Mary Barclay to Abigail Adams
Paris September 5—1785
My Dear Madam
I did not know till this moment that Coln. Franks would set out this evening, who has just Call’d on me for my Commands. I dare not detain him long, and cannot let him depart without a few lines to assure you of my attachment and best wishes.
I am glad to find you are agreeably fixed1 and that you enjoy a good society which is certainly much superior to all the fashionable amusments of, this, or any other place, tho’ you are so happy in your own family that you must feel the want of it much less than any one I know.
When Dr. Bancroft left this I thought of settling at L’Orient during Mr. Barclay’s absence2 but on maturer reflection it is not a place proper for the Education of our Children, therefore have determined to remain some where in or near Paris where those advantages may be procured that I would wish to have for them. Catharine stay’d with me till the 10 of August, and as I then expected to leave Paris in a few days she engaged with the Family which came into the house at Mont Parnasse which we were obliged to quit at that time, and removed to Hotel D’Aligre rue d’Orleans St. Honoré.
Pauline I believe to have too good Principles as well as too great a love for this life, to put an end to it in the maner you mention.3 She was happily placed about three weeks after you left this with a Lady who gives her three hundred livres a year besides Profites which are considerable, yet she seems to regret much your service.
I pray you remember me respectfully to Mr. and Miss Adams & believe me with the greatest sincerity your Friend & humble Servant
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Mary Barclay refers, here and below, to a missing letter from AA, presumably written in July or August.
2. On or just before 4 Sept., with JA’s prior agreement, Jefferson instructed Thomas Barclay to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Barbary States. Barclay intended to depart soon thereafter for Morocco but was delayed until Jan. 1786 by the need to settle Caron de Beaumarchais’ accounts. See Jefferson, Papers description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen (from vol. 21), John Catanzariti (from vol. 24), and others, Princeton, 1950-. description ends , 8:394, 424, 473; 9:91, 214.
3. Pauline had served the Adamses at Auteuil.