Adams Papers
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Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 3 July 1798

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

July 3d 1798

My dear sister

The extreem heat of yesterday & the no less prospet of it this day, is beyond any thing I ever experienced in my Life the Glasses were at 90 in the Shade yesterday. tomorrow will be the 4 July, when if possible I must see thousands. I know not how it will be possible to get through. live here I cannot an other week unless a Change takes place in the weather you had as good be in an oven the bricks are so Hot. I can only say to you that yesterday the President Nominated Gen’ll Washington to be commander in chief of the Army to be raised, and as soon as the Senate pass upen it, the Secretary of war will be sent express to announce it to him.1 His Country calls. no Man can do so much for it in that Line. “The knowledge that he lives” is a Bulwark.2 it will unite all Parties in the Country. it will give weight force and energy to the People—& it will dismay our Enemies— I cannot think that he will decline the station—

Mr soper from Braintree was here yesterday, & he disclosed my whole secret about my building the President had a hearty laugh & says he is sorry it was not carried clear along. he is affraid it is upon too Small a Scale, so tell the dr we shall not incur any blame

I inclose you the paper of this day.3 you will see how Politicks are. tis so Hot I cannot think or write more than yours / as ever

A Adams

RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed: “Mrs Mary Cranch / Quincy—”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A. Adams July 3 / 1798.”

1On 2 July JA nominated George Washington to be commander in chief “of all the armies raised, or to be raised,” and the Senate confirmed the nomination unanimously the following day. In his letter to Washington of 7 July, which was carried to Mount Vernon by James McHenry, JA apologized for taking the step but insisted that he needed Washington’s advice in managing the nation’s defense (U.S. Senate, Exec. Jour. description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., 1789–. description ends , 5th Cong., 2d sess., p. 284; Washington, Papers, Retirement Series description begins The Papers of George Washington: Retirement Series, ed. W. W. Abbot, Edward G. Lengel, and others, Charlottesville, Va., 1997–1999; 4 vols. description ends , 2:389).

2AA was quoting from JA’s inaugural address (Amer. State Papers, Foreign Relations description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–1861; 38 vols. description ends , 1:39).

3Enclosure not found. AA may have sent the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, which had the most extensive political coverage of that day’s Philadelphia newspapers, including the House of Representatives’ debate on the defense of American shipping against French depredations and addresses to JA from North Carolina and Vermont.

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