Diary of John Adams, volume 2

1774. Monday. Octr. 24. JA 1774. Monday. Octr. 24. Adams, John
1774. Monday. Octr. 24.

In Congress, nibbling and quibbling—as usual.1

There is no greater Mortification than to sit with half a dozen Witts, deliberating upon a Petition, Address, or Memorial. These great Witts, these subtle Criticks, these refined Genius's, these learned Lawyers, these wise Statesmen, are so fond of shewing their Parts and Powers, as to make their Consultations very tedius.

Young Ned Rutledge is a perfect Bob o' Lincoln—a Swallow—a Sparrow—a Peacock—excessively vain, excessively weak, and excessively variable and unsteady—jejune, inane, and puerile.


Mr. Dickinson is very modest, delicate, and timid.2

Spent the Evening at home. Coll. Dyer, Judge Sherman and Coll. Floyd came in and spent the Evening with Mr. Adams and me. Mr. Mifflin and General Lee came in. Lee's Head is running upon his new Plan of a Battallion.


On this day Congress heard, debated, and recommitted the proposed address to the people of Quebec, and heard a revised draft of the address to the King, which was agreed to next day ( JCC , 1:103–104).


This comment was probably evoked by Dickinson's diluted revision of the address to the King; see entry of 11 Oct. and note, above.

1774 Tuesday [25 October]. JA 1774 Tuesday [25 October]. Adams, John
1774 Tuesday 25 October.

Dined with Mr. Clymer. General Lee &c. there.

1774. Wednesday [26 October]. JA 1774. Wednesday [26 October]. Adams, John
1774. Wednesday 26 October.

Dined at Home. This Day the Congress finished. Spent the Evening together at the City Tavern—all the Congress and several Gentlemen of the Town.1


Among other things Congress this day debated and approved the address to the people of Quebec, signed the address to the King, voted a resolution of thanks to the Pennsylvania Assembly “for their politeness to this Congress,” and “then dissolved itself” ( JCC , 1:104–114). It had already, on 22 Oct., arranged for the printing of its Journal and resolved “that another Congress should be held on the tenth day of May next, unless the redress of grievances, which we have desired, be obtained before that time,” recommending Philadelphia as the best meeting place (same, p. 102).

1774. Thursday. Octr. 27. JA 1774. Thursday. Octr. 27. Adams, John
1774. Thursday. Octr. 27.

Went this Morning with Mr. Tudor to see the Carpenters Hall, and the Library, and to Mr. Barrells and Bradfords, and then to the State House to see the Supream Court sitting. Heard Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Reed argue a Point of Law concerning the Construction of a Will. Three Judges, Chew, Willing and Moreton.

1774. Fryday. Octr. 28. JA 1774. Fryday. Octr. 28. Adams, John
1774. Fryday. Octr. 28.

Took our Departure in a very great Rain, from the happy, the peacefull, the elegant, the hospitable, and polite City of Phyladelphia.—It is not very likely that I shall ever see this Part of the World again, but I shall ever retain a most greatefull, pleasing Sense, of the many Civilities I have received, in it. And shall think myself happy to have an opportunity of returning them.—Dined at Andersons,1 and reached Priestly's of Bristol at Night, twenty miles from Phyladelphia, where We are as happy as We can wish.

158 1.

The Red Lion, in the rural community then called Byberry, now part of Philadelphia City. See R.T. Paine, Diary (MHi), under this date.