Adams Papers

From Thomas Boylston Adams to Abigail Smith Adams, 26 August 1799

August 26 1799.

I had closed my letter of this date and delivered it to a person going to town, but afterwards receiving your favor of the 17 & 19 instt. I had time to recall the first and now enclose it in this.

Your information respecting Mr: Hartley’s defection is, I believe correct; of the other gentleman, I believe, not so, though I will not undertake to contradict it. Hartley’s intemperance has rendered him a fit tool for any mischievous machination, and he has probably been worked upon with more assiduity on account of his influence among a portion of the inhabitants of his particular County. McKean will have some votes there, which indeed I knew he would, though from the circumstance of its bearing a federal reputation, his opponents had counted upon all its support. I do not believe that Dr: Rush is in McKean’s interest unless he has some personal dislike to his rival & competitor for the Chief Magistracy. I heard him say two months ago, that if the election were then to take place, McKean would most probably succeed, but that the interval would be employed so actively by Mr: Ross’s friends, that the result would be rendered much more dubious. He added further, that a number of gentlemen with whom he had conversed, were determined to give McKean a fair, open & candid opposition, but in the event of his election, those same gentlemen were determined to visit him as the Chief Magistrate of the State and support his administration, so that no distinction of parties should exist beyond the termination of the electioneering Campaign.

You will draw the inference from these sentiments, which shall seem most consonant to their import. At the time the conversation took place I inferred that the Dr: meant to class himself among the candid gentlemen of whom he spoke, and I have never heard since that he had espoused the interest of the Chief Justice, prior to the issue of the contest.

Your allusion to the Demo-Cooper & the Demo: philosopher is lost upon me, if any thing of recent date is the subject. Before I left the City, I saw but two of the daily papers regularly, Brown’s & Bradfords, though now I frequently get some others; if any thing of Coopers therefore has appeared it has escaped me. I have heard of his character, but know nothing of his writings. Barloe will fall in my way some time or other, though I have heard of his recent labors only from headquarters. He may write all he can and do little mischief. The budget has doubtless come to hand, as you conjecture, but not a lisp transpires from that source. Brown’s Gazette was the first to announce the expected departure of the Commissioners.

I received this evening from Mrs: Smith Senr: at Baltimore a letter dated the 23d: instt: announcing to me the joyful event of her daughter Mrs: John Smith’s safe & happy delivery of a fine boy on the 11th: instt:, whereby the old lady’s further attendance & services are no longer necessary, and she is desirous of returning speedily to New York, but hearing various & contradictory reports of the prevalence of the fever at New York and Philadelphia, she wishes me to give her accurate information on the subject.

I am, once more, dear Mother / Your Son

T B. Adams

MHi: Adams Papers.

Index Entries