This morning our German master1 came to give us a lesson for the first time; Mr. Rimbert came to pay a visit to Mr.
D. Dined at Mr. Rimbert's with Mr. D. and Mr. Artaud. After dinner we went to see
Mr. Colombi. Mr. Artaud supped out.
1. The extent of JQA's German language instruction while he lived in St. Petersburg was limited, and the
name of his master is unknown. Believing that JA would prefer that JQA learn German rather than Russian, Dana hired an instructor who gave young Adams three
lessons a week at about a guinea a month (Dana to JA, 28 March O.S., Adams Papers; Adams Family Correspondence4:302–303). As later Diary entries indicate, JQA did not long pursue this study, although sixteen years later, while serving as minister
to Berlin, he again “began an attempt to acquire the practice of reading German” (JQA, Diary, 12 March 1798). He soon obtained a mastery of the language. The only remnant of
JQA's early German education, completed on 17/28 Aug. 1782, is a transcription, in German script, of Ludwig Holberg's play, Der Geschwätsige Barbierer (The Talkative Barber), M/JQA/25, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 220.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.