ADAMS, JOHN. Letters
Lot 5380
ADAMS, JOHN. 1735-1826.
Sold for US$ 109,800 inc. premium
Lot Details
ADAMS, JOHN. 1735-1826.
Letters. [London: Privately printed, 1786]. [4], 74 pp. 8vo (205 x 125 mm). Near contemporary red morocco gilt, all edges gilt. Pale, even toning; two tiny wormholes to upper joint; else fine.

First edition, private issue, presentation copy. Extremely rare, privately printed epistolary treatment of Adams's views on the righteousness of the American cause, later published in New York as Twenty-Six Letters Upon Interesting Subjects, Respecting the Revolution in America. The letters are addressed to Dr Hendrik Calkoen who had them read aloud to assemblages of Dutchmen. Adams, however, states in the printed introduction to this edition that they are "by no means to be made public, for the present." Adams considered the Dutch recognition of American independence as one of the great successes of his career.
The presentation inscription on the half-title appears to be in the hand of Adams's London secretary: "Presented to W.N. Boylston by his affectionate friend / The Author." Ward Nicholas Boylston (1749-1828) was the cousin of John Adams.
See illustration.

Saleroom notices

  • Another edition of this work was privately printed in London in 1786 under the title "Twenty-Six Letters Upon Interesting Subjects" (the same title used in the later American editions). Priority is not known.
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