John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 7 October 1774

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Philadelphia, 7 October, 1774.

MY DEAR,

I THANK you for all your kind favors, I wish I could write to you much oftener than I do. I wish I could write to you a dozen letters every day. But the business before me is so arduous, and takes up my time so entirely, that I cannot write often. I had the characters and tempers, the principles and views of fifty gentlemen, total strangers to me, to study, and the trade, policy, and whole interest of a dozen provinces to learn, when I came here. I have multitudes of pamphlets, newspapers, and private letters to read. I have numberless plans of policy and many arguments to consider. I have many visits to make and receive, much ceremony to endure, which cannot he avoided, which, you know, I hate.

There is a great spirit in the Congress. But our people must be peaceable. Let them exercise every day in the week, if they will; the more, the better. Let them furnish themselves with artillery, arms, and ammunition. Let them follow the maxim, which you say they have adopted, "In times of peace prepare for war." But let them avoid war if possible if possible, I say.

Mr. Revere, will bring you the doings of the Congress, who are now all around me, debating what advice to give to Boston and the Massachusetts Bay.

We are all well hope our family is so. Remember me to them all. I have advised you before, to remove my Office from Boston to Braintree. It is now, I think, absolutely necessary. Let the best care be taken of all books and papers. Tell all my clerks to mind their books and study hard, for their country will stand in need of able counsellors. I must give you a general license to make my compliments to all my friends, and acquaintances. I have not time to name them particularly. I wish they would all write to me. If they leave letters at Edes and GilPs, they will soon be sent to me.

I long to be at home, but I cannot say when. I will never leave the Congress until it rises, and when it will rise, I cannot say. And indeed I cannot say but we are bettor here than any where. We have fine opportunities Ivcre to serve Boston and Massachusetts, by acquainting the whole continent with die true state of them. Our residence here greatly serves the cause. The spirit and principles of liberty here are greatly cherished by our presence and conversation. The elections of last week prove this. Mr. Dickinson was chosen, almost unanimously, a representative of the county. The broad-brims began an opposition to your friend Mr. Mifilin, because he was too warm, in the cause. This instantly alarmed the friends of liberty, and ended in the election of Mr. Milflin by eleven hundred votes out of thirteen, and in the election of our Secretary, Mr. Charles Thomson, to be a burgess with him. This is considered here as a most complete and decisive victory in favor of the American cause. And, it is said, it will change the balance in the Legislature here against Mr. Galloway, who has been supposed to sit on the skirts of the American advocates.

Mrs. MifTlin, who is a charming Quaker girl, often inquires kindly after your health.

Adieu, my dear wife. God bless you and yours ; so wishes and prays, without ceasing,

JOHN ADAMS.

Author:
John Adams

Source:
Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841