John Adams to John Quincy Adams
Paris April 27. 1783
My dear Son
Last Night I received your Favour from the Hague of the 22 and I congratulate you, on your Safe Arrival. You have had a long Journey, from Petersbourg, and I hope it has not been a disagreable, nor an unprofitable one. You Should write to Mr. Dana and to me, an Account [of th]e Monies you have taken up and expended upon the Road. Keep the Letter from Mr. Dana to me,1 till We meet. Mr. Hartley is arrived here, as Min. Plen. from his Britannic Majesty to finish the Peace, and I hope it will not be many Weeks before I Shall See you at the Hague. Yet it may be longer than I wish. In all Events you cannot be better than where you are. Mr. Dumas will have the Goodness to direct your Studies. Let me recommend an immediate Attention to the Greek Testament.
It is my hope and Expectation to return to America as Soon as the definitive Treaty is Signed and I can go to the Hague to exchange Ratifications2 and take Leave. If We could embark by the Middle of May or beginning of June We should have a Prospect of a pleasant Voyage, after that you know there is danger of Summer Calms. You and I dont yet know what it is to cross the Atlantick without fear of Ennemies. Poor Stevens I fear is lost.3
Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Storer Send their Compliments to you upon your Arrival.
I have one Tax to lay upon you, and that is to write me a Short Letter every Post. You Should Se[e as many] of the Curiosities at the Hague as you can, and go to Forebourg Loosduinen and Riswick and Schevening.4
I am your affectionate Father.
Have you [lear]n’d the German? forgot the Dutch?5
RC (Adams Papers). Some loss of text at a tear.
2. The ratifications of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and the Netherlands, which JA had negotiated in Oct. 1782.
3. Joseph Stephens, JA’s servant from 1778 to 1782, was lost at sea while returning to America in 1783 (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:274).
4. Voorburg and Ryswick are east of The Hague, Loosduinen is south, and Scheveningen is west, on the North Sea. All are within five miles of the city.
5. JQA had studied Dutch in Holland in 1780–1781, but apparently made slow progress at a time when French, Latin, and Greek took most of his attention. He studied German in 1782 in Russia. See vol. 4:116; JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981-. description ends , 1:35, note 1, 48, note 3, 57, 58, 115, and note 1.