To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    “In the Capitol,” Washington, D.C.        10 December 1800

    I am waiting for time to run off & bring half after three, to go up to George Town to dine with a Mr. Templeman, formerly of Boston1—This is poor pass time—The house adjourned at one, & I am more than a mile from my lodgings—it is too far, & too muddy to walk home—To George town is three miles! a great distance to go for a dinner, & a pretty dear one too—half a dollar for a Hack to go there, & as much at least for one to bring me home in the night—We dine at four, that means a little before five; this will bring tea & coffee about seven! I very sincerely wish I may have no more invitations to dine so far from my lodgings—The trouble, to say nothing of the expence, for they suppose here, that all members of Congress must be rich as nabobs, is more than not ballanced by the pleasure.2 The day is pleasant—And I cannot excuse myself—

    I hope to hear from you by this evenings mail, & that our dear Phillips is, or will soon be well enough to think about removing home—

    I have recieved yours of the 22d. which I believe has not been acknowledged—

    I am concerned about our family; I fear they will not mannage right; I know they will do as well as they can; but to have no head & director for four or five weeks is a great while for so many children & young girls, with only steady Jotham; A thousand fears take hold of my mind—Fire is among the uppermost—I hear every day or two of little children catching fire to their cloaths, & burning to death—My mind flies to our little Anner, whom I see all in flames—With a thousand other causes of Imaginary distresses—I begin to think I shall become a very splenetic old man—

    If this finds you at Biddeford you may tell Mr. [Prentiss] Mellen, or others of our acquaintance that last evening Mr. [John] Marshall, Secretary of State, recieved a letter from General Charles C. Pinckney dated in South Carolina on the 29th of November, informing that the federal cause had become desperate there; and there were no hopes that either himself or Mr. Adams would get any votes for President; all would be given to Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson & [Aaron] Burr—Here ends federalism!

    This is far the most current knowledge we have ever had from that State—We all credit it—

    Your most affectionate

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    ALS, TFP