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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0012-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1795

1795.

Mr. Meredith at Mr. Vaughans explained to me his Method.1 He takes a first Crop of Clover early: then breaks up the Ground, cross ploughs and harrows it. Then plants Potatoes. He only ploughs a furrow, drops the Potatoes a foot a sunder and then covers them with another furrow. He ploughs now and then between these Rows: but { 226 } never hoes. As soon as the Season comes for sowing his Winter Barley: He diggs the Potatoes, ploughs and harrows the Ground, sows the Winter Barley with Clover Seeds and orchard Grass Seeds: and the next Spring he has a great Crop of Barley and afterwards a great Burthen of Grass.—He prefers Orchard Grass to Herds Grass as much more productive.
1. JA 's informant was doubtless Samuel Meredith, formerly a member of the Continental Congress and from 1789 to 1801 treasurer of the United States ( Biog. Dir. Cong. ). His host was John Vaughan, brother of JA 's old friend Benjamin Vaughan. John Vaughan settled in Philadelphia and was perpetual secretary of the American Philosophical Society (Robert Hallowell Gardiner, Early Recollections, Hallowell, Maine, 1936, p. 118–120).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-20

June 20 [1796].1

Sullivan Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 12 1/2.
1. Here begins a brief revival of JA 's Diary, extending through the summer of 1796 and comprising the only regular series of entries he made after his return from Europe in 1788. JA had come home from Philadelphia in mid-May, following the long and highly partisan struggle in Congress over Jay's Treaty, and though there was to be a national election in November in which he was in the highest degree interested, the following entries deal almost entirely with farming activities.
CFA printed the Diary entries for 1796 very selectively and frequently omitted personal names or disguised them by reducing them to their initials.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-22

June 22.

Thomas Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 9.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-12

Quincy July 12. Tuesday.

Yesterday mow'd all the Grass on Stony field Hill. To day ploughing for Hilling among the Corn over against the House. Brisler laying the foundation of the new Barn which is to be rais'd tomorrow, at the East End of my Fathers barn. Puffer and Sullivan Lathrop ploughing among Potatoes in the lower Garden.
This Journal is commenced, to allure me into the habit of Writing again, long lost. This habit is easily lost but not easily regained. I have, in the Course of Life, lost it several times and regained it as often. So I will now. I can easily credit the Reports I have heard of Dr. Robertson the Scottish Historian, who is said to have lost the Habit of Writing for many Years: but he reacquired it, before his death, and produced his Inquiry into the Knowledge of the Ancients of India.
In the Course of my Walk, this morning to my new Barn, I met Major Miller, who offered to sell me his Cedar Swamp and Woodlot of 20 Acres, beyond Harmans, descended from his Grandfather and { 227 } Father. His Price £9 = 30 dollars per Acre. Part of it has never been cutt—Part cutt 20 Years ago and grown up very thick. Billings came home before dinner, but did no Work.