Adams Family Correspondence, volume 1

Isaac Smith Jr. to John Adams

John Adams to Isaac Smith Jr.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 17 September 1771 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 17 September 1771 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My Dear Septr. 17. 1771.

There is no Business here1—And I presume as little at Braintree. The Pause in the English Trade, has made Husbandmen and Manufacturers, and increased Industry and Frugality, and thereby diminished the Number of Debts and Debtors, and Suits and Suiters.

But the hourly Arrival of Ships from England deeply loaden with dry Goods, and the extravagant Credit that is dayly given to Country Traders, opens a Prospect very melancholly to the public, tho profitable to Us, of a speedy revival of the suing Spirit. At present I feel very easy and comfortable, at Leisure to read, and think. I hope all are well, shall come up tomorrow after noon, if Mr. Austin2 comes down in the Morning.3 Yr.

John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree.”


Probably Boston is meant, though the Superior Court of Judicature began its October term at Worcester this day.


Jonathan Williams Austin (1751–1779), Harvard 1769, JA's first law clerk, 1769–1772; major in the Massachusetts forces and in the Continental infantry, 1775–1776; admitted attorney, 1778 (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:338–339; Heitman, Register Continental Army ; Thwing Catalogue, MHi).


To “come up” from Boston to Braintree, and to “come down” from Braintree to Boston were standard expressions in the 18th century; see, for example, JA to AA, 29 Sept. 1774, and AA to JA, 16 Oct. 1774, both printed below.