Adams Papers

From John Adams to Abigail Smith Adams, 17 December 1798

Phyl. Dec. 17, [17]98

My Dearest Friend

With a great deal of snow upon the Ground it is now plentifully snowing. There must be an unusual Quantity upon the Earth. I suppose you have it very deep.

Our Men and Teams must have had a terrible Jobb to get the Lumber home: but I hope it is all compleated e’er this.

To Day at two Dr. Ewing & Mr. Snowden are to dine with me and tomorrow at four about 30 Senators and Reps...I have not had as yet any Tuesdays or Saturdays Parties: and I believe I will not have any. There is too much familiarity at them: they sit too late.

The last Letter from you was dated the 9th. I admire your taste for Weddings. I hope you will marry Louisa and Betcy Howard and all the Single ones who are ripe. I am sorry for Louisa at Berlin. But I have Grand Children more than enough. I dont want any more. Yet I should like that John should have a Son & a Daughter. But I cannot bear the trouble of Children at my Age. (In short I have enough of Children as well as Grand Children. My Daughter and one Son, will bring down my Grey Hairs with Sorrow to the Grave, if I dont arrouse all my Phylosophy. The Daughter too without a fault. Unfortunate Daughter! Unhappy Child!)

I begin to doubt whether I was in the Way of my Duty in ever engaging in public Life. With my Family of Children ought I not to have staid at home, minded their Education and sought their Advancement in Life! It is too late for this Casuistry now. The Die is cast, and I am not far from the End of my Life. I have done all for my Children that I could: and meant all for the best. What have I not suffered? What have I ever enjoyed? Still my Enjoyments have been upon my farm. Oh that my Children and Grand Children were all Farmers!

I am anxious and impatient to hear of the Arrival of Thomas.

Is Master Cleverly dead? And Mr Burrell? How is Mr Cranch and Boylston Adams?


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