Adams Papers
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Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 31 March 1798

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

March 31 1798

my dear sister

I write you a few lines this morning merely to inclose a Letter which I will thank you to cover and forward to Atkinson.1 I have not time to write this morning to Atkinson. inclosed I sent you a specimin of the Manners Religion & politeness of one of the 44 Gentlemen, Who can come and Eat of my Bread, & drink of my Wine one whom the Virginians consider as a Paragon of politeness whom they have plumed themselves upon as a promising young Man, and a Man of Property, one of their best Speakers.—2

I know not what can excite their Wrath to such a degree, but that they think there is yet some Religion left in the Country, and that the people will have some respect to it, & to those Rulers who acknowledge an over Ruling Providence— Baches you see is striving to render the Proclamation Ridiculous and With his Atheistical doctrines spreading French principles far and Wide—but I trust and hope we may as a people be of that happy Number, Whose God is the Lord, and never forget that it is Righteousness which exalteth a Nation, Whilst sin is their Reproach.3

adieu my dear sister / affectionatly Yours

A A—

RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Quincy.”

1Not found.

2AA was referring to the proclamation JA issued on 23 March declaring a fast day for 9 May and the heated response it generated from Democratic-Republicans, including Virginia representative Richard Brent. For both the proclamation and the backlash, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 9, above.

3An article printed in the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 30 March, decried the proclamation and blamed JA and his administration for the present state of U.S. affairs: “The crisis in which this country finds itself and the dangers that threaten it, have principally arisen from our administration, and that of course it is it that ought to fast, reform, and repent.

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