To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        12 June 1798

    Every thing here indicates the strong apprehension of an approaching war—The several companies of foot & Horse turn out morning and evening to exercise themselves—an uncommon spirit & determination reign through all classes & ages—The children, even in petticoats, have caught the flame, & begin to march about [the] street with wooden Guns & a little Drum—Uniforms & cockades are exposed to view at every shop & window—

    As there is a time and season for every purpose under the Heavens,1 & since all peaceable overtures are rejected—the Salvation of the Country depends on union, & resolution to keep the neutral Ground which the Government has taken—The moment we are unable to maintain this we cease to be an independent nation—At present I feel no alarms at the event—I am willing my sons should become soldiers—that they may be citizens—

    Yesterday I recieved the profile of our dear baby [Anner Lewis], it is a beauty—every one sais it looks like her daddy—The old story on such cases—It hurts me that she is growing up before I can see her—That delicious period of childhood, most pleasing to me, will be passed or nearly passed by the time I shall see her—When they are eight or nine months old they begin to have pleasures and motions of their own—they are too big to be kissed—I lament my absence at this time, on this account as well as many others—But I hope to be at home in a month or six weeks at the furthest—perhaps before—Keep as many of the children to school & meeting as you can—Two of them I hope are accommodated with a dancing master—

    Why cant you prevail on Mrs. [Sarah Barrell] Keating to tarry with you till I return—she will be excellent company? I hope she will—

    Inclosed is a ten dollar Bill—If I dont forward you money fast enough—Tell me so & I will send more—

    Kiss all the dear children—& tell them I am always thinking of them—

    Yours. most affectionately

    * * *

    ALS, TFP