased to respect & Love him tho I have been too neglegent in personal assurences of it and tho we do not agree in politicks, we unite in wishing happiness to all Mankind. you will see by our Newspapers how citizen Mad our people are, and what a jubelee they have exhibited for the success of the French Arms over the Prussians & Austerians. when they establish a good Government upon a solid Basis then will I join them in rejoicing, tho the 17 Centry is staind with their crimes & cruelties14
I am my dear daughter most tenderly your / affectionate Mother
[signed] A Adams
Dft (Adams Papers). Printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 359–362.
1. The printed version dates the letter to 11 February.
2. Letters not found.
3. The printed version adds, “and in every State where this party prevailed, they have been unanimous for Clinton. Several of the States were, however, duped by the artifice and lies of the Jacobins, particularly North Carolina. The cry of rights of man, liberty and equality were popular themes.”
4. The printed version reads: “For this purpose they made unfair extracts from his writings, upon which they put their own comments. In one company in Virginia they roundly asserted that he had recommended to Congress to make a son of George the Third, King of America. In another, that he was opposed to the President, and that all the difficulty which he had met with from the Senate originated with him. This story the President himself contradicted. Another was, that the keeping the door of the Senate shut was wholly owing to his influence. In short, there was no end of the arts that were used.”
5. The printed version reads: “yet do we daily see in embryo all the seeds of discord springing up from an elective executive, which, in the course of a few years, will throw this nation into a civil war, and write in letters of blood those very truths which one of their best friends has forewarned them of, and that at the expense of his present popularity. I hope, however, that the period may be so distant that neither he nor his children may behold the dreadful scene.”
6. The printed version also adds, “Mrs. Washington abused for her drawing-rooms.”
7. The printed version reads: “They compare him to a hyena and a crocodile; charge him with duplicity and deception. The President has not been accustomed to such language, and his feelings will be wounded, I presume.”
8. That is, Gilbert Livingston. See JA to AA, 7 Dec. 1792, and note 2, above.
9. Probably Rebeckah Tirrell (b. 1780), daughter of Nathan Tirrell (Sprague, Braintree Families).
10. Elizabeth Quincy Guild's only daughter was Eliza Ann Guild (b. 1789). Elizabeth's husband, Benjamin Guild Sr., had died in the fall of 1792 (Charles Burleigh, The Genealogy and History of the Guild, Guile, and Gile Family, Portland, Maine, 1887, p. 85).
11. William and Hannah Carter Smith had by this time four children: William (b. 1788), Elizabeth Storer (b. 1789), Mary Carter (b. 1791), and Isaac (b. 1792), named for his grandfather Isaac Smith (1719–1787).
12. For Mary Hallowell, see AA to JA, 1 Feb. 1793, and note 6, above.
13. Not found.
14. The printed version concludes: “Time enough for these exultations when they can soberly unite in a form of government which will not leave one man to prey upon and murder his fellow-creature with impunity. When I see them united for their common benefit, and returning to a sense of justice, wisdom, and virtue, then will I rejoice in their prosperity. Until then I mourn over them as a devoted people.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0230

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-02-10

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir.

As I was going to meeting this afternoon a Gentleman met me in the street, and desired me to fill him a writ immediately which he intends to have served as early as possible in the morning. I accordingly did it, and as it is now too late to attend the afternoon service, I think I cannot employ the leisure time thus thrown on my hands better than in giving you an account of the commercial catastrophe now taking place in this Town, which occasioned the singular application to me, that I have just mentioned.— The bubble of banking is breaking, and I am very apprehensive, that it will prove as distressing to this Town, as that of stock-jobbing was about twelve months since, at New-York. Seven or eight failures of considerable consequence have happened within these three days, and many more are inevitable I think, in the course of the ensuing week.1 The pernicious practice of mutual indorsements upon each others notes has been carried as now appears to an extravagant length, and is now found to have involved, not only the principals who have been converting their loans from the bank into a regular trading stock, but many others who have undertaken to be their security. The stagnation of trade produced in the fall of the year by the small-pox; and very much increased by a remarkably open winter, which has not admitted of the usual facility of communication with the Country, upon the Snow, have undoubtedly accelerated this Calamity, which however would have been the more oppressive, the longer it would have been deferred.
These misfortunes, will undoubtedly, give a degree of activity to my particular profession, which has not for several years been allotted to it. But I shall personally derive but very little immediate benefit from it: I see no prospect of its adding much to my business at present; and if it should, there is no satisfaction in thriving by the misery of others
I received last Evening your favour, with a quotation from the Echo, which has been read here as well as the Hartford news-carrier's wit, with pleasure by those who are fond of laughing at the follies of our great man.—2 The Situation of our affairs is such, and the passions and rivalry's of our most conspicuous characters assume an aspect so alarming, that we have indeed much to apprehend for the fate of the Country. It is a subject upon which my { 403 } mind does not dwell with pleasure; and I am the more desirous to keep myself altogether unconnected with political topics, because my sentiments in general I find are as unpopular, as my conduct, relative to the Town-police, or to the theatrical questions. I have no predilection for unpopularity, as such, but I hold it much preferable to the popularity of a day, which perishes with the transient topic upon which it is grounded, and therefore I persisted in refusing to appear at the anarchical dinner which was denominated a civic feast, though I was urged strongly by several of my friends to become a subscriber, upon principles of expediency Those friends disliked the whole affair quite as much as I did, but thought it necessary to comply with the folly of the day.— Upon the whole however, it appears to me that the celebration of that day, has had rather an advantageous than an injurious effect. The specimens of Equality exhibited in the course of it, did not suit the palates of many, who had joined in the huzzaes. The Governor thought proper to be sick, and not attend; and I believe has ventured to express his disapprobation of the proceedings in several particulars.— We have Jacobins enough; but in this instance they overshot themselves, and shewed their teeth and claws so injudiciously, as to guard even the weaker members of the community against them.
My mother spent a fortnight in this Town, in the course of the last month; and I am very happy to find that her health continues so much improved. We hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again in the course of five or six weeks.
I have received, and have now in my hands the whole money, that was due upon Savil's bond, which is cancelled. It will be necessary for you to discharge the mortgage on your return as I have not a power sufficiently ample to authorise me to do it.
I am, my dear Sir, yours with the sincerest / affection.
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “J.Q. Adams / Feb. 10. ansd. 19 / 1793.”
1. JQA further noted in his Diary, “Several failures. Unknown to me but by report” (8 Feb., D/JQA/19, APM Reel 22). The Boston Columbian Centinel, 13 Feb., also commented that one of the failures totaled £14,000 and that “Prudential motives, and the security of equal justice to all bona-fide creditors, were the cause of several recent failures.”
2. “Addressed by the Boy Who Carries the American Mercury, to the Subscribers,” Hartford, 1793, Evans, No. 46684, is usually attributed to Richard Alsop, also the author of The Echo. He makes fun of the French, Antifederalists, and especially John Hancock's opposition to theater in Boston: “Here Plays their heathen names forsake, / And those of Moral-Lectures take; / While, thus baptiz'd, they hope to win / Indulgence for all future sin. / Now Hancock, fired with { 404 } patriot rage, / Proscribes the Morals of the Stage; / Claps Harpur under civil durance, / For having dared, with vile assurance, / By Interludes, and Plays profane, / Pollute the glories of his reign.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0231

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1793-02-16 - 1793-02-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I received your kind Letters of Janry 28 & 30th1 I well recollect receiving a Letter from mr Gerry soon after you went first to France informing me of your being Elected a member of the Phylisophic society in Philadelphia and when you received the volm in England of their transactions, I never could account for not finding your Name with the Members.2 the loss of the Records at that time accounts for it. you will hear before this reaches you of the Transactions in England which I consider the begining [of] Trouble. God only know where it will end, and whether we in this Country shall not be involved in the same whirlpool
Febry 18
Thus far I wrote and was prevented from proceeding last night our son came up from Town with the joyfull tyding of the arrival of the col mrs smith & Family. I received a Letter from her at the same time dated Nyork the col you will have seen before this reaches you, and from him you will learn more particulars Relative to the threadned overturn of England, but I will say no more upon politicks at this Time, as I am not able to write much, and a few domestick concerns occur that I wish to mention. dr Tufts desires me to mention to you Clover seed. he wishes Brisler to inquire the price & if it can be purchased as low as 10 pence or a shilling pr pound to procure a Barrel of it & ship it round tis 18 pence here and he says we shall want some & he will take the rest. an other article I would mention is some Porter & some segars for your comfort and the last is whether it would not be adviseable to purchase a strong Farm Horse in conneticut & let Brisler take home the chaise. our great oxen have performd pretty well while they could be used in the Cart, but in the snow without any leader before them they cured & Hawl, is the carters term in such a manner that they cork themselves and have been useless unless when I could prevail with Faxon to let me have a yoke from the Farm to go with th[em] which he has done when we have sent to the Ceadar swamp [. . .] that broke his two Teams which he keeps constantly employd. Shaw was much { 405 } mortified & begd me to buy him a yoke as he had Hay enough to keep them & could not possibly accomplish the work unless I did. I sent him out to see several yoke, but they were too low in flesh & 55 dollors a pr. he solisited me to let him go to Abington & try I consented and he last night brought home a yoke comeing seven years for which he gave 58 dollors— he says they are right Handsome cattle used to make stone wall kind & smart in very good flesh &c. I hope what I have done will meet your approbation—which will always recompence me for what ever exertions I may make.
I was taken sick on that day twelve month that I was the last year. I have been confined to my Chamber for a week, but have not the Rhumatick complaints which I had last year. the fever rather tends to an intermitting I have been Bled which has lessned the inflamitory symtoms and I hope it will terminate without any long confinement. I have very good Nursing, and tho a deaf I believe a safe Physician3
Mrs smith is desirious of comeing on to pass a Month with me before she goes to Housekeeping perhaps she may so contrive it as to come with you. you will see her soon and settle the accommodation. mr Cranch is well again as usual & sends his Love with many thanks for your kind expressions towards him. I caught the opportunity of writi[ng] whilst sister was gone down to dinner but she schools me for it.
adieu in hopes to see you soon / most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
Love to Thomas I hope he does not feel any Ague complaints
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia / 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JA to AA, 27 and 31 Jan., both above.
2. AA received two letters from Elbridge Gerry on the subject of JA's election to the American Philosophical Society, one of 17 April 1780 and the other of 16 May, both in response to her letter of 13 March (vol. 3:297–299, 323–325, 350). On 26 June 1786, David Rittenhouse sent to JA two copies of the second volume of the transactions of the Society, one for JA and one to be forwarded to Thomas Jefferson (Adams Papers).
3. Dr. Thomas Phipps, for whom see Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 4 July [1790], note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-02-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had Such falls of Snow and rain that I Suppose the Mail has been retarded and I have no Letters; and you may be in the { 406 } same Case. I have written however as regularly as usual. I have no Letters nor Message from our dear Family at N. York Since their arrival excepting a Line from Charles the next morning announcing it.1 another fort night and I shall sett out on my return home I shall make a short stay at N. Y. for fear of worse roads as well as from a zeal to get home. Indeed I have so little affection for that southern State as it has lately become, that the sooner I get thro it the better.
I have a great Mind to send home our furniture. My Salary has become ridiculous, sunk more than half in its Value and about to be reduced still lower by another Million of Paper to be emitted by a new Bank of Pensilvania.2 Before I was aware I got abominably involved in debt and I shall not easily get out.— by I will be no longer a Dupe. The hospitality of Philadelphia would have kept me, the whole Winter at Dinner with one Family and at Tea and Cards with another: but I have made it a rule to decline all Invitations excepting Such as came from Families where I had never dind before, and excepting once with the senators who have families here, once with our Ministers of State and once with foreign Ministers. It has been Employment enough to write apologies in Answer to Invitations. I should have been down with the Ague long before now if I had accepted Invitations to Evening Parties. I never dine out without loosing the next nights Sleep, which shews that there is still a disposition to a fever.
I live in terror least the State of Europe should force the President to Call Congress together in summer. I am not without hopes however that the national Convention of France will give England Satisfaction about Holland, the Austrian Netherlands and the Scheld, that We may still be blessed with Peace: but if there should be war We shall be intrigued into it, if possible.
The Personal hatreds and Party Animosities which prevail here, have left me more in tranquility than any other Person. The Altercations between the humble Friends of the two or three Ministers have done no service to the Reputation of either. The S. of the Treasury has suffered as much as the Secretary of State. Ambition is imputed to both, and the Moral Character of both has Suffered in the Scrutiny. They have been sifted by Satan like Wheat and all the Spots that have been discoverd have been circulated far and wide. I am afraid that Hamiltons Schemes will become unpopular, because the State Legislatures are undermining them and Congress will be obliged either to let them fall in the Publick opinion, or to support them by measures which will be unpopular. Hamilton has been { 407 } intemperately puffed and this has excited green Eyed Jealousy and haggard Envy. Jays Friends have let Escape feelings of Jealousy as well as Jeffersons. And it is very natural. Poor me who have no Friends to be jealous, I am left out of the Question and pray I ever may.
Yours tenderly
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Febry—17 1793.”
1. Not found.
2. On 5 Feb., the Penn. house of representatives began consideration of a bill to create a new Bank of Pennsylvania. The bank, as signed into law on 30 March, initially offered $3 million in capital stock (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 9 Feb., 3 April).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-02-17

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

I have not answered your favour of 31. of Jan. nor that which announced the Arrival of your Brother and Sister.

Justum et tenacem Propositi Virum

Non Civium Ardor prava jubentium

Non Vultus instantis Tyranni

Mente quatit Solida,

was repeated by Cornelius De Wit on The Rack and in torture; as you may See in Cerisiers Tableau.1 I know not whether the Rack is to be borne or not; but I know, the most disgusting, Sickening, disheartening grieving, provoking, irritating Feeling of the soul, is excited, by the Meanness, the Baseness of political Lies and popular Injustice. There is no Country upon Earth where the People will hear and read this contemptible Ribaldry with so little Resentment, or so much malignant Pleasure against their best Men. The hornets, the Wasps the Fleas, the Lice and the Ticks are now Stinging the President and if the People bear it, they deserve to be eaten by Fleas, as you was in Spain.
We Shall See next fall, how Parties will Stand; if Congress Should not be called together Sooner. The War in Europe may compel an earlier Session.

Weigh well your part, and do your best

Leave to your maker all the rest,

I read last night in the Almanack and cannot give you a better precept.— Another very good rule from the Same respectable Authorty is
{ 408 }

He who contracts his swelling Sail

Eludes the Fury of the Gale.

another still is worth transcribing

Regard the World with cautious Eye

Nor raise your Expectation high.

Life is a Sea, where Storms must rise

’Tis folly talks of cloudless Skies.2

I had, from your Letter, entertained hopes of seeing Mr Smith here before now: but the Roads must be so bad that I now despair of it. My Love to him, your sister, and my dear little Boys. I must make but a Short Stay at New York, on my return. My affairs at Quincy require my Attention, and Presence.
I envy no Man but the Baron and General Gates. If I had a Steuben, I would remove with all my Family and live upon it.—3 I could yet cutt down Trees and clear Land, which I am convinced is the happiest Employment of human Life. If you ever was present at Stubbing Bushes and burning them you must have felt it. hunting deers is not so transporting to a Savage, as clearing Land to a Farmer. Feeding Cattle, which is very pleasant is not equal, to the Work of Creation in the Woods which converts a Forrest into a fruitful field. War, Negotiation, Legislation, Administration hide your diminished heads, in Comparison with Husbandry for a happy Life. a Proportion of Solitude is essential to happiness. Man was not made nor borne to be alone it is true: nor was he born to be always in Company. Alternate Retirement and Society is the only System of Wisdom. so thinks and so will Act your affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams.”; docketed: “Vice President.”
1. For Antoine Marie Cerisier's Tableau de l’histoire générale, see vol. 4:81. Cornelius de Witt, a seventeenth-century Dutch official and brother of grand pensionary Johan de Witt, was falsely accused of planning an assassination attempt against William III, Prince of Orange. Refusing to admit guilt even under torture, de Witt was found not guilty but was nonetheless deprived of his offices and sentenced to exile. Before that could take place, he and his brother were murdered by members of the civic guard loyal to the prince (Rowen, Princes of Orange, p. 120, 127–129). See also JA, Papers, 10:354, 355, 438; 13:416, 424.
2. All of the quotations, in somewhat different order, come from Nathaniel Cotton, “Content. Vision IV,” Visions in Verse, London, 1751, lines 153–154, 147–148, 138–139, 145–146.
3. Like Baron von Steuben, Gen. Horatio Gates