Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Cotton Tufts, 10 July 1798

Philadelphia July 10 1798

Dear Sir

Congress have agreed to rise on Monday the 16. I doubt however whether they will be able to accomplish it so soon, I sincerely wish they could. You will learn that Capt. Decauter has brought in one, out of the Many privateers which afflict and distress our trade. The Captain of the privateers commission was from the Infamous Hedonvile & to capture all the Enemies of the French Republic, tho the Consul Le Tomb assures us that France has no Idea of a Rupture with us. Congress are getting on with buisness, which be sure might have been compleated three Months ago, much more to their honour & reputation. The Secretary of War went off to Mount Vernon yesterday morning with Letters & Commission for the old Hero & General, not however without some fears and apprehensions for the Success of the Mission—Yet when the Genll takes into view the State of the Country, the desire the President has that he should aid in raising an Army advise in officering and organizing of it, the confidence which the publick have in his wisdom, Virtue and integrity and the weight his Name, fame & Character will give both at Home and abroad I do not See how the Remnant of Life can be more usefully employd, and that I trust is what he will respect. An other consideration will weigh with him, Whom is it safe to commit so important a trust to? That decission is of much more concequence and importance now, than it was in our Revolution. Many passions have Since grown up to which our Country was then a Stranger. the State of the world has changed much for the worse, and the Spirit of innovation, Revolution and change is become the order of the day. I think no appointment could have been made which would have stifled the Envy and Ambition, the thirst of power and command which was rising in a Mass throughout the United States. those who expected to have filld this place, dare not publickly avow their dissapointment.

We are waiting with the utmost anxiety to hear from abroad, No News of the arrival of any dispatches which went from hence, nor can we learn a word from our Ministers of a later date than the begining of April.

Soper has been here for more than a week. He disclosd all our Secreet buisness about the Building, and I gave as good a Statement as it was in my power to do. I had no repremand, but a wish that the Building had been extended the whole Length, and a fear least it was done upon too narrow a Scale, so you see Sir that I was aware the thing would give pleasure when done, provided no care or concern was calld for in consultation. Mrs. Porter must have tables proper for her, and half a dozen chairs if she wants as I suppose she will—

It was the Presidents desire that Dr. Welch Should give into your Hands, all mr Adams concerns with which he was intrusted together with the power, if transferable. I have written thus to the Doctor—and I now inclose a Letter of mr Adams’s to the Dr, which when you have read you will return to the doctor. The Dr writes me that he had not drawn for the money in Holland which mr Adams requested him to, as he had not seen a prospect of disposing of it to advantage. This I think a very fortunate circumstance. The House in Boston & some share in the cannals is I believe all the property, or real estate mr Adams owns. I have written to mr Adams but the uncertainety of receiving an answer for a long time make me wish that you might have the care of his little affairs untill I know his mind

I know not what can be done for the Dr. The office which he requested the President could not <pi> consistant with the duty he owed the publick give him—In his profession I should suppose he might support his Family. It is Strange, very Strange to what lengths honest Men will go deceiving themselves—

The Weather the beginning of July was insufferably Hot. Since which, it is quite cool—and more like our Northern weather. The Season for second crops very promissing—I hope we shall have the pleasure of meeting in August. I fear not before. With my kind Regards to Mrs. Tufts, and all other Friends, / I am dear Sir Your obliged Friend,

Abigail Adams

In order to read Mr. Adams’s Letter you must hold it singly to the light

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