Adams Papers

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, 22 September 1788

John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

Haverhill Septr: 22d: 1788.

Dear Madam.

Mr:Lincoln, the bearer, is a young preacher, who belongs to Hingham; he is going home, and I cannot suffer the opportunity to pass unimproved; though I have little to say: except that I have been unwell: my nerves have been disordered, and the words of Henry have [. . .] obtruded themselves upon my mind, at the midnight hour.

Oh gentle sleep

Nature’s soft Nurse, how have I frighted thee

That thou no more wilt weigh mine eye-lids down

And steep my senses in forgetfulness.1

I came here last Saturday, and have such excellent care taken of me, that I hope to be perfectly recovered in two or three days.

Mr Thaxter wishes very much to see the pamphlet containing the correspondence between Mr Jay & Littlepage.2 I promised him two months ago to procure one of them; and am ashamed of my negligence in forgetting it. Will you be so kind as to send it here by the first conveyance you can find?

I hope to write more fully in a few days; meantime, I remain your dutiful Son.

J. Q. Adams.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Braintree.”; docketed by JA: “J. Q. Adams 1788 / 22. Septr. Haverhill”; notation: “Mr: Lincoln.” Some loss of text due to placement of the seal.

1Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act III, scene i, lines 5–8.

2This is probably a request for Answer to a Pamphlet, Containing the Correspondence between the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and Lewis Littlepage, Esquire, of Virginia, N.Y., 1787, which itself was a response to an earlier pamphlet of Jay’s entitled Letters, Being the Whole of the Correspondence between the Hon. John Jay, Esquire, and Mr. Lewis Littlepage, N.Y., 1786. These two pamphlets outline a disagreement between Jay and Littlepage over a debt Littlepage owed to Jay (“Littlepage versus Jay,” Virginia Historical Society, An Occasional Bulletin, 40:1–4 [June 1980]).

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