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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0040

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Cranch, Mary Smith
Date: 1790-07-04

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

[salute] my dear sister

A Memorable day in our calender a Church beloning to the dutch congregation is this day to be opened and an oration deliverd. this Church was the scene of misiry & horrour, the Prison where our poor Countrymen were confined, crowded & starved during the { 74 } War, & which the British afterwards destroyed. it has lately been rebuilt and this day is the first time that they have met in it.1 they have done us the favour of setting apart a pew for us. the Clergyman is dr Lynn one of the Chapling to congress and I think a better preacher than most that I have heard to day; an oration is [to] be deliverd by dr Levingstone the other Minister belonging to this Church,2 but as to an orater, the oratary of a Clergyman here consists in foaming loud speaking Working themselves up in such an enthusiam as to cry, but which has no other effect upon me than to raise my pitty. o when when shall I hear the Candour & liberal good sense of a Price again, animated with true piety without enthusiasm, Devotion without grimace and Religion upon a Rational System.
My Worthy Friend Mrs Rogers is returning to Boston. she has engaged to convey this to you with a Magizine which has for a Frontispeice a view of this House, but the great Beauty could not be taken upon so small a scale which is the Noble Hudson, as far distant from the House as the bottom of the Boston Mall is from the Governours House3 if you see mrs Rogers, as it is probable you will at commencment, she will tell you how delightfull this spot is, and how I regreet the thoughts of quitting it. I shall miss her more than half N york besides. we are very well, but impatient to hear from you and Family. I wish Congress would so far compleat their buisness as not to have an other Session till the Spring. I really think I would then come home and pass the winter with you. mr Adams wants some exercise ever since the 4th of Jan’ry he has not mist one hour from attendance at Congress. he goes from Home at ten and seldom gets back till four, and 5 hours constant sitting in a day for six months together, (for He can not leave his Chair) is pretty tight service. reading long Bill, hearing debates, and not always those the most consonant to his mind and opinions putting questions, Stating them, constant attention to them that in putting questions they may not be misled, is no easy task what ever Grumblers may think, but Grumblers there always was & always will be—
adieu my dear sister Remember me affectionatly to all Friends yours
[signed] A Adams
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by CA: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Braintree”; notation by CA: “Hon by Mrs / Rogers.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
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1. The Dutch Reformed Church known as Middle Dutch Church, located on Nassau Street between Cedar and Liberty Streets, opened in 1729. Occupied by the British during the Revolution, the sanctuary was used as a prison and its pews burned for fuel. The church was subsequently repaired and reopened for worship on 4 July 1790 (Jonathan Greenleaf, A History of the Churches, of All Denominations, in the City of New York, N.Y., 1846, p. 12–13).
2. Rev. John Henry Livingston (1746–1825) of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Yale 1762, studied theology in Holland from 1766 to 1770, earning a doctor of theology before being called as minister to the Dutch Reformed Church in New York City. Preaching in outlying churches during the British occupation, Livingston returned to the city in 1783 and served the church until 1810, when he became president of Queen's College, now Rutgers University. Livingston's oration focused on a verse in Exodus: “In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee” (DAB; New York Daily Gazette, 6 July).
3. For this image of Richmond Hill, which appeared in the New York Magazine, June 1790, p. 317, see vol. 8:xv–xvi, 352.

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0041

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1790-07-04

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Sister

Mr Cranch has pack'd your things & sent them on Board Captain Barnard I hope they will go safe but since they were put on Board mr woodward has sent for the stone roler & says he lent it to mr Adams, that mr Borland sold it to him we sent him to the Doctor about it. If tis so I suppose it will be taken out—I told him you certainly suppos'd it purchase'd with the House or you would not have sent for it.
I cannot bear the thought of your removing so far from me, while you are at new york I live upon the hope that I shall see you in a few months, at least I go on pleasing my self so from one time to another but if you go so far without making us a visit I shall dispair of seeing you for a long time & this thought draws tears from my Eyes— A Sad train of Ideas will force themselves upon my imagination. The air of the more Southern States will not I fear be so friendly to the Health of my dear Friends as the pure air you now Breath— We are sadly seperated already I can see Sister Shaw tis true in a few hours but the expence of visiting you is not to be thought of— I wish I could be sent upon some publick Business like the Gentlemen—
I have been so full of cares that I have not been able to finish even a short Letter to you for a long time. Miss Eunice Paine has been with me for six weeks in much worse health than you ever saw her. She sent to me to get her a place to Board at, & mention'd Doctor Phipps,1 & beg'd I would bring her out as she did not think she { 76 } should be able to be mov'd if she stay'd in town another hot day— I told the person who came, to tell her I could not board her as our house would be full when my son & cousin Thomas came home but that I would send for her to stay a week with me in which time her Freinds might find some place for her I soon found she did not design to leave us if she could help it,— I sent to Doctor Phipps however to know if they would take her. they were willing to at two dollars a week—but she did not like to go, said if she could not stay with me, she had rather get some place at newtown Mrs Paine went but could not find one that would do—2 six weeks were spent in this way till poor Lucy & I were almost made sick— we have not maid but celia & Miss Polly Palmer has been with us Ever since they Broke up house keeping Ben Guild is also with us till his Parents return from Europe besides this mrs Bond & her Daughter from Portland have been with us for three weeks—3 What do you think I have done with them all? Miss Eunice is so helpless that she cannot rise or sit without help nor stand alone nor take one step she is to be carried from one room to the other in her chair & is in great pain The spasms seize her throat so badly sometimes that you would think she would choak She often finds great difficulty to swallow & sometimes I am affraid she will starve to death She is drawn almost double & one Leg is a quarter of a yard shorter than the other She is greatly to be pity'd. She is pind away to Skin & Bones
I was obligd to put a Bed into our east room for her while she stay'd She has at last consented to go to Doctor Phipps & has been there a week—but she has lost her Spirits & I think will not live long unless she has some relief
Mrs Hall din'd with us to day & I was surpriz'd to see how well she was & how active. her eyes are better, but mrs Turner she says is still in a very poor way I believe I told you that she had lost her Baby— Cousin Thomas is with us prepairing for commencment—he is well but thin—
Mrs Norton is a Shadow—but has her health pretty well She must not nurse her great Boy much longer—it make her too faint. Sister Shaws Family I hear are better but she has had a dreadfull sick one—poor William has been suffering for his gross feeding—
I hope to hear you have a Grandaughter soon my Love to mrs Smith poor mrs Tufts has got to Bed with another dead child & it has affected her much4
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at 4 July 1789.
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1. Dr. Thomas Phipps (b. 1738), Harvard 1757, practiced medicine in Quincy from 1769 until his death in 1817 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 14:195–196).
2. Sally Cobb Paine (1744–1816) was the wife of Robert Treat Paine (same, 12:469, 482).
3. Hannah Cranch Bond and her three-year-old daughter of the same name (Vital Records of Weymouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 2 vols., Boston, 1910, 1:57).
4. The RC ends here, presumably missing one or more additional pages.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.