Adams Papers
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John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 18 February 1781

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

Leyden Feby. 18th. 1781

Honoured Sir

The other day I received your letter, of the 12th of this month, in which you ask me whether my Master would choose that I should have Terence with a translation? I believe that he had rather I should not; because when I shall translate him he would desire that I might do it without help.

I should be glad if you would bring me Mr. Cerisier’s history of this Country, if you can spare it.1 There is a gentleman in this city whose name is Keroux who has also wrote a history of this Country in four volumes in octavo. Perhaps you have heard of it.2

I should be much obliged to you if you would be so good as to desire Stephens to buy me a penknife, I want one very much, and can’t get one here.

I am your most dutiful Son,

John Quincy Adams

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A. Monsieur Monsieur Adams, chez Madame la veuve Hendrik Schorn a Amsterdam”; docketed in Thaxter’s hand: “Johnny 18th. Feby. 1781.”

1This work, issued anonymously, was currently in progress: Tableau de l’histoire générale des Provinces-unies, 10 vols., Utrecht, 1777–1784. Two sets remain among JA’s books in MB. Antoine Marie Cerisier (1749–1828), a journalist of French birth who had long resided in the Netherlands, was a leading propagandist for the Patriot or anti-Orangist party and became an enthusiastic supporter of JA’s efforts to win recognition for the United States. See a documented sketch of Cerisier in JA’s Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:454.

2Louis Gabriel Florence Kerroux, Abrégé de l’histoire de la Hollande et des Provinces-unies ..., 4 vols., Leyden, 1778. The copy at MQA contains JQA’s bookplate.

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