Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 2

15th. JQA 15th. Adams, John Quincy

Mr. Burr went to an Ordination, and consequently we had no reciting in the afternoon. Mr. Williams had a Lecture to demonstrate the truth of the copernican System, at 3, and in the evening: he shew us the planet Venus, which through a telescope, appears shaped like the moon, and was this evening horned. She 127is quite small view'd through our glasses, which magnify objects 90 Times.

16th. JQA 16th. Adams, John Quincy

The weather begins to grow very cold: it has been remarkably fine all this fall. Mrs. Cranch return'd from Mystic, and will pass the night at Mrs. Hilliard's. Mr. Williams gave us in the evening a view at Jupiter, through the telescope. He appears like the moon when full, and attended with his four Satellites, at different distances. They are quite bright though invisible to the naked eye.

Bridge pass'd an hour with me after lecture.

17th. JQA 17th. Adams, John Quincy

Took books from the library. Hammond's algebra; Burke, on the sublime and beautiful, and Smith's theory of moral sentiments.1 Was employ'd a great part of the day, in calculating the Elements for a solar Eclipse. Snow.


Nathaniel Hammond, The Elements of Algebra in A New and Easy Method..., 4th edn., London, 1772; Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful..., London, 1761; Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments..., 2d edn., London, 1761 (Harvard, Catalogus Bibliothecae, 1790, p. 1,93,95).

18th. JQA 18th. Adams, John Quincy

Unwell, so that I could not do much all day. Finished my elements for an eclipse, and finally found it would be here before Sunrise, and consequently not visible.

19th. JQA 19th. Adams, John Quincy

I was very sick with a sore throat, and head ache; so that I could not attend meeting. Dined in my chamber with Bridge, and Cranch. There was in the evening a meeting of the A B, but I could not attend. The weather quite cold.

20th. JQA 20th. Adams, John Quincy

Snow'd almost all day. White set out early in the morning for Haverhill; his sister is to be married to-morrow.1 The Class recite to Mr. Burr, this week. I did not attend this morning. Mr. 128Pearson, gave a lecture, upon the analogy between philosophical grammar, and the human body. His divisions of Sentences, are those of Harris.2 Sentences of assertion and volition. Mr. Williams gave a lecture upon the projection of the sphere but not one in the Class, had done any thing in it, as there are very few manuscripts upon the subject in college.


Peggy White, Leonard's sister, married Bailey Bartlett (Haverhill, Vital Records ).


James Harris, Hermes: Or, A Philosophical Inquiry Concerning Language and Universal Grammar..., London, 1751, p. 17 (Harvard, Catalogus Bibliothecae, 1790, p. 135).