Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to William Cranch, 19 Nov. 1797

Philadelphia Novbr 19 1797

My dear Sir

after an absence of near four Months, I returnd to Philadelphia this week, and am going to renew my correspondence with you again. I know the Brotherly affection which has subsisted between you and my sons, tho seperated from each other for several years, yet the seeds sewn in early life will grow, ripen & mature with Age. I inclose for your perusal several Letters lately received. the complaint <he>[mr A ]makes of having his Letters misprinted, you know I complaind of and engaged you to do justice for him in one which I sent you last summer. Yours was the only coppy which was correct. You may publish from these inclosed those parts which are marked with inverted commas. I have three reasons for sending them to you. the first is that in so doing I conceive I communicate a pleasure to you, and information which you could not obtain with so much Authenticity from any other quarter. my secnd reason is that in your Hands they will be perfectly safe & the extracts made from them be less suspected than from many other quarters and my third, that you will not permit the printer to commit such egregious Blunders in the publication of them, those passages which I have thought might safely be published are containd in the Letters of the following date[s.] one from J Q A to me dated Maasluys July 6th 1797 begining with that sentance, our situation with that Country” (say France in lieu of Country) say Genll P.Y. one from J Q A dated Hague 26 June begining Top last page The negotiations for Peace, one from J Q A to me dated London july 29th beginning at that Sentance, my means of communication from France are very much reduced since I left——blank one from T B A, to me dated London August 17th beginning with “The debates in Congress—

From those Letters written to the President which I inclose, you may make a Selection by way of communication of Such passages as you conceive will tend to enlighten our Country men with respect to the views and intrigues of France. I have thought the Character of Pastoret as given in the Letter dated july 2d might be usefull & the whole of the last page of the Letter dated Sepbr 11th mentioning the publications of Burke and the reflections which follow.

Since the writing of all these Letters but that of Sepbr 11th, the Reign of Terror and absolute despotism has again commenced in France by the overthrow and banishment of every man disposed to the system of moderation justice & peace; a military Government so usurped & so corruptably administerd as we have every reason to expect it will be presents to the imagination renewed Scenes of horrour massacre & “darkness visible” exhausted as that Nation is, and embarressed as <the> all the [States &] kingdoms of Europe are who have volutentarily enterd, or been forcibly dragged into the war, we have no reason to expect but what every day will witness some new virlence. Some dreadfull calamity to the Humane Species, for in the Chaos which France is plunged no order or harmony can arrise, and we have nothing to look for, but Robbery and plunder so long as we expose our property unarmed to their grasp, yet we have in our power the means at least of protection.

I hope my dear sir that you find the persuit of the Law both pleasing and profitable to you. I most Sincerely wish you success. You will see by some of mr Adams Letters that mr Johnson & Family embarked early in Sepbr, for Maryland. I have not yet heard of their arrival which gives me no small anxiety, I pray you to give me the earliest intelligence of them, and I request you to visit them and present my congratulations to them on their arrival and to inform mrs Johnson that mrs Adams was well on the 19 of Sepbr. and Sustaind the painfull Seperation from all her Family with a becomeing fortitude, that mr Adams had not received his instructions at that date. they went by mr Marshal of whose arrival we are not yet informd, I must request mrs Cranch to form an acquaintance with the Family there are six daughters yet unmarried, accomplishd young Ladies those who are grown up, very domestick. So is their Father & mother mrs Johnson <is> I personally know. She is a very amiable woman and they are going to become inhabitants of Washington

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).

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