Adams Family Correspondence, volume 10

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams to Martha Washington, 20 June 1794 Adams, Abigail Washington, Martha
Abigail Adams to Martha Washington
my dear Madam [20 June 1794]1

I cannot omit so good an opportunity as the present by my son of paying my respects to you,2 and of acknowledging the honor done him by the unsolicited appointment conferd upon him by the President at a very early period of Life I devoted him to the publick, and in the most dangerous and hazardous time of the War consented that he should accompany his Father in his embassys abroad, considering it of the utmost importance that he should receive his early Education & Principals under his immediate Eye, and I have the satisfaction to say to you Madam, perhaps with the fond Partiality of a Parent, that I do not know in any one Instanc of his Life conduct either at home or abroad, he has given me any occasion of regreet, and I hope from his Prudence honour integrity & fidelity that he will never discredit the Character so honorably conferd upon him. painfull as the circumstance of a Seperation from him will be to me Madam I derive a satisfaction from the hope of his becomeing eminently usefull to his Country whether destined to publick, or to Private Life

Be pleased to present my most affectionate Respects to the President and my Love to master Washington & Miss Custus from Madam Your obliged Friend / and Humble Servant

A Adams

Dft (Adams Papers); notation: “Mrs Washington—” Filmed at [June-July 1794].


The dating of this letter is based on Martha Washington’s reply to AA of 19 July, below.


AA began another version of this letter on the back of the same sheet of paper. The first draft was identical to this point, after which she continued, “and of introducing him to you in the very honorable Character with which it has pleased the President to invest him, and which I trust will be his Study to fullfill the duties of with that circumspection integrity and fidelity which all publick Trusts demand.” She then abandoned this attempt, flipped the paper over, and started again.