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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0014-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770-07-08

July 8. 1770 Sunday.

This Week has been taken up in the Hurry of the Court, and I have not been able to snatch a Moment to put down any Thing. The softly People where I lodge, Don Webb and his Wife, are the Opposites of every Thing great, spirited and enterprizing. His father was a dissenting Parson, and a Relation of mine, a zealous Puritan, and famous Preacher. This son however without the least Regard to his Education, his Connections, Relations, Reputation, or Examination into the controversy turns about and goes to Church, merely because an handfull of young foolish fellows here, took it into their Heads to go. Don never was, or aimed to be any Thing at Colledge but a silent Hearer of a few Rakes, and he continues to this day the same Man, rather the same softly living Thing that creepeth upon the face of the Earth. He attempted Trade but failed in that—now keeps School and takes Boarders, and his Wife longs to be genteel, to go to Dances, Assemblies, Dinners, suppers &c—but cannot make it out for Want thereof. Such Imbicility of Genius, such Poverty of Spirit, such Impotence of Nerve, is often accompanied with a fribbling Affectation of Politeness, which is to me completely ridiculous—green Tea, if We could but get it—Madeira Wine, if I could but get it—Collectors1 genteel Company, Dances, late suppers and Clubbs, &c. &c.
{ 359 }
1. To make the meaning clear, either an apostrophe or a comma (and more likely the former) should have been inserted after this word, but there is no punctuation in the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0014-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770-07-12

Thursday Afternoon [12 July.]

3 O Clock, got into my Desobligeant to go home. 2 or 3 miles out of Town I overtook 2 Men on horseback. They rode sometimes before me, then would fall behind, and seemed a little unsteady. At last one of ’em came up. What is your Name? Why of what Consequence is it what my Name is? Why says he only as we are travelling the Road together, I wanted to know where you came from, and what your Name was. I told him my Name.—Where did you come from? Boston. Where have you been? To Falmouth. Upon a Frolick I suppose? No upon Business. What Business pray? Business at Court.
Thus far I humoured his Impertinence. Well now says he do you want to know my Name? Yes. My Name is Robert Jordan, I belong to Cape Elizabeth, and am now going round there. My forefathers came over here and settled a great many Years ago.—After a good deal more of this harmless Impertinence, he turned off, and left me.—I baited at Millikins and rode thro Saco Woods, and then rode from Saco Bridge, thro the Woods to Pattens after Night—many sharp, steep Hills, many Rocks, many deep Rutts, and not a Footstep of Man, except in the Road. It was vastly disagreable. Lodged at Pattens.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0014-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770-07-13

Fryday July 13. 1770.

Arose and walked with Patten to see the neighbouring Fields of English Grass and Grain and Indian Corn, consuming before the Worms. A long black Worm crawls up the Stalk of Rye or Grass and feeds upon the leaves. The Indian Corn looked stripped to a Skelleton, and that was black with the Worms. I found that they prevail very much in Arundell and Wells and so all along to Portsmouth and to Hampton.
Stopped two Hours at Mr. Hemenways, and then rode thro the Woods, in excessive Heat to York, dined at Woodbridges, who was much elated with his new Licence, and after Dinner was treating his friends, some of them. Spent an Hour at Mr. Sewalls with Elder Bradbury and then went to Portsmouth, crossed the Ferry after 9 O Clock and putt up at Tiltons the Sign of the Marquis of Rockingham—a very good House. I will call no more at Stavers’s. I found very good Entertainment, and excellent Attendance—a very convenient House, a spacious Yard, good stables, and an excellent Garden, full of { 360 } Carrotts, Beets, Cabbages, Onions, Colliflowers, &c. This Tiltons is just behind the State House.
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/