Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Catherine Nuth Johnson, March 1799

[ca. February–March 1799]

my dear Madam

I have the <pleasure> Satisfaction to inclose to you a Letter from our dear daughter at Berlin received by my Son Thomas yesterday and the additional pleasure <in> of assuring you of her confirmed State of Health. I have not any Letter myself, but Thomas has one from his Brother of october 12th which contains this agreable information <Before which> as well as that his own Health was also quite restored—<I most Sincerely rejoice with> our pleasure upon this occasion <mu> is mutual, as water to a thir[s]ty Soul So is good news from a far country. I hope mr Johnson and you will receive a fresh Supply of Spirits and concequently Health,

I have to acknowledge the receit of two Letters from you. I have mentiond to the president What you communicated to. you know my dear Madam that it was a rule with the late president to appoint to office no man connected with him by the ties of Blood and this has been held up to the public as one of the most disinterested actions of his Life. I own I never thought the conduct as a general were a good one, for tho a man may be Supposed partial to his own Relatives—I do not See why he should be blind to their worth, or that a connection of any kind Should disqualify a deserving and capable person from Serving his Country merely because he is by Blood or marriage connected with the family of the chief Majestrate the president has however been peculiarly delicate upon this Subject. upon the Removal of his son from one court to an other, really to his disadvantage in a pecuniary light, every Species of Slander abuse and falshood was let lose upon the president in concequence of it; by those very persons who knew that it was no new appointment no New Emoluments. Yet the News papers teemed with its being both, and one Member of congress if not more wrote circular Letters to their constituents, Stating that Young mr Adams had received three outfits to three different Courts—The president would recommend to mr Johnson to write to the Secretarys upon the Subject of any office he wishes to obtain. the Letters will then come regularly before him, and receive weight from the proper channel

I Sincerely wish mr Johnson extricated from all his embarressments. I thank you for your kind inquiries after my Health. I have had the week past a return of an intermitting fever which harrasses me, and robs me of all Spirit

MHi: Adams Papers.

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