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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1


This note contained in document ADMS-01-01-02-0001-0001-0001
3. This earthquake, a fairly severe one in New England, occurred a little after 4 A.M., Tuesday, 18 Nov., and was one of an intermittent series of seismic shocks on both sides of the Atlantic, the most memorable of which had virtually destroyed the city of Lisbon on the morning of 1 Nov. Besides jolting JA into beginning a diary, the earthquake of the 18th produced a public controversy between Rev. Thomas Prince of Boston and Professor John Winthrop of Harvard that has been engagingly recounted by Eleanor M. Tilton in “Lightning-Rods and the Earthquake of 1755,” NEQ, 13:85–97 (March 1940). JA sided with the scientist rather than with the divine, though he appears to have kept his thoughts on the subject to himself; see his marginalia in Winthrop’s Lecture on Earthquakes under Dec. 1758, below. A very full description of the physical effects of the earthquake on the town of Boston was printed in the Boston Gazette, 24 Nov. 1755.
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/