Adams Papers

John Adams to the Rector and Preceptor of the Latin School at Amsterdam, 18 October 1780

John Adams to the Rector and Preceptor of the Latin School at Amsterdam

18th October 1780

Mr. Adams presents his Compliments to the Rector and the Preceptor, and acquaints them that his eldest Son is thirteen Years of Age: that he has made considerable progress already in Greek and Latin: that he has been long in Virgil and Cicero, and that he has read a great deal for his Age, both in French and English; and therefore Mr. Adams thinks it would discourage him to be placed and kept in the lower Forms or Classes of the School; and that it would be a damage to interrupt him in Greek, which he might go on to learn without understanding Dutch. Mr. Adams therefore requests that he may be put into the higher Forms, and put upon the Study of Greek.1

LbC (Adams Papers); in John Thaxter’s hand; at foot of text: “not sent.”

1On the placement of JQA and CA as boarding students in the Latin School on the Singel in Amsterdam at the end of August, with JQA’s diary entries about their life there, see JA to AA, 25 Sept., vol. 3 above. The present letter, which on second thought JA did not send, indicates that the school authorities had held JQA back from his proper scholastic level because of his deficiency in the Dutch language—a decision that JA thought unwise and that soon proved so in its effect on JQA. For the upshot see the exchange of notes between Rector Verheyk and JA under 10 Nov., below.

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