Adams Papers

From Abigail Smith Adams to Catherine Nuth Johnson, 10 October 1800

Quincy october 10th 1800

My dear Madam

I thank you for your valuable and much esteemed favour of Sep’br. 28th the President will leave me tomorrow and I shall follow him in a week if possible; but the determination was made only on fryday the 8th; at a time too when I had been a week confined to my Room by an attack of the old intermitting fever—from which I hope I am now recovering. But it requires some resolution to undertake a journey of 500 miles with only my domesticks, and that at so short a notice to sit my House in order to leave: with many other necessary arrangements to make for I had calculated all my affairs to <long> remain here. My dear sister too, upon whom I used to devolve [. . .] concerns, is also sick, and my Neice Mrs Norten for whom [. . .] anxiety in the Spring is now down with a fever [pre]vaild in this place ever since july. So long as I have [. . .] inhabitant here, near 40 years I never knew this Town half so sickly as it has been these two Months past. It is a Billious intermitting fever and tho it has not proved Mortal, in but two, or three instances, it is of very long continuance, and great voilence; I believe the Situation of the town, my own frequent indispositions, the anxiety of the President at the thought of our greater distance, and a reflection upon his lonely Situation this winter joined to the desire I have to render the place as agreable to those who have and are like to become inhabitants of Washington, has overruled all probable inconveniencies in prospect; and determined me to come on. I only regreet that the resolution was not earlier taken, as the Season will be fall late for travelling. I cannot possibly get away in less than 8 or nine days, after the President is gone. My Coachman too is at present sick & threatned with a fever—but when I determine upon any thing, I do not let small obsticals prevent me. I thank you for all your kind and friendly exertions. I pray you would not relinquish your office. there is one article I forgot to mention which will be very necessary in the Family, and must be made in Philadelphia, I mean a Mangle. I had one which belonged to me, and which I sent home. I brought mine from England. Mrs. Powel once offerd me one which she had to dispose of, a very good one if she has not sold it.

I have engaged the fish for you, which you desird. It will be sent round with my things.

I return our Louisa-Letter with thanks. Thomas has sent me two Letters from his Brother of a later date. They were upon their journey into Silesia, one of the 10th & the other of 20 july from Grünburg. I presume you have one from Mrs. Adams of that date as I see Mr. Adams desires that one inclosed might be forwarded to you. their Letters are a fund of entertainment:

Louissa will come and thank you in person for her very [. . .] trimming. I have not yet received the Letters [. . .] you mention. I will forward them if they arrive before [. . .]

With Sincere Regard I am my dear / Madam your Friend

A. Adams

Mrs. Dexter is gone on. You will find her a very pleasent woman. So much I think like a Lady of my acquaintance that sitting aside the particuliar merrit of the Lady, I can readily account and give a certain gentleman credit for his partialities last Spring—When you see the Secretary of War tell him so—

MHi: Adams Papers.

Index Entries