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From Thomas Boylston Adams to William Smith Shaw, 9 February 1801

Philadelphia 9th: Feby 1801.

Dear William—

I have your favors of the 4th: & 5th: currt with pamphlets and papers &ca: which are valuable to me. I regret that I have not yet been able to procure the pamphlets relative to the 6th: article of the B. J. I spoke to Mr: Evans on the subject and was told that he could not furnish more than two or three—Mr: Read has no more & William M. Smith wont part with the case of Andi Allen, which he had the disposal of to any but very good Englishmen—

I suppose, I made use of the expression, which you retort upon me, respecting the punishment of poor Mary Burns, the lewd woman that was hung for being a thief—I meant something else, though I can’t say precisely what—But does not Burns, himself, justify my remark, that it is a hanging name, by the quotation—

“My ancient, but ignoble blood,

Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood?”

I have been highly delighted with the perusal of this little sketch of Biography which is so spiritedly and cleverly drawn. I think better of the Burns’s than I did before—Joe wont publish it yet awhile, but I can’t return the thing before I shew it to a friend or two—

I am glad you got the pamphlets, but I am sorry you sent for them. Dickins will look to me for 9 Dols. & 3/8 for the packet I sent you, and this would be paying rather too dear for your gratification in distributing them Gratis—What you dont sell, bring back—I should suppose so small a number as 25, might find vent in Congress—If Oswald would take the trouble to dispose of them, as you suggested, the thing would go—

Lt. Parker must have been a welcome visitor to you, charged with so many valuable articles for your own consumption. Mr: C— is glad that the quality is so much to your mind—

The article “Levity,” in the last & preceding numbers of the P[ort] F[olio] has caused more disturbance than any thing in the paper. You will not be able to unravel the enigma, nor am I, to explain who are all the characters delineated—The production is from a firm of wags, whom you know, but I am not allowed to name them.

The news of the day is, that some Merchants of the town, give a dinner this day to Oliver Wolcott Esqre: Nothing else


T. B. Adams

MWA: Adams Papers.

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