Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 15 March 1780

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Paris March 15. 1780

My dearest Friend

Mr. Brown, whom I left at Passy, when I returned to you, and whom I found here, upon my return to Paris,1 will deliver you this and another Letter which I intended to have sent by the Viscount de Noailles, and two small Bundles containing a Piece of Chintz each. The Price is horrid, Sixty Livres a Piece, but I cannot trade, I suppose others would get them at half Price.

If you will make me buy Dittoes2 you must expect to be cheated. I never bought any Thing in my Life, but at double Price.

The Children, with Sammy Cooper dined with me to day. Charles begins to speak French very well, and Cooper too.

Mr. Brown formerly lived with Governor Trumbull.

Captain Carpenter who sailed a few days after me in the Cartell for London dined with me to day. The English Ministry will not allow of an Exchange. He tells me the Gentry of Brompton Row3 firmly believe that America cannot hold out five Months longer.

My Duty to your Father, my Mother, Brothers, sisters, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

Yours Yours, forever and forever.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree near Boston favoured by Mr. Brown to be sunk in Case of Capture.”

1Joseph Brown Jr., a young Charlestonian who came to Boston in the Alliance on the voyage in which Captain Landais was deposed. He made a great impression on AA; see her letters of introduction for him to Mrs. Warren, 1 Sept., and to James Lovell, 3 Sept., both below; also The Second Part of the Memorial to Justify Peter Landai’s [sic] Conduct during the Late War, N.Y. [1785?], p. 23.

2That is, other things of the same kind. Compare a passage in JA to AA, 12 Aug. 1776 (vol. 2:90, above): “Here they [the troops in Philadelphia] wait for Canteens, Camp Kettles, Blanketts, Tents, Shoes, Hose, Arms, Flints, and other Dittoes.” The passage just quoted is cited in OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends as the earliest use of “Dittoes” as a noun in precisely this sense, and the later examples there cited are not, strictly speaking, parallel in meaning. This is apparently another instance of JA’s verbal innovativeness.

3That is, the colony of American loyalists in London.

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