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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0015

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I had Yesterday the Pleasure of yours of January 5. I will Send, to Mr Adams a Check upon the Branch Bank for two hundred Dollars as soon as I can get Thomas to transact the Business for me.1
I am glad to find that you have had Applications for the Farms— I wish you to hear them all and enquire their Characters and Circumstances
We are all of Us here, very much concerned for Cheesman. he has not been heard of.
I have not seen Americanus nor Barneveldt. But in the former the latter has to deal with a Man who is the least of a Gentleman of any one in Boston. I hope the latter will not forget that he is one.
Our son will find the Envy of his Friends, the bitterest Drop in the Cup of Life. He must have a Care however not to give them Advantages by indiscreet Exultations, nor by any unmanly humiliations. Let him take no improper Notice, of what he must see and feel. I could entertain even you with a long History of my own Sufferings in this Way.
I have read of a People in Antiquity called The Ephesini who { 41 } passed a fundamental Law in these Words “Let none of Our Citizens excell others in merit, if he does let him live elsewhere and with others.” For this horrible decree Heraclities pronounced them all worthy of dying in the prime of Life.2
These are Vices to which Democratical Governments are more peculiarly liable than any others. Our son must expect to Smart under them all his Life
yours affectionately
[signed] J. A.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Jan’ry / 14th 1794.”
1. That is, JQA. JA arranged for TBA to forward to JQA the money, which arrived on 25 Jan. (JQA to JA, 27 Jan., Adams Papers).
2. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in Ephesus, blamed his fellow Ephesians for exiling his friend Hermodorus. Heraclitus allegedly said, “The Ephesians deserve to have all their youth put to death, and all those who are younger still banished from their city, inasmuch as they have banished Hermodorus, the best man among them” (Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, transl. C. D. Yonge, London, 1853, Book 9, sect. 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0016

Author: Cabot, George
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-01-17

George Cabot to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam—

The ice in the Delaware having delayed the post beyond it’s usual period I had not the honor to receive your esteemed letter of the 8th until this moment, but my respect for the writer constrains me to acknowledge it’s arrival before I can be prepared to give an answer to its contents.
in a free country it is so important that the people shou’d entertain just sentiments respecting their public affairs, that I feel myself much more indebted to those who contribute by their labors to rectify public opinion than I do to those who immediately share the administration of the Government, and upon this principle I have expressed very freely my obligation to Columbus.—
as I beleived that the peices under that signature woud be useful I have made it a practice to circulate among my friends the Newspapers which contained them, & thus it happens that at the moment I wish to review them they are not at my command.— I have hopes however that the Vicepresident has them, & with this expectation I have engaged Mr. Otis to procure them.— when this is done I shall reexamine them for the purpose you have suggested & shall shew you by my frankness & sincerity that I am ambitious of retaining the confidence you have so generously bestowed.—1
it was natural enough that Mrs. Cabot shoud be a little alarmed at { 42 } seeing me read, with a pleasure which I coud not disguise, a letter from a Lady with a feigned signature & without the date of place—but as she discoverd that you expressed all your affection for her & only respect for me, her agitations subsided & she desired me to send back an unfeigned assurance of both2—in which I might join / with every consideration
[signed] G Cabot
1. On 30 Jan. Cabot again wrote to AA suggesting that the public’s interest in the subject of Edmond Genet had waned and that “therefore the Essays of Columbus would be productive of infinitely less benefit than might be expected from their great merit at another period.— I am one of many very many individuals who feel deeply indebted for those enlightened performances & who hope that the same pen will continue to labor for the service & safety of our Country” (Adams Papers).
2. Cabot had married Betsey Higginson (1756–1826) in 1774 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:345, 367).
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/