A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive
Next Letter (by date)
Previous Letter (by date)

Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 May 1789

My dearest Friend

I hope Barnard has arrived with the things which I sent by him. If there is any person in the House they had better be sent immediately to it there to lie untill I arrive. On the Recept of your Letter May 3d [John to Abigail, 03 May 1789] I sent directly to Town and finding Barnard almost ready to Sail I got him to take as many things as I could get ready. They are carpets linnen &c. After I had done this I sat out to visit my Sister at Haverhill, leaving word that I would have any letter which should come in my absence sent to me. Two days after I left Home I received yours of May 13 [John to Abigail, 13 May 1789] and 14th [John to Abigail, 14 May 1789] . If I had been at Home I should immediately have gone about packing some part of my furniture, but today Mr. Ward deliverd me your Letter of May 18th [John to Abigail, 18 May 1789] . I am glad you have determined to proceed no further then taking a House untill you know upon what terms we are to put our selves in motion. Tho I was only absent a week from home I was so uneasy after I received your Letters in which you desired me to come on (directly, least you should think I made an unnecessary delay) that the pleasure of my visit was much diminished, yet I knew Mr. Tufts vessel was not returnd and that I must wait the return of Barnard before I a could possibly send any thing further. It is very unpleasent Idea to me, to be obliged to pull down and pack furniture which has already sufferd so much by Removal just as I have got it well arranged. It is no trifling affair and will require no very short time to accomplish. If you please it must

be done: I will only take such things as will enable us to keep House for the present, if our Masters will please to furnish us two Rooms in a proper manner I can put up sufficient for the remainder of the House, but as I know not how to take any steps at present I shall let every thing remain in quiet, but for me to come to N. York with Charles and one or two domesticks, before I can go to House keeping would only tend to embarrass us all. and though I know your Situation must be painfull and disagreable to you, I fear I should only increase rather then lessen your difficulties. I would wish to know if I do not ask an improper thing, whether you would be willing I should bring Louisa with me. I find her so usefull with her needle, at any House work at the Ironing Board, that I think she would be to me a very great assistance, but at the same time if you are not intirely willing, or have the least objection, I shall not repeat my request. She has two qualities which you value -- silence and modesty.

Mr. Allen brought your Letter of May 19th [John to Abigail, 19 May 1789] . I found it this Evening upon my return. Captain Brown is the Captain in which with whom Brisler camehome and with him he has desired me to go, as he has a great opinion of his civility.Daniel I found was married and in a pretty way of Business so I have not said any thing to him. I shall be obliged to send the Horse to JQA. I cannot get any offer for him,tho I have sent to Ballard and to Bracket. Several Gentlemen have lookd at

him, but he is known in Town to have broken a chaise for woodard all to pieces, a circumstance I never knew untill I offerd him for sale. I could have disposed of him but for that circumstance and his being too Headstrong for Ladies to manage. Our Son Says it will cost him this summer as much to hire Horses to attend court as the keeping that horse will amount to, but I tell him he must sell him if he can. The president has  [illegible received both your Letters and will ask consent of the Corporation for Charles, he has a French oration given him for his part at commencement. The president and Lady have sent me word that they design to visit me on Saturday next and dine with me. Our good Friends Judge Dana and Lady kept Sabbeth with me on their way to Plimouth court. It grieved me to see him in such ill Health. I found him better on my return from Haverhill. I lodged at his House. I came through Town and dined at Dr. Welchs, where I met with Dr. Pearson, who was very full with his remarks upon the answer of the House to the president. He was much disgusted with the manner and stile of it. "This is what we have Thought fit to address to you" was the Language of Superiours to an inferiour. Stiling him fellow citizen, was in his opinion very improper, he was no more their fellow citizen whilst he was president of the united States, than the King of G. B. was fellow Subject to his people. I read the debates of the House and I have watched a certain character much celebrated, and from the whole I have drawn up this conclusion, that he either does not posses so great talents as he has been said too, or

he is aiming at popularity, at the expence of his judgment and understanding. Honestus, pronounces Mr. Madison the wisest and best man in the House, but time will unveil characters. I do not like his politicks, nor the Narrow jealousy he has discovered.

I have an opportunity of Sending this Letter written in great haste as you will perceive.

Yours most tenderly and affectionately
A Adams

Inclosed is Barnards Receit

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 May 1789 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, Abigail. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 May 1789. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
Next Letter (by date)
Previous Letter (by date)