Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 2 April 1819

From John Adams

Quincy April 2d 1819—

Dear Sir

Your Letter of March 21st I will communicate to Mr Bowditch, and Pickering—

You may put my Letters upon the Subject of Tracy’s Book into any hands you please, with or without any verbal alterations, as you may think fit1—“what you would have them, make them.” or as James Otis used to say to Samuel Adams—here take it. and “Quicu Wuicu” it2

I am obliged to borrow the hand of a friend to write you this Letter—

There seems to be some evil communication between Monticello, and Montezillo, for at the same moment when your complaint appears to be perfectly cured, I am teazed with something very much like it—I wish you could convey to me by some Subterranean Canal or Air-Balloon as clear Eyes, and as steady hands as yours

I am as ever yours—

John Adams

P S.

<If you could spare me another Copy of Tracy’s Book you would much oblige>


RC (DLC); letter and postscript in Louisa C. Smith’s hand, signed by Adams; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Apr. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Benjamin Vaughan, 23 June 1819, on recto and verso; addressed by Smith: “Thomas Jefferson late President of the U.S. Monticello”; franked; postmarked Quincy, 2 Apr. FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers); lacking canceled postscript.

For quicu wuicu, meaning edit, improve, or revise, see Adams to Benjamin Waterhouse, 25 June 1816: “The great James Otis whose style was hasty, rough and coarse, and who hated and despised correction, often gave some of his compositions to Sam Adams, whose language was soft, harmonious, and oily, as Otis expressed himself ‘To quicu Yeuhicu it’” (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers).

montezillo was Adams’s playful name for his home in Quincy.

1RC: “fitt.” FC: “fit.”

2Preceding four words added by Adams to FC in a space left blank by copyist.

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; and Destutt de Tracy’s writings search
  • Adams, John; and Greek pronunciation search
  • Adams, John; and TJ’s health search
  • Adams, John; health of search
  • Adams, John; letters from search
  • Adams, Samuel (1722–1803); revises J. Otis’s writings search
  • A Treatise on Political Economy (Destutt de Tracy) search
  • Bowditch, Nathaniel; and Greek pronunciation search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; A Treatise on Political Economy search
  • Greek language; pronunciation of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; illness of search
  • Otis, James; writings of search
  • Pickering, John; TJ’s letter on Greek pronunciation sent to search
  • political economy; works on search