Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Quincy Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 24 May 1819

From John Quincy Adams

Washington 24. May 1819.

Dear Sir.

The bearer of this Letter, Mr Cardelli, is a Sculptor by profession, a Republican by principle, and a Roman by birth—He is ambitious of the honour of taking your bust from the life, and I believe him to be by his talent worthy of it—Thinking with one of his illustrious countrymen of a former age “non intercedendum imaginibus, quae marmore aut aere finguntur,” I wish him success to his and your satisfaction, and pray you to accept my thanks for your kindness, in indulging him with the permission which he solicited for the accomplishment of his undertaking.

Accept the assurance of my perfect Respect and Attachment.

John Quincy Adams.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 2 June 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Henry Clark, 18 Oct. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Virginia” by “Mr Cardelli.” FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers).

non intercedendum … finguntur (“Not that I think the image wrought of bronze or marble should be forbidden”) is adapted from Tacitus, Agricola, 46.3 (Tacitus, trans. Maurice Hutton, William Peterson, Clifford H. Moore, John Jackson, and others, Loeb Classical Library [1914–37; rev. 1970; repr. ca. 2006], 1:114–5).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; and P. Cardelli search
  • Adams, John Quincy; letters from search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); bust of TJ search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); recommended by J. Q. Adams search
  • Cardelli, Peter (Pietro); visits Monticello search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; P. Cardelli’s bust search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Cardelli, Peter search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Tacitus, Cornelius; quoted by J. Q. Adams search