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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0206

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-12-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

This being one of the pleasant Days of the Week, Thursday the Post brought me your kind Letter of the 16th.— The News of The Alfred was written me the Day or next Morning of its Arrival in Boston by our ever kind and attentive friends Dr Welch and Mr Smith, and I should have instantly written it to you, with great Joy if I had not known, that you must have had it, much sooner than I from the Same Sources. Although there is a feeling of Disappointment, accompanies the Intelligence, arising from not having any direct Account of our sons, yet the high probability of the Safe Arrival of the ship, is a great Consolation. I congratulate you upon it, with cordial Sympathy, and join with you most Sincerely in your devout Ejaculation for the health & safety of our sons.
{ 321 }
The Case mentioned in Brislers Letter contains the Marble Medallion as brittle as it is elegant.
The Weather is as beautiful, as mild, soft clear and wholesome as can be imagined: but We had lately a North East Wind and Rain, which I hope has thrown up, on the shores of Quincy a fresh supply of Seaweed. I want to have the mowing ground opposite to Pennimans and Hardwicks upon Pens hill covered with it, if possible
I am delighted with the Activity and Energy with which the affairs of the farm have been conducted, since I left you— a few years of Such Exertions will make the Place productive of most of the Necessaries of Life for Us and I hope We shall be indulged with the quiet Enjoyment of it for as many Years as We can be useful to our Country our Friends or ourselves.
I have been to Church at Dr Ewings and heard a good sermon. Mrs Otis & Mrs Betcy are well.
The News of my Mothers Health and Activity is in a high degree delightful to me— My Duty to her
inclosed is a Book, a present for Louisa. a pretty Book it is.— a good Book.— I have very little fault to find with it, of any kind. His opinion of Grecian Taste in Arts & Literature are so exactly like my own, that he makes me regret, deeply regret, that the Avocations of my Life, have not permitted me, to pursue it with So much Attention as I always desired: but still more than I have not had Opportunity to impress it upon my sons, as I ought. They have better Opportunities and Means than I had.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr 25. 1794.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0207

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1794-12-25

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Letter of the 22d, alledging Business as an Apology for not writing gave me more Pleasure than a long Letter would have done.1 Business is always an Apology, for declining Pleasure or Amusement of any kind. I Sent you, by a late Post other Tryals, Geralds, Muirs and Margarots. Geralds is worth all the rest. Mr Laing, the Council for Gerald is I Suppose the Same with Malcolm Laing Esqr who finished the Sixth Volume of Dr Henrys History of Great Britain, at the Request of his Executors.
This History I purchased Yesterday in Six Volumes. it is on a new Plan, which is very good. The whole Work is divided into Ten Books { 322 } and each Book into Seven Chapters. Each Chapter presents the Reader with the History of one particular Object. The 1st Chapter contains the civil and military affairs. The 2. The History of Religion. The 3. The History of the Constitution. The 4. Learning & Learned Men. 5. The Arts. 6. Commerce and Navigation, Money &c. 7. Manners Customs &c2
as far as I have read I am much pleased with it.
There is News of the Arrival at the Downs of The ship Alfred which carried your Brothers, which is a great Satisfaction, though We have no Account direct from them.
Your Gazettes bring the Baron to Life again, I hope truly: though the Accounts of his Death were so little doubted that the senate left his Pension out of the Appropriation Bill, I thought rather prematurely. There has been a handsome Character of him in one of the Papers of this City which I was glad to see.3
As your Business increases your Studies must increase, and both will require an Application, which without daily Exercise will be dangerous to your health. The Law, is an engaging, interesting Study. No Man ever really read that is with Attention one Lawbook without desiring to read more. Hale Coke, Plouden Mansfield, Foster, Blackstone, and many others are all Sensible Men, with whom it is impossible to keep Company without learning Something.4 Such Conversation is of the best kind.
If your Business will allow you, sometime in January to come and Spend a Week with me, I will bear your Expences, coming, going and while here. looking at Congress a Week, dancing once at the Assembly, going to one Levee and one Drawing Room will be an Amusement and not without Profit & Instruction.
I am affectionately
[signed] J. Adams
RC (MHi:Seymour Coll.); internal address: “Charles Adams Esqr.”
1. Not found.
2. A copy of Robert Henry, The History of Great Britain, Written on a New Plan, 2d edn., 6 vols., Dublin, 1789–1794, is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
3. The first New York announcement of Baron von Steuben’s death appeared in the Diary, 17 December. On 24 Dec. the same paper printed a longer obituary, outlining his military accomplishments and noting that his “name will be ever dear to the citizens of the United States, as long as virtue and patriotism shall be respected.” The Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser, 25 Dec., printed a long piece on Steuben signed Amicus, claiming, “There are very few living to whom this country is more obliged, for its Independence, and the happiness it now enjoys.”
4. Edmund Plowden, Commentaries of Edmund Plowden, London, 1571; Sir Michael Foster, A Report of Some Proceedings on the Commission of Oyer and Terminer … and of Other Crown Cases, Oxford, 1762.
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/