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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0003-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-03-23

23d.

Charles went down to Mr. Dana's this evening; the judge is mending but quite slowly:
I had thoughts of carrying up some algebraic calculations, for the mathematical performance at exhibition, but, Cranch takes the next transit of Venus. Bridge and White, who do not choose, to take much trouble, have both taken lunar eclipses; and as there was no solar eclipse presented at the last exhibition I determined to project one, for the next. I went to Mr. Read to find out, when there will be a large one, and finally calculated the elements for that which will happen, May 15th. 1836.
Joshua Cushman 1 of Bridgewater will be 23 the 11th. of next month. Poverty appears to be his greatest enemy; she opposes his progress, and he has a very great struggle with her, to go through College. For genius he is neither at the Zenith nor at the Nadir; but somewhere about half way between. For improvements, he has made as many perhaps, as his circumstances would allow him. In composition, an admiration of beautiful periods, and elegant expression, have taken from the natural taste { 184 } | view for that simplicity in which alone true beauty and elegance consist. His conversation sometimes degenerates into bombast; to express that he wants a glass of water he will say, that within the concave excavation of his body, there are certain cylindric tubes which require to be replenished from, the limpid fountain or the meandering rivulet. In the public exercices of composition his greatest fault is prolixity. He will write two sheets of paper full, for a forensic, while scarcely any other of the Class will scarcely fill half one. He is however esteemed by the Class in general, as an amiable character, if not as an uncommon genius.
1. Cushman studied theology and was ordained at Winslow, Mass. (now Maine), where he was minister from 1795 until 1814. His contract was not renewed, possibly because of his liberal religious views. While still a minister, he sat for two terms in the Massachusetts legislature. He later served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1819–1825. Afterward he served in the Maine legislature ( DAB ).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0003-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-03-24

24th.

We had last evening a Class meeting; a petition drawn up by Little, as additional to that already presented, was read to the Class, and approved by them: the Committee, were ordered to carry it down to the President. I was employ'd the greatest part of this day in projecting my Eclipse for exhibition. The elements are as follows.
Elements.
  for a solar Eclipse. May 15th. 1836.   D.   H.   M.   S.  
1.   True time of New Moon at Cambridge, in May 1836.   15:   9:   29:   13  
      °   '   "  
2.   Semidiameter of the Earth's Disc     0:   55:   0  
3.   Sun's Distance from the nearest solstice     35:   17:   42  
4.   Sun's Declination, North     18:   58:   0  
5.   Moon's latitude, north ascending     0:   26:   26  
6.   Moon's horary motion from the Sun     0:   28:   14  
7.   Angle of the Moon's visible path with the ecliptic     5:   35:   0  
8.   Sun's Semidiameter     0:   15:   55  
9.   Moon's Semidiameter     0:   15:   0  
10.   Semidiameter of the Penumbra     0:   30:   55.  
Charles watch'd at Mr. Dana's this night.
Peter Eaton1 of Haverhill was 22 the 15th. of this month. I have { 185 } not the pleasure of an intimate acquaintance with him; but all those who have, speak well of him. As a speaker he is distinguished, and as a scholar respectable; his public exercices have been in general equal if not superior to any in the Class since I belonged to it: but he is very modest and diffident, so that he has not brought himself so much into notice, as several others in the Class, who without his abilities have a much greater share of confidence.
1. Eaton was ordained at West Boxford in Oct. 1789 and remained there as minister throughout his life (Sidney Perley, “The Dwellings of Boxford,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 29:85–86 [April–June 1892]).