Abigail Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.
London May 27 1786
Dr Gordon call’d upon us this morning and deliverd me a letter from mr Storer. The dr is very mild, looks as if he had not recoverd quite from the Mortification under which he labourd in Boston. I know not what Success his History will meet with here, but this I can tell him, neither Americans or their writings are much in fashion here, and the Dr cannot boast the Honour of being born an American. I fancy there will be found as forcible objections against him.1
Mr Ramseys History which is written in a cool dispassionate Stile and is chiefly a detail of facts, cannot find a Bookseller here who dares openly to vend the ready printed coppies which are sent him.2
A Gentleman by the Name of Drake will hand you this, he is from conneticut. Any civilities you may shew him will oblige him, as he is a Stranger in Boston. My best Regards to all Friends. I am calld of to wait upon Dr Price who is come to make a morning visit. Yours
RC (MHi: Smith-Carter Papers); endorsed: “London 27 May 86 Mrs. Adams.”
1. Rev. William and Elizabeth Gordon had sailed for London on 16 April, intending to spend the remainder of their days in England. Their return to their native land and the reverend’s decision to have his history printed in Great Britain rather than the United States provoked criticism and suspicion that his work would have a British bias (Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 Feb., 20 April; Samuel Williams to JA, 9 April, Samuel Adams to JA, 13 April, both Adams Papers).
2. David Ramsay, The History of the Revolution of South Carolina from a British Province to an Independent State, 2 vols., was published in Trenton, N.J., in 1785 and in London in 1787 (Arthur H. Shaffer, To Be an American: David Ramsay and the Making of the American Consciousness, Columbia, S.C., 1991, p. 303).