Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter, 20 August 1776 AA Thaxter, John Abigail Adams to John Thaxter, 20 August 1776 Adams, Abigail Thaxter, John
Abigail Adams to John Thaxter
Dear Sir Boston August 20 1776

My Little Charles has been so ill that I have not had leisure to day to thank you for your obliging favour1 nor for the present which accompanied it, all of which were very acceptable to us.

After 3 innoculations he has to be sure taken the distemper in the natural way. He has been exceeding ill, stupid and delirious for 48 hours. An exceeding high fever and most plentifull Eruption has succeeded. He will be as full as Miss Becky. You may easily think what a trial it will be both to him and me.

You may think yourself exceeding well of to have had the distemper so lightly. I have had many anxietys about you, and could not help blameing myself for consenting to your going so soon least 102you should be favourd with a second crop, or give the distemper to some of your family, but I hope their is no danger now of either.

All the rest of our Hospital are recoverd, or in a good way. I wish it may be so with Charles, but the poor fellow has several very troublesome Days to pass through if he does well at last. Indeed this Small Pox is no triffel, and we cannot be sufficiently thankfull to our Great Preserver that we are carried so well through so malignant a disease.

You inquire after Mr. Adams. I need not say to you that I rejoice at his return, tho I am sorry for the occasion, but I have long expected it. Inclosed to you is a Letter which will give you a more perticuliar account. You may keep it (till we see each other), to yourself, as the contents will not be agreable to others.

Pray present my Duty to your Worthy Parents and Love to your flock of Sisters not forgeting your Brother. Mr. Cranch and family go out a fryday. I shall be left alone. I long for the day to come when my imprisonment will be over and we can rejoice together at Braintree. Believe me dear sir at all times your affectionate Friend,

Abigail Adams

RC (MB); addressed: “To: Mr. John Thaxter junr Hingham.” Enclosure not found, but very likely it was one of JA's recent letters telling of his poor health and his determination to return home.


Not found.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 August 1776 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 August 1776 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia August 20. 1776

Yours without a Date, but written, as I suppose about the Twelfth of August came by the Post this Morning. I wish Mrs. Nabby Joy that she has at last a Receipt in full. This is much better than to be in doubt. Charles! never fear, Charles! you will have it yet, and as good a Receipt as any of them.

The Drs. cannot account for the numerous Failures of Inocculation. I can. No Phisician has either Head or Hands enough to attend a Thousand Patients. He can neither see that the Matter is good, nor that the Thread is properly covered with it, nor that the Incision is properly made, nor any Thing else. I wish you had taken Dr. Tufts for your Phisician and no other. I never liked your Man, and I like him now less than ever. I wish you had all come to Philadelphia, and had the Distemper here. Then I should not be uneasy about getting [fol. 102] [fol. 102] [fol. 102] [fol. 102] 103 home.—I beg Pardon for this Flight about your Dr. I may have done him Wrong. But am afraid you have suffered from his being of rather too much Importance, in the present Scarcity of Phisicians.

With Regard to my Health, as the extream Heat of the Weather has abated, I am better than I was, but not well. I am so comfortable however, as to be determined to wait for a servant and Horses. Horses are so intollerably dear, at this Place, that it will not do for me to purchase one, here. And our Representation is so thin, that it will not do for me to leave this Place, untill another comes in my Room.

I have received a very polite Letter from Mrs. Temple, which I shall answer by the next Post.1 I wish that something may be done for her Relief, but it will be attended with such Difficulties, that I can promise nothing. I have the Pleasure of congratulating her upon Mr. Temples Arrival. Congress was informed of it, two days ago by the General, and I suppose by this Time, he is on his Way to Ten Hills.

Lord Howe seems afraid to attack and has got to the old Work of Amusement and Chicanery. But he cannot catch old Birds. They are aware of the snare.

RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by Post. Aug. 23d.”


Harriet (Shirley) Temple to JA, 10 Aug. 1776 (Adams Papers). See AA to JA, ca. 12 Aug., above, and note 2 there; also JA to Mrs. Temple, 21 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers).