Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 20 October 1818

From John Adams

Quincy Octr 20. 1818

My dear Friend

one trouble never comes alone! At our ages We may expect more and more of them every day in groups, and every day less fortitude to bear them.

When I saw in Print that you was gone to the Springs, I anxiously Suspected that all was not healthy at Monticello.

you may be Surprised to hear that your favour of the 7th has given me hopes. “Imposthume, general Eruptions colliquative Sweats,” Sometimes and I believe often indicate Strength of Constitution and returning Vigour. I hope and believe they have given you a new Lease for years, many years,

your Letter which is written with your usu[a]l neatness and firmness confirms my hopes.

Now Sir, for my Griefs.! The dear Partner of my Life for fifty four years as a Wife and for many years more as a Lover now lyes, in extremis, forbidden to Speak or be Spoken to.

If human Life is a Bubble, no matter how Soon it breaks. If it is as I firmly believe an immortal Existence We ought patiently to wait the Instructions of the great Teacher.

I am, Sir, your deeply afflicted Friend

John Adams

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 205:36481); mutilated at seal, with missing text supplied from FC; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Oct. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Nathaniel Potter, 17 Jan. 1819, on verso; addressed by Susannah Boylston Adams Clark (Treadway): “Thomas Jefferson—Late President of the USA Monticello”; franked; postmarked Quincy, 21 Oct. FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers; misdated 20 Oct. 1815, but entered with 1818 correspondence in Lb).

Index Entries

  • Adams, Abigail Smith (John Adams’s wife); health of search
  • Adams, John; family of search
  • Adams, John; letters from search
  • Adams, John; on death and dying search
  • health; staphylococcus infection search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; staphylococcus infection search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Warm Springs search
  • staphylococcus; TJ infected with search
  • Warm Springs (Bath Co.); TJ visits search