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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0010-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1766-05-04

Sunday. May 4th. 1766.

Returning from Meeting this Morning I saw for the first Time, a { 312 } likely young Button Wood Tree, lately planted, on the Triangle made by the Three Roads, by the House of Mr. James Brackett.1 The Tree is well set, well guarded, and has on it, an Inscription “The Tree of Liberty,” and “cursed is he, who cutts this Tree.”—Q. What will be the Consequences of this Thought? I never heard an Hint of it, till I saw it, but I hear that some Persons grumble and threaten to girdle it.
1. James Brackett kept a “large and commodious” tavern on what is now the corner of Hancock and Elm Streets, Quincy (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy , p. 168–169).

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0010-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1766-05-18

Sunday. May 18th. 1766.

Mem. to write some Speculations, upon the Union of Legislative and Executive Powers—and upon the Knot, the Junto, the Combination.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0010-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1766-05-26

Monday May 26th. 1766.

I have been very unfortunate, in running the Gauntlet, thro all the Rejoicings, for the Repeal of the Stamp-Act.1
Monday last at 2 O Clock, was our Town Meeting,2 and the same Evening, were all the Rejoicings in Boston and in Plymouth. After Meeting I mounted for Plymouth, and reached Dr. Halls of Pembroke. The only Rejoicings, I heard or saw were at Hingham, where the Bells rung, Cannons were fired, Drums beaten, and Land Lady Cushing on the Plain, illuminated her House. The County of Plymouth has made a thorough Purgation, Winslow, Clap, Foster, Hayward, Keen, Oliver, Alden, are all omitted, and Warren, Seaver [Sever], Thomas, Turner, Vinal, Edson, Sprout are chosen. What a Change!
A duller Day, than last Monday, when the Province was in a Rapture for the Repeal of the Stamp Act, I do not remember to have passed. My Wife who had long depended on going to Boston, and my little Babe3 were both very ill of an hooping Cough. My self, under Obligation to attend the Superiour Court at Plymouth, the next day, and therefore unable to go to Boston. And the Town of Braintree insensible to the Common Joy!4
1. News of the repeal of the Stamp Act, 19 March, was received in Boston on 19 May. The Boston Gazette of 26 May has extensive accounts of the celebrations.
2. To elect a representative to the General Court. This proved to be Ebenezer Thayer, the incumbent. The Braintree Town Records give no indication of a contest between the partisans of Thayer and those of JA , but there probably was.
3. AA2 , now ten months old.
4. Here follow six lines heavily inked out in the MS , apparently by JA and probably soon after they were written. In view of his habitual indiscretions in the Diary it is remarkable that JA felt impelled to obliterate this harmless expression of hurt pride. As imperfectly deciphered here, very doubtful words are enclosed in square brackets:
“I had [also?] the mortification to see { 313 } that while allmost all the zealous opposers of the Stamp Act [were caressed?] by their Towns and chosen Representatives, Adams [4 or 5 words], Edson, Doolittle and a multitude of others, I was like to be neglected my self and that all my friends in my own Town were like to be neglected too.”