Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

5th. Tuesday. JQA 5th. Tuesday. Adams, John Quincy
5th. Tuesday.

Went with Mr. Artaud to the shops and bought some things. Fine weather. The Thermometer at night was. 15 degrees below.0. which is the degree of freezing.1 On the 20th. of December last and on the 25th. of the same month our Thermometer was at 25. below 0. and at that of the academy2 it was at 28, which is colder than it has been here since the year 1776. In 1759 it was as low as 33.

105 1.

The calibration is that of René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, French physicist and naturalist. Under Réaumur's system the temperature range between freezing and boiling was divided into eighty degrees; hence −33°R., mentioned later in the entry, would equal −42°F., or −41°C. (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale ; entry for 12 Aug. 1783, below; Adams Family Correspondence ; 4:287).


The Academy of Sciences, founded by Catherine I in 1725 in accordance with a plan of Peter the Great for the promotion of literature and science (Storch, Picture of Petersburg , p. 297–302, 313–321, 324–344).

6th. Wednesday. JQA 6th. Wednesday. Adams, John Quincy
6th. Wednesday.

Staid at Home all day. Mr. D. went to Mr. Wolff the banker's.1


Member of Strahlborn and Wolff, St. Petersburg bankers, who handled financial matters for Dana in the Russian capital (Dana to Benjamin Franklin, 29 April/[10 May] 1782, and to Robert Morris, 21 Oct./[1 Nov.] 1782, both LbC, MHi:Dana Papers).

7th. Thursday. JQA 7th. Thursday. Adams, John Quincy
7th. Thursday.

Mr. D. very unwell all day. Mr. Artaud dined out. Finished the 3d. Volume of Hume's history. 472 pages.

8th. Friday. JQA 8th. Friday. Adams, John Quincy
8th. Friday.

Thermometer at 18 below.0. in the morning. Mr. D. Continues unwell. Stay'd at home all day as well as, Yesterday. Begun Hume's 4th. Volume, Mr. Montréal came to pay us a visit in the forenoon.

9th. JQA 9th. Adams, John Quincy

Staid at Home all day.

10th. Sunday. JQA 10th. Sunday. Adams, John Quincy
10th. Sunday.

Finished Hume's 4th Volume. 480 pages. Mr. Artaud dined out. Mr. Peyron Mr. Montreal and Mr. Abraham came to pay us a visit.

11th. Monday. JQA 11th. Monday. Adams, John Quincy
11th. Monday.

Mr. Peyron, Mr. Montréal and several other gentlemen dined with us. I went to the English Library and took out the 5th. and 6th. Volumes of Hume's history of England, begun the fifth but read but 3 or 4 pages; went in the evening to the concert got home at about 9. o'clock.