Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 18 May 1798

Philidelphia May 18 1798

my dear sister

What no Letters from Quincy has been repeated every day for a week upon the return of every messenger from the post office. I was hunting up my pen this morning & going to sit down and inquire whether my dear sister was sick when yours of May 10th was brought me. you can hardly judge how impatient I feel if I do not hear once a week, but have you not received a Letter from me inclosing a Bill of Laiding of the Box which was addrest to mr Smith & which Bill I desired you to forward to him? I sent such a one to you before the vessel saild. pray have it inquired for two of mrs Goulds daughters who was formerly of Boston went in this vessel. mrs Gould must be known to mr Smith.

The address arrived last week and mr Black carries the answer to it & placed his name to it here. he intended reaching Quincy this day. he can tell you all about us, and about Philadelphia & the Spirit of the times. I am rejoiced to see that the p[e]ople are roused to a Sense of their danger, and to a determination to support their Rights. the Good Sense & property of the Country must be in its support. they cannot suppose that their President can have any object in view for himself or Family, from the whole course & tennor of his Life incompatable with the honour, dignity and independance of his Country. he has his all at Stake, more than any other individual, because of his high responsibility, the numerous addresses do honour to our Country, tho they load the President with constant application to his pen, as he answers all of them and by this means has an opportunity of diffusing his own Sentiments, more extensively & probably where they will be more read and attended to than they would have been through any other channel. His manner of Receiving the Youth of this city and his replie to them, I am told has attachd them so much to him, that a word to them from him upon any Subject will not fail of <his> its influence. of this he had a trial this week upon a trivial Subject it is true, but it was one which might have had concequences. but his opinion signified to one of the Committe instantly was complied with. A Bill has been before the House empowering the President to receive voluntary [Chairs] in case of need. Varnum and Gallatin have opposed it vehemently. it was yesterday carried by a Great majority in the House.

I am equally anxious with Col Daws for the fate of our Envoys. With the best intentions I fear they have been too believing, and submitted to more humiliation than their country required of them by remaining after the last decree of the Directory. I send you the last despatches, and I sometimes add a news paper, supposing it contains more than you can get otherways. I long for the time to come when I may sit my face Northward. I have not received any account of the dr receiving a Bill of a hundred dollars sent I believe in my last Letter to him. he mentions having received the Letter to you so I presume he got it. I hope he will be able to write me soon. the President received a Letter from him this week. I pray Heaven to prolong his usefull Life.

return the Letters from my Children as soon as you can I inclose you one from your Son and one from my Friend mrs Johnson which you will be so good as to return me. I have but little time to write now as the post will go out at 12 oclock but I congratulate you upon a brighter prospect for him. I have bespoken for mrs Cranch the kind and Maternal regard of mrs Johnson and told her, that like her own daughter she had been seperated from all her natural connections. I have written to mr Cranch & his uncle has written the Letter he requested for mr Carrol. I am anxious for Betsy Shaw a change of Air might serve her. She is too high & keen a Situation I fear for the State of her Lungs. my Love to mrs Black I long to hear she has got her little Girl

Most affectionatly your Sister

Abigail Adams


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