To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    New York City        26 January 1788


    How, my dear, can you think it possible that I should ever forget home; or become less happy there than any where else?1 This can never take place—you may banish every suggesting thought of the kind—my attachments for home are too great to be overcome by any length of absence. I ever did, & still continue to, look for happiness in vain but in a domestic Life—here, my Love, I have found it—And here only shall I ever be happy—My being in this City six months will be only a Lesson to improve and enjoy, with a keener relish, the sweets of a domestic Life—In a short time I shall return to you and the two little sweet children; and you will see no change or alteration in me that will ever remind you of my having been gone out of your sight—

    I shall immediately take possession of my old place in the low chair, with my feet well braced against the wall—If I should talk less than usual, you must not blaim me, nor attribute it to coldness, indifference or from being absent, for I have often told you as I grow old I expect to talk less and less. I have long since seen this habit increase and I think you will percieve it more & more—

    My general manner of spending my time in this place has not even the least tendency to diminish my relish for home, or create an undue attachment for continuing here—

    Except what time I am engaged for the public (which hitherto has been but very little of my time), and making or recieving some formal visits to members of Congress I am in my own chamber—here my book and my pen engage my time and attention—Since I have fully recovered from the Small pox I have studied more hours in a day, take one with another, than I ever have did in a winter at home. I have never been a quarter of a mile from my Lodgings except when I rode with Mr. [Rufus] King2—But am every day more and more attached to a Book—

    Your last letter dated January the 10th. I recieved on wednesday evening—it was exceedingly pleasing as it brought me agreeable accounts from my dear family; and because you therein assured me that you will write me every week—This is what I want from all my Friends—And I will answer as many of them as I can if possible as often—You and Tempy [Temperance Hedge], it seems, want to know how I dressed my hair when I dine with great <lined out> men, as you call some people—This, my dear, is a secret not to be communicated either to dear little wives, or pretty little Girls—

    You will please to remember me to all my Friends—Tell them I wish them health and happiness.

    Once more embrace the two Innocents for their pappa dont let them forget him—Tell Silas [Lee] if he steals little Sallys fillial affections from her pappa, I shall certainly quarrell with him3—I value them more than the whole world—except hers, whose most affectionate husband I am

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    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked.