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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 December 1794

[Endorsement -- see page image]

My Dearest Friend

I fear you will think me tardy in not acknowledging sooner the Receipt of your Letter of the 11th [John to Abigail, 11 December 1794] with the order upon the Bank for 600 Dollars, but tho I sent to the post office and wrote to Mr. Hastings, I was told that the post had brought no Letters for me. Since the establishment of a post office in Quincy the Letters are sorted and put up for each office, so that a Letter coming in of a Wednesday I cannot get till thursday Noon, which makes it impossible for me to reply or answer till the next Mondays post which is the reason you some times miss of a Letter when you expect one, for be assured however barren my letters are, nothing short of a sickness confineing me to my Bed and the loss of my Hands will prevent me writing once a week to you; the Letter you mention brought by the Presidents Servant, must as sometimes used to happen have been by mistake taken for the President.

I enjoy at present as much Health as usual; having done pennance for a Month, I did not however suffer so severely as in times past. I was first servyd upon my Lungs with a Hoarsness, a cough, and fever followd; all my complaints tend are of an inflamitory kind. I got better, and went below stairs, was attackd with the intermitting and confind a fortnight longer. But I did not omit writing you: tho I would not make you uneasy by letting

you know that I was sick. I think I feel better now than I have done through the fall or winter, and have been less troubled with the pain in my Head. I do not like to hear you complain so much of Lowness of spirits. A Cheerfull Heart doth good like a medicine. Zimerman may prate about the blessings of solitude, but Man was not made to be alone; I must say to you, as Lord Lyttleton wrote to his Father, "Suffer not a depression of spirits to rob you of that pleasing hope which both supports and nourishes. Think less of those circumstances which disquiet you," and rejoice in those which ought to gladden you. Consider the Reputation you have acquired, the Glorious Reputation of integrity. Imagine that your Posterity will look upon it, as the Noblest fortune you can leave them, and that your Childrens, Children will be incited to virtue by your example. Here I will transcribe the overflowiness of a gratefull Heart from a letter this Moment received. "When did you hear from my dear Brother Adams. Patron of his Country and Friend of the Fatherless. How was his great Soul moved, tenderly sympathizing with his poor Bereaved Sister, his compassionate looks made an indeliable impression upon my mind. Pilgrimages are out of date, or I could go Barefoot to Mecca, or any where else, to honour him. He did not satisfy himself with ineffectual wishes, of." Be ye warned, and be ye cloathed but has kindly relieved my mind by assisting me with means to educate William. When I reflect upon this instance of his pity and Generosity and of the kindness of my other Friends, I cannot find words

to express the gratefull Sense I have of their favours."

Your Letters of December the 14th [John to Abigail, 14 December 1794] and 16 [John to Abigail, 16 December 1794] came by the post of the 24th together with the Book and pamphlet, but I have not received a News paper since the 8 of December. I know not the reason. If Congress have so little business upon their Hands, I hope they will do it in Season and do it well. Is there no pleasure but in troubled waters? Mr. Osgoods Sermon has run through two Editions, and the printer says he never had such a demand for a sermon in his Life. The Chronical writers attack it, but Mr. Osgood will not notice any one who does not sign their real Name. I am was mistaken in my Idea respecting the Poem called the Jacobiniade. It is upon the same plan, but not half so keen as severe. The second Number convinced me of my mistake.

I shall purchase the pew. I had not taken any money of Genll. Lincoln. I was to have it on Saturday, but I have informd him that I have no occasion for it. I am sorry to say that I shall be obliged to purchase Hay for the Horses. The Calendar of the week past may be comprizd in casting sea weed and spreading it. I have had the peice of ground next Mr. Bass oposite your Mothers coverd this week, but tis slow work to cast it so far as the other place and two loads is the most which they can accomplish tho the weather is the finest I ever knew in December. Our

people are constantly employd. I will say to you in my next something respecting the Medallion. When you wrote me of a medallion in marble, I thought it had been of the size of a Crown peice such as I have seen abroad.

I long to hear from our dear Children but my Heart was several pounds lighter when I heard the vessel was safe arrived. The Baron I see by the papers is no more. Charles has lost a valuable Friend, and will be a sincere Mourner for him.

Mr. Cranch desires me to thank you for your kind attention to his Son. Our Friends are all well. Your Mother is as well as I have known her for several winters. My Love to Mrs. Otis, and cousin Betsy. I think often of Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Otis and hope to have agreable tydings from each of them.

Mr. and Mrs. Storer, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the Dr and Mrs. Welch and old Aunt Edwards made up a party the day before Christmass and dinned with me. Aunt Edwards says she shall not forget the May day in December the middle of the next Century. The Rose Bush under the window is leaving out, the bunches of clover are quite as lively as May and the Grass is changed. Adieu. Julia is as chearly and as playfull as ever, but will not sit or lye upon the settee.

I am with every Sentiment of the tenderest affection ever yours
Abigail Adams

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 December 1794 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, Abigail. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 December 1794. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcription.
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