John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 20 July 1776

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Philadelphia, 20 July, 1776.

THIS has been a dull day to me. I waited the arrival of the post with much solicitude and impatience, but his arrival made me more solicitous still. " To be left at the Post Office," in your handwriting on the back of a few lines from the Doctor, was all that I could learn of you and my little folks. If you were too busy to write, I hoped that some kind hand would have been found to let me know something about you. Do my friends think that I have been a politician so long, as to have lost all feeling? Do they suppose I have forgotten my wife and^children ? Or are they so panic-struck with the loss of Canada, as to be afraid to correspond with me ? Or have they forgot ten that you have a husband, and your children a father ? What have I done, or omitted to do, that I should be thus forgotten and neglected in the most tender and affecting scene of my life ? Don't mis take me. I Don't blame you. Your time and thoughts must have been wholly taken up with your own and your family's situation and necessities ; but twenty other persons might have informed me.

I suspect that you intended to have run slily through the small pox with the family, without letting me know it, and then have sent me an account that you were all well. This might be a kind intention, and if the design had succeeded, would have made me very joyous. But the secret is out. and I am left to conjecture. But as the faculty have this distemper so much under command, I will flatter myself with the hope and expectation of soon hearing of your recovery.

Author:
John Adams

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