Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 9 February 1799

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Phyl. Feb 9. 1799

My dearest Friend

I have just recd yours of Feb. 1. and thank you for the Book.— We had one before, from the Bookseller here who has them for sale.1

Dr Tufts may draw. You had better engage the Oats. French may have Belchers place. Congress will not Sitt longer than March: and I calculate upon Weeks too—But fear I shall be detained some time after Congress departs.

Last night I must needs go to the Play and had near got sick— But going to Bed with only one dish of Tea and taking a Bowl of gruel this Morning before I got up, has cured me. our Weather is too bad for exercise abroad. We had a great Rain last night, which has carried off all the snow, except the deep banks.

Before this hour Thomas has seen you.— He is fleshy and plump, but the Face is not yet ruddy. You will not persuade him to be a Braintree Attorney like his father. The Quakers or the sisters, or Brothers, or somewhat have Seized upon his Attachments and Phyladelphia must be tryed.

I cannot converse much with the Ladies because I cannot Speak a Word without Pain.— If Robespierre were to cutt off my head I should not feel half the Pain that I suffer every hour. In short I have as much cause to complain of Age as Charles Paxton or the King of Prussia, who in every Letter at my Age, says “Je suis vieux, cassé, gouteux, Mes Dents S’on vont Ma Memoire est perdue, mon Imagination est mort” &c2

Nevertheless I could be comfortable with my Wife upon my farm. Perhaps however I should see a Ghost or a Spirit.

But it is time for me to bid farewell to Politicks. The Business of my Office multiplies upon me to such a degree as to be very oppressive. I have got to the End of two Years within a few days which I did not expect to do so well as I have. Possibly I may make it out two years more.

Adieu my dearest friend / take great Care of your health.

J. A

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A”; endorsed: “J A Febry 9 / 1799.”

1Although the Philadelphia press reported plans for the Boston edition of Patriotic Addresses description begins A Selection of the Patriotic Addresses, to the President of the United States. Together with the President’s Answers, Boston, 1798, Evans, No. 33345. description ends and urged Philadelphia printers to issue a similar work, none apparently went to press (Philadelphia Gazette, 8 Aug. 1798).

2Charles Paxton served as Boston’s commissioner of customs until age 69 (JA, D&A description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 1:212).

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