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Charles Francis Adams

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Adams seeks return of printerʼs proofs of the letters of his grandfather,

President John Adams, to his grandmother, Abigail

Charles Francis Adams, 1807–1886.  American statesman.  Autograph Note Signed, C. A. Adams, on a 2" x 4¼" slip of paper, no place, no date [circa 1841].

Adams almost certainly writes to request the return of erroneous galley proofs to the letters that he edited of his grandfather, President John Adams, to his grandmother, Abigail Adams.  He writes to “Mr. Bolles,” who was likely Charles Bolles, of the printing firm of Bolles & Freeman.  In full:  “Can Mr Bolles send me back the two or three last sheets of revised proof which I sent him last night?  I think there is a serious error in one of them." 

In 1841, Adams, the grandson of John Adams and the son of President John Quincy Adams, released the two-volume Letters of John Adams Addressed to His Wife, published by Freeman & Bolles of Boston.  Adams later edited other correspondence of his grandfather, including The Works of John Adams, published in 10 volumes by Little, Brown & Co. of Boston between 1850 and 1856, and Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution, published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. in 1875.

Adams played a key role for the Union during the Civil War.  Almost immediately upon taking office, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Adams as the United States Minister to the United Kingdom, a position that both his grandfather and father had held.  Adams was instrumental in maintaining British neutrality and in keeping Britain from granting diplomatic recognition to the Confederate States of America.  Had Britain aided the Confederacy, the result of the war might well have been different.

Adams, from Massachusetts, unsuccessfully ran as former President Martin Van Burenʼs vice presidential running mate on the Free Soil Party ticket in 1848.  He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1858 and again in 1860 but resigned to accept the ambassadorship to Britain.

Charles Bolles (1802–1854) helped to establish the printing firm that ultimately became Hougton, Mifflin & Co.  A genealogical history describes Bolles, the long-time printer of The New Jerusalem Magazine, as “a printer of extraordinary skill and taste, in Boston and Cambridge, Mass."  In 1827, Bolles, who was originally from Hartford, Connecticut, and John D. Freeman founded Freeman & Bolles, one of Bostonʼs leading printers.  The company became Bolles & Houghton in 1849 after Henry Oscar Houghton bought out Freeman.  Three years later Bolles sold his interest, and the firm became H. O. Houghton & Co., eventually to become the famed Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

This is a very nice piece.  Francis has written and signed it in black and has addressed it to “Mr. Bolles" at "12 West Cedar Street" on the back.  A small pin hole at the top affects one letter of the text, and there is a light pencil mark in the blank upper left corner.  Overall he piece is in fine condition.

Unframed.  Please ask us about custom framing this piece.


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