John Adams’ Account with John Stockdale
[29 October – 12 November 1783]1
John Adams Esq. to John Stockdale
|Oct.||29.||1 qr fools Cap 1/2 1 qr Blotting Paper||0:||1:||10|
|1 qr large thick post gilt||0:||1:||3|
|30.||Pens 1d. 1 qr blotting Paper 8d||0:||0:||9|
|1 qr fools Cap 1/2 1. d. post Gilt 1/3||0:||2:||5|
|Isabella a Play2||6|
|Wax 1. Wafers 6d||0:||1:||6|
|Nov.||1.||Transactions of the Society of Arts3||0:||4:||0|
|4.||Engraving a Plate4||0:||5:||0|
|Printing 300 Cards||0:||4:||6|
|12.||1 bl of Sealing Wax||0:||7:||0|
|Engraving a Plate of Arms||1:||1:||0|
|Whartons Virgil 4 vol.5||1:||4:||0|
MS (Adams Papers).
1. On 29 Oct., JA and JQA moved into apartments in London maintained by John Stockdale, where Henry Laurens had resided earlier in the year (JA, D&A description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:149; JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981– . description ends , 1:197). Stockdale, a London bookseller and printer, published JA’s A Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe . . . into Common Sense and Intelligible English in 1781. Later, in 1784, he would publish JA’s History of the Dispute with America, an abridged version of JA’s Novanglus letters taken from John Almon’s Remembrancer for 1775; and, in 1787–1788, JA’s three-volume Defence of the Const. (vol. 2:224; vol. 11:ix; vol. 14:266–267; JA, Defence of the Const. description begins John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, London, 1787–1788; repr. New York, 1971; 3 vols. description ends , 2:title page).
2. David Garrick, Isabella; or, The Fatal Marriage, London, 1757. JQA’s Diary indicates that he, and probably JA, attended the play at the Drury Lane Theatre on 31 Oct. 1783 (JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981– . description ends , 1:198). Sarah Siddons played Isabella, and in a 4 Nov. letter to Peter Jay Munro (NNMus), JQA wrote that “Friday evening, I went . . . to see that wonderful, wonderful, wonder of wonders, Mrs: Siddons. The most capital performer upon the Stage; not only of Europe, at present, but that ever was seen. . . . She out Garrick’s Garrick, Sir, cent per cent. she play’d that evening Isabella in the Fatal marriage: you probably know nothing of this piece: it is the deepest Tragedy I ever saw or read: and I must confess I never saw any player, so possessed of the pathetic, as this said Mrs: Siddons. all the audience were in Tears.” Neither this nor the other publications indicated at notes 3 and 5 are in JA’s library at MB. This may mean that when the Adamses left London for the Netherlands they left their books with John Stockdale, intending to retrieve them later, for which see AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 5:329–330, 338.
3. Presumably the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, which JQA visited on 7 Nov. (JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981– . description ends , 1:200–201).
4. This may be the bookplate described by Henry Adams in the Catalogue of JQA’s Books description begins Henry Adams and Worthington Chauncey Ford, A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenæum with Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, Boston, 1938. description ends , p. 138–139. For more on the bookplate, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 4, above. Why a second entry for the engraving of a plate of arms was included in the account and then crossed out, below, is not known.
5. Probably Joseph Warton’s The Works of Virgil, in Latin and English, 4 vols., London, 1753.
6. Subtraction is incorrect; £3.14.3 minus £1.1.0 is £2.13.3 rather than £2.13.0.