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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The President who is just arrived from Baltimore, came in a few Minutes ago and delivered me, yours of Feb. 8, which he found at Susquehannah River, on its way to Baltimore.
It gives me great Pleasure to find that you have received so many Letters from me, altho I knew they contained nothing of importance. I feel a Restraint in Writing like that which you complain of, and am determined to go on trifling. However, the Post now comes regularly, and I believe you may trust it.
I am anxious and impatient to hear of the March of the Massachusetts Soldiers for the new Army. They are much wanted.
This City is a dull Place, in Comparason of what it was. More than { 170 } one half the Inhabitants have removed into the Country, as it was their Wisdom to do—the Remainder are chiefly Quakers as dull as Beetles. From these neither good is to be expected nor Evil to be apprehended. They are a kind of neutral Tribe, or the Race of the insipids.
How may possibly attempt this Town, and a Pack of sordid Scoundrels male and female, seem to have prepared their Minds and Bodies, Houses and Cellars for his Reception: but these are few, and more despicable in Character than Number. America will loose nothing, by Hows gaining this Town. No such Panick will be spread by it, now as was spread by the Expectation of it in December.
However, if We can get together Twenty thousand Men by the first of April, Mr. How will scarcly cross Delaware River this Year. New Jersey may yet be his Tomb, where he will have a Monument very different from his Brothers in Westminster Abbey.1
I am very uneasy that no Attempt is made at Rhode Island. There is but an handfull left there, who might be made an easy Prey. The few invalids who are left there are scattered over the whole Island, which is Eleven Miles in length and three or four wide. Are New England Men such Sons of Sloth and Fear, as to loose this Opportun[ity?] 2
We may possibly remove again from hence, perhaps to Lancaster or Reading. It is good to change Place—it promotes Health and Spirits. It does good many Ways—it does good to the Place We remove from as well as to that We remove to—and it does good to those who move.
I long to be at Home, at the Opening Spring, but this is not my Felicity.—I am tenderly anxious for your Health and for the Welfare of the whole House.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; franked: “free John Adams”; postmarked; “PHILA. MARCH 12 Free”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Yrs. IS.”
1. George Augustus, 3d Viscount Howe, older brother of Richard and William Howe, was killed in an action against the French on Lake George in 1758; the Province of Massachusetts Bay voted to erect a monument to him in Westminster Abbey ( DNB ).
2. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0126

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of Feb. 12. received this day. I have begged a Bundle of Newspapers, to inclose. They contain some Intelligence.
{ 171 }
I am pretty well, after all my fatiguing Journeys. The C[ongre]ss are in as good a Temper as ever I knew them—more spirited and determined than ever.
The Southern Battallions are not full. But are in a good Way. Rejoice to learn that Measures are taking to send along the Eastern Quotas.
We are raising a large Body of light Horse—a large Troop of them are this Moment passing the Window. Fine Horses and good Men. The trampling of these Creatures is grand.
Dr. Shippen, whom I just now saw, assures me that he has bought an excellent Assortment of Medicines and has the best Prospect of putting the Hospitals in good order, so that the sick will not suffer this year as they did last.1
We have some french Vessells arrived here with Druggs and salt, and other Things.
Let me be remembered by all that I remember. You know who they are.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. William Shippen Jr. (1736–1808), College of Jersey 1754, M.D., Edinburgh 1761, professor of surgery and anatomy at the College of Philadelphia, was currently director general of Continental hospitals west of the Hudson; he had recently submitted a plan to Congress, where he had influential connections, for reorganizing the hospital department, and on 11 April he replaced Dr. John Morgan, earlier demoted, as director general of all Continental hospitals—a post in which he served with scarcely more success than his predecessor ( DAB ; JCC , 6:989; 7:161, 193, 219, 253).