Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 2

11th. JQA 11th. Adams, John Quincy

From the office this afternoon I went with Townsend to his lodgings, and there past a couple of hours; after which I went in to Mr. Tufts's, spend the remainder of the evening, and supp'd there. I found Mr. I. Smith there, and conversed with him upon the subject of the late disturbances at college. He hinted to me, 343that one of my brothers, had been much irritated, and that he was suspected of being peculiarly active upon some of the late occasions.1 I hope however there was no just ground for their suspicions.2


See entry for 2 Feb. (below).


Beginning on this date and continuing until 31 Dec., JQA also wrote in another Diary, designated by the Adams' editors as D/JQA/13, consisting of line-a-day memoranda written on blank pages in his copy of Fleet's Pocket Almanack and Massachusetts Register for 1788, Boston, [1788]. This leather-bound volume, measuring 3¼ × 5½, also contains notes from JQA's readings and lines of poetry. These entries occasionally add some small detail to the fuller entries contained in D/JQA/12. Significant additions are mentioned in the notes.

12th. JQA 12th. Adams, John Quincy

Saturday evening. I was as usual, all the evening at my own lodgings: I spent my time in reading Gibbon's roman history, 2d volume, and now at 12 at night, upon compulsion I am to say something for myself. And I know nothing better than to testify, that at Mr. Parsons's office, I have lost a great part of this week, by conversing with him and with Townsend.

Mr. Parsons is now gone to Boston, and I hope to god, I shall not go on in this way squandering week after week, till at the end of three years I shall go out of the office, as ignorant as I entered it. I cannot, must not be so negligent: all my hopes of going through the world in any other, than the most contemptible manner, depend upon my own exertions, and if I continue thus trifling away my time, I shall become an object of charity or at least of pity. God of Heaven! if those are the only terms upon which life can be granted to me, oh! take me from this world before, I curse the day of my birth—Or rather give me resolution to pursue my duty with diligence and application, that if my fellow creatures should neglect, and despise me, at least I may be conscious of not deserving their contempt.

13th. JQA 13th. Adams, John Quincy

This morning Townsend called on me; and invited me to go and hear Parson Tucker. We met Little in the street who turn'd about, and walk'd that way with us. When we got to the meeting house we found there was to be no service there in the forenoon, and as it was then too late to go any where else, we turn'd back and went home. Dined, with Dr. Kilham, at Dr. Swett's, and 344Little dined with us. We spent the afternoon, and drank tea there. Mrs. Swett is handsome, and like most of our Ladies, is perfectly acquainted with the various forms of propriety in company, which have been established here. She has too much good breeding to know any thing upon speculative subjects, and she has a proper aversion to politics. She has however I believe a good understanding, and is infinitely superior to many of our female beauties who flutter, in all the pride, of variegated colours. After I return'd home, Thompson called and delivered me a letter from W. Cranch.1 I went with the Dr. to see Mr. Jackson, but he was not at home, and we called in at Mrs. Emery's. This Lady and her Daughter converse more to my satisfaction than the generality of my female acquaintance. In their company my time passes away fast; and I am not often able to say as much.2


Not found.


According to his line-a-day entry for this date, JQA refers to Mrs. Parsons whom he presumably also saw (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).