Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

97 John Adams to John Quincy Adams, 18 February 1783 JA JQA


John Adams to John Quincy Adams, 18 February 1783 Adams, John Adams, John Quincy
John Adams to John Quincy Adams
My dear Son Paris Feb. 18. 1783

You cannot imagine, the Anxiety I have felt on your Account, nor the Pleasure just received from your Letter of Feb. 1. I had heard nothing of you Since the Beginning of December when you was in Stockholm, and then only by the public Papers.

When you arrive at the Hague, you may take your Choice, either to remain there and follow your Studies under the Direction of Mr. Dumas1 or go to Leyden to your former Tutor.2 I believe however for a few days, you had better Stay at the Hague where I expect Soon to have the Pleasure of Seeing you, as I Shall return there, forthwith upon the Signature of the definitive Treaty of Peace.

I have Letters from your Mamma and Several of our Friends the later End of December. They were all well and desired to be remembered very particularly to you.

I expect to embark for America, in the Spring and Shall take you home with me. Enquire what Vessells are likely to go from the Texel, and what Accommodations we might have on board of any of them.

I am With the tenderest Affection, your Father John Adams

RC (Adams Papers).


C. W. F. Dumas was a frequent correspondent of JA and other American diplomats, an adviser to Congress on diplomatic affairs, and an informal, but paid, American informant and agent at The Hague from 1777. He was also a scholar of languages. Upon his return to Holland in April, JQA chose to study with Dumas rather than to hire a tutor because his father's stay in Europe was now so uncertain. Moreover, Dumas was conveniently located, for he and his wife had moved into and took care of the American legation (see vol. 3:393, note 5 2 , 410, note 3; vol. 4:304, note 3; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:9–10, note 6; JA, Papers , 6:72–73, note 7; JQA, Diary , 1:174–175, note 2).


The tutor was a Mr. Wensing (or Wenshing), with whom JQA studied Latin and Greek from Dec. 1780 to June 1781 (see vol. 4: 45, and note 1, 46, 118, and note 1; JQA, Diary , 1:75, note 1, 85).

John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 20 February 1783 JQA JA


John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 20 February 1783 Adams, John Quincy Adams, John
John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Honoured Sir Copenhagen Feby. 20th. 1783

I arrived here about a week agone, and expected to leave this place in a vessel for Kiel, (which I found here,) two days afterwards, but I have been waiting for a wind here ever since.1 I rather preferred going from hence to Hamborough by water; than thro' Holstein because the roads are extremely bad and it would be a Journey of at-98least eight or ten days; whereas, with a good wind we can run over in 24 hours from hence to Kiel, and besides it will not be near so expensive by water.

I went yesterday to see the Baron de la Houze the French Minister here. He shew me a letter from the Duke de la Vauguyon,2 which mentions your having been anxious on my account; but I suppose you have receiv'd before this time my letter from Gottenbourg.

The Baron de la Houze tells me of a piece of news to be found in the Leiden Gazette, I mean, of a treaty of commerce said to be concluded between the american comissioners and the Ambassador of the King of Sweden in Paris.3 I should expect it is true; for of all men the King of Sweden knows the best how to seize upon opportunity, and I think we might have a considerable commerce with Sweden. As to this country, I cannot tell what sort of trade we shall be able to carry on, with it; however there is already a person design'd to be as the minister of this court, in our country, and every body here say they never doubted of the Independance of America; but things have greatly changed here within these three months.

I am your dutiful Son. J. Q. Adams

RC (Adams Papers).


JQA had arrived in Copenhagen on 15 Feb., and finally departed for Hamburg, by land, on 5 March (JQA, Diary , 1:171–174; JQA to JA, 12 March, below).


See JA to AA, 4 Feb., note 5, above.


Gustav Philip, Comte de Creutz, and Benjamin Franklin signed the treaty on 5 March, although the treaty is dated 3 April (Miller, ed., Treaties , 2:149). JA, however, in a letter of 14 Feb. to Edmund Jenings, says he had just attended a dinner at the Swedish ambassador's, “upon occasion of the Signature of the Treaty, between his Master and Congress, which was done the 5. instant” (Adams Papers). JA may have been referring to a preliminary signing, and this would account for the story in a February gazette. For JA's reaction to Franklin's role in negotiating this treaty, see AA to JA, 25 Oct. 1782, note 5, above.