Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Cotton Tufts, 25 May 1798

Philadelphia May 25 1798

My Dear Sir

I received yesterday your kind Letter of May 12th and was rejoiced to learn that you had recoverd from your late indisposition So far as to be able to ride out. have you ever tried the use of Calomel for your complaint or Bleading? this climate is not So Subject to disorders of the lungs and Breast as ours but much more so to other inflamitory complaints which call for speedy aid. We have had Some very Hot weather, which has been Succeded by three weeks of dry & cold in <[. . .]> which the Grass and Grain have Sufferd, but for two days past we have had plentifull Showers which I hope will restore it in on Some measure. as yet we hear nothing of any remarkable Sickness, but I expect the fever will come in the usual Season for it is with that, as with our foreign Enemy. the people appear loth to take rigorous measures tho they have every reason to believe that the one will enter our houses & the other our harbours. the Representitives in Congress do not keep pace with the Sentiments of the people without. in the Senate they are pretty Strong but there are there Six members always wrong Sometimes 8. the two virginians would not be persuaded to do right, even tho one rose from the Dead to warn them. every wise and firm measure, is opposed by them. they talk and talk consuming time and when beat of upon one ground, they will take an other & if they were in the pay and Service of France, they could not more Strictly adhere to her. I know you will be glad to learn that your old Friend Goodhue is as firm as a Rock, and as honest as a good Heart and pure intentions can make him. Such oppositions frets him. he always comes to See us in the Same familiar manner that you would, and is realy a very valuable Member. no man has the real good of his Country more at heart. he frequently inquires affectionatly after mr Cranch & you,. when you come to look at the House: that is much more equally divided. the Anti party tho Struck dumb at first by the disclosure of the dispatches & instructions, have rallied again, & persue with equal industery the Same measures. they always hang to gether, and tho Some of them think and talk differently, they dare not vote against their party. it is not So with the Federalists for amongst them are Some timid men, who tho honest dare not assume the decisive tone, & act with vigor: whilst three of our ships the Frigate the Ganges & the Hamburgh packet now calld the Deleware are now mand and ready for Sea waiting only for Congress to pass a Bill to render them usefull when they are out. A motion is made to postpone the consideration of it till the 2d of June whilst the coast is Swarming with French privateers, and even our coasters are in danger. It is true it was rejected, but I mention it to Show that those who would do good always have the evil present with them in the persons of the Antis—and you know how disheartning it is, to be fetterd when every Limb and Nerve Should be in full exertion. There is an other thing which disarms the Federalists. I mean the unaccountable Stay of our Envoys in France. Whilst it furnishes arguments to those who would not care a Stiver if they were hangd it obstructs the Arm of the Executive, and weakens the real Friends of the Country.

If addresses would defend our Country it will be well fortified. They however contain such pledges and assurences and that in the most Solem and decisive language as gives us reason to belive that our Countrymen will not be backward to defend their Rights and Liberties. It gives the President a great additional Share of writing. Tho not more than one in 5 have yet been publishd, there have enough appeard to manifest the Spirit of the people. I think no State in the union have manifested a more perfect confidence in the wisdom and integrity of the Executive and more warm and affectionate personal attachment, than the addressess from North Carolina a State which has but one Federal Member in Congress and he has been uniformly so from the beginning against all his colleagues. There is a very striking address from the Govr. and officers of N Jersey, but your Boston papers are so small they cannot print a 20th part of them. I hope they will all be collected and printed in a vol’m. It is a remarkable Fact in the French Revolution that with swearing hatered to Royalty; and Friendship to Republicks. They should proceed to the total destruction and dismembement of every Republick whilst as yet every Royal Government, their own excepted, stands. I hope and trust that Great Britain will be able to with stand them. In that Kingdom there is yet some virtue, Liberty and integrity, publick Spirit and Energy. Poor Switzerland! alass where are the William Tells of the present day?

I have almost filld my paper with politicks and left but little Room for my private affairs. I transmitted by the last post inclosed to Mrs. Cranch a Hundred dollors. I will send you in June what further you may want. I have a paper in the house which was formerly purchasd for one of my Rooms. I think it will do for the Library. It is a red [. . .] paper and is in the Garret in a coach Box I think. You will excersise your own judgment as to the hire of help upon the place.

Your question respecting my sons property I cannot answer as his buisness was all left in the Hands of Dr. Welch, but I rather think he had realizd his property, that is he ownd a share in the Theatre, which he has lost. He has some Shares in the cannals. That with his House is I believe all he ownd in Boston, but I fear he has intrusted some in N York which has not been conducted with the discretion in the disposition of it, which it ought to have been. I hinted something of the kind to him, and recommended to your trust whatever in future he might have, but I believe he will not find more than a bare Support in future. Berlin is more expensive than Holland: and I am sure he cannot save any thing. I will here if possible and I now want the President to place some in your Hands which I know we may Spair, beside what I squeze from my monthly allowence.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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