. “Peacefield” (variously written) was the first of several names JA
used for his Quincy homestead; they varied according to his mood. Following his unhappy
return from Washington in March 1801, he headed his letters “Stony Field, Quincy,”
a name he drew from Stony Field Hill, the eminence that he owned and farmed across
the road from his house and that later acquired the more elegant name Presidents Hill.
After resuming his correspondence with Jefferson in 1812, JA
whimsically adopted an Italianate name, “Montezillo,” which he cryptically explained
to Richard Rush as follows: “Mr. Jefferson lives at Monticello the lofty Mountain.
I live at Montezillo
a little Hill” (24 Nov. 1814, PHi
:Gratz Coll.). This name persisted until JA
's last years, though he used it irregularly, and occasionally varied it by employing
the English form, “Little Hill.”