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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1774-04 - 1774-06

[Notes on the Name of the Merrimack River, Spring 1774.] 1

The River has been universally called and known by the Name of Merrimack and by no other, from the Mouth of it at the Sea, thro Pennicook, Suncook, Nottingham, Litchfield, and all the other Towns and Places, quite up to the Crotch made by Winnipissioke Pond and Pemiggewasset River. Pemiggewasset and Winnipissioke, joining make the Crotch, and from that Crotch to the Sea it has always been called and known by the Name of Merrimack River, and is so to this day, and in all the Records of New Hampshire laying out Towns and Countys and in all Records of Towns and Counties2 and in all Deeds and Conveyances from private Persons of Lands upon this River, it has been uniformly and invariably, called Merrimack and by no other Name.
1. Immediately following the entry of 31 March (except for the inserted receipt mentioned above) is a series of extracts from Massachusetts provincial statutes, 1730–1734, relating mainly to the establishment of towns on the Merrimack River and to the boundary controversy between Massachusetts and New Hampshire which was then current (see Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, { 96 } 2:290–297. In addition there are extracts from three treasury supply acts, 1733–1735, reciting the wages to be paid the garrison “at the Block House above Northfield” in the northwestern part of the Province. Then follows the paragraph concerning the name of the Merrimack River which is printed here.
Probably all this material was put down while JA was investigating Massachusetts' northern and western boundaries for his report to the General Court this spring; see entry of 17 Dec. 1773, note 1, above, and Autobiography, Part One, under Fall 1773, below. All of it except the single paragraph that JA himself may have composed is omitted in the present text.
2. MS : “Countries.”