To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Washington, D.C.        12 February 1801

    My dear—

    All is still & tranquil around me; there are but three or four members in the Capitol, & they, like myself, are writing1

    I continued in the Hall last night till twelve oClock2 & then with about half the Delegation went home, leaving the other half to keep up the Ballot—The House continued about nine oClock, & then suspended all business till 12 oClock—which hour is almost come—when a President will be chosen is impossible to say—From present appearances, & from what individual members say in conversation, it would seem impossible that one should ever be chosen a choice of one should ever take place3—But events often start into existance seemingly very contrary to human calculation—And this may be the case in the instance before us—I acknowledge there are no data on which I can pretend to say what is, or what is not probable—

    Yesterday & the day before presented us a cold north east snow storm very much like an eastern one; but this morning it is clear and moderate—This is the most of a storm we have had this winter: & I apprehend there has been much more snow toward the east—It will make it bad travling for poor Congressmen in their journey home—but I shall be so glad to be on my way that I care but little about the roads—

    Yours most affectionately

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked.