To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Washington, D.C.        29 December 1800

    My dear

    The letters I recieve from Sally [Thatcher] & Mr. [Prentiss] Mellen all give me encouraging tidings of your recovery—but I shall not be tranquil on this subject till I have it from your own hand—I know they keep much from me—there is no need of this caution, for my fears always drive me to the worst. And if the accounts were such as to induce a belief they keept nothing back I should be much happier—

    I want to hear how you get along with the family in your sickness?

    I have forwarded you money three times, but have no account of any reaching you—I now send you fifty dollars more; by the time it reaches you, I expect Mr. Mellen will have purchased a few acres of Land for me, & will want about fifty dollars to pay for it. If you can spare what he needs, without pinching yourself, it will pay off my debts; And I shall forward you more in a few days—but take care of yourself first—

    The account[s] of poor Philips continue encouraging; but there are some circumstances attending his sore, & stiffness in his leg & knee that prevent my mind from being so easy as I wish to be—

    This Session has hitherto been the most melancholly & gloomy I ever experienced—The weather here is delightfull—it is more like our mays than any other month—for two days it has rained moderately, & now the Sky is clear & air wholsome. Last week on tuesday Congress adjourned to tomorrow—All the members are dispersed some to one place & some to another to keep christmas, & the Holy days, As the time here is called that intervenes before New-Year—

    I had a pressing invitation to go with a friend to Alexandria [Virginia], a small seaport about seven or eight miles south of this place, on the Potomack; but I felt too dull and lifeless to enter into company whose minds were turned for a merry frolick—

    Mr. & Mrs. [Silas] Lee with Mr. & Mrs. Sheaf1 from Portsmouth went off early last week to see as much of Virginia as they could before the close of the short recess; but finding the roads too bad for comfort they returned on saturday evening2

    Tell the children how much I love them—& believe me to be your most affectionate

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked.