Adams Family Correspondence, volume 4

Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams

John Thaxter to John Adams

John Thaxter to John Adams, 23 January 1781 Thaxter, John JA


John Thaxter to John Adams, 23 January 1781 Thaxter, John Adams, John
John Thaxter to John Adams
Sir Leyden Jany. 23d 1781

I had the Honour of your Note and the inclosed Extracts yesterday Morning; I waited on Mr. Luzac immediately with the Paper and shewed him the Extracts, with which he was highly gratified.1 He sent them so late last Evening that I had only time to inclose them to You. The News cannot but be agreable to every one who loves his Country, and feels interested in every Event that affects it: but the Quantity of it is too great to claim an immediate Credit. Altho' the whole and much more may be within the Compass of one's Wishes, and however fashionable it may be to shape one's language to his Wishes, yet after the confident Reports from that quarter of the Continent in the Summer of 1779, and their palpable falsity, one will be moderate in wishing; and modest in speaking, 'till there is an ample Confirmation.

Master John and I attend Professor Pestel's Lectures sur les fondemens de Jurisprudence naturelle. They are very ingenious and learned. His Lectures upon Grotius We do not attend—he has not time. I have thought it most adviseable for him to attend the former of the two. I wish however for your direction. He and his Brother are extremely diligent, and I presume their progress will be satisfactory to You.

The Rector Magnificus has consented to matriculate Master Charles. If it is agreable to You, I will wait upon him for that purpose.2

I have the honor to inclose You Mr. Pestel's Latin Edition, and Homer's Hymn to Ceres, and to be with perfect Respect, Sir, your most humble Servt.,

J. Thaxter

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter reed. & ansd. 24 Jan. 1781.” (This answer has not been found.) For the enclosed or accompanying books written or edited by two professors at Leyden, see notes 3 and 4 under JA to JQA of 23 Dec. 1780 (2d letter), above.


JA's “Note” has not been found. The “Extracts” it covered were acknowledged with touching gratitude by Jean Luzac in a letter to JA of 22 Jan. (Adams Papers); they probably form part of the news and comment on the war in America, especially in the South, printed in the Gazette de Leyde and its supplements for 23 and 26 January.


See Thaxter to JA, 1 and 11 Feb., below.