John Adams to Abigail Adams
Phila. Decr. 19. 1794
My Dearest Friend
I promised you in my last an Account of the Commencement in the Methodists Meetinghouse north fourth st. near Vine street.1 But as a Bill which had some Allusion to the late Rebellion, and consequently interested the feelings of Parties, came on in Senate I could not get out of my Chair till three O Clock, and was therefore disappointed.2
I sent at once and bought the Books: but as I have made a free Use of the Post office of late I must not send them too fast.— I have read Lady Craven to day & Yesterday, with more Amusement than Edification.— I shall Stiffle myself with reading. The late Tryals in Scotland and England, have attracted my Attention very much. State Prosecutions of such Severity bode nothing good to Britain
Eames with your Flour and my Letter with an order are arrived before this I presume.
The Weather has been Spring like and fair along time. To Day it rains most abundantly. We expect cold after it.
Your last Letter had not one Word of Agriculture in it,—3 I hope my broad Wheels are under Salt Water—and that Joys Yard and shaws Yard are filled with Seaweed, and especially I hope that soft and Warm Beds are made of it for our Swinish Multitude in all our Yards.
Love & Duty. Adieu.
Can you find the Portraits of the Kings and Queens of England & France in the inclosed Riddle? Look upon the White upon the Edges of the Serpents and the Urn.4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Decbr / 19 1794.”
1. JA had informed AA on 18 Dec. (Adams Papers) that he planned to attend a female commencement. The commencement took place the same day attended by “the Lady of the President of the United States, the members of the House of Representatives of this state and of the United States, and a very respectable number of citizens.” Several young women presented orations and dialogues “with considerable grace and elocution. … An ode was also performed by the ladies on the future destinies of their country; eight of them having compleated their studies received honorary testimonials in the nature of diplomas” (Philadelphia Gazette, 20 Dec.).
2. On 18 Dec. the Senate was discussing “An Act to Regulate the Pay of the Non-Commissioned Officers, Musicians, and Privates, of the Militia, of the United States, When Called into Actual Service,” which was eventually enacted on 2 Jan. 1795 (Annals of Congress, description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States [1789–1824], Washington, D.C., 1834–1856; 42 vols. description ends 3d Cong., 2d sess., p. 802, 1490–1492).
4. Not found.