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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 10


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Docno: ADMS-04-10-02-0129

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1794-06-14

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

It is a fortnight to day since my return to the City, & I have been waiting the arrival of every Post in hopes of hearing from my friends— I missed seeing my Father by one day only, & I have not yet heared of his safe arrival at home. It is probable you are busy in preparing my Brother for his departure— I hope however he will be called to Philadelphia before that takes place— I know not whether it be necessary that he should come here, but at least I wish it. It seems as if our family were destined to distant separations; it is within three Days of Six Years since your return from Europe, which I believe is the longest period for many years that the whole of our Family have sojourned in the same Land. Like the Patriarchal { 205 } families of old, we have wandered thro’ strange & foreign regions, not in search of “the Promised Land,” but for promised honors & expected benefit. I too have travelled. In the course of five weeks I visited the rich & fertile Counties of Pennsylvania. Wealth, Health, & consequent contentment, were the Guests of every village— Vegetation of spontaneous growth every where charmed the Eye, while the product & reward of Laborious industry afforded a gratification as pleasing to the Spectator, as it is profitable to the owner. I passed a week in each County where the Court was held, & it would be difficult for me to decide, which claims the prefference in my opinion. West Chester, York Town, Lancaster, Carlisle & Reading, were the five I visited; I also passed thro’ Harrisburg on my return. This last is situated directly upon the Fertile Banks of the Susquehannah; in point of local situation it has the advantage over all the others; but within two or three years past, it has been subject to Ague’s & Intermittant’s; particularly last Fall— it lost more inhabitants in proportion to its numbers, than the City of Philada:; but for this circumstance the growth of this town would be as rapid as it has been hitherto; there are now 2 or 300 houses, & 8 years ago, there was but one & that was the Ferry house. The water, through out the Country I visited is said to partake the qualities of the Limestone, & I found it peculiarly serviceable to my health; The exercise of riding on Horseback so long a Journey was rather more severe than I have been accustomed to, but tho’ it took away some of my flesh, it contributed much to my health. If it were not for the expence of keeping a Horse in the City, I should be fond of retaining mine till Fall— I could not have been suited better for my purpose any where— The only objection is that it is a female, which among Beasts of burthen & service is not much of a recommendation. But I am in debt for my Bard between fifty & sixty Dollars, & for other things a few more, & I must endeavor to make so good a bargain of my Beast, as to pay my last quarter’s expences.—
I have the promise of an Office in my neighborhood & hope to be in it shortly, I could have got one before at a distance from my lodgings, but the convenience of having it near me, induced my delay.—1 If I can make my Office support itself for the first year, it will be as much as I expect, tho by no means so much as I could desire—but we must all be humbled before we are exalted— I never was much in love with myself, & I feel less so [no]w than ever.
With the warmest affection / yours &ca:
[signed] Thomas B Adams
{ 206 }
P S, Be good enough to inform me if Newcomb’s money arrived safe—
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Abigail Adams / Quincy / near / Boston”; internal address: “Mrs: A Adams.”; endorsed: “T B Adams / June 14 1794.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA noted in his Diary that TBA lived at 72 North Third Street (D/JQA/22, 10 July, APM Reel 25).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/