ALS, one page both sides, 7.75 x 10, January 23, 1788. Handwritten letter to his nephew, William Cranch, who was then studying law with Thomas Dawes of Boston. In full: "I am much obliged to you for your kind Letter of the 5. of December, and for a former one, and for the important Intelligence conveyed in both.
Braintree could not have made a wiser Choice of Delegates to Convention, and We may now depend upon a wise decision from our Town. We can Scarcely hope to hear of the Result of the Massachusetts Convention, before We embark. March is the Month fixed for our Departure, and We hope to be home in May. Accept of my Thanks for the good News of my Sons. I almost envy them and you, the felicity of your Prospects. Clouds and Darkness hung over my head, at your time of Life, and soon afterwards the Sword of Damocles. The rising Generation have such Assistances in study at this day, which had no Existence thirty years ago, that the Life of a Lawyer is relieved from many of its Thorns.
May God bless you my dear sir and your young Companions in your virtuous and honourable Pursuits, and grant the Pleasure of seeing and assisting you, to your affectionate Uncle." Addressed on the integral leaf by his daughter, Abigail: "Mr. William Cranch, Boston, Massachusetts." In fine condition.
Adams writes from Grosvenor Square, where he lived after establishing the first American mission to the Court of St. James's in 1785. Often frustrated by a lack of news of progress from home, he took leave of the post to return to Massachusetts, where he arrived on June 17, 1788. Here he comments on the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, which met in Boston from January 9-February 5, 1788, to discuss the adoption of the federal Constitution. At a town meeting on December 3rd, Braintree's residents had elected two delegates to send to the Massachusetts ratification convention: Richard Cranch (the father of William Cranch) and Rev. Anthony Wibird, both of whom supported ratification. Massachusetts ratified the United States Constitution on February 6, 1788, by a vote of 187 to 168. In June, when New Hampshire came on board as the ninth state to ratify, the adoption of the Constitution was guaranteed. A fantastic letter from a landmark moment in American history.