Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to William Smith Shaw, 14 February 1799

Quincy Febry 14th 1799

dear William

I know not what may be the temper of the National Legislature respecting the Honey words of the Great Nation our state Legislature, and I believe the people in general consider them like the Book of the prophet, tho Sweet in the mouth bitter in the Stomack: a Lady should not use the other word.

You must be gratified with the Report of the Senate and House upon the Virgina & Kentucky Treason, thus I term it. I should be very sorry to have them call out the Strength of the Government; civil war, is most horrible. I hope they will consider in time, and when they find the Majority of the States, against them, they will submit.

There are some things I want to know. it has been said in the public papers that Capt philips was dismisst the Service. the why, and the wherfore is the question as it is said he was a brave officer. an other thing what were the demands made by the British commissioners which put a Stop to proceeding in the accommodation of our differences?

These if proper please to answer. if not, I am content—you begin I presume to anticipate your return to this State; I am much better pleasd with that Idea than I am with mr T B A’s determination to go again to Philadelphia. he arrived here on tuesday Evening the 12th. to my great Satisfaction. I believe he is engaged in writing to you, in the office to which I introduced him this morning—he wisht he had just such a one at Philadelphia, and well stored with Books. I wish him to stay here, but still must leave him as his Father does, to the exercise of his judgment, tho I fear it will be at the expence of his Life—

I sent the addresses I hope they reachd I have a bad cold, but am not confined

yours affectionatly,

A Adams

DLC: Shaw Family Papers.

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