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John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams

Passy september the 27th 1778

Honoured Mamma

My Pappa enjoins it upon me to keep a journal, or a diary, of the Events that happen to me, and of objects that I See, and of Characters that I converse with from day, to day, and altho I am Convinced of the utility, importance, & necessity, of this Exercise, yet I have not patience, & perseverance, enough to do it so Constantly as I ought. My Pappa who takes a great deal of Pains to put me in the right way, has also advised me to Preserve Copies of all my letters, & has given me a Convenient Blank Book for this end; and altho I shall have the mortification a few years hence, to read a great deal of my Childish nonsense, yet I shall have the Pleasure, & advantage, of Remarking the several steps, by which I shall have advanced, in taste, judgment, & knowledge. a journal Book

Adams, John Quincy. Letter to Abigail Adams, September 27, 1778. Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3: April 1778 - September 1780 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973). Page 92-93.