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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, Abigail (1744-1818) to [Thomas Jefferson]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05749 Author/Creator: Adams, Abigail (1744-1818) Place Written: London, England Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 February 1786 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Regrets that Colonel Humphries will be leaving Monday because her admiration for him and their friendship has grown over his stay. She believes that the two American Secretaries of Legation are worthy of more distinguished stations because "in Europe every being is estimated, and every country valued in proportion to their show & splendor." Expresses her wish to return to America and a private life. "I am really surfeited with Europe, and most heartily long for the rural cottage, the purer & honester manners of my native land." Begins discussing the appointment of a minister and states that Mr. Temple has been coldly received. Asks Jefferson to send her some items including fabric and lace. Below her signature is a John Adams autograph shopping list for four pairs of fashionable shoes, possibly for Abigail Adams. Recipient inferred due to content and because Adams gives love to Miss Jefferson.

People: Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Humphreys, David, 1752-1818.

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: Woman Author, Women's History, First Lady, President, Diplomacy, Global History and Civics, Foreign Affairs, Textile

Sub Era: Creating a New Government