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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9

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.
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.