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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9

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).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.