Beginning with the entries of 1785, the John Quincy Adams Diary went beyond the random and occasionally embellished jottings of the earlier period. Although the Diary booklets previous to 1785 show some gradual transition to more disciplined summaries of daily activities and begin to reveal Adams' thoughts and views, major changes in appearance and style occurred when he began D/JQA/10 on 1 January 1785, as is shown by the entry illustrated here, written with a consistent hand in well-thought-out prose. In August 1783 Adams purchased three blank, leather-bound books, which eventually became Diaries 10, 11, and 12; but it was another year and a half before he resolved to keep a consistent, day-by-day record. Then he began to write in his first permanent book for diary-keeping purposes, rather than rely upon the small booklets or folded sheets he had hitherto used.
From the original in the Adams Papers.