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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1 January 1799

My Dearest Friend

I received to day your favr. of 24 and it made the day more tolerable. Your health and Spirits always promote mine.

We have had more Company to Day than ever upon any Occasion. Thirty or forty Gallons of Punch, Wine in Proportion: and Cake in Abundance. The News by The America Captn. Jenkins arrived at Newbury Port made every body gay but me. Not a Word of Thomas Boylston Adams. I shall be uneasy till I hear further. He could not be so imprudent as to omit that oppertunity.

You have an Admirable Faculty of employing your Mind. And in the Affairs of the farm materials for it.

I want my Talkative Wife, but fear, if she should attempt to come here she would not talk farther than Worcester or Springfield. But my Wife, was too studious and addicted to scribbing to talk much to me when she was here.

Our People grow amazingly fearless and valiant in Proportion as they hear the English beat the French: and that formiable Combinations are forming against them by Turkey, Russia, Austria and England. I dont like this bravery which grows in Proportion as Danger appears to lessen. I like that Fortitude which increases as Danger grows, in a good Cause.

The English have exhibited an amazing Example of skill and Intrepidity, Perseverance and Firmness at sea. We are a Chip of that Block. And We could do as We pleased at least as We ought upon the watery Element, if it were not that We shall excite Jealousy in the English Navy. We must however, Stand for our Right. We must adopt their Motto Dieu et mon Droit.

Pray desire Dr. Tufts to write to the Eastward for twenty foot Posts for my Barn. I have received his Letter about Turell Tufts and shall attend to it. His Letter is written in the hand for a young Man of 25. Yours forever be ever,


[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1 January 1799 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1 January 1799. 3 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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