Abigail Adams to James Lovell?
Braintree  April 
I have not had the pleasure of a line from you since your arrival in Philadelphia, but I have had the satisfaction of hearing from abroad and finding that the situation of my Friend was not so dissagreable as I feard.1 You have had publick dispatches and probable private Letters. Have you not some intelligence which you may communicate?
There is not a prospect of peace I think. Thus my Friend expresses himself. “Do not flatter yourself with the hopes of peace. There will be no such thing for several years.
“Do not distress yourself about any malicious attempts to injure me in the estimation of my countrymen. Let them take their course and go the length of their Tether, they will not hurt your H[usband], whose character is fortified with a sheild of Innocence and Honour ten thousandfold stronger than brass or Iron. The contemptible Essays made by you know whom will only tend to their own confusion. I have already brought them into the true system and that system is triumphant. They could not help Blushing themselves if they were to review their conduct.”
By this I am led to think that matters are in a different train from what I apprehended. You may be better able to judge by your publick dispatches.
This Letter will go by a Gentleman whose name is Perkings, who has been preceptor to my children and Mr. Cranchs for more than a year.2 He is going at the desire of Mr. Ganet and in compliance with the request of a Gentleman in Virginia to keep a private school there. He is a young genteleman of a fair character and good abilities. As he is quite a Stranger in Philadelphia to every person except General Lincoln and Mr. Partridge,3 any notice you will please to take of him, or any civilities you may shew him will be gratefully acknowledged by Sir your old Friend & Humble Servant,
Dft (Adams Papers); without indication of addressee and dated only “April,” to which CFA later mistakenly added “1781.” For evidence establishing the approximate date, see note 1. AA’s careless punctuation, especially in placing quotation marks, has been minimally corrected.
1. The letter alluded to and quoted (not altogether accurately) in the following paragraphs is that of JA to AA, 2 Dec. 1781, above. AA acknowledged recent receipt of this letter in her reply of 10 April, preceding. Lovell, who seems the only eligible intended recipient of the present letter, had returned to Congress for a brief and final period of service at the beginning of April; see above AA to Lovell, 8? Jan., note 4.
2. Thomas Perkins, Harvard 1779, of Bridgewater. He soon afterward settled in western Virginia, already known as Kentucky, and took up the practice of law but died suddenly in 1786. See Nahum Mitchell, History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater ..., Boston, 1840, p. 266; AA to JA, 17 July 1782, below; Mary (Smith) Cranch to AA, 22 May 1786, and Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw to AA, 1–3 Nov. 1786, both in Adams Papers. In 1785 Perkins wrote Gen. Joseph Palmer from Lincoln co., Kentucky, on the salt springs and other natural curiosities of that region; his letter is printed in MHS, Procs. description begins Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections and Proceedings. description ends , 1st ser., 12 (1871–1873): 38–39.
3. George Partridge, currently a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress.