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tensions by the Celebrious name of Warren. It is hence, Madam, that the inclosed proposals meet your eye, and if you will condescend to propitiate the wishes of the Gleaner, by your own signature, and that of any of your numerous friends, you will, in the course of the Essays, contained in the work, be furnished with a reason for my assuming the masculine character, and you will confer a very high obligation on one, who has wept over your misfortunes, who has been improved, and charmed by your "Fame embelished lays,” who entertains a fervent wish for your continued, and augmenting celebrity, and who has the honor to be, with great respect, and high esteem Madam, your most obedient humble servant,




PROVIDENCE, April 20th, 1796

Your favour of the 21st of March came duly to hand, and tho' we have not keept up that correspondence which arose from an Acquaintance formed when the whole Soule was Engaged for the saving of our Country from the Yorke of Oppression, Yet we on our parts have omitted no oppertunity that presented, to enquire after the Welfare of you and Yours.

The verry heavy Afflictions that has befallen our Families, particularly in the Removing our First Born, our Eldest Son,2 one would naturally suppose should tend to draw the Cords of Friendship more close: may we make such Improvements from these dispensations, as shall enable us more and more to Honour our great Benefactor let our circumstances in Life be as they may. You enquire after the Health of our Aged Parents I have the


1 Mrs. Judith (Sargent Stevens) Murray, daughter of Winthrop Sargent, printed in the Massachusetts Magazine essays gathered in three volumes in 1798 as The Gleaner, by Constantia and also "Poetical Essays" over the signature Honora Martesia in the Boston Weekly Magazine. A "new series" of The Gleaner appeared in London in 1845. She died at Natchez, Mississippi, June 6, 1820, aged sixty-nine years. Her second husband was Rev. John Murray (1741-1815), said to be the first preacher of universal salvation in America. 2 Obadiah Bowen (1763–1793), being lost in the shipwreck of the Mary, off Dunkirk. 3 Ephraim Bowen (d. 1812) and Mary Fenner.


pleasure to inform you that they Enjoy Life with much Vivacity and Health. Sisters Nancy and Fanny have both Marrid in South Carolina the first to Mr. Ed. Mitchel1 the latter to Mr. John E. Moore.2 Eliza, Marrid Mr. John Ward and sister Mary remains in her Father's house to Comfort the old Folks. The rest of our Friends with whom you are Acquainted enjoy health, except Sister Clarke who has been long an Invalid.

My Business in the Loan Office makes it verry difficult to leave Town, so that I cannot promise a Visit soon. Nevertheless we shall be really glad to see you and the General here soon, we will exert our best Abilities to make the Time pass agreably and Pleasantly.

When we settled our Accounts there was Twelve Books remained on hand, and which I expected you would have Orderd out of my Hands. I will use my Endeavours to dispose of them, or will send them to the person you may direct.

Mrs. Bowen presents her best Comps. to you the Genl. and the other Branches of your Family, with whom I joyn, and Remain, Madam your Friend and Obedient Servant,



PHILA., Feb. 20, 1797

MY DEAR SIR, Your favour of 30th of January has not yet been answered. It is full of Observations, which could not be made but by a Man of Experience as well as Wisdom and public Spirit.

Information will not be easy for me to obtain especially from the Southern States where my Friends are generally so old and so disinclined to interfere, if not so indolent, that I shall be obliged to receive it frequently from Enemies or at least from cold Friends.

I Married September 6, 1792.

3 Married December 25, 1792.

2 Married August 24, 1789.

4 (1739-1815.) See Yale Biographies (Dexter), 11. 452.

I shall seize it however with avidity, let it come from whom it will, if I can depend upon it as fact.

I feel no apprehensions from Mr. Jefferson. The Cause of the irritation upon his Nerves, which broke out in some disagreable Appearances, a few years ago, is now removed as I believe; and I expect, from his ancient friendship, his good Sense and general good dispositions, a decorum of Conduct at least, if not as cordial and uniform a Support as I have given to my Predecessor, which is and shall be, the Pride and boast of my Life. I have had Temptations, which however I found no disposition in my heart to comply with and found no difficulty to resist.

As to information from abroad; that is already in a train that it will be very difficult, if not impossible for me, to interrupt. There are, who, you may suppose, have enough of my Confidence. There are none, whom I distrust. But I wish I could be more confident than I am of the Industry Vigilance and Zeal as well as Judgment and discernment of some. Talents of some sorts, however brilliant, are not always the only ones, necessary to search the hearts of Courtiers and penetrate the Views of Cabinets.

The Places abroad are or will be, before my Day arrives, all full. It is my private opinion that Ministers at the Neutral Courts of Sweeden and Denmark, would at this important Period, be not only usefull, but important. But among the Representatives there are so many against all foreign Missions and so many more against enlarging the Number, that I fear it will be hopeless to propose such a measure.

Indeed the Office before me, is not a "Sinecure." I never in my life felt such an awful Weight of Obligation to devote all my time, and all the forces that remain, to the Public.

It will be in your Power to alleviate the Burden a great deal, unless yours should be increas'd in a way that I must confess Is the Wish of your Friend and Sert.



QUINCY, March 4th, 1797

MY DEAR MADAM, — I received yesterday your obliging favour of Feb❜ry 27th. I have been so little a favorite of fortune that I never once examined my Numbers of the Newspapers, or otherways, concluding that those who were equally interested would take proper care for me. as I had formd no expectations, I meet with no dissapointment, and am quite pleased that my adventure should be appropriated to the promotion of Science and Literature.

The few shillings in your hands be so kind as to lay out, in the purchase of some little Books, and present them for me, to the Lovely Marcia as a token of approbation for the sweet engageing simplicity of manners, which were so conspicuous in her.

For your Congratulations upon a late important event, accept my acknowledgments, considering it as the voluntary and unsolicited Gift, of a Free and enlightened people, it is a precious and valuable Deposit, and calls for every exertion of the Head, and every virtue of the Heart, to do justice to so sacred a Trust, yet however pure the intentions, or upright the conduct, offences will come.

High Stations, Tumult, but not bliss create.

As to a Crown, my Dear Madam, I will not deny, that there is one which I asspire after, and in a Country where envy can never enter to plant Thorns beneath it. the fashion of this world passeth away. I would hope that I have not lived in vain, but have learned how to estimate, and what value to place upon the fleeting and transitory enjoyments of it.

I shall esteem myself peculiarly fortunate, if at the close of my publick Life, I can retire, esteemed beloved and equally respected with my predecessor.

Old Friends can never be forgotten by me. in that number I have long been accustomed to consider the Genll. and Mrs. Warren. it will always give me pleasure to see them at peaceField, or where ever else they may meet, their Friend and Humble Servant, ABIGAIL ADAMS

Abigail Adams to Mercy Warren

QUINCY, October 1st, 1797

MY DEAR MADAM, - I acknowledge myself indebted to you for two kind Letters, both of which found me in circumstances of distress; the first which came to me before I went to Philadelphia, I fully intended to have replied to at the Time, but the many cares and avocations which at that time occupied my mind, preparitory to my going, and the peculiar melencholy circumstance of the Death of my Mother and Neice within a day or two of each other, not only arrested me in my journey, but added to the cares with which I had before felt myself opprest. to you therefore, who have so frequently been summoned on like solemn occasions I need make no further appology.

Your last kind Letter, which I had no right to expect, and was therefore received as a pledge of a Friendship which bears the stamp of Time, and which I hope will endure with our Lives, however we may discent upon some subjects, upon that of mutual good will esteem, and real affection I trust we shall be ever united, and your Letter expressive of it should have met a ready reply but I was disabled both with my Eyes and Hands, having met an accident in a carriage which like to have cost me my Life. I have however recovered so as to leave only a small scar behind.

Your kind invitation to visit you in the only stile which can ever be agreable to me, that of Hospitality and freedom, would have given both Mr. Adams and myself great pleasure. a promise which he made to the Secretaries, of not being absent from Quincy more than one day at a Time, that their communications might always find him, has confined him to this place ever since his return. one only visit have I made, and that to my sister in New Hampshire. I fulfilld two duties, that of visiting a very dear Sister, which I had not done before, since her residence and marriage in that State, and placing my two Grandsons at an accademy there, and in her Family and under her inspection, that they may receive a Genuine New England education which I am Yankey enough to prefer to any other I have yet seen.

We leave this place in a few days, without knowing where we

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