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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-16

16th.

We were going this morning by 5 o'clock, and proceeded as far as Stamford, 12 miles from Rye; 5 miles from which there is a small river,1 which seperates the States of N. York and Connecticut, at a place called Horseneck. The roads from Rye, are some of the worst I ever saw. The crops of hay and of grain are all very fine this year, except those of indian corn, which have not had hot weather enough. The State of N. York produces Wheat, rye, barley and all sorts of grain as all the Northern States do. Connecticut produces in addition large quantities of flax. We got to Stamford at about 9 o'clock, and found the heat so powerful, that { 306 } we could not proceed any further before dinner. I had a letter from Coll. Humphreys, to Major Davenport2 in Stamford, but he was gone to the Court which is now sitting at Fairfield. At 3 o'clock we again set off, and went till about 8 when we arrived at Norwalk 12 miles from Stamford. Mr. B. Jarvis gave me a letter for his brother in law, Mr. Bowden,3 the minister at Norwalk; but it was so late; when we got there that I did not carry it. Mr. Chaumont and I went and bath'd in the river, and found ourselves greatly refresh'd by it.
1. The Byram River.
2. John Davenport, known as a major from his service in the commissary department of the Continental Army, was a lawyer and representative from Stamford in the Connecticut legislature, 1776–1796 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:376–378).
3. John Bowden, Episcopal minister and later a professor at Columbia (Joshua L. Chamberlain, Universities and Their Sons: History, Influence and Characteristics of American Universities with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Alumni and Recipients of Honorary Degrees . . ., 5 vols., Boston, 1898–1900, 2:103–104).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-17

17th.

At 5 o'clock we were going, and reach'd Fairfield by 9. I there delivered my letters to Mr. Burr1 and Major Davenport: We were obliged to stay there to dinner; through the extreme heat of the weather. At four in the afternoon, we again set out, and rode 10 miles to Stratford. We waited there about half an hour, and set out again. 3 miles from Stratford we cross'd Connecticut River,2 and rode about 11. miles after; besides more than 2 miles in a wrong road, we were obliged to proceed so slowly, in the dark that it was near 12 o'clock when we arrived at New-Haven; and when we got there nobody, in the place was up, so that it was with great difficulty that we got to an indifferent inn. Mr. de Chaumont's horses, are both badly gall'd. We could get but one apartment for both of us, and found some difficulty even to get one.
1. Presumably Thaddeus Burr, owner of several large inherited estates in the Fairfield area, former representative in the Connecticut legislature, and holder of local offices (Charles Burr Todd, A General History of the Burr Family in America. With a Genealogical Record from 1570 to 1878, N.Y., 1878, p. 76–79).
2. A mistake for the Housatonic River.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-18

18th.

In the morning I went to pay a visit to Mr. Platt,1 and found my old friend Brush there. He introduced me to Mr. Broome, for { 307 } whom I had Letters from his son in law Mr. Jarvis. He immediately went up with me to our lodgings and I introduced Mr. de Chaumont to him. He insisted upon our going, both of us and staying at his house while we remain here. I was in great hopes of seeing Mrs. Jarvis,2 but she was at Huntington, and is not expected home under a month. Miss Betsey Broome is here, but is not at all sociable. In this she does not resemble her father, who is a sincere, open-hearted good man. He lives in a most agreeable Situation: his house is upon an eminence just opposite the harbour, so that the tides come up, within ten rods of it. Mr. Platt lives near him in the same position. Broome, Platt, and Brush have been partners in trade, but have now dissolv'd their connection. We dined at Mr. Broome's. After dinner we were going to see a cave, a few miles out of town, famous for having been the shelter of two of the regicides,3 in the time of Charles the 2d. but a violent thunder shower arose, and prevented us. It did not last more than half an hour; but for that time the wind blew like an hurricane, the rain shower'd down, and there were several of as heavy peals of thunder as I ever remember to have heard: we saw the lightning fall, into the water, about 20 rods from us. After it was over we went and drank tea with Mrs. Platt. Mr. Chaumont lodg'd at Mr. Broomes, and I at Mr. Platt's house.
1. Jeremiah Platt, a New York merchant, was the business partner and brother-in-law of Samuel Broome, mentioned below, who had moved to New Haven in 1775 (Frederic Gregory Mather, The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut, Albany, 1913, p. 664, 680; Donald Lines Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 8 vols, in 3, Baltimore, 1974, 2:344–345).
2. Amelia Broome Jarvis, daughter of Samuel Broome and wife of James Jarvis of New York (Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 2:344–345).
3. William Goffe and his father-in-law, Edward Whalley, had been military leaders in the English Civil War and had signed the death warrant of Charles I. With the return of the monarchy a decade later, both men refused to surrender and were exempted from pardon. They fled England for Boston, and in 1661 went to New Haven, where they camped out in a cave that summer. The pair settled in Hadley, Mass., three years later (Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony, New Haven, 1934, p. 221–226).