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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-28

28th.

Attended Mr. Wibird's1 meeting forenoon, and afternoon. His voice and look was as familiar to me, as if I had not been absent. Among the People that were grown up before I went away, there were few or no new faces in the house: but there were but few young People, that I could recollect, 6 years have very little effect upon the appearance of men, and women, but a surprising one, upon that of Children. But of all the persons I have seen none have so compleatly altered as my Cousin W. Cranch. I { 315 } never can realize the idea, of his being the same little boy I left in 1779, and I am told that I myself have alter'd nearly as much. When the afternoon service was over I went with Mr. Tyler down to my father's house,2 and no object ever brought to my mind such a variety of different Sensations. It reminded me of the days of my Childhood, most of which were past in it, but it look'd so lonely, and melancholy without its inhabitants, as drew a deep sigh from my breast. I paid a visit to the Library, and found it in pretty good order.
1. Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister at the First Church of Braintree (later Quincy) from 1755 until his death in 1800 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 12:226–230).
2. This house on Franklin Street in Quincy is known today as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace and was JA 's and AA 's home from the time of their marriage in 1764. JA had given Tyler access to his law library in the house during his absence (JA, Earliest Diary , p. 25–26). For an illustration of the house and the John Adams Birthplace next to it, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:facing 256; a description of the two houses is in HA2 , “The Birthplaces of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts,” Old-Time New England, 26:79–99 (Jan. 1936). The two houses are now part of the Adams National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-29

29th.

At about 9 o'clock I set off for Boston, and stopp'd half an hour, at my uncle Adams's. Saw my Grandmother. I had agreed with Mr. Tyler, to wait for him at Genl. Warren's, half an hour. I stay'd more than an hour but he did not come. Mrs. Warren surprized me very much by informing me that Mr. Otis, with whom I dined on Saturday; had failed that evening. She said it was a very unexpected stroke to the family themselves. I believe before long every merchant in Boston will fail: for they seem all, to be breaking, one after the other. Charles Warren is to sail the latter end of this week for Cadiz. He was worse to day than common. It was noon before I got to Boston. I dined at Mr. Breck's in Company with the french Consul Mr. Toscan, and Mr. Appleton the brother of the gentleman I was acquainted with in England and France. It rain'd hard in the afternoon, so that we were obliged to stay; all the afternoon. At about 8 o'clock I left them all there, just ready to sit down to Cards. I thought if once I sat down there would be no getting away till very late. I found Deacon Smith and his family at Dr. Welch's.1 They all look'd very dull: the old gentleman especially appeared very much affected, Mr. Otis married his Daughter,2 and his failing, was very unexpected to him.
{ 316 }
1. Thomas Welsh (1752–1831), a Boston physician and an army surgeon at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill. His wife, Abigail Kent (1750–1825), was a niece of Deacon Isaac Smith and a cousin of AA .
2. Deacon Smith's daughter Mary (1757–1839) married Samuel Allyne Otis, a second marriage for both, in 1782.