Adams Papers

From Thomas Boylston Adams to John Quincy Adams, 28 July 1800

No 17.
16 May 11th:

Philadelphia 28th: July 1800

My last to you was written the day before I sat out upon a Circuit, into the interior parts of this State, for the sake of gaining health, as much as for any other object. I was absent but eighteen days and in that space of time, had travelled, on my return, nearly five hundred miles, without any disaster and for the most part highly gratified with my excursion. During my absence, Congress adjourned and our family dispersed in different directions, some to the North & others to the South; since which however, a junction has been formed of all parties at head quarters—

I have not a line from you, later than the 7th: November which came by Duplicates, covering Mr: Engel’s papers; was received some time in Feby and answered the same day—Nothing substantial has yet resulted from the steps I have taken to secure Mr: Engel a portion of the land reserved & appropriated by Messrs: Marks & Co, in trust for their German creditors. I was under the necessity of substituting an Agent at New York to pursue the claim, and all I can say is, that the business is in train for a settlement; and if the arrangement takes place as we wish, there is a prospect, that our principal will not loose, eventually, all his interest. This is all the information on that subject, within my knowledge, and it does not seem to me so desperate a case as I thought it at first. I have been obliged to make advances of cash, to a small amount, for translation of the papers &ca.

Your affairs in my hands, are yet safe, and I hope prosperous. The five shares of Manhattan Stock are worth £150 N.Y. curcy—This is the Democratic institution, against which many people set their faces so violently, & I own that I felt some anxiety least the Company should turn out swindlers at last—but the business has florished surprizingly & the stock is in demand at 50 pr ct above par.

I ventured to invest 20 shares in a scheme for a permanent Stone Bridge over the River Schuilkill, on your acct: at $10 pr share, and two payments of a dollar on each share have already been made thereon—Interest at the rate of 8 per cent pr ann. is drawn from the time of subscription, as the Company have the profits of the floating Bridge, for that purpose.

The Receipts in Massachusetts are I presume sufficient to answer all demands, as I hear nothing on the score of a fresh supply—Interest has been due, since April upon the Bond in my hands for $2272—(as near as I recollect the sum), but I know the lack of ability in that quarter & therefore have never made a demand. I can give you no hope of a better acct:

It seems very unaccountable to me, what can have become of all your letters to me, since last November—I have no knowledge whether the draft I sent you on the Willinks for my Dutch Obligations ever came to hand—nor whether my Acct: currt: with you, which went by Duplicates: was received in course—My Mother has a letter from you, dated in Feby & I have heard that the State Secy had got a letter dated in April—So that I find you are yet alive, which rejoyceth me exceedingly; Pitcairn in his two last, says nothing of you or your family.

I was very sorry to hear that Mrs: your Lady, has again been ill—Her lot is peculiarly hard, but il ne faut pas désespérer. Make my best remembrance to her.

You shall hear no news from me, by this conveyance—I am less of a politician & more I hope of a professional man than I used to be; which contributes more to my comfort. There will be a smartly contested election for Chief Magistrate, the approaching Autumn—The Jeffersonians are uncommonly sanguine in expectation of triumph; the Federal interest is likely to split in twain, & rather than have the present chief to rule over us again, Genl Pinckney or any other Genl: shall be supported—This is the cue given by a late Major Gl: on his nothern excursion. I am silent, for the most part, & hope to remain so—The Aurora is often seditious, often abusive & scandalous, but seldom provoking by reason of the utter contempt in which I know that all good men hold it.

The Citizens of this town have great cause of thankfulness, that the pestilence has not this season shown itself among them—We have not yet passed the most dangerous period, but on all former occasions, cause of alarm has existed sooner than this. The other large Cities continue healthy hitherto.

We hear by almost every vessel that arrives, that our Commissioners to France have settled the Acct: between us & are on their return, or, that the negociation is in a fine way &ca: Quant a moi, je ne [scais] quoi je devois croire de toute ça.

I am &ca:

MHi: Adams Papers.

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