Cotton Tufts to John Adams
Boston July 3d. 1784
Since Mrs. Adams’s Departure I have revolved within myself, whether you would not have an Inclination to purchase the piece of Land on Pens Hill (belonging to the Estate of the Honle. James Verchild late of St. Kitts deceased)1 which you have for some years past improved. His Heirs, I am informed, are now in England, that the Estate in the West Indies is under Mortgage, But that part of it which is in this State is free. I am told that he has a Son by Name James who is probably the Heir to it. Mr. Cranch has wrote to his Kinsman Mr. Elworthy to enquire out the lawful Heir and to confer with Him upon the Subject so far it relates to that which he has under Improvement. There is also a piece of Land belonging to the same Estate, which for many years past was improved by Col. Quincy and which His Heirs would wish to purchase. As these Lands cannot be an Object to the Heirs Worth Keeping, I should suppose they would readily agree for the Sale of them either in Person or by Authorizing some Person here for that Purpose. Should you obtain any Intelligence with respect to the lawful Heir of these Lands and their Disposition to sell, youll be pleased to give me the earliest Intelligence.
A Bill passed Yesterday for voting certain Powers in Congress—x a Copy of which is enclosed.2 Mr. Partridge one of our Delegates to Congress is returned. Mr. Gerry is expected dayly. Mr. Dana remains at Annapolis as one of the Committee of the States,3 the Committee I am informed, will probably adjourn to Trenton on or before September next.
For 8 or 9 Months past we have been alarmed with repeated Accounts of Encroachments on our Eastern Territories by British Subjects, they are rapidly forming Settlements to the Westward of what we suppose to be the River St. Croix intended by the Treaty. But of this You have already or probably will have more particular Information. Mr. Cranch presents Love &c.
I am Sr. Your most Affec. Friend and Hum Sert
xI expected the Secretary would have furnished me with a Copy timely enough to have enclosed it before I should go Home it being Saturday and my Horse [abed Down?]. I have requested Mr. Lovell to give it to Mr. Jefferson who is going to join You—and by whom this will come.4
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Presumably James George Verchild, who also owned the Braintree house in which Richard Cranch lived (William Cranch to Richard Cranch, 26 April 1806, MHi: Cranch Family Papers).
3. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress was empowered to create a committee made up of one delegate from each state to act while Congress was in recess. Congress spelled out the powers of the committee and appointed its members on 29 May, and adjourned on 3 June (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 27:474–477, 555–556).
4. This passage, keyed to the “x” in the text, was written in the margin. Thomas Jefferson sailed from Boston on 5 July, and presumably took Cranch’s letter of 3 July, above, as well as this letter and Lovell’s letter of , below. Jefferson reached Cowes, England, on 26 July, and Paris on 6 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen (from vol. 21), John Catanzariti (from vol. 24), and others, Princeton, 1950-. description ends , 7:2). On this same date, Tufts wrote a brief letter to AA (Adams Papers); its only news was the death of her Braintree neighbors Joseph Nightengale Sr., and Deacon Savil’s widow.