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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-05-03

May 3d. 1771. Fryday.

Last Evening I went in to take a Pipe with Brother Cranch, and there I found Zeb. Adams. He told me, he heard that I had made two very powerfull Enemies in this Town, and lost two very valuable Clients, Treasurer Gray and Ezek. Goldthwait, and that he heard that Gray had been to me for my Account and paid it off, and determined to have nothing more to do with me. Oh the wretched impotent Malice! They shew their teeth, they are eager to bite, but they have not Strength! I despize their Anger, their Resentment, and their Threats. But, I can tell Mr. Treasurer, that I have it in my Power to tell the World a Tale, which will infallibly unhorse him—whether I am in the House or out. If this Province knew that the public Money had never been counted this twenty Year—and that no Bonds were given last Year, nor for several Years before, there would be so much Uneasiness about it, that Mr. Gray would loose his Election another Year.1
It may be said that I have made Enemies by being in the general Court. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Gray, Goldthwait, The Gentry at Cambridge, &c. are made my bitter Foes. But there is nothing in this. These People were all my Foes before, but they thought it for their Interest to disguise it. But Now they think themselves at Liberty to speak it out. But there is not one of them but would have done me all the Harm in his Power secretly before.
{ 12 }
This Evening Mr. Otis came into my Office, and sat with me most of the Evening—more calm, more solid, decent and cautious than he ever was, even before his late Disorders.—I have this Week had an Opportunity of returning an Obligation, of repaying an old Debt to that Gentleman which has given me great Pleasure. Mr. Otis was one of the 3 Gentlemen, Mr. Gridley and Mr. Thatcher were the other two, who introduced me to Practice in this County. I have this Week strongly recommended 14 Clients from Wrentham and 3 or 4 in Boston, to him, and they have accordingly by my Perswasion engaged him in their Causes, and he has come out to Court And behaved very well, so that I have now introduced him to Practice. This Indulgence to my own gratefull Feelings, was equally my Duty and my Pleasure.
He is a singular Man. It will be amusing to observe his Behaviour, upon his Return to active Life in the Senate, and at the Bar, and the Influence of his Presence upon the public Councils of this Province. I was an Hour with him this Morning at his Office, and there he was off his Guard and Reserve with me. I find his Sentiments are not altered, and his Passions are not eradicated. The fervour of his Spirit is not abated, nor the Irritability of his Nerves lessened.
1. In November and again in April JA had served on committees to protest or investigate Treasurer Harrison Gray's conduct of his office (Mass., House Jour. , 1770–1771, p. 155, 220).

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-05-09

May 9. 1771.

From Saturday to Wednesday Morning I staid at Braintree, and rode, walked, rambled and roamed. Enjoyed a Serenity and Satisfaction to which I have been 3 Years a Stranger.
Yet I have had upon my Mind, a puzzling perplexing affair. The Purchase of Elijah Belchers Homestead and two Pastures, has occasioned a Journey to Germantown, where I had not been for three Years, and which Mr. Palmer has made a little Paradise, to treat with Mrs. Palmer about Terms and Conditions, and many Walks about the Land, to see the Condition of the Fences &c. The Fences are in a ruinous Condition and require a large Expence for Repairs.
Wednesday, after Court I waited on Dr. Gardiner, Secretary Fluker [Flucker], Mr. Josa. Quincy Jur. and John Erving Jur. Esqr., and was very politely treated by each of those Gentlemen, each of them very readily agreeing, to take my single Note for the Money, and two of em Fluker and Quincy giving me Assignments of their Mortgages, in Exchange for my Note. A droll Adventure with Mr. Erving. He took my Note and gave me up Elijah Belchers for upwards of £56 Prin[ciple] { 13 } and Int[erest] and seemed mightily pleased. In the Evening, upon seeing Mr. Greenleaf, I discovered that Deacon Palmer had never any Thing to do with this Debt, and that it was not in the List which I was to discharge. So that I had given my Note, without Authority, and to my own Prejudice. But, waiting the next Morning on Mr. Erving, and explaining the Facts to him, he very genteelly gave up my Note and took back that of Belcher.
This Day arrived Hall from London with News of the Committment of the Mayor and Mr. Alderman Oliver to the Tower, by the House of Commons. I read this Morning in the English Papers and the Political Register for April, all the Proceedings against the Printers Thompson and Wheble, and vs. the Mayor and Alderman Wilks, and Oliver. What the Consequence will be, of these Movements, it is not easy to foresee or Conjecture. A Struggle, a Battle, so serious and determined, between two such Bodies as the House and the City, must produce Confusion and Carnage, without the most delicate Management, on both sides, or the most uncommon Concurrence of Accidents.