Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to William Smith Shaw, 9 March 1799

Quincy March 9th 1799

Dear William

It was not untill yesterday that I received yours of Febry 26th. You always have a cold or a head ache, what can the matter be? do you excercise enough? or do you keep your Room too warm? or do you sit up too late at Nights? Your cousin Thomas has had an ill turn: by taming his dissorder early, I hope he will get the better of it without a long confinement. But his constitution is too much like his mothers to be good for much—he is better than when I wrote to your uncle. I am in pretty good spirits, and better humourd than when I wrote you last, but I am very wroth with a certain set of people, who profess to be federalists just as long as the measures of the Government forward and promote their intents but lose all confidence & exclaim against them when ever their views are opposed. “The president will not be advised. He will act of his own Head, he is determined to support Gerry in opposition to all his Friend’s” he must tread back the steps he has taken for the Senate will never advise and consent to the nomination of Mr Murray.” Mr Murray is not a man of experience, not a man of tallants. Then comes the New Nomination. aya the Senate advised to that in order to defeat the measure, for Mr Elsworth is out of health, a kind man, and P Henry, so old that he will not go, but are not the Senate pointed out by the constitution as the advisers of the president? Why yes, are there any others whom he is obliged to consult, no but Washington always did, and was not he censured for being led by Hamilton? but why was not the Secretary of State consulted? aya theres the Rub—Such <is the> has been the zeal without knowledge of some of our hot Heads.—they are however cooling down. Some person askd judg Daws, when the crews first arrived, what he thought of the measure? Wait a fortnight said he, and then I will tell you. I have not forgotten the British Treaty yet—I should like to know when it is probable you will leave Philadelphia, it is very much winter yet, the ground covered with snow.

You will continue me the papers as long as you stay. If you see Fenno, and are acquainted with him, tell him I say, that I see the death of his Father in many of his papers. I regret his loss, and that of the public, the indiscretion of youth, needs the cool counsel of Age and experience—

yours affectionatly,


DLC: Shaw Family Papers.

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