Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

Abigail Adams 2d to Mercy Otis Warren

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

John Adams to Cotton Tufts, 5 September 1784 JA Tufts, Cotton


John Adams to Cotton Tufts, 5 September 1784 Adams, John Tufts, Cotton
John Adams to Cotton Tufts
My dear Friend Auteuil near Paris Sept. 5. 1784

I am here, happily Settled with my Family and I feel more at home, than I have ever done in Europe.

I have not time to enlarge, as Mr. Tracy who takes this, is upon his Return to London.

The Pasture you mention,1 rocky and bushy as it is, I should be glad to purchase, and if you can, I wish you to buy it for me and draw upon me for the Money, and if you know of any Salt Marsh or Woodland to be Sold in Braintree, buy it for me and draw for the Money to be paid in London, Amsterdam or Paris, at your Pleasure.


Or you may purchase Veseys dry Plain, near me, and draw in the same manner.2 But dont lay out more than Three hundred Pounds Sterling in this manner, at least dont draw upon me, for more than that Sum, unless you Should purchase both Veseys and Verchilds, for I have little Money to Spare, and am not likely to have more.

If all the Fishes in the Sea, all the Deers in the Forrests and all the Beavers in the Swamps Should furnish me a few Bitts of Marsh and Lotts of Wood, a quarter Part as much as my Profession would have furnished my Family, if I had let the Fishes Deers and Beavers, all go to the Devil together, I shall think myself well off, and be thought by others too well, miserable besotted human Kind, loading with their Rewards those who betray them and Starving without Mercy those who Sacrifice themselves for their Service!3

Pardon this Misanthropic Ejaculation at a Time when I assure you, I think myself one of the happiest Men in the World. If I had been less happy I should not have been So Saucy.

My best Regards to Uncle Quincy Your Lady and Son, and believe me forever your Friend John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honorable Cotton Tufts Esqr Weymouth”; notation by Nathaniel Tracy: “London Sept 16. 84 Rec & forwarded by Your most obedt Sev N Tracy”; endorsed: “Hon John Adams Esq Paris. Sept. 1784 recd. Nov.” Some damage to the text where the seal was partially torn away.


See Tufts to JA, 3 July, and note 1, above.


In her letter to Tufts, 8 Sept., below, AA criticizes this tract of land and dissents from JA's wish to buy it.


JA refers to his successful efforts, in the recent peace negotiations with Great Britain, to secure access to the northeastern fishing grounds and the northern and western game and fur bearing forests for America, at the expense of his profitable legal career. Those rewarded for trying to betray America's interests in the negotiations were presumably Benjamin Franklin, the Comte de Vergennes, and their allies, as JA had come to believe from 1780 to 1783; and Congress, by cutting back JA's salary, was “Starving him without Mercy.” See AA to Mary Cranch, 5 Sept. , and note 6, above.