Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to James Lovell, 15 July 1779

Abigail Adams to James Lovell

[Braintree, ca. 15 July 1779]1

I wrote to Mr. S A—— the same day I received your Letter,2 but not a syllable of information have I yet collected from him. No Alliance yet arrived—it will afford me some releif to be scribling to somebody who will hear me, who will attend to me and answer my Queries, and tho Mr. L[ovel]l has heretofore wrote rather problematically with regard to the situation of my absent Friend I beg of him to be explicit in answering my Questions and the first is whether the conduct of Mr. A. has been impeached either directly or Indirectly? Whether he was included in the publick censure of congress upon the dissensions amongst their commisioners, a censure which if I may presume to say it was as indiscreet as it was unjust.3 Why when Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard received new commissons Mr. Adams was not recalled? Was he ever requested to tarry in France or any notice of any kind taken of him after his commision was vacated? The Motions of congress tend towards an appointment of Mr. A——, and I make no doubt of an honorable one, says Mr. L[ovel]l in a Letter to General W[arre]n4—but where you do not mention. You observe that you are not surprised at the report of his return, nor am I if he has had the reason which I think he has for it. Whenever you favour me with a reply, I request a full and free indulgance of your pen upon the subject. If I have sufferd heretofore in some sacrifice of personal happiness believe me Sir I feel not less keenly the reward of it. But I say this only to you or a perticuliar Friend. To every other inquirer my Lips shall keep silence. The safe return of the Alliance may possibly dispell the cloud which at present hangs heavy [on]5 the Heart and mind of


Dft (Adams Papers); at head of text in CFA’s hand:“1779.” Just possibly the MS is a fragment, beginning as it does at the top of a page without salutation or paragraph indention and the text seeming to begin in medias res.

1In all probability this letter was written within a day or two of AA’s receipt of Mrs. Warren’s letter to her of [14] July, preceding; see note 4 below.

2Lovell’s letter must be that of 5 June, above, but no letter from AA to Samuel Adams in late June or early July 1779 has been found.

3Congress’ much-debated resolve of 20 April on the Deane-Lee dispute: “That suspicions and animosities have arisen among the late and present commissioners, . . . highly prejudicial to the honor and interest of these United States” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 13:487). JA’s name was not among those finally included in the resolve. See below, JA to AA, 13 Nov., note 3.

4Lovell to Warren, 15 June (Warren-Adams Letters description begins Warren-Adams Letters: Being Chiefly a Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren (Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, vols. 72–73), Boston, 1917–1925; 2 vols. description ends , 2:108), the substance of which respecting JA’s status was transmitted to AA, in almost the same words as those used here, in Mrs. Warren’s letter to AA, preceding; see note 2 there.

5MS torn. The word may be “over.”

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