Abigail Adams to John Bowring
[ante 30 March 1788]
your obliging favour of Febry 27 was brought me in the absence of mr Adams, who is gone to Holland upon publick buisness, and who upon his return will be so much hurried & occupied that I fear he will not be able to attend at all to the demands of private Frindship accept from me sir as his Representitive our mutual acknowledgments for the obliging civilities we received at Exeter & every other place where your family connextions extended, and I assure you sir with great Sincerity that we look back upon the Six weeks we spent in visiting Devonshire & its environs as the most agreeable journey we have made in this Country—1
The death of my Brother in Laws two Brothers will be an afflictive intelligence to him & his family, yet one of them has been long lost to his Family and Friends and the other had arrived at a period of Life beyond which few can expect to pass.2 their amiable and virtuous Characters will always afford a pleasing satisfaction to their surviving Relatives to whom I wish every consolation under their present Bereavement, to yourself and Family, every success in Life, which your Integrity of Character, your industry merit & virtue so justly intitle you to
I am sir with / Sincere Esteem / your Humble Servant
Dft (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “A. A. / 1788.” Drafted on the same sheet of paper as AA to Lewis D. Ward, [ante 17 March], above, and filmed at [March 1788].
1. On 27 Feb. John Bowring wrote to JA to thank the Adamses for their visit to Exeter the previous year and to wish them a good voyage home to America (Adams Papers). Bowring’s letter arrived in London after JA had left for the Netherlands on 29 February. AA likely replied before JA returned, probably on 24 or 25 March, and certainly before the couple left London for Portsmouth on 30 March.
2. Richard Cranch was born in Devonshire, England, and continued to correspond with his many relatives there long after he emigrated to America in 1746. His two brothers, Andrew and William Cranch, died, respectively, in Dec. 1787 and Feb. 1788. JA and AA had met both men in July 1787 (JA, D&A description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:207–210; MHi:Cranch-Bond Papers, Extract from a Register of the Bond and Cranch Families, 1852).