John Adams to Abigail Adams
The Hague July 3. 1784
My Dearest Friend
From the first of April to this time, I have been in constant and anxious Expectation of hearing of your Arrival in London. Your Letters encouraged me to hope and expect it, otherwise I should have been with you at Braintree before now. I still expect to hear of your arrival every moment, but as your last letters by Mr. Warren1 expressed a doubt, it is possible, even that this Letter may find you in America. If it does, I shall leave it to your discretion, to embark or not, if you embark, burn the inclosed.2 But notwithstanding that you will probably have to return again to America in the Spring with me, if you do not embark, send the enclosed on to the President of Congress, and I will be at home as soon as I can. But I fear it will not be before the Spring, perhaps not before June or July; if you conclude to come to me, you may marry your Daughter beforehand if you will and bring her Husband with her. If you do not come, you may still marry your Daughter if you think proper.
My own Opinion is, you had better Stay. I will come home, and make my Hill shine as bright as General Warren’s, and leave Politicks to those who understand them better and delight in them more, Breed my Boys, to the Bar and to Business, and My Girls too, and live and die in primaeval simplicity and Innocence. You may depend upon it, I will not be jockied again. Yours &c.
LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers). RC and its enclosure (see note 2) not found. It is not certain that AA ever received, or indeed that JA ever sent this letter and its enclosure.
2. In the letter to the president of Congress (Thomas Mifflin) of the same date (LbC, Adams Papers), which he may have enclosed with an RC of this letter to AA, JA expressed his doubt whether Congress still wanted him to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, since he had never received a commission for this task. He then repeated his desire to return to America and requested a letter of recall, which was required for decency’s sake in taking leave of the States General of the Netherlands. He concluded: “it is my unalterable Resolution, not to remain in Europe, consuming in vain but unavoidable Ostentation, the Labour of my fellow Citizens, any longer than I can see a Probability of being of some use to them.” It appears almost certain that this letter never reached Congress.