To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    New York City        16 September 1788


    My dear—

    I want to see our little Sally in her brothers Coach; tho’ it was sent to him by his Grand-papa [Samuel Phillips Savage], he ought to give it entirely to his Sister, and all the use he should make of it is to be permitted to the honour of pulling it about when she is in it—I am, in general, against childrens having play-things, excepting such as have a tendency to cultivate the temper and disposition which will render them amiable when when they shall come to years of manhood—Therefore a Coach for a boy can be of no use—a sled would be much better; and indeed without particular instruction they would both be put to the same use by them—that is, to hall wood, stone &c &c The idea of Phillips geting into a little Coach & halled about by Charles, is abhorrent to every notion I ever formed of the treatment I wish him to recieve—He ought to be sensible of no pleasures but what are of his own procuring—& result from his activity—I should therefore have no objection to his halling his Sister in his Coach, if he were able, to the Falls—but must enter a caveat to his ever geting in it himself—

    The passions and Affections of children good & bad are first drawn forth towards their earliest playmates—And hence it is that brothers and sisters are frequently not very tender of one another till it becomes the effect of reason and instruction—Because playing together in infancy and childhood their wishes are often placed upon the same objects that cannot for the time admit of mature enjoyment—This makes each look upon the other as its enemy and gives rise to anger and revenge—But the skillfull Tutor will prevent these early evils by such an arrangement of things and direction of the tender minde as will make their pleasures result from different Toys, or such an use of them as will rather conspire to enhance, than interupt each other’s happiness—Let it be Phillips’ pleasure to draw his sister about in his coach—and her’s to ride, and harmony will rain between them—

    You say they appear “perfectly happy with each other”—This is an happy presage, which under their mamma’s direction and her amiable disposition I doubt not will ripen, in due time, and become the source of much joy to us both—

    You may wonder at my adopting Phillips instead instead of Sam—’Tis because I dislike the term Sam, or Sammy—And wish you and the rest of the family would agree to use Phillips or Savage—for the future—But I submit it to your choice and discretion, and am

    your affectionate husband

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    ALS, TFP