John Adams Letters document,


Baltimore, 15 February, 1777.

MR. HALL, by whom this letter will be sent, will carry several letters to you, which have been written and delivered to him several days. He has settled his business agreeably. I have not received a line from the Massachusetts since I left it Whether we shall return to Philadelphia soon or not, I cannot say. I rather conjecture it will not be long. You may write to me, in Congress, and the letter will be brought me wherever I shall be.

I am settled now, agreeably enough, in my lodgings. There is nothing in this respect that lies uneasily upon my mind, except the most extravagant price which I am obliged to give for every thing. My constituents will think me extravagant, but I am not. I wish I could sell or send home my horses, but I can not. I must have horses and a servant, for Congress will be likely to remove, several times, in the course of the ensuing year. I am impatient to hear from you, and most tenderly anxious for your health and happiness. I am also most affectionately solicitous for my dear children, to whom remember Yours.

We long to hear of the formation of a new army. We shall lose the most happy opportunity of destroying the enemy this spring if we do not exert ourselves instantly. We have from New Hampshire a Colonel Thornton, a physician by profession, a man of humor. He has a large budget of droll stories with which he entertains company perpetually. I heard, about twenty or five and twenty years ago, a story of a physician in Londonderry, who accidentally met with one of our New England enthusiasts, called exhortors. The fanatic soon began to examine the Doctor concerning the articles of his faith and what he thought of origin al sin. " Why," says the Doctor, " I satisfy myself about it in this manner. Either original sin is divisible or indivisible. If it is divisible, every descend ant of Adam and Eve must have a part and the share which falls to each individual at this day is so small a particle that I think it is not worth considering. If indivisible, then the whole quantity must have descended in a right line, and must now be possessed by one person only ; and the chances are millions and millions and millions to one, that that person is now in Asia or Africa, and thai I have nothing to do with it." I told Thornton the story, and that I suspected him to be the man. He said he was. He belongs to Londonderry.

John Adams