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John Adams to Abigail Adams, 12 November 1798

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Flaggs at Weston Nov. 12. 1798

My Dearest Friend

We Stopped at the Governors to take Leave and he told Us the News of last night, which has regaled Us on the Road.1 We watered at Watertown and reached this Inn at half after one.2 We hope to reach Williams’s at Marlborough, and Sleep there this night. I strive to divert the melancholly thoughts of our Seperation, and pray you to do the Same. Mrs Smith I hope will keep Up her Spirits and the Sprightly charming Caroline will be a cordial to you both. William is very good attentive and obliging and sister may make herself easy on his Account. He will do very well. I pray God to bless you all and restore you to your full strength and Spirits. But you must ride a little every day.

I am your ever affectionate

J. A.3

I wish Mr Porter to cart the Manure from the yard up the Hill, for planting next Spring, as soon as possible.4

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

1JA and William Smith Shaw departed Quincy on the 12th for Philadelphia. After stops in Eastchester, N.Y., and New York City, they arrived in Philadelphia on 23 November. While visiting Gov. Increase Sumner, JA learned of Rear Adm. Horatio Nelson’s defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile. Rumors of Nelson’s victory were reported in the Boston press throughout mid-October and confirmed in Russell’s Gazette, 12 Nov.: “Anticipation has proved the precursor of Truth :— FOR BUONAPARTE HAS BEEN DEFEATED BY THE ARABS;—AND HIS FLEET CAPTURED BY ADMIRAL NELSON” (Boston Russell’s Gazette, 15, 18, 22 Oct., 15 Nov.; JA to AA, [22] Nov.; Shaw to AA, 25 Nov., both below).

2John Flagg (1731–1809) was the proprietor of Flagg’s Tavern in Weston, Mass. (D. Hamilton Hurd, comp., History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, 3 vols., Phila., 1890, 1:504; Boston Commercial Gazette, 16 Jan. 1809).

3JA wrote a second letter to AA of the same date, reporting his arrival at George Williams’ tavern in Marlborough, Mass., after socializing with several acquaintances, who inquired after AA’s health. He also discussed Nelson’s victory in Egypt and Joseph Bradley Varnum’s reelection to Congress (Adams Papers).

4The postscript was written vertically in the left margin.

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