To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        20-21 November 1797

    My dear—

    I am alone in my chamber, just come up from supper—I have one of the warmest rooms you ever saw—I wish you could keep your room as comfortable as I do mine—But that is impossible, you have too many children runing in & out every five minutes—I hate to go out of my chamber; & I verily believe I have been in it more than twenty hours in every twenty four since the day I got here1

    Last evening, sunday—I drank tea at the Presidents & spent about an hour in a very friendly, family stile—No company.2 The President Mrs. [Abigail] Adams, her niece,3 & his Secretary4—We conversed chiefly about Books—Mrs. Adams is a well informed woman—She reads much—To the knowledge she has gained from Books & Travel she joins all the domestic, family & amiable virtues—The more I am in her company the more I am pleased with her ease and conversation—

    She has yet no particular time for recieving company; but I am told that she intends to keep a drawing room, once a week—this will give me an opportunity of making two visits a week—One ceremonial, & one familiar & domestic—

    I expect to hear from you or Philips in the course of this week—I believe I wrote you that I have had one Letter from Brother [Prentiss] Mellen—A thousand things about you and the family are not half so many as I want to know—And I cant tell where, or at what to begin to put my questions—And so will drop them all till I first hear from you—

    Our weather is cold for this place & season5—We have done no business yet, because there is not a quorum of the Senate—so you see I have grand times for reading—And now I have mentioned reading I must tell you that I came from Biddeford to Philadelphia without expending more than one dollar in Books and pamphlets, & that is the most prudent journey I ever made, on this score, in my life—I swore I will be prudent in this particular—I have been here eight days & bought but one, nine penny, pamphlet, & one volume of Essays, on Education, price six & nine pence—And out of the money last sent you, if it be not all mortgaged before it reaches you, I give you full leave to buy yourself two ribbons as long as you please—What an excellent husband, I hear you exclaim!

    Two days ago I inclosed you a Receipt for Major [Jeremiah] Hill for two hundred dollars, which I hope will come safe to hand—

    Write me every thing—& believe me to be Your most affectionate

    Tuesday morning [21 November]—The streets & houses all white with snow, that fell in the night—

    The American Ministers have certainly reached Paris6

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. The letter was begun at 10 p.m.