To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        24 March 1798

    My dear—

    You must not permit the reluctance with which Philips goes to his book [to] be an argument against his talents & future figure in Life—A boy with good strong limbs, healthy constitution and a clear head to engage in frolicks, journeys and other enterprises of such a nature is not to be despaired of—Philips is honest, & possesses a pretty quick sense of propriety of conduct—There is no danger of him; he will work up very well in some social relation or other of Society—Tis almost indifferent to me whether our children get connected with the Farmers, the Mechanics, the Merchants the Sailors, the Army or the Navy—All I wish of them is to be capable of acting well the part they take in society—honesty, sobriety, temperance & perseverance are the true qualities to make a man of consequence—A shoe maker, or Barber are as honourable stations in a free Government as the Clergyman or the Statesman—whilst he who can honestly get the most money will in every bodys estimation be the cleverest fellow—

    I have recieved yours of the eleventh instant—I have had many fears in my mind relative to the effect the frost may have on the Kitchin part of the House; A man cannot think of every thing necessary in building a house the first time he undertakes it—I now am convinced there ought to have been a celler under the whole of the new part—& the walls laid below the frost—because this is not the case—we shall be much incommoded by the heaving & twisting of the various parts of the building by the Frost—And at present my sagacity does not suggest a remidy—

    [. . . .]

    I shall write to Philips in a few days—My time is considerably taken up—

    Yours most affectionately

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford, franked. Omitted text relates to household finances.