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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0192

Author: Adams, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1796-09-11

Charles Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

Your favor of the 6th instant came to hand yesterday.1 I can give you no certain information respecting Col Smiths affairs He has a vast property in his hands but is very much embarrased for want of money to make his regular payments as they become due Whether on the winding up he will have anything left is what I believe neither he or anyone else knows. He acted on a very large scale and whatever he may think you and I know he is not a Robert Morris.
Mrs Adams had a short return of the ague but is now very well the child also grows finely and is very healthy I have thought that it might be pleasing to my father and would be a tribute of respect to my venerable grandmother to name our little girl Susanah Boylston which shall be her name if you and my father concur with me in sentiment. It would give me great pleasure and would contribute much to the health and satisfaction of Mrs Adams to pass a few weeks with you but we shall be prevented by prudential reasons. Such is the State of affairs in this City at present European speculations have turned so little to the advantage of many engaged in them that Lawyers are in great demand An absence of one week might deprive me of more business than at another time I should get in three months and as the City is in general remarkably healthy We must postpone our visit this fall. I had letters from both my brothers last week dated the 10th of June2 Thomas has been very ill of a bilious fever which confined him near four months he has recovered and writes in high spirits The Minister seems also to be { 373 } indisposed though I am inclined to think his malady is not dangerous being seated about the region of the heart. He returned from England the latter end of May. I do not know what to make of a conversation I had with Mr King soon after his appointment to England. I met him in the Street He said he supposed I had heard of my brothers appointment I told him I had not, he then informed me that he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal and remarked that though it was more out of the center of information yet he hoped as it was an honorable promotion he would accept it. Since this conversation I have heard nothing about the appointment. My father appears not to know of it and I am quit puzled I should think Mr King would not have made such a declaration unless he had very good ground for it and it appears strange if it is the case that nobody else seems to know anything about the business.
I forgot to mention to my father that I had his Cujacius in my posesion they are in ten volumes in folio I had to appraise them at the Custom House which I did at ten pounds supposing that to be about the original cost the duty on them I think amounted to about one guinea. Mrs Adams joins me in presenting our respects to my father and yourself.
Your affectionate son
[signed] Chas Adams
RC (private owner, 1957); addressed: “Mrs A Adams / Quincy”; endorsed: “Charles Adams Sepbr / 11. 1796.”
1. Not found.
2. TBA’s letter to CA has not been found; JQA’s letter is dated 9 June, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0193

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Johnson, Louisa Catherine
Date: 1796-09-12

John Quincy Adams to Louisa Catherine Johnson

I have received, my amiable friend, your letters of the 19th: and 28th: of last month, and am properly grateful for the readiness with which you consent to accompany my rambling destinies. The sacrifice which you will be obliged to make in quitting your paternal roof, is so great, that it gives me not a little anxiety. To give you a substitute for it, I cannot expect. That you should ever have reason to regret it is an idea of which even the possibility is painful.— Suffer me therefore to beg you once more not to place in too fair a light the prospects which present themselves to you. [Look a]t them often on their dark side. Be assured that they offer many aspects { 374 } which are [far fro]m being promising. I wish you to reflect thoroughly upon them all, because I think you will be better prepared for those evils and inconveniences some of which are inevitable, and all of which are possible.
The aukwardness of novelty which you dread in the new scene of life into which you are to enter is in my mind a very little object indeed.— But when you speak of my blushing for your aukwardness I think you must have meant to rally me a little. The parade of dignity annexed to rank, is a thing for which I have no sort of respect, and I need not tell you how far I am from possessing a particle of it myself.—
I confess that the station in which I have to move, is one of my greatest causes of regret.— You think me ambitious, and will therefore perhaps suspect the sincerity of this declaration— But it is perfectly true.— I never had a wish to be placed so high in the world at so early period of my life.— The station itself is temporary. I cannot if I would, hold it long. I would not if I could.— I must therefore always be ready at an hour’s warning, to return to that of private life and no fortune.— For that variety you too must be prepared in connecting yourself with me, and in order to be well prepared for it, consider rank itself as an object of no consequence since it must so soon be resigned.
I shall certainly inform you of my departure as soon as I shall be able to fix upon it myself. But at present I have very little hopes of meeting you before the Spring.— I do not apprehend being delayed longer than that; but I am not at my own disposal, and must wait with a Patience, which I find it very difficult on this occasion to command, for the pleasure of my Masters.— When I receive my orders it will take me some time to settle my affairs here before I can remove, especially as I expect then to part from my brother who proposes to return to America.
You have profited little you say in your retirement, but I believe yo[u do no]t give yourself so good a report as you deserve. I have no doubt but that y[ou will] every where rapidly improve, as you know so well the value of time.
Adieu my lovely friend, I remain with the most faithful affection, yours.
[signed] A.
RC (Adams Papers). FC-Pr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 131. Tr (Adams Papers). Text lost where the seal was removed has been supplied from the FC-Pr and Tr.
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/