Our duty to the future, a letter from the 18th Century.

Official_Presidential_portrait_of_John_Adams_(by_John_Trumbull,_circa_1792)

Official Presidential Portrait of John Adams (John Trumbull, 1792).

Extract of a letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, posted 12 May 1780, from Paris.

I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c. — if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty. The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.


One Comment on “Our duty to the future, a letter from the 18th Century.”

  1. That’s interesting – I’ve seen data (can’t recall where for now) that indicates that this pattern is very true. 2nd/3rd generation college students tend to study more of the Arts courses, while those in 1st generations tend to study more of the “professional” courses.

    Like


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