Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 16 July 1797

Abigail Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

Philadelphia July 16 1797

My dear son Thomas,

Tis expectation that make a Blessing sweet, says the poet.1 how sincerely sweet would it be to me to fold my dear Thomas to my Maternal Bosom in his own Native Land. I hope and wish, wish & hope that the Day may not be far distant.—

This Day, the 14 of July I received by way of N york your kind Letter of April 7th, more than 3 months Since it was written, from your Brother no one of a later date than the 3 of April has arrived.2 I should suppose that your Brother was kept regularly informd of the various transactions of our Government. I regreet that there is reason of complaint, particuliarly as he is allowd on all hands to be one of the most industerous, able, and accurate ministers abroad.

I have sent him some News papers and pamphlets. I could fill a volm if I thought my self at Liberty to enter into the details of politicks, that our Country is in danger, and perils, as saint Paul was, in Perils by sea in Perils by Land and in Perils from false Breathern is a melancholy truth.3 However Foreign Nations may deceive themselves by supposeing that the people are opposed to the Government, if affairs are brought to a crisis, they will find the spirit of America will not easily bend to a foreign yoke, and that the Faction who so loudly clamour, are a combination of Foreigners, joined with some unprincipled Americans, but by no means, the Body of America.

I shall not make any strictures upon the conduct of the Members of the last session of Congress. you will see by the various papers which I have cull’d, that these are the same parties, equally voilent, in existance now, as were under the former Administration. I hope however that the Government will stand the various shocks to which it is daily subject. we cannot expect to escape wholy when So many great and powerfull Nations are rending to peices

Mr Munroe visited here, so did Mrs Munroe. I returnd her visit. she told me she saw you that you was very well & very lively—4 you will see that an entertainment was made for him, about 40 persons only attended. Congress were sitting. some of the voilents were there, and the vice President. the Man of the people was toasted.!5

Your Friends desire to be rememberd to you amongst the Number was the pretty miss wescot, who visited me

I have sustaind the weather tolerably untill this week— I find I must quit the city.

adieu my dear son / God send you a safe passage to your Native land prays your affectionate / Mother

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers).

1Sir John Suckling, “Against Fruition,” line 23.

2For JQA’s 3 April letter to JA, see AA to William Cranch, 5 July, and note 6, above.

32 Corinthians, 11:26.

4James and Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, for whom see LCA, D&A description begins Diary and Autobiographical Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams, ed. Judith S. Graham and others, Cambridge, 2013; 2 vols. description ends , 2:409, toured the Netherlands prior to their departure from Europe, spending 21 through 28 Jan. at The Hague where they socialized with TBA and JQA. Returning to France, the Monroes departed from Bordeaux aboard the ship Amity in April and arrived in Philadelphia on 27 June. They visited the Adamses the following day, during which time James Monroe appeared “very guarded” according to AA (Monroe, Papers description begins The Papers of James Monroe, ed. Daniel Preston, Marlena C. DeLong, and others, Westport, Conn., 2003–. description ends , 4:141, 143, 155; D/JQA/24, APM Reel 27; AA to William Smith, 1 July, MHi: Smith-Carter Family Papers).

5On 1 July James Monroe was the guest of honor at “an entertainment” in Philadelphia, where Thomas McKean congratulated the former minister to France on having “uniformly endeavoured to fulfil the objects of your mission; to render your country and yourself agreeable to the Republic of France, and to maintain, on all occasions, the interests and connections of the two nations.” Monroe presented his own reply, noting, “My whole mission … was employed in a continual effort to promote harmony between the two republics … which I did with a fervent zeal.” Thomas Jefferson attended the event, and the toasts included one to the vice president as “the man of the people” (Philadelphia Gazette, 3 July).

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