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MY DEAREST FRIEND.
YOUR dearest friend never had a more trying day than yesterday. A solemn scene it was indeed, and it was made more affecting to me by the presence of the General,whose countenance was as serene and unclouded as the day. He seemed to me to enjoy a triumph over me. Methought I heard him say, " Ay ! I am fairly out and you fairly in ! See which of us will be happiest." When the ceremony was over, he came and made me a visit, and cordially congratulated me, and wished my administration might be happy, successful, and honorable.
It is now settled that I am to go into his house. It is whispered that he intends to take French leave tomorrow. I shall write you as fast as we proceed. My chariot is finished, and I made my first appearance in it yesterday. It is simple but elegant enough. My horses are young, but clever.
In the chamber of the House of Representatives was a multitude as great as the space could contain, and I believe scarcely a dry eye but Washington's. The sight of the sun setting full orbed, and another rising, though less splendid, was a novelty. Chief Justice Ellsworth administered the oath, and with great energy. Judges Gushing, Wilson, and Iredell, were present. Many ladies. I had not slept well the night before, and did not sleep well the night after. I was unwell and did not know whether I should get through or not. I did, however. How the business was received I know not, only I have been told that Mason, the treaty publisher, said we should lose nothing by the change, for he never heard such a speech in public in his life.
All agree that, taken altogether, it was the sublimest thing ever exhibited in America. I am, my dearest friend, most affectionately and kindly yours,
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841