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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9


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 had retired to a large estate just north of New York City in 1790. Rose Hill Farm included a “large & handsome” house and a “garden which was filled with every variety of the best & choicest fruit” (Paul David Nelson, General Horatio Gates: A Biography, Baton Rouge, La., 1976, p. 287–288).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0234

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1793-02-19 - 1793-02-20

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I have this moment received your kind favor of the 17th. I am not ignorant that dayly abuse is poured upon not only the officers of Government, but even upon the President himself who heretofore has been exempted from public attacks of this nature. I console myself by reflecting that the authors of these libels are a few hirelings of Antifederalism in the City of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Gazetts it is true circulate through the Union, but our Printers in this City have sense enough not to reprint their scandal and I should never have heard of it but from you and several friends who have remarked it at the Seat of Government This City has shown itself in the late election for Representative to be disgusted at the men and measures of the Antifederal party The majority of votes for Mr Watts are beyond the calculation of any one a majority of eleven hundred cannot fail to do honor to the politicks of this City.1 Peculiarly unfortunate is this City in being destitute of men who are able and willing to serve them in public Mr Watts is not the man who should represent us in Congress and this is the opinion of a great many of the people He is a well meaning man but not a shining character. what can be said! We had the choice between a vilain and an honest man.
The principal subject of conversation is respecting the minister who is on his voyage from the French Republic to the United States.2 Various opinions are advanced with regard to his reception. Some say that we cannot but receive him out of a principle of gratitude to France who was so early in acknowledging our Independence! but should we carry this so far as to draw all the Nations of Europe into a war with us? Can we receive a minister who comes from we know not who? England and Holland must join against the French in the Spring if they insist upon opening the Scheld And can they resist so many formidable [. . .]? Where are the treasures which can keep up [. . .] when according to statement the last event [. . .] and the troops who were but three months in the field cost France nineteen million Sterling it is impossible! the mines of Peru would not suffice. Is there no delay which can be employed to put this reception off? I know very well that Our Government will be urged I hope not forced to commit themselves by such a measure.
{ 410 }
Feby 20
By the Bristol which arrived last evening we have accounts from Europe to the 25th of Decr It appears that great exertions are making by the Emperor Russia and the rest of the combined powers The Emperor alone sends three hundred and fifty thousand men into the field.3 That Genl Miranda was at Antwerp and the French flag was flying in that port That the Dutch were in consternation fearing an invasion every moment.4 We have also received a number of resolutions of the National convention which are somewhat extraordinary. They swear never to lay down their arms till all the Nations of Europe shall have tasted the sweets of liberty. This is one among a number equally extraordinary They have decreed that the whole family of the Bourbons shall be exiled except those who are in confinement in the Temple, and even the monkey trick of Monsr Egalité has been of no service to him he is indicded with the rest.5 The National Convention by their proceedings appear little less unreasonable than the Assembly. This I think is very certain that while their present ideas remain they can never hope for tranquillity though they should be the Conquerors of Europe.
Will the new Congress be called together on the fifth of March? I think we should look round us While so universal a war pervades Europe we ought not to be asleep?
I am my dear father with every sentiment / of respect your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States— / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “C. Adams / ansd. 27. Feb. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. John Watts (1749–1836), speaker of the N.Y. State Assembly, defeated William S. Livingston by a vote of 1,872 to 707 (Biog. Dir. Cong.; New York Daily Gazette, 21 Feb.). See also CA to JA, 26 Dec. 1792, and note 5, above.
2. For Edmond Charles Genet, the recently appointed French minister to the United States, see JA, D&A, 2:355.
3. Emperor Francis II (1768–1835) succeeded his father, Leopold II, as leader of the German empire on 1 March 1792 (Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:398; 13:table 33). Reports brought in from the ship Bristol, dated Vienna, 24 Nov., indicated that by the end of that month, the Austrian Army intended to have 360,000 soldiers participating in the campaign against France (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 23 Feb. 1793).
4. Gen. Francisco de Miranda (1750–1816) was born in Venezuela. He had served with the French in the American Revolution and now led a portion of their army alongside Dumouriez. The French had occupied Antwerp in December (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Cambridge Modern Hist., 8:417).
5. At a meeting of the National Convention on 15 Dec., the assembly determined that “The Generals in all those countries, which are, or may be occupied by our armies, shall immediately proclaim in the name of the { 411 } republic, the abolition of the ancient contributions, nobility, taxes, feudal rights, real and personal servitude, the exclusive right of hunting and fishing, and all privileges. They shall declare to the people, that they bring them peace, liberty and fraternity.” It also established new administrative bodies and representative assemblies and declared, “The French nation swears never to down its arms until the countries into which they have entered shall be free and their liberty secured.”
The next day, the Convention adopted another decree that “All the members of the family of the Bourbons, Capets, except these who are detained at the Temple, shall quit the Department of Paris in 24 hours, and in three days the territories of the Republic and the countries in which the French armies presently are.”
For Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc d’Orléans, who now called himself Philippe Égalité, see vol. 7:156. At this time, after considerable debate, he was exempted from the decree requiring all members of the royal family to leave France but was executed later in 1793 (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 23 Feb.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0235

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-02-19

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My son

I have great Satisfaction in your Letter of the 10th. The Breaking of the Bubble of Banks would be a Blessing if it could teach our People to beware of all other Bubbles. But I fear We shall have a Succession of them. I hope however at least they will teach you caution.
“The Rivalries of our most conspicuous Characters” are such as human Nature produces under the Cultivation of such a Constitution as ours, and they never will be less. If they should have the Effect to convince this nation of one of the most obvious, Simple, certain and important Truths vizt [“]The Necessity of Subordination—in Society” it will be well. if otherwise We must have Anarchy.
Your Sentiments will not always be unpopular; if they are you will have nothing to loose, if you have nothing to gain, for no Man will be able to call his Life Liberty Reputation or Property his own. I Should not advise you to indulge any uncommon Ardour or distinguished Zeal about the Town Police or Theatrical Questions. in you it must be hypocricy to pretend to any other sentiments than those you have manfully expressed.
Your refusal to appear at the delirious Dinner, I cannot but approve. It will do you no harm in the End.
I am afraid your Mother caught her Ague at Boston: but so it must be.
I shall see you in 3 or 4 Weeks at farthest I hope.
Col Smith is here but not in good health: your sister and Nephews are well. so is your Brother Thomas and / your affectionate father
[signed] J A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0236

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-02-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

my Last Letter was written to you in Bed I write this from my chair, my fever is leaving me and I am mending So that I can set up the chief of the day. the dr says it was the unexpected News of mrs smiths return that had so happy an effect upon me as to Break my fever. I am languid & weak but hope to be well by the Time you return. I shall forward my next Letter to you, to be left at N york as it might not reach you in Philadelphia if you set out as soon in March as you propose. I would mention to you your Coupons for the year least it should slip your mind.1 I believe I mentiond in my last all that I could think of respecting domestick concerns. our Weather is so changeable that it retards the kind of Buisness which I should be glad to have compleated. this week we have had floods of rain, which has carried of the chief of the heavy snow which fell the week before. o I forgot to mention to mr Brisler to cut me some of the weeping willows, & put on Board any of the vessels comeing this way, some of mr Morriss peach tree Grafts. we have some young plumb trees which will answer for stocks.2 your Brother told me on monday Evening that the senate had made choice of mr Strong; I presume the House will concur tis an ill wind which blows no good to any one. the late failures in Boston have thrown Some buisness into the hands of our son he is well and grows very fat.
present me affectionatly to all my Friends particularly to mrs Washington whom I both Love and respect. Remember me to mrs otis and tell her that her sister Betsy complains that she does not write to her. a kiss to miss Harriot, tell her she must find out how I sent it. your Mother desires to be rememberd to you. one day last week whilst I was the most sick, the severest N East snow storm came that we have had through the winter. we could not pass with a carriage, and I desired my People not to let her know how ill I was as she could not get to See me, but no sooner was there a foot tract than she put on stockings over her shoes, and I was astonishd to hear her voice below stairs. she has had better health than for some years past
Adieu all Friends send their Regards / ever yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the / United States. / Philadelphia.”; docketed: “AA 1793.”
1. On 1 March, JA, as a subscriber to the sixth Dutch-American loan of 2 March 1791, sent to Wilhem and Jan Willink coupons that entitled him to interest on his investment. JA { 413 } asked that the money be shipped to Cotton Tufts in the form of gold or Spanish dollars (JA to Wilhem and Jan Willink, 1 March 1793; Willinks to JA, 22 April, both Adams Papers; Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment, 2:1086–1091).
2. Probably Robert Morris, who has been credited with the development of two varieties of peaches: “Morris's White Freestone” and “Morris's Red Free Stone” (George Lindley and Michael Floy, A Guide to the Orchard and Fruit Garden, N.Y., 1852, p. 189).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-02-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am so anxious for your health, Since you inform'd me of the return of your Intermittent, that I shall take the Stage on Monday for N. York, but whether I shall go by the Packet to Providence, or continue in the Stage to Boston, I know not. This will depend upon the Wind and other Circumstances to be learn'd at N. York.
C. Smith is here in good health. He is returned from France and England, almost a Revolutionist, if not quite. The Fermentation in Europe distresses me, least it should take a turn which may involve Us in many difficulties. Our Neutrality will be a very delicate Thing to maintain: and I am not without Apprehensions that Congress or at least the Senate may be called together in the summer if not earlier. however We must be prepared as well as We can for Events.
The Attorney General, in opening the Information to the Jury, at the Tryal of Mr Paine, was pleased to quote large Passages from Publicola, with Some handsome Compliments: so that Publicola is become a Law Authority. Mr Erskine in his Answer cryed, Well, let others do like Publicola answer the Book not prosecute the author.1
I am weary of reading Newspapers. The Times are so full of Events, the whole Drama of the World is such a Tragedy that I am weary of the Spectacle. Oh my Sweet little farm, what would I not give to enjoy thee without Interruption? But I see no end to my Servitude, however the nations of Europe and even of Africa may recover their Liberty.
Hamilton has been Sufficiently fatigued with demands for Statements and Information. I hope his health will hold out, and his Character be Supported: but We have broad hints of what may be expected by, Executive Officers, who depend upon an Elective head, from Elective Legislatures. Ambitious Members of a Legislature will too easily run down the Popularity of Ministers of State, or I am egregiously mistaken. But Ca ira.
France will Soon Shew Us Examples enough of Ministers falling { 414 } before ambitious Legislatures, if she has not exhibited enough already. Calonne Neckar, Montmorin and 20 others, where are they?2
I am, my dear, most tenderly your
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “Febry 27th 1793.”
1. Thomas Paine's first part of the Rights of Man, published in London in March 1791 and reprinted in the United States in May, elicited JQA's response as Publicola the following month. Paine's publication in 1792 of the second part of Rights of Man, which was more widely distributed than the first part and considered a threat to the British monarchy, resulted in Paine's being charged with seditious libel. He appeared in court in June, but the trial was postponed until December. Attorney general Archibald Macdonald led the successful prosecution. Thomas Erskine (1750–1823), an opposition leader and attorney general to the Prince of Wales, represented Paine, who did not attend (DNB).
TBA reported similar news to JQA in a letter of 26 Feb. 1793, in which TBA noted that he had obtained information about the trial from a pamphlet entitled The Whole Proceedings on the Trial of an Information Exhibited Ex Officio by the King's Attorney-General against Thomas Paine, London, 1793, which he quoted at length to JQA (Adams Papers). See also TBA to AA, 27 May [1792], note 5, above.
2. Charles Alexandre de Calonne, the former French controller general of finances, had successfully emigrated to England, and Jacques Necker, the former director general of finances, had retired to his home on Lake Geneva. Armand Marc, Comte de Montmorin de Saint-Herem, one of King Louis XVI's advisors and a former ambassador to Spain, had been arrested and killed by a mob in Aug. 1792 (Bosher, French Rev., p. xxviii, l, li).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0238

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1793-02-28

Abigail Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My dear Mrs Smith.

I wrote to you by your brother making a proposal to you which you might not consider me in earnest about—1 Since then I have two additional motives to request the Cols consideration and your's of the subject. If setting aside family connexions it is with respect to business a matter of indifference which city you reside in I certainly could wish it might be Philadelphia for four years to come. The late vote respecting salary will certainly prevent our becoming Housekeepers there in public life. We have suffered too much already by being involved in debt at the close of the four years and obliged to give up our house, dispose of one pair of horses and in other respects retrench our expenses. The five thousand dollars at this period is not in the purchase of any article of life more than half equal to what it was at the time it was first granted— Knowing as I do what the expense of living there as well as here is I cannot think of seeing your father again subjected to the like inconvenience—yet to live half the year separated of the few years which I have reason to think are remaining to me is a sacrifice that I do not consider at this day my duty— I shall not make any observation upon past services or { 415 } my own estimation of things— I will conform to what is and should be glad to enjoy the Society of my family as much as I can. My furniture is stored in Philadelphia. If the Colonel and you think it inconsistent with your arrangements and prejudicial to his affairs to reside in Philadelphia I shall think it best after consulting your Father to order the furniture home, though I know not what to do with the greater part of it. I should be tempted to sell what I have not room for if I did not know that it must be at a great loss. If you think proper to go there I will endeavor to have it stored till such time as you might incline to take a house there— If we take lodgings with you, ’tis probable that our family will not exceed five persons, and we could I presume make such arrangements as would render each of us happy— I will not again take charge of a family and sacrifice my health in that city as I have done— Though a small family we are and always have been a scattered flock, my infirm state of health leads me to wish for those pleasures which domestic life affords. I love society, but ’tis the rational not the dissipated which can give true delight.
I fear the roads will be so bad as to prevent your coming to see me so soon as I wish but in April the passage by way of Rhode Island will be both pleasant and safe and as you are an old and experienced sailor you will find that way much pleasanter than by land and much less fatiguing.
Let me, my dear daughter, hear from you as often as possible remember me affectionately to all friends
Your's most tenderly
[signed] A. Adams.
Tr in CFA's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0239

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

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

Your Letter from your Sick Chamber if not from your Sick bed, has made me so uneasy that I must get away as soon as possible.—1 Monday Morning at Six, I am to Sett off in the Stage, but how many days it will take to get home will depend on the Roads, and or the Winds. I dont believe Nabby will go with me. Her Adventurer of an Husband is so proud of his Wealth that he would not let her go I suppose without a Coach and four, and such Monarchical Trumpery I will in future have nothing to do with. I will never travel but by the { 416 } Stage nor live at the seat of Government but at Lodgings, while they give me so despicable an Allowance.— shiver my Jibb and start my Planks if I do.
I will Stay but one night at New York. Smith says that my Books are upon the Table of every Member of the Committee for framing a Constitution of Government for France except Tom Paine, and he is so conceited as to disdain to have any Thing to do with Books.
Although I abused Smith, a little above he is very clever and agreable: but I have been obliged to caution him against his disposition to boasting. Tell not of your Prosperity because it will make two Men mad to one glad; nor of your Adversity for it will make two Men glad to one Sad.— He boasts too much of having made his fortune, and placed himself at his ease; above all favours of Government.2 This is a weakness, and betrays too little knowledge of the World: too little Penetration; too little discretion. I wish however that my Boys had a little more of his Activity— I must soon treat them as The Pidgeons treat their Squabs—push them off the Limb and make them put out their Wings or fall. Young Pidgeons will never fly till this is done.
Smith has acquired the Confidence of the French Ministry and the better sort of the Members of the national Convention: but the Executive is too changeable in that Country to be depended on, without the Utmost caution.
Adieu, Adieu, tendrement
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Portia”; endorsed: “March 2d 1793.”
1. AA to JA, 16 Feb., above.
2. WSS's ongoing land speculation had provided the Smith family with considerable wealth at this time. Also, WSS had visited Paris in late 1792 and agreed to serve as the French government's agent in the United States, tasked with negotiating full and immediate payment of America's outstanding debt to France (Colonial Collegians; Jefferson, Papers, 25:243–245).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0240

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-03-02

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I am grieved to hear of the fresh return of your old persecuter the Ague; I had flattered myself that the Air & Climate of New England would chase away all Billious complaints. I am suspicious that the Bark of which so free use is made in this disorder will not effectually remove it, at least I have found it the case with myself. There is a weed known here by the name of Cardis, which is much used in this disorder, and I think it has proved serviceable to me; I can't { 417 } recollect ever to have heared of it in Massachusetts, but wish you could get some of it for trial.1 My own health has been better this, than the last winter, but I have periodical returns of what I think the seeds of an Ague. However I don't live in continual dread of it—if it comes I must stand the charge, & endeavor to conquer it.
The arrival of Col: & Mrs: Smith was unexpected, but not the less agreeable. The Col, has been, & still is, in this City; I rejoice to hear of his success, which (he says and I have no reason to suspect the truth of it) has placed him & his Family in eligible circumstances. You will have the satisfaction to see them & learn more fully the circumstances—
I wrote you some time since concerning our furniture, & wish you to think what arrangements will be most proper, so that I may know in season what measures to take— Nothing is determined concerning them, and (as usual) you must be applied to in the last resort.
The old business of hunting down the secy of the Treasury has employed a considerable share of the present session, of which this is the last day— He has risen superior to all the unmanly insinuations that have been promulged against him; and it must be the ardent prayer of every honest patriot that he may still maintain his superiority. My Father will inform you the tenor of Giles's Resolutions which have been canvassed the three last days; It will suffice for me to say that so far as I hear they are universally condemned; and the large majority against them, speaks the truth of my information.
Your good friend Mrs: Powell, directs me to give her love: to you, and to say, that I am a very sad young man, for not visiting her Family; this is what Mr. Hill calls a homely compliment to me; and I might say with great truth, (as I did last night to him in his own house) had it come from him, that with him it was certainly homely.2 I must relate this little anecdote for your amusement, otherwise you won't understand what I meant above. A party, of whom I had the honor to make one, were invited to sup with Mr: Hill on the 1st: of March. It consisted of Col & Mrs: Hamilton; Genl & Mrs: Knox, Mr & Mrs: Wolcott, Mr: Breck & Family, Mr. & Mrs: Peters Mr: Dalton and Family & Col. Smith; the younger class, were Mr: & Mrs. G Harrison, Miss Knox Miss Patty Meredith Miss Peggy Clymer, and one or two others, beside four or six young Gentlemen;3 after dancing a little and making merry we were called to a splendid supper which was not a little enlivened by the presence of Judge { 418 } Peters who sung one or two fine songs—the greater part of the company retired at half past eleven, and at twelve all were gone except Miss Meredith & Miss Clymer, whose carriage had not arrived; I perceived these young Ladies had come without a gallant and therefore requested permission to see them safe home. The ladies grew impatient; we were some what fatigued by dancing, and I belive, (at4 least I speak for myself) had rather more inclination for the pillow of repose, than for the company of the Graces, (including Mr. Hill) during this suspence, endeavoring to keep each other awake, we indulged in what Mr. Hill termed homely compliments, and when he made the remark he happened to address Miss Meredith. Without adverting to the particular appropocity of the pun, of which Mr Hill is remarkably fond, I observed that those compliments coming from him were most assuredly homely, meaning only, that as he was in his own house, they implied hospitality, of which nature they were, for I think he offered the ladies his embroydered bed—however as ill luck would have it, a young gentleman present took the pun in a different and less favorable sense, and sett up a titter which communicated like wild fire till it was universally understood I preserved my muscles as smooth as the nature of the case would admit, and by a few subsequent observations, strongly emphacised, turned it off tollerably well; & without giving offence. Soon after the carriage for the ladies came, and I had the pleasure to land them safely home at a little past one o Clock.
Thus I have given you a history of one Party of this season, the only one I have attended that afforded even one incident worth relating; in fact I apologise for this, which, if other matter had been so readily at hand, should have supplied its place.
I am your dutifull son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
PS I must request you not to mention this Annecdote of Mr H—— to any one coming to Philada for I should forfeit all his good offices were he to know how I understood the above—
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “T B Adams March / 2d 1793—”
1. Probably carduus, Latin for thistle, which was used for treating pleurisy, inducing vomiting, and other medicinal purposes (OED; E. Smith, The Compleat Housewife; or, Accomplish'd Gentlewoman's Companion, Williamsburg, Va., 1742, p. 195–196, 198, 219, Evans, No. 5061).
2. Henry Hill (1732–1798) was a Philadelphia wine merchant (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:148).
3. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757–1854) of Albany, N.Y., had married Alexander Hamilton in 1780 (Notable Amer. Women).
Oliver Wolcott (1760–1833), Yale 1778, served as comptroller of the U.S. treasury and succeeded Alexander Hamilton as { 419 } secretary of the treasury in 1795. He had married Elizabeth Stoughton (1767–1805) in 1785 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 4:82–85).
Lucy Knox (1776–1854), eldest child of Henry and Lucy Flucker Knox, married Ebenezer Thatcher in 1804 (Thomas Morgan Griffiths, Major General Henry Knox and the Last Heirs to Montpelier, Lewiston, Maine, 1965, p. 48, 73).
Martha Meredith (d. 1817), daughter of Samuel and Margaret Cadwallader Meredith, married John Read, a lawyer, in 1796 (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 28 June 1796; Boston Daily Advertiser, 3 April 1817).
Margaret Clymer (1772–1799), daughter of George and Elizabeth Meredith Clymer, married George McCall in May 1794 (Gregory B. Keen, “The Descendants of Jöran Kyn, the Founder of Upland,” PMHB, 6:213–214 [1882]).
4. Opening parenthesis editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-03-18

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] My son

I had the Pleasure of receiving your favour of the 1st. on Saturday night:1 by your Brother, who has been admitted this Term at the Supreme Court and is rising in Practice as well as in litterary fame.
We cannot be too cautious in forming our Opinions of french affairs, and We ought to be still more Slow in discoursing on them. Our amiable and excellent Friend, the Baron is like many others, too Sanguine in his Expectations of irresistable Combinations against the French Republic, and in his Predictions of Partitions Famine, Civil War &c on the other hand our fellow Citizens in general, have too much Enthusiasm in their Applauses of the present Leaders and too sanguine hopes and assurances of Glory and Tryumph to the Jacobins. at least this is my impulse, who have however small Pretentions to better lights than others.
To me, it has ever been astonishing that The King La Fayette, Rochefaucault &c Should have had So little Penetration as to believe that the late Constitution could endure.
The Report of the late Case in the Supream national Court will soon be made public and the Arguments of the Judges weighed. If it Should be necessary for Congress to interfere by Submitting that part of the Constitution to the Revision of the State Legislatures, they have Authority to do it.2
I congratulate you on the national Complextion of the N. York Representatives, which justifies a hope that So material a part of the northern branch of the Union is not likely to become compleatly a Southern State. I regret with You that Mr Kent is not elected.3 My faith is very faint in the Story of 30 Spanish ships with English Jacks.4
{ 420 }
Although I have no personal Obligations to the King of France, being the only American, accredited to his Court, whom he formally affronted, I do not less acknowledge his Friendship to my Country, nor less regret his unhappy fate. If it were in my Power I would restore him to his Crown and Dignity, well and faithfully limited by a senate and an adequate Representation of the People: for to such a form of Government the Nation must aspire or they will never establish their Liberty. In this opinion I am as Sanguine, as the Baron is in his Predictions, or a Boston Populace, in their civic Rejoicings. possibly as erroneous. The French national Convention, in their Letter to the President have reflected, an honour on me, and a disgrace on the Memory of Franklin, which I believe they never intended. “The United States of America will hardly credit it; the Support which the ancient French Court had afforded them to recover their Independence, was only the fruit of base Speculation; their Glory offended its ambitious Views, and the Ambassadors bore the criminal orders of Stopping the Career of their Prosperity.” Mr Madison and Franklins friends will understand and feel this: but they will prevent the American People from understanding it, if they can. It is a confirmation of my Representations and a Justification of my Conduct: but it is a Refutation of all Franklins corrupt Sychophancy and a severe Condemnation of his Conduct. The N. York News Writers will Suppress this Letter if they can, because it reflects an immortal Glory on Mr Jay.5
Your Mother is better but has had a severe Confinement of five Weeks.
I am &c
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr Charles Adams.”; endorsed: “March 18 1793—”
1. CA wrote briefly to JA on 1 March touching on a variety of topics, including Thomas Paine's trial, the Publicola writings, New York's election of congressional representatives, and a possible Anglo-Spanish alliance against the French (Adams Papers).
2. See TBA to AA, 10 Aug., note 3, below.
3. James Kent (1763–1847), Yale 1781, a Federalist lawyer, had assisted John Jay in the contested gubernatorial election. He was defeated by his brother-in-law Theodorus Bailey in the race to represent Dutchess County, N.Y., in Congress (DAB; New York Daily Advertiser, 28 Feb.).
4. In his 1 March letter to JA, CA noted that “A vessel arrived yesterday from Cadiz which fell in with a fleet of thirty ships of the Line Spaniards. They carried the English Jack with the Flagg of Spain so that this has the appearance of an alliance” (Adams Papers). The Baring, Capt. Cooper, arrived in Philadelphia on 24 Feb., having left Cadiz on 5 January. It reported that at Cadiz “there were several Spanish ships of war sitting out there, and they had an English Jack flying at the top mast head.” Spain, however, did not join the growing European alliance against France until 7 March (New York Daily Advertiser, 28 Feb.; Bosher, French Rev., p. 183).
5. For the letter of the French National { 421 } Convention to George Washington, dated 22 Dec. 1792, see Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 11:538–540. A translation was printed in the New York Diary, 21 Feb. 1793.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0242

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-04-07

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear sir.

I am requested by Mr: Dobson to enquire of you what disposition you desire to be made of your Book's of which he has a considerable supply of Coppies.1 Whether some of them should not be sent to Boston & New York, or whether you would wish them to remain where they are. He thinks you gave him no possitive directions about them before you left the City.
Various events have taken place in France since you left us; and tho’ not unexpected are not the less important. Since the Execution of the King & Queen nothing can be thought too mad or extravagant for the National Convention to commit, and the conjecture is not unfair that the Royal Family is e're this extinct. Every arrival since the death of the King has brought some rumor of war—but no authentic information has come to hand till by the arrival of the Packet at New York, Official Dispatches were received by Mr Hammond of a declaration of war on the part of France against England & Holland. There have been some speculations in our Newspapers relative to the Reception & acknowledgment of the expected Minister from the new Republic: If indeed that can be called a Republic, where no laws exist, or if they do, where there is no power Supreme to enforce obedience to them. The term as applied to France, must signify the actual state of the Country, not the form of its Government—Res-Publica, or the Public Afairs, in confusion. Under any other construction, nothing would be easier than to create a Republic in any Country, for they have only to destroy the existing Government—and they are at once resolved into a Frenchifyed system, which if they chose they may call a Republic.
The propriety of receiving the expected Minister in a public capacity has been doubted; indeed Bache's paper some time ago asserted that the President of the U,S, had resolved not to acknowledge him; but little credit I believe is to be given to this report, considering the quarter from whence it came.2 If there would be no impropriety in commiting your opinion upon this subject to a private letter, I will make a request that it may be directed to me.
I presume the Spring begins to show itself with you by this time, for the Fruit Trees have been in full bloom for some days in this { 422 } City— I hope the warm weather will restore health to my Mother, to whom I present my best love and affection, and remain / your dutiful Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President of the U,S.”
1. Thomas Dobson (d. 1823), a Philadelphia printer and bookseller, was selling copies of JA's Defence of the Const. (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 30 Dec. 1791; Baltimore Patriot, 11 March 1823).
2. Benjamin Franklin Bache's Philadelphia General Advertiser, 27 March 1793, announced, “A report has been prevalent for some days past, that our executive had come to a determination of not acknowledging the minister who is daily expected from France. This report from its nature is not entitled to much credit; we state it, however, as we heard it, leaving it to our readers to stamp its true character.” On the same day, the Philadelphia Federal Gazette chastised Bache for “the attempt . . . to injure the supreme executive. . . . The well-known prudence so characteristic of the president of the United States, would, with a candid mind, have been sufficient to deter the publication of the nature alluded to.”
George Washington and his advisors debated the appropriate reception for Edmond Genet: first, whether or not to receive him at all, and second, if he were received, with what qualifications. They eventually decided unanimously at a 19 April cabinet meeting to indeed receive him but left open the question of qualifications (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 12:392–393, 459).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0243

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1793-04-21

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I have been exceedingly grieved at hearing of our dear Sister Adams's Illness— She was so well in the winter, that I hoped she would have escaped any inconvenience from the return of the fever & ague— When it gets such fast hold of a Constitution, it appears to be a very formidable Disorder, & is attended with very disagreeable Consequences— I have heard she was growing better, & hope by this time, she is enjoying a confirmed state of health— It must give her great Satisfaction to find that her Daughter, & Family have once more escaped the dangers of the Sea, & have arrived safe at New-york— The early return of the Vice President to his Family, must be to her, an additional Source of pleasure— But the Commotions which are taking place in almost every part of the world, will (I fear) make it necessary for the Congress to meet again very soon— Perhaps it will not be possible for the active Genius of America to sit still, & be a silent spectator of those great Events; filling their Coffers, & making their own advantage of the Follies, & Vices of Mankind— But whether we are involved in the War, or not, I know we must suffer, at lest Individuals must— The price of Articles have risen a quarter higher in the course of the last week— Indeed the price of the necessarys of Life, have been very high through the { 423 } whole of the last year, & those whose maintanence is fixed to a stated Sum, must severely feel it—
Have you my Sisters put on any external marks of mourning for the unfortunate Lewis to whom America is so much indebted—1 I am sure you could not read the fate of his unhappy Family without tender regret— It was his misfortune, & seems to be his only crime that he was born, & a King at this particular period of time— Had he have lived in some former age, he might have been idolized, & buried with his ancestors— His virtue, his benevolence, his condescendsion & Lenity was the Cause which effected his Death— The french Nation verified the old Proverb, “Give an Inch, & they will take an Ell—[”] They felt the advantages arising from a greater degree of Knowledge, & Liberty than their Fathers had possessed, but had not virtue enough to sustain, & make a wise use of it— They thought they could not obtain too much of so great a Good— They precipitately made vast strides, & the pendilum of Power has vibrated with such voilence, as has thrown them into such Scenes of horror, & confusion as we now see them— Lewis the 16th. like Charles the 1st. has suffered for wishing to preserve inviolate, those Laws, which there own Subjects had made— unhappily for them, the Temper & spirit of the People was changed, but the Laws were the same— Thus may the greatest Monarchs fall, & their dust mingle with the lowest of their Vassals—

This is the state of Man: to day he puts forth

The tender leaves of Hope; tomorrow blossoms,

And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,

And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

His Greatness aripening, nips his root.”2

Every day we are taught by some Occurrence, or other on what an uncertain tenor, we hold every earthly Enjoyment, & the vanity of building, on less than an immortal basis—
My dear Brother Cranch (I presume) views these political Commotions, with the Eye of a Christian Phylosopher,—as a prelude, & introductory of much greater Events in the moral word— I often wish to hear him converse—
I never wished to read History more in my Life, than now— It was always a Source of Entertainment & Instruction to me— But my dear Sister you must pity me, for my Eyes are so weak, that I fear sometimes I shall be blind— I can read but a few moments before { 424 } my sight is gone, & it makes me sick, & dizzey—3 Thanks to my good Angel, that induced me to lay up a Stock in early life, which (though small indeed) I would not exchange for Gold— I think I should be miserable without it—
Your Son (my Sister) is indeed very dear to me— He is just such a Friend as every one wants near them— I think he is exceedingly like his Father— He made every body love, & respect him
This letter layed last week because I did not love to send it by the Post— I intended to have added more, but Col Hurd is waiting, so I must bid my dear Sister adieu—
[signed] E Shaw—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Quincy—”
1. Enthusiasm in the United States for the French Revolution diminished in the wake of Louis XVI's execution. In Boston, the head and horns of the ox used for the civic feast in January was ceremonially buried in commemoration of the “melancholy fate of the first Princely Hand which was stretched forth to relieve America, in the hour of her distress.” But not everyone was as sympathetic to the king's fate. The Philadelphia National Gazette noted sarcastically, “It is said that the American Royalists have been much embarrassed, as to the manner of evincing the sincerity of their grief for the ‘murder’ of his most Christian Majesty—Whether by muffling the bells in all the large towns and cities, for the space of twelve months at least; or by cloathing themselves in the sable garb of mourners on the occasion. The last mode has met the approbation of a majority; but a respect for men in power, which is characteristic of these mourning gentry, has deterred them from hastily putting their scheme in execution, until the court shall have time to lead the way” (Charles Downer Hazen, Contemporary American Opinion of the French Revolution, Baltimore, 1897, p. 253–259; Massachusetts Spy, 4 April; National Gazette, 23 March).
2. Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth, Act III, scene ii, lines 352–357.
3. Shaw had suffered previously from inflammations of her eyes (vol. 6:500, 506; 8:276).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0244

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-05-05

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother,

Your last letter to me is dated the 18th: of March, since which time I have not heared a single word of the family, either verbally, or in writing.1 We have news from France as late as the 15 of March, and one would think a letter from Quincy might have traveled the distance of 350 miles in the course of seven weeks. ’Tis my happiness, (some may think it a misfortune) not to distress my mind with unpleasant surmises upon such occasions; but I had rather be accused of a little Stoical apathy, than upon every intermission of more than usual duration in the correspondence of my friends, to attribute it to unfavorable causes. Mrs. Smith & her family have all been sick since their return, but I heared nothing of it till they had recovered their health— This may be the case with the Family at { 425 } Quincy, but I hope they have not yet to wait to inform me of their reestablishment— On Friday last the French Frigate which brought the French Minister from Paris came up the Delaware—she had been expected for some days, and when she got up, she saluted the City with fifteen Guns—which were answered from the Shore— There was a vast collection of people on the Wharves who saluted the Vessel with repeated huzza's, which were warmly returned by the Crew— Great numbers went off to the Ship as she lay in the River, and met a most cordial reception from the French Officers— the next day I went on board, but without making my self known I wished merely to gratify my curiosity, and I could do it as well Incog—as if I had been introduced— the officers were civil, and shewed all that was to be seen—which cheifly consisted in 300 dirty Sailors in a dirty vessel, all á la mode de Francàise the Sailors Sing Ci, Ira—and dance the Marselais call each other Citoyen and in short exhibit the true spirit of the Revolution— There are the Crews of seven prizes which she has made since she left France on board, the Captains & mates of which are permited to walk the Deck— So much for L’Ambuscade The Minister has not yet arrived—he comes by land from Carolina—2
Your Friends here desire to be particularly remembered to you, I shall do it however only in this general way, which for civilities like these, is quite sufficient— Indeed I am at a loss to think what the generality of these mighty civil folks would find to say to me, were it not for my absent relations, whose health & wellfare seems to be a never failing source of enquiry & congratulation. I have a method of discovering whether the compliment in such cases is intended for me, or the person enquired for— “Your Father and Mother were well I hope when you heared from them last?” “Sir—or Madam (as the case may be) you do me honor by your friendly enquiries.” If any thing further seems to be expected—I descend into particulars—but for the most part, the conversation seldom goes beyond a proposition & reply—very rarely to a rejoinder— You see I must be in the fashion—I cant avoid a little Scandal
With presenting my best love to all Friends / I subscribe
[signed] Thos B Adams
PS, Mrs. Lynch has heared of the arrival of the Vessel in which her husband went last to Sea, at Boston, and has desired me to make enquiry of Mr Briesler, whether Lynch has returned and { 426 } whether he intends coming to Philada:— The poor woman thinks herself deserted, and I believe nothing gives her more comfort than the prospect of Col & Mrs. Smith's residing here.
Monday 6th:
After I had sealed this Letter I received my Fathers of the 27th: of April—which I will answer in a short time—3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A Adams / Quincy / near Boston.”
1. Not found.
2. Edmond Genet arrived in Charleston, S.C., on the frigate Embuscade on 8 April. Although the ship continued on to Philadelphia, Genet decided to remain in the South and travel overland by carriage, finally reaching the capital on 16 May. During the course of its trip up the eastern coast of the United States, the Embuscade took seven prizes, two of which—the brig Little Sarah and the ship Grange—the crew brought with them to Philadelphia when they arrived on 2 May (Harry Ammon, The Genet Mission, N.Y., 1973, p. 44, 55; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 27 April; Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 4 May).
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0245

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-05-10

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

It is sometime since I have written to you but still longer since I have had a line from my dear father. I do not repine for while you are happy in your feilds I will willingly give up that share of pleasure and instruction which I constantly received from your kind communications. It appears as if this City was fated to be the scene of constant disquietude and jarring cabal no sooner have the inhabitants cooled a little upon one subject than another source of contention arises and they begin with redoubled animosity. This cannot excite our astonishment if we consider the motley complection of the Citizens. A collection from all parts of the Globe The English Irish Scotch Dutch and Germans compose a very numerous body whose peculiar pride consists in fostering their national prejudices. The English Irish and Scotch swarmed to this City where they found a protection which in some States was denyed them.1 By their close connection and mutual assistance many of them are among the richest people. But far from a grateful sense of what they owe and without considering that were they again in their own Countries they would fall from their self opinianative importance they constantly strive to depreciate the American character. Most Americans are friends to the Revolution of France however they may view with horror the enormities which have been committed during the unfortunate course of five years they still separate the people desirous of { 427 } liberty from the cabal of a National Assembly or the murderous demagogues of a National Convention. They hoped and still hope that under a good form of Goverment The French Nation may be restored to order, but when they hear themselves damned for their impudent ideas by a small cluster of Englishmen who lurk within the bosom of their Country when they hear repeated threats that the thunder of the British nation may be hurled upon them they are fired with indignation at the insult. Conduct like this from a club of Englishmen in this city has roused the spirits of the people and unless they learn more prudence fatal consequences may ensue. The low state of our funds is in some measure owing to an apprehension that America may be drawn into The war. For myself I see not much danger conscious that every endeavor will be used to maintain a neutrality and that measures the most strenuous will be put in operation to preserve this Country in a state of peace. These apprehensions however ill founded fail not to make some considerable impression upon the public mind. Another cause is the caution with which The Banks discount and the difficulty of procuring large quantities of specie. This it has been found is necessary as the multiplicity of banks has created distrust. That they cannot long hold out I think is certain they have had a pernicious influe[nce] upon the price of every article of consumption and I know of nothing except Salaries and la[wyers] fees that has not doubled within these two years. The Baron setts out tomorrow for Steuben I am sorry to loose his company for so long a period but he is almost as fond of his farm as you are and delights in the society of his Yankee's as he calls them. My Sister talks of beginning her journey sometime next week, she wished me to accompany her but I must deny myself that pleasure
Adieu my dear Sir Beleive me your / affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Quincy / near / Boston—”; endorsed: “C. Adams / May 10. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. The 1790 census for New York State found an ethnic breakdown of approximately 52 percent English, 17.5 percent Dutch, 8 percent German, 8 percent Irish, and 7 percent Scottish. In New York City in the following decade, new immigrants continued to arrive from Great Britain, Ireland, and France, and a political split emerged as English immigrants tended toward the Federalist Party while the Scottish, Irish, and French favored the Democratic Republicans (Young, Democratic Republicans, p. 98, 401–402, 569).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0246

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-05-21

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

Your kind letter of the 12 has reached me, in complyance with Mr Brieslers request I enclose the Receipt of Mrs Lynch.1 She was in much need of the little assistance, and expressed gratitude for the receipt of it. The Porter also shall be attended to; I have been so fortunate as yet to have received no warning from the owner of our Store— The furniture still rests there and I have some hope will not yet be disturbed. The most disagreeable trouble on my hands at present is to find a suitable place for my own head. My good Quaker lady intends giving up house-keeping about the middle of next month, and of course we are all under the necessity of changing our lodgings. The reasons of her taking this step are such as might naturally be expected from one who was brought up in a very different course of life. She finds that house Rent is increasing, that every article of life is nearly double in price, and that her expences in living far exceed the trifling assistance she derives from her lodgers. Unless she took a large house and admited every comer & goer, her present course of life cannot be profitable, & for this she is by no means calculated; so that she has by the advice of her Family & Friends come to a resolution to quit house keeping & return to her Father's. I shall regret the change of lodgings because I am persuaded it cannot be for the better— However I have not much longer to reside here, and I shall do as well as I can. I have no particular place in view as yet— The terms of board will be higher I know than at present but I won't go If I can avoid it to a common lodging house—
Col Smith has been some time in town, and finds little prospect of accomodating himself with an house at present. All the best houses in the City are taken up, and I know he wont live in an ordinary one. There may be opportunities between this & next fall to suit himself, at present Rent is monstrous, & houses very scarce— I have not met with the Publications you mention; no judicious peices will be republished here you may rest assured. People will not think for themselves—nor in all cases will they be guided by the judgment of others—so that we must be content with the dictates of the ignorant Multitude. I will say nothing of French Affairs. Calculation & conjecture have so often been lost upon them that the event ought rather to be acquiesced in when it shall arrive, than { 429 } deplored by anticipation. I am out of all patience with the eternal folly of palliating every calamity & seting it down to the score of necessity— I think the excentricities of a Commet might as well be calculated, as the probable effects of such & Such particular events. Whilst France was successful in beating her first enemies, & conquering foreign states—I wished her spirit might be humbled— A Country really desirous of establishing a peaceful Government, has no business with foreign Territories— War is by no means its proper Element. Since the universal combination of powers against her, whether she has provoked it or not, I feel a powerful principle of humanity taking Root in my mind, as an advocate for the weaker party; ’tis a rule, & a very good one for individuals no less than Sovereign powers, to examine the justice of the cause about which Nations are quarreling. Considering France in her present situation, without examining the means by which it was acquired, the justice of the dispute seems to lay on their side. They have abolished an odious & oppressive Government too effectually ever to be reared again from its ruins—we will not say a word whether this was done by the general sense of the Nation— It suffices that having reduced themselves to Anarchy—the nation now see the necessity of a Government in some shape—still there is no Cry for a King, a Nobility, an established Clergy, &ca. The very sound is odious; nothing that has the smallest tendency to superiority or eminence of rank will be received as yet. Here then is the great danger, the Shivre de Freze—that may cause Shipwreck—2 The first axiom of civil Government, is authority & Subordination; But all confidence is destroyed between man & man; who then shall dare to take the helm. No man has a right to challenge the obedience of another, unless his authority is confered & derived from the original source— here is no original source, because the people are divided in their sentiments too far to unite upon any common measure of utility. What then must be the first step towards Government in France in such circumstances? It will be trod by a military force—whether they maintain their own ground against the combination, & establish their independance, or whether they become their slaves & vassals. This Combination of powers are practising injustice so far as they distract the attention of the French from Pacifick institutions, & prevent their worshiping Liberty & Equality in peace at home. I have become a wellwisher to the French so far as they are to be considered struggling with adversity, even tho’ tis merited. I justify no single event that has taken place—since they are so, make the best of them, they cannot be { 430 } recalled. They anticipated declarations of war, so far they act on the defensive. I can only further add, that seeing things are so, the event must sanctify the means— Conscientious people will exclaim, but necessity is not under the influence of dominion. These are my sentiments of French politics, so far as they go— I began by declining them altogether, & fully intended to stop at the first sentence— but you see the difference—
With all due affection / I remain your son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); notation: “May 23d.
1. Not found.
2. Possibly cheval de frise, literally “horse of Friesland,” a defensive mechanism for halting cavalry charges or other military advances (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0247

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-05-29

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

It is with great pleasure I hear that my brother is appointed to speak the town Oration, on the fourth of July next. It would give me infinite satisfaction to hear him, but as I cannot, I request a few copies if they can be procured, as soon as they appear in print.1 Confined as he must be, by the shackles which are, I think erroniously, imposed upon those who have this duty to perform; I have no doubt but he will greatly add to his already far extended reputation. Publicola, has been reprinted in Edinburg and in London; and in an European Magazine, there is a contradiction of your being the Author of those publications, as was indicated by the edition printed in Scotland.2 The reports of Dumourier's defection, come from so many different quarters, that we begin to give credit to them; nor do I think it so very extraordinary, no man in his right senses could submit to be the instrument of so mad a faction, as now seem to govern in France. We have in our papers this day, a dialogue said to have passed between the General and the Commissioners sent to carry him to Paris: In which Dumourier says “your Convention consists of three hundred fools, governed by four hundred rascals. They have formed a Government infinitely more imbecile, dangerous and destructive, than the former. They will annihilate the nation.”3 I am very much pleased with a writer with the signature of Marcellus; I have seen but one Number reprinted in Fenno's Gazette, but his sentiments are perfectly coincident with those, which I think every { 431 } well wisher to his Country, every real American ought to adopt: but alas! what will not this people swallow, if gilded over with the foil of liberty and equality. Where is the Lover of this Country who will not join in the wish? “that laurelled victory may sit upon the sword of Justice and that success may always be strewed before the feet of virtuous Freedom” but we should learn to discriminate; We should learn to distinguish virtuous freedom, from unprincipled licentiousness; then, and then only, can we be a happy or a dignified people.4 While we are continually hunting in the catalogue of improbabilities, for excuses, to palliate the enormities of an enraged clan of Jacobins, we are injuring our morals and destroying our reputations.— Dumourier seems to have expressed great surprize that Condorcet, should not have pointed out a constitution, more worthy of his abilities: but what could he do? Might he not have fallen a victim to just ideas? and I think it is quite time that martyrdom should be discarded at least from France; there is but little encouragement. Monrs Genet is received with open arms in Philadelphia, I know of no objection which can with propriety be offered to this; provided it did not convey the idea of an acquiescence in the transactions in France. I know very well that such ideas as these, are termed Aristocratic. I disclaim the faith. My sentiments are dictated by the purest philanthropy. Can those who with the stern eye of apathy behold murder carnage and every affliction which can desolate a Country, following as a consequence of the unbridled machinations of a few: men Can they love mankind? No person can be more an advocate for civil liberty and civil equality than myself, but name not the French as models; name not that barbarous, that cruel people, as examples worthy to be followed by Americans, who are happy in equal laws and a just Government. Happy! thrice happy people! if they would reflect upon their own prosperity. I have found it adviseable of late, again to peruse with attention the writers upon Natural law. Grotius, puffendorph, Vattel, Burlemaque. many questions interesting to the community, and to individuals, dayly arise. These studies, blended with that of the law, have lately occupied my attention. I think I have pitched upon a method of reading, by far the most preferable: instead of reading the Reporters in course, I take up Espinasse's Law of actions, a book of great authority and credit, and constantly refer to the cases in the Reporters: a method which fixes much more firmly in my memory the principles of every case: in this manner I intend to go through him, and have no doubt of reaping ample reward for my pains. It has been my endeavor to { 432 } select in the first instance The Reporters during the time of Lord Mansfield. I have purchased
{   Burroughs  
Durnford and East   }  
 
Richardson's pra K B  
Cowper Reports   Bacon's abridgment   Crompton's practice  
Douglass   Espinasse Nisi Prius   Powell on Mortgages  
    Do  on Contracts  
W Blackston   Lilly's Entries   Highmore on bail  
  Lovelace laws disposal   Kyd on bill of exchange  
Laws of the State of New York.—5
Our parties in this City begin to cool down of late; it was quite time, for very warm blood was raised, and it was very much feared that serious consequences might have ensued.
Perhaps you may recollect, that when I was last at Quincy you offered me a work entitled Cours D’Etudes:6 I had then no method of conveying it to New York: should you now remain of the same mind, Brizler will pack them up, and send them to me by Barnard. I had occasion while I was there to peruse several parts of that work, and was highly delighted with it, as containing a very useful and instructive epitome of the Sciences. Judge Duane in his kindness has been pleased to appoint me one of the Commissioners to examine the claims of invalid pensioners. He may think it an honor conferred, but there is no emolument to be derived, and except its being a charitable duty, would be rather tedious. I accepted it on that account; but the late law of Congress has so restricted applicants, that I doubt much whether any one will be able to take advantage of it.7 Our latest arrivals from Europe bring intellegence to the fifth of April only; it appears that communications from France have been of late so impeded that we are led to suspect much of our information has been coined in England. I fear I have long since tired your patience And I will bid you adieu
Beleive me my dear Sir your ever affectionate and dutiful son
[signed] Charles Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Quincy”; endorsed: “Charles Adams / May 29. / ansd June 5. 1793.”
1. On 4 July, JQA delivered an address at Boston's Old South Meeting House, which Benjamin Edes & Sons published some days later. “Seventeen times has the sun, in the progress of his annual revolutions, diffused his prolific radiance over the plains of Independent America,” JQA said. “Millions of hearts which then palpitated with the rapturous glow of patriotism, have already been translated to brighter worlds; to the abodes of more than mortal freedom.” The press reported an enthusiastic reaction to the address: “The elegance and spirit of the composition, and the forceful elocution of the { 433 } Speaker, excited such a burst of admiration, as would have flattered a CATO” (JQA, An Oration Pronounced July 4th, 1793, Boston, 1793, p. 12, Evans, No. 25076; Massachusetts Mercury, 5 July). An incomplete Dft and Tr of the oration are in the Adams Papers, filmed at 4 July.
2. JQA's Publicola articles were first published in Edinburgh in 1791 as Observations on Paine's “Rights of Man” without any identifying author, though they were commonly attributed to JA. John Stockdale—a friend of JA—subsequently published them in London in 1793 under the title An Answer to Pain's Rights of Man. By John Adams, Esq. but stopped the printing when he learned that JQA, not JA, was the author. The European Magazine, Feb. 1793, p. 85, included a note avowing that JA had not written the pieces (JQA, Writings, 1:66; John Stockdale to JA, 16 March, Adams Papers). See also TBA to AA, 27 May [1792], and note 5, above.
3. Reports of the French National Convention for 1 April 1793 included an extended dialogue between General Dumouriez and the commissioners from the Convention. This dialogue suggested that it was Dumouriez's “fixed intention” to go to Paris to protect the queen and her children, and he further threatened that “the convention will not exist three weeks longer” and expressed his determination to restore the monarchy (New York Journal, 29 May).
4. Marcellus appeared in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 24 April, and 4, 11 May. The third installment was also reprinted in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 25 May, and CA quotes from the final lines of that piece. Marcellus examines the role the United States and its citizens should play in the war among the European powers, arguing that “a rigid adherence to the system of Neutrality between the European nations now at war, is equally the dictate of justice and of policy, to the individual citizens of the United States, while the Nation remains neutral.” Furthermore, he suggests that “the natural state of all nations, with respect to one another, is a state of peace.”
5. Henry Cowper, Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench: from . . . 1774, to . . . 1778, London, 1783; William Douglass, A Summary, Historical and Political, of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements, and Present State of the British Settlements in North-America, 2 vols., Boston, 1747–1752, Evans, No. 5936; Charles Durnford and Sir Edward Hyde East, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of King's Bench, London, 1787; Matthew Bacon and others, A New Abridgement of the Law, 5 vols., London, 1736–1766; John Lilly, Modern Entries, Being a Collection of Select Pleadings in the Courts of King's Bench, London, 1723; Peter Lovelass, The Law's Disposal of a Person's Estate Who Dies without Will or Testament, 4th edn., London, 1787; Robert Richardson, The Attorney's Practice in the Court of King's Bench, London, 1739; George Crompton, Practice Common-placed; or, The Rules and Cases of Practice in the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas, Methodically Arranged, 2 vols., London, 1780; John Joseph Powell, A Treatise upon the Law of Mortgages, London, 1785; Powell, Essay upon the Law of Contracts and Agreements, London, 1790; Anthony Highmore, A Digest on the Doctrine of Bail in Civil and Criminal Cases, London, 1783; Stewart Kyd, A Treatise on the Law of Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes, London, 1790; Laws of the State of New York, Albany, N.Y., 1777–  .
6. Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, Abbé de Mureaux, Cours d’étude pour l’instruction du prince de Parme, 16 vols., Parma, Italy, 1775. Copies of all but vol. 13 are in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
7. On 28 Feb., George Washington signed into law “An Act to Regulate the Claims to Invalid Pensions,” which modified the earlier “Act to Provide for the Settlement of the Claims of Widows and Orphans . . . and to Regulate the Claims to Invalid Pensions,” enacted the previous year. The new law created higher bars to establish legal claims of disability from military service during the Revolutionary War, including oaths from two doctors and multiple witnesses testifying to the injury and strict deadlines for applications. The act also required that all evidence be submitted either to a district court judge or to a three-person commission appointed by the judge (Annals of Congress, 2d Cong., 2d sess., p. 1346–1348, 1436–1437).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-06-05

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

I thank you for your, agreable Letter of the 29. Ult. Your Brother is destined to be celebrated and consequently envyed and abused. He has great Talents, and equal Industry. Publicola has passed through Several Editions in Ireland and Scotland as well as England, and I am well informed that the Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr Pitt and Several other Characters high in office besides the Attorney General have pronounced it one of the ablest Things of the kind they ever read. Marcellus deserves as high an Encomium. I am of Dumouriers opinion that the last Fugitive Piece, which the French call a Constitution is worse than the first, and, as La Croix Said of the latter that it would last as long as it should please God the former will have the same fate.1
If Dumourier had known Condorcet as well as I do, he would not have been surprized at his Constitution. He has been ignorant and indiscreet enough to commit himself in Print, Several years ago, in favour of a crude and shallow Idea of his three Idols Turgot Franklin and the Duke de la Rochefaucault, and now he will never get rid of it, till he is murdered like the last of them.2
You are very right. The Spirit of Liberty is a Sober and a temperate Spirit. Rage, Violence & fury are inconsistent with it.
I am pleased to perceive that your Taste for Books is a growing Appetite and your Love of study an increasing Passion. Go on my son. You will find your Account in the study of Ethicks, and the Law of Nations. Such Writers not only enlighten the Understanding but they rectify and purify the heart. The Love of Justice, of Humanity and of Wisdom, are the never failing Effects of frequent and constant Contemplation of the Principles Maxims and Reasonings of those Writers.
Your Plan of Studying Espinasse, is judicious and I hope you will pursue it to the End.— The Catalogue of Books you have purchased is no Doubt valuable, and you do well to admire Lord Mansfield, yet you must be upon your guard and not always adopt his Ideas, nor should you forget, Hale Coke or Holt3
Brisler shall Send you, The Abbe Condelae's Course of Study as you desire.
Judge Duane has made you a very handsome Compliment, which { 435 } demands and I presume will have your gratitude. Tho there may be no Profit there is honour, and a fair Opportunity to do good and to approve your humanity, Justice, publick Spirit Patience Politeness and Address before many People, which to a good young Man is a prescious Advantage. I hope therefore you will attend this Duty as punctually as if it was lucrative. A Sincere desire to do good is the best Trait in a young Man's Character. A Selfish Indifference to the good of others, is one of the worst.
My regards to our Connections. I am &c
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams”; endorsed: “June 5. 1793.”
1. Jean François de Lacroix (1754–1794), a lawyer, was a member of the National Convention and an ally of Danton (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2. Condorcet had argued for “the unprofitableness of the division of legislative powers into several bodies,” first in a Supplément to his Influence de la révolution d’Amérique sur les opinions et la législation de l’Europe, n.p., 1786, and later in his Lettres d’un bourgeois de New-Heaven (published in Philip Mazzei's Recherches historiques et politiques sur les États-Unis de l’Amérique septentrionale, 4 vols., Paris, 1788), written in response to JA's Defence of the Const. He believed that a single unicameral legislature better served a democracy, a notion to which JA took considerable exception (Haraszti, Prophets, p. 235–236).
3. Sir John Holt, Thomas Farresley, and Giles Jacob, A Report of All Cases Determined by Sir John Holt, Knt., from 1688 to 1710, London, 1738.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0249

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-06-09

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear sir,

I have procured the Warrant from the Treasury for the payment of D 1250. and taken two Orders on the Branch Bank at Boston in the name of my Brother. One for Dls800. & the other for Dls1,190, which will be paid him on demand, on your behalf. The surplus I have reserved for the following purposes. Viz For five months Board Dls66. 50Cts; One hundred Dls sent to my Brother Charles; For two Quarters Store Rent Dls 36. For nine Doz of Porter Dls 16. For myself Dls 41— 50Cts— Or, to state it in a more Mercantile way—
  Dlls   Cts  
To Charles at NYork   100    
For five months Board for myself   66   50  
For two quarters Store Rent for the furniture   36    
For Nine Doz of Porter   16    
For myself   41   50  
  Dls 260   "  0  
{ 436 }
I have inclosed the Orders to my Brother John;1 he will be upon the Spot, and can transmit the money to you at Quincy without delay; As they are drawn in favor of my Brother, no Indorsment will be necessary on your part. My good Quaker Landlady is upon the point of giving up house keeping, which has obliged me to seek another residence— I have found one at another Quaker house, but at a higher price than before— They demand at the rate of seventy five pounds Pr Ann. and I was under the necessity of closing with the terms, as I could hear of no place equally reasonable— The situation is much preferable to that which I left, & my accomodations are better; but I did not make the exchange from choice. The name of the Family is (Staal) they bear a very respectable character, and are to appearance civil folks—2
I must apologize for troubling you with my personal concerns— I hope my next letter may contain more interesting matter.
Presenting my best love to all friends / I subscribe / your affectionate son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Vice President of the U,S.”
1. Not found.
2. China merchant John Stall Sr. and his wife, Frances, operated a boardinghouse at 72 North Third Street in Philadelphia (Rush, Letters, 2:688–689, 747; Philadelphia Directory, 1793, Evans, No. 25585; U.S. Census, 1790, Penn., p. 222).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0250

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-06-11

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

I am extremely sorry to hear, that you have had another attack of your ague, since Cousin Betsy left you— I hope you are in the use of every probable means for your releif, & restoration to Health— That glow in your features, which I have contemplated with so much satisfaction, I should be grieved to see injured by Sickness, or any disaster— But you my dear Sister have a double Security—Nature & Grace have both conspired in your favour—For that Beauty which depends principally upon the Mind,—upon the Divinity that stirs within cannot easily be defaced by Time, Sickness, or any accidenttal Circumstance—
I am very glad you was so kind as to let Cousin Betsy have your Horse & Chaise to make a visit to her Mother— you was mistaken if you thought I was unwilling, to have her go,— To tarry with her, was what I thought would be prejudicial to her health— But I have { 437 } wanted all this Spring to have gone, & to have taken Betsy with me, to see my unhappy sick Sister—who has no relation, or connection but ourselves, to visit, or befriend her—
I am very sorry Cousin Polly has not receivd a Letter I sent to her by my Cousins—1 It was designed to encourage in her filial piety, approving, of her readiness to quit her business, though in a very fine way—& shewing the benifit which I supposed would be derived from her attending upon her Mother, rather than any one else— I know it is a hard, & tedious Task, for so young a Daughter— Yet I seldom knew an absolute necessity for firmness, strength of mind, & the exercise of great Virtues but that they came obedient to the call—were ready attendants upon the Summons—
Happy for us that it is so— The belief of it, has kept many a one, from sinking under the weight of Affliction—
The weekly Papers are filled with accounts of the Commotions which have taken place in almost every part of Europe France exhibits to our view a Scene too Shocking, & too full of horror for the tender Mind to dwell upon— Is anything more to be deprecated than a civil War? What bloody Scenes—what murders, & massacres—What want of publick Confidence?— The smiling Sycophant to Day,—Tomorrow the cruel Assasin—Nothing to designate the Friend, from the bitter Enemy— Can anything be more dreadful than such intestene Convulsions—such publick Factions, & all the Evils of Pandora's Box, & ten thousand more if possible, are in thy horrid Train— Let me turn from it—& with Gratitude reflect upon the Goodness of that Being, who when we had every thing to Fear, has caused us so soon to sit down in peace, enjoying the rich Blessings of a wise & good Government—& may he who holds the hearts of all in his hands, long continue Men of Wisdom, & Virtue to guide & direct the publick Weal—
I have not yet heard of Mrs Smiths being at Quincy— I hope you will all favour me with a visit—
If you please you may tell Celia that I had rather not take a Child so far off— It must be attended with inconveniences— I am obliged to hire a Spinner half the year—& we cannot afford to multiply our Family without profit— If Mr Shaw could take Scholars, the profits of which would furnish us with cloathing, I would never turn the Wheel again for I perfectly hate the work, in a place where we are obligd to see so much company, & then I would take a little Girl immediately—& keep Betsy Quincy wholly to sewing.— She might do as much again, if I had any new work for her to do— Cousin Lucy is { 438 } a lovely woman, & makes us too—too short a visit to your affectionate Sister
[signed] E Shaw—
1. Probably Mary Smith, daughter of Catharine Salmon and William Smith Jr.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0251

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1793-06-23

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother.

I have received your Letter containing the orders upon the branch bank, and also that with the bill of lading of 3 barrels;1 I ought to have written you this information a post or two ago, but some business, more indolence, and most of all forgetfulness was the occasion of my omission.
I suppose you will soon commence Attorney, and I understand you have some thoughts of retiring into one of the back Counties of Pensylvania, to commence practice. let me know what your intentions are, and when you expect to commence your career— I am not quite in statu quo I have a sort of Pisgah-sight2 of future milk and honey—but not yet much enjoyment of it in person.
I have an Oration to deliver on the 4th: of next month, as you know I have written and committed it to memory, and am thoroughly disgusted with it.— While I was writing I thought myself quite brilliant as I advanced; and was pleasing myself with future applauses at almost every sentence that issued from my pen— Now, it appears to me a mass of dull common-place, composed of stale facts, hacknied sentiments, veteran similies, and trite allusions, with scarce a single gleam of originality shooting through the solid darkness of the composition.— The humble merits of the average of similar performances, are now my greatest consolation— However indifferent my execution, I shall not easily place myself in a style of inferiority upon comparison.
The most extraordinary intelligence, which I have to convey, is that the wise and learned Judge & Professor Wilson, has fallen most lamentably in love with a young Lady in this town, under twenty; by the name of Gray. He came, he saw, and was overcome. The gentle Celadon, was smitten at meeting with a first sight love—unable to contain his amorous pain, he breathed his sighs about the Streets; and even when seated on the bench of Justice, he seemed as if teeming with some woful ballad to his mistress eye-brow.— He obtained an introduction to the Lady, and at the second interview { 439 } proposed his lowly person and his agreeable family to her acceptance; a circumstance very favourable to the success of his pretensions, is that he came in a very handsome chariot and four. In short his attractions were so powerful, that the Lady actually has the subject under consideration, and unless the Judge should prove as fickle as he is amorous and repent his precipitate impetuosity so far as to withdraw his proposal, You will no doubt soon behold in the persons of these well assorted lovers a new edition of January and May.— Methinks I see you stare at the perusal of this intelligence, and conclude that I am attempting to amuse you, with a bore; no such thing. it is the plain and simple truth, that I tell—and if you are in the habit of seeing the Miss Breck's as frequently, as your wishes must direct you to see them, you may inform them, that their friend and mine, Miss Hannah Gray, has made so profound an impression upon the Heart of judge Wilson, and received in return an impression so profound upon her own, that in all probability they will soon see her at Philadelphia, the happy consort of the happy judge.3
Cupid himself must laugh at his own absurdity, in producing such an Union; but he must sigh to reflect that without the soft persuasion of a deity who has supplanted him in the breast of modern beauty, he could not have succeeded to render the man ridiculous & the woman contemptible upon the subject of politics I wish not to enter; they would lead me too far; and they are at this time unpleasant beyond the common proportion.— I enclose a few lines written upon some of the insolence proceeding from your shoe-black of the Muses, who thinks himself a poet because he knows himself a lyar.—4 They are only for your perusal, and have never been seen by any other person [. . . .] Write me what you think of the point in the four concluding [verses The] sarcasm appeared severe to the parental partiality of the author; but who can be admitted as the judge of his own composition.
I remain your cordial friend & affectionate brother.
[signed] J. Q. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr: Thomas B. Adams / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “J Q A / June 23— 93—”; notation: “Due Cook 16 cents / gon out of town.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. Not found.
2. “A faint view or glimpse of something unobtainable or distant” (OED).
3. Judge James Wilson, age fifty, married nineteen-year-old Hannah Gray of Boston on 19 Sept. (DAB). Celadon, from James Thomson's The Seasons, refers to any “lady-love” (Brewer, Reader's Handbook).
4. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0252

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Cranch, William
Date: 1793-07-20

Thomas Boylston Adams to William Cranch

[salute] My dear William

I have only two or three minutes at present to devote to the purpose of answering a long & agreeable letter I received from you before my departure from Philadelphia—1 I had anticipated with pleasure an expected interview at Cambridge, & feel no small mortification in the disappointment. After passing a very happy week in the company of my friends & former associates I am upon the point of returning to Quincy—where I shall remain a few days, & then hasten to return from a place, which litterally speaking, I had no buisiness to leave at this season. I make but one observation more which is, that if we should unfortunately miss each other this time, we must supply by this pen, that antidote to separation the absence of the person. As to my visiting Haverhill, it's out of the question—my stay won't admit. Inclination attracts, but necessity repels. Give my best Compliments &ca &ca: to inquiring Friends in general you may employ farther particulars at discretion.
Believe me
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (OCHP:William Cranch Papers, Mss fC891c RM); addressed: “William Cranch Esqr: / Atty at Law / Haverhill”; internal address: “William Cranch Esqr:”; endorsed: “T.B.A. July 20 ‘93.”
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0253

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-07-29

Charles Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

I received the copies of your Oration by Mr Atkinson for which I give you my own and the thanks of my friends Unwilling to trust my own partial judgment upon the performance I have endeavored to collect the opinions of those of my friends here who are most remarkable for their taste and my own ideas have been justified by the universal applause which has been bestowed upon your Oration. I cannot but admire the prudence which you have observed in steering so cautiously between the Scylla and Carybdis of public opinion and surely it was your duty to offend no one in a performance of this kind. In a late letter you observe that some of my friends think me too strenuous upon the wrong side.1 I must be thought so if I deny a single democratic principle. Every man who now ventures to disapprove of a single measure of the French is according to { 441 } modern language an Aristocrat and I had rather submit to the imputation than indiscriminately to approve of every transaction of that nation God forbid that I should ever become the advocate of tyrrany whether exercised by a single or a many headed monster. How stenuous are the party in Philadelphia to engage us in a war What abuse and reviling constantly fill that mint of defamation the National Gazette How determined should be the conduct of The Executive. Surely the conduct of a foreign Minister is reprehensible who talks of appealing to the people from the decision of the first Magistrate.2 If ever there was a time when firmness was required it is now. What do you think of the decision of Judge Peters in your part of the world? I would ask one question Suppose a French Ship should come up to the wharves of New York and carry away to Philadelphia twenty or thirty British merchantmen Could our Court of admiralty have jurisdiction of it? We have had a case similar to that of the ship William before our District Court it was argued on the part of the Libellants last week and more ingenious and learned argument I never heard in a Court Messrs Troup and Harison shew themselves to the greatest advantage to be sure the concluding quotation of Mr H applied to judge Duane could not but raise a smile in the countenance of those who know his character. He is suspected of leaning towards the opinion of Judge Peters for whom he has a great veneration but I am inclined to beleive that after the argument and the application of the Verse from Horace “Justum et tenacem” & he will not have obstinacy enough to decide similarly.3 We dayly expect a French fleet in this port I dread the moment— We have many turbulent people in this City who would wish to take advantage of such an event. We have already been witnesses to the commencement of very tumultuous proceedings. A writer in the philadelphia papers Pacificus has claimed the attention of the public I am happy to find most men of character accord with the sentiments of this writer who he is I know not The Secretary of the treasury, amongst us, has the credit of being the author the peices would not disgrace his pen.4 Entre nous it seems to me rather surprising that The VP has not been called to Philadelphia surely his Counsel is necessary in the present circumstances of this Country pray explain to me you may have a better opportunity of knowing the reasons than myself or the multitudes who ask me the question. My Respects and Love to all friends
Yours affectionately
[signed] Charles Adams
{ 442 }
PS The Boston Frigate Commanded by Captain Courtnay is now off the Hook as he has thirty two guns and has sent a challenge to The Ambuscade who is now under sail to meet her hundreds of people have gone down to be witnesses to the expected encounter which will no doubt be very desperate.5
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Quincy Adams Esqr / Boston—”; endorsed: “C: Adams. July 29. 1793.”
1. Not found.
2. On 22 April, George Washington issued his Neutrality Proclamation, which states that, as regards the war between France and the rest of Europe, “duty and interest of the United States require, that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers.” In practice, this policy meant that French privateers could not be outfitted in American ports nor could France enlist American citizens to serve in the French Army or Navy. Edmond Genet, frustrated by this situation, threatened to ignore Washington's ruling and appeal directly to the people through their congressional representatives (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 12:472–474; Jefferson, Papers, 26:687–688). See also CA to JA, 25 Aug., and note 3, below.
3. On 21 June, Judge Richard Peters ruled in the case of the capture of the British merchant ship William by the French Citizen Genet. The libellants argued that the William had been captured illegally in American territorial waters, while the defendants insisted that the United States did not have standing to adjudicate a case between two nations at war with one another. Peters agreed with the latter, stating that the U.S. district court had no jurisdiction “in a matter growing out of the contests between belligerent powers.” In a similar case, Richard Harison, the U.S. district attorney in New York, and Robert Troup were involved in legal proceedings regarding the capture of the British brig Catharine by the French frigate Embuscade. Harison and Troup argued that the ship had been “taken within the territory, and under the protection of the United States.” In Jan. 1794, Judge James Duane of the district court ruled that his court did not hold jurisdiction over such matters; any restitution would have to come from the executive branch. Shortly thereafter, in another case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that district courts did have jurisdiction, and in August, the Catharine was restored to its owners, who also received an award for costs and damages (Jefferson, Papers, 26:200–201, 254; Richard Peters, Admiralty Decisions in the District Court of the United States, 2 vols., Phila., 1807, 1:12–30).
For the quote from Horace, see CA to JA, 31 Jan. 1793, and note 3, above.
4. Pacificus—a lengthy defense of Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality—appeared in seven essays, five published by the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 29 June, 3, 6, 10, 13, 17 July, and two by the Federal Gazette, 24, 25 July. Alexander Hamilton was indeed the author; see Hamilton, Papers, 15:33–43, 55–63, 65–69, 82–86, 90–95, 100–106, 130–135.
5. Capt. George William Augustus Courtenay brought the British frigate Boston from Nova Scotia to stop harassment of British shipping by Citizen Jean Baptiste François Bompard of the French frigate Embuscade. At sea off New York, Courtenay sent a challenge to Bompard in the city, who responded that he would meet the British off Sandy Hook. In a two-hour battle before hundreds of spectators on 1 Aug., Courtenay was killed and the Boston fled to sea. A heavily damaged Embuscade returned to New York to the cheers of French partisans (William R. Casto, “French Cruisers, British Prizes, and American Sailors: Coordinating American Foreign Policy in the Age of Fighting Sails,” in Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon, eds., Neither Separate Nor Equal: Congress in the 1790s, Athens, Ohio, 2000, p. 212–217).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0254

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-08-10

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I ought to have written you from New-York, of my safe arrival there in little more than three days, after a pleasant Journey, with only one constant companion from Boston, who was a French Gentleman now a Merchant in that place— We found the roads remarkably fine, and the Country at 20 Miles distanc from Boston presenting a more favorable appearance. Our journies were between 70 & 80 miles distance each day, & you will readily suppose I wanted no further rocking to lull me to sleep. I found our friends in N.Y—— all well—& as Col Smith was upon a small Jouney in the Country, I was persuaded to wait his return, as he was anxious to hear what account I could give of his wife, with whom he accuses me of having run away
The people of N York many of them are raving mad with French Politicks, & the sober part are asleep—or if awake dare only yawn & gape. The Sea Duel between Bompard & Courtney engrossed all conversation, and the partizans of each are equally imprudent in their behavior— The Coffee-House, proper only for the resort of Merchants, is converted into a den of thieves & Jacobins,1 and the Citizen Mechanicks have deserted their Shops & occupations for the less arduous task of settling the affairs of the Nation. In Philadelphia things have been carried to greater lengths in some respects. The Household of the Citizen Minister have been convicted of conduct, which in any other Country would deserve no other name than Treason, & would probably meet a punishment adequate to that crime. Handbills have been distributed representing the President and Judge Willson with their heads under the Guillotine, and proclaiming their death to the Citizens of Philadelphia on account of the acquittal of Henfield lately tried for entering into the service of France.2 If such things do not destroy our Government it will be because we have none to fall a sacrifice. Like the City of Paris however in the heighth of their Massacres, we are said to be in perfect tranquility; and because the consequences are not immediate, nobody appears alarmed.
The Sup Court of the U, S. having no business ready for trial sat but two days—the State of Massachusetts did not appear & the same process will be observed against her as against the State of Georgia—3
{ 444 }
Our friends in Philada are well, those who remain in the City, which is but a small proportion. The sudden death of Mrs Lear will no doubt distress you—she fell a victim to neglect of her person when in a bad habit, not as at first represented from eating too freely of unripe fruit.4 Mr Lear is inconsolable under his loss, & has suffered himself to be seen by none but the Family since the funeral.
Presenting love &ca / I remain / your son
[signed] Thos B Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”
1. The Tontine Coffeehouse was a center of pro-French sentiment in New York. It hosted banquets for visiting Frenchmen and auctions of prizes taken by French privateers (Edwin G. Burrows, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, N.Y., 1999, p. 318–320; New York Daily Advertiser, 13 Aug.).
2. Gideon Henfield, a Salem, Mass., sailor, was prosecuted by the Washington administration for enlisting in the French Navy, which the president considered a violation of American neutrality. Supreme Court justice James Wilson presided over a special session of the U.S. Circuit Court of Pennsylvania to try the case. The government made the argument that although Congress had not passed a law specifically forbidding such enlistments, Henfield's actions nonetheless violated U.S. treaties with Britain, the Netherlands, and Prussia. The jury acquitted Henfield on 29 July of all charges (Jefferson, Papers, 26:130–131).
3. During an abbreviated session in Philadelphia on 5 and 6 Aug., the U.S. Supreme Court considered the cases of Chisholm v. Georgia and Vassall v. Massachusetts. In the Chisholm case the state of Georgia had refused to send a representative to the February session of the court because it denied the legitimacy of a suit brought against it by a citizen of another state. At that time the justices ordered Georgia officials to appear in August or face a default ruling. A representative did attend the August session and the case was continued. The Vassall case was similar but involved an Englishman suing the state. Massachusetts also claimed sovereign immunity by denying the legitimacy of a suit brought by a citizen of another country. Massachusetts officials had been subpoenaed to appear at the August session, but they did not do so and Vassall was continued as well. Both cases remained unresolved until they were nullified by the ratification of the Eleventh Amendment, which prohibits such suits (Doc. Hist. Supreme Court, 1:217–219; 5:134–137, 364–369).
4. Mary Long Lear died of yellow fever in Philadelphia on 28 July (Ray Brighton, The Checkered Career of Tobias Lear, Portsmouth, N.H., 1985, p. 114–115). See also TBA to JA, 9 Oct., and note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0255

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-08-25

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Sir

By Colonel Smith who setts out for Boston tomorrow I have the pleasure of addressing a few lines to you. If you procure the Newspapers from New York you will observe by them that events of some importance have passed lately in this City with an almost incredible rapidity. Though much has been feared, from the turbulence of some and much apprehended from the inactivity of others yet happily for us nothing very serious or alarming has as yet happened. We have had some small riots at Our Coffee house and one or two of { 445 } the Citizens have received the bastinado but the steady and nervous arm of the law has cooled the tempers of those who were disposed to riot, and at length the respectable inhabitants have come forward to discountenance such unwarrantable proceedings.1 The Great Mr William Livingston has been the ostensible head of a party composed of Drunken Porters idle Carmen and three or four men who though once they had some claim to respectability at the present moment could not fail of approaching nearer the zenith by a turn of the political ball.2 The whole consisting of perhaps three or four hundred people. yet small and despicable as they really were they tyrannized with uncontroled sway and it was sufficient for them to denounce a man for him to meet with the most ignominious treatment. These people Addressed the French Minister. This step called forth the resolutions approving The Presidents proclamation which have awed them into a Deathlike Silence.3 Mr Genet has written to The President requiring that he would exculpate him from the various charges which have been brought against him of want of respect for him and of imprudent conduct &c Mr Jefferson returns for answer That it is not proper for Diplomatic characters to communicate with the President but through his ministers.4 He is continually falling in the estimation of the people. I hope for peace and tranquility. All our friends are well The Baron does not return until the latter end of October I expect he will pass a few days with you before the Session as he tells me I must be ready [to] accompany him.
Adieu my Dear Sir Your dutiful / son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Quincy”; endorsed: “Mr Charles / August 25. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. On 18 Aug., French and British sailors clashed in the streets of New York. “It is said to have arisen from several insults given by a number of British to some French sailors who were quietly enjoying themselves in this land of freedom,” the New York Journal, 21 Aug., reported. “Not willing to brook the gross treatment of having their cockades trampled under the feet of Britains, struck with axes, tongs, &c. three to one, the Frenchmen collected some of their comrades and pursued their antagonists—but they averted their vengeance by secreting themselves. Some of them, however, in the evening, were imprisoned.”
2. William S. Livingston championed the cause of the New York Society of Cartmen, which was organized in March 1792 to resist the policies of Federalist New York mayor Richard Varick. In a move the Republican opposition characterized as a “Reign of Terror,” Varick denied cartmen freemanship and announced in 1791 that any who did not support the Federalist Party would be denied city licenses (Graham Russell Hodges, Slavery, Freedom & Culture among Early American Workers, Armonk, N.Y., 1998, p. 13–15).
3. Throughout Aug. 1793, various towns, cities, and organizations met to pass resolutions supporting George Washington's Neutrality Proclamation. The citizens of New York City, on 8 Aug., stated that Washington's pronouncement was “a wise and well-timed measure of his administration, and { 446 } merits our warmest approbation.” Likewise, on 6 Aug., the New York Chamber of Commerce resolved, “That the Proclamation of the President of the United States, declaring their neutrality towards the powers at war, was in our opinion a measure wisely calculated to promote the interests and preserve the tranquility of our country; and that we conside[r] the same as a new proof of that watchful regard for the honour and prosperity of the nation, which has uniformly distinguished the administration of our first magistrate” (New York Diary, 8 Aug.; New York Daily Advertiser, 7 Aug.).
4. Edmond Genet's letter to Washington of 13 Aug. and Thomas Jefferson's reply of 16 Aug. both appeared in the New York Diary, 21 August. Genet was attempting to defend himself against attacks by Rufus King and John Jay claiming that he planned to circumvent the decisions of the president and “appeal to the people,” a statement he had allegedly made in a conversation with Alexander James Dallas. Genet demanded “an explicit declaration” from Washington that “I have never intimated to you an intention of appealing to the people; that it is not true that a difference in political sentiments has ever betrayed me to forget what was due to your character or to the exalted reputation you had acquired by humbling a tyrant against whom you fought in the cause of liberty.” Washington forwarded the letter to Jefferson, who replied to Genet that “it is not the established course for the diplomatic characters residing here to have any direct correspondence” with the president. Jefferson also noted that Washington “declines interfering in the case” (Jefferson, Papers, 26:676–678, 684).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0256

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-10-09

Thomas Boylston Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

After repeated, tho’ unsuccessful attempts to procure the letters, which I was informed by my Mothers letter, must be in the Post Office at Philada: this night's Post has brought me six: four from Boston and Quincy, & two from my other friends;1 I feel no little gratitude to my friends in General, & my Parents in particular for the anxious solicitude they have expressed for my wellfare, upon the alarming occasion which now exists in Philadelphia.2 I have shuddered at the thought, when I reflect on the danger to which I now perceive I was for many days exposed before I left the City; while there, I was insensible to the innumerable instances of mortality, which daily occurred; but since my residence in this place, I have become more acquainted with the calamities of the City, & more regardful of my own safety. Had I received your's & my Mothers letters sooner; or before I left the City, I should probably have made some town in the interior Counties of Pennsylvania the place of my residence; it might have been useful to me in my future pursuits, by giving me an oportunity to form a further acquaintance with the manners of the people, & also of determining upon the place of my future residence. The short notice I had for departure, (being only one day) precluded my making those arrangements which would have been necessary for a journey of any length or distance; & even at the short distance I now am from Philadelphia, I find myself { 447 } destitute of winter cloaths, pretty short of cash, having left the greater part I possessed in the City, and wanting many conveniences, which would make my exile more comfortable. However I, in com[pany] with many of my acquaintance am amply provided with necessaries, & I can submit to any thing when I perceive others more unprovided, & willingly contibute my proportion to render their situation more tolerable. This place tho’ a small distance from the City, is by far the least crouded with inhabitants of any in the neighborhood, & from the little communication that exists with the City, I feel myself tolerably secure. My Friend Mr Freeman & myself were the two first strangers that came to this town; while every small village on the other side of the River was filled with deserters; for this reason I thought it more safe to retire to this place.3 Many have followed us, but they bear no proportion to the towns of Pennsylvania. I could write in this strain till morning, but it would afford you no satisfaction— I will therefore reserve further communications for the next Post,—
Subscribing myself / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
PS, I have just heared of the death of your old friend J D Sergeant; he has fallen sacrifice to his public spirit & humane exertions— he was appointed a manager of the Hospital at Bush Hill, & undertook the trust—4 While we lament the cause, we cannot but admire the principles with which he was actuated.
Octr: 15. 93—
The accounts from the City are much the same;
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Quincy / near Boston.”; internal address: “The Vice President / of the U. S.”; endorsed: “T. Adams / oct. 9. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. None of these letters has been found.
2. Yellow fever appeared in Philadelphia in August and soon spread to become a devastating epidemic that killed an estimated 5,000 in the city before dissipating with the first frost of December. The pestilence was at its height in October and on the date of this letter the daily death toll passed 100 for the first time (J. H. Powell, Bring Out Your Dead: The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793, Phila., 1949, p. 233–234, 281–282).
3. During the yellow fever epidemic TBA fled across the Delaware River to Woodbury, N.J., ten miles south of Philadelphia. His companion was perhaps Ezekiel Freeman, a clerk in the Philadelphia Auditor's Office (Philadelphia Directory, 1793, p. 167, Evans, No. 25585).
4. Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant (1746–1793), Princeton 1762, a lawyer, met JA while attending the Continental Congress as a New Jersey representative. He moved to Philadelphia in 1776 and served as Pennsylvania's attorney general. He died of yellow fever on 7 Oct. 1793 (DAB; Philadelphia National Gazette, 9 Oct.). For the use of Bush Hill as a hospital during the epidemic, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0257

Author: Smith, Abigail Adams
Recipient: Smith, Hannah Carter
Date: 1793-10-12

Abigail Adams Smith to Hannah Carter Smith

[salute] my Dear Madam

I have executed your commission but not exactly conformable to your request— the muslin like the pattern was all gone there was a peice which I thought would do to match it very well which I purchased and have sent by Mr Charles Storer I hope you will not disapprove of my taking it I thought you would not be likely to get any thing so near it in Boston & I wish it may meet your approbation the muslin is rather finer I think
you will I flatter myself feel sollicitous to know our situation respecting the fever now rageing in Philadelphia I am Sorry to inform you that it does not in the least abate in that Place but is said to be more fatall in its consequences— we found our friends here greatly alarmed—and we this day hear that a Number of Persons have by some means got into this City the last night from Philadelphia notwithstanding a guard is kept constantly upon the Shoars by the inhabbitants of the City—and one Person has been this day carried upon Governors Island—ill with the fever—1 the Philadelphians are much displeased att the arrangements which are made to prevent Persons from thence comeing into this City: and other intermediate Towns— I hope our friends will not think of going on to Philadelphia be so good as to present my Compliments to Mr Smith and Cousin Betsy and / beleive me very sincerely your / friend
[signed] A Smith—
RC (MHi:Smith-Carter Family Papers); addressed: “Mrs William Smith / Boston”; endorsed: “A. Smith / N Y’k 1793”; notation: “favour'd by / Mr Storer.”
1. On 13 Sept., New York appointed a committee to institute measures to keep yellow fever from spreading to the city from Philadelphia. Inspectors and night patrols guarded all landing places and ordered any vessels from Philadelphia into two-week quarantine. Any people showing symptoms were sent to a temporary hospital on Governor's Island. Sporadic attempts at evasion were reported, including one by a ship ordered to quarantine on 17 Sept. that landed Philadelphia travelers in the city at two o’clock the following morning. Newspapers published regular updates on yellow fever cases at the hospital, including a 19 Oct. report that a man recently sent from a quarantined ship was now ill with fever (New York Daily Advertiser, 2, 19 Oct.; New York Diary, 17 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0258

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-10-20

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I am happy in having it in my power to give you more favorable accounts respecting the Fever in Philada: than I have yet been able— { 449 } Not more than three or four persons have died pr: Day for 4 or 5 days past, at the Hospital and there is a prospect of safety in returning to the City in the course of a Fortnight. Indeed many Families have allready returned, but those who could stay away with any convenience have declined. The disorder is found to submit to the cold weather; & the Phisicians entertain great hopes that the next month will dispel all infection. The City has suffered an immense loss of property, independent of many valuable lives, & ’tis apprehended that there will be many failures among the Merchants, who appear to have suffered most in point of interest of any Class of People. In addition to the general calamity which affects us more nearly, there has been a report that the City of Charleston SC, has partly been destroyed by an Earthquake; but we are not as yet certain as to the truth of it. I have enjoyed my own health tolerably, during the Fall, tho’ in a Country much subjected to Agues & Intermittants a circumstance I did not know when I first came here. As the Season is past for those disorders, I am not afraid of alarming you by mentioning it. I am at a loss to know where Congress will assemble this Winter; even should the Fever subside in a short time, the Country has been so generally alarmed that many will be fearful of going to Philada: & I am uncertain whether the President has the power of assembling Congress in any other place.
I have scarcely read a Newspaper since I left the City, & am therefore ignorant as to the State of Public affairs at present ether in Europe or America; I don't know that I ever experienced the value of public prints, by the want of them before now. Hereafter I shall always be opposed to the tax upon Newspapers, because it may have a tendency to prevent their general circulation. The minds of the People have been so much agitated by the disease in Philada: that no one gives the least attention to politic's or government. There has lately been an Election in Pennsylvania for Governor, & it was thought Mifflin would be out-run by Muhlenberg; but I am told he has three votes in his favor to one against him in all parts of the State.1 At last I find that your Governor is not Immortal; what a pity! That Self-opininated Omnipotence, should finally expire like common Mortals. The last Office your people can pay to his Memory, is that of ranking him among the Cannonized Saints of Antiquity; and I expect the Almanacks of the next year will run under the date of Anno Domini 1794 & “Mortis Sancti Johannes Hancock—Primus,” For the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred & ninety Four, & of the death of the Sanctifyed John Hancock, the { 450 } First. I suppose however he is to be succeeded by somebody, & I wish to hear who is talked of.2
Present my best love to my Father & the Family / and believe me, / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs: A Adams / Quincy.”
1. In the final tally, Thomas Mifflin defeated Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg for governor by a vote of 19,590 to 10,700 (Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 12 Dec.).
2. John Hancock died at the age of 57 on 8 October. On 14 Oct., the city of Boston marked his passing: “At sunrise the bells in all the publick edifices in his town, opened the scene, by tolling, without cessation, an hour; and the flags in town, at the Castle, and on the masts of the shipping in the harbour, were half hoisted. At one o’clock, all the stores and shops were shut, and numerous citizens, in their individual capacities, paid various marks of unfeigned respect to the deceased.” JA rode in the procession, along with acting governor Samuel Adams and other political, judicial, military, and religious leaders; one observer estimated that 20,000 people participated all together. Samuel Adams was subsequently elected governor in his own right in 1794 (Herbert S. Allan, John Hancock: Patriot in Purple, N.Y., 1953, p. 358–360; Boston Independent Chronicle, 17 Oct.; DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0259

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-03

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

Since my Brother informed me of the miscarriage of some of my letters, I am determined to suffer no Post to pass without writing to some of the Family. The Fever in Philadelphia is a never failing source of subject-matter, when every other is exhausted, but it gives me real joy that I have it in my power to assure you from the best Authority, that no danger is to be apprehended from returning to the City in its present state; the only circumstance to be feared is, that people will croud in too fast, without taking those necessary precautions which are recommended after they return; airing the Houses thoroughly & white washing the Walls &ca:— In order to cause you no uneasiness on my account, I have resolved not to go into the City for 10 days to come, & even when that time is elapsed, my return will depend altogether on the fullest conviction that the disease is entirely subdued.
It will hardly be prudent for Congress to meet in Philada: this Season, tho’ I confess I know not where, or in whom the power resides of convening them in any other place. They cannot be accomodated in any of the neighboring towns, and I see no more safe method than that the President should prorogue their meeting to a later period. It may be necessary however that Congress should { 451 } meet at this Period more particularly to correct the Insolence of that French Jacobin of a Minister, who if suffered to proceed will soon dictate law to the United States. I have not seen a Newspaper for a Month past, till yesterday, when I had the perusal of one belonging to a traveler, which contained Genet's letter to Mr. Jefferson; of all barefaced insults from a public Minister, I think this newfangled Republican's the most brazen, how it will be received I know not, but how the Author of it ought to be treated is more easy to conceive.1 I am sorry our Juries are so much warped to the side of French madness, but I am well convinced they will not suffer an insult to be given to their chief Magistrate, however their conduct may have given birth to it.
I hope the next letters from me will be dated at Philada:, you will know however in season from / your affectionate & dutiful / Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”
1. On 27 Oct., Edmond Genet wrote to Thomas Jefferson complaining strenuously about the dismissal of Antoine Charbonnet Duplaine (d. 1800) as French vice consul at Boston. A few weeks earlier, on 3 Oct., Jefferson had written to Duplaine revoking his exequatur in response to Duplaine's decision to seize forcibly a prize originally captured by the French privateer Roland but in possession of Massachusetts’ deputy federal marshal. Genet's letter, which appeared in the New York Columbian Gazetteer, 31 Oct., among other newspapers, charged that “the constitution of the United States has not given the President the right which he now appears desirous to exercise. . . . I demand of you, sir, to ask the President of the United States to procure an examination, by the legislature representing the sovereign people of Massachusetts, of the conduct of Citizen Duplaine.” Samuel Adams, acting governor of Massachusetts, declined to take any action on the matter (Jefferson, Papers, 26:797; 27:184–185, 272–274).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0260

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-17

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

Your favor of the 28th: Octr: has been received, & as I omited writing by the last Post, I will defer it no longer, lest, your fears should again be excited on my account.1 If I felt the same degree of alarm that appears to have taken hold of the People at a distance from Philadelphia, the proposal you were kind enough to make me of passing the Winter with you would probably be accepted, but from a full conviction that I can reside in Pennsylvania with perfect security, I think it most prudent to decline the invitation. If it should be unsafe to remain in Philadelphia, I can take up my residence in some of the interior Towns, where I shall have an opportunity of { 452 } attending the County Courts, & forming an acquaintance which may be useful to me hereafter. But the City itself is at present perfectly free from the contagion, & I see no reason to apprehend a fresh eruption of the disease—besides the old saying of “Nothing venture, nothing have” is so deeply impressed upon my mind at present, that I would not hesitate to run some risque if there were a prospect of introducing myself into professional business by it. So far as my observations of life extend, I am convinced that there never was a Man of Eminence in the world, that was not indebted in some degree, for his fame to what is commonly termed fortune or accident. This is perhaps more frequently the case with Military than litterary characters, in one respect, viz. their continual exposure to danger & death. Their reputation is well earned no doubt, & is rather extorted from mankind as a just debt, than confered gratuitously. But I will not at this time descant upon a subject which can bear very little analogy to that which introduced it. All I wish to enforce by it is, that I could justify to my own mind, a remote hazard of my life, provided the occasion was sufficiently important to myself or others, to warrant the trial. I have been nearly Ten Weeks out of the City, and have met with some interruption in my studdies, but I shall make application for admission to the Bar soon after my return to the City. Mr Ingersoll returned last week, and expects me to attend the Office to assist him ‘till my admission, & as Dr Rush assured me I might return with perfect security, I shall not disappoint my Master. There is a certainty that much law business must be done this Winter and I dont see why I should be excluded from a share of the Loaves & Fishes, tho’ it may be a very small proportion.
Business of every kind is lively in Philadelphia, & most of the Citizens have returned. The Air which when I left it was extremely offensive in every part of the City, is now perfectly pure. We have lately had several heavy rains & some snow, & there is no doubt but we shall have a severe winter. The price of wood is high at present, but this is owing to the want of intercourse not to the scarcity, for there are thousand of Cords now lying on the Banks of the Creeks in this County, ready for transportation.
I have heared but once from my Sister since [her] return to New York—2 She wrote me by a Lady [who] lives in this town & was on a visit to NewYork but unfortunately the Trunk which contain[ed] my letter's was left on the Road & has not yet been forwarded.
Presenting my best love to all the Family / I remain / your Son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
{ 453 }
PS, Please to send my Boots round by Water, as I am in great want of them. The Schooner Neptune, Captn: Cheesman, is in the employ of JD Blanchard at Philada and will sa[il from] Boston in a week or two. Mr [Bris]ler may hear of her by applying at No 10. L Wharf & may send my Boots round by her3 your next letters may be directed to me at Philada:
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near Boston”; internal address: “Mrs: Abigail Adams”; endorsed: “Thomas Letter / Novbr 10. / 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Not found.
2. Not found.
3. The middle two sentences of the postscript were written sideways along the margin of the page and marked for insertion at this point.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0261

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1793-11-20

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Brother

Your father will be the bearer of this Letter, and probably will find you at Philadelphia, which our late accounts represent as being totally free from the pestilence, which raged with so much violence for two or three months.— Remember however and be cautious— In the midst of the general calamity, for which your friends participate in the general affliction, they recollect with pleasure, proportioned to the extreme anxiety they felt for you, that you were spared, and they are therefore earnest in their recommendations, that you would not expose yourself by any particular omission of precautions, when the danger is principally past.
I apprehend from the tenor of your last Letter to me, that one Letter which I wrote you, had not yet reached you. It was dated if I mistake not the 15th: of September;1 and some part of the contents, were such as I should be very sorry to have fall into any other hands. If you have the Letter now, or should receive it hereafter, I wish you to give me notice of it, for my own satisfaction: but if you have it not yet, do not perplex yourself with conjectures upon the subject, as possibly you might without this caution, from the manner in which I now speak: if this appears mysterious to you, upon explanation, you would discover that like most other mysteries, it would turn out to be something very simple.
The approaching Session of Congress is like to be somewhat tempestuous; though I really think, the extravagance of the french fire-brand's absurdities, will operate as an antidote against them.2 { 454 } His measures appear to be as weak, as his designs are destructive: but the example which he sets to future European agents, is so pernicious, it may be so easily imitated by the representatives of any foreign power; that I am alarmed at the tameness with which it is received by this people.— In this part of the Country indeed there is scarcely any body so thoroughly depraved in his politics as not to disapprove of his madness, but if the President had treated him as he did Duplaine, he would scarcely then have been punished in a degree equal to his deserts.
I hope you will not be much longer delayed in the attainment of your legal degrees, and I dare say the time you have past in your sequestration has not been lost. I most earnestly wish that your success, in your profession may be greater, and especially more rapid than mine has hitherto been. You have not quite so many disadvantages to encounter as have fallen to my lot— Three long long years of painful suspence and tedious expectation and at the close of them suspence and expectation still, is not an encouraging prospect.— Yet it has been and still is mine. I have however long since got above or below repining at it, and in spite of all my evils can fatten upon it, like one of the genuine pigs from the sty of Epicurus.3
Whereupon I conclude myself your brother
[signed] J. Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mr Thomas B. Adams. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “J Q Adams. / Novr. 20th: 93—”
1. Neither of these letters has been found.
2. The third Congress began its first session on 2 Dec. and concluded on 9 June 1794 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. “Amid hopes and cares, amid fears and passions, believe that every day that has dawned is your last. Welcome will come to you another hour unhoped for. As for me, when you want a laugh, you will find me in fine fettle, fat and sleek, a hog from Epicurus's herd” (Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle iv, lines 12–16).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0262

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had an agreable Journey to this Town, have been to Meeting all Day and heard two excellent Discourses from Mr Strong:1 We are to drink Tea at Col Wadsworths. Trumbul and his Lady are at New Haven.2 At four or five O Clock in the Morning We proceed. The Weather to day is Soft and fine, tho We had last night a violent Wind & Rain. Accounts from Philadelphia are unanimous in favour of the Healthiness of the City: Yet I think with Col Wadsworth that a Pause at Trenton to consider and inquire will not be much amiss.
{ 455 }
The Virginia Assembly have taken up the Presidents Proclamation and Seventy Odd against forty Odd, voted it right.3 But When the Minority found themselves cast they prevailed with the Majority to vote that they had nothing to do with it. Enough however was done to convince Us that We shall not be, wholly under the Directions of a foreign Minister.
Thatcher has taken for his Vade mecum Fontenelles History of oracles. I mentioned to him Farmer upon Devils: a Title that charmed him so much that he is determined to send for Farmers Works.4
Mr storer requests that you would let his Family know We are thus far safe. Brisler does the same. I am, my dearest / yours forever
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near Boston”; internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “novbr 24. / 1793.”; notation: “Free” and “Free / John Adams.”
1. Rev. Nathan Strong (1748–1816), Yale 1769, had served as minister of the First Church of Hartford, Conn., since 1774 (Colonial Collegians).
2. Poet and attorney John Trumbull and his wife, Sarah Hubbard Trumbull, who had lived in Hartford since 1781. Trumbull had attended Yale and practiced law in New Haven early in his career (DAB).
3. By a vote of 77 to 43, the Va. House of Delegates passed a resolution on 1 Nov. 1793 declaring George Washington's Neutrality Proclamation “a politic and constitutional measure, wisely adopted at a critical juncture, and happily calculated to preserve to this country the inestimable blessings of peace” (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 12 Nov.).
4. PeterGeorge Thacher's Thatcher's “vade mecum,” or guidebook, was Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle's History of Oracles, and the Cheats of the Pagan Priests, transl. Aphra Behn, London, 1688. Hugh Farmer (1714–1787), a noted dissenting minister and theologian, had published a number of tracts, including An Essay on the Demoniacs of the New Testament, London, 1775 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0263

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-24

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I have now been in the City since the 19th: and am happily able to give you the fullest assurance of our freedom from danger, on account of the malignant Fever. The Citizens have most of them returned, & universally in good health, business has revived, & is fast returning into its former train; from all present appearances, nobody would think that any Calamity had befallen us. It is surprising how soon a person wears off those impressions of terror, which tho’ all alive when he first enters the City, are forgotten in the course of a few hours. The idea of danger is dissipated in a moment when we perceive thousands walking in perfect security about their customary business, & no ill consequences ensuing from it. Many of the { 456 } Inhabitants are in mourning, which still reminds us of the occasion, but a short time will render it familiar. No person that has not been exiled from their usual residence upon such an occasion can realize the joy that is universally felt at meeting a former friend or acquaintance— The congratulations for each others wellfare are as mutual as they appear to be sincere. I find a small number of my former acquaintance who have participated in the Calamity, & a few who were victims to the disease, but by far the greater proportion have escaped. My present Landlord lost a Son, who was a pupil of Dr Rush, & the most promising young Physician of any that have died.1 He was seized with a delirium in the first Stage of his disorder and refused all medicine that was offered him. Indeed this was the case with many, & it allways proved fatal in such instances. Among those who have been swept away, I believe Mr Powell & Mr Sergeant are the only two with whom you were acquainted.2 The disease proved most fatal to tradesmen & Mechanics, whose circumstances would not admit of their leaving town;3 but no class of Citizens have been totally exempted. The Disease however is now dissipated, & I apprehend no danger can exist during this Season. I doubted before I came to town whether Congress would be safe in assembling here this Winter, & I still believe it will be a difficult matter to persuade them that no danger remains, but if they will come & judge for themselves only by two days residence they must be convinced that their fears are groundless.
My Examination for the Bar comes on next week; it is time I was, if I am not prepared to receive it. It is just three years since I entered Mr Ingersoll's Office, & tho’ I expect no business unless by accident, yet I choose to take my station at the Bar as an Atty. provided my Examinors will give me a passport. If you wish any thing sent round from here, there will be an opportunity before the Winter sets in. I am in great want of my Boots, & I hope you will not forget the Books also that I packed up to be sent me.
Remember me Affectionatly & believe me your son
[signed] Thos: B Adams
1. John Stall Jr., a medical student of Benjamin Rush, died on 23 September. Five months later Rush sent Stall's mother a silver cup in his memory (Rush, Letters, 2:674–677, 688–689, 747).
2. Samuel Powel (or Powell) (1739–1793) had been the mayor of Philadelphia and served as speaker of the Pennsylvania senate from 1792 to 1793. He died on 29 Sept. (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:125, 10:444; Philadelphia National Gazette, 9 Oct.).
3. Although ten doctors and ten ministers were included on a list of yellow fever { 457 } victims compiled by Philadelphia bookseller Mathew Carey, the majority of the dead were tradesmen, laborers, and servants. “It has been dreadfully destructive among the poor,” Carey wrote. “It is very probable, that at least seven eighths of the number of the dead, were of that class” (Mathew Carey, A Short Account of the Malignant Fever Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia, 4th rev. edn., Phila., 1794, p. 60–61, Evans, No. 26736).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0264

Author: Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-27

Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer to Abigail Adams

Had you My respected friend join'd the Small, tho’ social Circle the last Thursday, it would have been an addition to our pleasure, but by your first friend I was Soon prevented Saying Much upon the Subject—[“]as none he Said ought to be present at the parting of Hector and Andromache but the Nurse and Child”—1
I have his permission to ask your Company for a day but a Night he would not consent to, as being so long in Boston at a time always made you Sick: I added if you'd Come and Stay with Me you Should eat, drink, and Sleep, as you pleased— the weather is Now very fine, I should be exceeding glad to See you with Miss Smith any day this week that would Sute you—in that Sociable way that I flatter Myself would be grateful to you / and pleaseing to / Your / Affactionate friend
[signed] H Storer
P S My Sister Guild and My Daughter calls upon you in their way to Mrs. Cranches Mr Storer desires his Compliments—and joins Me in the above request
1. Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, lines 456–647.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0265

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-11-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

My early rising still continues, and I am writing by candle light. it is a week this day since you left me. I have rejoiced in the fine weather for your Sake. it has sometimes been cold and Blustering, but the Air has been pure and bracing. on saturday Night we had a plentifull Rain Succeeded by a fine day. I presume you reachd N York yesterday. I hope you found all our Friends well tho I have not heard from mrs Smith for a long time. I could wish if you must go to Philadelphia that you could have gone immediatly to your old Lodgings Brisler could make Breakfast & coffe in the afternoon even if you was provided with dinner in some other place. all { 458 } accounts however agree that the City is clear from infection. I Sincerely hope it is, but I do not know what cause need be given to so many, as must suffer through anxiety and apprehension for their Friends, when Sitting a few weeks out of the city might remove it.
Cousin Lucy cranch came from Town last Evening and brought your Letter dated Hartford I also received one from Thomas of the 17th. I suppose you will find him in the city upon your arrival there. he writes that dr Rush assures him that he may come with safety.
our people here at home have been engaged some days in getting wood—one at the high ways one in getting sea weed. by the way savil continues every day in bringing two & sometimes 3 Load I do not know how much you agreed with him for, so I have not Stopd him, as I knew you was desirious of getting a quantity I expect he will cart till he has a pretty high Bill
last Night accounts were received of a Bloody Battle between General Wayne and the Indians tis said Wayne kept the Feild tho with the loss of 500 m[en] and that the Indians left as many dead upon the Fie[ld] tis a great point gaind to keep the Feild against them I hope they will now be convinced that we have men enough to fight them—1
Mrs Brisler was well yesterday she has been here two days, and went home last evening
Let me hear from you every week it will be the only thing to keep me in spirits.
I am glad the virginians had some sense & some cunning as both united produced a proper measure. the Tone in Boston is much changd of mr Consul. he begins to make his Feasts and to coax & whine like a Hyena, as if having made use of big threatning language he had terrified the puny Americans and now was willing to kiss & make Friends—
present me to all those Friends who have Survived the general calimity, and as ever I am / most affectionatly yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States. / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia / Nov. 28. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. On 27 Nov., the Boston Columbian Centinel reported 500 U.S. and 600 Miami casualties in a battle in the Northwest Territory. The article attributed Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory to the assistance of Kentucky volunteers under Gen. Charles Scott who arrived in the midst of the fighting. The report was apparently a much-exaggerated account of a 17 Oct. attack by the Miami on a supply train near Fort St. Clair in which fifteen soldiers were killed and seventy horses lost. Scott and his men arrived immediately after the skirmish and were assigned to guard future convoys. In his official dispatch, Wayne { 459 } voiced concern that news of the conflict would “probably be exaggerated into something serious by the tongue of fame, before this reaches you” (Amer. State Papers: Indian Affairs, 1:361).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0266

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I arrived here Yesterday, and had the Pleasure to dine with our Children and The Baron: All are very well and send their Duty. Charles is well, fat and handsome, and persists in the Line of Conduct which We so much approved. His Business increases & he will do well.
Accounts from Philadelphia continue to be favourable. Mr Otis has written for his Family to come on, as Mrs Smith informs me. if so I shall be at no loss.
Mr Genet has made a curious Attack upon Mr Jay and Mr King which you will see in the Papers.2 My Duty to Mother, Love to Brothers Sisters Cousins, particularly Louisa. I go on towards Philadelphia to day. yours
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”
1. WSS and AA2 resided at 18 Cortlandt Street in New York (New-York Directory, 1794, Evans, No. 26919).
2. On 14 Nov., Edmond Genet wrote to both Thomas Jefferson and Attorney General Edmund Randolph claiming that John Jay and Rufus King had “published in the newspapers a libel against me” in August when they reported that Genet intended to “appeal to the People” over the decisions of the president. See CA to JA, 25 Aug., note 4, above. Genet's letters were published in various newspapers, including the New York Diary, 22 November. They first appeared in Boston in the Independent Chronicle, 2 Dec. (Jefferson, Papers, 27:367–368).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0267

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We may ever remember1 The Thirtieth of November because it was the Day on which We were absolved from Infamy; in 1782 and because it was the Day on which I entered this City in 1793.2 Finding by all accounts that the Pestilence was no more to be heard of, and that Mr Otis had returned to his House, I drove directly to Market Street and took Possn. of my old Chamber and bed. The principal Families have returned, the President is here, Several Members of Congress are arrived and Business is going on with some Spirit. The greatest Mortality appears to have been in bad Houses and among loose Women and their gallants among the { 460 } Sailors and low foreigners. Some Persons of Note have fallen. Dr Hutchinson is thought to have been the Victim of his own french Zeal, by admitting infected Persons and goods from French Vessells from the French West India Islands.3 if, however the Contagion was imported the State of the air and of the Blood, which was prepared to catch like tinder was not imported.
Mr Otis has written for his Family. Our son Thomas has been once in Town but has returned to Woodbury.
Mr Anthony came in last Evening and gave me an account of his Enquiries, the Result of all is that the Destroying Angel has put up his sword, and Said it is enough.—4 It will be enough I hope to convince Philadelphia that all has not been well. Moral and religious Reflections I shall leave to their own Thoughts: but The Cleanness of the Streets I shall preach in Season & out of Season.
My Duty and Love where due / yours forever
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; endorsed: “Decbr 1 1793”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. JA interlined the previous four words above the following line.
2. The Preliminary Peace Treaty between Britain and the United States was signed on 30 Nov. 1782; see JA, Papers, 14:103–108.
3. James Hutchinson died on 5 Sept. 1793 from yellow fever, which he contracted while nursing others during the outbreak (DAB).
4. Probably Joseph Anthony (d. 1798), a prominent Philadelphia merchant (Philadelphia Gazette, 29 Sept. 1798).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0268

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I wrote you from Hartford, New York and once from Philadelphia: but have not yet had the Pleasure of a Letter from you Since I left home.
The Night before last We had a deep Snow, which will probably extinguish all remaining apprehensions of Infection. We hear of no Sickness and all Seem at their Ease and without fear.
The Presidents Speach will Shew you an Abundance of Serious Business which We have before Us: Mr Jefferson called on me last night and informed me, that to day We should have the whole Budget of Foreign Affairs British as well as French. He Seems as little Satisfied with the Conduct of the French Minister as any one.1
Thomas Spent the last Evening with me. He has had an opportunity of Seeing the Courts, Judges Lawyers &c of New Jersey, in the Course of the last fall, and has I hope employed his time to Advantage. This Day he is to be examined and this Week Sworn in. May a { 461 } Blessing Attend him. Although I have attended and shall attend my Duty punctually in Senate, I shall not run about upon Visits without caution: yet I believe there is little or no danger.
The Viscount Noailles called on me, and I enquired after all his Connections in a Family which I knew to be once in great Power Wealth and Splendor.2 He Seems to despair of Liberty in France and has lost apparently all hopes of ever living in France. He was very critical in his Inquiries concerning the Letters which were printed as mine in England. I told him candidly that I did not write them and as frankly in confidence who did. He says they made a great Impression upon the People of England. That he heard Mr Windham & Mr Fox Speak of them as the best Thing that had been written, and as one of the best Pieces both of Reasoning and Style they had ever read.3 The Marquis he says is living, but injured in his health. Your old Friend the Marchioness still lives in France in obscurity in the Country. He thinks that a Constitution like that of England would not last three days in France, and that Monarchy will not be restored in a dozen Years if ever.—
The Partitioning and arbitrary Spirit of the combined Powers will contribute more than any Thing towards Uniting the French under their old Government. Frenchmen cannot bear the Partition of their Country: and rather than see it divided among their neighbours they will unite in something or other.
It will require all the address, all the Temper, and all the Firmness of Congress and the States, to keep this People out of the War: or rather to avoid a Declaration of War against Us, from some mischievous Power or other. It is but little that I can do, either by the Functions which the Constitution has entrusted to me, or by my personal Influence. But that little shall be industriously employed untill it is put beyond a doubt that it will be fruitless, and then I shall be as ready to meet unavoidable Calamities as any other Citizen.
[signed] Adieu
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; endorsed: “Decbr 5 1793.”; notation: “Free / John Adams.”
1. In his annual address to Congress, delivered on 3 Dec., George Washington called for legislative action to preserve peace with the warring nations of Europe, to secure peace with the hostile Indians of the Ohio Country, and to solidify peace with the disaffected Creeks and Cherokees. Describing American relations with Europe as “extremely interesting,” Washington promised to report on them in detail “in a subsequent communication.” Within two weeks, he sent to Congress three separate messages on foreign affairs—one dedicated to France and Britain, another to Spain, and a third to { 462 } Morocco and Algiers—each conveying extensive documentation of the administration's diplomatic negotiations.
The first of these messages, delivered on 5 Dec. and dealing with France and Britain, announced that Edmond Genet's actions “have breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation which sent him” and that Washington had requested Genet's recall. At the same time, Washington submitted to Congress the correspondence that led up to this decision, including Thomas Jefferson's letter to Gouverneur Morris, [23] Aug., asking Morris to make the formal request to the French government. By October, the French government—now dominated by the Jacobins—had responded, agreeing to the recall, although news of that did not reach Philadelphia until early 1794 (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 10–13, 14–16; Amer. State Papers: Foreign Relations, 1:141–300; Jefferson, Papers, 26:685–692).
2. Several members of the Vicomte de Noailles’ extended family would be executed by guillotine in June and July, including his father, Philippe de Noailles; his wife, Anne de Noailles; and his mother-in-law, Henriette Anne Louise de Noailles (JA, D&A, 4:84–85).
3. William Windham (1750–1810), member of Parliament for Norwich, was a political ally of Edmund Burke and a strong opponent of the French Revolution (DNB). For JQA's Publicola writings, see CA to JA, 29 May 1793, note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0269

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-06

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Father

The very interesting situation of our Country at present cannot fail to call forth the serious reflections of those who are anxious for its wellfare What we are destined to can only with certainty be divulged by the operation of time. Individuals reason from the experience of past ages and often draw different conclusions from the same premises. We are as yet but a young Country. Yet we have gone through some ordeals to gain experience, but we must go through many more before a Government can be established in this Country sufficiently energetic to act with a proper dignity both towards foreigners and our own citizens. We boast of freedom of security to our persons property and reputation and yet we do not find that the laws are always executed in such a manner as to secure what we boast of or to punish invaders upon those rights Through the negligence timidity or design of men who ought to exert themselves to give just and good laws their proper operation we are daily exposed to gross invasions. Through the unwillingness of men of reputation to come forward to State truths to the people we are often exposed to the rash proceedings of an ignorant Mob. Many instances of these serious facts may be exhibited. This City has from time to time subjected to the lawless depredations of the mob, and The instigators have as often been overlooked and have passed without the punishments due to their crimes. The reasons assigned for this lenity are that it is better to let such conduct pass unnoticed than to irritate the minds of people by severe punishment But surely { 463 } examples ought to be made or the evil will increase with double rapidity. We have of late had an alarming instance fury of a mob in this City A young man was indicted at the last Court of Oyer and Terminer for a rape Upon the trial no evidence was given to convict him of the crime and the jury gave a verdict Not guilty. During the course of this trial The people in the Galleries to applaud or hiss as it suited their fancy The Counsel for the Prisoner were insulted in the most gross manner in open Court Yet the judges either did not dare or neglected to punish this contempt. In the evening a mob collected and very composedly pulled down a half dozen houses The Mayor to whom much praise is due as an active and determined Magistrate did what was in his power to quell the riot but he was hindered in the execution of his office and obtained nothing but bruises and kicks The next day threats were heard in the City against the Counsel for the prisoner They were told their houses would be pulled about their ears One man said he would show them how those things were done in France The Governor promised that the Militia should be called out to protect them. Evening came on and no signs of Militia were seen and they were obliged to quit their houses for safety. It is said the Governor never ordered them out If he did they disobeyed his orders This is not probable as by late appointments he has the Militia officers at his beck all the principal officers being chosen from his band. The mob contented themselves with tearing down six or seven more houses that evening and then disbanded in a very orderly manner.1 Luckily the freak of pulling down half the City did not take them or I see no impediment to the execution. Notwithstanding all this no prosecutions no indictments no commitments have been heard of. It is said These were houses of ill fame, but they were no less private property and as such should be protected. If once the principle is admitted that the mob according to their whims have a right to destroy and execute their vengeance; whose person or property is safe? But no pains are taken to oppose such conduct and when the Citizens see or hear of such fracâ's they stare and wonder what has got into the people. Where are we to look for remedies for these outrages if men who have it in their power to prevent them sit still and wink at them? We are in danger of having many evil examples set us by the number of unprincipled foreigners who are daily pouring in upon us and they will no doubt be made tools to serve party purposes If then such violence is not nipped in the bud we have but a melancholy prospect before us—
{ 464 }
By The last Federal Militia Law—the appointment of Officers is left to the different States.2 I have doubts respecting the policy of this measure. If it is true as has been suggested That the office of Governor of a State from its nature leads the persons holding such office to an opposition of the Federal Government is it not placing a very dangerous weapon in the hands of those who unless they are more disinterested than mankind in general will not act with energy in support of the Federal cause? I do not know whether these ideas are perfectly just, they are such as have occured to me and if I am wrong I wish to be corrected.
Adieu my dear Sir / Beleive me your affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “C. Adams. Dec. 6 / ansd 8. 1793.”
1. On 8 Oct., Henry Bedlow, a notorious gallant, was tried for the rape of Lanah Sawyer, a seventeen-year-old seamstress, before the Court of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery of the City and County of New York. New York attorney general Nathaniel Lawrence presented the case for the prosecution but left the argument of it to his more junior colleagues Josiah Ogden Hoffman and James Kent. Counsel for the defense included William A. Thompson, James M. Hughes, Brockholst Livingston, Robert Troup, John Cozine, and Richard Harison.
To save their client from conviction and execution—rape then was a capital crime in New York—Bedlow's attorneys worked hard to discredit his accuser. They savaged Sawyer's character, conduct, and motives, denigrating her testimony as self-serving invention. At the same time, they struggled to establish the credibility of the witnesses who appeared on their client's behalf, in particular Mary Cary, the brothel keeper in whose house the encounter between Bedlow and Sawyer had occurred. Whitewashing Cary's obvious moral shortcomings, the lawyers for the defense painted her testimony as disinterested truth. In the end, their strategy proved successful. After a trial lasting fifteen hours, the jury deliberated for just fifteen minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty.
Six days later, however, popular anger over the trial incited a mob to demolish Cary's house and destroy all of its furnishings. Several other brothels suffered the same treatment that night and the next. By the third night Mayor Richard Varick and the city magistrates had restored order, apparently without assistance from Gov. George Clinton (William Wyche, Report of the Trial of Henry Bedlow, N.Y., 1793, Evans, No. 26513; Franklin B. Hough, The New-York Civil List, Albany, 1858, p. 30, 36, 428; New-York Directory, 1792, Evans, No. 24281; New York Diary, 7 Nov. 1793; Paul A. Gilje, The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763–1834, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1987, p. 87–88).
2. Congress intended the Uniform Militia Act, passed on 8 May 1792, to strengthen national defense through the establishment of a militia system consistent throughout the states. The act's failure to promote uniformity or improve preparedness led George Washington to call for new legislation in the annual address that he delivered to Congress on 3 Dec. 1793 (U.S. Statutes at Large, 2d Cong., 1st sess., p. 271–274; C. Edward Skeen, Citizen Soldiers in the War of 1812, Lexington, Ky., 1999, p. 6–8).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0270

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-09

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I believe you are indebted to me for a letter or two, but as your late loss has been my gain, it is more incumbent on me to attempt { 465 } to compensate in some measure by my communications the absence of my Father.
You have doubtless provided yourself with a comfortable supply of Winters Stores for a severe campaign, as there is reason to anticipate a long one— The Winter has but just commenced with us, but we hope its continuance will not be short, for much of our security against a return of the late disorder is thought to depend on this Season. Congress have commenced their Career with the interesting transactions of the Executive department during their recess— The budget was opened last week and has already occupied three or four days in the mere reading. They are to be published shortly, when you will have an opportunity to gratify your curiosity, which I can easily immagine is excited on the occasion.1 Altho’ the making public the heretofore private negociations of the Executive may wear the appearance of novelty, & excite alarm in those who are acquainted with former usage, as establishing a dangerous precedent, yet I trust the fairness, candor and liberality of our Government will be no more liable to imputations unfavorable for its reputation, than its character for firmness and decission can be impeached by Foreigners.
There seems to be a wish in the Executive that the letters which have passed between him & Foreign Ministers should meet the public eye at this time, and I believe it a very happy circumstance that the conduct of the Minister of France has called them forth. There are many people who think we shall be under the necessity of arming our Merchantmen, so as to protect our trade & make reprisal whenever it appears that our Vessels have been unjustly captured or detained. The Merchants complain of the defenceless state of our Commerce, of the imposibility of trading to advantage, or with so much Safety as if we were actually engaged in War. Congress will probably take these things into consideration in the course of the present Session, & I hope place us in a mo[re] respectable situation as to the means of defence in case of an actual rupture, than at present we are—
My Examination for the Bar is passed, and the Oath of Office administered to me—2 I am at liberty therefore to undertake the cause of the oppressed, & attempt to render justice to him that is wronged— I anticipate very little of this kind of business this winter—if it comes it will be more acceptable.
My Father was well when I saw him last; he had recd: no letter from you since his arrival & would have been anxious if my Brother { 466 } JQA had not quieted his apprehensions by a few lines—3 Believe me your son
[signed] Thomas B Adams
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. A Message of the President of the United States to Congress Relative to France and Great-Britain. Delivered December 5, 1793, Phila., 1793, Evans, No. 26334. Published by order of the House of Representatives, this pamphlet was initially released in two parts. The first part, which contained George Washington's message along with the papers that he had forwarded regarding relations with France, appeared by 5 Jan. 1794; the second part, which contained the papers relative to Britain as well as the original French versions of papers presented earlier in translation, appeared on 22 Jan. (JA to CA, 5 Jan., Adams Papers; Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 23 Jan.).
2. TBA was admitted to the Philadelphia bar on 7 Dec. 1793 (John Hill Martin, Martin's Bench and Bar of Philadelphia, Phila., 1883, p. 243).
3. JQA's letter to JA has not been found, but on 10 Dec., JA acknowledged a letter from JQA of 28 Nov., commenting that “considering your Mothers usual Goodness in writing to me in my too frequent Absences, I have been under some Anxiety for her health, because I have not received any News from her since I left her” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0271

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-12

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This Day having been devoted to Thanksgiving by the Governor of Pensilvania, Congress have adjourned to Fryday.1 We have had a great Snow and afterwards a great Rain but not enough to carry off all the Snow. The Weather therefore is still cool, tho fair and pleasant. All Apprehension of the Fever Seems entirely departed, a Circumstance the more comfortable to me, as, having been among a few of the Earliest who came into Town, if any Thing unfortunate had followed I might have been reproached for Setting a precipitate Example.
our Son Thomas was examined approved and Sworn the last Week; so that We have three Lawyers upon the Theatre of Action. May they be ornaments to their Country and Blessings to the World.
Congress has a great Task and a very unpleasant one before them. With Indians and Algerines for open Ennemies and so many other Nations for suspicious Friends, besides so many appearances of ill Will among our own Citizens, who ever Envies a seat in that Body I believe the Members have no great reason to be delighted with theirs.2 My own is a situation, of Such compleat Insignificance, that I have Scarcely the Power to do good or Evil: yet it is the Station the most proper for me, as my Eyes and hands and Nerves are almost worn out.
{ 467 }
The two Houses have been tolerably unanimous in giving to the Presidents system a kind of rapid approbation: but what will be the Result of the Negotiations with France and England I know not.3 Mr Jefferson has regained his Reputation by the Part he has taken, and his Compositions are much applauded by his old Friends and assented to by others. The fresh depredations of the Algerines are so well calculated to prevent Emigration to this Country from England scotland and Ireland, that People are ready enough to impute their Truce with Portugal and Holland to British Interference. our Trade is like to suffer by the Arbitrary Decrees of England Spain and France as well as by the ferocious Pyracy of Affrica.4
This Winter will Shew Us the Temper of England as well as France. Americans cannot see with Pleasure the French Islands fall into English hands, nor will even French Emigrants be gratified with the Partition of their Country.5 But Foresight is impossible in such a Chaos. I am with great Anxiety for / your health, your
[signed] J. A
1. On 14 Nov., Pennsylvania governor Thomas Mifflin declared 12 Dec. a day of thanksgiving to mark the end of the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic. Four days later nineteen city clergymen signed an address encouraging participation in the observance (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 11 Dec.).
2. The ongoing problem of U.S. relations with Algiers came to the fore again in late 1793 when Portugal—which had customarily protected U.S. ships from Barbary pirates around the Strait of Gibraltar to ensure continuing imports of American corn and flour—signed a peace treaty with Algiers. This new situation left U.S. ships vulnerable to piracy, and the Algerines immediately took advantage, capturing eleven vessels by December and enslaving their crews. Some in the United States also blamed the British for the situation, arguing that the British were allied with the Algerines, had encouraged the peace treaty with Portugal, and had possibly incited the Algerines to make their captures. These events pushed Congress to act on the crisis in early 1794, authorizing a million dollars to purchase peace and ransom captive sailors and additional money to establish a U.S. Navy (Frank Lambert, The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World, N.Y., 2005, p. 73–77).
3. George Washington's Neutrality Proclamation received the endorsement of the House of Representatives on 6 Dec. 1793 and of the Senate on the 9th in their respective replies to his annual address, even though neither body had completed its review of his intervening message respecting relations with France and Britain (Annals of Congress, 3d Cong., 1st sess., p. 17–18, 138–139).
4. After the outbreak of war in Europe in the spring of 1793, Britain and France each maneuvered to starve the other of provisions from the United States by unilaterally decreeing neutral trade with the enemy illegal and then seizing American merchant vessels caught in violation (Cambridge Modern Hist., 7:318–319).
5. In the spring and summer of 1793, Britain expanded the war with France to the Caribbean. After capturing Tobago in April, British forces invaded St. Domingue, and the colony was divided between the warring armies. The French government of St. Domingue responded by freeing the colony's slaves and inviting them to join the army, a move that eventually turned the conflict in France's favor (Michael Duffy, “The French Revolution and British Attitudes to the West Indian Colonies,” in David Barry Gaspar and David Patrick Geggus, eds., A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean, Bloomington, Ind., 1997, p. 83–85).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0272

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-14

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

I hope this days post will bring me a Letter from you at Philadelphia, and that I shall hear you are well and at mr otis's tho obliged as they say to keep Batchelors Hall for a short period. mrs otis I trust will be with you before this Letter. I wrote by her tho I had little to inform you of. your Farm will occupy your mind I know Sometimes and you will wish to know if the ground is broke up which you left unfinish'd. the stones have been removed and one days work after a Rain has been performd. the people were anxious to compleat it the next day tho the ground was stiff, but [in] the attempt they Broke the beam of the plough & were obliged to quit. we have sent it to be repaird & the first opportunity it will be compleated. the weather has been pleasent & the Sea weed is attended to every day when, wood is not. Arnold is very anxious to tarry with me and has offerd to stay at six dollors the winter Months. at present I thought I could do without him but gave him encouragement that I would hire him if snow came so as to get the stones across the pond.1 what can be done with the set of wretches who have begun their winter depredations upon the cedar pasture, Cut down trees lately as Arnold informs me, Some of those which the fire past over have been seen at wilsons door. Humphries informs me that the lot call'd Ruggles's a bound tree containing 5 foot has been recently cut down & others near it & carried of, by nobody knows whom.2 Boilstone Adams has had his shop broke open this week 2 sides of soul Leather Boot legs & several calfs skins carried away. they broke the Glass & then unfastned the window in shrt we seem to live amongst a people who have no sense of Right & wrong— Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friends. read columbus—and let me know the opinions of those who do.3
Yours most affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
mrs Brisler & family are all well
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs Adams / Decr. 14. ansd 23d.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Possibly Joseph Neale Arnold (1764–1816), a Quincy neighbor whose wife, Mehitable Adams Arnold, was a daughter of JA's first cousin Ebenezer Adams (Sprague, Braintree Families; vol. 6:238).
2. Probably Levi Humphrey (b. 1767), “a transient man” of Braintree. “Ruggles's” lot was likely the woodlot AA purchased in 1783 { 469 } that was formerly owned by Samuel Ruggles (b. 1700) of Braintree and Boston (Sprague, Braintree Families; vol. 5:285, 288).
3. JQA published in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 30 Nov., 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, and 21 Dec. 1793, fourfive essays (over several issues) under the name Columbus in response to the activities, writings, and controversy surrounding Edmond Genet's mission. Columbus describes Genet in the first essay as “the most implacable and dangerous enemy to the peace and happiness of my country,” then uses the subsequent threefour to outline his reasons for this opinion, attacking Genet's attempts to circumvent George Washington's neutrality policy and to draw the United States into the European war.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0273

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-12-14

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Congress have recd from the President all the Negotiations with France and England as well as those with the Indians. On Monday We expect those with Spain and all the Intelligence recd respecting the Algerines. The whole forming a System of Information which Shews our dear Country to be in a critical Situation. So critical that the most sanguine are constrained to pauze and consider.
The Truce between the Regency of Algiers and the Court of Portugal will be imputed by a Party to the Influence of England, and No Other Party that I know of can contradict them. The Event has been daily expected, for Years, as it has been known that Portugal has been all along Suing for Peace, without offering Money enough to Satiate the Avidity of the hungry Barbarians. The Disposition to emigration in England Scotland and Ireland will be checked, and our growing Navigation will be impeded so much by these Corsairs, that the British Government will be Suspected to be highly delighted with it.
Congress must take a cool Survey of our Situation and do nothing from Passion.
I have read two Numbers of Columbus. The Compass of Observation, maturity of Reflection and Elegance of Style Suggested to me Conjectures that the Statute of Limitations might not be the only Apology for my short Letter. It is a Mortification to reflect, that a few Ironies, a merry Satirical Story, or a little humour will make more Impression than all these grave Reasonings, polished Eloquence and refined oratory. The President however, with the Unanimous concurrence of The Four Officers of State, has formed the Same Judgment with Columbus, and I hear no Members of Congress who profess to differ from them.
How does your Democratical Society proceed in Boston? There ought to be another Society instituted according to my Principles, { 470 } under the Title of the Aristocratical Society: and a third under that of The Monarchical Society and no Resolution ought to have Validity, untill it has been considered & approved by all three.
These Democratical Proceedings have brought upon Us, the Jealousy of the Combined Powers, and of all the French who do not concur with the Jacobin Clubbs, and these will soon be, if they are not at present the Majority of the Nation. Our People would do well to consider, to what Precipice they are running. When Junius Said The opinions of the People were always right and their Sentiments never wrong, I wonder what World he lived in.1 Is not a Mahometan Religion, the opinion of a People as well as the Christian and have not the Sentiments of the People of England for Example been furious against Monarchy in one year and for it in another. Such Popular Adulation is to me most contemptible, Although it is so pernicious that it ought to excite more Indignation than Contempt.
For myself, my Race is almost run. You have a long Career before you, and I am happy to observe that you have not accommodated your opinions nor Sentiments to the momentary Fashions of the present times, but have Searched for Principles which will be more durable. I am affectionately
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Adams”; endorsed: “My Father 14. Decr: 1793.” and “My Father Decr: 14. 1793.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. Junius, “To the Printer of the Public Advertiser,” 13 Oct. 1769, The Letters of Junius, London, 1770, Letter XXVII. JA is also quoting JQA's own work back to him; JQA had just used the same quotation in the second article in his Columbus series.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0274

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Abigail Adams
Date: 1793-12-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams Smith

[salute] My Dear Daughter:

I thank you for your kind letter of the tenth of this month.1
Mr. G. may well be shocked at the Message. It is a thunderbolt. I cannot but feel something like an apology for him, as he was led into some of his enterprises by the imprudence of our fellow-citizens. The extravagant court paid to him by a party, was enough to turn a weak head. The enthusiasm and delirium of that party has involved us, and will involve us, in more serious difficulties than a quarrel with a Minister. There is too much reason to fear that the intemperance of that party has brought upon us an Algerine war, and may compromise us with all the maritime powers of Europe.
{ 471 }
It is a very difficult thing for a man to go into a foreign country, and among a strange people, and there act a prompt and sudden part upon a public political theatre, as I have severely felt in France, Holland, and England; and if he does not keep his considering cap always on his head, some party or some individual will be very likely to seduce him into snares and difficulties. This has been remarkably Mr. G.'s unhappy case. Opposition to the laws, and endeavours to set the people against the government, are too gross faults to be attempted with impunity in any country.
The scandalous libel on the President, in a New-York paper, is a proof to me, that foreign politics have had too much secret influence in America; indeed, I have known enough of it for fifteen years to dread it; but this desperate effort of corrupt factions, is more than I expected to see so soon.2
Present my love to my two dear boys. You have a great charge upon you, my dear child, in the education of these promising children. As they have not had the regular advantages of public schools, your task in teaching them literature must be the more severe. A thirst for knowledge early excited, will be one of the best preservatives against that dissipation and those irregularities which produce the ruin of so many young men; at the same time that it will prompt them to acquire those accomplishments which are the only solid and useful ones, whether they are destined to any of the liberal professions, to the gallant career of soldiers, or to the useful employments of merchandise and agriculture.
Your mamma complains that she has not received a letter from you in a long time. Remember me to Colonel Smith.
Your affectionate,
[signed] J. Adams.
MS not found. Printed from AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:125–127.
1. Not found.
2. Thomas Greenleaf's New York Journal printed “a letter from a gentleman in Virginia” in the 7 Dec. issue that attacked George Washington without ever mentioning him by name. The piece suggested that Washington “looked up to the Mogul of England for high preferment” at the close of the Revolutionary War and accused him of being “most infamously niggardly” and “a most horrid swearer and blasphemer.” On 11 Dec., at the Tontine Coffeehouse, “a numerous and respectable meeting of Citizens” issued a series of resolves condemning the piece and Greenleaf for having published it. That same day, Greenleaf apologized in his newspaper for the publication, claiming, “The person at whom it is said to be aimed, is as highly respected and revered by me, as by any citizen of the United States, and I do most sincerely regret, that it ever was published” (New York Daily Advertiser, 11 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0275

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Having taken a cold which makes it inconvenient to go out this morning I cannot employ myself more agreably than by writing to you. The President and Mrs Washington enquire after you very respectfully every time I see them. Mrs Washington enquires after all of Us and particularly Miss Louisa— She wishes, with an Emphasis and I dare Say very sincerely, that I had brought you along with me.— Mr Dandridge acts at present as The Presidents Secretary and I dont find that he has any other Secretary or Aid de Camp at all.1 Miss Nelly went over into Maryland in the Course of the Summer and there got the Ague and Fever. The poor Girl looks pale and thin, in Consequence of it: but will soon got the better of it.
Brisler has engaged some Rye Flour for you, but when you will receive it, I know not. Cheesman is not yet Arrived. Yesterday was brought me an Account of which I had not the least Suspicion for above an hundred dollars, from Bringhurst. Will it not be adviseable to sell the Cochee? and the Chariot,? and buy a new Chariot? Perhaps Some Coachmaker in Boston would exchange. We Shall have little Use for the Cochee, and have no Room at present to dispose of the Coach. I only mention this for Consideration. Furniture and Carriages have made Mischief enough for Us.— Rocks are much better, at least they do less harm.
I went to See Mrs Wilson, but she was gone out. The Judge was at home, and is very young notwithstanding his Spectacles and White Hair.— Mrs Hammon looks portly enough for a Lady who has been the Wife of an Ambassador half a Year and more.2
I told you in a former Letter that Thomas was examined approved and sworn.
For Want of a virtuous Magistracy or a virtuous Attorney General Pro Tempere, to prosecute convict and punish disorderly Houses at New York, the Sovereign Mobility took the Guardianship of the public morals into their own Hands and pulled down Seven or Eight houses, turning with exemplary Inhumanity many Ladies into the cold Air and open Street. The public was irritated by two or three Charges of Rapes, and the Lawyers treated the Subject with too much Levity, treated virtuous creditable Women with too much indifference and Mother Cary the old Beldam with to much respect. This is what I hear. I am sorry that Mobs should have a plausible { 473 } Excuse for Setting up for reformers. But I never could feel an intollerable Indignation against the Riots called Skimmington Ridings3 when they really were excited by gross offences against Morals.
Yours as ever
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 15 1793.”
1. Bartholomew Dandridge Jr. (ca. 1772–1802), Martha Washington's nephew, had replaced Tobias Lear as George Washington's secretary earlier in 1793 (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 8:234–235).
2. Margaret Allen, daughter of Andrew Allen of Philadelphia, had married British minister plenipotentiary George Hammond on 20 May (DNB; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 21 May).
3. “A ludicrous procession . . . usually intended to bring ridicule or odium upon a woman or her husband in cases where the one was unfaithful to, or ill-treated, the other” (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0276

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-12-16

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

The Revolution in France is commonly Said to be without Example in the History of Mankind: But although there may be circumstances attending it, peculiar to itself, I cannot think it altogether unlike any Thing that has happened. The Revolution in England in the time of Charles the first has so many features in common with it, that I think the History of England from the Year 1625 to the Year 1660 deserves to be more attended to than it is in these days. It would well become all young Gentlemen to read it, not for the Sake of imbibing the Spirit of Party from it, but to observe the Course and Progress of human Passions in Such Circumstances. In this View let me recommend to you to inquire where you can borrow Lord Clarendons History of The Rebellion and Civil Wars in England and to read it through in Course. To me who read it, within the first Year after I was admitted to the Bar, in the Winter of 1758 and 1759, it has been as Useful as any Work I remember to have read. It has put me on my guard against many dangers, on on hand and on the other to which in the Course of my Life I have been exposed.1 Whitelock is another Writer on the Same Times who is well worth your reading.2 You may indeed read the Account given by Rapin, Maccauley Hume, smollet or any of the Historians, but none of them in my opinion will render the reading of Clarendon Useless or unnecessary.3 There is the Life of Oliver Cromwell written by Harris, and if my Memory Serves me, some other Lives by the Same Author, which, although they are Apologies for Oliver and his friends, will through much Light upon the Transactions of that { 474 } Period.4 Rushworths Collections you may perhaps find in some of your Public Libraries and Rimers Fadera may contain Usefull Papers.5
The Monarchy was voted down the King was beheaded, the House of Lords were decreed Useless and Prelacy or the Hierarchy were demolished as compleatly as they have been lately in France. Yet in 1660 Monarchy Aristocracy and Hierarchy were restored and became more popular than ever. The Interregnum continued twelve years from 1648 to 1660: Oliver Cromwell however and his Army held the Place of Government. How long the Commonwealth could have lasted without his Aid is uncertain. Whether the Commonwealth of France will last as long, time will determine. The national Convention Seem to be determined that none of their Generals, shall live long enough to acquire Power either to Support or counteract them. This System will probably shorten the duration of their own Influence. In reading the Events of this Period of Republicanism in England, you will naturally increase your Esteem of real Liberty and your Affection for it, while you Satisfy your Understanding that it cannot exist without Government wisely tempered & well organized. You will find much Entertainment as well as Instruction. That you may receive both from these and all other Studies is the sincere Wish of your Father
[signed] J. A
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Mr Charles Adams”; endorsed: “Decr 16 1793.”
1. Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England Begun in the Year 1641, 3 vols., Oxford, 1702–1704. Portions of two volumes of a 1720 edition are in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. Bulstrode Whitlocke, Memorials of the English Affairs; or, An Historical Account of What Passed from the Beginning of the Reign of Charles the First, to King Charles the Second His Happy Restauration, London, 1732.
3. Paul de Rapin-Thoyras and N. Tindal, The History of England, 25 vols., London, 1725; Catherine Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James I. to [the Revolution], 8 vols., London, 1763; David Hume, The History of England, 6 vols., London, 1754–1762; Tobias George Smollett, A Complete History of England, 4 vols., London, 1757–1758.
4. William Harris, An Historical and Critical Account of the Life of Oliver Cromwell, London, 1762. Other titles by Harris include An Historical Account of Hugh Peters, London, 1751; An Historical and Critical Account of the Life and Writings of Charles I, King of Great Britain, London, 1758; An Historical and Critical Account of the Life of Charles the Second, King of Great Britain, 2 vols., London, 1746; and An Historical and Critical Account of the Life and Writings of James the First, London, 1753.
5. John Rushworth, Historical Collection of Private Passages of State, Weighty Matters in Law, Remarkable Proceedings in Five Parliaments, 8 vols., London, 1721–1722; Thomas Rymer, Foedera conventiones, liter, et cujuscunque generis acta publica, 20 vols., London, 1704–1735.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0277

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-19

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear father

I received your favour of the 16th yesterday. I am sorry that from what I said in my last to you it should be inferred that I wished to advocate the cause of infamy or that I had partially related circumstances. All I meant by there being no evidence was that was not such evidence as would warrant a jury to find the prisoner guilty of the charge laid against him. I most earnestly request that you would not too easily take up ideas prejudicial to me Your letter if it was intended to give pain had the desired effect but I have to observe that many things have been told respecting me which are false many things reported which I attest Heaven are not true. Lord Hale's history of the Pleas of the Crown I have read and some of the other authors you have recommended.1 My attention shall be turned to the others. I do not look upon the French Revolution as a new thing many circumstances have perhaps contributed to make it more replete with crimes than any other. The great ignorance of the mass of the people made them easy tools for the factious and unprincipled demagogues to work with Many men at such periods will arise who are continually endeavoring to promote the reign of anarchy well knowing that their only chance of keeping upon the top of the wheel is in a continued scene of tumult. In France there does not appear to be one two or three or four parties but five or six hundred and most indubitably it is better to have one Cromwell than five hundred. I have lately read a pamplet Entitled Plaidoyer pour Louis seize par Monr Lally Tollendal. It is a morsel of eloquence which I am anxious you should see Much information is to be gathered from it. The history of the author is remarkable. During the reign of Louis 15th his father was executed in a most ignominious manner for surrendering Pondicherry to the English His son found protectors and applied himself to the study of the laws with the intention to vindicate the memory of his father. At the age of 22 he proffered a Memorial to Louis the 16th requesting a revision of the decree against his father. It was granted and he appeared himself as the Solicitor before the parlement of Paris and the memory of his father was releived from disgrace his property and title restored.2 Such is the man who was anxious to defend his King but was denied the privilege of doing it before the National Convention A man as I am informed [of si]ngular eloquence and most persuasive Oratory.
{ 476 }
I have received your kind assistance of an hundred dollars for which accept my sincere thanks.
The people I think show an unusual degree of dejection at the prospect of affairs. Nor are those who have been most instrumental in exasperating the powers of Europe against this Country among the least cast down. Civic feasts. Kicking British Officers out of Coffee houses King killing toasts &ca &ca are things which some begin to think were imprudent. and perhaps not altogether justifiable I see nothing but sad experience that can bring all right.
I am my Dear Sir your dutiful son
[signed] Charles Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Vice President of the United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “C. Adams. Decr. 19. / 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Sir Matthew Hale and Emlyn Sollom, Historia placitorum coronne (The History of the Pleas of the Crown), 2 vols., London, 1736.
2. Trophime Gérard, Marquis de Lally-Tolendal, Plaidoier du Comte de Lally-Tolendal pour Louis XVI, London, 1792. Lally-Tolendal (1751–1830), an orator and scholar, had initially supported the French Revolution but grew disenchanted with its increasing violence and eventually fled to England. His father had been the commander-in-chief of the French Army in India, but in 1766 he ran afoul of court politics and was summarily tried and executed by beheading. His son eventually persuaded Louis XVI to reverse the judgment in 1783 and his estates were restored (Ann. Register, 1830, p. 255–256).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0278

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mrs Otis arrived with her little Rosignal, in good health and Spirits the night before last, and brought me your favour of Decr 7.—1 Why am not I so fortunate as to be able to receive my best Friend, and to Spend my Days with her whose Society is the principal delight of my Life. If I could make Twelve Thousand dollars at a Bargain and Several of Such Bargains in a Year: but Silence.— So it is ordained and We must not complain.
If a Suitable Season should occur for ploughing, our Men may plough, if not they may leave it till Spring.
I like your Plan very well to Stock one Place with young Cattle, and to apply to shaw if Humphreys and Porter decline, to take care of the Dairy in the other.
I am pleased with Dr Tufts's Plan.
Citizen Genet made me a Visit yesterday while I was in Senate and left his Card: I shall leave mine at his Hotel Tomorrow: as Several of the Senators have already hastened to return their Visits: but We shall be in an Awkward Situation with this Minister.— I write { 477 } you little concerning public affairs, because you will have every Thing in Print. How a Government can go on, publishing all their Negotiations with foreign Nations I know not. To me it appears as dangerous and pernicious as it is novel: but upon this occasion it could not perhaps have been avoided. You know where I think was the Error in the first Concoction. But Such Errors are unavoidable where the People in Crowds out of Doors undertake to receive Ambassadors, and to dictate to their Supream Executive.
I know not how it is: but in proportion as dangers threaten the Public, I grow calm. I am very apprehensive that a desperate Antifœderal Party, will provoke all Europe by their Insolence. But my Country has in its Wisdom contrived for me, the most insignificant Office that ever the Invention of Man contrived or his Imagination conceived: and as I can do neither good nor Evil, I must be born away by Others and meet the common Fate.
The President has considered the Conduct of Genet, very nearly in the Same light with Columbus and has given him a Bolt of Thunder. We Shall See how this is supported by the two Houses. There are, who gnash their Teeth with Rage which they dare not own as yet. We Shall Soon See, whether We have any Government or not in this Country. If the President has made any Mistake at all, it is by too much Partiality for the French Republicans and in not preserving a Neutrality between the Parties in France as well as among the Belligerent Powers: But although he Stands at present as high in the Admiration and Confidence of the people as ever he did, I expect he will find many bitter and desperate Ennemies arise in Consequence of his just Judgment against Genet. Besides that a Party Spirit will convert White into black and Right into Wrong, We have I fear very corrupt Individuals in this Country, independent of the common Spirit of Party. The common Movements of Ambition every day disclose to me Views and Hopes and Designs that are very diverting. But these I will not commit to Paper. They make sometimes a very pretty Farce, for Amusement, after the great Tragegy or Comedy is over. What I write to you must be in Sacred Confidence and Strict discretion.
Mrs Washington prays me, every time I see her to remember her to you very affectionately. I am as ever / your
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 19. 1793.”
1. AA's letter to JA of 7 Dec. discussed difficulties she was having coming to terms with her farmhands and reported on Cotton Tufts’ plan to pay off a portion of one of the Adamses’ notes (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0279

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

I have to acknowledge your two kind Letters one of the first the other of the 5th of december from philadelphia my anxiety has in some measure abated since I found you went immediatly to your old Lodgings, as no person was sick in that house if the air of it had been properly Changed by opening & airing I should hope theire might be no danger, this winter. the spring will be the most dangerous Season. I would fain hope that when publick danger threatens, all personal views & interests will vanish or be swallowd up in the more liberal and enlarged Policy of Love of Country & of Mankind. the speach of the President is that of the wise Man who foreseeth the danger & Gaurdeth against it. I never liked the translation, hideth himself, that looks too cowardly for a wise and brave Man.1 I would hope that congress may be so united in their measures as to dispatch important matters in a short period. the message relative to foreign affairs was more full and decisive than I expected. every one may see that the President is much in earnest and that tho cool, he has felt properly warm'd Genet has renderd him self contemptable indeed. Columbus has not done with him, by what I can learn he has carried conviction to those who before doubted for want of proper information. I have not seen any attempt to answer him. I should like to know what the opinion of the peices is with your members. Some persons have said they were written by Ames others ascribe them to mr Gore to mr otis & some to an other hand. Russel has been Questiond, he say they are not in his hand writing, “but sir I know the writer there is but one man capable of writing them!”
I rejoice that Thomas has got through his studies and examination. I hope he will get into buisness I know he will be attentive industerous and obliging. I sincerely pray that he may be prosperous— the season is fine with us. I have written to you every week Since your absence & was surprizd to find by your Letter of the 9th to our son that you had not heard from me.2 mrs otis is with you before this time, and will add to the comfort and happiness of the Family. when I found that no danger was apprehended I wrote to urge her to go on. I hope your Health is better for your journey. I have not been sick, but have [had] a Remembrancer of my old Ague tho I have not been in Boston Louissa at the same time had a much Severer attack so as to Shake an hour. I hope we have queld it for the { 479 } present. our Friends are all well. I propose visiting a New Nephew to day, mrs Norten has an other son.3 Girls seem to be denied our Families I hope we shall not have occasion for so many soldiers—remember me to all my old acquaintance whether in or out of Congress.— is mrs washington with the President. my particular regards attend her from your / ever affectionate
[signed] A Adams
I have seen the dr to day he tells me that he took up the Note and payd three hundred pounds, gave his own for the other three hundred which he proposes to pay of the next month, as he does not like the trouble of a monthly renewal, besides that it amounts to seven pr ct as the interest must be pay'd Monthly. I believe I mentiond to you before that he designd the interest due in Jan’ry as part of the Sum. if you can other ways provide for me I would not break in upon his plan. I have purchased 30 Bushels of oats the price 2s. 10d pence pr Bushel I must soon procure an other load of hay. savil has carted 30 load of sea weed. he has not yet call'd for his pay. our people have carted 13 load and very different ones from savils. his object was to get up three loads pr day, and load all himself, it could not be large I have as you directed, askd mr Pratt for his account. he will bring it in a few days— I have payd Arnold and he is gone for the present. thus much for Buisness—
I received Thomas Letter of december 9th and will write him soon. it already Seems a long time since you left me. I fear I shall not be able to look forward to your return at so early a period as the last year.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Portia Decr. 20 / ansd 30. 1793.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs, 27:12).
2. For JA's 10 Dec. letter to JQA, see TBA to AA, 9 Dec., note 3, above.
3. Elizabeth Cranch Norton gave birth to a third son, Jacob Porter Norton, on 16 December.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0280

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This Morning I returned Mr Genets’ Visit. The Conversation was confined to Some Inquiries I made concerning his Mother, and Sisters with whom I was acquainted at Versailles in 1778. 1779. and 1780,1 and some little discussion about the form of the new { 480 } Constitution: but not one Word or hint or Allusion concerning himself his Conduct, or the Conduct of our Government or People towards him. I perceive Some Traits of his Countenance which I knew in 1779.
He appears a Youth totally destitute of all Experience in popular Governments popular Assemblies or Conventions of any kind: very little accustomed to reflect on his own or his fellow Creatures hearts; wholly ignorant of the Law of Nature & Nations, the civil Law, and even of the Dispatches of ancient Ambassadors with which his own Nation and Language abound. A declamatory Style a flitting fluttering Imagination, an Ardour in his Temper, and a civil Deportment are all the Accomplishments or Qualifications I can find in him, for his Place.
The Printer in Boston cannot afford Room for Columbus, though’ he has Space enough for the most miserable Trash. The Writer had better print Such Things in a Pamphlet—in that Way a Printer might make Money. He cannot be too cautious to avoid all Expressions, which may be thought inconsistent with the Character of a Gentleman.
I thank him for his masterly defence of the Writers on the Law of Nations and for laying before the Public Such Passages as are extreamly to the Purpose.
Your Children must conduct the affairs of this Country, or they will be miserably managed, for I declare I know of nobody but them or some of them rising up who are qualified for it. If they Suffer as much in the service, and get as little either of honour Profit or Pleasure by it as their Father has done, they will deserve to be pitied rather than envied.
The President and Mr Jefferson have handled Genet, as freely as Columbus. How Jefferson can feel I know not. There are Passages in Genets Letters which imply that Jefferson himself contributed very much to lead him into the snare.
yours as ever
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 20th / 1793.”
1. Marie Anne Louise Cardon had married Edmé Jacques Genet, a chief clerk in the French foreign ministry, in 1752. Together they had nine children, including four daughters who lived beyond infancy: Jeanne Louise Henriette, Julie Françoise, Adelaïde Henriette, and Anne Glaphire Sophie (Meade Minnigerode, Jefferson, Friend of France, 1793: The Career of Edmond Charles Genet, N.Y., 1928, p. 5–7). For JA's acquaintance with the Genet family in 1778–1780, see JA, D&A, 2:354–355, and JA, Papers, vols. 6–10passim.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0281

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I went this morning to Dr Greens and this afternoon to St. Pauls where I heard Dr Magaw: but I am not Sure it is prudent to go to Church or to Meeting for if there is danger and can be infection any where it is as likely to be in these Assembleis as in any Place. All the World however says and believes there is no danger.
Our son Thomas opened at the Bar, on Fryday and acquitted himself to his own Satisfaction at least, and that is a great Point. His Cause was a Prosecution of a disorderly house and consequently his Audience was crouded. Two of your sons are thus engaged in the great Work of Reformation and I wish them success. Mr Ingersol thinks, that as Charles is not necessitated to push into the Country for an immediate subsistance, he had better remain in the City where there is the greatest Quantity and Variety of profitable Business. But advises me to let him ride the Circuits in the Summer, to see the Country and the People as well as practice. This Plan upon the whole I approve, among many others for this decisive one, that he will avoid the danger if there should be any in the Summer Months.
I cannot write you upon public affairs. I should write in Shackles. There will be many weak Propositions no doubt. it is even possible there may be some wicked ones: none I hope Stark mad.
The Antifœderal Party by their ox feasts and their civic feasts, their king killing Toasts, their perpetual Insolence and Billingsgate against all the Nations and Governments of Europe their everlasting brutal Cry of Tyrants, Despots, Combinations against Liberty &c &c &c have probably irritated, offended and provoked all the Crowned Heads of Europe at least: and a little more of this Indelicacy and Indecency may involve Us in a War with all the World. on the other hand It is possible the French Republicans may be angry with Us for preventing their Minister, from involving Us in War & Anarchy. The State is in critical Circumstances, and have been brought into them by the Heat and Impatience of the People. If nothing will bring them to consideration, I fear they will suffer Severely for their Rashness. The Friends of the Government have been as blind as its Ennemies in giving Way to the Torrent. Their great Error was in suffering Publicola to be overborn and Paines Yellow Fever to be { 482 } Spread and propagated and applauded, as if, instead of a Distemper, a putrid, malignant mortal fatal Epidemic, it had been a Salubrious shower of Blessings from on high. It is reported this Luminary is coming to America.1 I had rather, two more Genets should arrive.
Mrs Dalton and too many others to be named, desire their respects to you.
My office renders me so compleatly insignificant that all Parties can afford to treat me with a decent respect, which accordingly they do, as far as I observe or hear or suspect. They all know that I can do them neither much good nor much harm.
My Health has been pretty well, excepting a Cold, which I regularly have upon entering this City two or three Weeks, every Year.
I am afraid We shall have a long session. But I hope We shall rise in April. My Duty to my Mother & Love where due.
yours unceasingly
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers) endorsed: “Decbr 22 1793.”
1. Thomas Paine did not return to America until 1802; in late Dec. 1793, he was imprisoned by the French as a British national after he broke with the increasingly radical National Convention (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0282

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1793-12-23

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Charles

The Papers, furnish Us this Evening with more flowers of Jacobinical Rhetorick from New York. Crushing Monarchy Confusion to Aristocracy and Monarchy: a Brutus to Tyrants &c are Still not only panting in the Bosoms of the Guests at the new Civic Feast, but they must publish their Breathings to the World.1
It is so customary for the Members of the Corps Diplomatick, to make Ex officio representations of Such Ebullitions in Newspapers to the Administration of the Government to which they are Accredited; that it must be acknowledged to be much to the honour of the Gentlemen who are here from Spain Holland and England, that they have not hitherto persecuted the President & secretary of State with Remonstrances against our Newspapers. Their Silence is a Proof of their Moderation, their Patience and their Tenderness for the Freedom of the Press. I Suppose too that they make allowances for our Youth and Inexperience of the World. For Our Ignorance of what in Europe is known and acknowledged to be the Delicacy and Decency, due to all foreign nations and their Governments. We claim a Right, very justly to the form of Government We like best. Every Nation in { 483 } Europe has the Same Right and if they judge Monarchy to be necessary for their Happiness, What Right have We to reproach, much less to insult them? Supposing ourselves to be Judges of what kind of Government is best for them, a Supposition however which We cannot modestly make and which is certainly ill founded, We should have no right to impose upon them our Ideas of Government, any more than our principles of Religion or systems of Faith. There is an Ungenerosity in this disposition So often displayed by so many of our Countrymen, nearly bordering on meanness of Spirit, and an illiberality, Strongly marked with littleness of Soul.
Should a foreign Minister complain to the President against the grossest of these Libels, and demand that the Printers, Writers &c should be punished, what could he answer? He must answer that he would give orders to the Attorney General to prosecute them: should the Attorney General Prosecute and the Grand Jury not find a Bill or the petit Jury not convict what would be the Consequence? Resentment, Vengeance and War as likely as not. At the present Moment the Combination of Powers is so strong, that We may expect they will be irritable in Proportion to their feeling of their own Superiority of Power. And I am really apprehensive that if our People cannot be persuaded to be more decent, they will draw down Calamities upon our Country, that will weaken Us to such a degree that We shall not recover our Prosperity for half a Century.
What assistance can France give Us, or We afford her in the present Posture of affairs? We should only increase each others Miseries, if We were involved in War, with all her Ennemies.
our People Seem to think they could now go to War with England and be at Peace with all the rest of Europe: a delusion so gross that I am amazed it should have deceived the Sagacity of the meanest of our Citizens: so sure as We go to War at present with any one European Power We must go to War with all, excepting Denmark and Sweeden, and the Consequences of such a War have not I fear been maturely weighed by my dear Countrymen. I am my dear Charles your / affectionate Father
[signed] J. A.
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); endorsed: “Decr 23 1793.”
1. The Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 23 Dec., reprinted a letter from New York regarding a farewell dinner for Edmond Genet, which he was ultimately unable to attend. Nonetheless, the guests gathered and made various toasts in support of the French Revolution, including “Success to the French cause—May every Frenchman be a Hercules to crush despotism and monarchy” and “The Rights of Man universally acknowledged.”

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0283

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have enough to do to write Apologies in Answer to Invitations to dinner and to Tea Parties: but I have long Since taken the Resolution that I will not again loose myself and all my time in a wild vagary of Dissipation. As it is not in my Power to live on equal terms with the Families and Personages who exhibit so much real Hospitality in this City, I would not lay myself under Obligations to them which I could not repay. But besides this I have other Motives. I have Occasion for some time to write Letters to my friends, and for more, that I may read something, and not be wholly ignorant of what is passing in the litterary World. There is more pleasure and Advantage to me, in this than is to be found in Parties at dinner or at Tea.
Columbus is republishing in New York, in a public Paper, of whose Title I am ignorant, whose Editor is Mr Noah Webster who is lately removed from Hartford to that City, and is Said to conduct his Gazette with Judgment and Spirit upon good Principles.1 He has given a conspicuous Place and a large handsome Type, as I am told to the Speculations of the Bostonian. Here they are unknown, except to two or three, but I have heard they are to appear a Printer having heard Mr Ames Say they were a very compleat Thing and that there was but one Man in Boston that he knew of who could write them
our Friend Mr Cabot has bought a Farm in Brokelyne, adjoining to that of my Grandfathers, where he is to build an House next Summer. He delights in nothing more than in talking of it. The Searchers of Secret motives in the heart have their Conjectures that this Country Seat in the Vicinity of Boston was purchased with the Same Views which some Ascribed to Mr Gerry in purchasing his Pallace at Cambridge and to Gen. Warren in his allighting on Milton Hill.2 Whether these Shrewd Conjectures are right or not, I own I wish the State may never have worse Governors, than Gerry or Cabot, and I once thought the Same of the other.
I am told Mr Jefferson is to resign tomorrow. I have so long been in an habit of thinking well of his Abilities and general good dispositions, that I cannot but feel some regret at this Event: but his Want of Candour, his obstinate Prejudices both of Aversion and { 485 } Attachment: his real Partiality in Spite of all his Pretensions and his low notions about many Things have so nearly reconciled me to it, that I will not weep. Whether he will be chosen Governor of Virginia, or whether he is to go to France, in Place of Mr Morris I know not. But this I know that if he is neglected at Montecello he will soon see a Spectre like the disgraced Statesman in Gill Blass, and not long afterwards will die, for instead of being the ardent pursuer of science that some think him, I know he is indolent, and his soul is poisoned with Ambition.3 Perhaps the Plan is to retire, till his Reputation magnifies enough to force him into the Chair in Case. So be it, if it is thus ordained. I like the Precedent very well because I expect I shall have occasion to follow it.— I have been thirty years planning and preparing an Assylum for my self and a most admirable one it is, for it is so entirely out of order, that I might busy myself, to the End of my Life, in making Improvements. So that God willing I hope to conquer the fowl Fiend whenever I shall be obliged or inclined to retire. But of this prattle, (entre nous) enough.
Yours as ever
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 26 1793.”
1. Noah Webster's recently established New York newspaper, American Minerva, reprinted the second and third Columbus essays on 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24 December.
2. George Cabot (1752–1823), Harvard 1770, had been a Beverly, Mass., sea captain and merchant. He served as one of Massachusetts’ senators from 1791 to 1796. In 1793, he purchased a large farm and house in Brookline, Mass. If he had political designs on the Mass. governorship they never materialized though he was considered for a diplomatic mission to France (Sibley's Harvard Graduates 17:344–367). JA's grandfather Peter Boylston had been a Brookline shopkeeper.
3. In Alain René Le Sage's The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane transl. Tobias Smollet Book XII, ch. xi, the Count d’Olivares upon losing his public position, retires to his garden where he is haunted by a ghost: “I am the prey of a morbid melancholy,” he reports to Gil Blas, “which eats inwardly into my vitals: a spectre haunts me every moment, arrayed in the most terrific form of preternatural horror. In vain have I argued with myself that it is a vision of the brain, an unreal mockery: its continual presentments blast my sight, and unseat my reason. Though my understanding teaches me, that in looking on this spectre I stare at vacancy, my spirits are too weak to derive comfort from the conviction.” He dies shortly thereafter. Gaspar de Guzmán, Count d’Olivares (1587–1645), served as minister under King Philip IV of Spain from Philip's ascension to the throne until 1643 when he was forced to retire (Cambridge Modern Hist., 4:635–637 654).
Thomas Jefferson formally retired on 31 Dec. 1793. He would spend the next three years primarily at Monticello, where he improved his farms, built a grist mill and nail factory, and generally focused on agricultural and building concerns. He remained out of public office until his election to the vice presidency in 1796 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0284

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

The weather is so extreemly cold that my Ink almost freezes whilst I write, yet I would not let a week pass without writing to you tho I have few occurrences to entertain you with; I received last saturday your two Letters one of the 12 and one of the 13th december;1 I have not yet had a Philadelphia paper. when the pamphlets are out containing the correspondence between the ministers I hope you will send me one. in Edds paper of the last week appeard a low abusive peice against the British minister for the conduct of his court towards America but it was really too low for notice.2 the Chronical exults, without reason however at Dallas’es Reportt, it has become as much of a party paper as Freaneus.3 there is a great & general Allarm arising from the depredations which it is reported & feard the Algerians have made upon American vessels. All imported articles particuliarly west India produce has risen in concequence of it; congress will indeed have their Hands full of Buisness—and will have no time I hope, and very little disposition to quarrel. I am solisitious to know what Genets conduct will be at Philadelphia. I presume he does not shew his Head at the Levee nor will he venture a visit to you in his publick Character; I think he is much like Cain after he had murderd Abel. Columbus closed last Saturday. I hope you have seen all the Numbers we have had in the course of the last week a very suden Death dr Rhoads was taken sick with a nervious fever and dyed the 3 day leaving a most distrest family 5 children 2 of them quite Babies, and mrs Rhoads hourly expecting to get to Bed, and in want of every necessary of Life. I never was witness to a more distresst Scene. I attended the funeral, and found her in fits, the children and people in the Room all terifye'd not knowing what to do with, or for her. dr Phips had run home for some medicine; and every person seem'd to be thrown into the utmost distress. the dr was a kind Husband and an innofensive man dejected & disspirited tis Said by his prospect, her situation is pityable indeed. she has since got to bed and happily I may say lost her Baby which no doubt sufferd from her distress of Body and mind4
our Friends here are all well. I do not learn that any persons have been endangerd by going into the city of Philadelphia, so that my fears and apprehensions are much quieted. this very cold weather if { 487 } it reaches you will tend to preserve the Health of the inhabitants, but I fear it will pinch you severely. it gives me the Rhumatism
I am with every sentiment of affection and Regard most tenderly your
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.” endorsed: “Mrs Adams 28. Decr / 1793 / ansd. 6 Jan. 1794.”
1. JA wrote a brief letter to AA on 13 Dec., acknowledging hers of 28 Nov., above. He mentioned attending church services on the day of thanksgiving and also noted Edmond Genet's arrival in Philadelphia (Adams Papers).
2. The Boston Gazette, 23 Dec., contained a piece signed “A Merchant” attacking George Hammond, “one of the diplomatic Agents of our late detestable Tyrant,” for declaring the British intent to seize U.S. provisions being shipped to France. “The Ignorance of this person becomes as conspicuous as his Impudence is insupportable,” the article continues. “The Principles of the War against the French are well known to be precisely the same with those which instigated the late cruel and unprovoked attack upon the Liberty and Independence of this Country.” The piece also excoriates the British government for its part in the Indian wars and “their late manœuvres in ALGIERS.”
3. Alexander James Dallas published a report in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 9 Dec., outlining his version of events related to Genet's ongoing battle with John Jay and Rufus King over the French minister's alleged “appeal to the people.” Dallas’ report, while describing Genet as “intemperate” and accusing him of issuing “angry epithets,” nevertheless stated unequivocally that the expression that Genet would “appeal from the President to the People” was in Dallas’ words, not Genet's. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 19 Dec., reprinted Dallas’ statement. In the same issue, the newspaper also published an editorial celebrating Dallas’ “strict probity” and decrying, “it is evident that every unfair measure has been taken to injure Mr. Genet, in the opinion of the people—to destroy his reputation, and to throw him into a ‘dilemma’ in the execution of his office.”
4. Dr. Joseph Wanton Rhodes (or Rhoades) (b. ca. 1752) died on 19 December. He had been married to Catherine Greenleaf (b. 1760) since 1780 (Boston Independent Chronicle, 30 Dec. 1793; Boston, 30th Report, p. 447; Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 196).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0285

Author: Shaw, Elizabeth Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-29

Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear Sister—

It is a long time since I have written to you, or received a Line from either of my much loved Sisters— I have done like many others, in the more important Concerns of Life, who, though convinced of their Duty, put off the performance of it, to a more convenient Season—not considering, that the present moment, is the only one we may be favoured with—
I know that my Sister looks back upon the last year, & now sees the close of it, with peculiar gratitude—that Heaven has been pleased to preserve the lives of all her Family—& to spare her Son when surrounded on every side, with that most awful pestilential Dissease which has torn so many Mothers from the arms of their clinging Infants, & with a cruel despotic sway, in quick succession { 488 } made, “wild Inroads on a Parents Heart—”1 But he who is the repairer of breaches—who hears the young Ravens when they cry, will not be deaf to the cries of those helpless Infants, but will raise up Friends to those distressed Orphans, who will be the guide of their tender Years—
When the Congress first met, I felt very anxious, & I know your mind must have been much agitated—least the City should not have been properly cleansed—& the air prove prejudicial to your best Friend— I never think of him, but with a petition to heaven, that his most useful Life might be spared, that he might see the blessings of that Government, of which he has been so instrumental,—preserved, inviolate to his Childrens, Children—
A nervous putrid fever has prevaield in the Towns round us, & carried of a number of Persons— Mr Welch, a Class-mate of your Son's, is among the number—

“Lamented Youth! in life's first bloom he fell”2

He was a young minister beloved by every one—happy in the affections of the People of his Charge—Zealous in promoting the intereste of Religion, without too great a degree of Enthusiasm—meek—& serious—with out affectation—cheerful, without Levity—complacent & affable without familiarity gentle in his manners—excellent in his Morals he enforced, & gave a double weight to his Precepts, by the purity of his Life—which was uncommonly useful, improving in knowledge & virtue— What! though short his date—if it has answered Life's great end—it is enough— Scarce one year has elapsed since he was united to an accomplished Lady—in the silken bands of Hymen—whom in the pangs of Death, he pressed to his fond faithful Heart—& beged of her Mother, to again receive, & protect both her, & hers, if heaven should be pleased to bless his widowed, pensive solotary mate, with the tender appellation of Parent—which alas! he must never know—3 It was a Scene almost too tender, for Description— I will say no more than that

“In Sorrow, may I never want a Friend

Nor, when others mourn, a Tear to lend—”4

Mr Cranch went away suddenly, & I had not time to finish this—May it find you in health—& the new born year be replete with Blessings—
I wish you would be so kind as to lend me the Rights of Women—the first opportunity—5 when you write to your Children, please to { 489 } give my Love to them all— / & accept of the unfeigned Love, & Grati- / tude of your affectionate Sister
[signed] E. Shaw—
Please to excuse the writing, as Abby is round all the time chattering like a Mag-pye—
1. Isaac Watts, “To Mitio My Friend,” line 99.
2. Homer The Iliad, Book XVII, line 348.
3. Francis Welch (1766–1793), a classmate of JQA at Harvard, served as the minister at West Amesbury, Mass., until his death on 15 December. He had married Priscilla Adams (1772–1817) in Dec. 1792; their only chil, Priscilla Perkins Welch, was born in Feb. 1794 (William Prescott, “Philip Welch of Ipswich, Ms., and His Descendants,” NEHGR, 23:421 [Oct. 1869]). For JQA's sketch of Welch see Diary, 2:236.
4. Anne Steele, “The Friend,” in Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, 3 vols., Bristol, Eng., 1780, 1:237–239, lines 41–42.
5. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, London, 1792.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0286

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1793-12-30

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] my dear

I inclose to you your Brothers Letter I should have Sent for you last saturday but I expected a snow storm. I suppose your Father has written to you. he is vex'd with the Printer for Publishing in three Numbers what ought all to have been in one. he says the writer of Columbus had better publish in a pamphlet by which a printer may get money, and as pamphlets are much in vogue at present. suppose you should hint it to him your Father sends his thanks to the writer, for his masterly defence of the writers upon the Law of Nature and Nations and for laying before the publick such passages as are extreemly to the purpose Genet made him a visit as he did to other Senators who all hastned to return it. he was at home when your Father returnd his. there conversation was confind to inquiries after his mother & sisters, &c and to some discussion about the form of their New constitution. Take Genets Character from one who has long been accustomed “to look quite through the deeds of Men”1 [“]He appears a youth totally destitute of all experience in popular Governments popular assemblies or conventions of any kind: very little accustomed to reflect on his own or his fellow creatures Hearts wholy ignorant of the Law of Nature & Nations, the civil Law and even of the dispatches of Ancient Ambassadors with which his own Nation and Language abounds A declamatory stile a flitting fluttering Imagination an Ardour in his Temper, and a civil deportment are all the accomplishments or qualifications to be found in him for his place” and this Character I would send to the Printer if I { 490 } dared.2 you may if you will venture. it is the most favourable one that is due to him. mr Jefferson treats him I think quite as freely as Columbus Have the Libel which was printed upon the President by Greenleaf & the Resolves which past at the Coffe house in concequence of it, reachd Boston. your Father mentions it in one of his Letters.3 the P—— finds that there is more than one Church left in America. I dont know where he could find ports enough to make them all into Consuls— I own that is a little spightfull, yet I do Revere respect honour and Love the President.—
I shall send next saturday for you. if you have an opportunity to send to Charles the remaining Numbers do. the Tigers paw will delight him. I felt the down of it when I read it.4 I do not mean however to single out this beautifull metaphor as the only object worth consideration I have read all the Numbers with attention and consider them a valuable present to the publick tending, to place in a true and just point of view the conduct of a Man who has disgraced his office, and made himself so obnoxious as scarcly to be entitled to common decency. partizans may Rail, but sound reason will enlighten and prevail. I see a scene opening before me which will call for as great exertions from the rising generation as their Fathers have already pasd through. may all those to whom talants and abilities are entrusted qualify themselves for the Guidence and protection of the common Weal. Parties are arising and forming themselves upon Principals altogether Repugnant to the good order and happiness of society. No fire, says an Author I have lately been reading assails a civil edifice so voilently as the Flame of National Passion, for it consumes the very stones of the Fabrick levels merrit to the Ground and makes reason tremble excites tumults and insults and makes way for the triumphant entry of Ambition those Hearts which ought to be cordially united by the Bonds of Brotherly Love Breathe nothing but vengance & Rancour5
adieu yours affectionatly
[signed] A Adams
1. From Julius Caesar's description of Cassius: “He reads much, / He is a great observer, and he looks / Quite through the deeds of men” (Shakespeare Julius Caesar, Act I, scene ii, lines 202–204).
2. AA is quoting from JA's letter of 20 Dec. above.
3. On 13 Dec., JA wrote to AA, “A great Indignation has been excited at New York by a Libel on the President, which I have not Seen as it is Suppressed at present as much as possible. Greanleaf has published an Apology at least as Sawcy as it is modest” (Adams Papers). See JA to AA2 14 Dec., note 2, above.
4. In the fourth part of the Columbus essays, JQA writes that the French ministers “have not been able to disguise their real contempt for the Americans. They have interspersed numerous menacing insinuations { 491 } amid their warmest pretences of friendship; and the murderous fangs of the tyger, peep through the downy velvet of her paws, at the moment when she fawns the most” (Boston Columbian Centinel, 18 Dec.).
5. AA is quoting from Benito Jerónimo Fiejóo y Montenegro, “On the Love of Our Country, and National Prejudice or Prepossession,” in Essays, or Discourses, Selected from the Works of Feyjoo, transl. John Brett, 4 vols., London, 1780, 2:99–100.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0287

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-30

Charles Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dear Father

The effusions of our Jacobin spirit had been smothered if some evil minded person in Philadelphia had not published an extract of a letter from one of the party relating the circumstances The whole conduct of the feast had been carefully concealed nor was it possible to procure any information respecting it until the extract appeared.1 The partisans of Mr Genet fall off daily. some still remain and it is said that most of them will find their purses somewhat lightened by their connection. As to our other Citizens they are very much troubled least the Gentleman should cover himself with the black mantle. Your last letter I have a desire to give it to one of our Printers, but I would not do it without your consent It abounds with such truths as I think must forcibly strike the public mind which now appears open to conviction. It is not difficult to fix upon the author of the peices signed Columbus. They are very highly esteemed and have been reprinted in all our papers except Greenleaf's in which I should be sorry to see them. He is the veriest imp of sedition that was ever suffered in a City. but he has lately received a lesson which he will not soon forget He published an infamous peice against the President which has cost him dear and excited a general detestation against him. Heavens! what a change! but four year ago and we thought the voice of calumny dared not attack this man. I recollect a conversation I had with you Sir upon this subject before they had commenced their attacks in that quarter. I remember well the apprehension you expressed least they should strike even there. We now see that those apprehensions were not groundless. The consequences are to be feared. How poor a reward for virtuous exertions in the service of our Country.
The high winds for these few days past have prevented the Mails from Philadelphia passing the river. Will it be possible to persuade the State Government to cooperate in the defense of the Country? What alterations are proposed in the Militia law? Fenno does not send me his papers so that I do not obtain regular information from { 492 } the Seat of Government. At This crisis so interesting and important the papers would be peculiarly acceptable.
My Love to my brother I am glad he has began his carreer with so much propriety.
Adieu my dear Sir beleive me your / affectionate son
[signed] Charles Adams
1. See JA to CA, 23 Dec., note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0288

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-12-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

This morning I received your favour of the 20th. The House I am in was aired and Smoked with Tar & Powder and the Vaults Slaked with Lime &c before I came in.
I hope with you that Congress will not remain here late in the Spring: but the Extent of Business before Us Seems to be immense. Perhaps the less We do the better. Something however must be done.
When Russell Said “there is but one Man capable of Writing Columbus” he Said what I have thought all along.— The Persons I converse with are too wise to give any Opinions or Say any Thing about Such Writings. most are too wise to read them. I wish Columbus may not be inflated with Vanity and too much emboldened. festinelente.1 He will have more Influence in his Closet, than upon the Stage.
I Sympathise with you and Louisa. My own health has been better for my Journey: but I have a great Cold every Year, before I have been a fortnight in the City and you know it lasts Six Weeks. I never find any Benefit from any thing I do for it, so I leave it to take its Course
But as Mr Izard and his Wife say “We are grown too old to live Seperate”— Mr Izard is here keeping Batchelors Hall—she at New York with Mrs Marrigold. It is very hard upon me in my old age to be obliged to live from my Family, after having been a slave for thirty Years— Oh Columbus, Columbus you know not what you are about.—
Mrs Washington is here and never fails to make the kindest Inquries and to send the most cordial Regards.
I this day received a Visit from Mr Joseph Priestley the oldest son { 493 } of Dr Priestley, with a Letter from his Father. The Letter with a Card was left when I was in the Senate: as soon as I came home and found the Letter, I returned the Visit—and found Mr Joseph Priestly with his Wife and his youngest Brother, with another Enlishman whose Name is Colman I believe. I revere the Dr and his sons are likely Men: but they will do no good in America, untill they are undeceived. They are blinded by Ignorance or Error: blinded beyond the most stupid and besotted of our American Jacobins.2 entre nous. They are young however and will be corrected by Experience.
I like the Drs Plan very well— I can send you, what you may want I hope— There cannot be too much Seaweed, provided the Loads are heavy enough. I hope The Bedding of the Animals is changed often.
We have pleasant Weather here.— We hear nothing of Cheesman— Mrs Dalton Mrs Otis hear nothing of their Adventures which were on board Phillips. There has been terrible Gales at sea and many Small Craft lost. I do not yet despair of Cheesman, but We are in Trouble on his account.3
We Shall sooon See The Lt. Governors Speech to the General Court.4 Some curious metaphisical if not Jesuitical Subtilties I warrant you: The Dotage of a Man who was never equal to the Station he now holds may demand some Excuse. But no Man in that Chair will be independent. Independence is not compatible with popular Elections I fear. These are Truths that even, I, am not independent enough to say to every Body. But although The Popular Voice will overawe every Man in some degree, I hope We shall be able to Steer the Vessell clear of the Rocks and Sands. God knows!
yours
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 30 1793.”
1. That is, “Festina lente” (Hasten slowly).
2. Dr. Joseph Priestley's letter of 20 Aug. (Adams Papers) was carried to JA by Priestley's eldest and youngest sons, Joseph (1768–1833) and Henry (d. 1795). Joseph Jr. had married Elizabeth Ryland (d. 1816) in 1792. Both sons had immigrated to the United States in Aug. 1793 with the goal of locating land on which the whole family could settle. Accompanying them was Priestley's friend Dr. Thomas Cooper (1759–1839), a British doctor and lawyer who was also interested in settling in the United States. JA disapproved of the Priestleys’ pro-French stance. Joseph Priestley Sr. had been made a citizen of France in 1792 and elected to the National Convention, though he never sat in that body. The family eventually settled in Northumberland, Penn. (DNB; DAB).
3. On 27 Nov. 1793, the schooner General Heath, Capt. Samuel Chesman, left Boston for Philadelphia carrying a trunk from AA to JA. After a week at sea the vessel encountered a severe gale off the Delaware Capes. Chesman, the first mate and a boy named Joseph Willcut were swept overboard, and although the two men made it back aboard the boy was lost. The damaged vessel arrived { 494 } in Charleston, S.C., on 11 Jan. 1794 and in Philadelphia by 1 April when JA received his trunk (AA to JA, 8 Feb.; JA to AA, 1 April, both Adams Papers; Boston Columbian Centinel, 16 Nov. 1793, 8 Feb. 1794).
4. On 17 Jan., Lt. Gov. Samuel Adams, as acting governor, gave a speech to the Mass. General Court commenting on the nature of the U.S. Constitution and the need for balance between federal and states’ rights, supporting the creation of a similar constitution in France, and advocating education for all young people (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1792–1793 p. 706–711).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0289

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1793-12-31

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my dearest Friend

Your two kind Letters of the 19 & 20th reachd me on the 28th they are my saturday evenings repast. you know my mind is much occupied with the affairs of our Country. if as a Female I may be calld an Idle I never can be an uninterested Spectator of what is transacting upon the great Theater, when the welfare and happiness of my Children & the rising generation is involved in the present counsels and conduct of the principal Actors who are now exhibiting upon the stage. That the Halcion days of America are past I fully believe, but I cannot agree with you in sentiment respecting the office you hold; altho it is so limited as to prevent your being so actively usefull as you have been accustomed to, yet those former exertions and Services give a weight of Character which like the Heavenly orbs silently diffuse a benign influence. Suppose for Instance as things are often exemplified by their contraries, a Man, in that office, of unbridled Ambition, Subtile intriguing, warpd and biased by interested views, joining at this critical crisis, his secret influence against the Measures of the President, how very soon would this country be involved in all the Horrours of a civil War. I am happy to learn that the only fault in your political Character and one which has always given me uneasiness, is wearing away, I mean a certain irritability which has some times thrown you of your Gaurd and shewn as is reported of Louis 14’th that a Man is not always a Hero— Partizans are so high, respecting English and French politicks, and argue so falsly and Reason so stupidly that one would suppose they could do no injury, but there are so many who read and hear without reflecting and judging for themselves and there is such a propensity in humane Nature to believe the worst especially when their interest is like to be affected, that if we are preserved from the Calamities of War it will be more oweing to the superintending Providence of God than the virtue and wisdom of Man. How we are to avoid it with France supposing Genet should not be recall'd I know not. must we { 495 } Submit to such insults? judging from the manner in which France has carried on the present War, I should not wonder if they feard a Partition of their Kingdom. A Frenchman reminding an English man of the Time when in the Reign of Henry the sixth, the English were almost absolute Masters of France Said sneerlingly to him “When do you think you will again become Lords of our Kingdom?” to which the Englishman replied, [“]When your iniquities shall be greater than ours.”1 how can any Nation expect to prosper who War against Heaven?
By this time you will have seen all the Numbers of Columbus. I should like to know the Presidents opinion of them, as well as some other Gentlemen who are judges. they assuredly are ably written, and do honour both to the Head and Heart of the writer, who deserves well of his fellow citizens for the information he has thrown upon a subject of so much importance at so critical a period—but their is a “barberous Noise of asses Apes and dogs” raisd by it in the Chronical.2 nevertheless sound reason and cool Argument will prevail in the end.
Having spun my thread out with respect to politicks I will think a little of our own private affairs. dr Tufts has paid two hundred pounds and become responsible himself for the remainder. I wrote to you his further intention,3 the 17 of Janry he proposes to discharge two hundreds pounds more. I have closed my account this day I have kept an exact account of my expenditures & payments since you left me, which I inclose to you.4 mr Cary offerd to bring me an other load of Hay at the same price. what he brought is agreed to be of the first quality, and it was all weighd, but I did not feel myself in a capacity to engage it absolutely. we have heitherto had so little snow that Buisness is dull mr Belcher has cleard of all the sea weed untill some high Tide brings more. he is now getting home the pine wood.
our Friends desire to be rememberd to you. mrs Brisler and family are well. you will present me affectionatly to mrs washington who I respect and Love
My Love to Thomas. I hear he is for fighting the Algerines, but I am not sure that would be the best oconomy, tho it might give us a good pretence [for] Building a Navy that we need not be twichd by the Nose by every sausy Jack a Nips— he had better find Law for his countrymen and prevail upon them to take it.
I am as ever most affectionatly / yours
[signed] A Adams
{ 496 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.” endorsed: “Mrs A. Decr 31. 1793 / ans. Jan. 9. 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. From “A Frenchman” on, AA is quoting from Benito Jerónimo Fiejóo y Montenegro, “The Most Refined Policy” in Essays, or Discourses, Selected from the Works of Feyjoo, transl. John Brett, 4 vols., London, 1780, 1:145.
2. “When straight a barbarous noise environs me / Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs” (Milton, Sonnet XII, lines 3–4). On 26 Dec., Americanus attacked Columbus’ analysis of the Consular Convention and interpretation of the Constitution in the Boston Independent Chronicle, disputing that Columbus’ arguments were “founded on the law of reason, and on the Constitution.”
3. AA to JA, 20 Dec., above.
4. Not found.

Chronology

The Adams Family, 1790–1793

1790
4 Jan.: The 2d session of the 1st Congress convenes in New York.
2 March: Abigail Adams Shaw, daughter of John and Elizabeth Smith Shaw, is born in Haverhill.
12 March: Richard Cranch Norton, son of Rev. Jacob and Elizabeth Cranch Norton, is born in Weymouth.
17 April: Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at the age of 84.
28 April 1790 – 27 April 1791: JA's Discourses on Davila, a series of unsigned essays, is published in 32 installments in the New York (later Philadelphia) Gazette of the United States.
29 May: Rhode Island ratifies the Constitution, the last of the original thirteen colonies to do so.
15 July: JQA is admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
16 July: George Washington signs an act to move the temporary seat of government from New York to Philadelphia and establish a permanent seat on the Potomac River in ten years’ time.
21 July: TBA graduates from Harvard; JQA and William Cranch receive their master's degrees.
July: William Cranch is admitted to the Massachusetts bar and opens a law office attached to his father's shop in Braintree.
7 Aug.: AA2 gives birth to her third son, Thomas Hollis Smith, in New York.
9 Aug.: JQA opens a law office at the Adamses’ Court Street property in Boston.
12 Aug.: The 2d session of the 1st Congress adjourns in New York.
10 Sept.: TBA joins the Adamses in New York.
Oct.: TBA leaves New York for Philadelphia to begin a legal apprenticeship in the office of Jared Ingersoll.
12 Nov.: The Adamses take up residence at Bush Hill, an estate outside of Philadelphia, after a five-day journey from New York.
{ 508 }
Nov.–Dec.: TBA suffers an acute rheumatic attack, lying “18 days totally deprived of the use of his Limbs”; he is attended by Dr. Benjamin Rush.
6 Dec.: The 3d session of the 1st Congress convenes in Philadelphia.
Dec.: WSS leaves for England to pursue business opportunities.
1791
20 Jan. – 3 March: JQA visits Philadelphia from Boston.
3 March: The 3d session of the 1st Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
4 March: Vermont is admitted to the Union.
4 March: While still in Europe, WSS is appointed supervisor of revenue for the district of New York, having served as marshal since 25 Sept. 1789.
21 March – 6 July: George Washington makes a tour of the southern states, visiting Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah; he is greeted with great fanfare.
April: AA2 and her family relocate within New York City, from 13 Nassau Street to Dye (now Dey) Street.
2 May: JA, AA and TBA leave Philadelphia for an extended visit to Braintree, stopping in New York and Fairfield, Conn., due to AA's illness.
May: Thomas Paine's Rights of Man is published in the United States; Thomas Jefferson pens the new introduction, indirectly attacking JA's “political heresies” in Discourses on Davila.
5 June: WSS returns to the United States from England on the British packet.
8 June – 27 July: JQA, under the pseudonym Publicola, publishes eleven letters in response to Paine's Rights of Man in the Boston Columbian Centinel;JA is widely believed to be the author.
20–25 June: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their children are stopped at Varennes while attempting to flee the capital and brought back to Paris.
6 July: John Thaxter Jr., AA's cousin and former secretary to JA, dies in Haverhill.
8 July: Thomas Hollis Smith, AA2's third son, dies.
July: William Cranch moves to Haverhill to take up the law practice of John Thaxter Jr.
{ 509 }
Aug.: AA2 and the children, accompanied by WSS's brother and sister, visit JA and AA in Braintree; CA also visits for a time before leaving for New York on 21 August.
24 Oct.: The 1st session of the 2d Congress convenes in Philadelphia.
31 Oct.: Philip Freneau launches the Philadelphia National Gazette to counter John Fenno's Gazette of the United States.
Oct.: AA and JA depart Braintree for Philadelphia, visiting the Smiths in New York on their way.
Oct.: Richard Cranch suffers from a severe gangrenous leg injury and is weakened by sickness through the winter.
late Oct.: JA and AA take up residence in a home in Philadelphia at the corner of Fourth and Arch streets.
1 Nov.: WSS is appointed supervisor and inspector of the district of New York.
29 Dec.: William Smith Norton, son of Rev. Jacob and Elizabeth Cranch Norton, is born in Weymouth.
1792
Winter: AA suffers from an “Intermitting” fever, preventing her from attending most social events in Philadelphia.
Jan. – mid-Feb.: AA2, WSS, and William Steuben Smith make an extended visit with the Adamses in Philadelphia; CA also visits for a fortnight.
23 Feb.: Quincy is set off from Braintree and incorporated as a town.
29 March: AA2, WSS, and their two children sail for England aboard the Bristol, arriving in England in early May.
24 April: The Adamses leave Philadelphia for Quincy.
8 May: The 1st session of the 2d Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
1 June: Kentucky is admitted to the Union.
July: CA is admitted to the New York bar.
10 Aug.: The French Revolution intensifies with the invasion of the Tuileries Palace and the arrest of the royal family. Ten days later the Marquis de Lafayette emigrates from France to Austria.
20 Aug.: CA opens a law office in Hanover Square, just off of Wall Street.
late Oct. – 9 Nov.: WSS visits Paris, where he agrees to act as an agent for the French government in collecting debts owed to France by the United States.
{ 510 }
5 Nov.: The 2d session of the 2d Congress convenes in Philadelphia.
19 Nov.: JA departs for Philadelphia, arriving on 4 Dec., and takes a room with Samuel and Mary Otis; AA remains in Quincy for the winter owing to her ill health.
19–26 Dec.: JQA publishes three letters in the Boston Columbian Centinel under the pseudonym Menander protesting the antitheatrical actions taken by Massachusetts attorney general James Sullivan.
1793
21 Jan.: Louis XVI, having been tried by the National Convention and found guilty of conspiring against the nation, is executed by guillotine in Paris.
9 Feb.: The Smith family returns from England on the Portland packet.
13 Feb.: The Electoral College votes are counted and read by JA in Congress: George Washington is unanimously reelected president and JA wins a plurality for vice president.
2 March: The 2d session of the 2d Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
4 March: Washington takes the oath of office at a special session of Congress and delivers a brief inaugural address; JA attends along with foreign ministers, representatives, and many spectators.
mid-March: JA departs Philadelphia to join AA in Quincy.
8 April: The French ambassador to the United States, Citizen Edmond Genet, arrives in Charleston, S.C., and makes an overland journey to Philadelphia arriving on 16 May.
July–Aug.: TBA visits the Adamses in Quincy and the Smiths in New York.
July–Nov.: A yellow fever epidemic breaks out in Philadelphia, eventually taking 4,000 lives; thousands, including TBA<