Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to John Cranch, 7 March 1787

Abigail Adams to John Cranch

London, March 7. 1787:1

Dear sir;

your obliging Letter of November 7th. came safe to hand, as well as a couple of Hares since Received, for which accept my acknowledgments:2

I was happy to find that the Books I sent were acceptable to you, tho they painted some of your Countrymen in very black coulours; and one cannot refrain from being affected by the disgraces brought upon their Country from the evil conduct of it’s Members, tho they abhor the measures & detest the Authors[.]3

I wish I could say that a Change of Administration since the peace, had effected a change of sentiment with respect to America, but this Nation, sir, is still persueing measures which daily, more & more, alienate America from her; & force her into a closer connection with France:4 how much this will benefit England, time will discover:

I take the Liberty of sending you a late publication stiled the defence of the American Constitutions,5 which have been attacked, as you will see, by great Men: how ably they are defended the publick will judge; but something appeard necessary at this time to settle the minds of the Americans, who appear to feel inconveniencies without tracing them to their true source: it will perhaps afford you some amusement, not only as a Friend to America, but to the Liberties of mankind6

By the latest accounts from America (the 10 of Febry)7 general Lincoln had marched against the insurgents dispersed and quelld them; so that I hope they will no longer impede the course of Justice, or disturb the good order of society. Ebullitions of this kind will break out in all free governments, like humours in a Healthy Body; but I presume they cannot proceed to any dangerous height—

Mr and Mrs Smith present their compliments and thanks for your kind congratulations. Mr Adams joins me in ye sentiments of Esteem and / Regard with which I am / Dear sir your Humble Servant

A Adams

RC (MB:Dept. of Rare Books and Manuscripts); addressed by AA2: “John Cranch. Esqr. / Axminster.”; endorsed: “7. March 1787— / From the lady Ambass: / Adams.” Dft (Adams Papers), filmed at 5 March.

1“March 5th” in Dft.

2Vol. 7:389–390.

3See AA to John Cranch, 21 Oct. 1786, and note 3, vol. 7:378–379.

4At this point in the Dft, the following passage was struck out: “they will not enter into a treaty with America nor have they deignd to send a minister in return for the one sent to this court. the concequence will be a recall of the American minister and I can truly say the sooner that event takes place the more agreeable it will be to me, tho there are individuals in this Nation for whom I Shall ever entertain the highest respect & esteem.”

5For JA’s Defence of the Const. description begins John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, London, 1787–1788; repr. New York, 1971; 3 vols. description ends , see AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 Oct., note 14, vol. 7:365–366.

6In the Dft the first sentence of the following paragraph reads, “by my last Letters from America our friends were well, tho some what troubled by a number of insurgents who had molested the peace & good order of society by unlawfully assembling & stopping the courts of justice.”

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