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I HAVE three I of your favors before me. One of May 7, another of May 9, and a third of May 14th. The last has given me relief from many anxieties. It relates wholly to private affairs, and contains such an account of wise and prudent management, as makes me very happy. I begin to be jealous, that our neighbors will think affairs more discreetly conducted in my absence, than at any other time. Whether your suspicions concerning a letter under a marble cover are just or not, it is best to say little about it It is a hasty,* hurried thing, and of no great consequence, calculated for a meridian at a great distance from New England. If it has done no good, it will do no harm. It has contributed to set people thinking upon the subject, and in this respect has answered its end. The manufacture of governments having, since the publication of that letter, been as much talked of, as that of saltpetre was before.
I rejoice at your account of the spirit of fortification, and the good effects of it I hope, by this time, you are in a tolerable posture of defence. The in habitants of Boston have done themselves great honor by their laudable zeal, the clergymen, especially.
I think you shine as a stateswoman of late, as well as a farmeress. Pray where do you get your maxims of state ? They are very apropos. I am much obliged to Judge Gushing and his lady for their polite visit to you. I should be very happy to see him, and con verse with him about many things, but cannot hope for that pleasure very soon. The afiairs of America are in so critical a state, such great events are struggling into birth that I must not quit this station at this time. Yet I dread the melting heats of a Philadelphia summer, and know not how my frail constitution will endure it. Such constant care, such incessant application of mind, drinking up and exhausting the finer spirits, upon which life and health so essentially depend, will wear away a stronger man than I am. Yet I will not shrink from this danger or this toil. While my health shall be such, that I can discharge, -in any tolerable manner, the duties of this important post, I will not desert it.
I am pleased to hear that the superior court is to sit at Ipswich in June. This will contribute to give stability to the government, I hopc^ift all its branches. But I presume other steps will be taken for this purpose. A Governor, and Lieutenant Governor, I hope, will be chosen, and the Constitution a little more fixed. I hope too, that the council will, this year, be more full, and augmented by the addition of good men. I hope Mr. Bowdoin will be Governor, if his health will permit, and Doctor Winthrop, Lieutenant Governor. These are wise, learned and prudent men. The first has a great fortune and wealthy connexions. The other has the advantage of a name and family which is much reverenced, besides his personal abilities and virtues, which are very great. ;
Our friend, I I sincerely hope, will not refuse his appointment. For although I have ever thought that bench should be filled from the bar, and once labored successfully to effect it, yet as the gentlemen have seen fit to decline, I know of no one who would do more honor to the station, than my friend. None would be so agreeable to me, whether I am to sit by him or before him. I suppose it must be disagreeable to him and his lady, because he loves to be upon his farm, and they both love to be together. But you must tell them of a couple of their friends, who are as fond of living together, who are obliged to sacrifice their rural amusements and domestic happiness to the requisitions of the public.
The Generals, Washington, Gates and Mifllin are all here, and we shall derive spirit, unanimity and vigor from their presence and advice. I hope you will have some general officers at Boston soon. I am, with constant wishes and prayers for your health and prosperity, forever yours.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841