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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-19

19th.

This morning I went with Mr. Brush, and delivered the Letters I had for this place. Mr. Chancey1 for whom Coll. Humphreys gave me a Letter went with me, to Dr. Stiles2 the President of the College; who is a curious character. Mr. Jefferson once told, me, he thought him an uncommon instance of the { 308 } deepest learning without a spark of genius. He was very polite to me, and shew me, the Library, and the apparatus of the College: he has a few natural curiosities; but nothing very extraordinary. We dined at Mr. Platt's, and afterwards went to see Coll. Wadsworth, who arrived in town this day; and leaves it to-morrow morning for Hartford. Mr. Chaumont and myself afterwards went to the Ball. There has been for these last two months a dancing master here and has given a ball once a fort'night. He had not a very large number of scholars, and there were more ladies than gentlemen. The master of the school does not appear to be a good dancer himself; and do not think his pupils in general have made any great progress for the time they have been learning: there were a few very genteel young Ladies; a great many appear to have been favoured by nature, but not by the graces. At about 11. o'clock, Mr. Chaumont and myself retired, as we intend to leave this place early in the morning.
1. Undoubtedly Charles Chauncy, New Haven lawyer, town officer, and representative in the legislature, who later served on the superior court (The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D. President of Yale College, ed. Franklin Bowditch Dexter, 3 vols., N.Y., 1901, 2:407; 3:107, 111, 351, 354).
2. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, 1778–1795 (Edmund S. Morgan, The Gentle Puritan: A Life of Ezra Stiles, 1727–1795, New Haven, 1962). JQA presented to Stiles letters of introduction from JA and David Humphreys at this time ( LbC , Adams Papers; Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles . . ., ed. Dexter, 3:177).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-20

20th.

We tried my horse this morning in Mr. Chaumont Chaise, but could not make him go at all: so we put him before one of his horses and Dupré, his servant mounted him, in that manner he went very well. Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, who are so kind as to keep us Company as far as Hartford rode in a Chaise of their own. We went only sixteen miles before dinner. The weather is still very warm notwithstanding, the late thunder shower. After dinner we rode 12 miles further to Middletown. Dr. Johnson1 whom I met at Fairfield, gave me a letter for Genl. Parsons,2 one of the aldermen of this City. About 18 months agone five towns in this State, New-Haven, Hartford, New-London, Norwich and Middletown, form'd themselves into Corporations, and are now called Cities. Genl. Parsons told me, he was three years in College with my father, and was then very intimate with him. It gave me peculiar pleasure to meet with so old a friend of my fa• { 309 } ther, and that circumstance greatly increased my reverence for the person.
We walk'd about the City which is one of the smallest of the five. But is very pleasantly situated on Connecticut River. The views from some parts of it are enchanting; and the river is a very beautiful one. In the evening Mr. Chaumont, Mr. Brush, and myself, went and bath'd in it. The general spent some time with us.
1. William Samuel Johnson was a Connecticut lawyer, pre-Revolutionary political leader, but loyalist after independence was declared. He served later as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and as president of Columbia College, 1787–1800 ( DAB ).
2. Samuel Holden Parsons, brigadier, and later, major general in the Continental Army (Heitman, Register Continental Army, p. 9–10). Parsons was a correspondent of JA 's in the early stages of the war.