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Author Name    Adams, John Quincy

Title   Letters on Silesia Written During A Tour Through That Country in the Years 1800, 1801

Binding   Leather

Book Condition   Very Good

Edition   First Edition

Publisher   London J. Budd 1804

Seller ID   63846

First Edition thus (the letters were originally serialized in The Port Folio Magazine). A very good copy bound in contemporary calf with gilt lettering and ornamental tooling on the spine. The gilt is rubbed and there is occasional light foxing. The folding map faces the title page and is in very good condition. There are two bookplates, a Dublin bookseller's ticket and a small label with Topography, Travels, &c No. 194 on the front paste-down. Adams wrote these letters while serving as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Berlin during the presidency of his father, President John Adams. The letters are addressed to Adams' brother, Thomas Boylston Adams, who published the letters in The Port Folio Magazine without his brothers permission and, in 1804, issued the letters in this edition. The first 29 letters contain a journal of Adams' tour through Silesia in which the topography, the agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and the morals and manners of the people of that dutchy are accurately described. The last 14 letters are a complete geographical, statistical, and historical account of Silesia; together with a detail of its political constitution, military, civil and ecclesiastical establishments, seminaries of education, literature and learned men. Silesia, a district in eastern Germany, was geographically important because it bordered Prussia, Austria and Germany and there had been three Silesian wars from 1740-1763 between Austria and Prussia. After the Peace of Hubertusberg in 1763 Prussia controlled most of Silesia (Britannica IX, XXII, 52). Adams was a principal figure in the development of the United States' foreign policy from the earliest days of the republic. President Washington appointed him Minister to The Hague in 1794, and these letters reveal his basic political philosophy and values in the context of the changing political landscape of Europe and the relation of the United States to these events (Russell 30). Adams' influence on foreign policy would be felt across several administrations as the turmoil in Europe at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century threatened American security. He held diplomatic posts in St. Petersburg, Portugal, Berlin, The Netherlands, served on the Commission that negotiated the Treaty Of Ghent and played a central role in the development of the United States' longest standing foreign policy initiative, the Monroe Doctrine (Russell 199). These letters represent the nascent ideas of a statesman whose political philosophy would be vital to the development of the United States as an international power. In letter XXXIX Adams criticizes Frederick II of Prussia for denying liberty to the residents of newly conquered Silesia after the Peace of Hubertusberg in 1763 It is said that he always paid the workmen liberally . . . But still the badge of servitude remains. In Frederick's new dominion Adams saw the problems inherent in any imperialistic enterprise where neither side is satisfied: the empire must expend extraordinary resources to keep its territory productive and orderly while the subjects are forced to live under authoritarian rule. Adams articulated the mature version of these ideas during his term as James Monroe's Secretary of State 20 years later. In one of Adams' most famous speeches, his July 4th address to the House of Representatives he said [Americas] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice. Adams served as U. S. Senator from Massachusetts, as the sixth President of the United States, and concluded his career as U. S. Representative from Massachusetts. On February 21, 1848 Adams collapsed at his desk on the floor of the House of Representatives, slipped into a coma and died two days later. At the time of his death Adams was a vocal critic of the Polk administration's handling of the Mexican War. Parsons 172, American Travellers Abroad, A11

Price = 2500.00 USD

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