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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-09

1774. Sunday [9 October].

Went to hear Dr. Allison, an Aged Gentleman. It was Sacrament Day and he gave us a sacramental Discourse. This Dr. Allison is a Man of Abilities and Worth, but I hear no Preachers here like ours in Boston, excepting Mr. Duchè. Coombs indeed is a good Speaker, but not an original, but a Copy of Duchè.
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The Multiplicity of Business and Ceremonies, and Company that we are perpetually engaged in, prevents my Writing to my Friends in Mass, as I ought, and prevents my recording many Material Things in my Journal.
Phyladelphia with all its Trade, and Wealth, and Regularity is not Boston. The Morals of our People are much better, their Manners are more polite, and agreable—they are purer English. Our Language is better, our Persons are handsomer, our Spirit is greater, our Laws are wiser, our Religion is superiour, our Education is better. We exceed them in every Thing, but in a Markett, and in charitable public foundations.
Went in the Afternoon to the Romish Chappell and heard a good discourse upon the Duty of Parents to their Children, founded in Justice and Charity. The Scenery and the Musick is so callculated to take in Mankind that I wonder, the Reformation ever succeeded. The Paintings, the Bells, the Candles, the Gold and Silver. Our Saviour on the Cross, over the Altar, at full Length, and all his Wounds a bleeding. The Chanting is exquisitely soft and sweet.1
1. JA set down his reflections on this experience at greater length in a letter to AA of this date (Adams Papers; printed in JA-AA, Familiar Letters , p. 45–47).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-10

1774 Monday. Octr. 10th.

The Deliberations of the Congress, are spun out to an immeasurable Length. There is so much Wit, Sense, Learning, Acuteness, Subtilty, Eloquence, &c. among fifty Gentlemen, each of whom has been habituated to lead and guide in his own Province, that an immensity of Time, is spent unnecessarily.
Johnson of Maryland has a clear and a cool Head, an extensive Knowledge of Trade, as well as Law. He is a deliberating Man, but not a shining orator—His Passions and Imagination dont appear enough for an orator. His Reason and Penetration appear, but not his Rhetoric.
Galloway, Duane, and Johnson, are sensible and learned but cold Speakers. Lee, Henry, and Hooper [are] 1 the orators. Paca is a deliberater too. Chase speaks warmly. Mifflin is a sprightly and spirited Speaker. John Rutledge dont exceed in Learning or oratory, tho he is a rapid Speaker. Young Edward Rutledge is young, and zealous—a little unsteady, and injudicious, but very unnatural and affected as a Speaker. Dyer and Sherman speak often and long, but very heavily and clumsily.
1. MS : “and.”
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