John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams
New York July 8. 1794.
My dear Madam
The stage in which I had engaged a passage for Philadelphia this morning, has gone away by mistake, and left me behind, which gives me leisure to write a line by my brother. He intends to pay you a visit this summer, and will be the bearer of this.
I was detained three days in Newport for a wind, but otherwise have had a very comfortable passage from Boston hither— I find my health better than when I saw you, and hope that the heats of Philadelphia, will not prove injurious to it. I shall make as short a stay there as possible.
I have met here with Messrs: Talleyrand and Beaumiez, who are about to proceed eastward, and will in the course of a fortnight or three weeks pay you a visit. I have likewise seen a Mr: Colomb, an aid to Mr De la Fayette; who went to Europe in 1779 with us on board the Sensible.1 “tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.”2 Mr: Colomb and I sat and conversed very sociably together for half an hour before either of us discovered that we had been formerly acquainted, and fellow passengers.
If you do not understand my Latin quotation, I must plead the example of the most respectable authority as a precedent to excuse my inserting it.
Mrs Smith and the family are well, but her children were in the Country, and I was disappointed in not seeing them.— At three this afternoon I start for Philadelphia, from which place, I hope you will shortly hear from me.
In all duty and affection, I remain your Son.
John Q. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: A. Adams. / Quincy.”; endorsed: “July 8th / J Q A / 1794”; notation: “Mr: C. Adams.”
1. Louis Saint Ange Morel, Chevalier de La Colombe (1755 – ca. 1800), served as the Marquis de Lafayette’s aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War. He again served Lafayette in the French Army in the early 1790s but was arrested during the French Revolution. He escaped and in 1794 immigrated to the United States, where he remained for the rest of his life (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, description begins The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series, ed. W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Jack D. Warren, Mark A. Mastromarino, Robert F. Haggard, Christine S. Patrick, John C. Pinheiro, and others, Charlottesville, Va., 1987– . description ends 4:573).
For an extended description of this dinner meeting, at the home of AA2 and WSS, see JQA’s Diary for 7 July (D/JQA/20, APM Reel 23).
2. The times change and we change with them.