John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia March 7. 1777
I am returned in tolerable Health to this Town—have received but one Letter from you since I left you, that which you sent by Mr. Rice.1
If you send Letters to Coll. Warren, or your Unkle Smith, they will be conveyed, with safety. I hope the Post Office will be upon a better footing soon.
An Army is gathering in the Jerseys. They have frequent Skirmishes, and the Enemy generally come off second best.—Whether We shall stay long here is uncertain. If We remove it will not be far.
This will go by Dr. Jackson one of the Managers of the Lottery. I hope it will find you all well.
I conjecture you have cold Weather and snow enough. We had at Baltimore last Saturday and Sunday a deep Snow and very sharp frost, such as froze over the Susquehannah, and obliged Us to ride up 15 miles, to cross the River at Bald fryars.2 We found a deep snow all the Way to this Place.
Maryland and Pensilvania, have at last compleated their Governments. Mr. Johnson is Governor of the first and Thomas Wharton Jur. of the other.
The Delaware State too have finished theirs. Mclnlay is Governor.3 They have also chosen new Delegates to Congress. So have S. Carolina—so has Pensilvania. So has Maryland.
There is indeed every where a more chearfull Face upon Things than there was.
Our national Revenue is now the most delicate and important Object We have to regulate. If this could be put upon a proper footing, We should be happy.
Money comes in fast upon Loan, which is one great Step—but We must take others.
I sent you from Baltimore, by Captn. Harden, to the Care of your Unkle a Barrell of Burr flour.4 I hope it will not be taken, but you know I am not lucky in trade.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams’s Braintree favoured by Dr. Jackson. To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen street Boston.”
2. Just south of the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary, near the present Conowingo. See James Lovell’s MS map reproduced as an illustration in this volume. JA’s companion was William Whippie, a New Hampshire delegate. They had left Baltimore on 2 March and had arrived in Philadelphia on the 5th; see JA’s Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:253, 257.
3. The first governor of the State of Maryland was Thomas Johnson (whose niece, Louisa Catherine, daughter of Joshua Johnson, was to marry JQA in 1797; see Adams Genealogy). After great difficulty in organizing the government under the new constitution, Thomas Wharton Jr. had on 4 March been elected president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Delaware’s chief executive officer was also called a president, and the first to hold the post was Dr. John McKinly.
4. Flour ground with burr-stones (see OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends ), which were the best kind of millstones and produced “superfine” flour. The flour and barrel, bought from the Purviances, cost JA £2 13s. 1d. Pennsylvania currency; see his Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:253, 256. Isaac Smith reported its arrival in Boston in a letter to JA of 22 March, below.