Adams Papers
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From Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody to Abigail Smith Adams, 19 May 1809

Atkinson May 19th. 1809

My Dear Sister,

It would be impossible for me to tell you how disappointed, grieved, vexed, & everything, I was, when Mr Peabody returned from Andover a Friday Eve, & told me Mrs Adams was to return the next day home—If I had been the least apt to shed tears, I am sure they would fallen in plenty—For to have conversed with her, would have been next to having seen you my dear Sister,—I had many questions to ask, & a thousand things I wanted to say, which would have been gratifying, & interesting to me, that now would appear very small, & impertinent upon Paper—I had heard that when Mrs Adams made her visit at Haverhill, she was expected to tarry several weeks, & I hoped she would have been good enough to devote one at least, to a family, who always loved her so well—I certainly should have gone to Haverhill, unwell as I then was, if I had known she could stay no longer;—For I am sensible how wearisome it is to Journey with Children, & those too, that are as delicate, & feeble as her little Abigail,—And I should have gone the beginning of the week, if we had not had company from out of town—& Judge Newcombs Son, playing with the fire, was so unfortunate as to turn a boiling tea kettle of water over his foot—& he could not bear to have me, scarcely out of his sight—He has been very patient, as he ought, for I warned him of the folly of triffling & fidling with fire, that he was too far advanced in his learning to play the fool, but he said he had gotten an excellent Lesson, & down went the tea kettle—& I replied—Experience Walter, you may find to be the best Schoolmaster—though sometimes very severe, & harsh—It is the only accident we have had for several years, in our family for which we ought to be very grateful, to that good Providence, who graciously guards their Infant State & "rears them up to Man"—

We have had a long season of cold, & this Spring all our Boarders have been sick—though not with settled fevers—I was taken ill very suddenly, & I feared I should have a long confinement, but I <[. . .]> am restored to my family again, much sooner than I expected—I found Abby to be a most attentive good Nurse—& I did not know how to spare her, but Capt Calder came from Gloucester with two Sons, & left them at Mr Voses, & insisted upon Abbys taking a seat in his Chaise with him—It was so good an opportunity for her to visit her Gloucester friends, & inhale the salt air, that I could not refuse his kind friendly offer—But I feel <terribly> alone without her—I hope my dear Sisters health is quite recovered—A ride here in this blooming season might be of service to you,—& it might amuse my venerable much respected Brother to visit us once more who feel every sentiment of gratitude, love, & respect, to the friend, & Father of our Country—

I am very glad to hear that our good Br[o] & Sister Cranch have been so comfortably carrie[d] through the last winter—I have not had a letter from her, for a great while—I suppose it hurts her Eyes to write—I hope Mrs Adams does not feel any inconvenience from riding so far in a day, for I heard she got home a Saturday Eve—charming Spirite, & not wanting in courage I think—

I believe, I shall set off myself next week, & go for Abby—Some people may perhaps, think me fool hardy, but I will go slowly, & it may be of service to my health—Trusting in that good Providence, who has thus far conducted me through life, that it will still continue its protecting hand, I subscribe your affectionate Sister

E— Peabody

PS—remember me affectionately to the Mrs Adams’s Cousins, Louisa, Susan, Abby, &ce. all

MHi: Adams Papers.

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