Adams Papers

From Benjamin Rush to Abigail Smith Adams, 14 November 1800

Philadelphia Novemr 14th 1800

My dear Madam

I have heard with pain of the Presidents indisposition and lament that I am not near enough to him to offer him my Advice. The disease under which he labours, at the present season, & in persons of his time of life, is generally accompanied with such Symptoms of fulness, inflammatory Action, or Oppression, as to require bleeding, and Other depleting remedis before the Bark can be given with effect. Even where the Bark affords relief, relapses frequently occur, from the previous neglect of sufficient depletion.

One of the means of preventing Intermittents is warmth. Permit me to recommend it to your whole family, in cloathing, bed Cloathes, and in large and constant fires. The sooner you breakfast, After leaving your bed chamber, the better. The System After sleep is always languid, and predisposed to fever Until it is invigorated by a warm and comfortable meal.

Should you, or any of the family be afflicted with a <[. . .]> complaint, which will admit of the delay of a letter to Philada: and an Answer to it, I beg to be commanded as usual by you. The Constitutions of the whole family, if it consists of its former members, are still familiar to me.—

It is not my dear madam that I dread the publication of any part of my letter, that I hasten to close it without saying any thing of the present distracted state of public opinion, and conduct in our country. The Subject has for years, been disagreeable to me. At present it is hateful. Whatever may be said to the contrary, I am sure it is possible to see the tendency and effects of party Spirit without being under its influence. It is now many years since I discovered what you expressed so correctly in our last interview. Had I been disposed to have continued to be active in political pursuits, I could not have found a body of men in our state with whom I could have cooperated. Both parties have had <[. . .]> views & prejudices that I could not adopt. The pendulum after vibrating to two extremes has become nearly stationary. The next vote of the United States for a chief magistrate will I am persuaded be American. <[. . .]>

My most respectful and affectionate regards await the President. My dear Mrs Rush, & Mary join in the same to you, and Miss Smith, with my dear Madam your sincere friend

Benjn: Rush

MHi: Adams Papers.

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