Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d, 16 October 1782 JA AA2


John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d, 16 October 1782 Adams, John Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d
My Dear Daughter Hague, October 16, 1782

Your obliging letter of 3d September,1 I have received, and read with all the tenderness of a father deprived of the dearest, and almost the only enjoyment of his life, his family.

I never receive a packet from your mamma without a fit of melancholy that I cannot get over for many days.

Mine has been a hard lot in life, so hard that nothing would have rendered it supportable, especially for the last eight years, but the uninterrupted series of good fortune which has attended my feeble exertions for the public. If I have been unfortunate and unhappy in private life, I thank God I have been uniformly happy and successful as a public man.

18 image 19

This happiness may not always last, and I am now very little solicitous whether it does or not. The great cause of our country is established and out of danger, both in America and Europe, and therefore it is not matter, in my judgment, how soon I return to my family.

Your father, John Adams

MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 2:21.)


Not found; see JA to AA, 12 Oct., note 5, above.

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams, 17 October 1782 Storer, Charles AA


Charles Storer to Abigail Adams, 17 October 1782 Storer, Charles Adams, Abigail
Charles Storer to Abigail Adams
Amsterdam. Octor. 17th. 1782

I write you, Madam, agreable to the request of Mr. Adams, having put up for you the sundry articles you gave orders for in a late letter.1

You will receive by Captain Coffin, a Trunk containing an Invoice of things from Mr. Willink2 for you, which I assisted him in purchasing yesterday. Wish they may be agreable to you. Besides these articles there are some others, viz,

1. ps: Scarlet Broad Cloth

a remnant of blue ditto

Ditto. . . . . . . green Damask

Suit of Curtains unmade—with fringes. Tassells &c.3

An Umbrello for John Thaxter Esqr.

Ditto. . . . . . . for my Sister

a small bundle for my Brother.4

These last articles Mr. Adams gave me leave to enclose in the Trunk, and let me request you to forward them to my Papa,5 when convenient.

I have mentioned, in the first paragraph, that it is at Mr. Adams' request that I write you by this opportunity. Indeed Madam it has been my inclination so to do, this some time, and in some measure my duty, thus to pay you my respects, having become a member of the family.

You know it was my wish to have come abroad with Mr. Adams; but Circumstances were then against me. The Case is now altered. My friend6 will return home in the Spring, and I expect to tarry in the family, to assist so far as my abilities will permit.

Mr. Adams and my friend Thaxter have just arrived in this City. We are on a journey, and as you are well versed in these matters, I need not add on the subject.7


Mr. Thaxter tells me you have some idea of making us a visit sometime or other. The news has given me pleasure, not only on my own Account, but as I think it will be vastly more agreable to Mr. Adams. It does not lay with me to urge, as I can be but an improper judge of the many Circumstances attending such a step. I can only say, I should be happy to welcome your arrival in Europe.

I am very happy to hear of Mr. Cranch's recovery, as by the last accounts I was fearfull for him. Please to tender my congratulations to the family, and Respects to him.

Tossed about and bandied in this new world, amidst an endless maze of novelty and curiosity, I find still my greatest pleasure is in reflection on those near Connections and friends I have left behind me. To hear of their welfare and happiness gives me a satisfaction, better felt, than described. I rejoice with them and find myself equally interested in their behalf as ever.

Shall I beg the favor of you to present my Respects to all who may remember me in kindness. To our friends at Weymouth, Germantown and the farms, as well as up in town. My best Compliments to Miss Nabby, if you please. I should be happy to wait upon her to the Spectacles of Curiosity and Entertainment that Europe affords.

Accept my best respects and be assured, that I am with all due esteem, Yr. humble servt. Chas. Storer8

RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “Mrs: John Adams To the Care of Isaac Smith Esqr: Mercht: Boston. Per Capn: Coffin.” Some loss of text where the seal was cut out.


Probably that of 17 July, vol. 4:343–347; AA's letter of 5 Sept. (vol. 4:376–377) had also arrived by this date (JA to AA, 16 Oct., above).


A duplicate enclosed with Wilhem and Jan Willink to JA, 14 Nov., is with that letter in the Adams Papers; another duplicate, enclosed with Ingraham & Bromfield to AA, 8 Nov. (Adams Papers), has not been found. Wilhem and Jan Willink were Amsterdam bankers who participated in raising the loan for the United States secured by JA on 11 June 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:9, note 1, 202, note 1, 212, note 2).


JA describes nearly all of these fabrics in his letter to AA of 12 Oct., above.


In these two lines Storer probably refers to Mary, age twenty-three, two years his senior, and George, age eighteen, the closest siblings to him in age ( Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 12:213–214).


Ebenezer Storer; see vols. 2:48; 4:5, and note 1.


John Thaxter Jr.


See JA to AA, 12 Oct., above.


Charles Storer was a distant relation of AA's and friend of the Adams' circle in Massachusetts. He sailed for Göteborg in the summer of 1781 and soon after joined JA and John Thaxter in the Netherlands. There he studied French and, as this letter indicates, assisted Thaxter as JA's private secretary (vol. 4:124, note 1, 198, 364). This is the first extant letter in Storer's extensive correspondence with various members of the Adams family.