Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody, 12 August 1797

Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody

Saturday— Quincy August 12 1797

Dear sister

I arrived here this day week, but have been so constantly occupied in seeing company that I have not had time to write a single Line. I received your Letter which I suppose had been on to Philadelphia,1 on fryday last, in the full Faith that mr Peabody & you would comply with our request. I took the Children, and brought them with me. John is somewhat indisposed with a return of his Ague— I gave him an Emetic yesterday which I hope will remove the disorder. the Parade of next week, and some engagements which I have, will prevent my getting the Children to you untill the week after, when it is my intention to bring them to you.2 the President would be very happy to accompany me but the Buisness which every post brings him from Philadelphia, and not having a Clerk secretary with him, will keep him from more than a days absence at a time during our Stay here. I shall take with me our Good sister Cranch & come as early in the week as my other engagements will permit.3 I am going this day to Boston. I inclose a Letter which mrs smith gave me to you,4 and have only time to add my kind Regards to mr Peabody, to my dear cousins / from their and your affectionate

A Adams5

RC (DLC:Shaw Family Papers); addressed by JA: “Mrs Elizabeth Peabody / Atkinson / New Hampshire”; endorsed: “August 12th 1797”; notation by JA: “J. Adams.”

2On 16 Aug. the citizens of Boston held “a political Jubilee” for JA. The day began at 9 A.M. when the Boston cavalry “paraded in front of the PRESIDENT’s house in Quincy,” and afterward enjoyed “an elegant collation which had been prepared for them there, they escorted the PRESIDENT and a numerous Cavalcade of the First Citizens of Quincy … to his Excellency the Governor’s.” The procession then traveled to the State House in Boston and at 3 P.M. proceeded to a dinner at Faneuil Hall with more than 300 attendees. “The Hall was elegantly decorated, and particularly ornamented with two fine portraits of the PRESIDENT of the United States, and his predecessor, with apt and suitable encomiums on their respective merits.” That evening JA attended the Haymarket Theatre in Boston (Boston Price-Current, 17 Aug.; Massachusetts Mercury, 18 Aug.).

3AA, John Adams Smith, William Steuben Smith, and Mary Smith Cranch left Quincy for Atkinson, N.H., on 31 Aug., traveling “in the President’s Carriage.” AA and Cranch probably returned on 14 Sept. (Richard Cranch to William Cranch, 5 Sept., MHi:Christopher P. Cranch Papers).

4Not found.

5AA also wrote to Peabody, [ante 25] Sept., asking about her grandsons and reporting that William Smith Shaw was currently staying with them in Quincy. She also noted that she and JA planned to set out for Philadelphia the first week in October (DLC:Shaw Family Papers).

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