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MY DEAREST FRIEND,
THE public prints announce the death of my old, esteemed friend General Roberdeau, whose virtues in heart-searching times endeared him to Philadelphia and to his country. His friendly attention to me when Congress held their sessions at Yorktown, I can never forget, and it excites a more lively interest in his loss than that of some others who have lately gone before him.
Mr. King is re-elected by the legislature of New York, by a majority of five in the house and two in the senate, in opposition to Mr. Tillotson, whom you know to have married a sister of Chancellor Livings ton. This is a great point gained. Mr. Jay, Chancellor Livingston, Mr. Burr, Mr. Yates, and Mr. Hamilton, are mentioned as successors to Governor Clinton, who has resigned, Mr. Jay, if he should not return, will not run very fast. Mr. Hamilton, it is said, will not serve. Chancellor will stand no chance, as I hear, and it is doubted whether Burr or Yates will prevail. We are still at uncertainties whether Mr. Jay, or despatches from him, will arrive before the fourth of March, which makes me still dubious whether it will be right for me to go away. I am most earnestly and ardently desirous of it, but will it do?
Mrs. Washington is very happy at present in a visit from her two granddaughters, N.'s sisters, as I suppose they are. One of them is a fine, blooming, rosy girl, who, I dare say, has had more liberty and exercise than Nelly. I dined yesterday at Mr. Morris's, whose hospitality is always precious. A company of venerable old rakes of us, threescore years of age, or a little over or a little under, sat smoking cigars, drinking Burgundy and Madeira, and talking politics till almost eleven o clock. This will do once in a great while, not often for me.
In Senate, we have no feelings this session. All is cool. No passions, no animation in debate. I never sat in any public assembly so serenely. What storm may be preparing I know not. A great calm at sea, or an uncommonly fine day at land, is called a weather-breeder. But if Jay's despatches don t arrive, we shall have no tempestuous weather this session. I wish you a pleasant thanksgiving, though I fear I shall not be with you according to my wishes.
Instead of an additional snow and a return of cold, as I hoped this morning, we have now a warm and plentiful rain, which is melting the snow and spoiling the sleighing. I hope you have more snow, more steady cold, and good sledding. The post to day brought me no letter. I don t always very sanguinely look for a letter on Thursday. I should be inconsolable on a disappointment, on Monday.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841