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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-09

9th.

The inferior Court, is to sit according to Law, next Tuesday, at Concord; it is said, that the same People, who stopp'd it at { 93 } Worcester, are determined to join others, and proceed in the same manner at Concord. And they will probably carry their Point; for the People that are sensible, what evil Consequences must attend these disorders, yet are unwilling to use any exertions for putting a stop to them. We are now in a perfect State of Anarchy. No laws observed, and no power to Punish delinquents; if these treasonable practices, are not properly quelled, the Consequences must be fatal to the Constitution, and indeed to the Common-wealth.
The Parts for the next exhibition,1 were given out this afternoon. Freeman, has the English Oration, Bridge the Latin, Adams and Cranch, a Forensic disputation, on the Question Whether inequality among the citizens be necessary, to the preservation of the Liberty of the whole?2Beale, Burge, Fiske, Harris, Little, and Packard have the mathematical Parts. The President told us to be ready, by a fortnight from next Tuesday, as the Corporation might possibly meet, then.
We had a beautiful Evening; I walk'd out with Cranch, round the Common, and on the Road till near 11.
1. The exhibition was given on 26 Sept. At this time Harvard held exhibitions semiannually, and the various parts were assigned by the college government to members of the junior and senior classes. As the program outlined in JQA's entry here and that of 26 Sept. suggests, participants displayed their oratorical skills as well as their literary, classical, and mathematical learning. The exhibitions were open to all in the college and to interested outsiders and parents; about four hundred later attended the exhibition (Benjamin Homer Hall, A Collection of College Words and Customs, Cambridge, 1856; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 28 Sept., Adams Papers).
2. JQA spoke on the side affirming the necessity of inequality for liberty. Speakers were apparently given strips of paper each with the title of his part. See entry for 26 Sept., note 1 (below).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/