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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1


This foot note contained in document ADMS-01-01-02-0009-0001-0001
1. This heading, written in a very large hand, is on the inside front cover of “Paper book No. 10” (D/JA/10), suggesting that JA planned to keep a separate record of the proceedings of this lawyers’ study club. But after a few entries in Jan.–Feb. 1765 and some fragments of a first draft of his essay on canon and feudal law, written for the club, the record breaks off. Very likely the “sodality” itself did. A couple of extraneous entries made in Aug. 1765 follow in D/JA/10, but the last half of this booklet consists of nothing but blank leaves.
For the year 1764 there are no Diary entries at all. Lists of legal cases among his own papers indicate that JA continued to expand his practice; for example, a note from him to Samuel Quincy, 2 Jan. 1764 (MHi:Misc. Bound MSS ), lists about forty cases JA wishes Quincy to enter for him in Boston. During the spring of 1764 he served on a town committee to report a plan for repairing the highways by a tax ( Braintree Town Records , p. 395–398). Most of April and part of May he spent with other patients at his uncle James Cunningham’s house in Boston undergoing the somewhat dangerous and extremely tedious process of inoculation against smallpox. His physician was Dr. Nathaniel Perkins, Harvard 1734, and JA ’s letters during this period probably embody as detailed an account as exists of the preparatory regimen and actual process of smallpox inoculation in the 1760’s.
But the great event of 1764 was JA ’s marriage to Abigail Smith of Weymouth. As early as February they were trying to fix a date; see Hannah (Storer) Green to JA , 20 Feb. 1764 (Samuel Abbott Green, An Account of Percival and Ellen Green and Some of Their Descendants, Groton, Mass., p. 56–57). They were married on 25 October.