John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 16 June 1776

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[Philadelphia], 16 June, 1776.

YESTERDAY was to me a lucky day, as it brought me two letters from you. One dated May 27, and the other June 3d. Don't be concerned about me, if it happens now and then, that you Don't hear from me for some weeks together. If anything should injure my health materially, you will soon hear of it. But I thank God, I am in much better health than I expected to be. But this cannot last long under the load that I carry. When it becomes too great for my strength, I shall ask leave to lay it down, and come home. But I will bold it out a good while yet, if I can.

I wish our uncle had as much ambition, as he has virtue and ability. A deficiency of ambition is as criminal and injurious as an excess of it. Tell him I say so. How shall we contrive to make so wise and good a man ambitious ? Is it not a sin lo be so modest? Ask him how he can answer it? Thanks for your quotation from Sully. It is extremely apropos. I am very glad you are so well provided with help. Give my respects to Mr. Belcher and his family. Tell him I am obliged to him for his kind care of the farm. I wish I could go out with him, and see the business go on, but I can t. Thank your father and my mother for their kind remembrance of me. Return my duty to both. Charles's young heroism charms me. Kiss him. Poor Mugford, I yet glorious Mugford ! How beautiful and sublime it is to die for one's country ! What a fragrant memory remains !

The rumor you heard of General Gates will prove premature. I endeavoured both here and with the General to have it so," and should have succeeded, if it had not been for the loss of General Thomas. Cruel small pox ! worse than the sword ! But now, I fear we must part with Gates for the >.ike of Canada. Mrs. Montgomery is a lady, like all the family, of refined sentiments and elegant accomplishments. Her letter, as you quote it, is very pathetic. I rejoice to hear that the enemy have not fortified ; and hope they will not be suffered to attempt it.

Don t think about my clothes. I do well enough in that respect. As to your house at Boston, do with it as you please. Sell it, if you will, hut not for a farthing less than it cost me. Let it, if you please, but take care who your tenant is, both of his prudence to preserve the house, and his ability to pay the rent, I send you all the news in the papers. Great things are on the tapis. These throes will usher in the birth of a fine boy. We have no thoughts of removing from hence. There is no occasion for it.

Author:
John Adams

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