Adams Family Correspondence, volume 7

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams, 21 July 1786 Storer, Charles AA


Charles Storer to Abigail Adams, 21 July 1786 Storer, Charles Adams, Abigail
Charles Storer to Abigail Adams
Boston. 21st. July. 1786

And a good story you shall have, Madam, as you desire. Know then that your friends both at Haverhill and Braintree are well. But I had forgot. One sad stroke has caused us much trouble, Aunt Smith is dead. She died about a month since. She was first seized with a lethargic fit, was lost to every thing, but apparently had recovered from her disorder and was preparing to take a journey as far as Princetown, when she was suddenly seized, the evening preceeding her setting out, with convulsion fits, which in a day or two put a period to her existence. This account you have had from others perhaps already.

I have to thank you for yours of the 22d. of May. It found me in a place you little dream of. I was in Passamaquoddy Bay at the Eastward, where I was on speculation, and which is to be the place of my residence a few years to come, perhaps for life. You recommend Agriculture. It is an idea to me more pleasing than that of any other kind of life. 'Tis most natural and therefore, to a mind uncorrupted in the world, must be most happy. You must know that Genl: Lincoln, Mr: Thos: Russell and Mr: Lowell have lately bought two Townships in Passamaquoddy Bay which they mean to settle assoon as possible.1 I went down with the General about two months ago, and am but just returned. The General's son2 is one of the two and twenty settlers that went down with us, and your humble servant is another. There is a little trade carried on there, but believe me this is by no means my object, at least no further than to ennable me to 278clear and improve a good landed estate. This has ever been a wish of mine. More now than ever, and I feel happy in the idea that I am acting from the very principle on which you recommend Agriculture to me in a late letter: an additional motive is that here it is impossible for me establish. So that you see in part I am obliged to do right this time. I therefore fully depend on my resolution. But the ultimate of my plan, as mentioned above, you will not mention to any of our friends on this side of the Atlantick. They are a good many of them averse to my going at all, most of them against my establishing myself there. So I do not let anyone in the secret. See, Madam, how you can keep it. I know I shall have your approbation, because I am sensible I act from every principle of duty.

I have heard of Gentlemen's falling in love with pictures, but I am caught with your description of the amiable Miss Hamilton. Fortunate it may be, or unfortunate, that I staid not a little longer with you. Every thing is right. I frequently, in a reflective moment, have painted to myself a connection with beauty and virtue. This is but Romance however, yet I must say your description and my ideas in this instance perfectly correspond. I think you will laugh at me by this time for my Quixotism in thus admiring an unknown del Tobosa,3 but I am not going to commence Knight Errant, so please to remember this is entre nous.

Be kind eno: to thank Amelia for her two favors No: 3. and 4,4 both of May. I will duly answer them, but by this opportunity she will excuse me. My best wishes ever attend her. May she be happy in this new and every other Connection. To Mr: Adams my best respects. I wish to write to him on business, and will if time will allow.5 My Compts: to Colo: Smith if you please.

Our family desire to be duly remembered to you and yours. They wish you every good and pleasant thing. We are preparing to see folks, today, and you know the poor help we have in this Country and will therefore excuse not hearing more from us.

When you return I shall happy to have the honor of your Company at Passamaquoddy to pass the Summer, & am Madam, with all respect & esteem Yr: much obliged friend & humble servt:

C. S.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. Grosvenor Square London”; endorsed: “Charles Storer july 21 1786.”


In March, Benjamin Lincoln, Thomas Russell, and probably John Lowell purchased Townships Nos. 1 and 2, over 50,000 acres of land, at Passamaquoddy, with the condition that sixty families would settle there within six years. The adjacent townships, in what is 279now Washington Co., Maine, were bordered by the Cobscook River to the west and Passamaquoddy Bay to the east. In 1818, they were incorporated as the towns of Perry and Dennysville (Report of the Committee for the Sale of Eastern Lands: Containing their Accounts from the 28th of October, 1783, to the 16th of June, 1795, Boston, 1795, accounts 1 and 3; Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, 12 March, MHi: Henry Knox Papers Microfilms; William D. Williamson, The History of the State of Maine, 2 vols., Hallowell, Maine, 1832, repr. ed. Freeport, Maine, [1966], 2:668; Osgood Carleton, “A Map of the District of Maine,” engraved by Amos Doolittle, in James Sullivan, History of the District of Maine, Boston, 1795).


Theodore Lincoln (1763–1852), the general's second son and a 1785 graduate of Harvard, settled in what was later Dennysville (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols. in 4, Hingham, 1893, 3:10; Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).


Dulcinea del Toboso, the heroine of Don Quixote.


Neither letter has been found.


Storer wrote to JA on 21 July (Adams Papers) to inquire about discussions during the 1783 peace negotiations with Britain, which established the boundary line between the United States and Canada and informed him of current disputes between the two parties. See also AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Oct., and note 7, below.

Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 22 July 1786 AA Tufts, Cotton


Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts, 22 July 1786 Adams, Abigail Tufts, Cotton
Abigail Adams to Cotton Tufts
My Dear sir London july 22 1786

I inclose to you the papers which contain the correspondence between Lord George Gordon and mr Tufts.1 As I suppose it will be matter of some specculation, and may tend to injure your Nephew. I will relate to you some circumstances attending it. Upon the Letter you wrote me some time ago,2 I had made inquiries after mr Tufts, but could hear nothing of him, till mr Jenks just before he saild, wrote me a card3 one Day that he had found him; and that from his conversation he beleived he sincerely wishd to return to his Friends in America. I immediatly wrote mr Tufts a friendly card and invited him to dine with me on the Sunday following. I received his answer of thanks and an acceptance of the invitation.4 Accordingly he came, and was received with the cordiality of an old acquaintance. We talkd of our Friends and were very Sociable, and I assured him that I believed he might return and live unmollessted provided he would be prudent. He tarried till near eleven oclock, and we parted in perfect good Humour. You may judge of our surprize when the twesday following there appeard in the papers Lord Georges Letter quoteing mr Tufts as his Authority.

On wednesday morning mr Tufts came up to see us, not a little mortified you may be sure and said that mr Lewis Gray was his Authority, that he had no Idea of the conversations ever being publishd, and that it took place a fortnight before without his having any Idea of the use intended to be made of it. Mr Adams told mr Tufts that the assertion was totally without foundation, that neither 280directly or indirectly had he ever received a single sou through any such channel, but even Supposing it had been true, of what importance was it who were his Bankers, the united States only were answerable for his Sallery. But being false it behoved him to contradict it. He did not wish to injure him or mr Gray or mr Grant, but they must be sensible they had all exposed themselves, and that if he was disposed he could give them trouble enough. This frightned mr Tufts, and I believe he Heartily wishd, that he had never got into the Scrape. Some of the Foreign ministers thought Lord George ought to be procecuted, and all condemnd the answer given by Lord Car—then. Mr Adams refused doing any thing more than after a few Days waiting to hear what would be said, he publishd a Paragraph of May 9. After which Lord George publishd a few lines which paper I have lost, the purport of it was, to get himself out as well as he could, that hearing the report, and not crediting it himself, he publishd it to give the American Minister or his Friends an opportunity to contradict it. Thus ended this foolish affair.5 Lord Georges views may easily be Seen through, and he made others the dupes of them. If the Letters should get into our papers, as I suspect they will, you will See that the Paragraph of May 9th is publishd also.6 Do not let it give mr Tufts Friends any uneasiness. It was an imprudence in him but I do not imagine he meant any injury. I should have acquainted him with his Fathers illness, but I was affraid he would think that I wanted benevolence in the communication and I presumed he would receive an account of it from some of his Friends. I have not seen him since this affair.

Dr Welch will pay you 3£. 9s. 6d. on my account which together with 25 Guineys that you may draw on mr Elworthy for, and which I will pay to him upon Your inclosing the Bill to me. I wish you to add to the little sum you have purchased already for me, disposing of it in the same way by the purchase of notes. I think they must rise, and I have advised mr Adams to request you to lay out a hunderd pound in them if you are of the same mind, but you can judge best being upon the Spot.

With regard to Books and papers you will feel less embarressed now than formerly. Your Neice is I believe very happily married. I hope that time will confirm my present opinion.

As to politicks, they must come from your side the water to do any good here. Lamb will return to congress to give an account of his negotiation of which he thinks very differently from what he did when he left it. He has written an intelligent Letter7 and did all that 281would have been in any bodyes power to do with the resources which he had. My affectionate Regards to all Friends—From your affectionate

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers).


Not found. See note 5, below.


Cotton Tufts to AA, 12 Jan., above.


Not found.


Neither the invitation nor the acceptance has been found.


On 3 May the London Public Advertiser printed a letter from Lord George Gordon informing the Marquis of Carmarthen that JA's salary was paid quarterly by the Comte d'Adhémar and citing “undeniable intelligence” possessed by Simon Tufts as his authority. Over the next week Tufts and Gordon submitted a series of letters, including a sworn affidavit by Gordon, to the Public Advertiser and London Chronicle seeking to clarify their positions. Tufts insisted that he told Gordon only that he had heard from a third party, Lewis Gray, how Adams received his salary and repeatedly insisted that Gordon had no authorization to publish the account. According to Gordon, he first heard that JA was paid by the French court from a Mr. Grant of the Southern Indian Department. Grant introduced Gordon to Tufts, who allowed Grant to write down the facts as known to him and then authenticated the transcript in Gordon's presence (London Public Advertiser, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 May 1786; London Chronicle, 2–4, 6–9, 9–11 May 1786). For AA's earlier opinions on Gordon, see vol. 6:172, 173–174, 442.


JA published an anonymous rebuttal in the London Public Advertiser on 9 May; it was summarized in the Boston Gazette on 17 July and reprinted in full in the Boston American Herald, 4 September.


JA received copies of Lamb's letters of 20 May and 5 June via Thomas Jefferson on 5 July. See Jefferson, Papers , 9:549–554, 610.