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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0042

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-07-30

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I wrote you by the post, but as Capt. Cuznow [Cazneau] goes to morrow perhaps this may reach [you] first. As to myself I am comfortable. Johnny is cleverly. Nabby I hope has gone thro the distemper, the Eruption was so trifling that to be certain I have had innoculation repeated. Charles and Tommy have neither had Symptoms, nor Eruption. Charles was innoculated last Sabbeth evening a second time, Tommy to Day, the 3 time from some fresh matter taken from Becky Peck who has enough for all the House beside.
This Suspence is painfull. I know not what to do with them. It lengthens out the Time which I can but ill afford, and if they can have it, I know not how to quit till I can get them through. Youth youth is the time, they have no pains but bodily, no anxiety of mind, no fears for themselves or others, and then the Disease is much lighter. The poor Doctor is as anxious as we are, but begs us to make it certain if repeated innoculations will do it. There are now several patients who were innoculated last winter and thought they passd through the Distemper, but have now taken it in the natural way.
Mrs. Cranch and two of her children are in this uncertain State, { 70 } with a great number of others which I could mention. Tis a pestilence that walketh in Darkness. Mrs. Warren with whom I was yesterday, lay the whole day in a State little better than nonexistance. I greatly feard she would not survive it, but to day she is revived and many pocks appear upon her. But tis a poor Buisness at the best, where I entertaind one terror before, I do ten now. The Season of the year is very unfit for the Distemper, the Tone of every persons vessels are relaxed, very little Spring in the Air, and the medicine too powerfull for weak constitutions.
I hope to be properly thankfull that I and mine are so far so comfortable through—I think I have all my difficulties to Grapple with alone and seperete from my Earthly prop and Support.
I begin to long again for the sweet air of Braintree, and the time to come will be much longer than the time past.
Pray Let Mr. Hancock know that I have availd myself of his kind offer so far as to send for some fruit from his Garden. Every thing here bears such a prize as would surprize you to be told. The Gentery were kind enough to cut down a number of my unkles fruit Trees last winter, and to cut up his Current Bushes, but we have had kind Friends. Mrs. Newall has been exceedingly so.—Pray make my Regards to the presidents Lady and tell her since she baulked me of the wedding cake to which I laid claim by promise, I expect she will remember me upon an other occasion which I hear is like to take place.
O my dear Friend do you know how I feel when I look Back upon a long absence. I look forward with the Thought that the year is but half spent. I often recollect those lines “O ye Gods annialate but time and Space, and make two Lovers happy.”
I have the pleasure to tell you this morning that I think Tommys second innoculation has taken as he was very ill last night and the eruptive fever seems comeing on. Tis ten days since the second.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia,” to which was later added the date “July 30. 1776” in the hand of William Gordon(?).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0043

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-07-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This is one of my fortunate days. The Post brought me, a Letter from you and another from my Friend and Brother.1
{ 71 }
The particular Account you give me of the Condition of each of the Children is very obliging. I hope the next Post will inform me, that you are all, in a fine Way of Recovery. You say I must tell you of my Health and Situation. As to the latter, my Situation is as far removed from Danger, I suppose, as yours. I never had an Idea of Danger here, nor a single Sensation of Fear. Delaware River is so well fortified with Gallies, fixed and floating Batteries, Chevaux de Frizes, Ships of War, Fire Ships, and Fire Rafts, that I have no Suspicions of an Enemy from Sea, although vast Numbers of People have removed out of this City, into the Country, for fear of one.
By Land, an Enemy must march an hundred Miles, to get here, and they must pass through, Woods, Difiles, and Morasses, besides crossing Rivers, which would take them a long time to accomplish, if We had not a single Man to oppose them. But we have a powerfull Army at New York, and New Jersey, watching their Motions, who will give Us a good Account of their Motions, I presume, whenever they shall think fit to stirr.—My Health has lasted longer than I expected, but with Intermissions of Disorder as usual, and at length, I fear, is departing. Increase of Heat in the Weather, and of Perplexity in Business, if that is possible, have become too much for me. These Circumstances, added to my Concern, for those other Parts of myself in Boston, would certainly have carried me there before now, if I could have got there: But I have no servant, nor Horse.—I am now determined to go home: but the precise Time, I cannot fix. I know not how to go. I have been deliberating whether to go by the stage to New York, and trust to the Chapter of Accidents to get from thence to Boston; or whether to hire, or purchase an Horse here, or whether to get along some other Way, with Coll. Whipple, or Mr. S. Adams. But am still undetermined. If I knew that Bass was at Leisure, and if I knew where you could get Horses, I should request you to send him here, to bring me home. But I dont know what to say. If he should come, he must keep a good look out, and make a strict Enquiry all along the Road, for me, least he should miss me, least I should pass by him on my Way home. After all, I cannot reconcile myself to the Thoughts of staying here so long as will be necessary for a servant and Horses to come for me. I must get along as well as I can by the Stage or by procuring a Horse here.
The Conspiracy, at New York, betrayed the Ignorance, Folly, Timidity and Impotence of the Conspirators, at the same Time, that it disclosed the Turpitude of their Hearts. They had no Plan. They corrupted one another, and engaged to Act, when the Plan should be { 72 } formed. This they left for an After Consideration. The Tory Interest in America, is extreamly feeble.
Your Successes by Sea, give me great Pleasure, and so did the heartfelt Rejoicings at the Proclamation of Freedom. Mr. Bowdoins Sentiment did him Honour.

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by post. Saturday. Aug. 3d. inclosed to Mr. Cranch. inclosed Newspapers only to my Wife”; see JA to Cranch, 2 Aug.; the enclosed newspapers have not been found.
1. AA to JA , 21–22 July, and Richard Cranch to JA , 22 July; both above.