Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to William Cranch, 12 July 1798

Philadelphia July 12th [1798]

dear Sir

It was with much anxiety and concern that I learnt from mrs Johnson the outrageous attack which was made upon you by Mr. Duncanson, and the dissagreable circumstance of your being Badly wounded. I hope however from What I yesterday heard that the concequences of the wound will not prove so bad as <one> was apprehended. mr Greenleaf call’d yesterday to inquire what intelligence I had received, he spoke like a friend and felt like a Brother. I related to him the circumstances as detaild by the pen of Mrs Johnson who was exceeding iritated & hurt at the event. I wisht however to See some person from whom I could lean the State of parties and Character of the persons—I applied to mr Stodard who conversed very fully with me and satisfied me—that to steer between them required great Skill and management. No person would wish an other to Speak in higher terms of approbation and praise of the Honour integrity impartiality & concilitary disposition of an other than mr Stodard did of my Nephew and mr Stodard if I justly estimate him possesses all those qualities him self. It was very ungentlemanly and Rascally to attack a Man merely for his being professionally engaged in the Service of his attagonist. the Law must decide upon the Equity of the dispute between the parties—

I cannot say but that I felt hurt that Mr dalton Should tender himself as Bondsman—A respectable one he is and is therefore I trust the more honorable Security for the good behaviour of Duncanson <of whose party> to whom I hear he has attachd himself. I know you too well to suppose you can harbour any lasting Enimity and I trust you will as you have done Stear as clear as possible of all pa[r]ty animosity and bitterness, in all cases consistant with what you owe to yourself. Strive to heal animosities and soften passions, to do good even to those who despightly use you and percecute you. I do not mean by this that the Law ought not to have it’s full course and that as a man unjustly injured you ought to have justice done you—

I hope this will be mrs Cranch–Study also, where a city is divided against itself, it must come to mine and it is to be regrated that <at the commensement> of private interest should so embroil Friends and Neighbours. I lament that mrs Johnson should be fixt down in the very fever & Hot bed of dissention. I believe no part of America is so circumstanced, having lived in a Country where one neighbour does not trouble an other, nor even know them. It must be the more unpleasent to her—I would <advise to have for> advise all my friends to hear See & as far as possible to be silent.

Whilst I am writing a Letter is brought me from mrs Johnson with the pleasing intelligence of your recovery So far as to think of Sitting out upon a jouney—I hope You will not be too Soon. Some accounts have reachd this City of the affair. All of them criminate Duncanson—tho Some Say that he is really injured by mr L— & M— I received a Letter from your mother this morning. The family were well. I dared not in my last Letters hint the affair to her—I shall now give her an account of it—

my Love to mrs Cranch Tell her I hope Louisa will meet with as kind a friend in Berlin <and> as a reward for the interest her amiable mother takes in mrs Cranchs and your Situation. I presume mrs Cranch will find a mother & Sisters in your absence. I hope the Washington Family will be gratified with the cordiality which Subsists & has never known an interruption between the Late & present President. I assure you that the <said so> invitation will be cordially accepted, and a great relief it will be to the President. What can be the occasion of Thorntons animosity to the President. he never injured or offended himhe is the only one of the three who are not personally know—

MHi: Adams Papers.

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