Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 January 1796

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia January 26. 1796

Yesterday I came to Senate as usual on a monday morning pleasing my Imagination and my heart with the hope and Expectation of a Letter from—my dearest Friend. No Letter for The Vice President Says Mathers!1

All Day in bad humour—dirty Weather—wet walking—nothing good—nothing right.

The poor Post Offices did not escape—it was some blunder—some carlessness of theirs—in Philadelphia—New York or Boston

Or Perhaps Mam is Sick—Oh dear! Rhumatisms—Oh dear! Fever & Ague! Thus peevishly fretfully and unphilosophically was Yesterday passed. Yet to devert it I read a Number of Books in Cowpers Homer and Smoaked I know not how many Segars.2

I have had the Agreable Society of Josiah Quincy & Martin Lincoln, to assist in consoling me a little of late.3

There is absolutely nothing to write public nor private but such as the above—Adieu

J. A

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs. A.”

1James Mathers (1750–1811) was originally from Ireland. He served as the doorkeeper of the Continental Congress from 1788 to 1789 and of the U.S. Senate from 1789 until his death (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series, description begins The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series, ed. W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Jack D. Warren, Mark A. Mastromarino, Robert F. Haggard, Christine S. Patrick, John C. Pinheiro, and others, Charlottesville, Va., 1987– . description ends 5:239).

2That is, William Cowper’s translation of The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, 2 vols., London, 1791.

3Martin Lincoln (1769–1837), son of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, managed his father’s estates and, with his brother Theodore, built the Cape Cod Lighthouse under the direction of their father, who served as supervisor of lighthouses (History of Hingham, description begins History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Hingham, 1893; 3 vols. in 4. description ends 3:12; David B. Mattern, Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution, Columbia, S.C., 1995, p. 188, 216).

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