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Abigail Adams to John Adams, 13 February 1801

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Baltimore 13 Fe’by 1801

my Dearest Friend

I arrived here about half after Six, without any accident, but beat and bang’d enough I do not wish for the present, a severer punishment to the Jacobins & half feds who have sent me home at this Season, than to travel the Roads in the san culot stile just now; the Roads were hard frozen points up, all the way. we were 4 hours making our first stage, and then commenced a voilent snow storm. when we made our 2d Stage which was spurriers, we found ourselves so late that we could not stop but to change our Horses, and came through without taking a mouthfull of refreshment.1 poor little susan streachd herself upon the floor as soon as she got in and fell fast asslepe—

I am not so weary however as to have lost my curiosity about the fate of the Election, and would give something to know the result2

I shall rest here tomorrow, and the next day pursue my journey. I wish however mr Cranch could overtake me, which he might do if he sits out on sunday. I shall have some difficulty in crossing the Susquahannah— I think I ought to have a Gentleman with me. it is too bad to travel these Roads without—

hoping you will find them much men[ded] by the 4th March— I conclude / ever Yours


RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A.” Some loss of text due to wear at the edge.

1Spurrier’s Tavern was located about 21 miles north of Washington, D.C., near Elkridge, Md., and was a frequent resting point for travelers between Washington and Baltimore (Morris, Diaries description begins The Diaries of Gouverneur Morris, ed. Melanie Randolph Miller and Hendrina Krol, Charlottesville, Va., 2011–2018; 2 vols. description ends , 2:144).

2On 11 Feb. Thomas Jefferson read the results of the electoral votes for president and vice president before a joint Congress. The final tally, for which see TBA to JQA, 6 Dec. 1800, and note 5, above, resulted in JA’s defeat and a tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. In the event of a tie, the U.S. Constitution reserved to the House of Representatives the power to elect a president and vice president with each state allocated one vote as determined by a majority poll of its congressional delegation, and with nine states needed to win the presidency. On 11 Feb. 1801 the first ballot awarded eight states to Jefferson, six to Burr, and two were divided. Thirty-four subsequent ballots between 11 and 17 Feb. failed to break the deadlock. Finally on the 36th ballot the tie was broken with ten states for Jefferson, four for Burr, and two entered as blank, thereby securing the presidency for Jefferson and the vice presidency for Burr (Freeman, Affairs of Honor description begins Joanne B. Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic, New Haven, 2001. description ends , p. 199–200, 241–242; Annals of Congress description begins The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States [1789–1824], Washington, D.C., 1834–1856; 42 vols. description ends , 6th Cong., 2d sess., p. 1022–1033).

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