Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams
I have not received any Letter either from Mr. Adams or from you since Yours, just after your Arrival at Passy.2 We are solicitous to hear, from You—and I flatter myself that We shall for the future have more regular Intelligence. We have had much to do in the Electioneering Way. So far as we can judge from Accounts from different Parts of the Country, Mr. Bowd[oi]n will be elected Governor. Am doubtful whether the Lt. Governor is elected by the People. Had Your nearest Friend been here, No Struggle would have arisen who should have been the first Magistrate. I think there would have been a Unanimity. Mr. H[ancock] and his Adherents struggled hard to introduce Mr. C[ushin]g.3
Bror. Cranch and Sister, Betsey and Lucy are all well. Mr. P[alme]r is reduced to a deplorable Scituation as to Estate. German Town is advertised f[or sale?]4 and he still possesses his State for planning. His Daughter B[etsy] is I fear in a Hectic State.5 I had no expectation [of] writing a Line to you, But Mr. Smith presenting to me this Letter6and informing me that Col. Norton who will probably be the Bearer of this, will not go on Board untill half an hour hence I could not resist the Impuls of writing. Love to Cousins. More hereafter. Your Affectionate Frd. & Kinsman
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at the Honble. John Adams Esqr. Boston favd. by Capt. Grant with A Box”; marked: “<
Postage 12d>”; endorsed: “Mrs Fitchs Letter.”
Tufts wrote this letter on the blank third sheet of Mary Fitch’s brief letter to AA, dated “Kingston Jamaica Jan. 11th. 1785” (Adams Papers). Fitch sent her letter with “a small Box, which contains [three?] Potts of our Country preserves and two Bottles of Cayan Pepper,” to AA in Massachusetts as a token of her appreciation for the “polite Attention” which JA and JQA had paid to her and her husband, Eliphalet Fitch, one of JA’s Boylston relations, in Europe in 1783 (see JA to JQA, 12 June 1783, above; JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:134; JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981-. description ends , 1:175, 204). Isaac Smith Sr. gave the letter and box to Cotton Tufts, who wrote the following postscript to Fitch’s text: “April 11. 1785. I have broke open this Letter and finding that it communicates sweet Things, which as You cannot reep the Advantage of them, personally, consulting Your Disposition I shall take the Liberty to give Your Friends a Taste of them.” Then, after adding the text printed here, Tufts entrusted the letter to Col. Beriah Norton. See Tufts to AA, 19 April, below.
1. Dated from Tuft’s postscript to Mary Fitch’s letter of 11 Jan. to AA; see the descriptive note.
3. John Hancock abruptly resigned the governorship on 29 Jan., in a winter of increasing economic distress, political controversy, and social discord. He was succeeded by his protégé, Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing, but Cushing was defeated by James Bowdoin in the spring, and the Hancock forces were out of office until the spring of 1787. See Tufts to JA, 11 March (Adams Papers); William M. Fowler Jr., The Baron of Beacon Hill, A Biography of John Hancock, Boston, 1980, p. 255–261.
5. Whatever medical problem she had in 1785, Elizabeth Palmer, daughter of Gen. Joseph Palmer, survived it to marry Joseph Cranch in 1790.
6. Mary Fitch to AA, 11 Jan. (Adams Papers); see the descriptive note.