To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        4 December 1797

    11 p.m.

    My dear—

    I will set up a few moments longer than I intended, & write you a line or two least something or other should prevent me, in the morning, & I let slip another mail as I did the last—

    I have just compleated, for the press, a little piece, of aboute sixty pages of the size of this Letter, in defence of Unitarianism1—I begun it last tuesday evening—since which time I have attended the House every moment of its seting—made one committee—attended two evening[s] a vendue from six to nine oClock, & read an octavo-volume of four hundred pages—besides two or three news papers each day—and writing four Letters—Am I an idler?

    I fear the hurry I was in when I wrote you last did not permit me to be so particular in my directions about the fireplace, as I ought to be—therefore let me add a short appendix to that Letter if you should not have acted upon it before this reaches you—

    The mantle-piece we all thought was rather too high, & I think to let it down the thickness of one brick will not be enough—I would have another piece of iron put in just the wedth of a brick below the old one—& then by filling up the space by with a brick, set in wedth-ways, it will by its thinness be less liable to impede the smoke in its ascent—And the mantle-piece then will not be two low—I am persuaded, with this amendment, it will prove equal to a stove, both for carrying smoke & emiting the heat freely—

    It is the dullest time here for news, or any thing to animate the spirits I ever knew. Congress is as quiet & tranquill as a flock of sheep—There is not only no political quarrells; but really, except one day, nothing has occured that we could dispute about—One day last week a petition from some Quakers, in behalf of the negroes held in Slavery, gave occasion, for about three hours, of a little spouting2

    The weather here is called very cold—And I confess to day & this evening it has felt something like our climate: but I keep my chamber well warmed—A warm fire, & nobody to disturb me are the outward means of my comfort—farewell—

    your affectionate

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    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford, franked.