Sale 22BP02 | Lot 1

ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY Long autograph letter to his brother written as United States Ambassador to Prussia.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY  Long autograph letter to his brother written as United States Ambassador to Prussia.

Lot Details

Lot 1
ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY Long autograph letter to his brother written as United States Ambassador to Prussia.
Potsdam: 5 May 1801. A four-page autograph letter on the recto and verso of a bifolium of watermarked laid paper, addressed "My dear brother" to T. B. Adams, the letter closing and signed with his initial: "Adieu - The soup is cooling - A." 9 x 7 1/2 inches (23 x 18 cm). Very fine with only usual folds, a few passages indicated with pencil marks within, the letter accompanied by a the small mounted signature of George Washington Adams, subject of the letter.

Provenance: Dr. Herbert Ernest Klingelhofer (1915-2015), collector and former President of the Manuscript Society

A very fine and long letter on a variety of personal and political topics from then Ambassador to Prussia John Quincy Adams to his brother Thomas Boylston Adams. Here Adams opens describing his preparations for an audience with the King and Queen of Prussia. He continues describing the expected expense surrounding his return home and his concerns over his wife Louisa travelling in her condition just weeks after child birth (Adams was recalled upon the election of Thomas Jefferson in March 1801).

We locate only a portion of this letter published in the online archives, this section regarding the birth of Adams' son: "My child was yesterday baptized by the name of George Washington; and may the grace of Almighty God guard his life and enable him, when he is come to manhood, to prove himself worthy of it! I was not induced merely by the public character of that great and good man to show his memory this token of respect. President Washington was, next to my own father, the man upon earth to whom I was indebted for the greatest personal obligations. I know not whether upon rigorous philosophic principles it be wise to give a great and venerable name to such a lottery-ticket as a new-born infant-but my logical scruples have in this case been overpowered by my instinctive sentiments."

The letter closes with comment on "the prospects of a great change in Europe, from the death of Emperor Paul, and the success of the English before Copenhagen" and mentions negotiations with Russia. He also mentions that the English have landed in Egypt and the state of the French there. A very fine, long and rare letter from Ambassador Adams from his formative years in Europe before his long stint in congress and presidency.


C Dr. Herbert E. Klingelhofer, former President of the Manuscript Society

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $5,355 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

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Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $5,355 (includes buyer's premium)

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Thu, Oct 13, 2022 at 10am EDT
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