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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0007-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-08-17

17th.

The Scholars are coming in very fast, and are almost all of them busy, in putting their new chambers in order, and moving. Very busy all day in papering Charles's study, and part of mine, but before we finish'd the Paper fail'd us. Drank tea with Mead in his Chamber which is contiguous to mine. The Club are quite in a Dilemma, how to do since the boys are sent off. They are unwilling to send Freshmen, and think it beneath their dignity to go themselves for what they want. At about 10 o'clock this evening, Stratten, a crazy fellow came, and knock'd at my door; just as I was going to bed; I opened it, and he ask'd me for some water; I told him I had none, and shut the door upon him: “Damn you, says he, do you refuse a man a little water.” After thumping two or three minutes at the door, he went away, knock'd at all the doors in the entry; ran up and down stairs, came again, to my door and stamp'd at it, and finally ran to the window in the entry, push'd it up, and leapt immediately out of it. I instantly got out of my bed, went to my window, and saw him lying on the ground. After 3 or 4 minutes he began to groan “Oh! I've broke my leg.” Charles had not gone to bed; I desired him to go and call up Dr. Jennison; who immediately came out. The fellow complain'd in the most doleful manner. However, after examining his leg, (for he was not at all hurt any where else) the Doctor said, there might be a bone crack'd but that none was displaced. It was with a great deal of difficulty that we were able to get Stratten, into one of the lower Rooms which is empty. He persisted for two hours in attempting to walk, for in addition { 79 } to his State of mind, he was then as drunk as a beast. At length however he was carried into the Room, and laid on a Straw bed. The Doctor, although the man was insulting him continually dress'd up his leg, and we left him just before 12 o'clock, at Night, upon which I immediately retired to bed again.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0007-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-08-18

18th.

They were obliged to carry off Stratten this forenoon, as he could not possibly walk. I finished papering my study this forenoon, and in the afternoon put the Chamber in order. I engaged Sullivan 2d.1 for my freshman. Bridge made tea this afternoon for the Club, in Kendall's turn. Somehow or other we made out without employing a freshman finally.
1. James Sullivan, the second of three brothers to graduate in that class, and son of Gen. John Sullivan. College customs enforced a system of freshman servitude under which any upperclassmen could demand personal services from first-year men. The well-advised freshman sought to attach himself to a senior “who protected him from the importunities of juniors and sophomores, and allowed him to study in his chamber, in order to be handy for personal errands” ([Thomas C. Amory], “Master [John] Sullivan of Berwick [Maine]—His Ancestors and Descendants,” NEHGR, 19:304 [Oct. 1865]; Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 105–106).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0007-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-08-19

19th.

Leonard White Came from Boston, and Cranch return'd from Braintree this day. Almost all the College, have got here now, and the new monitors,1 (who must always belong to the junior Class) took their Seats yesterday. They are Adams 2d.2 and Underwood, who is about 35 years old. I have done little or nothing this day. The first week is almost always loitered away.
1. Monitors were appointed by the college president to keep bills of absence and tardiness at devotional and other exercises (Benjamin Homer Hall, A Collection of College Words and Customs, Cambridge, 1856, p. 325–326).
2. Solomon Adams, a sophomore, was regarded as “Adams 1” by the college until the end of July 1786 when he became “Adams 2.” On the other hand, JQA , who entered late in his junior year, was first classified “Adams 3,” but he became “Adams 1” by the beginning of his senior year (MH-Ar: Faculty Records, 5:228, 233, 237–238).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0007-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-08-20

20th.

Mr. Deane,1 of Falmouth preach'd here this day, in the forenoon from Matthew. XI. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto { 80 } your souls, and in the afternoon from Luke XVI. 31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. A whining sort of a Tone was employ'd by Mr. Deane, which would have injured the Sermons if they had been good.

For what's a Sermon, good or bad

If a man reads it like a lad,

but Mr. Deane's Sermons, were not hurt by his manner of speaking them.
1. Samuel Deane was minister of the First Congregational Church, Falmouth (now Portland, Maine), from 1764 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:591–598).