A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-09-10

10th.

Attended at the office the whole day. Continued Robertson. Thomson engaged this morning to take the charge of one of the town schools, for a year. It will interfere very much with his attendance at the office. His father, who is very rigid in his religious opinions, and probably entertains an unfavourable idea of the profession of the law, is very averse to his son's engaging in it; and takes every opportunity he can, to discourage his son { 287 } from the study; and it is supposed he took this method among others to draw off his attention from this pursuit: but he will certainly fail in the attempt, and I doubt whether Thomson will keep the school, more than half the year through. In the afternoon we walk'd to Mr. Atkins's,1 and found Mr. John Tracy with him: we pass'd part of the evening at Mr. Tracy's house: I there met with a french gentleman with whom I conversed about half an hour. Return'd home between 8 and 9 in the evening.
1. Dudley Atkins Jr., a Newburyport justice of the peace at this time (Essex Inst., Hist. Colls. , 85:160 [April 1949]; Fleet's Pocket Almanack and Massachusetts Register , 1788).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0009-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-09-11

11th.

Thomson began his attendance upon the school this morning, and attended at the office, all the leisure time he had: if he should make a practice of this it must necessarily be essentially injurious to his health. I Dined this day with Townsend and pass'd the evening at home in reading and writing.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0009-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-09-12

12th.

Training day for the alarm list. From 16 to 60 years the inhabitants of this Common-wealth, are subjected to the duties of militia-men: As a student of Harvard University, I shall be exempted for three years: for all the sons of Harvard are considered as students at that seminary untill they commence masters of arts.
This forenoon I finish'd the first volume of Robertson's Charles V. and as I read now in connection with my studies, I shall not proceed with the other volumes. In the afternoon I took up Vattels' law of nature and of nations.1
1. Emmerich de Vattel, Le droit des gens; ou, principes de la loi naturelle, appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains, Leyden, 1758, and subsequent English translations. Presumably in this and other cases, JQA was using Parsons' law books. The copy known to have been owned by an Adams at this time was a French edition, Amsterdam, 1775, given to JA by C. W. F. Dumas in 1781.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0009-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-09-13

13th.

Dined with Dr. Kilham1 at Mr. Carter's.2 This is a very friendly, obliging old gentleman, about 73 years of age, as I collected from his conversation: he is very sociable, and is a great genealogist. He gave me a much more circumstantial account of { 288 } my ancestry, for four or five generations back, than I had ever known before, and I am told he can give the same kind of information to almost any body else. He has two sons with him, both I believe between 25 and 30 years old and one daughter: one of his daughters was married in the beginning of the summer, to Mr. W. Smith of Boston:3 and his eldest son, proposes to be married in the spring to Miss Eppes Cutts, who has made her appearance heretofore in this journal. Her sister, Miss Nancy Cutts is now upon a visit at Mr. Carter's, and dined with us. I think she is handsomer, and that her manners are easier than those of her Sister. How the comparison might be, in mental qualifications I am not able to decide. I was alone this afternoon in the office, as Townsend and Thomson, were both gone to see the manoeuvres of the four companies of militia of the train band, who were this day forming themselves for soldiers.
In the evening I pass'd an hour at Mr. Tufts's. Mrs. Tufts is very unwell.
1. Dr. Daniel Kilham, Newburyport apothecary and fellow boarder with JQA at Mrs. Martha Leathers' and a representative in the General Court (Russell Leigh Jackson, “Physicians of Essex County,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls. , 84:83 [Jan. 1948].
2. Nathaniel Carter Sr., a wealthy Newburyport merchant (Cecil Hampden Cutts Howard, “Thomas and Esther (Marlowe) Carter and Their Descendants,” same, 65:502–503 [Oct. 1929]).
3. Boston merchant William smith, JQA 's cousin, married Hannah Carter (same).