To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        8 May 1798

    My dear—

    I have recieved yours of the 29th April, & I can assure you I have thought much of the subject of our twelve years seperation; but do not well see how it could have been prevented—And I begin to think it will not continue much longer—Indeed I have pretty much made up my mind—

    I am sensible of the immence charge you have on your mind in governing so large a family of children, but feel pretty easy on the score of their being well taken care of—Philips writes well, & according to his own account cyphers well enough for a boy of his age—In a year or two he must make an election of some mode of Business for life—And I trouble myself but little what business he makes choice of—We will do all we can to make him steady, and attentive to whatever he engages in, this is all that is necessary to make him a usefull & happy man—

    The same we will do with all the others—Great changes are constantly taking place among those the best educated in riches & affluence, & the changes are nine times out of ten for the worse—Learn a young man or woman to depend wholly on themselves—& all the changes of fortune that can befall them must be for their ease & comfort—

    I send you the fourteenth number of the weekly magazine1—If there are any numbers omitted, write me word in your next Letter that I may procure them—For I begin to think we shall be about adjourning by the time I get an answer to this Letter—Yet unexpected events may turn up that will protract the Session—

    I never wanted to get home more than at this time—every day seems a month—The children & especially the dear baby are always before my mind—Kiss them all, & be assured

    I shall make all possible haste to be with you & them—

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked.