To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Washington, D.C.        24 December 1800

    My dear—

    [. . . .]

    I anticipate a Letter from home this evening—I cant yet expect you will be the writer—for when the Doctor [Aaron Porter] wrote, you had been out of bed but twice; & tho he considered you out of danger, yet you must be too feeble to take pen to write a Letter—

    Yesterday Congress adjourned to next Tuesday—This was because of Christmas, which in this part of the Country is celebrated by some as a day of devotion & others as a season of festive hilarity—And there being but very little business before us, or perhaps an indisposition to do much in the present moment of expectation & disappointment respecting the future President.

    Hitherto I have taken no excurtion from the city, except once to George town to dine at the invitation of Mr. [John] Templeman; of which I gave you some account at the time—and since I have heard of your illness my inclination to ride into the Country is greatly diminished. I dont know that I shall even go down to Mount Vernon to see Mrs. [Martha] Washington—I have met with no incidents that tend to improve my opinion of this part of America—but all the little events and local circumstances that fall under my observation greatly enhance my contentedness with my allotment in Life—

    I told you in my last that I had recieved no information of the situation of our family since I left home—I hope Mr. Jordan, or some other person keeps a school in Town—I feel anxious for George—He is more in the way of danger than any of the Children—Sally reads pretty well, & a little practice will give her a good hand in writing—Encourage her to write me once a week, & to be particular—George too would make me very happy by a Letter with information of all out-door-matters!1

    I remain with much anxiety for your full recovery, your most affectionate

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked. Omitted text admits his recent dereliction in sending money home, “But you are among friends, I trust they will not let you suffer.”