John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 2 February 1795


Philadelphia, 2 February, 1795.


THIS morning I received your favor of the 21st of January. I am sure your people do a great deal of work, so don t be concerned. I am very well satisfied with your agricultural diary.

The venerable governor made the best speech he ever made, but the old leven ferments a little in it. I wonder you had not received two letters from T., which I enclosed to you. I now enclose you one from Mr. Jay, which shows that our sons were arrived in Holland, and had passed through their ceremonies at the Hague, and gone to Amsterdam to look, as I sup pose, after the imprudent Van Staphorst and American money in his hands.

The enclosed postscript to Dunlap will show you that the expectation of a treaty hourly to arrive, will not allow me to leave my chair till the fourth of March. I shall be charged with deserting the President, forsaking the Secretary of State, betraying my friend Jay, abandoning my post, and sacrificing my country to a weak attachment to a woman, and a weaker fondness for my farm, if I quit at this moment. So, be thou thankful alone, that thou hast a good husband here, that thy children are safe and in honor in Europe, and that thy daughter has given thee a fine grand-daughter; besides innumerable blessings to thy country. I will be thankful and joyous here all alone.

We momently expect the treaty ; but it may not arrive this month. When it does, I expect to see wry faces as well as smiling ones. Perhaps much debate may take place. Let us know what it is first, however, before we oppose, or criticise, or applaud, or approve. Your son John says it is better than war. That is all I know about it.

Tenderly adieu.

John Adams

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