Paper book No. 20.
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of Charles Francis Adams]
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I purchased of my Brother, my fathers
Homestead, and House where I was born. The House, Barn and thirty five acres of
Land of which the Homestead consists, and Eighteen acres of Pasture in the
North Common, cost me 440. This is a fine addition, to what I had there
before, of arable, and Meadow. The Buildings and the Water, I wanted, very
That beautifull, winding, meandering Brook,
which runs thro this farm, always delighted me.
How shall I improve it? Shall I try to introduce fowl Meadow And Herds
Grass, into the Meadows? or still better Clover and Herdsgrass?
I must ramble over it, and take a View. The Meadow is a great Object -- I
suppose near 10 Acres of [it] -- perhaps more -- and may be
made very good, if the Mill below, by overflowing it, dont prevent. Flowing is
profitable, if not continued too late in the Spring.
This Farm is well fenced with Stone Wall against the Road, against
Vesey, against Betty Adams's Children,
vs. Ebenezer Adams, against
Moses Adams, and against me.
The North Common Pasture has a numerous Growth of Red Cedars upon it,
perhaps 1000, which in 20 years if properly pruned may be worth a Shilling
each. It is well walled in all round. The Prunings of those Cedars will make
good Browse for my Cattle in Winter, and good fuel when the Cattle have picked
off all they will eat. There is a Quantity of good Stone in it too.
MARCH 2D. WEDNESDAY.
Last evening at Wheelwrights, with
Cushing, Pemberton and
Swift. Lt. Govr. Oliver, senseless, and
dying, the Governor sent for and Olivers Sons. Fluker
[Flucker] has laid in, to be Lieutenant Governor,
and has perswaded Hutchinson to
write in his favour. This will make a difficulty.
C [Chief] J
[Justice] Oliver, and Fluker will
Much said of the Impeachment vs. the
C.J. -- and upon the
Question whether the Council have the Power of Judicature in Parliament, which
the Lords have at home, or whether the Governor and Council have this
It is said by some, that the Council is too precarious a Body to be
intrusted with so great a Power. So far from being independent, and having
their Dignities and Power hereditary, they are annually at the Will, both of
the House and the Governor, and therefore are not sufficiently independent, to
hold such Powers of Judicature over the Lives and Fortunes of Mankind. But the
answer is this, they may be intrusted with the Powers of Judicature, as safely
as with the Powers of Legislature, and it should be remembered that the Council
can in no Case here be Tryers of Fact as well as Law, as the Lords are at home
when a Peer is impeached, because the Council are all Commoners and no more.
The House of Representatives are the Tryers of the Facts and their Vote
Impeaching is equivalent to a Bill
of Indictment, and their Vote
demanding judgment is equivalent to a Verdict of a jury, according to
Selden. Is not the Life, and Liberty and Property of the
subject, thus guarded, as secure as it ought to be, when No Man can be
punished, without the Vote of the Reps [Representatives]
the whole People, and without the Vote of the Council Board if he can without
the Assent of the Governor.
But it is said, that there is no Court of Judicature in the Province,
erected by the Charter, only. That in the Charter a Power is given to the
general Court to erect Courts. That General Court has not made the Governor and
Council a Court of judicature, and therefore it is not one, only in Cases of
Marriage and Probate.
To this it may be answered by enquiring, how
the Council came by their Share in the Legislative? The Charter says indeed
that the General Court shall consist of Governor, Council and House, and that
they shall make Laws, but it no Where says, the Council shall be an integral
Part of this General Court -- that they shall have a Negative Voice.
It is only from Analogy, to the British Legislative, that they have assumed
this Importance in our Constitution.
Why then may they not derive from the same analogy, the Power of
About 9 at Night I step'd over the Way, and took a Pipe with Justice
Quincy and a Mr. Wendel of
Portsmouth. Mr. Wendell seems a Man of Sense
and not ill affected to the public Cause.
Heard the oration pronounced, by Coll.
Hancock, in Commemoration of the Massacre -- an elegant, a pathetic, a
Spirited Performance. A vast Croud-rainy Eyes --
The Composition, the Pronunciation, the Action all exceeded the Expectations
of every Body. They exceeded even mine, which were
[illegible] very considerable. Many of the Sentiments came with
great Propriety from him. His Invective particularly against a
Prefference of Riches to Virtue, came from him
with a singular Dignity and Grace.
Dined at Neighbour Quincys,
with my Wife. Mr. John Dennie
and Son there. Dennie gave a few Hints of vacating the Charter
and sending Troops, and depriving the Province of Advantages, quartering Troops
&c. -- But all pretty faint.
The Happiness of the Family where I dined, upon account of the Colls. justly
applauded Oration, was complete. The Justice and his Daughters were all
SUNDAY MARCH 6TH.
Heard Dr. Cooper in the Morning. Paine
drank Coffee with me.
Paine is under some Apprehensions of Troops, on Account of
the high Proceedings, &c. He says there is a ship in to
day, with a Consignment of Tea from some private Merchants at home --
Last Thursday Morning March 3d. died Andrew
Oliver Esquire Lieutenant Governor. This is but the second death which
has happened among the Conspirators, the original Conspirators against the
Public Liberty, since the Conspiracy was first regularly formed, and begun to
be executed, in 1763 or 4. Judge Russell who was one, died in
1766. Nat. Rogers, who was not one of the original's, but came
in afterwards, died in 1770
This Event will have considerable Consequences. -- Peter
Oliver will be made Lieutenant Governor, Hutchinson will go home, and probably be continued Governor
but reside in
England, and Peter Oliver will reside here and
rule the Province. The Duty on Tea will be repealed. Troops may come, but what
becomes of the poor Patriots. They must starve and mourn as usual. The
Hutchinsons and Olivers will rule and
overbear all Things as usual.
An Event happened, last Fryday
that is surprising.
At a General Council, which was full as the General
Court was then
had the Confidence to Nominate
for Justices of the Peace, George Bethune, Nat.
Taylor, Ned. Lloyd [Lyde]
Benj. Gridly and Sam Barrett -- and informed
the Board that they had all promised to take the oath.
The Council had the Pusillanimity to consent by their Silence at least to
Nothing has a more fatal Tendency than such Prostitution of the Council.
They tamely, supinely, timorously, acquiesce in the Appointment of Persons to
fill every executive Department in the Province, with Tools of the Family who
are planning our Destruction.
Neighbour Quincy spent the
Evening with me.
MONDAY MARCH 7.
This Morning brought us News from
S. Carolina of the Destruction of the Tea there, and from
England of a Duel between Mr. Temple and
Mr. Whately, and Mr. Franklins explicit
Declaration, that he alone sent the Governors Letters to
Boston and that both Temple and
Whately were ignorant and innocent of it -- and that 3
Regiments are ordered to
N. York, that the judges opinions are required, and the Board of
Trade in Motion, and great Things are to be laid before Parliament &c.
&c. Twenty Eight Chests of Tea arrived Yesterday, which are to make an
Infusion in Water, at 7 o Clock this Evening.
This Evening there has been an Exhibition in
Kingstreet of the Portraits of the soldiers and the Massacre --
and of H --n
and C. J. Oliver, in
the Horrors -- reminded of the Fate of Empson and
Dudley, whose Trunks were exposed with their Heads off, and
the Blood fresh streaming after the Ax.
TUESDAY MARCH 8.
Last Night 28 Chests and an half of Tea were drowned.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9TH.
[illegible] Returned from
Charlestown Court with Coll.
Dunstable, who told me some Anecdotes of
Bernard and Brattle, Otis,
Hutchinson, &c. Bernard said
"he never thought of Pratt" -- he would find a Place
for him now, upon that Bench. Brattle shall be Colonel and
Brigadier, &c. -- Bernard said -- Afterwards this Miff
broke out into a Blaze.
Jemmy Russell was as sociable, and familiar, with
Dix and Gorham, and Stone,
and All the Members of the House as possible -- an Artfull fellow! deeply
covered. -- He told a saying of the Admiral, at the Funeral Yesterday.
"There never was any Thing in
Turkey nor in any Part of the World, so arbitrary and cruel as
keeping old Mr. Clark, at the Castle all
this winter, an old Man, from his family."
This day the General Court prorogued in Anger by the Governor.
FRYDAY MARCH I ITH.
Charlestown with Mr. Thomas Russell, with
Mr. Temple, Mr. Jacob
Rowe, Mr. Nicholls, Mr. Bliss, and
several other Gentlemen and Ladies, to me unknown. No Politicks, but Mr.
Temples Duell, and the Pieces in the
London Papers, relative to it. A young Brother of Mr.
Russell came in. Conversation about making Porter here -- our Barley,
The Right of private judgment and the Liberty of Conscience was claimed by
the Papists and allowed them in the reign of James 2d.But has been prohibited by Law ever since. The
Advocates for the Administration now in
America, claim the Right of private judgment to overthrow the
Constitution of this Province, the Priviledges of
America, and british Liberties into the Bargain -- sed Non
SATURDAY. MARCH 12.
There has been and is a Party in the Nation, a very small one indeed, who
have pretended to be conscienciously perswaded
that the Pretender has a Right to the Throne. Their Principles of Loyalty,
hereditary Right, and passive obedience have led them
to this judgment, and Opinion. -- [illegible]
And as long as they
keep these Opinions to themselves, there is no Remedy against them. But as soon
as they express these opinions publicly, and endeavour
to make Proselytes, [illegible]
especially if they take any steps to introduce the Pretender, they become
offenders, and must suffer the Punishment due to their Crimes.
Private judgment might be alledged
in Excuse for
many Crimes -- a poor Enthusiast [may?]
bring himself to believe it lawfull
for him to steal
from his rich Neighbour
, to supply his Necessities,
but the Law will not allow of this Plea. The Man must be punished for his
Ravaillac and Felton probably thought,
they were doing their Duty, and nothing more, when they were committing their
vile assassinations But the Liberty of private Conscience, did not exempt them
from the most dreadfull Punishment that civil
Authority can inflict or human Nature endure.
Hutchinson and Oliver might be
brought by their interested Views and Motives, sincerely to think that an
Alteration in the Constitution of this Province, and an
"Abri d gment of what are called English Liberties," would be
for the Good of the Province, of
America, and of the Nation. In this they deceived themselves,
and became the Bubbles of their own Avarice and Ambition. The rest of the World
are not thus deceived. They see clearly, that such Innovations will be the Ruin
not only of the Colonies, but of the Empire, and therefore think that Examples
ought to be made of these great offenders, in Terrorem.
The Enmity of Govr. Bernard, Hutchinson
and Oliver, and others to the
Constitution of this Province is owing to its being an Obstacle to their Views
and Designs of Raising a Revenue by
Parliamentary Authority, and
making their own Fortunes out of it.
The Constitution of this Province, has enabled the People to resist their
Projects, so effectually, that they see they shall never carry them into
Execution, while it exists. Their Malice has therefore been directed against
it, and their Utmost Efforts been employed to destroy it.
There is so much of a Republican Spirit, among the People, which has been
nourished and cherished by their Form of Government, that they never would
submit to Tyrants or oppressive Projects.
The same Spirit spreads like a Contagion, into all the other Colonies, into
Ireland, and into
Great Britain too, from this single Province, of
Mass. Bay, that no Pains are too great to be taken, no Hazards
too great to be run, for the Destruction of our Charter.
SUNDAY. MARCH 13.
Heard Mr. Lothrop [Lathrop] in the
Forenoon and Dr. Cooper in the Afternoon. Last evening
justice Pemberton spent with me. He says that Moses
Gill has made many justices by lending Money.
MARCH 27. [i.e. 28?] 1774.
Rode with Brother Josiah Quincy to
Ipswich Court. Arrived at Piemonts in
Danvers, in good order and well conditioned. Spent the evening,
and lodged, agreably. Walked out in the Morning to
hear the Birds sing. Piemont says there is a Report that the
Sons of Liberty have received some Advices from
England which makes them look down -- that they have received a
Letter from Mr. Bollan that they must submit -- and other
Letters which they keep secret.
MARCH 28 [i.e. 29?] 1774.
Ipswich and put up at the old Place,
Treadwells. The old Lady has got a new Copy of her
GranGranfather Govr. Endicott's Picture, hung up in the House.
The old Gentleman is afraid they will repeal the Excise upon Tea and then that
we shall have it plenty, wishes they would double the Duty, and then we should
never have any more.
The Q [Question] is who is to succeed
Judge Ropes -- whether
Brown or Pynchon or Lee or
Hatch. The Bar here are explicit vs.
the 2 last, as unfit. Lowell says Pynchon
would take it, because he wants to make Way for Wetmore who is
about marrying his Daughter.
Pynchon says judge
Ropes was exceedingly agitated all the time of his last Sickness --
about the public Affairs, in general, and those of the Superiour Court in particular -- afraid his Renunciation
would be attributed to Timidity -- afraid to refuse to renounce -- worried
about the Opinion of the Bar, &c.
Mr. Farnum is exceedingly mollified -- is grown quite
modest, and polite in Comparison of what he used to be, in Politicks. Lowell is so too -- seems
inclined to be admitted among the Liberty Men.
At a Meeting of the Bar a Doubt of Brother Lowell was
mentioned upon the Law of the Prov [Province]
[illegible] for the Relief of poor Prisoners for Debt. Questions
were asked whether appealing an Action was not fraud, whether trading without
insuring was not fraud &c. A Question also about the Duty of the Sheriff?
Whether a Party Plaintiff could controul the Kings
Precept, &c., by ordering the Sheriff not to serve it &c. Mr.
Wetmore was agreed to be recommended for the Oath &c.
WEDNESDAY. MARCH 30TH.
A dull Day. My Head is empty, but my Heart is full. I am wanted at my
Office, but not wanted here. There is Business there, but none here.
My Wife perhaps wants to see me. I am anxious
about her. I cannot get the Thoughts of her State of Health out of my Mind. I
think she must remove to
Braintree -- and I and the Family, at least for the
THURSDAY MARCH 31.
[illegible] Let me ask my own Heart, have I patience, and
Industry enough to write an History of the Contest between
America? It would be proper to begin at the Treaty of Peace in
1763, or at the Commencement of Govr. Bernards Administration,
or at the Accession of George 3d. to the Throne -- The Reign, or the Peace.
Would it not be proper, to begin, with those Articles in the Treaty of Peace
which relate to
America? -- The Cession of
Florida, to the English.
Franklin, Lee, Chatham,
Grenville and Shelburne,
Whately, Hutchinson, Oliver,
J [Judge] Oliver, Barnard
Otis, Thatcher, Adams,
Mayhew, Hancock, Cushing,
Phillips, Hawley, Warren,
with many other Figures would make up the Groope.
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THE NAME OF
THE MERRIMACK RIVER, SPRING 1774.]
The River has been universally called and known by the Name of
Merrimack and by no other, from the Mouth of it at the Sea,
Litchfield, and all the other Towns and Places, quite up to the
Crotch made by
Winnipissioke Pond and
Winnipissioke, joining make the Crotch, and from that Crotch to
the Sea it has always been called and known by the Name of
Merrimack River, and is so to this day, and in all the Records
New Hampshire laying out Towns and Countys and in all Records of
Towns and Counties and in all Deeds and Conveyances from private Persons of
Lands upon this River, it has been uniformly and invariably, called
Merrimack and by no other Name.
20TH. 1774. MONDAY.
At Piemonts in
Danvers, bound to
Ipswich. There is a new, and a grand Scene open before me -- a
This will be an assembly of the wisest Men upon the Continent, who are
Americans in Principle, i.e. against the Taxation of Americans, by Authority of
I feel myself unequal to this Business. A more extensive Knowledge of the
Realm, the Colonies, and of Commerce, as well as of Law and Policy, is
necessary, than I am Master of.
What can be done? Will it be expedient to propose an Annual Congress of
Committees? to Petition. -- Will it do to petition at all? - to the
K [King]? to the L
[Lords]? to the C
What will such Consultations avail? Deliberations alone will not do. We must
petition, or recommend to the Assemblies to petition, or
The Ideas of the People, are as various, as their Faces. One thinks, no more
petitions, former having been neglected and despized. Some are for Resolves -- Spirited Resolves --
and some are for bolder Councils.
I will keep an exact Jounal Diary, of my journey, as
well as a Journal of the Proceedings of the Congress.
JUNE 25TH. SATURDAY.
Since the Court adjourned without Day this afternoon I have taken a long
Walk, through the Neck as they call it, a fine Tract of Land in a general Field
-- Corn, Rye, Grass interspersed in great Perfection this fine season.
I wander alone, and ponder. -- I muse, I mope, I ruminate. -- I am often In
Reveries and Brown Studies. -- The Objects before me, are too grand, for
me and multifarious for my Comprehension. -- We have not Men, fit for the
Times. We are deficient in Genius, in Education, in Travel, in Fortune -- in
every Thing. I feel unutterable Anxiety. -- God
grant us Wisdom, and Fortitude!
Should the Opposition be suppressed, should this Country submit, what Infamy
and Ruin! God forbid. Death in any Form is less terrible.
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Inside Back Cover
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