Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 2 February 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 2 February 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feby. 2. 1777

Last Evening We arrived safe in this Town after the longest Journey, and through the worst Roads and the worst Weather, that I have ever experienced. My Horses performed extreamly well.

Baltimore is a very pretty Town, situated on Petapsco River, which empties itself into the great Bay of Cheasapeak. The Inhabitants are all good Whiggs, having sometime ago banished all the Tories from among them. The Streets are very dirty and miry, but every Thing else is agreable except the monstrous Prices of Things. We cannot get an Horse kept under a Guinea a Week. Our Friends are well.


The continental Army is filling up fast, here and in Virginia. I pray that the Massachusetts may not fail of its Quota, in Season.

In this Journey, We have crossed four mighty Rivers, Connecticutt, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehannah. The two first We crossed upon the Ice, the two last in Boats—the last We crossed, a little above the Place where it empties into Cheasapeak Bay.

I think I have never been better pleased with any of our American States than with Maryland. We saw most excellent Farms all along the Road, and what was very striking to me, I saw more sheep and more flax in Maryland than I ever saw in riding a like Distance in any other State. We scarce passed a Farm without seeing a fine flock of sheep, and scarce an House without seeing Men or Women, dressing Flax. Several Times We saw Women, breaking and swingling this necessary Article.

I have been to Meeting, and heard my old Acquaintance Mr. Allison, a worthy Clergyman of this Town whom I have often seen in Philadelphia.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs. John Adams Braintree To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths in Queen Street Boston”; docketed in pencil by AA.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 February 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 February 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feby. 3. 1777

This Day has been observed in this Place, with exemplary Decency and Solemnity, in Consequence of an Appointment of the Government, in Observance of a Recommendation of Congress, as a Day of Fasting. I went to the Presbyterian Meeting and heard Mr. Allison deliver a most pathetic and animating, as well as pious, patriotic and elegant Discourse. I have seldom been better pleased or more affected with a sermon.

The Presbyterian Meeting House in Baltimore stands upon an Hill just at the Back of the Town, from whence We have a very fair Prospect of the Town, and of the Water upon which it stands, and of the Country round it. Behind this Eminence, which is the Bacon Beacon Hill of Baltimore, lies a beautifull Meadow, which is entirely incircled by a Stream of Water. This most beautifull Scaene must be partly natural and partly artificial. Beyond the Meadow and Canall, you have a charming View of the Country. Besides the Meeting House there is upon this Height, a large and elegant Court House, as yet unfinished within, and a small Church of England in which an old Clergyman 153officiates, Mr. Chase, Father of Mr. Chace1 one of the Delegates of Maryland, who they say is not so zealous a Whigg as the Son.

I shall take Opportunities to describe this Town and State more particularly to you hereafter. I shall inquire into their Religion, their Laws, their Customs, their Manners, their Descent and Education, their Learning, their Schools and Colledges and their Morals.—It was said of Ulysses I think that he saw the Manners of many Men and many Cities, which is like to be my Case, as far as American Men and Cities extend, provided Congress should continue in the rolling Humour, which I hope they will not. I wish however, that my Mind was more at rest than it is, that I might be able to make more exact Observations of Men and Things as far as I go.

When I reflect upon the Prospect before me of so long an Absence from all that I hold dear in this World, I mean all that contributes to my private personal Happiness, it makes me melancholly. When I think on your Circumstances I am more so, and yet I rejoice at them in spight of all this Melancholly.—God almightys Providence protect and bless you and yours and mine.

RC and LbC (Adams Papers). This day JA resumed his practice of keeping copies of his outgoing letters; the present letter is the third in a new folio letterbook (Lb/JA/3) containing entries for both family and other letters. But he wrote numerous letters from Congress during 1777, to both AA and others, of which he did not keep copies; see descriptive notes on JA to AA, 27 April, 25–27 May, both below.


JA long persisted in spelling the name of his friend and fellow delegate Samuel Chase in this way. Samuel's father, an immigrant from England, was Thomas Chase, rector of St. Paul's, Baltimore ( DAB , under Samuel Chase).