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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 December 1793

My dearest Friend

Your two kind Letters of the 19 [John to Abigail, 19 December 1793] and 20th [John to Abigail, 20 December 1793] reachd me on the 28th. They are my Saturday evenings repast. You know my mind is much occupied with the affairs of our Country. If as a Female I may be calld an Idle, I never can be an uninterested Spectator of what is transacting upon the great Theater, when the welfare and happiness of my Children and the rising generation is involved in the present counsels and conduct of the principle Actors who are now exhibiting upon the Stage. That the Halcion days of America are past I fully believe, but I cannot agree with you in sentiment respecting the office you hold altho it is so limited as to prevent your being so actively usefull as you have been accustomed to, Yet those former exertions and services give a Weight of Character which like the heavenly Orbs silently diffuse a benign influence. Suppose for Instance as things are often exemplified by their contraries, a Man, in that office, of unbridled Ambition, subtle intriguing, warpd and biasd by interested views, Joining at this Critical Crisis, his Secret influence against the Measures of the President, how very soon would this Country be involved in all the Horrours of a civil War. I am happy to learn that the only fault in Your political Character, and one which has always given me uneasiness, is wearing away. I mean a certain irritability which has some time thrown You of Your Guard and shown as in the ported of Louis l4'th that a Man is not always a Hero. Partizans are so high, respecting English and French politicks, and argue so falsly and Reason so stupidly that One would suppose they could do no injury, but There are so many who read and hear without reflecting and Judging for themselves that and there is such a propensity in

humane Nature to believe the worst, especially when their interest is like to be affected, that if we are preserved from the Calamities of War it will be more oweing to the superintending Providence of God than the virtue and wisdom of Man. How we are to avoid it with France supposing Genet should not be recall'd I know not. Must we submit to such insults? Judging from the manner in which France has carried on the present War, I should not wonder if they feard Partition of their Kingdom. A Frenchman reminding an Englishman of the Time when in the Reign of Henry the Sixth, the English were almost absolute Masters of France said sneerlingly to him "When do you think you will again become Lords of our kingdom?" to which the Englishman replied, When your iniquities shall be greater than ours," How can any Nation expect to prosper who War against Heaven?

By this time you will have seen all the Numbers of Columbus. I should like to know the Presidents opinion of them as well as some other Gentlemen who are Judges. They assuredly are ably written and do honour both to the head and Heart of the writer who deserves well of his fellow Gentlemen for the information he has thrown upon a subject of so much importence at so critical a period. But their is a "barberous Noise of Asses Apes and dogs" raisd by it in the Chronical. Nevertheless sound reason and cool Argument will prevail in the end.

Having spun a thread out with respect to politicks I Will think a little of our own private affairs. Dr. Tufts has paid two hundred pounds and become responsible himself for the remainder. I wrote to you his further intention. The 17 of Jany he proposes to discharge two

hundred pounds more. I have closed my account this day. I have kept an exact acount of my expenditures and payments since you left me which I inclose to you. Mr. Cary offerd to bring me an other load of Hay at the same price. What he brought is agreed to be of the first quality, and it was all weighd, but I did not feel myself in a capacity to engage it absolutely. We have hitherto had so little Snow that Buisness is dull. Mr. Belcher has cleard of all the Sea weed untill some high Tide brings more. He is now getting home the pine wood.

Our Friends desire to be remembered to you. Mrs. Brisler and family are well. You will present me affectionatly to Mrs. Washington who I respect and Love.

My Love to Thomas I hear he is for fighting the Algerines, but I am not sure that would be the best oconomy, tho it might give us a good pretence for Building a Navy that we need not be twichd by the Nose by every sausy Jack a Nips. He had better find Law for his countrymen and prevail upon them to take it.

I am as ever most affectionately yours,
A Adams

[Envelope -- see page image]

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 December 1793 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, Abigail. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 December 1793. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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