Abigail Adams to John Adams
Quincy Feb’ry 12th 1794
my Dearest Friend
Yours of the 26th of Jan’ry I received last evening. You talk of not rising till june. why I know not what I shall possibly do, every Farm to Man—and with hands perhaps that I am unacquainted with. a scene of Buisness quite distant from me, when my Garden & potato Yard are full enough for me to attend to. why I shall have to travell from one Farm to the other, and not bring much to pass neither I fear without a proper overseer. we shall want a Farm Horse before that time and I know not what else, but there are many things to be thought of and those in season. I cannot but hope however that you will not sit later than May, at furthest. you will attend to my request in my Letter of the 10th1 We have got two Lambs already. The Animals in the yard have all had the Mumps I believe one of them I thought we should have lost. he was so sweld in his Throat that for a week he never eat a mouthfull and could not lye down. the poor creature set up on his hind legs & slept. I cured him by having his Throat Rubd with Goose oil daily Belcher has made them a yard of about 20 foot square inclosing their House and it is full of sea weed. the black Animal never would fat and I finally lost him from the misfortune he met with Grain continues very high corn at 5 & Rye at 6/8 Hay from seven to Nine shillings.
The two Houses cannot agree upon an answer to the Govenours Speach they are quite puzzeld.2 French influence appears to be going out of fashion, and daily losing ground the Democratick Societies are dwindling down. you will read in Russels paper some admirable observations addrest to the Phyladelphia Society taken from the Minerva.3
adieu my dear Friend how can I reconcile myself to the Idea of not seeing you till june. the terrors of the fever will Haunt my imagination. you must not tarry there so long— Remember me affectionatly to all inquiring Friends— Thomas will not get his Boots this winter. poor Cheeseman was torn all to peices—& starved almost to Death— There are letters from him—
Most affec’ly yours
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by JQA: “The Vice-President of the United States / Philadelphia.”; endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 12. / ansd. 17. 1794.”
1. AA probably refers to her letter of 8 Feb., above, and her request for JA’s advice on the disposition of their various farms and the purchase of livestock. No letter from AA to JA of 10 Feb. has been found.
2. The members of the Mass. General Court had difficulties coming to terms on an appropriate response to Lt. Gov. Samuel Adams’ speech to the Court. The debate centered largely on whether or not to express approval of George Washington’s statements of neutrality in the response—a subject Adams had not broached in his own speech. The two houses finally agreed to a response, which was delivered to Adams on 19 February. The response began with a tribute to John Hancock and primarily reiterated the principle “that all men are born free and equal in rights.” The Court ultimately made no mention of neutrality but did include a statement “expressing our affections for that nation who assisted us in the time of our adversity, and with whom we are in alliance; and our sincere wishes that they may succeed in the defence of their country, and in the establishment of peace and good government, founded on the principles of liberty, and the rights of man.” It concluded with a promise to pay “due attention” to any proposals Adams might choose to make (Boston Columbian Centinel, 8, 22 Feb.).
3. On 5 Feb. the Boston Columbian Centinel reprinted a piece by “An American” that had originally appeared in the New York American Minerva, 24, 25 January. The article makes a point-by-point refutation of the recently published resolutions of the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania, strongly challenging its goals and even the very notion of popular societies and questioning its motives, while mocking its commitment to “liberty.” “An American” argues, “the strongest professions of good intentions cover the darkest designs.”