Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 8 December 1792

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia Decr 8. 1792

My dearest Friend

Dr Blair has resigned and Dr Green is our Chaplain, but Miss Blair is married to Mr Roberdeau the Bearer of this Letter, son of my old Friend the General.1

There is an universal and respectful Inquiry after you and your health, and as general a respect and Attention shewn to me. The Savages who shoot from the Swamps and thickets, from the Brakes and Briars from the Mud and Dirt, are all hidden Skulkers, and dare not shew their heads or make known their Names. You will know more of the Election before this reaches you than I do. It does not appear that I am born to so good Fortune as to be a mere Farmer in my Old Age, notwithstanding the kind Intentions and benevolent Endeavours of some People to excuse me from future Journeys.

Your son and your Friends are all well.

I dont know whether I have told you that I came from Hartford in the Stage, that I have given my Horses to Charles to buy Law Books.

With Affections and tenderness inexpressible at this distance I am

J. A.

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

1Rev. Ashbel Green (1762–1848), Princeton 1783, was appointed chaplain to the U.S. Congress on 5 Nov., a position he held until 1800. Green replaced Rev. Samuel Blair (1741–1818), Princeton 1760, who declined to be renominated. Both were Presbyterians (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit description begins William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit; or, Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of Various Denominations, New York, 1857–1869; 9 vols. description ends , 3:268–269, 479–486; Philadelphia General Advertiser, 6 Nov.).

Isaac Roberdeau (1763–1829), a civil and military engineer helping to lay out the new city of Washington, D.C., had married Susan Shippen Blair, Rev. Blair’s daughter, on 7 Nov. 1792 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and others, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; repr. New York, 1955–1980; 10 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 12 Nov.). For Roberdeau’s father, Gen. Daniel Roberdeau, see vol. 2:350.

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