Abigail Adams to John Adams
Quincy December 7th 1796
“The Morning lours, the Dawns oer cast
And heavily in clouds brings on the Day
Big with the fate of Liberty, and Man”1
on the desicions of this Day, hangs perhaps the Destiny of America, and May those into whose hands the Sacred Deposit is committed be guided and directed by that Wisdom which is from above, and the result prove the prosperity Peace and happiness of our Country. this is My most fervent Wish & petition to Heaven, totally divested of every personal feeling and sentiment.
I have twice written to you previous to this Day Which compleats a fortnight since You left me, and in all which Time I have not heard a word from You. I hope tomorrows post will bring me a Letter. We have had one continued turn of cold and dry weather, untill last Evening when the wind blew a Gale from the Southard & brought on rain. to Day it is very Stormy with snow hail & rain.
I Sent on our sons Letters in My first Letter. I want to know who is meant by the Pennsilvana Speculator the Intimate Friend of Munroe.?2 Who was Secretary to the abolition Society in Philadelphia?3 be so good as to send me the Secretary answer to Adet as Soon as publishd, and every Pamphlet You meet with, worth communicating to your ever affectionate
RC (Adams Papers).
1. “The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers, / And heavily in clouds brings on the day; / The great, the important day, big with the fate / Of Cato and of Rome” (Joseph Addison, Cato, Act I, scene i, lines 1–4).
2. Dr. Enoch Edwards (1751–1802), Benjamin Rush’s first medical student, was a Philadelphia physician. He served as a surgeon in the Revolutionary War and was an associate justice of the Penn. Court of Common Pleas. A friend of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Edwards became acquainted with James Monroe while in France during the winter of 1795–1796. JQA alluded to Edwards’ speculative activities in his 13 Aug. 1796 letter to JA, referring to “a man particularly from Pennsylvania, a deep speculator in the french revolutionary funds, and a confidential friend of Mr: Monroe” (Jefferson, Papers, description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, Princeton, 1950– . description ends 25:672; Harry Ammon, James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, N.Y., 1971, p. 134; Adams Papers).
3. Benjamin Kite, a Quaker schoolteacher, was the secretary of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (Joseph C. Martindale, A History of the Townships of Byberry and Moreland, Phila., 1867, p. 60, 68; Philadelphia Gazette, 30 Dec.).