John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 1 October 1776


1 October, 1776.

Since I wrote the foregoing, I have not been able to find time to write you a line. Although I can not write you so often as I wish, you are never out of my thoughts. I am repining at my hard lot in being torn from you much oftener than I ought. I have often mentioned to you the multiplicity of my engagements, and have been once exposed to the ridicule and censure of the world for mentioning the great importance of the business which lay upon me ; and if this letter should ever see the light, it would be again imputed to vanity that I mention to you how busy I am. But I must repeat it by way of apology for not writing you oftener. From four o clock in the morning until ten at night, I have not a single moment which I can call my own. I will not say, that I expect to run distracted, to grow melancholy, to drop in an apoplexy or fall into a consumption ; but I do say, it is little less than a miracle, that one or other of these misfortunes has not befallen me before now.

Your favors of 15th, 20th, and 23d September, are now before me. Every line from you gives me inexpressible pleasure, but it is a great grief to me that I can write no oftener to you. There is one thing which excites my utmost indignation and contempt. I mean the brutality with which people talk to you of my death. I beg you would openly affront every man, woman, or child, for the future, who mentions any such thing to you, except your relations and friends, whose affections you cannot doubt. I expect it of all my friends, that they resent, as affronts to me, every repetition of such reports.

I shall enclose to you Governor Livingston's speech. The most elegant and masterly ever made in America. Depend upon it, the enemy cannot cut off the communication. I can come home when I will. They have New York and this is their ne plus vitro.

John Adams

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