Adams Family Correspondence, volume 3

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

John Adams to Abigail Adams

John Adams to John Thaxter, 23 September 1780 JA Thaxter, John


John Adams to John Thaxter, 23 September 1780 Adams, John Thaxter, John
John Adams to John Thaxter
Dear Sir Amsterdam Septr. 23 1780

Last Night I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 17th. After reflecting a little upon matters I think upon the whole it will be necessary, that you wait on Dr. Franklin and ask the Favour of him to take the Charge of my Books, at his house, and also of my cloaths. If he declines permitting them to be left there, ask the same favour of Mr. Grand. You may leave the Books open for their use or purchase trunks and lock them up leaving the keys with them.

All my Letters, Letter Books, Account books and papers must be brought here by you, with the utmost care, especially the most valuable Papers, which you will easily distinguish.

The Wine I know not what to do with. If the Landlady will keep 424it in the Cellar it may remain, taking an Account of the number of Bottles and a Receipt for them. Otherwise consult Mr. Grand, or Dr. Franklin. Perhaps they would buy it, or procure a Store for it, which I should chuse. If Mr. Grand Could procure a Cellar for it, to lye untill I should call for it, which may soon happen, I should prefer that.1

Apply to Mr. Grand for all the Money you want to pay off Scores and to bear your Expences here, keeping an Account.

Above all Things take Care of my Papers. Get Mr. Harry Grand2 to assist you in purchasing an Handsome Porte Feuille with a Lock and Key. Lock up in this the most prescious Papers, and lock up the Port Feuille in your Chest.

My Linnen and Stockings I wish you to bring with you.

Affectionately your's, John Adams3

LbC in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). This may have been the first occasion on which JQA, now thirteen, served as his father's amanuensis.


This paragraph has been slightly repunctuated in the interest of clarity.


Henry Grand (more properly and fully Henri Maximilien Grand), second son of Ferdinand Grand, the banker for Congress in Paris (Lüthy, La banque protestante en France , 2:618, 820).


This letter superseded another, immediately preceding it in JA's letterbook, dated 23 Sept. but corrected to the 21st by overwriting and with its text entirely canceled, containing somewhat different and less detailed instructions to Thaxter regarding JA's books, clothing, wines, and papers in Paris. On 8 Oct. Franklin wrote from Passy to JA: “Your Books and Trunks have been lodged here by Mr. Thaxter, and will be taken care of. They are of no Inconvenience to me” (Adams Papers).