Adams Family Correspondence, volume 10

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 11 February 1795 Adams, John Adams, Thomas Boylston
John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams
My dear Thomas Philadelphia February 11. 1795

Your Letter of the 19 of October from London gave me great Joy and all your other Friends of whom you have many much Pleasure— And I was again highly delighted to hear from Mr Jay that he had Letters from your Brother at Amsterdam the 20th of Novr.

Mr Wilcocks who is kind enough to take Charge of this Letter is probably an Acquaintance of yours: You must take him with you in your Daily Walks for your health, and shew him as many Places Persons and Curiosities as you can.

Europe must be a new World to You. Entertainment, Information and Instruction may be obtained wherever you go. The civil Law and the Law of Nature and Nations are to be obtained in Holland as in some sort their natural Country. The Politicks of Europe are seen from thence as well as from any Place whatever. Arts science Litterature are to be met with in every street almost.

But the English Language and English as well as American Law must, I fear lie dormant for some time.

Inclosed are some Newspapers for your Brother and you which will shew you the News Debates &c1 But We shall have nothing very interesting here till Mr Jays Treaty Arrives. Our People are very quiescent at present and our Self created societies a little humbled. Our Six Per Cent stocks have risen to Par and will not probably again fall—2

I feel the Want of your society: but your Travels will be a great Advantage to you and that consideration composes me.— You have lost the opportunity of seeing two sisters of Miss Nelly Custis older than her; Patty who is unmarried and Betsy who is married to Mr Peters of George Town. Fine Girls I assure you. Your young Acquaintance here are all well excepting Mr Clymer, whose Death you must have heard of.—

Our Family and Friends are all well. I want you or your Brother to Purchase Cujacius for me— Keep it for your own study sometime and then send it to me, or bring it when you come. Buy the best Edition.3 Gail and Hoppius and Vinnius you may get at a moderate 383 Price sometimes and often little Compendiums of Justinian for a trifle.4

I long to have a detail of your Travels, especially in Holland. You will soon get the Language, and Spreek with the Mynheers in their own Hollandsh—

The French too will be indispensable. When you travel in that Country you will run about in the Trecht Schuits. Dont let any vain notions of Dignity lead you to despize this method of travelling, it is the most agreable least expensive, most instructive, and most wholesome mode of conveyance in that Country.

Go to an English or French Church every Sunday and become acquainted with the Clergymen.

I am my dear son with a tender / solicitude for your Welfare your affectionate / Father

John Adams

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “T. B. Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “The Vice President of the United States / 11 Feby 1795 / 29 April Recd:.”


Enclosures not found.


For much of February, the value of 6 percent bonds remained at par value. A weekly snapshot of stock prices through July, when the treaty was made public, reveals little fluctuation with values dropping no lower than 19.2 and even rising above par on 20 June (Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 3 Feb. – 31 July).


Jacques Cujas was a sixteenth-century legal scholar who published several works on jurisprudence. In 1658, his collected writings were edited by Charles Annibal Fabrot and published in Paris as Jacobi Cujacii, … Opera omnia, in decem tomos distributa. This ten-volume edition is part of JA’s library at MB ( Catalogue of JA’s Library ).


Offering comment on Justinian’s Institutes were Andreas von Gail, Practicarum observationum, tam ad processum judiciarium, praesertim imperialis camerae, Cologne, 1578; Joachim Hoppe, Commentatio succincta ad Institutiones Justinianeas, Danzig, 1693; and Arnoldus Vinnius, Commentarius … institutionum imperialium, Leyden, 1642.

Among JQA’s books at MQA are three editions of Justinian’s Institutes, two of which were published in Leyden, undated and 1761, and one in Paris, 1770; and Vinnius, published in Amsterdam, 1665. At one time JQA’s library also included a copy of Hoppe, published in Frankfurt, 1728. The copies of Vinnius and Hoppe were inscribed by him on 4 Dec. 1794 (Catalog of the Books Housed in the Stone Library Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, Mass., 1994; Catalogue of JQA’s Books ).

Abigail Adams to Giuseppe Ceracchi, 12 February 1795 Adams, Abigail Ceracchi, Giuseppe
Abigail Adams to Giuseppe Ceracchi
Quincy Febry 12th 1795

Accept Sir my acknowledgment to you for the very valuable present of the Medallion, and the polite Letter which accompanied it. The workmanship is too exquisite, and reflects too much honor upon the Artist, to be lodged in a Private House. Works of this kind are a Novelty in America, and were I to accept it, it would be considerd as an object of vanity.


The American are not accustomed to any other monuments or impressions of those whom they most esteem and value,1 but what is stampd upon their Hearts, nor will they even permit a perfect impression there, untill the recollection of importent Services renderd them, can no longer excite Envy.

Will you Sir do me the favour to present the Medallion to the Massachussets Accademy of Arts. it may be addresst to their vice President, who is President of Harverd Colledg.2 I will take charge of the conveyance of it.

any further information you may wish for, you may obtain from mr Adams—

present my compliments to mrs Cerachi and the Sweet Boy whom I Saw3

I am sir with Sentiments of esteem / your much obliged Humble Servant

Abigail Adams

Dft (Adams Papers); docketed: “Copy. Ceracchi”; “AA 1795”; and “Mrs Adams to / Mr Cerachi.” Dft (Adams Papers).


AA initially used “venerate” but wrote “value” over it. She also used “venerate” in the second, earlier Dft of the letter.


Joseph Willard was one of the founding members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780, serving as corresponding secretary and then vice president ( DAB ).

For a discussion of Ceracchi’s gift and AA and JA’s decision to donate the medallion, see JA to AA, 2 Dec. 1794, and note 3, above.


Ceracchi’s family included his wife, Therese Schlishan Ceracchi, and at least four children, the eldest of whom were sons Giovanni and Romualdo (Alberto M. Ghisalberti and others, eds., Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, 73 vols. to date, Rome, 1960– ).