Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 12 May 1791

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

Fairfield wednesday May 12th 1791

my dear son

we have reachd this place this day, but whether I shall be able to travel tomorrow is uncertain, for I am so unfortunate as to be attackd with the intermitting fever last night was so very ill that I had not the least expectation of being able to proceed on my journey, but to day I am better. I was taken last fryday in N york with it, and prevented sitting out as we intended on monday I am now in use of the Bark and hope to prevent a return of it tomorrow, but should it attack me again I shall be obliged to lye by my sick day, and so infeebles me that I cannot travell far the day which is termd well. I left your sister and Family well. I wrote to you from N york, but as I thought your Brother had given you information of some trunks on Board Hopkins I mentiond only those by Cheeseman.1 I inclose you Hopkins rect2 if they have arrived send word to Braintree that they may be got up before I get there. I wish myself at Braintree, for travelling sick is a very dissagreeable buisness. I think if I can hold out we shall be at Braintree on wednesday next. I am too feeble to write much, so must leave it to you to give this information to your Aunt. we met mr & mrs Breck & company at kings Bridge3

adieu your affectionate Mother

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed by TBA: “John Quincy Adams Esqr / Boston”; endorsed: “My Mother. 12. May 1791.”; notation by JA: “Free / John Adams.”

1Letter not found. Writing to Mary Smith Cranch from New York on 6 May (MWA: Abigail Adams Letters), AA indicated that at her departure from Bush Hill “I left to be put on Board captain Cheeseman in the Brigg Ceares one Trunk of mine and one of Pollys one Band Box and a small portmantua Trunk.” The brig Ceres, Capt. Samuel Chesman, was scheduled to sail from Philadelphia on 5 May; she entered Boston eight days later. The brig Maria, Capt. Caleb Hopkins, had cleared Philadelphia on 27 April and arrived at Boston on 5 May (Pennsylvania Mercury, 5 May; Boston Columbian Centinel, 14 May; Survey of Federal Archives, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, comps., Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charlestown, 1789–1795, Boston, 1942, p. 30; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 27 April; Boston Herald of Freedom, 6 May).

2Not found.

3Boston merchant Samuel Breck Sr. (1747–1809) and his wife Hannah Andrews Breck (1747–1831) were headed to Philadelphia on a short pleasure trip. The Brecks would move there in 1792, soon after Boston introduced a system of taxation that they and other wealthy inhabitants deemed arbitrary and unjust (vol. 6:325; H. E. Scudder, ed., Recollections of Samuel Breck with Passages from His Note-Books (1771–1862), Phila., 1877, p. 176–177, 186–187; Samuel Breck, Genealogy of the Breck Family Descended from Edward of Dorchester and His Brothers in America, Omaha, 1889, p. 40).

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