John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 11 March 1797


Philadelphia, 11 March, 1797.


YESTERDAY only I received yours of March 1. I am surprised you should have received none from me from 11th February. I have written never less than once a week, seldom less than twice, and nine weeks out of ten three times, ever since I left you. The roads, or some irregularity of the post, must have occasioned your disappointment. I hope you will obtain Mr. Hears, but I must leave every thing to you. The load of business that now compels my attention every day is such, that I cannot think a moment about my farm. Mr. Maund writes me that he has sent me a barrel of seed oats, of a superior quality, to Boston, by a Captain Allen, who was to sail in the be ginning of March from Virginia. The family is gone. Mr. Lear and Mr. Dandridge remain, but it is a great work to arrange and clean the house. I can t get into it before the middle of next week. I hope Billings will sow the barley and grass seed well. What will become of my meadow cornfield I know not. However, I must leave that and all the rest to you, and I could not trust it better.

My aunt Vesey's death was unknown to me. I am very glad you went to the funeral. The feast that succeeded was one of those things which are not much to my taste. I am glad you went. I went too. But these things give offence to the plain people of our country upon whose friendship I have always de pended. They are practised by the elegant and the rich for their own ends, which are not always the best. If I could have my wish, there should never be a show or a feast made for the President while I hold the office. My birthday happens when Congress will never sit, so that I hope it will never be talked of. These are hints, entre nous. I am, my dearest friend,

Ever yours,


Washington has at last denounced the forged letters.

John Adams

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