Adams Papers
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John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 12 May 1783

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

Hague May 12th. 1783

Honoured Sir

The fair ended last Saturday, and yesterday1 I began to translate Suetone’s life of Caligula;2 Mr. Dumas who is so good as to direct my studies, says you chose I should translate Suetone. I shall begin upon the Greek Testament3 directly.

The 4th. of this Month a vessel from Philadelphia arrived in the Texel, and last saturday Mr. Dumas receiv’d two large packets one of which he forwards this day. T’is said here that the preliminary articles between Great-Britain and this Republick are about to be signed, and that the Definitive Treaty will soon be finished; if so I hope you will soon be here.4

I am, Sir your dutiful Son.

J. Q. Adams

Please to present my respects to Messrs. Storer and Thaxter.

RC (Adams Papers).

1That is, Sunday, the 11th.

2An 8-page MS fragment of a rough-draft French translation of Suetonius’ Caligula survives from this exercise (M/JQA/45, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 240). Between March and July 1784, JQA produced a finished 462-page French translation of the first six of Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars (Julius Caesar through Nero) (M/JQA/44, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 239). At the end of his finished translation of Caligula, JQA noted that he had merely copied it from a translation that he completed on 22 July 1783, which must be the translation that he refers to here. See also JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981-. description ends , 1:175, note 2, 207, note 1; 2:44, note 1.

3See JA to JQA, 27 April, note 5, above.

4The preliminary articles between Great Britain and the Netherlands were not signed until 2 Sept. (Morris, Peacemakers description begins Richard B. Morris, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence, New York, 1965. description ends , p. 436). The “Definitive Treaty” between the United States and Britain was signed in Paris on 3 Sept., but JA visited Holland in July.

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