John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 15 May 1777

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[Philadelphia], 15 May, 1777.

GENERAL WARREN writes me that my farm never looked better than when he last saw it, and that Mrs. was likely to outshine all the farmers. I wish I could see it. But I can make allowances. He knows the weakness of his friend's heart, and that nothing flatters it more than praises bestowed upon a certain lady. I am suffering every day for want of my farm to ramble in. I have been now for near ten weeks in a drooping, disagreeable way, constantly loaded with a cold. In the midst of infinite noise, hurry and bustle, I lead & lonely, melancholy life, mourning the loss of all the charms of life, which are my family, and all the amusements that I ever had in life, which is my farm. If the warm weather, which is now coming on, should not cure my cold, and make me better, I must come home. If it should, and I should get tolerably comfortable, I shall stay and reconcile myself to the misery I here suffer, as well as I can. I expect that I shall be chained to this oar until my constitution both of mind and body are totally destroyed and rendered wholly useless to myself and family for the remainder of my days.

However, now we have got over the dreary, dismal, torpid winter, when we had no army, not even three thousand men to protect us against all our enemies, foreign and domestic, and now we have got together a pretty respectable army, which renders us tolerably secure against both, I doubt not we shall be able to persuade some gentleman or other in the Massachusetts to vouchsafe to undertake the dangerous office of delegate to Congress. However, I will neither whine nor croak. The moment our affairs are in a prosperous way and a little more out of doubt, that moment I become a private gentleman, the respectful husband of the amiable Mrs. A., of B., and the affectionate father of her children, two characters which I have scarcely supported for these three years past, having done the duties of neither.

Author:
John Adams

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