Adams Family Correspondence, volume 4

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

John Thaxter to John Adams, 1 February 1781 Thaxter, John JA


John Thaxter to John Adams, 1 February 1781 Thaxter, John Adams, John
John Thaxter to John Adams
Sir Leyden 1st. Feby. 1781

I have waited on Mr. Luzac with the Crisis, who is much obliged to You for it, and will either translate it into Dutch or French, as shall be most agreable to You, and as soon as possible. You will be so good as to acquaint me, which of the two Languages is your Choice.1

I waited a few days agone on the Rector Magnificus with Charley, and was informed by him, that his Matriculation was consented to by the Curators.2

The Letter You was so kind to forward me, was from America, dated the 1st. and 16th. of September. I am at a loss how it came, as I hear of no Arrival.

It seems rather difficult to determine upon the various News from the Southward. The American Papers and Accounts differ exceedingly from the English. One knows not what to make of such Contradictions. If it is News fabricated by any of our Countrymen, I am very sorry—they are Spots and Blemishes in a good Cause, and such a Species of Aid as our Cause does not require.

The young Gentlemen are well and desire their Duty to You.

I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most humble Servant, J. Thaxter

RC (Adams Papers).


In a letter from Brussels, 28 Jan. (Adams Papers), William Lee wrote JA: “I send you a Crisis which perhaps you may think worth being translated and publish'd in Holland.” This was quite possibly Thomas Paine's The Crisis Extraordinary, published in Philadelphia in Oct. 1780 (Evans 16918), but no Dutch or French translation published in the Netherlands has been found.


During a visit to his sons in Leyden early in January, JA recorded that JQA was approved for matriculation (he and John Thaxter were formally admitted on 10 Jan.), but that “Charles was found to be too young, none under twelve Years of Age being admitted” ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:452). In his letter 74to JA of 23 Jan. (above), Thaxter reported that he would wait again upon the Rector to obtain special consent, and on 11 Feb. he wrote JA (letter below) that this had been done and CA had matriculated on 29 January.