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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1781-05-18

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I have this Morning received yours inclosing a Letter from the Duke de la Vauguion.1
Please to inform me in your next, when the Vacation begins. It is my Design that you shall come and spend a Part of the Vacation with me.—I approve very much of your taking the Delft Gazette the Writer of which is a great Master of his Language, and is besides a very good Friend to his Country and to yours.2
You go on, I presume, with your latin Exercises: and I wish to hear of your beginning upon Sallust who is one of the most polished and perfect of the Roman Historians, every Period of whom, and I had almost said every Syllable and every Letter is worth Studying.
In Company with Sallust, Cicero, Tacitus and Livy, you will learn Wisdom and Virtue. You will see them represented, with all the Charms which Language and Imagination can exhibit, and Vice and Folly painted in all their Deformity and Horror.
You will ever remember that all the End of study is to make you a good Man and a useful Citizen.—This will ever be the Sum total of the Advice of your affectionate Father,
[signed] John Adams
1. See the preceding letter.
2. The “Delft Gazette,” which JQA subscribed to and read in order to improve his knowledge of Dutch, was the Hollandsche Historische Courant, whose publisher and editor was Wybo Fynje (1750–1809), a former Mennonite minister and a strong adherent of the Dutch Patriot party. In 1775 Fynje had married Emilie, a sister of JA's friend Jean Luzac, publisher of the Gazette de Leyde. The Fynjes were forced to flee to Antwerp and then to St. Omer in France following the suppression of the Patriot movement in 1787. With the establishment of the Batavian Republic, Fynje returned to The Hague in 1795 and resumed his journalistic and political activities. (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, i: 906–908; information furnished by C. D. Goudappel, Director, Gemeentear-chief Delft, Netherlands.) In later years JA remembered that it was the “editor of a gazette at Delphi, who had the reputation of one of the most masterly writers in the nation in their own language,” who had translated JA's Memorial of 1781 for publication in Dutch, but he did not record his name (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 430).
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Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0083

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-19

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

I reciev'd this morning your yesterday's favour, in which you say, you want to hear of my beginning in Sallust; I have not begun yet but shall soon; but am for the present continuing in Cornelius Nepos. I have got a fair copy of Phaedrus bound, it is My Master's Translation which if you desire to read, and have time for it, I will send to you.1
The Vacancy does not begin at the same time, sometimes it begins the 15th of June, sometimes the 24th, and sometimes the last; I should not desire to stay at Amsterdam above a fortnight then, for if I should stay any longer it might do harm to my Studies, of which I have Just got into a steady course, and my master's manner of teaching I find agree's with me very well.
Perhaps you may remember that you told me before you left this place, that you should give me lessons of Algebra by writing. I am always ready Sir, whenever you have time.
Dr. Waterhouse desires his Compliments to you.

[salute] I am you[r] dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
P.S. My love, if you please to brother Charles. I should write to him, but I have not time.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire Des Etats Unis de l'Amerique Sur le Keizers Gragt Entre Les Leide et Spiegel Straaten à Amsterdam”; endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Mr. J. Q. Adams 19th. May 1781.”
1. In the Adams Papers (M/JQA/23; Microfilms, Reel No. 218) is a bound MS of 100 folios in JQA's hand containing a translation into French of five books of Phaedrus' Fables. On fol. 1 JQA inscribed the date “February 10th. 81,” and on fol. 100, “May 11th 1781.” The translation was apparently the work of JQA's language “Master,” Wenshing or Wensing, on whom see JQA to JA, 22 Dec. 1780, above. JQA's earlier study of Phaedrus is noted at vol. 3:308.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0084

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-21

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honour'd Sir

Inclosed are some numbers of the lettres Hollandoises.1I took them out of thier covers, because I knew they were nothing else, and I could not do them up so well when they were in, however, if you please, I will not take out any more; Mr. Luzac's this day's paper is also inclos'd.
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I wrote to brother Charles by Mr. Thaxter, and to you the night before last,2 but have not yet reciev'd answers to either.

[salute] I am, your dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in John Thaxter's hand: “Master John 21st. May 1781.” Enclosures not found, but see note 1.
1. Lettres hollandoises, ou correspondance politique sur l'etat present de l'Europe, notamment de la Republique des Sept Provinces-Unies, a journal or news sheet published in Brussels friendly to the American cause; the author or editor was said by Edmund Jenings to be named Rivales (Jenings to JA, 24 Jan., 18 Feb. 1781; Adams Papers). A set of this work with JQA's bookplate, vols. 1–3, 5–7, is in MQA; the whole or parts of vols. 3–4 are in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 145).
2. JQA's letter to his father of 19 May is above; that to CA has not been found.
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/