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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0037

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1795-12-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

I have rejoiced in the fine weather which has attended you through your journey, and the good Roads if you have had them as good as we have. Some cold Days but not enough so, to freeze or prevent our People from accomplishing the plowing at the corn Feilds. the Shelter for the young cattle is compleated & coverd with Sea weed. one Day more will cover the clover with manure, and to Day they plow the great Garden. one Day they have been in the woods and one Day upon high ways. this compleats the Tour of Duty.
I contemplated your keeping Sabbeth with our Children at N york & hope You found them well and happy. I received the Miniatures three Days after you left me, and feasted myself upon them for they are most admirable Likenessess. I wish You would inquire of the Secretary of state, if he has had any later Dispatches, than our Letters, and whether there is a probability of the children being in England
I shall not ask you how the pullse beat, but wait the Presidents Speah.1
{ 84 }
Nancy Adams, & Betsy crosby have the scarlet fever I hope not very bad.
present me respectfully to the President and Mrs Washington. Love to mrs Otis & Family—
most affectionatly yours
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by Louisa Catharine Smith: “The Vice President of the / United States / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Decr 10. Ansd 17 / 1795.”
1. The 1st session of the 4th Congress met from 7 Dec. 1795 to 1 June 1796. On 8 Dec. 1795 George Washington addressed a joint meeting of Congress. He opened his speech: “I trust I do not deceive myself while I indulge the persuasion that I have never met you at any period, when, more than at the present, the situation of our public affairs has afforded just cause for mutual congratulation, and for inviting you to join with me in profound gratitude to the Author of all Good for the numerous and extraordinary blessings we enjoy.” Specific items mentioned included the successful negotiation of a treaty with Native Americans in the Northwest, concluding that war; confirmation of existing treaties with the Creek and Cherokee; positive negotiations with Morocco, Algiers, and Spain; the senatorial consent to Washington’s ratification of the Jay Treaty; continuing prosperity in agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce; and “the blessings of quiet and order” in western Pennsylvania, “lately the scene of disorder and insurrection.” Washington concluded his summary of foreign affairs by observing, “If, by prudence and moderation on every side, the extinguishment of all the causes of external discord which have heretofore menaced our tranquility, on terms compatible with our national rights and honor, shall be the happy result, how firm and how precious a foundation will have been laid for accelerating, maturing, and establishing the prosperity of our country” (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 1st sess., p. 10–14). For the Senate’s and House’s responses to the speech, see JA to CA, 13 Dec., and notes 2 and 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-11-02-0038

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1795-12-12

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My Dear Son

By your old Acquaintance Mr Hall, who is bound to Europe I shall Send you Some Newspapers, which will give you a general View of the Complexion of our Public Affairs. Upon Meeting and conversing with the Members of Congress I find that although there will be Noise there will be no Serious Evil this session. The Treaty if it comes back ratified by the K of G. B. will be Supported and executed without any difficulty.
Your old Friend real or pretended, Randolph is under a dark Cloud and his Behaviour Under it increases its blackness and thickness. I think his Business is done.
The Senate have now a Gallery and Yesterday for the first time, the Debates were overlooked by a crouded Audience. The Senators who voted against the Treaty persevere as well as those who voted in its favour. Bache has published this morning Minutes of the { 85 } Speeches of the Cons but has omitted those of the Pros.1 This proceeding has less Reciprocity than the Treaty. The Voice of the People So much vaunted by the Ten is not in Reality in their favour. A great Majority will Support Government and the twenty.
The Conduct however of Some of our old Men, such as Rutledge, McKean S. Adams Warren &c has been not only illegal and unconstitutional but indiscreet in a high degree.2
I am anxious to hear from you in England, as the President informs me he has directed you to go there. I hope you have not flinched.— I can give you no Advice but to Act as you have done with Reserve, Caution discretion, Rectitude & Impartiality.
My Love to your Brother Thomas and believe / me to be your Affectionate Father
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “John Quincy Adams Esqr.” Tr (Adams Papers).
1. The Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 12 Dec., published portions of the Senate’s debate on its response to George Washington’s address, for which see JA to CA, 13 Dec., and note 2, below. The article included the text of Stevens Thomson Mason’s motion and speeches by Rufus King and Pierce Butler, but it excluded comments by Jacob Read, Oliver Ellsworth, and Henry Tazewell. Butler and Tazewell supported Mason’s motion; King, Read, and Ellsworth opposed it (Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 1st sess., p. 15–23).
2. John Rutledge, Thomas McKean, and Samuel Adams had all expressed their opposition to the Jay Treaty in various ways. For Rutledge, see AA to JQA, 29 Nov., and note 6, above. Thomas McKean was part of a committee representing “the Citizens of Philadelphia” that submitted a memorial to Washington in July condemning the treaty and encouraging him to refuse to ratify it, suggesting that such a decision would “advance the prosperity and happiness of your constituents.” Samuel Adams had failed to suppress anti-treaty riots in Boston and would later speak publicly to the Mass. General Court of his opposition to the treaty, for which see AA to JA, 21 Jan. [1796], and note 3, below. James Warren, while not in public office, also likely opposed the treaty, given his earlier support for the French Revolution and his opposition to the United States’ developing too close ties with any European country (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 28 July 1795; Mark Puls, Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution, N.Y., 2006, p. 226–227; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 11:604).
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.