A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0216

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1795-01-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

By this Days Post I have your Letter of the 26. Ult. I believe that some incomprehensible sympathy or other, made me low Spirited all the time you were Sick, tho I neither knew nor suspected it. I rejoice to be inform’d of your Recovery.
If I were not afraid of every Change in your Situation, that might endanger your health, I would plan a Project for next Winter: but I must leave that for a Tête a Tête.
To a heart that loves Praise so well and receives so little of it your Letter is like Laudanum which Mr Henry The senator Says is the Divinity itself.1
The French Convention has passed a Number of Resolutions for the Regulation of Jacobinical Clubbs or Self Created societies, founded in eternal Reason, perpetual Policy, and perfect Justice, which every other Nation must adopt, or be overthrown.2 I wish Mr Osgood and every other Minister would preach a sermon once a Quarter expressly on that Text.
Affiliations Combinations, Correspondences, Corporate Acts of such societies must be prohibited. A Snake with one head at each End, crawling Opposite Ways must Split the snake in two unless { 336 } one head is so much stronger than the other as to draw drag3 it along, over thorns and stones till it looses it headship. so the King of Frances Constitution Acted.— A Man drawn between two Horses is a neat image of a Nation drawn between its Government, and self Created societies Acting as Corporations and combining together
Hay for the Horses I know you must purchase and I always expected it—buy the best and enough of it.
The Weather is here this Day as fine as you describe the day before Christmas when our Friends were so good as to visit you. bright clear mild—farmers ploughing every Where. Letters from Connecticut say the Cankerworm Millers & Sluggs are going up the Appletrees. Tar our Trees in the Garden and see if you catch any.
There is an unusual calm and dearth of News at present. Most important Events are expected to be imported by the first Vessells. I am myself much inclined to doubt whether the French will get to Amsterdam. There are Obstacles in their Way very serious, and which may be made invincible. Amsterdam may be defended by an Inundation. Even without an Inundation it is capable of a good defence—a strong Wall—a Wide deep Ditch—a numerous Artillery—and I am not willing to believe that the People are asleep or will be idle. I am, with / the tenderest of all sentiments / ever yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 5th / 1795.”
1. John Henry (1750–1798), Princeton 1769, was a lawyer and Maryland politician, having served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and then as a state senator. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1788 (DAB).
2. On 3. Jan. 1795 the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States printed news from Paris, dated Oct. 1794, in which the French National Convention set out eight articles identifying self-governing societies as subversive and undemocratic. The decree outlawed popular societies, prohibited collective petitions, and required that both the leaders and the members of existing groups be identified to authorities. These actions followed in the wake of the Jacobin collapse in July and the subsequent rise to power by the Thermidorian regime (Bosher, French Rev., p. 202–203).
3. JA interlined “drag” immediately above but failed to cancel the word “draw.”

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0217

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-01-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] my Dearest Friend

yours of 25 December reachd me with the Book for Louissa. through the Month of December the weather was uncommonly fine, but the New Year is very inclement. we have had a fair day or two only since it commenced, very little Snow & what Snow we had, { 337 } is all leaving us to day, by a plentifull Southerly rain our people have been engaged where the weather Would allow this week in the woods. I have had my wood cut by them this Winter in what is call’d Beals Lot. they go to the Top of the Hill cut it, & pitch it down. the weather has been moderate & if we had snow this could not be done as the Hill is high rocky & Steep, nor would any persons Do this, if hired to cut by the cord. I am soliticious to get sufficient for the winter and summer— I shall be only second in command by & by yet I think I am more solicitious to have the commands of my Principal executed in his absence, than when he is present.
If you see the Chronical you may read the address of our Massachusets Self created Society. it is much more respectfull and Modest than the Pennsilvania address—and is not badly pennd I presume Morten was the Draughtsman.1 it is however false, and artfull. I read it last Evening in my Neighbour Beals paper— they are all Galld that the President Denounced them, but let any person attend to the horrid Scenes produced in France by the unlawfull combinations of the worst & most profligate part of Society, and say if a Similar Spirit does not excite & actuate the Jacobins of America to insurgency and rebellion—
I have not heard from mrs smith since November. Charles wrote me, but did not mention his Sister2 What is the proper address to our son. how does the Secretary of state address his Letters.3 I have been writing to him, and addrest to JQA minister Ressident &c has a minister Ressident the title of Excellncy?
Remember me to mrs otis & cousin Betsy—
affectionatly Yours—
[signed] A Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “vice President of the / united states / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Jan. 8 / ansd 16. 1795.” Filmed at 8 Jan. 1794.
1. On 5 Jan. the Boston Independent Chronicle published a statement by the Massachusetts Constitutional Society defending the right of popular societies to exist. Offering a thoughtful rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address, which had denounced them, the society desired to “state at large the motives which induced us to assemble—the opinions we have uniformly held, and to reply to such objections as appear to us to be entitled to a serious refutation.” The address was signed by the society’s president, William Cooper, not Perez Morton, whom AA presumed to be the author.
For the address by the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania, which first appeared in Boston in the Federal Orrery, 1 Jan., see JA to CA, 20 Dec. 1794, and note 1, above.
2. AA2’s letter to AA has not been found; CA’s is at 11 Dec., above.
3. On 5 June 1795 Secretary of State Edmund Randolph referred to JQA’s appointment as “Minister Resident of the U.S. to the Hague.” Otherwise Randolph typically addressed JQA by name; see his letters to JQA of 29 July, 13 Aug., and 8 Nov. (all Adams Papers).
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/