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Abigail Adams to John Adams, 20 February 1799

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Quincy [ca. 20] Feb’ry 17991

my dearest Friend

I cannot say that I write you from my Solitude, for who can call themselves Solitary, when in the society and company of a beloved son, who has been long absent, and who returns to his native Land, with a plentifull supply of the flowers and fruits which he has judiciously selected, from the various Countries into which he has traveld.

he appears very happy surrounded by the Books in the little habitation which accommodates him to his wishes: I wish he could reconcile him self to the Idea of trying his talants in this state, & commence his profession here in this Town. it might be Some time before he would acquire buisness sufficient to support him, but with the prospect of being driven away by the Pestilence, or falling a sacrifice to it, in Philadelphia I think the latter evil greater than the former. yet I must leave him to his own judgment; after having laid before him the advantages & disadvantages. he thinks his Brother will Settle in Boston, and that they may interfeer with one an others buisness—

yesterday we had a fall of snow sufficient for sleying. I have received an invitation to the Ball in honour of Gen’ll Washington, but my health is so precarious, and sufferd such a shock last Summer, that I am obliged to be very circumspect and cautious in all my movements. Thomas will go, and that will be sufficient; I want excercise which will circulate my Blood regularly, and the winter has been such that I have not been able to take much— I hope to ride more & to walk in the spring—

Mr Porter has carried all the manure upon the Hill which could be got up, that in the yard is so frozen that it cannot be got up.—

Let me know whether I may expect you in March, or whether you go to Washington?2

Love to William to whom I will write if I can

yours affectionatly

A Adams

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs A. Feb. 1799.”

1The dating of this letter is based on the 21 Feb. Boston ball celebrating George Washington’s birthday, for which see TBA to JA, 1 March, and note 2, below.

2JA wrote to AA on 18 Feb. and said that official business would keep him in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future, adding that he would soon send her grass seed and authorizing Cotton Tufts to draw on him for funds (Adams Papers).

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