History Lives: The Love Letters of Abigail and John Adams
Discover the love letters of Abigail and John Adams.

Braintree, Massachusetts 1762

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith

Dr. Miss Jemima

I have taken the best Advice, on the subject of your Billet, and I find you cannot compell me to pay unless I refuse Marriage; which I never did, and never will, but on the Contrary am ready to have you at any Time.



I hope Jemima's Conscience has as good a Memory as mine.

October 4th, 1762

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith

Miss Adorable

By the same Token that the Bearer hereof satt up with you last night I hereby order you to give him, as many Kisses, and as many Hours of your Company after 9 O'Clock as he shall please to Demand and charge them to my Account: This Order, or Requisition call it which you will is in Consideration of a similar order Upon Aurelia for the like favour, and I presume I have good Right to draw upon you for the Kisses as I have given two or three Millions at least, when one has been received, and of Consequence the Account between us is immensely in favour of yours,

John Adams

Octr. 4th. 1762

April 20th 1763

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith
I begin to find that an increasing Affection for a certain Lady, (you know who my Dear) quickens my Affections for every Body Else, that does not deserve my Hatred.

A Wonder if the Fires of Patriotism, do not soon begin to burn!

And now I think of it, there is no possible Way of diminishing t he Misery of Man kind so effectually as by printing this Letter.

August 11th 1763

Letter from Abigail Smith to John Adams

My Friend

If I was sure your absence to day was occasioned, by what it generally is, either to wait upon Company, or promote some good work, I freely confess my Mind would be much more at ease than at present it is. Yet this uneasiness does not arise from any apprehension of Slight or neglect, but a fear least you are indisposed, for that you said should be your only hindrance.

Humanity obliges us to be affected with the distresses and Miserys of our fellow creatures. Friendship is a band yet stronger, which causes us to  feel with greater tenderness the afflictions of our Friends.

And there is a tye more binding than Humanity, and stronger than Friendship, which makes us anxious for the happiness and welfare of those to whom it binds us. It makes their Misfortunes, Sorrows and afflictions, our own.

Unite these, and there is a threefold cord -- by this cord I am not ashamed to own myself bound, nor do I believe that you are wholly free from it. Adieu may this find you in better health than I fear it will, and happy as your Diana wishes you.

Accept this hasty Scrawl warm from the Heart of your sincere,


Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith

April 11th 1764

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith

My ever dear Diana

I long to come once more to Weymouth before I go to Boston. I could, well enough. I am as well as ever, and better too. Why should not I come? Shall I come and keep fast with you? Or will you come and see me? I should be glad to see you in this House, but there is another very near it, where I should rejoice much more to see you,till and to live with you till we shall have lived enough to ourselves, to Glory,  [illegible]  Virtue and Mankind, and till both of us shall be desirous of Translation to a wiser, fairer, better World.

I am, and till then, and forever after will be your Admirer and Friend, and Lover,

John Adams

Letter from Abigail Smith to John Adams

April 12th and 13th, 1764

How kind is it in you, thus by frequent tokens of remembrance to alleviate the pangs of absence, by this I am convinced that I am often in your Thoughts, which is a satisfaction to me.

I know you are a critical observer, and your judgment of people generally plases me. Sometimes you know, I think you too severe, and that you do not make quite so many allowances as Humane Nature requires, but perhaps this may be oweing to my unacquainedness with the World. Your Business Naturly leads you to a nearer inspection of Mankind, and to see the corruptions of the Heart,which I believe you often find desperately wicked and deceitful.

Me thinks I have abundance to say to you. What is next? O that I should have been extreemly glad to have seen you to Day. Last Fast Day, if you remember, we spent together, and why might we not this? Why I can tell you, we might, if we had been together, have been led into temptation.

PS Let me hear from you soon as possible, and as often.

My Mamma has just been up, and asks to whom I am writing. I answerd not very readily. Upon my hesitating-Send my Love say'd she to Mr. Adams, tell him he has my good wishes for his Safty. A good Night to you-my fire is out. Pray be so kind (as to deliver) or send if they dont visit you, these Letters as directed.

Friday  morning

What a Beautiful morning it is, I almost wish I was going with you.-Here  I  send the Books, papa prays  you would be careful of them. I send you some tobacco to smoke your Letters over, tho I dont imagine you will use it all that way. -- A pleasent ride to you. Breakfast calls your

A Smith

Thurdsdy. 5. Oclock. [12 April ] 1764

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith ThursdayApril

Now Letter-Writing is, to me, the most agreable Amusement I can find: and Writing to you the most entertaining and Agreable of all Letter-Writing So that a Nest of an hundred, would cost me Nothing at all. -- What say you my Dear?

Shall I continue to write you, so much, and so often after I get to Town? Shall I send you, an History of the whole Voyage? Shall I draw You the Characters of all, who visit me? Shall I describe to you all the Conversations I have?

In a Word I am an old Fellow, and have seen so many Characters in my Day, that I am almost weary of Observing them. -- Yet I doubt whether I understand

human Nature or the World very well or not?

Letter from Abigail Smith to John Adams

April 16th  1764

My Friend

I think I write to you every Day. Shall not I make my Letters very cheep; don't you light your pipe with them? I care not if you do, tis a pleasure to me to write, yet I wonder I write to you with so little restraint,

Dont you think me a Courageous Being? Courage is a laudable, a Glorious Virtue in your Sex, why not in mine? (For my part, I think you ought to applaud me for mine.)

Adieu, evermore remember me with the tenderest affection, which is also borne unto you by Your --

A Smith

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Smith, 17 April 1764

I never receive a Line from you without a Revivification of Spirits, and a joyful Heart.

I long to hear that -- something you promissed to tell me, in your next. What can that Thing be? thought I. My busy fancy will be speculating and conjecturing about it, night and day, I suppose, till your next Letter shall unriddle the Mystery. You are a wanton, malicious, what shall I call you for putting me in this Puzzle and Teaze for a day or two, when you might have informd me in a Minute.

Letter from Abigail Smith to John Adams

April 19th-20th 1764

Thursday Eve. --Weymouth April th 19 1764

Why my good Man, thou hast the curiosity of a Girl. Who could have believed that only a slight hint would have set thy imagination a gig in such a manner. And a fine encouragement I have to unravel the Mistery as thou callest it. Nothing less truly than to be told Something to my disadvantage. What an excellent reward that will be? In what Court of justice did'st thou learn that equity?

now call upon you to fullfill your promise, and tell me all my faults, both of omission and commission, and all the Evil you either know, or think of me, be to me a second conscience, nor put me off to a more convenient Season. There can be no time more proper than the present, it will be harder to erase them when habit has strengthned and confirmd them.

Do not think I triffle. These are really meant as words of Truth and Soberness -- for the present good Night.

Fryday Morning April th 20

What does it signify, why may not I visit you a Days as well as Nights? I no sooner close my Eyes than some invisible Being, swift as the Alborack of Mahomet, bears me to you. I see you, but cannot make my self visible to you. That tortures me,


Letter from John Adam’s to Abigail Smith, 30 September 1764

Oh my dear Girl, I thank Heaven that another Fortnight will restore you to me -- after so long a separation. My soul and Body have both been thrown into Disorder, by your Absence, and a Month of two more would make me the most insufferable Cynick, in the World. I see nothing but Faults, Follies, Frailties and Defects in any Body, lately. People have lost all their good Properties or I my justice, or Discernment.

But you who have always softened and warmed my Heart, shall restore my Benevolence as well as my Health and Tranquility of mind. You shall polish and refine my sentiments of Life and Manners, banish all the unsocial and ill natured Particles in my Composition, and form me to that happy Temper, that can reconcile a quick Discernment with a perfect Candour.

Believe me, now & ever yr. Faithful

Letter from Abigail Smith to John Adams, 4 October 1764

Boston October. 4, 1764


I am much obliged to you for the care you have taken about help. I am very willing to submit to some inconveniences in order to lessen your expences, which I am sensible have run very high for these 12 months past and tho you know I have no particuliar fancy for Judah yet considering all things, and that your Mamma and you seem to think it would be best to take her, I shall not at present look out any further.

The cart you mentiond came yesterday, by which I sent as many things as the horse would draw the rest of my things will be ready the Monday after you return from Taunton  . And -- then Sir if you please you may take me.

September 13 1767

My Dearest Friend

To morrow I return home, where I hope soon to receive the Dearest of Friends and the tenderest of Husbands, with that unabated affection which has for Years past, and will whilst the vital Sparklasts, burn in the Bosom of your affectionate

A Adams


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