Here’s a cool book I picked up several years ago. Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory by John Quincy Adams.
JQA was, among other things, a Harvard professor, and the real love of his life was literature. Had he not been pushed hard by his parents he would have tried to make his life as a poet and author. But in 1810, he published two volumes of lectures on rhetoric, of which, alas, I have only volume 2. I don’t remember where I got it. Some antique store somewhere.
The story behind this book is very cool, though. In 1811, John Adams was persuaded by his fellow Declaration signer Benjamin Rush to reconcile with his erstwhile friend Thomas Jefferson. The two had not spoken in 11 years, thanks to the political differences that exploded in the 1800 election. Adams gave in to Rush’s promptings and wrote to Jefferson a short letter which you can see here. He enclosed with the letter “a Packett containing two Pieces of Homespun lately produced in this quarter by One who was honored in his youth with some of your Attention and much of your kindness.” The “two Pieces of Homespun” were the two volumes by John Quincy, and my volume is from the same printing. So on my shelf is a little piece of the Adams-Jefferson history.