Adams Papers
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Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams, 10 February 1790

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams

Boston Feby 10. 1789 [1790]

Dear Madm

Our Genl Court is now in the Fourth Week of its Session; very little Business of Importance as yet finished1 The Leisure Season of the Year invites many of our good Folks to spin out the Session to a Length more favourable to their Purses than to the Interest of their Constituents.2 Much has been said of the Necessity of making Provision for restoring the public Credit, However no Tax or any other effectual Measure is as yet agreed upon— whether any Thing will be done to purpose before the Court rises is uncertain as many of the Members are of opinion that it will be best to wait the Decision of Congress on the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury—3

The Cold has been severe for several Days— the Thermometer stood at. ○. this Morning— Sudden Deaths have ben frequent for a Week past— Mrs. Palmer was seized with a Paralisis on Friday Evening last & died the Night following—4

Your Son Mr Thos. arrived in Boston last Saturday & is well— By a Letter from Mr Shaw I find Mrs. Shaw is well.

Mr Joy has offered the Land bought of S. Quincy at the Price He gave for it with the Interest from the Time of Purchase— his Memm. is enclosed for Your Consideration—5

Be pleased to present my Affectionate Regards to Mr. Adams & Your Children—

I am with sincere Affection / Yours

Cotton Tufts

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams”; endorsed: “dr Tufts / Febry 10 1789.” Filmed at 10 Feb. 1789.

1The Mass. General Court met from 13 Jan. to 9 March, after which it adjourned until 26 May (Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1788–1789, p. 611, 725; 1790–1791, p. 91).

2Members of the General Court were paid per diem, with senators earning six shillings and six pence per day and members of the House of Representatives six shillings per day. Legislators were also compensated for their travel time, receiving one day’s pay for every ten miles they traveled to attend the session (Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1788–1789, p. 679).

3On 3 March, the General Court passed a revised “Act to Raise a Public Revenue by Excise, and to Regulate the Collection Thereof,” which included a list of items to be taxed and a detailed explanation of how the law would be enforced (Boston Gazette, 8 Feb.; Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1788–1789, p. 462–476).

4Mary Cranch Palmer, Richard Cranch’s sister, died on 6 Feb. at seventy years of age; see also AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 Feb., and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 28 Feb., both below.

5The enclosure was possibly a document entitled “Extract from Mr Quincey’s Deed” (Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 2, folder 16), which describes two parcels of land in Braintree previously owned by Samuel Quincy Jr. but purchased by John and Abigail Joy in March 1788. JA would purchase both parcels from the Joys for £250 in June 1791. The first piece was thirty acres bordering the Adamses’ land to the north, and the second was twenty acres of woodland adjacent to the Adamses’ land to the west (John and Abigail Joy to JA, 18 June 1791, Adams Papers, Adams Office Manuscripts, Box 2, folder 16). See also AA’s reply to Tufts on 7 March, below.

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