To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    [Hartford, Connecticut]        [3 August 1788]

    10 a.m.

    My dear Sally—

    This is the first leisure moment I have had since I left Weston [Massachusetts]—which I will now dedicate to your & my amusement—The people are all, here, as with you, fixing out for meeting—But I am seated in the middle of a large room by the side of a Table, on which lay my Books, paper, ink &c. Here, with my book, pen & ink I propose to keep this day holy—that is in a manner that appears to me right

    It is an old saying—“that in order to know the worth of a thing we must first know the want of it”—In this manner I am fully sensible of the worth of this Sunday, as a day of Rest—For I was hardly ever more weary in my life than I was last evening when we got to this place; and tho I had a good nights Rest I am not, this morning, sufficiently refreshed, to prosecute my Journey—

    Yesterday we rode seventy miles between four and eight oClock—And the day before, about fifty—

    Yesterday I passed the time agreeably, having purchased the day before, at Worcester [Massachusetts], a small Treatise of my great favorite, Doctor [Joseph] Priestly—Tho’ we passed rapidly, & the company keept up a continual conversation in the Stage, I alternately gave them & my Book my attention—so that by this means I scarce was sensible of the journey—till I found myself much fatigued at night

    Priestly & [Jean-Jacques] Rousseaus works, you have often heard me say, I am never weary in reading—And really the more I read of them the more I am charmed with them, & in the same proportion all the other writers loose their power of giving information and amusement—

    I dined yesterday at Springfield [Massachusetts], with Brother Joseph [Savage]; he is almost a monster in magnitude—As soon as we had got within several hundred yards of his dwelling house, we discovered his belly protuberated out of the door, & we could not discover any other part of his body till we came up even with him; & we then found his body standing some way back from the door, within the entry—He was glad to see me, & enquired most tenderly after you & our dear children—He lamented that you had not come with me to Springfield, & tarried a few days—And when I told him that we had seriously thought of the journey, but omitted it because of the difficulty & disagreeableness attending your returning in the Stage without any friend or acquaintance, he assured me that would not have been a difficulty for he would most chierfully have gone with you to Weston—But as it has turned out, you would have enjoyed no pleasure in the journey; the Stage was too much crouded even for men to be comfortable—And I would never consent for a woman to go in the Stage unless unless her husband, brother, Sweet-heart or very particular friend attends her—nor then unless there are but a few passengers—

    By four in the morning we shall leave this place; but I am not yet determined whether I shall go in the Stage further than New-Haven [Connecticut]; which is about forty miles, and where we shall dine—If I conclude to take water passage from thence tis probable I may be there one day at least1—in which case I shall write you during my stay—This Letter will come by the Stage, with directions to be left at Cap. Jones—by that means it will reach you sooner, than if put into the post-office—But on recollection I think you will get it sooner by the post—Therefore I will put it in the mail—& conclude by assuring you that I [am] your most affectionate & constant husband

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. The dating is based on the dateline “Sunday morning” and Thatcher’s arrival in New York City on 6 August 1788.