Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Abigail Adams to John Adams

270 John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 November 1783 JA AA


John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 November 1783 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Dearest Friend London Nov. 18. 1783

I have time only to inform you that We are well, and to repeat my earnest Wish and Expectation to see you as soon as possible. Draw upon me for Whatever Money You want and it shall be paid at Sight.

I have been invited by the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox to See them and I have Seen them and Mr. Burke and met a cordial Reception from all three.1 These would do right if they governed. But I am not certain, they are not Sometimes overruled or overawed.

Comfort yourself for the Loss of your Father amiable and excellent as he was. His Age was such as to have renderd it a duty, to be prepared to hear of his Decease: and his Virtues were such as to leave Us no room to doubt that the Change is happy for him.

My Duty to my Aged Mother, and Love to the Children. J. Adams

RC (Adams Papers). Some text was damaged where the seal was cut out.


This meeting took place on 15 Nov. (David Hartley to JA, 14 Nov., Adams Papers). The Duke of Portland had become titular head of the government after Shelburne's fall in April; Charles James Fox was Foreign Secretary. Both Fox and Edmund Burke had been critical of the preliminary peace terms that Shelburne had negotiated with France and America. Fox thought Britain should have sought more advantage over France in India; Burke opposed ceding the Ohio Valley to the United States (Morris, Peacemakers , p. 421). JA later recalled that his visits with these men were purely ceremonial: “I did not ask favours or receive any thing but cold formalities” (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:150). Charles James Fox and George III hated one another and when Fox's India Bill faltered in the House of Lords in December, the King dismissed the Portland ministry (Namier and Brooke, House of Commons , 2:456–460).