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The President's House in Philadelphia

First-Person Accounts: The Adams Years

Gazette of the United States, Philadelphia

July 5, 1797: "Yefterday the Houfe of Reprefentatives adjourned at 12 o'clock and waited on the Prefident of the United States [John Adams] to congratulate him on the day. The Society of Cincinnati alfo waited on him and prefented an addrefs congratulating him on his election. The officers of the militia, foreign minifters, the members of the Senate, and a great concorfe of citizens alfo waited on the Prefident. The Prefident was drefsed in full uniform on the occafion, and looked extremely well. He fhewed by his countenance the delight he felt at the return of the aufpicious anniverfary. The volunteer corps pertook of a cold collation prepared for them in the Prefident's garden, drank his health with three huzzas, and then filed off thro' the Houfe."

Abigail Adams to her sister Mary Cranch, December 22, 1799; New Letters, 222

Abigail Adams
"I wrote to you the day after we received the account of the death of Gen'll Washington. This Event so important to our Country at this period, will be universally deplored. No Man ever lived, more deservedly beloved and Respected.... Possesst of power, posest [possessed] of an extensive influence, he never used it but for the benefit of his Country.... If we look through the whole tennor of his Life, History will not produce to us a Parrallel.... Tomorrow the Senate come in a Body [to the President's House] with a sympathetic address, and on Thursday a Eulogy is to be deliverd by Genll. Lee, in the Dutch Church in this city, to which we are all invited."

Abigail Adams to her sister Mary Cranch, March 15, 1800; New Letters, 238-39

"I find the best time for writing, is to rise about an hour earlier than the rest of the family; go into the Presidents Room, and apply myself to my pen. Now the weather grows warmer I can do it. His Room in which I now write has three larg[e] windows to the South. The sun visits it with his earliest beams at the East window, and Cheers it the whole day in winter. All my keeping Rooms are North, but my forenoons are generally spent in my own Chamber tho a dark one, and I often think of my sun shine Cottage at Quincy."

Abigail Adams to her sister Mary Cranch, November 10, 1800, New Letters, 254-55.

"I arrived in this City last Evening & came to the old House now occupied by Francis as a Hotel. Tho the furniture and arrangment of the House is changed I feel more at home here than I should any where else in the city, and when sitting with my son & other friends who call to see me, I can scarcly persuade myself that tomorrow I must quit it, for an unknown & and unseen abode."

(The unknown and unseen abode was the White House.)

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Copyright ©1999- by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942. Publishing electronically as On the Internet since July 4, 1995.