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I sit down this Evening to write you, but I hardly know what to think about your going to N.Y. -- The Story has been told so many times, and with circumstances so perticuliar that I with others have given some heed [to] it tho my not hearing any thing of it from you leaves me at a loss.
Yours of Sepbr. 4 [John to Abigail, 04 September 1776] came to hand last Night, our Worthy unkle is a constant attendant upon the Post office for me and brought it me.
Yours of Sepbr. 5 [John to Abigail, 05 September 1776] came to Night to [Braintree] and was left as directed with the Cannister. Am sorry you gave yourself so much trouble about them. I got about half you sent me by Mr. Gerry. Am much obliged to you, and hope to have the pleasure of making the greater part of it for you. Your Letter damp't my Spirits; when I had no expectation of your return till December, I endeavourd to bring my mind to acquiess in the too painfull Situation, but I have now been in a state of Hopefull expectation. I have recond the days since Bass went away a hundred times over, and every Letter expected to find the day set for your return.
But now I fear it is far distant. I have frequently been told that the communication would be cut of and that you would not be ever able to return. Sometimes I have been told so by those who really wish'd it might be so, with
I am not apt to be intimidated you know. I have given as little heed to that and a thousand other Bug Bear reports as posible. I have slept as soundly since my return not withstanding all the Ghosts and hobgoblings, as ever I did in my life. Tis true I never close my Eyes at night till I have been to [Philadelphia], and my first visit in the morning is there.
How unfealing are the world! They tell me they Heard you was dead with as little sensibility as a stock or a stone, and I have now got to be provoked at it, and can hardly help snubing the person who tells me so.
The Story of your being upon this conference at New york came in a Letter as I am told from R. T. [Paine] to his Brother in Law [ [Greenleafe]]. Many very many have been the conjectures of the Multitude upon it. Some have supposed the War concluded, the Nation setled, others an exchange of prisoners, others a reconsiliation with Brittain &c. &c.
I cannot consent to your tarrying
In the next place, the Lighter of which you are or should be part owner is lying rotting at the wharf. One year more without any care and she is worth nothing. You have no Bill of Sale, no right to convey any part of her should any person appear to purchase her.
As to what is here under my more immediate inspection I do the best I can with it, but it will not at the high price Labour is, pay its way.
I know the weight of publick cares lye so heavey upon you that I have been loth to mention your own private ones.
The Best accounts we can collect from New York assure us that our Men fought valiantly. We are no ways dispiritted here, we possess a Spirit that will not be conquerd. If our Men are all drawn of and we should be attacked, you would find a Race of Amazons in America.
But I trust we shall yet tread down our Enemies.
I must intreat you to remember me often. I never think your Letters half long enough. I do not complain. I have no reason to, no one can boast of more Letters than Your