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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 4 January 1795

My Dearest Friend

The Weather has been dull and unpleasant for several Days. We had last night a light snow and this morning a Rain; so that Winter does but play with Us Yet.

I promised Mrs. Washington and Mr. and Mrs. Cabot to present you their Compliments.

General Knox has resigned and Cola Pickering is appointed to his Place.

The House have been debating about Titles these 3 or 4 days. Insurgents in all Ages have an invincible Antipathy to Titles. They will not even be called Citizen or Gaffer and Gammer nor Mr. nor Mrs.

What a Sweet Symplicity had the Insurgents in the Reign of Richard the Second. Sir John Gower who wrote a poetical History of that Commotion has wonderfully represented their Aversion to Titles in the following lines, which,Dr. Tufts, Uncle Quincy, Mr. Wibert, Mr. Briggs, or Mr. Cranch to all of whom present from me the Compliments of the Season, may explain to you, if they want Explanation.

Watte vocat, cui Thome venit, neque Symme retardat, Billeque, Gibbe, Simul Hykke, venire jubent. Colle furit, quem Gibbe juvat nocumenta parantes, Cum quibus ad damnum Wille coire vovit. Grippe rapit, dum Daive Strepit, comes est quibus Hobbe Lorkin, et in medio non minor esse putat. Hudde ferit quos Judde terit, diem Tibbe juvatur Jakke domos que viros vellit, et ense necat &c. &c.

Thus you see that Chaises Rebels, Bradfords Rebels and Wat Tylers Rebels, were all equally unornamented and uncorrupted with Titles. Watte, Tommy,Symony, Bitty, Gibbe, Hykke, Colle, Bille, Grippe, Davy, Hobby, Huddy, Judde,Jakke, Tibbe, were all the Rank and Distinction and subordination they required. I have one of my great Colds, having escaped it, a month I was in hopes, to have escaped it for the Winter: but it has overtaken me.

Nabby writes me that you were getting

up from a Fever, which has given me great Paine. You say nothing only that you had not been very well. We must continue to live together.

The southern States contrive to give the Old Gentleman so much trouble that I fear he will resign. If he resigns I must, and then I shall live at home. Dont mention this however because it will spread too great an alarm and it may be without foundation.


[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 4 January 1795 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 4 January 1795. 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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