Elizabeth Smith Shaw to Abigail Adams
Haverhill October 3d 1788—
My Dear Sister—
I am almost affraid you do not love me so well as I hoped you did— If you had have known how much you dissappointed me, & my Friends here, in not making us a visit, your benevolence would have induced my Brother, & you, to have surmountd every Obstacle—
If I had not felt too great a tenderness for the Parent, I would have told you that your Son was here very Sick, & had alarming Complaints— And indeed I could have told you so with truth— But I did not want to decoy you here in this way, & make you travel the road with an akeing heart, I know too well the distress of it—
I suppose Mr Adams is with you before this time— He would go to Newbury a Tuesday contrary to my advice—& I have been very uneasy about him ever since— I think it is highly necessary for him to be exceeding careful as to Diet, Exercise, &cc— As to Study that must certainly be laid aside for the present— We wished him to have tarried longer here, He knows that I felt a pleasure in attending upon One, who I thought so worthy of our Love, & esteem— I hope he is with you now & much better— My Love to him I will not say to him that I hope Morpheus nightly sheds his Poppies o’er his head, but in a more Christian stile, pray that the good Shepherd of Isreal, who himself never slumbers nor sleeps, would encircle him in the arms of his Love, & remove every disorder,—that his Blood may flow on in a regular & healthful Course, & he perfectly restored—that the rose may again return to his Cheek, & the glow of health smile & brighten in his Face—
I hope to see you next week, if our chaise wheels are done, & nothing happens we expect to come— Mr Allen has been sick with weak Eyes ever since he returned— They were here a Lecture day this week, & gave some account of the dreadful trial she had with her child—1 I believe she does not want to go another Journey with one—
Please to give my love to my Sister Cranch & Cousins— cousin Betsy Smith begs to be remembered by her Aunts, as well my Son & Daughter.
Ever, & unalterably your affectionate sister
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “1788 E Shaw.”
1. The Allens’ only child, Betsey, who had been born in Aug. 1787, survived to adulthood, marrying Rev. Thomas A. Merrill of Middlebury, Vt., in 1812 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley, Clifford K. Shipton, Conrad Edick Wright, Edward W. Hanson, and others, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873–. description ends , 18:364, note 17).
2. The final line and signature were written sideways in the margin.