Abigail Adams to John Adams
Quincy decbr 14. 1793
my dearest Friend
I hope this days post will bring me a Letter from you at Philadelphia, and that I shall hear you are well and at mr otis’s tho obliged as they say to keep Batchelors Hall for a short period. mrs otis I trust will be with you before this Letter. I wrote by her tho I had little to inform you of. your Farm will occupy your mind I know Sometimes and you will wish to know if the ground is broke up which you left unfinish’d. the stones have been removed and one days work after a Rain has been performd. the people were anxious to compleat it the next day tho the ground was stiff, but [in] the attempt they Broke the beam of the plough & were obliged to quit. we have sent it to be repaird & the first opportunity it will be compleated. the weather has been pleasent & the Sea weed is attended to every day when, wood is not. Arnold is very anxious to tarry with me and has offerd to stay at six dollors the winter Months. at present I thought I could do without him but gave him encouragement that I would hire him if snow came so as to get the stones across the pond.1 what can be done with the set of wretches who have begun their winter depredations upon the cedar pasture, Cut down trees lately as Arnold informs me, Some of those which the fire past over have been seen at wilsons door. Humphries informs me that the lot call’d Ruggles’s a bound tree containing 5 foot has been recently cut down & others near it & carried of, by nobody knows whom.2 Boilstone Adams has had his shop broke open this week 2 sides of soul Leather Boot legs & several calfs skins carried away. they broke the Glass & then unfastned the window in shrt we seem to live amongst a people who have no sense of Right & wrong— Remember me kindly to all inquiring Friends. read columbus—and let me know the opinions of those who do.3
Yours most affectionatly
mrs Brisler & family are all well
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs Adams / Decr. 14. ansd 23d.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Possibly Joseph Neale Arnold (1764–1816), a Quincy neighbor whose wife, Mehitable Adams Arnold, was a daughter of JA’s first cousin Ebenezer Adams (Sprague, Braintree Families description begins Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, comp., Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Mass., 1640–1850, Boston, 1983; repr. CD-ROM, Boston, 2001. description ends ; vol. 6:238).
2. Probably Levi Humphrey (b. 1767), “a transient man” of Braintree. “Ruggles’s” lot was likely the woodlot AA purchased in 1783 that was formerly owned by Samuel Ruggles (b. 1700) of Braintree and Boston (Sprague, Braintree Families description begins Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, comp., Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Mass., 1640–1850, Boston, 1983; repr. CD-ROM, Boston, 2001. description ends ; vol. 5:285, 288).
3. JQA published in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 30 Nov., 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, and 21 Dec. 1793, five essays (over several issues) under the name Columbus in response to the activities, writings, and controversy surrounding Edmond Genet’s mission. Columbus describes Genet in the first essay as “the most implacable and dangerous enemy to the peace and happiness of my country,” then uses the subsequent four to outline his reasons for this opinion, attacking Genet’s attempts to circumvent George Washington’s neutrality policy and to draw the United States into the European war.