To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        11 February 1800

    My dear

    While I was writing you yesterday, the door keeper laid a Letter on my table,1 & casting my eye upon it I noted the direction in a strange hand with no post mark upon it, whence I concluded it must be from some person in the City. I continued writing & having finished your Letter & sent all off to the post office, I leisurely proceeded to open my strange Letter; & to my very great surprise found it in your hand writing, dated at Portland—I suppose it came under cover to the General [Peleg Wadsworth], & as you twice speak of Josiahs crying whilst you were writing you handed it to young Jack & requested him to direct & send it with his to his Father—So much for conjecture, & of no great importance, but as it helps to lengthen out my Letter; & leads to an observation, which I request you to attend to—So long as I am intitled to a Frank of Letters directed to me, never send yours under cover to any other person—And always direct them in your own hand unless your children are too wearisom to give you time—Indeed I had rather pay common postage for a Letter than it should be handed to me through a third person—And it is the occasion of some mortification to see your Letters directed by any hand but your own—This you may call a whim—I will acknowledge it, but whims occasion as much pain and misery in this world as reality—

    We have no news here—I have heard from none of our friends at Biddeford for a considerable time; by a Letter from Mr. D[aniel]. Hooper, I ought rather to say a word, for it was much shorter than mine to you, I learn that Mr. [Jeremiah] Hill was expected at Boston on this day—to attend a Grand Masonic procession in honour of General Washington—

    Yesterday we passed a Resolution to adjourn on the first monday in April—I expect the Senate will agree to it2

    Since this month came in it has been stormy & cold, but not severe; it is now good Sleighing in the city; but the warmth & mildness of the weather will soon destroy it—

    In three or four days, after you have been at home long enough to rest & put the family in order I shall expect a long letter answering all the queries of mine yesterday3

    Yours most affectionately

    * * *

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