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John Quincy Adams to John Adams

O.S. St Petersburg August 21st 1781
[1 September 1781 N.S.]

Honour'd Sir

We arrived here on Monday the 16/27 instant having left Amsterdam the N.S. 7th of July And rode the greatest part of the way day and night. The distance is about 2400 English Miles.

The first place of any consequence we stopp'd at was Berlin the capital of the king of Prussia's Dominions; this is a very pretty town, much more so than Paris, or London as Mr. Dana says; but it will be still more so if the present King's plan is adopted by his successor, for wherever there is a row of low, small houses he sends the owners out of them, pulls them down and has large, elegant houses built in the same place and then sends the owners in again. But notwithstanding this, he is not beloved in Berlin, and every body says publicly what he pleases against the king; but as long as they do not go any farther than words, he don't take any notice of it but says that as long as they give him all he asks, they may say what they will.

But they have a great reason to complain of him, for he certainly treats them like Slaves; Among other things, if a farmer

Adams, John Quincy. Letter to John Adams, August 21, 1781 O.S. / [September 1, 1781 N.S.]. Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4: October 1780 - September 1782 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973). Pages 206-207.