Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

115 21st. Thursday. JQA 21st. Thursday. Adams, John Quincy
21st. Thursday.

This morning our German master1 came to give us a lesson for the first time; Mr. Rimbert came to pay a visit to Mr. D. Dined at Mr. Rimbert's with Mr. D. and Mr. Artaud. After dinner we went to see Mr. Colombi. Mr. Artaud supped out.


The extent of JQA's German language instruction while he lived in St. Petersburg was limited, and the name of his master is unknown. Believing that JA would prefer that JQA learn German rather than Russian, Dana hired an instructor who gave young Adams three lessons a week at about a guinea a month (Dana to JA, 28 March O.S., Adams Papers; Adams Family Correspondence 4:302–303). As later Diary entries indicate, JQA did not long pursue this study, although sixteen years later, while serving as minister to Berlin, he again “began an attempt to acquire the practice of reading German” ( JQA, Diary, 12 March 1798). He soon obtained a mastery of the language. The only remnant of JQA's early German education, completed on 17/28 Aug. 1782, is a transcription, in German script, of Ludwig Holberg's play, Der Geschwätsige Barbierer (The Talkative Barber), M/JQA/25, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 220.

22d. Friday. JQA 22d. Friday. Adams, John Quincy
22d. Friday.

This morning I went to the English Library, and brought home The second volume of Smith's wealth of Nations.1 Mr. Blondot came in the forenoon to pay us a visit. In the afternoon I went with Mr. Artaud to the shops and bought some things.


Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 2 vols., London, 1776.

23d. Saturday. JQA 23d. Saturday. Adams, John Quincy
23d. Saturday.

This day Mr. Blondot dined with us. In the afternoon Mr. Hoogwerst came to pay us a visit. Stay'd at Home all day. Our German master gave us the second lesson. He comes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Fine weather.

24th. Sunday. JQA 24th. Sunday. Adams, John Quincy
24th. Sunday.

Mr. Artaud dined and supped out. Stay'd at home all day. Snowy and rainy weather. Mr. D. receiv'd a letter from Holland.1


Letter unidentified, but apparently not from either JA or John Thaxter.

25th. Monday. JQA 25th. Monday. Adams, John Quincy
25th. Monday.

Finished the 4th. volume of Mrs. Macaulay's history of England. 409 p. Mr. Colombi came to pay us a visit. In the evening Mr. Artaud went to the concert.