Adams Family Correspondence, volume 6

John Quincy Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 October 1785 JQA Cranch, Mary Smith


John Quincy Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 October 1785 Adams, John Quincy Cranch, Mary Smith
John Quincy Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
My Dear Aunt Haverhill. Octr. 8th. 1785

Mr. Thaxter will want a horse in a short time, to go a journey, and I should be glad, if mine is not wanted, that Charles should come with him; as he desires to. He will then be of some service and of no expense; if Uncle Tufts thinks proper, Charles can ride the horse here, when he comes. But if he does not think it for the best, will you favour me with a Line that I may inform Mr. Thaxter.

Cousin Betsy arrived here on Thursday evening, but Miss White will not let her come to keep house for us; but when Aunt returns she will spend some time here. Her being here affords me great pleasure. For I feel every day my aversion for forming new acquaintances, increase, and my affection for my old ones, take deeper root. I have seen no body since my arrival, and have been no where out of this house, excepting once at Mr. Thaxter's Office. Whenever I get settled in to my Studies, I feel as if I could live Hermit like: and I hope I may always preserve such Disposition to a degree.

All here, are well: Miss Hazen has as much gaiety, sociability and good nature as ever, Cousin B. Smith, as much solidity, prudence, and complaisance. Do you not think that these two Characters, which are both of them very amiable, form a striking contrast? It has often amused me to observe it.

Tommy does not study quite so hard as probably he would, was his uncle at home, and perhaps he may retort the charge, upon me. He attends however the writing school, very punctually.

Will you be so kind as to present my Respects and Compliments wherever they may be due, and especially to remember me to my uncle.

I am, my dear Madam, with every Sentiment of Respect, your Nephew

J. Q. Adams

RC (Private owner, New York, 1985); addressed: “Mrs. Mary Cranch Braintree”; docketed by Lucy Cranch: “J. Q. Adams. Haverhill 8. Octr. 1785. to my mother.”

Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams, 9 October 1785 Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch AA


Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams, 9 October 1785 Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch Adams, Abigail
Elizabeth Cranch to Abigail Adams
My dear Aunt Haverhill October 9th. 1785

You will percieve by the date of this that I am at H——: last thursday I arrived here. My Visit is to Miss White. She has spent the Summer in Boston, and has been attempting to learn Musick, like myself. She has brought her instrument to H—— and sent me an invitation to come and pass a few months with her, and learn of her Master, who is a Man acquaintd with Musick, but not with much beside. He is poor, and thinks our employing him a favour. He is not so perfect a Master as Mr. Selby, but is so much more reasonable in his demands, that, we rather chose to make trial, for a little time.

Uncle and Aunt Shaw, are gone upon their Annual Visit, to Braintree &c &c. A young Man, belonging to Mr. Whites family, who was brought up in it, and is a very worthy member of it, will hand you this. His name is James Wilson. He came from England, a child. His father upon his return thither was unfortunately drowned. He has some relations there. In consequence of the death of one of them, who has left him a Legacy, he now makes this voyage, in a Ship belonging to Mr. William White of Boston. He sails in the course of this week. He is publishd to a worthy young Woman of this town, and will return in the Spring. Mr. White desired me to write by him. You will find a number of Letters from me in the same Ship, wrote a month since,1 so that I can not say much at this time. We form a sweet agreable society here. Mr. Thaxter and My Cousin John, make to me a pleasing part of it, tho, I rather say this by anticipation, than from real enjoyment. Cousin J A, has been in town a fortnight, and has not yet made one Visit in it. I have been to see him. His Trunks did not arrive till yesterday, from Boston, and he was rather in a Dishabille for want of them. He will be very studious I doubt not. I wonder if his heart is invulnerable to the charms of the fair and beautiful, my dear Aunt? Not that I think it has yet recieved any impressions, but living in the house with a charming Girl,2 sprightly witty and handsome, might have some effect upon one less firm, than my Cousin. Will you insure him? I think you would. But tis rather a dangerous situation I believe. He tells me his heart is wonderfully Suceptible, that he falls in Love one moment and is over the next. If so, I'll venture him—but I do not know him yet.


The matter is actually settled between Mr. Thaxter and Miss Duncan, at present, untill his bussiness is better, he will not be married. She is a fine Girl, and I believe he will never repent of his choice.

Our good Aunt Tufts has relapsed again into her late disagreable complaints, and we fear that she will not, cannot, struggle thro' them. I am sure that you will feel, with us, the breach such a loss would make in our connexions. But a change for her I doubt not would be happy.

Charles, Billy and Lucy, are coming to see us in the course of the vacation which begins next week. If Cousin Nabby was here she would compleat the company. All your Children and Mama's excepting her, will be here together. O how happy should we feel with that addition! I long to have more Letters from you, my dear Aunt. I am never satisfied, as soon as one Pacquett is read I am impatient for another. Continue to gratify me Madam by your kindness and attention in sending me those charming discriptions which from your Pen, have power to please almost equally, with the sight of them. You have another House, Gardens &c. to make me acquainted with, and I have an unbounded curiosity, to gratify.

Cousin Tommy is well and does well. I sent to know of them if they would not write by this opportunity, but they have already written. I thought, the later the Letters were the better, upon some accounts.

Please to remember most respectfully, & affectionately to my Uncle & Cousin, & accept this triffling scrawl, only as a proof of the most dutiful affection of your ever obligd & grateful

E Cranch

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Madam Adams—Grosvenor Square. London”; with the notation: “favd by Mr James Wilson.”


Only that of 5 Sept. to AA, above, is known to the editors.


Nancy Hazen.