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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 4


This note contained in document ADMS-01-04-02-0001-0042
1. The following several paragraphs, including the two inserted letters and the comment concerning the second, were originally written by JA on a separate sheet and keyed to their place in the MS by the letter “A.” From this it would appear that the idea of adverting to his letterbooks and copying selections from them was an afterthought on his part. Farther on in Part Two of his Autobiography JA indulged in this practice very freely.
Letters inserted in Part Two have been treated editorially like those in Part One. They are printed as found in the MS of the Autobiography but have been carefully compared with the versions (in Lb/JA/4–6, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 92–94) from which JA copied them; significant variations have been noted, but trifling differences in punctuation, &c, have been disregarded, and small copying mistakes have been silently corrected. Other MS versions (notably drafts and recipients' copies) have also been compared, when known to the editors, but no attempt has been made to record all known versions of every letter, only those of prime textual value. The reader may once again be reminded that the suspension points JA sprinkled through the letter copies in his Autobiography seldom represent actual omissions.
CFA printed a few of the inserted letters in their places in the Autobiography, some elsewhere in JA's Works, but most of them not at all, with or without references to texts elsewhere available in print.
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/