JOHN ADAMS ACKNOWLEDGES RECEIPT OF $100 FROM HIS CHIEF STEWARD ~~ A SCARCE FINANCIAL DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE FORMER PRESIDENT
ADAMS, JOHN. (1735-1826). Second President of the United States (1797-1801); Signer of Declaration of Independence. Exceptionally choice Autograph Document Signed, “J. Adams”, being a receipt for monies received from his chief steward. One page, oblong narrow octavo. Quincy, Massachusetts, January 18, 1811. Very fine condition. Adams writes:
“Received of Mr. Breisler one hundred dollars on account. J. Adams”.
The Adams’ depended heavily on their steward, John Briesler. He first joined the Adams family in February 1784 when he accompanied Abigail on her journey to join John in London. He managed their home in England and continued in their employment during Adams’ presidency. Briesler was well compensated, and not only received a $500 annually salary which was a significant amount for a steward, but his compensation also included lodging and meals for his family. After Briesler married, his wife Esther served as Abigail’s lady’s maid and assisted with other household tasks. [courtesy whitehousehistory organization]
Financial documents from the early presidents are quite scarce. Adams’ partly-printed checks are almost unobtainable, and this signed receipt made out entirely in his hand, would make a fine substitute for the collector of financially related documents needing an Adams.