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William Smith to Abigail Adams, 10 June 1797

William Smith to Abigail Adams

Boston. 10th. June. 1797.

Dear Madam.

I was not more fortunate in the weather on my return, than I was in going to Philaa. 3 days out 5 on the road it constantly rain’d.— before this you have seen the Speech of our New. Gov. & the answers of the Senate & House. this Election is as popular as any for some Years. the Answer from the House passd. as reported by the Comtee. without any debate or the least alteration.1 the Printers of the Chronicle expected to have made interest sufficient to be appointed printer’s. in this they have been disappointed the Senate appointed the same as the last Year & sent to the House their appointment one Member mov’d, as usual, to assign a Day for the choice, another Member, Dr Eustis mov’d to concur with the Senate, which was immediately passd. without debate.2 this business for several Years past, has taken up the House several Days. at present it appears to be the disposition of the Court, not to enter into any trifling controversy but join & promote the best interest of the Country— the Answer of the House to the President, we have just recd.3 as the Members have not deliver’d their long Speeches (many of which I presume were wrote before they left home.) I hope they will now proceed upon business. people differ very much in their opinion, in this place respecting the arming of Merchantemen I believe from what I have heard, it is generally against it. it is fear’d that the imprudent conduct of many, wou’d have a tendency to involve us in, rather than extricate us, from, a contest with F[rance.] from our last accounts I think the […] greatest probability that a general peace will soon take place. in Europe & that the Embassy from this Country will be well recd.

Mrs. S. & our Children are well she joins me with Betsey in our best regards to you & the President.

I am Affecly.

Wm. Smith.

This will be handed you by Mr. Cutts. brother to our Mr Cutts. Portso.4

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams / Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mr Smith June / 10th 1797”; notation: “Mr. Cutts.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

1The senate accepted “with lively satisfaction” Gov. Increase Sumner’s 2 June inaugural address. Its reply offered praise of George Washington’s service to the nation and approbation of JA as his successor, while at the same time it lamented “those depredations on our commerce … and the evil effects” of French privateers. The response concluded by noting the senate’s readiness “to receive and attend to any communications which your Excellency may think proper to make.” The house reply also praised Sumner’s address, which “excites the most pleasing expectations from your administration.” It recognized JA as a “successor … so eminently conspicuous for his talents and his virutes” and declared itself prepared “to support the civil magistrate in the constitutional and legal discharge of his duty” (Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1796–1797, p. 493–497).

2Alexander Young and Thomas Minns, publishers of the Massachusetts Mercury, were once again chosen to be printers to the Mass. General Court (Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1796–1797, p. 609; vol. 11:240).

3The House of Representatives’ answer was published in the Boston Columbian Centinel, 10 June.

4Edward Cutts, for whom see vol. 11:300, was Smith’s brother-in-law. Cutts had four brothers—Samuel, Charles, George, and Hampden (JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981–. description ends , 2:288; Cecil Hampden Cutts Howard, comp., Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, Albany, N.Y., 1892, p. 42–43).

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