ADAMS, John Quincy (1767-1848), President. Autograph letter signed ("J.Q. Adams") to Joseph Pitcairn, U.S. Consul in Hamburg; Berlin, 28 April 1801. 1 page, 4to, integral address leaf with panel in Adams's hand, recipient's docket, WITH INTACT IMPRESSION OF ADAMS'S SEAL in black wax (an oval with motto "Fidem Libertatem Amicitiam" surrounding large AJQ monogram). In very fine condition.
TWO DAYS AFTER HE IS RECALLED, ADAMS TAKES PAINS TO POINT OUT THAT IT HAD BEEN HIS OWN FATHER, AS LAME-DUCK PRESIDENT, WHO ORDERED HIS RECALL
Adams, who had been serving as U.S. Minister to Prussia since 1797, "most sincerely sympathizes with you upon the loss of your child, My own feelings give me but too just a measure of yours--My wife has had a relapse of her illness, and is now in a state which gives me great concern and some alarm." (After several miscarriages, Louisa Catherine Adams had given birth, on 12 April, to George Washington Adams, 1801-1829.) Then, turning to his own situation, he informs Pitcairn that "I have received my recall from this mission, and if a good opportunity should offer from Hamburg for Boston, or any other part of the Eastern states, in about two months from this time, I shall wish to engage a passage for myself and family--sooner than that Mrs. A's health will certainly not admit..." In a few days he will be sending by ship certain freight for the return voyage, and adds: "If you should receive from Mr. Williams in London the little box for Mrs. Adams...please to keep it until we have the pleasure of seeing you in Hamburg."
In conclusion, he encloses a letter for his brother (Thomas Boyleston Adams) and one to the Secretary of State, then explains the circumstances of his leaving his post: "My recall was by the determination of the late President [John Adams] before he went out of office..." In one of the last acts of his Presidency, John Adams had ordered his son recalled as Minister, perhaps to deprive his opponent in the 1800 election, Thomas Jefferson, of the satisfaction of firing him.