Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch
july 27 1790 Richmond Hill
my dear sister
I received your kind Letter of july 4th the articles sent by captain Barnard all arrived in good order, and I have to acknowledg mr Cranchs kind care in attending to them.
you have got through commencment and I hope have not been made sick with the trouble and fatigue. we had a pleasent day here, not over Hot and I pleasd, myself with the hope that it was so with you. We got Thursdays paper, but had very little account of commencment.1 I know you must have been too much fatigued, and too buisily occupied to be able to write
I do not know what to do with the House. I wish with all my Heart that Mears would go in. I did not once think of her, but I do not know any person I would so soon commit the care to.2 mr Brisler is anxious about the wine Casks he says that there are only two Iron hoops on each and he fears the other will Rot off. if you have not the Keys, pray get them and let me request you to have the things lookd to. the Rats he says may undermine the Bottled wine which is pack’d in sand. he is very anxious about it, and I am not less so. I beg you my dear sister to accept of a dozen of the wine and present half a dozen bottles to my mother. if it is not drawn of let Thomas go, and do it, and send him for the Keys. if the casks look like to give way, I must request that it may be New hoopd or otheways taken care of. I do not know when I shall see you. I think it would be a cordial to me, and mr Adams pines for relaxation, tho if one was to Credit the Clamours of the Boston papers we should imagine that their was nothing going forward but dissipation, instead of which, there is nothing which wears the least appearence of it, unless they term the Pressidents Levee of a tuesday and mrs Washingtons drawing of a fryday such, one last two & the other perhaps three hours3 She gives Tea Coffe Cake Lemonade & Ise creams in summer all other Ladies who have publick Evenings give Tea coffe & Lemonade, but one only who introduces cards, and She is frequently put to difficulty to make up one table at whist. pray is not this better than resorting to Taverns, or even having supper partys some amusement from the Business of the day is necesserry and can there be a more Innocent one than, that of meeting at Gentlemens Houses and conversing together, but faction and Antifederilism may turn every Innocent action to evil
we are all well you see my pens are bad beyond description, and dinner calls.
Love to all Friends from / your ever affectionate / sister
RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by CA: “Mrs Mary Cranch. / Braintree”; notation by CA: “favd by / Mr Codman.”
1. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 July, the day after Harvard’s commencement, merely listed the names of graduating bachelor’s and master’s students. Newspapers published during the following week included more details about the students’ performances, including TBA’s conference with Nahum Fay and Thomas Gray on painting, music, and oratory (Boston Columbian Centinel, 24 July; Boston Gazette, 26 July; Independent Chronicle, 29 July).
2. Cranch replied to AA in a letter of 27 Aug. that George Mears was “building a house or he would have gladly have gone into yours” (Adams Papers). For the Mears family, see vol. 8:444.
3. A piece in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 15 July, sharply criticized the extravagance and inaction of the federal government. Citing the enormous debt, the author asked, “Is this a moment, then, for an absurd and ridiculous imitation of European manners and establishments.” The author went on to censure Congress for its “astonishing delays” and for “months idly wasted in impotent debate.” A similar indictment published on 3 June declared, “Time is not to be spent in amusement, or dissipation, but attentively improved for the dispatch of the public business. . . . Ideas of foreign pomp, parade and luxury, are rather to be spurned, than courted and fostered by a young republic.”