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John Quincy Adams Toasts William Penn and His City of Brotherly Love, in Receiving an Honorary Membership in a Philadelphia Institution

John Quincy Adams

Librería: The Raab Collection (Ardmore, PA, Estados Unidos de America)

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The keynote speech being made by one of the fast-shrinking number of Revolutionary War leaders: It is "doubly dear to me by the revolutionary lips from which it proceededÉ"We conjecture that the honor was AdamsÕs honorary membership in the University of Pennsylvania Philomathean Society Autograph toast unsigned, Philadelphia, no date but likely early to mid-1830s. ÒGentlemen: I pray you to accept my thanks for the pleasure I have enjoyed in witnessing the celebration, and partaking in the festivities of this day - and for the notice with which you have just honored me; rendered doubly dear to me by the revolutionary lips from which it proceeded, and for the flattering sentiments by which it was accompanied. I will not trespass upon your time, nor encroach upon topics fresh in your minds from the touches of a masterÕs hand, in the discourse which we have this day heard, but content myself with proposing to you for a toast: ÔThe Land of William Penn, and his Great Town, the City of brotherly love.ÕÓ In this manuscript, we read ÒnoticeÓ as meaning ÒdistinctionÓ, which is consistent with dictionary definitions.The piece is undated, but the handwriting is just starting to be shaky, suggesting a date in the early to mid-1830s, as before that there would be no shakiness and after that the shakiness would be more pronounced.Nor is there any specific indication what the event or honor might have been. However, an analysis of the document yields many clues. Adams was asked to speak often, especially for patriotic events like the 4th of July. We see these invitation letters and responses on the market every now and then. They use mostly general patriotic language, and make no reference to his being given an honor. This manuscript relates solely to William Penn and Philadelphia, indicating a local event, and speaks of a personal honor awarded him, clearly by a local entity. A search for honorary degrees or honorary memberships tendered to Adams by Philadelphia institutions turns up only one: he was awarded an honorary membership in the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania. Penn was the first school of higher learning in Pennsylvania, and whatever festivities it was hosting would appropriately elicit a toast about William PennÕs City of Brotherly Love. Moreover, the Philomathean Society pursues knowledge in every discipline in the pursuit of its mission: Òincreasing the learning of the members and the academic prestige of the University.Ó In fact, it published the first translation of the inscription on the Rosetta Stone. Just the cup of tea for polymath Harvard man John Quincy Adams, who was familiar with the principles of hieroglyphics and spoke and wrote on that subject. Also receiving the same honorary membership very close to the same time was William White, the legendary Penn trustee and preacher whose statue stands in the Penn quad. He was a noted figure in Revolutionary War Philadelphia, spoke as a Patriot from the pulpit, and died in 1836. Remarks by him would be consistent with AdamsÕs talk of Òrevolutionary lipsÓ; there were not many of the Revolutionary generation left by the 1830s when JQA penned this. Though we cannot be certain, we conjecture that this manuscript was for the University of Pennsylvania Philomathean Society honorary membership, and whatever ceremonies at Penn accompanied it. N° de ref. de la librería 10592

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Título: John Quincy Adams Toasts William Penn and ...

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The Raab Collection buys and sells rare important historical documents, bring to its endeavors a passion not only for the manuscript but the history behind it. We've built important historical collections for institutions and historical enthusiasts. Our pieces have found homes in many major institutions devoted to preserving history.

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