Adams Papers
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Abigail Adams to John Adams, 13 November 1798

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Quincy Novbr 13 1798

My dearest Friend

Mrs Smith appeard so anxious and unhappy tho She Said nothing, that seeing it, I advised her to follow you, & sent Michial to Town hoping she would overtake you tomorrow. she appeard so rejoiced at the proposal, that in half an hour, she was gone. I hope She will overtake you by tomorrow night.

I slept well last night & tho I feel very low spirited, I shall strive to be [co]ntent. I will follow you when I am able if you want me, but must leave it to future contingencies. I congratulate you upon the News which is now thought Authentic of the Capture of the French Fleet by Nelson. I inclose you some Letters received to day. the contents of one of them will remain as tho it had never been seen by me— I think it however, uncandid & severe forgive me that I opend it.1 it was in hopes of finding a Letter from Brisler— mr storer being here on his return to Hingham, I request him to address them and put them into the post office for you to be sent to N york.

Mr Cranch remains very sick indeed the dr says— Love to William Shaw & to all who feel interested / in the happiness of your


RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

1AA presumably read Timothy Pickering’s private letter to JA of 5 Nov. (Adams Papers), in which the secretary of state refused to comply with JA’s request to publish a 20 Oct. letter from Elbridge Gerry. There, Gerry defended his actions in France as represented publicly by Pickering and others. JA, who had advocated publishing Gerry’s entire correspondence from France, thought printing the letter would placate an agitated Gerry. However, Pickering, who favored publishing Gerry’s dispatches only with an accompanying report, replied that printing the 20 Oct. letter would “display, not his pusilanimity, weakness and meanness alone,—but his duplicity and treachery,” and he further recommended Gerry’s impeachment. This difference of opinion between JA and Pickering continued, and it was not until mid-Jan. 1799 that Gerry’s correspondence with Talleyrand was made public (Gerry to JA, 20 Oct. 1798, Adams Papers; JA to Pickering, 26 Oct., MHi:Pickering Papers; Elkins and McKitrick, Age of Federalism description begins Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, New York, 1993. description ends , 610–611, 613–614). See also William Smith Shaw to AA, 15 Jan. 1799, and note 8, and 21 Jan., and note 2, both below.

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