Adams Papers
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Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 28 April 1798

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

Philadelphia 28 April 1798

my dear sister

I have just received yours of the 23 April and I sit down to answer your inquiries respecting the building I wrote to dr Tufts my Ideas upon it.1 I should think the East Chambers the best for a Library and I do not see any inconvenience from having the stairs to it without doors like going into a store as mr Tufts store is built.2 I pray neither the dr or mr Black when he comes will say any thing about the Building. I mean to have it all done Snug, and the Library removed if I can before I come, and I pray the dr to inform me of the cost which I design to Secure monthly from my expences here—3 I know the President will be glad when it is done, but he can never bear to trouble himself about any thing of the kind, and he has no taste for it, and he has too many publick cares to think of his own affairs

you mention Betsys Shaws illness. I did not know She had been sick, except the beginning of the winter. I am allarmd for her

The caps are at the bottom of the Box sent to cousin Betsy. I see by the papers that the vessel is arrived. if she is not at home you may open the Box I never received the Letter in which the Dr Mentions having inclosed the plan. tell the dr if four or 5 Hunderd dollors will meet the object, I will remit the remainder to him as he shall have occasion.—

The Child is very well let mrs Black know—

the weather yesterday was very Hot and is like to be so to day. I had a very full drawing Room last evening— I must close them in May. I cannot have them in Hot weather. I went yesterday to return Some visits, and where ever I past, I received a marked notice of Bows & the Friends in the street in their Way noticed me. I thought nothing of it, untill my attention was caught by a Bunch of Tradesmen they lookt like, who at the corners of the street saluted me as I past with their Hats— in short we are now wonderfully popular except with Bache & co who in his paper calls the President old querilous Bald blind cripled Toothless Adams4 thus in scripture was the Prophet mocked, and tho no Bears may devour the wretch, the wrath of an insulted people will by & by break upon him—5

I have not time to add more than my Love and Regards to all Friends / from your / affectionate sister

A Adams

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

1AA’s letter to Cotton Tufts has not been found.

2Cotton Tufts Jr., for whom see vol. 1:15 and CFA, Diary description begins Diary of Charles Francis Adams, ed. Aïda DiPace Donald, David Donald, Marc Friedlaender, L. H. Butterfield, and others, Cambridge, 1964–. description ends , 5:82, ran a store in Weymouth (Bond, Watertown Genealogies description begins Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Boston, 1855; 2 vols. in 1. description ends , 2:725).

3In his letter to AA of 12 May Cotton Tufts estimated the cost of construction at Peacefield to be between $600 and $700, of which he needed $200 to $300 before July. In a letter of 28 May he revised the estimate to closer to $700, excluding the cost of painting, and he repeated his immediate need for cash to meet expenses (both Adams Papers).

4The Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 27 April, printed a letter warning Americans against alienating “the only nation upon earth, from whose amity she can expect permanent advantage.” It claimed that because the United States “is destined to occupy a superior station” it would be “ludicrous to suppose” that JA, with his “cankered murmurs” and traits quoted by AA, along with the “venal machinations of the Executive tide-waiters, cake-catchers, meat-mongers, bubble-gulpers—the Harpers, Otis’s and Sewalls, can have any other effect, than to afford additional and experimental proof of the folly of trusting such men with power.”

5“And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them” (2 Kings, 2:23–24).

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