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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 18 January 1799

My dearest Friend

I received your Letter of Jan'ry 10th last Evening by Mr. Black when he returnd from Town, with one from William and the news papers. If I could but hear that Thomas was safe arrived, I should not dispute the presidene of first visit from him. I presume he would have no hesitation in detemining where it ought first to be made. Every circumstance will certainly lead him to Philadelphia, being charged with dispatches and those from his Brother and probably from Mr. Murrey too. The much nearer proximity of Philadelphia to New York, and more than all the duty which is due to his Father, and the Respect due to the president all make it indispensable that his first devours be made at Philadelphia;

You mention Judges Cushing visit to you, but make me no communications from him of which I know he was fully charged. By the way, I got his Charge publishd in our Papers and the answer to Barlows Letter, written by Webster as I have been informd; I dont like the president as a correspondent half as well as the vice president. Now dont be allarmd. I mean only your honour, you used to write me much more freely then; now if you chance to say any thing, I am left in a wide feild of conjecture, as for Instance, Judge Cushing had a visit in deleware from Mr. John Dickerson."

I know you will reply that it is not proper for you to write freely, and that you have so many

perplexities you can scarcly write at all, but that you know cannot prevent my curiosity. I am told that there are a series of papers begun, addrest to you in the Chronical upon the worn out toppic of standing Armies, under the Signature of Democritus. I desired the person to inform Democritus that his labour would be lost, as you did not see the paper; and if you did that it was not probable you would ever read them. The extract from a Sermon deliverd in the vicinity of Boston which attracted my Notice as well as yours is said to have been deliverd at Milton by Mr. McKean.

The answer of the House of Reps of this State to the Govr. is well drawn, and a tribute paid in it to the chief Majestrate of the union which reflects honour upon him.

"With a patriot and Statesman at the Helm, who is capable of inspiring a whole Nation with noble Sentiments." This Idea is the more gratefull for the truth which it contains;

Virgina will hardly find any Legislature in N England to concur in her strong resolutions. What defene has she against the Rebel Irish which we are informd; are to be shipd for America?

With respect to domestic matters I have reported your orders to Dr. Tufts and the 20 foot posts will be procured early in the Spring. Our people have embraced this fine open weather to stick the Boards.

As it is neither Sleding or carting, Mr. Porter regrets that he cannot get the manure upon the Hill yet.

My Respects to Mrs. Cushing. I believe I must answer her Letter now. I shall get more political intelligence from her, than from all the Members of Congress and Senate added to them.

I am as you see in tolerable Health and very good Spirits.

Affectionatly Your
A Adams

[Envelope -- see page image]

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 18 January 1799 [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, 18 January 1799. 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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