Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

John Adams to Richard Cranch, 27 April 1785 JA Cranch, Richard


John Adams to Richard Cranch, 27 April 1785 Adams, John Cranch, Richard
John Adams to Richard Cranch
Dear Sir Auteuil April 27th. 1785

Last Evening, Mr. Jefferson, my worthy Friend called upon me to shew me a Letter from Mr. Gerry which came by the March Packet,1 in which it is said that Mr. Adams is appointed to London, so that I suppose you will have no more occasion to write to me, but in that way.

It will be pleasanter in some respects to me and my Family to be in England, than in France, or Holland, but it will be more expensive, more laborious, and what is of more consequence to my Feelings more difficult to give Satisfaction to my Countrymen. I know not whether I shall meet a candid or even a decent Reception in England. It is not to be expected that I should be cherished and beloved, but I may be more likely to succeed, if it is true as a Gentleman from London once told me, at the Hague, about a year ago. “Sir, says he, I certainly know there is no Man in public Life whom the English fear so much as you.”2 They have however less cause to fear from me, than some others because, I confess that although I would contend for my Country's Rights against them, as much as any Man, yet my System of Politics is not so hostile to them, nor so subservient to the Views of some of their Enemies as some others.3

Congress I see are aroused, at the Conduct of the English, and are about to act, with Spirit and Dignity. They shall be seconded, as far

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as may depend upon me, to the Utmost of that little Prudence and Fortitude which remains in me, and I confess I do not yet despair, entirely of Success. I shall find no where so fine a little Hill, so pleasant a Garden, so noble a Forest and such pure Air and tranquil Walks, as at Auteuil: But although my Health is dear to me, the Public Peace, and Prosperity are dearer.

Would you believe that my young Secretary should prefer Harvard Colledge, and the Bar at Boston to the Delights of England? I see with Pleasure that he does. He carries my Affections and best Wishes to you and Sister Cranch and your Children.

I shall part with Mr. Jefferson, with great Regret, but as he will no doubt be placed at Versailles, I shall be happy in a Correspondence of Friendship, Confidence, and Affection with the Minister at this Court, which is a very fortunate Circumstance, both for me, and the public.

My Love to Uncle Quincy, Mr. Wibert, and Mr. Palmers Family; my Duty to my Mother and Brother, and regards to Mr. Tyler.

If I should not be able to accomplish any Thing in England, I shall come home the next Spring. I consider this Appointment as critical, and decisive to me if my Health can Sustain the Anxiety, I shall be happy. You must watch over my Boys, in their Orphan State and advise and admonish them when you have opportunity. Your affectionate Brother.

LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers)


Gerry to Jefferson, 25 Feb., in Jefferson, Papers , 7:651–652.


The speaker has not been identified.


JA undoubtedly intends Benjamin Franklin, and all Americans whom he believed were under strong French influence.

Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith to Abigail Adams, 27 April 1785 Smith, Catharine Louisa Salmon AA


Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith to Abigail Adams, 27 April 1785 Smith, Catharine Louisa Salmon Adams, Abigail
Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith to Abigail Adams
My Dear Sister Lincoln April 27 1785

Your kind Letter of the 15th. December1 came to me last week, and should I pretend to describe the innate Plesure I felt on the perusal, words would be wanting in the description. I most ardently wish to see you, and hope it will not be many years before I shall have that pleasure.

I realy wish that those customs you speak of were indeed adopted here. I have more reason to wish it than many others, haveing been too much used to be considered as a Species apart from the Lords of the Creation. There are very few but what wishes it, yet have not 112resolution to bust those Magick fetters which that tyrant Custom has shackeled them with.

You must not expect news from the shades of Lincoln. I know but very little of what passes in the gay world. My imployments or diversions do not often extend beyond the little circle at my own fire side. I am indeed so vain as to think that nothing I can say will afford more satisfaction to you than to tell you we are in fine Health, my little Girls and Boys are very good, and I have had nothing to interrupt my Domestick peace and tranquility. I have the inexpressible happiness to see my little tribe reward and justify my cares, by paying a strict attention to what I injoin upon them. I look forward with many pleasurable ideas. You may judg with what pleasure I go through the task of instructing them (for I have no schools to send them to) when I hear them commended for their good behaveour by every mouth. You will say I write with the partiality of a fond mamma, but you I hope will excuse it.

We have had the most severe Winter and Spring that I ever remember—the Snow so deep that the Roads have been impassable for two months past. Never was such a time known in this part of the Globle before. Yesterday I went to Concord, the first time I have been in a Chaise for more than Six months.

Mr. Smith I have seen but once since I came to Lincoln. It grieves me to say that fame speaks him to be the same he has been for many years.

Judg Russell2 and the Ladies I saw last Sunday. They Present their regards. The Children send their most humble Duty.

Remember me to Mr. Adams Miss Nabby and Mr. John and beleive me ever Your most obliged and affectionate Sister

Catharine L. Smith

Louisa3 is grown very tall, and has injoyed a good state of health ever since she has been here, excepting now and then a pain in her side and shoulder.

RC (Adams Papers); slight damage to the text at a tear, and where the seal was cut away.


Not found.


Judge James Russell occupied the Lincoln estate which his son Charles had inherited from James' brother Chambers in 1766; see Catharine Smith to AA, 26 Oct., and note 3, below.


Louisa Catharine Smith.