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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-26

1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

Stopped at Sternes's [Stearns's] in Worcester, and dined with Mr. { 228 } Lincoln at Mr. Jonathan Williams's.1 In Putnams Office where I formerly trimm'd the Midnight Lamp, Mr. Williams keeps Laws Works and Jacob Behmens, with whose Mistical Reveries he is much captivated.2
1. This Jonathan Williams (d. 1780), Harvard 1772, had been a law clerk in JA 's office. He was a cousin of the better-known Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin's great-nephew, who a little later crossed JA 's path when serving as American agent at Nantes and who became first superintendent of the military academy at West Point; see DAB . On JA 's law clerk see “Suffolk Bar Book,” MHS, Procs. , 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):151; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; John Thaxter to JA , 7 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers.
2. William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1728, and other religious works, was an English disciple of the German mystic Jakob Boehme or Behmen; see DNB under Law.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-28

1776. Sunday. Jany. 28.

Mr. Upham informs that this Town of Brookfield abounds with a Stone, out of which Allum, Coperas and Sulphur are made. Out of one Bushell of this Stone, he made five Pounds of Coperas. He put the Stone into a Tub, poured Water on it, let it Stand 2 or 3 days, then drew it off, and boiled the Liquor away—let it stand and it shot into a Kind of Christals. Adding Chamberly1 and Alkaline Salts to the Coperas and that makes Allum.
We made some Sulphur, by Sublimation. We put 4 Quarts of the Stone into an Iron Kettle, laid a Wooden Cover over the Kettle leaving an Hole in the Middle. Then We put an Earthern Pot over the Top of the Kettle, and cemented it with Clay—then made a fire under the Kettle, and the Sulphur sublimated. We got about a Spoonfull.2
We have found a Bed of yellow Ocre in this Town. I got 12,00 Wt. We make Spanish Brown by burning the yellow Ocre.
1. Chamber-lye (variously spelled, 1500–1800): “Urine; esp. as used for washing, etc.” ( OED ).
2. JA could hardly have participated in these experiments, and so it must be assumed that this and the following paragraph are direct discourse by Upham. CFA supplied quotation marks around this passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-29

1776 Monday. Jan. 29.

Rode to Springfield, dined at Scotts. Heard that the Cannon at Kingsbridge in N. York were spiked up. That dry Goods, English Goods were sent round to N. York from Boston, and from N. York sold all over N.E. and sent down to Camp. That Tryon has issued Writs for the Choice of a new Assembly, and that the Writs were likely to be obeyed, and the Tories were likely to carry a Majority of Members.
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