Adams Papers

From Cotton Tufts to Abigail Smith Adams, 15 December 1800

Weymouth Decembr. 15. 1800

Dr. Madm.

Yours of the 28th. Ulto. I received the 10th. Instt. with the inclosure & shall take the first Opportunity to fulfill your Request. From your Letter it seems to me, that your Journey in part must have been very untoward, and troublesome; but your safe Arrival and without your Health having been injured, must have afforded much Pleasure to the President as well as it has done to your Friends here. I hope Congress will form some wise System for the Regulation of the City, otherwise innumerable Difficulties as well as Evils will attend it. To the Southward of Philadelphia, Civilization among the lower Class of People is not, as I apprehend, far advanced; where Slavery prevails, Ignorance, Sloth and Unfaithfulness will be its constant Companions.

The bilious Fever at Quincy has in a great Measure subsided. Asa Popes Wife and Child are the only new Cases that I have heard off for a Month past, the former is upon the Recovery, the latter is sick at Brother Quincy’s. Broth. Cranchs Family had a heavy Visitation with it. Miss Gannett is left in a feeble State, the rest are got abroad.—There have none died with the Fever since you left Quincy except Majr. Millers Wife—

By the last Weeks Newspapers, we are informd of the Death of your Son at New York. Mrs. Tufts joins me in condoling with you and the President on this mournful Event, and pray that Heaven may grant you both, all needed support & Consolation. Our Friends and Connections are dayly dropping off one after another. Every Day brings fresh Conviction, of the Uncertainty & Mutability of human Life. We seem to be in a Turmoil, continually agigated and driven from one Scene to another, till the Curtain drops, and we go to the Place from whence we shall return no more. Happy, if we secure a resting Place on the blessed Shores of Paradise, where Peace & Joy for ever dwell, and Uncertainty and Change are known no more—

On the 6th. Inst. it raind through the Day, Wind at East and N.E. Thermr 34+. as it fell it froze on the Spires of Grass, Bushes, Boughs & Twigs of Trees from 1/4 to an Inch in Thickness; on the Morning of the 7th. as the Sun arose, a most august and beautiful Display of Nature in its various Operations opend to our view; in its Appearance splendid and beautiful beyond Description but destructive in its Effects—The Grass, Bushes and Trees appeard all like Sparkling Gauze & Diamonds, exhibted the various Colours of the Rainbow and with unequalld brilliancy & transparency. All look’d like Enchantment; this Scene continued for Three Days; but the pleasing sensations excited by this Scene so captivating to the Eye, were soon suppressed, by the crackling & falling of Limbs & Tops of Trees, unable to sustain their Burdens. The Ash, Button Wood, Locust, Willows and Peach Trees were among those which Sufferrd most. Some old Apple Trees were thrown down and many large Limbs, a few Oak & some other sufferd in the Loss of their Limbs—This Congelation of the Rain fortunately did not extend far beyond The Line that divides Weymouth & Hingham nor far beyond that which divides Quincy & Milton. To the Northward of the latter, it was Snow in such Abundance as to produce good Sledding. to the Westward & Southward of this Place it did not extend above 6 or 8 Miles—This Appearance afforded an <[. . .]> ample Field for the Contemplation of the Philosophers & of the Christian—By this we are taught that Misfortunes & Death often lurk under the most glittering Forms & brilliant Appearances, that there is seldom any good without some Evil and <[. . .]> who could avoid exclaiming on Sight of this—Great and marvellous are all thy Works Ld. God Almighty—

Yours Affectionately

C. Tufts

Dec. 19.

As soon as convenient, I should wish for the Presidents Directions respecting the future disposal of the Farms leas’d to French & Burrell—

A sudden & surprizing Event occurd Yesterday Morning. Mrs. Pope the Evening before went to Bed as well as usual except some Fatigue she had undergone from Attendance on her Grand Child then sick in the House. In the Morning about 6 o Clock she was heard to cough and about 8 o. not having arisen, a Girl went to awake her, but found her breathless, probably she expird soon after the Action of Coughing as she was found to be warm. about noon I went over and found Bro. Quincy much affected—. It will be difficult to find a substitute for Mrs. Pope, but I hope we shall succeed—

Mrs. Tufts presents Love / Yrs.

C. T—

Pray let me hear from you often—

MHi: Adams Papers.

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