My Dearest Friend
My last Letter from you was of the 25 of Nov. I have been anxious least you might have taken cold by too early an Attempt to go to Church and ride out. But I hope for a Letter to Day.
I am almost afraid to send you the enclosed Letters. Yet I think I ought not to withold them. I hope every day to hear of our dear Thomas's Arrival.
I have had a cold as usual upon coming to this place: but ventured out to make my Speech and am much better.
I almost dread to hear of your Attempting to come on. A Journey of 360 miles through bad roads and worse weather requires more strength than I fear Disease has left you. It is not long to March or April. I know you have certain Ideas that you have a Post and that you ought to be at it. But these Duties are superceeded by Necessity, and your obligations are stronger to prepare a Life, that is so necessary to me, than to hazard it for a three months attendance at this place.
My Relations have no scruple to put my Feelings to the Tryal. Many of them are soliciting Plans. The Senate looks with Vengeance on every such Idea. I am convinced that if I were to nominate Col. Smith to be a Lt. Colonel he would be again negatived. Nay if I were to nominate him to be a Lieutenant I dont believe he would pass.
I am with unabatable Affection,
[Endorsement -- see page image]