To Nathaniel Barrell

    Philadelphia        18 March 1792

    My dear friend—

    Yours of the 12 February was highly pleasing, but more especially the information it gave me of your visit to Biddeford1—Nothing is more vain than wishing, and yet I cannot help wishing I had been at home—By which, I mean, it would have afforded me much happiness to have seen you & Mrs. [Sarah Sayward] Barrell at our house.

    Mrs. [Sarah Savage] Thatcher has wrote of your visit—she adds that she strove to make you happy & flatters herself that she succeeded—dear w Dear woman, the last mail brought news of her having been sick with an inflammatory Fever—And tho the Doctor wrote me that she had recovered out of all danger, I have a thousand fears—I look forward to the arrival of the post on Tuesday with an anxiety that till now I have been a stranger to—

    I am not perfectly satisfied with your simply answering all my Letters2—this is too much like paying a debt, or Lending, as the best foundation to borrow again—If I lived at York or within convenient visiting distance, we would never talk about paying visits, or returning visit, for visit—no—we would call & see each other—It should be of no consequence at whose house we saw each other the last time—but we would call & see one another—Dont wate to hear from me; but write as often as any thing or nothing occurs to mind, for either is a good subject to write a Letter upon—

    By the Boston papers I see the inhabitants of Maine will soon be called upon to say whether they will be separated from Massachusetts or not3—Now upon this subject, tho a fruitfull topic for conversation, none of my correspondents have touched upon—While one, and another are perpetually enquiring of me what the people will do4—I am left wholly in the dark—I conjecture, that some people, in the County of York, will have an inclination to join themselves to New-Hampshire;5 But if Maine goes from Massachusetts I most devoutly hope they will go altogether—United we shall make a respectable State; but if we divide, Maine will be injured; nor will that part which goes to New-Hampshire be gainers—I think a thousand reasons might be adduced to demonstrate they will eventually find they made a bad choice—

    Pray give me a Letter on this subject—And tell me what are the sentiments of the people in Y[ork] & the neighboring Towns—If I mistake not the votes are to be given on what we call Gove[rnors] Day6—I don’t expect to leave this place bef[ore] the twentieth of April—this will give you ti[me] enough to write—

    I accord most exactly with your sentiments on the Indian War, & Indian Affairs7—but a Law is passed for raising three new Regiments to go into their Country, if the President finds a peace cannot be effected, which I believe he will do every thing in his power to bring [abo]ut—

    Last week there arrived here about forty Indian c[hie]fs from the six, & other Nations8—It is also s[aid,] but with how much truth I cannot answer, that some of the Wabash Tribes, that is, the hostile Indians, are disposed to establish a permanent peace—If [it] should prove true, I presume the troops will not be raised—

    I would give you some account of the Trial [of] Anthony Wayne to a seat in Congress as Representative for Georgia, but tis too long; & I rather think you will see a pretty minute statement thereof in some of the papers—suffice it to say, that there was a unanimous vote of the House, his election was illegal9

    If you have not seen the French Constitution I think you will be pleased with reading it, I therefore inclose it;10

    The latest accounts from France threaten a dreadfull war—& I fear their Constitution must undergo a bloody trial; but as tis founded on the equal Rights of nature, I trust it will hold its [g]round.

    * * *

    ALS, Barrell Correspondence. Addressed to York via Portsmouth, N.H.; franked; postmarked 20 March.