Papers of John Adams, volume 16

To Benjamin Franklin

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

John Adams to William Smith, 19 July 1784 Adams, John Smith, William
To William Smith
Dear Sir The Hague July 19. 1784.

I have rec’d your’s of the 13th and 16th: the last contains the most agreeable News I have heard a long time.—1 If Mrs: Adams should arrive, I believe it will be the most prudent thing she can do, to purchase as strong and decent a Coach of four Places, as can be had for 150 Guineas, in this she may come to the Hague, and go in it with me to Paris if I should have occasion to go there—I would not have it purchased untill she arrives. can you make Enquiry about it and get a Friend to make the Purchase, who is a Judge and will be sure, to have a strong one, capable of performing long Journeys upon paved Roads, with an Imperial upon the Top, for carrying Ladies Baggage &c. on as reasonable Terms as may be.

I cannot write untill Lyde arrives, to my Friends in America, because I know not what to write. if my Girls dont come, I will go to 283 them. But then they must let me know it by the French & English Packet and by every opportunity that I may not sail west while they are sailing East. My kindest Regards to all friends in America.

LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr: Smith.”; APM Reel 107.


Neither letter from Smith, son of Isaac Smith Sr., has been found, but that of the 16th reported that AA would be arriving on the Active, Capt. Nathaniel Byfield Lyde. AA and AA2 landed at Deal on 20 July and by the 23d were in London, where William Smith and Charles Storer had secured them lodgings at Osborne’s Hotel, from whence AA wrote to JA to announce their arrival. JA replied on the 26th, declaring that “your letter of the 23d. has made me the happiest Man upon Earth. I am twenty Years younger than I was Yesterday.” For “a Variety of Reasons” he could not come to London, but instead was sending her “a son who is the greatest Traveller, of his Age, and without Partiality, I think as promising and manly a youth as is in the World” ( AFC , 5:371, 384, 397–400). But the younger Adams probably did not leave until 27 July, the date of JA’s letter to the London bankers Richard & Charles Puller directing them to supply his son with money (LbC, APM Reel 107). On 30 July AA wrote to JA that “I was this day made very happy by the arrival of a son” ( AFC , 5:408). JA soon reconsidered his decision to remain at The Hague and set off for London on 4 August. For his trip to London, reunion with AA and AA2, and subsequent journey to Paris, see his 3 Aug. letter to the loan consortium, and note 2, below.