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1[Parents and Boyhood] (Adams Papers)
My Father married Susanna Boylston in October 1734, and on the 19th of October 1735 I was born. As my Parents were both fond of reading, and my father had destined his first born, long before his birth to a public Education I was very early taught to read at home and at a School of Mrs. Belcher the Mother of Deacon Moses Belcher, who lived in the next house on the opposite side of the Road. I...
Continued November 30. 1804. In my own class at Collidge, there were several others, for whom I had a strong affection—Wentworth, Brown, Livingston, Sewall and Dalton all of whom have been eminent in Life, excepting Livingston an amiable and ingenious Youth who died within a Year or two after his first degree. In the Class before me I had several Friends, Treadwell the greatest Schollar, of my...
All that part of Creation that lies within our observation is liable to Change. Even mighty States and kingdoms, are not exempted. If we look into History we shall find some nations rising from contemp­ tible beginnings, and spreading their influence, ’till the whole Globe is subjected to their sway. When they have reach’d the summit of Grandeur, some minute and unsuspected Cause commonly...
Quincy December 1. 1806. When I asked Leave of Congress to make a Visit to my Constituents and my Family in November 1777, it was my intention to decline the next Election, and return to my practice at the Bar. I had been four Years in Congress, left my Accounts in a very loose condition, my Debtors were failing, the paper Money was depreciating, I was daily loosing the fruits of seventeen...
I left Washington on the 4th & arrived at Stony field on the 18, having trotted the bogs five hundred miles. I found about an hundred loads of sea weed in my barn yard, & recollecting Horaces “Et genus et virtus nisi cum re vilior alga est” I thought I had made a good exchange, if Ulysses is an orthodox authority in this case, which I dont believe, of honors & virtues, for manure. I have more...
I have recd your favour of March 8 with the Letter inclosed, for which I thank you. Inclosed is a Letter to one of your Domesticks Joseph Dougherty. Had you read the Papers inclosed they might have given you a moment of Melancholly or at least of Sympathy with a mourning Father. They relate wholly to the Funeral of a son who was once the delight of my Eyes and a darling of my heart, cutt off...
I have received your favor of the 12th. & your bill, in favor of Mr Nathan Prime for 300 dollars, shall be paid whenever it shall be presented.—We all arrived safe & are one more domesticated at Stony field. We hope you are all in good health. A very long storm has confined us at home. I have scarcely known such an equinoctial, since we returned from Europe. Nature I hope is returning to her...
I have recd your favour of March 8 with the Letter inclosed, for which I thank you. Inclosed is a Letter to one of your Domesticks Joseph Dougherty , Had you read the Papers inclosed they might have given you a moment of Melancholly or at least of Sympathy with a mourning Father. They relate wholly to the Funeral of a Son who was once the delight of my Eyes and a darling of my heart, cutt off...
I have received the Letter you did me the honor to write me, this morning, and shall be very happy to receive you tomorrow at twelve O Clock, according to your proposal. With great respect and Sincere / Esteem I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, / your most obedient and very / humble servant MWiW .
The very respectful, affectionate, and obliging address, which has been presented to me by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, by your order, has awakened all my sensibility, and demands my most grateful acknowledgments. As the various testimonials of the approbation and affection of my fellow-citizens of Massachusetts, which have been indulged to me from...
On the evening of the 18, a few minutes after my Arrival at this place commenced a violent Equinoxtial Gale of Wind, accompanied with a flood of rain, from the North East, which has continued with very Short intervals to this day and confined me to my house. This is So old fashioned a storm that I begin to hope that nature is returning to her old good nature and good humour and is substituting...
I have received your favour of the 25th., with the numbers of the Massachusetts Spy inclosed, and I thank you for your civility in Sending them. I am much pleased with their Appearance, and the Sentiments which predominate in them. You will Say this is natural enough, because they are in general conformable to my own and certainly favorable and friendly if not partial to me. Your offer to...
I have received from Mr Pichon, your favour of the 10th. of January, and, while I feel my obligations to you for your kind Remembrance of me, I very heartily rejoice with you, in your return to your native Country. The new Superintendant of the commercial relations between France and the United States, will, I presume be very well received here, and the better by most men for the part he acted...
I have received your favor of the 28 of March and read it with much pleasure The information you have received from your Friends, concerning the Circumstances of your nomination to be a Judge of the Second Circuit of the United States, is very correct. I have never allowed myself to Speak much of the Gratitude due from the Public to Individuals for past services. But I have always wished that...
I know not how it has happened that I have not found time to write you Since my return to my long home. The angry North East Wind, which has prevailed with little Interruption has pinched my faculties, I believe. We have been all, pretty well. This is the Day of our Election of Governor, Lt Govr. & Senators. The Democrats are very Sanguine and the others are not So. The former Say that Mr...
I know not how it has happened that I have not found time to write you, Since my return to my long home. The angry North East Wind, which has prevailed, with little Interruption, has pinched by faculties I believe. We have been all pretty well. This is the day of our Election of Governor Lt Governor & Senators. The Democrats are very Sanguine and the others are not So. The former Say that Mr...
I have received your favor of the 11th. of March and, with a pleasure far exceeding all my powers of Expression perceive that your friendly Sentiments for me are as kind and indulgent as they were six and twenty years ago. I read with the Same Satisfaction your publication last fall, and with a tenderness which was almost too much for my Sensibility. While Wythe and Pendleton and McKean and...
I have received your favour of the 19th of March, and thank you for your care of the Letter which you inclosed from my Friend La Fayette. The inclosed Lett Answer from me to him I pray you to transmit to him with your dispatches. I congratulate you on your Arrival in this country and I wish you much honor and pleasure in your public and private Intercourse with our Government and Citizens. I...
I duly received your favor of April 9 & am much gratified with that affectionate attachment, which you express for me. The mode you have adopted to mark your regard is very flattering. All that I can say to you upon this occasion is, God bless the brave boy to whom you have given the name of MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 20th of April and in answer to the enquiry in it, I have the pleasure to inform you, that on the 16 of April I answered your former favor, acknowledging the receipt of it with the letter inclosed from my friend La Fayette. In this letter I inclosed an answer to that illustrious but unfortunate gentleman and requested the favor...
In writing to you, on the present Occasion, I have to express my Concern that I am disappointed in the Intention of paying my Respects to you and Mrs. Adams at Quincy, during the ensuing Summer.—The Gentleman, Whom I had appointed my Attorney in Jamaica, writes me that he has been very ill, and will be under the Necessity to take a Voyage to Europe for the Recovery of his Health; and thinks my...
I received with pleasure your letter of the ninth & thank you for the clear information it gives me of various matters which I had not before understood. I thank you too for your care of my boxes which contained only a few books papers pamphlets reports &c which Mr. Shaw had collected together belonging to him and me. They are arrived in safety. It is not worth while to dispute about...
If any one had foretold that three or four months would have passed away at Stonnyfield, and that I should have written but one short line to my dear Thomas, I should have resented the prediction, as an affront to my understanding, if not to my heart yet so it is. I have not even acknowledged yours of 21st of May. My heart was too full to write upon the subject of that of your letter which...
I thank you for your favour of the 13th. If it be true, or has not only whispered but confidently asserted for many years that the Jacobins first perverted Langdon, by holding out to him the temptation of the V. P. The least they could do in honor, after cheating him of that promotion, destroying his character, and passing him through Purgatory for 5 years, was to make him Secy. of Navy. His...
I received yours of the 4th with double pleasure occasioned, by the Encouragement you give me to hope that I shall See you Soon at this chosen spot. There are indeed in this Country, all the Characters and humours that you describe, and there will be such for many years to come, which will keep alive the extravagant Spirit of democracy longer than it would live of itself. Exaggerations of...
Your favour of the 20 of June has been long on its Journey. I cannot recollect, in detail, the particulars of the Conversation you allude to at Mr De Neuvilles.—Capellen de Poll was a noble man by Nature. A frank, manly, generous Soul. Wherever I have met such spirits I have always felt them. Capellen was frequently with the Reports fabricated by the Anglomanes, representing the affairs of...
I have recd your favour of the first of this Month with a copy of your Election sermon. That which I heard with delight when it was delivered. I have read with increased pleasure upon more deliberation. I thank you for this obliging instance of your attention & remain with great esteem / Your friend & humble / servt MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have recd and read with great pleasure your oration on the 4th. of July. While I thank you for this instance of your obliging attention to me I take the liberty to say that I observe with sincere pleasure the many proofs of genius and accomplishment in the Family of one of the most ancient of my friends, Judge Paine, both among the Males and Females. With much respect & esteem / I am Sir...
I received, by my Son, your kind Letter of the 13th of July, with a present of the Age of Revelation; and pray you to accept my cordial thank for both,— My Son had been attentive enough to his Fathers Wishes to send me this Valuable Work as soon as it appeared, and I had read it through, with pleasure and Advantage some time before the Copy Arrived by him. It is both ingenious and learned: nor...
I have recd your favor of the 5th of July with your Letter to Chanceller Livingston on Some Points of the natural History of Buffon and Jefferson, and your other Letter to Gerrit Boon. Col. Lincklain by whom you Sent them has not favoured me with a Visit—if he Should I Shall Shew him all the Civility in my Power. I have read the Letters with great pleasure. There are too many Subjects of...
I have received your favour from Rhode Island, and in Answer to it, take this opportunity to Say, that I was early made Acquainted with the Theory of your Universal Variation Chart and have always wished you Success in the Pursuit of it: that I have been acquainted with you many years, that I never knew or heard of any Thing to the disadvantage of your Character: and that I have always...
I received your favor of 27th: Ult. in season; and have been slow to answer it; for what should I say? Quid ego irrigationes? Quid fossiones agri, repastinationesque proferam, quibus sit multo terra fæcundior? Quid de Ulilitate loquar Stercorandi? Quid ego vitium Satus, ortus, incrementa commemorem? I might say to you, Satiari delectatione non possum, ut meæ Senectutis requietem...
The 11th. of September is reckoned among the happiest days of my Life. The Navy Officers who composed the late Court Martial on Capt. Little came out to visit me, with Mr Shaw who brought me your favor of the 4th dated at Philadelphia, informing me of your arrival on that day with my Daughter and Grandson in as good health as could be expected—You do not expressly say whether you intend to...
Have a care, that you do not let Captain Duane know, that I am reading Cicero de Senectute again: because he will immediately insert in his Aurora Borealis, that I recollected, those Words in the 17th Chapter “nihil ei tam regale videri, quam Studium agri colendi.” He will say that there is nothing in building Stone Wall, or in collecting Heaps of Compost, but the tang of Royalty and Monarchy,...
It is a long time, since I had the pleasure to write to you: but this omission has arisen from engagements in public Business, which left me no time for any Attention to my private Affairs. It is now time for me to think of my own little concerns, and this Letter is to inform you, that I have engaged my worthy Son John Quincy Adams, late Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to the...
I have received the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 20 Oct and have communicated its melancholly contents to the mother and other relations of the deceased Mr. William Smith. They all sympathize with you in your affliction.—I know nothing of Mr Smiths affairs and I cannot learn that any of his relations are better acquainted with them. They desire that their respects may be...
I thank you for your favour of the 3. oct....I Should be obliged to your friend Mr Mappa if he would commit to writing a description of the Phenomena, he observed in the Eastern Asiatic Seas; and the various species of foam which he saw floating on the waves and thought preparatory matter for testaceous and crustaceous fishes. The Spat, or Eggs of oysters, float on the Waves, and are deposited...
I have received the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 16 Oct together with your “considerations on the substance of the sun.” This pamphlet I shall transmit to Dr Lathrop of Boston, the librarian of the society, to be laid before them at their next assembly. In the mean time, I thank you for the pleasure you have given me of reading it. I will venture to say it contains much...
The request, in your Letter of the 4th: which I received on Saturday, is somewhat embarrassing. On the one hand, to refuse my consent to a proposal which must be thought by some so obliging and by others So flattering, would be severe and uncivil: on the other I do not approve, in general of the practice of giving double names of Baptism to Children: Although the Influence of Grandmothers and...
I have recd your favors of the third, and am much obliged to you and to Mr. Mappa for your Observations on the generation of shell fish &c My Privilege of franking extends to all Letters and Packetts. I return your letter to Chandler Livingston with this, and will return that to Mr. Boon, in a short time. I can afford you no ideas on the Subject of the mammoth because I have none. The Spirit...
I have received our letter of the 9th and a former one. You may inclose to my address the public documents which Mr. Shaw desires, and I shall have the use of them, when they arrive. I thank you for the newspapers, containing the debate on the motion for repealing the judiciary bill & for the expressions of personal kindness to me in both of your letters. I congratulate you on your continuance...
I received your favor of Dec 16 and presented the inclosed letter from Mrs. Otis to Mrs. Adams. I congratulate you on your continuance in your office. It would not have raised the reputation of any sett of men to have made unnecessary changes in such kinds of offices. Even in England where party and self have at least as much energy as they have here removals are uncommon in the army navy...
I have been confined, with a cold for three weeks and the family have been generally affected in the same way: We have not heard from yours for some time. I long to see you all: but the Weather and the roads will keep us, at a distance I fear for some days if not weeks. I have read Seven Volumes of De la Harpe in course, and the last Seven I have run through and searched but cannot find what I...
Politicks are forbidden fruit to me, at present, and what other Subject can I choose for a Letter? Shall I tell you what Books I read? or how many times a Week I go into the Woods? These Informations would not be interesting to you. I Suppose I may hint at a Question of Law without giving offence to the Powers that be, or the Powers that once were, but be not . A great noise has been made...
There is due from me to the Estate of Norton Quincy Esq. late of the Town of Quincy deceased. One Thousand and Eight Dollars it being for a Pasture called Babel Pasture sold and conveyed to me by the Executor of the said Norton Quincys last Will & Testament— Know all Men by these Presents, That I, Cotton Tufts of Weymouth in the County of Norfolk and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executor of...
Mr Dobson the Bookseller has an Account open with me.—It is of 13 or 14. or 15 Years Standing.—Several Years ago he Sent his account to me, but, intending to take the Ballance due to me in books I did not Sign it. I wish you would call upon him, and presenting him my Compliments pray him to Send his account to me through you. I presume there is a ballance due to me. This ballance you may take...
I now return your remarks on Jefferson and Buffon. If I had your permission I would communicate them to the American Academy of Arts & sciences. I think them valuable. The panegyricks upon these philosophers are however too sublime for the region of New England, and would diminish the useful influence of your observations. I sent your letter to Livingston sometime ago I am as usual MHi : Adams...
We feel, my dear Sir the Want of your Society on sundays and hope the Weather and Roads will soon bless us with it. Never at the Age of 18 when I was a great Reader and Admirer of Tragedies did I take more pleasure in them, than I have lately in Reading La Harps and of Corneille Racine Voltaire Moliere La Fontaine &c did not mean to express a Wish that you should make a serious study of Greek...
For Value received I promise to pay Richard Cranch Esq, o n order, Two thousand two hundred and fifty one Dollars in twelve months from this date, with Interest untill paid Testis Cotton Tufts 1806. October. 13th. Received Sixty Seven Dollars and Fifty Three Cents for one half years Interest on the above Note also the further Sum of fifty one Dollars in part of principal recd. by the hand of...
This Indenture made the first day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred & two by & between John Adams of the town of Quincy Esquire & Cotton Tufts Junr. of Weymouth Merchant on the one part & Jonas Pierce of said Town of Quincy Husbandman on the other part. Witnesseth, that the said John & Cotton for the consideration hereafter mentioned, hath demised, leased & Farm letten, and...