To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Suffield, Connecticut        25 November 1798

    My dear

    We reached this place last evening about six oClock, after two days very agreeable sleighing from Boston—I never passed so far on my way to Philadelphia this time of year with so much convenience to myself as I have now—Tho it has been very cold I am too well guarded to feel it—I have wished many times that Brother [Prentiss] Mellen & Wife had been with us—thus far, had they been at Boston when we started, they would have got on with ease—Except the way to Weston [Massachusetts] we have not been crouded in the Stage—Your brother the Doctor [Samuel Savage] came as far as where Mr. Woodward formerly lived, & there went on foot over to the old house—

    This place is eighteen miles short of Hartford; but the course of the Stage is such that we could get no farther till monday—Travling is more strictly forbidden in Connecticut than in our State1—And this afternoon, (for I have been at meeting the whole day) the Minister read a proclamation from the Legislature calling upon Officers, Ministers and people to observe the Sabbath—The Minister, who is a good preacher, in the afternoon gave us a sermon on the holiness of the Sabbath—his text was taken from the third verse of the second chapter of Genesis—He did well—And had he been a Jew preaching to his own nation his discourse could not have been avoided—But as we christians do not keep the seventh day, nor consider the fourth command literally binding upon us, he ought to have given some reason for our keeping the first day instead of the seventh—or shewn that the seventh has been repealed—

    We shall go on in the morning, & breckfast at Hartford—but I fear it will not be in my power to stop at Mr. Hudsons2— [. . . .] The Sleighing is not so good this way as when we left Boston. I expect we shall be obliged to take wheels to morrow—unless we find the Snow increases—

    I begin to think of a thousand things that I ought to have said but coming away in the hurry of Court they sliped my recollection—Particularly I wished to have injoined it upon you to see the fires are take[n] care of nights—I fear, when Nabby leaves you, they will be left to Betsey [Witham]; who has not experience enough to see to that important matter—I have many times been into the kitchen after they were all gone to bed, & noticed the fire was not well covered up. It should be an established rule to keep ashes on the hearth to cover all the coals & what brans [firebrands] are on fire—otherwise the fire may snap into the floor—& then all is gone—& you & the family turned into the Snow—

    [. . . .]

    Adieu, probably I shall write you again from the City of New York—

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. The letter was not posted immediately, since “on enquiring I found the postage would come to half a dollar—a sum I thought you would not like to pay at a time when money is scarce—and growing scarcer” (GT to SST, 3 Dec. 1798, TFP). Because members’ franking privileges only applied to letters posted to or from the seat of government, this letter was enclosed and franked with GT’s next letter to SST, written from Philadelphia on 3 December. Omitted text relates to the Mellens’ travel plans to Hartford, and instructions for the purchase of salt hay (for cattle) and cheese.