A tous les coeurs bien nés que la patrie est chere
Qu’avec ravissement je revois ce séjour.1
No person who has not experienced it can conceive how much pleasure there is in returning to our Country after an absence of 6 years especially when it was left at the time of life, that I did, when I went last to Europe. The most trifling objects now appear interesting to me: in the morning I went to see my uncle Smith, but he was not at home. I saw my aunt2 and Mr. Smith,3 who went with me to the Treasury office, where I found my uncle Cranch.4 I was introduced to a number of gentlemen, and met several of my old acquaintances. I delivered a Letter to Mr. Breck5 from the Marquis. Dined at Mr. Cranch’s lodgings, where I found my Cousins Betsey6 and Lucy. In the afternoon they went to Cambridge, and I followed them there with Mr. Smith. At College I met my Cousin, and brother Charles, who entered about 6 weeks agone. We spent an hour with them, and were then obliged to return to Boston. I lodged at Deacon Smith’s.
I shall not attempt to describe the different Sensations I experienced in meeting after so long an absence, the friends of my childhood, and a number of my nearest and dearest relations. This day will be forever too deeply rooted in my Memory, to require any written account of it. It has been one of the happiest I ever knew.
1. Voltaire, Tancrède, Act III, scene i (Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 72 vols., Kehl, Germany, 1784–1801, 4:391).
2. Elizabeth Storer Smith (1726–1786), wife of Isaac Smith Sr., and aunt of AA.
3. William Smith (1755–1816), a Boston merchant and son of Isaac Smith Sr.
4. Richard Cranch (1726–1811) married Mary Smith, the sister of AA, in 1762. Cranch was at this time employed in the commonwealth’s treasury office in Boston.
5. Samuel Breck Sr., a prominent Boston merchant, maritime agent of Louis XVI, and representative of the town in the legislature, 1782–1788 (NEHGR description begins New England Historical and Genealogical Register. description ends , 17:180 [April 1863]).
6. Elizabeth Cranch (1763–1811), called Betsy by her family, was the daughter of Richard and Mary (Smith) Cranch, and married Jacob Norton, minister at Weymouth, in 1789.