Diary of John Adams, volume 3

242 August 19. 1769 [i.e. 1796]. Fryday. JA August 19. 1769 [i.e. 1796]. Fryday. Adams, John
August 19. 1769 i.e. 1796. Fryday.

Ten Yoke of Oxen and twelve hands ploughing in the meadow. It is astonishing that such a Meadow should have lain so long in such a State. Brakes, Hassock Grass, Cramberry Vines, Poke or Skunk Cabbage, Button Bushes, alder Bushes, old Stumps and Roots, Rocks, Turtles, Eels, Frogs, were the Chief Things to be found in it. But I presume it may be made to produce Indian and English Grain, and English Grass, especially Herdsgrass in Abundance. At least the Beauty of the Meadow and the Sweetness of it and the Air over it will be improved. Brackets, Vintons and My Brothers oxen added to mine and those from Abington.

August 20. 1796. Saturday. JA August 20. 1796. Saturday. Adams, John
August 20. 1796. Saturday.

Bracket and Vinton left me. We procured Captn. Baxters Oxen and William Field Junr. and went on with Eight Yoke including my red Steers, and ploughed as well as ever.

Paid Reed £11. 2s. in full for the Weeks Work of two Men, three Yoke of Oxen and a Horse.

The Men I allowed 6s. a day, tho I found them,1 being one Shilling more than the Agreement. The Oxen I allowed 7s. 6d. a Day, as they found them, which was according to Agreement. The Horse I allowed four shillings a Day for the Days he worked, or rather danced, which were three, and I allowed them one shilling a Day for his Keeping, when he was idle. Making in the whole £11 2s: od.

They left a miserable Dogs Ear in the Meadow unploughed, which mortifies me. In other Respects I am satisfied. I allowed them however a very extravagant sum for keeping their Cattle, and a shilling a Man a Day more than they asked for their Labour.

Mrs. Adams returned with Mr. and Mrs. Otis and Miss Harriot about 9 O Clock at night.


That is, furnished them with food; see OED under Find, verb, 18.

August 21. 1796. Sunday. JA August 21. 1796. Sunday. Adams, John
August 21. 1796. Sunday.

The hottest day. Unwell.

August 22. 1796 Monday. JA August 22. 1796 Monday. Adams, John
August 22. 1796 Monday.

Mr. Otis and Family went to Boston. Mr. C. Storer and Mr. Storrow breakfasted.


Billings and Sullivan began the Wall against the Road opposite the Corner of the Garden.

Very hot but the Wind springs up. Unwell.