Adams Papers

From Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Smith Adams, 22 December 1800

Quincy December 22d 1800

My dear sister

I last week receiv’d your kind Letter of the 10th of this month. I have certainly lost one. It must have been in the lost mail, but how was it lost? I never heard of it till you mention’d it.

yes my sister I have been & still am greatly affected by your afflictions—Heaven may in great kindness have taken your child from a seducing world, when temtation become too strong for virtue surely tis kind to be removed from them. his repentance I hope was sincere if so we must not mourn without hope, but such wounds are not easily heald religion only can do it

Truly my sister in the midst of Life we are in death—mrs Pope at uncle Quincys went to Bed as well as usual last wednesday evening & was found dead in the morning tis a most afflicting stroke to our good uncle he feels it severly the weather has been such that I have been affraid to go out, or I should have seen him—Doctor Tufts—went immediately. I heard of her death just as I was steping into the chaise to visit my dear mrs Norton for the first time since we were both rais’d as it were from the grave. We were both affected even to tears you may well think I did not know till she told me how very low she had been she could not be taken out of Bed for ten days, and was only removed from one side of it to the other, & lay in cold sweats all the time, often supposing herself dying. she was sensible when her Freinds were making clothes to lay her out in, what they were doing, & saw them brought into her Room

I was surpriz’d to find her so well, have so much strength & spirits—her Flesh is returning and growing firm—the children are pictures of health mrs Norton sends her most affectionate duty to you, & thanks you for all your kindness to her thro mrs Tufts, & for what you did for Thomas. she wishes also that you would give her Love to mrs Smith & thank her for what she did for her dear little Boy. I carried him to see his mother—mr Black took us to Weymouth. I believe the child had forgotten Father & Mother both. he was much fonder of his Papa Black <than> as he calls him than of them mr Black was fonder of playing with him than with Ann—mrs Black says that six such as he would not be the trouble that she is. dear woman she may in some measure thank herself for it mr Black would not suffer Thomas to be so indulg’d he knew the poor child would have to suffer for it when he return’d if he did—I am absolutely oppressd when I think of mr & mrs Blacks kindness to me & mine

mr & mrs Porter are in perfect good humour they came & spent the evening with us lately I was oblig’d to let them do your Bacon I had no one who could take care of it at the time I had only strangers about me & for many days only mrs Greenleaf & my nurse Polly Baxter got wore out at last, & was oblig’d to go home before <you> mrs Greenleaf did. I then got two young Girls one stay’d but three days. I then crawl’d down stairs but found I had not strength to do any thing about house I missd nancy when she was taken with the Fever more than I could have thought I could—I got her mother to be with her a week—but the poor girl would have suffer’d if she had been only nurs’d by her I was obliged to take Katy into my chamber & into my Bed. she whin’d & was so impatient that I was glad to get in mrs Greenleaf’s chamber as much as I could, while my Boil was so bad upon my leg I found it a hard matter to get there. If I had been as troublesome & as cross as she was & is now, I do not believe any body would have stay‘d with me she has mended very slow to be sure. she has not been out of the door yet, & but just got down stairs. I have been to meeting twice she would find the air of great service but she will not try it

The sickness has greatly abated there have but two new cases within a month, Asa Dopas wife & oldest child—the child is now sick at uncle Quincys mrs Pope had taken it from its mother soon after she was taken ill—

Thomas Prats wife is still very ill & his son they suffer for want of good nursing. She is so weak that she faints when they take her out to make her Bed, & her mind is much derang’d—poor Jackson I never heard till a few days ago when I was inquiring of mr Porter what was become of him, that he was dead. oh my sister what trouble you was in when you left Quincy & <too> to have it so greatly accumulate as you progress’d in your journey!—no mind less strong than your own could have supported it with equal dignity

my sister I have lost my memory, not of your kindness, that never will be eras’d I have lost all knowledge of what happend a week or two before I was sick & can remember very little of the former part of my sickness I do not think I shall ever recollect any thing about it Doctor Phipps says I was more dangerous than I was sensible of—The first Food that I relish’d was milk Porrage & I lived upon it a fortnight the next was Broth then a peice of Beef I have had a good appetite ever since

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