To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        19 May 1798

    My dear

    Yours of the 10th. which came to hand yesterday morning, informs me of the departure, on the preceeding day, of Master Philips & Miss Nancy [Bigelow], for Portland; where the young Lady I suppose was to embark for Boston—I hope soon to hear of her safe arrival, & her young Gallants return home—I am satisfied with Philips attempt to drive a carriage to Portland—There is nothing so advantageous to young men, as to begin in season to entrust their own fortune to themselves under proper regulations; they should have objects & opportunities for their judgment & discretion to act upon while the range is not so extensive as to admit of any probable evil of magnitude—In the present case I foresee nothing but a turning over of the chaise, thro carelessness, & the young couple being throw into the road to be laughed at by those who happen to see them in case no hurt befalls them—And to be pitied by all if they get a broken limb, or a bruized face—But I hope neither will happen—

    I will get Nancy whatever she may want when I get to Boston—I think it will not be a great while before I am there, tho I cannot yet set the date—

    Much uncertainty hang about our public affairs—The people far & near are sending in addresses every day, approving of the conduct of our Government & particularly of the President, towards France1—There are now about as many people who disapprove of our Government and adhere to France & French measures, as in the year seventy three & four justified the conduct of England against the measures then adopted by the several States & the first [Continental] Congress. And if France continues her rascality towards this country her friends & advocates here will very soon put themselves in the same condition the Tories were in at that period—

    I have not heard a word from any of your brothers touching the affairs of your late dear Father [Samuel Phillips Savage] & can form no conjecture of what they propose as to our Mother [Mary Meserve Savage] or Sister Lucy [Savage Bigelow]—But you may be assured I will consent to any thing for their comfort—And will do nothing but what you & they wish—Certainly I will not be the means of any suspicions among the brothers—Indeed I hope, & trust all affairs will be setled to the satisfaction of every one2—We have all of us got two thirds of the way thro Life, & it is not worth wrangling about the remainder—

    I enjoy good health; but grow more & more anxious to get home as the spring advances; In the winter season, while I am confined to a warm room, a city life is tolerable—but in warm weather I hanker after the Country as much as the graizing creatures do to get to Grass—

    What can be the reason Brother [Prentiss] Mellen should have forgot to write to me? Pray tell him I make this enquiry—

    Kiss the children, & my dear Anner a thousand times for their papa—Take good care of yourself—while I subscribe myself

    Most affectionately your

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