Charles Williamos to Abigail Adams
Paris 21st. July 1785
It is with much pleasure my dear Madam that I hear of your safe arrival in London and that you are once more fixed in a house of your own, the situation of which altho’ not quite so pleasant as Auteuill is not without much merit.
Whatever base rancour and malice may invent, I am very sure that you will on all occasions meet with every Mark of respect which are every ways your due.1 Yet I do not suppose, that the Court Notwithstanding its politeness will be very often graced with your and Miss Adams’s Company.
Paris is not the livelier I can assure you Madam since you left it. Passy is deserted also—and we have accounts of the doctor’s very safe arrival at Rouen from whence he was to proceed immediately to Havre—the King sent him his Picture most elegantely set in diamonds of great value, with two very polite letters from Count de Vergennes.
The peculiar honor and satisfaction I had in opportunities of paying my very Sincere respects to Mr. Adams yourself and family will ever be recollected as one of the most agreable events of my life and I shall never think myself happier than in opportunities to renew it. I am very sorry to have failed hitherto in every attempt to send your things. I went to Mr. Hailes’s who desired his best respects and assured me it was out of his power to forward any thing larger than a packet of letters as the messenger goes no further than Calais where the master of the British packet takes charge of the letters.
This I communicated to Mrs. Barclay who agreed in thinking it best to wait for Doctor Bancroft who is to go in 8 or ten days but if an opportunity offers sooner we [will?] not fail to improve it. Mr. Harison t[akes?][c]harge of the lace by which means there are only gowns. Mr. Storer has some books with a Mr. Graff but Mr. Barclay thinks that as he is going to America they had better be sent there to him than trouble any one with them.
Mr. Jefferson and the other Gentlemen are very well. Col. Humphreys has wrote to Col. Smith. The June Packet is arrived but not all the letters. I am still waiting for a better opportunity than by L’orient, but fear much that I shall be obliged to take that rout.2 Whenever I go and where ever I am I shall allways retain sentiments of highest respect and ever be Madam your most obedient devoted servant
Be Kind enough to present my best respects to Mr. and Miss Adams.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Grosvenor Square London”; docketed: “Mr Williamos Paris June 27 1785”; stamped: “[J]Y/25,” “2 o’clock,” and, in red ink, “A PAYE PAR.” AA’s erroneous docketing may have been an inadvertent repetition of her docketing of the 27 June letter from Williamos, above. This letter was filmed at 27 July, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 365. Some loss of text where the seal was torn off.
1. Williamos refers to AA’s remark about “torry Malevolence” in the London press, in her letter of 1 July, above. He may have been particularly sympathetic to the Adams’ plight at this time because of “the atrocious falshoods which have too Successfully been attempted by the lowest and most infernal Malice,” which, he claimed, had suddenly turned Thomas Jefferson against him just two weeks before the date of this letter (Williamos to Jefferson, 8 July, in 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 , 8:275, and see P. 269–273, 276–277).
2. Williamos had been planning to sail to America since February, but various complications, including his sudden falling out with Jefferson on 7 July, and eventually his ill health, delayed him, and he died in Paris in November (Jefferson to AA, 20 Nov., below; Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, The Private Franklin, N.Y., 1975, p. 280).
3. This sentence was written along the left margin of the last page of text.