Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 9 July 1798

Philadelphia Monday July 9th 1798

My dear sister

I have not a Letter from you to day. I hope however to hear from you by the next post, but if you have had weather like what we experienced here for three days I do not wonder that you could not write. we have had ever since the 4 July very comfortable days and nights, frequent Showers no hard or severe thunder, a prospect of a fine season. This morning I have to congratulate you upon the first Gallic trophy to the Arms of the United States. Captain Decateur in the Deleware has captured a 12 Gun Privateer & 70 Men which he has brought in. She had taken a Ship two days before bound from this port for Liverpool. The Men She put on board a vessel bound for Boston. So Stupid will the merchants here be, as Still to Send their vessels out unarmed. The French Man thought himself attackd by an English Ship of war. But upon finding that it was an American, he askd the Captain if America was at war with their Nation? No replied the captain, but you are with mine. O Says the frenchman, I have a commission for what I do—and so replied Captain Decateur have I. When he saw the American flag hoisted over his, he Stormd and Swore at a terrible rate. Mon Dieu, I had rather see my Ship Sunk, blown up in the Air—the captain told him, he would soon put him below with the Men if he did not conduct himself properly. I rejoice to See the Spirit & Bravery of my Native State. Let the vipers cease to hiss. they will be destroyd with their own poison. Bache is in duress here, & Burke in N York. I inclose to you the dareing outrage which call’d for the Arm of Government.

This mornings Centinal announces the death of Sheriff Thayer. What was his disease? quite a middle aged Man. Was it an Apploplexy or fever. I have been affraid to hear from you, least you should be the bearer of the death of mrs Lincoln who I heard was dangerously sick with a Billious fever—not Seeing her death in the paper of to day I am led to believe & hope that she is upon the recovery. I had a Letter from Sister Peabody Stating according to my request Betsys case from its commencement, which I consulted Dr Rush upon. he is of opinion that she has an abscess forming in her side—that a fatal mistake was made at the commencment of her disorder in neglecting to Blead and Blister, which might in a few days at that time have relieved her. the Man whom I had seizd voilently with an inflamitory Soar throat, was Bled 5 times & 60 oz of Blood taken from him. he was below stairs in a fortnight and tho pale, is very well and able now to perform his duty, picking up fast. the Dr does not like to advise without being able to see the particuliar State in which Betsy is, but as her Circumstances are described, he thinks he Should take 4 oz of Blood from her, & keep Blisters upon her Side. as soon as one heald put on an other. give her gentle exercise and vegatable food, but she may be too far gone for all this. I fear from the Numbness the cough the waisting & the Night Sweats, that her doom is fix’d. <and> I hope my dear Sister that my friends will conquer the aversion to the Lancet, which I believe is not used sufficiently early in inflamitory diseases, but this climate calls for it more than ours. consumptions are not common here—

Congress are going on very well at the Eleventh hour, tho timid they will do all but one thing before they rise. that however would Save them much trouble. why when we have the thing should we boggle at the Name—the Secretary of war went express this morning to Mount Vernon—I hope and trust that the Gen’ll will not refuse an appointment made it is true without his knowledge or consent. it was one of those strokes which the prospect and exigency of the times required, and which the President determined upon without consultation. it however meets with universal approbation and will concenter more Hearts than any other possible appointment. “His Name a Host, & the knowledge that he lives a Bulwark”

I wish you would tell Dr Tufts that I would have a table made for mrs Porter, and half a dozen chair if she wants them—Yours ever yours

A Adams


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