Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 11 November 1794

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia November 11. 1794

My dearest Friend

Since the Certainty has arrived of the very honourable Reelection of our Friend Mr Smith of S. Carolina, the wiser Part of the Community have been the more anxious for that of Mr Ames. The Orrery from Boston, which arrived Yesterday has excited great Expectations, that the District in which Boston is placed, will not disgrace itself by disgracing Sound Principles and independent Conduct in that worthy Representative. Thursdays Post will relieve Us from all Uncertainty. Mr Swanwick is announced to be elected instead of Mr Fitsimmons, by a Small Majority, but it is Said it will be a contested Election Still, and Swanwick may be, for any Thing that I know as fœderal as his Rival.1

The President told me that Mr Finlay Said to him, at their Interview, that the Opposition of the People in the rebellious Counties of Pensilvania was not a Resistance to the Excise, or any other particular Measure of Government, but it was an universal Opposition to All Law, all Government and all Magistracy. And that rather than go through Such another Scæne as he had witnessed among them he should wish to quit the Scæne of Life. This Declaration from Finlay is as important as it is curious.2

If The French Should be in Possession of The Hague and the United Provinces, Our Minister will not go there. His Credentials are to their High Mightinesses and His most Serene Highness, but if their Authority is annulled, either by Conquest or by a Change of Government, Mr Adams will wait in England for new Powers or further Orders. I do not believe however that the French will be in Holland nor the Government changed.

The President and his Lady enquired kindly after your Health. Mr Cranch I took with me on Sunday Evening and presented him to All the Family, where We drank Coffee and Spent two Hours. He gave The President & Lady a particular Account of the present State of the City of Washington.

Miss Custis, Mr Cranch Says, is to be married to Mr Peter of George Town son of a rich Proprietor in the Fœderal City.3

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Novbr 11th / 1794.”

1John Swanwick represented the first congressional district of Pennsylvania as a Democratic-Republican from 1795 to his death on 1 Aug. 1798. He was elected by a vote of 1,240 to 1,182 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989. description ends ; Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1994, Jefferson, N.C., 1998, p. 11–13).

2William Findley (ca. 1741–1821) was originally from Ireland but immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1763. He held various state government posts before being elected as a representative from western Pennsylvania to the U.S. Congress in 1791. He served as a Democratic-Republican there until 1799, then again from 1803 to 1817 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989. description ends ). During the Whiskey Rebellion, he worked to quell the revolt and later wrote a book defending his actions, History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1796, Evans, description begins Charles Evans and others, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends No. 30419.

3Martha Parke Custis married Thomas Peter (1769–1834) of Georgetown in early Jan. 1795. Peter was the son of Robert Peter (1726–1806), a Scottish merchant who became the first mayor of Georgetown in 1789 (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 7:368; Charles Moore, The Family Life of George Washington, Boston, 1926, p. 116–117, 121).

Index Entries