To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        21 February 1797

    My dear—

    Tomorrow is the Presidents birth day, & from the preparation making at the Amphitheatre I conclude there is to be a very splendid Ball in the evening—All the members of Congress are invited, but I am not yet determined wheather I shall attend or not—The Session is near to a close, & I have several subjects I wish to study, and as wee meet at ten in the morning & set till between three & four I can get only the evening at my own disposal—After dinner & till Tea I am only calculated to chat with girls or play with children—And the evenings are becoming short—

    This morning the printer sent me a pamphlet containing two Letters by the celebrated Mr. Burk, relating to the present state of Europe, & the prospects & consequences of a general peace1—This I must read—Indeed, few subjects afford me more instruction, joined with high amusement than Essays, Letters, & Sketches of the French Revolution2

    I have before wrote you that I do not apprehend there can be much danger of America being at war with any of the Powers not now at war, tho by their extreme rancour, & jealousy of every thing that may aid their enemy, we shall suffer much loss & depredation—This, however, will be almost infinitely less than the evils of a declared open war—

    I am, my dear, your affectionate

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked; postmarked.