Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 22 January 1793

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Boston Janry 22 1792 [1793]

my dearest Friend

I received your kind favours of Ja’nry 8 & 9th and on saturday a Letter from our daughter1 I have been in Town for a few days—for the first time I chose not to come till all the Bustle of Election was past Election for a Representitive has taken place since I came here. Honestus’s Friends and emisaries have been indefatigable in procuring votes for him, and their success has been Such that he stands highest upon the list, and tho it is presumed that their will not be a Choice, he & dr Holten will be the Candidates.2 dr Jarvis is sitting up for Federal senator in the Room of mr strong.3 Speculation is the popular Topick when a man is to be crushd, and that is the crime of which mr strong is said to be guilty, and tho I presume it is quite groundless, yet it will answer a Party purpose an other Idle story is that mr Pitt has resignd,4 and that the President of the u s is going to resign in March, as tho there could be any connextion between the resignation of the first minister of state in England and the chief majestrate here, nor can I devine the policy of the Report unless it is meant for a stock jobbing purpose, yet there are persons here stupid enough to swallow such reports. you will see by the papers the whole Town of B—— laid under a tax of 3 dollors pr head which they dare not refuse, even those who in their hearts dislike the Festival and will join in it no further than to pay the money: the Civick Feast of the Cits, pushd down their Throats for fear of being stiled Aristocrats.5 Such is the infectious spirit, of the Times—

Mr B—— is here.6 I saw him at the assembly, where he was very social. there were some compliments paid to him, which tho in the Character of this Town, belongd not to a private citizen—such as waiting the dances for him for more than an hour and finally being obliged to begin without him, as he did not make his appearence till near Nine oclock dinning at five oclock to conform to his hour, &c one compliment however he has received not so much to his taste, a W—— for Arerages of old martinec affairs—

do you suppose that Congress will meet after their dissolution on the 3d of March? I fear you will have as dissagreeable a time Home as you had when you went. Love to mrs otis her Friends here are all well— my Health is better than it has been. I have not had any return of a Fever for two Months. I cannot say as much for two years before

my Love to Thomas I will write to him next week when I return to Quincy

Yours most affectionatly

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia / Jan. 22. 1793.”

1On 8 Jan., JA wrote to AA with yet more commentary on the recent elections. In particular, he related various anecdotes being relayed in the South about his relationship with George Washington, commenting, “There is no End of the Fictions and Falshoods which were propagated and not contradicted in those remote States.” JA also told two stories of individuals’ criticizing his 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 without actually having read it. He cynically noted that “These Anecdotes show the real Genius of this enlightened Age. Such is a great part of the Light, which We boast of So much” (Adams Papers).

The letter from AA2 may have been of 13 Sept. 1792, above.

2Dr. Samuel Holten (or Holton) was elected to Congress; Benjamin Austin Jr. was not (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, 1989. description ends ).

3Charles Jarvis failed in his election attempt; Caleb Strong and George Cabot remained senators from Massachusetts for the 3d Congress (same).

4The rumor was false; William Pitt remained prime minister until Feb. 1801.

5For the civic feast, see AA to JA, 1 Feb. 1793, and note 1, below. Tickets to the event cost three dollars each and were advertised several times in Boston newspapers (William Parker Cutler and Julia Perkins Cutler, Life, Journals and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL.D., 2 vols., Cincinnati, 1888, 1:489; Columbian Centinel, 19 Jan.; Boston Gazette, 21 Jan.).

6Possibly Samuel Breck Sr.

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