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John Adams to Abigail Adams, 19 April 1797

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Phila. Ap. 19. 1797

My dearest Friend

as soon as your Letter informed Us that Mrs Brisler could not come without her husband I sent him off, in two hours, the day before Yesterday, i.e Monday. There has been Such a snow storm ever since that he must have had a bad Journey to N. York— Whether he will wait there for a Wind for Rhode Island or take the stage I know not but hope he will get home before you come away.

This days Post brought me Yours of the 12th. Your fatigues and perplexities must be great as well as mine— I am here at Mercy without Brisler. But We seem to go on well—

I am very willing you should let the Place and sell every Thing perishable as you thought of doing. Every Thing works against Us in the Article of Expences and We shall find ourselves more Straitened than ever We were in our whole Lives.

Mr Murray Sailed last sunday was Sennight—so that the Papers you inclosed must remain here some time.1 Bring on the Portfeuill or Leave it with Dr Tufts. Bring my Seals too.2

I like the Plan of letting the Place, better than any other. We cannot be there this Year above a month or six Weeks if at all.— I shall be content however with Any disposition you may make.

I dont know but I shall send my Coachman and Horses to Paulus Hook for you, with a Man to ride on my little Horse.— James you will discharge I suppose; but as you please. James would ruin this family, I fear.3 Let me know when you shall be at N. York. I will Let you know whether you may wait for my Horses, or whether you must hire at N. York. Let me know whether you have Harness for four Horses. or whether I must send on Harness for two or more. Charles is here on a Visit to me. I am, most tenderly

J. A4

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

1William Vans Murray sailed aboard the ship Good Friends, Capt. Smith, departing Philadelphia on 9 April and arriving at The Hague on 9 June. In a letter of 12 April (Adams Papers) AA enclosed coupons from the 1791 Dutch-American loan, to which JA was a subscriber, and asked that JA send them with Murray. Her letter also detailed the arrangements she had made to travel to Philadelphia (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 11 April 1797; D/JQA/24, APM Reel 27).

2For JA’s seals, see JA, Papers description begins Papers of John Adams, ed. Robert J. Taylor, Gregg L. Lint, and others, Cambridge, 1977–. description ends , 15:xvii, 448, and Catalogue of JQA’s Books description begins Henry Adams and Worthington Chauncey Ford, A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenæum with Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, Boston, 1938. description ends , p. 136–137.

3James appears to have remained with the Adamses until at least April 1800 by which point he had accompanied the family to Philadelphia (AA to AA2, 9 March 1800, M/CFA/31, APM Reel 327; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 17 April 1800, AA, New Letters description begins New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788–1801, ed. Stewart Mitchell, Boston, 1947. description ends , p. 246).

4JA had also written to AA on 18 April 1797 stating much of the same information, reporting that he would send future letters by the more frequent Boston post, and complaining about the “prodigious” reading he was forced to do (Adams Papers).

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