Richard Cranch to John Adams
Boston June 3d 1785
This will be handed to you by a worthy young Gentleman Mr. Bulfinch1 Son of Doctor Bulfinch; I doubt not but his Conduct will render him worthy of your Notice. I have not time to write you on publick Matters at present. The County have put me into the Senate this Year and we have very hard Service. I have enclosed the Speech of our new Governour2 &c. He is a Man of System and Application, and I hope our publick matters will take a better Turn by his Assistance. Your Children are well, Master Tommy spent last Week at our House, he left his Brother and all well; Brother and Sister Shaw were here Yesterday. Your Honored Mother and your Brother and Family are well, and all the other Branches of our old Circle. I received your esteemed Favour of the 13th. of December,3 and must assure you that, without denying my Senses, I cannot but conclude that you would have the Suffrages of the People for filling a certain Chair, notwithstanding you think “it is impossible that the Body of the People should think of you for their G[overno]r.” I design to get you some Information on the Exports and Imports, Fisheries, Distilleries &c. in this State, and send you as soon as possible. I wrote by the last Ship Capt. Lyde to your Son, in answer to several very obliging Letters4 that I have received from him. As this Letter is a Miscellany I w[ill][. . .] that the Corporation of Harvard Colledge have voted the degree of [Doctor] in Divinity to the President Willard, Mr. Stevens of Kittery and your old Class-Mate Hemmingway—To Doctor Cotton Tufts the Degree of M.D. and Doctor Welsh the Degree of Batchellor of Physick. Which Votes were laid before the Overseers this Week, and will probably be con[firmed?].5
Brother Shaw informs me that Master Charles will be well fitted to enter the University at the ensuing Commencement.
I have but just time to add that I am with the highest Esteem and Friendship your affectionate Brother
Mrs. Cranch is just come to Town and will send a few Lines which will be enclosed.6 We desire our kindest Regards to our dear Sister and your amiable Children. You will excuse this incoherent Scrawl as I write it in the Lobby in the midst of noise and disturbance. Adieu.
I have wrote some time ago to Messrs. John van Heukelom and Son respecting the Goods in my Hands not yet disposed of.7 Sales are not quite so dull this Spring as they were, so that I hope to do something better with his Cloths now than I could last Year when the Glut of Goods was excessive.
RC (Adams Papers). The single sheet of text has split and been repaired at a worn fold with some loss of text, and a worn corner has damaged another word.
1. Charles Bulfinch the architect, not quite twenty-two, departed Boston in June, resided in London from July to Dec. 1785, and then traveled through France and Italy as far as Rome, returning to London in Aug. 1786, and to Boston in Jan. 1787 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ; Charles A. Place, Charles Bulfinch, Architect and Citizen, Boston, 1925, p. 6–11; Ellen Susan Bulfinch, The Life and Letters of Charles Bulfinch, Architect, Boston, 1896, p. 43–57).
2. Enclosure not found. James Bowdoin gave his inaugural address to the General Court on 27 May; it appeared in the Independent Chronicle, 2 June, p. .
3. Not found.
4. Only one letter, that of 6 Sept. 1784 (MeHi), has been found.
5. Receiving the S.T.D. degree were Joseph Willard, A.B. 1765, Benjamin Stevens, A.B. 1740, minister at Kittery Point, Maine, and Moses Hemmenway, A.B. 1755, minister at Wells, Maine. Harvard awarded an honorary M.D. in 1811 to Thomas Welsh, A.B., 1772, who had married one of AA’s cousins (Harvard Quinquennial Cat. description begins Harvard University, Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1930, Cambridge, 1930. description ends , p. 1150; 195); but there is no record of Harvard awarding Welsh the degree of “Batchellor of Physick” at any time. Harvard granted the bachelor of medicine degree from 1788 to 1810 (same, p. 851–852).