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YESTERDAY I dined with Captain Richards, the gentle man who made me the present of the brass pistols. We had cherries, strawberries and green peas in plenty. The fruits are three weeks earlier here, than with you. Indeed, they are a fortnight earlier on the east, than on the west side of Delaware river. We have hadgreen peas this week past, but they were brought over the river, from New Jersey, to this market. There are none grown in the city, or on the west side of the river yet. The reason is, the soil of New Jersey is a warm sand ; that of Pennsylvania a cold clay. So much for peas and berries.
Now for something of more importance. In all the correspondence I have maintained, during a course of twenty years, at least, that I have been a writer of letters, I never kept a single copy. This negligence and inaccuracy has been a great misfortune to me on many occasions. I have now purchased a folio book, in the first page of which, excepting one blank leaf, I am writing this letter, and intend to write all my letters to you in it, from this time forward. This will be an advantage to me in several respects. In the first place, I shall write more deliberately. In the second place, I shall be able, v at all times, to review what I have written. Third, I shall know how often I write. Fourth, I shall discover by this means, whether any of toy letters to you miscarry. If it were possible for me to find a conveyance, I would send you such another blank book as a present, that you might begin the practice at the same time, for I really think that your letters are much better worth preserving than mine. Your daughter and sons will very soon write so good hands, that they will copy the letters for you from your book, which will improve them, at the same time that it relieves you.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841