Abigail Adams 2d to Abigail Adams
Boston, January 6th, 1784
My Dear Mamma
Yesterday afternoon Mr. V——handed me your letter.1 I am sorry that you were prevented from communicating your farther sentiments, as I wished to know them fully. I presume you do not propose the question, “whether I would consent to your leaving this country without me,” with an intention of being influenced by my reply, if you did, I confess I should not know what to determine. I had rather go from necessity than choice—the latter would never carry me, the former must. My inclination and wishes must be subservient to my duty. Willingly would I sacrifice my happiness, my peace, pleasure, and every agreeable idea, for a time, did I only involve myself in the event.
It is my opinion that by your going my father will return much sooner than otherwise he would. The state of his health is critical. The life you must live will not be agreeable to you, and I flatter myself that twelve months, or eighteen at farthest, will not elapse ere he is influenced to return. I have known your sacrifices, I have shared them with you, and have felt them sufficiently to judge in some degree of the anxiety and unhappiness you have suffered, and to dread their continuance or repetition. * * * * * *2 What I have said is all I shall ever say on the subject.
Yesterday I received a very polite invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Tudor5 to spend this evening with them. It storms violently; but as this is the first time I was ever honoured with their attention, I suppose I must go at all events.
Your letters are not gone yet; it seems as if the vessel could never sail. Believe me Dutifully yours,
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr. description begins Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, Daughter of John Adams, . . . edited by Her Daughter [Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt], New York and London, 1841–; 3 vols.Note: Vol. , unnumbered, has title and date: Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, 1841; vol. 2 has title, volume number, and date: Correspondence of Miss Adams . . . Vol. II, 1842; vol.  has title, volume number, and date: Correspondence of Miss Adams . . ., Vol. II, 1842[!], i.e. same as vol. 2, but preface is signed “April 3d, 1849”[!], and the volume contains as “Part II” a complete reprinting from same type, and with same pagination, of vol. 2 (i.e. “Vol. II”), above, originally issued in 1842. description ends , 2:28–29.)
2. Thus in text.
3. Probably John Coffin Jones, justice of the peace, prominent Boston merchant, and owner of a house on Hanover Street. Jones’ first wife, Mary Lee, died on 1 March 1785, and there is no record of him or his wife traveling to England in 1784 (see AA to JA, 15 March, 12 April, and 25 May, all below; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873–. description ends , 17:49–54).
4. Probably AA’s cousin Mary Smith Otis, wife of Samuel Allyne Otis.
5. William Tudor, JA’s law clerk, 1769–1772, and his wife, Delia Jarvis Tudor (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873–. description ends , 17:252–265).