Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr., 27 May 1786 AA Smith, Isaac Sr.


Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr., 27 May 1786 Adams, Abigail Smith, Isaac Sr.
Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.
Dear sir London May 27 1786

Dr Gordon call'd upon us this morning and deliverd me a letter from mr Storer. The dr is very mild, looks as if he had not recoverd quite from the Mortification under which he labourd in Boston. I know not what Success his History will meet with here, but this I can tell him, neither Americans or their writings are much in fashion here, and the Dr cannot boast the Honour of being born an American. I fancy there will be found as forcible objections against him.1


Mr Ramseys History which is written in a cool dispassionate Stile and is chiefly a detail of facts, cannot find a Bookseller here who dares openly to vend the ready printed coppies which are sent him.2

A Gentleman by the Name of Drake will hand you this, he is from conneticut. Any civilities you may shew him will oblige him, as he is a Stranger in Boston. My best Regards to all Friends. I am calld of to wait upon Dr Price who is come to make a morning visit. Yours


RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); endorsed: “London 27 May 86 Mrs. Adams.”


Rev. William and Elizabeth Gordon had sailed for London on 16 April, intending to spend the remainder of their days in England. Their return to their native land and the reverend's decision to have his history printed in Great Britain rather than the United States provoked criticism and suspicion that his work would have a British bias (Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 Feb., 20 April; Samuel Williams to JA, 9 April, Samuel Adams to JA, 13 April, both Adams Papers).


David Ramsay, The History of the Revolution of South Carolina from a British Province to an Independent State, 2 vols., was published in Trenton, N.J., in 1785 and in London in 1787 (Arthur H. Shaffer, To Be an American: David Ramsay and the Making of the American Consciousness, Columbia, S.C., 1991, p. 303).

John Adams to Charles Adams, 2 June 1786 JA Adams, Charles


John Adams to Charles Adams, 2 June 1786 Adams, John Adams, Charles
John Adams to Charles Adams
My dear Charles London June 2. 1786

I thank you for your Kind Letter of the 9th. of April,1 and congratulate you on the admission of your Brother, which must add much to your happiness. Thomas I suppose will join you in the fall, my Heart will be often with my treasure, at the University. My friends in their Letters give me favourable accounts of all my sons and of my Nephew Mr. Cranch, Your Characters are fair take care to keep them so. I may be near you, sooner then you imagine—the sooner the better, but this is all uncertain.

What Profession, Charles do you thing of? You need not decide irrevocably, but it is not amiss to turn the subject in your thoughts. The Youth who looks forward and plans his future Life with judicious foresight, commonly succeeds best and is most happy—trust the Classics for History—they contain all that is worth reading. Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy you should attend to with earnestness.

Tell your Brother John, that I think it is worth while for him and you, to take your Lessons in Hebrew—it will require an hour of a few mornings—and the Letters &c are worth knowing so far, that you may be able in future Life by the help of a dictionary and 209Grammar to Know the true meaning of a word or a sentence, I leave it however to your Inclinations.

You have in your nature a sociability, Charles, which is amiable, but may mislead you, a schollar is always made alone. Studies can only be pursued to good purpose, by yourself—dont let your Companions then, nor your Amusements take up too much of your time.

Read all the Books that are commonly read by the Schollars with patience and attention, but I must not enlarge. Your tender father

J. A.

LbC in WSS's hand (Adams Papers).


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