Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 5 October 1785 AA JQA


Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 5 October 1785 Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy
Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams
My dear son London October 5th 1785

I began a Letter to you yesterday which I designd to have finishd last evening, but as we had a great deal of company, many of them Ladies who staid the evening, I could not command my time, and Captain Callihan wrote us a card last evening that he should go by nine this morning, so that I have only time to write you a few lines, to tell you about a fortnight after the arrival of Mr. Church, your first Letter by the French pacquet came to hand. Col. Franks is here again as express from France. That strange Creature Lambe is arrived at last in France. He is going to Algiers and Mr. Barclay and Col. Franks to Moroco. No time is now to be lost as we are now certain that there are two or 3 vessels taken. Had Lamb come in season probably this would not have happend. If Mr. Storer had not saild just as he did, he would have been sent as he wisht, for upon Lamb arrival, they were much put to it to find a proper person to accompany him. He wants somebody of abilities and Education to supply. Franks gives a curious account of him. As they chuse to keep this matter silent as possible, some trust worthy person was necessary. After much consultation with respect to the Americans here, Mr. Randle is fixd upon, the Gentleman from Newyork who visited us often at Paris. He has finally consented, tho it seem he is under a matrimonial engagement, and was soon to have been married to a Miss White from Philadelphia. He has negotiated the matter with her, by this time, tho he was under much embaressment what to do, whether to go without or entrust the Secreet to her. He applied for my advise. I was by all means for his telling her; and your Pappa, gave the same.1 Col. Franks and he will set of for France on fryday. How they will succeed time must determine. The insurence here is very high.

At Length the Peace is signd between the Emperor and the Dutch.2 The particulars you will see in the papers. Mr. Dumas inquires after you in his last Letters.3

Mr. Williamos has been very sick of a fever and is just recovering. I wrote a few lines in your Aunt Shaws Letter to you. I will repeat one injunction, which is for you to write to Mr. Jefferson, as he has no correspondent in the Massachusets.4 I know your information 407from time to time would be agreeable to him, and you know his great Literary merit, and that you may avail yourself of much knowledge from him.

Your Pappa is overwhelmd with writing. I know not what he would do if it was not for Your sister who copies for him. So much writing and to so little purpose, is very mortifying. Col. Smith has not yet returnd.

Write me by way of New York this winter. Cover your Letters either to Mr. Gerry or King who will forward them. Remember me to your Brothers & believe me most tenderly yours


You see my haste I cannot copy. I hope the Algerines will not take this. Storer saild a fortnight ago.

RC (Adams Papers).


A fuller account of Randall's decision is in AA2, Jour. and Corr. , [3]:187–189.


The Treaty of Fontainebleau, between Joseph II, emperor of Austria, and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, was not concluded until 8 November ( Cambridge Modern Hist. , 6:643–646).


See C. W. F. Dumas to JA, 27 Sept. (Adams Papers).


This was probably an enclosure, not found, in either AA to Elizabeth Shaw, ca. 15 Aug. , or 15 Sept., both above. No correspondence between JQA and Thomas Jefferson has been found, between 12 May 1785 (Jefferson to JQA, Adams Papers), and 1794.

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 5 October 1785 AA Tufts, Cotton


Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 5 October 1785 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts
Dear sir London October 5th 1785

Captain Callihan sails sooner than we expected so that we have not time to write to several of our Friends, and indeed we have all written so lately by Mr. Storer, that nothing worth communicating has since occurd. Mr. Adams has written to Mr. Higinson1 which letter I dare say he will communicate to you and that will give you a detail of politicks here, as well as inform you of the troubles which delays have brought us in; with respect to the Algerines.

Ever since last March Lamb has been intrusted with Papers which ought to have been here in May at furthest. But suppose our funds in Holland exhausted as they soon will be, can our Country expect to continue to Borrow money with their debt still unfunded? With their credit sinking, where will they get presents to Bribe these Barbarians? Or forces to encounter them. How difficult does our country render their foreign embassies by difficulties which uninimnity and virtue publick Spirit and some proper confidence might releive them from?

But I must quit politicks as I have only a moment. Mr. Adams 408received a few lines from you by Captain Folger inclosing an account,2 which meet our approbation at the same time we heartily thank you for your kind care and attention.

My dear Aunt how does she? I am grived at the account I have received respecting her,3 and almost dread to receive a Letter from my Friends. I pray heaven still to spair her Life and to restore her to health and to her Friends.

Believe me Dear sir most affectionately yours


A Barrel of shag Barks4 would be very pleasing to us if they could be procured.

I forgot to mention that by Mr. Storer we sent you Mr. Neckers works5 of which we request your acceptance.

RC (Adams Papers)


JA to Stephen Higginson, 4 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers).


Cotton Tufts to JA, 10 Aug., above.


See Mary Cranch to AA, 19 July, above, under “August 7th.”


Shagbark hickory nuts ( Dict. of Americanisms ).


In his letter of 21 Dec. to JA, Tufts acknowledged the receipt of this item and connected it with the receipt of JA to Tufts, 9 Sept. (both Adams Papers); but Tufts does not identify the work and JA does not mention it. Necker published half a dozen works in France between 1769 and 1785 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale ). His Oeuvres de M. Necker, contenant Compte rendu au roi. Mémoire sur l'établissement des administrations provinciales. De l'administration des finances de la France, was published in London in 1785.