John Adams to Abigail Adams
Paris Dec 28. 1782
My dearest Friend
I dare Say there is not a Lady in America treated with a more curious dish of Politicks, than is contained in the inclosed Papers.1 You may Shew them to discrete Friends, but by no means let them go out of your hands or be copied. Preserve them in Safety against Accidents.
I am afraid We shall have another Campaign: but do not dispair however of a Peace this Winter. America has nothing to do but be temperate, patient, and faithfull to her Ally. This is as clearly her Duty as it is her Interest. She could not trust England, if her Honour was not engaged to France which it is most certainly. And when this is Said, all is Said. Whether there should be Peace or War, I shall come home in the Summer. As Soon as I shall receive from Congress their Acceptance of the Resignation of all my Employments which I have transmited, many Ways, I Shall embark.2 And you may depend upon a good domestic husband, for the remainder of my Life, if it is the Will of Heaven that I should once more meet you.
My Promises are not lightly made with any body. I have never broken one made to you, and I will not begin at this time of Life.
My Children I hope will once at length discover, that they have a Father, who is not unmindfull of their Welfare. They have had too much Reason to think themselves forgotten, although I know that an Anxiety for their happiness has corroded me, every day of my Life.
With a Tenderness which Words cannot express I am theirs and yours forever.
RC (Adams Papers); enclosure: “Peace Journal,” 27 Oct.–21 Dec.; see note 1.
1. JA’s so-called “Peace Journal,” made up of extracts from his Diary copied out by John Thaxter and Charles Storer. Two copies of the journal were made: one sent to Congress, read there in March 1783 (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 25:924), and now among its Papers; the other sent to AA. Not until 1965 did the Adams editors learn that the second copy was in private hands; it is now in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This version of the journal, at seventy-two pages, is sixteen pages longer than the copy sent to Congress because it begins with earlier extracts from the Diary, carries the entries through 21 Dec., and includes entries in between that were omitted from Congress’ copy. For an account of the history of the “Peace Journal,” see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:41–43, note 1.