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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 January 1797

My Dearest Friend

I received Yesterday your favour of 23. of Decr. [Abigail to John, 23 December 1796] from Boston.

The old Patriook has got a Name of Old Scrathum, or old Scratch or Some Such Oddity that will amuse the Blackguards for a time. Mrs. Storers Verses are very shrewd.

The Story of my Muleness, or Incapacity to talk, I almost wish were true -- on Some Occasions.

Dr. Walters Politeness to be sure is conspicuous. It is enough at preset to think about Thorns under the Pillar of P. of U.S. at Philadelphia.

I wish you would find out whether Gardner did write Aurelius or not -- and if not who did.

Those Reports which were so full of harm, which you Suppose came to my Ears, I know not.

I have never been able to get Sight of one of the hand Bills which were distributed in this City and state in such Numbers and at such an Expence. They carefully conceal them from me. All I have heard of, is one -- which announced that if Jefferson was chosen

he would keep open House and Table for all jolly Irish Hearts: whereas if Adams should be chosen he would live as close as Washington.

These continual Successions of Elections of P., Governors, Senators, Representatives and every thing will get the whole People into an habit of Lying and fear.

Mr. Jeffersons Letter to Mr. Madison was Yesterday in the mouth of every one. It is considered as Evidence of his Determination to accept -- of his Friendship for me -- And of his Modesty and Moderation.

I had a Visit Yesterday from Mr. De L'Etombe which I consider as an intended beginning of Intercourse. He disclaimed all authority. It was a Visit of a Man, a Philosopher and an Acquaintance of Eighteen Years. It was to assure and convince me that the Directory never had a thought of interfering in our Election, not a Wish to oppose me or impose any other &c. A long Conversation ensued too long to state now at length. I told him in Brief that I must Support the Courts taken of the United States, and the system of impartial Neutrality but, if belligerent Powers, untill it should be other wise ordained by Congress -- consistent with that Duties I should be allways friendly to the French. He went away professing to be well satisfied.

Perhaps more of this may turn up. I may give you a more particular detail of this Interview. Whether he was sent by others I know not.


[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 January 1797 [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, 3 January 1797. 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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