Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 28 October 1814

From John Adams

Quincy Octo 28. 14

Dear Sir

I1 have great pleasure in giving this2 Letter to the Gentleman who requests it. The Revd Edward3 Everett, the Successor of Mr Buckminster and Thatcher and Cooper in the politest Congregation in Boston, and probably the first litterary Character of his Age and State, is very desirous of Seeing Mr Jefferson. I hope he will arrive before your Library is translated to Washington.

By the Way I envy you that immortal honour: but I cannot enter into competition with you for my books are not half the number of yours: and moreover, I have Shaftesbury, Bolingbroke, Hume Gibbon and Raynal, as well as Voltaire.

Mr Everet is respectable in every View; in Family fortune Station Genius Learning and Character. What more ought to be Said to Thomas Jefferson by

John Adams

RC (MHi: Edward Everett Papers); at foot of text: “President Jefferson.” FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers). Not recorded in SJL and probably never received by TJ.

Edward Everett (1794–1865), Unitarian clergyman, public official, and orator, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1811 and a Ph.D. from Göttingen University six years later. He was minister of the Unitarian Brattle Street Church in Boston, 1814–15, editor for a time of the North American Review, and served Harvard as a professor of Greek literature, 1815–26, and president, 1846–49. Although the two men never met, Everett exchanged more than a dozen letters with TJ during the 1820s. He also sat in the United States House of Representatives, 1825–35, and served as governor of Massachusetts, 1836–40, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, 1841–45, United States secretary of state, 1852–53, and part of one term in the United States Senate, 1853–54. Everett supported industrialization, education reform, protectionism, the Bank of the United States, and the preservation of the Union. At the November 1863 dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, he delivered the two-hour speech immediately preceding Abraham Lincoln’s more memorable closing remarks. Everett died in Boston (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Ronald F. Reid, Edward Everett: Unionist Orator [1990]; MHi: Everett Papers; Harvard Catalogue description begins Harvard University Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1925, 1925 description ends , 63, 188; Boston Daily Advertiser, 16 Jan. 1865).

Joseph Stevens buckminster, William Cooper, Samuel Cooper, and Peter Thacher (thatcher) were ministers at the Brattle Street Church from 1805–12, 1716–43, 1746–83, and 1785–1802, respectively (Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, A History of the Church in Brattle Street, Boston [1851], 77, 125, 140, 159; The Manifesto Church: Records of the Church in Brattle Square Boston [1902], viii–x).

1“I have received” is canceled above the opening paragraph in FC.

2Word interlined in place of “you a” in FC.

3Given name interlined in place of “David.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; introduces E. Everett search
  • Adams, John; letters from search
  • Adams, John; library of search
  • Adams, John; on sale of TJ’s library to Congress search
  • Bolingbroke, Henry St. John, Viscount; works of search
  • Boston, Mass.; Brattle Street Church search
  • Brattle Street Church (Boston); J. Adams on search
  • Brattle Street Church (Boston); ministers of search
  • Buckminster, Joseph Stevens; minister of Brattle Street Church search
  • Cooper, Samuel, Rev.; minister of Brattle Street Church search
  • Cooper, William, Rev.; minister of Brattle Street Church search
  • Everett, Edward; identified search
  • Everett, Edward; introduced to TJ search
  • Gibbon, Edward; works of search
  • Hume, David; works of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • Library of Congress; transportation of TJ’s books to Washington search
  • Raynal, Guillaume Thomas François; works of search
  • Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3d Earl of; works of search
  • Thacher, Peter; minister of Brattle Street Church search
  • Voltaire (François Marie Arouet); works of search