John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 13 December 1798


Philadelphia, 13 December, 1798.


YOUR letters of November 29, December 2 and 3, affect me very tenderly. The low spirits, effects of long and exhausting sickness are apparent ; but these are evils of a serious nature. I pray you to banish as much as possible all gloomy thoughts, and be very cautious to avoid every thing which may endanger a return of your old disorders.

To reconcile you to your fate, I have a great mind to give you a detail of mine. A peck of troubles iu a large bundle of papers, often in a hand-writing almost illegible, comes every day from the office of

, office of , office of , &c., &c., &c.

Thousands of sea letters, Mediterranean passes, and commissions and patents to sign; no company no society idle, unmeaning ceremony, follies, extravagance, shiftlessness, and health sinking, for what I know, under my troubles and fatigues. You and I seem to have arrived prematurely at the age when there is no pleasure.

All this is not the resignation of Socrates.

I cannot encourage the idea of your coming on to Philadelphia. The horrid roads, and cold, damp weather, would put an end to you. I hope our dear son will arrive and cheer you up.

I am, with unalterable affection,

J. A.

John Adams

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