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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-11-02-0349
1. This is the last letter JA wrote until 4 October. During the intervening 39 days he suffered from a “nervous fever of a very malignant kind, and so violent as to deprive me of almost all sensibility for four or five days.” He recovered only through the “wondrous Virtue” of the “all-powerful” Peruvian bark and the ministrations of his faithful secretary John Thaxter and Dr. Nicolaas George Oosterdijk of the University of Leyden's medical faculty (to the president of Congress, 15 Oct., Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:776–779; to C. W. F. Dumas, 18 Oct., LbC , Adams Papers). JA wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 4 Oct. that it was “the first Time that I have taken a Pen in hand to write to any body, having been confined and reduced too low to do any kind of business” (Franklin, Papers , 35:556–558). Not until mid-Nov. did the volume of JA 's correspondence approach its pre• { 470 } vious levels; on 14 Dec. he informed Francis Dana that he was recovering but remained “weak and lame” (MHi: Dana Family Papers; JA, Works , 7:493–495).