John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 16 February 1780

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Paris, Hotel de Valois, 16 February, 1780.

MY DEAREST FRIEND,

I HAVE the honor to be lodged here with no less a personage than the Prince of Hesse Cassel, who is here upon a visit. We occupy different apartments in the same house, and have no intercourse with each other, to be sure ; but some wags are of opinion, that if I were authorized to open a negotiation with him, I might obtain from him as many troops to fight on our side of the question as he has already hired out to the English against us.

I have found every thing agreeable here as yet. The children are happy in their academy, of which I send you the plan enclosed.

The English bounce a great deal about obtaining seven thousand troops from the petty German princes and ten thousand from Ireland to send to America, but this is only a repetition of their annual gasconade. We are in pain for Charleston, S. C., being apprehensive that they have made or will make an effort to obtain that ; which will be a terrible misfortune to that people, and a great loss to the United States, but will be no lasting advantage to our enemies.

The channel of correspondence you propose, by way of Bilboa and Cadiz, will bring many letters no doubt, and I have received one of the 10th of December, but the postage is so expensive, being obliged to pay forty-four livres for the packet that came with yours, that I would not advise you to send any thing that way, unless it be a single letter or any thing material in the journals of Congress, or letters from my friends in Congress or elsewhere, that contain any thing particularly interesting. The house of Joseph Gardoqui and Sons have sent to you, by Captain Babson, of Newburyport, belonging to Mr. Tracy, some necessaries for the family, and you may write to Mr. Gardoqui for any thing you want by any vessel belonging to your uncle, to Mr. Jackson, or Mr. Tracy, provided you don t exceed one hundred dollars by any one vessel. Mr. Gardoqui will readily send them and draw upon me for the money.

I had a great deal of pleasure in the acquaintance of this family of Guardoquis, and was treated by them with the magnificence of a prince. They will be very glad to be useful to you in any thing they can do. You will remember, however, that we have many children, and that our duty to them requires that we should manage all our affairs with the strictest economy. My journey through Spain has been infinitely expensive to me, and exceeded far my in come. It is very expensive here, and I fear that I shall find it difficult to make both ends meet ; but I must and will send you something for necessary use by every opportunity. If Mr. Lovell does not pro cure me the resolution of Congress I mentioned to him, that of drawing on a certain gentleman or his banker, I shall soon be starved out. Pray mention it to him.

I shall write as often as possible, but conveyances will be very rare, I fear.

I am, as I ever was and ever shall be,

Yours, yours, yours.

Author:
John Adams

Source:
Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841