Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 6 April 1786 AA Cranch, Mary Smith


Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 6 April 1786 Adams, Abigail Cranch, Mary Smith
Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
My dear sister London April 6 1786

Altho I was at a stupid Route at the sweedish ministers last Evening, I got home about 12 and rose early this morning to get a few thinks ready to send out by Lyde. When a Body has attended one of these parties; you know the whole of the entertainment. There were about 2 hundred persons present last evening, three large rooms full of card tables. The moment the ceremony of curtsying is past, the Lady of the House asks you pray what is your Game? Whist Cribbage or commerce, and then the next thing is to hunt round the Room for a set to make a party. And as the company are comeing and going from 8 till 2 in the morning, you may suppose that she has enough to employ her from room to room. And the Lady and her daughter, last night, were most fatigued to death, for they had been out the Night before till morning, and were toiling at pleasure for Seven hours, in which time they scarcly Set down. I went with a determination not to play, but could not get of, so I was Set down to a table with three perfect Strangers, and the Lady who was against me stated the Game at half a Guiney a peice. I told her I thought it full high, but I knew she designd to win, so I said no more, but expected to lose. It however happend otherways. I won four Games of her, I then paid for the cards which is the custom here, and left her, to attack others, which she did at 3 other tables where she amply made up her loss; in short she was and old experienced hand, and it was the luck of the cards rather than skill, tho I have usually been fortunate as it is termd. But I never play when I can possibly avoid it, for I have not conquerd the dissagreeable feeling of receiving 134money for play. But such a set of Gamblers as the Ladies here are!! and Such a Life as they lead, good Heavens were reasonable Beings made for this? I will come and shelter myself in America from this Scene of dissipation, and upbraid me whenever I introduce the like amongst you. Yet here you cannot live with any Character or concequence unless you give in some measure into the Ton.

I have sent by captain Lyde a trunk the key inclosed containing some Cloaths of mr Adams's which may serve for the children, and if you can find any thing usefull for cousin Cranch pray take it. I thought of the lappeld coat. By Jobe1 I have sent my neices chintz for a Gown, tell them to be Silent, for reasons which I once before gave you.2 Some Books you will find too.3 Will you see that they are Sent as directed.

Mr Adams is gone to accompany mr Jefferson into the Country to some of the most celebrated Gardens. This is the first Tour he has made since I first came abroad, during which time we have lived longer unseperated, than we have ever done before since we were married. Cushing I hope will be arrived, and mrs Hay also before this reaches you. By both I sent some things and Letters.4 Adieu a terible pen as you see obliges me to write no further than to add your affectionate Sister


RC (MWA: Abigail Adams Corr.); addressed: “To Mrs Mary Cranch Braintree.”


Job Field, a Braintree neighbor and crew member of the Active when AA and AA2 crossed to England (vol. 5:359 , 383). For JA's financial aid to Field and other Braintree prisoners of war, see vol. 4:257, 259–261, and JA, Papers , vol. 11 and 12.


AA requested that the family not make known publicly the items they received as gifts from the Adamses (vol. 6:359).


Not identified.


Katherine Hay carried AA's letter of 15 March, above. AA's letter of 21 March, above, was sent by Cushing.

John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch, 7 April 1786 JQA Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch


John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch, 7 April 1786 Adams, John Quincy Cranch, Elizabeth Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
John Quincy Adams to Elizabeth Cranch
Cambrige April 7th: 1786

My things, are yet pretty much in Confusion, and I do not expect to get well settled till the next Quarter. I find much more, to do here than I expected; it is true that every persons who chooses, may be idle 3 days in the 6; but every one may also, find full sufficient employment if he chooses. Mr: Williams's Philosophical Lectures, began, Tuesday the 28th: of last month; we have already, had four, and shall have another this day. This alone takes up, between 3 and 4 hours of my time, each day, that he gives us a Lecture. I am contented with my Situation, as indeed I almost always am, and if I was 135not obliged to lose so much of my time, in attending to the mere ceremonies here, I should be still more happy. I have computed that between 5 and 6 hours are taken up, every day, at Prayers and recitations; but we can't have all things to our will. So much for myself; now let me assume a better subject. We do not know yet whether your brother will go immediately to Haverhill, at the beginning of the Vacation, or wait till the week after;1 to speak as an egoist, I say, the sooner the better; though others would doubtless have as good a right to say the contrary. I want very much to see Haverhill, but suppose I shall not till the Summer Vacation.2

In your Last3 you promised, to raise a smile, and I have been expecting it ever since: but there was one part of your Letter which I could not understand: you talk about raising a frown, which you cannot do; and as I know you have too much Sense, to pretend to perform impossibilities, I suppose, that from some mistake, or absence of mind, you put that word instead of some other.

RC (MHi: Jacob Norton Papers); addressed: “Miss E Cranch. Haverhill.”


William Cranch went home to Braintree at the beginning of the college vacation (Richard Cranch to AA, 13 April, below).


JQA went to Haverhill on 26 July and stayed until 5 Aug. ( Diary , 2:71–75).


Not found.