Adams Papers

Mary Smith Gray Otis to Abigail Adams, 3 November 1792

Mary Smith Gray Otis to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia Novr: 3d. —92

Dear Mrs Adams

It was my intention to have written to you earlier after my return than this, but have found my time very much taken up, with puting my house in order.— You will not however think me less sincere for being late in my enquieres after your health, which I am sorry to hear is not yet confirmed. Your friends here regret very much, being deprived of your society this winter and are only reconciled to it, by the consideration of its being benificial to you.— The Vice President has been anxiously expected here, at this time by his friends, & his delay is considered as an unfortunate curcumstance, as it respects himself & his country, the former consideration I know, he is too much above, the latter I trust has still some influence upon his mind.— Haveing said thus much, give me leave to adde, that I think, there is no lodging house sutable for the Vice President to be at, to be with other boarders, will not assuredly do; & there is no place that he can come to, with so much propriety as to our house, we have rooms enough and will accomodate him the best in our power.— Mr Bryslar knows all his wants, and with his assistance, I think he will be as well of as at a Boarding House.— This is not ment as a complement, but as what would give Mr Otis & myself great pleasure.—

The ladies of Congress are all here there is no addition to the number, but only Mrs Ames,1 the city begins to be gay, but they have not yet enter’d into the spirit of Card Partys

Remember me to Mrs Cranch & family love to Louisa.— And whenever you can find time to write me, you will give pleasure to / Your Affect Cous[in]

M Otis

[ca. 7 November]

Mr Otis encloses a copy of the speech & informs that Mr Lees having declined public business &, the Vice President not arrived Mr Langdon is Pres: pro tem:— Mr O encloses the Speech2 & will send the minutes the next post.3

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs: Adams / Quincy.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

1Fisher Ames had married Frances Worthington (b. 1764) of Springfield, Mass., in July after a lengthy courtship (Winfred E. A. Bernhard, Fisher Ames: Federalist and Statesman 1758–1808, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1965, p. 200–203).

2Otis emphasized this word by circling it in curlicues.

3Richard Henry Lee, the Senate’s president pro tempore, had resigned on 8 Oct.; John Langdon was elected on 5 Nov. in his place (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, 1989. description ends ). The speech enclosed (not found) was likely George Washington’s address to Congress of 6 Nov., which first appeared in print in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 7 November. On 12 Nov., Samuel Alleyne Otis wrote to JA enclosing the minutes of the proceedings of the Senate, including its response to Washington’s address (Adams Papers).

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