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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1 February 1799

My dearest Friend

On Tuesday Mr. T. B. Adams left Us at Eleven in the stage for New York and Boston and consequently Quincy. I should have been glad to have held him till I could carry him with me: but I thought it my Duty to comply with his desire, both for his sake and yours. He Seems determined to settle in Phyladelphia. He would have a happier Life, and be a more important Man in Quincy: But I must do and say as My Father did to me: leave him to his own Inclination and acquiesce in it as a dispensation of Providence. You will find him very agreable and pleasant.

By the time he returns, I expect the Plague will drive him out, again. It is undoubtedly here lurking about the City all this Winter. Tarewell did not die of it: but I suppose of an an Appoplexie tho they call it a Pleurisie.

We had Yesterday a large Company: C. J. McKean and the Judges and Lawyers of Pensylvania with some Members of Congress: all very agreable.

I am reading the K. of Prussias Correspondence with Voltaire, D'Alembert &c. He is forever talking of his Age, Infirmities, Decline and Decay. He Memory is going. His Imagination is gone. His Teeth fail. His Limbs are stiff and goutty. He is broken. He is old, &c. &c. &c. Yet at last When he was really old and broken he could not bear to hear of it.

His Phylosophy was bad enough: tho not so bad is that of others then and since. His Wit is to me a little dull. His humour heavy. There is an Affectation of Gaiety, which however does not make the Reader very gay. Frank waits for my Letter.


[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1 February 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 February 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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