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John Adams to Abigail Adams, 12 January 1795

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia January 12. 1794 [1795]

My Dearest Friend

Last Week I received through Mr Izard a kind Invitation to dine with Mrs Powell, whom I had not before seen Since her Loss of Mr Powell. Yesterday I had the Pleasure of dining with her and her Brother & sister Francis with their Children and Mr & Mrs Harrison among the rest—Mr & Mrs Morris & Mr Izard—1

Mrs Powell sends many Compliments to you and regrets that she cannot enjoy your society here, which is so congenial to her own Disposition & Taste. Admires your well informed Mind, and thinks you an honour to your Sex &c &c &c

Yesterday The Weather was cold— last night We had half an Inch of Snow and to Day the Weather is colder than it has been before.

Mr Jacob Reed is chosen into our senate in the Room of Mr Izard—and is federal2

Mr Marshal is chosen for Kentucky instead of Mr Edwards—and is Said to be the best Man in the State.3 The Senate will next Year in all Probability be Sounder than it has ever been Since the Constitution commenced.—

inclosed is an History of the French Clergy.4 a biggotted Superstitious Thing—but I suppose too true. The State of France may be collected from it, better than from any other Publication I have seen.

It seems to be the Policy of the Pope and the Clergy to excite the old popular Cry against Heresy & Schism. if they Succeed there will be sanguinary Scænes of another kind— God forgive a Wicked World and reform it


RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry 12 1795.”

1For Elizabeth Willing Powel, see vol. 9:168. Powel’s sister, Anne Willing Francis, was married to Philadelphia merchant Tench Francis. The couple had five surviving children, three of whom were likely in attendance. The two youngest remained unmarried: Charles (b. 1771) and Elizabeth Powel (b. 1777). The middle daughter, Sophia Francis Harrison, was the wife of Philadelphia businessman George Harrison, for whom see vol. 9:289 (John H. Campbell, History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Phila., 1892, p. 111–112; George A. Hanson, Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore, 1876, p. 297).

2Jacob Read (1752–1816), a Charleston lawyer and politician who represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1785, was elected to the seat of retiring senator Ralph Izard and served until 1801 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989. description ends ).

3Humphrey Marshall (1760–1841) was born in Fauquier County, Va., but resettled in Kentucky County in 1782. A lawyer who served in the Ky. house of representatives from 1793 to 1794, Marshall was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from 1795 to 1801 (same).

4Originally published by Abbé Augustin Barruel as Histoire du clergé pendant la Révolution françoise, London, 1793, the first American edition was The History of the Clergy during the French Revolution, Burlington, N.J., 1794, Evans, description begins Charles Evans and others, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends No. 26621.

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