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JQA's Shipboard Reading List: October Edition

As John Quincy Adams and his family continue their voyage to St. Petersburg (they began, you'll recall, way back on 5 August), and you can follow along on Twitter, we've been tracking JQA's shipboard reading as noted in his line-a-day and long diary entries (see the August and September posts for prior entries). For the first six dates of October there is no mention of his reading, but on 7 October he resumes his chronicle:

10/7/1809: Voltaire's Peter. Voltaire, The History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great, first published in French as Histoire de l’Empire de Russie sous Pierre le Grand (1759). There were several English editions before 1810. I didn't find a contemporary edition in English available in my quick web-search, but there is a 1901 edition of Voltaire's works on the Internet Archive, of which the Peter the Great text comprises Volume 34 and Volume 35. In his long diary entry, JQA writes "I read something of Voltaire's Peter the Great."

10/8/1809: Two Sermons of Massillon: Religious inconstancy, and small number saved. See entry for 8/6. In his long diary entry, JQA adds "read also part of Paley's Horæ Paulinæ." See entry for 9/10.

10/9/1809: Voltaire. See entry for 10/7. In his long diary entry, JQA notes "I am reading Voltaire's History of Peter the Great."

10/12/1809: Chantreau. See entry for 8/8. In his long diary entry, JQA writes "I am reading Chantreau's Voyage into Russia."

10/15/1809: Two Sermons of Massillon and Horæ Paullinæ. See entry for 8/6. In his long diary entry, JQA says that the sermons were "the last two in the second volume of Lent Sermons - On the mixture of good and evil persons in the world; and on real Religion. I read also some sections in Paley's Horæ Paullinæ." See entry for 9/10. He adds "This is the first day, of ten, in which I have found it possible to read or write with the composure which admits of due attention."

10/16/1809: Chantreau. See entry for 8/8. In his long diary entry, JQA writes "I took a minute of the ship's papers; and read in Chantreau's travels into Russia. Commenced reading the New Testament.

10/30/1809: Oddy's European Commerce. In his long diary entry, JQA writes that he spent time "at home, principally reading Oddy's European Commerce; the second volume of which has lately come into my hands, and which contains much information which I was seeking." This is Joshua Jepson Oddy, European commerce, shewing new and secure channels of trade with the continent of Europe: detailing the produce, manufactures, and commerce, of Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany; as well as the trade of the rivers Elbe, Weser, and Ems: With a general view of the trade, navigation, produce, and manufactures of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland. It was first published in one volume at London in 1805, but the two-volume Philadelphia edition of 1807 is that most likely being read by JQA. It's available online via Google Books: Volume 1, Volume 2.

10/31/1809: Read Oddy. See entry for 10/30.

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 7 October, 2009, 11:59 AM


Nov 2, 2009, 9:49 am


You have such a great job!!! I hope you know how lucky you are! These are great reads and I am having such a good time following this. Thanks for all you're doing!

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