Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
I write to you, my dear sister, not from the disputed banks of the Potomac, the Susquehanna, or the Delaware, but from the peaceful borders of the Hudson ; a situation where the hand of nature has so lavishly displayed her beauties, that she has left scarcely any thing for her handmaid, art, to perform. The house in which we reside is situated upon a hill, the avenue to which is interspersed with forest trees, under which a shrubbery rather too luxuriant and wild has taken shelter, owing to its having been deprived by death, some years since, of its original proprietor, who kept it in perfect order. In front of the house, the noble Hudson rolls his majestic waves, bearing upon its bosom innumerable small vessels, which are constantly forwarding the rich products of the neighbouring soil to the busy hand of a more extensive commerce. Beyond the Hudson rises to our view the fertile country of the Jerseys, covered with a golden harvest, and pouring forth plenty like the cornucopia of Ceres. On the right hand, an extensive plain presents us with a view of fields covered with verdure, and pastures full of cattle. On the left, the city opens upon us, intercepted only by clumps of trees, and some rising ground, which serves to heighten the beauty of the scene, by appearing to conceal a part. In the back ground, is a large flower-garden, enclosed with a hedge and some very handsome trees. On one side of it, a grove of pines and oaks fit for contemplation.
" In this path How long soe'er the wanderer roves, each step Shall wake fresh beauties ; each last point present A different picture, new, and yet the same."
If my days of fancy and romance were not past, I could find here an ample field for indulgence ; yet, amidst these delightful scenes of nature, my heart pants for the society of my dear relatives and friends who are too far removed from me. I wish most sincerely to return and pass the recess of Congress at my habitation in Braintree ; but the season of the year, to which Congress has adjourned, renders the attempt impracticable. Although I am not the only person who questions their making a Congress again until April, yet the punctuality of Mr. Adams to all public business would oblige him strictly to adhere to the day of adjournment, however inconvenient it might prove to him. He has never been absent from his daily duty in Senate a single hour from their first meeting ; and the last month's business has pressed so hard, that his health appears to require a recess.
Shall I ask my sister why she has not written me a line since I came to this place ? With regard to myself, I own I have been cautious of writing. I know that I stand in a delicate situation. I am fearful of touching upon political subjects ; yet, perhaps, there is no person who feels more interested in them. And, upon this occasion, I may congratulate my country upon the late judicial appointments, in which an assemblage of the greatest talents and abilities are united which any country can boast of; gentlemen in whom the public have great confidence, and who will prove durable pillars in support of our government.
Mr. Jefferson is nominated for Secretary of State in the room of Mr. Jay, who is made Chief Justice. Thus have we the fairest prospect of sitting down under our own vine in peace, provided the restless spirit of certain characters, who foam and fret, is permitted only its hour upon the stage, and then shall no more be heard of, nor permitted to sow the seeds of discord among the real defenders of the faith.
Your affectionate sister,
- Letters of Mrs. Adams, The Wife of John Adams With an Introductory Memoir by Her Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1840