My dearest Friend
I last Wednesday received yours of Decbr. 28 [John to Abigail, 28 December 1788] and should have answerd by the post of thursday but that the mail for thursday closes on wednesday Evening and does not give time for any replie to Letters which come by that post. I wrote you from this place on Sunday last. At that time I was in hopes I should have been on my journey home before this, as we have every thing in readiness to act out the day that we can get a sufficient quantity of Snow. Col. Smith will bring me home, at all events, even tho I should finally be obliged to come in a carriage which we should be glad to avoid at this season as the Roads are bad, and the Ferries worse for crossing the stages change at the Ferries, and do not cross at this Season.
Mrs. Smith would even now venture to Providence by water rather than be dissapointed of her visit but with a young Baby and at this dangerous season of the year Her Friends all disswade her,tho I can sometimes more than half a mind to try it, the expence of taking a coach and sending for me at this uncertain period when it might be detained by Snow before it reachd halfway, would be really too great and I had rather suffer many inconveniences than you should attempt it. Half a foot of snow or less would answer very well, and we have daily reason to however look for it. We have however concluded not to bring William with us, as we imagine he will be much more troublesome than the Baby. This is the Time that I hoped to have been at Home. I know you must be Lonesome and my Boys want looking after or rather their things.
I am glad to find that Massachusetts behaves so well, in this State the Legislature and Senate are at such a varience that it is not expected that there will be any choice at all, and should that
Since my arrival in Town I have received every mark of politeness and attention from this people which I could have desired. Sir John and Lady Temple were among the first to visit me. I have been to Mount Montier to a Ball given by him; and to the Assembly. I have dinned at one place and supped at an other. Sat at table (for suppers I discard),untill I am fully satisfied with dissipating. we have however kept very good Hours, as Mr. Jay is like to have an addition to her Family she is obliged to be circumspect. My own Health is much better this winter than it has been for several years. I attribute it much to my Journey. I want to know how you bear the cold. Last Evening we had a light fall of snow just sufficient to cover the ground but it will all run to day. The clouds are however gathering for more. I hope I shall not have occasion to write again before I see you. My Love to the children and to Brother and Sister Cranch with whom I sympathize under their late affliction. I would write to Sister but hope soon to see her, be so good as to tell John Brisler that he must keep some of the pears untill we come.
Adieu visiters call upon me. I have received and returnd more than forty visits already.
[Endorsement -- see page image]
[Envelope -- see page image]