Adams Papers

[Robert Aitken’s Bill for Books]

[Robert Aitken’s Bill for Books] 1

John Adams Esqr. Bought of R. Aitken
1775
Decr. 8 To 3 red Memdm. books @ 1/32 3 9
To 2 Sticks Sealing wax 1/ 2
To Marshall Saxe’s Reveries I paid to Mrs. Hall for you 13
<To 1 Sett political Disquisitions 3 Vols.> <1> <10> <>
0 18 9

Frans: Sellers

N.B. I am not certain whither it was the Political Disquisitions or some other book you had from me, when you got them you proposed paying me but for want of Change at that time, it was not done, & I omitted setting any of your Accot. down in my book. I therefore beg you will set the matter right. R. Aitken.3

1M-Ar: vol. 210.

2These are doubtless the three booklets in red-brown leather covers (D/JA/23–25) in which, for the most part, JA kept his Diary from Sept. 1775 to Sept. 1776.

3James Burgh, author of Political Disquisitions ..., London, 1774–1775, had already presented to JA an inscribed set of the first two volumes of this work critical of British political institutions. The inscription is dated 7 March 1774. When the third volume was published in the following year, Burgh sent JA a complete set, inscribing this also. Both sets survive in the Boston Public Library. See JA to Burgh, 28 Dec. 1774 (Adams Papers, an incomplete draft; printed in JA, Works description begins The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols. description ends , 9:350–352).

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