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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


This foot note contained in document ADMS-04-05-02-0249
3. On 8 Sept., JA had written to Harvard President Joseph Willard (MH: Corporation Papers) to thank him for his letter of 8 June (not found), which AA had brought to Europe along with the engrossed honorary L.L.D. (Adams Papers) that Harvard had granted to JA in 1781. In this letter, JA also encouraged Willard to make a contemplated tour of European universities, and offered to arrange introductions for him. But JA was not eager “to See [Harvard] essentially changed, much less conformed to the Models in Europe, where there is much less Attention to the Morals and Studies of the Youth." For this reason, he continued, he wished JQA to finish his studies at Harvard. Because his son was “advanced in Age and I flatter myself in Literature" through his studies, including those at the University of Leyden, JA hoped that JQA might be admitted “after an Examination and upon the Payment of a Sum of Money for the Benefit of the Society, with the Class of the fourth or third Year.”
In his 14 Dec. reply to JA 's letter (Adams Papers), Willard reported that Harvard's Corporation { 485 } and its overseers concurred that JQA should be admitted, upon examination, “into one of the higher classes in this University, free from all extra expense to you,” and enclosed a copy of the Corporation's 16 Nov. vote to this effect. He added that if JQA could enter Harvard in April 1785, he could have fifteen months at the college, take two courses in “experimental philosophy,” and graduate in 1786.
JA answered Willard on 22 April 1785 (MH: Corporation Papers), stating that JQA would deliver the letter personally to him, and adding that his son would probably find it easier to be examined for admission “in French, with which Language he is more familar than his own.” But JA did not expect this, and only hoped that the examiners would make an allowance for JQA 's “long absence from home.” JA elaborated on the state of JQA 's learning in a letter to Benjamin Waterhouse, 23 April 1785 (MHi: Adams-Waterhouse Coll.). JA 's two letters to Willard are printed in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns , 13:114–116 (Feb. 1910).