Friday, August 12, 2011

JQA in Russia

I found this article, which talks about John Quincy Adams' time as ambassador in St. Petersburg. What sent me looking was this blog entry from the Massachusetts Historical Society on the birth of JQA's daughter in Russia. Don't forget you can follow JQA's on Twitter! From his personal letters, including one to his own mother, we can see a little of JQA's more "human" side:
One letter was sent to his mother-in-law in which he communicated “the joyful tidings.” The other letter was sent to his mother, Abigail Adams, and not only does he describe his new child as his “charming daughter,” he also expresses some humor--“I think this will convince you that ‘the climate of St. Petersburg is not too cold to produce an American.’” JQA was quick to explain his humorous remark: “I hope that you will not think a little levity in this manner of stating to you the fact, incompatible with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God for this new blessing that I have received at his hands.” JQA also writes of “the deep anxieties of my own heart” regarding his wife’s difficult labor and towards the end of the letter he refers to his wife as his “dearest friend” (a term that his parents often used when writing to each other). The passage reads: “To the tender mercies of that Being from whom every good and perfect gift proceeds I commit the Mother and the child, imploring the aid of his Spirit, that my dearest friend may … be restored to health….”

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