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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0191

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-11

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Boy

I am so pleased with your Letters, in general, that you may well believe that of the 6. has contributed very much to my Happiness.
As you have found the Way into the Gallery, I hope you will not neglect it, but attend every Day. It is a great and illustrious School.
I return you inclosed, the Letter from Mr. Dexter to Mr. Temple,1 to whom present my Compliments. In a Letter I wrote a Year ago to Mr. Adams2 I urged upon him to make and publish a Collection of his Writings and I have mentioned it many Times in Conversation with Americans. It is a Work which ought to be given to the Public: But Mr. Adams will never do it. It will be done, imperfectly by some { 343 } other, hereafter. My Advice to you is to Search for every Scratch of his Pen, and lay it up with Care.
My Respects to G. Pownal and Mr. Jackson. I have no News about the Donation.3 Thank Mr. Jackson for introducing his polish Acquaintance,4 and assure him that his Friends Shall ever meet with a cordial Reception from me and his Intelligence will be not only agreable but usefull to me.
I have not yet seen Mr. Bingham nor the Packet by him.
I would not have you stay long. I want you. Send me my Books &c. I dout whether your Mamma will come: but could judge better, if I had the Packet by Mr. Bingham.
I should be glad to see the Resolves against the Cincinnati, and any other News from America.

[salute] Your Father

[signed] John Adams
1. See JQA to JA, 6 June, above. The letter is likely that of [Sept. 1782], in MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 9:482–484, in which the Boston merchant Samuel Dexter asserts that in 1775 the Massachusetts provincial congress had given him custody of all the letters found in Gov. Thomas Hutchinson's Milton home, and that the Rev. William Gordon had them for only a brief period (see JA, Papers, 3:117). Dexter had made extracts from these letters demonstrating that John Temple, far from being a loyalist, was denounced by Hutchinson, who wanted his removal from his customs house position because he was so much liked by the colonists. In copying out the extracts, Dexter did not sign his name; but in his letter to Temple, Dexter expressed his willingness to be identified. The extracts, with commentary, appeared in the Continental Journal (Boston), 26 Sept. 1782, signed simply “Y.” In writing to Temple, Dexter mentioned “malicious invectives” against Temple “and my old friend Mr. Adams.” Although Dexter does not make clear whether he meant JA or Samuel Adams, this reference may have led JA to comment below on Samuel Adams' reluctance to publish his papers.
2. JA to Samuel Adams, 5 April 1783 (NN: George Bancroft Coll., printed in NYPL, Bull., 10:235 [April 1906]; see JA to AA, 28 March 1783 and note 10, above).
3. See JQA to JA, 6 June, note 3, above.
4. An unnamed Polish nobleman of wide acquaintance among the influential about whom Jonathan Jackson wrote at some length in a letter to JA of 7 June (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0192

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-15

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I this day receiv'd your favour of the 11th. instant and expect to send the Books away, in the course of this week, if I receive no contrary orders from you I shall leave this place, to morrow se'en [nig]ht, and shall attend Parliament, and the courts of Justice, which are now sitting, as often as possible, in the mean time. Mr. Whitefoord, who has been extremely polite and kind to me, introduced me to a Member of Parliament, who will take me into the House; I was { 344 } there yesterday, and heard Mr. Burke make a very long speech; you may have seen in the Papers, that he informed the house, some time since, of his intention to make a motion, respecting an adress to the King, upon his speech, at the opening of the present Session; the day finally appointed for the motion, was yesterday, and Mr. Burke, spoke, for better than two hours, and then made a motion, which the Speaker was an hour reading; the public papers will give you a much more particular account of, both the speech and the motion than I am capable of, but the purport of both was to inform the King, “that the late Parliament, was a most excellent and virtuous one, and that he did very wrong, in dissolving it; that the People had no right to present addresses, to his Majesty, to thank him for dismissing any ministers whatever, that the late Ministry was the best Ministry this Country could have, and that they had pursued a very wise method for the government of India, and finally [, if?][In]dia was entirely lost it would be because their plan had [ . . . ]ted.”1 When the Speaker had read the motion, he called upon those who were of the same opinion to say “aye” and about four voices were heard, the “no's” being demanded (for no one person answered a word to any of the arguments of Mr. B—) the whole house, cried “no” and at about 8. in the evening the house broke up. This morning I went and heard the pleadings before Lord Thurlow, in the Court of Chancery,2 several Lawyers spoke, but the subject, was not very interesting; to morrow Mr. Sawbridge's motion for a Parliamentary reform is to come forward, and I shall endeavour to attend.

[salute] With my Respects to Mr. Dumas & family I remain, Your dutiful Son.

[signed] J. Q. Adams
P.S. There is a young American here named Murray3 from Maryland, he is studying Law in the Temple, and intends making a Tour thro' Holland this Summer; perhaps he will go over at the same time I do.
RC (Adams Papers). addressed: “à Monsieur Monsieur J. Adams. Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis De l'Amerique à La Haye Hollande”; postmarked: “[16?]/IV”; docketed: “J.Q. Adams. June. 15. 1784.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed.
1. JQA's quotation from Burke's speech does not convey the main thrust of Burke's argument: that the House of Commons was threatened as the protector of the people's liberties. For a full summary of Burke's speech and motion, see Parliamentary Hist., 24:943–975.
2. Edward, first Baron Thurlow, was lord chancellor of Great Britain, presiding over the Court of Chancery from 1778 to 1792. In the 1770s he had vigously defended Britain's efforts to quell the rebellion in America. DNB.
3. William Vans Murray, then age twenty-four, { 345 } quickly became a close friend of JQA. The two corresponded in 1784–1785, and again, very frequently, from 1797 to 1801, when JQA was U.S. minister to Prussia, and Murray succeeded JQA as U.S. minister at The Hague. While in this post, Murray played a crucial role in promoting peace between the United States and France, following the XYZ Affair and the quasi war of 1799–1800. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:188, note 1; JQA, Diary, 1:265, and note 3.
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/