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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0262

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had an agreable Journey to this Town, have been to Meeting all Day and heard two excellent Discourses from Mr Strong:1 We are to drink Tea at Col Wadsworths. Trumbul and his Lady are at New Haven.2 At four or five O Clock in the Morning We proceed. The Weather to day is Soft and fine, tho We had last night a violent Wind & Rain. Accounts from Philadelphia are unanimous in favour of the Healthiness of the City: Yet I think with Col Wadsworth that a Pause at Trenton to consider and inquire will not be much amiss.
{ 455 }
The Virginia Assembly have taken up the Presidents Proclamation and Seventy Odd against forty Odd, voted it right.3 But When the Minority found themselves cast they prevailed with the Majority to vote that they had nothing to do with it. Enough however was done to convince Us that We shall not be, wholly under the Directions of a foreign Minister.
Thatcher has taken for his Vade mecum Fontenelles History of oracles. I mentioned to him Farmer upon Devils: a Title that charmed him so much that he is determined to send for Farmers Works.4
Mr storer requests that you would let his Family know We are thus far safe. Brisler does the same. I am, my dearest / yours forever
[signed] J. A
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Quincy / near Boston”; internal address: “Mrs A.”; endorsed: “novbr 24. / 1793.”; notation: “Free” and “Free / John Adams.”
1. Rev. Nathan Strong (1748–1816), Yale 1769, had served as minister of the First Church of Hartford, Conn., since 1774 (Colonial Collegians).
2. Poet and attorney John Trumbull and his wife, Sarah Hubbard Trumbull, who had lived in Hartford since 1781. Trumbull had attended Yale and practiced law in New Haven early in his career (DAB).
3. By a vote of 77 to 43, the Va. House of Delegates passed a resolution on 1 Nov. 1793 declaring George Washington's Neutrality Proclamation “a politic and constitutional measure, wisely adopted at a critical juncture, and happily calculated to preserve to this country the inestimable blessings of peace” (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 12 Nov.).
4. PeterGeorge Thacher's Thatcher's “vade mecum,” or guidebook, was Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle's History of Oracles, and the Cheats of the Pagan Priests, transl. Aphra Behn, London, 1688. Hugh Farmer (1714–1787), a noted dissenting minister and theologian, had published a number of tracts, including An Essay on the Demoniacs of the New Testament, London, 1775 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-04-09-02-0263

Author: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1793-11-24

Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear Mother

I have now been in the City since the 19th: and am happily able to give you the fullest assurance of our freedom from danger, on account of the malignant Fever. The Citizens have most of them returned, & universally in good health, business has revived, & is fast returning into its former train; from all present appearances, nobody would think that any Calamity had befallen us. It is surprising how soon a person wears off those impressions of terror, which tho’ all alive when he first enters the City, are forgotten in the course of a few hours. The idea of danger is dissipated in a moment when we perceive thousands walking in perfect security about their customary business, & no ill consequences ensuing from it. Many of the { 456 } Inhabitants are in mourning, which still reminds us of the occasion, but a short time will render it familiar. No person that has not been exiled from their usual residence upon such an occasion can realize the joy that is universally felt at meeting a former friend or acquaintance— The congratulations for each others wellfare are as mutual as they appear to be sincere. I find a small number of my former acquaintance who have participated in the Calamity, & a few who were victims to the disease, but by far the greater proportion have escaped. My present Landlord lost a Son, who was a pupil of Dr Rush, & the most promising young Physician of any that have died.1 He was seized with a delirium in the first Stage of his disorder and refused all medicine that was offered him. Indeed this was the case with many, & it allways proved fatal in such instances. Among those who have been swept away, I believe Mr Powell & Mr Sergeant are the only two with whom you were acquainted.2 The disease proved most fatal to tradesmen & Mechanics, whose circumstances would not admit of their leaving town;3 but no class of Citizens have been totally exempted. The Disease however is now dissipated, & I apprehend no danger can exist during this Season. I doubted before I came to town whether Congress would be safe in assembling here this Winter, & I still believe it will be a difficult matter to persuade them that no danger remains, but if they will come & judge for themselves only by two days residence they must be convinced that their fears are groundless.
My Examination for the Bar comes on next week; it is time I was, if I am not prepared to receive it. It is just three years since I entered Mr Ingersoll's Office, & tho’ I expect no business unless by accident, yet I choose to take my station at the Bar as an Atty. provided my Examinors will give me a passport. If you wish any thing sent round from here, there will be an opportunity before the Winter sets in. I am in great want of my Boots, & I hope you will not forget the Books also that I packed up to be sent me.
Remember me Affectionatly & believe me your son
[signed] Thos: B Adams
1. John Stall Jr., a medical student of Benjamin Rush, died on 23 September. Five months later Rush sent Stall's mother a silver cup in his memory (Rush, Letters, 2:674–677, 688–689, 747).
2. Samuel Powel (or Powell) (1739–1793) had been the mayor of Philadelphia and served as speaker of the Pennsylvania senate from 1792 to 1793. He died on 29 Sept. (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, 1:125, 10:444; Philadelphia National Gazette, 9 Oct.).
3. Although ten doctors and ten ministers were included on a list of yellow fever { 457 } victims compiled by Philadelphia bookseller Mathew Carey, the majority of the dead were tradesmen, laborers, and servants. “It has been dreadfully destructive among the poor,” Carey wrote. “It is very probable, that at least seven eighths of the number of the dead, were of that class” (Mathew Carey, A Short Account of the Malignant Fever Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia, 4th rev. edn., Phila., 1794, p. 60–61, Evans, No. 26736).
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, 2018.