Adams Papers

John Adams to John Quincy Adams, 23 December 1780

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

Amsterdam Decr. 23. 1780

My dear Son

I last night received yours of 21st. I have written twice to Mr. Thaxter and inclosed in each Letter, one for you and another for Charles.1 I directed the Letters to Mr. Thaxter a la Cour D’Hollande. Enquire for them at that House.

You tell me you attended a Lecture on Medicine, but you have mistaken the Name of the Professor. It is not Horn, but Hahn. Is not the Professor of Law named Pestel?

Mr. Thaxter may purchase each of you a Pair of Scates. He may go to what Price he thinks proper—but be careful and moderate in the Use of them.

You may get the Leather Breeches and Boots, but have them made large, otherwise, you grow so fast, that you will not be able to wear them many months. I would have you all take some Lessons at the Riding school.

I am pleased to hear that you continue writing in the Greek Testament, &c.

Your Letter is well written, but I think that in order to improve your Hand you should write Copies every day. Write to me, as often as you can, and let me know every Thing concerning that famous University, where you are.—I am your affectionate Father,

John Adams

I have received Lillys Grammar and Clarks Exercises for you.2 Perhaps you can get them at Leyden. If you can I will keep these. I have this Moment received Mr. Thaxters, inclosing yours and your Brothers of the 22d3—shall answer in due time.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mynheer John”; endorsed: “Pappa’s letter of December 23d Answer’d December 24th 1780 No. 3”; docketed by JQA in a later hand: “J. Adams 23 Decr: 1780.” (JQA’s answer of 24 Dec. has not been found.)

1JQA to JA, 21 Dec., is above. JA’s two letters to Thaxter have not been found; his letters to JQA, enclosed therein, must be the first and second of 20 Dec., both above; his letters to CA, also enclosed, have not been found.

2Both these books survive in the Boston Athenaeum, probably in the very copies sent by JA for JQA’s use. They are William Lily, A Short Introduction of Grammar ... of the Latin Tongue, London, 1742, which bears the inscription “John Quincy Adams, his Book”; and John Clark, Introduction a la syntaxe latine, two copies, both Paris, 1773, but with different publishers’ names, one bearing JQA’s signature and the date 1778, and the other with his signature, a handwritten jingle, and the date 1779. See Catalogue of JQA’s Books description begins Worthington C. Ford, ed., A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenaeum. With Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, by Henry Adams, Boston, 1938. description ends , p. 107, 91.

3Thaxter’s and JQA’s letters of the 22d are above; no letter from CA of that date has been found.

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