Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to John Quincy Adams, 14 July 1798

Philadelphia July 14 1798

My dear Son

The Aniversary of the Birth day of my dear son god Bless it to him. and grant him many succeeding happy years. I am loth a vessel which I have just heard is going to Hamburgh should sail without a Line from me. I began writing to you a few days since in order to send by Thomas Welch who is comeing out to you from Boston to succeed your Brother whom we wish to see at Home as soon as possible but by no means must he venture but in an Armd vessel. The Medley of Newspaper which I send you, collected in haste will however shew you some of the Spirit of the times, the intercourse with France forbiden, the Treaties declared void & no longer obligatory, the Exequators of all the Consuls revoked, Navy building and 3 frigates at Sea, a capture made. there is however one thing wanting, which mr Gerrys unaccountable Stay, has prevented. a declaration of War ought undoubtedly to have been made. there is a formidable army to be raised, of which General Washington is to take the command. Upon the 4th of this Month his commission was dated, a memorable day, the birth day of our independance. the Secretary of War is gone to convey the News to him and to bear the commission. No Step could have united all America more throughly than this. Congress expect to rise tomorrow after a nine months Session. I will send you all the Acts past by Thomas Welch. I hope to go to Quincy for a few week’s. It appears highly necessary for the P, Congress having been in Session 12 Months out of the 13—which is too much for any human being to sustain such a load of Buisness as has devolved upon him in the time—His Eyes which I thought could not have held out to have read a 20 part of the papers he is obliged to, appear to be accommodated to the occasion and more than two month upon an average he has replied to 4 & 5 addresses every day with his own hand. the Country is united in opposition to the measures of France & rises indignant with one voice: “illions for defence, but not a cent for tribute” This is the toast. You will find in one of the papers sent the reception mr Marshal met upon his return. My time is so short that I can only drop lose hints upon any thing and refer you to the papers.

I gave Col. Pickering a Letter to inclose for Mrs. Adams from her Mother least I should fail in getting this Letter on board I received a Letter from her the 9th of this month. She was then well, but very anxious to hear again from her Children. I have not any Letter from you later than Feb’ry, Thomas to his Father the 4 of March and one covering a Letter to his Sister of the 30th. In one of the papers you will learn the death of that Excellent an Dr Belknap, and will mourn with me and his Friends the event which has deprived the world of so valuable a Character in the midst of his usefullness—I shall write you more fully by Thomas with my kindest regards to mrs Adams and your Brother

I am Your / truly affectionate


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