Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 2

6th. JQA 6th. Adams, John Quincy

In the beginning of the evening, I took a walk with Pickman, up to Mrs. Atkins's. We found only the old Lady at home; and she was so unwell, that we supposed Company would not be very agreeable to her; and soon came away: we met Thompson just as we were coming out; he turn'd about and came back with us.

I have little to say. That part of my Time which is best improved is productive of nothing, which may properly be recorded here; and as these volumes, or the greater part of their contents, are only an account of the occurrences of my idle hours, they must be proportionably trifling and insignificant. While I was in College these books were useful, as they contained copies of all my compositions, which I wished to pre-400serve but since I graduated, I have scarcely composed any thing, and indeed I have been much too negligent in that respect; but with so many other objects to engross my attention and employ my time, I have perhaps some excuse.

7th. JQA 7th. Adams, John Quincy

The weather was very fine; I took a long walk in the evening with Thompson and Putnam. Thompson left us, and went to see Parson Spring. Putnam came home, and past the remainder of the evening with me. I have used myself for several days past to rise very early, and should wish to do so through the Summer: but my propensity to sleep is so great, that it is almost always impossible for me to awake so soon as I wish.1


In his line-a-day entry, JQA refers to Michael Foster's Discourses upon a Few Branches of the Crown Law (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

8th. JQA 8th. Adams, John Quincy

The town met this afternoon to make choice of representatives for the ensuing year. Jonan. Greenleaf Esqr. Theop Parsons Esq. Captn. W. Coombs, and Mr. Jonan. Marsh, were the persons elected. We met in the evening at Putnam's lodgings. Stacey desired to join the Club, and was accordingly received. Little did not come; and as we began to be impatient we sent over to Dr. Swett's for him. But they sent us word that he was gone to be inoculated for the small pox. This disorder was introduced by a mistake of Dr. Smith; in consequence of which a number of persons have been inoculated, and removed to the Pest house. Little went without leave or licence; and is liable to prosecution for so doing;1 but in his circumstances I think he was very excusable in running the risk.


Although the town of Newbury on 8 May had authorized the use of the hospital in “Common Pasture” for inoculation, the selectmen of Newburyport promptly declared that the use of the building for inoculation was illegal and a threat to public health. On 16 May the town voted that those who inoculated others or were themselves inoculated should be prosecuted (Currier, Newburyport , 1:75).

9th. JQA 9th. Adams, John Quincy

Violent North-east storm, all day.

We all dined with Mr. Parsons. Thompson pass'd the evening 401with me. This storm gives me some anxiety, as possibly Callahan may be now upon the Coast. I would hope however for the best.