Primary Resource

Letter from Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 27, 1787)

In a letter dated June 27, 1787, Abigail Adams updates Thomas Jefferson on the recent arrival in London, England, of his daughter Mary and her enslaved servant, Sally Hemings.

Transcription from Original

London june 27 1787

Dear Sir

I had the Honour of addressing you yesterday and informing you of the safe arrival of your daughter. She was but just come when I sent of my letter by the post, and the poor little Girl was very unhappy being wholy left to strangers. This however lasted only a few Hours, and Miss is as contented to day as she was misirable yesterday. She is indeed a fine child. I have taken her out to day and purchased her a few articles which she could not well do without and I hope they will meet your approbation. The Girl who is with her is quite a child, and Captain Ramsey is of opinion will be of so little Service that he had better carry her back with him. But of this you will be a judge. She seems fond of the child and appears good naturd.

I sent by yesterdays post a Number of Letters which Captain Ramsey brought with him not knowing of any private hand, but Mr. Trumble has just calld to let me know that a Gentleman sets off for paris tomorrow morning. I have deliverd him two Letters this afternoon received, and requested him to wait that I might inform you how successfull a rival I have been to Captain Ramsey, and you will find it I imagine as difficult to seperate Miss Polly from me as I did to get her from the Captain. She stands by me while I write and asks if I write every day to her pappa? But as I have never had so interesting a subject to him to write upon

— page 2 —

[…] I hope he will excuse the hasty scrips for the [scanty?] intelligence they contain, and be assured Dear Sir that I am with sentiments of sincere esteem your Humble Servant,

A Adams